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  1. UNDER CONSTRUCTION! Yikes a Ranger amongst the Warrior! Now i've been snooping here and there, so i know there are and have been quite a few Rangers among you. My plan for the upcoming months might explain my presence here. My fitness subscription ends at the end of the year. Starting next year i am gonna give CrossFit a try. Now the last couple of years i was more endurance than strength and in order to prep the best way i know for going CrossFit is to work on my weakness. Getting stronger! Over the last 2 years i have been (on and off) doing some lifting on my own, but since my goal has always been to "look-good-naked" i neglected the eating part that comes with getting stronger. So i have become a bit stronger but not like one would expect in roughly 1,5 years time. Last challenges at the rangers i tried to focus more on lifting and eventually got myself to give up on the strict eating i had done for years (which was quite scary as i didn't want to look like fat-bastard after that challenge) and just eat some more. Which seems like to work in terms of being able to lift heavier. Here and there i had some questions which i think could be easily answered by the common knowledge in this guild, this made me decide to join you fine guys (and galls) for a double challenge. I really don't like the 4 week format, so i decided i'm just gonna merge 2 challenges together, hence my Pt.1. In terms of things i want to work on these 2 challenges: Lifting (using Starting Strength as a base) Clean Eating (Healthy stuff with lots of protein) NoBeer (which needs to be a goal, to be able to pull this off, apparently) SMART goals (to be able to track stuff and see what I've accomplished) A LifeQuest (cause i'm a procrastination machine on some stuff) During this 0 week i will try to shape up this challenge in the best way possible to kick off right next week. So i will write out my goals, and put a scoring system on it to be able to (sMart) measure progress. Lifting Been following Starting Strength for the last 6 weeks. Broke my 5RM PR's but got a bit over enthusiastic and twitched a muscle on my left lower back in week 4. Been trying some deloaded weights with SQ and DL but it kept aggravating my lower back. So last week i completely stopped SQ and DL. Will introduce them at 60% next week when the challenge starts. Next to that i haven't starting the PowerCleans as i don't feel comfortable in doing them and seeing i will be doing CrossFit starting next year i think i can better wait it out a bit and get someone to teach me how to do it properly. With the BP and OHP i have been upping it with 2.5 kg each workout. I know i can't keep on doing that, so today is the first day i went from 67.5 to 68.5 and got a 5/5/4. Retry next workout and i think all will be good, if not i will deload. Clean Eating I'm keeping a fooddiary here in my daily checkins and logging it to MFP for some numbers. KCAL RANGE: Most positive: 2586 - 2821 Least positive: 2479 - 2704 Setting KCAL range to: 2500 - 2750 PROTEIN RANGE: Setting range to: 130g - 160g NoBeer This could be very simple. Just.Don't.Drink.(Alcohol)! I'm gonna give myself some leeway here. Reserving one day a week for some social-beering. And i have got some holiday related events where i can really enjoy some fine quality beer. So for this double challenge i will give myself 9 days of allowed moderate drinking (a couple is 1-3). And i know the weekend i will be out with the boys there will be some more drinking, just gonna try to keep it to a minimum and not overindulge... LifeQuest Yeah, will come to this (eventually). Input is very much appreciated as i like to be as efficient as possible!
  2. "Back to the Grind" Prologue: Vacation is over. Horizon is looking calm, except for some wee bumps. Last few weeks were hard on the part of me that wants to get fit(ter) and lean(er). Going on vacation with the bike was just a very bad combination in regards to maintaining strict about a lot of things. Being around a group of bikers that drinks heavily every evening, combine that with a person who loves to have a beer, and you get the picture. Not being able to workout due to a number of things (daily schedule and the heat over there being the most important factors). Back home i was still in vacation mode, not working out much (thank god for the StrongViking and the 12K at work). The wife returned last night from here short trip to Mallorca which closes this chapter of holidays. And i'm ready for the next step. I want to get back to the Challenge! Planning ahead i want to use the end of this year to prep myself for trading in Fitness for Crossfit starting next year. So i'm gonna make lifting my primary goal. Maximizing my strength to be able to handle heavy weights when it comes to the WOD from Crossfit. I've chosen Starting Strength (SS) as a base for this, i want to add some upper body work to this as this is the part i'm lacking... I need to (can) make the most progress in this part, and from the things i understand SS is not specifically meant (optimal) for this part. I'm still on the lookout for an answer to this question. For now i have made a start with a deload and restarting SS. Welcome To "THE GRIND" (sidequest: watch this video at the start of every lifting session, and preferably at the start of every day) The Challenge: This challenge will center around lifting and all goals will work towards maximizing progression.The goals will all be beneficiary to this cause. Except for the lifequest. There are a few things i'm postponing because i'm lacking courage of setting these gears in motion. I need to make a list about this and prioritize it. This will be first weeks goal and subsequent goals will be derived off of this. #1. "The Grind": Lifting 3 times a week. Monday Wednesday Friday. Start with a deload, work my way back up and beyond my PR's atm. No exceptions, make planning accordingly, work out possible schedule problems in advance. Allow for only one missed workout throughout the challenge (allowing for that one catastrophe to hit). Using Starting Strength as a base to get started. Looking for a good upper body plan to mix with SS. #2. "Sensible Fuelling": Eat to grow as a healthy Oak. Do.not.check.the.scale. I will get fatter, i will get heavier, i hopefully also will gain muscles in this process! The "sensible" part means two things. 1. Eat sensible in as healthy as possible. 2. Be sensible in the way that growing bigger will also mean gaining BF and become heavier. Last couple of challenges has shown it's impossible for me to gain strength without gaining weight/BF and keep this up for long time. Looking at the scales will make me give up for sure and go back to cutting, but i needz the muscles. Battleplan is to bulk till the end of the year, and when CrossFit is introduced (next year) revise the plan. #3. "Protein is Whey Cool": Keep up with the protein. Combining meat and whey as the primary sources of protein. Morning shake (combination of 6 types of protein) combined with Creatine at breakfast. Meat-leftovers for lunch A decent amount of meat (and make sure to leave some leftovers for the next day) Post-workout shake (Whey isolate) Protein shake before bedtime (Micellar Casein) #4. "Lose the booze": NO Drinking of beer, i have done this before, i can do this again. Stuff get's out of hand quickly when this is not a specific goal. Reporting back to you guys i have been acing this goal really gets me to stick to it! I allowed for 2 exceptions: one bottle of beer on my birthday-party (next saturday) and my actual birthday (sept. 28). Which makes a total of 2 bottles of beer throughout this 6WC. Next to this i try to drink as clean as possible, drinking mostly tea and water. When i really need a change-up it will probably be a diet-Lipton, but certainly not more than 2 glasses a day and certainly not every day (more like 2 times a week max). #5. "Sleep, i must": Last few weeks i have had seriously too little sleep. Going to bed later and later. Now going back to work (and having the alarm clock going at 06:00 am to drag my ass out of bed by 06:10 am) i have to make sure i get enough sleep. When i have to get to work the next day i need to be in bed before 11:00 p.m. The other days i have to be in bed before 12:00 a.m. Exceptions to these rules, when i'm away for the evening. This usually means being at a party or playing cards at a friends house. This doesn't happen all that much, and i generally don't make it very late, usually home between 01:00 am and 02:00 am. #### LifeQuest ###: There is some stuff that needs to get done which i'm constantly postponing. First week's part of this "lifequest" will be: make a list of 5 things that have to be done that keep getting postponed AND prioritize it. This quest will be changed in the weekend of week 1. DISCLAIMER: There is a small chance another OCR will be planned for somewhere in October, this challenge has to be seriously revised if this happens.
  3. RESPAWN!!! Wow, y'all spiffied up while I was gone. Keeping this challenge pretty loose, so hopefully I can actually complete a challenge without falling off the face of the earth again. Quest #1: Getting Strong, Yo (me doing the OHP) Starting Strength 3x per week Reset my Starting Strength program on Friday, so I have baseline work set numbers to start from. Squat: 55lbs OHP: 20lbs Bench: 25lbs Deadlift: 55lbs Starting Measurements: Weight: 140.4lbs Fat %: 28.5 Bust: 36.75" Waist: 34.25" Hips: 37.5" Rewards: +5 STR Rogue Fitness sweatshirt I've had my eye on for the nights when the garage is a little chilly for working out Quest #2: Pretending to be an adult This quest involves choosing to do some adulting every day. Examples: fold some of the 4-5 loads of clean laundry kicking around, pull weeds, clear clutter off the kitchen table so we have a place to eat dinner all together... Basically any type of activity that doesn't fall into watching stupid YouTube videos or the next quest. Rewards: +3 WIS Either a new porcelain travel mug to replace the one I broke or a new lunch box/bag to replace the one that's wearing out on me Quest #3: Do something creative every day Things that fall into this category: - Art journal - Learning my new tablet & digital program combo - Practicing the ear training exercises my vocal coach assigned - Learning the song my coach & I are working on (is there a way to embed the youtubes in the new forum set up?) Rewards: +2 CHA I'm thinking maybe some artist grade watercolor supplies (Arches paper & tube paints maybe)
  4. Three fitness quests & one life quest? Sounds like four elements to me. Theme also partially chosen because I'm binge watching Avatar in preparation to finally watch Legend of Korra. 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. My favorite water bottle holds ~24 ounces, so I need to be drinking 4 of those plus half a glass over the course of the day. Since going from essentially no extra water outside of my coffee & tea habit to 100 ounces seems a bit drastic, I will score this as a total over the course of the challenge. 26 days X 100 ounces = 2600 ounces XP will be awarded as a percentage of this number is reached. (I will calculate out this amount once I figure out the new scoring system and epic goals and all that.) Earth This element is the main reason for moving to the warriors guild, continue to lift heavy things. I am 2 months into the Starting Strength programming and want to continue progressing forward. My epic goal for 2015 is to get to a 1x bodyweight deadlift. If my deadlift continues to progress and I continue to lose weight, this will happen relatively shortly. Current deadlift: 125lbs Current weight: 140lbs My lifting schedule struggled a little over the holidays, plus the cold snap we had here in the PNW (my home gym is in an uninsulated garage). So this first challenge of the year is going to revolve around just getting back out to the gym consistently. 4 weeks X 3 workouts per week = 11 workouts for this challenge (the last week of the challenge ends on a Friday, and thus the Saturday workout doesn't count) XP will be awarded as a percentage of this number is reached. (I will calculate out this amount once I figure out the new scoring system and epic goals and all that.) Fire Mastering the fire element means making fire work for me instead of against me. In the case of this challenge, it is going to be making my own food at home instead of falling into the easy trap of just going to get something. This serves two purposes for me (1) it's more healthy and (2) it's much cheaper. My big pit falls are lunches to take to work, grabbing something to eat on the way home from work, and not feeling like cooking on the weekends (so I usually send hubby out for something for the four of us). 26 days X 2 meals per day cooked at home = 52 meals XP will be awarded as a percentage of this number is reached. (I will calculate out this amount once I figure out the new scoring system and epic goals and all that.) Just for kicks, according to this calculation, those 56 meals out would cost me $714 dollars (just for me, that doesn't count the fact that I'm usually going with my hubby and probably both girls). Giving myself a generous food budget of $5 per meal made at home ($2-4 is pretty reasonable for most meals, but we're just being theoretical at this point), that points to a cost of $280 for those 56 meals made at home, for a net savings of $434 over the course of four weeks. I don't know about you, but I could think of a lot of things I'd rather spend $400 dollars on than food. Air Slight stretch here, but stay with me. The air nomads gave up attachment to physical things in order to master their element. In an effort to get control over our home, I am working through setting up a system called The House That Cleans Itself (there is apparently a new version out since I bought this book, but this is the one I'm using). The systems calls for moving through every area of your home, purging, cleaning, and setting up new systems to help your house stay neat and orderly. For this challenge, my goal is two-fold: (1) spend (at least) 20 minutes per day implementing the system and (2) finish all of the steps outlined in the book in our entryway. I am partially through the purge and clean steps after a pretty intense session out there this weekend. (Our heat pump died over the holiday & we needed to have space for someone to come look at it today.) 26 days X 1 20 minute sprint per day + n bonus XP for completing the entry way XP will be awarded as a percentage of this number is reached. (I will calculate out this amount and the amount of 'n' once I figure out the new scoring system and epic goals and all that.) Edited to adjust numbers slightly based on the challenge being 26 days instead of 28.
  5. Alas, I am back as an Adventurer after a failed series of missions as an Assassin. My cache of lives have been consumed and I am seeking a respawn point on this journey of life. So this I am going to mix things up and try to pick up the pieces and start over. My current motivation is to be in shape and capable of doing a 5K in September, marching a halftime with the Longhorn Alumni Band on September 19, and survive the hills (and Amy's bootcamp) at Camp NF 2015. This time I need to kick butt and take names. My current stats? I've gained weight, but I've lost body fat, but I'm not happy with either. = 46% body fat. It's better than 52% like I was before, but I have gained back 30 pounds over last year even though I have been active. My diet is still kinda screwed up. My diet primarily consists of meat with little else. I've started making stew more often to increase my vegetable amounts and eating fresh local fruit. I can make a change. I want to be around 350 at the time of camp, which is a makeable goal if I keep up with things. My strength training baseline? I went to the gym tonight and did a series of squats, presses, and benches and then cursed myself out for how I have let myself fall. Squat: 145 pounds. (I was at 205 earlier this year) Bench: 115 pounds (I was at 145) Press: 95 pounds (I was at 125) Deadlift: 140 pounds (I was at 180 earlier) Hack Squat: 175 pounds (I was at 240 earlier) So my goal in this cycle is to at least be back to where I was before I became a slacker. So this means at least three nights in the gym. As for walking/jogging/running, I've had a goal to do at least 70K steps a week. The problem that I have is that I need to increase the intensity of my walking because I generally don't raise my pulse rate significantly while walking. However, increasing the intensity may come at the cost of maintaining my step count (see more about this below). I do not get a significant amount of steps in at work (usually 1500~2000 steps at the most), so most of these steps occur in evening walks alone at the skate park or when I walk my dog. However, this doesn't leave me much free time for the gym or swimming (to get my step count up, I have to do 2~3 miles usually, which will take close to a hour considering the drive and the speed of my walk). Since it is Summer and Texas is oppressively hot, I've gone to the gym to do water aerobics at the expense of stopping my strength training. I need to balance this better. Things get a lot easier in the fall when it gets to be cool again, but that is still months away. So for this challenge: Quest 1: Use Starting Strength to get my strength training back in shape. Also, within 15 minutes of me waking up the second time in the morning (there is a story in this, but you have to ask me about it in person), do a regimen of bodyweight activities to loosen me up and keep me limber. Quest 2: Walk/Jog/Run as I can, but don't make 10K steps a must every day if it comes at the expense of other activities. Increase the intensity by increasing my stride or speed, or actually start interspersing a jog or run into my walks. I tend to do these after dark around 10:30~12:00 to avoid the heat. Quest 3: Stop eating out and eating crap (I meant to use a different more stronger word, but want to keep this PG). Increase the vegetable and fruit count and decrease snacks. Increase water consumption. I need an accountability partner. I need someone who can proverbially kick my butt when I'm slacking. Positive reinforcement doesn't seem to work for me and I need bluntness for motivation. I hope this challenge goes better than the last two.
  6. Hi guys fairly new around here just need to make sure this isn't going to kill me. When I set up I don't have a fully straight back I don't think? But it corrects itself after the first pull from the ground. Also my head positioning how can I get that to go inline with my spine. Any thoughts? I usually foam roll before and after workouts also to give this some background. 20 years old 73.7KG 5 ft 8 Been doing a starting strength style program although with squatting twice a week monday and wednesday with chin ups subbed in for powercleans since i can't do them still alternating overhead pressing and bench presses. Friday is deadlifts,bench/ovp and rows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1N4ko42hmU#t=49
  7. Main Goal: Recomposition I WANT IT ALL. I want to get stronger, much stronger, and lose weight at the same time. Strap yourself in and watch me chase what some might consider a Holy Grail of bodybuilding. I started this week on a long term goal of doing recomposition. This will be no easy task and require some serious commitments to making it work. It will require that I very finely tune my nutrition to my workout/life schedules. Timing of meals, macronutrients, workouts, stress, sleep, fluids... these are all going to be factors that I need to tune up. This thread will skip most of the details, and will mostly serve as a venue for friends to cheer me on, and for me to post the landmarks related specifically to my goals. If you want more detail on the plan, I started a battle log yesterday Here: http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/39161-darwinian-fitness-the-demon-takes-on-recomposition/ This challenge is coming early in the effort, so I'll be laying some of the ground work here. Just a few simple goals to get started. Like I mentioned, there are a lot of factors, so I'm going to start simple and develop a baseline. Also, I should give a nod to Donar, a NF warrior who has demonstrated that this is possible and whose example I'm following. Goal 1: Nail the macros daily Everyday I have to eat within 10g of my macronutrient goals and within 50 calories of my total caloric intake. And no alcohol for the first two weeks... period. If all is going well when the two weeks are up, I may celebrate that fact with one or two Guinesses (155 cal a can). I'll also need a plan for T-day. Maybe try to nail all my macros in one meal? (ehh, that'd be counterproductive) For grading I'll do a simple 3 points a day, 1 for each macro category, and use the percentage to determine the grade. Goal 2: Workout 3 times a week and be consistent on progression/programming. I am doing stronglifts 5x5, and am currently planning a switch to starting strength (almost the same, but a little more variety). A couple times I've gotten cocky and done extra increases, added things on the spur of the moment, or started overtraining something. During this challenge, I will stick to the following plan throughout. Do either workout A or B depending which day it is. Then do one, and only one, accessory workout or practice a form. Then, outside the gym, no other exercises. I need be consistent because I am going to be honing my nutrition program based on my workout program. For the moment I will be practicing power cleans as my accessory. I haven't learned these yet and they're part of starting strength. Once I have them down, I'll move them into my regular workouts and do other accessory work. Grading: percentage of total points. 1 point per workout, 1 point for being consistent (4 exercises as planned, no excess, no slack). Goal 3: Track measurements, calculate body fat, weekly and adjust to maintain body weight. Recomp is all about turning fat into muscle. I'm overweight, but I feel healthy. I need to figure out my metabolism. Later I can try burning off the weight as needed. Adjust as needed. If weight goes up, cut 100 cals/day. If body fat does not go down while weight stays the same, cut 100 cals/day. Stalls in progress, more protein? more calories? (depends on what's going on with weight/BF) I'll get my official starting weight on day one of the challenge. There's a bunch of stuff to adjust. I'll deal with it when I get there depending on the problem. Grading: Lots of variables. Basically, I pass with good effort, taking all measurements, and making sensible adjustments, and things don't go off the rails. A: 3/3 (regular strength increases, body fat loss, no change in weight) B: 2/3 C: 1/3 D: some weight loss >5 lbs, but no strength loss, and I at least got closer to figuring out the balance F: off the rails, 5lbs. gained/lost, loss of strength, body fat increases Life Goal: Become a thriftier shopper -- especially for food I spend way too much on food, and drinks. Mainly, I don't take the time to look for deals, buy whatever, and spend extra on convenience. This is getting especially important as I'm trying to eat healthier. But I've got to be careful not to buy unhealthy foods. Some strategies: by as many sale items as possible coupons? I need to find some of these go to farmer's market more often for vegetables/stick to seasonal choices bus to larger grocery stores and buy in bulk take advantage of free food opportunities (but only if its stuff other than junk food, which is rare) etc. Grading: save food receipts, for all food including restaurants etc., for the 6 week challenge A: under $300 spent B: under $350 C: under $400 D: under $450 F: over $450 Since this is all a big experiment, for your entertainment: SCIENCE! http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2013/10/mouse-impervious-scorpions-sting
  8. Main Quest: I want to be fit by forty. My main goals are weight loss and building strength. My goal weight is currently 125 lbs which I hope to attain by May 2014. However, I may revise that as I am aiming for strong and fit as opposed to skinny and weak. At the end of this challenge I would like to weigh 160 pounds or less. I would also like to be able to do one un-assisted chin up by the end of this challenge. I can currently only do 1-2 chin-ups with 2 resistance bands. Challenge Goals: Do barbell or bodyweight workout 3x per week I plan on beginning the Starting Strength program once all my home gym equipment is in place and assembled. I hope to get this started by the second week of this challenge(11/17). In the meantime, I will continue the Rebel Fitness Workouts(currently Level 3 Outcast) Chin-ups will be done at each workout. Grading: | A | 18-16 workouts | B | 15-14 workouts | C | 13-12 workouts | D | 11-10 workouts | F | < 10 workouts Do 30 minutes of cardio 2x per week Currently this is run/walk intervals on the treadmill, but I reserve the right to substitute other activities. Grading: | A | > 323 minutes | B | > 287 minutes | C | > 251 minutes | D | > 215 minutes | F | <= 215 minutes Keep a food journal and stay within my calorie and macro goals. I’ll be grading myself on the amount over or under my goal for total calories(1350-1750 per day) and for the amount under my goals for protein(133 grams per day), and fiber(35 25 grams per day). I reserve the right to re-evalute these goals mid-challenge once I've begun the Starting Strength program. I will be grading the weekly average. Weekly Grade Calories:| A | +/- 0-50 | B | +/- 51-100 | C | +/- 101-150 | D | +/- 151-200 | F | +/- >201 Weekly Grade Protein:| A | > 120 grams | B | > 107 grams | C | > 94 grams | D | > 81 grams | F | < 81 grams Weekly Grade Fiber:| A | > 23 grams | B | > 20 grams | C | > 17 grams | D | > 14 grams | F | < 12 grams Motivation: I want to be fit by forty! (Not fat AND forty) Life Side Quest: I need to do a better job of tracking and evaluating my son's insulin usage and blood sugar history. (He is 10 and has Type 1 Diabetes)To do this, I will download the data from his blood sugar meter and insulin pump once per week, evaluate the results, and make any necessary modifications. Grading: | A | 6 downloads | B | 5 downloads | C | 4 downloads | D | 3 downloads | F | < 3 downloads Starting Statistics(pounds and inches) (to be filled in on Sunday 11/10) Age | 39 years 10 months | Height | 60 | Date | 11/10/2013 | Weight | 165.8 | BF % | 35.6 |(measured with caliper) Bust | 40 | Chest | 35.75 | Waist | 35.75 | Hips | 43.25 | L Thigh | 26.5 | L Calf | 15.5 | L Upper Arm | 13.1 | Neck | 14 |
  9. I'm on a new quest. This last year for my body has been just terrible. I have injury after injury. Bad knees and a thrown back, on top of having to stop weights to start run training for my PT test have shown me quite a few setbacks. Now I'm onto this new quest "Operation Big Blue Ox". I got the name thinking of Paul Bunion. I want to spend the winter getting big and be unrecognizable when I take off the flannel in the spring. I'm hoping for a great winter of growth. I seen some dips in my already unimpressive numbers since switching my training. Now that that PT test is behind me I can get back on the strength training. I'm starting on the my journey with Starting Strength. With my introductory workout the other day was lackluster, but that just leaves me lots of room for improvement. The numbers were: Squat: 115 Press:75 Dead-lift:135 Chin-up 5/4/4 Dips:5/5(25#assist)/5(35#assist) I only do dips on days where I don't do the bench press, just to get my arms up to snuff. I'm trying to figure out what days to add sprints into this. If anyone has any tips or criticism, let me know.
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