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jrosto

A Barbarian at the Gates - jrosto Joins the Assassins

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I find (don't laugh) that, for some reason, doing swings with my eyes closed helps me get my form straight so much better than with my eyes open. I don't recommend this until you've been doing them a while and you're confident you won't kneecap yourself, but man, it makes it really easy to listen to your body and feel whether or not you're executing on the things Pavel says...

 

 

...TGUs are tough!! And you are a badass for doing one with weight over your head, the end. I nearly dropped the 18-lb on my head the first time I tried a TGU with it (long before I started S&S this year), and it took me forever to work up to 5 each side. I think you'll be amazed at how quickly you progress with them, though. 

 

Yay! Congratulations on a successful day 2. :D

 

Doing the swings with closed eyes does make sense, but it will be awhile before I trust my form enough to do that :)  Thanks for the idea, and thanks for the kind words.

 

...Edit #2 : I think I get it now - I can sign up for the weapon one, and add 1 PR every time I manage to increase my BBWW stuff, even by one Pushup . But I can add 5 if I increase all 5 exercises. But since I am jumping rope alternate days, I could make up a salad dressing, and post pics in the galley on those days.

 

Yep, you got it.  You can also get points for the team for posting a form check vid while doing a body weight exercise.

 

Great job!

 

Thanks :)

 

Glad to see you're getting along so well (and so much progress in such a short time again, it's amazing. :)

 

Thank you, these beginner gains do feel pretty awesome :)

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Thank you, these beginner gains do feel pretty awesome :)

 

Gains are gains. :P:D 

 

(Training can feel pretty awesome in general once you get your butt off the couch. Or at least the the initial hurdle for me.)

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Day 3 - 

 

SMART Quest Accomplishments for today:

NF Body Weight Workout:  

 

Rest day.

 

2. Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout:

 

Rest day.

 

3. Aikido Breathing and Meditation: 

 

? minutes of rhythmic breathing. 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, while sitting in the dentist chair getting my teeth cleaned.

 

An official rest day, so time to mow the yard :)  It was also time to visit the dentist.  A visit to the dentist has to involve my transplant team.  Since I don't have an immune system, I have to take prophylactic antibiotics before any dentist visit.  2000 mg of Amocicillin.  There go my gut bugs once again.  I work pretty hard to maintain my gut biome, and my meds work hard to kill 'em all off.  I eat some kind of fermented food daily, and at time like this I grab a pack of Good Belly Super Shots.  I also take two antibiotics daily.  One it to prevent pneumonia, and the other is to help keep me from catching a virus that came with the new lungs.  My daily routine counteracts these routine antibiotics pretty nicely, but when I have to take additional I have to kick it up a notch.

 

Even though it was a rest day, I did one set of the kettlebell warm ups.  I like the way my hips have loosened up by doing these exercises and don't even want to lose any of that flexibility.  

 

Now we are off to dinner out, I just don't feel like cooking this evening.

 

Back in a bit :)

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Dinner out was nice.  I'm fortunate that there are lots of places around here where you can get a fairly Primal meal.  I had a double cut pork chop with sauteed spinach.  It was very nicely done.  Now my Sweetie is not at all interested in eating as I do, so she had a club sandwich.  She often gets pasta when we go out and I keep sourdough bread for her at home so she can get her grains Jones fed :)

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Good luck with the dentist! Congrats on your rest day!

 

The cleaning went well.  My gums are in great shape and there are no new issues with my teeth.  Not eating much in the way of sugar seems to be good for the teeth ;)

 

The dentist is the most scary place on earth.  :nightmare:  Hope it's all well. 

 

And sounds like an awesome dinner you two had.

 

 

The dentist is just one of those necessary evils that you have to go through.

 

Another is the dermatologist.  My meds make me fairly highly susceptible to skin cancer so I have to visit the dermatologist annually.  Today is that day.  Now I'm a very firm believer that sunlight is necessary for good health, the dermatologist and my transplant team want me to act like a bloody vampire and shun the sun.  I've made a compromise by wearing a hat and using sunscreen on my face, ears and neck if I'm going to be in the sun for more than a couple minutes at a time.  But I also try to get some sun on my body daily.  Except for the past week or so, had to let my tan fade before the inspection :)

 

I have a couple places on my face that have been a minor concern for a few years now, maybe they'll decide to do something about them today, maybe not.  There's always next year :)

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Day 4 - The day I finally complete the last challenge :)

 

SMART Quest Accomplishments for today:

NF Body Weight Workout:  I completed three FULL sets of the NF BBWW.

 

Squats - Two sets of 20 squats reaching a nice depth with each squat.  The third set was 15 squats while holding a 15 lb kettlebell + 5 regular squats.

 

Push-ups - Push ups from the fireplace mantle.  I completed 10 - 10 - 10 push ups.

 

Lunges - One set of 10 walking lunges with each leg.  One set of 10 reverse lunges with each leg.  One set of 10 lunges with each leg.

 

Dumbbell rows -  Three sets of 10 DR's with a 25 lb kettlebell.

 

Planks -  First set was a 60 second Spider Man Plank.  Second set was a 60 second side plank on each side.  Third set was a 70 second plank.

 

Jumping Jacks - I completed three sets of 30 JJ's.

 

2. Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout:

 

Rest day.

 

3. Aikido Breathing and Meditation: 

 

Nine minutes of rhythmic breathing. 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, working on emptying my mind.

 

I finally got three sets of 10 push ups from the mantle in.  Now I can start on 'real' push ups :)  Time to schedule the couples massage for my Sweetie and I.  

 

I also decided it was time to start adding weight to my squats and changing up my lunges to hopefully help with my Turkish Get Ups.  My legs did get a very nice workout today.

 

I decided to stop dinking around and trying to find my center during my breathing/meditating exercises.  For now I need to just work on the breathing, relaxing, and allowing my mind to clear.  Once I can reach that state, I can move on to the next level.  Doing the breathing exercise while sitting in the dentist chair really helped with the fear issues.  I didn't have any problems with fear at all today.  I guess I owe you guys an explanation of where this fear comes from...  We'll see about that after my dermatologist appointment this afternoon.

 

Later Gaters 

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I've a few minutes before heading out to the dermatologist, so here goes...

 

Not long after my transplant I caught a virus.  A silly little virus that most people kick in a couple of days without hardly noticing they have it.  It's a Coronavirus.  My immune system couldn't handle the virus, so it attacked my lungs and I went into an acute rejection event.  We had just returned all of my oxygen equipment and were really happy about the fact that I no longer needed it.  Then I Couldn't keep my oxygen saturation up at a safe percentage while laying down, then it got worse and we were off to the ER at my transplant hospital.  They tried the routine ways to kill the virus, and it just laughed at them, so they decided to nuc it.  They gave me the same treatment as they do MERS and SARS patients.  The treatment consists of breathing treatments that are 6 hours of treatment and 2 hours off.  I had to be in a negative pressure room and could not have visitors during the treatments.  Females were especially restricted to exposure to the drug.  I couldn't sleep during this time, and for weeks after.  Every time I would doze off, I would awake in a panic thinking that I had died.  It took awhile to get over that without the use of anxiety drugs and the memories of that fear have returned during my breathing exercises.  I guess I do still have some issues to work out.  But on a positive note, there were no issues today :)

 

On another way positive note, my new Rogue Fitness 16 kg kettlebell arrived today :)

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Ooh. New bell. Nice.

Besides the anxiety, is everything alright now?

 

Ooops, I didn't finish the story.  Sorry about that.

 

After six days of the breathing treatments we halted the rejection event and the lungs were not at all damaged.  That is really an outstanding outcome.  I do still have the Coronavirus though.  It is residing in my sinuses and nasal passages.  We've tried several approaches, including experimental meds to kill it, but it keeps on keeping on.  I have to flush my nasal passages and do what I can to limit post nasal drip.  So long as it stays out of the lungs we are good to go.  I have totally recovered from the rejection event and my lung capacity is very good.  My next visit with the team is on Monday.  This is for my monthly labs, x-rays, tests and exam.  I'm expecting an uneventful visit :)

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Congratulations on your BBWW and your push-ups! I'm sorry your anxiety is cropping up again, but you'll beat it back. You've made incredible progress and after reading about all of it I'm confident you can do ANYTHING!

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Day 5 - Keeping this Challenge Alive.

 

SMART Quest Accomplishments for today:

NF Body Weight Workout:  

 

Rest day.

 

2. Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout:

 

Prying Goblet Squat - Two sets of 5 with a 15 lb kettlebell.

 

StrongFirst Hip Bridge - Two sets of 5, 3 seconds each.

 

Halo - Two sets 5 in each direction with a 20 lb kettlebell.

 

Kettlebell Swings - One set of 10 with a 25 lb kettlebell.

 

Turkish Get Ups - One set of 1 from each side with a 15 lb kettlebell.

 

StrongFirst S & S stretches - Completed.

 

3. Aikido Breathing and Meditation: 

 

Rest day.

 

I had my Sweetie vid my KB Swings and my form is not that bad :)  My shoulders do dip a little back at the top of the swing, but my back is not bowed.  I need to work on parking the KB, my back arches a bit during that move.  But other than that, my form is better than I thought it would be.  Now for the TGU's.  I read the book and watch the vid before my workout, but still feel like a fish flopping around on the floor.  I pause at each step and adjust my form, so I'll get there.  It just does not feel natural yet.

 

I was feeling pretty good this afternoon so decided to try to achieve a new PR in planks.  Note to self... trying to set a PR after working your trunk with kettlebells may not be the most successful idea.  At the end of a 30 Day Plank Challenge I was able to complete a 2 min 40 sec plank.  That was my old PR.  Guess what... It is also my current Personal Record :)  I may try again tomorrow, if not tomorrow it will be soon.  I'll crack the plank PR, then off to squats.  That one I'm not looking forward to at all.  

 

 

Congratulations on your BBWW and your push-ups! I'm sorry your anxiety is cropping up again, but you'll beat it back. You've made incredible progress and after reading about all of it I'm confident you can do ANYTHING!

 

Thanks AthenaMM, your confidence in me improves my own confidence :)

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My new Rogue Fitness 16 kb KB was sitting there on the fireplace mantle, staring at me, daring me to pick it up and do something.  So I did.  I did a couple 60 sec farmers walks using it and my 25 lb KB, switching hands between walks.

 

I have a question about shoulders during a farmers walk.  I'm sure you don't let them collapse, I'm also sure you don't shrug them.  Do you just maintain your shoulders in a neutral position while walking?  That seems logical to me.

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Very cool that your form is good with your kettlebell work. And great job trying your new heavier KB. Reading about all your kettlebell work really makes me want to try them. I'm going to need a heavier weight for my dumbbell rows soon, maybe I'll get one for that and try some of the other moves with it to see how I like it.

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Very cool that your form is good with your kettlebell work. And great job trying your new heavier KB. Reading about all your kettlebell work really makes me want to try them. I'm going to need a heavier weight for my dumbbell rows soon, maybe I'll get one for that and try some of the other moves with it to see how I like it.

 

It makes me so curious as well! I mean I was interested to beging with... but all the awesomeness...

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Day 6 - Saturday rest day.

 

SMART Quest Accomplishments for today:

NF Body Weight Workout:  

 

Rest day.

 

2. Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout:

 

Rest day.

 

3. Aikido Breathing and Meditation: 

 

Rest day.

 

I decided to try for a new plank personal record today, and I was successful :)  Old PR = 2 min 40 sec.  New PR = 3 minutes even.  I was able to add my support to the Weapons/Shields Team :)  

 

Star%20Trek%20Shields.gif

 

Tomorrow I'm heading to the Galley with a new (to me) Carnitas recipe.

 

Does carrying full propane tanks around to the back yard count a farmer's walks?  We have a Mosquito Magnet running in the back yard to help keep the skeeter population down.  It is really effective, but uses about a tank of propane every month during the season.  It's worth it because our skeeters some times come with West Nile Virus and I'm one of those people who would likely not survive a WNV infection.  The Mosquito Magnet works much better than any poison fog, and it's better for my lungs :)

 

We are enjoying the effects of a N. Texas cold front, it was only 96°F when we were out and about this afternoon.  Actually felt pretty nice.

 

I hope you are all having a wonderful, successful, and challenging (in a great way) weekend.

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I decided to try for a new plank personal record today, and I was successful :)  Old PR = 2 min 40 sec.  New PR = 3 minutes even.  I was able to add my support to the Weapons/Shields Team :)

 

That's awesome! 3 minutes already... where did you start last challenge? :) 

 

Hope you'll have a great weekend, too!

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That's awesome! 3 minutes already... where did you start last challenge? :)

 

Hope you'll have a great weekend, too!

 

Thanks NK :)

 

June 1st was Day 1 of a 30 Day Plank Challenge.  It was my first plank and I was able to hold it for 40 seconds, shaking like a leaf.

 

July 3rd was the last day of the challenge and that is when I did the 2:40 plank.

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Thanks NK :)

 

June 1st was Day 1 of a 30 Day Plank Challenge.  It was my first plank and I was able to hold it for 40 seconds, shaking like a leaf.

 

July 3rd was the last day of the challenge and that is when I did the 2:40 plank.

That's such a short time really and you improved so much, it's amazing. :)

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We are enjoying the effects of a N. Texas cold front, it was only 96°F when we were out and about this afternoon. Actually felt pretty nice.

Well now I feel a bit childish complaining about the temp going over 90 (but that's inside, where I work ... And we generally get 50 - 80% humidity)

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That's such a short time really and you improved so much, it's amazing. :)

Just sticking to the program and riding the 'Beginner Gaines' wave :)

Well now I feel a bit childish complaining about the temp going over 90 (but that's inside, where I work ... And we generally get 50 - 80% humidity)

We did have lower humidity today, and it was nice and cool inside :)
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Congratulations on your planks! Because of your awesome plank times, I've been upping my planks a little every week for the last couple of weeks. So thanks for the push! I hope the carnitas turn out well. I'm also in Texas and the temp was below 100° for the first time in several days. It didn't feel much different though, so I don't think it was much below 100°.

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Day 7 - End of a successful first week as an Assassin  :)

 

SMART Quest Accomplishments for today:

1.  NF Body Weight Workout:  I completed three sets of the NF BBWW.

 

Squats - Two sets of 20 squats reaching a nice depth with each squat.  The third set was 20 squats while holding a 15 lb kettlebell.

 

Push-ups - Push ups from the floor.  I completed 5 - 3 - 3 real push ups.

 

Lunges - One set of 10 walking lunges with each leg.  One set of 10 reverse lunges with each leg.  One set of 10 lunges with each leg.

 

Dumbbell rows -  Three sets of  6 DR's with a 35 lb kettlebell.

 

Planks -  First set was a 60 second Spider Man Plank.  Second set was a 60 second side plank on each side.  Third set was a 90 second plank.

 

Jumping Jacks - I completed three sets of 30 JJ's.

 

2. Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout:

 

Rest day.

 

3. Aikido Breathing and Meditation: 

 

Eight minutes of rhythmic breathing. 5 seconds in, 5 seconds out, working on emptying my mind.

 

I finally advanced to 'real' push ups with great form.  I'm kind of pumped, another essential movement on the way to being mastered.  I was also able to complete one full set of weighted squats, and increased the weight in my dumbbell rows to 16 kg.  I also tried to see how fast I could get through all three sets.  My time was 53 minutes, a very good time for me.  I think I want to continue focusing on increasing difficulty of the exercises more than on decreasing the time to complete the workout.  

 

Week 1 Week in Review:

 

NF Body Weight Workout: I performed the wo once every third day as planned.  I added weight to the third set of squats, moved the push ups from the fireplace mantle to the floor, added variation to the lunges, and increased the weight used during the dumbbell rows.  A successful week.

 

Simple & Sinister Kettlebell Workout: I performed the wo once every third day as planned.  I was able to do two sets of the warm up exercises, one good set of swings, and one TGU on each side with weight.  I'm very happy with my progress and this is one routine that I look forward to doing.

 

Aikido Breathing and Meditation: Completed 5 times as planned.  This has been harder than expected.

 

Side Quests: I've joined the Weapons/Shields Team and have posted two PR's (personal records) to help support the team.  I set new PR's today with push ups, dumbbell rows, and weighted squats, but I can't report them as I had already decided that I would support the Galley Team with a new recipe today.  I should be able to set new PR's in these exercises next week and I'll report them then.  I was able to report my 11 push ups from the floor to help take care of our Trouble with Tribbles :)

 

I think I can call Week 1 a success :)

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