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Knightwatch

K-dub's long-road-home, from-the-ashes, other-such-imagry Challenge.

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Man, last month sucked. Here's to a better go at it this time!

THE PHYSICAL

1. BENCH PRESS 225 x 10

a. But why? Well, knocking out reps with 225 always seemed to me an indicator of serious strength; not the strongest or more useful movement, but a sign that, hey, OK, you're a pretty strong guy. And besides, my goals for so long have been low rep based, that it'll be good to go back to the "classic" ten resp for a bit.

b. But how?? Damned if I know. Right now I'm around 7 reps, so, in theory, I just need to add a rep a week.

c. But...but...??? Yeahhhh. If everything else was running smooth, this would be a relatively straightforward process. However, not to beat a dead horse or nothin', but I'm working 80 hours a week, which for obvious reasons messes with my diet and sleep something fierce.

2. SQUAT 225 x 10

a. But why? Kinda like the Bench there, but I've never really done squats for sets over 5 or 6. Last month when I tried this, I managed to get....7? So I'm kinda in the same range as the bench, but the squats (appropriately enough) felt easier. If I take some time between the later reps, and tackle them one at a time, I ought to be able to get this one done without too much trouble.

b. But...how?? I just said how! Pay attention! :P Yeah, first 7 or so will be possible without too much troube. Then I gotta steady myself with some deep breaths, and remind myself I can always do one more. And then do it. Couple sessions like that, and I'll be at 10.

c. But...but??? Right. Yeah. No sleep and awful diet. Whew. Gonna be interesting.

3. Complete 10 consecutive PULLUPS

a. But why? This doesn't need much explanation. A lot of dudes can throw up 300 on the bench, but not complete a pullup. Don't wanna be like them. It's functional fitness defined, pretty much. Besides...I do Crossfit. 'Nuff said.

b. But...how?? Well. Honestly, I don't know. Do a lot of pullups, I guess. Been working towards this one for months now, so if anyone has any good insights, I'm happy to hear 'em! ;)

c. But....but??? Exactly. the butt is most definitely an issue, given how quickly it expanded over the last couple months. Then weight loss goal will hopefully help overcome this.

4. Cover 1 mile, in under 10 minutes

a. But why? Because I used to run 10Ks at the drop of a hat. I should be able to cover a mile in under 7 minutes, frankly, but I got old and fat. So, here we go, back to basics. This can either be a jog, or some combination of running and brisk walking. Don't care. One mile, ten minutes.

b. But...how?? At the end of each non-CF workout I do, I'll hop on the treadmill (boooo). Alternate covering a mile as fast as I can, or setting the timer for 10 minutes and covering as much ground as possible.

c. But...but??? Yeah. Bad shins. I think by setting the damnable machine (sigh) on an incline, it'll help with that some. also practice better running form whenever I can.

5. Lose 10 pounds.

a. But why? I was only gonna try losing 5, but, well, I like symmetry. Tens it is, across the board. And trust me, I certainly have it to spare!

b. But...how?? I'll be looking into The Zone and Paleo a bit more. In the meantime, follow a diet based on...well, less crap. The hours I've been working has made it way, way too easy to rely on delivery and energy drinks, which I don't even like and don't believe work. Oy. So more prep, and, actually, more fasting.

c. But...but??? Bacon and beer, yes. Two of my only sources of comfort these last few weeks. :P

THE LIFE LEVELING

1. Apply for my PASSPORT

a. But why? Because I really ought to have it. Readiness is all, dontchaknow. And it's a first step towards future adventures and whatnot.

b. But...how?? http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_1738.html

c. But...but??? no. Shuddup. There's no reason not to do this, like, tomorrow.

2. Wake EARLIER

a. But why? I'm too harried in the morning. It's not becoming to stumble around so. It'll help me be more centered, give me time for contemplation and prayer, and allow me to actually gather the food I need to get me though my stupid ass schedule.

b. But...how?? Ten minutes earlier wake up time each week.

c. But...but??? Yeah, I'm barely getting sleep as it is. But I think I actually make it worse by trying to squeeze out every last second of unconsciousness. As it is, my body is still waking itself up at a reasonable time, but I let myself go back to sleep. I'd probably be better off in trusting my body and getting up when it wakes itself.

So there we have it! Given my circumstances lately, this might be a touch ambitious. But hey, as the man said, a man's reach must exceed his grasp; Else, what's a Heaven for?

Good luck, peoples!

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I think your goals are completely doable, even with your work schedule. Maybe bring the kettlebell to work and keep it under your desk? :P

2. SQUAT 225 x 10

Then I gotta steady myself with some deep breaths, and remind myself I can always do one more. And then do it.

And just remember: The longer it takes you to do this, the longer you're giving me to catch up. :)

c. But....but??? Exactly. the butt is most definitely an issue, given how quickly it expanded over the last couple months. Then weight loss goal will hopefully help overcome this.

:P

b. But...how?? At the end of each non-CF workout I do, I'll hop on the treadmill (boooo).

CAN NOT WAIT FOR SNOW TO MELT FOR OUTSIDE RUNNING. :)

I've bookmarked this. Prepare for me to be all over you about this one. :)

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haha, oh yes, I've already left my kettlebell in the lil' tiny "fitness room" in one of our buildings (a few treadmills and a universal machine. blegh). It gets a lot of strange looks from the peeps using the treadmills. I've seen a couple dudes try to curl it. Ah, youth.

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Well, looks like after being here till 11, I'll be back tomorrow at 7 and work a double. So it begins. :P

What I'm gonna try to do, see, is basically insist that they let me get away for like 90 minutes "between" shifts, but still let it count as working. I'll stay local, within problem-response range, but get a chance to sneak out to my work-provided gym (no CF tomorrow. sigh). Real fast-like, do some stretching, some squats, presses, and pullups, and my ten-minute-on-the-treadmill thing. Should have time to then grab a shower and return as refreshed as possible given the circumstances.

When I was following Wendler's 5/3/1 protocol, I got used to doing a max effort on my last set. Now that I'm aiming for a rep goal, I'm thinking I might invert it. Make the first working set my max effort, and then follow it up with two lesser "base" sets.

So for my Squats, I'll do some warmup sets, and then try 225 x max, 225 x 5, 225 x 5. Next time I do that session, it's be max/6/6, something like that.

Hmm. We'll see how it goes!

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I always do max effort first, then bring the weight down for my actual sets. it SEEMS to be working quite well.

and i think an insisting on a break is totally fair. work/life balance, right? :)

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So today's been pretty good so far.

Woke up at a decent time, though didn't stretch like I wanted. Honestly, I forgot. I gotta get less groggy in those first few minutes. :P

Weighed in this morning at 229.5 Ugh. No wonder I've felt so sluggish. I've gained like 15 pounds in the last couple months, and, lemme tell you, it ain't muscle. So a win this month, goal-wise, will bring me back just under 220. It'll be a good start.

Diet hasn't been the most awe-inspiring thing either way today. Not super perfect but not as atrocious as it's been. Workout went pretty well. Good on one thing, less so on another. Ah well.

THE EATS

For breakfast I ate 3 eggs with a small bit of cheese, and a lot of chopped veggies and bacon. Ate some apple slices and organic peanut butter, and drank a cup of coffee.

For lunch, a big bowl of chili with a lil' bit of cheese. And a piece of bread. Oh well.

Post-Workout was chocolate milk. Mmmm.

Dinner will be a romaine lettuce and tomato and cuc salad with a bunch of grilled chicken and a balsamic vinaigrette.

Probably have some jerky and a larabar or something later tonight.

Water intake's been a little low. I'll try to down a couple liters tonight.

THE LIFTS

SQUAT

air squat x 10

45 x 5

95 x 5

135 x 3

185 x 2

225 x max (got a pretty strong 8. new best, and inching closer to my challenge goal)

225 x 5

225 x 5

PUSH PRESS

165 x 3

165 x 3

165 x 3

165 x 3

165 x 3

So. I totally meant to do these as a strict standing press, and the first set nearly killed me. Very strange. Ive pushed that weight for more reps plenty of times. I knew it would be tough, but nothing like that. Oh well, my press is one of my better lifts, and I'm not too worried. Off day. Switched 'em to push presses and felt good.

PULLUPS

max (7)

max (6)

max (5)

Not my best showing here. Not my worst. As I drop the BW and keep pulling, they'll get better.

I had to get back to work, so I didn't have time for my treadmill jaunt. I did fit in some foam-rolling and mobility drill before the lifts, though, so there's that.

Tomorrow morning before work I'll do some kettlebell swings and ten minutes of the treadmill, covering as much distance as I can, and maybe some plank movements. Or, um, non-movements, hopefully. I think it's about time I start working those in.

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So I ended up sleeping at work last night, and was woken early early (early) morning for a quasi-emergency thing. See what I eman about the the work and sleep thing?

So I'm all messed up this morning. Will have to push kettlebells to later in the day, when I slip away for another quick workout in the middle of another 16 hour shift.

Tomorrow will be yet another double. Plus, y'know, snowpocolypse. What I might do is run out to a 24 hour grocery store at 11, and snag a few pre-bagged salads, and a few cans of tuna or chicken, plus a couple other assorted ingredients to toss in.

Because, man, this is just brilliant:

http-~~-//www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnBfB3YFYFc

(I love her site, btw, http://thestonesoup.com/blog/)

So far today, I managed to wolf down a freshly made bacon, egg, and cheese sammich. Omnom. Probably have a shake a bit later, if I can find my accursed shaker bottle. Lunch will likely be chili again or maybe a salad. And then, yeah, but a lot of salads and fixings to eat right out of the bag, given another double tomorrow and maybe Thursday.

Kettlebell sesion later.

I'll update later as things develop.

I

Edited by Knightwatch

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that video's kind of awesome, such a good idea.

i'll have to try it (though with chicken, not sardines!) next time i'm stuck out on the road with no idea of what to have for lunch :)

and your first day = impressive even for someone who did not work a double.

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Thanks guys. :)

I gotta say, though, today's been an epic fail. It went from chaotic to pathetic. One thing after another came up and I couldn't find even five minutes to eat. I finally, finally got a few minutes to get away for a workout...when my friend told me about a personal emergency thing. Ended up having to use that time to get to the bank to withdraw a loan and get it to him. Figured I'd stop off and get a somewhat healthy sandwich or chili or something while I was out, and all three options had closed down early due to the storm we're getting hit with.

ARRRRRRGGHHHHH.

So I finally just ate again. Had some lousy soup and a big glass if milk. And a coffee. And a protein bar. Here for another 4+ hours, at which time i may try to get to that 24hour grocery store and get some salad stuff for tomorrow, but I honestly just want to sleep so, so bad. Tomorrow's another sixteen hour shift though, so if I don't get out to the store tonight, I won't have any options for tomorrow.

Once again, I'll try to squeeze in a workout tomorrow. Eh.

I tell you, I tried planning it so much, and the spirit is willing...it's just really, really hard to maintain any semblance of a healthy lifestyle under the current circumstances.

So tired.

Ah well. Brighter day tomorrow.

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OK, today was a definite improvement.

I actually decided to fast for 24 hours after the debacle that was yesterday. I had a piece of pizza at about 8:30 last night, and haven't eaten since, a la the Eat Stop Eat model. Only thing I've had is two cups of black coffee, and a whole lot of water.

In the weird way that the world works out, the bossman today thanked me for the shifts of utter ludicrousness that I've been pulling these past few days (weeks) (and will for the latter half of the week (next few weeks)) and wants me to cut out of here early tonight. Yessir! Reckon I'll get out around 8, which coincides perfectly with the end of a 24 hour fast.

There's a grocery store down the street I can stock up on with food for tomorrow, and a steakhouse right next door. I'll get a reasonable steak and some veggies there, and maybe have a small protein-based snack a bit before bed. One mistake that's easy to make on Eat Stop Eat is overdoing it on the meal right before and after the fast. The trick is to eat normally, like nothing happened. So I'll try to take it easy tonight.

I was also able to get in a workout during a short midday break. I was a little concerned about lifting heavy in the midst of a fast, but, if anything, my focus was zeroed in. If anything held me back, it was lack of rest, not food.

So.

THE EATS

Um. A lot of water.

Planned: 8-10 ounce steak, salad, vegetable side. One beer. More water.

Planned: small snack. Maybe a bit of cottage cheese with a handful of berries?

THE LIFTS

Warmed up a little with some basic upper body and hip mobility work and stretches. And then...

BENCH PRESS

45 x 5

95 x 5

135 x 3

135 x 3

185 x 2

185 x 2

225 x max (I got 8. might have squeezed another had I a spot)

225 x 5

225 x 3/2

Had to break up that last set into a triple and a double, with just a breath or two between them. Man. My body's so used to set number / set number / max effort, that inverting it is throwing me alllll off. In a good way, though. Body ought to be able to adjust to different protocols.

POWER CLEAN

65 x 5 (hang clean)

95 x 5 (hang clean)

135 x 3

155 x 3

155 x 3

155 x 3

155 x 3

155 x 3

So. Power Cleans. I tend to rest way too much on these. Left to my own devices, I'd take about a week and a half rest between sets. So, I made myself start each set at the top of the minute, only allowing myself to rest the remainder of the minute. I didn't do enough sets or reps, or work with heavy enough a load o really reap any metabolic benefit from this, but at least it kept me from slacking, and helped me stick to my break time schedule.

I wrapped things up with an abbreviated Crossfit classic.

"CINDY LITE"

As Many Rounds As Possible in 12 minutes of:

*3 PULLUPS

*8 PUSHUPS

*12 SQUATS

I got 8 rounds and 3 pullups.

I think my performance on this has gone way, way down. Not surprising, with my recent weight gain and my schedule preventing me from making it to any CF workouts. Ah well. Have to (re)start somewhere, right?

All in all, a pretty good day. Time to go chug some more water and daydream about steak. :D

Edited by Knightwatch

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There's a whole lot of soreness going on right now, lemme tell you.

Traps.are.on.fire. But in the good way. Pretty much the only thing that differentiates the good way from the bad way is that tonight is a scheduled day off from lifting. And, and, I'm actually getting relieved on second shift tonight. Only a ten hour day or so?? Holy smokes, so excited.

THE EATS

I had a simple shake for breakfast.

Drank a decent amount of water since, and one cup of coffee.

Accidentially ate a Peppermint Patty. D'oh! It was offered, and I started eating before I even realized what I was doing. So weird how that happens, and goes to show how our bad diets can be as much habit as anything. Oh well, of all the ways to slip up, that's not such an awful one. I happily enjoyed it. :D

Lunch will be a salad with chicken.

Dinner will likely be some ground beef cooked up with broccoli and peppers.

I'll probably have a couple snacks mixed in there. I'll update as needed.

THE LIFTS

Nada. I might do some light calisthenics tonight, though, more to loosen up than anything. A touch of stretching, too.

Tomorrow I'll get back into the gym for another quick break-time session. Won't be an all out liftfest, as I'm gonna try hitting some heavy deads for the first time in way, way too long at open gym time at my Crossfit box this weekend. Ah, to be back among my beloved bumper plates and an atmosphere that encourages the dumping of loaded barbells.

:)

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I love IF. I pretty much follow it every day, but some days I get the urge to cook up some eggs before noon. Being a competitor, I was thrusted into the whole 6 meal a day things for a while. I hated that food consumed my life. Anyway, glad that you make good use of IF as well.

Meals sound awesome, as do your lifts. Great job!

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Yes, I'm going to try the total 24 hour fast once a week this challenge, and see how it works. I may mix in a couple additonal "light" fasts thoughout the challenge, where I'm eating just one simple meal and maybe a shake or two throughout the day. I'm curious how it works. I was more sore than I'd been in a LONG time yesterday, so I wonder if the fast effected recovery, if not direct performace. Though, that could be a result of my crappy rest lately, too. It's tough to "control" the experiment when so many other factors are chaotic.

Oh well. If I hit my goals, I'll take it, whatever the primary factor was. :D

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Today's been another relatively solid day. Perhaps too heavy on the breads (two sandwiches), but things could be far, far worse, compared to how I've been living the last few weeks.

THE EATS

Breakfast: bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. Coffee.

Lunch: grilled chicken breast sandwich with lettuce, tomato, roasted peppers, and a light chipotle spread thing.

Post Workout: chocolate milk

Dinner: To Be Determined

Snack: ditto

THE LIFTS

Didn't have time for a proper warmup / stretching today. Gah.

INCLINE BENCH PRESS

45 x 10

95 x 5

135 x 3

165 x 6

165 x 6

165 x 6

165 x 6

Perfect load for this movement and set/rep scheme. Last couple reps on the last set were rough, but I squeezed 'em out.

ROMANIAN DUMBBELL DEADLIFT

65's x 6

75's x 6

85's x 6

85's x 6

85's x 6

85's x 6

Haven't done romanian deads with dumbbells in a long time. Hips were fine, though my grip is noticeably weaker. Gotta start training it again.

CHINUPS

6 (chins)

6 (wide-grip pullups)

6 (chins, broken up into 4/2)

6 (neutral grip, 4/2)

BARBELL CURL

95 x 3

95 x 3

95 x 3

95 x 3

95 x 3

SIDE TO SIDE PLATE PRESS

45 x 12

45 x 12

45 x 12

45 x 12

45 x 12

For these last two movements, I supersetting them and tried to work though it all as swiftly as I could. It hardly made up for the last of metcon training, but at least I wasn't dallying.

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Either that or good ol' eat stop eat. I do two fasts a week, from the end of dinner one day to the start of dinner the next, eating normally like I haven't fasted. It works quite well. I find that I do better during the fast if the dinner before hand is high fat and high protein. If there's lots of carbs I seem to suffer during the fast a lot more than I thought I would (ravenous hunger, dizziness and light headed). These last couple fasts I haven't been seriously hungry or suffered from any of those side affects. Good luck :)

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