Advertising
Advertising

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1

The Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge: Week 1


    Well, we’ve finshed up the first week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge and there is one thing that both CM and I have in common as of right now: We are both very sore people.

    Let’s get into our own experiences with this challenge so far, shall we?

    Advertising

    Mike’s Take

    I’m certainly glad we took on the Rookie level of the NerdFitness Rebel Fitness Guide because for me that was a challenge from the get-go. I haven’t done any real exercise in many months (almost a year) and the 2 routines that are part of the guide are tough. One of the things I’ve been concerned about is proper form, as I don’t want to injure myself and/or not get the true benefits of each exercise.

    I’m using resistance bands for my workouts, as I’ll be traveling several times during the course of this challenge. So I’ve had to watch videos on how to adapt certain exercises to be performed with resitstance bands rather than free weights. As a result, my workouts are taking longer to do than I’d initially thought – but once I’m in the groove I am pushing through. And that’s a good thing.

    The running hasn’t been as challenging, as I’ve only been away from that for a few months. Still, the first half of each Run 5K app routine seems way longer than it should. Luckily i’ve got my own custom iTunes playlist to keep me company, along with a solid set of earbuds that manage to stay in my ears throughout (Note: If you’re in the market for some new earbuds, Lifehack Deals is currently offering BodyGuardz Moxy Earbuds for 50% off). Next week the stakes get a little higher as the time spent running during the routine will increase. I expect that’s when I’ll start to really feel the burn.

    Advertising

    Speaking of feeling, did I mention that I’m very sore?

    I’ve not altered my diet too much, but am definitely noticing that I really can’t eat as much pasta as I have. Same goes with breads in general. Maybe it’s time I start to look at going Paleo…

    As for my weight, it has actually gone up by 1.2 lbs since I started. Go figure.

    Advertising

    So, where am I at after the first week? My starting weight and measurements are in parentheses below, preceded by my current ones in this shortened week of the Lifehack Editors’ Fitness Challenge

    Tale of the Tape: Mike Vardy

    • Weight: 178.6 lbs (177.4)
    • Waist: 36 inches (35.75)
    • Hips: 41.75 inches (41.75)
    • Biceps (flexed): 12.5 inches (12.5)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 18.5 inches (21)
    • Total inches: 108.75 inches (111)

    CM’s Take

    I have to admit; I sorted of cheated a little on this fitness challenge as I started “working out the kinks” for the past couple of weeks. Because of that a lot of my soreness was worked out initially. To compesate for that I ended up doing higher amounts of reps this week in the Rookie level of NerdFitness. That made it challenging and kept me pretty sore. I realized after today’s NerdFitness workout that I need to add some weight to my squats and step ups at the beginning of next week. I will also add 5 pounds to all of my shoulder presses and rows.

    As for the running portion of our challenge, I feel like it’s the perfect balance of walking and running. The first half or so of the workout is pretty easy, but once I get above 20 minutes, I really start to feel the burn in my legs and the workout becomes hard.

    Advertising

    My diet has been somewhat paleo for almost a year now. I haven’t touched any bread since Fall 2011. The biggest change in my diet this week was to cut out processed sugars completely as well as make sure to drink around 8 to 10 cups of water a day. I haven’t necessarily had too much trouble with process sugars since I’ve gone paleo, but I made sure to cut them all out, at least initially to really cut the fat.

    I have to say I am pretty happy with my first 5 days of results; I’ve lost weight and lost inches where it counts and am highly motivated to continue with the challenge. Also, as an indirect result of working out, I’ve found that my energy levels during the day are much more balanced.

    Tale of the Tape: CM Smith

    • Weight: 203.4 lbs (208)
    • Waist: 42 inches (43.5)
    • Hips: 43 inches (43)
    • Biceps (flexed): 14.25 inches (14)
    • Legs (mid-thigh): 23.5 inches (23.25)
    • Total inches: 122. inches (124)

    (Photo credit: Flexing via Shutterstock)

    More by this author

    Mike Vardy

    A productivity specialist who shows you how to define your day, funnel your focus, and make every moment matter.

    What Everyone Is Wrong About Achieving Inbox Zero 35 Quick and Simple Tips for Better Productivity 4 Simple Steps to Brain Dump for a Smarter Brain Get What Matters Done by Scheduling Time Blocks Why Is Productivity Important? 10 Reasons to Become More Productive

    Trending in Lifestyle

    1 The Effects of Stress on Your Body And Mind (You Never Knew) 2 7 Signs You’re Burnt out (And How to Bounce Back) 3 How to Cope with COVID Anxiety And Stress 4 7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks 5 How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person

    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