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  1. Well, I have been hanging my metaphorical hat for the past few weeks in the Warriors 4-week Challenge area, but this seems a more logical place to maintain my long-term growth tracker. Hi, y'all! My secret identity presents as a perfectly ordinary middle-aged woman, educator, grandma, gardener, pillar of the local church, crocheter, and canner of homemade chicken broth. I'm polite, introverted, bookish, somewhat motherly to the young Marines I work with at the military leadership school, and generally appear harmless. But the *real* me is a Guardian, a powerful force of loosely controlled and readily accessible berserker rage, an impenetrable mass of strength and skill. I'm a hybrid Warrior/Monk, but I'm on indefinite hiatus from martial arts training due to living in a small town with a dearth of convenient Krav Maga instructors. For the present, I am focusing all of my time and energy on re-learning to pick up pieces of iron and set them back down again. I recently returned to myself after a long period of sedentary aimlessness, and found myself considerably weaker than I wish to be. So I found a Starting Strength coach and a black iron gym, and after about a month, this is where I am today: Squat: 45# 3x5 55# 1x4 65# 3x5 45# 1x6 (backoff set to practice form tweaks) Bench: 45# 2x5 65# 1x3 77.5# 3x5 (PR) Deadlift: 95# 1x4 115# 1x2 125# 1x1 135# 1x3, 1x2 (PR) The squat is the main motivator for hiring a coach. I'm super awkward under the bar, a little scared of it, and really struggled to get to depth when trying to do this on my own. Coach has me most of the way straightened out now, but she keeps pushing me to extra volume because I'm not consistent. She says I overthink it. What she actually says is "Quit ANALYZING and freakin' just SQUAT!" So, that's what I'm working with.
  2. I was going to sit this one out, because I don't have anything in particular that I am targeting right now. All of my major goals are in the "keep doing what I'm already doing" category. I'm hitting cals and macros pretty consistently, lifting a la Starting Strength 3x/week, meditating, drinking water, don't currently have any compelling reason to change any of that. But I have some space right now in my life to add a little nonsense, so I am going to stay and play for a bit in Wonderland, just because I can. Two goals. Simple. Ride the Bandersnatch I go to the gym on Mon, Wed, and Fri mornings. Okay, great. What am I doing the other four days of the week? Nuthin'. So keeping this in the realm of the realistic, because I am over 50 and recovery time is a thing, I want to shoot for doing something physical at least 10 minutes a day. Lifting up weighty things is the only thing I've ever been consistent with, so I like to say it's the only thing I like. But there are so many ways to play, and I have time in small chunks through the day to just move about in the world more and differently. Things that will count include but are not limited to: practicing basic Irish step dancing moves learned from YouTube (before I commit to spending money to buy this) hitting big tire with sledgehammer doing all or part of a yoga, pilates, or other video (either YouTube, e.g. Yoga with Adriene, or some of the many DVDs I've bought and not used over the years, like Core Fusion) playing with grandminion (counts if my heart rate elevates >110 as measured by Apple Watch) heavy gardening (there has to be a shovel or some earth-moving tool involved, idly trimming stalks off a rosemary bush won't make the grade) taking a long (at least 1 mile) brisk walk around the campus during my lunch break stopping by the gym after work on the way home to push the Prowler pull-ups stuff: e.g. bar hangs, assisted pulls. I always say I'm going to do this, and I never do it, and I don't know why. Make a Hat I have a million art/craft/writing projects that I could be working on, instead of coming home every night and laying on the sofa and surfing the internet until it's time to make dinner and go to bed. Why don't I? I love making stuff. And Steve's article yesterday about what to do when you're overwhelmed/stuck reminded me that I am always happier when I am creating something (#7). So, goal = spend at least two 30 minute blocks of time per week Making. Maker things that I can do that will count towards this (others may arise): decoupage some of the outlet/switch covers for the Hobbit Hole work on the Alice drawing for HH Work on chalkboard art for church Write/outline/character sketch on any of the myriad novels that live in my head that I never touch outside of November/NaNoWriMo I always do better if I bribe myself have a loot reward planned, so if I can hit 25 out of 28 days of fun, intentional movement, and 7 of 8 Maker-time blocks, I'm buying myself a new pair of Rothys. Ride the Bandersnatch: 0/28 Make a Hat: 0/8
  3. Last challenge was a great success. Status report: I am 95% rehabilitated from my tweaked back. Only occasional pain when moving quickly into the edges of my range of motion. It needs a little warmup. I can put my hands on the floor! I can get my pants on without flailing! I can do yoga sun salutes without holding on to the door frame! It is very exciting. My car is still in the shop. You know the saying, "You can have it fast, cheap, or good - pick two." Well, I picked cheap and good. He's an old man, and he takes his time. This means getting to the gym is unlikely to happen for a while. I will have to work out at home. That is fine - it just means lighter weights & higher reps, because without a rack at home, I can only squat what I can clean. My calorie restriction experiment went well. I am happy with where I am at now. I'm still tracking and eating more protein & veggies, but basically eating when hungry. For this challenge, I wound up with three goals, that each have three parts, and just a lot of threes in general, so I ran with it. WEEKLY ROUTINE: (Goal 30pt/week. For each activity, 4x=15pt, 3x/wk = 10pt, 2x/wk=5pt, 1x/wk=2pt) Barbell workout (at home or at gym) 3x/week. SQUAT 3x5 OVERHEAD PRESS 3x5 CHINUP 5x3 (or just 15 total) Hike (1-2hrs) 3x/week Violin practice (at least 1/2 hour) 3x/week DAILY ROUTINE (Goal 30pts/week, 10pt each) Morning Routine ( every day = 10pt, 6x/wk=8pt, else 1pt each) FIRST THINGS: Before leaving my room, turning on computer, checking phone, etc: Look at my list for today Take all meds/inhaler/etc Do 10-15m of yoga, including 5x sun salutes. BREAKFAST: oatmeal, fruit, and finish my 1st liter of water. GO OUTSIDE: generally walk in the woods with the dog. (At least 15m, but can be one of my 1-2hr hikes) Lunch - whenever we are both home at noon, make eggs & greens to eat with Raven. ( 10pt/wk if done on every available day. miss 1 = 5pt, miss 2 = 2pt, miss 3=1pt) Evening Routine - ABBREVIATED (every day = 10pt, 6x/wk=8pt, else 1pt each) CHECK IN: Look at calendar, talk to Raven, make tomorrow's list. Take pills/etc Prayers FOOD (Goal 40pt/week, out of a possible 49pts) WATER: (1pt/day) 2 quarts plain water or "weasel-ade" (homemade unsweetened electrolyte drink) THREE "PN-STYLE" SMALL MEALS: (1pt each, max 3pt/day) Roughly follow Precision Nutrition guidelines ~1/2c each meat, starch, two veg. Mostly whole foods, healthy fats. TRACK: on myfitnesspal, OR in notebook (using same ballpark method as last challenge). (1pt/day each, if within 10% of target) Calories: ~2000kcals, plus whatever MFP calculates for exercise OR: 8x vaguely 250kcal portions, plus one for each 1/2hr vigorous activity or 1hr moderate activity Protein: ~120g, OR: at least 3 good sized servings of meat/eggs. Fiber: ~40g, OR: total of 2c fruit, 3c veg, 1c legumes, 1c oatmeal. 18 PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:
  4. I'm tired and need a breather, y'all. I've been adding new habits and goals and things to my life at a terrific rate, and they have all been positive changes and I'm super happy about them and all, but now I feel like it is the part of the story where I need to slow the pace, consider some backstory and character motivations, heal (!!!!), and get myself into a better place, head-and-bodywise, before charging off wildly on my next adventure so carelessly that I forget my pocket-handkerchief. Heal From My Injuries: Today marks the three-month anniversary of my hand and arm surgery, and the only obvious residual effect is that the palm of my hand is still very sore when I OHP or bench press. I want to be more diligent about doing the PT exercises with the silly-putty stuff and massaging sore-muscle salve into the area - at least 5 days/week. Get Some Inner Peace: Prayer journal at least once per day. Bonus points for twice (morning and evening). Set Off on the Right Foot: Continue with/solidify my already established and (thus far pretty successful and beneficial) morning routine of Bible study Duolingo practice Headspace meditation 15 oz. water before coffee and healthy breakfast Bonus Goal (NO PRESSURE IF I DON'T GET THIS RIGHT!!!!) One Lift to Rule Them All: Now that I am back to about 75% of my pre-surgery strength in all my main lifts, and my grip is so far holding up fine in the deadlift, I feel like I should get back to what was always fitness priority #1 - I want an unassisted pull-up!!!!! So, the goal = at least 5 days out of every week, do something to move me towards pull-ups. Lat pulldowns, negatives, assisted, inverted rows, hollow rockers - but at least one thing specifically targeted towards that one big goal that I keep letting myself get sidetracked from (this is the goal that actually got me into the gym 2+ years ago, but I keep dropping it and chasing butterflies or something...) Heal Injuries: 0/20 Get Inner Peace: 0/28; bonus points 0/28 Right Foot: 0/28 One Lift: 0/20 Full disclosure: I am recycling my gif theme from last time because I did not finish the art piece for the library that I was working on. It's a drawing of Smaug on a weathered wood board, with the Gandalf quote "I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging." My plan was to coordinate my challenge themes to my library decor, but distractions happened so I'm still here.
  5. Hello, folks. I am Ava and this is my first challenge (sort of) so I'll keep it short. I am a 27 year old from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who loves gaming, lifting heavy things and her cats. I run an e-commerce store so I am always interested in all things digital marketing and etc. I am getting married next year (yay!) so my two Main Quests for now are to look great in my wedding photos (lose weight, go back to having a fitness routine and all that jazz) AND to become more financially stable (save and earn more money). So for this challenge my goals are as following: 1 - Diet Stuff - I am not going back to counting calories just yet, so I need to stop eating like an idiot. Only one "cheat" meal each week. - Alcohol only once a week and definitely no beer. NO BEER. 2 - Fitness Stuff - SS 3x/week. - Crossfit at least 2x/week. 4 - Level Up My Life Stuff - Save 1,5k this challenge. - Study and get another two DigitalMarketer's certifications. - Plan my week every sunday and my day the night before.
  6. Hi everyone! It's been a while. Sorry. Things have been going great actually. I went from that weird low calorie whole foods diet, to counting calories and eating a ton, to finally just eat whatever I feel like which apparently has been low cal, low protein. Nevertheless I've lost a lot of weight, waist, hip and thigh size which was and still is my goal. Unfortunately that means muscle mass too. I've hit a wall on Starting Strength. Actually starting to probably go back a little. Most likely due to the low calorie, low protein thing. But at the moment I'm really happy with my diet. I'm seriously eating what I want. And losing weight. So I'm not changing that. And truth be told I've barely ever been able to lift more than what I'm doing right now anyways. Which is why I think it's time to move on to a different program. Is madcow 5x5 still the best progression from starting strength? Are there others? Are there any changes for females? (I ask this because SS app has me doing 5x3 reps instead of 3x5). Thank you very much in advance
  7. Hey rebels, long time no talk. My name's Justin. I was on the Facebook men's group for a while but ditched Facebook at the beginning of the year indefinitely. Freedom never felt so good Anyways...on topic. I've been doing Stronglifts more or less on the proper schedule for...3 months plus now? Here's the numbers so far... Squat 205@5x5 Deadlift 235@1x5 Bench 130@5x5 OHP 105@5x5 Row 130@5x5 My last squat attempt, I made it to the 4th set at 210 and chickened out. Deadlifts are still going strong. Bench feels like it is starting to top out, but no failures yet. OHP I've failed 3 times now, but not in a row. I started failing quite early...85lbs I think. The row is also going strong still. I feel very under-stressed on this lift. The SL bible says that I'm supposed to have 3 de-loads before essentially changing up the rep scheme for a given movement. But that requires 3 failures in a row for a single de-load. I haven't really found any other literature that supports that much failure before changing things up. On top of that, I'm not sure I have the patience. On squats, I'm having to wait 3-5 minutes between each and every set to get them done and it is stretching the length of the workouts beyond what my schedule can manage. Back when each lift was hyper-easy, I could get the whole thing done including warm-up and cool-down in 40 minutes or less. I've had my wife, who is a certified trainer and CF coach put my form for various lifts under a microscope to make sure there wasn't something obvious holding me back...nothing really to report there. My primary intention was to build a foundation of strength and then begin a more varied routine to help me lean out more and increase intensity/explosiveness (vs just strength or endurance). So the big question...what should I explore from here on? Should I adopt a SS 3x5 scheme? What kinds of thresholds should I be looking for with each of these lifts? Any help or guidance would be useful. Many thanks!
  8. "Introduce yourself" posts trigger all of my considerable social awkwardness. Deep breath. I can do this. I'm a literary nerd/aspiring writer, a grandma, a gardener/beekeeper/chicken mama, and a U.S. Navy veteran. I live on the beautiful Crystal Coast of North Carolina, and I just started training with a Starting Strength coach who is helping me fix problems with my squat (and by problems I mean - I started off too weak to do a full squat with a 45# bar. Got it now. Literally as of today.) I spent the first 18 years of my life as a full-blown sedentary couchweight, since then I have "messed around" with a variety of martial arts, bodybuilding-style thingies, yoga, Pilates, I even tried running for a while, but I've never stuck with anything before. Have been strength training now consistently for two years - holy wow, I've never done anything consistently for two years before ever, so this might actually be my thing. Super excited to be here, love the concept. Just exploring the quests and trying not to get too overwhelmed. Whew. Okay, that wasn't so bad. I didn't even stammer. Much.
  9. I've just completed my 2017 road map, and my main focus for this year fitness wise is going to be running some OCRs. This means I'm going to have to do a whole variety of training, but as the first one won't be until April that gives me this challenge to focus purely on strength. And as I'm focusing on strength I though what better place to be than over with the warriors for a challenge to see what I can learn from you lovely people. I've been working through Starting Strength since the beginning of November and I'm starting to struggle with some of the lifts, so this will also be an opportunity to find out if there any form issues that are holding me back, or whether it's going to be time to move on the an intermediate program. To goals! Eat - 15XP What? Eat the right things as much as possible, and limit the bad stuff Why? In order to lift strong I need to eat strong, and eat right. How? i. Pack breakfasts for work at least 4/5 days per week. ii. Pack lunches for work at least 4/5 days per week. iii. No buying nonsense at all this challenge. I have enough rubbish left over from Christmas in my house without buying anything on top of that. Nonsense is the food I know is just silly - chocolate, cake, crisps etc. Sleep - 10XP What? Set myself up to get a decent amount of sleep. Why? Because my body needs recovery time to get stronger, and because I aim to workout early in the morning before work, meaning I have to get up on time. How? i. In bed every day by 10:30pm, or within 45 minutes of getting home, whichever later. ii. No caffeine after 4pm on any day. Lift - 15XP What? Keep lifting! Why? Because that's the whole focus of the challenge! Also, it's fun! How? Lift 3x per week following Starting Strength, no exceptions! This should be at the expense of all other exercise - if I have to miss a workout it can be anything else but not this. Like It - 10XP What? Keep a positive attitude to lift by keeping track of the things you're thankful for. Why? Because I want to be a happy, positive person, and I hope this will keep me on track for that. How? Record one positive statement in my bullet journal every day, and share them on here unless they're really personal. So that's a wrap! Looking forward to kicking off on this tomorrow, and on looking through everyone else's threads!
  10. Last month: Left my CF gym and became a lone lifter again. Reset my squat to the bar and worked my way back to 175x3x5 with much better form via a modified version of Starting Strength. Had my yearly checkup and confirmed with my doctor that I have a torn rotator cuff. Also discussed the possibility of bipolar disorder. He gave me rehab exercises to do to hopefully avoid surgery on shoulder and a psychiatric referral that I'm still waiting to hear back from. Wanted to give myself a project. Working on my novel turned into spontaneously writing a short erotic fantasy story. It didn't get published to Amazon due to rules I don't quite understand. I also wrote over five thousand words on my novel. (Probably well over, I didn't track overall.) Got overwhelmed with having so many hobbies and made a spreadsheet to pare them down. Archery, hunting, shooting, fishing, writing, and video games survived. I'd also like to try woodworking this year. Made it through the holidays with only a 1.8lb gain from thanksgiving to January 3rd. This year's goals: Get to 350lbs by my wedding on June 10th. I was 391.8 yesterday morning. This may mean adjusting workouts and ramping up cardio (maybe in preparation of that Tough Mudder in Rockford?). Certainly means better food habits. Fix the shoulder one way or another. Sans surgery is preferable, by far. Adjust my mindset when it comes to "domestic rangering". I grew up in a rural setting with farming roots where a bit of mud tracked in wasn't a big deal and the dishes filled the sink before they were done. My fiancee grew up in a household where the dishes were done after every meal and the whole house was cleaned top to bottom a minimum of once per week. I know her way is the right way. I just need to adjust to it. Become proficient in archery to the point where I feel ethical hunting with my bow. Harvest an animal of some kind, whether with bow or gun. Try woodworking to see if it fits the hobby list long term. Specifically build either some piece of furniture or a chess set or something. Something substantial. Not a carved spoon or something. Most of my challenges this year should be with those main goals in mind in one way or another. With that in mind... This month's goals: More cardio: I can't press and now cleans are starting to hurt the shoulder (more on that later) so my lifting options are limited. The heart rate must elevate regardless! Cardio must be increased. It's been a long time since cardio machines factored heavily into my workout plans. Suggestions on how much to do per week are welcome. Shoulder rehab EVERY DAY: This is a must. I will not penalize myself if I don't do it. The pain and decreased range of motion is getting to be punishment enough. I will also be making an appointment with my chiro to see if she can help in any way. Track calories EVERY DAY: Every day. Every food. Even days that I know I will go over. A big part of it will be to not get super depressed if/when I go over my 3k calorie allowance per day. I know that I'm going to go over. I also know that if I track it I'm much less likely to go over. Guilt will hold me accountable. Practice Archery: Archery is one of the hobbies I can practice year round and I need to get consistent practice if I'm going to feel comfortable taking a shot at an animal next fall with my recurve. Shooting (ha.) for 4-5 practice sessions. I'll also likely make myself a list of domestic rangering tasks that can be done on a daily/weekly basis to help out around the house sometime this month. It shouldn't take long at all to jot them down. I'll start working those in. Hopefully they don't actually require a challenge goal but that may be a possibility in the future.
  11. Hello and welcome all to my last challenge of the year! Things have been a bit mad the last couple of months, and my mood has been a bit all over the place with a big dollop of worry on top. And I don't want to be worried, or angry, or upset, I want to be positive and looking forward. With that in mind, this month I try to become Mr Positivity. Mr Positivity - 15XP What? Say and record positive things, to help me keep a positive mindset. Why? Because I want to be a more positive person. How? Record something positive in my journal every day, and report it on here. It can be anything; something about myself, something good about my day, something I'm thankful for etc. Mr Strong - 15XP What? Continue getting in the gym. Why? Because it makes me feel good about myself, and because I want to get stronger. How? Get to the gym 3 x per week, continuing starting strength. No Excuses despite Christmas and all that jazz. This takes precedence over all other exercise. Mr Sleepy - 15XP What? Get some more sleep! Why? Because I need it, for body and mind, or I feel dreadful. How? Get to bed each night by 10:30, or within 45 minutes of getting home, whichever the latter Mr Writer - 10XP What? Keep up with my Bullet Journal Why? Because I'm liking it as a way to keep track of challenges, and I'm hoping that as I get used to it it will actually make me more productive. How? i. Journal every day. ii. Report on here if I fail to complete any to-dos. iii. Complete all month to-dos at some point. Also, this just popped into my head: So that's that, nothing too fancy this month but hopefully a winning set of goals. Onward!
  12. Well... Not actually alone. Hoping to have you all with me at least. I've just left my CF box is all. It's been over a month since I've had a thread. In that time my fiancee and I both had injuries and decided together to leave our gym for various reasons, biggest of which was financial. Saving $185/mo by switching to a Gold's Gym Express with nearly all the same equipment as the box. The only thing we'll be missing is the classes, which is a big thing but I think we can manage it. We are going to be doing Starting Strength Phase 2 three times per week: Day A Day B Squat 5 reps x 3 sets Squat 5 reps x 3 sets Bench Press 5 reps x 3 sets OHP 5 reps x 3 sets Deadlift 5 reps x 1 set Power Clean 3 reps x 5 sets I've been working on re-learning my squat, which had evolved into a "Squat, bend at the waist, good morning, stand up" that was going to get me seriously hurt: Thus, I think a basic program like Starting Strength will allow me to reset and (hopefully) get back up in weight relatively quickly. It will also allow me to keep my presses, cleans, and deads progressing regularly. I've also tweaked my shoulder this past month causing me to lose time (and thus think about how much money I was paying to NOT go to the gym) so hopefully these will keep the weights much lower with slightly higher volume than the programming we were doing that had heavy doubles, singles, and PRs every few weeks. This will be followed each day by a random conditioning WOD chosen from a WOD generator app I found. We also have a bunch of strongman buddies that do event practice on Sunday mornings so we will likely be jumping in on those once in awhile. Nothing like jumping in on a workout with a 148lb pro strongwoman and seeing if you can keep up. Nutritionally I did some reading up on some intermittent fasting, specifically the 5:2 diet. I started it last week and I think it may be exactly what I need this time of year to allow some flexibility for the family get-togethers I have literally every weekend (and then some). Personally (LUYL) I've got a few goals: I'm now 22k words into an urban fantasy novel and I need to keep myself writing. I'm going to try to write for 15 minutes every day. If I do that sometimes I'll get a couple hundred words and stop and sometimes I'll get into a zone and crank out a thousand words in short order. Trick is just to make myself start. I need to give myself a project. Could be welding my busted forge back together and banging away on some steel. Could be putting together a chess board or some other woodworking project. Could be ordering a carving knife and trying to carve something. Not really sure but it's been months since I made something with my hands and my brain works better when I challenge it in that way. I need to wire up license plate lights for my truck. I have been just asking to get pulled over driving it without them for the past few weeks. I have the lights, I just need to get them on there. May require help from someone more electronically inclined but that shouldn't be hard to find. I test for a 911 dispatcher job on Monday. Assuming it goes well I need to sit down with the fiancee and have a major Pro/Con discussion and see if it is something that works for us right now. I don't anticipate the working out to be a problem. I'm ready to be back in the gym. Likewise, I've already been on this new diet for over a week and don't anticipate any big issues there. So this challenge will largely be recaps of my gym sessions, chronicles of any struggles I may have with foods, and (hopefully) some cool writeups of a couple projects I get done/possibly some of the fiction if anyone would like to read.
  13. Ok guys, you can read or ask about me in the Introduction topic. First a few thing simportant for this log. - I started SL 5x5 two weeks ago, except for my second day - I had to move a lot of things at school that day - I went to every workout. - I have a handicap. Some form of Spina Bifida. Due to this: my left legmuscles are shorter than normal: so my right muscles are under a lot of stress, Also I have a very sensitive back. This is why I changed the Overhead Press, to SHoulder press, to stress my back less. - From time to time certain weights in my gym go missing (probably some wizard experiment) so this is why I'll add 5k instead of 2.5k. 19/09 SQUAT5x5x20kBENCH PRESS5x5x20kBARBELL ROW5x5x30k 23/09 SQUAT5x5x22.5kSHOULDER PRESS5x5x20kDEADLIFT1x5x40k 26/09 SQUAT5x5x25kBENCH PRESS5x5x25kBARBELL ROW5x5x32.5k 28/09 SQUAT5x5x30kSHOULDER PRESS5x5x25kDEADLIFT1x5x45k 30/09 SQUAT 2x5x20k 1x3x30k 5x5x32.5k BENCH PRESS 5x5x30k BARBELL ROW 5x5x35k
  14. Hey Everyone! Since I’m in new and uncharted territory right now, I thought I would introduce myself. Names Wild Wolf but most people call me Wolfie I’ve been with the Rangers for the past 2 years now and it’s been a wonderful stint with even better people but now my workouts have shifted more to an iron heavy routine whereas normally, I’m more of a BW/Calisthenics enthusiast who plays around with kettlebells and parkour and other fun equipment. They call me the Werespartan because I went from “not a fan of running and never covering more than 5 miles at one time” to running the Spartan Beast with fellow NF Ranger, @EricMN and ended up covering 12+ miles that day and over 4 ½ hours on the course. Fuckin A, right? So, I like to dabble in a lot of things. Well, whilst “dabbling in things“ back at the end of January this year, I fell on my shoulder and caused a Type 2 AC joint separation. BUMMER!! ...I know. A type 2 AC separation is something I can live with, but it greatly effects my lifting game. Overhead press is basically out...clean and press, front squats...even backsquat’s. It’s been since last September/October since I’ve lifted real weights so I had NO idea what my shoulder would tolerate. Thankfully, I’ve gotten back into a lifting routine and I’m now on my second week of 3x a week. Last week was a little funky because I decided in the beginning that I wanted to do the Juggernaut 2.0 program and then mid-week decided I needed something a little more basic and decided to go with Starting Strength. So, Friday and Monday, the 24th marked the first 2 days of Starting Strength. My lifts are as followed: A Day Zercher Squat 3x5 Bench Press (partial reps stopping 2 blocks (6-8 inches) above chest) 3x5 Rack Pull 1x5 B Day Zercher Squat 3x5 Bent over row 3x5 Rack pull 1x5 This prolly looks a lot different than someone else’s Starting Strength big lifts but none of these lifts compromise my shoulder and that’s what’s important. I haven’t figured out what to do about the power clean/clean when I hit the next phase of SS but maybe I can employ the help of you fine, iron bending folks when the time comes. My #’s are not very impressive but I’ll shoot up in no time and I’m excited about adding some lean muscle back onto my already lean frame. My challenge will continue off my last 2 challenges over in the Ranger’s guild. It follows the story of Ryan, an up and coming hacker who is discovered by a hacktivist group called DedSec and one of its prodigy’s, Marcus Holloway. Marcus is grooming Ryan aka W0lf, to be a l337 hacker and help DedSec take down the evil spying corporation, Blume. All this is based off the upcoming video game, .Watch Dogs 2, which releases November 15th, the day after my birthday! If you would like to check out the last two challenges, I have them linked in my signature and down below in the profile post. The story and the theme are all related to me trying to get my A+ certification and move on from there. My 365-day challenge to myself is to complete A+, Security+, Network+ and then move onto Linux+ all by this time next year. I also want to get into some programming like Python. Right now, I work at a job I don’t really like but it pays me decent money. I want to work somewhere...doing something I’m actually interested in and hacking/IT stuff, especially the deeper level stuff REALLY interest me. And then working out again… I hope to get in the groove with Starting Strength because this past week has been wonderful. I missed working out and I missed lifting to be specific. The change of scenery should be fun because I already recognize a few familiar ugly mugs around here. *Cough* Rurik, Willes, and Volki *Cough* Here are my goals below: A+ Training- No more fucking around-shoot for 4-6 hours of trainings a week. FINISH the 801 Module and prep for the exam Starting Strength 3x a week-get to gym earlier to have more time for accessory work Focus on mobility and “limberness” on off days. Gaelic Football and/or Parkour on the weekends. Mass Gain-get back on your protein shake/post workout smoothie game to help with mass gain. Lots of water. Lots of sleep-take naps during the day if needed Cool things going on this Challenge: My birthday is November 14th! (W00t! 29!) Halloween-I'm going as Ace Ventura...lol. Thanksgiving-I usually attend 4-6 of these because of split families and in-laws. This means lots of leftovers but more importantly "bulk food". I could just load up on turkey, sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes w/ brown gravy and any choice of yummy veggie tray... Yep! I can't wait for Thanksgiving. Finally getting my hair trimmed/cut-got an appoint for the 5th. I know that sounds girly but whatev's I've been growing that shit for over 11 months now lol. I've discovered I have "locks" as my sister and wife call them lol and I think I inspired our very own @Volki to grow his out as well? It won't be a drastic cut but I need some shape bad. I almost have a mullet. Almost. Thanks for having me Warriors! W0lf
  15. Hello, warriors. I am a 25 year old woman from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Started Crossfit about 8 months ago and fell in love with both the oly/powerlifting bits and the gymnastic stuff. Noticed my progress slowing on both due to lack of upper body strength and decided to run the Starting Strength program for a few months. That was two weeks ago and my current stats/lifts are as follow: Currents Stats and Lifts On SS Height: 1,58cm Weight: 55kgs / 120lbs BF%: ? Barbell Squat (5RM): 55kgs / 121lbs Barbell Deadlift (5RM): 67,5kgs / 149lbs Dumbell Bench Press (5RM): 24kgs / 53lbs Barbell Shoulder Press (5RM): 20kgs / 44lbs Anyway, I am pretty good at being consistent with my workout routines (be it Crossfit, muay thai, SS, whatevs), but I am having some issues sticking to healthy eating habits and by healthy I mean I am having some issues at not eating like an idiot. I gained 3kgs since the beggining of the year and, while some of it is muscle, I have a long term goal of weighting under 52kgs with a lower bf%. So yeah, this challenge I will be focusing on my diet and tracking all the things. Goals: Diet Goals: - Track all the things on MFP. - 1800cals/day. - 110g of protein a day. - Alcohol only twice/week. - Only two cheat meals (BURGEEERS AND FRIIIES!) during the challenge. Fitness Goals: - Track all of my fitness progress on SS. - NF Yoga 2x/week. Other Goals - Meditate 5x/week for a minimun of 10min. - Weight myself daily and take the other measurements/pictures weekly.
  16. I'm a frequent poster on Mark's Daily Apple, but I've been wanting a change of scenery. For now, I'll just post stuff about food & workouts. Goals: get strong. Be able to run around & lift things without much hindrance. Be able to do a pull-up. Deadlift my own bodyweight (closest I ever got was within 25 pounds). Carry my husband on my back 50m (I was able to do this when I did CrossFit, so I know I can get back to it). Food history: Started eating primal 4 years ago, switched to paleo when I realized that dairy wasn't doing me any favors (RIP). I'm about 90% adherent. I have a tendency to undereat and that always messes me up mood-wise. Physical history: I was not super active as a kid, but naturally very thin. I'm well within a normal/healthy weight range now. I've felt tired for years (since puberty hit? around age 13), no answers to that. I bicycled to work (7 miles per day) for 2 summers, but was unable to this year. I did CrossFit over the winter and that started an interest in barbell training. I got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome & bilateral tendonitis in my wrists this winter from shoveling, then weakened my wrists and shoulders during that healing period. Now doing PT for my shoulders, my wrists are healing up finally w/ very light wrist workouts (3lb hand weights). It's been a very slow process. Mental history: Generalized anxiety disorder and depression. Mostly under control these days, but I used 5-HTP periodically to get through bad episodes. I prefer not to use prescription meds, I've been down that road before and I'm not a fan. Nerd history: I'm a Linux systems admin, as of last November, so still relatively new to it. Prior to that, lots of Windows work. I'm a PC gamer, love Fallout III & NV, Elder Scrolls Oblivion & Skyrim, Diablo III, used to play WoW. Started playing Witcher 3 and am hooked, even despite the rampant gross sexism. Star Wars, Star Trek, LotR, Hellboy... all that good stuff --- I have a free week membership at the gym closest to my office. Sadly, the barbell area only has Olympic bars, which I can't use yet. 45 pounds is too heavy for me except to deadlift. I made due with kettlebells. 5 min Warm-up w/ some kind of elliptical thing (plus warm-ups with lighter weights before each lift) Squat 5x3 25# 5x2 35# OHP 5x3 20# 5x2 25# DL 2x5 45# 4 min on the rowing machine I'll go again on Wednesday morning as long as my wrists feel okay. They're a bit sore/tired today and I don't want to set myself back in this very slow recovery. I'll do some kind of dumbbell bench press instead of the overhead press. After I finish reading Starting Strength, I'm going to join a local weight lifting club that has a lot more equipment. They're right up the street from my apartment, only open on weeknights. --- Food so far today Breakfast: shredded chicken & green beans Lunch: pork chop, mixed veg, sweet potato Snack: two Larabars Dinner: will probably be more pork chop, veg, & sweet potato I don't like to count food, so that seems a bit light, but I really have no idea. I'll be prepping for some beef stew tonight. I think I'll use russet potatoes, since my husband doesn't like sweet potatoes.
  17. This is my last challenge before finishing my MPhil Dissertation. At last, I feel good about working on it until I could have it finished. I have the deadline a week before September 24th and I've written 18 pages (of 50-60) at this moment, so for this challenge I've thinking about what kind of lifestyle can help me passing this month the best way. Goal #1: One page a day I must write 32 more pages in order to present the dissertation to my examining board. Each page counts 1 point and the goal is getting more than 30 points. Easy? It seems so, but I've blocked a few hours per day (24 pomodoros each week) to guarantee I could write every day. A: >30 points. B: >20 points. C: >15 points. +3WIS +2CHA Goal #2: Whole30 I like counting calories, but this challenge I'm avoiding it because I need to be focused on the previous goal. As I also need not to have insulin peaks continually, the best diet I can follow the next month is avoiding sugar, dairy and cereals. +1CON +1WIS Goal #3: Commit to a regular routine for one month Do indoor cycling on Monday and Friday, and lift weights on Tuesday and Thursday. I'm doing a personal variation of Stronglifts: 16 workouts = A 14 workouts = B 12 workouts = C less than 11 = FAIL +1STA +1STR +1CON +1CHA Life goal: Meditate I'm reading one paragraph of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations each day. It has to be the first thing of the day, and during the day I'm coming back to the same paragraph to be inspired by its spirit. At day one I've read until I 6 and I should read III 1 the last day of the challenge. >30 days = A >28 days = B >26 days = C <26 days = FAIL +1WIS Bonus: Read I'm still a book seller, but I'm lowering the level of this goal down to reading only one book each week, mostly 20th Century literature.. Week 1: In Cold Blood (Truman Capote) Week 2: The Savage Palms (William Faulkner) Week 3: The Girls (Emma Cline) Week 4: The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers) Each book = +0.4WIS +0.2CHA +2WIS +1CHA
  18. Tabula Rasa

    Tabula Rasa

    Hello, everyone. First of all, please forgive my english. It is not my first language. My introductions tend to be long winded, so I will spare you from that (mostly). I am an 25 year old active woman who had to take a 3 week break from exercising because I learned I have this condition called chondromalacia patellae (knee pain, really). The treatment involved knee injections and a bit of rest, but my paranoid side figured it would be better if I stopped doing all manner of extrenous and impact heavy activities (I do Crossfit, so..) for those three weeks. Anyway, the pain is gone, but this condiction is something I will have to treat all my life with supplements, strength training (YEY!) and stretching. My three week break ends on monday and I decided to see this as a respawn of sorts. This is not my first challenge, but I lost access to my old account and I figured I might as well start over on Nerd Fitness too. Main Goal After my somewhat forced three week break, my main goal for this challenge is to make exercising and eating well a habit again. Pure and simple. Strength Goal - Crossfit 4x/week. I am a Crossfit junkie and before the break I was doing it from monday to friday. Chances are this is going to be this challenge's easiest quest and I have decided to include it here only for the accountability. Really. - Starting Strength every tuesday and thursday. I like lifting heavy stuff and my orthopedist said squats are a good exercise for people who suffer from chondromalacia patellae. Who am I to argue with a doctor's opinion? Dexterity Goal - Stretch my leg muscles everyday for at least 5 minutes. My orthopedist also said it is important that I spend some time stretching my thighs and hamstrings. I figured I might as well make this a daily habit. Constitution Goal - Eat between 1800 to 2000 cals/day. I follow the Eat to Perform protocol and according to their calculator, this is the range I should be aiming for. I will track it on My Fitness Pal. Inteligence Goal - Post on my post graduation forums once a day. I enrolled in a post-grad program and a percentage of my grade comes from reading assigned articles and debating them in the courses' online forums. Wisdom Goal - Mediate 5x/week. I am a pretty anxious person and I learned that even 10 minutes of meditation makes a whole world of diference in my day. Charisma Goal - Lose % bodyfat. I gained a bit of weight and I want to get back to where I was a month ago. My measurements will be taken on wednesday so only then will I be able to update this goal with an actual number.
  19. I was doing well with lifting a few months ago running 5/3/1, and playing with other intermediate level programs. But, life was turned upside down and after five months off of regular access to a full gym, I need to rebuild my foundation. I re-building my base strength by running Starting Strength -- with a few tweaks perhaps. I've made this very detailed so that I can follow it precisely without any second guessing and to give myself an "objective to-do list" so I stay consistent and don't change something just because I'm bored. My main purpose in posting this here is to cast a wide net and get some more diverse feedback on what I've got and see if there's anything I've forgotten or any advice to improve it. Current Program Based on Starting Strength. Main Objectives: I. Rebuild strength base and recondition to lifting after several months off of training. II. Correct mistakes and fix weaknesses that may have arisen from shortcuts and deviations during my initial beginner phase. III. Try to extend linear progression as long as possible before graduating to an intermediate program. 1) Start Protocol: Here are my starting weights, sets, and reps for all lifts, though Press, and Power Cleans have not been added. I'll add those in to alternate between bench and deadlifts after the first deload to allow extra recovery. I'm debating whether to alternate front squats or high bars with low bar down the road for a similar reasons to help on squat. I'm not starting with just the bar, but weights that are easy enough, while still making me sweat. (most are probably in the 30-50% range of my old maxes). Squat: 135# 5x5 Bench: 105# 5x5 Deadlift: 185# 1x5 Press: 65# 5x5 Power Clean: 95# 5x5 My next workout will be: Squat: 155# 5x5 Bench: 120# 5x5 Deadlift: 205# 5x5 2) Workout Protocol The goal is to execute planned weights, sets, and reps on the main lifts with strict and proper form and allow proper recovery between sets. The main three lifts for the day come first always. Optional assistance lifts or callisthenics include: chinups, pullups, pushups, lunges, light KB work, core exercises, curls, and overhead pressing movements (prior to the addition of the press as a lift). No additional assistance lifts will be added unless they are needed to compensate for failed reps. Each set will have 2-5 min of rest between. On this, less is better provided my rate of breathing and my pulse have returned to a comfortable but active rate. (How it feels to walk at a moderate pace for several minutes). If a mistake or weakness is detected during a lift, it must be corrected by mental cue on the next rep. Otherwise the set is considered a failure. I will allow ONE AND ONLY ONE makeup set for a lift if I believe the set failed due to improper but still correctable form or lack of rest between sets. I can add an assistance lift, IF AND ONLY IF, a fail to reach 5x5 on a main lift, and the assistance lift has relevant corrective benefit to the lift and the aspect of its failure. 3) Progression Protocol. For each successful 5x5 workout, I will increase, by set weights depending on which deload phase (the number of deloads I've done previously). The goal being to maintain a linear progression throughout the program. Phase 0 Phase 1 Phase 2 Squat: +10 +5 +2.5 Bench: +5 +5 +2.5 Deadlift: +10 +10 +5 Press: +5 +2.5 +1.25 Power Clean: +5 +2.5 +1.25 For now all my workouts are squat, bench, and deadlift (SBD). And when time permits I throw in an assistance lift or two. This is to get my big three up by taking advantage of LP. 4) Follow Deload protocol I will deload and graduate between phases when I have not achieved 5x5 at the weight two workouts in a row. Deloads will be 10-15%. Bench Deload: After first, alternate workouts between Bench and Strict Press while maintaining 5x5 and 5 lbs increases. Deadlift Deload: After first, alternate workout between Deadlift and Power Clean while maintining 5x5 and 10 lbs increases. Squat Deload(?): After first, alternate workout between Low Bar and High bar squat, maintain 5x5 and 10 lbs increases. Proceed through Deload phases with decreasing weights. After Phase 2, deload 10-15% and reduce sets x reps to 3x5 and begin at phase 0. 5) Recovery Protocol a. Only add workouts to compensate for anticipated appointments or circumstances that make it impossible to get to the gym. b. Never lift more than four days in one week. c. Never lift for more than two consecutive days. d. In the event of obvious, and ongoing physical limitations to my normal activities: 1. If the limitation is limited to one part of the body deload 10% on lifts that affect that part of the body. 2. If the limitation is systemic, drop assistance work, deload all lifts 10%. 3. Consider an increase of fluids, calories, and protein. 4. Add additional recovery and warmup work as appropriate. e. In the event of injuries, drop all lifts affecting the injured body part until the injury has healed. Take appropriate action to help recover the injury. Deload lifts affect the injured body part a minimum of 10%. f. Get 8 hours of sleep every night (or at least on average). g. Maintain good hydration levels. 6) Graduation protocol Follow the program until a stall during phase 2 on the 3x5 program is reached. Afterward program the lift in a 5/3/1 cycle. When all lifts have graduated, deload, and begin an intermediate program. 7) Abort protocol Only quit this program if any problems persist despite following the recovery protocol.
  20. I'll be continuing on the path to a body weight bench press. Bench Goal 1: Be methodical Last challenge I switched up my program three times trying to manage recovery, and realized I was just biting more than I could chew and decided to back off and retrain my base. So... I'll be doing Starting Strength from the near beginning. For this goal I have to stick to the plan: (spoilered cuz long and complicated) A bit wordy because I need to lay down specifics for myself and things I can check off to make sure I've done all I can. tl;dr Stick to the program until you've gotten all you can get from it. 1) Don't take big unnecessary jumps on lifts 2) Try to maintain LP as long as possible by decreasing weight increases 3) Put recovery first 4) Don't jump into an intermediate program when I get bored. Sidequest: Buy or make fractional plates/weights. Grading: ... ? Just stick to the plan pass/fail. I doubt I'll encounter any big challenges this first month, so there are not really any excuses. Bench Goal 2: Be Consistent Maintain 2-3 weekly workouts. Track workouts using fitnotes. Sidequest: I've dusted off my battle log recently. I'll be posting all my workouts their. I want to get back to maintaining it so I have records not tied to challenge threads which are basically like toilet paper: use then flush. Grading: 12 workouts = A, 8 = D, <8 = F Goal 3, Track nutrition I need to get back to logging on MFP. Every day. Tracking macros. Grading: Percent of days tracked, usual scale. >90 A, <60 F Goal 4, Track weight and waistline first thing every morning. Measure each once a week. Grading: Same as nutrition. Sidequest: Identify the monthly trends Once I have all this data tracked I want to make sure I assess it and make sense of it at the end of the month in some kind of report. It would be good to observe when my weight spikes or decreases, and see if it's affecting my lifting. LUYL: Job Hunt: I need more money so I'm going to start looking around. So one application a week sounds good. I also want to explore within Amazon, where I currently work, for pathways into other departments/advancement. 5pts total. **************************************************** Weekly Measurements: Week Weight Waist Avg_Cals Avg_Pro Bench 0 273.6 39.5" -- -- 120 (5x5) 1 273.3 39.0" 2900 189 130 (5x5) 2 272.6 41.0" 3182 189 140 (5x5) 3 270.1 39.25" 3209 189 150 (5x5)
  21. Last challenge fizzled because of sick hubby, sick kiddos, and shark week. This challenge is an exercise in resilience and consistency. Most of these goals are resets from last challenge. Water As in, I don't drink enough of it. The Avatar cannot live on coffee alone (though it is delicious and wonderful and life-giving). Goal: Drink more water. I think I should be aiming for 100 ounces a day. (This is should work out to about 10 cups per day.) I tried working with my 24 oz water bottle last challenge, but I found I just didn't bring it to work often as I should have. So I am going to use a cup that I already have at my desk and switch to our drinking glasses at home. 26 days x 10 cups A = 260 cups B = 208 cups C = 156 cups F = below 156 CON +4 Earth Workouts towards the end of last challenge really fizzled, so this is going back to basics. 3 workouts x 4 weeks = 12 workouts A = 12 B = 10 C = 8 F = less than 8 STR +4 Fire Taking lunch to work rather than eating out 4/week x 4 weeks = 16 lunches A = 16 B = 13 C = 10 F = Anything less than 10 CON +3, WIS +1 Air Going to bed on time. Still trying to figure out the specific metrics for success. The main goal is to go to bed before 11. CON +3
  22. Reporting in with a thread for people who are starting with or are beginners in the world of weightlifting. Typical programs that are followed: Mark Rippetoe's: Starting Strength Mehdi's: Stronglifts Exit: stage right!
  23. So the Bye Weeks Challenge have made me realise something. Six weeks is too big a period of time for me to deal with in one go. It's like when I used to be at uni and would be given a huge assignment months in advance, I would do sod all for months and then live in the library for the last couple of weeks up until the deadline. Two weeks however is a much more manageable chunk. I feel like I can 'make a special effort for two weeks' in a way that sounds mentally exhausting to commit to for six weeks. Also with the usual six week format if I fuck up in the first couple of weeks I then feel like I have ruined the whole challenge so there is no point anyway. SO this time around I am breaking my challenge down in to 2 weeks blocks, starting unofficially over in the Bye Weeks Challenge. I will set my goals for the following two weeks. based on what I have learned on the proceeding two weeks. I might end up doing the same thing for another two weeks or I might make a few little tweaks.
  24. I'm an 18-year-old girl who is 4'11 and 90lbs. I just got a membership at my local YMCA and am interested in building strength through a beginner's program (i.e., Starting Strength). However, since I am not yet strong enough to do barbell work, I have been using dumbbells to work out, and I'm finding it difficult to make progress within some of the exercises I'm doing. Currently, I alternate between these two workouts: Workout A: 3x5 Goblet Squat (35lbs) 3x5 Dumbbell "Bench Press" (15lbs each arm) 1x5 Single-Dumbbell Deadlift (45lbs) Workout B 3x5 Goblet Squat (35 lbs) 3x5 Dumbbell Overhead Press (12lbs each arm) 2x5 (each side) Dumbbell Rows (12lbs each arm) I have been making progress in the deadlift (30lbs to 45lbs in 2 weeks, although I started light), but, for the most part, I find the 5-10lb jump in progression to be too heavy. Let me know what you guys think. Any advice or feedback is appreciated.
  25. A great group of people formed in the last 6 week challenge. So now we have a place to return to! Hope to see you all for your PR's, questions, tips and tricks!
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