Saturday, August 22, 2009

Warrior Fitness -- Fasting & Pushups

On April 11, I posted that I had started a program of weekly fasting. Ever since then, I have gone on a juice fast every week.

Three or four times, I have fasted for two days, and the week of our vacation I only managed one day. But the rest of the time, I have started my fast after lunch on Tuesday and ended it at lunchtime on Friday.

Before our vacation I did lose some weight, and my leg & ankle swelling improved marginally (especially on the fast days). But weight loss was very slow, which is not a bad way to lose weight.

On the last leg of our vacation, my barber's daughter, who is involved in various aspects of therapy, told me my chronic back & shin-splint problems are symptoms of dehydration. So, I started drinking water.

For the three weeks or so, I've been drinking three to four quarts of water a day. After the first three days, my wife mentioned to me that she saw a noticeable reduction in belly fat.

I now think that dehydration may have been a factor in preventing the fat loss. My back is not back to 100% yet, but it is markedly improved, and so is the swelling in my lower legs & ankles. I think my eyesight may have improved a little, too, although that impression is very subjective.

Figs are in season & we have a huuuge fig tree, so I'm working at some colon cleansing, as well.

Another factor in my weight loss may involve the pushups I do. I've worked up to over 350 modified Atlas pushups three days a week. I know that 350 pushups seems a little wimpy to you young warriors out there, but PLEASE give a fat old man a break.

I do about 100 pushups with my feet & hands about level. Then, another 100 with my hands elevated about 8 inches above the floor, and then I do another 100 with my hands on two dining room chairs and my feet on the floor. Just this week, I started doing some of my pushups with my feet elevated three or four inches higher than my hands.

When I was in college, I could do vertical pushups (although I cheated by leaning my feet against the wall -- never had the balance for handstands). I wonder how long it would take me to get back to that feat?

Because years ago I injured my shoulder pumping iron (warning to you young guys -- I didn't think it could happen to me, either), I don't descend fully in my pushups. Over the months, though, I noticed I can descend a little farther in each position than I used to.

I'm shooting for 500 pushups, 3 days a week. (At 62, I find that working out every day does not give me enough recovery time.)

Well, that's my warrior fitness update. How about you guys? Did you set any goals for this year? How are you doing at meeting those goals?


Randall Gerard said...

wow, gravelbelly, that's really inspiring! I haven't set any goals for fitness this year.. I injured myself last year doing that. But, after hearing what you can do at age 62, I'm going to get back into it, but slower this time.

Gravelbelly said...

Randall, my advice is to start out really slowly. I found John E. Peterson's book, "Pushing Yourself to Power" really helpful in that regard (see ad on this page). He talks about how the DVR & DSR exercises are helpful to injured joints. I would start exclusively with those, until you feel strength returning to the injured places.