Thursday, August 4, 2011

Training Goals and Training versus Working Out

A few months ago I read a blog post by Andrew Read an RKC 2 from Austrailia. The title was Training versus Working Out . I posted the link to the blog post on my Facebook fan page. In my opinion most gym goers are at the gym working out. Day in and day out they show up at the gym with no focus, no plan, no goals and as a result they see no changes in their body. I'm no different, I have much better results when I'm training for something instead of just working out.

Last year I ballooned (more like exploded) up to 235 pounds. From May 2010 September 2010 I lost 42 pounds to get to 193 pounds. Most would be ecstatic with those results. Losing the weight was great, my ankles and knees felt much better without the excess baggage. But my body fat was still 20%. I was still soft around the middle and would still grab the bottom of my shirt to hide my belly. January of this year I started training for the RKC, which is only 2 weeks away. At the start of training I was 195 pounds and 18% body fat. Currently I'm 190 pounds and 13% body fat, the lowest it's been in 12 years. I have abs (I'm quick to lift my shirt now and show off my abs and obliques now!). People are asking me what I've done and how much weight I've lost. 5 pounds on me is not a noticeable difference, losing 5% body fat is a different story.

So how did I do it? I signed up for the RKC which would require me to train.30% of RKC candidates fail. THIRTY PERCENT! I knew if I wanted to pass it would require a complete commitment (1 hunnet percent). It would require me to stop making excuses (yes I can make excuses with the best of them) It would require me to look at my weaknesses and confront them. Pullups have always been a weak point for me. The RKC requires you to do 5 full pullups or chin ups. Not a big number, but 8 months ago it was a very rough 5. It did all of those things and it gave me results that I didn't plan on. Losing 5% body fat wasn't a goal, nor was having abs or increased flexibility. They were direct results of training.

This was the Rite of Passage workout from the Enter the Kettlebell program. Its a ladder of clean and press and pullups. I chose to do L-pullups to get some ab work in. I've done this with my small group TRX/Kettlebell class substituting pullups with body rows. The lesson today folks? Pick something and train for it. Pick something that has a deadline. Pick something that you might fail at. Pick something that's going to require you to train with purpose and not just go through the motions.Post your goals (mine are posted on the blog) and make people hold you accountable for them. Pick something and watch your body change and you get the results you're truly looking for.

Pharaoh out


  1. Nice entry. My goals would be to get to 197 in the next three months. Currently at 207. I wanna do spinning classes 3 days per week as well. And then I need a goal to eat right. Any ideas?

  2. @MirthNadir eating right should be the 1st step. You simply can't out train a bad diet. You an use a calorie tracker like myfitnesspal to get started. Count the calories you eat every day for 3 days and then make adjustments. Right now I'm eating 2500 - 2800 calories daily. Depends on my workout for that day. I would say you want to look at 2000 - 2300 calories. Look for a 40/30/30 split (protein, fats, carbs).

  3. Great post! You look fantastic and it's awesome to see you make such incredible progress. You are going to rock the RKC.

    Advice for a poor grad student who is soon to be without her favorite trainer (the pharaoh himself) and the fabulous preseason?

  4. @Kimberley - thanks! There were several days I wanted to chuck it. But spending close to 3 Grand made me think otherwise.

    As for what to do, I think I might have some challenge workouts. Readers of the blog, Facebook, twitter and class can compete and video the results for a prize. I'll look into it when I get back.