Home About Me 14 week fitness challenge – was it worth it?

14 week fitness challenge – was it worth it?

35

What’s good family,

As any of you that follow my personal blog or have me on BBM know, I was a part of Tom Venuto’s BFFM inner circle summer fitness contest. It’s basically a 14 week contest where those who show the most change win prizes. You have to use principle’s he established in his books, but for the most part it’s a fitness and wellness contest. I attribute my health research, especially finding that e-book, with helping me change my body and get into better shape.

I joined the contest because 1) I wanted the free trip to Maui and 2) I wanted to challenge myself to get better. Throughout this time period, I had good weeks and bad weeks. I made significant progress and had weeks of setback. Real life set in, with work getting crazy and life overall getting hectic. I was able to overcome it at times, and succumbed to it at others. When the contest was all send and done, I got the following results:

 

As you can see, I gained lean muscle and lost body fat and fat lbs, while only losing 1.2 lbs overall. I got a little frustrated because my gains weren’t up to my impossible standards, but I took a lot away from this contest that will help me in my ongoing fitness journey:

Challenging yourself is the best way to stay motivated

There were many days where I had no more f*cks to give about fitness. I was tired in the morning, and just wanted to rest. I didn’t feel like going to the gym to see “The Africans” aka my home boys who lift boulders and runs cardio like a pride of lions mistook them for a gazelle. However I knew that I would need to motivate myself, so I set weekly fitness goals and tried my best to achieve them. I would normally treat myself to a snack, or buy something that isn’t within my budget (._.). When I would see that the goal was met, it only hyped me to keep going. I wanted to lift more than the previous week, run farther, and exceed expectations.

Record your progress

I can’t stress this enough. We don’t see results on a daily basis and this will cause us to get frustrated. The best way to track your progress is to record EVERYTHING! Keep a food journal, writing down everything you eat and drink, and its nutritional property. it will help you focus on eating right, and see where you need to cut or increase calories and nutrients.

Record your workouts. Write down the exercises you perform. For weights/calisthenics, write down your reps and weights used. This way, you know your threshold, and can accurately determine how much weight to use on the same exercise the following week. If you run, record the number of miles. Use Nike+ or one of those other apps to document the duration and length of your cardio workout. Write down your goals, and read them throughout the day. Mental focus is as important as physical effort. Take pictures and measurements weekly. I was shocked when I saw pics of me in 2010 and now. It’s like night and day! I made a lot of progress, but didn’t “see” it initially. Keeping tabs on all your progress invigorates you and motivates you to be your best!

Setbacks happen. Overcome them.

I emotionally eat when I’m under severe stress and don’t work out. I missed workouts. I had wack workouts. I was discouraged, but I didn’t quit. There’s no need to quit. No one wins all the time. No one reaches their goal on the first try all the time. Your fitness failures will serve as a blueprint on the pitfalls you may encounter, and how to overcome them in the future. If I know I had a bad workout, I make the next one better. If I eat like a pig for days on end, I scale back and refocus. No need to kill yourself for eating bad. Enjoy life! Just keep it all in perspective and keep the focus on your goals.

Enjoy the progress you do make

People don’t get the roses while they can still smell em – Kanye West. My homie Roxi broke this down and it made so much sense! I’ve made killer progress over the past year, but my mind is always focused on the next goal. I never sit back and say “hey this is excellent progress!”. I’m never satisfied, but this can be a negative too. If you always look for the next challenge, without enjoying the victories along the way, you will only get disappointed in the end. I read this in 48 Laws of Power (and I think Art of War too), where constant conquest can end in ruin. Think of the dictator who wants to constantly expand the empire. Eventually it becomes too much and it implodes. Think the same way about your fitness goals. Stop, smell the roses, say “I did good” and then go to the next challenge. Appreciate the small accomplishments to be better prepared for the challenges of the future.

So what lessons have you learned from fitness? any other great tips to share? Let us know, we’re always learning.

StreetZ alias P90 S

P.S. – if you want some more fitness information, or want to read about my random fitness efforts, check Streetztalk.net, my personal blog.

Comment(35)

  1. Congrats on your progress! I'm going into the third week of a month and a1/2 worth of sessions with a new trainer. Between the change in diet, cardio/weight routine I'm already down 15 lbs and seeing more definition. Some nights are great and others I regret even signing up, but in the end I know it's worth it for a better quality of life.
    Just curious : 1) your weight never fluctuated much from beginning to end, what was your diet and are you a hard gainer? 2) can you post links to or describe whatever cardio you did for the fat reduction?

    thanks!

    1. What happens with me is that I drop weight, get to like 183, and boucne back. Sometimes, I dont eat enough, sometimes, I eat too much. Im used to workign out 6-7 times a week, so if I work out 3x a week one week, and eat high calories, I'll gain.

      I just have to find a happy medium. Maintenance is never an issue for me.

      My goal is to get to 180, then maintain between 180-185. I will be there by Jan 2012.
      My recent post [Synopsis] A Taste Of TrueBlood Episode 48 – And When I Die Season Finale

      1. You might be working out too much depending on what you're trying to accomplish. You have to take into account how carb sensitive you are, your body type, and what the end goal is. If you're not trying to compete in athletics, cut your workouts down to about 3-4 per week. Use compound movements instead of a bunch of isolation movements. Cut those rest periods between sets down and go high intensity but not for more than about an hour. After an hour your body starts going catabolic and you burn fat AND muscle.

  2. Congrats Streetz! Any progress is good progress, and by the simple fact that you took the necessary time to plot your progress, shows your dedication and awareness of your health. I too am currently, with difficulty, working on better health and hearing your struggle let's me know it isn't impossible.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Wow good work Senor Streetz! Body fat percentage is a beast to reduce but you did so well! You could compete in a fitness competition now! And kudos to you for keeping such good records.

  4. I just wanted to tell you I am proud of you for your diligence in being proactive about your health! your BBM statuses kinda inspired me (ok not really I slacked all summer, but I'm about to get back into my workout game this fall) Thanks for sharing with us!
    My recent post I Give Her That Insomnia…

  5. For some reason I can only motivate myself to get truly in shape for my annual trip to Miami in July. All other times of the year I'm simply doing "maintenance." I stay in shape but I'm not in shape shape. Those 8 weeks before Miami though? I start bench pressing rhinos and slap boxing with Lions.
    My recent post Maybe I Should Have Called Her

  6. This is awesome and motivation I needed – You may not have won the prize you wanted but you definitely won!
    I started with a new training program 4 weeks ago and I am dying so thanks for this!!

  7. I'm impressed by your record keeping. I think it's the best indicator of where your pitfalls occurred so you'll know what and what not to do in the future.

  8. So what lessons have you learned from fitness?

    That the phrase, "You are what you eat" is 100% TRUTH. Diet is everything when working out and achieving desired results in a defined time constraint.

    any other great tips to share?

    When I wanted to cut my body fat % down I started doing cardio 1st thing in the morning before eating anything. When your body burns calories to give you the energy (fuel) to run/exercise the first type of calories it will burn are carbs. When little or no carbs or present in your system (like first thing in the morning) then fat cells will be the next thing the body burns hence reducing body fat quicker and more efficiently. Just be sure to get some protein in you quickly after your work out.

    Also, I always keep the mantra/phrase in my head of "Motivation gets you started, but discipline keeps you going." Where motivation wanes (and it will wear down) that's where discipline must take over. Simple, but not easy.

    Great post, man. Congrats on your achieved results.

    1. "Motivation gets you started, but discipline keeps you going. Where motivation wanes (and it will wear down) that's where discipline must take over. Simple, but not easy. "

      Good stuff!

    2. Great advice and tips, Larry!

      I love working out in the morning for this very reason. Evening workouts are the hardest because I always feel full, even if its been hours since I'd eaten..And, I'm taking your mantra, and putting it up on my bathroom mirror as a constant reminder.
      My recent post My Love Is Like…

    3. Only caveat with that is that with NO fuel the body is going to produce a ton of cortisol and go in on your fat and muscle. If you're trying to bulk you'll find yourself getting all around smaller.

  9. Congrats! I ain't even gonna lie…I could NEVER stick to updating this fabulous table you've got here, LOL!

    I am far from a health nut. I eat everything but pork whenever I feel like it. The only doctors I feel I MUST take the time to see regularly are the GYN, the Optimologist, and the Dentist, lol…smh. If something hurts, I go to Patient First, lol.

    With that said, I acknowledge that this dumb-high metabolism combined with fabulous "suck in my belly" skills is not gonna hold me forever. I'm 30 for goodness sake. So, in spurts, I exercise…with ab workouts, a swing, and floor/chair classes at Xpose. I've just entered an exercise spurt about two weeks ago…so far, so good. I always hope the spurt sticks…and I always end up too busy or too mentally worn out to make it a priority. We'll see how this round goes…

  10. *Tommy’s voice* Congratulations, dawg!!!

    Your results are pretty great! and your advice is on point. I enjoy reading about your fitness challenges. Speaking of, I signed up for that new one you posted the other day. Can’t wait to see what this holds in store!

    Now, you may have read that I really hate weighing myself, and I would rather just go off of how my clothes fit, and how I look in the mirror. The only thing I really keep track of is my run mileage. However, I did weigh myself when I got back from Nashville a few weeks ago, and saw that I lost 5lbs over the weekend. smh. I’m the only person I kow who accidentally loses weight on vacation. That liquid diet is not a joke. smh. Luckily, with my exercise routine and eating, I haven’t gained it back.

    Recording your progress is so important. Every month, I take pictures so I can go back and see the changes, even if I don’t see them on the scale. Its been the best way for me to judge how close I am to my goals. I need to take them off my phone. Last thing I want to do is twitpic by accident. I mean, I’m bad, but I’m not about that life. lol.

    I try to enjoy the progress, but it never lasts long. If I run my fastest 10 miles to date, I’ll still be upset if I wimp out on yoga. And don’t let me miss a workout. smh… I’m trying to get better about just enjoying my fitness my results, and shake everything else off my shoulders. Easier said then done…

  11. Good Job Homie! I guess my question would be, what is your goal in the first place? Is it to Gain Muscle or is it to cut fat and lose weight? Knowing this answer can help us better understand your stats and also help put some stuff into perspective as to where you may have failed. My problem is that I want to Gain lean muscle..while loosing body fat. Problem one is that I don't have the luxury of great genetics to let me do this easily (like super muscular but ripped football players). I also be slipping with my diet (wild out on the weekends and never seem to get my macronutrient ratios right during the week — protein-carbs-fats). I have made steady progress in the gym and have gotten strong every week for the past 8 weeks but I am not as big as I should be and want to be because I was cutting carbs (to try to cut fat) and therefore not giving my muscles what they needed to grow. I think I had a similar results in the sense that I gained some muscle and loss a little fat but pretty much stayed the same (pound wise).

  12. I am so proud of you for sticking to your program for 14 weeks, that is a long commitment. I'm happy that I've lasted one month with my workout routine, but seriously…what you've done is above and beyond; that's quite an accomplishment. Are the African's really in your gym like that? LMAO…

  13. I'm in the same situation. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that it's all in your eating. Some weeks I would lose hella weight because of my eating (or water), and others I HAD to eat some collard greens and smothered pork chops and I lost or gained 1 lbs. I was up on a challenge but once school, work, and extra-curriculars set in, it was mainly in my eating.

    The second biggest lesson I have learned is it's really all about lifestyle. I'm more active, more limber and I FEEL a lot better. It's all about good health and how you feel. I didn't lose nearly as much weight I wanted to lose (about a third), but I'm very muscular. I'm in the south so I had a couple brothas begging me not to lose any more too…lol

    It's all moderation–life's a balancing act. I'm happy I did it and I'll continue to do so.

    My recent post Day 15- Weight Loss Challenge

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This
Get SBM Delivered

Get SBM Delivered

Single Black Male provides dating and relationship
advice for today's single looking for love

You have Successfully Subscribed!