Working on fitness: Becoming more resilient

Today I wanted to talk a little about my goal of getting in shape.  Thirty days ago, I began an exercise program called “ChaLEAN Extreme”. I got this idea from the strangest place… the Chris Martenson website. I’d started following Chris about a year ago and at that time he seemed like the lone voice of reason in what seemed to be a world gone crazy. Chris linked together the concept of the Three E’s (Energy, Economy and Environment) in a way no-one else had. I began to trust his views and learned a lot from his very detailed and well considered articles.

Late last year, Chris started a thread on the forum called ‘Making Our Lives More Resilient – The Martenson Family Chronicles.’ He began to outline what he and his family were doing to become more resilient in the face of our current predicaments. He had two primary goals:

  1. Buy a house and ‘trick it out’ to be more resilient
  2. Get back in shape and take better care of myself.

The second struck a chord with me. I realised that I really needed to dedicate 2010 to getting back in shape as part of my plan to become more resilient and self-sufficient. Chris mentioned that he’d started P90X and I’d heard a couple of friends mention this program, but when I looked into it I decided it was probably a bit advanced for me. So after plenty of research I decided on ChaLEAN Extreme.

It’s a 90 day program broken down into three phases: Burn, Push and Lean. I’ve finished the Burn Phase where your goal is to “fail” in 10-12 reps and you work both upper and lower body in combination exercises. I’ve just started the Push Phase where you attempt to fail in 6-8 reps and focus on one body part at a time. Three days a week are circuit workouts, each about 30 minutes long. An extra two days workouts consist of cardio intervals, Abs and some Yoga/Pilates. Two days are dedicated to rest.

I love that I have a program all set out for 3 months and that every day is different. I have a short attention span and get bored easily, so this program is perfect for me. It’s flexible enough that I can do it whenever it suits me and it really seems to be working. I even look forward to working out. It’s been a long time since I could say that!

I’ve lost about 2lbs, but I’ve gained a bunch of muscle, trimmed down and have so much energy! Everything feels stronger and hiking today was a breeze after just a month of this program. This next month looks like a strengthening phase and then the final month is supposed to make you lean. We’ll see. For now it’s enough that I’m exercising, enjoying it, getting stronger both physically and mentally.

Here’s the infomercial if you are interested in seeing what the program is all about. I was lucky enough to find someone selling the program on Craigslist for a steal.

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One comment

  1. To provide some contrast to this post I think that it is worth mention the following: a structured training regime is great (and without question the fastest way to improve your strength and fitness), but for people who find that sort of system too hard, or too intimidating, don’t give up!

    If you want to be fitter, healthier, have more energy and be better prepared physically for whatever happens in the future; all you need to do is walk.

    It won’t make you a marathon runner, or a weight lifter, but it will make a difference. My partner and I walk 7.5 kms five days a week (it takes a bit over an hour). It lets us keep our weight under control, keeps us reasonably fit (certainly fit enough that I can go out and run a few kilometres if I want to like I did this morning) and it will give you a solid platform of exercise to go on and work on a structured program once you have more confidence in your body.

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