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What Is A Midlife Crisis And How Will You Face It?

On April 2, 2012 my life changed.  I made the decision on that day to commit to transforming my body.  Little did I know at the time that I would grow more in 2012 then ever before.  Not only would I drastically change my body over a 12 week, no 16 week, actually I think this thing is a lifetime transformation challenge.  I would change my mind (how I see things, how I am influenced, how I make decisions, etc…)  and my life.  I can not really say that I was unhappy or miserable prior to accomplishing my transformation, but I wouldn’t say that I was exactly happy.  Maybe it was more that I had my moments.  I wasn’t really honest with myself.  As my transformation progressed I became happier every day.   Obviously there have been situations that have happened in my life during this time which may have brought sadness, but I have also been able to continue on with my life in a positive way.  I am excited to wake up every day and I enjoy doing things that I may have missed out on in the past.

At 45 years old I guess I decided that I wanted to meet life head on.  As a little kid I grew up playing soccer and swimming on the swim team.  Once I entered High School, I moved on to football and wrestling.  I  continued with football throughout college. Towards the end of college I moved on to rugby which I played for the next couple of years.  Up until this time I was always involved in pick up games of basketball, team handball, handball and football.  Since high school I had also worked out.  Around the time I turned 25 all of this came to an end for the most part including the working out.  Every once in a while I might walk into the gym but it wouldn’t last.  In 1998 I competed in and became a Runner UP in the Bill Phillips 2nd Body For Life Challenge.  This new inspiration helped me focus on my health and fitness and got me into the best shape that I had been in during my adult life.  I was able to straighten out my nutrition and got into the gym on a regular basis.  This changed my life for the better.  I felt like I was doing everything that I had to do to continue with my healthy lifestyle.  I let it go.  I continued to work out but my nutrition was not good.  My head was not in the game.

In the back of my mind I knew that I wasn’t.  I was having trouble  being honest with myself.  I wanted my competitive life back.  The life that I left behind 20 years earlier.   For those last 20 years I was consumed with work.  60, 70, 80 hour work weeks.  My life was my work.  Sure work can be fulfilling, but aren’t there other things in life?  Once you enter the workforce is there limited time to do things that you really want to do?

I remember the days when we were forced to do one sprint after another at the end of football practice after you beat the hell out of each other.  I had a never quit attitude and would push harder and harder.  One day it all came to an end.  Let’s be honest, I never liked running and I still don’t.  Once it all ended there was no reason to put myself through the torture of training.  Training for what?  Turkey Bowl?  That’s once a year and just like every year I am going to go out and pull a hamstring or sprain an ankle or crack heads with someone else.  I don’t have to train for that.  I don’t have to torture myself for that. Well I do work out and I’m in good shape.  I can walk by the mirror, suck in my gut and see how great I look.
Well I guess that was about the time that my Mid Life Crisis set in.  I realized something was wrong.  I’m working out but I don’t look like I did in 1998 when I finished Bill Phillip’s Body For Life.

This was what helped motivate me to launch my new transformation.  Another Bill Phillips contest (Transformation Challenge).

This is when I started to learn to S.W.I.M.   For whatever reason I missed a lot of this in my first transformation.  Mostly the psychological side.  The part that could influence other parts of my life.  Also what made me decide to go even further on my “Journey to be Fit”.  The part that removed my limits.

I realized that I only have so much time on earth and I already let so many things pass me by.  I’m not going to miss out on something because I can’t make a decision or because I am waiting on someone else.  If I want to do something I am going to do it.  What does NIKE say?  I had been considering doing a mud run for about 5 months.  This is after I noticed the Tough Mudder.  However, I saw that the Tough Mudder was 12 miles and there was no way that I was going to run 12 miles.  Like I said.  I hate running.  I looked around a little more and noticed some shorter races.  Some of these were only 5k’s.  I already was running about 3 miles a day.  No problem.  I did my first race a few weeks into my transformation.  On Saturday, November 17th I will do my 7th race.  It’s a Spartan Race in Fenway Park.  On December 1st I will do my first Tough Mudder.  (I thought you said that you hate running?   Yes I did, but these obstacles are a blast.  The competition, challenge and achievement make you realize that you are alive.

I have a lot of people who wonder what the hell I am doing with my life.  Over the last 10 weeks (not long after completing my transformation) I have driven up to Plainfield, IL and stayed for 4 days and 3 nights each week.  I go there so that I can train at Xtreme Speed, which is a performance center owned by a friend of mine.  These guys are very intense.  I decided that I want to be on a whole other level.  In order to do that either train with people who have the same goals.  People who want to be where you want to go.  Or people who are already there.  These guys are already there.  I missed two weeks because I also went to Jackson, WY to have some new and old injuries treated by a friend of mine that does some amazing things with healing injuries and even illnesses with his own formulations.  (I will have more on my blog about him soon).  I also had a trip to Denver where I attended Bill Phillips new Transformation Program.  Basically all of my recent trips have been for myself.   It’s not like I stopped working.  I can work from anywhere.  I just made the decision to do things that I wanted to do.  At this point it is anything from sight seeing (places like Red Rocks in Denver) to training (which I love, especially when it is something different.  I also have another performance center that I will be checking out in the coming weeks) to running in mudruns or obstacle races.

I love the challenge.  I love being able to compete.  I love being more athletic than I have been since I was 25.  It’s never too late.

Is this my Mid Life Crisis?  If it is… Bring it on!  I’m turning 46 in 8 days and I look like I’m in my 30’s and feel like I’m in my 20’s.  Over the last 7 months I have totally transformed my body, mind and life and brought competition back into my life.  I also hope that I can help influence others to join me in this life changing experience.  

Training: It doesn’t take as much time as making up the excuse not to do it.

During my transformation I did cardio between 5 and 7 days a week.  Part of the reason that I ran so much was that my dogs Bailey and Riley are my running partners and they pretty much demanded that we went almost every day.  It was also their job to motivate me to run every morning.  I would not say that I am big on running, however, I do love to run outside instead of on a treadmill.  I would rather have some scenery instead of a TV or something else indoors.  My normal running route is through my neighborhood and out to a cornfield surrounded by woods.  The dogs love it because it gives them the opportunity to chase deer, rabbits and other wildlife on a daily basis.  In some cases the wildlife were chasing them.
As far as my workouts went, I did hire Matt McCarthy from Emerge Fitness to help me achieve my goals.  I decided that I wanted to get an outside perspective and wanted to train in a new atmosphere.  Somewhere, where it was all about training.  Listening to someone else was kind of tough for the first couple of weeks because every day I wanted to open my mouth and say let’s do this instead, I realized that I was paying him to put my program together, not to listen to me tell him what I thought I needed. I never said a word.  After working out so long on my own, I must have been getting lazy and was blowing off certain exercises that I should have been doing because I didn’t like them or was having a problem with them. Now I had to do them. I was also cheating myself on certain exercises by using bad form to get through the exercise. On top of that there was the positive reinforcement from the motivational aspect of having someone work with you.  My workouts changed frequently but all of them were High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
I can honestly tell you that I spent less time on my workouts and cardio during my transformation than prior to it.  I currently spend more time around my training.  What I mean by this is that not only do I enjoy it but people have told me that I have been making an impact on their lives by providing them with information involving training and nutrition.  It took me less than 46 years, but I have found my true purpose.

The following is program that I have used and have found very effective.  It is perfect for the person who says that they don’t have time to workout.  It also fits in with the type of training that I do with both weights and cardio which is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).  This type of training is very intense (figured that I would point the word intense out.   It’s not like the word is in the name of the method), high reps, low rest, sprints and walks.  HIIT is awesome for conditioning. It helps speed up recovery and burns fat more efficiently.

Bill Phillips created this specific program for Transformation :  5:25   (that’s 5 sets 25 minutes)  I would personally recommend doing at least 3 days of each a week.  Days 1, 3, 5 would be weights (Upper Body on days 1 and 5 and Lower Body on Day 3) and Days 2, 4, 6 would be cardio.

Cardio (Spin, Run, or Bike) 5 Sets
Slower pace for 2 minutes Jog for 2 minutes Sprint for 1 minute (repeat 5 times)
If you are on a bike or do spinning start with low resistance (6-10), increase (10-14) and increase again (14 or higher).
Make sure that you increase your speed each time as well.
During the sprint you want your heart rate up there
140 to 160.  Don’t go higher than 160
Take a pulse when you end the run and then throughout the walk.  You will recover during the walk.  Your heart rate should end up going down below or around 120 during recovery.

Weights (Change your exercises up in future workouts)
You will do a complete circuit before resting.
10 reps per exercise and 1 exercise per body part
5 sets with a 2 minute rest between sets.

Upper Body

Chest  (Dumbbell Press)
Shoulders (Shoulder Press)
Back  (Lat Pull Downs)
Biceps (Preacher Curls)
Triceps (Kickbacks)
Rest
Repeat 4 more times

Lower Body (5 exercises, mix in quads and hamstrings and something for Calf)

(Squats)
(Lunges)
(Stiff Leg Deadlift)
(Step ups)
(Calf Raises)

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