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John and Mandi

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TapouT XT Supplemental Tools and Equipment

Jan 9, 2013
by Mandi

Yesterday I wrote about our imminent foray into the TapouT XT 90 day fitness program. Being someone who needs gadgets, whatnots and whatevers to feel scientific about most things I thought it would be pertinent to discuss what supplemental tools and equipment we'll be using in this quest.

Polar Heart Rate Monitors

Tracking progress is something we like to do as humans so exercise should be no different, especially for those of us who aren't/weren't Olympians.  We purchased heart rate monitors (HRMs) years ago so we replaced the dead batteries this past weekend to get them in working order, at least something will be tip top when we begin exercising!  Mandi has a Polar FT40 and I have a Polar FT80.  There are many brands available so if you are in need of a HRM just make sure you get the features you need.  Mostly we will be using ours for duration, calories burned, and fitness levels which most decent HRMs provide.  Having the calories burned will help us in determining how much more fuel we should consume.  I must admit, I still don't get all of the ancient or recent formulas for proper caloric ingestion but it helps me gauge what I did wrong when I feel like crap.  I have a track record for scrooging calories when I should be eating them so I end up paying for it the next day.  


I obliviously suffer from advanced anal retention syndrome so I must start with... calorie counting is a guide and not the gospel.  That advice is more for myself but maybe others who are like me will take heed.  Using a free nutrition tracking tool like MyFitnessPal is awesome.  It's an app and web based service so you can use your smartphone if you have one or just the web based system if you don't, both for freaks like me.

MyFitnessPal lets you setup your goals and it will set a daily caloric recommendation to help you achieve it.  It provides a daily log to help you keep track of what you are eating and what you may be missing nutritionally.  It also follows the current daily recommendations such as what level of caloric intake you should not go under, how much sodium you should be ingesting etc.  Adding your calories burned from the exercise you performed will adjust the daily net calories consumed resulting is additional calories to eat!  Yes folks, the more you burn the more you get to eat, just don't think eating cake everyday with your extra calories will give you your desired results.

Honestly, I usually start out strong with a tool like this then stop using it once I get a handle on my consumption.  I gain some innate ability on roughly what I can and should be eating.  I also am more stringent at following a strict plan during the work week and a little loose with it on the weekend.  I don't go crazy, but a varied diet keeps my body working better, or so it seems.

Another benefit of MyFittnesPay is it's social.  You can integrate with Facebook or connect with other fitness pal members.  I don't use the social features but there are a number of challenge groups that go through the same exercise program together for strength and support. 

Exercise Mat

We purchased the basic TapouT XT version so we are going to use our existing yoga mats to start the program but we are thinking that a thicker mat(s) might be necessary.  I'm a wimp about my knees and elbows which could present an issue after reviewing some of the workouts.  I started searching for different mats and have gone in circles.  Our living room has hardwood flooring on top of a concrete slab so it's not forgiving.  We are considering clearing out a bedroom to use as a workout room but we live in a 826ish square foot house so our rooms are all small and full of stuff we need to sell. Time will tell.

Mental Attitude

The important thing I try to drive home is when I scrimp on calories but continue to workout I tend to crash.  MyFitnessPal is already taking about 500 calories from me each day to loose a pound a week (3500 calories equals about one pound of fat) so I try to eat all of the calories I burn.  Some days I don't and on other days I eat over so I feel as long as I'm averaging close to zero I'm good.  I feel loosing weight is a marathon and not a sprint so one pound a week is a good goal.

We are changing the way we live and not trying to get a quick fix.  We'll use these tools and the TapouT XT program to help "right" the ship of our daily lives.  Who knows if it will work but we are excited about improving our fitness and overall health.  Changing (fixing) our diet is another big part of this so expect a dedicated entry soon.

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