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Waldo's Challenge - Q&A, Ask Me Anything!


Waldo

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Does timing or combination of macros matter significantly, i.e. should one avoid eating fats with carbs?

No. Not under normal circumstances.

The one exception is when doing a purposeful reefed, when you are taking in a huge carb intake in a short window. During refeeds you want to eat as little fat as possible. There will always be some tagalong fat, you want to minimize that as much as possible.

If you aren't doing refeeds though, it really doesn't matter. The way the body stores fuels (aside from fat) is much like an escrow account, which will smooth out any potential effects from nutrient timing. You can get some effects if you do depletion workouts to run your carb supply down low and then fast, but this is way beyond the scope of how most people do things and at best only marginally effective.

Eating fat with carbs largely makes the GI/GL values of the carbs irrelevant (lowering both). This is why the value of a low GI/GL diet is marginal at best, especially if you aren't diabetic.

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Took a shot doing a plyometric pistol squat tonight.  Caught some serious air:

 

IMG_9413sm_zps70026981.jpg

 

Workout Log - 9/26
Leg Day B - Volume

Lunge Matrix x5
Kick Circuit x5
BW RDL - 10 reps
BW Squat - 10 reps
One Leg Standing L - 15/15 sec

Pistol Squat (BW) - 5e++/5e++ reps
Pistol Squat (+30) - 6x++/6e++, 6x+/6e++, 6x+/6x++ reps
Pistol Squat (BW) - 16y+/16x+ m{5,4}(10 br) reps
- Notable progress on the +30 sets
- Didn't have a lot of rest-pause sets in my legs


Shrimp Squat - 5x+/0, 6y+/0 reps

Assisted Natural Hamstring Curls - 5e reps
Natural Hamstring Curls - 5y++, 5x+, 5y+ reps
- Pretty ho hum night of these, but I was really working hard on my form.

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For pull-ups, I'm at a point where I can do the first pull-up in a set from a deadhang, and then I can usually do another 4 if I go 95% of the way back down, but not fully into a deadhang between reps.  If I try to go back into a deadhang, I just get kind of stuck there and can't re-engage the right muscles to pull back up into a second rep.  Is it at all important to do a strict deadhang pull-up for each rep, or is it fine to do what I was doing, with only the first rep being from a deadhang?

No, not at all. Dead hang pullups are excessively tiring for the extra training effect, plus going to a dead hang really kills your rhythm. I only use dead hang pullups when there is a specific training effect I am trying to get. Going down as low as you can go while maintaining tension in your lats (will be a kink in the elbow because of it too) is perfectly acceptable and will most likely lead to faster progress than dead hanging each rep. Going to a dead hang is absolutely not necessary for reps to "count" and is not "the" proper/correct form (though it isn't improper either). If you are working on pulling higher and higher, going to a dead hang each rep will be big time counterproductive as it will kill your TUT at the top of the rep.

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Yay, question time with Waldo! Thanks for offering your knowledge to us.

 

I got into NF because I wanted to be stronger - which has totally worked, and I've incidentally lost some weight. I'm now at the low end of "normal" BMI, and I have no desire to be thinner - but I still want to be stronger. So I've been half-heartedly "bulking", which has, predictably, gone nowhere, since I haven't committed to it, but at least I'm no longer losing weight. Anyway, that's background for my actual question!

 

Question: Over the summer, I've been doing a 3x a week workout with my coworkers - it's HIIT circuits, running plus strength, in the 10-20 rep range, very little time between exercises. On off days I either go bouldering or swimming. I feel like I've lost strength this summer on this program, so I'm looking at dropping the coworker workout and going back to my previous strength plan - low reps, increased difficulty, longer rest periods between exercises. BUT the coworker workouts are fun and good social time - is there a way to make them work for my strength/bulking goals, or maybe keep one session a week and do strength outside of that? What would you recommend?

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Nice action shot! 

 

Dat leg power, yo.

agreed. that picture is amazing. great shot!

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This is an ankle mobility problem.

Mobility is a 2 part issue, you need the flexibility to be able to move your body certain ways AND you need strength in that range of motion so that it is a useful range of motion. Simply stretching is not good enough. Pistol squats themselves are about the best ankle mobility exercise I know of. Really any single leg squat form will help.

The sharper the angle of shin you can still balance and apply vertical force through, the less counterbalance you need (leaning forward is a form of counterbalance) and the more stable you will be. At first it might not be much more than 90 degrees to the ground with your heel on the ground, over time though that will improve.

Is there a way to work up to pistol squats? Do bulgarian split squats help with ankle mobility?

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Is there a way to work up to pistol squats? Do bulgarian split squats help with ankle mobility?

The best way I know of to work up to pistol squats is to stand up and sit down using pistol squat form, using lower and lower objects. Lean as far forward as you can at first, it makes them easier.

Split squats would definitely help with ankle mobility, at least a little bit.

One really good ankle mobility exercise that will big time transfer is to just go down into a bodyweight squat (2 legged) and sit in the bottom. Once there lean your weight over one foot, then switch sides, and keep going back and forth like that. It will help to increase the range of motion over which you can apply force and begin teaching you to balance on one foot with a bent knee and sharp shin angle. You can even lift the other leg and extend it into a pistol position for a short bit for a challenge.

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Workout Log - 9/27
Static Upper Body

Standard Warmup/Mobilty

One Arm Wall Handstand (10 sec) - 5/5, 5/5 reps

- Definitely limited more by my obliques than my traps.  Surprising how hard they are on the obliques.

Planche Lean - 15 sec
Tuck Planche (PB) - 25, 25, 25 sec
Advanced Tuck Plance - 0n2 reps (slowwww)
- Couldn't quite do a flat back tuck, damn does that ever magnify the load on the shoulders.  Going to keep trying though each week.
- Times on the regular tuck place are climbing nicely though.


Tuck Front Lever - 15 sec
Advanced Tuck Front Lever - 10, 10, 15 sec
One Leg Front Lever - 1/1 reps

- Advanced tuck times weren't too good, more a byproduct of pushing the form envelope than weakness.

- Was actually able to hold the one leg front lever for a second after slowly lowering into it, once each side.

 

Advanced Tuck Back Lever - 15 sec

Half Layout Back Lever - 20 sec

Back Lever - 7, 8, 10 sec

- After taking a several month break on the full back lever to focus on improving my form with the half layout, I decided to go back to it today.  Wow what a difference.

- Not only have my back lever hold times improved, but my form has greatly improved as has my confidence holding it.

- Going to start working the full back lever again from here on out.

 

Floor L-Sit - 15 sec

Middle Split Hold - 10, 10, 9, 8 sec

- Focused on getting as high as possible and as tight of a straddle as possible on the MSH's

 

- After the one arm handstand sets, the rest of the exercises were done slow circuit style.
 

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Amazing pic. Amazing journey. Incredible volume of knowledge.

I'm still here.

Need to work with a physical therapist at this point. My legs have decided to mutiny. But I am NOT quitting. Joining the Y tomorrow. Asking if the arthritis water instructor is available for private lessons, since I can't go during the day.

Wish you were a doctor and local. Bet you'd figure this crap out.

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Hey Waldo,

 

Sorry if this question's been asked a million times before.

 

Been digging through the boards searching for beginners calisthenics information. I've read through Convict Conditioning, and to a complete beginner, it seems a reasonable plan for progression but then I read your posts and now I'm not so convinced anymore!

 

Last year you responded to a Convict Conditioning thread with this suggestion for a beginner calisthenics routine:

 

Squat Var x 5 sets
Pushup Var x 5 sets
Pull Var x 5 sets
Core Exercise x 1-2 sets

 

Would you still say this is a good basic routine for me to begin with?

 

I don't understand what you mean by x5 sets? (Sorry, complete n00b here). Do I do as many as I can 5 times?

 

I've also struggled the last couple of times I've attempted the assisted pullup. Feels like I'm putting *all* the weight on the legs, and doing no pulling with them arms. Any suggestions that could help me?

 

Lastly - what core exercises should I be concentrating on?

 

Thank you!

 

 

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Your workout is bad ass!

I'm going to try squatting low and balancing on either ankle.

Me too!

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Hey Waldo,

 

Sorry if this question's been asked a million times before.

 

Been digging through the boards searching for beginners calisthenics information. I've read through Convict Conditioning, and to a complete beginner, it seems a reasonable plan for progression but then I read your posts and now I'm not so convinced anymore!

 

Last year you responded to a Convict Conditioning thread with this suggestion for a beginner calisthenics routine:

 

Squat Var x 5 sets

Pushup Var x 5 sets

Pull Var x 5 sets

Core Exercise x 1-2 sets

 

Would you still say this is a good basic routine for me to begin with?

 

I don't understand what you mean by x5 sets? (Sorry, complete n00b here). Do I do as many as I can 5 times?

 

I've also struggled the last couple of times I've attempted the assisted pullup. Feels like I'm putting *all* the weight on the legs, and doing no pulling with them arms. Any suggestions that could help me?

 

Lastly - what core exercises should I be concentrating on?

 

Thank you!

Convict conditioning is decent if you apply the following 2 caveats:

- There is no need to do the split routine suggested by the book. Combine all exercises into a single session.

- There is no reason to be dogmatic about when to progress and what to progress to. A better way to look at it is to always be trying to progress and always try to be figuring out what the next "right" exercise is for you. Some of those progressions in the book will work well, others will be terrible. Always be experimenting.

But yeah. A great absolute beginner workout is to do 5 sets each of a pulling exercise, a pushing exercise, a squatting exercise, and a couple sets of a core exercise.

Beginners really should work toward:

One arm pushup - 1 per arm (wide leg, forget the narrow leg form shown in convict conditioning)

Pistol squat - 5 per leg

Pullup - 5 reps

Wall handstand - 60 sec

Hollow hold - 60 sec

And really not worry about working on anything else until they can do all of that. It should take 3-6 months to reach that point. You can work on all of them at the get go except possibly the wall handstands. By the time you can do one arm emphasized pushups, you should be strong enough to safely do wall handstands.

And yes, I mean do as many as you can (a set) 5 times. Wait as long as you need between sets. As you get stronger you might find that leaving a rep or two in the tank increases the quality of your workouts (it doesn't matter so much for beginners).

currently maintaning

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Catching up on the weekend

 

Saturday - Some handstand practice, usual Saturday 5 mile run (about 50:00 flat).  Good but not great time on the run.

 

Sunday - Mini workout and 60 minutes of yoga

 

Sunday Mini workout:

 

Tuck Front Lever - 15 sec

Advanced Tuck Front Lever - 4, 7, 6 reps

Planche Lean - 15 sec

Tuck Planche Rotations - 6, 7, 8 reps

- Dunno what was up with the first set of front lever reps

- Very strong on the tuck planche rotations 

 

My weight has been all screwy.  I just keep on gaining, much faster than expected, it is like my metabolism is dropping severely.  Has to be the creatine.  Sometimes I just get crazy thirsty, and afterwards I end up heavier, and the weight persists.  But my waist has not increased in size; none of the weight gain is fat.  I'm up about 4 lbs from my low point mid-August.  I'm eating at exactly what used to be maintenence up until about May (the whole year prior), that's when cutting started to cause my metabolism to drop.

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Ah working for the gov't. "Vacation" starts tomorrow.

Workout Log - 9/30

Handstand Practice - 2 min, best 20 sec

- Only 1 hold with the wall. A few tries in the grass, not so much success that way.

Leg Day A

Lunge Matrix x5

Kick Circuit x5

BW RDL - 10 reps

BW Squat - 10 reps

One Leg Standing L - 15/15 sec

Pistol Squat (BW) - 5e++/5e++ reps

Pistol Squat (+30) - 5x++/5e++ reps

Pistol Squat (+50) - 4x+/4x++, 4y+/4x++ reps

- ++ reps on the left per set - 3, 2

- A little bit of progress this week

Deep Step Up (+90) - 5y+/5x+, 6y+/6y+ reps

Deep Step Up (+70) - 6y++/6x++ reps

Deep Step Up (+50) - 11y++/11x++ reps

- Likewise, a little bit of progress this week.

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
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You can work on all of them at the get go except possibly the wall handstands. By the time you can do one arm emphasized pushups, you should be strong enough to safely do wall handstands.

 

This leads me to believe I’ve been doing wall handstands incorrectly. I can maybe get one regular push up down - if I’m lucky. So if I'm doing them for reps I'll do them at an incline. But, I've recently tried wall handstands and have been successful. I can hold it for at least 20 secs and just started practicing (this morning actually!) trying to balance without my feet on the wall. I have only done them with my back to the wall (so starting out facing the wall). Is this strange?

 

Also, thank you again for answering everyone's questions!

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This leads me to believe I’ve been doing wall handstands incorrectly. I can maybe get one regular push up down - if I’m lucky. So if I'm doing them for reps I'll do them at an incline. But, I've recently tried wall handstands and have been successful. I can hold it for at least 20 secs and just started practicing (this morning actually!) trying to balance without my feet on the wall. I have only done them with my back to the wall (so starting out facing the wall). Is this strange?

 

Also, thank you again for answering everyone's questions!

No, that isn't strange at all.

Some people find handstands easy, some don't.

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Progress Photo Today:
 
FullSize10-13sm_zps0240fbdb.jpg
 
Fat gain is minimal thus far this bulk.  I do seem bigger.
 
Workout Log - 10/1
Dynamic Upper Body
 
Standard Warmup/Mobility
 
Handstand Pushup - 1z++, 1y++, F reps
Handstand Pushup (10 books, 4.5" deficit) - 2y++, 2y++ reps
Headstand Pushup - 7y+, 6x++ reps
- Did 1 more full rep this week
 
Wide Grip Dead Hang Chest to Bar Pullups - 7x++, 8x+, 7x++ reps
Neutral Grip Chest to Bar Rest-Pause Pyramid - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - 8, 7', 6', 5', 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
- Did the whole pyramid with 5 breath breaks (except the 30 sec middle).
- Pyramid sets marked with an ' indicate that I had to take a couple second mid-set break.
- Big pyramid improvement over last week.
 
Parallel Bar Pseudo Planche Pushup - 5e++ reps
Tuck Planche Pushup - 5x-, 6x-, 5x-, 5x- reps (++ reps by set - {0,0,3,3})
Parallel Bar Pseudo Planche Pushup - 10y+ reps
- Gaining confidence in the TPP's though numbers don't show much improvement.
 
Concentration Curls (35lb) - 10x++/10x++, 8y++/8e++ reps

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Wow, very noticeable!

 

Question on nutrition/weight: 

 

I've been dieting for about 4 months, shooting for 1980 cals/day (I usually come in under). I've dropped 40 pounds to 226. I try to hit 150 cals of protein but fail most days. My macros average at about 45% carb, 30% protein, 25% fat for the week, although daily they vary.  

 

I have same breakfast 7 days per week (protein powder with liquified spinach and sometimes a bar), same lunch M-Sat (turkey/cheese sandwich, cold veggies, some fruit), protein in afternoon, and dinner being whatever we're having. The only constants on dinner are baked ravioli on Tues and chili spaghetti on Weds. I know, right? 1/2+ gallon of water daily, 2-3 cans of diet coke, plus whatever other liquid intake from protein mixes.

 

I don't "refeed" because I dont know 1) how or 2) why.

 

On Sun - Tue morning my scale weight tends to increase almost 3-4 pounds, then drops by slightly more than that on Weds and Thurs, leaving me with a slow weekly loss. I can about predict my weight by the fat on my stomach in the morning.

 

My suspicion is that this is all about water retention/release. Would you think that the increase in carbs on Tues and Weds (even within a not-so-low-carb-diet) would be the cause of this?

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You look more muscular now than you did in the July 30 pic....and definitely leaner than both July pics.

And there is just the slightest increase in the classic lovehandle area from Aug 30...its always the last thing to go on me...and the first thing to come back....*rollingmyeyes

 

And maybe its the lighting....but your traps look fuller with just a tiny bit more height...your right trap is just a bit higher than your neck vein now.

I would be interested to see what the tape says....but the most recent picture versus the Aug 30...maybe a smidge more mass on the medial delts giving just a hint of more width...

 

Edit: Again...maybe the lighting...but your right quad looks bigger versus July 30 too....

 

Regardless....your V-taper is looking great!

 

Good work!

Sculptor - Warrior


LVL 4 | STR 10 | DEX 8 | WIS 12 | CHA 8 | STA 1 | CON 6


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