Monday, April 23, 2012

A SUPER New Year

The hardest part of any beginning fitness program is sticking with it.  Seriously, most of us start out great for a week or two, maybe three being dedicated and on fire.  We have the eye of the tiger and give a 110%.  We sweat, we feel the burn, and we are workout animals hear us ROAR!   Then . . . our busy schedules and sore muscles cause us to miss workout sessions and before you know it you've quit.

Knowing that this could happen, I decided to create monthly themed workouts that would hopefully keep me motivated to go do the workouts.  I put together three monthly themes:  Superhero, Covert Commando, and Toga.

Each themed month has a variety of different workouts that I rotate through alternating between lighter weight/ higher repetition routines and heavier weight/ lower rep routines.  My goal is not to get all pumped up like Aahhnold, but I do want to develop some muscle mass as muscle mass does aid the body in burning more fat which IS the goal.

I kicked off the year with my Superhero workouts cause nothing says strong fit body like a superhero physique.  The monthly workouts that I used were Superman, Capt. America, The Hulk, and Thor.  These workouts were a mix of heavy and light to medium strength training routines.

Typically I do three sets and unless its a heavy weight workout, I'm doing it circuit style.  This means that I kick off the workout with 5 minutes of cardio then go right into my first circuit of one set of each exercise in the routine back to back with as little rest as possible.  That first circuit is then followed by another 5 minute cardio blast so I my routine is:   Cardio for 5 min - 1st Circuit - Cardio for 5 min - 2nd Circuit - Cardio for 5 min - 3rd Circuit - Cardio for 5 minutes.   For me, personally, this style of exercising allows me to really focus and get intense for a solid 40 to 60 minutes and it keeps my heart rate up and the sweat dripping down.  On days that I do heavy workouts, I do a shorter warm-up cardio (about 3 mins) then I do the weight routine followed by 15 to 20 mins of cardio.

The first month doing the Superhero workouts I felt horrible, my old butt was dragging,  and I seriously considered quitting.  However, two things kept me showing up at the gym each week - convenience of going to the gym (I use The Wellness Fitness Center at MSUM) and just knowing if I could get through that first month it WOULD get easier and results would show.

Next time I'll blog more on month TWO with the Covert Commando themed workouts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Miller Kids

from l to r:  Alex, Kathryn, Nate, Jamie

I can hardly call them 'kids' any more.  They are definitely young men and women either out of the nest or just getting ready to fly!

Alex (my baby!) is 16 and about to finish his sophomore year at Moorhead High School.  He's a computer whiz and more recently fascinated by biology and specifically genetics.  He makes me think, "wow!" at least once a day.  We've all been enjoying his cat - "Gilbert," "Simba," or "get-off-there-stupid-kitty!" - since he came home from the shelter as a surprise for Alex's 16th birthday.  Alex & I have been thinking about what life will be like this summer with Jamie leaves and then next fall when Nate takes off.  WOW.

Kathryn (my big girl) is 22.  I can't even believe it.  She's renting a little house she loves in a neighborhood she loves a little less.  She works A LOT as a server at Redford's Steakhouse in Fargo.  Having Kathryn visit is always a treat -- we can't believe she lives right across town because we just don't get to see her enough!

Nate is 18 and just moments away from graduating from Moorhead High School.  He's had senioritis for about a year now and is SO excited to move on to the next phase of young adult independence.  He is the tallest of our family at just 6 feet even.  He's planning to go to school at NDSU next year, jumping right into the architecture program there.  

Jamie at PHCA, front row 2nd from L
Jamie is 20 and still the life of our party.  It has been fun to have her at home this fall and winter.  She's taking classes at MSUM and will be moving to campus in the Fall.  She will be back at Pine Haven for the 3rd summer in a row.  She loves it there!  In this staff pic, Jamie is right next to her cousin, Katie Cachiaras.  They are sometimes mistaken one for the other to the delight of both.

We're all well aware that some part of our life together is coming to a close and another part is about to begin.  So I just try to hang onto these precious moments together!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


           Back in the very beginning of January of this year we got a really cool digital scale that calculates a person's weight, body fat percentage, and water weight percentage and it confirmed what I already knew. . . that during the holidays I overindulged, under-exercised, and I was dancing dangerously close to being 200 plus pounds.  I thought, "Seriously??  Two HUNDRED pounds?? Nuh-uhh!"  
           So then on January 6th I had an epiphany - It's time to embark on 2012 GMOBBIS (Get My Old Butt Back In Shape) Challenge. Being 50, I've decided that I really need to make some serious changes to my fitness level and nutrition.  So after three and a half months I have started this blog, at the constant encouragement of my wonderful wife, Lori, to chronicle my road back from the edge.  
            Most fitness folks will tell you that to really maximize and benefit from an exercise regimen that you need to have a goal.  My goal is to lose the spare tire that seemed to inflate overnight and Get My Old Butt Back In Shape! (Cue Survivor's, "Eye of the Tiger").  What is making this process even MORE challenging is that at 50 my body is fighting me tooth and nail in losing any weight so I have my work cut out for me.  Sigh.                    
            Two key elements to this fitness challenge has been my "themed" workouts and better nutrition.  The hardest part of continuing an exercise program is fighting boredom and your body adapting to the same routine so you don't experience continual muscle growth or weight loss.  Plateauing is the enemy, my friends, that most of us battle against and it can come through both exercise and nutrition.
             I decided for my workouts that I would create a variety of strength training/ cardio routines that would keep my workouts fresh and motivating throughout the process.  In order to do that, I put together themed workout months with a series of six workouts that I would rotate each week.  I read a TON of fitness/ exercise information both in print and online, check out youtube videos of various workout routines, and even watch The Biggest Loser for workout ideas.  Because of all this research, all my strength and cardio ideas and workouts have been either inspired by or borrowed ( ripped off) directly from other sources.  Hey, why reinvent the wheel, right?   That being said, I have taken all this information and designed my own personal workouts that motivate me and keep my in the gym doing my workouts.
               In future blogs, I will share more about the monthly themed strength workouts, cardio sessions, workout music, training ideas, nutrition, etc. that are helping me on my GMOBBIS Challenge 2012.  Remember, I'm no personal trainer or expert by ANY stretch of the imagination.  I'm just a guy trying to get in better shape and enjoy life to the fullest.  Oh, and any comments, questions, or especially fitness ideas that any reader has to offer would be greatly appreciated.  Would love to share this process with those interested that also are struggling to lose weight and get in shape this year.