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Belly Off Plan Part One: The ugly truth

About a month ago I got on a scale and made a horrible discovery, I am now nearly fifty pounds heavier than I was when I got married. This is the latest in a series of increasingly horrifying discoveries. My knees hurt a little, my hands ache a lot, my back is often sore, I get winded when I go up a few flights of stairs, and the mere thought of having to run anywhere gives me cold shivers.

I joined a gym about two weeks ago, but I haven’t been motivated to go yet. I usually figure out a workout plan, get it all down on paper, and then start working out. It worked really well in the very beginning (around the wedding time back in 2001), but my follow up attempts at it have failed. Since 2001 I’ve belonged to four different gyms, and the best results I ever saw was when I first started at Good Life, and when I started going to the Premiere gym on Kennedy doing my little home-made workout that I researched.

Unfortunately I usually lose interest in about six weeks because I don’t see gains. In the case of Premiere, I had a little dizzy spell that kind of put me off working out for a while (and which involved an EKG and all sorts of other tests which sucked royally).

This time I’m going to do something different. After signing up at the gym, the girl tried to hard sell me on personal training. We started out with a 150 session package for the price of a small car. She came down to a 100 session package for the price of a small used car. 72 was next, and I kept saying “too much”, her final offer was a 16 session package for $1440.00 over three months! That’s literally 11 times my monthly gym membership fee!

Depressed, I went online, I’ve seen the Men’s Health Personal Trainer advertised before, and I was interested in how it works. The site itself is pretty nice, but it’s got one glowing flaw. Nowhere on the site is the actual monthly fee listed. I’ve looked EVERYWHERE, but I can’t find the darned thing.

You put in some numbers about yourself, and the program figures out what the best plan is for you. The workout plans are tailored to your strength levels, and will adjust themselves weekly (which will help me to not plateau). They also have iPod formatted videos that you can watch to see how certain exercises should be performed.

Right now I’m signed up for the “Belly Off Plan”, which includes both a workout plan and an eating plan. It’s an eight week plan, and I hope to lose about 10-20 pounds in those eight weeks. I’d also like to lose at least 2 inches from my waist so that my summer clothes will fit right again.

The workout plan will be hard, it’s a six day a week program with three days of weightlifting and three days of interval training cardio (which I may mix up with bike rides and other non-gym things).

My plan right now is to go to the gym at 6am Monday – Friday, and before noon on Saturdays. Sundays are optional, and I hope to just get some running around outside with Kaylin done.

I’ve also joined Traineo, which is an online community for workout motivation.  I’m not sure what I’ll do with that account (it’s free), but the actual site looks awesome, so I want to give it a try.

My goal is to be 195lbs, with a 36″ waist, and a 40″ chest.

195 is a good weight for me, it means I only have to lose 10lbs to fight at the 185lb weight division in the UFC. A 36″ waist will make it much easier to find clothes in the stores I like. A 40″ chest means that I’ll still have some girth, but I’ll be able to wear a large t-shirt or shirt without it looking like a sausage casing.

My week one stats are:

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 245lbs
  • Chest: 47″
  • Biceps: 14.5″
  • Stomach: 46″
  • Waist: 43″
  • Leg: 24″
  • Calf: 16.5″

I’ll report back in a month on where I am.

By Brian Garside

Brian is a digital experience expert, and part time internet superhero. He focuses on digital first design, digital strategies, content management, website usability, and user experience. He was part of the team behind BalanceDo, the co-founder of All New Comics, and the chief strategist at NorthIQ.

6 replies on “Belly Off Plan Part One: The ugly truth”

Good luck with it Brian. The best time to go I found was the mornings – gave you so much more energy to make it through the day. Not to mention just makes you feel better about yourself.

I went faithfully every morning until 6 or so months ago when the wheels fell off. I have been paying for that membership all the while. And griping about needing to get back to it.

Your post has served as my inspiration. And a reminder I needed.

Good luck with it (I am assuming you’re not at the Y) and I won’t see you there. But hopefully we can both make it stick.

You know, I was going to throw in a joke there…but seeing that you put your measurements online, that deserves credit. Because now the world will see your success/failure and that takes guts (haha, see, I couldn’t COMPLETELY resist).

I’m the opposite of John. I find an extensive weight workout completely wipes me for the day. I’ve found the mid-day doldrums a perfect time. Mind you, I’m not a morning person.

As for that Men’s Health thingee…that’s pretty slick. I bet if you follow that, you’ll see results in no time.

My suggestion, however….is that that is a very aggressive workout. Weights and cardio six days a week…if you find that it’s too much, don’t quit! Simply cut down on the weights (3 days a week) then try biking to work on your off days. Done and done.

It’s actually weights three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), and cardio three days a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). I’m gonna dust off the old bike (literally) this week and see how it’s faring. I haven’t been on it since we lived in the beach, so we’ll see how it handles.

The other suggestion — do 20 minutes of cardio directly after you weights (but not before obviously). I talk to all the guys a the gym (they look imposing, but once you start to talk to them, they LOVE to share their secrets) and that seems to be a big one.

I’ve done it for about two weeks now and have seen noticeable gains.

Good luck with the bike. I’m always a big supporter of biking to work (or wherever) as it doesn’t really add anything to your day. And with all the construction lately, I find I’m taking LONGER getting places by driving.

John: To quote the good marketing people at Nike; “Just Do It!”

Ryan: I used to read Men’s Health all the time, and they were all about that whole “20 minutes after workout being the best time for cardio” stuff.

I’m assuming that this workout of mine will gradually increase my workout cardio. Right now I only do 5 minutes before, and 5 minutes after. I also do 30 minutes 3 times a week beside that.

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