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Back N9ne's Mini-Warrior Challenge

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Greetings and salutations! This is a bit of a respawn account for me, since my old one was more of a laundry list of failures.  Also, I feel the name is more of a constant reminder for me that I am on the "back nine of life", as it were. Passed the midpoint of my demographic's average lifespan where I live, although taking many things into account I realistically passed it quite a long time ago.  I'm not in BAD shape, but over the last year things have really started breaking down and falling apart.  A minor knee injury has turned into a chronic condition.  An unexplained case of tennis elbow has lasted for close to eight months.  My doctor's response to both of these is "They'll get better on their own.  Also, you should lose weight."  My lower back and neck pain is starting to return, making my mornings much more of a chore than they used to be. All of this, combined with a lot of health problems experienced by my immediate friends and family, are REALLY driving home the point that I get one body, one life, and one chance at this big crazy world.


Main Quest:

I used to have major GOALS for things I wanted to DO, but as time goes on I'm less and less invested in 'doing amazing things' and more interested in 'looking good, feeling good, and being ABLE to enjoy things without regret, remorse, or guilt'.  And so my main quest for this challenge can at its highest level just be summed up as "I want to look good for my age". Changes I make to that end will naturally come with genuine health benefits, but I can't measure the benefits very easily. I CAN measure "looking good". So, for the time being... I want to look good. 

More specifically:

1.) I want to lose some weight before going to a two-day metal festival in July.

2.) I want to lose a lot of weight before going to the Wacken Open Air Metal Festival in 2020, which is the world's largest metal music festival. Google it. I will be turning 40 shortly after this.

3.) I want to, eventually, open the first Ninja Warrior Gym in this part of the world. I think it would be a major boost if I could do, like, HALF THE THINGS in the gym. :D Especially if I'm trying to attract customers and the like. That's my semi-retirement plan: By the time I'm 45, so 7-ish years, I want to get out of my desk job, and run my own gym.


And with all that in mind, that's why I'm starting here. Thank you all for having me.



Side Quest #1: You Feel Refreshed (But You're Still Hungry)

Food is a HUGE problem for me.  25+ years of stress eating. Eaten when I'm not hungry. Eating when I am full. Eating when bored. Eating 'just to use up the last of this particular food, then I won't buy any more of it', and then buying more of it. Lot of bad habits.  It doesn't help I'm generally in charge of all the grocery shopping, and cooking for three kids with differing tastes, and a vegetarian wife. HUGE CHANGES HERE haven't worked in the past, so I am going to be starting with something smaller: work.

  • no more eating out at fast food places at work
  • make food at home / bring healthy leftovers from home
  • no more free coffee at work (I also load up on the cream and sugar)
  • no more snacks from the snack shelf (also free)


Side Quest #2: You Have A Home Gym Use it.

I have a heavybag, 2 barbells, simple weight bench, and a Total Gym XLS I got for super cheap from a co-worker. I need to dig out some time to use it all, 3x a week.

  • 45 minutes, 3x a week
  • Bench press, pull-downs, deadlifts, single-leg incline squats. Gotta get my knees and elbows working smoothly again.
  • Heavybag for fun home cardio


Side Quest #3: The Weighting Is The Hardest Part

I'm going to weigh myself tomorrow morning.  That will be my starting number.  I am NOT GOING TO WEIGH MYSELF AT ALL until the challenge is up... and I WANT to be down 10 lbs from there. Weighing myself every day always gives me false positives with the daily fluctuations (Woo, three pounds down! I can celebrate with Subway.  Awww, now I'm five pounds up...) 


I'll post updates and progress here as I find it!




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Looks like we are similar age, and in similar-ish place in life. If it is of any help, I advise batch cooking your lunch for work. If you can stand eating same food for all week, it is great time saver (and in our situation time is most deficit resource).

Second - black cofee (or with a dash of milk) is drinkable, but has little to none calories. I drank heavy milked cofee all my life, but now I learned to put only a bit of milk in my morning cofee, the rest of the day it's black. 

And don't throw your scale out the window. Weight yourself once a week (in similar situation, i.e. in the morning before breakfast) - this way you can see if you are on the right path. If you don't cut enough calories in the first week, you'll know to adjust in the second. Without weighting, how will you know?


Anyway, best of luck with your challenge!


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I absolutely CAN run on caffeine and hatred. But only with a dash of milk.

Challenges: Nothing new right now, focusing on current routine | #16 | #15 (Xmas mini) |  #14 | #13 | #12 | #11 | #10 | #9 | #8 | #7 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1

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I have been batch-cooking! I am totally fine with eating the same thing every day, even if it drives my family insane.  This week it's "lean ground beef, brown rice, frozen mirepoix mix, Carribbean Roasted Garlic Pepper spice, and hot sauce".  I'm lovin' it.


The black coffee at the office SUUUUUUUUUCKS.  I have black coffee at home.


Regarding the weighing every week.... maybe weekly is good.  Daily has too much variance. :adoration:

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Yes, exactly.

Weight weekly, and try to do it in similar state. For me, it is saturday morning, after bathroom, before coffee. So no food in stomach, no extra water from drinks etc. It gives you info if your diet is the way you want it to be, and is often enough to make adjustments on the fly. 


And your meal sounds delicious :)

I absolutely CAN run on caffeine and hatred. But only with a dash of milk.

Challenges: Nothing new right now, focusing on current routine | #16 | #15 (Xmas mini) |  #14 | #13 | #12 | #11 | #10 | #9 | #8 | #7 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1

Bike build

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Welcome back!


Just a note of caution on 10 pounds over the course of this challenge - that is pretty difficult. Now, depending on where you start from, it is possible, but I'd recommend a weight loss range (i.e. 5 - 10 lbs) instead of an average of 2 lbs per week. 


Also, tagging a few warriors to drop in and say hello: @Grumble; @RedStone

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AHOY WARRIOR! I hope to be seeing you round the guild next challenge!


On 5/27/2019 at 3:05 PM, Back N9ne said:


'looking good, feeling good, and being ABLE to enjoy things without regret, remorse, or guilt'


Right there with you. 


On 5/27/2019 at 3:05 PM, Back N9ne said:

so I am going to be starting with something smaller


wise, tried and true! Little changes over big time :D 


On 5/27/2019 at 3:05 PM, Back N9ne said:

Wacken Open Air Metal Festival


Oh hell yeah! I've been in an Okilly Dokilly place the last few weeks \m/ \m/

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On 5/27/2019 at 2:05 PM, Back N9ne said:

"I want to look good for my age"


Same here friend. Welcome back. It looks like you've got some solid, actionable but not overwhelming goals and I look forward to following along your challenge. Who knows, maybe we'll eventually see you over by the Warriors where we love lots of heavy metal (mostly just lifting, pushing, and pulling the stuff, but there are certainly some musical warriors as well). 

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Stay awhile... we're liftin'

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Welcome back! Great goals to get you started.


What parts of your home gym do you find most useful/enjoyable?

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Whoops, forgot to update.


So far my workouts are:


Bench Press   x10   x10   x12

OHP  x10  x10  x12

Bicep Curl (Bar) x10  x10  x10

Single-leg squat (incline bench)  x10  x10  x15 (each side)

Pull-ups (incline bench)   x10   x10   x12

Squats (low weight)  x10   x10   x12


I go higher on the last set, just to try and burn myself out. My weights are pretty low right now, way lower than I was at just a couple years ago, but my left knee and elbow are pretty messed up, so... just doing what I can!


The parts I find most enjoyable are having a proper bench press bench again (one that doesn't wiggle when I put the weight back) and the Total Gym for pull-ups, working muscles that are otherwise very hard to work.  Also, the heavy bag for warmups.

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Allrighty, so... looks like I might need to modify things a little bit.


Even with reduced weight, I think I really pulled something bad in my right shoulderblade (rhomboid muscles, according to The Google).  Even pulling my phone out of my pocket or looking behind me, or SNEEZING, hurts that spot a lot.  This might take the pull-downs and OHP off the table for a little while. Which sucks, because those are the areas I need to work on the MOST... which is probably why they were so weak, and so easily damaged.


SO... does anyone have any suggestions for anything I can do with my back and shoulders that won't exacerbate this, and will let them heal? Should I just go down to, like, ten pounds, and just work the area with super-light weight and repetitive motions? Will boxing and bagwork make this worse, or be a good workout?


I've found it suggested that I should just focus on weight loss for now, and get all of the 'bad weight' out of the way.  This will hopefully make it easier to do all of these things without risk of injury. 

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Double allrighty so...


Tennis ball work and ibuprophen almost completely knocks down whatever's up in my shoulder.  I think it's just muscles knotting up from... possibly never being used. :D I did some light bagwork yesterday, tennis ball, IB's, good sleep, felt great today.  Got a little sore as I got into my day, more light bagwork, felt good, so I worked out again.


I've increased the reps on everything, and my shoulder feels fine right now.


SO... I'm not gonna go nuts.  I'm not gonna increase the weight.  I'm happy increasing the reps for a little while, going back down a bit and adding a set. I've still got the same issue with my left elbow and left knee, but I feel better than I have in weeks.  Work out, protein shake and creatine after, hot shower, stretching.


I will keep you posted!

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so smart to back off a little. shoulders are so finicky and i find that if i mess with them at all when they're mad, it takes forever to get them back to normal. tennis ball/trigger point work is great. if you need something more intense, a lacrosse ball or theracane can really dig in there and release a knot. great job listening to your body! 

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So there's plenty of soreness during the recovery period, especially first thing in the morning where rolling over in bed is REALLY hard on the ol' shoulder.  IBs, stretching, tennis ball... feels great. So this might just be my 'thing' now.  I'm old and sore.


Doesn't mean I can't get stronger.


Also, I lost a grand total of one pound over the last week, but looking back, there WERE some cheat moments. Mostly involving a bag of sour gummies and a bag of Takis. And possibly more pesto than I really needed.


Stricter fooding this week.

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So, on the one hand... I gained that pound back. I'm right where I started, weight-wise. 


On the other hand, two people have asked me if I've lost weight, and I remember that muscle is denser than fat, so there's a good chance the weight means nothing at this point.


On the third hand, here's my exercise progression, reps per session, without changing the weights:





Fruit smoothie with protein and creatine after every workout.  Burning myself out on the last set. I've also started biking again. 10.4km in 39 minutes on Thursday. hopefully I can get in biking on days I don't work out, or days I am not at track with my youngest daughter (I just walk laps there, and do the stadium seating steps, up and down, over and over).


And lastly... my joints feel so much better this week. Knee and elbow. My shoulder isn't giving me much trouble at all, and my lower back is SORE but not PAINFUL in the mornings.  It's kind of amazing how fast I turned around in three weeks. Thank you all!

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16 hours ago, Back N9ne said:

gained that pound back [...] people have asked me if I've lost weight

People's eyes are way better than scale. Pounds are just a number, it's all about body composition. Congrats on compliments :) 


16 hours ago, Back N9ne said:

On the third hand

Hmm *looks closer, suspiciously*


16 hours ago, Back N9ne said:

my joints feel so much better

Happy to hear you feel better. On the sore lower back in the morning - have you tried stretching right before going to bed? This worked for me. 


Cheers :)

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I absolutely CAN run on caffeine and hatred. But only with a dash of milk.

Challenges: Nothing new right now, focusing on current routine | #16 | #15 (Xmas mini) |  #14 | #13 | #12 | #11 | #10 | #9 | #8 | #7 | #6 | #5 | #4 | #3 | #2 | #1

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