Foundations – Body
This isn’t going to be like my usual posts. This is a simple explanation of the fitness regimen I’ve adopted for 2017. The reason why I’m sharing this is because of the importance of developing our whole selves, meaning Spirit, Soul, and Body. I can’t say I’ve taken are of my body as best as I could have, so I’m being more intentional about becoming meaningfully healthier every year. I want my family to have a meaningfully healthier husband/father every year, and I want to set a good example to our team members, that it is possible to be productive and healthy at the same time. In fact, I think being healthy makes us more productive as it helps us focus and avoid sickness.
The first thing I did was I set my goals. Goals and objectives give us something to aim for. They become starting points to work back from, plotting the necessary steps and investment to achieving them. Whether it’s business or body, applying Stephen Covey’s Begin with the End in Mind, works. To help me choose goals, I just looked at what really fit people are doing and made them my standard. For 2017, my goals are:
– 100 Push-Ups Straight
– 50 Pull-Ups Straight
– 8% Body Fat
– 24 Minute 5k Run
– 48 Minute 2km Swim
– 10 Handstand Push-Ups
The sad part is that a lot of these I had already achieved when I was younger, but instead of improving with discipline, I allowed a more sedentary lifestyle to take root, which has led to terrible flexibility, pains in certain parts, and significantly diminished physical performance. I needed to turn this thing around before things got worse.
Due to my time, money, and physical limitations, I looked for concepts that are relatively inexpensive, can be completed in a short amount of time, and can scale, starting with moderate difficultly. This led me to include more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), swimming, less running than usual, and one “heavy” weights day (which isn’t really very heavy at the moment). A lot of these things are actually free. So no excuses.
The most important part though would be diet and nutrition. A healthy diet is actually very affordable but can be very bland and repetitive. If diet is 80% of the battle, being healthy is well-within everyone’s reach. Sadly, our lack of discipline, particularly with high-sugar food, is undermining our well-being. For those who are using finances as an excuse not to be healthy, my advice is to stick to a very simple healthy diet. Not only will you save money, you’ll get healthier and feel better because of it.
Here’s what my weekly fitness routine looks like:
Monday: Swim 1k (building up to a 48 minute 2k swim)
Tuesday: HIIT / WOD Day (I alternate between KEELO and CrossFit’s Workout of the Day (WOD))
Wednesday: Goal Day. This is when I focus on improving on specific movements. For this year the movements are Push-Ups, Pull-Ups, and Handstands, all foundational movements that I hate! But giving myself measurable targets helps me see my progress. There’s no such thing as a goal that isn’t measurable. Those are called wishes. And there’s no goal that is achieved without a consistent progression towards that goal.
Thursday: Swim 1k (focus on technique)
Friday: Active Rest (I’ll probably go for an even 5k run)
Saturday: Burn Day: Run 5k, Swim 1k, Core Exercises
Sunday: Strength Day/ 5×5 Day, Yoga Stretching (none of that chanting stuff)
Sometimes, I’ll rest an extra day depending on how my body feels. Notice that I didn’t say “depending on how I feel” because many times I don’t feel like working out even if I know my body can handle the day’s exertion. What I watch out for is potential injury. We need to listen to our body’s to avoid the kind of pain that breaks things.
Learn from High Performers
I was talking to my friend about my fitness goals when he replied, “Are you nuts? 8% body fat is athlete level!” To which I replied, “Yup.” I explained that I don’t believe in setting mediocre goals. I believe in setting the highest possible goal and working backwards. When making your goals, don’t make your starting point your basis for choosing what you want. Make what is good what you want. Look for a standard, and look for one that’s beyond you, that’s bigger than you, that scares you. This is what high performers do. They don’t set meaningless goals that don’t lead to an achievement or win. Learn from them.