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ConcreteCavewoman is a Shakespearean Dorkface Quest

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Like whoa it's been a while since I've joined a challenge. Maybe a year? To backtrack, I've been lifting for a couple years now, but not really in earnest. Early 2014 I was burned out, quit my tech job, and traveled for a summer. I came home and spent the fall learning various skills like canning, fermentation, and meat curing. In the winter I returned to a normal techie life, got an awesome job, and am settled back in Seattle. I'm now training at a gym that I ADORE and have spent the last 7 months refocused on my health and fitness, which has been great. From this I've also learned that it's best to only tackle one thing at a time. So from Jan - June it was just: be in the gym, consistently. Done. Now it's: eat like I mean it so I can keep getting stronger.


Since I just got back from the Ashland, OR Shakespeare Festival because I am THAT COOL. I guess I've got theater on the brain, so my challenge is...


"Be not afraid of greatness!" -Twelfth Night

Focus on being great at ONE THING: Lifting. My goals are all around training, eating, and sleeping. I've been in an office lifting competition for the last couple months, and I'd like to finally sign up for a PL meet this fall. Lifting this year has just been awesome. It keeps me happier and more productive at work and at home. I keep a chart of my lifts in my office and one of the best parts of my day is erasing the old numbers and writing in the new (higher) numbers.


Goal 1, Strength: "'Tis excellent to have the strength of a giant," -Measure for Measure (let's just ignore that the rest of this quote is about a dude who is a corrupt politician).

Put 7% on my lifts, calculated 1RM, averaged across lifts.

Current Lift lbs (weight/reps, 1RM) -> Goal 1RM:

Deadlift (207/5, 233) -> Goal 249

Squat (152/5, 171) -> Goal 182

Bench (108/5, 119) -> Goal 127

Press (73/2, 75) -> Goal 80

Clean (110/1, 110) -> Goal 117


Goal 2, Food: "Though this be madness, yet there is a method in it." -Hamlet (Polonius wonders at Hamlet's feigned madness)

Hit my macros +/- 5%. I've got nutrition programming from Working Against Gravity. It's macro driven which is a pretty big change for me as I tend to eat higher fat paleo. I'm still primarily eating meat and vegetables, but leveling off the macros with rice and whatever. Still not much in the way of processed food. Honestly this is a bit of a leap of faith for me, given that I haven't eaten carbs like this in years, but one week in and I'm already seeing great results.

Training Day: 220C/160P/50F

Rest Day: 190C/160P/50F

25g Fiber each day.


Goal 3, Sleep: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on." -The Tempest

Get 7 hours of sleep per night. This is not a thing I'm great at. During the week it's closer to 6, and I can see that it impacts my training. I was on vacation last week getting 9-10 hours a night and my training was going bananas in a good way.


And that's it. No life goal. I'm trying to keep my focus as narrow as possible :)



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Welcome back. I need to put the Ashland  Shakespeare Festival on my epic quest, it is something I have always wanted to do.

You should! It's really some of the best theater in the country, which is so weird since it's kind of in the middle of nowhere (well not really, Ashland and Medford are decently sized towns). And the theater that they put on beyond Shakespeare is amazing too.


Welcome back from the farm!

Thanks! Now I guess I can put those cattle skills to good use writing software.

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Today's Lesson: She who doth not sleep, doth not catch the gainz.


So my mom came over yesterday to cook up a bunch of macro-friendly food for me (seriously, is my mom the best or is my mom the best?). I was helping her but we ended up staying up late. She stayed through today to finish all the cooking. It's awesome because I now have a ton of delicious pork chile verde, chicken soup, etc, in the fridge and freezer.


1. Lift: Miss. It's ok. I rarely make mondays.

2. Eat: 170P/183C/54F 5% variance. Nailed it!

3. Sleep: Boooooooooo. A mere 6 hours of sleep.


And now to turn off all devices and get to sleep!

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Sleep is so hard!!! Lots of us are struggling with sleep right now. Good luck!

Current Challenge

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Update: 7/28

Finally got some more sleep. Lifted and it went well.

1. Lift: hit. Squatted 70kg for 3x5. Bench 48 for 3x5. Banded pull-ups.

2. Eat: 178P/260C/91F 22% variance. Oof. I went out with a friend to see some opera and then we had dinner. I was tired and hungry and ordered sardines and grilled oysters, but I think I was still in my old Paleo mindset vs macros.

3. Sleep: better. 6.5 hours

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** following your dog on instagram. 


also, nice job on those macros!

"Come with me if you want to lift" -The Brominator

"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

"Anyone who doesn't want french fries every day is a commie." - AngelaTheGeek

Current Challenge


find me on twitter

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Sleep is so hard!!! Lots of us are struggling with sleep right now. Good luck!

Seriously! If the day were suddenly 26 hours I would only spend those extra hours on sleep (c'mon universe, deliver on this one)


Welcome back, sounds like you've had an epic kind of year!

Thanks! Yeah it was a much needed break.


** following your dog on instagram. 


also, nice job on those macros!

Woo! Ripley says thanks :)


Here you are! 


Oh my goodness, how I love lifting Shakespeare <3 

Hooray! I looked so hard for a gif of Shakespeare lifting but the internet did not deliver. Or my google-fu is weak.

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Update: 7/30


1. Lift: Unplanned Rest. Instead I'll be lifting on Saturday.

2. Eat: 185C/146P/52F 5% variance. Good!

3. Sleep: 8.5 hours. YES. Totally not caught up but I'll take it.


Super long day of work today. Didn't get home until 730. Tomorrow I have uncharacteristically early meetings so I'm going to do something UNPRECEDENTED and workout at lunch. I'm actually looking forward to it because I think that kind of break in the middle of the day will be nice. And it's deadlift day so I'm going for 97 kilos, woo woo!


Also, I sent in my first week's check-in on my nutrition plan to my coach. Down 3 lbs. Half inch off my waist and hips. Feeling full and energized. Can't complain!

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Update: 7/31


Yet another really long day at work spent catching up. One technique that I've found to be super helpful in managing my macro intake is to cook my entire day's worth of food (or at least the major meals) the day before, weigh, measure, and pack. I toted jars and jars of food to work but I nailed macros.


1. Lift: Done

Deadlift (lbs today as I was at my globogym, not crossfit gym)






210x2 <-PR












2. Eat. 205C/158P/50F 4% variance. WOO.

3. Sleep. 7.5 hours last night. Yay!

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Like whoa, this month got crazy with work so I obviously haven't been posting. BUT. Things have been going great.  We did some 1RM testing at my gym and it went SO well. Knocked out new PRs on my bench and deadlift. In two weeks I'll be testing 1RM on squat.


My progress so far:

  1. Strength:

    Deadlift (207/5, 233 1RM) -> Current 238/249 Lifted 238x1 last week :D

    Squat (152/5, 171 1RM) -> Current 183/182 Lifted 173x3 today

    Bench (108/5, 119 1RM) -> Current 130/127 Lifted 130x1 last week

    Press (73/2, 75 1RM) -> Current 77/80 77x1 today

    Clean (110/1, 110 1RM) -> Current 110/117 all work thus far has been lower weight high rep

  2. Food:
    26/31 days I've hit my macro goals. I was super skeptical about how eating SO many carbs and so little fat would work, but 5 weeks in I'm down 8 lbs and I've lost 1.5" on my waist, plus 1" on my hips. Two people at the gym have already approached me and asked me what I'm doing because it looks like I've leaned out so much!
  3. Sleep:
    This is my weakest.... 21/31 days. Woof. Ok, time to refocus here.
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NICE progress on those lifts!!   Great progress with the macros, too! That's awesome! 

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

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Challenge Wrap

Even though I was terrible, just terrible at making my regular updates, this challenge went really well.

  1. Strength (all in terms of calc/actual 1RM and pounds). Even though I didn't hit my 7% goal I'm still pleased as punch with how my lifts are progressing. A few months ago I was like, 200lb deadlift, someday, someday. Now I'm staring down the maw of 250.
    Squat: 171 -> 183
    Deadlift: 233 -> 238
    Bench: 119 -> 130
    Press: 75 -> 77
    Clean: 110 -> 111
    Total Gains %: 4.3
  2. Food:  I feel like I did really well on this. Over the course of the challenge I lost 4 lbs, 1.5" off my waist and 1.5" off my hips. And put weight on all my lifts. Honestly I am kind of loving IIFYM because it means the occasional pile of gummy bears >.>
    34/42 80%
  3. Sleep: This one was... meh. Too bad, too, because when I slept well I noticed the best ROI.
    28/42 67%
  4. Other
    During the challenge I also did a 20 mile backpacking trip and took a 3 day weekend with my mom on one of the islands in the puget sound. And work is going great! Yeah, there, I said it.

Overall challenge self-assessment: B-

Next challenge: Work on sleep!

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Damn girl! That bench increase is killer!  Congrats!   Congrats on a great challenge, over all! 

"I'm just going to remember to not eat like an asshole most of the time" - MoC

three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
 Half-Elf Warrior | Current Challenge
 New Battle Log | Old Battle Log
Special thanks to AkLulu for drawing my awesome avatar!

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