Nate R.

Nate R.

Alumni
Rowing

The energy swing has definitely started coming back in my favor. This morning the workout felt good with my jump rope pace picking back up and I even felt inclined to try some of the heavier bands for the resistance exercises. I really enjoyed the rowing - maybe because I pictured myself in a little boat on a Swiss lake enjoying the mountain scenery all around. Seemed like I made it across the water to the restaurant in no time at all!


Swing low, sweet energy

Yesterday and today have definitely been low energy days, so the training message was spot on (as usual). Jumping rope was slow, hard to get through all the reps, form deteriorated sharply towards the end, etc. Feeling tired and sluggish at work and just want to crawl into bed (and the rain outside today reinforces that feeling). Looking forward to getting the upswing soon. So it was great when a colleague walked up to me and said "wow, you have really lost some weight and you are looking fit". That put a smile on my face! He's a fairly healthy guy and he started asking me all kinds of questions about what I was doing and seemed impressed by the balanced approach and the toolbox we are given to sustain a healthy life after the program. It may seem like a little thing, but I've got a spring in my step this afternoon as a result. 


Indulgent Papa....
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A great Sunday today. Woke up at 6am to get my workout done and have breakfast before jumping on the motorcycle to meet up with a buddy and spend a few hours exploring some mountain roads around Chiba (east of Tokyo Bay) before getting back home for a late lunch. Packed my fruit and egg whites, so kept the energy up during the ride and avoided the frequent temptations to eat anything else. And it was really good to see my friend (who did the PCP earlier this year) brought his own fruit snacks and has kept his weight down and fitness up since completing the program.

My son has been missing our little ice cream breaks on weekends, so I promised him that today we would go to a special chocolate shop and try some great ice cream. At the end of the afternoon we headed over to the store and ordered a special dish - it came with 3 little scoops of ice cream and a side of chocolate sauce and whipped cream. We shared the dish and both agreed it was delicious! As much as I enjoyed eating it, I have to say it shocked my body - too much sugar and the first time I've had chocolate since the PCP started. No violent reactions, but I definitely felt and feel worse for it. So a good experience to see what that kind of "treat" does to my system. We will go back to sharing fruit snacks as a more regular and healthful alternative with ice cream only for special occasions!


Jumping time

So I've been having fun the past days with the timed jumps. It is a big difference to just let your mind go and listen to music or look out the window or stare at the clock as the seconds tick down. I've been having a little competition with myself to see if I can continuously increase my jumps per minute as a way of adding some spice to the routine. Started out the timed jumps with about 118 jumps per minute and this morning managed 141. No fancy tricks yet, but feeling stronger and may get up to some double unders before too long.

Always enjoy the workouts on weekend days - less time pressure and plenty of sleep the night before. Now off to enjoy the rest of the day!


Plank-tastic

so yesterday I was cruising through the planks thinking they weren't so bad and how easy is this and what a long way I've come and then I realized I was only doing 40 seconds instead of 50.... Made up for the lost time in the last 2 sets and remembered just how hard they can be.
But at the beginning, couldn't even do 30 seconds, so making progress. It's fun to see how bit by bit we can do more and show improved strength and stamina. Whenever I get discouraged, I remember back to how wimpy I was on day 1 - still a long way to go, but what a big change already!


Half way!

OK, wow, we have reached the half way mark today. Very hard to believe we have come so far so quickly (or so it seems to me right now). I have been enjoying this challenge a lot and while not every day is a joyful walk through the park, I'm finding the journey to be interesting, enlightening, and for the most part fun.

I wanted to write down what a typical day looks like for me so I can remember:

5am: Wake up, put on sports clothes and get ready, read the training message for the day.
5.20am: Start the jump ropes and after finishing head straight into the workout
6-6.30am: Finish the workout, stretch, cool down, read the newspaper; afterwards get cleaned up for work, eat after workout snack and breakfast and head out the door about 7am.
7am-until?: Work
10am: morning snack (fruit & egg white packed by my lovely wife)
12.30pm: lunch (prepared by my lovely wife)
4.30pm: afternoon snack (once again, packed by my amazing wife)
7.30pm: dinner (at home if things go smoothly, otherwise fruit/milk/egg from a convenience store)
8.30pm: evening snack
9-9.30pm: bedtime on a good day

On those days when work runs to 11pm or later, it kind of puts a kink into those plans, but fortunately those have been only a few so far (knock on wood).

So yes, it take a lot of time and energy to do all of this and to pack the PCP into an already busy day, but I'm finding the experience to be well worth the effort. Tired and grumpy some days, yes, but feeling lighter, fitter, and stronger. Only 45 more days, let's ROCK IT!


Weekend fresh

After a rough mid-week period, things have clicked back into place. A few good nights of sleep and a few good workouts really feel cleansing. Saturday is always interesting with the new diets and new workouts plus with a bit of a lie-in and after the Friday "holiday" I always feel full of energy and ready to tackle the next stage. Today was no exception, and the weekend workouts are especially fun with an audience at home. Today my 3-year old son Tom joined in for some lunges (why? that has to be the most boring and my least favorite exercise to do) and some push-ups. He also "helped" me with the planks by jumping on my back a couple of times, which I can tell you did not help me last 50 seconds! He then built a railroad track over my legs when I was doing the side crunches - never a dull moment, but it's fun to have him pitching in and important that we have good time to bond with his little brother due to be born in less than 3 weeks from now.

I used a timer on the iPad to keep track of the jump rope sets (great big numbers I can read from all the way across the room, even without my contacts in) and Tom took care of resetting it for each new set. I find the timed jumping is very different from the counts. I was well pleased with myself for getting through the 1500 on Friday in the same 11 min 30 sec it took to do 1400 at the beginning of the week, so I'll have to come up with a new set of challenges for the timed sets - any ideas to share?

Stay strong everyone - I can't believe we are just about half way through the program. It's exciting to see that we've come such a long way already, let's see where we can take this!


Curse of the PCP (part 2)

Well, another week and another major blow up at work - unbelievable, and I really think the PCP spirits are after me! So a few nights of very little sleep, but I've been able to stick with the workouts. Last night I didn't get home until midnight and missed my dinner milk and veggie snack but otherwise I've been sticking to the diet plan without any trouble. I actually think the workouts and improving fitness levels have helped me to handle the long and stressful work conditions better than I could have before - there is a silver lining!

And the jump rope is definitely getting better slowly but surely - some days it feels more like two steps forward, one step back, but I'm getting very close to being able to finish a set of 300 without tripping - feels great!


Keeping the momentum
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Had a good weekend - enjoying the new workouts with their daily focus on different muscle groups. Also liking some of the new exercises - much prefer pistol squats to lunges! It's nice to be mixing exercises up to keep it fresh, but sometimes it is a little overwhelming and I've got to remember how to do a new one.

Doing my early morning jump ropes and my son (who only wanted to wear half of his pajamas...) joined in with his new jump rope. Another PCP convert!


Autumn days
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Had a good, long sleep last night and woke up ready to tackle the workout. Jumps went well with my son cheering me on. Still tripping too much but getting better and better. Managed the 1400 in 11:29 of actual skipping time, so I was pretty happy about that (my jump rope has a timer and counter on it, making it too easy to keep track of these things).

Pull-ups remain my nemesis, but between inverted ones and inclined ones, managed to work those back muscles. The bicycle was a challenge - at first I was thinking "this seems far too easy" but half way through the second set and the entire third set the muscles were burning! Didn't make a perfect set of planks again but did my best and got through 2 good ones and 2 messy ones. My wife laughed as she watched my whole body shake trying to keep the position before collapsing in a sweaty heap - but she's 8 months pregnant, so she can do as she likes and I won't complain! :-)

Before lunch I decided to try out the 8 minute abs for the first time. That was actually more fun than I expected and the video was a good laugh. As time permits that's definitely a workout I want to mix into the daily routine.

Autumn was in the air here today. My son and I picked up some mini pumpkins at the supermarket and carved out little jack o' lanterns. We both had fun!


Good timing

I'm sure there is no accident in the training messages timing - they have been spot on for me and today's was no exception. Even though it's "holiday" Friday with just skips and I got nearly 9 (!) hours of sleep last night, I found it really hard to get out of bed this morning for the workout. My body is resisting, but my mind and my motivation to get through the PCP will prevail. Looking forward to a sunny weekend ahead - the first for me to stay in Tokyo since the PCP started.


Got a great 8 hour sleep last night and have to say it made a big difference. The past few weeks have been tough to always get a full 8 hours, but the workout today felt so much better as a result. Flew through the jump ropes feeling strong. I'm still splitting them into sets of 5 with about 20 seconds in between, but today despite still tripping sometime, I managed to whirl through them in less than 12 minutes (of jump time). What a long way from the first days! Still far from perfect but I'm enjoying the challenge.

The rest of the day went smoothly, too. The katana was tough after the tricep dips, but managed, barely, to get through the full allotment. 4x25 leg ups was really hard and some sets got messy, but also managed to finish. The first two planks were OK but the last one was quite a struggle. Overall, though, a really good start to the day. 

Measured my body fat to see it down 2 percentage points since we started. Very happy about that and looking forward to getting it a lot lower. Onwards!


Curse of the PCP?

For the past 3 weeks there has been something each week that blew up at work, requiring late hours and throwing eating and sleeping into havoc - and this is normally a very quiet time of year. I can only blame it on the PCP spirits trying to test my resolve - but I will not waver! It has made things tougher, but I've stayed with the program (other than not getting enough sleep some nights....)

Despite working too much and not getting enough sleep, I'm finding it easy to wake up in the morning and get the workouts done. Some days easier than others, but I often find myself waking up a little before my alarm goes off - my body is ready to go! The sit-up / plank combinations kill me, but yesterday I managed the full leg-up sets followed by the full planks. It felt so good to make it all the way through - progress is being made, slowly but surely. Very happy to see that.

Also enjoying a great breakfast my wife came up with: whole wheat toast with avocado and tomato (and a bit of lemon or lime juice and black pepper some days) with a hard boiled egg on the side. Quick to prepare, easy and quick to eat, and very tasty. Onwards!


Take it to a new level

Excited to see the new diet and new level of workouts. After a brutal week at work ( I stayed PCP compliant, though!) it was great to get a solid 9 hours of sleep. Woke to a cool, sunny day and hit the workout right away. Feels good to start the weekend off with a flurry of exercise. Man, the new workouts are a step up, though. Jumps going better but still not perfect. Floor jumps burn like crazy but much prefer them to boring lunges. The sit ups are hard in these high numbers and trying to do planks right afterwards was more than a challenge. Did as much and as long as I could but failed before doing a full 4 sets of 30 seconds. But it is good to have new targets and new goals to set.

Saw my in-laws last night and they were "wow, you look younger and healthier and skinnier". And this after only 4 weeks - onwards!


Getting better

Enjoyed the 3-day weekend in Japan with a short trip up to the mountains and then went to a parents' day at my son's school on Monday. I think one of those little rascals shared a bug with me as I've been feeling achy and under the weather since last night, but I have been keeping strictly to the diet and so far getting the workouts done, too. Need to get home and crash early tonight, though...

Really felt the ramp up in intensity on Sunday, but having fun with the new exercises. Well, fun, might be a generous word. Planks? Seriously? I look forward to the day when those are less painful!

And what a treat today to see we are allowed an indulgence! I wasn't expecting one so soon. I think I might have more fun thinking about it and planning it than actually consuming it, but I will certainly try.  

The jumps are going much, much better. Still far from perfect, but I'm starting to get into the, err, swing of things.  Actually made it through one "set" of 230 this morning with only one stumble. The rest involved varying degrees of tripping, but my best effort yet!


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