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Monday, May 6, 2013



Lately I've been reading and watching a lot about Crossfit and Functional Fitness. The more I see the more I like. The functional concept is really what I'm after. Being able to do everyday tasks with less pain and dysfunction is what we all want as we age. If you don't use it you lose it right. So by varying what we do and how we work out we tend to become better at all the little things. At least that is the idea and I tend to buy in to it.

I've never worked out at a "Box" (that's crossfit speak for gym) but I have been doing some workouts at home with the same concept of  Metabolic Conditioning. Short bursts of exertion that tax the system on all levels are challenging but fun and the pain is over relatively fast so that you can go on with your day.

Here is what I did today:

AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) in 7 minutes

20 Wall Balls
50 Jump Rope Singles
20 KB Deadlifts

I used a 10 pound exercise ball for the wall balls and 2 kettle bells for the deadlifts. I have a 25 and a 30 pound kettle bell, so I used the heavier one in my weakest hand. 

So the totals are:  I completed 3 full rounds and most of the 4th in 7 minutes which came out to  360 reps. 

Not too bad. I would have liked to put in one more movement like a squat or a short sprint, but I'm nursing a knee injury and can't do all the movements I would like.

Give it a shot and let me hear about your totals!

Let's Get This Party Started!

I've blogged in the past and started several blogs only to delete them.  So here I go again. We'll see if this one will stick.

 I'm in the second year of a big experiment to get my health on track. I've been dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease and Fibromyalgia for several years. The doc kept adding drugs and changing dosages but I was still feeling horrible and unable to get symptoms under control. I felt like I was in a constant brain fog and I was hurting and not sleeping. I was a mess. So I got fed up and started to try different things to see what might help me feel better. Last year was figuring out food. The first half of the year I was a strict Vegan. I actually found it to be easy since meat is not a big thing to me. Giving up cheese was the bigger thing ( I love me some cheese!) I felt somewhat better. I'm sure it was from drastically increasing my veggie intake and cutting out dairy. However I was still hurting and not sleeping well and my energy level was not good. Also my blood work, which I have done every 4 months, was not changing for the better. My inflammation markers were still too high. So the second half of the year I flip flopped and went back to protein but still left out dairy and processed food. I stuck with whole foods 90 percent of the time. My energy levels started coming back up and I felt some better but still not even close to what I was hoping for. 

I have been a fitness buff all my life  but in my thirties fitness fell to the side and I became sedentary. My muscle tone, mobility and endurance all plummeted. I would have a few stretches of fitness, but then pain would set in and I'd slowly falter. I ran for a few years but by 2010 little did I know that I was doing more damage than good by distance running with RAD. It was time to try something different.

So I added back in exercise. I started with Yoga. I have loved yoga in the past and hoped it would help get me back some mobility and maybe reduce some of my back pain. I lucked upon a great instructor and within a couple of months I was feeling better. So I added in some cardio. I hit the treadmill and walked for a few weeks, then I started intervals. Run 30 seconds walk 1 minute kinda stuff. Feeling better, I then added in weight training. Weight training is my first love. Our relationship goes back well over 20 years. So I hoped my joints would not scream over the weights. Funny thing is, the exact opposite thing happened. As my muscles became stronger, my joints hurt less. As I added more and more weights and movements, my energy went up and my sleep got better. The stronger muscles were more securely supporting my joints resulting in less pain. And the increased core strength I was building was holding my back nice and tight and secure which also meant less back pain. And to top it off, I started loosing body fat like crazy. My weight wasn't moving much, but my body shape was drastically changing for the better. So around the end of February 2013 I changed up my training again to go to mostly weight training with short cardio finishers. And that is all she wrote! I was in love with the weights and the finishers. The short and intense cardio was easier on my joints since I wasn't pounding running for an hour and it was building cardio capacity I don't think I had back when I was running  like a snail for 10 miles. And the yoga 2-3 times a week was keeping me flexible and free from soreness. By George I think I've got it! 

I can truly say that I have not felt this good in years. I have not been this clear headed in years! I have not slept this good in years! I have not felt this in control of my body movements in years! I'm jazzed if you can't tell! I still have some issues but for the first time in years I don't see that my fit life is over. I feel like I've just started living again. I'm so convinced with this path that I hope to get my Personal Trainer Certification in a few months and help others figure some of this stuff out as well. 

So this blog is born to begin to formulate my fitness ideas, test them out on you little lab rats and build experience. I'm not sure where all this will go, but that is also part of the fun.