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  1. I'm looking for good bodyweight exercises that help to strengthen and tone the inner thighs. Hear me out - this isn't a whiny "I want to spot tone" thread. So here's what's going on: I've gone to PT twice (over 2 years) for the same problem. Honestly I was doing great the first time around. Then I started to slip. Then I just didn't do it at all. I figured "nah, I'll just do stuff at the gym and that'll cover both bases!" Wrong. The second time around that I went to PT they told me I still have the same defect essentially, but I found out what is actually causing it and what I can do to fix it. My kneecaps both track to the outsides of my legs. In this case, they click when I bend them like going up or down stairs, and often results in a sharp pain starting in front under the patellar groove and moving up over the patella to the outside of my thigh. It hurts, it's painful, it's with me everyday and it causes me to make more excuses why I can't do things. (FYI my mantra for this year is "No more excuses") I practice Aikido and there is a LOT of kneeling, rolling, getting up, falling down, and movement that aggravates it. The problem apparently is that I have weak inner thigh muscles, and strong outer thigh muscles. The stronger ones pull the tendons, which pull my kneecaps to the outside. I have to strengthen the inner ones. So in my head when I was told that I'm thinking "No s*** Sherlock, I'm over weight, I'm soft in most areas...and that's one of the hardest places to tone!" I'm honestly looking for help to build on the exercises that I received in physical therapy (PT). The PT exercises are helpful, slightly, but I don't feel that they are really targeting the problem; rather just preventing it from getting worse. I've Googled some stuff, but I'm not so sure what's going to help. So far I'm in love with squats, they don't hurt me as bad as a lunge does and it works a ton of muscles. But....what are my other options?
  2. This is tough for me to do considering i'm sensitive about myself but i'm tired of constantly making fitness mistakes and i would like the advise from you all. this is also my first time posting.I am about 5'10.5, 150 pounds, Male. From late Aug to Early Jan i went on a "bulk" (150-->165) where i ate whatever i wanted. Then i went on a cut rom Jan 4th to now. (165-->about 147) http://imgur.com/a/vrhbC Not a big difference but w/e. I just want to look ripped. And i know i need to lose fat, but i'm getting very tired of when i tell people i'm trying to lose weight they go "WTFFFFFFFFFF WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO LOSE????" little do they know i'm sporting a nice pair of man boobs and some love handles. Their not too pronounce but enough for me not to feel comfortable taking my shirt off at the beach... or anywhere. Heres another album of me at a Target fitting room, might provide some better insight. http://imgur.com/a/bwQZuRight now i am working out about 4-5x a week. I'm not really sure what my rep maxes are for the different workouts. But i make sure i hit the three big lifts, squats, deadlifts, and bench lift every week with 4 sets. I also finish my workout with a 20 min 3.0 mph 8.5 incline walk on Mon, Wed, Fri.I eat around 1300 Calories consisting of low carbs, high proteins and fats. I give myself one day every week to eat up to maintenance. Since i cut pretty hard during the week i think once a maintenance day once a week wouldn't set me back to bad. Also i know i'm probably eating too little calories but honestly from what i hear, as long as my protein intake is high i shouldn't lose to much muscle?So i mean i do have some fat. But i'm also very skinny. I really am not sure what to do. I just want to look good. I just want to be able to take my shirt off and not think twice about it. I was thinking about losing 10 more pounds of fat and getting down to 140 but all the "WHY ARE YOU LOSING WEIGHT" comments are starting to make me think i'm going down the wrong path. I hear my options are a long term clean bulk which is something i do not want to do, just because i want the fat off as soon as possible. Or like i said cut down a bit more to about 140 and ill probably look really cut but also really skinny, so i'm not sure how that would work. I want to look good for the summer time but i guess a year of bulking and a 3 month cut down would probably be better for me in grand scheme of things. Anyways as you can see i'm a bit conflicted. i really am not sure what to do lol. Please any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
  3. Just moved over to Rangers from the Druids!! I'm excited to be here. These are the exact same goals form my last challenge I'll update the specific numbers this week once i do my time run and weigh myself on Tuesday Hello there I'm YellowRose and i'm back on NF after a rather long break. so lets get to it.... SMART GOALS!!!! 1.Specific three part goal, get down to my happy weight Run more (and run this Ugly Sweater dec 12) Do all of my PT (abdominal split recovery and lower back strengthening) 2. Measurable 133lbs (+/-5lbs) Continue to build on speed (3m time currently 33min, get faster, say 27min) then build on distance (3m w/out stopping, once obtained speed above, increase distance this is a soft metric) 35min PT work out everyother day 3. Attainable currently 142lb (loose 9lbs) so not far off here but i really dont want to loose muscle, additionally i dont like restricting calories while im building any kind of athletic ability. I'll be looking to loose less than a pound a week, say 0.5lbs or less. as long as I'm slightly decreasing my weight i'll consider this goal met. bi-weekly measurments. track my 3ml times, share and post my times, run at least 3 times aweek. note will use MAPMyRUN or my watch to measure my speed. (new watch is a future budget item, current one is broken) 4. Relavant I like the way my close fit when i'm about that weight, i bought all my post maternity clothing when i was about that weight. so lets get back to it. all so i like to be strong and have well working muscles. runners high is good for my soul. The split in my abs hurts, so does my lower back, enough said on that topic. 5. Time Bound For the next 6weeks or so i'd like to have a negative weight differential over each bi-weekly measurement, so say loose 3lbs by the end of 6 weeks. run 3m in 27min in 6weeks. Track PT on a piece of paper keep paper with the printouts of my exercises. go to apt. every other week Note my last run times below, I ran two sub 9min miles WOOOOT!!!!
  4. So, I’m just a little excited for the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in a matter of weeks! As I was going back over some old 6 week challenges, I was reminded of Steve’s blog post about the Avengers from 2012. This led me to some of his other posts about becoming a superhero: How To Become A Superhero In 4 Easy StepsHow to Create Your Own Super PowerCombining my excitement about Age of Ultron with my desire to be a superhero, I shall become tenaciousglee: The Skinniest Avenger! Before I can take my place among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I need to hone my body and skills to be more like them. As such, here are my goals for this challenge: Goal 1 - posture as straight and true as Hawkeye’s aim As most desk jockeys do, I often find myself hunched over my keyboard, or sometimes just beating my head against my desk. I also find myself slouching when I stand, so I want to improve my posture. I am going to attack this goal by completing daily posture exercises (tracked on HabitRPG). Hat tip to Phayze for the exercise suggestions and push to join HabitRPG.I also recently discovered the site Bony to Beastly, where they are all about fixing posture to improve not only your appearance, but also your muscle-building ability!Goal 2 - the neighborhood friendliness of Spiderman While I would love to crawl on walls and swing between buildings, that powerset still eludes me. So how does a non-web-slinger get around the neighborhood? Walking! My reason for making this a challenge goal is to build the habit and also because walking is a good way to burn calories without catabolizing my precious muscle. I’m stealing a page out of Waldo’s book for this one. He always seemed to walk regardless of whether he was bulking or cutting I’m going to track my steps with my UP by Jawbone wristband with a goal of 30,000 steps per week. It’s a little over 4,000 steps a day, but I’m still a desk jockey and trying to start small to build the habit. My plan is to either walk 15 minutes on my lunch break, or potentially after work with the kiddos to boost my numbers.Goal 3 - the genius-level intellect, mystery-solving ability, and body recomposition powers of Ant-Man/Giant Man/Hank Pym My longtime goal has been to pack some muscle on my skinny frame and that’s not about to change. I’ve been trying to eat above maintenance calories for the last few months, but I have been slack about tracking my calories. I’d like to pack on 5-6 pounds over the next six weeks, so that means 500 extra calories a day, or some variation to get to a surplus of 3500 calories per week.As for imitating Hank Pym’s intellect and mystery-solving ability, I’m going to continue to analyze the data I’ve collected over my past 19 challenges to look for patterns of what worked and what didn’t as I tried to gain weight or get lean. I’d like to have the ability to know what needs to be done diet/exercise wise based on my goal at any given time.Goal 4 - the indomitable spirit of Captain America I’ve been fighting a bit of burnout at work and it carries over to my home life as well. I’ve been working on a project for almost 18 months now and we’re already 3 months past our original Go-Live date and struggling to pin down a new Go-Live date. There are a lot of reasons to be stressed out.So my goal is to shift my focus from things that are stressing me out to things that make me happy. My plan is to list at least one thing by the end of the day that has gone well, either something positive at work, or something that I enjoyed about my kids or my wife that day. I’ll be tracking this in HabitRPG as well.I’ll be working out 3 days a week, following a modification of the Avengers workout from Steve’s article. I’ll do the A and B days on Monday and Friday, with a bodyweight progression day on Wednesday. Trying to keep everything simple: push, pull, legs, core. On a final note, I'm succumbing to peer pressure from my last challenge and posting this in the Assassin's guild instead of the Rangers because so many of my NF buddies are now Assassins. I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you are up to this challenge!
  5. I posted this on reddit but I'll post it here too maybe it will be able to help a few of you So what is a plateau? a plateau is a sticking point where the body refuses to respond like it used to making it very difficult to build muscle or lose more fat. Plateaus are a part of the process, you will encounter them at some point. It’s inevitable. The thing you need to do is know how to respond to them when they come. Most plateaus can be overcome with a few simple tweaks to your training or diet plan. Most of the common causes of plateaus are stale routines and over training. Today we’re going to fix that. So let’s examine a few tweaks you can do to get past them. Take a week or 2 off from training: If you have been training hard for the last couple of months, you might be over worked. This is pretty common and is a major cause of plateaus. The best thing to do would be to take a week or 2 off from training, continue to stick to your diet. Just limit the training. This will allow the body to recover fully and will allow you to hit the gym harder when you go back and start seeing those gains again. Try a deload: Another thing you can do if you don’t want to take a few weeks off from training is you can do a “deloadâ€. What is a deload you may ask. Well a deload is basically going light for the next few weeks. You will not use the same weights you normally use. You will also go a bit higher in the reps. Think of it as more of an active recovery. You will want to make sure that you don’t max out or go to failure in this deload phase. This technique also allows the body to recover and after a few weeks you can jack up the intensity to where you were before. This should cause the body to respond and produce some results. Change routines: (http://builttodominate.com/2014/11/without-workout-plan-youre-lost/ ) A very simple tweak is to try change routines. Since the body adapts very easily to the current you may want to switch it up by training on different days, maybe do some exercises you may never do. You can also even switch up your group on the current exercises you currently do. This will cause a new level of stimulus and will hopefully cause the body to respond by growing more muscle. Diet issues: Believe it or not but another major cause of plateaus is due to diet. If you are in a fat loss phase and you have been sticking to your diet for a long period of time and you are really struggling to lose that last bit of fat. It might be time to increase the calories for the next few weeks. This will allow your hormonal levels and metabolism to recover from the hard dieting you have put your body through. Don’t worry you won’t put on any fat during this time, you will actually continue to lose more fat since your body will begin to function optimally again. Here’s a case study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23412685) of a natural bodybuilder going through contest preparation. You can see how his hormones were affected. On the flip side. If you are trying to gain muscle and are training hard trying to make those strength and muscle gains you might find that you are eating too little. You may need to increase the calories for the next few weeks and see how your body responds. I know most of the times I’ve hit a plateau it was because I wasn’t eating enough. As soon as I increased the calories my body exploded with new growth and strength. That being said don’t over do it and eat so much you get fat. Just increase your calories by about 500 more than what you are currently eating. Monitor your body for the next few weeks if you are noticing too much fat gain then cut back a little bit and see how your body responds. Last but not least sleep: Make sure you are getting enough, its that simple. Heres a study on how sleep affects athletes http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24791913
  6. I went from tall, dark and (arguably)handsome to... tall, bloated and chubby-faced. A little about me. I'm Lee and I FINALLY got married at 36 years of age on June 22nd to the most beautiful woman I've ever known, inside and out. BUT, I've taken this honeymoon thing waaaaay too far and she won't stop cooking deliciously fattening foods. Lots of Presidente beer and rich Dominican dishes caused my temporary downfall. From the day we stepped into that hotel resort in Punta Cana(I live in the DR) to celebrate our marriage I've been slacking on my workouts and eating like there is no tomorrow. The worst part is that I've been weight training for over 15 years, teaching and training others to get in shape for 10+ years. Usually through intermittent fasting, which I am now back to doing after having TOTALLY abandoned it post-wedding the last 3 months. My Stats: 6'4" 255 lbs My Normal Size: 6'4" 240 lbs My New Goal: 6'4" 230 lbs (lean, ripped & muscular) I've done this before and I always get back to my shape, but trust me... I have fat guy genetics, if I don't stick to the script I blow up quickly. Here's a pic from when I REALLY got too big, I was about 270 lbs in this pic and went down to 240. And that wasn't my biggest, I've been 289 before but I didn't take many photos of that stage in life. I think I'll be back to where I was in 3 months, I'm not a naturally lean guy but I know how to get lean when I want to, and since I won't be having anymore honeymoons I will stay lean. I'll be doing 3 full-body weight-training workouts per week and atleast 120 minutes of cardio per week. Feel FREE to give your encouragements and helpful suggestions. Today's fasted workout....(I always workout fasted, regardless of my goals but it's REALLY great for fat-burning) Walk 1 mile to the gym with loaded backpack. I'm not pushing the weight you most of you guys are and I'm not trying, it's just not my goal. I hope that is respected. I've done a lot more weight in the past, but it's not MY thing. I'm all about aesthetics and athletic function. Squats: 3 sets of 10 squats - 205 lbs (going for lightweight - higher volume to burn fat)4 sets of 10 box squats - 225 lbs Barbell Clean & Press(fast-paced):3 sets of 12 - 70 lbs Bench Press:3 sets of 10 - 205 lbs Lat Pulldowns:3 sets of 12 - 100 lbs This workout ad me TOTALLY GASSED. By the time I got to the 2nd set of Barbell Clean & Press I was huffing & puffing like no tomorrow and you should know that I work out on an empty stomach ALWAYS. My last meal from yesterday was at 8:00 pm Sunday night and I just ate at about 1:30 pm today.. I must admit, I had to break up my bench press sets and ended up doing 6 sets of 6, I was gassed from the clean and presses. The Lat pulldowns went well and I felt a second wind coming, I threw in a couple extra reps in each set and will definitely up the weights the next time I do it. Afterwards, I walked back home one mile, the first few blocks are totally uphill(The Dominican Republic is full of hills and valleys). Anyway, I felt GREAT and Energized after the workout. I wanna see if I can hit my fitness goal in 3 months and if I can get my wife to cook healthier dishes without hurting her feelings... - Lee
  7. I am pretty good at getting a 20 min weight work out in a week but I am just kind of doing variations of the same thing everyday and feel like I should have a more structured plan in order to get results efficiently. I am 5'5", 115-120 lb, 23 year old female. I want to work on gaining muscle and strength in my arms, abs and legs. (shoulders, back and butt would be good too). I am trying to eat 2500 calories a day, mostly clean (1 sugary or fat or processed treat a day). I am trying to get a lot of protein so I can build muscle and have been getting around 130g. So what should my workout look like? I have a desk job from 8:30-3:30 and a food service job 4-8. I then usually go home and do a 20 min workout. I am trying to run up/down the stairs (5 flights at work a few times a week for 10 minutes or do some other exercises-wall pushups, squats, lunges etc.) at lunch. I have 15 lb dumbbells I have been using (I also have 5lb and 3 lb, and an exercise ball)
  8. I know you have to eat a surplus of quality calories to build muscle, but can those calories be drawn from the fat around my middle? Can I be eating to lose weight, while still doing push ups and training for a 5K? Also, I was doing Atkins for fat loss, but I'm thinking of switching to Paleo because if I mis-eat one day on Atkins I have to start over, but not so for Paleo. (Is this correct?) Also because I can eat fruit in Paleo. ;-) My question in two part: 1) can I eat dairy in Paleo and still lose weight? Will it slow weight loss? and 2) why is dairy not Paleo?
  9. Establish personal topic: complete. Post quest specifics: [coming soon! As in tonight when I get back to my computer]
  10. I started working out in January 3x/week and have seen some good progress. I want to add muscle and ideally reduce my body fat a bit more, but in a nutritious, low-cholesterol, low-fat way (I have high cholesterol through heredity). I am 5'8", 136 lbs and about 12% body fat. Any recommendations on how I should be eating to achieve this? I know I need to eat protein, but I don't want to eat lots of red meat, eggs, etc because of my cholesterol.
  11. I've been focusing on slimming down to a solid base for the last 6-8 weeks, and now I get to start adding some muscle! Here's the quick synopsis with details to follow: Goal 1 - Weigh more at the end of the challenge than I do at the start. [+4 CON] To accomplish this goal, I will follow the Surge phase of the Engineering the Alpha program, focusing on lactic acid based exercises to stimulate Growth Hormone and eating at a surplus on training days. I started this phase at the end of the last challenge, so I'll be completing Weeks 2-4. Based on a calorie surplus on training days and a deficit on non-training days, I should be at +1000 calories a week for 3 weeks. If I'm tracking correctly and the laws of thermodynamics hold, that would equate to just under 1 pound (3500 calories). I have a feeling my tracking won't be that spot on and I'd be happy with extra weight, as long as it doesn't affect Goal 2. Grading: A - more than 2 pounds gained B - 1-2 pounds gained C - less than 1 pound gained D - zero weight gain F - weigh less than when I started Goal 2 - Have a lower body fat percentage at the end of the challenge than I do at the start. [+3 CHA +1 CON] To accomplish this goal, I will follow the Complete phase, Weeks 1-3 (with Week 4 falling between challenges). The focus will be on burning some more fat and "completing" my new chiseled physique... I will be eating at a surplus 3 days a week and at a deficit 4 days a week, with a sum total deficit of 400 cals/week for the last 3 weeks of the challenge. Grading: A - more than 2% reduction in body fat B - 1-2% reduction C - less than 1% reduction D - no change to body fat percentage F - higher body fat percentage than start of challenge Goal 3 - Focus on my lagging features 3 times a week. [+4 DEX] I've managed to drop some inches from my midsection during the last challenge, but I'm still not seeing/feeling much definition in my core. I'm going to try and work on my abs/core by doing some beginner Pilates or Tim Ferriss' 6-Minute Abs from Four Hour Body. I also want to give some extra attention to my arms and chest as they seem to lag behind. This will probably be suspended flyes or extra pull-ups. Grading: A - 18 sessions B - 15-17 sessions C - 12-14 sessions D - 6-11 sessions F - 5 or fewer sessions Goal 4 - Complete 3 activities from the Geek Dad Guide to Weekend Fun. [+2 CHA +1 WIS] My goal is to complete at least 3 weekend activities from the Geek Dad's Guide to Weekend Fun with my kids. This is a rollover from last challenge. My kids are still pretty young (2 and 5), so I'm limited on how many of the activities are age-appropriate for them, but I think I can find 3 good ones. Currently considering: Superhero ABC book using construction paper, glue sticks, and pics from the internet Geeky Art Prints with shaving cream and food coloring Alien Drums with various lengths of PVC pipe See the World From the Sky with balloons and a Flip video camera Grading: A - 3 activities B - 2 activities C - 1 activity F - 0 activities New Life Goal - Break my iPhone addiction! ETA: attribute points and scoring Audible: Changed life goal
  12. Alright rebel family, So I was gifted but in the wrong way. I cannot gain weight by conventional methods due to my hyper active metabolism. Some people would say this is a good thing, that it's great to eat whatever and not gain weight. Well let me be the first to tell you, for a guy like me, it's one of the biggest curses you could live with. I'm reaching out to my rebellion family in hopes of finding someone to help me develop a (hopefully affordable on a soldiers salary) diet and exercise program that will help me gain weight and develop the "Greek God" body that I (and my gf, lol) have been looking for. I'm 20 years old, 118lbs, 5ft 7in, I'm a soldier (U.S. Army Reserves) who is used to physical exercises and cardio so don't be afraid to just dish it out. Habits of mine that I might need to change or you should know while working with me to develop a diet and workout plan: I smoke, about a pack every 2 or 3 days, I usually sleep all day and work an 8pm to 4am civilian job at night, With my civilian job I have found myself eating less. Workout: I'm looking for a full body work out, where each day I will work at least one or two muscles to gain weight and build endurance. Possibly followed by a run? I'm not looking to get "huge" or "ripped", I'm just looking to build a nice toned body (the kind of body you picture when you create a DnD ranger or Paladin). Diet: I know absolutely nothing when it comes to food. I need help knowing what I need to eat and when I need to eat it, and things that are easy to prepare because my cooking skill is definitely at level 1 (even for Runescape standards) By no means am I "weak", I'm just extremely small. Most people tell me I'm "so tiny" or "You're too small, let me handle this" and it's getting old. From all the sites I have been too and doctors and physicians, I believe I can find the most help here from my rebel family. Thank you so much. -Mike Just in case I can't get email notifications, if you can help, my email is askylitwing@hotmail.com
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