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[Darth Yoga] The Weasel returns!


Darth Yoga

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Yay! Back on NF after a long absence. My long-term physical goals are still to improve my ninja-weasel shenanigans in the woods, and I remain an assassin at heart, but I've been experimenting with simple barbell workouts lately. My goal with the lifts is to feel comfortable with the form, get my numbers to the benchmark the coach describes as "sufficient to support vigorous recreational activity", and then focus on more interesting activities that put that strength to use. 

 

PRIMARY GOALS:

  • Get my form right for the barbell squat. I’ve been screwing around with this stuff for a few month, but it is time to get some coaching. This month I’ll be taking video and posting to the coaches on the Starting Strength forums. If the squat is looking good, I'll work on other lifts. Workouts will be fairly minimal, maintenance level, due to time & energy – low-bar squat, one other lift, and some chin-ups. 
  • Lose a little fluff. This is in the experimental phase, but I'd like to get back in the ballpark of 15% bodyfat. (I’m steadily creeping towards 20%.) Tracking and measuring item-by-item is a little much for me at this point, but I looked up the most common things I eat, and made a list to help me ballpark estimate what 250kcals of food looks like. MyFitnessPal gives me a calorie goal of 1500, which is six of those 250kcal portions. I’ll add another portion or two if I am seriously hungry, and see what happens.

 

SECONDARY GOALS:

  • Keep moving. I'm not hitting the workouts hard, but I want to stay consistent. I've been making excuses for missing workouts, sometimes good excuses, so I have a list of alternate workouts that I can substitute if I am "too busy" or on the road.
  • YOGA!  A daily yoga practice is important to me, even if it is only a small thing. Sun Salutes every day, preferably in the morning. Five minutes. No excuses.
  • Violin practice. Aiming for 3x/week, ~20 minutes. I also want to take a few videos I can send to my mom.

 

17 PREVIOUS CHALLENGES:

Spoiler

 

1. Weasel Gets Things Done Nov-Dec 2015 - Eat more protein, veggies, and whole grains (B+). Sleep Routine (A). "Primal Fitness Blueprint" (A++). Laundry! (A++). Order of the Stick (Success!)
2. Return of the Weasel : Consistency! Jan 2016 - Handstands (A), Kettlebells - Pavel's "Simple & Sinister" (A-), Daily Routine (A), Ukulele! (C ) Assassins Mini - Portal Experiments
3. Weasel Takes this Show on the Road! Feb 2016 - Continue S&S kettlebells. (D. Injury.) Track sleep schedule (A). Make a diet plan (A). Write on blog. (F) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 1

4. Sith-Weasel's Road Trip Continues Mach 2016 - Daily fitness activity (D) Responsible Adult Meals (A++), Hydration (C ), Tasks & Check-in (D). (Travel!) Assassins Mini - Jedi v Sith part 2

5. Weasel Keeps it Simple & Something April 2015 - Kettlebelling (F) Healthy Meals (B-) Help partner (C) Task List (B-) Assassins Mini - Final Fantasy

6. Eat When Hungry, etc. May 2016 - Eat when hungry. (A) Sleep when tired. (C-) Move every morning. (C) Work when Work needs Doing. (A+) Assassins Mini - Heros & Villans (C+)

7. Back on the Road June 2016 - FOOD: 2 meat+veg meals (B+) EXERCISE: 10m daily activity (C) HEALTH: 10m other stuff (B) LIFE: Work BEFORE internet (B) Assassins: Firefly (B)

8. Weasel Levels Up July/Aug 2016 - FOOD: Watch the carbs (B+) FITNESS: daily workout (MovNat) (B) HEALTH: go to sleep (A) LIFE: weekly review (B) Assassins: Kingdom Hearts #1 (B)

9. Weasel Recalibrates Falls Off The Face of the EarthAug/Sept 2016 EAT: Eat veggies (D) SLEEP: Go to bed! (D) MOVE: Two activities (B) DO: Task list (C+) Assassins: (F)

10. Weasel Stays on Track. Sept/Oct 2016 EAT: veggies (B) SLEEP: bedtime (C) MOVE: Two activities (B) DO: Track & done by 8p (C) Assassins: Sonic (C)

11. Weasel does 2000 Things! Oct/Nov 2016 EAT: veggies (A) SLEEP: before dawn (A) MOVE: Pushups + etc (A) DO: Violin, Meditation, Woods (A) Assassins: Sonic (D)
12. Another 2000 Things! Dec 2016. EAT: Veggies (A) SLEEP: before 6am (F) MOVE: Pullups, Pushups, etc. (B) DO: Violin, Meditation (B) Assassins: Epic Showdown (B)
13. Darth Yoga does some yoga for a change  Jan 2017 EAT: veggies (A) SLEEP: at night (D) MOVE: 100 pullups (A) DO: Violin (D) YOGA: 1000 things (A).
14: Push, Pull, Stretch, Breathe Feb 2017. PUSH: Sun Salutes PULL: 100 pullups STRETCH: 10m/day BREATHE: pranayama DROPPED OUT.
< The Lost Challenge. March/Apr 2017. depression, poor life choices, work at tax office.>

15. Back in the Game May 2017. MOVE: Sun Salutes (B+) S&S Kettlebells (B-) EAT: protein (A) veg (B) DO: nightly check-in (B-) task list (B-) SPIRIT: walk in woods (B) prayer beads (D) Help partner get fit: nope.

16. Keep on Keepin' on. June 2017. MOVE: Sun Salutes: C. Kettlebells: D. EAT: Meat & veg: B. WORK: Daily check-in C. Weekly review. F. SPIRIT: Woods, A. Prayer beads, B.

17. Back on Track(ing) July 2017. abandoned

<NF HIATUS>

> STARTING STRENGTH: Sept, Oct, Nov 2017. Not on NF, but 3x/week barbell workouts. A! Completed 21/24.

</NF HIATUS>

 

  • Like 2

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Okay - Week Zero begins with me realizing how much I dislike restricting my diet. *sigh* That is why this is an experiment. I love the IDEA of eating better... so my initial plan involved eating literally 10x as many vegetables as I usually do. On top of reducing overall calories. And deducting points for junk food. I'll scale that one back a little...

 

I do love setting point goals for these challenges. These are weekly totals.

  • WORK OUT: 40pts
    • barbell workout: 3x10 pts (if partial: 5pt for squats, 3 pt for other barbell, 2pt for chinups)
      • OR during road trip: Kettlebells S&S: 5pts.
      • OR if I can't do either, random exercises, 1pt each for: 25 pushups OR 5 chinups OR 1/2hr hike OR 5 minutes squat drills OR 1 mile jog
    • 1pt for 5 min shoulder mobility work, max 1x/day
    • form checks: 5pt for form video review
  • EAT RIGHT: 30pts
    • 3pts/day for sticking to 6x 250kcals. 2pt for 7x, 1pt for 8x
    • 1pt/day if 4x20g protein
    • 1pt/day if total 2c veggies
  • VIOLIN PRACTICE: 10pts: 1pt for each 5m practice. ideally 20m, 3x/week
  • YOGA: 10pts for 5x Sun Salutes on all 7 days, or 1pt / day.
  • LIFE: 10pts to remember ALL supplements, inhaler, etc, morning and evening, for all 7 days, or 0.5pt for each morning/evening.

Okay, I feel pretty good about this. Some of them may need revision, but that is what Week Zero is for.

 

Motivational Checkbox Chart is forthcoming...

  • Like 1

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Things are pretty awesome! We've been doing road trips, as usual, for work. We're out in Michigan now, near Lansing. The barbell training has really been great for me, emotionally. Something about the all-out effort of doing heavy sets of 5 flips a switch in my head, and knocks me out of my yucky mood.

 

Needing the equipment is a hassle though - for a weightlifting routine, this is pretty minimal. Just a barbell & plates and a squat rack, plus maybe a bench and a pullup bar. But still... that is easily $1000 worth of equipment if you are buying decent stuff. Of course, I am not buying decent stuff. I am scavenging cheap crap for free on craigslist. I set this up in my friend's warehouse studio. (No room in my house. I'd literally have to climb over the squat rack to get to bed.)

 

 

Total cost to me... I think $25, for a 6ft piece of 1" black pipe, a bag of concrete, and spring clips. You could add a few bucks for the 2x4s, but they were left over from another project. I found some free 10lb and smaller weights on craigslist, and cast two 30lb concrete disks.

 

Then a few months later, I found (again free on craigslist) a cheap bench, a 5ft 1" solid bar, a literal bucket of collars, a stupid huge pile of small concrete weights, most of which I need to get rid of... I think I have close to 40 plates under 10lb, more than half of them metric. But the guy wanted all of it out of his garage ASAP, so I took all of it. (No one is throwing away 45lb olympic plates, unfortunately.)

 

Anyway, what I've got will take me to a 175lb squat, and 215lb deadlift. (Squat needs the inner collars set wider, to fit the rack, leaving less room for weights.) I wouldn't rate the squat rack for anything over 200lb, maybe 250lb. The plan is that when I max out this equipment, then I will consider whether I want to buy real stuff. 

 

Last road trip, I found gyms nearby. Ugh, gyms. Really, I want to be able to work out alone, barefoot in my underpants, without worrying that I am monopolizing the ONLY BARBELL in the establishment.

 

This trip, I just brought two kettlebells and figured I'd just do Pavel's Simple & Sinister for a week.

  • Like 2

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Diet update: No need to deduct points for junk food - it is self-enforcing when considering how little food you end up with for 250-ish calories. Do I want half a croissant with jam? Or an actual meal? 

 

I've been a little hungry the past two days, but mostly I have been in the car, and I tend to snack non-stop on road trips. I brought along a sack of baby carrots & snap peas, and some little bags of popcorn, and some protein bars. It'll be easier when I have access to a fridge and microwave. I have little "Josh food pods" 2-cup containers stuffed with raw spinach, ground meat, beans and cooked carrots. Those are good and easy. Plus our hosts eat pretty healthy - dinners will pretty much all be meat with a huge pile of veggies.

  • Like 1

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Jumping right back into vigorous kettlebelling was a bad idea. Should have started light & ramped up. My back is super sore. Today I did super light (20#) swings, paying really strict attention to keeping a flat back and hinging cleanly at the hip. If I feel worse tomorrow, I'll have to scale back the volume as well. I did the getups at 20# also, after one very shaky set at 35# (I've only got the two kettlebells with me.)

 

DIET UPDATE:

Well, it kind of sucks a little, but it is doable. It is a good experiment. I talked it over with my partner, and realized that one potential outcome of the experiment is that I decide this is not worth the hassle and I'm going to just make peace with the extra fluff. But I am optimistic about it. 

 

The least frustrating approach while travelling seems to be to eat very lightly throughout the day, have a big healthy dinner, and a small dessert. Dinner is usually when the tastiest and healthiest food is available. I've nearly immobilized myself tonight with three portions of roast lamb with beets and potatoes.  That was a failure to plan ahead - I should have just had two, plus some of the whipped cream with pomegranate seeds that they made for dessert. During the day I can usually distract myself, and I don't have a lot of tempting food around anyway. But eating really lightly at dinner, while surrounded by delicious food (that someone else prepared and/or paid for) and going to bed kind of hungry? Ugh. That really sucks. 

 

  • Like 2

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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On 2/9/2018 at 10:43 PM, Darth Yoga said:

But eating really lightly at dinner, while surrounded by delicious food (that someone else prepared and/or paid for) and going to bed kind of hungry? Ugh. That really sucks. 

 

Going to bed hungry has to rank among the top x worst ideas ever. Hope your back feels better - slow and steady...

Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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On 8/2/2018 at 10:30 PM, Darth Yoga said:

Do you like charts? I like charts. 

0208181627.jpg

 

I'm on the road, so I don't have a wall chart, but I have a chart in my little daily-carry notebook.

 

 

I love charts but I forget to use them!.

 

Good luck on all your goals. Im doing sun salutations as well :D

Be like water my friend

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WEEK ZERO REPORT: SUCCESS!

 

WORKOUT: GOOD JOB! but kind of stupid.

I have been on the road, and decided to bring the kettlebells instead of finding local gyms. I'm glad I did, but I am still sore from overenthusiastic kettlebelling. Not much pain, provided I move carefully, but oh boy, STIFF. I'd say about 8" off my hamstring flexibility, which is an improvement from more than 12" a few days ago. I can now reach my feet well enough to put pants and shoes on without awkwardness, but still can't comfortably touch my toes without strain. I'm moving like an old man in a back brace.

 

I feel pretty stupid for overdoing it like that. I've got physically demanding responsibilities both at home and for work, so I need to be more careful with this stuff. 

 

EAT LESS: PERFECT! 

This is a learning process, but I've been sticking with it. At the end of the month, I think I'll be able to confidently say whether calorie restriction is something I am willing to do long-term.

The tracking is pretty loose - counting in units of 50 or 250kcals, eyeballing portion sizes. I've got some default meal templates that I know are around 250kcals, and other stuff I've made myself a "caloric density chart" that lists common food types by approximately how big a 50 or 100kcal portion is. Stuff I should eat more of, I round calories down, and stuff I should eat less of, I round up. I'll post it at some point.

 

LIFE HABITS: PERFECT-ISH

I didn't bring my violin with me, because I'm not very good, and I don't want to inflict my bad violin playing on my hosts. I was 100% consistent with taking my inhalers, fish oil, etc., and provided I don't penalize myself for time of day, I was 100% consistent with the Sun Salutes. I really prefer to do that in the morning, but one day I put it off and then forget, so I did them before bed.

 

OVERALL:

I am happy with the goals I've set. I think they are doable. I'm sticking with them.

  • Like 4

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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On 2/12/2018 at 4:29 PM, Manarelle said:

You live, you learn. Probably won't forget that lesson anytime soon. 

 

Yeah, and there is nothing like a tweaked low back for making you extremely aware of your alignment and core stability. Gotta use perfect deadlift form for lifting anything more than a few pounds, or my back lets me know.

  • Like 1

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Weasel Calorie Estimator, v5.03

 

0213182226a.jpg

 

Approximate 100kcal portions, generally rounded down for good food choices, up for bad ones. It is a log2 scale, each portion size is half the one before it. All in cups and tablespoons, with notes to help with eyeballing portion size.

I can't do a table on my phone, but...

  • VEGGIES: raw greens (8c), raw veg (4c), most cooked veg (2c), starchy veg (1c), veg w/ some oil/etc (1/2c), deep fried veg (1/4c)
  • STARCHES: most starches, like pasta, bread, rice (1/2 c), fatty starches, like mac & cheese, potato salad (1/4c)
  • MEAT/ETC: lean meat (1/2c), fatty meat (1/4c), bacon (2T), nut butter (1T)
  • SAUCES/ETC: fruit juice (2c), milk (1c), plain sauces (1/2c), rich sauces (1/4c), cheese/cream (2T), oil/mayo (1T)
  • SNACKS: popcorn (4c), ?(2c), cheese/butter popcorn (1c), chips (1/2c), dry fruit or granola (1/4c), nuts (2T)
  • SWEETS: most fruit (2c), plain cereal (1c), fancy cereal (1/2c), cake/pie/ice cream (1/4c), frosting/candy (2T)

For instance, how many calories would I guess is in avocado? Probably call that a "rich sauce", fatty but not so fatty as cheese. So 1/4c is 100kcal, but I'm just having one big spoonful, so call it 2T for 50kcal. Close enough.

 

I had hardboiled eggs for breakfast. They'd be a "fatty meat", way fattier than chicken breasts, but not nearly so fatty as bacon. Conveniently, they are roughly golfball sized, which is 1/4c, so I'd guess they are close to 100kcals each. Closer to 100 than to 50 or 200.

 

Simplified method for complex meals: I store most food in 2c containers, so I have years of trial and error experience estimating how many 2c containers worth of food I'm looking at. In a pich, I'll estimate 2c of a "healthy" meal (not very fatty, with ample veggies) is 250kcal. 2c of a "normal" meal is around 500kcal. 2c of mostly fatty high-caloric-density stuff I'll guess is 1000kcals. 

  • Like 2

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Checking estimates...

https://www.californiaavocado.com/blog/many-calories-avocado

Yes, 50kcal in 2Tb! :) More accurate than intended.

 

Eggs fall squarely between the lean and fatty categories. 

 

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/calories-in-an-egg#2

 

72kcals for large eggs, which are pretty close to 1/4c. Less than estimated, and eggs are definitely a "round down" quality whole food that I should be encouraged to eat. So plain eggs would be "lean meat". With an unknown quantity of butter and cheese, then they'd be "fatty meat".

 

I eat a LOT of eggs. I routinely ate 6 for breakfast. We buy eggs in crates of 5 dozen. So I'll remember that. Otherwise I wouldn't worry. Like if avocado was actually 80kcals per 2Tb, I wouldn't care.

  • Like 1

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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I ballparked Monday's dinner as 10 "small portions", or 2500 calories. Well, it was a party for Mahashivaratri, and I do love Indian food. No regrets. :)

  • Modestly sized helpings of chicken korma, chicken curry, and saag paneer, all with a little rice. I called the saag & curry a one portion each, and two for the korma because the sauce seems to pretty much be cashew butter and cream. Man, I love korma...
  • A small samosa and a pakoora - both golf-ball-sized deep fried things. That's one more portion.
  • A big piece of garlic naan. That is like 4 pieces of buttered bread. 2 more portions.
  • Two small deep-fried sweets and a similarly small rhomboid of something like sweet cashew marzipan. Those are a little small to count as a small dessert each, but I also had a fair amount of mango slices and an unspecified number of tiny oranges, so we'll go with calling it three more portions.

In hindsight, I probably could have been happy with just the korma, half a piece of naan, and one of the sweets, plus some mango slices. That'd be closer to 1000 calories.

 

But, aside from that, I've been sticking to the diet.

  • Like 3

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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On 2/5/2018 at 12:42 PM, Darth Yoga said:

Yay! Back on NF after a long absence.

 

Yay! You're back! :D

  • Like 1

otterbyte, level 3 chirpy otter assassin

STR 3|DEX 2|STA 3|CON 3|WIS 4|CHA 3

current challenges: otterbyte juggles priorities  \\ old challenges:4-week: DEC16 * JAN17 * FEB 17 * APR 17 * JAN 18\\ Assassin MiniChallenge: Epic Throwdown Championship * Assassin's Age: Origins \\ Monkey Tamers United

 

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

Samuel Beckett

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On 2/14/2018 at 3:12 PM, Darth Yoga said:

I eat a LOT of eggs. I routinely ate 6 for breakfast. We buy eggs in crates of 5 dozen. So I'll remember that. Otherwise I wouldn't worry. Like if avocado was actually 80kcals per 2Tb, I wouldn't care.

 

O.o I thought I was on the high end eating 6 throughout the day. They're so flexible and tasty, though... I am in awe of your food organization skills. 

 

8 hours ago, Darth Yoga said:

Ugh. Stressful weekend. Car trouble, and serious logistical failures for work. Yuck.

 

Trying to chill out, and just do the thing in front of me. Having small personal goals, for NF, is a good distraction from all the bigger stuff.

 

Sorry to hear the weekend isn't going well. Here's to tomorrow being better. 

Manarelle the Level 55 Amazon Assassin

Gryffindarling and Sith Acolyte, somehow.

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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9 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 

O.o I thought I was on the high end eating 6 throughout the day. They're so flexible and tasty, though... I am in awe of your food organization skills. 

 

lol, well, we have seven adults in the household, so we go through a lot of food. 

 

9 hours ago, Manarelle said:

Sorry to hear the weekend isn't going well. Here's to tomorrow being better. 

 

It generally is. :)

 

I've gotten a lot better at just letting go of whatever is going on, at the end of the day. The next morning it always looks more manageable.

  • Like 1

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Oh damn...

 

My back got a little tweaked on the road trip - not serious, but enough to make me feel like an old man and swear at my shoes for being so far away.

 

So, I tried Bill Starr's low-back rehab protocol. It is a long rambling article, but basically he recommends 3 sets of 100 (yes, one hundred) of super-light good-mornings and half-deadlifts, gradually increasing weight and decreasing reps. Now I am no fan of high reps, but I diligently did 3x100 good mornings, with 5lb Friday, and 10lb yesterday.

 

Holy crap my hamstrings are hating me right now. I don't usually get DOMS, at least not like this. Wow. They definitely hurt worse than my back. Perhaps that is the plan. :)

 

I'll try again tonight and see how it goes. Seriously unpleasant workouts are a good distraction from life stress.

  • Like 2

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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Hahaha... No workout. I can barely reach my knees. It was just ridiculous. I did a little streching and went for a long walk in the snow. That felt pretty good.
 
My back is definitely improving, despite my ill-conceived attempts at self torture. 
Oh my goodness. Glad the stretching and walking helped!

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Bounty Hunter Jedi Assasin

I must control my THOUGHTS...
THOUGHTS become WORDS
WORDS become ACTIONS
ACTIONS define your CHARACTER
CHARACTER determines your DESTINY
MyFitnessPal | tumblr 

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WEEK 1 REVIEW: Overall, 74%, due to missed workouts. Cumulative (with week 0) is 87%

 

WORKOUTS: 21/40. :( Like I said, I tweaked my back, on the road trip, and that's been seriously discouraging. I am not some hard-core athlete. I just want to get in shape without hurting myself. Also, my car started acting up on the road trip, so is now in the shop, meaning I can't get to the gym. There ARE things I could have done at home, but I didn't. So for this week -  I did one barbell workout, and skipped one.  I skipped the two kettlebell workouts because of the back. I did pushups on three days, but not enough to bring my score up. I did two days of hamstring-brutalizing rehab for my back. I've reviewed the feedback from my second set of squat form-check videos, but need more practice to implement the cues, before it makes any sense to post another video. 

 

FOOD: 28/30. :) Hey, pretty good! One free-for-all at a party, but aside from that, just one day when I had one extra portion, and one day where I didn't meet my protein goal. I'm pleased with that. I'm definitely finding it easier to just not eat as frequently than it is to eat smaller meals. On days when I am home it has been working well to have a piece of fruit in the first thing in the morning,  then big pile of eggs & greens an hour or two later, after yoga, dog walking, etc, then maybe another piece of fruit in the afternoon, and meat & veg for dinner. That feels pretty sustainable to me.

 

LIFE: 26/30. :) Only problem was I skipped violin practice on Wednesday. I've been doing yoga nearly every morning, and when I don't do it in the morning, I do it later in the day.  Perfect score on that. I've been taking my usual supplements and inhalers consistently, every day, though now I've just added a B vitamin that is 3x/day, and NOT right before bed, which dramatically increases the difficulty level. I am not used to taking anything mid-day. So I'm not scoring that for now, but I am tracking it.

 

  • Like 3

Joshua - Yoga Ninja Weasel #20: The Weasel goes on an Adventure!

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