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Focus Personal Fitness Member Challenge: Week 1

The numbers and my feeling:

  • Starting Weight: 227 lbs.
  • Monday Weigh-in: 225 lbs.
  • Target Weight: 200 lbs.

No great weight loss during my first week, but in fairness it was the week of Thanksgiving. My diet has not really changed. That said I certainly am more aware of my choices because everything going in that isn’t good for me puts me further away from my goal.

The regime

The program Randy designed for me included jogging 5 times this week for 20-30 minutes a day, while keeping my heart rate between 125 and 135 BPM. I also rode my bike twice for one hour each time, and participated in a Body Fusion group training session at the Focus fitness studio. During all of these sessions I wore a Polar Loop activity tracker paired with an L7 HR monitor.

How was my week?

It was difficult to keep my heart rate in the training zones when “running.” My run was more like a very light jog. It’s a lot different than how I ran before when I was more active, but did not understand my VO2 max.

My VO2 max level was 34, which is just below the normal level for an untrained male (ages 35-40) during physical activities. What this means is that I need work on keeping my heart rate down. If it rapidly increases to 150 or more, I start to run an oxygen deficit, and my muscles cannot carry away the carbon dioxide in time which means my muscles begin to build lactic acid. We all know that feeling! After my third “run” I settled into my training zone. What I found interesting is that although the pace was slow, I did not feel exhausted when I finished. So, even after only a week my body was adjusting.

I liked the group session with Megan and have two more this upcoming week. These are both during lunch hour and force me to book time for myself without exception. Randy also has me set up on a program called Training Peaks. After each activity, I log in and transfer the data from my workout to the website so Coach Randy can track my progress. To me this part is important. I don’t want to let the coach down so I have an added incentive!


Coach Randy’s Point of View

Norm’s program is initially geared to ensure he develops some consistency and an improved aerobic base. From the data we collected in his VO2 assessment we were able to determine his optimal training zones. What the data told us was that Norm needed to develop his aerobic base to improve his overall fitness and health. The development of the aerobic zone is important to ensure the body is primarily burning fat as a fuel source.

It’s likely that when Norm exercised in the past he would be working in a heart rate zone that was too high. While this probably felt good emotionally, it did little to enhance his overall fitness. He would be able to sustain that high heart rate and work rate until his motivation for training subsided, or until he became fatigued or injured by the effort levels. Soon he would lose his consistency and eventually stop for an extended period of time. By establishing a work rate in the aerobic zone Norm is able to be consistent with his training and feels good after each session. His body is slowly learning to burn fat as a fuel source, which will eventually change his disposition after 12 weeks of consistent training. During this time he may lose weight but the biggest difference he will notice at this point will be a change in disposition.

As long as Norm continues to remain focused at the prescribed heart rate zones he should be able to remain consistent and see more benefits in the coming weeks.



Meet Norm

Norm is a typical business professional -working long hours and trying to balance his work and family schedules. Norm’s health was usually last on the priority list after running his businesses and managing family life, which is centred around his children’s sports and activity schedules. After several unsuccessful attempts to reach his fitness goals, he decided a new approach was needed: Let the fitness professionals at Focus Personal Fitness design a custom program. Norm is sharing his experiences in order to encourage other business professionals to take time for themselves.