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  1. I think I'm going to take some time off from challenges, there's just not much of a point for me anymore. Move to a battle log instead. I'm bulking at the moment, have been for a couple months now, and plan on continuing through until the spring. Though I'm probably going to do a 2 week minicut in early December to trim a little of the extra fat off. Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  2. This challenge is going to be a little different for me. For the most part, those of us that have been around a while use our threads as a workout/progress log and a place for general chit chat, only vaguely related to goals. Being my 12th challenge now, I'm really out of ideas to be honest. There is very little about diet/routine/life that can be improved, at least in a manner that goals would help. But I do get asked a lot of questions; in pm, in my thread, in other threads, I try to answer them as much as possible, I think using my challenge thread as sort of a Q&A forum would prove to be very helpful for people and its something I like doing. That said, ask away, no question is too basic or complex. I think I've got a pretty broad knowledge base and have experienced most situations; I've been underweight, obese, and skinnyfat at some point, lost a lot of weight, and have both bulked and cut a couple times now. I've got a good handle on bodyweight exercise from the most basic levels on up to the most complex and understand all the various programming methods. Plus I've acted as a guide for my wife; she too has been extremely successful (she doesn't just copy what I do). Gohls: #1 - Answer Every Question Posed in This Thread - As noted above, feel free to ask anything, I'll answer as best I can. These sort of threads elsewhere tend to be very successful and helpful. Points Available: CHA +5 #2 - Reduce the Amount of Soda I Drink - This isn't really that big of a deal, I only drink diet soda, and I don't really drink that much. But as of late its been my go to when thirsty and my mind has made the thirsty = craving soda connection. I'd like to get back to where thirst = craving water. On top of that it'll save a couple bucks. My goal will be to limit soda consumption to with meals (lunch/dinner) only, and only 1 can at each of those times. Points Available: CON +2 #3 - Take One Exercise/Diet/Fitness Related Photo or Video a Week - One of the bottlenecks with my website has been having ample photos. Sure I can find stock photos and CC photos, but shots of myself doing things are inherently more valuable. With it being early football season, things will be slow on the website front. But I can still be taking photos/video. Points Available: STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1, CHA +1 #L - Complete All Coursera Class Work I Signed Up For - Last challenge I took the Exercise course with a few other NFers, and really enjoyed the class. Learning things is just something I enjoy doing. I think that I can always have a class going and it would be very beneficial to me. Free education is a hugely valuable resource; not necessarily for people just graduating HS (yet), but I've already got the fancy piece of paper to list on a resume. I'm signed up for "Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes", a 6 week course that about modern networked life from Princeton University, and another 5 week course starting in 3 weeks, "Video Games and Learning" about the thinking and learning involved with video game play, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I'm really excited about both these classes. Points Available: WIS +4 Character Points Class: Bodyweight Powerbuilder Assassin Level: 11 STR: 30.50 DEX: 24.75 STA: 14.50 CON: 20.25 WIS: 29.00 CHA: 21.50 Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  3. In every epic quest there is a final decisive battle, where the tides turn and all that remains is mop up duty. The time for that attack has come. Training, planning, logistics, all manner of preparation comes to a conclusion and the operation begins. At 0700 hours on August 19th, we will move out of the preparation phase of the operation and begin launching for the assault. The battle is expected to last many months, it is sure to be perilous with many twists and turns, but it is expected that at the conclusion of the battle, if we are successful, the enemy will be all but crushed and the successful completion of phase 2 the epic quest will be close at hand. What is the epic quest? Phase 1 - Become unfat. Phase 1 began 9/11/2011 and concluded on 5/24/2012. Starting point was 262.5 lbs (@ lol bodyfat). Finishing point was 186.6 lbs (@ 17% bodyfat). In phase 1 the big hunks were chopped off the block of marble. Basic skills were trained. Phase 1 was a lead in to phase 2, it laid the foundation. Phase 2 - Build the machine. Phase 2 began 5/28/2012 and is ongoing. The goal for phase 2 is to reach 205 lbs at 10% bodyfat. In phase 2 the marble becomes a statue. Basic and intermediate skills are mastered, advanced skills are trained. Current status (as of 7/24/2013) is 191 lbs @ 11% bodyfat. Phase 3 - Use the machine. Details are as of right now unknown. What does the decisive battle entail? The decisive battle will be a long "clean" bulk. I'm looking to go for about 7 months, until next spring. The primary goal will be to reach 2 lb/month muscle gained, though it is unlikely that I will actually achieve that rate for the whole duration. Either way the expectation is that 10-14 lbs muscle will be gained (along with a few pounds of fat). If this is successful it will mean that I will almost surely be under 10% bodyfat if under 200 lbs, and within 5 lbs of my goal for phase 2. Reaching my phase 2 goal will require cutting the fat gained from this bulk and a small bulk/cut afterwards. Mop up duty. All manners of preparations for this long bulk are entering their final stages. - How my workouts are going to be modified has been determined. I'm going to be using a general volume-intensity periodization in both the upper and lower body. - Preliminary diet goals are set as well as how to adjust to the flow of the battle. - All of the timing on the calendar has been workout out. - I am nearly physically ready. Just a little bit more fat loss to go until I'm ready to begin. - I am mentally ready. As soon as I raise my calories I'm ready to turn off cutting mode and go all in on bulking. The decisive battle will be a long operation, much longer than a single challege. During this challenge the attack will be launched. The Plan Prior to August 19 I will be cutting using the same cutting scheme as last challenge. A 500+ cal deficit Sat-Thur, calorie goal is set to 2000 net cal, I expect to be under it daily. Fridays will be a refeed at maintenance. All days will have a 200g protein and 20g fiber goal. Remaining calories will be allotted as I wish on non-refeed days. On refeed days that goal will be 50g of fat or less with the remainder of calroies coming from carbs in the 6 hour window after work before midnight (generally will be 500g+ carbs). The goal of this cut is to reach about 187 lb at around 9.5% body fat, with a flexed natural waist about 29.0". I've been cutting so long now in general and my metabolism has dropped so much that I'm going to taper very slow into a bulk. August 19 I'm going to raise my net cals to 2400 cal/day, which is the low end of where my metabolism is clocking nowadays. I'm confident that I will not gain fat at that intake, it most likely will be a tiny deficit. From there I'm going to begin raising my calories 100 per week until I begin seeing sustained gains. The goal is to reach a +300 surplus, gaining 0.6 lb/wk, 2.4 lb/mo. At my pre-cutting metabolism that would mean a goal of 3100 cal/day. At my current metabolism that would mean a goal of 2700-2800 cal/day. I likely will have to adjust my calories upward a few times during the bulk, it would not surprise me if I finish up at around 3200 calories next spring. A week after I raise my calories (so the week of August 26th) I will be switching to my bulking workouts. Which aren't that different than they are now, but I expect to crank up the volume on 2 of the days (Tue/Thur) and begin heavily using rest pause work. Remedial work to correct size imbalances and bring up lagging areas will begin at this time as well. I'm waiting until 1 week after calories are raised to give myself a little break. The week of August 19th to the 25th will err on the side of easy. Goals #1) Work on pancake and compression flexibility - If I have one thing remaining that really is holding me back in areas that I'm not addressing, its my pancake and compression flexibility. I'd love to start working on a straddle handstand press. Not happening right now with how pathetic my compression flexibility is. My V-sit/Mann/Middle Split Hold work is limited and made more difficult with my lack of compression and pancake flexibility. Improving my compression flexibility could easily gain me 15 degrees of elevation. At this point I also have to figure out what to do. I have some general ideas, but more research is required. Points Available: DEX +3 #2) Find a way to fit in remedial/weak spot exercise and actually do them, no excuses, once I raise calories. - This includes forearms (handstand training), biceps (curlz), left quad (shrimp and/or pistol work), and obliques (floor/bar wipers, twisting yoga poses, side planks). I know what my weaknesses are, I just need to do something about it. Its easy to justify ditching weak point training when cutting as it really doesn't do much. But when gaining, it needs to be a part of the plan. Last time around, I started doing weak point training when cutting before my bulk, then went on to skip it for most of the bulk. Not this time. Points Available: STR +1, CON+2 #3) Actually stick to my current diet plan - I haven't had a goal anything like this for a long time, because I typically dominate diet goals. My problem right now is that I went off the rails of the plan for this cut a while back and have been kinda playing things by ear. Which is fine, but my plan keeps changing every other week, mostly because I haven't been satisfied with this cut, and just keep on going. Enough is enough. I'm already into the diminishing returns area as my metabolism has notably dropped. No changing the plan. I also have a tendency to get a little lacksidasical during a taper up. No more, stick to the plan as written currently throughout the challenge. Points Availbale: STA +1, CON +1, WIS +1 # Finish and pass the Coursera course "Exercise Physiology: Understanding the Athlete Within" - Bonus goal. More knowledge is always a good thing. Bunch of NF folks are taking it. Points Available: WIS +3 #L) Spend 1 minute every day working on my website (minus any day the Packers are playing) - There are weeds growing there at the moment. Volume based goals last challenge were an epic failure. Just need to get in the habit of a little every day. My creativity just hasn't been there as of late, that's one thing that cutting really kills in me. But there is plenty to be done, I have some ideas, and inspiration will strike again. Points Available: CHA +3 Character Points Class: Bodyweight Powerbuilder Assassin Level: 10 STR: 29.50 DEX: 23.25 STA: 13.50 CON: 17.25 WIS: 25.00 CHA: 21.50 Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  4. Its cuttin time. Next stop: For the duration of the challenge I'll be cutting in the 1.0-1.2 lb/wk area. This is going to be an open ended cut, the object being to cut to the 8% BF area, no visible fat without becoming freaky veiny. And tanning. Lots of tanning. It time to reveal all the muscle I've built in the last year. About 20 lbs worth if my estimates are right. Goals: 1) Learn To Use My Left Pinkie Toe - I have pretty much zero control over it right now, in fact it often goes the wrong way when I try to use it on its own. My right side doesn't have this issue at all. I believe this issue and general weakness of my smaller toes on the left foot is a major contributer to the size imbalance between my calves. Working on finger strength has been the key to forearm growth for me, and I suspect that toe strenth shows a similar relationship with the calves. I think the trick to it will be to spend a few minutes every day working on it. Points Available: DEX +3, CON+1 2) Switch To Full ROM Weighted Skater Squats As My Primary Leg Exercise - This is huge. Pistol squats and weighted pistol squats have been my primary leg exercise now for well over a year. I feel there is potential here for a back squat/front squat type relationship between full ROM skater squats and pistol squats. I'm going to switch to the skater squats for the duration of the challenge. I'll still do some unweighted pistol squats so that I don't backslide on my pistol form. For those that don't know, skater squats are the same thing as a basic shrimp squat, where you don't hold the back leg with your hands. With 2 hands free, you're able to hold a lot more weight. A shrimp squat though is a partial ROM squat (biomechanics do not allow you to go to parallel or below on flat ground), which makes it more suitable as an accessory exercise than a primary exercise. Elevating the working leg a few inches allows a much greater full range of motion, making exercise suitable as a primary exercise. The different hip and back angle between a pistol and skater squat allow for a different mix of muscle activation throughout the range of motion, which is what has me so intrigued with the potential symbiotic relationship between pistol and skater squats. Points Available: STR +4 3) Take Weekly Progress Photos - I'm no stranger to progress photos and I'm going to continue to take monthy progress photos in the bathroom mirror as I always have, however I'm also going to do more. When it comes to cutting into the single digits of BF%, photos are by far the best measure. The tape measure and scale can only take you so far. I need to be freed of the limitiations of the bathroom mirror, therefore I will be using my SLR on a tripod with a timer. Shots will include: front, side, and back relaxed and front, back flexed. I might also do a side flexed. Points Available: WIS +1, CHA +3 L) Spend At Least One Minute A Day Working On My Website/Blog - Starting something is the hard part for me. Once I get going I'm usually good to go and keep going. I'm trying to get in the habit of doing at least a little bit every day. Hopefully I'll be ready to unveil it some time this challenge. Points Available: WIS +3 Workout Log Key: I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it. Starting with the basic: Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time. From there I add a lot of modifiers: / = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right. , = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3. n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives. c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps. m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps. Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale: z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep. y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep. x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure. e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work. Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first: ++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. + = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details. - = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work -- = Poor form, major form problems.
  5. Well, this is my challenge thread. I'm bulking now, and will be all challenge, so there's that. Supercharged recovery FTW. This year I'm only going to take progress photos monthly, instead of the middle and the end of the month. Progress should be a lot slower this year; biweekly would be overkill. I'll post the first at the end of January. Current Stats: Race: Corellian Class: Assassin Level: 6 STR: 14.50 DEX: 13.75 STA: 10.25 CON: 9.75 WIS: 17.00 CHA: 13.50 Height: 6'1" Weight: 197 lb Neck: 16.0" Chest: 47.3" Flexed Abs: 32.4" Unflexed Belly: 29.5" Glutes: 40.8" R Bicep: 15.0" R Forearm: 13.0" L Bicep: 14.6" L Forearm: 12.8" R Thigh: 25.5" R Quad: 23.0" R Calf: 16.0" L Thigh: 25.3" L Quad: 22.8" L Calf: 15.3" Dietary plan is to gain 1 lb/wk throughout the challenge. Eating a net of 3200 cal/day. Goal #1 - Upgrade logging to include RPE's for each work set I'm a fan of autoregulated type workouts (where the workout is adjusted based on how you feel during the workout) and in general applying RPE (rated perceived exertion) concepts to workouts. I do this mentally and stick to some general principles, but its high time I start writing this down and keeping track. I'm going to use the following scale: 10 - Failed during rep or very near failure. Max effort, last rep (or only) was a very slow grinder that took noises to finish. LOL @ trying another rep. Need to mentally prepare myself for this level of exertion. 9 - Last rep was a slow grinder. Could reload for another rep and give it a go if sufficiently motivated. Despite being a grinder, pretty safe that I finish the last rep. 8 - Slow bar speed, but not slow grinder reps. Last rep is hard but doesn't get to the grinding point. Could do at least 1-2 more reps without issue if motivated to do so, even without the focus it takes to go to an RPE of 10. 7 and below - High bar speed for all reps. Does not feel difficult, recovery is rapid. (Failing at the bottom of a rep, the type of failure that usually happens to me, is a 9 not a 10. Often in that moment I'm just not mentally ready for a 10 output and give up, not truly failing). I don't see a need to differentiate the 7 and below levels. This is a pretty common scale, and how I mentally view things already. For notation purposes (numbers are a bit messy when it comes to logging IMHO), I'm going to use: Z = RPE 10 Y = RPE 9 X = RPE 8 E = RPE 7 and below In application, warmups and ramp up sets are never above RPE 7; 8 and above is where my workout reserves draw down fast and it impacts future sets. Recovery days little to no work is above an RPE of 7. Volume days I'm working in the 8 and 9 area with work sets. Intensity days my peak sets are at an RPE of 10. I've come to really approach each workout differently mentally. Recovery days I'm chill and laidback. Intensity days I listen to metal, stare and pace intently, lift angry for my peak sets. Volume days I get in a zone where I will myself to push through the torture. I'm not going to apply it to statics, static work is in general E/X/Y work, but hard to really characterize lacking the movement speed cues. I don't go to Z level with statics. Also included with this goal is applying what I learned from this improved logging to improve my workouts. Simply adding the RPE notation and doing nothing more with it is C caliber work. Points Available: STR +2, CON +1, WIS +1 Goal #2 - Reevaluate my long term goals and come up with a comprehensive list Not that I'm feeling listliss or anything, but I haven't really though much about my long term goals for a long time. Things have a tendency to go stale if unattended to for too long. The new year brings a good opportunity to really think about my future. Including all aspects; physical goals and fitness goals especially, but I'll also cover finances, career, parenting, etc.... I'm going to tackle it piece by piece; its something to think about when running. In the end I want a good solid list of goals that can be used to evaluate the path I'm on and steer me into the future. The difficulty I'm having now coming up with goals really hits home much much attending to my long term goals require. Points Available: CON +1, WIS +2, CHA +1 Goal #3 - Begin measuring, and striving to improve, my standing broad jump This is something that I've been putting off for a long time. Philosophically I'm all about real world performance as opposed to arbitrary exercise related measures. For the most part this means the ability to do movement X or Y (as opposed to how much I can lift in some exercise), but for the legs, to me the ideal measures of performance are the basic human movements jumping and running. I train legs to be able to jump higher and run faster, not so that I can push up more weight with my legs. Max effort sprinting has been a staple of my workouts for a long time, including performance measurement. I have always felt the need to do the same with jumping, I just haven't done it in an organized way (plus sprinting itself is a great leg workout, jumping for max height, not so much). Now while I feel the vertical jump is the key measureable trait, not the standing broad jump, I have to make some concessions because I lack a good way to perform and measure the vertical jumps reliably. In the house is a no go since I could probably hit my head on the ceiling if I really put my all into a jump, or at least I can get close enough that this is a major psychlogical impediment. The only good accessable places in my yard just don't have anything tall enough next to them (including the house; the tall parts, the sides, are mosty inaccessable for jump practice). But the standing broad jump is a good enough measure. It measures roughly the same thing as the vertical, and while it is a little more technique oriented and hit or miss accuracy-wise, it stands in as a good substitute. As a sidenote, I've studied the NFL combine for a while (the number relationships and how they translate to the pro game), and there is generally a VJ(in) = BJ(ft)*3.5 relationship in all athletes there (from little DB's on up to the fats in the DL, and everything in-between). You can generally assume that they are about as world class as athletes get as far as training for those specific measures, so if you measure and practice one of the two, you can assume that you can get in the ballpark of that equation with a little training on the other, there aren't really many far out outliers there. Points Available: STR +2, DEX +2 Goal #4 - Rethink my fashion choices Now in general my wife does a lot of the picking for me (or at least helps), but I've pretty much done the same thing fashion-wise since college (I'm 34). Its about time to redefine my sense of fashion a bit. This includes my work wardrobe (khakis/cords with a polo shirt or long sleeve shirt) and my casual wardrobe (jeans/shorts and t-shirt). I'm not looking to totally change things, but to guide future purchases. I'm not real sure how to approach this goal, or if anything will really come of it, so grading will be on effort, how much I tried. Points Available: CHA +3
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