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Consistent April Challenge

Discussion in 'Fitness Challenges' started by Buster, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    This is an April challenge for those of us who are either:

    • getting back into exercise after some weeks/months/years out;
    • getting into exercise for the first time; or
    • struggling with consistency generally.

    It's to help build consistency by setting challenges for ourselves, knowing that others can track our progress and help keep us in check. Anyone can join at any time during the month. I suppose this is a way of gearing one up for a more intense consistency challenge like the 100 challenges.

    Last Wednesday, I worked out for the first time in about 3 weeks. But I've struggled to maintain any prolonged period of consistency (i.e. months of going to the gym and eating well) since late 2007.

    If you need to work on your consistency in April, join me! And set a list of challenges for yourself.

    :eat: :bb: :gl:
     
    #1 Buster, Mar 29, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  2. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Here are my challenges for April, which I'll update in the coming days:

    • Work out 3 days a week;
    • Increase workout intensity;
    • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day;
    • Cook more meals from scratch;
    • Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum; and
    • Sleep 6-8 hours a night.
     
  3. TooMuch

    TooMuch Well-Known Member

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    Good luck!
     
  4. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Thanks!

    Seeing as it's just me still, here's my update from yesterday:

    Work out 3 days a week: Exercised yesterday - elevated deads, dips, cable rows and reverse hypers. High sets and low reps for the first two exercises, then low sets and high reps for the last two.

    Increase workout intensity: Intensity was good but could've been better for the last two exercises. Think I'll knock together a new iPod playlist to get me motivated.

    Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day: Had 4 small meals yesterday, but enough small bits and bobs in between (peanut butter, cheese, bread, milk) to consitute a fifth meal. Will try to make it 5 full meals in future, with snacks on top of that.

    Cook more meals from scratch: All fresh food yesterday :)

    Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum: No alcohol yesterday :)

    Sleep 6-8 hours a night: About 7 hours last night.
     
  5. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Work out 3 days a week: Yesterday was a rest day, but I'll be back in the gym later today.

    Increase workout intensity: N/A

    Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day: I ate about 6 meals yesterday and felt absolutely stuffed by the end :D

    Cook more meals from scratch: Mum's home cooking, so fresh food!

    Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum: Again, no alcohol.

    Sleep 6-8 hours a night: About 9 hours last night. Maybe a bit too much, but I'd rather have a little more than a little less.
     
  6. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    This sounds like a useful challenge for me for April (and beyond?). I started losing weight (again) at the beginning of the year (haven't been on this forum consistently for several years). I've done great so far this year, but the last few weeks I've lost the consistency I had in January and February, so I'm hoping this will help get me back on track.

    Consistency goals:

    • Weight train 3 days a week
    • Cardio 3 days a week
    • Sleep 8 hours a night
    • Drink at least a gallon of water each day
    • Eat at least 150g of protein each day
    • Keep cheats to a minimum

    I'm attempting to lose fat and build muscle at the same time, let's see how it goes.
     
  7. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Update for March 31, 2009


    Weight train 3 days a week: I haven't figured out my schedule yet, but I will be starting my weight training some time this weekend. I need a few days to plan my workouts. So far I know that I will be lifting in the morning, but I don't have my split planned yet.

    Cardio 3 days a week: No cardio yesterday (off day).

    Sleep 8 hours a night: Only got about 6.5 hours of sleep last night. This one is tough, but will be very important once I begin lifting. In order to lift in the morning I will need to get up by 5:00 am. To get 8 hours of sleep will mean that I should go to bed at 9:00 pm. That's earlier than 2 of my 4 kids, and doesn't leave much "alone" time with my wife.

    Drink at least a gallon of water each day: I drank a little over a gallon of water yesterday. In general I will not include water I drink during my workouts.

    Eat at least 150g of protein each day: This is part of my bulking goal. I find it difficult to eat a lot of protein (preparing chicken, etc.). This will probably be the toughest part for me, but possibly the most important. Yesterday I ate about 100g.

    Keep cheats to a minimum: Yesteray after work I was in a rush to make it to my son's baseball game, so I ended up grabbing some chips and a couple cookies on my way out the door. Note to self, next time grab an apple!
     
  8. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Update for April 1, 2009

    Weight train 3 days a week: Off day. I have a scheduled weight training session with a personal trainer tomorrow, so that's good. Still working on my schedule. Got a few supplements I've been wanting to try so I'm excited to get back to lifting.

    Cardio 3 days a week: Missed. Should have done cardio.

    Sleep 8 hours a night: Still only got about 6.5 hours of sleep.

    Drink at least a gallon of water each day: Did good here. Drank about a gallon and a half of water.

    Eat at least 150g of protein each day: Ate about 100g.

    Keep cheats to a minimum: Had a few beers and some pretzels, not a good start for the month! This weekend is my wife's birthday, then comes Easter. This will be a tough month to stay strict on the diet.
     
  9. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Welcome aboard, Doug! What exactly are your ultimate goals? I'm around 141-2lbs at the moment (13-14% bf) and am looking to get to 160lbs in the coming months. Consistency has often been a big issue for me...

    PS: Regarding alcohol intake, there's always some sort of 'event' coming up. That's often my major issue. I just need to curb what I drink during these 'events' to a minimum if possible. Or, if I can't, then get back on the wagon ASAP.

    Work out 3 days a week: Rested yesterday, but back in the gym later today.

    Increase workout intensity: Will soon see! Last workout was okay, but would rather up it a level if possible today.

    Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day: Getting in 4 or 5 hasn't been a problem yesterday and today, but 6 can sometimes be a push. I need to work a bit harder on spreading them throughout the day too.

    Cook more meals from scratch: Have eaten out for lunch the last 2 days! It's because I'm out and about for my job. But dinner was home cooked yesterday. Not sure about tonight!

    Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum: No alcohol last few days. Next week may pose a problem...

    Sleep 6-8 hours a night: I got about 6 1/2 last night. Not bad, but should do better.
     
  10. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Looks like we are attacking from opposite ends (we're both 5'9"). Ultimately, I guess I would like to be your current bf (13-14%) at about 165-170 lbs. Not sure how long that will take. For the next few months I have one goal (or is it two?). Lose as much fat as I can while building as much muscle as I can.

    I know what you mean, trying to keep it in moderation. We're going away for a few days next week, so it will be difficult not to kick back and have a few drinks. And, now that I think about it, it might not be a bad idea to start my weight training AFTER Easter. Might even make me more motivated.
     
  11. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Update for April 2, 2009

    Weight train 3 days a week: Haven't started serious weight training yet.

    Cardio 3 days a week: Missed again. I know it's not really an excuse, but I was shopping for my wife's birthday. I'll probably miss today as well.

    Sleep 8 hours a night: 6.5 hours of sleep.

    Drink at least a gallon of water each day: Drank about a gallon and a half of water.

    Eat at least 150g of protein each day: Ate 99g.

    Keep cheats to a minimum: No cheats!
     
  12. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    It's your call, but I'm not too sure...I think postponing exercise is almost always a bad idea (unless it's due to injury). There will always be some obstacle in the pipeline, and being consistent is about learning to work your routine around those obstacles, I think.

    It seems like you're doing well with the water, ok with the sleep, and lacking on the exercise and protein. I suppose the protein and exercise come together though; I always find my appetite soars when I've been working out.


    Update for April 2, 2009

    Work out 3 days a week: Went to the gym and did weighted chins, hang clean and press, cable pull throughs and weighted ab decline crunches. That was my second workout of the week. The third will come on Sunday.

    Increase workout intensity: Quite intense on most exercises, but could still do much better. Am still to download new workout music for my iPod; the same old tracks aren't having the same effect!

    Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day: At 5 meals, I believe. Although I didn't eat enough post-workout, as I went to the gym quite late. A decent day on the food front, all in all.

    Cook more meals from scratch: Think I ate out for lunch. Dinner at home.

    Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum: Had the tiniest drop of wine (perhaps 1/6 of a glass) with the girlfriend. Nothing to worry about.

    Sleep 6-8 hours a night: Got about 7 hours, I think.


    Update for April 3, 2009

    Work out 3 days a week: Rest day today.

    Increase workout intensity: N/A.

    Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day: Had 4 meals today, but they were 4 quite big meals, so it wasn't too bad. Really need to work on getting in 5 or 6 on a regular basis. Struggling with this at the moment.

    Cook more meals from scratch: Ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner! (As I was out of home all day). Not great.

    Limit alcohol consumption to a minimum: Drank about 4 beers at a friend's birthday do. Not too bad, but shouldv'e limited it a bit more to just 2 or 3. Not drank this much in a while, which is a good sign.

    Sleep 6-8 hours a night: Slept about 10 1/2 hours! Probably needed it to sleep off any tiredness from the birthday party, so that's ok.


    Tonight, I have a black tie event where there will be quite a lot of drinking. I'll be sure to drive tonight, so as to avoid two nights of drinking in a row. I also have a black tie event next week (a friend's army commissioning) where I know I'll be drinking, so I want to avoid alcohol until then.
     
  13. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    No, you're absolutely right. I find that I really need sleep in order to keep up with my workouts. As soon as I start missing a few hours of sleep, I tend to back off the workouts. But, I was able to get to the gym this morning for some much needed cardio. And, I will be trying to get in at least a little weight training while we are away.

    How did you make out with this? Were you able to keep the drinks to a minimum? Looks like you're being pretty consistent in the other categories, so I'd say you're doing good.

    I'll be posting my latest updates tomorrow (need to get to bed).
     
  14. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Whew! Well, clearly there's been some inconsistency this April! I think I'll have to run a May challenge too. For the last week, I've not gone to the gym. I've had a hectic schedule, not eaten nearly as much as I should have, and drank too much at social events. I was away over the Easter weekend, which also made things tough. Excuses, excuses... The only thing that hasn't really suffered too much is my sleep.

    Time to get back on the wagon. It's only been a week off, but even a short time can really hamper my progress. I'll have to see what my weights are like in the gym this week. :( :( :(

    It's pretty demoralising for me to let this happen so early. A pretty pathetic attempt, so I need to not let this happen again. Very disappointed in myself.
     
  15. TooMuch

    TooMuch Well-Known Member

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    :spank: , but don't punish yourself. The main idea behind training is having fun.
     
    #15 TooMuch, Apr 14, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  16. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    :doh:

    Had a good day of eating so far. Off to the gym in about 20 minutes to get back in the swing of things.
     
  17. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Well, since my last post I had 4 or 5 days of really good diet and I fit in a few workouts where I was training hard. I also upped my weights from the week before and my tape measurements were slowly increasing. However, come the weekend, alcohol crept in, diet crept out, and I ruined most of the good work. Disappointed again.

    Today was okay in terms of diet. I'm going to try and pick myself up again.

    How are you going, Doug? This challenge will definitely have to be extended for me.
     
  18. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Buster, I agree with TooMuch, don't punish yourself. Just keep working toward more consistency.

    I guess I'm in the same position as far as being consistent. I had a week (or more) off diet and exercise, and too much alcohol. This past week was pretty good though. I got to the gym for 3 cardio sessions and 3 days of weight lifting. In fact, I made it to the gym tonight even though my car broke down earlier today (engine seized!).

    My diet is still a little rough, and I definitely need more sleep. I am up for extending the challenge as long as we still need it.
     
  19. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Update for April 22, 2009

    Weight train 3 days a week: Had a good workout (chest/shoulders).

    Cardio 3 days a week: Off day for cardio.

    Sleep 8 hours a night: 6.5 hours of sleep.

    Drink at least a gallon of water each day: Really lacking here. Lately I have been drinking very little water.

    Eat at least 150g of protein each day: I have my protein up. Getting pretty cloese 150g (about 140g yesterday).

    Keep cheats to a minimum: Had a few chips while watching TV. Now see, if I had just gone to bed earlier I would have skipped the chips and would have got more sleep.

    Workout tomorrow morning (legs). So I will be trying to get to bed early tonight. Also, I've gained about 10 pounds since focusing on lifting, over cardio. I think this is mostly water weight from the creatine I am taking, but it's a little discouraging. On the other hand, the supplements (Universal AWO) are REALLY helping my energy level while lifting. And, I feel pumped much longer after working out as well. So, I'll take the added water weight.
     
  20. Doug Miles

    Doug Miles Well-Known Member

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    Update for April 24, 2009

    Weight train 3 days a week: Off day for lifting

    Cardio 3 days a week: Did about 1/2 hour elliptical. Trying different equipment at the gym.

    Sleep 8 hours a night: 7 hours of sleep. Not as much as I would like, but better than I have been doing lately.

    Drink at least a gallon of water each day: Still did not drink much water. Working hard to change that today.

    Eat at least 150g of protein each day: Had about 100g.

    Keep cheats to a minimum: No cheats!
     

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