There are three really, really popular days to embark on a new fitness regimen: January 2nd, “next Monday,” and “tomorrow.” However, none of those are correct. I know we’re stereotypically seen as a bunch of slackers, but the right answer to the question, “When should I start doing something about my health?” is always “Today.”
To that end, for the next six weeks, beginning today, Yours Truly is going to wrangle with a program called the Velocity Diet 3.0, developed by the fit (but arguably insane) people at Testosterone Nation. The program offers three levels of intensity — I’ll be doing the “Intermediate” one. This won’t be the first time I’ve done this, but the last time I was, shall we say, not strictly compliant. This time around, my intention is to be a lot closer, and to that end, I’m going to be accountable to all of you, right here.
There are a few reasons I’m doing this “live, without a net,” in living color, each Monday.
One, not everyone who visits this particular nook of the ‘tubes is taking their first step down the path to fitness; some of you have been going to the gym for a while, too, and might want to see stuff that’s a bit more demanding, intense, or challenging. You might be looking for something to try to break out of a rut, or just change your current routine. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, in, shall we say, a more crude turn of phrase, sometimes the best way to get one’s butt in gear is to have someone stomp on the throttle.
Two, for those folks who are new to things, this isn’t intended to be intimidating. It’s my way of saying, “Stick with it, and look what you can accomplish.” Writ small, this can be something as simple as doing one more sit-up or lap around the parking lot. We all know the mantra: One. More. Level. It’s true here in meatspace, too — going from level 10 to 11 takes more effort than going from level 2 to 3, but you can still do it.
Three, accountability is part of the recipe for success. Here are the four points the program’s authors stress that don’t actually take place in the gym and the kitchen, where it just boils down to effort and discipline:
1) Weigh In
To get an accurate, consistent body-weight measurement, weigh yourself first thing in the morning. Do it before you eat or drink and after you go to the bathroom. Always weigh wearing the same thing (or nothing), using the same scale. Record your starting weight.
You’ll be weighing in once per week. Don’t weigh yourself more often than that; natural body-weight fluctuations will drive you nuts.
2) Measure Up
Since scale weight really doesn’t tell us that much about actual body composition, you must take some measurements. Using a fabric tape measure, record measurements for several key dimensions. Log these numbers along with your weight. You may measure once per week (when you weigh), or measure at the halfway point, and again at the end.
3) Take Photos
Standing normally, take three photos of yourself: one from the side, one from the front, and one from the back. No flexing, no sucking in, and no lighting manipulations. After you finish, take another set of pictures, wearing the same clothing you did in your “befores.”
4) Go Public
This will keep you on track. After all, it’s hard to fall off the program when a bunch of people are cheering you on… or providing you with a kick in the pants if needed.
There are probably a few folks out there looking at that page and wondering exactly how many times I’ve been dropped on my head. Why would anybody go on, essentially, the George Jetson Diet — protein shakes and nutritious pills? Well, I’ve got a couple reasons. I’m supposed to help a friend do a photo shoot in August, and there are certain aesthetic considerations. In a similar vein, I don’t see any way I can reasonably avoid participating in the Men In Kilts (With Leafblower) event at Dragon*Con. And, lastly, two of my friends have essentially dared me to bench-press them (not at the same time). In short, I’m doing this because I’m basically nuts, and incapable of turning down the opportunity to be in a potentially goofy photograph (or six). Plus, if I can put together a good Transporter costume, that’s just gravy.
That said, I am taking the program seriously, and have an ominously large and boring spreadsheet with my “before” measurements on it, and some photographs of which I am none too proud as motivation.
So, each Monday for the next few weeks, you’re invited to come along for the ride.