Archive for December, 2009

Measuring Body Fat

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

I mentioned my body fat measurement in my last post.

Originally I was using the electric impedance scales in the gym but the, oft reported, problem with these is the inconsistency. The results change from day to day on a scale that can’t correlate with actual fat loss or fat gain. I wasn’t originally measuring day to day (thats too frequent) but after seeing significant and difficult to understand large week to week changes I moved to day to day to help me confirm that the results were too inaccurate to be useful. They were.

Since then I’ve given the Accumeasure calipers a go which I first came across at Answer Fitness.

I’ve been using them for about 3 weeks now and so far, most importantly, they give me consistent measurements – a steady measurement for the first 2 weeks of use and a slight increase over the Christmas break which correlates with my slight weight gain over that week.

Using their measurement charts I think they’re telling me I have less body fat than I actually have, looking at comparative pictures I’d estimate I’m at 17% rather than 15% body fat, but to me consistency combined with the mirror test is sufficient for my needs.

I’m coupling this with photos for the next couple of months and hopefully this will help me see the results of my efforts. I’m toying with the idea of posting the images to this blog – but I’m not sure you’re ready to see the Wookie.

Categories: fitness

Back To It

December 28, 2009 Leave a comment

After three days of self indulgence and unrestrained greed its back to training and healthy eating. Irritatingly I’ve picked up a cold but fortunately its not bad enough to put the kibosh on the gym.

As best as I can tell I’ve got around 15% body fat and I’d really like to get that down to abut 12% by the end of February. As long as I can keep the focus and discipline I managed in the last couple of months I think that should be achievable.

In site news… the first iteration is nearly ready to go live. Hopefully just a couple more days now.

Categories: fitness, site


December 16, 2009 Leave a comment

At last nights circuits and todays chest session I’ve felt drained, even my warm up run felt hard today. Got through the chest session better than expected but felt lacking in power and energy.

Its not surprising – I’ve been training particularly hard for the last two months, really pushing myself, and my body needs a break.

I’ve got one more session with my trainer tomorrow and then I’m going to take a much needed 3 or 4 days off training followed by lighter sessions for a few days which should have me coming back stronger and fresh.

You should always listen to your body.

Categories: fitness

Starting Out

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

For anyone looking to get fit, for whatever reason, I have one piece of advice:

Hire a personal trainer

If you’ve already made the commitment to invest the time and effort required to improve your fitness then a trainer can help you safely get the most out of that commitment.

They can set you programmes, will work with you in your sessions and help keep you focussed and motivated. I’m pretty disciplined about pushing myself when I train on my own but an hour with my trainer is a whole different ball game.

Finally, and most importantly, what I didn’t realise when I first started working with a trainer, is how much you’ll learn: about your body, about training, about nutrition. And this increased knowledge will lead to more confidence in your sessions and in your ability to reach your goals.

Categories: fitness

Circuit Training

December 2, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve never been one for group activities, preferring sports such as badminton (singles preferable) or rock climbing where although you generally climb with a partner you don’t actually spend much time with them.

That being the case it was with some surprise that I found myself signing up for the circuit training class at my gym and subsequently enjoying it immensely. Its always a highlight of my week.

For those that have never tried circuit training it generally works like this: a series of 8 to 12 exercises will be laid out which you progress through in a “circuit” spending a certain amount of time on each one with minimal rest in between exercises – just enough to get set for the next exercise. For example a circuit might consist of:

  • Push ups (one of the many variants)
  • Chair and bicep curl
  • Bunny hops
  • Shoulder press
  • Cycling at about 75% effort
  • Crunches (one of the many variants)
  • Bent over row
  • Walking lunges
  • Dips
  • Burpees

After you’ve done one “circuit” you’ll have a brief rest (30 seconds, perhaps a minute depending on the group and instructor) and then go round again. The number of circuits you’ll do will depend on the amount of time of course.

Every class can be different but you should get a nice mix of exercies to give you a full body workout and get your heart beating nicely for a good period of time.

The really great thing about it is that no matter how fit you are you can push yourself such that it you have to work hard and if you’ve got a good instructor they’ll be able to give alternatives if through injury or unfitness you can’t manage one or more of them. You’ll always finish the class a sweaty mess – mission accomplished.

I have found it helps with the flow to be familiar with a wide variety of exercises but its by no means required.

If your gym runs a circuits class and you’ve not tried it I’d really recommend giving it a go.

Categories: fitness