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Bildungsroman's "Once More, With Feeling" Challenge


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CHALLENGE JUDGEMENT DAY

Another challenge comes to an end, so once again, my goals and results:

Fitness and Diet:

1. Be able to do 60 push-ups in a row without teh death: A!

2. Body fat down to 24%: D. Went from 26.14% to 25.64% =/

3. Be able to do all of the exercises in the RSG Dumbbell Division with at least 25 kg: C. 25 kg on deadlifts, squats and lunges, just not on bent over rows (22.5 kg) or push press (20 kg)

Overall: C+

Life:

1. Re-do three of my websites, host them on my own server: F. Didn't even get properly started on this til last week, and I'm about halfway done with 1 of 3

2. Finish both books I'm currently reading and start and finish a third. B. Finished one of two, but also read two others

3. Spend less money per month on food, alcohol, and general expenses while still eating healthy (100 PLN less on groceries, 100 PLN less on alcohol, 500 PLN less overall in my monthly budget). B. This one would be a total win if I don't count my week in Barcelona/Fez, since Barcelona completely killed my budget. Nonetheless, even with that I spent 90.41 less on groceries, 183.96 less on booze, and 140.28 less overall. Considering the entire trip (airfare, food, drinks) cost 1614 of that (about $480), I chalk that up as a win.

Overall: C

Fail goal:

1. Apply for 10 different freelance jobs: A! So far, about two of those have resulted in any potential work (but that's two more than 0 had I not tried)

Habits:

1. No dinner until all of my work for the day is DONE: A-. Did this most of the time as long as I was working at home

Overall, I'm generally satisfied with this challenge, mostly because I managed to still do decently despite a week in different countries. My biggest failure was thinking I could learn a new programming language and redesign three websites while working full-time and traveling, and that didn't happen at all. It was great to get away while still working, and reading two books in one week, all while I was traveling, reminded me that I need to do that more often.

Fitness-wise, I'm a bit frustrated at the rate that my body fat % is decreasing - i.e., barely at all, it seems. I have no idea what a normal rate is, but I would think that with lifting heavy things twice a week and kung fu-ing 2-3 times per week while generally eating good, real food (and cutting out the beer a lot this month) would have had more of an effect =(

BILDUNGSROMAN:ROGUE MONK LVL 4

STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 8 | CON: 7.5 | WIS: 10 | CHA: 3Current Challenge | Bildungsroman's Epic Life | Fitocracy | My blog

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BILDUNGSROMAN:ROGUE MONK LVL 4

STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 8 | CON: 7.5 | WIS: 10 | CHA: 3Current Challenge | Bildungsroman's Epic Life | Fitocracy | My blog

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In my experience changing body comp is different from losing weight. Losing weight tends to be more a calories in, calories out calc, but for body comp you need to really shock your body to "convince" it that a new, different body comp is needed to cope with a new environment. As soon as the new environment subsides, it tries to revert to its steady state. The threshold for change varies by individual, but a good yardstick is depleting glycogen (energy stores) and working to failure on a regular basis. Congrats on your challenge successes, make sure you celebrate those.

i don't care what u think of me. unless u think i'm awesome. in which case u're right.

Intro - Workout Log - ABS Log - Fitness Philosophy - Accountability - NERDEE - Weight Maintenance

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Nice pictures. Did you use a tripod for your HDR brackets? OR did you just use a single image?

"Pull the bar like you're ripping the head off a god-damned lion" - Donny Shankle

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I kept running across your posts over this challenge but somehow never managed to follow you. You're right that 27% to 20% BF is too ambitious for 6 weeks, or at least I wasn't up to the insane things I'd need to do to my diet to manage it. I did manage to get down to 24.5% BF from 27% though -- I don't know how the amounts or kinds of things we're eating are different, but from what I can tell, the things that I did that helped were lifting heavy weights and eating a lot of protein to maintain muscle and intermittent fasting once a week. I'm going to do IF less frequently for a while though -- see if I can build some muscle with the extra calories while keeping the BF% from going back up too much.

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I kept running across your posts over this challenge but somehow never managed to follow you. You're right that 27% to 20% BF is too ambitious for 6 weeks, or at least I wasn't up to the insane things I'd need to do to my diet to manage it. I did manage to get down to 24.5% BF from 27% though -- I don't know how the amounts or kinds of things we're eating are different, but from what I can tell, the things that I did that helped were lifting heavy weights and eating a lot of protein to maintain muscle and intermittent fasting once a week. I'm going to do IF less frequently for a while though -- see if I can build some muscle with the extra calories while keeping the BF% from going back up too much.

I dropped 8% in 8 weeks during the first challenge (and the two weeks preceding it). It's doable, but based on my experience I would strongly advise against it. The main reason is that it totally trashed my immune system. I had the same cold from about one month in until around the beginning of last week. It wasn't a wimpy cold either. That made keeping up with the workouts a whole lot less fun, but I managed to do it just by sheer force of will. Also, my loved ones were concerned and my wife actually asked me to see a doctor because she was scared that I had cancer. Not cool at all.

How did I do it? Strict paleo (meats, veggies, fruits, nuts) with one cheat meal per week (usually half of a pizza), a pretty severe caloric deficit (probably 500+ cals per day), weights 3x per week, and runs 3x per week. Effective? Yes. Healthy? Anything but... If I could rewind, I would honestly do things much more carefully and slowly - I'm inclined to agree with weirdquark that a slightly smaller number would be a better target.

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Hmmmm, thanks for the advice, scotticus and weirdquark. One thing I didn't try was IF, so I think I will give it a go. I definitely don't want to trash my immune system, especially in the winter when I do occasionally get colds, but 8% in eight weeks is really impressive. I'd be happy to get half of that with trying IF and a much bigger caloric deficit (I think I did about 300-400 per day, but not always) with a greater emphasis on protein rather than eating mostly veggies with some meat or eggs once a day. And I definitely need to cut out beer completely, as even though I cut down a lot this challenge, I did have quite a few cheats with some delicious microbrews...

BILDUNGSROMAN:ROGUE MONK LVL 4

STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 8 | CON: 7.5 | WIS: 10 | CHA: 3Current Challenge | Bildungsroman's Epic Life | Fitocracy | My blog

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Hmmmm, thanks for the advice, scotticus and weirdquark. One thing I didn't try was IF, so I think I will give it a go. I definitely don't want to trash my immune system, especially in the winter when I do occasionally get colds, but 8% in eight weeks is really impressive. I'd be happy to get half of that with trying IF and a much bigger caloric deficit (I think I did about 300-400 per day, but not always) with a greater emphasis on protein rather than eating mostly veggies with some meat or eggs once a day. And I definitely need to cut out beer completely, as even though I cut down a lot this challenge, I did have quite a few cheats with some delicious microbrews...

I experimented with IF for a few weeks as well, leangains style. I've kind of slacked on that for the last couple of weeks because I've been feeling a bit flat and want to make sure that I don't get sick again! From what I can tell, it's pretty effective, although I didn't test it long enough to give it a fair assessment. Let me know how it goes for you!

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Hmmmm, thanks for the advice, scotticus and weirdquark. One thing I didn't try was IF, so I think I will give it a go. I definitely don't want to trash my immune system, especially in the winter when I do occasionally get colds, but 8% in eight weeks is really impressive. I'd be happy to get half of that with trying IF and a much bigger caloric deficit (I think I did about 300-400 per day, but not always) with a greater emphasis on protein rather than eating mostly veggies with some meat or eggs once a day. And I definitely need to cut out beer completely, as even though I cut down a lot this challenge, I did have quite a few cheats with some delicious microbrews...

You should probably check this out first -- it's a record of someone's experiences with different kinds of IF and has a lot of good information on what worked for him, what didn't, and in what ways. I found starting really easy, but this is apparently not standard, so you should keep an eye on your mood and energy levels from lack of food, especially if you try the 24 hour version. The first time I tried fasting I paid a lot of attention to how I felt because falling over is bad. So every few hours I'd sort of check in -- 'should I eat something or can I keep fasting?' and each time decided to keep going, but if I had felt too lightheaded or crabby or whatever, I planned on stopping and then trying to fast longer next time. I usually ate somewhere between 1700-2000 calories on the non fasting days, and tried to eat a little extra the day before, and with having a small snack to break my fast, that gave me an average of slightly over 1600 calories per day, which is an average of ~500 calories per day below maintenance, depending on how active I was. Which was something I would not be able to hit on a daily basis without feeling ravenous, especially on days when I'm lifting weights.

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Thanks! I'll go over that. The good thing is, I'm moving and traveling this month so I won't be going to kung fu and I probably won't be working out as much, so it seems like the perfect time to try IF without worrying about falling over during kung fu training. I think my resting BMR is 1400 calories, so I'll try something along the lines of 1600-1700.

BILDUNGSROMAN:ROGUE MONK LVL 4

STR: 14 | DEX: 7 | STA: 8 | CON: 7.5 | WIS: 10 | CHA: 3Current Challenge | Bildungsroman's Epic Life | Fitocracy | My blog

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My BMR is about the same as yours; maybe a bit lower. Are you shooting for 1600-1700 for the daily average or for what you'll eat on non-fast days? Because the former sounds fine, but I wouldn't want to drop below 1700 on a regular basis, especially while lifting weights or being active. It does depend on your activity level though, so try it, listen to your body, and see if you need to eat more on days that you're exercising.

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