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Found 10 results

  1. The last challenge was primarily about 2 things; getting my squat up to what I deemed an acceptable level and setting a foundation for upper body work by getting my Row form and technique correct. I managed both of those, so for this challenge I'll be building upon that foundation and easing off the intensity of the squats. Despite being overweight for much of my life, you wouldn't be able to tell if you just looked from the waist down. Above the waist, however, I look like a sack of potatoes. Mashed potatoes. And functionally I'm not as strong as I'd like to be. And SL has kinda reinforced this (or at least made the difference more obvious) with squats taking up the majority of time and effort. With this in mind, my challenges for this month are as follows: 1a. Prioritise Upper body. Do my upper body exercises first. Hopefully this will get around the problem of running out of energy in the latter part of a session. 1b. Add 10kg to all 'none squat' lifts. Assuming that the theory above is correct and I have more energy for these lifts, I should be able to add 10kg to my Bench Press, Overhead Press, Bent-over Rows and Deadlifts. 2. Concrete on bracing. Whilst I'm pleased with my squat, I need to work on my technique, especially where my core is concerned. I'll be lowering the weight and concentrating on bracing my substantial middle section. 3. Cardio day. Once a week, do a day of cardio. I hate cardio. But I need to get rid of my substantial middle section. Once a week do something cardio-ish. Half an hour on the exercise bike, go for a walk and so on and so forth. Something. Anything. Not much, but a start. Now, watcha gonna do, Brother and/or sister, when Kong-a-Mania runs wild on you?!
  2. For today, I lowered the safety pins one notch to encourage me to go lower. I am trying to focus on pushing more through my heels. I'm keeping my squat weight at 170 lbs while I work on form (at least through this week). Stronglifts wants me at 185 (if I were still following linear progression). Similarly, I'm keeping OHP at 90 for the same reasons. 170 lb squat apologies on the false start. Unracked the weight and it just didn't feel right. In review, it looks like I could go a little deeper. Push my ascot out a little bit more to try and stay over heels on the way down (am I looking at that right) 90 lb OHP Think I'm getting better at tightening up. I know I'm still arching back near the end. Also, saw that my toes came up (guessing its related to arched back) 220 lb deadlift I saw definite rounding of my back. Will work on that Friday. Also saw that it didn't look like I "locked out" on the 3rd rep (shoulders were still forward). Had to stop (~1 minute) after 3rd rep cause it felt like fingers were going to rip off my hands. I did go back and get the last two reps, but didn't get recorded. I think I had trouble locking out those last two. Am I looking at these right? Trying to learn how to critique myself in addition to letting the brothers in arms see. Thanks!
  3. I'm 50, have been lifting using SS programme for 4 weeks, and my press isn't progressing at all. My other lifts are progressing fine. I suspect I was too greedy with my press though since it started so light (at 20Kg so I pumped it up too fast to 35Kg then got stuck real fast). So I'm going to back down 20%, and I've got some micro-weights (0.5Kg) to progress with from there. Meanwhile, how's my form? https://youtu.be/2ALYQGXYBGI
  4. "But Kishi, aren't you doing themed challenges?" Well, I'm still working through the WOT, but like I said, theming it was getting pretty thin. And since I'm still working my way through book 6, well, I didn't think it made a lot of sense to worry too much. I suspect that going forward, I'm going to have to let that sink into the background of things. Anyway. I'll have to post some Righteous Santa Justice or something once I'm at a computer that lets me do that. So. I went to give blood on Monday. Giving blood is a good thing to do - it burns calories, regulates iron, and oh yeah it saves lives maybe. It's also useful as a pseudophysical, which when I didn't have insurance was pretty great. And for the most part, the numbers came back awesome - pulse was a touch higher, but that's to be expected given that I have a sedentary job now. But that perfect blood pressure, tho. But then it got interesting when it came time to take my temperature. I clocked in low 97. Why is that interesting? Because a lowered temperature is a sign of a depressed metabolism. It wasn't something I'd ever really noticed before, but after seeing some of the discussions here on the board, I've begun watching that in myself. I was suspicious before: the fact that I couldn't stop being cold up in Boston wasn't just my delicate Southern constitution, and I've noticed that my internal temperature shifts depending on how much I've eaten. Even having taken to eating more, I've noticed that I'm hungry in the mornings, and three hours after I've woken up my hands are back to being cold again. How do you fix that? Well, barring some kind of medical intervention, your best bet or so I've heard is to eat more. A lot more. But I'm still not lean enough for it to make sense to pursue the fabled Dirty Bulk. No, no. We're not doing that. Instead, we're going to keep it clean and Low Carb, except for training days. The training, for its part, is going to have to be adjusted somewhat as well. I'm going to put this energy to work. Don't worry, though, I'm not talking about hopping on a treadmill or something like that. Everything is deliberate. And since I insist on being a socially normal person, I suppose Da Cheatz will come as they do. Goal 1: EAT ALL THE THINGS I'm not really exaggerating on this. The recommendation I got is to take maintenance and add 300 calories to it. Combined with my tendency to modulate my eating based on what I've done that day... oooooh. I'll be over 3000 calories on training days, man. Bring on the almond butter. And extra guac, and beef. No real carbs, though, not beyond some fruit periworkout and some beans at dinner. This will be tough. Low carb high calorie is expensive. In order to do that, I'm going to have to win the time to batch cook in the kitchen, when nobody else is using it. Spoilers: between my brother who is on bulk and my parents who cook at home, there is always someone using it. Haha, dammit. Okay. They don't call these Challenges for nothing. Goal 2: TRAIN HARD Well, if I'm going to take in all this energy, I might as well put it to work. I'm going to up the rep ranges some - from 5 to 8. No RPT work this time. I just want to lift heavy. Rucking will continue. Finishers, provided that the rest of the session has gone according to plan, will be reintroduced. I just got my first taste of a Versaclimber on Sunday, and... it's terrible. It's like a Stairclimber on steroids. Can't wait for next time. Beyond that, though, I think I want to build Finishers around crawls and carries as well, and I think I know how to do it. Goal 3: WRITE ON I need to find a way to keep my writing habit going. NaNoWriMo is always good for starting it, but I don't seem to stick out long past that. I end up getting distracted by side projects and such like that. But this year is different, on account of the fact that 1) I like the project I'm working on, and 2) I'm not desperate to submit things, since I have a good job now. There's no need for me to be distracted now, beyond the pull of the day to day. Goal 4: DO WORK SON I may be up for a raise at the end of the month. That's going to depend on my evaluation. That's going to depend on my work. Best get to it.
  5. 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.
  6. With his coming are the dread fires born again. The hills burn, and the land turns sere. The tides of men run out, and the hours dwindle. The wall is pierced, and the veil of parting raised. Storms rumble beyond the horizon, and the fires of heaven purge the earth. There is no salvation without destruction, no hope this side of death. It's such a happy story. Did I mention that? Just, this amazing, joyous thing. You'll want to dance after you read this. Anyway, things are not getting any easier for our heroes. Rand, having survived and been marked by his time in the Wastes returns to the west with an unstoppable army at his back. He sees his enemies, and he must stand against them. Let's get our game faces on. "Do you finally begin to trust me?" "I trust you like a brother. Until the day you betray me. You have a parole for what you have done, in return for your teaching, and a better bargain than you deserve, but the day you turn against me, I will tear it up and bury it with you." Rand is the catch-all for my training this time around. I am presently training with a mind toward building muscle, to take advantage of eating at maintenance and giving my body a break. I don't know if that'll last to the end of the challenge - if I find that I've put on too much bad weight to come with the good, I'll switch back to cutting, and my training will switch to reflect that. But as I mentioned to the Giant who has stopped in to see me, training to take advantage of the amount of food I'm eating now is a lot of fun. Beyond that, though, this challenge is going to be mostly about cementing myself around the new schedule and the commitments I have and figuring out just what I can get away with now. Holding your ground is not the same as going backwards. Everything always changes. The best plan lasts until the first arrow leaves the bow. If that sounds kind of like Napoleon or something, well, that's kind of on purpose. Mat accidentally'd his way into taking a level in badass last book. He survived something way back in book 1/2, and even though he was healed in 3, it left him with some holes in his memory that he was never okay with. He wanted those holes filled up. He was not specific with the right people as to how that would happen. Mat has a funny way of finding himself in the most chaotic places and situations. It honestly reminds me very much of my job. I want to do better at it, and I have a very concrete way of figuring out how to do that. I want to focus on working cases in the following order - priority cases, opening the new cases, developing the old cases. This is a set of numbers that's probably going to change as time goes by, because it's kind of chaotic. I will set a baseline of working the three priority cases I have now and completing opening procedures on the three cases that I will be assigned that follow, for a total of at least 6 cases per day. Beyond that, I'd like to touch on at least the five oldest cases in my queue, for a total of 11 cases per day. This may or may not be a realistic thing - it can be a lot to work on any given case, given what evidence has come in, what you have to do to reach claimants, to say nothing of the other behind-the-scenes stuff. Also, given the rather personal nature of these things, I'm afraid I'm going to have to be kind of vague in terms of talking about it. I won't be able to give you much more beyond what I've done. It's all I have to give, guys; sorry for that. If you must drown or ride a lionfish, you ride and hope for the best. Siuan Sanche is a hard woman who's made a lot of hard choices to be who she is and where she was. The former Amyrlin has been deposed, and is forced to make of her life what she can. I'm kind of torn between making a goal of not being late to anything and making a goal of getting through Deskbound. The latter wins out in the end for me because being a professional about things just seems like a very poor goal to think about. Of course I'm going to be on time for things - I have a grown-up job now. Being late is becoming foreign to me. But what is becoming familiar is a chair. That is unavoidable at this time. Maybe, eventually, I can do a standing desk, but at this stage it doesn't make much sense to ruffle feathers. So, I will make do with what I have. Get through Deskbound, run assessments, apply. "I mean to deal with the world as I find the world, for as long as I can." Why, yes, that is Moiraine again. And yes, those are portentious colors for a portrait, as if something terrible is about to happen to her. You shouldn't read anything into that. She is still seeking after stories, still writing, even as the world marches toward Tarmon Gaidon. She's a believer in a cause, marching toward something that she can barely see. Rand by this point sees her as a manipulator, someone trying to pull his strings for the White Tower, and this is true. But though she's sacrificed much, she never does so with thought to herself and what she might have wanted. She's a hard character to like, but she's just as hard to dislike when you see who she is and what she does. And why. And the things that she dares to do as a result of her sense of purpose and what she's trying to do... she's really incredible. Anyway, the reading and writing goal goes here. Time to take the week and see how it plays. Cool. Let's go.
  7. Ok so managed to film my 85kg squats, 40kg overhead press and 120kg deadlift. With the deadlifts, I know I am squatting them up, however our plates do not lift the bar to the regulation 21cm's, so I kinda do a semi, deficit deadlift. I need to get to the gym and practice on a properly heighted bar.
  8. This is going to be part 1 of a multi-part series of challenges as I seek to become Superdad! I am already a dad with a 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son. We also have another son on the way, due at the end of August. Whenever I talk to friends who are about to have their first kid, I tell the dad to get in the best shape of his life before the kid comes because afterwards, he will get no sleep and the better shape you're in, the less sleep you'll need. I have no idea if that's scientifically true or not, but it's a good motivator for me to get in the best shape of my life by the end of the summer! But becoming a Superdad is not just about being in shape. There are several aspects of my life that I'd like to hone on my way to becoming Superdad, so I'm going to focus on a few each challenge. A Superdad Is Big and Strong Goal 1: Eat for Muscle to get big Following the path laid out in 7 Weeks to 10 Pounds of Muscle and keeping the mindset Staci wrote about here, I'm going to plan out what I eat each day in order to gain 4-5 pounds and then stick to the plan. In Staci's post, she starts off by saying we plan our workouts, why wouldn't we plan our meals? I've long heard/known that diet is more important than exercise when it comes to making changes in my physique. So, I'm going to bust out a spreadsheet and plan my meals. I figure I can add up all the calories and macros ahead of time and then just eat what's on my list! My side goal for this is not to add any inches to my belly while I bulk up elsewhere. Edit to add starting measurements: Weight: 158# (7-day avg) Belly: 35" Average BF = 20% Body Fat = 31.6# Lean Body Mass = 126.4# Goal 2: Overhead Press to get strong I'm going to need big broad shoulders if I want to carry the weight of my family, right?!? I'm working on Clean-to-fist Sandbag Overhead Presses, but following the workout protocol in the 7 Weeks book. I can currently do 4x5x70# and plan to work up to 5x5x85# by the end of the challenge. A Superdad Is Calm, Cool, and Collected Goal 3: Spend x minutes each day praying/meditating/unwinding I'll admit that can have a bit of a short fuse with my kids and I need to learn to be more easy-going around them. Part of that will mean learning to control my reactions to their behavior, but also just remembering that they're kids and they don't think/act like I do. I've included unwinding in this because I definitely find that a stressful day at work can lead to a bad attitude at home. I'm not sure how long I want to shoot for each day, but I'll probably start with 2-5 minutes and see if I can build from there. A Superdad Loves His Wife and Kids Goal 4: Read Super Husband, Super Dad and put the tips within into practice. The "put the tips into practice" part of this goal is a little nebulous, but that's because I haven't read the book yet. I've read the first few chapters and skimmed the table of contents, so I'm confident there will be some concrete applications I can put into place. PS I was very excited to see the superpower themed mini challenge!
  9. Ok... I seem to do my best challenges when I just focus on one thing. My last challenge I tried several different goals and didn't do too great on any of them. I also strained some muscles while doing a BW OHP testing my 1RM. The good news is I got the press with full ROM and minimal 'bounce', the bad news is the strain stuffed up some of my basic movements like muscle ups (esp transition phase) and the top range of motion of chin/pull ups. So this challenge... I have one goal only. But I've broken it into 3 parts Main Challenge Goal: Repeat a good form BW(75kg) OHP but this time without straining my back. Part 1: Train less dumb Change Grease the Groove training to higher rep work (60kgx5) with occasional tests for max reps (currently 60kgx8) Only occasionally do days where i build up to a high weight single rep, with the eventual aim to repeat 75kg(1xBW) without injury. My other training will be squatting and pull/chin ups - but the aim is to maintain them. Any improvement is just icing. Part 2: Get more sleep In bed by 10:30pm >50% of the time. My 18 month old daughter means that I wake up at 6am whether its a workday, weekend or holiday. I only just realised last challenge that I chronically haven't been getting enough sleep for a while. I prefer to go to sleep late and get up late, but my daughter simply won't change her wake up time, so I will have to change my sleeping time instead. Part 3: Massage/Recovery I have this expensive but awesome massage chair, which is so damn good for getting those knots out of the upper and middle (only average at lower) back. Yet since I moved house a while ago, the chair has been sitting at my aunt's house doing nothing. This challenge I will get off my ass and actually move the chair back to my house. It weighs 94kg and is bulky... so it is a bit of a hassle... but I need to move it if I actually want to gain any benefit from the chair.
  10. You can see the video on Vimeo. The password is my NF username (it's case sensitive!) This was the best angle I could get. Hopefully it's still useful. Also, Adobe After Effects is awesome.
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