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gregular's first challenge


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This is my first try at doing this, I hope I get it sort of right.  I might have to reformat this.  


Main Quest:  To Lose Weight and Get Stronger


Side Quests:


1. Lose ten pounds, get to 180 lbs. 

2. Increase deadlift from 185 to 235 - maybe a bit much, but I'd mentally just like to have those 45's on the bar. 

3. Increase bench presses by 20 pounds - feel like I'm at a plateau at 115 

4. Increase squats by 30 pounds - currently at 125, I feel like I'm about to plateau here soon.

5. Increase overhead press by 20 pounds - currently 65.  

6. Do 5 unassisted pull-ups and 10 unassisted chin-ups.  

7. Get my HIIT to 15 minutes with 30 second intervals at level 16 for the entire duration - currently at 12 minutes with a 50/50 mixture of levels 15 and 16.  

8. Cut out sugar from my coffee - down from 3 packets of sugar to less than 1 right now.


For all the lifts and strength exercises I'm looking to be able to do five sets of five reps each at these levels.


Daily-ish tasks to achieve this?

1. Keep tracking what I eat everyday, keep around 2400 calories or less a day.

2. Continue going to the gym five days a week using the same routine that I've been doing.


I wish everyone luck with their challenges!





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you have quite a few goals there.  is there anyway that you can incorporate some of them?


You might notice that someone has added tags onto your thread.  This is not to pigeonhole you into a specific guild, but rather to attract the attention of the guild ambassadors because of your lifestyle or a grouping of goals, so that they might be able to motivate, encourage and advise you of anything during your challenge with us.  You don't even need to wait for them, you're welcome to pop into the Warriors to say hi and introduce yourself and to see what they're about. Also you are more than welcome to drop me a line at any time if you need anything.


Good luck

AB xx

Half Faerie (Sidhe) Scout | Black Belt Kitchen Ninja
"A positive attitude will not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort" - Herm Albright
You're welcome to skype me (audriwolf) too but let me know who you are

My challenge


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Mini-quest: SMART

Here are some questions to put your goals to the test:

  1. Is your overall quest achievable (over a short or long period of time)?  Is it reasonable? - I think so, I've added measurements where I should have just added that my quest is to keep going to the gym regularly and continue eating better.  

  2. Do your 3 quests all build towards your main quest in little ways, or are you taking on too much? Do your quests have sub-quests or is it just one thing to focus on? - It's one thing I'm trying to focus on.  

  3. Are your main goals realistic? Can you scale them to smaller steps to fit your life better, even if it will make it take a little longer to achieve them? -Yes, they are realistic.  

  4. Are your goals able to be measured and tracked?  What will you use to track them? - Yes.  I track that I go to the gym and what I do in a spreadsheet and with an app.  My eating I track with myfitnesspal.  I'll all about tracking and measuring things.

  5. How are you grading your goals?  Are they pass/fail (“every dayâ€, “not even once over the six weeksâ€)?  Is there a reward for the effort, or are you only grading yourself on whether or not you “lose the weight†or “run the distanceâ€? - I think I'll grade myself on the average of how close I come to hitting the different metrics.  I'll probably give myself some points for class participation if I keep showing up and working towards the challenge everyday even if I don't meet all the numbers I think I should be able to hit.

  6. What is your plan for continuing/altering/grading those goals if you become ill or injured? - I'll probably keep doing what I can do, but give myself an incomplete for the challenge.  

  7. Did you take into consideration any special occasions (Labour Day, Independence Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc) that may occur during the challenge?  What modifications do you need to build into your goals for those? - Sort of.  I already know if advance that I'm going to miss a day or two at the gym for Thanksgiving because of travel and family and all of that.  I'll also eat too much, which could be a problem for the weight loss, but these things will always come up so I'm just going to treat them as obstacles that need to be dealt with when they arise.

  8. Do any of your main goals conflict with each other? Will one goal make it hard to do another? - No, they exist nicely together like chocolate and peanut butter.

  9. Do you already have the time in your schedule to actually complete the goals you’ve set?  If not, what are you planning to do to make time for them? - Yes, I've been already doing the things I need to do for the past month, they have been fitting into my schedule and I'm not asking myself to do anything more for this challenge than to continue doing what I'm doing.  Which sounds like of lame, but I'm still new to all this, so I'm just happy making this more of a regular habit.

  10. Are you trying to build multiple habits, or is all your energy focused on your main quest? - I have two other habits that I'm working on that aren't included here.  Maybe I should include them?  About half of my energy is focused here and the other half is focused on the other two which are sort of two sides of the same coin.

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I just got back from the gym, I figure that I'm 10% done with the challenge.  It's all going well so far.


I think my original challenge was a bit of a mess, those are more the spots where I would like to be at the end of six months, but I really have no idea how my body will respond.  For the past few weeks I've been doing to the gym five times a week for short workouts, I'm hoping to continue that habit.  


This is also the first day ever that all the coffee I drank was free of any sweetener, and it didn't taste all that bad!   

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The first week of strength and cardio is done.  I'd give myself an A for that, I did everything I planned to do.  I was surprised at the number of pull-ups I was able to do today.


Eating-wise I was doing pretty well for most of the week.  Yesterday I went off the rails a bit and ended up snacking a bit more than I would have liked to at night.  I'd probably give myself a B for my eating this week so far.  

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I'm about to hit a snag with my challenge.  I thought that I had taken care of the contingencies of being able to workout during Thanksgiving week when I'm visiting my family, but I just realized that I had been planning on going to Planet Fitness and they don't have barbells.  It seemed like it would be worth the cheap membership fee to have a place I could use when I'm away visiting them, but not if all I can do is cardio.  


So now I've got to figure out what to do for the challenge.  I could do some bodyweight exercises for the week? 


I just have to make sure that taking time off of doing the workout routines I've been doing doesn't derail me, this has been a problem in other areas in the past, I'll be maintaining good discipline and then a week off when traveling will bring all my good intentions to a halt.  


Will I succeed?   I'm pretty bummed that I'll have to miss doing deadlifts for a week.  


Update on my progress so far. I'm generally eating well.  I haven't missed a scheduled workout either, and my chin-ups were up to 5 unassisted for three sets and then I was only able to manage 3 in the last two sets. Huge improvement over my threes and two from last week.  

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Following back! Hopefully you find a good alternative during your trip—I'd considered the eating part of Thanksgiving, but totally forgot about making accommodations for workouts during travel as well!

level 4 medusa monk

STR 6 | STA 5 | DEX 5 | CON 6 | WIS 6 | CHA 4

challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 (current)

myfitnesspal | fitbit | habitrpg

sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc

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I haven't been logged on to the site for the past week or so because of the holidays.


The week before Thanksgiving I cut my work out schedule into two parts to try to sort of make up for the days I'd be off.  This wasn't the smartest idea I ever had.  My second to last set of lifting I was doing deadlifts and I moved the wrong way after I had the bar raised and it felt like I popped a muscle out of place under my left armpit in the back.  It didn't hurt much, but it was a kind of nauseating feeling.  Because I'm not the smartest I then decided to push through one more set at a lower weight and didn't feel any pain there at all.  My back has been tight at times around that area for the past week on and off, but it generally feels ok.


For the week of Thanksgiving I was pretty bad about my eating, I kind of expected this.  I was better than I normally would have been though. I'd give myself a C for the week because I wasn't expecting perfection, but I was able to be more moderate than normal for the holidays.  


That week I did do some body weight exercises, nothing serious, just about fifty push-ups a day and a couple of days I did fifty air-squats.  It was mostly five days of rest though.


Yesterday I returned to the gym.  I think it might have been all the rest, but I lifted heavier than I had been lifting in the previous weeks.  I hit new personal bests in squats, and for the first time I was able to do all five sets of five reps of the overhead press at 85 lbs.  I also hit my best average speed for my cardio and was able to do the HIIT for 15 minutes of 30 seconds on and off.  Felt great about the workout.


Today I just got back, and again I showed improvement in my exercises.  I bench pressed five sets of five at 135, before I'd be lucky to get one full set of 135 and then do three or four reps for a couple of sets and move back down to 125.  I also did one more chin up in a set, getting my personal best in a set to 6, and did a total of 25 in five sets, 2 more than my previous best.  


I think the five days off was good, and I'm on a different schedule for which days that I go to the gym, which I think I'll be a bit happier with, but I'll have to see about this.


I've also stayed off of taking sugar with my coffee.  And to wrap up this scatterbrained update, my weight was down to 186 a week ago, so I'd lost 4 pounds since the start of the challenge, but it was back up to about 188 this morning, which I expected.  I'm not sure if my weight goal is realistic. 

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After a break for traveling I'm back to my regular work out routine.  Feels good to be back at it.  On Sunday I switched from doing cardio on the recumbent bike to using an elliptical machine because I was too impatient to wait for one of the two bikes to open up.  After quite a bit of awkwardness and a few minutes of trying to get my arms and legs to move in synch with each other I got the hang of it.  I might like it better than the bike and I feel like I'm getting more of a workout in the fifteen minutes of intervals.  Or maybe it just makes me sweat more.


Yesterday on my last deadlift I succeeded in tearing off a callus on my left hand.  This was an unexpected injury and doing some research on how to prevent this from happening in the future taught me some things that I should have looked into first.  I thought as the calluses on my hands got bigger that they would protect my hands more not make my hands more prone to injury.  Opps.  


Today I returned to the gym with my hand wrapped up to do squats and overhead presses, those weren't lifts that use that part of my hand so I'm not sure how well the wrap worked. Tomorrow will be bench presses and pull-ups, so I'll learn then if I'm going to be sidelined for some of my lifts for a couple of weeks.  


Eating isn't going as well as I'd like, Thanksgiving leftovers are delicious but they also have a few foods that it would be better if I avoided.  They are in moderation though.  

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I'm finally through some of the problematic but delicious Thanksgiving leftovers so tomorrow I'm going to be back to be more disciplined about my eating.  


Finished with my week at the gym.  The hand injury made pull-ups quite painful after the first couple of sets.  I did succeed in doing a new personal best of six in the first set.  I could only get through three sets with quickly diminishing results before I decided that it was stupid to keep trying for the day.  


I need to get caught up on the mini-quests from the past two weeks. I'll try to get to that in the next day or so.

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The holiday season has been hectic and I haven't been keeping up with social sites at all.  I have been doing my challenge though!


I guess it is time to grade myself:


1. Lose ten pounds, get to 180 lbs. 

No.  This wasn't possible.  Going back to the SMART mini-challenge I should change my answer to this being unrealistic.  I thought since I lost ten pounds in a month I could lose another ten in six weeks.  I've weighed as little as around 175 as an adult, but that was from barely eating and being unhealthy.  I don't know if I can actually make 180 without doing to drastic weight cutting measures.  For most of the challenge I hovered around 190, in the past couple of weeks I dropped to 185.  But, I did have to buy a new belt when my old started to be to big to function properly.  I can wear a smaller size of shirts than I've ever fit into as an adult, and I think I'm all around leaner than I was at the start of the challenge.  I should have taken measurements and focused on that and weight.  So while I didn't lose the weight, I think this was still a success because the weight that stayed was definitely an increase of muscle.  


2. Increase deadlift from 185 to 235 - maybe a bit much, but I'd mentally just like to have those 45's on the bar. 

Yes!  I did one set of 5 at 235 today.  I had issues a couple of weeks ago when I tore a callus lifting 225, and it took me a bit to heal up and feel confident enough that I could lift 225 or more again.  


3. Increase bench presses by 20 pounds - feel like I'm at a plateau at 115 

Yes! I'm plateaued right now at 145.  


4. Increase squats by 30 pounds - currently at 125, I feel like I'm about to plateau here soon.

Yes! I'm currently at 165, and I did one set of five for 175 this weekend.


5. Increase overhead press by 20 pounds - currently 65.  

Yes! Sort of.  I can't get all five sets for five at 85 yet, but I'm at 5,5,5,5,4 for the past couple of weeks.  This exercise is surprisingly more difficult than it looks.


6. Do 5 unassisted pull-ups and 10 unassisted chin-ups.  

Yes!  No!  My one set max in pull-ups right now is 8 and chin-ups is 9.  Pretty close to success.


7. Get my HIIT to 15 minutes with 30 second intervals at level 16 for the entire duration - currently at 12 minutes with a 50/50 mixture of levels 15 and 16.  

I could have done it.  I was running short on time a couple of weeks ago so I decided to try doing tabata instead of the fifteen minute 30/30 intervals that I had been doing and loved how much it kicked my ass and would save me about an hour at the gym every week.  When I quit this exercise I was doing fifteen minutes with half of the levels at 15 and half at 16.  I'm sure that I could have achieved doing the whole thing at 16, but I was also kind of obsessed each day at slightly increasing the difficulty while also trying to increase the distance and speed I was going at, and I couldn't go as fast at all 16 yet.   


8. Cut out sugar from my coffee - down from 3 packets of sugar to less than 1 right now. 

Yes!  Midway through week one I stopped taken sugar in my coffee and I haven't slipped on this one. 


About halfway through I stopped tracking most of what I ate.  I'd like to start this up again though.  The Christmas season is hectic and I was enough to keep eating fairly well and going to the gym everyday that I planned to.  


I would probably give myself a B for this challenge.  I did everything I set out to do, but I could have been better about keeping track of my food and I could have been more active in keeping up with this and helping other people out.  

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