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  1. Damn. 2018 is almost here. I just survived a third Amazon.com holiday peak season at the warehouse. I am not doing another. I plan to be out by June at the latest. To do this, I'm going back to school. With my class schedule, I can kick back to 30 hours of work, and I get an extra day "off." I have classes Mon and Tuesday morning, and Thursday afternoon, and Sunday off with the full days of ten hours of work. THIS MEANS I CAN RUN AN ACTUAL 4 DAY POWERLIFTING PROGRAM AGAIN!!! Goal 1, POWERLIFTING: I had an idea for another overly elaborate and thought out POWERLIFTING program a couple of months ago. I'm gonna do that. I'll explain later. It's very taoist. Goal 2, CARDIO: What? Don't we hates that? Yes we does. But we musts. Yeah. Fuck cardio. But I really do believe that if you can't run, 5k... slowly is fine, you're not in great shape. I'm going to include some HIIT on workout days. Then try for at least one long endurance run each week with the goal of making it to 5k with no breaks. Goal 3, ABZ! Abz every workout. Nuff said. Goal 4, STOP FUCKING SNACKING Granted I recently set a new 4 year weight PR recently, but I'd have done it in September had it not been for the Twix bar I typically have on my second break at work, or the other stupid food choices I make frequently. LUYL_1: LEARN FUCKING SPANISH ALREADY Gonna get a Spanish language course and practice it. Seriously, I'm an American. Why don't I know Spanish yet? LUYL_2: COMPLETE THE FUCKING TFA APPLICATION If I'm a couple months into my machine tool program and not loving it to fucking death, I'm joining up with Teach for America, and I'm gonna teach science in the ghetto or the sticks somewhere.
  2. So Hollywood has decided to make a blockbuster movie, a spinoff of Game of Thrones, called the Clash of Khal's. The story centers on Khal Drogo's rise to power and features many epic battles with rival Dothraki hordes. Jason Momoa told them to fuck off because they didn't offer him enough money, so now I'm playing the lead role. Of course, to play the lead in a blockbuster action movie, I have to get in shape to play the part. I'm gonna need to get ripped. I'm gonna need big showy muscles to look good on camera. I'm gonna need endurance to get through long days on set, and the coordination and agility to perform my own stunts and participate in fight scenes. Brogo goes to Khal-E-wood is going to be a series of challenges designed to get me in shape in much the same way that Hollywood actors use to train for their movie roles. I've been reading some of the articles about how these guys have been training to get in shape for their roles: How The Rock trained for Hecules, how skinny Jake Gylenhall trained for Southpaw, Hugh Jackman → Wolverine, and how Chris Pratt went from being Andy Dwyer to Peter Quill and Owen in Jurassic World. Most of these workout programs center on barbell training using strength and hypertrophy, and use additional circuits or complexes to increase weightloss and work muscle simultaneously. They may also incorporate fighting or martial arts work depending on the role. Basically, by supplementing my current strength routine I can make my workouts start approaching the rigor used by actors to prepare for action roles. So this series of challenges will take me around the guilds a bit. Where I'm at: My big 2016 goal is to bench press my bodyweight. I'm at 263 now, and plan to take a short break when I hit 250 to maintain weight and increase my bench and see if I can hit it. My best bench ever was 235, and I'm currently benching 180 for 3x3.I've spent the last two challenges nailing down my nutritional needs and figuring out how to manage steady weight loss. I've mostly been successful with losing a pound a week and keeping it up the last two months. More on this stuff later. I've also been reconditioning my big three barbell lifts. I have been successful with this as well, but progress has slowed since I'm getting closer to where I was before my 5 month lifting hiatus, and I'm cutting. Since I'm cutting, the big strength gains will have to wait a bit. But while I'm doing that, I can focus on some other conditioning work and bringing some of my current weaknesses up. Lately, of concern are my core strength and mobility. Plus I really want to get chins and pullups going and hopefully get more comfortable with jumping onto, up to, or over stuff. I'll be starting in the Assassins to try and condition myself to be more “Spry” by focusing on bodyweight exercises, core work, some agility, and mobility. Sounds Assassin-y enough to me. Here goes: Meta-Goal 1, Getting Spry: Goal 1, Stretch. Basically go through the stretching equivalents of squat, bench, and deadlift for stretching every day. Hip flexor stretch and/or couch stretch Thoracic extensions (palms up, arms back, head back) Forward bends If I just put a few minutes into each of these every day while I'm brewing coffee it'll pay off. And it should become routine, and I can start building on it by throwing some foam rolling and yoga poses in. Grading: 1 point for each day of the challenge. Goal 2, Core. I want a stronger and better coordinated core. I found this progression: http://jasonferruggia.com/gymnastic-secret-stronger-abs/ It looks like a decent place to start developing better coordination. These exercises will be my go-to's. And some of what this article says I think will help me with developing strength. http://www.elitefts.com/education/training/seven-rules-of-highly-effective-core-training/ And I really want to follow the hanging leg raise progression video at the end. Grading: 1 point for each core workout Goal 3, Jump. Box jumps, jump rope, distance jumping. Whatever gets the spring back in my step. 1 point for each jumping exercise. Goal 4, Pullups In my last workout, I was able to do 5 pullups with 40 lbs. of assistance. I'm going to keep shooting to decrease assistance until I can do an actual pullup. 1 point for each pullup workouts Bonus: +5 points if I complete one pullup from a dead hang by the end of the challenge. Bonus: +1 point if I do all 4 in one day. Meta-Grading 1: <25 F, 30 = C, 40=B 50=A Meta-Goal 2, Maintain. I still need to stay focussed on getting my bodyweight bench press. 2 strength workouts per week. (1 pt. Per workout) Keep average caloric intake at or below 3200 kcal/day. (1 pt per day <= 3200) Bonus: +10 points for a bodyweight bench press. Meta-Grading 2: Percentage of the <25 F, 30 C, 35 B, 40 A Meta-Goal 3: Circuits and Complexes I really like doing barbell complexes based around the Oly lifts which should help make me spry and encourage fat burn. Plus, when I do assistance work I usually organize it into supersets or circuits. But I want to do this more often and really up my game. Whenever I am working on the above and/or other assistance work, I'll perform them as a circuit or complex. It counts if there's no rest between exercises until the circuit is done and I've done it at least twice. Bonus: +1 if I do a circuit with all my spryness goals Meta-Grading 3: 1 pt for each circuit or complex. <4 F, 6 C 8 B, 10 A LUYL: Soto Zen style Zazen Meditation Enduring the lotus position with a straight back, a steady breath, and a still mind. Start with 5 min. per day. Add 5 min each week. tl;dr - I'm gonna jump, and do core, and hang from stuff, and work on being less of a slouch, while I'm cutting for the sake of a bodyweight bench press. Scoreboard: (as of ocho de Mayo) MG1: Stretch: 10 Core: 5 Jump: 1 Pullup: 2 MG2: Strength: 4 Nutrition: 0 MG3: Circuits: 2 LUYL: Zazen: 0
  3. That's right, it's time to actually do abs. I had just started reliably incorporating ab work into my routine when I injured my back. Now it's even MORE important for me to do core work. So, onto the goals Zero Week Goals (will probably continue into challenge proper): -Do PT ab work every day (I got to level 2 last night! Much excitement) -Do PT stretches every day + pigeon -DO NOT OVEREXERT WITH YOGA OR LIFTING - if something hurts, twinges, feels off, feels uncomfortable, etc I am to stop immediately. I'm 'allowed' to go back to the gym for lifting tomorrow, but I need to be VERY careful. *will insert gifs and actual challenge goals later* Goal 1: Do not hurt thyself young Padawan. The weights will still be there. Continue on finding ways to lift that don't hurt. The new bench setup thing was gold. DL's the other day were fine, but I think yin yoga after was too much. I have evil DOMS, and some back tightness (not pain, but I don't want to wait until it gets there to take a breather). This means: stopping if feeling twinge. Not overdoing it. Taking weight increases slow. Goal 2: Do PT exercises/stretches, every day. No exceptions. Minimum stretches and 1 round of Level 1 exercises. More than that is better, but that's the minimum. I like doing them before bed. Goal 3: 5 workouts a week, of any kind. Yoga, walking for >2 miles, gym time, etc. PT exercises don't count - Post one video to Instagram or NF a week for form check. Even if I don't post it to actual form check, I think I'm just educated enough that I could spot anything terrible by just watching the video myself. I'd prefer to post it though. I have a bench one I need to post, it's on IG. I'll figure out how to embed it. LUYL: Okay, I got it. Instead of doing a food number goal (which sounds stressful) I'm going to do a recipe goal again. 4 new recipes in 4 weeks. Boom. Hopefully this will help me explore food without making me stress about cooking things, not liking them, then having to worry about how to put it in MFP
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