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Captain Badass Has Déjà Vu


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Tweaking goals ever so slightly this month, as I enjoyed the simplicity of the last challenge. Just working on some weak points.

 

Goal #1: Do Stronglifts 5x5 three times a week

 

If I'm honest with myself I'm getting a little concerned. Failed squats, OH press and deadlifts during Monday's session (failed squats and deadlifts for the first time too) and workouts are getting LONG. Add to that douchebros who (again) like standing in my personal space in an empty gym while I fail, and a period that won't start, and it's all feeding the anxiety. I agree with the trainer who watched me struggle on bench press last time: my triceps are weak as. Have added some tri dips on a bench at the end of each workout (the assisted machine fucked me up for two weeks last time) and hope that does something. Hopefully the app will switch me to 3x5 and put me out of my misery.

 

Goal #2: Support 5x5 appropriately

 

In my case, this means foam rolling prior to the workout, performing the suggested accessory exercises on the Stronglifts 5x5 app after the compound lifts, and doing some sort of restorative yoga on rest days. I like Grokker and Do Yoga With Me for sheer variety. Barely did yoga last month as I didn't get any DOMS and kind of forgot on the off days...

 

Goal #3 Eat properly, eat MOAR

 

More of the former than the latter. Am setting myself the challenge of eating something green every day. Yes, this is a challenge for me. Today I had half an avocado. WIN!!!!

 

Goal #4: Track everything

 

Especially after Week 0. Haven't tracked shit. Will post measurements soon!

 

Looking forward to following and growing (muscle) together!

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THERE you are! I was worried you wouldn't jump in on this one.

vdbJUsRvPmz2o.gif

 

I think your goals are pretty awesome. And hitting walls are all part of the process, from what I understand. I haven't yet built a wall to hit, so you must be on the right track!

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"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."

-Oscar Wilde

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36 minutes ago, SpecialSundae said:

Sounds like a good challenge!

 

Have you tried talking to the douchebros? Sometimes they're not as douchey if you chat to them, and can actually be quite helpful.

 

These ones were doing barbell curls and deadlifts in a really tight corner of the gym, next to the only squat rack in use, facing me and not even the mirror. As they initially moved towards me I tried a smile and eye contact, which went unacknowledged. There was so much space and my sets were failing so hard I had to wait 5 mins between each one, so I ended up rage quitting and having a much better workout on the other empty side of the free weights space. Within ten mins I saw them standing too close to a woman on the assisted pull up machine. I've had mainly pleasant interactions with other patrons there. The other time I felt someone was taking the piss it was another pair of men using the squat rack mirror for body weight squats a foot away from me, as I was squatting... Saw a nice couple of guys the other day next to me on the bench press, making approving noises on my deadlifts! Didn't mind them at all, as that station is fixed and they were clearly there to work out. Funnily enough they also reacted to eye contact and smiles.

 

I would love to chat to more people, but the majority run away when I ask, "would you like to work in?"!

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36 minutes ago, Captain Badass said:

 

These ones were doing barbell curls and deadlifts in a really tight corner of the gym, next to the only squat rack in use, facing me and not even the mirror. As they initially moved towards me I tried a smile and eye contact, which went unacknowledged. There was so much space and my sets were failing so hard I had to wait 5 mins between each one, so I ended up rage quitting and having a much better workout on the other empty side of the free weights space. Within ten mins I saw them standing too close to a woman on the assisted pull up machine. I've had mainly pleasant interactions with other patrons there. The other time I felt someone was taking the piss it was another pair of men using the squat rack mirror for body weight squats a foot away from me, as I was squatting... Saw a nice couple of guys the other day next to me on the bench press, making approving noises on my deadlifts! Didn't mind them at all, as that station is fixed and they were clearly there to work out. Funnily enough they also reacted to eye contact and smiles.

 

I would love to chat to more people, but the majority run away when I ask, "would you like to work in?"!

 

It just seems to be stressing you out and if you talk to them (I don't mean smile or ask if you can set in, but actually say "Hi, I'm ***. How's the session going") there are a couple of possible positive outcomes:

  1. They're not actually douches and respect the fact that you lift, but hadn't realised they were invading your personal space as much as you feel that they are.
    1. (Side note on this, if they're not douches then you have someone to spot you sometimes.)
  2. They are douches but you've actually stood up to them and told them so and therefore have a bit more of a leg to stand on if making a complaint about them.

At the moment, coming on and complaining about them every day is actually just going to make you stress out more (even if it feels like positive venting) because next time you see them you're automatically assuming the worst before you even start to lift.

 

As for using the squat rack mirror, just tell them to GTFO if they're not using a bar. 

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2 minutes ago, SpecialSundae said:

 

It just seems to be stressing you out and if you talk to them (I don't mean smile or ask if you can set in, but actually say "Hi, I'm ***. How's the session going") there are a couple of possible positive outcomes:

  1. They're not actually douches and respect the fact that you lift, but hadn't realised they were invading your personal space as much as you feel that they are.
    1. (Side note on this, if they're not douches then you have someone to spot you sometimes.)
  2. They are douches but you've actually stood up to them and told them so and therefore have a bit more of a leg to stand on if making a complaint about them.

At the moment, coming on and complaining about them every day is actually just going to make you stress out more (even if it feels like positive venting) because next time you see them you're automatically assuming the worst before you even start to lift.

 

As for using the squat rack mirror, just tell them to GTFO if they're not using a bar. 

 

I hear you.

 

I really do. Without going into it, let's just say men getting in my personal space is triggering - hope you get what I'm insinuating here. I see them do it to the rare woman who steps into that part of the gym, and never seen them crowd around other men. Space invasion is something I'm very sensitive to and it makes me very angry.

 

I'm working on a way to tell people to GTFO of the squat mirror without being hostile in my tone. Particularly in an empty gym, where it's clear there's plenty of space and they have actively chosen to be where they are. I also don't see the guys I routinely label 'douchebros' more than twice either. There are regulars I've seen who stick the headphones on, don't make eye contact, just get on with their workout - I have tried and failed to initiate conversation - it can be very 'London' (i.e. 'stuck up' - and I'm a born and bred Londoner saying this) in this particular gym... I chat to the trainers regularly though. It's been made clear that the trainers don't feel comfortable telling patrons not using barbells to vacate the area, even in peak times. They shrug, say "well, what can you do?" then go back to tidying everything away. It really feeds into the general entitled vibe of the place. I've been a member of several gyms off and on and the atmosphere of this one is very different - even when I went to Bannatynes for a single session last month - patrons were friendly and I had a chat with a few!

 

The reason why I log perceived bad behaviour here is to let other women know they're not alone, and to hopefully give people a laugh with tales of ridiculous behaviour. Women still feel intimidated in the weights room and I see why. It's a kind of laugh-or-you'll-cry vent too. But yeah, if it's a downer then that's not my intention and I'll lay off. 

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3 minutes ago, Captain Badass said:

 

I hear you.

 

I really do. Without going into it, let's just say men getting in my personal space is triggering - hope you get what I'm insinuating here. I see them do it to the rare woman who steps into that part of the gym, and never seen them crowd around other men. Space invasion is something I'm very sensitive to and it makes me very angry.

 

I'm working on a way to tell people to GTFO of the squat mirror without being hostile in my tone. Particularly in an empty gym, where it's clear there's plenty of space and they have actively chosen to be where they are. I also don't see the guys I routinely label 'douchebros' more than twice either. There are regulars I've seen who stick the headphones on, don't make eye contact, just get on with their workout - I have tried and failed to initiate conversation - it can be very 'London' (i.e. 'stuck up' - and I'm a born and bred Londoner saying this) in this particular gym... I chat to the trainers regularly though. It's been made clear that the trainers don't feel comfortable telling patrons not using barbells to vacate the area, even in peak times. They shrug, say "well, what can you do?" then go back to tidying everything away. It really feeds into the general entitled vibe of the place. I've been a member of several gyms off and on and the atmosphere of this one is very different - even when I went to Bannatynes for a single session last month - patrons were friendly and I had a chat with a few!

 

The reason why I log perceived bad behaviour here is to let other women know they're not alone, and to hopefully give people a laugh with tales of ridiculous behaviour. Women still feel intimidated in the weights room and I see why. It's a kind of laugh-or-you'll-cry vent too. But yeah, if it's a downer then that's not my intention and I'll lay off. 

 

Believe me that I understand things being triggering and you're not alone in that. Much like eating disorders, there are a lot of us on the forums who have been through sexual assault and abuse.

 

That said, the things you post don't come across as helping other women not to feel intimidated in the weights room. It comes across as a combination of "I think I'm superior to all these idiot men in the room" and "Look at how prevalent intimidation is in the gym".

 

Standing up to the people who are actively behaving badly (not clearing their bars, using the squat racks to do bodyweight squats, throwing things) and telling us about it is actually far more empowering than just venting. Even if you can't strike up a conversation or get a trainer to tell someone not to do something, you can do it and you can be hostile in your tone if needed.

 

Yes, it can be intimidating.

 

I know the feeling of standing facing a 140kg strongman with a criminal record and history of poor anger management who has just come off his latest steroid cycle and is having a super-PMS-style shit fit about the fact that someone is daring to use his favourite bar when he wants it, or the asshole who liked to throw plates around for no reason other than he liked the sound (never mind that he was damaging the equipment). It's fucking scary sometimes, but I feel a hell of a lot better and more empowered by standing up to him than I would by coming on here and just complaining about the "douchebro" throwing a fit.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'll laugh along with the best of them at guys who have a record of homophobic abuse who also like to squat high and spot each other so closely whilst grunting so loudly that it really looks like they've managed to make holes in their joggers to have a quick fuck in the squat rack, but there's a difference between that and routinely slating anyone who happens to lift in your general vicinity (which is what it often feels like you're saying).

 

But if that's the general feel of that gym, why not move to another one? If you genuinely feel intimidated, and the staff are doing nothing, then ask to get out of your contract.

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Just to add: There was a thread on here about a year or so ago which was filled with people posting the same sorts of things that you post; complaining about the "douchebros" and making fun of people for "being stupid in the gym" in the eyes of the posters. It was closed down because it was decided that it was actually very much against the spirit of Nerd Fitness.

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Actually, it would be a lot easier to stand up to people being openly aggressive, and good for you for doing it yourself. But the people who tick me off are performing microaggressions and the onus is on me is to kick off, and then it's all he-said-she-said, and I find all that much more stressful than sucking it up and venting on here.

 

I'll be out of the contract and into a local chain gym in about a month. Perhaps I should hold off posting till then, if my comments aren't helping anyone.

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There's a subtle difference between hostile and aggressive. There's also a big gap between assertive and aggressive. You could always just say, "Do you mind not standing quite so close to me? You're putting me off." That's somewhat better than my line when someone wandered across my platform, bumping into my bar on the way, of "Get the fuck off my platform, idiot!"  

 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't be posting, but constantly belittling the other people in the gym probably isn't helpful to yourself either.

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I wasn't saying YOU were being aggressive - in fact I applaud your assertion. Let me clarify the comment with an edit: "Actually, it would be a lot easier to stand up to people who are being openly aggressive, and good for you for doing it (i.e. standing up for) yourself.

 

But I know I would be hostile in tone. I know how angry anything I say would be, because I'd be triggered as all hell. Funnily enough, I was rehearsing your first example in my head the other day, but I knew it would come out as "FUCK OFF!" so I moved.

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4 minutes ago, SpecialSundae said:

Just say it, then? 

 

What I was trying to say was that I've had people invade my personal space in a similar manner and literally just told them to fuck off. It feels better than letting myself be chased out of the gym.

 

Point taken. I look forward to getting back to you on this one! ;)

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For what it's worth, @Captain Badass, I find your stories funny and they do help me lower my perceived feelings of intimidation when in the weight room. One of your stories pops in my head, I mentally giggle, and my tension and urge to skip lifting for the day disappears. So, for me, I really like how you write. However, if they are throwing you off your game and making you rage quit, that isn't funny and maybe what @SpecialSundae says to do might work.

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"The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for."

-Oscar Wilde

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First of all, I think they've all been reading this thread - no one space-invaded, and only the guy who looks and dresses like 1980s Dave Gahan failed to rack his weights and he gets a pass for keeping me entertained otherwise.

 

So you know how last month I had a particularly poor workout just before my period? I've now had two this week. I was due Sunday, and my body did all the cramps and the sweats at least twice a day, every day up till about 30 mins before I hit the gym today, when it actually started. Balance was all over the shop, generally felt weak and I also made stupid errors like getting off the tube at the wrong stop, picking up the wrong food tonight, being very late to meet a friend; all in all, a bit shit, weird and out of character. But no one pissed me off today. Failed last rep on first set of squats but did all the rest. Realised I hadn't been 'attacking' on the way down, and once I adjusted I was able to bounce out of the hole a bit easier. Hope that makes sense. Failed three sets of bench 2-3 reps (instead of 5 each time). Quit after 3 sets because time was really getting on, because my time managing skills were also way off and I wanted to do dips and pushups. Pendley rows were fine - and with a double overhand grip too! Hooray!

 

Here's where I'm at now:

 

Squat: 4/5/5/5/5 57.5kg

Bench: 3/2/3/-/- 35kg

Row: 5x5 40kg

 

Got through it though!!!! I would say it can only get better, but some serious shit's going down in my family at the moment and I don't want to jinx things be unrealistic. But in terms of the general ickiness I've felt physically and the fugue state I'm currently bumbling around in, things can only get better! Hope you're all having fabulous days!

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4 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Interesting discussion.  

 

Do feel free to add to it!

 

4 minutes ago, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

 

Following - agreeing with 7, dropped sets happen to me, too.  I don't remember, did you say how long you have been doing SL?

 

Started on May 5th, weighing 57.6kg. TOM-based water retention has me at 59kgs at the moment, so I'm hoping the whole recomp thing is working...

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Argh!

 

Squats! I think I must've been turning my feet out too much (as well as pushing for 'bounce') because both adductors feel awful and I've pretty much pulled my groin on the right side. Warmed up with the empty bar, then as soon as I added serious weight the pain was too much so I had to quit after a set and a half :(

 

Usual fails on OH Press. Luckily a guy who looked exactly like Wolfgang from Sense8 asked to work in as I rested the mandatory 5 mins, which kept me distracted at least...

 

04-sense8-preview-wolfgang.jpg

 

 

New PR on deadlift - 1x5  75kg with mixed grip!

 

Lots of (assisted) pull-ups and chin-ups.

 

Tried running for the train after. Regretted it instantly. Luckily the app's told me to deload on squats so I hope that allows me to recover.

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Thanks for this @Alaysia - good old Alan Thrall! Seriously thinking about sticking a playlist together one of these (rest days) and just watching them all, he's so good. However, I'm not even 2 months into the programme, so I think what I'm going through is technically a stall and not a plateau... The worst has been the last few workouts when I've failed on all  lifts on all sets. That, and suffering from TOM weakness has not been good for me, psychologically. The SL app has already got me to deload on a couple of lifts, and I've been able to fail less on the big compounds. OH Press and Bench have been Fail City, and I wonder if it's worth deloading after the first workout of serious failing - because I never see any improvement till I deload and work my way back up again. Could save myself a couple of hours of awkwardly hanging around in the free weights area.

 

Had the privilege of 1980s Dave Gahan working in with me on the squat rack today. Pretty full at the gym, but people were actually being sensible. Deloaded by 7.5kg (to 50kg) on squats, really felt this strain in the adductors and had a difficult 5x5. Not sure if I should take some serious time off or something. Going away on Friday, so I'll have enforced rest till Monday anyhow. Bench press was rough - (reports of deloading were wrong, I did the same weight as last time) failed all but one set, but triceps weren't wobbling at least, so hopefully accessories have been working. Caught myself cheating on Pendlay rows (kind of using my legs for momentum) - form got better as sets progressed, strangely enough. Finished up with assisted dips and full push ups, then 15 mins on the spinning bike with zero resistance for the adductors.

 

My own weight has slowly but steadily increased since I began in May. I've gained approx 2kg in 6 weeks. Can that all be newbie muscle?

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You're going for 35kg on bench up from 32.5kg?  Maybe you need smaller plates?  32.5 -> 35 is almost an 8% increase.  The case might be that your muscles cannot grow enough between workouts to make that kind of jump.  And because you are missing reps due to the weight, they then don't get as much work and it's demoralizing.  That might be why the deloads work but steady progress doesn't come.  The deloads give you more time for the muscle to develop. 

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Intro

Challenges: #1#2#3#4, #5

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