So, I mentioned previously that I'm getting back into shape.
I up and decided that 'pear' or 'round' is not a shape I am content with. Part of my New Year's Resolution is to get back on my bike and to lose weight. A lot. Preferably 50#.
Last Friday, I signed up for SEAL PT in Memorial Park in Houston. I'm not in the real SEAL PT course, but in the Bodycamp course. Just a small step down from the SEAL PT group. They run more. I only run when chased.
This is not a bunch of mambly-pambly people pretending to go through some motions. We pay for the privilege to have some former SF guys PT us into shape. You have to be dedicated to getting in shape and exercising. Otherwise, you will FAIL yourself and this course (I think it helps that there's no refund if you quit).
I signed up for three months of Bodycamp and will complete my first full week on Friday morning at O-dark-thirty. Here's the thing, I don't mind getting up at 5a.m. to workout at the park. I really believed I'd be dreading it by Wednesday when everyone I bragged to told me I'd be most sore. So what if I couldn't scratch my nose for three days?
What has kept me away from a formal training program for so long is that I don't do well as a self-motivator. Sure, I can ride a bike all day long and not worry, but I don't count that as 'exercise.' The word 'exercise' brings to my mind a weight room or gym with people climbing imaginary stairs and running in place. Don't even bother with free weights. I feel outclassed by guys in that section who should belong on Venice Beach, or in a prison weight yard, they are so huge. There's no discipline, no motivation in it for me to workout at a Bally's or 24hour Fitness. Left to my own devices, I'll half-ass a workout and call it a day.
SEAL PT is different. These instructors aren't the 'in-your-face' Drill Instructor type. They don't yell and browbeat you to death. They are all former operators from the various SF disciplines. My instructor today was former Navy CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue). Others are from the SEAL community, and still others are former Rangers and Army SF. Very quiet and reserved these men are. They keep the tempo of the workout high. We barely have time to stop and catch a breath before moving on to the next 'evolution' or exercise. They don't yell or scream (I thought they would, and was expecting that kind of motivation), but find little ways to encourage us to do more than our minds and bodies want to do. They are the gentle hand that pushes us to the finish line.
It is not in what they say, but how they act. True to form, they lead from the front. We follow. If one of us falls out on a run, they are right there to get us back on pace. Actually, it's whenever I fall out on a run. They are great motivators by their actions alone. In that spirit, everyone else in the group helps to encourage everyone else.
Example: Today's workout was run based. We were at the rugby field in pitch black conditions. Instructors had us doing crunches and some squats before running and sprints. They partnered us up with the regular PT class to do a 50yd sprint to bleachers on the other side of the rugby pitch. There we'd do 20 flutter kicks, or 20 pushups, or pull-ups off the back of the stands, so on and so forth. The exercise changed every time we sprinted. Teammates encouraged us to push harder when we'd get to the bleachers. While waiting to sprint and exercise, they had us doing squats. Like I said, the instructors keep the tempo high. No rest for the wicked and all that.
We teamed up again (8 on 8) to do 75yd sprints. Individuals would take a chem-lite and run to the soccer goal, throw the chem-lite over and pick it up to sprint back. Our team was winning through the halfway point. I don't know where it came from (seeing as I only run when chased, and haven't run for health in over 6 years), but I busted ass and brought our side back to win by a wide margin. Oh, did I mention that while waiting our turn we held our arms out and did windmills? Mentally, that presented a challenge because I thought I'd be too tired from that alone to sprint. Nope, just another obstacle to overcome. Another challenge met and beaten.
This is probably the best program I've been in so far. Sure, my first three days sucked hard. In that time, though, my guns have gone from .177cal to .22lr....maaaayyybeeeee .22mag. My energy level is sky high, too. Body is sore, but that is the good feeling you get from a successful workout. Swede notices a change in my body, too. It is evident. I like the feeling. Nothing like a good endorphin high to get you going for the day. On top of that, I feel better mentally when I work out. I'm not in the best of shape yet, but am getting there faster now. The last exercise phase had us running a lap around the perimeter of two beach volleyball courts and doing an exercise set on the bleachers. All in the sand. I was last, but never quit. I was slow, but persevered. I was pushing my body even when it was telling my mind it wanted to quit. I was glad to see everyone there waiting for me as I belted out the last two reverse incline pushups. That was the toughest, but I was determined to get them done. HOOYAH!
FYI - My primary goal for this program is to be strong enough to pass various physical agility tests from the police departments I am applying to. It is working. The second part is obviously to drop weight. Right now, I couldn't make it into one department because my height/weight ratio is waaaay off. According to them, I should be at about 215-220#. 234# on the high end. I'm eating better. No more hamburgers or fast food. Doing the Jared plan at Subway for lunch. That's about as fast food as I get. Only one soda a day, too. Take my multi-vitamin and a fat burner pill before working out, too.
My current weight is 270#. That's up from 265 when I started on Monday AM. It's to be expected at first. Muscle is replacing fat, and fat is slowly sloughing off. I'm hoping the Hydroxycut will help speed metabolism and lose that fat a bit quicker. I'll make it my plan to give weekly updates on how things are going. I may ask AD for that kewl little weight loss side bar he has.