Reality Check: Getting and staying fit is a lifestyle, not a duck soup.
A week ago, I met this greenhorn at the gym who proclaimed that he wants to lose weight in three months for the estival fete. One time, he broached a conversation with me that led to asking my advice on losing weight. I then shared what I know but instead of acknowledging it, he somehow turned the tables by swerving into a topic where only a scientist will sure give his eyeteeth for. I also noticed the acerbic trace on his face when I gave the indispensable content of my screed — which is to triple his physical exertion if he wants to make his project for summer possible. Seriously, I would have said sextuple not triple.
1. He is almost twice my size: horizontally.
2. Time frame set is not realistic: three months.
3. His workout frequency: three to four times a week.
It is actually wise to set a timeline as long as it’s realistic but this case is logically an exception. I do not really, really think that he could do it just by working out three times a week for two hours. To vaporize the thick fat in just three months, I bet you got the picture of what I am trying to put across.
Okay, I may only have little information when it comes to the technical knowledge of dieting yet I have enough experience in working out to share.
Unleash the blabbermouth…
I once worked as a fitness instructor/gym spotter — though my body built is not the typical fitness instructor with muscles in bulk you see around — for two months at a not-so-known sweatshop in exchange for a free work out .
I had seen people coming in and out of the gym yet I never heard nor saw anyone, with a suety arse like his, getting the ideal upshot in just three months. This greenhorn should know that his adipose tissues represent the six units of the English language: MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE, and MOVE.
Like I said, he should sextuple his efforts in compressing and stretching the muscles of his body especially those at the lower part (the hamstrings that run from the back of the knee to the bottom of the hip and the gluteus maximus around the hip, tailbone, and thighbone) where his oleaginous products are evident.
The human body is designed to move. When the body spends most of its time sitting, they lose their elasticity and become weak and flabby thereby producing lardaceous crops. Compressing and stretching the muscles which occurs with exercise and motion are the means of scraping them off.
Wonder why is the emphasis on the word, motion? Think about natural movements or physical activities that are not gym-based. Fitness experts say that gym-based exercises give muscular and cardiovascular benefits but motion moves the vital fluids throughout the body. The gym cannot fully substitute the rigors of natural movement.
I remember the times I was in motion as a kid. Apart from the physical activities in school, I caught grasshoppers for our food using only my feet and hands, jumped, sowed corns and peanuts for neighbors to help my parents bring food on the table; climbed the fruit bearing trees of the neighbors, grandpa’s and ours; had pillow fights, frolicked then later swam in the rivers; brawled with the bullies, swept the floor and the backyard, played traditional sports; ran from father’s fist and mother’s broom, grappled with my siblings, went to the meadows for kite flying with big bro; and so forth — a lot!
Presently, our bodies develop the same way the bodies of our progenitors in the primitive era do. They are still meant to bend, climb, run, stretch, and walk. We do not need scientific methods to contest that.
I am grateful for the discipline infused by Cadet Officers Leadership Training (COLT) in me during high school. Exercising got me because COLT required considerable stamina to cope with the physical demands of the training. Now that I am no longer at the training field, I still do the following basic military exercises and forms of punishment I learned from our then trainers from time to time:
1. Snake Rolls (for the shoulders)
2. Mountain climbing and duck walk (for the legs)
3. Sit-ups for SPA (for six-pack abs)
4. Press-ups (for the chest)
5. Jumping jack and 10 rounds of jogging in the school’s oval (for cardio)
Basically, those became the foundation of my workout. That training was a revelation of how really important fitness is to one’s overall well-being.
Setting foot in the busy metropolis introduced me to weight training and yoga. Although the gym fee was a burden back in the college days that I only afforded three sessions, it became more of like a relief when I got a job.
Back in the last quarter of 2005, I was still slightly underweight. I only weighed 123.2 lb or 56 kg. So I decided to gain the weight (within normal range is 148 to 160 lb — for medium frame) proportionate to my height (5′ 8.9″), bring my definition of fitness to a higher level and most importantly, achieve a normal Body Mass Index (within 18.5 to 24.99).
I started lifting weights by the second quarter of 2006 and it took six months of regular workout to obtain the additional weight I needed (i.e., six times a week for one and a half hours per session).
Pertaining to fees and stuff, yoga has the opposite story. For someone belonging to the lower echelon of society, emolument for that sure is a millstone. Therefore, I picked up the alternative by gathering different yoga stances from magazines, books, and CDs (particularly YOGA: The Flow Series Fire in 2007). I incorporated the postures I mastered from these materials to my workout. Since then, it is what I use whenever I am stationed in a place where gym equipment are unavailable and as a substitute for the boring, stationary warm-up in the gym.
To date, the bustles from my younger years have evolved into backpacking, errands, horseplay(ing) with my sons and wife, part-time jobs and walking. Like a kid, I still see the rigors of natural movement involved as opportunities for playing and free workout. Opportunities because modern times had encouraged sedentary behavior, not only through bad habits, but directly through its culture and practicality. Most of the people nowadays become unfit because of long working hours at desk jobs and lack of natural movement.
My 29th year is nearing and, apart from hiking and muscle confusion which were already tied to my Workout Routine (WR) in the last quarter of 2009, I am planning to add either running or more and more walking to my list by 2012 to continue moving and maintain my Body Mass Index (21.8) which is perfect for my height (5′ 9″).
Here’s an overview of of my Workout Routine:
January 2006–July 2008
For Walking = 34 min. (Weekdays)
For weightlifting = 2 hours (6 times a week)
For YOGA (the flow series fire) = 1 hour (once a week)
Hiking = 10-20 hours (once a month)
Walking = 65 minutes (weekdays)
Weightlifting = 1 hour (2-3 times a week)
YOGA (the flow series fire) = 1 hour (once a week)
Muscle Confusion = 1 hour (once every two weeks)
- “Super” Exercises: Burn More Fat, Build More Muscle, and Transform Your Body Faster Than Ever! (shareitfitness.com)
- How to Fix the Most Common Workout Mistakes (greatist.com)
- Lose Weight On Your Upper Thighs And Feel Good In Shorts Again! (networkingforwealth.wordpress.com)