This won’t mean much to most, but it’s a bit of bragging.
Being in the military, fitness is a significant part of our job. Matter of fact, we’re actually afforded a couple of hours every day during work hours to work out. How perfect is that for me? So we set aside the first two hours of the day for organized Physical Training (PT). The downside for me is that the workouts are basic enough to challenge those that aren’t in shape, but not so challenging that it breaks them (that’s not the goal). So I’ll often run the five miles to work and then start PT. Then I’ll run home at the end of the day, stretching my afternoon run from 5-13 miles or more if need be. Rinse, repeat the next day.
Anyway, the proof was in the pudding this week. We had our PT test, which consists of a waist measurement, crunches, push ups and timed 1.5-mile run.
The waist measurement has been the bane of my existence. In order to get a perfect score of 50, one must have a waist measurement of less than 32.5″ (for men). Age is not a consideration, nor is height. It’s actually measured just below the navel. And for every half-inch greater than 32.5″, one loses 1.25 points. Even though I was in shape to race Ironman-distance races, I still had enough around the mid-section that I’d lose 8 points before I even started.
But thanks to switching to a Primal/Paleo diet at the start of my deployment to Iraq, those inches have all but melted off. I did lose some weight by switching, but mostly the fat melted away as my body composition shifted. But don’t mistake my use of the word diet to mean that I went on a diet. No, I actually had done a lot of research and decided that the way I had been eating hadn’t been working for me, so I modified the way I was eating. For those who don’t know what Primal or Paleo diets are (and don’t click on the links above), the gist of it is getting back to a more natural way of eating, minimizing the processed foods and eliminating grains (for many different reasons). Some mistakenly call them “low carb” diets, which they are not; it’s just a matter of getting carbs from natural sources, not processed sources. Perhaps that will be a different post, since this one is already getting sidetracked.
Anyway, thanks to the sculpting that the diet change has brought about, I now measure at a cool 32.0″ just below the navel. So that hurdle is out of the way. The rest is easy.
Crunches – must do more than 47 in one minute. Done.
Pushups – must do more than 40 in one minute. Done.
Timed 1.5-mile run – must run faster than 10:21 to get full points. Done, with a very comfortable, evenly paced 9:45. Even after putting 20-miles on the legs in the previous 36 hours.
Now, I’ll admit I took advantage of my age group. Once one turns 40, the run time gets a bit slower and the pushups and crunches are a few less; only the waist measurement doesn’t change. But I actually ran faster than the 35-39 and 30-34 age groups require for a perfect score. So next month’s goal is to add the few extra pushups and crunches and then ace the 35-39 age group PT test. After that…
Plus, it’s fun to leave the twenty-something’s strewn all over the track during the run.