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Everything posted by SkindianaBones

  1. Week 2 Roundup Week 2 was an excellent stride towards my goals. However, we are pushing at toeing the line of overtaining, and I see a deload in the near future as a possibility. However, I was able to push some heavier weights this morning, which was a good feeling. Staying consistent in all of my goals continues to be the key. Mindset I actually touched upon this with my coach this week, which was excellent. We talked about what we are already doing (including my 5 year plans and actions and my meditation practice) and the things we can expand into (social support - including this forum)! Many of you may see that I am now a member of the Discord server, and I hope to a be bit more active there than I am here for the sake of that social support, especially being around likeminded people. Speaking of that, I am looking forward to the REI meetup later this week. Nutrition and Recovery Here we have been killing it. Keeping screen time to a minimum before bed (with a few minor exceptions that need to be worked on). However, like I mentioned earlier, the need for a deload is looming. I am working with my coach on a deload protocol, and will see what our thoughts are today. But we have made steady headway, coming in at 150.5 lbs as last weeks average. Continuing upwards! Also - in regards to caffeine, I am thinking of adding some L-theanine to my regimine, as that has been shown to work well in conjunction on things like focus, but also sleep, etc. Workouts This is where we struggled the most. We got them done and continued to push, but struggled with extra tiredness and soreness. More updates soon on deload plans.
  2. Hello all! As mentioned in my 5 week challenge, I had some internetless adventures last weekend (nice to be away from it all), so there was not post. However, a lot of progress has been made on 5 year epic quest journey. Career: Manager in 5 Years I am now past the 90 day mark at my firm, and still receiving excellent feedback. I had an excellent conversation about the direction of my career with our Managing Director, and am looking into possible designations that will enhance both the depth and breadth of the knowledge I have on my specific area of my industry, and I am reading on what they entail, and seriously considering pursuing them. I plan on having some follow up conversations regarding them with my manager, as well as a colleague who has taken one of the exams. On top of this I am still taking the time everyday to learn something outside of my normal working time when I am actually working on projects. Life and Business: Housing Expense Free I have been steadily reading through The House Hacking Strategy and enjoy the ideas in the book, and am continuing to find ways to save for my first RE investment. The current move for this is to get a readily working commuter bike, which will replace my car trips to the grocery and gym. Fitness and savings (WIN-WIN)! I have also traded my expensive local coffee for a more inexpensive roaster (Happy Mug Coffee in PA - review to come!). I know these are small changes but htey will certainly add up over my timeline before my first investment. I will also be attending a Real Estate Investment meetup in my area, and am looking forward to the opportunity to network with investors, and importantly lenders, agents and others who can be a potential part of my future team! The slog is a long one on saving the initial amount, but I know it can be done quickly if I can continue to do the necessary things. Fitness: 1000 lbs club! Hydrating immediately has made a huge difference in my day. I now no longer immediately need coffee to feel awake (although I definitely grab a cup in the mid-morning as I thoroughly enjoy it and I do think it boosts my productivity). This is big for energy levels. My weight is steadily climbing as I am continuing to eat like a madman (with whole foods of course). Here are my latest stats: Average BW: 148.9 lbs ( +2 lbs even in 2 weeks. Boom.) Chest Circumference: 36" (+ 0.25" from last post) Bicep Circumference: 12" (+ 1" from last post) Waist Circumference: 29.5" (flat!!!) Hip Circumference: 35.0" (Starting to wonder if I'm doing this measurement thing right) Thigh Circumference: 21" (growth!!) Stay frosty and see you back here next week!
  3. Thank you for asking! I was away last weekend without my laptop for some adventures so sorry for the lack of posting. So far after a couple of weeks and we are doing well. Let's break out each of the goals. Mindset I have been steadily reading through The House Hacking Strategy and have been enjoying it. I love seeing new perspectives to financial independence and I am continuing to build up my "army of dollar bills" and my next acquisition will be a commuter bike to replace most of my car errands. I believe that should save me quite a bit. As for the meetup, I am attending an Atlanta Real Estate Investor Meetup on August 19th! I am looking forward to meeting new people who are involved in the space and seeing what they have to say about where I am at, where I am headed, and hopefully some advice on things like lenders, agents, etc, to be a part of my team. Nutrition and Recovery A minor hickup last weekend with two days under 3,000 calories, but a great rebound into +3,000 calories of quality food territory on Monday and still going strong. This week we have averaged out to 148.9 lbs, so we are more than on track, so far at a pound a week pace, which I feel good about at the moment. If I start to see some serious fat gain we can slow this down. No screen time has been excellent as well. However, I definitely could still use to optimize my sleeping routine, which is on the "to-do" list. I am going to pick up a "wake up light" and probably think about taking a caffeine break here soon. It is hard to do, because it seems to help my day considerably, but I want to balance my sleep quality with my optimization of waking hours. Workouts Here as well, things are steady going. I am looking into making some adjustments at the end of this challenge with my coach, but making steady progress in weight each workout and at the end of the day, consistency is key. Check out my epic quest log for this week's measurements!
  4. This is a good start. I have also found some really good resources on AoM recently as well. Honestly currently just looking to start with simple hikes but ramp up overtime to backpacking and camping, so it will definitely be some experimentation of my own. Just seems like a bad ass thing to do.
  5. Uhhhhh.... Not sure why this rerouted to the previous challenge. Could someone please move to the new challenge forum please?
  6. Howdy rebels and friends, As some noticed, I took a hiatus here after having some injury trouble and just general business popping up. Thankfully, @sarakingdomasked where I went, and the subtle email in my inbox reminded me that this is a good tool for my goals, and that my hiatus had been from more than this forum. In my time off however, I did start back on the path to progress, in both fitness and in life, and some of what I have done and where I am going can be found on my epic quest. To avoid repeating all of that here I'll go ahead and link. While no longer a daily battle log, I plan to go ahead and continue to update there as well, but I know that the 5 week challenges are probably the most active part of this form, and rightly so. It's a good way to accomplish short to medium term goals that eventually push towards the big ones. The beauty of that on Aug 4 I have a progress check in with the coach I have been working with, and shortly after that with my manager at work, so this should be perfect timing. So what are we thinking in terms of these next 5 weeks? Mindset: If you check out my epic quest, you'll see I've really put my long term mindset in the forefront. However, this can be hard to do in the short term, and seeing short term wins can be huge for this sort of thing. So in the next 5 weeks I want to do the following: Finish The House Hacking Strategy by Craig Curelop Attend at least 1 Real Estate Investor Networking Event in my Metro Area Register for a fitness focused event that will incorporate both fitness and meeting new people The first two are more business than fitness, but I think it is important I chart them here. The second two are the hard ones. Finishing the book is easy, but after the last year, I have found it hard to push myself out of my shell, not for safety reasons, but psychological ones. Keeping myself honest here is key, especially because I know that these are crucial on the road to some of my goals and big why moments. Nutrition (and Recovery): My nutrition problem continues to remain eating enough to gain proper weight. I eat high quality food, which means getting enough can be hard. I need to continue to add things like whole fat dairy (greek yogurt, butter) and other fats (nuts, nut butters, etc) along with carbs. I have been adding bacon to help here But for the next 5 weeks, I need to hit at least 3,000 calories each day at the bare minimum. Once again, I have also roped in recovery here, because I have definitely let sleep run away from me. I am committing to no screen time for an hour before bed, and anytime I wake up in the middle of the night for the next 5 weeks. I know it makes my sleep quality so much higher, and therefore my performance in pursuing my long term goals. Fitness/Workouts: To be honest, I don't know that I have enough data on my programming to know what this will look like in 5 weeks. I haven't talked to my coach about testing big 3, but I think that 5 weeks is perhaps a bit early for that. I need to continue to keep the intensity up and trust the process, and the body stats will speak for themselves in terms of workout goals. I currently weigh right on the cusp of 147, so I would like to be at least 3.25 lbs heavier, at 150.25 at the end of the 5 week time frame. This is of course, based on weekly average as opposed to a single weigh in, which can fluctuate. But there ya have it folks (that took awhile). But these are the things I want to do in the next few weeks. See you next week to recap on week 0
  7. This is awesome friend! 109 days is a solid time to hit a habit, an often is just the nudge one needs to go for years. As for online dating, it can be so hit or miss, but if you can let the bad roll off, it helps you meet more people then you ever could without it, IMO. Also I am sure that others would love to see progress pics, I'll be posting mine here in 4 or 5 weeks for the next challenge! How are these going? Caffeine is tough, but I find that taking breaks or tapering down can be extremely help for sleep and dealing with cortisol. Check out this article from Michael Pollan, who included coffee in his research book on psychedelics. He went 3 months without and then had a cup and documented his experience. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jul/06/caffeine-coffee-tea-invisible-addiction-is-it-time-to-give-up
  8. I've found focusing on the piece in italics to be the most important. It can be difficult to swing whatever your goals are (saving money, losing or gaining weight, workout out, etc) when moving into a new house, but being intentional about getting back on track with those goals will keep a slide from turning into a full on skid. I miss a good tenderloin..... What kind of hiking gear do you have/would recommend for a beginner? Want to get into the hobby. On a budget but don't mind saving for quality. Also, most importantly. Congratulations on the new house. I hope that home-ownership is awesome for you friend. What side of town are you on?
  9. Same here. The ritual of a dark morning cup is an important part of my day. However, I recommend everyone check out this recent article from Michael Pollan, who recently wrote a book on psychedelics, and included caffeine (it is technically a plant based psychedelic after all). Took 3 months off, and said his first cup back was an incredible experience, and that he got an understanding that baseline conciousness for himself and many is caffeinated. He was also on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience, for those interested. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2021/jul/06/caffeine-coffee-tea-invisible-addiction-is-it-time-to-give-up For those who need a better sleep schedule, he did mention that during his 3 months off his sleep was incredible. Food for thought.
  10. Recap: July 18-24: Today marks the end of the first week since my return to the forums. As promised, taking some dedicated time today to recap on my week and read about others! This week was a good time to focus on the "big picture" some more, not just for fitness but for life in general. After listening to the AoM Podcast #722: Think More Strategically (https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/thinking-more-strategically-stanley-ridgley/) I sat down and took time to think about where I want to be in 5 years and came up with the following: Career: Be a Manager at the Professional Services firm I am currently a new consultant at Life and Business: Have no housing expense Fitness: Be in the 1000 lb Club In addition to this, I took another "strategy" from the podcast, which is a form of the "Make your bed, change the world" (https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/podcast-307-make-bed-change-world/) strategy, which is to get up each and every morning and do something that will progress me towards those goals. Let's outline. Career: Be a Manager in 5 Years The main focus here, especially given that I am new, is learning. I work in a practice that involves a lot of theory, documentation, and other things beyond the technical skills which I learned in school. While the technical skills are great, being well rounded is the best thing I can do in order to move up. In order to do this, I get up every day and take 30 minutes to an hour to read an article, outline, or some other resource that will further educate me on my line of business. In addition to this, I have had productive discussions with my manager on what I need to do to get where I want to go, and we will continue to revisit this plan over time. Life and Business: Housing Expense Free This may seem crazy to many, but I have decided I no longer want to pay rent, and believe it is possible to do so. I have decided I want to pursue a "house hack" where I buy a property and occupy one portion while renting out the others. There are many ways to do this and different nuances, so once again learning (along wiith being a dilligent saver) is key. While I have automated my saving habit, the thing I can do every morning as a newbie is read and learn. I picked up a copy of Craig Curelop's The House Hacking Strategy and read it every morning, or take action in some other way through networking and investor meetups, etc. Once I have an understanding of the process, the next key will be looking for RE deals in order to accomplish my goal of cash flowing my mortgage. Fitness: 1000 lb club Finally, the one you all came for. I want to get bigger and stronger. A good measure of this is the Big 3, and being in the 1000 lb club is a benchmark standard. I am working with a trainer on keeping my progress consistent and injury free, and am currently working on getting some more size on me through workouts and proper nutrition. The thing I can do here every morning without fail is to hydrate immediately, and drink at least 24 oz of water upon waking up. This takes 30 seconds and makes an immediate difference. Here I plan mostly on recapping fitness for the week, but I will likely have some semi-regular, less frequent updates about the other goals as well, as they are just as important. In terms of a recap for the week, here are some stats: Average BW: 146.9 lbs ( +0.7 lbs from last week, right on target) Chest Circumference: 35.5" (+ 0.5" from last week) Bicep Circumference: 11" (+ 0.5" from last week) Waist Circumference: 29.5" (+ 0.5" from last week) Hip Circumference: 33.5" (-2.5" from last week...) Thigh Circumference: 20" (steady from last week) As for workouts, I have been working Bench, Pause Squat, and RDL as the main BB motions. Increasing in weight this week from last, which is a positive sign. Let's keep working so it continues!
  11. Hello Rebels! I know that I have taken a hiatus until about last week. Thankfully, people on this forum care, and gave me a poke to make sure I was doing well. If you haven't followed me up to this point and would like to, or are just wondering what happened, check out my respawn thread explaining my big why and where I want to go from here. As for the plan going forward - while I was previously using this as a daily battle log, I simply do not have time for that anymore. Between work and the rest of life, logging in my work health benefits portal (yay for rebates for being fit!) and logging in my own personal trackers (spreadsheets, etc), daily logging is just too much. Instead, I will be posting weekly updates here and in the 5 week challenge threads, of which I plan to begin a new one for week 0 next week. I also want to do better in keeping up with my friends here, and for that I am going to allocate some time on Sundays to reading all that was posted throughout the week in some select threads, mostly others 5 week challenges of course. With that, I hope that we cross paths along the way to our fitness goals and I look forward to seeing what you all do and sharing my own progress as well. Delta Squad out!
  12. If you have interacted with me here previously you know that I am a Star Wars enthusiast with a passion for strength training. Since late February or early March, I decided it was time for the "great emergence" and to get back into the gym after a very long hiatus. In addition, I had many other milestones along the way. I graduated school, I started a new job in a new city, and have had some injury troubles, which you may have followed. It has definitely been a wild ride so far this year. However, I feel like I am still making progress, and to help myself become more injury resilient and keep training consistently, I have begun to work with a Nerd Fitness Coach! So far it has been a great experience, I was matched with someone who gets me on both a personal and fitness level, and am truly enjoying it. That brings us here. Today's activity, among others, is to think about my "big why" or the underlying reason why I am pursuing my strength training goals. What better way to do that than as a respawn, considering I have been absent from the forums for about 3 weeks or so. Skin's Big Why My guess is that my "big why" is not much different from many here. The surface level explanation is confidence. To dig deeper into that, specifically it stems from being an underweight male. I am a relatively lanky guy (6'0 and somewhere around 145 lbs). I have been lanky my entire life. I have heard comments about how I need to gain weight, and generally have let my size get into my head. It appears that this isn't an uncommon phenomena either. While not definitive study, it appears there is research that underweight men often make less than their normal weight colleagues: https://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-JB-12305 While a bit of "chicken and the egg" discussion - my guess is this. Underweight men, like myself, often have confidence issues related to that, and therefore, often have a hard time asking for more pay or benefits, or perhaps even chasing higher paid roles or skills. I certainly know it affects my confidence in more places than one. At work, in the gym, in romance, and in friendships. I want this confidence, and in my opinion the best way to build true confidence is through demonstrated performance. So that is my big why. To build true underlying confidence in my ability by demonstrated performance of getting strong as measured by lift ORM, BW, and some other measures. I don't have a hard timeline, but that is something I will work on creating some SMART goals with my trainer, that give me a time measured goals. But as for now, this is my motivator when life gets tough. When work gets busy. If I get injured again and wonder "oh what's the point". This is the point. This is the why. In the meantime, I hope to continue to interact with you all here about once a week for recaps of how the week went, usually on Sunday's in order to have a healthy relationship with the screen. I hope to see you over at my epic quest or 5 week challenges, and I look forward to visiting yours. May the Force be with you!
  13. The first week working with the trainer has been good! He has me working on strength and also is incorporating a lot of hip and knee stability work. I enjoy working with him, and I can tell that he truly understands my goals, and is thinking about the steps we should take together. That (along with budgetary concerns) was probably the biggest roadblock for me to get over, so I'm glad that we seem to be working together well. As for checking in here, I am going to work on an epic quest log as part of my "Big Why" and I will also continually update 5 week challenges, although likely just once a week, as I think that is a good cadence for me. I look forward to checking in on you all as well!!
  14. This was my thought too, for a long time. I still think in the long run, I will be able to do things on my own after some education and beginning assistance. But I absolutely have overeager beaver tendencies, that if I do not have a knowledgeable partner, will keep me from my long term goals in pursuit of short term success. Not in terms of shortcuts, but in thinking that doing more will get me there faster, when it really just creates burnout.
  15. Thank you! I am hoping the coach helps. Perhaps that for me, it means having someone who kind of "keeps me in check" in terms of keeping it slow and steady, rather than someone who is really pushing me, because I already push myself very hard.
  16. Lets just say life got busy. I need to spend some time putting my priorities in order - that may mean making this forum a regular Sunday browse rather than haphazardly trying to browse on a more frequent basis. Regularity and quality over frequency. I also have a new member of the fam (A wonderful rag doll cat). On the fitness side - I have struggled to make progress and have now experienced some knee pain due to what seems to be a mild tendonitis. This has prompted me to do a few things: In addition to hip mobility routine, I am now working on my Quads, IT bands, and inner quads in hopes of stretching and strengthening around the knee I picked up a Nerd Fitness trainer to work on getting a full ROM on my big 3 and accomplishing my goals, so I am not sifting through oogles of information that may or may not be good or bad. I rotate sitting and standing at my desk every hour. I will likely revive my epic quest thread and really sit down and think about where I want to go from here, before I get working on a challenge. Stay tuned friends. And thanks for checking in and keeping me honest @sarakingdom Skin
  17. Hello all!!! I have been very busy - rents were in town over the weekend helping me pick out things for my apartment (still filling out - maybe pictures soon ish). Today was quite busy at work. Will add a weekly update tomorrow! (Potentially including a video). My notebook is looking forward to being spilled to this forum.
  18. This is very similar to what I have been working on, which makes me feel good. I really enjoy focusing on Single Leg RDL's. They really take a lot of hip stability which has been huge for me. I also do the 90/90 hip stretch daily as well. The NF mantra is "never two bad ____ in a row". Insert as you'd like (meals, days, workouts). The past is the past and you must push through each day and continue to work towards whatever your goals are. As for your intense workouts detracting from other areas of your life, I believe that we could all take from the Japanese concept of Kaizen. As long as you are improving yourself and your life by just a little bit everyday, that is the best thing to do.
  19. Bulgarian split squats and hip thrusts!! I found an Antonymous desk on Facebook Marketplace in great shape for half of the retail price. It has 4 settings as well as just a standard up and down button with dual motors. However, I find myself standing most of the day and really enjoy it. As long as I have my shoes off and an anti-fatigue mat I am actually able to focus better, as I can lock in without having to worry about my body rebelling against me too much. However, I do sit from time to time. Yes, all of those things have been huge lately. I have actually squatted and DL'd this week, with very excellent ROM and positional strength and no pain. How hard is it post videos here? I would love to post a form check I did this morning. My hips were hinging excellently. I'm still making sure to do hip prehab everyday as a warmup along with shoulder prehab. And my assistance work is focused on hip stability and strength (namely the two exercises already mentioned).
  20. WEEK 0 UPDATE: I am feeling much healthier. Back appears to be fully healed, with no more residual pain, soreness, etc. My hips are able to get into ranges of motion I haven't been able to in a long time. I'm very happy about it. However, I still need to be patient with it, and am wanting to continue approaching at least my hips and lower body movements (Squat and Deadlift) from a PT and rehab perspective. Given that I am feeling much healthier, it is my goal to begin training compound exercises for the upper body in week 1. I am continuing to work my way through Practical Programming and will likely take much of the perspective given there to guide me as I continue to learn and apply. Additionally, I am also going to add some difficulty to my hip exercises in a very controlled manner, by adding DBs to my split squats and a kettlebell to my single leg RDLs. I was able to get 3 sets of 10 good bodyweight single leg RDLs this morning, so I am feeling good about adding some weight. Additionally, on training days (yet to be determined but likely M/W/F) I am going to add the "hip strength" exercises from WODPrep. Based on the movements, it should help add strength to the areas that have not been receiving consistent work and have been busy healing before I attack lower body lifts with full force.
  21. I found a copy of Practical Programming online and am finding it quite informative. I plan to continue reading it through the weekend because I am feeling very healthy. I even did a handful of KB deadlifts that felt good in terms of my hips hinging, etc. While I don't plan to approach the bar for deadlifting for some time, that was a good feeling. Standing desk and hip exercises really do help. My current benchmark to get me back to deadlifting again is to be able to do good sets of 10 single leg RDL's holding a BB with solid form and bracing. By knowing that I can brace beyond my bodyweight on a single leg, I will feel good about the range of motion and my strength within that range of motion to resume deadlifting, likely with the knowledge that I will be a "novice". I am quite far from my genetic potential and can absolutely progress as a novice, with the understanding that once I plateau I can move into the intermediate category. I look forward to continued education from the book.
  22. Thank you for this! I find myself somewhere in between the two, in that I want to be functionally strong and fit, as well as look good. I think that is something that can be accomplished through compound movements with some isolation in the mix as well. I will take a look at both of these, as I believe seeing the different perspectives is helpful. Thanks to George Lucas and The Great CGI Debacle of 1997, the world may never know. Thanks! I will take a look into that text. As for the mobility, it comes from WODPrep. Whil I have no interest in CrossFit as a fitness program, I think they get it right with their focus on compound movements, ROM, and strength within the ROM, and therefore I find their mobility content to have quite a bit of crossover and usefulness. https://wodprep.com/blog/hip-mobility-exercises/ https://wodprep.com/blog/best-shoulder-mobility-article/
  23. Thank you! I have been really enjoying working through the mobility drills every morning, humbling as it may be. Additionally, I have found a standing desk! I managed to snag a great deal on FB marketplace and I am ecstatic. I also got to use one in the office today, and it was a huge help to me, I really noticed a difference. I will be turning my existing desk into a coffee table by replacing the legs with shorter ones. In the meantime I am going continue on my mobility journey, and perhaps actually pick up a copy of Starting Strength which is something I haven't taken the time to read. I will likely not be back to deadlifting for 6-8 weeks as I work through my progression from BW Single Leg RDL to being able to do sets of 10 single leg RDL's with a BB with perfect form, but I think that I may be interested in learning from the book, and doing a very simple routine with my current progression in place of the DL. We shall have to see. Until then I continue on my mobility and stability journey.
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