I set a rather ambitious goal for myself. I plan to become Spiderman. I might not have his webshooters (yet), and I might not have been bitten by a mutant spider and given supernatural strength… but, I’m working on that the hard way.
I’ve been climbing for about a year now, learning how to scale walls, like a spider but without the aid of hundreds of tiny spikes on my fingers that adhere to any surface. Fortunately I have been getting stronger fingers and learning how to balance my weight on the wall, letting my feet hold a lot of my weight while I move around on the wall. Unfortunately I’ve run into a bit of an obstacle; I am rather heavy compared to my strength.
So, I set out on an adventure (a long term trek) towards really getting closer to my Spiderman ideal. By the end of summer I want to have dropped my body fat percentage to 15% from my current level of 20% and be able to do three sets of 10 pull ups, chin ups, or neutral grip pull ups. By next spring I plan to be down to 12% body fat and looking rather a lot like our friendly neighborhood superhero when I don my Spidey suit (details pending).
How I’m getting there:
I’m following the best, soundest procedures I know of to reach my goal. I’m trying to increase my strength to weight ratio by climbing, swimming, sprinting, lifting weights, doing body weight exercises, and combining that with a mostly Paleo diet.
Whenever possible I get 8 hours of sleep, in bed by 10pm and wake up at 6am and go for a 2-5k interval run, including as many sprints as I can. After that I take a short, hot shower followed by a short, cold shower. Then I make breakfast. I love cooking and when I have the chance to make a good breakfast it lights up my morning. For example, today I made Champloo, an Okinawan dish containing ground meat, eggs, and bitter melon called goya.
Depending on the day and how much time I have after work, I try to either go swimming, go climbing, or do some strength training. After any of those I take a hot shower followed by a cold bath. I’m working my way up to taking ice baths. I have a few zip lock bags full of water that I threw in the freezer to easily cool down the water in my tub.
My life schedule prevents me from working out every day, so instead I just work out every day that I can, without worrying too much about rest days; they happen as a result of work and social engagements. Whenever possible I go home for lunch or prepare a Paleo bentou for work and again try to eat Paleo dinners. Occasionally when I can’t get home or don’t have time to make a healthy lunch I’ll skip it and wait for dinner.
I’m also not worrying too much about adhering perfectly to the Paleo guidelines. The stress of maintaining that diet at all costs isn’t worthwhile to me. When I go out for social things I’m off diet, I enjoy myself and have whatever food I really want to eat. This is just a personal lifestyle choice.
Measurements and Progress
I use the U.S. Navy body fat % measurements based on abdomen and neck circumference measured against height. I’m also taking weekly photos of my body from front and side angles in addition to a shot of my face to track my progress. For swimming, I measure my 50 meter crawl swim and am working to get that number below 40 seconds. I climb higher grade courses and keep track of which I’ve cleared and which I have yet to clear. If my pull up count goes up, then I have improved. Likewise if my push up count, dip count, squat weight, overhead press weight, bench press weight, and dead-lift weight go up, I have improved.
I’m looking forward to wearing my Spidey suit for the first time. If anyone has any ideas about webshooters, I’d love to hear them.