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Shukar

Shukar’s Mr. Sparkle Challenge

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Teri, taking the time to do it right is important, as I am now learning.

 

Kailer, nerd withdrawal is a serious problem thank you for noticing. Though my wonderful anecdotes from the gym today may hopefully be of some amusement to all.

 

Day 12, Friday.

 

Post-workout today was pork rinds and plantain chips, PWO of champions I tell ya, or would if I had evidence to back that up instead of tastebuds. Lunch was some chicken and some fries, coworker chose McD's for lunch and I did as well as I could figure out on short notice, need to be better prepared for that one. Dinner was bibimbap with the usual mushrooms, peppers, and kale.

 

Listening today included more Tim Ferriss Show, Home Theater Geeks, and more of Legend of Drizzt. Todays lesson was that sometimes you can only listen so much before it becomes amusing.

 

Activity today included:

  • Squats
    • 45x5 Easy
    • 95x5 Easy
    • 135x5x5 Good, I could feel the bar in the right spot today
  • Press
    • 45x5 Easy, elbows out was the cue this set
    • 65x5x5 Wrists were unhappy by about set 3
  • Deads
    • 135x5 Easy, focused on my form more
    • 185x3 Easy enough
    • 235x5 Grip needs work
    • 135x5 Easy form work and cooldown
  • Walking, 3.3 miles
  • The Streak, feeling good.

 

Got ~7 hours of sleep last night, forgot to switch the fitbit in my rush to be unconscious. Watched Dark Shadows with Mrs. Shu and chatted with nerds, so many camp photos!

 

---------------------

So, the story I teased up there. When my gym membership renewed apparently that got me a free fitness assessment with a trainer at the gym, it's a typical globo gym, some free weights because they have to not because they want to kind of deal. I figure, and was encouraged by the nerds who heard about it, you guys might like to see my retelling of the story of that fitness assessment, and I'm not shy about sharing the details anyway so here goes.

 

They didn't have appointments before 9, so I had to schedule it for after my workout, so I showed up a bit sweaty and with about a half full liter bottle, for reference. We went and sat down and he hands me a form to fill out, standard demographic questions at the top, age height weight etc. It gets into some more history stuff like how many times have you tried and failed to get healthy, what do you weigh, what do you want to weigh, what are your goals, that kind of thing. I actually don't know what I weigh currently I tell the form by way of a question mark; and I know even less about what I want to weigh so I put down "get stronger" for my goal weight; this confuses the trainer a bit and we have a chat about how I don't believe scales are a useful metric of success and what things I think are.

 

We talk about how I want to decrease my half marathon times, I want to life more weight more consistently, and I neglect to mention my more gymnastic style goals because they don't have the facilities for me to work on much of them anyway. We talk a bit about how more people should lift, and that this includes female people and it's a pity so few of them do; for reference at my gym in 8 months now I've seen a woman use the free weights once and the smith machine only a handful of times without a trainer present. 

 

I show him my workout log, having just worked out I have it with me, so he can get an idea of what weight I'm moving and what my workouts look like; he glances at it briefly but doesn't seem to take much interest really. He has me step on the scale, I help him get it adjusted and it says 267. This is two pounds more than the last weight I recall measuring back in January/February, which isn't a bad change really and I know I'm stronger in that time if nothing else. He then hands me a resistive body fat measurement device, I don't know the exact name but it uses electric current to attempt to produce a number for body fat percentage, it spits out 26.7%. I inquire how much impact the water I'd been drinking during my workout and the salts I lost from sweating during same might impact this figure, I'm told it should be accurate; personally I think the number is a little high but probably not enormously so. 

 

He asks me about what I eat, whether I smoke or drink. I inform him "food, with more junk than I like", never, and recreationally. He assumes I mean chips and twinkles and what not when I say junk, I have to explain that I mean breaded and fried proteins (like those chicken nuggets I had for lunch today) and pointlessly carby things; and that I eat very little he'd think of as "sugary". He keeps right on chugging with his questions. He wants to know how often I eat; I correctly pick up that this is going to be his seque to wanting me to eat 6 times a day. He draws a little picture with some dots and some curved lines illustrating how eating more often keeps your metabolism high so you burn more calories; I don't bring up the existence of hormones or other things that complicate his worldview, or enter into discussion about the idea that your body eats muscle as soon as it gets hungry.

 

He then draws a graph he called the fitness pie. It is composed of three ingredients, like any pie he tells me as though somehow this makes it more sensible. The first third he says is Strength, weights and things. The next is Cardio, and the last is Food. He explains you need all three things to be fit, for various definitions I'm with him so far. Then he says he likes to divide the pie into timezones, apparently it's a large spherical pie? The Strength timezone he labels Future, Cardio gets Past, and Food gets Present; apparently this pie is also about Christmas and ghosts. He tells me that Strength is Future because muscle burns more calories than fat so by having more muscle you are burning calories from the future, and that a pound of muscle burns 50 calories which maths to a pound of fat a week! He posits that Food is present because that's where you take in calories, to replenish what you've lost. Cardio is past, not because it's all that was left but because it's about burning calories your body has stored as fat, trying to work off what you already have.

 

He tells me most ladies he speaks to have the Cardio and Food slices of what is apparently once again a pie taken care of, and most men tend to grab the Strength and Food slices and that you need all three to have a whole pie; I suspect he may have been hungry. After the pie he drew me some graphs about recovery and attempted to illustrate why I should mix up my sets and reps and intensity and tempo because those are like materials to build a house, and exercises are like tools for building. He explains that I need a variety of each to build a proper house, and somehow this is related to the graph of plateaus he has drawn for me. He explains that he advocates a Back/Chest/Legs split because while most men are very into their chest muscles they ignore the back which is somehow like a frame. Due to my previous exercise selection he mentions that power lifting can work those things as well and that you can look very nice using those exercises and really strong; perhaps he's seen some of my friends?

 

All in all he asks me many things, tells me his theory on some things, and we have a few interesting chats. I don't think either of us is likely to leave the conversation with very different opinions from those we entered with, but I can say I've at least found it interesting. He wanted to run me through part of a workout but as I had work to get to and had already worked out he asked to schedule a second appointment to finish up, I told him Monday should be fine, and now have to figure out how much to work out before out 9 appointment this time.

 

There's part 1 of "Shukar's adventures in gym going" for your reading pleasure. Tune in next week for another thrilling installment.

 

Bis Morgen!

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Day 13, Saturday.

Lunch was snack foods at my folks during the game. Dinner was steak, eggs, hashbrowns, grits, biscuits and gravy, and corn bread.

Listening today was some music. Today's lesson was that sometimes work is easy, but it's still an opportunity cost.

Activity today included, 1.4 miles of walking and the Streak. Got 7h15 of sleep last night. Had a good day today visiting with family.

Bis Morgen!

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A shukar carol!

And tiny tim said "god bless us everyone!"

The ghost of Christmas present was always my favorite one. ..maybe that's why I have a weight issue!

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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CA, bless us all indeed. I've got another visit with him tomorrow so I'll see how that goes.

Day 14, Sunday.

Lunch was chicken, cheese curds, and a mushroom cheeseburger. Dinner was smoked salmon, and carnitas with olives and cheese crisps; followed by some chocolate cake.

Listening today was music and some more of GoT book 2. Today's lesson was that I could still use more sleep.

Activities today included, 5.4 miles of running, 1.4 miles of walking, and the Streak. Got 6h30 of sleep last night, and not the best quality either. Got some grocery and meal planning stuff taken care of today and some general finance plotting. Good day.

So how's the goals going at this stage of the game?

Serious: got in two runs, a ruck, and a trip to the gym. That's goals 1&2 in the bag.

Got in my showers and made good progress on cleaning the apartment. Also did lunch/dinner planning for the week.

So good progress on the goals.

Bis nexte Woche!

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Nice run.

I'd say you are really consistent right now. That's awesome. Is there anything you can work on to get sleep back on track before it gets bad? Catch it quick if you can.

Rooting for you in week 3! Enjoy!

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Teri, gonna go to bed early tonight to set a good example for myself. 

 

Day 15, Monday.

 

Lunch was the first attempt at some onigiri, in this case stuffed with leftover carnitas, I also had some popcorn before lunch to hold me over after my workout this morning (time crunch meant no PWO food). Dinner was eggs, bacon, mushrooms, peppers, and hash browns.

 

Listening today was This Week in Tech, and the rest of Legend of Drizzt. Todays lesson was that not all car salesmen sell cars.

 

Activity today included, 4.5 miles of walking, and the Streak, plus a workout at the gym today with the trainer (part 2 of adventures in gym going down below). Got 7h15 of sleep last night, still tired today though so yet more evidence more sleep is in order. Watched this weeks Doctor Who episode and a couple episodes of Sarah Jane Adventures, chatted with nerds, watched a cool WSJ video.

 

So, today was the second half of my appointment with the trainer at my gym. For those playing along at home last time was Friday and we went through my goals and his whole thing about pie and the ghosts of fitness.

 

Our story resumes today when I showed up for my appointment. I went to visit the trainer from Friday and was informed he was on a conference call and wouldn't be able to help me until 15 minutes later. 15 minutes came and went and a different trainer came over to take me through a workout.

 

It started out simple enough, 5 minutes on the treadmill as warmup, I got bored and decided to figure out what the fastest I could get the treadmill to before I had to run instead of walk was. Turns out that pace is just below 13/mile. That's a whole different post topic though. After that he came back and we moved from the cardio machines to the "training area" with access to some different equipment than the rest of the gym, TRX straps, bosu ball, swiss balls, some padded matts, and medicine balls. 

 

The workout that had been constructed for me, there wasn't much information on which of the folks involved made this plan assuming any of them did and it wasn't just something they pull from a stack somewhere, was mostly focused on "core and biceps" based on what the trainer told me. That sounds about right based on what felt like it was getting worked.

 

The workout included planks to start, and a blur of static holds and 8-10 rep sets of various things on machines or the mat. Lots of core work and then we moved onto cable station stuff and ez-bar curls and TRX rows. A lot of the stuff felt at the time like it was intended to make me sweaty more than it was intended to work toward my stated goal of "get stronger", but there was plenty that I could incorporate into things, planks are always good, some of the med ball work would be a good addition to my workouts, the TRX rows were likewise useful. Bicep curls on the other hand don't have much to do with the category "things I'm interested in" and the reliance of the workout on machines was disappointing to me. 

 

When the workout was over we spent the next half hour, I wish that was an exaggeration, with him trying to convince me to sign up for training. I explained my concerns about not being that useful to my goals to which he countered the plan was customizable (I didn't mention the part where this was supposed to have already been customized based on my prior discussion). I voiced concern that the workout seemed to rely heavily on "muscle confusion" and didn't seem to have any sort of intelligible progression, he pointed out that he had a degree in sports education (I believe) and a certification in strength and conditioning. I counter with the financial concern, he explained a discounted plan they had. I further attempted to nicely extricate myself, he went to find his manager (didn't mention that but I had the thought as soon as he got up, my mind already having jumped to "this is like buying a car from a sleazy dealer"). He attempted to resolve my lingering doubts, I was already made up by now that their sales pitch had crossed a line I wasn't willing to put up with in someone I would accept training from and as rapidly and politely as possible removed myself from the situation.

 

If it hadn't been for the high pressure sales attempt I might have been interested. The stuff they had me doing was interesting, and with a little effort working together we could have probably come up with something closer to what I had in mind as a baseline and worked from there. But as is rather than discussing that they were trying to get me to sign up for a bunch of training sessions instead of explaining what that would do for me in terms of reaching my goals. I tried my best to give them a fair shake, but at the end it came down to simply not being able to work with my goals in mind in a way I felt respected my role in the process of my own fitness.

 

So now I'm about where I started, once the time I lost at the gym today is out of memory at least, and that's not a bad place, I haven't even hit a plateau yet with my lifting, no reason to mess with what's working.

 

Bis Morgen!

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I'm glad you were able to keep to your guns, even if there was a EZ curl bar involved!

I agree they had little interest in helping you as an individual and seemed much more interested in getting your checking account number. Sorry about that.

But incorporating what you did like is a bonus. Perhaps it will freshen up your routine and make building strength more dynamic and maybe even quicker.

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Wow, talk about people not wanting to take "no" for an answer! Sorry you had to go through all of that; they seemed more into your money than into you. :( Glad to see you have a good attitude about it, though!

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Teri, I'm always on the lookout for new, interesting, and useful things to add to my workouts.

 

Blkhole, I try to keep a good attitude, especially because letting other people determine my attitude gives them more power in my life than they usually deserve.

 

Kailer, Winning!

 

Day 16, Tuesday.

 

Lunch was leftover bibimbap from the other night, and more carnitas. Dinner was swordfish with a pepper butter sauce, rice, and roasted brussels.

 

Listening today included Cordkillers, Paleo Solution, and Savage Lovecast. Todays lesson was that sometimes things that seem like they will be very hard actually turn out to be pretty easy, and vice versa.

 

Activity today included, 1.5 miles of Running, 4.6 miles of walking, and the Streak (despite residual elbow difficulties from yesterdays workout). Got 7h30 of sleep last night, that's a good change and I felt rested today. Watched Gotham with Mrs. Shu and chatted up some new nerds. Always a good time.

 

Bis Morgen!

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Blkhole, I try to keep a good attitude, especially because letting other people determine my attitude gives them more power in my life than they usually deserve.

 

 

Truth. I wish I could like that statement more than once, or twice as the case might be!

 

Also, omg, bibimbap. :love_heart:

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i'm not sure where you and @kishi are in relation to one another, but maybe you could hit him up to help you set up a program that might work for you?  Also how uncool was that trainer dude.  I would never set foot in that gym again, just cos of the trainer - he'd have downright scared me away.

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blk, I am occasionally a font of truly useful wisdom, occasionally.

 

Blaidd, I may pay Kishi a visit. As to the gym, I like the gym well enough (I'd rather have my own setup at home but I live with what I have for options) and will likely continue to visit there, avoiding the trainers as I'd been doing before, unless they make things difficult.

 

Day 17, Wednesday.

 

Lunch was chicken, soup, and cheese curds, plus some soft serve; met up with mom for a meal since I was near her at lunch. Dinner was roast beef, mushrooms, and nachos. 

 

LIstening today included Cordkillers, Security Now back issues, and music. Todays lesson was that being an informed consumer is time consuming and not easy.

 

Activity today included, 3.2 miles of walking, and the Streak (the ruck that I had planned for today didn't happen due to long/stressful workdays for both Mrs. Shu and myself, have to reschedule). Got somewhere in the vicinity of 7h30 of sleep last night, fitbit malfunction. Tonight was spent crunching numbers on a phone change and cleaning up files on the computer. 

 

Bis Morgen!

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Day 18, Thursday.

 

Lunch was chicken and shrimp. Dinner was a salad, and a beef and sausage combo. I could do better, but I could also have done worse.

 

Listening today was Security Now, Tim Ferriss Show, and some music. Todays lesson was that finding useful information about a fictional object is both easier and harder than expected.

 

Activity today included, 3.8 miles of walking, and the Streak. Got another unknown amount of sleep probably around 7h, is my fitbit just giving up part way through the night cause I'm pretty sure I've been setting it. Caught up on Agents of Shield and watched some more Sarah Jane Adventures, and chatted with nerds and learned some fun math.

 

Bis Morgen!

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Day 19, Friday.

 

Lunch was a fish burrito and a shrimp taco. Dinner was chips and guac, cheese fries, a steak, some broccoli, and some mashed potatoes. 

 

Listening today was Latest in Paleo, Tim Ferriss Show, Home Theater Geeks, and some music. Todays lesson was that time does not translate to experience.

 

Activity today included, 3 miles of walking, and the Streak. Got 6h45 of sleep last night. Went out and did some legwork on switching phones soon, cause that's always fun but it was useful. Chatted up some nerds and had a relaxed night at home with Mrs. Shu.

 

Bis Morgen!

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Teri, millennium falcon.

Day 20, Saturday.

Lunch was nachos with chili on top. Dinner was a big plate of salad, two bowls of soup, some focaccia, and a bowl of molten lava cake.

Listening today was a little music. Today's lesson was that words are harder for some people than others, even within family groups.

Activity today included 1.3 miles of walking, and the Streak. Got 8h30 of sleep last night, aw yeah. Watched more Sarah Jane adventures and some South Park with Mrs Shu, and some football with my family. Good day.

Bis Morgen!

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Day 21, Sunday.

Lunch was sushi, om nom. Dinner was salad, a baked potato, ribs, a pile of broccoli, and some mushrooms.

Listening today included this week in law, some music, and more of game of thrones. Today's lesson was that sometimes you just leave well enough alone.

Activity today included 6.2 miles of running, 2.7 miles of walking, and the Streak. Got 6h30 of sleep last night. Got some cleaning done today and some other errands as well.

So how's the goals turn out for the week?

Serious: no Ruck this week, but a run and sprints. Mrs Shu feels we probably need to add another run each week and I agree.

Loafers: hit the gym this week. Didn't do my typical workout but I got some work done and I was pretty sore so I guess that means I did something?

Lucky: kept myself clean enough and my apartment is starting to look presentable again. Coming along.

Clear: I did alright with this. Not perfect I fear but actually not too bad.

So coming along rather nicely so far this challenge. On to the next week!

Bis nexte Woche!

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Day 22, Monday.

 

Lunch was a mahi burrito and a shrimp taco. Dinner was bibimbap.

 

Listening today was Radiolab and most of This Week in Tech. Todays lesson was that "team lift" is just a suggestion, sometimes it means "consider using two hands, briefly".

 

Activity today included, 3.8 miles of walking, and the Streak (almost got the balance point to stick on the handstand today, soon. Got 7h15 of sleep last night, not bad but could be better. Got home a little late from work, made dinner, caught up on Doctor Who, and some work I had to do on the server, and then watched Particle Fever.

 

Bis Morgen!

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It's so easy to throw an egg or other random protein on top and turn "food" into "meal". (I've got a thing about meals needing protein, it's a tasty condition)

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Teri, handstands have been making good progress since camp, I'm very happy with that. Pushups are moving a little slower, but moving at least. 

 

Day 23, Tuesday.

 

Lunch today was chicken, mozzarella sticks, and stuffed jalapeños (those were also the closest thing to a vegetable I had today which is sad). Dinner was pork rinds, plantain chips, and smoked salmon at 10 when I finally got hungry.

 

Listening today included the rest of This Week in Tech, Paleo Solution, Savage Lovecast, and back issues of Security Now. Todays lesson was that sometimes checking work email more would actually save me time.

 

Activity today included, 2.3 miles of walking, and the Streak (as noted, handstands progressing well pushups and squats still existing). Got 7h sleep last night. Watched Gotham and an episode of House of Cards, plus the most recent Resident Evil movie, also spent some time today starting in on cleaning up my ebooks, and working on a fun little side project, the early stages appear they will be easier than expected, more time to tinker with other things I suppose.

 

Bis Morgen!

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Teri, I feel moderately sparkly, and sometimes I also look it. Some days I'm just keeping on trying to hold my place, other days I seem to make big strides and sometimes even hold them. Overall, good.

 

Day 24, Wednesday.

 

Lunch was chicken, fries, and some of a soda; not the greatest of lunches. Dinner was fried rice with shrimp and leftover roast beef (plus mushrooms and broccoli); much better meal choice.

 

Listening today included Security Now and part of the Tim Ferriss Show. Todays lesson was that sometimes you have to do the same thing three or four times before it actually works the way it's supposed to.

 

Activity today included, 5.5 miles of walking, and the Streak, plus some shoulder mobility work with the PVC "bar" and some kettle bell pressing; that's one day this week, still gotta find a second. Got 6h45 of sleep last night, gonna go to bed a bit earlier tonight and see if I can't nip that trend line in the bud. Watched Agents of Shield and another House of Cards episode tonight, and did more research into my side project and what I'll need to be able to get it working. Always good to make some progress and learn a few things along the way.

 

Bis Morgen!

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