Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: Full Fitness Ahead!

This is me on January 1st, 2016. Lots of work ahead for my fitness this year!

It's now the 2,016th year of the Common Era! I've been feeling fairly fit these days, but I still have a lot of goals for improving my fitness in the coming year. The picture I posted above is me in our living room (also, our home gym!) on the 1st day of 2016. By the end of this year, I intend to lose a little body fat, eat more meat-free meals, get back to intermittent fasting, work on my muscular control to perform body weight exercises and transitional movements more gracefully, and I want to improve my flexibility and muscle tone. That could sound like a lot, but those overall goals should be pretty easy to attain.

2015 was a pretty huge year for me. I realized a lot of things about myself in the past year. For one of those things, I found that when I place my fitness as a top priority in my life I have greater control over my emotions and greater control over my productivity at work and at home (not to mention better sleep, better sex, and more pleasure in life). I've written some posts lately about my workout routines, including a recent one I created called Splosion, but now I thought I'd share some ideas of what my girlfriend and I have in store for our workouts in the coming year.

For starters, we're going to continue our home workouts in the mornings. We like to have our workouts early, before we go to work. It's nice to get it out of the way early, before anything can pop-up and steal our time in the afternoons or evenings. 

We've lately been programming our days so that we have a mix of workouts from home workout videos (like Les Mills Combat and P90X3), some workouts from Crossfit, as well as lots of workouts that we put together to include the equipment we have as well as the exercises we enjoy. Lots of our workouts will include dynamic stretching and foam rolling, one or two heavy lifts at low reps, and then lots of body weight exercises or high-rep sets of exercises using light dumbbells, barbells, and/or kettlebells. 

The workouts from Les Mills Combat are some of the best
cardio kickboxing workouts I've ever done.

The workouts that we program for ourselves tend to include lots of the basic body weight exercises (like pullups, pushups, situps, and squats), but we like to do lots of variations of those basic movements as well. Sometimes we'll do sets of high reps of one or two movements mixed with sets of low reps of others or we might do pyramid sets. There's no end to the types of workouts one can program (while still having lots of fun putting it all together as well!).

One of our favorite ways to add in some metabolic conditioning at the end of our workouts is to add in 4-12 minutes of Tabata training. The Tabata approach, using 20 seconds sets of action and 10 seconds of rest in between (though those times can also be varied), is a lot of fun and definitely works up a great sweat. If you haven't tried a Tabata workout before, you really should. It's a blast!

Kettlebells are awesome for Tabata workouts!

We're also planning on adding some more gym exercise to our routines this year. Our home gym is limited in how much weight we can use. I love bench pressing and deadlifting heavy weights, so we have to head to the gym for those lifts. Also, our gym has indoor rowing machines and heavy bags, both of which are some of our favorite tools for workouts. However, our gym also has a pool and we both need to work on our swimming this year. 

On top of hitting the workouts at home and at the gym, I want to transform my approach to exercise this year some more as well. I need more functional movements in my workouts and more of a focus on mobility exercises. I want to start aiming toward an approach for fitness that will make me feel strong now but which will allow me to maintain my fitness even as I get older.

For instance, GMB Fitness offers some workout programs and lots of articles and videos to help build better functional movement. I've found the information they have to share to be completely worthwhile and I highly recommend checking out their website. Also, I've recently discovered the work of Mike Fitch, who created the Animal Flow workout. We're looking forward to trying out some more of these movements and routines that GMB Fitness and Mike Fitch have put together to build better functional movement. For instance, here's a sweet video showing Mike Fitch performing some of his Animal Flow routines:

This blog post is pretty much just me laying out some general ideas of where we are right now in our fitness and where we want to go. We both have specific goals for the year though. For instance, here are three of my specific fitness goals for 2016:

- Perform relatively easy sets of 20 strict pullups

- Make smooth transitions from crow pose to handstand and single-arm handstand positions

- Perform a single set of 100 clap pushups

That's enough about what I have in store for 2016. What are your fitness goals this year? Do you have general goals for how you want to feel or what you want to be able to do? Do you have any specific goals for your fitness in 2016? 

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