April 21, 2014

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Love or Hate ‘Em, HIIT Workouts Work

So I personally have a love hate relationship with HIIT workouts. When Chalene is up on that stage, and the fire drill begins to sound, and she starts yelling and all her workout buddies are hi-fiving each other in excitement, and I know 40 minutes of maximum intensity is up, I start to get all freaked out and excited both. Freaked out because I know I’m about to dive into a swimming pool filled with blenders worth of exercise, and excited for the very same reason. There’s nothing like a HIIT workout to test your resolve, to show you what you got, what mental resolve you are bringing to the table.

I always finish them, which is awesome, but what about your guys? Anybody hate them, and if so, why?

Thoughts on Turbo Fire

So I’m rethinking my commitment to Turbo Fire. There’s no doubt that this is an excellent workout, but it’s really intense, and involves a lot of leaping, jumping, and gymnastics that at my weight and health level I’m not sure is appropriate for me. Should I downgrade to something a little easier, and then work my way back up to doing Turbo Jam? Or should I stick with it, stay in the deep end, and thrash it out, work beyond my limits and crash course my way into health? I’m not sure, but I’m going to have to figure it out.

My results have been awesome with  the Turbo Fire workout thus far, but I’m wondering, wondering. What if I were to warm up with something like Power 90, and then do Turbo Fire? Or a round of Slim in 6 or two? I’m not sure. Going to think it over!

Back on the Wagon

Ok, so it’s been a rough past 10 days. But when will things ever go smooth? As John Lennon said, ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re making plans.” But then again, he also said, “I am the walrus”, so what does he know?

Either way, I’ve been flying nonstop, haven’t been home in almost a month, and despite my initial burst of success at exercising with Turbo Fire, I’ve stopped these past two weeks, simply overwhelmed by work and exhaustion. Flying and spending so much time in airports is really tiring, to the point that I simply crash in whatever hotel room I end up in, kicking off my shoes and asleep before my head even hits the pillow.

But how am I going to lose weight if I don’t get a grip? Is this job ultimately going to be in the way? Will I have to quit work to find the time and energy? I don’t know, but sitting here in yet another hotel in Minneapolis, staring out at a gray sky, knowing I have to get up and go to another slew of meetings in about 10 minutes makes me have doubts. Life style change, Turbo Fire says, but what if I actually have to do that?

Change my life?

Falling off the wagon

So I was going strong for about two weeks with Turbo Fire, and then had a rough patch in Denver, and man, it all fell apart. It’s been four days since I’ve worked out, and already I can tell the difference. Just so gorram busy that I can’t find the energy or determination to exercise on top of it all.

Will do better, this ain’t over yet.

Friday is for Turbo Firers

Ok, so that is an awkward title, but it conveys what I mean it to. What it means is that I am one day away from completing my first two weeks of Turbo Fire! Which is 1/6th of the whole program! Perhaps it’s because I travel so much, perhaps it’s because I have very busy days, but time flies. It seems just yesterday I was struggling with the Inferno Plan, and now here I am, almost 1/6th of the way through!

What are my thoughts so far? One, this is an intense workout. You have to have either grace, flexibility and coordination, or bloody minded and determined. Guess where I fall in. Everybody on the DVD is skinny and in shape, which makes me feel like the odd man out in the class. No WAY would I attend that class in real life. But no matter what shape or form you are in, it is very, very hard.

Which means you will get in shape. Whether or not it’s the ‘best’ workout I don’t know, but it’s sufficiently tough that I just know I’ll lose weight doing it for 3 months. How could you not?

Plus I like that it comes with a food plan, which helps me stay on track. I’ll speak more specifically about the workouts next time!

Real Life and Workouts

Ok, so I’ve been doing really well with Turbo Fire so far, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Yesterday was a bust. Big meeting with the top level execs again, and we all went out for a power lunch. Where did we go? A steak house. Now, I’m in a rough spot here, and the execs aren’t liking my advice. It’s like they hired me, but want me to only say what they want to hear. As if they expected me to confirm that they’re doing everything right, and it’s the world that’s unfair. Well, that’s not what I’m here for, so I’m arguing with them and not making any friends. Which means I have to appear tough and in control. These old bastards are testing me at every corner, and yesterday during lunch the CFO looked across the table at me and loudly asked me what I was going to eat. I was planning on just getting a salad, but suddenly all these old guys are staring at me, and I realize, heck, they’re going to judge me by what I order. So I go for the Porterhouse, and shut them all up.

And it was delicious, but it wasn’t on the meal plan.

Then I ended up staying at the office till 11pm, putting together some emergency reports for today’s afternoon meeting. I’m supposed to fly out tonight, but my work isn’t finished here and I may have to delay. Which means more work, less time and energy to exercise. Rough!

An amusing incident in the night

Dear blog,

So I worked until very late last night, only getting back to the hotel past 11pm. What a day. Actually a good one, with lots of intense confrontations, but I managed to swing everybody to my point of view, so it felt like victory after victory. Sometimes you lead a horse to water, but it won’t drink, so you have to beat it around the neck and shoulders until it does what’s best for it. These managers simply are in denial about their situation, so I had to forcefully show them how restructuring, downsizing and selling off their worst liabilities might make them lose ‘prestige’ in the short run, but leaves them a smaller, more efficient and profitable company in the long term. Regardless, they finally agreed, and I got home late, having missed dinner.

So what does a sane man then do? He puts on his Turbo Fire workout and goes at it. Which I did. At 11 at night. I was blasting the music, completely caught up in the moment, jumping and doing all sorts of things, when somebody pounds at the door, furious. I froze. I knew this was going to happen. So I pause the workout, go to the door, and I’m riding such a high that I just throw it open.

It’s the manager. The residents to both the sides of my room and below have called in to complain. “What the heck do you think you’re doing?” he demands, angry.

“Changing my life,” I said, right to his face. I swear. He blinked, and had the foolishness to say, “What?”

So I told him. Right there in the hallway, told him about what I was doing, and why, and how great it felt. He was a big guy himself, and he ended up being curious. He actually came in to see part of the workout, and I think he was curious, but was too committed to being angry to really open up. Either way, we had this intense conversation for a whole ten minutes, and then he left, admonishing me to keep it down and not make any more disturbance. I finished the workout on low, but what really struck me was the look in his eye when he saw what I was doing.

It told me he wanted to do it too, but hadn’t yet taken the step I had. Which was really empowering, and made me think: can I be an example to other people?

A Rump Tiddly Too!

Why hello, my dear blog, how are you? Really, that’s great. I’m doing great too. I’m in Topeka, Kansas today, and have the entire day off until a round of meetings tomorrow. Going to be consulting with a company that processes a basic food ingredient they mine from the earth. That’s right, a food ingredient derived from petroleum. How interesting is that? Makes you want to look at food ingredients a little closer, I’d say.

But yes, a whole day off, and what is there to do in Topeka Kansas with that time? Going to go see the Brown Vs. Board museum, maybe the zoo, and have dinner at this swank place called the Rowhouse. Wish I had somebody to go with, but I’m used to exploring and eating alone these days. That’s what you get from flying everywhere all the time. What else? OH YES, MY TURBO FIRE WORKOUT. You know, I am really, really surprised as to how well this is going. I think the thrill of just following a workout plan is carrying me along, though lately I’ve been wondering if I should have started with P90X. Too late now, and anyway, Chalene Johnson and her crowd of workout girls are definitely more fun to look at than Mr. Tony Horton would be.

The workouts are tough, and I am definitely not able to keep up, but I just focus on finishing the workouts. I’m sweating buckets, and yes, losing weight! So all is well on that front :)

Monday Monday Monday

Greetings, fellow blogger reading types. This morning finds me in the O’Hare Departure Terminal, waiting for my flight to Topeka. Spent the weekend here in the Windy City, visiting my cousin who sustained a steady stream of abuse and ridicule as I turned down delicacy after delicacy which he normally plies me with. Pizzas, baby back ribs, the works, everything I said no to and stuck to my minimalist diet. And let me tell you folks, there is nothing harder than starving on a diet that isn’t doing it for you when family members are taking potshots at your gut and tempting you with bbq wings.

But I’ve stuck with the 5 day Inferno plan, as best I could (was a little rough around the edges), and you know what? I’m feeling better today than I have in some time. I’m as amazed as you are. I haven’t weighed myself (don’t want to get disillusioned), but the fact remains that I feel lighter, more energetic and alert than I usually do. That could also have something to do with the amount of sleep I’ve been getting. Working out like a dog makes you sleep like a baby, so I’ve been pulling in at least seven hours each night instead of my usual insomniac 6, and I feel great. Rested, hungry, alert, and ready for today’s lunch. Which will be… a grilled chicken pita sandwich. Doesn’t sound too bad! Only problem is that it’s about half of what I want to eat, so what can you do.

Ok, they’re boarding, got to go.