The Road to Physical Fitness

The gym-rat regime has returned (with a vengeance).

Before the Marine Corps, I didn’t have a physical fitness routine for myself. I mean, if you look at the pictures of me before the Corps, it would be obvious. So, in order to set my life straight and steer it into a healthy direction, I need to plan and implement a new schedule for my college life.

When I lived in Okinawa I averaged about an hour and a half at the gym, everyday, including Sundays; on top of regular PT in the mornings. While training for my marathon, I began to average around 2 to 3 hours there, spending most of my time on the treadmill (with regular PT, as well). After the marathon, however, I thought that I could start a P90x routine to keep me fit, indoors, during the cold winter months. It lasted for a while, and my body had never felt more sore on such a regular occurrence, but my cardio routines were lacking severely.

Most of the P90x routines were great, but they couldn’t adequately replace my previous routines. I mean, less than an hour a day for working out? Is this what Americans expect to work for them? Maybe for some, but it’s definitely not for all. It’s especially not for me.

After some contemplating, I decided to pay to use the gym at school. It’s only $15 a quarter, versus $30 a month if I went with any other gym membership. It has all of the equipment I need, except for an area with a steady punching bag. I would have liked that, but beggars can’t always be choosers, as the saying goes.

My schedule now has to work around school and the hours of operations of the gym. Of course, they have classes to teach Monday through Thursday mornings, close around 6pm during the weekdays and aren’t open on Sundays. As a result, I aim to get to the gym before their morning classes begin, so I’m usually there from 6-8am, and again after my first class or between classes.

My routines have evolved slightly, but for the most part it consists of a lot of high-intensity cardio. I’ve switched it up, however, this week by implementing more weight training – while still incorporating some cardio. The last couple weeks I’ve averaged at least 18 hours at the gym. It definitely keeps me busy, but in the long-run will help me stay fit as well, so I’m happy about that. I’m very big on the elliptical, biking, running, ab routines, and weight training now.

I remember the first time I saw someone using the elliptical, I thought it was the stupidest exercise device ever invented. I thought to myself, “Why don’t they just use the treadmill?” After using it a few times, however, it quickly became one of my favorite machines.

I haven’t always been a fan of weight training, simply because my goal has never been to gain weight. I have-since learned, however, that weight loss can occur through weight-training, so-long as you ensure you’re not working the muscles to fatigue. Instead you just have to ensure that your muscles are completing approximately 3 sets of 10-12 reps; and often-at-times struggling towards the end of the last rep (without sacrificing form). Shoulders, back, biceps and triceps are some of my favorites, but I need to start adding chest in there too.

I’ve already started seeing some great results, so I’m excited to see how things turn out. Aside from that, I hope this all made sense – as I’m feeling ridiculously tired at the moment.

Take it easy, all!