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wxstormer

WXStormer Assassin Apprenticeship

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Greetings everyone.  I'm new to the Assassins Guild after finishing up Challenge #2 (x2) with the Adventurers.  I'm still a work in progress and kinda need help from multiple guilds.  But I'll gain the most right now by being an Assassin until next Camp Nerd Fitness next Fall...

 
For a quick background on me, I'm a considerably overweight 42 year old guy who started to get serious on the fitness journey last April after being diagnosed as a Type II Diabetic.  I'm also motivated in losing weight in order to have a much needed major surgery that will make a significant impact on my standard of living (and hopefully keep me out of the hospital).  I've bonded with a great group of people last September when I attended Camp Nerd Fitness # 1 (see my post that I link in my signature for my experiences and my Yearly Quest).
 
What is my current regime?  
I currently do the StrongLifts 5x5 program three days a week and do a bodyweight regime on the off days along with a healthy dose of walking and jogging.  I'm currently involved in an almost continuous Fitbit challenge with a few rebels and currently average over 70,000 steps a week.  I'm also starting to work on my Grip Strength.
 
My Main Quest:  
As of now, I want to lose another 100 pounds.  I currently have lost approximately 50 pounds since April 2014.  The problem?  Since I've started adding bodyweight and StrongLifts, my weight loss has ceased.  However, I have noticed the difference in that I'm able to wear clothes that I haven't worn in years (down 4" in waist and 1 shirt size).
 
Continuting Quest:  
For the last challenge, I have adoped a new ongoing quest to maintain a certain high level of activity.  On days I don't go to the gym, I want to make sure that I get at least 10,000 steps.  On gym days, I need to make sure that I kick butt.  My overall goal is to make sure that I'm at least over 70,000 steps a week.  
 
Challenge 1:
Continue doing my workouts.  I finally found a gym I can live with and do my StrongLifts regime as well as some Cardio...  Bodyweight is still my major goal.  I can do everything BUT Pullups..  I'm not likely to tackle that anytime soon.  I will be happy if at the end of this challenge to be able to actually hold my actual body weight using the pullup bar on the Power Rack I use.  I'm also want to continue building up my Grip Strength and increase mobility.  I'm not going to do Parkour, but I want to better my balance and slacklining (without a slackline - using beams/etc that are low enough to the ground to be safe for me).
 
Challenge 2:
Diet.  I suck at diet.  I'm starting to make food to take with me to work, but I haven't gotten the vegetable balance in my life.  Part of it is the limited amounts of veggies that I can eat.  I'm good with meat.  I've also been good at grains (or the lack of).  I still have to get a minimum amount of carbs since I'm on a basal insulin (dose half of what it was in April) and have had a few pretty bad lows, so I'm being careful.  I'll consider this a roaring success if I don't eat out more than twice a week, OR find that I can stand broccoli or eggs.
 
Challenge 3:
Push the Envelope.  I'm an introvert and an aspie.  I cope with this by staying in and avoid living on the edge.  This isn't healthy for me.  Another realization after getting home from Camp was that I needed to stop giving f@'s about what other people may think of me and live for myself.  Last challenge I accomplished this by marching Alumni Band for the first time in 12 years and actually doing one of Amy Clover's bootcamps up in Austin.  This year, I have the following things to do that will push me:
 
1.  Go camping at the Texas Rennaisance Festival Thanksgiving weekend and actually party with the other campers.  Yes, party.  Maybe bring someone special.  
2.  Actually do a hike a week.  One of these should be Enchanted Walk.  This is my time of year to be outside and I need to kick myself in the butt to do it.
 
Life Challenge:
I made up a list I posted on my blog (see the Road Ahead link in my signature) of things that I want to accomplish in the next year.  I need to mark a few more things off of it.  During the last challenge, I've already done a few things and have tried to do a few others.  The Camping/Hiking/Running will be done.  I'm working on the girlfriend thing, but lets just say that I completely suck at it.  I generally have tried striking up a conversation with someone new rather often.  Also, depending on when I take my reward trip, I may be able to do the Hike Mt. Rainier.
 
And yes, I have taken progress pictures and will be posting them soon.
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You got this. I believe

 

(I have no medical background so do not take my word on anything, but in my experience...)

 

Diet is everything man! You could not workout at all (not suggesting this) and lose weight by eating properly. Or you could work out all the time and not lose any weight because you aren't eating properly. I've heard its 80% diet/20% fitness. Or 70/30. Somewhere in there.

 

I cut out processed and artificial foods from my diet years ago. Lucky for me my mom is a doctor so she taught me the importance of monitoring your diet. I struggle with getting enough of the right foods, but I have no problem keeping the bad foods out of my home like processed sugar, flour, processed anything.

 

One of my tricks is that I legitimately scare myself into eating healthy(er). About once a year I watch food documentaries that make me want to move to a farm where I can grow all my own food to escape the American system of shit we are told we need to put down out gullets.

 

Food Inc. is a great documentary about the American industrial food industry. I don't eat fast food or processed food anymore after the first time I saw that when I was like 18 or something.

 

Forks over Knives is another one I would highly suggest. It covers food from a few angles, but the one that really hit home with me is a doctor who treats (and damn near cures) patients with type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers by completely overhauling their diet. Instead of bringing them into his office and giving them medication, he takes them to the farmers market and teaches them how to shop, then goes home and shows them meal preparation and recipes to make. And over time he has an amazing success rate of getting patients off their medication and back to their lives. And it makes you think, it one man can completely change someone's life just by changing their diet, what the f*ck are we eating every day? Seriously, some of these "healthy" foods are so bad for you they will literally kill you.

 

Then to top it all off, like I said when I was about 18 or 19 I stopped eating fast food and processed sugar (candy and such). I didn't eat it for a couple years. Then one day I was in some town and all there was available was a whataburger, so I got a nice big juicy burger. I took one bite and wanted to hurl. I've quite smoking (a few times actually) and in my experience quitting processed junk foods is exactly like quitting smoking. When you first stop your body craves it (sugar and salt), you want it so bad. But if you stop for a few months, a year, you don't need it anymore. It's just like smoking. If you pick it back up it's disgusting. Literally repulsive. But if you allow yourself to slip back your body will adjust and crave it again.

 

At least that is my experience with food. For what it's worth...

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Hii!

 

Did you find a better option for gym yet?

 

Yeah.  It's in an old industrial building in town.  About 17,000 feet, half of which is weights (both free and machine).  Three power racks and 5 squat racks, and 8 bench press stations and a whole lot of equipment that I have no clue how to use (or am ready to use).  Only thing I miss is the fact I can't do my water walking anymore (and it doesn't have much at all in the way of cardio - treadmills, elliptical, bikes, etc).  But it is 5 minutes from home and I can't use the excuse that it is too far away to get my rear out of the house once I get home at night (worked out at 10PM last night)...

 

Progressed to 85 pounds on the StrongLifts plan.  Squats are no problem as I could probably double that number and still easily do them.  My deadlift is at 125 (you start higher) and that too is easy for me.  The Barbell Rows is kicking my butt  And I think I hit my max on Overhead Press for a while.  Struggled mightily to finish my last set.  I've been doing more press than bench lately, but I need to get back up to speed.  Kinda afraid to go over 100 on them...

 

I think my form is screwed up on the press.  I arch my back a lot.  I notice that my body does this naturally as I get my arms at shoulder level and above.  I don't remember that being a good thing, but you haven't done a form instruction video yet for the site (or at least one that I can find).  I'll make a video once I can find a suitable place for the camera.

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Then to top it all off, like I said when I was about 18 or 19 I stopped eating fast food and processed sugar (candy and such). I didn't eat it for a couple years. Then one day I was in some town and all there was available was a whataburger, so I got a nice big juicy burger. I took one bite and wanted to hurl. I've quite smoking (a few times actually) and in my experience quitting processed junk foods is exactly like quitting smoking. When you first stop your body craves it (sugar and salt), you want it so bad. But if you stop for a few months, a year, you don't need it anymore. It's just like smoking. If you pick it back up it's disgusting. Literally repulsive. But if you allow yourself to slip back your body will adjust and crave it again.

 

I had the same experience with soft drinks.  Last time I regularly drank one was in May 2012.  I quit cold turkey.  I broke the string on the flight home from camp, but that was more a requirement than anything else (upset stomach and low blood sugar, so I had a Sprite).  It tasted like horse pee (just imagining what horse pee would taste like as I've never done it).

 

I generally don't do fast foods, unless you call Bill Miller's fast food.  My main vice is BBQ, but without sauce, it should be considered Paleo...

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I generally don't do fast foods, unless you call Bill Miller's fast food.  My main vice is BBQ, but without sauce, it should be considered Paleo...

 

 

BBQ isn't considered Paleo? haha I don't know paleo very well but if BBQ isn't paleo I would have a tough time. The meat is paleo right? Just not all the fixens'.

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I think my form is screwed up on the press.  I arch my back a lot.  I notice that my body does this naturally as I get my arms at shoulder level and above.  I don't remember that being a good thing, but you haven't done a form instruction video yet for the site (or at least one that I can find).  I'll make a video once I can find a suitable place for the camera.

 

 

Google overhead press form online and see what you find, maybe spend some time looking at a few different sources.

 

Here is the stronglifts overhead press form check. Your back should not be arching. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your core to not allow it to happen.

 

It is far more important to execute exercises with perfect form rather than heavier weights. Especially in the beginning, because teaching your brain and your body how to do the exercises and building habits on how to lift properly. You're laying a foundation for years of awesome lifting and heavy weights and fun times becoming more badass, build a really strong foundation.

 

I am as guilty as anyone else and let my ego get in the way sometimes, but a 45lb 5x5 overhead presses with perfect form is far better than a 55lb 5x5 overhead press with mediocre form. Same with everything else. And as you do it more you will get more in tune with your body and feel what's right.

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BBQ isn't considered Paleo? haha I don't know paleo very well but if BBQ isn't paleo I would have a tough time. The meat is paleo right? Just not all the fixens'.

 

It is.  Maybe the best reason that I can maintain a paleo diet, though I have been staying more towards chicken, pork, and turkey rather than beef.

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Synopsis for Days 1 - 3:

 

Monday - StrongLifts 5x5 - 85 pounds Squat, 85 pounds press, 125 pounds deadlift.  1 mile dog walk at 2.9 mph.  A rather measely 9K steps.

 

Tuesday - Did a 3.2 mile performance walk.  Tried to average around 3 mph, but had to slow down for the dog and the fact that it was freaking cold out there (I walk at night).  Approximately 12K steps.

 

Wednesday (Today) - Stronglifts 5x5 - 90 pounds squat, 1 set of 80 pound press for video check (see below), 5 sets of 75 pounds bench and 3 sets of 95 pounds bench, 130 pounds deadlift.  1.5 miles on the treadmill at 3.5 mph.  I'm impressed, though.  I got up to 157 on the pulse rate on the treadmill (played with incline and speed settings), and recovered to 116 in about 60 seconds.  A few months ago, I'd be at like 150 for a few minutes afterwards.  I know I hit 145 or higher when the sweat starts to pour off.  Walking back to the car in my workout shirt and shorts was fun and painful.

 

OK, one of the things I did tonight was tape my squat, press, and bench for evaluation.  My deadlift looks just like all the videos and I have scraped up my legs, so I'm fairly sure that I'm doing that with proper form.  I'm sorry the videos kinda suck, but I had to use my tablet because my phone camera sucks (HTC One M8).

 

Squat Video:

 

 

Press Video:

 

 

Bench Video:

 

 

 

Comments from me:

 

I think some of you will say that I need to go lower on my squats.  I kinda have a body geometry issue where my thighs aren't able to go down much farther.  I tend to go down more everytime I do them, though, because I'm stretching my muscles more and more.  And yes, I had the bar way too high.

 

Press - I think I arch my back too much and I'm not consistent with the lift.

 

Bench - I think I actually did better with more weight than this video.  I need to move further out so the bar can go straight up and down.  I hate this video, though.  I think I look like a beached whale..  Oh well, motivation to keep kicking ass.

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OK, as promised, my beginning pictures.  These are actually from two weeks ago.  Do not click on them if you are squeamish.  I would consider them extremely NSFW because your eyeballs are likely to start bleeding from looking at them (nothing too graphic except a lot of fat)..  It shows I have a long way to go.  But still better than how I was back in April...

 

Front:  https://drive.google.com/   open?id=0B5NKHQsxdGZGRDFFSEhRb2tvalU&authuser=1

 

Side:  https://drive.google.com/     open?id=0B5NKHQsxdGZGUUZiaTJhbjNsbG8&authuser=1

 

Back:  https://drive.google.com/    open?id=0B5NKHQsxdGZGUUZiaTJhbjNsbG8&authuser=1

 

The links have been purposely broken to keep them from displaying in the forum and to protect the innocent...  

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Unfortunately I slacked off Thursday and Friday and missed gym Friday night.  So to rehab my step count, I ended up doing 15000 steps yesterday (weekends are my big step days anyways).  I worked my butt off yesterday doing things around the house and walked over to Wurstfest to get my Pork Chop on a Stick (yes, it is healthy).  Today is church work day, a team meeting at noon, and start work on my greenhouse to keep my tomatoes alive during this winter.  I want to do a 3 mile walk tonight, but that will be weather dependent.

 

This weeks goals are to complete the gym circuit, Christmas concert on Friday night (yeah, it is before Thanksgiving), more bodyweight, finish redecorating my living room, and start planning for camping next weekend.  Sometime this week I need to take Celena on a date.  

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Fitbit Stats for Week 1:

 

71,581 Steps

55 Flights of Stairs

31.67 miles

 

Walking Workouts:  I slacked two days last week and didn't do a long walk and one day where I skipped it completely (Thursday).

 

Gym Workouts:  2 out of 3.  Poor job...  

 

Body Weight:  3 of 5.  Poor job.

 

Getting out and doing stuff:  Better job last weekend, pretty poor job this week.  This week should be better with an event Friday (tree lighting).

 

Diet - less (semi) fast food, but also more skipped meals.  The bad thing about this time of year in San Antonio is the prevalence of tamales.  Bad.  Bad.  Bad..  Must resist..  Paleo will be better once I send my turkey off to be smoked at Rudy's...  :)

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Comments from me:

 

I think some of you will say that I need to go lower on my squats.  I kinda have a body geometry issue where my thighs aren't able to go down much farther.  I tend to go down more everytime I do them, though, because I'm stretching my muscles more and more.  And yes, I had the bar way too high.

 

Press - I think I arch my back too much and I'm not consistent with the lift.

 

Bench - I think I actually did better with more weight than this video.  I need to move further out so the bar can go straight up and down.  I hate this video, though.  I think I look like a beached whale..  Oh well, motivation to keep kicking ass.

 

 

Squats - I would have said it looks like you need to go lower but you already addressed that. As you do the movement more I bet you will be able to go lower and lower, just like you said, once you get more flexible and used to the movement. The important part is to focus on getting better at the movement and feeling the muscles your using, don't worry much about getting too heavy too fast.

 

Bench- The thing I see is the bar wiggling around a bit. Work on that straight path. I can't see so I'll just say, remember to keep your body tight. You're core and your back. Bench, squat, deadlift, press, always have your core and your back tight.

 

Press - don't let that back arch! keep it solid.

 

 

Keep up the good work!!

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Progress Update...

 

I don't think I'll hit the 70K mark this week unless a miracle happens this weekend.  But that is OK...

 

Monday I did weights and I failed myself on two of them.  I was doing Squats at 95, Bench at 95, and Deadlift at 125.  I was cooking along with the squats and tried to make myself get lower..  This caused me to put more weight on the balls of my feet.  Which in turn tweaked my back a little.  I was OK the next day, though.  So I failed myself for that lapse of judgement.  On the bench, I jumped 10 pounds, which I should not have done.  I could do 3.5 sets before just letting the bar sit on my chest until I could raise it up again..  Ugghh...  Deadlifts were easy...

 

Tuesday I meant to walk a 5K, but ended up getting stuck on a phone call and only did 1.5 miles.  So no catchup for the roughly 7K steps on Monday (got 9K on Tuesday).  I did spend about 1.5 hours working on my bat cave, though...

 

Wednesday was another weight day.  I did Squats at 95, Press at 80, and Deadlift @ 130.  All passing.  Watched a guy who does strength training for athletes at a local school teach another guy some other squat type variants (the good-morning with the toes sitting on top of another plate).  After this, I spent 30 minutes on the treadmill - 20 min total at around 3 mph and 10 min total at around 4 mph (mixed up - like 3 of 3, then 1.5 of 4).  HR never got above 148..  My aerobic conditioning is getting better.

 

Spent last night getting frustrated due to an issue at work, so little sleep for the weary.

 

Tonight is walking day.  No treadmill - just me and the dog, so it's going to be slow paced.

 

Tomorrow is Tree Lighting concert, a fish fry, then weight/treadmill day.

 

T and Th morning were squat and planking days with BW.  Saturday I'm gonna beat up a tractor tire.

 

What is having me bummed out is my weight isn't doing what I want it to do.  Yes, I'm losing inches in areas, but I've gone up on the scale.  I know what it is, but I also want to lose the weight too...  I'm 4 pant sizes down from April...

 

That's it for today...

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As I surmised, I didn't hit the 70K steps for last week...

 

My fitbit stats for Week 2:

28.82 miles

65,154 steps

29 floors

 

But...  I kicked butt in the gym three days last week.  Squats with weights register as a step, but BW squats, bench, dead, and press do not...  Plus the weather was not conducive to dog walks.  That's why I had 4 days sub 10K steps..

 

My goal is to make up the 5K steps this week.  The problem is that whatever front came in on Sunday is kicking my butt allergies wise.  I'm doing gym, but walking outside is a bit of challenge when your nose is completely clogged...

 

This week includes a football game tomorrow night and then the Texas Ren Fest.  All this is dependent on how I feel on a day-to-day basis.  I'm using tomorrow morning to catch up on sleep because I've had a few 3 AM days this week working on the Exchange migration at work.

 

Funny thing happened yesterday...  Went to the gym.  Bent over the chalk bucket to pick up some weights for my press.  Phone falls into the chalk bucket..  This after the rain incident two weeks ago =/= not good for a phone.  So I had to migrate to something different.  Now I'm sporting the Nexus 6 on AT&T...

 

Didn't know if I didn't post it already, but I signed up for CNF 2015.  Have you?  Go to http://camp.nerdfitness.comfor more information.

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Hey bro...  Last week sucked in all non-fitness ways.  Sorry I missed the hike on Saturday.  Hopefully there will be one this week that I should be able to attend...

 

Did the gym twice last week (couldn't make it on Friday due to Mountain Cedar fever), but I did a crap-load of walking...

 

Fitbit Week 3 Stats:

34.78 miles

78,629 steps

50 flights

 

So I clearly made up for last weeks sub-par performance.  Even ended up making second place in the Weekend Warrior never-ending Fitbit challenge for the 26K+ steps.  

 

This week is not going to be as active as I have a lot of rehearsals and meetings this week that will cut into my walking schedule (but not my lifting sked) since I have a performance this Sunday and then a long dress rehearsal and performance the following week.

 

This past week was disconcerting because I failed at doing the Renaissance Festival thing and I also came to the realization that I am a total failure at the being a boyfriend thing (though I don't think we have progressed that far yet).  

 

This week is more the same.  I see the doctor tomorrow afternoon for bloodwork.

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My INR was good.  I put off gym on Monday until Tuesday night.  In fact, after I got home from practice Monday, I crashed hard and only woke up at 1 AM to do server maintenance during my maintenance window.  So I had a rather pathetic sub-6K walking day.

 

On Tuesday I kicked ass.  Started the gym with 3600 steps, did 115 pound squats, 90 press, and 135 deadlift all completed successfully.  Between sets I walk the gym, so I was at almost 7K steps when I was done.  I then went home and did a short 1.5 miles with my dog.

 

Today sucked, but I was able to do almost 1.75 miles tonight even though I'm heavily congested and hurting (heel pain).

 

Tomorrow is gym day...  The thing is that I feel guilty that I'm only doing StrongLifts and nothing else while at the gym.  I got to get over that.

 

I need to get serious about my body weight again too...  I've had way too many late nights working on things that have made me sleep late in the morning.  It also doesn't help that I generally feel like crap.  

 

This weekend should have the McKinney State Park hike/trail with the Austin Nerds...  :)

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Fitbit Week 4 Statistics:

 

72,832 steps

32.23 miles

31 floors climbed

 

I did two days of gym workouts and had one rest day of Monday (only 5K steps that day).

 

No hiking last weekend due to conflicts all around...

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