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Plex

Plex's 28 day challenge

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To steal a bit from Spezzy:

Plex's SuperFun SuperSad Challenge

About Me:

Last year, in May, I was 5'10, 195, couch potato that smoked about half a pack a day, made junk food a lifestyle and got winded carrying a grudge.

One day, my friend dragged me to the gym, put me through a very light work out for him, and wiped the floor with me.

Due to my competitive nature, this meant two things. I would A) quit smoking on spot (mostly because I nearly lost it at the thought of smoking immediately afterward) B) start hitting the gym.

Since then, I have dropped 30 pds, added some muscle, started eating healthier, and hit the gym with the fanaticism of a Jehovah's witness. (I am really looking forward to the year mark for no smoking.)

Recently between work and such, my gym time has slacked off a bit from the normal 6 times a week 3 hours a day (roughly) to about 3-5 times a week for 1-3 hours (still not bad, but not good for my goals).

Strengths:

I have no boredom threshold when it comes to cardio on gym machines or eating the same food. None.

Weaknesses:

Peanut butter. (In the colloquial urbane patios of my near-environmental surroundings "Fo' realz, y'all")

Work.

Laziness.

My Goals:

1)Hit gym consistently.

This means 2+ Strength style work outs (upper body plus squats and cardio) and 2+ Core style workouts (everything that is sad for my abs and cardio) per week. (Being defined as Sunday thru Sat)

How I am planning on doing this:

Not being lazy.

Scheduling my work time around this ( I have a fair amount of flexibility with my job)

Challenges:

Being lazy.

Having my friends invite me out to bars during the week.

2)Keep my room clean (mostly laundry laundry laundry)

This means doing laundry every day, or every other day. (soooooo many gym clothes #cry)

How I plan to accomplish this:

Start a load of laundry immediately when I get home.

Put it in the dryer.

Fold clothes and put them away. (I HAAAAAAAAATE folding clothes. hate hate hate)

Challenges:

'But I don't wanna be a big kid'

Being lazy.

Forgetfullness.

3)Paleo diet. (wheeeeeeeee big shopping trip)

Start getting into the habit of paleo the first week (fall off the wagon first weekend because its a friends wedding... and we all know what open bar means)

and actually stick to paleo (mostly ) final 3 weeks. (except for milk, eggs and whey protein... because life isn't worth living with out whey protein. That stuff is goddamn delicious)

How I plan to accomplish this:

Big shopping trip today. With giant list of aweeeeeeeesome foods.

And presumably large cooking days. (eating the same thing for a week? AWESOME)

Cooking more at home.

Looking at salad as more then 'rabbit food'

On the plus side, I pretty much despise any salad dressing at all (yes, even oil and vinegar) due to my taste buds being of the opinion that green things should be crunchy and anything liquidy that turns them less so is grooooooooooooss, so its not like I am giving up what makes salads delicious to a lot of (other) people.

Challenges:

Since I am on the road a lot for my job, keeping a healthy supply of edible snacks within the diet in my car. (OH HAI FRUITS AND BEEF JERKY)

Not getting caught in crackers, chips, bread, or the redonkulous amount of baking (dear lord there are brownies in the kitchen right now that are so good i would skin a knuckle for one) that my roommate does. (evil evil evil temptress that she is but we like her anway (and she just got married to my other roommate so yay for them)).

Alcohol. ( Y U NO HEALTHY ALCOHOL )

4)Try to do 'man-makers' (a particular type of burpee that is quite possibly soul sucking) x20 3 times a week.

Description is found in the Rebel Alliance Base camp boards under http://nerdfitness.com/community/showthread.php?2083-An-Explanation-of-Man-Makers

Addendum: I *might* challenge spezzy to a contest of these at the end of the month, the avowed Burpee queen that she is.

How I'm planning on doing this:

Unwillingly at best.

With tears.

Challenges:

Keeping my soul intact.

Not becoming a misanthrope.

So mote it be.

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Recently between work and such, my gym time has slacked off a bit from the normal 6 times a week 3 hours a day (roughly) to about 3-5 times a week for 1-3 hours (still not bad, but not good for my goals).

This means 2+ Strength style work outs (upper body plus squats and cardio) and 2+ Core style workouts (everything that is sad for my abs and cardio) per week. (Being defined as Sunday thru Sat)

woah woah woah. 3 hours a day? all at once? or split up?

I'm interested in seeing what your typical program consists of. One day of squats? Any other lower body stuff?

Fold clothes and put them away. (I HAAAAAAAAATE folding clothes. hate hate hate)

Putting laundry away also makes me want to cry.

3)Paleo diet. (wheeeeeeeee big shopping trip)

(except for milk, eggs and whey protein... because life isn't worth living with out whey protein. That stuff is goddamn delicious)

Good news: Eggs are paleo. And Cordain actually encourages whey protein in "Paleo Diet for Athletes" :)

And presumably large cooking days. (eating the same thing for a week? AWESOME)

Since I am on the road a lot for my job, keeping a healthy supply of edible snacks within the diet in my car. (OH HAI FRUITS AND BEEF JERKY)

Vegetables are also delicious cold and cut up ahead of time (take a zucchini, slice it up, throw it in a ziploc bag. you now have a bag of 'chips')

If you're in the car, get one of the lunch bags that holds an ice pack. Cook chicken ahead of time, in ziploc bag against the ice it will stay cold enough for you to eat.

Also, frozen shrimp - if you throw it in the cooler in the morning it'll be a good level of thawed by lunchtime to eat.

Addendum: I *might* challenge spezzy to a contest of these at the end of the month, the avowed Burpee queen that she is.

A challenge, huh? You think you're up for that? :)(i, um. MAY also have that competitive nature you mention above)

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mm Usual workout for strength consists of:

1 hour of cardio, high intensity on an arc trainer (stair master? but slightly more range of movement, instead of linear, its in a rounded curve) Heart rate usually above 170 or so for the entire time. Machine says anywhere from between 900 to 1100 calories burned, but I usually assume about 600-700 (those machines probably over estimate)

Light warm up on smith machine benching (just a 20 pound bar about twenty times, stretching, warming things up)

Go for weight on smith machine (Gym doesn't have an actual free bench, take what i can get)

Current:

Bench (flat)

185x5

195x5

205x5

215x5

Bench (inclined)

155x5

165x5

175x5

185x5

Bench (declined)

175x5

185x5

195x5

205x5

Then onto free weights

30 pds, each arm, standing curls (or recently found a branch of my gym that has fixed weight barbells, been doing these also with the 60 pd version, so same weight)

Then sit on a adjustable bench with the back almost straight up, and do shoulder presses(?) straight up from the sitting position with same weights

Then inverted row on bench with 50 pd weights each arm

then put my feet up on one bench, hands on another bench, toss a plate (45pds) on my legs, for dips (to 90 parallel)

all of those are 10x times each arm or 10 times for the exercise.

I do this entire free weight set twice. No real breaks in between exercises except movement to get into the next position. about a 2 minute break in between circuits.

Then onto cable machines

1) triceps. Pull the rope down, keep your back straight, let it go up to 90 degrees and then back down. I do about 50 pds.

2) rows. The weighted row thing. Most important to keep your back straight and legs bent like it tells you in the little diagram. I do about 110 pds to 130 (depends on day)

3) Flys (requires 2 cable machines next to each other) I do cable flys, crossing my arms in front of me. 50 pds each cable line.

4) Bicep curls. Grab a curl bar (flat or the w style) and do bicep curls, keep the back straight. 50 pds or 65 if I am feeling spiffy.

I tend to go for 20 reps on each set. No rest in between. about a minute or two in between circuits, 2 circuits total.

Then to sadness time:

Pull ups (Wide grip, with your palms forward) two sets of 5, un assisted, minute break between each set, really concentrating on form and going all the way down.

Dips x10, body weight, concentrating on form and doing it slowly.

Push ups, x 20, with legs elevated about 12 -18 inches.

Repeat again with Chin ups (where palms are either facing each other or facing you) 2x5, dips, and push ups.

If I feel especially sad, I do man-makers x10 in place of push ups. (usually about once a week).

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The core work out I go through:

I used to do half an hour on the arc machine both before and after, but decided to switch it up to 15 minute bursts of high intensity in between things. Haven't decided which I like so I will go with the former for explanation.

Half hour of cardio on the arc trainer. (Machine claims 500-550, I usually figure 300-350)

(15 minutes warm up if its the 2nd style)

Captains chair

Controlled leg swing up past 90, down to floor x10

Controlled knee ups(?) to sitting chair position (with 20 pd weight held by feet) x10

Controlled oblique twists (essentially tucking your knees in and twisting your body so the bottoms of your feet hit one hand and the knees hit the bottom of your other hand) x10 a side

This machine http://merc-images.s3.amazonaws.com/1270/body-solid-powerline-45-degree-hyperextension-machine/body-solid-powerline-45-degree-hyperextension-machine_0_0.jpg

Go side ways, grab a 25 pd plate, and going from head parallel to floor to head not parallel from floor for more oblique work. x10 a side.

Go regular with 25 pds x10 for lower back.

(15 minute cardio burst on the arc trainer if it's the 2nd style)

Grab a mat, grab 2 2.5pd plates (one for each hand)

Stretch for about 3-5 minutes

In and outs (plates in hand, arms at 45 degrees up) x25

Bicycles (same as above) (Each 'one' is right leg and left leg complete circle) x25

Reverse bicyles (same as above) x25

Crunchy frog (its on the internet) (same as above) x25

Then Wide leg sit ups, legs are forming about a 90 degree angle, one hand behind or to side of head, one arm straight out, sit up, twist the body down to the ankle and back up, keeping the arm straight, as you go down to flat on your back, switch arms, and repeat for the other side. That is 'one'. x15

Then the same thing but Indian style with my legs (or butterfly, but close in). x10

Then I do something me and my friends made up that combines dynamic tension with leg climbers. We call it ice climbers (hooray snes and nes games).

Start with both legs 3 inches or so off the ground on your back, put one leg straight up to the ceiling (or as straight as you can) lift off the ground and touch your toes. You can use the other hand to 'climb' your way up or you can do it in one. The other leg doesn't touch the ground. Lower one leg down (still not touching the ground) repeat with other leg. That is 'one'. x15

Then hip rock and raise

Flat on back, legs in a butter fly, lift them up till legs are perpendicular to ground, then left lower back off ground keeping toes pointing to ceiling. x25

Then feet together hip rock and raise

Legs together, feet pointing at ceiling, push your lower back off the ground onto shoulders while keeping feet pointing at ceiling. x25

Then V up roll ups (hate this one).

Legs together, flat on back, sit up, touch toes, as your back goes down your legs come up with you so they are still together, but now 15 to 18 inches off the ground, still straight. Then touch your toes again while they are in the air. Then lower both your upper and lower parts back down. x25

Then Oblique sit ups.

On side, legs out at 30 degree angle, hand behind head, try to make your top elbow and knees touch, keep legs off ground once you start. Do other side as well. x25

Then Mason twist with 5 pds (the 2x2.5 pds) in hands. x50 (where 'one' is a left touch and a right touch)

Then sit indian style, and do crunches. But I keep looking straight up and concentrate on keeping my neck straight. I try to get my lower back off the floor.

Then Cross over crunches.

Bottom leg straight out, twist your body so the right (top) leg is perpendicular OVER the left (bottom) one. (So your spine should be twisty). Do crunches while trying to keep your shoulders parallel to the floor. x25 both sides.

Then bicycle crunches x25 (L and R count as 'one')

Then regular, knees in the air at 90 degrees crunches. Elbows to knees, and if you can do that, put your knees further out. x25

Note, the majority of this set is ripped directly from P90x ab ripper x with stuff i do added on at the end. Except I do all the exercises with my hands in the air for the first four and with 2.5 weights in them all the time.

(15 minutes cardio burst if the 2nd type of workout)

Occasionally, if I am feeling spiffy, I will do some of the core machines at the gym. But those always feel weird, so its more of an every other time or 1x time a week. Usually 2 sets of 10 if i do stuff, and always for weight.

But either way, next is:

Super Declined bench. Take a normal sit up bench and make it declined to the max. (Usually around 45 degrees) (On some days me and my buddies take 2 for a 60 degree incline by stacking them)

Grab a 25 pound plate. Sit up and push it to the sky. x10 twice.

Then hug the plate, sit up, and twist left, twist right, back down. On the next rep, twist right, twist left, then back down. This is 'one'. x5

Then inverted back extension machine for the same exercises (same reps, same weight) (the one I linked early in post)

Then captains chair for same exercises (same reps, same weight, same order).

Then half an hour of cardio on the arc machine.

(15 minutes if doing the 2nd type)

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Occasionally, I will get up early in the morning before work and pound out an hour of cardio or half an hour of cardio plus half an hour of squats (either barbell, dumbbell or smith machine all for weight) and leg presses (up to about 400 pds on the inclined leg press machine)(figure about 280 or so based on triangle math?) Always for weight, always about 5 reps or so. Just whenever I can fit this in really.

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Wow. That's...that's a lot of work.

Are you trying to go heavier on your weights? Increase the reps? How are you measuring progress? And I know you said your goal was to just get in there, but are there are particular benchmarks you're aiming for? Strength, muscle, fat loss?

You sure seem to have the drive to make whatever you're going for happen. If I had to do a third of either of those workouts, I'd curl up i the fetal position and just rock.

:P

Good luck!

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Knightwatch,

A little bit of everything, mostly just weight increase while keeping the reps the same.

My buddy who started me out doing my workouts worked out for an insanely long time as well, so I got really used to it.

Only recently realized that, compared to a lot of people its insanely long. But my muscles have adapted to very short recovery times with lots of extended burns, so it works out well for functional strength. and my aspirations of pie in the sky dreams of trying out for american ninja warrior.

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I am totally going to stalk, er, I mean, monitor your progress with this challenge. I like your style sir. (Plus, I feel a peanut butter demon kinship with you.)

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Ooooo Best way to stalk me is twitter. Made a brand spanking new SHINY (with lemon fresh scent) twitter account for the sole purpose of being held accountable to the rest of you nf folks.

Twitter: NFPlex. Already following Spezzy, steve and Clawed_bear I think...

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OK so technically, its after midnight, So its Day 1 of the 28 day challenge.

I purchased a good chunk of food for the week.

Leafy green vegetables, colored vegetables, about 5 pds worth of assorted nuts which I will then mix and baggie for on the go snackies during the week. Apples and beef jerky is in a bag in the back of my car. Water bottles prepped and ready. Eggs for tomorrow breakfast, new 2pd can of whey protein for post work out stashed in car. And tomorrow evening is also the cook food evening for the week. Stalk you all later.

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First day:

Ate completely paleo.

Work out #1.

Cardio 35 minutes arc machine

Manmakers with 25 pds a hand x5, 4 sets, 14 minutes

Wide pull ups x6 twice

hammer style pull ups (palms facing each other) x7 twice

Dips in between x5 each time (total of 20)

Work out #2

Cardio 20 minutes arc machine

Skipped smith machine in favor of

Free weight benching.

50 pd dumbbels a hand, did 12 reps, 2 sets of inclined, declined and flat

popped 60 pound barbell on back, did 2 sets of 10 squats

then free weight circuit

A) standing bicep curls, 30 pds a hand, x10 a side

B) sitting shoulder press (back is straight up and so are the weights), 30pds a hand, x10

C) inverted rows on a bench, 50pds, x10 a side

D) weighted 2 bench tricep dips, 45pd weight in the lap, x20

Repeat.

Then cable circuit

A) tricep pull downs, 50pdsx20

B) rows, 100pdsx20

C) crossover downward flys on the cables. 60 pds a handx20

D) cable curls, one big bar, both hands, 60 pds x20

Repeat.

Then more pull ups.

Did wide grip x5, twice

did hammer grip x5, twice

did chin up x5, once

On a fun note, noticed I did 50 unassisted pull ups today of one form or another.

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1) Well, took an off day here, so I have to do 1 more str and 2 more core days. Before next sunday. Ooooooo boy.

2) So fail.... So so fail. Getting home at midnight doesn't help this. Gotta do this more tomorrow!

3)Paleo Diet

Big check, no problems, sticking to it.

Going through food like a hoover though. I feel like I am constantly eating. All the time. Salad everyday is nice though. I actually *feel* healthy.

4)Tomorrow is burpee day

25pdsx5, 4 sets, goal is to get under 10 minutes or as close as possible.

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k, so. finally got a chance to read all of your workouts (sorry,been organizing squads and, well. full time job :) )

i agree with KW - that's a lot of work. :)

So a few questions for you:

Why the insane amount of cardio?

Why the insane amount of abs?

You said your gym only goes up to 65lb dumbbells. Is there a barbell or just the smith machine?

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1)

Strength workout 2 for the week done. Whee!

2) Doing a load of laundry as we speeeeeeeak.

3) Paleo Diet

I am so on this. I am the king of salad. and now the king of cooking ground beef with old bay and pepper in a pan. I seriously just ate like 3/4 of a pound of straight ground beef after it was cooked. Omg always so hungry after workouts. But sticking to paleo diet.

4)

did 25x5, 4 sets, UNDER 9 MINUTES.

Spezzy:

Well, when I first started out, I really did a lot of cardio to lose weight and get my lungs back in shape because I was a smoker. Like for about 6 years half a pack a day consistently. So its mostly to get my wind back.

Now? Habit, burns some extra calories if I have been slacking. If I am on a time crunch, its the first thing that gets cut to 45, 30 or even just a 15 minute warm the body up, get sweating.

Recently been doing bursts of 15 minutes in between other things, finding I am kind of liking it.

Why the abs? weeeeeellll, my buddy has insanely strong core, so since I have that natural competitive edge, I figure I just keep going till my muscles hit acidity. I like feeling wrecked after a workout and this satisfies those goals.

Cardio also keeps my lower half tones since I have only recently begun to do leg stuff.

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Yeah, I saw you were following me. Thanks :D

Damn, that's a lot of workouts. I'd throw in the towel on the first day, but I'm a fan of short, sweet, painful expressions of suffering. I prefer insanity for shorter periods of time. Then again, I've never been a gym rat, nor wanted to be one.

I'm assuming you're at a decent bodyfat? Why not drop the reps and up the weight and go for strength? It doesn't sound like you need biggest loser style workouts for where you 'might' be headed. May I suggest some concrete goals to what you want before you spend endless hours at the gym?

The only suggestion I would have for paleo is eat a lot of protein, a lot of fat, and veggies are for flavor or crunch. But then again, I tend to follow more primal/free the animal approach to eating... *begin rant* I HATE SALAD! *end rant*

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The Smith Machine is where I kind of go for strength, as my reps are very low. The others are more for sustained endurance. I want to be able to literally have the muscles in use with very brief breaks but not suffer any loss in performance over a long stretch of time. I guess the over all goal is tone and reduction of body fat %. One of the reasons I went paleo was to see if that would help out. Also, hits more nutrients then my previous diet, and none of the messy counting. I think it would be fun to be able to see my abs defined.

The gym actually helped me a lot mentally this year too. It's a nice quiet time where I can think about stuff that is bugging me or sort of zone out and relax. It's been helpful for sorting through issues I am having as well. That's why the Gym rat mentality. Also, its bloody cold outside, and my friends refuse to do outdoor activities when they can see their breath. So I will probably ease up on the gym when it gets warmer, other then for strength exercises.

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2/3

1)

Did core workout 1/2

2)

Folded laundry (I HATE YOU FOLDING)

3)

Still going well, ate another giant helping of beef

4)

Off day for burpees.

All actual workouts are posted under Plex's workout battle logs.

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2/4, 2/5, 2/6 ALL wedding weekend. As stated in the Challenge post, I went off the reservation and lived it up. So ready to go back on the diet though.

So for the week

1) 3/4 workouts hit.

B-

2) 3 loads of laundry done

A-

3)Paleo all during the week no problem no treats nothing.

Wedding weekend was previously stated as a 'off the wagon' event

So I give myself an A+ on this one.

4)

2/3 burpee days

C+

Overall: B Good start, solid gains, I think I would have hit workout goals if not for wedding weekend. Same with burpee's.

Goals this week:

Hit 4/4 or better on these workouts

4+ loads of laundry done

Paleo Monday through Thursday all day and night. Friday and Sat day are Paleo, evenings are off for alcohol.

Hit 3/3 burpee challenge.

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2/7

1)

Did 2 work outs today and Strength work out hit. See battle log.

2)

2 loads of laundry done today

AND IRONING AND FOLDING AND PUTTING AWAY. (oh gods i hated that)

3)

Paleo success. and its goddamn delicious.

4)

Did 35x5 x4 man makers in a shade over 10 minutes, so weds is going for a shade under 10 minutes.

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2/8

1)

Core and Cardio day. I was spent at the end.

2)

Nope, its dishes day. But I will fold monday's laundry today. so kind of?

3)

Paleo success.

I tried bacon for the first time. It is effin' delicious. Better crispy then soggy though. I then proceeded to buy a lot of bacon later on today.

4)

off day for man makers. Tomorrow they die!

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2/9

1) Strength 2/2 day

Several new ideas. Mostly that smith machines are bad, free weight dumbbells are different and will wipe me harder.

2)

Folded more laundry. Roommates are hogging the machine, so I need to find someway to fit this in this week. Still have 2/4 loads left to hit goals!

3)

Paleo ownage.

My boss commented I *never* stop eating. Told her 'yup' and proceeded to house about half a pound of chicken in front of her for a 'snack'.

4)

Owned face on Man-makers.

35x5x4 Sub 9 minutes. Was *dripping* sweat at the end, but I did it. Also, felt way easier then monday. I think they work different muscles that are now growing really fast maybe? Or i am just made of pure win.

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1)

Well, when I first started out, I really did a lot of cardio to lose weight and get my lungs back in shape because I was a smoker. Like for about 6 years half a pack a day consistently. So its mostly to get my wind back.

Now? Habit, burns some extra calories if I have been slacking. If I am on a time crunch, its the first thing that gets cut to 45, 30 or even just a 15 minute warm the body up, get sweating.

Recently been doing bursts of 15 minutes in between other things, finding I am kind of liking it.

Why the abs? weeeeeellll, my buddy has insanely strong core, so since I have that natural competitive edge, I figure I just keep going till my muscles hit acidity. I like feeling wrecked after a workout and this satisfies those goals.

Cardio also keeps my lower half tones since I have only recently begun to do leg stuff.

Several new ideas. Mostly that smith machines are bad, free weight dumbbells are different and will wipe me harder.

smith machines are bad. truth :) i like it.

so.

been watching your workout logs.

a few things:

-why not go up on the weights and down on the reps (like, say, 5 instead of 20). youll get stronger faster that way.

-machines = whyyyyyyy :)

also, i see a lot of bench, a lot of curls, a lot of abs.

-where are your squats?

-where are your deadlifts?

and for abs? i personally don't have an abs day. i don't think its necessary. and trust me, my core is plenty strong. i mean, if you have time, by all means. i throw in little core exercises here and there, but always multipurpose core movements. and really - they are just because im bored waiting in between sets :)

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Spezzy,

Well, frankly, at this point, I don't really need to bulk up much more I think, so I have been keeping the reps high. Amer Ninja Warrior doesn't really reward bulk. And as soon as warmer weather hits, I will be doing much more outside stuff, such as hiking, rock climbing, bouldering, and hopefully building a ANW course. So at this point, its to crush any vestige of lactic acid fatigue in muscles.

Compounded with the huge lack of free bench or barbells, it creates a problem for both squats and deadlift.

In terms of leg exercise, the man makers are helping out with that. However, the only options for squats are on the smith machine or an declined leg press (which is more of that isolation terribleness). I kind of don't want to do them with dumbells as I am pretty sure I would easily be able to squat the total of 130 pounds that I would have access to. Mostly been relying on the cardio to keep my legs in shape.

More looking for functional strength so I started to move away from machines. And the cable machines aren't that bad, as it isn't guided (really) since there is ability to wiggle left and right to a wide degree.

Really considering investing in a bar and just bringing it to the gym.

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higher weight and lower reps wont really bulk you up, just make you stronger. eating more than you're expending will bulk you up :) just a thought, anyways :)

i see in your twitter where you workout, that explains why you cant deadlift. or back squat. jump squats and box jumps are both AMAZING leg exercises, and would really help with rock climbing and all of that.

i believe prefect did a ton of stronglifts type workouts with dumbbells instead of barbells, if you are actually interested, but yeah, the maxing at 65 would be a problem.

glad to hear you're moving away from the machines. i started with them, back in the day, but as soon as i moved away from them really learned the huge difference not using them makes :)

oh, and im pretty sure they would kick you out for bringing a bar. i would just get a new gym ;)

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