Start Slow & Start Low

This is one of the most fascinating conversations I ever heard about fitness. An elementary school gym teacher was speaking to her class about long distance running. I was working as the school nurse and happened to be in the gym at the time. She basically detailed how Kenyans train for marathons. They start running at the same speed that everyone else walks!

Of course they do not remain at that speed. They increase over time. It so happens that Kenyan runners are famous for winning marathons all over the world, but this is how it all starts. What’s at play here is the idea of “progressive overload”. Theoretically one would start doing anything at the level they are at. Over time you gradually increase what you are doing until you reach a plateau. At that point you’ll do something else altogether, following the same principles.

It also works when you lift weights and perform calisthenics. In fact, this is how we learn, heal and adapt to most things in life. There are negative uses of the concept as well, but here on FitCam.Net we will keep it positive 🙂 Start slow. Start low. No one cares. No one is going to laugh at you, unless they themselves are full of pain and insecurity. Most everyone wants to see you do well. So let us begin.

Here is a great article on Progressive Overload written by: Jane Chertoff for


Eat to Get in Shape

Before even trying to approach the diet subject, fix your mind: There is no such thing as a “fat” person.
Society has literally oppressed a segment of the population by glorifying unrealistic standards of beauty; so you may not even realize how someone else perceives you as attractive. The result of that conditioning can have you hating yourself and becoming resentful of others. What the world calls “fat” is nothing more than stored energy, and if you can find a way to utilize those reserves, your external appearance will change.

We all know the risks of obesity. The potential for circulatory or respiratory issues are crucial reasons for wanting to shape up. You might exercise like crazy but your diet is the most important element. I won’t tell you EXACTLY what to do. This only represents what I have been doing.

Counting Calories (It ain’t religion…. Estimate, but keep track)
Limiting food intake to about 2000 Calories daily (According to the United States FDA) is a decent idea. Theoretically, in order to reduce you have to BURN more than that, creating a calorie deficit. As you adjust your intake, your body will start to tap into its reserves. It’s important to understand what exactly adds up to that 2000 Calorie limit, so you get enough nutrients.  GOOGLE Image Search: 2000 Calorie Diet.

Sometimes one salad will add up, depending on what’s in it. Even one can of vegan soup might be 400 Calories. Food is deceptive. You might think you’re eating healthy and the sugar content could be setting you back. Another point of confusion is the emphasis on a high protein diet. If you don’t get enough, your body will actually feed on its own muscles. Still, excess protein is also broken down, converted to carbohydrates and eventually stored as fat. The rest is excreted. That can tax your kidneys over time, especially if water intake is inadequate.

NOTE: Depending on activity levels, you’ll require more or less calories. You might need to limit your intake to 1000 or even less, but Olympians can burn twice that amount in one training session. Their diets can be ridiculous. To understand this better read about Michael Phelps’ 10,000 Calorie / Day Olympic Diet.

Again… No one is FAT. It’s all stored energy. If you tap into those reserves you’ll see a renewed version of yourself.

Martial Arts For Health

In Jr. High School I was a bully. That’s because in elementary school I myself was bullied. Still the whole time I despised fighting. If you fight you have to hurt someone, and all that drama just isn’t necessary. So how does a reluctant bully stay safe in a world of tyrants? Learn how to physically take care of yourself and others. Martial arts is a great way to make sure your life stays sane and peaceful.

The fitness benefits, however… are limitless. All the videos of 80 year olds flipping people around (flipping themselves around) inspire me to no end; but it’s not about beating people up. It’s about being well rounded as a human being.

What’s Your Style?
The collective fight IQ has increased dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days where a person would devote themselves to one school of thought, or style. I feel it’s better to think now in terms of proximity or RANGE. What you do depends on how close the opponent is to you. If they’re far away Capoeira or Muay Thai kicks work, as they move in closer Boxing is better, if they tackle you Jiu Jitsu is best. Start every morning with Tai Chi and Qi Gong breathing. Bruce Lee was right. There is no “limitation as limitation”.

If you can manage to split up your week in a way that allows you to experience various disciplines, imagine the level of fitness you will achieve. It may seem weird, but yoga ties it all together. A good stretching regimen and adequate hydration will have you moving like a superhuman well into your 80’s. If you don’t stretch and drink enough water you’ll get stiff. You’ll blame your “age” even at 30.

Final piece of advice: Do not take yourself too seriously. Treat everyone with respect, and CELEBRATE every time you leave a class. You’ve learned a little bit more. You’ve pushed yourself past a new limit. You can do this!

Basic Hydration With Fitness

There is a long list of things that can go wrong if your water intake is not adequate. When you indulge in high impact sports being hydrated can reduce the shock to your frame. You are somewhat insulated, from the fluid between your joints (look up “bursa”), to the fluid within your cells, allowing for flexibility. Without it you are more likely to get pulled muscles, torn ligaments or even fractures.

So how much water is enough? The SIMPLE ANSWER is based on bodyweight: One ounce for every pound (WebMD 2021)
A 200 lb person should drink 200 ounces, in a best case scenario.

CONSIDERATIONS: Some people are more or less active, or they live in different climates. If you live in a desert region you’re better off sticking to that guideline. Still someone who lives in a more temperate region can do well with half the amount.

If wellness is your goal, your body will use the excess water to rid itself of toxins and burn fat. Of course most of that magic happens when you are asleep, but a dehydrated system makes things more difficult. Keep your hydration levels where they should be, and suddenly the fitness process becomes less of a chore.