I’m into fitness, take 10: My first fitness assessment

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The running shoes have been a big part of my newfound health, but I won't be using them as often after my fitness assessment.

A few years ago, a fitness test was not on my want-to-do list. I’d rank it a few notches ahead of a Pink concert featuring Winger as the opening act. After the first assessment test of my life, I’ll be back for more in six weeks to get my body fat measured again. Especially after I was told to eat more, run less and do fewer situps!

These fitness blogs have been rather personal. Weight is a touchy subject, but I think that’s why this blog has been well-read, so I’ll share the results of the fitness assessment.

First, I have to brag. See, the fitness expert listed my body type as “athletic.” Let’s be clear … I have never been an athlete. There’s a reason I was a sports journalist for more than a decade. I did play basketball and baseball in high school. I even hit .500 my freshman year (and, no, not in two at-bats) before inexplicably giving up the sport (regret it to this day). And I still have a steady jumper from behind the arc!

Still, my body type has been fat for a good decade. To be listed as “athletic,” for the broad shoulders and frame to actually be visible, all I can say is …

WEIGHT

I clocked in at 214.8 pounds, my lowest weight since October 2001. That’s right, 10 years. And this 214.8 is much more healthy and stronger than the chubby, Taco Bell-laced 214.8 of 2001.

More importantly, I learned what I should weigh. I’ve said for months that 180 is my goal, and, hell, I thought that was still a little high. Amazingly enough, because of my body type, the ideal weight is between 188 and 199 pounds …

Instead of being 35 pounds away from my goal, I’m 15-27 pounds away. I’ve come this far, might as well go for 188, not 199, right?

BODY FAT

I’ve never had my body fat measured, mostly out of fear. I asked what my body weight was when I weighed more than 300 pounds. At 305, it was likely about 45 percent, maybe more. Think about that for a second. Half my body was fat. Today, it’s 25.6 percent. I’ve lost at least 20 percent body fat in the last 22 months. So virtually all of the 90 pounds I’ve lost were fat.

The 25.6 percent is in the “moderate” range. So long obesity. Sure as hell not missing you. I need to lose 6 percent to be in the “good” range. Once I get to 188 pounds, I’ll be at 14 percent body fat, which is very good.

Me at about 185 pounds in college. I'll look like that again, minus the hair, soon.

OTHER NUMBERS

Cardio assessment: 42.8 (60 percentile). High end of moderate and getting better.

Strength assessment: 65 pounds (fair). Not far from “good.”

Flexibility: 8.3 inches. Awful. I should probably stretch.

Calories: 2,283. That’s what I should be eating every day.

Body age: 42. Closing in on being my age. At this time to years ago, I had the body of a 60-year-old man.

INTAKE

I hate the word diet because that’s not what I’m doing, so I call the food I eat my intake. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. Anyway, I was told to monitor my calories. Not because I eat too much, but because I’m probably not eating enough. Doh. This is going to be difficult because I don’t starve myself. I’m rarely hungry. But I’ve got to eat more. If you don’t get enough calories, your body actually stores more fat. …

WORKOUT

I’ve plateaued, and with good reason. Running is great, but my body is accustomed to it. It expects it now. Also, I’ve been working my arms too much when lifting, and I’ve been doing too many situps. I knew all of this, but most of you know I’m pretty damn stubborn. The fitness expect was blunt: “Are you open to trying something different? Because I want to completely change your workout routine.” Less running and situps? Hell yeah, I’m open to that.

I’ll learn more next week when I go back for a quick training session to learn about my new routine.

WHAT DID I LEARN?

That I’m close. That I might have reached my goal by now had I done this assessment a few months ago. But that’s OK. The point is, I’m in good shape. I’m a few months away from looking and feeling the way I’ve wanted to for a very long time. And that my body type is athletic.

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4 thoughts on “I’m into fitness, take 10: My first fitness assessment

    • Ernie Webb III

      Honestly, as Shana has pointed out several times, I have no ass, so riding a bike is no for me at all. Sounds like there’ll still be some running, but also elliptical and the rowing machine. I’ll still do some Tae-bo, too.

    • Ernie Webb III

      Work. My gym membership is about $15 a month. Part of that is access to a fitness specialist who not only did the assessment, but also revamped my routine. It’s a great deal for the employees here.

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