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Waldo's Thredd


Waldo

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Welcome to my challenge thread. I reached my inital weight loss goals almost 9 months ago now, my focus has been and will be maintaining and improving my all around fitness and working toward my long term body composition goals (215 lbs @ 10% BF). Dieting and regular exercise are a way of life for me now. Diet-wise I use myfitnesspal and am an IIFYM (if it fits your macros) dieter philosophically.  I track as much data as I reasonably can, its just the way I am.  The engineer in me needs data and numbers.
 
I will be bulking until the final week of the challenge (to 3/31), when I'll switch to maintenance prior to a late spring cut.  My bulking goals are 3200 net cal/day (~1.0 lb/wk gain), and 200g protein/day (~1g/lb bodyweight).
 
Progress Photo:
 

Collage2113_zpse7399204.jpg
 
 
I'm pretty big into progress photos, nothing shows changes better than photos.  Last year I took them biweekly, this year I expect changes to be slower so am taking them monthy.  I expect to take a progress photo on 3/1 and 4/1 during this challenge.
 
Workout Plan:
 
I'm not planning on making any changes to my workout plan.  My main goals right now are:
- Work toward a bar muscle up (explosive pulling, bar/ring dips)
- Notable front lever progress (want to significantly improve flat back tuck holds, be ready for the next variation)
- Add time to tuck planche holds (working toward 10 sec x 6, probably won't get there)
- Improve my pistol form (form differences L-R needs fixing, my pistol form is good, but could get better)
- Add reps to headstand pushups (I want them to get easy before I move toward harder variants)
 
Workout Schedule:
Monday - Leg Day A (Pistols, Shrimp Squats, Calf Raises, (Hill Sprints with nice weather))
Tuesday - Upper Body Dynamic (Headstand Pushups, Pullup var, Ring Dips)
Wednesday - 2.6/3.0/3.1 mile run (distance depends on course run, most likely 2.6 miles)
Thursday - Leg Day B (Pistols, Glute Ham Raises)
Friday - Upper Body Static (Planche, Manna, Front Lever, Back Lever progressions)
Saturday - 5.0/6.0 mile run (most likely 5.0 miles)
Sunday - Yoga 
 
Will also do a few sets of jump-switch pistols and side switch one arm plyo pushups earlier in the day one day a week.
Will add a muscle up workout Sunday afternoons weather permitting (need to use an outdoor pullup bar for full muscle up practice).

I use an intensity-volume-form/recovery undulating periodization for the legs, and use an autoregulated approach for the upper body.

Starting Stats and Measurements:
 
Race: Corellian 
Class: Assassin
Level: 7
 
STR: 18.50
DEX: 15.75
STA: 10.25
CON: 11.50
WIS: 19.50
CHA: 16.50
 
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 204 lb 
Est BF% - 11%
 
Neck: 16.3"
Chest: 48.5"
Flexed Abs: 32.9"
Unflexed Belly: 30.0"
Glutes: 41.4"
 
R Bicep: 15.5"
R Forearm: 13.6"
L Bicep: 15.1" 
L Forearm: 13.4"
 
R Thigh: 26.3"
R Quad: 23.9"
R Calf: 16.3"
L Thigh: 26.0"
L Quad: 23.4"
L Calf: 15.6"
 
Goals:
 
Goal 1 - Daily GTG front lever work
I feel that my progress on the front lever has been a little too slow as of late, and that only working on it one day a week is the main culprit.  I'd like to build a base of lots and lots of basic tuck front lever holds throughout the week to feed into progress on more advanced variants during my static workout.
 
I am going to keep every hold to 15 seconds.  The goal with each being to make that 15 seconds the best 15 second hold ever.  Starting out I'm going to do 3 holds per day, but I might switch to 4.  If soreness starts becoming an issue I might take a day off here and there, I will note it the day before.  I will not take more than 1 day off in a row.
 
Points Available: STR +2, DEX +2
 
Goal 2 - Impliment a form rating system
Adding RPE data to my workout log last challenge was a great success, the next step is to further upgrade my grading of sets to include form quality.  Just like adding the RPE data, form logging form info is not enough, I need to sped some time analyzing it and learn something from it.
 
This is somewhat prompted by my legs and the fact that my right continues to outgrow my left and is much stronger, despite mostly doing one leg work limited by the left, and doing extra work on the left.  This is especially notable in the quads (and exercises like shrimp squats, where there is a world of difference between the sides).  The only real difference is that my right has consistently used better form due to being stronger.  Bringing awareness to my form should go a long way to correcting this I think.
 
But on top of that, I'm sure there is more to be learned by tracking form quality everywhere.  Tracking RPE's has made me much more intuitive with my workouts, knowing where to really go for it, and where a more conservative approach is better.

 

Form rating system to be used is listed below in the workout log key.
 
Points Available: CON +3, WIS +1
 
Goal 3 - Finish each workout with a no pause max reps set of a basic BW exercise
My strength endurace is downright pitiful.  I always have it in the plans to do a strength endurance set at the end of workouts, but I never get around to it.  I just never feel up to doing it.  Its time to fix this lazyness on my part.  Yes high rep work sucks, I need to deal with it.
 
I'm going to do squats on leg days, pushups on dynamic days, and chinups on static days.
 
Points Available: STR +1, STA +3
 
Goal 4 - Clean and organize my desk at work
My desk is an absolute disaster.  Piles and piles of drawings, project manuals, and assorted paperwork have built up to ridiculous levels.  Likewise with my email inbox.
 
The plan is to set aside some time each week (Fridays) to spend cleaning it up.
 
I took some starting progress photos that I'll post later.
 
Points Available: WIS +1, CHA +2
 
Workout Log Key:

I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it.

Starting with the basic:
Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set
I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time.

From there I add a lot of modifiers:

/ = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb.  I always use the convention left/right.  3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right.

, = delimiter between sets.  3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3.

n = negative reps.  5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end.  0n3 means a set of 3 negatives.

c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time.  Standard pause time is 5 breaths.  3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps.  3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps.

m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time.  10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total).  I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps.

Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done.  The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard"  the set was.  I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale:
z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep.
y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep.
x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure.
e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work.

Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was.  I'm going to use my own form rating system at first:
++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor. 
+ = Average/above average form.  No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details.
- = Below average form.  Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work
-- = Poor form, major form problems.

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currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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Still working out the exact details for each of my goals.  

 

- I'm starting to really notice the effects of the GTG front lever work, they are rapidly getting easier.  2 or 3 holds per day seems about like the sweet spot, 4 holds might really challenge my recovery ability.  Static days will require modification.  Might take a break day as well, not sure yet.

 

- Form tracking will be largely like RPE tracking for me, using a similar easy to log shorthand.

 

- I need more high rep work, I really do see the benefits from it.  Not sure if I'm going to do BW squats both leg days or BW squats one day and BW RDL's the other.

 

- Cleaning my desk will include my email inbox at work.  Will take progress pics.  My desk is truly a disaster, piles of specs, drawings, and assorted paperwork, very little organization, major purging needed.

 

I'm still bulking and will be until the final week of the challenge, when I'll switch to maintenence.  I'll post measurements on Sunday after I take my weekly measurements.  My next progress photo is about a week away (taking them at the start of each month this year).

 

In other news, I finally acted on my life goal from last challenge.  After lots and lots of clothes shopping and browsing, I finally bought something.  Got a new button down shirt to wear to work; it has a flannel-like pattern without being a flannel, and nice detailing.  And it actually fits me OK.  Wife loves it.  I have a real hard time finding non-stretchy things that fit me, if it fits my chest it is way too long and way too loose in the waist.  Sad when I try on a XL shirt, and find I could pop the buttons if I flex my chest, yet it could fit two of me in the waist.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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GTG max front lever holds?  Or for a set time?

 

Also, get a tailor. Seriously.  It's like $5 to have a shirt tailored.  Granted my problem is on a smaller scale, but my shoulders/chest are a size larger than the rest of me.  So I buy a shirt that fits me on top and I have it tailored to fit the bottom.

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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Set time.  15 sec, which is about RPE 7 level work for me.  Sometimes I have a bad hold and struggle (been rarer as of late), but I think my max hold in a basic tuck lever is about 25-30 sec if I really set my mind to it.  If I allow myself to pull up and reset my scapulas, I might be able to go a good bit longer (though after about 20 sec/15 reps or so, small pauses add a lot of reps/time, as you are blurring the line into high rep cluster reps, one of the reasons I don't allow pausing in my high rep work).

 

Which is a good segue into tonight's workout.  Did a set of max reps no-pause BW chins at the end.  I haven't done BW chins in a long, long time.  Damn they felt easy.  I got to 16 reps, which is surprisingly good considering how wiped out I was, every muscle in the upper body had 10 peak sets in 'em at that point.   Very good progress on the hands back tuck planche and middle split holds, front lever took a step forward, back lever is in a steady state holding pattern at the moment, holding a full BL, but only for 3 seconds a pop, no sense in overreaching now, form progression for me for the foreseeable future on the BL until it gets easier, might not add time to the full layout for a few months.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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Awesome goals, as always! On the organization front, I feel your pain. Check out the "email ninja" section of Steve's post from a few months back...works like a charm!

 

Also curious to see how you implement the form rating system. I've been really focusing on form lately and seeing significantly better gains from it.

drsloomis: level 5 human assassin

STR: 15 | DEX: 17 | CON: 12 | STA: 12 | WIS: 14 | CHA: 8

Current Challenge

 

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Huh. The challenge hasn't even started and I've already learned something. Awesome!

 

And, yeah, tailoring. My problem is similar, although not caused by muscle development *cough*. If you aren't the shape of the hanger, it's hard to get something to fit - which is becoming more and more true of both genders, sad to say.

Half Dragon, Half Elf, Level 0.5 Assassin - I flame people when cranky, but I'm seriously kickass.STR 4 | DEX 2.5 | STA 3.25 | CON 5 | WIS 8.75 | CHA 4 | Challenges: 1  2 3 4 5 | myFitnessPal | Spreadsheet | fitbitChallenge 6, Back to the assassin's rootsBlog: float knowledge return wisdom;

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Set time.  15 sec, which is about RPE 7 level work for me.  Sometimes I have a bad hold and struggle (been rarer as of late), but I think my max hold in a basic tuck lever is about 25-30 sec if I really set my mind to it.  If I allow myself to pull up and reset my scapulas, I might be able to go a good bit longer (though after about 20 sec/15 reps or so, small pauses add a lot of reps/time, as you are blurring the line into high rep cluster reps, one of the reasons I don't allow pausing in my high rep work).

 

Which is a good segue into tonight's workout.  Did a set of max reps no-pause BW chins at the end.  I haven't done BW chins in a long, long time.  Damn they felt easy.  I got to 16 reps, which is surprisingly good considering how wiped out I was, every muscle in the upper body had 10 peak sets in 'em at that point.   Very good progress on the hands back tuck planche and middle split holds, front lever took a step forward, back lever is in a steady state holding pattern at the moment, holding a full BL, but only for 3 seconds a pop, no sense in overreaching now, form progression for me for the foreseeable future on the BL until it gets easier, might not add time to the full layout for a few months.

 

So... sorry to beat the GTG lever horse... you're basically doing (3) 15 sec. front lever holds, but spread out through the day?  So, not so much as GTG (or at least how I would define it) but almost like a normal set x time scheme but with really long recovery times between each set?  Or am I missing something?

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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So... sorry to beat the GTG lever horse... you're basically doing (3) 15 sec. front lever holds, but spread out through the day?  So, not so much as GTG (or at least how I would define it) but almost like a normal set x time scheme but with really long recovery times between each set?  Or am I missing something?

 

Yes, exactly.

 

I guess I don't know that much about GTG aside from the general concept, to basically do submax work at a high frequency, with full recovery between sets.  Though it should be true that set volume should be reduced as you get further from your 1RM as you start getting into fairly high total volumes, which stresses your recovery a lot more.  

 

For example, if it weren't for them damn splints in the forearms I'm confident I could do 10 short little tuck planche holds thoughout the day.  Being only a couple seconds a pop, its such a low volume that recovery isn't a big deal.  These 15 second holds really have the frequency to really help me with activation and form, but if I were to start getting into 5-6+ holds a day (4 is iffy), I'd be building such a huge daily volume that my muscles/tendons would be beat to hell.  Which is fine if that was all I'm doing, but it isn't, this is on top of the rest of my workouts.  

 

How does that differ from what you'd think of as GTG?  I'm curious as I really don't know that much about it.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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Taking the "Brevity is the soul of wit" approach this time, nice.

 

Goal 3 sounds like an idea I've been batting about for my own workouts. 'Scuse me while I steal and implement it. In exchange, I can hound you with all the fashion advice you'd ever want.

 

Just haven't got around to a more detailed write up yet.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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Yes, exactly.

 

I guess I don't know that much about GTG aside from the general concept, to basically do submax work at a high frequency, with full recovery between sets.  Though it should be true that set volume should be reduced as you get further from your 1RM as you start getting into fairly high total volumes, which stresses your recovery a lot more.  

 

For example, if it weren't for them damn splints in the forearms I'm confident I could do 10 short little tuck planche holds thoughout the day.  Being only a couple seconds a pop, its such a low volume that recovery isn't a big deal.  These 15 second holds really have the frequency to really help me with activation and form, but if I were to start getting into 5-6+ holds a day (4 is iffy), I'd be building such a huge daily volume that my muscles/tendons would be beat to hell.  Which is fine if that was all I'm doing, but it isn't, this is on top of the rest of my workouts.  

 

How does that differ from what you'd think of as GTG?  I'm curious as I really don't know that much about it.

 

I think my hangup is the volume.  I'd call (10) 6 sec. holds throughout the day GTG, but not (3) 15 sec. holds.

 

When I'm using GTG I usually cut my max in half and use that number for the GTG sets.  Number of sets ends up being my target for the exercise.  e.g. Pull-up max is 12.  My target reps x sets for pull-ups is 3-5 sets of 12 reps.  So, for my GTG work I'd do 6 reps, 6-10 sets (36-60 total reps).

 

That being said, I'm not sure how I'd apply it any differently than you are with the static holds.  I'm assuming your working toward the standard 60 sec. hold, in which case if you're max is 30 sec. for a hold and you're using GTG, it would be (4) 15 sec. holds.  Not a lot of volume in a traditional sense.

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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Can't wait for all of the info that your thread always brings :)

 

I'm curious already: Why the maintenance before the cut?  Do you have a maximum amount of time your bulking cycle will last?

 

Working backwards from single digit BF% by Memorial Day leads me to want to start cutting mid April, thus bulking to 3/31.  Lyle McDonald suggests 2 weeks of maintenance between bulking/cutting cycles.  Its a good idea IMHO, I don't think its good to make a 1000 cal shift all at once.  That gives me 3 months to bulk total, which is a good number.  Contrary to popular belief, bulking gets old after a while.  I'm already looking forward to cutting and the faster physical results it brings.  

 

Workout Log - 2/24

GTG Tuck Front Levers - 15 sec x 3

 

Run 0.5 mile 

False Grip Pullup - 5e reps

PB Dips - 5e reps

 

Chicken Wing Bar Muscle Up - 1x, 1x reps

Explosive Kipping Pullup - 5e, 5e, 5e reps

Jump Muscle Up-> Bar Dips - 5x, 5x, 5x reps

 

Run 0.5 mile

 

Later.......

Arms Only Vine Climb - 3x/3x, 4x/4x reps

 

Rodney Yee Total Body Power Yoga (60 min)

 

- Notable progress on the kipping pulls.  The bar was hitting about mid-chest, a hair lower on the best reps, and I was dropping down to it from my highest point as I pulled it to me.  I'm not sure how far I was dropping, but it was noticeable   In addition to continued progress pulling higher, dropping less is another avenue to work on getting even higher.  What I've been doing as of late has definitely been working.  Been pretty bummed about muscle ups, didn't seem to be making much progress, this was a big step in the right dirction.

 

- Not sure how to note the vine climbs.  That is steps per hand (3/3 = 6 steps up the vine).  Climbing that thing is just a brutal exercise.  Rough on the hands, forearms, biceps, lats, and arm tendons.  But I made huge progress, last Monday I was able to do 2/2 x 2, did almost twice as much today.  Last fall I was barely able to do a single step per arm.

 

- Terrible day of yoga, was stiff and kept getting cramps.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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