When I first started this healthy journey, my goal was to get back to 280 pounds from my starting weight of 450.6 pounds. After 8 months of healthy diet and a ton of cardio exercise…I’ve made it. Actually…I made it down to 277.6 pounds total lost as of the writing of this post. What’s more, Courtney (my lovely wife) is down 52 pounds from her starting weight (which is a secret between her and God). So proud of her! But now that I’ve attained my first major fitness goal, now what?
With my loss of weight came a loss of muscle. I was hyper-focused on overall weight loss and neglected (to an extent) building muscle mass. This was by design. I first needed to prove to myself that I could reshape my mindset and overall attitude as it relates to health and nutrition. Thanks to Andy Fisella’s 75 Hard Program, that mind shift and attitude reset came on with a vengeance! If you haven’t heard of the #75Hard Program…at least carve out a few minutes to google what it is and what it does. It’s not for everyone…but it benefits everyone who does it properly. Now that I’ve learned to control my thoughts as they relate to food and being active, AND I’ve done so with the result of attained goal weight…I can now turn to muscle mass and building a physique that I once had as a high school football player (ok…I wish I had as a high school football player).
One thing I know going forward…I don’t want to focus too much on lower body workouts. I am still going to continue with cardio exercises (walking mostly) and my calves are already rock solid due to walking 3-6 miles everyday. I will definitely continue (I do some already when at the gym after an hour on the treadmill) to do leg workouts on the old leg press machine…’cause I’m addicted to the leg press. Have been since high school. So that will be the majority of my lower body workout. I’ll add squat lift and dead lift for lower body workouts…but that’s really it. The bulk of my gym workouts will focus on upper body workout.
Up to this point I haven’t devoted much energy to strength training…cardio has been the name of the game, so I’m going to ease into the “strength and endurance “pumping iron” process.
I know without a doubt that I want to focus on triceps and biceps. Currently, if I were to do jumping jacks…I’d lift off and fly away. Can you say “flabby arms”? I want my chest “swole” as the kids say, so there will be a focus on bulking up the pecks and chest area. And I need to get rid of the hanging flab at my waist, so there will be a major focus in that region as well.
I’ll kick off with a short and simple weight lifting program and then build up from there. As with this overall healthy lifestyle, it’s going to be here to stay…so I don’t have to reach peak performance and full potential tomorrow. I’ve plan on being here for another 50 years or more, so I’ve got time to build up and grow into my fit over 50 body.
3 Main Takeaways I’ve Learned As I’ve Started My Transition From More Cardio To More Strength Training:
- You don’t need to join a gym! When I first stated adding a little strength training to my fitness regimen, I simply used dumbbells and a picnic table in my backyard as a makeshift gym. Worked great!
- Planet Fitness is the bomb.com! Once we decided it was time to join a gym (back in October…mainly for an indoor cardio source…#Treadmill) we looked around at the local mom and pop gyms AND the national chains. We landed quite nicely on Planet Fitness! We love the laidback feel AND we pay a little extra for the “Black Card” which allows us the opportunity to utilize the “aqua-massage” (i.e. heaven) and the “massage chair” (i.e. hell…that dadgum thing kneads the heck outta my back). Plus, the Black Card allows us to take the girls (and their boyfriends) as “guests”. Love our family time!
- Weight machines aren’t that bad! I was raised on free weights, and I’ll always love free weights…BUT…weight machines are fine too. They are great when you don’t have a lifting partner OR the person you’re working out with is not as strong as you need in a spotter. Don’t hate on the machines…embrace the difference…it’s OK.
In addition to my strength training, I want to continue to build my library so that my mental health and focus gets stronger. I’m currently reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. It’s a really good read. Slow in a few places, not gonna lie. There are some things I don’t align with, but overall it’s a really good read. If you’re starting a business, it is a great dive into the industrial revolution and history industry and business in America. (8 out of 10 recommend).
I want to read more books like this. Business oriented books that shed light on good business practices and strategies. More on why later, but it’s quickly becoming a passion. I also want to dive further into the bible. I love scripture, and I love the way it can transform the mind. If ever there was a guide to succeeding in life, business, in relationships…it the bible. The roadmap to Awesomeville!
What’s crazy is the fact that I’m extremely dyslexic…so reading really sucks for me. BUT…through the 75 Hard Program (reading 10 pages a day is a component), I’ve acquired a love for reading. There is so much knowledge to be gained from reading. If you don’t know about something…read about it and learn it! Sure, Google and Youtube can be used in the same way, but there’s something about making a cup of coffee (or tea), sitting in your favorite chair, and enjoying a good book. The knowledge literally jumps off the page. Good stuff.
3 Main Takeaways I’ve Learned As I’ve Started My Transition Into A “More Reading Mindset”:
- When it comes to reading, think about what your current passion is, and read books on that. It’s a great way to “grow where you are.” All too often we read books about things that like, but aren’t currently involved with. When you read books that pertain to what you are currently passionate about OR experiencing, your knowledge base grows even deeper (and faster) because it’s something you’re wanting (or needing) to know about in the moment.
- Physical books trump eBooks every time. Sure, eBooks are handy, but there’s something nostalgic about flipping through the pages of a “real book”. It heightens the experience. PLUS, you can make written notes on the pages. When you write notes based on what you read, it helps you to retain what you’ve learned.
- Reading makes you smarter!!! At the end of the day, if you want to succeed at anything (fitness, business, relationships, etc.) you need to grow your knowledge base on that subject. THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT (besides sitting in on a lecture about the topic) is to “read about it”. As the old saying goes…”KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”.
Speaking of the Bible…I am currently creating a dynamic Men’s Bible Study Group (called The 411 Pursuit…based off of 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12). God has given me a passion to see men restored to their quiet yet productive life of hard work, grit, and resilience. The “pansification” of men has become a theme in this country and it’s silently strangling the family, the community, and the country. Time of men to step up and lead from a place of wisdom and experience!
The study group will be made up of common men who want to explore the life that God has called them to and research how their life can impact their home, community, and country. It’s gonna be AMAZING!
God is doing awesome things in the lives of me and my family, and I want to make sure that I’m up to speed on all that He needs me to be. The best way to do that…stay in His Word and pray…asking guidance in all things. God is Good, All The Time…and All The Time, God Is Good! Daily bible reading and prayer is my strategy for strengthening my Christian faith, and my relationship with God!
3 Main Takeaways I’ve Learned As I’ve Started The Process Of Creating A Men’s Bible Study:
- The bible has truths in it that can totally rock AND transform your life! The more you read, the more you learn about God’s specific plan(s) for your life…and that’s really, REALLY, cool!
- There are men who are actually looking for a bible study that focuses on helping them grow in God’s Word AND that encourages them to discover (or rediscover) God’s plan for their life! There’s strength in numbers!!!
- In researching 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, I’ve learned so much. I’m striving to live the quiet life, full of hard work, and limited to other people’s business. If you haven’t read the passage…I encourage you to do so!
Bottom line…a new season of my (our) healthy lifestyle is dawning. Where I was first focused on the weight loss aspect of fitness, I now turn to more of a healthy weight gain (muscle) mindset. And as I’ve grown more comfortable in my reading, I now want to add that experience. And finally, where I was once “just into my Christian walk”…I want to me totally absorbed in my Christian faith as it relates to being a husband, father, and leader in my community. This next chapter of life is going to be INCREDIBLE!