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Monday, 24 February 2014

Fitness Is My Why

         In the dark, in the late hours of a cold April night, I distinctly remember the pain in my legs, the voice telling me to stop and the bigger voice telling me that I had to finish. I couldn’t give up, after all, I was challenging myself by running the longest distance I had ever ran. I was determined to finish to raise the money for school supplies at a school in Ghana. It was my birthday, I was determined to finish this half marathon and I knew I would succeed. 
As I have been reflecting on my 24th year of life, that evening continues to come back to me. I challenged myself to be my best, to finish those 60 laps no matter what anyone said. And in those quiet evening hours, with nothing but the noise of my lungs and my shoes striking the turf, I realized a lot about who I am and what I truly live for. I believe that pushing myself to this deep and painful state of exhaustion allowed me to be a better man. I guess you could say I brought my 24th year in with a bang!
As 25 approaches I am realizing I need to set my fitness bar higher. My fitness has reached an enormous pinnacle fabricated from hard work and many hours scaffolding myself through exercise. With this in mind, I have decided to dedicate the 25th year of my life to building towards my genetic potential through relative strength and endurance training. What does that mean, you ask? It means that I am going to challenge myself to be the fittest 25 year old I know. Not because I have to, but because I want to. Fitness is my why.
How am I going to measure this goal? Well, this is a tough challenge. Using S.M.A.R.T goal settings will set me up for success (assuming no injuries). Here is my breakdown:

S- specific. My genetic potential will be measured based on my height to weight ratio and validated by what I should be able to lift on my bench, squat and dead lifts all on the same day. Along with this, I am striving to run a 4:40 mile and cycle 15 miles in one hour.

M- measurable. I am going to compete in at least one large fitness competition in my 25th year. I am going to run a Tough Mudder Event in Virginia this June. I am also going to run a 5 mile road race this summer in Raleigh. How I measure up in these fitness tests will prepare me for my 26th year goal of competing in a 2015 Men’s Health Ubanathlon in New York, NY. 

 A- attainable. Of course this is attainable. It is MY genetic potential. I am competing against myself to be the best athlete I can be through wise, functional training.

R- realistic. This can be realistic to everyone because of how subjective it is. However, this is something I need to make a reality in my own life. I will prove this at the gym and through my competition measurements. If you want to see me in action, I will meet you at the squat rack.

T- trackable. I plan to track my goals through a periodized split peak workout plan. After 6 weeks, I will be tracking my results from my lifts and putting them into the planning for my next 6 weeks. In this phase I will be adding elevation HIIT training sessions as well as more Plyometric and functional exercises outdoors. I have developed a program that works for me which balances strength, endurance  flexibility and functionality. I will be able to see the results from my first 6 weeks easily through lifting gains and DeXa testing for specific body fat percentage measurements. I am also going to be tracking my muscle mass to body weight ratio, bone density, hydration levels and metabolic age. I will also be use the Karvonen Formula to track my HR and doing regular blood work tests to make sure I am getting sufficient nutrient intake given my training regime.
        The ultimate goal of this program I have put together is to be the fittest, most functional 25 year old male I know who is 5’9 and between 155-165 lbs. If you would like to ask me any questions about my training feel free to tweet me @wellnessrf.

Ryan Fahey

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