• Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

kwesadilo

Kwesadilo avoids vacation derailment

Recommended Posts

Lately, I've been a little off my game lifting-wise. In mid-May, I stalled out on Madcow 5x5, which was expected and followed by a reset. Then, a couple weeks later, my gym was closed for renovation, and I had to go to another one that wasn't as good. Then I was out of town over Memorial Day weekend and missed 2 workouts. Then I missed one more this week for no reason.

 

Now, my gym is open again, and they have finished replacing all of the cardio equipment and posters while failing to improve the free weight section in any way. I can get back to work and start rebuilding. The only problem is, I'm going out of town for the week of July 4th, and I probably won't be able to lift while I'm gone. Last summer, I was out of town for most of July, and my lifts suffered greatly. Most of them have barely recovered to their spring 2015 levels. I want to avoid a repeat this summer, so while I'm home, I need to be on top of my game.

 

Goals

  • Lift 3 times a week every week between now and July 1st.
    • This worth 4 STR.
  • Run once a week. I've been recruited to run a 5k on July 3rd, and I need to train. I don't have a performance goal yet, but maybe that will change.
    • 4 STA
  • Spend at least 4 hours a week (not counting vacation week) working on independent projects that improve my programming expertise. I've been pretty good about this lately, and I'd like to keep that going.
    • 3 WIS
  • Spend at least 6 hours a week on job-seeking activities. I've really struggled to make time for this, and I need to buckle down and do it. This is kind of an aggressive goal, given my past performance, but maybe if I say 6 hours I'll actually do 2 hours instead of 0.
    • 2 WIS, 2 CHA
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, well apparently, I'm not getting email updates. I'm still a little confused by the new site.

 

I haven't kept going on Madcow, and I probably won't do it again. As written, it's not intended to be something you can just keep making progress on. Each of your lifts is supposed to go up 2.5% per week, which gets ludicrous at even moderate weights. I did not do that, and I don't think I could have. Instead I went up 5 lbs. per week. Even at that, Madcow is is pretty low volume. There is basically only one work set per lift per workout, although the warmup sets are programmed. I am suspicious that as a result, Madcow is eventually not enough stimulus to have a training effect.

 

According to the program, when you stall, you are supposed to deload 10% and start back with 2.5% weekly increases, thus theoretically reaching and blowing past your previous stall point in 4 weeks (the math is slightly off, but close enough). Even assuming that I did +2.5% every week, it would still be pretty demotivating to take 10% resets on a regular basis. I know I can't do the same thing forever, but my preference would be to move to a program that evolves gradually as the lifts get harder. I'm not sure exactly how that would look yet. Probably something like running it out in Texas Method.

 

Lately, I have been doing a heavy/light/medium program that I was doing before I started Madcow, although I have updated it to clean twice a week instead of snatching on Wednesday and cleaning on Friday. I got the moves confused when I was switching back and forth, and my clean got a lot more consistent with the extra practice during Madcow. I am a little suspicious that my volume is still too low, so I may try to increase it in the next few weeks. I am still recovering from a.) the reset at the end of Madcow and b.) my recent gym absences due to travel and gym remodeling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 0 update (the current challenge not having nominally started until yesterday)

  • Lifting: Lifted 3 times. It was pretty rough. I was already weakened like 10% from the end of Madcow. (Seriously, I couldn't even budge the bar on deadlift on a Wednesday, gave up on Madcow, skipped Friday, and then when I came in on the next Monday, I could barely finish my sets for a 10% deload.) Then I was further weakened by my recent forced gym absence, so now I am basically working my way back up to my 10% deload for most of my lifts.
    Also, while my gym was being remodeled, I injured my hip, either by lifting on the substitute gym's awful, spongy floor mats or by running 1.5 miles on a treadmill. Probably the latter. As a result, I was sore and stiff on Monday, which hurt my squats and deadlifts. Nevertheless, I lifted 3 times.
  • Running: I had been running a mile at a time on the track at the high school, and it wasn't that bad, so last last Wednesday, I figured I'd try 1.5 miles on the treadmill at the bad temporary gym after giving up on squatting on the soft, wobbly surface. Starting on Thursday, my hip would get sore if I walked for too long, and it stayed that day until Tuesday, when I decided to run at the park, overuse injury be damned. I eventually quit, because my hip was starting to hurt pretty badly. By the time I got out of my car at home, it was pretty stiff and hurt when I wasn't even using it. On Wednesday it hurt as soon as I got up and for most of the day, but I warmed up for lifting, lifted (even power cleans), and it has been fine since then. Active recovery FTW.
  • Personal projects: Blew way past my goal here, actually sabotaging my job search goal. I seem to have hit my stride on the Wizard Book and have been sinking a ton of time into it.
  • Jobs: Did actually spend like an hour doing this, but that's not as much as I'd hoped and not enough time to make significant progress. I need to stop waiting until Sunday.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 1 update

  • Lifting: I again lifted 3 times, and it went better than the previous week. I'm still not lifting more than I did the previous week, so I decided to shake things up and add some volume. I did a couple back-off sets for overhead press and power clean on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. Today (my heavy day), I did 5 sets of 5 instead of my usual 3 with a slightly reduced weight. It was pretty hard and took forever, but I'll try to keep doing it for a little while and see what happens.
  • Running: I ran 2.3 miles on a flat trail in the park at a leisurely 11:15 mile. It wasn't as bad this time, because a.) my hip barely hurt at all while I was running, and b.) I had a running partner this time, which made it go a lot faster.
  • Personal projects: Same story as last week. I spent a lot of time on this. The problems are pretty challenging, so I'm not really making quick progress, but it's still a satisfying use of my time.
  • Jobs: Not nothing! I still procrastinated on this and sunk a bunch of time into the Wizard Book that might better have been devoted to job searching, but I did manage to get 2 hours done on Sunday.
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 2 update

  • Lifting: Lifted 3 times again. I have continued to use higher volume, and it's gone OK, but I'm not gaining as fast as I might expect given how far away I am from PRs right now. I think I probably need to eat a lot more than I am. Hopefully not in the form of junk food. This is the last week for this goal, because I am going on vacation next week. I haven't decided whether I am going to attempt to lift at the beach.
  • Running: I wanted to do something after work on Tuesday, and the park I usually go to is out of the way, so I decided to run at the high school. I went to LA Fitness to change, and I then decided to stay there and use their new treadmills. One exciting feature they have is the ability to be programmed with a maximum time, after which they will simply turn off. Adding insult to injury, in the last few minutes, it goes into "cool-down" mode and automatically reduces the speed every 30 seconds, so you have to key in the previous speed and press Enter. So 20 minutes into my 2.5 miles, the treadmill just stopped, and I had to program it again, even though there were 5 empty ones around me. I won't be repeating that experiment, and I intend to run at the high school tomorrow.
  • Personal projects: I didn't go crazy this week, but I still met my quota. This included some goofing off at work, since I discovered repl.it.
  • Jobs: My most dedicated week in a while. I probably spent 4 hours.

This gym renovation has been nothing but pain for me, and I don't think it was anything other than a cash grab. They didn't improve the free weight area at all, they made the cardio equipment substantially worse with the time limits, and today, they had a giant balloon sculpture and an obnoxiously loud DJ in the parking lot. They're trying to get more people to sign up when it's already overcrowded and hot as balls in there, and meanwhile the locker room was filthy, presumably because the custodians were setting up the decorations. I'm not sure where I'll go when I change jobs, but I won't be sad to leave here.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 3 update (belated)

  • Lifting: I again lifted 3 times. 5 sets on Monday seems to be going well, although I haven't quite dialed in the intensity for bench yet. Even took a half day at work on Friday so that I could lift before going out of town.
  • Running: Ran at the high school. Ran in lane 3 and wasn't counting laps. According to Google Fit, I ran 3.2 miles at a 7:22 mile, which is bullshit. The alleged map of my run diverts wildly from the track that I was on. After the fact, it occurred to me that a typical cell phone GPS is not precise enough to distinguish between adjacent lanes (or even non-adjacent lanes) on a standard track.
  • Personal projects: I am pretty sure I did this, but now it was two weeks ago, so it's a little hard to remember.
  • Jobs: I remember doing pretty well here, relatively speaking. I'll say 4 hours, if you count the time I spent on the first weekend of my vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Week 4 update

  • Lifting: I intended to lift at the beach and even brought my shoes and belt. However, when I planned to go on Tuesday, I discovered that the gym I had been intending to go to was permanently closed, and the next closest one was considerably farther away. I still planned to go on Wednesday, but then I got a sunburn on my upper back. I figured it would be pretty unpleasant to squat, so I gave up.
  • Running: I ran a 5k with my family on Sunday, and my official time is 31:43, which isn't very impressive, considering that I've trained faster than that, and the ground was entirely level. However, the clock started before I got out of the gate, and then it was probably half a mile before the pack thinned out enough that I could run at my intended pace. My original goal was just to run the whole way, which I did.
  • Personal projects: I didn't work on this at all during vacation.
  • Jobs: I got a bunch of interview prep done over vacation. Not counting the first weekend, which I counted last week, I think I got about 6 hours in, which I'm pretty pleased with.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Summary

  • Lifting: Nailed it. +4 STR.
  • Running: Bullseye. +4 STA.
  • Projects: Got this one too. +3 WIS.
  • Jobs: A conspicuous blemish on an otherwise excellent challenge. Only met my quota for one week, and the average weekly time I spent on this was 3.4 hours, about half of my goal. Since I didn't get to the point of practicing graceful answers under pressure, I will not award any charisma points. +2 WIS.

Today's workout was hard but didn't go too badly considering my more-than-a-week off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now