Not only financial marathon counts – how to stay fit

Writing here helps me very much. Maybe I could say dramatically. It gives me certain retrospective on topics I think about and helps me to dig into historical state (usually financial-wise).

And I am not focused on finance only. It is something what is significant part of my life, but the more we as a family have accumulated, the less I am interested about diggin details and spending more time in optimizing that.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the September’s financial monthly review will be my last and then I will upload only quarterly updates. And I will try to move my focus into health and well-being, at least slightly, and also to food, which is my another passion.

I am former taekwondo practicioner, soccer player, powerlifter, half-ironman finisher and my passion for sport is huge. It gives me energy after spending time in the office or with family and provides numerous benefits to my health.

The return into practice is always pretty difficult. As I try to keep my financial focus pretty straight-forward and not complicated, I tend to do the same with my fitness training.

What are my goals?

– include strength trainings back to my routine
– prepare for further half-ironman contests
– excel in stretching to get back to taekwondo-ready shape

As a side-effects, I hope to:
– lose some weight (from current 90 kg with 183 cm height to some 75-77kg, with body fat reaching around 8%)
– do 2-4 ironman contests per year, starting again next year in summer
– be stretched, especially lower part of the body, in a way to do perfectly head-targeted kicks with taekwondo technique
– be 100% healthy thruout the whole year.

It has a sense to have a plan for each of these and I do (of course simplified one) and I’m gonna share it below. Each of these goals bring certain benefit, but they are super-powerful together.

  1. Strength training as pre-requisite

Many of us think that if you want to lose the weight, you have to stop eating or eat less then you did before. That is not true a much. Each of us is sensitive to nutrition in a different way and it takes couple of months or years to understand how to eat in order not to be too fat. I will share my way how I learned that, but not in this post.

In here, I will focus on the strength training as pre-requisite to be in a good shape and generally fit. Strength training can be done in many areas – doing sprint runs, powerlifting, weightlifting, bodybuilding, cross-fit, calisthenics and some other. I used to be very active in powerlifting 15 years ago, then in bodybuilding, but never went to the contest… I returned to a gym several times and then returned to a complete roots –> calisthenics.

Calisthenics is a way to train with your body instead of weights or on machines. There are thousands for articles on the internet so I will not describe the details here, I just want to share essentials to explain my plans.

There are 3 core basic exercises to do – pull-ups, push-ups and squats. And I do not do anything else then this. My plan is to have 3 training sessions per this exercise type in a month, so usually once in a 8-10 days. Long-term targets are 100 pull-ups in 4 series, 200 push-ups in 4 series and 100 single squats in 4 series. I will track this on monthly basis and will post probably quarterly updates (but in different months then my financial one). I tried this first time last year, then had a break and I started again a month ago. Here are my first results:

This is from last year (3 months) and this year, I started in mid August. There were just wide grip pull-ups, I will follow with narrow grip and total figures below.

In chart with total figures I display sum of all the pull-ups within one training session. I reach some 15 pretty fast this year, but as you can see, I focus more on the wide grip. But I will detail this in my upcoming posts, this is just the show-case…

… but why do I write about this? The more muscles you build the more calories you burn and the less fat you have. So if I am about to lose weight and I do not want to lose muscles (which if you do not workout go away first), I have to start with strength training…

2. Put some cardio in place

This is usually more time consuming, but burning the fat is so easy with swimming, running, cycling and similar activities.

My plan is to going to half-ironman or maybe later to full ironman contest again. To make that happen I have to include cardio training back to my schedule. Ideally to all the disciplines from the ironman:
– swimming – I do once a week, 2 – 3 kilometers,
– cycling – I need to do more. I will probably buy additional gear to be able to cycle to my office (30km from home). That would solve the problem with time for cycling, which takes lot of time if you train after the work.
– Running – I would love to start again, at least once a week.

Here comes today example of swimming

3. Stretching

This one is the most difficult to me. Many years ago, when I was practicing taekwondo (Korean martial art), I was pretty stretched. My flexibility was almost at its maximal levels. Now, when I bend over from standing position, I do not even touch the ground with my hands :).

What is also more difficult is to measure the progress. It is easy to know how much you run, how fast, what distance you cover when swimming… but how to do this with stretching?

I will define certain stretching positions and will measure the flexibility with angles, distance of legs etc. Hopefully that will bring me a joy of seeing the progress and will keep me moving forward.

I would love to ideally have 2 stretching session per week and see, if that is sufficient for low progress.

How to measure the progress overall?

This is not a sprint, but series of marathons. If I did not monitor actively my finances, I would have no idea what is the trend, where to put the money and how much and when, I would not save so much and so on.

If I do not track my overall fitness, and to be honest I currently don’t, I do not see how fit I am. On the other hand, I do not want to be over-controlled or over-obsessed by this tracking. So what to track to stay fit?

  1. Number of workouts per month/quarter – to see how often I do something.
  2. Active calories burned – just to see how much I burn per month
  3. Development of each category
    1. Strength – number of exercises and their development
    2. Swimming – distance swimmed and speed
    3. Cycling – distance cycled, hearth rate development
    4. Running – distance ran, hearth rate development, speed
  4. Stretching – measure angles and body-parts distances
  5. Weight – my plan is to lose 1 kg per month. Not ambitions, but losing 12 kilograms over upcoming year would be great.

I will prepare, for the beginning, monthly dashboard and fine-tune it over upcoming 6 months and then I will probably switch to quarterly dashboards.

Except swimming I do not need any access to the gym, so all of these activities are great for every minimalist, frugalist or someone who does not want to spend expensive fees for clubs memberships.

Enjoy the rest of the September!

Categories: fitnessTags: , , , , ,

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