Websites to Checkout

Monday, February 28, 2011

A day late but worth the wait.

For those regular readers out there by now you have probably noticed that my usual Sunday entry was delayed. This was due to my attendance at the Soundwave music festival. It was a great day with Slash and Myles Kennedy being the highlight. But you are not here to read about my day of head-banging, moshing and rocking out but to read about my results for the week. So without any further ado, the results:
Resting heart rate - 70 bpm (- 4 bpm)
Waist measurement – 127 (- 2 cm)
Weight – 136.8kg (-3.0kg)
10kgs lost = Party Time!

Another 3 kilos have disappeared into the ether and what is even better is the news I have busted the 10kg weight loss mark (which is roughly 22 pounds for those not up on the metric system). This is something that has really brought a smile to my face. I even allowed myself a celebratory piece of a friend’s birthday cake as a reward (nothing but veggies tomorrow to make up for it though.) My resting heart rate and measurements are also continuing to drop. 5 weeks in and EA Sports Active 2 has lived up to its promise of being an all-round health and fitness solution. It is however only just past the half way mark of the 9 week program so it still has some time to let me down.
Life, I have noticed, is changing. My health is now at the forefront of my thinking and is no longer something to be ignored. For example, I recently went to the “Hog’s Breath” (for those that don’t know, a chain of steak houses) where I ordered an entrée of crumbed mushrooms and a main of a balsamic calamari salad. My normal order at a place like this would have been large slabs of animal with a side order of deep fried potatoes of some description. And while I have always liked salad it never would have been a choice previously for me in a place like this. This is the change of thinking I have gone through since taking on the 9 week challenge. What started as a way to improve my writing has evolved into a lifestyle change that has affected my perception on life in general.
Unfortunately I really don’t have much more to add this evening. After spending all of Sunday rocking out (and walking about 20kms in the process) and most of today driving home I am somewhat exhausted and my brain doesn’t seem to be functioning in a coherent manner. As a teaser though next week I plan to put down the thoughts of the person that loves me the most (well at least I hope she does) my wife, noting her opinions and observations in regards to my journey so far. I promise to be honest with you so if she says I am a lazy fat arse; well that is what you are going to read (I am hoping that she will be much nicer than that though).
Headbanging Fitness: The new fitness fad brought to you by The Shopping Channel.

Hewso’s stat tracker.
Workouts completed     -    25
Hours of Exercise             -    13hours and 3 minutes
Calories burned                -     8243
Distance Ran                      -     26.85km
Average Heart Rate        -     126 bpm
Maximum Heart Rate     -     195 bpm
Weight Loss                        -     11.6kgs
Waist measurement       -     -11cms

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A tempory delay to normal broadcasting

Due to a sudden case of Headbanging (I am off to the soundwave music festival) our usual Sunday blog entry will not take place.

Please rest assured that normal broadcasting will resume on Monday (Aussie time)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Expert opinion on an Amateur’s Journey.

Another week down and another blog entry to go up. This week was full of drama, action, comedy and even a little bit of romance. Well not really, it was pretty much the same as last week which is why I managed to call in a favour to get some qualified insight and opinion on the EA Sports Active 2 program.  But first the real reason you are all reading, to see if I am about to break down and cry again, the Stats.
Waist Measurement - 129cm (a loss of 1cm)
Resting Heart Rate – 74bpm (same as last week)
Weight – 139.8 (a loss of 1.6kg)
As you can see I am continuing to lose weight, I have a feeling that number would have been slightly larger without the packet of chips I shared with my family last night and the delicious Beef Ravioli I had today at lunch with my parents (hint: Italian restaurants, while they serve great food, tend not to be a great weight loss destination) so I am happy with my results.  Next week I will endeavour to resist the temptation and see what my true loss will be.
So onto the meat and potatoes of this week’s blog, my extra special guest and his opinions about the program.  A little about him, Jono (as he is called) spent 4 years at uni studying exercise physiology at the University of Wollongong. To help fund this study he worked as a personal rehabilitation trainer at a local gym dealing with workers compensation cases. Since leaving university he has been employed by the Liverpool hospital in Sydney as a Cardio diagnostician where his role was setting up, adjusting and maintaining pacemakers already implanted in patients and diagnosing heart problems and issues with patients. He has recently completed further study in Cardio electric science and has left the Public health system to pursue a career in the Private Sector. Oh and one final qualification, he is my little brother.
Yup, my baby bro is much smarter than me!
The only way for Jono to obtain an accurate opinion was for him to actually do a workout. So with the sensors readjusted for his much smaller frame and a towel and water bottle at the ready we started up the game. For this test I asked the trainer to create a new workout for our situation. We selected a Cardio work which had little arm work so Jono’s bad shoulders wouldn’t come into play (a legacy from a youth spent playing rugby league). So with a workout selected and a slightly apprehensive look in his eye we started the program.
As the workout started he was led through the warm-up phase. Jono commented that he felt the warm up was not long enough and a little more stretching should be introduced to enable the body to be ready for a high intensity session. After about 10 minutes I could see the sweat appearing on his forehead. His breathing had quickened and all body signs indicated he was working hard. This was confirmed by his comments in regards to “foot fires” and “squats” causing a burn in his legs. He also stated that he felt like a dick jumping around in front of the TV and had to fight the urge to close the curtains in case anyone was watching.
With the workout complete and my brother sweating up a storm, I quizzed him further on his opinions. “I personally prefer being in a gym or outside, however, this is a perfectly acceptable substitute and is great for people that cannot afford the gym or feel insecure exercising in front of others“ was his summarising statement.
We also discussed other aspects of the workouts and the program in general. First was the schedule of the workouts. Jono informed me that 4 workouts a week was a good number, however, he strongly encouraged activity every day if weight loss was my goal. Second was the resistance band. Jono was a fan of these bands, commenting on their flexible and beneficial nature in exercise. He did say that if muscle development was your goal free weights would achieve better results. Finally we discussed the amounts of exercises in the game. This is something he was really impressed with, bringing out the old cliché “diversity beats boredom” and the fact that I am still getting new activities after 4 weeks is great.
So all in all Jono seemed to be fairly impressed with what was on offer in the game. He had a few minor quibbles (occasionally an exercise wouldn’t register) but felt overall the experience offered an acceptable substitute to a gym. I feel that in some respects he was simply happy that his older brother was finally getting of his XXXL backside and doing some exercise and if a video game helped me, it was a great thing.
So that’s about it for this week. Hopefully having someone else’s opinion in this entry has broken up the boredom and given you another insight into the experience. I should have mentioned this earlier but if you have any questions in regards to my workouts, or if you want to clarify something please feel free to contact me in the comments section below or at @Hewso81 on twitter. If you have any questions for Jono I will try to get an answer for you as well (I can’t  promise anything though I might have used up all of my favours now.) So stick around for more video game fitness shenanigans next week.
Hewso’s Stat Tracker.

Workouts completed –  19
Hours of Exercise – 9 hours 50 minutes
Calories Burned – 6135
Distance Ran – 18.68km
Average Heart Rate – 130bpm
Maximum Heart Rate – 195bpm
Weight loss total – 8.6kg
Waist measurement difference -  -9cm

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Difference of a Week.

Well the 3rd week of EA Sports workouts has been completed and according to the game, so has phase one of my 9 week program.  The game made quite a song and dance about this so I imagine starting tomorrow when phase 2 kicks in I am going to get my butt kicked repeatedly by my increasingly annoying trainer and a game that shows no mercy to the unfit and flabby.
But no one is reading this to hear me whinge about what is going to happen tomorrow. You are all reading to see if I have broken down and committed ritual Hari Kari or if I am back on track with my aim of a fitter/thinner and all round healthier me. Well please start your mental drumrolls the results are just a blank line away:
Waist Measurement – 130cm (-2cm)
Resting Heart Rate – 74bpm (-5bpm)
Weight – 141.4kg (-2.4kg)
That’s right I am a loser again (that sounded better in my head). After the devastation of last week’s result I have managed to shrink just that little bit more. I have even been able to drop a notch on my favourite belt which is great news. The benefits don’t stop there as you all can see my resting heart rate is dropping, which I have been informed is a very good thing. I am also feeling better all-round. I am using less Ventolin (asthma medication for those that don’t know) and well how do I put this….. I am digesting things much more efficiently (use your imagination I am not going to describe that one in more detail.)

The Keg got a little smaller this week.
The game it’s self is still keeping things interesting. There are 2 new exercises every workout and while I am at the point that they are all just refinements on previous exercises, it is still nice to have something a little different to do each day. Another thing I have noticed is I am having less and less instances of the game not registering what I am doing. The exercise that I had problems with in the first week now registers just fine which leads me be to believe that I was doing something wrong in the first place.  I am having a few issues with the custom soundtrack feature of the game. There is no way to shuffle the songs so every workout has the same songs playing. I have gotten around this by creating multiple playlists but this is hardly an elegant solution to a problem that should have been thought of in development. It is a little nit-picky I know, however, when you are working out four times a week it becomes more of an issue.
In the interest of trying all of the features of the game I also created and completed a custom workout. The process of creating a custom workout was quite simple, you simply select which exercise you want to complete and voila workout created. The game offers advice on what should be included in a workout, ensuring you include a workout and cool-down as well as displaying the estimated time and calorie burn for your workout. The good thing about this was I got to create a workout that didn’t include the Mountain biking exercise (I still stand by my statement that the devil had a hand in inventing that one.)
I will one day look this good in a singlet, only with better hair.
Well that’s pretty much it for this week, a definite improvement on the last rather morose blog entry. It is amazing what achieving your goals can do to your outlook on things. Next week I have a special guest contributor to the blog. I have managed, through great personal cost, to secure not only a qualified personal trainer but a Cardio/vascular technician (same person) to observe me working out and also take part in a workout to give their thoughts and opinions on the game. Ok the personal cost is not so great, it is my brother, but the impressive title is true. So stay tuned folks for more exciting stories from my modern quest for fitness and health.
Hewso’s Stat Tracker
Workouts completed – 15
Hours of Exercise – 7:20hrs
Calories burned – 4512
Distance ran – 13.57km
Average Heart Rate – 131bpm
Max Heart Rate – 195bpm
Weight loss total –    -6.8kgs
Waist measurement difference -    -8cm

Sunday, February 6, 2011

This is going to hurt….. a lot.

Well another week of hard workouts and sweat is over. Week 2 is done and now is the time to write about what happened. I will tell you now that things aren’t good. So without any further procrastination here are my week 2 stats.
Waist Measurement – 132cm (the same)
Resting Heart Rate – (79bpm)
Weight – 143.8kg (+400g)
Yup, that’s right I put on weight and let me tell you right now I am devastated. All week I have been eating healthy and giving 100% in all of the workouts and I still put on weight. I will be honest this is a horrible blow. After last week I was pumped ready to complete the remaining weeks and make a huge difference to my weight. Now all motivation has evaporated and any desire to continue putting myself through this is leaving me quickly. If I wasn’t writing this blog to determine if these games actually work then I would probably stop right now.
Yup, Sad face time.
Very depressing so far I know so from now on I will try to lift the tone a little. This week’s workouts were hard (the swear-to-exercise ratio was much higher this week). They seem to be getting progressively harder and longer. All workouts this week ran well over 30min (last week they were about 25min) and seemed to focus on really pushing me with each exercise. The good side of this is that I seem to be recovering much quicker now. In the first week it would take a good 10 minutes before I was ready to even talk but this time frame has noticeably shortened. My annoyance for this week (apart from still being a fat bastard) is the coach. I must admit I am starting to get a little annoyed with the trainer. I think I had heard all of her comments after the first 2 workouts and now with 8 completed it is starting to get more than a little repetitive (more like mind numbingly painful).
This week I had an extra audience while doing my workouts. So besides the usual cheering from my eldest and my youngest trying to perform “The People’s Elbow” on me every time I am doing floor exercises, I had my mother sitting in the corner reading her book and pretending not to hear me drop the F-bomb with an increasing regularity. Both my mother and father seemed reasonably impressed with the game and as my father works in the sport industry I can only take that as a good sign. Dad even went so far as to comment on the unhealthy love the game has for squats and how he approves.
I look at this pic and the first thing I think of is "Wow cool TV setup". Is that wrong?

Well that’s pretty much it for this week. I must admit this was the hardest blog entry to write so far. Getting the enthusiasm to tell the world that I have put on weight is not normally something I would tackle without at least 3 rum and cokes beforehand, alas drinking is a big no no when getting fit so rest assured that all writing has been done stone cold sober. So now it is time to pick a cliché, “the past is past” “It’s a new week” “blah blah blah”. They all apply in this situation, I just hope my efforts don’t seem a waste again this time next week.
Hewso’s Stat Tracker.
Workouts completed – 9
Hours of Exercise – 4:35
Calories Burned – 2685
Distance Ran – 8.01km
Average Heart Rate – 135bpm
Max Heart Rate – 195bpm
Weight loss total -   -4.4kgs
Waist measurement difference -    -6cm