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Gainsdalf the Whey

Challenge Wrap Up- Warriors Report!

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Here it is.

Challenge wrap-up!

And it's over! How'd we do?

  • Clean & jerk my bodyweight (+4 STR, +1 DEX)

Ok, so this didn't happen. I gave one more shot at it last night (since yesterday was still within the challenge dates), and managed to add another 2kg for a total of 72. 5 short of the 77kg I was aiming for at the start, and 8 short of the 80kg I weigh now (more on this later). Still - I managed to add 12kg to my PR, and my technique got way way better, so it's tough to be disappointed. Gonna call this one a B for 3 STR and .75 DEX.
  • Run 5k in 23:36 (+4 DEX, +1 STA)

Holy shit, I did it. And with room to spare! 22:54 for a 7:22 pace. Took more than a minute off my old PR of 24:05, and my first mile split was at 6:51, which is only 2 seconds off my mile PR! I've gotta say, this was one of the most mentally challenging things I've ever done. Running a 5k for time is not a pleasurable experience, and not being surrounded by other runners really made the motivation to keep going tough. I'll be honest, there were at least three times where I thought "fuck it, let's quit - it's not a race anyway". I really didn't want to come back here and report a DNF though, so I pushed through it - and wow am I ever glad I did! A+ for 4 DEX and 1 STA. And bonus picture of me and my race buddy after the big success:

5ksmall.jpg

  • Go to bed at 10:30 every night (+3 CON)

5/6 last week for a total of 28/36. This was a really interesting goal for me. Overall, I feel like I did really well. I made a conscious effort to get more sleep, and you know what? I got a lot more sleep! Even more importantly, by making a habit of going to bed earlier and generally feeling well rested, the nights I didn't get enough sleep stuck out like a sore thumb. I really learned a lot about how both my workout intensity and general energy levels were affected by how much sleep I got. The MLB playoffs spoiled my efforts of getting an A on this goal, but it still feels like a solid B for 2.25 CON.
  • Build a basement gym

I can't even believe how much work I got done in the basement this past 6 weeks - It's seriously more than I've done since we moved into the house. I built some storage shelves, organized all the junk down there, and got my gym put together. Back at the start, the goal was just to get within 30 days of being ready, so that I could give my cancellation notice to my globo gym. I pretty much demolished that. A++ for 2 CHA.

Basement3-small.jpgOrganized.jpg

Basement4-small.jpgfinishedgym.jpg

Overall, that's 13/15 points awarded, which is a solid A-/B+. I'm really really happy with how this challenge went, for a couple of reasons. From an obvious standpoint, I did really well with my stated goals. But I also learned a lot, and raised a bunch of new questions. I've got a lot to figure out for the next challenge, but we'll get to that in the next post.

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Link to challenge thread

Challenge Overview

Bats

Squat 1.0x bodyweight AND add 125# total to the 5 recorded lifts. (STR +3 STA +1)

Monday morning weigh in was 172.8.

Squat – 135 -> 185 +50

Bench – 115 -> 130 +15

OHP – 75 -> 85 +10

DL – 185 -> 235 +50

Row – 105 -> 135 +30

185/173 = 107% of bodyweight squat goal

155/125 = 124% of total lifting gains goal

A - All points earned!

Bugs

Get a 4th workout of some sort in each week. (DEX +2 STA +1)

Week 1: Mini-challenge Burpees

Week 2: Yoga

Week 3: Mini-challenge Jump rope

Week 4: Box throwing (aka a ton of paper)

Week 5: Branch move + walk

Week 6: Bodyweight

A - All points earned!

Rats

Cook healthy meals minimum 2x each week. (WIS +1 CON +2 CHA +2)

Week 1: Chicken T*ts, fajitas, pork chops

Week 2: Chicken stir fry, Salmon

Week 3: Pork chops, Coconut spinach shrimp soup

Week 4: Coconut shrimp soup, Chicken stir fry

Week 5: Pork chops, Chicken with tomato sauce

Week 6: Blackened tilapia, Chicken stir fry

A - All points earned!

Gold

Finish reading Wealth of Nations book 1. (WIS +2 CHA +1)

44/181 = 24% of The Wealth of Nations Book 1 read

F - No points earned

End result: 12/15 points awarded for a solid B

OMFG Stats

STR - 3 +3 = 6

DEX - 2 +2 = 4

STA - 2 +2 = 4

CON - 3 +2 = 5

WIS - 3 +1 = 4

CHA - 2 +2 = 4

About my experience:

Bats: I knew that this one was going to be mostly a "stick with things and go with it" situation. I was getting a little nervous after multiple deloads on most of the lifts around week 4, but in week 5 I went BeastMode and pulled out all the stops for some crazy PRs. The important thing I learned from this is to keep on going and the gains will come.

Bugs: I feel like I went a little too light on this one, and my procrastination didn't help much at all. I haven't been a very active person for the last few years, and before that I was only mildly active due to job requirements (no elevators on the boat, run 3 miles a year for a grade, etc.) so even these minor additions took some work to get myself started, with more than I'd like starting late Sunday night to get them in before the week ended. The lifting is really what I have enjoyed the most so far of the things I've tried this challenge, and the only way to really lift more often is to branch into split routines (not ideal), so I'm torn on which direction I should go from here. I may go with some light endurance/form lifts on an off day or 2, especially if the GF is serious about wanting to lift more. I'm also tempted to start on a 4 day 5/3/1 routine, but that involves the split again.

Rats: Echo of the Bugs time management/motivation problems. My laziness was really shining for a large chunk of the challenge, with quite a few meals coming at the tail end of the week to sneak them in before the deadline. That being said, almost everything turned out great and I have no fear of cooking, just the time investment of the cooking and cleanup required (before and after). Side bonus: I'm down ~5 pounds from the start of this challenge, even while stuffing my face with these things I made.

Gold: Again, I can blame my time management/prioritization on this goal falling through the cracks. I could blame the language or archaic examples in the book for my slow going and lack of interest, but it's far more a lack of time invested. Overall, I'm just glad I let this one slide instead of the workouts or cooking.

TL;DR: Time management is my kryptonite, but I do have the ability to power through. Now to make the shift from "have to" to "want to" in these situations, there's the real challenge.

Edited by DangerDave
Added challenge descriptions

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Challenge Wrap up

I know I'm a little early, but things are unlikely to change in the next day. I'll go through the goals first, then some synopsis.

Goal 1 - Lift heavy things

Increase Big 4 lifts as follows (all listed in lbs):

Bench: 250 -> 265 DONE, new PR 265 lbs.

Overhead press: 145 -> 160 DONE, new PR 160 lbs

Squat: 300 -> 320 DONE, new PR 325 lbs

Deadlift: 315 -> 330 DONE, new PR 335 lbs

+5 str. Followed the program as prescribed, took a deload as suggested in the form check for squats and it paid dividends. I definitely had a conscious effort to eat a little more when approved foods were around, and I think that worked pretty well. A for effort, A+ for results, +5 str

Goal 2 - Run really fast and stretch it out.

Sprint once a week. This is the full on, all out, run for your life type sprint. 5+2/6. Technically missed a week, but made up for it this week, getting 3 sets of sprints in.

Do yoga or mobility work or stretching once per week 6/6, once per week complete.

+2 sta, +1 dex. B+ for effort, A- for results, +2 sta, +1 dex.

Goal 3 - Defy Gravity

Increase consecutive pull ups from 10 -> 15. I will do pull ups as accessory work with my 5x5 at least twice a week. Currently at 12/15 in a row. Did pull ups with nearly every workout, varied grips and practiced consecutive movements. Even practiced where if I didn't meet a prescribed rep range, they didn't count.

Incorporate parkour basic movements as accessory work or on off days (at least once per week). 5/6 complete. I missed this last week, bummer. .

+2 dex, +2 sta Currently A for effort, B for results. +1 dex, +1 sta.

Goal 4 - Know thyself.

Follow the planned budget for the 6 weeks AND finish my ren fest costume. Ren fest costume complete and completely awesome. Tracked spending as closely as I could and still ended up over. Had to take the dog to an unplanned vet visit, gift spending was all lumped in one month (rather than spread out) and had some home repair type work due to selling the house.

+2 wis, +1 cha +1 cha for completed ren fest costume, +1 wis for effort on budget. Overall A- for effort, B- for results.

All in all a successful challenge and a testament to NF keeping me on track. Looking forward to the next challenge and making new progress.

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msuroo: Your platform and rack are awesome! So are your shelves, gonna need to build them myself in a few months. Did you use plans for any of that? I've gotta research how to do all of the above.

Thanks! I always research lots of plans, and then pick and choose the bits I like best out of each. Generally, my DIY projects end up engineering themselves as they go. The shelves are pretty simple - just a rectangular 2x3 frame with 1/2" plywood nailed to the top to make each shelf. 2x4s for the uprights, attached to the floor joists for added stability. I used a router to cut some channels in the uprights for the shelves to sit in - it adds a bit of rigidity to the whole thing and also makes one-person installation a whole lot easier, but definitely not necessary if you don't have a router.

The platform is also pretty simple - 2 layers of CDX plywood (I used BC sanded pine since I happened to have some on hand), and 1 layer of cabinet grade plywood/rubber. I ordered a sheet of rubber gym flooring for the rubber, but you can use a horse stall mat just fine. I had intended to post a super detailed build thread in the knowledge base, but unfortunately my phone bit the dust along the way and most of the in-process pictures were lost. If you have specific questions though, feel free to let me know.

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Thanks! I always research lots of plans, and then pick and choose the bits I like best out of each. Generally, my DIY projects end up engineering themselves as they go. The shelves are pretty simple - just a rectangular 2x3 frame with 1/2" plywood nailed to the top to make each shelf. 2x4s for the uprights, attached to the floor joists for added stability. I used a router to cut some channels in the uprights for the shelves to sit in - it adds a bit of rigidity to the whole thing and also makes one-person installation a whole lot easier, but definitely not necessary if you don't have a router.

The platform is also pretty simple - 2 layers of CDX plywood (I used BC sanded pine since I happened to have some on hand), and 1 layer of cabinet grade plywood/rubber. I ordered a sheet of rubber gym flooring for the rubber, but you can use a horse stall mat just fine. I had intended to post a super detailed build thread in the knowledge base, but unfortunately my phone bit the dust along the way and most of the in-process pictures were lost. If you have specific questions though, feel free to let me know.

Yeah, I was interested in how you attached the shelves to the uprights. That's my biggest concern when I do mine as I want the shelves to hold a bit of weight without collapsing.

As for the platform, that is my plan. A few 4x8 sheets of 1/2" plywood with woodglue in between and my weights on top, then a 4x4 piece with two 2x4 sections of horse stall mat and more woodglue or some other adhesive for the mat. Whats the difference between gym flooring and horse stall mat both quality and $ do you think?

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Link to my challenge thread

Challenge Summary:

[table=width: 500, class: grid, align: center]

Goal

Attributes Assigned

Grade

Attributes Awarded

Increase Deadlift from 325 to 355 for 5 reps

STR +3, STA +1

B (345 for 4 reps)

STR +2, STA +1

Increase Squats from 295 to 315 for 5 reps

STR +3, STA +1

A (315 for 5 reps)

STR +3, STA +1

Increase Bench Press from 175 to 200 for 5 reps

STR +3, STA +1

C (190 for 4 reps)

STR +1.5, STA +.5

Increase Overhead Press from 120 to 135 for 5 reps

STR +3, STA +1

A (135 for 5 reps)

STR +3, STA +1

[/table]

I really enjoyed myself. This was my first challenge. I did not achieve all my goals perfectly because I deloaded midway through the challenge to concentrate on form exclusively. I realized midway through the challenge that my form was not proper on the squat and the deadlift even though I was lifting quite heavy. I was also doing 5 sets including warmup. I decided to follow the traditional SS pattern with anything from 5-10 warmup + working sets. This has worked relatively well so far. What I really realized that I need to eat and sleep more.

I am already geared up for the next challenge. I have a bunch of goals including life goals that I want to take a crack at. This challenge was all about strength goals but as a n00b, I am pretty satisfied here. I look forward to spending more time in the NF community. I am already on a PvP with goodwince and I think that I have made the starts of several beautiful friendships here.

Total Stats increase: STR +9.5, STA +3.5

Edited by Ancalagon The Black
added challenge experience.

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Yeah, I was interested in how you attached the shelves to the uprights. That's my biggest concern when I do mine as I want the shelves to hold a bit of weight without collapsing.

By routing the dado in the uprights, I was able to slide the shelves in there and they would stay stable until I could screw them in. Without that, you can either clamp the shelves to the uprights until you can screw them together, or use temporary "legs" that hold your shelves at the right height (either off the ground or above the next lowest shelf) until you can get it all screwed together. If you are looking for some added heft, you could use 2x4s and 3/4" plywood, but that gets to be pretty bulky - I have absolutely zero concern over mine collapsing using the 2x3s and 1/2" ply.

As for the platform, that is my plan. A few 4x8 sheets of 1/2" plywood with woodglue in between and my weights on top, then a 4x4 piece with two 2x4 sections of horse stall mat and more woodglue or some other adhesive for the mat. Whats the difference between gym flooring and horse stall mat both quality and $ do you think?

Are you planning on just a 4' depth for your platform? That's fine for deadlifts, but if you ever want to do variations of cleans/snatches - you'll probably feel more comfortable with 6. Mine runs about 5.5' from the front edge of the platform to the uprights, and it's enough room, but barely - it creeps into the back of my mind sometimes that the rack is back there. Re: horse stall mats - every bit as good as rubber gym flooring from a quality/functionality perspective. I made my decision entirely on aesthetics.

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So you guys know, we'd like you to write about each goal and your experience if you wanna have a shot at winning. We tend to pick people where we can see what they learned along the way and since we don't read every challenge thread (there are so many of you guys now), our first cut, or at least my first cut, comes from reading the write ups here.

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Are you planning on just a 4' depth for your platform? That's fine for deadlifts, but if you ever want to do variations of cleans/snatches - you'll probably feel more comfortable with 6. Mine runs about 5.5' from the front edge of the platform to the uprights, and it's enough room, but barely - it creeps into the back of my mind sometimes that the rack is back there. Re: horse stall mats - every bit as good as rubber gym flooring from a quality/functionality perspective. I made my decision entirely on aesthetics.

Thanks for the tip, I was figuring going with stock dimensions of the sheet and I assumed it was 4x8. I have much more research to do on the platform, but have the squat rack I'm building picked out.

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So you guys know, we'd like you to write about each goal and your experience if you wanna have a shot at winning. We tend to pick people where we can see what they learned along the way and since we don't read every challenge thread (there are so many of you guys now), our first cut, or at least my first cut, comes from reading the write ups here.

Whoops, my "what I learned from my experiences" post is here.

Ok, so challenge takeaways. AKA, what now?

1) I'm done with (running) speed work for now. Maybe forever. Even though I got my long runs in, my focus this challenge was speed, not distance. I don't regret it at all, because I set a pretty awesome PR at at the end of it, but here's what I learned - I hate doing it. There's just not enough hours in the day to spend any of them doing a workout I don't enjoy, so I'm not going to do it anymore. If it means I can't run a 4:00 marathon, I'll just have to be OK with that. On that topic, I really think the key to my marathon success is going to be just to get more miles under my feet anyway. So ditching the speedwork for longer/easier runs is likely going to be win/win all around.

2) I need a strength program, and I need to stick with it. I've had a major case of fuckarounditis lately. Before I got the home gym built, it was mostly schedule related - I was just having trouble getting into the gym. Now that I have my gym set up, I'm spending a lot of time there, but it's been mostly technique stuff. I haven't done a lot of strength work, and when I do, I'm not really making progress because I'm not consistent about it. I really need a set program of do x lifts on y days. I also need to keep up with my technique work. And to run a lot of miles. Ugh, not enough hours in the day. Once the marathon is over, the running volume will come way down and I think this will be easier, but I'm not sure how to prioritize stuff right now.

3) Ok, the whole sleeping bit. Loved that I picked this goal, and I'm happy I stuck with it for the whole six weeks. I really did learn a lot about myself in the process - like, I feel way better when I sleep more! Who would'a thunk it? So keep it up, easy peasy right? Well, not so fast. Like I mentioned back at the start, night time is "me" time. And I'll tell you what, I really missed it. There's a happy medium out there somewhere, I just need to figure out what it is. Maybe 11:00 bedtime? Maybe try to stick to my 10-10:30 bedtime but give myself one late night during the week? Not really sure what to do with this one.

4) Oof, diet. So it wasn't one of my goals, but I used this challenge to take a diet break. I had been tracking calories and macros pretty meticulously all year, and I just needed a break from that. I tried not to change stuff up too much, I just didn't want to worry about planning and tracking everything to the macro. Aaand, I gained about 5 lbs, putting me back at around 175. It's not all fat, and I'm definitely leaner than the last time I weighed 175, and long term, I want to gain some more weight anyway - so it's not really the end of the world. But I am a little softer, and more importantly, my diet just kind of sucks. I haven't used the diet break as an excuse to go binge crazy, but I'm noticing a few trends.

  • I'm lazier about prepping food. I try to keep lean protein and veggies as the primary basis for my meals, but I've been less diligent about it. And if I don't have a lunch, oh well, I'll just get something from the cafeteria. Even when I make a good decision at the cafeteria, it's not as good as if I would have packed it myself. And sometimes I'll make straight up bad decisions at the cafeteria (or local restaurant - same diff).
  • Office treats are a problem again. My coworkers are not a good influence. There is always some sort of candy or junk food hanging out in our department. Mostly, I blame Pinterest - they see recipes that they just have to make, and then bring them in for the group. Anyway, for months, this was not a problem for me. I had taken a strict stance of zero office junk, and everybody knew it. Unfortunately, my more relaxed attitude has eroded that barrier, and I find myself eating the junk again.
  • This pregnancy is going to be an issue. Don't get me wrong, very very excited about having another baby. But let me tell you, the last baby was not good for my diet. When the pregnancy hormones say it's milkshake time, well...it's tough to argue with. And Mrs Roo really hates it when she eats a pizza and I eat grilled chicken and asparagus. This is a tough one to reconcile right now, since the sight/smell of most meat is literally nauseating to her right now.

So yeah...not sure what to do about all of that yet. I know I need to start logging my food again and take responsibility for what I'm eating, but I honestly don't even know what my dietary goals should be right now. Long-term I want to build some muscle, but thanks to all of the running, I'm not even sure I have the time to commit to enough workout volume to warrant eating a (deliberate) surplus.

So I've got some things to work out before the next challenge - thoughts or comments are welcome!

Re this:

Thanks for the tip, I was figuring going with stock dimensions of the sheet and I assumed it was 4x8. I have much more research to do on the platform, but have the squat rack I'm building picked out.

I think most people that use full stock sheets go 8x8 (first layer is two sheets like this: ||, second layer is two sheets like this: =, top layer is the full sheet of cabinet ply down the middle, with 2x8 rubber on either side of it). I've got the full 8' sheet in the middle of my platform (though I did rip 6" off the width - the bar will span a full 4' wide sheet but for dropping from overhead, nice to have the extra 6" of wiggle room), but the rubber I had was only 6' long. Since the other 2' is inside the rack anyway, that didn't matter for me.

Anyway, I'll stop hijacking this thread - if you have more questions you can always shoot me a pm or drop by my thread. :)

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So the experience, my apologies for not adding this before:

Goal 1 - Lift heavy things

Increase Big 4 lifts as follows (all listed in lbs):

Bench: 250 -> 265 DONE, new PR 265 lbs.

Overhead press: 145 -> 160 DONE, new PR 160 lbs

Squat: 300 -> 320 DONE, new PR 325 lbs

Deadlift: 315 -> 330 DONE, new PR 335 lbs

+5 str. Followed the program as prescribed, took a deload as suggested in the form check for squats and it paid dividends. I definitely had a conscious effort to eat a little more when approved foods were around, and I think that worked pretty well. A for effort, A+ for results, +5 str

5x5 is working well for this goal. Had to deload the squats because I messed up the form and that's definitely a blow to the ego, but two steps forward, one step back is still moving forward. I'm still a little concerned that the squat/DL are so weak compared to bench though; I am newer at those lifts and I'm chalking it up to that. With the squat weight increasing, I really need a rack. Same with bench, as I rarely have a partner to spot me. I'm sticking with this program at least for the time being, I'd like to try out something with a little more variation, but I'll ride this until the bitter end :).

Goal 2 - Run really fast and stretch it out.

Sprint once a week. This is the full on, all out, run for your life type sprint. 5+2/6. Technically missed a week, but made up for it this week, getting 3 sets of sprints in.

Do yoga or mobility work or stretching once per week 6/6, once per week complete.

+2 sta, +1 dex. B+ for effort, A- for results, +2 sta, +1 dex.

I love sprints. Always reminds me of high school practice and does wonders to get me outside. I need a better metric to track progress though. Stretching is something I NEED though, not really want. I can definitely tell a difference in my lifts though when I do the appropriate stretching and mobility work.

Goal 3 - Defy Gravity

Increase consecutive pull ups from 10 -> 15. I will do pull ups as accessory work with my 5x5 at least twice a week. Currently at 12/15 in a row. Did pull ups with nearly every workout, varied grips and practiced consecutive movements. Even practiced where if I didn't meet a prescribed rep range, they didn't count.

Incorporate parkour basic movements as accessory work or on off days (at least once per week). 5/6 complete. I missed this last week, bummer. .

+2 dex, +2 sta Currently A for effort, B for results. +1 dex, +1 sta.

I think I was a little ambitious on this goal this time through. Improvement was there, but just not the amazing improvement I was anticipating. Amazing how comfortable you get with your own pull up bar and doing them elsewhere can change your grip, angle, etc and make things much harder/easier depending. I'm really a fan of the parkour aspects, and really enjoy getting back to being a kid on a playground (also plays into the primal blueprint "play"). However, I tore the crap outta my hands doing ground kongs and with the lifts all getting heavier, this really needs it's own day rather than accessory work.

Goal 4 - Know thyself.

Follow the planned budget for the 6 weeks AND finish my ren fest costume. Ren fest costume complete and completely awesome. Tracked spending as closely as I could and still ended up over. Had to take the dog to an unplanned vet visit, gift spending was all lumped in one month (rather than spread out) and had some home repair type work due to selling the house.

+2 wis, +1 cha +1 cha for completed ren fest costume, +1 wis for effort on budget. Overall A- for effort, B- for results.

The bane of my existence, the budget. We have a great budget and we can stick with it, maybe I'm missing something. We budget on a monthly basis for various things that won't happen monthly (gifts, insurance, etc) and we're not far enough into the budget process to have the appropriate savings stored up from previous months of not buying gifts to cover it and make it all line up. Talking with the wife is a stress, especially now that we're moving. And with moving thrown in, our budget essentially means nothing, as we'll have cancellation charges and new hook up charges, realtor fees, etc. Not really sure how to manage that.

Ren fest is this weekend, and it's going to be awesome. One of our friends is bringing 2 hogs and a pork belly to smoke (REAL bacon), another friend has 10 gallons of homebrew to drink (vanilla porter and coffee stout), I've got 6-7 barbarian games we'll be playing, the wife is actually going to camp with us and it'll be a great time. Also, the first day is my birthday, so I'm so very excited for it. We've built a battlewagon, with functioning catapult and our costumes are done.

All in all a successful challenge and a testament to NF keeping me on track. Looking forward to the next challenge and making new progress.

Thoughts for the next challenge:

"What gets monitored gets managed" is a big part of it. I don't have room enough (or time enough) to "do all the things", even though I want to. Potential goals:

Walk more - this is part of the primal blueprint that I've neglected lately, and I need to get back into it

No soda - I've really cut back (and it is diet soda, admittedly), but this needs to go. Not only is it an unnecessary expense, but it's not good for me

Change pull ups to a completion type exercise and/or make weighted pull ups a priority

Add in a bodyweight workout day - could do this either in lieu of sprints/stretching or only do 2 5x5 workouts and have this as the 3rd

Read the Bible everyday - again, something I usually do, but it needs to be an every day occurence

Get or build a squat rack

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So you guys know, we'd like you to write about each goal and your experience if you wanna have a shot at winning. We tend to pick people where we can see what they learned along the way and since we don't read every challenge thread (there are so many of you guys now), our first cut, or at least my first cut, comes from reading the write ups here.

Edited my post to include the writeups.

About my experience:

Bats: I knew that this one was going to be mostly a "stick with things and go with it" situation. I was getting a little nervous after multiple deloads on most of the lifts around week 4, but in week 5 I went BeastMode and pulled out all the stops for some crazy PRs. The important thing I learned from this is to keep on going and the gains will come.

Bugs: I feel like I went a little too light on this one, and my procrastination didn't help much at all. I haven't been a very active person for the last few years, and before that I was only mildly active due to job requirements (no elevators on the boat, run 3 miles a year for a grade, etc.) so even these minor additions took some work to get myself started, with more than I'd like starting late Sunday night to get them in before the week ended. The lifting is really what I have enjoyed the most so far of the things I've tried this challenge, and the only way to really lift more often is to branch into split routines (not ideal), so I'm torn on which direction I should go from here. I may go with some light endurance/form lifts on an off day or 2, especially if the GF is serious about wanting to lift more. I'm also tempted to start on a 4 day 5/3/1 routine, but that involves the split again.

Rats: Echo of the Bugs time management/motivation problems. My laziness was really shining for a large chunk of the challenge, with quite a few meals coming at the tail end of the week to sneak them in before the deadline. That being said, almost everything turned out great and I have no fear of cooking, just the time investment of the cooking and cleanup required (before and after). Side bonus: I'm down ~5 pounds from the start of this challenge, even while stuffing my face with these things I made.

Gold: Again, I can blame my time management/prioritization on this goal falling through the cracks. I could blame the language or archaic examples in the book for my slow going and lack of interest, but it's far more a lack of time invested. Overall, I'm just glad I let this one slide instead of the workouts or cooking.

TL;DR: Time management is my kryptonite, but I do have the ability to power through. Now to make the shift from "have to" to "want to" in these situations, there's the real challenge.

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Final Challenge Recap....

<Insert epic fail movie soundtrack here!>

Pixie's plan of attack

Diet Goal:

Whole30 with Hammlin Oct 4 - Nov 4

(outside of that window 80% or better paleo)

CON 2 WIS 2

I'd say 26/30 days for Whole 30-and success on 80% goal- final grade B

Awarding CON 1.5 WIS 1.5

Fitness Goals:

Follow marathon training plan. This includes strength training that will require the reinstating of 4am wake up!

STA 3 STR 1

Minus sick days, I'm pleased with progress here -final grade B

Awarding STA 2.5 STR .5

Play with the heavy shiny things 2x per week or more. Track weight progression

STR 5

DID NOT HAPPEN-F-sad Pixie

NO points awarded

Life Goal:

Prepare apartment for packing. Minimum 15 min per day outside normal cleaning routine.

WIS 1 CHA 1

Plans changed. Not moving so goals shift. Feel really good about where the apartment is going

Awarding WIS .5 CHA .5

Things to keep doing

Do work stuffs for the first 2 hours of being at ...wait for it..... WORK

Blogging

Pull ups

These things are works in progress.

Definitely room for improvement!

Final Stats will be reflected in siggy shortly

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Well, this challenge was pretty up and down, but all said I feel pretty good about it.

Things I'm happy with:

  • Learning to get out of bed early, consistently
  • Controlling unnecessary spending
  • Being smart about my injury and recovering well. Midway through the challenge I got a minor (what felt like a) muscle tear in my posterior shin. Sore for three weeks every time I put weight on it. So I got it worked, took time off, and came back to running slowly. It sort of killed my running goal but I'm glad it feels better. It also meant that I couldn't attend crossfit, which was a bummer, but at least I learned how to recover right (a great weakness of mine, normally)
  • Getting outdoors and realizing that I feel pretty strong.

Things that could use improvement:

  • Eating right when working overtime. This. is. my. goat.
  • Being consistent with workouts towards the end of the week when I'm feeling tired
  • Getting enough sleep

Final Review:

Fitness

  1. Kill Your Snooze Button
    34/42 = 80% =
    B, +2.5 CON
    I'm pretty happy about this one. Getting up early and ontime left me more alert throughout the day. Not to mention, fewer mornings lost to endless rounds of snoozapalooza.
  2. Run Faster
    3 Mile: (Current) 30:10 -> (Goal) 29:00
    1 Mile: (Current) 9:25 -> (Goal) 9:00
    400: (Current) 1:49 -> (Goal) 1:40
    200: (Current) :44 -> (Goal) :39
    So close on all my targets, yet so far! Darn my shins.
    0/4 = 0% =
    F, +0DEX
    This was disappointing. It only took two weeks of sprinting for me to end up injured, but at least I know why: warmups. Holy moly warmups. Yesterday, for the first time since I got injured I did some sprint work and the magic difference? Two miles of concerted warmups. Ive learned and can retackle this goal for the next challenge.
  3. Macros, Ahoy!
    28/42 = .67 =
    D, +.5WIS +.5CON
    A very mixed bag. I ended up being swamped in October with work. And if there's one thing I've noticed it's that when I work long hours I tend to make bad choices. I will retool my diet goal next challenge to focus on making my environment one that prevents me from making bad choices. Weights and measurements were pretty much flat for this challenge.

Life

  1. No Spending the Moneys!
    Amount Spent Unnecessarily: 000000000000
    A+, +4WIS
    Jazzed. No spending. Life is still kinda expensive right now since I'm helping out family, but that should hopefully be over by the end of the year, so I'm happy with forming this habit.

Challenge Overall: C-

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1. Squat 405 pounds in competition. (4 STR)

Highest squat was 390 so i'll take a B (3.75 STR)

2. Stay at or below 198 pounds of body weight, for the competition (3 CON)

Eh on this one it wasn't a good goal and I didn't understand this till a few weeks in. F-

3. Bench 275 pounds in competition (5 STR)

I got 270, i'm going to give myself an A on this guy (5 STR)

4. Pay $300 towards credit card debt (3 WIS)

Payed this much and more gg for me! A (3 WIS)

LEVEL UP!

+8.75 STR

+3 WIS

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1. Squat 405 pounds in competition. (4 STR)

Highest squat was 390 so i'll take a B (3.75 STR)

2. Stay at or below 198 pounds of body weight, for the competition (3 CON)

Eh on this one it wasn't a good goal and I didn't understand this till a few weeks in. F-

3. Bench 275 pounds in competition (5 STR)

I got 270, i'm going to give myself an A on this guy (5 STR)

4. Pay $300 towards credit card debt (3 WIS)

Payed this much and more gg for me! A (3 WIS)

LEVEL UP!

+8.75 STR

+3 WIS

Nice work!

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[table=width: 500, class: grid]

Goal

Grade

What happened

Am I happy?

Diet

C+ (30/42)

Struggled hard with depression and took "a week off" I found this diet was way too harsh, so next time I'll add more food to it.

I'm not happy about breaking diet, but I'm happy with learning something new

Fitness

A- (33/36)

I missed some workouts. Not for a date though. I feel like my score does cheat a little because there was a lot of "life stuff" that happened. Not least important of which was an injury which forced me into "cardio only" mode for a week.

Yeah. I did well.

Sprinting

D (1/4 goals complete)

Wasn't feeling the sprints. Got my distance running achievement though!

Ambivalent.

Lifestyle

A (9/10 goals complete or impossible to measure)

I'm actually surprised I did so well in this category considering I battled with both depression and insomnia.

Yep

[/table]

Some overall life measure things:

  • Weight: 85kg - 80kg
  • Waist: 37in - 35in (bought some new jeans and checked out my own butt. Haters gonna hate)
  • Peanut butter cheesecake is delicious and easy to make. (I already admitted to breaking my diet ;)) I'm getting better at cooking food for taste and not just "body fuel"
  • DL 2 plate and Bench 1 plate!!
  • I can just run every day now. I was in a situation recently where I needed to be 2km away in 10 minutes and I couldn't use a bike or car. "It all comes down to this" Clint Eastwood stare.
  • As for what I proved... turns out if you overdetermine boundary conditions in a certain nonlinear PDE then your domain must be self reflective about every hypersurface (i.e. must be a ball)

Edited by TheSavageBean

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Oops! Probably time to post my wrap up. From 'muh thread:

Challenge Wrap Up! (already...?)

My starting stats:

Height: 5'11"

Weight: 196.4 188.4 - This is kind of a surprise to me, actually. :)

Waist: 31.0 30.75

Hips: 43.0 42.0

Current Working Weights (3x5):

Squat: 147 150

Bench: 90 92

OHP: 70 75

Deadlift (1x5): 197 Same

Total Added to Big 4 Lifts: 10

Diet/Fitness

1. Stick to the Meal Plan

About 6 out of 7 days each week, I find myself scrambling at 5:30 with hungry, whiny kids trying to figure out what's for dinner. We don't really do convenience foods around here, so I've got to find something to cook. If I'm lucky, there's thawed meat in the fridge I can cook. Usually, I'm not lucky and everything's frozen, because I'm not a consistent planner. To make my life easier, I will make weekly meal plans ahead of time so that:

a) I have all the ingredients I need on hand

B) I can prep ahead of time to cut down on the actual daily cooking time

In practical terms, this means I'll need to make a full plan and shopping list at the end of each week so that I can shop and prep at some point over the weekend.

+3 WIS (and if it works as intended, +75 Sanity)

This is probably a C. I did okay-ish for probably 50% of the challenge on planning. Without getting into too many specifics, there are some recent things happening that I think might make this easier for me going forward. I definitely like the ease of the week when I've got a plan in place, so I'm hopeful that this will be a regular thing. :)

2. Stick to the Workout Plan

Lift all the things! Mentioned above, I function best on a regular routine. With the way my schedule falls right now, that means I have time for workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Heavy lifting (continue SS progression) at least 2x per week with the third open for a lighter lifting session or something else if I'm just not feeling it. Cutting a little more heavily (see goal 3) may mean that I don't have a third heavy lifting session in me, but I do need to make sure I'm doing something active during this time.

+4 STR +1 STA +1 CON

With the exception of when I was a)sick and b)out of town, I lifted 3 times every week. I did add in more variety during this challenge, which has been good for my psyche. My strength didn't go up as much as in prior challenges, which is a little frustrating, but not completely unexpected given that I've been mixing up my routine a little more. Giving it an A for consistency.

3. Stick to the Fat Loss Plan

I've been itching lately to do a bulk cycle, but from a fat loss perspective, I'm just not quite where I want to be yet. My diet got a little out of control during the last challenge, and I need to make sure I rein this in if I want to keep seeing results (which I do). I don't do "lose X pounds in Y time" goals, so this one is going to be about sticking to my calorie goals (generally net 2000 or so) and making healthy choices. Grading is subjective, but I'll know if I'm on track or not.

+2 CON +1 CHA

I'm kind of surprised by how much I lost during this challenge, and how quickly it started to fall off in spite of the fact that my calories were usually quite a bit higher than I'd intended. As of this week, I'm officially within 10 pounds of a "healthy" BMI, which is pretty crazy to me.

Life

4. Stick to the Grocery Budget

Hand in hand with the planning goal goes the grocery budget, but this is big enough for me that it requires being its own goal. Feeding 4 people healthfully (is that a word?) on one income is tough. We've made a lot of sacrifices for me to be able to stay home with the kids, and one of those is that we have a really tight budget. Grocery spending is the category with which I have the most trouble, and I find myself more often than not borrowing from other discretionary categories to make up for the fact that we've gone over on food. Bumping up the budget for this is not an option right now, so I've got to really buckle down and figure out how to live within the limits that we've set.

+3 WIS (+0.5 for each week we do not go over)

I probably deserve a D here. I did okay for the first two weeks, but I know we were over during the second and third pay periods. One was somewhat due to my traveling, which adds to eating costs, but I was not as careful about this as I should have been.

Overall? I don't know. I'd say C-

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