Good evening. Things are not going as planned. I'm stuck in my studies (which I should better change to applied procrastination), and I'm stuck in my fitness. That is: If I compare my pull-ups and dips self to last year, I must admit I did not progress. At least it did not get worse... Background: 34years, 190 cm, approx. 105-110kg. Having served 12 years in the military, I now study architecture in a rather nice town, while my wife lives 580km away in a not quite so nice town - which complicates things a little bit, to say the least. So most of the weekends are usually spent travelling. I do have an extensive sports background, however, I must have become lazy some years ago. As a teenager, I first played handball, then began rowing. The latter with great enthusiasm, but no corresponding success, as I my participations in the german championships always ended in the preliminary heats. At that time, we used to train 8 to 9 times a week. Mostly rowing, of course, with 2-3times/week strenght training (during late fall and early winter, low reps for max power, during the rest of the year high repetitions for strenght endurance.) We also supplemented that with cycling - when I started I'd usually go for 2hr trips of 60km, after some months I had arrived at 120km/4-5hr-trips. In the winter, when lake and river were frozen, we'd run a lot - a typical workout would be 14.2km (1 lap around the lake) in 60-70 minutes. At that time I had a heart rate of 45 strokes/minute and virtually no body fat. I could run up stairs into 4th floor and not even notice... I was not content, however, as I struggled extremely to gain weight. With strenght training I had to be extremely careful, as I would easily run into overtraining - in the same time, with endurance training I was virtually indestructible. As long as I could eat enough... which was not so easy. Our coaches required that we wrote diet diaries, and I recall loosing 1.5kg from february to june 1998 while on a diet of over 6000kcal daily. From age 18-20 I changed sides and coached some kids - obviously not too bad, since three of them later went on to win medals at the german championships and two also had some success internationally. When I joined the military for my first 2-year term, within the first weeks of basic training I managed to gain weight (the first time I could see a little bit of fat on my belly ever!). That was out of necessity - my body fat was so low I had absolutely no reserves and would simply black out if I did not eat at least every two hours, so becoming fat was a priority. Well, what you call fat when you come from "starved"... I spend my two years in a training bataillon and at army schools, so I stayed reasonably fit. Afterwards I started to study law, got bored to death and rejoined the army for another ten years. Even then, I stayed fit: I could run 30km in BDU and with a backpack in just over 3 hours. I was still skinny (75kg) and desperately trying to gain strenght and muscle mass - which seemed futile. Not that I was weak: I had a decent level of strenght, but that came not from muscle mass but from being efficient. But then, something must have changed. Well, pretty sure it was the desk I suddenely found myself beneath. Slowly, the waistline kept increasing while my endurance began to diminish. I spend insane times behind my desk or on official journeys and worked myself nearly to death - I got taken down for a few months by a pneumonia and suffered a heavy burnout (which was not diagnosed until way to late), but miraculously I could still run 3000m in less than 13 minutes (even after 3 months of absolutely no training due to pneumonia). And the weight kept creeping up. I used to strenght train 1-2 times a week and ran 1-3 times a week, but still... the weight came. Often, I had to pause strenght training, as I'd often injure myself or risk overtraining. As I reached 90kg, I needed to take action. I changed my diet - increased portein intake, reduced carbohydrates (I tried to avoid carbohydrates in the evening altogether). And, by chance, I literally stumbled over kettlebell training. In my landlord's front lawn I spotted an old kettlebell - and, curious as I am I tried it out. Beginners routine: kettlebell swings. With 50kg. But I happened to like that and bought myself a significantly lighter kettlebell. I restructured my training - very short, but frequent workouts at home with the kettlebell instead of hour-long grinding in the gym. That was successful: while my weight still increased, so did my strength. As i no longer focused on looking strong, but becoming strong I did put on noticeably more muscle in my shoulder area. I was still gaining weight, but as I got definitely stronger, i did not care. Then I ruined my achilles tendons ( I suspect wrong running shoes in combination with increased intensity) and could not run for over a year. That's when weight exploded to over 100kg. I slowly recovered and started again, but somehow had lost drive... and when I did sport I always struggled with my old problem: not taking it easy enough. I'd happily restart working out, overdo ist, get sore or injure me and loose the next week or two... rinse and repeat. Currently, my training regimen is as follows: - some very short duration kettlebell training nearly very day (interrupted by weekend trips). Main effort is clean&jerk, which gets supplemented by swings, lunges (combined with under-knee passes), snatches, squats as I see fit. Workouts are extremely short, often just one or two sets, but can be as often as three times a day. This seems to work much better for my funny body than the conventional approach of training until exertion followed by 48 hours rest, which quickly burns me out. - When I find the time and are in the mood for it, I do run a little bit. My running lap is approx 5.8 km, which is cut in the middle by a sports ground with bars and rings. I'd stop and do super sets of pull-ups and dips, which are followed by a set of body-weight rows. I will refer to this combined running/strenght training as "power laps". Other than in the good old days, this little bit of running is rather strenuous. I definitely feel the etxra weight to carry... While I definitely do like the fact that I'm no longer so skinny and while I should have some raw but functional strength (helping my parents on the farm, last year I broke the shaft of the sledgehammer when setting fence poles. To lazy to walk back to the shed, I drove the remaining three poles into the rocky ground holding the hammer head in my hand... kettlebells rock. ) I must nevertheless admit my body fat percentage has spun a bit out of control. Even though stronger than ever, I can do fewer pull-ups. No surprise, I weigh 40kg more than when I was 19... I have no problem weighing over 100kg, but I'd rather convert some of this ballast into useful machinery - or loose the balllast. And when I compare my current fitness level with what I could do 15 years ago, it becomes clear that there is a LOT room for improvement. (Current resting heart rate is 68, which is ok - but could be better.) It sucks running out of breath when walking the stairs. It sucks to suffer from heat (I've alsways preferred the cold over heat, but somehow managed to cope with heat. Now, temperatures over 25Â°C suck, at over 30Â°C I nearly collapse.) Main Quest: improving power to weight ratio. This shall be judged on the basis of the number of consecutive pull-ups. 10 reps in a single set would mean passing with flying colours, but any substantial improvement will suffice. To be beaten are todays numbers: 12 pull ups in total, in sets of 4-2-2-1-1-1-1 Quest 1: strengt training at least 3 times/week, of which at least one workout/week including pull-ups. "Power laps" count as both strength and cardio. Quest 2: cardio training at least once a week. "Power laps" count as both strength and cardio. Quest 3. control alcohol. No more than 5 drinks/week, of which no more than 3 on a single day. Excemptions may be granted on special occasions such as e.g. weddings, but must be sanctified publicly on the forum. Motivation: I like that I'm not skinny any more. But at the same time I notice my weight is complicating some things. So while my absolute strenght might be acceptable, my relative strenght is not. And while I look great in a suit, my paunch is no pretty sight. To make matters worse, I rarely wear suits. And under a t-shirt or polo, the paunch really shows... So either I grow much stronger or I loose weight, which both boil down to "reduce body fat percentage". Or I do both... build muscle and burn fat. But I need to do something, and I need to be more consistent.