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Any advice?

Posted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:22 pm
by Jessew
Long post, sorry...
Not sure what else I can do here, so I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions.

I've never been a runner or much into excersize or sports, and didn't do much of it other than when I was in Highschool.

I made my career choice to become a Police Officer as I was leaving Highschool after beginning to volunteer with the RCMP and having been on a few ride alongs. I admittedly was young and foolish and although I never did anything on the wrong side of the law, I did not take excersize and being healthy seriously. That was over 10 years ago and I've been doing everything I can to make myself a successful applicant for the RCMP, except up until about a year ago, I still wasn't excersizing and getting physically fit like I should have been. Because of this, I'm not sure if I'm doing anything correctly, and although I've been trying to get fit, eat healthier, and more active, I don't seem to have much to show for it.

I began trying a multitude of different things on my own, and in years past I had joined a gym, only to never go. I decided that whatever I was doing couldn't be right and after having read lots of the internet I found the FBI Workout with Stew Smith as an app to purchase and download onto the phone as very well recommended. I knew I wouldn't be able to do all of it off the bat but it would give me a good idea where to start and try. I'm not sure if anyone has seen the app but it has a different workout each day for 5 weeks using most or all of the muscle groups with lots of running, jogging and sprinting.

Now while I havent been following the workouts 100% I was trying my hardest to do my best but I found that for instance even after 3 weeks, I cou'dn't do more than about 10 pushups at a time. That was a while ago and I still can't.
Depending on the day, I can start off with say 3-5 pullups, but I might do pullups, then pushups, then a bunch of other excersize, and loops back to the begninning to start with pullups again. By the time I've got to my second round, my 5 pullups has turned to 3, by the third round, I'm lucky to get one in. Same with pushups, I can do say 10 on both the first two rounds, by the third, I'm lucky to get 5.

In terms of running, I was at first just doing whatever, with no real goals, or times, or anything. I spoke with some others knowing that my cardio was probably where I needed to start out and found out one of my coworkers used to be a running trainer. He recommended a running plan that sounds similar to, or exactly like the Couch 2 5k thing, which I also have on my phone. Having other friends and others on the internet saying it really works, I figured I'd try that.

I started with 1 min walk and 1 min run on week one, to week three where it was 1 min walk and 3 min run, adding a min to each running segment for each extra week, aiming for an hour of running time each session.
I found that the first two weeks were easy enough to get an hour in, week 3 with 3 min runs was more difficult but managable.
To give a better idea of how i'm running, it's on a treadmill, walking speed is 3MPH and running was at 5MPH, I'm trying to be running 3 times a week but sometimes 2 days is all I can get in. I know treadmill running is not ideal, but I have two kids, 2 and 4yo and work two jobs and just do not have the time to get out of the house, as my only day off, I'm with the kids.

Anyway, I've found that I'm stuck around the 3min-4min run time. Before Christmas I was ok get to get about an hour in of running, but could never seem to improve either my time or distance, as after an hour I was done, and if I tried to increase the speed, i'd poop out faster.

Over Christmas, I got a cold, which then turned into the Flu, then back into a cold, and took me about 3 weeks to recover. I did try some running during, but it did not go well.

Now that i'm feeling better, I started off with the 3 min run times and found that my first day after about 30 min I was done. I assumed it was because I had only just got rid of the cold. I continued and bumped the run time to 4 min each so 1 and 4 aiming for an hour, and found that again, after about 30 min I was done. Today I tried again. I tried a higher speed at 6MPH instead of 5, and found that it dropped my time to 15 minues before I was done. I feel like, and have always felt like my heart rate goes from resting to max almost as soon as I start running and causes me to be short of breath almost immediately, which then levels out a bit and as I said, before I could get an hour in, now I get nowhere near that.

The last few times I've been checking my pulse during first 1 min walk immediately after the first 3 or 4 min run and found that my pulse shot almost immediately up to about 184bpm. I'm no sure if that is normal or not but to me it doesn't seem to be. I assumed cardio training like i've been trying would train the heart not to do that but maybe I'm wrong?
On top of that, after i've ran, weather it's 15 min or an hour, once I hop off the treadmill, I feel slightly off balance. Not dizzy or anything like that, just kinda wobbly. Similar to having been on a bouncy boat ride and after you get off you feel like you are still on the boat.

I've been tested for athsma before. My Family Doc said I was "Pre-athsmatic" when I was in Highscool, whatever that means, and prescribed me an inhaler which didn't seem to do anything for me when I was trying to run back then. He sent me to a specialist who gave me a test for athsma and the test came back saying I did not have athsma, so I figured it was maybe because I was out of shape.

As it stands right now, I've passed my medical and PARE, etc for the RCMP, and my file is currently in Final Review, and I have my Final Medical coming on Tuesday. I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch but I likely have a Depot date coming in the next month or two.
My last PARE time was 4:01, so while not great, still better than my first two by alot.
My biggest concern right now is that I'll get to Depot and be the one dragging along behind everyone else on the run. I don't want to be that guy. I feel like I'm trying hard and getting nowhere.

Is there something I'm doing wrong, or am I just worrying about nothing?

EDIT: I should note I'm 29yo 5'2 and 175lbs.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:36 pm
by GoodWitness
Maximum heart rate is roughly 220 minus your age, so your maximum should be about 191. If you're hitting it pretty hard your rate should range between 134 and 172. Assuming you're measuring it accurately, you're hitting 96% of your maximum heart rate during what should only be moderate exertion. What's your resting heart rate?

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:23 pm
by Jessew1
Having just checked I counted 15 in 10 seconds.
So about 90bpm I suppose.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 10:10 pm
by mack_silent
As with most anything, the more you practice, the better you get.

Think of fitness like a house. Build a proper foundation first, and then build upwards.
Focus on lighter weights and the most important part: proper form is KEY.
I'd highly suggest picking up a physical trainer for 12 sessions (3x week, for 4 weeks).

Even a barbell squat has quite a few places where you can go wrong. This can lead to injury, improper training foundation, slower progress, muscle imbalances, etc.
I see guys at the gym doing squats wrong ALL THE TIME. A trainer will teach guide you and set up the proper foundation to build off of.
By learning an exercise right the first time, you get muscle memory and should continue doing it right throughout your journey.
A trainer can also write out a training routines, motivate you when beginning, and make you feel comfortable on the equipment.

The next key to fitness is consistency. Even if you do short 20 minutes workouts consistency (3 times per week), you will see HUGE improvements.
Most people starting off will have a hard time jogging more than a few hundred meters without gassing out. (This is why most all the foot chases on COPS last less than 1 minute)

Start off slow,
1) Cardio -- follow the couch to 5k program.
Focus on finding your personal pace. Follow that pace to 5km.
The goal at end of the C2-5K program is to keep moving at a jog pace for the entirity of a 5km distance.
Obstacles will be: Lung capacity, pacing, leg/calf strength, willpower to keep moving.

2) Weight training -- 3 days per week is sufficient for starting.
Try to focus on free weight exercises, and body weight exercises.
(IE: dumbells, barbells, pushups, instead of machine guided exercises)
Also try to focus on compound exercises (IE: ones that hit several muscles at once)
The big 5 are: Shoulder press, bench press, deadlift, clean, and squat.
Break the workouts into different muscle groups (IE: Legs / Back / Chest / Arms).
Be sure to vary the exercises, weight used, and constantly try to challenge yourself.
Obstacles will be: Muscle strength, muscle stamina, ensuring proper form, avoiding injury.

3) Core training -- workout your core at the end of each workout.
(Not at beginning as you need those core for proper lifting form).
Planks and other similar movements are good.

After 6 months of consistency you should build a good proper foundation in both cardio and muscular strength.
Good luck!

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:04 pm
by Jessew1
Thanks.... Ill save that post for sure..

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:41 pm
by devilwoman
Kettlebell exercises work your core without having to do actual core exercises. I swear by them and believe they are the reason I didn't suffer through the core endurance on my Fit Pin. Added benefit is that they help with cardio and strength at the same time.

Don't discount the positives of body weight training and simple routines. Something as simple as AMRAP of 15 minutes of kb swings, push-ups, squats and chin-ups can work wonders. Tabatas, pyramids, etc. also are great and can be done anywhere and with very little gear.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:00 pm
First thing I would ask you is what is your nutrition like? Fitness, strength, cardio, fat loss, muscle gains..all require proper nutrition. Its 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. So stop wasting time in the gym if you are eating like crap. get rid of processed food specifically Sodium and sugar. Cut your dairy and wheat to a minimum. eat every 2 hours get that metabolic rate up, your plate should be 80% veggies 20 carb and 20 protein. Up your protein levels, if you wann be 200lbs then you should be intaking around 200g of protein daily. this does 2 things, it prevents the muscles from running out of food stores in the body and eating themselves as yoru metabolic rate increases, also by feeding the mucscle and building the muscle it will get bigger and increase your metabolic rate which in turns burns more calories. Dont run for a bit as you need a base to start off from, get on the treadmill or walk around your block.. Start by doing that 3-4 times a week. Just walk,dont worry about heart rate, you have to build a base to start getting faster. after a few sessions of long walks, I mean at least 60 min, then start upping your heart rate for 2 sessions of cardio, then the next do a cycle of run 3-5 min at a slow jog, then boost it for a minute to about 80% of your max do that 5 times. Once you have laid a good base by putting miles on your legs and then varying heart rate intesnity your cardio will come up fast, after 2 weeks of that try a coopers test and see how fast you can run 2.4k or mile and half. Combine that with proper fuel for your body you will get results. As for strength and lifting i would suggest talking to a trainer, i would also suggest talking to a nutrionist. eat big lift big is a cop out answer for strength training, every person has different needs, so as stated talk to a trainer.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:46 pm
by GoodWitness
How'd the medical go? I'm trying to figure out how you did the PARE in 4:01 but are dying when you run at a fairly low speed on a treadmill. Male or female? Iron levels okay?

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:31 pm
by Jessew
Thanks Odin. I'll try that too. I definitely don't eat well.

Goodwitness the medical went fine as far as I know. No issues came up. I still have to be cleared by my final medical was this past Tuesday.
I'm not really sure about the running etc. I feel like I have some good days and some bad days. Ones where I feel good and can run for a decent bit and others when 5 or 10 minutes in I'm worn out.

Must be my food.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:36 am
by Harbinger30
I'm going to take a bit of a more harsh tone, here, but it's meant to be constructive:

Everything that you mentioned in your first post is your fault. YOU let yourself get out of shape and YOU decided to not go to the gym after joining. Accountability goes a long way (you'll learn that at Depot).

As stated before by other users, nutrition is everything. You can't out-exercise a poor diet. As for cardio, think of your heart as any other muscle. For example, you aren't going to make your biceps stronger if you only curl 3 lb. weights. Same goes for your heart. If you're not exerting it, you're not making it stronger. If you make the decision to push yourself hard enough, you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll improve.

Next, as with anything at life, unless you're super human, you'll probably suck at most things you try, but with some practice, and a lot of patience, you'll get better. This applies to EVERYTHING.

If you feel like you need a structured program, try the P90X regime. I use it and I find it works well for me. There's a nutrition guide, and all of the workouts are laid out for you. All you have to do is turn your brain off and follow the instructions. As an added bonus, you'll find that those types of workouts are what you'll most often be doing at Depot.

As a confidence booster, take a before and after picture. You might not see the results, but looking back on your before photo might open your eyes.

So, in conclusion; make the decision to make a better you, and stick with it. Every journey starts with one step.

Re: Any advice?

Posted: Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:59 am
by Jessew
Thank you Harbringer30, I agree with you there... I'll have to check out this p90x. I keep hearing about it.