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Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf

Bulk like the Hulk on the Road to Cap (Part 4)

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TLDR version; Lift heavy crap a minimum of 3 days a week, improve numbers, gain muscle, run a minimal amount, eat like the Hulk, transform into Captain America!

 

Boo... my gifs wouldn't load!... Maybe I'll come back later and add them...

 

The road from Steve Rogers to Captain America is a long one.  Started focusing more on strength training, and less on my Flash level running skills, in May 2018.  As of the end of the last challenge I have added exactly 17 pounds (~3.4 pounds per month).

The goal started with “I’d like to get over 175 by the end of summer… maybe up to 190 by May 2019”.  Since I discovered NF and received my equivalent of a German scientist’s super fuel, I am thinking I’ll be close to 190 by the end of the year….. 5 months early.

This challenge is going to focus a bit more on my “Bulk like the Hulk” eating. In my recap from the last challenge where I only put on 1.2 pounds, I realized I had gained 17 pounds since May but not noticeably increased my caloric intake in months.  I have been trying to average 3,200 in challenges…. This time I’m going to Hulk it up a bit, to a slightly higher 3,500 average.  People think it is great to “get to” eat that much…. But to do it without eating complete garbage is a lot of work!

 

 

This Challenge:

Given my work schedule, I’m sure I’ll have a week of travel in here somewhere.   As usual, I’ll do my best to track food when on the road! 

The ultimate goals are to focus on calorie intake (Bulk like the Hulk), continuing to get form solid, and doing a more Starting Strength type programming.

 

 

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds. Last time only gained 1.2 pounds.  Plan on mixing up the training and food intake a bit this time around.

 

 

Training Quests:

Lifts will have a more Starting Strength type programming.  So most will have warm ups with 3 sets of 5 working sets. Because I’m doing 3 real work sets I’m going to somewhat “reset” some of my lift weights to ensure form stays solid for this quest.

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 cumulative miles.

As it is run season, I may have a 5K or two thrown in this fall.  I’ll let you all know how I do if I register.  My wife is running one on the 20th, so I can’t be the lazy one doing nothing!

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5; This may be slightly aggressive but it is what I’m going for.

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: I’ve been doing this anyway so might as well challenge it. Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5; Long-term goal for Squat is to get the stinking weight more than my bench…. The fact it isn’t tells me either 1) I’m a weakling that needs to lift more, 2) my form is wrong, or 3) I have a psychological barrier to overcome

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5; I don’t train front squat specifically enough to shoot for a huge increase here.  

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5; The question for my DL will be.. how many work sets do I do? 3 work sets for DL at any significant weight is so much more draining than any other lift I do.  

DL side quest: Last challenge did 275.  I usually do this mid-way through my challenges.  I’m going to say an even 300 is what I’ll take a shot at. I’m wondering when I should start considering a belt for my lifts.

Quest 6: Russian Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Like this from a strength perspective better than pullups; Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5

 

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~222 grams

 

Fitness brain quest:

Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

Edited by Legolas Greenleaf
nOOb called RDL Russian not Romanian..
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7 hours ago, Legolas Greenleaf said:

 

 

I’m wondering when I should start considering a belt for my lifts.

 

 

Serious answer - (as long as you're bracing proper in the first place) - when you want to. 

 

If you are properly bracing WITHOUT a belt, adding a belt can give you something to brace against, which can help you lift more. If you're not properly bracing in the first place, a belt will just be an unnecessary piece of expensive equipment you carry around with you. But you never NEED or SHOULD have one. There are world record holders pulling over 900lb without one. It's 100% a personal preference :)

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8 hours ago, spezzy said:

 

Serious answer - (as long as you're bracing proper in the first place) - when you want to. 

 

If you are properly bracing WITHOUT a belt, adding a belt can give you something to brace against, which can help you lift more. If you're not properly bracing in the first place, a belt will just be an unnecessary piece of expensive equipment you carry around with you. But you never NEED or SHOULD have one. There are world record holders pulling over 900lb without one. It's 100% a personal preference :)

Thanks for the response! I've been much more conscious about properly bracing without one since I started squatting and deadlifting. Now I think about it when I do so many other things... picking up a dumbbell, my kids, etc. 

 

Maybe it is something I'll just keep in mind as my weights get heavier.  I think I prefer to do it without a belt as long as possible.  I'm trying to think of lots of these lifts in real world application... and I certainly am not going to rock a weight belt everywhere I go like some kind of powerlifting superhero...... (Funny... i wrote that line and then Googled it trying to come up with a smartass gif and the first article was a Staci Nerd Fitness article...An Update With Staci: OUR Powerlifting Superhero/)

 

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*points to forehead* Lifting is here.

 

*taps chest right above the heart* And lifting is here.

 

*taps leather belt* Lifting is never here.

 

I like your approach to lifting, applying it outside the gym. Since my goal with lifting simply is to become stronger, that way of thinking will help me stay on track and not lose focus on that goal. :)

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20 October 2018

I know the challenge doesn’t actually start until 22 October…. But I am working out anyway so….. for me it never stops!

 

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week: 186.6..+1.8… we’ll see if it holds... If I could exceed the +2 pound goal by a couple of pounds this month I'd be pretty happy with that. If I put on 10 pounds though it better have come with massive strength gains.... or I'm sure it will have come with an increased pant size!

giphy.gif

 

Training Quests:

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

This week: 4 lifts

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.

This week:  1 Run.. 3.3KM ; schedule got a little messed up this week coming back from the weird schedule last week with Hurricane Michael. I plan on running today.. so it is possible I end up with 3 runs this week and these two weeks average out.

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week:  190 @ 5; First lift was at 185 @ 5 but increased it for 2nd of the week.

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5

This week: 160 @ 5… on schedule

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5

This week: 185 @ 5… OK.. I’ll be honest.. I forgot what I said I would start at. When doing warm ups today 165 just seemed very light.  “Back in the day” I used to do reps at 225+ for DBench. I just haven’t done it much in years.  I may have under estimated what I can still do.. always a good thing I suppose.

On a side note.. finished the part of Starting Strength talking about decline… Rip sure isn’t a fan and prefers dips. I somewhat disagree that decline is useless… as I can do a ton of dips so I think decline is at least a decent mix it up lift.

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5;

This week:  165 @ 5. On schedule. Trying to decide whether to increase next week by 5 or 10. I think it will depend on how my legs are feeling.

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5;

This week: 105 @ 5; Yeah… forgot what I said I’d start at on this one too! Fail. Its ok, plenty of time to catch up still.

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 105 @ 5

This week: 100 @ 5; Started a little higher than I thought I would. I think I’ll easily exceed the goal of 105.

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5;

This week:  255 @ 5; started on plan. The question still is number of sets to work in. Did 2 work sets of 5 in my DL workout this week, compared to the 3 I do for most other lifts. On a random side note… I definitely am going to buy some deadlift socks. Apparently lost focus for a second and scraped my shin for the 37th time (at least it feels like it) on the bar, even though I had soccer socks on.

DL side quest: 1RM Goal 300 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  N/A – Did not attempt. Likely will be later in the challenge before I do a 1RM attempt.

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5

This week: 205 @ 5; Yeah. Yeah… forgot again. 225 @ 5 should be accomplished though. Work sets at 205 felt good form, so starting 10 pounds lighter is OK.

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5

This week: 200 @ 5.. Started challenge at 195 actually. But getting another 10 pounds to 210 will be an effort for sure.

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

This week: 95 @ 5; Felt OK. Having not ever spent much time doing press I’m still getting used to form.

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

This week: 3,444… Pretty close. Given tracking calories isn’t perfect I’ll take it.

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~222 grams

This week: 201.. This one I’m not so sure how it came in that low. Some stuff tracked in with lower protein intake than I expected. Really Friday just kind of screwed me. I only had 127 grams… but it was also a rest day so I wasn’t quite as focused on protein. That low number skewed the average pretty bad though.  

Probably should have had a protein shake anyway...

giphy.gif

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

This week: Really close to finishing all of SS outside of the “clean” section.  I may save that for later, or skim through it. Given how I program my lifts, I’m not sure the clean fits in on most schedules. 

Ordered his programming book and plan on starting that too.

Also watched a few videos on YouTube on Arnold… the most useful being a snippet from his Bluebook on how to gain mass. Basically extreme muscle confusion once your body becomes accustomed to your programming.

giphy.gif

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I always like seeing people's lifting numbers go up, it's exciting. I'm also curious about the bulk. Are you starting from a very lean base? Or does the running keep your body fat down? (I would love to get more muscle and strength but am too scared of getting fatter to increase calories).  Anyway, good luck with the 300 deadlift and your 2 pounds. For your information, 2 pounds is about the weight of an adult rufous hare-wallaby. 

rufous_hare-wallaby.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, Harriet said:

Are you starting from a very lean base? Or does the running keep your body fat down?

I'm starting from pretty lean.  In May of this year I was as low as 167.8 pounds and I am 6'5" tall... hard to be anything but pretty lean with those measurements.  I also basically stopped running over the summer and am just now starting to do a bit again (I like racing 5Ks occasionally and I don't want to be awful!).  If I run too much it is like putting difficulty on Expert for muscle gains. Doing a little bit now does help, I'm sure, in making sure I don't suddenly gain a bunch of fat.  But I'm not running enough (in my opinion) for it to be a huge factor.

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

For your information, 2 pounds is about the weight of an adult rufous hare-wallaby.  

Good to know! Always good to be able to reference which animal equivalent I have gained!

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21 hours ago, Legolas Greenleaf said:

In May of this year I was as low as 167.8 pounds and I am 6'5" tall... hard to be anything but pretty lean with those measurements. 

 

Ahh, that would explain it. Looks like I won't be able to use that particular method to get leaner, though. Alas.  

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On 10/21/2018 at 12:31 PM, Harriet said:

 

Ahh, that would explain it. Looks like I won't be able to use that particular method to get leaner, though. Alas.   

Mixing in some running if you are doing nothing right now might be a big deal for you though.  My body was, and still somewhat is, conditioned to run distance pretty well.  So I don't get the same calorie burn as someone just mixing it in, in my opinion.  I'm just too efficient at it.  If you are just now putting it in it could have a big "nOOb" gain for you.

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So this week I decided I need to eat some humble pie and make some changes...

 

A few of my lifts I am near the end of my nOOb gains period..

My bench is solidly in that 185-195 plateau so many guys hit before they break through into 225 range.

 

A few of my other lifts have some how drifted higher than they should have and form has suffered.... i'm looking at you squats.

 

This week I started changing my programming very slightly to try and work on both of these. 

 

For the things near the edge of nOOb range I've dropped very slightly in weight but added 1-2 work sets. I'm going to try this for slightly less weight with slightly more work sets approach and see if it helps shock my body a bit.

 

For things that still need fundamental work, I'm going to essentially do the same approach except it might be an even larger drop in weight until the muscle reaction is just automatic. I also think some of these form related lifts are because I'm still developing some of the supporting muscles.... and at 33 I don't do it as fast as i used to at 19.

 

I'm also going to focus on getting some good assistance lifts mixed in good.  They are there to assist... so I'm going to keep working them to let them.  I do many of them already, but I'm going to focus on making sure they are building the basic lifts.

 

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27 October 2018

I realize it is 2 November… But I got sick on Saturday and didn’t post… then it messed up some of my work outs I’ll post about on the 3rd. Blah. Anyway.. I’m better now.

 

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week: 187 +0.4 from last week

Challenge:  187 = +2.2

 

Training Quests:

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

This week: 5 lifts

Challenge: Average lifts per week 4.5

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.

This week:  1 run.. 3.28 KM I am failing to work this in for a number of reasons.   

Challenge: Average 1 run per week. 3.29KM avg

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week:   195 @ 5; but I didn’t get all my work sets in so plan on dropping to 190 @ 5 next week.

Challenge:   195 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5

This week:  155 @ 5; Dropped weight slightly this week. Was part of a larger workout and 155 @5 x 3 sets fit best.

Challenge:   160 @ 5

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5

This week: N/A – Didn’t get worked in.  Did hit 3 sets of 10 dips though

Challenge:   185 @ 5

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5;

This week:  175 @ 5; Still on the journey of feeling more comfortable with squats; likely drop weight and add more work sets next week to continue getting form comfortable.  

Challenge:   175 @ 5

 

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5;

This week: N/A – Didn’t attempt; Believe the squat racks were all full when I was planning on doing it so I did goblets instead.  

Challenge:   105 @ 5

 

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 105 @ 5

This week: 105 @ 5; Goblets felt OK. Think I’m going to just start spending more time with the bar on my back or front though and start moving away from goblets (… unless those stinking squat racks are full….)

Challenge:   105 @ 5

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5;

This week:  265 @ 5; Should easily hit my goal of 275.  We’ll see.

Challenge:   265 @ 5

 

DL side quest: 1RM Goal 300 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  285 @ 1; Wanted to get a 1RM on the books for October so I just set up 285 after my sets at 265 and pulled it once.  Probably not a “true” 1RM.. but I did it for 1 rep and the most I’ve DL’d since starting… so I’m counting it.

Challenge:   285 @ 1

 

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5

This week: 215 @ 5; RDLs definitely make my regular DL stronger. But I do think they make it so I need to focus more during DL to get lower and not be in RDL stance mid set.

Challenge:   215 @ 5

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5

This week: 205 @ 5; Starting to be in the zone of difficulty to increase much more without losing full range of motion.  

Challenge:   205 @ 5

 

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

This week: 100 @ 5; ehh.  

Challenge:   95 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

This week: 3,235… not sure if 3500 is going to happen

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~220

This week: ~186 grams… at least I was near 1 per pound.. too much carby dinner

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

This week: Finished SS; Started his programming book… which probably I need given some of the plateaus I’ve hit in lifts.   

Challenge:   Finished SS

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3 November 2018

Was sick this week. So running was basically non-existent… my lifts went lighter because even when I started lifting again on Tuesday I wasn’t 100%... certainly didn’t want to drop a weight on my face or get crushed under a squat bar… and I was barely eating for 2 days.. which makes it hard to bulk like Hulk

giphy.gif 

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week: 186.8 -0.2 from last week .. given all the issues I had early in the week I’m surprised this stayed as constant as it did.

Challenge:  186.8 = +2

 

Training Quests:

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

This week: 4 lifts

Challenge: Average lifts per week 4.33

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.

This week:  0… sick plus I prioritized my lifts… what ya gunna do? If it isn’t a priority it won’t happen. It hasn’t been a priority so it hasn’t happened.    

Challenge: Average 0.66 run per week. 2.2KM avg

giphy.gif

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week:   190 @ 5; As I said in a previous post I was planning to change up programming a bit.. Bench was one of those lifts

Challenge:   195 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5

This week:  N/A – Didn’t happen.

Challenge:   160 @ 5

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5

This week: N/A – Nope…

Challenge:   185 @ 5

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5;

This week:  155 @ 5; but quite a few more sets.. worked in some pause squats too.   

Challenge:   175 @ 5

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5;

This week: N/A – negative… may need to reconsider some of these lifts in future challenges that I only hit a few times the whole challenge.   

Challenge:   105 @ 5

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 105 @ 5

This week: 80 @ 6.. was still recovering when doing these so didn’t go as heavey. did an extra 2 work sets at the lower weight though

Challenge:   105 @ 5

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5;

This week:  245 @ 5 but over 3 work sets instead of 2.

Challenge:   265 @ 5

DL side quest: 1RM Goal 300 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  N/A – did not attempt.  

Challenge:   285 @ 1

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5

This week: 205 @ 5 .. recovering still.. so actually glad I was able to go this heavy.

Challenge:   215 @ 5

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5

This week: 200 @ 5; worked over 4 sets instead of 3  

Challenge:   205 @ 5

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

This week: N/A – Did not attempt.   

Challenge:   100 @ 5

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

This week: I’m sure it was awful but given I was sick and barely eating for 2 days I’m not bothering to report.

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~220

This week: Same as calories

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

This week: Just a little further into Programming.  Didn’t get too far this week.     

Challenge:   Finished SS

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10 November 2018

Traveled to Los Angeles for work this week.  Lots of good food… which I did NOT bother to track in MFP. All of that good food certainly helps to Bulk like Hulk though.

 Just realized we are entering the last week of the challenge.  Some lifts I don’t even know that I have attempted yet.  I’ll have to make it a point to at least go do them (and re-consider them for future challenges).

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  188.8 .. +2 from last week… I mean I did say there was lots of good food in LA.  I did take the time to get some solid lifts in too though so hopefully it isn’t pure fat!

Challenge:  188.8 = +4

giphy.gif

 

Training Quests:

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

This week: 3.5 lifts… 3 normal lifts and 1 run and “playground” lift.. that playground lift was pretty good though

Challenge: Average lifts per week 4.125

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.

This week:  2 runs; 7.81 KM; 3.9KM per run avg     

Challenge: Average 1 run per week avg; 3.60KM per week avg; Only way to get my mileages and run goals would be to have a ridiculous week to up the averages… this one is going to be a fail

giphy.gif

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week:   195 @ 5; Felt solid this week; 3 solid work sets at 195; 205 will only happen if I force it in late in the week.  Not sure I’m going to do that.

Challenge:   195 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5

This week:  N/A – Need to do some work on this.. I’ve only hit it one week this challenge.  

Challenge:   160 @ 5

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5

This week: N/A – Same here… Though I feel less inclined to force in Decline if I don’t have time.  Though I’m fairly certain I could hit the weight goal easily on this one. May do it just for the confidence boost points.

Challenge:   185 @ 5

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5;

This week:  165 @ 5; Solid work. I’ve mixed it up the past few weeks on number of sets and I’m feeling more progress even if the weight isn’t huge.   Doubt I’ll go for the weight goal just to do it this week.

Challenge:   175 @ 5

 

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5;

This week: N/A – Same comment as decline bench.. I’ll get it in if I can’t but I’m not going to out prioritize back squats

Challenge:   105 @ 5

 

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 105 @ 5 COMPLETE 24 Oct (105 @ 5)

This week:  Same here…

Challenge:   105 @ 5

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5; COMPLETE 8 Nov (275 @ 5)

This week:  275 @ 5; over 3 work sets too.  Interestingly I found out where my overhand grip is currently maxed out at…. 275 over multiple sets. Switched to a switch grip for sets 2 and 3 and it was much easier. Felt good though.. Love those DLs…

Challenge:   275 @ 5

Deadlifts... the functional exercise..

giphy.gif

 

DL side quest: 1RM Goal 300 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  N/A – did not attempt. Will contemplate a shot at 300 this week.

Challenge:   285 @ 1

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5 COMPLETE 6 Nov (225 @ 5)

This week: 225 @ 5 .. Felt good this week on the DLs.. hit both my DL and RDL goals.

Challenge:   225 @ 5

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5

This week: 195 @ 5… as ridiculous as it is my playground chin up work had me sore still when I was doing my lat pull downs.. did so many chin ups and at such an angle that it was interesting how sore I was

Challenge:   205 @ 5

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

This week: N/A – Did not attempt.   I really need to make it a point to get press more involved.  Gym I was at this week made it difficult.  Did do a seated press with 95 @ 5 though

Challenge:   100 @ 5

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

This week: I was on travel so I didn’t track.  

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~220

This week: Same as calories

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

This week: Rereading Ready Player One this week instead of fitness reading… oh well     

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Challenge:   Finished SS

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17 November 2018

Past week and Challenge wrap up

 

Weight Quest: Starting at 184.8 pounds. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  189 .. +0.2 from last week

Challenge:  188.8 = +4.2; Goal this challenge was to Bulk like the Hulk after only gaining 1.2 pounds last challenge.  I said after the first week if I could exceed my challenge goal by a couple of pounds I’d be happy, much more than that I’d be worried about fat… looks like I hit the sweet spot. COMPLETE

 

Training Quests:

Quest 1: Lift heavy things a minimum of 3 days per week

This week: 4 lifts this week.  Really busy at work so didn’t get to do everything I wanted, but I’ll take it.  

Challenge: Average lifts per week ~4.1; COMPLETE My workload at the office has kept me from doing all the lifting I’d like to do… but gotta keep the ship running though. Happy with the results here though.

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.

This week:  1 runs; ~6KM     

Challenge: Average 1 run per week avg; 3.8KM per week avg;  Running just clearly wasn’t a priority for me this challenge.  Given I didn’t get to do all the lifting I wanted, I’m guessing my work schedule had an impact here too.  No excuses though.  Maybe a recalibration of some kind for next challenge. FAIL

Quest 3:  Bench press Plan on starting challenge at 185 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week:   195 @ 5; Same weight as last week.

Challenge:   195 @ 5; didn’t attempt 205. Some solid bench work this challenge though and it feels stronger than at the start of this challenge. Started challenge feeling solid at 185; finished solid at 195. Still… FAIL

Bench side quest 1: Incline Bench: Plan on starting at 160 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5 COMPLETE 17 Nov (185 @ 5)

This week:  185 @ 5; made it a point to work it in this week  

Challenge:   185 @ 5; Didn’t do a lot of incline this time around.  Made it a point to get a shot at my challenge weight at the end.  I think next challenge I may bump up the prioritization of my weakest bench and focus on it a bit more. COMPLETE

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Plan on starting at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 195 @ 5 COMPLETE 13 Nov (195 @ 5)

This week: 195 @ 5; Made it a point here as well

Challenge:   195 @ 5; Hit the challenge easily.  IF I do this one next challenge it’ll just be for the psychological points that I can hit it.  D-Bench isn’t as useful as flat or incline in my mind. COMPLETE

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5;

This week:  155 @ 5; Felt more solid at 155 combined with my quad being a bit sore

Challenge:   175 @ 5; FAIL I’m still working on just slowing building my awful squat skills. Oh well.. just keep at it and I’ll get there eventually.

 

Squat side quest 1: Front squat: Plan on starting challenge at 115 @ 5; Goal to finish at 125 @ 5;

This week: N/A – Didn’t attempt

Challenge:   105 @ 5; This one might need to come off next time.  I think I only worked front squats in a single lift the whole challenge, which makes it hard to try and hit any type of goal. FAIL

 

Squat side quest 2: Goblet squat: I plan on starting at 95 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 105 @ 5 COMPLETE 24 Oct (105 @ 5)

This week:  N/A – no time this week

Challenge:   105 @ 5; Did a lot more goblet squat at the start of this challenge than at the finish. I need to be careful to not skip my assist squat work if I think it’s useful.  But I am thinking I should spend more time on my back squat and just keep working that. COMPLETE

Quest 5: Deadlift Plan on starting this challenge at 255 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 275 @ 5; COMPLETE 8 Nov (275 @ 5)

This week:  N/A – Didn’t really do a DL work set work out this week

Challenge:   275 @ 5; Feel good about where this finished. DL’s are certainly one of my favorite. COMPLETE

DL side quest: 1RM Goal 300 is what I’ll take a shot at. COMPLETE 17 Nov (305 @ 1)

This week:  305 @ 1; Yessss. 305 feels like 255 did a month or so ago.  A good sign! I think I could have just loaded up 315 and hit that but I’m taking the 1RM lifts a little at a time.  

Challenge:   305 @ 1; COMPLETE  Next challenge might up it to 325? We’ll see.

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Plan on starting at 215 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 225 @ 5 COMPLETE 6 Nov (225 @ 5)

This week: N/A- Didn’t attempt.

Challenge:   225 @ 5  I like the RDL as an assistant lift.  Lets me do a partial DL motion for one of my lift days without the stress of a full up DL.  I’m sure I’ll keep this mixed in next round. COMPLETE  

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Starting at 190 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 210 @ 5 COMPLETE 17 Nov (210 @ 5)

This week: 210 @ 5

Challenge:   210 @ 5 The “bench press” of back went well.  I wasn’t anywhere near doing 210 a month or so ago so I feel good about this one. COMPLETE  

Quest 8: Press Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 90; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 

This week: 95 @ 5

Challenge:   100 @ 5; I think I could have hit 110 @ something.. but I don’t know about @ 5. I simply haven’t been doing press long enough and also need to make it a point to work it in.  I’m not too upset with a slight gain on Press though. But still.. fail

 

Food Quest:

When I’m not on travel, I plan on tracking food intake in MFP. 

Goals: min 3500 calories (300 calorie increase in goal from last challenge)

This week: I was on travel so I didn’t track.  

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~220

This week: Same as calories

Overall my food I did OK. I didn’t think as much about what I was eating, so my protein wasn’t as good as I’d have wanted.  I also struggled to hit 3,500 calories every day (way harder than people realize if you try to do it remotely clean). Next challenge I’m going to be a little less “bulk like the hulk” focused.  I’m going to give this one a push. I don’t think I really passed or failed here.

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Finish Starting Strength.  I have the Clean and some of the accessory lifts left is all, I believe.  Buy his programming book and start that.

This week: Distraction…

Challenge:   Finished SS and started his programming book.. which is what I had on the list to do.. so COMPLETE  

Overall

Overall not too bad of a challenge.  A lot more green passes than red failures.  Failures on Squat, front squat, flat bench, and press.  Whether I didn’t push hard enough, I set the bar slightly too high, or I need to reconsider my programming is unknown.  Overall I feel good about the lifting progress though.

The running is another matter.  I’m not sure where running dropped so low on the priority list, but the data doesn’t lie.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with that going forward.

I give myself a “B” on this challenge overall.  I hit my weight goal (which is my may quest) and lots of my lifts.  Certainly room to get better though.

 

 

Until next time!

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