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Everything posted by TMedina

  1. For me, it's in the set-up. I have to wedge the bar into the grove between shoulder and hand, then roll my hands over - the bar rotates in place and you get a stable platform with the bar firmly wedged in place and your palms on top. This is the video (some bad language) that goes into detail as to why you don't want to keep your palms under the bar:
  2. It took me a while to come up with a good comparison, but have you ever tried a plank? And after a couple of seconds, it hurts - sometimes a lot? And all you're doing is keeping muscles that don't normally stay engaged, engaged. Being on your feet all day is having a similar effect. Our legs are designed to be used, and actively used, but not necessarily for extended periods of engagement. So it isn't surprising that after spending 8, 9, 10 hours literally on your feet in a fairly static, but engaged, manner, that your, well everything, from hips down are tight and sore and as a result, inflexible.
  3. The first step is being mindful - of yourself, of the situation, and your goals. From the sound of it, so far, so good.
  4. 9.5 days out of 10 - not bad for a two week mini-challenge.

  5. The conventional military sit-up measures more of your hip flexor strength than anything else. An intense bout of heavy weight squatting would undoubtedly impact your hip flexors and five hours isn't enough recovery time to perform optimally - in my opinion. Flutter kicks are a tried and true favorite for hip flexors. "Knees to chest" - on your back, bring your knees to chest, extend legs, keep heels off floor, repeat. And leg raises - on your back, heels off the ground, legs extended, raise legs until perpendicular to floor, lower, repeat. For explosive power in your hip flexors? You can do Knees to chest and leg raises for speed - flutter kicks, not so much. Good luck!
  6. Seriously, what Tank said. No self-abuse. Unless you count PT. In which case, that's ok.
  7. Urgan and I disagree a bit on the auxiliary work. Speaking purely for myself, I found I needed a lot of supplemental work before I could manage a BB squat (which reminds me, I'm overdue to post a form check). 1. Shoulder dislocations (it's a stretch, I swear!) to limber up my shoulders, including my trick left. 2. At the gym, I use seated cable rows for volume, rather than weight, to "pump up" the shelf the BB sits on. It sounds weird, but I swear it's helped me. 3. For lower body work, I did bodyweight caveman squats for volume to build the flexibility and base strength - basically what you're doing with goblet squats. 4. I have a trick right hip, so I also do a lot of yoga hip opening stretches. At this point, I could probably stop the cable rows, but I do them on my off-days, since I don't have much of a "pull" motion. I jumped right into BB squats like an idiot, and couldn't get the bar to sit securely, and trying to wrap my hands around the bar was pure agony for my shoulder. I refused to accept the idea that my legs could be too weak, or too rigid, and one night I collapsed - my thigh was taut and damn near quivering, particularly the outer muscle from hip to knee. That's what prompted me to go back and look at the basics again, including training up to the barbell.
  8. Weight loss varies by individual. Everyone responds a little differently to permutations of diet and exercise. 1. Discard the idea of "pounds lost" - I'll spare you the basic rant, but you can look up pictures of "a pound of muscle versus a pound of fat". Losing even ten pounds of fat can be, no pun intended, huge. Scale numbers only show total weight - it doesn't reflect percentages of muscle versus fat versus fluid and so forth. If you look, you can find pictures of women who are tiny/slender, but have what seem to be surprisingly high scale numbers - because muscle is more compact. 2. Cardio versus weight training is a long, heavily contested debate. Both have their place, and both impact calorie burn. If you already do a lot of cardio, try mixing it up and include weight training - body weight training, in this case. Although keep in mind my point above - if you start building muscle, your scale numbers will stay the same or go up; however your clothes will start to fit differently. Good luck!
  9. 1. Yes. You could go a little deeper, but right now your thighs hit parallel - opinions differ, but most agree that's a minimum standard. 2. Knees look fine - they track smoothly and extend without wobbling or straining. 3. A little noticeable, but not bad. Your last rep, from the side, was the best with sinking your hip below parallel and no wink that I could see. 4. Like Urgan, I prefer one breath per rep - once you start lifting heavier, you'll notice a definite feeling of weakness in holding your breath for multiple reps. But for now? Fine. And be as loud as you like - the important thing is to keep breathing. 5. Yes. You started by bending your knees to take the weight without straining your back. 6. In my opinion, yes. You will need/want to start on auxiliary work before jumping straight into 5 x 5 - particularly with the back concerns. In the meantime, exercises like dumb bell rows are great for beginning to develop your back muscles - especially if you have lighter dumb bells to work with. 7. You really do have great form - heels are flat, you sink into the squat, upper body stays good and right. Overall, great! A barbell is 45 pounds, so that's what you want to be comfortable with in your goblet squat.
  10. Welcome! There are two basic ways to improve on your pushups: 1) Work with lighter weights to build the relevant muscles: triceps, pectorals, back muscles. 2) Start small, with strict form pushups. As you begin to complete more, add more. Practice every night. Danica, at last report, hit her mark of 100 strict form pushups. You might find her story motivating - I certainly do. A good general tip: pay attention to form. Particularly, don't keep your elbows perpendicular to your body. I saw that a lot in the Army - it isolates your shoulders and causes more strain. Elbows should be no more than 45 degrees from your sides - that keeps your upper body working together, instead of in isolation.
  11. Short answer: nah. Kettle bells distribute the weight differently than dumb bells, and that's about it. I honestly can't think of a single lift that would benefit from a dumb bell over a kettle bell, or even specifically require a dumb bell to be effective. There are certain DB exercises that might be problematic with a KB, but you can modify the exercises, or choose different ones for the body part.
  12. It looks really good! Your thighs hit parallel to the ground - the whole parallel, below parallel, or ATG is a matter of personal choice; there are firm believers on all sides. Nice, smooth action with your knees. Your hands are wrapped under the bar, but that won't become an issue until you move into heavier weights.
  13. A couple of thoughts: 1. You might try a tennis ball or a foam roller for applying pressure to your hamstrings. Both are fairly cheap means of self-massage in problem areas. 2. You mentioned you do flexibility training every day - have you tried using a sauna suit? Or at least the leggings - it can help you warm up your body very quickly, including muscles and joints. As an aggressive form of flexibility training, or at least training aid, it might help you work past your current plateau.
  14. This is an old thread, but I wanted to throw in my two bits - I finally took the plunge and bought a cheap, entry-level slow cooker from Target. $12, on sale for $9. I'm just scratching the surface, but I love this thing. Before I go to bed, I put in three chicken tenderloin cuts - roughly the size of a chicken breast. Three table spoons of water, some five spice, some butter, a table spoon of lemon juice and let it cook. I wake up at 04:30, turn it off, go to the gym, come back and I have warm, cooked chicken that is soft, tasty, and easily shredded. I experimented with some "stew beef", water, soy sauce, butter, and five spice - also delicious! I'm debating buying a larger/better model just so I can prepare chicken in bulk. I had two bags of chicken sitting in my freezer because I didn't want to pan fry anymore - I've gone through both bags in a week and some change.
  15. The video loads fine at home. And I think it looks good, overall. Can you wrap your hands around the bar? Get your palms out from under the bar let them rest on top, or behind the bar. You might try bringing your elbows back and up a little bit, if you can.
  16. Yep, same error. If I'm the only one getting it, I blame work. I'll check it out when I get home.
  17. I'm probably just the odd duck out - my work blocks weird things sometimes.
  18. I tried, but it was throwing an error for me - since I'm at work, I thought it might have been work filters, but I can access Google Docs just fine normally.
  19. You might also find it beneficial to forgo the bar for a while and work on your squat form. It was a humbling choice to make for me, but I stopped trying to do a BB squat before I was ready. Instead, I focused on developing the foundation - hip opening stretches, body weight "caveman" squats for volume to develop my lower body strength and flexibility. You can also try alternative squat forms while working on building up to the BB squat, like sumo squats with dumb bells: put a dumb bell on the floor, put the balls of your feet on either side of the dumb bell at roughly 45 degree angles. Squat down and grab either end of the dumb bell in your hands. Keeping your arms as neutral as you can, stand up.
  20. What pull-up program are you using now?
  21. It's also an old military trick for making tape - smearing yourself in Preparation H and wrapping yourself in Saran wrap. Basically it makes you sweat and pulls water out of your body. So no, it doesn't remove cellulite, but it does make you, albeit temporarily, slimmer.
  22. Day 4 of the 04:30 wake-up. So far, no bail needed.

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