Powered by Soul Spotlight: Lamont Doss

DossHulkThose with lesser stamina will be left in his dust gasping for air.  He doesn’t just take leisurely jaunts accross town, he can ride to another state with only his legs!  Introducing the Iron Man, Lamont Doss in his own words.

My name is Lamont and I’m transitioning my residence from San Antonio, TX to Charlotte, NC. I’m 38 years old and employed as a Network Engineer.

Tell us about your fitness routine including type, days per week, location, preferences etc.
Because of my work schedule, I only work out on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. I have an alternating three day routine of Back/Chest, Legs, Shoulders/Arms. In the Spring and Summer months, I participate in a number of cycling events, so I’m trying to focus more on my legs during the off season.

Do you follow a particular nutrition plan?
This is an area where I really struggle. While I would love to verbosely describe my healthy eating habits, this is not my current reality. My nutrition plans are still a work in progress.

How long have you been active/following your nutrition plan/playing sports etc.?
I really got serious about having an active lifestyle about three years ago. I used to frequent the gym after work, and later, a colleague offered to teach me to play golf. From there, a couple of colleagues invited me to join them on a couple of 18 mile cycling rides, which grew into 25, 45, 60, then 100 mile events.

Do you have a success story/testimony relating to fitness, nutrition or your overall health?
Though my cholesterol levels are great, I still have issues with high blood pressure. That’s my next challenge, and necessary before I can claim success. In the interim, I can proudly say I’m physically stronger than I’ve ever been in life.

What motivates you to do what you do in terms of fitness and nutrition?
Stress, but mostly the release of it. Going through a divorce while taking on a new job was a bit of a load, so I used weightlifting as a way to purge frustration, stress, and anger. The redirection of bad energy helped me maintain my focus. Though I don’t have to deal with many of the aforementioned challenges anymore, I continue to find peace in my workout.

Do you have a personal motto/philosophy you’d wish to share?
Plan, achieve, and then excel.

Powered by Soul thanks Lamont for sharing the challenges and the triumphs of his fitness life.  Hopefully this writer will be left in his dust in a road race this spring 🙂

If you or someone you know would like to be featured in the Powered by Soul Spotlight, please let me know in the comments, contact me on Twitter or Google+.  Until next time see you at the gym.

It’s Just Counting Right?

Screenshot_2013-11-29-17-01-15 (3)I count for a living. My fascination with numbers and statistics and such is lifelong and everything that I was able to learn and retain from my schooling many years ago I use in my daily life.  For those that count for a living, Lotus 123 and its successor that dwarfed it, Microsoft Excel, became the norm for the way we count things on the job.  Having mastered Excel at work, it became the tool for counting things at home, my budget, my collections and eventually my exercise.  I kept a fairly elaborate Excel spreadsheet with accompanying graphs for my exercise and weight data.  A couple of burglaries later I stopped recording in Excel and now just keep track of my exercise by calendar. Little did I know that this tracking I was doing had a name, the Quantified Self, there is even a movement with meet-ups and conferences.

According to the Wikipedia entry  the Quantified Self “… is a movement to incorporate technology into data acquisition on aspects of a person’s daily life in terms of inputs (e.g. food consumed, quality of surrounding air), states (e.g. mood, arousalblood oxygen levels), and performance (mental and physical). Such self-monitoring and self-sensing, which combines wearable sensors (EEGECG, video, etc.) and wearable computing, is also known as lifelogging.” Guess I’ve been part of the movement as long as Excel has been around.  What’s different now is that a lot of the technology is wearable and  the data can be sent directly from the device on your body to the web where the analytics are done and reports generated by a click or touch. On the whole I think the movement is great.  Technology that will get folks moving and eating food that’s good for them is a win for everybody.  My results however of the technology-based quantified self have been mixed. 

The Rundown
Nike+ Running – I used the app on an iPhone 3g back in’ 09 I think.  I tested it on a run in my favorite park where getting a GPS signal is dicey, as such the app mileage fell well short of the actual per the trail measurements.  After another attempt at a different, more open park with a measured trail, the mileage was still short. Anything that cheats me out of my hard-earned mileage is a no-go.
Daily Burn – Back in 2010 I’d put on some pounds, my eating was pretty much out of control so I used this app to count calories and found it really helpful. I returned to it this year and found that it was a pay program which is a definite no for me.
Sleepbot – I’m a notoriously bad sleeper and wanted to try this out of curiosity.  This happened to be my favorite as it was the easiest to use and didn’t require any sign up.  You pretty much set an alarm, turn the app on as you’re going to sleep and check out the results when you wake up.  Only downside is that you have to put the phone in the bed with you.  
MyFitnessPal – I used this year because I felt I was eating too much and wanted to quantify just how much.  The app and the site are free, easy to use and the database of foods is huge.  The exercise component is great as well and allows you to add exercises that aren’t in the database, you do have to provide a calories burned number for any additions however.  MyFitnessPal does incorporate Fitbit so that would eliminate some manual entry. 
Wearable Devices:
Fitbit I have some friends who love them.  Having failed using simple stuff like a pedometer I passed on the clip-on models.  The wrist models are a bit more compelling, I just haven’t pressed play on this as yet.
Sportline  I borrowed the heart monitor watch (below) and liked its simplicity/ease of use, but sometimes had difficulty with the bars picking up my pulse.  I’m not sure if I was moving too much, hands were too sweaty or what.

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The Quantified Me, The Quantified You
Maybe I’m stubborn, cheap or both but for now I’m going to stick with the technology I trust to log what I’m doing, my Ironman Watch and the calendar on my phone.  As new stuff comes along I’ll give it a whirl and maybe do a test-drive on a Fitbit, but if it requires anymore effort to use than the two items above then that piece of tech, whatever it is won’t make the cut. 

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How about you? Do you quantify yourself, what technology do you use?  Your suggestions and experiences using any of the technology to do so are welcomed in the comments. 
Until next time, see you on the trail or the gym with nothing but a watch and a phone, and clothes of course.

photos: msthorns