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Jett

Jett gets his swole on

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Hail and well met, Warriors!

 

I've been meditating with the Druids for some time now, but it is time for me to take action. About a month ago, I started taking testosterone for gender transition purposes, and my doctor strongly recommended that I start weight lifting early in the transition. I already have the equipment from the last time I tried to get into weightlifting, so there's really no excuse.

 

I also struggle with keeping a consistent schedule, which is important for me because my circadian rhythm is, as the kids say, "whack". I basically have to reset it on a daily basis through "lynchpin" activities such as staring at a sun lamp for 15 minutes and taking melatonin at the same time every night. My last 3 challenges have been dedicated to making my schedule a habit, and for about 3 glorious weeks, I was successful. Then I somehow lost my grip on things, and have been struggling to correct it ever since. Testosterone seems to be compounding the issue by making my quality of sleep and snoring worse than it used to be, so that's not great.

 

I can't keep trying and failing at the same challenge forever. I need to move forward with healthy actions, even if my sleep schedule isn't quite there yet. To be realistic, it's something I will have to deal with for my entire life, and there will probably be times when it's better, and times when it's worse. I can't let the worse times stop me from doing other things. Hopefully other activities, like weight lifting, will have beneficial effects and make it easier to keep my schedule. For now, I've tentatively scheduled weight lifting for the mornings before work.

 

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: Lift heavy things

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

I plan to lift 3x per week, probably MWF. The alternate days, I will ideally do some light yoga or go for walks with my wife.

 

I have a few other goals I want to incorporate into my life, as well. The bolded ones are the ones I plan to focus on for this challenge.

 

  • Stay hydrated: at least 1.5L of water per day
  • Write a gratitude journal entry each night
  • Meal prep on weekends
  • Eat Intuitively
  • Try to eat at least 1 fruit and 1 veg per day
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7 minutes ago, Jett said:

Hail and well met, Warriors!

Hail and well met, my druid!

tumblr_inline_nyp7b25PgQ1tirgka_500.gif

 

What's your plan for lifting?

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

What's your plan for lifting?

 

Hmm. That's.... a good question, actually. I was doing a variation on the 3x5 method before, so most likely that's what I'll go back to.

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11 minutes ago, Jett said:

 

Hmm. That's.... a good question, actually. I was doing a variation on the 3x5 method before, so most likely that's what I'll go back to.

Pretty solid. I get the love for Xx5 programs with all the back squats, but unless your goal is to JUST be doing the big 3 as a competitive powerlifter, it still pays to use alternative lifts. In this case, you've got back squats 2 days and deadlifts 2 days. I would sub one of them for front squats or pause squats and pause deads or RDLS. While they inevitably are for building those big 3, I still think that JUST doing those lifts when you're trying to get back to strong is a lost opportunity.

How does the weight training assist with the gender transition? I know nothing.

(If this isn't something you want to talk about here, I apologize and feel free to tell me to take a long lift off a short barbell)

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1 hour ago, Jett said:

 

Hmm. That's.... a good question, actually. I was doing a variation on the 3x5 method before, so most likely that's what I'll go back to.

 

I like it, except that Day 3 puts the overhead press after the bench press and the barbell row. It seems to be it should at lest be before the row, so your muscles are comparatively fresh and can make progress in a non-frustrating way.

 

I do like the assortment of accessories. I may have to steal some of them.

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2 hours ago, Grumble said:

Pretty solid. I get the love for Xx5 programs with all the back squats, but unless your goal is to JUST be doing the big 3 as a competitive powerlifter, it still pays to use alternative lifts. In this case, you've got back squats 2 days and deadlifts 2 days. I would sub one of them for front squats or pause squats and pause deads or RDLS. While they inevitably are for building those big 3, I still think that JUST doing those lifts when you're trying to get back to strong is a lost opportunity.

 

38 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

I like it, except that Day 3 puts the overhead press after the bench press and the barbell row. It seems to be it should at lest be before the row, so your muscles are comparatively fresh and can make progress in a non-frustrating way.

 

Thanks for the advice! I welcome it, since I don't really know much about lifting. I will look at front squats/pause squats and pause deads/RDLs as alternatives for the first or third day of the cycle. And scaly, I will definitely swap the order of the overhead press and the row, thanks for pointing that out!

 

2 hours ago, Grumble said:

How does the weight training assist with the gender transition? I know nothing.

 

Adding testosterone to a female-adjusted hormone cycle makes your metabolism go haywire until the body adjusts to the new levels, and even then, the male body just has a higher metabolism than female, and this is primarily controlled by hormones. Which means I'm in a weird place between female and male metabolism right now, and will eventually settle down into a male metabolism. Right now I'm hungry all the time, and my doc says there's really no way to avoid weight gain during this stage. If I exercise, it'll go on as male-structured muscle. If I don't, it'll collect as male-structured fat. (Did you know that there are structural differences between male and female muscle and fat?! I sure didn't until I started this whole journey.)

 

The other benefit is that testosterone spikes just kinda make you... angsty. (Where my teenage boys at? You know what I'm talkin' about.) Weightlifting is a good counter for that.

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6 minutes ago, Jett said:

Right now I'm hungry all the time

 

Ouch. That sounds painful and miserable and I hope it's over soon!

 

7 minutes ago, Jett said:

The other benefit is that testosterone spikes just kinda make you... angsty. (Where my teenage boys at? You know what I'm talkin' about.) Weightlifting is a good counter for that.

 

That makes perfect sense, and it's not entirely limited to teenage boys. ;) 

 

My therapist keeps telling me that continuing to lift regularly is just as effective for keeping my anxiety under control, as anything she can prescribe, but with the added bonus of completely lacking nasty side effects. The mental health aspect of lifting does not get enough attention, or credit, for how important it is for our overall well-being.

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16 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

I like it, except that Day 3 puts the overhead press after the bench press and the barbell row. It seems to be it should at lest be before the row, so your muscles are comparatively fresh and can make progress in a non-frustrating way.

 

Unless the primary goal is developing OHP, I would program it after bench and rows due to comparatively smaller, supportive muscle groups. 

 

(If OHP is the primary goal it gets different programming altogether.)

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Hey there Jett, get that swole going! Excited to see how it plays out for you. I know routine is a tough one and we're here to help!

 

giphy.gif

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5 minutes ago, RedStone said:

 

Unless the primary goal is developing OHP, I would program it after bench and rows due to comparatively smaller, supportive muscle groups. 

 

(If OHP is the primary goal it gets different programming altogether.)

Agreed. My bench takes a nosedive if I OHP first, but the rep loss is relatively minimal if I bench first. Unless I'm specifically trying to grow my shoulders #foreversmall #biggershoulders #smallerwaist #illusionsforlife

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1 minute ago, Grumble said:

Unless I'm specifically trying to grow my shoulders #foreversmall #biggershoulders #smallerwaist #illusionsforlife

 

All the raises yo. (Now I'm suddenly wanting boulder shoulders for Summer...)

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Boulder. Shoulders! Not that I really actively try on mine, but I like seeing a little arm definition in the dance studio mirror.

 

That’s fascinating - I had never given thought to hormonal differences affecting metabolism (or muscle / fat structure!). I feel like intuitively I get that men on average put on more muscle volume more easily than women, but never really grasped that there was a difference for fat too - mainly where it tends to deposit?

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2 hours ago, RedStone said:

 

Unless the primary goal is developing OHP, I would program it after bench and rows due to comparatively smaller, supportive muscle groups. 

 

Fair enough. I'm going by my own (limited) experience with OHP and how it seems to get heavier unless I do it before my other lifts.

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2 minutes ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I feel like intuitively I get that men on average put on more muscle volume more easily than women, but never really grasped that there was a difference for fat too - mainly where it tends to deposit?

 

That's always been my understanding. On me it goes on the hips and on you it goes on the waist, but I never put a lot of thought into it beyond that.

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18 hours ago, Jett said:

The other benefit is that testosterone spikes just kinda make you... angsty. (Where my teenage boys at? You know what I'm talkin' about.) Weightlifting is a good counter for that.

I'm reading a lot of angsty poetry lately, and I'm sure not a teenager. Have you read any Andrea Gibson/Andrew Gibby poetry. They/them are gender queer and write a lot of poetry about gender and the LGBTQ+ community. I'm cis but bi and I appreciate a lot of what they have to say. 

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21 hours ago, Grumble said:

Pretty solid. I get the love for Xx5 programs with all the back squats, but unless your goal is to JUST be doing the big 3 as a competitive powerlifter, it still pays to use alternative lifts. In this case, you've got back squats 2 days and deadlifts 2 days. I would sub one of them for front squats or pause squats and pause deads or RDLS. While they inevitably are for building those big 3, I still think that JUST doing those lifts when you're trying to get back to strong is a lost opportunity.

 

I think 1 of 2 things is true here. Either: 

  1.  You're fairly new to lifting heavy barbells, OR returning from a long break. in either case a linear progression program like this is perfect. More repetition with the main lifts strengthens your muscle memory, allows you to more readily develop and remember mental cues to improve your form, and doesn't distract you with a bunch of other exercises to learn and remember.
  2. You're comfortable with the main lifts and are actively working through plateaus. In this case, Grumble's suggestion seems more appropriate than hammering the big 4, but it does raise the question: why go with a linear progression program then?

 

Actually I have an even more striking observation. How are you supposed to do 9 heavy sets and 12 total superset sets in 45 minutes? Does that work? Am I just a SUPER slow lifter? Does that 45 mins in your schedule also include changing clothes and stuff?

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1 minute ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Actually I have an even more striking observation. How are you supposed to do 9 heavy sets and 12 total superset sets in 45 minutes? Does that work? Am I just a SUPER slow lifter? Does that 45 mins in your schedule also include changing clothes and stuff?

Friggin powerlifters with their 12 minute rest periods.

>_>

 

My rest times are no more than 90 seconds unless I'm testing for a Rep max. I don't like spending hours in the gym and can generally get in and out in 45-50 minutes.

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On 4/17/2019 at 10:27 AM, Mike Wazowski said:

I feel like intuitively I get that men on average put on more muscle volume more easily than women, but never really grasped that there was a difference for fat too - mainly where it tends to deposit?

 

Not only where it deposits (mostly around the stomach for men; around the hips, breasts, and thighs and a bit more in the arms for women) but also in the structure of the fat cells themselves, along with the connective tissue around it. That's why women get "cellulite" much more noticeably than men, as one example. Men and women also metabolize fat differently, which is mainly down to estrogen.

 

There are so many aspects of the way the body works that are affected by the main sex hormones; it's quite amazing and interesting to learn about. It's also one reason I have no problem telling people I'm a dude, despite what's in my pants. My bodily functions are literally switching over to male-mode. Anyone who thinks genitals are the final word on sex and gender needs to get educated.

 

On 4/17/2019 at 11:08 AM, JessFit said:

I'm reading a lot of angsty poetry lately, and I'm sure not a teenager. Have you read any Andrea Gibson/Andrew Gibby poetry. They/them are gender queer and write a lot of poetry about gender and the LGBTQ+ community. I'm cis but bi and I appreciate a lot of what they have to say. 

 

Ooh, I had not heard of them. Thanks for the recommendation, I'll check them out. :)

 

 

On 4/17/2019 at 7:51 AM, RedStone said:

Unless the primary goal is developing OHP, I would program it after bench and rows due to comparatively smaller, supportive muscle groups. 

(If OHP is the primary goal it gets different programming altogether.)

 

On 4/17/2019 at 10:29 AM, scalyfreak said:

Fair enough. I'm going by my own (limited) experience with OHP and how it seems to get heavier unless I do it before my other lifts.

 

Oh no, drama in the lifting community! :P I guess I'll just have to try it both ways and see which works better for me. I'm not aiming to get good at any particular type of lift; I just want to use up some energy and and gain a little all-around muscle.

 

23 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

I think 1 of 2 things is true here. Either: 

  1.  You're fairly new to lifting heavy barbells, OR returning from a long break. in either case a linear progression program like this is perfect. More repetition with the main lifts strengthens your muscle memory, allows you to more readily develop and remember mental cues to improve your form, and doesn't distract you with a bunch of other exercises to learn and remember.
  2. You're comfortable with the main lifts and are actively working through plateaus. In this case, Grumble's suggestion seems more appropriate than hammering the big 4, but it does raise the question: why go with a linear progression program then?

 

Actually I have an even more striking observation. How are you supposed to do 9 heavy sets and 12 total superset sets in 45 minutes? Does that work? Am I just a SUPER slow lifter? Does that 45 mins in your schedule also include changing clothes and stuff?

 

It's #1 for me, pretty new/haven't lifted in a long time. Linear progression is definitely what I want. I guess maybe I should start with the program as written, and start varying things up when I hit a plateau.

 

As for the timing, I'm nooot sure. The program website claims it can be done in around 45 minutes, so that's what I've scheduled. Admittedly, that doesn't include any time for changing clothes and doing any other clean up afterwards. I'm also not expecting it to take me 45 minutes to go from 'waking up' to 'ready to lift', though, so there's some wiggle room in the schedule.

 

4/17

7:30 AM: Wake up. Turn on sun lamp.

8:15 AM: exercise

9:00 AM: Breakfast, then leave for work.

1:00 PM: Lunch

6:30 PM: Head home (arrive ~7:15)

7:30 PM: Eat dinner

8:00 PM: Free time (TV, hobbies, art, gaming) - use blue light blocking glasses

9:45 PM: Take melatonin. Get ready for bed.

10:30 PM: Bed time.

 

Hydration: [================]D   <- represents my 1.5 L water bottle on its side

Nutrition: O O (red circles represent a serving of fruit; green circles represent a serving of veg)

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25 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Friggin powerlifters with their 12 minute rest periods.

>_>

 

My rest times are no more than 90 seconds unless I'm testing for a Rep max. I don't like spending hours in the gym and can generally get in and out in 45-50 minutes.

 

This program recommends 60-90 seconds. That's cool. It doesn't change the fact that 21 total sets in 45 minutes is damn fast. I'm usually done lifting within around 45 mins as well (with my AHEM, 2-3 min rests) but I also don't do 7 exercises, including 3 big compounds.

 

I once took a stab at 60s rests in a GVT workout. It did not go well for me.

 

Jett, you're probably fine and I'm probably just slow. 

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21 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

 

This program recommends 60-90 seconds. That's cool. It doesn't change the fact that 21 total sets in 45 minutes is damn fast. I'm usually done lifting within around 45 mins as well (with my AHEM, 2-3 min rests) but I also don't do 7 exercises, including 3 big compounds.

 

I once took a stab at 60s rests in a GVT workout. It did not go well for me.

All joking aside it depends, are you doing tempo reps, how many reps and sets, are you pausing, touch and go, etc. There's so many things that could change the time it's really not fair to accuse people of being slow if you don't know all the details of their program.

My current program is a hypertrophy body part split. I run 4x8 for all my main lifts of the day and 3x8 for all accessories. usually 7-8 exercises. I haven't broke the 50 minute mark yet. But all my rests are 60 seconds and nothing is tempo or pause.

 

21 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Jett, you're probably fine and I'm probably just slow. 

Joking not aside, I've seen turtles lift faster than you.

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52 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

This program recommends 60-90 seconds. That's cool. It doesn't change the fact that 21 total sets in 45 minutes is damn fast. I'm usually done lifting within around 45 mins as well (with my AHEM, 2-3 min rests) but I also don't do 7 exercises, including 3 big compounds.

 

I once took a stab at 60s rests in a GVT workout. It did not go well for me.

 

Jett, you're probably fine and I'm probably just slow. 

I'm with you, powerlifter problems. Anything less than a 2 minute rest is cardio/conditioning. That being said, I really need to work on my cardio and conditioning!

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16 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Clearly this is very important, but when you're prepping for a lift, does it make you a Jett-setter?

I literally snorted coffee at this one!

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