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  1. No-theme November! But I do have a set of skills or aspects of life that are going pretty well, that I’d like to maintain, plus also some stretchier shinier new things that I’d like to start up or improve. Maintain (no special order): morning routine (shower before coffee, gratitudes and flexes before opening email) mini glow-up (sunscreen each morning, face yoga, omega-3s, properly clean face each night) track food Lunch prep on the weekend Keep consistent with coaching workouts (3x/week). These are full body but current goal is to get an unassisted pull-up! stay active (biking, water running, dance practice, general running around, doesn’t matter. Most days I can hit my goal of 650 active calories) sleep like a champ (in bed by 1030 at the latest, drift off to sleep meditation if hubs is still up or agrees that i can have it playing in the bedroom) Levelups (in order of importance): Macros (currently around 40% carb, 25% protein: shoot for 33/33 split) mobility work (GMB or similar flows) Calories in <2000 That’s it!
  2. I have no splashy theme! I have no gifs on this keyboard! I have no complicated scoring system! But I’d rather just jump in and do something challenge-wise than keep waiting on perfect inspiration. By the end of this challenge I’ll be a little bit leaner, a little bit more muscular, moving a little younger, have a bunch more zero alcohol days under my belt, and have progressed every workday on papers I’m writing up. Daily goals are subject to change when things get crazy, but include tracking and sticking to a daily calorie cap of 1850, protein minimum (120g), 3x weekly coaching workouts, something knee physio-y each day even if it’s just a couple stretches, no booze (duh) [or at least never more than 1/day and never 2 days in a row], and setting either pomodoros or outcome goals for the papers each day m-f. In other news, just wrapped up a big academic conference in my city. I’m used to traveling for conferences so it was weird and wonderful to get to meet people but still head home each night to sleep in my own bed! Still a bit worn down after 16 hr days though 😅
  3. Yay fall! Sweater weather, blazer weather, boots weather. It’s a big energy boost so I’m starting on a deep dive recovery mission to find and rescue my best (WELL pre-pandemic) self. I’ve been moving away from that best self for years, so I don’t expect to recover her completely within a 6-week time frame. But over the last challenge I’ve moved in the right direction so let’s continue! Happiness goal: start each day journaling one thing I’m grateful for and one thing I’m looking forward to. No email or twitter until that’s done! No loot needed for this one, boosted mood is its own reward. Hotness goal (base): 15 strength workouts during challenge (works out to 2-3 per week) Burn 30K active calories during challenge (works out to a little over 700/day) Track food in MFP 30 times (works out to 5/week) Base reward is to book a massage, baby!!! It’s been way too long! Hotness goal (stretch): Protein! I’m not so far off my ideal weight, but my bodyfat % is a lot higher than I’d like. Stretch goal is to eat at least 100 G protein at least 20x Stay below calorie goal (MFP says 1660 but gives me some extra wiggle room if it’s an active day) at least 20x Stretch reward is to go for mani-pedis with my university friends when I’m in TheirCity late November! Or if they’re not available, set up the same with my #1 girl. (Or both ) Besides the rewards, which are based on performance, I’m also treating myself to a few pre-wards, I guess just for being me. Warm cute jammies are on the way, as is a set of smoothie mix-ins.
  4. Mentally, spiritually - whatever you want to call it - I'm all about balance. I've lived with mild depression for as long as I can remember, and through accepting the dark; welcoming discomfort into my emotions, I can see the light even brighter. You can't have one without the other. I'd now like to take the cerebral into the physical. Since the beginning of this year I've been on a quest to reduce my body fat, and been generally pretty successful on the beginner's phase of Strong Curves. That's now over, and although I've lost only 3kg / 6.5lbs, I've also got my waist down from 31.5" to 28.5" (I'm 5' 4", all the body fat is on my belly), my shoulders are now slightly wider than my hips (never thought that would happen), and my estimated body fat percentage is down from 33% to 26% Here's some NSFW photos of my butt I didn't know that I had so much cellulite in January and was really shocked when I saw that photo, but look how it's almost disappeared now! Just through lifting and a slight calorie deficit. That being said, I could keep eating at a deficit, but after 4 months of weighing and logging everything, it's grinding my gears and affecting my strength gains. If there's no difference after this challenge, I'll have to reassess, but I don't think a bulk is a good idea right now. Here's my goals! Ben Swolo Reduce body fat percentage from mid-twenties to low(er)-twenties. Start to round off that butt by building muscle in the intermediate stage of Strong Curves. Use tape measure and calipers to monitor this. Green Milk Is Good For You Eat at maintenance. I'll attempt to stay at my day one weight for the length of this challenge. To begin with I'll have to find what my maintenance calories are and adjust my protein macros accordingly, so I'll use MFP and the scale for that. Once I get used to what that number is, I'd like to eat intuitively and just weigh daily. Grey Jedi Fitness Weight training 3x per week with Strong Curves: Gluteal Goddess Running/HIIT 3x per week with Nike Run Club and Nike Training apps Yoga as much as possible, dependant on schedule. Yoga routine should complement that day's training. Thinking of doing something about my upper-body posture. At the moment it's looking like Iyengar. Or at least something with lots of shoulder stretches. There's all sorts on ongoing heath and career issues which I'll have no real control over this month. I've found such peace of mind by nourishing and challenging my body this year I'm happy just to focus on that for this challenge!
  5. I am currently doing a recomp, this is my current program: Here is what my macros will look like: Training day macros = CAL/PRO/CHO/FAT = 1600/150/150/44 On non-training days, I will drop 4 fats, 35 protein and 30 carb Non-training day macros = CAL/PRO/CHO/FAT = 1300/115/120/35 And I have a Refeed Meal once a week consisting of carb loading. (ex. spaghetti, chili, ect.) Here is my basic meal plans for training/ non-training days: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/36495-ashps-battle-log-recomp/page-2 Weight Training Program 3 times per week (M,W,F) This will be: (including warm up & acclimation sets) Monday (Chest & Arms) Flat DB Bench: 4 sets of 6, then 2 sets of 15-20 at 40-60% Incline DB Bench Press: 3 sets of 4-8 reps, then 2 sets of 15-20 reps at 40-60% DB Curls: 3 sets of 6 reps, then 2 sets of 12-16 sets at 40-60% Lying DB Tricep Extentions: 4 sets of 6 reps, then1 set of 15 at 40-60% Wednesday (Legs) DB Lunges: 3 sets of 16-20 (8-10 per leg) DB squats: 4 sets x 12, 12, 10, 8 followed by 1 set of BW squat jumps x 20 DB RDL : 4 sets of 10 DB Calf raises: 3 sets of 20 Friday (Back and Shoulders) Bent over DB row : 4 sets of 8-12, then 1 set of 15 at 40%-60% Inverted Rows: 3 sets of 4 - 8 Seated DB press: 4 sets of 6, then 1 set of 12-16 at 40%-60% DB rear lateral raises: 3 sets of 15 Knee Raises number to be decided T, Th....currently C25k, Sat. Zumba/ bellydance practice Sunday OFF Love you guys! â¤ï¸
  6. tl;dr Me: Recomping, working on balance and recovery. Enjoy picking things up and hitting things. Goals: Pick things up more. Keep hitting things. Get better at recovery. Life goal: Cook things so my batcave is full of the tasty stuff I need. Motivation: MOAR. My first challenge. Details follow. Introduction Main Quest Without compromising my Krav training, and without injuring or sidelining myself again, I will increase my weight on certain compound lifts as follows: Squat: 1xBW (+35# to 135)Bench: .5xBW (+20# to 70)Press: the Oly bar (+5# to 45)These numbers are also modest, but still a little scary to me. Well, OHP isn't a big jump, but progress on it has come a half pound at a time. I hope to blow past these goals and shock myself. But I've found that I'm driven more by incremental successes than by milestones toward a far-off goal, and I still have some lifestyle barriers to work on, so small numbers it is.Quest 1: The Quest of Strength I will complete the Big 4(-5) compound lifts twice weekly. I plan to do this in two full-body sessions per week, but may fall back to split sessions if time is an issue. But Squat, DL, Bench, OHP twice a week for sure, and add BOR unless Something Terrible Happens. I'm not doing BOR regularly now and I haven't got the form figured out yet, so that's why I sound like I'm hedging on it. Because I totally am. Quest 2: The Quest of Stamina I will continue Krav training, at least 2-3 hours a week on two separate days each week (meaning an extended seminar can't be the whole week's worth of training). I will also continue walking -- 75,000 steps/week (my current Fitbit goal) is probably adequate. Quest 3: The Quest of Rest I will sleep at least 6-7 hours each night and be in bed by midnight at least four nights a week. The 6-7 hours will not be just time in bed, but real sleep, according to SleepCycle. This one is probably gonna be tough, but I know it makes a huge difference in whether I can keep up with all that activity. It's a necessity, really. Life Quest: The Quest of Noms This is sort of nutrition-related, but also budget-related. We eat out WAY too much because I've gotten lazy in the kitchen. It's crazy expensive and bad for us. For the duration of this challenge, I will make a major grocery run, clean and restock the fridge, and prep/cook ahead every weekend. Motivation I covered that, right? Not backsliding into suckage. Badass and sexypants. Seeking new goals because stagnation equals suckage. MOAR.
  7. Some of you may recall that I am a practicing architect in real life. After four challenges this year, it occurred to me that the process of developing a fit body parallels that of designing and constructing a building in several ways. In this challenge, I'm going to approach my fitness goals as I would a construction project for rehabbing a facility that's seen better days. site analysis. Everything in design begins with a study of existing conditions. This establishes the starting point for the project, and it tells us what the location currently looks like, what environmental pressures exist, and what opportunities/obstacles lie in waiting. I can't build a basement in a river bed, neither can I design an open-air concert venue spanning a freeway on-ramp. I have to work with what's already there. In this case, my fitness building already has a decent structure on site. I've been improving it all year long, and it's beginning to take a recognizable (I daresay, even "pleasing") form. What it really needs is some structural remodeling to make it stronger and bring the exterior appearance up to date, and we're definitely targeting the old Dad-Bod cladding for disposal--in fact there's a really nice brick veneer underneath, we just need to expose it and clean it up. However, we'll need to complete all of the construction during off-hours since the building is routinely occupied and needs to keep functioning. That means we're limited on time and need to make the most out of every working minute. No wasted effort. program. Once we know where we're going to be working, we need to determine what we want the building to do. Is it a school, or an apartment, or a church? Does it have multiple uses? This is where we determine how it will be used, what spaces it needs to have, and what kind of support systems it needs. The fitness building I'm working on is a multifunctional space that's rapidly reconfigurable to be able to sit for long periods, walk for distance, lift heavy things, defend its more sensitive spaces from coordinated team attacks by its satellite facilities , and generally be a jack of all trades while still finding time for some recreational team sports. In short, we need to be good at everything without being exceptional at any single thing. design. Now we can put pencil to paper. Not only do we design the complete building and site, we design the process of constructing the whole project, too. Here is where I establish goals and figure out how to meet them. goal 1 - site plan. Before we can start constructing anything we have to get the site ready to accept our new work. We relocate or discard anything that's in the way, we stage all of the materials and equipment that we'll be using, we excavate and compact the soil so that our building will have the necessary support with the earth, and we determine what the finish grades, drainage, and site elements are going to look like. It's the most critical step if we want the building to survive. My goal for this challenge will be a daily session of prayer and/or study. For the first 15 minutes after achieving post-slumber clarity in the morning I will devote my mind to the spiritual things that God has prepared for me. After all, Proverbs says "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it." I don't want my labor to be in vain, so I need to set my mind on making sure that the work I do is ultimately for His glory. This physical building is temporal and corruptible, but the impact it can have in this challenge might just be eternal if the effort honors my Creator. goal 2 - building plan. This is the meat of the design process. We need to derive a structural solution that satisfies all of our programming objectives while working within the constraints and exploiting the opportunities identified during the site analysis. The plan will be to continue with my 5/3/1 barbell regimen incorporating the bodyweight assistance exercises as before to keep working toward my year-end quest of doing 10 pullups, and I'm adding in a couple of new exercises for upper back and core. That satisfies the structural reinforcement component of the program. To aid in speeding up the exterior renovation, I'm going to add two more days per week of a quick Beginner Bodyweight Workout circuit (x3) after I get home from work. These will likely precede whatever project (actual IRL home-improvement) I happen to be working on at any given time. With all of that work I will certainly need complete rest days, and I've designed them in to the plan as goals to be met. That leaves only one day per week (Sunday) with no exercise goal, but I'm still trying to get on a local soccer team and the league plays on that day. It's an ambitious plan, but I think I can do it. I know it will work if I can just stick to it. goal 3 - specifications. Every bit as important as the design drawings are the specifications. They prescribe the acceptable range of materials and methods for actually completing the construction. Since this fitness building is already made mostly of water and protein, that's what I'm specifying for the remodeling project. In the last challenge I allowed way too much leeway with the cleanliness of my eating, and it came back to bite me pretty hard with untimely cravings and a general feeling of blah. I'm going to tighten that up by re-invoking my water-only goal from my very first challenge (nothing to drink but H2O), eating with a strong Paleo lean (mostly meat and veggies), and managing my caloric intake to sustain a deficit of 3500 calories per week. My spreadsheet has a daily goal which is just an even 7-day split of the weekly total, but the pass/fail determination will be made on a weekly basis. I'll adjust targets after Week 2 and again after Week 4 if necessary, but each target will get a two-week run to gauge effectiveness. goal 4 - project management. Once construction is underway, an architect can assume various roles. We can be part Project Manager, Quality Control Specialist, Technical Adviser, and general scapegoat among a legion of other responsibilities. A lot of what I do after the Contractor takes over construction is just making sure that everything is going smoothly according to plan and that each phase prepares for the next one. In this challenge I'll devote the end of each day to recording and analyzing the day's progress, planning food and gear for the next day, and completing my night-time routine to get to bed with lights and screens off by the time listed in the spreadsheet. Every single night has a clock time goal--this should help mitigate some of the problems I had in the last challenge. construction. The design is ready, it's time to start moving dirt and driving nails. See spreadsheets for daily progress reports. close-out. At the end of this challenge I'll take stock of my progress, analyze what worked and what didn't, and try to learn from any mistakes to improve my understanding for the next one. After limping through the last challenge I'm feeling charged up and ready to go again. Let's build this house.
  8. I am a 5' 8" (maybe 7.75) 34 year old male. I started out about a year and half ago at just under 170. Dieted, worked out, lost weight quickly... around 2 # a week for awhile. By November I was tired of it and at 150ish... so I bulked. Probably added more fat than muscle, was doing Stronglifts. It was a bunch of fun and my lifts were going up even faster. Bulked to 160 until like March. When I switched back to cutting it has been painfully slow. There have been some periods of inconsistency that I knew damn well why I wasn't losing but even when I was being careful to measure loss was quite slow. Anyway, I am back at 150 and my plan based on how I looked last time at 150 was to aim for 140... maybe 145. My arms and legs look pretty good but I still have a beer gut. I feel like my torso looks about the same, except that I have visible lats now. I just recently switched to 4x/week 5/3/1 with BBB... I run a few times a week and try to get at least one hilly 4+ miler in. A single mile will typically be just under 9 minutes in intervals between 8.5 mph and 4 mph... if that matters. When I look at BMI I am in the healthy range. I would guess I am over 20% BF based on pics. I know recomp is very slow but how lean is lean enough?
  9. Hey all! First things first, I've begun my journey to becoming a badass Assassin. I finished my first challenge in the recruit section and I did fairly well but I know I can do better! And since I'm able to post this in the current challenge thread that starts on April 13th I'm starting a little early. So lets get a little bit of back story for the new people; Throughout high school I was 6' 120lbs on a good day, wore all black, read fantasy books in my classes (mostly dragonlance), and had a very small group of friends. I was picked on, but I figured that was a part of high school. Shortly after high school graduation I joined a gym tired of being stick thin I began to eat non-stop massive amounts of food / weight gainer shakes. I sky rocketed to 200lbs in 8 months, I did gain quite a bit of fat but I was stronger had muscles and felt way better about myself. I learned to diet correctly and found a routine that worked for me and turned my doughy 200lb body into a solid muscular 190lbs. I got a girlfriend started spending more time with her and less time at the gym and my diet turned to shit. I got dumped because I was no longer "in shape" I got depressed and stopped lifting and dieting all together for about 2 straight years. Now present day me; No longer depressed, motivated, has a good support system (thank you nerdfitness!), and I'm ready to get back to where I was and then fly past that becoming the best me possible! Current stats Height: 6' 1" Weight: 184lbs (upon waking, kinda dehydrated) Bodyfat: ~16.5% Long term goal stats Sadly I can't get taller... Weight: 190-200lbs Bodyfat: 8-10% Now onto the challenge! I felt like my first challenge while I did well wasn't hard enough for me and not tailored to my end goals as much as it could be. So I'm changing, I'm going a little crazy, but I've made great results doing this in the past and I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to go this time around. Quest 1: Body Recomp. (+2 STR, +2 CHA, +1 DEX) That's right, you heard me correctly. It's recomp time, how will I do this you ask? Well it's simple, well sort of... not really... With extremely hard work. So here's my plan. Friday: Chest/Tri Saturday: Back/Bi Sunday: Shoulders/Abs Monday: Legs Tuesday: Chest/Tri Wednesday: Back/Bi Thursday: Legs That alone is going to be fun! But here is the icing on the cake so to speak because I won't be consuming icing or cake. CARDIO! Minimum 1 time a day for 20 minutes. Maximum 2 times a day for 20 mins each. I hate cardio so this is going to be a struggle. I didn't tell you the best part though! The breakdown of my routine!! Chest/Triceps Barbell Bench: 7 x 5 @ 80% of max.Incline Barbell: 4 x 6-8Decline Barbell: 4 x 6-8Cable Flys: 3 x 10-14 (3 sets from top, 3 from bottom, 3 from middle)Close Grip Bench: 5 x 5Dips (weighted): 4 x 6-8Tricep Pushdown: 3 x 8-12Cable Kickbacks: 3 x 8-12Back/Biceps Barbell Rows: 7 x 5 @ 80% of max.Lat Pulldown: 4 x 6-8Seated Row: 4 x 6-8Pull-ups: 3 x failureStraight arm pulldowns: 3 x 8-12Barbell Curls: 4 x 6-10Preacher Curls: 4 x 6-8Reverse Curls: 3 x 8-12Hammer Curls: 4 x 8-12Shoulders OHP: 7 x 5 @ 80% of max.Bent-Over Reverse cable flys: 4 x 8-12Front raises w/ barbell: 4 x 8-12Hammer Strength (machine) seated press: 4 x 4-6Dumbbell Later Raises: 3 x 8-12Single Arm Reverse Cable Flys: 4 x 8-12Legs Squats: 7 x 5 @ 80% of max.Leg Press: 4 x 6-8Hack Squat: 4 x 6-8Goblet Squats: 4 x 10-14Leg Extensions: 4 x 8-12Leg Curls: 4 x 8-12Standing Calf Raises (slow controlled reps): 8 x 12-16 Massive amount of volume you say? Correct you are my friend! Which is why I'm only going heavy on certain lifts the rest the weight will be dropped so I don't overtrain/burnout. Quest 2: Dieting! (+2 STA, +2 CHA) As if quest 1 wasn't bad enough, here comes the meat and potatoes of the recomp (literally meat and potatoes.) Healthy food, I've reconsidered my thoughts on going full paleo but it won't work the way I want with what I'm trying to accomplish. My diet will vary daily depending on how I feel during the day, what muscle group I'm hitting that day, and if I'm doing 1 or 2 cardio sessions. The plan is on the days that big muscles groups are being trained (back and legs) I will increase my calories to assist in muscle gain, and on the other days my calories will be dropped to maintenance levels to assist in fat loss. Quest 3: Smoke-free. (+2 WIS, +2 CON) Simple enough quest remain smoke free, it's challenging some days but the only thing I'm doing by smoking is killing myself slowly so where is the sense in that? Life Quest: Multi-quest. (+2 WIS) This Life Quest is going to be comprised of a couple things that I need work on. 1. Paying off debt. I did great last challenge and I'm going to do better on this one! 2. Savings. Save $50 a week for an emergency fund as I've never had one before. 3. Get everything set up for school in January, basically quiting my full-time job and taking out loans to pay for school so I finish in 1.5 years and not 5 years going part-time. 4. Friends. Make new friends and a lot of them. Most of my friends moved out of state and I don't see them anymore so I've been living the hermit life for about 2 years now. Gotta change that! Well alright! I think I'm done, hopefully I didn't miss anything but if I did I will be sure to add it! Grading: Everything will be rated Pass/Fail I'm generally pretty hard on myself but in the off chance that I mess up a challenge and try to make it a Pass instead of Fail, call me out! I do know if I pull off the recomp I'll be putting a lot into Charisma due to me looking sexy AF like I did before! *smirk* Thanks for reading, and good luck (I know I'll need it...) -Tixnleeches
  10. "but I've got a plan... why don't you be the artist and make me out of clay? why don't you be the writer and decide the words I say..." I have to thank Hazard for this theme. When I was flailing around, trying to think of a theme for my next challenge, I remembered a conversation that we had had some time ago and realized… I am an awkward flying girl. In fact, I am an awkward flying girl who is trying to find a new place to live… and possibly attempting to be less awkward in the process. I am literally Kiki. Minus the magic (unfortunately) and the teenage angst (fortunately). So here I am, flying unsteadily into another challenge - and if I can expand my comfort zone a bit as I work on lessening that awkwardness, so much the better. Here we go! MAIN QUEST: In short: begin the process of merging sport and art. I’ve been training in aerial for five months now, and my skills are improving, but I’m not doing my dance background credit when I’m up in the air, either. I need to start moving with intention, adding beauty to the strength I am starting to display. I picked this sport not only to be strong - I picked it because I have always loved to dance. Time to remember my roots and begin, slowly, to create. QUEST 1: fly through the wobbles - (+3 DEX, +3 STA, +2 CHA) My biggest goal this time - and the one upon which all others will build - is to begin the creation of my very first choreographed piece on fabric. I am so excited and simultaneously so nervous about this. For one thing, it’s progress-based. For another, I’m trying to kick Impostor Syndrome in the teeth as I do this. In any case, I’ve picked my song (pssssssst it’s my challenge song) and my goal will be to create and learn at minimum two minutes of choreography by the end of six weeks. If you are all very lucky, you may even get to see the results… A: two minutes complete, B: 1.5 minutes complete, C: 1 minute complete QUEST 2: persevere in adversity - (+1 STR, +1 DEX, +1 WIS) Because I’ll find reasons not to do it, otherwise, I am setting myself a goal to work on one thing I really hate/suck at for at least 15 minutes in every open gym. This can include things like helicopter (ughhhh), single or double knee climbs, and anything else that I suck at. The only way to suck less is to DO IT: A: 15 minutes, B: 10 minutes, C: 5 minutes QUEST 3: up and away - (+3 STR) Straight legs on straddle-ups - my archnemesis. I try, I do, but I can’t do it yet - and I’d quite like to put them into my choreography... That said, I am in the air three days a week this challenge, so I will work on these every time I am on any apparatus, even if it’s just one or two at the beginning/end of class: A: 3 times a week, B: 2 times a week, C: 1 time a week LIFE QUEST: finding my way home - (+1 WIS) This is very amorphous, but stillskies and I are having First Time Home Buying Adventures, and my life goal is to basically do all I can to keep it running smoothly.... in a timely manner if at all possible. I'm not sure the ultimate goal (find a new house, buy it, move in) will be complete this challenge, but it's going to be the honest effort that counts here. The grading isn't SMART at all, but I'll know if I haven't done what needs to be done... and what "needs to be done" can even be giving up and settling back to wait until another time, if that is financially and logically the most reasonable thing to do in a given situation. I'll play this by ear for now. A: did what I could, THERE IS NO TRY, SO THERE IS NO B OR C. The points thus come out like this, assuming I mathed correctly: STR : 4 (A=4, B=3, C=2) DEX : 4 (A=4, B=3, C=2) STA : 3 (A=3, B=2, C=1) CON : 0 WIS : 2 (A=2, B=1, C=.5) CHA : 2 (A=2, B=1, C=.5) I'll be keeping track of daily accomplishments in a gdoc, publicly available HERE. The spreadsheet does all the fancy math for me (I love technology). REWARDS: None this time… trying to save some cash for potential home ownership (if we ever, you know, find a house to buy). If I ace the challenge, though, I am going to take one day COMPLETELY OFF OF HOUSEWORK. There, I said it. Let it be so. Before pictures: Measurements: Neck:12.8" Waist: 26.2" Hips: 36.2" Chest: 35" Thigh: R: 21.5" L: 20.9" Bicep: R: 10.8" L: 10.8" Calf: R: 15.1" L: 14.7" Weight: 139.6lbs BF%: 21 Dress/pants size: 2/4
  11. My biggest problem? Discipline. I have tons of knowledge on what I should be eating, I plan healthy, buy healthy, set aside time for workouts, bike to work, decide that this will be "the week" where I suddenly become this crazy in shape superstar. And then it doesn't happen, and I let my bad habits give me "comfort" because it didn't go how I planned. So for this challenge, I'm going to do the opposite. Instead of making huge changes that only cause me to backslide when I fail, I want small wins. Lots of them. My healthy eating goal isn't to make huge changes, but rather make small substitutions to things I already do that make it better for me and to lay a strong foundation. I know this is going to take discipline, and that's why I'm doing it this way. Discipline is something I need to develop more in all areas of my life, as I always make great initial strides but tend to not follow through or continue with it. Starting Weight: 230lb (102kg, roughly). Yeeeeikes, injuring my back and hitting up old diet habits put me here. Time to dig out. Goal 1: Healthy Breakfasts that are actually....well........Healthy? I bike to work, and often that means skipping a solid breakfast at home because it doesn't feel good biking on a full stomach at first; or I'll end up stopping for a breakfast sandwich halfway in. I don't like that! I own the greatest blender there is, and recently for my wife's birthday purchased her an Omega masticating juicer. I have no excuse for not having a healthy breakfast! I love juices and smoothies! Goal: To have at least 25/30 healthy breakfasts, be it smoothie or juice. This covers the business days, as on the weekends I can cook as I like when I wake up. Goal 2: A strong body is a healthy body. That's Simple and Sinister! I love my kettlebells. Coming off of a back injury though, I need to make sure that I'm rehabbing my back correctly while rebuilding my strength. Enter Simple and Sinister! I'll be doing swings and TGU's 3x a week in order to get my body used to that movement and mobility again. Goal: 15/18 S&S Workouts: Sunday, Tuesday, & Thursday Weekly Goal 3: Being more conscious of what goes into my body. I really sometimes find myself eating without thinking. So to fight this, I want to start keeping track of anything that goes into my mouth, food or drink. I'm not going to be counting calories, I just want to be mindful of the eating choices I am making. I'll be doing this on my battle log, and if I really like what I'm eating, I will probably post a picture. Goal: Track my meals 25/30 days for the challenge. Breakfast should be easy! Day to Day posting will be done in the battle log, while any big events and weekly updates will be posted here. I'll be checking both daily, so cheer me on!
  12. Fifth-and-a half Challenge [August 4th - September 14th] Return of the Jedi from the Crystal Caves Very fittingly, in the last challenge my literary alter ego descended into the dark caves of Ilum, to find a crystal for his lightsaber. In the last months I've been kinda sucked into darkness. I've slowly worked on getting out of it again, but didn't succeed. By now I know the way and started walking into the light, but I'm not there yet. It would've been nice, to start this challenge from the start, but I'm not gonna loose momentum by waiting for the next. Anyway, this is "just" a getting back-to-business-challenge with low-level goals. I'll elaborate a little more later. For now, just the general scheme of this challenge: Fitness Quest: Body Recomp Goal 1 - Follow my workout plan every week I'm in week 8 of a 15 week bodyweight programme. I didn't follow it a 100% in the last few weeks, but finishing 100% of the goals for one week is the essence of goal 1. Goal 2 - The next meal is always the most important one Getting your meals at work makes some things easier and some harder. I try to keep my vegetable and protein intake high, but dessert etc. gets too often on my plate. 0% of that is the essence of goal 2. Goal 3 - Trying new and old stuff out I did a lot of fitness related things - not only in past challenges. Most of them didn't make it through the darkness of the caves though. In this goal I want to do something again or try something completely new, at least once per week. Life Quest: Oral Exams Part of the darkness of the past months was that I was almost kicked out of university without a degree. But I asked and prayed for a second chance, and I got it. To use it and to rock those last exams is my life quest for now.
  13. Ok, this is my 5th challenge. And, I honestly had a hard time deciding where I wanted to go with this one. Obviously recomping is my main goal as there is still work to be done there, but I have aimed my last 3 challenges at just recomping and I needed something different this time around. I found I was feeling a sense of boredom, no challenge. Funny thing, since I have been reading peoples new threads I see that a lot of people are sharing a similar idea of wanting something new to add to their challenges. Sooooo, as my friend swampling titled her new thread..........here's to something old and something new! MAIN QUEST Recomp. There is still some leaning out to do and some muscle to build. Now, the three missions I have chosen to focus on this round are going to aim at more than just the recomp basics (macros & weight training), but still move me forward to that end, improving me physically in all aspects. MISSION 1: Macros. In my first challenge I aimed at eating when I was hungry, focusing on sensible portions and eating clean. When I began the recomp I started aiming to hit a specific number of CALS/ PRO/ CHO/ and FATS. And I have done that the last 4 challenges. You know what I found. I don't like it and it stresses me out. Having to weigh everything, measure it out specifically down to adding or subtracting beans or spoonfuls does not fit in my life well. Now don't get me wrong, if it works for you it is awesome for fine tuning your nutrition goals. But, ultimately for me.........I just want to teach my kiddos that they can enjoy eating sensibly and cleanly. So, I am going to perform a little experiment with this challenge. I am going to only track my food daily not actual macro numbers. I believe there are 42 days to this challenge so my goal will be to have 42 days of 'Good Nutrition'. Each day that I eat clean, sensible portions with no snacking or junk gets counted toward that 42 days. This also includes the weekly refeeds (usually Saturday or Sunday). That will keep it simple and refeeds are planned. I have been doing macros long enough that I know what enough protein and such looks like in my day. And I use protein powders and such so no worries there. My aim over the course of this challenge will be to see if this approach will be as successful as it was my first challenge and lead to continued inches lost. Grading: 42 days A 35-41 days B 25-34 days C anything under 25 is a FAIL for the challenge This will make things simpler because I can focus more on FAMILY meals and not trying to separate my meals from theirs ALL of the time. And how I successfully handled my first challenge. MISSION 2: Yoga (balance, core & flexibility). I did yoga once in a past life (lol). But have not in a long time. Strength training makes me stronger but really does not do much for my flexibility or terrible balance. (And it is terrible, uh hum. ) I was introduced to Bellyfit last challenge and there is a half hour section of yoga/ core work that I usually skipped, as I was just doing the cardio. So, I will have three days of weight training and 2 days of the week I will do Bellyfit with the yoga work or I will add another yoga workout on Bellyfit days. I can also choose to do yoga and some other cardio like my freestyle dance or Zumba. MISSION 3: Bellydance! This is not just for the core work involved, it is also just for the sheer darn fun of it. I took bellydance a long time back, and I loved it. But, like some things in life I just didn't because I told myself there was no time for ME anymore. Well, this is. Good core work and destressing and fun. I am going to relearn the basics of bellydance with this program: And I am also incorporating learning one of the numerous varieties of bellydance known as tribal fusion. I will be using this one: So I will have 3 days of weight training interspersed with 2 days of cardio/ yoga and one day (probably Saturdays) of a bellydancing lesson. Grading: A for 6 days completed, B 4-5 days completed, C 3 days completed, and a FAIL for the challenge for less. LIFE GOAL: This will be a continuation of my life goal from the last challenge just more simplified and encompassing and shall be known as Project Organization as it will be an inside out approach. The idea being to simplify and organize ALL aspects of my life. Unlike last challenge I shall not make this a daily goal but more weekly. The aim to be at least 3 days a week devoted to simplifying or organizing some aspect. Because, quite frankly, there are days (more than I would like to admit lol) that I do well just to make all the basics in a day happen. But, I thrive on simplicity and organization so it was important to me to carry this over to this new challenge. Ok, there it is in a nut shell. I may tweak this more later. And now a shout out to my accountabilibuddy Vilkacis (who has been with me 5 challenges now)....... LET'S DO THIS!!!!! :triumphant: :triumphant:
  14. Well, how to begin. Up until one week ago today I knew my goals for this challenge. I was excited at my progress to date and looking forward to what more I would accomplish. A friend of mine told me that, 'Life is what happens while your busy making plans' Seriously, no truer words have been spoken. Warning: If your of the squeamish kind you might want to skip the next part. (sorry) One week before this challenge started, I got up and put in a fantastic workout and was getting in my fluids and meals and feeling thrilled at what seemed a very productive day. Then everything changed drastically. Within a little while of one of my meals I felt off. Kind of yucky. Then suddenly I felt a pressure and stabbing pain located in my left hip area. I thought it was merely a gas bubble trapped and tried to ignore it. Within a few more hours I found myself on my hands and knees in tears at the amount of pain tearing up my abdomen and centered in that left hip. And it was when I placed my hand to my hip and found a large lump that I knew something more serious was wrong and headed to the emergency room. Within hours I was headed into surgery for a severe incarcerated hernia. Simply put, my abdomen muscle in my lower hip/ groin area had opened a hole and my lower intestine had pushed through and become pinched off, cutting off circulation and forcing them to remove a section and put it back together. They also used mesh to reinforce the muscle area that had weakened. I spent 5 days in the hospital only allowed ice and morphine. I never knew what a hernia was before- I do now. Bad news, my plans for this challenge are no longer possible. Good news, I'm not giving up. So, I have a 4-6 week recovery period before I can even hope to get close to what I was doing. And I am kind of grasping in the dark as to what direction I take with this. But, I will find that path and make as much progress forward as possible. With my friend/ mentor Donar helping me, and my accountability partner Vilkacis, and the support of all my friends here supporting me I won't let this be the end of my recomp. Just a new beginning. So, my driving motivation is to return to my recomp and get back to where I was before this setback. My life goal being to complete that recomp. As for the three main goals for this challenge, as of right now they are: Macros: First and foremost, as nutrition is key as Donar has told me. These will be redone according to my new activity level. And I will have to ease into them as I am having to get my body to accept food again after the surgery and no eating for 5 days. Fluids: A goal to meet 128 oz minimum per day. Again I will have to spend this first week easing back into this. My plan is by week 2-6 to be getting this in daily. To reinstitute some kind of physical activity. This will be something I have to figure out as I go since no heavy lifting is not allowed for 4-6 weeks. I do plan on putting in a walk every morning to gradually strengthen the muscle in that area back up. I am hoping to add some kind of partial body weight exercises in by weeks 2-6. For now this is where I am and what I am aiming for. I will update things as the weeks go by and I find what I am capable of week by week. I am also not going to incorporate a weekly grade so much as an overall grade since things are somewhat vague. If anyone who reads this has ever been through this and wants to offer advice it is welcome. My best wishes to all on their new challenges!
  15. Well, here I am on my 4th challenge! The last challenge was actually semi-successful, even thought I only posted about four times! I improved my bedtime habits and reached new weight levels in my lifting. I was more lax about the soda drinking, having broken that with about 2-3 diet sodas a week, and didn't do any scrapbooking, but kept taking pictures, so half good half bad. I started my weight loss/fitness journey in February with aggressive calorie cutting and bodyweight routine. I have since moved to regular weightlifting, but the calorie deficit has stay, and frankly, I am getting a little tired of it. I have been at 1200-1400/day for about 9 months. I have gone from a tight size 16-regular 18 to a loose size 10, and I fit perfectly in a size 9-10 Wrangler Q-baby jeans. Shirts are size small-med. I stopped weighing myself a couple months ago and don't plan on starting. Main Quest: So, as much as I want to get to what I feel is my ideal weight, I am needing a break from the constant calorie restriction. I also want to break 200 lbs in my deadlifts and 120 lbs on my squats. To do this requires extra calories, so I am going to try my hand at bulking/recomp for this challenge! Mission #1: Keeping the calories up This seems easy, but I get very wiggy when my calories go over 1400, so I have a mini goal of 2 weeks at 1700 and working my way up 100 calories a week from there until 2100, which I believe is what my maintenance calories are. I don't plan on eating a bunch of junk, just adding something like sweet potatoes, steel cut oats, rice, and other non-wheat stuff to make up after I get my protein and fats in. Mission #2: Gainz! The main reason for calorie increase is to give my body some time to rest. The other reason is that I have been at 175 lbs deadlift and 105 lb squats for the last 4 months and I want to break through that. I am also at 30 lb each side overhead DB press, 75 lb bench press, and 40 lb DB bent over row. These have all had gains in the last 2 months. I am still on a 5x5 workout, and I am trying to decide whether or not to go to a 3x5 or 3x8-10 sets/reps. Mission #3: Tea Time! I have let soda and extra coffee into my day and really don't want to continue drinking those. I did really well in spring when I was drinking green tea, and it is the only tea that I like without sweetener. I would like to drink 1-2 cups/day of green tea. It's good for me, and it will replace my second cup of coffee and hopefully the soda that has been creeping into my life. That will help me sleep better at night and not feel so sluggish during the day, so I'll have an easier time getting through my weights 3x/week. No side quests this time, as I really think that the calories challenge is going to be very difficult for me. I want to put all of my effort into doing my best in my weight sessions, and making sure to hit 3 full body every week. My Motivation: I don't really know what my motivation is for this challenge, except to let my body have some time to recuperate from the diet restriction and build the muscles that I will need when I go back to cutting next spring. I am hoping that the extra muscle will help the cutting go much more smoothly and that I'll be able to shed the last of the fat more quickly with the extra muscle burning more calories. If anyone has any tips or advice, I would love to hear it! I have never intentionally eaten more to build my body, so this is new and unnerving to me! Thanks!
  16. Last challenge I focused on creating habits and gaining my strength back after a long time away from the real me. This time I plan to up the level and take on a true recomp. My goal is to remove body fat while adding dense, lean muscle. And I plan to do this surrounded by the strength and support of everyone here at NF. I came through the last battle with a platoon of awesome people who I am proud to have beside me for this new quest. Since this will in essence be some amount of trial and error I am not as concerned with hitting an exact number on the scale. Inches lost will be more what I am aiming for. My 3 Missions to accomplish the Main Quest: Note: My friend Donar helped me in setting up these macros and the workout routine and they are based on what is suitable for my personal specifications and needs and might not be effective for someone else. Mission 1: To hit my set macros (within a +5/ -5) each day 7/ 7 days. No cheats, dairy, bread, or pastas for a minimum of three weeks. The reason for this is to get as accurate a measure of the progress I am making as possible with what I am doing consistently. Here is what my macros will look like: Training day macros = CAL/PRO/CHO/FAT = 1600/150/150/44 On non-training days, I will drop 4 fats, 35 protein and 30 carb Non-training day macros = CAL/PRO/CHO/FAT = 1300/115/120/35 **Meal Plans are listed in Battle Log : http://nerdfitnessrebellion.com/index.php?/topic/36495-ashps-battle-log/page-2#entry693545 Mission 2: To incorporate a weight training program 3 times per week (M,W,F) This will be: (including warm up & acclimation sets) Monday (Chest & Arms) Flat DB Bench: 4 sets of 6, then 2 sets of 15-20 at 40-60% Incline DB Bench Press: 3 sets of 4-8 reps, then 2 sets of 15-20 reps at 40-60% DB Curls: 3 sets of 6 reps, then 2 sets of 12-16 sets at 40-60% Lying DB Tricep Extentions: 4 sets of 6 reps, then1 set of 15 at 40-60% Wednesday (Legs) DB Lunges: 3 sets of 16-20 (8-10 per leg) DB squats: 4 sets x 12, 12, 10, 8 followed by 1 set of BW squat jumps x 20 DB RDL : 4 sets of 10 DB Calf raises: 3 sets of 20 Friday (Back and Shoulders) Bent over DB row : 4 sets of 8-12, then 1 set of 15 at 40%-60% Inverted Rows: 3 sets of 4 - 8 Seated DB press: 4 sets of 6, then 1 set of 12-16 at 40%-60% DB rear lateral raises: 3 sets of 15 Knee Raises number to be decided Recovery Days: T, Th, Sa, & Su & NO Cardio Mission 3: I will log all workouts and meals and keep track of my macros every day. This is something I will have to get used to as I tend to be more of a just get it done. But, that won't help me figure out what I need to make adjustments on. Can't learn if you've got nothing to learn from. And two things I want to keep in mind that Donar told me and I think are important to this process: The biggest problem with inconsistency is that it is impossible to diagnose the issue and know how to fix it. (So consistency will be important in showing me what works and what doesn't.) and......... Just remember the 2 rules...... The first rule of nutrition is to hit your daily macros. The second rule of nutrition is to hit your daily macros. (So, must hit macros, lol. ) Now My Motivation: First and foremost my six kiddos. They need a strong healthy mom. As an example, alive, not dying slowly from self inflicted illness and physical issues. I have started the journey back to being just that with the last challenge. Time to kick it up a notch. Secondly, every person who journeyed with me through the last quest and any and all who would like to join me on this adventure. By them I am motivated to succeed in ways I had once given up on. And a particular shout out to my bestie A-buddy Vilkacis for having my back in the last quest! Looking forward to what we'll CRUSH this time around!! :triumphant: GRADES: A = 3 workouts/ week, eat to macros 7/7 days/wk, log min. 6/7 days/wk B = 3 workouts/ week, eat to macros at least 6 days, log at least 6 days C = 2 workout/ week, eat to macros at least 5 days, log at least 5 days D = 2 workouts/ week, eat to macros at least 4 days, log at least 4 days F = Will Not Happen- Nough Said- technically, anything less than a B will not happen Now, enough talk........ Let's Get It Done!
  17. This challenge has some very awkward timing for my big picture plan. Those of you who popped into my thread on the last challenge know that I was still going strong on my recomposition. It was easily defined. Gain lean mass and drop body fat via resistance training and nutrition. Over the next month or two, I will be slowly transitioning from my recomp into a lean gain cycle. This is going to make my numbers look very stagnant for the most part…..but I want to get bigger and stronger while maintaining low bodyfat…..so this is going to be a slow and methodical process….and somewhat boring to observer…. On to the goals…. Main Quest - Stay on the Master Plan Nutritional Goals Hit my planned macros within +/-5g of each every day with exception of refeed days (CON: +2)Smoothly transition from my current recomposition into a lean gain cycle (WIS: +1 , STA +1)I plan on doing this in a very smooth and methodical fashion.I am not suddenly going to start eating 4000 calories a day. Training Goals Continue the war on gravity and try to get strongerThis will evolve from my current recomp-style training into something more exotic as I transition to my lean gain this fall (STR: +2)Continue to strengthen and rehab my right knee and safely work around all of my nicks and dings: (DEX: +3)destroyed my right knee 2 years ago….multiple surgeries etc…old rotator cuff tearhot elbowbeing old…lolOptional: Not sure if I will be on enough of a caloric surplus to do so within the next 6 weeks, but I have made some significant strength gains this summer and I want to test some of my 1-RMs. Record Good Data (WIS: +2) This is a huge regret of mine. Six years ago, I was at all-time strength levels….and I have some memories of the more epic reps and misses…..but I have no record of how I was training or what I was eating. Sad. I want to record every rep in the gym, every calorie I eat, weekly weight and bodyfat, and full body measurements at least monthlyTake more pictures, put dates on the file names! Level Up My Life Goal - Be a good nerd fitness community member and contributor (WIS: +2 , CHA: +2) This is an open letter to all and an invitation to use my thread as an open forum to ask questions about and discuss all things nutrition and supplements….and I am especially talking those lurkers who are shy and afraid to ask the "dumb question." There are no dumb questions in my thread. I have learned many things over the years through trial, error, success and failure. I feel like I have a lot to share with others….and especially the message: NOTHING can change your body and your well-being like nutrition can. You can do endless reps in the weight room…..you can run every marathon in your region…..but the true catalyst in reaching your goals (whether it is to get bigger, stronger or faster) is going to be the execution of a good nutritional plan. Now, I am not saying that I can create custom nutritional plans for everyone…..there just isn't enough time…..but I really hope to give people the tools they need to make the right decisions in building a great plan. How to find caloric targets, how to find good macro splits, what to eat and when depending upon the situation and the like……I want it to be wide open and public. That way, anyone who stumbles upon our conversation will stand to benefit. Additionally, I see it every day…..people throwing their hard-earned money away on useless supplements. Don't get me wrong…..there are absolute must have supplements that I use on a daily basis…..I am not trying to ram some homeopathic message down your throat. But I do want you to avoid spending $80 on a magic fat burning pill when you could have bought a weeks' worth the groceries with it instead. We are all in this together! Edit: we are doing a "suppleement of the week!" Stop in to discuss and debate on the most widely used/hated supplements! Week 1: Creatine Week 2: HMB Week 3: Whey & Casein Hydrolysate Protein Powder Some caveats: I am not terribly creative with food….I have my go-to things….but when it comes to turning ground beef into a delicacy, thankfully Ash, Kiwi and YellowJacket will be stopping in to join the fray….their acumen to making food more palatable dwarfs my own. I am not really a jack-of-all trades when it comes to programming weight training. I definitely know how to train to get bigger and change your body composition…..but if you want to add 75 lbs. to your squat, there are far more qualified warriors in our midst…they can get you on the right Smolov protocol or whatever is appropriate to your goals.When asking about nutrition, please try to include what your goals are. Your nutritional guidelines are going to be massively different based upon whether you want to get bigger, stronger, leaner, recomp, etc. Last Edit: supplement of the week
  18. Let the games begin! My primary goals are these: - follow specific nutritional plan and hit my macros every day - add lean mass and get stronger - drop body fat My level-up-my-life goal: I bought a house in March. I basically completely gutted it and ripped out every wall that wasn't load bearing....lol It has been a crazy project, and it is almost done. So my goal there is to finish it, move into it and get settled into some semblance of a normal life. Edit: My starting stats: 07.28.13 Height: 6' 5" Weight: 216.6 BF%: 14.7% Fat Mass: 31.9 Lean Mass: 184.7 Waist Flexed: 37.25" Waist Relaxed: 38.5" The means: - I have been executing to very nice success a diet that was built 7 weeks ago. It is working extremely well and I plan on sticking to it. - Workout (strength training, resistance training) at least 3 times per week (I am a huge believer in recovery) - I do absolutely zero cardio - Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night (This is the hardest....I am an insomniac) What I hope to achieve (my targets) - Drop approximately 5 pounds of scale weight - Drop approximately 9 pounds of bodyfat - Add approximately 4 pounds of lean mass (muscle) - Add either a rep or more weight to every exercise every week. (Example: I get x lbs for 6, 5, 5, 3 reps on bench....I better get at least 20 reps next week) I will update with more information later....this is all I could think of now.... Cheers! -Michael
  19. Hello....looking for a place to chronicle my path and my struggles against gravity and genetics as I look to get back into shape again after a life-altering injury. I have always been a fairly athletic person and in decent shape. About two years ago, I totally destroyed my right knee playing basketball.... I tore the ACL. I tore the MCL. I tore my meniscus in two places. The first reconstructive surgery involved some hardware (screws and whatnot) and the removal of a hunk of my meniscus. I then rehabbed for two months so that I could have another surgery in order to clean out the scar tissue and try to get me closer to a "normal" range of motion. Over the next year, I went in for regular rehab......but I did nothing else.....and I got fat....(for me that is). At the start of 2012, I decided it was time to lose some weight...and boy did I....I lost over 50 pounds by July....yay right!?!? Welp, I didn't have the workout urge....so I just got skinny fat....lol Life got complicated and I gained it all back that fall and winter. Which brings us to 2013.....reboot. This year, I have been putting it all together. Weight training and have really gotten nutrition figured out in supporting my long-term goal: recomp. I have really been in the groove over the last 3 months and have shed a ton of fat and added some serious mass. I am looking forward to jumping into the fray in the challenges......I love having other to interact with, share knowledge....and most importantly....compete. Nothing steams my boiler like some good 'ol fashioned friendly competition. I am probably an old man by the standards of this site.....but I hope I can share what I have learned over the years in all of the things that worked for me.....and those that were horrible failures....lol....as you get to know me, you will see that I love doing experiments on myself.... In fact, a quick-reference for my personality type: - I love doing experiments......especially the kind that draw from multiple disciplines.....like how does my nutrition effect my strength and so forth - I am mildly obsessive about data.....I keep food spreadsheets, workout logs, etc.... - I like to help people. I have learned through trail and error many things over the years....and I like to share....namely help others. Anyhoo....sorry for the wall 'o text..... Hope to dialogue, share, learn....and of course.......fight the never ending war against gravity!!! Cheers, -Michael
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