A couple of years ago, I was nearly 200 pounds. That is a lot of weight on a 5’6” frame.
Truth is, I was disgusted with myself.
I did not like what I saw in the mirror. Clothes were not fitting right anymore, I would get winded mowing the lawn, my belly giggled when I brushed my teeth, my head was constantly in a fog and I found it difficult to concentrate.
I was a high level athlete at one point. Competing against people that went on to the Olympic Games and professional careers. I had never been ‘fat’ in my life, let alone in the ‘obese’ range.
Some may be ok with this. Some may say that I’m just getting older and that is the way it is.
To those people, I say bullshit.
Growing older should not be an excuse to get lazy and let yourself go.
In his book, ‘Can’t Hurt Me’, David Goggins says that “Most people operate at 40% capacity.” I didn’t realize how true this statement was until I lost nearly 60 pounds. My head cleared, I had energy again, and my motivation and drive skyrocketed.
When I had Olympic dreams, I used to track every aspect of my training. Distance, intensity, how I felt, what I ate, how much sleep I got, etc… This data really helped me to see trends in my training. I could see what was working and what wasn’t. I also could see early on when I was overtraining and scale back accordingly so I didn’t burn out.
I am a very data driven person, be it in athletics, business, or whatever. If you don’t have metrics to track trends and measure against, how do you know if you are improving in whatever it is you are trying to do?
As I recommit to becoming an athlete again, I have also begun to track my fitness again. Definitely not as rigorous as I once did, but I do need metrics in order to track and measure my progress. It is just part of who I am.
Yesterday I did a simple benchmark workout called “The 12 Minutes of Death”.
The exercises are ones anyone can do anytime, anywhere: Push-ups, Squats, Sit-ups, and Burpees. The format is simple enough too…do each exercise for 2 minutes, how ever many you can do in that time, with a minute rest between each exercise. No cheating or modifying.
I don’t care how fit you think you are, this benchmark workout will kick your ass, that is IF you push yourself to your limits.
Push-ups – 28
Squats with a jump – 50
Sit-ups – 47
Burpees with a jump – 20
As my fellow StoryAthlete, Jay Lieberman, put it:
“What the hell…I ride a Peloton bike. I play racquetball. I jog. I think I’m in decent shape. This 12-minutes. Pushups. Squats. Situps and burpees. But damn, I’m sweating buckets. I just did it. I just finished a couple of minutes ago. It just made me realize, right when you feel like you’re in pretty good shape. Just this simple 12-minutes is a whole nother shape level. Just 12-minutes. Just 2-minutes of each of these moves. I swear to god, it’s daunting now. Thanks, CJ”
It was tough. I’m not going to lie, I pushed so hard I felt like puking when I was done, and I am still feeling it the next day.
But I am already looking forward to when I get to do it again in a month and see and measure my progress.