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PaulG

PaulG Coasts Through The Summer

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I’ve been a little on the tired side the last few days, so I’ve been too lazy to post my challenge until now.


However, life — and challenge timeframes — wait for no one. So though the flesh may be weak and sluggish, the mind must post. IT’S GOAL TIME.

 

Background for this challenge: March 2020, quarantine, me, overweight, time for a change, you know how it goes. When I resurfaced from the bliss of weight loss, I’d cut a good chunk of bodyfat — but injured my right rotator cuff along the way. That was May. Four months of homespun physical therapy and strength training later, I’m (mostly) out of that hole and prepping for my long-term physical goals: practicing parkour, looking good nekkid, and doing muscle-ups.


I like long walks on the beach, IIFYM dieting strategies (paired with MyFitnessPal), and cooking things that taste good. Culinary darlings of the moment are Chinese (mainly Sichuan/Guizhou) and Thai food. I have a Senegalese cookbook, and a bunch of Israeli/Palestinian cookbooks, but I am still a little nervous to crack into them.

 

It's been a little tough to get excited about this challenge: although I am finally in a solid place with my strength, diet and shoulder/leg rehab, I know it will take at least another month or two of solid, boring effort before anything exciting like serious muscle-up practice happens. Until then, it's just regular workouts and some quick breaks for light parkour practice in my classes. But it still needs to get done. And if I don't distill all my work into easily-digestible goals, who knows how off-rails I could go by October? So let's buckle down.


1. Strength: 3x10 false grip ring pull-ups.
What’s there to say? Right now I’m hovering around 3x7. 3 sets of 10 seems achievable, but… in the past, I’ve always hit a wall around 3x8. Usually I have just traded up for the next strength level and kept reps low, but with my shoulder injury from May, I think I need some extra volume. This challenge will be about my programming skills. I’m going to take this physical limitation I’ve always had, and program a way around it.


2. Mobility: 2 mobility days per week.
Ever since I rejoined in April I’ve had a mobility goal, mostly revolving around my hamstrings. The mammies are still important, but I’ve always had trouble meeting my (ambitious) 6-7-days-per-week mobility goals. Now, I’m going back to basics and working on just developing the habit.


I need to work on hamstrings, wall slides, hip flexor stretches, and grip strength. I get credit as long as I spend at least two rest days per week doing at least two stretches/exercises for these mobility issues. Since I do strength training three times a week, and I have a parkour class on a fourth day, this should lead to roughly six days a week of mobility work.


3. Diet: TBD.
I’m really not sure what to do with this. I keep pretty good control of my diet via calorie counting, and recently I’ve dieted down to 10.something% bodyfat via the magic of pulling every chicken breast I’ve ever saved out of the freezer. I’m as lean now as I planned to ever be in 2020. But my goals now mainly revolve around gaining enough strength to start bulking, which will probably take another month or two. So I don’t know if I really have any big goals with my diet.


I could make a goal around eating more seafood! Or finding new recipes for my weekday lunches, which are currently the same boring-ass sandwich every day. Or I could read one of those cookbooks I’ve been procrastinating on and learn a few new recipes. Or I could finally test some of the weird baking ideas I’ve had over the last few challenges, like a mango galette…


4. Life: Let’s Get Physical.
That is, it’s time to GET my physical. The annual one. That I should have had like three years ago.


I’m drawing inspo from @Vidd here and making it a real goal to actually schedule all the appointments that quarantine gave me an excuse to put off:

  • Annual Physical
  • Dental Cleaning
  • Vision Checkup
  • Dermatologist Appointment (there’s a bump on my scalp guys, and WebMD keeps telling me it’s CANCER)


For too long I have shied away from these obligations, secretly terrified that some stranger in a lab coat is going to tell me I should have been dead five years ago. In today’s world, it feels risky — but dammit, if I can get my hair cut every five weeks, I can damn well go in for essential medical visits.


Really, this is all about prepping for fall/winter, so that in two months I can curl up by the fire with some sort of rum-based cocktail, comforted by my primary care physician’s chart notes, indicating I’ll at least live through to 2021.


Everyone ready for a month of coasting?

 

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Current Stats:

Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 174.4 lbs
Age: 31
Waist Measurement: 27 7/8 inches
Bodyfat: 10.3%

 

Progress Photos:

 

Next photo day is literally this weekend (squee...). So this is a touch out of date.

 

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OH YEAH, and I have a whole crazy notation for my workouts that I'll hide in this spoiler:

 

Workout Log Legend

 

Spoiler

Since my training is primarily bodyweight, I use a notation that allows me to log a lot of variables. I log weight (if used), sets, reps, my Form quality, and my rate of perceived exertion.

Form:

a: high-quality form maintained throughout the set. No issues or very minor issues.

b: Average/above-average form. No major issues, but maybe some smaller details need ironing out. (For example, didn't hit my chest to bar quite where I wanted in a pull-up, or didn't focus on scapular retraction as much as I could have in a row.)

c : Below average form. I did the exercise, but didn't do it right. Some possible major issues, though not severe safety issues.In chest-to-bar pullups, chest didn't hit the bar.

d: Poor form, major problems. This is probably a signal I should be ending the set early. If I didn't, I probably deserve chastisement.

RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion):

I shamelessly stole Waldo's system for grading his RPEs, which he outlined in a blog post on StrengthUnbound.com (which sadly, no longer exists). Since it’s tough to find a good explanation on this anymore, here’s mine.

 

My rating is based on Borg’s Rating of Perceived Exertion system, which is used sometimes in the sports training world. The idea is to track how close to failure I get in each set of an exercise. The original system is a 1-10 scale, but I took a page from the book of an old-hat member (Waldo) and chucked that out the window. The idea is that strength workout sets should nearly always go close to failure, if not to failure itself, so I have no interest in the first 6 numbers on the scale.

 

E: Easy work. Two or more reps left in the tank. This covers pretty much any number from 1-7. My goal is to only see this letter when I’m doing rehab/prehab exercises, or remedial work to build up joint strength, balance or form, like pistol prep work. Otherwise, I should be pushing harder.

 

X: Held one rep in the tank. Rep speed slowed noticeably, slight grind, but not at failure. This is where I try to keep most of my work, especially early in the workout.

 

Y: Hit failure or very close when I’m working out calm, may have stopped right before physically crapping out, but couldn’t have performed another rep without really amping myself up. Final rep was grinding and slow.

 

Z: Hit true failure and needed to pump myself up to do it — jumping, making noises, etc. Very slow, grinding final rep.


/: denotes left/right reps in a set of a single-limb exercise. For example, 5/3 reps on a pistol squat means 5 reps on my left leg, 3 reps on my right.

(): used for my eccentric exercises where I need to note both reps and time under tension. For example, a set of pull-up negatives shown as 3(6s) is 3 reps of 6 seconds each.

 

There are other techniques that deserve extra notation, of course, but these are the ones I'm using in my current workout.

 

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I like the challenge, it seems like we've hit a similar spot in our roads where we need to put in the work that isn't exactly sexy/exciting, but necessary to go after those cool goals in life later on. I'll be following along :)

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On 9/12/2020 at 2:06 AM, PaulG said:

I could make a goal around eating more seafood! Or finding new recipes for my weekday lunches, which are currently the same boring-ass sandwich every day. Or I could read one of those cookbooks I’ve been procrastinating on and learn a few new recipes. Or I could finally test some of the weird baking ideas I’ve had over the last few challenges, like a mango galette…

 

D) all of the above. 

Boo to shoulder injury, hope you can get back to things smoothly. 

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On 9/12/2020 at 2:06 AM, PaulG said:

 


1. Strength: 3x10 false grip ring pull-ups.
3 sets of 10 seems achievable, but… in the past, I’ve always hit a wall around 3x8. Usually I have just traded up for the next strength level and kept reps low, but with my shoulder injury from May, I think I need some extra volume. This challenge will be about my programming skills. I’m going to take this physical limitation I’ve always had, and program a way around it.

I'm intrigued to see how you get there! 

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On 9/12/2020 at 2:06 AM, PaulG said:

For too long I have shied away from these obligations, secretly terrified that some stranger in a lab coat is going to tell me I should have been dead five years ago.

But then if you've lived five years longer than the lab coats predicted, doesn't that make you some kind of superhero or something? 🤔

 

Here to support the scheduling of moderately terrifying appointments.

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On 9/12/2020 at 1:05 AM, Vidd said:

I like the challenge, it seems like we've hit a similar spot in our roads where we need to put in the work that isn't exactly sexy/exciting, but necessary to go after those cool goals in life later on. I'll be following along :)

 

SWEET. Here's to a month of boring-ass progress!

 

On 9/14/2020 at 9:11 AM, Manarelle said:

 

D) all of the above. 

Boo to shoulder injury, hope you can get back to things smoothly. 

 

Shoulder's been okay recently! It's a little touchy with a lot of strength training volume, but it hasn't given me problems in a long time, except for the last couple of weeks when I've been losing weight.

 

What I'm hearing is that I need to make a new weekday lunch out of one of my long list of unused cookbooks, and the lunch needs to be a seafood pie.

 

On 9/14/2020 at 1:26 PM, DoubleTrouble said:

Here to soak up food knowledge via osmosis

 

Insert brining-themed joke here. Glad to have you!

 

On 9/14/2020 at 10:49 PM, WhiteGhost said:

A week late but finally here and following

 

We've been waiting forever here!

 

12 hours ago, dancezwithkittehz said:

Heyyyyyyy. Following and preparing to steal all the food ideas as usual!

 

Glad you're here! Just for you, I'll post the most recent/least photogenic thing I've eaten recently:

 

qZIrWNQz_o.jpg

 

A fairly spare meal of fried shortbodied mackerel, veggies, and shrimp paste relish for a dipping sauce. Usually I like to have a little (a bucket of) jasmine rice on the side, but I was cutting at the time. There's more relish in the mortar than it looks like -- that mortar is just REALLY BIG.

 

When I'm cutting, I seek out recipes with big flavors to compensate somewhat for the lack of calories -- so pickled things, chiles, funky dips made from fermented soybeans or fermented ocean critters, all work really well at keeping my palate happy. Shrimp paste relish definitely fits that bill. You could say a lot of things about its flavor, but boring is not one of them.

 

The cut, by the way, is over as of last Friday. I was feeling sluggish and tired, and workouts were starting to make my shoulder feel overstressed again, so I cut it a day short. Saturday I skivved off my workout, and Sunday my parkour class was canceled due to the pall of smoke that still shrouds Seattle. A lot of people are having trouble with the air quality around here; I've tried to avoid opening my windows, but after almost a week shut in my apartment with no AC, I finally broke and cracked them open. No big deal tho; after a while, you can't even smell the carcinogens.

 

With my calories back at maintenance, the weekend saw me sleeping through the normal aches, pains, and tiredness that often come on after I end a cut. Luckily, this time they were a little milder because the cut was so short. Four days later, I'm already through most of it, and enjoying my energy coming back.

 

Quick housekeeping: I was lazy about posting the last couple workouts, so here are the two from my cut, spoilered for length and lateness.

 

Spoiler

Workout Log 9/8/20

Going in: It was Tuesday, I was four days into my second week of cutting, with only a four-day break between weeks. What I'm trying to say is I felt like garbage, and my knee was sore. I dropped my pistols to regular BW squats and just did a set or two of everything, thinking I'd do an impromptu deload to keep from hurting myself. It's not like I'm going to make big strength gains on a -1k calorie deficit, here.


Warmup


Bodyweight Squats: 12a-e, 12a-e


Decline Pushups: 11a-e, 11a-e


Ring Rows: 15a-x, 16a-x


1-Leg L-Sits: 10s/10sb-x


Stool Dips: 5a-x


FG Ring Pullups: 8a-x


Tuck Dragon Flags: 9a-e, 9a-x


Y (4.25lbs): 18/18a-5, 18/18a-5
T (4.25lbs): 14/14a-5, 14/14a-5
Sidelying Can (4.5lbs): 23/23a-6, 23/23a-6
Upright Ext Rotation (4.5lbs): 24/24a-6, 24/24a-6
Sidelying Ext Rotation (4.5lbs): 22/22a-5, 22/22a-6


Cooldown

 


Workout Log 9/10/20

- Going In: I thought I was going to add a set to each exercise, and ramp up volume after Tuesday's deload.


Warmup


Bodyweight Squats: 13a-e, 13a-e


Decline Pushups: 12a-e, 15a-e, 13b-e


Incline Archer Rows: 4/4b-e, 5/5c-y


1-Leg L-Sits: 10s/10sc-x, 10s/10sb-y


Stool Dips: 5b-x, 4b-x


FG Ring Pullups: 7a-e, 9b-x


Tuck Dragon Flags: 10b-x


Cooldown

 

- Ramp up volume? Lol, not so much. Well, I tried, and then I hit a strength wall after 50 minutes, started really dragging, and my shoulder started feeling a little overstressed and tendonitis-y. For some reason, it was the flags that were really bothering it. So I threw in the towel most of the way through strength work.

 

- Saturday workout: canceled, because lazy.

 

- Sunday parkour class: canceled, because smoking kills, even when it's secondhand (from apocalyptic wildfires).

 

And now, tonight's much more fun workout!

 

Workout Log 9/15/20


Warmup


Pistol Squats: 4/4c-e, 3/3a-e, 4/4b-e

- Goin' easy. My knee is finally feeling better, and I don't want to mess it up.


Decline Pushups: 13a-e, 14a-e, 15b-e


Incline Archer Rows: 4/4b-e
Wide Ring Rows: 7b-e, 10b-x

- Finally decided archer rows might be a little rich for my current scapular strength, so I traded down for now. I have a feeling I'll be going back to them soon, though.


1-Leg L-Sits: 10s/10sb-e, 10s/10sb-x


Stool Dips: 5b-x, 5b-e, 4a-x


FG Ring Pullups: 6a-e, 6a-x, 7b-x


Deep Step-Ups: 6/6a-e, 6/6a-e, 7/7a-y


Tuck Dragon Flags: 8a-x, 8b-x, 9a-x


Sidelying Can (5lbs): 17/17a-5, 14/14a-5
Upright Ext Rotation (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 13/13a-5
Sidelying Ext Rotation (5lbs): 10/10a-6, 10/10a-6
High IR (5lbs): 15/15a-6, 15/15a-6

- Weight on PT went up, because I finally made a proper 5lb weight! (It's a Tanqueray bottle filled with water. #quarantineworkoutgear)


Compression Work: 3x10s


Cooldown

 

- Almost everything felt great, except my fingers, which felt weak and prone to more weird tendon problems. I went a little easier on my hand strength warmup than usual.

 

- I feel it's finally time to do something real about the quad tendinopathy issues I've been having with my knees. After all the normal workout stuff, I did a set of roughly 28 stair step-downs with the left knee.

 

Tonight was my last day of work before vacation! And thank god, I've been working late (and all last weekend) to keep my workload from bursting into flame while I'm away. Wednesday I have a free day to pack and finish some final projects -- haircut, prepping for some communal dinners, and infusing a bunch of vodka with darjeeling tea for some fancypants birthday cocktails. Then Thursday I'm off to the lake.

 

I've given some thought to how I'll work out while I'm there, and decided I'll let my routine slide a bit rather than worry about taking equipment along. I'd rather slap something improvised together on the fly (or just miss two workouts, worse things have happened). Calories will CERTAINLY NOT be tracked on vacation, and I am fine with a little weight gain as a consequence.

 

I know it's the third day of the REAL CHALLENGE, but I still have no idea what my third challenge goal should be. I'm finding it a bit maddening; it's usually diet-related, but I just don't think my diet or cooking life has big improvements that need to be made right now. Everything I can think of -- reading a cookbook, trying some more baking, maybe even trying my hand at cider- or rice wine-making -- is more a fun project than a life improvement, which seems more like bonus goal territory.

 

It's a CONUNDRUM FOLKS.

 

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On 9/14/2020 at 11:52 AM, raptron said:

I'm intrigued to see how you get there! 


I may have written the goal out a little melodramatically — in the past I was never willing to do more than three sets of pull-ups. I have a feeling I can get there just by adding volume in the form of an extra set or two. But we’ll see — like I said, I’ve never managed it before. Fingers crossed!

 

1 hour ago, juliebarkley said:

But then if you've lived five years longer than the lab coats predicted, doesn't that make you some kind of superhero or something? 🤔

 

Here to support the scheduling of moderately terrifying appointments.


That or a zombie! The way the Pacific Northwest region is going, a little zombification might increase my life expectancy. Zombies don’t gotta worry about AQI ratings!

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10 hours ago, PaulG said:

Everything I can think of -- reading a cookbook, trying some more baking, maybe even trying my hand at cider- or rice wine-making -- is more a fun project than a life improvement, which seems more like bonus goal territory.

 

Well, so put a fun project as your 3rd challenge and call it a deload challenge. Then you'll be all rested and mentally ready to go nuts on the next one. 

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15 hours ago, PaulG said:

I'm finding it a bit maddening; it's usually diet-related, but I just don't think my diet or cooking life has big improvements that need to be made right now.

 

Maybe it doesn't need a challenge goal at all? What if you're already good enough in that aspect?

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8 hours ago, DoubleTrouble said:

 

Maybe it doesn't need a challenge goal at all? What if you're already good enough in that aspect?

 

What is this "good enough" of which you speak?

 

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23 hours ago, Manarelle said:

 

Well, so put a fun project as your 3rd challenge and call it a deload challenge. Then you'll be all rested and mentally ready to go nuts on the next one. 

 

I don't want to listen to y'all's voices of reason, but maybe I should. I DO want to ferment something though...

 

--

 

Just a quick post to say:

 

1. Not doing a Thursday workout.

 

2. Updated my progress photos with a mid-September one. Taken Tuesday, at the end of my cut. My unflexed photos are actually showing a much bigger difference than flexed this time around -- I abruptly hit a point where I can see all my abs semi-clearly when unflexed, they are much more prominent than they've ever been -- but I don't gots a montage of the unflexed ones right now.

 

5rL4VVzY_o.jpg

 

 

23 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Enjoy your time at the lake!!!  I hope you are able to use your time there for fun shenanigans :) 

 

7 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Enjoy your trip!

 

1 hour ago, raptron said:

Have a great vacation. 

 

Thanks y'all! Vacation starts.... NOW.

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Heyo!

 

I was going to write a little post yesterday with some quick updates now that I'm back from vacation (and then some), just a few things about how it went, what I'm doing food-wise, etc. And then... I dropped my phone in a lake.

 

I decided to do a little rail walking and quadrupedal movement at the park by my apartment, which is on the shore of Lake Washington and features a lot of handrails bordering water. Rails on water are good for what I like to think of as "fear exercises" -- having a walkway on one side and water on the other makes me very nervous. On the other hand, the rail balance itself is well within my abilities, and I'm intimately familiar with how to bail so I don't fall in. So I hopped up on the rail, did a few drills -- and then realized my phone was jangling loose in my pocket right by a lake.

 

I hopped down, and put my phone down right under the rail, where no one could easily take it. I eyed it for a moment, noting: I just put my phone about three inches from the edge of a lake. Do I really want to do this?

 

But I didn't want to spend all day there, and I didn't want my phone stolen while I was busy with drills. So I thought I guess I'll just have to be careful... I shifted my feet a little, preparing to jump onto the rail... and kicked my phone straight over the edge.

 

Luckily the water was only about two feet deep, so I didn't have to get wet -- I jumped over the railing myself and hung from the ledge with one hand, leaned over, and fished it out with the other. But the phone got wet. By the time I sprinted home and shoved it into my entire bag of jasmine rice, I can't say I felt much like posting.

 

More updates later. For now, time for some workout log catch-up:

 

Workout Log 9/23/20


Warmup


Pistol Squats: 4/4b-e, 4/4a-e, 5/5a-e


Pushups: 12a-e, 12a-e, 12a-e


Ring Rows: 6a-e, 6a-e


Deep Step-Ups: 6/5c-e


Sidelying Can (5lbs): 17/17a-6, 17/17a-6
Upright Ext Rotation (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 15/15a-5
Sidelying Ext Rotation (5lbs): 11/11a-5, 11/11a-7
High IR (5lbs): 16/16c-5, 12/12c-6


Cooldown

 


Workout Log 9/25/20


Warmup


Pistol Squats: 5/5b-e, 5/5a-e, 5/5b-e


Decline Pushups: 6a-e


Pushups: 15a-e, 15a-e


Wide Ring Rows: 6b-e, 6a-x, 8a-x


Tuck L-Sits: 23sb-e, 18sb-e


FG Ring Pullups: 5a-e, 5a-e


Deep Step-Ups: 5/5a-e, 5/5a-e, 4/4b-e


Adv Tuck Dragon Flags: 5a-e, 5a-e, 6a-e


Y (5lbs): 17/17a-5, 14/14a-5
T (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 13/13a-5
High IR (5lbs): 18/18b-5, 18/18b-6
Sidelying Can (5lbs): 19/19a-c, 19/14b-7
Upright Ext Rotation (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 15/15b-6
Sidelying Ext Rotation (5lbs): 12/12a-6, 13/13a-6


Compression Work: 4x10s


Cooldown

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14 hours ago, PaulG said:

But I didn't want to spend all day there, and I didn't want my phone stolen while I was busy with drills. So I thought I guess I'll just have to be careful... I shifted my feet a little, preparing to jump onto the rail... and kicked my phone straight over the edge.

Ahahha, oh no! Tried to do everything right and still just kicked it in. 

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On 9/30/2020 at 6:44 AM, raptron said:

Ahahha, oh no! Tried to do everything right and still just kicked it in. 

 

On 9/30/2020 at 8:01 AM, WhiteGhost said:

I hope the rice does the trick and you are able to salvage it!

 

On 9/30/2020 at 8:29 AM, dancezwithkittehz said:

Oh no!!!  Crossing fingers rice manages to work some magic.

 

I'm ecstatic to report: it worked! After 24 hours in the rice, and a couple minutes digging the needle into the charging port to lever out a couple of stray grains, my phone's working like nothing ever happened. Except for a little bright-ish refractive line across the screen, which was probably from an impact on a rock or something.

 

I meant to post this yesterday: I'm back on my normal workout schedule, and trying to focus mainly on that and work, with varying success. I've been thinking about the best way to keep updating this challenge, and I think I'll be pushing my updates toward short-and-sweet daily posts, like most folks do. I keep drawing out the length of my posts; I think it's because I've been getting an itch to practice some real writing, like an essay or something -- I haven't had that itch since college. But I don't think I can scratch that itch every day in a workout diary.

 

A couple more very quick updates:

  • Vacation is surprisingly stressful when you're not used to being around people every hour of every day.
  • Threw the last of my homemade nonfat yogurt (made, uh.... two challenges ago) in the centrifuge and made some labneh, to eat with naan on my weekday lunches. Note to self: LABNEH NEEDS FAT. What came out of that fuge was super-strained yogurt, clearly very high-protein, but I wouldn't call it cheese. It was very acidic, and it took that lingering chalkiness that a lot of Greek Yogurt has and cranked it to 11. It wasn't terrible to eat once I dumped salt/olive oil/za'atar all over it, but I wouldn't serve it to a guest.
  • I've been thinking that sooner or later I'll get a couple of DEXA scans, to check the accuracy of my body composition formulas. Maybe this challenge is a good time to schedule them?
  • Since vacation I've been catching up on food media. Highlight #1: Kenji López-Alt, patron saint of new home cooks and food hobbyists everywhere. Over the past two weeks, Kenji has been posting a TON of great videos and New York Times articles on how to reproduce the flavor of wok hei (ie, the smoky flavor you get from great restaurant stir fries) in a home kitchen. Spoiler: grab thyself a blowtorch. I've known about it from a couple of years -- I heard it in a podcast interview with Kenji ages ago -- but other writers at Serious Eats also came across the technique on their own and published an excellent article on how to create what they dubbed "torch hei." Kind of eerie timing, because before I went on vacation I'd been practicing the torch technique a bunch in my dinners. With some practice under my belt, I've started to create some truly intimidating fireballs.
  • The Sporkful, a wonderful journalistic podcast that is sometimes tangentially about food, published two amazing episodes recently: Katie's Year In Recovery, an account of a listener's several year-long recovery from an eating disorder; and an interview with chef David Chang that discussed his personal struggles with addiction and mental illness, and what they reveal about the food industry as a whole. It has me thinking about how intertwined fitness communities and the food industry are, and how disordered eating seems to be one of the threads that connects them. If you are okay with hearing about those topics, they are highly recommended listening.
  • Recently discovered that the apartment has grills on our shared rooftop garden/terrace, and they are always connected to propane and always available. Of course, I found out only after I pulled some pork collar out of the freezer (IMO, the choicest cut of pork shoulder there is) and used my cast iron pan to "grill" up a Thai recipe called Muu Kham Waan: pork rubbed with a paste of garlic, cilantro stems, and white pepper.

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Turns out herb paste sticks to metal pans better than it sticks to pork, so I got a lot of charring but not a lot of browning on the meat itself. It was still perfectly cooked inside, though -- very tender and still a little rosy in the center. With the dipping sauces and the pounded cucumber salad, it still made a good meal.

 

But next time I may go and steal that grill...

 

Workout Log 9/29/20

- Going in: I almost didn't do this workout. Left knee, right shoulder both sore, and I was tired from the workday. Glad I did though.


Warmup


Pistol Squats: 6/6b-e, 6/6a-e, 6/6a-e


Decline Pushups: 10a-e, 12a-e, 12a-e


Wide Ring Rows: 7b-e, 8b-e, 10a-x


Stool Dips: 4b-x, 5b-x, 2b-y


FG Ring Pullups: 5a-x, 6b-x, 6b-y


Deep Step-Ups: 6/6a-e, 6/6a-e, 7/7a-y


Advanced Tuck Dragon Flags: 6a-e, 6b-x, 6a-x


Y (5lbs): 19/19a-5, 19/19a-6
T (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 15/15a-6
High IR (5lbs): 13/13a-5, 18/18b-6
Sidelying Can (5lbs): 19/19a-5, 19/19a-5
Upright Ext Rotation (5lbs): 15/15a-5, 16/16a-6
Sidelying Ext Rotation (5lbs): 13/13a-6


Compression Work: 2x12s, 1x7s-, 1x1s-


Cooldown

 

- I don't know what happened with the compression work, my hamstrings just gave up in the last set. Of course, I haven't been doing regular hamstring mobility.... oops.

 

- This was the first full-volume workout I've done in a while. I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle it, especially with my shoulder: sleeping on an air mattress during vacation made it sore and twingy again, and it felt like I'd taken a big step back. But on the 29th I realized that the main point of soreness was actually my pec minor, not my rotator cuff, so I went through everything and was just very careful with my form, especially in my last sets.

 

- It's worth reporting: I'd been worried that I would have shoulder pain the next day, but my shoulder felt great! Whatever pec minor issue I have -- some kind of tightness, maybe? -- seems to respond well to focused strength training of the back and shoulders.

 

- Lots of DOMS the next day, though. Like, yesterday I had that crazy ache in the bellies of my biceps and hamstrings that only rarely comes around, and even a little upper back DOMS.

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Yesterday was my craziest workout day yet -- HAHA NO. Work exploded and I wound up chained to my desk until 7 PM. I didn't even have the energy to make it a mobility day.

 

Today I considered doing my workout, but ultimately decided to leave it until Saturday, when I'll have more time... which was a good thing, because I wound up working until 7 PM for the second night in a row.

 

Quick food updates:

  • Some folks might remember that a challenge or two ago, I made my very first cased sausage, a heavily-herbed recipe from Northern Thailand called Sai Ua Samun Phrai. Well, on Tuesday I made another pound of it with my frozen leftover paste. I was very happy with how it came out, my sausage-stuffing game improved a lot the second time around. But it didn't look significantly different from the first time, so I didn't snap a photo.
  • I made nam prik num, a green chile-based relish, to go with the sausage. Pro tip: when you grill big green chiles like Hatches or Anaheims, you can skin them a little easier if you let them steam in a covered bowl for a half hour, like most recipes tell you to do. OR... you can skin them EFFORTLESSLY by throwing them in a Tupperware and tossing them in the fridge overnight. I started making the nam prik on Monday, but got tired and couldn't be bothered once the chiles were grilled, so I threw them in the fridge. Usually the parts of the skin that have puffed and turned black come off easily, but anything still green sticks like mad. And I can't force it off, so I wind up with strings of gross chile skin in my nam prik. After a day in the fridge, though, I had no such problems. I think I'll do this all the time from now on.
  • Sleep is going terribly. I've tried to get myself to bed at 10:30 PM every night this week, and without exception, I've failed to crawl in before midnight.
  • Tonight I decided I wanted something different, so I tried a new recipe: a little number buried in my Sichuan cookbook called Taibai Ji. It's essentially chicken thigh chunks stir fried, then braised with pickled chiles in a half-cup of chicken stock until the liquid evaporates and they're barbecue-level tender. I used a super-high-gelatin homemade stock I'd made last night, and I accidentally put in way too much... so what was supposed to be a spicy, oily sauce came out as more of a rich demi-glace:

jTAPfqA9_o.jpg

 

I had to throw together some bok choy, too. Don't want to miss out on the essential variety for a balanced meal (#LorePoints).

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On 10/1/2020 at 12:22 PM, PaulG said:

- This was the first full-volume workout I've done in a while. I wasn't sure I'd be able to handle it, especially with my shoulder: sleeping on an air mattress during vacation made it sore and twingy again, and it felt like I'd taken a big step back. But on the 29th I realized that the main point of soreness was actually my pec minor, not my rotator cuff, so I went through everything and was just very careful with my form, especially in my last sets.

 

- It's worth reporting: I'd been worried that I would have shoulder pain the next day, but my shoulder felt great! Whatever pec minor issue I have -- some kind of tightness, maybe? -- seems to respond well to focused strength training of the back and shoulders.

 

Glad to hear the shoulder isn't giving you issues, and that the pec issue is easily addressed. Here's to that continuing. 

 

Sorry to hear about your phone, but glad it was quickly resolved. We need phone pocket chains the way the Victorians had watch chains. :D

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