Overall, I skipped ten workouts and exerted myself 70 times at three workouts per week. I am happy with the volume of my physical effort so far.
I am looking forward to keeping this pace through the rest of the year. I will likely miss another 10-12 workouts before December because life happens! Yet, I anticipate I will exercise at least 60 more times before the end of the year.
I look forward to reaching the end of this year with my usual annual average of 120-130 workouts. Then take two weeks off at the end of the year and start again!
I love that you will never be done with exercising! I feel like crap when I don’t move at least three times a week.
Exercising is one of the foundational habits that I wanted to incorporate in my life. In 2014 I found a colleague who is passionate about personal training. He used to run exercise classes at my then workplace. He encouraged me to work out three times a week, became my accountability partner and have been since.
Three hours a week seems to be just about the right volume of time and effort to be consistent with my exercise goals and make working out part of my lifestyle. Anything more than three times is a bonus. But I hardly ever worked out more than three times a week in the past six years. Outside these three hours, I try to be active as much as I can through other things like using a standing desk, playing with my son outdoors and taking stairs instead of escalators or lifts (up to certain floors), walking as much as I can (and I love driving!) so my body is not rotting.
In 2019, I logged 127 workouts. At three workouts per week, I moved my backside 42 out of 52 weeks. Most of the ten weeks I missed my workouts are during and around my travels. I am fortunate to be able to travel internationally, and I don’t regret the longer flights from the Down Under. However, travel disrupts my workouts. So that’s the challenge I am looking forward to tackling in 2020.
But for now, here is the monthly break up of my 2019 workouts:
Travel to Seoul
Travel to the UK
Travel to India
Travel to the US
1 week Xmas break
I could have been more diligent and logged a few more workouts in June and July. Other than that, overall, I had a great workout year, and I look forward to levelling up in 2020.
Just a thought that popped up while working out the upper body in the last hour.
But first some context.
Last week and this week, I am finding it very hard to exercise. It is after all holiday season, and I have had excellent exercise compliance so far this year. So why not take a break for Christmas and New Year weeks?The world doesn’t stop, and the sky doesn’t fall if you missjust two weeks, has been my inner monologue!
But somehow that did not feel right. I felt uncomfortable from within about not having to exercise even for a week. That’s probably a nice side effect of keeping the “Exercise 3 times a week” habit for about five years now. So I dragged myself into workout clothes and laced my shoes. Rest everything took care of itself. I worked out three times last week. I am already done with full and upper body workouts this week. And I am looking forward to some squats and swings tomorrow. And repeat it all next week as well.
Again, it wasn’t easy…until I changed into workout clothes and put on my shoes.
I don’t take all the credit though. I am supported by a few great people. Besides the momentum of my exercise habit, the support system of the people I know or follow has helped me not dither in this silly season.
First, my ex-colleague, friend and a champion trainer (for the last five years and counting!) who sends my workouts remotely and checks-in every week. He also occasionally sends some much-needed inspiration:
Second, this retired US Navy SEAL named Jocko Willink. I recently started following Jocko — author of Extreme Ownership, a book that I have in my reading list and Discipline Equals Freedom, a book I borrowed from the library, read and kind of liked it, but I loved the title!— and he tweeted this:
Which lead me to think, I mostly don’t need any grand new year’s resolutions. I just need to continue my boring, but beneficial old year’s habits. I said mostly because I will likely have a few resolutions around my learning goals, but for the most part, I will be better off carrying my old habits into the new year.
I encourage you to consider this idea and think in terms of habits you can start and keep for the years to come, not the resolutions you will set and forget in a few months.
But if I could offer one piece of advice to incoming freshman, it would be to learn to take care of themselves—because they are about to be surrounded by people who often have the misconception that racking up achievements and accolades is more important than leading a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Should we encourage our children to work hard? Absolutely. But young people need to learn that grit is only effective when coupled with restorative activities like sufficient sleep, exercise, a well-balanced diet, meditation, walks in nature, and time off. Research shows that these basic yet essential self-care habits result in greater focus and productivity, not to mention increased creativity, better decision-making, and stronger emotional intelligence.
Since the start of this year, I exercised 50 hours and ran 15 5ks.
Most importantly, I achieved one of the two resolutions for this year. I successfully completed Chaitanya 3.0 project. More details later.
I am not doing very well on the second resolution: getting the perfect abs. I am failing to eat exceptionally well. I ate more junk, sugar and cake than I needed to. I am hoping to get better at eating. I probably will.
My new year is warming up. I started, rather continuing, work on my goals. My exercising routine resumed this week after a two-week holiday break. I started drinking protein after my workouts. I had a great lower body workout this afternoon. My trainer kept it relatively easy so all of us finished all the reps ahead of time. However, at the end he challenged me to swing 32 kg kettle-bell non-stop for fifty times. I tried, but gave up after twenty swings. So he asked me to complete two more sets of twenty swings, breaks allowed. I was able to do all of them with a good form. So that’s sixty swings with a break after every twenty. Still pretty good.
Level 3 helps me do 30 pushups in four weeks. I reached to 30 pushups in the last few days but today, on the last day of Level 2, I had to land on my knees at 28. But the numbers doesn’t matter much. The aim is to keep practicing. So I just signed up for Level 3.
That is 130 days to nearly 30 pushups. Not too bad.
I also bought this Dead-Simple Exercise Plan yesterday to complement my three high intensity exercises a week. I hope to use this plan on those days I don’t exercise.
I used to wonder if exercising only three hours a week is enough. Now I am convinced it is.
I exercise on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. I train equally hard on all three days. But the after-burn (that nice and mild pain in the muscles) of Thursday’s kettle-bell workout lasts until Sunday. So if I push myself hard enough on Thursday, the seemingly long three day break between Thursday and the Monday allows my body to recover from the worthy suffering.
I sometimes dilute the exercising gains by making poor food and sleep choices. Although I am aware of it and am making increasingly wiser food choices, I am far from eating sensibly. And eight hours of sleep a night continues to be elusive.
Nevertheless, I am convinced quality, not quantity matters for exercising too.