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Alanna Trains Some Dragons


Alanna

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Trying to bring some meditation-type awareness to my low bar squat session today:

 

My brain: "That looks heavy."

My meta-brain: "That's just a thought -- it doesn't mean it's actually going to be heavy."

*unracks*

My brain: "This feels heavy."

My meta-brain: "That's a thought again -- see how the rep goes."

My brain: "I'm going to die."

My meta-brain: "JUST A THOUGHT. SQUAT."

*squats*

My brain: "Actual observation now: that IS heavy and three reps of it aren't happening today."

My meta-brain: *accepts*

*racks*

 

While this is a little tongue-in-cheek (I swear my brain came up with that "I'm going to die" thought just because it knew it was being watched), I am trying to make my formal practice bleed over into "informal practice" -- tuning in to the present and practicing non-judgemental awareness. Squats are a good time to practice, right? :D

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On 8/19/2016 at 6:52 PM, Alanna said:

 

 

Hermione!!!

 

tumblr_nlo5edeqV51qk9eg1o1_500.gif

 

Are you going to make a challenge for this round? :D

 

Those plantain tortillas looking amazing *pins*

 

 

No worries about the beef recipe -- elvenengineer can use it :P. I do need to find more things to do with my Instant Pot -- right now I just pull it out ones every 5-7 days to cook a couple whole chickens and make bone broth.

 

Not sure, really.  I might do an informal challenge that involves checking in on muh nerds consistently throughout a challenge instead of ghosting again :P

 

Y'all. Y'ALL. I put the beef recipe in my crock pot last night, right before bed, plugged it in and MY CROCK POT IS DEAD! IT'S DEAD! 

 

My heart. It hurts. 

 

On 8/20/2016 at 6:57 PM, AugustaAdaByron said:

 

That was my concern about posting videos too because it's pretty clear which one is my gym in Berlin (and, of course, how awesome it is :P).

 

I recall that, I had no advice to offer. I was just following along. :D

You could upload the videos somewhere and then send the link (and a password) to the people who offer and you'd like them to do a form check?

 

 

 

This! 

Or

I'd be more than happy to be part of another messaging form check, too. 

 

14 hours ago, Alanna said:

Trying to bring some meditation-type awareness to my low bar squat session today:

 

My brain: "That looks heavy."

My meta-brain: "That's just a thought -- it doesn't mean it's actually going to be heavy."

*unracks*

My brain: "This feels heavy."

My meta-brain: "That's a thought again -- see how the rep goes."

My brain: "I'm going to die."

My meta-brain: "JUST A THOUGHT. SQUAT."

*squats*

My brain: "Actual observation now: that IS heavy and three reps of it aren't happening today."

My meta-brain: *accepts*

*racks*

 

While this is a little tongue-in-cheek (I swear my brain came up with that "I'm going to die" thought just because it knew it was being watched), I am trying to make my formal practice bleed over into "informal practice" -- tuning in to the present and practicing non-judgemental awareness. Squats are a good time to practice, right? :D

 

Totes.  Squats - perfect time for meditation practice! 

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three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
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You could just do what I do for form checks and not post them at all :P

 

Great zero week! :) This is making me want to get out the crockpot.

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Look what I got in the mail today!

82ef6b44172cd64735adf13052a879f1.jpg

I am ridiculously excited because I've wanted to learn this material for the past year and a half, but was too swamped by the requirements of my first year. This should provide plenty of focused work material :D.

I worked on more ML background for an hour today, so I'm already ahead of where I was last week as far as this goal is concerned. Should be able to start playing with my data soon!

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On 8/22/2016 at 8:46 AM, Hermione Gainser said:

 

Not sure, really.  I might do an informal challenge that involves checking in on muh nerds consistently throughout a challenge instead of ghosting again :P

 

Y'all. Y'ALL. I put the beef recipe in my crock pot last night, right before bed, plugged it in and MY CROCK POT IS DEAD! IT'S DEAD! 

 

My heart. It hurts. 

 

 

This! 

Or

I'd be more than happy to be part of another messaging form check, too. 

 

 

I approve of this informal challenge :). We've missed you! I'm still getting back into the swing of things after being MIA for a while, myself.

 

NOOOOOOO, not the crockpot! Silver lining -- use this as an excuse to get an Instant Pot? :D

 

Thanks :). I think form check party is the way I'm going to go... just need to get the videos organized!

 

On 8/22/2016 at 10:50 AM, miss_marissa said:

You could just do what I do for form checks and not post them at all :P

 

Great zero week! :) This is making me want to get out the crockpot.

 

That has been my modus operandi up until now :P. I had soooo many squat and deadlift videos on my phone.

 

Thanks!

 

22 hours ago, elvenengineer said:

Yay! Playing with data is fun :)

And that book looks super cool

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So much more fun that the getting data part (at least for me)!

 

*not my grad program, just a fun video :)

 

In the first chapter, the textbook placed my field in the "Here there be dragons" part of the dynamical systems "map" (unexplored, and at the limits of our current understanding) -- so very appropriate for this challenge!

 

-------------

 

Update:

 

All the dragons are being trained. I did my long meditation for the week this morning and am halfway done with my focused work goal for the week. I've also cooked two more new recipes this week, which completes my challenge goal, so I'm just going to see how high a number of new recipes I can hit by the end of the 5 weeks.

 

I would appreciate some fresh eyes and advice on my form for the Big Four -- who's up for a form check party in the NF messages? @Urgan and @Hermione Gainser? OHP and bench I have (just need to compile my sets into a single video), for deadlift I might use today's, and for squat I'll probably use next week's.

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21 hours ago, elvenengineer said:

I would be willing to look, though I'll be the first to admit my experience is not super lengthy. 

 

Also, for me the getting data was fun, analyzing it less so :P 

That video was pretty hilarious though!

Thanks, I'll PM you! And I'm glad there are people that enjoy the data gathering part so I can stick to the analysis in good conscience :P.

 

-----------

 

So, I left that form check a bit too long. During one of my warm-up deadlift sets on Thursday, I felt something (well, things) give in the vicinity of my lower back at the very start of the pull. Based on what was most tender during my Friday massage, and what's stayed tender once the general ouchiness has died down, I'm pretty sure I strained the upper part of both my glute maxes. I'm going to a chiropractor tomorrow, though, to make sure my spine is okay.

 

On the plus side, I got the on video and @Urgan pin-pointed the form flaw -- I'm dropping my hips too low and bringing my shoulders too far back relative to the bar when I set-up for the lift. When the pull starts, I get pulled into the proper position, but in the process place extra stress on my lower back. I've looked at some older videos and this particular set-up issue, at least, was not a problem, which explains 1) why deadlifts have been feeling weird, and 2) why I haven't hurt myself before now!

 

I'm surprised at how quickly I'm improving -- I went from having almost no ability to hinge at my hips on Friday morning (putting socks and tennis shoes on required some contorting) to almost full range of motion this afternoon. Deadlifts and squats (especially low bar) will be out for a bit, though, and I'm being careful about high intensity upper body lifts, too. Silver lining: I figured I could use this time to finally focus on my pull-up progression work, instead of relegating it to my accessories, and perhaps finally get my first pull-up (my "main quest" since joining NF >2 yrs ago). That ended up being easier than expected... turns out I can do a full pull-up (with a neutral grip) when I'm not already fatigued by my big lifts! :D And I even got a second one (on video), since I didn't quite believe the first happened :P. I'll continue working on them these next couple of weeks and see how much progress I can make. I would also like to get my chin a touch higher (it's hard to tell where the invisible bar I need to get my chin over for a full rep is since I'm holding onto grips vs an actual bar -- I think I'm just making the full rep).

 

Main quest is updated in the battle log:

On 5/31/2014 at 0:17 PM, Alanna said:

MAIN QUEST

  • May 2014: Complete my first pull-up --- completed Aug. 28, 2016 (neutral grip)
  • August 28, 2014: 2x bodyweight deadlift

 

Yes, deadlifts -- I'm coming for you.

 

After the pull-ups I basically bro'd out:

 

Lifting Session, 8/28/16

  • some low-key glute activation exercises
  • pull-ups
    • dead hang: bw x 15 sec
    • banded, around foot: bw x 3
    • banded, around knee: bw x 3
    • bw x 1, 1, 0.75 (didn't quite get my chin high enough on the last one)
    • banded, around knee: bw x 4 x 3
    • banded, around foot: bw x 5 x 3
  • super set leg extensions (70 lbs x 8, 60 lbs x 8 x 2) and leg curls (50 lbs x 8 x 3) -- first time I've used machines since I started powerlifting, but I wanted to do *something* for my legs and the glutes are not quite ready for goblet squats. First step was actually figuring out where they were. Then I had to figure out how to adjust and use them. This is how I felt:96e5633018f703e617c6326542ce18be0d1a2fdb
  • bench press: worked up to 95 lbs x 8 x 3
  • DB rows: 40 lbs x 10 x 3
  • DB curlz: 20 lbs x 6, 15 lbs x 8 x 2 -- To complete the bro-out session. Also my first time doing curls since I started powerlifting, I believe, and these sets were hard. I was wondering why they were so difficult (I mean, the most my biceps probably get worked are during my pull-ups, but still...), but then I realized I had read the weight label for the individual plates on the DB. Yeah, I thought I was curling 10 and then 7.5 lbs, rather than 20 and 15 lbs.
  • More easy glute activation exercises.

Tl;dr: Much bodybuilding. Such pump.

tumblr_n71f9xIsbb1s9v34to6_500.gif

 

Week 1 recap TBA.

 

 

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Score on those pull-ups! I'm not surprised, really. The fatigue is real, no wonder you hadn't discovered your pull-up abilities earlier, lol. 

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YASSSS congrats on those pullups! That's awesome :)

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Success! Being able to do a pull-up is no joke. It's on my epic quest, but will probably take me a couple more years. You rock! Pretty soon you'll be doing those hanging side crunch things I always see the serious bros doing. 

 

That iguana photo basically made my whole morning. 

 

Please tell me you at flexed once in the mirror at the end of your pump session? That really is the icing on the cake that makes the muscles grow. 

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2 hours ago, Taddea Zhaan said:

Please tell me you at flexed once in the mirror at the end of your pump session? That really is the icing on the cake that makes the muscles grow. 

QFT

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YAS!  Pull up!!  That's awesome! I'm also not surprised.  Woot to the hoot! 

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three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: one must squat.- Brobert Frost
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On 8/28/2016 at 7:43 PM, Urgan said:

Score on those pull-ups! I'm not surprised, really. The fatigue is real, no wonder you hadn't discovered your pull-up abilities earlier, lol. 

 

On 8/29/2016 at 9:40 AM, miss_marissa said:

YASSSS congrats on those pullups! That's awesome :)

 

On 8/30/2016 at 8:04 AM, Taddea Zhaan said:

Success! Being able to do a pull-up is no joke. It's on my epic quest, but will probably take me a couple more years. You rock! Pretty soon you'll be doing those hanging side crunch things I always see the serious bros doing. 

 

That iguana photo basically made my whole morning. 

 

Please tell me you at flexed once in the mirror at the end of your pump session? That really is the icing on the cake that makes the muscles grow. 

 

On 8/30/2016 at 10:53 AM, miss_marissa said:

QFT

 

On 8/30/2016 at 11:43 AM, Hermione Gainser said:

YAS!  Pull up!!  That's awesome! I'm also not surprised.  Woot to the hoot! 

 

On 8/31/2016 at 9:42 PM, Emerald_Dragonfly said:

Wow!  Congratulations on the pull up!  That is huge and deserves celebration!!!  Great job!

 

Thanks! Haha, I was surprised because I'm about 15 lbs heavier than the last time I seriously tried them fresh (last spring or summer -- I could do a chin-up but not a pull-up). It's probably only recently that I've crossed the point where pull-up strength > body weight.

 

I neglected to admire the pump -- the gains probably felt neglected and left in disgust.

 

-------------------

 

Combined recaps for the first half of the challenge since I'm so far behind on non-pull-up related updates:

 

WEEKS ONE AND TWO RECAPS

  • Essentials (food/sleep/exercise/mobility): yep, besides very occasionally being a tad (~15 min.) late with the screen curfew.
  • Form
    • Videos: My programming has been completely messed up by the injury, but I'm still recording my top sets. I also recorded my very light post-injury RDLs again.
    • SS reading: Finished deadlifts, partway through bench. I need to pick up the pace a bit here.
  • Meditate
    • Daily meditations: done
    • Long meditations: A 29 min. meditation during week one and a 39 min. meditation during week two.
    • FCL reading: Almost done with the first part, but not on track to finish the entire thing by the end of the challenge -- will probably roll this over to the next one, but we'll see how far I get.
  • Cooking: Two more new recipes each week:
  • Focused work: 5 of 5 hrs, spread out reasonably throughout the week, during Week 1, but only 3 hrs 40 min out of my intended 5.5 hrs during Week 2. The goal for this week is 5.5 hrs again. Stuff is getting done, though.

tumblr_o8w66g3ZpQ1tpv8rao1_500.gif

 

Also saw my old chiropractor (that used to adjust me in high school) last Monday and he gave my spine the all clear -- I didn't f' up my back. My hips, lumbar spine, and thoracic spine were all really out of whack (super technical term) though -- hopefully that was causing some of the muscle tightness that also predisposed me to my injury. I'm going back in a week for a follow-up adjustment.

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WEEK THREE RECAP

  • Essentials (food/sleep/exercise/mobility): good here. I'm upping my yoga practice again as I work through the lingering stiffness from the pulled glutes.
  • Form
    • Videos: Programming is all over the place, but top sets are being recorded. Working on elbow placement and hip movement in OHP and my bench arch in particular.
    • SS reading: Finished bench and OHP, so that just leaves squats for the final week.
  • Meditate
    • Daily meditations: done
    • Long meditations: 40 min. body scan
    • FCL reading: haven't made progress this week
  • Cooking: One new recipes: cranberry apple chicken with cabbage. Instant Pots are amazing -- I'm glad I'm finally learning how to use mine for cooking more than bone broth and whole chickens. The number of new recipes is slowing down because I'm been repeating/playing around with some recipes from earlier weeks.
  • Focused work: 5.5 of 5.5 hrs. I've started posting methods and figures in a powerpoint, which is my usual method for keeping track of my work and sharing it with mentors. Goal for Week 4: 6.5 hrs.

drawing.gif?w=625

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I'm slowly getting the glutes back on board. Today I did more lower body big(ish) lifts than I'd done in a while -- worked up to 135 lbs x 6 on squats and 135 lbs x 8 x 2 on RDLs. The glutes seem happy with that, so I'm hoping to work up to sets across for squats and squat every session for a bit, increasing the weight linearly. When that becomes an issue, I'll drop back to weekly progressions. I should probably deadlift soon (besides the single rep at the start of my RDLs) before it becomes a Big Deal psychologically... maybe Thursday? Meanwhile, OHP and bench are on a play-it-by-ear periodization program. I'm guessing that when all this is done, I won't go back to 5/3/1... I just like more frequency, higher intensity, and probably more volume on most of the big lifts (basically everything except deadlifts). I kind of got some of that by adding joker/back off sets and additional light days for most of the lifts, which worked fine for a while... until it didn't.

 

In other news, my mom found out that eggs also make her nauseous, so that seems to run in the family...

 

-Toothless-toothless-the-dragon-32943728

 

Also, Instant Pots are still magical.

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3 hours ago, Alanna said:

I'm guessing that when all this is done, I won't go back to 5/3/1... I just like more frequency, higher intensity, and probably more volume on most of the big lifts (basically everything except deadlifts). I kind of got some of that by adding joker/back off sets and additional light days for most of the lifts, which worked fine for a while... until it didn't.

 

il_570xN.900167457_nbnu.jpg

Method?

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Curious thing about the eggs!

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15 hours ago, Urgan said:

 

il_570xN.900167457_nbnu.jpg

Method?

 

Haha, after hearing about how sore you are these days, I'm not sure I'm quite up for the brutal-but-fun TM... though I did enjoy it last spring! I wonder if I do have some weekly progression left in me, though, if I pay attention to recovery (i.e., once I start eating properly again) -- I cut my TM time short because I wanted to cut and train for a 5k, neither of which goes well with that program. Recently I've been looking at the linear and 6 week Candito programs, both of which have plenty of room for the accessories that have been helping me with some form weaknesses and muscle imbalances (e.g., RDLs, hip thrusts, pull-ups...), while still keeping the focus on the big lifts or variations there-of. Once session-to-session squat increases get tough I'll probably try the linear program (varying the reps scheme for my bench if need be), eventually switch to triples (as in TM for women), and then move on to the six week program.

 

3 hours ago, miss_marissa said:

Curious thing about the eggs!

 

Right? Apparently intolerances to egg protein aren't uncommon, but it seems like there could be a genetic component to it?

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6 minutes ago, Alanna said:

Haha, after hearing about how sore you are these days, I'm not sure I'm quite up for the brutal-but-fun TM... though I did enjoy it last spring! I wonder if I do have some weekly progression left in me, though, if I pay attention to recovery (i.e., once I start eating properly again) -- I cut my TM time short because I wanted to cut and train for a 5k, neither of which goes well with that program. Recently I've been looking at the linear and 6 week Candito programs, both of which have plenty of room for the accessories that have been helping me with some form weaknesses and muscle imbalances (e.g., RDLs, hip thrusts, pull-ups...), while still keeping the focus on the big lifts or variations there-of. Once session-to-session squat increases get tough I'll probably try the linear program (varying the reps scheme for my bench if need be), eventually switch to triples (as in TM for women), and then move on to the six week program.

 

Just remember I've been running TM since March 1st of this year, I've run it hard, and never truly deloaded my squat going on 6 months now (full disclosure: I had to repeat weeks a few occasions because Life happened). Began at a work set of 135 and yesterday I was doing 173, so you don't have to "run it out" this way if that's not attractive. Also, I'm running a pretty high intensity (If my intensity day 3RM attempt for the week is 175, then for volume day I'd do 157, or 91% of my previous 3RM 172.5). It's a bit on the steep side, but it's worked for me. Not advocating it for you, just throwing out some context to my current state, lol. So either it'll make complete sense or confirm I am insane. 


I think a deload, linear progression on your own then under another structure, TM, then another program would work well. I personally was going to run TM out, deload, and give it another few tries--possibly switching to 4-Day TM if these people put out an offer so I can lift during lunch breaks--and then when that wears out its welcome jump to 5/3/1 for a bit. I have a question about 5/3/1, but I'll PM you since it'd potentially blow up your thread. 

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STR:45 | DEX:18 | STA:10 | CON:37 | WIS:37 | CHA:27

The stronger the body the more it obeys, the weaker the body the more it commands. -- Siegmund Klein

Battle Log : MFP : Instagram : Challenges - 1, 23456789101112

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1 hour ago, Urgan said:

 

Just remember I've been running TM since March 1st of this year, I've run it hard, and never truly deloaded my squat going on 6 months now (full disclosure: I had to repeat weeks a few occasions because Life happened). Began at a work set of 135 and yesterday I was doing 173, so you don't have to "run it out" this way if that's not attractive. Also, I'm running a pretty high intensity (If my intensity day 3RM attempt for the week is 175, then for volume day I'd do 157, or 91% of my previous 3RM 172.5). It's a bit on the steep side, but it's worked for me. Not advocating it for you, just throwing out some context to my current state, lol. So either it'll make complete sense or confirm I am insane. 


I think a deload, linear progression on your own then under another structure, TM, then another program would work well. I personally was going to run TM out, deload, and give it another few tries--possibly switching to 4-Day TM if these people put out an offer so I can lift during lunch breaks--and then when that wears out its welcome jump to 5/3/1 for a bit. I have a question about 5/3/1, but I'll PM you since it'd potentially blow up your thread. 

 

Hmm. I might give it another try, then. I'll see what people (= the Internet) have to say about the Candito linear program vs. TM -- and I'll probably try out an approximation at least of the Candito one when I drop down to weekly progressions, anyway, just because it will be an easy template to follow.

 

Yeah, that sounds good... just need to insert "stop cutting" in there somewhere, too! Feel free to ask about 5/3/1 here or over PM -- I don't mind thread jacks, especially since I don't use my own thread that much anyway :P. Keep in mind that pretty much the entire time I've been running 5/3/1 I've been either 1) dealing with the Great Health Fiasco of 2015-2016, or 2) trying to lose the weight I gained from the Great Health Fiasco of 2015-2016, so my experience with it is colored by that. Overall it's been positive -- I just haven't made a ton of progress, but that's mostly due to extenuating factors and probably not the program itself. There have been periods where it's worked quite nicely.

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WEEK FOUR RECAP

  • Essentials (food/sleep/exercise/mobility): pretty much on target
  • Form
    • Videos: Missed Tuesday's squats and OHP because I didn't charge my phone, and forgot 2/5 of my Thursday bench sets.
    • SS reading: Rip has a lot to say about squats. I've read about half of that chapter.
  • Meditate
    • Daily meditations: missed one day
    • Long meditations: 45 min. body scan
    • FCL reading: completely dropped the ball on this
  • Cooking: new soup recipe 1 and new soup recipe 2. I added spinach and some chicken I already had cooked to the 2nd.
  • Focused work: only 4 of my goal 6.5 hrs.

Sleep has been off this past week and a half, but I have a hypothesis for why, so hopefully that gets sorted soon. In happier news, my squats and deadlifts are sad right now, but pain free! And the chronic upper glute pain and stiffness I've been having (that probably pre-disposed me to the pulled glutes) is finally resolving -- I figured out that glute activation exercises (as opposed to hammering them with a roller or lacrosse ball) are actually the best way to resolve it on a day-to-day basis, and squatting heavy (low bar) every lifting session is probably helping too.

-:- THE LIONESS -:-

Challenge 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10 

 

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