A progress report

Restart & progress since February 18. I started up again on getting exercise again just two & a half weeks ago, on Monday, February 18, doing about 30 minutes dancing with my iPod each morning before I went to work.

Incredible how even that little bitty bit improved things. I felt more energy throughout the day — even though I had to get up earlier in the morning to do it. I even lost some weight: 1 pound by that Friday (Feb. 22) &, incredibly, another 3 lbs. by two days after that. A lot of that was water weight, I’m thinking — because I’d been having ongoing problems with edema, & all of a sudden it was gone: I could see the veins in my feet again! A sign that my circulation is improving as a result of exercise — I had a similar experience in 2006. So it was a very good kind of water weight loss, that.

Last week (March 4) I kicked things up a notch or two by hopping back on my erg to do some daily rowing. It helps to have a challenge — in this case, Concept 2’s March Madness challenge to see how many days in the month of March I can row 5000 meters or more.

On top of that, I’ve at long last started on Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training program, starting with his 14-week Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workouts. This involves three 45-minute workouts per week combining high-weight/low-rep strength training with interval training — in my case, done on my rower. Because I’m still on the lower end of fitness, I’ve chosen to start with the “introductory” workouts even in advance of the beginner level, so my program will be a couple of weeks longer. Last week (Tuesday March 4 and Thursday March 6) I did only the warmup exercises plus the “beginner intervals”: this amounted to

  • 2 circuits of prisoner squats (10 reps per circuit), kneeling pushups (10 reps), and split squats (10 reps)
  • intervals on the erg. In both cases, I began by rowing a 5-minute warmup & rowed another 5 minutes of cooldown after the intervals themselves (usually about 830-840 meters per 5 mins.) The intervals on Tuesday were 4×1:00/2:00r, which got me 904 meters at high intensity & 1278 meters “resting.” On Thursday, the routine I followed was 3×2:00/2:00r, which got me 1277m + 947m rest.

This amount of exercise, in combination with tightening up my nutrition (i.e., excluding all cheats) has me now supposedly 8 pounds down from when I started three weeks ago, according to my not-completely-accurate-but-internally-consistent scale (down to 192 from 200). (For those of you who think in kilograms, that’s a 3.6 kilo loss — 87.1 kilos down from 90.7.)

Today I did my first full Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workout: Workout A of the Introductory Level, for anyone familiar with that program. That means the warmup bodyweight exercise, plus four supersets mostly of bodyweight, plus beginner intervals on the erg (this time 3×1:00/2:00r), with warmup before & cooldown after, a total of 3356m for the entire erg workout. (Earlier in the day I had done a lighter rowing workout totaling 2042m so I could reach my daily “March Madness Challenge” distance of 5000m. I also danced for 15 minutes just cuz it’s fun).

So, I have now officially begun Turbulence Training, which is right now the most important of the cardio & strength training legs of my overall fat-burning program.

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