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Weirdquark's Putting It All Together Challenge: A Year in Review


weirdquark

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This challenge marks the end of a (slightly overlapping) year of challenges. My first challenge was October 24-December 5-- MamaT suggested doing a sort of challenge review so I can see what's changed since then.

Oct 25-Dec 5 Goals

Fitness

1. 20% BF: Lose 10lbs (the amount I calculated I would have to lose to get under 20% BF)

This was originally on my year end goal list because I didn't succeed at this one (I did lose weight and my BF% dropped; I just picked a too aggressive goal given my starting point.) but.. I don't really care about this at the moment.

2. Do 5 consecutive pullups (Originally just two, but I did that after the first week and had to revise)

Am now stuck around a max of six or seven.

3. Increase 1RPM for squat from 75% BW to BW.

It took me most of the past year, but I finally got up to a good form, well below parallel, slightly-over BW squat

Life

1. Finish grad school application

I still haven't done this, mostly because I keep waffling about what I want to do grad school-wise and miss deadlines

2. Keep an eye out for more relevant-to-my-interest jobs and apply for them if they exist.

This on the other hand I've been having more success with; I even have an application in for a job which precisely matches my interests right now and am hoping I get an interview.

So. This challenge.

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I had this whole long write up which basically was "so here's what I'm planning on doing for the next six weeks" and while process goals are great, I know that once I set a plan I'll stick to it, so it's not really challenging. Also, long write up is long. So scratch that; making goals that hopefully fit with what I'm planning on doing.

Starting Stats:

Monkey Warrior Assassin Bard: Level 4

STR:17.65 | DEX:5.5 | STA:11 | CON:8.25 | WIS:11 | CHA:6.75

Fitness

1.Some Numbers Are Not Important (+2 CON +1 WIS)

F*ck the Scale and the Body Comp It Rode in On

Mindful Eating

This one was on my original plan and I'm keeping it. My lifting vanity overrules my appearance vanity; I don't want to worry about what I weigh or about what my bodyfat percentage is, I want to get stronger. I don't want to overeat but I do want to eat enough to support my strength gains.

I’m having good progress on lifts; weight has remained more or less the same. I want to focus on getting stronger and I want to eat reasonable amounts of good things, so keeping up the mindful eating from last challenge, but paying attention to measurements and what I weigh makes me annoyed because I’d like to have a more athletic body comp and haven’t been having any progress now that I’m not being strict with diet. Since the last time I was strict with diet I stalled on my lifts, I don’t want to do that, so instead I’m not going to think about it right now. What I’ve been doing has been working for maintaining, which is more important in the long run. So these days my weight has been 137 plus or minus 2lbs; if I need my weight for mini challenges I’ll use that and round up to 140 or down to 135 depending on what makes the most sense.

Mindful Eating uses the same metric as last time, except this time I’ll start with 42 points, one for each day of the challenge, and decide whether or not I can keep the point for the day based on my eating. For the F*ck the Scale part of the goal, I start with 4 points and each time I get on the scale or otherwise pay attention to measurements other than noticing that my clothes feel tighter or looser that day I lose one of them. If I go to the doctors for a physical during this time period, having the nurse or doctor tell me what I weigh does not count: I don’t want to bother to explain that I don’t want to know what I weigh, so they will tell me, but if I do, I can get a fifth point to play with.

2. Do Ten Consecutive Unassisted Pullups (+3 STA +2 STR)

I've been maxing out at six consecutive pullups with occasional successes managing seven. One of the things I want to do for the next while is more bouldering which needs a bigger focus on upper body strength and practicing pullups will help with that. I've been doing sets of ten with assist at the gym and think I was using level six or seven -- if all goes well I can do a set of ten while knocking off a level each week and get to no assist by the end of the challenge.

A: 10 pullups

B: 9 pullups

C: 8 pullups

D: 7 pullups

F: 6 pullups (no change)

3. BW Squats Level 2: Make My BW My Working Weight (+3 STR +2 STA)

Where 'working weight' is defined as what I'm working on when I do sets of five reps. Mostly three sets of five ala Starting Strength, but I'll also do ramping up sets where I do sets of five and increase the weight next time or reverse pyramids where I start with a heavy set of five and decrease the weight and increase the reps. I don't have to succeed in getting five reps by the end of the challenge; I just need to be at least starting to work on it.

Currently working on 3x5 @115

A: 135

B: 130

C: 125

D: 120

F: 115

Using 135 for BW; when I lift at home this is actually 136 which is closer to where my weight has been than 141. This still might be too much of a reach, especially for morning lifting, since I can't always even lift 130 once in the morning right now, but let's see what happens.

Life

1. That Job I Want (+1 WIS +1 CHA)

I was going to continue doing Sassafrass things for the goal as well as starting up a Clean All The Things habit, but to better reflect my first challenge I'm making getting the job that I'm after. There isn't much I can do about getting called in for an interview now that my resume and cover letter have been sent in, but I can prepare for an interview by going over interview questions and practicing my answers and such things.

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Current working weights:

Squat (5 reps): 115 (working on form/not pausing)

Squat (10 reps): 90 (last done at 85; I think I said I could move up)

Front Squat (5 reps): 90 (working on form)

Deadlift (5 reps): 155 (deloading to work on form)

Deadlift (10 reps): 135 (need to work on form, which deteriorates after rep seven or eight)

RDLs (8 reps): 125 (working on grip)

Bench (5 reps): 100 (for sets of three, working on adding reps)

Bench (10 reps): 85 (working on getting 10 reps on all three sets)

OHP (3 reps): 75 (working on getting ten sets)

OHP (10 reps): 55 (working on getting 10 reps on all three sets)

Pendley Rows (5 reps): 90 (deloaded, worked back up, need to focus on form)

Cleans (3 reps): 80? (Haven't done these except as metcon for a while and was using a lower weight there.)

These are all for the max weight I've been working on; I may do lighter weights for the same number of reps if going lighter for whatever reason.

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Stuff what I'm doing:

I am still not a huge fan of running, though I do get through most of the 5K before my brain tells me it hates everything and I should stop now. But the last time I practiced running and then stopped my running got worse, so if I want to continue to be able to run 5K without stopping, I'm going to need to, you know, run. So the plan is to run at least once a week and work on improving speed, and I should run 5K at least 3 times during challenge. Other weeks may have mile runs at a faster pace than the usual 5K pace or I can do interval training; there's this nice bit of road which is straight and flat and about a quarter mile long, so I can do sprints in one direction and jog/walk back or something.

I was reading up on squatting every day and want to try it; I was going to have that be the challenge goal but everything was looking complicated and I decided to keep it simple. At least as far as the challenge goals go: apparently I want to share my wordy wordy workout plans.

So here are the rules for squatting every day:

Combination of heavy, medium, and light days. There should be at least two heavy days a week with a third day which is medium or heavy. Heavy days can not be followed by another heavy day, and if two consecutive days are heavy and medium, the next day must be light. Extra sets (1-2) of ten reps of any style after working sets at a lighter weight can be done on any day if desired. Ramping up to 1RM can be done on any day as long as no attempts are made after first failure. Split squats can be substituted on any day. Otherwise, do whatever feels reasonable.

Heavy days: 3-4x5 squats, negative squats

Medium days: 3-4x10 squats; 3-4x5 front squats

Light days: 3x5 @50% heavy working weight, 3x10 overhead squats

And while we're talking about overhead squats...

I want to do them more. At least three times a week, possibly every day as a warm up. Because otherwise they will not improve. And if they do improve, my core strength will be awesome. I also want to work on pistols more. And that can be it for balance and core -- I think I did too many things last challenge and didn't see much improvement in any particular thing.

Hey, you know what would be badass? Learning how to do front levers and bouldering on the undersides of cliff faces without using your legs. I think I should add that to my stupid fitness goal list.

Which brings us to the next thing: MOAR BOULDERING!

This was also going to be a challenge goal. I made a note that said "this isn't a complicated goal as it looks, I swear" but I think I may have been wrong about that.

The short version: do bouldering related workouts.

The long version: do all of these things at some point during challenge

Strength: Four sets for five to ten reps; do the same bouldering route four times.

Burst: Power moves, especially quad focused

Endurance: Do more climbing

Strength-Endurance: Slow pullups, dead hang for at least one minute, work up to two+, Six to eight sets of exercise at lower weights, slowly, interval training

Aerobic Capacity: Circuit training: two exercises each for two different muscle groups you want to improve, interval training

The even longer and detailed filled version:

Strength + Endurance: Use bouldering wall as often as hands and schedule permit.

Go to the gym two or three times a week; boulder or do bouldering related weight training (assisted pullups and dips) that can’t be done at home. Swim when hands need a break.

Strength + Aerobic Capacity (circuit training) : Bouldering specific weight training program at home, inspired by workout here.

3-4 sets of each exercise, rest 30-60 seconds between exercises and 2-3 minutes between groups.

A1: DB row OR 1 arm inverted row OR Pendley Row 4-6 reps

A2: Squats (style and reps vary based on day)

B1: DB incline bench press 4-6 reps OR Barbell OHP 3-5 reps

B2: Deadlifts 2-4 reps OR RDL 8 reps OR Cleans 3-5 reps

The workout originally calls for one-legged leg exercises (split squats, pistols, lunges, etc.) because when climbing you push with one leg at a time, but since my squats are improving I want to keep doing regular squats. I don’t know if I’ll do upper body things on heavy squat days, light squat days, or some combination of both; I want to be flexible.

Burst

NRoLfW Bodyweight matrix or 1-arm DB snatch 5x5 no rest

I actually want to shoot for 2-3 times a week, but I don’t know how my recovery will be or how long workouts will take. I may end up doing these on light days when I don’t run.

Strength-Endurance

Practice deadhangs, slow pullups, frenchies.

I’ll try to do these several times a week too, but again, I don’t know how much energy everything else will take. But this seems like a 1-2 minute per time commitment, so it shouldn’t be too bad.

Strength-Endurance + Aerobic Capacity: interval training, covered by running plan.

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Great goals & 10 consec pull ups is an awesome goal, I cant even do 1 without assistance.

Count me in as subscribed I really want to see you achieve this :)

Ps although new to the Warriors I'm starting to really enjoy, so many say 'F the scales', luv this!

'Don't quit, two words, that's it' :-)

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A challenge review is a great idea. Good looking goals! Good luck!

Thanks!

Hah! Yes!! F*ck the scale! Love this!

Your goals all seem super-awesome! Best of luck with them!

Awesome, challenging, but I hope achievable!

Count me in as subscribed I really want to see you achieve this :)

Ps although new to the Warriors I'm starting to really enjoy, so many say 'F the scales', luv this!

Great goals & 10 consec pull ups is an awesome goal, I cant even do 1 without assistance.

Thanks! I've been stuck where I am for a long time, so I may continue to be stuck, but hopefully there will be progress.

I support more people saying 'f*ck the scales'; unless one is significantly overweight, it seems like it's mostly stressful and counter productive.

This is an awesome idea! Happy Nerdiversary :)

Hee, thanks! (Technically the Nerdiversary isn't until the end of the challenge though. :))

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subbed. more later when i have time to comment :)

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

"Anyone who doesn't want french fries every day is a commie." - AngelaTheGeek

Current Challenge

INSTAGRAM!!

find me on twitter

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Pullup goal update:

Challenge hasn't started but I've been to the gym and have a better idea of where I'm starting now. Using parallel grip, as that's the easiest; I'll work on palms facing away after I get ten this way.

9/20 After an hour of bouldering: 1x10 @level 7 (32lb assist)

9/22 Rested-ish (lifted earlier in the day): 1x10 @level 6 (28lb assist)

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Yay for NF challenge anniversary! You're definitely an inspiration and are so in tuned with yourself. Pretty awesome! Here's to crossing the one year mark with tons of conquered goals.

I also am not weighing or measuring myself as part of the challenge. It tends to send me on a not-so-healthy spiral when things don't go my way. Not good. So thanks for mentioning you were doing that for this challenge during this challenge!

Shape-Shifting Ginger
Current Battle Log

2" washers for smaller weight increases

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Bouldering, oh how I miss there. Great goals! Pull ups rock!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

LVL 2 MartianWarrior

STR 9/DEX 2/ STAM 3.75/ CON 3/ WIS 6/ CHA 3

"Fads come and go, but the barbell remains the same. Respect it accordingly." - Jim Wendler

"When I want to be a super hero, I just wake up" - Childish Gambino

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ok. i just read through all of this, and i'm super psyched for you. i think you've got a great attitude and a great plan.

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

"Anyone who doesn't want french fries every day is a commie." - AngelaTheGeek

Current Challenge

INSTAGRAM!!

find me on twitter

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Dynamic Warmup

The usual

Squat warmup

1x5 @65

1x3 @85

1x2 @100

A1: DB 3-point Row

4x12 @52.5

Trying to build up to 20 reps so these can be Kroc rows. Gonna take a while.

A2: Squats

1x3 @115

1x1 @85 (from bottom to rack)

1x2 @115

1x2 @115

1x1 @85 (from bottom to rack)

1x2 @115

1x1 @85 (from bottom to rack)

1x1 @115

1x1 @115

1x1 @85 (from bottom to rack)

1x0 @115

1x1 @85 (from bottom to rack)

1x5 @105

Alternated with the rows and didn't do a fourth set. I probably should have dropped weight sooner but I was feeling stubborn.

I was planning on doing some cleans and DB incline bench press for my B sets but was feeling pretty wiped out, especially in the hip hinge area. I may go back to it later in the day.

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Yay for NF challenge anniversary! You're definitely an inspiration and are so in tuned with yourself. Pretty awesome! Here's to crossing the one year mark with tons of conquered goals.

I also am not weighing or measuring myself as part of the challenge. It tends to send me on a not-so-healthy spiral when things don't go my way. Not good. So thanks for mentioning you were doing that for this challenge during this challenge!

Thanks and you're welcome! I'm a big fan of not doing things that a) don't help and B) stress you out, so when weighing yourself is giving you useful data, it's good to do, but when it makes you crazy, it's probably time to stop.

Bouldering, oh how I miss there. Great goals! Pull ups rock!

It's so much fun! I want to boulder all the time when I go to the gym now; I was put out by not being able to boulder when I went to test my 1RMs. :)

This this this.

Eat like a sensible person and don't stress about it. It's a good plan.

Fantastic progression you've developed for bouldering. Is this a standard training program or something you've come up with? Also, the 10+ pullup goal is crazy/awesome.

The bouldering program is stuff I put together when I was doing my research -- there were a few places that had a list of the different kinds of things you needed to train, and one of them suggested a program which had the alternating upper body pull/lower body push and upper body push/lower body hinge things so I picked out a couple of exercises that would fit all of these things and figured I'd do whatever I felt like doing at the time.

ok. i just read through all of this, and i'm super psyched for you. i think you've got a great attitude and a great plan.

Thanks! I'm looking forward to seeing if 'flexible' works for me better than a more scheduled type plan.

I'm subscribing to this awesomeness early on. I like the goals, good luck!

Thanks!

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Part 2

B1: Cleans

4x3 @65

Wanted to do these heavier but apparently not have four sets of squats. I haven't done these heavier than 65 for a long time, so I guess I'll have to work my way up again.

B2: Alternating DB Incline Bench Press

4x10 @22.5 each arm

Alternated with cleans. I was going to do these heavier but decided to go for lower weight and higher reps for the upper body today.

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Dynamic Warmup

The usual

Overhead Squats

1x5 @15

1x5 @25

3x5 @35

Hang Squat Snatch?

1x5 @35

I was practicing hang snatches before each set of overhead squats. This time I did a hang snatch and tried to drop into a squat after each one. Two out of the five felt like I was going down properly; the other three I got above my head and then did an overhead squat.

Overhead Squats Again

1x10 @15

1x10 @25

1x10 @35

Since I was able to get ten reps at 35 I tried overhead squatting 45 and it didn't quite work. Possibly it would go better at the beginning of the workout and possibly I should try 40 first. Still probably more of a technique thing more than strength though.

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awesome workout.

you work out at like...5am?

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

"Anyone who doesn't want french fries every day is a commie." - AngelaTheGeek

Current Challenge

INSTAGRAM!!

find me on twitter

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