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  1. So life has been goofy lately. I haven't been very diligent with getting into the gym, or really anything associated with a healthy life style. Been getting 1-2 workouts in per week, but my low back is still a bit of a mess and overall, I'm not doing much to get back on track. So I think it's time to get back into the challenge game to give myself a kick start. So, I've been doing this for about a week now, and it's been working so far so I'm going to go with this for my challenge. I've been physically writing out a list of some daily stuff I want to get done (on top of my job and family stuff). Not sure why, but it's been helping. The daily stuff for this whole challenge will be. Meditate (10 minute session, 7 days a week) - Been using headspace.com for awhile now. I'm on like a 55 day streak, although I'm still not sold that its helping me. But I've got a year subscription and there are days when it's great, but a lot more days that it sucks. Bible Verse (Could be a single verse to a chapter, 7 days a week) - My faith is important to me, and it's been a huge struggle lately. Tons of doubt, mainly I think stemming from my child having a brain tumor. Either way, I'm sticking with it for now, and I'm going to be diligent about this. Grease the Groove: Grip (3 sets of 5 closes, each hand, with a CoC Trainer, 7 days a week) - Pavel says that random sets throughout the day will make you better. I'm trying it. Grease the Groove: Pull-ups (3 sets of 1, 7 days a week) - I suck at pull-ups so I'm going to do a boat-load of them and try and get better. Mostly this will be at work. Take a break from my desk and go knock one out in the gym. Workout (6 days a week) - Get something done 6 days a week. Programming is a bit odd right now, but I'm going to get into the gym and do something. Mobility Work (10 minutes per day, 6 days a week) - Hopefully knock this out near bedtime every night, but I need to get better about working on my hamstrings, IT band, and glutes right now as I think that's where the issues with my back are stemming from. No snacking (7 days a week) - Just trying to eat a bit cleaner. This will be fairly loose guideline and mainly revolves around crap at work. Too often, I'm eating all sorts of sugar goodness that other people are bringing in. Need to stop that. Example list: Seems like a lot, but I think it's doable. I was going to add one about getting to work by 7am every morning, but life is just too much for that right now. My daughter sleeps like crap and too often is up by 6am for me to get outta the house since my wife isn't up until 6:45am most mornings. I added it this morning, then after some thinking decided it was too much out of my control at the moment to be something I could measure.
  2. Hi! First of all, thanks for checking out my thread! I'm 100% new to all of this, so I really hope I'm doing it right! A little about myself - I am 24, a mom of 2 (6 year old and 6 month old!), a wife of an amazing husband, and a full time office-job-glued-to-my-desk worker haha . All-in-all I have about 60lbs to lose (about 25lbs is baby weight, the rest I had prior), but for me it's not the scale that I'm worried about. I want to look and feel amazing. Right now, it's the opposite! I'm addicted to sugar (no joke) and I'm tired of being a slave to food. If I can break my sugar addiction I believe I'll have no issue eating healthy and losing this weight! I would love some tips/pointers from those who have been there are broken the addiction! I really hope to complete this challenge and feel motivated to reach my goals! Speaking of, here they are: 1) Main Quest (Long-Term Goals): To lose weight, lose fat, and gain some awesome muscle. One day I want to be able to lift major weight like Staci! 2) Smart Quests (Short-Term Goals): 1) Exercise at least 4 days a week! 2) Give up chocolate/sweets (my kryptonite!) for at least 2 weeks of the 6 week challenge! 3) Eat completely healthy (breakfast, snacks, lunch & dinner) at least 3 days a week! 3) Life Quest: To do something nice for someone else at least once a week! 4) Motivation: My family! I want to be a good example for my children, and I want to look amazing for my husband and be happy with myself!
  3. Time to officially start my battle long on here. I've kept notes in my phone, but I'm hoping this helps me as well. I've been seriously lifting for about 6-7 months now. Sure, I lifted a little in my past, but not on any kind of program or any kind of schedule. I have seen huge increases in strength, which is AWESOME, but now I need to get the diet part figured out. I need to lose weight, plain and simple. It will help my overall health, and it will be easier to see the muscle I'm building. Ok, time to put up this last week's stats. Note:deadlifts aren't usually a separate day, it just happened that way this week because of time constraints. Nov 8- Back Bench Pulls- 4x5 120lbs, 1x5 125lbs Dumbbell Rows- 35lbs x8, 40lbs x8, 45lbs x8, 50lbs x8 "Batman" or High Rows- 90x10, 140x10, 180x8 drop to 90x10 Superset: Lat Pulldown- 90x15, 100x15, 110x10 drop to 80x5 Straight Arm Pullovers- 50x15, 60x15, 70x15 drop to 40x10 Face Pulls- 50x20, 60x20, 70x20 Nov 10- Chest Bench- 2x5 145lbs, 1x5 150lbs Bench Press w/Dumbbells- 80x8, 90x8, 100x8 Floor Press (with chains, not sure how many lbs they added)-2x5 135lbs. Incline Hammer- 45x10, 55x10, 45x10 Nov 11- Leg Day (Quad Focus) Leg Extensions- 115x15, 130x15, 145x15, 160x15 Hack Squats- 90x10, 140x10, 180x10, 200x5, 230x5, 250x3 drop 140x8 Leg Press-180x20, 270x20, 360x10 drop 180x20 Nov 12- Shoulders and Arms Overhead Press (OHP)- 3x5 90lbs, 1x5 95lbs Bicep Curl (Barbell)- 2x5 75lbs, 1x5 80 Close Grip Bench- 3x5 140lbs. Bicep Curls (Dumbbell)- 35x8, 40x8, 35x8 Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)- 40x8, 35x8 Lateral Raise- 15x8 Skullcrushers (I'm not sure how much the bar weighs, so it's just plate weight)- 2x8 30lbs, 1x5 50lbs Face Pulls- 50x25, 40x25, 30x25, 20x25 Tricep Rope- 50x25, 40x25, 30x25, 20x25 Nov 15- Deadlifts 285x1 5x5 225lbs. Nov 16- Back Bench Pulls- 3x5 125lbs, 1x5 130lbs. Dumbbell Rows- 45x8, 50x8, 55x8 Batman- 90x10, 140x10, 180x10 drop 90x10 Hammer Strength Neutral Row- 45x12, 90x12, 115x12, 135x10 Giant Set: Lat Pulldown (reverse grip)- 90x10, 100x9 Straight Arm Pullovers- 60x15, 70x15 Face Pulls- 40x20, 30x20
  4. Rachel's Battle Log: The quest begins (or rather continues, took me a while to figure out the battle log thing) Starting stats: 30yo female, 5'6, 142lbs Started a 5x5 program a few weeks ago put together by my wonderful powerlifting husband, an avid fan of Mark Rippetoe Max weights so far (lbs): Squat - 100 Bench - 85 Row - 45 OHP - 50 Deadlift - 110 Main Quest I have revised my main quest now that I've done some research on some competitive level female powerlifters in my weight class. At the end of 4 weeks (since I'm already 2 weeks into my current challenge) I would like to increase my lifts to: Squat - 140 Bench - 100 Row - 60 OHP - 70 Deadlift - 140 This will get my squat and deadlift to just about BW. Long term goals are to get to the minimum competitive weights that I've seen so far: Squat - 190 Bench - 110 Deadlift - 230 Side Quests Body recomp through clean eating so I can feel comfortable in my clothes again. (And get those old jeans back on!) Motivation The bicep curling photo is my husband and my inspiration/motivator in this journey (hope he doesn't mind). Will add a pic of myself as soon as I get a chance.
  5. Last July marked the beginning of my NF journey. I was like Luke Skywalker when he first discovers that The Force is real: Excited! Motivated! Unstoppable! Bring on the Empire! But then after plateauing with newbie gains, I became frustrated and impatient. I couldn't get my X-wing out of the swamp no matter how hard I tried. Now I am listening to Yoda. I will move forward with patience and continue to make gains with the slow but steady 5/3/1 program. What I will DO in 6 weeks: I will carry Yoda (Squat 165x5) I will lift rocks (Bench 110x5) I will raise R2D2 (OHP 77.5x5) I will move the X-wing (Deadlift 200x5) I will climb the vine (1 unassisted pullup)
  6. The Human Experiment Continues Last year I completed my first two challenges ever and made some substantial newbie gains doing the 5x5 program. After hitting some plateaus, I have moved to the slow but steady method of Wendler's 5/3/1 program. My goals are to continue making gains with 5/3/1. Currently lifting (lbs): Squat - 145 Bench - 92.5 OHP - 62.5 DL - 165 6-Week Goals (lbs): Squat - 165 Bench - 110 OHP - 70 DL - 200 Side quests will include accessory work to build up pushups & pullups and cleaning up the diet to detox from holiday madness. Simple. Sustainable. Full details with weight and body measurements to be continued on my battle log. Cheers January 7, 2014 - Update After contemplating my current challenge, reading the last NF article, and scrolling through some fellow nerd posts, I've decided that I'm with Bacon. So I'm updating my post with some life goals: #1 DON'T SIT DOWN Much like the last NF article, I have been struggling with finding my "passion" in life. Two Bachelors degrees, working on a Masters, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But stagnation gets us nowhere. Once upon a time on deployment, I worked with a friend and Cardiologist who told me "If you don't want your patients to die - don't let them sit down. No one has ever been declared dead while standing up." So I'm not letting my career sit down. I'm opening myself up for new opportunities within different areas of the hospital where I work and slowly aligning myself with staff education and training in order to "get a feel" for whether I would like to pursue it as an optional career change from the ED. With the downsizing of the military and the closing of several Navy Emergency Rooms, it only makes sense to work on a backup plan. I'm not letting my personal education sit down. I have enrolled in my next class and will begin Advanced Toxicology in a few weeks. I'm not letting my goal of parenthood sit down. We just celebrated 9 years of marriage but unfortunately have not been successful at progeny. This year, we hope to bring home a child from China who needs a forever family. Fingers crossed for this Aug/Sep if all goes well! I'm not letting my soul sit down. I have been incredibly negligent of my spiritual life for many years. If anything in my life requires accountability, it is this. Because if Christianity means anything - it means everything - and if not - it means nothing. My mantra: James 1:2-8. Finally, I WILL let my FEAR sit down. Much of my life has been treading on a sea of unspoken anxieties. Fear of letting myself down, fear of letting others down, fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, etc. 2014 will be the Year of the Beast. Thank you Steve for the article on going into Beast Mode. After all, "Life's not worth living if you can't feel alive." (What movie?) Cheers
  7. Main Quest: Recomp continued For those who followed my last challenge, my priorities sort of shifted about halfway through and I began a new 10-week lifting schedule of which I am currently in the middle of week 3. This challenge will encompass the rest of my current 10 week plan with the main goal of increasing my big 3. Current Big 3 for reps in kg (lbs): Ø Squat = 64.6 (142.5) Ø Bench = 43 (95) Ø Deadlift = 65.7 (145) 6 Week Goals for reps in kg (lbs): Goal #1) Squat = 81.6 (180) Goal #2) Bench = 48.7 (107.5) Goal #3) Deadlift = 79.3 (175) Side quests: · Continue to clean up the diet with fun/new healthy recipes · Visit London and see a Man UTD game; visit Romania and party with Dracula on Halloween · Finish current graduate course and begin next class in October Motivation: 1. The human science experiment! I want to prove I can get crazy fit without ever running on the treadmill again. I also want to prove to my sister that lifting heavy is not "bad for you" just because you're a girl. (Plus Spezzy and Donar are pretty motivating as well. If you haven't seen Donar's recomp yet, well... prepare to be amazed)
  8. Hi there, I'm here for the new 6 week challenge and hope to get involved with the NF community so I thought it made sense to introduce myself! I'm a 29 year old guy living in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been on a health and fitness odyssey since January 2012. Back at the turn of 2011/2012, I was in the worst shape of my life, weighing in at 116kg/255lbs at 5' 10". I felt terrible, was in horrible physical shape and had got to the point where I found walking any kind of distance really uncomfortable. My diet was awful and I suffered from GI/IBS stuff that I though was "genetic" as other family members had had it too. In short, I was a mess and was probably headed for diabetes and worse. There were two major turning points for me that made me decide it was finally time to get healthy. The first was just before Christmas in 2012 when I was flying back from London for work and was conscious of my sides spilling over my economy seat and encroaching on the woman sitting next to me. I felt gross. The second kind of arose from that flight too - I picked up a cold from a fellow passenger that just wouldn't go away and I spent three weeks, including the entire Christmas and New Year period, on the couch or in bed wheezing. I knew that something seriously wasn't right with my health. As soon as I was able to breathe properly, I was going to sort myself out. And sort myself out I did. Over the next nine months, I lost 34kg/75lbs and weighed in at 82kg/180lbs, probably the lightest I've been since I was 18 and pretty low considering my bone structure and muscle tone (even before dropping the weight, I had big muscular quads and calves). I achieved this mainly through restricting my calories down to about 1600 per day, without looking at excluding specific food groups or anything like that, and doing quite a bit of cardio and some machine weights at the gym three times per week. I didn't have the same understanding of nutrition as I do now back then but, truth be told, conventional wisdom weight loss protocol worked for me - in lowering the number on the scale. My body composition wasn't very good though - when I got down to 82kg I was something like 24% bodyfat and didn't feel all that great; I was getting sick quite a lot and while my GI issues had improved a bit, they were still a major problem. During the final couple of months of my weight loss, I had two major "Eureka!" moments where everything seemed to just click into place. Firstly, during the London Olympics, I became totally obsessed with the weightlifting event. It just blew my mind seeing a North Korean lifter in one of the lower weight classes throwing three times his body weight over his head in the clean & jerk. I had already been doing a little research into weight training after hitting a plateau during my weight loss (running had pushed my body into 'survival mode' where it was hanging on to every last calorie)and around this time decided that this heavy lifting thing might be for me. With my Olympic inspiration, I went and read Starting Strength and chatted to a friend I considered an expert in all things strength, and took my first steps into the squat rack, squatting 60kg/132lbs for 5 on my first session. The other Eureka came courtesy of a friend living in the US (cavejen on these boards ). She had been talking about paleo on Facebook for months and while I was pretty dismissive of articles titled things like "How sugar is killing you", over time what I read and the results people seemed to be getting began to intrigue me. I decided to go on a two week paleo experiment towards the end of August in 2012 and the results were incredible. Not only did my skin clear up, my energy levels drastically improved and my weight continued to drop, MY GI PROBLEMS TOTALLY CLEARED UP!!! I couldn't believe it, I thought that this was something I would be fighting forever. Unavoidably having to go non-Paleo for a few days on a work trip saw my GI issues return and I knew for sure there was something in this. A trip to the doctor's revealed I was majorly gluten intolerant and boom, I was converted to Paleo. Fast forward to today, almost a year to the day after I started lifting. That 60kg 5RM on the squat has blown up to a 152.5kg/335lbs 5RM and projected max squat of 170kg (just about double bodyweight) even with me spending a few months near the start of the year program hopping and not making any real progress. 200lbs+ on my squat in a year - and without any GOMAD or eating like a complete pig! Back in April this year I moved to a gym with a dedicated Olympic lifting setup and took some classes in how to perform the snatch and clean and jerk. My form is still a bit ropey and my numbers are moving up slowly but I'm making clear progress and moreover, I'm in love with the sport. I'm aiming to start competing in Open events in 2014 and have a long term goal of qualifying for the Scottish Championships. I've experimented with my diet over the last year and have found what works best for me - Paleo with a small amount of dairy and some starchy carbs after training. Following this diet, I've actually put on a little weight but it has been mostly muscle and I look much better for it. I currently weigh around 85.5kg and am down to 15% body fat from 24% last August. Another 6 months and I might even have abs, for the first time EVER! I am in the best shape of my life and look better than I ever have. The goal now is to stay on track, keep my weight at a level I'm happy with (gotta lift in the 85kg class after all!), stay healthy, improve my muscle mass while losing fat and keep eating healthy. Oh, I also blog about Olympic weightlifting from the perspective of a novice - http://www.alltheheavylifting.com/ Looking forward to taking part in the challenge and joining the community here at Nerd Fitness!
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