First, let me apologize. I had been trying to post on a pretty regular basis, but I have been remiss over the past couple of weeks. The good news is, I have a great excuse. Our fourth child was born on November 13, her name is Shira, and while we are thrilled to welcome her to our family, she has slowed down my turn-around time on these posts.

Just because I wasn’t writing, however, does not mean that I wasn’t finishing up the nutrition challenge as effectively as possible. I think the challenge officially ended at the beginning of November. For myself, and I think for many that participated, despite the challenge wrapping up, I am still eating in largely the same manner as I was during the 8-weeks. I also continue to focus on maximizing my workouts and minimizing my stress. As any parent can imagine, my sleep has been less than ideal, but hopefully that is temporary, and makes it all the more important to focus on the factors that I can control.

Since my gym’s challenge began, I have gone on a personal mission to educate myself about nutrition, and I hope to come up with a sustainable and healthy diet that fits my lifestyle on a permanent basis. Educating myself about nutrition means reading reputable books and studies as well as testing different diets to see what works for me. I hope to write a specific post about this in the future, and I hope to continue posting these pieces, even though the competitive part of the diet has come to an end, for now. (Oh, BTW, I didn’t win.)

So, you might be wondering, how did I do? There are a lot of ways to measure progress, but I am happy to say, that on all fronts, I am very happy with my results. First, and I think the most important, is how I feel. I feel great, both in general and with the changes that I have seen over the past several weeks. My clothes are fitting better, I feel good about what I am eating, I feel stronger and am able to make smart decisions about eating. Subjectively speaking, I think I did great during the challenge. Certainly there is room for improvement, but I honestly believe that I have raised my baseline to a point where my lifestyle is healthier than it was when I start the challenge a couple months ago.

Objectively speaking, there were many measures that I had discussed and used to assess my performance during the challenge. The specific nutrition challenge test included: a max distance standing broad jump; 3 min. max reps 10m shuttle runs; and a 3k row for time. There were also two weight lifting components, the Crossfit Total and the Oly Total. Finally, there was the scale and a body fat assessment. On this last measure, I dropped about 10 lbs, but I still need to go back and re-do the body composition scan to get an accurate body fat %.

With respect to the physical tests, I am proud to say that I improved on every single measure. Here are my specific results, for those of you who are interested:

 

Movement Start End Improvement
Broad Jump 95.5” 100” 4.71%
Shuttle Run 48 49 2.08%
3k Row 11:23:00 11:03:00 2.93%
Clean & Jerk 175# 210# 20%
Snatch 145# 165# 13.79%
Back Squat 275# 300# 9.09%
Strict Press 130# 135# 3.85%
Deadlift 365# 375# 2.74%

 

The average improvement of 6.6% is a bit skewed because of the olympic lifts, but I am still really happy with that improvement, and I do not feel like I have hit a plateau with any of these movements. The one exception might be the row, because frankly an 11:03 3k is pretty fast, but I think I have a sub 11min row in me. It would also be great to break 50 shuttle runs, and I would also like to incorporate a vertical jump assessment for the future.

As I mentioned, I hope to continue this series and write about my own experience with fitness and nutrition. I will also post an update on my body composition scan, because I feel as though that is a critical component of the challenge.

I also want to thank all of you who commented, shared, liked or mentioned my posts to me, online or IRL. Your support was helpful, and I hope that DadLifts can continue to be forum for others to get the same support in the challenges they embark upon.

Along those lines, DadLifts is creating some exciting new content and programs designed specifically to help you attain your own goals, and in some cases, just to entertain you. Keep checking the site, and as always – Lift On!

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About The Author

Steven Schoenberger

Steven is a former estate planning and trust attorney turned life insurance and wealth management professional with Tamar Fink, in Minneapolis, MN. He is a husband and father of four. Steven is a CrossFitter and former swimmer.