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  1. Hey all So after a fair amount of lurking the forum I've decided to try and keep up a log. So, I'm 31. Weigh 106kg and am looking to drop fat while maintaining (building if I'm extremely lucky) muscle. I have no idea of bodyfat % but I'll see how I go with posting and may throw up some progress shots. I'm sure someone will have a much better idea than I do. The backstory is I haven't lifted for 5-6 years, but when I did I was damn strong. Unless anyone is curious I don't think the numbers are that important, and besides that, they just make me sad to look at now. Current Program: 5/3/1 BBB Current Lifts (Haven't truly tested my 1RM): Squat: 95kg 130kg 135kg Deadlift: 110kg 140kg 150kg Bench: 75kg 95kg OH Press: 55kg 62.5kg 65kg Diet (As of 18/9/17) Ketogenic 2000-2200cals < 50g Carbs a day Goals: Drop 10kg by end of the year (ish. This can happen much sooner, or on the date. First goal is to weigh less than 100kg Feel free to drop a line and let me know what I'm doing wrong, or suggestions and such. I'm going to try and get in all my workouts and the odd random thought, rant about whatever I'm watching on TV, meme. We'll see how things go.
  2. Hey all, I've been a fan of the site for a while now, but this is my first post, so bear with me if I commit some sort of faux-pas. I am currently working through my second cycle of 5/3/1 and just read the Beyond 5/3/1 e-book. After getting overwhelmed by the immense possibilities he presents, I'm wondering when/where it is appropriate to go for those joker sets he talks about. Really feeling like I have the energy to push hard, but don't want to burn out. I'm trying to stay in PW for the long run and be smart. Does anyone have an idea of whether I need to hit a certain number on the rep PR set? Or is it more of a "feel" thing? Or should I stay away? Here's a little (actually, kind of a lot) about me: Fitness Goals: Some day, I would love to enter a powerlifting meet. For now, I'm focusing on putting my work in and trying to get better everyday. My three dream lifts for now would be the following: Bench: 225 paused Squat: 315 Dead Lift: 405 Exercise Preference: Mostly powerlifting, but I should probably learn a power clean too... Current Physical Stats Gender: M Age: 25 Height: 5'7" Weight: 150-155 (depending on time of day) Previous Training History In terms of lifting, I was doing Starting Strength for around 8 months or so. Started stalling out and wanting a change of pace. Nothing against Rip or those still rocking SS or one of its variants. I consider that program the beginning of me changing from weak and scrawny to...less weak and scrawny lol Current Training Second cycle of 5/3/1. I did the three weeks, then de-loaded, but plantar fascitis decided to flare up in my left foot bad so I had to take an extra week off (sigh). Will probably go through the three-week cycle, deload, then ramp up to the six-week variation. Here's a look at my current schedule: Current PRs: Squat: 235 Bench: 175 Dead Lift: 290 OH press: 5x100 (never bothered testing my 1RM) Day A: Squat Deficit SLDL Bulgarian Split Squat Box Jumps Day B: Bench DB Incl Bench Dips Weighted planks Day C: Dead lift Pause Squats Barbell Glute Bridges Pendlay Rows Day D OH Press CGBP Landmine Oblique Twist (just learned this the other day) Hanging Leg Raise Current Diet: I try to limit junk food, but really don't track macros/calories. Any thoughts/suggestions on what would be good for gaining strength would be welcome. Current Resources/Limitations Lucky enough to have a gym at work. They have bumper plates/squat racks/some benches. Pretty much no issues. I usually work out for 1.5-2 hours during the evening FWIW. Hope to hear back from you guys.
  3. I’m going to do this right now, before I get swept away with my week and forget about it. Over the last year, I’ve been working on meal prep (and eating it), stretching more, and trying to maintain my outdoor activities. This year I’d like to really nail down these habits. With this, I ultimately want to work on cutting some excess weight. I don’t really know exactly where to put my goal, but I plan to chunk it out 10 pounds at a time to make it seem attainable. As far as life goals, I officially hit my first savings goal. My main focus in 2018 will be turned to paying off as much of my student loans as possible. I also would like to be conversational in Spanish, and keep reading through the books I have (it’s like meditation, so not necessarily for learning purposes). so for challenge #1 Fun story, I’m actually out of town starting January 31st until February 15th. Lifting: lower the weight being used for Wendler’s and work on the Boring But Big program for added volume. For this challenge, I’m just looking at completing 1 cycle. Stretching: Make this part of the morning routine somehow, whether it’s after the gym or while coffee is brewing. Should be every day. Ideally I’ll also foam roll 2-3x per week. Food: No takeout at all. I’ll start here. January is cold so the threat of physically going out to eat is pretty low, but I’ll allow it on occasion for social purposes. Weight: I’ll weigh in on my first Gym morning next week. From there, I’d like to lose 5+ pounds during this challenge. Duolingo: 30 minutes per day. Ive been enjoying reading and doing it regularly, but if I find that I haven’t in the first week I’ll adjust to add that goal as well. I just don’t want to get carried away. Same with bikes, although I suspect with walking dogs and the cold I won’t really have the capacity for a consistent 2 fun rides per week.
  4. It occured to me that I haven't been paying much attention to my 2017 Roadmap. With only 2 challenges left in this year, its time to take stock of the rest of my goals for the year and make as much progress as possible. I haven't necessarily been neglecting the Roadmap as most of my goals have been aligned with the goals I set out for the year but some goals are further along than others. The purpose of this challenge is to get out that map and follow it to my selected destination. I've taken stock here and come up with a list of goals that still need work. The two goals that still require the most work are sleep and achieving Onederland status (weight below 200). Sleep Not only am I addicted to my snooze button but I perpetually get too little sleep. I made the goal to work on my sleep habits so that I could wake up on a weekday, at least once, without the use of an alarm clock. What was I thinking? I've only got 2 challenges left to achieve this. I'm going to spend this challenge working on getting enough sleep and then next challenge I can work on timing. Goal: Get at least 7-1/2 hours of sleep every single night. This entails going to sleep by 11:30 on weeknights. I'll also keep track of how many times I hit the snooze button. Currently, the max is 8 times! Bonus points for reducing. However, this could work against the other goal if I wake up sooner than normal. To do these effectively, I'll aim for a 11:15 bed time and try to start the alarm later in the morning. Onederland I have no intentions of losing enough to get to Onederland in the next two challenges but I need to keep my focus on this. More importantly, I need to focus on doing things that bring me joy and keep me fit and losing fat as a means to enjoy those other activities. This has two components: training focused on activites I enjoy or preparing me to be able to do whatever I want, and eating to fuel those activities and to learn to eat smart in a sustainable way so that my weight doesn't keep me from doing any of those activities. I am still pursuing a way to incorporate the benefits of Whole30 in a sustainable way. I go back and forth between the desire to not have to track food by eating compliantly and being able to accommodate variances in a smart way. Goal 1: Continue eating Paleo Plus (Paleo plus moderate dairy and limited whole grains). Rather than counting variances, if I want to accommodate non-compliant foods, I just need to track calories for that day and make it work byn staying under 1600 calories. This has the benefits of eating mostly compliant food and not needing to track everything but also being able to work in other foods while being aware of calorie intake. Eating non compliant foods over the calorie limit count as a variance. Since this goal is more lenient than before, I'll only allow 1 variance per week. I've been thinking a lot about the right training to prep for the HammerRace next year and there is no reason to wait until next year to start. So I've really stepped up my training. I will continue lifting according to my 5/3/1 program twice a week. I need to be better about accessory work and getting the most from my gym days. Each lift day will have 3 accessory movements, 2 push/pull, and 1 ab. I am woefully weak in the cardio area so I need to stick to cardio 3 times a week. This will mostly be at home so walking still counts, as will running, rucking, dancing, etc... I am being deliberately open about this as long as I get the 3 cardio workouts in each week. In addition to this, I'll be doing a kettlebell swing 30 day challenge. This is a daily challenge that rotates 4 kettlebell workouts, hopefully improving time. The 4 workouts revolve around goblet squats and KB swings. But wait, there's more. On one of those cardio days, I'll also throw in a bodyweight workout. I wanted to lift three days a week but I don't really want to drive to the gym 3 days a week so this is the compromise. This workout will include donkey kicks, clamshells, squats, sideleg raises, and this darebee workout Goal 2: Stick to the workout schedule. This may seem like there is a lot going on but I have already edited for RangerBrain. I did schedule 2 rests day each week. Also, the schedule worked out well to stick to the 30 days of the KB challenge. So my challenge will start on Wednesday during 0 week and end on the final Thursday of the challenge. Tidbits I still want to keep track of decluttering/house projects as well as being more present and spending time with family. I'll continue to report on it in my updates though there aren't any goals attached to it.
  5. AKA - Wonder Woman Goes into Battle Welcome to the third installment of this summer's Wonder Woman blockbuster challenge series! There isn't much new here but I'm continuing with what works and tweaking the rest. I have two primary goals - to prepare for this fall's HammerRace and to defeat the nasty scale. Naturally, my focus is more on the former and less on the latter. Hopefully taking care of one will take care of the other by default. If that doesn't work I might just take my hammer to the scale and that will be the end of it. I am rolling Week 0 as well as the Week 0 from the end of the challenge into this challenge to make another proper 6 week challenge. This format works best for me and the last challenge reminded me of that. During this challenge I have a family vacation planned from August 9th - 14th. The kids and I will be camping in the Rocky's and the Badlands. Then another trip the 25th-29th for the Minnesota State Fair. Power I am currently at the beginning of week 3 for my 5/3/1 lifting program. I won't actually have any time during week 0 to get to the gym since my first vacation starts mid week. But my goal is to hit the gym twice per week. Workout A is DL and OHP, Workout B is Squats and Bench. Grace I need to get 3 other workout sessions in a week, ideally each and every one of these will involve a hammer. This 6 week challenge will go up to just a few weeks before the HammerRace. I need to get comfortable doing some running with the hammer as well as just building up strength wielding the hammer. This will likely come to fruition with 2 Sledgehammer Shenanigan TM workouts a week, and then supplement with a short hammer run or just some tire slams at home. I am allowing some non-hammer substitutions. I will still benefit from some running without the hammer or maybe some rucking. While on vacation there will be a lot less hammering and more substituting with non-hammer activities. Wisdom I basically stopped logging food sometime during the last challenge. I'm still logging into MFP but I'm not doing anything. I really liked not having to worry about logging food during my Whole30 and I'd like to recreate that. I still use MFP for meal planning purposes but with the right choices I don't have to worrry about the MFP drudgery day to day. So I'm going to try a modified Whole30/Paleo so that I don't have to log food. The following is my attempt at making this SMART but really these are just guidelines. Unlimited - Paleo approved foods are allowed in unlimited quantities - as determined by appetite of course Controlled - There are some exceptions to Paleo that I am allowing but they must be in controlled amounts to still allow for not logging.. This also includes some calorie dense paleo approved foods. These should be in controlled amounts only... approximately 1 serving of each daily although exceptions are allowed if I can make a case for the choice. nuts, dairy, peanut butter, even some low processed whole grains Limited - These are foods that, in general, aren't condusive to my goals but it's also not good to be that restrictive and these foods are not necessarily bad enough to be variances. They are like variance wannabes. Other grains... I guess that's the whole list. I'm sure I'll add to this as I go. Variances - Last challenge I limited sweets to one per day. I get that not being restrictive is good for the soul but this was jsut too much. 3 variances are allowed a week. ice cream, pizza, sweets, fries... the list is long and we all basically know what is on this list. Some exceptions and fine tuning: This is all about being able to make good choices day to day so these are really just guidelines. I'd like to stick to it closely enough to be successful without logging food and without being too restrictive and allowing for some indulgences. Wonder Wonder is going to look a bit different this time. My sanity no longer hinges on making the most of my summer. The end of August and into September is always the most hectic time of the year and the transition from summer into the school year always makes me a little bit crazy. Qbert starts high school this year as well as cross country and any number of other acedemic clubs. Peach is properly in middle school and dance classes start up soon too. The class I teach starts in a couple weeks as well. Although this semester I am back to just 1 class and it is my favorite and easiest class. So Wonder here is focused on being organized and prioritizing so that I have time to relax as well. I really really need to start up my bujo again as there are lots of important dates to keep track of and I need to keep up on the crochet so I can organize an auction in October. This goal isn't very SMART as is but I think it will become more concrete as I go.
  6. As of tomorrow, July 8, 2014, I will have been on NF for One Year. One year ago, I weighed over 260 lbs. I now weigh 249 lbs. Not super impressive, but... at the time I could barely do 10 pushups. Now I don't do pushups, I just lift heavy shit. Sometime, a little longer than one year ago, I saw the scale inching toward 270 and I was feeling week and tired all the time. As a busy grad student I spent a lot of my time in front of a computer, eating crappy food, and when I had downtime, I'd be drinking beer and stuffing my face with even crappier food. Enough was enough. I already had a gym membership thanks to that year's New Year's resolution that I hadn't used in at least three months. I decided to use it. But... what would I do once I got there. The last time I had been was either to spend an hour or two on an elliptical. Another time I had been to a yoga class, but was so week and inflexible that I could barely hold a downward dog. Cardio machines are boring, and I clearly needed strength. I thought I'd try lifting weights and calisthenics, and I'd heard circuit training was good for weight loss... So I googled "circuit training and weight loss" and guess which site came up... Yep. That's right... bodybuilding.com... But, then I scrolled down to the next few hits and there was a video link to Steve's Beginner Bodyweight Circuit... and it was from a website with an intriguing name. A few links, and Links (Zelda references) later I was reading about Joe and Staci, and other success stories about people who were struggling with fitness the same way I was. These were not people who played sports all their lives, and devoted all their time to the gym, they were busy people, with jobs, who had similar nerdy interests and they were all helping each other get in shape. I wanted in. So I started doing the Beginner Bodyweight Workout at home. Then I'd go to the gym, lift a dumbell and walk on a machine or two. I cleaned up my diet a bit. Then after learning more and coming back to the site, I signed up and did my first challenge. I went from BBWW and dicking around at the gym, to barbell training with stronglifts 5x5 and tracking macros. Lost 12 lbs. during that first challenge. Later during the fall, I really got into trying to do body recomp, maintaining weight while building muscle, so I tracked macros and lifted like a beast. Unfortunately, I got derailed a few times, but I persevered, and still managed to hang around 248 lbs, while I got stronger. The holidays came and went, and I managed to maintain, and was gearing up to make more progress. In January I set my first 1 RMs on the big three, Squat: 315, Bench 210, Deadlift 330. Six months before this I didn't squat or deadlift at all, and I couldn't have benched 150 to save my life. Then, in February and March the storm came. A vitamin D deficiency, Wisconsin winter, a bit of overtraining, working hard with lack of productivity in the lab, social isolation, and anxiety about my future career and such, all combined to level down my life with a bout of depression. I was waking up, then lying in bed till noon, skipping days at work, not going to the gym, but still eating like a body builider. I gained most of my weight back. It got bad enough that I decided to get help. Got back on NF, and to the gym. And after a couple of months, I'm approaching a two year personal best for weight (getting below last year's 248). Also, I'm way, way stronger than a year ago. And I can wear pants that I couldn't, even when I was at 248 a year ago. I'm also back to being productive at work, and I've even given talks about my research in front of prominent researchers in my field and recently at an international conference, and it was well received. To acknowledge how crazy this year has been, both up and down,to get a fresh start, and to re-affirm my commitment to getting healthier and FUCKING SHREDDED LIKE A DEMON, I'm starting this new battle log. As of yesterday, I started my first cycle of 5/3/1... follow this link to see Darwin's 5/3/1 Cycles I'm following a ketogenic diet and cutting. And I'm trying to finish a PhD within this next year. That's the gist of it. edit 1/19/15 -- after several months on, off, and back on again, my masterplan changed to strongman training. The Journey to Strongman begins here. edit 10/30/15 -- Around here I switched to the Standard Keto diet and did mostly barbell complexes and (hopefully I lost a bunch of weight)
  7. Because object permanence. Yep, I disappeared during the last challenge I tried to complete, mostly because sleep wasn't happening, despite my efforts to sort it out. That's improving, though I still have bad nights, probably thanks largely to orange goggles, magnesium powder, high-ish dose vitamin C, and preliminary attempts at stress management. Thankfully my PhD supervisor gives me a lot of flexibility for when, where, and how much I work, so my newly started graduate studies can take a back seat when needed to sort out the health stuff. Also on the plus side, I pulled 147.5 kg for a single during my 1+ deadlift session yesterday, so my deadlift is almost back up to its previous glory (152 kg). Goals: Be in bed by 9:30 pm (but aim for 9 pm so I actually hit this target). Track my food either in advance or as I go (I shouldn't have to log more than two past meals/snacks at once). Exception: I don't need to track this first weekend (June 3-4) while traveling, though my diet will remain the same. Go easy on the cashew butter (limit: 150 g/day). Without it it's hard for me to get enough calories on AIP (+ some reintroductions), but I don't need aaaall of the cashew butter. LUYL: Draw and/or paint at least 2x/week. I'm waiting on a set of brushes so I can try watercolours Oh, and don't disappear.
  8. Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder. Guess who's back........!!! . . . No, not Slim Shady! Wonder Woman is back. The semester is over (or will be as soon as I finish grading) so it's time to pick myself up and get this year started properly. Is it coincidence or destiny that this coincides with the Wonder Woman movie release right at the beginning of this challenge? I will be taking an actual Week 0 this time around. I stil have a week of grading to finish up and I could really use a week off after my Whole30 last challenge. Power It's time to get back in that gym and lift some heavy shit and put it back down. I'll be starting up my 5/3/1 program again. I have a spreadsheet I developed the last time around on 5/3/1. I'll repopulate with my new numbers and share it here. The plan is to hit the gym 2 days a week and do 2 lifts each gym day. Day1: DL and OHP. Day 2: Squat and bench. I will use Week 0 to test 1RM. Grace Time to run. I didn't make the cut off to register for the 5k at the MN State Fair but we'll find some substitute plus I need to build some stamina for the HammerRace. I'll be using Jeff Galloway's running principles. The theory is every 2 weeks I test my 1 mile pace and use that to determine the training walk/run pace. I'll test my 1 mile pace during Week 0 so I can start in Week 1. Each week consists of 2 short runs and 1 'long' run. Every 2 weeks that long run will include a retest of the 1 mile pace. As part of Galloway's program, there are also 3 walk or cross train days. 2 of those cross train days will be my lifting days, the 3rd will be a ruck day. That leaves 1 rest day per week. Week 0 will consist of 1 ruck and the mile pace run. The schedule may change from week to week but basically the plan is something like this: M - Ruck T - Short run W - Lift R - Short Run F - Lift S - Rest S - 'long' run Wisdom This will be my food goal. It won't be that strict. I will use what I learned during Whole30 and find out what works best for me for a more sustainable paleo diet. This might be a certain number of variances a week, or counting freggies.. And I need to determine which Whole30 resticted foods I want to allow daily and which will be restricted. I'll likely just report my daily food log here and work it out as I go along. I will be logging food on MFP but I won't have a goal based on calories. Wonder Summer has arrived, at least according to the academic calendar. I have several weekends blocked off already to transport kids to grandparent's over the summer and all their various outings. I do not want to squander the remaining free summer weekends. I would like to plan something fun with the family each week and also spend some time on my hobbies that I have been neglecting. I think this summer I want to focus on some guitar practice and some crochet/quilting crafty stuff. Sims is a hobby too but I'd like to be able to produce something with my time other than a legendary Sim family.
  9. So, clearly I took the red pill. Let's see about that rabbit hole! Alright then...the goals: 1. Stay within the weekly calorie goals until I hit maintenance. November 28 - Dec 4 - goal: 1880 daily calories Dec 5 - Dec 11 - goal 1980 daily calories Dec 12 - Dec 18 - 2080 daily calories Dec 19 - Dec 25 - 2180 daily calories (Allowable eat like a jerk day on Christmas - track but don't include in the average.) Dec 26 - Jan 1 - probably 2280 calories, although I reserve the right to change any of these if maintenance happens sooner than I think. Please, please, please don't let it happen sooner than I think. Also, this goal is a tiny bit scary for me. And by tiny, I mean "irrationally and a really lot". 2. Continue lifting. Believe that I can do it. (4 x per week - stop giving myself permission to split sets in parts and do the entire set AT ONCE - a small allowance allowed the first week as I continue to come out of this cut - however certainly by the 2080 week I should be adequately fueled. Maybe. I think? I reserve the right to modify this goal if I truly need to, though.) 3. Do my accessories. I did really well the last week of the previous challenge on this. Accessories are typically 3 lifting accessories and shadow boxing or other hiit. These are all good for me, continue to do them. LUYL goal: Whelp. There are plenty of adulting things that need to be done (Christmas decorating, clean my house, clean out two (TWO!) separate closets), but they will happen when they happen. Let's go with do one extra adulting thing each week that needs to be accomplished. Tell you guys about it. (Wait...that should totes be a yoga goal. Nope. The oracle tells you what you need to hear.)
  10. Yeaaaah, I don't have a theme this time. I wanted to see what that's like. So! My last challenge was working well, but stuff was getting too complicated, so I'm keeping the stuff that works and changing the stuff that was stressing me out. What's working: - The lifts. You just can't keep me out of the gym. I hardly even need motivation. I love going. I'm not tweaking the program further at this time. It's still working great. I am experiencing the itch to try new things, but currently waiting it out and just eyeballing other programs for possible later experimentation. May tweak OHP training if it comes to a deload in this challenge, but I might not be there yet with it. - The protein. I'm managing to hit my targets and have back up plans for off kilter days where my macros get screwed up. No problems here. - The mobility. This has a real impact on the quality of my workouts, and I've gotten more flexible. No changes needed. What needs work: - Calorie goals. I keep pretty meticulous data and I know my TDEE is roughly 1600 right now. I regularly set this limit and overshoot it by 100+, except for rare weeks. I haven't been grading poorly for overshooting, but I've gained noticeable fat and probably need to rein this in before I get too unhappy about it, and especially before I need to wardrobe shop. If I'm going to buy new clothes for a new body, it's going to be for muscley muscles, not growing saddlebags. I think short mini-cuts might work well for me (as opposed to a longer term cut to lean out all at once), and I'm going to start incorporating them infrequently to help keep a Real Cut at bay. What's a mini-cut to me? 4 weeks of a 250 calorie deficit, done on a weekly average. Fail or succeed, 4 weeks is the limit. (Yes, I know I said I wasn't cutting, but I just ate an extra pound's worth in birthday food, and this I feel is a pretty decent compromise.) A successful mini-cut SHOULD result in a loss of 2 lbs total. Very gentle. - Adulting goals. The points system was good, but I was starting to fret about always logging whatever little chore I was doing for points. I was frequently forgetting to add or subtract. It worked well to get me off my butt and was kind of a fun way to balance play with being productive, but it needs some simplification for reals. - Being active. I'm too sedentary. Desk job, hobbies that all involve sitting down, I'd like to get my body moving more. Doesn't matter what it is. I've already been trying to raise my activity separate from my previous goals, but I'm going to add it in and make it official. (Yes, the TDEE estimation is taking this into account.) FUEL 1.0 Weekly calorie goal, weeks 1-3: 1350. Mini-cut is actually starting in week 0, so week 4 will have a goal of 1500-1650, with a little more emphasis on not going over since I do have trouble there. 1.1 Protein goal of 95g per day. (Keeping the one day of leeway indefinitely.) 1.2 4 days a week where sugary/salty snack treats do not exceed 200 calories. (no change here) Note: I've removed the diet soda goal because it's in the bag now, I don't need it anymore. I also removed the one super good day goal b/c I don't really think I care enough and feel the simple limit on daily indulgence is more than fine for my goals. DRIVE 2.0 Keep lifting, stick to the program, 4 days a week. 2.1 Attend Strongwoman class weekly 2.2 10k steps a day as an average over the week MOVING PARTS 3.0 Keep rolling/stretching/etc 6 days a week, 15 minutes. BURPEE MADNESS 4.0 Instead of points, burpees, with a set list of things that will make me owe burpees. The idea isn't to fully discourage the things below, only to get more balance between these things I do by default and things I'd like to do more of but need more motivation (clean things, study, eat a little better) 1 hour video games or solo TV watching = 15 burpees, or 8 push up burpees Failed to study = 20 burpees, or 12 push up burpees 1 alcoholic drink = 15 burpees, or 8 push up burpees >200 calorie treats (think big sugar bombs or savory salty snack bombs) = 20 burpees, or 12 push up burpees Total lack of productivity = 20 burpees, or 12 push up burpees Didn't eat a single vegetable all day = 10 burpees (no substitutions) (Look, @Koaladle, I'm including a sort of veggie goal!) More notes: 11/2 is my nerdiversary and I'm planning to do a big write-up with happy words and some analysis of the journey so far~ Scoring format: 1.0 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 1.1 0/7, 0/7, 0/7, 0/7 1.2 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 2.0 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 2.1 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 2.2 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 3.0 0/7, 0/7, 0/7, 0/7 Burpees paid: Burpees debt:
  11. Hey there, fellow warriors! This challenge cycle is the last of my cut for a bit - even though I am not at my goal weight, I am much closer, and I think that my mind and body need a break. My plan was to make it to T-giving week, and this challenge cycle will bring me there. I have been struggling with the weights, I think because of the cut, so that is getting folded into my goals, too. So...the goals: 1. Eat within 100 calories of my daily goal each day. Zero Week (Oct 23 - Oct 29) - 1,780 daily Week 1 (Oct 30 - Nov 5) - 1,780 daily Week 2 (Nov 6 - Nov 12) - 1,780 daily - on vacation, but sticking to calorie goals! Week 3 (Nov 13 - Nov 19) - 1,780 daily Week 4 (Nov 20 - Nov 26) - 1,880 daily (T-giving is a "track but don't count toward average/goal" day) As in the past, the pass/fail of this goal will rely on the challenge average, but I am trying to target my min/max closer to the goal. 2. Lift every time (not a real issue), FOLLOW THE PROGRAM! If I am too weak (#foreverweak) to do all 5 or whatever, split the set in half, but do ALL required reps - there is no excuse for this, the weights feel heavy, but there are no PRs scheduled for this cycle (unless rep PRs, which may or may not happen), so I have lifted all of these weights before. If I have to do 5 sets of 1, then do 5 sets of 1. I will NOT allow myself to just say, "well, I got two, the cut is making me weak" and stop. Nope, nope, nope. That's not what this warrior is about. Vacation week - if gym is available, go lift. If not, do BW stuff. IF only BW stuff, repeat the lifting of this week during week 3 (it's the heaviest week of the cycle, so important!) 3. Accessories & cardio. Make progress with these. I know that isn't really measurable, but circumstances are dictating this, to some extent. I'll say "do at least two accessories per training session", but leave the hiit finishers up in the air for now - if I don't post about them, feel free to harass. So there you have it. Ending of the cut, lifting when weak, do my damned accessories.
  12. Okay, so last challenge was... kinda a fail. Life happened, I vanished, and I'm sorry nerds We are simplifying this time. Quick Update/Summary: I signed up for a Powerlifting Competition for January 22nd, and I have chosen to do Wendler's 5/3/1 for my meet prep as 5x5 was just really wearing at me. I'm an engineer who is currently in a desk job with lots of travel to other desks. I'm used to working in a chemical plant and being in graduate school - both where I was running around all day. Currently in NJ Quest 1: Do the program - I've read the original 5/3/1, powerlifting 5/3/1, and pieces of Beyond 5/3/1... I'll be finagling something, I'll probs do a separate post on what exactly my plan is, if only so I actually make one. I have a rough idea, but... life is so crazy right now. Goal: Do each of the four lifts every week, according to program. Quest 2: Eat more to fuel the program. My office temporarily got a nutritionist, who I saw. She confirmed what I've known, but have been struggling to fix - I don't eat enough. This is exacerbated by travel where I don't have protein stashes. Not sure what to do about this, she had some ideas. Also maybe a separate post on this? Calorie goal: ??? Protein goal: ??? Quest 3: Do yoga. I feel better, my flexibility is better, my balance is better, and I lift better when I'm doing yoga consistently. Goal: Do yoga 2-3 times a week. Fourth thing - do the mobility challenges @miss_marissa posts! The first one seems super promising
  13. Last challenge was really successful, so I'm doing it again and adding things and tightening some up this time! GRUB 1.0: Maintenance Intake Range. No bad marks for going over this challenge, only 100 or more under, average is by week. 1.1: Proteins! 95g+ 6/7 = A, 5 = B, 4 = C graded by week, one day of leeway. 1.2: Eating With Sense. Must not exceed 200 calories of processed food. 4+ times per week = A, 3 = B, 2 = C (what counts and what doesn't is still somewhat subjective, because dairy and protein supps are fine) 1.3: One great day a week, no processed foods. 1.4: Continue having no soda. Tracking this this challenge for extra help. Any soda = fail 1.4 for the whole challenge. Added stuff = using a positive grading on the quota days as opposed to negative. So gaining a point for days falling in the desired parameters, as opposed to gaining when I fall out of them. Makes more sense this way. Objective limit on what it means to color in the lines here. Rolled up protein goal here since it did well for 4 weeks in a row and may not need its own section anymore. Shoved the unofficial goal at the end of last challenge in here, too. Difficulty increase: Increased the number of days that need to be "good" by one. MOVEMENT 2.0: 4 lifting sessions a week, continuing to follow Beyond 5/3/1 program. 4/4 = A, 3/4 = B, 2/4 = C 2.1: Attend all possible Strongwoman classes. Ideally this will be 1 per week, for 4 total. Sickness or cancelled classes will reduce the required number for an A. All 4= A, 3 = B, 2 = C Didn't previously require Strongwoman attendance for this goal. Now I do. (Group classes are not my favorite, but a helpful thing, so this will help me go.) MOBILITY 3.0: Aim for at least 6 days a week, 15 minutes a day of rolling/stretching. 6/7 = A, 5 = B, 4 = C No change from last time. ADULTING, THE GAME 4.0: Stick to points system, -5 points every day no writing or studying happens. 20 minutes bare minimum. 30 minutes required to earn points instead of stave off negative points. 4.1: Weekly To Do List. These will start short, since I've added a lot here. Change to the point rules to help spur creative productivity and/or study. Hopefully this works and doesn't end up demoralizing me. To-do list is new, there will probably just be one thing a week to start. A way to funnel this points-getting work into things I need to get done. Scoring format: 1.0: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 1.1: 0/7, 0/7, 0/7, 0/7 1.2: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 1.3: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 1.4: 0/0, 0/0, 0/0, 0/0 2.0: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 2.1: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 3.0: 0/7, 0/7, 0/7, 0/7 4.1: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 Point Balance: __ Strength Goal: I can plan these now! I want my symmetric strength me to look like this or better. If I continue to make gains as now, I should be able to do this by 10/22. (I am currently that pretty teal color only in glutes & quads.)
  14. Ummm.... placeholder for an actual challenge? It is zero week and all...and I lifted today, and I have a compulsion to post about it. Deload week, in pounds: Deadlift 2 x 5 at 45 RDL 1 x 5 at 95 3 x 5 at 135 OHP (from yesterday - whoopsies) 3 x 5 at 45 power rack was occupado, so I used the incline bench, and I don't care who looked at me cock-eyed. Random comment from a regular: "I've never seen you with your hair down before." ??? peace out, biddies.
  15. Brief backstory: NF Rebel and powerlifter since April 2014. Currently on leave from my graduate program to focus on some health issues before continuing the get-my-PhD saga. The past couple of challenges I’ve solidified the basic, keep-me-functional habits and gathered data to aid in troubleshooting some lingering issues. Now that that foundation is set, it’s time to take on some dragons: I need to take a critical look at my lifting form, especially for deadlifts and bench. After a recent conversation with a friend about bench form, I filmed my bench for the second time ever (yeah, should have done this much more often) and discovered that I’m tucking my elbows too much, putting my elbows ahead of my wrists at the bottom of the lift (à less efficient transfer of force and less pec involvement in the lift). That might explain why my bench lags behind my other lifts so much. Deadlifts, meanwhile, are still feeling awkward after several weeks of mobility issues from a bad mattress, and I really need to keep an eye on my back position. Meditation practice is becoming a habit, but longer meditations are still intimidating. I’ve gotten a bit lazy about batch cooking since returning home, besides cooking-all-the-meat type batch cooking. My cooking is also getting somewhat monotonous, and I want to add more techniques/dishes to my toolkit. Eventually I need to start working again, for a variety of reasons: learning what habits work best for me, establishing productive practices, and making use of my time now to gain skills that will be helpful during my PhD. I also want to give myself plenty of time to rebuild my work tolerance. Plus I enjoy the work and leveling up in this sphere. However, getting better is still the priority. Since slaying dragons is so last millennium, I’ll train dragons this challenge. GOAL 0: Don’t neglect the essentials Food: Stick to AIP paleo, minus the few foods I’ve reintroduced. Track on MFP. Eat enough. Sleep: 8 pm screen curfew. Track sleep quality. Exercise: Lifting ~3x/week, excluding deload weeks. Walk several times a week. Mobility: Yoga and foam rolling/SMR a few times a week, especially on rest days. I’m not tracking or scoring these closely – mostly I just need to write these down so I don’t start slipping on that screen curfew! GOAL 1: Scrutinize my form Record, at the minimum My top two 5/3/1 work sets for the Big Four lifts, plus any joker sets My heaviest front squat sets (at least two from the session) At least twice, to check form: RDLs and good mornings Re-read the Starting Strength chapters on the Big Four One or two misses/partial misses is fine, as long as the misses aren’t on the same lift. GOAL 2: Meditate Meditate daily Have a longer meditation session at least 1x/week (minimum length = 20 min. + (week #)*5 min.) Read Full Catastrophe Living GOAL 3: Escape the cooking rut Try five new recipes over the course of the challenge. GOAL 4: Devote time each week to focused work, because I can’t be a professional recreational powerlifter forever. Work = Reading literature in my field Working on data analysis or modeling from one of my Master’s or PhD projects Learning a skill that will help me down the road, such as Python (can use non-work related projects for this), machine learning, or dynamical systems theory Working on a Coursera course Focused = Work for at least 30 min. at a time before taking a break No non-work related internet or phone use (e.g., Facebook, email) Foam rolling/stretching is fine as long as it doesn’t distract from the task Listening to music is fine as long as I pick my selection beforehand/limit jumping around between tracks and playlists I’ll start with 5 hr/week and then add 0-1 hr to the weekly goal each week depending on how I do/feel. The goals started yesterday since I’m skipping Zero Week this time around for a 5 week challenge (even if MATLAB doesn’t count from zero…).
  16. Whelp, this turned into a bigger post than I planned. I'm sorry. Didn't realize I had so much to figure out. Fitness Goals Strength (a little size gain would be welcome vanity-wise, as well) and conditioning(? - not sure that's the right word). I volunteer on a tall ship, and a strength increase would be really helpful when trying to haul lines and sails. But, it's the kind of gig where you need that strength all day every day when we're at sea (about two weeks out of the year) because even just trying to stand still uses muscles you forgot existed, let alone climbing and hauling. So much hauling. Exercise Preference I've only begun to use barbells in the last year. Not sure I've found a preference or know all the differences between styles of lifting, yet. Current Physical Stats Male/33/5'11"/149 lbs. (Up ~10 lbs. since starting) Previous Training History No real training to speak of outside of martial arts classes over a decade ago or the occasional game of racquetball. Current Training I've been running Stronglifts (with a few weeks off over the whole period because of flu or vacation) for eight months. Current Diet Daily Calories ~2800 Current Resources/Limitations The globo gym I attend is open when I need it to be. The only real limitation is my ever-fluctuating schedule. But I try to work gym time in even when inconvenient. I've been reading through this board a lot the past few days, so I'll try to give all the info I can remember that's relevant. Forgive me if I forget something. I know I need to post some form check videos, too, in the near future. Current lifts/weak areas - Low-bar squat - 3x5 170 lbs. - I'm weak on beginning the ascent, and then have a hard time keeping my chest rising at the same speed as my hips on the last 1/3 or so of the lift. Also, though I can usually keep it (at least mostly) forced out, my left knee wants to collapse inward when I'm lifting heavier. OHP - 5x5 75 lbs. - After reading through the boards and a bit of Supple Leopard I think I'm pretty much doing this lift incorrectly, so I'll probably deload quite a bit and give it a fresh start. Bench - 3x5 125 lbs. (barely) - Weak coming off the chest, but I also realized the last couple times I was in the gym that I'm losing any tightness in my back after locking out on the first rep of a set. Barbell rows - 5x5 145 lbs. (I'm really starting to hate these). The weights are starting to get too heavy for me to lift with any kind of speed at all. Deadlift - 1x5 230 lbs. - I'm weakest here in my grip. I've lifted heavier but not for full reps because my grip all but gives out on the second or third. I know my numbers aren't all that impressive for someone who's been running SL for eight months. Basically the pattern was: reach a weight that was difficult, fail three times, deload, work my way back up, complete the difficult weight (and maybe the next weight up, too), then almost immediately reach the next weight that was difficult, fail three times, deload, work my way back up (etc.). Right now gym time is taking too long. Between the three main lifts of a workout, one bodyweight (dips or chins), and a couple sets of calf raises I can be in the gym nearly two hours because of the longer rest times. And if I hit a new weight on more than one lift in the same day, I barely have anything in the tank for chins or dips, at which point I have no idea if I'm even benefiting from the few I eke out. Return on investment seems pretty low. I'm ready for a change and am planning to start 5/3/1 soon. I'll probably stick with SL for the next few weeks as I just switched to 3x5 on most of the lifts and want to run that a bit. In the meantime I want to figure out my plan of attack for 5/3/1 because there are so many options and I lack any experience outside the main lifts. At this point I could read until the cows come home and have no better idea how to progress. Questions: Assistance: For assistance work I'd like to use at least one bodyweight exercise. Seems like there's good benefit to the chins and dips and I want to keep that going (and make better progress than I am now). But reading through the boards makes me think that keeping the assistance to bodyweight work probably won't help me address the weak areas in my lifts. Wendler talks about doing all the different variations - wide, narrow, chins, pull ups, etc. Do I just alternate grips every set? I can hit one set of 10 chin ups. After a few minutes rest I can hit another set of eight or nine, and a few minutes later four or five. When Wendler talks about hitting 75 total reps, or 5x10, or whatever the case may be, do you just do as many as you can (up to 10 or 15 per set) within a certain allotted time? In other words would I just add two more sets to my regular pattern and get in as many reps as possible, with the goal of adding every workout? Same goes for dips or other bodyweight exercise? I'm not sure what other lifts to incorporate. Do I just do the Triumvirate plan Wendler lays out (maybe with different options for the leg press and leg curl)? Conditioning: I've been generally avoiding anything but lifting as I have a hard enough time putting on weight as it is. (An illustrative anecdote? I thought you'd never ask! I went on vacation two months ago, lost six pounds, and have still only put three of those back on. Eating has always been a chore, but I'm more conscientious now about making sure to get my calories than when I started. Still, I probably miss my target one day a week and I know that it hampers progress. My buddy says my body is like a furnace compared to him, which makes me laugh). That said, it seems like getting in some conditioning work can only help in the long run, especially with my overall goal. Wendler advocates a Prowler and hill sprints. I don't have access to a Prowler and I *despise* running (though if everyone says I should do it, I guess I'll do it). What conditioning do you like/has worked well for you? App/Tracking: I've been using the SL app to track my progress and it has probably been the difference between my continuing on the program or petering out, as I don't have to do much, if any, planning for the day before heading to the gym. I'm looking at this app for 5/3/1 tracking. It doesn't have any of the assistance schemes built in except BBB, but if I have a plan going in it looks like I can program it to fit my needs. Anyone have experience with this app, or one they like instead? Okay. So that's way more than enough questions for one time. Much obliged for the insight of all you folks farther along down the road than me. Stay on target!
  17. totally not my fault... Welcome to my FFXI challenge, which will be full of my ten year old screenshots! The challenge you never knew you wanted is here! I liked simple. Simple is good. Inventory Culling Cutting for real this time, yep. I am actually gaining weight kind of rapidly here. Oops. At least I have a really good feel for my current TDEE, which should help with a cut. Scoring: I have a calorie range and this is pass or fail via weekly average. Grinding Skill Points I've swapped to 5/3/1. (Boring But Big assistance template) Today was the first day. Adding Sunday to the rotation. Scoring: All 4 sessions in a week = A, 3 = B, 2 = C Meat Mithkabobs Protein intake. I'm still so dismal at this by default. Extra challenging due to cut. Aiming for 100g+ daily. Scoring: 6/7 days hitting target = A, 5 = B, 4 = C Mithra Stretchcat Mobility stuff. I still need some motivation here too. Stepping this up. 15+ minutes per day. Can be self-guided stretches and rolling, a yoga video, whatever. Scoring: 6/7 = A, 5 = B, 4 = C Random Sidequest Adulting point system. Good things earn points, with which I can buy variances. Positive points = good. Negative points = bad. Variances include stuff like buying small non-essential things, cookies, a cheat meal, extra time to play video games or read, etc, so long as it does not otherwise interfere with challenge goals. (I.e., eating an enormous cookie that puts the cut or protein target in jeopardy for the day = not really an option) Scoring: Keeping track in daily update. Starting measurements - +/- judged from a pretty bloaty 6/6/16. Red doesn't mean bad. For example, I was 'mirin' that bigger chest while doing dumbbell presses today because hoo boy I have been putting some muscle into my pecs! Some teensy recomp has happened in addition to the slow bulk. It's unusual for my thighs to track down when my waist at the navel tracks up. I'm chalking it up to putting some light muscle on my core and changing the dynamic a little bit around the middle. Now with Ending measurements, start on left, end on right, comments below because I has them 7/18/16 - 8/16/16 weight: 107 lbs | 107.8 lbs +.8 lbs waist: 26" | 25.5" -.5" waist at navel: 30" | 28.75" -1.25" hips: 35" | 34.5" -.5" bootay: 36" | 36" -0" r. thigh: 20.25" | 20" -.25" l. thigh: 20.25" | 20" -.25" r. calf: 12" | 12.25" +.25" l. calf: 12.5" | 12.3" -.2" r. bicep: 10.5" | 10.75" +.25" l. bicep: 10.25" | 10.25" +0 chest: 31" | 31.5" +.5" bust: 32.5" | 32.75" +.25" First, it's important to mention that the first weight was after a week of cutting down from a high weight of nearly 110 lbs. So that was my "fasted" weight and measurements. The second measurements were after a semi-successful cut and some beer and ice cream bloat, so definitely some excess water weight and food weight going on there. My typical scale weight near the beginning was actually more like 107-108, and I've been hitting the low 105's more consistently at the end of this challenge. Just for reference. I didn't actually gain a pound here, is what I'm saying. I think it's interesting that in spite of the similarities in weight, the actual measurement changes were positive all the way across the board. I gained measurements where I wanted, lost where I wanted. \o/ I feel like recomp is represented here. I also think maybe I should swap to DB curls cuz that right bicep is getting weirdly bigger. :S
  18. My first-proper-challenge-in-a-while, settling-in-back-home, fairly-flexible-goals challenge went pretty well. I also identified a few things I need to work on, which will be the focus of this next challenge: GOAL 1: Putting the final food pieces together a) Track every day using MFP. Right now I'm too sensitive to calorie/macro levels (and too bad at staying close enough to my target without logging) to not track. The goal is to run a slight deficit, but I'm not setting any explicit limits now because I'm not sure what the sweet spot is -- however, I do have one macros goal... b ) Get 130+ grams of protein each day. 140-160 grams is better. c) Properly start the reintroduction phase of the AIP diet. Use a food journal to keep track of any reactions. d) Eat at least 1/2 pound of liver/week. e) Take ALL the supplements. I'm pretty good about this, but there are 2-3 doses that I tend to miss. GOAL 2: Mobility a) Mobility WOD style mobility work at least 4x/week. Because yoga isn't enough for me these days. b ) At least 3 15+ minute yoga sessions/week (outside of my warm-up and cool-down for lifting sessions). Because yoga is really helpful even if it's not enough! GOAL 3: Screen curfew No phone or computer screen time after 8 pm, with the exception of "I'm alive" type texts and meditation apps. Carrying this over from the previous challenge because I know I won't keep it up unless it's an explicit goal. Bonus points for putting away the phone/computer before the cut-off. LUYL GOAL: Meditation Meditate at least 6x/week before 5 pm. I've had good meditation streaks before, but have had trouble making it a consistent habit, possibly in part because I usually meditate before going to bed. While that's great for unwinding, trying to work my weak meditation muscle when I'm really tired isn't setting me up for success -- hence the time component to this goal. Bonus points for also meditating before bed and for reading Full Catastrophe Living. Other miscellaneous notes: Lifting program is still a version of 5/3/1... just deloaded so I'm not expecting to hit PRs this challenge (besides high bar squat PRs since it's the first time I've focused on them in a while). I'm travelling the first week of August and will probably not lift that week, but I do plan to keep up with my goals. The dog theme is because 1) cutting sucks and dogs make everything better, and 2) I have an orientation on July 26th so I can start volunteering at a local dog rescue! Please spam my thread with many many more dog photos.
  19. If you’re expecting a challenge centered around pause squats and deadlifts, my apologies ;). I’m pausing life, not my lifts. I’ve been MIA recently (but still lifting!), so for those of you who don’t know me: I’m a first year PhD student and started powerlifting when I joined NF about two years ago. After having some chronic health issues flare up this past year, I’ve decided to take about a year off to focus on getting my health in order. This will be my first challenge while on leave, so my goals are designed to help me make that transition + do what I need to for my recovery: Goal 1: Write down a daily plan by the end of breakfast that day. Doesn’t have to be super detailed, and doesn’t even have to be carried out – I just want to impose some structure on now structure-less days. Goal 2: Accomplish the following each day: Some sort of movement (e.g., lifting, walking, stretching, yoga…) Some sort of adulting (e.g., groceries, laundry, batch cooking, cleaning, making doctor’s appointments, going to doctor’s appointments…) An adventure (e.g., hiking, visiting rescue kittens, making a new/fun recipe, trying a new yoga pose, going dancing, learning a new programming language, listening to new music, going to the library, raiding a thrift store, working towards a handstand…) Some things can double-count (e.g., hiking = adventure + movement) at my discretion. I’ll have plenty of help with #3 since I’m spending most of the summer with The Best Friend, who is also fortuitously taking a couple months off before heading to grad school herself. Goal 3: 8:00 pm screen curfew, with two exceptions: 1) using my phone or computer for guided meditation, and 2) texting my mom (or other concerned party) to let her know I’m alive. From past challenges I know this is the best way to ensure an early bed time. LUYL goal: No brains – i.e., no reading papers or doing research in my field (neuroscience) or otherwise, for that matter. Coding for fun or learning math (NOT applied to biology/neuroscience) is fine if I ultimately need something to keep my brain busy. Yes, I actually need to make not working a goal. Other than that… food is still AIP, lifting program is still 5/3/1 (latest cycle ends this week). Maxes at the start of the challenge: Squat: 265 lbs (120.2 kg) Bench: 150 lbs (68 kg) Deadlift: 335 lbs (152 kg) OHP: 100 lbs (45.4 kg) I’m not starting the challenge in full until June 12, which is conveniently my first full day home. In the meantime, there will be plenty of exercising and adulting as I get ready to move…
  20. Hiya… I’m a little late, but since I have a new goal it’s time for another challenge :). For those who don’t know me, I’m a grad student and powerlifter. I haven’t been around the past few challenges since I’ve been struggling with some chronic health issues that flared up in September. For the most part I’ve maintained my NF-inspired habits, but there are a few things I want to focus on for the next 22 days. Goal 1: 10,000+ steps, as measured by my Fitbit, each day. This is the new goal and, as evidenced by my title, the focus for this challenge. I’m holding on to a bunch of extra weight because of all of the endocrine issues, and I need to find a way to shift it without having my body flip out because I’m asking too much of it or cutting calories too low. So… lots of walking. To give an idea of where I am now, since my work is pretty sedentary and I bike more than walk, I’ve been averaging ~5,000 steps/day before this. Grading: A = 21+ days, B = 19-20 days, C = 17-18 days Goal 2: Take all the supplements, and take them at the right time (I’m pretty good about this, but sometimes miss my afternoon/dinner supplements). Grading: A = <=3 misses, B = <= 6 misses, C = <= 9 misses Goal 3: Have regular Epsom salt baths (~3x/week). Grading: A = 9+ baths, B = 7-8 baths, C = 5-6 baths LUYL Goal: Meditate every day. I’ve mostly been using the Stop, Breathe, Think app to track this. Grading: A = 21+ days, B = 19-20 days, C = 17-18 days Otherwise, I’m still making lift, eat, and sleep my priorities. On the food front, I’m still following the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol, but with a more moderate carb intake (mostly from sweet potatoes, plus a little fruit). Lifting is finally feeling good again, and I’ve gotten into a good routine with a variation of Wendler’s 5/3/1 that has me lifting 4x/week. Progress has been super slow the last several months, but I’ve taken this as an opportunity to work on my form and weaknesses (good-bye rounded back deadlifts!). At the end of my last cycle, my heavy singles were 245 lbs (squat), 135 lbs (bench), 310 lbs (deadlift), and 95 lbs (OHP).
  21. I'm sure the answers are varied, but how do most folks handle accessory work? Do you play it completely by ear? calculate and program it in detail? So doing SL5x5, I had really no choice in anything. Now I have some flexibility with 5/3/1 on my accessory lifts. The program just calls for abs and lats. I do abs on a separate day and do extra chest work since SL lacked enough upper body work. So I am just about finished the first cycle and calculated my next month. I had originally just written in lats and some times I did low cable rows, pulldowns, dumbell or barbell rows... just based on what was free or how I felt. Do I need to be programming it to make sure I am progressing? Do I need to pick a single lat exercise? What I have tenetaively done is written on as generic Lat (Probably low cable rows with occasional DB or BB work) and one as generic Chest (typically DB presses with occaional DB chest fly). The other I have a sets of pull ups (5x4... 4 in a row is all I can do unweighted atm) and one dips (5x5... though I can do 7 in a row low and slow.). These are both movements I would like to improve upon. So would this be a reasonable set up??? Sorry for all the programming questions lately. after SL it's odd making decisions.
  22. “Does the walker choose the path, or the path choose the walker?†Previous Challenge Stats Weight 159lbWaist 29 1/2"Belly 34 1/2"Hips 38 3/4"Thigh 23"Body Fat 27.05% Goals This time around my theme is centred around Garth Nix's Old Kingdom series. If you haven't read it, go get yourself a copy of Sabriel to start off! It's one of my favourite series. The Abhorsen uses magical bells imbued with Charter Magic and Free Magic to fight Free Magic creatures and the Dead, as well as to travel into Death (the picture above is the first of the Nine Gates of Death - each gate leads deeper and deeper into Death). Each of the bells has a name and a personality, and I realized that these actually lined up pretty well with my goals when I started planning my challenge! Ranna is the Sleeper, the smallest bell, with a sweet and low sound, who brings sleep to those who hear it. CON +2 Bed at 11pm nightly unless out socializingCreate a bedtime routine and stick to itMosrael is the Waker, a harsh and rowdy bell, who brings dead bodies to life as the wielder falls into Death. CON +2 Up at 6-7am unless socializing the night beforeCreate a morning routine and stick to itKibeth is the Walker, a difficult and contrary bell of several sounds, which can make others go where you wish. However it is warned to keep this bell firmly encased for it is known to sound on it's own and cause an inexperienced user to walk where they otherwise would not wish to. DEX +2 STA +2 I need to do more running, and I also want to walk more. One of the things on my 2016 Roadmap is to work on the Walking To Mordor challenge and walk/run to (at least) Rivendell (458 miles). I’ll keep doing sprints a couple times a week, and on weekends do a longer run of 5k or more, as well as taking at least 1 30 minute walk. I might also sign up for some virtual 5ks!Dyrim is the Speaker, a musical bell with a clear and pretty tone, who allows speech or makes things mute. CHA +2 Post in my challenge thread dailyPost in at least one other challenge thread dailyCreate an Epic Quest threadBelgaer is the Thinker, a tricksome bell that seeks to ring of its own accord, who allows independent thought for the dead, or erases memories. WIS +1 CHA +1 CON +1 Meditate daily - maybe as part of my bedtime routine? I’ve downloaded the 1 Giant Mind app to useSaraneth is the Binder, the deepest, lowest bell, who forces the listener to the wielder's will. DEX +2 Do a yoga class twice a week, and do a session at least once per week at home - maybe incorporate this into either my morning or bedtime routine? (my logic on this one is that there's poses called binds in yoga, so it goes with the Binder)Do daily work with my foam roller, lacrosse ball, and “the stickâ€Astarael is the Weeper, the largest bell, who throws all who hear it, including the wielder, deep into Death. Keep track of an overall score of how I’m doing with banishing bad habits - the ones laid out in my goals and a few other ones, like my habit of coming home from work and not getting anything done! The Road So Far Week 1: Sleeper: 11pm 6/7; Bedtime routine 7/7Waker: 6-7am 6/6; Morning routine 6/6Walker: Sprint 2/2; 5k 0/1; Walk 1/1Speaker: My challenge 7/7; Others’ challenges 7/7; Epic Quest thread created? - Not yet but startedThinker: Mediate 7/7Binder: Yoga class 2/2; Home yoga 1/1; Mobility work 7/7Weeper: Overall score - Did really well with my goals this week, especially considering all the sickness/headache business later in the week. I have some bad habits to work on, the first one being to set a time limit for computer time after work. A.Feat: StaminaDoodlie Challenge: StrengthWeek 2: Sleeper: 11pm 6/7; Bedtime routine 7/7 Waker: 6-7am 7/7; Morning routine /77 Walker: Sprint 2/2; 5k 0/1; Walk 1/1 Speaker: My challenge 7/7; Others’ challenges 7/7; Epic Quest thread created? - Yes! Thinker: Mediate 7/7 Binder: Yoga class 2/2; Home yoga 1/1; Mobility work 6/7 Weeper: Overall score - need to work on bad habits i.e. Get shit done after work and on weekends. Feat: Strength Doodlie Challenge: YogaWeek 3: Sleeper: 11pm /7; Bedtime routine /7Waker: 6-7am /7; Morning routine /7Walker: Sprint /2; 5k /1; Walk /1Speaker: My challenge /7; Others’ challenges /7; Epic Quest thread created?Thinker: Mediate /7Binder: Yoga class /2; Home yoga /1; Mobility work /7Weeper: Overall scoreFeat: Rangerly KnowledgeDoodlie Challenge: IngredientsWeek 4: Sleeper: 11pm 3/7; Bedtime routine 7/7Waker: 6-7am 7/7; Morning routine 7/7Walker: Sprint 2/2; 5k 1/1; Walk 1/1Speaker: My challenge 7/7; Others’ challenges 7/7; Epic Quest thread created? - yesThinker: Mediate 7/7Binder: Yoga class 2/2; Home yoga 1/1; Mobility work 7/7Weeper: Overall score - still got those bad habits, going to focus on a few for the next challenge. Current challenge goals went really well though!Feat: Agility - changed this because of life happening to be 2 extra home yoga sessions instead of 1 home yoga and 1 yoga class.Doodlie Challenge: Appreciate the Self - Hooo boy. This one was so much with the thinking and the introspection! I realized that in some areas I’m doing pretty well, and in other areas I definitely have Things to Work On. Not sure how to work on them, so that’ll require more thinking. Current status on that is pretty much ARGH *flailing*. Also realized that the song Little Boxes, which came up this week in a totally unrelated-to-NF context, is pretty much my nightmare and I do not want.Mini Challenge The Character Sheet Character Name: Maegs Alignment: True Neutral Race: Dwarf Class: Fighter Occupation: Smith Character skills/General knowledge (I'm not sure how to separate these?): Mapmaking, navigation, sailing, research, first aid, knitting, sewing, cooking Weaponry: Zweihänder The Feats Strength Feat: This will depend where I am in my 5/3/1 program when this comes up. But it'll be something along the lines of lift heavier heavy things! This week is the '1' week of 5/3/1, so I'm not sure what my feat will be. It'll have to happen after Thursday, so we shall see! I'm going to work on some fancy yoga poses that are more of the endurance-strength variety vs brute-force-strength Agility Feat: Two extra home yoga sessions Stamina Feat: An extra cardio session Ranger Class Feat: Rangerly Knowledge of Nature (geology, weather prediction, astronomy including stellar and celestial navigation, knowledge of plantlore)
  23. And doesn’t lift all the things (for now). Short back story: At the moment a fair number of my endocrine systems are wonky (or rather, wonkier than usual), so I’ve been in figure-out-what’s-wrong-and-fix-it mode since September. I spent my last challenge with the Druids, and my goals here are a continuation of those. The short-term over-arching goal: feel better --> go back to lifting all the things. Current routine Food: strict autoimmune paleo protocol until further notice. Fairly low carb. Limited red meat. Lots of veggies, poultry, fish, and healthy fats.Exercise: lifting (modified version of Wendler’s 5/3/1) 3x/week + yoga, ideally on most of my rest days. Lifting is currently low volume and relatively low intensity. I’ll add back accessories, joker sets, and AMRAP sets as I feel better. While the week-to-week variability in how much I can tolerate has been frustrating, the re-commitment to yoga has served as a silver lining—namely, I’m figuring out ways to challenge myself with my yoga practice since the lifting progress has been inconsistent.Stress management: Yoga. Meditation (using the Calm app to track). No caffeine. Get the sleep.Supplements/meds to reduce inflammation, fix some vitamin/mineral deficiencies, support blood sugar, and promote hormonal balance (including thyroid hormone replacement as of today). Working with a naturopathic doctor on this and the food sensitivities.Fitness Quests: That other AIP stuff Eat chicken liver at least 2x/week Have fermented foods or beverages at least 3x/week (unless I start taking a probiotic) Eat food containing gelatin (the equivalent of one recipe/week) Bonus: learn how to make bone broth and make at least one batch Yoga At least 3x/week for 15+ minutes Poses to work towards: Mermaid One-legged wheel Sleep Computer curfew for non-work activities: 8:30 pm on school nights, 9 pm otherwise. Phone use after this time is fine, but no internet browsing. Life Quest: Meditation: improving my consistency At least 5x/week At least every other day (i.e., don’t skip 2 days in a row) Break my current record streak (13 days) Unofficial lifting goals to keep me accountable: 1) Stay far, far away from failure, and 2) Don’t skip my deload week for this cycle, regardless of how I feel come that time (should be during the third week of the challenge). Happy new year everyone
  24. I am a villain. It took me a little while to realize this. I have been on this site since october, and everyone else is talking about their hero's journey, and such and it hit me. I am the antagonist, someone for the hero to fight against and become better. So, here is my battle log of my epic battle against Mattyboy7one8. **Backstory** TL;DR, I really want to be strong. Where I am now. 6'6" 212 1rm from 2v2l Squat: 335 Bench: 235 Dead: 350 (boo!) Realized that is 920. Where I am going. Shooting for 1000 before Mattyboy. Also, 5/2 is the Beast of Bloomsburg strongman competition in Bloombsurg PA, for which I am training. Events: Log clean and press for max: 12" log starting at 170 - current max 180, apparently, with an 8" log. Car Deadlift: I honestly have no clue how this is going to go. Farmer's walk: 205/hand for 80'. More than I currently deadlift. Need to get cracking on this one. Circus DB: 90lbs for Reps in 60s. - Have tried with 80. We shall train hard for this one. Truck pull: Pickup truck with harness and rope. Huh. That will be fun. More specific updates to follow soon, with my current programming and progress. The gauntlet is thrown, @mattyboy7one8
  25. After a brief hiatus in the battle log, I’m back… This will be my last full challenge in the UK . I’m going to miss lifting in kg (among many, many other things). Since I’ve gotten pretty good at the lift, eat, sleep, lift more routine, this challenge is about putting the final pieces together—and namely, about finding balance. I've also added a Sir Terry Pratchett theme (the Tiffany Aching series) for fun--and for appropriately modified Nac Mac Feegle battle cries. Scroll down to the end for the tl;dr version. GOAL 1: Prioritize cutting over gainz [+2 CHA, +1 STR] “Learnin’ how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them.†For the past year, I’ve focused on getting stronger and I’ve LOVED pushing myself in the weight room. However, the next time I compete I want to be in the 72 kg weight class, which should also be a good walk-around weight for me. Also, I want to finally get my first pull-up, which would be easier if I were a bit lighter. Now that I’ve sorted out the macros, it’s time to stop mucking about and actually make a full-hearted effort to cut—even though that means my lifts won’t move as quickly as they would if I were eating to support them. Expect some grumbling. In order to make this goal less subjective, I’m going to try sticking to some numbers for this goal: +1 pt for every week with total intake <= 15800 cal, while getting at least 1800 cal/day (the minimum is to avoid any crash dieting).-1 pt for any weeks with total intake > 17500 cal (to avoid a “screw it, I’ve already gone over my limit†mindset).Numbers and grading scheme may change if I incorrectly estimated my TDEE or if tracking this closely brings up old daemons. I’ve also allowed for a re-feed in my grading. Grading: 5+ points = A, 4 points = B, 3 points = C Editing during Week 2--this is still the primary goal, but won't have grading or stats points attached to it. GOAL 2: Learn to meditate [+2 WIS, +1 CON] “First Sight means you can see what really is there, and Second Thoughts mean thinking about what you are thinking. And in Tiffany's case, there were sometimes Third Thoughts and Fourth Thoughts although these...sometimes led her to walk into doors.†Meditate at least 3x/week (5+ min. sessions). Because I need to learn how to manage those Second, Third, and Fourth thoughts. Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C GOAL 3: Rebuild my running base [+3 STA] “She had heard it said that, before you could understand anybody, you needed to walk a mile in their shoes, which did not make a whole lot of sense, because probably AFTER you had walked a mile in their shoes, you would understand that they were chasing you and accusing you of the theft of a pair of shoes--although, of course, you could probably outrun them, owing to their lack of footwear.†Run/walk 2-3x/week, following the Couch to 5k program. Because I used to enjoy running outside, the weather is now ideal for such forays, and hopefully I now know enough about mobility to avoid getting shin splints again. If recovery becomes an issue, I'll trade out this goal for some other sort of conditioning (probably long walks or rowing). Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C Side Quest: Work towards my first handstand [+2 STR, +1 DEX] “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.†Handstand practice at least 3x/week. Because 1) handstands are cool and 2) this will allow me to still see progress in a tangible, strength-related goal if the lifts stall on the cut. Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C Life Quest: Love your body challenge [+2 CHA, +1 WIS] “Taint what a horse looks like, it’s what a horse be.†Complete Molly Galbraith’s love your body challenge at my own pace. Because I don’t want to be motivated to cut for the wrong reasons. Grading: finish the challenge (all 28 days) = A, 20+ days = B, 15+ days = C Current Stats Lifting program: recently switched to a powerlifting version of Wendler's 5/3/1 (including joker sets) because cutting on the Texas Method wasn't going to happen. Recent maxes squat: 82 kg (5 RM)bench: 51 kg (3 RM), 57.5 kg (1 RM)deadlift: 120 kg (3 RM), 132.5 kg (1 RM)OHP: 31 kg (7 RM), 34 kg (3 RM)Weight is somewhere ~77-79 kg, depending on the time of day, scale, clothes, etc. tl;dr GOALS: Prioritize cutting over gainz: weekly intake <= 15800 cal, daily intake >= 1800 cal/day Learn to meditate: meditate 3+x/week (5+ min. sessions) Rebuild my running base: run/walk 2-3x/week, following the Couch to 5k program Side quest: handstand practice 3+x/week Life quest: complete Molly Galbraith's love your body challenge "Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna' be fooled again!"
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