Last week I charted by weight by age and came up with some interesting thoughts on what really influences health. Based on that conversation, I thought I would add in additional information in the form of my workout results.
I am representing average workout performance in two ways. First by showing you how far I would run in an hour. That’s the bar marked speed and the lowest point on it is 4 while the highest is 6.5 miles. The second is by showing average weight in my bench press set. That’s the blue bar with the lowest being 45 and the highest being 275.
And here’s the original chart from last week’s post:
You’ll note that work out information is included only for ages 30 to 37, which is when I started working out. However, a few interesting trends appear.
It’s Not That Hard To Be Good
First of all, note that rapid improvement between age 30 and 34. That’s how long it took from me to go from being in the worst shape of my life (unable to lift the bar without any weights on it) to being in GREAT physical shape. Was I in perfect shape? No, I still had those 20lbs to lose back then but my doctor loved me and told me not to worry about those lbs as long as I kept working out. That kind of a change took 4 years, and most of it came in the first two years.
Think about that one for a second. For all of you thinking “it’s too late” or “it will take too long” you’re wrong. It doesn’t take that much time nor is it that difficult. Keep in mind that I a very active social life and career back then. So I don’t want to hear any excuses about “I don’t have time”. Yes, you have time or you can make time, because this is important. This is your life afterall.
Even A Little Time Matters
Note the changes around 36 and 37. This is when my life became even more complicated due to a new job and my relationship to my wonderful fiance (hi honey!). I was eating more than I should but I was also working out. Result? My weight starts going up again due to poor eating but my strength was still fine. In other words, my weight went up but my physical fitness was fine.
I say this because several recent studies have shown that being fit is more important than being thin. Sure, ideally you’re both the correct weight AND fit but it’s much better to be fit than it is to be skinny. Sadly, the 50 billion a year weight loss industry wants you to believe otherwise but I’m here to tell you that, even at my highest weight, my doctor still gave me a great bill of health due to my physical shape. My blood pressure was low, cholesterol in control, heart rate down and all other indicators showed a man in the peak of health.
Lesson learned? Even if you’re working a 60 hour a week job and trying to sustain an active and fulfilling social life, you can still keep yourself in good health. Again, no excuses folks. It’s possible to do and I’m not gym rat who spends most of his days working out and little else.
And Now The Bad News…
If you look at the speed section, you’ll see my speed is pretty much the inverse of my weight. As my weight decreases, my speed increases. As my weight increases, I slow down. Makes perfect sense actually. The funny part is that running can help you lose weight but it’s actually not the best way to stay in shape. These days, with a few extra lbs on me, I find that running leaves me sore for days afterwards, which makes it hard to sleep, which affects me in other ways. I intend to get back to serious running when I lose some weight but not before then.
As with all reports, the data is only good if it gives you some action items as follow up. Graphs might be pretty but they’re no good if they have no useful information in them. So after looking at this new graph I actually revised my action items from last week a bit. It seems like my workout routine is actually fine. So while I should block out specific times for it, I don’t need to be too concerned about this aspect of my life. What I should worry about:
- Get eating under control – This seems to be the most important item in my life right now. Eating better will actually fit well in my busy life since cooking dinners and making lunches at home ends up saving me time. I’m also focusing on the 4 Hour Body diet as a guideline for eating which I’m enjoying.
- Stop beating myself up about running slow and focus on losing a bit of weight before I get back to it. My goal is to start running again when I reach 215lbs. Note that I’m talking about weight loss here even though a minute ago I said it wasn’t as important as overall physical shape. That’s because this graph (and my recent physical) showed me that my overall physical shape is actually just fine. I’m doing great, I just need to lose a few lbs, that’s all.