Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Lets just say I'm at 1

Have been way too busy to post recently, between punctured bike tyres and 250 mile round trips to buy a campervan there hasn't been much time, oh and tennis elbow is still bugging me.

However managed an ultimate warrior last night so that's good.  Need to get something done as I'm moving house in a few weeks and will have to carry everything down from the third floor and up to the 4th

Wednesday, 15 June 2011


Bike all fixed and running again but I really need more sleep. Another 28 mins ride in this morning. Should be able to make some of that up on the way home, assuming my bike doesn't break that is!

Out - 27:49

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


oh was I tired this morning. Pottled in on the bike and hoping to go a bit faster on the way home.

Out - 27:16
In - ?

Yeah I managed half an interval on the way home before my pannier rack broke and I had to nurse my beast of the streets home.

Monday, 13 June 2011


Cycled to work this morning but didn't bother with any intervals on the way in. May try for a few on the way home instead when my body is a bit more awake. No pain from the knees on the way in so it seems that raising the saddle on my wheels has fixed that problem. My elbow is also getting better so I may try to tackle an UW upper body later in the week.

Out - 23:48
In - ?

I don't know what my home trip time was because I stopped to by flowers for my wife (no special reason, well, other than it was her). I did get in 5 intervals on the way though.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Thursday, 9 June 2011


Took yesterday off completely (even took the lift instead of stairs at work). Now that I have the habit of getting some exercise on a regular basis its time to get the habit of resting. Our bodies do not get fitter and stronger from the exercise we do. Exercise basically damages our muscles, the improvement comes from the repairs that the body goes through. No time to rest means no time to repair and no improvement.

Out - 27:25 (16mph headwind uphill)
In - 20:36

Also made it to training last night. First session of the club I set up and since I'm in charge I kind of have to go.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011


Decided to try for an extra interval this morning. I also started them at a later point in the trip to try and hit less lights. That makes 4 intervals today and to be honest that 4th one was tough, still without a challenge there is no need to improve. As I said before, if I can get some discipline then things will start to change.

Out - 21:59
In - 23:47

Monday, 6 June 2011


did nothing that could really count as exercise over the weekend and am not really bothered by this. My run of 18 days now has me in the habit, I hope, so it should be easier from here. I'm also trying to let my arm heal up a little before I start using it again. As such I will most likely reverse the UW this week and do lower body first and save the upper body for later in the week. Managed a few sets of intervals this morning on the way in.

Out - 23:41
In - 23:15

Also completed an UW lower body

Friday, 3 June 2011


up and biked in to work this morning. Realised that it was only my brain that was tired and in terms of exercise it is not required and can therefore go take a flying ...

Tried something new on the way in today. Intervals. Interval training is perhaps the best way to get your body to burn off fat. It doesn't take long to do and will have the body chew through fat reserves for about 36 hours afterwards. Not a bad return for 20 mins of work. Basically I'm going to start throwing structured sprint sets into my commute to work. Blast it for 30 secs (ramp it up to very nearly the max), cruise for a minute (but not slack) then repeat. Did 3 sets this morning and hope to build up to 6-8. It also gets me places faster as evidenced by the 'Out' time.

Out - 22:47
In - 20:43

Thursday, 2 June 2011


UW with the upper body today. A good workout though I seem to have done some damage to my left elbow. There is some sort of tweak in there when I lift a weight on it. I'm thinking Tennis Elbow at this point. Going to back down on using it so a lighter weight and less chin ups. I think the chin ups are what caused it in the first place. I'm also going to chew on some ibuprofin for a week or so and see if that helps. If no change then it may be doctor time.

I also weighed in today at 90.08kg. This is an increase in general on when I started. I'm not too concerned however as I know I have a daily calorie deficit. The other thing is that with the UW workouts there is a focus on increasing muscle mass and that is something I'm beginning to notice. Its particularly obvious on the Lats (back muscles under the arm) as I've noticed less room there for my arms to move and the Pecs. An increase in muscle mass will lead to an increase in weight as it is heavier than fat. This is a course that should not continue indefinitely though, if it fails to begin decreasing then i'll have to have another look at what I'm eating.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Well  I am back to 1. I fell ill in the middle of last week and decided to take the rest of the time as recovery. Gave me an opportunity to catch up on some stuff and enjoy a 4 day weekend. I have new tyres for my bike which is great as they are puncture resistant though my riding time to work has taken a bit of a nose dive. This one is much heavier than my old bike and I can really feel it, especially in the mornings. I head to work at about 6:45am and the 1st part of the journey is 1.1 miles uphill.

Out - 24:52
In - 22:08

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


managed to get in maybe 15 mins of cardio, certainly no more than that

Monday, 23 May 2011


I've just made a fabulous discovery. My resting pulse rate has dipped below 60! It's now at 57/58. This is fantastic news and I see it as proof that something I'm doing is working.

To put this into a perspective, before I tore my knee apart rock climbing my resting pulse rate was sitting at around 42-45. A long way to go but this has just made me morning.


Back on the bike!

My new bike is now functional and I'm back to riding to work. The hope is that this, combined with running, will help me shed the fat while the Ultimate Warrior stuff will generate larger muscle mass.

I forgot to start the stopwatch this morning but it was over 30 mins to get here. The reason is below:

A period of exceptionally windy weather is expected to cross the northern half of the country during Monday. Wind gusts of 60 mph are expected widely with gusts of 70 mph probable across parts of northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Some very exposed areas may see gusts as high as 80 mph. Winds will start to ease from the west by evening.

That's the weather warning from the met office. I'm in the effected area and it was, of course, a headwind.

Sunday, 22 May 2011


Shattered, today I am absolutely wrecked. Didn't sleep well though which is why.

Todays exercise barely counts but was quite intense so I am counting it. At the start of each week in the Ulitmate Warrior programme there is a Warrior Challenge. It's a short intense burst of exercise that tests your physical ability in a particular area. This week was number of chin ups in 3 minutes. I didn't do as well as I would have hoped but I gave it everything, couldn't use my arms at the end of it.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


An upper body set from the Ultimate Warrior. I also upped the weight on the bar to make it harder

Friday, 20 May 2011


2 straight weeks without a break. Sure there have been a few light days but I've managed something everyday. If I can make it through the weekend then I'll have a week of biking to work ahead of me. If I can keep this up then I may succeed in my aim of making exercise a habit in my life once again.

Today was another go on the Ultimate Warrior, lower body this time. I think I'll have to up the weight on the bars for the next time though, it was just a little too comfortable.

Thursday, 19 May 2011


Hard session with the weights today. Another Ultimate Warrior set (upper body) though since I did the right amount it was much easier, also faster as I already knew what each exercise was. Also spent a 10 mins or so with the skipping rope. It is such an energeric workout, also really good for my martial arts.

In other news I got my new bike so will be riding to work again as of next week. I also picked up a chin up bar so that i don't have to hang off the door frame all the time. It doubles as a dip bar and a sit up bar and can be stored in the corner so that is really handy.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011


very light weights session. Was going to take the day off but my body wanted to do something.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011


Not a huge amount today, quite a gentle session by all accounts but still a good one. Was stiff as a board so headed into the garden to practice some Tai Chi, it can give a really good workout (done properly) and I find it a great way to loosen off stiff muscles.

I wasn't able to go fast at it as the grass was only seeded recently and I didn't want to shred it. Its the back of a tenement block and was recently a patch of mud. I spent a lot of time and effort making it into a lawn (mostly because my wife asked me to) so don't want to kill it.

In other news I'm getting a new bike on Thursday so will be back to cycling next week. YAY!

Monday, 16 May 2011

10 - Double Figures!

That's right, 10 straight days of exercise, quite pleased with myself for this one. I'm aware some folk view this as extreme but for years I trained every single day, the hardest part is getting the habit. As long as you train smart there isn't a problem (i.e. don't work every muscle group every time).

It was my first session of the Ultimate Warrior and it was tough. I made a slight booboo in that I did 2 days of exercise by mistake, oops. I'll fix this though by going for a run or something instead of UW later in the week.

I have a basic weights bench at home and to be honest I have never had a workout on it as hard as I had using this system. Its tough but just the sort of challenge I need.

My diet is slowly changing as well. Managing to break the takeout habit and avoid the work canteen. Friday night will remain as takeout but there is a Mexican takeaway at the end of the street that is quite healthy so we try to go there

Sunday, 15 May 2011


Ouch. That is all I have to say. My students got me a book called Ultimate Warrior Workouts at the end of teaching. Very unexpected and totally awesome of them. I started the programme today with the first warm up and the benchmarking tests. Very tiring. the tests were:

Max bench press
Max deadlift
Max weighted chin up

This was followed by the 1st of the warrior challenges, the 4 minute push up challenge

My arms don't work any more!

Saturday, 14 May 2011


That's right. 8! New record!

Heavy weights session today. Upgraded to a larger storage locker so had to move everything to the new one. Quite a workout. Then there was the weights bench. It came out of storage and into the living room (the futon is going into storage). This meant carrying the bench and weights up to our place on the 3rd floor.

Friday, 13 May 2011


Bike to work!

I did it. I managed an entire week of biking in. This is even more impressive as my bike died today. 3 spokes on one wheel need replaced making riding it somewhat dangerous. The nail in the coffin though came on the way home. The crank for the peddles broke so forward movement is impossible. I need a new bike

Thursday, 12 May 2011


bike to work (monster headwind - 17mph)

In - 22:25
Out - 26:51

my slowest time yet but thats the wind factor, this not an excuse. Im merely acknowledging that I need to man up and pedal harder!

I'm also on par to break my record. The number in the titles is the number of days I have of unbroken daily exercise. I have yet to make it past 7 but stand a really good chance if I can cycle in tomorrow.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011


Again with the bike:

Out - 24:46

In additional news the weights bench is coming out of storage this weekend

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Bike to work

Out - 25:35
In - 24:38

Resting Pulse 60 (middle of the day)

Monday, 9 May 2011

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Sunday, 1 May 2011


Training again, though as always I don't get much exercise from that since I'm teaching

Friday, 29 April 2011


Had a 2.5 hour walk around town today. More strolling than anything but it was tiring

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Alright, seeming to get back on track here. Hopped on the bike to work this morning. sadly though i had pizza last night

Out: - 24:16
In - 23:22

I am also hoping to make it to training tomorrow. I dont think i'm doing enough in general to lose weight so am going to try to increase the amount of exercise Im getting.

Sunday, 24 April 2011


training again, it was good though tiring.

Have gained weight, over 90kg on saturday, dropped a kilo on sunday

Saturday, 23 April 2011



3 hours

Sadly I am back to one. The bank holidays cost me friday

Thursday, 21 April 2011


In 25:12
Out 22:22

Man I was tired today. I could feel every single metre of that bike ride. I put it down to the stupid number of steps from yesterday.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

No bike, no bacon, no clothes

Last night was not a good night for me. I went home and decided to try something that I hadn't done but had been meaning to. I decided what clothes I could and couldn't get into. Some expected some disappointments. Turns out I have only 1 pair of jeans that I can almost fit into. Muffin top is the general expression that springs to mind. I therefore have a single pair of trousers available for work (excluding my rather nice suit, gutted about that), a pair of combats and, um, that's it. Everything else either doesn't fit or makes me look as fat as I am. This prompted a trip to ASDA to buy some new clothes. I now have a pair of jeans that fit, in addition to the work trousers and the combats. Interesting point is that I have another pair of combats and can wear them but only because I'm so fat that the button tore off and I hold them up with a belt.

I was up late trying to fix my iPhone (simply put it's a 3G and iOS 4 slows it down appallingly so I tore iOS 4 off and put 3.1.3 back on while downgrading to iTunes 9.1.2 because lets face it, 10 is horrible and Ping is the fail of social networks). As a result I was so tired this morning that I failed to cycle to work, I drove instead.

It's not all bad this morning though, I managed to avoid bacon butties by simply reminding myself that NONE of my clothes actually fit anymore. I have just finised my home made smoothies instead and feel proud of this. It also has something to do with a Karateka called Iain Abernathy. He's a professional martial artist and podcasts once a month. Something he said recently stuck in my head. As martial arts instructors (of which I am one, though a different art) we are supposed to be incredibly disciplined. This includes having the discipline to walk past the pie shop and not buy anything.

It's like I said, I just need to reawaken the parts of myself that allowed me to be the way I was and progress towards there again. Today has been a good day for that.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Hoping to reawaken parts of myself

Here's the thing, I used to have a massive amount of discipline. I was highly motivated and kept myself in great physical shape. I can tell you exactly the moment that changed. I was rock climbing, practicing a move called a 'rock over'. A move which I messed up slightly and shredded my left knee. Shredded it so comprehensively that it required surgery to fix. Surgery I wasn't able to get for almost a year. As a result of this injury it was immensely difficult to exercise, running was out, so was walking most of the time (pain free anyway). I couldn't actually turn corners sharpely I had to take a wide angle swing.

The result of this was my exercise habit was broken. I'm going to have to put in some hard work to get that back. Day 2 is today. On the bike again to work. My legs are tired after yesterday but I still made it in, a decent time as well. I may skip on the weights this afternoon as I have work to do when I get home but we shall see what happens.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Back on the bike

This is useful as it means I'm better again. Todays ride in wasn't too bad, a bit tiring but not like it was the last time. I suspect I was already getting ill last time I rode.

Made a couple of other changes, porridge is out, it's proximity to bacon, sausages, fried eggs etc is entirely too tempting. I'm going to try and have fruit smoothies for breakfast instead. Make them the night before, leave in fridge, shove into saddlebags and have them at work. This has worked for today. Hopefully this will save me 50p minimum daily. It's in the actual making that the hard part is.

I have a goal now though. This is a good thing. I'm going on holiday in September, hopefully, to Cyprus. That means I have 6 months to get into the shape I want to be in so that I won't be embarrassed if I take my shirt off. Probably just enough time.

Other motiviational factors, when I was off sick I had a bath. Random European woman (extremely attractive I couldn't help but notice) came to the door canvassing for some pointless charity. Due to my location I answered door wearing only a towel. Nothing, not even a glance below the neckline. Been a long time since that happened, a sad day indeed.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

haven't been blogging because I suck

not only at blogging but also at getting enough energy to do some exercise. I've also been ill. At the moment though I have managed to avoid gaining weight but neither have I lost any. Given my total slump in energy levels I'm counting this as a win. For now.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Today I start on the wheels again

After taking quite sometime away from it I am officially back on my bike today. My bus ticket ran out so instead of renewing it I bought brakes for my bicycle and repaired them. When it comes to bicycles I consider them to be disposable items. The reason for this is that it's cheaper to buy a bike for ~£100, ride it into the ground (usually between 2,000 and 3,000 miles) toss it and buy a new one than it is to get an expensive one and maintain it. Brake pads are about the only thing I'll replace on a bike. Don't get me wrong though, I keep it in reasonable nick, I just don't repair it. My current one is dicing with death thoguh as 2 of the spokes on the back wheel have snapped but it still appears to be ridable.

Anyway, getting back to cycling to work has many advantages. To start with I'm forced into 30 mins cardio twice a day, 5 times a week. There's no way around that. Secondly I'm going to save a fortune in bus fares (£45/month) and no longer be beholden to a bus timetable. Which is nice. Further, thanks to the governments everybody be green policies, I can claim 20 pence a mile in expenses for cycling, which is pretty sweet.

It takes my 5 minutes longer to cycle than it does to take the bus, currently. It's been 4 months since I've cycled to work so I expect that number will decline as I get fitter. I certainly need to, all but killed me this morning. It's mostly uphill to work and about 6 miles, I was more than a little wrecked when I arrived.

I'm hoping that this will have a serious impact on the spare tyre around my middle. Stopping cycling is when it appeared so now that I've started again it will hopefully help it deflate.

I have also decided that I'm most likely having a bacon roll for breakfast. I slept like crap the last couple of nights and am feeling good about myself for having cycled to work.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

I knew I wouldn't post much

Been on and off with the food thing recently. Managed to gain a couple of pound last week, not impressed, but to lose them again this week.  Hoping to get my bike fixed over the next couple of days and start cycling to work again. That's the plan, it remains to be seen if it happens. Since my bus ticket runs out on Tuesday though there's a good chance it'll work. Also, it's a good time of year to start cycling again.

Today though I'm off up the road for training.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Vaguely irritated

So I head up to training yesterday with the idea of getting in a good 3 hours of exercise. This sounds more impressive than it really is. It's martial arts training and I'm the instructor so it's not really that sustained or energetic for me unless I really push myself at it. I was planning to yesterday and suddenly found myself mightily annoyed as the training session was cancelled. We only had 1hour total.

I was not the only person to be a little put out but I was able to kick it quite hard for the 1 hour that we did have.

At some point today I shall be getting the weights out for a bit of a session. When I was in New Zealand I was unable to afford a gym membership so I bought a stack of weights for use at home. They were shipped back to the UK on my return and have been in storage. I got them out a few weeks back and have been gradually building up in their use.

1 of the handy things about increased muscle mass is that it takes more energy to supply them with fuel, in other words, the more muscle you have the more calories you can burn off by merely breathing. However, I have no intention of turning into a walking wall of muscle. My target weight is 12 stone. I'm currently heading for 14.

Why 12 stone?

Over the years I have discovered that 12 stone is the perfect weight for me, provided it is made up mostly of muscle. The reason being that if I bulk up beyond that then I'm start to slow down due to the increased muscle mass, any less and I loose the power that is associated with it. As a martial artist these are 2 massively important factors for me to consider. Hence, 12 stone.

With that said I think I'm going to head out shortly on a run.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

This should be easy

Seriously, I'm not kidding. Losing weight shouldn't actually be that difficult.

First of all I point blank refuse to count calories. I think that is a monstrously depressing way to live. I really do. It's nigh on impossible to exist in this day and age without knowing what a healthy balanced diet should consist of, so calorie counting seems excessive to me. All it's really attempting to enforce is a sense of portion control. As I see it, we all eat way to much. This leads me to the conclusion that the simplest way to lose weight can be summed up as follows:


To be clear, this applies to me as well. I have the habit of picking up the fork and eating, and eating and eating some more. This is 1 of the 2 mistakes I'm making. In the picture I posted below I had a body fat percentage of 14.7%

The second mistake of course being that I'm not taking enough exercise. There are no magical weight loss pills, acupuncture won't make me thinner (though perhaps more religious, sorry, terribly joke) and doing 5000 sit-ups everyday won't give me a visible 6 pack (the fat will still be on top of it, you need <12% body fat for a visible 6 pack). The sad but simple truth is that you can't target the area for fat loss. It all comes off at once. This means cardiovascular exercise. Which sucks because it's so much nicer to sit on the sofa, swallow a pill and get thinner. Sadly that pill doesn't exist so its time to get up and get moving.

This is the part where it becomes less easy, though not difficult. All we really need to ditch the extra kilo's (and I can name 2 people that I think don't need to do this, wish I was 1 of them) is the willpower to exist on a calorie deficient diet. That's it:

lower the amount of food that goes in, increase the amount of work the body does, the weight will then drop off.

To be perfectly frank I believe this to be nothing more than an exercise in discipline. If you've ever kicked a habit then this is the same thing, just a different habit.

In the next couple of posts I'll outline my plan to implement the above.

Couple of things though. The first thing to realise though is that this isn't about dieting. Diet's don't work because we've evolved to believe a  lack of food is famine and our bodies then actually store more fat. No, diet's don't work, lifestyle choices do however. I'm not going on a diet, I'm changing the way I live to become healthier, there is no end to this 'diet' for a very long time.

The other thing is that if I'm not in for the long haul I should just order a pizza and give up right now. Ever see those magazines with a headline, 'Get a beach body in 4 weeks,' 'Slim for the summer in 2 months,' 'Lose that Christmas gut in the 12 days'? Yeah, they're all full of crap. Ugly truth, it's going to take a long time to get my body back the way I want it. It may not even be this year, but that's okay, because I can accept that at the outset, it's why I can do this.

Monday, 14 February 2011

I'm getting better

at not having the unhealthy options that I've let myself become used to. It seems I am still appalling at undertaking the exercise that I should be doing. This is something I find quite strange as I've been reasonably athletic for most of my life. It's habit really, I was in the habit of working out and now I'm not. I need to get myself back into that habit and that's simply a case of discipline.

Finding the time in amongst work though is proving to be somewhat tricky. I'm sure I'll find someway to to work it in though, I could do with taking time off from work to get some exercise. Though I will feel guilty if I'm doing less work, but something somewhere has to give and working all the time just isn't good.

Friday, 11 February 2011

I'm having a pizza

I have been working insanely hard this last couple of days. Mostly on my new website. Part of that 2 jobs thing is that I'm starting a business and was advised to get a URL and Landing Page up for it. I've been doing that and have given up for the night

For the interested the location is Campaign Cartography. It's going to be the next big thing so tell all your friends. Well, I hope it's going to be the next big thing because if it isn't I'm humped and christmas will be cancelled this year.

Anyway, as I'm now very drained of energy I'm having a large pizza for dinner and not caring about it. I've been carrying my heavy rucksack around all day so I don't feel quite so bad about it.

Sire, they are running!

Today I won, though it was a close run thing, especially when I saw the porridge that was on offer. I mean seriously, it fell off the ladel in clumps. Chuck some milk on top and it's golden. Well, off-white, but you get the idea.

I forgot to take my backpack down with me though. Part of the problem is getting time to exercise, so I'm building it into the things that I would do normally. For instance, I've tossed 5 kg of weight into my backpack that I carry around with me. I'm trying to get into the habit of carrying that everywhere.

I also eschew travelling in the lift. I work on the 4th floor and there are 80 stairs between the ground and my level. I take these now instead of the lift.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

So yeah, this is what I used to look like.

and I shall again. Oh yes, I shall.

Today I lost the battle

I cracked and had the breakfast I shouldn't have had, but I was exhausted, so what's a guy to do.

I have a picture of what I used to look like before I gained the weight. I may post it here. It's currently my desktop background to guilt trip me into doing more exercise. It's sort of working.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


I despise working until 5pm. That's why I wake up at 6:30am every morning. I'm in work an hour later and get paid a daily rate. This means I can leave at 3:30 and be home by 4. Depending on how much energy I have that day I either have time for breakfast or not. If I don't have breakfast then I face one of the toughest challenges of my weight loss day.

The work canteen.

They do a full cooked breakfast, more importantly they also provide rolls and it's self service. This led to a habit of having a sausage roll and a bacon roll for breakfast most mornings. It only cost £2 as well. This has led to an expansion of the waistline.

Happily they also make porridge. Porridge is 50p for a huge polystyrene cup of it, so it's healthier and cheaper but lets face it, bacon tastes so good. If you disagree you are simply wrong.

My daily battle then can consist of going into the canteen to get porridge which is horribly located beside the fried food. It's tough, especially for a dyed in the wool carnivore like myself. More often than not I am able to win this battle. Today was tough though, what can I say, I want a bacon buttie. They taste sooooo good.

Today I won the battle, tomorrow I might lose, what's important though is that I win the war.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

about the background

If I've done this correctly than the background picture should show a mountain with fog piled up on one side of it. This is a picture I took when I was out fell running 1 afternoon. This is an activity that I haven't been able to do since I tore my left knee up when I was rock climbing one afternoon.

I want to be able to Fell Run again. That's one of my goals.

What I weighed on Sunday

Right, I need to put up some pictures here

I have many problems with this weight loss thing. First of all I've never really had to so I've never kept track of it. I weigh myself using my a set of scales that I can only access once a week. I'm going to start taking a picture of the weight on them so that I can keep track of it. I'll try and post it on here so that I can follow how much, if any, I'm losing.

Monday, 7 February 2011

I hate him

My co-worker is sitting opposite me eating buttie made from Lorne sausage and normal sausage. I've had my weetabix for brekkie and an apple. He better eat that thing faster or I'm going to get one. Grr. Discipline, that's the watchword.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

This will not last

I am certain of that, this will not last. I have started this blog for only one reason. To make myself feel guilty for being fat. I got the idea from a buddy so I'm trying it as well.