October 2013

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Everything is in place.  The diet is set.  The proper habits were in place.  The only thing left to do was to finish.  The final 30 days had me run up against something that was new for this workout, boredom.  During the final 30 days, the workouts were going without a hitch.  There was no new goal to reach for.  So I made my own.

There is a decision that has to be made before a new goal can be set.  That is, we cannot not lose site of what we are doing in the first place.  Keep it going.  By the way, we are adding something new to keep things interesting.  That is how I decided it to be.  I would not quit the workouts.  I would dominate the workouts.  Oh, and at the end I decided to do something that was impossible before I started.

Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.  In his memory, a workout was crafted that will live in infamy forever.  It is known as The Murph.   It was perfect.

First, I had to get to day 91.  Like I had mentioned before, the workouts were conquered and starting to get repetitive.  Boredom was setting it.  There is nothing that can ‘fix’ these things.  I had to make the decision to push as hard as possible during the workouts no matter what.  It was a state of mind.  This was another time where mental strength was more important than physical strength.  The only other time where I had to push as hard to just get downstairs and do the workout was during the first week after changing my sleep schedule.

In the end, yeah, I did it.  Just as I said I would.  On day 91, I completed The Murph in just under 50 minutes.

If you are up to the task of a 90-day workout, plan a day 91.  Plan a workout that shows just how much you have grown over the course of the training.  Plan on ending on a high note (and video tape it).  There is nothing like it.  If you have done this, please let me know.  I would enjoy hearing your story!

After the first 30 days of Tapout XT, I had the routine.  During the second 30 days of Tapout XT, I focused on my diet.

What is the best diet anyway?  If you have ever researched a diet, you will find out that for every person who says a diet is awesome, there is another who tells of how awful it is.  At some point you have to accept that everything causes cancer and move on with a diet that works for you.

What works for me?  Firstly, I cannot cut calories.  I am unwilling to lose muscle mass that I had spent two years building up.  Secondly, I would like to lean out.  These two goals are totally contradictory unless you are an intermittent faster.

I discovered intermittent fasting through the writings of James Clear.  It met the goals that I wanted to accomplish to I gave it a shot.  At first, I fasted for 14 hour periods to test the waters a bit.  After two weeks, I had noticed a few affects that were tolerable and upped the fast to 15 hours.

Toward the end of a daily fast, I notice a few things.  Firstly, it is difficult to keep your emotions in check when you are hungry.  I noticed little things bothering me more than normal.  This is a problem that most people have with intermittent fasting.  For me, this wasn’t a huge problem.  It is possible that it even helped me to achieve a higher level of self control.  I am more in tune with those feelings and what to do with them.  The second thing that I noticed is that I wasn’t hungry.  This is something that I do not truly understand.  When I workout in the morning, I am not hungry in the morning.  There is nothing I have read that explains this.

The workouts were routine by this time.  I finally made it through the hardest workout, Yoga XT.  Twenty minutes of plank was more than I could handle.  Even 60 days in, the workouts were enjoyable.

At this point, I had gained 4 lean pounds and was as fit as I have ever been.  If you are considering doing something similar, I encourage you to do it.  You will see results in a short amount of time.  Just stick with it!

In May of this year, I made an intentional decision to complete a 90-day training program.  Now, it is reflection time.

My first few days with TapOut XT were tough.  They don’t have stages that progress from easy to hard.  You get the hard exercises up front.  Plyo XT is, probably, the hardest workout.  The first time that Plyo XT is on the schedule is day 3.  I could not complete it at the beginning of the training.

TapOut XT is not as demanding on cardio as Insanity.  If you are used to the intensity of Insanity and want a change, go for TapOut XT 2.   I recommend TapOut XT as a good balance of cardio and strength. TapOut XT is a good middle ground.  As a side note,  I also appreciate that the women in TapOut XT are more conservatively dressed then in Insanity.

Mike Karpenko is a great trainer.  He keeps things interesting with his commentary and mix of exercises.  At few points during a workout did I feel like it was dragging on.

I recommend anyone to take on a 90-day training program.  After I committed to the program, I began to look at other areas of my life to see what I could change to make the program more effective.  This led to an examination of my diet and my lunch workouts.  By the end of the program, I had altered my diet, the time I wake up in the morning, and felt great.

This was a prime example of how committing to growth in one area helped me to develop positive habits that affect me in all areas of my life.  It isn’t just about doing a training program; it is about developing the discipline to perform consistently.  It isn’t an easy task.  Most tasks that are worth doing are not easy.