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  1. Hi All, First time posting here. So I have found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I am almost 23 years old, currently weigh 86.1KG or 190LB for some of you and I am around 178CM or 5'10'' probably at 18 - 20% Body fat now. My relationship with the gym has been very complicated I have been on and off with it since I was 17, I would stop going to gym when I was happy with how I looked in the mirror and this has been going on for the last 5 - 6 years. So, I kind of know my ins and outs with it. I have had a good physique before around 10-12% bodyfat, but I recently let myself go for over 9 months now. I am looking for a quick fix to get my old physique back of which I had lost most of my strength and gained subsiquent amount of fat around my torso and legs. I just recently took up playing football/soccer 2 - 3 times a week and just got a gym membership again. What is the most efficient way to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously, I have done it plenty of times where I let myself go and I have this thing called beginners luck or what some people may refer it to as muscles memory. What sort of program should I follow, as in strength (3 - 6 reps) or hypertrophy (6 - 12 reps) or (endurance 12 - 15 reps), I used to just mix them up or have phases where I implement hypertrophy for the first 6 weeks and then do a lower rep hypertrophy around 6 reps to maintain my strength or muscle. Please kindly recommend what you think would be the most efficient way to reach my goals which is to get back down to 80KG and be around 10% Bodyfat. On a side note, I am a hard gainer for my chest it seems to grow really slow in comparision to other body parts of mine what would you recommend for this case. Also, would it be okay if I skip some leg days considering I play football 2 - 3 times a week and would like to have lean legs. PS - My body type is 63% Endomorph and 37% Mesomorph, so I tend to gain muscle easier than losing fat. Thank you and have a nice day. Many Thanks, Curiousconner
  2. "Tempered by the fires of Hell, his iron will remain steadfast through the passage that preys upon the weak. For he alone was the Hell Walker, the Unchained Predator, who sought retribution in all quarters, dark and light, fire and ice, in the beginning and the end, and he hunted the slaves of Doom with barbarous cruelty; for he passed through the divide as none but demon had before." - UAC Report File 9REIZDUR Hello fellow Warriors!! Some of you already know me, but for those that don't: my name is SheriffWolfpool or Wolfpool or Wolfie, lol. I've been around Nerd Fitness since 2012 and challenging pretty consistent since 2015. I've been a Ranger during the last 4 years because my focus was on being a jack-of-all-trades. I did a little bit of everything. I've ran Spartan races, dabbled in parkour, done lots of calisthenics and even played some Quidditch and Gaelic Football. My main focus was to be as active as possible and trying my best to be the most badass version of myself. Now, my focus has shifted a little. My focus is now on gaining size and strength and I thought there was no better place to achieve that than the Warriors Guild. There's still a level of badassness I want to achieve, but it involves gameifying my life and harnessing the "rage" of a video game character called, the Doom Slayer. Recently, I've become obsessed with the Doom Slayer. I played through and beat DOOM (2016), (the remake to the classic 1993 Doom), on the medium difficulty called "Hurt Me Plenty" and loved the game. Now, I'm streaming Saturday nights with a buddy of mine as we play through the next hardest difficulty called, "Ultra-Violence". I call it #SlayerStreamSaturday ;). Believe it or not, there are two more difficulties after that lol. One of them, the last one, being called Ultra-Nightmare is a permadeath play through. One death sends you back to the beginning...unless you beat the level you're on and save. No checkpoints. No respawns. Plus, the enemy A.I is just stupid hard. Anyways, DOOM Eternal, the sequel to the hit 2016 remake, comes out November 22nd of this year, a week after my birthday! I actually had the chance to go hands on with the demo this past weekend at QuakeCon and was just blown away by how awesome and gory it is! The game devs have redesigned the Praetor suit for the Doom Slayer in Eternal and this is the "bulk" of my inspiration... As you can see, the dude is JACKED! #curlsforthegirls Last challenge I started training harder in the gym than I have in over a year, hitting certain PR's I've yet to achieve in my short lifting career. I've always sucked at deadlifts but that's because my form sucked. I've since fixed that and have brought my 4RM up to 225#. It's the most I've ever deadlifted and that's without testing my 1RM, lol. I've been consistently kicking butt the last 2+ months, but really dialing in with nutrition and workout consistency the last 5 weeks. I want to continue that trend with an added dose of intensity as I start the journey of a brand new program from Athlean-X called: BeastX. It's a 12 week program focusing on hypertrophy, athleticism and strength gains, and I'm soooooo excited to start! I have a good baseline now and I'm ready to take my "Unchained Predator" mindset and completely unleash the beast within. There are also some other crazy changes happening in my life. I'm getting a second job at Costco. I'm pretty excited about it because I love Costco and I actually used to work for them about a decade ago. Being the father of 5 beautiful kids and having an amazing wife that watches after them is just one reason for needing this second income. I want to get us into a bigger place, possible a house in the next year or less. I also want to get debt free and have a little more cushion with our finances. Working 2 jobs and still wanting to maintain a training schedule is going to be physically and mentally demanding, so, I need to be on my A-game. The last 2 challenges, I have been focusing on 3 qualities: Relentlessness, Focus and Calm Under Pressure. Combined together, I have been able to set goals, achieve them and kick ass in the process. This challenge is no different. In other words, "Don't fix what aint broken!" Goal 1: A Predator's Mindset-Relentless It's no surprise that juggling the many things I have going in my life is going to be tough as hell. But, with the right mindset, I can (and will) be victorious. The nice thing about the BeastX program is the workouts are no more than 60 min long. Training at the gym is therapeutic for me and something that needs to continue even in the midst of working two jobs. Fueling my body and my mind is going to be just as important for all the "in-between" stuff. To have a Predatory Mindset, I need to: Keep up with weekly training on the new BeastX program. Get swole. Fuel my body and meal prep/plan better. Post pic. People like food porn . Have a good attitude about it all. Don't be a dick. Possible Points: +4 STR, +1 DEX Goal 2: A Predator's Restful Slumber-Focus Sleep. Ohhhhh, how sleep is going to be the most important goal of this whole challenge. Not just sleeping at night, but napping during the day and taking advantage of the opportunities to get some shut-eye. There may be nights where I don't get home from Costco during the week till almost 11pm...and then I want to get up by 4:30 AM to be at the gym so I can make it to my other job in time? Yeah, it's gonna be nuts. I'm salary at my day job which gives me a little leeway on sleeping during lunch, which, needs to be a daily thing. I always eat at my desk, so, I will continue doing that, but take the time to nap during my actual lunch break. Possible Points: +3 CON, +2 CHA Goal 3: A Predator's Might Roar-Calm Under Pressure I'm a member of the Toastmasters Club at my day job and I love it! Public Speaking has always been a big fear of mine since I was little but I am overcoming that fear and really enjoying giving these speeches. I am about to complete my level 1 pathway for my focus on Presentation Mastery with this weeks Toastmasters meeting when I evaluate one of the members on his speech. After that, I'll dive right into my 2nd level pathway and begin knocking out those speeches/goals as well. During this challenge, I want to "lean in" and make sure to fill a role for every meeting over the next 5 weeks. I also want to give at least one speech in that time frame. Being calm under pressure is crucial to the success of this goal. Possible Points: +2 CHA, +3 WIS And there you have it folks! Thanks for letting me hang here for the next challenge+!! I I look forward to kicking some ass and making the Warrior guild proud of all my gainzzzz Wolf
  3. The Forced Evolutionary Virus is used by The Master (in the form of vats of green goo) to turn humans into super mutants. The results are significant increases in muscle mass, but usually accompanied by decline in cognitive ability. And sterility. This is a good thing. I overthink things instead of just lifting heavy, so I'm just following a program without analyzing all the variables. I'm married, so I don't have sex anyway. And drinking my Greens will be my own form of gross daily exposure to FEV. HRV, BP, and Weight will be monitored of course because we're scientists, not animals. I've been swamped, and lazy at the same time. I have no idea what's going on. But I put a plan together, and hopefully I can stick to it. I either do it or I don't. There's a BJJ competition coming up and I might take a crack at it if my elbow feels good. Otherwise I'll wait for the next one. But right now I want to complete all of the Total Tension Kettlebell Complex sessions, and supplement with Hip Thrusts and Pull-ups. I feel I tolerate volume like a wuss. (I'm putting Hypertrophy and Work Capacity training under END.) 03 JAN Hip Thrust 6/3 (130kg); 2 Pull-ups every 30s/10 04 JAN TTC Squat; SL Hip Thrusts 8/3 05 JAN Feet Elevated Bridge 20/3; 06 JAN Hip Thrust 7/3; 3 Pull-ups every 30s/5, 2 Pull-ups every 30s/5 07 JAN TTC Press; SL Hip Thrust 8/3 08 JAN 09 JAN TTC Squat; Feet-elevated Bridge 20/3 10 JAN 11 JAN Hip Thrust 7/3; 3 Pull-ups every 30s/5, 2 Pull-ups every 30s/5 TOTAL TENSION COMPLEX Squat 6 Press 5 Squat 6 HIP THRUST Feet-elevated Bridge 20/3 Hip Thrust 8/3 SL Hip Thrust 8/4 Feet-elevated Bridge 20/3 Hip Thrust 8/3 SL Hip Thrust 10/3 Feet-elevated Bridge 20/2 Hip Thrust 9/3 SL Hip Thrust 10/3 Feet-elevated Bridge 20/3 PULL-UPS 3 Pull-ups every 30s/10 3 Pull-up every 30s/10 4 Pull-ups every 30s/5, 3 Pull-ups every 30s/5 4 Pull-ups every 30s/5, 3 Pull-ups every 30s/5 This period's habits will also be to track HRV and BP, and drink my greens. Trying to get YUGE. And Green.
  4. 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!
  5. I've neglected hypertrophy training for a while, but NO MORE. The next four weeks are going to be all about those gains... I just started a new mesocycle with sets of 8 for the big lifts, plus lots of accessories to address my weaknesses. In order to make sure I have enough energy for this work, I'm going to focus on bringing my calories back up after losing a couple of kilos the past couple of months. I'm aiming for maintenance since I'm just in my weight class at ~83 kg in the morning, but if I undershoot or overshoot a bit, it's not the end of the world - if I'm still at a deficit, then the volume will help me keep muscle, and if I bulk a bit, then a good chunk of the added weight should be muscle :D. Goals for the GAINS: Goal 1: Track calories on MFP and eat enough. I've been having trouble eating enough because I'm on a very restricted diet at the moment and have also just not been that psyched about food (exception: goat cheese. I CAN EAT GOAT CHEESE NOW!). It doesn't help that I haven't been tracking on MFP recently. However, in order to keep my energy levels up, I really need to eat enough. Calorie targets (rest day/lifting day): >2000/2250 (bronze level - must hit at least this) >2250/2500 (silver) >2500/2750 (gold - this lower limit is probably a little under my actual maintenance, though it depends on how much walking I do) Goal 2: When I go in to work, take a decent sized snack for the afternoon! In order to get enough calories (Goal 1), I usually need to eat four times a day, and if I wait from lunch until dinner at ~5:30-6, I'm foggy and hungry. To pass this goal, I need to either be at home for part of the afternoon (by 4 pm) and eat a snack/small meal then bring a snack in to work to have in the afternoon, before leaving work have a late lunch (~1:30-2 pm - happens sometimes on lifting days) and be back home by 5:30 pm Goal 3: Make sure I go to bed on time by enforcing a screen curfew (continuing this from last challenge). 8-8:30 pm on the nights I have to work the next day 8:15-8:45 pm on other nights using my computer or phone to track food or meditate after this time is fine Goal 4: Take time to de-stress each day. December is going to be very busy and I need to make sure I can turn my mind off when I need to. I'm going to try meditating again, but if it doesn't work well for me I don't want to force it. Other activities might be yoga, going for a relaxing walk, crocheting, reading...
  6. Goals to be added later. But basically, I'm trying a shiny new program (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training) and I'll be aiming to find maintenance or a slow bulking calorie intake over the course of the challenge. Also will be tackling work goals and things to support my development as a dancer. Goals are now added!!!! Be a real adult: Clean my apartment 1x / 3 weeks (wash countertops, sweep, vacuum, mop, and all those other things I appreciate when they're done but don't do very often) Sleep 7+ hours every night Serve all food into a bowl or plate (using rational judgment to follow the spirit of this one - so I'm not going to make myself spoon out peanut butter to then spread it on crackers, cause that's ridic; but I'm also not going to let myself sit down with a spoon and a jar of peanut butter and call that acceptable) Work like a boss: Stay focused for the duration of every workday (gentle grading on this one, but tougher than last challenge) Keep a warm, confident aura throughout the workday (I've gotten feedback I come across as prickly, which I don't hear at all from folks outside my work life) Do something for personal development every day (currently experimenting with timeblocking / planning each day at the start then holding myself to that schedule - so far it's been pretty effective) Train and Eat like an Athlete: Track all foods, log the calorie totals and weights into a google sheet I'm building to help me find maintenance calories - continue to eat near maintenance once found Follow the lifting program - 5 days a week, MT RFSa (will write up more details in a separate post...later) 3+ solo dance practices every week - these don't necessarily need to be highly physical reps - I'm currently spending a lot of time writing out my routines and all the quality details I know need to go into each step; unsurprisingly, nerd me should find this highly useful for then putting more quality into my dancing more consistently Stretch every night - at least two different stretches (currently playing around with two separate stretches for increasing my foot point and getting my feet to roll towards my inside edge - I naturally roll to the outside of my feet which is bad for aesthetics and function as a dancer) Be a well-rounded human: Do something social every week Duolingo language practice 3x / week Rewards: 90%+: 1 new pair of workout shorts (all of mine are perfectly functional, I just like the feel of new stuff that's a good length for lifting and has pockets) 95%+: New dress shirt and polo from athletic fit menswear company (State and Liberty - one of the first places I've found that explicitly designs for a V-shape torso; haven't tried them out yet but have high hopes)
  7. INTRODUCTION Hey-oh! I'm Beer Mage and this is my first Nerd Fitness Challenge! I'm a husband, dad, IT manager, and wizard. When I'm not casting spells, I'm reading graphic novels, watching sci-fi, drinking beer, or turning my truck into an overlanding vehicle of awesomeness. I was an athlete in high school and active in college, but am a lump much of the time now. I'd like to change that. Long term, I'd like to be able to keep up with a hyperactive preschooler and serve as a healthy example for him. Short term, I want to get into a good workout routine, have more control over my eating/drinking, and feel more confident in myself. CHALLENGE QUEST My main quest this challenge is to establish a few (important) healthy habits. I'd love to see the waist measurement trend downward, but my focus is really going to be on getting some momentum going in the right direction. GOAL 1: TRAIN Five days a week (Monday - Friday) I will get my butt out of bed and to the gym. Strength training four days and cardio one. GOAL 2: TRACK Using MyFitnessPal, I will track everything that I eat and drink. I'm not worried about setting other nutrition goals at this point; just trying to establish the habit of being aware of what/how much I'm eating and drinking. GOAL 3: TAKE I will weigh myself every day and take a weekly progress photo and waist measurement. REWARD To add some extra motivation, I'll be rewarding myself should I complete a certain percentage of my challenge goals. 90% = Reward TBD 80% = Reward TBD 70% = Reward TBD
  8. All right, all right, new year, fresh start! I actually don't need a fresh start from the perspective of "I've fallen off the wagon and need to start again", but more like "Time to look back at what I've done and where I can make improvements." But I don't believe a 'fresh continuation' is a thing, so... To catch everyone up, I'm a skinny guy who wants to build muscle. I was inspired by one of Steve's articles last summer to pick a routine and stick with it - for months, not weeks! I modified Anthony Mychal's 242 Method to include 6 "marriage" lifts that are performed on 2 days a week and then use a 3rd workout day to "flirt" with other routines I've seen. I stuck with it pretty well, doing Deadlifts, OHP, and Dips on Mondays and Squats, Floor Press, and Pull-ups on Fridays. A couple of months ago, I started doing a modified version of Kinobody's Bodyweight Mastery Program for my Wednesday workout, focusing on progressions for Pistol Squats, Handstand Push-ups, One-armed Push-ups, and L-sits. I'm still enjoying the routines, but I'm taking an opportunity with the new 4 week format to try and change up some rep/set patterns and see if it has any positive impacts on my muscle-building efforts. Oh, also, my previous attempts at trying to bulk up left me with a bigger midsection than I wanted, so I tried leaning down 2 challenges ago, stuck to maintenance last challenge, and now I'm planning to bulk for a couple of months. Now on to the goals! Diet/Fitness Quest 1 - Add 10# to my sandbag floor press I lifted 120# for 10 reps on 1/1, but I'm going to try and stick with a 5-rep range from this point forward, so I'll shoot for 5x130# this week and go from there. Quest 2 - Hit 3 sets of 6 reps of seated pistol squats for each leg Currently at about 4 reps per leg for 2-3 sets. I'm going to train these twice a week because I really want to master the pistol squat this year. The sooner the better! Quest 3 - Bulk responsibly - eat at a 250 calorie surplus each day This should be a relatively easy surplus to do and will work out to about 2 pound weight gain for the month. The hard part will be tracking my calories consistently. I hate counting calories. Starting weight = 154.66 lbs (7-day average) Starting midsection = 34.5" Starting chest = 37.5" Level Up Your Life Quest 4 - Less focus on my phone, more focus on my family Goal is no social media or games from 6-9 PM each night and no phone after 10 PM, except for reading my Kindle app. I'd like to spend the after-work/before-kids-bedtime hours focused on my family and the after 10 PM time reading actual books. I have 4 books I'd like to read over the next few months, including Steve's book when it comes out. I'm excited to get back into the challenges after a 3 week break and I'm excited to see what everyone else comes up with!
  9. 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?
  10. Hey guys. I started StrongLifts 5x5 a couple of days ago. You may have heard of it. You may have even tried it, but I would love to read your honest opinions about it. I know this program is based more on strength(which I need to build right now), but could you build muscle also? I don't mean really cut bodybuilder-like muscle or any thing like that, but dense muscle for a more bulky, type look? I don't care to have the most asthetic body on Earth, but I would like a body to represent the hard work I'll into the program. What are your experiences, thoughts, opinions, etc. with StrongLifts?
  11. Main Quest: My primary goal is to add 10 lbs in six weeks to my 5-rep max for squat and bent-over row. My motivation: I really just want to get bigger and stronger. I am a relatively small guy (5'8" 165 lbs currently) and I want to put on some more muscle. I have already put on about 25 lbs from what my natural weight would be and I would consider myself an intermediate lifter. I want to start back into a program that hits strength but really focuses most of the effort on hypertrophy. I have been as big as 185 lbs in the past and I would like to get back to that point within the next 18-24 months. Mission 1: Do not miss any workout days. I am usually good about this, but I have noticed a trend in the last year where the continuity of my program gets screwed up when things get really busy in my personal / work life. I have recently rearranged my daily schedule and that seems to be working well. Here is my workout schedule (I won't go into the finer points because no one wants to read that): Thursday: Legs, glutes, lower back Friday: Chest and back Saturday: Shoulders and arms Sunday: Legs, glutes, lower back Monday: Chest and back Tuesday: Shoulders and arms Wednesday: OFF Note: this may seem like too much frequency, but I have adjusted the number of sets per workout to reflect half of what most people would do for a single workout (once a week). There is a lot of evidence to suggest that splitting up that workout into two workouts and overloading the muscle twice (but with the same overall volume) will stimulate more hypertrophy than simply hitting the muscle once per week. You could do the same thing using three workouts, but as a famous lady once observed, "ain't nobody got time fo' 'dat." Mission 2: Don't hurt your shoulder, idiot! So I worked bench press a little bit too much in the last few months. I made some really great progress on the lift and added weight to my max, but the volume caught up to me. I can definitely feel some clicking in my shoulder that has worsened slightly, as well as a very little bit of pain when I bench. So I have completely cut out the bench press and all variations thereof, as well as all other exercises that cause my shoulder to grind like that. It is severely limiting what I can do for chest, but I have found one exercise that doesn't work the shoulder in the same way and is allowing me to work my chest pain free. I am resting and icing it, as well as using an anti-inflammatory. This way I can treat the irritation before it actually becomes an injury and let my shoulder heal fully. I don't plan on going back to the bench press for several months, when I am sure that the shoulder has healed. I know this will cause me to lose some of my gains, but that is preferable to knocking myself out of training forever. Mission 3: Work on my website for 30+ minutes per day So one of my side projects is putting together a website with one of my good friends. I am currently in the stage of writing the substantive material we are going to use on the site. It is the type of thing I can sneak in here and there, while still making good progress on it. I am going to spend 30+ minutes per day working on this project. I would like to spend an hour, but I want to make it harder for me to find an excuse not to fit it in, so I am setting my official goal at 30 minutes. Mission 4: Eat 3,000 calories and >165g of protein per day This is nothing revolutionary, but I have a bad habit of not preparing my meals ahead of time. This often results in haphazardly throwing together some meal or, more often, just missing out on calories I needed. I will consume 3,000 kcal per day and greater than 165g of protein per day. Life goal: More family time! I have been getting better at this, but I still need to improve. I would like to spend at least 30 minutes of quality time with my kids each day. I am defining "quality time" narrowly, however, as time where I am able to give my full, undivided attention to them. This could be wrestling time, going for a walk, going to the playground, etc.
  12. TL;DR: I've gone from 5 reps to 15. when should I go back to 5 & heavy? Ever since I started lifting, I've always been doing 5x5, Starting Strength style. My lifetime best lifts are: BB Back Squat: 175x5 (March 2013) BB DL: 205x2 (April 2012) , 185x10 (May 2013) BB BP: 125x5 (May 2013) OHP: 85x5 Pull-up: 3 unassisted, 7 w/ small band Push-up: close-grip x10, was working on wall one-hand. Around my birthday this year (March), I figured I should have someone give me a form check, since I'd never worked with anyone. I asked my gym owner, since he was the one most experienced with Free Weight lifts there (he's a retired bodybuilder). That turned into him giving me a full programming change (see below). I was always a bit disappointed with my "noob gains", as I didn't seem to be progressing the way others talked about it. For instance, my growth since I've been recording in Fitocracy (fall 2011): BB Squat: 105x5 > 175x5 BB DL: 105x5 > 185x10 I know a lot of this probably had to due with not eating enough, but as a FormerFatty, I really didn't want to just pure bulk, and was intending that even if my numbers didn't go up, I'd at least recomp (which I did, to a good degree). When I was doing my own programming, I was doing a mix of bodyweight and barbell training, by adapting concepts from Chris Salvato. I have an A/B split, with a Pull day and a Push day. From my last program before the current one: Push: one-arm pushup progression (using the rack to work my way down on 10x 1-arm, each arm); OHP (SS: 45x5x2, intx5x1, Work x5x3) or Dips (5-10 at max weight, last was 16lbs); Squat (SS: 45x5x2, intx5, Work x5x3). Pull: Pullups, with skinny red band ~25 lb assist (5-10 x3); Bent-Over BB Row (SS: 45x5x2, intx5x1, 95x5x3); DL (SS: 45x5x2, intx5x1, Work x5x1). So when the trainer suggested I should go up to 15 to help develop neural pathways & get my muscular endurance up (As an ex-smoker who never worked out in the past, it's pretty crappy, as is my cardio), I figured it was worth a shot. He "accepted" my paleo diet, but tried to tell me to eat >250g carbs a day; I've finally gotten good at listening to my body, so I just eat what I feel like, and try to make sure I'm eating the right amount. I vary widely day to day, but average ~2300. I've been enjoying this a bit, as it's different, and it's helping me build mass. However, I don't really feel like I'm progressing, and I'm only slowing seeing the numbers move. The muscular endurance is also very different from everything I've read about strength training. I'm not sure if this trainer just overrode my plans with his bodybuilding ideals, or if he's legit. He's definitely a smart man, but he might has assumed I didn't really know what I wanted, or I might have miscommunicated my goals... It was only 2 sessions, to go over all the new movements he was teaching me. I've always heard that strength begets endurance moreso than endurance begets strength, but I also know my endurance sucks, so maybe it's worth focusing on for a bit? Or, I need to go back to 5x, and actually do a solid DEAD program or something? I just don't think my psyche can handle putting on a lot of non-muscle weight; I really want to finish trimming out, after 4 years of working on it. I'm not sure what I need to be doing to achieve that goal. I've been listening to Steve & other that HIIT strength training is the best way to burn calories, and maybe I'm just not pushing myself hard enough solo? I'm not sure there. So I'm at a decision point in my programming. I can: - Stick with what I'm doing, until a defined point. I'm not sure if that should when I'm doing reps of 15 of what my old work weight is, or what. - Modify the current program to do the same lifts (more complicated, more targeted), but in the standard 5-rep format. - Go back to my BW-inspired program. - Pay $200/month for Xfit (probably not really. I love the workouts, but just can't afford it). Any thought y'all have would be great, thanks! ======================================= Fitness Goals: 1: Lose BF. Plateau'd @ ~12% for a long time now, would love to get rid of the last bit of "spare tire/love handle" stuff. 2: Increase functional strength/numbers on the page. All about the Fitocracy points, amirite? 3: Hypertrophy. Who doesn't want to Look Good Naked? Exercise Preference: Just about anything. Most of my workout plans have been a bodyweight/weightlifting split. I workout at the Y, and don't have room for equipment at home, so I'm limited to what I can do outside & at the Y. Stats: Male, 29, ~6 ft even, ~200 lbs (though it's a much different 200lbs than it used to be). Previous Training History: End of College: ~250 lbs vegetarian, 12 Dr. Peppers a day, smoking a pack a day. 2009: Hacker's Diet (exercise part only), starting running, quitting smoking. 2010: Started Paleo, NF Beginners BW Guide. Did my first 5k, weekly runs @ 1mi. 2011: Starting Strength, getting into weightlifting. Running: Warrior Dash & a couple other obstacle 5ks. 2012: Started my own programming, using Phraktures programming splits & SS as a core. vertical pull, vertical push, horizontal pull, horizontal push, legs pull, legs push. Varied it every 6-8 weeks, mixing BW & weightlifting workouts. When it was summer, did more BW outside, the a split BW/Weighted (namely legs weighted), then more Weightlifting, only BW on my weak points (dips, pullups). Running: Tough Mudder; standard weekly run@ 5k. 2013: Asked my gym owner (retired bodybuilder) for a form check, ended up getting a full programming overhaul, which gets us here. Current Training: Started 5/15: Warmup: run to the gym, 0.5 mi. A: Bench (goal: 95x15x4) 95x15x3, 75x15x1 current ; Incline DB Press 20x15x3 ; OHP (goal: 45x15x3) 30x15x3 ; Cable Pressdown 60x15x3 B: DL 105x15x4 ; Cable Pulldown 75x15x4 ; BB Curl 30x15x4 C: Squats 95x15x6 Current Diet: Paleo 80/20 Daily Calories: intake not tracked, but ~2300? Daily Macros: haven't been getting a lot of greens lately, to probably 60f/30p/10c ? Current Resources: Currently at the Y, so no bumper plates or oly platform, but otherwise ok. With my schedule, I target an hour door-to-door, and since I warmup by running there, this is working well. I sometimes have to cut C day short, but that's all. I workout in the afternoons; it's hard to get myself up to go to the gym, and that way I have some calories in me. I've been trying to get up & get to the gym earlier, but waking up at 5 would kill me (i start work at 7). I could shift my work schedule down an hour, but i haven't considered that much yet.
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