Archive for the ‘52 DC Challenge’ Category

Dialing in my 52DC workouts,…

January 3rd, it’s back to work.

January 4th, it’s Men’s Health 52 Day Challenge Time (52DC). I’m near dialed in and ready.

(Check this link for what the Men’s health 52 DC is;  You might just choose to join, you are very welcome to. )


I really like these exercise and diet based challenges. They are personal in nature though there is a great camaraderie that develops on the forum as the challenge progresses. The Folks are super supportive. Take a look, the challenges are a lot of fun and the added bit of accountability is a great motivator.


Lately I have been working to dial my exercise circuits in for this challenge.

I have been experimenting with my cardio and with three different resistance routines. When leaving the gym I feel like I’ve been challenged by each. I recover well and by allowing a day between lifting I feel as though I can sustain what I am doing now for the duration.

First things first, I need to limit my workouts to 1 hour or less. No more 90-120 minutes. My body will talk to me in the case an hour is too much on days. Even if I’m feeling real good, an hour’s an hour. I have pushed too hard in a couple challenges and it didn’t work out well.  

When performing Cardio I will walk, jog, workout on an elliptical, treadmill, what have you, so long as I keep my heart rate around 115 while performing steady rate cardio or range between 100 to 130bpm while doing interval.

For resistance training I will be respecting my doctor’s order to limit myself to 50 pounds. 50 pounds might not seem like a lot of weight and it’s not by most regard though I invite you to workout with me some day, any day, I will show you how you can make 50 pounds hurt.

An Ideal workout will be 400 – 500 weighted reps, peak per set of 140bpm heart rate, rest to 100bpm before starting the next set. Each of the three circuits I have written up consume about an hour.  

I have three total body circuits written out that I will be rotating. My plan is to lift on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, Cardio on Tuesday & Thursday. I’m going to leave the weekends open initially. 

I’ll post the circuits in future blogs with the spec’s.

Now, I have to go to work dialing in a diet that I can actually stick to!


Time for a little goal sett’n,…..

One of the things the 52DC’s have engrained in to my daily life is to set goals, put a plan together to be successful and with true effort make it happen. Prior to I had always been completion driven though not to the calculating degree I am today.

Last year was so much easier in this department. By early November I had a concrete list of Items I wanted to accomplish by this time. Most of my goals were business related and for the most part, we not only accomplished each one, we slam dunked a couple. I have an exceptional staff.  

Career wise, 2011, I/we have had a monster year. It’s going to be tough to follow.  2012 will be better, I have a plan. In the next week or so I’ll touch on a couple very specific points just so they are on written record here though my business plans are not what this blog is about.  

On the flip side 2011 was the worst in the last three anyway health and exercise wise. I let down on all of the 52 day challenges. My diet was not as good as it should be. My sleep habits are not where they need to be. For me to have a truly successful 2012 I need to get each of these areas in line.   

This next week I have the store closed and along with a bit of business planning I will need to put a serious plan in place to address my health and exercise shortcomings. If I don’t, I’m going to die much sooner than I should. I know this.

The next challenge starts on the 4th. Biggest loser starts on the 3rd, (I always draw positive stuff from that show) These are two very big positives though “the best plan in the world isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if you don’t carry it out Capt’n”,……. Just say’n  

First things first, I need to reestablish that balance between family, business and  health.


I’m turning into a friggin’ blimp,…

I started out this challenge at 210lbs knowing full well that I would be spending 10-12 days on the road and working through the biggest eating holiday of the year. I was ready!

Week 1 I dropped near a couple of pounds, only took another 7-8 days to put it back on. One trip out and I came back with a couple more pounds. Second trip out and I actually weighted in pretty close to even from leaving. Third trip out I came home at 207, that was last Tuesday, not bad! Then has come the ead up too and the loved holiday on the tail end.

I do love all the trappings of Thanksgiving, Mother-in-laws turkey (should have stopped there) Sister-in-laws sweet potatoes, with cheese,… the stuffing, white potatoes doctored to the max, pies and an amazing array of deserts,… this family like most can cook!

I being of very little willpower love to sample, though, when does a sample become a helping! Ahhhh the questions,…. Throw in a long lack of steady exercise,…

This morning I’m a svelte 213lbs, not a good number, if I don’t get back to the gym and curb my eating, by Christmas dinner (now did you have to mention the second most beloved dinner of my year) I will turn into a friggin’ blimp!    

Tomorrow it’s back to near normal life as I know it. A normal work day, normal controlled menu, an hour stop at the gym before heading home.

Tomorrow night I write and post early the opening post for the 52DC forum, life hopefully will settle back down into my comfortable routine.

I can’t claim success on my CE goal as much so for losing track as it’s been for eating entirely poor.  Though there is still time to make the balance of my goals. 

I’m Still Ready!

TNT got me started,….

TNT, I hope you don’t mind if I feed off an Idea you gave me as I was reading your post of Nov. 14th. “Cable Push Pull rotation”

In your post you talk about mixing up the exercises ever 4-5 weeks so as not to get bored. Makes good sense to me and if you follow any legitimate trainers’ advice they will tell you to keep your body guessing.  I follow that advice and for both mind and body.

Boredom, or as much so, the desire to add more impact to the moves had me change up a couple of my core 5 exercises recently. I wrote about it earlier on where I have added a curl to my weighted step ups and a chest press to my weighted Swiss Ball crunches.

The newest thing I have added is to alter my standard elevated chair dips. Lately I have been performing them with my feet extended on the top of an equal height Swiss Ball and my hands on a bench. A few sets of 20 reps each of these intensified moves adds some spice to a workout.

I really enjoy taking a standard move and see what I can do to add as much stress and inflect as much pain to the move as I can.  What do they call it a compound exercise? Not sure.

As part of this challenge I am performing 6000 reps. 4000 from 5 base exercises the remaining 2000 from “others”. Others include whatever I feel like doing at the time. Could be dead lifts, lat rolls, Russian twists, pullovers, chest flies, sumo squats, lunges, ….. I always pick at least two opposite exercises and then alternate sets.

The key for me is to write it into my circuit while in the locker room before hitting the floor. If I don’t write it in I do not do as good a job at picking an exercise. Then again, if I get a hankering to do something at some odd point during a routine, I just work them in. Box jumps for instance, I already have the stepper set up so why not!  

I may not be the most regimented guy when it comes to frequency to the gym, if I can show 3-4 times a week again I will be better for it. Cold is setting in and with being at the stoop of my off season it won’t be long before I will be lifting 5 times a week.

I’m with you TNT, I’ll find a handful of ways to keep it fresh. Thanks for getting me on the roll.

2 Versions,…

The SHORT Version,

You can eat half way decent while attending a conference where most of your choices are limited and there is a nightly open bar.

You can keep your legs from going completely numb if you make sure to put about 2 miles of walking in between seminars, sun up to sundown.

If you show up at a industry conference with an open mind looking to learn something, you will be rewarded.

Even if you are a Po-dunk from a small region of the country you can make a decent showing on a national level in your industry if you work hard and play out on the edge most of the time.

5 Days on the road, I didn’t do anything to help though in turn I didn’t do anything to destroy my current 52 day challenge.



Mother and I crept into our home Thursday evening around 7PM, just a couple hours later than expected. Tired and a little chilled, we flew out under sunny 80 degree skies and arrived home in the middle of a cold rain. Back to reality.   

We had spent the last 5 days attending the Marine Dealer Conference and Expo at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee Florida. Spectacular facility! The place sports a large atrium with its own indoor castle, 40 foot schooner, their own crop of lazy gators, and a myriad of live fish, everywhere! I would recommend it to anyone though be warned, bring your wallet!  

The conference is the first of two stretches I will be spending away from home and away from my scheduled life this month. The next starts on the 17th and runs through the 22nd and includes 2 events.

Over the stay I was able to make reasonably decent meal choices. When I weighted in this morning I had only gained 1 pound. This was a moral victory in itself for me. I have a great respect for folks like SWF who spend most of their business life traveling and eating out. When given the opportunity I made every effort to stick to protein and vegetables. At the sit downs I was cognizant of portion sizes. Did well not over indulging on the open bar and laid off the continental breakfasts.   

One thing about a place like this though, you can bet that you will put a few miles of walking a day just getting to and from the reason that brought you there.  Mother and I walked 10 miles if we walked 1! We took the stairs as often as made sense and took every chance to burn off some of the calories we were consuming between meetings.  

Other than the walking though I did nothing for exercise.  Of all the crazy things they charged extra for the weight room was nice, plenty of free weights and cardio equipment and free! Never used it though, Stupid! Guess I figured if it wasn’t really overpriced it wasn’t for me! Walked in and looked around, just never made the time.

Mentally, it was a very sound trip. I have arrived home with a number of solid ideas that I can begin to implement right off.

Physically, I am still a bit fatigued from the 7AM to 9PM schedule the conference was set upon. The walking added up over time but it wasn’t a consistent cardio for 30 minutes at any one time.  To be fair I am going to split the CE’s.

This is the trip where my company was recognized as one of the top 100 in the recreational marine industry. We placed #65. Not bad, room for improvement though the competition is firm! During the presentations the hosts announced that there used to be near 10,000 dealers in North America, over the past 5 years that number has dropped to around 6,000. I’m good being #65.

All in all, one pound for the week, I’m good. I have a week to get some circuit exercise in before I get off kilter again. By the scoreboard, even with being a slacker and slipping Thanksgiving in I should be able to meet all of my core and personal goals for the challenge.

Need to feed the body,….

I didn’t eat well today and really felt it at the gym. Not that I ate poorly I didn’t,(well except for the bit of candy)  I just didn’t eat enough to sustain the energy I needed to push through my routine this afternoon.

Coffee with cream for breakfast as I was putting together a bowl of green beans cayenne pepper a pat of butter and a frozen chicken breast.  

I was running a bit late so instead of eggs I threw together a 30ga. or so protein shake, grabbed my case and coffee and out the door I went.  Left my packed gym bag on the bed. Mother picked up the slack for me and brought it into work. (If I have never mentioned before, she and I have worked together for a number of years, I think its been since our freshman started school.)

About 11am I went to my stash of almonds, had a handful, next thing I knew it was near 1:30, Mother was making a coffee run, ordered a medium, only put about half of it to me. 10 minutes to 4 and I finally got around to thinking I should eat the chicken before heading to the gym.

I needed to cut out early so as to get home in time to meet the Trick or Treaters.  Got sidetracked and never got to the chicken, grabbed an apple instead, Not TNT A but I do like apples.

I pulled a 45 minute workout 410 reps or so and I was spent.

You have to feed the body.

Arrived home, I’ve had a nice bowl of onion and beef soup that I made yesterday, (always better the second day) put a little Swiss cheese on top and shared it with the pooch. (did I ever mention that I am a bad dog owner)  

And,… the big and,…  since dinner I’ve had more than 1 piece of candy,.… We’re at about 40 kids so far and I have candy for 50, come on #41–50! Clean the bowl out and I’ll shut the light off.   

Not a good day with the CE’s.

Experiment day at the gym,…

I am constantly tweaking my exercises so as to get the most out of what I’m pretty sure won’t kill me.

40 pounds is my projected limit, no more than an hour or so or 600-700 reps per circuit. With a little creativity I am learning to put a hurt on most of my major muscle groups while still working inside my “Still Alive” perimeters.

Weighted Step ups and Weighted Swiss Ball Crunches are two of the staples of most every one of my Circuits. Today I threw a slight twist into each of them.

My weighted Step ups start with a stepper and 5 risers, a curl bar, 25lbs set 1 35lbs set 2, 45lbs set 3.  I use a standard underhand curl grip, I make sure my elbows do not touch my sides and perform the move while holding the bar with my arms at 90 degrees.

The weighted Swiss ball Crunches are pretty normal with the exception that I put the same curl bar of weight, hands close together, balance the bar on my chin and perform the exercise. I get a look every now and then, I’m sure I look like a dope. 

I stuff 20 BOSU Ball Push Ups in between the two exercises. 3 sets of each exercise, 20 reps per set.  180 reps total for this segment of my circuit. Takes about 20 minutes. I work it like a cardio routine where by the time I am done a set of 20 I am in the 140-150 heart rate range.  I let my hr level to around 110-115bpm before starting the next set. It’s a pretty good burn and after the 180 reps I’ve worked up a pretty good sweat, and I feel it. Though, I’ve been thinking about how to increase the intensity.

Today I added a curl to the Step Ups and a chest press to the Swiss Ball Crunches. It adds 20 more reps per set and really does the trick to increase the intensity of the exercise.

Now, if my arms don’t fall off before Wednesday I’ll call it the standard and finish out this challenge doing the exercises with the included new moves.

Before I left I experimented by using a Swiss Ball to perform a few sets of elevated chair dips. Certainly adds a little more intensity to this move too.

Good adjustments.

Off and runnnn,…lifting

Good to get out of the gate today, I’m wicked regimented and so far this fall I have not really had a plan to follow, now I do.

First RT today: 62:43 Min. Avg. HR 121, Peak 154. In range 51:21 Min. 89ga Fat, 683 calories. 529 Reps. 

I took care to chip away at the core exercises that make up my PG 1, 5 exercises and then moved on to the electives.

While doing my second set of weighted lunges I felt that all too familiar pull on the hamstring, so instead of being a knucklehead and pushing through the reps to finish the set I pulled up and completed just the upper body portion of the of the alternating moves. Stretched while taking a good hot shower and I feel good.    

Just as I was snapping the lock shut on my locker an older guy came into the locker room looked at me and said, “You really put yourself through a workout” Not knowing exactly what to say I thanked him and told him I was just trying to keep up with my buddy TNT!  

Tomorrow or Friday? one or the other, maybe both. Saturday is out.

2 Days to challenge time,….

Good Timing!

I’m ready to go! Had a great warm up RT this afternoon, tomorrow I’ll skip and Wednesday I will get started on the right foot. (Maybe I will start with the left, left is my odd rep count, right, even rep count.) I’m a pretty simple guy!

My Goals
CE: 84/104
RT: 15

CT: 15
PG 1: 6000
Weighted Sit Ups: 800
Weighted Core Stabilizers: 800
Bosu Push Ups: 800
Weighted Step Ups: 800
Weighted SB Crunches: 800
Other Lifts: 2000
PG 2: 5% WL Challenge, 10lbs.

The numbers might look a little soft though November is going to be a challenge inside this challenge. I have a 5 day trip to Florida for a conference and awards banquet. 3 days at school in Laconia to keep my technical certifications. 4 days at a trade show the week before Thanksgiving and oh yeah, there’s Thanksgiving.

No matter, I will make these goals I have set. If I can surpass them I will.  I’ve started back up at the gym long enough ago so as I don’t get all gimpy and sore the next day. I’m already upping my reps.

Today’s workout is an old favorite, very similar to the routine I was doing when I picked up my golf clubs. Actually, it’s exactly like the workout I was performing in the spring! I use the BBOE template, self-put together routine.  

The circuit hits my core a little harder than my upper and lower body even though the rep counts are similar. It’s the mid-section where I carry my most noticeable fat so the mid-section is where I hammer on the most.

Mother purchased a new dress that she looks spectacular in, I have 3 weeks to look fabulous in a Tux. I have motivation.

Good timing!

Good go at the gym this afternoon,…

Amazing how quickly time goes by, it’s been almost 2 weeks since lifting last. Well, there won’t be the spread of time between today and my next routine. The fall weather is going to be setting in for what looks to be good by weeks end. Oh well, it’s been a good season of chasing the white ball. Even my desire is dwindling.

One of my playing partners called today, he had scored a set of free rounds at my new favorite course Springbrook, Friday morning he suggested,… I actually thought about it for 5 seconds before saying yes, first delay of the fall!

Here are my results from today. It won’t put me close to competing my RT goal for this challenge though by the time I am done this 52 day stretch I will have formally exercised for 34 or 35 times, not too shabby for a lazy guy!

Walk , Warm Up, 15 BW Squats, 20 Push Ups, 30 Jumping Jacks  
Alt Sets            
Weighted Sit Ups    25/20 25/20 25/20  
Weighted Core stablizers 25/20 25/20 25/20  
Box Jumps    6 Rizers/ 12    
Alt sets            
Weighted Step Ups, 6 rizers 25/20 35/20 45/20  
Weighted SB Crunches 25/20 35/20 45/20  
BOSU Push Ups   BW/20 BW/20 BW/20  
Box Jumps    6 Rizers/ 12    
Single Leg Squats on Stepper BW/ 10L BW/10R    
Conbined 3 Exercises, 1 Set = 45 reps.  Alt with Sumo Squats  
DB Bench Press 15/15 20/15 DND 25/15  
DB Chest Fly’s 15/15 20/15 DND 25/15  
DB Pull overs 15/15 20/15 DND 25/15  
Sumo Squats 20/20 30/20 DND 40/20  
Walk, Cool down, Shower.         
66 Min 28 seconds,  118 Avg HR, 151 Peak, 698 Calories, 90 Ga fat burned.