Jump to content

Loanna's first challenge


Loanna

Recommended Posts

Hi there!

 

This is my first post but, as many people starting their first challenge, I've been lurking the forums and Nerdfitness in general for a while. 

 

I'm a fairly average built girl, a bit fluffly at 25% body fat, but not too weak. Sadly, as my work has taken up almost all of my time I've neglected exercise. Despite work is as demanding as ever I would like to come back on track with my previous activity level.

 

I'll focus my goals on getting stronger, faster and (hopefully) a bit less fluffy! By the end of summer I'll be doing some underwater filming and I need to be able to carry the heavy equipment easily, plus I need some endurance and leg strenght in order to avoid cramps while swimming in not-so-warm waters. The less fluffy part will help as the less fat you have, the less you float and thus the less "useless" extra weight you have to carry around in order to sink!

 

So...Goals!

 

1) Level up my Squat (STR 3)

 

At the moment I'm squatting, proper form, with a barbell loaded to a total of 20 Kg (44 lbs). The grades will be, for 3 sets of proper form repetitions:

 

A ) + 15 kg

B ) + 10 kg

C ) + 8 kg

D ) + 6 kg

E ) + 4 kg

F ) Didn't manage to add any weight while keeping good form

 

May have been too cautious in this one because I suffer from an old knee injury, but I'll adjust if I see it's getting too easy.

 

2) Non-stop 5k (DEX 1/ STA 3)

 

As a measure of "how much can you swim" I'll try to reduce my 5k time (35' atm). This is intended to be low impact exercise, so instead of running through it I'll be jogging "uphill" the entire time. I'd rather do this by actually swimming, but the pool here won't allow theuse of fins, or a snorkel, and it's difficult to swim "conventionally" only using your legs and not sink (that's what you do when scuba diving).

 

A ) 18-19' of pure awesome

B ) 20- 22' 

C ) 22- 25', getting better

D ) 26- 28' , yay

E ) Managed to cut it to 30'

F ) Nah, didn't reduce my time 

 

3) A proper pull-up (STR 4)

 

Always wanted to do this, looks impressive. On a side parctical note, it does mimic the moment when you have to pull yourself back to the boat, still loaded with all your gear (except for the "sinking device"), and still wearing fins.

 

A ) Perfect, twice

B ) Chin didn't get higher than the bar

C ) Elbows to 90º, but not higher

D ) Almost halfway

E ) Had to jump to manage to get up... a bit

F ) To scared to even try

 

 

And the life goal would be...

 

4) The focused 4 (WIS 4) 

 

I'm writing my PhD now. I hate it. It's so monotonous, boring and unrewarding that I'm procrastinanting all the time. I hardly get any work done and when the night comes I feel horrible and stay up late to make up for the wasted time. This has to end (and I have to finish up the damn thing). I want to write -quality stuff-!

so, not taking into consideration the hours I spend reading scientific papers...

 

A ) 6+ fully focused hours a day of pure writing.

B ) 4-5 hours

C ) 3-4 hours

D ) 2-3 hours ( Still a shame to myself)

E ) 1 hour. I'm a shame to my family

F ) Still avoiding the hard work

 

And that's all!

 

 

 

P.S: I'm posting this a day late. But since I wrote a looot of my research yesterday I'm still feeling good about the delay!

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

Good luck with the challenge! I work at a university so I can see it on so many students face's how stressed they get so a distraction with exercise can sometimes be what you need to get over writing and researching so much :) Win-Win both ways

Level 1 Adventurer :positive:

 

STR:6 I STA: 4 I CON: 3 I WIS: 2

Link to post

One week well into the challenge and so far I've been doing allright in some fields and not-so in others, jeje.

 

First, I got to perform 3x8 sets of squats, loaded with 70 pounds. Since that is a "B" in my level up my squat objective I think I'll tweak the goal a bit to make it more challenging. Will do that at the end of week 2 if I manage to squat 3x10 in good form.

 

Aaaand now... the other  not so shiny bits.

 

So far I haven't cut my 5k time, but since I've been running on and off mixed with some swimming in the sea evenings I'm pretty confident about being able to make some progress in the near future.

 

 

As for the pull up, I got to jump and grab the bar, but nothing impressive happened and didn't even get halfway so that needs some hard work as well :)

 

And last but not least, I haven't found the ideal zen-of-mind to be able to write in 4 hour focused blocks but I've finished chapter 2 of my thesis so i'm pretty happy with this one. A good thing would be to have 3 and 4 finished-ish by the end of this 6 weeks.

 

Will keep on working!

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

Hey Loanna, 

I love your goals and your grading scale. The grading scale because you include an E! How awesome is that? 

I do have a question about your second goal- are you swimming the 5 K or jogging it? 

An 18-19' time is incredible. I look forward to checking in on how you are doing.

Keep up the awesome job!

Link to post

Hi Rogaecia!

 

Thanks for checking my tread! To be honest, the E in the grades is just there so I don't feel too sorry for myself if I get one, but still counts as fail, jeje. I love your colored grades by the way :)

 

About the 5k, I'm going to measure the progress as running/jogging distance. While I can run 5k in half an hour now, it takes me  the same time to cover 1k while swimming in a swimming pool (no fins, no suit). I don't think swimming 5k in less than 20' is even possible... although it is indeed something worthy to look into, as a swimming challenge will sure be fun in the future for "higher level" me.

Ideally my STA challenge would be sea swimming every morning before going to work, but it is just tooooo cold! We are still waiting for spring in northern Spain... seems like it didn't feel like coming to the party this year.

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

Hi Loanna, Spring hasn't come to the UK just yet either!  Those are really impressive goals.  Congrats on getting to chapter 2 of your thesis - now you've broken the inertia you might find it starts to 'flow' better.  It's great that you're tweaking your goal to keep challenging yourself too.  

Challenge Number One...

 

 

“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.†Kierkegaard

 

Link to post

Hi Loanna!

 

So I came across this workout on NF that rang a bell when you were talking about attempting to get that pull up done. 

I don't know how useful this would really be, but it's Steve laying out a plan to work up to pull ups, starting with bent over rows. Check it out

It could be a good plan for you to attack that bar and get your chin up over it

 

Best of luck with your goals this challenge! 

Level 1 Azer Adventurer STR 3 .:. DEX 2 .:. STA 2 .:. CON 2 .:. WIS 3.5 .:. CHA 4.5

 

First Challenge

 

Food Diary

 

Link to post

Hey becs, thanks for your words. It is true that the worse and most difficult task is to be able to gain some momentum and get encouraged to actually write. Hopefully that booster from finishing chapter two will carry me trough chapter 3.

By the way, I posted some swimming tips for you in your challenge thread, try some and tell me if you find them helpful. I used to race and teach swimming so I may be able to help you a bit :)

 

Thanks weatherford for the workout, will be trying it out this week! Hopefully that way I will be able to get a good grade in my pull up goal

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

:joyous: Thank you so much Loanna - that was really helpful and kind of you on my challenge!  The Michael Phelps video is awe-inspiring - I want to swim like THAT!  If you can offer me any advice I'd really appreciate it.  The 'drowning' thing I mention in my thread - basically what happens is when I turn my head to breathe, my body alignment in the water goes wrong, and my legs & butt sink so I'm at 45 degrees in the water instead of being straight.  So then I slow right down and start struggling because I'm sinking.  When I practise a length using just my legs, keeping my head down - then my alignment is fine and legs stay up.  As soon as I start using my arms, my legs start to dip.  As I take a breath, then it really goes wrong and I'm almost in 'doggy paddle' type position.   I don't know if it's a co-ordination issue or a technique issue...  At the moment I'm practising using just my legs trying to get used to being straight in the water.  But I'm just not sure how to add in arms without my legs/butt dropping.  My breast stroke is really strong because I had coaching for it but my freestyle is just embarrassing and I really want to be good at it.  Thank you for being so lovely - great to have you on my thread!

 

How's the writing going today?  I've been having a less-than-productive morning so far - lots of interruptions and I haven't used my time effectively.  I've set a timer for 15 minutes and after that I'm getting off the NF boards and back to work.  

 

I think doing a pull up is two or three challenges away for me, but it's definitely a goal for me within the next 12 months - it just looks so cool when someone can do a proper pull up!  I've got that workout bookmarked for the future weatherford, thank you!  

 

Good luck with week 3 Loanna!

Challenge Number One...

 

 

“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.†Kierkegaard

 

Link to post

Well, i't Wednesday and finally I have time to update this!

 

I've focused on mini-challenges this week:

 

- I'm now a proud member accountability group ZAP :)

 

- I've increased my protein uptake. This one has been a tough one. I don't feel dizzy or see how my workout performance decreases when I'm eating less proteins (or below my suggested caloric intake), so it is really hard for me to eat more just for the sake of eating more.  Might need to tweak macronutrient ratios a bit though, because it looks like I'm gaining  a bit of fat. Not that I'm dissapointed about that because I'm seeing muscles that weren't there before. However I'm a bit concerned about buoyancy issues and would hate to increase the lead blocks on my weight belt just because I gained fat. The thing rests on your hips and it can be kind of painful... bruises and all.

 

- I love stretching. Have added inner and outer thighs, and lower back to my routine. Will see how it goes!

 

 

As for my own challenge...

 

 

1) Level up my Squat (STR 3) - UPDATE

 

I reached the 3x10 proper form 32kg squat (70lbs) so I'm updating the grades.

 

A ) + 20 kg (would be a total of 52kg : 114 lbs)

B ) + 16 kg

C ) + 10 kg --> currently here

D ) + 6 kg

E ) + 4 kg

F ) Didn't manage to add any weight while keeping good form

 

- For the pull up goal I've started training with the workout weatherford linked and I'm having  a blast! I don't know If I'll get to the pull up, currently I'm on lvl 2: inverted rows. They are ridiculously hard! 

 

- My 5k running time is slooooowly going down. I'm at 28' at the moment, I'm hoping to cut it to 26-ish the next week as I currently have a mild cold that makes breathing not as comfortable as usually.

 

- Writing pace has stalled. However I'm working a lot, just not in the thing I wanted to. I'm preparing a presentation for a congress in two weeks and running some gene expression assays till late hours everyday. Not writing, but my work  is moving forward! :D

 

 

 

To becs:  I'll post some more tips on your challenge thread. That way we can keep them all together and easier to read if someone else is interested with the topic :) (plus I'm crazy and love things that are neatly organised) 

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

Hey Loanna,

 

Nice goals , wel defined & graded.

 

Squats with weight & going for pullup ^^ : you're stronger then me & i'm male ; /me feeling old now :nonchalance:

 

Seems you're going strong & motivated, gratz.

 

PS : you have links to those stretchings of thighs & lower back ?  (i often feel some pain two days after Squatting)

Nusuth Revamped

Current Challenge

 

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf 

 Jon Kabat-Zinn

A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.

Napoleon Hill

 

 

Link to post

Hey Nusuth!

 

Don't feel old, I have strong legs just because I spend a lot of time walking around all geared up for scuba diving. Btw, I have a stretching routine for the lower back that a fiend of mine recomended (she is a physio). I will post it in the ZAP thread when I get home tonight.

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

Hey Loana,

 

Fellow #ZAPper here. Great goals! If you don't mind, can I ask what field your PhD will be in? Is it related to the SCUBA? How long is the typical thesis?

 

I had pull-ups as a goal not too long ago: I could only ever do one. The thing that helped me was to use a chair under the bar, with one leg to help lift myself. Over time you can rely on the leg less and less and then drop the chair all together.

Lag a'mhuilin
It's the name origin for Lagavulin, which is Ron Swanson's and my favorite scotch.
It means 'hollow by the mill,' which in my mind is a metaphor for my fitness training and education.

Link to post

Hey DrCalcart,

 

My PhD is in marine environmental toxicology. I've been testing some nanoparticles: toxicity tests and modelling, how can they impact the marine environment if (when) they are released? Will the impact last? Will it get magnified (ie. affecting marine organisms/populations at different degrees)?

Adittionally, all this data should help buid a sound regulation around nanomaterials in the EU, since they are regulated as "normal" materials right now. But we (the EU) are supposed to have a regulation directive over all the materials that enter the union's frontiers ready for 2020 which is very ambitious (and very expensive). I'm working in one of those projects trying to make that happen :)

 

As for scuba diving... it's more of a hobby. However, we are often required to adress the health status of underwater populations (fishes,some clams, algae and whatever you can imagine), so we go there, take some samples (is the seabed polluted? is it not? is that pollution affecting the animals/plants living there?) some pictures and video... it's really fun compared to standard labwork.

 

As usual, you are a PhD student for 4 years in my country, but it can take longer if you are enrolled in a long-term project or if "science happens". Meaning that you may have everything planned to perfection and the aquaria start to leak, animals die...etc, etc. PhD students in fields other than biology usually finish after 3-4 years. 

 

 

About the pullup, i'll see if there is anything I could use asa chair at my gym and'll follow your advice, thanks!

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

That's fascinating!  Do you know if the U.S. has anything like that in place or in the works? Can we just copy you once you have it all figured out?!

 

How much writing do you have to do to complete the PhD, or is it more like however much it takes to cover the whole topic? I guess I'm asking if you have an estimate for the total amount of writing you'll have to do (chapters, words, or pages).

Lag a'mhuilin
It's the name origin for Lagavulin, which is Ron Swanson's and my favorite scotch.
It means 'hollow by the mill,' which in my mind is a metaphor for my fitness training and education.

Link to post

Hey Loanna - sounds like you're making great progress on all fronts!  Your squat goal and 5k time are really impressive especially considering you've got a cold.  

 

The extra protein in the mini-challenge made a huge difference to me.  But I really think we're all different in what suits us - my sister feels best on a vegan diet, and it's obvious to see - she looks better, has more energy.  Whereas I do much better on a paleo diet - with lots of protein.  And again anyone who sees me when I'm on a full paleo diet says that I look loads better and I definitely have more energy etc.  

 

Your PhD is such a cool subject!  Sounds like you're super-busy at the moment - will you get more time for writing next week?  Hope the cold gets better soon!

 

(I will say my 'HUGE thank you' to you on my thread too in the interests of keeping things all tidy :joyous:)   

Challenge Number One...

 

 

“Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.†Kierkegaard

 

Link to post

Hey DrCalcart,

 

My PhD is in marine environmental toxicology. I've been testing some nanoparticles: toxicity tests and modelling, how can they impact the marine environment if (when) they are released? Will the impact last? Will it get magnified (ie. affecting marine organisms/populations at different degrees)?

Adittionally, all this data should help buid a sound regulation around nanomaterials in the EU, since they are regulated as "normal" materials right now. But we (the EU) are supposed to have a regulation directive over all the materials that enter the union's frontiers ready for 2020 which is very ambitious (and very expensive). I'm working in one of those projects trying to make that happen :)

 

A boost to my 'believe in big governments'-shizzle, which was decaying fast along the years.  I hope for all of us it'll make a difference.  /thumps up.

Nusuth Revamped

Current Challenge

 

You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf 

 Jon Kabat-Zinn

A quitter never wins and a winner never quits.

Napoleon Hill

 

 

Link to post

That's fascinating!  Do you know if the U.S. has anything like that in place or in the works? Can we just copy you once you have it all figured out?!

 

How much writing do you have to do to complete the PhD, or is it more like however much it takes to cover the whole topic? I guess I'm asking if you have an estimate for the total amount of writing you'll have to do (chapters, words, or pages).

 

You are from Orange County, CA, aren't you? One of the most amazing places for marien research is Scripps Institute of OCeanography, and it's in La Jolla near San Diego... so pretty close to you I think. As for the writing, it depends on  whether you are linked to a project (then you have to cover whatever it is described in the description of work for that specific project) or not... plus how sadistic your supervisor is. So, high variability I'd say.

 

 

P.D: Nusuth, don't get your hopes too high yet. We may be researching like there is no tomorrow, but the lawmakers may not read our reports or might as well ignore crucial parts if we don't make them clear enough...

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

This week is going awfully bad (okay, it's only wednesday). I've been working late, and by late I mean 12-13h in a row since last Friday and I am incredibly tired everyday! I've skipped two workouts :( so there is no progress either on squats or push ups.

 

Work-wise It's being great. I've added another section to Chapter 2 of my disertation, and almost finished chapter 3. I did finish the presentation for the congress next week and I'm almost done with the gene expression thing!

 

So:

Moving towards fitness goals--> not at all

 

Closer to actually becoming a PhD--> Hell yes!!

 

I can sense some emotional imbalance here, jeje.

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

I've found that on days when I think I'm too tired to work out or hike after work, if I can push myself to start I feel so much better during and after the session. Sometimes the extra push is as little as me telling a friend I'm thinking about doing ___ after work, but I might just want to relax instead. And they say, "Do it! That sounds cool." (This might involve training your friends to respond correctly :)...then again I only work 8 hour days, so I can't entirely relate.

 

Great job with the dissertation!

Lag a'mhuilin
It's the name origin for Lagavulin, which is Ron Swanson's and my favorite scotch.
It means 'hollow by the mill,' which in my mind is a metaphor for my fitness training and education.

Link to post

Oh, I know what you mean. Usually, after a long hard day at work what makes me feel better is to go for a swim. After spending 30 min or an hour at the pool I feel much better and I'm able to go back home in a good mood instead of being frustrated from work, and tired, and quite irritable, wich is no good company.

 

However, after waking up at 6 am and getting home at 10 pm or later I just want to sleep (to be able to repeat 7 days in a row).

 

Luckily, the maddening work shift thing has ended, and yesterday and today I've been working out as usual. Plus on Sunday I'm going for a hike near some cliffs here. Awesome landscape there.

 

Goal wise...

- I'm still there with the squats but will add some more weight next on Tuesday next week, and see how it goes.

- Yesterday, finally, I went all out on the 5k and managed to complete the distance in 21 minutes, a time that I'm really satisfied with. Was it painful? Hell yes. I doubt I could have made it to 5.1k, so next week I'll aim to maybe get it done in 23-25 and will work towards 20 trying not to almost die afterwards.

- Dissertation is going all righ. Just got Chapter 1 ready for printing and chapter 2 will receive the same formatting this weekend.

 

And that's all for this week!

Level 3 Ifrit Survivor

STR 7.75 | DEX 3 | STA 7.25 | CON 4.25 | WIS 6.5 | CHA 5

Challenge 3 I 2 I First 

Join us @ CrossGuild #ZAP

 

"Lift as if someone else's life depended on it"

 

Link to post

I love your goals! Squats and pull-ups and running, oh my!

 

Seriously though, aren't pull-ups ridiculously hard?? I've been working at them for I think like 8 weeks? And I'm still using the assisted pull-up machine along with lat pull-downs. I know I'll get there eventually because I can feel myself getting stronger, but still.

 

Best of luck with your thesis and other goals! Keep updating!

Keliswicked, level 6 half Hobbit/ half Dwarf Druid


 


Progress Log  ||  Fitocracy!  || 2 3 4 5 6

Link to post
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines