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PippinPDX

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NF 6-Week Challenge #2!

 

I improved my overall fitness last challenge -- now it's time to focus on getting strong. As of tomorrow I'm joining a lifting gym, and one of my goals is to lift 3x/week. I also want to maintain the good cardio and nutrition habits I got back into last challenge. And I'll be starting novel revisions (I finished my first draft last challenge) after a short break. I have a lot to look forward to and accomplish in the next 6 weeks! :D

 

GOAL 1: Weight Training 3x/Week

Thanks to my college rowing team's summer training manual (digging this thing out of the closet was like finding gold!), I've got a 14-week lifting program laid out for me. I'll be doing all the basics (squats, presses, cleans, etc.) plus kicking up my ab work with some forgotten gems from the training manual (plate abs, medicine ball circuits and more). I want to be stronger at 30 than I was at 19. Get it!

Scoring: 18 training days = 100%; every day less reduces the grade

[ +4 STR | +1 DEX ]

 

GOAL 2: Run OR Hot Yoga 2x/Week

This will be my cross-training. Both exercises are great for flexibility, and hot yoga is surprisingly good cardio. I have a 10-visit punch card (with 9 visits left) for my local yoga place, which should last through the challenge.

 

Scoring: 12 cross-training days = 100%; every day less reduces the grade

[ +2 STA | +1 DEX ]

 

GOAL 3: Maintain Calorie Goals, Add in LeanGains

On exercise days (5/week), follow the LeanGains fasting/feeding plan (fast until noon, work out, feeding window 1-9 p.m.). 6 days/week, maintain calorie cap of <1,700. One calorie off-day/week (can be conserved to use in groups; for instance, we're going on a mini-vacation in early March, and I plan to use three off-days in a row). Focus on eating protein and veggies on LeanGains days.

 

Scoring: 36 calorie-on days = 100%; every day less reduces the grade

[ +3 CON ]

 

GOAL 4: Assorted Writing Goals

This goal has three parts, since I'm in the middle of a break from my novel (preparing for my first round of revisions). 

I: Read four books during my "break" phase, which lasts from the beginning of the challenge to March 18. The books are "Drown" (Díaz), "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It" (Meloy), "Blood Meridian" (McCarthy) and "Star of the Sea" (O'Connor).

II: Start novel revisions March 18. By the end of the challenge, have a revised structure plan, a backstory for the antagonist and a query letter draft.

III: Attend every meeting of my writing critique group (Sundays). These meetings are tempting to skip when I have no new material to share, but I still need to go and support my critique partners. I can take in query drafts and short story drafts, so I have something to discuss while my novel is set aside.

 

Scoring: Average out scores of all three mini-goals (example, reading 3/4 books = 75%)

[ +2 WIS | +2 CHA ]

 

OK, Rangers, let's go!

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

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Subbed! Keep up the momentum from the last challenge.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

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"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Subbed! Keep up the momentum from the last challenge.


Thanks! I'm aiming to do just that. :D

Today was a weights day. We explored our new gym and kept the weights light to focus on good form. (I haven't lifted in years, so I know my form needs some polishing!) We'll do light weights with different lifts Thursday, and then try working up to some starting PRs on Saturday.

5 minute warm-up on treadmill, 3.5 mph pace, 5 incline

Bench press (4x8): 45, 45, 45, 55
Back squats (4x8): 45, 45, 65, 65
Deadlift (4x8): 35, 35, 35, 35
Tricep extensions (2x16/side): 10, 10
Bent rows (2x8/side): 25, 25
Extended-leg lifts: 2x10

I also have an abs rotation that I ran out of time to do. I only have about 40 minutes at the gym (I go on my lunch break), and I might not be able to squeeze abs in there. So I'll do my abs rotation tomorrow after my run, and come up with a regular way to work that in 3x/week.

Food goals are on track. I've just started the Meloy short story collection, and I'll aim to get through that in the next few days.

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

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Great goals! Having a lifting gym nearby sounds awesome-that will really help. Is it like a Crossfit gym?

Thanks! :) It's a pretty cool gym, founded by brothers in the '40s who hand-welded most of the benches and stuff. Working out there feels like going back in time and training in "Rocky." They don't do Crossfit, but there's another gym nearby that does if I decide to try it! 

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

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Thanks! :) It's a pretty cool gym, founded by brothers in the '40s who hand-welded most of the benches and stuff. Working out there feels like going back in time and training in "Rocky." They don't do Crossfit, but there's another gym nearby that does if I decide to try it! 

 

And they've got those bad ass cannonball dumbbells! 

Jeff

level 2 Piratical Ranger
STR 8 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 4 | WIS 5 | CHA 3

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Awesome detailed goals!  And your gym sounds amazing!!

Thank you! :)

 

And they've got those bad ass cannonball dumbbells! 

Yes, those things are cool. Only downside is they're so old that the numbering is almost worn off. I thought I was doing rows with a 20 lb weight, and wondered why it was so hard. Oh, because it was 25 lbs. I finished my sets, guess I'm moving up to 25 lbs for now! ;)

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

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Today was a run day, and I took care of the abs I missed yesterday.

 

Run outside, 3.56 mi run (3.67 mi. total), 37 min. run (40 min. total)

 

Abs

- crunches (1x30)

- plate abs, 10 lbs (3x10)

- jayhawks, 10 lbs (3x15)

- cardinals (3x15) [couldn't get up to 45° on these, just got my shoulders off the ground -- something to practice!]

 

Last night I got halfway through the Meloy collection I'm reading. Tonight I have writing time planned to work on a short story. Calories goals are on target. I'm going to a beer tasting on Friday so I'll have to be extra careful not to go over that day.

 

Also, I just found out I'm going to a work conference in Vegas at the end of March. Three days at a hotel during a challenge?! With no kitchen and a sketchy hotel gym? :( I'm going to need to make a solid plan for that trip so my whole week isn't shot.

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Weights day! I'm working my way up to baseline lifts, and then I'll start chasing those PRs. Just the bar is pretty tough for me on arm work (bench press/incline press), but I'm still adding weights to back/leg/core exercises to see where I'll max out there to start. Good ol' quads, staying strong! :D

 

Also, I have no real idea of what the different bars weigh, so I'm going to keep track based on what weight I'm adding to each bar.

 

5 minute warm-up on treadmill, 3.5 mph, 5 incline

 

Incline press (3x5, plus test set of 2 with too much weight!): bar | bar+20 (fail after 2 lifts) | bar+10 | bar+10

Back squat (3x5): bar+20 | bar+30 | bar+40 (this was not maxing out, I'll start at bar+40 on Saturday and work up from there)

Deadlift (3x5): bar+20 | bar+30 | bar+40 (same note as squats)

Assisted pull-ups (3x5): 80lb assist, 80lb assist, 90lb assist

Back extensions: 1x15, 2x20 (I also did these Tuesday and forgot to include them in my writeup)

 

I have to do bent rows tonight, I ran out of time at the gym. Squeezing all this into 40 minutes at lunch (along with my husband's sets when we switch off as spotter) is still a work in progress.

 

Food goals are on track, and I got a good outline and about 1,000 words for my short story done last night. Tonight is reading time and possible a sushi dinner date. :)

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Did 90 minutes of hot yoga this evening. I had a nice moment at the start of class when I was looking in the window reflection, thinking, "That lady has awesome shoulders," and it was *me*. :D Thanks to last challenge's BBWC push-up madness, I'm building up some great upper body strength!

 

Yoga felt so good, now it's time to clean up and head off to a beer tasting. 

 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Lifting day. Getting close to some max weights, still working toward others. We estimated that the cage and press bars are 45 lbs, but forgot to confirm this with gym owner. That's our mission on Tuesday.

 

5 minute warmup on treadmill, 3.5mph at 5 incline

 

Bench press (wide grip): 1x5 @ bar+10, 3 to fail @ bar+20, 3 to fail @ bar+20

Back squat (3x5): bar+40, bar+50, bar+70 [still working to find max here]

Military press (3x5): bar, bar, 50lb (we found a clearly marked 50lb bar!)

Bent rows (3x5/side): 25lb, 30, 30

Tricep extensions (3x5/side): 15lb, 20, 20

Plate abs (on incline bench, 3x10): 10lb, 25, 25

Jayhawks (3x10): 10lb, 15, 15 [my abs could do more -- at the end of this workout, though, my arms could not]

5 push-ups [uGH almost fell on my face!]

 

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I'll do some stretching. Otherwise Monday morning is going to suck. 

 

Bonus: Tonight we're going dancing, so that's an extra couple of hours of moving around and sweating. Woot! :D

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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You're doing a great job thus far! I hope dancing was a blast! Keep it up!

♣IRISHodabred♣, Level 2 Celtic Hound Archon Ranger: STR 8|DEX 5|STA 6|CON 5|WIS 5|CHA 6

 

2nd Challenge Log: Will Squat for...

1st Challenge Log: Gym Class Hero Challenge

 

“Discipline Is Choosing Between What You Want Now And What You Want Most.â€

 

"You have to do what others won't to achieve what others don't"

"Do or do not, there is no try"

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Lifting day. Getting close to some max weights, still working toward others. We estimated that the cage and press bars are 45 lbs, but forgot to confirm this with gym owner. That's our mission on Tuesday.

 

5 minute warmup on treadmill, 3.5mph at 5 incline

 

Bench press (wide grip): 1x5 @ bar+10, 3 to fail @ bar+20, 3 to fail @ bar+20

Back squat (3x5): bar+40, bar+50, bar+70 [still working to find max here]

Military press (3x5): bar, bar, 50lb (we found a clearly marked 50lb bar!)

Bent rows (3x5/side): 25lb, 30, 30

Tricep extensions (3x5/side): 15lb, 20, 20

Plate abs (on incline bench, 3x10): 10lb, 25, 25

Jayhawks (3x10): 10lb, 15, 15 [my abs could do more -- at the end of this workout, though, my arms could not]

5 push-ups [uGH almost fell on my face!]

 

Tomorrow is a rest day, but I'll do some stretching. Otherwise Monday morning is going to suck. 

 

Bonus: Tonight we're going dancing, so that's an extra couple of hours of moving around and sweating. Woot! :D

Nice work, Pip! Don't forget to ask how much the bar weighs! I'd guess 45#, too.  That's pretty standard.

 

And I feel you on the push-up face plant.  I was goofing off and trying to show my wife how to do a one-armed push-up and I actually did face plant! Glad it was in front of a small, loving audience.  She still laughed pretty hard, though...

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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You're doing a great job thus far! I hope dancing was a blast! Keep it up!

Thank you! I'm so happy to be lifting again, it's good fun. When I get to add more weight to my bench press it will be even better! :D

 

Nice work, Pip! Don't forget to ask how much the bar weighs! I'd guess 45#, too.  That's pretty standard.

 

And I feel you on the push-up face plant.  I was goofing off and trying to show my wife how to do a one-armed push-up and I actually did face plant! Glad it was in front of a small, loving audience.  She still laughed pretty hard, though...

Went to the gym today, and forgot to ask about the bar. :P Duh! So it's our mission for Thursday! It's an interesting experience, trying to do a pushup after bench presses -- arms ... like ... noodles! 

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Weights day! After 5 minute warm-up (treadmill at 4 mph, 5 incline):

 

incline press, wide grip (3x8): b+10 | b+10 | b+10


back squat (3x8): b+70 | b+70 | b+80

deadlift (3x8): b+50 | b+50 | b+50

assisted pull-ups (3x8): 90 assist | 90 | 90

push-ups (3x5)

back extensions: 15 (body weight only) | 10 (25 lb plate) | 10 (25lb)

plate abs: 10 (25lb plate) | 15 (25lb) | 15 (25lb)

ab pulse (legs up): 30 | 30 | 45

RATs (3x 5/side): 10lb (legs down) | 10lb (legs up) | 10lb (legs up)

 

Yesterday was a rest day, but I got in a nice low-key walk with the dogs, to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. (Now the rain is back, boo.) Food goals are on track. Tomorrow I'll head to the butcher's to stock up on delicious protein. :D 


I finished reading the Meloy collection -- 1 out of 4 books down! I'm reading "Star of the Sea" next, and I've also made progress on my short story (hoping to have a complete first draft by this weekend's writing group).

 

Week 2 is off to a good start! :)

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Run day! Did my normal loop through the neighborhood. I should probably switch this up soon, but I like the route. It was my first run in lots of rain (I've always run inside on rainy days, or just used rain as an excuse to not run!), and it wasn't as bad as I'd feared. I just wore lots of layers and let my iPod run free (I didn't want to take it out and get it wet).

 

Run outside, 3.56 mi run (3.67 mi. total), 37 min. run (40 min. total)

 

Tonight is writing time, and a lot of it, since I got my run done at lunch. Woot!

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Weights day! After 5 minute warm-up (treadmill, 4 mph, 5 incl.):

 

bench press (narrow grip): b+10, 5 reps | b+20, 3 reps | b+20, 2 reps to fail

back squat (3x5): b+80 | b+70 [reduced to fix form, I'm not getting low enough] | b+70

military press: 50lbs, 5 reps | 50lbs, 3 reps | 50lbs, 5 reps

bent rows: 30lbs, 3 reps/side | 35lbs, 3 reps/side | 35lbs, 5 reps/side

tricep extensions: 20lbs, 5 reps/side | 25lbs, 3 reps/side | 25lbs, 5 reps/side

back extensions: 15x2 (arms at chest), 10x1 (prisoner arms)

jayhawks (15lbs): 15x3

RATs (10lbs): 10/sidex2, 15/sidex1

 

It was a little frustrating to go down in weight on squats, especially when I felt strong enough to add more. But I've watched a couple of videos for form, and I need to be able to sit back a tiny bit more and get my form perfect before adding more weight. 

 

Tomorrow is a run day, then hot yoga on Saturday! I'm really looking forward to yoga and getting a good stretch!

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Whoa! You've been busy! I have done the same thing a few different times when it comes to squats. Don't sweat it. It's very important you get form nailed down before trying to go heavier. I've made that mistake before...NOT GOOD! I recommend trying box squats to help with your form (sitting back as opposed to down). I just started doing them and I feel they are WAY better. Although these guys are massive weight lifting beasts, I think this info is really good. Keep kicking butt!

 

http://stronglifts.com/build-explosive-strength-how-to-perform-box-squats/

♣IRISHodabred♣, Level 2 Celtic Hound Archon Ranger: STR 8|DEX 5|STA 6|CON 5|WIS 5|CHA 6

 

2nd Challenge Log: Will Squat for...

1st Challenge Log: Gym Class Hero Challenge

 

“Discipline Is Choosing Between What You Want Now And What You Want Most.â€

 

"You have to do what others won't to achieve what others don't"

"Do or do not, there is no try"

Link to post

Whoa! You've been busy! I have done the same thing a few different times when it comes to squats. Don't sweat it. It's very important you get form nailed down before trying to go heavier. I've made that mistake before...NOT GOOD! I recommend trying box squats to help with your form (sitting back as opposed to down). I just started doing them and I feel they are WAY better. Although these guys are massive weight lifting beasts, I think this info is really good. Keep kicking butt!

 

http://stronglifts.com/build-explosive-strength-how-to-perform-box-squats/

Thanks for the link! It has lots of good tips for squats in general, but I'll try the box variation on my next squat day. There's a bench by the squat cage that should be a good height. :)

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Weekend summary post!

 

Friday: Run day, normal 3.67 mile loop. It was so beautiful out, the first really sunny and warm(ish) day of the year.

Saturday: 60 minutes power yoga

Sunday: Body weight circuits (we were out of town this weekend, so we did body weight stuff for our third lifting day):

 

5 minute dance warmup, followed by 3 sets of:

 

30 squats (prisoner arms)

10 push-ups

30 lunges

15 rows/side (20lb weights)

plank (90 sec)

45 jumping jacks

abs: C1 and C3 - 30 toe-dips, 30 RATs; C2 - 15 jayhawks (10lb weight), 15 both-leg dips

bonus: 1 sun salutation/circuit

 

I had two planned calorie off days on Friday and Saturday (including an amazing steakhouse dinner, OMG), and I got back on track today and met my calorie goals. Writing-wise, I finished the first draft of my current short story, and started reading "Star of the Sea." On to Week 3!! :D

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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Took an unplanned rest day yesterday (Monday was planned rest) because of looming sickness in our house ... I'm not sure if I've managed to avoid it, but my husband has the sniffles. I've been drinking lots of lemon juice and trying to get lots of rest. Come on, immune system!

 

Today was a weights day, high reps/lower weights. After a 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill (5 incl., 4 mph):

incline press (x12, 10, 8) - bar (45lbs), 45, 55

deadlifts (x12, 10, 8) - bar+50 (95lbs), 95, 95

back squats (x12, 10, 8) - bar+50 (105lbs), 105, 105

plate abs (3x15) - 25lbs, 25, 25

back extensions (3x15) - arms at chest x2, prisoner arms x1

 

Finally asked about the bar weight -- turns out most of the bars are 45lbs, but the squat cage bar is 55lbs. This accounts for the extra 10lbs in my squat numbers.


Calorie goals are on target. I'm more than halfway through "Star of the Sea" and it is fantastic -- super dark and sometimes shockingly violent, but the writing and structure are so great I can't put it down. Looking forward to reading more tonight!!

Dúnadan Ranger

Level 2

STR 4 | DEX 2 | STA 8 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

Current 6-Week Challenge

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