Here we are, 90 days after the challenge began. No, I don’t look exactly like Charles Atlas from the comic book ad (that’s him on the left, not me). BUT YES, I made tremendous progress and feel 100% stronger and healthier than when I started. I’ll spare my family by not posting a photo for public consumption, but trust me when I say it… I look hot.
OK… hot for my age. Let’s qualify that even more. I have a chest, shoulders, lats and quads that are visibly defined, and arms that are getting larger every day.
What’s that you say? Every day? That’s right, I have not stopped the routine. You see… this is really the secret to long-term good health. You forge a positive habit that becomes part of your life. Set a goal. Then set another. I put almost 3 inches on my chest so far, and now I’ve set a goal of 2 more.
I strengthened my core – abs and back – to the point that the initially difficult exercises are now easy. I did not achieve visible washboard abs, and I think it may take a carbless, sugarless diet to achieve the zero body fat required at my age (not sustainable by my choice.)
I made some other personal choices along the way. I combined some of the exercises and dropped some others that put a strain on old injuries. I exercise when I watch favorite TV shows at night on the Tivo. I still have not used weights, so this routine will work even when I travel.
And since we’re being totally honest, there were a few things in the Atlas handbook that I could not bring myself to do – like rubbing olive oil into my hair to give it a lustrous sheen; or taking a cold bath every morning. But I must say I enjoyed the spirit of Atlas’s motivational writing mixed in with the exercise instructions.
How’s this for poetic: “The subtle quality you wish to acquire is like that of an Arabian steed, which is powerful, healthy, virile and MAGNETIC.” I’ll leave it to the eye of the beholder whether or not I’ve reached steed level. All I know is that I feel great.
So my friends, the point of the story is this – it does not matter which program you choose. Charles Atlas, Wii Fit, P90X, Hip Hop Abs or Sweatin’ to the Oldies. Just pick one, make it your own and do it consistently.
80% of what I accomplished was built on mental, not physical effort. And it all started with a decision and a challenge to myself to do it. Are you waiting to get started? I double dog dare ya.
Photo copyright Charles Atlas, Inc. Visit www.charlesatlas.com for the program.