Starting a New Workout Regimen

Posted on March 27, 2022 by Corey Olson

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Over the past 11 weeks (out of 24 weeks) doing Invisalign I lost about 15 lbs. by intermittent fasting and maintaining a calorie deficit. In 2017, about 5 years ago, I reached a low enough body fat to show abs; my measure at Lifetime Fitness was something around 8% or 9% body fat, and I had wanted to slowly bulk after that.

But shortly after reaching this goal I got into a relationship with my now wife; and, apparently Polish people know how to cook / eat. For the most part I maintained a relatively athletic body fat percentage until we were married. We pretty much got pregnant within the first week or two of being married. That's when my diet broke.

Sympathy eating with your pregnant wife is a killer for calorie counting / managing macronutrients and exercise in general. Breastfeeding after birth is pretty much the same too, she can eat tons of calories and I have to be mindful of my consumption.

So here I am two kids later, after all that sympathy eating and snacking with my wife, finally bringing my weight down and back into a normal range. Not terrible, but I am a few lbs. overweight even after losing around 15 lbs in the last ~75 days. The Invisalign helps, as I have to brush my teeth after every meal. It's just easier to not eat, haha.

But with every diet, comes the plateau where you stop losing. That's when you have to break out (i) tape measurements, (ii) calipers, (iii) impedance scales for water retention, body fat, etc. For the last ~2 weeks I've been stuck, only a few lbs. away from "normal" weight. My ideal body weight is still many lbs away, but I would like to not be technically overweight; so that when I call myself a fat P.O.S. in the mirror every morning, I will be able to remind myself I am technically incorrect, and factually within a normal range.

Albeit, still an asshole. But some things cannot be fixed.

My most recent breakthrough has been sprinting for cardiovascular health and muscle building. No, not running. Not jogging. SPRINTING. I mean sprinting as fast as possible for a minute at a time, with 1-2 minute breaks (jogging, walking) between sprints. A few good sprints and holy moly. Lung capacity going up, stamina increasing, sexual health is going way up, and the sprinting makes weight lifting afterward a much more cardio-oriented workout. So my 10 to 15 minute sprint training, followed by an hour of HEAVY lifting until exhaustion is really helping break through this weight loss plateau.

The following is my daily routine (approx. 60 minutes), but some days I skip areas that are too sore. I don't have machinery at home for legs so sprinting and squats have to suffice. A typical day is 45 - 70 minutes depending on tired/soreness. No rest days at the moment, so it mostly comes down to "exhaustion" training, or lowering weights.

This is an easy formula for myself, and a lighter (30 minute) version designed for my wife. It largely comes down to a daily feeling it out; and, considering what you are most able to do; or, where you need to push and / or lighten up. Generally I try to use the heaviest possible weight that allows me to do at least 8 reps, until exhaustion.

This list and order helps frame a workout routine, and serves as an easy reference for substituting or flowing through a full body workout routine. It may not be perfect, but it gets the job done. I believe most people can make huge progress with 25 minutes per day of consistent exercise. It need not be an hour long (or daily) routine, as so many people are woefully out of shape. But this is serving me well for now.

I recently set a long-term (2025) goal to hopefully push to my peak performance and body's capability. In the short term (Summer 2022) I hope to reach 12% - 17% body fat and then switch to maintenance / slowly bulking for 2 - 3 years. I want to see my body at full potential before hitting age 40 and inevitably getting older. Thankfully I do have 5 to 6 years before I turn 40 which gives me some time to play and work towards this goal.