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Olympus Project Week Four: Plague, Pain, Perseverence


Week 4 of our experiment in extreme fitness, lifestyle and nutrition began with mixed results and some drama!

The Olympus Project

Experiments in nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle.


On the bright side, David noticed increased muscle and weight gain (2.5 pounds) and maintained his body fat percentage.


He felt strong and weathered our workout plan and diet activities like a “Sherpa-Ant.”  (Term coined during oxygen debt=small human with ant-like ability to lift way more than seemingly possible!)


Personally, despite feeling physical stronger, somewhat

more fit, and certainly less fragile, the last half of week three  was marred by a serious upper respiratory infection.


I had to carefully weigh my ability to continue given the severity of my symptoms, productive cough and severe sinusitis.  I’m rarely sick but this has been a real set back.


I analyzed my situation and tried to determine if over-training may be the culprit.   However, as David had no particular issue, and we’re only four weeks into our program I decided against that theory.


Overall, I suspect I simply got unlucky.  I am a actively practicing family physician and  frequently come in contact with numerous sick people on a daily basis….a real job hazard.


While reflecting on my personal misery, I came up with a salient point for those following this experiment.



My 12 week plan is just that…a plan.   Life sometimes happens…illness, injury, holidays, work, and family obligations to name a few.  Growth in any endeavor requires flexibility and a plan.  We can’t predict every bump in the road but we can resolve ourselves to adapt to change and maximize our daily ability to push towards our personal goals.


In my situation, I adapted the program to focus on the brief strength workouts, and limited my exposure to the elements by avoiding the distance and speed work.


Reflecting on my goals for the 12 week program:


1.  Run a 5 K in 24:00 min

2.  Run a 1/2 Mile in 2:20 sec

3.  Complete a 1/2 Marathon

4.  Regain my six pack

5.  Drop my body fat below 16%

6.  Achieve better flexibility in my lower back and hamstrings


I decided that the lower intensity weight routines, stretching, flexibility and nutritional programs must suffice during my illness.   By focusing on goals 5-6, I’m making the best of my current ability.


At the time of this posting, I finally have turned the corner.  My teeth hurt less and my right ear doesn’t quite feel like it’s going to rupture.  I’m fairly certain I’m ready to keep pushing through the program into week 5.


Wanna know what medical criteria I use to determine if I should continue to “Sweat it out” or hold off on workouts?


Training with a cold


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