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Everything posted by Waldo

  1. After a few days of feeling fat, today I was definitely feeling the progress. Finally. I said it way back when I started the first diet break of 2022, when I hit 34" in the waist, that I was entering the worst part. You're so close, and it stays that way for a while, as barely anything seems to change 34"-32", which usually takes a few months no matter how you cut. Scale came in a 206.0 yesterday; it seems to be stabilizing in the 206's, why I have no idea. I got a new pair of running shoes, went back to my first "real" pair of running shoes, Saucony Kinvara. I can run with whatever for shoes (no need for fancy running shoes whatsoever, mostly a toe striker), but these I see as sort of the cadillac for my style. Tonight will be the first time using them, long run on tap (~4 mi). Workout Log - 5.6.22 Seated DB OHP 40 x 10 50 x 8- 60 x 6+, 1+F 50 x 5+, 8+ I burned myself out trying to get the DB's to my shoulders that 2nd set in combo with the calorie deficit really hitting hard, just not much peak output capacity. Did the set of 5 at 50 right after the pullups I superset with OHP. Here I was hoping to do 2 sets of 6 reps at 60, its not my first time hitting 6, but it is the first time on the first set. Pullup BW - 5, 15 +25 - 6+, 6+ BW - 13 Burnout really didn't affect pullups though. L-Sit - 15, 15, 15 sec Dip BW - 5 +50 - 8+ Chinup +25 - 8+ I only had 1 set of weighted dips and chins in me, I was crashing pretty hard by the end, not sure how I hit those rep #'s.
  2. I'm happy that I dug up my old information. All around feeling fat lately (despite being 32.5" on the tape this AM). Partly because I'm expecting the gut to disappear even when I'm sitting, and that has a ways to go. I keep thinking another inch from where I'm at, just 4 pounds, no way that's enough. We'll see. I've never really been all that lean; at all of my low points there was never a particularly good reason to keep going, I don't think I've ever actually been under 10% BF. Under 12%, yes. So I am being a bit unrealistic with my expectations. Looking back, my 2014 low point, now that I remember it, was actually rather corrosive. It was a little after I moved. I was still trying to work out how to work out well, low ceilings in the basement was really limiting what I could do. I started cutting at the end of the summer, something quick and easy, and while I was out running I remember thinking that maybe it was time to cool it with the bodybuilding, just live at maintenance for a while and work out. And that maybe it was time to switch my focus more to running and cardio. That was where the seeds of destruction were planted. My spreadsheet petered out after that and I stopped counting cals every day. In a lot of ways 2022 has been an heir to that moment in 2014 though; moving was a strict downgrade to my workout situation, I had to give up on so much that I worked so hard on (one arm handstands, handstand pushups, chest to bar pullups (+muscle ups), back lever) because I didn't have a place to do them anymore. The work gym, once I got access in 2016, was great, but it always had the limitation of being at work, so not on the weekends. And my time was limited. And it became easy to skip. The first iteration of the home gym got closer, but I still was missing bits; crazy as it sounds my basic power rack was more limiting than my old office with just a wall, a doorway pullup bar (w/10' ceilings), rings to hang from the pullup bar, a mat, a couple DB's, and a ridiculously heavy bookshelf. The upgraded home gym of 2022 finally makes my current situation better than what I had before I moved in 2014. It was a bit of a thunderclap moment when I realized that I could replace handstands/handstand pushups with DB's. That's the last missing piece of the puzzle. Barbell OHP was always a poor substitute, my shoulders don't like the straight bar, and at home I had to do them kneeing. And nothing a barbell does substitutes for one arm handstands ('cept holding a deadlift at the top, but that's down not up). In the work gym I did a lot of machine OHP (due to hammer grip) and did some handstands. For the most part the reason it hadn't dawned on me was that I concluded long ago that cost was too big a factor with DB's and just blocked them out of my mind. Though I still have some more big ticket DB's in the not too distant future, my 60's are starting to not be so hard anymore, which means a pair of 70's is up next. And they aren't cheap, at all, not even close. Honestly though I'd rather have a wall with 10' ceilings in the gym than the fanciest DB set, one arm wall handstands and handstand pushups and frickin awesome exercises, but the DB's work, I can at least press overhead. The other capabilities I added earlier this year was the ability to deadlift for real (bumpers and flooring), the ability to do loaded dips and pullups (dip belt), and rings. So now definitely my situation is better than when I moved. Workout Log - 5.5.22 Heavy Bag - 10 min 5 min without gloves, mostly kicking, 5 min with gloves, mostly punching Pistol Squat BW x 5/5 +30 x 5-/5- +40 x 4+/4- Tried to do rep #5 on the left but it wasn't coming out of the hole. Front Squat 135 x 5 185 x 5- 205 x 4+, 3+ Legs definitely petered out there at the end.
  3. This morning I did something I haven't done in a reeeeaaallly long time; broke out the old spreadsheet and tape and took full set of measurements. I used to do full measurements weekly or biweekly for years, but I stopped that around when I moved in 2014. I picked it back up for a bit in 2016, then haven't done it since. But I did it for a long time, this was the 168th row in the spreadsheet. Some observations: I'm actually shocked at how the same everything is. I really had no idea what to expect, I've been working out much of the time since 2016, but not very hard until recently. I'm actually closer in most measurements to where I was in 2014 when I moved than 2016 when I was lifting in the gym at work. (I did not exercise a lot in 2015 or 2018) My arms and legs exploded in size when I started lifting in the work gym in 2016. Its possible this has been happening, thus why the scale isn't moving, but that I started further behind where I was in 2016. Right bicep is 15.5". It was 15.8" when I moved, and 16.4" in 2016. More forearms and calves are basically the exact same size they were in 2014, within 1/8" for each measurement! From 2012-2014 I gained a bunch of muscle mass; about 25 lbs total. Those gains have persisted (or I've gotten back to that point despite a deficit). I was starting from a very low point though in 2012, I'm not some gigantic bodybuider. The gains I made in 2016 are gone though.' I feel like I hold more fat in my upper thighs, love handles, and chest/upper back than I used to and I think measurements bear it out. Signs of getting older. I have very, very good waist data from 2014 and 2016 I didn't realize I had ( have good data from 2017 in MFP). My 2017 low point was 31.3" My 2016 low point was 31.8" My 2014 low point was 31.3" My 2013 low point is estimated to be 31.6" ( I measured a bit different). Two muscle groups definitely bigger now than in 2014 are glutes and chest. Benching is the exercise I've skipped the least, I had never deadlifted in 2014. Two muscle groups that seem to have lost the most are quads and shoulders. I'd been skipping leg day for a while by last year and shoulder workout were poor in the early years of my home gym. Muscle size and strength are extremely well correlated. I'm still not back to most of my previous peaks, but I'm close (except in the legs), and that's what size shows. I definitely need to keep up single limb work. Pretty big size difference R-L. The lost years of 2018-2021 were not workout free (well 2018 mostly was); I followed a minimal plan and I was able to mostly maintain muscle mass. But simply having consistency wasn't enough; consistency without effort doesn't amount to much.
  4. Have you tried weighting pistols at all? Holding a small weight, 5-10-15 lb out away from you actually makes them a little easier.
  5. Tape ticked down another notch today, to 32.6". Starting to definitely feel a bit more hungry. Compliance is still holding strong. At this pace I'll be done by the end of next week and into a break. After that I'm thinking instead of goal based cutting doing it process based; 2 weeks cutting and 1 week break no matter instead of trying to hit specific tape targets. Realistically though that doesn't change much, that's probably how it would play out with goal based targets. Scale was 206.6 yesterday. Hopefully it'll make sense again one day. Workout Log - 5.3.22 Bench Press 135 x 10 185 x 5 205 x 3- 225 x 3+ 205 x 5+, 3F Calorie deficit shows its face. I completely ran out of gas as this workout went on, couldn't get rep #4 up of that last set. Ring Front Lever Tuck Hold - 15 sec Open Tuck - 15 sec One Leg - 3 reps (+negative) Row - 8+, 7+, 6+ I definitely got those one leg reps to horizontal, could have held straighter pulling back up, but they count. DB Hammer Curl - 35 x 10 DB Fly - 35 x 8 DB Extension - 50 x 12 I only had time for 1 circuit, and my muscles were done anyways.
  6. I did lose some on the scale yesterday, but not as much as I expected, 207.0. I'm about due for a low point any day now. I've been quite strict with counting, what I end up doing is not counting exercise cals most days, only using a portion of them though. Right now for today I'm 242 cals over my 2K goal for the day, already counting the rest of the night, but I haven't counted any workout cals, and that includes walking the dog and an hour of lifting, ~500 cals quick swag for the two, so I'm actually well under. My whole diet (long spanning, going back to when I got vaccinated last March and started losing the pandemic belly) I have not really been strict at all, only counting some days, and not really maintaining steep deficits, usually more like 500-750 cal/day. With the end in sight though, my motivation is through the roof to resist the call of the cupboards. Workout Log - 5.2.22 Stretching/Martial Arts - 10 min I did some kicking and some stretching, like form work. Didn't put up the bag, my forearms have been sore so I gave it a rest. Fingertip Pushup - 5, 5 Pistol Squat - 5/5, 12+/12- I'm surprisingly good at grinding those last couple reps out. Somehow balance seems to hold up well in those Deadlift 155 x 3 245 x 3 315 x 3- 335 x 3- 355 x 3+ Belted for the >300 sets. 355 definitely felt easier than it did 2 weeks ago. Romanian Deadlift 175 x 10+
  7. Yes, I grew up in Pewaukee, my wife in Marshfield. NFL football is the only sport I have any interest in except stuff like Ninja Warrior. Extra irritable yes and no. Depends, lately no. The reason stems from the breaks I've been doing. Good solid diet breaks, where you are sure to at least eat maintenance every day, reset everything. This last one was only a week, but yet starting back into the deficit felt like a completely new cut, that the history before was wiped away. The first two weeks of a diet are sort of a diet honeymoon, your body hasn't really figured it out. I'm also very mindful to at least eat at all times I would usually eat, cutting calories means cutting portions and snack volume. But after I've been at it a while, yeah I get a bit hangry. By next week I'll be getting there.
  8. Week 1 of this cut is in the books. Weight has been going up, 208.2 last night, lol. I've been tracking well and maintaining large daily deficits of 750-1200 cal. Waist was 32.75" this AM, so I'm down 3/8" in a week, or 1.5 lbs fat. If I can maintain this pace 2 more weeks I should be at 32" and the next break. Though I do expect a pretty good whoosh here at some point. You can only lose fat for so long without setting a new low weight, which I haven't done in a really long time. I've been peeing all day it seems so it wouldn't surprise me if it has started. I haven't really given much thought to what sort of plan I'm going to follow under 32". I know that I'm going to continue cutting. My assumption has been that I'd be close enough that I wouldn't need any further planning. I suppose its an I feel too fat thing; that maybe my target is under 31" and I will need more breaks or refeeds. I should trust some of the mental signposts I left for myself, especially that 32" is where the last bits of spare tire are gone. But maybe its a good idea to plan now to take a break at 31.5 or 31.25. Saturday night I ran 3.25 miles in 40:15. This route is quite hilly, with 900 ft of elevation gain total. Max HR was 159, avg was 141.
  9. One thing I've gotten really great at over the years is keeping the drinking calories in check, especially when cutting. I've been watching the NFL draft the last few days, which used to be a one of those events I'd put down quite a few beers while watching. This year I didn't have a single one. Were I not cutting I probably would have, but I'd rather not spend the calories on it and mess up my workouts. It seems the older I get the less I want to drink (esp as herb becomes more and more readily available). We always spend a week at Christmas renting a beach house with my wife's extended family, these last few years joking that we drink more there than the rest of the year combined is not terribly far off. Go Pack! Awesome draft this year. I'm finishing out the week strong and this cut. Waist was 32.9" this am, so the tape is now moving nicely. Every day this week I had more than a 750 cal deficit, most days were over 1K. I have really good motivation to keep going, I'm on the cusp and close to my final goal. I'm about to go out running here in a few, adding distance to my Saturday run. Not entirely sure how long the route I'm going to run is, we'll see. Workout Log - 4.28.22 Stretching - 5 min The draft was highly distracting to this workout in general, I didn't do any punching bag work Pistol Squat BW - 5/5 +30 - 5-/5- +40 - 4+/4+ Front Squat 135 x 5 185 x 5- 205 x 4+ Belt for 185 and 205 sets. Should have done more 205 sets, but I was draft distracted. Workout Log - 4.29.22 I did a much better job on Friday of focusing on my workout (enough) during the draft, I also gave myself extra time. Dumbbell Overhead Press 40 x 10 50 x 8 60 x 5+, 5+ 50 x 12+ The 2nd 60 set was a hair easier than the 1st. Pullup BW - 5, 13 +25 - 5+, 6+ BW - 13 L-Sit - 15, 15, 15 I decided to start doing these palm up for a while. I'm not sure doing them flat palm is especially beneficial other than to say you can. Dip BW - 5 +50 - 8+, 8+ Chinup +25 - 8+, 8+ Its almost add weight time. Nice progress here, they felt strong really for the first time since trying them recently.
  10. Yes, diet breaks are wonderful. Just 1 week off makes a huge difference. Its almost impossible to gain any meaningful amount of fat in a week unless you are specifically trying to. The mental and physical side effects of the break reinforce each other as well. I just finished one at the end of last week. The first couple weeks back cutting after a diet break are so easy.
  11. Rocking and rolling on the diet. Deficit has been >1K all days but Tue, where it was around 750. Today will be over 1K as well. I've lost the extra 1/8th on the tape, back to 33", where I started the diet break last week, hoping to see under 33 tomorrow. Scale dropped like a rock, to under 205, close to where I was when I started the long break at 34". Here's my weight and waist progress for the last 6 mo in MFP. Weight and waist started to completely decouple early in the first diet break I took, and things haven't recovered. The scale is just doing its thing. If you consider I started out mostly in the 212's, and just recently was in the high 208's and over 210 not too long ago, if only watching the scale this diet would be a total and complete fail. But at the same time 3.5" is a lot. Its quite noticeable. Should be about 14 lbs of body fat. Even crazier, the lowest weight is 203.2 on Feb 7, when my waist was 34.5". I'm definitely heavier now and my waist is 1.5" smaller, so I gained enough lean mass to offset over 6 lbs of fat loss. Eventually the lines should be in sync again. Last night I ran with my HRM on again. Looking at it, I realize I work much harder when running than I do when spinning. My last spinning workout I had a 158 bpm peak and 139 bpm avg over 28 min. Last night running I had a 178 bpm peak and 156 bpm avg over 34 min. Workout Log - 4.26.22 Bench Press 135 x 10 185 x 5 205 x 3- 225 x 3+ 205 x 6*, 5+ 225 was definitely easier this week, and I used the extra juice to hit #6 at 205. Ring Front Lever Tuck Hold - 15 sec Open Tuck Hold - 15 sec One Leg - 3 x (3/4) reps + negative Tuck Row - 8+, 7+, 6+ The one leg reps were definitely better than last week. Stopping a full 1 leg rep and holding for a second might actually be in the not too distant future. DB Hammer Curl - 35 x 10, 9 DB Chest Fly - 35 x 8, 8 DB Extension - 50 x 12, 13
  12. Yeah. It seems year 1 vs year 2 went a lot different for everyone else as well. The groundhog day aspect of the pandemic for me (a least eventually) has become very useful. Consistency is really important to progress. Working out every day at the same exact time just fits right in when every day is basically the same. But at the same time, doing a different workout each day gives some variety to look forward to. Starting out strong logging food this time around. Just 2 days in I'm already starting to feel the squishy fat coming. I had a huge deficit yesterday, under my target today but not by as much. Tape should start showing loss pretty soon. Workout Log - 4.25.22 Heavy Bag - 10 min 5 minutes of mostly kicking without gloves, 5 minutes of gloves on boxing with a kick here and there. Pistol Squat - 5/5, 11+/11- Fingertip Pushup - 5, 5 Deadlift 155 x 3 245 x 3 315 x 3- 335 x 3- 365 x 1+F Failure isn't the right term here, rep #2 wasn't going anywhere, I tried though. So I reached the end of add 10 lbs a week gains. I'll probably go back to 355 next week for a peak weight. Romanian Deadlift 155 x 12-
  13. One week diet break is done with, started back in on cutting. I checked the tape, 33.1", so I gained 1/8th last week. Hopefully that's quickly gone, I'm going to start out at least with some big deficits to get things rolling. I'm also going to try to do a good job about entering all my food into myfitnesspal every day. I built up a good bit of motivation this past week; I've been shopping for clothes, got a new swimsuit. I'm on the cusp of being rid of the last bits of muffin top, which should go by 32", around when I'm going to next take a break. After that not sure where I stop, somewhere between 31" and 31.5". I knew when I started the undulating plan that the 34"-33" segment was going to be the worst since its a very little changes zone. 33"-32" otoh should bring a pretty big changes toward the end. I still have to flex to see my abs, that shouldn't be the case anymore by 32". When I cut, I have MFP set to 2K/day net cals. I've just always left it there, its a nice round number. My maintenance level is around 2700, so if I really stick to the zero point on net cals I should lose 1.5 lb/wk. But I tend to always be under, often by a good bit, when I am rigorous about counting. Workout wise I'm starting to add more distance to my saturday runs. A long time ago I used to ruin 3mi for speed on Wednesdays then take my time with 5mi+ on Saturdays, I want to work back up to that. I did 3.5 miles this week. I need to work out a longer path for next week.
  14. Diet break is in full swing this week, recharging the batteries. Next week I'll be back at it to get down to 32". This is where the fun begins. I'm sure I'll want to keep going and won't be satisfied with 32", but at that point I'm real close. Hopefully I don't gain too much this week. The weather has been perfect for running and probably will be for a while, which goes well with the next round of cutting. It was great to go back to the office. I'd guess about 2/3-3/4 of my coworkers noticeably lost weight (in an office of 75 or so there that day). Noone gained weight. Some lost A LOT. It was a common conversation topic, and most had gained early in the pandemic (I was +20). I'm down 20 lbs since the last time I was in the office. I'm definitely not the only one that spent some bank on the gym either. Its just going to be 1 day a week, not enough to really shake up any of the habits I've formed in the pandemic. Workout Log - 4.18.22 Kicking n stretching - 5 min I started late so didn't put up the bag Pistol Squat - 5/5, 11+/11+ Fingertip Pushup - 5, 5 Deadlift 155 x 3 245 x 3 315 x 3- 335 x 3+ 355 x 3* The bar is getting real slow. Eventually I'm going to fail on a rep here. Still adding 10 next week. Belted over 300. Romanian Deadlift 155 x 12 Workout Log - 4.19.22 Bench Press 135 x 10 185 x 5 205 x 3- 225 x 3* 205 x 5+, 5+ Ohhh yeah. Back in 2017 I spent a while at 225x2 and could never get up rep #3. Nailed it this time. So now I'm the strongest I've been on the bench. I want to keep adding reps at 205 and 225 before I'm ready to add more to the bar. Ring Front Lever Tuck Hold - 15 sec Open Tuck Hold - 14 sec One Leg - 3 half reps Row - 8+, 7+, 6+ I'll keep working in some one leg half reps, I'm stopping them past halfway but a ways from a horizontal hold. DB Hammer Curls - 35 x 10, 9 DB Chest Fly - 35 x 7, 8 DB Overhead Extension - 50 x 12, 12 Got the curls into the double digits here. 35 felt like the right weight for flys.
  15. I've been pretty down on my progress this week but a check on the tape this am showed that I'm at 33.0". I've really had to work hard to resist the snack attacks lately, and I have been extra hungry at times, symptoms of low leptin. I should stick to the plan and take a break next week. I tried on my clothes today, trying to figure out what outfit to wear on the first day back to the office on Tuesday. I haven't worn any work clothes in 2 years. I went through to see what fits me back when I filled my punching bag, but I haven't taken the step yet to pick something out and see what still fits, since I've lost a few inches since then and clothes fit different. Part of me wants a new outfit, like first day of school, but at the same time, a lot of my work clothes were very new at the start of the pandemic. Years ago I started ditching the Polo shirts in favor of button down shirts, and had gone that way exclusively for several years, but I did save a couple and now I'm thinking about going back that way. Polo shirts are definitely more flattering for muscular guys than button down shirts if you can pull off a fitted look, and I can. With button down shirts I'm either popping buttons in the chest, my arms are too big, or have huge excess in the belly. At least during the warm short sleeve months. I had switched originally because the button down ones were more flattering, and I associated polos with what I wore when overweight. But flexible material allows for a much more form fitting shirt now I'm realizing. Workout Log 4.15.22 DB Overhead Press 40 x 8 50 x 8- 60 x 5+, 5+ 50 x 11+ Yeah, added reps at 60 and 50. Pullup BW - 8, 13 +25 - 5+, 5* BW - 9 I eeked out that 5th rep on the 2nd set, but I was done for and had nothing for that last BW set. Flat Palm L-Sit - 10, 12, 9 Superman Hold - 15, 15, 15 Dips BW x 5 +50 x 8+, 8+ Added reps to both sets here. 8 reps at +50 is a PR for me. Chinups +25 x 6+, 6+ I wanted that 7th rep but it wasn't to be, too fried from the max effort pullup. Hopefully next week.
  16. This week has been less than good on the snacking front. A check on the tape this AM showed no loss. I might just call this week my break and keep on cutting. I guess I'll see how this weekend goes. I feel ok so why not keep going. Next week I go back to the office for the first time since March '20. Just 1 day a week, but its going to be a shock, and hopefully a jolt energy to finish strong on the cut. In the gym I'm making a somewhat subtle switch to my strategy for main lifts. To this point I've mostly been following the work up to 5 reps, add 5 lbs, work up to 5 reps, etc... plan with some variations base on exercise. The beginner plan. I'm going to change to a more bodyweight type plan where there is more step granularity, seeking progress on each step simultaneously, and taking it where it comes. For example trying to add reps at 185, 205, and 225 on the bench, though less focus on the 185 when cutting. I call this a bodyweight type plan because often the top step is often something you can barely do with terrible form, so lower steps are trained simultaneous, I'm sure there are weight plans that work this way, with rep ranges from 1 to 12/15 or so. Workout Log - 4.12.22 Bench Press 135 x 10 185 x 5 205 x 3- 215 x 3* 225 x 2+ 205 x 4+ I messed up that 215 set and lost tension after unracking and things went south from there. Almost failed on rep #3. 225 went much better and actually felt lighter, but I fried myself enough on that last 215 rep that #3 at 225 wasn't happening. When I get that 3rd rep at 225 I'll drop the set at 215. Ring Front Lever Tuck Hold - 15 sec Tuck Row - 8+, 7+ Open Tuck Hold - 13, 11 sec One Leg Hold - 2 half reps + 1 full negative Still a ways from being able to stop a one leg hold at horizontal, but putting in a little time with ugly reps is going to help more than adding time to the open tuck hold pretty soon. Part of the issue is that I'm not sure my abs are strong enough yet for a one leg hold. DB Hammer Curls - 35 x 9, 9 DB Chest Fly - 30 x 11, 12 DB Overhead Ext - 50 x 12, 11 I should increase the weight for flies next week. Workout Log - 4.14.22 Heavy Bag - 10 minutes 5 minutes gloves off, 5 minutes gloves on. Gloves off is mostly kicking, gloves on is mostly punching. Pistol Squat BW - 5/5 +30 - 5+/5+, 5+/5+ Added a rep solid at +30, I'd been stuck at 4 for a while. The last reps on +30 set 2 had horrid balance both legs, that definitely gave out first. Front Squat 135 x 5 185 x 5- 205 x 3+ I should have done another set at 205, but ran short of time.
  17. I was light on the scale last night, 204.6, but having strong I feel fat vibes today. Snacking on cereal always makes me feel fat, and I did that. Been sitting all day too. Workout wise it has been an extremely long time since I skipped a planned workout, I'm in a good place there. I don't always post them every day, but I follow a schedule of: M - Legs (dead) T - Upper Horizontal W - Cardio Th - Legs (squat) F - Upper Vertical S - Cadio Su - Rest (ha, yardwork and cleaning) Last week it was under my outside temperature for running, so I did 10mi on the bike both cardio days. Takes me about 28 min to do. Wednesday was more of a sit down and zone out day, Saturday I did a lot of out of saddle climbs. Workout Log - 4.11.22 Heavy Bag - 10 min I did 5 min without gloves and 5 min with. Without I did a lot more kicking. Forearms are feeling good so the 5 min with gloves was an all out assault on the bag. Pistol Squat - 5/5, 11+/11- Added a rep to my recent best. Right leg had more in the tank. Oddly I think my overall balance is a bit better on my left side. Deadlift 155 x 5 245 x 3 315 x 3- 335 x 3+ 345 x 3+ Added 10 lbs over last week. I'm still going up pretty linearly on deadlifts, but its starting to get pretty hard, that was close to being a * rpe at 345. I didn't have time to do an RDL set afterwards, so I think its about time to drop the 155 set. Maybe do a rep or two when loading up the bar, but I'm not getting much out of 155 anymore as a warmup, a set of RDL's at the end would be a better use of time. Wore a belt for all the >300 sets.
  18. Tape around the waist was a strong 33.1" this morning, just a little bit more until a weeklong break. I'm certain I'll lose that last 1/8th (0.5 lb fat) this week, hopefully I'll lose a full lb. I'm looking forward to the next cut already, and the I've only been there are few times territory. 33.1 I've hit many times and spent fairly long periods under. When I hit my next break, at 32.0", then I'll be as lean as I've only been 2-3 times in the past, and only short lived after I made it each time. Scale has more or less decoupled completely from what's happening on the diet front, 206.8 last night; its just going up and down in waves without any real downward purpose. Tape and clothes fit definitely support fat loss. The mirror, eh. 32"-34" on me almost looks exactly the same in the belly. Small teeny muffin top and love handles, kinda skinnyfat, but hints of abs above and fairly defined elsewhere. I can totally rock a tank top, but if I focus on my belly, it seems like nothing is changing. Getting to the point though when its a squishy fat day (it goes in waves as I'm losing), its suuuupppper squishy. As far as the scale, I'm going with a I'm gaining LBM theory. I thought it would have happened sooner, but my legs didn't really get to that higher fatigue plateau until recently, getting back to a trained status. I've always thought of that as the trigger point needed for actual muscle gain (hence why noobs shouldn't bulk). Makes sense, I had been mostly skipping leg days for over a year, (not really much to speak of for a few years before), and that's were most muscle mass is. My boys had off of school last week for spring break, I made them lunch a few days. Its clear that come summer its going to be much harder to maintain a deficit with the kids home every day. On the major life goal front, after paying taxes and a couple other bills this month, geez things are going good on the financial front. Talk about a snowball effect. Each time I pay off a loan/credit card I've been putting most/all that payment toward paying off others. Every time I get a raise most of it goes into my paying loan fund, and I've gotten some pretty big raises. My paying off loans fund is at this point a huge fire hose and there isn't much left; a couple credit cards that'll be done by fall, and a car loan that'll be done next summer even without larger payments. And our mortgage, which we refinanced last year for fewer years and a smaller payment, super win. Whether I pay off the car early or not, I'm rapidly approaching the point where that fire hose is going in a savings account for lack of another place for it to go. Which is going to be a state I've only briefly been in twice, shortly after college and a bit before we bought our first house. This time is way different though as the fire hose is MUCH larger. As I was tallying things up it occurred to me that once the car is paid off I could realistically buy another house and rent it out. Hmmm. But I also want a new car, mine is old, and I really want an electric. My situation is basically perfect for an EV; I can afford it and would basically have zero need to ever charge away from home (we also have an SUV to use on road trips, my wife's primary car). But... my car (not the one I'm still paying for) is perfectly fine. Its old (11 years), but it looks nice (Kia Soul) and runs solid, and doesn't have a lot of miles (90k). I've always been frugal on the car front, paid this one off a long time ago. And really have barely driven the last 2 years, though that's about to change as I go back to the office in a couple weeks.
  19. I finished a project for my gym. Well I had it built but unfinished for a couple weeks, then painted it last week but that was a total bust, repainted it again today and it turned out good. Bumper plate corral: In its regular habitat: This was really not a high effort piece, made from 2x4 cutoffs. The front piece is angled front and back to make it easy to roll the plates in and out, its hard to see the back angle in the pic. I don't have a gigantic 45 router bit so I angled the fence on my jointer to cut the miters. I cut out the miter matching slot on the 3 sides to match on the bandsaw and final fit it with chisel and file. Its glued, but using screws through the bottom as a clamps. The back corners are a single big box joint, I guess that'd be considered a form of m&t. Again, cut it on the bandsaw. Function over form, but in this case they pretty much disappear, the paint covers the light joint lines. After glueing I rounded and softened corners with the sander, and brought out the rasp to play a bit. First try at the paint was a gloss navy blue. I left the flat surfaces barely sanded, and it showed horribly in the paint. 2nd try was a lighter blue with a satin finish that came out much better. Next I need to make a plate storage pegboard for the wall. I only need place for my 2.5, 5, 10 lb plates (currently on top of the yellow rack next to my bumpers), so it an be pretty small. I got 3 wall mounted plate holders that I'm going to mount to a piece of plywood thats cut and painted. My walls are super thin paneling so I need something stronger to mount them to. I haven't been in a hurry to get this project going though.
  20. After resigning myself to an extra week of cutting, next week, things have been going pretty good. Scale is still throwing up nonsense, 206.0 yesterday, no idea of what to make of it other than I saw good persistent lbm gains over the 3 week break. Waist was at 33.25" this am. I could probably push and get to 33' by Monday, but this cut has been pretty painless so an extra week won't hurt. Just looking at my waist I can't tell in the slightest, I probably have to be in the low 32's before it starts getting obvious there. I've been seeing the details in my leg muscles lately, that's where the loss has been noticeable. Running on tap tonight. Workout Log - 4.4.22 Heavy Bag - 10 min Kick Circuit - 5 Pistol Squat - 5/5, 10+/10- Deadlift 155 x 5 245 x 3 315 x 3- 335 x 3+, 3+ Instead of going up in weight, I added an extra set at 335. Belted for all sets over 300. Romanian Deadlift 155 x 10+ Its been a long time since I did these. If I have time I'm going to start doing a set or two at the end. Fingertip Pushup - 5, 5 These are done between deadlift sets. They feel pretty easy, but that's ok. Workout Log - 4.5.22 Bench 135 x 10 185 x 5 205 x 3- 215 x 3+ 225 x 2+, 2+ Woot, this matches the strongest I ever was in 2017 on the bench. I did 6 reps at 215 in 2020, but never tried 225. I was expecting to fail or barely eek up 1 rep, doing 2 without issue was not what I expected at all. It felt like 3 reps at 225 was a near term possibility. I had a side goal to put up 225 before the NFL draft, and I made it with a few weeks to spare. Ring Front Lever Tuck Hold - 15 sec Tuck Row - 8+, 7+ Open Tuck Hold - 11, 12, 8 Stalled out on this exercise lately. DB Hammer Curls - 35 x 9, 9 DB Chest Fly - 30 x 12, 11 DB Extension - 50 x 13, 12 Added a few reps vs last week here and there.
  21. Chocolate will always be my nemesis. I manage to keep things somewhat under control with kisses, which are relatively easy to keep count of and require effort, so its harder to just gorge through them. But my progress this cut has been disappointing, which likely owes much to chocolate overindulgence.
  22. When I think about what went wrong, and how I drifted off course with strength training, looking back the most corrosive thought was definitely the idea of minimal training. When I look back through my logs, there is a definite shift where I started ditching all accessories and variance and got down to a real basic plan that could be done quickly. Part a product of my environment, at the office, but I definitely bought into the minimal training concept that floats around. Keeping it off and staying in the saddle and maintaining that state has always been the central focus of my philosophy, and it seemed like keeping up the frequency, but easing back on volume and keeping the plan simple was super viable long term. In hindsight, it wasn't. The reset I did this year at the start of the year was really the first time I've broken free of training minimalism really since late 2016. It wasn't so much a problem at first, but there is very much a snowball effect, similar to but opposite of how weight gain typically occurs. Most people gaining weight don't gain in a linear manner, most of the time is maintenance. What happens is an imbalance of outliers; weddings and holidays aren't offset by days of very low intake, much of the gain is actually occurring in fairly small clusters, and it just snowballs. With minimal training, missed workouts here and there snowball over time into serious strength loss. What I mostly mean minimalism is the time allocation to strength training and work set count. Once past beginner gains at first I was at around 45 min per strength training workout, which rose to 60-90 min as I got more advanced. I did have 15-20-30 min templates I would use (such as the NF beginner bodyweight workout, but with harder moves), sometimes as extra workouts on off days, or if for whatever reason I needed to shorten my workout. I've always been a long time between sets person, I want full or near full recovery, unless I'm doing rest pause work. The same trajectory occurred when I starting lifting at the office. Workouts were 45 min at first, which rose to 90 min+ at times, which was a bit of a problem when I'm at work on my lunch break. This is when I started adopting the minimal philosohy to shorten the times. I also started to question the continued pursuit of strength, and mentally crossed the "good enough" rubicon. I got workouts down to 15-20 minutes. This happened in late 2016. And that's where things stayed. At no point since then did I ever do a strength training workout stretching longer than 30-45 minutes, and really I could shorten them to 20-25 minutes being more prompt between sets. 3 work sets was the goal, but didn't always happen. One of the things my first challenge this year established was a 1 hr time block for strength training and re-instituted a no sitting at the computer between sets rule. Pushing up the goal to 5 work sets per muscle group. I think that's the sweet spot for me. The basic asymmetry of missed goals (messed up workouts are too short missed, never too long) means that a good buffer is needed. I've also mentally recrossed the "strong enough" rubicon the other way, now that I can see the downstream effects. Plus, working out has been central to my personality for a long time. There is no reason to settle, now that I'm well past 40, age will take its toll anyways, fight back against it.
  23. Well this cut is going. Not as fast as I hoped, but its going. This is the start of week 4, I hoped this would be the last week, but I'm running 1/8" behind on the tape. I think I've been indulging in a bit too much chocolate. 33 3/8" this am. The plan is still to take a 1 week break at 33". Overall its still a marathon, not a sprint, to the 31" area. I'm definitely feeling the cut in the gym, workouts late last week were not good. I was able to run outside last week. Wednesday I pushed my distance a bit further (to 2.6 mi), Saturday I went back to the 2.4 mi basic loop in the hood but wore the new super minimal shoes I picked up. Basically aqua socks with a vibramesque sole. Super cheap on the amazon. I got them for just general wearing in the gym when I wanted shoes, but I wanted to try them running too. It went really well, calves and lower leg in general got more sore than usual, but I do run with that form anyway despite usually having somewhat squishy shoes (usually low drop saucony), so it really wasn't a big deal to run with a super minimal shoe. Workout Log - 3.31.22 Heavy Bag - 5 min Kick Circuit - 5 rounds Pistol Squats BW - 5/5 +30 - 4+/4-, 3+,3- Front Squat 135 x 5 185 x 5- 190 x 5+ Fingertip Pushups and Grip Ball Hang - 2 rounds Workout Log - 4.1.22 DB OHP 40 x 10 50 x 8+ 60 x 4+, 4+ 50 x 10+ I lost a rep at 60 vs last week. Pullup BW - 5, 13 +25 - 5+, 5+ BW - 13 Ground L-Sit - 15, 15, 15 sec Dip BW - 5 +50 - 6+, 7+ Added a rep at +50. This is the strongest I've ever been at dipping Chinups +25 - 5+, 6+ Its crazy, I used to be much stronger at chins than pulls, now they are pretty much even. I haven't done straight bar chins in years, thus far a real close grip hasn't bothered my elbows at all.
  24. Back in 2019 I replaced the top to our table. We loved the table, a really sweet midcentury design with splayed legs. However it was supposed to have leaves, but ours didn't comes with them. We bought the table way back before we had kids. Instead of trying to match the top, which was a walnut veneer with thick solid edging (typical midcentury construction), and make leaves, I just made a whole new top that was a larger size. I made it out of walnut; 4/4 worked with the profile I wanted so it only cost an arm, was able to spare the leg. Big thick stuff like your design, oof, rough. Have to find a source for real cheap big stuff. I semi have one, got some 8/4 cherry beams at $50 each, but its real spotty (drive an hour outside of the city to see what they have at the hole in the wall sawmill). I'm using a little bit of it for the base of the speakers I'm working on. Prices for walnut have gone completely bonkers around here since the start of the pandemic, as if they weren't before, but cherry can still be found pretty reasonable. It grows local and ofc we grow some big ol trees in georgia. I wouldn't use construction lumber though. If you look hard you should be able to find some hardwood at reasonable prices, even big stuff; there's plenty of trees and sawmills out there. And the top and bottom can be different species (you can dye to try to color match). I've picked off a lot of the low hanging fruit around the house; its either some real big things (vanity, dresser, wall shelving unit) or stuff I want to make myself (speakers, chair, mame arcade, new bench) left to do. After I finish these speakers I might try to make a copy of a Wegner Cigar Chair, but that's still a ways away. Forever project still is taking forever.
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