Category Archives: Fitness

Albuquerque Marathon Training

Well, I have finally decided to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to fitness and train up for a half marathon! The marathon I’m training for is the Albuquerque Half Marathon on Saturday, April 16th at 8 am (that logo is such an eyesore).

Two months seems like a relatively short time to prepare, especially for my first “real” run, however I am just aiming to finish rather than being competitive. Right now, I am running about 3-4 miles per day with a longer day of ~5 miles. As the weeks pass, I intend on upping that to ~5 miles/day with a longer run at about 10 miles.

If any of you are training for something similar, I would love any advice, feedback, criticism, encouragement, stories, etc… that you have. Just post em in the comments.

Also, for those of you who are on nike+, please befriend me. My username is (you guessed it) brandontreb.

I’m very excited about this goal and will be blogging along the way (amidst my other coding related posts of course).

It’s a long road ahead ;)

Changing Your Life In 2011

For this blog post, I decided to take a small break from my Twitter Client for Mac tutorial series and discuss something a little more useful ;) . I felt that a fitness post would be most appropriate around this time of year as all of our “Geek Guts” begin expanding.

My Fitness Story

It’s December 23rd and as we gear up for Christmas, we are also compiling our New Year’s resolutions. And I’m sure that on most people’s (especially us computer geeks) lists is something related to weight and a healthy lifestyle. So, I wanted to discuss a little bit about how I made fitness a priority in 2010 and how you can too in 2011.

I began my fitness journey at the beginning of 2010 where I weighed in at 185 lbs and had 19% body fat. Now, I am in not way saying that I was a thick dude. I have been blessed with a stellar metabolism, but I definitely didn’t look “in shape”. More importantly I didn’t have a clue about living a healthy life style. Being a geek, I sat for hours at my desk every day, eating quick foods and drinking soda.

One night, I saw a commercial for the fitness program P90X and was actually very intrigued. Don’t worry, I’m not including any affiliate links or things of that sort, so please don’t think I’m trying to sell you on something. Needless to say, I went on YouTube to find out just how legit this program was. After some browsing, I was quite impressed and inspired. It seemed that after 3 short months (seriously no time), people had changed their entire life around in terms of health and fitness.

So, I did what any geek would do and took a visit to the Bay and acquired a copy from some Pirates. After checking out the program for a week or so, I was hooked and decided to go legit and purchase a copy. Within 3 months, I began to absolutely LOVE exercising, in fact I became a little addicted to it :/ . I learned how to track what foods I was intaking as well as replaced much of the crappy liquids I was drinking with water.

After completion of the program, I was down to 163lbs with a 12% body fat and have been exercising since. I’m not posting photos because I feel that would be in bad taste. Check out others on YouTube.

Getting Started

Now, this is a really lengthy intro (kind of sounds spammy too, sorry), but the point is, it’s not hard to get into a healthy routine. I have talked to tons of people about my “transformation” (I hate this term), and almost every person asks me how I got started. Everyone either feels that it’s too late for them, or they will start ‘tomorrow’. So, here is a formula for you lazy geeks (I can call you that because that’s what I was last year :))

  1. Grab a copy of P90X. Again, I’m not a P90X salesmen, Pirate a copy if you have to. Just get one! If you want to buy it, it’s about the cost of 3 months of the gym, which coincidentally is the length of the program (90 days) $120
  2. Buy a resistance band – These are everywhere (target, walmart, big 5, etc…) – $20
  3. Buy a pull-up bar – $30
  4. Quit stalling – Start this Monday and let me know how it goes :)

Now, this is just the beginning. The biggest problem with diets/fitness programs/etc is people don’t look at them as a lifestyle change, they see them as temporary. People say crap like “I want to be XYZlbs or fit into a size J”. Don’t do that! Sure these are nice goals to have, but DONT MAKE THEM THE REASON YOU EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTHY. If you do, you are just setting yourself up to fail. Exercise and don’t eat crap because you want to be healthy. Do it because you are sick of being tired and lethargic all the time.

I don’t have time to exercise

Of course you would say that… I did too. That’s why I love P90X. It’s only 1 hour a day and within that hour, you are told exactly what to do. I always felt that to exercise, I had to spend hours in the gym, running, lifting, blah blah… No, one hour a day. I spend that reading Reddit. Get up an hour earlier, go to bed an hour later. Stop eating on your lunch break and exercise then. You can always eat at your desk when you get back.

Staying Motivated

So, you have decided that 2011 is going to be your year; you are going to get in shape. Here are a few tips to help you stay motivated.

  1. Learn, learn, learn – Just as you spend time learning about new programming languages, or reading about yet another tablet device. Learn about new things to eat, new exercises to try, new goals. Whatever, just maintain the excitement by learning new things.
  2. Get others involved – This generally comes naturally. When others see you getting into shape, they will most likely want to join. This can be a great motivator, especially when you are feeling burnt out. Get a workout buddy to go to the gym, run, do P90x, etc… with.
  3. Find healthy things to consume that don’t suck – This is a huge challenge for people starting out. They think that they have to eat celery and chicken breasts all day. This is one thing I love about p90x. It comes with an incredibly (and delicious) diet plan including recipes. In a future post, I’m going to write about a stellar protein smoothie that I have every day.
  4. Get the crap out of your house – I’m serious, you won’t miss it. Cookies, Soda, Doughnuts, whatever…
  5. If you want soda, drink a soda – A can of soda is roughly 120 calories, this isn’t terrible. But don’t make it a habbit. Limit yourself and throw away your effin Big Gulp cup!
  6. Eat before you leave your house – this is huge. If you are hungry and you are out, what do you do? You go scoop up a McFeeces from McDonalds… Instead, eat some lunch meat or whatever before you go run those errands.
  7. Eat frequently with smaller portions – I told my dad that I eat about 5-7 times a day, and he responded with “you’re going to get fat doing that” Contrary to popular belief, it is far better for you to eat more frequent, smaller meals. This is tricky when you spend the day in the office. You have to somewhat plan your day in terms of food. Bring stuff to snack on such as nuts, popcorn, protein bars, and beef jerkey.
  8. Share your success – Blog, Tweet, Facebook, Youtube. Whatever it is, tell people about it. Others will surely praise you for this, and you will most likely motivate them. Plus, it will hold you accountable.
  9. Get a good water bottle and take it everywhere – Water is a tricky thing. It’s so hard to remember to drink enough. I have found that if I have water in front of me, I will always sip on it, especially when I’m sitting at my desk all day.

To wrap this up, I’m not trying to sell you on P90X or any other fitness program. I just feel that it will be a killer start and give you all of the tools needed to launch into a healthier, more fit 2011. Also, you will start seeing results very quickly.

Conclusion and Resources

I hope you have enjoyed this post and I would LOVE to answer questions as well as point to more resources. I have linked all of the referenced resources below for you to check out.

This post is part of iDevBlogADay, a group of indie iOS development blogs featuring two posts per day. You can keep up with iDevBlogADay through the web site, RSS feed, or Twitter.

Technology + Fitness = <3 :: 3 Apps That Will Keep Even The Laziest Geek In Shape

If you are reading this post you are most likely a geek. It’s true, otherwise if you were a reader of my blog and not a geek, you would be very confused ;).

Well, being a fellow geek, I am prone to the same sort of problems as you when it comes to fitness. As geeks we sit in our chairs and more often than not end up looking like this. (sad face)

Ok ok, that photo is a little cliché, but you get my point. This prolonged sitting along with a lazy (Mountain Dew + Cheetos ) diet leads to this stereotypic geek look.

The Solution

Dun duh dun duh (those were trumpet sounds in case you didn’t know). Well, we all love technology (duh), so why not combine it with some basic fitness and fight the stereotype. With sweet gadgets (like the iPhone :)), we now have some incredible tools that almost make a game out of exercise.

Here are 3 iPhone apps that I use on a daily basis to keep me in peak, geek, 1337 shape.

#1 100 Pushups

I stumbled upon this gem of an app when I started seeing my buddy @oodelali ‘s Twitter feed displaying the following.

160 Pushups! Gangster right? Intrigued, I asked him about the app. After a brief synopsis, I was sold. Here is the rundown of this app (per its app store description).

“If you’re serious about increasing your strength, follow this six week training program and you’ll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive push ups!”

Basically, this app utilizes interval training where you exercise 3 times per week for about 10 minutes. After 6 weeks of this, the app claims you will be able to do 100 consecutive pushups! Here is a screenshot so you can see what I’m talking about.

So far, I’m on week 4 and am doing a total of 94 pushups (not consecutive yet).

Don’t have an iPhone (sad face), you can still benefit from this app by using their web interface at http://hundredpushups.com/.

The developer of this app has a whole suit of these including 200 Sit-ups, 200 Squats, and Twenty Chin Ups.

#2 Run Keeper Pro

Run Keeper Pro is a stellar app that has both paid and free versions. It uses the GPS to map our your run and gives you feedback on elevation, pace, distance, and location. I use this app every single day when I go for runs.

One killer feature of this app is its ability to sync with the web at RunKeeper.com. Here you are able to track more statistics about your runs, create paths, and get more social.

The interface is both beautiful and intuitive. (Aesthetics are super important to me. You could have the most functional app in the world and I won’t use it if it looks like feces).

When I first started running, I could barely make it to the end of my street, and with this app, I am now running over 10 miles per week!

#3 iFitness

So, this app is for the geek that might actually go to they gym (you mean like…leave…the house). Or if you are really a hobbit, have a home gym. iFiness allows you to track all aspects of a workout. It will track what exercises you do, on what day, with how many reps for how long.

With these killer features, it’s easy to create a fully customized workout and track it the way you want.

“But Brandon, I have never been to the gym and don’t know how to use the weights/machines because I’m level 75 in WOW.” Well, iFitiness has got you covered! For every workout they have in the system, they provide full graphics or videos on how to perform each one. So if you are unsure about how to do anything, just take a quick peak at your phone, jump on the machine, get jacked, and the ladies (or dudes if you are a lady reading this) will be flocking from all over.

Another great feature of this app is that it has built in workout plans to suite your lifestyle. So weather or not you want to build muscle or you just want to lose that gut you have been working on, they have a plan for you. Whoa, I am starting to sound like a P90X commercial, time to pump the breaks.

Take Away

To wrap up, I feel that staying healthy and fit is very important. You have to make it a part of your lifestyle and these few tools are a great way to get a jump on it. Feel free to post comments, questions, or grammar corrections (expected bc we are all the grammar police) in the comments.

Simple Office Fitness: Replace Your Office Chair With An Exercise Ball

When I was in Portland this past month, I saw that many people in my work’s office were sitting on large exercise balls instead of office chairs. Curious, I researched the benefits and decided to purchase one for my home office. The benefits include:

  • Improved posture – sitting on the ball forces you to sit up straight of you won’t be very comfortable
  • Constant movement – Sitting for long periods of time can be bad for you, even when you exercise. Check out this recent study that was discussed on the New York Times. When you use an exercise ball for a chair, you are constantly repositioning yourself and are combatting this issue.
  • Getting Jacked! – having a ball for a chair has encouraged me to exercise during my down time. Code is compiling…bang out some crunches. I will now do ~ 300 crunches per day while waiting for various tasks to complete.
  • They are cheap – Most exercise balls range from $15-$25. Check out Amazon for some deals. I recently purchased one at Target on sale for $9.
  • It’s fun – Need a break? Just bounce a bit on the ball ;)

While I’m not saying to completely replace your office chair with an exercise ball (you will end up switching back an fourth a bit), it is a great way to stay in shape and enforce good posture while at work.