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Harriet

Harriet's Emergency Stopgap

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I think I did. Shows how much you pay attention. Although, if you can find those shoes for me all will be forgiven forever.
Pssh. How dare you suggest I would ever forget anything as important as.. uh, what were we talking about?



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So I'm doing total rep goals for my heavy lifts. 15 reps in 3 sets means I move up to heavier weights. My last deadlift breakthrough was 150 pounds, but I only got 11 reps in 5 sets (4-4-1-1-1). 
 
Today I got no less than 7-5-4. YARSH!!! I attribute this glory to four things.

One, I used liquid chalk for the first time and it made me feel like a god instead of a trembling mortal. An uncertain grip makes me feel weak all over.

Two, I have been practicing ignoring the fearful voice that says "that's too heavy". I let myself try lifts I thought I would fail. Some I failed, at it wasn't the end of the world. Some I succeeded at. So now when I hear myself think "that's too heavy" I sort of mentally shrug and think "it'll come up or it won't. the attempt must still be made".

Three, similarly, I have been focusing on set up so it's the same every time. I don't pull when I feel ready, I pull after breathing in. And I breathe when my chest is out. And my chest goes out after my hips are in place. And so on. 

Four, I have been doing light paused deadlifts and medium weight deadlifts which seem to have stealthily made me stronger at the heavies. 
 
After about 6 months of almost no net progress, I feel hopeful about future gains. 
Woo! That's awesome! See, you're even stronger than you thought :)

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Alright. Got all my benches for 75lb. Time to move up.

 

Mini challenge is going okay. I found if I place the fish oil & vitamin D on my desk in the morning, I will remember to eat it with food. Writing in my journal is helping me get more things done, too, generally. My next mini challenge is setting specific times to get things done (meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning, writing, reading) so that I do less procrastination and don't lose so much mental energy deciding whether to do the thing now or later. I'm going to use a timer to tell me when it's time to get started on the next task.

After the nerdy squat advice I got here, I tried Grumble's suggestion of jumping repeatedly off a small box. I also tried CM's suggestion of putting little plates under my heels to see what raised heels feels like. It seems I've been squatting with a too-wide stance, possibly to compensate for slightly stiff ankles/shins/hips, and this may have been causing the instability and knee caving, or at least making it worse. The narrow stance felt more stable, I was able to stop at a more reasonable depth (with the wide stance I can't help going very deep and losing tightness), and putting plates under my feet felt even better. It was only medium weight squats today, so I'll have to see how the narrow stance fares with the heavies. Then it may be time to consider shoes. 

 

In other news, I have spent many months reading about cutting, bulking, and recomp, in the vain hope that I can get stronger, more muscular, and leaner all at once. It seems this is unlikely. I am not sure I have the willpower to cut calories after the evil cutting year of 2017, in which I tried to hate myself thin (it worked for a bit, but I was eventually overwhelmed by a desire to eat all the things, and haven't returned to dieting since then). But I am going to try a mini-cut before Christmas just to try it out in a non-threatening way. 10 days of calorie restriction until my family comes to the USA for Christmas. Then a Christmas mini-bulk (kind of inevitable that we'll be eating at restaurants, might as well lift weights and call it a "bulk"). Then if I have not died from hunger or fat-gain freak-outs, I can try longer, more planne cycles next year. 

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

I also tried CM's suggestion of putting little plates under my heels to see what raised heels feels like. It seems I've been squatting with a too-wide stance, possibly to compensate for slightly stiff ankles/shins/hips, and this may have been causing the instability and knee caving, or at least making it worse. The narrow stance felt more stable, I was able to stop at a more reasonable depth (with the wide stance I can't help going very deep and losing tightness

Starting Strength talks about a wide squat so if you read that at all I'm sure that is part of the reason you are going wide... I've found the same thing as you though that if you go TOO wide it makes it hard to go deeper.

 

 

3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Then it may be time to consider shoes. 

Switching over to simple flat soled Converse made my squats and deadlifts feel a lot better.  I was using running shoes and it just isn't the same.  I know people recommend olympic shoes for squats sometimes, but I haven't made that move myself yet.  I've read enough stuff talking about how Converse are probably the best middle ground and so I've stuck with those for lifting. Plus I'd have to switch to flatter shoes for deadlifts vs squats and the thought of using 2 pairs of shoes sounds annoying.  Also wasn't as big of an investment just getting some Converse.

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1 hour ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Starting Strength talks about a wide squat so if you read that at all I'm sure that is part of the reason you are going wide... I've found the same thing as you though that if you go TOO wide it makes it hard to go deeper.

 


With a wider, toes-out stance, I can go very deep--all the way down--but my knees collapse inward. Forcing my knees out in that position seems to hurt the ligaments in the front of my hips. 

 

1 hour ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Switching over to simple flat soled Converse made my squats and deadlifts feel a lot better.  I was using running shoes and it just isn't the same.  I know people recommend olympic shoes for squats sometimes, but I haven't made that move myself yet.  I've read enough stuff talking about how Converse are probably the best middle ground and so I've stuck with those for lifting. Plus I'd have to switch to flatter shoes for deadlifts vs squats and the thought of using 2 pairs of shoes sounds annoying.  Also wasn't as big of an investment just getting some Converse.


Yeah, I got some converse at the very start as my friend recommended them. They have served admirably. I may not need lifting shoes, but the narrower squat puts more pressure on my ankles, which are plenty mobile from side to side (not very useful) but not from front to back (at least, not the right one, which I sprained twice). I was thinking the raised heel might help with that. And I don't squat and deadlift on the same day so I would never need two pairs of shoes. Unless I decide to start doing sprints on the treadmills. So many types of shoes. Hmmm. 

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On 12/5/2018 at 9:42 AM, Harriet said:

Gotcha, barefoot like those weird finger shoes

That's exactly how I think of them -- gloves for your feet. :)

 

Grumble said (Quote selection not working right): ". . .unless you're at a crunch or planet fitness or one of those other bullshit gyms (sorry, if you kick people out the gym for "being too loud" you're not a gym, you're a library with treadmills. . ."

 

Ok, funny story about that. PF was my old gym. One time I was in there, and a guy was on the treadmill, singing with his headphones SO LOUDLY THAT I COULD HEAR HIM ACROSS THE GYM. It was absolutely bizarre. Side note--I have also heard people carrying on extensive conversations on treadmills. If you can talk that damn much, I wonder if you're pushing hard enough. Just sayin'.

 

On 12/5/2018 at 12:10 PM, Gemma said:

in general they are pretty mean and can hurt you bad if you try to play with them. They are definitely in the "don't mess with me and I won't rip your face off" category of cute. 

 

Huh. Goals. ;)

 

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3 hours ago, Katerina said:

 

Huh. Goals. ;)

 


Your goal is to be "don't mess with me and I won't rip your face off" kind of cute? Fair enough, that's a pretty good combo. 

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On 12/8/2018 at 3:01 PM, Harriet said:

d by a desire to eat all the things, and haven't returned to dieting since then)

I love what a psychiatrist friend of mine says...."Diet is whatever you put in your mouth..."

 

I'm guessing you're still eating :flustered:

 

Rather than 'diet,' just make small changes. Something easily attainable, that can made into a small habit. You roll up enough small changes and you get a big change :-D. Just takes more patience but is much more likely to work.

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1 hour ago, farflight said:

I love what a psychiatrist friend of mine says...."Diet is whatever you put in your mouth..."

 

I'm guessing you're still eating :flustered:

 

Rather than 'diet,' just make small changes. Something easily attainable, that can made into a small habit. You roll up enough small changes and you get a big change :-D. Just takes more patience but is much more likely to work.

Image result for this gif Image result for this gif Image result for this gif

 (Is that enough emphasis? I'm not sure.)

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2 hours ago, farflight said:

I love what a psychiatrist friend of mine says...."Diet is whatever you put in your mouth..."

 

I'm guessing you're still eating :flustered:

 

Rather than 'diet,' just make small changes. Something easily attainable, that can made into a small habit. You roll up enough small changes and you get a big change :-D. Just takes more patience but is much more likely to work.


I am trying to make small sticky changes :)This year I learned how to cook, started cooking most meals for us, cut out most refined carbs (except for restaurant days) and sweets, added in more vegetables and protein, and recently quit drinking wine during the week. We're currently doing one restaurant meal per week, and maybe once per week I eat two slices of pizza or a cupcake or something non-goal related (usually after deadlifts). Other weak points might be too many snacks that are a bit more processed (string cheese, jerky, protein shakes). I cook three meals a day with mostly whole foods.

 

I guess I've been eating close to maintenance for the last six months, just intuitively, which is good, I guess. But apparently you can eat semi-healthy at maintenance, and neither get rapidly stronger nor transform into a slender, leggy gazelle. Who knew? 

 

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56 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Image result for this gif Image result for this gif Image result for this gif

 (Is that enough emphasis? I'm not sure.)

 

I love all the boys with their hands and fingers. But.... all the internets say bulking and cutting is more effective than eating at maintenance. 

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I did my first ever 60 lb OHP today (5 sets of 3). It may seem tiny, but I spent months just working up to the bar from dumbbells, then spent the last 6 months plateauing and then backsliding with all my lifts. I'm finally starting to improve again and get beyond where I was before the regression. 

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39 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I love all the boys with their hands and fingers. But.... all the internets say bulking and cutting is more effective than eating at maintenance. 

Effective for What? (Not rhetorical, I want to hear your answer.)

 

8 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I did my first ever 60 lb OHP today (5 sets of 3). It may seem tiny, but

Now It's A Party GIF - Car Air Blow GIFs

 

8 minutes ago, Harriet said:
 

I spent months just working up to the bar from dumbbells, then spent the last 6 months plateauing and then backsliding with all my lifts. I'm finally starting to improve again and get beyond where I was before the regression. 

Very strong. Much lift. So improve. Wow.

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31 minutes ago, Harriet said:

It may seem tiny, but

But nothing...improvement and success is not about magnitude, its simply the fact that it happened...it happened!

 

If you go up 0.5 lbs, thats a big deal, that's indicative of improvement and growth!

 

GRATS!!!!

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52 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I did my first ever 60 lb OHP today (5 sets of 3). It may seem tiny, but I spent months just working up to the bar from dumbbells, then spent the last 6 months plateauing and then backsliding with all my lifts. I'm finally starting to improve again and get beyond where I was before the regression. 

 

giphy.gif

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Ola !!

Stopping by to give you some extra cheer (sorry I wasn't there the first two weeks).

Congrats on all your achievements!!

 

37 minutes ago, farflight said:

But nothing...improvement and success is not about magnitude, its simply the fact that it happened...it happened!

 

If you go up 0.5 lbs, thats a big deal, that's indicative of improvement and growth!

 

GRATS!!!!

I love this! :D

 

Great job!

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26 minutes ago, Nol said:

Ola !!

Stopping by to give you some extra cheer (sorry I wasn't there the first two weeks).

Congrats on all your achievements!!

 

I love this! :D

 

Great job!


Hiya Nol! Are you challenging with the druids again?

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

Effective for What? (Not rhetorical, I want to hear your answer.)


Wurl. for losing fat and gaining muscle and strength*. The internets says that maintenance is not effective for growing muscle because mr muscle prefers a surplus, and that it is not effective for losing fat because you can't lose fat without a deficit. So for the skinny-weak-fat person who wishes to be both more muscular and stronger and lose fat, maintenance allegedly leads to extremely slow improvement at best and wheel spinning at worst. Whereas slowly bulking and rapidly cutting will make me into a lean pinterest fitness girl. Or possibly the wolverine. Rar. 

 

*Internet also says neurological gains cannot go on forever, and increase in muscle mass will eventually be needed for moar strength. 

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46 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Wurl. for losing fat and gaining muscle and strength*. The internets says that maintenance is not effective for growing muscle because mr muscle prefers a surplus, and that it is not effective for losing fat because you can't lose fat without a deficit. So for the skinny-weak-fat person who wishes to be both more muscular and stronger and lose fat, maintenance allegedly leads to extremely slow improvement at best and wheel spinning at worst. Whereas slowly bulking and rapidly cutting will make me into a lean pinterest fitness girl. Or possibly the wolverine. Rar. 

 

*Internet also says neurological gains cannot go on forever, and increase in muscle mass will eventually be needed for moar strength. 

The internet will tell you whatever you want. Be careful with that.

 

I, personally, Do Not Believe in the traditional bulk and cut cycling. I think that our bodies aren't meant to fluctuate like that, or at least mine isn't. I dropped a shit ton of weight this year. I still have more weight to lose, but as far as calories consumed I have not really changed anything. What I did change was how clean I was eating. And it made a massive difference. I think making decisions to adjust your diet depending on your goals are what you should do, but not making a major change on HOW you eat. And if you are fat, you have a readymade energy source you carry around with you. I feel like that should get some emphasis. Why would you want to increase calories to get energy for muscles when you need to teach your body to use the energy you already have. I'm 36, I've been working out since high school and learning to eat better since I was 26ish. I'm just NOW starting to understand all the crap I've been reading for the past decade+. Read everything, question everything twice. In the end find what works for you.

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45 minutes ago, Grumble said:

I, personally, Do Not Believe in the traditional bulk and cut cycling. I think that our bodies aren't meant to fluctuate like that, or at least mine isn't. I dropped a shit ton of weight this year. I still have more weight to lose, but as far as calories consumed I have not really changed anything. What I did change was how clean I was eating. And it made a massive difference.


Congrats on the weight loss. So, what does clean eating mean for you? No treats or restaurant, or just occasionally? 

 

 

45 minutes ago, Grumble said:

And if you are fat, you have a readymade energy source you carry around with you. I feel like that should get some emphasis. Why would you want to increase calories to get energy for muscles when you need to teach your body to use the energy you already have.

 

Is this a thing? Does it work for people who are a normal weight and only a little bit fat? Hmmm... maybe my diet is okay but I didn't "recomp" because I wasn't actually getting stronger for the last 6 months. If my lifts get stronger, will I turn into wolverine? 
 

Edited to add, I do eat semi-clean, though my definition of clean includes whole grains, legumes and dairy. I eat whole foods for three meals per day. I drink water or tea with milk. I have a restaurant meal with wine once per week. Sometimes I eat a cupcake or pizza for lunch---maybe once a week. Or a literally 28g bit of chocolate once a week. Oh, and I probably eat too much jerky and string cheese for snacks. But the snacks aren't making me gain weight; I seem to be at maintenance. But I haven't recomped. I look the same as I did six months ago, possibly with bigger biceps. SO should I add "cleanness" or subtract calories, or just get stronger and pray to the spirits of the earth? 

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14 hours ago, Harriet said:

Edited to add, I do eat semi-clean, though my definition of clean includes whole grains, legumes and dairy. I eat whole foods for three meals per day. I drink water or tea with milk. I have a restaurant meal with wine once per week. Sometimes I eat a cupcake or pizza for lunch---maybe once a week. Or a literally 28g bit of chocolate once a week. Oh, and I probably eat too much jerky and string cheese for snacks. But the snacks aren't making me gain weight; I seem to be at maintenance. But I haven't recomped. I look the same as I did six months ago, possibly with bigger biceps. SO should I add "cleanness" or subtract calories, or just get stronger and pray to the spirits of the earth? 

 

Just my two cents. 

 

Try not to overthink things too much. I know its a challenge to get where we have all gotten here, especially where some of us started (I know I can obsess about cals in versus out very easy...its a dark wicked place)

 

Make small changes. How do you know if you're under/even/over eating? Do you know how many calories you're 'supposed' to be eating? If your dieat is steady, and nothing changes, try making small changes. Before I dropped my gym membership I was hitting stronglifts 5x5 three times a week, running a couple times a week, 100k steps during the week routine. Weights had started stalling. I started eating more. Lost gym and haven't noticed any body changes (e.g. clothe still fit or at some level maybe getting looser).

 

The thing is, if you're eating 'at maintenance,' then nothing will really change, you're fueling enough to maintain your activity and weight. If your majorly stalling on lifts (e.g. deloading all the time or just zapped from them), then consider increasing calories/food intake some, do that a few weeks and see if things get better.

 

Just try not to over think it too much. Trust the process and try to be patient. Cliff's notes version of my story: I've lost 100+ lbs on my journey, increased a lot of strength, and decreased back pain incidence and increased my stamina massively. Granted, it's taken about 4-6 years, and I'm still not done. Patience is key in all this. 

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14 hours ago, Harriet said:

Is this a thing? Does it work for people who are a normal weight and only a little bit fat? Hmmm... maybe my diet is okay but I didn't "recomp" because I wasn't actually getting stronger for the last 6 months. If my lifts get stronger, will I turn into wolverine? 

 

I'm speaking from personal experience, but yes, it worked for me.

As for Wolverine, You may not be canadian enough.

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48 minutes ago, farflight said:

 

The thing is, if you're eating 'at maintenance,' then nothing will really change, you're fueling enough to maintain your activity and weight. If your majorly stalling on lifts (e.g. deloading all the time or just zapped from them), then consider increasing calories/food intake some, do that a few weeks and see if things get better.

 

 

Soo, everyone is saying to make small sustainable changes, which makes sense. But you also say eating at maintenance will change nothing. So does that mean I should indeed cycle between trying to lose fat and trying to get stronger/more muscular (but with small habit changes) instead of sitting at maintenance?

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