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AriatikStarr

Starting a challenge on time?!

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So I know most of my goals so far have not been lifting related - I started Wendler's 5/3/1 in... August or September? And everything has been on the steady up and up since then. Well, obviously at this point it's getting heavy (for me). I'm FINALLY feeling mostly better from my two week chest cold, but got a little taste of how tough this next cycle is going to be today (since I missed most of the last two weeks, I started on Saturday...) I literally walked right over to the scale after missing my minimum reps on squats and lo and behold, down 5-6lbs in 2ish weeks (I don't really track weight seriously). So I'm actually going to make a lifting goal this time...

 

Fitness goal 1: Lifting 

So, I needed to hit 5x235 squats today. I hit a double, then did 4 but only one rep was as clean as I'd like it to be. Since I've hit an easy 6x230 somewhat recently, I'll give this a "bad week" pass. HOWEVER, if I do not hit the following, I'm going to subtract 20lbs from my calculated training max for deadlifts & squats and 10lbs from bench for the next cycle (and my goal will be to do better at those weights than previously recorded, but I'm hoping I don't have to do this yet). 

Squat week 2: 3+ at 250 

Squat week 3: 1+ at 260

Bench week 1: 5+ at 120 (I'll give myself a pass if I can hit 5 interrupted reps here, I am really only supposed to do 118 but my micro plates haven't delivered yet)

Bench week 2: 3+ at 125

Bench week 3: 1+ at 130

Deadlift week 1: 5+ at 275

Deadlift week 2: 3+ at 290

Deadlift week 3: 1+ at 307

 

Fitness goal 2: Biking / Hiking

Get outside at least 3x per week. Won't hold myself to dirt-only fun in case it is rainy and sloppy, but the weather is nice enough and I forgot how therapeutic riding in the woods can be. 

 

Fitness goal 3: Tracking Food & No Snacking on Junk Food

So, meal prep has finally become a habit (thank goodness). And last month, in attempting to drink more water and track it, I also started tracking my food. I'm ok with loosely weighing a few things and eyeballing most of it, for now I just want to make sure I'm in a decent calorie range (like, when I was sick and going under 1,000 calories... not so awesome). Also keeping up with 8+ glasses of water per day, not including workout water. And along with tracking calories, I want to cut back on any junk food snacking. I found that I do this most if I'm not home with access to my own food, but I'm not even totally innocent here... hoping that tracking will hold me more accountable.

 

Life Goal: No Excess Spending

Four weeks isn't that long, right? By no excess spending, I'm including going out for food & drinks, entertainment that costs money, shopping, any weird snack like groceries... I will allow 1 yoga session per week (I don't actually go to yoga classes but by chance, there's one tomorrow on opening up hips & shoulders and I've potentially convinced two other lady lifters to join me). 

 

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Week 1 update:

 

Lifting: big ol' nope. I hit 120x1 on bench. shoulders and elbows were sore going into it so I was hoping I was just not fully recovered. But then I only hit 3x275 on deadlifts Thursday. While I realize this could still just have been a bad week (I have done better than that on every lift recently) I'm still going to bump down my training max percentage by 10% - effectively tanking this goal. New lifting goal: to do better rep-wise at each week's weight than I've done in the last 6 months (unless I managed 8-10 reps, in which case I want the same).

 

Biking/Hiking: 3/3. All very social rides and all from Wednesday through Saturday, so I'm somewhat exhausted today. My mileage for the year is super low (for me) and in 3 days I rode over 1/3 of my total miles for 2017. 

 

Tracking food: 7/7. I did eat the few homemade eggs left from Easter (that weren't saved for other people - those are safe). Not really counting those as snacking though, just happy that I kept from buying weird stuff at the gas station.

 

No excess spending: not sure how to rank this one. I bought liquor but I meant to buy that with groceries last week and wasn't feeling up to it, so I think that's fine. However, Friday's ride started at 4am and my friend suggested coffee after... I was freezing and still half an hour from home so I did it. Then Saturday I volunteered for a charity ride- there are often tents set up with complementary coffee (especially for volunteers) so I approached the tent and then felt like an ass, so bought coffee and a "handpie" (some ham, egg & cheese concoction). Then ended up being there until 3pm so needed lunch. Technically Friday & Saturday could have been avoided, but I'm not sure if this is a daily goal (so 5/7) or if I should rate the level of failure ($1 coffee vs $200 shopping spree). Will work on this for next week. 

 

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On 4/24/2017 at 0:22 PM, elvenengineer said:

Hi there! I'm also getting over being sick, and I never eat enough while sick *sigh*

Best of luck with the new challenge!

 

I basically used it as an excuse to actually start looking at what I eat. I realized that I've gained something like 40lbs since I started working out (in some capacity) 5 years ago. Also went onto birth control in there, and I'm sure there's a lot of muscle mass... but I have some extra fat to lose. So being sick just gave me the first 5lbs!

 

trying to be realistic about what cutting calories & losing weight will (temporarily) do to my lifts though... 

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Week 2 update:

 

Lifting: 1.5/3

10x210 for squats. Only 5x107 for bench- have done better and truly could not have done more this week. I then went lighter and worked on higher reps, because it seems like my biggest failure is in keeping tightness after 4-5 reps. Then 6x250 deadlifts, which was technically not enough reps but it was more than the minimum and something in the gym broke my focus. I likely had more but have learned from attempting a second AMRAP set because the first was ended prematurely. 

 

Biking / Hiking: 3/3.

Two were pretty short, barely the minimum rides but this week has been rainy so it was hard to get them in.

 

Food Tracking: 6/7.

Bridal shower today, didn't even try to track the weird little foods we ate. 

 

No excess spending: 18.5/21

So I was trying to come up with a points system for this. I've decided that each meal per day is 1 point. Each drink out is 1 point. Snacks bought out are 1 point. Processed but unnecessary meal food (like, frozen pizza) is .5 points. Coffee out is .5 points. And any non-food purchases tank the week. This means last week I hit 18.5/21 as well. This week, I bought a processed dinner at the grocery store while shopping for a bridal shower gift. And then Thursday I met a fellow MTB woman out for pizza and a drink. 

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This week was rough, but here goes...

 

lifting: only made it twice, so deadlifts wait until Monday. I got the minimum for squats, so half point. I... got more than the minimum for bench... but in four sets. I'll give myself a half point. So 1/2

 

outdoor time: 2/3 (one bike, one hike)

 

food tracking: 7/7

 

no extra spending: 16/21. Two points were dumb, not much excuse. But Sunday I packed food expecting an early out of town bike ride and ended up being gone until 10pm, so it involved gas station food twice. And Wednesday I took a friend to her first baby doctor appointment and then bought her appetizers. Oh, and I booked a flight to Iceland which technically tanks my week but that's for a planned vacation and I couldn't wait to buy plane tickets because the cheap ones go fast. Meh.

 

 

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Mini update: did my deadlifts, got a rough 3x265 which is less than half of my goal reps (but was my minimum). Weighed myself and am down another 3lbs from my doctor's appointment 2 weeks ago (and that appointment was 4-5lbs down from my weight when I got sick). Astounding since I have been tracking my food but still eating quite a bit and (more frequently than desired) eating weird calorie dense foods (like, my friend gave me KFC for helping her declutter yesterday).

 

I know a calorie deficit in general will temporarily lower my lifting capacity, but I think I have some opportunity to look at timing. I've been super hungry by the time I get to the gym at 8pm. Thinking for my workouts this week, I'll go grab some bananas or something to eat beforehand. 

 

To be continued...

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8pm is a rough gym time if you keep normal hours. Past dinner but before bed, you definitely don't want a heavy meal beforehand. You're still losing weight, so look at your calories in vs out as it stands right now. You're not tracking weight as part of your challenge though. Maybe stay the course and plan this for the next challenge, should you choose to do so.

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1 hour ago, Grumble said:

8pm is a rough gym time if you keep normal hours. Past dinner but before bed, you definitely don't want a heavy meal beforehand. You're still losing weight, so look at your calories in vs out as it stands right now. You're not tracking weight as part of your challenge though. Maybe stay the course and plan this for the next challenge, should you choose to do so.

 

Yeah - I've found my best motivation to be with the 8pm crowd, plus less waiting around for equipment. Add to that the fact that, with half of my client's marketing group moving to Chicago, I wake up later than I used to. But it is an awkward time for meals...

 

the weight loss came as a surprise during week 1, and I wasn't sure if it was illness, some other life changes (both happened at the same time) but I decided to ride the wave and lose a few needed pounds. I may make it an actual goal for the next round but if I do, I'd like to measure BF% to make sure I'm not shedding muscle. Really I should probably do that anyway, although I haven't lost enough yet for that to be a concern. 

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7 hours ago, AriatikStarr said:

Mini update: did my deadlifts, got a rough 3x265 which is less than half of my goal reps (but was my minimum). Weighed myself and am down another 3lbs from my doctor's appointment 2 weeks ago (and that appointment was 4-5lbs down from my weight when I got sick). Astounding since I have been tracking my food but still eating quite a bit and (more frequently than desired) eating weird calorie dense foods (like, my friend gave me KFC for helping her declutter yesterday).

 

I know a calorie deficit in general will temporarily lower my lifting capacity, but I think I have some opportunity to look at timing. I've been super hungry by the time I get to the gym at 8pm. Thinking for my workouts this week, I'll go grab some bananas or something to eat beforehand. 

 

To be continued...

 

Back when I was shift working, some days I would be in the gym at 8-9pm...on those days I would have a super big lunch, something snacky at 7 and then have a protein meal after gym (usually in bed) and then have a protein nap...

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18 minutes ago, Blocky said:

 

Back when I was shift working, some days I would be in the gym at 8-9pm...on those days I would have a super big lunch, something snacky at 7 and then have a protein meal after gym (usually in bed) and then have a protein nap...

 

What did you use for your "something snacks"? (Strangely enough my grocery store doesn't have bananas this week)

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It was pretty much whatever I could find. I was always super unprepared so it was usually gas station snacks (protein bars or similar)... I eat mostly paleo now, so these days it's a little bit of meat and fruit.

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Week 4 & Recap:

 

Lifting (2/3)

Deadlifts: got the minimum (See mini update). Giving myself a half point. 

Squats: got more than the minimum, less than my goal. Half point.

Bench: more than the minimum and technically tied with my goal. Full point. 

Recap: I've decided to begin working on volume, at least while I'm cutting back on body fat. This should also help me to nail down any form issues that I've developed. 

 

Excess Spending (14/21):

Sunday, inexcusable snack stuff. Since I ate no meals, even though I didn't buy much, all three points gone.

Thursday, a friend was visiting from Denver. I grabbed coffee before heading down because I was super rushed & sleepy, then we had drinks, and THEN we went to eat. So technically (because of the drinks) this is -4. Haven't seen this friend in a few years so completely fine with it.

Recap: I didn't do a phenomenal job at this one, but it may have been unrealistic from the get-go. Not so sure the gym counts as socializing, and since I work from home I start to get really down if I don't put real clothes on and do something. If I do this again, I may try to make it a little more specific. 

 

Food tracking (7/7)

Don't think any recap is needed, this one is becoming a habit. 

 

Hiking / Biking (5/3): 

Tuesday: 7+ mile solo hike to & around one of our local parks. 

Wednesday: 4+ mile walk to my uncle's to feed cats. 

Thursday: 2-3 mile mini hike with Denver friend in one of our local parks. 

Friday: Bike 27 miles to go camping.

Saturday: Bike 27 miles to come home. 

Also worth noting that I walked 2 miles round trip to the gym (3x). So all in all somewhere around 20 miles walked this week, and 50+ on a bike (which is low, I know... but building back up).

Recap: this is becoming easier as it gets warmer, but it makes no excess spending and eating well much harder. I also noticed that my weight dropped faster during the week with less activity. I will most likely make this challenge more focused on hiking since I need to work up my foot distance for Iceland.

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