TechGenix FitITproNews

Vol. 03, #14 - April 10, 2019 - Issue #0079

FitITproNews: Catching up with Robin Camp

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Editor's Corner

Just over a year ago we featured the story of one of our newsletter readers Robin Camp in this Body Transformation issue. Robin works as Update Manager/Tech Support for New Horizons Software and this before/after photo he sent us last year illustrated the progress he had made by that time in losing weight and becoming fit:


I recently reached out to Robin asking for an update on his progress and he graciously responded by supplying the guest editorial we've included below. I hope stories like Robin's will help other IT professionals transform themselves like I have (and am still trying to do) from proverbial fat IT pros to fit IT pros. And if you are working on a similar transformation, send us your story so we can share it with our newsletter readers by emailing us today at [email protected]

Enjoy this week's issue of FitITproNews!

Mitch Tulloch, Senior Editor

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. 


Last week's newsletter talked about using parallettes to strengthen your shoulders, arms and core, and I shared how I repurposed some old exercise equipment (push-up handles) together with a few cement blocks to improvise my own parallettes. Reader Bruce Anderson emailed us to share another way of doing this:

The best thing I've found for parallettes are two chairs back-to-back, separated by about two feet. I can do just about anything on them (assuming good, solid chairs).

Yes that works as long as the chairs you use are sturdy ones like this one from my own basement gym:


I use this chair for a lot of different exercises I perform as I've detailed in these issues of our newsletter:

What stuff lying around your home or office do you use to improvise exercise equipment? Share your tips with us along with a photo by emailing us at [email protected]

I also described last week how I split my breakfast into two small meals and how this has benefitted me in losing weight over the last year. Reader Adriaan Mertens responded to this as follows:

Thanks for the nice newsletter. 

I suggest you don't have breakfast at all (or you could say: don't break the fast ;-) ).

There is evidence that limiting the period in which you take in food, can contribute to your health:

But it has to be said, fasting in the evening works better than fasting in the morning :-)

I actually agree with this approach as far as bodybuilding is concerned (i.e. have a whey protein shake when you wake up and nothing else and then go lift iron) but when it comes to doing mostly cardio and HIIT workouts I think it's best to eat a small breakfast first before hitting the road or doing circuit training. Other readers may want to weigh in on this matter though. 

And now let's hear from reader Robin Camp…

Update from Robin Camp

A lot has changed in my routine since that article. I have gotten back into power-lifting, Benching 315, Squat 425 and Dead-lifting 505-not bad for pushing 40, but not quite back up to being competitive, I will get there though.

I added 1hr of kettlebell a week and hour and a half of Yoga- The yoga still feels awkward, but I have found that it has been a godsend for helping with lower back pain from Sciatica.

I have been working with a trainer, David Haebler at my local gym, Crunch fitness and he has me working on more mobility oriented exercises. Throwing on top of that working out with my little brother who is in the army, and I have been doing a lot more core oriented exercises then I am used too. 

For additional cardio, I am biking about 12 miles a week now that it has stopped raining for the moment in the Northwest.

I mention all this because I find it fascinating how the different types of training have carried into others, the yoga, core exercises and kettlebell have improved my power-lifting, my power-lifting has improved my balance in yoga etc. You can be muscular and limber!

Habits I have found to be helping with my progress include a lot more meal prep, Sundays, I make a protein shake for everyday of the week with a serving of fruit (currently on a blueberry kick) and then making my meals for the week in smaller controlled portions. It's an old trick but I have also found using smaller plates when at home help prevent overeating.

For those of you making faces at the screen going bleh protein shakes, protein powder has come a long way and you can get creative. Almond extract for example and a little stevia and voila you have a nice smelling shake that tastes like marzipan. Cookies and cream protein powder along with peanut flour (excellent additional source of protein) and vanilla extract and you have a shake that tastes like a peanut butter cookie. Other frozen fruits can also spice up an otherwise bland drink, peaches, strawberries, mango's blueberries etc (frozen is cheaper with barely any nutrient loss). You can even cook up sweet potatoes and blend them in with your drink, low glycemic carbs, high in fiber and tastes like pumpkin pie! Cinnamon and ginger are also great spices for livening stuff up.

I would suggest though if your drinks are milk based, avoid citrus fruits as they will curdle the milk if left in the fridge overnight, definitely bleh.

Work wise, I am now using a standing desk which has helped with the sciatica, a foam roller pad, a jump rope, a stability ball and a grip exerciser help break up the monotony of a desk job and remind me to move off my lazy bum throughout the day.

My current goals are to get back to a 29" waist, 20"arms and calves, basically to be able to take my shirt off at the pool without any shame! I am down to a 30" waist and my abs are finally making a reappearance after years of hiding. I am going in for a BMI test next week which will help me determine how to modify my diet and exercise program to hit the last part of my goal which is to get to a good lean 10% bodyfat which is what I was most comfortable at for maintenance weight while competing years ago in bodybuilding. 

One thing I would like to point out to people who have been contemplating starting exercise, you don't have to go crazy when starting. When starting a simple 20-30 minute workout 2-3 times a week and changes to the diet are going to pay dividends. Also gym prices have come down significantly over the years, here in Vancouver for example we have two gyms that have memberships for $30 a year and $10 a month. That's $12.50 a month a tiny investment in yourself that can be life changing. Exercise is not just about losing weight, it's also a great stress relief, it's something that you can take control of in your life, it's great for self-confidence and after a while you also start having more energy and actually looking forward to exercising.

Thanks again for keeping this going!

EDITOR: When I asked Robin for a recent photo he sent us this:

Took a picture Not much to see, but getting there:


But it brought up another point I think other people might run across, one of my problems has been stretch marks that have become more apparent as I have lost weight and in some areas where I have put on muscle. I have had good luck with a scar salve called T.S. Scar Salve from a company called Roots & Crowns, it definitely does not make the stretch marks (scarring from the skin exceeding its elasticity) but it has helped them fade noticeably. I'm sure there are other salves that work as well, I am just familiar with this one though. 

Maybe enough of us readers can hit our goals and do a Fit I.T calendar for charity, dispel the myth that we are all overweight or overly caffeinated scrawny nerds :-) Give those firefighters a run for their money.

Thanks again for keeping this going, I really believe that half the battle is keeping the interest and motivation going.

EDITOR: No, thank YOU Robin!! Hey, what a terrific idea: a "fat IT pro" calendar with photos of fit IT pros who lost weight and put on muscle. Any other readers want to contribute before/after photos and get in on this opportunity? We could make MILLIONS together selling these calendars online…ROFL!!!

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Send us feedback

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

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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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