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jstanlick: Hard Core Focus - Challenge V


jstanlick

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The ultimate goal is just what it says: harder, stronger core and better concentration/focus. I've got to make me some additional progress before I'm in the pool this summer with the kids at swimming lessons. Yeah, I'm vain, self-conscious, narcissistic, etc. whatever word and degree you want to attach to someone who wants to look better than they currently do. So what?

 

Goal #1: Intervals and ab training 3x/week. If I'm doing the intervals properly, my body won't be able to handle them more than 3x a week. I can't think of a faster way to burn fat than intervals and I've got a boatload of interval circuits I can do to keep from getting bored. Additionally, I found a bunch of ab "finishers" to tack on the end of any workout. Doing them in concert with the intervals just seems to make sense. DEX: +2, STA: +2 STR: +1

 

Goal #2: Kettlebell circuits 3x/week. I've found some KB intervals that I may throw in from time to time to kill 2 birds with one stone, but primarily, this is to build better all over strength. I've found in the past, when I do compound KB movements I need to utilize a lot of core muscles as well. So, working on strength and still hitting the core. STR: +2, DEX +1

 

Goal #3: I need to eat healthier to see more abs. What does that look like? What makes this goal successful?

  • No pre-packaged foods. 
  • Nothing containing High Fructose Corn Syrup or any other syrup that sounds like it was made in a lab. I was reading the ingredients to a Kashi granola bar today and stumbled across: brown sugar syrup, cane sugar extract crystals, cane sugar extract syrup and molasses. I'm not even sure exactly what the first 3 are. And that's something that's supposed to be "healthy".
  • So, if I don't know what's in it, I'm not eating it.
  • I've also discovered I'm dehydrated way to often. So, at least 70 oz of water a day. Any less than that and I seem to get headaches, feel light-headed, sluggish, sleepy, etc.

CHA: +3, CON +2

 

Goal #4: I've got to plan better. And, most importantly, I need to make it a priority to execute the plan. No more getting easily distracted or thrown off my game because life has thrown me a curve ball. I can be stubborn about a lot of things. Now, it's time to channel that stubbornness appropriately. Sundays will become my day to re-center, re-focus and come up with the plan to take on the upcomning week. Meals will be planned for the week. Workouts will be planned for the week. The kids schedules will be laid out for the week. My work schedule will be filled in and blocked off for the week. Then, it's up to me to stick to those plans for the week and reset everything on Sunday. Life happens and things come up, but I believe that if I lay out a schedule and focus my energy on the right things at the right times, I'll be more productive and have more time available to be flexible when those big curve balls come my way. 80% compliance with my schedule is what I'm shooting for because that would reduce a tremendous amount of chaos and stess in my life. Less stress and chaos should (I hope) lead to less stress eating. WIS: +2

 

Overall: How do I know if I've succeeded? If all the planning of workouts, meals, etc. around a single minded goal have worked? If in 6 weeks I've lost more than 1" off my waist, then I'm making good progress. If in 6 weeks I've lost more than 1.5" off my waist, then I'm make excellent progress. I finished the last challenge with a waist measurement (around the navel) of 37 3/4". If that first number is in the 36 range, then it will all have been worthwhile. If not, then I hope I've learned something.

 

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Oh My! Intervals and Strength. Are you doing those on the same day? Or 6 workout days a week? 

Great thing about intervals is that you can do them with almost anything. Rowing, running, steps, etc.

 

Oh the fructose syrup (or synthetic sugar as my chemistry teacher always called it. Well not really, but I do anyway :)) IF you're looking for healthy in between snacks, what works great for me is unprocessed veggies (carrots, cucumber, cabage, beets/turnips) there's almost endless possibilities.

 

Looking forward to seeing you put all of that into action! Especially curious about the water thing, since I've yet to see someone actually pull it off. But I know you'd be the right person for it! Best of luck :)

Level 4 Human Ranger

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

STR: 15 || DEX: 9 || STA: 10

CON: 12 || WIS: 9 || CHA: 6

Check out my challange Thread (4)

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Most likely, they will be different days. I've found some cool-looking kettlebell interval circuits, but I'm not sure how often I want to combine the two. I also have some bodyweight intervals, but those will count under the interval category. I like KB workouts and I want to keep them to themselves. The fact that I can do intervals with just about anything was a big reason for making them a goal. They get me closer to shedding fat, and I can figure out how to do them anywhere in any weather.

 

The veggies are a good idea. I tend to lean towards nuts and dried fruits because they're easily accessible and they don't have stuff added to them. But, they also have a high caloric density. It's too easy to eat too many of them. So, the veggies could be a better option. I'll need to fit them into my planning goal :)

 

As far as the water goes, I'm not sure what a good target is. I know I don't drink enough. I keep seeing postings where people suggest 1/2 ounce for every pound you weigh. I'm not sure if that's good or ridiculous. All I know is that when I drink plenty of fluids, I don't get headaches. If I skip the fluids, my head feels like it's splitting in half the next day. So, I added it to the nutrition goal.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Subbed!

 

What exactly do you have in mind for that fourth goal? What is...well, the plan for planning?

 

He's a man with a plan. to plan.

Battle Log

"Either you take care of business and give yourself the best chance of survival (while accepting the inherent fuckedupitude and randomness of life), or you relinquish all hope entirely." -- Krista Scott-Dixon

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Hey hey!!! I lost track of days and have lousy interweaves here.

Great challenge!! I like your goals!! Don't worry about the water stuff too much. If you are thirsty drink. Remember, water comes in most of your food and all your drinks. Really.

Back soon for better subbing.

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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I must not be subbed to my own thread or something, because I didn't get any notifications that any of you had responded. :(

 

But, I'm glad you did! And I thank you all for your support!

Subbed!

 

What exactly do you have in mind for that fourth goal? What is...well, the plan for planning?

 

He's a man with a plan. to plan.

Here's the plan. All workouts will be scheduled in on Sunday night. That way, the only thing that can interrupt my schedule is if I'm on call, or something really bad happens to someone I care about -- and in that case, I'm not too worried about skipping a workout or trying to re-schedule it. All meals for the week will similarly be scheduled. This is something I've done for meals in the past, but not snacks. So, I get stressed and stuff my pie hole with whatever is convenient. Whatever is convenient is rarely anything good for me, and almost certainly contains some kind of artificial, man-made sugar substitute in it. Instead, I'm laying out what I can eat each day and making sure I buy it on my weekly trip to the grocery store on Sundays. For example, today I've got carrot sticks, celery sticks, and a banana. My post workout meal was 6 ounces of dried fruit and nuts with some freshly brewed Earl Grey tea. Lunch is a large salad w/ some chicken, etc. So, mostly Sunday is now my get ready for the upcoming week day. I spent yesterday planning meals/snacks/workouts/the kids school schedule/filling out permission slips/paying bills/blocking off sections of my work schedule for the week with different project work/etc. My Sundays for the next 6 weeks are going to be quite the PAR-TAY! :P

 

Great goals and a good continuation from your last challenge. 

 

As for the water, if you go into it with the understanding that you will spend a ton of time in the bathroom for the first week then you will be just fine :)

 

Hey hey!!! I lost track of days and have lousy interweaves here. Great challenge!! I like your goals!! Don't worry about the water stuff too much. If you are thirsty drink. Remember, water comes in most of your food and all your drinks. Really. Back soon for better subbing.

I spent the last week tracking my water (read: fluids not containing caffiene) intake and on days where I failed to drink an additional 70 ounces, I ended up feeling lousy the next day. So, I'm going to amend that goal to 70 ounces and see how that goes.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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I like your Sunday plan!!!

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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This morning's workout: Intervals. I actually have 2 sets of intervals planned for interval days since it's been cloudy and raining so much lately. Well, except for Saturday when it was snowing. The snow was my reminder that I don't live in the Northwest. I was beginning to wonder.

 

Anywho, thanks to the rain, hill sprints were out and after 5 minutes with the jump rope to warm up, I spent time on the exercise bike instead. I think I dislike that more than the treadmill, and I didn't think that was possible. About halfway through I just started standing on the pedals because my ass hurt too much from that stupid seat. I can't remember the last time I used an exercise bike. But, I gotta admit, it's super easy and immediate to change the resistance on an exercise bike which worked well for the intervals. So, it was 30 seconds at the highest tension I could set it at and maintain 100 RPM, followed by 45 seconds w/ barely any tension and 75 RPM. After 10 rounds of that, my quads were pretty spent, my heart was racing and I couldn't maintain the 100 RPM any more. So, intervals done. On to Ab work. I did the following circuit 3x with 1 minute rest between them. After the first round, I was thinking that despite breathing heavy, this was too easy and I might've made a programming mistake. During the second round, I thought my abs were starting to get sore so maybe this would work. During the last set I had to fight to finish as my shoulders were starting to tire as well and my abs (especially my obliques) were on fire. I guess it wasn't bad programming after all.

 

Ab circuit:

Spiderman Climbs 12 each side

X-Body Mountain Climbers 12 each side

Montain Climbers 10 each side

X-Body Mountain Climber Burpees 6 reps <- These are like normal burpees except prior to the pushup portion, perform 2 X-Body Mountain Climbers for each side

 

Tomorrow: KB's and BW exercises. If I have anything left, I'll throw in another Ab circuit.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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Yegads the mountain climbers are back.... Ugh. Good work man.

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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Yegads the mountain climbers are back.... Ugh. Good work man.

I left off the name the trainer gave that Ab circuit: We be Climbin'. I liked his first names like Ab Finisher #1, Ab Finisher #2, etc. But, apparently the cutesy names sell more workouts.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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I left off the name the trainer gave that Ab circuit: We be Climbin'. I liked his first names like Ab Finisher #1, Ab Finisher #2, etc. But, apparently the cutesy names sell more workouts.

Just wondering if you do some actual mountain climbing aswell? 

Sadly marketing is super effective.

Level 4 Human Ranger

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

STR: 15 || DEX: 9 || STA: 10

CON: 12 || WIS: 9 || CHA: 6

Check out my challange Thread (4)

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Just wondering if you do some actual mountain climbing aswell? 

Sadly marketing is super effective.

I used to before I messed up my shoulder. I never returned to it after having my shoulder repaired. I've got to drive a couple of hours to find a real place to climb and the climbing gym gets a little old after a while.

 

I've never been able to warm up to using the stationary bike.  Of course, I'm not a big outdoor biker either LOL.

 

Great first day!

Thanks! I'm not a big biker either, but I thought I should do something different to keep the body guessing. Plus, I wanted to stress legs and since I couldn't do my hill sprints, the bike was it. I might do the hill sprints in the rain next time :D Or, at least climb some steep stairs if the hill is too slippery.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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I finished yesterday with 82 ounces of fluids. Not bad. Especially since I didn't feel like I was forcing myself to drink stuff to hit an arbitrary number. I also managed to finish the day with no pre-packaged anything. If it was made in my kitchen, I didn't eat it. My kids weren't too happy because they wanted to buy an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen for my birthday. My lovely wife made an awesome supper and baked a cake so the kids could watch me blow out the candles. The kids sat in shock when I didn't eat any. Once I told them they could have the cake and I was going to have more steak for dessert, they were alright.

 

This morning was KB's. Since this challenge is about the core and I anticipated some sore legs from yesterday, I included some exercises I don't do often enough (TGU's and windmills) and one I've never done before (rack walks). I learned that my form ain't great and I need to do them more. And, I can do TGU's a lot easy with the weight in my right hand than my left. That's not surprising since I'm right-handed and I've had my left shoulder re-constructed. So, down to a little 8kg bell for the TGU's & windmills until I get better at these  :(

 

On the plus side, the rack walks is far better the heavier the KB. I think those hit just about every stabilizer muscle in my back. Glad I tried them! Well, at least until I have a hard time standing up later today :tongue: I then finished it off with another ab finisher circuit. This just in...V-planks are hard!

 

Perform the whole circuit, rest 1 minute and repeat 2 more times.

 

Turkish Get-Ups 10 per side

1 arm KB Swings 15 per side

Windmills 8 per side

Goblet BGSS 10 per side

Stability platform decline pushups 10 reps <- Kinda like doing decline pushups with your hands on a Bosu ball.

High Pull 10 per side

Waiter Press 10 per side

 

For this circuit, set a timer to go off every 20 seconds, when you've made it through all the exercises, rest 20 seconds and repeat 3 more times

Stability Ball Plank (20 seconds)

Close Grip Pushups (20 seconds)

V-Plank (20 secs ea side)

T-Pushups (20 seconds)

Plank (20 seconds)

 

Unfortunately, after finishing 3 rounds of that circuit, my abs cried uncle. Those V-Planks are brutal. First, it's hard enough to not fall over. Second, those 20 seconds seem like an eternity.

 

 

 

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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we be climbin'.... lol

 

we be gettin up Turkish style

 

we be windmilling.

 

we be dying.....

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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Yeah, I was disappointed that my form was bad enough to have to go down to a baby bell to work on it. Oh well, better to get the form right than hurt myself with a lot of weight and bad form I guess. That's what I get for ignoring my kettlebells for a while.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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So, um, what's a v-plank vs a regular side plank?

 

Also - I'm curious about kettlebells.  Where did you learn from?  Videos?  Class?

 

Other than that:  GO for it! 

I've found that when I up my activity level, low glycemic food (read: hard salami, string cheese, natural peanut butter) keep me powered up through the day.  70 calories of string cheese or 100-200 calories of peanut butter involves much less "crash and burn" than anything else.

Current challenge:This is not how daemoncorax used to wake up

Previous challenges: DaemonCorax doesn't go on vacation

(STR 21; DEX 3; STA 10.5; CON 8.3; WIS 15; CHA 2 - but these are SUPER out of date.)

While we have to stay away from the desert, we can always ride our bikes.

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V-Planks are simple to describe, but hard to do. At least for me anyway. Basically, get in a regular plank position and raise up one arm and the opposite leg out straight. Hold that position for a time, switch arms and legs and hold some more. This morning I was trying to hold that for 20 seconds on each side and fighting to keep from falling over the whole time. This video shows it pretty well and it's short.

 

 

I've never had a kettlebell class. Although, one probably wouldn't hurt and getting some kind of feedback from a real coach would be valuable. But, for now, videos, online reading, Mike Mahler's site (www.mikemahler.com/) and http://www.kettlebellworkouts.com/ mostly. Then, when I try out a new exercise, I usually do it in front of a mirror with a low weight to make sure I've got the form right. Once I feel like I've got it down, I'll start increasing the weight until I think my form is suffering. With the KB's it's easy to muscle up a lot of weight with bad form, but you're just asking for an injury.

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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I love Mike Mahler.

 

Oh, and dude level up the planks with a weight plate on yer back.... har har har har....*cough*

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

Link to post

V-Planks are simple to describe, but hard to do. At least for me anyway. Basically, get in a regular plank position and raise up one arm and the opposite leg out straight. Hold that position for a time, switch arms and legs and hold some more. This morning I was trying to hold that for 20 seconds on each side and fighting to keep from falling over the whole time. This video shows it pretty well and it's short.

OH MY GOD! It's a plank combined with a bird dog! Now I've seen everything. 

During the writing of this post (okay I took a break) I tried to do that V-plank thing and it was not easy to keep from falling over! I think I might try doing these things until I have surpassed my regular side planks ;)

Level 4 Human Ranger

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

STR: 15 || DEX: 9 || STA: 10

CON: 12 || WIS: 9 || CHA: 6

Check out my challange Thread (4)

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Good golly that's an ab workout!  Great job :)

OH MY GOD! It's a plank combined with a bird dog! Now I've seen everything. 

During the writing of this post (okay I took a break) I tried to do that V-plank thing and it was not easy to keep from falling over! I think I might try doing these things until I have surpassed my regular side planks ;)

My abs were still a little sore this morning so I skipped the adidtional ab workout. I'm still on target since I did the extra one yesterday. But, OMG, those V-Planks are tough! By the time I got to the plain-old, boring, traditional planks at the end of the circuit, 20 seconds of those were soooooo much harder than 20 seconds normal planks should be. Between that ab workout and the core exercises with the KB's, I think my workout yesterday was right on target for my goals. Now I need to see if I can keep it up for 5 1/2 more weeks :D

"You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

"The important thing is not to think much but to love much; and so do that which best stirs you to love." - St. Teresa of Avila

Current Challenge: Seeks Balance | Battle Log: Ye Olde Battle Logge | NF Character: Public Profile | Strava 

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My abs were still a little sore this morning so I skipped the adidtional ab workout. I'm still on target since I did the extra one yesterday. But, OMG, those V-Planks are tough! By the time I got to the plain-old, boring, traditional planks at the end of the circuit, 20 seconds of those were soooooo much harder than 20 seconds normal planks should be. Between that ab workout and the core exercises with the KB's, I think my workout yesterday was right on target for my goals. Now I need to see if I can keep it up for 5 1/2 more weeks :D

All the work you're putting in your abs will grow out and eat your chest one day ;)

Level 4 Human Ranger

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

STR: 15 || DEX: 9 || STA: 10

CON: 12 || WIS: 9 || CHA: 6

Check out my challange Thread (4)

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