My Fitness Routine

I am well on my way to achieving fitness for the second time. It has not been easy, and I do not expect it to be easy going forward. Many people have asked me what my fitness routine has been during my second transformation, and in this post, I would like to discuss just that.
routine

How I Started

  • Workout three days a week: when I started, I made a goal to go to the gym three days a week when I was home, which was about 50% of the time.
  • Workout for one hour: when I started working out, one hour was the maximum I could work out.
  • Workout with a warm-up, a skill, a unique workout, and a cool down: in short, I followed the CrossFit model. The warm-up takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes. The skill involves either some weight lifting or gymnastics work. The unique workout is typically some combination of movements for either a certain number of times or for a certain amount of time. The cool-down involves stretching and rolling out.
  • Avoid processed foods: whenever possible, I ate whole foods. This means the meals I ate required more preparation, but there were various ways around that issue — hint: crook pots are awesome.
  • Eat a lot of protein and fat: I love meat. Hamburger, chicken, and bacon are amazing, and depending on the day, I could eat up to a pound of meat. For the red meats, this means I ate a lot of fat. I am not talking dessert fats, I am talking animal, fat.
  • Limit carb intake: I tried to have rice and/or potato over other carbs in general. I love pasta and do tend to go overboard eating it, so I avoided it.

Note: through my first year, I was almost completely paleo and gluten-free.

What I Do Today

  • Workout at least three days a week: my goal is to make it to the gym at least three days a week if I can make more than three days great. Of course, I do not always make three days a week with family and work, but initially, I guaranteed three days a week, and today I ensure no excuse prevents me from going three days a week. If I can make it four, five, six times a week, then I do.
  • Workout for at least one hour: when I started working out, one hour was the maximum I could work out. Today, I work out anywhere between one hour and two hours, depending on the day.
  • Workout with a warm-up, a skill, a unique workout, and a cool down: in short, I follow the CrossFit model. The warm-up takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes and does not include much of any static stretching — it is common to do a lightweight mini-workout for the warm-up. The skill involves either some weight lifting or gymnastics work. The unique workout is typically some combination of movements for either a certain number of times or for a certain amount of time. The cool-down involves stretching and rolling out. Depending on the day, I may choose to do 1-3 skills and/or 1-3 unique workouts.
  • Workout while on travel: initially, I did not workout on travel, but as my fitness improved, I made this a requirement. Sometimes I will do a drop-in with another CrossFit location; other times, I will do a workout based on the hotel gym; when all else fails, I will do bodyweight exercising in my hotel.
  • Avoid processed foods: whenever possible, I ate whole foods. This means the meals I ate required more preparation, but there were various ways around that issue — hint: crook pots are awesome.
  • Eat a moderate amount of protein and fat: I love meat. Hamburger, chicken, and bacon are amazing, and depending on the day, I could eat up to a pound of meat. For the red meats, this means I ate a lot of fat. I am not talking dessert fats, I am talking animal, fat.
  • Eat a moderate amount of carbs: I try to have rice and/or potato over other carbs in general. I love pasta and do tend to go overboard eating it. I avoided pasta and bread; I am now slowly reintroducing them in a more controlled manner.

Note: I am no longer doing paleo and gluten-free, and I have put on some weight — mostly because of sugar intake, I suspect.

Room for Improvement

Even though I have come a long way, there are still areas in which I could improve, including:

  • Working out harder: for the last six months, while I have been training for the CrossFit Open, I have been doing custom workouts mostly by myself. Working out by yourself can be challenging as it is easier to cut yourself some slack and not put in as much effort as you should.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables: this one is hard for me because I was not raised on a lot of fruits and vegetables. When possible, I lean toward greens such as kale, spinach, and broccoli. Raspberries are also one of my favorites. At least in terms of vegetables, this is still one area in which I could improve.
  • Avoiding sugar: this one is hard for me as I have a sweet tooth. At this point, I avoid soda as much as possible and minimize the amount of juice I drink, but I still have a soft spot for chocolate.

Example Diet

  • Workout day (high protein and fat, low carb)
    • Breakfast (~550 calories)
      • 2 eggs and 8 sausage links
      • Coffee with milk
    • Lunch (~700 calories)
      • Tuna sandwich
      • 2 cups tomato soup
    • Snack (~300 calories)
      • Peanut butter and jelly (no bread)
    • Dinner (~1000 calories)
      • Protein shake
      • 2 x Pepperoni and cheese stuffed chicken breast
      • Spinach salad with olive and vinegar dressing
    • Other
      • 1 gallon of water
  • Non-workout day (balance of protein, fat, and carbs)
    • Breakfast (~600 calories)
      • Protein shake
      • 1 cup Greek yogurt with 2/3 cup granola
      • 2 eggs and 8 sausage links
      • Coffee with milk
    • Lunch (~600 calories)
      • 1/2 pound ground beef
      • 1/2 cup rice
    • Snack (~300 calories)
      • 1/2 cup cashews
    • Dinner (~600 calories)
      • Large taco salad (lettuce, beans, hamburger, rice, guacamole, wrap)
    • Other
      • 1 gallon of water

Summary

For me, working out hard and consistently, as well as dieting, was key to my success. Going to the gym less frequently, working out less intensely, and/or continuing to eat poorly would have negatively impacted my progression and may have ultimately lead to fitness failure. While I have come a long way, I still have a long way to go, and I still have several struggles in front of me. I believe by identifying these struggles and talking about them, I help ensure success in overcoming them.

What is your fitness routine today? What struggles have you identified?

© 2015 – 2021, Steve Flanders. All rights reserved.

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  1. I don’t see Bobbie sandwiches and chocolate bundt cakes! Proud of your hard work! Good job! Motivating! I have slowly taking breaks from sitting all day and doing kettlebell exercises RKC style. Blood flow circulation, metabolism, nutrition– all good stuff stuff. Modern life is too sedentary and empty calories too accessible.