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Waldo

Waldo's Sorta Challenge

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Ah yet another challenge.  I'm not sure I have any goals that are useful, but I do want to stay a part of the challenge social scene here and have a place to post whats up with my training and diet, and I don't want to bother with my training log.

 

I'm bulking.  I started at the beginning of the last challenge.  This one is going to be short, the "I'd like to be leaner" fairies were there before I started and have only gotten stronger.  Tho the gainez are still fun, both in measurements and in the gym.  I'm going to start cutting again on 6/27 and cut up til 7/16, the day before my birthday.  So in total it'll be an 8 week bulk followed by an almost 3 week cut, which should get me about 1-2% BF leaner than I was when I started.

 

Work is very hectic and I'm probably going to miss lots of workouts and posting will be hit or miss.

 

Some Goals:

1. Do Cardio

- Failed rather miserably at this last challenge, but I'm going to stick with it, because I should still be doing cardio.  I'm supposed to run every Wed and Sat.  Only work travel should interfere.

 

2. When Its Time to Cut, Cut Like a Boss

- After bulk cutting, especially short bulks, need not be long and slow.  The rules that apply to people losing weight do not apply.  My muscles will not fall off.  i'm not interested in establishing habits or lifestyle change.  I'm all about the ultra-rapid crash diet.  I haven't don't one in years now, but post-bulk I'll be ready.  1K cal/day minimum deficit.  Try to average 1.5K/day.  Don't be crazy and go past 2K.

 

3. Write Out and Evaluate My Workout Plan

- I've always made up the plan as I go, but I often don't critique it enough.  I should do that.  Make tweaks to the plan before my next bulk.

 

L. Painting the House.

- This is more of a process than single challenge goal.  I think the wife has settled on a color.  I have tons of scraping, sanding, and repair ahead of me.  I'm also going to get started on a new bed for us in the shop.

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I'm also trying to get runs (or general cardio) in on Wed/Sat.  Made even less appealing by the fact that I'll need to get up early in order to do so.  The odds are not in my favor.

 

Very interested in watching the hyper-cut.  I've been pondering maintenance level eating with severe caloric restriction every once in awhile ala McDonald's "The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook".

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So a brief update:

 

- Family is visiting AND I've been traveling for work.  Food hasn't been tracked and workouts haven't happened.  I did get an opening tonight though.  I was going to do some running (its wed) but started doing strength stuff and changed my mind.  With a calorie surplus, if workouts are sparse, I figure they are much better off being strength workouts.

 

I haven't done a strength workout at home in a long time.  What I did:

Ring Dips and Ring Tuck Front Lever Rows, 3 sets of each

DB Chest Flies and DB Curlz, 35 lb DBs, 3 sets of each

 

Was real tentative on the ring dips.  I can't trace my right shoulder issues/injury back to any one item or event.  All around the same time, I was working super hard with my handplanes in the shop, long sessions a few days in a row, spent a lot of time cuddling on the couch with my arm in a awkward position (every day for a while), and one time I failed awkwardly when doing ring dips (but it didn't hurt at the time).  After the shoulder became an issue, ring dips were one of the most painful exercises and the first thing I stopped.

 

Dips went ok, no pain.

 

- The painting front is moving right along.  We bought a 5 gallon bucket of the main color (was on sale) and have been getting quotes to have the house powerwashed.  We have a powerwasher, but its weak and small, doing the whole house for paint seems daunting, and its relative cheap to hire pros.

 

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On 6/10/2016 at 4:34 PM, Wolverine said:

I'm also trying to get runs (or general cardio) in on Wed/Sat.  Made even less appealing by the fact that I'll need to get up early in order to do so.  The odds are not in my favor.

 

Very interested in watching the hyper-cut.  I've been pondering maintenance level eating with severe caloric restriction every once in awhile ala McDonald's "The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook".

 

There is a fair amount of experimental evidence (and physiological reasoning) that short hyper-cuts are actually the best way to cut.  The problem is that it just isn't a realistic prescription for the obese, for whom all fat loss advice and research is geared.  Likewise most people are not in the right place psychologically to cut this way, where the advice "lifestyle change" is more appropriate.

 

The hormonal system that tends to drive all of the body's negative reactions to cutting; from adherence, to energy, to muscle-loss, to metabolic issues, seems to have a lag before it "kicks in".  The first two weeks of a cut are a freebie, you can seemingly cut as hard as you want and the body just doesn't seem to care.  After that though the symptoms come, the intensity depending on how hard you are cutting and how lean you are.  

 

I've done it a few times now (but its been a while).  The first week is easy peasy.  You aren't stuffing your face all the time bulking, which is a welcome reprieve.  By the second week, its starting to get a little harder, but the finish line is right there so its not hard to sprint right through to the finish.  I've never measurably lost any muscle mass cutting this way.

 

Because the hormonal system that fights cutting never gets a chance to kick in, you can jump right back into bulking; the lag between cutting and bulking is usually to let the hormonal system normalize first.

 

But cutting this way is not appropriate for most people.  It works great for short(er) bulk-cut cycling.  And I'm sure its great for many reasonably fit people to take things to the next level for a trip to the beach.  But these cases are a minority of people trying to lose.  A 5 lb burst here and there isn't really ideal when you're trying to lose 50 lbs or when you're a total beginner to this whole dieting thing.

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As for an update:

 

I did my cardio both Sat and yesterday (Wed).  Yay!

 

Getting ready to start cutting next week.  Going to start with traveling for work.  Fun.

 

Holding pattern right now on house paining.  We picked a powerwasher and are getting it scheduled.  Next weekend I'm going to buy all the materials I need for the scraping, sanding, and repair (plus an airless sprayer).

 

I have the design for the bed I'm going to make complete, I'm going to buy the materials at the same time as I get the stuff for paining.  Until then I'm working on a little wooden plant stand.

 

 

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Workout-wise, here is the plan (when bulking):

 

Mondays: Leg Volume 

 

Front Squat

Ramp up sets (10@45, 5@135, 5@10RM)

Rest-pause 20 rep set, where the first part is to do ~10 reps with my 10RM, basically however many reps I can do, then rack it, take 10 breaths, then unrack, do as many reps as I can, rerack, take 10 more breaths, unrack and do as many reps as I can, and keep repeating that until I've done 20 reps total. 

 

Deadlift

Ramp up sets

Work set - I stick with a weight until I can do 3 reps of it, then I add 10 lbs to the bar next time and stay there until I can do 3 reps of it, and so on.

 

Tuesdays: Upper Body Horizontal

 

Bench Press

Ramp up sets (10@45, 5@135, 3@higher)

Intensity work sets (3) - I add 10 lbs to the bar next time when I get to 5 reps on one of the sets 

Volume work sets (3) - I add 10 lbs to the bar next time when I get to 10 reps on all 3 sets

 

Tuck Front Lever Rows

Set of chins

Work sets (5) - As many reps as possible

 

EZ Bar Curlz

Work sets (3) - Decrease load by 10 lbs each set, top set somewhere between 5RM and 10 RM. Currently doing 95, 85, 75.

 

L-Sit

Work sets (3) - As long of holds as possible (on the dip bars).

 

Thursdays: Leg Intensity

 

Front Squat

Ramp up sets (10@45, 5@135, 3@higher)

Work Sets (3) - I add 10 lbs to the bar next time when I get to 5 reps on one of the sets 

 

Deadlift

Ramp up sets (5@225, 3@315, 1@higher)

Work set - I stick with a weight until I can do 3 reps of it, then I add 10 lbs to the bar next time and stay there until I can do 3 reps of it, and so on.

or I occasionally go 1RM hunting

 

Fridays: Upper Body Vertical

 

Hammer OHP Machine

Ramp Up Sets (10@50, 5@higher, work up in 20 lb increments)

Work Sets (3) - 1 or 2 sets at load <5RM, 1 or 2 sets 20 lbs lighter

 

Pullup

Warmup - 5 reps

Pyramid - Take 5 breaths between each step, 30 second break in the center.  Progress to next step when completing whole pyramid without reaching failure.

 

Bench Press

Ramp Up - 5@135

Work Sets (3) - I add 10 lbs to the bar next time when I get to 10 reps on all 3 sets

 

EZ Bar Curlz

Work sets (3) - Decrease load by 10 lbs each set, top set somewhere between 5RM and 10 RM.

 

Dragon Flag

Set 1 - One Leg Reps (full ROM)

Set 2 - Full  Reps (partial ROM)

Set 3 - One Leg Hold Reps (full ROM)

 

**********************************

The progress I've seen so far this bulk with this workout (since 5/6):

 

Front Squat - 3@225 -> 4@235

Deadlift - 1@405 -> 1@425, 3@405

Bench - 4@190 -> 4@205, 8@185

TFLR - 5 -> 8

Ez Bar Curlz - 5@95 -> 8@95

One Leg Dragon Flag - 3x8sec -> 5x8sec

Hammer OHP Machine - 5@130 -> 4@150, 10@130 (note switched to this from barbell OHP late May)

Pullup - 12 reps -> Completed 6 step pyramid (42 reps in ~4-1/2 minutes)

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Grymm said:

So that's about (3) weeks of gains?  That's excellent!

 

No, a little over a month an a half.

 

***************************************

 

Anyway, inspired by your challenge:

 

Fathers day was an awesome day!  It started when I looked at my email at 1215-ish and saw a Craigslist alert for something I've been hunting for for a long time.  I texted the seller and went to bed.

 

Woke up to my oldest bringing a fathers day gift (from mom...), a book I've wanted for a long time (a complete study of the Case Study architectural program).  I underestimated how massive it is, I'm going to have weekend AM coffee time reading material for a long time.

 

Then I checked my phone.  Yay, seller still had it!

 

I have been hunting for a match to our living room end table (circa early 60's Drexel Declaration) for a long, long time.  The match is needed because we have a sweet pair of lamps to put on them.  So many hopeful trips to antique shows and stores and malls, vintage stores, etc...  Skunked for a long time.  The room is finally done (furniture-wise).

IMG_20160620_0021521_zpsrpb1rtb6.jpg

 

(that's my fathers day gift on the table)

 

Granted they had a pair they wouldn't break up, but that's ok.  One was in near pristine condition, just like our other one.  The other needs some work, but I can easily refinish it, nothing else is wrong with it, and sell it probably for what I paid for the pair.  Win.

 

Then we got some ice cream at Brusters.  Then kiddo made his first bear crawls (been army crawling to this point).

 

Then later the wife and I...

 

What a day!

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My reading comprehension failed me.  I asked all of last challenge and half of this challenge (~6 weeks) in a string of questions.  You responded no (to any or all questions), and clarified.  I just made up my own answer I suppose.

 

The piece over your couch reminds me of the pin tables you can buy and press things into.  I forget what they are called (or never knew) but it could make an impression of your face that looked like frozen Han Solo on the other side.

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5 hours ago, Waldo said:

 

There is a fair amount of experimental evidence (and physiological reasoning) that short hyper-cuts are actually the best way to cut.  The problem is that it just isn't a realistic prescription for the obese, for whom all fat loss advice and research is geared.  Likewise most people are not in the right place psychologically to cut this way, where the advice "lifestyle change" is more appropriate.

 

The hormonal system that tends to drive all of the body's negative reactions to cutting; from adherence, to energy, to muscle-loss, to metabolic issues, seems to have a lag before it "kicks in".  The first two weeks of a cut are a freebie, you can seemingly cut as hard as you want and the body just doesn't seem to care.  After that though the symptoms come, the intensity depending on how hard you are cutting and how lean you are.  

 

I've done it a few times now (but its been a while).  The first week is easy peasy.  You aren't stuffing your face all the time bulking, which is a welcome reprieve.  By the second week, its starting to get a little harder, but the finish line is right there so its not hard to sprint right through to the finish.  I've never measurably lost any muscle mass cutting this way.

 

Because the hormonal system that fights cutting never gets a chance to kick in, you can jump right back into bulking; the lag between cutting and bulking is usually to let the hormonal system normalize first.

 

But cutting this way is not appropriate for most people.  It works great for short(er) bulk-cut cycling.  And I'm sure its great for many reasonably fit people to take things to the next level for a trip to the beach.  But these cases are a minority of people trying to lose.  A 5 lb burst here and there isn't really ideal when you're trying to lose 50 lbs or when you're a total beginner to this whole dieting thing.

I've read quite a few of your posts in the WL forum on this topic and find them quite interesting. 

 

Do you think that there is a way to hyper cut that is realistic for the obese?  Maybe 2 weeks hard cut, then 2 weeks maintenance?  Cycle until goal?    (I myself have lost~90 lbs, but have struggled with the remaining ~40).  

 

Very cool find with the table - nice!

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I'm not sure.  I think the biggest hangup would be discipline through the maintenance phase.  Also summoning the motivation to start an intense cut yet again.

 

 

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I'm not sure how well it would work.

1.  If you're significantly obese, dietary discipline is not a strong suit.

2.  The first few days after ending the hyper cut phase might be like the opening of flood gates. 

3.  You might have a tendency to view everything as simply temporary measures (because they are).

 

Say on the hard cut you can drop 3lbs a week.  That's 300% of your normal 1lb/week drop.  However, if you gain back 1 lb each week during the break, your net loss over 4 weeks is 4lbs.  That's just 1lb/week, but you've made no permanent changes and built no good habits.  When you eventually stop the cycle, I would think the inclination would be to just start gaining weight again.

 

I think it works better for someone who already has a good foundation because the hard cut is a temporary measure but the break period is not filled with unhealthy patterns.  You can drop that 6lbs in 2 weeks and then start working from there in a measured fashion.  Your permanent eating habits are healthy and deliberate.

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One of the most important studies on this (I'm not going hunting for it) basically took people that weren't trying to diet, just happily maintaining (relatively speaking, people with no diet mindfulness), and put them through a 3-4 day insane mode cut (read, big restriction w/ tons of exercise) where they lost like 4-5 lbs, then they went back to their normal life.  

 

The results had 2 major findings that buck conventional wisdom.  

 

There was virtually no LBM loss in anyone; generally some is always expected when weight is lost, which flies in the face of conventional wisdom that says massive deficits = massive muscle loss.

 

The other is that most of them maintained some, if not all of the loss, over the long term.  Conventional wisdom is that crash diets likely lead to rebounds and often lead to long term gain, both for metabolic reasons and psychological reasons.

 

When you analyze the protocol and sync it with conventional wisdom, you see how and why it worked.  The timing was everything.  It was just too short for the body to react hormonally, the inertia of normalcy never had time to change.  Likewise psychologically the people had little diet/image baggage to deal with, lifestyle change was not an outcome pursued by the subjects.

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That said, I think the period can be longer and doesn't have to be quite so insane.  I'm not sure about any studies, but among the hyper mindful bodybuilder types there is a fairly general consensus that there is a 2 week lag before the body really starts to react hormonally (the leaner you are the more easier you can tell, as it reacts much more strongly).  But this is starting from a stable state (a couple months of maintenance+), where there is strong intertia.

 

That and the exercise protocol from the study just isn't reasonable.  When you need to do stuff like take time off of work to have ample workout time, its real-life application is limited (same goes for those crazy weight loss shows).

 

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I find this topic fascinating. 

 

I think that for the obese, part of the problem is that what works initially works because our diets were so unhealthy.  But it stops working when we drop from "obese" to "overweight".  Possibly due to hormonal considerations, possibly due to a continuing poor diet (just not as poor as it once was), or possibly due to high caloric intake (just not as high as it used to be).  Maybe even a combination.  The psychological impact of the very high highs of losing lots of fat juxtaposed with the low when the losses slow and then stop can be tough - shocking, even. 

 

Okay, I will end my thread jack now - thanks for the discussion!

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Close, Room and Board. Everything else tho (tables, lamps, screen) is vintage. It's fairly old (for furniture we bought new), 7 or 8 years now, before Joybird got big. Probably going to reupholster it, it has a few issues; it was our one and only couch at our old house, lived through 2 dogs and a baby.

 

Given the stuff I pin and click through to, Joybird has more or less taken over all ads on my computer, lol. Would almost surely buy a couch from them if we were in the market.

 

I'm about to start working on a bed that is very similar to a joybird design. I came up with my design by looking at lots of pics and building things in my head. I hadn't seen joybird designs until last night, but lo and behold they have one that uses a lot of the same concepts.

 

Edit - Here is the design I'm talking about

The differences - The mattress will be supported on the wooden platform below.  The upholstered sides will have a square profile, sorta like this one.  The square will be sized to be exactly half the height of the mattress..  The platform thickness (visible) will be 2 sheets of plywood, a hair shy of 1.5", which will drop to a single sheet under the mattress except a strip in the center (a hidden leg will also be placed dead center).  The angled wooden legs will also have some support "stretchers" that curve into the platform and disappear, and will be mounted a little more under the bed, in all 4 corners.  The platform will be framed in thick walnut "edge banding" to hide the ply (at 3/4" x 1-1/2", it really isn't edge banding per se).

 

The headboard will be a big difference.  I plan on making it more like this one, except tufted more like the Joybird one.  Well, beyond the Joybird one, which has wimpy tufting, I (we) want opulent tufting, touching more on the Hollywood Regency side of Midmod.  But inset into a heavy (6/4) walnut frame.  Making a single tufted board and mounting it into a frame greatly simplifies the upholstery.  Plus the walnut will carry through from the platform.  

 

The headboard will be connected to the platform only and have no connection to the ground.  The upholstered sides actually serve a purpose in addition to looking good, they are to be built like torsion boxes and are essentially support beams to prevent flexion.  Because of this, the headboard can be isolated from the ground (and all loading).  I'm using plywood (with holes drilled in it) instead of slats for the mattress support.  These items are key to eliminate issues our current bed has; its real squeaky (slats always seem to squeak and creak) the bed has to be away from the wall a bit so the headboard doesn't bang it, and the headboard-footboard-rail style bed we have always loosens at the ends of the rails, engineering-wise it is a poor bed design (yet ridiculously common), ill suited to any horizontal loading. The design I came up with should be squeak free, have no poorly engineered weak points, and be capable of withstanding even severe horizontal loading without issue (not just what u are thinking, jumping onto the bed from a run by the kid(s) is not uncommon in our house).

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Diet update:

 

Cut was supposed to start on Monday but I delayed it until today due to work travel.  Something about eating out every meal and long distance driving doesn't mix well with cutting for me.  I always have good intentions, even thinking about hotel workout rooms, but never follow through.  After quite a bit of travel in recent weeks, I've come apon a break in it for a bit.  

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So.... the cutting plan and progress, now that things are underway.

 

Waist clocked in at 33.0"  Target is 31.75" (31.8), though I'd like to hit 31.5" (some extra credit).  Fat loss goal is 5 lbs, which should bring 1.25" of waist loss.

 

Total net deficit goal is 17500 calories.  To achieve in 2 weeks, the daily average will have to be -1250 calories.  My net maintenance level is about 2750 cals, so my daily intake goal is 1500 net cals.

 

Scale was at 211.8 yesterday (and a few days ago).  I expect a transient pound or two (say 1.5), so I should be about 205.2 at the end of this cut (but I'll rebound that transient pound or two almost immediately).

 

Bulking-wise, it appears I gained about 5 lbs total, with about a 50-50 breakdown of LBM and fat.

 

Yesterday:

2415 cals food intake

1060 cals exercise (500 cals walking uphill on the treadmill at lunchtime and 3.5 miles running at night).

1355 net cals 

1395 cals defict

 

Total deficit as of day 1: 1395 cals

Deficit to go: 16105 cals

Daily target needed to reach goal over remaining 13 days: 1239 cals

% of way to goal: 8.0% 

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As far as critiquing my workout plan (for bulking, when cutting every day is intensity day with limited volume)....

 

The couple times I worked out at home with DB's showed me two things:

 

- I really should be doing flys.  My chest (lack thereof) is not only my biggest self-image issue, I'm pretty confident that it is the main limiting factor in the benching chain.  At the same time, benching doesn't hit the chest quite as well as flys.  I'm thinking that next bulking go-round I'm going to drop the backoff sets on the bench on horizontal day and instead do 3 sets of DB flys.  I still want to keep doing higher rep sets on the bench though, they really help lock in the form groove, so I'm going to keep doing the volume bench sets on vertical day.

 

- I'm going to switch up the curlz I do.  EZ bar curls are fun and all, but DB curls seem to hit the guns more directly.  I miss reps a lot on the curlz, and I'm pretty confident that forearm fatigue is the main culprit.  The forearm component is reduced when using DB's.

 

- I'm not DL-ing enough volume to see any gains in grip strength.  I'm not sure of how I want to deal with this yet.

 

Otherwise I'm pretty happy with the workout plan I came up with.  Progress is solid and its pretty much just sticking to the basics.

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Yesterdays workout was reduced to a low volume intensity day.

 

I worked up to my current intensity working weight on front squats (235), PR is 4 reps, but I've only done that once, I usually get 3 reps out of it.  Yesterday I did 3 reps on the first set, but could only get 2 on the second.  Because of the rapid decline I saw no reason for a 3rd set.

 

I was going to work up to my deadlift PR (425) with singles, but when I got to 405 I decided to do mutiples and call it good.  I did 2 reps at 405 (PR is 3).

 

And that's it.

 

I wore gloves when deadlifting yesterday because I had torn a callus (but not bad).  I might start wearing gloves a little more, my wife doesn't like my rough hands at all.  

 

Yesterday's Diet:

2170 cals food intake

666 cals exercise (lifting plus a little walking)

1504 net cals

1246 cals deficit

 

Total Deficit as of Day 2: 2641 cals

Deficit to Go: 14859 cals

Daily target needed to reach goal over remaining 12 days: 1238 cal/day

% of way to goal: 15.1%

 

Yesterday the scale went down 0.4 lbs and the tape went down 1/8" this AM.

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