In February 2018, I received a service award from work and decided that I would use it to purchase a cardio machine of some sort for my basement gym. I used to go the the gym at my work all the time but once I had a child and my wife returned back to work after mat leave, that option had fallen by the wayside real quick!
I applaud those who can get themselves out of bed after only four hours of sleep. However, my drive for that quickly waned as well.
My basement has the basics - a stoable weight bench (that can go as high as a squat rack and as low as a decline bench press would require), a bar, a few hundred pounds of plate weights, and a curl bar. I have a doorway mounted chinup bar and a few yoga maps for floor exercises.
The problem - my drive!
I liked going to the gym because I had competition. My gym buddies who I would have to meet every morning which made it so I had to get out of bed. When left to my own devices (much like most people) I tend to defer and procastinate. That is, until I found methods to keep myself focused.
I started logging my workouts, weights, and the like on JetFit. This helped with my tracking but got REALLY tedious REALLY fast. I also found that while my muscle strength was growing, my cardio strength felt like it was declining. I started chasing my boy around the park and found myself short of breath! I am not that overweight, I don’t think – but the struggle was real.
I did some research and was about to buy a water rower and then I spoke to a colleague at work about my plan and he immediately recommended the Concept2 Model D rower. I hadn’t even heard of the brand! Some research QUICKLY lead me to learn that they were the brand for me. So I headed over to Amazon and ordered one with my awesome prime account for quick free shipping.
I set it up and downlaoded the ErgData app for my iPhone and synced it to my monitor and did a quick row. I learned a few things
- I was madly out of shape
- I loved this thing
THE DATA! Oh my lawd, the data. I didn’t even know what most of it meant but it gave me something to self-monitor and track.
ErgData syncs with the online logbook located here and I’ll show you a nice little snipped of my first few days of rowing:
Yep - OMFG is right. My first 2k meters left me gasping for air for a solid 35 minutes. MY first 5k meters left me burning and wheezing for almost an hour!
However this gave me something to chase - I could now combat myself!
The online logbook lets me sync up with my fitbit account. I use the Charge HR 2 but REALLY want the Ionic. This automatically adds the rows into my fitbit exercise log for the day and identifies all the key components automatically. What a world we live in! I also went ahead and ordered a Garmin Heartrate belt to sync to the PM5 - I’ll let you know the delta in FitBit’s calculated HR and the belts HR in a later post!
Through the month of March I competed in the ‘Mud Season Madness’ challenge - and boy was it. For 25 days complete at least 5000m.
As you can see from my first chart, my 5k wasn’t great. and my depressing notes on it were not very uplifting - but I was dedicated!!
It took me a while, but I eventually got my time down to a respectable level - I think! Below are my ‘Event’ Rankings which have gotten MUCH better since my original attempts!
Now - admittedly I’ve been slacking since Mud Season Madness ended but I’m still trying to get in at least 3 days a week on this ERG. In fact, last night I did my first 2k challenge of the 2018/19 season and finished with a time of 7:26.1 which is a far cry from my record, but still not that terrible!
Ready for some results? Here’s my February - April weight loss from having a dedicated, push myself challenge. It’s the first time in YEARS that I’ve successfully dropped below 230 lbs! Another awesome integration and data porn brought to you by the Fitbit team in the form of the Fitbit Aria
This device does literally everything for me and my goals.
- It targets a load of muscles in the body
- It’s relatively low impact so my awful knees don’t scream at me when I’m finished
- The data! It keeps me motivated
I know I typically talk about tech and building it, but sometimes I just really need to talk about how well other people are building it. There’s so much opportunity to modernize the tasks we do every day and buying this rower reaffirmed my belief in that. Industries are ready to be disrupted!
I promise my next post will be more technology oriented.
Perhaps something to deal with my current love / hate relationship with Golang.