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  1. I've been lifting heavy and hard for roughly a year now, and raised all of my maxes significantly. But within the last few months, I've hit a hard plateau on my bench press at 200/205. I've tried multiple different programs to break though it, but I always end up failing sets around this weight. Programs attempted thus far: 1. Stronglifts 5x5 - This is where I started, and this got me to about 150-160. 2. Effortless Superhuman (Tim Ferris, 4 Hour Body) - This worked well up until I hit the 200/205 plateau. Despite multiple resets, I couldn't break it. 3. Eating the Elephant (Tim Ferris, 4 Hour Body) - This program is supposed to be designed specifically to break bench press plateaus, but I still failed at the 200/205. My diet for roughly 6 months has been Tim Ferris's "Slow Carb Diet," to include the Saturday cheat days, and extra protein from whey protein powder + water shakes to support muscle growth. The only area I already know I struggle with is sleep, as I often times will only average 5 hours a night. I've come a long way in my journey, but I'm not satisfied, and I refuse to let 200 be my max when I know there are people out there lifting triple that or more. Any and all help would be appreciated, I can take the criticism if anyone knows something I'm doing wrong or a program that would be helpful.
  2. Greetings Everyone, I'm not new to NerdFitness but I am new to forum posting. I really enjoyed Steve's book and found myself saying "Yes!" aloud as I read it last year. I was especially inspired by the stories of people who share my love of fantasy and sci fi lit and found creative ways to integrate that into their lives. I sought out the website and the community and in the past six months I've learned a lot. But life seems to have thrown a new challenge at me and I plan to look here for help and support (also I will be joining as a full member soon). Ive been a powerlifter for about 20 years now. My body bears the telltale signs of a life of heavy lifting. My legs are slightly bowed, my knee and hip joints sound like a bowl of rice krispies when i lift(snap cracke and pop!), and my knees tell me when bad weather is on the way. My best career lifts are a 501 squat in competition at a body weight of 165lbs. My best bench was 325(lbs in the gym) and the best deadlift was 485(lbs, again, in the gym). Recently though I've developed some severe sciatica and lower back pain. So bad that I'm having a hard time sitting for long periods of time and heavy squats and deadlifts leave me bedridden. I get numbness in the lower back and a shooting pain in my left kneecap. I can still squat around 275 for reps no problem, but deadlifts are literally a backbreaker. I can't go above 3 reps on anything. Even 135 causes pain in the warmups. If i go too heavy on squats(over 350) i have trouble walking the next day. I've got an appointment with a dr but I already sense my heavy lifting days are done. My body can't take the beatings it did. Unfortunately I have a job that involves a lot of sitting( I was an English Teacher for 12 years but left for political and personal reasons. And any teacher that sits all day is really not doing his/her job). I like my new job, but all this inactivity scares me. And I believe it also contributed to the Sciatica. I am very overweight: 5'5" and 205lbs. I'd like to say its muscle, and I believe some of it is, but at the Dr appt I suspect that the body fat measurements will be extremely high. Most days I feel like a Jaimie Lannister after losing his hand, or Kvothe when he lost his father's lute. Squats were my signature lift. To not be able to do them anymore is hard, and going into the gym without being able to do them heavy is humbling and makes me want to avoid it. Because I need a goal, and because that goal can never just be looking good(too subjective for me, but I wouldn't mind being complemented on looking better) I've decided to become a bench press specialist. I can still bench without issue, no major aches and pains, and as long as I can still squat something I can generate testosterone and human growth hormone production. Also, I can diet down to the 83kg class(about 183 lbs) and probably still hold on to my strength levels. My goal is to bench press 400+ in competition. For those who dont know(and not trying to be condescending here, just informative), a bench press competition lift requires the lifter to pause the bar at the chest and wait for the head referee's 'press' command. Its harder but cleaner. And technically its a lot safer than bouncing the bar off your chest. To be competitive in this class on the national level I need at least a 365lb bench. Since switching over to this and experimenting with new programs I've found my bench increase. I can currently bench 325 with a pause. But this is at a bodyweight of 205. So, Im going to be digging in the forums and blogs here for dieting advice ( I dont think I'll go full paleo, but i will stop eating grains and breads and pastas. I will eat mostly meat, rice, fruits, nuts and vegetables with lots of milk. Milk is the one food I have a hard time going without. And of course I must say goodbye to cakes, and pies and cookies my achilles heels). In the spirit of this forum Im labelling this Gimli's Quest: Remember the scene in the movie The Two Towers where Gimli has the wargs and orcs land on top of him, and he has to basically bench press them off him? That is a good visual image for what I want to do. I suppose some people might be asking why I'm doing this here, reaching out to THIS community for support and dialogue. Well, powerlifting forums tend to be dismissive of injuries, and unforgiving of what they percieve as half measures. They might get the Jaimie Lannister reference, but not the full meanings behind it. And most of them will suggest a cycle of steroids(which I have never used and never will). And too many bro scientists out there. Instead, what I want here, is community. I love helping new lifters in the sport, and have several "padawans" at my current gym. And if there is one true thing in Steve's book that stayed with me its this: seek out your own tribe. That is where you find the community you need. In the spirit of the Steve's book I've created my own levelling rubric. Im posting it here for other people to use. Feel free to adapt it to your own programming or fitness goals. Any suggestions or advice will be greatly appreciated. Also, for those of you with powerlifting experience: I had done 5/3/1 with a lot of success in the past. Going to bench only though Ive switched to a Sheiko program. For the first two months of switching to Bench specialization I used the App for android with intermediate medium and large loads and stripped away the squat and deadlift parts. Ive now adopted the four day a week Bench program for Master of Sport. Surprisingly, I can bench well over 80% of my 1RM on paused benches up to 4x per week and have no shoulder issues whatsover. Eastern European programming really is on point. GIMLI"S BENCH QUEST: 250,000pts for Mastery Proof of Mastery: 405 total in an IPF sanctioned Meet. Levels Levels 0-9: 0-49,999: Squire Levels 10-19: 50,000-99,999: Man at Arms Levels 20-29: 100,000-149,999: Knight Levels 30-39: 150,000-199,999: Crusader Levels 40-49: 200,000-249,999: Templar Levels 50-+: 250,000: Paladin Point System: 10 pts for a day of lifting 50 pts for 1 month of lifting without missing a day 1000pts for 6 months without changing program 5000 pts for competing in a meet Points by Bench -must be paused but not necessarily in a meet, except for 405 -if you skip a 5lb increment (example: going from 315 to 325) you get the points for the 5lb increment below also (example 315 to 325 = 9040: 4520 for 320 and 4520 for 325) 315: 4520 (+bonus for milestone 4520) 320: 4520 325: 4520 330: 4520 335: 4520 (+bonus for milestone 4520) 340: 4520 345: 4520 350: 4520 355: 4520(+bonus for milestone 4520) 360: 4520 365: 4520(+bonus for milestone 4520) 370: 4520 375: 4520 380: 4520 385: 4520(+bonus for milestone 4520) 390: 4520 395: 4520 400: 4520 405: 4520(+bonus for milestone 4520)
  3. The last challenge was primarily about 2 things; getting my squat up to what I deemed an acceptable level and setting a foundation for upper body work by getting my Row form and technique correct. I managed both of those, so for this challenge I'll be building upon that foundation and easing off the intensity of the squats. Despite being overweight for much of my life, you wouldn't be able to tell if you just looked from the waist down. Above the waist, however, I look like a sack of potatoes. Mashed potatoes. And functionally I'm not as strong as I'd like to be. And SL has kinda reinforced this (or at least made the difference more obvious) with squats taking up the majority of time and effort. With this in mind, my challenges for this month are as follows: 1a. Prioritise Upper body. Do my upper body exercises first. Hopefully this will get around the problem of running out of energy in the latter part of a session. 1b. Add 10kg to all 'none squat' lifts. Assuming that the theory above is correct and I have more energy for these lifts, I should be able to add 10kg to my Bench Press, Overhead Press, Bent-over Rows and Deadlifts. 2. Concrete on bracing. Whilst I'm pleased with my squat, I need to work on my technique, especially where my core is concerned. I'll be lowering the weight and concentrating on bracing my substantial middle section. 3. Cardio day. Once a week, do a day of cardio. I hate cardio. But I need to get rid of my substantial middle section. Once a week do something cardio-ish. Half an hour on the exercise bike, go for a walk and so on and so forth. Something. Anything. Not much, but a start. Now, watcha gonna do, Brother and/or sister, when Kong-a-Mania runs wild on you?!
  4. Kishi

    Kishi Says Balance

    Still reeling from my Feelings on this game. So, that's the theme music. Deal with it. So, basically, I've been struggling with balance. Sleep and food and weights and martial arts. It's a lot of fun, but the truth is, I want to skew more toward martial arts. And, looking down the line, one other thing that I'm going to want to do is to get into flexibility training. Right now, there's no way that the current schedule is going to let that happen. Also, I'm about as heavy as I was back in high school, and it's not muscle that's making the difference. I want to fix that. I looked into all the various things I'm doing, and I've realized that there is a way to do it, but it's going to involve a pretty radical shift. It's going to involve stepping off of Leangains, setting my own calories and macros, adjusting 5/3/1 to 2x/week, and adjusting GB to fit that, as well as making sure that I get enough sleep. Fortunately, this isn't even remotely impossible. I remember the past experiments and what they've taught me. And I think I can do it. To be clear, it's gonna be tough. But I spent most of last night hyped up on the idea and brushing up on the things that I think I know. I think I can make this work. But it's going to involve a lot of discipline and some effort on the front end as I adjust the things. But I genuinely think there are rewards to be gained from trying this. I think I'll be able to do Judo on Wednesdays again, and the habit of going back there will make further training possible. I also think I'll be able to avoid the wait at the... weight... racks, and just be able to focus on going out and kicking butt and taking names. And hey, who knows? I might just be able to finally find my way to the not-Kali that we offer at the dojo. And maybe even getting this writing ish figured out too. So. Here are the goals. They're training goals... except they're life goals too. Hooo boy. GOAL 1: HOMEBREWED INTERMITTENT FASTING Caloric average set at 1950. Macros adjusted to suit, based on past experimentation that has shown me what my body responds to. GOAL 2: PRACTICE Monday: Rest Tuesday: KB snatches/GB(SLS) and Karate Wednesday: GB(Core) and Judo Thursday: S&S/GB(Upper Body) and Karate Friday: 5/3/1 BP and DL Saturday: S&S/GB(Handstand) Sunday: 5/3/1 Squat and OHP Now, this looks like a lot. And that's because it is, in fact, a lot. But it's not as much as it looks like. Most of this is actually over and done with pretty fast - anywhere from 5-20 minutes. The stuff that takes longer is slated to take place on days when the time should exist for those things to be done with their due diligence. These adjustments have been made based on my observations of the gym's peak times as well - Wednesday is a stupid-busy time to do barbell training, for instance, so compensate by doing something quick that doesn't require any equipment at all. By contrast, Friday and Sunday are relatively dead times, and I've never had trouble getting a rack on those days. I also think that doing 5/3/1 twice per week feels more Soviet anyway. Wendler says that there's no need to do deloads unless "you need to" and that frees me to wave my training up or down based on the input that my body is giving me. Honestly, the trickiest part about this is the nutritional aspect. I've stacked it so that I have a lot of lower calorie days, with Friday and Sunday being the days for lots of calories. It's not as crazy as it sounds, though - work loves to feed me, coworkers love to feed me, fam loves to feed me, and there is food everywhere. Honestly, it's pretty rare for me to have a week go by the way I plan it, so I've basically planned for it to go sideways. BRING IT. GOAL 3: CLEANLINESS Get the room cleaned up. Get the gi taken care of. Get the extra clothes gone. Get some frickin' sleep. (what. sleep hygiene is a thing). With the sleep in particular, I want to make a point of getting down to bed before midnight on the weekends. I just don't gain anything by being up that late, but I do lose a lot of time and momentum. GOAL 4: WRITE So, hey guys, writing characters is actually forcing me to think and dig into my story and it's making me better. But, I'm still struggling with consistency. Like always. So, we're going to make this stupid-easy - just work on one character every day. It can be the same character if it has to be, but Always Be Character...ing? Welcome to English, where everything's made up and the grammar don't matter. And with that, we enter into what might be the strangest adventure yet.
  5. I haven't done a form check in a while, and it seems like my form on a few things might be shaky. I've been doing squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, and power clean as described in Starting Strength, although I am no longer doing that program. Hopefully it won't be too confusing to do all five in one thread. Seems like my depth here is borderline. Here is where I think I might have a significant form problem. For several months now, whenever I do overhead press, the outside of my right elbow (possibly my lateral epicondyle) hurts at the bottom of the press. It gets better when I focus on controlling the descent, but it doesn't completely go away. I don't get elbow pain at any other time, including during bench press. I'm not aware that my form changed recently, but it didn't always feel like this. Sorry that the video is too zoomed in. Hopefully that doesn't frustrate analysis. Regrettably, I was not able to finish this set, despite the powerful encouragement from my spotter. Since this was taken, I have been able to do 187.5x5. Like overhead press, my bench press has increased very slowly (less than 2.5 lbs a week). I am starting to see a little back bend on the last rep. I'm not sure if the video captures it, but my hook grip was also starting to fail. When I watch this, it seems like it takes me forever to get under the bar. I appreciate anybody's feedback.
  6. Main Goal: Bodyweight Bench Press Goal 1, Bench: Continue to lift on my current SS reboot type of program. Briefly, I started a Starting Strength type of noob program to recondition myself, and I'm staying on it until I've burned out all of its usefulness. I have more brutal an painstaking details about what I'm doing in my programming thread. Right now I'm doing 2 days each week of 5x5 Squats, Bench Presses, and Deadlifts with a few assistance lifts thrown in at the end. Squats and deadlifts increase by 10 lbs, and bench by 5 lbs. My next workout will be: Squat: 215# 5x5 Bench Press: 160# 5x5 Deadlift: 275# 1x5 Basically I'm just sticking to the lifting plan and lifting at least twice each week. My only plan right now is to stick to this since it is working. I lost about 5 lbs last challenge, and my lifts are increasing. Grading: 10 workouts to pass. (I'm including week zero in the final score, and my sidequest grants bonus points). Sidequest: Workout number three: I've struggled to add a third weekend workout. So bonus points if on Sundays I manage to do the following: Front Squat: 95# 5x5 Clean and Press: 65# 5x5 Assistance work. These two are to be integrated into my SS-esque program later. C&P will eventually be split into power cleans and presses when the press starts limiting the clean. I can even do these at home if needed. Goal 2, Hit nutrition goals: Stay under 3200 cals/day, by 7-day average. For the first week, I need to be under 3200 daily. After that, I need to maintain my weekly average under 3200. I'm starting the challenge with a 7-day avg of 3359, so I need to bring it down. Grading: Percentage of days below 3200. Sidequest 1, Battlelog first: I collected awesome data last challenge. My goal is to continue collecting it. The only thing I want to change is to make sure it gets to my battle log. I often tend to come to my challenge threads and post, but after the challenge is over, if I didn't repost in my BL, workouts and things get lost. Post all workouts in BL, and update with nutrition and weight data weekly. +2 bonus pts. if all my workouts make it to my battle log. Goal 3, Chins, curls, and core. I need to make these the focus of my assistance work. So each time I do assistance I have to, have to, have to work on at least one of the three. Chins does not mean rowing or facepulls or another back exercise, it mean grabbing onto a bar and at least doing partials and negatives of chinups. Curls means any curl variation. Core means any core exercise. It doesn't sound hard but for some reason I can quickly forget any of these when I do assistance work, if I have time to do assistance work. Goal 4, Mobility: Do one stretching, foam rolling, and/or yoga session each weekend. LUYL: (aka other shit I've got going on in April) Gardening: Spring is here so I've got to prep those garden beds and plant things out. I just want to make sure I work on it on my weekend at least one day. Writing: So I still have that damn paper to finish writing from grad school. We're almost done, but I've barely spent any time on it since I started working again. Same deal, I just need to spend one night each week working on it. Without this paper, my advisor can't give me a good reference so I'm not likely to be moving forward with my career much if I don't finish it. Art: I haven't painted or drawn anything in a while. Again, I want to spend some time on it each weekend. I have three days off each week so I hope I can devote a good chunk of each day to each of these.
  7. Bro's and SwoleMaidens, "Let not the gains of your heart diminish the gains from your mind for the path of iron is long and full of hardship" Book of Liftviticus ch23, v13 Our cardio workouts aren't done. This time you won't be able to stand there and rest, so get your spotter. We are benching and benching a lot. Rules are continuous touch and go benches. You can only rest in the up position and not rerack the bar. Spotter help = end of your lift. You have to the end of this current challenge period to complete this challenge. Easy/normal mode The standard challenge will be 40 reps at 40% of your Body weight. To make this easier, you can do 20 reps at 25% of your body weight. Easy mode: +.5 strength, +.5 constitution Normal mode: +1 Strength, +1 constitution Hard Mode 40 reps at 80% of your bodyweight. +1.5 strength, +1.5 constituion Nightmare mode 40 reps at 100% BW. +2 strength, +2 constitution or you can play "Am I stronger than an NFL prospect?" AMRAP 225lbs 0-5 reps = I hope your kicking game is good 6-10 reps = are you fast and have good hands as a WR 11-15 reps = Stop throwing those interceptions! 16-20 reps = You dance game be strong after you take the interception to the house 21-25 reps = See you on Sportscenter, big hitter. 26-30 reps = taking the rock to the house 31-40 reps = you are big, fat and ugly, but you push everyone around on the field 40+ reps = lets check to see where you are in the record books
  8. The last couple of challenges have been mainly about setting a good balance between life, work and the gym and lifting in competition for the first time in powerlifting. Now I want to start addressing more specific things to help set myself up properly for hopefully qualifying for the British Classic next year. 1. Maintain my weight I need to maintain my weight between 84kg-85kg to easily make weight for competition at 83kg without needing to do anything crazy. I'll record this through daily weigh-ins and will use weekly average to measure how things are going, since my weight is always up on a Sunday and Monday. I'm not going to track macros on the forum this time because I find it really tedious. 2. Bench, Bench, BENCH!!! I am really bad at bench press. To the point where I am embarrassed by it. As a competitive lifter, it essentially means that I start at a 20kg to 25kg handicap to other lifters and while my deadlift makes up for it somewhat, it's a liability when it comes to posting a competitive total. I'm never going to be a great bencher but I need to improve my weakness somewhat and get up to at least a 120kg-ish bench by the end of the year. I've benched 105x2 touch and go but haven't done over 95kg in competition conditions. I have the potential strength to do more at the moment but am held back by technique so I'm working on this with a few of the other people I'm train with, three times a week. The other thing I need to do is get more confident about tacking heavier weights so I want to attempt at least one 95%+ lift every week of this challenge. 3. Starting towards a triple bodyweight deadlift One of my long term goals is to pull three times my bodyweight. My coach believes that this will go this year - I need to hit 247.5kg at 82.5kg bodyweight and I've already done 225kg with perhaps 10kg more there - but it will still be a big milestone. Difficult to track this one as I'm unlikely to deadlift anything much over 200kg during this challenge but it's more a statement of intent than anything. 4. Play through my gaming backlog Something I have been doing for the last month or so is enjoying replaying some classic videogames and playing stuff in my Pile of Shame for the first time. Partly it's that I spend too much money on games I play for a few hours and then don't touch again. Another aspect is that I've discovered that I just enjoy older games more and am hugely enjoying playing through them. So for this challenge I want to keep this up and try and finish a few classics. A week or so ago I completed Metal Gear Solid 2 for the first time (I made it insanely close to the end back in 2003 and gave up in frustration on one particular boss fight). At the moment I'm playing through Metal Gear Solid 3 HD and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Once those are done I will have Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Zelda: Twilight Princess, Okami and Metal Gear Solid 4 on my plate so I'll see how my mood takes me.
  9. I'll be continuing on the path to a body weight bench press. Bench Goal 1: Be methodical Last challenge I switched up my program three times trying to manage recovery, and realized I was just biting more than I could chew and decided to back off and retrain my base. So... I'll be doing Starting Strength from the near beginning. For this goal I have to stick to the plan: (spoilered cuz long and complicated) A bit wordy because I need to lay down specifics for myself and things I can check off to make sure I've done all I can. tl;dr Stick to the program until you've gotten all you can get from it. 1) Don't take big unnecessary jumps on lifts 2) Try to maintain LP as long as possible by decreasing weight increases 3) Put recovery first 4) Don't jump into an intermediate program when I get bored. Sidequest: Buy or make fractional plates/weights. Grading: ... ? Just stick to the plan pass/fail. I doubt I'll encounter any big challenges this first month, so there are not really any excuses. Bench Goal 2: Be Consistent Maintain 2-3 weekly workouts. Track workouts using fitnotes. Sidequest: I've dusted off my battle log recently. I'll be posting all my workouts their. I want to get back to maintaining it so I have records not tied to challenge threads which are basically like toilet paper: use then flush. Grading: 12 workouts = A, 8 = D, <8 = F Goal 3, Track nutrition I need to get back to logging on MFP. Every day. Tracking macros. Grading: Percent of days tracked, usual scale. >90 A, <60 F Goal 4, Track weight and waistline first thing every morning. Measure each once a week. Grading: Same as nutrition. Sidequest: Identify the monthly trends Once I have all this data tracked I want to make sure I assess it and make sense of it at the end of the month in some kind of report. It would be good to observe when my weight spikes or decreases, and see if it's affecting my lifting. LUYL: Job Hunt: I need more money so I'm going to start looking around. So one application a week sounds good. I also want to explore within Amazon, where I currently work, for pathways into other departments/advancement. 5pts total. **************************************************** Weekly Measurements: Week Weight Waist Avg_Cals Avg_Pro Bench 0 273.6 39.5" -- -- 120 (5x5) 1 273.3 39.0" 2900 189 130 (5x5) 2 272.6 41.0" 3182 189 140 (5x5) 3 270.1 39.25" 3209 189 150 (5x5)
  10. In 2016, I will bench press my bodyweight <period> Last challenge, I got some of my shit together so I can make progress on this. Goal 1, Bench... Use it: I'm gonna run a cycle of 5/3/1 with a bench, or bench assistance exercise every workout. I'll start with the deload week since I haven't lifted in like forever. Goal 2, Breakfast Burritos in the Blue Buick: I spend 45 min driving each way from work. Eating in the car will help me make time for the gym. So this goal is all about batch cooking and meal prep so I can save the time I have outside of work... especially car friendly food like sausage and eggs wrapped in tortillas. edit: I'm not kidding, I do in fact drive a Blue Buick, same color as this font even. Goal 3, Bendy reloaded: I slacked off at this last challenge. I need to stretch (edit) and practice one yoga pose on two of my breaks at work. And do an NF Yoga routine once a week. LUYL: Blog: Write a draft of my introductory blog post.
  11. Since during the last challenge I was channeling earthbender stubbornness and determination, I think this one calls for waterbending adaptability. Water is the element of change, and dog knows I need to make some changes before uni starts again. Goal #1: Light as Vapor I've managed to get from 67kg to 61.8kg in three months, but I still need to lose a few more so I can bulk a bit without going over the limit of my TKD weight class. The goal is to get to 59.0 kg. It should be doable, but I've been stuck at my current weight for over a week now, so I need to figure out how to get it moving again. Goal #2: Hard as Ice Aka, Conquer the Damn Bench Press. That lift has been such an issue for me, and on top of that, I pulled my pectoral and serratus anterior benching a couple of weeks ago, so last time I was at the gym, I had to use <10kg baby dumbbells. I'm planning to restart with the bar and work my way up to 3x5x25kg, which I know is not a huge increment but I just want to see some progress, even a little. Goal #3: Still Waters I'm a bad sleeper. I had unexplainable insomnia that lasted for months and still rears its ugly head occasionally. I'm also such a nightowl I can't fall asleep if I try it before midnight, and/or I can't stay asleep. And sometimes I just stay up playing games/writing/drawing/doing nothing productive on the internet. But all that needs to stop because I cannot function without adequate amount of sleep anymore (I could when I was younger, guess I've officially grown old...). So I aim to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep every night, which should also time my sleep cycles so that I'd wake up a bit less groggy. Life Goal #4: Save the Fish, Keep the Ocean Clean The ocean, in this case, being my room and the rest of the apartment. It's honestly such a mess I couldn't even have my friends over. Some of it is because of my lack of energy/time/executive dysfunction, and partially because I'm just not good at keeping my sh*t organized. (One of the reasons I suspect I have ADHD, actually.) So during this challenge, I will 1) clean my room (and the rest of my mess around the apartment) 2) keep it tidy enough that I could have friends over after a quick 5-minute cleanup. I have a feeling that last one is gonna kill me way before any of the actual goals
  12. I am slowly closing in on 1,000 lbs! I noticed some other folks chasing that as well so I thought I would start a thread for those who are trying to reach that milestone! If you have already reached it, congrats! Feel free to cheer us on I know @Castiel, and @Mattyboy7one8 are getting close. Who else? I tested my 1RMs on 21Jan2015 and lifted.... 265 lbs bench press 315 lbs squat 365 lbs deadlift 945 lbs total! I am keeping my progression pretty slow and using a 5-3-1 program currently. I have another informal competition in July and hope to be well past 1,000 lbs by then. I will test myself sometime in April/May time frame...
  13. Hi all, What I find most difficult by far in doing dumbbell presses is getting the weights into position, I feel like I have to settle with lighter weights than I could because of this. Are there any tricks that can make this easier? Thanks in advance!
  14. Is there a workout which works the same muscles as pullups and bench presses if I don't have a pullup bar or any equivalent (including for rows) and the heaviest dumbbells I have weigh only 10kg? I have access to either two 10kg dumbbells or 1 16kg one. I have access to walls and a mat, nothing else. It might be a stupid question but I had an operation I on my face which doesn't hurt in the slightest but makes me look a bit like I stuck my head into a fire for a few minutes, it won't be visible within a week but I'm far too shy to actually go to the gym for the next few days.
  15. This started initially as a goal in one of my challenges. Since then I've just been using it to keep track of my form changes and improvements.
  16. Hi all, So Ive been doing SL 5x5 since last February, and I really like the program....Ive definitely gotten stronger and I actually look forward to going to the gym. My question is actually two or threefold. I know SL 5x5 is designed as a "beginner's" program, and that eventually you have to graduate on to a more advanced lifting program, but when do you know to do that? Secondly, in that year I had two major breaks: one was from mid june until sometime in August when I was having a lot of back/hip/ankle pain that kept me out of the gym, and then the same thing happened again from just after thanksgiving till around christmas. Even so, my lower body lifts (DL and Squats specifically) still seem pretty solid (205 and 210 respectively), but my upper body really seems to be lagging (only 90lbs on the OHP and 130lbs on the bench). Should I focus more on the upper body and stand pat with the lower body stuff? Should I throw in some accessory items (curls, rows, flys, etc)? Lastly, everyone and their cousin tells you if you want to lose fat, you have to do cardio. Like a shit ton of it. And I HATE cardio......plus, Ive heard (dont know if its true) that doing cardio after lifting weights basically burns up all the energy for muscle growth, thus leaving you weaker (or at least no stronger than before.) Thoughts? Ideas? Aspersions on my character? Thanks in advance guys (and gals) ^>^
  17. The title of this quest has a dual meaning: I want to take advantage of the last few weeks of the September-October challenge as a warm-up for the following one, but at the same time I want to learn to appreciate the early part of the day. I have a schedule that's preposterously full of stuff (full-time job, music lessons, dance lessons, band rehearsals and concerts) and once I'm finally home it's hard to summon the energy -- or even find the time -- to work out. Years ago, however, I had very good experiences working out on my way to work. I want to try that again, at least one or two days a week. I also have at least one weekend morning open, sometimes both. Main Quest: Start getting up earlier so that I can exercise when body and mind are rested and fresh. Subquest #1: Increase barbell squats to 125 pounds (currently 95) for one set of 5 reps. Subquest #2: Increase bench press to 100 pounds (currently 75) for one set of 5 reps. (I've lifted my goal weights before, but it's been a while -- Nearly 20 years. I'm older, but am I wiser? Only time, and the weights, will tell.) Subquest #3: Recalibrate my eating habits to make sure I'm getting at least some protein at least 4 times a day. Side quest: Make this hectic life of mine more peaceful whenever and however possible. That could mean uncluttering and simplifying my personal space, clearing up old projects before starting new ones, trying to figure out how meditation works, and/or not causing trouble on the Internet at 3:00 in the morning. Scoring: A for reaching the weight targets; B, C, D for each 5 pounds below the targets. +1 or more STR points. A for achieving 3 morning workouts a week, B for 2, C for 1, D for working out only later in the day. + to CON and STA as appropriate. A for getting quality protein 4+ times a day; B, C, D for 3, 2 or 1 servings. +1 or more CON points. Making any meaningful progress on the side quest: +1 or more WIS points plus CHR or DEX points if applicable, based on what activities (or inactivities) I opt for. This quest will continue into the next challenge period, with levelling up at that time.
  18. Today is not that day!! Today is the day you stare the enemy (145 lbs on the bar) in the eye, grip your sword(bench press), and cleave his motherf***ing head off(5x5)!!! FOR THE REBELLION!!!!
  19. So i finally did a video of my workout A rotuine. Think im getting the form fairly good but wonna know what yoall think needs some improvement. And i'm trying to do a row from stronglifts but its really hard with those small plates. This is part of my six week challenege as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0d_DEPCqFOo - Squats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4q8hsE7B1o - Barbell Row https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gN4gpp3EkTo - Bench press
  20. So Im familiar with the concept behind a 1RM, Im just curious when you should try; some many days/weeks/months into training, after your workout, before,when? Also, how much should you try for? As an example, I used to be able to squat 225lbs 5x5....granted I learned later I wasnt doing them correctly, but I could get myself below parallel and back up (I just wasnt placing my feet correctly/breathing correctly). Knowing that, should I try 250? 300? Thanks in advance guys (or girls), always love hearing from you ^.^
  21. I'm making a second attempt at Stronglifts, and I'd like to start checking my form early on to catch any mistakes I'm making. All my starting videos will be at 45 lb, except for the deadlift, which will be at 95 lb. I'm gonna post the barbell row later, because after looking over the Stronglifts stuff again, I realized that I've been doing the barbell rows wrong (my back was at a 40 degree angle). Next time I do those, I'll fix my form and film it again. Squat Bench Press (side) (front) Overhead Press (side) (front) Deadlift Barbell Row, 55lb Once I hit 95 lb on my squat (or sooner, if I get impatient), I'll post update videos on my forms.
  22. This is my first quest here, as the current quest is nearly finished, this 6-week challenge shall be the one that starts on November 10th. I shall provide an update on how close I am on the first day. MAIN QUEST: Increase my strength so that I am able to lift more than my own bodyweight. Goal 1: Squat with a barbell 110% my own bodyweight (5 sets of 10). Goal 2: Bench press 110% my own bodyweight (5 sets of 10). Goal 3: Bent over row a barbell 110% my own bodyweight (5 sets of 10). Life side quest: As this quest ends on the same day as my semester, my life side quest is to achieve at least 50% on all of my essays due this semester. The bodyweight referred to in each of the goals is that of me at the end of the challenge, not me at the start. Thanks for reading, -SB
  23. I started doing Stronglifts at the beginning of this challenge. Here are some form check videos. Don't judge - I'm a noob, so let any feedback be kind Thanks!
  24. This morning I went to the gym and it was dead so I was able to get some videos of my workout. I did bench press, squats, dead lifts, and push presses. I have video of me using just the bar (45lbs), 55lbs, and 65lbs. Which videos should I post? Some of the exercises I do better with just the bar and others I feel are more graceful with some added weight. I guess I will start with videos where I just have the bar.... Would you critique me please? I would really appreciate the feed back. Bench Press: I find with the bench press my arms wobble a lot, not shaky because I can't lift the bar, they just don't stay "quiet" enough to make the whole thing a fluid motion. Does this get better with practise? Should I be doing it slower? I am still wobbly with added weight, my bar just doesn't stay straight. Squat: My squats feels good, I don't have any issues...I don't think. Now I can squat low enough to rest the bar on the bumpers, should I go that low or should I stop just before I put the bar on them? And the front view. Dead lift: Is dead lift one word or two? I never know. My dead lifts feel pretty good. I am not sure if I should have the bar sitting on a higher stand. Is my butt going low enough when I bring the bar back down? I am getting better at "scraping" the bar up my shins and legs, I am going to have to start wearing pants on DL days. Push Press: The push press is the toughest/weirdest exercise for me. I feel like I am curving my back inward (belly out) when I fully extend up. Am I leaning too far forward? Am I doing it right? Should I be using a rack where the bar starts off at shoulder height or is it ok to "flip" it up from my thighs to my shoulders? Thanks for all the constructive criticism, tips, and tricks. I can also put up the videos with extra weight on the bar if that helps.
  25. It has been a while since I last posted on the forum, motivation to post was sort of lacking while I was recovering from a Shoulder Injury. I have been back lifting for 2 weeks after finally getting clearance from my Physiotherapist. Ultimately my goal is to get back to the point where I can Break the Australian Master Record in Ladies Bench Press but in the short term my goals are 1. Get back to competition bodyweight 2. Rebuild muscle endurance 3. Return to Heavy lifting Problems that need to be overcome or Endured 1. Calcified Rotator Cuff (Not the same injury that I have just recovered from) 2. Bad Knee (Have had Surgery in the Past) 3. Arthritis (Neck) 4. 3 Autistic kids which can play havoc with training schedule Current Plan of Attack I am eating a full keto diet and training using GVT before returning to heavy lifting All Weights are in Kg
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