“Only accurate guns are interesting.” -Townsend Whelen

When I was active in the target shooting community, I came across this quote from Col. Whelen. Part of the way you learn whether a gun is interesting is to fire it at very clearly defined targets. Firing into the air won’t tell you very much. I thought of the quote again this week while trying to figure out how to measure my progress while working through the introductory 10-week program of You Are Your Own Gym. I will probably refine these goals over the next few days, but here is my first draft. We’ll see if I can hit these targets!

  1. Weight: Mark writes that a sensible rate for weight loss is half a pound to one and a half pounds a week. Therefore I’m setting my “100 yard” target at five pounds loss by January 15, 2012 (70 days from today). My “200 yard” goal is ten pounds by that date. I weighed myself this morning and I’m at 188.5, placing my targets at 183.5 and 178.5, respectively. My really long-term goal is to be stable at  175 pounds for the rest of my life. I guess I’ll define that as my “1000 yard” target!
  2. Strength & Endurance: I want to complete the 10 week program. I’m going to try starting with the 1st Class Program. However, I haven’t tried most of these exercises, so if I need to back down to the Basic Program, I’m not going to be too disappointed. If I can reach 50 good-form push-ups in one set, I’ll know I’ve gotten somewhere!
  3. Speed: I want to be able to run/jog/walk a 5k course in less than 39 minutes. Mark doesn’t place any emphasis on aerobics in his book, but I feel as if a human should be capable of covering some ground when he or she needs to, and right now… well, let’s call this the “Zombie Apocalypse” goal and leave it at that.
  4. Flexibility: I am very inflexible right now. For instance, I can’t get within 4″ of my toes, so I’ll list “touch my toes” as my goal, and “palms on the ground” as my stretch goal.*
Okay, that should be enough for now!
*Hah! I entirely did not catch myself making a pun there… I’ve apparently become badly infected with corpospeak

Day 1/70 – the countdown begins

Unless my math skills have deteriorated even more than my muscles have, 10 weeks equals 70 days. The YAYOG intro program is 10 weeks long. I’m going to go at it with as much intensity as I can muster, and—with luck—record my progress here.

A few of my preconceptions:

  • I’ll make slow progress, not dramatic progress.  After all, I’ve been sedentary for 13 years except for a couple of earlier attempts at losing weight that I didn’t stick with for more than three months.
  • Food (overeating) is going to be my biggest problem (sadly, I confirmed this last night when I ate 5 slices of pizza, when two or three would have been plenty).
  • I’m worried about injury, but this program is supposed to minimize the chance of that.
  • I’m going to want to quit.

I’m not really sure how to measure progress. Later today I’ll try to post a list of my goals, but I’m going to have to refine them as I read more of Mark’s book. I certainly hope to lose the excess flab around my stomach, but see “food” above… The reality will probably be that I’ll get stronger but look the same there. No six-pack for me… 🙁