Okay so I've established that I'm an Aussie. Truth be told, I don't really say g'day much normally, but it seems kinda fun.
I'm Coco, a 5'10" 24y/o who's been sitting pretty at about 60kg (138lbs) for the last half decade thanks to my love of cycling, as I mentioned in one of the weightloss success story threads. My weight fluctuates by about 2-3kg either way and I'm pretty happy with where I sit on the BMI chart. However... there is always room for improvement.
I've been riding pretty much everywhere since I was 19. After 5yrs it's simply become a way of life for me. I can't LIVE without my bike. In fact, collectively, my man & I own 6 bikes (7 until about a month ago). While riding has been great in maintaining my already normal weight & improving my terrible circulation & cardio health, it does nothing for my overall muscle strength and definition.
In August 2011, Tim & I are flying to Kuala Lumpur to embark on a 6mth cycling tour of SE Asia (YAY!!!) and in the 9mths leading up to our adventure I want to prepare my body by building muscle and eating healthily.
At the moment I have thighs of steel, but little to no abdominal & upper body strength & a little more bum-jiggle than I'm comfortable with. I have a pretty all-or-nothing approach to eating habits which manifests itself in sometimes going crazy on crappy calorific foods, sometimes going diet-mental, sometimes fasting and sometimes just not giving a damn either way. Having a image-obsessed mother who lived vicariously through her daughters & a competitive relationship with my sister didn't help.
I'd been frequenting the local gym for a while, when a nasty knee injury landed me in rehab & brought my workouts to an abrupt end about a year and a half ago. For a brief while my body was in the best shape ever and that's what I want to get back to.
Looking at the progress that some of you guys have made makes me realise that it's really going to be a matter of motivation & persistence for me more than anything. When you don't have far to go it's almost easier to slack off and say, "oh, I suppose I'm okay the way I am - do I really need to punish myself?". But I'm tired of being 'okay' & looking at pictures and thinking I COULD look like that if I ate less pizza & chocolate & made it to the gym each day.
So... here begins my 9mth plight to get into peak physical condition before our journey begins. I'll be starting a journal on the forum & while I don't necessarily have weight targets, I'll be using the FITDAY logs to check in weekly for the sake of keeping you all updated. More importantly, I'll be trying to monitor what I eat and keep photographic records of my progress.
Please offer your support - I'll need it to stay motivated and honest with myself about my progress. I'll be on here frequently see how everyone else is going & to give my support & praise where it's wanted, too.
It sounds like you need just some fine tuning. Can you afford a personal trainer? That might be what you need. He/she could give safe exercises to do and motivate you.
I hope you will share your bicycling tips with us. I am planning on buying one in March and start cycling again.
Welcome, some unsolicited advice for weight lifting. Use compound lifts like deadlifts and squats to build your core. (Squats are also great for the 'bum-jiggle'.) Don't be afraid of the free weights and try to do as many exercises as you can with them. Machines have their uses but free weights call other muscles, than the ones you are targeting, into play in a support role. Lift heavy (I have read that the 6-8 repetition range is best for building strength) but don't go so heavy that you injure yourself. Sounds like you have already been down that path and so, injury avoidance should be a top priority.
Eat enough protein to fuel your muscles. Protein is the only nutrient that can build and repair muscle. If you don't eat enough protein your efforts will be futile. .5 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight should be sufficient. Good luck!
wow, great story. A 6 month cycling tour sounds awesome, assuming your knee is back up for the challenge. It sounds like you've been doing great and know how to stay health. Like Ron said, compound moves will help out a bunch. Don't be afraid of weights, is also good advice.
Taking pictures is also great, we'll be looking for 6 months worth of pictures when you get back from Asia, so you've been warned... bring your camera and plenty of memory cards!
Haha thanks guys for the big welcome!
About the trip: you bet your arse I'll be taking photos! :p Fortunately my beau's a bit of a photography enthusiast (he studied it at university here), so I think I'll have more trouble getting it off his face than out of the backpack. We've got a lot of preparation to do for the trip (including Tim building his own tourer bike) and getting stronger & healthier is just one part of it.
As for the deadlifts, etc. I used to do those at the gym, but as I think I may have mentioned (or forgotten to) in my original post, I suffered from a massive knee injury about a year and a half ago and so any kind of weighted lifting through my knees is a big no-no according to my physio. I actually fell on my right knee & fractured the patella a couple of years back without realising it (thanks to a very high pain tolerance!!!) & it wasn't until I started doing heavy-lifting exercises through it that I realised that something was up. Quite randomly, I twisted through it one day and it just went 'pop'. The fracture had damaged the cartilage bonding my medial collateral ligament to my kneecap & it had suddenly torn off with a chunk of cartilage. I might have a high pain threshold, but that floored me. Anyway, it's been an arduous process & months in crutches to get me hobbling, walking, then jogging and finally jumping again. But the long & short of it is that things like weighted squats & deadlifts all come at too higher risk of re-injury sadly.
So, while I don't have a PT, I have my (very expensive :rolleyes: ) physio & he's pointed me in the direction of plyometrics & free weights. I've worked out a decent routine that alternates 5 days a week between upper & lower body initially so I don't burn out, and incorporates some of the stuff that was really working for me before the injury & some new stuff courtesy of my physio!
Anyway, cheers for the support guys. I might not be the most regular visitor on the forums, but I will definitely be checking in consistently with progress over the next 9mths & to see how other people are going. :)
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