With three weeks under our belt, you’re reading the third installment of an experimental journal in strength/ endurance training
combined with whole food nutrition. Our goals outlined in week 1 were personal and our outcome uncertain. Sharing our weaknesses and flaws, we move forward NOT knowing if our bodies will stand up to the challenges.
We press on hoping to encourage YOU, our patients and readers to design your own Olympus Project, reclaiming lost health, strength and vitality or moving to higher levels of wellness than you’ve ever known!
As week three comes to a close, reality hit. Workouts were partially interrupted due to heavy work schedules. Nonetheless, we were able to complete 4 of the assigned workouts and overall still felt some general progress despite missing a couple workouts. At several points during our training we adapted workouts to fit what time and equipment we had available. For instance, instead of a “Row” workout, David substituted an elliptical or stationary bicycle for those sessions.
Personally, I substituted one weight lifting routine this week with a modified Cindy workout. I performed 5 x 10 push ups, 5×20 crunches and 5×20 kettle bell swings. Hello kettle bell, welcome to a full body workout! Kettle bell swings were new to me…..talk about a strength, core, aerobic, and anaerobic workout all in one! Most impressive, the Kettle bell swings only take a few minutes. I was pleasantly surprised that I could perform a very potent workout in a very short period of time.
Time factors shouldn’t limit healthy behaviors when workouts like this exist.
Life throws curve balls sometimes that require adaptation. We all have priorities in life including God, family, work, etc. Health of course should remain a high priority, but even during our 12 week venture, course correction sometimes becomes necessary.
When reflecting on the style of workout chosen, keep in mind we decided to pursue a cross-fit endurance style workout. Following a regimen written by Brian Mackenzie, we continue to learn about how to adapt this “strength emphasis” approach. This we came to understand part of the cross fit structure. The workouts are structured around the concept of Form/Skill, Intensity, and Volume.
Skill/Form: The technique used trumps all other factors. For example, if one cannot “properly” perform a specific movement….like dead-lift…then that range of motion, technique, should be perfected before pushing higher weight or reps.
Intensity: Cross-fit by design, encourages higher intensity workouts to drive all energy systems of the body, not just aerobic energy systems as one might develop simply performing low, slow, long activities. Intensity can vary but by pushing intensity one sees quicker gains.
Volume: The final variable. If one performs proper form, with higher intensity, then volume can adjust to continue building on base fitness or strength.
I appreciate the foundation of the cross -fit program because it allows adaptation to anyone’s ability. Multiple times David and I have adapted workouts to challenge our ability, but not overshooting our ability to maintain proper form. With this concept of building on our weaknesses, gently ratcheting our intensity and volume, we hope to achieve dramatic gains in even a short 12 week time-frame.
So far the wisdom of the workouts seems sound from a strength standpoint. We still aren’t totally convinced of the endurance part when reflecting on our initial goals (See Olympus Project Week One) but time will tell….that’s why the Olympus project is an “experiment” in lifestyle, nutrition, and fitness!
On the bright side, I followed the NRG Diet plan carefully only allowing 1 mixed drink on a special occasion. David noted a bit less control over nutrition due to family gatherings and social situations where he had limited choices nutritionally speaking.
Overall, however, we both maintained the important aspect of our NRG Diet program, which includes solid protein intake, essential fats, and vegetable intake.
Importantly this week, I also developed a cold. I don’t feel the workouts drove me to that point, because I actually feel I have strengthened and the illness hasn’t diminished my strength. In the past, my usual recommendations for athletes training with colds focused on limiting activities only if breathing problems or fever arise (Shortness of breath, wheezing, productive cough, high fever). If not, then lighten the workload and push on. However, our locally cold weather and my rather productive cough give me pause.
For the sake of my Olympus project goals I think I will gently push on and see what happens…..
David and I will measure our body fat, weight and dimensions at the beginning of week 4. So far I have noticed loss of fat in my face, and abdomen. David has noticed slight increases in muscle mass both upper and lower torso. Overall, we sense change and look forward to a formal measurements to add to our experimental data.
Remarkably my right foot pains have resolved despite the increase in running last week. What started as a severe case of plantar fasciitis has now completely resolved. I now honestly believe my posture, core, strength and generally poor physical condition led to my foot problems. Amazingly, my initial injuries resolved by starting a strength/endurance program!
Next time I hear one of my patients or readers report an ailment keeps them from working out, I’ll retort, “Maybe you have pain BECAUSE, you don’t workout?”
Take Home Points
1.Form, intensity, volume….In that order!
2.Know when to exercise with a cold
3. Workout programs don’t necessarily require huge time commitments
4. Many aches and pains are related to inactivity
We hope you follow and share your own Olympus Project!
Olympus Project: Lift Technique Supplemental Post