Archive - February 2013

Overtraining…myth or reality?
The “F” word…my war on Fat

Overtraining…myth or reality?

I know, I know, the professionals in the room are screaming reality.  I don’t disagree.  What I am really asking I guess is when we ignore the signs of overtraining, (and our body’s do a good job of telling us to back off),  is it ignorance of what the warning signs are, or simply willful pride?  I can tell you from my experience it’s both.  (By the way, I weighed in at 211.5 this morning, 10 lbs off my goal for today’s date, but anyway).

In my youthful exuberance, during my peak body building days I can remember never worrying about over training.  We ate chicken by the flock, rice by the pound, and lifted 4+ hours a day.  Then we figured out how to work in classes and a job.  Most of us ended up being bouncers because it seemed to be the only job conducive to our lifestyles, and skipping class.  Pain was a sign of weakness.  I never thought about overtraining until a joint physically came unhinged or a tendon snapped and hit me in the face (almost a true statement).   We worked through all the aches, pains, sprains finding a gym “expert” to guide us to the right GNC supplement to cure our ailments…which was never, “rest”.

Fast forward 25 years (insert eerie Dr. Who time travel music here).  43 years old and I am paranoid about becoming injured and missing a race.  My run this morning was totally preoccupied with a weird twinge in my right calf.  I’ve always had big calves, never worked them out so I never gave them any thought.  Today I thought, “No big deal” my calves are practically invincible.  And on with my run I went.  It was only later that I thought, “How stupid was I?”  I could be nothing but it could be something and now my age old wisdom tells me not to wait for my knee to unhinge or Achilles to smack me in the face.

Point being, we are all engaging in a pretty intense, albeit, awesome sporting event, intense never the less.  And to do that, I just want to encourage all, especially those just starting out to pay attention to what your body is telling you.  Rest is our friend, trust me.  A few days of modified workouts or rest is way better than six months of no activity because your hamstring disengaged somewhere on a wooded trail and you had to crawl home…wait that sounds like a cool obstacle…I digress.

Take heed, the human body is an awesome thing and can do amazing things, but you need to cooperate with it.  It will take control and shut you down if you fail to respect its warning signs.       


Previously Fat Guy

The “F” word…my war on Fat

Fat, to be or not to be. Fat is that little three-letter word that causes us so much consternation. It sits on the fence of political correctness relegated to the ranks of vulgarity. Not quite one of George Carlin’s seven deadly words, but it is pushed out of the way by words like husky, big boned, thick, you get the idea. Reality is this, as long as we pretend to be not fat, we will stay fat. 65 million Americans are labeled as obese. What’s the old Shakespeare quote, “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” Well, no matter how much “slimming” black you might cover yourself with it fools nobody. So here is the question, is being fat a lifestyle choice or unfortunate curse? Conventional thinking might say nobody chooses to fat. I am going to go out on a limb here and say yes…and no. Studies have shown that a child with two obese parents has a 70% chance of being fat as well. The statistic drops dramatically with only one obese parent, all the way down to 20% with neither parent being fat. I am willing to say environment plays a larger role than genetics. Now you will have those people who will be quick to say they take medication that makes them fat, hormonal issues make them fat, injuries prevent exercise so they can’t help but be fat (despite eating foot long sub sandwiches regularly). I will admit there are medical reasons that may make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight. I am no doctor (but I did stay at A Holiday Inn Express recently) so I can’t comment on those reasons, but the simple truth is the vast majority of us are fat because we eat too much and move too little. Plain and simple. Oreo’s are tasty but not your friend.</p><p>But that is no excuse to abandon striving to create a healthy lifestyle. Regardless of your individual situation, eating healthy and moving you body i.e. walking, jogging…any type of exercise, will only serve to improve your health. We have to make the choice to not be fat. Admit we have become fat and commit to do something about it. We have become a nation of excuses and excesses. I was one of the excuse makers and indulged in food excess…I was fat. It was hard to deny when I saw pictures of myself in my hockey jersey and it was tight (for those who are not hockey fans…the jersey should not be tight.) I am declaring my war on fat and make no apologies if my words cause you to shrink.

I am excited to be part of the Corn Fed Spartans and look forward to sharing my fitness journey with everyone on my way to Sparta and my adventure in finding my very elusive abs!

</p><p>Jeffrey</p><p>Previously fat guy</p>

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