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Risen Phoenix’s Spartan Beginning


RisenPhoenix

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Look, I have music, too!  Suitably epic-and-relevant music, at that!  Why?  Because:

 

Main Quest: Run and survive the Fenway Spartan Sprint

 

I’ve lost the weight I set out to lose.  Since November/December of last year I’ve dropped 50 pounds (give or take), and I’ve pretty much hit where I want to be.  A year ago I would have dreamed to be skinny-fat.  Now I’m dreaming of a lean, flat stomach.  More importantly, I can *imagine* having that physique now, which is something I NEVER thought would happen.  The past several challenges I’ve done here have always pushed me in a better direction, but never so much that I sat there thinking my challenges were crazy.  Welp, I currently have a challenge that I consider bat shit crazy.

 

I signed up for the Fenway Spartan Sprint that is here in Boston, and I am running with the other Boston Rebels.

 

So, I want to make sure of two very important things.  1) I run this race and don’t keel over and 2) Make the Monk’s guild look damned good among what looks to be a bunch of warriors. ;)

 

Honestly, the race means a lot more than something to overcome.  The race is just before my birthday, and marks just shy of a year after I found NF and decided to change myself for the better.  I want to show myself that what I’ve done is not only worth it, but EPIC AS HELL as well.  Thus, I present my quests:

 

  1. Spartan Training: Perform three workouts a week. Grade out of percentage of 16 total. +3 STR, +2 STA
    1. Yes, this seems pretty vague.  Bear with me for a second.  The Beginner BW workout has grown stale for me.  It started to grow stale the end of last challenge, and then my injury asserted itself.  That being said, I’m looking into the likelihood of joining a gym and going Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, preferably with my friend/personal trainer.  Furthermore, said friend/PT also took me rock climbing for the first time.  Typing is kind of painful at the moment, but it was pretty damned fun.  So when I say workouts, I mean pretty much anything that could be applied to what I’ll see in the Spartan Sprint.  So lifting heavy, rock climbing, hell even physical labor in my parent’s woods I consider workouts.  I’m going to aim for the lifting heavy side of things, but we’ll see how that works out.  As for why this is out of 16 instead of 18?  I have two aikido-based things that would fall on my planned workout days, which means I won't get a workout in on those days.  And as those two things are kind of awesome, I don't feel the need to compensate for the lost time.
  2. Run to Guard the Pass: Run a mile and a half each week in public, or 6 miles if in a gym-environment.  Pass/Fail. +2 DEX, +2 STA
    1. I hate running.  With a passion.  However, the Spartan Sprint is first and foremost a race.  With running.  A 5k race, in fact.  The fact giant gauntlets of walls, fire, and javeilin throwers are peppered throughout it doesn’t matter.  It’s still moving one foot in front of the other.  That being said, I have a really hard time dealing with anxiety when people watch me work out.  Or at least people who aren’t themselves in the process of working out (so being at a gym or dojo is fine, because everyone expects something to happen.  Being in a yard and getting watched as I do a BW workout…. Sets me on edge).  So this is two fold.  Either I run outside, in public, where people can see me, or I run longer at a gym.  If I join one.  The goal is to get running, not deal with the pace until later. (Though while I was heavier I could do a decent 13-14 minute mile.  Not amazing, but pretty damned good for a 250lb guy.)
  3. Dine in Hell: Eat 2200 NET calories every day and record ever day.  Grade on a Percentage of 42 days.  +2 CON, +2 STA
    1. This one I think frightens me the most of these three challenges.  I’ve spent the last 8 months getting my body to accept and deal with fewer and fewer calories to lose weight.  Today I managed to have just shy of 1700 calories, and that isn’t taking into account the hour-ish of rock climbing and some minor workout done afterwards.  MFP says at 200 pounds and lightly active, I should be eating 2400 calories a day, net.  That seems so ridiculously high, now that I have finally gotten myself used to eating around 1800-1900.  So I’m lowered it, and will monitor it over the first 3 weeks.  If weird things, happen, I can adjust, up or down as needs be.

Life Quest:

Test for 4th kyu ranking and take progress photos and metric measurements.

 

And you all thought I wasn’t going to Monk it up this challenge?  Please.  In addition to my planned workouts, I still want to keep going to the dojo for 5 classes a week.  That being said, August 12th is my next grading.  I’ve been told I’ll do fine by multiple senior members (including the chief instructor), but I always want to do better.  So lots of practice is in store for me.  And also I’m squeezing in a “take photos” challenge, since that’s a bit more throughout the challenge instead of one random Monday in August, and taking photos of myself is still something I hate doing.  I will post beginning metrics up here Sunday night, and keep posting them throughout when I take photos, as well.

 

Weight – 202/203

Neck – 16.25"

Chest - 42.5"

Bicep – 12"

Abdomen (at navel) – 38"

Hips - 37"

Mid-thigh – 23.5"

Calf –17.5"

BF% - 21.71%

 

And while this won’t make me a Spartan warrior at the end of the challenge, I think it’s a damned good step forward.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Very nice setup Phoenix 

all these people talking about photos, I should really get on that bandwagon... I smell another side quest!

 

Yay for 300, love that movie/graphic novel.

lvl 4 Astartes Monk STR 8.5 | STA 9.5 | CON 6.5 | DEX 7.75 | WIS 10 | CHA 7.25

"Burn the Calorie, Kill the Workout, Purge the Apathy"

Push Up Challenge: Yellow Belt (36)

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I want to photo after this one, I think I'll finally start shedding the ol' midsection.

 

SPARTANS! The mightiest men under 5'3" in history!

The cancer was aggressive, but the chemotherapy was aggressive, as well.

There was aggression on both sides. 

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YES. I like this. You show those Warriors what for, that the Monks aren't weak!

 

And yeah, calories. I've been trying to figure them out myself. You have the right mindset, being willing to adjust them up and down as needed - that's what I've been finding to be true as well. All the numbers anyone ever gives on those sites are nothing more than guesses. So do your best guesswork and see what happens.

 

I've found that you'll want to give your body 3-4 weeks to adjust to the new input before altering. Once per week is way too much.

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That is pretty epic, mate. Definitely epic.

 

Now I feel like I have to go watch 300 again and again.

 

You will totally own this "bat shit crazy" challenge. You've owned the hell out of your journey so far - think of it this way: your Spartan Race is the perfect chance to celebrate all your progress and your accomplishments. You've built the foundation - now it's time to have fun with it!

 

Looking forward to seeing those pics, too! Hooray for progress pics~!

Dwarf Monk


Level 5


STR 11 | STA 9 | DEX 5 | CON 11 | WIS 9 | CHA 5


ceterum censeo infirmitas esse delendam


...


CHALLENGE


TAKING OFF THE HAND WRAPS


previous


I ; II; III; IV ; V

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Thanks everyone! I wasn't sure about doing the challenge this time, but this just presented itself so nicely in my brain I couldn't resist.

Speaking of the challenge. I just made the most amazing breakfast. 3 egg omlet with ham, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Paired with whole wheat toast topped with butter and Norwegian brown cheese. And of course a pot of coffee. Holy calorically dense, Batman. But delicious. Then again, I don't usually eat on the weekends that much.

Also, I'm not crazy in thinking I need to eat those lost calories from working out, right? And if so, does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can better estimate my workouts?

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Do you add your workouts to your MyFitnessPal tracking as well? I've found MFP to be surprisingly accurate in that respect, I.e. the calories in and out that it estimates corresponds fairly well to how my weight moves. YMMV.

Always kick higher

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Thanks everyone! I wasn't sure about doing the challenge this time, but this just presented itself so nicely in my brain I couldn't resist.

Speaking of the challenge. I just made the most amazing breakfast. 3 egg omlet with ham, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Paired with whole wheat toast topped with butter and Norwegian brown cheese. And of course a pot of coffee. Holy calorically dense, Batman. But delicious. Then again, I don't usually eat on the weekends that much.

Also, I'm not crazy in thinking I need to eat those lost calories from working out, right? And if so, does anyone have a suggestion as to how I can better estimate my workouts?

That sounds absolutely delish!

I'm like you on weekends - I don't usually eat much. So I've gotta eat a crap-ton on the meals I do eat. XD

 

 

And yes, eat back workout calories! Especially since you're not trying to lose weight.

Oh, that's helpful. XD

I'm far from eating at maintenance, but I've been wondering about that.

What about if you've set your caloric intake to your TDEE while accounting for workouts per week? Do you still eat that back?

Dwarf Monk


Level 5


STR 11 | STA 9 | DEX 5 | CON 11 | WIS 9 | CHA 5


ceterum censeo infirmitas esse delendam


...


CHALLENGE


TAKING OFF THE HAND WRAPS


previous


I ; II; III; IV ; V

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What about if you've set your caloric intake to your TDEE while accounting for workouts per week? Do you still eat that back?

 

Hmm, in that case probably not... I set my base-level according to life excluding workouts (i.e. pretty sedentary since I have a desk job and drive to work) and then just log workouts as and when I do them. And almost always eat back my calories (especially if it's long-distance running day).

Always kick higher

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This is spartaaaaaaaa !!!!!

Spartan monk :) some new creation !!

Go ahead !!!

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.â€

 

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.†“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.†“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.â€There are plenty of people in this world who know what they have to do to get what they want. The few that succeed are those who develop a character of constant and deliberate action.

 

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.â€

You only have one life in this body so make the most of it by creating something that adds value to those around you.

 

Bruce Lee

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Great theme, and great goals. They sound very doable. A Spartan Race would be an awesome experience and running it with your fellow rebels makes it all the sweeter. I need to find some local rebels here or start recruiting some. I feel like watching 300 again as well after those videos.

Level 3 Human Monk


STR 8, DEX 4, STA 7, CON 8, WIS 6, CHA 5


Current Challenge


 


“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight."


-Johnny Cash

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So I went out and bought running/workout shoes today.  Now I just need to find a way to document my times and distances.  And maybe hold onto my keys if I'm running in public.  Which is likely, since I have yet to find a relatively cheap gym that will give me a decent free weight section.

 

Do you add your workouts to your MyFitnessPal tracking as well? I've found MFP to be surprisingly accurate in that respect, I.e. the calories in and out that it estimates corresponds fairly well to how my weight moves. YMMV.

 

Well that's good to know that they are somewhat accurate.  Now i just need to not be lazy and input everything.  Why do I sense that this will be so much harder for me than when I was simply trying to get a deficit.

 

That sounds absolutely delish!

I'm like you on weekends - I don't usually eat much. So I've gotta eat a crap-ton on the meals I do eat. XD

 

I'm about to post a thing in the Nutrion section about high calorie but cheap snacks to help boost my counts if they are low, if you want to keep an eye out for that soon.

 

This is spartaaaaaaaa !!!!!

Spartan monk :) some new creation !!

Go ahead !!!

 

Wait, does that mean I'm one of the guys who deals with the Oracles?  Sweeeet.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Great theme, and great goals. They sound very doable. A Spartan Race would be an awesome experience and running it with your fellow rebels makes it all the sweeter. I need to find some local rebels here or start recruiting some. I feel like watching 300 again as well after those videos.

 

The Spartan race scares the crap out of me.  But it certainly is an awesome motivator.  And yea, I think I may watch 300 tonight, because it's been too long.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Okay, Day 1 coming to a close.  Uh.... It's been interesting.

 

So let's recap the beginning here.

 

1) I did an NF beginner body weight workout with a twist.  I swapped in goblet (weighted) squats and weighted lunges for the usual suspects.  I did 15 pushups per rotation instead of 10.  I did a 25 second plank each time.  I used 30 pound dumb bells for the rows.  The only thing I kept exactly the same was the 30 jumping jacks.

 

2) Since I bought running shoes yesterday, I thought I'd run after work today, try to get this thing off to a good start.  Apparently a cluster of Thunder storms decided against that idea.  While it's clear now, my legs are D-U-N, done with moving thanks to those weighted squats and lunges.  Guess I'll try to do the run Friday after work or Saturday morning.

 

3) Right.  So at the moment, I have a post-dinner calorie count of 1900 and change.  That doesn't include the workout I just did and it's still shy ~200 calories.  So I did buy some protein powder.  I'm about to go make a chocolate peanut butter almond milk shake.  I'm sure my roommate will make fun of the Bro-ness. 

 

Anyway, that's all I got time for at the moment.  Pre-bed I'll check in on everyone else! :)

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Yeah, goblet squats are an interesting variation, aren't they? The challenge of holding the weight up top in your arms really changes the dynamic of the exercise. I found them to be a very pleasant surprise.

 

Definitely interesting.  Though my legs are a bit sore at the moment.  My fault, really, for taking 2 weeks off as I was running around trying to get things planned.  I really should have stretched better.

 

SPARTANS!!! 

 

 

Awesome. 

 

 

Yay for new running shoes! I know you will OWN that race!

 

^5!

 

Thanks!  I'm gonna have to try and motivate my arse to run Friday this week, so if I fail I can at least make up the additional part of the run on Saturday as well.

 

And an addendum to yesterday's update: Yesterday's final caloric total was 2281 total consumed calories.  Total.  Not net.  And that's with a peanut butter-and-chocolate protein shake and a piece of cake in the morning.  Oh, and an extra serving of brown rice.  And I figured out MFP really doesn't track calories very well if you're doing weighted things/strength training.  So I think I may have to adjust my goal to "Eat a total of 2200 to 2400 calories each day, leaning towards 2400 on workout days."  It won't totally equal out, especially if I'm going super intense, but it's a start I think.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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What an epic set up!

 

I´m thrilled to read your successful story! Gives me more motivation to keep on going and then, months later, being able to watch back all that hard work done. Just like you now.

 

Think about that race man, think hard about that race. Leave those warriors behind!

Level: 4 Human Monk


STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 10.75 | CON: 6.75 | WIS: 13.75 | CHA: 1.75 |


 


"Effort without results is only self satisfying bunk" - Kain R. Heinlein.


 


"You can make mistakes, but you are not a failure until you blame others for those mistakes." - John Wooden.


 


"Misery is comfortable. Happiness takes effort." - David Wong.

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Guys! Guys! I ate 2,577 calories today , even if with my time on the mats tonight I'm still below the 2400 net amount and it took eating a really large pub cheese burger to get me that high.

But I seems it can be done!

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Holy crap, busy 2 days.  I wanted to give a mid-week update, but work just was crazy (I can't be the only one who updates from work, right?  I get home and I don't want a computer near me these days...)  Anyway:

 

1) Spartan Training: So far, so good on this guy.  Monday I did the body weight workout with added weight, and tonight I did a workout with my friend... and his entire plan for me can be summed up thusly: BURPEES.  120 of them, to be precise.  Given I had never done them before, I feel like I survived admirably, and without vomit.  Saturday is the next planned workout day, though now I'm kinda up a creek.  My friend had been letting me borrow his adjustable dumb bells, but I just returned them to him now that he's moved in with his girlfriend.  So I need to find and/or buy suitable replacements.  Which should be interesting, as my current set of funds are delegated to a new car.  I'll.... think of something.  I hope.  But I really wanted to lift the heavy things.

 

2) Guard the Pass: Uh... running.  Right.  So I was going to go Monday, and storms kept me in.  I'm hoping tomorrow after work/car shopping I can go for a run.  I'd like to not do that on the same day as a workout, since I'll end up skimping on one or the other.  But I may have to fight through that.

 

3) Dine in Hell: Welp, I think I may have to change this challenge officially to just "Eat 2200-2400 calories every day."  MyFitnessPal is not letting my log things in efficiently, so I can't accurately count my calories there.  But I feel like if I can keep myself up at that level of eating, I Should be fine.  It's (theoretically) lower than I'd need to build muscle, and is according to MFP what I'd need to eat to maintain my current weight, but I want to see what happens first.  That being said, I've managed to eat over 2200 every day, though I've had to cheat a bit with crappy food choices.  It's a bit more IIFYM than I would like, but free food the last few days has been my downfall.  Eating clean definitely requires me to supplement with a protein shake plus peanut butter to get to the caloric goal, though.  It's weird having a hard time eating more.

 

Life Goal Update: Pictures were taken Sunday, probably going to use my phone since they seemed to be slightly better than my camera.  And the chief instructor at the dojo has officially taken note that I'm testing in 2 weeks and approved my partner for the exam (technically a faux pas because he's several grades above me in rank, and the partner is supposed to be the same rank or the one you're testing for.  But all the ukes I could choose are MIA or can't make the test date).  And pretty much everyone has told me that if I was told to test tomorrow I'd be fine.  So that's a nice feeling.  Now people are telling me to prepare for the next test. @_@

 

So that's my not-exactly midweek update.  Now to plow through threads that I've missed over the past 2.5 days.

RisenPhoenix, the Entish Aikidoka

Challenge: RisenPhoenix Tries to be Normal

 

"The essence of koryu [...is] you offer your loyalty to something that you choose to regard as greater than yourself so that you will, someday, be able to offer service to something that truly is transcendent." ~ Ellis Amdur, Old School

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Oh man, I missed a couple updates already, totally thought I replied here already. >.>

It's awesome seeing how much you've progressed from challenge 1. Seriously. You were focused on a calorie deficit and now you've reached the point where you can focus on gaining muscle. Great job on mixing with the body weight circuits. I probably hate running almost as much as you do but still... blast an epic playlist and keep going!!

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They're pricey, but a good set of kettlebells might be the ticket. They're heavy things, made of iron, and incredibly versatile for not only strength but also conditioning. Granted, you don't get to control the degree of load like you do with adjustable dumbbells, but even so.

 

One day I will have your problem of eating more things! I look forward to that day. And that's awesome that you're in that flow-state of being ready to test on a moment's notice. Now you just gotta get your mind right. You've earned the right to be on the mat, throwing dudes with their wrists. :D

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