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lolsroyce

Adventure Time with Lolsroyce and Pull Ups

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Hi all!

 

So I wrote up an interesting story for my challenge post last week but it seems that I forgot to save or post it. I have actually been doing this challenge since Monday. Oops! 

 

Primary goal: Do 1 pull up!

 

Now I have no idea how long it will actually take me to get to this goal. For all I know I'll be there in 6 weeks. I started exercising 2 months ago and have been really focusing on my diet the last 5 or so weeks. I'm not doing a paleo diet, but after calorie counting using MyFitnessPal on my phone (I hope it's ok to mention the tools I'm using), I noticed that my eating habits started strongly heading in that direction naturally. I would look at something like bread and say, "there's a lot of calories and not much nutritional benefit. Why am I eating it?"

 

Other things to note. Last Sunday before the challenge start, I weighed 185 lbs.

Prior to me exercising, I did little to no physical activity for several years. I've also had a desk job for the majority of this time, so I was not active during work either.

 

Mission One: Do a pull up.

 

I am going to use the How To Do a Pull Up article on Nerd Fitness as my guide and grading scale. If I can get to step 4 (Do a pull up), I'll consider that an A. 

 

Mission Two: Eat out less at lunch time.

 

While this may seem like a side goal, it's not because when I make food for myself it tastes great, it's really healthy for me, and it's much cheaper. I don't want to eliminate it entirely because when I go out to lunch it's always with co-workers, so there is an important social aspect to it for me.

 

I'm considering an A going out to lunch 6 times or less (once a week on average) during the duration of the challenge.

Every 3 times I go out to lunch beyond that will drop me a letter grade.

 

Mission Three: I don't know! (Maybe 2x HIIT per week)

 

I need some help thinking of something. I started doing HIIT this week instead of just a long boring 1 hour cardio session. I don't know if this will really help me reach my pull up goal, but I could make it a goal. 2 HIIT sessions a week. Any time I miss one it's a letter grade down. If this seems like a good mission, I'll make it official. Otherwise I'm open to ideas.

 

 

Side Mission: Play more guitar. 

 

I started learning guitar in July. I was doing well at first practicing regularly, but it died down. My goal is to practice for at least 3 times a week for at least a total of 1.5 hours a week. This would be 3 30 minute sessions but I reserve the right to break it down into 4 or 5 sessions of lesser time so long as I hit a minimum of 1.5 hours per week.

 

Motivations:

 

I started exercising as a means to help manage elevated stress levels at my job as I took on significantly more responsibility at work. My old coping mechanisms such as playing video games to de-stress were not working. I found myself starting to smoke again during this period of time as well which I don't want to do (I stopped). I was also completed wired on 5+ cups of coffee a day and to no surprise, had a lot of trouble sleeping which just made matters worse.

 

I've been going strong with 2 months now and have improved across the board except for maybe sleep. Now I have so much energy that I don't know what to do with it all. This has also be a massive confidence booster for me. I want to keep improving, and I am looking into activities that I would have never even considered before such as climbing at a rock gym. 

Edited by lolsroyce

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Great goals!  I would love to be able to do a pull up someday, but I'm saving that for a future challenge.  I love that you're also looking into alternative workouts--rock climbing is super fun!  I'm hoping to get in some new activities myself in the coming year.  I want to try snow shoeing and cross-country skiing for sure.

 

Also, good on you for playing music!  I firmly believe it's good for the soul.  Do you have anyone you can jam with?  I find that that makes a difference.  You're more motivated to play if you have friends you can play with.

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Bring it! I think your goal for the pull-up is a great challenge. I have always envied people that can do it. To solidify your third goal- are you still in the habit of tracking your food? That would be a good goal unless it's already engrained. At the same time the balance of a cardio workout is great. I made on of my goals to wash dishes so I wouldn't have another excuse to eat out- is there something you need to do to make sure you get your pull-up workouts done? Like packing your workout clothes before you go to work- I don't know. Sometimes there are foundational things we don't automatically think of.

 

Glad you're in it!

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Great goals!  I would love to be able to do a pull up someday, but I'm saving that for a future challenge.  I love that you're also looking into alternative workouts--rock climbing is super fun!  I'm hoping to get in some new activities myself in the coming year.  I want to try snow shoeing and cross-country skiing for sure.

 

Also, good on you for playing music!  I firmly believe it's good for the soul.  Do you have anyone you can jam with?  I find that that makes a difference.  You're more motivated to play if you have friends you can play with.

 

Yeah! I am trying to discover some new potential hobbies and interests. I have also started trying to learn some beginner hip-hop and club dancing. I don't think I'll ever use it at a club as that is just not really my scene, but it's still fun to do especially if you enjoy that kind of music. I used to snowboard a long time ago. I may try to do that a few times this year.

 

I know a few musicians. At this point I am still just trying to get used to chord forms, moving my hand around and timing. This is probably the most dexterous activity my left hand has ever done besides typing. I've got a long way to go for this.

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Bring it! I think your goal for the pull-up is a great challenge. I have always envied people that can do it. To solidify your third goal- are you still in the habit of tracking your food? That would be a good goal unless it's already engrained. At the same time the balance of a cardio workout is great. I made on of my goals to wash dishes so I wouldn't have another excuse to eat out- is there something you need to do to make sure you get your pull-up workouts done? Like packing your workout clothes before you go to work- I don't know. Sometimes there are foundational things we don't automatically think of.

 

Glad you're in it!

 

Thanks for the encouragement! Yes, I still track my food. I have been consistently for 6 weeks now. The dish washing goal is smart. I know I've gone out to eat a few times simply because my kitchen was a mess and I just didn't have it in me to deal with it at the time. I usually go gym in the evenings, so packing my gym bag isn't much of a hassle. Those ideas though are helping me thing of a few different angle at which to approach goals, so I do appreciate that.

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First Week Update:

 

 

Mission 1: Do a Pull Up article progression

Performed some dumb bell rows. I am trying to figure out what weight is appropriate, so I generally pick a conservative weight and scale it up with each set. This week I was able to do a set at 25 lbs. Next week, I will try 3 sets of 8 at 25+. I am pretty confident I can do it.

 

Also did some body weight Rows using the bar on the Smith machine. I picked a fairly safe angle. Maybe about 45 degrees and tried 3 sets of 8. Could not do all 3 but got pretty close! Will try again after a few days of rest.

 

Mission 2: Eat out less often for lunch

I went out to lunch 0 out of 5 times last week. I brought a lunch every day. I was pretty pumped because now I'm ahead of the curve. I need to switch it up though or I'll burn out on salads. I practically at the same thing for lunch every day.

 

Mission 3: HIIT 2x per week

Did 2 HIIT sessions of running this week. First one on Monday. Second one on Thursday.

5min warm-up, stretch, 30s high, 2 min low (repeat for 6 highs), 5 min cool down, stretch.

 

I am having trouble trying to find an appropriate speed for the lower impact periods of time. If I walk, my heart rate drops, but if I jog (even a slow jog), my heart rate stays pretty high. This also really pushed my endurance. I couldn't keep up a jogging pace during most of the rest periods. I found myself walking for about 30s of the lower speed intervals and even more so toward the later ones.

 

Side Mission: Play more guitar

I did not do too great here this week. I got 2 sessions in for about 40 minutes total. Life seemed to get in the way of this one.

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Hi there.  Sounds like you are making great progress on your goals.  Doing pull ups will be on of my future goals.  I just chose to tackle the deadlifts first.  Anyway, I know right now it maybe seems like you'll never get there with the pull ups or the running.  But you will!  Someday you'll pull yourself up to the bar and it will be crazy!  And your running will catch up too.  Acclimatizing to that high intensity stuff might be pretty steep if your body isn't used to it.  Good luck this week!

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Hi there.  Sounds like you are making great progress on your goals.  Doing pull ups will be on of my future goals.  I just chose to tackle the deadlifts first.  Anyway, I know right now it maybe seems like you'll never get there with the pull ups or the running.  But you will!  Someday you'll pull yourself up to the bar and it will be crazy!  And your running will catch up too.  Acclimatizing to that high intensity stuff might be pretty steep if your body isn't used to it.  Good luck this week!

 

Thanks! Things are going well. I was going to post an update tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty pumped about this week.

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Second Week Update:


 


Mission 1: Do a Pull Up article progression


3 sets of 8 dumbbell rows at 25 lbs. Felt a bit too easy and I am now concerned I may not be doing them properly.


 


3 sets of 8 overhand inverted rows at around a 45 degree angle I think. It's hard to tell when lying there. Surprisingly, I had more trouble with the underhand ones and could not finish all 8 on the last set.


 


For fun, I tried doing some lying completely flat at the starting position. I did one. Almost got a second one in but couldn't quite get high enough without breaking form.


 


Mission 2: Eat out less often for lunch


I went out to lunch 1 out of 5 times last week. Friends took me to some greasy diner. Probably the least healthy thing I've eaten in a month and honestly didn't really miss it. My stomach was also not happy with me.


 


Stayed on course for the week though.


 


Mission 3: HIIT 2x per week


Did 2 HIIT sessions of running this week. First one on Tuesday. Second one on Thursday.


5min warm-up, stretch, 30s high, 2 min low (repeat for 6 highs), 5 min cool down, stretch.


 


On the second HIIT of the week, I managed to jog for the full duration of all lower impact sections. My knees and legs were so sore the next day that it hurt to stand up or sit down. I'm a bit worried that the impact from the sprints is stressing out my knees. It went away after a day for the most part, but the spot on my knees are still a bit tender if I press on them with my fingers.


 


Does anyone have a good alternative that I can use to keep up on doing HIITs but give my knee a bit more recovery time?


 


Side Mission: Play more guitar


No real improvement over last week. I got 2 sessions in for about 40 minutes total again. I find that as work gets busy, this is what seems to get pushed to the side.


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Awesome progress!!! You are doing great with food and the exercise. Not so shabby with the guitar either. Do you have a song you want to play or some end product you are shooting for with the guitar? Glad you are killing it! How's the hip-hop? I'm sure that's pretty good exercise too. 

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Hehe the hip hop dancing is going well actually. I should have picked that as a side challenge over the guitar. At this point, I could not even imagine playing an actual song on the guitar. I am having so much trouble just switching between chords even ones with little hand or shape positioning changes are taking a while.

 

 

Thanks for checking in.

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Whew! Haven't gotten around to updating.

Here's where I'm at. I'll do a Week 4 Update soonish.

 

Third Week Update:

 

Mission 1: Do a Pull Up article progression

3 sets of 8 dumbbell rows at 30 lbs. 

3 sets of 8 overhand and underhand inverted rows at around a 45 degree angle. About the same progress as last week.

 

Mission 2: Eat out less often for lunch

Went out and got Sushi on Friday with a co-worker. Still within expectations of no more than 1 time out per week.

 

Mission 3: HIIT 2x per week

Did 2 HIITs but I did not run for the first one. The weather was crappy and I didn't want to drive out to they gym, so I tried it on my rowing machine on Tuesday. I could not go fast enough to tire out really hard on the high intervals.

 

Knees getting sore after doing HIITs. Especially because the one I did Friday was out and about in the neighborhood and not on a track I usually run at. Iced knees. Felt fine after a couple days.

 

Side Mission: Play more guitar

Got 3 sessions in this week. Aww yeah!

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A Very Late Fourth Week Update:


Had a busy week this week and barely had time to make it to the gym. Also why these updates were all so behind.


 


Mission 1: Do a Pull Up article progression


Didn't do dumbbell rows.


3 sets of 8 overhand and inverted rows at around a 45 degree angle. About the same progress as last week. (Sneak preview: I stepped this up in week 5)


Tried a chin up and a pull up:


-Can nearly pull myself all the way up to do a chin up. Might be able to do one next week.


-Got about halfway up on a pull up. Much better than when I started.


 


Mission 2: Eat out less often for lunch


No lunches out, but I did make a store run to pick up something I needed that I left at home on accident, so I am counting that as an out. Still on track.


 


Mission 3: HIIT 2x per week


Two running HIITs (barely). One Tuesday. One Sunday. Was glad when this week was over.


 


Side Mission: Play more guitar


Played no guitar this week. :-/


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End of 6 Week Challenge Update (Skipping Week 5 Update Since Challenge is over):


 


 


Mission 1: Do a Pull Up article progression


I did a pull up, well sort of. I got myself up kicking and fighting with my legs all the way up.


Using the pad to assist with only the starting level weight (10 lbs of support) I was able to do one in control.


A couple days later I tried an unassisted one and was successful.


 


Going to call this an A. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to be done with this in 6 weeks.


 


Mission 2: Eat out less often for lunch


I ended up going out to lunch once each week on 5 and 6.


That means I averaged 1 lunch out each week for the challenge period.


 


I was pretty stoked and my wallet thanked me too. Calling that an A


 


Mission 3: HIIT 2x per week


I started doing running HIITs at the beginning of the challenge but switched to an exercise bike later on because it was less stress on my knees which were giving me problems on the challenge. I didn't miss a single HIIT, but I had a couple close calls where I was doing my second HIIT of the week on Sunday night.


 


I met the goal, but I don't know if I am going to keep up with these in the future. It was surprisingly hard for me to fit them into my schedule along with regular strength training and giving myself some rest.


 


Side Mission: Play more guitar


I definitely didn't do so hot on this one. It started out ok, had 1 good week but the last two weeks I do not think I even picked up the guitar.


 


Summary:


Pull-up: A


Lunches: A


HIIT: A


Guitar (side): Did not pass


 


 


 


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