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WhiteGhost

WhiteGhost Gets Serious 2: The Seriousening

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16 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

In order to get the meter working, you have to insert a card with an embedded IC chip, which will tell the meter how much electricity it can let through.  For residential electricity purchases, the IC Cards must be taken to the bank, where they are inserted into a machine similar to an ATM that is used for charging utilities (electricity, gas, landline telephone, etc.).  once the card is in the machine, you can insert your debit card into another part of the machine which is used to actually make the purchase.  Then you take the card home and insert it into your own meter and which will then update and allow additional electricity to flow accordingly.  However, in an attempt to discourage people from wasting electricity, they put caps on the amount of electricity you can buy at one time, so you can't just go to the bank and buy a years worth of electricity in one go. 

No. Way.  o_O

 

Every time you tell stories like this I think of how much I don't know about the world.

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4 hours ago, zenLara said:

No. Way.  o_O

Image result for yes way gif

 

4 hours ago, zenLara said:

Every time you tell stories like this I think of how much I don't know about the world.

Think of it more like a cultural exchange.  We all don't know a lot of things that other's take for granted, and I learn a lot about how Spain works (or at least the educational system) from the stories you have shared :) 

 

 

Welp, Week Zero is over, time to go back and see how I did:

 

Exercise - I have been trying to focus on a few key skills instead of just chasing anything shiny.  I think for the most part I have done pretty well so far, and have spent more time focusing on muscleup specific exercises and less on levers and other skills.  However, I still like doing the other things, so have not really been very focused, especially on things like pistol squats.  Back flips didn't happen at all, but that was because I didn't have a chance to go t the trampoline park this week.  I didn't mention it, but I also did some work on handstands during the week, especially after I got those pointers for the 86 year old guy.  I have been working on trying to find my balance point and hold it and I feel like I have made some progress in finding the balance point without moving my hands around.  

 

Flexibility - I didn't do my regular stretching stuff once I realized how unproductive my old routine was.  MyFlex routine should be coming soon and I will be getting started on that once it drops.

Cooking - My goal is to cook 2 Chinese dishes each week and this week I did just that.  I made the Shrimp & Eggs
 and also the Chicken & Peppers.  Happy with this so far

 

Sketching - I think Mr. Black would be disappointed with my performance here.  I didn't even pick up my pencil this whole week.  I know it is mostly a mental block because I am afraid I won't be able to draw well.  I can tell myself that it doesn't matter, and that only by practicing can I get to where I can draw well, but I seem to have a hard time convincing myself.  Something to work on for next week, I guess.

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Fascinating nuggets of info re the meters. In Scotland, I remembered some flats having pre-paid meters. If I recall correctly, there were used by people having budgeting issues... but I think it ended up being more expensive per KwH than regular meters... I don't quite get the point of having those then :huh:

 

16 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I didn't mention it, but I also did some work on handstands during the week, especially after I got those pointers for the 86 year old guy.  I have been working on trying to find my balance point and hold it and I feel like I have made some progress in finding the balance point without moving my hands around. 

 

Oh oh!

I'm also really looking forward to hear about your xp with myFlex. Sounds like the assessment was super useful already.

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19 hours ago, @mu said:

Fascinating nuggets of info re the meters. In Scotland, I remembered some flats having pre-paid meters. If I recall correctly, there were used by people having budgeting issues... but I think it ended up being more expensive per KwH than regular meters... I don't quite get the point of having those then :huh:

 

Yeah, paying more for electricity doesn't seem like a good way to fix budgeting problems...

 

19 hours ago, @mu said:

I'm also really looking forward to hear about your xp with myFlex. Sounds like the assessment was super useful already.

Well, I learned a bunch of stuff that I should stop doing, but still waiting for the stuff that I should start doing

 

 

Yesterday was a blue level* wind warning day so all of the schools in town were not allowed to let the kids go outside during the day.  There was another windy day last week and at least one guy got killed and a bunch more injured by falling trees, branches and billboards.  Because it was supposed to be so windy, I decided to just work out at home.  I started doing some pullups and handstands but decided that I should probably be a little more serious so I came up with a simple but serious workout plan of 5/10/20 x 5 supersets of a pullup,dip,pushup circuit.  However, apparently my shoulder still gets very unhappy when I do pushups so I adjusted it to 5/10/10.  Even then, I couldn't get through even the second set of regular pushups so I switched it up to pseudo plache pushups which didn't aggravate my shoulder.  After that I finished up with 10x3 deadlifts at 60kgs because the barbell was already there anyway. 

 

After the workout, I finished up all of the before pictures for MyFlex and submitted those and then did a bunch of batch cooking.  I made a pot of Japanese style lamb curry, a pot of ground beef & mixed beans chili, and a pan of sausage cream pasta sauce.  I had the pasta for lunch and then the curry for dinner.

oXhJVxj.jpg

uPbIiMg.jpg

 

I can't even remember what I did in the afternoon, but I think it was mostly doing laundry and surfing the internet.  I spent the entire evening helping Ghostlet with his homework because he has to give a presentation to his class tomorrow and he had only started thinking about it over the weekend.

 

Also, just for your viewing pleasure, a rare bit of unintentional honesty that would not be out of pace in Ankh-Morpork

mj3kEUE.jpg

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6 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Hahaha that sign!

Right?

 

Today didn't go according to plan.  As soon as I dropped Ghostlet off at school, I picked up my in-laws and the relaitves that are staying with them to take everyone to the airport.  The trip out there was very smooth with much lighter traffic than usual, but it the return trip more than made up for that.  I got back just in time for lunch and so I had some of the chili I made yesterday, enhanced with some sliced hot dogs and cheddar cheese.

 

After lunch, I grabbed my gear for the trampoline park but I needed to stop off at the auto shop to have the car checked out.  It keeps making a banging noise at irregular intervals somewhere from the back axle.  Unfortunately, the team there could not figure out what was wrong with it, even after driving around and listening to the sound themselves.  The head mechanic suggested I visit Mr Du, who is apparently the guy who can do anything.  He has a reputation among the mechanics in town, that if he can't fix it, it can't be fixed.  So I drove over to the shop where he works (which was on the other side of town) and had him listen to it.  He was extremely puzzled because according to him the car should not have the moving parts in that section of the car to be making those kinds of noises. 

 

I ended up having to leave the car there for him to look at some more over the next few days, so I got a Shenzhou (like a Chinese version of Lyft) to come home.  For some reason, though, there was a technical problem with the GPS system and his system told him that I was along the 4th ring, while mine showed that he was along the 5th ring.  It took a bunch of confused phone calls to figure out why w couldn't find each other where the system was showing, and then we ended up coming to meet each other halfway.  The upside of this is that I got in a 2km walk that I can count towards the GoT Mini.

 

In the evening I helped Ghostlet with his homework for a bit and then made some dinner.  Tonight's dinner was 土豆丝炒肉 which is a kind of potatoes & pork stir fry.  

q4q4HJ5.jpg

(I was already partway through it before I remembered to take a picture)

It was pretty good, but a little bit salty.  I blame the recipe which listed the amounts of each spice as: "the appropriate amount".  Not real helpful there, recipe writer.

 

 

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23 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

It was pretty good, but a little bit salty.  I blame the recipe which listed the amounts of each spice as: "the appropriate amount".  Not real helpful there, recipe writer.

Loool.

 

Hope the guy who can fix anything figures out what's going on with the car!

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26 minutes ago, raptron said:

Hope the guy who can fix anything figures out what's going on with the car!

Me too!

 

I didn't go to the park again this morning, which means I haven't been there since last Friday.  The guys there are probably wondering where I've disappeared to.  I had to be here when the delivery guy came to pick up a package, but he was late so by the time he got here it was already almost lunch time.  

 

In the afternoon I tried out the pool where Ghostlet is taking his lessons.  Apparently Beijing has a rule that you can only swim in water deeper than 1.5m if you have a permit.  In order to get the permit, you have to demonstrate to an authorized coach that you can swim 400 meters without stopping.  It has been a while since I went swimming but I was pretty sure I could do that so I jumped right in and got started.  After less than 300 meters, the coach stopped me and said "good enough", I'm sure you can make it the rest of the way.  They let me keep swimming in the deep lane, but next time I go I have to bring a picture and pay the application fee (~$3).  

 

Food was good today but it was all leftovers from my batch cooking.  Sausage Penne for lunch and curry rice for dinner.

 

Tomorrow morning I will go to the gym for the first time and meet my personal trainer (I got 2 free sessions with him when I signed up).  I'm not sure what I am supposed to do with a personal trainer, so I think I am going to have him form check me on my lifts.  I am planning on doing squats, deadlifts, and maybe bench press.  I think there are other main lifts that people do but I am not sure what they are.  Any suggestions on what other lifts I should do?

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MyFlex? Have you discussed this in earlier in your previous challenge post? I am curious and will check it out!

 

Good going, anyhow. Nice to read about your focusing on specific key skills. I'm kind of bummed out I get bored so easily when doing regular at home workouts lately. Used to only need some good music and enjoy 'the burn' but now I keep switching between YT videos and types of workouts ("power yoga", balancing, simple strength routines etc. that I all do not exactly do or finish because I still have to work up my condiiton) buuut whatever works right? Once you get the ball rolling, you can (re)direct it!

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22 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Overhead press is a good lift to work on. You've got the big three covered.

Thanks, I added that to the list

 

6 hours ago, analoggirl said:

MyFlex? Have you discussed this in earlier in your previous challenge post? I am curious and will check it out

I don't know if I did or not.  MyFlex is a mobility program created by Jen Crane (aka cirque_physio on Instagram).   The program is designed primarily with circus/aerialists/pole dancers in mind, but it would probably work for anyone who wants to improve flexibility by building up strength in their end range of motion.  The theory is that being strong at the end ranges allows your CNS to feel comfortable enough that you won't hurt yourself and therefore allows you deeper into stretches.  For me the bigger attraction was just getting strong at the end ranges to reduce the risk of injury because a lot of the activities I do put a lot of strain on my joints in those end of range positions.

 

6 hours ago, analoggirl said:

Good going, anyhow. Nice to read about your focusing on specific key skills. I'm kind of bummed out I get bored so easily when doing regular at home workouts lately. Used to only need some good music and enjoy 'the burn' but now I keep switching between YT videos and types of workouts ("power yoga", balancing, simple strength routines etc. that I all do not exactly do or finish because I still have to work up my condiiton) buuut whatever works right? Once you get the ball rolling, you can (re)direct it!

Don't get too bummed that you get bored easily with the same workouts, you probably have that in common with most of the Assassins :D At the end of the day, the workout that is best for you is the one you do, and if that means you are always changing it up to stave off the boredom, you are at least in good company.

 

Today was a busy day

 

It started out with a trip to the gym.  This is the first time I have had a gm membership since the late 90s so I was a little bit nervous going in there.  When I signed up, they arranged a session with a personal trainer so that was what I did today.  I asked him to spend the time teaching me the correct forms for the key lifts (Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press, and OHP) and he added in incline bench as well.  Some of the stuff was worthwhile (apparently I was not hinging properly on squats and deadlifts) but some of the stuff was just ridiculous. For example, he said that you should never go below to parallel on squats because that will cause buttwink which is bad for your back.  I understand that buttwink is a bad thing, but as I understand it the idea is get so that you can get below parallel while still maintaining form.  I know that it is possible to get that low without the buttwink, but his advice was to just not try it.  For Bench and OHP, he said it was important to keep the elbows flared to get the maximum chest activation.  I am pretty sure I have seen on here that you don't want to flare your elbows for those lifts...  The most ridiculous thing by far that he said was about bracing.  He said that the best way to make sure you can hold the brace is to always hold in all the time, especially when walking or running.  I almost laughed in his face when he said that I should suck in my gut as far as I can and hold it when I run.

 

Of course he tried to get me to sign up for some private classes with him but even if I was interested in a personal trainer (I'm not) I certainly wouldn't do it from him.  I prefer someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

 

After I got back from the gym, I got a call from the car repair shop that the car was fixed.  The problem was apparently the sunroof but the mechanic had no idea what was causing the problem. He has spent most of the day yesterday taking apart parts and putting them back together and then testing to see if it worked.  Taking apart the sunroof and putting it back together got rid of the sound, but it is a mystery why.  Because he couldn't point to anything that was actually broken or needed replacing, he only charged me the inspection fee, which was a very reasonable ~$30.

 

After I picked up the car, I went to the trampoline park to practice some back flips.  I was feeling pretty good about them and even attempted one from solid ground, but I ended up landing it on my knees so I moved back to the edge of the trampoline pad and worked on them from there.  

 

In the evening I did some reading, some X-box with Ghostlet and even a little bit of sketching.  Food was a mixed bag.  I forgot to eat lunch so I ended up having a bunch of cherries and a bag of peanuts for a snack, and then Ghostess wanted to order Sichuan boiled fish again for dinner so we did that.  It wasn't bad, but I have an entire shelf of the fridge stocked with batch cooked food, so I probably should be eating that before it goes bad.

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Not a whole lot to update today.  I finally went to the park but I had a pretty unfocused workout.  I spent most of the time doing jump muscle ups and attempting Russian Dips.   Most of the rest of the day was just reading (back to WoT book 6: Lord of Chaos now).

 

Food was stuff I had prepped earlier: pork & potato strips for lunch and curry for dinner.  I was strongly considering a snack of potato chips and root beer, but I really wasn't hungry and was just considering them because they were there.  I ended up just having a glass of water instead and was satisfied with that.

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Holy shit. I thought personal trainers that bad were only a myth x) 

I wouldn't even trust that you weren't correctly hinging in squat/deadlift..also.. hinging in squat? 

 

2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I was strongly considering a snack of potato chips and root beer, but I really wasn't hungry and was just considering them because they were there.  I ended up just having a glass of water instead and was satisfied with that.

So good! 

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On 5/28/2019 at 5:10 AM, WhiteGhost said:

mj3kEUE.jpg

I don't know what make me laugh more, this sign, or your adventure with the PT.

To be honest, I didn't know the buttwink was a thing, I had to look it up, but it seems like a pretty easy thing to fix. Must say I've never seen anybody doing such thing.

 

On 5/30/2019 at 4:23 PM, WhiteGhost said:

Because he couldn't point to anything that was actually broken or needed replacing, he only charged me the inspection fee, which was a very reasonable ~$30.

I didn't know honest mechanics existed.

 

On 5/30/2019 at 4:23 PM, WhiteGhost said:

The theory is that being strong at the end ranges allows your CNS to feel comfortable enough that you won't hurt yourself and therefore allows you deeper into stretches.

How is that achieved? Can you explain a bit more?

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18 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Holy shit. I thought personal trainers that bad were only a myth x) 

I wouldn't even trust that you weren't correctly hinging in squat/deadlift..also.. hinging in squat? 

I knew that there were some terrible personal trainers out there, but never expected it would be this bad.  

 

Re: the squat hinge, it was mostly just making sure I was doing a little bit of a hinge to get my butt behind me before bending my knees.  I didn't think anything of it at the time, but thinking about it now, I am suspect it may not have been the best guidance.  Also, the idea that the knees can't get in front of my knees during a squat is also probably wrong....

 

4 hours ago, zenLara said:

To be honest, I didn't know the buttwink was a thing, I had to look it up, but it seems like a pretty easy thing to fix. Must say I've never seen anybody doing such thing.

I remember seeing a video done by Athlean-X talking about buttwink and how to fix it, and his advice (which I trust) was to not go too deep if you have buttwink problems, but also that it was absolutely fixable and that once it was to squat all the way down.

 

I suspect I am going to have to take this to the Warrior Guild soon and get some reliable advice

 

4 hours ago, zenLara said:

I didn't know honest mechanics existed.

I must have had pretty good luck in my life, because most of the mechanics I have encountered have been honest.  

 

4 hours ago, zenLara said:

How is that achieved? Can you explain a bit more?

Essentially, a lot of the difficulty in stretching is not because of tight muscles but more because the CNS does not believe you will be safe in a deeper stretch so it engages the muscles to keep you from stretching beyond whatever point the CNS thinks is safe.  By getting stronger (and more stable) at the end of the range of motion, the CNS would feel safe there and allow you to get deeper before stopping the stretch.  I don't really understand it in any real depth, but I believe it enough to buy the program and try it out.  

 

Today is June 1, which is International Children's Day (or at least the day it is celebrated in China).  I spent the morning researching ticket proces for our annual trip back to the US while Ghostlet did homework.  In the afternoon, Ghostlet had a football game, which was the semifinal for his league's tournament.  His team's quarterback didn't show up, but his team still won handily, with Ghostlet scoring 7 touchdowns.  I think once this season finishes I we will stop doing football, because he isn't learning much by playing against kids way below his level, and the kids on the other teams probably don't enjoy getting creamed either.

 

In the evening we celebrated Children's day by ordering pizza and watching TV.  We tried a new place called Tube Station, and while it was good, their "large" pizzas are 19 inches, which is way more than we can eat in one sitting, no matter how hungry we are.  

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2 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

By getting stronger (and more stable) at the end of the range of motion, the CNS would feel safe there and allow you to get deeper before stopping the stretch.

The mobility classes I'm attending seem to be based on a similar idea, although I'm not sure it's the same since we work mainly on joints. We try to work on the full range of motion going as far as we have active control of the move, and being sure we're not compensating with the use of other parts of the body that shouldn't be working to avoid "cheating" (instead of trying to approach my knee to my shoulder -sitting on the floor with straight back- my body will try to slouch to reach the knee, choosing the easier or more comfortable/familiar path). Sometimes, when things start to work, the trainer will give us a weight (light, less than 2k) to practice the move with added weight. Trainer says that what we're actually doing is training the nervous system to control those ranges of motion (in my case, I think the connection between CNS and joint is totally lost at some places :D)

 

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5 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Also, the idea that the knees can't get in front of my toes during a squat is also probably wrong....

Yea x) 

 

I see lots and lots of butt winks, about half the people that first learn a squat / first walk into my gym have one. It's not necessarily harmful though, it depends on where in the range of motion it occurs and also how you're loading it. If you don't go heavy you can squat as deep as you like while working on it. And not everyone can 100% fix it, if you have a very deep acetabulum (the bowl of your hip joint) then it's a possibility you'll never gain that range of motion.. which is also fine. 

 

Film your squat? 

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On 5/30/2019 at 10:23 AM, WhiteGhost said:

After I picked up the car, I went to the trampoline park to practice some back flips.  I was feeling pretty good about them and even attempted one from solid ground, but I ended up landing it on my knees so I moved back to the edge of the trampoline pad and worked on them from there.  

I could never get the hang of backflips, even on the trampoline! Never liked going backwards. I always preferred front flips, that way I could see where I was going. 

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22 hours ago, zenLara said:

 

The mobility classes I'm attending seem to be based on a similar idea, although I'm not sure it's the same since we work mainly on joints. We try to work on the full range of motion going as far as we have active control of the move, and being sure we're not compensating with the use of other parts of the body that shouldn't be working to avoid "cheating" (instead of trying to approach my knee to my shoulder -sitting on the floor with straight back- my body will try to slouch to reach the knee, choosing the easier or more comfortable/familiar path). Sometimes, when things start to work, the trainer will give us a weight (light, less than 2k) to practice the move with added weight. Trainer says that what we're actually doing is training the nervous system to control those ranges of motion (in my case, I think the connection between CNS and joint is totally lost at some places :D)

 

I would not be surprised if it is something similar, because mobility is pretty all about joints.  For MyFlex, the key joints are hips, shoulders and spine (Which I guess counts as a joint because it is a bunch of bones connected together), but in order to get the nerves sliding around properly you also have to do stuff with the wrists and ankles.  The bit about isolating the key body parts to eliminate cheat/compensation movements is also a similarity.  I don't think this program uses weights at all, but it does use resistance bands.

 

19 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Yea x) 

 

I see lots and lots of butt winks, about half the people that first learn a squat / first walk into my gym have one. It's not necessarily harmful though, it depends on where in the range of motion it occurs and also how you're loading it. If you don't go heavy you can squat as deep as you like while working on it. And not everyone can 100% fix it, if you have a very deep acetabulum (the bowl of your hip joint) then it's a possibility you'll never gain that range of motion.. which is also fine. 

 

Film your squat? 

Interesting.  I have never tried squatting really heavy (so far my 1RM is only 60kg) but I guess it will be important to get the form right before trying to go any heavier.  The trainer took a video of me doing (or trying to do) his form, but not sure if that video would be more helpful or one doing them my normal way.  Maybe one of each?

 

13 hours ago, NicTheRugger said:

I could never get the hang of backflips, even on the trampoline! Never liked going backwards. I always preferred front flips, that way I could see where I was going. 

I was always the opposite.  I am pretty comfortable throwing myself into something if I can watch myself coming out of it to time the landing.  Front flips weird me out because you pretty much come out of them blind.

 

Today was a busy day.  I had my regular church meeting in the morning, and then we had a small lunch group with some of the people from church who will be moving back to the US this summer followed directly by another activity (we had a baptism service for a newly joined member) so I didn't end up getting home until almost 7pm.  I had a quick dinner of short ribs, steamed fish and Chinese style scrambled eggs that Ghostess made and then I was off to take Ghostlet to his swimming lesson.

 

Week 1 Summary:

image.jpeg.0605c08330f44b406b2b9f8149c8a201.jpeg

 

1. Exercise - I sent some time on 3 of the 4 target skills, with muscle up getting the bulk of it, followed by handstands and backflips.  Poor pistol squats didn't get any love this week, so I will need to make sure I get to them next week.

 

2. Flexibility - I got my assessment in early in the week and my program dropped last night.  I am still trying to download and organize the videos, but I will have some stuff to work on for this coming week.  

 

3. Cooking - I only cooked one Chinese dish this week, but that is mostly because I also cooked 3 non-Chinese dishes which gave me more than enough food for the week.  I don't feel too bad about falling short on this one.

 

4. Sketching - I managed to do better than last week on this.  I had 2 sketching sessions and I still haven't come close to finishing my sketch and that is just fine.  I don't need to but just work on something a bit when I have time.  I am pretty pleased with how this sketch is coming along so far, so if it continues to go well I will probably post it here when it is finished.

 

Overall not a bad week.  

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On 5/30/2019 at 10:23 AM, WhiteGhost said:

For Bench and OHP, he said it was important to keep the elbows flared to get the maximum chest activation.  I am pretty sure I have seen on here that you don't want to flare your elbows for those lifts... 

So, most of the rest of what he said was garbage, but in the case of bench, there is a stylistic difference whether you are going for a powerlifting style of bench press (elbows more tucked) or a bodybuilding style of bench press (elbows more flared). Not sure how much it really matters for your average person, or whether it's simply an 'old wives tale' kind of thing, but it's a thing that gets kicked around the internet here and there.

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