Monday, May 3, 2010

Lessons from the President's Challenge

This spring I took "the President's challenge", an initiative to push people to exercise and log their workouts. I was curious: how does my practice of Parkour fit into that idea, and how fast and far can I go?

Turns out I found a few more things than I hoped. First, logging my workouts made me realize I don't work out much at all. On a regular week, I only train about 3-5h, with a maximum of about maybe 10h. That's not much time, and so my progress was much slower than I expected because the most important factor logged was time rather than intensity of effort (a few had 'vigorous' ratings, but nowhere could you log a 'brutal' workout).

The second interesting point is that the most important single part of my exercising is biking to and from Union Station every day (almost 40% of my activity), because Parkour couldn't be logged (with reason) under a single category. Other interesting stats: children games took 10%, climbing 10%, gymnastics 15%, calisthenics 10%, and then lots of other things came in, which is a pleasing reminder that Parkour is just a lot of different activities. Interestingly, there was little running and jumping involved, though.

So, what I learned was that: 1. regular, light exercise has a more direct impact; 2. efficient training doesn't require much time, but intensity and focus.

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