Archive for the ‘Weekly Assessments’ Category

Back with the plan:


  • New bodyweight workout in progress, challenging in a good way.
  • Did my first ever proper pull up, palms away from me with a narrow – even managed a set of 5
  • Made the gym 5 times this week.
  • Made level 17 at Fitocracy
  • Sleeping well.
  • Raised my personal best on the deadlift to 145 kg
  • Waist size has dropped to 32″ – can’t remember when it was last that size, 25+ years ago?
  • Replacing the clothing items which are now too big for me.


  • Weight staying reasonably steady at 79kg.
  • Diet has been OK.
  • Only really managing to post on the blog at weekends.


  • Didn’t finish the non fiction book for the end of the month.
  • Work has been irritating, one of those phases where we are fire-fighting as opposed to improving. Not great for the mood, but just needs worked through.

Away for a couple of days over the next week due to work, so will have to be careful with that.


Back with the plan:


  • Birthday meal resulting in over indulgence of food and alcohol. Sometimes its good to let loose, we did and enjoyed every minute of it. Great time had.
  • Feeling good about new gym atire.
  • Made the gym 5 times this week.
  • New workout – focussing on bodyweight exercises.
  • Sleeping well.
  • Right arm seems almost back to normal.
  • Booked a holiday – mood really lifted on the back of that.
  • Had to throw out three shirts which don’t fit me any more. They were two years old and were simplay way  too big on me.


  • Weight staying reasonably steady at 79kg.
  • Diet has been OK.


  • Didn’t finish the non fiction book for the end of the month.

Focus next week is on the new body weight workout, got a long way to go with that one.

Back to normal this week, but ending the week a year older than I was when it started!


  • Birthday – there were nice presents, tasty cake, scrumptious dinner – a day of being spoiled.
  • I’m a year older and I feel pretty good about it.
  • Bought some new gym wear – and all in medium as opposed to large which it was the last time I bought gym gear.
  • Saw the movie Machete Kills – highly amusing, heartily recommended.
  • Now level 13 at Fitocracy.
  • I can dead lift a Sloth bear!
  • Been using the hockey ball to try and improve the scar tissue in my right arm, think its getting better.
  • Discovered Syatt Fitness – some good articles there.
  • Discovered Al Kavadlo – just wow! I’m already wondering if there is anything that I might be able to do that he makes look effortless. His You Tube channel is amazing too.


  • Still making slow progress with the same book.
  • Weight staying reasonably steady at under 79kg.
  • Only made the gym three times this week. That’s my minimum and I had hoped to do better.


  • Got toothache on Friday and it hurt big style. Unable to train on Friday or Saturday (emergency dental appointment) because of it.
  • Lots of birthday cake left doesn’t bode well for the coming week’s diet.

Back to training fully this week coming and living life to fullest despite being a year older!

I missed last week’s update as things at work have been busy resulting in too much away time.


  • Valentine’s night postponed to the Saturday and enjoyed it with a nice meal and a bottle of wine – domestic bliss!
  • While away at work and being stuck in hotels at night I went out and treated the Fair One and I to a new top each. Indulgent but nice.
  • Mood staying positive. In fact my 48th birthday is due soon and I feel quite comfortable gaining a year as opposed to dreading it.
  • Now level 12 at Fitocracy.
  • Sleeping better again.
  • Trainer showed me how to massage my right arm which has some scar tissue in the muscle.  So I’ve been rolling around on a hockey ball to improve it.


  • Still reading the same book, but only dipping into it, despite the subject matter being interesting.
  • Weight staying reasonably steady at 79kg.


  • Was away for three days this week due to work and with a load of driving it limited me to only making the gym twice
  • Diet hasn’t been great due to being away.
  • Muscle tear in my right arm been limiting my workouts too

Not away next week so need to get back to the gym and improve the diet too.

Continuing in form from the previous weeks.


  • Made the gym five times (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Work has been more demanding this week but I still made the gym at the same frequency. Sometimes I just forced myself to go. Discipline over motivation.
  • Weight staying steady and still under 79kg.
  • Spent some time on Twitter this week looking for new sources of inspiration. Discovered Effortlessgent, subscribed to Seth Godin (how had I forgotten him?), Craig Jarrow (Time Management Ninja – what a name!) and Chris Guillebeau. Godin and Jarrow are excellent, the other two are too early to tell.
  • Still focusing on a positive mood.
  • Now level 10 at Fitocracy.
  • Watched Whitehouse Down and loved it.
  • Experimenting with a Reward based credit card – let’s see how that goes. It’s a while since I’ve done anything new with money related matters.
  • Cleared out the loft of junk. Still struggling to comprehend how we amassed so much of it in the first place.
  • Won the lottery!


  • Work still too quiet on the sales front, no shortage of stuff for me to do. But it’s not as busy as we should be.
  • Haven’t slept quite so well this week, not sure why.


  • The fair one’s cold has been awful all week. Three days off work and she hasn’t made the gym.
  • Current book is proving to be a grind. Perseverance required.
  • The lottery win amounted to £5.10.

One month in to 2014, lets take stock.

Looking at my goals for 2014:


  • Weight to be under 79 kg at end of year – Today is 78.1 so pretty good
  • Be able to do a proper pull up – Done January 2014. Now doing 5 sets of 5!
  • Train at least 3 times per week minimum – In progress but managing this comfortably


  • Develop a more positive attitude – So far so good. Hard to quantify, but in general I’m pretty happy about where I am just now and how the year  has gone so far.
  • Read one business/non-fiction book per month – Work in progress.
  • 3 Blog posts per week minimum – Managed so far.


  • Dine out once per month – Work in progress but managed this for January.
  • Find at least two online communities to join and participate in – I’ve signed up to one, not sure if its a ‘keeper’ lets see how I get on.
  • Find at least 3 new bands to listen to – Found General Fiasco, but only one song I really like.


  • Reduce alcohol intake to no more than one night during the week and at weekends – Not quite there yet, but not drinking that much either when I do.
  • Sleep better – surprisingly well on this one. Not sure exactly why, but having a more positive mindset certainly helps.
  • Aim for 150g protein per day and decrease carbs – Work in progress. Struggling with the 150g of protein per day though, I’m closer to 120g.


  • Get a tattoo (!) – Not even looked yet. Still being cowardly!
  • Redo computer room /home office – Got an idea of what we want to do, just saving up the money just now.

The big thing has been attitude. Going to the gym even when I haven’t always felt like it. I’ve never regretted it afterwards, but sometimes it does require more effort than others. I read an article where it pointed out that discipline was better than motivation as motivation is a variable, whereas discipline isn’t. That has resonated with me and it times I’ve had to remind myself why I should go to the gym, rather than just whether I want to or not.

I have also found I’ve been taking even greater interest in what I can do to improve my performance in all areas of live. I believe the current term is life-hacking. I’ve spent a chunk of time researching on Twitter, looking for people with the kind of mindset I can borrow from. More on that some other time.

I think as New Years go this is the one where I have been most structured/organised and therefore the results have been better.

Overall grading – A minus.

One of those less than remarkable weeks, very little of major importance happened. I guess the best way to describe it as ‘normal life’. It’s also the easy time to slip back into old and less productive routines. So I’m on my guard about that.

Positives –

  • Made the gym five times this week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. Didn’t always do brilliantly, but was pleased at the discipline in going and trying hard.
  • Started a new book on how the mind makes decisions, it’s not a quick read, but it has me thinking already.
  • No excessive meals so diet has been a bit better and weight has gone down as a result (78.5 at end of week). Although we did have an extremely good home-made Chilli Chicken Curry on Sunday.

chilli chicken 0114

  • Finally signed up for Dropbox and spent a load of time copying photographs and music over.
  • Had my annual appraisal at work, which went very well. There was even a small salary rise too. Felt positive after that.
  • Discovered James Clear’s blog – really enjoyed that

Negatives –  Nothing really! I’m carrying a niggling strain in my right upper arm which is holding me back slightly at the gym, hopefully it will clear up in a day or two.

Neutrals – Work still too quiet.

Next week has me away from home a couple of days due to work, so that’s likely to affect my fitness plans, but I’ll just have to plan the damage limitation.

The holiday season is offically over, the Xmas tree and the decorations packed away for another year. From here on in its about trying to live up to the planning.

Positives –

  • Made the gym five times this week. I’ve pretty much decided 5 days is the optimum for training Tuesday and Thursday are rest days. If I can keep this up I’ll be delighted.
  • I’ve finished the second book of the year which I still have to do a review of.
  • The Fair One and I went out for a meal and some drinks on Satrday night, which isn’t good for the fitness regime but a good time was had nonetheless.
  • I treated myself to a rather fine leather jacket and I’m delighted with that. I also chucked out an old jacket which is too big for me now – was pleased to see that go.
  • Dead Lifts – 5 sets of 3 at 130kg – my best yet
  • Pull Ups – Managed 5 sets of 5. Last time I tried which would have been about October I could barely do one

Negatives –  Nothing really! Diet could be better but its heading in the right direction.

Neutrals – Work a bit quiet, could do with being busier.

Overall a pretty good week. Even if the weight management hasn’t been brilliant over the festive period, the strength has continued to improve. My mood remains positive and when I look over the week its definitely been about the good far outweighing the bad. Just have to keep it up.

First week of the year. A mixture of indulgences and resolutions to do better.

Plus points – Made the gym six times this week, which is pretty good for the time of year, if anything possibly once too many. In fact I was in there on New Year’s Day, felt very industrious for that if also somewhat dull! Finished the first book of the year, Counterknowledge. Review posted here. Overall diet hasn’t been too clever. Way too many indulgences over New Year. Back to the plan now. I’ve been sleeping better too which has given me more energy.

Negatives –  I ate how much??? Weight almost hit 81kg at one point. 79.7kg at the end of the week. Thos extra couple of kilos really get felt when doing dips!

Neutrals – Work a bit bland mainly due to the festive season. Just about done with the introspection that New Years Resolutions bring. Enough thinking, time to start delivering.

Gym wise I managed three upper body workouts and three lower body. Definitely felt it the day after each. Getting back into the swing of things and my mood is more positive as a result.

High point had to be managing 120 kg on the dead-lift (my highest yet) without struggling too much and felt technique was still OK. Got an appointment made with the trainer for Friday and I’ll be going into that feeling a bit more positive than I usually am at this time of year.

It’s been a good week, in fact I’d even go as far as to say a really good week.

Plus points – Made the gym three times this week, which is pretty good for the time of year. Xmas was really good, everyone enjoyed themselves and presents were well recieived by all. Weight has stayed the same over the week which again for the time of year is pretty good. Overall diet has been pretty good, whilst allowing for some festive excesses. Started planning ahead for 2014.

Negatives –  Not managed much reading. Nothing really apart from that.

Neutrals – Work a bit bland mainly due to the festive season.

Gym wise I managed two upper body workouts and one lower body. Definitely felt it the day after each. Getting back into the swing of things and my mood is more positive as a result.

High point had to be managing 120 kg on the deadlift (my highest yet)without struggling too much and felt technique was still OK.