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Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf

Captain America takes the Road to South Park (Road to Cap Part V)

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Cap isn't sure what path to follow this Challenge

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So... I’m not sure what my focus should be this time so….

 

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Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

If I hit the goal of 191 I’ll actually have hit the weight I set out for myself back in May 2018 when I started getting heavily back into weight lifting.  When I set the goal I was thinking it would take 1 year to get there.  If I’m there by December I’ll be way ahead of schedule.  IF I hit 190 in December my goal is going to be to get closer to 210 by May, at a minimum over 200.  Just need to be careful not to overdo it on the food intake..

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Training Quests:

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

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Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles. Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  Same goal as last time.  Somehow I failed this one last challenge.  I don’t know if it was focus on other stuff, busy at work, travel, or distraction.  Either way, I’m keeping the same goal.  But I do know I need to not be lazy and just do it.

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Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  I think I’m going to initially focus on getting more sets in my work set.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets by the end. Making this a primary quest instead of a side quest this time around.

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5; This is the same goal I had last challenge and failed at.  But I think it was ok long-term because I focused heavily on getting that full range of motion in. I’m making this a side quest this time because I want to mix it up a bit and focus on Incline this time around.

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; I’m going to keep this in here for the psychological points.  If I don’t do this except for every other week that is OK. Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5

 

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5; Same goals as last time, which I failed at.  Finished last time with a high of 175 @ 5 but it wasn’t a comfortable 175.  I’m going to try to mix up the programming a bit and really focus on my barbell squat.  Because of that I’m eliminating side quests for squats this time around (front and goblet).  If I do any work on them I’ll just mention it here.

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5; I think I could shoot for 305 @ 5 or something higher but I’m starting to get into, what feels like to me, much heavier weights.  If nothing else my grip strength certainly notices (really the muscles and skin of my hand the next day sure feel it…).  Hopefully I can hit 305 @ 5 but I’m setting the bar of success a little lower, but still a solid 7%+ gain.

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at. I’m hoping by 1 year from when I started all my strength training I can hit a 400 pound dead lift (May 2019).. If not 1 year from then 1 year from when I started dead lifting (August 2019)… Very long-term goals but just gives you an idea of where I’m shooting.   If my squat could get better I think I’d have a much longer term goal of getting closer to that 1,000 pound club. I’m a lonnnnnnng ways from that though.

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5 ; I didn’t do this every week last challenge.  Squats and regular deadlifts are definitely going to be my focus area so we’ll see if I get all the way to 240 on RDL.

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5 ; I know I’m starting lower than I finished at not shooting for a lot of gain.  That 210 @ 5 I think was a particularly strong day. The 215 @ 5 will be work I’m thinking to get there. 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout.  I’m not shooting for some crazy number back to back, simply working them into my lifts.  Either I do it or I don’t quest.     

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5.. but it wasn’t easy to get. Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5 .. Same finish goal as last time, which I failed at, but now that I’ve made press more prioritized I think I can hit some gains here.  

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300… This is actually a little less than my goal last challenge.  3500 was just ridiculous to try to maintain and I’m sure, because I did awful at watching macros, I didn’t gain 100% muscle last round. Need to watch the Macros with the calories… but not ready to make that a quest yet.

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226 … Going to need to remember those protein shakes

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Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

 

 

Cap may be slightly lost on his journey this time... But if there is one thing that is true about Captain America... he never gives up

 

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On 11/21/2018 at 7:10 AM, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Cap may be slightly lost on his journey this time... But if there is one thing that is true about Captain America... he never gives up

 

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Why are you lost? Is it because you're close to your longer term goal of 191? 

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On 11/22/2018 at 1:31 PM, Harriet said:

Why are you lost? Is it because you're close to your longer term goal of 191? 

I think I'm just in distraction zone.  And I do think part of it is because I'm near that longer term goal.  I need to set some new long term goals so I have something to keep traveling towards.  That will be something I work on this month I suppose.

 

On 11/21/2018 at 9:29 AM, Grumble said:

Although the first goal is weight gain, so why can't he still train with Hulk?

Agree I should still Bulk with the Hulk a bit this month... but MAN I'm telling you that putting down that many calories is as much work as lifting some days.  I'm going to keep trying to eat solid this month, but it just isn't going to be as huge of a focus.

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24 Nov 2018

For those that are trying to keep track on some type of road, thanks for the support. I think the idea of my longer-term goal being in close reach certainly may be part of the problem.  Given this month is 6 months of focused training with the goal of weight gain (hopefully mostly muscle), it is likely time to reset for new long range goals anyway. Something I’ll keep in mind.

 

Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  188.4 = -0.6 pounds; likely some water weight fluctuation, either on the last weigh in last challenge or this weigh in.  Either way, I’m not terribly upset with essentially an in the noise change the first week.

Challenge:  -0.6 pounds

 

Training Quests:

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

This week:  3 lifts; Given Thanksgiving was this week I’m glad I got my minimum in.

Challenge:  Average of 3 / week

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles (~6.4km). Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  

This week:  I epically failed last challenge at run consistency, because of that I made sure to at least not suck this first week.  2 runs 10KM total; Avg run 5KM.  I did a little rowing this week as well.  I’ve been doing this off and on for warmups before lifting, but may start working it in as conditioning as well.

Challenge:  Avg of 2 runs per week; avg 10KM cum per week

 

Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets

This week: 185 @ 5; Felt solid this week.  Getting to 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets is still going to be some work though. 

Challenge:  185 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week: 185 @ 5; Started a little lower than I planned.  Given flat bench is a secondary quest for me this time around it will be interesting to see how it goes.  I had already done a solid incline lift when I did my flat bench so I’d already spent some energy.  I’ll have to keep it in mind when programming my lifts this month.

Challenge:  185 @ 5

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5

This week: 195 @ 5; I feel like I could have done the 205 @ 5 if I really wanted to but I decided to be discipline to my plan and stick with 195 this time around.  If decline gets worked in next week I’ll do at least 200 @ 5 hopefully

Challenge:  195 @ 5

 

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

This week:  170 @ 5; Started my work set on Monday at 165 @ 5 as planned but mixed in a set at 170.  Mixed in 2 sets at 170 today.  This sucker will get built up one way or another. Felt solid though, which is something I can’t usually say about my squats.

Challenge:  170 @ 5

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5;

This week: 285 @ 4; Did sets of 4 this week instead of 5. Felt solid.  Probably add the extra rep this week.

Challenge:  285 @ 4

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  Mixed in a heavy warm up rep in my DL workout this week; 1RM @ 315;  I’m sure I’ll hit 325 by the end of this quest if I take a shot at it.

Challenge:  1RM @ 315

 

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5  (COMPLETE 240 @ 5; 14 Nov)

This week:  240 @ 5; I hadn’t done RDLs in ~3 weeks and only did 225 @ 5 last time.  Warm up felt good today so wanted to go heavier than 230 for my work sets.  Might get up to ~250 or so if I get some more RDL work in.  One quest box checked early.

Challenge:  240 @ 5

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5 last time; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5

This week:  180 @ 5; I’ll be honest, my hands were just plane sore from my deadlift work the day before.  It made pulling on the lat bar more work on my hands than my lats.  As Vonnegut would say… “So it goes..”

Challenge:  180 @ 5

 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout. 

This week:  Did pull ups.. box checked this week

Challenge:  Week 1 (X)

 

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5  

This week:  100 @ 5; Press felt better than it has so far. Hopefully a sign I’m getting used to the movement. 110 @ 5 certainly felt that it was in reach today. 

Challenge:  100 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226

This week:  Calories 2,948 avg; Protein 186 g avg; I’m not 100% sure I captured well week that well.  My Wednesday looks suspiciously low.  Then again, maybe I just didn’t eat as much.  It is 1 thing not to Hulk it this month, but below 3,000 calories is too low for me.  I need to do better.

 

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

This week:   Read some more this week.  Overly broad goal of just doing something accomplished.

 

 

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1 Dec 2018

Busssssy week at work.  Sat in meetings until my back was sore… delved into information until my brain was sore… but that is what keeps the bills paid.  Makes it hard to hit the gym like I’d like though.  We’ll see how that impacted my stuff this week below I guess.

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Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  188.4 = 0 pounds; Held constant this week. Won’t complain about that.  

Challenge:  -0.6 pounds

 

 

Training Quests:

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

This week:  3 lifts; Given the work schedule this week I’ll take it.  Though I lifted 3 days this week I’m not sure they were the usual quantity of lifts I normally do, but at least I did hit the gym.

Challenge:  Average of 3 / week

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles (~6.4km). Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  

This week:  2 runs @ 8.21KM.  Didn’t run as far as last week but did actually do a little speed work.  My first run of the week was a 2 miler before my lift and I split it on a little pacing effort.  First mile paced myself at a 27:30 5K split.  2nd mile paced myself at a 20:30 5K split.  +++ confidence points that I can still easily run a 20:30 split without training at all to do so.

Challenge:  Avg of 2 runs per week; avg 9.1KM cum per week

Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets

This week: 185 @ 5; Consistent with last week.  Not doing 3 worksets at 185 yet.  I’m hesitant to up my weight beyond 185 until I’m there.

Challenge:  185 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week: 195 @ 5; An interesting side effect of prioritizing incline is it makes my flat bench feel almost like a decline.  Which, I think most people would agree, is easier.  It’ll be interesting to see if just this movement difference contributes to flat bench increases.

Challenge:  195 @ 5

 

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5

 

This week:  N/A – Didn’t have time to work it in. If it gets in this week it’ll likely be a shot at 200 @ 5

Challenge:  195 @ 5

 

 

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

This week:  175 @ 5; This month I’ve reduced the complication of my leg training.  It is heavily focused on just squats, deadlift, and RDL.  This is allowing me more time to focus on these compound movements that should really be my basis anyway.  Squat feels much stronger so I’m going to keep it up for the majority of this challenge and see how my body takes it.  

Challenge:  175 @ 5

 

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5;

This week: 285 @ 5; Got that extra rep in this week to be at 285 @ 5.  I realized this week that I’m doing more worksets in DL than I was a few weeks ago.  I’m not sure when I made that change, but it is something I need to take a look at. 

 Challenge:  285 @ 5

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  N/A – Did not attempt this week.

Challenge:  1RM @ 315

 

 

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5  (COMPLETE 240 @ 5; 14 Nov) (Inc to 245 @ 5 28 Nov)

 

This week:  245 @ 5; upped the weight a bit this week.  Felt it while sitting in meetings all day Wednesday and Thursday though.

Challenge:  245 @ 5

 

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5 last time; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5

This week:  200 @ 5; given I was at 180 @ 5 last week I’ll take it.

Challenge:  200 @ 5

 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout. 

This week:  N/A – Fail.. Planned on getting another lift day in this week and it just didn’t happen.

Challenge:  Week 1 (X)  Week 2 (fail)

 

 

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5  

This week:  105 @ 5; Getting better

Challenge:  105 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226

This week:  Calories 3206 avg; Protein 205 g avg; Didn’t track Thursday or Friday this week.  Days I did track are what is listed.  Was a little short on both goals, but much better than last week.

 

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

This week:   Read some more this week.  Still making progress on broad goal.  

 

 

 

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Looking good with 3 liftings and 2 runs. I imagine eating more than you'd like to naturally is quite hard work, especially if you don't eat out much. Do you cook most of your own food? And what kind of things are you reading for the reading goal?

 

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On 12/1/2018 at 12:09 PM, Harriet said:

Do you cook most of your own food?

Lucky for me I have a wifey that loves to cook.  So we end up with a lot of homemade meals, which turn into leftovers for lunch at work.  It is certainly cleaner, and probably cheaper, than eating out each day.

 

On 12/1/2018 at 12:09 PM, Harriet said:

And what kind of things are you reading for the reading goal?

For fitness reading stuff I've been reading Riptoes Practical Programming. I also count reading other fitness related stuff as fitness brain goals.. so NF articles etc.

But, more often than not I get distracted with pleasure reading... between my wife and I our house is a library... what ya gunna do?

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Solid lifts today! Felt like posting a random update since I hit several goals today...

 

Press... Goal: 110 @ 5... today hit 110 @ 5

Lat Pull ... Goal 215 @ 5... today hit 215 @ 5

Decline Bench... Goal 205 @ 5.... today hit 205 @ 5

 

Though I didn't hit my weight for my Incline Bench I did hit 3 solid worksets at 185 for the first time. So I'm on solid progress towards that goal too..

 

Feel solid for sure!

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8 Dec 2018

Traveled to Los Angeles again this week. So that always makes the routine get a bit disrupted…. But it also means I eat well! (But don’t bother tracking either)

 

Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  191.4 = +3 pounds; Guess I ate REALLY well in LA. … Which I did.  But I also hit the gym hard and had a few weeks of zero gains.  Hopefully it isn’t all water fluctuation and what not.   

Challenge:  +2.4 pounds ; I also hit my BIG goal I set back in May 2018.  I weighed in at 167.8 and said I’d like to try to get up to 190 by May 2019.  I’ve hit that goal well ahead of schedule and I don’t think it a huge accumulation of fat.  I’m sure I’ve put on some while trying to bulk, but certainly not so much where people would look at me and say “WHOA!”.  I’m going to post a follow up at some point considering what my new stretch goal is so I have something to shoot for.

 

Training Quests:

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

This week:  3 lifts; Was traveling for work so I’ll take it.  

Challenge:  Average of 3 / week

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles (~6.4km). Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  

This week:  2 runs @ 6.8KM. Only ~2 miles this week but at least I hit my min miles and number of runs.

Challenge:  Avg of 2 runs per week; avg 8.3KM cum per week

Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets

This week: 190 @ 5; Slight increase from last week. But only 1 of my 3 worksets was at this weight, and my goal is for all 3 to be at 195.

Challenge:  190 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5;

This week: 195 @ 5; felt solid.  Likely try for 200 on next flat left.  

Challenge:  195 @ 5

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5 (COMPLETE 205 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  205 @ 5; Goal complete.  Likely keep working some Dbench in and push it closer to 210-215 near the end of the challenge.

Challenge:  205 @ 5

 

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

This week:  180 @ 5; 5 pounds more than last week and only 5 pounds from my goal. Should hit it before the end of the challenge.

Challenge:  180 @ 5

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5;

This week: 295 @ 4; 1 rep short of goal, but intentionally only did 4 reps so that is OK. Hopefully hit @ 5 next DL session.

I realized this week my worksets are getting really close to my 1RM.  Either my 1RM is way too low or my worksets are getting to heavy.  Something I’ll need to keep an eye on because if it is the latter I don’t want to hurt something.   

 Challenge:  295 @ 4

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.

This week:  N/A – Did not attempt this week. Probably won’t attempt again until the week of 17 Dec.

Challenge:  1RM @ 315

 

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5  (COMPLETE 240 @ 5; 14 Nov) (Inc to 245 @ 5 28 Nov)

This week:  245 @ 5; Was the last lift of a long lift session so I decided not to up weight from last RDL session.

Challenge:  245 @ 5

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5 last time; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5 (COMPLETE 215 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  215 @ 5; Completed goal and felt good doing it. As I gain more weight I expect some of these lifts to come easier simply because I’m moving my heavier butt around all day though.

Challenge:  215 @ 5

 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout. 

This week:  Worked in pull ups and chin ups this week.  

Challenge:  Week 1 (X)  Week 2 (fail) Week 3 (X)

 

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5  (COMPLETE 110 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  110 @ 5; hit my goal, but unfortunately tweaked something in the process.  Weird location because it is my lower portion of my left Lat that got hurt. It only hurts when doing overhead press type movements though.  Very odd.. but just going to lay off the press for a bit and hope it heals up.

Challenge:  110 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226

This week:  Calories 3324 avg; Protein 231 g avg; Only tracked 3 days this week because of travel, so that is what the totals reflect. On those days I looked good though.

 

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

This week:   Read some more this week.  Moving right along.   

 

 

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On 12/2/2018 at 4:49 PM, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Lucky for me I have a wifey that loves to cook.  So we end up with a lot of homemade meals, which turn into leftovers for lunch at work.  It is certainly cleaner, and probably cheaper, than eating out each day.

 

For fitness reading stuff I've been reading Riptoes Practical Programming. I also count reading other fitness related stuff as fitness brain goals.. so NF articles etc.

But, more often than not I get distracted with pleasure reading... between my wife and I our house is a library... what ya gunna do?

 

There are worse things than being distracted by pleasure reading :) I like reading about health and fitness stuff, too, but often I end up confused because I read articles that contradict each other, on a variety of topics. Short of carefully reading all the scientific studies myself it can be a bit hard to untangle. 

Is it even possible to lift multiple reps of your 1rm? Doesn't that mean your 1rm must have gone up, even if you didn't test it? 

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3 hours ago, Harriet said:

Is it even possible to lift multiple reps of your 1rm? Doesn't that mean your 1rm must have gone up, even if you didn't test it? 

Exactly... the question is did it go up a good bit or am I doing way to close to 100% of my 1RM for my worksets in normal lifts? I don't know the answer to that.  I don't do a 1RM too often and when I do I always feel like it was heavy but I could have done more. 

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17 hours ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Exactly... the question is did it go up a good bit or am I doing way to close to 100% of my 1RM for my worksets in normal lifts? I don't know the answer to that.  I don't do a 1RM too often and when I do I always feel like it was heavy but I could have done more. 


I guess the question is, does the ratio between the 3 or 5 rep max and the 1rm stay the same? I imagine it varies between people, and maybe it could change if your endurance and strength develop at different speeds? But does it really matter? Are the heavy sets tiring you out too much? I gather (from reading the internet) that people with greater strength  simply get more tired from lifting what they are able to lift, and need longer recovery. So it's possible as you get stronger you might have to do fewer heavy sets and more medium sets, even if the ratio between various rep maxes stays the same for you. I bet others here know more about it, though.

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On 12/8/2018 at 7:45 AM, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

Traveled to Los Angeles again this week. So that always makes the routine get a bit disrupted…. But it also means I eat well! (But don’t bother tracking either)

NERDS NEED TO LET THIS NERD KNOW WHEN THEY COME TO LOS ANGELES.

I will feed you and provide company.

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15 Dec 2018

Great week of training.. Let’s see how it looks below.. hopefully lots of green.

 

Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  192.6 = +1.2 pounds from last week;

Challenge:  +3.6 pounds

My wife is talking about doing a shred challenge in January so I may do a mini-cut that month (unless I finish December below 190.. then no way.) I don’t really need to cut (I’m really probably “too thin” to cut for too long at my current weight), but doing something to confuse my body a bit wouldn’t hurt. Because of that I’ll probably track weight next challenge but not be too concerned about where it ends up.

 

Training Quests:

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

This week:  6!!!! lifts; Trained Sunday – Friday. Not every day was insanely intense, but was able to train a good bit this week. Don’t think I over trained, but too many weeks like that would be a problem. No training today for sure.

Challenge:  Average of 3.25 / week

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles (~6.4km). Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  

This week:  2 runs @ 6.5KM. Hitting at least the min each week, which is way better than last Challenge.. so I’ll take it.

Challenge:  Avg of 2 runs per week; avg 7.9KM cum per week

Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets

This week: 185 @ 5; Little lighter this week. Just one of those sessions where it just felt heavy. Oh well… Keep pushing for this quest and do best I can.  

Challenge:  190 @ 5

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5; (COMPLETE 205 @ 5; 11 Dec)

This week: 205 @ 5; said screw it this week and just went for the 205 … naillled it.   Complete!!!

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Challenge:  205 @ 5

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5 (COMPLETE 205 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  N/A – Did weighted dips this week instead.  

Challenge:  205 @ 5

 

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5; (COMPLETE 185 @ 5; 10 Dec)

This week:  185 @ 5; booooom. Another quest complete this week. My squat is starting to feel like a more natural lift to me, but still room to improve.

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Challenge:  185 @ 5

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5; (COMPLETE 295 @ 5; 10 Dec)

This week: 295 @ 5; completeeee.  Another one bites the dust.

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Challenge:  295 @ 5

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.  (COMPLETE 325 1RM 14 Dec)

This week:  1RM @ 325… killing it…. Another complete

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Challenge:  1RM @ 325

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5  (COMPLETE 240 @ 5; 14 Nov) (Inc to 245 @ 5 28 Nov)

This week:  N/A – did not work in this week.  

Challenge:  245 @ 5

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5 last time; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5 (COMPLETE 215 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  215 @ 5; Completed goal and felt good doing it. As I gain more weight I expect some of these lifts to come easier simply because I’m moving my heavier butt around all day though.

Challenge:  215 @ 5

 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout. 

This week:  Went a bit nuts on it this week. One of my upper body sessions ended up with 60 pullups and 30 chinups.

Challenge:  Week 1 (X)  Week 2 (fail) Week 3 (X) Week 4 (X)

 

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5  (COMPLETE 110 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  N/A – Still recovering from whatever that tweaked part of my back is this week. Did some seated dumbbell press though, as that didn’t seem to hurt. 40 pounders @ 6.. so better than nothing

Challenge:  110 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226

This week:  Calories 3374 avg; Protein 232 g avg;

This is something I’m going to reconsider a bit more going forward, specifically the macros.  I’ve been reading up more on lean bulking and think I may be eating too much fats and not enough carbs.

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

This week:   Spent most of my study time this week on watching youtube vids.  Have gotten into watching Vitruvian Physique’s channel this week. The guy is similar to me in that he isn’t huge and is a lean person by genetics (though he is in WAY better shape than me).  But I’ve mostly found his stuff interesting because he presents data like a nerd. He tells you why you should or shouldn’t do things and then explain it … instead of simply saying to do or not do it.  I followed some of his advice on cardio after lifting this week… man that run was way more intense than normal. 

   

 

 

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Because I'm a nerd who works in a field heavy in data analytics, I randomly decided this week to dig deeper into what I actually input into my fitness pal.  I pulled all the total calorie, grams of protein, carb, and fat, from September 1 to today for any days I tracked.  I then converted the grams of macro nutrient to calories per macro and then the more well known macro % breakout.

 

Findings...

1) I am FAR less consistent on daily basis for macro % than I thought... some days one macro was incredibly high other days incredibly low. This could have implications on both lean bulking, maintaining, or cutting (dirty bulk you just do whatever you want... kind of like cartman... but in the end you look like him too.... )

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2) Though I've had a calorie goal of 3,300 at points back in September and as high as 3500 in the Oct / Nov window, almost every snapshot of analysis shows that I average ~3,200 calories. This was more surprising to me, as I have consciously been trying to go HIGHER than this for months. The fact the data shows I haven't means I'm leaving lots on the table.

 

3) Given I know I have put on a little bit of bulking fat I now need to consider what is the cause. 

Is it my Macro breakout?  This has averaged, pretty consistently since 1 September as: 24-25% protein, 39.7-39.4% carb; 35.9-35.4% fat.  Based upon some recent studying I've been doing, my fat intake may be too high.

 

Is my base maintenance calories simply lower than I thought, making 3,200 adequate for fat gain as well as muscle? Meaning, if I were to have actually consumed 3,500 on average would I have put on even more fat?

 

Or is it a combination?

 

 

Anyone an expert on bulking macros out there, or at least actually try to shoot for a breakout?

 

This is one area where I have not spent much focus. As I've been on my road to cap my main goal has been to slowly increase calories (though this data indicates I have NOT increased calories, if i were to analyze back to my pre-nerd fitness days my calories have come up a TON. I used to be sub 2,000. I slowly ramped into the 2,000's over the summer, and then I found Steve talking about 3,500 calories and lifting heavy weight being awesomeness.. that was some point in the ~August window) , ensure I have at least 1G of protein per pound of body weight, and that is about it.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.  (COMPLETE 325 1RM 14 Dec)

 

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Nice! And congrats on hitting so many of your other lift targets, too.

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21 hours ago, Harriet said:

Nice! And congrats on hitting so many of your other lift targets, too.

Thanks! I love hitting those PRs!

I'd take a shot at some 1RM numbers on bench and possibly squat, but I generally lift alone and don't want to mess with a spotter. I also don't want to have to be rescued by a blonde male swimsuit model like you described ... might be a bit more awkward for me lol :lol:

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13 hours ago, Legolas "Cap" Greenleaf said:

I also don't want to have to be rescued by a blonde male swimsuit model like you described ... might be a bit more awkward for me lol :lol:


It's fine! Just mumble "thank you" and look at your sneakers until he's gone. That's what I do. 

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22 Dec 2018

Didn’t increase a lot of weights this week BUT… did Cleans for the first time. Gym was packed one day and I had a barbell but no squat rack. Might start working those in a bit more for the explosiveness and coordination work.

Weight Quest: Weight at the end of last challenge 189. Goal, like last time, +2 pounds.

This week:  192.2 = -0.4 pounds from last week;

Challenge:  +3.2 pounds Complete

~+24.4 pounds from my starting weight in May 2018. The majority of that is muscle, but it is impossible to put on that much without some from fat. Likely do a mini-cut with some people next month or two.

Training Quests:

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

This week:  4; Might hit in the gym today too.  

Challenge:  Average of 3.8/ week Complete

Quest 2: Run minimum of 2 times per week at a minimum of 4 cumulative miles (~6.4km). Maximum of 10 (~16KM) cumulative miles.  

This week:  2 runs @ 7.7km

Challenge:  Avg of 2 runs per week; avg 7.84KM cum per week Complete Even though I am likely to cut next month, I doubt I’ll increase run goals much. Plan on most of the cut being diet related.

Quest 3 Incline Bench: Finished last time at 185 @ 5, plan on starting there.  Goal is to be at a solid good form 195 @ 5 for 3 worksets

This week: 175 @ 5; Didn’t even try the 195 @ 5. Realized my form was slipping a bit and I wasn’t getting the range of motion I wanted. So, rather than do some half-assed crappy reps to check a box I lowered weight for a better training session.   

Challenge:  190 @ 5  FAIL

Bench side quest 1: Flat Bench Press Finished last challenge 195 @ 5; Plan on starting there;  Goal to finish at 205 @ 5; (COMPLETE 205 @ 5; 11 Dec)

This week: 205 @ 5; Didn’t up the weight yet.

Challenge:  205 @ 5

 

Bench side quest 2: Decline Bench: Finished last challenge at 195 @ 5; Plan on starting at 195 @ 5; Goal to finish at 205 @ 5 (COMPLETE 205 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  N/A – Did weighted dips this week instead.  I’ll likely stick with more weighted dip work through next challenge instead of Decline.

Challenge:  205 @ 5

 

Quest 4: Squat Plan on starting challenge at 165 @ 5; Goal to finish at 185 @ 5; (COMPLETE 185 @ 5; 10 Dec) (Increased to 190 @ 5; 19 Dec)

This week:  190 @ 5; One of the few things to go up in weight this week. On some of these lifts I’m getting closer / already at the “advanced novice” stage where I need to start mixing up the programming a bit I think.

Challenge:  190 @ 5

 

Quest 5: Deadlift Finished last time at 275 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 275 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 295 @ 5; (COMPLETE 295 @ 5; 10 Dec)

This week: 295 @ 5; Stuck with the same weight this week.

Challenge:  295 @ 5

 

DL side quest: Finished last quest with a 1RM of 305; 1RM Goal of 325 is what I’ll take a shot at.  (COMPLETE 325 1RM 14 Dec)

This week:  1RM @ 325… killing it…. Another complete

Challenge:  1RM @ 325

Quest 6: Romanian Deadlift Finished last time with 225 @ 5; Plan on starting at 230 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 240 @ 5  (COMPLETE 240 @ 5; 14 Nov) (Inc to 245 @ 5 28 Nov)

This week:  N/A – did not work in this week.  Actually haven’t done these at all this month… mini-fail. Did do those cleans though so got some mix it up work in there.

Challenge:  245 @ 5

 

Quest 7: Lat Pulldown Finished with 210 @ 5 last time; Starting at 200 @ 5; Goal is to finish at 215 @ 5 (COMPLETE 215 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  N/A – It was apparently EVERYONE’s lat pull day every time I tried to do it this week. Guess everyone wants that back taper for the holidays lol.. Did a fair amount of pull ups instead. 

Challenge:  215 @ 5

 

Back side quest:  Do some amount of pull ups and/or chin ups in workout. 

This week:  I’ve enjoyed getting these more worked into my lifts again. I could tell a big difference in strength as the weeks went by.

Challenge:  Week 1 (X)  Week 2 (fail) Week 3 (X) Week 4 (X) Week 5 (X)  80 %Partial Complete

 

Quest 8: Press finished last challenge at 100 @ 5; Plan on starting this challenge at 5 @ 95; Goal is to finish at 110 @ 5  (COMPLETE 110 @ 5; 2 Dec)

This week:  95 @ 5; Carefully worked this back in given the odd injury I had. Went with a rule I’ve read once “If you can’t clean it, don’t press it.” Given I’m new to clean, I’m not doing much yet… which helped regulate my press I guess.

Challenge:  110 @ 5

 

 

Food Quest:

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

Goals: min 3300

Min protein: 1.20 grams * pounds starting weight= ~226

This week:  Calories 3178 avg; Protein 189 g avg;

Challenge: Calories: 3263 avg; Protein 207 g avg; Partial pass I was 98.9% of my calorie goal and 90% of my protein goal. This past week I had a couple of days I just didn’t feel like eating much, which pulled me down some on both. Maintaining Macro discipline will be a difficult thing for a cut going forward. Right now I mostly just focus on enough protein.

Fitness brain quest:

Goal: Make some progress on Practical Programming for Strength Training

This week:   Watched some more youtube videos but also read a good bit of Practical Programming. Vague goal Complete

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Overall Assessment:

I completed every training goal, running and lifting, except for 5 pounds on the Incline Bench.  I think this was one of my more successful challenges in that regard recently, but I think a lot of that had to do with tracking training history to know what my expected progression might be.

 

Food I did OK, but I've realized the food I'm eating may not always be what I expect it to be. I plan on doing some more Macro research and seeing whether this is something I should be more focused on while bulking or not. Some of the best advice I've seen is that we are all different and generic macro guides are somewhat BS. Within reason, you should follow some advice; however, the impact of carbs, for example, is going to be different for each trainee.

 

Overall, Captain America's distraction in South Park didn't go too badly. Gains were made, goals were achieved, and an overall good challenge was completed.

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