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Hazard

Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson is my patronus.

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"The Dungeon Run" has been my latest entertainment obsession while doing my morning cardio.  I highly recommend this show.

 

 

 

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REPORT: DAY 26

 

Morning cardio (elliptical) -- 709 calories in 60 min.

 

 

Training [shoulders]

  • barbell OH presses
    • (ascending 10s)
      • 30x12
      • 40x10
      • 50x10
      • 60x10
      • 70x10
      • 80x10
      • 90x10
      • 100x8
    • push presses
      • (10-breath myo reps)
        • 110x10-3-3-3-2
  • cable 1-arm straight laterals
    • 2x5
    • 2x6
    • 2x8
    • 2x8
    • 2x8

Commentary:  Yes, those were 2-pound sets in that exercise.  Isolation exercises can be humbling. :boxing:. They're very good at revealing weaknesses.  They're also good for directly attacking those weaknesses.

  • cable 1-arm OH presses
    • 10x20
    • 10x20
    • 10x20
    • 10x20

 

 

 

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REPORT: DAY 27

 

Morning cardio (elliptical) -- 625 calories in 60 min.

 

 

Training [glutes, hamstrings, calves]

  • barbell hip thrusts
    • (4 sets of 10 reps, with 2 sec hold of each rep)
      • 80x10
      • 80x10
      • 80x10
      • 80x10
  • barbell romanian deadlifts
    • (4 sets of 10)
      • 110x10
      • 110x10
      • 110x10
      • 110x10
  • barbell calf raises
    • (5 sets of 50)
      • 40x50
      • 40x50
      • 40x50
      • 40x50
      • 40x50

 

 

 

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Thoughts at The Breakfast Table

 

My exercise subquests have been going great. 

 

My diet subquest not so much.  And that's been the roadblock stopping me from losing the weight for my Main Quest this challenge.  So let's have a think about it.  What's going on?

 

The first and most obvious thing is that I've eaten above my 2000 calorie target on more days this challenge than in the previous one.  I allow myself a refeed at the end of each exercise cycle (every 8th day).  That was true last challenge as well.  Taking an honest look at it, however, I'd say that my refeeds during this challenge have been bigger; more calories consumed.

       I intend for those refeed days to be like normal days, eating my typical diet, but with the addition of a 2-ish hour window during which I'm free to indulge to my heart's content.  In other words, it's really meant to be a large Refeed Meal, not a refeed Day.  Well, during the previous challenge I was good about that.  During this challenge, not so much.  I rather forgot about the "one meal" restriction and have over-indulged refeeds as virtually all-day events.  The solution to that, of course, is to knock it off.  I get a refeed Meal each exercise cycle, not a refeed Day.  

    The second reason my average calories have been higher than desired this challenge is because of birthday shenanigans.  For roughly five days in the middle of this challenge people were throwing treats my way.  But you know what?  I'm okay with this one.  I was adopted.  Last year I found my DNA families. The last time they could celebrate my birth with me was the day I was born.  This year was my first birthday anniversary with them.  I wasn't going to say no to anything they wanted to treat me to this year.  This was special.  And I don't regret over-indulging my stomach on those festivities in the slightest.  

 

Okay, so aside from reining in my refeed Meal to be only a Meal - not a whole Day - is there anything else going on with my diet that could use some fixing?

       Yes, I think so.  

       Even when actively working to stay within the 2000 calorie limit I set for myself, I'm struggling to stick to it.  I was able to do it last challenge, but this challenge it's been harder.  As I've continued to succeed at exercising daily, and my exercising abilities have continually ramped up, 2000 calories is feeling more and more like it's too few calories for me to be eating EVEN for dropping body fat.  On the days now where I do stay at 2000, I'm more irritable, sleep is poorer, and I wake up ravenous -- which makes it even more a struggle to stick to the 2000 cal diet goal the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next....  My usual solution when this happens is to increase my calories to a comfortable amount, and then back them down again until I find the amount that gives me the rate of weight loss that I want to see.  This works.  But it sadly also slows down my goal for a few weeks while I get the target number sorted out.

       The other issue I noticed is that what I'm eating has changed.  A few months ago when I decided to take inspiration from The Rock, I changed not only my exercising - but also my diet to be like his.  With a bit smaller portion sizes. :lol:.  But, I realized this morning while thinking about these things, that while my protein has stayed high, as I've tried to limit myself to 2000 calories the rest of my eating has strayed further and further from Dwayne's diet style.  It may be that part of my increasing hunger issue is related to the  gradual shift in my food choices.  If so, then the solution to this piece of the puzzle may be to get my daily foods back closer to matching his.

 

Lastly, I really should change my current Main Quest going forward.  My primary mid-term goal right now is Fat Loss.  Not just weight loss.  I've talked about this before:  I use my weight on the scale as my main data point for tracking simply because it's easy to do AND it's reliable.  There's no concern about human error in my scale measurement.  Which makes it a great tool.  But it measures weight, not fat.  Its data shows change in weight over time.  That's it.  Interpreting what the change in weight means is up to us.

       Going forward into the next NF challenge a week from now, I think it would be good for me to be clear that my current Main Quest is Fat Loss.  I don't actually care all that much what my weight is.  In fact, a higher weight, with less body fat, would be a good thing, and is part of my loooong-term goals.  Because that would mean having more muscle while being lean.  Which would be "Yay!"

       Anyway, my body seems to be recomping a bit right now.  Losing some fat, and gaining maybe a little non-fat tissue (muscle, hopefully), at relatively the same time. Essentially through micro-cuts and micro-bulks from day to day depending on my eating.   It's hard to be sure though without more variety of measurements.  So, regardless of what exercise or eating I'm doing:  to be more sure that I'm experiencing the Fat Loss that I want right now, I think it's time I intentionally add more tracking methods back into my Main Quest, like I used to do.

       Thus, along with continuing to step on the scale daily, I'm thinking I'll also:

              1.  note down my myotape-measured waist circumference (which I already casually do every few weeks anyway),

              2.  as well as note my actual belt measurement from hook to hole, for whichever hole I'm presently using as the regular hole,

              3.  and note a caliper measurement for my waist.

 

The changes (if any) for those four measurements over time, looked at together, should give me a better idea of whether I'm actually losing body fat by doing whatever exercising and eating I do.

 

 

 

So that's what's running through my brain this morning.  If anybody reading has any thoughts about any of it, I'd love to hear it. :smug:

 

 

 

 

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REPORT: DAY 28

 

Morning cardio (elliptical) -- 609 calories in 60 min.

 

 

Training [arms & abs]

  • EZ bar curls
    • (8 sets of 12 reps, slow on the negatives)
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
      • 35x12
  • dumbbell supinating curls
    • (up the rack by x12s)
      • 10x12
      • 15x12
      • 20x12
      • 25x12
      • 30x12
      • 35x8
  • cable 1-arm curls
    • (sloped pyramid, done as a single set with no rest except quick weight changes)
      • 5x20
      • 10x15
      • 15x10
      • 10x15
      • 5x10
  • cable reverse-grip pushdowns
    • (sloped pyramid, done as a single set with no rest except quick weight changes)
      • 5x25
      • 10x20
      • 15x15
      • 20x10
      • 15x15
      • 10x20
      • 5x25
  • barbell landmine twists
    • 60x14
    • 60x14
    • 60x10
    • 50x20

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, Hazard said:

I'm okay with this one.  I was adopted.  Last year I found my DNA families. The last time they could celebrate my birth with me was the day I was born.  This year was my first birthday anniversary with them.


How nice, it's not every day you meet new-old family! It sounds like it was worth not worrying about food for a while. 
 

22 hours ago, Hazard said:

 Even when actively working to stay within the 2000 calorie limit I set for myself, I'm struggling to stick to it.  I was able to do it last challenge, but this challenge it's been harder.  As I've continued to succeed at exercising daily, and my exercising abilities have continually ramped up, 2000 calories is feeling more and more like it's too few calories for me to be eating EVEN for dropping body fat.  On the days now where I do stay at 2000, I'm more irritable, sleep is poorer, and I wake up ravenous -- which makes it even more a struggle to stick to the 2000 cal diet goal the next day, and the next, and the next, and the next....  My usual solution when this happens is to increase my calories to a comfortable amount, and then back them down again until I find the amount that gives me the rate of weight loss that I want to see.  This works.  But it sadly also slows down my goal for a few weeks while I get the target number sorted out.

 

When I was dieting/restricting types and amounts of food, I thought about food all the time and often found myself mindlessly searching and eating things I didn't want. I think I built up a cumulative feeling of deprivation and food neurosis that made dieting more and more difficult and counterproductive. I'm not dieting any more, but if I were, I would definitely prioritise avoiding deprivation backlash over speed of weight loss. It sounds like that's what you usually do, too. 

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On 7/22/2019 at 11:22 AM, Harriet said:

When I was dieting/restricting types and amounts of food, I thought about food all the time and often found myself mindlessly searching and eating things I didn't want. I think I built up a cumulative feeling of deprivation and food neurosis that made dieting more and more difficult and counterproductive. I'm not dieting any more, but if I were, I would definitely prioritise avoiding deprivation backlash over speed of weight loss. It sounds like that's what you usually do, too. 

 

"Deprivation backlash" is a good way of phrasing it.  *nodnod

 

 

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REPORT: DAY 29

 

Morning cardio (elliptical) -- 825 calories in 60 min.

 

 

Recovery day - no training

 

 

 

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REPORT: DAY 30

 

Morning cardio (elliptical) -- 700 calories in 60 min.

 

 

Training [chest]

  • supersets
    • dips  /  cable crossovers
      • x1  /  15x15
      • 3  /  15x15
      • 5  /  15x15
      • 4  /  15x15
      • 5  /  12x15
      • 4  /  12x15
      • 10  / 12x15
  • barbell bench press, wide grip, 30° incline
    • 30x12
    • 60x12
    • 85x8
    • 85x8
    • 85x8
    • 85x8

 

 

 

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I'm a few days behind on updates, I know.   Exercise has been going along fine as usual.  I've also been working in the yard, preparing it for installing a fence.

 

 

I've continued to think about my recent diet, hunger, and food self-control struggle.  My brain tends to poke at problems from different angles, looking for better solutions, until I find the problem's shatterpoint so I can break it.

 

It's a universal truth that our bodies function via Calories In (energy consumption) versus Calories Out (energy expenditure).

 

My recent struggle has been with keeping my calorie consumption down.  In a great moment of "durrrr," I remembered Occam's Razor.  Applying it to my problem here, if I can't seem to keep my calorie consumption down right now, then the simplest solution to my problem is to increase my calorie expenditure.  I.E., as long as I'm not keeping my Calories-In under control, to continue making progress on my quest I must increase my Calories-Out.  Gotta move more.

 

 

 

Short Version:  I'm going to go back to out-running my fork again. 

 

Because I can. 

 

And it works.

 

 

 

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End of Challenge report

 

I set out to lose 8 pounds.

 

 

My waist measurement stayed the same.

My calves, thighs, arms, shoulders, and chest all got bigger.

I gained 6 pounds.

 

 

I uh... apparently.... had a successful Bulk.  Oops? :lol:

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Hazard said:

End of Challenge report

 

I set out to lose 8 pounds.

 

 

My waist measurement stayed the same.

My calves, thighs, arms, shoulders, and chest all got bigger.

I gained 6 pounds.

 

 

I uh... apparently.... had a successful Bulk.  Oops? :lol:

 

 

 

Waist stays the same but weight goes up? That's the dream man! 

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On 7/29/2019 at 6:18 PM, Hazard said:

End of Challenge report

 

I set out to lose 8 pounds.

 

 

My waist measurement stayed the same.

My calves, thighs, arms, shoulders, and chest all got bigger.

I gained 6 pounds.

 

 

I uh... apparently.... had a successful Bulk.  Oops? :lol:

 

Unintendedly awesome! I wish I could put on measurable muscle mass accidentally in a five week period :) 

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:34 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Waist stays the same but weight goes up? That's the dream man! 

7 hours ago, Harriet said:

Unintendedly awesome! I wish I could put on measurable muscle mass accidentally in a five week period :) 

 

Most of that 6 pound gain was water weight.  I've definitely added some solid meat to my thighs though.   My wife randomly commented last week as I got out of the shower, "Your legs look big. I mean, in a good way." :encouragement:

 

I credit the elliptical.  When I bought it in June, I only worked my way up to about resistance level 6 or so out of a total of 25 levels.   Early on during this July Challenge, one morning I said screw it and jacked my elliptical resistance up to level 25.   It was tough as hell on that first day, but I was able to do it for the full 60 minutes.  I've been doing my daily elliptical work at max resistance level ever since.  It's been magic for my thighs.

 

 

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