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bigm141414

Bigm is still here

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Let’s recap the year long goals shall we? 

 

The goals for the year

 

Strength-wise

  • Get the big 3 lifts back to intermediate levels 
    • Deadlift - 2xBW 
    • Squat - 1.5xBW 
    • Bench 1xBW 
  • Be able to clean and jerk/snatch again. 
    • This has no weight target behind, more of a movement thing. Plus I need to find a space to do them safely. 

Cardio-wise:

  • Run a 5k without stopping consistently

Body movement-wise:

  • 10 consecutive pullups and ring dips. 
  • Hold a free-standing handstand 
  • Stop being injured

Body composition-wise:

  • Get to 205lbs and maintain +/-5%. 
  • Lose the keg, get a 6 pack. 
  • Shoulders and back definition

Random life goals: 

  • Read 30+ books this year. 
    • Currently Sitting at 2 read, with a bunch on my kindle and in my library ready to be read. 
  • Learn the piano
  • Visit the Pacific Northwest. 

 

 

During the first month I made some progress mostly in the strength and body movement sections. I got back into the groove of lifting, and spent every day doing yoga which has helped with the “stop being injured” portion. Plus I am up to a 4 rep max on neutral grip pullups. 

 

The body comp and random life sections didn’t get much attention last month so I am going to focus on them this month. Still leaving the cardio part of the year until later when I feel my knee and ankle are healthy enough to retry them. 

 

So goals for this time around


Strength-wise

  • Continue the lifting program as written. The current block will finish up at the end of this challenge so perfect timing. 
  • Get next block planned out 2 weeks before the current one runs out. I mentioned this in the wrap up of my last challenge, but it bears repeating. I need to have enough time to get the next section planned and then make minor tweaks, instead of trying to rush to put together a program. 

 

Body-comp wise

  • Continue to limit drinking to 1x a week. 
    • I have at least one event on the books for the end of Feb. 
  • Don’t eat like an asshole. 
    • Get back to a decent relationship with food. Last challenge I was able to maintain about the same weight which is good, but this month I want to start dialing in my food habits. The big gotchas for me are eating breakfast and lunch at work so I am going to limit that to only 2 meals a week (out of 10 possible). 

 

Random Life Goals:

  • Continue the reading. Finish two or more books this month. 
  • Spend one session a week learning piano. Minimum one. And by session I mean 35 or more minutes. Bonus points for multiple sessions.
    • With the decrease in volume of my lifting program I should have plenty of energy and free time on my rest days. 

 

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4 hours ago, bigm141414 said:
  • Stop being injured

 

2 hours ago, raptron said:

This is probably the hardest one. Good luck!

 

Also one of the most important ones. Good luck indeed!

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Yo! Love the thought you put behind mapping out your goals for the year - definitely here to follow (even if I abandoned the warriors for at least a challenge).

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Week 0.1-5 Updates

 

DELAA - (don't eat like an asshole) this is going well. I stocked my fridge with cooked foods over the weekend for lunches and quick dinners. Made a large pan of beef keema and some chicken-bacon-sweet potato-avocado mash which makes a (not) surprisingly good salad topper for work day lunched. 

 

Lifting - Been consistent and the weight is going up pretty quick. Deets below. Up to 185lbs for 11 reps on DL and 155 for 11 on squats. I broke out the microplates for curls and BBB press this week. There's nothing more adorable than two 0.25lbs plates on each side of a barbell. 

 

Random lifes - Have not played any piano this week, but I have today and tomorrow to get it done. I did finish a book last night (Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Nuevel). It was an interesting read. The book was in interview format about a team that find a giant robot. Good cliff hanger at the end. I started Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. It literally was just released but had good blurbs by Neil Gaiman, and draws on African mythology for inspiration so I am hoping for a refreshing take on the fantasy genre.   

 

I also started flipping through strength programs for ideas on the next block. No decisions made yet, but I've been contemplating some version of either Sheiko #30, Smolov Jr, or a basic-ish 5x5. Trying to balance my need for volume vs my need for a heavy barbell. This is exactly why I wanted to start the selection process early. 

 

 

 

  sets reps rx actual   sets reps rx actual   sets reps rx actual
Day 1 - Feb 4   Day 2 Feb 6   Day 3 Feb 7  
Bench Press 1 5 50% 55 Press 1 5 50% 45 Bench Press 1 5 50% 60
3x5+ 1 4 55% 60 3x5+ 1 4 55% 50 3x5+ 1 4 55% 65
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 75 Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 60 Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 85
  1 2 85% 90   1 2 85% 75   1 2 85% 100
  2 5 100% 105   2 5 100% 85   2 5 100% 115
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 105 AMRAP set 1 10 100% 85 AMRAP set 1 11 100% 115
Deadlift 1 5 50% 85 Squat 1 5 50% 80 Deadlift 1 5 50% 95
1x5+ 1 4 55% 95 3x5+ 1 4 55% 90 1x5+ 1 4 55% 105
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 120 Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 110 Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 130
  1 3 85% 145   1 2 85% 135   1 3 85% 160
            2 5 100% 155          
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 170 AMRAP set 1 11 100% 155 AMRAP set 1 11 100% 185
Curls 3 8   45.5 Chins 3 5     Curls 3 8   46
                             
BBB Press 3 10   45 BBB Bench 3 10   50 BBB Press 3 10   45

 

In other news: I bought a new mattress and that was delivered yesterday. It's a fancy memory foam thing and I crashed on it hard last night. This is my first new mattress in 14.5 years (been sleeping on the same cheapo one I got in college). Memory foam is weird coming from a spring mattress. It doesn't squeak when I move nor does it have that slight rebound when I sit on the edge. Overall a good purchase and it's going to help up my sleep game. 

 

And since I did the adult thing of buying a new mattress, I did the non-adult thing of picking up a new squat rack. Currently all  I have in the garage is squat stands which have worked great the last 7 years but I wanted a place to do pull-ups/ring dips outside of a doorframe where my knees touch the ground, and  I wanted the ability to attach some safety spotters arms for when my bench gets really heavy. I lift alone so safety is important. Plus did y'all know there are a bunch of cool garage gym equipment these days? Thank the gods for crossfit for making this stuff cool. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 7:43 AM, CourtnieMarie said:

M1uP.gif

 

n6eFCPY.gif

 

Honestly, I do not know why I haven't done a power rangers themed challenge before. 

 

On 2/5/2019 at 7:48 AM, raptron said:

This is probably the hardest one. Good luck!

 

On 2/5/2019 at 10:38 AM, scalyfreak said:

 

 

Also one of the most important ones. Good luck indeed!

 

Yeah I am getting too old for stupid human tricks these days. 

 

20 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Yo! Love the thought you put behind mapping out your goals for the year - definitely here to follow (even if I abandoned the warriors for at least a challenge).

 

Thank you! 

 

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Week 0.6 

DELAA - Good here. Went to the store and stocked up on groceries for the week. Now to meal prep on Sunday.  

Lifting - Done. See below. Things went well. I didn't up the weight on barbell rows but focuses more on form this week. Quality reps over weight any day, amirite?  

I am attempting to add in some daily conditioning since the volume is less. For now I've added some kettlebell swings, 5 rounds every minute on the minute. I also built a set of parallettes over the weekend. While not part of this specific challenge the long term goal is to work on shoulders and back, and there is nothing like some bodyweight exercises to do that. I figure I can add in some l-sit/planche work every day with my KB swings for conditioning. 

Also did some evening yoga, just a quick 15 minute video to relax before bed. 

 

  sets reps rx actual
Day 4 - Feb 9  
Deadlift 1 5 50% 95
3x10 @ 50% 1 4 60% 115
Straight leg version 1 3 70% 125
  3 10 50% 95
EMOM KB swings 5 10   44
         
         
         
Tempo front squat 1 1 50% 75
Tempo = 07x15 1 1 60% 90
to heavy single then 1 1 80% 120
3x3 @ 80% 3 3 50% 75
BB rows 5 10   75

 

 

Week 0.7 

DELAA - Prepped a bunch of food stuff for the week. I've got 7-ish meals worth or frozen curry soup base, 4 chicken-sweet potato-avocado hash servings, 10 servings of sliced chicken breast, a rolled pork loin stuffed with pesto and gorgonzola and mushrooms, and a bunch of veggies. Okay so maybe a bit more than a week's worth of meals but it's nice to not have to worry about food. Just toss things in a pan and heat em up. Oh, and eggs and bacon and coffee. Because that is the breakfast of champions

Lifting - Rest day, actively. Went into the office gym this morning to get in 30 minutes of cycling. I also did some calf raises in the smith machine for ankle rehab. Figure adding weight slowly to ankle flexion will help rebuild some muscle and stability. Did some bro stuff too, curls and bench supported DB rows. I wish I had DBs at home. I'd definitely use them since my left side is stronger and more coordinated than my right. 

 

I did manage 30-ish minutes of piano practice. And by practice I mean sitting for 20 minutes practicing scales and 10 minutes trying to play a simple song to a beat (yay metronomes!) My right hand gets cranky and sore after about 5 minutes of scale practice so I stop and have to shake it out. It's considerably weaker and less nimble than my left. Pretty sure I am going to spend the bulk of the next 4 weeks playing nothing but scales and chords. 

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:42 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Because you have yet to master the musical aspects of the Flute-Dagger?

 

 

ARgh, you are so right. and without my Flute-dagger I cannot summon my Challenge-zoid! 

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On 2/8/2019 at 4:42 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Because you have yet to master the musical aspects of the Flute-Dagger?

 

There is no way that is sanitary.

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1 hour ago, bigm141414 said:

My right hand gets cranky and sore after about 5 minutes of scale practice so I stop and have to shake it out. It's considerably weaker and less nimble than my left.

That's what happens when you only train one hand.

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2 hours ago, bigm141414 said:

 

DELAA - Prepped a bunch of food stuff for the week. I've got 7-ish meals worth or frozen curry soup base, 4 chicken-sweet potato-avocado hash servings, 10 servings of sliced chicken breast, a rolled pork loin stuffed with pesto and gorgonzola and mushrooms, and a bunch of veggies. Okay so maybe a bit more than a week's worth of meals but it's nice to not have to worry about food. Just toss things in a pan and heat em up. Oh, and eggs and bacon and coffee. Because that is the breakfast of champions


These sound nice. Excellent work on the piano practice. Hmmm, does your hand need to be stronger for piano, or just more relaxed? 

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16 hours ago, bigm141414 said:

Quality reps over weight any day, amirite?  

You're right, though it's easier said than done!

 

16 hours ago, bigm141414 said:

I am attempting to add in some daily conditioning since the volume is less. For now I've added some kettlebell swings, 5 rounds every minute on the minute. I also built a set of parallettes over the weekend. While not part of this specific challenge the long term goal is to work on shoulders and back, and there is nothing like some bodyweight exercises to do that. I figure I can add in some l-sit/planche work every day with my KB swings for conditioning. 

What'd you build your parallettes with / what design did you use? I've got a small travel set, but debating trying to DIY a slightly taller set to keep at home.

 

16 hours ago, bigm141414 said:

Pretty sure I am going to spend the bulk of the next 4 weeks playing nothing but scales and chords. 

Basics are almost always a good use of time!

 

2 hours ago, raptron said:

SO MUCH FOOD PREP. Dang! Do you wanna feed all of us? :D 

^^Seconded.

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Week 1.1

 

And the challenge has begun! 

 

First some normal housekeeping: 

 

Starting weight: 223.2lbs

Starting BF%: 26.8% 

 

Okay now that that is out of the way. 

 

DELAA - Check. Brought lunch. Spinach salad with sliced chicken and an oil/balsamic vinegar dressing. Dinner was chicken and veg stir fry. 

 

Lifting - Check. Deets below. I skipped out on the chins this evening because I took down my pull up bar in prep for squat rack delivery. I've definitely left marks on the frame which I'm going to need to fix and repaint soon. I'll make them up later in the week. Squats felt good. They were heavy enough to leaving me huffing and puffing after 11 reps. Effin' cardio I tell ya. Probably had another 3-4 in the tank if I pushed it. Most likely will not be hitting 10+ reps in the next session or two. Which is about what I estimated when I put the plan together. On OHP I probably had another 2ish in me? Maybe? I really want to get to 10+ reps at 95lbs which is slated for Thursday. If I hit that I'll call it a win. 

 

Random Life - Read a bit over lunch at work. But then I left my Kindle on my desk so I won't be reading that book tonight in bed. Le sigh. No piano today either. 

 

  sets reps rx actual
Day1 - Feb 11  
Press 1 5 50% 45
3x5+ 1 4 55% 50
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 65
  1 2 85% 80
  2 5 100% 90
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 90
Squat 1 5 50% 85
3x5+ 1 4 55% 95
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 120
  1 2 85% 145
  2 5 100% 165
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 165
Chins 3 5    
         
BBB Bench 3 10   60

 

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10 hours ago, raptron said:

SO MUCH FOOD PREP. Dang! Do you wanna feed all of us? :D 

 

Quote

^^Seconded.

 

I've fed a horde of nerds before, and y'all ate and drank everything. I learned I need an industrial sized kitchen for nerd-cooking and my current place is too small even for me. But in all seriousness, I got an InstantPot and an immersion blender and it has made all the difference in the world for large batch cooking. 

 

22 hours ago, Harriet said:


These sound nice. Excellent work on the piano practice. Hmmm, does your hand need to be stronger for piano, or just more relaxed? 

 

Probably a bit of both. I have no dexterity in my right hand at all so fine motor movements make it ache. And the whole mind body connection similarly does not exist on my right side; it takes much more concentration to control my fingers. Not going to lie, one of my motivations for learning the piano is to develop better right-handedness. 

 

8 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

 

What'd you build your parallettes with / what design did you use? I've got a small travel set, but debating trying to DIY a slightly taller set to keep at home.

 

 

Basic 1.25" PVC build. 12 in handles, ~6in legs, and ~6in pieces for the feet. Total height is about 9.5in off the ground with this build, Just high enough for me to do pass throughs (jump throughs? I dunno) with barely enough clearance. I glued all the base and leg pieces together, but left the handle section unglued. This way the legs can be turned to the side so they fold up and take up less space when not in use. I've discovered I can hold a tucked position for all of 6 seconds before collapsing, so that's good :)

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 8:53 PM, bigm141414 said:

Basic 1.25" PVC build. 12 in handles, ~6in legs, and ~6in pieces for the feet. Total height is about 9.5in off the ground with this build, Just high enough for me to do pass throughs (jump throughs? I dunno) with barely enough clearance. I glued all the base and leg pieces together, but left the handle section unglued. This way the legs can be turned to the side so they fold up and take up less space when not in use. I've discovered I can hold a tucked position for all of 6 seconds before collapsing, so that's good :)

Oooh nice! I sense a hardware store trip in my eventual future. And we all start from somewhere - I remember my first tuck sit attempt was similarly humbling early last year.

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Updates! 

 

Week1.2

DELAA - Going good. Still making my way through the prepped foods. 

Lifting - Rest day. I attempted to get in some conditioning or assistance stuff today, but my heart wasn't in it. I ended up doing some parallette pushups (3x8) and some tuck holds (3x10s each).

 

Otherwise I called it a day, read in bed till about 945pm and turned out the lights.  

 

 

Week1.3 

DELAA - Good again today. 

Lifting - Today was a garbage day performance-wise. I was planning on leaving work at 4-430pm (my usual time) but I made the mistake of walking into the lab and asking my co-workers how things were going. It seems things were not going well which meant I spent another 2.5 hours at work debugging and getting their system up and running. It wasn't a frustrating time, I quite enjoyed the work and my coworkers were happy to have the help, but it just meant that I got home at 735pm and hence the garbage day of lifting. I hit all the reps, but form was sloppy and I rushed the hell out of everything because I wanted dinner. Deets below. 

 

  sets reps rx actual
Day 2 Feb 13  
Bench Press 1 5 50% 65
3x5+ 1 4 55% 70
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 90
  1 2 85% 110
  2 5 100% 125
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 125
Deadlift 1 5 50% 100
1x5+ 1 4 55% 110
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 140
  1 3 85% 170
         
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 200
Curls 3 8   50
         
BBB Press 3 10   45
         
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18 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Oooh nice! I sense a hardware store trip in my eventual future. And we all start from somewhere - I remember my first tuck sit attempt was similarly humbling early last year.

 

 

Yup! I think it cost me about $18 at the orange big box hardware store. My lower core definitely needs some work to hold my legs up. That and my hamstrings are only useful to push my legs away from me, they aren't really used to pulling my legs in close.  

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Week1.4 

DELAA - Good but I haven't been eating enough the last few days. MY weight change reflects that as well as my overall feeling of achy/tiredness. So today I ate a second helping of lunch (first lunch: sweet potato bacon chicken hash thing on spinach, second helping rolled pork loin). Felt better. This always happens when I try not to eat like an asshole, the more I consider my foods the more likely I to not eat enough. Basically I need to up zee carbs. 

 

Lifting - Good day today! I think I am hitting the end of the large jumps on OHP. The last rep at 95lbs was grindy. Squats were good as well, I surprised myself by hitting 11 reps at 175lbs. I had marked down that I wouldn't hit 10+ today but lo and behold I was able to make it. The reps weren't sloppy, and I stopped because I was getting winded, not because my legs were giving out. See, this is why I need some cardio conditioning. It also makes me ponder running a 20 rep squat program this year. But then I have to tell myself that's foolish. 

 

  sets reps rx actual
Day 3 - Feb 14  
Press 1 5 50% 50
3x5+ 1 4 55% 55
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 70
  1 2 85% 85
  2 5 100% 95.0
AMRAP set 1 10 100% 95
Squat 1 5 50% 90
3x5+ 1 4 55% 100
Last set is AMRAP 1 3 70% 125
  1 2 85% 150
  2 5 100% 175
AMRAP set 1 11 100% 175
Chins 3 5    
         
BBB Bench 3 10   60

 

 

In other news, my new squat rack arrived and is currently sitting in pieces on my garage floor. I get to put that together this evening when I get home and test it out. And by test I mean lift from it. Once it is built I will finally have a place to catch up on all of my chins/pullups that I missed this week. Woohoo!

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1 hour ago, bigm141414 said:

This always happens when I try not to eat like an asshole, the more I consider my foods the more likely I to not eat enough. Basically I need to up zee carbs. 

ALWAYS MORE CARBS.

 

1 hour ago, bigm141414 said:

Squats were good as well, I surprised myself by hitting 11 reps at 175lbs. I had marked down that I wouldn't hit 10+ today but lo and behold I was able to make it. 

Even with a negative nancy attitude. ;) Nice!

 

1 hour ago, bigm141414 said:

See, this is why I need some cardio conditioning. It also makes me ponder running a 20 rep squat program this year.

giphy.gif

 

I know it sounds crazy, but it is possible to do aerobic conditioning NOT in the forum of squats. 

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