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  1. I'm back for my second challenge! What's changed? Well, I have decided to say farewell to the Rangers and join the Warriors! Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement. I am looking forward to working on this one for the full 4 weeks, as I joined my first one a few days late. THE GOALS: Write weekly blog posts Create a content calendar by 4/25 and post it to the NF thread COMPLETE 4/25! Share links of weekly blog posts on NF thread to keep me accountable Finish setting up website Finish setting up footer, social media threads, related posts, and all miscellaneous template stuff by 5/7/17. Website is www.kaylamaeanderson.com for those of you that are curious. Hit macros 5/7 days/week I downloaded the MyMacros + app to help me track Current Macros are: Protein 122 Carbs 152 Fat 59 Calories 1623 Make macro-friendly snacks over the weekend to have on hand throughout the week Complete morning routine 5/7 days per week M/W/F up at 5:15am T/Th up at 6:15am M/W/F 5:30-7:00 Gym 7:15-7:30 Shake/coffee 7:30-8:15 Journal and Meditation 8:15 Get ready for work T/Th 6:15-6:30 Coffee/Walk Dog 6:30-6:45 Breakfast 6:45-7:15 Journal and meditation 7:15-8:15 Work on blogs/performance pieces
  2. Hello Fellow Rangers! Just sticking this here as a bookmark. I feel like my last challenge was good but there's plenty of room to build on!
  3. Hello Surface-Dwellers! Well, I have not been successful my last two challenges and was knocked off my path by a deluge of poor choices. Interestingly enough the Deluge attempts to thwart Aquaman's initiatives in Aquaman Rebirth #1. Thus, I myself will take on the Deluge in an attempt to gain complete control of my fitness life. My goal is to get back in the habit of regularly going to the gym and lifting. This is what I like, it makes me feel, I like feeling stronger and I like knowing that I can push myself in this way. Thus, to defeat the Deluge I will: Lift at least 3 times per week using the Stronglifts 5x5 program. Do a cardio activity at least twice a week (bike, run, swim, 1 mile or more walk with my dog, mowing my lawn with a push mower, etc.) Tame the wild shrubbery around my shed. Self-Care - because it's important to re-charge - finish the book Star Wars: Scoundrels OR beat (i.e., just finish, not necessarily 100%) Lego Star Wars The Force Awakens. Deluge is a terrorist organization within Atlantis and can be defeated with diligence. I will give it a health of 25. Each activity done will deplete his life by 1 health. However, if I fail to meet a weekly goal (i.e., I only do cardio once in the week), then he gains 2 health points back. If I do MORE than the weekly minimum, I deal him an extra 1/2 health point of damage. Here we go!
  4. This time 'round, I'm trying something new. I've been thinking for a while I'd like to try lifting heavy things (other than myself) and putting them back down again. Reading here and there led me to the Stronglifts 5x5 program, which seems simple enough, and is also free, so I decided to try that. I found a gym that I feel somewhat comfortable in (I don't take to exercising in public very naturally) and has the equipment I'll need. I downloaded the Stronglifts app. And now I guess I'm ready to go. Or something... I also did a little research about ways to run a faster 5k (since I have no desire to ever run more than 5k at any one time), and have cobbled together a sort of running program (any I found that were made for me involved running 5-6x/week, which simply won't happen). So, the challenge this time will mainly involve sticking to the plan and doing what I'm told. Goal 1 - Stronglifts Follow the program. That is all. Goal 2 - Run Run 2-3x/week, on non-lifting days. I will do 1 interval workout, 1 longer slower run, and 1 hill run, not necessarily in that order. For the intervals, I will use a track when I can and my street when I can't (the track is at a high school, and while I don't think I'd get in trouble if I used it while school was in, I don't really want teenagers watching me...), and will work up to 10x(distance) (for the record, on the track that's 10x400m, for my street it's 10x~330m). The long slow run will be somewhere relatively flat but with nice things to look at to combat boredom, mostly likely on the University campus, and maybe along the river, depending on the distances. The hill run will be my regular route around the block, done twice, for ~4k. Goal 3 - Stretch This one is so easy for me to slack with, and hoo boy, have I been slacking. This is simple, as it always is: stretch most things every day, ideally within 30mins of completing my workout for the day. Goal 4 - Domestic Rangering I had decent success with getting my room clean, then keeping it that way by having a goal to tidy once per week. I've slacked with this as well, and while the floordrobe is not as big as it has been in the past, and the dust is not as thick, and the carpet not as hairy (from the dogs, not me), it's still gotten closer to the 'messy' end of the spectrum than it was (and a chairdrobe has started to form). So I'll get things cleaned up by the end of week one, then tidy/put away clean laundry/vacuum/dust once per week on Sundays. Goal 5 - Sleep In bed by 11pm on work nights (or midnight on my late shift, and on nights before off days), and up by 9:15am at the latest (when I work earlier shifts I have to get up earlier, obviously, but no sleeping in for hours and hours on days when I don't have to get up early). No lazing in the morning (ie. get up when the alarm goes off, no laying in bed and risking drifting back to sleep). Simple as that. Timing I originally had a goal to do strength 3x/week, and run 3x/week, but upon reflection, I don't think that's going to happen. So I will be alternating strength and run days and doing exercise 5 days a week, with my 2-job day (where I work more or less from 8am-9pm between my 2 jobs) and my day off of all jobs as my off days from exercise. Trying to force myself to workout at 9:30pm after being on the go for 13 hours is an exercise in futility and will just end in disappointment, and I know I will need that day off to be a day off of everything in order to stay sane.
  5. The Intro Spiel Improvement is difficult. It’s difficult to attain, and for me it’s difficult to see. Yet I’ve seen it in the past couple of challenges, which means I must be doing something right. Yes, I’ve continued with the odd slip’n’slide theme of starting strong, getting knocked down part-way through, and then having to get back up again, but the hits I take seem less and getting back up seems easier. I think this sets me up perfectly for the second part of Phase One. The plan originally revolved around building up savings, and while I’m by no means affluent, I’ve managed to secure extra hours at work and have cut down considerably on my energy costs. Thanks to summer I need no heating whatsoever and I can make do through most of the day with no need for lights to be switched on for any great length of time, plus shorter, cooler showers. The main thing I’m fighting now is my own dissatisfaction at my situation, at that little voice that says, “Hey, it’s ok, just spend X amount for Y object, you’ve got more money now.” Sure, I have marginally more money, but I mean to continue living on as tight a budget as possible. Allowances will be made for food and household necessities only. The System This time around the system will be slightly different. Three main goals that function as little boss battles, plus lists of objectives that will earn me health and rage points. While I enjoyed the freedom the lists provided last time, I found a small issue with not having enough focus and sort of wandering without much of an aim other than ‘fit X, Y, and Z’ into my day. The Boss Lyssa, the very same spirit of madness who inflicted the great Hercules with insanity. She stalks from a distance, not yet close enough to cast that fatal blow, but close enough to inflict anger and frustration, boredom and spurts of reckless impulsiveness. Defeating her will be tricky, more a mental game than physical. The key lies in defeating her cohorts, the Maniae. Once they are defeated, she will be considerably weakened and dispatching her will be easier. The Game Plan 1st Mania: Insanity 10,000 KB Swing Challenge Though I started this at the beginning of the month, my goal is to stick to the program and complete it successfully. After all, it is four weeks. Four weeks to kick my ass back into gear. Four weeks to reset. Four weeks of simplicity during which I can re-evaluate my fitness situation and decide where to go next. In order to avoid a typical Yeti-disaster, there has been a change of plan for the Insanity goal that is explained in this post and the battle log entry linked within. Instead of the 10,000 swings, I will instead be moving on to SL5x5. I was debating between that and 5/3/1. As it is, I definitely think I've got the potential for the kind of linear progression SL aims for, so I will continue with that until such progression is no longer possible. At the end of the challenge I will test my one rep maxes as I'd originally planned to do. 2nd Mania: Madness Boring, Boring Diet For budget and health considerations. While I have come a long way to cutting out a lot of the crap I tend to buy when I feel, well, crappy, I do slip from time to time. The aim this challenge is to stop those slips and make only informed decisions. I also aim to do the following: Eat more on workout days, less on rest days Drink at least three litres of water a day Phase out rice/pasta on rest days, replace with veg Since I’ve spent the last few days making, terrible, terrible nutrition decisions, I’m bringing back the meal posting thing for accountability. 3rd Mania: Crazed Frenzy Build-a-home Home is where I spend the most time, therefore my home needs to reflect my need for comfort and health. By the end of the challenge I will have completed my ‘too much stuff’ purge, rearranged my living room, organised my kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom, and will have made good progress in decorating my study/gym. The Bonus Points Health +5 per: 20xp Duolingo, 1 hour spent on OU Free, 30 min spent on knitting project, 30 min spent on guitar, tending the garden/veg garden, 5 minute meditation, wild food foraged, photo walk, 30 min spent reading Rage +5 per: Primal movement session (5-15mins), 3 minutes accumulate deadhang, 10 minutes accumulated deep squat, three miles walked, 5 minutes foam rolling, mobility session, yoga session The Closing Speech There we have it. Things are a bit more structured this time, and each goal is set up for progression. I’m about 75% certain which direction I want to take things once I finish the 10,000 swing challenge, but I will use these weeks for careful consideration. I know exactly where I want to take my diet, but that requires time and adjustment. And I know what kind of home I want to live in, but again that requires time (and a little extra money). In short, this time around I know what I want to do, and I have the drive to do it. It’s easier to look at a long term plan and be comfortable with the fact that I need to hit several smaller goals before I reach my big, life-changing moments.
  6. I recently started Stronglifts 5x5, and have a question regarding the barbell rows. In the videos that come along with the program, the guy makes a point of saying that the torso should be parallel to the floor when doing a barbell row. At the starting weight of 65lb, I can't get into that position, as my lower back isn't strong enough to support that. I had my upper body at an angle greater than 90° but otherwise had decent form and I only had a little bit of trouble with 65lb. From what I could find with a quick internet search, it seems like either way is fine as long as I'm keeping my back in a neutral position and not rounded, which I am. But, since I'm new to this lifting thing, I was wondering if it would it be better for me to lower the weight to a point where I can maintain a parallel upper body, or to continue the program as it's written with my upper body at a greater angle and just worry about keeping my back in a neutral position? What impact dose the angle of the upper body have on the exercise?
  7. Some of you may remember me. Yes, it is I of kettlebell and Hero's Journey fame. This will be my first Four week challenge...and I find them pretty weird...but I'll try? *Ahem* Moving on: Welcome to Clone Club. We don't use the "C" word For those of you who don't know Orphan Black...wow. You've been missing out. So this brit girl Sarah arrives at a train station, ostensibly on her way some where. As she gets off the train, she sees a girl who looks just like her commit suicide. Sarah, being the thrifty sort, picks up the girl's bag and steals her identity. Jokes on you Sarah, turns out the girl was a cop. Oh, and your clone. I could go on and on about how well Tatiana Maslany conveys each of the clones. They're all very different people--it's really amazing. But then I wouldn't get to talk about me...and that's why you're here... right? Right? As I've technically missed a week (though I have been operating under these challenges) I'll deduct points. 11.25 points to go around this time. Challenge 1: Helena or Hardest to Kill +5 STR I thought a lot about which Sestra would represent the STR part of these challenges. All these girls are strong, Sarah has survived being handed a pretty bad hand in life, Alison gets the job done, no matter what it is, Cosima holds everyone together...but in the end, I had to pick Helena. I mean she is physically the most fit to kick tail. And while her hold on sanity is somewhat...tenuous, she has survived unthinkable things. So, just what am I doing that deserves 5 STR points?? Stronglifts baby. That's right. I'm actually in my sixth week but a few of those weeks only had two workouts (sometimes your body just needs to recover and when your rest day isn't a rest day...). I feel invincible, most of the time! But, all those workouts won't do a think If I'm not-- Challenge 2: Alison or All together now +2 CON, +2 WIS eating like a grown up. Jeez louise, I've had some days when I...well my eating habits suddenly turn atrocious. This challenge will require Alison's verve. I just need to get the thing done. And as the, sometimes resentful, clone caretaker, Alison is usually the most concerned about her loved ones leading a nutritionally balanced lifestyle. My Fitness Pal anyone? Yup, I'm gonna track every bite I eat. This is the harder version of this challenge--usually I cop out and say I'll just make sure I'm on track calorie-wise. Not today. This gonna suck at first. But I'll do it. I really will. Challenge 3: Cosima or Completely Bendy +1.25 DEX To say Cosima is the most flexible of the main house Clone club is putting it mildly. Every single one of these ladies is bull headed and head strong, but when it comes to the clone club crew, Cosima is open to everything and willing to bend (very rarely true of the others). Plus, doesn't Cosima just sound like the name of your friendly neighborhood local Yogi? Yes, this is the one with the stretching.5 min a day? Let's see how this goes... Challenge 4: Sarah or Something more +1 WIS/+1 CHA This is an either or type of deal. But the idea is to do something at least once a week that will improve my future. Language learning? Letters of Continued interest to Law schools? Applying for Jobs. All of the above. And why Sarah? Well she'a bit of an odd duck in that she's the only one with a biological child. And everything she does is for her daughter. Protecting the future...ehhhh? geddit? I might do a bonus challenge to earn back those points I missed. Like a feel good, get out of the house and do something, make something new challenge. Will keep posted!
  8. So, I’m about as noob as can be when it comes to having a proper healthy lifestyle. I used to never have issues with my weight. Being 5’0†and petite with my mom’s Filipino frame I could eat anything I wanted without worries. I was an "unhealthy-skinny" person; where my metabolism happened to offset my terrible diet of soda and chips. That being said, I was never fit. I was that stereotypical inconsistent-gym-go’er who sat on various machines because it looked about right. I didn't have a plan, no predetermined amount of sets or reps; I had absolutely no clue what I was doing. So I would do a few of the machines, walk a few laps, give myself a pat on the back and grab a venti latte from Starbucks as a reward. Then the inevitable: Hello 30s. Having three babies within 5 years took a toll on my body. The yo-yo weight gain & loss, a pesky hyperthyroid condition that would creep up and then disappear, the lack of sleep and mediocre nutrition has left me at the heaviest I’ve ever been. So here I am at 5’0†carrying 145 pounds on a frame meant to carry significantly less fat. I began my research since everything I had tried prior (including the calorie counting + run until you faint diet) resulted in no change. I hate distance/treadmill running with a passion; it’s really difficult for me to just run long periods of time before wanting to burst into tears. I had set myself up for failure and discouragement. In my desperation of frantic fitness site link hopping I once again stumbled upon Nerd Fitness. I found this website a few years ago, signed up but forgot all about it. However, something clicked this time with the introduction to strength training and I immediately became hooked. I’ve decided that strength training to become stronger + burn fat + better diet is the direction I want to go. I’ve dropped calorie counting and picked up a modified primal diet. I’ve opted for strength training + interval training which is what I think makes me fall into the warrior (with a dash of ranger) way of life. So this is me getting raid ready... TL;DR? I'm not happy with myself. I'm finally making changes. For the Horde. Updates Here: Stats Here:
  9. MP05A – ‘In Which Lady Senie Begins Strength Training’ Parameters Date: 2015 April 12 So… It’s not that I gave up on my last 6 week challenge after a week, it’s that I realized that if I waited a little while, I could join back up with the Nerd Fitness group and maybe apply what I’ve learned on my hiatus to group settings. I’ve been working hard this year – sometimes stumbling, but ultimately learning – and I want to make hard-core progress over the next 6 weeks. To me, this means NO EATING OUT! I recently had to balance my books (I LOVE excel spreadsheets), and when I looked at the sheer amount of takeout/dine-in foods I was eating… well, no wonder I currently have over 100 pounds to lose. No excuses. No exceptions. It’s time to stop the never-ending cycle of eat out/take out. I will buy food and prepare it myself. It may not sound like a big deal to most, but for me it really, REALLY is. Goal number two is to strength-train 3 days a week. To this end, I have loaded up Stronglifts 5x5 as an app and I’m totally going to go for it! I want to be stronger; that’s really when I’m most satisfied with my life. I know that diet is important as well, but building the exercise habit tends to make me WANT to eat better. It’s a bit counterintuitive, but it seems to be the way my mind works and I’m sick of fighting it. There’s a great deal of work and willpower involved in these two goals, so I’ve decided to make them my ONLY goals this time around. I need to focus if I’m going to keep it together for the next 6 weeks. My Stronglifts program will be… modified somewhat to account for my female status as well as the fact that I’m… not in the habit of weight lifting and therefore will need to pace myself to avoid injury. Along the way, I will be working to modify my diet. This will mostly involve trading out my carb-heavy breakfasts for protein & fruit (possibly veggie) shakes. Eating oatmeal or French toast first thing in the morning after a good workout tends to feel filling, but it inevitably leads to the mid-morning or mid-afternoon carb binge. I still haven’t figured out carb-substitutions, but I’ve figured out that the first meal of the day DOES tend to determine how I’m eating the rest of the day. It’s certainly something to keep in mind, eh? Mission Parameters (effective 2015Apr 13) M1: No eating out. M2: Strength train 3 days a week.
  10. Hello everybody and welcome to my first Challenge. My name here is Sam Ashen, but that has nothing to do with my real name. Fifteen days ago, I discovered this website while surfing for information. Within 24 hours, I joined and started posting. This is very unusual for me - Normally action like this requires a Potion of Heroism to make the 20 seconds of Berserker Rage easier. I completely identify with Steve's statement, "I am a Nerd. And I deadlift." My goals are very much Warrior Goals. A little over two years ago, I was on another forum and it was discussing Squats, Bench Press, and Dead Lifts, and the 5x5 Stronglifts program. It had an appeal to me and the moment I tried it, I was hooked. When I started, I had trouble staying focused and motivated and I had rotating knee issues, hip issues, hamstrings that refused to move, tight glutes and not in the good way. I was a train wreck - if the choo-choo train could get going fast enough to qualify as a train wreck. The past year I gained a lot of weight, but made a lot of gains. On my signature, there are some links. I linked the Introduction because it gives more detailed information about the path I have taken so far. The short story is when I finished high school, I was 135 pounds (61kg) dripping wet and I gained weight at a rate of about 5 or 6 pounds per year until I moved for the first time to a different state. (country even) Since I was setting up a new life, I joined a gym and started a long practice of working with trainers. I had a long pattern of making great progress for several months, then gradually go back downhill. When I moved to the state I am currently living in, five years ago, I checked in at 217 pounds (99kg) and exhibited the same pattern. From the outside, this is very frustrating to watch. Here is the Quest List I am going to check off over the next six weeks: 1. Keeping the Records: An Apple a Day. Maintain the daily food log. There are 42 days in the six-week Challenge. There are 42 days to check off. +1 CON when complete Putting up Numbers! Maintain the daily exercise log. There are 42 days in the six-week Challenge. There are 42 days to check off. +1 STA, +1 STR when complete Rinse and Repeat! Review the food log once per week. Make one healthy change per week. There are 6 weeks in the six-week Challenge. There are 6 weeks to check off. +1 WIS when complete 2. Leveling the Cooking Skill: Eggs are your friend. Boil 3 eggs per work day. There are 30 work days in the six-week Challenge. There are 30 days to check off. +1 CON when complete Yes, you can Cook! Prepare one creative meal per week. There are 6 weeks in this Challenge. There are 6 weeks to check off. Bonus points if no fire trucks show up at my house. +1 WIS when complete 3. Leveling the Social Media Skill: Until you upload a video, all those numbers you post mean SQUAT! Get on you-tube and upload a squat video. Check when done. +1 DEX, +1 WIS when complete Of course, not even the Starting Zone Quest list is complete without a boss fight! No self-respecting boss is without minions, so here are the minions: Bench Press. 5 sets. 5 reps. Bodyweight. It does not matter what I weight in at. This is my goal. Although it does not matter where these numbers cross, it is really a weight loss goal disguised as a strength goal. The last time I checked was last week and I am 15 pounds away from this goal. It will be checked once per week. So either I lose 15 pounds of body weight or I gain 15 pounds of bench press. Somewhere in between would be ideal and the number I have in mind is 195 pounds or 89 kg. +1 STR when complete Now we are ready for the boss fight! The name of this boss is: 2/3/4 1. Bench Press. 1 Rep. 2 Plates. 225 pounds. 102 kg. 2. Squat. 1 Rep. 3 Plates. 315 pounds. 143 kg. 3. Dead Lift. 1 Rep. 4 Plates. 405 pounds. 184 kg. +1 STR when complete Alternatively, we can decide to pass on this Boss Fight until the next Challenge and work on form. Exchange +1 STR for +1 WIS or Exchange +2 STR for +1 WIS, +1 DEX. The last time I checked was on Monday, February 16. 1 and 3 are already in the books, but we are 20 pounds away on the Squat. As mentioned above, this means SQUAT until there is a video - so we are going to have to figure out how to get the video uploaded. Reward: Achievement: 2/3/4, baby! Oh yeah. Motivation. I can sum up my motivation in a single word. DING! DING! 5 sets of 5 reps at body weight! DING! 3 plate Squat! DING! 2/3/4, baby! Hmm. Maybe I should write this up in several places at home and at work. Hmm. Maybe I should make one of these the password for my computer at work I have to change every 60 days. Questions? Comments? Insults? If I start an Accountabilibuddies group titled, "2/3/4, baby!" would there be joiners?
  11. Prince Humperdink and the Six Fingered Man have locked up Princess Buttercup in the castle. The gate is guarded by 30 men! We need a plan to get in there now! Main Quest Cut my Body Fat in half (From 30% to 15%) while increase my strength. In order to do this I will need 3 things ... aside from a Wheelbarrow and a Holocaust Cloak 1 Fezzik's Strength (+3 Con) But as he says... So It must be his Diet. Eat between 2000 and 2500 calories including >150g of protein and <150 grams of carbohydrates. 3pts if I miss less than 2 day a week. 2 pts if I miss less than 3 days a week 1 pts If I miss more than 3 days a week but I did put effort in 2 Inigo's Steel (+3 Str, +3 End) He trained all his life to avenge his father. StrongLifts 5x5 3x a week 100% = all the points 0% = none of the points 3. Westley's Brain (+2 Dex) Westley was The Dread Pirate Roberts and learned to think on his feet... He also learned to move them as well Do at least 2 session of Cardio after lifting. One of which has to be intervals Life quest- "As You Wish" (+2 Cha, +1 Wis) Help out more around the house. At least 2 nights a week focus on picking up cleaning or organizing... Whatever need doing. Motivation I have lots of family history with heart disease and diabetes in my family so loosing body fat will help with that. I want this too. I want to be fit and healthy. I love lifting and I am even starting to like running. I want to be a good example of manliness for my future kids... in addition the loss of body fat will increase my chances of having kids. Anyway Hope I have fun... Psh I know I will!
  12. Okay, so I nearly didn't even participate in this 6 week challenge. My life is kind of in a flux at the moment while I try and figure out how to get from point A (where I am now, feeling miserable about what my 31 years on this planet have amounted to so far) to point C (a fulfilled, happy, financially feasable future that allows me to pursue the things I'm passionate about) without being restricted by the fact that point B really doesn't exist. In line with that, all of the things I'm trying to do at the moment are very long term (improve all of my lifts, acheive a pull-up, lose a lot of weight, continue to work on improving my creative writing, etc). And as a result, i was thinking that the 6 week format wasn't really conducive to helping me acheive them, when for the last couple of challenges, it's mostly just left me feeling restricted, and unfulfilled. But sometime between 23:45 on 10/11 and 00:00 11/11, inspiration struck. I'm aware that my diet is completely off the planet at the moment, and that I need to get a handle on it if I want to start moving forward in my weight loss. I'm also going to have to improve on the amount of high quality protein I put in my body if I intend to continue improving all of my lifts. And diet really is something I can get a hold of in 6 weeks (or at least put a big enough dent in to make me feel good about myself again). So here it is, the dreaded Diet Monster! My diet currently consists of mostly takeaway becausé my wife and I are generally too lazy to cook. The only meal that we are consistently getting right is breakfast. Currently that means oatmeal. My biggest problem with this is that the only protein I'm getting is the tiny bit in the actual oats, and the little bit I get from the half cup of milk I use to cook the oats in. And other than that, everything I eat tends to be bad for me. Time for a change however. My long term goal is to get myself on a diet that consists of two meals a day that are lean, clean, and packed full of micro nutrients, one snack of fresh fruit per day, A breakfast that actually provides me with some protein to go with my complex carbohydrates, a whey protein shake or two to supplement the whole ordeal, and finally a low calorie dessert of some kind. The whole thing should add up to around 1800 calories per day, which is far too low for me, but I'll be adding in 1 cheat day per week where I get to eat up to 3200 calories so long as I hit my protein goals for the day (which are anywhere between 140-180 grams per day) I'm not going to stress too much about the calorie allowances, as I've sort of done some math and figured out what that means as far as the portion sizes of each of the meals listed above, so as long as I stick to around those goals, I should be fine. The key for me will then be, how many days of the week can I stick to the diet plan, and that will be how I grade myself. 1 Day per week - F 2 Days per week - E 3 Days per week - D 4 Days per week - C 5 Days per week - B 6 Days per week - A I've left the 7th day out because I don't really think I need to grade myself on how well I can eat a cheat meal. Anyway, I'm a day late, so I'm already going to be behind the 8 ball, but we'll just have to see how I go. Ontop of this, I'm still working on my pull-up goal, to which I'm currently using just 34.3kg of assistance now, and feeling stronger almost every day. And I'm also working on my creative writing by going back to the online creative writing course I did quite some time ago now, and going through the modules again. Hopefully it will result in a stepping up of my writing abilities and help motivate me to write more. But that does mean that I won't be participating in NaNo this year, because I don't think pressure writing 50,000 words in a month is what I'm looking for. Quality over quantity until I can produce polished work that doesn't read like a 3rd grader wrote it. That's it for now, and assuming I don't become too distracted chasing my dreams, I'll be sure to try and keep you all updated.
  13. Last challenge I focused on getting stronger. I bulked my way to 250lbs at the midpoint of the challenge. It was at that point that I thought, "what's the point in having powerful muscles if you can barely see them?" I want to be able to show off my hard work. I switched to a cut and was about 233lbs at last Sunday's weigh-in. My mission is to accomplish the 20lb Challenge PvP that I started at a bare minimum. The closer I can get to 200lbs (219 being the 20lb mark), the better. I want to maintain the strength gains from the previous challenge, so to that end, I deloaded and will work back up to them. If I can make gains after that, great, but if not, I'm not going to sweat it. I have plenty of time to worry about becoming beastly again once I've cut the fat. Profile Sex: Male Age: 26 Height: 5'10 Weight: 232.8lbs Goal 1: StrongLifts 5x5 - Focus on Form I deloaded 10% and will continue the program from there. I will take this time to focus on form, particularly on my incredibly awkward deadlift. I will not add weight unless my form is sound. I will get some recordings of my lifts ASAP, whether I have to drag my wife to the gym or ask a random. I have also added EZ Bar Curls to the "A" days, because SL5x5 hasn't been adding enough firepower to my gun rack. Potential Stat Gain: +5 STR Goal 2: HIIT the Ground Running I found a HIIT Program on Bodybuilding.com that I like and can fit into this week and the challenge. This will supplement my dieting, but more importantly give me some much needed stamina. My cardio machine of choice will be the elliptical trainer, as I already have one at home and won't have to go to the gym if I don't want to. I will do this 3x/week. Potential Stat Gain: +5 STA Goal 3: IIFYM Cutting With SL5x5 and HIIT, I will now be working out 6x/week. This results in the following calorie/macro goals for this week: Calories: 2309kcal Protein: 233g Fat: 93g Carbs: 135g Hurray for more carbs. I will adjust these values weekly, following my Sunday weigh-ins. Potential Stat Growth: +2 CON, +3 CHA Life Goal: Sleep I was originally going to do something related to work/career/finance, but I'll either save that for next time or work on it as a side goal on my battle log. For the challenge, I'm going to make sure that I get enough sleep to recover from lots of working out. I will be aiming to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. This generally means being asleep by 11:00 PM on weekdays. I'll need to stay away from my phone and start getting ready for bed at 10:00 to make this happen. I could see my wife being a problem here, as she plays on her iPad in bed past 11:00. I'll let her know what I'm doing and to respect my wishes. She can play with the sound off or go out into the living room. I will experiment with meditation and other methods of lulling myself to sleep quickly. To track this, I will create a sleep log in my challenge spreadsheet, where I will not only record the hours slept, but also what I did before bed, how I felt when I woke up, if I dreamed, if I woke up in the middle of the night etc. Potential Stat Growth: +3 WIS This didn't work out and will be attempted again during the next bulking challenge. I'm looking forward to becoming a much leaner version of myself.
  14. Main Quest Still want to lose 15 pounds, but now I also want to get strong and lift heavier weights. To achieve this, I have three specific goals: Stronglifts 5X5 three times a week, according to the training plan. This is my first time using the weight part of the gym so it is a little intimidating, I have been doing strength training 3X a week at home since February but it is all either body weight or with 15lb dumbbells, so I am excited to try out heavier weights and see if I get good results. A – Completed all 18 workouts B – Skipped 1-3 workouts C – Skipped 4-6 workouts D – Skipped 7-9 workouts F – Skipped more than 9 workouts Running 3X a week according to a simple plan I made myself. One 3 mile run a week. One faster 2 mile run, and one longer run that increases by 5 minutes each week (I just ran 40 minutes tonight for my long run, so by the end of the program I should be up to running an hour and ten minutes!) A – Completed all 18 runs B – Skipped 1-3 runs C – Skipped 4-6 runs D – Skipped 7-9 runs F – Skipped more than 9 runs Tracking my food daily and staying within my calorie range at least 6 days a week. Trying to eat 80% whole, unprocessed foods and trying to eat high fat and protein with relatively low carbs. A – Tracked every day and stayed within my goals! B – Missed tracking or ate over goal 1-3 days C – Missed tracking or ate over goal 3-6 days D – Missed tracking or ate over goal 6-9 days F – Missed tracking or ate over goal more than 9 days
  15. I'm about to get into strong lifts for my bulk. I'm almost done my cut (will post pics later this week), and i'm planning my bulk. My focus right now is to get bigger arms, currently 10" inflexed 11" flexed. I downloaded the free app on my phone and later this week i'm going to be grocery shopping since there are a ton of recipes i'd like to try. My questions, for those of you who have done strong lifts: -How many gains have you gotten over the course of 2+ months? -If there was 1 exercise you would add to it what would it be? ( i'm thinking pull-ups? or maybe plank exercises) -is there any advice you'd like to give me?
  16. The university gym / weight room was closed throughout the holidays and opened again today! Stronglifts 5x5 (Workout A) Squats: 55 lbsBenchpress: 55 lbsBarbell Row: 45 lbs (just the bar because I've never done that exercise before and I wanted to make sure I was doing it right)The 5x5 means five sets of five reps for each exercise. 1 minute rest between sets. Did a warm up set for each exercise with just the bar, and cooled off at the end with a few minutes of cycling. I should be able to add 5 lbs to each exercise next time. It's nice to get a good workout done in only about 35 minutes! Diet Also I've been thinking about how I should be apportioning macronutrients, and realized that I have no idea what proportions of protein/fat/carbs I currently eat. So: eating journal! I hate counting calories but this should give me an overview of my eating trends. Breakfast: cup of oatmeal with brown sugar, granny smith apple, earl grey teaLunch/snacks: can of sweet peas, one clementime, seeded grapes, crackers with cheese, gingerbread cookie, waterDinner: 2.5 slices pizza with sausage and pineapple, water. Enjoyed this because it's going to be my last pizza for a while!I calculated that my BMR is 1460 calories for my current weight, and am adding 250 for mass gain (not trying to "bulk") for a total of 1760 calories per day. That is a lot lower than I was thinking it would be for "moderate exercise" (lifting 3x/week). Protein: 560 calories, 140g (32.7%)Fat: 513 calories, 57g (30%)Carbs: 637 calories, 160g (37.3%)I've never "built a diet" before so my next challenge is to evaluate my shopping list and figure out how to actually achieve this.
  17. Hey guys, so i've been lifting weights for only about a month now. Its not my first effort into excercise, being in the Army I PT every day back home, and have been used to vigorous activity for the last year or so. Anyways, i kinda hopped and skipped ahead a bit into stronglifts, so instead of starting with the bar i found out what my current 5 rep max was on everything and started from there. I'm just wondering if doing this could backfire at all, i mean, ive been able to make hop skips and jumps on squats and deadlifts, the presses and rows are coming up slowly, right along with the Stonglifts progression, but its hard for me to not want to slap on 10 or even 20 lbs instead of 5 on the deadlift and squat. I have kinda tweaked my shoulder on the bench press due to improper form, so im trying to be much more form concious now, so im just wondering if trying to progress this quickly is going to cause more harm than good.
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