The Plan for ’09

12 01 2009


I am close to beginning my new years resolution, that old chestnut, getting in shape and living healthier.  Yes, I know its already the 12th of Jan, but many years of talking the talk and then ignoring myself has convinced me that January, at least for me, is not the best time to embark on such endeavours.

For a start, its hot. Damn hot. Most days are high 30s to mid 40s, (100-110 F)  with the oppresive humidity here in the tropics meaning it feels even worse. After a long day juggling work and often trying to entertain the kids, about the only exercise I want to be doing involves flipping the top of the nearest icy cold beer and imbibing, ad nauseum.

And January is also school holidays, which means with both myself and the better half working, its virtually impossible to set up any sort of routine, as its bound to be undone by the need to take time off at various stages to look after the girls depending on which of us has the most demanding schedule of the day. Time to myself, to actually accomplish anything resembling an improvement in the wellbeing stakes is, basically, not going to happen.

So for us, the year doesn’t properly begin until February. Thats when school, music and drama classes start up again for the girls, Martial Arts classes resume for one of them and myself, and things begin to almost take on an air of normalcy. Though, till April at least, its still hot.

But this year, I have a plan. Most every other year, I’ve had the beginnings of one, but never put down the necessary groundwork on which it all depends. The Plan involves a set routine, with a defined short term (12 week) goal, whereby I will be transforming myself from beer-drinking, pie eating layabout, to lean, mean, muscle machine. ;p. After the 12 weeks, I should be at my target weight and bodyfat level, when I will switch to more of a maintenance and muscle building program.

Hey, you’ve got to have a goal, right? To further motivate myself, I will be entering the Ironman magazine 12 week body blitz challenge, where after 12 weeks entrants have the chance of winning prizes such as subscriptions, clothes, supplements etc. Now although its of course highly unlikely that I’ll win, you see, even this time I find myself so full of self-doubt that I’ll actually stick to The Plan, that only the remote possibility of a tangible reward from an external source may be what keeps me going.  That, and the fact that I’m taking a cue from Mokos’ book and writing here  my goal, hopefully, gives me more a chance of hanging in there.

The Immediate Goal : Lose a bit over a kilo of bodyfat a week over 12 weeks. This will bring me roughly into my target weight range for my height. The trick is, to do so while maintaining, and hopefully even increasing, lean muscle mass, a hard, but not impossible feat with the right nutrition and training. Which will involve :

Nutrition.  Will be following the guidelines of one Mr Will Brinks, an online nutrition and bodybuilding expert who I believe, sets out the most informative and sensible guide to correct eating I’ve found anywhere, in his e-books and online forums. Basically, eating 6 meals a day, comprised of the optimum macro-nutrient mix to foster fat loss and maintain muscle, being 40% Protein, and 30% each Carbohydrates and essential Fats.

The hardest part  of all this will be…wait for it…No Beer. Yep, as the guy on the game show says, beer is Not On The List.  In reality, I know I won’t be able to abstain altogether. What I will be doing is changing from 6+ per night, pretty much what I’ve been drinking for 20 odd years now, to max 6 per week. Yes. 6. To be consumed only while socialising, say at a BBQ or whatever, and incorporated into my allowed calorie count for the day. This will be my biggest hurdle, followed closely by No Junk Food. No more pies and sausage rolls. No more Quarter pounders. No more takeaway pizzas.  All I’ll say is, those people who say its all worth it at the end, better be right!

Weight Training. I have actually trained with weights off and on, ok, mostly off, for most of my life now. I know first hand the great feeling you have when your muscles are pumped and strong. Unfortunately, I have usually only ever lasted 3 or 4 months in one go, before giving it all up for sometimes years in between. But building and maintaining actual muscle is one of the main components in staving off the accumulation of body fat.  I will be working out 4 times a week, alternating high weight/low rep workouts on Mondays and Thursdays (Upper body/Legs and abs respectively) with lower weight/higher rep ones Tues and Fridays. Other days will be cardio and stretching only days. Studies have shown training with weights alone to be superior to an aerobic-only based routine for keeping off fat and keeping our metabolisms at a higher, fat burning level, for longer. Although ideally, one needs to incorporate both into a sucessful long-term healthy lifestyle.  Which leads to…

Cardio. Don’t like it. Probably never will. But the trick is to make it as close to something you actually enjoy doing so as to not seem so much like, I guess hard work. So I have bought myself some rollerblades/inline skates. Hah, I can hear you laughing, but I figure, its a skill to learn, that I hopefully, may come to enjoy and will get me out of the house and into the fresh air  and hopefully even the girls will join me and it will be something we can do together. I have been practising at night around the tennis courts at the girls school, and by February, I should be ready to hit the streets. I’m also looking out for a 2nd hand bike to ride, to break things up a bit. I’ve even bought a watch that doubles as a heart rate monitor so I can be sure I’m in the optimum ‘zone’ for burning fat when I exercise. The plan is to do one or the other at least 6 mornings a week, possibly with extra sessions in the evening if I have the time, although Martial Arts training will count as bonus workouts twice a week as well.

I’ve also bought a book called Scientific Stretching which will be incorporated into my routines for flexibility and aiding in muscle recovery following workouts.  So the hope is that by the end of April, I will be fine form indeed. Also in May, I will be in Brisbane for few days which I know will involve a lot of ale consumption and catching up with my best mate at his 40th as well as hopefully any Burgers who want to get together at some time while I’m there. Thinking of that week as my “reward” for the coming 3 month trial…

Hardest part will be the first week of March when we’re off to NZ for a weeks holiday where I’ll be in range of such evils as KFC and the ubiquitous and mighty fine kiwi fish n’chip’s. But I shall be strong, and our hotel has a well equipped gym, so the plan is not to deviate too far from the straight and narrow path…. 😉

So wish me luck, you do know that in Titan AE the Drej are “beings of pure energy” right ? Well, until now, that is one description that would have got a good laugh from anyone who knows me, but, in May, I may yet get the last laugh. Though first, I have some “before” photos to take….




2 responses

14 01 2009

‘Though first, I have some “before” photos to take….’ just remember the wide angled lens!!!!

seriously though best of luck mate it looks like there’s alot of us doing this at the moment. Just wouldn’t want to be doing cardio up your end.

14 01 2009

Thanks “mate” :p
Yeah, you want to be doing it real early in the morning or not at all I reckon.

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