Fitness First

The winter wonderland that is the Colorado Rockies in January is off to a slow start this year- the warm weather keeps melting the snow! This unusual weather pattern has made it easier to spend time outside.  I’m on week #7 of my base fitness training- emphasizing aerobic exercise.

The training log follows some recommendations from “Training for the New Alpinism” written by Steve House and Scott Johnston, Published by Patagonia Books.  The book is a wealth of information, correcting a lot of misinformation and hype that’s pretty common in fitness advertising.

I’ve used a training log before, even one based on “Training for the New Alpinism” before, but it seems to be more effective now.  You may wonder, “What’s the difference?” and “I thought this was a blog about Quality?”

I’ll answer the first question first, since the differences are easier to explain.  Some new elements in this training plan are: tracking # hours slept and grading the workout quality (A, B, C, etc.)  I’m tracking the number of days per week I’ve done significant activity (for example, jogging, hiking, or skiing).  While I knew that the number of hours slept would influence workout quality, I didn’t really believe it until I started to see the correlation between # hours slept and the workout grade.  Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is consistently correlated with workout grades A & B.  Sleeping less than 7 hours a night is consistently correlated with skipped workout days.  For right now, I’ll leave this as an observation.  Once I have 3 months of data, I’ll see if this is a statistically significant correlation or not.

The exercise training log is similar to a check sheet, a tally sheet or a run log kept in manufacturing.  The columns are days, the rows weeks.  Each day, I have a plan to exercise or to rest.  The goal is to consistently workout 5-6 days per week.  At week #7, I’m working out 4 days a week (on average).  The workout grade lets me judge whether to increase the training load or not.  Consistent workout grades of B or better indicate that the training load is appropriate for my current fitness level.

At this point, I can address the second question- “I thought this was a blog about Quality?”  It is a blog about Quality.  The exercise training log embodies two key Quality Management principles- (1) What is measured gets improved and (2) Only complete activities that help you accomplish your goal.

Next Blog – The Karvonen Formula.


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