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Deckard Gainz

Deckard studies the Skeleton King

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The Zakarum high Priests in Kurast proclaimed Leoric King of Khanduras many years ago. He ruled well until Diablo's influence drove him mad and the loyal knight Lachdanan was forced to slay him. Afterward, Diablo himself raised Leoric from the dead as the Skeleton King.

 

The_Skeleton_King_(Diablo_I).gif?version

 

Diablo is the Lord of Terror, so it's unsurprising that his means of driving Leoric mad were through fear. As the demon lord's influences slowly eroded Leoric's will, he became paranoid, untrusting, and fearful, and it eventually got him and many of his loved ones killed. The lesson we can learn from Leoric's tragedy is that even though it would be extremely cool to be a Skeleton King, we must overcome fear before it overcomes us.

 

This challenge is about both overcoming and embracing fear. Some fears are helpful. They keep us alive, safe, productive, etc. A life completely devoid of fear is an incredibly dangerous one. That said, a lot of fears are irrational and work actively against our goals. I'd like to address some of those.

 

Fear of being exposed as a fraud (aka Imposter Syndrome)
I'm trying to embrace my years of experience lifting, trust my instincts, and pursue more advanced lifting schemes (relying on RPE over predetermined set/rep schemes). I'm also running 100% on my own programming now. I'll need to be more careful doing this, but I can't be afraid of it not working. I'd like to outline some of my throught processes throughout this challenge and check them against the experience of alot of the more experienced folks here. I've already taken a lot of info to heart and I know there's always more to learn.

 

Goal: Consistently write out my own programming and adhere to it for the duration of the challenge and hopefully beyond. 

 

Fear of change
I have very little variety in my accessories and main lift variations, mostly because I don't know that many. The easiest concrete steps to take here are to learn and do more types of lifts and variations.

 

Goal: Throughout the challenge, learn and perform 1 new major lift variation for each main lift (OHP,DL,BP,Sq) and 1 new accessory for each muscle group (back, hams, quads, shoulders, chest, core). Maybe I'll post what I know and do now and solicit some recommendations. Tell me your favorites?

 

Fear of hard work
I'm going to start tracking again but more specifically this time. It's a huge pain in my ass and I hate it, but I have to try. I would like to lose some body fat and there is a very straightforward way of doing that if I know my calories and macros. Like tracking sucks, but it's still better than the alternative of working my ass off just to throw all that effort into a blender with a big question mark on it and hoping it spits out the results I want.

 

Goal: Track calories, improve accuracy by measuring.

 

Methyphobia

People having intense fear of alcohol or losing control after consuming alcohol are known to suffer from this phobia; also termed as potophobia. (This is probably an exaggeration in my case but seemed like a useful word to know).

 

Goal: No more than 1 drink (~1.5oz alcohol) per hour under any circumstance.

Edited by Deckard Gainz
Added alcohol-related goal
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Sounds awesome. Looking forward to seeing how you level up the lifting programme! Also good luck on fighting the unnecessary fear. If the new programming doesn't work out you can always go back to what you were doing before, right? 

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Here for you buddy, and excited to see how writing your own programs and expanding your accessory knowledge goes (I'm now picturing a viking going purse shopping, for anyone who wants a humorous mental image).

 

But also wanted to throw out my own experience with tracking calories and macros - it works for me for a short bit, but I rebel against the system pretty quickly. By contrast, having a rough food plan and some vague idea of how much I'm deviating from it has worked super well for me, and nearly all the fat loss I've achieved and maintained has come during periods of not tracking macros. All that to say, if you find the overhead of tracking too burdensome, maybe one to two levels less of detail is something you could experiment with and see how the chips fall.

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First of all, viking is absolutely goal aesthetics, and my laptop bag pretty much is a purse, so while it's slightly adjacent to the actual experience, there's probably a version of your vision that exists (though I still think of myself as closer to Endgame Thor than Thor 1 Thor, knamean?).

 

Anyway, I really appreciate the insight and feedback, and I have some thoughts on this. The trick the last time I lost a decent amount of weight was eating very low-carb. That worked, but it was too restrictive in the long term so it couldn't last. But when I'm less restrictive and more realistic, the "automatic savings" those restrictions provide don't exist, so I need some sort of other buffer against overeating, binging, or just eating too much of the wrong stuff. I might just need tracking for the sake of keeping my nutrition front of mind.

 

I like to think I'm some victim of metabolic adaptation or one of the many things outside of my control, but the reality is that my fat loss stagnation is probably entirely the result of too many indulgences, which I need a way to mitigate. I'm not sure tracking is the solution to that problem, but it's something that's correlated with success in the past.

 

I do have "a rough food plan and some vague idea of how much I'm deviating from it" -- I just think my version is too rough and too vague to be useful, or I just allow myself too many deviations. Either way whatever I've been doing for the last 6 months doesn't really seem to be doing much for me: no weight loss, no recomp (same plateaus as always but a higher weight than i was last time i hit these numbers).

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40 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

First of all, viking is absolutely goal aesthetics, and my laptop bag pretty much is a purse, so while it's slightly adjacent to the actual experience, there's probably a version of your vision that exists (though I still think of myself as closer to Endgame Thor than Thor 1 Thor, knamean?).

 

Anyway, I really appreciate the insight and feedback, and I have some thoughts on this. The trick the last time I lost a decent amount of weight was eating very low-carb. That worked, but it was too restrictive in the long term so it couldn't last. But when I'm less restrictive and more realistic, the "automatic savings" those restrictions provide don't exist, so I need some sort of other buffer against overeating, binging, or just eating too much of the wrong stuff. I might just need tracking for the sake of keeping my nutrition front of mind.

 

I like to think I'm some victim of metabolic adaptation or one of the many things outside of my control, but the reality is that my fat loss stagnation is probably entirely the result of too many indulgences, which I need a way to mitigate. I'm not sure tracking is the solution to that problem, but it's something that's correlated with success in the past.

 

I do have "a rough food plan and some vague idea of how much I'm deviating from it" -- I just think my version is too rough and too vague to be useful, or I just allow myself too many deviations. Either way whatever I've been doing for the last 6 months doesn't really seem to be doing much for me: no weight loss, no recomp (same plateaus as always but a higher weight than i was last time i hit these numbers).

This - love it. Not so much for the conclusions (although those are good) as the sober, level-headed, and logical thinking you're putting into the process. Sounds like you've been doing a thing (loose guidelines) for a while and have data (lifting performance and body comp) to suggest that it's not working for you as-is, but also have some data that another strategy (very low carb) was successful in the short term but unsustainable in the long term (and I personally am all about lifelong sustainability for any eating approach). Maybe tracking along with planning will be an intermediate step for you to a future where either tracking no longer feels cumbersome (because you're a badass at doing it at the right level of granularity for you) or is no longer necessary (because you've got a better intuitive feel and can "wing it" more successfully for your current body comp goals, whether that's maintenance, fat loss, or muscle gain).

 

I dunno if this is helpful, but I have found a little mindful reflection helpful for me - when I'm eating something indulgent and delicious but not nutrient dense, I check in with myself after - did it feel special? Or did it feel run of the mill? If it's the latter, I know I need to reduce my indulgence frequency, because they're no longer feeling special and exciting like I want them to (I also don't feel so great if I try to do a full-out dance practice right after a high-fat, high-salt, and/or high-sugar indulgence and that creates a natural limiting mechanism, but I don't recommend anyone take up competitive dance just to get that side effect :lol:).

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I have done a ton of different variations on my lifts over the last few years. I tend to break it down as 1 step variations ansd 2 step variations (occasionally 3 step but not very often), with the concept being that a 1 step variation is pretty similiar to the competition lift and only changes 1 thing. For example: going from high bar squatting to low bar squatting or flat shoes versus oly shoes. 2 step and 3 step variations get less and less specific the more shit you change. So most of the variation for my main lifts would be 1 step variations, but you can get wackier with accessory work.

 

My favourite variations for my main lifts:

 

Squat (my comp lift is low bar with oly shoes)

- safety squat bar

- box squat (+/- safety squat bar)

- using chains

 

Bench

- closegrip bench (this has done the most for my progress)

- floor press

- chains

 

DL (my comp lift is conventional)

- Sumo

- Conv or sumo off blocks or deficits

 

Using pauses or doing tempo work has never felt right to me, but is also an option.

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6 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

 I might just need tracking for the sake of keeping my nutrition front of mind.

This is an awesome short-term way to touch base with yourself and to see if you're being realistic about your food choices. There have been some interesting studies that show that for some folks tracking is enough (without any conscious reduction in intake) to result in slow weight loss - sometimes we just need a reminder of what we've already had in the day! I recommend a photo diary, since it requires the least amount of thought/tracking to get anxious about - just snap a pic for anything that goes in your mouth! (er, consumables that go in your mouth, that is).

 

10 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Goal: Throughout the challenge, learn and perform 1 new major lift variation for each main lift (OHP,DL,BP,Sq) and 1 new accessory for each muscle group (back, hams, quads, shoulders, chest, core). Maybe I'll post what I know and do now and solicit some recommendations. Tell me your favorites?

Oooh, ooh, pick me, pick me! :D I do virtually NO BB work, since it never ends up being as fun for me as the variations. ;)

 

OH: Headstands, Pike push ups, DB neutral grip OH press, Arnold press (if you can do it safely), KB bottoms up press - all of them hit shoulders, and some chest/back

 

DL: Hip Thrust (and other glute stuff like cable pull-through, bridges, frog pumps, clams, bird dogs, fire hydrants, banded x walk, etc) (glutes), Farmer's Walks (any variation, core & grip), Landmine Rows(back), inverted rows (core & back), KB swings (posterior chain), block/rack or sumo DL (depending on what needs work), single leg DB RDLs (hams, & whole body balance for the BB DL), seated good mornings (for bringing up the lower back & core)

 

BP: Push ups on gym rings. That's all I got, I do very little pressing. :P Hit shoulders and chest HARD. You could also give DB bench presses a shot (twisted and/or incline for variety), they're harder due to less stability - or floor presses, for something a bit easier on the shoulders. Oh, cable flyes are fun too. And pullovers, I guess.

 

Sq: Bulgarian split squats (quads), goblet squats (awesome for form, and improving upper strength at the same time - might be more of an endurance thing for your lower body though), zercher (hurts though), weighted reverse lunges (hip stability), overhead squat (works as a diagnostic to figure out your 'weak spots'), Cossack squat (mobility, hip stability), box squats (for kicks n giggles)

 

Shoulders/back (my favourite): banded pull aparts & face pulls, cable rows, X cable pull downs, pull ups (if you can), scaption, trap 3 raise, back plank, y raise/pulls, reverse flyes

 

Random stuff that's surprisingly difficult: Turkish getups, deadbugs, pallof press, bear crawls, groiners, leg lift in side plank, loaded carries with chains, plank rows, deep squat (just bodyweight, it's for mobility), supermans

 

 

For what it's worth, I think you're going to kill it in programming your own stuff. You've got this!

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Zero Week - Monday & Tuesday

Monday was my first day back after 10 days out of the country and out of the gym. The grass is 5 inches long, dirty laundry is piled up, we have no food, my partner has bronchitis, I have evening plans Mon-Wed, and I'm leaving home again for the holiday weekend Friday immediately after work. I have my work cut out for me this week.

 

First off, I canceled my Monday plans so I could go pick up some food for my partner and be home to spend time with her and the dogs and to just be around if she needed me. I did make it out to the gym first right after work. I decided on a split so I could get 2 workouts in before being crushed by DOMS. Workout 1 looked like this:

 

Squats @ 300lbs (70%)
1x10 RPE 9
3x8 RPE 8ish
1x5 RPE 8ish
2.5min rest

I think I actually got quad pump. I didn't even know that was possible. At least I don't remember it happening much in other programs.

 

RDLs @ 225
1x8
2x5

Sweaty hands + smooth bar made the RDLs worthless. I'll either need to bring my liquid chalk for these or find something where grip isn't as much of a concern. Usually I am a little better with it sans chalk but I was sweating hard after the squats. 

 

Leg curl machine 5x10 @ 80lbs
BSS @ BW 2x10 - too tired for extra weight, just working on stabilization
Lying leg-hip raise 2x15 - probably going to try the standing leg-hip raise next time

 

After the gym I went and bought some groceries, then I mowed some grass, put away dishes, started some laundry, and unpacked. After all that I had about 1 hour to eat and relax before bed. Traveling home Sunday had worn us both out so we had ordered pizza to eat while catching up/finishing GoT, so I ate the leftovers from that. It caused me to finish out Monday around 2600 calories and 140g protein, which is maybe a little high on calories even for a workout day, and a little lower on protein than I'd have liked. 6.5 hours actual sleep according to Fitbit, which is around the amount my body seems to prefer.

 

Tuesday was another busy day. After work, I mowed more grass at a lower setting and rode my bicycle ~4.25 miles to a local tech meetup, where I had some salad and little finger food sandwich things. 2000ish cals, 160g protein. I refrained from using my free drink tickets on beer, which is a huge win I think? I used one on a diet coke because I was so exhausted I felt like falling asleep during the presentations. I rode the bike back home and passed out shortly after 9pm. 7 hours 44 minutes of sleep!

 

19 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

when I'm eating something indulgent and delicious but not nutrient dense, I check in with myself after - did it feel special?

 

This is what I need to do with alcohol. The problem for me is, once I have one, everything feels special and I feel like having 30 more. I've gotten much better about this over the years and part of that is having this conversation in advance -- what is a beer going to do for me right now? I like trying new beers, and I like making beer, and I like relaxing with a whiskey or a really special/tasty beer now and then. Everything else doesn't really do much for me besides hamper my goals.

 

@Blocky and @Defining - thanks for the suggestions. There's a lot of stuff here and I'm not sure how to best respond to it all. I don't plan on competing so specificity is not as important to me (this makes prioritization more difficult). I also don't have a great idea of weaknesses that are easy to remedy. My main limiter on DL is grip strength, and I know my bench suffers from a weak arch/leg position for leg drive, but I'm not sure that any bench variations can solve that. As for squat and OHP, I can't really identify any glaring weaknesses beyond "my shoulders suck." Anyway, for the moment, here's what I'm noodling on for new variations and accessories:

 

Variations

Squat: Overhead squat

DL: Sumo

Bench: Close-grip

OHP: Arnold press


Accessories

hams (and in this case core and grip strength too): loaded carries / farmers walk

quads: ??? not sure my quads need that much specific work atm

shoulders/back: face pulls / reverse flyes

chest: ??? Bigger chest is high on my list so I already do most of what I know - flyes, cable crossovers, decline pushups, dips

core: ??? Maybe some kind of plank variation(s)

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My shoulders suck too. I do a lot of lat shrugs on the cable pull down for stability and regularly do internal and external rotation with the band to keep my rotator cuffs happy, and when they're happy I can tolerate moderate over head stuff with power cleans and DB snatches and fun stuff like that.

 

If you have a duel cable, I really like standing upward presses (I'm blanking on a name here, but the cables are near the floor and you're pressing up but in front of your body so it's not directly over head) - they hit my delts nicely without hurting my jams. I can also tolerate front raises and scapular raises but not lateral shrug.gif

 

21 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

But when I'm less restrictive and more realistic, the "automatic savings" those restrictions provide don't exist, so I need some sort of other buffer against overeating, binging, or just eating too much of the wrong stuff.

 

I'm a big fan of the - eat more to binge less - idea, which is kind of the - eating more of the good stuff that makes you content - idea. For me I found that if I make every meal have the components of a fully plated dish: main with 2 sides, I feel much more content than with little bits, but I've also found some people need the snack options throughout the day to be content. 

 

GL! You're NO imposter. You got this.

 

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9 minutes ago, RedStone said:

I can also tolerate front raises and scapular raises but not lateral

 

I've never done scapular raises but I am the same way in that front raises are fine and laterals completely depend on the day. My issue is most likely rotator cuff related, so I may have to try out the rotation stuff. I have no idea what that actually is though lol.

 

Also I am definitely a big meal guy. So my preferred thing is decent sized lunch and a big dinner. Any time I try to skimp on a meal I will do something stupid like go and eat half a jar of peanut butter. 

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3 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

 

I've never done scapular raises but I am the same way in that front raises are fine and laterals completely depend on the day. My issue is most likely rotator cuff related, so I may have to try out the rotation stuff. I have no idea what that actually is though lol.

 

Yeah, rotator cuffs are a bitch and was my first foray into orthopedic exercise. (I've finally worked my way down to the knees :lol:) But shoulders will always be my first love. Because they suck.

 

Also, I really didn't get into the lat shrugs much but imo they're extremely helpful and you can build a LOT of strength with them, as well as stability. Applying the stability to other lifts makes a huge difference in performance capabilities and along with rows, gives that impossibly good posture which looks sexy and powerful and helps prevent lower back pain. Win win win.

 

The rotation stuff is way more important than the raises if you have to prioritize. It's bread and butter for rotator cuff happiness. Here's a video with some good information, and some additional tips. (I'm not seeing the scap raises I want to share, so I'll do a video or photos for you later)

 

-external is way harder than internal, adjust the band if needed in order to do it right, but get through the sets even if you need breaks

-if you can't do a full range of motion, the band is too heavy, use a lighter one

-you can also use a piece of paper instead of a towel or pillow under your arm

 

 

 

3 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Also I am definitely a big meal guy. So my preferred thing is decent sized lunch and a big dinner. Any time I try to skimp on a meal I will do something stupid like go and eat half a jar of peanut butter. 

 

I'm totally the same. My out of control binges always come on the days I can't seem to get in my good solid meals.

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Zero week - Wednesday

Bench press @ 200lbs (80%)
2x8 rpe 8
1x7 rpe 9
2x4 rpe 8-9
2 min rest

 

DB neutral grip OHP @ 30lb DBs
3x10
1x8
90s rest

 

DB Row @ 70lb DB
2x10
1x5
90s rest
I tried slowing down and focusing on form and it killed my last set. Time to deload 'em a bit.

 

Assisted pullups -70lbs
4x5

 

Rotator cuff rotation inernal + external 2x10 @ 7.5lbs

 

Incline bench @ 135
1x8
1x6
1x3

 

DB curls @ 25lbs
2x15
1x10

 

I'll probably sound like an idiot, but I don't really get what I'm supposed to attach the resistance bands to in order to do the shoulder thing (the video doesn't really show it either), so I just used a cable machine at a low weight. Maybe that ruined it, because I didn't really feel much of anything in my shoulders. It felt like it was exercising tendons in my arms more than my shoulder. My shoulders did feel good in general though, which is why I sort of awkwardly went back to a barbell lift super late in the workout. Incline bench is one of those iffy lifts that can feel really bad on a bad day, but they felt great yesterday (except being almost completely out of gas by that point).

 

Right after that pretty long workout I headed to hang out with my gaming group. We ordered Chinese and I ate an entire General Tso's dinner special and drank a few strong whiskey diet pours. I ballparked my calories just shy of 3,000 for the day. That had to be a surplus, even for a workout day. Hopefully some of it will synthesize to muscle?? I'm sure the whiskey didn't help with processing it all.

 

This afternoon I have a "fit session" at my gym. "Fit sessions" are basically like all-purpose personal trainer consultations. I got 2 free ones when I signed up. The first one we basically just sat and talked. I showed him my program, he said "yeah it looks pretty good" (no surprise since it was mostly JTS - a pretty well-known and highly regarded program). He made a few suggestions of thing I could add or change (more unilateral stuff, more conditioning, a few suggestions on variations and stuff). This time around I don't really know what to talk about. I have to use this session up or it will expire, and upon completion I get a $100 gift cert for other services (massage, advanced classes, etc) but if I don't use it I don't get the free stuff.

 

Any ideas on what I should ask/talk to a personal trainer about for an hour? I might run through my current self-built program a bit. It's a pretty flexible thing so I don't have as much of a hard schedule written down for him to review. But I feel like it's a good opportunity to glean some knowledge from a professional; I just don't know what to ask.

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1 hour ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Any ideas on what I should ask/talk to a personal trainer about for an hour? I might run through my current self-built program a bit. It's a pretty flexible thing so I don't have as much of a hard schedule written down for him to review. But I feel like it's a good opportunity to glean some knowledge from a professional; I just don't know what to ask.

That may be something to talk about. Flexibility is good and all, but if you have a lift you don't want to do and you keep "flexing" it to the next session you would do that particular lift, it kind of negates the point.

Talk about your aesthetic goals, (although turning yourself 5' 7 might be hard to do if you are not already there). The trainer might have some insight on your program that could help make those goals more achievable.

Ask about stuff like the resistance bands. The whole convo doesn't have to be about goals only, you can talk form and function and tips therein.

 

@RedStone, any recommendations from the trainer perspective that might be worth Deckard pursuing?

 

 

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2 hours ago, Grumble said:

That may be something to talk about. Flexibility is good and all, but if you have a lift you don't want to do and you keep "flexing" it to the next session you would do that particular lift, it kind of negates the point.

 

This sort of thing happened a lot when I was trying to run a strict 4x a week program. I'd lose a day and then day 4 would become day 1 of next week, but I wouldn't push anything off indefinitely. It's all fun and games until bench day lands on a Monday :rolleyes:

 

I only flex individual lifts if I'm condensing 2 split days into 1 full-body day but I don't really push anything off to the point of skipping it. If I don't like it, I just don't program it (hi front squats).

 

2 hours ago, Grumble said:

turning yourself 5' 7 might be hard to do if you are not already there

 

I don't know man, sometimes when I unrack a few hundred pounds on my back I do feel like it might just condense my body a bit more each time.

 

I had originally planned to do some form checks but the DOMS are killing me today so I'm not sure I'm game for it. Asking about some of the equipment that I don't know about there might be useful and help me expand my horizons, which is one of my main goals this challenge.

 

One of his previous insights was I think the exact thing you suggested @Grumble, which was to add a full conditioning day or replace 1 lifting day with conditioning. I did do this 1 week before my trip and plan to keep it part of the rotation. That might be the day that suffers most in the 'flexible' plan... I don't like it much...

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And you say I play hardball.

 

Just my two cents. Learning a new variation or assistance lift is always good,  but don't worry about trying to incorporate everything. I've done that and it usually leads to fuck-around-itis. Prescribe assistance work to address specific weaknesses. Do variations give yourself specific challenges, or target a different muscle.

 

As long as the big lifts stay strong and/or get bigger all is well.

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4 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

This sort of thing happened a lot when I was trying to run a strict 4x a week program. I'd lose a day and then day 4 would become day 1 of next week, but I wouldn't push anything off indefinitely.

I do this all the time, I consider this a natural part of NOT GETTING PAID TO LIFT. It's not my job, it's not all my free time. I have other shit to do and sometimes it's not being under the bar (I mean, it might be, but it might also be a different kind of bar)

 

4 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

It's all fun and games until bench day lands on a Monday :rolleyes:

And just what is wrong with international chest day?

 

4 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

If I don't like it, I just don't program it (hi front squats).

*Judging intensifies*

I HATE Split legged lifts, all of them. But I have at least one in once a week. Re: front squats, what in particular don't you like about them that you don't do them?

 

4 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Following his solely for the Face Your Fears theme.

 

Or demons.

Ohhh. 

 

The Imposter demon: Summoned as a formless creature with no will of its own, it slowly begins to take on the shape and features of the nearest person that has feelings of inadequacy at their level in life. It insinuates itself into the victims life, sneaking in to do things poorly when the victim leaves an area, eventually convincing the victim that they are truly inadequate in which they go insane and allowing the demon to eat their soul and drag them back to hell.

 

The Demon of Change: A tiny, nearly invisible thing that flits around the targets head until it finds a weakness to exploit, then it crawls inside the ear and begins to whisper it insidiousness and vitriol, bring sunch a fear of change that the victim eventually locks themselves away from society forever, allowing the demon to fully infest and turn the body into an incubator for more Change Demons.

 

The hard work Demon, aka the Sloth Demon: This demon is made of shadows, and can live anywhere that the shadows can. It finds a victim that seems tired, or worn out, from trying to "make it" It begins with dreams of the simple life, as the victim becomes more susceptible, it begins to gain power and become more tangible within the shadows, often manifesting near the victim while they are sitting or laying down. As their power grows, they begin to envelop the victim, until they can do nothing at all.

 

Also, the Imposter demon and Change demon are lesser demons to the Major Sloth Demon (cause you got to have a deadly sin as a major demon)

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10 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

Any ideas on what I should ask/talk to a personal trainer about for an hour? I might run through my current self-built program a bit. It's a pretty flexible thing so I don't have as much of a hard schedule written down for him to review. But I feel like it's a good opportunity to glean some knowledge from a professional; I just don't know what to ask.

Form check for any new movements you want to try? OR they can help you identify weak spots in your current lifts, which will help inform your accessory lift selection! If there's any equipment that you're not sure about, that's also a great opportunity to have someone show you how to use it.

 

If your shoulders 'suck', they may also be able to offer some direction for what's going to help most (mobility vs stability vs strength, or maybe the issue isn't your shoulders at all but is actually posture in your back/hips, or maybe it's tight lats, or, or, or... ;) lots of different stuff go into shoddy shoulders, and an outside perspective is always helpful). 

 

7 hours ago, Deckard Gainz said:

One of his previous insights was I think the exact thing you suggested @Grumble, which was to add a full conditioning day or replace 1 lifting day with conditioning. I did do this 1 week before my trip and plan to keep it part of the rotation. That might be the day that suffers most in the 'flexible' plan... I don't like it much...

Could you do a circuit day, or prowler stuff, or just some loaded carries as a 'conditioning' day? Doesn't always need to be the 'boring' stuff… :P 

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Zero Week - Thursday

 

I talked to the trainer for an hour. I asked him about some lift variations: what they're good for, why choose them over other variations, etc. I asked him about shoulder stuff, about the internal and external rotation and some other shoulder accessories that could help, including how to use resistance bands (lol). Though I didn't do any explicit form checks, we did talk about form, particularly on shoulder and back stuff on which I'm still not 100% confident my form is perfect. I still put a lot of English into my rows, even the bent-over, knee-supported DB rows I do now. I always try to get a huge ROM so I get a ton more non-lat shoulder movement than necessary. We also talked about diet and macros and all that for a while. I talked about how I made weight loss work in the past and his takeaway on that was basically "you already know what to do; so just do it!" which is about all the advice I could ask for.

 

The rest of the night was preparing for MEMORIALOCALYPSE, my annual memorial day party at the lake. 

 

14 hours ago, Curl Brogo said:

Learning a new variation or assistance lift is always good,  but don't worry about trying to incorporate everything. I've done that and it usually leads to fuck-around-itis. Prescribe assistance work to address specific weaknesses. Do variations give yourself specific challenges, or target a different muscle.

 

My weakness is not eating enough to grow new muscles. There is no assistance work for that. So while I'm just maintaining, it seems like a good time to establish some experience with a variety of assistance work so that when I DO want to grow new muscle and I discover weakness along the way, I'll already have a wide breadth of experience to pull from. That's the hope anyway.

 

14 hours ago, Grumble said:

And just what is wrong with international chest day?

 

Sharing 2-3 benches with a sea of meatheads. If I need to bench on a Monday I might just stay home and lift in my basement.

 

14 hours ago, Grumble said:

*Judging intensifies*

I HATE Split legged lifts, all of them. But I have at least one in once a week. Re: front squats, what in particular don't you like about them that you don't do them?

 

I like to think I'm pretty pragmatic about programming. I also do 1 unilateral leg thing anytime I work legs. I guess I do program some stuff that I hate.. I do work shoulders after all. I hate front squats because they hurt my shoulders where I rest the bar. I've never felt comfortable enough with them to go heavy enough to be useful, and quads have never been a weak point for me. So they're just not very useful for me, right now, but I hate them because they hurt.

 

14 hours ago, Grumble said:

The Imposter demon: Summoned as a formless creature with no will of its own, it slowly begins to take on the shape and features of the nearest person that has feelings of inadequacy at their level in life. It insinuates itself into the victims life, sneaking in to do things poorly when the victim leaves an area, eventually convincing the victim that they are truly inadequate in which they go insane and allowing the demon to eat their soul and drag them back to hell.

 

The Demon of Change: A tiny, nearly invisible thing that flits around the targets head until it finds a weakness to exploit, then it crawls inside the ear and begins to whisper it insidiousness and vitriol, bring sunch a fear of change that the victim eventually locks themselves away from society forever, allowing the demon to fully infest and turn the body into an incubator for more Change Demons.

 

The hard work Demon, aka the Sloth Demon: This demon is made of shadows, and can live anywhere that the shadows can. It finds a victim that seems tired, or worn out, from trying to "make it" It begins with dreams of the simple life, as the victim becomes more susceptible, it begins to gain power and become more tangible within the shadows, often manifesting near the victim while they are sitting or laying down. As their power grows, they begin to envelop the victim, until they can do nothing at all.


This is amazing by the way, all of it. Thanks for that. The sloth demon is a major demon and has it's slothy claws dug in far deeper than just not tracking calories, but one problem at a time...

 

12 hours ago, Defining said:

Could you do a circuit day, or prowler stuff, or just some loaded carries as a 'conditioning' day? Doesn't always need to be the 'boring' stuff… :P 

 

Definitely. Some of my conversation with the PT did center around this. Loaded carries are almost a certainty because I need grip work too. In case you missed my last challenge, my last conditioning day was High Intensity Interval Dog Chasing, so I am certainly open to... non-traditional forms of conditioning. 

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15 hours ago, Grumble said:

The Imposter demon: Summoned as a formless creature with no will of its own, it slowly begins to take on the shape and features of the nearest person that has feelings of inadequacy at their level in life. It insinuates itself into the victims life, sneaking in to do things poorly when the victim leaves an area, eventually convincing the victim that they are truly inadequate in which they go insane and allowing the demon to eat their soul and drag them back to hell.

 

The Demon of Change: A tiny, nearly invisible thing that flits around the targets head until it finds a weakness to exploit, then it crawls inside the ear and begins to whisper it insidiousness and vitriol, bring sunch a fear of change that the victim eventually locks themselves away from society forever, allowing the demon to fully infest and turn the body into an incubator for more Change Demons.

 

The hard work Demon, aka the Sloth Demon: This demon is made of shadows, and can live anywhere that the shadows can. It finds a victim that seems tired, or worn out, from trying to "make it" It begins with dreams of the simple life, as the victim becomes more susceptible, it begins to gain power and become more tangible within the shadows, often manifesting near the victim while they are sitting or laying down. As their power grows, they begin to envelop the victim, until they can do nothing at all.

 

Added to the list of upcoming boss fights...

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One other fun thing that came up in my conversation with the PT was breakfast. He asked if I ate breakfast and I said no. He asked "why not?" and I responded:

 

  • I like to wake up, get to work, and get out of work as quickly as possible. Breakfast would delay my optimal timeline.
  • I like eating big meals. The less meals I have, the bigger they can be.
  • When I sit at a desk for 8 hours, I don't really need any extra energy in the morning.
  • I don't do anything to stimulate protein synthesis in the morning so I'd rather just stay catabolic for as long as possible.
  • I don't have any insulin issues.

I know lots of folks skip breakfast, especially around here, but it's always nice to be able to substantially justify the decisions you make when asked by experts. He didn't have much of a followup. A lot of the conversation went like that. It reassured me that I know what I'm doing, and pushed the Imposter demon farther back towards hell.

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19 hours ago, Grumble said:

The Imposter demon: Summoned as a formless creature with no will of its own, it slowly begins to take on the shape and features of the nearest person that has feelings of inadequacy at their level in life. It insinuates itself into the victims life, sneaking in to do things poorly when the victim leaves an area, eventually convincing the victim that they are truly inadequate in which they go insane and allowing the demon to eat their soul and drag them back to hell.

 

The Demon of Change: A tiny, nearly invisible thing that flits around the targets head until it finds a weakness to exploit, then it crawls inside the ear and begins to whisper it insidiousness and vitriol, bring sunch a fear of change that the victim eventually locks themselves away from society forever, allowing the demon to fully infest and turn the body into an incubator for more Change Demons.

 

The hard work Demon, aka the Sloth Demon: This demon is made of shadows, and can live anywhere that the shadows can. It finds a victim that seems tired, or worn out, from trying to "make it" It begins with dreams of the simple life, as the victim becomes more susceptible, it begins to gain power and become more tangible within the shadows, often manifesting near the victim while they are sitting or laying down. As their power grows, they begin to envelop the victim, until they can do nothing at all.

 

Also, the Imposter demon and Change demon are lesser demons to the Major Sloth Demon (cause you got to have a deadly sin as a major demon)

This is both beautiful and terrifying. Thank you for giving name to the dark motes that occasionally cloud my vision

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26 minutes ago, Deckard Gainz said:

I know lots of folks skip breakfast, especially around here, but it's always nice to be able to substantially justify the decisions you make when asked by experts. He didn't have much of a followup. A lot of the conversation went like that. It reassured me that I know what I'm doing, and pushed the Imposter demon farther back towards hell.

 

Nice job. You know yourself and what works for you, and you asserted your superior knowledge when challenged by an expert, which many of us find difficult. 

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