Sunday, October 9, 2011


When I start working out with someone I talk to them about monitoring their progress - because progress can be a major motivator. Whether it is being able to do an exercise, fit into a pair of pants, increase your endurance, increase your lean muscle mass (while reducing fat levels), increase your bicep size - you really won’t remember where you were unless you first document where you are when you started.

Photo’s, measuring your waist, thighs, biceps, chest, outrunning your kid sister who has always kicked your backside, even documenting how many reps you can do of specific exercises. These all allow you to track your progress. And, if you want to be a bit more scientific, learning to determine your bodies composition is a great way to get down to the nitty gritty - just how much of your body is fat. Here is a link to a site we use to determine our body composition based on measurements with a "fat caliper" - they offer a caliper for $14 that has worked great for us - body composition caliper.

I will be the first to admit that my religiously making it to a gym for the last 32 years has not been trivial. When I still had a day job, it was tough to make real progress on 30 minutes a day. But I tracked how many chin-ups I could do. It helped.

With time I will be discussing my focus on building core strength and balance. I bring this up because my current milestones are focused on doing exercises on balls - like push-ups with my hands on one basketball, and my feet on another. I’m up to 12.

Please, don’t get me wrong here - a year ago I would have never, ever believed I would be able to do these push-ups. And I am not trying to brag - though I am very proud of what workouts have done for me these last 3 years (since I retired and was able to spend more than 30 minutes per day). My point: I have kept working out, which has built physical strength, which has helped provide the motivation to keep working out. For me, increasing my ability to do specific exercises is a significant motivator - and challenge. Part of my goal of being younger next year.

Tomorrow I will go more into balance and why it matters so much to me.


  1. Also, as Steve has mentioned his workout before retirement was merely 30 minutes. One thing he forgot to mention is his current workout schedule. His current workouts are now 30 minutes of biking as a warm-up following a solid 2 hour workout. Basically, the time he used to spend working out in the past is the same amount of time as his existing warm-up. Now that's a workout!

  2. Hi Steve
    How do you maintain your records of your exercising - weight, reps, conditions, etc. Do you do it on paper charts, or on a computer, or do you enter it on a portable device, like a smartphone or tablet? If the latter, what app do you like?