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Waldo's Getting Big and Bulky


Waldo

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Well, this is my challenge thread.  I'm bulking now, and will be all challenge, so there's that.  Supercharged recovery FTW.

 

This year I'm only going to take progress photos monthly, instead of the middle and the end of the month.  Progress should be a lot slower this year; biweekly would be overkill.  I'll post the first at the end of January.

 

 

Current Stats:

 

Race: Corellian 

Class: Assassin

Level: 6

 

STR: 14.50

DEX: 13.75

STA: 10.25

CON: 9.75

WIS: 17.00

CHA: 13.50

 

Height: 6'1"

Weight: 197 lb 

 

Neck: 16.0"

Chest: 47.3"

Flexed Abs: 32.4"

Unflexed Belly: 29.5"

Glutes: 40.8"

 

R Bicep: 15.0"

R Forearm: 13.0"

L Bicep: 14.6" 

L Forearm: 12.8"

 

R Thigh: 25.5"

R Quad: 23.0"

R Calf: 16.0"

L Thigh: 25.3"

L Quad: 22.8"

L Calf: 15.3"

 

Dietary plan is to gain 1 lb/wk throughout the challenge.  Eating a net of 3200 cal/day.

 

Goal #1 - Upgrade logging to include RPE's for each work set

 

I'm a fan of autoregulated type workouts (where the workout is adjusted based on how you feel during the workout) and in general applying RPE (rated perceived exertion) concepts to workouts.  I do this mentally and stick to some general principles, but its high time I start writing this down and keeping track.

 

I'm going to use the following scale: 

 

10 - Failed during rep or very near failure.  Max effort, last rep (or only) was a very slow grinder that took noises to finish.  LOL @ trying another rep.  Need to mentally prepare myself for this level of exertion.

9 - Last rep was a slow grinder.  Could reload for another rep and give it a go if sufficiently motivated.  Despite being a grinder, pretty safe that I finish the last rep.

8 - Slow bar speed, but not slow grinder reps.  Last rep is hard but doesn't get to the grinding point.  Could do at least 1-2 more reps without issue if motivated to do so, even without the focus it takes to go to an RPE of 10.

7 and below - High bar speed for all reps.  Does not feel difficult, recovery is rapid.  

 

(Failing at the bottom of a rep, the type of failure that usually happens to me, is a 9 not a 10.  Often in that moment I'm just not mentally ready for a 10 output and give up, not truly failing).

 

I don't see a need to differentiate the 7 and below levels.

 

This is a pretty common scale, and how I mentally view things already.

 

For notation purposes (numbers are a bit messy when it comes to logging IMHO), I'm going to use:

Z = RPE 10

Y = RPE 9

X = RPE 8

E = RPE 7 and below

 

In application, warmups and ramp up sets are never above RPE 7; 8 and above is where my workout reserves draw down fast and it impacts future sets.  Recovery days little to no work is above an RPE of 7.  Volume days I'm working in the 8 and 9 area with work sets.  Intensity days my peak sets are at an RPE of 10.  I've come to really approach each workout differently mentally.  Recovery days I'm chill and laidback.  Intensity days I listen to metal, stare and pace intently, lift angry for my peak sets.  Volume days I get in a zone where I will myself to push through the torture.

 

I'm not going to apply it to statics, static work is in general E/X/Y work, but hard to really characterize lacking the movement speed cues.  I don't go to Z level with statics.

 

Also included with this goal is applying what I learned from this improved logging to improve my workouts.  Simply adding the RPE notation and doing nothing more with it is C caliber work.

 

Points Available: STR +2, CON +1, WIS +1

 

Goal #2 - Reevaluate my long term goals and come up with a comprehensive list

 

Not that I'm feeling listliss or anything, but I haven't really though much about my long term goals for a long time.  Things have a tendency to go stale if unattended to for too long.  The new year brings a good opportunity to really think about my future.  Including all aspects; physical goals and fitness goals especially, but I'll also cover finances, career, parenting, etc....

 

I'm going to tackle it piece by piece; its something to think about when running.  In the end I want a good solid list of goals that can be used to evaluate the path I'm on and steer me into the future.

 

The difficulty I'm having now coming up with goals really hits home much much attending to my long term goals require.

 

Points Available: CON +1, WIS +2, CHA +1

 

Goal #3 - Begin measuring, and striving to improve, my standing broad jump

 

This is something that I've been putting off for a long time.  Philosophically I'm all about real world performance as opposed to arbitrary exercise related measures.  For the most part this means the ability to do movement X or Y (as opposed to how much I can lift in some exercise), but for the legs, to me the ideal measures of performance are the basic human movements jumping and running.  I train legs to be able to jump higher and run faster, not so that I can push up more weight with my legs.

 

Max effort sprinting has been a staple of my workouts for a long time, including performance measurement.  I have always felt the need to do the same with jumping, I just haven't done it in an organized way (plus sprinting itself is a great leg workout, jumping for max height, not so much).

 

Now while I feel the vertical jump is the key measureable trait, not the standing broad jump, I have to make some concessions because I lack a good way to perform and measure the vertical jumps reliably.  In the house is a no go since I could probably hit my head on the ceiling if I really put my all into a jump, or at least I can get close enough that this is a major psychlogical impediment.  The only good accessable places in my yard just don't have anything tall enough next to them (including the house; the tall parts, the sides, are mosty inaccessable for jump practice).  But the standing broad jump is a good enough measure.  It measures roughly the same thing as the vertical, and while it is a little more technique oriented and hit or miss accuracy-wise, it stands in as a good substitute.

 

As a sidenote, I've studied the NFL combine for a while (the number relationships and how they translate to the pro game), and there is generally a VJ(in) = BJ(ft)*3.5 relationship in all athletes there (from little DB's on up to the fats in the DL, and everything in-between).  You can generally assume that they are about as world class as athletes get as far as training for those specific measures, so if you measure and practice one of the two, you can assume that you can get in the ballpark of that equation with a little training on the other, there aren't really many far out outliers there. 

 

Points Available: STR +2, DEX +2

 

Goal #4 - Rethink my fashion choices

 

Now in general my wife does a lot of the picking for me (or at least helps), but I've pretty much done the same thing fashion-wise since college (I'm 34).  Its about time to redefine my sense of fashion a bit.  This includes my work wardrobe (khakis/cords with a polo shirt or long sleeve shirt) and my casual wardrobe (jeans/shorts and t-shirt).

 

I'm not looking to totally change things, but to guide future purchases.

 

I'm not real sure how to approach this goal, or if anything will really come of it, so grading will be on effort, how much I tried.

 

Points Available: CHA +3

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Bulking.  That's what I've been doing over the holiday break... bulking.  That's it.

 

Goal 1 - get a profile photo of you doing a one arm push-up.  Be hella more intimidating than Al... ;)

 

Looking forward to following your goals and training.

 

(This is/was? Dillpedo, BTW.)

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Bulking.  That's what I've been doing over the holiday break... bulking.  That's it.

 

Goal 1 - get a profile photo of you doing a one arm push-up.  Be hella more intimidating than Al... ;)

 

Looking forward to following your goals and training.

 

(This is/was? Dillpedo, BTW.)

 

LOL.  I actually managed to maintain pretty well over the holidays.  The little weight gain can be explained by the increased glycogen that comes from raising daily intake.  Measurements held stable.

 

I love this picture of Al doing OAP's.  Awesome photography.  Everything about it is great.  I find it hard to beleive that I could top it myself.

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LOL.  I actually managed to maintain pretty well over the holidays.  The little weight gain can be explained by the increased glycogen that comes from raising daily intake.  Measurements held stable.

 

I love this picture of Al doing OAP's.  Awesome photography.  Everything about it is great.  I find it hard to beleive that I could top it myself.

 

All you have to do is set up a camera and think about the last Green Bay game while doing a push-up.  Better death glare guaranteed.

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I'm really drawing a blank as far as goals.

 

I plan on sticking with my general workout plan that I've established over the last 6 months.  I can (and do) dial in my diet with such precision that diet goals are just silly.  I'm far away from any new major exercise achievements.  On top of that exercise progress is slow and unpredictable where I am; goal making is an exercise in prediction moreso than a motivator.  Likewise with physical meausrements, I will get bigger, where and how much is fairly unpredictable, I can give a best guess prediction, but again, I am making predictions, not real goals.

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All you have to do is set up a camera and think about the last Green Bay game while doing a push-up.  Better death glare guaranteed.

 

But I lack a cool colored concrete wall to give an air of grunge, to go with the jeans, chuck taylors, and badass looking sleeve.  I do have a pair of jeans, but lack everything else.  Even if I try to come up with my own concept, I feel I'd be big time lacking in the badass department outside of the pushup itself.

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I'm really drawing a blank as far as goals.

 

I plan on sticking with my general workout plan that I've established over the last 6 months.  I can (and do) dial in my diet with such precision that diet goals are just silly.  I'm far away from any new major exercise achievements.  On top of that exercise progress is slow and unpredictable where I am; goal making is an exercise in prediction moreso than a motivator.  Likewise with physical meausrements, I will get bigger, where and how much is fairly unpredictable, I can give a best guess prediction, but again, I am making predictions, not real goals.

Since you don't struggle with continuity and you pretty much have your workout planned out what about some fun/learning type goals? You could make some video tutorials  of the static moves, or do out some written tutorials on progressions. That would help you by maing sure you are using good form and a big help to us newer assassins. Or silly stuff, like doing the static moves in wierd places for the PVP challenge.

Wisdom 18   Dexterity 11   Charisma 12   Strength 16  Constitution-12

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So I'm thinking for one goal I'm going to start keeping track of the RPE of sets.  I do mentally now somewhat, so it is a matter of determining exactly what definitions I'm going to use then keeping track of the RPE for each set, or at least for important sets.

 

This should help to improve my workouts somewhat.  I'm already a fan of non-strict autoregulated workouts within a general guideline (intensity, volume, recovery).  Within these boxes it isn't hard to stick to the general theme of the day even without following a strict plan.

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So I'm thinking for one goal I'm going to start keeping track of the RPE of sets.  I do mentally now somewhat, so it is a matter of determining exactly what definitions I'm going to use then keeping track of the RPE for each set, or at least for important sets.

 

This should help to improve my workouts somewhat.  I'm already a fan of non-strict autoregulated workouts within a general guideline (intensity, volume, recovery).  Within these boxes it isn't hard to stick to the general theme of the day even without following a strict plan.

 

Ooh, that looks like a good idea - ties in with your general MOAR DATA tendencies. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

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As far as the RPE is concerned, how will you track it? Heart rate, general feeling, amount of grunting? Seems like a pretty subjective number without objective equipment to test/analyze, but I don't know much about it.

 

It is totally subjective.

 

Have to still think about how to apply it to statics, but in general I'm going to use the following scale: 

 

10 - Failed during rep or very near failure.  Max effort, last rep (or only) was a very slow grinder that took noises to finish.  LOL @ trying another rep.  Need to mentally prepare myself for this level of exertion.

9 - Last rep was a slow grinder.  Could reload for another rep and give it a go if sufficiently motivated.  Despite being a grinder, pretty safe that I finish the last rep.

8 - Slow bar speed, but not slow grinder reps.  Last rep is hard but doesn't get to the grinding point.  Could do at least 1-2 more reps without issue if motivated to do so, even without the focus it takes to go to an RPE of 10.

7 and below - High bar speed for all reps.  Does not feel difficult, recovery is rapid.  

 

(Failing at the bottom of a rep, the type of failure that usually happens to me, is a 9 not a 10.  Often in that moment I'm just not mentally ready for a 10 output and give up, not truly failing).

 

I don't see a need to differentiate the 7 and below levels.

 

This is a pretty common scale, and how I mentally view things already.

 

For notation purposes (numbers are a bit messy when it comes to logging IMHO), I'm going to use:

Z = RPE 10

Y = RPE 9

X = RPE 8

E = RPE 7 and below

 

Something like:

One Arm Pushup - 8y/8x reps

(8 reps each arm, left was at RPE 9, right at RPE 8).

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Since you don't struggle with continuity and you pretty much have your workout planned out what about some fun/learning type goals? You could make some video tutorials  of the static moves, or do out some written tutorials on progressions. That would help you by maing sure you are using good form and a big help to us newer assassins. Or silly stuff, like doing the static moves in wierd places for the PVP challenge.

 

Was thinking about something along these lines for my life goal.  Be moar helpful to others.

 

Kinda waiting on if I'm made a mod or not to think out that goal.

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Workout Log - 1/2

Run 3.12 miles in 28:44

 

- Was cold out and all my cold weather running gear was in the wash.  Ran on the 'mill.  

 

- Damn treadmill can't handle going fast for too long, I ran it at 6.5 mph, then kicked it up to 8 mph for the last 0.12 miles, breaker tripped right as I was reaching to slow it down when it hit 3.12 miles.  Have this problem too when I try to run miles, treadmill can't handle how fast I go sustained (not bragging by any means, I'm not particularly fast at the mile, my aerobic threshold isn't all that great, I don't do much work in that area.  A few weeks of HIIT would fix that right up, HIIT is ideal for speeding up your mile fast).

 

Workout Log - 1/3

Leg Day B - Volume

 

Run 1/4 mile @ 6.0 mph

Lunge Matrix x5

Kick Circuit x5

BW RDL - 10 reps

BW Squat - 10 reps

 

BW Pistol - 3e/3e reps

BW Pistol (R-P) - 12z/12x + {3,3,3,3}(5br) + {3,3}(10br) reps (Myo-reps done on both sides)

 

Assisted Glute-Ham Raise - 5e, 5x, 5x, 5x reps (18 lb min assist)

 

Shrimp Squat (w/toe tap) - 7x/0, 9y/0 reps

DB One Leg Calf Raise (35lb) (R-P) - 14y/0 + {7,7,8}(5br) reps (no work done on right)

 

Run 1/4 mile @ 6.0 mph

 

- Counting the RPE of myo-reps is impractical and not really useful.  They are all pretty much at x,y level RPE, that is the point of doing them.

 

- Screwed up the activation set for the left leg pistols.  Took it too far.  The myo-reps on that side didn't go great, and I just didn't have much gas to do them.  Too focused on hitting the #'s from my last workout instead of stopping at the proper point.  Some lingering soreness from Monday's workout likely affected the activation set just enough so that the last rep was a little too hard.

 

- Going to switch to this myo-rep notation.  Works better when listing activation set RPE scores.  Unless noted otherwise it can be assumed the myo-reps were done exactly the same on both sides (I start with my weaker leg, so this isn't difficult to do).

 

- I'm getting close on the glute-ham raises.  Can almost taste it.  The next step will be to remove my hands at the bottom without giving a little push.  Will need a hand assist for a little while after I can hold it with no assist, stopping the negative is harder then holding the bottom and getting back up.  That and the negative portion is a bit scary to really go all out on.  

 

- My shrimp squat form with my left is crap.  I can't get back up holding my foot for some reason, I have to let go when my knee is on the ground and let my big toe tap the ground slightly, then I can pop up fine.  The difference is so minute, yet a huge step up in difficulty, just in that little portion of ROM.  Going to revisit using a counterweight next time.

 

- Doing shrimps and calf raises with the left only.  Targeting my weak spots.

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This is probably going to be the most fascinating challenge I follow. 

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

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Ditto. Also the only one where I will frequently think "I don't know what that means but it sounds fascinating."

 

Well if you need me to explain something just ask, I'll be happy to.

 

I don't really know what people do and don't know so am not sure what would benefit from additional explanation.

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I've come to look at Waldo as a combination between an example of what I can shoot for, a yoda, and a crazy person who routinely does things that shouldn't be possible for regular humans. I've said before that Waldo is some sort of robot from the future, possibly a Terminator.

 

I mean, look at his avatar. The only reason that not a pic of Waldo is, presumably, because it would break the universe to photograph that much awesome.

"Oh, fear not in a world like this, And thou shalt know erelong, Know how sublime a thing it is, To suffer and be strong."  - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow -

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Hey Waldo - awesome workout, as usual. What's your setup for glute-ham raises? I'm trying to work out a way to do them at home.

 

Took me a while to figure out something for them.

 

What I use is: a bookshelf, a small but strong footstool, a pillow, a little mini-pillow, a towel, and a blanket.

 

The main components are a very large and heavy bookshelf and the footstool.  The bookshelf provides a stable means of holding my feet.  It is a good solid surface for me to use the underside of and it weighs hundreds of pounds.  The only problem with it is that the lowest shelf is about 18" off the floor, which is where the footstool comes in, as it is too high to do them with my knees on the ground.  The footstool is a little plastic Ikea stool that is about 12" tall but is super strong.

 

From there it is just a matter of padding it up for comfort.  I use the blanket between my heels and the underside of the shelf to avoid any sore spots to my heel or achilles.  On the footstool I put a standard bed pillow, and then a little mini crescent shaped pillow on top of that, with a towel over them to avoid getting nasty from sweat.  The reason for the little pillow is to set the man contact point right under my knee, at the very top of my shin.  I want it to be just loose enough above that so that my kneecaps can move freely.  I could get the same effect from a rolled up hand towel or washcloth.  That makes it a little more comfortable.  I do them with my knees and feet together.

 

At first I used my pullup bar slid under a door with a pillow in front of it on the floor (and yoga mat on top of it) for my knees.  It wasn't particularly comfortable or nice to the door, but it worked.  My current setup is very comfortable and stable, and avoids the issue of having too much contact force on tendons or the kneecap.

 

A lot of the gym apparatuses that you see have the pad near the knee above instead of below the knee.  This makes them much, much easier than the way I do them. 

 

Here is a good example of an easy to make home setup for them:

0.jpg

I'd like a little padding around the straps on the ankle, and would probably put a pillow under the towel/yoga mat (thus the strap would have to be longer too), but that's a pretty good setup right there.  Might want a little better spine on it too, the load on the straps (and right under the knee) is quite literally hundreds of pounds, with no spine that board would definitely flex when doing them.  Using 2x4's on the underside instead, and including a lengthwise spine down the middle (or edges), would be enough to prevent much flex.

 

The other thing worth noting about an apparatus - if your only contact point is the ankles or heels, they are slightly harder than if the underside of the foot is also a contact point (as would be the case if you nailed a board to a wall for example).  This is because you are able to recruit the muscles in your calves to assist if your ankle can't rotate.  It is a small difference though, the calves can't help close the knee joint all that much.

Here is the apparatus found in gyms:

glute-ham-raise.jpg

The exercise she is doing is much easier than the one he is doing.

 

You don't want the support on the knee itself, it is important to let the kneecap move.  Though I found a pad on a pillow, where there is still some force transfer through the kneecap, just not enough to limit its movement, is the most comfortable.

 

What makes them so difficult is the general mechanics behind them, the lever arm between the knee support and heel support is tiny next to the lever arm between the knee support and your center of mass.  This multiples the effect of your bodyweight.  For him his center of mass is perhaps 3x the distance between the knee and heel support.  If he has 150 lb above his knees, he's effectively doing a 450 lb hamstring curl (plus holding the hinge of his waist open with the glutes, not insignificant, the glutes arguably hurt more than the hams afterwards).  For her her center of mass is only about 2x the distance between the knee and heel support,  If she's 120 lb above the knees, that means she's effectively doing a 240 lb hamstring curl.  Huge difference.

 

Here's another example of a good homemade apparatus:

hamstring2a.jpg

Again with this one, rolling up a little towel, placed right where the shin meets the knee, to allow the kneecap to move, would make a world of difference with how comfortable they are to do.

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Wow, thanks for the explanation - and, as I should've expected, amazing detail, particularly of the forces involved. :) I think there are a couple bolts in my basement floor that might actually work for me if I can rig a strap to them - then it's just padding for comfort and kneecap movement. Thanks for all the info!

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Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Goethe

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Time to do some catching up.  Didn't have much 'net time this weekend.  Watching football.  Go Pack!

 

Workout Log - 1/4

Static Upper Body

 

Standard General Warmup/Mobility/Cooldown:

Run 1/4 mile @ 6.0 mph barefoot

Hollow Hold - 30 sec

Reverse Plank - 30 sec

Plank Lean - 30 sec

Superman Hold - 30 sec

Wall Handstand - 45 sec

PB L-Sit - 30 sec

German Hang - 30 sec

Floor Straddle Hold - 30 sec

Fingertip Pushups - 10 reps

Wrist Pushups (knees) - 10 reps

Dorsal Pushups (knees) - 10 reps

1st Knuckle Pushups - 10 reps

Fingertip Dead Hang - 8 sec

First Knuckle Dead Hang - 20 sec

DB Wrist Extension (35 lb) - 7/7, 7/7 reps

Wall Slides - 10 reps

Band Dislocates - 5/5 (pronated grip-front to back/supinated grip-back to front)

Run 1/4 mile @ 6.0 mph barefoot (cooldown at end of workout)

 

Planche Lean - 20 sec

Tuck Planche (w/leg-arm contact) - 10, 10 sec

Tuck Planche (no contact) - 4, 3, 6, 7, 4 sec (24 sec total)

 

Tuck Front Lever - 20, 20, 20, 20 sec

Tuck Back Lever - 20 sec

Advanced Tuck Back Lever - 20, 20, 20 sec

 

- That is the only time I'm going to write out my whole upper body warmup/mobility/cooldown sequence, from now on I'll just refer to it and note any deviations.  It takes about 20-25 min to go through.

 

- Tuck planche times are climbing slowly but surely.  I'm following the rule that each workout must have more total hold volume than the previous workout, no matter how many holds it takes.

 

Workout Log - 1/5

Run 5 miles in 54:42.46

- My usual outdoor route.  Took it easy, legs were sore.

 

Workout Log - 1/6

P90X Yoga X video (90 min)

- Been a while since I last did any yoga.  It was noticeably harder than usual.

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Finished up all my goals.

 

Progress measurement-wise this week was disappointing.  I guess looking back in hindsight, the last time I bulked it took a good month before all measurements starting flying upwards.  The one place where there is some notable progress is my left leg seems to be starting to catch up just a hair.  Still not in the calf, but there is definite progress in the thigh.  I really miss weekly increases in the tape measure in the chest.  No progress there since November.  If the results this time around bulking are like last time, I should be 1/2" or so away from 50" in the chest, one of my long term goals.

 

I put together a broad jump place in the front yard.  Picked a repeatable starting spot (heel touching walk up to front door), and measured out 7, 8, 9 ft lines, using twine and some nails to mark the lines.  Made a few jumps, best was 7'6".  Pretty average jump for a male.  My plan is to make a few jumps before outdoor runs.

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