Most days I get out and about and do some form of exercise. One of my staples is rowing, and I belong to a virtual rowing team based in America, with members scattered around the globe.
The Luna-tics was formed by a group of NASA people many years ago with the intention of rowing to the moon and back on C2 rowing machines. Members log their metres whenever they row, advancing the journey. We have been to the moon and back and we are on the return journey.
Currently I am standing at around 15,000 kilometres of rowing over the past 4 years.
But I’m digressing, as usual, mind you if you are a rower we are always on the look-out for “space travellers” to join the journey…
Most, if not almost every day I will do some form of strength training, which will either be body-weight exercises such as push-ups, or chin-ups. Alternatively, I will do all the bigger compound lifts with weighted barbells.
I follow a progressive 5×5 program, which involves 5 sets of 5 repetitions with weights advancing in a periodised way over an 8 week cycle. There is plenty of information available on this style of lifting and it works best for me as I want strength development, rather than too much bulky muscular development.
And when I can I put some indoor climbing in there, or better still a climb up in the Blue Mountains with TomO, our son…
Since this year’s Coast to Coast race across New Zealand I have placed more focus on strength training during the winter months which requires some calorie excess to gain muscle. But over the next 3-4 months I will be looking to cut up to 10 kilograms out of my frame to prepare for the mountaineering and climbs I have planned next year. I’ll do this progressively through diet management whilst continuing with the same exercise regime.
And on other days, if I haven’t run out of my quota of seven, I will grab my “sled” and load it with a sandbag and drag it around the park while carrying dumbbells or do sprints dragging it behind me, even go for a run…
But sleds are an awesome workout!
Of course there is my other passion, kayaking.
We try to spend weekends on the water, especially through the summer months. And this is a family affair at Narrabeen Lake, on Sydney’s northern beaches. Well, Janet, my partner, is more inclined to be lazing around on the shore with the weekend papers, taking a well earned rest from the weekly grind.
She loves being part of it all, but is happy to get her exercise with a daily walk of our dogs, MilO and JackO, which can be quite a sociable affair with lattes and morning tea afterwards. Mind you, she’s first in line for the adventure bits, like skydiving, but less inclined if it involves a “Landy” style endurance walk…which can be a non-stop overnight affair…
If you’ve never experienced an overnight walk or run, give it a go. It is a different world out there in the dark, just pop a Petzl light on your head and go!
And including family is the key to my training. I don’t use a gym, preferring to work-out in the shed at home, and down at the beach or lake, that way we are all together…
And on diet, I don’t stress too much about the actual composition of what I eat, focussing more on controlling weight through portion size. The formula is pretty simple, eat more than you need and weight increases, if that is what you need, or eat less and it declines.
Mind you, I am pretty much a meat and three veggie man, so the diet is fairly well balanced by the time I add some fruit. And Janet is a wonderful (the world’s greatest) cook…
But my point is this, it doesn’t matter what you do, or even how long you do it for, the main thing is you try and do something every day.
Consistency leads to habit…habits lead to life-long health benefits…
But don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day either, just get back to it the next day, sometimes a good snooze under the mango tree is just what the body needs!
Having said all this, I ceased all weight-lifting this week as I don’t want to run the risk of injury ahead of climbing in New Zealand this coming week.
I manage injury risk through daily stretching, weekly massages and chiropractic adjustments. I see these three things as just as important as anything else I do. But Murphy’s Law say this will be the week I’ll injure myself, so by stopping it I can manage the risk. It won’t make any difference to my fitness levels.
And none of this comes easy for me, but I try and look through the daily routine to what it is I am trying to achieve.
I visualise where I want to be.
The brain is an amazing thing, give it a thought and it will simply accept it without qualification. If you tell it you’ve already climbed that high mountain, or run that marathon, or just done a new PR in weight-lifting, it will believe you.
Next time you come to do it, it just happens…well, as long as you put the work in!
Every day I see myself on the summit of Cho Oyu, of people congratulating me on my return…