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tenaciousglee: The Skinniest Avenger


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avengers-age-of-ultron-trailer-comic-con

 
 
So, I’m just a little excited for the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron in a matter of weeks!  As I was going back over some old 6 week challenges, I was reminded of Steve’s blog post about the Avengers from 2012. This led me to some of his other posts about becoming a superhero:

  • How to Create Your Own Super Power
  • Combining my excitement about Age of Ultron with my desire to be a superhero, I shall become tenaciousglee: The Skinniest Avenger!
    Before I can take my place among Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, I need to hone my body and skills to be more like them.  As such, here are my goals for this challenge:
     
    Goal 1 - posture as straight and true as Hawkeye’s aim

    mqdefault.jpg


    • As most desk jockeys do, I often find myself hunched over my keyboard, or sometimes just beating my head against my desk.  I also find myself slouching when I stand, so I want to improve my posture.  I am going to attack this goal by completing daily posture exercises (tracked on HabitRPG). Hat tip to Phayze for the exercise suggestions and push to join HabitRPG.
    • I also recently discovered the site Bony to Beastly, where they are all about fixing posture to improve not only your appearance, but also your muscle-building ability!
    Goal 2 - the neighborhood friendliness of Spiderman

    avengers-saving-the-day.jpg


    • While I would love to crawl on walls and swing between buildings, that powerset still eludes me.  So how does a non-web-slinger get around the neighborhood?  Walking!  

    • My reason for making this a challenge goal is to build the habit and also because walking is a good way to burn calories without catabolizing my precious muscle.  I’m stealing a page out of Waldo’s book for this one.  He always seemed to walk regardless of whether he was bulking or cutting

    • I’m going to track my steps with my UP by Jawbone wristband with a goal of 30,000 steps per week.  It’s a little over 4,000 steps a day, but I’m still a desk jockey and trying to start small to build the habit.  My plan is to either walk 15 minutes on my lunch break, or potentially after work with the kiddos to boost my numbers.
    Goal 3 - the genius-level intellect, mystery-solving ability, and body recomposition powers of Ant-Man/Giant Man/Hank Pym

    250px-Hank_pym_1.jpg


    • My longtime goal has been to pack some muscle on my skinny frame and that’s not about to change. I’ve been trying to eat above maintenance calories for the last few months, but I have been slack about tracking my calories.  I’d like to pack on 5-6 pounds over the next six weeks, so that means 500 extra calories a day, or some variation to get to a surplus of 3500 calories per week.
    • As for imitating Hank Pym’s intellect and mystery-solving ability, I’m going to continue to analyze the data I’ve collected over my past 19 challenges to look for patterns of what worked and what didn’t as I tried to gain weight or get lean.  I’d like to have the ability to know what needs to be done diet/exercise wise based on my goal at any given time.
    Goal 4 - the indomitable spirit of Captain America

    Spider-Man_Captain_America.png


    • I’ve been fighting a bit of burnout at work and it carries over to my home life as well.  I’ve been working on a project for almost 18 months now and we’re already 3 months past our original Go-Live date and struggling to pin down a new Go-Live date.  There are a lot of reasons to be stressed out.
    • So my goal is to shift my focus from things that are stressing me out to things that make me happy.  My plan is to list at least one thing by the end of the day that has gone well, either something positive at work, or something that I enjoyed about my kids or my wife that day.  I’ll be tracking this in HabitRPG as well.
    I’ll be working out 3 days a week, following a modification of the Avengers workout from Steve’s article.  I’ll do the A and B days on Monday and Friday, with a bodyweight progression day on Wednesday.  Trying to keep everything simple: push, pull, legs, core.
     
    On a final note, I'm succumbing to peer pressure from my last challenge and posting this in the Assassin's guild instead of the Rangers because so many of my NF buddies are now Assassins. I'm looking forward to seeing what all of you are up to this challenge!
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Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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HA! I knew we would get you over here :) Challenge looks good & Good Luck, you're going to do great! 

Half-Elf: Ranger/Assassin

Challenges: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6a] [6b] [7] [8] [8.5] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [ --> Battle Log]

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As I'm thinking through my posture goal, I'm identifying a few distinct challenges:

 

1. Determining what part of my posture I want to address: forward head tilt, rounded shoulders, anterior pelvic tilt, all of the above?

2. Determining which exercises to include in my daily routine to address #1 while simultaneously avoiding the DO ALL THE THINGS mentality that leads makes building a habit harder.

3. Finding a wall in my house that doesn't have something hanging on it, so I can stand against it and do some of the exercises I've found.  My free wall space took a serious hit after my wife discovered Hobby Lobby.

 

Here's what I'm thinking so far:

Forward head tilt

-Resetting your neurology:

-Wall slides:

-Camel pose (not even sure if I can do this one): 

 

Rounded Shoulders

-Band pull aparts: 

-Kneeling T-spine rotation: 

 

Anterior Pelvic Tilt

-90-90 stretch, Side-lying quad stretch & deep squat: 

-Dead bug stretch: Link

 

My hope is to put together a routine that will cover the major points of emphasis while still being succinct enough that I can do it every day/night without a huge time commitment.  Maybe for week one, I'll just do the neurology reset, wall slides, band pull-aparts, and dead bug stretch, and then add to it if I feel it's missing something.

  • Like 1

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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As part of Goal 3, I've been thinking about my ultimate goals and the methods I'm using to achieve them.  I first came to NF looking to add some muscle and have tried to follow Steve's advice about lifting.  I bought the Rebel Strength Guide and tried following the Dumbbell Division, but at the time the heaviest DBs I had were 35#, so I quickly reached a point where I needed heavier weights.  Due to a long history of buying fitness equipment I don't end up using, I wanted to avoid investing in a barbell set or joining a gym.  So, I was excited to read about sandbags shortly after joining the rebellion.  The problem is, I kept trying to do barbell routines with a sandbag and something was lost in translation.

 

All that being said, I've come across a couple of sandbag-related training items that have me excited about tweaking my methods to reach my goals.  For those that are interested, I just listened to a good podcast with Josh Henkin from Ultimate Sandbags and I will soon be getting a copy of the Sandbag Fitness Lean & Strong e-book.  Assuming the book is exactly what I've been looking for, I plan to start the 10-week program after this challenge.  For the next six weeks, though, I'll stick with the plan to use Steve's Avengers workout with dumbbells and sandbags as appropriate.  A sandbag deadlift is a little different than a barbell deadlift, but 300 pounds is still 300 pounds, right?

  • Like 1

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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As part of Goal 3, I've been thinking about my ultimate goals and the methods I'm using to achieve them.  I first came to NF looking to add some muscle and have tried to follow Steve's advice about lifting.  I bought the Rebel Strength Guide and tried following the Dumbbell Division, but at the time the heaviest DBs I had were 35#, so I quickly reached a point where I needed heavier weights.  Due to a long history of buying fitness equipment I don't end up using, I wanted to avoid investing in a barbell set or joining a gym.  So, I was excited to read about sandbags shortly after joining the rebellion.  The problem is, I kept trying to do barbell routines with a sandbag and something was lost in translation.

 

All that being said, I've come across a couple of sandbag-related training items that have me excited about tweaking my methods to reach my goals.  For those that are interested, I just listened to a good podcast with Josh Henkin from Ultimate Sandbags and I will soon be getting a copy of the Sandbag Fitness Lean & Strong e-book.  Assuming the book is exactly what I've been looking for, I plan to start the 10-week program after this challenge.  For the next six weeks, though, I'll stick with the plan to use Steve's Avengers workout with dumbbells and sandbags as appropriate.  A sandbag deadlift is a little different than a barbell deadlift, but 300 pounds is still 300 pounds, right?

I listened to that podcast last week. I really liked what he said about having a definite set of progressions to follow in order to make sandbag training successful. Excited to see what you think of the program.

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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I listened to that podcast last week. I really liked what he said about having a definite set of progressions to follow in order to make sandbag training successful. Excited to see what you think of the program.

 

Yeah!  I had read some of Josh Henkin's sandbag articles before, but I always dismissed them a bit as just being about selling Ultimate Sandbags.  Having heard him speak on the subject, he makes a lot of sense.  He said that the Dynamic Variable Resistance Training program is about improving functional movement, and I do plan to read up on it, but hearing him completely nix the idea of homemade sandbags kind of tempered my excitement for his program.  Luckily, guys like Matt from Sandbag Fitness and Alex from Rough Strength, are all about training with homemade sandbags, so I can use them as resources.

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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YES! Another Ranger has succumbed to the dark side! Now I just need to get Shadowlion over here and my plans for world domination will be nearly complete....

Also, thanks for the Boney to beastly link! I'll be checking that out in detail. ^^

Welcome to the assassins, T!

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Level 0 Air Nomad Assassin
STR: 0 STA: 0 DEX: 0 CON: 0 WIS: 0 CHA: 0

Current Challenge: [Url= http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/80570-phayze-accepts-an-apprenticeship-as-an-airbender-respawn/]Apprentice Airbender![/url]

Check Out My LEGO Stuff on Flickr!
"The next golden age of human achievement begins here and now" -Neil Degrasse Tyson, Cosmos

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YES! Another Ranger has succumbed to the dark side! Now I just need to get Shadowlion over here and my plans for world domination will be nearly complete....

Also, thanks for the Boney to beastly link! I'll be checking that out in detail. ^^

Welcome to the assassins, T!

 

Thanks for the peer pressure and the welcome!  Enjoy poking around Bony to Beastly.  The blog posts are interesting and it's intriguing to read about a weight-lifting program for skinny guys by skinny guys, but they obviously don't get into a ton of specifics because they want you to buy their program.  And if it didn't cost $200 and rely heavily on access to barbells, I'd be much more inclined to try it out... 

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Hey, that's what peers are for, right? ^^

$200!? 0o. Yeah that's a little steep!

Level 0 Air Nomad Assassin
STR: 0 STA: 0 DEX: 0 CON: 0 WIS: 0 CHA: 0

Current Challenge: [Url= http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/80570-phayze-accepts-an-apprenticeship-as-an-airbender-respawn/]Apprentice Airbender![/url]

Check Out My LEGO Stuff on Flickr!
"The next golden age of human achievement begins here and now" -Neil Degrasse Tyson, Cosmos

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Yeah!  I had read some of Josh Henkin's sandbag articles before, but I always dismissed them a bit as just being about selling Ultimate Sandbags.  Having heard him speak on the subject, he makes a lot of sense.  He said that the Dynamic Variable Resistance Training program is about improving functional movement, and I do plan to read up on it, but hearing him completely nix the idea of homemade sandbags kind of tempered my excitement for his program.  Luckily, guys like Matt from Sandbag Fitness and Alex from Rough Strength, are all about training with homemade sandbags, so I can use them as resources.

I had always dismissed it too, as only about selling it. But,I liked the points about the functional movement. The Rough Strength link was really cool though. He was just doing a lot of the basic BW  movements, but with sandbags. I always think sandbags sound cool, but I'm never quit sure what to do with them. I don't want to spend money on them though, I'd rather just make my own. I need my money for kettlebells :)

  • Like 1

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Wow, what a first day!  Got up nice and early for my workout, my day was going pretty smooth at work, including a walk at lunch, then I got a call from my wife, who had just gotten a call from our daycare that our 3 year old was throwing up...  Boo.  Thanks to one of my goals for this challenge, I chose to focus on the positives.  I'm thankful that my kids have a great daycare to go to that allows my wife and I to both work (at jobs we really do like...most of the time...)  I'm also thankful that my job allows me to drop everything and go pick up my son when he's sick.  He spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, while I continued to do a little work from home.

 

Then my wife got home from work with our daughter and it turns out she (the daughter) has an ear infection!  Woo hoo!  It's times like today that I am very thankful I married a pediatrician.  I don't have to stress so much about what to do with a sick kid since I live with a real Dr. Mom.  So, while I was at the drugstore picking up antibiotics for the ear infection, my son threw up again!  Poor guy.  He seemed to be on the upswing, too.

 

Anyway, after all that, I attempted my first round of posture exercises and they were way harder than I expected!  Lots of room for improvement and hopefully this means improved posture by the end of the challenge!!  I hope everyone else had some positives on their first day!

  • Like 3

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Of course there were positives!  There always are, you just have to find them.  Great job on trying to remain positive through it all.  Sorry to hear the kids are not doing as well, hopefully they get better soon.  For me the big posture thing is shoulders/neck.  I have a forward shift to the neck and my shoulders round forward.  Something about being at a computer all day...

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Spartan Assassin: Level 15

 

STR31   DEX26   STA27  CON25   WIS28   CHA23

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Day 2 was good, but had challenges of its own.  Got in a nice walk at lunch and did my posture exercises while the kids were in the bath.  The posture routine was not so bad last night.  The challenge came in the form of my wife's car battery dying around 5 PM and having to go "rescue" her and the kids during a downpour.  The bright side is that my wife had had such a long day by that point that she suggested we just grab dinner at Five Guys.  So, that was my positive for the day: Yummy dinner with my cute kids and beautiful wife who occasionally suggests burgers and fries for dinner.

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Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Glad to see you staying positive through a hard start, keep up that attitude and your are going to smoke this challenge!

Half-Elf: Ranger/Assassin

Challenges: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6a] [6b] [7] [8] [8.5] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [ --> Battle Log]

Old Battle Logs [2017] New Battle Log 2018: Reforged

DragonForging My Life: Epic Quests [Google D] Epic Quests [NF]

Lifter Profile [Symmetric Strength] Racer Profile [Athlinks] Body Comp [G-Sheet] Running Stats [G-Sheet]

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Late to the party, but I'm looking forward to see how the posture goal goes. I think you and I are in the same boat re: the computer hunching. I'll have to scope out your links.

 

PS Five Guys french fry bags are deliciously dangerous.

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Sea Level

Vintage Sea-elf Assassin

Current Challenge: Sea Level I : Respawn
Pro Aris et Focis

"To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying, The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying."

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When life gives you lemons, just say "oh screw it, I'm going for burgers!" ^^

I'm sorry to hear about the sick kiddos, but nice work sticking to your goals!

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Level 0 Air Nomad Assassin
STR: 0 STA: 0 DEX: 0 CON: 0 WIS: 0 CHA: 0

Current Challenge: [Url= http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/80570-phayze-accepts-an-apprenticeship-as-an-airbender-respawn/]Apprentice Airbender![/url]

Check Out My LEGO Stuff on Flickr!
"The next golden age of human achievement begins here and now" -Neil Degrasse Tyson, Cosmos

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Dudes (and dudettes), HabitRPG really is a powerful tool.  I mean, it's simple, but that little reward system is so motivational for me!  I've been hitting my walking at lunch every day and my posture exercises and positive-thought-tracking every night.

 

Skipped my workout this morning.  I got up a little late, but then just couldn't get excited about deadlifts this morning.  I'm going to try and switch up my A & B days next week to put DL on Monday when I'm a little more rested from the weekend.

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Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Dudes (and dudettes), HabitRPG really is a powerful tool.  I mean, it's simple, but that little reward system is so motivational for me!  I've been hitting my walking at lunch every day and my posture exercises and positive-thought-tracking every night.

 

Love HabitRPG it has been such a big help for me in my Challenges too! :D Plus I love trying to collect all the Dragons! hahahah 

Half-Elf: Ranger/Assassin

Challenges: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6a] [6b] [7] [8] [8.5] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [ --> Battle Log]

Old Battle Logs [2017] New Battle Log 2018: Reforged

DragonForging My Life: Epic Quests [Google D] Epic Quests [NF]

Lifter Profile [Symmetric Strength] Racer Profile [Athlinks] Body Comp [G-Sheet] Running Stats [G-Sheet]

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Week 1 wrap-up

 

Goal 1 (posture) - Completed posture exercises 6/7 days.  I missed it Saturday night because of a late date night, but I guess I should have just done them earlier in the day...

 

Goal 2 (walking) - Crushed it!  36,058 steps when I was aiming for 30,000.  Of course, I had 9909 on Sunday alone, probably helped by having to mow the lawn and help my wife plant her garden.  I did manage to go for a walk at lunch Mon-Fri, which is part of the habit I am hoping to build.

 

Goal 3 (weight gain/tracking) - I am up 1 pound since last Monday, so that's good.  I tracked 5.5/7 days.  Forgot dinner on Wednesday and didn't track on Sunday.  I was also planning to go back through my old challenges, so I need to get back to that.  This sounds like a job for HabitRPG!

 

Goal 4 (indomitable spirit) - wrote down a positive aspect for each day.  Most of them were family-oriented instead of job-oriented, but it is what it is.

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Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Awesome. This is a great habit.

 

Thanks!  I've really been enjoying it.  I usually only go for about 10 or 15 minutes, but it's nice to get away from the computer.  It also helps that the weather has been beautiful.  I don't know if I'm motivated enough to walk in the rain...

Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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Sorry I've been quiet since Monday.  I've been sticking to my workouts and walks and posture exercises.  I'm sort of in auto-pilot mode and sort of in "not very excited about my challenge" mode.  I had been excited about the impending release of Sandbag Fitness Lean & Strong, but when it came yesterday, I blew through the whole 145-page book in about 2 hours.  Nothing groundbreaking, but it was cool to see 10 weeks of exercise programmed using nothing but a sandbag.  The main focus is heavy 5x5 progressive overload for back squat, deadlift, overhead press, and floor press, with lower weight complementary exercises thrown in (like front squat, triceps extension, good mornings).  He even says in the book that these exercises could be done with barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells.  I guess that sort of deflated my excitement for the program.  I was hoping for a revolutionary new sandbag-only focused exercise routine, I guess like the DVRT system I've heard about.

 

That being said, I am still probably going to give it a go for 10 weeks.  I was lamenting to someone the other day that I have been on my nerd fitness journey for almost 3 years now and I would have expected to make more progress by now than I have.  So, if what I've tried hasn't worked, maybe it's time try something new.  The routine in SFL&S is a 3-day split for Leg Day, Chest & Shoulders Day, and Back & Biceps Day.  I don't think I've ever done a 3-day split before, so it could be good for me.

 

The question I'm wrestling with now is whether I should wait until I finish this challenge to start the new routine (my original plan) or just swap out my Avengers workout for the sandbag workout.  The SFL&S program also has a diet component for dropping body fat (you know, the lean part) and I do think that I want to keep gaining weight before I switch over to a cutting mentality.

 

Decisions, decisions...

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Level 32 Minifig Jedi Assassin

Current Challenge  | Battle Log | "Epic" Quest

Previous Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6789101111.51213141516171819, 2021222324, 25, 262728293031323334

"A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse." -Stephan Dolley, Jr.

"You don't get stronger by skipping workouts." - me, to myself, about 3 times a week

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