April 1. No pranks for me, I meant business! It was assessment day – meaning I had to repeat my baseline workout to see how I have improved since January. The bodyweight workout is designed to be indicative of overall fitness. Having regressed in 2012, I am determined to reclaim my fitness in 2013. Weight goals and measurements are not effective for me – in previous years obsessed with weight goals and always making them lower. I needed to focus on achievement this year!
My assessment measure physical achievement on basic bodyweight exercises. I was disappointed with my performance in January. I was most disappointed with my pullups and burpees – having allowed my fitness level to decrease significantly in the previous 9-12 months. However, I did not focus on these assessment results the last 3 months – and I built my initial training around my 2013 goals.
- Headstands & Handstands
- Heavybag Crunches
- 10 STRICT pullups
- Replacement behaviors for emotional eating
- Bench Press bodyweight
- Squat 300 lb.
- Planche (last minute add on)
I was anxious the night before my assessment, in anticipation of my performance. While I have been training without fail and have seen weekly gains, I was presuming failure. I was experiencing a fear of failure. I did not want to have the same ‘scores’ – nor worse. However, there was absolutely no reason to suspect I would not display improvement.
Sunday was a race pace 10K – and I admit my legs were a bit fatigued. The insane winds that I ran through exhausted my lungs more than usual as well. The night before my assessment, I was already making excuses – if I underperform it will because of my run today and I will know to rest the day prior to an assessment next time!
I had expectations of my performance – and I honestly do not even know what my expectations were. In my mind, I simply needed to improve. And I was preparing excuses in case I failed! I reached out to a friend who help me calm my mind and refocus into a positive mindset.
Well, I improved. And I performed well – improving on all exercises, even if just a little. I did not know what to expect and I am mildly surprised by some of the results. I have highlighted the greatest improvements:
|Exercise||Jan. 2, 2013||April 1, 2013||Percent Improvement|
|BB Inverted Row||42||44||5%|
|SB Plank||:35 sec||:55 sec||57%|
|KB Swings (20kg)||81||90||11%|
I finished with a 1-mile run at a 1.0 incline = 9 minutes 18 seconds (in January I could not complete a mile run after the workout).
The take home
- The minimal improvements on squats and lunges could be the result of Sunday’s training run. While I would have liked to see more improvement with squats, it is unrealistic to expect significant improvements in muscular endurance when I am working on my absolute strength for my 2013 goal.
- It is evident that my cardiovascular endurance has improved tremendously in 3 months – burpees and 1-mile run. My pullup training is demonstrating effective as well, with a 64% improvements!
- I need to closely assess my inverted row – which was more an issue of grip strength during the assessment. July 1, when I repeat the assessment, I will use straps for the inverted rows and hope to attain a score more representative of my back strength and improvements. I also reviewed my workouts for the last 3 months and with my heavy emphasis on pullup training, I have sparingly performed these horizontal pulls – and this will change in the coming months!
- I will rest completely June 30th, in an effort to see greater improvements in squats and lunges.
I had let my fitness level slip – and with it my self-esteem. It was important to me to get back on track. I did this by setting specific goals. I also completed this assessment, allowing me to see my starting point and track my progress. And now I feel good about my success and I am motivated to work more!
Do you have specific health and fitness goals for 2013?
How do you measure success? Improvement? I am on a journey to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday – in just over a month. While the ‘best shape of my life’ is still somewhat ambiguous, I have quantified it into this assessment and my personal goals for 2013.
Are you tracking your journey?
Notes: I chose not to complete body circumferences and body fat percentage for a few reasons – but mostly because I become obsessed with them. I do weigh myself and take progress pictures in addition to these assessments in an effort to monitor progress. I am down 4 pounds from January 2.