We all yearn to be physically fit, not just having a lean physique and cool looking body, but healthy and strong as well… However, wanting something and doing it is a different thing all together. Being quite active in sports during the school days, I was slacking off after entering the “working environment”
For a thousand and one reason, I lazed at physical activity. Everyone that I knew, would have the same excuse, we got busy jobs, improper schedules, no time, exhausted from work, different commitment and so on, thus rendering any physical activity, beneficial to the health and well being of our body, to become insignificant. We’d still occasionally meet-up, once in a month if there were games etc, but that was just it. Besides, “exercise can wait” I’d often say to myself.
Getting slow… Slowly back on track.
10 minutes in the field, 5 minutes walking up-hill, running for 2 minutes and I’d be out of breath. It was ridiculous! Unimaginable and it made me felt terrible. I had no idea that physical fitness could deteriorate in such a way. I hated it!
Finally, I loathed the inability so much that I started “training” again. Training for what? There’s no competition to win, nothing to prove, no one to show, no objective to achieve. Just Challenge yourself, set your own target.
Small steps at first. Looking for reason and motivation along the way. Creating excuses just to get going. Easier when you are at school where physical class was in your time table and there’s your coach waiting for you at the field.
There’s no team mate or coach to scream at you… so, get yourself running, go to the gym training, lift weights, swimming or climb the mountain, but most important, record your progress. That’s one great way for self motivation. Getting faster, stronger or gaining better endurance, and knowing that I am improving kept me going and aiming for more.
At first, things went slow… very slow, almost gave up, quit and felt that there’s no progress happening. Then when I refer back to the records and cross examined them, the results showed.
The 2 minutes running became 5, 10 and 30 minutes before I needed to stop and catch my breath. From 2KM to 20KM. The weights lifted increased, 20 became 60, the results was visible. Thanks to technology, I kept good track of progress. The Jefit apps and Suunto ambit, that I use, made training fun and focused. There’s many application and hardware out there for training, just a matter of preference.
All the exercise done, sparked an interest to learn about physical training. Makes more sense to what we are doing and progress tracking better. One thing good about Suunto ambit watch is that I get to know about VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake), and EPOC, (as Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption, afterburn) VO2max is ones’ capacity to perform sustained exercise and linked to aerobic endurance or stamina. EPOC is the measurement of oxygen intake for the recovery of the body, generally speaking. The more VO2 and EPOC, the better.
Diet, sleep, relax
Main components in training. The food intake is a major factor and never forget that. Good intake of carbs, protein and vitamins, plus a good sleep, rest and rejuvenation for recovery, muscle building and all. 6-8 hrs sleep at night. Complete diet, taking care of fat and sugar intake. Physical training is not torture, it’s easier than that. I do it because I want to not because I have to.
Mount Serapi climb. Performance test.
Feb 2013: 2 hr 30 min
Feb 2014: 1 Hr 30 min
• 5.2 km
• 2400ft climb.
A year has passed since my last visit to Serapi, the last time here, it took me 2 Hr 30 min to reach the summit. This year it took me 1hr 30…(3hr 30min,published in map as standard guide).
Personally, it’s an amazing accomplishment, is it a record? personally yes. But I’m no athlete and not involved in any race or hold any official sports record to my name.
What have changed? The mountain, trail and elevation is still the same, in fact data from my suunto ambit proves it. I ascend a total of 2400 feet from start to peak, distance of 5.2KM. Same starting and end point.
Conclusion and deductions aside; I completed the trail in a much shorter time because I didn’t stop, well… I did stop for a “rest” only once, and short pauses for breath few times all the way. Maintained an almost constant pace all the way. Some part I pushed and even jog uphill.
Surprised that the climb felt so much “easier” than before, I just had to compare the data recorded with my suunto and found out it is true… all those training really did paid off after all and the feeling is just amazing.
Why the trouble breaking all the sweat?, why not? since you are doing it, push to the max. It’s good for health, fitness, having a toned body and feeling great. Bulking up is not my target, but it comes with the package. You realised that your body shapes up and gets toned “automatically” when doing physical training.
The first reason why I wanted to get fit was that I loved trekking, exploring in the forest, climbing and doing activity outdoors. That required a lot of fitness and stamina. Second reason is that it feel great and healthy. Besides, 20 minutes a day for 3 times a week is all that is needed to get started and maintain fitness and it can even be done at home. Motivation and will power is the main drive that keeps us going, no mater training at indoors or outdoor. I prefer the later. Just Start Now.