Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Seriously, Y’all. I Am Pee-My-Pants Excited

I am also super motivated, like I mean SUPER DUPER motivated to start seriously adhering to SGT. Ken’s Savory Survival Guide and start dropping this fat.

Why? I’m so glad you asked.

When I hit 28% body fat, I am going to take the START Fitness Instructor Certification Course. I’m going to be a boot camp instructor!

My ultimate body fat percentage goal is 24% or lower, but when I hit 28, I feel like I’ll be squarely enough in the “normal” range that I’ll have the confidence to take the course.

So today I’m having a salad with greens, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, chicken breast, and a little asiago cheese with fat free raspberry vinaigrette dressing (from Wendy’s; 270 calories). It’s tasty, and I’m getting full.

Tomorrow is pay day, and therefore grocery day; I’m going to take the Savory Survival Guide with me and make sure my kitchen has the supplies to help me stick with it. Nutrition is the key; but there’s going to be more to feeling ready to take the course than just losing the fat. In addition to hitting my body fat percentage goal, I need to improve my running speed and endurance, work on my form on various exercises such as the various types of push-ups, and start having the joint fluid injections in my knees so I can perform my lower body exercises properly. There’s lots of work to be done.

I know that I’m going to enjoy being an instructor. Because of having to miss some boot camp classes in the mornings, I’ve been going with Ted to the gym, and he’s been humoring me by doing START Fitness style workouts with me. It is a lot of fun being the “leader.” It motivates me to push myself harder (read: try to be a hot shot).

I really think this is the motivational boost I needed. HOOAH!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First of All I’m Going to Be a Dick and Get That Part Out of the Way

Muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat weigh the same. The proper way to say what everyone means by this is “Muscle is denser than fat.” A pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. I’m a word person; this kind of distinction is important to me.

Also? “Wherefore” doesn’t mean where. It means why. Juliet wasn’t asking where Romeo was; she was asking Why do you have to be Romeo Montague, whom I can never have? This has nothing to do with boot camp or fitness or weight loss; it just bugs me.

The muscle-and-fat thing is on my mind because although I have not lost a significant amount of weight since beginning START Fitness in February, it is becoming apparent that I have indeed lost a significant amount of fat, and have increased my muscle mass. When I started boot camp, I was pushing a size 16 pants. I could wear 14s, but they were tight and uncomfortable. I bought a pair of size 12 jeans in late March, and I was able to wear them by that time. They were a brand that runs a little big, and they were tight, but I could wear them. Lately they have been loose and comfortable; I presumed that I had stretched them out.

Last weekend, the mother of my sister-in-law gave me some size 12 capris that she could not wear. I figured it would be a while before I could wear them, because these were actual size 12s, not these-run-big size 12s. I tried them on when I got home. They fit comfortably.

That is pretty much two pant sizes I have lost. That is a considerable difference. People have been telling me that they can see a difference, particularly in my face. So although I’m not seeing the results on the bathroom scale, I am seeing tangible results. All this hard work has not been in vain.

I’m still not cut; I still have plenty of fat to lose. I have enough fat still to lose that I will eventually start losing weight (the muscle mass isn’t going to continue to increase at the rate it has been, I’m sure). I’ve been doing better with my eating lately, and that is helping. Fitting into the smaller pants has motivated me to continue to eat better, so hopefully it will snowball.

My attendance at boot camp has been spotty lately. Doctor appointments, overnight stays away from home, and being tired from entertaining late have messed up my schedule. I was at class Monday; I haven’t been since then. I will be at class tomorrow, barring unforeseen circumstances.

Monday, June 20, 2011


I figured that I should warn you up front, because it’s going to start immediately. This week was fucking brutal.

I have been insanely busy this week, so this will be a long post; it’s a three-in-one, because I’m covering three different workouts in one post.

I missed Monday because I had an appointment with the doc that afternoon, so I had to get my early morning hours in at work; but I attended class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I’m considering finding a doctor who will put me into a chemically induced coma for a while so I can recover.

Tuesday is always running day, weather permitting. Weather was permitting this week, and the cicadas are finally gone, and my calves had mostly recovered from the knots I had in them the week before, so I had no excuse to skip. I dragged my lazy ass out of my cozy bed and did my morning get-out-the-door ritual.

We started with lunges up and down the parking lot to warm up. That wasn’t so bad; a nice burn in the thighs feels good before a run. Then we did a gentle shuffle-run in single file down to the road where we would begin the drill. The drill was something called "Last Man Up.” It is otherwise known as “punishment.” Runners jog in a single file line, and the person in the back sprints up to the front and continues the jog; lather, rinse, repeat. The first couple of sprints to the front weren’t so bad, then some of my sprints wound up being on a slight incline, then I started wishing for death. I honestly did not think I was going to be able to finish the class. We did the LMU drill for thirty minutes, and then did some stair running. We finished with repeats up and down Bernard Hill before jogging to cadence back to home base. My calves were knotted up again. Awesome.

Wednesday was no better. On Wednesday we did six stations, and each one sucked. The first one was bear crawl/crab walk up and down the mats in the studio. Second was suicides and squats out in the parking lot. Third was up and down the stairs. Fourth was abs (that one wasn’t so bad). Fifth was uneven push-ups with the medicine ball. And finally, sixth was resistance-band jumping jacks. We did the entire circuit twice. I thought I was going to die.

But if a workout this week was going to kill me, it would have been Thursday’s.
On Thursday, we did partner work, and one partner would run around the (hilly) block while the other partner did some sort of calisthenic exercise in the studio, switching when the running partner returned. The kicker was that at all times, one partner had to be carrying the "baby" (a medicine ball). It was up to the teams to decide which partner would have the baby. There were a couple of rounds where it made the most sense for the runner to have the baby, and running with a med ball is crazy tough. I very nearly gave up before the end of class. I made it through, though. I sure was happy to have Friday off!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

So Very Busy!

Sorry I haven't been posting! It's been crazy!

I have a draft of a big blog post in the works. I'll be posting it soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Line Has Been Blurred Between Awesome and Unreasonable

Sorry for no post yesterday; I did go to boot camp. It was hard as fuck. There's Monday's post.

Now on to today.

If you’ve read my blog from the beginning of my START Fitness journey in February, you have read about Bernard Hill. If not, let me give you a quick description. Bernard Hill is a hill in Nashville, near the START Fitness facility. It’s a pretty long hill, which starts out ridiculously steep, and about halfway up gets steeper. It is grueling, relentless, and a true challenge to climb.

When we run to the field for drills on running days, we have to run up Bernard Hill in order to get to the field. Running up it once nearly kills me. I can do it now; which is way more than I could do in February. But once is enough. Once, and I’m spent.

Today I went up and down Bernard Hill nine times.


There were people who made more than nine trips. There were people who made fewer than nine trips. But all that I can dwell on is that I did that godforsaken stretch of land that was formed by Lucifer and his angels nine times today.

On my first trip, I kept a nice jog almost all the way up. And I nearly died. Subsequent trips were not all straight running; we had to go backwards, side-shuffle (one trip for each leg), and duck-walk as well. The last trip of the set was sprint halfway up, stop and do twenty burpees, and then jog on to the top. Then we ran down, did 50 squats, 15 push-ups, and started the round all over from the beginning. I honestly thought I was going to die. I was never so happy to gather up into formation for the jog back to the studio in my life.

Today I had the stress sobs more than once; they never dissolved into outright crying, but boy, did it come close. My body was very angry at me for making it do today’s workout.

I’m not sure whether I’ll make it to class in the morning or not; I’ll actually be sleeping away from my house tonight, and the drive to boot camp would be about an hour from where I’ll be. We’ll see.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This morning was interesting. And by interesting, I mean insane.

Today we did three Crossfit Challenges. Three. People who do Crossfit (which is a tough and really effective program, from what I’ve heard) do ONE Crossfit Challenge and consider that a workout.

Three, y’all.

We divided into two groups; group one started outside and group two started inside. I was in group 2.

The first challenge was jump rope/sit-ups sets, in reps of 50-40-30-20-10 (50 jumps, 50 crunches, then 40 jumps, 40 crunches, etc.). From 50 down to 10 was one round. We were to do as many rounds as possible in ten minutes. I completed three rounds, and was 13 (I think) crunches into my fourth round when time was called.

The second challenge was lunges/burpees sets. We did walking lunges across the room, then 21 burpees, then lunged back across the room, then 21 more burpees, etc. for five minutes (I’m thinking that surely a complete Crossfit workout would be longer than five minutes; this one must have been abbreviated). I completed three sets of lunges, and was into my third set of burpees when time was called. Can’t remember how many of those last burpees I completed.

Then group two went outside for the twenty minute drill. It consisted of running 100 meters, then doing sets of 50 of a different exercise after each lap: push-ups, crunches, back raises, and squats. This challenge was a tough one; it was made even tougher by the fact that there was something dead and rotting in the bushes beside where the mats were, so while we were on the ground gasping for air, we were in fact taking in deep breaths of rank, rancid stench. I had to get up and vomit during my first set of crunches. Fortunately I made it to a nearby bush so I didn’t start a chain reaction. My guess is that Sgt. Ken brags about having “pukers” in his classes, so Debbie and Candace decided that they were going to get a puker, one way or another. In all fairness, making people do ground exercises next to a hidden decaying animal corpse is pretty hardcore. I’m thinking Sgt. Ken has nothing on them in the cruelty department.

I was pretty proud of my performance today; it was a tough workout, and about halfway through my first set of burpees I was swearing pretty intensely, but after it was all said and done, I drove away with a really awesome sense of accomplishment. This just keeps getting better and better.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back in Action

I was back at boot camp this morning. And let me tell you, this morning was tough.

First thing today was heading upstairs for warm-up and calisthenics. We did a large amount of high-steps, sprinting, jump-rope drill, push-ups, squats, lunges, mountain climbers, burpees…more push-ups…I’m tired just remembering it. You could have choreographed a Gene Kelley musical number with the sweat that dripped off me. I had to warn people walking out behind me so they wouldn’t slip.

That was the first half of class. Then we headed downstairs for Amber’s skillfully crafted circuit. Four-minute stations consisting of planks with cone taps, bear crawl/crab walk laps, push-the-wheel, tire quick-steps, and partner squats with a gurney. If you don’t know what any of those are, you are a fortunate person indeed.

Today I kept Sgt. Ken amused with the pitiful noises I wound up making near the end of the upstairs portion of class. I felt like I was close to full-body muscle failure. It was painful and difficult and grueling, but now that it’s over, it feels great.

I love boot camp. I really do. I love the sweat, the pain, the exhaustion, the camaraderie, the structure, the frivolity, the health and strength benefits. But I have to tell you, getting up at 4:30 in the morning is not getting any easier. I don’t envision myself giving up on boot camp, but if anything ever makes me snap and quit, it will be the early mornings. I really, really have a hard time with it. I’ve tried going to bed earlier; it doesn’t help. There was one evening that I was really tired and went to bed at 6:00, and I still didn’t want to get up at 4:30 (even though that was ten and a half hours of sleep!). It’s not the amount of sleep, apparently; it’s the early hour of the morning. My body just isn’t wired for it. I’m able to push through and make myself do it, most of the time. I wonder if it’s ever going to get better? Probably not.