On Sunday I read Jesse Itzler’s book, Living with a SEAL – 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet. It is his account of living with an unidentified Navy Seal, who it turns out is actually real life bad ass David Goggins.

The book inspired me to try something crazy, that I probably know I shouldn’t try, but am going to anyways. But first, a little bit about Goggins and Itzler for background.

Goggins is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including two Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force tactical air controller training. He is also one of the best endurance athletes in the world, regularly competing in 100 mile plus running races as well as Ultraman competitions (think Ironman x2).

Itzler is a successful entrepreneur, he founded Marquis Jet, the service that allows you to buy hours on a private jet. Itzler invited Goggins to live with him for 31 days after watching Goggins compete in a 100 mile relay race, solo, with just a bottle of water and a box of crackers.

What follows is a 31 day training session that takes Itzler, an established marathon runner, from a 9:20 per mile pace down to a very respectable 7:50 per mile pace (well under a four hour marathon pace). It also changes his mindset about training completely.

The book read like an autobiography of Itzler, intertwined with the story of a ridiculous 31 days. It is kind of a business book and a workout plan combined, which is probably why it resonated with me. It came at a time when I need a serious kick in the ass in both respects. Which is why I also interpreted the book as a challenge to myself.

At 34 years old, I’ve been fluctuating at a weight that is around the heaviest I have ever been. I can feel it in my health, my work, my energy, all aspects of my life. In the past my body has liked to keep itself around the 160 lbs mark, fluctuating a few pounds here and there. Last year, after I added squats and deadlifts to my workout routine, my weight shot up to 175 lbs. Its been hovering in that range ever since.

Obviously, a lot of the weight gain has to do with adding significant amounts of muscle to my otherwise puny frame as a result of deadlifting and squats, but my body just doesn’t feel like it is in performance mode. I’ve also played around with different diets determining that a vegan/vegetarian diet allows me to drop weight, but kills my brain function if I’m not on the ball with carb intake. A ketogenic diet on the other hand allows me to maintain weight, but keeps my mind sharp. I’m guessing that I am maintaining weight because calorie intake is to high. That I can fix.

My workout routines for the last six months have primarily focused on just being able to lift more, and I have been fairly successful with that, but I’d like to stop carrying this extra weight and be able to perform better in athletics.

So, I’m going to try to replicate the Itzler/Goggins training program, but at 50%.

You might think 50% is half assed, but there is some reason to it. First, I’ve been completely out of the gym for the last two months. Second, Itzler is a marathon runner. The furthest I’ve ever run is 5.43 miles. Itzler’s training starts at 6 miles. I figure three miles instead of six is a good start. The goal is to do the full program some month in the distant future, perhaps after running a marathon myself.

Furthermore, my best average pace on a three mile run is 10:21. Itzler is running six miles at a 9:50 pace when he starts. I figure 50% of the program is right for my fitness level – at the moment. To further put things in perspective, when I finish the program in a month I will have run 112 miles, done 3250 pushups, 120 pull ups, 480 sit ups, 100 burpees, 400 jumping jacks, 25 box jumps, and 75 flutter kicks. I broke a sweat just writing that. Where I can, I will try to do more. I figure I might be able to bang out more push ups that 50% of what Itzler did. I’ll keep a tally as I go and publish here daily.

Following another theme in the book, I’m going to use the honor code. I am going to do every exercise, and I’m going to publish it here. I am 100% committed. The only thing that may stop me is injury. If I don’t follow through, please keep me accountable.

One other note – everything required for this training, with the exception of a weight vest which I may not even bother with, I already have. Running shoes, shorts, and t-shirts are all that are required. Basically, there is no investment necessary to make this program work. My Fenix- 3 HR watch made by Garmin will help me keep track of things.

PS. All of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links. So if you click on one of them and buy the book or a watch or something, they will kick me back some pocket change. Maybe I’ll use it for my first marathon entry fee.

Day #1

I ran my first three mile run today. I felt pretty good. I’m about a minute slower in pace than the last time I ran on Sept 18, 2016. I got a little sore from carrying some extra weight with me, and a little sore in the right knee. My pace was 11:25 per mile. I started off at a 10:17 pace for my first half mile and then slowed from there. I’ll use this exact same 3 miles as my benchmark in 30 days to see how much I have improved.

I knocked out 50 pull ups. I likely cheated a bit on the last few. I started with eight strong ones, then five, then it was sets of three until the end with one or two minute breaks in between. The last three were by far the toughest. First time I’ve ever done 50 pull ups in a day.