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Posts posted by Vintage

  1. I went back to school about a year and a half ago and experienced a similar problem. Making sure that breakfast and lunch have you well fueled is important (play around with carb and fat levels as well as overall amount to find what works). I also keep my waterbottle at hand and drink frequently, even if it's just to give me something to do with my mouth and hands. Sleep is a big one - this is usually when I get my energy slump and my body tends to cue the hunger signals when energy levels start falling.


    Sometimes, though, it just doesn't seem to matter how spot-on my diet is. I want some damn candy. My compromise is hard candy. Jolly ranchers are a favorite. As are those werthers caramel things (I like the coffee +caramel ones). No chewing allowed - just suck on them. Now and Laters take some time and effort to get through as well. I just pace them out. Usually I only want one or two and I'm over the taste. It takes me longer to suck on a <20 calorie jolly rancher than it does to eat a 250 calorie snickers bar. 

  2. Interesting. But I'd note that he didn't test a standard grip pronated pull-up, so my guess is his wide grip wasn't super wide. I know that my standard chin up grip is narrower than my standard pull up grip for sure. But it also looks like the results for lat activation for a weighted "wide-grip" pull up and a weighted chin-up are comparable (but bodyweight chins and bodyweight pull-ups aren't that close) and the poundage difference between what he used for weighted chins and weighted pull ups (45 lbs for pronated pull-ups but 2X that for chin-ups) is huge, which does need to be considered when we start talking about bodyweight-only exercises. 


    That said, I have absolutely nothing against chin-ups. I use them. Just not exclusively. 


    Plus I figure if I'm going to end up hanging off a cliff or the side of a building and need to pull myself up, pull-ups are the better preparation for that. They also just look more bad-ass for whatever reason. 

  3. I've been known to do this. Not only is my clean stronger than my snatch (and my power clean is stronger than my power snatch), it's far more consistent under fatigue. At that point, you're wanting to be absolutely sure you don't have failed reps (which waste time and energy and mentally fatigue you). There's just a lot more room for error in a clean that's 50# below your max than a snatch that's within 20# of your max. You're also avoiding fatiguing your specific "snatch muscles" by spending less time in that wide-grip overhead position. Lats are the first thing to fatigue for me when I have to snatch the weight up before overhead squatting it - a sub-max clean is far less taxing on my lats, traps and shoulders. These guys were also needing to do some damn heavy overhead squats once that bar was overhead, and needed to save their legs and for most people, if you take the same poundage, they can catch it in a power clean a lot higher than in a snatch/power snatch, which saves the legs. Plus you can take a moment once you've got that weight on your back where it's nice and stable and relatively light to take a breath, collect yourself, and get tight for those squats. Pausing to do that with the bar already overhead? Not so much.


    As for safety... these are people who have trained exhaustively for this competition. This transition (including the behind the neck push press) is a skill that they have practiced over and over. It's not 100% risk free, but then neither is a snatch, especially under fatigue. These are also competitive athletes that have made the decision to accept some element of risk and wear and tear in the pursuit of their competitive goals. One of the big issues in CrossFit is that people fail to distinguish between how these elite athletes should be training and what makes sense for the average box-member who wants to be fit to play with their kids, take weekend adventures and look good by the pool. But that's another topic.

  4. Actually, that sounds pretty reasonable, mainly because the woman didn't just go high protein, low carb... she seems to have stopped eating vegetables and subsisted largely on meat and dairy... "a diet consisting mainly of eggs, bacon, tuna, cheese and chicken, with loads of creamy sauces". In other words, no fiber, less water via food, and lacking in all of the many many nutrients we get from plant foods. The rest of the article refers to health problems caused by people eating absolutely ridiculous quantities of protein using processed supplement bars and the like. It even mentions that these levels aren't really achievable using "whole" or unsupplemented foods (at least without consuming huge numbers of calories, which would nullify the weightloss to some extent). The last line really sums it up: "I wish I had gone about weight loss more sensibly."

  5. This is one of those things that vary from person to person. Binge eating is an eating disorder in some cases, so it's possible that you'll need more support with this than an internet forum can provide. I was one of those people, but on top of the call-in-the-big-guns help, I've used several different techniques at different stages.


    -identify the specific foods and avoid them (yes, it's sort of temporary, but it helps). For me, pasta and potatoes (especially mashed ones) were things I regularly binged on. And at some point, just having those foods triggered a binge because it was so ingrained. I actually still can't have either in the house, though I can have a portion in a restaurant setting. This helped, because I wasn't telling myself I couldn't ever have them, just that I had to go out to a dine-in restaurant to eat them.

    -carrying on from above: do more eating around people, especially when it's your "cheat" foods. I don't drink alone. I don't eat pasta or bread alone. If I want queso (I'm Texan, it's a thing) I need to call up some friends and go out. This helps to both break the connection between these foods and the negative feelings (usually depression, boredom and loneliness) that were paired with the binging and to discourage me from eating embarrassing amounts when I do have a treat. 

    -portion things out. I never ever eat out of a large container anymore. When I get my food, I get a single serving and put the rest away before I ever take a bite. Both snacks and meals. I generally cook for multiple meals at a time... when I do this, to make sure that those leftovers exist, I immediately portion all the food out into my meal containers and put them in the fridge. Only then do I eat. If I'm truly hungry and want more after my serving, then I wait a few minutes (usually washing dishes occupies this time) for everything to settle and let myself get out some more and heat it. 

    - Plan your meals, and if need be, plan your treats. This second part is where I slip up if I'm going to, but when I'm doing it well and putting in the planning time, it works fantastically. I'll plan all of my meals for a day and know what I have leftover for macros and calories (or if I'm tossing my calorie limit out the window, I'll still set a number that I'm willing to go over). Then I'll set that aside as my cheat. During the week that might be 100 calories. On a Friday night that might be 200 or even 500 on a special occasion. (The same could be done with servings of something if you don't track calories - "I'm going to stop by the bakery and get one cookie or cupcake" or "I'm going to go out with friends and have 2 beers") I don't have to know exactly what it's going to be, but when I set out to "cheat" I at least know how big I'm going. It gives me some freedom to be impulsive and indulge cravings but keeps the free-for-all mindset away. In my head this is sort of like what my parents called "mad-money" or general pocket money. The money that gets set aside in your budget after you've paid your bills and taken care of expenses, just for the little impulse stuff like a treat or bottle of nail polish or going to a movie. 

    -write it down. Log what you eat, even if you don't log calories. If you've got a good friend you can trust, ask if you can regularly send them your food log (I used to send a cell phone pic of mine to a friend every night). Tell them you don't need advice or feedback or anything at all from them, but sometimes it helps to know that you're going to be showing/telling someone what you ate. 

  6. Both. And plenty of single pull ups. Pull ups respond well to high frequency in the very beginning. 


    I got stuck at that stage for a bit. So I got a pull up bar for the house and put it in a doorway I frequently passed by. When I walked by it, I'd do my one pull up. Or (it was near my living room and kitchen) if I was doing something sedentary like watching TV or studying or bulk cooking, I'd set a timer on my phone to beep every 20 minutes, and I would immediately go do a pull up. Before bed, I'd do that one pull up, then go for a second one, and struggle with it for a good bit before I gave up. This was on top of my training that included negatives and chin ups. Pretty soon that second one happened. Then a third. I cut down the frequency once the volume increased. Six months later I can crank out 10 without much problem, which for a girl ain't half bad. 

    • Like 6
  7. I appreciate the way body-weight training rewards efficiency - efficiency of movement, efficiency in size/body comp, and efficiency in ability to recruit and use what you have. 


    I love spending quality time with a barbell, but I consider body-weight training to be more important in many ways.

  8. I'm not a fan of wall push ups... something about having the wall right there. I've noticed people have a tendency to crane their necks back, short range of motion, and complain more of wrist pain. But counter-top push ups work really well. Then dining table. Then coffee table. And so on. Just keep slowly upping the difficulty. 


    For low reps of scaled push ups, you can use a rather high frequency. So doing a set or two of anywhere from 3-5 several times/day will work pretty well. 

    • Like 2
  9. I think the advice about creating structured time for a job search and finding volunteer work are both really really sound ideas, whether you're struggling with drinking or not. It's the best way to keep yourself healthy and happy and to make yourself more employable and more likely to find a job. Beyond just volunteering, anything that you can do to get out - join a club, go to some meet ups, find a class to take - will help.


    For the drinking itself, have you thought about getting some help with it? There are issues with feeling out of control of your drinking that go way beyond weight loss or body comp.

  10. I think that the above ideas on how to go about facilitating weight loss are great. But I also think that you may need to have an honest conversation with him about why you want him to lose weight. This isn't about him looking good naked or whatnot. He's at serious risk for major health problems or death. A major cardiac event will decimate you emotionally and financially. If he's approaching the point where he can't help you around the house, that's not fair to you. If you want kids, this becomes an even bigger issue. Diabetes is not only a major financial burden, it can ultimately lead to major complications that can put him out of work, cause him to need round the clock assistance, or kill him. And ultimately, the risk of his early death is high. This is all scary, dramatic s**t, but that's the reality and I think it's totally ok for you to say "I'm scared of what might happen if you don't lose weight. I want to spend 50 years with you and get old next to you, but I'm worried that if we don't make some changes that I could lose you and that terrifies me." And then follow all that up by asking him to help you make a plan of action.

    • Like 2

    Do you think that is really that bad for me? I'm kind of inclined to change it in the name of science to see if it does anything. 


    I agree with the answers above that calorie timing doesn't make a huge difference in terms of weight loss for the average person. Bodybuilders and the like may be in a different boat once they're really fine-tuning everything. 


    But I also kind of like your idea. Why not experiment? There might be benefits you don't anticipate. My lifelong pattern was similar to yours, but as I reworked my diet I started eating breakfast and generally spacing food out during the day. Now my dinners are my smallest meal. But it wasn't about metabolism, it was because I found that I tend to make better food choices earlier in the day, so that's a better time to do my eating. Plus it fuels my workouts better to have food throughout the day. Then I found that once I started cooking quick breakfasts in the morning, I got into a slower morning routine that I really enjoy (believe me, I am NOT a morning person). I just generally feel better prepared for the day.

  12. There doesn't seem to be much evidence that you need quite that much protein to build muscle. But there also doesn't seem to be much evidence that it's harmful. In the end, there's very little solid consensus in nutrition and not nearly enough effort put into well-designed studies and trials. For me (and I know others are this way), I err on the side of high-protein because it's one of the better places to allow myself to have extra food when need be because I don't tend to binge on it and it's satisfying. So when I'm hungry or just want something to eat, some extra lean protein and green or leafy veggies are what I'll give myself the green light on. 


    Simple blood tests will indicate if you're taking in too much protein for your kidneys to handle safely. 

    • Like 1
  13. Dimia, I don't know where your friend got that impression, but it's pretty off-base. I'm sure there are crossfit gyms that aren't as awesome at working with overweight or de-conditioned athletes as others, but those are generally the exception. It's also true that a lot of people can't get over their own self-consciousness and ego to start crossfit while overweight or out of shape, but that's got more to do with what's in the person's head than anything else. There isn't really any slowing-others-down. 


    I started at my crossfit box about 18 months ago. I was 5'2", a little over 200# and really out of shape. I'm about 70# lighter now and men stop me in public places to ask for advice on their leg training. But it took patience, a willingness to swallow my pride when I had to scale everything or finished last every day, a sense of humor, and a lot of effort at adjusting my food intake. Recently one of the newer women at the box who didn't see this journey made a comment that me realize that in her eyes, I'm one of the beastlet girls that I always felt like I'd never be in the same league with. It just didn't happen all at once.

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  14. The variation in CrossFit from gym to gym is huge, so shopping around is helpful. But beyond that, there are definitely other gyms running similar but different programs, just depending where you are. Atomic Athlete and Travis County Strength are two examples that are local to me. I know atomic offers their programming online for a membership fee, but you'd have to find a place with the necessary equipment. Finding one will depend on your location and might require some hunting. Often they're just not well publicized. Maybe try searching for powerlifting gyms, olympic lifting facilities, or strength and conditioning training/facilities. 

    • Like 1
  15. Shortgorilla's answer is sound.


    To get (probably unnecessarily) complex, I'll add that this question has a different answer depending on where you're at as far as body fat and strength-development as well as how large your deficit and whether you're recovering adequately. Beginners, especially those at higher body fat levels, can strength train while eating at a deficit and still gain strength for quite some time. Eventually this will plateau. Also, building strength depends on recovery - your body needs to rebuild the muscle tissues you damage during training sessions - and a lot of things affect that, including the frequency and intensity of training, your sleep, stress, and the size of the deficit you're eating at. 

    • Like 1
  16. I'm just going to tackle the first question right now...


    Diet is absolutely critical if you're wanting to learn out and significantly. You don't necessarily need to count calories, but you are going to need to take some ownership of your food. You're what, 20? It's time. It doesn't get any easier in your early 20s. Get in the kitchen and help your mom cook. You'll 1) learn how to cook, which is an unbelievably important skill, 2) have the chance to find out what's going into the food so you have an idea of the calories you're taking in in a platefull 3) have a better chance to influence the type of food you're eating and ingredients, because instead of asking her to make changes for you, you're saying "hey mom, how about I go to the store and get X and cook it for dinner tonight. Can you help me figure out some of these instructions?" and 4) get to spend time with your mamma. 


    You don't necessarily need to count every calorie that goes into your mouth, but I do recommend you try to figure out how many calories are in the food you're eating and understand how much you're getting now. Be able to look at a favorite snack or a common meal and know if it has 50, 3500, or 1000 calories in it. 


    Specifics: more veggies, plenty of lean protein, reduce carbs. Mom's serving sauced meat with rice? Steam some veggies to replace 3/4 of the rice. Don't drink your calories. 

  17. For me the idea of the leg drive is huge - it really does make a 20% difference in my bench. BUT I don't think it's effectiveness is about the actual act of driving my feet into the ground as much as it's about what focusing on that causes me to do to my entire body. So "driving my heels towards the ground" is really more of a cue for me than anything. When I play that cue in my head or hear it from my coach, it reminds me that benching isn't just in the arms with everything else relaxed and doing nothing, so I get tight from my heels to my hands. This includes my entire core, which I brace to the point that it's almost painful to hold.  And that makes a huge difference in the amount of weight I can move.

    • Like 1
  18. This is going to depend heavily on your particular crossfit programming. Do you have dedicated strength sessions there? Is it heavy, low volume, or high volume low weight? Do you do a lot of long metcons, but lack the super short, all out efforts? Or is it the other way around?


    Skill work was the first thing that popped into my head. Gymnastics work can keep you occupied and let you work on a lot of the stuff cf classes don't get into their programming (at least not in depth). Handstand progressions, lots and lots of hollow body drills, ring-work if you can find a place. Forward rolls and handstand forward rolls, cartwheels. Even simple gymnastics movements help with body position awareness and control, and that has huge carryover. Double-unders are a cf specific skill area. Go get on a rower and focus on your form, timing, and hitting+ holding certain paces. Spend some time learning to kip correctly if you've got the shoulder stability, and work on making your TTB and pull ups super efficient. When you're close to a muscle up, start drilling towards those. Oh, and mobility work. 


    One day/week of sprints might be awesome, too. Hill sprints especially. 


    Last idea: go find a physically active class or activity to get into, or join a rec league. 

  19. 1. It's very very difficult to lose weight and gain muscle simultaneously, and gets harder the leaner you get. This is why bodybuilders and the like will cycle through bulks and cuts. BUT the exception is beginners who have a good amount of fat on them. Beginners can definitely lose fat while their strength numbers go up. In truth, a lot of those early gains are more about technique and neuro-muscular adaptation (in other words, you and your brain learn to use your muscles better) than actually adding muscle mass. So you should be able to lift while eating at a deficit and still see strength gains for a while. How long will depend on a lot of personal factors, including where you're starting at.




    In keeping with my goals, I'm looking for a workout routine. But before I can start on those proper, I need to overcome some limitations that I currently possess, namely my inability to do a pull-up or push-up

    What do you mean here? Is sounds like you need a workout routine that allows you to improve you pushing and pulling strength. Those are both important parts of "proper" workout routines. You can go with a bodyweight routine and find a scale of pull up (inverted rows, bent over rows, negatives, etc) that work for you now that you can progress within the routine. You can also use something like starting strength or strong lifts. Focus on compound, full body movements and stay off the machines if your goal is functional strength, balance, coordination, etc. Look for a routine that gives you space for progression in weights, reps and/or movement difficulty.


    3. There is a way around that - a well-rounded diet composed of a variety of nutrient-dense foods, and a healthy dose of skepticism. Protein is the most commonly taken supplement around here, and it's useful if you're having trouble getting in a solid amount of protein. I take fish oil, but personally I take it because I have rheumatoid arthritis, my recovery is often poor and I work out hard 5-6 days/week. 


    4. Do you mean how do you maintain gains long-term without having to work out? I don't know that you do. Plus I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around not wanting to work out or keep on making gains. 

    • Like 1
  20. If you don't feel comfortable in the low-bar position, there's no real reason to do it. I use both on occasion (I had to learn to high bar squat for oly lifting mechanics) - I could come in on Friday and low bar squat a one rep at 205 to just below parallel, but then come in the next week and go ass to grass on high bar but only at 195. I didn't get any weaker over the weekend. 


    As for the advice to arch... I don't like that much. Thinking about arching may work for some people to counteract the tendency to round forward, but having your back really arched during heavy squats could cause some problems. Plus there's no real reason not to learn to brace your core properly from the start. 

    • Like 1
  21. I use myfitnesspal and it works well for me. The more you use it, the faster/easier it is, because it stores what you ate previously for quick access.


    Recipes you have two options - make an actual recipe, if it's something consistent, or enter ingredient by ingredient. Either way, you'll have to actually put in your ingredients and quantities at least once. I'd honestly recommend doing some measuring at first. It takes less time than you think. For most ingredients it's cups, tablespoons, teaspoons or liquid ounces (I'm American), but usually for meats it's in weight. If you don't have a scale, there are two options - look online for some pictures and explanations for what 3 oz or 4 oz of your favorite ingredients look like, and estimate, or when you use full packages of meats they should have weights on them (so if I buy 1.25 lb of flank steak, I have 20 oz, then I know I have 5 portions of 4 oz). I rarely have to measure any more (though periodically I will), but that's because I did it enough that I'm reliable about estimating now. 


    One tip: if you do things like make smoothies, they may vary every day by what fruits/veggies you put in, but they also might have a common base that you start with. You could make a recipe for that, and then only have to add the ingredients that vary daily separately. I do this with my fridge oats, since the fresh fruit/nuts/sweeteners I use vary, but the basic recipe for the oats is the same.



    For calories, I'd say to track for a day or two, look at how much you're eating, and reduce by maybe 100-200 (if you're already losing weight with your current diet, and depending on how fast that's happening now). This relates to another option besides calorie counting... if you've got a rather consistent diet, then really you could just not bother finding out how much you're eating, and just cut out a couple of hundred calories/day from your usual diet now by removing something you eat regularly. So for me that might mean knowing that I have about 1.5 tablespoons of almond butter with my apple or banana for afternoon snack - that's about 140 cals. Get rid of that (and don't replace the calories elsewhere), and I've increased my deficit. 

  22. I'd suggest consider using ground beef and/or turkey. They're cheap, easy to cook in quantity, and versatile (you can get some variety by using different seasonings and vegetables). For chicken, thighs and legs are much cheaper than breasts and often better for bulk cooking because they don't dry out nearly as easily. And for vegetables, try to get in some variety there to make sure you're getting everything you need. In-season veggies are cheapest. Frozen is superior to canned, and can be a lot cheaper than fresh at times (I keep giant bags of frozen broccoli florets in the freezer all the time - I chop them up to add to all sorts of stuff). Dried (not canned) beans and lentils can be a great, cost effective way to add bulk, fiber, protein and carbs to your meals. They take longer to cook, but soaking them first helps. 

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