Categories
Health and Fitness

Data Analysis

Observations After Week 1

Data

Man, I feel like this is some kind of super scientific approach to my well being.  For one thing, I have never used so many apps and extensions to chart my progress.  Some of them are necessary just for the ability to consolidate data in a way that I can share, RunGap for example. Others are just an easier way to track things, like MyfitnessPal and Strava.  I will attempt to explain as I go along…

Week 1 

A few days before launch I tweaked my back really good.  I was spinning and felt a twinge.  I’ve had enough experience with myself to know that the best way to lose 3 weeks of training is to continue doing whatever it is I am doing at the time.  So, I got off the bike, laid on the floor, stretched, took some ibuprofen, iced, and proceeded to lose the ability to lift my leg high enough to put on my underwear.  Two trips to Dr. Bob(Avenues of Health Chiropractic) and some rest, and I was able to launch the physical part of my plan on Monday, the 4th(Diet changes started on the 1st as planned).

Cardio

I typically use Strava to track my progress on outdoor bicycle rides.  It is an absolute video game for biking and will get it’s own page here in the future.  It maps your rides, allows you to compare yourself with others who have ridden any part of the route, and let’s you know how you did against your greatest rival, you.  Unfortunately, it is not ideal for stationary bikes.  So, when I spin in the winter, because it’s so much harder to wipe out on a 150 pound spin bike, traffic is always light in the garage, and I know exactly when I’m going to get home-when I swing my leg back over the seat- I use my apple watch and my Garmin to track my levels.  I use the Garmin, as mentioned in my “Forward to the Past” to track my effort while spinning.  I use the Apple watch for the data after spinning.  Why, you ask?  Simple…I lost the cord to attach the Garmin to my computer, duh.  

Anyway, Apple doesn’t have a way to view aggregate data so I found RunGap, which takes all the data from my apple account and puts it in one place. 

This is what I’ve been up to this week:

On RunGap you can also look at an individual workout:

You can even view it graphically-Nice intervals!

You can see that I have gotten two cardio workouts this week.  I would add that Covid has made me stir crazy, so I have also added ice skating to my repertoire because if I don’t get outside I will go insane.  Turns out I miss it, and love it, and it’s just about twice as hard as I remember.  I’m not removing anything, I’m just adding 30 minutes of skating when I can.

P90X

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my garage is my gym. This has presented many issues, not the least of which is a lack of real resistance equipment.  I have secured a set of Powerblock adjustable dumbbells to go with the bands I had been using.  

Power Blocks

Assessment: 

First of all, let me just say that in my opinion elasticity is a mediocre substitute for gravity.  So, in terms of the workout rendered, the blocks delivered!  In addition, with bands I felt like I was continually adjusting something to get the right “feel” for each exercise, not to mention, the right tug.  By this I mean that decreasing the amount of band available (by stepping on it, or creating a loop to step on) tension is increased.  There is a real lack of precision in that method. What exactly is the tension delivered if I have a 40 pound resistance band with a loop of a 3”diameter under my foot?  The blocks are quick to adjust and precise.  I think the only real drawback is aesthetics.  I feel like I have a couple of steampunk bear traps attached to my arms when I use them.  I also have dainty XX large hands.  When I wear gloves, because that garage takes a little time to warm up, it is tricky getting my hands inside them.  

Diet

With the paid version of MyfitnessPal you have even more options for data.

So I’m down to 216 pounds from 217.6.  I’m actually surprised it is not more.  I knew going into this that dropping alcohol was going to have a major impact, both in terms of difficulty in not having it, the subsequent drop in caloric intake.  What I was not prepared for was how difficult eating zero prepared food has been.  I do great in the morning with my shakes, or do I?  Does protein powder count as a prepared food? What about tofu?  I’ve decided that if the thing I’m adding is not a meal in and of itself I’m ok.  Store bought spaghetti sauce and peanut butter- okey dokey.  Vegetarian chicken patties and burritos-no go.

Final Observations

I’m sleeping much differently already.  Not necessarily any more, just more soundly.  Extra water intake may have supplanted beer as my reason for getting up in the middle of the night, but I’m getting up just the same.  However, the quality of sleep I do get  is noticeably better as I haven’t felt the need to sneak naps in this week.  I’m averaging pretty close to 8 hours per night too. 

Stay tuned for week 2.

Image Credits:

Featured Image: Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

“Free Workout Data Manager for IOS.” RunGap, http://www.rungap.com/.

“PowerBlock Sport Dumbbells: Dumbbells For Home.” PowerBlock, 13 Oct. 2020, powerblock.com/product/sport-series/.

“Fitness Starts with What You Eat.” Myfitnesspal, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/.

One reply on “Data Analysis”

Nice work. You are crushing this. You are going to be the model of good health. Makin’ me rethink things. Thanks for that.

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