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kwesadilo's 8th challenge


kwesadilo

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Main Quest

Build a foundation for lean strength and muscle gains. I want to get to a point where I feel pretty good about my body composition and don't need to change my diet for the foreseeable future to gain muscle while staying lean.

 

Goals

  • Strengthen my grip: I've been noticing that my grip's getting a little iffy as I move up in dead lifts. It's not a big problem yet, but I want to get out in front of it. To that end, I have a set of grip exercise things with different amounts of resistance. My goal is to be able to close the 150-lb. one with each hand. Right now, I can easily close the 100-lb. one with my right hand and almost close the 150-lb. one. With my left hand, I can barely close the 100-lb. one and can't come close on the 150-lb. one. I intend to train with the grippers 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Get down to 15% body fat: Based on visual inspection, I think I am currently 17% or 18% body fat. I measure around 15.25% using a 3-site method with skin fold calipers, but I doubt the accuracy of this measurement. I don't have an assistant, so I can't do calculations based on more test sites. For the time being, I will content myself with visual inspection. Roughly, at 15%, I should expect to have slightly visible ab definition and minimal love handles.
  • Run 2 miles at 6 mph: Last time I tried running, I stalled out at 6 mph, and I took a break for a while. Now I want to get back in there and blow past it.

Life Side Quest

Join some kind of local social group: In the past couple of months, most of my remaining friends from college have moved out of the city, leaving me pretty much by myself. I need to make new friends, and I hope to do that by joining some kind of group. I will consider this goal accomplished if I have found a group I like and attended multiple times.

 

Motivation

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 1 update

  • Grip: I think I'm getting a little better. Tonight, I closed the 100 lb. gripper 5 times with my left hand pretty easily, whereas I think I had struggled before. I can close the 150 lb. gripper a couple times with my right hand.
  • Body fat: This week's ludicrous measurement is 14.7%. I think I might see a little more ab definition than last week, but it's hard to tell.
  • Running: Ran 2 miles at 5.2 mph today.
  • Socialization: Negative progress! I had been planning to go to meetings of the local lock picking club, but I went to their website today and saw that this week's meeting will be the last one, because the guy that runs it is moving away.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Main Quest

Build a foundation for lean strength and muscle gains. I want to get to a point where I feel pretty good about my body composition and don't need to change my diet for the foreseeable future to gain muscle while staying lean.

 

Goals

  • Strengthen my grip: I've been noticing that my grip's getting a little iffy as I move up in dead lifts. It's not a big problem yet, but I want to get out in front of it. To that end, I have a set of grip exercise things with different amounts of resistance. My goal is to be able to close the 150-lb. one with each hand. Right now, I can easily close the 100-lb. one with my right hand and almost close the 150-lb. one. With my left hand, I can barely close the 100-lb. one and can't come close on the 150-lb. one. I intend to train with the grippers 3 or 4 times a week.
  • Get down to 15% body fat: Based on visual inspection, I think I am currently 17% or 18% body fat. I measure around 15.25% using a 3-site method with skin fold calipers, but I doubt the accuracy of this measurement. I don't have an assistant, so I can't do calculations based on more test sites. For the time being, I will content myself with visual inspection. Roughly, at 15%, I should expect to have slightly visible ab definition and minimal love handles.
  • Run 2 miles at 6 mph: Last time I tried running, I stalled out at 6 mph, and I took a break for a while. Now I want to get back in there and blow past it.

Life Side Quest

Join some kind of local social group: In the past couple of months, most of my remaining friends from college have moved out of the city, leaving me pretty much by myself. I need to make new friends, and I hope to do that by joining some kind of group. I will consider this goal accomplished if I have found a group I like and attended multiple times.

 

Motivation

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

LOVE that motivational quote... and the goals - solid and admirable. Let's do this.

 

 

Week 1 update

  • Grip: I think I'm getting a little better. Tonight, I closed the 100 lb. gripper 5 times with my left hand pretty easily, whereas I think I had struggled before. I can close the 150 lb. gripper a couple times with my right hand.
  • Body fat: This week's ludicrous measurement is 14.7%. I think I might see a little more ab definition than last week, but it's hard to tell.
  • Running: Ran 2 miles at 5.2 mph today.
  • Socialization: Negative progress! I had been planning to go to meetings of the local lock picking club, but I went to their website today and saw that this week's meeting will be the last one, because the guy that runs it is moving away.

 

Per the social group thing - I like the idea of pursuing shared interests (ie lock picking). What are the other ideas you were considering?

Rebel - Hunter - Trader - Renewing the body and mind to be as capable as possible - lean & strength

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Per the social group thing - I like the idea of pursuing shared interests (ie lock picking). What are the other ideas you were considering?

To be honest, I didn't and don't have a ton of ideas. The majority of what I do at work and at home is computer-related, so I could find some kind of LUG or programming language users group. I looked on Meetup for that kind of stuff a while ago but found mostly Web development groups, whereas I'm more of a low-level programmer. I meant to give it a look this weekend but got busy. Finding other potential groups was going to be my goal for last week, but now I guess it'll be my goal for this week.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 2 update (belated)

  • Grip: I still seem to be getting a little bit stronger. I can almost close the 150 lb. grip with my left hand.
  • Body fat: I just measured 14.7% again. I see no visible change either, so at least it's consistent. I had planned to research calorie/macronutrient cycling sufficiently last week to implement it this week, but I didn't. I've found some good stuff so far, and I intend to implement it next week.
  • Running: Ran 2 miles at 5.6 mph on Friday.
  • Socialization: As described above, I was going to look for other potential groups but didn't. I intend to do so this week.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

I'm intrigued by the idea of a LUG - assuming that is a Linux Users Group. What other interests do you have? I'm curious if there is another niche that may have more people... but not too many people.

 

On grip strength - I'm becoming more and more of a fan of stronglifts.com - he can be boring to read, but he's very helpful - thought of you when I read this 7 Tips to Increase Your Grip Strength for Deadlifts

Rebel - Hunter - Trader - Renewing the body and mind to be as capable as possible - lean & strength

Link to post

I'm intrigued by the idea of a LUG - assuming that is a Linux Users Group. What other interests do you have? I'm curious if there is another niche that may have more people... but not too many people.

 

On grip strength - I'm becoming more and more of a fan of stronglifts.com - he can be boring to read, but he's very helpful - thought of you when I read this 7 Tips to Increase Your Grip Strength for Deadlifts

Dude, let me tell you about boring to read. I've been reading all kinds of articles on calorie and nutrient cycling for intermittent fasting for the past two weeks or so. Did you know there's an entire subreddit dedicated to cataloging everything Martin Berkhan has ever written? It amazes me how controversial some of this stuff can be. Thanks for the article. I'll have to try that stuff.

 

Regarding groups, most of my non-technical interests in the past few years have been fitness-related. I tried Parkour in my last semester of college, and I thought that was pretty fun. Putting a significant effort into Parkour was somewhat adversarial to my strength training at the time, and it would probably be so now. Also, my local Parkour club charges like $20 a week for group lessons, and I don't think I care that much.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

Week 3 update

  • Grip: I can close the 150-lb. gripper 5 times in a row with my right hand and 3 times out of 5 with my left hand. I'm so, so close!
  • Body fat: I measured a slight decrease to 14.12%. I don't think it's visible, and I continue to think my measurements are incorrect. Over the past two weeks or so, I've spent a whole lot of time reading about calorie and nutrient cycling and another whole lot of time attempting to craft a diet that meets my adjusted calorie and nutrient goals. I'm doing a +20%/-20% split, which is about as basic as it gets for this, but I suspect that premature optimization will be my enemy on this one. So I figured out my current average daily caloric intake; my weight has been constant for a while, so I think this is my maintenance intake. I'll eat 120% of that on workout days and 80% of that on rest days. This will result in a slight caloric deficit over a week. On all days, I try to maintain recommended minimum levels of protein and fat. On rest days, I eat a high-fat, low-carb diet, which is what I was doing anyway. On work days, I eat a low-fat, high-carb diet. I'll start eating carbs again for the sake of experimentation, but I still want to avoid highly processed grains. To that end, I tried to do the math with real food like potatoes, rice, fruit, and beans. It was very difficult to find a diet with enough calories coming from mostly carbs. What I came up with sounds like a lot of food. Tomorrow will be the first day I try it, so we'll see if it's doable.
  • Running: Ran 2 miles at 6 mph on Friday. It was pretty hard. On Monday, I ran 1.5 miles at 6.2 mph. Hopefully, I can keep going.
  • Socialization: I spent a lot of time looking around on meetup.com for social groups in my area. Many of them I eliminated on the basis that they were expensive, primarily focused on drinking, or primarily populated by people outside my age group. A couple that looked interesting to me were a Go users group and a heavy metal enthusiasts group. I'm going to a meet and greet for the latter on Friday. Most of the programming I've done has been systems programming, for which I've used C and more recently C++. I'm intrigued by the concept of Go, but I haven't used it and don't know what you can really do with it. I think there is a meeting coming up that might be enlightening as well as socially enriching. I'm not sure my original goal is very attainable. It looks like most of these groups meet about once a month, so going to two meetings of the same one before the challenge is over will be pretty hard.

I've been neglecting my goals that require a lot of research on my part (body fat and socialization), because I've been traveling a lot lately and somewhat pressed for time. Work has also been getting a little more stressful lately. Hopefully I won't get too derailed. The stuff I'm dealing with right now is pretty temporary.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

Link to post

End of challenge update

I've been travelling a lot in the last few weeks, which has made it difficult to find time to post. Nevertheless, I have made progress on at least some of my goals in the mean time.

  • Grip: I closed the 150-lb. gripper 5 times with each hand both right-side-up and inverted. I am now working on the 200-lb. gripper and have increased the intensity of my training according to the suggested programming on the gripper manufacturer's website.
  • Body fat: I just measured 12.35%. That's not correct, but I think I am slightly leaner than when I started. I've also apparently lost about 5 lbs. since the beginning of this challenge, which wasn't really my intention. I don't think I'm quite at 15%, but I do think I lost some fat since I started.
  • Running: Got up to 2 miles at 6.2 mph. The gains aren't coming as easily as they used to.
  • Socialization: A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting of a local club of heavy metal listeners that I found on Meetup. I was going to go to the Go users group, but I ended up moving my travel plans and being out of town for that. There is another meeting of the metal group that I might try to go to this weekend, but the challenge is already over. It seems like most clubs meet about once a month, which makes it difficult to go to multiple meetings during one challenge.

"I've got to look like I could kill someone when I take my shirt off." - Daniel Craig

Epic Quest character

 

Level 13 Human Warrior

STR - 63 DEX - 22 STA - 16 CON - 47 WIS - 48 CHA - 7

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