Interval training and my favorite exercise

In the dojo we do a fair amount of interval training, also known as Tabata. If you’ve never done this before, think of getting a full hour’s worth of workout in four excruciating minutes! It’s very intense and challenging but it REALLY helps to get you in shape (you can read more about it here). There seems to be many benefits of doing Tabata over traditional exercise routines, including big increases in aerobic and anaerobic capacity. This is huge for me!

Now lets consider for a moment my favorite exercise – the burpee. It’s not my favorite because it’s easy. This is the most feared and dreaded exercise in the dojo. When I first tried it I thought I was going to die! I decided to make it my favorite exercise because nothing can kick my butt quite like burpees. Now lets put the two together and we get Burpee Tabata – the nuclear option of workouts! If you are looking to have your hind quarters handed to you, this is the workout for you.

Of course to do this right you will need a timer, like a Gym Boss or some other device. If you have a smartphone, there’s also an app for that. I’ve been using Interval Timer for the iPhone and it seems pretty simple. Cruise on over to the app store and pull it down, then give it a try in the gym!

Diet is only half of it!

Its great to get on a diet, but like I mentioned before, it’s about calories in and calories OUT. Luckily for me, I found Potomac Kempo back in November 2010. This school teaches Shaolin Kempo and the workouts are awesome! I mean you really sweat! For the first two weeks I thought I was going to die trying to keep up with it! As the time went on I got better at the workouts and now I hate the days (Friday and Sunday) when I don’t have a class. The unfortunate part is that I wasn’t on a diet all that time until a month ago! Wow, I could be in awesome shape right now if I had thought of this whole diet thing sooner. Of well, now is as good a time as any.

Technology helps along the way!

After trying many different diets with little luck, my wife and I decided to start counting calories. You can do Atkins, Weight Watchers, or whatever but in the end it’s really all about calories in and calories out. For a normal person who is always on the run, counting calories can be a real drag. Luckily we found an awesome app to help us – MyFitnessPal! If you are trying to lose weight, and especially if you are doing it with friends, you have to download this app. It’s basically like Facebook for fitness. You can monitor your own progress as well as that of your friends! And unlike the other calorie counters we’ve tried, this one knows the calorie count of EVERYTHING! Simply go into the log entry and scan the barcode of the food you are about to eat. So far I haven’t scanned anything that this app didn’t know! Needless to say, I’m terribly impressed. Give MyFitnessPal a try!

It was only a matter of time…

I had been considering doing a dojo blog for a very long time, but just never go around to it. I used to keep up a diving blog called George’s Dive Locker on Apple’s MobileMe hosting, but with Apple closing down their web hosting service I was forced to move everything over to this WordPress site.  This just seemed like a natural time to add dojo and fitness related topics.  So here is where I’ll be discussing my journey from an obese 40+ smoker to a 40+ (nothing I can do about that) in-shape person. Stay tuned, this should be interesting…