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Waldo

Waldo Bulks Again (#7)

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I've been a bit confused here as to what I want to do in the next couple weeks.  The neighborhood pool opens in a week and a half, that has always been by drop dead goal date for cutting.  I reached my cutting goal.  Am I happy with how lean I am?  Not really.  But is it that big of a deal?  Not really.  Continuing to cut however appears to pretty much be a lost cause.  I'd like to see my abs a little better though.  But I'm really sick of the continued barrage of crap workouts in the gym.  And given that I've been cutting for close to 20 weeks, its time for a change.

 

So its time to bulk.  This will be my 7th go-round, and the first since I switched to barbell training.  And the first in nearly 2 years.

 

I'm going to return to the high efficiency cycles I had worked out previously; continuous bulking with periodic 2 week high intensity cuts, timed so that I get leaner with each cycle.

 

The tape will dictate everything; I can drop 1" in an intense 2 week cut.  I'd like to end up 1/4" leaner than I am now, so my time to cut target will be 32 1/4" in the waist.  That's 3/4" bigger than I am now, or 3 lbs of fat.  I'm going to hope for a 50-50 muscle-fat split this bulk, so target 5-6 lbs gain in 8 weeks, with a cal goal of 3000 net cals/day (+300).

 

So, Goals.

 

1. Start Bulking, and Stick to the Plan

- I'm going to start at the start of the challenge, 5/8 will be the first planned surplus day.  When the going gets hard, stick to the plan, no modifications this cycle.  Eat a surplus every.single.day.

 

2. Do More Reps

- With so much time spent cutting, and now most exercises stalled out, 5's became triples and even occasionally singles.  That isn't going to cut it.  Every workout needs volume.  Introduce crazyness.  My bench sucks, it needs the rest-pause treatment.  

 

3. Cardio is on Wednesdays and Saturdays

- There will be no skipping cardio.  I don't care if its too hot.

 

L. Get Serious About the Kitchen Project

- Our kitchen and dining room has some lame and ugly paneling and door trim made into wainscot/chair rail.  Its hideous and doesn't fit our house at all.  My wife wants to paint that area, pulling down the wainscot will likely cause significant drywall damage.  So I'm going to redo it all with new drywall.  

- The main switches for the kitchen was done horribly, someone cut a 1 gang box and added to a 3 gang box instead of just installing a 4 gang box.  The drywall cut around it is terrible and visible outside of the plate.  On top of that, all 4 switches could benefit from being changed; the new vent fan I put in could use a speed control, the can circuits (2) could use dimmers, and I might as well put in a nice decora switch for the dining room light.  Redoing a 4 gang switch box and all the switches is a pretty major undertaking that will be made much easier by redoing the drywall.

- On top of that our kitchen is a total beige-out, with tan wood cabinets, wood floors, a beige countertop, and beige tile backsplash.  Realtree for our kitchen would merely be khaki clothing.  Previous owners that redid the kitchen were the polar opposite of the worlds most interesting man.  Replacing the backsplash tile with confetti tile will go a long ways to adding some sort of visual interest. 

- The cabinets also have god awful awkwardly large trim that eats up way too much usuable counter (seriously, its like 3" wide below the cabinets, who on earth ever thought that was a good idea, a coffee pot doesn't even fit under the cabinets), so I need to figure out a toner mix to match the cabinets, get some maple, and make some slim profile trim.  

 

This certainly won't be all done this challenge, but often the hardest part of a big project is starting.

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We settled on the highlands blend.  Though my wife is also going to order some extra white to replace a few of the black tiles.  Its a quite busy pattern.

 

This is what the kitchen looks like now:

kitchen-sink-with-clock.jpg

 

...kind of.  We replaced the pulls with a more modern design.  The effect on the photo enhances the contrast, as the cabinets really aren't that dark (maple finished to look like freshly finished cherry (as opposed to old dark cherry)).  We're planning on tiling that whole area by the window to the ceiling. 

 

We don't really care for the cabinets of the counters, but they are at least functional and not totally awful.  The tile though is totally awful.  Replacing the upper/lower trim on the cabinets with something simpler and smaller will go a long way with the cabinets.  Still dream to one day replace them with flat front walnut cabinets (or teak should I win the lottery), but that is nowhere near in the budget at the moment; we're looking at a $500 makeover.

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4 minutes ago, Waldo said:

We settled on the highlands blend.  Though my wife is also going to order some extra white to replace a few of the black tiles.  Its a quite busy pattern.

 

 

Oh, that's going to be awesome, looking forward to seeing it! I dig your projects :D 

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Yay, the raised cals (to maintenance-ish) are starting to take effect.

 

Today's workout didn't suck.

 

New PR's on the bench (190 x 4 and 165 x 9) and the best tuck front lever rowing (5 x 4 with good height) I've done as of late.

 

Skipped accessories for the most part.  Stuck to the meat today.

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Borrowing this quote from Redstone's thread to ask a ? I've been meaning to ask.

 

1 hour ago, SpecialSundae said:

 

I get this a lot online and they entirely miss the point that the basis of the arch (scapular retraction) is to PROTECT the shoulders and upper back. People are dumb.

 

http://www.jtsstrength.com/articles/2015/09/13/arching-in-the-bench-press-please-stfu/

 

Admittedly, the worst damage I've ever done to my back was in trying to set up for bench using the Russian-style backbend into an arch and slipping because I didn't have the necessary strength and flexibility to do so. So always set up your arch in a way that is safe for you!

 

 

Not specifically related to the arch but retraction.

 

The power rack/bench I use sort of has pins (whatever those things that hold the bar is called) in no mans land.  The pin hole I typically use has me at full extension.  I can unrack the bar; a little hard when I'm in >5RM zone, and still maintain retraction sort of (regained ez though), however reracking is a problem where I have to extend my shoulders to get it up that high (with some internal rotation as well).  OTOH the next pin down feels way too low, my arms need to be bent to unrack it; its very hard on the tris to unrack.

 

Is the the pin I'm using too high, or is that normal to need to extend the shoulders to rerack?  I wonder if its contributing to shoulder soreness (it does kinda hurt to rerack).  Am I correct in thinking that the next one down is just way too low. Putting a little plate under the upper bench feet might be a workable solution, is that commonly done?

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1 minute ago, Waldo said:

Borrowing this quote from Redstone's thread to ask a ? I've been meaning to ask.

 

 

Not specifically related to the arch but retraction.

 

The power rack/bench I use sort of has pins (whatever those things that hold the bar is called) in no mans land.  The pin hole I typically use has me at full extension.  I can unrack the bar; a little hard when I'm in >5RM zone, and still maintain retraction sort of (regained ez though), however reracking is a problem where I have to extend my shoulders to get it up that high (with some internal rotation as well).  OTOH the next pin down feels way too low, my arms need to be bent to unrack it; its very hard on the tris to unrack.

 

Is the the pin I'm using too high, or is that normal to need to extend the shoulders to rerack?  I wonder if its contributing to shoulder soreness (it does kinda hurt to rerack).  Am I correct in thinking that the next one down is just way too low. Putting a little plate under the upper bench feet might be a workable solution, is that commonly done?

 

Before I go any further, is having someone lift off for you and help you back in an option? Because that's the best one. :)

 

I generally go for too low rather than too high. Even if it doesn't feel extreme, you'll probably be compromising your position if you have to extend to unrack. I tend to collapse my arch a little whilst I re-rack and that has never really caused me problems.

 

That said, I've often put a plate under both front and back feet if the bench is too low and that's a perfectly acceptable solution. :) 

 

I'm sure others will have comments and I'm not saying my take is perfect, but that's my thinking.

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12 minutes ago, SpecialSundae said:

 

Before I go any further, is having someone lift off for you and help you back in an option? Because that's the best one. :)

 

I generally go for too low rather than too high. Even if it doesn't feel extreme, you'll probably be compromising your position if you have to extend to unrack. I tend to collapse my arch a little whilst I re-rack and that has never really caused me problems.

 

That said, I've often put a plate under both front and back feet if the bench is too low and that's a perfectly acceptable solution. :) 

 

I'm sure others will have comments and I'm not saying my take is perfect, but that's my thinking.

 

Help from others?  No.  I'm often alone in the gym (especially once I get into my work sets) and the few people that are occasionally in there have little hope of being of any assistance.

 

I don't really have to extend to unrack, there is no internal rotation or anything, a flex of the chest is generally enough to clear the pins.  It seems my arms get a bit shorter though during the set though, lol, as reracking is a problem without extending my shoulders (actually come to think of it, bar position in my hand  and wrist angle is likely the reason for the discrepancy).

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I always go with the lower pin, even if it is uncomfortable.  Overextending is never a good idea, and it is especially bad when you have that moment of panic thinking you're going to get pinned and you have to rack it NOW...

 

I've put plates under the bench as well, though that tends to introduce issues with keeping it in one place when you drive with your legs at all.  Given your wood skillz...if it really bothers you, make some blocks with nonskid coating that will raise the bench to where you like it and take them along.  If you can't adjust the pins, adjust the bench.  

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1 hour ago, wildross said:

I always go with the lower pin, even if it is uncomfortable.  Overextending is never a good idea, and it is especially bad when you have that moment of panic thinking you're going to get pinned and you have to rack it NOW...

 

I've put plates under the bench as well, though that tends to introduce issues with keeping it in one place when you drive with your legs at all.  Given your wood skillz...if it really bothers you, make some blocks with nonskid coating that will raise the bench to where you like it and take them along.  If you can't adjust the pins, adjust the bench.  

 I could definitely make some little feet for the bench, though I think I'll give plates a try first.  Its really a matter of a cm or two, when I used a narrower grip, it wasn't an issue. 

 

I'm not sure I have enough leg drive yet to move the bench though.  That part of benching form is definitely still a work in progress. Though my form has improved leaps and bounds since I've focused more on the bench.  It feels solid, not shaky, and the wider grip (pinky just touching ring) feels totally natural now.  Form-wise I'm doing good if I keep my core tight throughout the set at the moment.

 

I get the panic one I get one side racked and not the other, almost had to drop it like that yesterday.  I always have the safeties set so I don't worry so much about getting pinned; as of late it seems I make use of them at least once per workout.

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 0:00 PM, ~RedStone~ said:

Here for Gainz and kitcheny goodness!! What color confetti are you guys going for?

 

I'm here now.

 

5 hours ago, Waldo said:

Borrowing this quote from Redstone's thread to ask a ? I've been meaning to ask.

 

 

Not specifically related to the arch but retraction.

 

The power rack/bench I use sort of has pins (whatever those things that hold the bar is called) in no mans land.  The pin hole I typically use has me at full extension.  I can unrack the bar; a little hard when I'm in >5RM zone, and still maintain retraction sort of (regained ez though), however reracking is a problem where I have to extend my shoulders to get it up that high (with some internal rotation as well).  OTOH the next pin down feels way too low, my arms need to be bent to unrack it; its very hard on the tris to unrack.

 

Is the the pin I'm using too high, or is that normal to need to extend the shoulders to rerack?  I wonder if its contributing to shoulder soreness (it does kinda hurt to rerack).  Am I correct in thinking that the next one down is just way too low. Putting a little plate under the upper bench feet might be a workable solution, is that commonly done?

 

Too low is better than too high. My home gym is like this. Since I made my rack out of wood, I had to space the holes for the pins further apart than most metal racks have them. The result is just that my tris get a little more work, and I usually bench slightly more at competition that I do at home because of the lack of pre-fatigue on the triceps due to proper rack height and a handoff. The actual work of the set though isn't affected.

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In the relatively near future I'm probably going to pick up a welder; I want to make cool mailbox post, the cost of a welder, chop saw, and stock is less than the cost of getting a real nice one on Etsy, Ebay, etc.., perhaps I should make myself a power rack to put in the garage.  I wouldn't have to miss workouts then when I miss work, and could do stuff on the weekends.

 

How does the wooden one work for you?

 

Though (sorry thinking out loud here), just looking at wooden ones on google images, I see quite a bit of room for improvement, I would have no issue doing M&T joints on the frame (waaaay stronger than bolts), and I see a total lack of plywood gussets to prevent racking.

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Wooden one works fine, only problem is the pins being further apart and that the 2x4s I used as posts make the gap between narrow enough that I risk pinching my fingers when reracking a wide gripped squat. I got used to them both. Covered the pins above, and I just open my hands when reracking so my fingers aren't between the bar and the uprights. I've had over 500 lb in mine with no problems.

 

edit: pics of my setup in my sig link

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25 minutes ago, Waldo said:

You used 2x4's as posts?  Did you laminate 2 together?  Most that I see use 4x4's.

Yeah, 2 back to back and screwed together every 8 inches or so to avoid the voids that 4x4s can have in them.

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42 minutes ago, Waldo said:

In the relatively near future I'm probably going to pick up a welder; I want to make cool mailbox post, the cost of a welder, chop saw, and stock is less than the cost of getting a real nice one on Etsy, Ebay, etc.., perhaps I should make myself a power rack to put in the garage.  I wouldn't have to miss workouts then when I miss work, and could do stuff on the weekends.

 

How does the wooden one work for you?

 

Though (sorry thinking out loud here), just looking at wooden ones on google images, I see quite a bit of room for improvement, I would have no issue doing M&T joints on the frame (waaaay stronger than bolts), and I see a total lack of plywood gussets to prevent racking.

Either way, I expect it will be a thing of beauty...

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Did my cardio today.  Probably would have skipped if it weren't for the challenge (that hasn't even begun yet).  It was raining out, so I had to run on the treadmill, which I really don't like to do.

 

Only ran 1.6 miles, but that was better than nothing.

 

I got an awesome runners high right near the end (the more intense than good weed kind, not the feeling happy and relaxed kind).  One of the strongest I've gotten, lasted quite a while (little over a minute).  "Enter the Sandman" started playing and it kicked in.  I think that was the first time I got it on the treadmill.  I think this is the first time I've gotten it since I moved in '14.  Music is always the trigger.  I've gotten it to "Lose Yourself", "Run Like Hell", and "Empire State of Mind" in the past.  Damn amazing.

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16 hours ago, Gainsdalf the Whey said:

Same way here, music is the thing that triggers the runners high. Has to be in combination with some distance having been covered already too though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Yes.  I've never gotten it in the first mile (but right at mile 1 once)

 

Sucks that not everyone gets the good runners high. So many people argue that its a myth or think of it as an endorphin thing.  Umm no, runners high is very real and very strong.

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Found out that I'm going to going to this big leadership thing tomorrow with work (bunch of speakers including Saban and Wozniak, seems interesting) so I'll be missing tomorrow's workout.  Compressed it into today's workout.

 

Summary of the action:

 

Front Squats - Wrists were sore as heck today.  Worked up to my PR (225 x 3), but didn't have any volume in me, the sore wrists were very distracting.

 

Pullups - 52 reps in 5 sets, max of 12.  Reached the max where I can start pyramiding them once I get going bulking.

 

Bench Press - Didn't go heavy, instead focused on volume at 165.  New PR of 10 reps.  

 

Deadlift - Repeat of last week, worked up to a single at 395.  Hands were really sore and grip was bad today.  Wanted to do more than a single at 395, but didn't have it.

 

RDL - New PR of 13 at 225.  Was losing the bar there toward the end.

 

Put 2.5 lb weights under the bench, seemed to make it a lot easier to rerack.  The big test will be though next time I go heavy.

 

Today was really the first time that sore wrists and weak grip were an issue.  Not sure what was up with the forearms.  Hopefully this was a one time thing.

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On 5/5/2016 at 3:33 PM, Waldo said:

 

 

Sucks that not everyone gets the good runners high. So many people argue that its a myth or think of it as an endorphin thing.  Umm no, runners high is very real and very strong.

 

It's a very rare thing for me.  I agree with the bit about music - which may be why I get it so seldom, as most of my running routes have sections where I need to be aware of traffic, and therefore I opt to forego headphones in the interest of the additional situational awareness that my sense of hearing affords.

 

My experience is that it generally involves getting into a really relaxed state, which in my case has typically meant a longer run, music, and an environment where there's little distraction - just me and the road ahead.

 

It's definitely a real thing.  But I find that environments with distractions(gyms, or running on roads with traffic) pretty much prevent it from happening, which may be why it's such a rare experience for some people.

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On 5/6/2016 at 1:20 PM, tenaciousglee said:

On days you miss your gym workouts, are you just going to write them off, or have you considered dipping back into your at-home bodyweight stuff?

 

Things are different enough between BW and in the gym, I'm not sure there is much value in doing a BW workout at home.  I just haven't done any BW pressing (planche/back lever/handstand pushup) in a very long time.  This isn't to say I don't value that sort of work, its just that doing a totally different workout as a one off thing really isn't all that valuable.

 

I might start adding in some pistol rest-pause work on weekends, or I could do that on leg days I'm not at work, because I'm now bulking; that sort of workout is inappropriate for when cutting or maintaining.

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Speaking of which, game on, I'm bulking now. Actually started yesterday.  Hopefully the gym is my friend for a couple months.

 

I'm going to change up my squat workouts a bit.  I feel like I've been lifting too heavy, not enough reps, too much.  That's fine for cutting, but not for bulking.  So the tweak I'm going to make is that Mondays I'm going to do 5 sets of 10 reps, or try to, using a load that I can't yet do 10 reps of; successfully completing 10x5 is the load progression point.  Thursdays I'll continue working on rep/load PR's, generally in the 3RM area.  With time I might morph the 10x5 into rest-pause work.  

 

I'm going to attack squats about the same way I've attacked the bench, working in both the 1-5 rep zone (3 rep avg) and the 7-10 rep zone (8 rep avg).

 

With raised cals, the scale has been rock solid.  Always seems to work out that way, raising cals to maintenance really stabilizes things.  I've been 206.2 3 of the last 4 days (207.0 the other). 

 

 

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