TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 02, #13 - April 04, 2018 - Issue #0028

FitITproNews: Body transformation story - Rod Trent

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Editor's Corner

This week in FitITproNews we have another story of how an IT pro changed his life through exercise and nutrition. Rod Trent is the Content Directory for myITforum, the worldwide community platform for cloud and systems management and for IT/Dev Connections:

I've known Rod for many years and he's a terrific IT pro who is also majorly into fitness, even in cold weather as this photo he provided illustrates:


MITCH: Thanks Rod for agreeing to let me interview you about your fitness journey as an IT professional. I understand that running is something you still do a lot of. How did you first get into it?

ROD: Running is something I've always enjoyed, but really never thought of it as "exercising" or something I was serious about. When I was around 45 years old (I'm almost 51 now) I decided it was time to get serious about better health. I wasn't exactly out of shape (I've worked out pretty much most of my life -- mainly with weights), but I knew I could get better.

One of my "health idols" growing up was Bruce Lee. So, I did an interesting thing -- I went back through books I owned about Bruce Lee and studied both his exercise regimen and his diet, wrote everything down for myself in my own notes (in OneNote, no less), and decided to apply those. I even pieced together a "Bruce Lee Grocery List" that I still follow to this day. One of the things Bruce did every day was run at least 3-4 miles. So, I started running. I started slow and have gradually increased miles over time. I currently run on average 20 miles a day.

And, yes, before you do a double-take at that number -- that really is 20 miles a day. People think I'm nuts…but it works for me. I've been able to work at getting my pace just right and I've learned how to actually work (answer emails, text, etc.) while running.

As of this interview I'm about 15 days away from hitting 1,000 consecutive running days. I tried for a long while to do it, but kept getting interrupted with travel schedules. I was running around the country as a tech reporter for a while, but as soon as I had a job change I was able to string together consecutive days.

MITCH: That's incredible. What sort of health benefits have you experienced from running?

ROD: The health benefits of running have been numerous. Obviously, there's the weight maintenance. When I first started running more seriously the weight dropped off radically. To be honest, I wasn't overweight, but the running burns a lot of fat and calories. I recently had a doctor's checkup and my bloodwork and lung capacity put me at an age of around 22 years old.

One of the most shocking and unexpected things that happened though running was better vision. Right before I started running seriously, I had an eye doctor visit and was prescribed tri-focal glasses. After a couple months of running, I no longer had to wear the glasses. I'm told this won't be a benefit that everyone that runs will enjoy, but it turned out that my eye issue was more vascular in nature. Running repaired the blood flow for my eyes.

MITCH: Have you ever had any running injuries?

ROD: I've had a single running injury, but I was able to continue running using a running "boot." They make running socks that essentially have splints in them to keep your foot from turning. My injury wasn't major, and was only a muscle strain.

Other than that, I've had no real injuries. In fact, it's been just the opposite. I feel the aches of aging like anyone else, but give me 30 minutes running and they disappear completely. But, it took a long, long while for that to happen. Like I said, I took running slow and started by developing my running style. Anyone interested in running should do the same. Running should be an effortless thing. Some people run and complain afterwards about stiff shoulders and neck or an aching back. These are a clear indication they really don't know how to run.

One of the best books on running I've read is called Chi Running: A Revolutionary Approach to Effortless, Injury-Free Running which you can find on Amazon:

The book teaches how to find your own running style, how to use running as a stress reliever instead of just exercise, and how running should be simply just an act of leaning forward.

MITCH: What should a "fat IT pro" do first before starting a running program?

ROD: Obviously, check with a doctor. Running is an enticing exercise because it literally needs no investment. Strap on some running shoes and head out. And, really that's all it is -- as long as you start slow, and don't push beyond limits to start out. Don't think you have to run 10 miles to get value out of running. Just getting off the couch or out of the office chair and moving no matter what pace or how long is going to produce dividends. 

MITCH: What about the diet end of things?

ROD: So…here's the thing. For anyone that wants to lose weight or be healthy, diet is the number one thing that must get the focus. I could talk about running all day long, but to be honest, if I didn't also change my diet when I started this running trek, at 51 I would NOT have the energy to keep it up!

I hate the way the word "diet" has somehow become synonymous with losing weight. That's not what diet is. Diet is what you choose to eat. You either have a good diet or a bad one. On a bad diet, you can't lose weight. On a good one, you either lose or maintain weight.

And, frankly, for any fitness regimen, diet is the most important thing. Any fitness program should be focused as 75% diet, 25% sleep, and 5% exercise. If you don't get the diet and sleep part right, you'll have inadequate energy for the exercise -- which ultimately leads to injury of course. 

I mentioned early on about that "Bruce Lee Grocery List" I created and still follow today. That was absolutely the key to everything. I consider myself Vegan, but will eat meat occasionally, for example when I need additional protein to help fight against cold symptoms. I essentially use food as medicine. Using this strategy, I've been cold/flu free for about 3 years and as you can see with me getting close to 1,000 days straight, it's kept me running.

Bruce Lee was an experimentalist, and I've adopted the same policy. I've spent a lot of years researching food and nutrients and have settled on what works for me. It's not for everyone, and takes a lot of effort and research, but there are great resources out there. Unfortunately there's also a lot of bunk and junk fads. If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably not sustainable.

MITCH: Do you take any additional nutritional supplements?

ROD: I don't. I have no need for supplements. I take great care in making sure I'm fueling my body with the right foods. One of the best ways to make sure you are getting the right nutrients is MyFitnessPal:

A lot of people are aware of this app/service as it's offered in the free version, but very few are aware of the Premium features. For tracking nutrients down to the macro level, MyFitnessPal is actually one of the better and suggested subscriptions.

MITCH: Are there any other kinds of fitness activities you're presently involved in?

ROD: I mentioned earlier that I've always sort of been an exercise person. I've lifted weights since my parents bought me my first kids' bench, barbell, and dumbbell set when I was about 12 years old. There've been a couple exercise lulls in my life, but I've always gravitated back to it. Right now, I still lift weights four days a week. But as I get older I've found its less about lifting heavy weights like a youngster and instead it's about using the weights as a way of retaining strength and flexibility.

And, in addition to running every day, I do indoor rowing, ride a bike (indoor and outdoor) and do a lot of kickboxing.

MITCH: Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

ROD: There are a lot of running groups assembled all over. Folks might also want to check locally to see if there are others in the area who might want to run together. People in these groups can definitely help direct in the right direction and working together you can help motivate each other and keep it other on track.

MITCH: Rod thanks very much for giving us some of your valuable time!

ROD: Thanks Mitch! I'm always happy to share about fitness. It's something I'm really passionate about.

Ask Our Readers - How can I get back into exercising?

Jason who works as a QA Analyst for a company in Tennessee, USA sent us the following request:

I wanted to know if you had any advice on trying to find the desire/motivation to begin working-out again. I had joined a gym last year in January and lost a good amount of weight. During the summer I had to stop attending due to issues with my shoulder, that started in my teens, that only got worse the more I exercised and therefore the more I could lift. I stopped attending in September, took a few months to do therapy, rest, doctor visits, etc., but ultimately in late January of this year I had to have surgery on my shoulder. It's been almost two months since surgery now and I'm still going to post-op therapy for it, but I find myself struggling to want to get back to exercising at all. All these months of resting, and really doing nothing physical, combined with six weeks of laying around the house as I recovered from surgery have really left me struggling to find any motivation at all to return as now being lazy has become my routine.

Do you have any tips/advice to share as to how someone can get back at it after so much time off? Thanks for taking time to read this message and keep up the great work!

I told Jason that unfortunately I didn't know what to suggest to him as I haven't myself taken more than a 2 week break from exercising since I began working out about eight years ago. But I said I would include his question in FitITproNews to see whether any of our readers can recommend anything to get you motivated again. So…can any of you reading this offer any suggestions to Jason on how he might get himself motivated again for exercising? Email me at [email protected]

Ask Our Readers!

FitITproNews has over 400,000 subscribers worldwide! That's a lot of expertise to tap into from other IT pros around the globe. Do you need help with some issue or need advice on something fitness-related? Got a question you'd like us to toss out to our readers to try and answer? Email us at [email protected]

Send us your feedback!

Got feedback about anything in this issue of FitITproNews? Email us at [email protected]

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional or nutritionist so take any suggestions made here "as is" with a grain of salt and a heaping supply of your own judgment. Please read our full disclaimer at the bottom of this newsletter.  

Subscriber preferences: As a WServerNews subscriber we're sure you'll enjoy reading FitITproNews each week as much as you enjoy reading WServerNews. But if you'd rather not receive FitITproNews any more, just go to the bottom of this issue and click Update Newsletter Preferences to change your subscription preferences. And by the way, we also have two other TechGenix newsletters you can subscribe to: our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles. Why not subscribe to all of them today?

Ask Our Readers: Need help or advice concerning fitness, weightloss, exercising or nutrition? Why not tap into the huge collective expertise of our IT pro readership from all around the world! Send your questions to us today by emailing us at [email protected]

Today's workout

Last week in Issue #27 I talked about the 4X training protocol popularized by Steve Holman. This morning I used a modified form of this protocol by incorporating supersets to give my arms a really good workout. For example, here is one of the superset portions from my workout this morning that alternated working out my triceps and biceps muscles:

  • Rope pressdowns (10 reps) supersetted with dumbbell curls (10 reps)
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat with more weight
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat with more weight
  • Rest 30 seconds and repeat with more weight
  • Rest two minutes then move on to the next superset…

After 40 minutes of working out like this my arms were really pumped. I finished off with 15 minutes of moderate speed cycling on my exercise bike to get the blood flowing, then chugged down a whey protein shake with added leucine, creatine, and taurine.

All I can say is that 4X really works and that I've experienced significant strength gains (indicating muscle gains) whenever I've followed it for several months. See the Fitness Toolbox section below for more about Steve and Ron and their resistance training systems. 

Got a favorite workout? Have you developed a workout that you enjoy doing and feel has been contributing to your health and which you'd like to share with our readers Email us at [email protected]

Fitness Toolbox

Products and services we think you shouldn't be without!

GOT ANY exercise equipment, nutritional supplements, personal training services, fitness websites, or anything else you would like to recommend for our readers? Or for that matter do you have any IT products or services you would like to promote or recommend? After all, our target audience here is mostly IT pros! Email us at [email protected]

Lose It! helps you achieve real weight loss through an easy, convenient, personalized program:

FatSecret helps you start losing weight with free, easy to use apps, online tools and support:

SparkPeople offers nutrition advice, health-and-fitness tools, a highly engaged and supportive community, and other free resources:

Exercise tip of the week

Running tips for beginners

Runtastic has a good article on their blog titled "8 Extremely Useful Running Tips for Beginners" that adds to what Rod said above about starting slow and not pushing beyond your limits when you first get into running as a form of exercise:

Nutritional tip of the week

Use caution with vegan diet

While a vegan diet can provide health benefits there may be some areas of caution you should consider before following such a diet. This article from LiveStrong seems to be pretty balanced in its evaluation of this issue:

Any readers who would like to add or subtract to this can share their thoughts by emailing me at [email protected]

Got tips? Do you have any exercise or nutritional tips you'd like to share with other IT pros who are trying to lose weight and get more fit? Email us at [email protected]

Fun stuff

Who says running has to be boring?

How To Make Running Fun - 4 Tips!

How To Make Running Fun - Parkour Chase & Natural Movement

10 Ways To Make Running Suck Less

How to Make Running Fun

Product of the Week

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About FitITproNews

FitITproNews is the only weekly newsletter in the world that is entirely devoted to helping IT pros get fit, lose weight, and live happily ever after as they face the daily stresses and workload of being in the gristmill of the IT profession. FitITproNews is brought to you by TechGenix and is created each week by the same all-star editorial team that brings you WServerNews, the world's longest running IT pro newsletter focusing on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. Subscribe to FitITproNews today! And while you’re at it be sure to also subscribe to our other TechGenix newsletters such as our Weekly IT Update and Spotlight Articles!

Editorial Team

Mitch Tulloch is Senior Editor of FitITproNews and is a widely recognized expert on Windows Server and cloud technologies. He has written numerous articles and whitepapers and has authored or been series editor of more than 50 books for Microsoft Press. Mitch also successfully made the transition from being a typical "fat IT pro" to becoming fit by losing almost 50 lbs through a combination of resistance training, cardio exercises, and proper nutrition. Mitch's passion with FitITproNews is to help other IT pros do what he has been able to accomplish by sharing his personal story and lessons learned.

Ingrid Tulloch is Associate Editor of FitITproNews and was co-author of the Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking from Microsoft Press. She is also Head of Research for our content development business and has co-developed university-level courses in Information Security Management for a Masters of Business Administration program. Ingrid is also committed to personal fitness and is a believer in clean eating and proper supplementation for optimal health and longevity.

Mitch and Ingrid are also the editors of WServerNews, a weekly newsletter from TechGenix that focuses on the administration, management and security of the Windows Server platform in particular and cloud solutions in general. For more information about Mitch and Ingrid see their website.


This newsletter is designed for informational purposes only and the health and fitness information presented in it are based solely upon the personal experience of its editors and of any guests or readers who contribute content to it. Nothing in this newsletter is intended to be or should be construed to be professional medical, fitness, or nutritional advice. Always consult a physician or other health care professional before starting an exercise or nutrition program to determine if it is appropriate for your personal needs. Do not follow any of the suggestions in this newsletter if your physician or other health care professional advises against doing so. If you are exercising or dieting or taking supplements and experience any dizziness, faintness, pain, or shortness of breath, you should stop immediately and seek medical help. The use of any information presented in this newsletter is solely at your own risk.

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