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Harriet

Act VII - Harriet Scouts the Lands Beyond the Fortress

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28 minutes ago, Harriet said:

We will ask Grumble to weave hidden puns into the borders of the cards. 

But will the suit of swords properly deliver the point if its hidden?

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32 minutes ago, Grumble said:

But will the suit of swords properly deliver the point if its hidden?


The point will be understood if we tip people off with well executed illustration.

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So I let the butcher give me a lot of meat. Okay, that came out a bit off-colour. I meant to say, I asked for 2.5 pounds of lamb and got 3.15lb. I don't really know how much meat is one serving. But I suspect this will do at least 6, if not more. Or is a serving less than half a pound? Did I just buy 50 servings worth of lamb??? I mean, I can put away half a pound. But is that excessive? Dietary guidelines always suggest such puny amounts... 

Anyway, I need to decide what to do with it. I want to practice baking, but in order to limit the caloric damage I persuaded Mr Harriet to stay home and not go to a restaurant as usual. So I'm cooking a three course meal on Saturday. I have huge chunks of lamb "leg" or possibly shoulder... I should have asked for more detail, but I requested something for braising and that's what he suggested. I was thinking a morrocan tagine with sour dried apricots and spicy spices. I have never made a tagine before, but apricots and spice sound good. Also, I want to make something with pastry, but not puff pastry (that's the next level up) and the blackberries seem nice this time of year. So maybe a pie. 

Today I made a dhal by letting some spices (fresh ginger, fresh garlic, turmeric, garam masala, cumin seeds) bloom in oil, then gently sweating some onions. Then in with the red lentils and tomato puree and stock (I've made dhal before without tomato, and found it really bland) and let it simmer gently for 40. Fried some cumin seeds, then added some to yoghurt, and some with oil to flatbreads which I warmed up. Made a "salad" with grated carrot, shallots, pecans which I warmed in the pan, cranberries, parsley, and a bit of lemon and oil. Dhal, breads, salad, cumin-yoghurt and a wedge of lemon (please excuse the very ugly grey table of our rented temporary HQ):


IMG_5855.jpg.c1454ff7b37109946c1d0377351e8c95.jpg

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YUUUMMMMMMMM.

 

I am honestly salivating from imagining the smell of from the dhal and salad. Good thing I already ate my baked salmon with roasted carrots and beets, or I'd be jealous. :P

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I meant to say, I asked for 2.5 pounds of lamb and got 3.15lb. I don't really know how much meat is one serving. But I suspect this will do at least 6, if not more. Or is a serving less than half a pound? Did I just buy 50 servings worth of lamb??? I mean, I can put away half a pound. But is that excessive? Dietary guidelines always suggest such puny amounts... 

 

That sounds like 1 blocky sized serving...

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I LOVE LAMB. A tagine sounds like a perfect plan! 4 oz is only a recommended serving in like lazy catering and nutrition. 6-8oz is more standard for a real helping, so you've got a few meals there but not 50!

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So I've been combining squats and deadlifts on one day, and bench and OHP on the other day. And each day, one lift is heavy and the other light. So there's four variations. But I'm thinking about switching back to bench/squat and ohp/deadlift, and making all my lifts heavy again. The light lifts (10 or so reps) suck. And I'm not sure they're even making me stronger because I give up from feeling yuck well before failure. I was only doing them because I assumed I needed them for hypertrophy to support my heavy lifts. But not everyone agrees that higher reps are necessary for hypertrophy... and if there are two paths to getting strong, I'd rather take the one that suits my physiology and preferences. Even though the entire internet claims women have more endurance and can do more reps, the entire internet is wrong about me at least. I have less endurance and can do fewer reps than everyone else. I will probably still do some medium rep squats, because I feel they're helping me nail down the form. 

Today I had another go at the 170 deadlift. Got one more rep than last time. I decided to do heavy OHP instead of light squats, and I looked in my notebook and saw that I defeated 3x5x60lb last time, so it would be time for a new weight. I thought "Oh, you can't attempt a new OHP weight after heavy deadlifts", to which I answered "Suck it" and attempted 65lb anyway. PR!!! I got 3 reps. 

 

 

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In food news, the cooking event went well. I made some buttery quinoa and herb-attack yoghurt to go with the lamb tagine. Then a "salad" with blanched green beans, fresh cherry tomatoes, toasted almond slivers, shallots and balsamico. Mr Harriet liked the tagine very much, but I was slightly disappointed. It didn't taste distinctively moroccan. I think I used too much tomato. I also followed the instructions to put the spices and fruit in at the start with the onions, and I think that was a mistake. I think the spices burnt and lost flavour, and the apricots and cranberries lent sweetness to the whole dish but lost their distinctiveness. Overall, it was a rich, very tomatoey lamb stew. Not bad, just not what I was aiming for.

 

IMG_5876.JPG.5fc0611d1f77bc41070b4917216bb520.JPG
 

Also, the blueberry and blackberry pie. I made the dough the day before. I even attempted little braided bits and imagined the pie would turn out beautifully like this: 

 

e7186070fe5db11c7a416262690181a3.jpg

Lol, no. I don't have a real pie tin, I didn't make enough pastry, and I was a bit clumsy. I tried though. And at least I learned the lesson that you don't readjust the strips after placing them:

 

 

IMG_5877.JPG.7ab3efc5b770a959ad3a1881def5ff23.JPGIMG_5872.JPG

 

But it was delicious, so that's what matters. I do think the bottom crust was a bit tough, but the sides were flaky and delicious. Baked too long, perhaps?

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In challenge news, week zero has been okay. 

I mostly ate without screens. Eating what I want with no rules has not immediately made me fatter or sicker. I look pretty much the same and feel okay. 
I did some reflection daily.
I mostly managed to shut down thoughts and get to sleep.
I put time and attention into cooking.
I mostly lifted without distractions. 

 

So I did okay at my small, slightly vague goals of being in the world a bit more. Wooo. Also I feel happier after getting back to taekwondo. It's my only regular social thing, which I didn't realise I was missing. 

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you absolutely should do what makes you happy in the gym! and look a shiny new PR! also your food looks amazing even if it didn't come out exactly as you hoped. cooking is most definitely trial and error.

 

raptron can probably answer the tough crust question as my only baking experience is the great british baking show. but what do you mean the bottom was tough? like hard or chewy?

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On 4/19/2019 at 5:24 PM, Harriet said:

So I've been combining squats and deadlifts on one day, and bench and OHP on the other day. And each day, one lift is heavy and the other light. So there's four variations. But I'm thinking about switching back to bench/squat and ohp/deadlift, and making all my lifts heavy again. The light lifts (10 or so reps) suck. And I'm not sure they're even making me stronger because I give up from feeling yuck well before failure. I was only doing them because I assumed I needed them for hypertrophy to support my heavy lifts. But not everyone agrees that higher reps are necessary for hypertrophy... and if there are two paths to getting strong, I'd rather take the one that suits my physiology and preferences. Even though the entire internet claims women have more endurance and can do more reps, the entire internet is wrong about me at least. I have less endurance and can do fewer reps than everyone else. I will probably still do some medium rep squats, because I feel they're helping me nail down the form. 

Today I had another go at the 170 deadlift. Got one more rep than last time. I decided to do heavy OHP instead of light squats, and I looked in my notebook and saw that I defeated 3x5x60lb last time, so it would be time for a new weight. I thought "Oh, you can't attempt a new OHP weight after heavy deadlifts", to which I answered "Suck it" and attempted 65lb anyway. PR!!! I got 3 reps. 

 

 

 

Get it! OHP is a fickle mistress; you have to take those wins by force whenever and however you can.

 

I for one support the idea of switching to 2 heavy lifts with opposite muscle groups on the same day. If you want to do lighter sets of 10, that can be its own thing, but you're probably not going to get much efficiency working a big compound group after its already tired from your big lifts. Directly after your big lifts is a good time for alternates, asymmetrical stuff, and accessories, but not ideal for another big compound movement with the same group. You can absolutely stimulate hypertrophy with just heavy sets or just light, depending on your goals (more in spoiler). If it makes you feel icky and wanna do something else, do something else definitely!

 

Spoiler

There are 2 types of hypertrophy: myofribrillar and sarcoplasmic. Training heavy and low rep stimulates the former, training lighter and higher rep stimulates the latter. Myofibrillar hypertrophy makes your existing muscles more dense by growing additional fibers. This increases your overall power (bigger engine). Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases your muscles' ability to store sarcoplasm (fuel) to increase your endurance (bigger gas tank). Long story short, your body will adapt specifically to whatever you're doing, so as long as your actions align with your goals, just do whatever you want!

 

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It could just be the container you would up baking in -- seeing as the sides and the bottom are presumably the same piece of pastry you put together, I'd guess maybe the bottom of that dish heats differently from the sides. 

 

I am a big fan of bench/squat and overhead/deadlift days for full body workouts. I'm not sure how long you've been doing 10s/volume but it does take up a while to build up your work capacity. If you hate it though and don't think it makes sense for your training, then by all means, do away with them. :)

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2 hours ago, CourtnieMarie said:

raptron can probably answer the tough crust question as my only baking experience is the great british baking show. but what do you mean the bottom was tough? like hard or chewy?

 

17 minutes ago, raptron said:

It could just be the container you would up baking in -- seeing as the sides and the bottom are presumably the same piece of pastry you put together, I'd guess maybe the bottom of that dish heats differently from the sides. 

 

Yeah, the sides were crumbly, and I took care not to overwork it because I learned that kneading creates bonds in the gluten which makes for chewiness. So I think it was just overcooked--I was waiting for the top to go brown, which it never did. Next time I might skip the pre-baking, because then I can attach the top to the sides for neatness. I was getting excited about making all the pies. But Mr Harriet has gently pointed out that there are desserts other than pie. So the question is, what to make next week? Swiss roll? Eclairs? 

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1 hour ago, Deckard Gainz said:

 

Get it! OHP is a fickle mistress; you have to take those wins by force whenever and however you can.

 

I for one support the idea of switching to 2 heavy lifts with opposite muscle groups on the same day. If you want to do lighter sets of 10, that can be its own thing, but you're probably not going to get much efficiency working a big compound group after its already tired from your big lifts. Directly after your big lifts is a good time for alternates, asymmetrical stuff, and accessories, but not ideal for another big compound movement with the same group. You can absolutely stimulate hypertrophy with just heavy sets or just light, depending on your goals (more in spoiler). If it makes you feel icky and wanna do something else, do something else definitely!

 

  Hide contents

There are 2 types of hypertrophy: myofribrillar and sarcoplasmic. Training heavy and low rep stimulates the former, training lighter and higher rep stimulates the latter. Myofibrillar hypertrophy makes your existing muscles more dense by growing additional fibers. This increases your overall power (bigger engine). Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy increases your muscles' ability to store sarcoplasm (fuel) to increase your endurance (bigger gas tank). Long story short, your body will adapt specifically to whatever you're doing, so as long as your actions align with your goals, just do whatever you want!

 

 

I've been reading a lot about rep ranges and stuff. Some articles suggested that both strength and hypertrophy occur at low and medium reps, and the important thing for hypertrophy is having a good number of "hard" sets. And you can achieve hard through heaviness or reppiness. Oh, although I'd heard about the sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy, I never read that sarcoplasmic fluid is linked to endurance... is glycogen part of the sarcoplasmic fluid? Actually a few articles have said that the idea that you can create just sarcoplasmic growth is a myth, and that myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic increase always occur together, and that the difference in strength between bodybuilders and powerlifters is skill-specific training, genetics, or both... Anyway, there's lots of conflicting information on the internet which I don't have the will or scientific training to sort out, and much of the research is on men anyway, so I figure I might as well do what I like... as long as I keep getting stronger, of course.
 

P.S. Grumble, I'm not neglecting my cardiovascular fitness, I swear. I assume 4.5 hours per week of taekwondo counts as some form of cardio exercise and I will sneakily increase my fitness without noticing, by kicking things repeatedly until I'm out of puff. Also they make us jog, sprint, and jump over rope ladders to warm up. I'm sure these close encounters with DEATH count as cardio. 

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Just now, Harriet said:

is glycogen part of the sarcoplasmic fluid?

 

Bingo. From wikipedia:

 

Quote

Sarcoplasm is the cytoplasm of a myocyte (muscle fiber, muscle cell). It is comparable to the cytoplasm of other cells, but it contains unusually large amounts of glycosomes (granules of stored glycogen) and significant amounts of myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein.

 

I totally get what you're saying though, about there being a ton of info to digest, and lots of it being conflicting. I'm no expert! I think a lot of the specificity of all that stuff doesn't really even come into play until a person is at a way higher level and has much more specific needs. People at the beginner and intermediate levels can, for the most part, do literally anything and see some kinds of adaption that mirrors what they're doing, so you may as well do what you like. That was the only real point I wanted to make. I just find all the hypertrophy stuff kind of fascinating and fun to talk about.

 

Spoiler

I have to imagine there's some truth to training for one type of hypertrophy or the other. There has to be some kind of explanation for tiny people that can lift massive amounts and huge swole people that can also lift a lot but not quite as much proportionate to their size. Maybe they always occur together but it can be like a 90/10 split? I don't think training specificity is enough to explain these really significant differences in body composition. Genetics is definitely a thing but like, every bodybuilder has been genetically predisposed for it? That doesn't seem likely to me either. I don't really know, but the arguments against it just seem kind of flimsy to me.

 

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7 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

 

Bingo. From wikipedia:

 

 

I totally get what you're saying though, about there being a ton of info to digest, and lots of it being conflicting. I'm no expert! I think a lot of the specificity of all that stuff doesn't really even come into play until a person is at a way higher level and has much more specific needs. People at the beginner and intermediate levels can, for the most part, do literally anything and see some kinds of adaption that mirrors what they're doing, so you may as well do what you like. That was the only real point I wanted to make. I just find all the hypertrophy stuff kind of fascinating and fun to talk about.

 

  Hide contents

I have to imagine there's some truth to training for one type of hypertrophy or the other. There has to be some kind of explanation for tiny people that can lift massive amounts and huge swole people that can also lift a lot but not quite as much proportionate to their size. Maybe they always occur together but it can be like a 90/10 split? I don't think training specificity is enough to explain these really significant differences in body composition. Genetics is definitely a thing but like, every bodybuilder has been genetically predisposed for it? That doesn't seem likely to me either. I don't really know, but the arguments against it just seem kind of flimsy to me.

 

 

I like reading and thinking about this stuff, too. The only problem is that the deeper you go, the more disagreement there is, so you come out certain of less than when you started! And then you have to pick a programme for yourself with this imperfect certainty. Which is where doing what you like is a useful guideline, I think. 

 

Interesting question about the small, disproportionately strong people. Maybe they really do get much more myofibrillar than sarcoplasmic increase, even as other, more average people tend to get a bit of both. Maybe they have awesome neuro-muscular efficiency or whatever it's called. Maybe the spirits of the earth favour them. Since they're outliers, though, it probably doesn't make sense to model my training on theirs... the spirits of the earth have chosen not to gift me with great strength. I assume they wish me to experience the blessings of dedication and persistence instead. 

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18 minutes ago, Harriet said:

P.S. Grumble, I'm not neglecting my cardiovascular fitness, I swear. I assume 4.5 hours per week of taekwondo counts as some form of cardio exercise and I will sneakily increase my fitness without noticing, by kicking things repeatedly until I'm out of puff. Also they make us jog, sprint, and jump over rope ladders to warm up. I'm sure these close encounters with DEATH count as cardio. 

It ABSOLUTELY counts as cardio. ANd its the sneaky kind. You'll go to lift one day and discover you have enough gas for another set per exercise with some left over.

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LOVE the cooking you did! That must've smelled heavenly while you were prepping the dhal and salad and flatbread. You and Mr. Harriet are eating like royalty!

 

Also, +1 for enjoying your time in the gym as much as you can - I'm all for people picking a way of lifting that suits their goals and preferences.

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I'm super late to this, but I love this challenge. I am so guilty of using easy/familiar entertainment and mindless phone scrolling to deal with stress and anxiety, when there are so many other things I'd rather be doing. It has gotten especially obvious now that the days are getting longer. When it was dark outside, I justified it by thinking that I couldn't be outside doing fun outside things anyway (which is stupid, I still neglected inside goals like music by being mindless).  I'm rooting for you! (And I may steal some of these goals for the next challenge.)

Also following for delicious food pictures.

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Ugh, eating without doing anything else at the same time is hard. 

 

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.  

 

Also, I'm thinking about borrowing an idea from Redstone's drawing app and setting a list of things for me to draw each week. I just need a randomly generated list of things so I don't overthink it. Like: Poppies! Camel! Person eating noodles! Telescope! Shoes! Library! Windmill! And then I need some photographs of the things to draw. No black holes, though. Even if you can photograph it, it's probably not a great subject for a drawing.

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