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About mdv6

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    Los Angeles, CA
  1. I wish I had gotten a video last night, since I don't really want to do bench again for a couple weeks at least. I try to keep my elbows close to my sides when I bench. But, it's been a while since I've reviewed good form for a bench press, so there could be a lot of room for improvement. I'll take a bit of time off and then do a form check and see how it feels. Any suggestions on the best way to rehab (or should I just rest), and are there any good alternative chest exercises to do in the meantime?
  2. I've been doing doing SL 5x5 for about 4 months now, and increasingly I've been experiencing shoulder discomfort (top front of the shoulder), which I think is due to bench presses (I'm currently benching 145 lbs 3x5, having progressed starting with just the bar). I'd say I have a dull ache (and not all the time) rather than "pain." My question is, what is the best exercise to substitute for the bench press (I was doing bench press along with squats and weighted pullups for one workout, then squats, OH press, and deadlifts for the alternate workout)? Are push ups safer for shoulders than benc
  3. I've been doing Stronglifts 5X5 for a little over 2 months, and the weight is getting heavy (for me), so I wanted to ask for a form check. This is 1X5@ 225lbs: https://youtu.be/6WxhMlA7b_A It certainly looks to me like my back is rounding a bit, but I'd love to hear what else I can improve. As far as the rounding goes, I was already trying NOT to round my back, so any tips on how to improve my form to prevent this (i.e., "don't round your back" might not be enough to help me) would be great. For comparison, here I am a couple weeks ago doing 1X5@185, and my form looked a lot better to me:
  4. Goals for this challenge: Run a sub-6:00 mile I did not get anywhere close to achieving this--I never even got to the point where I could really time myself for a fast mile. I've been having calf problems all challenge long, and rest, stretching, and icing has not seemed to help. I'm actually pleased that I was able to be persistent despite the setbacks, even if I've not actually gotten past the setback yet. The next step is an appointment with a physical therapist to see if I can figure out what is going on. Do 3 sets of 10 pull-ups (with less than 2:00 rest between sets) I also battled inj
  5. This is an awesome challenge thread--thanks for doing this! I have two questions: 1) What shoulder prehab routine would you recommend to prevent soreness from pull-ups? 2) The general sense I get around here (NF, not from you specifically) is that to get a flat stomach you need to lower body fat %, and ab exercises won't do much for you. I've lost some weight and am starting to see some definition in the abs, but I'm wondering about the "flat" part: are there exercises that help to pull back the lower abdomen so it does not hang forward as much? If so, what do you recommend?
  6. Yikes! I it's been almost two weeks since I last checked in here. I've taken a little over a week off from my eating regime while I was out of town for a conference/visiting family. I don't think I ate horribly (especially not compared to the same trip earlier this year), but I had my share of ice cream and other non-approved foods. I'm not going to let this setback derail me, though, and I feel pretty refreshed and ready to get back to my eating plan. Yesterday was 100%, and so far today I've had some delicious eggs and a ton of sautéed veggies. After my last run two weeks ago my calf agai
  7. I don't follow a particular plan or philosophy, but my meals don't vary much from day to day--I feel like I've found a handful of meals that are simple and taste good, so I try to stick to those. Breakfast has been either eggs and sautéed vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes, with garlic) or oatmeal (with milk, and until this morning, a tablespoon of honey). Lunch is usually a huge salad with grilled chicken, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and two tablespoons of salad dressing. Dinner is 4ish ounces of meat (usually from the crock pot made once or twice per week), sautéed veggies
  8. Monday I went for a short hike with my kids, and yesterday I did shoulder mobility stuff, 3 sets of 8 pullups, and some BW squats. I think I'm getting past my shoulder issues! I'm going to stick with 3 sets of pullups per workout this week, then do 4 sets next week, and then probably try to level off at 5 sets the following week. One thing I have been doing is trying to go as high as possible on my pullups. I have one of those "perfect pullup" apparatus that hangs in the doorway. I try to hit my shoulders on the neutral grip bars (i.e., shoulders come even with the pullup bar). However, the ne
  9. That's awesome you ran a 6:06 mile while trying to pace yourself. What's your fastest mile time? Sorry about the sick baby. My 8-month old sleeps in our room, and the last several nights he's been waking up a lot (maybe due to teething), so I know how tough it can be to not get uninterrupted sleep. Good luck with the bodyweight work.
  10. Even if the first two weeks have not been perfect, I think it's awesome that you are being mindful of the shortfall and you're back on the wagon. Even if you end up with straight C's for the challenge, if you keep from falling off the wagon and make it to the end of the challenge I think you'll still have achieved a major victory. From that perspective, your grading scale might be a bit too harsh--keep up the good work!
  11. Thursday I did some shoulder mobility stuff, and then since my shoulders felt good I did 3 sets of 7 pullups. Critical Mass was on Friday, so my workout consisted of a 29-mile, 3.5-hour bikeride through LA. Saturday I did shoulder mobility stuff, and 3 more sets of 7 pullups. Sunday was a Rest day. Eating is still going well. Since I'm making conscientious choices about what I'm eating, I've really been noticing how much junk food I would otherwise be eating (i.e., were it not for my food regime). For example, yesterday I turned down cupcakes, lemonade, freshly baked cookies, and skitt
  12. Tuesday I did stretching and shoulder rehab stuff with an elastic band. Yesterday I ran 3 miles at an 8:10/mile pace, but I actually ran the 2nd half at a fast pace than the first. I tried to do extra warm up, and also I tried using a rolling pin to warm up my legs prior to the run (I saw that recommended on youtube--no idea how legit that is), as well as using a tennis ball on my calf specifically. The calf felt OK while running, but it's been sore ever since. This is the first time I can definitively say the calf has gotten worse, which suggests to me that the problem is likely a strain ra
  13. I'm with you on putting away the scale. I weighed myself 3 weeks ago, and I've committed myself to not weigh again until January 1. I tend to rest on my laurels too easily, so once I drop 10 pounds I feel like the jobs done and I can go back to eating crap. My current goals are based on achieving a certain level of physical activity, and my motivation to lose weight is because it's a lot easier to run a fast mile without carrying a spare tire. Also, that quinoa salad looked great. I love quinoa!
  14. It's been a few days since an update...I did not work out last Friday, but I did a 2-hour mountain bike ride on Saturday. Sunday was a planned rest day. Yesterday I ran 3 miles at an 8:04 pace. The first 1.5 miles was at a 7:40 pace, so I'm getting faster. My calf still does not feel quite right, but I'm going to start stretching at night and see if that helps things. Strangely, during my run my right trapezius muscle really started hurting...anyone know what might be causing that? My shoulders are still sore, so I'm going to put the pullups on the shelf a bit longer and instead focus on
  15. On Thursday did another 1.5-mile run in my neighborhood. I felt like I was running at a pretty good clip, but I came in at 8:04/mile, which is not much faster than I did last time (even though I felt like I expended a lot more effort). The good news is that my calf felt fine. Eating: all my meals were "clean"
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