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  1. I think I'm going to take some time off from challenges, there's just not much of a point for me anymore. Move to a battle log instead. I'm bulking at the moment, have been for a couple months now, and plan on continuing through until the spring. Though I'm probably going to do a 2 week minicut in early December to trim a little of the extra fat off. Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  2. Hello, I'm new to this forum and working out in general, but I've recently decided I should begin a journey into my fitness. I'm a skinny guy who is looking to bulk up at home, I don't possess any equipment and there is no gym anywhere around me. So I was wondering if you guys could give me an easy to understand workout bulking plan that won't overwhelm my novice mind, I understand eating plays a big role as well, however, I believe I understand what I should eat and how much to bulk. I'm tired of being the skinny guy and just wanna build myself up both mentally and physically. Thanks a bunch.
  3. 12 Week Hypertrophy Quest Quest Goals: 1) Increase Muscle Mass 2) Decrease BF% 3) Increase Strength In All Lifts Overview/Details Each working set should be performed to near failure with 12 being the most reps you should perform and 6 being the lowest. This workout utilizes supersets.Take a 1 minute break between each superset. Supersets are grouped by letter before them. See Quest Objectives for context. Increase weight on each set by at least 5lbs. Increase weight from week to week as well. By the end of the 12 weeks, you should be 10lbs+ stronger in many lifts. This program can be repeated with endless variation. If you begin to plateau, seek ways of making the workouts harder. An example could be adding some dropsets. SPLIT CHEST/BACK SHOULDERS/ARMS LEGS Quest Objectives: Day 1: Chest/Back | Warm-up 5 minutes of cardio A1) Bench Press 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working A2) DB Row 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working 1 - 2 minute rest B1) Hammerstrength incline Chest Press 3x12 working B2) Hammerstrength lat pulldown 3x12 working 1 - 2 minute rest C1) Cable Crossovers 5-7x12 working C2) Reverse Flye 5-7x12 working Day 2: Active Rest | Start with 5 minutes of cardio if you normally don't do cardio, and add 5 minutes to your average time of the cardio you do regularly. Increase total time by 5 minutes every other week. By Week 12 you should be doing 30 extra minutes of cardio. For the sake of this program, cardio is considered 150bpm+ for the whole session. Day 3: Shoulders/Arms | Warm-up 5 minutes of cardio A1) DB Shoulder Press 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working A2) Standing DB Curl 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working 1 - 2 minute rest B1) DB Front Raise 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working B2) Tricep Extension 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working 1 - 2 minute rest C1) Reverse Flye Machine 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working C2) Barbell Curl 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working 1 minute rest D) Skull Crusher 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working Day 4: Active Rest | Do the same amount of cardio as you did on your first active rest day this week. Day 5: Legs | Warm-up 5 minutes of cardio A1) Squat 2x6 warm-up, 3x12 working A2) Leg Curl 1x6 warmup , 3x12 working 2 - 3 minute rest between A and B B1) Leg Extensions 3x12 working B2) Standing Calf Raises 3x12 working 2 - 3 minute rest between B and C C1) Weighted Walking Lunge 3x12 working C2) Lower Back Extensions 3x12 failure Day 6: REST Day 7: REST Let me know what you think below!
  4. COWABUNGA! Time to slap some peanut butter and avocado on top of your veggie pizza 'cause it's time to bulk with the turtles! 4 turtles, 4 goals, 4 weight gain! 1 - Leonardo - Maintain running and weightlifting. 12 week program is at 3 days a week and running at least 30 km a week (ideally across 4 short runs and 1 long run). 50% weightlifting, 50% running. 2 - Michelangelo - Bulking (food) Trying out the 12 week program I made and getting back to planning my food. I’m shooting to eat between 3100 and 3900 calories a day. I took some starting measurements on 2/6 and you can see them here. I did it in centimeters so that improvement is larger numbers (and I just plain like the metric system). My wife thinks I had her measure my shoulders wrong (the circumference vs. end to end). I am not shaped like a capital T. Points for planning ahead of time (50%) and hitting goals (50%) per day. I always allow weekends and holidays as an exception. 3 - Donatello - Finances - Still waiting on that performance evaluation/raise meeting, btw. My wife and I should both get bonuses this month so we need to see how much we have and what we want to do with them. Probably wipe out the credit card and start a savings account for a down payment on a house. If we see a way to save/make money we’ll try to take it. % of the bonuses used responsibly is the % completed. 4 - Raphael - Hobbies (Guitar). I want to get back to trying to practice now that my family very generously set me up with an entire electric setup and headphones so I can practice without disturbing a baby. I’ll sign up at Justinguitar.com at my brother’s insistence and see how they do what they do. Something guitar-related every week. I saw that Ninja Turtles concert live, btw. It had so little continuity an six year old fanboy noticed problems. 5 - Splinter (bonus) - Saturday is a rugby day! It’s peak tournament season which means my wife is streaming games on at least 2 continents every weekend and inviting people over. I want to make for a good game host so I want to try and knock out some good dips, snacks, and keep the house clean. Also, God bless the internet. That’s one of the local rugby clubs dressed up in ninja turtle jerseys instead of their standard uniform (Charles River Rugby Club). I want to clean and try a new recipe every week. This includes my wife's birthday party.
  5. I love deviantart. That picture has basically nothing to do with anything, but damned if I didn’t feel a need to share it. I searched for “Scrooge McDuck Jungle” and that’s what comes up. This challenge I want to set a tone for the rest of the year (as you do on New Year’s) and let you guys know why I’m setting my goals this year the way I am. I want to maintain 2 things (running and weight lifting) and improve 3 things (hobbies, finances, and bulking). Every challenge I’m going to set goals for those five things and rewards that improves them in the future. For this purpose I’ve chosen a spirit animal of sorts: Scrooge McDuck. Why? Maintain Lifting and Running – Scrooge McDuck is an avid health fanatic. People don’t seem to realize but the duck is literally swimming in gold coins daily. Swimming. In. Gold. Coins. He’s displacing dozens of pounds while doing cardio. There are vastly worse role models for strength training and cardio. Mileage and lifting may go up depending on my mood or down depending on if I’m coming up on a race. Two goals will appear in every single challenge: maintain running (30km per week), maintain weightlifting (3 days per week). Hobbies – Scrooge McDuck is a duck of many talents and a hobbiest extraordinaire. Take a look and you can find pictures and stories of him participating in almost any adventure or sport. And not like stumbling across him in a melee fight with the Predator (seriously, wtf deviantart?), but actual cannon activities. Auto racing, horseback riding, fencing, prospecting, hiking, camping, etc, etc, etc. Personally, I’m trying to focus on 2 things this year- making things and music. Yes, you make music, but I mean stuff as in things around the house like furniture or whatnot. Bonus points if I can earn a little money doing it. One goal per challenge minimum will be related to guitar or making. I might swap it out for something unique if something comes along that I want to try out. Finances - Swimming. In. Gold. Coins. Scrooge doesn’t just HAVE money, he goes through pained efforts to KEEP it just like his namesake. So minimum one goal per challenge will have the purpose of either saving money or making money. Bulking – OK… umm… Launchpad looks ripped? So this spirit animal thing isn’t perfect. The fact of the matter is after my first marathon attempt I found that I feel better, look better, and run better when I weight more and strength train. So I figure I’ll take this a few steps farther and try to get big and muscle-y. This means I’ll need to find a good bulking plan to follow and pay attention to my nutrition to make sure I build muscle more than squishy bits around my mid-section. I currently sit around 175 lbs and usual float down to 170 or so occasionally. I don’t want to give up running half marathon distances so I don’t expect I’ll rocket up to 210 or something but getting to the point where I’m at 185 or 190 would be neat. I’m kind of guessing at this since I’ve never gotten all that big and I have no clue what I’ll look like with more muscle on me. Ideally my build will be athletic but I’m not attempting anything insane like Arnold or something. I’m shooting for roughly “rugby player” build. Clearly well-muscled and athletic but also clearly drinking lots of beer. I have a spreadsheet for charting size progress. One goal minimum, I expect 2 goals per challenge (lifting and food) for bulking. All that being said: what about this challenge? Maintain running and weightlifting – 30k per week and 3 days minimum Finish the Batcave – Build deadlift platforms, muffle noise, arrange everything. I should also set up a practice space for guitar (music, headphones, guitar stand, etc). Prepare to negotiate salary at work – We have performance reviews in the next few weeks and will be notified of our pay increases for 2018. I intend to push for more cash or start looking for another job. Cancel the gym membership – If I have the batcave up and running I don’t need to give the Y my money. The home gym should pay for itself in a scant 4 months. Find/design a bulking program
  6. I'm looking to add some lean muscle mass (hopefully replacing some fat in the process) and boosting size a little. I'm a fairly large guy –just under 6' and (currently) about 185#. What'd I'd like is a more defined, cut look along with a bit more size in the arms and chest. My question is how much of this can be achieved through bodyweight exercise? I have some dumbbells, and a pull-up bar. I do kickboxing fitness classes 3x week and have an 80# heavy bag at home for solo workouts too.
  7. While I was still sleeping this morning, my husband placed our Christmas table runner on the table, with our advent wreath in the middle. It was one of the first things I noticed when I walked into our kitchen. I thought about how excited I am for this Christmas season. Yes, sometimes it can be busy, and cold, but I love so many things that go along with Christmas. I love shopping for gifts (online in my cozy hobbit home) baking treats, going to parties. I decided why not have my challenge be a Christmas theme? I'm making a fun game board, because I really enjoyed that last time. Goals are pretty much the same. This week is a practice week, and I start next week. I'm only setting up my game for three weeks though. Hubby is off the week between Christmas and New Years, so I have no plans to track food and get things done in the morning, or much of any goal type stuff. Christmas Joy Challenge Christmas Presents: Track Food 5 days a week; Drink water 60 oz of water a day, eat to around 400 calories over maintenance , more at parties probably Trim the Tree: Do 10 minutes of mobility work 4 days a week; I would like to eventually do it 6 days, but for now I'll try to make 4 a habit Light the Candles: Morning Routine; Read Bible, Drink 12 oz water, kitchen, start at 9:30 Adventure List : To complete the levels I will have to do a certain amount of these ( 2 week one, 3 week two, 4 week three) I can fill them in before I hit the week if I do them bake cookies/ make special food Bullet Journal December Christmas shop fun Christmas outing I plan shampoo couch gymnastic Stretching routine give to a charity Details on my workout plan in spoiler tag Edit: I changed the title to something that sounded a bit more like a game. I may change it again before the challenge start,
  8. Thi challenge I will step into the scary and exciting world of BULKING. I will be eating to gain about a half a pound per week. For the next couple of months, my main focus will be on building muscle. To succeed at the challenge, I need to Climb The Tower of Gainz. Each week I will have steps to climb to get to the top. Three of the steps for each week will be my main goals. In order to finish the step I must either complete all the days of the goal, or do a repair to the step. Then I have extra steps that I earn by picking from various activities. I'm making a pretty gameboard. Tomorrow or soon I will post it. Right now I can't find my colored pencils- jet lag, just got home from New Orleans. Goals Morning Routine; Bible, Kitchen, at 9:30 Monday -Friday Track food and water; 6 days a week Mobility work 10 minutes a day; 3 days week one, 4 days week 2, 5 days week 3, 6 days week 3 Repair steps( for days I don't make goal) choose one 20 burpees 100 lunges 3 minutes of Farmer Walks 7 chin ups Bonus- for additional steps 15 minutes of either ; scrapbooking: cleaning bookshelves,declutter cook new food eat new food 2 mile Ruck adventure 10 minute gymnastic skill work 15 minute stretching routine 5 minute AMRAP BW squats 2 steps for shopping for couch
  9. For the past year or so I have been gyming with the few weights I have at home and doing body weight exercises. I had a bit of body fat and decided to eat a lot less carbs, a lot less calories (about 2000 a day) in order to loose the fat I had. This was successful and I cut the fat. I then decided that it's almost winter (I live in the Southern hemisphere) and that I need to get bigger and build muscle. Hence 6 days ago I joined a proper fully equipped gym. In those 6 days I have been to the gym 5 times and I have been going hard in the gym as well. Exactly 6 days ago I also started eating more and tracking my calories in order to bulk. In addition I weigh myself each morning when I wake up. Here is my problem though: I have been eating 3000 calories a day (50% carbs, 25% protein, 25% fat) which is A LOT more than I usually eat, but my weight has gone from 75.9kg to 75.7kg to 75kg to 74.9kg in the past four days. WHY????? I know what you are thinking: "but you should just be eating more then. Easy as that" well actually I don't think so since when I was loosing weight on the 2000 calorie a day plan I was loosing weight very slowly and now I am dropping weight like it's nothing. Maybe the sudden increase in gym time is just messing with my morning water weight and that this will settle down within the next week or so? I don't know.
  10. 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!
  11. I'm going to take advantage of the shorter challenge duration and try a little experimentation with my training and diet. Plus, I have a Spring Break trip planned for the end of March and I'd like to work on my beach muscles. So, bring on FE-BRO-ARY Quest 1 - Pack on some pounds Eat at least one pound of meat every day. I tried eating at a surplus and counting calories last challenge and my weight dropped a little. And I disliked counting calories. So this month I'm going to try and simplify my goal by just ensuring I eat 1 pound of meat every day: chicken, beef, pork, turkey - bring it on! Quest 2 - Before Bed Benjamins I recognize that it's foolish to try and pack on pounds while also honing my six-pack, but I'm not trying to get shredded to show off my abs. I have to build some abs first. To that end, I'll be attempting the Before Bed Benjamins: 20x knee touch20x toe touch20x reverse crunch20x reverse crunch cross20x "butterfly" Since my core really needs some work, I'm going to ramp up for this one. My goal will be doing the BBB's once during Week 1, twice during Week 2, thrice during Week 3, and four times during Week 4. Quest 3 - Treasure Chest Quest What's a bro-tastic challenge without a little emphasis on the chest? My goal is to have a dedicated chest day each week as well as to include at least one chest-focused exercise in each workout. Quest 4 - Break a mental sweat In order to fit in my Chest Day, I'm dropping Deadlift Day. I have other reasons for that, though. I have gotten kind of bored with the traditional sandbag deadlift. I got up to 5x250# at the end of 2015 and a 250# sandbag is just a pain to deal with. I have heard a few podcasts with Josh Henkin, the inventor of the Ultimate Sandbag and Dynamic Variable Resistance Training (DVRT) and he keeps talking about how there's more to progressive overload than just adding weight. So, my goal for this quest it to read all of the DVRT book that I bought several months ago. It's about 290 pages, so I'll need to complete 10-15 pages a day.
  12. https://youtu.be/rkrK2lh-uwwwatch this , Bad for Bulking or Good??
  13. If this rings a bell, you came to the right place Many years ago, pro wrestler-turned-mayor Mike Haggar took justice into his own meaty hands in order to save his kidnapped daughter Jessica with the help of Guy and Cody. Her kidnappers, the Mad Gear gang, were hoping to use their hostage as leverage to crack down on his attempt to eradicate crime. Instead, it resulted in the destruction of the city’s largest gang and organized crime syndicate, themselves. Prominent members of the gang managed to evade capture or bail out of prison, but the damage was already done. There was no way Mad Gear could become what it used to be. Still, some kept hoping and put in the effort. In their attempts, they literally woke up a sleeping giant. Hugo Andore, a 7’10”, 440lbs beast of a man used to be a member of Mad Gear. His defeat at the hands of fellow pro wrestler Mike Haggar sent him into a spiral of depression and self doubt, made worse by the collapse of the gang. Hugo disappeared and isolated himself, living in a trailer, until former members of Mad Gear came knocking on his door. Their bullying when they say his fallen state made him snap and after single handedly getting rid of the thugs, he decided to enter the Street Fighter tournament in order to prove his worth.
  14. Brutal Bears and the Endless Intro the challenge 5 XP [235/600] 33.5%33.5% Destruction Destiny Death Dream Delirium Before Picture: 169 Pounds (and bulking) Coming soon... possibly challenges for Desire and Despair Rewards and goodies
  15. aka, Polaris does All the Things and Will NOT burn herself out "Fire is the element of power. The people of the Fire Nation have desire and will and the energy and drive to achieve what they want." - Iroh, Avatar: the Last Airbender This is it. I turned 26. Shed 7 kilos during the last 4.5 months. Cut my hair. Got my first tattoo. Started the second-to-last year I'm allowed to stay at uni. Need to achieve an insane amount of study points per semester to make up for all the years I wasted and to graduate in time. Need to build muscle, keep lifting heavy things, become better at Taekwon-do. Will possibly run out of money and starve to death. Fun stuff like that. In short, I need to be able to achieve more than ever before, and in order to do that, I need to find more energy than I have ever been able to muster. Energy is my Achilles heel: mentally, I've been held back my chronic depression and anxiety for most of my life, and I'm still learning how to function as a healthy adult. Physically, I've always suffered from lethargy. Doctors blamed it on my mental health after my bloodwork came back fine, but since my mind is fine now and I'm still low on energy, there must be another reason. I need to find it, and smash it to the ground. It's literally a matter of life and death at this point. And I can't get a burnout and crash totally like I've done before, because it would be the end of me. So, this challenge, I will find the firebender within me to gather that energy and drive, and kick life's butt. I: Energy Everything and whatever it takes to complete all my tasks. Sleep enough. Eat enough. Work out. Caffeine. Amazing, Magical Preworkout Powder (seriously, it recreates me. You can read on my previous challenge thread how wonderful that stuff is for me.) Pester uni healthcare until they take my sleepiness and lethargy seriously, and either find out the cause or are 110% certain it's nothing physical. Illegal stimulants - okay, so not literally whatever it takes. Also - this is important, Polaris you self-destructive perfectionist - despite the fact that I have loads of Stuff To Do, I need to schedule and organize said Stuff so I won't burn myself out like I've done every time before. Any and all advice on how to stay active and energetic is welcome. II: Food I've been cutting for the past 5-ish months, and I'm about 98% done. I never saw the 59.0 that I wanted to see, but I've plateau'd around 59.5-60.5, and since I'm desperate for moar muscle mass and food, that will do for now. I'll start a 2-week diet break any day now (once I get some sage advice so I won't ruin my progress), which should coincide nicely with the minor surgery I'm about to have that'll ban me from the gym for a while, and then start my first bulk. I'm terrified of fat gain, but very excited about getting and looking stronger, plus maybe it'll boost my energy levels. I have an underlying eating disorder, which will add extra challenge, but I've been able to wrestle it down so far. III: Strength (& Ass-Kicking) I've pretty much got the basic 'Go to the Gym X times/week' down, but there are some specific things I need to focus on. First is squats, which I've struggled with recently, I need to work on my form and work back up the weight I was at. The added challenge is that I'm hypermobile, and one of my hips is lower than the other. Also I tend to arch my back too much when I'm lifting, which is why my physio told me to take up pilates. I'm trying to sign up for a beginner's course that starts next month. Second, hip rehab exercises, and shoulder stuff when that acts up. Third, I've been neglecting TKD on the summer because, well, summer. I need to attend two classes per week at minimum, though I'd like to do some 5-7 classes/week bursts to get enough practice for the belt test on December, but I need to prioritize. If anyone's interested, my current program is here. IV: Will I take pride in my willpower, now if ever is the time to deliver. No skipping classes, no skipping workouts, no skipping cooking and eating crap instead. I will attend all my classes, do my work, and go to the gym. Also, I will do assignments on time instead of leaving them to the last minute. I'm gonna set a few rules for myself: - I'm only allowed to skip classes in case of 1) illness 2) serious sleep deprivation (<5 hours of sleep) 3) last-minute assignments (which shouldn't happen, but just in case) 4) serious Need for a break - I'm only allowed to skip workouts for reasons described above, plus if I'm having a seriously bad day (because it's statistically led to either injury or really crappy, no-good workout) - order of priorities is studies > rest/food/health > lifting > TKD > fun stuff - laziness, minor weariness, or "don't feel like it" are not acceptable reasons - will track absences from every course so I don't go over the limit - will compensate for absences within three days V: Catch Up I've got a few papers I should have handed in, at worst, literally years ago. I need to write them, or in case of the two that I'm not certain if the teacher'll still accept them, figure out how I can get them done. I recall three papers and BA thesis, so if I divide the BA thesis for three weeks, that should give me a nice schedule of one paper per week. Which is very doable if I can actually sit on my ass and work on them, say, one day a week that I have pretty much nothing else going on. Friday should probably be Designated Catch-up Day. VI: Money I mentioned I may starve to death soon, which is because my student aid months ran out for now. I need to figure out where and how I'll get some money, during this month, because I'd like to not die yet maybe. I also need to go over my bills for the past few months because they've been so financially complicated I'm not on board on what I've paid and not paid at all. I may also need new insurance, which I'm mentioning here just so I won't forget. VII: Order Basically two things: 1) Re-declutter my room and keep it relatively clean. 2) I got a magnet board and colorful little papers, so I can write down and put up all the stuff I need to do and when, since I'm so ADD I forget everything. Now I need to learn to use it. I think seven is a good number to finish with, so that's that. Follow for updates on my goals, occasional celebrations and breakdowns, unhealthy perfectionism, links to motivational songs, and gifs of cute canines and the two best animated series ever.
  16. I'm not good with alliteration, okay? So uni's gonna start again in a couple of weeks, but so will my first bulk ever (after a 4-month cut that almost destroyed my sanity). Until now I've been doing pretty much the same workout every time, but it takes quite a bit of time, so in order to also have time to hit the books and tatami like they owe me money, I thought I'd split it up a bit. And because I like to tinker with everything, rather than taking an existing program, I snagged some things from programs I liked - separate power and hypertrophy days from PHUL, AMRAP progress technique from Greyskull - and combined them. I'm still a baby in the lifting circles, with about 8 months of experience, so I'm asking you wiser nerds to take a look and tell me if my plan's any good. Goals: Strenght & power. Hypertrophy. Focus on glutes & shoulders (& arms too), because my cut diminished the former, and the latter has never had any muscle. Retain small waist & hourglass figure. Strenght 1 OHP 2x5 + 1xAMRAP Back squat 2x5 + 1xAMRAP DB row 2x5 + 1xAMRAP Barbell hip thrust 3x8 Triceps extension 3x8 Cable rope rear-delt row 3x8 Strenght 2 Bench press 2x5 + 1xAMRAP Back squat 2x5 + 1xAMRAP Deadlift 1x5 Assisted Pull-up 2x5 + 1xAMRAP Bicep curl 3x8 DB raise 3x8 Calf press/raise 3x8 Hypertrophy Back squat 3x10-12 Bench press 3x10-12 Biceps/triceps 3x10-12 Lat pulldown/DB row 3x10-12 Cable kickback 3x10-12 DB raise/Cable delt row 3x10-12 Calf raise/press 3x10-12 + planks or other core stuff 2 times/week, & accessory work on wherever joints feel iffy Questions I have: - Are 3 sessions per week and one hypertrophy day enough? PHUL and a lot of other programs have 4 days and two hypertrophy sessions, but frankly I don't think I'll have time or energy to hit the gym four days per week. - Or is it too early in my career for hypertrophy? I really want to visibly grow some muscle because I still look "skinny fat", but is there some kind of a milestone you need to reach before you can do that? - Do I need more glute work (I was gonna write 'butt stuff' until I realized ), on the hypertrophy day or otherwise? - Is it bad to squat on every session? - Good core exercises to strengthen the inner "corset" without making the waist bigger?
  17. Hello there! Alrighty, this is my second challenge and my goals are roughly the same. I had a one week break, since I started the last challenge late. In that time, I completed one more BWW (on Tuesday) and managed to up my OHP by two reps at 25 lbs. On Thursday I wrestled instead of doing my BWW, and on Friday I got to practice trips and throws with the family. My Dad and I are going to start training sessions again, as I still have a lot to learn and improve. I plan to keep him to it. In my previous challenge I mentioned that my friend had weights and that I was going to attempt to set up a workout schedule with him. In short, not the best choice for a workout buddy. I still want to try weightlifting, so when the family decides to get a family membership at the nearby YMCA, i'll be going there. My plan is to continue to improve my BWW until I can get my hands on some free weights. That should be some time next week. Then, I plan to follow the Stronglifts 5x5 plan. Of course, I also want to practice my martial art when possible. Main Quest (Loooooooooong Term) Get stronger and gain healthy weight. Still aiming for 180 lbs. Goals Practice Aam ka jutsu at least twice a week [DEX 2, STA 2]Follow Stronglifts 5x5 plan by going to the gym 3 times a week [sTR 3, STA 2]Eat an excess of healthy food (at least three meals a day; at least one meal with a good source of protein) [CON 3]Getting at least 8 hours of sleep (get in bed by 10 PM) [sTA 3]Other Goals and Stuff... Applying to as many applicable Web Development positions as I can findLearning Swift, so that I can create some apps over the summerP.S. I GOT TO CODE AGAIN ON SATURDAY AFTER NOT OPENING MY EDITOR FOR AT LEAST A MONTH. OMGFTWBBQ! It was fun. I may have (definitely) been suffering from code-withdrawals, as I don't consider the on-rails HW that I had to do for my C++ course coding. P.P.S. I added the New2Monk tag because I am a newbie, and i'm curious if my goals seem reasonable. Thanks for any constructive criticism! Thanks!
  18. What's up guys, Hey, my name is swolecaesar. I'm currently a high school student. I've always been a skinny kid and wanted to be ripped because of health benefits, confidence, and overall increased attraction. I found nerdfitness.com 2 days ago and after reading pretty much most of Steve's bulking and Gym advice, I set out on a journey to gain 20 pounds of muscle (from 120 to 140) by the end of September. Today was my first day in the gym and it was awesome( also the first day I ate 2656 calories, the amount I need to gain 1 lbs a week!) I loved it! My goals for fitness: 1. Bench 150 lbs (I can do about 50 pounds) 2. Squat 175 lbs (today I did 55 pounds) 3. Gain weight and go from 120 lbs (current) to 140 lbs Some interesting stuff about me: 1. I'm vegetarian (by religion) 2. I love to play soccer 3. I also love programming and anything involved with computers I hope to use this forum to help me gain weight and overtime, I also hope to become a positive contributor to other newcomers as I gain more knowledge of fitness! Nice meeting you guys, swolecaesar
  19. Hey guys, So yesterday was the first day I went to the gym and I wrote down some questions that I want to ask you guys about stuff I didn't know how to do or didn't understand. 1. Can you use the Squat Bar for Deadlifts? 2. What is the correct form for the bent over row? 3. My wrists roll on the bench press? Is that okay? 4. I can do 15 lbs dumbells with my dominant hand (left) on incline curls, but with my non dominant (right) hand I need to swing my whole body to get the weight up and it is noticeably weaker? Is this an issue? How do I solve this? Any information would be amazing. Thanks for reading this post! -swolecaesar
  20. Salivanth Does 10k Training! Who Am I? Hi guys! I'm Salivanth. To get the stats out of the way, I'm male, 23, 5'4'', 59 kg (130 lb), Australian, and getting ready to study Computer Science via distance education starting in July. As of April 13, I'll have been working out for exactly one year. I've mostly been doing bodyweight strength training with the Assassins, but a few months ago I started running. Last challenge I improved my 5k time from 29:56 to 28:16, and this challenge I'm increasing the distance to 10k. 57:26 is my goal time (I'll explain why a bit later in the post), but I'd be happy with any time that's under an hour. I consider myself an Assassin/Scout, so I'll be working towards goals from both classes. However, each challenge I'm planning to pick a goal that I want to achieve by the end of the challenge, and that goal determines what class I choose. Since I want to complete a 10k this challenge, that means I'll be boarding with the Scouts. Goals So, let's get into it! What am I trying to achieve this challenge? Goal One: Run 60 miles over the course of the challenge. (+3 STA) The big one, and the reason I've chosen the Scouts for my challenge! I've never run further than 5k in one run before, but a few months ago I couldn't run a mile, so I'm confident I can build my way up to the distance. I'll be using Hal Higdon's 10k program, modified slightly to reach my goals. Naturally, I'll need to run 10 miles a week on average to complete this goal. This is achievable by following the program I'm on, with a couple of extra short runs sprinkled in there. I'll be running Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, with an optional extra run on Tuesday. I may also choose to run Monday, Tuesday, Saturday; I'm fairly flexible depending on the weather and how I feel that day. As long as I get 3 runs in each week, and one of them is a long run, I should be alright to achieve this goal. Grading: -1 stat point for every 6 miles not done. (42 miles or less: failure) Goal Two: Complete 3 strength workouts per week. (+3 STR) I'll be using the Parallettes One program created by Gold Medal Bodies for my strength work. It's a 3-month beginner program that puts a heavy focus on perfect form, and the later portions of the program focus heavily on flow, i.e, stringing moves together. This is important to me because I'd like to be able to perform a basic gymnastics routine eventually. One of my medium-term goals is to be able to complete this routine: Yes, that's a 7-year-old completing this routine. Gymnasts start very young, but if I want to progress along that path, even at my age, I need to swallow my pride and start from the beginning. I may never be a competitive gymnast, but I'll at least be the best I can. Grading: -1 stat point for every 2 workouts skipped. (12 workouts or less; failure) Goal Three: Complete daily yoga practice. (+3 DEX) For flexibility, I've recently taken up yoga. I'm currently halfway through DoYouYoga's 30-day yoga challenge, and once I'm finished with that, I'll start from the beginning again. I may take up dedicated hamstring stretching at some point throughout the challenge as well, to improve the pike flexibility I'll need for gymnastics. I'd like to get the yoga habit cemented too. Likely I won't add hamstring stretching until next challenge, and only if I do well on this one. Adding small habits over time is what got me here, after all. Grading: -1 stat point for every 5 yoga workouts skipped. (27 yoga days or less; failure) Diet Goal: Eat within 50 calories of my target each day. (+2 CON) As I'm trying to bulk up this challenge, I'll be eating at 2,150 calories per day, plus 100 calories per mile on days that I run. I'm aiming to gain 2-3 kg this challenge; any less and I need to up the calories, any more and I should reduce them a bit. I'm giving myself permission to alter my calorie amount as required for this challenge. Grading: -1 stat point for every 5 days not reached. (32 days or less; failure) Quests Nerd Fitness wisdom suggests that goals should be process-oriented, not results-oriented, and I agree with this. However, I also like having specific goals to aim for in a challenge, so I call those quests and assign a few stat points to their completion. Here are my quests for this challenge. Quest One: Complete a set of 3 pull-ups. (+1 STR) My Main Quest as detailed in my signature is to be able to do 3 sets of 8 pull-ups and 3 sets of 8 dips. I'd be remiss if I didn't include that in my goals somewhere. I can currently do 2 pull-ups, so this isn't a particularly huge ask, but it should help me stay on track with my pull-up work. Quest Two: Complete a 10k in less than an hour. (+1 STA) Quest Three: Complete a 10k in less than 57:26. (+1 STA) These quests are pretty self-explanatory, except for the 57:26 time. It's oddly specific, so I'll explain why I've chosen that as my goal. In a book called Daniels' Running Formula, whom I bet a lot of the experienced Scouts have heard of, there's a measurement called VDOT. VDOT represents oxygen consumption, and is based on race speed. It can be based on distances from 800m to marathon, and ranges from 20 (Basically a brisk walk) to 85. (Pro athlete/world record/beyond WR depending on the exact race.) My current VDOT is 33, and was 31 about 2 months ago. This challenge, I want to increase it to 34. Someone with a VDOT of 34 should be expected to run a 57:26 10k, so that's why I chose it as the time I'm aspiring to. Quest Four: Reach 61-63 kg (136-139 lb) in weight. (+1 CON) Lastly, I'd like to reach the 61-63 kg weight range by the end of the challenge, seven weeks from now. Being outside of this range indicates something wrong with my diet. I'll be weighing myself halfway through the challenge to see how it's going, and adjust calories accordingly. If I'm within this range, it means I'm bulking correctly; not bulking so slowly I don't gain much muscle, nor so quickly that I'm gaining mostly fat. Conclusion So that's my challenge this time around. I'll use this week to make sure everything's in order, and then get right into it next week. I'm really looking forward to doing a challenge with you guys. Best of luck to everyone in their training / races! Thanks for reading!
  21. So, I'm not entirely sure how to start this, so I'll just jump right in. Also, for those who don't feel like reading my long-winded backstory, jump down to tl;dr. About a year ago, miserable at 185 lb (5'4"), I started reading Nerd Fitness in search of tips/tricks to help me "get better" at karate. My husband is actually the one who got me into karate (he did it from about age 10-21), and I underestimate just how damn hard it is. In my search on NF, I happened upon the article about Staci and her powerlifting journey. Though there were some differences, the challenges she faced pre-lifting were similar to my own. Her story inspired me to go to the "scary" side of the gym and pick up a barbell. I was hooked from that moment. It just so happens that my husband is my gym buddy. My husband is awesome. He's always been supportive of whatever I jump into, and he's there to cheer me on whether I success, fail or just break even. But I digress. When I told him I wanted to start weightlifting, he was excited. I was pretty thrilled too because he has experience lifting and could at least show me the ropes on proper form. Cool, all is well. (tl;dr) I started getting stronger, and began increasing both weight and reps while noticeably decreasing in bodyweight (down to 162 lb currently). These are all good things. Then, it happened...one day as we were leaving the gym after one of my big PR days, he said, "You should take it easy. You just want to focus on conditioning; make sure you don't get bulky." Although I know better, I was crushed because I assumed he knew better. I even showed him the article about Staci (update included, debunking such bulking nonsense), and yet the myth persists. As recently as yesterday, the "b" word has been uttered; once again, on a PR day (215 lb deadlift). I feel like an idiot for even asking this, but I'm curious. Has anyone else encountered this with their significant other? If so, how did you enlighten them without telling them they're straight up wrong?
  22. So what's all this stuff about "counting macros"? It's macro-nutrients, or something, right? Proteins, carbs, fats.... yes? My question is actually..... do people only count macros when they are "bulking"? Can I (should I) count them as part of maintaining a healthy diet, even if I am not trying to "bulk"? My goal is to build muscle and cut fat. I am just under 5'2", roughly 156 lbs and I estimate my bf% to be about 32%...ish? (Gauged by the pictures on the "what's your bf%?" websites)... I do Stronglifts and just recently started doing the Jacobs ladder at least twice a week. Can I build a healthy diet around counting macros? And what kind of macros should I be going for, considering where I am at? Haaalllllp! Thanks y'all. (by the way, if this was posted on the wrong forum, sorry!)
  23. I can see a plateau looming with my weight loss in the next month or two, and I want to prepare for what it takes to drop BF% after that. Apparently bulking and cutting is the way to go, so what's your best introduction site/article/how-to for those of us new to it? Thanks in advance!
  24. So I think I can well and truly say that I've defeated the beast of the first year demons. I've competed in my first powerlifting competition (235kg total). I've finally started to feel happy about my body. I think I'm ready for the promotion board coming up at work (a set of exams and interviews to allow me to apply for jobs in the next three grades up). Main Goal This year is now about levelling up my life. It's about getting a higher powerlifting total (aiming for 250kg by June, ideally 275kg this year). It's about building muscle mass. It's about getting that gorram promotion! Task 1: Continue to be consistent with lifting four times a week. Not get disheartened when I have a bad day. (Extra goal: Follow up the lead about coaching sessions and have my first session.) Four sessions a week recorded in full. Days off only taken for illness or injury. Task 2: Break through the nerves about bulking. Average over maintenance on a weekly basis. Aim for 1750 calories over maintenance, acceptable 250 calories either way. I'm still working on this, but even just eating over what my calculations say should be maintenance is scary. Task 3: Prepare and send my promotion board application by 9 March. I have seven competency based examples to write up, discuss, redraft and have approved by my manager before then. Beyond that, I have to wait and see if I get through to the next stage of the application process. I'm not sure if that will happen before the end of the challenge. I'll update if it does. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm keeping it simple this time. I'm not doing percentages or points, I just want to get back into the swing of the NF forums. Edited to add measurements from day two (kinda bloated both yesterday and today but was hoping it'd be gone... eh well) Weight: 62.1kg Body fat % (per BIA scales... so not trustworthy): 27.0% Waist: 27" Navel: 31" High hip: 35" Glutes: 37" Thigh: 20.5" Calf: 13" Forearm: 9.5" Bicep relaxed: 10.5" Bicep flexed: 11.5" (both sides measured the same) Excuse the face... I hadn't had my coffee yet. And yes, I know our gym is a mess! I should have moved things, but meh! I know tidiness is good, but it sometimes creeps me out when our house is actually tidy.
  25. I recently decided to give IIFYM a try, and I'm liking the concept of it so far. However, I'm hilariously bad at it. I tend to have this problem where I hit my protein goals at the end of the day and still have many grams of carbs (and sometimes fats) left. This wouldn't be a problem if I was cutting, but since I've decided to try to pack on some serious muscle and skyrocket my lifting poundage, I'm not hitting my needs. In fact, since modestly bumping my goal from 1900 to 2100 calories, I've been averaging out at about 1900 calories a day, whereas I would average at about 1700 before. So I guess this means two things: I'd be able to survive a steeper cut when the time comes, but I'm also not very good at hitting my macros. The 5-year-old in me sees all these leftover carbs and fats as an invitation to eat ice cream to my heart's content, but of course, the past clean-paleo-holy-eating version of me cries in protest. Alas, past clean-paleo-holy-eating me's habits leads me to eat rather low-carb and still subconsciously cringes at the offer of a large loaf of bread or slice of cake. Thus, I often throw in the towel and go to bed with 50+ g of carbs left for the day. So I come to this forum with some questions. What are some tips for hitting my macros with these given struggles? So far I've collected the weapons of sugary cereal, nuts, dried fruit, and liquid calories. Does it make much difference if my carb intake comes from complex carbs or pure sugar? Of course, I'd stay within reasonable limits, but at the end of the day when I'm trying to get closer to my goals, it's much easier to slam down a cup of orange juice than shove a potato down my throat. Does anyone else have this same struggle as me when bulking? If so, I'd love to hear your stories and how you overcame such struggles, if applicable. How do I get over the fact that reaching my macro goals might require eating foods that past clean-paleo-holy-eating me would not dare think of swallowing? Thanks!
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