Advertising
Advertising

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 2

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 2

Lifehack Editor's Fitness Challenge Week 2

    We are a couple of days late on our 2nd week results for the infamous Lifehack Editor’s Fitness Challenge, but it has been anything but a normal week (especially for Mr. Vardy). From traveling like a mad man to back cramps due to improper form, here is the low down on how the Lifehack Editor’s 2nd week of the fitness challenge held up.

    Mike’s Take

    I’ve dropped the ball over the past week. Turns out that traveling and exercise isn’t as easy to do in tandem as I’ve been led to believe. Mind you, I think that those beliefs have overshadowed whatever willpower and discipline I had going into the last week or so.

    Advertising

    So, despite bringing along exercise gear on my travels, I didn’t complete any of the NerdFitness workouts. Nor did I proceed into the second week of Run 2 5K. That’s not to say I didn’t do any sort of exercise while in New York City. I did a lot of walking.

    And I mean a lot of walking.

    I walked for over 10 hours last week throughout Manhattan. That caused me to burn over 2600 calories alone. So i wasn’t all bad.

    Advertising

    The eating part…a bit of a different story.

    I ate less pasta, but still ate out a lot. And my lack of anaerobic exercise and less-than-stellar eating habits over the week led to the following weight and measurement results (initial results are in parentheses):

    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178.8 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 36.1 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 40 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.6 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 19.8 inches (21)
    • Total inches: inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I feel like I made some great process this week. I increased my workouts considerably, doubling my weight on my deadlifts, DB presses and DB rows. This was the exact right amount of weight because it was easy to work at first, but at the end of each set I started to feel the burn. I also increased my reps on pushups (moving from inclined pushups on the stairs (8) to knee pushups (15) ), squats, hips raises, pretty much everything. I’m loving NerdFitness so far and can’t wait to dig in even harder this week.

    Advertising

    One thing that caught me off guard though (and something that Mike was very adamant about last week) was not paying attention to proper form. I got a severe cramp in my back on Sunday afternoon when I wasn’t keeping my back straight for deadlifts. So, word to the wise; make sure to keep your form when working out.

    The running has been difficult this past week. I found that increasing my running from 45 seconds at a time to 90 seconds proved to be difficult. I also cramped up during running. After talking to some people that have completed marathons and the like, all of them said I was probably dehydrated. So, I made sure to keep up with my water intake during the day, and boom, cramps are gone. I may redo week 2 of the Couch to 5k to not make Mr. Vardy feel so alone (actually, so I can complete the workout, but don’t tell him that).

    My diet has been awesome. I’m eating a “modified” paleo diet and have done an awesome job of keeping out the processed sweets which have been my downfall in the past. I had a day where I had some fries, but nothing terrible. I feel like when I concentrate on working out that my diet just “falls into place”.

    Advertising

    Here are my results for the past week (initial results are in parentheses):

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 202.6 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 42.1 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 42.5 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 24 inches (23.5)
    • Total inches: 122.85 inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Dumbbell on Red via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

    5 Project Management Tools to Get Your Team on Track To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks 2 How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person 3 How to Be Happy in Life? 25 Ways to Make Your Life Happier 4 4 Ways to Deal With Big Life Changes in a Positive Way 5 7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

    Advertising

    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

    Advertising

    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

    Advertising

    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

      Advertising

      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next