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I was never a sporty guy (and my recent interest in boxing aside, I'm still not) but in elementary and middle school, my father always had me playing soccer, basketball and baseball in rec leagues. He always said it was to build character and persisted even when in the latter years of the experience I would try and weasel my way out of practices or games. I never really made the most of the time, viewing it always as something I "had to do" as opposed to an opportunity. Because of all the activity, though, I always remained pretty fit during my childhood to the point where I think I may have taken it for granted. I mean, I never went out of my way to be in good shape... it was just kind of how things were.

When I hit 8th-10th grade, sports were required at my school. I participated in soccer because it was somewhat of a comfort zone... but in the eleven years I'd been doing it I didn't feel like I'd improved much. I was definitely a benchwarmer and I even remember being laughed at by my teammates for my pathetic on-field performances when I did get some game time. I was okay with it, though, because it meant I didn't have to exert myself as much. I took the school's martial arts program in the winter and tennis in the spring because they seemed easy (and, for the most part, they were).

The athletic director decided to challenge me, saying that if I wanted to take it easy with my spring sport, I would have to be on the wrestling team in the winter. Not only did the whole wrestling thing have a tough reputation around the school - members of the team were even more hardcore than the footballers - the coach was a known hard-ass who would ream anyone at the drop of a hat. I was terrified. Come winter, I was back to school a week early for training, waking up at 5:30 in the morning for 10-mile runs, suicide sprints and plenty of the typical push-ups and sit-ups. Official practice was in the afternoon and was usually just as hard and sweaty as the morning outings. Along with the rest of the wrestlers I also had to commit to doing 3 sets of 100 crunches and 100 push-ups daily, on my own time. I went to meets with JV but practiced with Varsity as part of the athletic director's challenge. I hated that athletic director... but it didn't take long for me to thank him immensely for the push. The whole wrestling thing turned out to be the best physical experience of my young life and certainly one of the more proud marks on my stuff-I've-done list. Not only was I in the best shape of my life, I ended up winning the bronze for my weight class in the JV New Englands (thank you three-quarter nelson).

Everything fell apart when I moved to Miami. The school I went to for 11th grade before leaving early with a GED to pursue a college degree sooner did not require sports and my father for one reason or another didn't push me to stay active. I hid in my room from the intimidating new outside world and discovered the depths of the internet. I didn't realize how out-of-shape I was becoming until I ran outside to my sister's car to give her something before she drove off without it... I was shirtless and when I bent over to hand her whatever-it-was, she pointed and laughed at my sagging belly. In spite of the embarrassment of realizing that for the first time in my life I was not skinny and athletic, I didn't do anything about it. When I went to college I packed on the typical amount of weight and for the next few years - even through my eight months in Yellowstone during which I was hiking like crazy and my stint as a regular member of Planet Fitness - I stayed between 210 and 220 pounds, only dropping weight intermittently when I was too poor to eat properly.

I've always, without really giving it much consideration, thought of bodybuilding and fitness separate from more artistic endeavors like writing or filmmaking. Since writing and filmmaking is what I like to do, I tried not to worry much about the fact that I had gone physically soft. Over the past month, however, I've been trying to get back on track and I can't say my having gotten more deeply into the career of Sylvester Stallone hasn't been an inspiration. The man is an artist both in his body and in his filmmaking, successfully combining the two things in the most triumphant Rocky movies and many others.

As I mentioned in the video game thread, I whipped out my PS2 EyeToy and the game Antigrav, which uses your body as a controller as you navigate obstacles and reach for series of nearby targets on hoverboard courses. I've been using weighted gloves and occasionally 5-pound weights in each hand as I move my hands around trying to obtain high scores. It really is a decent workout. As I'm growing more and more accustomed to doing that sort of thing daily, though, I'm looking in to more ways to get/stay fit. I've been hitting the community gym more, doing extended sessions on the elliptical machine and the chest-press... and I've been using my girlfriend's Body By Jake door gym while at home. I did try using a Bosu Ball but it was overinflated and now needs repair... heh.

I've also tried to cut down slightly on my beer intake as well as my cheese/crackers snacks... diet-wise I've typically been eating a bagel as soon as I wake up to kick-start my metabolism (I take a multivitamin and a glucosamine supplement then, as well), a pre-workout snack such as some sort of Powerbar, a mid-workout snack of a banana, a post-workout snack of cottage cheese and cereal (soon I'll start making whey shakes) and then whatever I want for dinner. I haven't gone as extreme as saying 'no carbs after 8' or anything like that... but I've definitely been watching things, particularly my protein.

So far I've lost about 12 pounds and I've seen some slight muscle definition starting to surface. If this thread gets a relatively decent response, I may even take/post a sort of "before" picture and follow it up (monthly... maybe?) with progress shots... because at this point I fully intend to keep on trucking and pushing myself harder and harder... I keep trying to think either "I want to look sexy if I ever get hired to model my tattoos in Savage Magazine" or "I wouldn't want to look like a COMPLETE fool if I got in the ring with David Haye!" The main thing I'm working on now aside from the dietary stuff is pushing myself to the extra burn (or however you might phrase it)... it's so easy to work out a little to burn calories then call it good... I'm trying to kick my own ass into going further and working until I'm a noodle. Sometimes I'm successful... hopefully soon I can kick my ass hard enough that that 'sometimes' becomes an 'always'.

So... that's my (MUCH more long-winded than originally intended) fitness story thus far... What's yours? What sort of dietary things do you look out for... if any? Exercise routines? Goals?

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:32 am
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Fitness. I needs it. But...

donotwant.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:34 am
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I should. :(


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:35 am
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That's a lot of words.

But yeah, being fit would be nice. Teach me.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:37 am
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I like a good walk. That's about it for the fitness front.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:37 am
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I was in really good shape up until I got a desk job. I haven't gotten fat or anything, just a bit of a muffin top and 30 or so pounds that I don't really need. So I've started taking a lot of walks around town at night lately, and hiking some rather steep mountain trails, doing sit ups and crunches and stuff before and after. I oughta be in pretty good shape by the end of the summer. After four or so years of being totally lazy it's sort of a shock to my system so it sorta sucks right now. My diet's been pretty good since high school. My general aversion to carnivorous eating habits and love of fruits and veggies is probably why I haven't turned into more of a blob since getting the desk job.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:43 am
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getrhythm wrote:
That's a lot of words.

But yeah, being fit would be nice. Teach me.

Shaddup, you're hot.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:43 am
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getrhythm wrote:
That's a lot of words.


My fingers are stronger for having typed them all.

Seriously, I didn't initially intend to unload so much text on y'all... just kinda happened that way :P

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:44 am
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I'm a fairly avid cyclist.

It's served me pretty well. Do long rides at least once a week.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:45 am
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Last year I was at 185-190, which for me is pretty heavy, but it was mainly because I had injured my back and couldn't do much in the way of athletics. I'm down to 170ish after the winter and spring soccer seasons, and I'm joining an indoor soccer team, so I'm hoping the two will get back to around 160 in the not to distant future.

This is no doubt helped by me no longer drinking regular soda, which was my worst consumption habit. Now if only I could get the rest of my diet under control.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:47 am
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Birdie Num Nums wrote:
Shaddup, you're hot.


Oh, then fuck this thread. I'm out.

nah :oops:


Mod Hip wrote:

My fingers are stronger for having typed them all.

Seriously, I didn't initially intend to unload so much text on y'all... just kinda happened that way :P


Wasn't a complaint. :)

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:47 am
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Das ƒloyd wrote:
I'm a faily avid cyclist.

It's served me pretty well. Do long rides at least once a week.
I used to be pretty strong on my bike, I don't do it much anymore, but I tend to get it out during the summer occasionally. My family used to make an event out of the Seattle to Portland ride.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:49 am
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I can gain weight and lose weight with extreme ease. I'm not at my best, right now, in terms of diet and exercise, but I've definitely revved things up a bit since Easter. The six or eight months before that were bad for me, and I gained about 20 pounds in that time. I walk constantly, probably at least 2 miles every day, but I was letting that be virtual extent of my exercise.

When things are going well, I'm working out 4-5 times per week. Every session includes cardio - usually 2-3 miles running, 15-20 minutes on a stationary bike at near-maximum resistance, and then a mile or two on the rower at maximum resistance. I usually do one or two of those activities first, followed by weight lifting for about 30-45 minutes, then the final cardio workout to cap things off. Lately, I've been working on my abdomen and stretching with more frequency.

Also, basketball is a huge part of my workout routine. Living in Harlem, as one can imagine, means there's a plethora of outdoor courts to get a workout. I make up exercise drills and copy some from professional ballers (for anyone who's looking to get a good workout on the court and improve their shot, look up Ray Allen's workout routine), and I try to run in full-court games as often as possible. There's a bevy of great competition in my neighborhood.

Thanks for the kick-in-the-butt, Mod, I'm gonna go to the gym right now.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:51 am
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Birdie Num Nums wrote:
I was in really good shape up until I got a desk job. I haven't gotten fat or anything, just a bit of a muffin top and 30 or so pounds that I don't really need. So I've started taking a lot of walks around town at night lately, and hiking some rather steep mountain trails, doing sit ups and crunches and stuff before and after. I oughta be in pretty good shape by the end of the summer. After four or so years of being totally lazy it's sort of a shock to my system so it sorta sucks right now. My diet's been pretty good since high school. My general aversion to carnivorous eating habits and love of fruits and veggies is probably why I haven't turned into more of a blob since getting the desk job.


I'm lucky I didn't get bigger than I turned out in 2007/2008 when I brutalized my system by only eating white rice every other day before getting a job... then using that job's lunch breaks to assault my stomach with pounds upon pounds of What-a-burger and Sonic fast food... THEN moving to that school in NC I was doing the basketball doc for where my diet was entirely comprised of the most rock-bottom school food ever (seriously, the health folks almost shut the place down due to the kitchen being so sharty) and frequent trips to McDonald's since that was the only thing the ballers I was following around liked to nosh.

This does remind me, though, that I'm aiming to take on a local sports bar's 5-pound burger challenge sometime soon. I feel like getting into better shape is helping prepare me for that. During that 2007 onslaught of fast food, I once stacked two Wendy's 3/4#ers on top of one another and downed them within half an hour... so that helps the confidence situation. I'll likely be posting pictures here - or in the photography thread - when that happens.

Speaking of... what's the Man Vs. Food guy's post-game? I want to see an episode about that. I've never had to poop worse than after that Wendy's burger...

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:51 am
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getrhythm wrote:
That's a lot of words.

But yeah, being fit would be nice. Teach me.


Stop being so fat, plz.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:52 am
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Mmm fat rhythm.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:53 am
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Bike rides are my favorites. I used to go a couple times a week for as long/far as I could manage, then got in the habit of doing crunches before bed for quite some time. I look forward to getting into the swing of that again, even if it wasn't much.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:54 am
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Magic Fister wrote:

Stop being so fat, plz.


Skinny & fit are different things, you see. :x

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:55 am
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getrhythm wrote:

Skinny & fit are different things, you see. :x


:P

I know, stoops. I'd be happy to go on bike rides with you.

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I Watch Films, But...
In a word, I think that, far from favoring directors’ formal inventiveness, widescreen, instead, stifles it. It is, I’m more and more persuaded, if not the only, at least the main culprit for the expressive poverty of the image today. - Eric Rohmer
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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:56 am
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I am fit like this *fits up?*

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:57 am
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Magic Fister wrote:

:P

I know, stoops. I'd be happy to go on bike rides with you.


:D ! We'd better.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:57 am
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This thread pertains to my interests. I'll type up my story some time when I have more free time. This former 275 pound couch potato changed everything at age 28 and now I can run five miles in about 40 minutes.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:00 am
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I'm anti-fitness but my metabolism is still holding the fort. For now.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:03 am
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I can walk 3 miles in 40 minutes. Run? No way.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:03 am
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Fabian Thomsett wrote:
I like a good walk. That's about it for the fitness front.


Walking is not exercise for anyone under the age of 80.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:04 am
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Walking is actually an excellent low-impact exercise.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:05 am
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I walk at least 3 hours a day, a good portion of that uphill. Helped me lose some weight. Sometimes, I go to the gym, or use a tape. I should do that more, because I need to lose more,and get some more toning. I have a program, something about 30-40 minutes of cardio, then a whole bunch of weights, stretched, lunges, squats, etc.

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Everything around me is evaporating. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and its contents, my personality - it's all evaporating. I continuously feel that I was someone else, that I felt something else, that I thought something else. What I'm attending here is a show with another set. And the show I'm attending is myself. Fernando Pessoa

Live. Laugh. Love. - Freddy Krueger


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:06 am
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dreiser wrote:

Walking is not exercise for anyone under the age of 80.


Except it is.

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In a word, I think that, far from favoring directors’ formal inventiveness, widescreen, instead, stifles it. It is, I’m more and more persuaded, if not the only, at least the main culprit for the expressive poverty of the image today. - Eric Rohmer
Vimeo / / / Flickr


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:06 am
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Das ƒloyd wrote:
I'm a faily avid cyclist.

It's served me pretty well. Do long rides at least once a week.


Very cool! When I lived in Tampa and was only about 5 miles away from my work, I would bike to-and-from twice daily. Aside from what might be considered a usual amount of bike-riding when I was a kid, that's pretty much the extent of my cycling. Do you use a mountain bike or a... uh... I don't know the terminology... one of those bikes where the wheels are about as skinny as shoelaces and I lose my balance just thinking about them?

Marktime wrote:
Last year I was at 185-190, which for me is pretty heavy, but it was mainly because I had injured my back and couldn't do much in the way of athletics. I'm down to 170ish after the winter and spring soccer seasons, and I'm joining an indoor soccer team, so I'm hoping the two will get back to around 160 in the not to distant future.

This is no doubt helped by me no longer drinking regular soda, which was my worst consumption habit. Now if only I could get the rest of my diet under control.


How tall are you? I'm 6' 2" ... but I know a few people who are the same height (or taller) and hover around 170/180 so my current 198 needs work.

I went through a few soda phases myself... actually I'll bet my decline into out-of-shapeness after my wrestling stint started sooner than I mentioned because that's when I started drinking 2 liters of Sprite a day. In college and Yellowstone, along with all the beer, I got addicted to Mountain Dew and energy drinks.

Now the only time I drink soda is when I'm mixing it with Whiskey as part of plans to watch a movie I'm not particularly looking forward to.

Derninan wrote:
Thanks for the kick-in-the-butt, Mod, I'm gonna go to the gym right now.


Nice, dude! I do hope this thread might become a place where those interested can report about fitness-related goings-on in our lives and perhaps even discuss results if we're not too self-conscious. The workout you posted sounds more intense than what I've been doing. I'm somewhat limited by having a baby... but, really, that's more an excuse than anything else... shame on me! It's rather cool you're doing the basketball thing as part of a workout. I looked up a boxing work-out that on Men's Health claims to, if effectively executed on a regular basis with incremental increases in the duration of its components, turn your body into that of a "bruiser" in a few months. I haven't been doing it out-right... but it was helpful to have looked up. Here's the link, if you or anyone else is interested: http://www.menshealth.com/men/fitness/s ... 00cee793cd

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:07 am
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Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
I can walk 3 miles in 40 minutes. Run? No way.


That is somewhere around 4.5 miles an hour and that is a nice consistent pace.

If I'm just running a mile I can go as fast as a five minute mile.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:08 am
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Quite-Gone Genie wrote:
Walking is actually an excellent low-impact exercise.


Magic Fister wrote:

Except it is.


Everybody needs cardio. How many calories do you think you're burning as a pedestrian?

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:11 am
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Marktime wrote:
I used to be pretty strong on my bike, I don't do it much anymore, but I tend to get it out during the summer occasionally. My family used to make an event out of the Seattle to Portland ride.

It's a good way of getting around everywhere. It+bus=lethal combination.

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Very cool! When I lived in Tampa and was only about 5 miles away from my work, I would bike to-and-from twice daily. Aside from what might be considered a usual amount of bike-riding when I was a kid, that's pretty much the extent of my cycling. Do you use a mountain bike or a... uh... I don't know the terminology... one of those bikes where the wheels are about as skinny as shoelaces and I lose my balance just thinking about them?

You mean a road bike.

I ride a specialized brand tricross bike. It's got skinnier tires, not road bike skinny though.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:11 am
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Blevo wrote:

That is somewhere around 4.5 miles an hour and that is a nice consistent pace.

If I'm just running a mile I can go as fast as a five minute mile.
People always make fun of how fast I walk. I get impatient if I walk slowly. My lungs would explode if I tried to run a 5-minute mile.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:11 am
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dreiser wrote:



Everybody needs cardio. How many calories do you think you're burning as a pedestrian?


:-/

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:12 am
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dreiser wrote:



Everybody needs cardio. How many calories do you think you're burning as a pedestrian?

at a leisurely pace, about 400 calories an hour.

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Live. Laugh. Love. - Freddy Krueger


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:12 am
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dreiser wrote:



Everybody needs cardio. How many calories do you think you're burning as a pedestrian?
How do you always manage to be wrong about pretty much everything?

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:13 am
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I lost like 30 pounds walking 6-10 miles every day. "Walking isn't exercise" my ass.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:14 am
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This is my current weekly workout routine, I never miss a day. I start my lifting days with 10 minutes of cardio to get my heart up to 90% of my max.

Monday - Chest/Biceps

Bench Presses (2 x warmup sets) 2 15
Bench Presses 3 8
Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses 3 8
Incline Flys 3 8
Barbell Curls 3 8
Dumbbell Curls 3 8
Concentration Curls 3 8

Tuesday - Legs

Stiff-Leg Deadlifts 3 8
One-Leg Leg Curls 3 8
Squats 3 10
Leg Presses 3 8
Leg Extension 3 8
Standing Calf Raise 4 15,12,10,8

Wednesday: 1 hour of intense cardio

Thursday - Back
Pullups 2 Warmup
Barbell Row 3 8
Seated Row 3 8
One-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8
Deadlifts 3 6

Saturday - Shoulders and Triceps
Dumbbell Press 2 Warmup
Military Press 3 8
Front Raise 3 8
Bent Over Dumbbell Laterals 3 8
Cable Pushdowns ("V" Bar) 3 8
Close-Grip Bench Presses 3 8
Overhead Dumbbell Extensions 3 8

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:14 am
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getrhythm wrote:

:-/


Walking will not burn off the deep dish unfortunately.

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Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:15 am
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Blevo wrote:
This thread pertains to my interests. I'll type up my story some time when I have more free time. This former 275 pound couch potato changed everything at age 28 and now I can run five miles in about 40 minutes.


Hey, looking forward to it :D

A 40-minute 5-miler is killer. In high school it took me three hours to do ten miles and ten minutes (average) to do one. Now... well, I haven't timed it. I should check it out on a treadmill... I've been using the elliptical to avoid excess joint trauma or whatever you might call that. I'm only 25 and my joints pop way too much when I'm lifting or hell, just moving. Hinders my workout a tad because I get painful quicker from something that's not muscle "burn". The glucosamine supplement I mentioned I'm taking... I actually JUST implemented that into my system... we'll see how it goes.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:16 am
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DJ Rkod wrote:
I lost like 30 pounds walking 6-10 miles every day. "Walking isn't exercise" my ass.

I lost more than than in high school just walking home and cutting back on certain types of food.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:16 am
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dreiser wrote:

Walking will not burn off the deep dish unfortunately.


Then don't eat the deep dish.

P.S. it's exercise.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:17 am
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Mod Hip wrote:

So... that's my (MUCH more long-winded than originally intended) fitness story thus far... What's yours? What sort of dietary things do you look out for... if any? Exercise routines? Goals?


Nice idea for a thread!

I was pretty active in high school and college, weight was generally around 160-170 but my final year in school I got a desk job which can be an easy way to put on weight if you are doing it 40 hours a day and eating poorly. It doesn't really hit you at first, but before you know it, eating poorly and putting off 'eating right' can lead to months gone by or even longer. A year went by, and at 190, I was extremely unhappy with myself. Playing basketball and raquetball with what feels like a backpack of weight you aren't used to is humiliating.

So I read a handful of books of on nutrition, various cooking for dummies, and began to eliminate crutches. No more pop, potato chips, fried foods, etc. With a normal daily workout regimen, it was easy to drop pounds because when you aren't active and eating poorly, you'd be surprised at how much one can eat, especially foods with hidden calories. One thing I did do to start off this was a master cleanse. I have a friend who is a hardcore vegan and swears by the cleanse (she does it twice a year). I did it for 12 days, and I'm not sure I would recommend it. Lets just say you need to stay at home to do that effectively.

That was a couple years ago and like anything, the more you do it, the easier it gets, and the more of a routine it becomes. Now, I feel I have to to feel good. I don't drink pop with anything aside from alcoholic drinks, and even then I prefer soda water or juice. I can't remember the last time I had fast food. I buy fresh veggies and fruits from a local market, and don't buy processed foods (chips, crackers, cookies, lunch meat). I drink more wine with meals now and still drink probably too much beer than I should. If I want a cookie, I'll make it. On occasion I will have candy or pizza, but I've found ways that I've grown accustomed to that work better for me. Instead of ice cream, I eat frozen bananas at night when I need something sweet (I freeze them in the morning). Instead of pop, I buy Pellegrino a few times a month. I make my own veggie burgers instead of buying frozen ones. I generally eat 5-6 times per day, smaller meals to keep my metabolism active. I workout daily, but some days that is some sport for a few hours. I use weights in some form 3-4 days a week. At this point, I feel as healthy as I ever have, and more importantly, my weight hasn't fluctuated (163 +/- a few) since I started this 4 years ago. Yo-yo dieting is terrible for your heart.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:18 am
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for losing weight, diet makes a much bigger difference than change in exercise habits.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:18 am
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Philosophe rouge wrote:
at a leisurely pace, about 400 calories an hour.


I don't have the time/patience for that. I'd rather knock of three times that much with 20 minutes off cardio and a 2-3 mile run at the track.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:18 am
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getrhythm wrote:

Then don't eat the deep dish.

P.S. it's exercise.


I don't.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:20 am
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dreiser wrote:

I don't have the time/patience for that. I'd rather knock of three times that much with 20 minutes of cardio and a 2-3 mile run at the track.



Yeah, walking on a treadmill or outside for 3 hours is a helluva time commitment. I mean its one thing to live in a city and walk all over as means of transportation, but walking for exercise that long is crazy.


Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:20 am
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dreiser wrote:

I don't.


k neat

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:21 am
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I walk for transportation, because I'm cheap. I like being outside, and it's really good for getting thinking done.

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Sun Jun 06, 2010 7:21 am
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Does masturbating count as physical fitness? That's an activity that I partake in weekly.

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