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About SoftSoul

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  • Birthday 11/07/1987

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    Indianapolis, IN
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  1. Damn. Now this makes me want to do Smolov Jr for bench. But no squats? I don't even like the idea of backing down to "maintenance".
  2. I haven't read the whole thread so I may be repeating advice from others. I like this 10 x 3 idea but you may be taking it to the extreme. Same thing happened to me trying to do 5 x 5, especially on the upper body lifts, just stalled too much. However, my recommendations on days where you're doing both deads and squats are: 1) do deadlifts first, 2) switch the low bar squats to 3 or 4 sets of 4 to 6. Up the weight. Alternatively, you could do 1 x 5, 2 x 3, 1 x 2. Also 3) you don't need to be 1 RM'ing ever for at least another 6 months. That's how newbies get hurt. You don't really NEED to squat at every workout. I don't know how much you weigh, but your numbers are about to a point where squatting every time you lift is probably going to hinder you more than it's going to help. The more weight you get on the bar, the more taxed you are going to be. Don't work yourself to a point of adrenal fatigue because it really isn't fun. Final thought is- if you're making progress, keep doing what you're doing. If your form is consistently compromised during deadlifts, you seriously need to change your program. Look into heavy-medium-light programs. For powerlifting, it is probably the most common schema out there because it works. Here's a link to start with: http://www.dragondoor.com/articles/the-heavy-light-medium-system-for-strength-and-power/
  3. Cravings during PMS, and most cravings in general, are caused by fluctuations in the serotonergic system, an impact of your fluctuating estrogen/progesterone levels on your neurotransmitters (ie. brain chemicals). http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/522000_8 Basically, most times you're craving carbs, your serotonin is likely low. A spike in blood sugar stimulates the body to produce serotonin, which makes you feel good/relieved/relaxed. Try supplementing with 5-htp (100 mg. in evenings on an empty stomach) and l-tyrosine (500 mg. in the morning on an empty stomach), starting a few days before you expect your period to arrive. Increasing serotonin via 5-htp will suppress your dopaminergic system, which can also lead to cravings and low energy. Thus, adding in l-tyrosine will counteract this effect. Also, take a super-B complex, superfood multi, and a calcium supp. All of these can be purchased separately on Amazon for a totally of around $60-75. Both 5-htp and l-tyrosine can be found through the seller BulkSupplements in pure powder form for fairly inexpensive (around $15 each I believe). If you feel generally balanced as far as mood, appetite, energy, and sex drive go, you'd only need them for the days around the end of your menstrual cycle. Otherwise, this supplementation program can be used daily for 3 weeks with a week off, and restart.
  4. What's the verdict on scrapping my program all together and doing a high rep program (like one of the 20 rep squat routines)?? Terrible idea? I tend to do much better with cardio in a cut than lifting, plus it reduces my appetite and feels good.
  5. It hasn't happened yet, but keeping volume high was the problem before. Before cutting ~18 lbs, I was squatting 200 for 3 x 5, after cutting, the most I could do was 155 for 1 x 5. All other lifts went down drastically as well. I'd try to go heavy and then just feel like I was going to pass out and vomit. Ideally, my macros are 30% carbs, 45% protein, 25% fat. Reducing volume by 1/3 would mean what exactly? Reducing the weight I'm lifting by 1/3? The # of sets or # of reps? I lift 4 days a week (see narrative below), so reducing frequency would put me down to 2? Hmmm so basically removing assistance exercises is the recommended route? Thanks for the programming info. I'll look into this My current program is sort of complex so I won't go into every single detail, but the basics are: Day 1: Squat (volume) Bench (volume) Deadlift (volume) Rows Day 2: Deadlift (intensity) Overhead press (volume) Overhead press assistance Day 3: Squat (intensity) Bench (volume) Rows & other bench assistance Day 4: Bench (intensity) Hip thrust Bench assistance Where "volume"=5 x 5 lower body and 5 x 10 upper body, and "Intensity" =3 x 2-3 at around 95% of 1RM on lower body, or hit my 1RM on upper body. For reference, I'm at 1 RMs of 245, 250, and 120 for squat, deadlift, and bench, respectively (145 lb female). Thanks everyone for all your help. I forgot how awesome this forum is :-)
  6. I was in a calorie deficit all of last summer and found that my energy level was really low, and I just couldn't lift as much as when eating closer to maintenance or in a surplus. This is to be expected. I gradually regained strength then beat my old maxes after adding in a few hundred calories. On the other hand, I'm finding that unless I do a massive deficit, I don't stay on track and don't lose weight. So I'm back to it. I'm trying to go lower than I probably should (1200 cals a day with a TDEE around 2000)...but at least it's guaranteed to work. Any advice for maintaining energy level while in a deficit? Any advice for maintaining strength gains, or at least not losing as much? Thanks!
  7. Not sure what the question was. Mmmm craft beer. Mmmm IPAs. I've unfortunately had to swear them off indefinitely. At ~250 calories a pop, plus dehydration which strongly impacts my ability to lift heavy shit... I've determined it isn't worth it. I managed to gain 30 lbs in grad school from IPAs (and maybe the cheeseburgers contributed a little), and I'm not trying to gain that back again. I can drink 2 Miller Lite tall boys for the caloric cost of 1 IPA and I'm just not a 1 beer kind of gal.
  8. As you start to lift heavier, it is going to become more imperative to cut out the cardio and take rest days. When you are closer to your bodyweight on squats and deadlifts, you will start to become exhausted after workouts, into the next day, and much of the time. Right now is probably not the time to add in accessory lifts. You want to spend a little more time developing your technique in the basic lifts. I'd say wait 8 to 12 weeks at least. At that point, you could add in lower volume, high rep accessory lifts. Google "barbell complexes". These help get you some cardio/calorie burning while also helping you perfect your lifting form. They are also supposed to aid in recovery if done at a low weight with proper form.
  9. A banana itself has 105 calories. Adding in fruit and cream could bump it up to 150-200+ calories. Just eat the ice cream. Measure it.
  10. For 130-140 cal/half cup, you could reasonably eat a serving of ice cream (most varieties) every day and lose at the same rate by adding in 15 mins of cardio.
  11. Agreed. An awesome role model and friend!
  12. Been stuck in the 185-200 range for a couple months. I finally figured out that the grip is my only real limiting factor. Impossible. This was pretty much my line of reasoning when asking about straps. I'll try to get a bit further with chalk, then use straps. As far as the hook grip, I'll try that. I'm wondering if it's even possible for me to grip like that, given that my fingers aren't long enough (so I doubt there would be much "locking" of the thumb). It's worth a shot though.
  13. Where did you get the 28.7% body fat number? Appears a bit high, based on your fotoz.
  14. Week 1 - The 2nd week of cutting (challenge week 1) didn't go so well. I was at a decent deficit Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday. Not TOO far over Saturday. - Tuesday went and saw DJ Marcus Schulz, which was probably the swettiest dance party of my life. I estimate that I burned about a thousand calories dancing, which accounts for all the booze, but not the 4 am cheeseburger. Thursday a "long, lost" ex friend visited and there was beer, a weird pumpkin coffee cake, and pork chops. Friday wasn't too far over, but there were cookies. Saturday also wasn't horrible, especially since I burned a lot from gardening, lifting, and cleaning, but there was banana bread. -Lifting goes well. Finally made 200 (1 rep) on the deadlift. Figured out some issues with my form that I was immediately able to correct. I will use chalk for next Saturday's lifting session. If that is insufficient, I'm buying lifting straps. I've gotten DOMS after every session of my new program... which I consider to be a good sign. -Last Tuesday, I was already down to 155-156. A bit of water weight. Back up to 158-159 now. Still on schedule. -Did a 3-point body fat caliper test, and when I added on several mm to all my measurements, the highest I got was 22% body fat. A lot lower than I thought. Victory. Non-challenge related news: - I have decided to start looking for a new job. I am seeking employment as an environmental consultant for the "Dark Side" (aka. private sector). Sick of my boring government job. I am not being challenged AT ALL after a year. I have asked for more difficult work. It isn't gonna happen. And a year has also shown me that the State of IN government is doing JACK SHIT to protect our natural resources, and only seeks to protect the polluters from paying up. So, their loss. I can easily make a few $K more in private sector and, hopefully, my brain will be kept busy. - I was going to relocate to a suburb closer to my bf. I have decided against this. Almost 7 months dating and it still isn't apparent whether this will go anywhere for the long term. He hasn't even told his parents about me! Q: So why should I move for him, when he is being so apprehensive? A: I'm not going to. A friend from undergrad will be moving in with me and splitting rent, so I'll save a lot of money.
  15. I use mixed grip already. Started using it from the very beginning. I'll get some chalk. Why no lifting straps?
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