Went to the gym last night for the first time in ages. Little sore today but not as much as I expected.

I’m doing the Men’s Health “Abs Diet” (Amazon), but it’s not really so much a “diet” as it is a workout regimen with a bunch of useful nutrition advice up front.

The workout is mostly based around weightlifting, the idea being that getting the metabolism burning calories all the time is even better than burning more during the workout itself. Three days a week of full-body circuit training, with two of those days also emphasizing core strength (hence the name), plus one day of intervals and two of light (“brisk walk”) cardio. The circuit is pretty intense: squats, bench press, lat pulldowns, military press, upright row, triceps pushdown, leg extension, biceps curl, leg curls, and then through it all again.

Ah, squats. I’m still trying to manage body-weight squats, let alone ones with weight! (Which reminds me: If you’re the least bit interested in getting fit, you need to read Krista’s weight training site — it’s targeted to women, but it’s really just full of good advice for beginners in general. And Krista likes her squats.)

The food side is just as straightforward: more frequent, smaller meals, and emphasis on twelve “power foods” (protein-heavy but well-rounded). No calorie counting, no forbidden foods, just a sustainable way of eating (especially for me, Mr. Eating Out Of Boredom). The only slight weirdness there is whey powder, but with encouragement toward smoothies and the accompanying intensive weight workouts it’s not completely out of place.

So now all I have to do is keep going to the gym. It’s a bit of a pain that the gym I’m using is at work, because at the end of the workday I want to go home, but it’s a nice gym (15 or so weight machines, a big free weights section with a power cage, a dozen or so cardio machines and a dozen spinning bikes, plus two big fitness studios which I don’t use) and it’s cheap ($16/mo or so), so it’s hard to beat. I could get a membership at the gym at U of O, but that’s closer to $50/month until I’m a student, so this will have to do. Although I’m half-tempted to just get some dumbbell bars and plates for home.

I’ve noticed a slight improvement over how I was doing last time I tried to start this program, mostly upper-body, so I guess curling has had a bit of a benefit. I’m really looking forward to seeing even more results, and I think this might be the time I stick with it.