What a month. I know the last blog was about a crazy 48 hour fast but I would rather do that 10 more times than go through another March Madness month. The premise of this last month was a workout competition and taking a whole month sober. Rules of the competition were pretty simple, 4 friends and myself were going to use the Myzone app and heart rate tracking system based on the Sober October Challenge from the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Our goal was to see if we could beat Joe who had an insane 11,250 which as I am sitting here is really upsetting because this whole month I was working under the impression he only had 10,122 from a false reddit post. Anyways, to break down how these points work, when wearing the myzone tracker you get 4 points a minute when your heart rate is above 80% of your max heart rate, 3 points a minute for your heart rate being above 70% your max heart rate, 2 points for 60%, and 1 point for above 50%.
So with some quick math, Joe worked out for about 47 hours at 80% max hear rate. I am sure it was more than that but for the sense of making math easy we will just work on the assumption he got 4 points a minute.
The rest of this blog will run through the week by week happenings of this month and a brief reflection of what workouts were like.
February 28th: its 11:30pm and my alarm goes off. While I know this is a workout competition, it is also going to be a huge mental competition as well. As I get a little food in and chug some water, I start heading to the gym at 11:45pm. Luckily our apartment complex has a 24 hour fitness center that is only about a 3 minute walk away so I make my way out the door with a cliff bar in my bag and some sour patch kids as a pre-workout snack (I was told by our dietitian in the competition that I needed a sugary snack that is high in carbs before a long workout). As I start walking to the gym I notice everything is quiet at this time on a Friday morning. Texas winters are luckily much milder than what my other friends would be dealing with in Illinois and Virginia. I hopped on the treadmill at 12:00 midnight and started running. Of course I pulled out my phone and sent a Snapchat to our group to let everyone know that even if I don’t win this thing, no one would be starting earlier.
After a short 5.5 hour workout, over 1000 points, and over 16 miles on the treadmill, an hour on the elliptical, and who knows how long on the bike I was calling it a day. It was now about 5:30am and I realized work was not going to be fun after these morning workouts. When my alarm went off at 7am I realized that maybe a 5 hour workout wasn’t a great idea because my whole body was cramping and I felt like I got hit by a truck. I ended up calling into work for my first ever sick day because I could hardly stand let alone treat any patients. I took the rest of the day to recover, fuel my body properly and prepare for the weekend.
The first week was full of 2am workouts and constantly falling behind in points because as I mentioned earlier, one of our competitors was a dietitian and he was running through 1000 point workouts every day. The insanity of that isn’t done justice by that number alone. To get 1000 points he was spending around 5 hours at the gym a day while working a full-time job and keeping his heart rate above 80% for the vast majority of that time. At the end of week one our scores were set up with the dietitian around 8.5k points, me around 5-6k points, my brother around 3-4k points, and our other two friends around 2k points. Hindsight I should have taken exact scores with me knowing I would write a blog…but I had other things on my mind I guess.
To be clear, the app recommends you get about 1,300 points a month for working out so even though there was a large gap, all of us were putting in some serious work to get these numbers.
Now comes week 2. With me being down I begin to learn that I have a very addictive and competitive personality. I continue to set my alarm for 1:45am each morning and even though one or two mornings I just can’t get myself out of bed, the grind really begins in week 2. By the end of week two the entire fun factor of this competition has worn off. It is now much more of a mental game than it is physical. To put in 3-5 hours in the gym each day is exhausting believe it or not. On top of a full-time job and a 40-minute commute each way I was basically getting up, working out, going to work, working out, and going to sleep.
On top of the exhaustion I was feeling my girlfriend was traveling the past two weeks which I thought would be good for the competition but it turns out two cats, 5 hours of working out, and no support system makes for a very long two weeks. Sparing some details of exhaustion and poor fueling of my body to break down week two it was pretty much 3-4 hours on the elliptical every single day, a little bit of lifting, and my meal prep being a large pizza from HEB for every dinner.
We are now two weeks in and down 12 pounds because I didn’t fully understand how to get enough calories in throughout the day and not be working out on a full stomach. The competition has now started to level out as our friendly dietitian is enjoying his comfortable lead and I am making up maybe 100 points a day. Per his recommendation I started to add in trail mix between patients because that was the best way to get some calories in throughout the day while performing patient care.
The Saturday of week two was the first time I had a little bit of fun in this competition with Heidi being back home. After 3 hours on the elliptical I had my first personal training session where I told my trainer just to keep my heart rate above 80% for the next half hour…boy did he take that to heart. After 30 minutes of him destroying me with some strength training, cardio, and circuits I was finally going to call it a day after about 1000 points. However, on the way home I noticed a truck sitting in-front of the clubhouse to our apartment with weights and remembered this Saturday was Muscles and Mimosas where the local Camp Gladiator (CG) group was coming to show us a free class.
I got into the apartment and asked Heidi if she was down to get a little workout in and of course she was. While the workout wasn’t crazy, it added another 150 or so points to the day (no I didn’t have any mimosas….that is against the rules and it was really sad not being able to after 5 hours of working out). However, it did end with us accepting their trial offer of a month worth of working out for $30…hit us up for the spring promo if you are interested…. With Heidi being back in town and me clearly being way to obsessive about this competition we figured it was a great way for us to spend time together and get some points.
So week 2 is now over. Heidi is back in town for the week, we are signed up for CG, and the scores are starting to get a little closer with our dietitian getting some sort of the flu or something and taking a couple days off. I have broken the 10,122 points that I thought Joe got for the month and was in first place with second place being our dietitian at 9500, my brother around 5k points, and our twin friends hanging out around 3k points.
The last two weeks are pretty much a blur honestly. I know that they happened and were exhausting but the day to day breakdown is nearly impossible. For the week Heidi was around I was waking up every day at 1:45 and was to the gym by 2am I would work out for 2.5-3 hours a day and then go to work. After nearly falling asleep while driving to and from work I started bringing coffee to try and keep me awake while doing evaluations. The end of the week luckily was a bit of a break with me having to get a spot removed from my face so I got a couple days to take it easy and sleep in. The PA recommended me not going into work at a hospital due to the risk of infection but she said if I washed it carefully and kept it covered I could still go to the gym…so naturally I still got a couple of points those days.
The main take away from week 3 was I sure got lucky that my friend that was ruling the competition the first week got deathly ill because I am not sure I could have caught him if he hadn’t. The pace of 1000 points a day is absolutely insane. That being said, we were getting ready to start week 4. With the home stretch right in-front of us I was sitting at about a 1500 point lead that Sunday and right around 16,000 points.
The final week I was putting in between 800-1000 point days and watching the lead grow. I wasn’t sure what was going on because I had figured everyone would be pushing with it being the last week, but no one really was. I kept telling myself to keep putting up big numbers just in-case anyone got any cute ideas of knocking out couple of 2000 point days in a row or something. Going into the final weekend I was up about 4000 points from the hard week of early morning and after work workouts. I noticed my documentation at work was taking longer, my evaluations were getting a little worse, and I was just exhausted all the time. I have never realized how long a month truly is until the final Sunday of this competition. The last weekend I did my final personal training session and our CG workout along with about 3 hours on the treadmill/elliptical and that set me up with about a 4500 point lead going into Sunday.
While I would love to say I took the day off because I had about a 12 hour lead, I was still thinking that maybe…somehow, some way, our dietitian would spend literally all day at the gym and catch me. Around 2pm I actually looked up on Snap Chat and saw he was at a hospital. At this point I wasn’t sure if it was more likely that he had to do some work on a Sunday, or had tried to workout for 14 hours straight and ended up in the ED…turns out he just had to work. With the whole competition wrapping up, and it officially out of reach, I was so looking forward to sleeping in for work that next Monday morning.
On the off chance that anyone cares what I learned from this month I will list out my top 3 experiences/lessons:
7842 minutes of working out (130.7 hours)
83027 calories burnt
126bpm average heart rate
In closing, I will never do this challenge again. Thanks to anyone that has made it this far. I truly appreciate you taking some time out of your day to give this a read and if you have any questions feel free to shoot me a message on Facebook or a text if you have my phone number. I am so ready to not be working out every day and I am sorry to anyone whose text I didn’t respond to or messages I missed. I promise I will be more attentive to everything besides the gym in April.
Until next time my friends
I am a new graduate DPT and am interested in personal growth and becoming a connector within my profession.