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prefect42

Team 4 Challenge: The Shadow Government

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Prefect42

ormaybemidgets

alr

adumnuttal

bryanspellman

First things first: the name! Thoughts? Suggestions? I'm going to read through everyone's threads so far and see if there are any common things that jump out as being nameworthy, but in the meantime, get brainstorming! There are too many varieties of nerd running around here so I don't want to pick something that leaves anyone out. :D Go Team! (Actually, that's not a bad name idea...)

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After reading a couple of threads, I feel like the 98 pound weakling of the team! Except I weigh 120 pounds. I am seriously impressed with you routines and goals and my bodyweight conditioning seems a little out of place.

No idea about a name, but I'll go ahead and introduce myself:

I'm alr. I'm a 34 y.o. mom and mostly working on trying to increase my strength relative to my bodyweight so I can jump higher, climb farther, and vault over higher stuff. I do a lot of cat crawls because it's fun to pretend to be Aeon Flux. (I'm THAT kind of nerd.) Oh yeah, and do a chin up. I'm mostly paleo, but cheat daily with a big tub of yogurt. For this challenge, I am trying mostly to regain ground that I lost last month when I had to take several weeks off due to illness. Also, to sleep more, organize some, and be more in the moment with my kids.

Nice to meet you!

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I hope that first bit didn’t seem to informal—just wanted to get the Team page up and running. Now for the real deal…

ormaybemidgets

I know you had a bit of a rough go of it last Challenge, but we’re gonna get you through this one with flying colors. Take all that post-LSAT relief/rage and channel it into your workouts—and keep us posted the whole way! Also, if your name is, in fact, a Buffy reference, than you can expect inspirational/hilarious Buffy quotes throughout the next month.

alr

Great to meet you. Bodyweight conditioning is never out of place. Well, except maybe at a World's Strongest Man competition, but even then, I bet those guys love the feeling of doing squats without a firetruck balanced on their shoulders or whatever ridiculous feats they're doing these days. Seriously though, I spent a good month doing nothing but bodyweight exercises and they kicked my ass. You’ve got some great goals this Challenge, and hopefully we’ll be able to ward off any debilitating illnesses that try to derail you. I’m already really interested in some of the different movements and workouts you’re using to stay fit. I know you’ll be back to your pre-pneumonia levels in no time.

adamnuttal

You mentioned in your intro to the boards that one of your biggest goals is to keep up your motivation. Well, you’re looking at it. :D Congrats already on the 2 minute plank—that might be the fastest goal accomplished in 28 Day Challenge history. Now to keep up that pace!

As for me, as I mentioned in my first individual post for this Challenge, I write. A lot. So here we go.

My background: I’m a 25 year old guy in New England with a fairly regular, 830-5 desk job. Fitness-wise? Good god have I been all over the map. To make a long story only slightly shorter, I was pretty inactive and overweight as a kid, at one point weighing almost 200lbs as a 14 year old at 5’4†or however tall I was. Not good.

By the time I was 16 or 17, I started to get more regular exercise and dropped down to around 155 or so by the time I went to college at 18. I did a fair amount of jogging and running throughout college, but rarely if ever stepped inside the gym itself and there was certainly no strength training going on whatsoever. For whatever it’s worth, I probably came out of college at around the same fitness level as going in.

I stayed pretty active the next few years, but again, mostly running or very occasionally using weight machines at the gym (evil!). About two years ago, I got tired of seeing no progress in my running ability, so I decided to really push myself. Over the next year or so, I went from about a 2-3 mile maximum, to 7-8 miles. I would get up before work 2-3 times a week, run 4 miles, and called myself healthy.

Not so much. Lots of running + not eating enough calories (and especially not enough good ones) + no strength training = bad. Much of my body got crazy skinny and yet, despite all of that, I was still left my nemesis: a stomach that just would not let go of its fat no matter how much I ran. My body had literally cannibalized ALL of my upper body muscles (or what little of them I had to begin with) and I found myself just as unhappy with “skinny†me as I was with waaay overweight me.

Which brings us to earlier this spring, when I first stumbled upon Nerd Fitness. I had already decided that I needed to make a serious effort at strength training, and got myself some adjustable dumbbells to start things out at home. I spent a month or so doing crazy numbers of exercises per muscle group (tricep kickbacks, anyone?) before I found my way here and learned more about the magic of compound exercises.

Over the last few months, I’ve done my first squat, deadlift (okay fine, both with dumbbells so they don’t count), and pull-up, and I want more. Really focused right now on getting bigger and stronger--the way I see it, I'm essentially fighting to build back my upper body and arm muscles from nothing. On that note, I owe a huge thanks to Steve for helping me figure out changes to my diet to get the calories and protein I need while still eating well.

ANYWAY, all of that is an incredibly long way of saying that, fitness-wise, I’ve seen it all. I’m by no means an expert in anything, but I’m here to help with advice or finding the answers to your questions.

I’m especially looking forward to watching our team kick ass and helping each other along the way. I’m probably more of a cheerleader type, but I’m happy to lay on the tough love if that’s what you need. :) (Hmm, probably shouldn’t follow that line with a smiley face.) As for me, have at it—I’m counting on you guys to keep me accountable, too. Let’s do it!

As for a name idea, how about The Shadow Government? Shrouded in mystery, feared by all, controllers of the universe. :lol:

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I like the shadow government for a name! I am so excited about this! I haven't had any moral support for this stuff since my running partner flaked out in the middle of the summer. It will be nice to have people to cheer on and be cheered on by again.

alr

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This is awesome and I love the enthusiasm, prefect!

ormaybemidgets

I know you had a bit of a rough go of it last Challenge, but we’re gonna get you through this one with flying colors. Take all that post-LSAT relief/rage and channel it into your workouts—and keep us posted the whole way! Also, if your name is, in fact, a Buffy reference, than you can expect inspirational/hilarious Buffy quotes throughout the next month.

Last challenge: so true, and I definitely admit it. LSAT derailed my life, but it is OVER (oh yeah) and I am back in it.

Buffy: it is a Buffy reference! I am surprised (though I shouldn't be - NERDFitness) you got that. Way to gain my respect!

I'm going to post up my challenge thread now, and also, I'm good with the name Shadow Government. I like inspiring fear ;)

As to my goals, I want to get back to running. I ran 5k on the treadmill the other day, which felt awesome. I also need to get into a strength-y place. I have the sad - but motivating! - goal of just wanting to look better rather than... to be able to lift heavy things. I think I'd like my days to be alternating 5k run and 1 mile (for speed) with strength. I'm definitely looking for help with designing the strength program... been all over without finding something that really worked. The Beginner Body Weight Workout didn't do as much as I thought it would; I did Wii Active for awhile but it got too easy; revised the Wii and added weights but then I felt like I wasn't making any progress.

So what to do? I have the NYC Ballet workout DVD. I only did it once, but it left an impression, so maybe I'll do that on off days?

Good to meet everyone!

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The Shadow Government it is! Feel free to assign yourself titles: I hear the Chancellor of Doom position is still available.

Buffy: it is a Buffy reference! I am surprised (though I shouldn't be - NERDFitness) you got that. Way to gain my respect!

Full disclosure: I actually went to the same college as Joss Whedon, so apart from having loved it before getting there, there was definitely a not insignificant subculture of Buffy nerds there. That and you have to love the original '90s version with Kristy Swanson, Luke Perry, and Donald Sutherland. (And Pee Wee Herman.) That'll put marzipan in your pie-plate, bingo! (I told you--Buffy quotes, all the time.)

I have the sad - but motivating! - goal of just wanting to look better rather than... to be able to lift heavy things.

I think most people would be lying if they said that wasn't one of their goals too, even if it's a subsidiary one. :D

What exactly were you doing for bodyweight exercises? And which did you add weight to? How much? Do you have access to a gym or are you doing this at home? If you felt like you weren't making progress once you added weight, it could also be a question of diet. All those things would be helpful in making some suggestions for what you might do for your strength program. Feel free to PM me if you want, though I'm sure others will be able to chime in with advice too. We'll figure out something that works for you!

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What exactly were you doing for bodyweight exercises? And which did you add weight to? How much? Do you have access to a gym or are you doing this at home? If you felt like you weren't making progress once you added weight, it could also be a question of diet. All those things would be helpful in making some suggestions for what you might do for your strength program. Feel free to PM me if you want, though I'm sure others will be able to chime in with advice too. We'll figure out something that works for you!

Lots of questions, but I'll try to answer as best I can - thanks for helping!

At first I did the Beginning Body Weight Workout, with no weights. That was squats, lunges, pushups, plank. I didn't really see much from this, although possibly I didn't stick with it long enough.

Then I did a Wii Active workout, no weights. That was:

Serve, Bump, and Set This is one of the game ones

Alternating Cross Knee Punches 16 or so. Just a warm up.

Squats 16

Alternating Lunges 20

Targets and Heavy Bag 5 A series of punches and crosses, then a target bag for 80 hits. x2

Bent Over Rows with Tricep Kickbacks 12

Upright Rows 16 or 20

Run, Knees, and Kick Ups 1 Just what it sounds like, mostly a warm up

Squats

Jump Squats

Side to Side Jumps

Alternating Lunges

Jump Lunges

Pitch, Catch and Bat

Bent Over Rows with Tricep Kickbacks

Upright Rows

Alternating High Knee Reverse Lunges

Side to Side Jumps

Inline Skating

Alternating Bicep Curls

Alternating Triceps Kickbacks

Run and Walk (Long)

Alternating Bicep Curls

Alternating Triceps Kickbacks

Dance Fast 3

That was no weight, but it had a resistance band(?). Felt pretty good from this, definitely saw improvement. At this time I was also running 2 or 3 times a week, so legs, butt, and overall self were feeling/looking better.

But then that got too easy, and I was just doing it rather than being challenged by it at all. So I modified it to be:

Arms used 10lbs and legs used 15lbs.

Alternating Cross Knee Punches: 20

Squats: 16

Alternating Lunges: 20

Targets and Heavy Bag: 30 punches, 80 target bag hits, 30 crosses, 80 target bag hits

Bent Over Rows with Tricep Kickbacks: 12

Upright Rows: 20

Run, Knees, and Kick Ups: 60 sec running, 30 knees, 60 sec running, 30 kick ups, x2

Pushups: 10

Squats: 16

Jump Squats: (non weight) 16

Side to Side Jumps: (non weight) 20

Pushups: 10

Alternating Lunges: 20

Jump Lunges: (non weight) 16

Bent Over Rows with Tricep Kickbacks: 12

Upright Rows: 20

Alternating High Knee Reverse Lunges: (non weight) 20

Side to Side Jumps: (non weight) 20

Alternating Bicep Curls: 20

Alternating Triceps Kickbacks: 16

Run and Walk (Long): 2:15min running

Alternating Bicep Curls: 20

Alternating Triceps Kickbacks: 16

But sadly, from that I felt that nothing was happening. I committed to it, but I didn't feel the results from that as I had when I first started the Wii, and no improvement where there should have been.

I was at home for the Wii stuff, now I'm back at school. We have a real gym, that's nice, but quite a long walk for me (think stereotypical "is this what they spend my tuition on?" has-everything gym), then a smaller one that's much closer (cardio machines, weight machines, and a tiny little weight area), and then there's one in my apartment building (smaller than the close gym but all the same things. Really not a lot of room for anything on the floor - standing with weights or on the floor). So, opportunity? Yes. :)

it could also be a question of diet

I HAVE THIS PROBLEM. I have this problem, majorly, so much of this problem. My day is usually: breakfast 2 cups coffee with 3 tsp creamer, 1 bowl oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins; lunch PBJ sandwich, yogurt; then dinner. There are thousands of problems in my diet, I don't think I'm getting enough calories, I don't think I'm eating the right foods. I try to buy fruits and veggies, I try to cook, I try not to eat junk. I try :(

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I was at home for the Wii stuff, now I'm back at school. We have a real gym, that's nice, but quite a long walk for me (think stereotypical "is this what they spend my tuition on?" has-everything gym), then a smaller one that's much closer (cardio machines, weight machines, and a tiny little weight area), and then there's one in my apartment building (smaller than the close gym but all the same things. Really not a lot of room for anything on the floor - standing with weights or on the floor). So, opportunity? Yes. :)

Hmm, well a couple of things. I've never used Wii Active, so I'm not totally sure, but from the looks of it, it seems like they're running you through a ton of different exercises, including a bunch of isolations (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks). There's nothing inherently bad about those isolations, but for people just starting out with strength training (and I certainly count myself in that group), they're not really the best use of your time.

You'll be far better off with compound exercises, some of which seem to be in the Wii Active setup, but are also pretty well represented in the Beginning Bodyweight Workout. I wasn't sure if you had actual weights at home, but you could try adding those in to some of the bodyweight exercises to make them more challenging. Hell, I once did lunges holding a giant 8 pound can of crushed tomatoes when I was first getting started. Creativity is your friend at home.

But really, your best bet is probably to start hitting the gym. I used to be (and to a certain extent, still am) majorly gym-phobic, so I know mentally it can be tough. That and working out at home is way more convenient for a million other reasons. But the variety of equipment at the gym is going to allow you to do a whole lot more in your workout, especially for compound exercises that work a lot of different muscle groups all at once. The best part of that? You can get a great, exhausting workout in in under an hour.

I HAVE THIS PROBLEM. I have this problem, majorly, so much of this problem. My day is usually: breakfast 2 cups coffee with 3 tsp creamer, 1 bowl oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins; lunch PBJ sandwich, yogurt; then dinner. There are thousands of problems in my diet, I don't think I'm getting enough calories, I don't think I'm eating the right foods. I try to buy fruits and veggies, I try to cook, I try not to eat junk. I try :(

Don't be too hard on yourself--you can do way worse than what you just described, health-wise. But if you're hoping to see more of an increase in your general strength, then you might want to look at how to get some more protein into your diet. What you just described seems a little heavy on the carbs, without much fat or protein, which your body is going to be craving after your workout. If you eat meat, swapping a salad with a grilled chicken breast for your PB&J is one idea. If you like nuts, there's a small army of people on here who swear by having raw almonds as a snack, or almond butter with apple slices. I could give lots of suggestions, but if you're interested, you could post over in the Food and Fuel forum to more fully tap into the NF hive mind. :D

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Alright Team. One week down, three to go! How is everyone feeling so far? Anyone hitting a wall? Early success stories? Let's hear some updates on your goals!

I'm feeling pretty good about my progress so far:

Goal #1: Stronger

Friday was my first day of real lifting in the gym, which was a huge mental obstacle for me. Tomorrow will present its own set of challenges, since I will be doing some other lifts that I've never done with a barbell before. But after Friday, I'm feeling better about just going for it. Once I make it past tomorrow, I'll know I can really do anything I want. I do need to change my goal targets since I am not going to get nearly as heavy as I'd like if I'm going to add weight slowly and safely.

Goal #2: Bigger

I've been doing pretty well here. Hit 3800 calories every day this week except for yesterday, when I came in around 3100. My protein intake has varied a bit more, from around 160g at its lowest, to over 250g at its highest. Should help average things out around 200g. For whatever reason, the weekends are proving to be way harder for me, diet-wise. Part of it is that I get up much later, so there's simply less time in which to actually be eating. During the week, I can often knock out 1,000 calories before 10am; on the weekends, I'm not often not even awake by then. I'm going to need to have more of a plan for my weekends so I'm not always struggling with this.

Goal #3: Diversier

I haven't done a whole lot to mix things up--other than hit the gym for my workouts. I guess you could count my ERG warmup on Friday as different. Might try to work in some yoga on one of my rest days this week.

Goal #4: Bookier

Same here--need to focus more on this goal this week. I did read through a graphic novel on Saturday while waiting for my car to get worked on. Anyone out there read DMZ? It essentially imagines the United States in a second civil war, with the island of Manhattan as the demilitarized zone (DMZ). Usually pretty dark, but it raises a lot of interesting issues.

Feeling good overall. Just have a few lagging areas, but at least I know what I need to renew my focus on.

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i am a challenge :D

Glad to have you! Welcome. Mind giving us all a little intro and update on your goals and progress so far?

And hey, you other Shadow Government folks: you too. :D Don't leave me hangin' here!

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And hey, you other Shadow Government folks: you too. Don't leave me hangin' here!

Sorry, sorry! I'm here, I'm here.

Week 1:

1. Work out 5 days a week. It's possible, but a stretch.

Nope. Worked out only 3 days, and one was a halfy.

2. Get back to where I used to be running: about 35 minutes for 3.1 miles; about 7:15 minutes for a mile. (Although, I honestly don't know if these were my numbers or if I'm optimistically misremembering.)

Yup. I was at 35:08 my first 5k day, and 34:33 my second. Haven't done one mile yet, that will probably be tomorrow.

3. Strength training 2-3 days a week. BBWW, Wii workout, or NYC ballet.

Nope. I did one, and it was a halfy.

4. ABS.

Did this twice - once the first day I ran, and then during NYC Ballet/Strength day.

Overall not awesome, but not horribly terrible. Getting back in it...

Hmm, well a couple of things. I've never used Wii Active, so I'm not totally sure, but from the looks of it, it seems like they're running you through a ton of different exercises, including a bunch of isolations (bicep curls, tricep kickbacks). There's nothing inherently bad about those isolations, but for people just starting out with strength training (and I certainly count myself in that group), they're not really the best use of your time.

You'll be far better off with compound exercises, some of which seem to be in the Wii Active setup, but are also pretty well represented in the Beginning Bodyweight Workout. I wasn't sure if you had actual weights at home, but you could try adding those in to some of the bodyweight exercises to make them more challenging. Hell, I once did lunges holding a giant 8 pound can of crushed tomatoes when I was first getting started. Creativity is your friend at home.

But really, your best bet is probably to start hitting the gym. I used to be (and to a certain extent, still am) majorly gym-phobic, so I know mentally it can be tough. That and working out at home is way more convenient for a million other reasons. But the variety of equipment at the gym is going to allow you to do a whole lot more in your workout, especially for compound exercises that work a lot of different muscle groups all at once. The best part of that? You can get a great, exhausting workout in in under an hour.

After my first NYC Ballet DVD day, I'm loving it. I think this will be my strength workout. I can also work on adding in weight, but I'm not sure how to. After the NYC, on strength days? Or after running? If it's after running, I'm looking at spending almost an hour in the gym, all told. Actually, more, if I still do abs.

Don't be too hard on yourself--you can do way worse than what you just described, health-wise. But if you're hoping to see more of an increase in your general strength, then you might want to look at how to get some more protein into your diet. What you just described seems a little heavy on the carbs, without much fat or protein, which your body is going to be craving after your workout. If you eat meat, swapping a salad with a grilled chicken breast for your PB&J is one idea. If you like nuts, there's a small army of people on here who swear by having raw almonds as a snack, or almond butter with apple slices. I could give lots of suggestions, but if you're interested, you could post over in the Food and Fuel forum to more fully tap into the NF hive mind.

Took a good step here! Sunday night I cooked up a couple of chicken breasts, onions, mushrooms, and garlic, and put them in a tupperware in the fridge so I have NO excuse not to eat them up during the week. Very happy with this!

I hate nuts, but the almond butter and apple slices idea is making my mouth water. Sounds awesome, I think I will definitely try this the next time I get a chance!

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I still have misgivings about abandoning my bodyweight routine (any more than I already have) but you guys are making me seriously eye the free weights at work. What is a good guide for how much to start deadlifting in a hypothetical - not that I plan to really start doing it, oh who am I kidding? I have totally priced the equipment and am looking at the budget - kind of way?

alr

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Overall not awesome, but not horribly terrible. Getting back in it...

Not a bad first week. Now just up the ante this time around.

After my first NYC Ballet DVD day, I'm loving it. I think this will be my strength workout. I can also work on adding in weight, but I'm not sure how to. After the NYC, on strength days? Or after running? If it's after running, I'm looking at spending almost an hour in the gym, all told. Actually, more, if I still do abs.

It's a little hard to say without knowing exactly what you're doing for the Ballet DVD, but in general, it sounds like it might be best to do additional strength work on those days. Of course, you could always mix things up a bit more and substitute a day of bodyweight and free weight exercises for one of the DVD days, but obviously if you really enjoy the Ballet workout and feel like you're making progress, I can't argue with that.

I hate nuts, but the almond butter and apple slices idea is making my mouth water. Sounds awesome, I think I will definitely try this the next time I get a chance!

I have friends who have called me a squirrel for how many nuts I consume on a weekly basis, at this point. :) But yeah, the almond butter is totally worth trying out. It can be a little pricey depending on where you get it, what brand, organic/not, etc., but if you're not plowing through it like crazy, a jar can last a little while.

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I still have misgivings about abandoning my bodyweight routine (any more than I already have) but you guys are making me seriously eye the free weights at work. What is a good guide for how much to start deadlifting in a hypothetical - not that I plan to really start doing it, oh who am I kidding? I have totally priced the equipment and am looking at the budget - kind of way?

Well, for starters, the good news it that you don't have to (and shouldn't) totally give up your bodyweight exercises. Even if you get really into free weights, you'll still find yourself doing certain bodyweight exercises pretty regularly.

As for deadlifting, I've seen 95lbs (an olympic bar with 2 25lb plates) thrown out as a typical starting weight, though if you're not using bumper plates, the bar will sit a little lower on the floor than it should be. That is, the 25lb bumper plates (they're usually rubber) are about the same diameter as the 45lb regular plates, so they allow the bar to sit at the appropriate height without forcing you to start out at lifting 135lbs.

That being said (and noting that I am still really new to all of this myself), it's not a bad idea to practice with just the bar for a bit to work on your form. You won't be able to do too much serious damage to yourself if you've got bad form at 45lbs, but once you start going heavier, it can be a disaster.

Right now, I am working through the Stronglifts 5x5 program (or at least, something like it) and that's been a great intro for me to get used to using a barbell and to work on my form. I know there are many others around the boards that have done this or are doing it now (NukeTheUnicorns is one), so you can obviously ask away about any questions you might have as you look into it. I'm happy to provide my beginner's perspective if you want it, though I've found it helpful to talk to people who started out awhile ago and can now squat what I consider to be absurd levels of weight. :)

Bringing it back to my point above: although there is a lot of focus on barbell exercises in the program, everyday has some bodyweight and core work: one day might be push-ups and reverse crunches, the other might be chin-ups and planks. You get the idea.

Websites

Stronglifts 5x5: http://stronglifts.com/stronglifts-5x5- ... g-program/

Starting Strength Wiki: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/ ... ength_Wiki

This website is an awesome resource, and more or less based around Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength Program, which is similar to Stronglifts, with a few differences. It has great overviews of all the basic lifts you'll be doing in either program, including videos.

Both websites will give you a run-down of the sort of equipment you'll need if you are looking to do this at home, but basically: a bar, plates, power rack, and a bench. I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't buy the equipment if that's what works for you, but it'd probably be a good idea to give it a run-through in the gym a few times, just to be sure it's something you'll actually stick with before you sink the money into equipment.

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It's a little hard to say without knowing exactly what you're doing for the Ballet DVD, but in general, it sounds like it might be best to do additional strength work on those days. Of course, you could always mix things up a bit more and substitute a day of bodyweight and free weight exercises for one of the DVD days, but obviously if you really enjoy the Ballet workout and feel like you're making progress, I can't argue with that.

My plan for strength days is to do 1 mile for speed on the treadmill, then whatever strength work I'm doing. So I will already be in the gym at the beginning, is what I'm saying. So what would a good, starter workout be? Just to see a bit of results, but something not time consuming because it's only one step in a three step day? I don't even know if this can be answered... maybe I should try to make up something myself. I think I would want something that really focuses on arms. My legs got pretty good over the summer, although I'm not sure if that was more from the running, the Wii Active I was doing (lots of squats/lunges), or more likely, a combination. The NYC Ballet has lots of Floor Exercises, which are mostly abs-y. The one that I'm missing then, is arms. Running and NYC Ballet really only workout my arms to the extent that I have to hold them up.

oh who am I kidding? I have totally priced the equipment and am looking at the budget

I'm not going to tell you you shouldn't buy the equipment if that's what works for you, but it'd probably be a good idea to give it a run-through in the gym a few times, just to be sure it's something you'll actually stick with before you sink the money into equipment.

I agree with Prefect. I think you should try it out in a no-cost setting, determine that you're going to stick with it, and then buy equipment.

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I agree with Prefect. I think you should try it out in a no-cost setting, determine that you're going to stick with it, and then buy equipment.

The thing is, I work in a sporting goods store and get a pretty good discount. I have lifted with machines, off and on, for over 20 years. When I priced a 100 pound set (weights and bar), it cost about the same as a gym membership for 3 months. So it seems more cost effective to just buy the weights since I need to be squatting to improve my jumps anyway and will definitely use them for longer than three months. I don't think I will need a bench at least for a while but will have to price racks before I make any decision. I will have to look into bumper weights to see how they affect the cost, but had been planning to buy a bar for squatting for a while, so it may be the cheaper route to just buy them.

For the record, I actually really like lifting so I doubt a set laying around my house will ever go unused.

alr

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The main benefits of gyms are simply the variety and scalability of equipment.

You'll be fine with just a bar at home at the moment but eventually as your progress you'll begin to want a variety.

Regarding weight.

Shoot for a minimum of 1.0x BW for starting off.

Once you can squat/deadlift with 1x BW you can start buying more but until then that should be enough to tide you over for at least a couple months (depending on your level of insanity)

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Alright Team, we're coming up on the very end of week 2 and the Challenge halfway point. Time for goal updates! How are you doing? What are you going to do this week to ensure that you not only meet those goals, but blow them out of the water?

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Just posted. I am getting there on the personal goals and the rows, but not the running and sleeping yet. How about everyone else?

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Just posted. I am getting there on the personal goals and the rows, but not the running and sleeping yet. How about everyone else?

I'll reply at more length in your thread, but just wanted to say that you're doing great so far. If nothing else, I'm always impressed by your tenacity. I've seen (well, "seen") you do lot of late workouts after a long day when others might just push it off and go to bed. It's awesome.

As for me, I'm doing okay, though I am really focused on my two main goals (lifting and eating). Those two are going very well, I think, even if I continue to slack on my other goals. I'm determined to add something new to my workouts (or between workouts) this week, probably a little yoga on my rest days to stretch. And for god's sake, I need to pick a new book to read and just go for it. I bought 2666 two years ago and told myself I would read it over last fall/winter (it's not exactly a beach read), but never did. Maybe I should give it a shot. Then again, something difficult like that might be the worst possible thing for me to try and read if I'm feeling distracted. We'll see.

How about the rest of you guys? Adam, Bryan, Samantha?

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