27 November 2007

One year going....

About this time last year the little light bulb clicked on in my head. Either I was going to have to get my fat ass in shape, or I was going to die.

I had been an athelete most of my life. Team sports starting a 5, working up to a semi pro level in soccer in college. Bike racing and triathlons, including several half ironman competitions and a marathon that I ran in 4 hours on 5 weeks training.

Moved to Dallas in '99 and bike riding opportunities that co-existed with living a long and healthy life without becoming a bump in the road somewhere are, as you know, exceptionally limited. Stopped training and kept eating. Got fat, tired, and out of shape. Between moving and last year, there were brief moments of fitness but nothing really ever took; nothing compared to the level of training I was accustomed to and as a result I got bored and quit.

But with last Thanksgiving came the realization that if I didn't get serious about my fitness, and soon, I was going to be in a world of hurt.

I reached out to Porta's Cat - who opened my eyes to a whole new level of lifting weights. PC is a shooter as well, and fully understood what I was trying to achieve with my fitness and set up a program for me that got my fat ass in the gym and working out harder than I ever have before with weights. I'd never done squats or deadlifts before and never had a 'for real' program at the gym. I dropped about 8 pounds right off the bat, and then leveled off without dropping any more weight. BUT, I did lose, and I'm continuing to lose, inches in my gut and waist. In addition, I have shown some massive gains in strength.

I know for a fact that the lifting has helped my shooting. I don't get tired at matches, and my ability to move quickly from point to point has been massively improved. I plan to continue lifting for the forseeable future - my goals this year are to be able to squat and deadlft 400 pounds, bench 375, and overhead press 275.

I still have a lot of work to do - I really need to focus on my diet this year and help burn off what's left of my gut but all in all I am so far ahead of where I was last year at this time it's not even close.

There's lots of sites on the internets that claim to have all the secrets to health, fitness, strength, and weight loss. But from what I've seen in the past year, there's really only a few where the guys running the show know what they are talking about. The afore mentioned Porta's Cat is one of them as are the following, in no particular order:
Beyond strong
Physical Strategies
And Stronglifts. Each of these sites is a wealth of information and assistance and are more than willing to help you out and answer any questions you might have.

Each of these guys are what I would call "old school". Nothing fancy. Exercises that have been around since some crazy caveman lifted a rock over his head. Bench press, squats, deadlifts, overhead press, etc. They each recognize there is no short cut to hard work and putting your hands on the bar and your feet on the ground.

Best thing to do if you're thinking of getting started is just that simple - get started!! It's made all the difference in the world to me and I know it can for you too.
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