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  1. Hey everyone! I'm new to the group and am looking for some advice regarding nutrition. Basically I'm 6"4 used to be chunky and now I guess I'm on the edge of skinny fat and struggle to gain muscle. I've been experimenting with diet trying to find some nutrition dense foods and have come across Quark (Kwarg) in our local supermarket and decided to try it out! I've been eating a 250g pot nearly every day as I'd read it's like yogurt, it's fat free and has around 25g of protein per 250g pot which is great! However I just noticed on the packet today it says contains 8 SERVINGS?! Slightly freaked out that I've been eating something WAY over the quantity than I'm supposed to. Felt like maybe I'd been eating a tub of Mayonaise a day now! The nutrional content is as follows: Per 100g Kcal - 249 Fat < 0.5g Mono/polyunsaturated <0.1g Carbs - 4.2g of which sugars - 4.2g Fibre - < 0.5g Protein - 10g Salt - 0.15g Has anyone else been eating this in these quantities? Would love to hear your advice! H
  2. I have been lifting for about a year. I started with 3-4 days per week and for the past month I have been training 6 days per week. I'm 22, 5"6', and 130 pounds. My weight has remained essentially the same all year. I probably gained a little muscle and lost some fat but I feel like I haven't made significant progress. I have been eating 1700-1900 calories with 130+ grams of protein per day. Is it time for me to start bulking or should I reduce my caloric intake further to cut my last bit of body fat.
  3. This challenge I will be continuing the 12 week jump program entering 'phase 3'. This challenge will be the "Day of the Dead" I don't actually think this is a great film - I might start taking my quotes from wider zombie films to avoid boredom. I just didn't like any of the characters in it, and I don't think this one dated as well as the other two. This is the jump program http://www.basketballforcoaches.com/vertical-jump/ The last challenge went badly (wrap up pending) mainly due to illness, so given that I've basically not done any jump training since last wednesday at least, I'm going to call that my rest week and move straight onto Phase 3 on Thursday. This way, all being well I will be done the program by the time we go away in August, and then I'll try Xena's 7 minute workout for that week. Chinups and Pushup progressions will still (hopefully) figure in as well.
  4. 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!
  5. Hi, I am 6foot (1.82m) and 168pounds (76kg). I live in the Southern hemisphere and just like game of thrones winter is coming. I have been training for roughly a year now and have grown quite stronger with basic equipment and body weight training (From benching 66pounds (30kg) to benching roughly 200pounds (90kg)) all thanks to nerd fitness! Now I am at a cross roads for you see, I am still quite small and lean, even though I have become stronger. The platform has been laid and I have decided to do my first ever BULK.... which in turn led to a LOT of questions. Most of these questions I searched on the internet, however in some cases the answer was a bit ambiguous. This leads me to why I am here: I am pleading to some of the bigger gentlemen (and ladies I suppose) of nerd fitness to help me with a few questions on eating big, eating clean and bulking up. So I am just going to jump right into my questions -Bulking obviously means eating a surplus of calories. I am not used to eating a lot. Is it normal to sometimes have to eat even if I am not hungry in order to meet my calorie needs for the day? -Is a clean bulk really THAT much better than a "dirty" bulk? -I want to put on roughly 26pounds (12kg) what is a healthy time in which to do this? How long does it usually take? -How much time will I need to "lean up" again after my bulk? -I do heavy lifting 6 days a week now (Chest & arms, Legs & Core, Shoulders & Back, rest, repeat) Is this a sufficient training regime? -I take whey protein with milk right after each session. Is any other supplements necessary? Would you recommend any other supps? And lastly ANY advice on bulking (and later cutting) would be much appreciated! Please, Share your wisdom with me! (Lastly lastly: I am very dedicated, so if someone told me I had to only drink raw eggs for the rest of my bulk I would be willing and able to do this... obviously this won't be necessary, but you get what I mean) Thanks for helping my skinny ass!
  6. I’m so, sooooo sick of being called tiny. I’m going to get big. My deadlift WILL hit 225 by the end of this challenge. Body goal (semi-joking here): Quest #1: LIFT BIG Typical week: M: Deadlifts + upper back accessory Tu: Rest/cardio/yoga W: Lower body accessory Th: Bench Press + accessory F: Squats + accessory Sa: Upper body bodybuilding Su: Rest/cardio/yoga Quest #2: EAT BIG Follow the plan! Submit my nutrition for the week to my coach every Saturday. Try my best to meet daily macros, minimize alcohol, and minimize restaurant meals. Continue with the grading system I’ve been using. Quest #3: RECOVER BIG No computer, phone or TV past 9:30 on work nights in hopes that I can be in bed by 10pm. (4x/week) Sauna 2x/week Foam roll/massage/ tissue work 6x/week Life Quest Daily: water plants, take out trash/recycling as necessary M: dishes – done AND put away – and clean sink Tu: vacuum W: bathroom - counters, toilet, shower, mirror Th: kitchen - counters, stove, etc. F: sweep and mop floors – kitchen, bathroom, entryway, laundry room Sa: rotating. Clean each thing once throughout the challenge: upstairs bathroomorganize bedroom closetvacuum, clean, and wash carclean out kitchen appliances: refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, oven, toaster ovenorganize pantryclean/organize bedroom dresser (aka jewelry)build benchSu: meal prep, laundry The goal is to do the thing on the day, but really as long as it gets done every week that is fine. Might have some impromptu trips/vacations during this challenge so I will adjust accordingly.
  7. What is the consensus on the best way to eat while trying to recover from injury? The pro for bulking is that you have the supercharged recovery of a caloric surplus. Which i assume will also aid in recovering quicker from injury as well as from workouts. The downside is that while injured you can do less training and might gain more fat than muscle. Cutting would obviously keep the fat off (and down) with the downside (again assuming) being a longer recovery from injury. At this point i'm unable to do: deadlifts, barbell squats, OHP, bench. So basically out of the "big 5" i can only do rows (and i may just have made up "big 5" to include rows) I've been doing a lot of kettlebell swings and get ups, which is obviously lower weight than the lifts above would be, plus some all-round machine work. (I have a poorly lower back and bad shoulder btw). I've pretty much been maintenance or cutting the entire time since i did my shoulder in last November and i'm wondering whether my recovery has been significantly hindered by doing that Thoughts?
  8. I just finished a cycle of bulking. I am using kettleblls and working on becoming strong enough to do 10 reps with a 35 lb TGU. I am planning to start my cut next week. I didn't do a large bulk, and I probably won't do a larger cut either. My question is, if I am doing a cut, I'm not going to gain muscle, right? So do I change the workout, or just keep doing the same thing, just mentally know that I can't expect big numbers? Should I add in more aerobic stuff for the cut? For reference, I am a 125 lb female who is 5'1" very petite (pixie assassin) super hard to gain muscle already even not on deficit.
  9. I am a 5' 8" (maybe 7.75) 34 year old male. I started out about a year and half ago at just under 170. Dieted, worked out, lost weight quickly... around 2 # a week for awhile. By November I was tired of it and at 150ish... so I bulked. Probably added more fat than muscle, was doing Stronglifts. It was a bunch of fun and my lifts were going up even faster. Bulked to 160 until like March. When I switched back to cutting it has been painfully slow. There have been some periods of inconsistency that I knew damn well why I wasn't losing but even when I was being careful to measure loss was quite slow. Anyway, I am back at 150 and my plan based on how I looked last time at 150 was to aim for 140... maybe 145. My arms and legs look pretty good but I still have a beer gut. I feel like my torso looks about the same, except that I have visible lats now. I just recently switched to 4x/week 5/3/1 with BBB... I run a few times a week and try to get at least one hilly 4+ miler in. A single mile will typically be just under 9 minutes in intervals between 8.5 mph and 4 mph... if that matters. When I look at BMI I am in the healthy range. I would guess I am over 20% BF based on pics. I know recomp is very slow but how lean is lean enough?
  10. Hello! Goals have changed somewhat. Due to the beginnings of an injury (now rectified) I've fallen way behind on my 10K training, and I'm now thinking that instead of going through all the fuss of registering and raising money to get a disappointing time in a race, I should do a time trial on that date instead. It falls at the end of week 5 of this challenge, so it will take up the majority of this challenge. Main Quest: 1. Bulk up. Going to try this 2. Keep on running. Do a personal 10K time trial on July 12th. Quests: 1. Eat at surplus, avoid dirty bulk. Still using MFP and Runkeeper for that. 2. Lean things out with yoga. Gentle yoga. Motivation: I enjoy lifting heavy things and getting stronger! I enjoy food even more, so the bulking part shouldn't be too taxing. My very scouty partner loves his running and continues to inspire me. I have seen those abs before! I want to see them again! Will update stats tomorrow morning. I'm full of food. Questions or suggestions always welcome! Stats: Height: 5' 4" Body Fat percentage: 25.1% (using a digital scale, so I know it's only an estimate) Waist: 28" Hips: 37" Bust: 35" Overbust: 33" Underbust: 29" Thigh: 21.5" Calf: 14" Bicep: 10.5"
  11. Here is the dropbox link to the excel file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rrwdfj7b2e2v02d/EggsareSides%20%28for%20bacon%29%20-%20Blank.xlsx?dl=0 Hey all, So... I don't know about you, but I am always confused by how much I should eat... I know there are schools of thought that say if you eat the right types of foods, just eating till you are full will probably be fine. I like more concrete numbers than that. http://www.muscleforlife.com/healthy-meal-planning-tips/ Using this article as a guide I came up with an excel sheet so that a person can quickly and easily figure out your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), Daily Caloric Requirement/Grams of macronutrients based on whether you are bulking, cutting, or maintaining. To use this, you need to know your weight, body fat %, and how many hours a week you spend working out. It uses the Katch-Mcardle BMR calculator. It provides recommendations for %'s of your macros, but you can completely disregard them and put whatever you want in there if you have your own system for calorie distribution. A breakdown of the features: 1) I wanted it to be useful to as many people as possible, so it allows adjustment for %'s of each macro. 2) I also included a protein calculator for those who want to get in 1.3, 1.8, 2.2 (whatever) grams per pound of protein. You input how many grams/lb. you want, and it spits out what % of your total intake that is (then the math is simple to input whatever % of dietary fat and carbs you want to get to 100% of daily calories). 3) The recommended protein and carb %'s are not static for bulking and maintenance. They take into account recommendations of 1G protein/lb., 20% from dietary fat, and then automatically calculates and plugs in the appropriate percentage/grams of carbs. Again, this only affects the recommendation. 4) I protected the worksheet so that those unfamiliar with excel do not accidentally destroy all of the formulas. The worksheet is totally functional while protected. There was no password set, so removing the protection is as easy as going to the review tab and clicking on "unprotect worksheet". I did this so if someone was curious as to how I did the formulas (and if they wanted to edit them a bit themselves) it would be simple to do. 5) I fell off the wagon.. I am back on the wagon now... I did a little more tweaking to the sheet (30 Aug 2015). Some tips I have come across: Avoiding carbs before bedtime may increase secretion of growth hormone while sleeping.Taking a slow digesting protein such as egg or casein just prior to going to bed can increase muscle repair while sleeping.If you train fasted, taking 10G BCAA 10 minutes prior can help prevent muscles from being used as fuel. NOTE: This can also hurt performance, which would effect your ability to make improvements.If you aren’t going to train fasted, try eating 30 grams of high GI (glycemic index) carbs and 30 grams of fast digesting (like whey) protein 30 minutes before training. After training try getting 80G high GI carbs and 30-40 grams of fast digesting protein.Intermittent Fasting (basically skip a meal and cram all of your daily calories into a short feeding window) may help accelerate fat loss.You will see in the calculator that there is a 20% fat intake recommendation for when cutting. I’ve read lots of stuff that says going a bit higher with fat (at least 30%) can help keep your metabolism up. Personally, I like a bit of a higher fat content, because it makes my life easier when counting calories. I also am not a big eater, and you can eat more fat calories with less poundage of food. Keeping the metabolism up won’t be as big of a deal when bulking or maintaining since you will be giving your body all of the calories it wants.People always talk about bodyfat percentage. First off, it's important to remember that this is an *ESTIMATED* body fat percentage. Also, I would rather work with raw numbers. Your amount of body fat can not change one ounch, but your body fat % will change due to hydration levels, how much food/waste is in your GI system, muscle mass changes, etc etc etc . I like to take the bodyfat% and convert it to pounds of body fat (again, remember, estimated). I have this built into the excel sheet. The way to do this without the sheet is simple. Take your weight, and multiply it by your body fat % (remember when multiplying percentages the percentage becomes a decimal. 10% would be .10). If you weigh 100 pounds and your body fat % is 10, that means you have 10 lbs of body fat. If I am trying to get rid of fat, I would rather look at lbs of fat versus percentage of fat to see if I am making progress. Again... I can't stress this enough.... Estimated body fat. It can be very difficult to get accurate fat readings, so assume that there will always be a high margin of error. Maybe you actually gained fat even though the numbers show a little loss, or perhaps you lost fat even though the numbers show a bit of a gain. Use averages and looks for trends over time. I hope you guys like it and find it useful!
  12. I'm about to embark on full paleo next challenge. The plan to support my goal is to bulk prep on a Sunday as I find if I have something ready in the fridge I will eat that for breakfast, if not I end up with something rubbish from a cafe near work. I'm looking for ideas for recipes I can cook in bulk (5 or so meals), I'm not fussy about eating a dinner meal at breakfast or a breakfast meal at dinner etc. The main thing is to be able to cook in advance stuff that I can reheat easily in the microwave and that will keep for 5 days or so. Ideally simple to cook with not too many ingredients, all ideas gratefully received! P.S. Nuts are ok but not too many, stuff like fake granola that's full of nuts and faux sugar (honey etc.) are off the menu!
  13. Hi!! I'd really like your advise in what to do next. I'm female, 25 yo. I used to do Stronglifts but now I'm mainly focusing on the Start Bodyweight routine (3 times a week) and doing yoga regularly (that might be almost everyday, it's mostly when I feel like it and have time to do it). Height: 1.64m Weight: 67kg My bodyfat might be around... 25% with calipers (me doing it to myself - definitely not a pro). If I use measurements: U.S. Navy Circumference Method = 22.64% I use a Fitbit Flex to track my daily TDEE which can vary a lot from 2200 on a lazy day, around 2400 when I exercise and 2600 when I'm working (I'm a nurse, I walk... usually loads. Besides everything else). According to the stats of MFP and Fitbit for the last 2 weeks I have been doing a cut which wasn't really intentional (I've been eating maintenance for >2 months), but it's not really too bad as I wanted to lower my BF for a bulk later on. I definitely keep protein above 120g a day. I'm probably overdoing it with the yoga, so I will definitely try and keep yoga sessions on non workout days. The problem is... I barely started with the bodyweight routine and I think I'm already reaching my limit. I'm using a pull up bar at home, set on the door, and 2 rings. I used to do dips in the gym, but I can't do them in the rings yet (only a kind of eccentric dips that I try to lower myself as slow as i can.. which isn't really slow). I can especially feel it on the pull ups: I'm doing eccentric pull-ups and yesterday was 6x6x5. I was sooo exhausted on the last reps. I'm kinda stale on assisted pistols for a while as I can do them on a seriously low bench, but can't do them without assistance yet. Pushups are still fine, the amount I'm doing (5x5x5), but the horizontal pulls (inverted rows, straight legs) are getting my upper back sore and my last reps are close to failure as well (6x6x5). So... I definitely want to get stronger. But how should I do this: - Increase rest period between sets to 3 minutes on the hard ones? - Start bulking now even though I might be above 24% body fat? - Just keep doing this until I really fail, then "deload" and try again?
  14. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGcIkqPTHo0 Two Months. In two months I, with a bunch of other Nerds, will be running the Fenway Spartan Sprint. Now, the Sprint I can finish. I have no qualms about that. I did fine last year. Except last year I held back on pushing myself, since I had teamed up with another Nerd who was just as petrified of dying during the race as I was. So we putz along. Not. Happening. This. Year. Last year I took a long, long time to finish the race, but over all I felt pretty solid about how I performed. The between-obstacle sections where I was forced to walk/very slowly jog with my team mate are what killed my time, not performing the obstacles themselves. And when all was said and done, I only failed only three obstacles: the Wall Traverse, Rope Climb, and the Spear Toss. Problem with these obstacles? Really hard to train for without access to specific equipment. Yea, I can join a club or something, but compared to a year ago, I am much, much more active, and scheduling is already a bit tight for me. Between lifting, November Project, and Aikido, my plate is full. So I need to try and do smaller things to add to my training, rather than flat out devout all my time to some new training. So really, I’m trying to deal with a less-is-more approach in some shape or form for all of my challenges this time around. 1) Spartan Gear I need new running shoes. Badly. I’ve used my current ones to death, and I really shouldn’t have. For a pair of $30, clearance rack running shoes, they dun good. But time to move on to big boy shoes. Unfortunately, I know nothing about getting a good pair of running shoes. So I need to go to a running store, get fitted properly, and then break the suckers in. They’ll at least get used weekly at NP, but I want a second use out of them. Maybe a short run, hell, even a walk, just something to get my feet comfortable in them. ~Get new running shoes ~Use them twice a week 2) Spartan Training, PLP edition So I want to try doing a PLP challenge to help prepare for the rope climb, and a bit of the wall traverse – mainly to gain some more upper body strength. I can’t do 10 pull-ups in a single set, so I’m going to be starting at the low run of ONE. That being said, I have two trips that are falling during this challenge. One this coming week will require some tricky maneuvering (read: I’m probably going to be doing pull-ups on my parent’s garage rafters), but should be doable. More difficult is when I go to New York Comic Con towards the middle of the challenge – where I’ll be mostly on the convention floor. My friend’s apartment complex may have a mini-gym I can use, but I have to ask. I’ll figure something out. I hope. ~Complete the PLP Challenge every day, barring unforeseen circumstances 3) Spartan Fridge What, a food challenge? But RP, I thought you said you were going to try and not worry about food any more. Why yes, Self, that was the initial plan. But bear with me. The Fridge is going to be Spartan because I’m going to be eating everything. Yup, kinda doing a bulk. Goal is to help increase my lift numbers, help build some muscle, and then next challenge (or one after it) I’ll try doing another cut again. It was pointed out to another member that sometimes if you plateau you should try eating more to boost your metabolism, and then attempt another cut. I’ve been eating more regularly, and been gaining some weight – but also gaining Strength. I want to try and keep that going, and then go back to trying a bit of weight loss. Trying to be somewhat conservative, but I’ve been just feeling really solid lately. May as well make it official, track it better, and then see what happens. In the process, I need to stop eating most of the junk at my office. I’m already considered “The Healthy Guy” there, but I can do so much better. I should not be gorging myself on chips, cookies, and cake, even if they are free. Free and tasty. (Cheesecake has fueled a few of my aikido classes, though, courtesy of work.) ~Eat between 2800-3,000 calories per day ~Minimal junk food (no more than 5 ‘junk’ foods per week, as defined by myself) 4) Spartan Aikido I think a lot about aikido. Which is probably a good thing. I still want to try and do more documentation of the techniques, but I think trying to force myself into a corner by demanding something solid and static for something as nebulous as aikido techniques might be the wrong way to target this. So I’m going to try something different. Marcus Aurelius had his Meditations written as little vignettes of thought. Small fragments of questions or ideas that popped into his head, his musings about life, the world, leadership, and philosophy. So I want to try and apply that to aikido. After every aikido class, write a sentence or three on something I learned/focused/reflected on in the class that day. Hopefully that will help me unlock some ways to write about aikido more efficiently. If not, it could provide just an interesting general insight. ~Grab a journal ~Write *immediately* after each class/day of aikido a lesson/thought/musing from that class I got this.
  15. "The time has come" the walrus said, "to talk of food and things; of peppercorn and mustard seed and other seasonings!" - Lewis Carrol I want to start this off by saying I have no experince deliberately bulking. To me that's the best reason to do this. I've been dropping weight consistently and steadily for 10 months. A couple of weeks ago I finally looked at myself in the mirror and didn't have to convince myself I'm not fat anymore. Instead I said: Jesus I'm small. This isn't the goal. I didn't want to be a waif or street urchin. I wanted to be He-Man. I could feel my abs through my skin even though I couldn't see them.. I could also play matchbox cars on my ribs with my nephew. In the world of underpants gnomes I made a plan: Step 1: Cut this excess body fat off Step 2: Step 3: He-Man Well having collected all the underpants I'm left with choices. Why did I want to become He-man in the first place? I was too weak to mow my lawn without getting winded. I was too weak to bath my 160lb great dane without assistance (For the record while I can do this now I still prefer not to... He is not a fan of the bathtub). Superficially that is my ideal body image though in my head so that will alwyas be my driving goal. However I've learned here at Nerd Fitness just how empty that shallow goal is. Sure it's always the end game, but strength is going to get me there. I need to pay attention to that and stop focusing on the painfully slow process of my body reconstituting itself. So that brings my babble to this challenge. Goal 1: Start bulking. Starting Saturday I'm setting my calories to 3250 and leaving them there until my waist hits 33inches again or I see Santa Claus whichever comes first. If I get to New year's I'll re asses if I should keep going or go back to a cut. I currently have a 30.5 inch waist so I think I'll be fine with this goal. Hit my calories with 100 every day. Simple Straight forward. Sta - 2 Con - 3 Goal 2: Expand my workout routine. I want to learn how to do more than SL 5x5. It's served me well, but there's a lot of world out there and I'm hungry to see some of it. I've started experimenting with bodyweight exercises. I want to keep up working on single leg squats (I use them to warm up for back squats right now). I've also switched to several dumbel exercises instead of the barbell for this challenge to try them out. Same exercise, slightly different execution. I'm also starting to do pullups and more pushups and am looking at installing rings in my gym. SL 5x5 routine with dumbells takes alot longer, but I want to see if this helps build my muscles a little when I go back to the barbell after the challenge. Dex- 3 Str - 2 Goal 3: Face my Fears: My biggest fears for right now are lifting to full failure and getting fat again. I need to conquer these two goals if I'm going to progress. So jumping right in the pool with a bulk and forcing myself to failure more frequently seem like the best way to get it over with! Wis - 3 Life Goal: Finish 1 Crochet project. I am working on a baby blanket for a freind. I need to get that shit done. I have a ton of crochet and cross stitch projects I keep backing up on doing. Well lets make it a goal and finish it! Wis - 2
  16. Well, I'm back on the forums after a nearly 9 month hiatus (from the forums, not fitness ). I started a log to track my week in week out achievements as I start my journey of putting on 15-20 lbs of LBM and getting my BF in the 9-10% range. It's most likely going to be a long road, but I'm looking forward to it. A little filler from my hiatus: In the past few months, I hit my goal of finally getting down to 10% (10.8% to be exact ) BF putting me in the mood to really commit the bulking/cutting regime. I started the true bulk - after a couple of weeks at maintenance cals - about a week and a half ago. So far it's going well, but this early on I have seen no notable results. After the few weeks at maintenance, my LBM is sitting around 129 and change. So my final fitness goals will be achieved when I'm sitting pretty with my LBM at 145-150 with my overall weight in the 160-165 range. After that, who knows, but that's my current goal that I'd like to hit before turning 29 which gives me 2 years as I just hit 27 two weeks ago. I feel it's a pretty reasonable goal for a two year time frame. My current plan is to bulk to 15% BF and then cut to 10-11% unless seeing detrimental effects to LBM. Bulks will try to be moderated to where LBM and fat gain remain close to equal if not weighted more towards LBM on a 2-3 week basis. Diet will need to be spot on and effort at max. "Weight" training is purely calisthenic movements with weight added when necessary. I'm truly looking forward to this and seeing what I can do over the next two years.
  17. Hi all, I'm a pretty scrawny guy at 5'7 and 148 pounds. I'd like to bulk up a bit as I hear a good weight for my height is at least 155 pounds. Trying to get on a good meal/workout plan and looking for good suggestions/resources. I'm looking for a healthy (possibly Paleo) bulk up meal plan. I thought the NF Academy had a bulk up meal plan, but I can only find their slim down plan. Does anyone have a good resource for this type of meal plan? And how long should I be on a eating plan like this? I'm thinking of doing the bodyweight brigade as a work out plan while eating more than I burn off. Would this be a good plan to bulk out on? With these plans will I just end up a little more doughy from eating more or end up another year of being skinny fat?
  18. About me: My name is Stephen. I am a 28 year old male - father of 2 - Married - Working on my Bachelors in Network Administration I live in Pennsylvania I am about 220lbs at 6'1 (This Pic is a few months back when I was training - I put on maybe 8-10lbs since then : / ) I recently stopped working out and I of course regret it I made huge strides - 250lbs to 212lbs - almost doubling my lifting abilities in every area The issue is, I lost my motivation. I was working towards becoming a police officer but due to me being a juvenile diabetic, I realized it would be a liability. I love computers and I know I can be successful in this field, diabetic or not. The issue is, working with computers requires no fitness specifics. I want to do this for me. I am a nerd at heart and I stumbled across this forum and saw it as a sign : ) I am going to Florida in 4 months and I want my goal to be a reality: Main Quest – Build enough muscle and lose enough fat that I am comfortable without a shirt on in public 3 Goals each week Work out at least 3 times a week including 1 dropset Get 8 hours of sleep Cut out junk food – Focus on Protein based meals I hope I can join a team where people who have similar goals want to encourage each other Please message me and I will provide a cell number or email address or w/e so we can become accountability partners or even better accountability teammates : ) Thank you God Bless
  19. Hi guys, I'd like to start by saying that I love Nerd Fitness and Steve's fitness philosophy. I've been following NF for about a 6 months now and I think it is about time I join the rebellion properly. I am 18 years old and I'm about to move out and go to college in a couple of months. I've always been a sporty kind of guy, I've been playing football (soccer) for about 7 years until last year. As to fitness I've been on and off different workout schedules, like the Basic Training routine from Dumbbell Division and the BBWR and I've put together some workouts myself with dumbbells, but I always quit after a while because I found them too easy or because I thought they werent effective. But after a lot of reading and learning, I think it is time to do it right this time. Im 18 years old, weigh 62kg (136lbs) and Im about 1,78m (5'10"?). Im sort of skinny-fat, I have skinny arms, chest etc. But I do have a a bit of belly fat. (My legs arent really skinny because of football, but I think if I hadn't played football for that many years they would be skinny too.) My goal is to become bigger and stronger, so gain muscle. According to the Operation Bulk Up guide book, I should eat a lot (about 3000kcal in my case), but Im afraid my belly fat will increase even more. Because I still live with my parents, I am sort of dependent on what my mom cooks for dinner, this is usually vegetables, potatoes and meat, pasta or rice, so that's ok, but I cant really make big changes to my diet. My diet now looks something like this: Breakfast: bowl of yoghurt with 4-grain muesli (oats, cornflakes, barley and wheat) and a large cup of milk. Snack: apple Lunch: 2 peanut butter sandwiches and 2 sandiches with cheese Snack: another 2 peanut butter sandwiches Snack: handful of almonds Dinner: whatever my mom cooks and another bowl of yoghurt as dessert Post-workout: large cup of milk Drinks: water Unfortunately the occassional milkshake, icecream or beer gets thrown in there as well, but Im trying to cut that out as much as possible. As to my working out: I have a adjustable dumbbell set (up to 17,5kg (38,58lbs) per dumbbell), a pull up bar and a bench to my availability. My plan was to do some kind of adjusted version of the dumbbell division workout: A 5x5 dumbbell push press 3xMax chin ups 3xMax dumbbell push ups B 5x5 dumbbell front squats 3xMax pull ups 5x5 dumbbell straight leg deadlift C 3xMax chin ups 3xMax dumbbell push ups 5x5 dumbbell bent over row D 5x5 dumbbell front squat 3xMax pull ups 3x8 dumbbell lunges But since the dumbbell division workout is (sort of) aimed a 4-day split, and Im planning on doing a 3-day split, is it maybe better to combine some exercises to form a 3-day split with only 2 workouts (so only A and B ) with more focus on the entire body? So instead of alternating between more upper body and legs focused workouts to 2 kind of workouts focussing on the entire body? Another thing is that I have a bench that I can use, so are there some great bench exercises that I can throw in here? (like dumbbell bench press or bench shoulder press or anything)? I want my workout to be simple, challenging and effecient. I've been doing a lot of these exercises (without the bar exercises) the last 4 months or so within different workout plans, but as I said I quit after a while, because they were too easy or I didn't think they were efficient. I gained some strength, but I didn't gain mass. For example I am able to do 5x5 dumbbell front squats with 10kg (22 lbs) dumbbells and 20-15-10 dumbbell push ups, but I don't gain mass. After reading the Strength Guide again, I realized I wasn't eating enough. This time I want to do it right. I now have a pull up bar to my availability and I'm ready to start tracking again and go for it! Long story short: I've read and learned a lot from Steve, I know the basics, I have some fitness history (Im a total rookie though) and I'm ready to do it right this time, but I still have some questions: -Are there any tips to improve my workout? -I'm afraid that if I start bulking seriously (in order to do gain muscle), my belly fat will increase, any tips? I guess that's about it, thanks for reading and I hope I will learn a lot from you guys. Pinkman out.
  20. Hi all, I was wondering if anyone has any advice about Weight Gain routines, or just some general advice? I'm tall, thin and underweight at the moment and struggle to put weight on. Reading more into it, I suspect the problem is down to my eating habits. I've just signed up to MyFitnessPal and will attempt to log my normal intake for a week in the hope that it will shed some light on my diet. In terms of routines though, I have no idea where to start! Is it better to build strength? Specific exercises? All-round exercises? What do you suggest?
  21. Well, This is the time I start my first full challenge. Joined the last one about two thirds into it so am a level one again. My last challenge was a bit "haphazard". I didn't really know what I wanted to gain from it and kinda wrote down just some things I was doing. It wasn't a true challenge. Since the last challenge I have increased my calorie intake. I wish I knew how much I was eating before, but judging from the fact that I was losing body fat I would imagine it was around 1800? maybe. Now I am eating between 2400-2800. Also on the leangains intermittent fasting method and eating/drinking the calorie bomb shake that Steve mentioned, sometimes with an extra spoonful of peanut butter in it. (like it needed more calories anyway) But, I digress, to my goals! Main goal! Keep a low bodyfat and gain muscle mass! (and strength) How I plan to do this? Well, firstly I will be sticking to no less than 2400 calories a day. (over the course of the challenge if I don't notice an increase in size I will up the calorie intake) Second, at least 4 workouts a week. 2 body weight circuits and 2 weight/kettlebell workouts Last but not least try and walk at least a mile everyday while in my fasted state. Side/life quest! This would be to pass my first grading for my JKD belt. I have done it for an extra two months longer than a lot of the other beginners but missed the grading last time. So I am fully commited to grading, this will be happening around the beginning of December so some time into the challenge. Motivation!!! Well this is a big one. With regards to my main quest I suppose it is a bit of a "shallow" one. Personally I think I am "too" skinny. I have always been a slim male and during the summer I tend to lose loads of weight because I am a diving instructor. (if you ever want to lose weight, get into this profession) I really want to try and track my calorie intake and how many calories I burn one year but pretty much the whole day (usually 12-14 hours) is a workout. Anyway, Up on my shoulders and arms I have quite a large amount of bone showing through. I want to get a larger back as well. I want to increase my flexibility to help keep my body in a good state and to help with grading for JKD. I hope people will follow and enjoy the ride
  22. I'm back! In hindsight, this should have been an Arnold thread with the whole I'll be back thing.. But this is a Rob challenge thread. Things will be fantastic. Brilliant. Molto bene! Allons-y! At some point today, I'm going to edit this list. There'll be points, a grading scheme, etc. etc. Until then, it looks like this: 6 weeks to 20 pullups - I'm going to do the initial test... let's call it Saturday? Last "challenge" I started to work on this, but then I changed my workout and now it's been a few weeks, so it's exciting to see what column I'll get to start week 1 in. 3 STR5/3/...2? - 24 workouts. 24 chances to be a superstar. It works very similar to 5/3/1, but there's a few differences that I'll outline below. 3 STR, 2 CONBasically... Run - I'm going to be a hambeast this winter, but I don't want to be too much of a hambeast, and since I'll be walking places a hell of a lot less (read - never)... I'm re-instituting the daily mile. 42 days. 42 miles. Pretty easy, yes? 3 STASomething something food - I should probably do something about food tracking here. Let me tell you, it's gotten super easy to eat and eat and eat. I'm pretty sure this winter, if I track food, it'll be to hold myself back rather than to be all *stern face* eat moar! Yesterday for breakfast, I had 1.3c oats (dry measure), 6 eggs, 4 slices of bacon, and I was hungry like an hour later...As I was saying. 4000 is a nice number. Lettuce start there. 3 CON 1 STRThere is no 5.My cameras aren't working. But if they were, there'd be a picture here and here for you to look at the difference between regenerations.. or whatever. But they'd be under spoiler tags, and not links. So according to the weighing devices, we're starting off the challenge at 171.3 lbs* and 6.5^. A few weeks ago before I started the bulk I was at 166lbs* and 6^ and felt really super skinny. I'm probably going to take those numbers with a larger grain of salt than I normally would, and you probably should too. I'm probably much better hydrated than I was in the "before bulk" measurements so I'm probably definitely carrying more water with that weight increase too. I mean, it would be nice if the 5lb weight increase in the last 3-4 weeks was all lean muscle...but it's probably definitely not. Footnotes * I weigh myself after my morning bidniss gets done, and then I put it in a spreadsheet that averages my weight across 7 days. ^ I measure each point with the calipers 3 times and average them out. If I really wanted to get crazy, I'd do it 5 times, discard the highest and lowest, and average the rest. But I don't want to get that crazy.
  23. Well, here I am on my 4th challenge! The last challenge was actually semi-successful, even thought I only posted about four times! I improved my bedtime habits and reached new weight levels in my lifting. I was more lax about the soda drinking, having broken that with about 2-3 diet sodas a week, and didn't do any scrapbooking, but kept taking pictures, so half good half bad. I started my weight loss/fitness journey in February with aggressive calorie cutting and bodyweight routine. I have since moved to regular weightlifting, but the calorie deficit has stay, and frankly, I am getting a little tired of it. I have been at 1200-1400/day for about 9 months. I have gone from a tight size 16-regular 18 to a loose size 10, and I fit perfectly in a size 9-10 Wrangler Q-baby jeans. Shirts are size small-med. I stopped weighing myself a couple months ago and don't plan on starting. Main Quest: So, as much as I want to get to what I feel is my ideal weight, I am needing a break from the constant calorie restriction. I also want to break 200 lbs in my deadlifts and 120 lbs on my squats. To do this requires extra calories, so I am going to try my hand at bulking/recomp for this challenge! Mission #1: Keeping the calories up This seems easy, but I get very wiggy when my calories go over 1400, so I have a mini goal of 2 weeks at 1700 and working my way up 100 calories a week from there until 2100, which I believe is what my maintenance calories are. I don't plan on eating a bunch of junk, just adding something like sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, rice, and other non-wheat stuff to make up after I get my protein and fats in. Mission #2: Gainz! The main reason for calorie increase is to give my body some time to rest. The other reason is that I have been at 175 lbs deadlift and 105 lb squats for the last 4 months and I want to break through that. I am also at 30 lb each side overhead DB press, 75 lb bench press, and 40 lb DB bent over row. These have all had gains in the last 2 months. I am still on a 5x5 workout, and I am trying to decide whether or not to go to a 3x5 or 3x8-10 sets/reps. Mission #3: Tea Time! I have let soda and extra coffee into my day and really don't want to continue drinking those. I did really well in spring when I was drinking green tea, and it is the only tea that I like without sweetener. I would like to drink 1-2 cups/day of green tea. It's good for me, and it will replace my second cup of coffee and hopefully the soda that has been creeping into my life. That will help me sleep better at night and not feel so sluggish during the day, so I'll have an easier time getting through my weights 3x/week. No side quests this time, as I really think that the calories challenge is going to be very difficult for me. I want to put all of my effort into doing my best in my weight sessions, and making sure to hit 3 full body every week. My Motivation: I don't really know what my motivation is for this challenge, except to let my body have some time to recuperate from the diet restriction and build the muscles that I will need when I go back to cutting next spring. I am hoping that the extra muscle will help the cutting go much more smoothly and that I'll be able to shed the last of the fat more quickly with the extra muscle burning more calories. If anyone has any tips or advice, I would love to hear it! I have never intentionally eaten more to build my body, so this is new and unnerving to me! Thanks!
  24. Iv'e lost alot of weight recently (about 7lbs. in almost a month) without really trying and I'm trying to gain it back. I'm hitting the gym 3 times a week and trying to increase my caloric intake as well. The only problem is that sometimes (more than usual) I won't hit the amount of calories to gain weight by the end of the night. For example, some nights I get home late about 7pm with a 1500 calorie deficit. I'm working on packing in more calories throughout the day, but I hate to try to cram the needed calories before I go to bed after I've eaten dinner 3 hours before. Should I just forget about the late night food, or keep up the eating?
  25. We catch up to our adventurer on the outskirts of a tiny village that now is free of its infestation of giant (more like the size of small dog) flesh-eating squirrels, and has had enough apples collected to make at least 5 pies. All this thanks to his heroic and valiant efforts. He is now heading for even grander adventures that will have him battling ferocious creature much stronger and faster than he (my bets on the creatures). He seems to be confident and wait, yeah, he's talking to himself again..... "I'm out of that tiny village finally and on a path to glory and honor by way of shanking anything that stands in my way! I will need to train hard and long to turn my self into a lean, mean, fit machine to take down the ferocious creatures the narrator placed his bets on. Able to scale the highest mountains, leap the widest crevices, and (insert heroic action here) !!! First thing's first though.....where's the bathroom, and are there any of said mountains/crevices between here and there?" Now let's get down to business. During my first challenge, I had a goal of putting on some weight in the form of muscle mass. Having never done something like this before it was definitely an eye opening learning experience. With the help of the NF community the challenge was successful, and I was able to put on about 4 lbs and saw some major improvements in strength capabilities. This challenge's main quest line will be similar in the fact that I will still be in a bulking phase in order to build strength and gain muscle. However, in the course of becoming the best assassin I can become, I have noticed some things that need improvement and the knowledge I still lack. This challenge will focus on putting these weaknesses to the test in a plot to overcome them. Needs Improvement While climbing the towers in my first challenge, I realized that seeing progression with pull-ups was exciting and gratifying. However, I still find that it is one of my weaker abilities. I will be focusing on practicing these more often during the week and not only just on the night they fall into my routine in an effort to increase volume and improve form. I will be practicing pull-ups three days a week in addition to my standard workouts with a set based session targeted at increasing volume. As this should only add a few minutes to a routine, it shouldn't be too far reaching of a goal. Grading will be completion based and be as follows: Completing- 14-16 Practices = A 12-13 Practices = B 11-12 Practices = C 10-11 Practices = D < 10 Practices = F (Str +4, Sta +1) **Edit 10/16 - Had to take a most of a week off due to injury. Modified grading scale to compensate. Needs Improvement I have noticed that during my single leg exercises that I am still lacking the flexibility and balance to have the form I would like. To overcome this, I will be modifying one of my workouts per week to add in more flexibility and balance exercises. This will be completion based as well as a little subjective opinion of how my flexibility, balance, and my form have improved by the end of the challenge. Because of this, the results will weigh a little heavier than the completion of a workout and will be seen in the grading scale as such. Grading will be as follows: Completing 6 with definite improvements = A Completing 6 with little improvement = B+ Completing 5 with definite improvements = A- Completing 5 with little improvement = C+ Completing 4 with definite improvements = B- Completing 4 with little improvement = D+ Completing 3 with definite improvements = C- Anything less = F (Str +1, Dex +4) That Thing Called Learning.... I find that I am still a novice when it comes to knowledge base pertaining to things such as physiology and which workouts work which muscles, and how the body processes and uses the nutrition that we feed it and how this affects muscle growth, etc. This will be a little mix of a fitness and life goal. I would like to devote time each week to find an article, book, website, or any other source with quality information. My goal will be two quality informative sources per week in order to further my knowledge of fitness and the human body. If it is possible, I will include a link in the related update to provide the information to other people, or at least include a title and author if paper-based. (Wis +3) Now for a little fun! This I am not putting any strict goals to, but I have been intrigued for a while by parkour and would like to learn a little more about it and possibly start practicing the basics. For this challenge at least, this will purely be for the fun of it. For example, if I have time one day I may go out and practice vaults or forward rolls. If not, no worries. Completion progress will be measured by the following key: Legend Red - unbolded = not met yet, but week not done. Bolded = not acheived for the week. Green = acheived Blue are totals Grey is for descriptions Starting Stats Height - 5'11" Weight - 171 Template for updates Pull-ups - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/3 - 0/18 Flex/Balance - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/1 - 0/7 Knowledge - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/2 - 0/14
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