My Fitness Diary #1 – my head still believes it is controlling the body of an athlete.


This diary shares my personal fitness challenges as I strive to stay lean, fit and strong without getting bored.

My whole body has a lingering dull ache, especially my lower abs and legs.  Simply sitting down to write is a mission.  What I need now is water, fuel and sleep.

Eight weeks with little or no exercise has left me feeling lethargic with brain strain due to being deeply focused on studying (masters pathway in Urban Planning).  After spending hours in front of the computer barely moving not only has my fitness level dropped but I have been very successful in slowing my metabolism and my weight has crept up.

I made the classic mistake of ‘not’ modifying my diet enough and letting my ‘appetite’ take over.  My mind was telling me I was hungry through habit, rather than my body telling me it needed fuel.  At the time I thought “it’s ok, I will burn it all off no problem,” a classic short term way of thinking.  I know better than that!  I should have slapped myself in the face instead of feeding it.  

My weak excuses are irrelevant, I am where I am because of my actions and my first week back has been a shock to the system.  This what I did last week:

  • Ran 37km (not in one go!)
  • 4x gym sessions – including high reps of Olympic lifts, Snatch, Power Snatch, Overhead Squats, Cleans, Clean Press, Dead Lift, Chin ups, Bench Press, Flies, Bicep curls, Dips and Abs work including toes to bar, tic tok, leg lowers and many more.
  • Rowing Ergo 1km sprints, max effort with 4 minute rest X5 efforts.

Did I hit it too hard too soon? . . .  we will see how I handle the next few weeks.  I enjoy training this hard.

It is important to step out of your comfort zone and struggle if you want to see development.  I know my body well enough to push it in a controlled manor without risking injury.  The body is amazing at adapting and aches are only a temporary part of the process.  My body temperature right now is so high it could melt steel, which is my body telling me good quality rest is need to ensure I get the pay off from the training.  My body is developing the way I want it to.

Earlier my wife found me snoozing on the floor in a failed attempt to stretch, using the foam roller as a pillow.  From years as an athlete she is used to hearing excuses like:

‘I can’t wash up now, I will do it later, my arms ache from the gym’

‘I cant mow the lawn now, I will do it tomorrow, my legs ache from running’

‘I need to lie down for a bit, everything hurts!!!!’

But I can’t get away with those excuses any more and my wife has a ‘new’ automatic response to my excuses;

‘Well you did it to yourself, stop whimpering’’

‘What do you expect, your’e not an athlete anymore’

Although retired from competitive canoeing I love paddling on white water and I have missed it recently.  Two years ago I bought a canoe designed for a paddler weighing 70 – 76kg which was my weight zone when I was an an athlete.  It is motivation to strive for the fitness zone I want  live my life. The boat is red and cost me over $4000. . . early mid life crisis, hmm?

Stage one – It’s time to hit the road, the gym, find some inspiring healthy recipes and call on some good training partners!  I want to get back into my ideal target weight zone ASAP and I am prepared to do the work. I will need to be very disciplined coming into the Christmas party period.  

Stage two – pick a new challenge, something that will inspire me to push myself and enjoy training for.. . .  I have a good one in mind.

About Olympian Stuart McIntosh - My Fitness Mentor

2000 & 2004 Olympian. Elite Sport Coach and Personal Trainer. Urbanist
This entry was posted in Athlete, coaching, Fitness, Mens Health, Personal training, Weight loss and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to My Fitness Diary #1 – my head still believes it is controlling the body of an athlete.

  1. liz o says:

    Love your website! My body too is in that achy phase – we just got some snow in Buffalo so it was a first day for cross-country skiing. Evidently, you use different muscles than SUP boarding, which I do Spring, Summer and Fall! That is a great all over toning and strengthening activity and so much fun! I also lost 3# working 4 hours a day on my knitting machines making 8 sweaters for Christmas orders. I’m sure not too many people will be working out on a knitting machine, but you do what works for you and what fits into your life, right?! Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I too have trained and maintained healthy nutrition throughout my life. It is a great feeling of accomplishment. Best wishes with getting back into shape. ~ Dennis

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