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  1. I am going to continue with my theme of very minimal challenges while I re-figure out where I am in life. Things just feel different these days and it’s not like, bad different but it IS different and different requires slowing down and assessing and adjusting. GOAAAAALS CORE EVERY DAY - I think this one is pretty self explanatory! I plan to do at least some core work every day (this can be as minimal as doing a plank for 30 seconds/ but can be much more!) February Cut - I am SO FREAKING CLOSE to being rid of excess chubs. It’s been a suuuuuuuuuper gradual loss over like 3 years or so which is good and all but dude I want this excess belly chub gone like now. I’m planning to do a slightly more aggressive and intentional cut for the month of February. Currently I am tracking calories and I may keep doing but we shall see; I may shift to instinctive eating and shooting for feeling slightly hungry at all times. In general I am shooting for 2k calories per day (when I was tracking previously I was doing 2300 for maintenance which had me losing slightly already. I really would like to get BMR and a DEXA scan sometime for more accurate numbers but going with what has been working for now! There IS a place in LA that does both but the BMR one you have to not workout for 12 hours or something and then you can’t have caffeine for at least 6 hours and just..I dunno. NO COFFEE IN THE MORNING?! WHY?!?! Hahahaha.) Life balance/ DONT YOU DARE OVERBOOK - Check in on stress level once per week and cut things from my schedule (or add!) if I need it. Life goal things - go places alone at least 1x per week. I want to spend more time out and about along to give myself more chances to possibly run into a guy I would want to date someday. I am kind of a cheater in that I already signed up for a beginner improv class I have to go to alone down in LA every week, but I would like to add side adventures before or after said class and I also want to try to do some local alone in public time things too. Most of my current hobbies here are very lady centric and/or just sassy gay boys for the most part (dance and aerial) or are me hanging out with people I already know and know I don’t want to date and while I LOVE THESE THINGS I would like to meet someone I want to date eventually. And I F-ING HATE ONLINE DATING HATE HATE — like, I can make a conversation with almost anyone and just seeing a picture of people doesn’t tell me if I’d actually have any chemistry in person and just NOPE not my jam. Also, I used to do more things alone but rather by accident I have companions along for most everything I do these days! I need to plan intentional not with other people time! I've decided to cut this goal for this round since my not overbooking goal is directly conflicting with this one!
  2. Go here first, IF YOU DARE. Hey it's Grumble. Your best friend, your guild leader, and your...hexplate lifter. Magnus Rushes In I wanted to start the new year off clean(er). Cause it ended dirty and delicious. So while the cut wandered away while I played with PHUL, but I'm bringing it back with a vengeance this challenge (and will continue through the next two challenges as well). To that end, I have enlisted the help of the B.U.F.F. Dudes once again (new year, new Buff). This time I will be partaking of their cutting plan which is 4 phases, plus a 5x5 prep phase I will only do for two weeks, in which I will use this time to get my diet adjusted. Additionally I will be doing photos at each phase. Plus doing all the measurements. Taako's good out here I'm still not taking time to step back and observe. Especially at work. I'm constantly going, and while it's good to be busy, I make little mistakes and forget to note things. So this challenge will be a kind of follow on with the note taking I did previously, but instead of stream of consciousness or a feelings and emotions thing, this will be a notebook that will entail ideas and thoughts that I have as they occur to help improve... something. It's a little nebulous, but just go with me. Abraca Fuck you! This will be my year long challenge. Mrs Grumble and I have declared this year as Our Year Of Clean. We've got piles. Not big ones, but little bits here and there, garage and guest room excepted (those are minor disaster zones). So this year we will go through everything. Room by room. Probably about a challenge per room, so this month will start in the master bedroom.
  3. So there I was, determined to not challenge after the debacle that the last one was. And life was good. Then I realized I had challenged every single challenge this year. And I was quitting early. Life was less good. THEN I realized I was quitting just when I became a guild leader. BUT, then I got a new job. A new job with an epic 5 mile commute. And it flipped the happy switch in my brain. And I realized how much that commute had been messing lots of things up, including, but not limited to, school, work, home, working out, gaming, not gaming, etc. And as i sat here and had these thoughts, I began to feel a little foolish. Like really Phulish... Phulish? PHULish? PHUL! Now I have all these feelings. Feelings about my feelings. Feelings about my decisions. I don't know how I feel about that. THis may have also attributes to my stopping my cut, and my intermittent fasting. Not all of it, most was discipline... (and cheetohs, if we're being honest) So here's what's gonna happen We're gonna finish out the year strong. Literally. P.H.U.L. workout until the end of the year. I've never done it, so I'll see how I like it. I've got a basic program built and I'll go from there. Then we're gonna do some soul searching. And some honest writing. And some meditation. Gonna carry around a notebook for the rest of the year as well. Write down things that come through my synapses and neuroses neurons. Then, we're back on intermittent fasting. I'm currently 261, so definitely not as bad as I could have been, particularly considering all the really useless foods I've been eating. And by God/Buddha/Green Mother/Zeus/whatever, I'm starting it ON THANKSGIVING. And then... Wait. That last was for my wife.
  4. The goals: 1. Continue to keep the calories below 1780 - my cut ends on the last day of this challenge. 2. Lift 3 - 4x per week (depending on schedule/previous day's session) 3. Track weight and calories every day. EVERY DAY. So...the opposite of this: 4. Do better at communicating on this board. Put a gif or real comment 5 days per week on someone else's thread. No repeating people in the same week (well, I can obviously, but each person's thread only counts as one of the 5). Gifs must be meaningful in some way - although they do NOT have to be serious. That's it. Eat, lift, track, talk to you.
  5. This challenge is going to be sweet and simple. Welcome! Looking at my Withings scale app, I have put on 15.9 pounds in the last 5 months, but really the last 3 have been the killers. Back in August, I was dropping in the single digit 300s with a low of 308lbs. Now my weight has crept back up into the 320s with a high of 328lbs. Clothes are starting to tighten again and I am pushing closer and closer to numbers I never want to see again. I really want to do a Spartan Race or GoRuck event in the Spring or Summer and weight is playing a big factor in my preparation for either of those events. Time to reverse this trend and start bringing that weight back down. The overall goal for this challenge is to cut that increase over the last few months in half which means an 8lb cut over the 5 weeks. At my body size, that should be perfectly reasonable and will bring me back down into the 3-teens range and I have a stretch goal of returning to 310lbs. Forgot to weight in this morning with my rush to work so will update this with starting values tomorrow. Last challenge, I spent some time getting off of a strict diet template and getting back into logging my foods. It was not be best effort at this and I intend to right that this challenge with set goals and numbers that I played around in the past. For this challenge the goal is to eat an average of 2600 calories a day. That should be a significant cut from what I estimate as maintenance(3100-3200). I think having this as an average will be a little more flexible as I can adjust as needed especially around special events and weekend social stuff. Luckily the next few weeks leading up to Christmas seem to be pretty calm. Also, my eating goes much better when I meal prep on the weekends. Much less likely to grab junk if I have brought good stuff with me. This is a fair warning: prepare yourselves for some serious food porn and meal prep on here/instagram. I will also share recipes upon request when I have them...most of the time I wing it so I can give a best guess. Workouts have been solid so there wont be much change from the past few challenges. Try to get in twice during the week for crossfit/bootcamp style workouts and then a few added sessions on the weekends when free. Not going to track this as closely this challenge because I have confidence that this is not an issue but will update workouts here still(maybe a battle log to clean up everything). Simplifying this goal to being active 4 days a week so if I only get in to lift twice then I need to do something else to stay active(ski season is upon us now so there will be an increasing amount of that coming up). So without further ado, here come the checkboxes! Food ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Zero Week MFP Tracking - Avg Cals: 0/2600 ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 1 MFP Tracking - Avg Cals: 0/2600 ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 2 MFP Tracking - Avg Cals: 0/2600 ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 3 MFP Tracking - Avg Cals: 0/2600 ☐☐☐☐☐☐☐ Week 4 MFP Tracking - Avg Cals: 0/2600 ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ ☐ Batch Prep Each Week Weight ☐ Net Loss Zero Week ☐ Net Loss Week One ☐ Net Loss Week Two ☐ Net Loss Week Three ☐ Net Loss Week Four Fitness ☐☐☐☐ Zero Week Activity ☐☐☐☐ Week One Activity ☐☐☐☐ Week Two Activity ☐☐☐☐ Week Three Activity ☐☐☐☐ Week Four Activity
  6. Dragons4Lessa has returned!!! (late to the party, but here regardless!) I did not fall off the wagon, but I have been very busy kicking ass. When we last saw Dragons4Lessa she had not taken her nutrition very seriously. Since then, she is working with a nutrtion coach for the past 5 months, went full Paleo for about a month and greatly increased calories. She has lost 11 inches overall and 7lbs in the last 5 months. Since November 2015, she has lost 23 lbs and KEPT IT OFF. November 2015 September 2016 Fitness quests Learn how to string double-unders together. I can do one at a time currently. Continue to work on banded pullups. Currentl level is 2-5 at a time with the thickest band. Insert other media Hit at least 2 lifting PRs. COMPLETED 12/26/16 Front squat 105# heavy doubles (PR by 20lbs) Back squat 155# Singles (PR by 25lbs) Increase cardio to maintain daily calorie deficit for the cut. Do a handstand pushup COMPLETED 12/9/16 Loot to earn: A pullup bar for home and a set of resistance bands Diet quest Track my macros and plan at least one day in advance I am currently cutting (8 week cut until Jan 9th). No cheese until I'm off cut. It doesn't help me hit my fats and just makes me want to eat more of it. Follow the cut and trust the process. I'm striving for 10 lbs by the end of December. Loot to earn: New running shoes from a real running store with good ankle support Level up my life quest Get the star tattoo that I have earned in the last few months. Add more quests to my epic quest
  7. Hey there, fellow warriors! This challenge cycle is the last of my cut for a bit - even though I am not at my goal weight, I am much closer, and I think that my mind and body need a break. My plan was to make it to T-giving week, and this challenge cycle will bring me there. I have been struggling with the weights, I think because of the cut, so that is getting folded into my goals, too. So...the goals: 1. Eat within 100 calories of my daily goal each day. Zero Week (Oct 23 - Oct 29) - 1,780 daily Week 1 (Oct 30 - Nov 5) - 1,780 daily Week 2 (Nov 6 - Nov 12) - 1,780 daily - on vacation, but sticking to calorie goals! Week 3 (Nov 13 - Nov 19) - 1,780 daily Week 4 (Nov 20 - Nov 26) - 1,880 daily (T-giving is a "track but don't count toward average/goal" day) As in the past, the pass/fail of this goal will rely on the challenge average, but I am trying to target my min/max closer to the goal. 2. Lift every time (not a real issue), FOLLOW THE PROGRAM! If I am too weak (#foreverweak) to do all 5 or whatever, split the set in half, but do ALL required reps - there is no excuse for this, the weights feel heavy, but there are no PRs scheduled for this cycle (unless rep PRs, which may or may not happen), so I have lifted all of these weights before. If I have to do 5 sets of 1, then do 5 sets of 1. I will NOT allow myself to just say, "well, I got two, the cut is making me weak" and stop. Nope, nope, nope. That's not what this warrior is about. Vacation week - if gym is available, go lift. If not, do BW stuff. IF only BW stuff, repeat the lifting of this week during week 3 (it's the heaviest week of the cycle, so important!) 3. Accessories & cardio. Make progress with these. I know that isn't really measurable, but circumstances are dictating this, to some extent. I'll say "do at least two accessories per training session", but leave the hiit finishers up in the air for now - if I don't post about them, feel free to harass. So there you have it. Ending of the cut, lifting when weak, do my damned accessories.
  8. 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.
  9. For the last several months I've been thinking that my belly is not quite what I want it to be. For the last several months I've been trying not to focus too much on diet, because it's really important to me that I don't feel like I have to diet for the rest of my life. at some time I want to make sure that I can eat normally while maintaining. Last 2 challenges I bumped my food intake to about 2000 cal/day, with the hope that my metabolism wasn't totally screwed up, and I would say it's not, it seems to be ok. with all that understood: This challenge here is my terrifying goal: Do all the things I was going to do anyway, but cut by NOT EATING BACK CALORIES. exception is dojo sat. only if I do full crazy dojo workout. --> implications of this will be some kind of a cut, kinda, but not a crazy intense one. at the same time experiment with macros a little. try to fine tune diet a little more healthily --> implications of this: will be less beer during the week, for sure. less sweets. so, that's kind of a cut. NOTE that I'm not reducing from that 2000ish calories range, which is automagically calculated for me based on my daily weight by loseit. --> implications of this: I'm not really seriously cutting, not hard, anyway. just a little drop down. how will I tell it's working? UM I DON'T KNOW YET. --> implications of this: need to collect regular measurements. weight is weight. also tape measure 1-2x a week. photos weekly. so it's cut month, but, like, without the cut. um. I'm already doing it wrong THE KARINAJEAN WAY. challenge rationale: I've been doing this serious fitness lifestyle with various levels of seriousness for.... nearly 3 years now. I dropped a lot of weight and improved my fitness like WHOA. my weight and bodyshape changes have been stagnant for about 6-8 months, though, with the weight kind of creeping back up again by a few lbs. you know how you lose weight, and you are like WHOA, I look AMAZING, even though you're still not quite at goal? well, I have been kind of working through that spot and non-thinking about where I want my body to be, and I want to lose a little more weight and see if my belly goes away. it's sticking out still, a little more than I like. SO: July is a good month. It will be business as usual for most of the time. no vacations, no crazy travel, just home and family maintenance. this is a good time to have a nice routine month, and just focus on BODY CHANGES. what was I doing anyway? oh, you know, the regular. I'm not counting this, but I will write it down and share with you because, well. if I can't talk about overcommitting and overexerting here, then where can I? * TKD 2-3x a week * running - I have a 5-mile run scheduled for August 7th. so, need to run 3x a week to get to that distance more comfortably * yoga - I did this last challenge and it was really helpful. try to do more. * Hula Hooping - there's weekly hooping in a park that is not strictly near me, but would be amazing to attend * OH and there's this new thing called PokemonGO that is kind of awesome. ok and also backstory! I'm karinajean, 39, live in NY state, commute to NJ about an hour each way (so lots of time in the car). I joined the NFA in October 2013 and over the last 2 years I've gone from 206 to around 183. I practice tae kwon do several times a week, take weapons and boxing classes in addition, and have an overarching fitness goal of doing good form push- and pull-ups. I have a crazy mean (yet super sweet) cat and live with my husband full time and my stepdudes 1/2 time. I motorcycle, knit and spin, and am endlessly ignoring how messy the house AND YARD is. I'm an ASSASSIN because I like doing all the things, and because I want to be able to do push-ups and pull-ups -- these seem like very efficient movements that will exercise my upper body and core, and if I can do those and run and do martial arts (NINJA) I will feel totally strong and fit and capable. The MERMAID comes in because I saw it in a dream when I was a very young child and I believe it.
  10. Hey all, im about a month in to cutting weight. I was more or less lean before but wanted to get very ripped and lean. The onky thing is ive lost quite a lot of strength. My arms and back lifts are pretty much the same but my legs have dropped a little and my chest has gotten significantly weaker. Most notably with flat bench. How do you guys keep up your strength while cutting? My pal reccomended test boosters and D-aspartic acid, but supplements are not a road i want to or can afford to go down. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time!
  11. snapshot of progress over the past couple months: height: 5’6.5” weight: 2/6/16 – 164.4lbs 3/4/16 – 163.3lbs 4/2/16 – 162.4lbs so something’s *working* I guess. but not fast enough my friends. I was 154.change in October 2015. so what the hell? making food/nutrition quest 1 this go-round. Quest 1 *no crap food from work. eat only what I bring in. this includes hot chocolate packets which I made an exception for last challenge… wut? *keep weekly calorie intake within 300 calories of 12,200 for the third and fourth weeks and within 10,450 for the first and second weeks (6 days each*). 4/16/16 will not be counted in my weekly total as it’s the day we’ll be celebrating the SO’s birthday. I’ll still track food and be smart but I wanted to give myself that day for my sanity and so that the SO doesn’t get bummed by me saying “no I can’t have any of those things you want.” also, I realize this challenge started yesterday but I am starting today. *cook all breakfasts and at least one lunch or dinner meal at home each weekend. I already do breakfast at home well on the weekends so I’ll just be tracking the lunch/dinner meal. *take measurements and progress photos for challenge end Quest 2 *complete 5 lifting sessions per week lifting 5x/week and three of those times will be front squats Quest 3 *complete 30 minutes of foam rolling or mobility per week *complete four yoga sessions throughout the challenge *complete 2 cardio sessions throughout the challenge i would like to be in a comfortable place before my trip to FL the first weekend of May!
  12. I will expand if I have an audience for this, but the reason I've been so tardy posting March's challenge is I've had to take a few days to decide that I'm not going to be doing a proper challenge this month. I've come to the realisation that as grumpy as a cut was making me, the amounts I had to eat to exercise was too close to maintenance and I'm finding the fact the scale and the tape measure didn't change over the course of 4 weeks really disheartening. I worked SO hard, and I felt that I wasn't seeing that hard work pay off. I haven't got the patience for a recomp, but I know how many calories I need to eat to drop weight and my long term goal has been to get down to 20% fat. I can also do a decent hour of gentle cardio without getting as hungry as weights make me, so I'm just going to have to be strong, eat less than I like to and watch the pounds drop off. So yeah, running and Zumba. I had this whole Sense8 theme planned and I'm GUTTED I can't put it into practise, but I guess it's AWESOMENESS will spur me on to drop the belly fat and then let the hard work commence. See you on the other side...
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. Some of you may recall that I am a practicing architect in real life. After four challenges this year, it occurred to me that the process of developing a fit body parallels that of designing and constructing a building in several ways. In this challenge, I'm going to approach my fitness goals as I would a construction project for rehabbing a facility that's seen better days. site analysis. Everything in design begins with a study of existing conditions. This establishes the starting point for the project, and it tells us what the location currently looks like, what environmental pressures exist, and what opportunities/obstacles lie in waiting. I can't build a basement in a river bed, neither can I design an open-air concert venue spanning a freeway on-ramp. I have to work with what's already there. In this case, my fitness building already has a decent structure on site. I've been improving it all year long, and it's beginning to take a recognizable (I daresay, even "pleasing") form. What it really needs is some structural remodeling to make it stronger and bring the exterior appearance up to date, and we're definitely targeting the old Dad-Bod cladding for disposal--in fact there's a really nice brick veneer underneath, we just need to expose it and clean it up. However, we'll need to complete all of the construction during off-hours since the building is routinely occupied and needs to keep functioning. That means we're limited on time and need to make the most out of every working minute. No wasted effort. program. Once we know where we're going to be working, we need to determine what we want the building to do. Is it a school, or an apartment, or a church? Does it have multiple uses? This is where we determine how it will be used, what spaces it needs to have, and what kind of support systems it needs. The fitness building I'm working on is a multifunctional space that's rapidly reconfigurable to be able to sit for long periods, walk for distance, lift heavy things, defend its more sensitive spaces from coordinated team attacks by its satellite facilities , and generally be a jack of all trades while still finding time for some recreational team sports. In short, we need to be good at everything without being exceptional at any single thing. design. Now we can put pencil to paper. Not only do we design the complete building and site, we design the process of constructing the whole project, too. Here is where I establish goals and figure out how to meet them. goal 1 - site plan. Before we can start constructing anything we have to get the site ready to accept our new work. We relocate or discard anything that's in the way, we stage all of the materials and equipment that we'll be using, we excavate and compact the soil so that our building will have the necessary support with the earth, and we determine what the finish grades, drainage, and site elements are going to look like. It's the most critical step if we want the building to survive. My goal for this challenge will be a daily session of prayer and/or study. For the first 15 minutes after achieving post-slumber clarity in the morning I will devote my mind to the spiritual things that God has prepared for me. After all, Proverbs says "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it." I don't want my labor to be in vain, so I need to set my mind on making sure that the work I do is ultimately for His glory. This physical building is temporal and corruptible, but the impact it can have in this challenge might just be eternal if the effort honors my Creator. goal 2 - building plan. This is the meat of the design process. We need to derive a structural solution that satisfies all of our programming objectives while working within the constraints and exploiting the opportunities identified during the site analysis. The plan will be to continue with my 5/3/1 barbell regimen incorporating the bodyweight assistance exercises as before to keep working toward my year-end quest of doing 10 pullups, and I'm adding in a couple of new exercises for upper back and core. That satisfies the structural reinforcement component of the program. To aid in speeding up the exterior renovation, I'm going to add two more days per week of a quick Beginner Bodyweight Workout circuit (x3) after I get home from work. These will likely precede whatever project (actual IRL home-improvement) I happen to be working on at any given time. With all of that work I will certainly need complete rest days, and I've designed them in to the plan as goals to be met. That leaves only one day per week (Sunday) with no exercise goal, but I'm still trying to get on a local soccer team and the league plays on that day. It's an ambitious plan, but I think I can do it. I know it will work if I can just stick to it. goal 3 - specifications. Every bit as important as the design drawings are the specifications. They prescribe the acceptable range of materials and methods for actually completing the construction. Since this fitness building is already made mostly of water and protein, that's what I'm specifying for the remodeling project. In the last challenge I allowed way too much leeway with the cleanliness of my eating, and it came back to bite me pretty hard with untimely cravings and a general feeling of blah. I'm going to tighten that up by re-invoking my water-only goal from my very first challenge (nothing to drink but H2O), eating with a strong Paleo lean (mostly meat and veggies), and managing my caloric intake to sustain a deficit of 3500 calories per week. My spreadsheet has a daily goal which is just an even 7-day split of the weekly total, but the pass/fail determination will be made on a weekly basis. I'll adjust targets after Week 2 and again after Week 4 if necessary, but each target will get a two-week run to gauge effectiveness. goal 4 - project management. Once construction is underway, an architect can assume various roles. We can be part Project Manager, Quality Control Specialist, Technical Adviser, and general scapegoat among a legion of other responsibilities. A lot of what I do after the Contractor takes over construction is just making sure that everything is going smoothly according to plan and that each phase prepares for the next one. In this challenge I'll devote the end of each day to recording and analyzing the day's progress, planning food and gear for the next day, and completing my night-time routine to get to bed with lights and screens off by the time listed in the spreadsheet. Every single night has a clock time goal--this should help mitigate some of the problems I had in the last challenge. construction. The design is ready, it's time to start moving dirt and driving nails. See spreadsheets for daily progress reports. close-out. At the end of this challenge I'll take stock of my progress, analyze what worked and what didn't, and try to learn from any mistakes to improve my understanding for the next one. After limping through the last challenge I'm feeling charged up and ready to go again. Let's build this house.
  16. After a brief hiatus in the battle log, I’m back… This will be my last full challenge in the UK . I’m going to miss lifting in kg (among many, many other things). Since I’ve gotten pretty good at the lift, eat, sleep, lift more routine, this challenge is about putting the final pieces together—and namely, about finding balance. I've also added a Sir Terry Pratchett theme (the Tiffany Aching series) for fun--and for appropriately modified Nac Mac Feegle battle cries. Scroll down to the end for the tl;dr version. GOAL 1: Prioritize cutting over gainz [+2 CHA, +1 STR] “Learnin’ how not to do things is as hard as learning how to do them.†For the past year, I’ve focused on getting stronger and I’ve LOVED pushing myself in the weight room. However, the next time I compete I want to be in the 72 kg weight class, which should also be a good walk-around weight for me. Also, I want to finally get my first pull-up, which would be easier if I were a bit lighter. Now that I’ve sorted out the macros, it’s time to stop mucking about and actually make a full-hearted effort to cut—even though that means my lifts won’t move as quickly as they would if I were eating to support them. Expect some grumbling. In order to make this goal less subjective, I’m going to try sticking to some numbers for this goal: +1 pt for every week with total intake <= 15800 cal, while getting at least 1800 cal/day (the minimum is to avoid any crash dieting).-1 pt for any weeks with total intake > 17500 cal (to avoid a “screw it, I’ve already gone over my limit†mindset).Numbers and grading scheme may change if I incorrectly estimated my TDEE or if tracking this closely brings up old daemons. I’ve also allowed for a re-feed in my grading. Grading: 5+ points = A, 4 points = B, 3 points = C Editing during Week 2--this is still the primary goal, but won't have grading or stats points attached to it. GOAL 2: Learn to meditate [+2 WIS, +1 CON] “First Sight means you can see what really is there, and Second Thoughts mean thinking about what you are thinking. And in Tiffany's case, there were sometimes Third Thoughts and Fourth Thoughts although these...sometimes led her to walk into doors.†Meditate at least 3x/week (5+ min. sessions). Because I need to learn how to manage those Second, Third, and Fourth thoughts. Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C GOAL 3: Rebuild my running base [+3 STA] “She had heard it said that, before you could understand anybody, you needed to walk a mile in their shoes, which did not make a whole lot of sense, because probably AFTER you had walked a mile in their shoes, you would understand that they were chasing you and accusing you of the theft of a pair of shoes--although, of course, you could probably outrun them, owing to their lack of footwear.†Run/walk 2-3x/week, following the Couch to 5k program. Because I used to enjoy running outside, the weather is now ideal for such forays, and hopefully I now know enough about mobility to avoid getting shin splints again. If recovery becomes an issue, I'll trade out this goal for some other sort of conditioning (probably long walks or rowing). Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C Side Quest: Work towards my first handstand [+2 STR, +1 DEX] “It's still magic even if you know how it's done.†Handstand practice at least 3x/week. Because 1) handstands are cool and 2) this will allow me to still see progress in a tangible, strength-related goal if the lifts stall on the cut. Grading: 6 weeks = A, 4-5 weeks = B, 3 weeks = C Life Quest: Love your body challenge [+2 CHA, +1 WIS] “Taint what a horse looks like, it’s what a horse be.†Complete Molly Galbraith’s love your body challenge at my own pace. Because I don’t want to be motivated to cut for the wrong reasons. Grading: finish the challenge (all 28 days) = A, 20+ days = B, 15+ days = C Current Stats Lifting program: recently switched to a powerlifting version of Wendler's 5/3/1 (including joker sets) because cutting on the Texas Method wasn't going to happen. Recent maxes squat: 82 kg (5 RM)bench: 51 kg (3 RM), 57.5 kg (1 RM)deadlift: 120 kg (3 RM), 132.5 kg (1 RM)OHP: 31 kg (7 RM), 34 kg (3 RM)Weight is somewhere ~77-79 kg, depending on the time of day, scale, clothes, etc. tl;dr GOALS: Prioritize cutting over gainz: weekly intake <= 15800 cal, daily intake >= 1800 cal/day Learn to meditate: meditate 3+x/week (5+ min. sessions) Rebuild my running base: run/walk 2-3x/week, following the Couch to 5k program Side quest: handstand practice 3+x/week Life quest: complete Molly Galbraith's love your body challenge "Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willna' be fooled again!"
  17. Well, my original post got eaten when my firefox crashed so here's basically the tl;dnr version (aka, tl;did not want to type again I ended up typing a lot anyway) Goal 1 - Eat at 15% deficit of TDEE I want to get down to 155 lbs. I had been hovering around 170 but this morning weighed in at about 162, so this is very do-able! Looking for about 1 lb a week. How: Track my food in MFP. I eat the same breakfast every day so that's easy. Also track weight daily in MFP. I feel daily tracking gives me the best indicator of how I'm doing because what if I weight myself one week and I'm particularly dehydrated and then the next week I'm on my cycle so I'm all bloated, that's not giving me the whole picture. I'm not currently obsessing over the scale or the weight or like "omg I just ate a ton, I wonder how much I weigh now!" The scale is my friend, not my enemy, and I will use its accurate and objective readings to reach my goals. Why 155? That's my college weight, and at this point just kind of an arbitrary weight goal. After this cut, I want to bulk and gain muscle so I think 155 is a good starting point. Goal 2 - Bring yo mutha effin' lunch to work, yo Seriously. This is beneficial because I can eat exactly to my calorie goals AND if I eat the same thing for a few days it's easier to track in MFP. This makes two aspects of my life automated so I can focus on other shit, like finishing the Wheel of Time series and elbowing my fiance outta the way so I can play Destiny (I kid, I kid). Goal 3 - StrongCurves (aka Booty by Bret) 3x a week Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Bret Contreras. We'll never know. I actually do have an ample rump but it's not very useful. How do I know this? Because I injured my back in Sept 2014 and did extensive physical therapy which pretty much led to the conclusion that I have very little glute and ab activation which means my quads and back are doing most of the work. Bad times for back (no so bad for quadzilla). StrongCurves is particularly ideal for me because of its focus on glutes, it's 3x a week which is more than do-able for me and flexible in case work gets stoopid, it's strength-based to help me maintain muscle while cutting. Win-win-win!!
  18. 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?
  19. good day to you guys My battle began 2.5 years ago, 28 years old now, started at 238 lb with no phisical activiy NONE. I went from 238 to my current 204 lb and 26% body fat to my current 21% with only diet, that happened very fast, I accomplished that 4 months and then get stuck, i started doing cardio, spinning, hiking, running and today I'm still stucked. It's been 2 years now, I've been able to maintain my weight and body fat (with a little back n forth), but I can't go below 20% body fat. right now I'm doing 40 min of weight lifting in the morning and 60 min of walking and running in the afternoon, no sugar, no bread, no fat in my diet and still stucked. any advice? thanks
  20. **at some point I will come back and try to throw some memes and pictures in here** I find myself back in the challenge thread amongst all you degenerates, lunks, meatheads, brahs, and gym rats....my kind of people. I seem really only to come to these when I have a competition coming up. If I was here all the time I would likely have pretty lame "challenges" that consisted of me going to the gym 4 days a week, which I already do anyway. Also, it allows me to post pictures and results and all that fun stuff. Main Goal: Fulfill my Childhood Dream & Make It Onto ESPN 8: THE OCHO! aka Don't Zero Any Events at the Battle at the Scrapyard Strongman Competition on Saturday, March 14th. EVENTS: Circus Dumbbell clean and press Tire Axle Deadlift Frame/Farmers Hold Giant Tire Axle Squat Block & Sandbag Load EVENT RULES: (weights, events and rules subject to change) 1) Dumbbell Clean and Press for reps: 60 second time limit to complete the lift. Novice Open: 110 lbs 2) Tire Axle Deadlift for reps. Athlete will have 60 seconds to pull as many reps as possible. Novice Open: 400 lbs 3) Car Battery Crucifix for time: Athlete will hold two car batteries(one in each hand) shoulder height and arms fully extended out for time. Time stops when athlete lowers below shoulder level. Novice Open: 15 4) Giant Tire Axle Squat for reps. Athlete will be Back Squatting a 2" axle for reps to partial depth. Depth dependent on athlete height.(roughly just above parallel). Novice Open: 300 lbs 5) Block & Sandbag Load:Athlete will be loading 4 implements onto barrels. Loading order will go steel block, sandbag, steel block, sandbag. Novice Open: 100 lbs, 150 lbs, 205 lbs, 200 lbs I'm currently running a program that has me in the gym 4 days a week, likely to bump up to 5 shortly. Grading: 0 Zeros=A; 1 Zero=B; >1 Zero = FUCK ME! Secondary Goal: JakkedNPermanentlyTan aka Do a Baby Cut I find the whole pursuit of purely aesthetics to be so mind numbing, but I watched Pumping Iron and that kind of gave me a mind fuck so I figured why not mess around with losing...5lbs (yea 5lbs sounds good) by the end of the challenge. I have no real clue why I'm doing this or what I really need to do to do this, but I figure if I cut out beer (my sweet, sweet elixir), fast food, bowls of yummy cereal, and my occasional cookie binge, I should be able to cut nearly 3,000 calories per week without really thinking. I will reweigh myself at the start of the challenge and then again the first Monday after the Strongman and choose the lowest number as my start weight. Bodyweight (as of 2/16): 179.6lbs BF% (as of 2/16): 12-13.5% Grading: >5lbs=A; 3-5lbs=B; <3lbs=I love beer and cereal Side Goal: Dominant @Castiel, @wovercast, @Darwins_Demon, and @Rookiebeotch (maybe?) DESPITE having a lower Big Three total at the start of our PvP. DESPITE going on a baby cut. DESPITE already being the lightweight in the group. Oh victory will be mine gentlemen! In a non douchebaggery, competitive moment, this is a great motivator to not lose any strength gains during my baby cut. Worst case scenario all 3 lifts stall, but the realistic scenario is that my bench flat lines a bit, but I keep my other lifts moving. Note: This likely won't happen by April 5th, but I'm still putting it in here.
  21. 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.
  22. EPIC QUEST Turn into At end of previous challenge More details on my Epic Quest, and my regular lifting workouts, are in my battle log. MOTIVATION To be happy, healthy, sexy, and inspire awe. QUESTS for this CHALLENGE Objective #1: Drop 6 lbs of Fat Fat = (-0.082 x weight [lbs]) + (4.15 x waist [inches]) – 94.42 Taking starting measurement in the morning Objective #2: Raise the Dragon (Flag) This; lower, better, more . . . Objective #3: Fly the Dragon (aka. develop a back lever) Turn this . . . Into this . . .
  23. Main challenge goal: Reduce Body fat by 1.5%, measured with a Dexa scan at the start and end. "You will see it is not the spoon that bends, only yourself" Challenge 11 is all about making choices. I've got 10 challenges at my back, that's a lot of learning. I've got my awesome NF friends to support and inspire me, the time is right, I choose to get the cut I want and not to let anything stand in the way. Goal 1 - Take the Red Pill. (DEX1, CON 2, CHA 2) Track calories more than half the days this challenge aim for a calorie deficit of 1000 a day. Goal 2 - Less than 30 grams carbs a day for a continuous 2 week period at some point during the challenge. (CON 2, CHA 2, DEX 1)I'm bombarded by sugar and carbs all the time, I want to steel my mind and take full control for a 2 week period. I'm in no doubt that this will be very hard but the results should be impressive too. Goal 3 - No alcohol more than 30 days this challenge (STR 1, STR 2)It's time to wake up, face reality and break out of the cocoon. Side goal: Swim 3 times this challenge (DEX 2)Swimming helps me become more fluid and supple. Calorie tracking:BMR calculator: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/ Week 1 - 81.5kg, BF%= 20.7, LBM=65.66kg (144 pounds), 144 *0.7 = 101 BMR = 1825, Daily maintenance calories (3-5 workouts a week) = 1825 * 1.55 = 2828 M: y 2299 (-529) T: y 1318 (-1510) W: y 1738 (-1090) T: y 1421 (1407) F: y 2389 (-439) S: y 2406 (-422) S: n6 day deficit = -5397 calsWeek 2 - 81.5kg, BF% = 20.1% LBM = 65.11kg (143.5 pounds), 143.5* 0.7 = 100.45 BMR = 1807, Daily calories = 1807 * 1.55 = 2801M: y 2644 (-157) T: y 1392 (-1409) W: y 2105 (-796) T: 2533 (-268) F: n ? S: n ? S: n ? Week 3 - 80.7kg, BF% = 19.7% LBM = 64.80kg (142.9 pounds), 143.5* 0.7 = 100.03 BMR = 1796, Daily calories = 1796 * 1.55 = 2784M: n ? T: y 1550 (-1237) W: y 1686 (-1001) T:y 2347 (-430) F: y 2361 (- 426) S: y 2951 (+164) S: y 2246 (-538)Week 4 - 79.2kg, BF% = 19.1% LBM= 64.07kg (141 pounds), 141* 0.7 = 98.7 BMR = 1776, Daily calories = 1776 * 1.55 = 2753M: y 2119 (-634) T: y - partial W: y 2266 (-487) T:n F: n S: y 2728 (-25) S: TBC Week 5 - 79.6 kg, BF% = 18.6, LBM= 64.79 Daily calories = 1781 * 1.55 = 2760M: 1813 (-947) T: 1885 (-875) W: 1721 (-1039) T: N/A F: 2258 (-502) S: N/A (big calories) S: 1969 (-791)Week 6 - 79.6 kg, BF% = 18.6, LBM= 64.79 Daily calories = 1781 * 1.55 = 2754M: 1919 (-841) T: 2460 (-300) W: 2020 (-740) T: 1892 (-868) F: 1720 (-1040) S: 2409(-351) S: TBC 6 days calorie deficit = -4140 cals Alcohol Tracking (n=none, y=some) Week 1 (4)M: n T: n W: n T: y F: y S: y S: n Week 2 (2) M: y T:n W: n T: y F: y S: y S: yWeek 3 (3) M: y T: n W: n T: y F:y S: y S: n Week 4 (7) M: n T: n W: n T: n F: n S: n S: nWeek 5 (6)M:n T: n W: n T:n F:n S: y S: nWeek 6 (7)M: n T: n W: n T: n F: n S: n S: n
  24. After a very successful first challenge over at the level 1 rebel's group, I've decided to join up over here! Strength training has been my main fitness focus, so I figured it was a good fit. My main goal remains the same for the time being: Fit back into my size 4 jeans. I began last challenge at size 8-10, and am now sitting comfortably at a 6, which is exciting! Sub-goal 1: Deal with form issues (specifically my squat). I learned a lot last challenge about strength training, and got my feet wet in the free weights. Upon filming my squat form, I realized it was terribad and needed some remediation. So, I must do mobility work several times a week, and do several sets of body-weight squats every day. Sub-goal 2: Fix my dick-around-itis. I've been "doing" SL5x5, while mostly dicking around. So this challenge I will be getting a notebook, and actually sticking to a program consistently, 3-4 times per week. Sub-goal 3: Be able to do 10 real push-ups with good form. I can currently do 3, which makes me feel pathetic. To fix this, push-ups will be done on a daily basis, beginning with lots of incline push-ups. I will do these at my desk when nobody is looking. Life Goal: Stop sucking at my job. I have no idea what I'm doing, and it's making me want to slack off instead of asking lots of questions. I really need to be better about this, and spend less time on reddit. I'll have measurements/starting pictures up on Monday morning to kick things off!
  25. This is my first challenge. Upon completion of this quest I hope to be accepted into the warrior guild. My quest? To stop being a fat gorilla. My goal: I am currently weighing in at 205 pounds. My goal for the next six weeks is to drop to or below 190 pounds, but I want to maintain my muscle mass in doing so. I have three mini goals I plan on using to accomplish this. Meal timing: I plan on eating every single meal inside my 6 hour feeding window, 12am-6am. Weightlifting: I plan on using grease the groove to improve my overhead press. I am using other lifts as well, but this is my main lift for this six weeks. Bodyweight Exercises: In liu of traditional cardio, I'm also working on bodyweight exercises. I intend to do close grip pullups and pushups to ridiculous numbers 5 days a week. By the end of the challenge I hope to be able to do 20 pullups in a single set. I grew up watching Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan movies. I always wanted to look like Bruce Lee as a kid. However, I also grew up with sever asthma. In highschool I started taking gym class as a borderline morbidly obese nerd with zero ambition. I started taking a karate class at the same time. Gym class opened an opportunity for the bullying to get out of control, and for some reason, the combination of degredation from the bullies and the overwhelming support from my karate instructor lit a fire under my fat ass. I started trying to run and got a total gym. Long story short, in a matter of three months I lost 75 pounds. I then fell into a battle with bulemia/anorexia and had a few years of issues that resulted in self image and esteem problems that still persist in the back of my mind today. How is this all relevent if it all took place 15 years ago? I was a kid. I had heroes. People I could look up to. Now? I'm an adult. I have kids of my own. Sure, I have people I look up to, characters in stories I read that I would like to aspire to be like. But my real motivation? I want to be my kids' hero. I want my kids to look at me and say all the things about me that I did about movie stars and comic book characters when I was a boy. Because when they tell me that they want to be like me, to do the things that I do, I want to be able to show them how. I want them to have a dad that's proud of who he is and confident in himself. So here's a picture of my motivation. I see them every day. I want to be their super hero.
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