Tag Archives: strength
When we decide to track one thing, we sometimes find that we are indirectly tracking something else. That is the theme of today’s talk.
When Mark Leavitt was 57, he found out that he had heart disease, a condition that runs in his family. Mark set about making some life changes. He tracked his weight while adopting a low-fat diet. His tracking showed him that he was making progress and that progress encouraged him to keep tracking. But once Mark’s weight loss stalled and then started to backslide (though he had maintained his diet) his desire to track dwindled and was then snuffed out by a major life event.
Though he was ostensibly tracking weight, this experience gave him some insight into his motivation. He began to build a mental model of his willpower. When was it strong? When was it weak? Using his background as a doctor to make assumptions on the nature of his willpower, he used the tracking of other lifestyle changes, such as movement and strength-training, to test those assumptions and better understand how to follow through on his intentions.
Watch below to see what Mark found worked for him and if you would like to see how Mark’s keeping up with his habits, you can check out his live dashboard here.
Natalie Melchiorre wanted to work on her upper body strength so she decided to start a 100-pushup challenge. Using a popular iOS app she followed a plan and tracked her progress as she increased her strength. Along the way she encountered some hurdles, but continued on. In this talk, presented at the Phoenix Quantified Self meetup group, Natalie describes her experience with setting this ambitious goal and what she ultimately learned when she failed to complete it. Make sure to stick around to hear Natalie talk about the intersection of goals, performance, and identity.
Justin Timmer is a student in human movement science and a fitness instructor. He was interested in exploring what he could do to increase his strength. Rather then starting with a typical strength training program Justin wanted to test if isometric muscle contraction alone could increase his strength. This type of exercise involves just squeezing the muscles without using any weight. He even went so far as to only target one side of his body so that he could test against his non-squeezing muscle groups. In this talk, presented at the 2014 Quantified Self Europe Conference, Justin explains his process and the results of this 4-week experiment.
What did you do?
For four week, I was “squeezing” (isometric contractions) my muscles four times a day. I trained my right leg, abdominals, and right chest and arm.
How did you do it?
During every quiet moment during the day I contracted my muscles as long and hard as possible. I quantified my progress by completing maximum repetitions on a fitness machine every week.
What did I learn?
I learned that in four weeks I almost doubled my force on the right side of my body. But I also learned that this training was going too fast, I got a lot of issues with little unexplained pains in my legs, and rising fluids whenever I contracted my abdominals. Overall I learnt this was a very effective training that was very easy to implement in my daily life.
You can also view Justin’s slides here.
Since he was a child Mark Moschel has been a basketball fan. Growing up in Chicago he became a fan of Michael Jordan. What really captured his attention was the act of dunking a basketball. As an adult, and still a basketball fan, Mark decided he wanted to set a new goal for himself – learning to dunk a basketball. In this talk, presented at our 2013 Global Conference, Mark describes how he incorporated self-tracking in his efforts.
Duane Hewitt gives an update on his 23&Me data and what he’s started doing since he received his results.
Dmitri Gomon describes how he tracked his way to losing 9kg over four months.
Jim gave a brief overview of how and why he’s tracking his Starbucks intake.