I'm a 22 year old mechanical engineer. I live in Bremerton, Washington with my beautiful wife, Lee-Cassie. She has a blog herself, so check it out! [www.asoutherngirlsguidetoskinny.blogspot.com] I have been exercising and improving my nutrition off and on for the last 8 years, so I definitely know what it's like to go through slumps.
Okay, so don't hate me when I tell you this... Do you promise?....Fine. I have always been skinny. No matter what I have eaten my whole life, I have always been lanky, scrawny, a bean stalk, ectomorphic, or whatever you wanna call it. I have grown up on thousands of pizzas, pounds of mac and cheese, and tons of fast food. I've always thought (as a lot of people do) that skinny means healthy. Here's a quick fact though: Our bodies were made for natural whole foods, not the man made science experiments all of us are guilty of stuffing our faces with. Skinny, obese, strong, or weak, there is no way to bypass this fact. If there is anything I've learned in the last 8 years, it's that skinniness is definitely not directly proportional to health! My family has a history of high blood pressure and heart issues. I knew if I continued to eat poorly, I would be on a fast track to high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis among tons of other issues. It's amazing how eating correctly can affect your life.
My freshman year of college (5 years ago), I was 6' 2" and 144 lbs. I added 20 pounds of muscle over my four years at Auburn University (War Eagle!) by improving my diet and being a little more consistent with weight lifting. My engineering courses made it nearly impossible to stay consistent, but my schedule got much better once I graduated. My work day is usually 7:00 am to 3:45 pm. It leaves me plenty of time to hit the gym before dinner. Since I finally had the time, I had to set goals. I ordered "The New Rules of Lifting," written by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove back in July. It helped me strip my workouts down to the most effective exercises and helped me lay out a one year plan. I'm now 23 weeks into the program and I'm 185 pounds and much stronger than I've ever been. I have seen close to 40% strength increases in several exercises, like deadlift, squat, and bench press. The results have been great so far, but I have recently hit a wall. Before I tell you about the wall, let me tell you about my personal goal.
My goal is simple; be as healthy as I possibly can be. For me, this includes physical, emotional, and spiritual health. It's very important for me to find balance in all of these. I don't want to spend so much time focusing on my physical health that I end up dumber than a box of rocks. Some day down the road I want to be as fit as a professional athlete, have a PhD in engineering, and be a leader in my church. I'm a firm believer in self-improvement and I try to find at least one thing to improve upon each day.
To find a balance in my life, my goals are to:
-Live a long, healthy life with my wife
-Grow stronger in my Christian faith
-Improve the lives of those around me
-Be successful in my career
-Travel the world
Fitness and nutrition is obviously a small slice of my goals. So why am I writing on it, you ask? Because there is so much information out there about nutrition and fitness and it takes a crazy amount of time to find out the correct ways to eat and exercise! I've had to devote a ton of time to find out how to be physically healthy. This is time I could have been spending focusing on all of the other aspects of my life. I'm hoping this blog will help save you a ton of time by giving you simple information, so you can spend time doing all of the other things you enjoy.
HITTING A WALL
I have not gone to the gym in the last 10 days. This doesn't sound so bad, right? I know, but I think it definitely is. I started this 52 week program 23 weeks ago. I haven't missed a single planned workout since I've started. I have skipped the last 6 planned workouts and now I feel almost no desire to pick up any weights. I am having a hard time convincing myself that I need to keep going and I'm continuing to make tons of excuses. I've had a pretty bad cold since last Monday, the gym was closed due to snow for a few days last week, and I went out of town this past weekend. Also, I will start working 9 straight days of 13 hour night shifts this coming Monday. I'm a little worried I'll never get back!
BREAKING THE WALL
So here's my plan. I won't have much time to devote to the gym during the next two weeks, so I'm going to eat especially healthy and hit the gym hard as soon as I'm done with the long shifts. I'm being a huge hypocrite because I firmly believe that you should never put things off, but February 13th will be the day.
I will have 6 weeks of strength exercises, 1 week off, 6 weeks of hypertrophy workouts, 1 week off, 4 weeks of strength workouts, 2 weeks off, then 6 weeks of fat loss exercises. This has me ending sometime in August. I need you guys to help hold me accountable!
Let us know! What's the longest plan you've ever had? How do you break through your walls? What are your goals?