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Last challenge I reached the fat loss goals I had set for myself, ending a long, long physical cycle where fat loss was the goal; which I started circa spring 2019, finally got serious about in spring 2021.  I can see my abs, somewhat.   With the summer drawing to a close, there isn't much point in getting leaner.  Last challenge my challenge was in many ways to figure out what to do, where to go from there.  I want to get back to chasing muscle gains, something I haven't done in many years.  I have some unfinished business, I never did reach the ultimate physical goal I had set for myself (abs at 205 lb), even though I convinced myself that I did back in 2016, and since then I've shrunk a bit (a lot, but I've reagained much of my muscle mass this year).  Plus I'm getting to the age where its now or never (tho trt for old guys seems to be all the rage nowadays).

 

Here is my upcoming diet plan:

 

9/5 - 11/6: calorie surplus (9 weeks)

11/7 - 11/20: cut (2 weeks)

11/21 - 11/27: diet break (1 week)

11/28 - 12/11: cut (2 weeks)

12/12 - 12/23: maintain and recover (1.5 weeks)

12/24: beach

 

My plan for the surplus is to start at 2800 net calories, somewhere between 100 and 300 calories of surplus, and see what happens over time.  I will not be eating all the things.  I have a lot of old history gaining at 3000 calories, not so much at 2800.  I picked back up really detailed muscle measurements a few months ago, that's key to keep track of how the surplus is going.  I also am counting cals like a hawk, and with full calorie accounting I'm running a live resting TDEE calc, its still a little early to get great data, but it seems to be around 2500-2700 where I expect it.  I started taking creatine a few weeks ago, I should be getting pretty close to full effect

 

For workouts my plan is 5/3/1 + 5x10.  I post pretty detailed workout logs.  A goal last challenge was to modify my workout plan to one more appropriate for a calorie surplus.

 

Last challenge really set me up for success, this challenge its time to cash in all my hard work and double down on it.  Muscle gains are really, really hard.  You cant have too much fat or its inefficient.  Without workout volume you plateau.  Surplus needs consistency.  Most important though, its easy to get complacent or question yourself.  2 of the last 3 times I tried to gain muscle mass, I stopped caring about my diet and fell off the wagon mid bulk.

 

Goals:

 

Goal #1 - Stick to the Plan

I'm counting calories with the accuracy to calculate resting TDEE.  I am running the 531 plan as written, with only minor tweaks to accessories to work around sore spots.  I weigh every day.  I measure muscles once a week.

 

That's it.  The goal includes everything, everything I've built up to, all the planning I've done.

 

This should be the fun part.  Gym progress should notably pick up, I've been stalled out a while on many exercises.  Watching measurements start to regularly gain will be nice, instead of hoping they didn't shrink too bad.

 

But I need to stick to the plan and land the plane eventualy too.  Once the Halloween candy is gone, its time to start cutting for the beach so I have time to get a bit leaner than I am now.

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battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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I'm still dealing with some pretty painful at times golfers elbow.    A result of doing too many weighted chinups.  There are other contributing factors, but that was the primary trigger.  I've been making some modifications to my workouts to work around the elbows until things calm down.  Definitely headed in the right direction.

 

Workout Log - 9.5.22

 

Kicking and stretching - 10 min

Free form workout, I didn't put up the heavy bag as its high stress on the elbows.

 

Pistol Squat

+15 medicine ball - 5/5

16" box - 6/6

+15 mb - 11/11

I didn't push too hard on the amrap medicine ball set.

 

Deadlift

155 - 5

175 - 5

210 - 3

245 - 3

280 - 3

315 - 3

Used a belt for the last 2 sets, straps for the last set.  All others were doh.  I'm following the 351 format.

 

Romanian Deadlift

195 x 3 x 10

First time doing multiple sets of these after deadlifts.  The doms are legit.

 

Workout Log  - 9.6.22

 

Bench Press

85 - 5

110 - 5

130 - 3

150 - 3

170 - 3

195 - 3

 

DB Bench Press

50 x 5 x 10

Next week I might start at 60.  I get a great chest pump from these though, really feel my pecs working like no other exercise.

 

Ring Front Lever

Tuck Hold - 15 sec

Open Tuck Hold - 15, 15 sec

One Leg Hold - 5+5, 5+5, 5+5 sec

Tuck Row - 8, 8, 8, 8

The one leg holds are done one leg for 5 sec, pull up inverted, drop into a 5 sec hold on the other leg.  I'm going to switch the tuck rows to my dip bars.  The swing gets really annoying on rings above about 6-7 reps, it occurred to me earlier today that I could switch to the dip bars and not have to worry about that.  Since I stopped doing dips on Fridays a couple months ago, I haven't had a use for the dip bars, so it'll be nice to start using them for something again.

 

Hammer Curl - 35 - 10/10

Front Raise - 15  - 10

Lateral Raise - 8  - 10

Bent Over Raise - 12 - 10

External Rotation - 12 - 8/8

Curl was a test set, wanted to see how the elbows respond, hammer grip definitely irritates the least.  Usually I'd do 2 sets of the shoulder series, but I was pretty fried, this is a good bit more volume than I'm used to.

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Raising cals this week has been very noticeable.  The scale shot up a few pounds, into the 202 area the last few days.  If I look at my weight chart for the year, I had a 5 lb avg, 7 lbs gross hi/low shift up when I raised cals for the longer 3 week diet break I did in Feb, before the gain stopped.  That's where I am with this raise from the low point of the cut.  The 2 week period at 2700 clearly was very close to maintenance, it took my body much longer than a typical diet break (where I definitely eat a surplus) to start producing leptin, and glycogen refill was only partial even after 2 weeks.  I didn't feel like I was in a surplus, either working out or when eating, and recovery seemed if anything subpar.  Measurements stalled out and reversed a little the 2nd week at 2700.  That's not what happened this week, just 100 more cals, taking me soundly into surplus, has gone totally different.

 

I have that surplus energy; hard to sit still.  Feeling full, no interest in snacking outside of meal times.  I'm waking up feeling much more physically refreshed.  Despite the increased volume in workouts this week, I haven't been dragging at all by the end.   Measurements this week showed the jump in weight.

 

My waist gained 1/8".  Took 3 weeks for the transient 1/8" to appear.  Almost always raising cals causes it (and vice versa), stuff in the guts and whatnot.  Actual measurable fat gain is still hopefully a ways away.  My arms didn't gain anything this week.  Makes sense, given I've basically done no exercises with high load in the biceps in the last 2 weeks due to the elbows.  Shoulders and chest gained a little, every leg measurement increased, some strongly.

 

Workout Log - 9.7.22

 

Run 2.9 miles in 35:49, 12:20/mi, 146 bpm avg, 170 bpm peak

Lol, I was super slow.  Didn't tryhard the run, but my hr was pretty high.

 

Workout Log - 9.8.22

 

Heavy Bag - 15 min

10 minutes without gloves, 5 minutes with.  Did not hit it very hard.  When the golfers elbow is gone my bag is due a good ass kicking.

 

Front Squat

80 - 5

100 - 5

120 - 3

140 - 3

160 - 3

180 - 3

160 - 5, 5

Mod from the typical 531 bbb here; Wendler (and many other coaches) don't like front squats higher than 5 reps as holding the bar becomes a problem.  I did 5 reps at 160 instead of 10 at 140.

 

Loaded Box Pistol

+30 - 5/5, 5/5, 5/5

I feel these way more in the hams than any other form of pistol.  First few reps are more touch n go, last couple I sit for a split second.

 

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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I decided to go full go on tonight's workout with pulling exercises, see how the elbows respond.  The curling test I did on Tue went good.  I'm still modifying the forms to avoid all hands facing me pulling and staying unloaded, but that's fine, no impact to overall progress.

 

Workout Log - 9.9.22

 

Overhead Press (Kneeling)

50 - 5

60 - 5

75 - 3

85 - 3

95 - 3

110  - 3

That 110 set was pretty easy.  All this weight changing is definitely going to take some getting used to.

 

Seated DB Overhead Press

50 - 10, 10

I'm strict about no arching form on these, that's what incline bench is for.

 

45 degree Incline DB Bench Press

50 - 10, 10, 10

I'm still working through these feeling awkward, it gets better notably though between the first and last set.  Lots of form cues that I miss  that first set.

 

Pullup

Chin over Bar -  5, 5

Chest to Bar - 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Chin over Bar - 10, 10, 10

Wasn't sure how to deal with those early 531 sets that are super easy (these are done together, but not a true superset, I give it a minute), so I did 2 warmup chin over bar sets.  The 3 sets of chin over bars at the end were notably rougher on the elbows/forearms than the chest to bar pulls.  I'm going to add reps to the chest to bar sets, I wanted to see how the dropoff went over 5 sets.  Chest to bar pulls have positive bar contact, usually right in the middle of my chest.  It took me a while to master the form back in the day, pulling with an open elbow, but its like riding a bike to get back in that groove.  Chest to bar pulls "feel" right (unlike db incline bench).

 

DB Hammer Curl

35 - 10/10, 10/10

 

DB Wrist Curl + Finger Roll

35 - 10/10, 9/9

 

DB Reverse Wrist Curl

12 - 10/10, 10/10

 

Wrist Rotations

Broom - 10/10, 10/10

 

DB forearm and bicep series should be rehab for the elbows.  The hammer curls don't irritate the elbows at all.  Broom is way easier on the left side than right, hits the soreness causing the elbow issue directly.  I figured out that if I lead with my pinky fingers my left side doesn't crack each rep on the reverse wrist curls.

 

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I've been traveling for work again these last few days, to Washington DC.  I was able to log my food and exercise, but its nowhere near as accurate as usual.  I stayed in the area of maintenance (2513, 2465 net cals), backed off from surplus, since I didn't train at all.  I intended to on Tue; get in some DB bench at least at the hotel, but it was a nice evening so I went on walkabout for about 2 hours, starting by the Lincoln memorial.  I walked about 4 miles total.   I did manage to mostly avoid alcohol, only getting a single beer each night with my dinner (hard to avoid that one when eating at the bar).

 

Now that I'm home I'll do the regularly scheduled workouts remaining this week, then repeat this week next week.  This is the 5 week in the 351 sequence.

 

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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A little bit of both.  I mean the trip does give a time bound, but even without it I probably would be doing something very similar.

 

I do have a lot of historical data though:

1065380904_Weight3Bulkingsm.jpg.af6b1eb86876eaa723c6a5cbb5014905.jpg

 

This will be my 8th tracked bulk, I did another in 2015  that I didn't track (between #6 and #7).  #5 had a lot of issues, including drastically changing the way I did a lot of measurements, which messed up the lbm calc, but really I didn't gain any muscle mass of note that round (gaining is a bit like losing in that you reverse whoosh, its like muscle is slowly built over time, and then inflated somewhat quickly, it just crossed over from one bulk to the next that time).

 

7-8 weeks allows for a relatively high frequency bulk-cut, so much so that its unlikely your spouse would notice the fat change.  At my typical gain rate in that time I'll gain 1/2"-3/4" in the waist; a typical 2 week cut I lose 3/4" in the waist.  The idea with those timings is to be reducing body fat level with each cycle, even if only 0.5% bf.  It adds up.  #3-#6 were basically continuous, just short cuts in-between, I was notably leaner by the end though; #3 started with me at 158.6 lbs lbm and 28.7 lbs fm, the short cut after #6 (basically a year later) finished with me at 174.0 lbs lbm and 26.1 lbs fm.  

 

I usually bulk at a target of 3K calories net.  #3 included a ramp up period that was a little lower and it seemed to be some really clean gains.  This time I'm keeping the calories lower (2800 net) to try to emulate it, see if I can't gain a little cleaner, even though I've not had issues with excessive fat gain.

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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I meant to post this before I had to travel, but better late than never.

 

1277762536_Weight3all91122sm.jpg.3e19f9b832050310d552f660453b54f9.jpg

9/11/22 was my 11 year fitaversary, here is my weight chart since (I didn't start actually writing down my weight until I was in the 240's, this graph should go into the post above, I started in the low 260's).  When on the train I try to weigh daily and calculate the average.

 

I made a similar graphic a month ago when I had covid, but I wanted to update it for my fitaversary and intend to do yearly from now on.

 

Marked in blue is my ultimate goal, that I've been working toward since I finished losing weight in 2012, being happy with my abs (generic 10% body fat) at 205 lbs.  I took a goal hiatus 2016-2021 by convincing myself that I achieved it, thus merely had to maintain, even though that was far from reality. 

 

The green band bound by red is the hackers diet control band, a keeping it off concept, I should always be within that band and when not immediately take steps to return.  Failed hard on that for a few years, starting right before the gov't shutdown.  That for me was basically a pandemic dry run, so by the time covid came around a lot of my habits had already shifted to something that would work in covid time.  I gained from around 220 to 235 between when I stopped going to the work gym and the shutdown ended, it took 2 and a half years to recover. 

 

The grey areas are the 3 different strength training phases I've gone through, with the home gym shifting color toward the end indicating a pretty drastic change to the gym (added greatly to it).

 

This past year, year 11, was one of my best years overall.  I did have a gap in the fall where I fell off the weight loss wagon, but my fitness held.  I did have an injury I was working around (herniated disc) that severely limited strength work, I was still recovering from in the fall.  Over the holidays I really mustered the strength to hit the hyperdrive and get back into a really effective fitness groove and finish losing the fat.  By the end of year 11 I was almost as lean as I'd ever been, only in 2017 was I leaner.  Muscle mass has recovered now close to previous peaks. 

 

Year 10 though is where I started to refind the groove (getting vaccinated and imminent office return was the trigger) but the fact that I was coming up on my 10 year fitaversary was also on my mind and had fallen pretty far from the wagon.  By 9/11/21 I did manage to get back to the control band; declaring mission accomplished for that goal was one of the big reasons things went sideways in the fall though.

 

I feel like right now mentally I'm in the same place I was when I moved in 2014, like I got a do-over for that moment.  I've spent a lot of time this year reflecting, reading old logs, looking at old data, remembering things forgotten, trying to understand where things went wrong. 

 

What went wrong wasn't just one or two things, but a whole lot of individual things.  But in general there were two big contributing factors:


- Moving in 2014.  Don't get me wrong, I love my new house, but it was a pretty significant downgrade for at home bodyweight workouts, which is what I had been doing for strength work.  Hence why the work gym "fixed" the problem.  Until it didn't anymore, because it was a perpetual scheduling problem, causing lots of skips, thus prompting the home gym to "fix" the problem.  Home gym solved the skipping issue, but it was a big step down from the work gym and lacking, until this year when I plugged all the holes.  The quality of my workouts and workout program has returned to pre-moving levels now, but it took a long time to get here.

 

- Declaring mission accomplished in 2016.  At that point I decided I had enough muscle and was spending too much time strength training, so I changed to a pared back minimal workout plan to maintain my previous gains and hopefully stay injury-free.  This became almost like a computer virus in my workout programming; even when I started breaking free of the mindset I couldn't, it infected my workout programming and overall effort so much.  Its almost like I forgot how to strength train, only selectively remembering a sliver.  The conscious decision to pare back to minimal workouts became very unconsciously maintained and a box I couldn't step out of.  I wasn't until I decided that I wanted to build up more muscle mass that I clearly saw the problem; training minimalism that was derived from and strengthened by the idea that I had enough muscle mass.  When I decided I didn't have enough muscle mass, that's when I started to remember how to train and rediscovered the motivation to train hard.

 

I'd like for next year to be a lot like year 3.  It is starting from a similar point, the end of a long cut.  Bulking in the fall, winter, and spring.  At body fat low points at Christmas and mid-May.  Going to try to apply lessons learned from now, with a smaller surplus, to next summer, spend the summer maintaining body fat levels.

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battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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Congratulations on the Fitversary! Interesting data.  Part of staying consistent over the long haul is being able to adapt. Not only does life  throw changes at you, but your mindset changes too.

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind' Luke 10; 27

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Well today's measurements freaked me out at first, but after going back through old data, I see this is totally normal.  I shrank a little bit vs last week.  And am a hair lighter.  Most muscle measurements are exactly the same, but a few that made a big jump last week lost a bit.  Importing my calorie data I see that I actually have been under calories quite a bit.  Still over 2500 and usually in the 2700 range, but 2800 hasn't happened much in the past week.  Two missed days of workouts and creatine this week probably contributed.  Funny, I remember now I had a check I used to do measurement days to see if it was going to suck or be great when bulking; my wrists.  Simple measurement to make, and mine change with overall "bloat" (not the right word, its more like glycogen fill, but creatine should be a contributor).  Big wrists, like last week, big measurements.  Skinny wrists, like this week, lose a bit.  Used to be the first measurement I'd make, to get the disappointment out of the way right away.  Weight was 200.6 last night, lightest I've been in a couple weeks.  All waist fat measurements were identical to last week.

 

Its going to be hard to resist the temptation to raise cals more if the tape doesn't move.  That's what happened in the past when I tried to start lower.  But, no bulk did I really gain much size in the first 4-6 weeks outside of that initial burst when cals are raised.  I guess I'm going to try to play the older and wiser card and keep at it with the smaller surplus for a lot longer this time.  It isn't like any bad is going to come of it.

 

Workout Log - 9.14.22

 

Run 2.34 mi in 26:00, 11:04 avg

I was sore/tired from the walkabout in DC the night before, and then traveling through airports lugging my bag.  Short run was good enough.

 

Workout Log - 9.15.22

 

Heavy Bag - 15 min

10 minutes without gloves, 5 minutes with.  I struck it hard with gloves, I wanted to see how the elbows responded (horribly).

 

Pistol Squat

+15 medicine ball - 8/8

 

Front Squat

80 - 5

100 - 5

120 - 3

130 - 5

150 - 5

170 - 5

160 - 5, 5

 

DB Box Pistol Squat

+30 - 5/5, 5/5, 7/7

This is where I'm going to be looking for workout to workout progress, getting those rep numbers up, I don't want to use lighter weights.

 

Workout Log - 9.16.22

 

Wall Slides - 10 reps

 

Kneeling Overhead Press

50 - 5

60 - 5

75 - 3

80 - 5

90 - 5

100 - 6

That last set felt pretty easy, I probably could have done 8 reps.

 

Seated DB Overhead Press

50 - 10, 10

 

45 Degree DB Incline Bench

50 - 11, 11, 12

Pretty good progress on these.  Form is improving, adding reps.

 

Pullup

Chin over bar - 5

Chest to bar - 3, 6, 6, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Looking for progress here, adding reps.  Dropped the chin over bar sets at the end in favor of more chest to bar sets.

 

Hammer Curl - 35 - 10/10, 11/11

Wrist Curl - 35 - 8/8, 8/8

Reverse Wrist Curl - 12 - 10/10, 12/12

Wrist Rotations - Broom - 10/10, 10/10

 

Verdict from last nights workout is that the bag was awful for my elbows, took a step backwards.  I can go for a bit without any upper body striking.  I have pretty strong doms in the legs as well.

 

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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Its been a bit since I checked in, I keep meaning to.  Last night the darn power went out right as I was getting to it.

 

I'm still getting strong doms from each workout, this volume is relentless.  Hopefully measurements tomorrow show some movement.  I'm definitely getting stronger, and feel like I'm getting stronger quickly.

 

Calorie logging has been pretty much perfect.  Sometimes I struggle with the why, but I'd really like a good calc of what MFP should be set to to maintain, and that takes time and completeness.  I've been running in the 2700-2800 area almost every day, outliers are higher.

 

Elbows have improved a lot since late last week.  Knowing how bad rocking the bag caused it to return, I'm guessing that's the main culprit, so I avoided any bag punching this week.

 

Workout Log - 9.19.22

 

Heavy Bag - 15 min

No punching

 

Pistol Squat

+15 medicine ball - 8/8

16" box jump - 6/6

+15 mb - 12+/12+

Fell on one of the earlier left reps on box jumps.  Added a rep to the amrap set.

 

Deadlift

155 - 5

175 - 5

210 - 3

230 - 5

265 - 5

300 - 5

Had to change to switch grip for the last rep at 300.

 

Romanian Deadlift

195 - 10-, 10-, 12+

 

Workout Log - 9.20.22

 

Wall Slides - 10

 

Bench  Press

85 - 5

110 - 5

130 - 5

140 - 5

160 - 5

180 - 5-

 

DB Bench Press

60 - 10+, 10+, 10-. 10-. 10+

These actually got easier until the last set, when my arms were pretty much toast.  Able to use leg drive

 

Ring Front Lever

Tuck Hold - 15

Open Tuck Hold - 15

One Leg - 5+5, 6+6, 6+6

Tuck Front Lever Rows - 8+, 6+, 6+, 6+, 6+

The TFLR's were done on my dip bars, not rings.  I don't have to deal with the swing then, but my arms are wider so I can't do as many.

 

Hammer Curl - 35 - 9/9, 9/9

Front Raise - 15 - 10, 10

Lateral Raise - 8 - 10, 12

Bent Over Raise - 12 - 10, 12

Seated External Rotations - 12 - 8/8, 9/9

 

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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This week's measurement check in showed almost no movement.  All waist measurements are identical, if anything they may have shrunk a smidge.  Upper torso (chest/shoulders) and upper legs gained a small amount.  Arms are identical.  All in all a small movement in a positive direction, a recomp effect that is just barely detectable.  My weight trendline is rising but it has slowed to a crawl, gaining rate might be as low as 1 lb/mo.  Diet average in the last week is 2751 net cals/day (low), 3364 avg intake and 613 exercise.  My protein intake is on the low side and could use an increase, averaging 120 g/day in the last week.  At the end of this 531 cycle (2 weeks from now) I'll reevaluate my diet setpoint.  Not enough data yet, but I'm getting there.

 

Getting to 2800 net has been a bit of a struggle some days.

 

Workout Log - 9.21.22

 

Run 2.9 mi in 33:08, 11:27 avg, 151 bpm avg, 176 bpm max

Starting to cool down finally.  Fall is the best season for running.

 

Workout Log - 9.22.22

 

Heavy Bag - 10 min

Only light hand contact, mostly kicking.  Wasn't terribly into it.

 

Pistol Squat - +15 medicine ball - 5/5

 

Front Squat

80 - 5

100 - 5

120 - 3

130 - 5

150 - 6

170 - 6

160 - 5, 5

Added a rep to the 150/170 sets to make some sort of progress vs last week.

 

DB Box Pistol

+30 - 6/6, 6/6, 6-/6-

Added a rep to the first 2 sets.  Goal is to work up to 10 reps before raising weight.

 

Workout Log - 9.23.22

 

Wall Slides - 10

 

Overhead Press (Kneeling)

50 - 5

60 - 5

75 - 3

80 - 5

90 - 5

100 - 5

 

Seated DB Overhead Press

50 - 10-, 10+

Was hoping to add reps to the 2nd set, definitely had another in the tank the first set.

 

45 degree Incline Bench Press

50 - 12+, 12-, 13+

Like DB bench on Tue, it definitely got easier.  Were I cutting by that point my muscles would be jello.

 

Pullups

Chin Over - 5

Chest 2 Bar - 3, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 5

I only had 2 sets of 6 in me last week before dropping back to 5.  Started fading pretty hard near the end, didn't have any of the strong reps that earlier sets start with.

 

Hammer Curl - 35 - 10/10, 10/10

Wrist/Finger Curl - 35 - 8/8, 8/8

Reverse Wrist Curl - 12 - 10/10, 14/14

Time to add weight to the reverse curls

 

Also did 2x 10 reps of wrist rotations using a broom both seated and standing

 

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currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

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These last couple days my weight has cratered, I was down to 198.0 last night.  This despite making an effort to err too high on cals each day and bumping up my protein intake. Nothing quite like your weight going down when making a serious effort to make it go up.

 

It has been hard though to get in the cals each day.  I'm just not hungry at typical snack times lately.  Have had to resort to eating a big chunk of ice cream before bed, though I'm not really complaining, I used to always sit down with a pail each night.

 

I'll update my workouts tomorrow, but this is the 1 week for 531 so the intensity is cranked up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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Weight was still under 200 last night, 199.2.  I really have no good explanation for why I dropped weight.  Outlier low at the end of my cut was ~195, average was around 197.  Since then I've been taking creatine and eating what is supposed to be a small surplus.  I should and did have a strong effect from more glycogen and stuff in the guts.  A check with the tape shows I may have lost the 1/8th I had gained around the waist.  I've been tracking cals about as well as I ever have and making it a point to eat over 2800 net every day. 

 

I was going to wait until the end of this 531 cycle to reevaluate diet, but the data is pretty clear at this point that I need to further raise cals.  Any loss in metabolism I experienced over the long cut, and I did think that it was lower than my historic 2700 value toward the end, is long gone.  Metabolism is running as hot as it ever has right now.  Friday's measurements should help shed some light as well, that's when I'll make a decision. 

 

Gaining does go in cycles like losing does, there are definite anti-whooshes, this could be related, but more likely its a sign that I need to bump the calories up.  We'll see, if the tape is my friend this week i might keep at it.

 

Going for a run later tonight

 

Workout Log - 9.26.22

 

Heavy Bag - 10 min

No gloves or hard punching.  It'll be a while, I want the elbows to fully heal, and though they've been getting better since the bad flare up last time I hit the bag hard, it'll still be a while before its gone.

 

Pistol Squat

+15 medicine ball - 5/5

16" box - 5/5

+15 mb - 13+/13+

Added to the amrap set.  Despite the lack of scale progress I am seeing good gym progress.

 

Deadlift

155 x 5

175 x 5

210 x 3

265 x 5

300 x 3

335 x 4+

Used straps for the 335 set, hook grip for the 300 set, DOH for all others.  Belted 300+

 

Romanian Deadlift

205 - 10-, 10-, 10+

Added 10 lbs as 195 was getting easy.

 

Workout Log - 9.27.22

 

Wall Slides - 10

 

Bench Press

85 x 5

110 x 5

130 x 3

160 x 5

185 x 3

205 x 4+

 

DB Bench Press

60 x 10-, 10-, 10-, 10-, 12+

Its crazy how quickly these are getting easier.  Needing a pair of 70's doesn't seem like its that far off.

 

Ring Front Lever

Tuck Hold - 15

Open Tuck Hold - 15

One Leg Hold - 5+5+5, 5+5, 5+5

Got a 3rd rep on that first one leg set

 

Dip Bar Tuck Front Lever Rows - 7-, 7-, 7+, 7+, 7+

 

Front Raise - 15 - 10, 14

Lateral Raise - 8 - 10

Bent Over Raise - 12 - 10

Hammer Curl - 35 - 10/10

Shoulder External Rotations - 12 - 10/10

Got sucked into my phone and lost the drive to do that last set of these.  Muscles were quite fried at that point.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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Deload week this week, I was really needing it.  I slept in 2 hr later on Saturday than I have in a long time, late Sunday too.  Started running out of gas toward the end of my workouts late last week.  Good week for it, later this week we're meeting my mom and brother for a weekend at a cabin in the smokies.

 

Measurements on Friday were a bunch of the same.  I might have lost a hair on the waist.  Muscles were pretty much the same as last week.  I'm raising cals +100 more to 2900 net/day.  Scale has recovered to the 202 area, but there hasn't been an upward trend of any sort for a while.  I have noticed that NEAT has increased a lot.  I'm just squirming in my seat all the time, shaking my leg, getting up to pace, I've started to really notice it.

 

I was waaay over on cals yesterday (+700), the first time I've done that in a while.  I just wanted to destroy a thing of ice cream.  But I've been making an effort to be above 2800 every day and my average had risen >2800 net, even before yesterday. 

 

Lesson learned though, my metabolism is still where it was 5 years ago.  I did see that there is some new research coming out that herb may raise your metabolism.  Now that it can be researched 2 things are starting to really stand out in population studies; regular herb users have a lower BMI than the general population (counterintuitively for most) and long time users have a much lower incidence of alzheimers.  The BMI difference is not though to be just mental (many find repetitive physical work more enjoyable, like exercise, esp moderate cardio), but also that there is a real physical mechanism, that the populations appear to show a higher average BMR.  I am certainly not disproving this with my personal measurements, my metabolism is definitely running hot.  And it isn't a coincidence that about 6 months after I got a regular supply I got serious about losing weight (again) and it stuck.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 20, 19,18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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