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Harriet

Act VII - Harriet Scouts the Lands Beyond the Fortress

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15 hours ago, Harriet said:

I did squats and bench today. Five straight sets is generally too hard for me, so I think I'm going to do three straight sets on each lift, then two more sets at a slightly lower weight (maybe minus 5 or 10lb, whatever it takes to get about 5 reps) and then call it a success and increase the weights for the next workout as long as I get 3x5. I'm also thinking of borrowing Scalyfreak's practice of increasing the weight for one set at a time. So maybe next squat session I'll do 125, 120, 120, 110, 110.  

Deloading mid exercise is a thing. It's a good idea. So is going the other way. Try both. See which works better for you.

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2 hours ago, Grumble said:

Deloading mid exercise is a thing. It's a good idea. So is going the other way. Try both. See which works better for you.

 

I do this all the time, since I have fragile old joints that like to whine. In the end, do what works for your body and what makes you happy.

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Ugh. Really frustrated. I may just be tired and grumpy but... I'm fed up of the extremely long and silly workouts our Tuesday taekwondo instructor puts us through. Today it was about 45 minutes before we got to the actual kicking. A few minutes of that was stretching, but most of it was warmup. Jogging, then "suicides" (where you sprint one third of the mat, touch the ground, sprint back, touch the ground, sprint two thirds, touch the ground, sprint back, sprint to the end, touch the ground, sprint back) then five drills with more running interspersed with stupid little jumps or flutter kicks, then she asked us to run another person along the mat like a wheelbarrow... when it was my turn it hurt my wrist and I just wasn't sure what the benefit was. Then we had to lean against the wall, raise our legs into kicking positions, and keep them there while doing tiny circles or similar. Then she asked us to waddle along the mat while crouched ass to grass, and said it would strengthen our legs. I declined to do the exercise. I was so f***ing tired and frustrated I felt like crying. Maybe it's the heat and I'm in a bad mood. But I feel like a lot of these exercises just fatigue me with no benefit, and then I spend the remaining 45 minutes doing a half-assed job of kicking because I'm already worn out. Our Thursday and Saturday instructors do some warm up, but not that much. We get to spend our precious time doing kicks. And at least the Thursday instructor explained why we to do ladder drills, which I don't like much. Anyway, I'm not sure whether to be angry at my stupid body for being slow and heavy and never really getting better at this cardio shit, or angry at Tuesday instructor for pulling out random exercises to annoy us with when we should be kicking things. 

Are there some exercises that fatigue you without making you fitter? Or is cardio something where you can just add more and more little things like a stack of multi coloured licorices? Why do I respond to cardio by being equally tired every single time? And why is keeping my leg in the air and doing tiny circles so hard when I can lift and kick just fine? I'm feeling weak, inflexible, and unfit. And fat and angry and fed up. 

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11 hours ago, Grumble said:

Deloading mid exercise is a thing. It's a good idea. So is going the other way. Try both. See which works better for you.

 

Do you mean ramping up? I sort of do that with my warmups. E.g. for bench I do 45, 65, 75, then my working sets at 85. Or for deadlift it might be 95, 135, 155, working sets at 170. 

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1 minute ago, Harriet said:


I'm feeling weak, inflexible, and unfit. And fat and angry and fed up. 

 

You are none of those things. Your body is being asked to do things it is not used to doing, and it feels unhappy about this and is complaining to you.  That's normal, and it's very frustrating, but it's not a sign that something is wrong about anything. You're simply feeling the effects of doing more cardio, and harder, than your body is accustomed to. If you keep doing it, your body will get used to it, and it will become easier. How long that will take, varies from person to person.

 

45 minutes of cardio is the equivalent of a kickboxing or zumba class at any gym. Being tired at the end of something like that is not a sign of weakness, or of a lack of fitness. If anything, it's a sign that maybe the instructor needs to be reminded she's not working with professional gymnasts or black belts on Tuesday evenings?

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Just now, Blocky said:

Any warmup that takes longer than 10-15 mins is stupid or ineffective or both...

 

This too.

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1 hour ago, Blocky said:

Any warmup that takes longer than 10-15 mins is stupid or ineffective or both...

 

That's what I thought. I'm not warm after the warmup, I'm exhausted, and I can't get excellent form on my kicks. 

 

1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

45 minutes of cardio is the equivalent of a kickboxing or zumba class at any gym. Being tired at the end of something like that is not a sign of weakness, or of a lack of fitness. If anything, it's a sign that maybe the instructor needs to be reminded she's not working with professional gymnasts or black belts on Tuesday evenings?

 

Plus 35 minutes of brisk walking to get there, and then the actual taekwondo afterwards.

 

1 hour ago, scalyfreak said:

If you keep doing it, your body will get used to it, and it will become easier. How long that will take, varies from person to person.

 

Will I? Sometimes I lack faith in this process. I have been doing the TKD for 2.5 months now and--like with other forms of cardio I have tried--I don't seem to be getting fitter. The others seem to cope better with it than I do. Sigh. Is it possible to be a poor responder to cardio? Or are random exercises a few times a week just not good enough to cause improvement? Or is ten weeks too short? 

I think I just have to tell the instructor it's too much for me, and that I'm going to do half of the warm up then do my own stretching (she doesn't give us as much time for stretching as the other instructors). I think she and some of the black belts have the attitude that feeling awful means you worked hard and that the workout was effective. Whereas I think it's ineffective to be exhausted by the time we get to kicking. And I seriously struggle to understand how walking someone across the room like a wheelbarrow is doing anything for their strength. It might f*** their wrists, though. Oh well. If I trust my own judgement more than the instructor, and I think I do, I just have to be an adult and show her my Ron Burgundy inspired exemption form:


IMG_5881.jpg.82b93fd66473b76044978b88d25fac75.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Or are random exercises a few times a week just not good enough to cause improvement?

 

I would point the finger at this. To get good at a thing you need to do that thing specifically... if the warmup was always the same thing, then you would probably adapt over time. If it's random... then not so much.

 

22 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I think she and some of the black belts have the attitude that feeling awful means you worked hard and that the workout was effective.

 

This is a very common phenomenon amongst leaders in many fitness areas. Being sore does not equal progress.

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Will I? Sometimes I lack faith in this process. I have been doing the TKD for 2.5 months now and--like with other forms of cardio I have tried--I don't seem to be getting fitter. The others seem to cope better with it than I do. Sigh. Is it possible to be a poor responder to cardio? Or are random exercises a few times a week just not good enough to cause improvement? Or is ten weeks too short? 

 

I'm going to chime in here and say this is the "growing up puppy syndrome", meaning that when you get a little puppy you never see if get bigger, but when a friend comes over a few weeks later they say "wow your dog has grown". It may seem to you that you're not getting fitter, but I'm willing to put down some benjamin's that you're much much much fitter than you were 2.5 months ago. Also with cardio you're always at a near death stage, since that's the point of cardio, and in a group setting it's designed to make everyone (fit and unfit) tired and fatigued. In the CrossFit box I was at, when we do cardio type exercises at the end of it everyone (fit and unfit) are lying on the floor breathing for their life.

 

My suggestion is get proof. Find a repeatable cardio workout and then redo it every 4 weeks (or whatever timeframe you think fits) and write down your times. A "good" one to pick is something like 100 Burpees for time (good is in quotes as it doesn't feel good!)

 

Anyways, trust the process, I'm sure you're handling business.

 

On a first post related note, can totally relate to the fortress, and good luck with the adventures beyond the wall. Also working on that quest here!

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Woot. Feeling less crappy today after a fun taekwondo class. I told my friend about the fatigue and my frustration at not responding to cardio, and she shared that she doesn't respond to stretching but remains inflexible. So I guess we all have our frustrations. 

I have been feeling a bit fat, not least because of hideously uncomfortable and ill-fitting taekwondo pants, so I ordered some in different sizes with a drawstring and no elastic. Fingers crossed they will be less offensively unflattering and uncomfortable. I also think it's time to take the next step with the intuitive eating and start non-judgementally noticing my reasons for eating, and how I feel and the start and end of meals. 

 

In the meantime, I am praying to the spirits of the earth that my lifts will accept some of the calories I consume and put them towards muscle and strength, and that they won't just go towards making me fluffy. 

 

Didn't lift yesterday as I was suddenly sick. Feeling better today, though, so I'll hit deadlifts and OHP tomorrow if all goes well. 

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On 4/24/2019 at 12:41 AM, crashy said:

It may seem to you that you're not getting fitter, but I'm willing to put down some benjamin's that you're much much much fitter than you were 2.5 months ago. Also with cardio you're always at a near death stage, since that's the point of cardio, and in a group setting it's designed to make everyone (fit and unfit) tired and fatigued. In the CrossFit box I was at, when we do cardio type exercises at the end of it everyone (fit and unfit) are lying on the floor breathing for their life.


Perhaps you're right. I think I'll just keep hammering away at it. Stubborness will serve where natural aptitude is wanting.

 

 

On 4/24/2019 at 12:41 AM, crashy said:

On a first post related note, can totally relate to the fortress, and good luck with the adventures beyond the wall. Also working on that quest here!


Excellent, excellent. Good luck! 

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21 minutes ago, Harriet said:


I have been feeling a bit fat, not least because of hideously uncomfortable and ill-fitting taekwondo pants, so I ordered some in different sizes with a drawstring and no elastic. Fingers crossed they will be less offensively unflattering and uncomfortable.

 

Drawstring >>> Elastic for good fit and comfort.

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2 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Drawstring >>> Elastic for good fit and comfort.


Elastic is the worst. Whose idea was it to take 40 inches of thick, canvas-like fabric, bunch it up into a 20 inch waist and call it pants? 

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14 minutes ago, Harriet said:


Elastic is the worst. Whose idea was it to take 40 inches of thick, canvas-like fabric, bunch it up into a 20 inch waist and call it pants? 

 

It seems safe to assume it was "a person who does not wear pants".

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On 4/23/2019 at 8:13 PM, Blocky said:

Any warmup that takes longer than 10-15 mins is stupid or ineffective or both...

DO you do a supermaximal warmup on your big lifts, or at least your first one? I don't know if its because its a new thing or because it works, but my endurance and recovery have increased significantly.

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9 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

It seems safe to assume it was "a person who does not wear pants".

 

I'm not imagining some lunatic tailor, naked from the waist down, holding up his masterpiece and shouting "I've finally done it! Pants!" For some reason he has a beard down to his knees and a wild gleam in his eyes.

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4 minutes ago, Grumble said:

DO you do a supermaximal warmup on your big lifts, or at least your first one? I don't know if its because its a new thing or because it works, but my endurance and recovery have increased significantly.


No? I have just googled this and it looks like partial reps with greater than my one rep max. Is that right? I think I might find partial reps difficult to control for squat and bench, and with the deadlift, if I can break it off the ground I can usually pull it (at least at the start of my sets before I'm tired) so I'm not sure I'd be able to break more than my 1rm off the ground. Or were you thinking of isometric holds or something? 

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43 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

I'm not imagining some lunatic tailor, naked from the waist down, holding up his masterpiece and shouting "I've finally done it! Pants!" For some reason he has a beard down to his knees and a wild gleam in his eyes.

 

I'm not either. I'm imagining him wearing a kilt, and I refuse to compromise on this!

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51 minutes ago, Harriet said:


No? I have just googled this and it looks like partial reps with greater than my one rep max. Is that right? I think I might find partial reps difficult to control for squat and bench, and with the deadlift, if I can break it off the ground I can usually pull it (at least at the start of my sets before I'm tired) so I'm not sure I'd be able to break more than my 1rm off the ground. Or were you thinking of isometric holds or something? 

That was actually directed at @Blocky, but I will clarify. I'm not doing supermaximal working sets. I've been doing this instead and it's been pretty remarkable how well its worked. I'm adjusting for higher reps than a 5x5 right now, but the end results are the same. I can break down my particular variation if you want.

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29 minutes ago, Grumble said:

That was actually directed at @Blocky, but I will clarify. I'm not doing supermaximal working sets. I've been doing this instead and it's been pretty remarkable how well its worked. I'm adjusting for higher reps than a 5x5 right now, but the end results are the same. I can break down my particular variation if you want.


Ah, okay. What the article describes actually looks similar to my warmup anyway. 

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Deadlifts 170lb. Got 2 sets of 5, which is 3 reps better than last time. Got 4 reps on my 65lb OHP (one better than last time), then switched to 60lb. So I made some rep progress despite being a bit under the weather. Finished up with some lat pull-downs. Best not mention the details. Just assume that I made and will continue to make zero progress there.

 

I am very, very tired. Even walking home was difficult. Want sugar. But probably need sleep.

 

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7 hours ago, Grumble said:

DO you do a supermaximal warmup on your big lifts, or at least your first one? I don't know if its because its a new thing or because it works, but my endurance and recovery have increased significantly.

 

Yes. What you are describing is post activation potentiation... basically waking up all the muscle fibres doing something heavy before doing the rep work.

 

I do it differently. Let's use my main bench movement as an example... program currently calls for working up to a single at RPE 8 (1 rep at my 3RM or basically my opener for a meet), then back down for 4 to 6 sets of 5 at RPE 8.

 

My warmup would like this:

 

20kg bar    1-10 sets      5 reps  (depends how much I need to warm up... I may also change grips on the warmup sets: a few sets wide, comp, narrow)

40kg            1 set             5 reps

60kg            1 set             5 reps  (RPE 6ish)

80kg            1 set             5 reps  (RPE 7ish)

90kg            1 set             5 reps (this weight should be close to an RPE 8 - just needs to be close so I can get an idea of what my work sets need to be)

100kg          1 set             3 reps

105kg          1 set             1 rep  (RPE 7 ish)

110kg          1 set             1 rep  (RPE 7.5ish)

115kg          1 set             1 rep  (RPE 8) (This works out to an estimated 1RM of 130 something kg, which is about right)

90-95kg       4 - 6 sets      5 reps (start at RPE 8... grind sets until it feels like an RPE 9, shut it down an move on)

 

 

Thoughts on the article you linked to:

 

T nation is full of dipshittery and it gives me internet cancer.

John Rusin (author) is also full of dipshittery. His instagram is only one step away from squatting on a bosu ball. I want to slap him.... hard.

Doing 1 set of 1 rep which is 10 pounds over your work weights is likely not enough stimulus to be bothered with.

I personally don't do a bunch of different rep ranges in my warmup sets - my work sets are 5's... then I do 5's for all the sets until I get to working up to the single.

 

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30 minutes ago, Blocky said:

T nation is full of dipshittery and it gives me internet cancer.

 

Oh. But that's where I get my lifting knowingness. So many internet shoutings, vying for my attention. 

 

31 minutes ago, Blocky said:

Doing 1 set of 1 rep which is 10 pounds over your work weights is likely not enough stimulus to be bothered with.

 

Is there any benefit to e.g. walking out with a higher weight that you can squat, then putting it back, no rep? Or is that bosu ball nonsense? If so, how do you know? Which internet shoutings do you listen to? 

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