My dad is a former Royal Navy Submariner, former rugby player and rugby referee. He has run marathons, 10kms, cross-country races and has played a huge part in motivating me in to my own military and sporting realms. Since leaving the military in 2001 and moving to the middle east for work, life has somewhat overtaken and a spread has set in. A lifelong smoker, he has now stopped, having overcome one of the most scary diseases out there. You can imagine that life away from the military, giving up smoking and creeping age have all now taken their toll to the point where other conditions are now presenting.
With a number of private and deep-rooted motivating factors, as well as some equally important public ones, my dad has reached out to his son for some assistance in getting back on to the path of health and well-being (although this Desperado in my hand is perhaps not the best indicator of my qualifications! ). Of the public ones, he wishes to lose 20lb by Christmas 14 and work towards a 34″ waist. By Summer 2015 he wishes to be able to Bench Press 5 x 100kg but we shall work on that in parallel to the weight loss. To support overall health goals, I have insisted that he read up on the Zone Diet, specifically regarding hormonal balance and high GI carbohydrates. I cannot control diet while he is overseas but will trust that his motivations are strong enough for him to make these changes.
In assessing his physical condition, it is clear that between us we need to work on mobility, flexibility and CV interval work. Given that I am unable to maintain assessment over the next 3 months, I want to keep any programme very simple indeed. It also needs to be safe and non-attritional. No running at this stage. I have therefore elected for him to work on the Air Squat, Overhead Squat (with pvc pipe) and Burpee Progression. The Air Squat is pretty good and gives a good basis for progression. The Overhead Squat highlights significant lower and upper back flexibility issues and shoulder mobility problems but nothing that is not uncommon in many others half his age. Proper form has been demonstrated and practiced. Certainly, this is a very exciting opportunity for us both because I am sure we will see significant change. While I am not minded to focus on weight, it is his goal and therefore he will measure his progress weekly. We will chat weekly over Skype or email and Dad will also be maintaining his own training blog at http://awelshmanabroad.wordpress.com.
Before every session, he must complete the following in slow time:
20 x Pass Throughs with a pvc pipe.
20 x Overhead Lunges. Slow.
20 x Air Squats. Slow.
20 x Overhead Squats. Slow.
Each week, he is to complete at least:
1 x Tabata Burpee (progression) set
1 of either 8 x 250m Row/Elyptic/Cycle, resting 1:1 or 4 x 500m, resting 1:1.
1 x 1000m Time Trial of Row/Elyptic/Cycle
Form is everything and should not be sacrificed. I would expect there to be improvements across all times every two weeks, although this is not prescriptive. Records of times, reps and improvements must be kept for every session. If time, willing and capacity allow, a 4th session can be added in from 1 of the sessions mentioned above.
In 3 months, I will have a chance to reassess personally and will make recommendations accordingly. The area that worries me most is diet but I will attempt to monitor from afar. Dad has already begun diving in to the CrossFit Journal and I know will soon be itching to progress to other workouts than the ones I have given him. This is his decision. I have kept it simple because I cannot monitor and would never send someone on a CrossFit trail unassisted. However, if he feels that he can take on WODs and scale them correctly then this process will only be made all the easier.
As I say, I am very excited and deeply proud of the journey my dad is about to embark on. His goals are all sound. They are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realisitic and all time bound. I havent listed them here because he has requested to keep many private.
Please keep checking back here to see how it is going with my great Dad, or read his daily blog at http://awelshmanabroad.wordpress.com.