Saturday, November 13, 2010

Opening salvo

Hey everyone, welcome and thanks for checking this thing out.  Let me explain what I'm doing here.  I guess it starts in the mid to late 1990s when I was a much younger, thinner and stronger Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps.  I had gotten into lifting and managed to put on a lot of weight (mostly, but not all) muscle and, with the help of my good buddy Jay, also managed to get pretty strong.  I kept at it when I got out and went to college in Chapel Hill.

But after graduating in 2001, I went on to law school, got married to my beautiful wife Julianne, and generally got busy doing things other than lifting.  I got back into it for a little while during law school but I broke my ankle playing basketball and that was all she wrote (it didn't take a whole lot to stop me from going to the gym).  So from about 2003 until January 1, 2010, I basically didn't exercise with any consistency and when I happened to exercise it wasn't very serious.

But while my exercise habits changed, my eating habits either didn't change or got worse.  You can all see where this is going.

Let's get back to the recent past.  December 31, 2009 rolls around and I find myself way, way, way out of shape and much heavier than I had ever been.  I had managed to lose a little weight at the end of 2009 thanks to a bout of the swine flu and trying to eat a little better for a few months.  But I'm weak as a kitten (at least relative to where I used to be) and I have a wonderful wife and two beautiful little girls that I want to be around for as they grow up.  Not to mention, I really want to be able to scare the *&@% out of little boys when they start coming around the girls down the road.  Fat old dad just wasn't the profile for success.

I made a New Year's resolution with the wife to get back in shape and lose weight.  It started out very, very slowly since I couldn't lift anywhere near the levels I remembered from back in the day.  We had moved into a new house in October of 2009 and finally had the space in our garage to set up a basic but respectable gym.  Squat cage, benches, treadmill, couple hundred pounds of weights.

I started trying to eat better and cutting out certain things that were really bad for me.  I haven't had a cheeseburger from a fast food restaurant in 2010.  In the interest of full disclosure (and because my wife points it out all the time), I haven't necessarily stopped eating hamburgers and I certainly don't eat a perfect diet.  But I cut out the bacon doubles (or sometimes triples) from Wendy's, BK, McD's, etc.  Anybody that knows me understands how difficult it has been to remove that particular staple from my diet.  I've cut back on fried stuff, been eating more salads and lean proteins, etc.  Sodas are almost exclusively out of my diet.  I drink water and skim milk mainly and take a daily multi-vitamin and amino acid supplements.

With eating better and easing back into exercise I managed to gain some strength and lose some weight.  Over the last 11 months we've added a Precor elliptical to the gym, a nice Powertec workbench,  basic dumbbell set (10-70s), more free weights, a 1 1/2 inch rope and a weight sled to the equipment.  But I lack the intensity of my youth and I needed to set goals for myself.

That's where the blog comes in.  I've decided to aim for competing in a local powerlifting meet in December 2011.  That gives me a little over a year to accomplish two goals that some may think are mutually exclusive.  I need to lose weight (a lot, see below) to try and get to the 220 weight class and I need to add weight to all of my lifts.  I've decided to go public with the journey in hopes that it will encourage me to work harder because I won't want to make a fool out of myself in front of the 3 people that will likely end up following my blog (Hi Juls, Mom and Grandma!) and maybe it might encourage somebody else to try something productive.  Between work, taking care of two amazing little girls, spending time with my incredible wife, great friends and family, I expect that it will be a bit of a challenge.

My plan is track my progress via the blog, keeping everyone filled in on what I'm doing in terms of lifting and dieting and letting you know what's going well and what's not.  I'm going to try and keep track of my workouts on the blog and then give a monthly assessment of my body weight and my maxes in the three main lifts:  bench press, deadlift and squat.  Those are the competition lifts but I'll probably track military press, power clean and incline bench as well.

So let's get down to business.  Here's where I am at age 35 and where I want to be in December 2011.

Current weight:  253.  Goal:  220.  That's going be a tough row to hoe.
Current bench press max:  345.  Goal:  405.
Current squat max:  340.  Goal:  405.
Current deadlift max:  445:  Goal:  500.
Current military press max:  250.  Goal:  305.
Current incline bench max:  305.  Goal:  365.
Current power clean max:  205.  Goal:  285.

Mostly arbitrary goals but I think that if I can get to these then I can go compete in December and not make a fool out of myself.  Won't win, but I won't get laughed out of the gym.

Thanks for reading and I'd be happy for you to tag along for the ride.  I can always use encouragement from friends and family and if you happen to have any helpful suggestions then those are appreciated too.


1 comment:

  1. We expect shorter posts from now on riddled with typos, as we expect you to be posting from the elliptical. Good luck. If you end up with extra cheeseburgers call me :-)