June 21 2015 – Below is my journey of setting an ambitious goal, getting out of my comfort zone, struggling with the challenges and obstacles of life and enjoying the amazing feeling of accomplishing a goal that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. My aim is not only to document this journey but to somehow encourage one person out there who may be in need of inspiration, focus, better health and the feeling of setting a lofty goal and then pursuing that goal with every ounce of willpower and determination.
Never forget that since the very beginning of time, and forever more, there has never been and never will be another person with your exact personality, your talents, your relationships and your influence on the people around YOU.
Your life is so important — the world is a better place because you are here. There are so many important things that will never be done unless YOU do them. YOU CAN DO IT!
Day 1, Feb 1st 2015
(Note – Scroll all the way down if you just want to see the results)
(117 Days Until Austin’s Fittest)
As I sit here on the couch at home holding the mop bucket for my 2 year old son who’s violently retching into it due to a stomach virus, I find myself thinking about the year ahead.
It’s time for a challenge. It’s time to step outside of the box. Outside of the routine.
My 4 kids are older and more independent. Other than the occasional illness, life has returned to somewhat regularity. It’s been 12 solid years of giving every bit of effort to raising our kids. Although the last 4 days have been scary due to an ambulance trip to Dell medical and 2 nights figuring out his croup complications, our 12 year old son is at home again sleeping soundly this morning.
You can’t wait for things to be perfect. They never will be.
The 12, 9 and 6 year old’s are on their way to school this morning and other than the 2 year old vomiting due to the stomach virus, I can plan the next chapter of my life.
This is my journey to competing in Austin’s Fittest competition 2015 in the 50+ category.
What is Austin’s Fittest competition?
The AFM FITTEST is a community-wide event focused on shining a light on health and fitness for the masses while determining the ten fittest individuals in Austin. The event consists of a series of professionally designed fitness tests that measure strength, endurance, balance, speed, precision, agility, and power.
The individual competition consists of ten categories based on age and sex, beginning with 19-29 and progressing by decade up to over 60 years of age for both males and females. The male and female winner of each age division will earn the title of Austin’s 10 Fittest, while the overall male and female winners will be recognized as Austin’s fittest. Additionally, there is a team competition comprised of a minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 competitors (18+ and older, male & female) per team. Teams can compete in the Open, Corporate, Gym, or Heroes division.
There are very high level athlete’s competing – former NFL and collegiate football players, former Olympic athletes, former pro and collegiate track athletes, high level Crossfit athletes and regular weekend warrior types. This IS NOT a group to underestimate.
Feb 6th 2015
Everyone is healthy again except for some stopped up noses and coughing. Our 12 year old stayed home one last day to get back to 100% and will go with me to the Lago Vista powerlifting meet this afternoon at the new high school.
I’m focusing on healthy eating and mental training. I recently saw an interesting article on Arnold Schwarzenegger in which he talked about how he was feeling overwhelmed in the 70’s, so he began using transcendental meditation for 20 min twice a day on the advice of a friend. It immediately worked. It kept him focused and calm. In a house with 4 young kids, staying focused can be hard to do.
Now that football is over, I begin to slowly remove junk food from my diet. I like to watch college and pro football from October through the bowl season and I like to eat while watching. I focus on getting my first 4 meals right and then if I want something, I eat it. And I usually want something during football season. Yesterday I ate clean, today was ice cream and doughnuts. As I focus in on my goal of winning Austin’s Fittest, and as the weather gets warmer, it gets easier and I become more motivated to get outside and walk, jog and sprint. I’ll lose about 15 lbs by May easily just by making these changes.
Working out tomorrow with one of my clients, Keegan – a freshman Cedar Park high school football player. Believe me, this helps tremendously as I want to kick his butt in everything that we do in the gym. I know he wants to kick mine.
Feb 9th 2015
530 am workout
Barbell Bench Press
Weighted bar dips
30 min stroller walk
Healthy eating as of 1pm. Over time, I’ve learned that you have to look for motivation and inspiration in the beginning – then others will look to YOU for motivation and inspiration. I look for motivation in books, movies and in other people – my wife has always been a huge motivation for me – team captain of her Division 1 college dive team and one of the best training partners that I’ve ever had. I try to surround myself with achievers who are positive and want to excel. One of my former clients, Bill who underwent an amazing transformation, my friend Joe who once weighed 300 lbs and is now considering doing Austin’s Fittest in 2016.
Ate clean all day which was tremendous in terms of feeling in control and working the self discipline muscle. I’m still stopped up and congested with a cough. My wonderful clingy 2 year old who just wants to sit for hours on my lap. Even outside he wants to be held…follows me everywhere…:)
Feb 11th 2015
(107 days to go)
Proud. Ate clean Monday through Tuesday. This may seem like no big deal but eating is emotional, sugar is addictive and unless you REALLY want to improve your health and fitness, you have to be super disciplined in the beginning. Once you become super disciplined, you will start to crave healthy foods and lose interest, for the most part, in junk food.
Slept well but not long enough went to bed a little late 1030pm – fiddling with kids. Up at 4:45am to train with client at 5:30am. Luckily my gym is in my garage so I literally only have to take about 30 steps – grateful!
Deadlifts and pull-ups with Keegan. Deadlift was 315 lbs x 10 which is an estimated 1 rep max of 460 lbs. Felt a little stiff and tired. All worth it because I’m feeling the fire, slowly but surely. It feels good to do something for myself and to prove to myself.
Feb 12th 2015
Off day except for a 30 min stroller walk. Went 4 days with no junk food. Feeling proud. Motivation builds upon each victory, each little success.
Feb 13th 2015
105 days to AF
Feel good. Congestion gone. Just light coughing.
Cheat day. Will work out this morning. Legs tomorrow.
Feb 14th 2015
(104 days until Austin’s Fittest)
Legs with client. Worked on sprints. I need to get lighter to get faster…
Steak, salad, Rodney Strong (red wine). Watched a movie called “Chef” with my lovely wife.
Feb 15th 2015
Ugh. Too much Rodney Strong
Feb 18th 2015
100 Days To Austin Fittest
I feel great, my training and nutrition are both spot on and I am looking forward to having a fun day at the 2015 Austin Fittest competition. Don’t get me wrong, having fun is great but I’m going in to win.
Although it’s 100 days away, I feel like I could go in at any point and do extremely well in the majority of the events. There’s just one event that I’ll really need to work on. What is it?
Can’t tell you
I watched the video below before my training session this morning. There are some really interesting points made at about the 2:15 mark. My roots are in bodybuilding, I tend to pay attention to what’s going on in the bodybuilding world thus the heavy reference made to bodybuilding.
Warning – bad language alert!
Feb 26th 2015
(92 days until Austin’s Fittest)
Pull-ups coming along nicely. Goal is to be in the mid 30’s in terms of reps. Workouts are going great. Spending 5 min here and there practicing mental focus. Stretching/flexibility. Still eating clean for first 4 meals of the day. Using “Lose It”, which is a free app which “helps you set a daily calorie budget, track your food and exercise, and stay motivated to make smarter choices and achieve your goal.” I’ve been using “Lose It” for 5 years and highly recommend it.
On another note, It’s tough when the weather is cold and my 2 yr old is clingy. I remind myself that they call it “terrible twos” for a reason and like everything else, this shall pass. I make the most of it by going on quick stroller walks, watching The Laurie Berkner Band on YouTube and playing.
Working on sprint form. I sprint like a bodybuilder which is not good because I tend to wobble from side to side. This is why it’s important to film your workouts, just 30 seconds here and there so you can improve where you need to.
Feb 27th 2015
Grateful to have a kickass gym in my garage. The weather has been gray and cold which would make it tougher if I had to drive to the gym.
Tougher but not tough enough to stop me.
Motivation is the key. How bad do you want it? I’ve traveled across town on my motorcycle in the rain just to train with people whom I thought could make me better, stronger, faster. One of my friends told me the story of how his Grandfather would knock on his bedroom window at 4:30am to wake him up so that they could go workout at the gym. This happened 5 days a week. What happened to my friend? He went on to become the worlds most popular pro bodybuilder at the age of 20 (and is still at in his 40’s).
Open your eyes, open your heart…..then open the doors…
…the just-for-you doors that are there….ready for you to decide to finally open them. It’s your decision…..always….
Get ready! There is INCREDIBLE stuff waiting for you behind those doors! Your life is so stunning, so phenomenal…go out and GET IT!
Today is cheat day. Plan a cheat day or meal every week and take it. I’ve gone 7 weeks without a cheat meal as part of the research for my nutrition program and I did not lose weight any faster or feel any better as a result of not having that weekly cheat meal/day.
Still fine tuning nutrition. I’m accustomed to lowering calories when competing in bodybuilding BUT when you need energy to train like an athlete, you cannot use the same approach. You need more fuel for those long runs, sprints, plyometrics, strength training, Nexersys and Sledgehammer workouts. Need to have more NuttZo and Power Crunch Protein Bars on hand in order to keep from cheating. If you don’t prepare each day, “stuff” happens whether it be emotional or otherwise.
The goal. The goal. Focus on the goal. Stay prepared.
Working on an idea with two friends for our own protein bar. So many projects, too little time. I try to focus on just a few (3) things at any one time. If I don’t, nothing gets done because it becomes too overwhelming.
March – April 2015
My daily schedule is pretty much the same.
- Wake up at 4:45 am if I have a 5:30 am client
- Workout with client from 5:30 am until 6:20 am
- Get the 3 older boys off to school by 6:45 am
- Go for a 30 minute walk with the 2 yr old and our German Shepherd
I work from home, train clients both online and in person plus have a bunch of other fitness business responsibilities.
Life is good, our boys are growing up a little and we are getting some of our regular life back. We still can’t just drop everything and go on a date but we’re making progress. Besides being husband and wife, we’re best friends so we absorb the challenges together.
We also enjoy the victories together.
At around 5:15 pm, I charge out the door, looking for fresh air and and a change in the action. I may work, workout or take the dog for another walk. Later, we get the boys bathed, fed and ready for bed by 7-7:30 pm (OK, sometimes 8:00 pm) and then we eat and enjoy together time. Our time is fleeting but we stay grateful and focus on all the good in life. At least we don’t travel for work (been there, done that) and we’re always together at home at night.
At the end of our lives, we’ll sit back in our big ol’ rockers on the front porch, look at each other, smile and say “We did it together”. We don’t want to miss out on raising our kids ourselves. We made this decision a long time ago when we put our first child in daycare for 10 hours while we went to work. One day I made a surprise visit to the the daycare only to find my son, strapped in a car seat in a back room, screaming his head off. I immediately took him home, he never went back and we adjusted our lives accordingly.
April 10th 2015
50 Days To Austin Fittest
I’m down 4 1/2 more pounds, working on my mile, precision throw, burpees, pull ups and the other tests that I will face – 2 of which are mystery tests (!)
Current weight is 184lbs. Motivation is high, training is good. Full power!
You are getting there! The best things in life are so often gained with slow, steady progress. Don’t give up — you have made more progress than you can see, and you are getting there.
— and there are unseen things going on all around you to help you get there faster. Keep going!
Great work, by the way!
May 5th 2015
25 Days To Austin Fittest
Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve increased my running distance from 1 mile to just under 2 miles. Running has become somewhat enjoyable especially in this nice weather we’re having (80 degrees F). I’m taking seconds off of my best time on nearly every run. Sometimes I’ll not time the run so that I can just focus on form and breathing. Still doing lots of burpees, pull ups and conditioning drills. Since Onnit is the mystery test creator, I feel like my background makes me well prepared – grip, lifting, carrying, etc.
It ain’t easy with 4 young kids under the age of 12, along with multiple businesses but I’m staying focused. I’ve cleaned up my diet even more and still log everything using the free app, “Lose It”. Let the countdown continue…
May 23rd 2015
(7 days until Austin’s Fittest)
OK, I have to admit something ugly. In the beginning, way back in February/March, I ran a 9:02 mile. You will not be Austin’s Fittest with that time. I’m out to prove to myself that I can be a recreational bodybuilder and compete with general fitness types. Austin is a very fit city and there are LOTS of runners here but to win Austin’s Fittest, you have to be more than just a good runner. You have to be good at 12 different fitness challenges. I’m about to find out that it’s a grueling 90 minutes of fitness.
As a bodybuilder, I know that the extra muscle will not hinder my performance. As long as I move my body, train my body in all different directions using both body weight and resistance, I’ll perform at a higher level. Muscle is the engine. A bigger engine is more powerful than a smaller engine. I use a core hammer in my workouts almost daily. Whether I’m warming up with it, using it in my strength training or using it in my cardio routine, it’s simple,efficient and it trains my body in all planes of motion unlike ANYTHING ELSE.
I set a goal to run in the high 6 minutes and now I’m at a 7:23 mile. I feel capable and looking forward to race day where I can run with someone faster than me to improve my time. I’ve been practicing everything but the 5-10-5 agility drill and the interval drill. Pullups are at 33 and I feel confident about the Onnit mystery tests (“Onnit” is a sponsor of this years Austin’s Fittest competition).
Mental training has helped tremendously. I practice certain techniques everyday.
One week out and other than lots of rain, things are going smoothly.
Take a deep breath. Don’t forget that everything always works out exactly the way it’s supposed to…and every experience…good and bad…lasts exactly as long as it’s supposed to last…and every moment of every day teaches us exactly what it was meant to teach us.
It’s ALL good.
Take another deep breath. Just be your terrific self and let the joy soak in.
You are one phenomenal person.
May 28th 2015
(2 days until Austin’s Fittest)
Event cancelled due to heavy rains. Rescheduled to June 13th 2015
June 11th 2015
2 days until Austin’s Fittest. Tweaked lower back on Friday, 6/5 doing an exotic ab/core exercise called “11”. No training since then but feel good now. About 80% back to normal and hope to be at 90% by Saturday morning which is competition day.
Pull-ups 37 (actual 29)
Mile 6:50 (actual 8:02) Ugh. I underestimated the cumulative effect that competing in an event like this takes on the body. Will be better prepared next year.
Grip 180 (actual 170)
Precision throw 10/10 (actual 6/10)
I won the 50 + division in a very grueling competition. In a few weeks, Austin Fit Magazine will announce the date and location of the Austin Fittest celebration party and awards ceremony. Lots of pics, video, eating, laughing and meeting my fellow competitors. The August issue of Austin Fit Magazine will have a story on the top 10 winners – each age group (men and women).
The next article in this series will focus on specific training that I did in order to win Austin’s Fittest man over 50…
P.S. Just wanted to remind you that you are not alone….you are never ever alone.
Not only are there others who are experiencing the same kind of challenges that you are experiencing, they are working towards the same kinds of goals that you are, and who want the same things out of life that you do……
You also have unseen angels all around you……and the same hands that created you are watching over you, protecting you, and keeping you company every minute of every day….
You are treasured, loved, and watched over….you are never alone.