SFIT – Exertion to Exhaustion

Week 4 of the Saints Foundation SFIT course in which we talked about exercise, how much and what to do. In addition, I hit a milestone in my lifestyle change.


Sadly I didn’t lose any weight at this week’s weigh in at Slimming World however I wasn’t massively bothered.  The change in my body shape is now noticeable to me and not just others.  Also, I’d gone out to celebrate my son’s 23rd birthday on the Friday prior and had made some sensible food choices in foregoing the chips and having salad with my steak but I’d allowed myself a single Stella. When it came to having another round of drinks I asked for a Diet Coke however the waitress brought me another Stella and then it went a bit downhill from there. Unfortunately I need to replace that bottle of rum I bought for Christmas.

The major milestone was I had to replace two things as a result of my weight loss.  The first thing was to buy a new pair of work trousers. The existing pairs of work trousers were now two sizes too big and my belt didn’t have any more holes to keep them tight.  The other thing I replaced were my shoes.  For many years I’ve worn slip on shoes through a sub conscious decision that I now realise was because it was easier than the the huffing and puffing endured whilst doing up the laces.  Now I look a lot smarter in my shoes with laces and slim fit trousers.

Week 4

Paul started this week’s topic asking what we thought were the pro’s and con’s of exercise.  There were many pro’s such as the health benefits, endorphin’s and weight loss and the con’s were injury, lack of time and cost.  The pro’s totally outnumber the con’s and it’s obvious that it’s a good thing to do however Paul explained about how the con’s were just barriers and excuses that could be overcome. Exercise can cost nothing, you can work around injuries and still exercise and, you always make time for something you really want to do, then if you want to exercise you’ll find time.

There was an inspiring conversation around how Tim, another course member, made a pact about achieving 15 million steps.  It took him 3 years which is incredible as I decided I was going to hit 10,000 every day in 2016 and still only managed 4 million. Totally impressive.

Paul then went to explain about how much exercise you should typically do of a week which was either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity.  A great measurement of the rate that you should be working at is the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). It starts at 6 and ends at 20 and equates to your heart beat.  Ideally you should be exercising around the level 12 to 13 which is where you begin to find it hard to talk which is good as it means you’re still taking in oxygen that can get to the muscles.  This is around 120 to 130 beats per minutes.

6 to 7 Very very light
8 to 9 Very light
10 to 11 Fairly light
12 to 13 Somewhat hard
15 to 15 Hard
16 to 17 Very hard
18 to 20 Very very hard


Marion took us for the workout. We started off with the usual warm up around the pitch and then straight into the circuits which were almost identical to last week with the exception of an extra pair of steps.  I paired up with Simon and we started on the trampolines.  We pretty much matched each other however when we got to the jog and sprint on the pitch side I suddenly found myself running alongside Linford Christie. Keeping up with Linford almost killed me….but I didn’t stop.

Marion took our pulses and mine had quickly dropped from 150 odd to 90; this was a great indication that my new level of fitness allowed me to recover quickly.

The point I reached 154 was just after Simon decided to recreate the 1992 Olympics.

Week 4 Circuits

A comparison of my fitness activity from the start of my journey to now looks like this:

Beginning of September

Activity Steps Distance KM Time (Mins) Intensity
Walk 1457 1.4 20 Moderate
Walk 2944 3.8 52 Moderate
Walk 1856 1.8 29 Moderate
Walk 1823 1.8 29 Moderate
Walk 1878 1.8 18 Moderate
Walk 1784 1.8 29 Moderate
Total 11742 12.4 177

Week 4 of SFIT

Activity Steps KM Duration (mins)
Walk 10178 7.68 103 Moderate
Treadmill 5094 4.52 36 Vigorous
Walk 6933 5.26 70 Moderate
Workout 1683 0 39 Vigorous
Walk 4845 4.27 40 Moderate
Workout 2384 0 53 Vigorous
Walk 5121 4.42 43 Moderate
Walk 5157 4.33 42 Moderate
Workout 2355 0 38 Vigorous
Walk 4884 4.3 41 Moderate
Workout 1703 0 25 Vigorous
Walk 4970 4.21 42 Moderate
Workout 2404 0 37 Vigorous
Total 57711 38.99 609

That’s a massive difference of 432 minutes.  In addition, that’s 381 minutes of moderate exercise and 228 minutes of vigorous exercise. This means that I’m way past the recommended amount of exercise.

And to think that I thought I never used to have the time to exercise.

Lastly, the one thing that has impressed me is the attitude of my fellow course members.  During our discussions in reception prior to the start of each session we chat about our weeks and it’s clear that everyone is serious about exercise and nutrition and they’re not just limiting this to a Thursday evening at St Mary’s.

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