Workout Journal

2011-02-07

I decided to try working out everyday for 30 days in attempt to get in better shape and lose weight. I've finally gotten to day 30, and some things I thought would happen, happened, others didn't. Before starting this my weight was about 216, ranging from 214 to 218 on any given day.

Everyday I wrote my weight down, how I felt, and what I did at the gym. My average workout went like this: 30 minutes on the treadmill walking at 3.0 mph, then another 15 minutes at 5.0 mph, alternating down to 3.0 to rest for a minute or two. After the treadmill I'd do an average of 3 weight lifting exercises, everyday rotating to another part of my body.

I went at 10am everyday. Half of the days I didn't eat breakfast before going and the other half I would eat something small a couple hours before working out so I wouldn't have post eating sluggishness. Aside from this I made no conscious effort to change my eating habits. I wanted to see what exercise alone would do.

The first few days felt normal, but on the fourth day my hip got very sore. I did a day on the treadmill for cardio instead to give my hips a break. My hip worried me at first but the next few days everything was fine from then on. I think it just needed to get used to being used daily.

Starting on day 4 my weight started dropping rapidly. From day 3 to day 6 I went from 216.8 pounds to 212.6 pounds. After the initial drop however, the weight loss stagnated and eventually rose to around 214 and stabilized. I was hoping to lose more weight, but unfortunately I'm only a couple of pounds lighter now. My guess as to what happened here, is that my body wasn't used to the initial drop in calories. When it adjusted for my body burning 3-400 calories a day I subconsciously ate more to keep my weight stable. The lesson I learned from this is if I want to lose weight I'll have to keep an eye on my calorie intake too.

Even though I didn't lose much weight, there were other benefits. Day 5 I was more excited to work out. I went from doing 2 minutes of running at 5.0 mph to 4, and my heart rate was about about 10 bpm lower after doing it. Around day 7 I noticed an elevated energy level both mentally and physically all day long. I could go to the gym for an hour and a half, come home and work for a few hours on some computer projects, and clean for another 2 hours and then cook an elaborate dinner for my family. I'd go to bed around 9:30 and sleep well throughout the night, which I often didn't before.

On day 10 I had a headache, and was getting a cold my wife and daughter had gotten and I was worried this would cause problems for my 30 day workout experiment, so I did shorter workouts from day 10-17. I did only 1 weight lifting session and walked for 3.0 mph for 30 minutes and cut out the jogging afterwards. On day 18 I was pretty much back to normal, and I never got nearly as sick as the rest of my family during this period.

On day 21 I got back to my high energy level, and this continued for another 6 days. Every day from 27 to 30 I felt like I needed a break but kept pushing through. I didn't have the energy I did before, and everyday it seemed harder to get up to go the gym and I was more tired when I came back. I think the lack of rest was finally getting to me.

I've decided now that this is over, to continue to workout everyday during the week and take weekends off to rest. I'm hoping this will give me the high energy level I was experiencing but not eventually run my body into the ground. I've also decided to monitor my calorie intake in attempt to drop some pounds.

In case reasons for exercise weren't obvious:

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/01/25/1015950108