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The Puggernaut Challenge


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Swill. Of course.


The pints are passed around thoughtlessly. The acting barman is already so drunk that he's forgotten about collecting the gold in return. The group breaks into song - in fact, they break into multiple songs. The results are staggering. And falling. And the breaking of multiple plates. There is a merry shattering.


There is a quiet figure perched on the edge of the stage. Illuminated only slightly by the stage lights, she watches the goings-on with minor interest. She leans against the leg of her piano.


With absent-minded grace, she casually flips a dagger in the air. It's a small thing, but no less valuable than a sword. After all, she thinks, twirling the blade, a sword's just a big ol' dagger anyway. With that in mind, she slips out through the stage door and disappears. There are better things to be doing.


The Deviant Pug is a warrior, and a lady. She would rather focus on staying active and in shape than trying to lift huge weights over her head. Instead, she keeps small weights nearby at all times and uses them throughout the day. She lives an out-doorsy, Paleo lifestyle.




1. Build visible abs. I don't need to have a perfect washboard stomach, but I'd like to have reasonable definition.


2. End the challenge using 10-pound weights consistently. (Currently, I'm using 5 pound weights.)


3. End the challenge with a consistent home fitness plan that I can stick to. I've tried to go to the gym and take various classes before, but ultimately I end up feeling more comfortable in the privacy of my own home.


Life goal: Kick depression in the face, without using medication.




Starting point: I'm about 5'7, female, and weigh about 117 pounds according to my bathroom scale. I'm not overweight, but I have absolutely zero muscle. While I'm not aiming for Michelle Obama arms, I'd at least like to have some muscle tone and better posture.


I'm actively looking for a cardio routine I can do inside my apartment. (I live in Montreal, Canada. I like running, biking, swimming, skipping etc. but it's a bit silly to do those things when it's winter! I'm looking for an indoor solution that fits in my apartment, so possibly a small folding treadmill, stepper, or exercise bike thingy.)


In terms of weight training, I'm starting with 5-pound dumbbells, since I've never used weights before. My focus will be less on how heavy my weights are, and more on form and posture. Rather than spending intense hours lifting, I'm going to keep my weights in easy locations (by the computer or TV remote, for example) so that I lift in little bursts throughout the day.


As for depression, well, the more active I am, the less I should have to worry about it. My hope is that if I stick to my routine, I'll be able to shake off some of the most annoying parts of my depression: insomnia, fatigue, and sedentary...ness. (Don't know how to put it.) My depression makes me lie in bed all day. I don't know why, and no, it's not just because I'm trying to be lazy. Doing cardio to get myself moving again should help to combat it, and I know the more I can lift, the more I'll feel good about myself again!


I'm late to the party, but there's still about a month of challenge to go, so let's do this. I'm going to try and post pictures, too!

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Hi DevPug :)


Best way to get that muscle tone you're after is to list heavy things repeatedly in forms of Deadlifts and Squats. You won't get bulky. Muscle Bulk only happens when you eat LOTS of (good!) food, like 4k calories and upwards. 


You seem to have a plan though, as long as you manage to stick to it, your goals will be easy to reach. Good luck!

Level 4 Human Ranger

The only Way to accomplish greatness is to set your goals even higher.

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I'm learning to do deadlifts properly this week, and I don't think it's possible for me to get bulky! I think I can do this. I've got my first set of dumbbells to work with, but I'm going to hunt for a bar, and maybe a bench if I can afford one. Anyway!


I got my Day 1 pictures up.






Gosh, I am a lot fatter than I thought. Also these are terrible pictures of me and not very flattering. (I don't have a double chin! The camera, it lies!) But, I guess the less flattering these pictures are, the better I'll feel about the After photos.

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End of Day One. I've hammered out a solid diet plan, one that I can hopefully stick to over the next month. My diet is based on the Paleo guidelines, but since I'm more interested in muscle toning, I'm not going to be super strict about anything. I have some easy rules that I think I can stick to.


So, here are the MANDATORY rules.


1. I can use dairy products for cooking, but I can't eat them by themselves. (For example, I could make a cheese sauce for my broccoli, or a cream sauce for my pasta, but I can't drink milk or eat plain cheese.) Rather than having a glass of milk, I'll switch to almond or coconut milk.


2. I'll limit the amount of grains I have, without eliminating them completely. Since my focus is on building some new muscle, I don't want to completely throw grains out the window. However, I'll have rules to make sure I don't eat much grain: I can have only up to 1/2 cup of rice per day. I can have pasta as long as it's not processed (i.e. no Kraft Dinner, but a nice fettuccine with homemade sauce is perfectly alright). I can have a quick oatmeal breakfast if I don't have time to make an omelette, but oatmeal is a backup plan for emergencies only. I prefer a nice egg breakfast anyway!


3. I'm not going to worry about grain-fed vs. grass-fed meat, but I'll aim for organic meat whenever I can afford it. My student budget is pretty limited, but I'll do my best.


4. Green beans, wax beans and bean sprouts are allowed, even if they're legumes. I count them as a veggie, and I like them a lot. However, I'll trade peanuts for almonds, and I'll limit the soy sauce.


5. I can eat out twice a week: once for dinner, once for lunch. I only have one day of class per week, and I'm at home the rest of the time, so there's no excuse for not cooking!


To summarize: Dairy is for cooking only; grains should be limited but not completely cut; organic meat when possible; beans are okay, but avoid peanuts and soy products; there's no excuse for eating out if I'm standing right next to my kitchen.




Today's food log:


Breakfast -- Small bowl of oatmeal and cinnamon.


Lunch -- Missed due to lectures. :(


Dinner -- Fettuccine and alfredo, topped with cashew nuts.


Après-Dinner -- Because I missed lunch, I was still starving, so an hour later I made a 'hot pot.' (1/2 cup of rice tossed with an egg until the egg was scrambled and cooked through.) I added a mild garlic sauce.




Exercise log:


Yesterday I did 30 minutes of cardio (jump rope), so today I'm doing dumbbell exercises for 30 minutes. I also hold plank every morning and evening for a full minute.

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I'll be posting some 1 year progress pics later today or tomorrow, and you can see if lifting heavy is the way to go. I have not gotten bulky AT ALL but I think I'm leaner and visibly tighter, which is perfect. I do want to actually try for a little bulk once my current lifting program ends,  but even without it I have gotten WAY stronger in that year.


At 5'7 and 117, you certainly don't need to lose weight, so I would suggest eating at maintenance or a slight surplus so your muscles have the fuel they need to build. I'm 5'2 and 122 and I eat all bloody day long :)


Sounds like a pretty solid plan to ease yourself into the paleo way of eating as well... although if you discover you feel better without a ton of grains and want to cut out, there are plenty of great non-grain carb options out there.


Well to the Warrior Guild!

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Thanks all! I'm not worried about getting bulky. I probably wouldn't mind :P I'm starting small, introducing myself to the weights by exercising in 10-minute intervals. I decided to aim for three 10-minute sessions a day to start with, using light weights, so I can learn about proper form. I'm sure I'll end up doing more later!

As for eating, my main goal has pretty much nothing to do with quantity or losing any weight. If I'm hungry, I'll eat a ton. I'm mostly concerned with cooking... I'm going on a cooking adventure. I've been living on 'student food' (pizza, Kraft Dinner, microwave meals) for too long, and keeping the food log here in public motivates me to eat properly!


So on that note, today's food log:

Brunch -- Eggs, and I added some nuts on the side because I didn't have much else.

Dinner -- I'm proud to say I planned it in advance and marinated my beef overnight (in Korean barbecue sauce, or 'bulgogi'). I paired it with my 1/2 cup of rice, and some corn. (Corn isn't paleo, but there are worse things I could have eaten, and it was in my pantry. Also, it was delicious.)

Movie -- Instead of popcorn, I had some cashews!


Exercise log:

I was going to get a jump rope, and go skipping outside. Except, it was -35 celsius (that's -31 farenheit, apparently), and everything was ice. So, I stayed inside today and just practiced with my weights.

My arms and legs are definitely getting in shape, because they're still burning, but my abs seem perfectly happy. This has to change! Tomorrow, I'll add sit-ups and crunches to the routine.

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Day 4.

Food log:

Brunch -- Scrambled eggs and fries (I made the fries in the toaster oven).

Dinner -- Leftover pasta and alfredo.


Exercise log:

I did manage the 30 minutes of exercise today, by breaking it into three 10-minute intervals. I did my usual training with the 5-pound dumbbells, I did the plank pose 3 times (60 seconds each), and I added crunches and leg lifts. Ohhhhh boy ab exercises are deadly...


Life log:

I forgot the Omega-3 supplements today. I gotta keep on top of those! And I need to go to bed earlier. But, I did convince my boyfriend to let me buy an exercise machine.

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Day 5.


Brunch -- Leftovers. (I have way too much left.)


Dinner -- Beans, pork, and rice, but I ordered it from the little take-out place across the street, so that uses up my one take-out dinner. Tasty, though!




Exercise log:


Instead of three 10-minute intervals, I did two 15-minute intervals.


Without dumbbells:


-Leg lifts


-One minute of plank


With dumbbells:



-Bicep curls

-Shoulder presses

-Tricep curls




Life log:


Things are getting better. I'm going to bed earlier tonight! I'm getting out of the apartment tomorrow. I want to look at cardio machines... Ha.

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