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Big Show: Stronger & Faster


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Our story so far...

Three months ago I moved to Qatar from the UK.  I've been gradually acclimatising and settling in, getting used to exercising in the sweltering heat and horrible humidity, and successfully completed my first challenge on the NF.  Now the weather's getting slightly cooller (this is very much a relative scale) and I'm ready to attack my second challenge, and my first as a Ranger.

 

Main quest: Lose the Gut.

Ten years ago I was over 20 stone and frankly massive.  I lost five stone of it, and this year I've been putting effort into trying to lose the rest of it.  I haven't weighed myself since moving, but I've been tracking my waistline instead.  Earlier in the year is was 44", in August it was 42", and now it's currently down to 40".  I want to get it down to 38" and then set a new target from there.

 

Here are my goals for the next six weeks:

 

1) 10k Training:  I did my first 10k in ages out here last week.  I want to train consistently for the next on in December with an aim to beating my time.  For this I'll need to do some decent speedwork at least once a week, and up the distance of my longest weekly run as well.  Other runs will be first around work - there's quite a narrow window of time each day in which it's safe to run, so I need to work around this.

 

2) PLP Challenge: I've been doing workouts based on bodyweight progressions as one of my long-term goals is to be able to do a pull-up.  I'm finding it difficult, so my second challenge is do daily negative-rep pull-ups, lunges, and wide press-ups on top of my regular training.  I'm working on the theory that by the time I can do 42 negative-reps I should be able to do at least a single full proper pull-up.

 

3) Eat Clean: I've found from past experience that for me to lose weight, this means sticking to healthy eating principles (I'm loathe to call it a "diet) for six days out of the seven, with a reasonable treat once a week.  Meals consist mostly of protein & veg, with any starchy/refined carbs eaten in the evening after training.  Also, sticking to 2000-2500 calories per day.  If I do this while training I lose fat.  The accountability of posting daily on here whether or not I managed to should keep me honest and focussed.

 

Life Quest: Chimp Management!  I am very good at getting in my own way; always have been.  Earlier on in the year I was recommended The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters, and even limited, half-arsed applications of the ideas it contained made a big difference to how I approached things.  I picked up my copy again last week upon realising that my chimp has been in the ascendant for about a month or so, and I'm already noticing life becoming easier.  So I'm going to spend the next two months (starting now, not just when the challenge does) applying it to my life and reaping the benefits.

 

Point allocations:

1) 10k Training: +3STA +1DEX  - increasing my endurance but also my basic speed
2) PLP Challenge: +3STR +1CON - making me stronger and also more antifragile
3) Eat Clean: +2CON, +2WIS - making my body healthier and building habits of planning and picking good foods
LQ) Chimp Management: +2CHA, +1WIS - better at life management and interacting with others

 

As the working weeks run from Sunday to Thursday out here I'll be starting my challenge accordingly, as otherwise it confuses the hell out of me.  Sundays evening's are Aussie Rules football training, so all the rest of the training will be slotted in around this fixed event.  The 10k race is on December 13th.

 

At the moment I'm resting up a slight calf niggle from last week's race, but I'm confident that'll be all cleared up by next week so I'm ready and raring to go!

  • Like 4

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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Looks like some great stuff going on over here!  Congrats on the weight loss so far!  For the pull-ups have you tried a progression like this?  I was in the same boat you were in the past and pull-ups were a struggle for me.  I started using this progression after I did Steve's PLP challenge but I have found it to be a useful tool.  I look forward to seeing your progress this challenge!

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Great goals, PLP sounds nice and challenging (to me!)... you got this! :D

  • Like 1

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 56 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

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Looks like some great stuff going on over here!  Congrats on the weight loss so far!  For the pull-ups have you tried a progression like this?  I was in the same boat you were in the past and pull-ups were a struggle for me.  I started using this progression after I did Steve's PLP challenge but I have found it to be a useful tool.  I look forward to seeing your progress this challenge!

Thanks, that's actually the exact page I'm basing my regular workouts on!  I've definitely hit the biting point where each workout is hard, but I'm still progressing gradually, so it must be working!

 

Subbed for more before/after pics ;D

Ha, I was just thinking I should take some more this weekend.  Hoping for some dramatic waistline reduction.  Guns would be nice too, tbh.

 

Lots of people start on Sundays, so go for it if it works for you. Calf usually heals pretty fast, so I have my fingers crossed that you'll be at 101% by the start of the challenge.

Thanks, me too.  At the moment it's usable but not right, but that's not the best foundation for hard work.

  • Like 1

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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Thanks, that's actually the exact page I'm basing my regular workouts on!  I've definitely hit the biting point where each workout is hard, but I'm still progressing gradually, so it must be working!

 

I do think it is one of the best body weight progressions that I have seen.  And it transitions well toward the actual movement you are trying to do.  Keep up the good progress with it!  I am taking a break from it this challenge but will get back to it in the future.  

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I didn't end up doing the Aquathlon this morning after all; I'd like to claim there a sensible, well-reasoned rationale for this, but instead it's simply that I spent such a long time at the Rugby Club with my mates yesterday and wasn't really in racing condition this morning! Still, that means a bit more rest for my calf and it was a cracking day, so I'm not going to beat myself up over it. And now that's out of my system I can properly focus on starting the challenge in earnest tomorrow.

I'm heading off for a run shortly to test things out. Just a nice easy 5k, nothing strenuous or quick, but it should let me know what the state of play is so I can plan the first week accordingly.

I also got my first bit of NF kit through the post today - very pleased with it!

97d0e5cbfe4e74d79b9bc5dbc9372c71.jpg

  • Like 7

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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Run successfully completed - the dodgy calf did not feel dodgy!  Just a bit... tight?  I dunno how to put it.  I was aware of it, but it didn't actively hurt/ache or slow me down, but I accordingly didn't try to push the pace or anything.  I think it's definitely on the mend.  3.2M in 25:57 @ 8:14/mile - nothing dramatic.

 

So based on this I'm giving myself the all-clear to start training again this week.  Which is handy, what with the challenge starting tomorrow and all.  This week I'll sub another longer run in for the speedwork and aim for a bit more of a basic mileage instead.  As I haven't really been able to run more than half an hour at a time out here so far, it'll still have a good training effect.

 

It was so nice out there this evening!  Bit of a breeze, didn't feel humid, temperature in the low twenties at most - I felt like I could have kept going for hours compared to how it's been over the last few months!  I'm really looking forward to trying some quality sessions over the next few weeks.  I'm also going to investigate the local Running Club, see if I can get along to any of their sessions at all.  I find it's always easier and more fun to train with people other people when doing speedwork.

  • Like 3

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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Last night I did most of my meal prep (breakfasts and snacks, tea's being batch-cooked tonight), got all the little jobs out of the way, and planned out the week ahead.  Took some Before photos this morning as well to share at the end of the six weeks.

 

Challenge number 2 is go!  Bring it on!

  • Like 4

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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NICE!  I'm envious of your prep-work - that's going to be me today, gotta get it done!  Then... challenge!!

  • Like 1

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 56 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

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Day 1 done.  And it was mint!

 

Food today has been spot on - breakfast, snacks & lunch were all as planned, and more importantly I didn't get hungry in between them and raid the vending machine!  Right now there's a healthy homemade bolognese bubbling away on the hob, and that'll do me tonight and the next three nights too.  I'm going to add some extra broccolli and sweetcorn to bulk out tonight's portion too.

 

Got on with my workout straight after work - today was a "push" workout.  I'm following the bodyweight progressions on startbodyweight.com, although I backed off a bit on the leg exercises to spare my calf a bit just in case.  I'm aiming for 3x8 of each exercise, and when I can do that and make it to 10 reps on the last set, I move up to the next exercise progression.  Maybe it's the enthusiasm for Day 1, or maybe it's because I pumped up the Foo Fighters volume in the background, but I think it went rather well:

 

- 5mins skipping

- Ninja Mobility routine

- 3x8:

-- diamond pike press-ups - 8,8,10 - progress to decline pike press-ups next time

-- lunges - 8,8,10 - move back up to Bulgarian split squats next time

-- elevated bench dips - 8,8,10 - progress to elevated bench dips (one leg extended) next time

-- hanging knee raises - 8,8,10 - progress to forearm bent leg raises next time

-- triceps extension - 6kg - 8,8,10 - increase weight to 7kg next time

 

- easy run: 3.1M in 27:18 @ 8:42/mile with no protests from the calf muscles

 

- cool-down stretches

 

I also fit in my first day's PLP when I got back in - 1 negative pull-up, 1 lunge/leg, 1 wide press-up.  Done.

 

Tomorrow's a Pull workout day, and I'll hold off any running so I can try a bit further on Tuesday.  The temperature's finally dropped enough that I can get some quality sessions in, so I'm looking forward to it!

  • Like 5

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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Dude, you're rocking it food wise and exercise wise too!! Awesome way to kick off 6 weeks :D

  • Like 2

i am not waiting for a hero.  i saved myself long ago.

Level 56 Bardic Time-Mage; of the Furious Heart

STR.55  DEX.43 STA.48 CON.51 WIS.53 CHA.65

"Well...in the end, it boils down to two simple choices. Either you do or you don't.

You'd think with all the problems in this world, there'd be more answers. It's not fair...
...But that's the way things are. The choice is yours."

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Great start, fellow Noob! I followed Start Bodyweight earlier this year and really liked it. It sounds like you are making good headway.

  • Like 1

2016 goals: Hit goal weight. Build muscle.

2015 goals: Get stronger, stop loathing squats and get better at them - DONE!!!

2014 goal: Lose 52.5 lbs. - DONE!!! 12/13/14

 

MFP

 

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Day 2!

 

Eating went well throughout the day again.  For lunch the canteen had on Arabic Chicken, which is basically a MASSIVE chicken leg!  It took me the best part of half an hour to eat it and it was absolutely lovely; the only downside is that they didn't have the usual mixed veg option and I was forced to go for potatoes instead.  Better than rice though, and I was full all afternoon as a result!

 

This evening was a Pull workout:

- 5mins skipping

- Ninja Mobility routine

- 3x8:

-- negative-rep chin-ups - 8,8,10 - progress to half-rep chin-ups

-- deep assisted squats - 8,8,8 - these are in here to regain mobility over the full range of motion after I broke my ankle last year

-- inverted bodyweight rows - 6,6,6,6

-- leg-lift plank (30s/leg) - 30s/leg - progress to arm & leg lift plank next time (30s/diagonal)

-- biceps curls - 6kg - 8,8,10 - increase to 7kg next time

 

- run - 2.1M in 18:32 @ 8:50/mile - couldn't resist popping out for an easy jog.

 

- cool-down stretches

 

I'm so pleased I finally completed all the negative chins; I've been working on them for ages!  Next up in the progression is the half-reps, which basically means doing them from standing instead of from a deadhang,  These will kick my a*se for the next few weeks!

Those next planks look quite daunting though.  Should be interesting!

 

I've just had some more of the bolognese with extra broccolli & sweetcorn - it actually tastes even nicer reheated than it did fresh!  I'm planning out next week's meals tonight too; I'm thinking a big Shepherd's Pie should cover most of the week, and at the weekend I'm cooking all kinds of pork chop & bacon recipes now I finally have that option again.

 

I'm about to have my weekly Skype with back home, then I'll get the second day's PLP done.  I can see my back aching a fair bit tomorrow...

  • Like 2

Big Show: Human Swift Hunter

Respawning. One day at a time.

Battle Log: Operation Wedding Suit - Take 2

Previous challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42 

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