So yesterday I finally came off of a ten-day exercise hiatus. This is the longest time I have not worked out in who knows when. The long and short of it was I was just burned out. I had been lifting weights about four times a week and practicing martial arts three to four times a week with some cardio here and there. I was really starting to peak in every thing – you may have seen my post on Facebook that I squatted 315lbs three weeks ago and that I was pushing hard to prepare for a big test at my martial arts school.
During this big exercise push, I have had two root canals in the past two months that have been slowly and painfully bringing me down. So I just decided to stop everything and spend as much time as possible with my wife and not think about exercise at all. Whoa how fast you lose, but how rested I feel both mentally and physically. It’s not my nature to sit still but sometimes you just have to switch gears and put it all down to regroup.
On Friday, I practiced some forms, and today I went for a nice long walk with Marianne. Tomorrow I plan to practice more martial arts and do some light lifting. I haven’t planned out the rest of the week, but I think I will cut back on the lifting and focus more on the martial arts and cardio, more specifically running due to spring arriving.
I’m sure there is a moral in this story somewhere, but I guess a little time away from what you love never hurts, especially if it’s spent with the woman you love.
I am still planning to get the knee surgery after the martial arts test. Then a new part of the journey will begin: recovery first and on to greater heights.
PS – This actually happened last week but JETT Trainers Sara Gray posted commentaries about her ARMY experience that took precedence
Living in a hotel for four months is far from an ideal situation for many reasons and primary among those are the challenges that it presents for healthy eating. Before I arrived, I knew I would be staying in a traditional hotel room with just a mini fridge and a microwave. So I knew I would have to be creative when it came to cooking meals. I am fortunate that I have a Panini grill that I packed so I could at least grill some foods.
Before I left for my course, I made a trip to Trader Joe’s to search out food that I could cook in a microwave but would not require refrigeration. The shopping was just about as challenging as I expected it would be, but I was able to find a handful of products that would at least get me started. Some of the things I ended up with were canned black beans, oatmeal, tuna fish, polenta, and quinoa. I figured with some basics I could at least get myself through the first couple days.
The temptation to eat out most meals is incredible, especially given the difficulty of preparing a meal. Additionally I want to be social with my classmates, and there is a different group eating out all the time. Within ten minutes of my hotel there is an Outback Steakhouse, Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera, and Red Lobster just to mention a few! Is it possible to find decent options on those menus? Sure but it can be tough and takes a certain amount of willpower and thought.
Lunchtime is another opportunity for a meal misstep considering in our building we have access to Subway, a convenience store, and Einstein Bagels. I have found that most days, I am making my own lunch, which has been great so far; I feel like I am back in middle school when I pull my lunchbox out of my backpack in the middle of a big cafeteria! One of my favorite meals to bring in a quinoa salad; it travels well, tastes great and is an extremely healthy option. (My recipe will follow!)
Overall I have found that if I am willing to take a little extra time and care, then I am able to more or less eat as I should most of the time and in the end that’s what matters!
Quinoa Salad Recipe
Prepare the quinoa as directed on the box.
Cut up any combination of vegetables you like- Recently I’ve been using roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes.
Consider adding another protein- I’ve been using garbanzo beans or grilled chicken
Add seasons- My standards- garlic powder and lots of balsamic vinegar
Combine everything in one bowl and enjoy!
If you’ve been following JETT Training on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen that I am currently attending the Quartermaster Basic Officer Leadership Course at Ft. Lee just outside of Richmond. I received my commission to the Army in May 2010 from Wake Forest University and have been waiting to attend this course since then. This is a sixteen-week course where I learn what it means to be a Quartermaster Officer. Simply put – we deal with logistics; our job can have us running warehouses, performing petroleum and water operations, and even packing parachutes!
Physical fitness has always been an important part of Army training and this course is no exception. Most weeks we have PT at 0600 Monday to Friday, and the sessions last about an hour. Each day we will begin with a dynamic warm up that includes different variations on squats, lunges, core work and, of course, pushups! Then we move into the main part of our workout. For the first month or so we are going to be doing a lot of running. After our first Army Physical Fitness test, which consists of two minutes of pushups, two minutes of sit ups and a two mile run, it was evident that the run was the class’ weakest event. Our running workouts will range from five easy miles, track intervals, to tempo runs. Our non-running sessions will be set up like a crossfit workout, making sure to get in plenty of pushups and core work.
While I am here I will receive my first exposure to the Army’s new physical training plan. Until this past August there had been no updates or changes to the system since 1992! The new program is called Physical Readiness Training or PRT. The main reason for the change is the fact that the current system does not reflect how we fight and a common army saying is “train as you fight”. The new program wants to build strength, endurance, and mobility to better prepare a solider for movements they will be performing in combat. A solider is far more likely to have to sprint 100 meters or quickly move to the left or right than run two miles. As with any new program it will take time to implement and tweak but I believe this is a great step in the right direction. I’m looking forward to learning and experience the new system and comparing it to what I’ve grown accustomed to.
One of our very own JETT Trainers, Sara Gray is in the Army, and as all other soldiers she is required to do physical training tests (PT) twice a year.
Sara is currently in Richmond, and just this last Wednesday, she had to stand and deliver. The test has a sliding scale based on age and gender. I found an explanation online (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/army/a/afpt.htm).
Below are the standards set for females age 22-26. In short, the minimum is seventeen push-ups in two minutes, 50 sit-ups in two minutes and a two mile run in less than 19.36 minutes. Sara had a possible stress fracture for almost two week before having to take her test. Thanks to our friends at Sport and Spine Rehab (www.ssrehab.com) providing intensive therapy the week prior to going to Richmond, she was able to put up great numbers.
So can you beat the following?
40 Push-Ups (elbows must be parallel) in two minutes.
84 Sit-Ups (body must be vertical) in two in minutes.
2 mile run in 18 flat
We at JETT Training are very proud of Sara Gray and thank her for her continuing service to our country. I will keep you posted on her adventures in Richmond over the next four months.
U.S. Physical Fitness Charts for Female
Push up Standards Age 22-26
2 MILE RUN STANDARDS
Information Courtesy of U.S. Army