A Journey to Building Strength - Week 1 (420 minutes)

Since December 2012, a lot of my time was spent conducting webinars, boot camps, and dragon boat activities whenever the schedule permits. Last February, I made a decision to stop taking Orlistat and go through the process of disciplining myself on what I eat.

This decision did not came in easy. Although I still look healthy, have gained weight again.

After the Cebu E-Commerce Summit, I made the decision to spend the next 3 weeks of kicking in a home workout habit as my schedule already prevents me from going out too much. Following the same pattern experienced (takes 21 days to kick-in a habit) with the MetaFit and FITFIL challenge last year.

In addition, my knees could really need more help by strengthening the muscles around it.

For those of you who are also planning into venturing this kind of journey, here's what I realized on my first week from March 29 to April 5:

1. Nike Training Club is a useful fitness game tool.

Nike Training Club is a personal trainer application developed by Nike. iPhone and Android users can download this application for free and get started.

As you use the application more, you get to unlock exclusive workout routines and recipes (smoothies and salad). The highest reward is the VIP badge that will require 5500 minutes workout hours. That is like 94 hours. If you workout 1 to 2 hours a day, it can be achieved within 60 to 120 days. This is the goal I have set - to reach 5500 minutes workout in 3 to 4 months.

For this first week, I was able to do 420 minutes and completed all beginner workouts in the "Get Lean" category of Nike Training Club.

On the first 2 days, I modified the workouts and increase the repetition to 100. However, I realized that if I want to workout everyday, will need to increase the intensity and repetition gradually.

2. Necessary tools
  • Dumb bells - increases the challenge and can help balance for lunges. Can proxy for medicine ball if you don't have one.
  • Exercise mat - even the small one as the forearm plank can result to skin irritation if you just do it on the floor. As a result, affect you from doing the forearm plank and side plank crunches long enough.
  • Skipping rope (jumping rope) - Using this brought back a lot of childhood memories. I used to do around 200 in one go then. 
3. Challenges and Goals
  • Press-ups (push-ups) - can't go low enough when doing this.
  • Russian twists - ideally the leg is above the ground when doing this workout.
  • Dips with leg straight - chair I'm using is too high for this one and may have to do it outdoors.
  • Tuck jumps - doing this exercise made me realize how long I haven't jump.
  • Forearm plank (pikes) and side plank crunches - doing this without the exercise mat can result to skin irritation.
  • Forearm plank balances - still having difficulty in getting this done. Hope to achieve a level of strength where I will be able to do this easily.
4. Surprises. Getting to try Jeanette Jenkins ab workout made me appreciate the tough task that I could already do such as:
  • Full body v-ups - got this right on 3rd try.
  • Roll-ups - thought this would be difficult but glad I had enough strength and flexibility when I reached this part.

New habits acquired on 1st week:

1. Working out in the morning and/or evening daily. Alternate 2nd workout with walking, water spa, dragon boat, and simply rest to give chance for the muscle to recover.

I am supposed to include swimming but realized that my confidence to swim is not there when my trainer is not around. Really need to build my ability to float to overcome this limiting fear.

2. No music when working out to help in focus.

3. Drinking milk with MILO - This made me feel like a kid again and reminds of mom / grandma. Cut down on coffee.

4. Taking flaxseed oil, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C supplement.

Strength-building purpose

Finally, this strength building process is part of my personal training in having more power during dragon boat regatta. Another thing I want to do this 2nd quarter is participate in a 10k run.

I look forward in joining the MILO R2 - APEX Running School this April 29 to July 20. Have joined several sessions last year and was most enjoying. I commit giving more time to it this summer and be equip to complete a 10k run soon.

I look forward getting more minutes and workout variants done this coming week. Till next update. 5080 minutes to go.

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