Posted in Bicycling

My First Ride

So, today I had my first bike ride (bicycle that is) in a very long time. The last time I did any real distance was in 2010. I was up to 24 miles every other day, and that was a month or two after my back surgery. Today’s ride was only 3.27 miles in like 15 minutes, and, I am so out of shape. This is especially true since I haven’t been to the gym since 2014.

I knew my first ride would be pretty taxing, and probably the next 10 rides, until I get used to working again. And it was mostly my legs. The whole cardio thing was not too troublesom. I am pleased to report there were no chest pains or shortness of breath, which I always seem to expect, but it has never happened. So I’m looking forward to doing it again. The bike I bought is a very good ride (Specialized Cross Trail). I think I will need to get some padding for my ass though.

There is almost nowhere to ride where I live. There are no provisions on the road for bicycles; very narrow to no shoulders. I may have to search out some trails or bike routes and carry the bike on the car to get there. I don’t even think I could safely navigate to work. Believe it or not I’m almost certain I would be seriously injured or worse if I tried.

Anyway, it was good to bike again, and cool to be on a new bike, and I think I want to do it some more.

Posted in Diet, Fitness

How Men Over 40 Can Get Abs

get abs after 40I finally got around to checking out a YouTube video, How Men Over 40 Can Get Six Pack Abs. You have probably seen this channel on YouTube if you follow fitness at all. I thought it would be.. well, I don’t know what I expected. However, I found it extremely informative and it seemed to make a lot of sense.

The video talks about how men’s testosterone production reaches its peak in our 20’s. Then each subsequent year production decreases 1-2%. The video also tells how visceral fat, the fat in the belly area, is an indicator of low testosterone, and, also decreases testosterone. The video also points out how you can’t get rid of belly fat (visceral) unless you are able to raise your testosterone levels. It is a vicious circle!

Mark McIlyar, the speaker, and producer of the video, also points out that there are exercises that men over 40 should not be doing because it actually decreases testosterone production. High-intensity training such as aerobics, group fitness courses, cardio machines, apparently can leave testosterone levels depressed up to 24 – 48 hours after the exercise is done (Mark M.).

The problem with these type of exercises Mark says is that there is not enough muscle resistance to activate muscles that stimulate hormone (testosterone) production (Mark M.).

Exercises that men over 40 should engage in are those which cause an anaerobic response from the body. Exercises such as bench press and squats engage large groups of muscles at the same time. This is called compound movements. These exercises significantly boost hormone production thus raising the testosterone levels in the blood.

Mark says that once men can get their testosterone levels up naturally, burning visceral fat becomes less of a problem. It’s a matter of doing the right kinds of exercises.

And of course, food is also a part of the process. I would like to see how his exercise program will work paired with the diet I am currently using, the Ketogenic diet. It is similar to the diet he describes in the video, but I think the keto-diet may work well with his system. By the way, it is set at a really great price, under $100.

Mark gives a tremendous amount of information in this YouTube video. It was enough info that you could conceivably begin your own program based on the info that he gave. However, like he said in the video it would take you significantly longer to figure things out. It took Mark a year. I’d rather follow a system that someone has already figured out.

So far this year I have learned more about fitness and dieting than I did in my 20 years of military service.

If you are an older man I think you should check out this video on YouTube. There is a lot of great information there. And Mark McIlyar explains it a lot better than I did in this short post.

Posted in Diet

Getting Back on Track

As I stated in my last post, I got off track celebrating my daughter’s softball team’s victory. I continue to be derailed through the weekend, but was back on track Monday. It cost me 5 pounds gained, as of Sunday.

This morning my weight was also back on schedule. I’ve lost the 5 five pounds I gained last week. I guess it helped that I did not stop exercising last week. I guess that’s why diet AND exercise is better than just one or the other. Two summers ago I was exercising without the proper diet. I tried this based on my ability to simply exercise to maintain a healthy weight while in my 20’s and early 30’s.

It didn’t work out as I’d hoped. I now believe that what you put into your body has a great deal to do with how well your body will function during workouts. Since beginning this diet, as I have mentioned before, I have noticed a difference in the I feel during exercise; plenty of energy, endurance, and better cardio health (at least thats the way if feels). My heart rate during exercise continues to improve.

I haven’t noticed any visible changes, so I have not taken anymore pictures. I seem to have reached a plateau at 21 pounds. I hope to break through soon. I don’t foresee any problems getting through this current barrier.

Exercise today

Outdoor Walk
45:00 minutes
189 CAL burned
2.18 miles
Avg Pace 20’48” MI
Avg Heart Rate 111 BPM

Posted in pain, physical therapy

Dealing With My Pain Issues

I went to the gym today. I did things I probably should not have been doing. I did bench press and military press, and a few other things. I couldn’t resist. I don’t want all this work I’ve done since summer to go to waste. I have worked hard and I don’t want to quit. After doing a light workout with the weights I did my usual 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical machine.

I am in physical therapy for my shoulder pain. The pain had steadily increased since the summer. Finally it got to the point I had to see a doctor about it. Of course they start with x-rays, physical therapy, and if that doesn’t work, maybe shot of something that will relieve the pain. Finally, if none of that works, perhaps an MRI, then surgery to repair whatever is causing the pain.

While in the navy I don’t remember ever having a shoulder pain. It was always my back. And I don’t remember ever hurting my shoulders. They just started to hurt one day, before I ever went to the gym, and continued to get worse.

My hope is that they can be strengthened through PT, and no surgery will be required. I was really on a roll getting in shape. I would like to see it through to completion.

Posted in Fitness

No Energy Problems Today

Today I had a great chest workout. I didn’t have much shoulder pain after warming up. I was able to  press 70 pounds on dumbbell bench press, my heaviest weight yet. I followed that with incline bench press, machine flies, straight arm dumbbell pullover, and decline chest press. And I had plenty of gas in the tank for my 45 minute cardio workout.

I think yesterday I had just used everything I had in my leg workout. It was quite a heavy workout. There simply wasn’t anything left. Today I had mad energy. My cardio was a breeze. However, my legs are really, really sore.

I was looking at myself in the mirror and overall I am much smaller. My belly and butt are shrinking. I’m starting to get some definition in my quads. There is less fat on the legs. I am very happy with what is happening.