T Nation

My 2011 Fitness Journey


Who am I? A 50-year old guy who knows I have a better chance of living a longer healthy life if I workout. I have allowed myself to gain some excess weight and lose strength and strength-endurance by eating poorly and working out infrequently (and in a non-structured way). So I thought this might be a good way of making myself accountable.

What do I want to do? Get back into shape. Nothing fancy, other than to train at an intensity that can result in body compositional changes.

What have I done/intend to do to achieve my goals? I signed up for Chad Waterbury's 'Waterbury Challenge 2011', and I also intend to run my first ever half-marathon in April this year, which means I have to hit the road and put some mileage in. I will also pursue a CW strength-training style workout program, as I have successfully done in the past, which will add some structure and metrics to my otherwise half-baked approach of today. All of the above will be in the name of trying to get back into shape. I recognize a half-marathon conspires against strength, but given my condition, I will still benefit from both pursuits for now in terms of leaning out and getting blood pressure under control. Once the half-marathon goal has passed, I may choose more compatible goals. I'll worry about that later.

In terms of equipment, I have a home gym with everything I need to do serious lifting, and a perfectly good running road outside, so I have no excuses. My log starts today, but I have been steadily increasing my workouts over the past few weeks:-

Today - weight: 207 LB (I got down to 178 LB on P90-X a couple of years ago).


  1. A 3 mile run. My first run since November. My average pace was a truly miserable 10:31 / mile (as I said, I am out of shape). At least I have plenty of upside potential. :slight_smile: I want to run the half marathon in less than 2 hours, so my average pace between now and April has to come down to 9:15/mile as I steadily increase my running distance.

  2. CW's challenge for day 7 - An easy 7 pull-ups, push-ups and walking lunges. (Only 1 set of each needed for today - that will not last of course).

No strength training today, I will do that tomorrow.

My personal 2011 fitness journey begins. Happy New Year to everyone!



Day 2. Body weight 206 LB. Today is serious (for me) strength training. I decided to follow the 'Waterbury Method' (have done so before with good success - the article is online here in the articles section for those curious), which consists of 10x3 of a major lift, then 5x5 of some pretty decent ones too. My exercise selection is different from Chad's original, but it's the same formula. My 'warm-up' today included the CW 2011 Challenge for day 8 - 8 reps each of pull-ups, push-ups and lunges. I still did these as one set, but my pull-ups are getting close to where I'll need to split into two.

Here's my workout. The rest time was 60 seconds after each exercise, except for the deadlifts (70 seconds).

Dead lift.................. 10 x 3 @ 255 LB
A1 - Dips................... 5 x 5 @ 15 LB
A2 - Cable rows........ 5 x 5 @ 180 LB
B1 - Lunges.............. 5 x 5 @ 2 x 35 LB dumbbells
B2 - 1-leg calf raise... 5 x 5 @ 30 LB
C - Ab Wheel............. 3 x 10

I forgot how much I enjoy getting wiped out by Chad's workouts. The dead lifts started fairly easy: initially, I was thinking of adding more weight, but after about 5 sets I back-peddled my assessment. I have tried to attach a video of my DL for about set 4 or 5 as I recall. I had no issues with the workout, but I do expect a dose of DOMS tomorrow.

One thing I'd appreciate some insights on: the final Ab wheel exercise was surprisingly easy. I do these on my knees. I have never been able to do these on my feet, yet on my knees they seem to be not very challenging. It does not matter how 'easy' these are on my knees, I collapse when I try them on my feet. Has anyone else had to manage the transition from knees to feet for this exercise; if so, I'd appreciate a hint or two, as I can't get there by simply switching from knees to feet no matter how many I can pump out on my knees?

I am not planning on doing anything else today, but the day is still young and weather outside is great (desert living is GREAT in the winter).



My first week started poorly - I came down with a virus. It hampered me a little, but not too much. Here's a summary of what I managed this week:

Sun-Tue - nothing. Pretty much stayed in bed.

Wed AM - got caught up on the Chad Waterbury challenge for days 10, 11 and 12. Probably not the way he wanted it, but it was either that or skip the prior two days entirely. Late PM - strength training using Waterbury method again:-

1 Weighted pull-ups (BW plus 10LB) 10x3
2A Power Clean and Push-press - 5x5 @ 105LB
2B Hammer Curls - 5x5 @ 35LB
3A GHR - 4x5 with no extra weight
3B DB Bench 4x5 @ 70LB

(My virus won after set four, so I quit slightly early).

The power clean should have been a light weight for me, even though I am out of shape, but I was still weak from the virus. I have to do a lot better in the coming weeks. The GHR's were probably not great (I'll try to video next time for your amusement), but they were my first in a long time. The easiest lift was the pull-ups - did not even lose my breath on those. I also intend to track my total pull-up weight, so next time I really do lift more weight (i.e. I will compensate for the fat-loss I expect to occur). This will be my first attempt at doing that: I normally just up the weight and the dip belt and call it progress, but I suspect I'll be 5 LB lighter before I next do 10x3 weighted pull-ups, so 15LB weight would actually make me EVEN with this workout. Should be interesting to see how that goes. I'll do that with weighted dips too.

Thursday - CWC #13, nothing else (still got a temperature)

Friday - 3 mile run (even slower than last week as I still feel like crap) followed by more strength training:-

1 Back squat 10x3 @ 185LB
2A Bent over cable row 5x5 @ 140LB
2B Seated incline DB Bench 5x5 @ 55LB
3A Side lunges 5x5 @ (2 x 15LB)
3B DB Curl 'n press 5x5 @ (2 x 35LB)

I probably could have gone heavier on squats, but being as I am still only firing on one of my two cylinders, I decided not to. I felt pleased with 185 LB as they were my first back squats in probably 2 years (I am embarrassed to say). It had been so long, I was wondering if I could even put the big plates on before I approached the rack. :slightly_smiling:

The bent over cable rows were humiliating. I can pull my entire stack when I am seated (200LB), but 140LB whilst bent over and staying on my feet was probably more than I should have pulled.

Finally, today (Saturday) I ran 4 miles anyway (slower yet again - I am going backwards).

I still feel pretty lousy - this virus hit me hard (I even took two days from work, which I never do). Hopefully next week, I can start moving forwards. Weight wise, I am 6 LB lighter this week. Some of that's probably the result of the immune response, but it's all in the right direction whatever the reason.