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sisoj

Keeping in shape as an Engineer

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Hey Engineers! Please share your biggest 2 challenges when it comes to keeping unwanted weight off and being in shape.

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40 minutes ago, sisoj said:

Hey Engineers! Please share your biggest 2 challenges when it comes to keeping unwanted weight off and being in shape.

SItting at a desk all day, working long hours.  There is ALWAYS food around.  Candy, catered lunches, birthday treats. 

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7 minutes ago, vhab49_PE said:

SItting at a desk all day, working long hours.  There is ALWAYS food around.  Candy, catered lunches, birthday treats. 

This.

Also not having regular hours. Somedays i have meetings at 6am and somedays at 7pm. So developing a routine is difficult.  

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For me, in addition to the above, it’s lack of motivation. I try to give my all at work, and by the time I get home and get my kids to bed, i’m Basically spent. Irregular schedules and long hours don’t help.

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Through the last 20+ years its been tough, Before I had kids I could workout or run in the morning before work, then once I had kids I found that working out during lunch was the only way I could get it in - I would take a slightly longer lunch to run and shower and then get back at it.

Its defin been a struggle, and the only times I was really successful with it is when we I would make it a priority, set a goal like running a half / full marathon. But throw in kids soccer / baseball / softball / scouts /etc and it gets really tough.

Now that my kids are older (2 of 3 out of HS) I don't have to deal with dropping anyone off and there are no more sports that need coaches or games to attend, so I go to a 5 AM workout class cause my commute sucks and if I try and get it done after work I cant seem to get there in time..

I like to work but keep in mind if you dropped dead at your desk they would replace you in 2 weeks, so save some time for yourself!

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Yeah. Everything everyone said. I've definitely packed on some pounds over my 15 year career.

I'm fortunate that I now work for a company that really supports employee health stuff. (Interestingly, the company medical benefit is self-insured. I suspect the two are related.) They have an on-site gym which is REALLY nice. And unlike other places I've worked with a gym, here management really supports employees using it. I've been doing CrossFit for a year or so.

Also my wife and I recently started keto. It's definitely not for everyone, but we've seen some good results.

I share all this because it would be nice to discuss our action plans and successes (and struggles and failures),  in addition to discussing the challenges. Hopefully it can provide some support and encouragement to others. Remember it's about progress, not perfection.

Edited by jean15paul_PE
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13 hours ago, Road Guy said:

then once I had kids I found that working out during lunch was the only way I could get it in - I would take a slightly longer lunch to run and shower and then get back at it.

This is exactly my issue. Used to workout 7-8 hours a week and went to nothing couple years ago. Gained 10lbs and went from 12% body fat to 19%. 

I came up with the same solution. Workout before lunch. i have been able to get in 3 hrs every week, but need to increase that gradually.

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There are a lot of HIIT exercises that range between 20-30 minutes, namely Insanity Max 30 and Tony Horton's 22 min Hard Corp, both of which can be found on beachbody.com - find something that you enjoy doing and make it a priority habit like you do anything else such as brushing your teeth, showering, spending time with friends and family, watching TV, etc.  

Fitness is entirely about making time to take care of your body and eating reasonably.

 

Edited by bdhlphcdh

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Biggest challenges are sitting all day, and lack of time/willpower for cooking / exercising.

On 11/10/2019 at 7:33 AM, ChebyshevII PE said:

For me, in addition to the above, it’s lack of motivation. I try to give my all at work, and by the time I get home and get my kids to bed, i’m Basically spent. Irregular schedules and long hours don’t help.

Agree with this, give or take some of my "all". 

My take on the best way to fix the "low willpower after work" issue: make it an unavoidable part of your routine.

Either
1. Do it before the day starts ("If you exercise for 30 minutes before you start your day then you've already won") or
2. Make it unavoidable (I bike to work, so I usually can't get to work unless I bike.). You could do this by choosing a longer walk route / stairs, or by joining some sport/exercise league/group so that you're "forced" to go (I also play soccer on weekends, and a team is depending on me.) 

Admittedly being young and single contributes to some of the time I have to stay fit. Just make sure you give ti a little time every day. Do 30 push-ups right before you shower. 

Also recommend reading Atomic Habits by James Clear :)

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I second the early morning option. Just make it a habit and it's not that hard. I used to work out exclusively in the evenings after work, and I missed so many work outs due to various things like working late, long commutes, happy hours, kids events, etc. But since I've switched to mornings, I don't miss anything unless I just get lazy. 

Motivation is important, too.  These days I have to meet weight and fitness requirements to keep my job, so that kind of takes care of itself. But before that, I played goofy adult sports and participated in the occasional race so that I would have a bunch of friends to answer to, at least, for falling out of shape.

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To be honest, I really enjoy working out. I have very little "me time" because of work, family and household stuff, and other responsibilities. I'm sure many of us are in similar situations. I workout at my workplace gym on my lunch hour, usually 3 to 4 days a week. It the only time that I regularly dedicate to myself, and I really enjoy it psychologically/emotionally/spiritually speaking. I think a big part of that is that I've finally found a type of workout that I enjoy in CrossFit. I never liked endurance or cardio workouts, and I like lifting weights, but sometimes it would feel to slow or boring. CrossFit is the perfect balance for me. Everyone is different, so you gotta figure out what you like. Now that doesn't mean that everyday I want to work out. There are many days where I just don't feel like it. I usually try to push though and I'm usually glad I did, but sometime I skip just because. It's all about balance.

Edited by jean15paul_PE

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I feel like I have a slightly different point of view compared to everyone here.  I've never been fit/was never into sports when I was younger and I def ballooned after I finished my field years and was in the office full time.  Due to my commute, I had less sleep/ ate really late/ and usually ate too much.  I never saw the appeal of running, and I couldn't really just 'join a gym' because I didn't know any exercises to do while I was there beside the treadmill?  This past year in March I decided to try and get semi-healthy.  I mean, I'd love to lose weight, but I think being strong/fit is more important.  

I took a really serious approach to this, actually scheduling gym time on my calendar and planning my work day around that.  Making sure to have time blocked out.  I joined a gym that had the 30-minute workout classes, which were okay to get my started, but since I was sporadic about going to the gym, I wanted something that was more 45-min to an hour class.  Long classes due to me having really good stamina, but crappy cardio, and a class because I still don't know what I'm doing.  I worked out after work because my commute was soooooo bad that it was better to 'stop' halfway through, take an hour class, and then get back on the road than just sitting in traffic.

I'm also single, so working out is difficult sometimes because of meal prep and having to get stuff done at the house.  Granted, I don't have as many responsibilities as people who have kids and a partner, but sometimes it's hard to say "yes, I'm going to the gym today", schedule in the drive time, but then get home and be able to cook, clean, put away stuff, while also allowing me a good hour before sleep to decompress from the day.

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Yeah I think the key is just finding something you really like and can get some enjoyment out of (in addition to making the TIME) - This past  summer I did a ton of biking, but by Fall I was so done with it, great for burning calories, but just a very long time commitment each ride.

Ive never been a big fan of buying home gym equipment, but I am giving serious thought to buying a rower:

concept-2-model-d-rower-h_2.jpg

 

We use these at my gym a lot and I really like them, plus I like the idea of just saying, "well I need to burn 500 calories today and go to town on this thing for 20 minutes", they seem to be fairly indestructible and only around a grand.  Also good for winter when it gets dark and cold at 4:30 every afternoon :(

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I had been an early morning exercise class...scheduled = i make the time.  The teacher changed and am not a fan.  Mr snicks new job also means he starts early which makes bathroom schedule in the morning more complicated so it really isn't an option anymore.  Need to get my butt to the gym in the evening and do my own thing instead of a class.  

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9 hours ago, Road Guy said:

Yeah I think the key is just finding something you really like and can get some enjoyment out of (in addition to making the TIME) - This past  summer I did a ton of biking, but by Fall I was so done with it, great for burning calories, but just a very long time commitment each ride.

Ive never been a big fan of buying home gym equipment, but I am giving serious thought to buying a rower:

concept-2-model-d-rower-h_2.jpg

 

We use these at my gym a lot and I really like them, plus I like the idea of just saying, "well I need to burn 500 calories today and go to town on this thing for 20 minutes", they seem to be fairly indestructible and only around a grand.  Also good for winter when it gets dark and cold at 4:30 every afternoon :(

I bought one of those last year when i thought I was injured and couldn't run (turned out to be a stretch I had started doing, that once I stopped the injury went away).

That's a real nice piece of equipment, and probably the cheapest commercial grade equipment you can buy for the home. It's a great workout - supposedly works 80% of the muscles in your body if you do it right, and burns almost the same amount of calories per time as running.  I recommend it.

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We use those all the time at the gym. I can't say I enjoy it, but I guess it's effective.

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20 hours ago, Road Guy said:

Yeah I think the key is just finding something you really like and can get some enjoyment out of (in addition to making the TIME) - This past  summer I did a ton of biking, but by Fall I was so done with it, great for burning calories, but just a very long time commitment each ride.

Ive never been a big fan of buying home gym equipment, but I am giving serious thought to buying a rower:

*cursed picture snip*

 

We use these at my gym a lot and I really like them, plus I like the idea of just saying, "well I need to burn 500 calories today and go to town on this thing for 20 minutes", they seem to be fairly indestructible and only around a grand.  Also good for winter when it gets dark and cold at 4:30 every afternoon :(

As someone who used to do crew - boo!  Hiss!  Take that wretched machine away!

*has flashbacks of sustained rowing/matching my partners pace for sprints and long distance*

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Does an actual crew rower have the same "kicking" feel that this one does? Ive always felt like this was mostly a leg workout (they way we use them at our gym)

usually its like, do 20 calories, then go for a sprint or some other nonsense!

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47 minutes ago, Road Guy said:

Does an actual crew rower have the same "kicking" feel that this one does? Ive always felt like this was mostly a leg workout (they way we use them at our gym)

usually its like, do 20 calories, then go for a sprint or some other nonsense!

If it doesn't feel like a back/arm workout more than legs, then you're probably staying too upright during your rows.  If you really want to "even things out" put your legs flat on the floor and do it.  Works your back like an SOB, and now your core has to fight to stay upright since you took out the leg drive but are still sitting on a seat that can slide around.

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The method were instructed to use is the legs start and end at a 90 degree angle from the starting position, back is straight, and its all legs until your legs are fully extended and then finish it off with the arms, If i had to guess its a 2/3 lower body exercise. 

You can defin feel it in the back but the main movement is generated from the legs.

I will probably regret it but I signed up to do a marathon row this January - not sure how long that is going to take but I guess a while...

Different routines may use it for different things but this is close to the method were using:

 

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1 hour ago, Road Guy said:

Does an actual crew rower have the same "kicking" feel that this one does? Ive always felt like this was mostly a leg workout (they way we use them at our gym)

usually its like, do 20 calories, then go for a sprint or some other nonsense!

Technically, when rowing you want it to be a smooth kinda circular/oval movement.  If you 'kick' with your legs on the water, your oar could end up getting caught and jerking everything around and getting everyone else pissed at you.  Just looking at that video, I feel like the guy is not going far enough 'into' his legs and the 'push out' motion is ultra exaggerated.  When you push you're supposed to be using your core to pull in your arms

Check this out/look at their form (yes, they're rowing, but you do exactly the same on the machine only you don't follow the oar path to the left/right):

 

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That's cool so the chair slides back and forth?  I had never really noticed?

 

I call it kicking cause most people dislike the rower so I tell them to "kick the shit" out of it...

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I used to go to a rowing studio, and really enjoyed it. Definitely was an incredibly good full-body workout. I agree about it being less about your legs and more about your back and core.

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