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  1. Happy New Year, my nerds. Not to brag, but I knocked the Holiday Challenge out of the park. So we're going to carry that momentum into 2023 and keep on keepin' on. In 2022 I was introduced to Critical Role by our fantastic discord crew, then ended up joining a D&D campaign for the first time in about a decade, again thanks to those wonderful discord nerds. So in honor of my return to TTRPG, my 2023 challenges will be a tour through the D&D classes, starting with the Bard. Song of Rest Sometimes in the winter when I can't spend as much time outside as I like, my mind starts to get a bit loud. Music helps quiet it, so like any true bard, I'm making sure I don't neglect my instruments. Piano: 35 min/week progressing through my exercise book. I chose that time because it breaks down to 5 min/day, but it doesn't actually matter what chunks the time ends up being in. I'm not going to set a particular progress goal here, as I don't want to rush through lessons I might be struggling with just to hit the deadline, so the only real goal is to be further along in the book than I am right now. Guitar: Also shooting for 35min/week for the same reason. Main focus here is going to be fingerpicking, with the goal of being able to play Into The West by the end of the challenge. Trombone: My first musical love, and I don't want Petunia (yes, my trombone has a name) to think I've forgotten about her. At some point I'd like to join a band again, though the timeline on that is a bit nebulous. My technique/ability hasn't faded too much, it's mostly a matter of getting my lips back in shape. The goal for this challenge is to play 1 hour/week with the aim of being able to play that full hour in one sitting by the end. Bardic Inspiration My challenges are always more successful when I regularly hang out on the forums to inspire and be inspired. So this goal is simple - post something in my thread at least 5 days/week, and every time I post on my thread, go comment on at least one other thread. College of Valor - Battle Magic The Player's Handbook describes College of Valor Bards as "daring skalds," so obviously I have to include them in this challenge. They specialize in combat, so this will be my workout goal. Working out is another great coping tool for me to keep my mind orderly. Plus, who doesn't like being strong? I've been sitting on this 5x5 workout program that I cobbled together from a few different sources for over a year now, and I'm finally going to run it. It alternates push/pull days, with the main lifts (OHP and squat on push, chin ups and deadlift on pull) being done in straight sets of 5x5 and then finishing with a circuit of accessories for the opposite lifts. The goal is 3-4workouts/week with a total of 16 workouts this challenge. I haven't done any full body lifting programs in a while, so I'm going to start pretty light, but add weight fairly steadily to ramp up to challenging workouts. College of Glamour - Unmasked With a little prompting from my spiritual director, I've decided to take a closer look at the Enneagram. I've played around with it a bit in the past, but never gotten too much out of it. I found it more helpful for considering how other people approach the world than unpacking my own stuff. But I finally shelled out the big bucks ($12) to take the Enneagram Institute's RHETI test instead of doing free ones, and I think I have been mistyping myself as a 5 when I am actually a 3. Which makes sense, because as someone who seeks achievement and self-improvement, one of the things I value is new knowledge and information. To be honest with you, I'm not very happy about being a 3, which is why I'm pretty sure I am one. One of the most reliable ways to type yourself is to read a description of the weaknesses of each number and see which one makes you the most uncomfortable, and I really don't like reading through the various descriptions of unhealthy 3s. So what does this all have to do with College of Glamour Bards, you ask? Here is the description from D&D Beyond: This is actually a really great analogy for how I feel about being a 3. Healthy 3s are often inspiring leaders. At less healthy levels, they often become controlling and manipulative. I was definitely an unhealthy 3 when I was younger, and kind of a bully. I've put a lot of effort into learning to be kinder and gentler with people, and I think I've made pretty good progress in that area. But I've also been operating more like a 9 as far as conflict avoidance and not really stepping into my full potential. So for this challenge, I am going to start working on the process of embracing the strengths of being a 3 and accepting and addressing the weaknesses that come along with it. To do this, I am going to finish reading a book I got for Christmas, The Sacred Enneagram by Christopher Heuertz; keep digging around on the Enneagram Institute's website; and also bring all this up with my spiritual director in our January meeting. I might also revisit The Road Back to You by Ian Morgan Cron, as last time I read it I didn't find it nearly as helpful as most people apparently do, but I was also mistyping myself at the time. If I don't get to it this challenge, I'll bump it to next challenge. And that's it, my plan for blasting into 2023 and owning it with the power of song.
  2. Hi there, Sorry if this is in the wrong place. I joined this forum a while ago but this is my first time posting here. I'm a 5'9", 29 year old guy and currently weigh 56kg/8 st 12 lbs. In the past few weeks I've been thinking of getting more into weight training and powerlifting. I'm not looking to compete or anything but I want to get stronger and build a bit more muscle. I'm not completely new to lifting weights as I had been doing bodypump classes twice a week. Whilst this helped me get lean I'm not seeing the results I'd like. I stumbled across the Stronglifts 5x5 program. This week I took the plunge and switched gyms from the small gym in my local leisure centre to a gym with a dedicated weight training and functional strength training areas. I am genuinely enjoying the Stronglifts program but I do have a few concerns about how much food to eat and how low the workout frequency is. Everything I read about building muscle states that you need to eat a lot. The Stronglifts program also suggests only working out 3 times a week with little to no cardio. About 8-9 years ago I used to weigh 89kg/14 st. I was really unhappy and had no self confidence. Between changing my diet and doing a lot of cardio (at one point I was cycling 13 miles a day) I started losing weight and managed to get down to a healthy 67kg/10 st 10 lbs for my wedding day. I maintained this weight until I joined the gym at my local leisure centre last year and reached my current weight. My worry is that by eating more and doing less cardio the weight will just go back on to my stomach and face. Is this worry completely unfounded? Everything I've read suggests that as long as I eat right (whole foods, high protein, etc) that I won't regain the fat I had before but instead will go to fuelling muscle growth. In the days between heavy weight sessions should I do any cardio? Currently I'm going on 4-5 mile runs but I'm not sure if this is too much. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. James
  3. Quest 1 - RUN Plotting to do a half in the fall and now I need to get that to happen! A - 12 runs B - 11-9 runs F - less than 9 runs Quest 2 - POWER THROUGH! Just finished my first month of doing Strong Lifts ... I'm gonna keep pushing it! A - 12 SL workouts B - 11-9 SL Workouts F - less than 9 Life Quest - SUIT UP I've been putting off getting clothes that fit my flabbier form ... time to dress well rather than Buy 2 pieces of new clothing!
  4. Hey rebels, long time no talk. My name's Justin. I was on the Facebook men's group for a while but ditched Facebook at the beginning of the year indefinitely. Freedom never felt so good Anyways...on topic. I've been doing Stronglifts more or less on the proper schedule for...3 months plus now? Here's the numbers so far... Squat 205@5x5 Deadlift 235@1x5 Bench 130@5x5 OHP 105@5x5 Row 130@5x5 My last squat attempt, I made it to the 4th set at 210 and chickened out. Deadlifts are still going strong. Bench feels like it is starting to top out, but no failures yet. OHP I've failed 3 times now, but not in a row. I started failing quite early...85lbs I think. The row is also going strong still. I feel very under-stressed on this lift. The SL bible says that I'm supposed to have 3 de-loads before essentially changing up the rep scheme for a given movement. But that requires 3 failures in a row for a single de-load. I haven't really found any other literature that supports that much failure before changing things up. On top of that, I'm not sure I have the patience. On squats, I'm having to wait 3-5 minutes between each and every set to get them done and it is stretching the length of the workouts beyond what my schedule can manage. Back when each lift was hyper-easy, I could get the whole thing done including warm-up and cool-down in 40 minutes or less. I've had my wife, who is a certified trainer and CF coach put my form for various lifts under a microscope to make sure there wasn't something obvious holding me back...nothing really to report there. My primary intention was to build a foundation of strength and then begin a more varied routine to help me lean out more and increase intensity/explosiveness (vs just strength or endurance). So the big question...what should I explore from here on? Should I adopt a SS 3x5 scheme? What kinds of thresholds should I be looking for with each of these lifts? Any help or guidance would be useful. Many thanks!
  5. Hi everyone, this will be my first time posting in this section of the forum as I just finally decided to get a gym membership, as such I have very little experience weight lifting. So I will start with my stats: Fitness Goals Not just lose weight, I want to also gain strength. Maybe size later on but definitely not a priority right now. Exercise Preference I found the 5x5 stronglifts program super easy to understand and was planning on that being my starting program, but am open to suggestions... Current Physical Stats Male 27 5'11"(1.8 m) 220 lbs (100 kg) Previous Training History I have never done weight training before. Current Training Basic Bodyweight/ max 2 pullups/ 20 pushups Past 6 Months Current Diet Normal/ no tracking but I have maintained the same weight over a year now. Current Resources/Limitations Gym Access: free weights, cardio equipment, racket ball courts sauna/ showers, 24/7 access. Work Schedule 7 AM to 6 PM I work and live and go to the gym all within minutes of each other. Limitations, my wife and I both signed up and we have kids so we need to go at different times, she is very much not a morning person so she will be going in the evening when I get home from work... which leaves me with my dilemma... I'm left working out before work, really early before work, ideally starting at 5:30 AM. So does anyone have experience with how to make early morning workouts work? My current plan is to go 3x a week, go to bed at 9:30 pm wake up at 5:00 AM be at the gym by 5:15 AM Drink plenty of water/ BCAA's - I can't eat food first thing in the morning and I heard BCAA's are good for lifting in a fasted state 10 minute sauna/ meditation session - again I have heard a sauna session can aid in warm-up which I find would be helpful since I have been awake less than an hour at this point. By 5:30 I want to be doing my program (again planning on 5x5 stronglifts) be done at 6:30 Shower be to work at 7:00 AM Either have a protein shake or hard boiled eggs or any other suggested first meal that is portable Basically, I'm looking for flaws and critiques of this program, and definitely suggestions from anyone who has worked out early in the AM. Thanks.
  6. Episode IV: A New Hope Role This isn't Star Wars?? I have this thing that I call floon. I learned the term during my MUSH'ing days. (Online, text based, story heavy rp games.) It basically refers to this intangible thing that doesn't just support your current interests, but seems to elevate them to near all encompassing levels. My floon (blame Ranger brain here) shifts from time to time, and as one thing quietly fades to a lower level on my floon radar, something else will skyrocket to unimaginable levels. And so as I have started stepping away from SW things (rest assured, I shall always be a Jedi, but I think that guild burnt me out a bit), I have found a new inspiration that has jolted floon levels with a sharp swing back into Fantasy things. Goal #1 - Be Combat Ready! 1A. Strong like Grog! 1B. Move like Vex! 1C. Center like Keyleth Grog may only have an Int of 6, but as Vax once said to him, "Grog, know your strengths. It is your strength." Sometimes the party needs to rely on the strength of the heavy to get through the encounter- and sometimes the heavy drops in the first round! I need to be strong enough to shoulder through even when my Grog does down. Vex is a Ranger, so she spends a lot of time on the move; exploring the woods, hanging out with her bear Trinket, doing those sort of ranger things we all know so well. As a druid, Keyleth is quite capable of fighting, but she also knows when she must be centered and focused on the calm. Reflection and rest are just as important as everything else. Stronglifts 3x / Week **Trust the program. **No quitting until after week 12. Yeah. We're going all in here. Run, walk, move 2x / Week **Runs, walks and hockey count as move. I'll be back to skating 2x a week soon. No reason for it NOT to count. Active Rest 1-2x / Week **In short, don't be a slouch. Yoga, light walks of 20m, stretching, ... basically, make sure I do not have a day where I sit gaming the entire time. Even if it's just a 20 minute walk or yoga video. Do something that moves the body. These three areas will account for the physical activity side of the challenge. It's not overzealous, it focuses on the thing that requires the most attention (Stronglifts needing 3x to follow program correctly) and allows a lot of wiggle room and variety on the remaining points. Goal #2 - GM's Gotta Number! In order to run a good game, you have to know the system, and you gotta be ready to crunch numbers. This is what I need to do with my activity and food. Need to know what I am eating and fueling with, and the numbers on what's going in and out. I won't know if I've hit the enemies AC, unless I've added up all my to hit bonuses! Food Tracking M-F 100% 5x/week ** My M-F have been very good for a while. Keep at this. Including the new habit of taking left overs to Thursday D&D night so I don't tank on eating out mid week. ** Saturday and Sunday's have been historically... well, akin to a full party wipe. Has to stop. Now, weekends almost ALWAYS include a meal out with family or friends, so we're going AMTAP on this. (As many tracks as possible) Saturday/Sunday Variances 2 MEALS/week ** In order to not be so strict that I hate myself and throw an ancient dragon at the party... two meals per week can go untracked. NOT 2 days... 2 meals. ** The rest of Sat/Sun must be tracked! So food stuff here. Pretty simple and straight forward. Will also be trying to incorporate more veggies per day on this and I'll add that as a side collection quest sort of thing. Goal #3 - Bard's do it all! Bard's get the jack of all trades tag in D&D. A little of this, a little of that... what they have in spades though, is creativity. Ok, and charisma. And probably a good chunk of all sorts of little doodads and gimmicks that will come in handy for the party. Here's where the rest of my stuff goes. From art, to BuJo-ing, to reading the things and affirmations. It's also where a new project is going to go. I've been stalling on this "running a game" for my friends for years. Every time I say I will do it, I get a bit further than the last time, but ... I never go all the way through. I am going to use this new floon and on-going inspiration, to finally get it done! BuJo - Every day I'm BuJoing. 7x/week Read 1 Chapter of Bible. 7x/week Write affirmation. 7x/week. SHARE an affirmation. 1x/week. Art Stuff. 3/x week D&D planning. 2 hours/week. Well, for not having any idea what my theme would be, or what I wanted to do this time around... as of um, let's see... 2 hours ago. This came together pretty fast. Now to see it through. ALL THE WAY THROUGH! Let's get this flaming sphere rolling shall we?
  7. I am essentially a beginner and have been doing the 5x5 Stronglifts program for a couple of months. I've hit a bit of a plateau with my overhead press, I'm close to plateauing with my bench press however, I have more to go with my squats and deadlifts. Because I'm plateauing or close to it on a couple of exercises, I have some questions. I have heard of a few things to improve my strength, do you have a preference for one of these (or another preferred option)? deloading then having a run at increasing again 50 reps (any number of sets, just reach 50) at 80% 5x5 plateau (another number was given in relation to my 1RM but I don't know my 1RM, I do know this other number) supersets pyramids Do I wait for everything to plateau before using any of the above options or do I just start adding volume to an exercise as soon as it plateaus and leave the others until they plateau? Is there anything else I should consider or know about? Thanks
  8. i had the same dilemma many people probably face, my gym had one power rack and 8000 pieces of isolation or cardio equipment. i hated having to go late at night just to ensure that i would be able to workout without waiting forever just to do squats and not being able to take a break between sets. i started looking around at home gym setups and what kind of workout i could do to make it worth investing in minimal equipment, since i would have to purchase all of it. i found (like most people) the Stronglifts 5x5 workout. it even has a handy app and a good amount of info about each lift and what equipment you need to buy. i started with the dick's special (against many recommendations online). i got a bench/stand combo, 300lbs of metal plates, and an olympic bar. i figured it would be a long time before i would have to invest in new things or more weight (even though i had squatted 315 recently, i didn't see me banging out 25 in a workout). i flipped the cups around and squatted off the back of it, even though it was a little short me. anywho, i didn't know what any of my max's were so here's where i started: Squat 95lbs Bench 75lbs Row 75lbs OH Press 45lbs Deadlift 135lbs now i did have to take a week off because i was traveling overseas and couldn't workout. i don't recommend it, i was completely free of DOMS, feeling great, and motivated. coming back i ignored the 10% deload recommendation (recommend following it) and was whipped. i was sore and didn't feel like doing it after the first night back. ridiculous turn for only a week off, but that's why i would do it on a schedule where you will not miss. either way, here's where i'm at currently: Squat 240lbs Bench 185lbs Row 185lbs OH Press 100lbs Deadlift 275lbs if you're familiar with the program you can guess that i skipped up a bunch of weight. i think i undersold how much i could lift and the exercises were not taxing. i recommend the program. the loading schedule, exercises, and app are all great. i don't know about the guy who runs it, i've read some stuff saying he's a little out there, but i've read most of his articles about the lifts and recommendations and they're not bad. i do not subscribe to emails, and i think that's where the issue some people had were. i do the pay version of the app and i feel it's worth the $10. which of course is peanuts compared to what i'm going to say next: spend the damn money on nice equipment. here's the truth of what i spent: $500 for my whole setup from dicks. this lasted me 5 weeks and i just had to replace almost every piece of it. the only thing i kept were the actual weights. i injured my hip/lower back unracking the weight (i have to unload off of the spotter bars to make it work and it's too short), and the next day when i pulled weights off the collar slid with it. the cheap bar had come unscrewed and i was lucky it did while i was unracking 25lbs instead of repping 250lbs. so i had to buy a new stand/rack, bar, and i went ahead and got some more 45s because i was tired of using so many change plates. this cost me $1000. i'm trying to sell the old bench/rack setup now, and it would be good for someone a little shorter or who wanted to do adjustable bench work. for me though, it wasn't optimal and i put price ahead of functionality and basically burned some money. you live and you learn, but if you have any questions about my setup, my experiences with 5x5, or anything else let me know. it's been fun.
  9. Fellow Warriors, I wandered for a spell, trying to manage all the things and only eeking by! Most of 'all the things' started to manage me instead of the other way around. It took almost 1.5 years of wandering, but I am starting to manage my life again. My family and I have been able to check some big-ticket items off our list (part of 'all the things'), and I am seeing a light at the end of the tunnel for the other 'things'. The biggest benefit to NF is that I can create goals and have them in front of me on a daily basis...this will be key in re-learning how to manage them all. I will be updating this more, when I have time (but before the challenge starts). But I wanted to say it's good to be back. I have been lurking for the bulk of the last challenge, and I am still in awe at the support that NF brings to the table! Hoping to get more involved this go at it! EDIT FOR GOALS: Goal 1: Go to the gym 3 times per week. I need to work on the core lifts, so I will be continuing SL 5x5 thru this challenge. As of Challenge kick-off I will be in Week 6. Grading: 12 visits (over the challenge) to the gym is a pass, less is a fail Goal 2: Do homework during the week. I have two graduate classes (one each on Mon/Tues nights) that give me a long day (between gym, work, quick family time, school) so I need to prioritize my evenings when I don't have class to do a little homework. This will give me more time with the family on the weekends, when the last thing I want to be doing is homework. Grading: 1-2 nights of HW per week between Wed-Fri is a pass, 0 nights during a week is a fail! Goal 3: Do some cardio, drop some weight. My overall goal is to lose about 50 lbs. But let's not try to eat that whole elephant at once (it's paleo, right?). I will be combining Cardio with my workouts at the gym and/or doing a little fun activities with the boys on the weekends to get some in. Grading: 12, 30 minute cardio sessions (over the challenge) is a pass, less is a fail LUYL: Get organized! We moved last June. Our place is much bigger now, and there are a lot of things that never see the light of day (the whole family is guilty of this). There are toys, games, clothes, trinkets, appliances, etc. that need to go to a better home. A little spring cleaning is in order! Grading: Hell if I know...
  10. Gimeniux's: Take Six - A new Start Hey, remember me? I'm that girl who was getting back on track, who said she was going to make it, the one who was so close to her goal, who lost almost 13% of fat, almost 20 pounds of pure fat after a two year journey. Yes, that's me, but i'm also that girl who failed not once, not twice, but so many times i don't want to count anymore. And today i'm almost back to where i started, i haven't weight so much ever, 155lb (70kg), that's just 1lb away from being overweight. Although i have 26% of body fat, so i'm more muscle than fat, still, i'm totally off track. So without further due, here are my goals, new year, new goals, i can make it. GOAL 1 - Goodbye Facebook I suffer from depression, and Facebook is one of my triggers. I like to share stuff with friends and family, but mostly i get discourage when i spend so many hours looking at profiles, news, photos, and so. The worst part is i became a slave of the likes, and i don't want to be. I want to be happy because i am, not by how many people like my pictures, or my profile. So i have deleted my account, i don't know if it will be definetly or temporary, Facebook says i have 14 days to regret, if not they'll delete my complete account. I just make a backup to have all of my photos. It's all for my mental health. GOAL 2 - Hello 100% Paleo I love eating Paleo, because it gives me energy it doesn't make my stomach hurt, it also make wonders for my depression. When i eat clean i almost don't have any episodes. Lately i've been feeling pretty bad but that's accordingly with my bad eating habbits. I say 100% rule, because i don't do well with 80/20 it always ends up like 60/40 or 40/60. All or nothing for me, thanks. GOAL 3 - 10K i'm going to catch you! Last time i was 1K away from making it, now i'm starting my training program from cero. So first i'll do the 5K program, then catch up with the 10K. But i'll get there, i'm gonna get there. Side Quest - Salsa Lessons I love dancing, i've been taking clases, but i'm afraid i'm about to quit. I need a little push to continue, i want to make this my quest, attend to every class this month. And practice at least once apart from the class every week. MOTIVATION I've spent years looking to become the person that is within me. I want to know all of what I'm capable of. What my body could be. I don’t like to hide. I want my outside strong and imposing, to cause inspiration for me, for everyone. I want to see myself and feel that the future is worth the while. I'm doing this to smile. Want to live without getting sick. Be healthy and proud. I've been close many times. This time I will not fail.
  11. Like any journey there is preparation. This is what this post is, soon the journey will begin for real. I am currently gathering the equipment I will need and mentally preparing myself for what will come. I will step on ground both familiar and new...but will push myself further and harder than I have before. There is a need to move away from the old me and find the new me that wants to be released. I want to participate in activities that are only viewed from the outside, taking on challenging adventure races (Spartan Race, Tough Mudder...) return one day to the Krav Maga classes that I once loved, but no longer would be able to keep up with. A new dawn will rise soon.
  12. Alright so I was tossing around the idea of doing another Challenge, in the past I have crashed and burned, sometimes in great burning gusto, more often than not wee little whimper. This Challenge has me going back to working on consistency. Consistently lifting, consistently eating clean or in my case Paleo, consistently having a little bit of time put aside for me, as selfish as it sounds, but I find that right now I am getting lost in my life. Consistently asking "who am I?" Anyway let's see how we go, with no promising photos, videos and other what not. Eat, Lift, Sleep, Repeat, Consistantly.
  13. Hi Rebels Since its a few weeks to the start of the next 6 Week Challenge, I thought I'd get started on a log early and get good habits going. The plan is to post each morning about the day before. A bit about me... I'm 33, married with a 4 month old son. I'm 6'1", and I was built like a rake when I was 17 or 18, but 15 years of comfortable office work has meant a gradual weight gain. I hit 100kg this year, and along with the 38" waist trousers and XL shirts I need now, that was enough to make me want to make changes... I don't want to be a fat dad, I'd like to be able to do plenty of running around with my son as he grows up. The Journey So Far... I started calorie counting about 9 weeks ago, and it's worked well so far. I've made changes slowly, first cutting the bulk of the crap out, then adding more fruit and protein in the last couple of weeks. The thing that's really impressed me is that the more I clean up my diet, the less I miss the sweets and chocolate. I'm still allowing myself a treat now and again, but it's down to one or two a week instead of a day. Doing calorie counting, along with plenty of walking, has got 4.5kg off so far. Averaging 0.5kg a week, which is bang on target. This is me on the day I registered for Nerd Fitness - putting them up here for future reference and accountability What comes next? With the diet on its way, fitness is up next. I'd decided to focus on strength training with free weights, and found the Stronglifts 5x5 workout, before I found NerdFitness. It's great to find a community where lifting is regarded as a good way towards general fitness, and especially great that it's a community of nerds The bad news is that, having not done any barbell (or any other sort of strength) work before, 5 sets of 5 reps was too much for me the first time I tried... I managed all of workout A, but was crippled for 2 days afterwards. I've backed off to 3 sets of 5 with the starting weights, which I'll then increase to 4 sets next week, before starting with the 5x5 proper the following. Hopefully the couple of weeks ramp up will give my body time to adjust and the pain won't be so bad... At the moment, my gym time also includes some interval training on the treadmill... I'll keep this up for as long as I can while still keeping my total workout (including warm up and stretches at the end) to about an hour, since my workouts are a long lunch break for me. Goals Long term, I'm aiming to get my weight to 85kg. I'm not setting any goals on the lifting side other than an immediate one to get up to doing 5x5 sets and to stick at it once I start, since I don't really know how I'll take to it. I think that's enough as an intro, I'll add some reflections on today when I post tomorrow.
  14. Hi All So ive abandoned my previous battle log coz I thought its time to get serious and therefore I need a new log... So lets start with why my battle log has this strange name.... while researching stronglifts I came across the story of Milo of Croton and thought that his story was an awesome guideline for what im wanting to achieve, I mean.... "His daily diet consisted of 20lb meat, 20lb bread and 18 pints of wine" awwwweeesssoooommmme I wish I could eat like that lol... but I will eventually be doing this full paleo ( I say eventually because I am currently not in control of meals but that will change during the 12 weeks) and the main reason im basing this on him... "He started lifting and carrying a new born calf and repeating the feat daily as it grew to maturity, thus increasing his strength every day by small increments" oh but of course there is the major difference of me being a girl..... so if im gona look like a greek goddess i wana look like this and im hoping I wont be eaten alive by wolves So yeah im really focusing on getting strong and turning this fat booty into a nice round muscular booty My 12 week strong lift challenge started on the 2nd March and lets see how this goes...
  15. Evicious grinned disconcertingly as the large Nord woman stood to her full height. The little table she had been sitting at suddenly seemed absurdly small, along with the khajit seated opposite its previous occupant. Cold, proud eyes stared down at yellow smiling ones intimidatingly. "I could crush the life from you in one blow, you puny kitten." "Oh, I'm not so easily flattened as you might imagine." "One strike. Furry pancake." Evicious inadvertently squeaked a little when the Nord slammed fist into hand and mimed wiping her pulverized remains on her jerkin. "You'd be wasting your energy; no one likes hair in their food." The Nord growled (an oddly canine-like sound even for a brute such as herself, Evicious thought briefly) and grabbed suddenly for the khajit. Evicious squeaked again as she was yanked from her seat and held dangling above the table. She was careful, however, to keep her claws sheathed in spite of her surprise and annoyance at the treatment. "You're worthless, cat. You can't carry equipment; can't help a pack brother up if he takes an arrow to the knee, much less carry him to safety. All you do is skulk around in the shadows and make angry pincushions of our prey, until their rage is so great it takes the whole pack to withstand them! You are nothing but a smelly distraction; a squeak toy." The Nord spit the words out in a fury, along with a few soggy crumbs of sweet roll. Evicious waited patiently in the woman's hamfisted grasp, but her level of irritation was rising with each passing moment. "I suppose this means I'm tomorrow's breakfast, then." She spoke calmly, but put her ears back just enough to appear a little contrite. Nord tempers were notoriously unpredictable - it was said the young were known to break their own blades if they cut themselves honing them - but reciprocated anger was one very predictable way to stoke the fire. Dark humor, however, could sometimes cool it... she hoped. "A disgusting idea," the Nord snapped and dropped her unceremoniously in the middle of their leftovers, "Cats always taste like their own assholes." The woman reached down for her equipment, an enormous pack weighing almost as much as Evicious in spite of several enchaments of karee weyt, and slung it across one shoulder with ease. "Take yourself elsewhere, puny kitten. We have no more use for you, and even a small burden like yourself is a burden we do not need. The pack cannot hunt unless we are all of equal mind and strength. It was a mistake allowing you to come, and not a mistake I will make twice." The Nord stared at Evicious with all the contempt of generations of her ancestors. Evicious fought to keep the rising hiss in her throat from escaping. "You need more than numbers and force if you intend to live through the next part," The khajit's voice almost trembled from her anger, but she forced it into a short purr at the end instead. The huge woman chuckled derisively in response and turned on her heel. The rest of their group, now officially minus their "squeak toy", slung their bags and filed wordlessly out the inn door behind her. Sparks swirled in the wind of the opened door, then fell into tiny wisps of smoke as it closed, leaving the khajit in the silence of awkward public humiliation. Ignoring the poorly disguised stares of the other inn patrons, Evicious picked herself up from among the plates and cups on her table, and brushed herself free of scraps with all the dignity of her kind. She slung her equipment - a much smaller and lighter pack by comparison to the Nord's - and took a moment to stare cooly at some of the less subtle inn goers. None held her gaze; she was not impressive in size compared to her former companions, but khajit claws were not without their own legends either. She strode suddenly to the door, yanked it open and went through, letting the wind slam it shut behind her. It bit at her nose and ears, and pulled furiously at her cloak and hood, stabbing through her clothes and boots like icy daggers. Concealed in the freezing shadow of the inn's porch overhang, Evicious' frustration and anger boiled to the surface and broke over the edges of concious. Slowly, deliberately, softly.... her tail began to twitch. Goals: Keep getting stronger (but stay quick) 1. Stronglifts 5x5 three times a week + 2 mile run 2. Count my calories & drink my water 3. Practice guitar at least 15 min daily Bonus: Be in bed by 21:00
  16. Hi everyone, I did my first challenge two months ago and everything went quite well. The challenge helped me to lose some weight and start training again. As it is being difficult to me to start a challenge on time again, I have decided to start a battle log to keep track of my progress. My intention is to write down everything related to my workouts and diet for the next three months, at least once a week. I'm starting at late March, so it will finish at the end of June. My numbers after a week off on holidays (I will deload more or less 10%) are at this point: SQ: 75kg DL: 85kg BP: 55kg BR: 55kg OP: 30kg BW: 85kg BF% around 25% (hopefully less, I must check) My main goal is to stick within the SL5x5 program for this three months, and to get under 80kg and 20% BF. Tomorrow is my first day after my little break, I will update soon telling how everything is going.
  17. I am doing the Stronglifts 5 by 5 workout. I am in week 2 of the 12 weeks. Last time I did the workout I would get to around 225 in my squat and it was obvious my form starts to fail pretty badly but I can still lift the weight. I am worried about me knees and failing without getting hurt. What should I do? Also if I am eating clean (Whole 30/Paleo) can I expect to lose weight and get very fit with the SL 5 by 5? I am 6 ft, 210 lbs. Need to lose around 20-30 lbs...I think...maybe more or less. It's all about the clothes.
  18. As promised form check videos for three of my excercises. Any feedback would be great. The set up for the squat for me is usually the hardest part especially with getting it on the right place on my back. And my depth needs to be improved I think. OP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGHeoKqEiGQ SQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDzv8NjQlUI Row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDzv8NjQlUI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZKmCGa90zs
  19. ***Note: This is a busy week at work and as such I will finish this entry as soon as I can*** Helloooooooooooooo! Hello If you haven't seen me for a while, there are some reasons. But now I'm back and getting ready for a wedding in less than eight months! Main Quest Basically my main goal is going for the reduction of fat in my bodyweight composition. Plain and simple. I really don't have an end percentage in mind, just going for the "look good naked" thing, especially with my wedding happening in October I really want to look sexy for the lady-friend. I'll be sexy and I know it Goals: Get up and go! Due to my now-insane evening schedule detailed in reasons, I need to get up in the mornings to do workouts. Meh. Now, this can be done in any combination possible, as long as I get five days in between Sunday and Saturday with adequate rest days thrown in. My preference is Monday through Friday, but sometimes variation is necessary. Currently I am doing Stronglifts 5x5 and I don't see myself switching before the challenge is over. I will post my daily workouts of 5x5 and the cardio days in between them each day. As a side bit to this, I'm trying to figure out how I can add pull-ups into my workout, but I won't exactly track that this challenge just yet. Total days - 30 Stat points awarded if completed: +2 Str, +1 Con, +1 Sta The Beard goes modeling... sorta... To gauge my weight loss, rather than step on a scale (though I will continue to do that), I will take a weekly picture to gauge my progress. Nothing much else to it, it's pretty straight forward. Weight will help, but the difference after six weeks should be apparent. Total days - 6 Stat points awarded if completed: +3 Cha Forget about the guy, look at that beard. Quite the specimen. Om nom nom This one figures to be the hardest of all, it requires me to very open and vulnerable with you all. My goal is to hover around the 1800 mark for daily caloric intake (though if enough people recommend otherwise for whatever reason, I will reconsider). To help show that I am adhering to this, I will try to figure out a way to link my My Fitness Pal page to this site. Putting up pictures of me is a proverbial cake walk compared to this. This really makes me feel vulnerable. Because this is an experiment on my part, I will aim for 25 days, just because I might take a week to figure out the whole linking profiles thing. I will consider any and all suggestions people have on recommended edits to my diet. Total days - 25+ Stat points awarded if completed: +2 Cha, +2 Con Normally, I would post a life goal, but with my life being virtually consumed by everything else, I think I'll just try to get through until may with everything as is. So no life goals other than managing every aspect of my life. Well, that's it. Getting back into my first full challenge in a while. Let's see how this vulnerability thing goes. Also.... You forgot about him, didn't you. It's okay. He still thinks you are awesome.
  20. Yup, I did it. I officially crashed and burned. As my arbitrary post in the Respawn forum said, I finally died from the long, slow death that is the curse of all soldiers: that strange mixture of cockiness ("I'm a soldier; I do PT every morning! I'm a calorie-burning machine!") and denial ("I only eat fast food because my schedule is so crazy and the DFAC food is horrible!"). Fact 1: it is entirely possible to out-eat your workouts. Fact 2: it is entirely possible to believe Fact 1 is not applicable to you. Bonus Fact! It is also entirely possible to rationalize total lack of gym time by substituting any number of other frivolous activitiies! But enough bemoaning my demise. Time to reboot and start a NEW character!!! I'm a serial start-over-er in my games anyway; I suffer from a bit of perfectionism"noted" and a somewhat short attention span"noted", so I'm easily frustrated or bored if I make too many mistakes or step away from the game very long - or play it too long, as the case may be. That all sounds very terrible, and probably creates a lot of questions about my love of video games, but the flip side is that I love being able to learn from what I did wrong hoarding up new knowledge and making my new character even BETTER than the last one! Other serial restarters know what I'm talking about: there's nothing quite like being on your 6th character reincarnation at level 3 and having all the crap/being well on your way to having all the crap that your earlier character had (finally!) at level 21. You just feel..... smug! So this is my restart, and here are my goals (aka, "How I plan on using all this awesome experience I now have in failing to bot through all that previous sucky grinding"): 1. 5x5 Stronglifts. I never used a weightlifting program in the past, which was awesome at the time because I got to do a lot of experimenting.... but that childish method of 'run around and poke it with a stick to see what happens' would just be a waste of time at this point. I've worked out the quest progression line now, and I'll go through levels faster if I stick to the path. As noted in the previous paragraph, I'm both a perfectionist and a "- SQUIRREL!!!!!" which is why I've chosen this program. Simple enough that it's easy for me to be both anal about and to stick with: it's difficult even for me to get distracted inside of 3 exercises! 2. Calorie recording. I'm very good at counting calories. I'm very bad at trying to eat/drink within a limited number of them. But I make awesome dietary choices so long as I'm aware of them, which is why I've already begun tracking them in my phone. Example 1: Coworker brings in donuts to the office? No, thank you! I'm already wincing at the very idea of having to enter that in! Example 2: Second plate of dinner (because my husband is an amazing cook, and I am a willing and widemouthed meal participant) - extra helping of deliciously grilled (yes, you read that right) garlic bread or deliciously grilled kebabs? Hmm, let me compare here.... Yup! Kebabs it is! 3. Drink water. Duh, right? It's practically the Army's mantra - screw that bullshit, limp-dick "Army of One" slur no matter what's happening at any given point, you're 99% guaranteed to hear the phrase "Drink water!" at some point. But it's not just a reminder to hydrate (which I really need to do, seeing as I'm in the desert now); it's a way of reminding someone to "figure it out and get on with it". I have a LOT of new things going on in my life right now, and a whole bunch more on the horizon for next year that I need to start preparing for yesterday now. This means I have a looooooot of opportunity to make excuses for not focusing on goals 1 & 2, and some of them are going to be genuine reasons to skip a workout or forget to log a meal. But this 6WC is about habit building more than anything else for me - so I NEED to "drink water". Edited to add: Conquer the Caveman! Learn and practice the Caveman Squat until I convincing enough to lure in a sabertooth cat So there they are, my 3 goals + Side Quest! My hope is to log on to NF every day to update here, but I'll be happy if I just manage to keep on track with my goals on my end. I'll likely be logging my workouts on Fitocracy (linked in my sig) and my meals on my phone (because it's stupid-convenient and damn near impossible to forget). But I'll always try to make my posts entertaining, I can promise that much! And I'm a HUGE lurker of other people's threads, so don't be surprised if I have more activity around the site than here. Time to be a leaf on the wind! (Sans impalement)
  21. So I have been doing SL5X5 for a few months. I started doing them while eating about 1800 calories, and in November was struggling so I have been doing 2300ish calories, sort of a mini bulk. I have however gotten a bit rounder, as I was still a little on the high fat% side when I started. So I am preparing starting February to wind back down to about 1800 and cut. My maintenance is calculated to be 2200ish I have not had to deload yet from 3x failure on the same wight. I had a couple voluntary mini-deloads from injury or to correct form issues. But I am still making progress at 5x5. I won't have time to do much if any cardio at 5x5 for a cut. Some suggest that less volume is or less intensity while cutting. If I am still making strength gains at 5x5, is there a reason to pause adding weight or switch to 3x5 and 1x3 on DL? Not that it should matter but current lifts (in pounds) and stats: 34 y.o. male, 5'7", 150 in November, up to 160 Squat 195 Bench 140 row 120 Dead 220 press 85 all weights are completed 5x5 except DL of course. Thanks for any feedback.
  22. Introduction: Hello to everyone! This is my first challenge with a guild and I although I identify the most with the rangers, strength is my weakness ("One thing at a time, self, one thing at a time"). I want to learn from the warriors. I am not naturally strong (trying to build up squats from just using my body weight), but I hope this can change with your support. My husband likes to do lots of great outdoor activities like backpacking and white water rafting. Although I try to be a good sport, I don't come close to keeping up with him. I would like to change that and stop feeling like such a wimp. Main Quest: Develop habits that will give me strength and energy Quest 1: Lift 3 times a week (at least one day rest between) Reward: 100% = +5 STA -- sliding scale to reflect my actual workouts Quest 2: Build up to squat 25 pounds with 5x5 stronglifts Reward: 100% = +5 STR -- sliding scale to reflect my actual result Quest 3: Measure protein everyday by tracking food Reward: 100% = +5 WIS -- sliding scale to reflect my actual tracking Life Quest: None this time to keep it simple Motivation: I don't want to get tired when working or playing.
  23. *GASP!!!* The last 6 months of my time in Korea were one looooooong backslide, and the remaining months of 2014 were the coup de grâce. It began with skipping workouts and stacking Coors cans, and has culminated in an uncomfortably tight fit to my running pants. BUT! I am finally settled in and completely out of excuses (including holidays, yay! I hate holidays) so it is time to officially turn the game back on and get grinding. Thanks gods for 6WC, amiright? So begins the interesting part of the saga....
  24. Hey all. I've been running a modified 5x5 program for a while but my gym just updated some of their equipment so I've been trying some new things out and want a little advice on my program. Here's what I'm doing currently: Warm-up x2: Mountain Climbers x25 Jumping Jacks x25 Burpees x10 Air Squats X10 Half-Crunch on a ball x10 'A' day: Squats - 5x5 Bench - 5x5 Bent-over Row - 5x5 'B' day: Squats - 5x5 Press - 5x5 Deadlift - 1x5 Accessory: Kettlebell Swing - 5x10 Medicine Ball Slam - 5x10 Planks Yoga - 10 minutes to stretch at the end of my workout. I also walk about 2 miles every day, minimum, as the gym is a mile away. My only issues with this program have been stalling out on my Press. Before I took a few months off from the gym I had been stuck at 90-95 lb on my Press for nearly 3 months. I need to focus more on my Press I feel. Thoughts?
  25. Okay, so I nearly didn't even participate in this 6 week challenge. My life is kind of in a flux at the moment while I try and figure out how to get from point A (where I am now, feeling miserable about what my 31 years on this planet have amounted to so far) to point C (a fulfilled, happy, financially feasable future that allows me to pursue the things I'm passionate about) without being restricted by the fact that point B really doesn't exist. In line with that, all of the things I'm trying to do at the moment are very long term (improve all of my lifts, acheive a pull-up, lose a lot of weight, continue to work on improving my creative writing, etc). And as a result, i was thinking that the 6 week format wasn't really conducive to helping me acheive them, when for the last couple of challenges, it's mostly just left me feeling restricted, and unfulfilled. But sometime between 23:45 on 10/11 and 00:00 11/11, inspiration struck. I'm aware that my diet is completely off the planet at the moment, and that I need to get a handle on it if I want to start moving forward in my weight loss. I'm also going to have to improve on the amount of high quality protein I put in my body if I intend to continue improving all of my lifts. And diet really is something I can get a hold of in 6 weeks (or at least put a big enough dent in to make me feel good about myself again). So here it is, the dreaded Diet Monster! My diet currently consists of mostly takeaway becausé my wife and I are generally too lazy to cook. The only meal that we are consistently getting right is breakfast. Currently that means oatmeal. My biggest problem with this is that the only protein I'm getting is the tiny bit in the actual oats, and the little bit I get from the half cup of milk I use to cook the oats in. And other than that, everything I eat tends to be bad for me. Time for a change however. My long term goal is to get myself on a diet that consists of two meals a day that are lean, clean, and packed full of micro nutrients, one snack of fresh fruit per day, A breakfast that actually provides me with some protein to go with my complex carbohydrates, a whey protein shake or two to supplement the whole ordeal, and finally a low calorie dessert of some kind. The whole thing should add up to around 1800 calories per day, which is far too low for me, but I'll be adding in 1 cheat day per week where I get to eat up to 3200 calories so long as I hit my protein goals for the day (which are anywhere between 140-180 grams per day) I'm not going to stress too much about the calorie allowances, as I've sort of done some math and figured out what that means as far as the portion sizes of each of the meals listed above, so as long as I stick to around those goals, I should be fine. The key for me will then be, how many days of the week can I stick to the diet plan, and that will be how I grade myself. 1 Day per week - F 2 Days per week - E 3 Days per week - D 4 Days per week - C 5 Days per week - B 6 Days per week - A I've left the 7th day out because I don't really think I need to grade myself on how well I can eat a cheat meal. Anyway, I'm a day late, so I'm already going to be behind the 8 ball, but we'll just have to see how I go. Ontop of this, I'm still working on my pull-up goal, to which I'm currently using just 34.3kg of assistance now, and feeling stronger almost every day. And I'm also working on my creative writing by going back to the online creative writing course I did quite some time ago now, and going through the modules again. Hopefully it will result in a stepping up of my writing abilities and help motivate me to write more. But that does mean that I won't be participating in NaNo this year, because I don't think pressure writing 50,000 words in a month is what I'm looking for. Quality over quantity until I can produce polished work that doesn't read like a 3rd grader wrote it. That's it for now, and assuming I don't become too distracted chasing my dreams, I'll be sure to try and keep you all updated.
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