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Theophilus Is Mostly Done


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I’m finishing law school this semester—hooray! This has been a heckuva journey, made even crazier by the pandemic and going on three semesters of fully virtual learning. But I’m mostly dead done! 

 

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And finishing law school can only mean one thing: the bar exam.

 

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Not looking forward to that. 

 

 

But, I am going to take advantage of the timing to embark on a six-month mini-epic quest, which I’m calling... The Bar and the Bellwether


Not because I’ll use any actual barbells at any point. I’ve made it 33 years without picking one up, so why start now???

 

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No, it’s “The Bar and the Bellwether” because, well, the bar exam. And I know that once I’m out of law school and back in the professional world, I’ll have a lot less control over my schedule and a lot less time and mental capital to tackle health and fitness related challenges. So I want to build up habits in the next few months that can lend some automaticity to my life as a positive sign of things to come. Hence the bellwether. And for this epic-ish quest, I’m going cross-guild. I'll always be a Scout at heart, but I want to diversify a bit. Here's what I'm planning:


Scout Goal (Running): Log 270 miles before the bar exam

Assassin Goal (Pull-Ups): Be able to do a damn pull up before the bar exam

Druid Goal (Mindfulness): Improve my attention, focus, and mindful presence in my everyday life through meditation and reducing distraction.

 

I might incorporate some other things along the way, but these are the main points. Here’s what it means this go-round:


Challenge One: Running

 

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To stay on track, I need to log 42 miles between now and the end of the challenge. That’s a bit more than a mile a day. No goals as to the number of times I run per week, but I’m going to use 3 miles thrice a week as a general guide.

 

Challenge Two: Pull-Ups

 

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Doing actual pull-ups is not in the cards yet, so I’m going to stick with my current strength training. At least 3 workout bodyweight per week. I’m almost done with the level 3 bodyweight workout on NF Prime. Once I’m done I’ll re-baseline to see if I ought to repeat it (maybe using harder variations) or move onto level 4. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll follow the daily schedule on NF Prime  

 

Challenge Three: Mindfulness

 

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I had started down the mindfulness/meditation journey last year, helped along by Sam Harris and the Waking Up app. I lost some serious steam over the holidays, and want to bring it back. Alongside engaging in mindfulness practice, I want to reduce the things that pull me away from being mindfully present, especially my phone. Last challenge, I (mostly) kicked my Twitter habit. This challenge, I’m targeting my phone time more generally. This is a two parter, with progressively ambitious goals per week for part two:

 

Phone, Go to Sleep: 
Reduce average screen time by 10% each week. I'll take a one-week average starting on day one of the challenge for my  baseline. 

 

Mind, Wake Up:
Week 1: Five 10-minute guided meditation sessions (with the Waking Up app)
Week 2: Seven 10-minute guided meditation sessions
Week 3: Six 10-minute guided meditation sessions and one 20-minute guided meditation sessions
Week 4: Five 10-minute guided meditation sessions and two 20-minute guided meditation session
Week 5: Four 10-minute guided meditation sessions, two 20-minute guided meditation sessions, and one 10-minute independent meditation session
 

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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Liking the Princess Bride theme. I'm carrying on my Sam Harris quest too, so I'll be interested to see how you get on. 

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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7 hours ago, 18ck said:

Liking the Princess Bride theme. I'm carrying on my Sam Harris quest too, so I'll be interested to see how you get on. 


Looking forward to sharing my experience. Your last challenge inspired me to incorporate this as a goal, so thank you for that!

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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Day  One - 2/14

Got set up with some new spreadsheets to log progress before starting in on the challenge. Went on a good run with the doggo, a wintry 5K with the K9. Rest day for bodyweight. Good day for screen time. Used the new spreadsheet and data on my phone to get a baseline going into the challenge.  

 

Running: 3.11/42 miles

Bodyweight Workouts: 0/15

Screen time: Day - 2hr 2min; weekly avg baseline - 4 hr 6 min

Meditation: 0

 

  • Like 2

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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Day Two - 2/15

Busy day, up early, working late... Tried to do meditation this morning and had the absolute most difficult time staying awake. I think maybe trying when I first woke up was a mistake. Coffee before meditation from now on. After dozing off and then waking up, I still snuck in a bodyweight workout before the kids woke up. 

 

I noticed something odd with screen time today. My phone registered 1 hr 40 min on a browser that I don't ever use (Safari) and definitely didn't spend over an hour and a half on yesterday. Looking at the website, I think that it was a link in an email that I clicked to briefly while checking my email in the morning. But I didn't keep it opened, so I think there was some background process running that the phone registered as screen time... Very weird. If this has been happening regularly, my baseline might be a lot lower than I thought, but I'll keep the goal the same. 

 

Oh, and speaking of background processing, I'm going to add Intermittent Fasting to this challenge as a "background goal." It's pretty automatic now but I want to stay motivated and accountable.

 

Cumulative Progress

Running: 3.11/42 miles

Bodyweight Workouts: 1/15

Screen time: 1 hr 50 min

Meditation: 1 (I'm counting the attempt)

IF: 1/35

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post
On 2/16/2021 at 9:23 AM, theophilus said:

I noticed something odd with screen time today. My phone registered 1 hr 40 min on a browser that I don't ever use (Safari) and definitely didn't spend over an hour and a half on yesterday. Looking at the website, I think that it was a link in an email that I clicked to briefly while checking my email in the morning. But I didn't keep it opened, so I think there was some background process running that the phone registered as screen time... Very weird. If this has been happening regularly, my baseline might be a lot lower than I thought, but I'll keep the goal the same. 

 

Random, but yay for less screen time than initially thought. Coffee before meditation in the morning sounds prudent. You're already learning things about yourself. :D

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Manarelle the Level 56 Amazon Assassin

Challenges: 1-1011-2021-3031-4041-50, 51-60, Current

 

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On 2/16/2021 at 2:23 PM, theophilus said:

Coffee before meditation from now on

Yep. It's a difficult balance sometimes, getting yourself awake enough to focus but not awake enough to be stressed & fretful. After the first coffee seems like a good option, I'm finding. How's it been going the last couple of days? 

 

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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On 2/19/2021 at 2:07 AM, 18ck said:

Yep. It's a difficult balance sometimes, getting yourself awake enough to focus but not awake enough to be stressed & fretful. After the first coffee seems like a good option, I'm finding. How's it been going the last couple of days? 

 

 

Yeah, it's tricky too because morning and night are the most natural times for me to meditate, but also the hardest  to stay awake. If I can carve out time in the 9am-10am window, that's usually best.

 

Things are alright this week, been really busy so I'm off to a bit of a slow start with the challenge, but plugging away all the same.

  • Like 2

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

Week 1 Recap:

 

This week was a little crazy, but I still managed to hold my own.  Kids were on break, which made the meditation goals a little harder than I expected. I also didn't do great with IF because I was busy and stressed and when I'm busy and stressed I eat too much too late.

 

First up: running. Did really good here this week, logged over 9.5 miles, including a  5k with a sub-10 minute pace.  Slowly regaining the speed I lost over the fall/early winter lazy months.

 

Next: bodyweight workouts. Hit all three of these this week too. Using the Prime app, it added a couple more weeks to my plan based off my current benchmarks. So I'll keep going at this level for at least that long.

 

Meditation: Real spotty here. It was challenging to find time during the day. With the kids back in school this week, I'm planning on  using the break between my morning classes to meditate. I'll be awake and engaged by then. I also started listening to Harris's "Waking Up" on Audio book, which I think will help add a little more theory and "why" to the practice for me. 

 

Screen time: Huge success here. Down 30% from my  baseline. As I mentioned earlier last week, I found my phone doing some wonky stuff with time tracking, so this may be actually  just be a more accurate baseline. But I'm counting it as a win to bring some momentum into next week. 

 

Progress so far:

Running: 9.52/42 miles

Bodyweight Workouts: 3/15

Screen time average: 3 hr 4 min 9 sec [Down 30.92%!]

Meditation: 2/35 (yikes)

IF: 4/35

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post

From someone that practices a guided meditation daily, I have found even doing it when "I'm falling in and out fo sleep" helps reset my brain for awareness. 

For me its heavy on keeping at my goals all day, and mood control. 

 

Just wanted to add it incase you have schedules where its the easiest to do right away in the morning "before facing the family" type thing that I usually stumble on. 

 

Have a lot of respect for you completing Law school, I personally had difficult with my Rec and Park degree and keeping up with NF. 

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Fresh Druid Graduate Lvl 0

"It’s not what we say is a priority, but what we actually DO that’s a priority.”

(Quote from J.D Roth/ @Steve's Article https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/priorities/)

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On 2/15/2021 at 12:02 PM, theophilus said:

Day  One - 2/14

Got set up with some new spreadsheets to log progress before starting in on the challenge. Went on a good run with the doggo, a wintry 5K with the K9. Rest day for bodyweight. Good day for screen time. Used the new spreadsheet and data on my phone to get a baseline going into the challenge.  

 

I love that getting "set up" involves spreadsheet design.  Oh, man.  That resonates with me.  Always with the data!

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On 2/21/2021 at 10:00 AM, theophilus said:

Week 1 Recap:

 

This week was a little crazy, but I still managed to hold my own.  Kids were on break, which made the meditation goals a little harder than I expected. I also didn't do great with IF because I was busy and stressed and when I'm busy and stressed I eat too much too late.

This sounds like a very successful week for you.  The meditation stuff is super hard for me, so I understand the challenges there.   Great job on the strength workouts, and getting yourself out and running in February is also no mean feat!  Hope this week goes well for you and that you continue your screen time progress!

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:00 PM, theophilus said:

including a  5k with a sub-10 minute pace. 

Sorry if this is a stupid question, especially coming from a scout (we're supposed to know these things) but what does this mean? Not 10 minutes for the whole 5k obviously because you're not a leopard, and presumably not 10 minutes per k either because that seems pretty slow, like walking pace. 10 minute per mile? 

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:00 PM, theophilus said:

Down 30.92%!

Two decimal places is an impressively nerdy level of precision. I like it. 

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

Instagram | Wordpress | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Facebook: *spits* I despise facebook!

Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Anyway, it sounds like you're doing well. Good luck fitting the meditation in. I'll be interested to hear what you make of the book. I listened to it recently too. #notAFanBoy

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

Instagram | Wordpress | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Facebook: *spits* I despise facebook!

Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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On 2/21/2021 at 4:28 PM, Fairly_Bouncer said:

From someone that practices a guided meditation daily, I have found even doing it when "I'm falling in and out fo sleep" helps reset my brain for awareness. 

For me its heavy on keeping at my goals all day, and mood control. 

 

Just wanted to add it incase you have schedules where its the easiest to do right away in the morning "before facing the family" type thing that I usually stumble on. 

 

Have a lot of respect for you completing Law school, I personally had difficult with my Rec and Park degree and keeping up with NF. 

 

Thanks so much! Finishing the degree has been difficult, especially amid the pandemic. But I'm fortunate to be surrounded by people who are just next-level unbelievably  supportive.  Seriously could  not do it  without them.  And that most definitely includes all y'all here on NF!

 

And it really does seem like even a little meditation is better than nothing, doesn't it?  I'm  finding  that to be increasingly true as I practice more.  

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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8 hours ago, 18ck said:

Two decimal places is an impressively nerdy level of precision. I like it. 

 

Absolutely!

 

8 hours ago, 18ck said:

Sorry if this is a stupid question, especially coming from a scout (we're supposed to know these things) but what does this mean? Not 10 minutes for the whole 5k obviously because you're not a leopard, and presumably not 10 minutes per k either because that seems pretty slow, like walking pace. 10 minute per mile? 

 

Thank goodness my spreadsheets are  precise because my prose is quite obviously lacking.  Yep, sub 10-minute mile.  It's been too long since I've had a math class and I just completely forget to specify units anymore. I guess I also assume everyone's default is American measurements despite the fact that,  ya know, we're the  only ones who still use it. (In  unison: "Typical American Imperialist Pig!") Not a good look.   

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post
19 minutes ago, theophilus said:

 

Absolutely!

 

 

Thank goodness my spreadsheets are  precise because my prose is quite obviously lacking.  Yep, sub 10-minute mile.  It's been too long since I've had a math class and I just completely forget to specify units anymore. I guess I also assume everyone's default is American measurements despite the fact that,  ya know, we're the  only ones who still use it. (In  unison: "Typical American Imperialist Pig!") Not a good look.   

*chuckle* no, we still use miles here in the UK, at least for some things. Km for normal running and science, miles for driving and marathon running. It was just the switch from km in your distance to miles in your speed that threw me, I think. 

Incidentally, no need to feel embarrassed about "American" units. Miles, pounds etc are part of the imperial system  - named for the British empire. We are delighted that, despite that little disagreement in 1776, you're keeping the flame alive, long after we have started to capitulate to Bonapartist metric units! 

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Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Sunday

Rest day, very chill. 

 

Monday

Got in 10 minutes of guided meditation without totally falling asleep. Ran for 3 miles. Screen time was not great. I get in this funk sometimes when classes are boring over Zoom, and I start mindlessly scrolling on the phone. And Monday's I'm on Zoom for about 5 hours... I'm going to try keeping my phone in another room (or at least across the room). Stuck with IF too. 

 

Tuesday

Bodyweight workout. Doubled up the band I've been using for one of the arm exercises, so that's some progress. Also got in another meditation and stuck with IF. 

 

Progress so far:

Running: 12.52/42 miles

Bodyweight Workouts: 4/15

Screen time rolling average: 3 hr 27 min 34 sec [Up 4.76%]

Meditation: 4/35 (yikes)

IF: 7/35

  • Like 1

Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

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On 2/23/2021 at 7:34 AM, 18ck said:

*chuckle* no, we still use miles here in the UK, at least for some things. Km for normal running and science, miles for driving and marathon running.


Everything else makes sense, but the fact that y’all use miles for driving distance, but km for driving speed, is FREAKING ME OUT MAN.

 

6 hours ago, theophilus said:

Bodyweight workout. Doubled up the band I've been using for one of the arm exercises, so that's some progress.


You use the Prime app for your workout programming, but I’m curious — where are you at currently with the vertical pulls it’s prescribing you? I don’t know anything about Prime specifically, but I’m always interested in how quickly these workout programs like to ramp people up to full pullups.

Cowardly Assassin
Training Log | Challenges: Current8th, 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st

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8 minutes ago, PaulG said:

You use the Prime app for your workout programming, but I’m curious — where are you at currently with the vertical pulls it’s prescribing you?

 

So I'm on the level 3 bodyweight workout plan. It's the one I "tested  into" after the benchmark. There are three distinct circuits, each with different pull exercises including: band pull-apart, bar hang, wall lower down, and assisted pull-up. Most are in the 3x8-10 rep range now. It's six weeks at this level if you do 3 workouts per week. I think within level 3 I can also graduate from assisted pull up to negative pull ups.

 

Very new to this whole strength training game, but this seems to be a good place for me so far--challenging but not to the point of fatigue (most days).

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Chapter 25: Theophilus is Mostly Done

Volume 1: Meanderings (2015 - 2020): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23

Volume 2: The Bar and the Bellwether (2021): 24 | 25

 

"May your curse in life be that your hard work is constantly mistaken for talent."

Link to post
36 minutes ago, PaulG said:

Everything else makes sense, but the fact that y’all use miles for driving distance, but km for driving speed, is FREAKING ME OUT MAN.

We don't though. When we go to mainland Europe and see 110 on sign posts we have to mentally translate that into "about 68mph". British motorways have a max speed of 70mph. 

 

The main non-metric thing I am baffled about and have never used or understood in any context is the Fahrenheit scale. Celsius is so intuitive: 0 is ice, 100 is boiling, and everything else is on a scale between those two. It doesn't get much more intuitive than that. Fahrenheit otoh is just frickin'weird. Explain yourselves, America! 

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

Challenges: #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25

Instagram | Wordpress | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Facebook: *spits* I despise facebook!

Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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