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  1. So, clearly I took the red pill. Let's see about that rabbit hole! Alright then...the goals: 1. Stay within the weekly calorie goals until I hit maintenance. November 28 - Dec 4 - goal: 1880 daily calories Dec 5 - Dec 11 - goal 1980 daily calories Dec 12 - Dec 18 - 2080 daily calories Dec 19 - Dec 25 - 2180 daily calories (Allowable eat like a jerk day on Christmas - track but don't include in the average.) Dec 26 - Jan 1 - probably 2280 calories, although I reserve the right to change any of these if maintenance happens sooner than I think. Please, please, please don't let it happen sooner than I think. Also, this goal is a tiny bit scary for me. And by tiny, I mean "irrationally and a really lot". 2. Continue lifting. Believe that I can do it. (4 x per week - stop giving myself permission to split sets in parts and do the entire set AT ONCE - a small allowance allowed the first week as I continue to come out of this cut - however certainly by the 2080 week I should be adequately fueled. Maybe. I think? I reserve the right to modify this goal if I truly need to, though.) 3. Do my accessories. I did really well the last week of the previous challenge on this. Accessories are typically 3 lifting accessories and shadow boxing or other hiit. These are all good for me, continue to do them. LUYL goal: Whelp. There are plenty of adulting things that need to be done (Christmas decorating, clean my house, clean out two (TWO!) separate closets), but they will happen when they happen. Let's go with do one extra adulting thing each week that needs to be accomplished. Tell you guys about it. (Wait...that should totes be a yoga goal. Nope. The oracle tells you what you need to hear.)
  2. 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.
  3. Ummm.... placeholder for an actual challenge? It is zero week and all...and I lifted today, and I have a compulsion to post about it. Deload week, in pounds: Deadlift 2 x 5 at 45 RDL 1 x 5 at 95 3 x 5 at 135 OHP (from yesterday - whoopsies) 3 x 5 at 45 power rack was occupado, so I used the incline bench, and I don't care who looked at me cock-eyed. Random comment from a regular: "I've never seen you with your hair down before." ??? peace out, biddies.
  4. That panda probably feels like he is making forward progress. Not so much. I need to stop being that Panda. This challenge takes me back to work (Thursday!), so I need to be on point. So...two sets of goals. ZERO WEEK: 1. Get up progressively earlier each day so that Thursday is not a shock (9 am today) 2. Get my professional development sessions actually finished - this is a top priority 3. Lift 4 times with hiit finishers The Challenge: 1. Lift 4 x per week with gradually more intense hiit finishers 2. Give MFP a real shot 3. Give Home Chef a shot (starting Wednesday!)
  5. The theme (motif?) this month: positive lifting, positive eating, positive weighing in, positively jamming out to excellent music. Goals: 1. Lift 3x per week - likely my last month of SL - make it count! 2. Solid and positive food choices, continue to send daily food log to TZ, as long as she is willing. :-) 3. weigh in each day - treat this as data - post here - not the actual weight (too much stress), but a simple up or down will suffice for now. LUYL: FUN! Music makes everything better. So I will post some of my favorite tunes on my thread. Beware, nerds, my musical tastes are eclectic at best, bizarre at worst. Please to enjoy.
  6. Since my last challenge was a spectacular fail, I am doing a respawn. 1. Stop eating like a jerk. Eat like a human being. 2. Mobility. Post it here. Feel free to inquire - apparently I need babysitting with this. 3. Lift. (Starting stats, pounds: 160 squat, 100 OHP, 140 Bench, 230 DL, 60 DB row) LUYL: Pick a new program. Research at least two more. LUYL non-fitness adulting goal: For every day that I am off work and not otherwise occupied, I will do the following AND POST IT HERE: Take a walk clean one room in my house to include mopping & dusting NO INTERNET until at least one of those things has been accomplished. ****I am seeking someone willing to help me stay accountable to goal #1 (the no eating like a jerk) via PM. Putting it out there for the world didn't seem to work, perhaps it will work via PM? I am obviously willing to help with a similar or different goal. I'm thinking daily PMs. I'm kinda struggling with this goal. And by kinda I mean really a lot. ****
  7. Tweaking goals ever so slightly this month, as I enjoyed the simplicity of the last challenge. Just working on some weak points. Goal #1: Do Stronglifts 5x5 three times a week If I'm honest with myself I'm getting a little concerned. Failed squats, OH press and deadlifts during Monday's session (failed squats and deadlifts for the first time too) and workouts are getting LONG. Add to that douchebros who (again) like standing in my personal space in an empty gym while I fail, and a period that won't start, and it's all feeding the anxiety. I agree with the trainer who watched me struggle on bench press last time: my triceps are weak as. Have added some tri dips on a bench at the end of each workout (the assisted machine fucked me up for two weeks last time) and hope that does something. Hopefully the app will switch me to 3x5 and put me out of my misery. Goal #2: Support 5x5 appropriately In my case, this means foam rolling prior to the workout, performing the suggested accessory exercises on the Stronglifts 5x5 app after the compound lifts, and doing some sort of restorative yoga on rest days. I like Grokker and Do Yoga With Me for sheer variety. Barely did yoga last month as I didn't get any DOMS and kind of forgot on the off days... Goal #3 Eat properly, eat MOAR More of the former than the latter. Am setting myself the challenge of eating something green every day. Yes, this is a challenge for me. Today I had half an avocado. WIN!!!! Goal #4: Track everything Especially after Week 0. Haven't tracked shit. Will post measurements soon! Looking forward to following and growing (muscle) together!
  8. Goal 1: Stop eating like a jerk. While it is not a measurable goal, it is by far my most challenging. To make it interesting, if I DO eat like a jerk, I will post it here. Not to be made fun of, but because I hope that the act of having to post it will keep me from eating it. For example: if the husband brings home a macro-friendly dark chocolate bar for us to split, that is not eating like a jerk. If I stop and buy a king sized Reece's cup on the way home, that IS eating like a jerk. I promise to be honest. Goal 2: Lots of folks have been great about giving advice regarding my hip discomfort. I have even found several exercises that seem to work. Yet I do not do them consistently. Why? Dunno. So it gets its own goal. I need to get this crap handled so that I can get back to being awesome. Goal 3: Keep lifting. 3x per week. Starting numbers, pounds: Squat - nope OHP - 95 Bench - 135 (that feels so good to type!) DB Row - 60 DL - 210 Let's see where we end up! LUYL: Well, it's really fitness goal. I feel like I am nearing the point where I need to leave stronglifts for something else. I need to figure out where to go from here. That, of course, requires copious amounts of lurking, google-fu, discussion questing. I'd like to have done a fair amount of that research accomplished and at least an idea by the end of May. (Another non-measurable goal. This challenge is rife with them.)
  9. Deadlifts have always been my sticking point in competition. I'll go to pull the second or third lift and it'll feel tough and I'll just give up! Third attempt deadlift (135kg) - 2 December 2016 - Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships Yesterday I did my first competition for six months. My coach took charge of my attempts. I opened at 130kg (I've done it in training whilst feeling like death, so no fear on that) and then put 140kg in for my second attempt. I was terrified. It was tough. It went up but, as many of you will be aware, there are times when you go to pull a deadlift and a little bit of wee will leak out. It was just a tiny bit at 140kg but I locked out! My coach then put in my final attempt. He didn't tell me what it was. He just told me to cling on for dear life and not to stop pulling with no sense of self-preservation. Whatever happened, don't stop pulling until you succeed or the lift would fail to be legal (i.e. hitching or foot movement). So I did. I grabbed onto that bar, I pulled through my sticking point, I tried to lock it out. I tried so hard that I wet myself and the platform but I didn't let go. I didn't give up on myself! I didn't give up on myself! I may not have locked out that deadlift but I beat my deadlift demons down and I'm walking away thinking that there's a lot more there rather than hating myself for giving up when I could have got it!
  10. Hello Warriors! I've been waiting SO LONG to get in here. People have been telling me to lift heavy to reach my goals, but due to a chronic lack of money and space I was never able to build myself that power rack *sniff*. I tried and hated bodyweight workouts; incidentally, does anybody else here hate them? Meanwhile, over the last couple of years I read New Rules of Weightlifting for Women and dabbled in home workouts including HIIT, running, dumbbells, dance, kettlebells etc; all the while dreaming of pumping that iron. Well, the time has finally come: I somehow managed to wangle three months at a *very* swanky gym for free and once my time is up there I fully intend to join the very reasonably priced muscle gym within walking distance of my home. I was thinking about joining a no-frills pay-as-you-go gym, but I keep hearing horror stories about them being packed to bursting with cardio machines and a single, inadequately stocked squat rack... Watch out, here come the goals! Goal #1: Do Stronglifts 5x5 three times a week I've already completed two sessions at the swanky gym and couldn't have hoped for a better introduction to the programme. A really helpful and friendly fitness instructor assisted me with my form and showed me where everything was. Unless I miss a session I've decided to train Monday, Wednesday and Friday and avoid the weekends. I made the huge mistake of going yesterday (Saturday). One squat rack had two bros doing dumbbells in it, the one next to it had two women alternating pull-ups, squats with a 10kg plate and a weird bastardisation of OHP - lifting one end of an empty barbell... The final rack had a personal trainer and client, so I decided to wait there - a good move - the morons were still messing about long after I was finished with my workout. BEGONE, WITCH!!!! Goal #2: Support 5x5 appropriately In my case, this means foam rolling prior to the workout, performing the suggested accessory exercises on the Stronglifts 5x5 app after the compound lifts, and doing some sort of restorative yoga on rest days. I like Grokker and Do Yoga With Me for sheer variety. Goal #3 Eat properly, eat MOAR For 'gain muscle, lose fat' Scooby's calculator set my calories at 1957. For me, this is the upper limit as it is a lifelong dream (sad, but true) to reach 20% body fat and I'm so close! I'm not skinny-fat, but I have a belly and don't want to add to it IN BIKINI SEASON then do a dramatic cut. Hopefully newbie gainz will help me gain strength while on the lightest of cuts. Thanks to Britain's England's (thanks, SpecialSundae) draconian Sunday trading laws, combined with Europe's overenthusiastic sell-by-dates I managed to get serious amounts of beef and fish for half price, which will see me through till the end of the week. Must remember this for next week... One of the upsides about the amounts of non-lifting exercises I did for the last two years is that my cardio and muscle endurance is pretty damn good, and I only get light DOMS. So I plan to keep my calories in check by spinning straight after Stronglifts (I can run for free at home, but cycling's not safe in London - and I don't have a bike anyway, so why not use a fancy one?). I'm aware this could get grim as the weights go up, so I'm happy to ease off the cardio once it does. Me, after a 2016 of 1300 calories per day, since beginning Stronglifts 5x5 Goal #4: Track everything I've been using MFP for years. Finally lost 10lbs this year on very low calories. Gone down a bra size too. I will measure at the beginning and end of each month's challenge, and track weight daily so I can see trends and adjust calories accordingly. And take pics. I've eaten today, so I won't depress myself with a pic of my already bulging belly. What do I need to take pics of Do I need to flex in all of them? Will do it Tuesday! Height: 5'4" (this is more for you than me) Age: 34 Weight: 126lbs / 57kg Wrist: 6" Bust: 33" Underbust: 29" Overbust (as in top of pecs?): 32.5" Arm: 10" Forearm 9" Hips: 36.5" Thigh: 21.5" Calf: 13.5" Neck: 13" Any tips on measurements/pics will be gratefully received. Right, I'm off for some lazy restorative yoga. Enjoy what's left of the weekend!
  11. So, it's been a while since I've been on the site (almost two years). Got sick and then was overwhelmed with life, grad school, excuses, etc. I've lifted on and off but haven't really made any long term gains because of inconsistency. Lots of life things have happened - got my PhD, started a new job, husband started his own business, life craziness. Best part: I'm finally done with school! I want to get serious again and make some gains. This challenge is all about consistency. Without further ado: 1. Lift 3-4 times a week, Danger Method I started this week and feel like this, but in a good (?) way: 2. Meal plan/grocery shop on the weekend I can do this and am set for the week with good food choices if I do. Just do it. 3. Get up before 7 AM and don't hit snooze Will use this awesomeness that The Rock created. This will facilitate the other goals. Getting up earlier means getting home earlier so I can workout before dinner, make dinner, and not be sidetracked because it's late and I'm hangry. Life Goal: Keep a Bullet Journal I have one, but have not used it yet. The requirements are fairly loose here because I am still learning how. BONUS: Pack pre-workout snacks on lifting days to keep the hangry at bay.
  12. Some of you may remember me. Yes, it is I of kettlebell and Hero's Journey fame. This will be my first Four week challenge...and I find them pretty weird...but I'll try? *Ahem* Moving on: Welcome to Clone Club. We don't use the "C" word For those of you who don't know Orphan Black...wow. You've been missing out. So this brit girl Sarah arrives at a train station, ostensibly on her way some where. As she gets off the train, she sees a girl who looks just like her commit suicide. Sarah, being the thrifty sort, picks up the girl's bag and steals her identity. Jokes on you Sarah, turns out the girl was a cop. Oh, and your clone. I could go on and on about how well Tatiana Maslany conveys each of the clones. They're all very different people--it's really amazing. But then I wouldn't get to talk about me...and that's why you're here... right? Right? As I've technically missed a week (though I have been operating under these challenges) I'll deduct points. 11.25 points to go around this time. Challenge 1: Helena or Hardest to Kill +5 STR I thought a lot about which Sestra would represent the STR part of these challenges. All these girls are strong, Sarah has survived being handed a pretty bad hand in life, Alison gets the job done, no matter what it is, Cosima holds everyone together...but in the end, I had to pick Helena. I mean she is physically the most fit to kick tail. And while her hold on sanity is somewhat...tenuous, she has survived unthinkable things. So, just what am I doing that deserves 5 STR points?? Stronglifts baby. That's right. I'm actually in my sixth week but a few of those weeks only had two workouts (sometimes your body just needs to recover and when your rest day isn't a rest day...). I feel invincible, most of the time! But, all those workouts won't do a think If I'm not-- Challenge 2: Alison or All together now +2 CON, +2 WIS eating like a grown up. Jeez louise, I've had some days when I...well my eating habits suddenly turn atrocious. This challenge will require Alison's verve. I just need to get the thing done. And as the, sometimes resentful, clone caretaker, Alison is usually the most concerned about her loved ones leading a nutritionally balanced lifestyle. My Fitness Pal anyone? Yup, I'm gonna track every bite I eat. This is the harder version of this challenge--usually I cop out and say I'll just make sure I'm on track calorie-wise. Not today. This gonna suck at first. But I'll do it. I really will. Challenge 3: Cosima or Completely Bendy +1.25 DEX To say Cosima is the most flexible of the main house Clone club is putting it mildly. Every single one of these ladies is bull headed and head strong, but when it comes to the clone club crew, Cosima is open to everything and willing to bend (very rarely true of the others). Plus, doesn't Cosima just sound like the name of your friendly neighborhood local Yogi? Yes, this is the one with the stretching.5 min a day? Let's see how this goes... Challenge 4: Sarah or Something more +1 WIS/+1 CHA This is an either or type of deal. But the idea is to do something at least once a week that will improve my future. Language learning? Letters of Continued interest to Law schools? Applying for Jobs. All of the above. And why Sarah? Well she'a bit of an odd duck in that she's the only one with a biological child. And everything she does is for her daughter. Protecting the future...ehhhh? geddit? I might do a bonus challenge to earn back those points I missed. Like a feel good, get out of the house and do something, make something new challenge. Will keep posted!
  13. That's right, it's time to actually do abs. I had just started reliably incorporating ab work into my routine when I injured my back. Now it's even MORE important for me to do core work. So, onto the goals Zero Week Goals (will probably continue into challenge proper): -Do PT ab work every day (I got to level 2 last night! Much excitement) -Do PT stretches every day + pigeon -DO NOT OVEREXERT WITH YOGA OR LIFTING - if something hurts, twinges, feels off, feels uncomfortable, etc I am to stop immediately. I'm 'allowed' to go back to the gym for lifting tomorrow, but I need to be VERY careful. *will insert gifs and actual challenge goals later* Goal 1: Do not hurt thyself young Padawan. The weights will still be there. Continue on finding ways to lift that don't hurt. The new bench setup thing was gold. DL's the other day were fine, but I think yin yoga after was too much. I have evil DOMS, and some back tightness (not pain, but I don't want to wait until it gets there to take a breather). This means: stopping if feeling twinge. Not overdoing it. Taking weight increases slow. Goal 2: Do PT exercises/stretches, every day. No exceptions. Minimum stretches and 1 round of Level 1 exercises. More than that is better, but that's the minimum. I like doing them before bed. Goal 3: 5 workouts a week, of any kind. Yoga, walking for >2 miles, gym time, etc. PT exercises don't count - Post one video to Instagram or NF a week for form check. Even if I don't post it to actual form check, I think I'm just educated enough that I could spot anything terrible by just watching the video myself. I'd prefer to post it though. I have a bench one I need to post, it's on IG. I'll figure out how to embed it. LUYL: Okay, I got it. Instead of doing a food number goal (which sounds stressful) I'm going to do a recipe goal again. 4 new recipes in 4 weeks. Boom. Hopefully this will help me explore food without making me stress about cooking things, not liking them, then having to worry about how to put it in MFP
  14. Starting Stats: I'm a female engineer in graduate school. My weight fluctuates between 130-135#. That's kinda it. Still doing StrongLifts gotta max out those #n00bgainz No theme - just random gifs Struggling with some sleep issues, but It'll be fine. This is basically the same as my last challenge.... so For exercising purposes, since it's basically my graduating semester with a thesis defense and all, I'm going to be nice about workout goals and aim for 5 workouts a week. Ideally, this will be 3 lifting sessions and 2 yoga sessions. If it's an exhausting week or life happens, five yoga sessions is acceptable. [5 lifting session not that much. Sorry Br0din!] Goal 1: 5 workouts a week - I'd also like at least one 'cardio' day per week (not included in the 5), this will be defined as a single event that involves me walking/running/biking 2+ miles (Walking at work during lunch counts, but I usually only go one mile. Time to step it up!) I have a 5k March 5th, so that takes care of this week! Mobility hurts. Do mobility for a minimum of 5 minutes at least 5/7 days of the week. This is partly because I'm struggling a lot with the front rack position for both front squats and power cleans. Mobility helps, but I need to make it a goal or I'll forget! Goal 2: 5 mobility sessions per week, greater or equal to 5 minutes each. Massages count. Fuel is also difficult. I'm instituting a protein minimum of 75g 80g every day[that I track, still aiming for 5 days a week with that], and for each day I go over 100g I get a point. ! may come up with some rewards for different point values (like new protein powders maybe?) - totally forgot about the point thing last time. Maybe this time? Goal 3: Protein @80g 5/7 days School is difficult right now. I need to make it habit to work on school stuff for 30 minutes a day. Since master's thesis is happening, I will not run out of work until it is defended [late April]. No exceptions. If I have a migraine, I will take meds and maybe read some articles I have printed. This will NOT be a weekly total kind of goal, since I have been in the habit of pushing stuff back until I have a day off, then on my day off I get a migraine, then I am mad and guilty and upset, and nothing gets done. 40 minutes a day. Not that hard people! LUYL Goal: 7/7 days with 40 minutes of schoolwork each (I'm studying wind engineering - can you tell?)
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