I’ve always had an abiding interest in exercise. Perhaps it was brought on by the fact that I was very thin as a child. I was shorter, thinner and looked much younger than my age as I grew up, and I got fed up with being treated like a little boy.
When I got to college, I read about weightlifting voraciously. I educated myself and began lifting weights frequently, advancing from 2-3 times/week to 6-7 times/week. I started weightlifting regularly my sophomore year, and by my senior year, I’d put on about 60 lbs of muscle, without illegal supplements.
After college, even though I was still lifting weights intensely, I lost about 25 lbs. There were a few reasons for that. For one thing, I turned vegan, and I didn’t balance my diet properly. Then I had an operation on my right knee for a torn ACL, and was out of commission for 6-7 months. I became unhappy with going to the gym, for other reasons as well… so I focused my efforts on my job and my personal projects, such as writing for my websites. Over time, that meant more weight loss, until my weight settled around 155-160 lbs. I was still interested in exercise though, and I wrote several articles about the subject when I began to publish online in 2001.
On a side note, if you ever wonder whether you should play rugby or not, keep in mind I broke a rib, then my nose, then tore my ACL playing rugby. It’s not an easy sport on the body. I decided to stick to regular exercise and leave rugby to those with sturdier constitutions and cauliflower ears.
Back to my adventures in exercise… I coasted onward, relying on my previous years of workouts to keep my body in a residual shape, and that worked, for a time, until I noticed that even though my weight stayed the same and my waist stayed the same, I was getting flabbier. The basic shape was still there, but muscle tone was nowhere near what I used to have, and I was accumulating body fat, slowly but surely.
I had several false starts over time, where I tried to go to a gym regularly, but that didn’t work out. So far, my exercise routine has been irregular. I do pull-ups and crunches every now and then, but it’s not enough.
Imagine my surprise, when out of the blue, I was contacted by one of the founders of the RPM System — a low-cost, highly customizable fitness program that tailors itself to each user’s needs after a baseline fitness and diet assessment — and I was asked to review it honestly, without pulling any punches. (RPM stands for Results Power Movement.)
Here was a fitness program I could do at home, with minimal equipment (an exercise band and an exercise ball), using only my body weight. Absolutely, I said, bring it on!
So here I am! I did my initial assessment today, and you can see my results below. My power score is 64, which, on a scale from 1-100, gets me a D (barely). It looks like I need some serious work…
It’s not that I could only do 4 push-ups, and so on… Their website grades each of my numbers on a scale of 1-10, then assigns me a score on a scale of 1-100. Here are my actual numbers for each test:
As you can see, I did 21 full push-ups, 20 standing reverse flyes with an exercise band, stood in the abdominal plank position for 61 seconds, and in the wall sit position for 141 seconds. I’m not happy about my push-ups and reverse flyes, but when you type and use a mouse all day, your arms are bound to get weak…
The initial assessment also involved a diet questionnaire, which pinpointed the following problem areas:
- I don’t drink enough water
- I eat too many sweets (I love chocolate…)
- I don’t prepare my meals in advance (I don’t need to, Ligia does it for me)
The good thing is that I do eat healthy (other than the chocolate). Both of us are into raw food, and Ligia takes good care of me. We eat a fairly balanced diet, so I’ve got that going for me. That’s quite possibly why I’m not fat, even though I sit on a chair all day.
I also want to document my initial measurements.
As you can see, I’m at 158-159 lbs, shoulders 47″ (if I recall correctly, this used to be my chest measurement), chest 38″, arms 13″ (yikes, I used to be at 19-20″), abdomen 33″, hips 38″ and thighs 19.25″. My pant size has pretty much always been 30×32″, so there’s no need to track that — I already have a hard time finding clothes in my size…
I’m going to document my progress with the RPM System here on my blog. I’m very interested to see if it’ll have a real effect on my life. I’m tired of having little energy and sleeping poorly. I’ll give it a shot. The program’s founders have allowed me to talk about the various exercises that I’ll be doing, and pretty much everything I see on the back-end of the program (the stuff behind the login screen). If I don’t like the program, I’ll tell you. And if I like it, you’ll be sure to know.
Disclaimer: I want to let you know I’m using it for free, in exchange for reviewing it.
One nice aspect of this program is that it allows referrals. I was given a referral code which you can use (553967326) if you want to sign up for the system, and also a code that lets you get a free week if you just want to try it out (553677456). If you sign up, you too will get a referral code, and every time someone signs up with your code, you’ll get a little bonus, which is always good.
Another neat fact is that the founders donate 10% of the profits from the system to charities. So you can feel good knowing that while you’re improving your quality of life, others are benefitting too.
Tomorrow I’ll start my exercise routine, and I can’t wait to see how soon I see results! If you want to try it out with me, the website is therpmsystem.com.