Posted by on Jul 9, 2013

Member Spotlight

This week we feature someone who is truly The Man. Or, well, tehman. Representing the over 50 crowd, tehman and his wife turned their and lives around to be incredibly healthy and active people. If you have a Fitocrat who you’d like to nominate for a Member Spotlight, simply email fitocracymemberspotlight@gmail.com.

Username and level:
Tehman Level 36

How did you get started in fitness and training?

This story is not just about me and my fitness. Both my wife and I have made changes and worked on this together. (No, she is not on Fitocracy… yet?) After neglecting our fitness for 30 years, the health issues started to crop up. Too much weight, not good numbers from tests, wife breaking bones in her feet three consecutive years, etc. In 2009 I used Weight Watchers to drop weight from 285 down to 250 within 6 months. I was maintaining that weight without watching too close what I ate but still not in a real healthy status.

In Feb 2010 the wife started working with a trainer. With the trainer’s help she was doing much better on her diet, loosing weight and getting physically stronger. After about six months she urged me to try out the trainer. I started going to the trainer two days a week and next thing I know the chronic pain in my knee is gone without me noticing. I really had very little clue on what to do at the gym but leaned on the trainer mostly thru the winter of 2010 and into spring of 2011. Started with the trainer weighing 255 lbs and 41.2% body fat.

Come summer 2011 I was spending more time away from the trainer, so I started to develop what became a set of 15 index cards that has exercises I knew. Each day I would pick 5 or so exercises from the next card in the stack. Some cards were back/Bi, some chest/tri, core, lower, whole body, etc. This way I had a plan I was comfortable with walking into the gym and not turning into a curlbro doing the same thing every time. I didn’t even knew what a curlbro was back then. We also biked at the beach and did what we then thought were long walks of 3 miles.

Over the next year thru to June 2012 I worked out 3 times a week and was able to maintain weight of 255 lbs but dropped my body fat down to 21%. Changed a lot of fat into muscle, but still did not move lower in clothes sizes. 

June 2012 was an amazing month for change. The wife got serious about tracking food and exercise so she got the myFitnessPal app. Within days she was loosing weight like never before. Within two weeks I was doing the same using MFP. A week after that I read in Wired Magazine about a new fitness web site that is getting traction. ‘Hmmmm,Fitocracy.com. I will have to try that.’ I signed up, posted a couple workouts, found the Philly group of which I followed a few folks. Real slow start for me. Must have taken 2 months to get the Post 10 comments badge or get 50 Props. Somewhere out of the blue I got a invite to join a Tough Mudder group by RunningWithDogs(RWD). Apparently I was a pretty amazing thus she wanted me in the group. Wow! Not ready for that but it sure felt so damn good that someone felt that way about you.

Summer of 2012 became the season of weight loss. We each dropped 20+ lbs by Sept. We went for walks on the beach and hit the gym at the community center several times a week. Fitocarcy was an eye opener for me. So many different constiuencies doing different amazing things. Someone would be logging an interesting named exercise and I would be popping over to Bodybuilding.com/exercises to learn how to do it.

By chance I happened to be in the same city as RWD as she was going to workout with USFjoyGirl. I accepted invite to workout with them so they are the first Fitos I met IRL. Since then I went to the epic January Toronto Meetup as well as the Going APE meet up with Wash DC folks. As I write this I am a day away from going to a NYC meetup. I strongly urge folks to go to a meet up. Fitos are even more amazing in real life.

My walking and weight/YAYOG workouts are pretty slow motion exercises so I was thinking about a martial art to improve on my flexibilty and do more speed movements. Doing some research lead me to really consider Krav Maga. I started chatting on Fitocarcy about Krav and was urged to not wait for more weight loss before I start (thanksBloodKnight). So Dec 2012 I added in Krav Maga to my weekly cycle. So glad I did not wait. It is a hell of a workout and learning something very useful at the same time.

Today I am at 214 lbs and 19% body fat. Shirt sizes shrunk for XXL to L. Pants from 42 to 36. My weight goal has always been 205. Maybe that will change when I reach it. The wife has lost over 40 lbs also.


See more photos here.

How has Fitocracy changed your workouts?

Fitocracy is an amazing wealth in real useful information. There are so many knowledgeable people answering questions and helping others avoid problem areas.

Fitocracy has added more variety to my routines and index cards. New exercise areas I now do as a result of discussion on Fitocracy are Krav Maga, Your Are Your Own Gym (YAYOG) body weight training and yoga.

Fitocracy really has improved my workouts by showing me that there is more effective ways to use the same amount of gym time.

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?

Long term as in this year: Completing YAYOG 1st Class level, Get thru Level 2 of Krav Maga, Complete C25K running, and loose those last 10 pesky lbs.

Beyond this year: Our bucket list includes golfing in each state. Track us by Google search of ‘GolfingAroundEast’. As for fitness I can see retirement coming soon thus I expect to be hiking through much more of the great outdoors.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?

Even though I started with a trainer and there was a plan to build strength and muscle. I now know there are more time efficient ways to work out. The trainer wanted to run through 15 different exercises in a hour (at most two sets each), whereas now I mainly do supersets to get the muscle fibers totally smoked. As a older person, I am very concerned about incurring a injury to cause a setback. It took me a long time to figure out that there is no need to risk injury by pressing 100 lb dumbbells when I can do the same muscle burn with 50 lbs and higher rep sets and prefect form and negatives (Time under Tension).

What I want to learn more about is yoga, and maybe a muscle up.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?

My main weakness is flexibility. Need so much more. As for what I excel at? Someone said I was really photogenic. I am not sure I believe that. Ed. note: judge for yourself!Personally I think I do a pretty good job doing cheering all over Fitocracy. With regard to workouts, I excel at consistency in logging each day or getting thru a program.

What motivates you?

Number one motivator is I know my health was not too good for a long time and I do not want to go back there. Ooops, the wife is the number one motivator. We want to continue enjoying fun things for many more years (31 so far) thus good health is key to that.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?

I take ONE multivitamin per day. I hate shakes so I eat pre/post workout protein bars. That’s about it.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?

Take before pics. Then keep searching for an exercise set that is something that you can do fairly well and you like to do. Keep doing that and if you get frustrated switch to something new. Keep searching and then one day you will pass a tipping point where there will be angst if you do NOT go to the gym. Progress will be slow but take progress pics that will show good changes.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?

Fitocracy has accelerated the pace of my journey to better fitness. I have learned many more workout techniques, more efficient means to accomplish the same workout in less gym time, and learned about fitness programs I probably would not have found on my own. Fitocracy also provides me with a cheering section that props my workouts, progress pics, lame humor, etc. I get so much postitive motivation from this.

One thing I want people to take away from my story is…

Everyone’s fitness journey is different. It is up to each of us to figure out what works for us but if frustration sets in, search something new that helps you move further on your journey. Keep making the effort to move forward.

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