A year in review
10 years ago today I had back surgery to correct an L5-S1 herniated disc. At the time, I had just turned 20 and thought that I was going to have to deal with chronic back pain my entire life. Although I have had my fair share of back pain due to spasms and tightness in the last 10 years, it really is nothing compared to the pain I had for about a year and a half leading up to my surgery.
When I was injured, I made a vow and pact with myself to never let myself be burdened by this kind of pain again. Sure, there are circumstances and obstacles that can get in your way that are out of your control, but I promised myself that I would do whatever was needed, under my control, to keep myself as healthy as I can for as long as I can.
Fitness has always played a large part of my life, as I was very active with competitive sports as a kid, and then most recently in the past several years as I have been pursuing a career in everything health and fitness-related as well as athletic training.
The end of the year is usually a great time to reflect on what has happened in the past year. I have done this in the past and have decided to cover my own personal fitness progress from the past year as well as reflect on some of my most popular blogs/topics from the year.
The past 12 months haven't been the most opportune fitness-wise as I have not only had 5, yes 5, separate rounds of strep throat, not to mention having a procedure done to correct an irregular heart beat. However, I am currently progressing through a mass/strength program that I have concocted that I am really enjoying. I am now at the heaviest and strongest I have ever been in my life, moving more weight and hitting more personal bests on my lifts than I ever have before. Despite being nearly 30lbs. heavier than I was just 2 years ago, I also feel really good, strong, have great flexibility and mobility, and in my opinion, haven't lost any of my athleticism. I will post more details about this strength program soon!
January is when I had my heart ablation procedure to correct an irregular heart beat. Things went well, and after just over a week of recovering, I was back to my (light) workouts. I was making my way through P90X3 and writing reviews for all of the workouts. These have, without a doubt, been some of my most popular blogs of all-time! Other notable blogs from this month include "How important is protein timing?" and "BCAAs - save your money!"
February brought my "P90X3/Body Beast Hybrid" schedule as well as my "When should you add Ab Ripper X/X2/X3 into the P90X3 schedule?"
I announced my huge "P90X, P90X2, P90X3 "X"-travaganza Hybrid" with great feedback from my readers.
Due to a number of questions regarding progressions with this and other similar exercises, I created my "Side Arm Balance/Side Plank Progression" blog.
Although I am a Beachbody Coach and have been a fan of Beachbody's products in the past, I couldn't help by be skeptical by Beachbody's promotional video released at the Coach Summit 2014 about Shakeology. So, I broke the video down and discussed the "findings" in my "How effective is Shakeology?" blog.
Here I examined just "How effective is Body Beast for hypertrophy?"
In August I raised the question, "Is it possible to do too much cardiovascular exercise?" I also started filming my own free YouTube workouts with "Triple Threat - 30 minute Chest, Shoulders, and Triceps" "Double Impact - 30 minute Legs & Back" "The Armoury - 30 minute Shoulders & Arms," as well as discussed "How much protein can you eat at one time."
September was a big month. I started to get back to focusing on bulking and solidifying my ultimate bulking and strength program (more on that to come). I got my USA Weightlifting Level 1 - Sports Performance certification. I released 2 more free YouTube workouts: "Core-mageddon - 20 minute core routine" and "Dillon and Dutch - 30 minute Back & Biceps routine" and then put those free YouTube workouts into a P90X-like schedule. I educated everyone about the true function and purpose of your core with "Learn all about your core" as well as "Heart Rate Zones" and finally, discussed the fact that "More isn't always better."
In October, I was extremely excited to announce my new position at the Athlete Institute. I also started my series of "How to's" with "Pull-up Progressions" "How to: Barbell Row" "How to: Straight Leg Deadlift." I even shared how to make your own "Homemade Dip Station."
It was a busy month at the Athlete Institute. Oh yeah, and I also turned 30. I have always said that, "Age is just a number," but entering a new decade of your life certainly makes you reflect a bit and think about where you stand in life. Besides losing a bit more hair and having a couple more greys in my facial hair, I have used this new age to focus on where I have come from fitness-wise and also focus on where I am heading. Turning another year older certainly gives you even more drive to stay healthy, especially since I am really enjoying playing and wrestling with my 2 sons.
The how-to's continued with: "How to: Overhead Press."