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Reclamation - A GoldenTongue Respawn Journey

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Inspired by a friend who is starting her own journey towards a transformation, I decided to post my own goals (long- and short-term) here, and to provide periodic updates.


But first, a little history to explain how I find myself where I am currently at...


It was almost ten years ago that I participated in my first Tough Mudder, after having spent close to a year getting back into shape after seeing myself hit 250 lbs.  Over the span of that year, I started with some different (mostly inefficient) programming, before being convinced by a friend to try out P90X.  First time through that, was absolutely brutal, but I made some substantial progress, as any novice would.   I went through it a second time, and by the time I'd finished, I was feeling better than ever, having dropped about 20-25 lbs over the course of about six months.  After signing up for the Tough Mudder, I decided I had to make sure I wasn't the weak link of the team, so I went through a couple rounds of Insanity, and in the month prior to the event, was running a fairly aggressive P90X/Insanity hybrid program.


Yeah, I was still pretty ignorant on a lot of points, so my progress wasn't as efficient as it could have been, but I passed my own test with the Tough Mudder with flying colors.  I moved on with/through some other Beachbody programs, before getting referred to a more focused and basic approach to getting stronger - Starting Strength.


I followed that, and after progressing beyond the LP novice stage, moved on to 531, and later, a modified 531/Juggernaut program, and for about 2-3 years, made some solid progress.  But, when my (then, future) wife came into my life, training started becoming more sporadic, before it tapered off entirely sometime in 2018.  Fast forward to January 2020, with the wife and I both deciding that we weren't living terribly healthy lives, and we decided to join a kickboxing training gym to work out together.  Which lasted about six weeks before COVID.


We both contracted COVID, and even after that passed, suffered from the "Long Hauler" symptoms for a good 12-15 months afterward, which (at the risk of making excuses), made the idea of training seem laughable to us...it's hard to entertain the idea of any sort of exercise program when you have a couple days a week where, surprise surprise!, walking downstairs to take the dogs out leaves you feeling completely fatigued.


Anywho, on to 2022, when I start to really get a feeling that some problems sleeping and doing other things are the result of years of poor diet and a largely sedentary lifestyle.  Something clicked, and a little over a month ago, I started my own journey to take back control of my health.


In late May, I did some workouts using the basic SS compound movements to get a baseline on where I was at.  On May 30th, I started with Day One of my lifting program, resorting back to my modified 531/Juggernaut template, using a Google Sheet to log my totals and derive a 1RM for the As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) sets, to use to track how I was progressing.


Over the past month, I've enjoyed huge improvements in those 1RM figures, owing to the foundation I laid a few years ago and the fact that I still have a decent amount of muscle, even if it's hidden below far more adipose tissue than I'd like.  Through the month of June, I've lost about 9 lbs, and plan on continue to track my weight (among numerous other metrics) to better understand my progress.


So, with July 1st around the corner, it seems like as good a time as any to post some goals; any constructive feedback is certainly welcome -


1) Increase calculated 1RM's for my five main lifts (all units in lbs): 

     - Squat - From 413 (current), to 450 minimum, but not higher than 475

     - Deadlift - From 435 (current), to 480 minimum, but not higher than 525

     - Bench Press - From 274 (current), to 290 minimum, but not higher than 310

     - Overhead Press - From 201 (current), to 215 minimum, but not higher than 225

     - Barbell Row - From 321 (current), to 340 minimum, but not higher than 375

2) To drop 8 lbs bodyweight at minimum (which would put me at 282), but not more than 12 lbs.

3) To complete 12,500 KB swings at minimum, but not more than 16,000.

4) To prioritize proper warm-ups before every workout, which is something I have always struggled with.  I need to have more patience, and to focus on an appropriate and thorough whole body warm-up, before starting any warm-up lifts.

5) To make the time for at least two sessions of quality Yoga recovery work each week, and to spend at least 15 minutes each night on targeted self-care for recovery: foam-rolling, or myofascial release.


I have some general thoughts on longer-term goals, but I still want to spend some time on planning out how I expect to evolve my training over the next year, since I have registered for a Tough Mudder in Philadelphia the weeked of 5/23/23 next year.  I'm not part of any team (yet), but regardless of whether I run it alone or with others, I am determined, once again, to not allow myself to feel like the weak link of the team, even if it's only a team of one.


I'm looking forward to continuing this journey, especially since now I am feeling better and better, and ready to challenge myself in new ways.

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