want to continue to lose weight! Decisions, decisions.
Anyway, summer is alway the strange conundrum for me. It was pretty easy to work out during my first year with Parsons Training, merely because I was only taking long walks at night and this was more than adequate. When you are walking 6-9 miles in the span of one evening, you are going to sweat off some poundage and establish some good precedent. During those early days, I got used to the idea of skipping out on a lot of bad eating, mainly because I was walking up a storm and taking names. So when I eventually upgraded to running, it became something of a chore. During my second summer at Parsons training, I never ran. This may have had something to do with the weird string of ear infections I kept getting, but it had a lot more to do with the fact I just didn’t want to do it. I guess I can finally come clean about it since it is two years in the past. That actually feels good to get off my chest, because I used to love blaming my ear infections (which in my defense were pretty intense and expensive). As for the summer of 2014, I had deal with the hell fire that would rain down on me everyday, mainly because I was training for my first half marathon and prepping during the summer was really the only thing I could do. Those were some horrible days, simply because the humid season we have in Tucson lasted a lot longer than usual and it left a lot of frustration in my heart. I would fly off the handle quite quickly, and my mood was also affected by the lack of sleep I was getting on a nightly basis due to the sticky humidity disrupting my sleep patterns. The humidity has always bothered me during the summer time, especially when I started gaining weight and turned myself into a human heating pad. During the days of bad health and excessive weight, I hated eating because of my proclivity to pile on a lot of hot peppers on my pizzas and junk food. Oh the humanity! Adding hot sauce on anything on a 100-degree day was pretty stupid, but I loved the taste! Anyway, over during the course of the last three years, the summer has been sort of changing tide for me. Yeah, I may not be any better, but I sure am much better than I used to be. My first real test in regards to my working out and my ability to handle the summer heat came quickly during my first year, for my father and I were stuck doing an outdoor electrical service that pretty much had no shade. We needed to do a lot of digging, and I passed with flying colors unlike in the old days when I was destined to overheat and get cranky by the end of the day. By the time my second summer had rolled around, working in the heat was only a matter of how hot it would get and how fast I would need to work, not much else.
So to put it lightly, I am kind of looking forward (just a little) to the onset of Summer 2015. I have already told myself what I wanted to accomplish this summer, looking to make some extra gains in the process. But that won’t come easy, merely because the heat will cause some problems with my fluid intake, for the cramping problem already happened on Wednesday when I jumped up to the monkey bars at the gym and suddenly had a searing pain in my left calf (it is usually the right one that causes all the aggravation). When I really put two and two together, I shad set myself up for that gym fail by not drinking enough fluids during the day, for no amount of stretching will save you if you are n’t properly hydrated. I had to go a rather embarrassing route by stepping on a stool rather than try to aggravate my calf problem by jumping some more. Heck, Jon even changed my workout a little, having me do 100 chest presses with 55-pound dumbbells rather than doing something more leg oriented (I might have been aggravated them by all the back squatting I was doing early in the session). Anyway, this was a stark reminder of how careful I need to be as the heat slowly starts creeping over 100 degrees.
One thing I intend to do this summer and hopefully do a lot of is start doing some “Two-a-day” training, meaning I put in a small workout in the morning and then compliment that with my main workout in the evening, whether it be some fun with Jon or some running. Back when I first started this journey three years ago, I fell into pretty big stupor in regards to the weight loss. The excess was melting so fast and I had so much energy that it seemed ridiculous to not try and take advantage of it. Many days I would wake up well before the crack of dawn and get to my parent’s house. Since I was working for my father at the time, using the various weights he had in his back yard were perfect. Before I would even drink my first coffee of the morning, I was doing tabatas and high speed weight lifting. Since my parents didn't have any weights that were heavier than 35-pounds, I focused almost exclusively on the speed of the movements rather than the weight. Truthfully, I really don’t know how much it helped, for the fact my body was detoxing all of the junk out of my system was most likely the reason for my rather stunning weight loss. I lost 66 pounds in less than two months and more than 90 in the first six months of my transformation. It was this foundation that really got me going due to my rather embarrassing performance at the gym during my first session. I started doing this regularly, some weeks every day! But ultimately I had to stop doing it for a couple reason. First of all, I hate getting up at 4:30 in the morning, and second of all, Jon started seeing changes in me and started pushing me harder in my workouts. So yeah, things changed rather quickly and I kind of gave it up. Personally, I wasn’t ready to go full out in the mornings and in the evenings.
But now some times have changed. Personally, I want to get back into the idea of doing two-a-days. While I am certainly capable of some pretty hardcore lifting now, the principle of doing some extra weight work is something I have been thinking of for quite a while. While those that are firmly entrenched in the football world can understand the merits of two-a-days, is it really a sound idea to partake in? Now this has been an idea I have been pitching to Jon as of late, merely to try and blow-up my weight loss a little for the summer, especially since my running distances are going to be limited by the extreme heat (it can still be in the 90s at 8 p.m.!). Now there is some basic guidelines in regards to starting a two-a-day regimen, and the first question is always--Are you really thinking this through? Now, I am not really training for a triathlon or multiple events in the olympics, I am merely trying to up my weight loss a little. Shape Magazine had a pretty good article on the subject, giving out some sound advice in approaching your two-a-day fitness challenges. http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/right-way-do-2-days
Some of the advice is pretty obvious, like doing a more intense workout and then doing a less intense workout, or vice versa. And of course, the main recommendation is splitting up the workouts accordingly, as in doing one workout with a stronger cardio base and the other with a stronger weights base. But not everyone has the same goals, so splitting up the workout is essential to what your philosophy might be. If you want to lose weight and become svelte, doing some intense cardio in the morning will hike up the metabolism and allow you to burn more fat. Of course, this might affect your weight lifting later in the day. Now if you want to be stronger, than clearly busting hump on the weights first thing would be the preferable solution, following up the evening session with a little running. Whatever your goals may be, managing the adverse effects of two-a-day training will be key.
Let’s face it, two-a-days can be dangerous and actually set you back in your weight loss or strength training process. While some people might go a little overboard with one workout, going long and hard for a good two or three hours, imagine trying to do that twice in one day? Most trainers and websites would never recommend such an effort, for the moment you start working the ritual too hard, the moment you will start to lose gains. Most would recommend shorter, more efficient and intense workouts. So for me, when I try to eventually start this some time over the next week, doing a 30-45 minute run in the morning might be a good way to start my day, followed up with some body weight style training in the late afternoon or early evening. Now I say running first because it is obvious I need to work on my weight problems first. But I will also have to consider the toughest part of this procedure….how often should I do this? Now this may come off as a surprise, but I do like working out just about every day. While there will be days where Jon has me do a lot of burnouts like he had me do on Wednesday, there will also be days like Monday where he had me bench pressing weight I wasn’t quite used to, especially after doing some heavy lifting with Geoff once again (this time I was working on my power cleans!…plus I did some dead lifts at 245 pounds in rather quick fashion!). So if anything, coordination with your trainer or with yourself will be key. But this will not be a problem for me at first, especially since I might start off doing this once or twice a week at the most. If anything, I want to keep my body from getting too taxed, which in turn will once again turn me into an eating machine.
While some might consider this step to be rather crazy, I kind of look at it from this perspective. It will be a good way to once again challenge myself physically. While I may struggle with a lot of personal mental issues, I know my physical body is still up to the task. Right now, I’m just seeking ways to make myself better and test my limits, much in the same vein of doing the Ragnar Relays or trying half marathons (which I am still struggling with, but I need to keep working on it!). Right now, I want to make this a summer that I won’t forget, unlike the previous years where my efforts were somewhat forgettable. If anything can be said about the human body, it is remarkably resilient and strong. Let’s see if mine is ready to take on a new challenge.
About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
Meet the Author
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
Steve shares his journey once a week here on our blog. We hope that you find a spark of inspiration from reading his blog.
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.