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kwesadilo

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Posts posted by kwesadilo

  1. Week 4 update

    • Lifting: Last week, I did not follow my regularly scheduled workout program, because I had previously scheduled to receive some coaching this weekend, and I didn't want to interfere with that. Although it wasn't part of Texas Method, I consider the coaching and thus the light week beforehand to have been planned.
      • I'll say I completed this. No serious derailments happened. (That will come next week, after I get back from a trip, when I attempt to implement the coaching advice I received.)
    • Move chores: I finished changing my address.
      • However, I did not establish a local bank account and close my old one, so this goal is incomplete.
    • Finances: No movement this week.
      • I didn't complete any of the checklist items I referred to previously, and I'm not really much closer to having a financial plan that I feel good about. Minimal points.
    • Vacuum: Done.
  2. On 5/14/2019 at 8:21 AM, scalyfreak said:

     

    Since I am constantly on the lookout for one of these (for when the pet fur inevitably kills my current model), am I curious to hear what you eventually end up buying and why.

    I got the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352, because The Wirecutter recommended it, and I didn't see any derogatory reviews that were sufficiently credible to hold up my purchase. There is a highly ranked negative Amazon review, but the author seems like the kind of person who likes writing bad reviews. I'm not expecting this thing to be perfect. I haven't really used the vacuum yet. We'll see how things go.

    • Like 1
  3. Week 3 update

    • Lifting: On Friday, I switched to 2 sets of 3 and continued to increase the weight for squat and bench. I might have been able to go another week with sets of 5 for bench. For deadlift, I did a 10% reset, because that's what Practical Programming said to do.
    • Move chores: I changed my address with all but two entities, which I will have to call on the phone.
    • Finances: I sent in the form I referred to last time. Otherwise, nothing here.
    • Vacuum: I started shopping online, but I haven't pulled the trigger yet.
    • Like 1
  4. Posting from my phone this week, because I finished at the gym 30 minutes ago, and they are still cleaning the locker room.

     

    Week 2 update

     

    Lifting: Still going strong. I think I'm going to transition intensity from sets of 5 to sets of 3 this week.

     

    Move chores: I had to get on the phone, but I managed to change my address with my credit card, which will now allow me to change it with various merchants.

     

    Finances: Not much movement. I downloaded the form to finish my backdoor Roth IRA contribution.

     

    Vacuum: No progress.

  5. Week 1 update

    • Lifting: Last week was pretty solid. On Friday, I benched 210x5, which is a new PR, which hasn't happened in quite some time in general. I also deadlifted 345x5 for the first time in awhile. My back was bothering me a little bit towards the beginning of the week, so I went a bit light on squats and didn't try to increase the weight on Friday. It's felt OK today. Hopefully, it's fixed.
    • Move chores: I started changing my address with the organizations on the list I had made previously. The first one on the list was AAA, and I can't log into their website for some reason, so it was an inauspicious start.
    • Finances: I took the quiz, which only took like 15 minutes. To my horror, it resulted in a lengthy checklist of things I'm supposed to read or do to improve my financial planning. I haven't figured out which of them pertain to this goal yet.
    • Vacuum: No progress.

    As a bonus not-living-like-a-bum task, I scheduled a doctor's appointment for today, which has been on my to-do list for weeks, with the result that I now have a primary care physician for the first time in my adult life.

    • Like 5
  6. Since I moved, I've been getting things done when I really needed to, but most of the time, I've been doing things at the last minute, and things with no deadline have gotten the short shrift. The vast majority of my free time (at least, outside the gym) consists of activities that won't improve my life in any meaningful way. I'd like to get on more of an upward trajectory, and that means attending to some things that I've allowed to languish for awhile.

     

    Goals

    • Keep going on Texas Method. Lifting isn't going anywhere. Things have gone smoothly so far, and I'd like to keep it that way.
    • Finish my move chores! My mail forwarding runs out soon, so I actually need to update my address with my correspondents, like, now. I'll count this goal as complete if I can close the browser tab that has the list of things I needed to do when I moved.
    • Make a plan for my finances. This sounds like a tall order for 4 weeks, but I actually signed up for a service related to this months ago and have been snoozing the email reminding me to fill out their intro questionnaire every few days since then. It's pretty pathetic. I don't need to have every little thing hammered out by the end of the challenge, but I'd like to have at least a general idea of what I should be doing and how it relates to what I'm currently doing.
    • Buy a vacuum cleaner. My old apartment didn't have carpet, and my new one does. I need to clean it at least occasionally.
    • Like 2
  7. Week 4 update

    • Lifting: Generally, things seem to be gong OK. I've mostly done a good job of avoiding blowing out my grip before heavy pulling workouts. My bench is 2.5 lbs away from my all-time 5RM. Most lifts are progressing smoothly. I did repeat my squat weight from last intensity day this week, because I thought my form was slipping a little bit last week. Last night, for volume day, I did 6 sets of overhead press instead of the usual 5. Hopefully that will be sufficient to unstick intensity day overhead presses.
      • I think this has gone about as well as could be expected.
    • Sleep: In bed on time Monday through Friday.
      • 100% complete.
    • Move chores: Still did nothing.
      • A whopping 0% complete.
    • Taxes: Filed. I think this took like 10 hours overall.
      • 100% complete, although there remain a few small things to make next year easier that I should do now, while I'm thinking about it.

    Although finishing my taxes felt like a gargantuan effort, I didn't really chug through as much paperwork as I had intended during this challenge, and, sure enough, more to-dos have piled up during the past 4 weeks. My desk is a little cleaner than when I started, but not by much.

    • Like 2
  8. On 4/9/2019 at 10:24 AM, Grumble said:

    I don't know texas method well, what is intensity day and how does it differ from the other days?

     

    On 4/9/2019 at 1:22 PM, scalyfreak said:

     

    I'm looking for a new program, so now I want to know more about the Texas method as well. :)

     

    Texas Method is kind of a program template that is organized into 3 training days per week with weekly progression. Monday (for example) is volume day, where you accumulate the volume that will drive the gains for that week. Wednesday is light day, where you recover from the past week's workouts. Friday is intensity day, where you set new PRs. Right now, my programming looks approximately like this:

    • Monday: Squat 5x5x90% of Friday's weight, bench press 5x5x90% of Friday's weight, RDL 3x8x~70% of Friday's deadlift weight
    • Wednesday: Squat 3x5x90% of Monday's weight, overhead press 3x5x90% of Monday's weight, power clean 3x3x hopefully more than I did last week
    • Friday: Squat 5x5lbs more than I did last Friday, bench press 5x5lbs more than I did last Friday, deadlift 5x5lbs more than I did last Friday

    Every other week, I swap pressing movements so that overhead press is the heavy lift, and bench is the recovery lift, so the pressing movements only really go up every 2 weeks. I am still messing with the exact formulation. Texas Method is more of an idea than a spreadsheet.

     

    It's not radically different than the heavy-light-medium programming that I was doing before, but to my mind, it has two advantages that I hope will play out:

    1. Because most of the volume comes in a different workout than the one where the most weight is handled, I can adjust volume and intensity somewhat independently.
    2. Because I'm only doing 1 set on intensity day, I can work closer to my true 5RM and also not feel quite as wiped out by the end of my workouts.

    Alternating bench and overhead press as the heavy lift for the week is also new for me, but there's no reason that I couldn't have done that with HLM. I just didn't think of it.

    • Like 3
  9. Week 3 update

    • Lifting: Things are mostly going according to plan, but I missed an overhead press rep on intensity day. Given the state of my other lifts and the relationship of my current intensity weight (118 lbs.) to what I've done historically, it seems hard to believe that I've already gotten to the point where I need to transition from 1 set of 5 to 2 sets of 3. I might need to increase pressing volume. My deadlift on Friday was affected by climbing earlier in the day but not to the extent that I missed my programmed reps, and my RDLs tonight were fine.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Sunday.
    • Move chores: Still did nothing.
    • Taxes: I am ready to file my federal and state taxes, but I still need to do my local taxes. I think I'm about 6 hours in at this point.
    • Like 1
  10. Week 2 update

    • Lifting: I've continued to make progress and basically stay on schedule. I did 2 fewer RDL reps tonight than I had planned, but I think the most likely culprit was grip training on Sunday, which, in retrospect, was ill advised.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time Monday through Thursday and Sunday, although there were some close calls.
    • Move chores: Still did nothing.
    • Taxes: I think I finished my federal taxes, after staying up very late on Saturday. That's pretty lame, but there was surprisingly little weeping.
    • Like 4
  11. 23 hours ago, Harriet said:


    Nice! So the back injury is behind you, then. Uh, no pun intended. 

    It's been gone for about a year now, but since then, I've been working my squat back up very slowly, trying to make sure that my form doesn't deviate in the way that caused the original injury.

    • Like 1
  12. Week 1 update

    • Lifting: On Saturday, I strained my right trap during my heavy set of overhead presses, which I nevertheless made. It was pretty stiff on Sunday, and I was afraid that I might have to skip today's workout, but none of my lifts hurt it, and volume day was pretty easy, all things considered. It feels better now than when I woke up. Lifting FTW! In other news, I squatted 300x5 (really 300 x anything) for the first time since hurting my back in late 2017, and I deadlifted 320x5 for the first time since before I moved.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time Monday through Thursday and Saturday.
    • Move chores: Did nothing.
    • Taxes: Spent about an hour on this over the course of two days, much later in the day than I had intended. I didn't accomplish very much, but I did discover that some income that I thought I would have to hunt down weird forms for was already included in my W-2 and withheld appropriately, so this whole process might be simpler than I had imagined.
    • Like 2
  13. On 3/18/2019 at 10:49 PM, Grumble said:

    The worst. Im lucky that I have a spouse that likes that tax stuff. Are you doing it yourself or using a tax service/prepper? 

    I'm doing it myself. I paid someone to do it last year, which I viewed as money well spent, but I moved, and by the time I started thinking about taxes, it seemed like it would be too late to perform the research necessary to find a tax preparer I felt good about, at least at the pace that I would have been likely to complete that task.

     

    On 3/18/2019 at 10:50 PM, scalyfreak said:

    Ew for paperwork!

     

    Are you awarding yourself extra points if you finish it ahead of time?

    I've stopped assigning stat awards to my goals, if that's what you're referring to. I might splurge on something if I finish early, now that you mention it.

    • Like 1
  14. I moved several months ago, and I have completed most of the urgent chores involved in that project, but a few linger. Lately, Uncle Sam has added another urgent chore to that list. I really hate doing paperwork, shopping, and making phone calls, and that has led to a lot of procrastination on my part but I just want to be done with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5QIUYg5M6w

     

    Goals

    • Keep Texas Method going. This is my second week doing it, and nothing terrible has happened so far. I don't think I've been doing it for long enough to know whether it's going to work well, but I intend to at least give it a fair shake.
    • Get to bed on time 5 days each week. I've been doing a decent job of this, but I'd like to get to the point where getting enough sleep feels automatic.
    • Finish my move chores. At this point, that entails opening a local bank account and changing my address with my correspondents. Surely, surely, I can finish perhaps 4 hours of work in 4 weeks, right?
    • File my taxes on time. Although this should also only take a few hours, it is perhaps my least favorite activity in the whole world, and it will be accompanied by weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    • Like 1
  15. Week 4 update

    Last week seemed like pretty much the end of my LP. Tonight, I started Texas Method, which I've never done before. I guess I'll find out how it's going to be on Friday.

    • Conditioning: I pushed the cart twice last week. I worked up to 9 sprints. I would say that I'm still mostly recovered after 30 seconds of rest. I turned the timer down to 25 seconds, because it takes me a bit to enter my previous set and walk over to where I left the cart.
      • Done.
    • Mobility: Did this every day but one. I can't remember which day it was right now. I think maybe Tuesday.
      • 27/28 days. I've gotten to the point where I very rarely have to remind myself to do this.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Sunday.
      • 19/20 days. I've been pretty good about this lately, but it's not at all automatic for me.
    • Move chores: I sold my superfluous furniture this week. I made a list of businesses to change my address with but did not actually do that.
      • I did about half of the things that I still needed to do at the beginning of this challenge. I'll give this 50%. Additionally, I cleared away all of the paperwork that had piled up during the move process, so that's something. Just in time for me to do my taxes.
    • Like 1
  16. Week 3 update

    • Conditioning: I pushed the cart twice last week. On Saturday, I started limiting my rest time to 30 seconds, which makes it a bit harder.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time Monday through Thursday. I didn't start on the chores I needed to do for Monday until too late on Sunday.
    • Move chores: I listed some furniture that I want to get rid of online, and I think I got a bite on some of it.
    • Like 2
  17. Week 2 update

    • Conditioning: I pushed the cart twice last week, and I made it up to 11 "sprints" of 150 feet yesterday. I will now begin to reduce the rest time between sprints.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time Tuesday through Saturday.
    • Move chores: I gave away a bunch of stuff that doesn't have a good place in my new apartment, and I returned to the DMV, because my driver's license never showed up.
    • Like 2
  18. Week 1 update

    • Conditioning: I have now pushed the cart twice, using one of the methodologies described in the article Death by Prowler. After messing around a bit, I think that the cart shares most important properties with that device and should do for now. Tonight, I pushed it for seven 150-foot sprints (although I was walking) and allowed myself to fully recover between them, which took a couple minutes.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time every night but Sunday.
    • Move chores: I didn't accomplish anything directly last week, but I did clear a number of stale items off my desk, thus uncovering other paperwork that is actually relevant.
  19. On 2/12/2019 at 9:18 AM, Harriet said:

    I think dodging children could be good conditioning work. Maybe while they're playing football/soccer? Maybe with small ones so you can jump over them. 

     

    So, um, how can you tell if a programme is effective or not? It seems like comparing one's rate of progress to other people is useless because we're all different. So what's your benchmark for efficacy? 

    When I was doing sprints at the track, I once came very close to KOing a toddler who wandered directly into my path, completely obliviously.

     

    I would expect a program to define the metrics that it wants to improve and make at least general predictions about what will happen to those metrics as I do the program. The more accurate those predictions end up being, and the more significant the change, the more effective I would consider the program to be. Through that lens, the HLM programming that I have done has not been particularly effective. Since I finished my initial LP, I have mostly used variations of this kind of programming, and on all of my lifts, I have retread the same ground multiple times. I have not seen consistent strength increases for more than a few weeks at a time, whereas I expected to make fairly consistent, durable progress for months and maybe years.

     

    On 2/12/2019 at 12:14 PM, scalyfreak said:

    I'm not kwesadilo, but my bench marking is to track my lifting in an app that can graph it for me. Looking at a graph proves that my current Barbell row weight is double what I started with, is very gratifying. :)

    I have been using the FitNotes app, which can produce a variety of graphs that show the progress or lack thereof on my lifts and other exercises.

     

    On 2/12/2019 at 12:45 PM, snowkc said:

    Agreed. Tell me more about this Supple Leopard business... 

     

    On 2/14/2019 at 8:59 AM, Grumble said:

    The best thing since sliced bread. Even homemade sourdough.

    I'm a bit less enthusiastic. It seemed desirable to me for various reasons to become more flexible or mobile or whatever people want to call it. I tried yoga in various venues and different static stretches that I found online. Anybody who talked or wrote about improving flexibility tended to describe the goals of the program in very nebulous terms, and I didn't see anything resembling a way to measure progress or a schedule of anticipated improvements. Most of them barely even made reference to anatomy. So the bar was very low.

     

    Supple Leopard comes the closest of anything that I've watched or read to making falsifiable claims about the program it promotes. Success is defined as the ability to adopt various positions ("archetypes") and perform various movements. The book claims that if you do what it says for a few weeks, your ability to do those things will noticeably improve. That's almost unquantified, but nobody else was offering anything better. My experience was that I did, in fact, see some improvement in my ability to get into some of the archetypes and also in some neck stiffness that had been bothering me, before the end of the two-week sampler program.

     

    I hesitate to whole-heartedly recommend the book, however. One of the reasons that I bought it is that I find Kelly Starrett's highly praised YouTube video's fairly difficult to follow. Many of them have a conversational or stream-of-consciousness style that makes it hard for me to figure out what his actual point is and what evidence he presents. He is prone to using words that don't mean anything, like "grotty," to describe the condition of a part of the human body, which makes it impossible to know whether the exercise he prescribed fixed that condition. He sometimes employs protracted physical analogies for physiological processes, seemingly in an effort to avoid resorting to anatomical terminology or diagrams, which again make it hard for me to understand what he's trying to say well enough to decide whether it makes sense.

     

    I hoped that having to write things down would temper these tendencies, and they did, a bit. He still takes up a lot of space repeating himself, using non-standard terminology, and trying to motivate ideas that the reader surely would have internalized before making it that far in the book. I don't think "dense" is the right word. The book is ironically heavy for the product of a man who is morally opposed to the act of sitting. I think it could probably be made a quarter to a third shorter without removing any useful information.

     

    I have been doing the mobilization program described in the book on most days for, I think, about a year. During that time, I have noticed improvements to my form on some lifts and reductions in chronic pain that followed so directly after related mobilizations that I have to conclude that one caused the other. During that same period, I have done a lot of mobilizations that didn't feel like they were doing anything and had no obvious effects. I'd say that about half of mobilizations I do seem like they might be doing something, and the other half don't.

     

    I am unaware of any superior program or source of information related to mobility.

  20. I suspect that I will truly reach the end of my recovery LP before the end of this challenge, and I don't know what lifting program I will take up next. My three best ideas, in descending order, are to retain a coach and have them figure it out, try Texas Method, or try 5/3/1. I could also resume the heavy-light-medium program that has served me so ineffectively over the past 3 years or so, but I'd really rather think of something else. While I figure that out, I will not have a lifting goal per se, but rest assured that I am still lifting.

     

    Goals

    • Start doing conditioning. As I advance in my programming, my rests between sets have a tendency to get burdensome, and I could stand to recover more quickly. I was doing sprints at the track for awhile last year, but the damn kids with their school sports made it difficult to do consistently. Now, there is not a track near my apartment, so I'll have to find something else. There is a weight cart that people push in the gym, which looks promising. My goal is to actually be doing some kind of conditioning work with some regularity by the end of the challenge.
    • Do mobility work every day. I may start paring down some of the exercises that don't feel like they're doing anything at all, but overall, following the schedule in Supple Leopard seems to be helping my squat form and general well-being.
    • Get to bed by 11:30 pm at least 5 nights each week. I'm almost at the point where this feels like a habit, but it's still hard sometimes.
    • Finish my move chores. I put a big dent in these last time, but I still need to get rid of the furniture I can't use anymore and update my correspondents with my new address before my mail forwarding runs out.
    • Like 3
  21. On 2/7/2019 at 8:47 AM, farflight said:

    2exp) get more social with friends/family. Signed up to delete facebook account in january. Found out it takes them a freaking month to delete an account. Will be 're-rolling' my account in two weeks (seemed easier than pruning through all the bad history on there). Going to make a fresh account and join the NF group, and rebuild 'friends' with healthy people (e.g. most of y'all...probably...and family)

    That is a fantastic supplemental goal. I've almost entirely stopped using my Facebook account, and it's amazing to me how infrequently I think about it compared to how much time I used to spend on it. I didn't know that they imposed a cooling off period now. I know a few years ago, they would show you pictures of your Facebook friends and say they were going to miss you.

  22. Week 4 update

    • Lifting: Lifted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The gains have slowed down quite a bit, but I haven't quite stalled yet.
      • I definitely got the lifting 3 times a week part, and I have made fairly regular progress. In hindsight, I think I probably could have made a little more progress if I had been eating a bit more. I seem to have lost weight in the last few weeks.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
      • Nailed it.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Saturday.
      • Got 19/20 days.
    • Moving chores: I arranged for my couch that was damaged during the move to be repaired. The repairs haven't been completed yet. I also purchased bar stools that are the appropriate height for my kitchen island, so I can sit at it and eat now.
      • I made a lot of progress here, but I still need to do a number of things, most notably sell the furniture that doesn't fit my new apartment and change my address with all the companies I correspond with.
    • Like 2
  23. Week 3 update

    • Lifting: Lifted Monday,  Wednesday, and Saturday. On Wednesday, I reached failure on deadlift. On Saturday, I reached failure on bench. Tonight, I reached failure on power clean. My squat and overhead press are getting pretty hard to finish. All of my lifts are close to where they were at the end of my original LP, and I think I'm very close to the end of the LP portion of my recovery. Most of my lifts have passed where they were before Christmas, and all of them are pretty close to where they were before I moved, but most of them are also pretty far off my all-time PRs.
    • Mobility: Did this every day, although it was a bit perfunctory on a couple days.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time every day but Sunday.
    • Moving chores: I re-titled and registered my car and got a new driver's license.
  24. Week 2 update

    • Lifting: Lifted on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Most of my lifts are starting to slow down a bit. I think I'm getting towards the end of my LP.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
    • Moving chores: I gathered the documents necessary to re-title and register my car and replace my driver's license, and I returned some disappointing IKEA furniture that I bought in December.
    • Like 1
  25. Week 1 update

    • Lifting: I ended up lifting Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday; I went back to the gym briefly on Wednesday, because I forgot to do chin ups on Wednesday. Most of my lifts are within striking distance of where they were before Christmas. My power clean is actually heavier (Sunday being the 3rd time I've done it since like October). My squat regressed a good deal, because I didn't do mobility work while I was on vacation, and my bar path was pretty bad when I got back. I think I've fixed that now, and the weight still feels pretty light, so I'm building back up quickly.
    • Mobility: Did this every day.
    • Sleep: Got to bed on time on Monday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
    • Moving chores: I don't think I did anything related to this last week.
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