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Burner Chronicles - Prologue: Taking on 'Zona's Worst


WheelBurner

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Entry I - 7-28-14

I stare up and see there are clouds, but unlike those of the week before they are not ominous. They are light in color and almost playful in appearance. It seems I had found a brief moment of respite, though it's uncertain whether I should call it that given the scorching heat that is ever present. We have entered our monsoon season. It occurs every summer right as the temperature begins to peak. One would believe that to be a blessing and I suppose it can be given that we do desperately need the rain. However, it is not refreshing. Even the much needed drops of water burn on their way to the scorching ground. If unfortunate, as we were last week, a wall of dirt and sand will tear its way through our metropolitan area as though possessed by a demon. We call them dust storms but I feel the name desert's wrath would be more appropriate.

My ghostly friend here is signaling to me. He says it's a good omen to begin training as he feels I am to be challenged for the next 6 weeks. Friend, figment of my imagination, hallucination due to excessive exposure to summer heat, or the ghost of a Persian prince as he claims...I suppose it makes little difference. For reasons that I shall, embarrassingly, explain later, I have agreed on this bizarre venture out into the wilds of 'Zona as he puts it...in the middle of summer. I have decided to keep records of the next month or so. I'm sure the psychiatrist(s) I visit not long from now will find them useful.

______________________________

Hey there ranger crew! I'm joining up with you guys for the next challenge. I've decided to make it into a bit of a fictional story inspired by what I actually experience during the next six weeks. So much like Hollywood it will be 90% fiction, 8% "what the..." and 2% real story probably. Here's a rundown of what I have planned.

Main Quest: Continuation from my first one. I want to remain active so I am still going to hold myself to working out 5 days a week (3x weights/bodyweight exercises, 2x cardio) and biking 20 miles a day with some extras spliced in because it's time for some summer fun.

1st sub-quest: Pistol squats. I can't do them, not even close, but I really want to be able to by the end of this challenge. I found a great series of progressions and am hoping to have them down by the end of the six weeks.

2nd sub-quest: Challenge nature. Arizona is pretty darn warm place during this time of year but I need to build my stamina and what better way to do it then by punching the heat right in the face? I want to do a outdoor challenge every week. Whether it be running out in the heat at its peak, skating in the heavy winds, biking through our crazy monsoon storms, or hiking and trying not to burn my hands on the rocks. Of course I do intend to take all necessary precautions to be safe and stay hydrated.

3rd sub-quest: 50 pushups non-stop with good form. I can manage about 30 right now so this seems a bit intense for me especially since I my form really suffers after 25. Granted, this is meant to be a challenge after all!

 

Motivation: It's go time! Gotta keep momentum going because I felt great after my first challenge and want to make that last.

 

First workout complete along with 20 miles biked to and from work. Weather was nice, only about 105 on the way back.

 

25x pushups

10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights

15x pushups

10x lateral raise /2 25lb weights

10x pushups

 

10x bent over rear deltoid raise /2 25lb weights

10x pushups

10x hammer curl /2 25lb weights

10x pushups

10x upright row /1 25 lb weight

10x pushups

 

10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights

10x pushups

10x two arms triceps extension /1 25lb weight

10x pushups

10 x wide row /2 25lb weights

10x pushups (last one being a 30 second plank)

 

50x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights

20x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights

40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights

20x shoulder press /2 25lb weights

 

40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights

30x two arms triceps extension /1 25lb weight

20x one arm triceps extension (right)

20x one arm triceps extension (left)

 

Also, pretty proud of myself. After all my exercising today I was able to say no to cheesecake. Wasn't aware I had that in me.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Good luck with the pistol squats, I'm working on these with one of my goals for this challenge also.  There are a couple good progression resources out there, I've started with the ones here at http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/whats-preventing-you-from-doing-pistol-squats-how-to-progress-pistols.    I do so many air squats its surprising how hard these are.    I can work my way down into it but can't get back up!    Doing the progressions will surely build up the strength.

Level 3 Halfling Ranger


First Challenge  Bodyweight Challenge


 


 


STR: 6.5 | DEX: 4.5 | CON: 5 | STA: 4.6 | WIS: 5 | CHA: 1


 


 

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I love the way they breakdown the movements there. It's helping me make steady progress. Trying and failing can be discouraging so I really enjoy that I get to move through small milestones. Turns out I have slightly longer legs than I thought so for me my main problem is the flexibility because I have to lean forward more at the moment or completely fall over while working downward.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry II 7-30-2014

With aching arms and a sore chest I make this entry. I was lacking in sleep today as noise coming from the other side of the wall woke me at irregular times throughout the night. The ghost that's currently haunting my room seems to have taken to calling my roommate the Banshee. He does get rather high-pitched when playing his xbox games so it kind of fits.

It seems yesterday's workout was not enough for this remnant of Persian history. He insisted that I do a full pistol squat; it didn't happen. However, I made an ever so slight improvement on my left side and dropped probably about half an inch further. He was not pleased but begrudgingly accepted that as the best I could do at the time being. I suppose the onslaught of crunches, planks, bodyweight squats, boxing, biking, and running simply wasn't enough. The dead sure do seem demanding.

To his credit he did encourage me to perform upkeep on my steed. That confused me for a bit until I realized he was referring to my bike. It had been a while so I did clean it and then grease up the gears along with the chain. He seems to insist that I discover what beast slumbers within that I should awaken. I attempted to explain how bikes are manufactured and that it is merely one amongst millions but it was to no avail. He remains adamant.

Today, after earning safe passage through waves of desiccating heat that envelope my path home from work, I prepared for my routine. I was performing to what I believed was an appropriate level but this blasted hallucination would not stop it's tirade of insults. To appease it I agreed to perform pushups in between every set of weights. I figured an extra ten after every set near the end wouldn't be anything too special. I was grossly mistaken. In the end I could only perform an extra five after my last couple of sets.

I figured there would be some more insults hurled my way regarding my inadequacy...I only heard laughter. Somehow, that felt much worse. Damn ghost, I'll show him next time.

___________________

Tuesday's Workout:

crunches 30x
plank 1 minute
bicycle crunches 50x
plank 1 minute
leg lifts 25x
plank 45 seconds

bicycle crunches 50x
plank 30 seconds
reverse crunches 30x
plank 30 seconds
bodyweight squats 15x
burpees 15x

boxing drills 15 minutes

bodyweight squats 10x
plank 30 seconds
bicycle crunches 30
bodyweight squats 10x

worked for the last 15 min on balance and trying to get down further for pistol squats - switched to assisted pistol squat while following the progression examples

Wednesday:

25x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights
15x pushups
10x lateral raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

10x bent over rear deltoids raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x hammer curl /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x upright row /1 25 lb weight
10x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights

10x pushups
10x two arms triceps extension /1 25lb weight
10x pushups
10x wide row /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

50x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
20x shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

12x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
5x pushups
8x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
5x pushups
20x one arm triceps extension (right)
5x pushups
20x one arm triceps extension (left)
5x pushups

5 minutes of laying on the floor very still

Decided to start pushing myself more today because I have that goal of 50 nonstop pushups at the end of my challenge and I know that 6 weeks will fly by. I was amazed by how much more exhausting it is to add even 5 pushups between dumbbell movements. My chest is really sore along with the upper part of my forearms but it feels kind of nice in a weird and twisted way

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Hey, Wheelburner - nice to see another Zonie nerd in the Rangers!

 

I've got to hand it to you for bicycling 20 miles in the heat and then getting in a workout like that. Great job!

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity:

but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.

~T. E. Lawrence

 

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands,

flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. 
~John Muir

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Thanks! It's actually getting easier now. I rigged up an old laptop backpack to fit a camelback water reservoir. I line the inside of the laptop compartment with a series of flexible ice packs and shove the reservoir between them. It actually insulates it extremely well. Then I shoved the tube through the top headphone compartment which actually worked out really well. I'm pretty sure having that constant access to cool water is the only thing that has kept me going on those 110+ days we've had so far this summer.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Loving this challenge, and the final step in your last workout. Subbed!

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

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Entry III 7-31-14

 

Another sweaty day behind me. Mother nature is a crafty one. The winds were much less today which allowed for an easier ride but the temperature was worse. I was lulled into a false sense of security. Had it been a simple two or three mile trek I probably wouldn't have noticed. However, around mile 8 on the way home I found myself not just beat but also soaked in sweat. I managed to pedal to the end but it was a somber two miles; even the ghostly prince had no jokes at my expense. Well at least he didn't until I got home.

Once I had cooled off and changed into a pair of clothes he was ready to begin. I opted for a small snack while having to listen to how I was not committed enough. That seemed lost on me as I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to be committed to. As I explained my plan for the session I saw his semi-transparent head shake in disappointment.

"Not enough"

The words I were dreading were casually spat my way. In the end I had to agree to some extra burpees...another set of words that I now dread. The crunches were not that bad of a challenge, the planks, and burpees were a different story. My chest and arms were still sore from yesterday so I felt even more sluggish than usual.

Boxing drills were refreshing and while they boosted my heart rate more than crunches or planks, they still seemed easier. At least they were until I was informed that I had to do them while also doing crunches. It was new, awkward and slightly confusing but after a few minutes of attempts, I stated getting the hang of it. Before I knew it, it was time to alternate crunches and boxing drills with burpees. That ended with a new expulsion of everything that was in my stomach. I managed to keep it in and rest for a few before shifting to squats and finally stretching and pistol squat progressions

The hallucination remained mostly quiet throughout the workout...that does not bode well with me.

________________

Thursday:

bicycle crunches 50x
plank 45 seconds
bicycle crunches 50x
plank 45 seconds
leg lifts 20x
plank 30 seconds

bicycle crunches 50x
plank 30 seconds
reverse crunches 30x
plank 30 seconds
bodyweight squats 15x
burpees 15x

boxing drills - 5 minutes

combination of boxing drills mixed with crunches - 3 minutes

burpees 7x
crunches 25x
burpees 5x
bicycle crunches 5x
burppes 5x
bodyweight squats 10x
burpees 4x
prisoner squats 10x
burpees 3x
crunches 20x
burpess 2x

Took a breather for a couple of minutes to stop from puking. Finished with progressions for pistol squats.

I figured adding in 10x burpees between exercises near the end would be doable but just brutal. Nope, totally mistaken on that count too. Realizing that it was more intense for me than I expected I figured I'd be able to manage five in between but only managed that twice. A few sets later and I was about to puke. I have to remember that rapid fire exercise, burpee, exercise, burpee is a bit much for me right now. I haven't felt like I was going to spill my guts from working out except pushing myself during running.

Maybe a slightly different approach next time will help.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry IV 8-5-14

I woke up rather early in the morning to do some stretching and prepare myself. The princely ghost carefully floated behind me. It appeared there was a joke he was only privy to which entertained him dearly. He and I had already made arrangements the night before. Today would be the first day I would exert myself in one exercise till I could no longer continue. At his recommendation, it would be pushups as they are "rudimentary" as he put it

The first ten went by without me really noticing, but the following ten let me know they were there. By the time I reached thirty my arms were aching and my chest burned. I counted a few more but couldn't really focus much as my arms gave way to my weight and I collapsed face first into the floor. My heart was pounding but I quickly gathered my self up and continued with my exercises before dropping down and giving it another go and then another one not long after that one. Sadly, I wasn't able to get nearly as high the second time and the third time, well let's not discuss it much. Suffice to say, there was disappointment aimed my way. Regardless, it's progress.

___

Friday:

I hammered in my routine in spurts after my warm up because I knew that it was the first time in the challenge that I'd be seeing how close to my goal I actually am. I made it through about 34/35 pushups before I just couldn't force my achy arms to bring me down for one more. I'm counting only 34 in all honesty because I'm pretty sure that 35th one was only a half pushup.

After shaking out my arms a bit and doing a few dumbbell moves I plopped back down and got through 26. After a bit more I managed 17. From there it trailed down into 12, a few 10s, 7, and finally a few rounds of 5.

I'm 16 away from my goal and still have about 4.5 weeks to go in this challenge. I'm pretty stoked though because a few weeks ago I could barely get to 27.

Weekend:

Rest mostly. I did bike a bit early in the days to get some activity. I also went over to Sedona for a nice finish to my three day weekend and walked a lot down trails and inclines. It was warm but completely worth it.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry V 8-9-14

The winds have been picking up, it makes my way home much more treacherous. I find myself racing against the metal beasts that populate the streets. I usually have to give way and concede that I am in no condition to win. For that to happen, everything would have to fall in my favor. That's not something I expect to happen. The last couple of days have been grueling. I've lost track of the amount of pushups and am all too accustomed to my face being nearly pressed up against the dirt.

On days where pushups and weights aren't prevalent, it's been nothing but conditioning for pistol squats. The front of my thighs feel sore as do the back of my ankles - that feels strange. I appear to be making steady progress, slow, but steady none the less. Visitors had dropped by for the upcoming week. They say the sun has fried my brain, I believe they may be correct. It seems they will attempt to derail my schedule, I must be vigilant.
________

Tue:

bicycle crunches 50x
plank 45 seconds
reverse crunches 30x
plank 30 seconds
bodyweight squats 15x
burpees 10x
plank 15 seconds

bodyweight squats 10x
plank 30 seconds
bicycle crunches 30
bodyweight squats 10x
reverse crunches 30x

next half hour was dedicated to pistol squat progressions and working on balance


Wed:

25x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights
15x pushups
10x lateral raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

10x bent over rear deltoids raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x hammer curl /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x upright row /1 25 lb weight
10x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights

10x pushups
10x two arms triceps extension /1 25lb weight
10x pushups
10x wide row /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

50x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
30x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
5x  pushups
20x shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

10x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
20x one arm triceps extension (right)
5x pushups
20x one arm triceps extension (left)
5x pushups

Thu:

Squats, varying squats, pistol squat progression, weighted squats, did I say squats? Decided to really pump out as many as I could. It was grueling and my have been killing me since. It made my two 10 mile bike rides on Friday hell.I can get down past the halfway point for my height now before I fall over. Taking baby steps here but I'm really going to start pushing myself for these things on my non-pushup/upper body days.

Fri:

Struggled getting up the stairs after biking home from work due to the soreness from the day before. I had company there that will be staying through next Sunday. Managed to squeeze in a quick dumbbell workout with 100 pushups mixed in between sets before getting fully distracted after they started banging on my door. They thought I was crazy for wanting to workout more after biking home in the heat. They love to eat out and bought a ton of junk food; realized the next week is going to be a real test of will when it comes to nutrition.
 

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry VI 8-12-14

Another calm weekend passed, bringing cool weather from up north along with it. The days have been overcast with showers at night, leaving only a muggy and hot haze through the mornings as I make my way through the streets. I found myself feeling less motivated, probably in part due to the Texan demons that have assaulted my home. It seems their attitudes is rubbing off on me. As I got into my starting position for pushups after getting home from work, I heard, "You know, you've been doing those wrong."

I shot a bewildered glance back the ghost playing with my book collection. I had no response, I didn't know.

"Your elbows shouldn't bend out farther than the downward line your wrists make?"

I didn't want to hear it but I couldn't help paying attention on my first couple of pushups. Damn! Have I really been doing these wrong?! Was all I could think of.

"That makes it more of an arm workout with little chest activation compared to keeping your elbows in," He continued.

Even know though I didn't want to switch, even though I was feeling happy that I was making progress, I altered my position and began over. I could feel the difference but more importantly, they were harder. This was going to push me back further in my goal. I just knew it. But, I couldn't just ignore the realization (even if it wasn't mine originally).

"Why didn't you tell me on the first day?" I asked rather annoyed as I struggled through the new form.

I heard nothing for several. After a few more I finally go the response I was dreading, "What fun would this be if you didn't struggle?"

That little piece of...fine. This sets me back but I'm left with little choices other than to change what I have been doing.
_______________________
 

Monday:

15x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights
15x pushups
10x lateral raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

10x bent over rear deltoids raise /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x hammer curl /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
10x upright row /1 25 lb weight
10x pushups
10x biceps curl /2 25lb weights

10x pushups
10x two arms triceps extension /1 25lb weight
10x pushups
10x wide row /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
40x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
30x alternating arm incline push /2 25lb weights
10x  pushups
20x shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups

10x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
10x pushups
7x biceps curl to shoulder press /2 25lb weights
5x pushups
25x one arm triceps extension (right)
5x pushups
25x one arm triceps extension (left)
5x pushups

Changed my pushup form after seeing from some progressions that I was bending my elbows too far out to the sides. I had always worked on placement of elbows, feet, head and keeping the waist from sinking but didn't really consider elbows as a possible issue. Made the correction and found it more difficult. I couldn't knock out a quick 10, I had to work it a bit slower.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry VII 8-14-14

The days have been wet...very wet. Monsoon season is in full gear at the moment outside as I stare out the window, watching the clouds pass swiftly overhead. Twice have I been caught in the rains and heavy at the beginning of my ten mile trek. The silver lining here being two-fold. One, the temperatures have dropped below one hundred degrees during the for a few hours, and two, it allows for more rigorous training. The training is really what I enjoy the most from the whole ordeal. I hardly felt like I needed a shower afterwards. Pushups in the rain were interesting but squats did seem more difficult. The water pelting my face made it difficult to maintain focus and I lost count several times of my sets but never the less it was a new experience nevertheless. Hopefully I'll be taking on some of the nearby maintains and crags.
___

Tue:

I went through rotations of squats and situps for about 15 min before taking myself outside in the rain and continuing. I figured I could include it as part of my nature challenge. Everything was fine until I started slipping when doing one legged attempts interspersed with jump rope sets. Despite bruising my backside a little, it was a lot of fun and next time I'll opt for shoes with more grip.

Wed:

After the previous day's fun I decided to head back outside in the rain and do my dumbbell routine and pushups as well. I was much more careful with the dumbbells which meant I was doing them slower. I tired myself out much quicker due to holding positions longer before raising or lowering the weights depending on the exercise. Trying to do military presses with the water smacking you in the face makes it difficult to focus.

Pushups felt awkward and much heavier the more drenched I got but I can't recall I've ever done pushups in the rain so I was up for the challenge. Not being able to tell how much as I was sweating was definitely weird and the hot shower afterwards felt amazing. If it keeps raining like it has bee, I'll have to give it another go and think of some exercises that would be especially fun/difficult to perform.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry VIII 8-18-14

Storms still hammer away through the desert but they seem to be living the particular section of town I am in intact. It's strange to climb up onto a rooftop and see the fall of rain and crash of lightning all round me except directly above. It's something that also happens every year but even though I am accustomed to it, it still eats away at me. I'd love to bask in the stomr a little longer before the monsoon finishes passing through.

Given, that I wasn't to train more in the rain, I rounded up the pesky ghost to witness my progress. The warm up was quick and I felt my heart beating faster before I even readied myself. His incessant statements that I was already at the halfway point of my challenge did little to ease my nerves and anxiety. I lowered myself and began doing pushups for as long as my arms allowed. When I fell on my face, at least I was content in knowing it was better than before. He remained unimpressed and floated over towards the upper floor my complex. I cared little for his indifference though. I made progress and with the final stretch coming up faster than expected, I need something to hold on to.
_________

Seeing as how we just hit the halfway point for our challenge I decided it was time again to see how close I am getting to one of my goals. On Saturday, after a light jog and some stretching, I went amped myself for some pushups. When all was said and done I managed to pull through 40 nonstop pushups. I barely came back up on that last one and as soon as I tried to go down again my arms said Nope, we're done! and folded. I was pretty content with the improvement as I laid on the carpet for a few moments before switching to my usual workout.

At the end of the first week I peeked at 34 so with 40 this week that's a gain of 6 in two weeks. I have three weeks left so I think I'll be cutting it close but I just hope when the time comes I can pump out that last one for 50. I also have to admit my food intake has been less than ideal the last week. I avoided much temptation but with guests visiting from out of time we still ended up eating out a lot more than I had hoped. I'm going to have to make up for that with more intense workouts this week.

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Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Ups and downs in this marathon of a life. You're doing a wonderful job, just keep plugging away!

Level 10 Superhero Trainee (Ranger)

Str 20   Dex 12   Sta 15   Con 15   Wis 13   Cha 16

 

My Battle Log: Getting Back on the Horse

Challenges! 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

NerFiWriCh Completed: 1!

 

My book! The Mercenary's Guide to Ruined Seattle.

 

To all you saints and sinners!

You losers and you winners!

Here's to one more day above the roses!

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Thanks! I'm trying to keep it together and not let life get in the way but it sure is rough on some days.

 

Entry IX 8-21-14

I hear voices swirling round my head. They whisper incoherent musings and not just the mocking statements I have become accustomed to over the last several weeks from the stubborn specter. These are different though and I am to blame for their existence. I've seen but a fraction of the rest I should normally be getting. Between the mountain of work, school, exercising, and not wanting to disappoint prior engagements I believe I have run myself ragged. My focus has been rather shoddy and if not for the change of music that I play I probably wouldn't know when to switch exercises or how long I spend idly doing nothing.

I think I should consider dealing with the banshee on the other side of the wall as that's where much of my sleep deprivation also stems from. It appears to know the precise moment I lay down to sleep before it starts wailing.
___________

This week has been with work and school but I've still gotten my exercise in. Granted, it's been costing me sleep and it's starting to catch up with me. Yesterday, by the end of the workout, I couldn't recall exactly which exercises I had done or how many reps I completed. I just recalled that I was very exhausted. I'm looking over my schedule for the next two days and it won't be any easier until Saturday. I know that sleep is essential for recovery and energy so I'm hoping the next couple of weeks aren't the same.

On the plus side, for pistol squats I've moved on to weighted progression for counterbalance (on the left side only so far) and am pretty happy about it. I think I should add in some yoga routines into my regular regiment. I could sure use the flexibility and balance.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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Entry X 8-27-14

I may have been overzealous and tried too much. On the other hand maybe the ghost is right and I was simply reckless and lacking focus. In either case, the outcome was the same - injury. I can't recall exactly what happened but I recall falling, followed by a lot of tumbling and skin peeling along the asphalt. When I got up, I was a bit scraped and severely disoriented but as the days have gone on, I noticed pain a long my back when I get into intense training. This is no quite the challenge I was hoping to get.

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Still been working on pistol squats but now that the end is getting closer I'm also shifting more to pushup based workouts instead of pushup + weights. Not exactly sure what happened but I woke up with a tweaked lower back which has definitely slowed me down. I think I may have been careless the day before due to being extremely tried when exercising and it's probably due to bad form. I have to be a lot more careful. It's not constant pain but it does show itself when I exercise and use weights. Luckily it doesn't affect my pushup form. I'm just trying to be careful. I hadn't really had any set backs throughout the majority of the challenge, should have been expecting something to pop up. At least it's manageable.
 

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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After a week of unexpected travel and a few more injuries (bruised knees) from a rather nasty fall, I'm not sure where I'm gonna end up on the challenge. I've kept up with my daily workouts with the exception of last Friday and once this week so I'm hoping I can get most of my goals accomplished. Tomorrow is my final day to try the pushups. I tried earlier in the week and managed 40, still 10 short. I can do pistol squats while holding a counterweight but I'm really doubtful I'll be able to do it unassisted by tomorrow.

 

As a precautionary measure I eased up a little on dumbbell exercises due to the lower back pain I was experiencing. I took on a lot more outdoor activities and stretching exercises to compensate. Did a 6 mile hike on wed night and my legs are still killing me for it. I've also added a lot more jump rope to my cardio and am taking today as a rest day to try my pushups tomorrow. I'll post the result of that endeavor as soon as it takes places. I'm pretty nervous.

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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It was a rough end for me as work got busier and my time became limited to where I was make difficult choices on what to do with my time including a few nights with 4 hours of sleep in that last week. However, through that I kept working out, even if that meant not posting very much in my thread. I used that time to knock out some exercises  =P

Wrap up:

Overall goal: To remain active and exercising 5 days a week. I am very proud of that despite injuries and work interfering in the last couple of weeks, I was still able to keep up with exercising. I had to improvise near the end and spend a lot more time jogging and skating but I'm okay with that. Finding time to workout is becoming another part of my day that I feel is necessary such as going to work, or making dinner, and I am very excited for that change.


Sub goals:

Goal 1 - To be able to do pistol squats

Result: No success, well not unassisted. This one proving to be a lot more difficult but I did increase my range of motion and am now able to perform them with a counterweight so I only consider that a 50%. I'm not giving up on those, I will be doing them in the future without any assistance.

Goal 2 - Challenge nature in the state of AZ by going out and hiking, biking, running, skating, swimming, etc in the heat at least once a week.

Result: Complete success! I had thrown this as an extra goal that I had thought would be interesting but it became my favorite goal. I ended up going hiking a couple times a week near the end and went biking through some dunes which was really difficult but satisfying. I might make this a staple of my challenges all year round.

Goal 3 - To complete 50 nonstop pushups with good form in one go

Result: 48/50 - I was a little disappointed at first with this one but then I realized that improvement is still improvement. At the beginning of the challenge 30 was challenging enough but now I always start off with 30 without feeling like my arms and chest are burning.

Seeing as how I joined my first challenge a little late, I had only gotten 1 level at the end of that first challenge. With the conclusion of this one that puts me at 2 based off of how I feel I performed.

Level 2
3 out of 4 goals met so 3 points
+1 Dex, Sta, Con

Level 2 - Human Ranger  - Stats: STR 2, DEX 3, STA 3, CON 3, WIS 1, CHA 1

 

Current Challenge:

 

 

Past Challenges:

First Challenge, Second Challenge

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