My 8-Week Birthday Photo Shoot Challenge

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using my INTEGRE8T Wellness program as the template.

#8Patterns1Lifestyle
#8WeeksInfiniteProgress

Video transcript

I am a few days late on this, but it’s time to check in on Week 8 and judge how I did overall for the entire process.

I did it: I got the fat pads down. I’ve smoothed out my lower back, so let’s dig in and see how I did.

OK, well here we are at the very end, and this is the Week 8 update, so we’ll be winding all this down, and I’ll give you my final thoughts on how everything went. Also as a reminder, I explained my grading system in the video for Week 1, so be sure to go check that out.   

Did I arrive at my fitness goals?

Pattern 1: Breath

This is another good week for Breath. I did use it intentionally, and I have to say that this is probably the pattern I did best throughout. I got an ‘A’ every single time I did this, so over all for breath I give myself an ‘A’ all round.

Pattern 2: Hydration

Hydration was almost perfect this week. I did have one day where I was a little bit off. Also, I think that one of the medications I am taking is keeping me permanently dehydrated. So I did hit my 96 ounces per day practically every day of each week, so for this week I’m giving myself a ‘B’ for Hydration, because I did go to Carowinds. I’ll tell you more during the Rest portion of this video, but I didn’t drink enough while I was walking around in the heat. However, although this week for Hydration is a ‘B’ overall, I give myself for the 8-week program an ‘A-’ for Hydration.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 1

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 2

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 3

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 4

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 5

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 6

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 7

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

My 8-week Fitness Challenge: Week 8

I’m about to turn 42 years old, and I want to keep pushing myself to make fitness gains. It isn’t enough to maintain: For as long as you can grow, you should. To keep myself going, and to show how good my program is, I have designed a fitness challenge for myself using all eight of the patterns in my program.

Pattern 3: Nutrition

For Nutrition this week I’m giving myself a B. I have been a little bit more organic and flexible about eating lately, because I’m experimenting with a modified Keto diet where I’m removing carbohydrates and replacing  them with fats. But I’m not doing Keto per se. I’m just trying to be cognizant of the way in which my food is affecting my insulin response. So when you put that together (that cognition about insulin response, along with intermittent fasting), I found that I had very good results from that.

So I do highly recommend a modified Keto diet with intermittent fasting.  This week I give myself a ‘B’ for Nutrition; however, for the entirety of the entire programme it looks like I’m getting a ‘B’ for Nutrition for the full 8 weeks.

Pattern 4: Strength

Strength this week was also modified based on what I needed going into the photoshoot itself, so I’m giving myself a B. Because although I did strength training 3 or 4 times this week, I didn’t do it with any particular sense of direction or intensity. I was just trying to stay active, so I didn’t feel any excellence in strength training. But I did it each day practically. So I am giving myself a ‘B’ for this week, and overall Strength training is a ‘B+’ for the entire 8 Week program.

Pattern 5: Conditioning

Week 8 also included Conditioning, just like I did for Week 7. And I did stay up with Conditioning. I am giving myself an ‘A’ for conditioning this week, and because of all the ‘C’s’ that I got through the weeks 1-6 (because I wasn’t doing conditioning at all), that artificially lowers, tampers, the effect of my Conditioning grade overall.

So although I am giving myself an ‘A’ for this week, Conditioning overall is still a C for the entire programme, because I didn’t include it very much. So I think it’s fair to give myself a ‘C’ for Conditioning overall.

Pattern 6: Flexibility

With Flexibility this week, I did make more time to do that for myself, so it was an improvement. I was looking to add more thoughtful effort towards Flexibility training. I did do some of that this week, so I am giving myself a ‘B’ for Flexibility this week, and overall a ‘B.’ I am giving myself a ‘B’ overall for Flexibility.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 1 of 8: Breath

The first, and therefore most essential pattern, is breath. You can survive weeks without food and days without water, but only minutes, or even seconds, without air.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 2 of 8: Hydration

There are many symptoms of dehydration, because a lack of water impacts everything in your body. Are you hungry, despite eating recently?

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 3 of 8: Nutrition

Our modern world has made eating far more complicated than it needs to, and has become a point of confusion for many people. There is no mystery: Eat healthful foods in sensible quantities.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 4 of 8: Strength

Strength is not only the ability to move against forces, it’s also an important factor in control, stabilization and power.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 5 of 8: Conditioning

For decades the assumption has been that performing monotonously at a medium pace for a long time is a great way to burn fat; however, the more current research shows that this is not necessarily true.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 6 of 8: Flexibility

Doing a minute of bouncing around and grunting at the beginning, and then skipping it outright at the end is definitely not helping you. Healthy joints that perform efficient movements require a balance of strength and flexibility.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 7 of 8: Focus

Set aside a few minutes each day to experience something sensuous, or to allow your mind to wander. It isn’t good for your focus to always be so focused. You really do need to take your lunch break.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 8 of 8: Rest

Sleep, fasting between meals, time between sets during exercise sessions, days between training, personal time, play: All of these (and more) are opportunities to give yourself the ability to process and recover from all the living you do.

Pattern 7: Focus

I think I did pretty well with Focus this week. I never did include any of the meditation that I was talking about, and going forward in my life that is something that I need to look at, because I do benefit from it. I enjoy when I do it.

I did have quite thoughtful time to myself several times this week. I don’t know If I would call it mediation per se, but on top of the other professional practices with Instagram and my accomplishment journal and everything that I was already doing… I think that I felt very focused and productive for the week, so this week I am going to go ahead and give myself a ‘B’ for Focus and overall I get a ‘B+’ for Focus.

Pattern 8: Rest

Rest, as you will know (if you’ve watched these videos), has been a point of concern for me throughout the entire process. But I have good news: This is Week 8, and I’ve finally – finally in Week 8 – I’m giving myself an A for Rest.

I had lots of mornings where I was able to sleep in, so I felt much better rested. I took time off from work completely. A lot of it’s because clients are out of town for July 4, as well as Gay Pride trips all over the place.

I was productive with my own INTEGRE8T Wellness projects when those studio clients were gone. However, I did get more sleep. I did get to take more time off, and finally, finally this weekend (yesterday), I went to Carowinds. I was there for 9 hours. we rode the Fury325 seven times. We rode a couple of the other rides once each. We saw two shows. It felt really good to be out and about to socialize. So, I am finally – here at the very, very end – giving myself an ‘A’ for Rest for this week, and overall for the entire 8 Week programme, my grade for Rest Is a ‘C-’

Summary: Final Thoughts

Something I’ve said every week is that there is always room for improvement, and that there always will be. Part of what I was trying to do with these eight weeks was to get ready for a photoshoot, but also to reconnect very specifically with the sense of order and discipline that has helped me age very gracefully… which is – I’m about to turn 42 on June 29th, which is less than a week away. I think I’m doing pretty good. You could do worse at 42.

So I have done the photoshoot, and I found that I was a little bit off the mark for my goals – my personal goals – I didn’t get quite as lean as I wanted to, but I still made very good progress, and I am going to use this as the jumping off point for another 8 Week program.

It will be very different from the one I’ve done this time around, in terms of the exercises and everything. So, I think that when I go forward, I’m going to have to be stricter about food. And now that I have found (over the course of this process) a strategy that I think is working for me, I will make even better progress.

So, for the overall programme for the all eight weeks together, I am giving myself a ‘B,’ and I think that is justified, because if I had really honed in on everything as strictly and clearly as I had originally intended, I would have had even better results. But the results speak for themselves, so I can’t give myself an ‘A,’ if I’d missed the mark.

So I think it’s fair to give myself a ‘B’ for this entire 8 Week process. I consider it pretty successful, and I look forward to doing it again. Doing these videos and having these updates kept me honest, kept me consistent. And so I will be doing this again.

I am going on vacation for my birthday, and when I get back I’ll start another process. In the meantime, I hope that you have found this encouraging and helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, and I look forward to doing this again.    

Recent Updates

Exercising My Demons, part 4 of 9

Exercising My Demons, part 4 of 9

Who are your inner demons? I hear a plethora of voices in my head, and some of them aren't very kind at all. In fact, some of them are outright cruel. In this series I am going to expose one of the inner conversations I have been having with myself for far too long. I...

Exercising My Demons, part 3 of 9

Exercising My Demons, part 3 of 9

Who are your inner demons? I hear a plethora of voices in my head, and some of them aren't very kind at all. In fact, some of them are outright cruel. In this series I am going to expose one of the inner conversations I have been having with myself for far too long. I...

Exercising My Demons, part 2 of 9

Exercising My Demons, part 2 of 9

Who are your inner demons? I hear a plethora of voices in my head, and some of them aren't very kind at all. In fact, some of them are outright cruel. In this series I am going to expose one of the inner conversations I have been having with myself for far too long. I...

Jack Kirven is a mobile personal trainer in Charlotte, NC. He is the owner of INTEGRE8T Wellness.

Can't get enough?

Neither can I. Give me your email adress to receive all the latest blog posts from moi!

Success! Get used to lots more of that. Look for more blogs soon.