30 Day Challenge – Part 1 –Exercise

In my last video log I introduced my 30 day challenge. It’s time to put a bit of meat on the bones of that challenge in this blog. I’m a big believer in setting goals and challenges for yourself, in every aspect of life. I’m concentrating on a health challenge. My aim is to be as healthy as I can be for 30 days. You can look on this as a detox, as preparation for a sporting event like a race or a big match, or simply a way of adopting a healthier lifestyle. Whatever your own personal goals, I know you will gain a lot from following my lead.

functional kettle bell training

My 30 day challenge is all about being physically active, eating right and having a healthy mind. Let’s have a look at Part 1 today: being physically active i.e. exercise. I’m putting in place a structured exercise plan for the 30 days.

In my Exercise and Fitness course I learned about the five components of physical fitness. I’m going to base my exercise plan around these.

Components of Physical Fitness

1) Cardio-Respiratory Fitness

2) Muscular Strength

3) Muscular endurance

4) Flexibility

5) Body Composition

My exercise plan for the 30 days has these components at the core. I will also use these components to track my progress for the duration of the challenge. Tracking and monitoring your progress is really important. How will you know if you’ve made progress if you don’t know your before and after position? Let’s take the components in turn and see how they fit in to my exercise plan.

Cardio-respiratory fitness

My objective is to build my cardio fitness up to completing two 10 kilometre runs in the final week of my challenge. My cardio training has been sporadic at best of late, I’ve completed a few 5 and 6 kilometre runs but at intermittent intervals and with no end goal in sight. I’m going to time my runs and use my best 10k time at the end of the 30 days to use as my benchmark for future runs and build on that after my challenge.

Cardio respiratory fitness

Muscular Strength and Muscular Endurance

I’m putting these two together as they are complimentary. My aim is to complete a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 4 functional training or strength training classes per week. I’m signing back up with Philip Kavanagh at Limitless Fitness in Smithfield. Not only is Phil a quality instructor who can ensure I’m employing proper form, but the class dynamic adds extra motivation and competition that can push you that little bit harder.

These components can be easily tracked. I want to be lifting heavier weights as I progress through the 30 days (muscular strength) and I want to able to lift for longer with more repetitions also (muscular endurance).

Flexibility

I am incredibly inflexible and I’ve no problem admitting that! This is an area of physical fitness that I cannot ignore any longer. My plan for the 30 days is to set aside dedicated time to stretch properly before and after my functional training classes (10 minutes before and 8 minutes afterwards). I will also attend a yoga class once per week and complete stretching exercises in my spare time at home.

 Too much to hope for in 30 days???

Too much to hope for in 30 days???

You can’t put any specific numbers or measurements on this one but I plan on objectively assessing myself after the 30 days and asking the question: am I more flexible? I can also identify areas that require more flexibility training than others during the challenge and focus on those after the 30 days.

Body Composition

This component can be tracked with simple measurements. Although not a perfect metric, I’m going to use BMI (Body Mass Index) as well as chest measurement during the 30 day challenge. Fortunately my current BMI reading tells me that I am at a healthy weight but I will still use BMI and chest measurements before and after to monitor any changes to lean body mass during the 30 days. BMI calculators and guidelines are readily available online.

It’s important not to obsess over hitting a specific number on the scale or reaching one specific BMI though. Just as important as the number is to consider how you look and feel. This should be the ultimate guide as to whether you've reached your body composition goals.

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So that’s the exercise plan for my 30 day challenge. What’s your health challenge? Can you put a similar exercise plan around it?

Next time out I’ll be discussing the second part of my challenge: Nutrition. Be sure to stop by and let me know of any questions or feedback!

Yours in health, Brian