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Waldo

Waldo Challenge 9.0

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Its cuttin time. Next stop:

6pack.jpg

For the duration of the challenge I'll be cutting in the 1.0-1.2 lb/wk area. This is going to be an open ended cut, the object being to cut to the 8% BF area, no visible fat without becoming freaky veiny. And tanning. Lots of tanning.

It time to reveal all the muscle I've built in the last year. About 20 lbs worth if my estimates are right.

Goals:

1) Learn To Use My Left Pinkie Toe

- I have pretty much zero control over it right now, in fact it often goes the wrong way when I try to use it on its own. My right side doesn't have this issue at all. I believe this issue and general weakness of my smaller toes on the left foot is a major contributer to the size imbalance between my calves. Working on finger strength has been the key to forearm growth for me, and I suspect that toe strenth shows a similar relationship with the calves.

I think the trick to it will be to spend a few minutes every day working on it.

Points Available: DEX +3, CON+1


2) Switch To Full ROM Weighted Skater Squats As My Primary Leg Exercise

- This is huge. Pistol squats and weighted pistol squats have been my primary leg exercise now for well over a year. I feel there is potential here for a back squat/front squat type relationship between full ROM skater squats and pistol squats. I'm going to switch to the skater squats for the duration of the challenge. I'll still do some unweighted pistol squats so that I don't backslide on my pistol form.

For those that don't know, skater squats are the same thing as a basic shrimp squat, where you don't hold the back leg with your hands. With 2 hands free, you're able to hold a lot more weight. A shrimp squat though is a partial ROM squat (biomechanics do not allow you to go to parallel or below on flat ground), which makes it more suitable as an accessory exercise than a primary exercise. Elevating the working leg a few inches allows a much greater full range of motion, making exercise suitable as a primary exercise.

The different hip and back angle between a pistol and skater squat allow for a different mix of muscle activation throughout the range of motion, which is what has me so intrigued with the potential symbiotic relationship between pistol and skater squats.

Points Available: STR +4
 

3) Take Weekly Progress Photos

- I'm no stranger to progress photos and I'm going to continue to take monthy progress photos in the bathroom mirror as I always have, however I'm also going to do more. When it comes to cutting into the single digits of BF%, photos are by far the best measure. The tape measure and scale can only take you so far.

I need to be freed of the limitiations of the bathroom mirror, therefore I will be using my SLR on a tripod with a timer. Shots will include: front, side, and back relaxed and front, back flexed. I might also do a side flexed.
 

Points Available: WIS +1, CHA +3
 
L) Spend At Least One Minute A Day Working On My Website/Blog
 
 - Starting something is the hard part for me.  Once I get going I'm usually good to go and keep going.  I'm trying to get in the habit of doing at least a little bit every day.  Hopefully I'll be ready to unveil it some time this challenge.

 

Points Available: WIS +3

 

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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....

 

Actually that may be my theme too this time!  And I took care of your double post :) Can't wait to see what crazy training you'll invent!

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Well the forum monster has not been nice today, so I'm going to leave my first post there for the time being.  Eventually I'll add current progress photos, my workout log deciphering key, and stats/attributes.

 

 

Still in the midst of a weeklong self imposed exile from exercise, eating at maintenence.  My weight has been lol this week.  I've been tracking resting heart rate and blood pressure first thing in the moring now for a few weeks, starting when I was in an overtraining state (we got a blood pressure monitor for my wife at the end of her pregnancy, it was just sittin around collecting dust so I figured 'eh what the hell, more data is always a good thing).  Today was really the first day that RHR and BP dropped in a somewhat significant way, though there has been a slow trend downward in both.  Physically I do feel more recovered today than I have all week.

 

 

At first I was actually really freaked out about my blood pressure because the top number was so high, at times into the go on meds range.  But reading about it more, I've come to learn that my lower number is quite low (meds would make it super low), the combination of the two means I have very high pulse pressure, something seen in high performance athletes, especailly weight lifters, and its nothing to worry about, a positive even (strong heart).

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1) Learn To Use My Left Pinkie Toe

- I have pretty much zero control over it right now, in fact it often goes the wrong way when I try to use it on its own. My right side doesn't have this issue at all. I believe this issue and general weakness of my smaller toes on the left foot is a major contributer to the size imbalance between my calves. Working on finger strength has been the key to forearm growth for me, and I suspect that toe strenth shows a similar relationship with the calves.

I think the trick to it will be to spend a few minutes every day working on it.

 

I look forward to reading about your challenge :) I looked back through some of your old threads and BRAVO!! 

 

I'm curious, how does one test how much control they have over their pinkie toes? And what kind of exercises do you do to improve it?

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I look forward to reading about your challenge :) I looked back through some of your old threads and BRAVO!! 

 

I'm curious, how does one test how much control they have over their pinkie toes? And what kind of exercises do you do to improve it?

 

Thanks.

 

Well, take your shoes and socks off and try to move your pinkie toe without moving your other toes.  If you can't do it you have no control over it.  But that can be improved.  Using Vibrams is known to improve it.  Regular practice and awareness, especially when the toes are separated a bit, helps, as does exercises where you pick things up with your toes.  It also helps to spend as much time as possible barefoot.

 

Immobile pinkie toes is largely a result of modern dependence on shoes.

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I'm looking forward to seeing how the cut goes! I'm doing the nuclear option cut you told me about before. Lost a pound each for 3 days, then today went up a tad (half a pound). It'll be interesting to see how it goes. I don't feel like I can afford to take the entire challenge to cut, so I'm hoping this will be a quick drop down to 12% or so, then I can work on putting on some more muscle.

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That's awesome.

I wonder if AJ has any experience doing that. I know that Chariohkey has done it in the past. I'm really curious as to just how well its going to work (I've seen some truly ZOMG results, dudes dropping 8 lbs and 4% BF in 2 weeks). Its not uncommon for a lot of bodybuilder types to do a 2 week RFL cut every few months to keep the fat at bay, otherwise they just permabulk. Were I a single dude I know I would probably do that, but the family life complicates that.

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Waldo I will be watching and rooting along for you. You are where I hope to be a year from now. I will be doing another challenge myself although I have decided to lose more gut first while trying to maintain the muscle I have. 

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That's awesome.

I wonder if AJ has any experience doing that. I know that Chariohkey has done it in the past. I'm really curious as to just how well its going to work (I've seen some truly ZOMG results, dudes dropping 8 lbs and 4% BF in 2 weeks). Its not uncommon for a lot of bodybuilder types to do a 2 week RFL cut every few months to keep the fat at bay, otherwise they just permabulk. Were I a single dude I know I would probably do that, but the family life complicates that.

 

The interesting thing is that my best friend and I are both doing it, and lost the exact same amount of weight for the first 3 days (although he started 20lbs heavier). Then today I was up half a pound and he dropped another pound. My sodium intake was really high yesterday, so that might have been a factor. Anyway, so it's cool because we can compare our numbers / experience. I've also been taking a picture every morning, I figure it'll be useful if I lose that much weight that quickly.

 

As far as difficulty, it honestly hasn't been that bad. I haven't had any real issues with the hunger, it's just when I'm bored that I really want to eat something. 

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Well, take your shoes and socks off and try to move your pinkie toe without moving your other toes.  If you can't do it you have no control over it.  But that can be improved.  Using Vibrams is known to improve it.  Regular practice and awareness, especially when the toes are separated a bit, helps, as does exercises where you pick things up with your toes.  It also helps to spend as much time as possible barefoot.

 

Wait... whoa. Whoa. Hold on a sec... (runs off to a more private part of the office to take of shoe and sock)

 

My mind is blown.

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Its cuttin time. Next stop:

6pack.jpg

 

 

Yo, We need foe' moe' ab-blaster pros and we can totally strut up an alleyway in our jeans too

 

That's awesome.

I wonder if AJ has any experience doing that. I know that Chariohkey has done it in the past. I'm really curious as to just how well its going to work (I've seen some truly ZOMG results, dudes dropping 8 lbs and 4% BF in 2 weeks). Its not uncommon for a lot of bodybuilder types to do a 2 week RFL cut every few months to keep the fat at bay, otherwise they just permabulk. Were I a single dude I know I would probably do that, but the family life complicates that.

 

I did RFL back when I was 19 and knew nothing about fitness yet. Being naive, the results weren't as good as I wanted, and my already pitiful strength didn't exactly shine. I recently went over a similar theory of mine in the IF LG thread (it's been revived!), but my thought was that you could get away with a 50% calorie reduction for up to 4 weeks. It would still be an incredibly difficult party line to stand to.

 

For me, RFL would be about a 66% reduction, so right off the bat I would say never do this for more than 2 weeks, and I'd even caution you to do it a maximum of four times a year (who the hell wants to eat so little for more than two months of the year anyway?)

 

Anyway, the REAL problem I have with RFL goes like this:

- it doesn't encourage anything remotely resembling healthy eating practices

- guaranteed to feel like crap after the first week.

- and here's the big one: a lot of times, when I've seen people embark on this sort of path, their head REALLY isn't in the right place to be trying something like this. Everyone wants to lose weight fast, but this kinda dieting strategy is what leads to bulimia and anorexia. I would personally MUCH rather someone use good dieting practices rather than enacting a diet scheme that even it's original writer encourages people NOT to do.

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Yo, We need foe' moe' ab-blaster pros and we can totally strut up an alleyway in our jeans too

 

 

I did RFL back when I was 19 and knew nothing about fitness yet. Being naive, the results weren't as good as I wanted, and my already pitiful strength didn't exactly shine. I recently went over a similar theory of mine in the IF LG thread (it's been revived!), but my thought was that you could get away with a 50% calorie reduction for up to 4 weeks. It would still be an incredibly difficult party line to stand to.

 

For me, RFL would be about a 66% reduction, so right off the bat I would say never do this for more than 2 weeks, and I'd even caution you to do it a maximum of four times a year (who the hell wants to eat so little for more than two months of the year anyway?)

 

Anyway, the REAL problem I have with RFL goes like this:

- it doesn't encourage anything remotely resembling healthy eating practices

- guaranteed to feel like crap after the first week.

- and here's the big one: a lot of times, when I've seen people embark on this sort of path, their head REALLY isn't in the right place to be trying something like this. Everyone wants to lose weight fast, but this kinda dieting strategy is what leads to bulimia and anorexia. I would personally MUCH rather someone use good dieting practices rather than enacting a diet scheme that even it's original writer encourages people NOT to do.

 

Thanks for the info! Definitely interesting. I went from ~2850 Calories a day down to ~1000 Calories a day (I believe my maintenance is about 2400). But it really hasn't been that difficult for me? It takes some willpower, but I haven't felt like I was starving. My intent was to keep it up for 2 weeks, and the goal was to drop ~5lbs in that time. But it's been 4 days and I've already lost ~3lbs (although I'm worried some of that has been muscle). 

 

However, I definitely don't have as much energy, and my two workouts so far have only been about half what I was doing before. What are your concerns about it? (doesn't work, you gain it back, it's unhealthy, etc.)

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The biggest concern is that it is absolutely the wrong way to go about things if you're overweight and looking to make sustainable changes.  Most people that would want to do it are totally not ready and could not handle it well.

 

It really has one specific goal in mind, due to that it does have wider applicability though.  It is really designed for fitness models and similar types who need to lose fat fast, for a specific date, with tons of motivation, without loss of muscle mass.

 

It is meant for people who who have their diet house of cards in order.  Who would view it as a temporary distraction for an event, who aren't a risk to fall off the rails of their long term plans.  It is absolutely horrendous for someone that is trying to "lose weight".  If you are ready for RFL, there is no try, that doesn't even cross your mind, of course you are going to lose weight.

 

One group that does specifically seem to do well with it are the bodybuilder types who would rather be bulking than cutting, doing RFL to get the cutting out the the way as quickly as possible.  But this means bodybuilder types, not weightlifters in general; bodybuilder types tend to be more concerned with leanness (and maintaining it) and tend to have their diet much more dialed in.  They are a very low risk group with regards to this sort of dieting behavior.

 

But since you've got a specific important event, have the diet house of cards pretty well in order (especially given what you've learned recently), are relatively lean, and really do see it as a temporary blip (and plan on returning to bulking immediately thereafter), I would consider you low risk and a fairly ideal person for an RFL application.

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This is looking to be one of the more interesting set of challenge goals I have ever seen, and I am extremely curious to see how it goes. I've never heard of someone focusing so in-depth on training one's pinkie toe. Of course, I take that for granted because I have monkey feet, I rarely bend down to pick up anything under 20lbs, I just grab it with my toes :monkey:

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Nice goals, though the toe one is a little odd (I totally get it though). I'm actually most interested to see how the toe things goes, but I'm sure your whole challenge will be fascinating, as usual.

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So my bodies' weight plunge continues unabated.  I've never experienced anything like this.  I've now dropped 4.2 lbs since Sunday.

 

Thing is, I'm not even trying to lose weight.  Sure I plan on starting to cut.  NEXT WEEK.  Right now I'm supposed to be at maintenance (2700 cal/day).

 

How the next month is going to play out will be quite interesting.

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Can't wait to see how your explorations on the skater/pistol work go! I started skaters this past week after seeing it here, under another name: http://ashotofadrenaline.net/one-legged-bird-squat/ because with my ITB issue, I need extra glute-focused squat action. Still a little hazy on what's proper form, though, and I'm doing 'em unweighted but would like to figure out a variation (hands behind back, maybe) that still gives good bang for the buck.

 

Also, regarding the pinky toe, it might be related to your ITB. On my injured side, I can hardly wiggle those toes, and that pinky toe was often cramping up even before the injury. The uninjured side has much freer toe-wiggling-action.

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