How much can you improve your fitness in 6 months?

My 2013 six-month fitness check-in. With many fitness goals, I am using the bodyweight baseline workout to assess where I am at.  I did not review my previous performance before heading off to the gym – I had no idea what I was trying to beat and I did not want to psyche myself out. I just wanted to do it. I put my game face on and I went.

It is done.

It was relatively brutal.

I did not go into the workout with confidence. Honestly, I had forgotten about my assessment workout, until I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized it was July. My workouts have been on the back burner lately – lacking focus, intent, and energy. This made me nervous, but I knew that I needed to complete the assessment and know the results – the good and the bad.

The results

Exercise

Jan. 2

Apr. 1

Jun 2

Percent Improvement

Pushups

55

63

68

23.64%

Squats

206

219

233

13.11%

Pullups

11

18

20

81.82%

Burpees

25

39

36

44.00%

Traveling Lunges

98

112

122

24.49%

BB Inverted Row

42

44

59

40.48%

SB Plank

:35 sec

:55 sec

1:10

100.00%

KB Swings (20kg)

81

90

98

20.99%

Following this workout, I completed my 1-mile run in 8:53 minutes, improving from 9:18 in April (and having not completed the mile in January).

Lastly, I weighed myself for the first time in a very long time – I am up 4 pounds from April and back to the same weight I started at January 1 – still within my body’s happy range. (And unfortunately I have not had a trustworthy body fat analysis to determine any changes in body composition.)

The response

I am surprised with my improvements. I am not surprised with my decrease in burpees since April, as I have been experiencing more back pain these last few weeks (no more Insanity experiments). 

The 3 minutes of pullups were frustrating, as I was only able to perform one at a time. All I could think about was my goal to perform 10 consecutive and the fact that I have not been training for it as diligently as I should be and that is why it was so hard. Mind games!

All in all, I am pleased. 

The bottomline

I did better than I thought I would. A lesson to be kind to myself.

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Where is the START on your game board?

It’s a new year. Many people set resolutions. More have goals for the upcoming year. Much like a board game, it is important to know where you are starting. Similarly, your GPS cannot give you directions to your destination without first determining your current location. Are you clear on what you need to do in order to achieve your goals if you do not know where you are starting?

I’ve been collecting my baseline ‘data’ for the year. I completed a bodyweight workout that I will repeat in 3, 6, 9, and 12 months to see where I improve or remain stagnant. This will help me to appropriately train. I have chosen the following workout because it is representative of daily living activities (and fall within functional training). And since I am training for life…what better way to measure my success? I will be collecting other data throughout this week to work towards some of my specific physical goals, but this is truly most indicative of my overall fitness.

I performed each exercise for 3 minutes, resting 2 minutes between exercises. The exception = 5 minutes for squats. I began with a 5 minute warmup with the jump rope. I chose the jump rope because it is least likely to exacerbate my psoas cramps or any of my other ailments that might interfere with completion of exercises. If you chose to do a similar assessment, warm up in a way that is suitable for you – bike, treadmill, elliptical, calisthenics, etc.

Pushups 55
Squats 206
Pullups 11
Burpees 25
Traveling Lunges 98 (49 each)
Barbell Inverted Row 42
Prone Plank Held for first :35
Dumbbell Swings 81

kettle_bells

Immediately after this bodyweight workout, I attempted a 1-mile run. 1/4 mile into this my psoas began to cramp and nausea hit so I took it to a walk and stretch. I hope that in 3 months I will be able to complete the run. NOTE: I used a dumbbell for swings because I did not have access to a kettlebell. A kettlebell would be much easier on the hands/grip for anyone looking to complete this assessment.

Honestly, I am not pleased with these numbers. I will being digging through my files to find some of my old data and see how it compares. The most ‘disappointing’ are the pullups and burpees. But instead of dwelling on the disappointment, I will view this as room for growth and improvement!

It does feel like I’m starting over – physically. The truth is, I am starting over in many ways, so it is fitting that I few everything with a fresh eye. New beginnings. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19

In what ways do you feel like you are starting over? And in what areas of life do you need to know where you are starting?