Burpees!

3 minute read

Healthy living and productivity can be an interesting challenge with a lot of complimentary skills – mad ninja skills. Too bad I’m not a ninja. Yet.

Last month’s work with Agile Results was quite useful in making me more mindful of how I spend my time effectively. I’ll post something longer on my approach to personal productivity another time. I have other fish to fry.

Health-wise, it was a good month. I only lost two pounds, but it was an easy two pounds. I’ll explain. As you know, I’ve been losing weight quite rapidly since April and it’s always been in the back of my mind that the rate would slow as I approached a healthier weight. I did some informal research and it holds that weight loss rates, even under the most consistent of regimes, is not constant. In fact, strong regimentation will incite a plateau as the body is always seeking homeostasis. So some elasticity in approach is fundamental. I held to my plan last month but relaxed in to the 80/20 rule. I was very compliant on staying grain-free, but I indulged a bit on sugar. My overall daily carb limits were fine, but the dalliances with the sweet life has awakened my sweet tooth and I find myself craving. It’d be really easy to slide down that slope. There’s a lesson here. Sugar is a drug and you’re never really past the addiction. Back on the wagon and detox I guess. Diligently vigilant and vigilantly diligent.

Aside from eating lifestyle woes, I’m having a terrible time being consistent with any fitness activity past walking. I’m certain that if walking to work wasn’t a requisite part of my day, I’d not even do that much. It’s becoming a stress point in that I know in my heart and mind that this “exercise friction” is an terrible demon that must be vanquished.

While my face has thinned out quite a bit and my circumference is much reduced, I still hide a flabby hot mess under my shirt. I think it’s a dirty little secret of rapid weight loss that your skin is not nearly as elastic as you’d hope. Those final weigh-ins on The Biggest Loser are all shirt-clad for a reason. It’s not pretty. Beyond the vanity of it all, I have loose spots where skin touches skin bringing with it potential medical concerns that may have to be addressed. But that’s a problem for Future Doug. Present Doug just needs to figure it out. The research points to what we already know anyway. The only real way to get rid of stubborn subcutaneous fatty tissue and loose skin, short of surgery, is to exercise – specifically, short-duration low-weight / body-weight exercise after priming the body to the fat-burning zone (70% max-effort cardio).

Damn. That keeps coming up. I keep talking about it as part of a general fitness goal. It’s layered in the Primal Blueprint as well. It’s not getting done is it?

Gotta get past the friction. Gotta game it up.

I was talking with some folks at work who took me up on my 30 day challenge back in the spring. One tackled burpees and the other pull-ups. They picked a starting point and added a fixed amount each day. They were very aggressive with their increments and ultimately struggled but I can learn from that.

At my current fitness level – you may laugh – I can perform exactly one burpee. I can do more push-ups and sit-ups  but I hate them. I like the idea of the combined effort of a burpee. It’s a quick whole-body exercise. Get it done and out of the way. I also like saying the word. Makes me giggle like an 8-year-old. BURPEES!

So, for November, I’ll start with 1 burpee per day, adding one to the set each day until the end of the month. That’s a total of 435 burpees. For the math nerds out there: [n*(n+1)]/2, n=30.

The measurement criteria will be in body composition. Today’s numbers are:

  • Weight: 237 lbs
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Hips: 46”
  • Waist: 44”
  • Neck: 16”

According to www.healthstatus.com and www.halls.md, this translates to:

  • Basil Metabolic Rate: 2557.69 calories/day
  • Body Fat Estimation: 34.44% (ideal: 15%)
  • Body Mass Index: 35.1 (ideal: 20-25)
  • Lean Body Mass: 154.43 lbs (ideal: 132.37 lbs)

My diet will remain roughly unchanged at 1500 calories/day:

  • 400 cal / 100g maximum carbohydrates
  • 400 cal / 100g minimum protein
  • 700 cal / 77g fat (no PUFAs)

I’m aiming for about 3000 calories of low-intensity cardio (mainly walking) through the week. There’s a cardio element to the burpees so it’ll show up here as well.

Burpees. It’s worth a shot, right?

Photo by HJ Media Studios

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