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  1. I am happy to be able to claim that I have overcome some fears in my life by taking them head-on. This is precisely what I am going to do between now and next spring. I want to conquer two of my biggest fears….. Main Quest - Stay on the Master Plan Nutritional Goals Hit my planned macros within +/-5g of each every day with exception of refeed days (CON: +1)Continue the reverse dieting into a lean gain cycle ( STA +1)I plan on doing this in a very smooth and methodical fashion.I am not suddenly going to start eating 4000 calories a day.Training Goals Continue the war on gravity and try to get stronger….but more importantly…bigger. Having finished my intensity cycle, I am going back to my strength routine until the end of the year. (STR: +1)Continue to strengthen and rehab my right knee and safely work around all of my nicks and dings: (DEX: +2)destroyed my right knee 2 years ago….multiple surgeries etc…old rotator cuff tearhot elbowbeing old…lolOptional: Not sure if I will be on enough of a caloric surplus to do so within the next 6 weeks, but I have made some significant strength gains this summer and I want to test some of my 1-RMs. Record Good Data (WIS: +2) This is a huge regret of mine. Six years ago, I was at all-time strength levels….and I have some memories of the more epic reps and misses…..but I have no record of how I was training or what I was eating. Sad. I want to record every rep in the gym, every calorie I eat, weekly weight and bodyfat, and full body measurements at least monthlyTake more pictures, put dates on the file names! Level Up My Life Goal #1 - Build My Personal Blog (WIS: +3 , CHA: +3) I am going to do this project for a multitude of reasons: I have always been a bit of an introvert and I think this project will help with that. The hope is to share a lot more about myself personally so that everyone can see….I am just a regular fella…and naturally, everyone can laugh at my eccentricities. I have friends and family who are wondering how I am doing. I have this love….total-rage-hate relationship with Facebook….and I am taking a break. Initially, I want to create a detailed chronicle of what I did this year to reconstruct my body from the ground up….physically and mentally. The hope is to inspire others in that there is not some triple-top-secret methodology….and there was anything but perfection along the way…lol…and most importantly: anybody can do it.Begin chronicling my path to the stage. I plan on competing in a natural bodybuilding competition next spring. I played footsie with this all through my early 30’s…..but always chickened out. Well, I destroyed my knee, got fat, depressed, got on the road back and started thinking about what its all about….it is something I need to do. I will go much further into these details in my blog. This, BTW, scares me to the core of my being. Stage....lights.....audience....banana hammock... A lot of folks are curious about what I do on a typical day. I will open up more about what I do on a daily basis and there will probably be a mountain of philosophical discussion…..as well as educational items.I need to learn basically every single detail that goes into this…from starting a domain to writing HTML, CSS and PHP….my knowledge is near zero on this stuff….and I am self-teaching myself everything. The brain is a muscle that needs exercise too! Level Up My Life Goal #2 - Be a good community member (WIS: +1, CHA: +1) Continued from last challenge: Not only am I looking forward to discussing all things blogging , it is an open letter to all and an invitation to use my thread as an open forum to ask questions about and discuss all things nutrition and supplements….and I am especially talking those lurkers who are shy and afraid to ask the "dumb question." There are no dumb questions in my thread. I have learned many things over the years through trial, error, success and failure. I feel like I have a lot to share with others….and especially the message: NOTHING can change your body and your well-being like nutrition can. You can do endless reps in the weight room…..you can run every marathon in your region…..but the true cornerstone in reaching your goals (whether it is to get bigger, stronger or faster) is going to be the execution of a good nutritional plan. Now, I am not saying that I can create custom nutritional plans for everyone…..there just isn't enough time…..but I really hope to give people the tools they need to make the right decisions in building a great plan. Additionally, I see it every day…..people throwing their hard-earned money away on useless supplements. Don't get me wrong…..there are absolute must have supplements that I use on a daily basis…..I am not trying to ram some homeopathic message down your throat. But I do want you to avoid spending $80 on a magic fat burning pill when you could have bought a weeks' worth the groceries with it instead.
  2. The war on gravity ------------------------ I want to get stronger and will fight with everything I have to defeat the invincible opponent.....and until I can throw a barbell into the upper atmosphere....the war will continue. lol The war against genetics --------------------------------- I used to think I was an ectomorphic "hardgainer." That is until I truly began to understand and appreciate nutrition. I want to add muscle mass, reduce my body fat.....and test my limits in how much lean mass my skinny frame can carry. The war against myself ------------------------------- I love garbage. Double cheeseburgers. French fries. Movie popcorn. Candy. Ice cream. BBQ. Zebra cakes. Cereal. I could go on for days.... I also struggle with maintaining balance in my life. When I am kicking ass at work.....my health and my personal life struggle. When I am killing it on the fitness front.....work and personal life struggle. I have OCD tendencies and it is hard for me to not be "all or nothing" all the time.
  3. This challenge has some very awkward timing for my big picture plan. Those of you who popped into my thread on the last challenge know that I was still going strong on my recomposition. It was easily defined. Gain lean mass and drop body fat via resistance training and nutrition. Over the next month or two, I will be slowly transitioning from my recomp into a lean gain cycle. This is going to make my numbers look very stagnant for the most part…..but I want to get bigger and stronger while maintaining low bodyfat…..so this is going to be a slow and methodical process….and somewhat boring to observer…. On to the goals…. Main Quest - Stay on the Master Plan Nutritional Goals Hit my planned macros within +/-5g of each every day with exception of refeed days (CON: +2)Smoothly transition from my current recomposition into a lean gain cycle (WIS: +1 , STA +1)I plan on doing this in a very smooth and methodical fashion.I am not suddenly going to start eating 4000 calories a day. Training Goals Continue the war on gravity and try to get strongerThis will evolve from my current recomp-style training into something more exotic as I transition to my lean gain this fall (STR: +2)Continue to strengthen and rehab my right knee and safely work around all of my nicks and dings: (DEX: +3)destroyed my right knee 2 years ago….multiple surgeries etc…old rotator cuff tearhot elbowbeing old…lolOptional: Not sure if I will be on enough of a caloric surplus to do so within the next 6 weeks, but I have made some significant strength gains this summer and I want to test some of my 1-RMs. Record Good Data (WIS: +2) This is a huge regret of mine. Six years ago, I was at all-time strength levels….and I have some memories of the more epic reps and misses…..but I have no record of how I was training or what I was eating. Sad. I want to record every rep in the gym, every calorie I eat, weekly weight and bodyfat, and full body measurements at least monthlyTake more pictures, put dates on the file names! Level Up My Life Goal - Be a good nerd fitness community member and contributor (WIS: +2 , CHA: +2) This is an open letter to all and an invitation to use my thread as an open forum to ask questions about and discuss all things nutrition and supplements….and I am especially talking those lurkers who are shy and afraid to ask the "dumb question." There are no dumb questions in my thread. I have learned many things over the years through trial, error, success and failure. I feel like I have a lot to share with others….and especially the message: NOTHING can change your body and your well-being like nutrition can. You can do endless reps in the weight room…..you can run every marathon in your region…..but the true catalyst in reaching your goals (whether it is to get bigger, stronger or faster) is going to be the execution of a good nutritional plan. Now, I am not saying that I can create custom nutritional plans for everyone…..there just isn't enough time…..but I really hope to give people the tools they need to make the right decisions in building a great plan. How to find caloric targets, how to find good macro splits, what to eat and when depending upon the situation and the like……I want it to be wide open and public. That way, anyone who stumbles upon our conversation will stand to benefit. Additionally, I see it every day…..people throwing their hard-earned money away on useless supplements. Don't get me wrong…..there are absolute must have supplements that I use on a daily basis…..I am not trying to ram some homeopathic message down your throat. But I do want you to avoid spending $80 on a magic fat burning pill when you could have bought a weeks' worth the groceries with it instead. We are all in this together! Edit: we are doing a "suppleement of the week!" Stop in to discuss and debate on the most widely used/hated supplements! Week 1: Creatine Week 2: HMB Week 3: Whey & Casein Hydrolysate Protein Powder Some caveats: I am not terribly creative with food….I have my go-to things….but when it comes to turning ground beef into a delicacy, thankfully Ash, Kiwi and YellowJacket will be stopping in to join the fray….their acumen to making food more palatable dwarfs my own. I am not really a jack-of-all trades when it comes to programming weight training. I definitely know how to train to get bigger and change your body composition…..but if you want to add 75 lbs. to your squat, there are far more qualified warriors in our midst…they can get you on the right Smolov protocol or whatever is appropriate to your goals.When asking about nutrition, please try to include what your goals are. Your nutritional guidelines are going to be massively different based upon whether you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner, recomp, etc. Last Edit: supplement of the week
  4. Let the games begin! My primary goals are these: - follow specific nutritional plan and hit my macros every day - add lean mass and get stronger - drop body fat My level-up-my-life goal: I bought a house in March. I basically completely gutted it and ripped out every wall that wasn't load bearing....lol It has been a crazy project, and it is almost done. So my goal there is to finish it, move into it and get settled into some semblance of a normal life. Edit: My starting stats: 07.28.13 Height: 6' 5" Weight: 216.6 BF%: 14.7% Fat Mass: 31.9 Lean Mass: 184.7 Waist Flexed: 37.25" Waist Relaxed: 38.5" The means: - I have been executing to very nice success a diet that was built 7 weeks ago. It is working extremely well and I plan on sticking to it. - Workout (strength training, resistance training) at least 3 times per week (I am a huge believer in recovery) - I do absolutely zero cardio - Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night (This is the hardest....I am an insomniac) What I hope to achieve (my targets) - Drop approximately 5 pounds of scale weight - Drop approximately 9 pounds of bodyfat - Add approximately 4 pounds of lean mass (muscle) - Add either a rep or more weight to every exercise every week. (Example: I get x lbs for 6, 5, 5, 3 reps on bench....I better get at least 20 reps next week) I will update with more information later....this is all I could think of now.... Cheers! -Michael
  5. The moment I demolished my knee 2 years ago.....I knew I would never be the same.... Turns out I was right for all the wrong reasons.
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