Exercise! - Getting into good shape (or as close as I can) in a month

07-02-2008, 10:43 PM
Okay, so here's the deal. Earlier I made a post about my concern about my possible un-fitness and its relation to a week of fencing camp, asking what I should do to make it as easy on myself as possible.

Well, I just doubled my problem.

I'm actually doing another week- back to back, so that I have to skip the last day of the first camp and drive 8 hours to the second, eventually getting there at 1 am. I have to start the next day at 9. I told my friend who also fences about my plan, and he promptly told me I would die, because he was quite sore after camp last year despite the fact that he was in good shape. Unfortunately for me, I'm crazy, and decided to do it anyway.

So, what do you think? I have unlimited time at my disposal. If it takes running four hours a day, I'll do it. If it takes putting my weight loss on hold so I can build some muscle, I'll do it. My questions are: Should I increase my protein intake to facilitate muscle building, or keep my caloric intake low so that I'm as little burdened by fat and bulky muscle as possible? How much can I exercise a day before it starts to be detrimental? What about pliometrics? I've been doing one set after my short and fast workout every other day- should I do two or three sets? Increase it to every day? I know those exercises will target fencing muscles, but I'm not sure if they do much for endurance. That, and I don't want to be at a point where I never build muscle because I've torn up my entire lower body.

Any advice is much appreciated!

07-02-2008, 10:50 PM
I am no expert, but have you googled 'endurance training' or things like that? I've stumbled across a lot of information on that subject here and there.

I would think that overtraining and undereating wouldn't do you any favors, but someone more knowledgeable than me is sure to check in soon with reliable info.

07-03-2008, 01:57 AM
I admire your dedication and commitment! WOW! Your level of determination is inspirational. I love to also do things, even though I know it's going to nearly kill me! ;) I like a good challenge...I hate it while I'm doing it, but I like it when I'm done.

Anyway, I don't know what to tell you except: can you afford a personal trainer? I think this would be a great time to get one. I can't comment on your protein intake because I don't know how much you're getting, but I do recommend getting at least 125 grams a day. I love to eat Boca burgers and I drink protein shakes by Jay Robb (they're 100 calories, w/ 25 g. of protein, 1 carb and 0 sugar...and tasty).

I also don't know your level of exercise now, so I don't know what you can do next. I've read that you increase your endurance by doing more every week, but your time is limited, so I don't know..maybe every half week? Interval training is great. Warm up for 5 minutes. Then, walk for 2 1/2 minutes and run as fast as you can for 30 seconds. Keep doing this until you hit 30 minutes and then, walk briskly for 20 minutes. Do this for a few days and then, increase your interval training to 35 minutes and then walk for 20 again. Then, do 40 minutes of intervals, and so on. Three times a week, do weight lifting. Plyometrics is great too! If you have a place that has a very long set of stairs, you can climb those and then crab crawl down (you gotta wear gloves for this). It's a great workout! You might give yourself a break on certain days from all the pounding on your body and do some laps in a pool. It's a great low-impact workout. Maybe you could do some spin classes? You can really accomplish a lot in one month. HOwever, once you get to the fencing, just do your best. You should be so proud of yourself to have this great attitude.

Sorry if none of this makes sense!

07-03-2008, 09:49 AM
As far as exercise, I'm trying to gradually increase my ability to run long distances at 7 mph- right now I'm running three minutes walking two, and on my rest days, which are every other day, running 5 mph for an hour, or, if it's a bad day, two chunks of thirty minutes each with a 5 minute walking break.

I have kind of a weird relationship with food. I frequently undereat, and also sometimes overeat, usually in bunches, but I think I can stop that cycle at least temporarily. On a typical day I'd have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, a boca chicken patty for lunch, possibly with a carrot or two, and whatever the family's having for dinner, say a hamburger. Nutritionally, that's not fantastic, and I'm well aware of that. That's only 32 grams of protein, and more made up of fat and carbs than it should be, as well as being a little too low in calories. Largely, I'm too lazy to pay much attention, but this is a pretty good target area for improvement. I'll definitely try to pick something up at the store today in terms of protein supplementation, because it's pretty clear that's something I need to work on.

Thanks for the idea about the interval training. I kinda was doing it, but that specific pattern is one I haven't tried before. I think it'll be nice to add some variety, especially given the increased amount of time I'll have to spend doing this stuff.

07-03-2008, 10:32 AM
I'm not surprised that you're already in GREAT shape, considering your great attitude about exercise. I would like to add, though, that if you want to really move it to the next level, (aside from increasing your protein, which I'm really glad to hear you'll be doing), you also need to add some snacks. As far as the Boca burger for lunch...that's not enough. Eating too few calories like that will just make you burn through your muscle and is counter productive, considering the amount of effort you're putting forth. I buy these low carb tortillas that have a lot of fiber and they're only 50 calories each (for the small ones). I'd have that w/ the Boca for lunch and stick some spinach or some dark leafy greens in there. As a snack, I really like the Fage 0% yogurt. It only has 80 (creamy and yummy calories). I sweeten it w/ one packet of Splenda (one of my vices) and add some berries...it's sinfully delicious, but it's not. You'll get more protein and more calories to keep your metabolism fired up. My father in law used to do fencing and it sounds VERY demanding..however, I do think you're up for the challenge, given what you can already do! I think tweaking your eating habbits will make a huge difference. One last thing: you might try to get on a high quality multi-vitamin. That can't hurt, right? Good luck and let me know how it goes on your trip.

07-03-2008, 10:52 AM
Hey Impala! All I can add are- Lungers, Lunges, Lunges! My DH and I actualy met on the fencing team in collage :), and, though I was never great, I found that the more luges I did while just standing around, watching TV, etc., the easier it was to survive 3-4 ours of straight fencing. I have never had a tighter tush!

07-03-2008, 10:53 AM
Sorry, HOURS, not ours, of fencing! Ha!

07-03-2008, 10:30 PM
Today I managed to do reasonably with the exercise, although I feel like I should have done more. My usual routine plus pliometrics and the interval training luckymommy suggested seem to be working pretty well, though I might want to add a bit in the future.

My problem is protein. Okay, so I didn't go to a huge grocery store. Still, the best protein bar I could find in terms of protein to calorie ratio only had 15 grams of protein for 170 calories, and I really couldn't afford much more. Even with eating protein heavy foods for everything but breakfast (fruit salad) I only got in 57 grams of protein. How on EARTH do you get 125 grams?

Also, sources seem to vary on how much protein is a good idea. I've seen everything from 36 grams up to 120, given my body weight and activity level (I figure no more than 120, because while I am working out a lot, I'm not actually doing serious weight lifting). With such a high protein diet have you had any trouble with dehydration, dizziness or bone density? I heard these could be issues if a diet was too heavily biased towards protein.