This past May, I won a 3 month gym membership at a local gym in a raffle. I decided on the spot that I would be an idiot if I let this opportunity pass me by. So the very next morning I was at my new gym working out. It had been years since I had step foot in a gym, so I met with the head trainer and we planned a workout regimen to suit my goals. Those being to lose weight (30lbs) and improve my cardiovascular system. I began my regimen weighing in at 210 pounds in early May. For my age/height, I was just shy of being classified as obese. What I’m doing each morning is technically called circuit training.

I begin each morning with a 5 minute cardio warm up – usually on an elliptical or bike. I then move to weights. I do 10 standing shoulder presses with two 30lb dumbbells, then I lay on a bench with the same dumbbells and do 10 bench presses. I keep my feet elevated during this to purposely throw myself off balance. This results in a full core workout at the same time. I put the dumbbells away and do 10 curls with a 50lb curling bar. I then move to the pulldown bar and do 10 reps at 100lbs. I then move to the Adjustable Crossover Machine and use the pulley systems to do Ab rotations that really work my abs, shoulders and core. It basically looks like I’m swinging a baseball bat. A 70lb baseball bat. I do 10 of these swinging to the right, and then 10 more swinging to the left. I then go to the situp chair and do 33 situps with 130lb weight.

I then repeat the entire previous paragraph 2 more times, with only a short 30 second break in between sets.

After my three sets of weight training I move to an elliptical cardio machine. I stay on there about 40 minutes, with my objectives being: reach 300 calories burned, and get my heartrate up between 151-171 and sustain that heartrate for as long as possible.

So the weights and cardio combined are my workout regimen for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

One Tuesdays and Thursdays I only do cardio, with the same goals. Since I’m on the cardio machine much longer, I usually burn well over 300 calories.

At the very end of each workout, I spend some time on a stretch chair stretching out all my muscle groups really well.

The craziest part of all this for me is that I am getting up at 5am each morning before work to go do all this!

My free membership expired on August 11th, but I have already renewed for another 3 months. In these previous three months, I have lost 17 pounds so far (more than halfway to my 30lb goal), and I’ve built a ton of muscle. I’m not ready to post any before/after shots yet, but I can tell you that my pants are all big on me, I’m tucking in my shirts now, my belt is on the last notch and I just generally feel more energetic and better about myself. I really can’t imagine not doing this the rest of my life. If I miss a day or two at the gym during the week it throws me off completely.

Oh, my eating habits? I’m not eating anything different that I did before. Just trying to make better choices about what goes into my body. And the biggie is to stop eating when I’m full. That’s it. No radical diets. No starvation. No eating like a rabbit. Just exercise and not putting more into my body than it can handle.