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A big shock from the last Challenge Cycle was getting a letter from the American Red Cross saying I have low iron.  My hemoglobin tested high enough, but later they tested ferritin and that turned out to be very low.  So they informed me.  My initial reaction was how this could be possible.  I eat lots and give blood often, so how could it be possible I am low on iron?

 

And within the question lies the answer:  Apparently regular blood donations is very hard on the iron supply.

 

So over the next couple of months, I will be popping iron pills and getting my levels tested again in April.

 

Speaking of a shortage in iron supplies, I forgot about my Baldur's Gate game from a couple of months.  Here is a short piece from Wikipedia.
 

Quote

 

At the beginning of the game, the Sword Coast has entered a difficult time: iron production has virtually halted, with metal products quickly 'rotting', tools and weapons breaking easily as a result (except magical weapons), while bandits scour the countryside seeking iron over any other treasure. 

 

 

We left this game very early in Chapter 5, and basically I was trying to find places to grind out easy experience points.  Then I got very busy.  Again.

 

Most recently I have been laying out the next six weeks and picking out what is most obviously up and coming so that it does not hit me by surprise.  It helps me plan.  So here are the next six weeks:

Week 0: February 4 to February 10 - Waiting for Spring, Week 5

Week 1: February 11 to February 17 - Waiting for Spring, Week 6

Week 2: February 18 to February 24 - Waiting for Spring, Week 7

Week 3: February 25 to March 3 - Waiting for Spring, Week 8

Week 4: March 4 to March 10 - Waiting for Spring, Break

Week 0: March 11 to March 17 - Waiting for Spring, Week 9

 

Not much.  A whole lot of waiting for spring.  February 5 did mark my second Nerdiversary!

 

On to my recycled goals!

 

Quest 1 - Solve the Iron Crisis!

 

This is pretty straight forward.  The biggest part of this is behind me already.  That would be accepting that I have an iron shortage and take steps to deal with it.  Just keep eating and popping those red pills.  There is no retest until April and that will be somewhere in the next Challenge Cycle.  But it is presented here because this is apparently the foremost issue I am dealing with.

 

Other than that, maybe I will be lucky enough to notice some changes as we deal with the iron crisis!

 

Quest 2 - Waiting for Spring, Part 2

 

Right at the start of this year, I got new programming to follow.  I named the program after one of my favorite winter activities:  Waiting for spring.

 

It is a 12-week cycle, broken into three blocks of four weeks each.  We will be completing the second block in this Challenge Cycle.

 

Going from memory, it kind of looks like:

Day One: Snatch complex, Hang Snatch for heavy singles, Clean and Jerk complex, Cleans for heavy singles, Squat and Push Press 5RM with backoff sets.

Day Two: Paused Overhead Squat 3RM, Paused Deadlift 3RM, Overhead Press 5RM with backoff sets, Farmers Carry, Lower back extension and lateral raises.

Day Three: Snatch complex, Snatches for heavy singles, Clean and Jerk complex, Clean and Jerk for heavy Singles, Front-Squat 1RM with backoff set.

Day Four: Snatch Complex, Hang Snatch for heavy singles, Jerk complex, Clean and Power Jerk for heavy singles, Deficit Clean Pull heavy 3x3, Squat 3RM with backoff sets, Lunges and hollow holds.

Day Five: Squat 8RM with backoff sets, Deadlift heavy triples, Dumbbell bench press, pull-ups, and dumbbell rows.

 

This should keep me well distracted while I wait for spring. :D

 

Quest 3 - Don't Die

 

In Baldur's Gate, your main character may not die.  That meant you had to reload.  Of course, this just happens until we learn to actually play the game.  Cheesy tactics also help.

 

Over here, it is the same time as before.  Track the number of times I die.  The last time I died was on January 22, 2017.

 

So.

Number of Cycles:  1

Number of Deaths: 1

 

Quest 4 - Tracking

 

This is almost a copy and paste of the previous cycle.  Just adjusting a couple of things.  Still working on IfItFitsYourMacros and being a little bit less extreme on IfItFitsYourMouth.  We have approximately one year's worth of data showing a slow increase in weight at 3350 Calories per day.  Setting my goals slightly lower and using slightly less than 0.9 g Protein / pound bodyweight and splitting the rest of the calories in a 3:1 ratio, I get something like:

 

3240 Calories

360 Carbs (300 to 420)

120 Fat (100 to 140)

180 Protein (160 minimum)

 

So we are not shooting for any kind of precision here.  Let's just see if we can hit the broad side of a barn.  When we miss, then I can go looking for the culprit and evaluate from there if I should be making a different choice in the future.  We will come up with a list of things we can get away with and things we cannot!

 

Meal prep once per week.

 

One outing per week, even if MB would have me become a hermit.

 

One dessert between now and the end of the cycle.  Try to be original and post the picture!

 

Track weekly weight over 2017.  Track open, high, low, and close.  The candlestick chart from last year was fun!

 

Last cycle we hit 28/35, or 80%.  So I will take it!

 

Quest 5 - Life Hax - February Edition

List things to do for February and cross them off.  It's still Tax Season!  And I finally have enough information to start assembling it!  Maybe I will be early this year!

Update Last Will and Testament.

More stuff as I think of it.

 

The last cycle, this worked out nicely - for a week.  It was a reminder that there was stuff I needed to do and I got some action items done!

 

Quest 6 - Plan and Execute Zero Week in the Program

 

The program consists of three four-week blocks and we have Zero-Weeks between each block.  The NF Challenge Cycle and this Program are off by one week in alignment.  So Zero Week in the Program corresponds to Week 4 of this Challenge Cycle.  I have made it a Quest to come up with things to do over this Zero Week.

 

Last cycle, we did a widowmaker at body weight, and I was told it was supposed to be done at a much higher weight.  x.x

International Bench Bro Day was a disaster on my shoulders and I had to shamelessly admit I sinned against Broki by sacrificing my gains on Brodin's Altar of Bench Press.

And we did a little virtual meet.

Zero Week came early because I died sooner than expected.

 

So far I am thinking:

Widowmaker rematch!

Max out Overhead Press!

Virtual Meet.

 

Quest 7 - Other Quests as they Appear

 

And that's it.

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Wow, i just read your challenge, and not one time was i like "what the hell is he talking about now...".

 

You are sure you are all fine?

(edit: or could it be i'm beginning to get fluent in the "Ashen-language")

 

;) 

 

3 hours ago, Sam Ashen said:

So far I am thinking:

Widowmaker rematch!

Max out Overhead Press!

Virtual Meet.

 

I'm guessing this is you talking about "The Amorous Assessment of Anatomic Artillery". I've decided to attempt it again, to see how far my juggernaut gains have gotten me, so i will be watching you!

 

reactions eyes watching robert de niro watching you

 

 

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5 hours ago, mr_willes said:

Wow, i just read your challenge, and not one time was i like "what the hell is he talking about now...".

 

 

Same, but it only took me about the last 4 challenges to sort out what he was saying in tandem with what Ms. Broki has assigned for weekly torture. 

 

AND I finally sorted out hitting the barn. It makes sense now. It all makes sense now. It all makes sense now. Wait, what? 

 

8 hours ago, Sam Ashen said:

 

Quest 1 - Solve the Iron Crisis!

 

This is pretty straight forward.  The biggest part of this is behind me already.  That would be accepting that I have an iron shortage and take steps to deal with it.  Just keep eating and popping those red pills.  There is no retest until April and that will be somewhere in the next Challenge Cycle.  But it is presented here because this is apparently the foremost issue I am dealing with.

 

Other than that, maybe I will be lucky enough to notice some changes as we deal with the iron crisis!

 

 

Mainly following for this but your workouts do actually make more sense now that I can see them on IG. I should be having my iron also re-tested this month or next. I get labs every month but iron related labs are I think quarterly or every 6 months, I forget which. I'll be picking his (my nephrologist's) brain about iron and exercise and see if he has an revelations you have not already unearthed. 

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4 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

One must also understand the proper use of the panda emoji.

:panda: 

 

I still don't know how you die though. Benching injuries? 

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Thanks for all the responses, everybody!

 

7 hours ago, Taddea Zhaan said:

I still don't know how you die though. Benching injuries?

 

I am referring to some part of my cycle where my lifts go down the tubes, or I am sore or week, followed by uncontrollable hunger and a day rivalling my MFP PR.  In an online game, your character might die.  A lot.  It just happens.  So you do your corpse run or whatever and respawn.  Then very likely you eat something to regain strength.  One of my quotes:

 

Do you have any idea how many calories are consumed in a respawn?

 

6 hours ago, mr_willes said:

When you thought you did a Widowmaker and you realize you were only halfway there.

 

Yeah, still working on the wife part.

 

Actually, no.

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

 

Waiting for Spring, Week 5, Day 4, Wednesday

 

2 Hip Snatches + Push Press behind the neck: 3x104, 3x114, 3x124 pounds

Hang Snatches: 2x114, 2x2x129, 3x1x144 pounds

Jerks: 3x114, 3x139, 3x154 pounds

Clean and Power Jerk: 2x154, 2x2x174, 3x1x199 pounds

Deficit Clean Pulls: 3x199, 3x3x249 pounds

Squats: 3x184, 3x224, 3x274, 3x304, 2x3x259 pounds

Lunges: 4x20x134 pounds, superset with

Hollow Holds: 4x60 seconds - I alternated through progressions because the time went up to one minute.

 

Score for Today:

3104 Calories

363 Carbs (300 to 420)

103 Fat (100 to 140)

193 Protein (160 minimum)

 

-3.2 Overall

 

Hitting the Broad Side of a Barn: 3/5

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1 hour ago, RedStone said:

 

FB knows all :P 

 

CfKpQlx.png

 

Haha!

 

Hahaha!

 

Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

 

FB is also known for fake news!

 

3851620.jpg

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

 

Speaking of fake news on FB, I just read this article.  One thing I love about powerlifting is:  I did not know Jennifer Thompson is a high school math teacher!

 

Today is a rest day!  Hmm.  It is only 7pm.  Now what.....

 

Score for Today:

3027 Calories

349 Carbs (300 to 420)

108 Fat (100 to 140)

175 Protein (160 minimum)

 

+1.5 Overall

 

Hitting the Broad Side of a Barn: 4/6 - It is shaping up to be a pretty normal week after all!

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Meanwhile, I did something unthinkable:  I loaded up my Baldur's Gate game.  All I did was walk my characters over to an inn, rested, travelled to Ulgoth's Beard, rested, then sailed to Werewolf Island.  We shall see how much experience we can farm out of there!


So the list of things left to do in my Baldur's Gate game:

Werewolf Island (Bonus Content)

Durlag Tower (Bonus Content)

Finish Chapter 5

Finish Chapter 6

Finish Chapter 7 (WIN!)

Transfer a well-rolled character to Baldur's Gate 2! (after looking up how)

 

I play games SO slowly, don't I?

 

So far I have the quest list for Werewolf Island.  I should be able to finish it easily over the weekend if I set my mind to it.  Then I might have a better attitude towards finishing int.

 

Who remembers my character stats?

Strength 18/OMG - Well, almost.  High 90's if I remember.

Dexterity 18 / Constitution 18 19 - Min/Max tank build

Intelligence 18 / Wisdom 3 - Must have been raised by space aliens.

Charisma 3 - You have 0 friends. :panda:

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Up at stupid o'clock in the morning because that was the only option Miss Broki would give me for this week and next week.

 

Waiting for Spring, Week 5, Day 3, Friday

 

Also known as no misses no excuses day.

 

Hip Snatch plus Overhead Squat: 3x104, 3x114, 2x124 and there was a miss between those two reps.

She says I missed because it landed a little farther back than I am used to, so I lost my balance.

I get nervous.  Then my next theory:  After that I lose my confidence and start catching everything way high.

Snatch: 2x114, 2x2x129, 3x1x144 pounds

Hip Clean plus 2 Jerks: 3x139, 3x154, 3x164 pounds

Clean and Jerk: 2x154, 2x2x174, 3x1x199 pounds

Paused Front-Squats: 1x184, 1x224, 1x234 pounds

Front-Squats: 3x199 pounds

 

Score for Today:

3028 Calories

348 Carbs (300 to 420)

101 Fat (100 to 140)

191 Protein (160 minimum)

 

-1.9 Overall

 

Hitting the Broad Side of a Barn: 5/7 - Proving that I really am a Weekend Warrior!  Also today was a really hard-fought battle to hit those macros!

 

Average Score for Week 6: 

3232 Calories

360 Carbs

119 Fat

198 Protein

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This morning I weighed in at 200.8 pounds, a low for the year matching my weigh-in just before going on Christmas vacation.  So now I am finally back to what I call normal.

 

Today, the Healer found somebody VERY pissed off at me in the back of my rotator cuff.

 

Today was also the first day of a Challenge Cycle at Darkside Fitness.  So it was very crowded.  I was able to find a platform.

 

Waiting for Spring, Week 5, Day 5, Saturday

 

This is also my Powerlifting Day!

 

Squats: 8x44, 8x134, 8x184, 4x224, 8x274, 2x3x244 pounds

Deadlifts: 3x224, 3x345, 3x395, 3x445 pounds - working with a double overhand hook grip

Dumbbell Bench Press: 12x30, 12x40, 12x45, 12x50 pounds

Pull-ups: 8+7+6+6

Bent-Over Rows: 4x12x124 pounds

 

I did a few things.  I stopped by a bookstore to pick up a small copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  Given some recent events, I wanted to give it a re-read.  Then I went to an Irish pub to eat like an asshole.  I had an appetizer platter and beef stew.

 

I went home and the big surprise was the V-Day present I got for myself arrived! :D

 

Then I took a walk to the local library and finally got myself a card and checked out another book.  Generation Debt.  So it looks like I am studying up a little bit on a certain generation everybody seems to love to pick on.

 

My perception has not changed:  The generation pointing fingers carries more blame.  A LOT more blame.

 

So some action items got taken care of.

 

Something WAY down on the list of things to do:  Get a recliner.  I need a recliner so that I have more options for reading and studying positions.  My house is still missing a place dedicated to studying.  #spellresearch

 

Score for Today:

3652 Calories

340 Carbs (300 to 420)

161 Fat (100 to 140)

216 Protein

 

-0.9 Overall

 

Yup.  I totally ate like an asshole today and ran a negative score in MFP!

 

Hitting the Broad Side of a Barn: 5/8 - Nothing terrible yet, but showing signs of being a Weekend Warrior.

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Quick study on being a millennial:

1. Be jobless.

2. Broom all useful work experience from your resume.

3. Go look for a job.

4. Pray hard.  

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On 2/11/2017 at 7:22 PM, Urgan said:

Quick study on being a millennial:

 

Well, the first thing I realized is the book was written a little over 10 years ago, before the 2008 collapse of the housing market.  It also grouped everybody from 18 to 35 at the time, so that puts me at the trailing edge of the generation the author was writing about.  Go figure.

 

Where was I in 2006 when this book was written?  I just moved from Wisconsin to Mississippi.  From what I remember at that time, the term, "Millennial" did not exist and they were still looking for a label that would stick.

 

I would imagine demographers are still not quite decided on how exactly to define the generation.  I am no demographer, but I go by lining up important world events with stage of life.  One such important world event was September 11, 2001 and I define "Millennial" as somebody who has not yet finished high school when it happened, but is old enough to remember the event.

 

I was a young engineer working in California when it happened.

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

 

I also read one chapter of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  It is, of course, very interesting.  Given my circumstances, I do not believe it is very likely that I will ever get into the business of starting businesses.

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

 

Today was a rest day and I also had a massage.  Then I went grocery shopping and decided to fix myself spaghetti, because I have not had that for a very long time.

 

Score for Today:

3545 Calories

367 Carbs (300 to 420)

106 Fat (100 to 140)

219 Protein (160 minimum)

 

+6.9 Overall

 

Hitting the Broad Side of a Barn: 6/8

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