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About Dantes

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  1. Name: Liz Age: 22 Vital Statistics: Gender: Female Height: 5’4.5†(the half inch is really important) Weight: Unknown (probably around 140 but I threw out my scale during the challenge) Are you involved with any sports? Do you compete at all? I was a competitive figure skater from age 5 to age 18, but I “retired†when I went to college. I was in a dance company during college. I also spent far too much time compulsively ellipticalling, and during my senior year I started to run occasionally but had to stop when a doctor (erroneously) diagnosed me with a stress fracture in my foot. I started doing Crossfit regularly on May 17. What’s your story? Why do you do what you do? I graduated from college in June 2010 and started to work a desk job, which I actually really enjoy. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t enjoy it quite as much as my mind does. I noticed that over the course of a few short months, I was starting to spread out, putting on fat and losing what muscle tone I had. I also began suffering from a number of unexplained and apparently unrelated health issues. My doctors diagnosed me with polycystic ovarian syndrome and IBS and prescribed a couple of not-fun-sounding medications to treat the symptoms. I didn’t want to go that route and I was tired of feeling shitty all the time, so I took some lessons from my younger brother (who has Crohn’s and has been paleo for almost two years) and went from being a vegetarian to following a pescetarian paleo diet (currently supplemented with grass-fed jerky). I’ve been fairly strictly paleo for six weeks now, with some dabbling in the month before the NF challenge, and my symptoms are basically gone. At the same time, I started attending a Crossfit gym in my town and pretty much immediately fell in love with the simultaneously competitive and supportive atmosphere in the box. Plus, I had added some blog called Nerd Fitness to my Google Reader a while back and saw that the members of the related forum were just about to start a six-week challenge, and my reaction was, “I love challenges!†Current Goals (Fitness Related)? Most of these are fairly long-term, but they’re what I’m working toward: 10 dead-hang pull-ups (recently got a kipping pull-up and still working on dead-hang, which is going to take a while) 10 handstand push-ups without an Ab-Mat under my head (last I checked a month ago, I needed two Ab-Mats) 100 push-ups Muscle ups and ring dips (can’t do either) Deadlift: Short term 225 lbs., long term 315 lbs., someday 400 lbs (current 1RM: 210 lbs.) Squat: Short-ish term 175 lbs., longer term 200 lbs. (current 1RM: 150 lbs.) Bench press: 135 lbs. (1RM unknown; I’ve done 12 at 65 lbs.) Clean: 135 lbs. (current 1RM 85 lbs.) Jerk: 135 lbs. (current 1RM 85 lbs.) Overhead squat: 100 lbs. (1RM unknown — I’ve never tried more than 65 lbs.) Complete a Tough Mudder (hopefully November 2012) Run a half marathon Training Program? Right now, I’m basically just doing Crossfit four to five times a week. When I can’t make it to the box, I supplement with strength training, and I’d like to be able to do some of my own programming someday. I still struggle with having the motivation to get through Crossfit WODs on my own. What do you eat? Any particular diet and/or supplements? Pescetarian paleo. I eat a ton of eggs, sardines, smoked trout, crab and salmon, as well as veggies, almond butter, guacamole, green apples (I have a green apple addiction that I am working to conquer) and berries. I have a fairly monotonous diet that I try to spice up with fun new paleo recipes. I take Vitamin D and L. acidophilus (a proiotic) daily. Biggest fitness achievements? I recently got top performer on two consecutive WODs at my gym. I guess I’d also say that pretty much all of my current 1RMs feel like my biggest fitness achievements, since I started lifting so recently and I still get so excited every time I hit a PR. Example of an activity where you had to struggle to make it through? Any Injuries? Recently, Coach had us do something he innocuously named “Triple Helen,†which was 1200m run, 63 kettlebell swings, 36 pull-ups, 800m run, 42 KBS, 24 pull-ups, 400m run, 21 KBS and 12 pull-ups. My hands tore open after the fifth pull-up, every round was complete misery, and I honestly felt like giving up more than once. It took me over half an hour to complete the workout, and I was in a truly terrible mood when it was over, though I wasn’t even the last person to finish. Then Coach gave me a high five and reminded me, “You just did 72 pull-ups without a band,†something that would have been entirely unthinkable a month earlier. Sometimes we need those absolutely awful workouts, just so we can remember having done them and having gotten through them — “If I could do Triple Helen, I can definitely do this.†Regarding the second question, my immediate thought was that I’ve had no recent injuries, but I have to amend that: Besides calluses, torn-open palms, lacerations from double unders, scars from failed box jumps, scraped shins from deadlifts and two weeks spent avoiding using my shoulders after a particularly bad Fight Gone Bad, I’ve had no recent injuries. During my skating days, I was once dropped on my collarbone, causing me to dislocate and fracture it at the sternoclavicular joint. I was off the ice for six months and spent the better part of the next year getting back in fighting (skating) shape. I’ve also fractured the growth plate in my knee, sprained some ankles, had a stress fracture and tendonitis in my right hip and bruised my tailbone a number of times. How do you motivate yourself? I say some really insane things to myself to get myself through workouts. During the final round of running in a recent WOD, I was trying to speed up and I told myself, “It’s ok, you don’t need your lungs after this.†Not generally a great attitude, but it got me going faster! More generally, I’ve found a workout regimen that I am excited about every single day. I wake up hoping Coach has already posted the WOD, I watch Crossfit YouTube videos during my downtime at work, I read Crossfit Journal articles about exercises I can only dream of completing, and I practically run off the train each night to get home and get dressed for the gym. I truly believe that finding a form of exercise to be passionate about is more valuable than any magazine article detailing “7 Ways to Get Motivated to Work Out†or even any of the truly awesome blog posts Steve writes on Nerd Fitness. What advice did you receive which completely changed your outlook? There isn’t one piece of advice that really stands out, but rather a gradual accumulation of information. I didn’t have an “Ah-ha!†moment, but a series of “Hmm…†moments. If I had to pick one thing that really changed things for me, it was the first time in Robb Wolf’s book when he basically said he didn’t care whether or not we believed the science; he just wanted us to try paleo for a month and see if we didn’t feel better. I figured that I could spare a month of grain-/sugar-/legume-free living if there was a chance it would make me healthier. I’ve always been a person who likes to know thoroughly what I’m getting myself into, and this “Screw it, just try it†attitude was a departure for me — that has had a fantastic outcome for my health. Favourite Books/website/tv show/dvd etc? I don’t think I could possibly pick a favorite book. Reading is my absolute nerdiest pursuit. Here are some favorites: Anything by Haruki Murakami (especially The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore), A Tale of Two Cities, The Blind Assassin, Pride & Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, all the Harry Potter books (obsessed), The Remains of the Day, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Middlesex, The Sun Also Rises, Stranger in a Strange Land, all of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, My Antonia, Old Goriot, If on a winter’s night a traveler, The Satanic Verses … I’m just going to cut myself off because I don’t ever want to stop. And I’m always looking for book recommendations! Plays: Hamlet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, W;t, The History Boys, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? TV: 30 Rock, Glee (don’t judge), House, Family Guy, Drawn Together Anything else? I just want to give a huge thank you to all the rebels who have been so insanely supportive throughout these past six weeks. This challenge has seriously changed my life for the better, and the members of the forum have been motivating, informative and inspiring. Reading your threads makes me want to be more committed to my goals, give more effort in the gym and adhere more closely to my diet. And also a big thanks to anyone who read through this whole novel I just wrote to get to this sentence. Sidenote from Dantes: Thanks once again for taking the time to do this Crooked, it is extremely appreciated. If anyone has any questions they'd like to ask Crooked leave a post here and I'm sure she won't mind answering a few of them. If anyone has anyone they really want to know a bit more about, send me a PM and I'll go about setting it all up.
  2. Hi Vintage, Isolation exercises are not a complete waste, however they should not be the basis of your regime. Stick to the Big Compounds as the initial exercise in your workout and then work the isolation exercises afterwards. A lot of people have had a lot of success with bodypart splits but often those plans still include the big compounds they just follow them up afterwards with more isolation exercises. Hope this helps.
  3. Hi Second_Aura Welcome to NF, good to see some more people who don't completely hate the Monarchy. I've posted a reply to your thread in the "muscle building forums" which should be a bit of a primer. In terms of eating. I do want to point out here that Paleo is NOT for everyone. Paleo tends to be quite an expensive option and it requires support from others if you are doing communal cooking. As she has stated she is a student then it is quite likely that she is A) financially limited in terms of food choices, limited in terms of communal cooking and C) It requires extensive preparation of meals Thus, Paleo whilst great in theory is very difficult to implement (Yes I have tried, these were the key issues) If you love Paleo, great but please take into account that Paleo does have it's negative points in today's society especially if you're working and studying simultaneously on a budget whilst sharing a food bill with others to mitigate costs.
  4. Hi, and welcome to the boards. Hope you don't mind but I'm just going to summarise your information. 1. Want to begin strength training 2. Currently running and beginning yoga 3. Doesn't want to get "fat" In terms of help or tips I like to follow KISS or Keep It Simple Stupid. To begin with we can go over a few basics before going into more indepth information. (I'll work in list format for easy reference) 1. The BMI is not a good representation of a specific individual, it is used for statistical purposes when comparing large populations. 2. You cannot actually "spot tone" i.e. reduce fat in any specific area of the body. 3. If you tend to get "fat" in one particular area this simply be put down to genetic make up of your body. As a female, you will store more fat due to hormonal balancing reasons and other aspects. My advice here is to not disregard it as it is important to you and that would be bad advice but to realise that any aesthetic changes will be more general in nature than a particular area. 4. The number one determining factor is consistency. Changing the way your body looks takes time, we all have slip ups. It is a marathon not a sprint. 5. In terms of eating, I would simply suggest balancing both your activity needs and your aesthetic goals. By this I mean, if you're feeling tired and sluggish. Try to eat a bit more, or stagger your workouts to be during periods where you are the most energetic. This isn't a recommendation to splurge, but it may help. 6. Lifting inanimate chunks of iron off the ground will NOT make you bulky. Okay in terms of more specific advice. 1. Exercises: SIMPLICITY HERE. This will depend upon whether you have access to equipment and how afraid you are of weights and gyms etc in general. Here I suggest picking an exercise for each major muscle group. Personal Favourites SquatsDeadliftRowsOverhead PressesDips (Chair or Bar)PushupsPullups (assistance)This is just a beginning list, there are many more exercises out there but simplicity is key.2. Rep Ranges. Women tend to be able to handle slightly larger rep ranges than men. They also tend to have a better tolerance for pain. For some decent gains in both strength and muscle (once again it won't make you bulky) I'd recommend a medium to high rep range e.g. greater than 6 but less than 15. 3. Running and Strength Training. Once again, this is a personal thing depending upon your recovery. I'd recommend finding a nice balance. For example, if you like running then run more. If you like strength training then do more of that. There is no perfect balance but whatever works for you. I will however recommend at least 2 days of strength training a week (Personally, I have done between 2 and 12 sessions in a week before, it just depends upon how the body is feeling) 4. Yoga: Do it, Flexibility is awesome. It has carries over to everything. 5. Diet: Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Paleo is not the be all to end all. Plenty of people like doing it, and get good results doing it. However, it may not currently be an option for you due to funds and or eating arrangements. There are ways to work around this. Aim for good amounts of protein. Try to limit where feasible the cheapest forms of carbohydrate. Being a student myself I know how hard it is to not eat rice/pasta/bread when you're living off $35/week in food. Personally, I've found Intermittent Fasting to work extremely well for me as it gives me the flexibility to eat things which other "dietary methods" do not "allow" Other Options: 1. Crossfit Pros: Great for overall fitness, conditioning, strength, fatloss and a great place to meet people. Cons: Expensive, set class times 2. Bodyweight Training Pros: Cheap, easy to do, just need to actually start them Cons: Require a lot more dedication and it is more difficult progressing with them due to the larger steps between various methods. What I've tried to do here is give you a brief primer on some of the options available with the limited information you gave. If desired, simply ask questions and I'll do my best to answer them
  5. Ummm Whey Protein is NOT the be all to end all... It's just marketed like crazy as it's easy as shit to make. To Build Muscle. 1. Consistency 2. Food 3. Progressive Overload of Heavy Weight.
  6. The list of exercises is good. The one thing about BW exercises is that the progressive overload requirements of a workout program are much harder to satisfy. Increasing resistance is usually done via decreasing leverage. Thus, it'll work and the principles are sound. Just know that when you adapt you will need to change how you work out.
  7. Oi Spezzy, go go post your numbers on the strength leaderboards.
  8. Sorry for the misinformation but carb counting and IF tend to fall into different categories. Personally. I prefer IF as it is very flexible on a budget. I do have experience with both though if you have any questions
  9. Okay Gathris. This is an extremely complicated subject, However, I shall try to answer you i simple terms, #1 Strength training feels like you are pushing yourself to become stronger. It is hard to describe it in stronger terms without entering more exacting terminology. #2 Failure feels like nothing more than committing to a rep and not being able to complete it. Imagine wanting nothing else but to complete something but falling short. There are several different forms: * Being unable to complete a set due to exhaustion * Being unable to complete a rep due to a high weight BOTH have their own purpose. They are both useful tools in accomplishing goals. Use them both but exhibit proper care Left in the tank: This is an interesting topic. Personally: I believe that you should always leave something left in the tank. I believe that the number one factor in progress is consistency. You must continuously improve yourself if you want to improve, Does this make sense? You always want to be improving. Feeling the day after: Okay this is subject to great debate, DOMS is a very personal feeling. I don't really feel it much anymore (except when I'm feeling ill etc). As such, I don't really worry about it. From my experience. DOMS tends to decrease with time. DOMS is primarily due to unfamiliarity with a specific muscle group. This is personal experience. If evidence exists otherwise please link me to source material.
  10. Galthris Awesome to have you aboard. You're awesome Couple tips: #1 Just Start #2 Keep Going Seriously, be the nike ad, it sounds stupid but it works. Anyway, back to my drunken wandering., Regarding Diet: #1 Carb Counting #2 Palepo #3 IF #4 Calorie Counting I know a bit about all of them and I'm always willing to help. May I ask what course work refers to?
  11. As the member of the "dirtiest south" here (New Zealand) I say, STOP STEALING MY THUNDER. Anyway, Welcome to the rebellion. Do you have any more specifics about what you are trying to achieve?
  12. Oh, I have no problem with calling a spade a spade. I just find it interesting when different cultures think that something is rude even when the other person does not. / In the interests of further disrupting the thread, is it just the rudeness that is an issue?
  13. Come to New Zealand then We're fairly relaxed here. However, Good manners should be encouraged! That could mainly be due to culture differences correct. A stereotype could simply be applied simply due to a larger proportion of Germans visiting Switzerland due to geographical proximity. On a side note. I was waiting for an extremely convoluted answer going back centuries to when some Duke accidentally spoke unpleasantly to a poor austrian farmgirl who happened to have swiss parents.
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