Author Topic: Strength & Fitness 2015  (Read 179522 times)

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #400 on: February 26, 2015, 06:12:24 AM »
Well i officially crossed 200 lbs this morning.  I am now happy to say i'm at 199.2 - 14.2 lbs to go ... BMI currently a healthy 24.2... i have an 18.5% BF number though so i hope that continues to fall with the weight loss.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #401 on: February 26, 2015, 12:23:52 PM »
I was able to hit a life long bench press PR today, got 300lbs for 4 full range of motion reps, no bounce, no spotter help.


Nice dude.

I cleaned 255 this week for a PR, the day after humping up and down snow-covered hills for 4 miles. Byah! I am also feeling a 350 bench right around the corner, after smoking 335 yesterday.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #402 on: February 26, 2015, 01:53:05 PM »
I've developed an irritating case of Iliotibial Band Syndrome in my left leg...the bane of many a long distance runner. I'm trying to stretch tendons out with a foam roller. Won't know if it's helping until my next long run. My training schedule for the half marathon says I should be running 15km distances right now - not gonna happen with this leg pain. The past two 10km runs the pain has developed right around the 5km mark - and it has been a real struggle to finish the 10km...this has been a major pain in the...leg.

Weight training and diet going very well.

And we have a definite abs sighting. Whooo! Makes eating all these beans and lentil recipes worth it...sort of. I am missing white rice, white pasta, and red meat...and beer...just gotta make it till June 1st. Then I fully intend to fall of the rails HARD. :) For a little while at least.

Coming up on my  6 month anniversary of FIRE...my improved fitness level is right up there in terms of my most fulfilling accomplishments - along with regaining my sanity. ;)


boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #403 on: February 26, 2015, 02:27:31 PM »
I've developed an irritating case of Iliotibial Band Syndrome in my left leg...the bane of many a long distance runner. I'm trying to stretch tendons out with a foam roller. Won't know if it's helping until my next long run. My training schedule for the half marathon says I should be running 15km distances right now - not gonna happen with this leg pain. The past two 10km runs the pain has developed right around the 5km mark - and it has been a real struggle to finish the 10km...this has been a major pain in the...leg.

Weight training and diet going very well.

And we have a definite abs sighting. Whooo! Makes eating all these beans and lentil recipes worth it...sort of. I am missing white rice, white pasta, and red meat...and beer...just gotta make it till June 1st. Then I fully intend to fall of the rails HARD. :) For a little while at least.

Coming up on my  6 month anniversary of FIRE...my improved fitness level is right up there in terms of my most fulfilling accomplishments - along with regaining my sanity. ;)

My wife and i are HUGE mashed potato fans but dont eat them anymore b/c we're on a slow carb diet.   if you like it you should try roasting cauliflower and then pureeing in a food processor with a little cottage cheese ... its awesome.  also can make rice with cauliflower.  just put the florets in a food processor.  Pasta i use Spaghetti squash ... or i use zuchinni cut like linguini ..

DSKla

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #404 on: February 26, 2015, 02:40:43 PM »
My fixes for IT band syndrome are:

1) stop doing what caused it. Doesn't sound like that's your plan.

2) making a movement habit of full hip and knee flexion. It's an overuse injury from operating in very narrow ranges of hip and knee flexion. I'd look into daily resting squat work. For this, I recommend Kit Laughlin's Mastering the Squat video series. It does cost $10 but it's well worth it, and done well, it will balance out your hips and knees nicely over time.

3) anterior/posterior balance. Strenghtening the posterior chain to compliment your running. Things like RDLs/light deadlifts would be a good start.

BZB

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #405 on: February 26, 2015, 06:13:15 PM »
I joined a 6 week nutrition bootcamp through the wellness program at work. I have to track all my food and drink, and that has opened my eyes to the huge portions I have been eating. I am using my fitness pal to track my food and it's the easiest way for me.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #406 on: February 27, 2015, 07:35:21 AM »
My fixes for IT band syndrome are:

1) stop doing what caused it. Doesn't sound like that's your plan.

2) making a movement habit of full hip and knee flexion. It's an overuse injury from operating in very narrow ranges of hip and knee flexion. I'd look into daily resting squat work. For this, I recommend Kit Laughlin's Mastering the Squat video series. It does cost $10 but it's well worth it, and done well, it will balance out your hips and knees nicely over time.

3) anterior/posterior balance. Strenghtening the posterior chain to compliment your running. Things like RDLs/light deadlifts would be a good start.

The answer to any injury: more full-range work. Squats are the perfect rehab movement if done correctly.

Armer Student

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #407 on: February 28, 2015, 03:04:30 AM »
February is over, so it's a good time for a summary:

My goal was:
"Lose 2kg fat/month
Bike commute >90% of the year"

I accomplished -2.5kg since I started 6 weeks ago. I can already feel and see the difference.
I accomplished 96,7% bike commutes since I started working. Including snow storms, heavy rain ... I've most likely gotten used to biking in all weather conditions. :)

The bad thing about biking is though, that my car broke down. Just won't start anymore. It propably took offence :-/ poor Benz.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #408 on: February 28, 2015, 06:40:52 AM »
Yeah, I needed a trickle charger hooked up to the car once the bike started replacing it, otherwise I couldn't ever count on the battery having enough charge. Especially in the winter when cold drains it.

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #409 on: February 28, 2015, 08:02:08 AM »
ended Feb at 198 and 17.4% BF.... hope to end march under 190 and under 15% BF

alleykat

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #410 on: March 01, 2015, 06:34:14 AM »
While I don't have specific measurements, I can tell you, I feel so much stronger.  I have doing the treadmill for 2 and a half months now and just started on the elliptical. I can now do 15 mins on the elliptical whereas before, I could barely clear 5 minutes.  I have been going to the gym anywhere from 2- 4 times a week, sometimes more. On the treadmill, I can now walk at a speed of 3.6 at random inclines, maybe not at a full hour depending on the inclines or my mood, but I was barely able to do 3.1 with no incline.  I can also run for a good 5 minutes, whereas, I could barely do 5 secs.  So, woohoo.  Love the feeling of being stronger.  I need to start upper body workouts as well, but my elbow tendonitis is a problem.  So, I am now working on healing it.  Hopefully, within the next year, I can start to do some things, But for now, my pain is at a 3 instead of a 10 and I am quite shy about overdoing it.  That was pain.  I bought a Theraband flexbar and have been using it almost everyday to stretch and strengthen my arm, so I am hopefully this does the trick eventually.

Everyone seems like they are doing great.  Keep up the good work.  This thread is inspiring.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #411 on: March 01, 2015, 06:53:04 AM »
Alleykat - no experience with that particular injury, but do you have a PT routine? Not all therapists are good, but a good PT is worth their weight in gold.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #412 on: March 01, 2015, 02:41:22 PM »
Just got back from a  12km run with my better half...the leg pain is still a factor, but definitely BETTER than last week. Thanks to DSKla and Philoceraptor for the advice on performing more full movement leg exercises. I will continue to do that, along with the foam roller excercises. If the improvement is to the same degree by next weekend, then the Half Marathon will probably still be a go in late April.

Using the body fat percentage "visual" chart that Horsepoor posted several pages back, I'd say I have hit my 15% body fat goal. I currently look a lot like the model they used to illustrate 15%...except he has a better tan - and his abs might be slightly more toned - but my chest, arms, and shoulders are more sculpted than his. Ha!

I can now get into my 30" waist pants, so call that goal complete.

My weight, after staying around 190 forever, has actually dropped to 185...I would feel stronger at 190, so now I will actively attempt to gain some more muscle mass to hopefully get there.

I am going to keep on this fitness train until June 1st...and see where I am at that point. No more updates until then.

johnny847

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #413 on: March 01, 2015, 08:26:59 PM »
In order for me to meet my goal of gaining at least 15 pounds this year, I've been considering making myself something like this: http://www.livestrong.com/article/438117-weight-gainer-shakes-with-about-4-000-calories/

Anybody have any experience with weight gainer shakes?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #414 on: March 01, 2015, 08:53:26 PM »
In order for me to meet my goal of gaining at least 15 pounds this year, I've been considering making myself something like this: http://www.livestrong.com/article/438117-weight-gainer-shakes-with-about-4-000-calories/

Anybody have any experience with weight gainer shakes?

No direct experience myself, but my brother tried those and it didn't work for him. That was back in the 90s though. Formulas may be better now.

If I had to gain weight, I'd much rather do it with solid food than a "nutriceutical" shake. Slabs of bread with pastured butter. The nuttiest, oiliest granola you want. Food porn, etc.

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #415 on: March 02, 2015, 06:12:22 AM »
In order for me to meet my goal of gaining at least 15 pounds this year, I've been considering making myself something like this: http://www.livestrong.com/article/438117-weight-gainer-shakes-with-about-4-000-calories/

Anybody have any experience with weight gainer shakes?

No direct experience myself, but my brother tried those and it didn't work for him. That was back in the 90s though. Formulas may be better now.

If I had to gain weight, I'd much rather do it with solid food than a "nutriceutical" shake. Slabs of bread with pastured butter. The nuttiest, oiliest granola you want. Food porn, etc.

You should Read 4 hour body by Ferris.  He has a whole section of the book bent around weight gain thru muscle building. and it he changes your diet too. I'm sure it works just as well as the one i'm on now (but its for losing weight)  His stuff works and works extrememly well.

jordanread

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #416 on: March 02, 2015, 09:15:17 AM »
While I don't have specific measurements, I can tell you, I feel so much stronger.  I have doing the treadmill for 2 and a half months now and just started on the elliptical. I can now do 15 mins on the elliptical whereas before, I could barely clear 5 minutes.  I have been going to the gym anywhere from 2- 4 times a week, sometimes more. On the treadmill, I can now walk at a speed of 3.6 at random inclines, maybe not at a full hour depending on the inclines or my mood, but I was barely able to do 3.1 with no incline.  I can also run for a good 5 minutes, whereas, I could barely do 5 secs.  So, woohoo.  Love the feeling of being stronger.  I need to start upper body workouts as well, but my elbow tendonitis is a problem.  So, I am now working on healing it.  Hopefully, within the next year, I can start to do some things, But for now, my pain is at a 3 instead of a 10 and I am quite shy about overdoing it.  That was pain.  I bought a Theraband flexbar and have been using it almost everyday to stretch and strengthen my arm, so I am hopefully this does the trick eventually.

Everyone seems like they are doing great.  Keep up the good work.  This thread is inspiring.

Alleykat, you are kicking ass and are are super motivating.

Just got back from a  12km run with my better half...the leg pain is still a factor, but definitely BETTER than last week. Thanks to DSKla and Philoceraptor for the advice on performing more full movement leg exercises. I will continue to do that, along with the foam roller excercises. If the improvement is to the same degree by next weekend, then the Half Marathon will probably still be a go in late April.

Using the body fat percentage "visual" chart that Horsepoor posted several pages back, I'd say I have hit my 15% body fat goal. I currently look a lot like the model they used to illustrate 15%...except he has a better tan - and his abs might be slightly more toned - but my chest, arms, and shoulders are more sculpted than his. Ha!

I can now get into my 30" waist pants, so call that goal complete.

My weight, after staying around 190 forever, has actually dropped to 185...I would feel stronger at 190, so now I will actively attempt to gain some more muscle mass to hopefully get there.

I am going to keep on this fitness train until June 1st...and see where I am at that point. No more updates until then.

You are rocking it!! I really hope that one day you will put together a slideshow video that is kind of the first 6 months of your retirement. (I can help :-)) Your's is a really fun journey to follow, and the fitness benefits and your progress has got to be one of my favorite ongoing stories around here. For when you do fall off said wagon, I highly suggest video taping it :-).



So, for all the rest of you, we are now 2 months in to this 12 month program. Is anybody else kicking so much ass that they pretty much nailed their goals like Jon_Snow did?
  • Are there any issues you are having?
  • Are there challenges you want some assistant to overcome?
  • What wins (big or small) have you experienced?
  • Are your goals keeping you on track?

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #417 on: March 02, 2015, 09:34:00 AM »
So, for all the rest of you, we are now 2 months in to this 12 month program. Is anybody else kicking so much ass that they pretty much nailed their goals like Jon_Snow did?
  • Are there any issues you are having?
  • Are there challenges you want some assistant to overcome?
  • What wins (big or small) have you experienced?
  • Are your goals keeping you on track?

ugh, still have hip issues when squatting.  So pretty much all squatting has been suspended.  I'm doing lots of mobility work on my hips, hamstrings and quads.  I'm also try to build up the area with other exercises.  Weighted good morning, step ups, lunges, hollow body work, hanging leg raises etc.  Very frustrating, but I'm making the best of it.  On the other hand, my upper body has been getting more work then I've ever done before.....so suns out guns out this summer?

Another milestone for me.  I'm down to 25%BF.  Last August I was at 36%.  So 11% over about 6 months.  My lean body mass is up from 178 - 189.  Overall translates to 37lbs of fat lost, and 11lbs of muscle gained.


jordanread

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #418 on: March 02, 2015, 09:41:27 AM »
So, for all the rest of you, we are now 2 months in to this 12 month program. Is anybody else kicking so much ass that they pretty much nailed their goals like Jon_Snow did?
  • Are there any issues you are having?
  • Are there challenges you want some assistant to overcome?
  • What wins (big or small) have you experienced?
  • Are your goals keeping you on track?

ugh, still have hip issues when squatting.  So pretty much all squatting has been suspended.  I'm doing lots of mobility work on my hips, hamstrings and quads.  I'm also try to build up the area with other exercises.  Weighted good morning, step ups, lunges, hollow body work, hanging leg raises etc.  Very frustrating, but I'm making the best of it.  On the other hand, my upper body has been getting more work then I've ever done before.....so suns out guns out this summer?

Another milestone for me.  I'm down to 25%BF.  Last August I was at 36%.  So 11% over about 6 months.  My lean body mass is up from 178 - 189.  Overall translates to 37lbs of fat lost, and 11lbs of muscle gained.

Awesome wins! 37lbs of fat loss is great. So were you doing weighted squats, or bodyweight? What kind of hip issues?

For me, I am about 1.5lbs away from winning my bet with my doctor and nurses. Just by cutting out beer, I'm down from 203 to 186 (as of this morning). 185 will be enough for me to win $40 (and more importantly, not lose $400). No muscle loss either. I think I'm going to continue on this route until at least April (I really want to turn 30 with a 6 pack). I'm also switching up my workouts. Still doing Convict Conditioning, but my warmup is switching from my 10 mile bike ride into work, to some combination of HIIT and full body circuit training.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #419 on: March 02, 2015, 09:52:27 AM »
So were you doing weighted squats, or bodyweight? What kind of hip issues?

Weighted Squats.  I get a pinching feeling in the front of my right hip when I am in the bottom of a squat.  Usually it starts flaring up when I am at 70% or so of my max.  I haven't had it checked out yet, which I really should.  But, in lieu of having an MRI, I'm just doing any leg exercise that doesn't bother it.  I also have a request in for a standing desk at work.  That should be approved and added to my cube soon.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #420 on: March 02, 2015, 04:04:37 PM »
So were you doing weighted squats, or bodyweight? What kind of hip issues?

Weighted Squats.  I get a pinching feeling in the front of my right hip when I am in the bottom of a squat.  Usually it starts flaring up when I am at 70% or so of my max.  I haven't had it checked out yet, which I really should.  But, in lieu of having an MRI, I'm just doing any leg exercise that doesn't bother it.  I also have a request in for a standing desk at work.  That should be approved and added to my cube soon.

Have you seen a chiropractor? I was suffering from hip/knee pain back when I climbed a lot a poles ever day (lineman not a stripper get your head out of the gutter). It turned out to be a problem in my lower back which was being caused by tightness in my hamstrings. Still am fighting this problem off and on but for different reasons.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #421 on: March 03, 2015, 06:01:42 AM »
Have you seen a chiropractor? I was suffering from hip/knee pain back when I climbed a lot a poles ever day (lineman not a stripper get your head out of the gutter). It turned out to be a problem in my lower back which was being caused by tightness in my hamstrings. Still am fighting this problem off and on but for different reasons.

Yea I see a Chiro.  He determined essentially the same thing.  Tight everything around my hips, but especially my hamstrings.  Next week I'm going to start seeing a sports massage person as well.  She treats a lot of the guys I work out with and I have heard good things.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #422 on: March 03, 2015, 07:24:33 AM »
Have you seen a chiropractor? I was suffering from hip/knee pain back when I climbed a lot a poles ever day (lineman not a stripper get your head out of the gutter). It turned out to be a problem in my lower back which was being caused by tightness in my hamstrings. Still am fighting this problem off and on but for different reasons.

Yea I see a Chiro.  He determined essentially the same thing.  Tight everything around my hips, but especially my hamstrings.  Next week I'm going to start seeing a sports massage person as well.  She treats a lot of the guys I work out with and I have heard good things.

This is a chronic problem for me (lower back pain caused by tight hamstrings). I stretch every morning. Here's what I do:

Lay down, pull both legs up to chest, hold 30 seconds. Left leg only, 30. Right leg only, 30. Both legs again, 30.

Combine that with your preferred Low back strengthening (the exercise I do is really hard to describe via text) and the problem will mostly disappear.

Everyone is different, but I have terrible genetics when it comes to spine issues, and I've had much better results seeing a spine-focused doctor and PT than a chiro, especially when muscles are the cause, and not alignment. And I've spent years trying both before finding the right clinic.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #423 on: March 03, 2015, 10:47:11 AM »

You are rocking it!! I really hope that one day you will put together a slideshow video that is kind of the first 6 months of your retirement. (I can help :-)) Your's is a really fun journey to follow, and the fitness benefits and your progress has got to be one of my favorite ongoing stories around here. For when you do fall off said wagon, I highly suggest video taping it :-).


Thanks for the kind words JR...it has been an incredible and rewarding (and f*****g hard) trek into the realm of the fit and healthy. On my post-ER "master list" getting fit was priority #1. Like my 10 year "hair on fire" romp to FIRE was, my 6 month sprint to fitness has been equally a "hair on fire" thing. I've come to realize that, as laid back of a guy as I am, there is always one aspect of my life that is in "hair on fire" mode. Now that FIRE and FIT have been reached, I realize that the gardening/farming/subsistence living idea is likely to become my next "obsession". Bring it on. Lots of work ahead, much of it of the back breaking variety...but this should now be less torturous that it would be now that my body resembles that of a finely honed instrument. ;)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #424 on: March 03, 2015, 10:52:53 AM »
Has anyone used foam rollers much for flexibility/loosening up muscles? We have one that my boyfriend got for physio quite awhile ago and I feel like we under-utilize it. I rolled on my hamstrings and quads bit last night after ballet class and it felt heavenly.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #425 on: March 03, 2015, 11:00:08 AM »
Zik, I'm usiing a roller these days to try and loosen and stretch my IT band (big tendon that runs down the side of the thigh) in an attempt to aleviate some pain when I'm running. I find it is actually a painful process, almost to the point of tears. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #426 on: March 03, 2015, 11:25:19 AM »
Has anyone used foam rollers much for flexibility/loosening up muscles? We have one that my boyfriend got for physio quite awhile ago and I feel like we under-utilize it. I rolled on my hamstrings and quads bit last night after ballet class and it felt heavenly.

My PT had me try it a few different ways but we couldn't find a way to help my own particular problems. But lots of folks swear by foam rollers.

Zikoris

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #427 on: March 03, 2015, 12:05:35 PM »
Zik, I'm usiing a roller these days to try and loosen and stretch my IT band (big tendon that runs down the side of the thigh) in an attempt to aleviate some pain when I'm running. I find it is actually a painful process, almost to the point of tears. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

Yeah, that one seems to hurt like crazy for some reason. I'm going to try doing it with one foot on the floor to lower the intensity I think. Apparently that part of you is important for preventing knee injuries.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #428 on: March 03, 2015, 12:10:42 PM »
Zik, I'm usiing a roller these days to try and loosen and stretch my IT band (big tendon that runs down the side of the thigh) in an attempt to aleviate some pain when I'm running. I find it is actually a painful process, almost to the point of tears. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

Yeah, that one seems to hurt like crazy for some reason. I'm going to try doing it with one foot on the floor to lower the intensity I think. Apparently that part of you is important for preventing knee injuries.

Jon and Zik, it sounds like you are doing it correctly, it is super painful, at least until you get really used to it. Foam rolling the IT band is actually how interrogators cracked Khaled Sheikh Mohammad at Gitmo.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #429 on: March 03, 2015, 02:30:32 PM »

Jon and Zik, it sounds like you are doing it correctly, it is super painful, at least until you get really used to it. Foam rolling the IT band is actually how interrogators cracked Khaled Sheikh Mohammad at Gitmo.

If I wasn't already familiar with the advanced nature of your sense of humour, I could almost find that statement to be believable.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 04:08:17 PM by Jon_Snow »

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #430 on: March 04, 2015, 05:26:22 AM »
Lost all the weight from cheat day.  Back down to 198.6.  Hoping to end this week under 195 ... we shall see.  17.5% BF  Maybe we'll see 16% as the first 2 digits this week.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #431 on: March 04, 2015, 05:39:32 AM »
I need to dig up the picture guides to body fat that were linked a while back. Curious. I haven't lost any total weight since my lifting began, but I *know* I've lost some fat.

On a different note, what is a good starting kettlebell weight? For reference, I'm a decent-sized dude (6 feet, 220) and I'm currently doing 17.5 pounds per hand clean/push/press and 25 pounds per hand dumbbell squats. I'm primarily interested in doing kettlebells for the basic swing, less so any other exercises right now.

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #432 on: March 04, 2015, 06:16:11 AM »
i'll look at the size i have at home.  i'm 6'4 ... i have 2 sizes one was too big the other was good for starting.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #433 on: March 04, 2015, 10:42:53 AM »
There are no kettlebells at my local gym, so I'm pretty unfamiliar with them. A bit of internet sleuthing this morning has me intrigued though.

Once I leave town and relocate for the summer to my island, where gym facilities are pretty much non-existent, I would like a way to maintain the muscle development I have worked my a** off to acheive. I am thinking that a collection of these in my tool/garden shed might be a good idea. Not concerned about maintaining my general fitness level between kayaking, gardening, choppin' firewood, and pulling up prawn/crab traps from the depths (hopefully loaded and HEAVY) - but I know I will miss my weight training.

One concern  though...on some of the "press" type excercises, I don't really like the way the round mass of the weight seems to press against the forearms. That just looks...awkward.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #434 on: March 04, 2015, 11:24:08 AM »
There are no kettlebells at my local gym, so I'm pretty unfamiliar with them. A bit of internet sleuthing this morning has me intrigued though.

Once I leave town and relocate for the summer to my island, where gym facilities are pretty much non-existent, I would like a way to maintain the muscle development I have worked my a** off to acheive. I am thinking that a collection of these in my tool/garden shed might be a good idea. Not concerned about maintaining my general fitness level between kayaking, gardening, choppin' firewood, and pulling up prawn/crab traps from the depths (hopefully loaded and HEAVY) - but I know I will miss my weight training.

One concern  though...on some of the "press" type excercises, I don't really like the way the round mass of the weight seems to press against the forearms. That just looks...awkward.

It's really not.  I wear those wrist band things for a little padding for snatches, otherwise they bruise the bony part of my wrist.  Of course you can always use good ol' pushups for gear free pressing.

GC - I think 16KG is the recommended starting weight for most men.  You should be able to do 2-handed swings and progress to 1-handed with that size.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #435 on: March 04, 2015, 04:34:16 PM »
Still going strong. I've got a good routine with 2 sessions a week with a trainer at the gym, and 2 good athletic "fun" activities outside. Mostly Cross Country skiing right now. And making good progress towards my pull-up goal. I had a few truly awesome sessions last week- it's so exciting to see so much progress, and to be able to do things I couldn't do before!

I've lost about 5 pounds, though that isn't my main goal, and probably should also go look up those body fat percentage pictures posted a while ago. I would guess I've made good progress there.

My quandry now is about how to move forward. I can't justify the ongoing cost of two sessions a week with my trainer, though it has been a fabulous way to get going, for so many reasons. I need to start seriously thinking about transitioning to a more independent routine. I'm a little nervous about it...

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #436 on: March 05, 2015, 02:45:22 PM »
There are no kettlebells at my local gym, so I'm pretty unfamiliar with them. A bit of internet sleuthing this morning has me intrigued though.

Once I leave town and relocate for the summer to my island, where gym facilities are pretty much non-existent, I would like a way to maintain the muscle development I have worked my a** off to acheive. I am thinking that a collection of these in my tool/garden shed might be a good idea. Not concerned about maintaining my general fitness level between kayaking, gardening, choppin' firewood, and pulling up prawn/crab traps from the depths (hopefully loaded and HEAVY) - but I know I will miss my weight training.

One concern  though...on some of the "press" type excercises, I don't really like the way the round mass of the weight seems to press against the forearms. That just looks...awkward.

It is actually pretty comfortable, and I find that it's a nice auto-correct for shoulder rotational position in overhead work. Compared to the way a dumbbell would load you, the KB puts your shoulder into a more externally rotated position, which is more stable than internal rotation.

As far as weight, it's very dependent on you and what movements you want to do. But if we're assuming a kb swing, it's a common mistake to use too LITTLE weight, which makes people swing with their arms and lower back more than driving the hips with the glutes, so it's very important to get the rigt amount.

Most females I coach, including my 62 yr old 120 lb mother, are surprised to find themselves swinging much more than they thought they could. I usually settle on a 35 lb kb (my mom can swing that for sets of 50 reps with no prior strength training in her youth). The standard Russian method is a 53 lb kb for men. If you want to have options for other movements besides the swing, and allow for progression, a two-kb starter set would probably be a 35 and a 53 for a healthy adult male.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 02:50:14 PM by DSKla »

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #437 on: March 05, 2015, 02:54:54 PM »
Still going strong. I've got a good routine with 2 sessions a week with a trainer at the gym, and 2 good athletic "fun" activities outside. Mostly Cross Country skiing right now. And making good progress towards my pull-up goal. I had a few truly awesome sessions last week- it's so exciting to see so much progress, and to be able to do things I couldn't do before!

I've lost about 5 pounds, though that isn't my main goal, and probably should also go look up those body fat percentage pictures posted a while ago. I would guess I've made good progress there.

My quandry now is about how to move forward. I can't justify the ongoing cost of two sessions a week with my trainer, though it has been a fabulous way to get going, for so many reasons. I need to start seriously thinking about transitioning to a more independent routine. I'm a little nervous about it...

What kind of stuff do you want to be able to do? I could probably recommend an independent routine for you. That's for sure the way to go in the long-term.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #438 on: March 09, 2015, 06:07:35 AM »
Quote
What kind of stuff do you want to be able to do? I could probably recommend an independent routine for you. That's for sure the way to go in the long-term.

Well that's the million dollar question! Since I'm such a newbie, I don't have a lot of the language around different sorts of training options, so I have a hard time answering that question. But basically, I want the strength training to support my ability to do other real-world things. I want to be able to do a pull-up and some decent push-ups. I want to be able to play on the monkey bars with my son, things like that. And I've been excited about the ways in which the training I've been doing in the gym has made me a better and more confident skiier- I'm sure I'll also see the difference this summer swimming as well.

I have a feeling that kind of answer doesn't help much...

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #439 on: March 09, 2015, 06:44:01 AM »
Quote
What kind of stuff do you want to be able to do? I could probably recommend an independent routine for you. That's for sure the way to go in the long-term.

Well that's the million dollar question! Since I'm such a newbie, I don't have a lot of the language around different sorts of training options, so I have a hard time answering that question. But basically, I want the strength training to support my ability to do other real-world things. I want to be able to do a pull-up and some decent push-ups. I want to be able to play on the monkey bars with my son, things like that. And I've been excited about the ways in which the training I've been doing in the gym has made me a better and more confident skiier- I'm sure I'll also see the difference this summer swimming as well.

I have a feeling that kind of answer doesn't help much...

DSKla will probably have a more detailed and knowledgeable response to this, but to me it sounds like you want a routine that provides functional strength for day to day ability, some upper body for playtime with the kids, and some core for skiing and the like. If you want something that is free and fun, and doesn't focus on one thing, you can try the Hero's Journey bodyweight 'choose-your-own-adventure' program (at least until DSKla chimes back in).

Oh, and something I meant to post here earlier is one of the journals on Neila Rey's site that is a really fun take on the program.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #440 on: March 09, 2015, 10:04:41 AM »
Have you seen a chiropractor? I was suffering from hip/knee pain back when I climbed a lot a poles ever day (lineman not a stripper get your head out of the gutter). It turned out to be a problem in my lower back which was being caused by tightness in my hamstrings. Still am fighting this problem off and on but for different reasons.

Yea I see a Chiro.  He determined essentially the same thing.  Tight everything around my hips, but especially my hamstrings.  Next week I'm going to start seeing a sports massage person as well.  She treats a lot of the guys I work out with and I have heard good things.

Sounds like it might be a bit of an impingement. Do you know if your hips have a default anterior pelvic tilt? Often this position can both cause a lot of anterior tightness/impingement, but it feels like the hamstrings are the problem since they're tight. However the reason they're tight is that the muscle is lengthened due to the anterior tilt, and simply has no more room to move.

If you find this is the case, I'd recommend looking up some posterior pelvic tilt drills to reset your hips into neutral, and in either case, a hip flexor stretch with a powerlifting band to pull the head of the femur clear of the socket has worked for a few people I've worked with. http://youtu.be/dzhz67lXkAE

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #441 on: March 09, 2015, 10:15:47 AM »
Quote
What kind of stuff do you want to be able to do? I could probably recommend an independent routine for you. That's for sure the way to go in the long-term.

Well that's the million dollar question! Since I'm such a newbie, I don't have a lot of the language around different sorts of training options, so I have a hard time answering that question. But basically, I want the strength training to support my ability to do other real-world things. I want to be able to do a pull-up and some decent push-ups. I want to be able to play on the monkey bars with my son, things like that. And I've been excited about the ways in which the training I've been doing in the gym has made me a better and more confident skiier- I'm sure I'll also see the difference this summer swimming as well.

I have a feeling that kind of answer doesn't help much...

If you had unlimited money I'd send you to Ido Portal, but on a budget and without a coach, you might want to look into Christopher Sommer's Foundation One and Handstand One. These programs are affordable, you can get lots of coaching in the forums if you post form videos, and it is all about bodyweight strength and mobility, very little equipment needed. It should take someone starting from scractch 12-18 months (rough guideline, don't get hung up on it) to master all of the elements in these two modules, at which point you will have your pullups, pushups, handstands, and a lot more. Then there are more advanced modules you can move on to.

Unfortunately I don't know of any free, publicly available programs that I can recommend, mostly because they are either not individualized, or there is no feedback component, which there is through the forums in F1 and H1. In other words, some of the free programs might be good for some people who don't need adjustments and can police their own form, but I find those individuals to be exceedingly rare. As a beginner, you are going to want to invest in doing it properly. Sommer's stuff is not perfect by any means, but it is affordable, coachable, and his students are doing some incredible things.

The free method would be to become an insatiable researcher and spend a few years, in trial and error, learning about strength training and applying it to yourself. This is the long, hard way, but in my opinion, the best way.

Resources:
Ido Portal for all movement and a holistic lifestyle approach that I believe is the best out there.
Pavel Tsatsouline for no BS strength training through bodyweight and kettlebells, usually
Eric Cressey for more traditional strength training
Greg Everett for olympic weightlifting

From there you could easily find the other worthwhile branches.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #442 on: March 09, 2015, 10:22:29 AM »
I also just remembered that Kit Laughlin is my favorite resource on stretching, and in his forums, there are lots of knowledgeable, helpful people who can aid you in the strength training side of things, so whatever you do, I'd definitely recommend signing up for that forum and reading around a bit.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #443 on: March 11, 2015, 10:24:17 PM »
Updates from me:

-Making progress on pull-up goal: I've been diligent about strength workouts 3x/week and have started using a resistance band to do assisted pull-ups.  I think I am starting to look a little more muscle-y in my upper body/core: from the right angle I have the beginnings of visible ab muscles!

-Running: so-so.  My leg pain needed a bit more time to heal up, so I did very little running in February.  Have been getting back into it this month and I seem to have not lost *too* much speed for distances up to ~4 miles.  This month I am trying not to worry too much about speed and just re-establish the habit of running regularly.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #444 on: March 17, 2015, 03:36:23 AM »
Thanks for the tips on resources for training!

I made it to the gym on my own, without an appointment for the first time this last weekend! A milestone for me. My trainer owns the gym and is always there and he helped me figure out a set of four exercises to work on independently while I was there. He is always there (he owns the gym) and should be able to help with form and process as I become more independent.

My plan is to scale back to one day a week of personal training and 1-2 times in the gym on my own- 2 would be ideal during mud season since outside activities are in short supply.

I'm not getting as many steps in this month, taking the bus more and am also starting to share kid pick-up duty with my husband so he has a bit more time for work and his hobbies. So I might need to cut back a bit on my self-propelled commute goals. Of course, once the roads clear a bit more, I can use the bike trailer for pick-up and drop off.

Thanks again for all the feedback.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #445 on: March 17, 2015, 03:58:06 AM »
Loving the resources you shared- hero's journey, Ido Portal and Christopher Sommer are are really interesting! Definitely a place to start.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #446 on: March 17, 2015, 08:28:50 AM »
I knocked out my goal on the 1-legged deadlifts on Sunday.  Surprisingly more difficult when I can't touch down with the kettlebell or other leg to rebalance.  I'm going to keep working on my form with this one; I get a little shaky after about six reps.

Also down 5 pounds; 3 to go to hit my original goal, but optimally, I'll lose about 8-10 from where I'm at now.

My running has been total crap since I got sick in January, so I'm trying to refocus on that and get in 12 miles/week.  Signed up for the Bruneau Beast, which is a brutal 10K over sand dunes in June, so hopefully that will motivate me to get it together.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #447 on: March 18, 2015, 10:01:52 AM »
So I've been able to increase my walking and short range cycling by playing Ingress. That game is ridiculously fun. Been doing some Tai Cheng as warm ups for Convict Conditioning, and am at step 4 of the 4 main steps. Still staying stable at around 185, and the gut is going away. I've been doing miscellaneous sprints around as well. Considering how much I hate running, I'm actually enjoying these sprints between portals.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #448 on: March 20, 2015, 05:36:13 AM »
seems like every 10lbs i lose i stagnate for a couple weeks then i drop the next 10 in a couple weeks fast.  happened at 205 and its happening again at 195.  i think its partial diet difference and i must switch to something that is more sustaining vs losing weight once i hit a goal... oh well ... hoping to hit under 190 by the end of March still .... we will see.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #449 on: March 23, 2015, 09:17:33 AM »
Ok so I have a weird situation. I'm finally dropping pounds like I really wanted to in the past but haven't yet found a scale to verify. That's fine, I'll get there, but I am encountering one problem for which I'd like some advice.

I'm losing MUSCLE in addition to the fat, dammit! This never happened to me in the past because my primary means of losing weight were strength training and a keto or paleo-type diet (good for maintaining muscle mass). Since I've been living with other people and having little control of my diet, I've been dropping weight but not having enough protein to maintain muscle. Add to this the fact that I can't really strength train, other than some basic body-weight stuff, and you end up with a thinner me but still not the physique I'm looking to get. For example, my chest is smaller with both fat and muscle, but now the chest looks slimmer with a little bit of fat on it. It isn't man-boob action, but I could see how it might be if I were 10-20 lbs of fat heavier and without additional muscle.

Any advice? Luckily (or unluckily, based upon my poor past results) now I've gotten control of my diet and am eating mainly meat and veggies cooked in olive or palm (I'm in Africa) oil. I think this should slow down or arrest muscle loss, but I'd like to add some back while still losing fat, which is the perennial challenge. I'm getting back into my pushups, squats, and ab exercise routine but I will not be able to start weight lifting again for a few weeks.

I know, this shouldn't be my main concern as I still have the belly and spare tire to lose, but I don't want to lose too much muscle because then I'll have to get back into a bulking stage and I want to avoid the yo-yo cycle that has characterized basically my entire adult life.

Basic bodyweight stuff should be enough to actually build muscle, let alone just keep it. There are a lot of different methodologies that have been discussed, but if you consistently make it harder (i.e. Convict Conditioning), you should build muscle. I think (and DSKla can correct me) that with the diet the way it is now, ensuring daily(ish) use of your muscles should be enough to prevent any additional loss.