Author Topic: Strength & Fitness 2015  (Read 179626 times)

horsepoor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #450 on: March 23, 2015, 09:20:08 AM »
NICE!, can you add in some sprint work? 

Guessing that getting your diet back to meat and veg will help.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #451 on: March 23, 2015, 09:35:48 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 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.

When I started out (6'1 185) I learned form on the 35lb, used 45lb for a while in workouts, and was able to do a ton on the 53/55. The 70lb ones were just for fun challenge days.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #452 on: March 23, 2015, 09:40:14 AM »
Squat question:

Background - I have an immature squat and super tight hips. I have a solid deadlift (over 2x BW) but my squat is just terrible. I don't practice it so it doesn't get better, but I'm just really not flexible. I'm trying to be able to get that hip crease below parallel, and I find that I just can't. My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.

So what are my options to increase this flexibility? I should stretch more before, but are there any good programs to help with this (I've heard wall squats can help, where you keep getting closer and closer to the wall). Is it worth it to keep doing the squats even if I'm not getting to full depth? The weight does help push me down but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

Goal is to get to 1.5BW squat (currently max out just a bit over BW). I figure this would also improve any other Oly lifts like my clean and snatch too.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #453 on: March 23, 2015, 10:25:14 AM »
Squat question:

Background - I have an immature squat and super tight hips. I have a solid deadlift (over 2x BW) but my squat is just terrible. I don't practice it so it doesn't get better, but I'm just really not flexible. I'm trying to be able to get that hip crease below parallel, and I find that I just can't. My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.

So what are my options to increase this flexibility? I should stretch more before, but are there any good programs to help with this (I've heard wall squats can help, where you keep getting closer and closer to the wall). Is it worth it to keep doing the squats even if I'm not getting to full depth? The weight does help push me down but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

Goal is to get to 1.5BW squat (currently max out just a bit over BW). I figure this would also improve any other Oly lifts like my clean and snatch too.

If you're trying to increase flexibility, I think the step one of squats on Convict Conditioning may help. It's actually doing shoulderstand squats, upside down and attempting to get your knees to touch your forehead. The position makes sure you are focusing on the flexibility of muscle, and you can't over stretch since there is no weight involved.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #454 on: March 23, 2015, 11:18:49 AM »
I just read this whole thread.  I want in.

I just need to be more consistent with working out and I guess it helps to do it in a group and encourage other folks along the way.

Goals as of now - squat 185lb
Bench 135
Walk/Run 10000 steps a day - roughly 4-4.5 miles
Drink less beer
Drink less coffee
10 Pull ups in a row.  Right now I'm on sets of 3 or 4
3 sets of 10 Burpees everyday 

Squat question:
So what are my options to increase this flexibility?

My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.


Eye Pod - do you need more of a warm up? Can you touch your toes 

Also if you torso is going forward find out the position of your head.  If your head is looking down your torso will follow.  Level chin or chin up, eyes on ceiling.


boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #455 on: March 23, 2015, 11:56:15 AM »
I just read this whole thread.  I want in.

I just need to be more consistent with working out and I guess it helps to do it in a group and encourage other folks along the way.

Goals as of now - squat 185lb
Bench 135
Walk/Run 10000 steps a day - roughly 4-4.5 miles
Drink less beer
Drink less coffee
10 Pull ups in a row.  Right now I'm on sets of 3 or 4
3 sets of 10 Burpees everyday 

Squat question:
So what are my options to increase this flexibility?

My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.


Eye Pod - do you need more of a warm up? Can you touch your toes 

Also if you torso is going forward find out the position of your head.  If your head is looking down your torso will follow.  Level chin or chin up, eyes on ceiling.

you should quanify "drink less beer/coffee"  how do you know what less is...
i'd change it to no beer during weekdays or 2 beers max per day etc.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #456 on: March 23, 2015, 12:34:33 PM »
Squat question:

Background - I have an immature squat and super tight hips. I have a solid deadlift (over 2x BW) but my squat is just terrible. I don't practice it so it doesn't get better, but I'm just really not flexible. I'm trying to be able to get that hip crease below parallel, and I find that I just can't. My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.

So what are my options to increase this flexibility? I should stretch more before, but are there any good programs to help with this (I've heard wall squats can help, where you keep getting closer and closer to the wall). Is it worth it to keep doing the squats even if I'm not getting to full depth? The weight does help push me down but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

Goal is to get to 1.5BW squat (currently max out just a bit over BW). I figure this would also improve any other Oly lifts like my clean and snatch too.

I've been working alot on hip and hamstring mobility for my squats.  I do this routine everyday now regardless if I workout or not. 

Ido Portal Squat Routine

Also, one of my coaches suggested I just squat more.  As in, sit in a squat while watching tv, sit in a squat while my dog takes a dump, sit in a squat while the eggs are cooking etc.  Work up to 30min per day.  Use a chair, desk, stove, dog..to support yourself if needed.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #457 on: March 23, 2015, 12:51:20 PM »
Squat question:

Background - I have an immature squat and super tight hips. I have a solid deadlift (over 2x BW) but my squat is just terrible. I don't practice it so it doesn't get better, but I'm just really not flexible. I'm trying to be able to get that hip crease below parallel, and I find that I just can't. My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.

So what are my options to increase this flexibility? I should stretch more before, but are there any good programs to help with this (I've heard wall squats can help, where you keep getting closer and closer to the wall). Is it worth it to keep doing the squats even if I'm not getting to full depth? The weight does help push me down but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

Goal is to get to 1.5BW squat (currently max out just a bit over BW). I figure this would also improve any other Oly lifts like my clean and snatch too.

I agree with Cromacster, just squat more. Also, buy a pair of lifting shoes, the kind with the wooden heel. Next, over-arching your back is bad in the squat, but it's obviously impossible to tell what you are doing without seeing it. Lastly, I think Paul Carters squat setup post is super for figuring out how YOU should be squatting. I think was it.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #458 on: March 24, 2015, 06:24:26 AM »
Squat question:

Background - I have an immature squat and super tight hips. I have a solid deadlift (over 2x BW) but my squat is just terrible. I don't practice it so it doesn't get better, but I'm just really not flexible. I'm trying to be able to get that hip crease below parallel, and I find that I just can't. My back is very arched the whole time I'm in the squat and the only way I can get close to below parallel is if my chest goes towards the floor. I end up doing a mini good morning at the bottom of the squat until I can stand up. It's terrible.

So what are my options to increase this flexibility? I should stretch more before, but are there any good programs to help with this (I've heard wall squats can help, where you keep getting closer and closer to the wall). Is it worth it to keep doing the squats even if I'm not getting to full depth? The weight does help push me down but I know I have a lot of room for improvement.

Goal is to get to 1.5BW squat (currently max out just a bit over BW). I figure this would also improve any other Oly lifts like my clean and snatch too.

I agree with Cromacster, just squat more. Also, buy a pair of lifting shoes, the kind with the wooden heel. Next, over-arching your back is bad in the squat, but it's obviously impossible to tell what you are doing without seeing it. Lastly, I think Paul Carters squat setup post is super for figuring out how YOU should be squatting. I think was it.

That's some good information. I'm trying to stay away from Oly shoes, but I've used a plate before with some success. I think that everyone's right and I just need to continue to work on my flexibility. My wife just doesn't understand, but it's even hard for me to sit in that little squat that babies and asian people do with such ease.

Or that Ido Squat position, impossible for me to get into! I'm going to keep forcing the issue with stretching using some sort of pole as leverage to start.

I've also never made a concerted effort on the stretching, so really, it's my own fault. Pigeon pose was another recommended stretch that I'll try.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #459 on: March 24, 2015, 06:56:13 AM »
My wife just doesn't understand, but it's even hard for me to sit in that little squat that babies and asian people do with such ease.

You and the majority of the western world.  Like most things with your body, use it or lose it.

Or that Ido Squat position, impossible for me to get into! I'm going to keep forcing the issue with stretching using some sort of pole as leverage to start.

Just keep at it.  Use support when you need it.  The more you do it and the more often you work at sitting in a squat, the easier it will get.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #460 on: March 24, 2015, 01:04:14 PM »

That's some good information. I'm trying to stay away from Oly shoes, but I've used a plate before with some success.

What? Why? They are awesome.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #461 on: March 24, 2015, 01:50:32 PM »

That's some good information. I'm trying to stay away from Oly shoes, but I've used a plate before with some success.

What? Why? They are awesome.

I'm not competing and I don't see the usefulness of them. "Hold on, let me go get my special shoes before I actually lift this thing." Same thing with a belt and DLs.

For anyone wondering, I think I've seen the best description of my issue here: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/exercise.html -> Air squat: Keeping the torso upright, Matt Lodin. It's exactly what I look like and feel. Maybe balance is hurting me too.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #462 on: March 24, 2015, 02:26:35 PM »
Any one want to share pre-workout meal ideas? After trying a bunch of different things, I've recently discovered that a big grapefruit powers me through 45 minutes of cardio and then a full strength workout with energy to spare. Really kind of bizarre...I accidently stumbled on the grapefruit idea when my fridge and cupboards were empty of my usual pre-workout fare. I see guys (mostly guys, some gals) in the gym downing all sorts of bizarre looking energy drinks and shakes - I'd put my grapefruit up against any of them! Cheaper too!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #463 on: March 24, 2015, 02:53:47 PM »
Usually homemade granola or fresh bread sliced from last night's loaves, slathered in butter.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #464 on: March 24, 2015, 03:07:37 PM »
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.

Am all excited about seeing Kit's name pop up on this site. I used to train at the gym where he developed his programs (and trained with Kit a few times but mostly with people who were trained by him)... they were the best. I more or less owe everything I can do in the gym today to what I learned from those guys.

Kit trains people in Europe too, so I was able to find a posture and flex coach in the UK when I needed one, however, I just looked at Kit's site and couldn't see a list of qualified coaches. Still, if anyone's interested in this method, it's worth contacting Kit's team to see if there are any locally qualified people or upcoming workshops, especially in Europe.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #465 on: March 24, 2015, 06:07:09 PM »
I'm not competing and I don't see the usefulness of them. "Hold on, let me go get my special shoes before I actually lift this thing." Same thing with a belt and DLs.

They are useful because they put your body in a better position for a deep squat, which is what you said your issue was with, here is a little history:

"A weightlifting shoe with a raised heel was actually more important for the squat style of lifting than it was for the ďdeep splitĒ style, i.e., the area of balance is smaller in the squat position. A shoe with a raised heel allows the weightlifter to squat down with a reasonably vertical disposition of the trunk which requires fully bending the knees and tilting the shins forward; with the feet resting flat on the floor , i.e., the lowest, stable position to support the barbell became possible."

So yea, when you are going to be doing some squats/cleans/snatches, you just get your special shoes. Either way, if you play around with some different set ups, I think you'll find the one that you're most comfortable and strong in. It might not be the high bar, upright torso squat, just because of your leverages. You might be a natural low bar squatter (I am).

A lifting belt helps you lift more, why wouldn't you want that? Just because you won't have a belt when you have to pick something up in real life? I'm assuming that is your issue with shoes and belts, that you won't have them IRL, so you don't want to train with them?


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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #466 on: March 24, 2015, 06:40:54 PM »
Any one want to share pre-workout meal ideas? After trying a bunch of different things, I've recently discovered that a big grapefruit powers me through 45 minutes of cardio and then a full strength workout with energy to spare. Really kind of bizarre...I accidently stumbled on the grapefruit idea when my fridge and cupboards were empty of my usual pre-workout fare. I see guys (mostly guys, some gals) in the gym downing all sorts of bizarre looking energy drinks and shakes - I'd put my grapefruit up against any of them! Cheaper too!

The answer to almost any food question is peanut butter.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #467 on: March 24, 2015, 07:37:20 PM »
The answer to almost any food question is peanut butter.

Unless you're allergic ;) But I do make a mean alternate butter with almonds, sunflower seed, and flaxseed.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #468 on: March 25, 2015, 07:01:56 AM »
Any one want to share pre-workout meal ideas? After trying a bunch of different things, I've recently discovered that a big grapefruit powers me through 45 minutes of cardio and then a full strength workout with energy to spare. Really kind of bizarre...I accidently stumbled on the grapefruit idea when my fridge and cupboards were empty of my usual pre-workout fare. I see guys (mostly guys, some gals) in the gym downing all sorts of bizarre looking energy drinks and shakes - I'd put my grapefruit up against any of them! Cheaper too!

I don't like solid food in my stomach before working out (though I've never tried a grapefruit).  My go to is a scoop of whey, scoop of a carb supplement, scoop of creatine.  Comes out to 28g protein and 20g carb.  I'll usually drink the same thing after the workout.  All said and done it costs about 1.25 per serving and it works for me.  If I don't have my carb supplement I blend oatmeal into a flour and use that instead.

horsepoor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #469 on: March 25, 2015, 07:28:21 AM »
Before a run, I like to eat a couple Medjool dates, which are basically pure sugar (hint, they're best straight from the freezer).  If I'm hungry, I'll have a spoonful of coconut butter to tide me over; it's really filling in small amounts so it's not going to cause stomach upset during a hard workout.  Also, coconut oil gets processed in a way that provides energy almost as quickly as sugar, so it makes sense for pre-workout.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #470 on: March 25, 2015, 09:03:29 AM »
195.8 on a wednesday.  this could be a great week!

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #471 on: March 25, 2015, 09:25:16 PM »
The answer to almost any food question is peanut butter.

Unless you're allergic ;) But I do make a mean alternate butter with almonds, sunflower seed, and flaxseed.

I do eat all types of nut butters as well. Great pre workout fuel. Usually on a thin rice or quinoa cracker. I don't eat much bread.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #472 on: March 26, 2015, 05:32:27 AM »
I've been having a good start to the year, went from 184 lbs to 174lbs (male 29 y/o, 5'10").  My bodyfat calipers also tell me I went from 10mm of flab to 8mm at a measurement point just above my hip bone.  Also have managed to maintain strength in most areas throughout the weight loss and increase in some others.  Current 1RMs on major lifts (most are calc'ed from heavy sets of 3 or 5): Deadlift 350lbs, Squat 280lbs, Bench 210 lbs.  Bench is the only one that has decreased during my weight cut and only by a few lbs.  Thanks to being lighter I've gotten alot better at bodyweight exercises too, I did 14 chin-ups, 22 bodyweight dips and 10 bodyweight+45lbs dips.

Looking to cut down to 165 or 170 to get nice and light for cycling season, provided I can do so without a loss in strength anyway.  I've never been really lean in my whole life, I only started taking fitness and diet at all seriously til I was in my mid-20s and almost 230lbs so I've come quite a long ways.  I often fluctuate between 180 and 190 and I'm pretty fit but not as lean as I'd like so a goal of mine is to see if I can attain a low BF% for first time in my life :)
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 05:34:27 AM by Wiggle »

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #473 on: March 26, 2015, 06:14:21 AM »

That's some good information. I'm trying to stay away from Oly shoes, but I've used a plate before with some success.

What? Why? They are awesome.

I'm not competing and I don't see the usefulness of them. "Hold on, let me go get my special shoes before I actually lift this thing." Same thing with a belt and DLs.

For anyone wondering, I think I've seen the best description of my issue here: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/exercise.html -> Air squat: Keeping the torso upright, Matt Lodin. It's exactly what I look like and feel. Maybe balance is hurting me too.

If you don't want to get OLY shoes, squat barefoot, in your socks or in a pair of shoes with a hard sole (Chuck Taylors, etc.) and use a small plate under your heels.  Squatting in squishy running, cross training shoes will limit how much you can squat.  Same goes for DL.

Relative to a belt, I'd only use one for heavy sets- DL and squats.  I use one for heavy singles (1RM) or sets of 3 - basically, any time I think there is a risk of my form breaking down that could cause injury.  For me, its less about having something to push against and more a trigger to really tighten up my core.

cross3700

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #474 on: March 26, 2015, 06:17:48 AM »
I've been having a good start to the year, went from 184 lbs to 174lbs (male 29 y/o, 5'10").  My bodyfat calipers also tell me I went from 10mm of flab to 8mm at a measurement point just above my hip bone.  Also have managed to maintain strength in most areas throughout the weight loss and increase in some others.  Current 1RMs on major lifts (most are calc'ed from heavy sets of 3 or 5): Deadlift 350lbs, Squat 280lbs, Bench 210 lbs.  Bench is the only one that has decreased during my weight cut and only by a few lbs.  Thanks to being lighter I've gotten alot better at bodyweight exercises too, I did 14 chin-ups, 22 bodyweight dips and 10 bodyweight+45lbs dips.

Looking to cut down to 165 or 170 to get nice and light for cycling season, provided I can do so without a loss in strength anyway.  I've never been really lean in my whole life, I only started taking fitness and diet at all seriously til I was in my mid-20s and almost 230lbs so I've come quite a long ways.  I often fluctuate between 180 and 190 and I'm pretty fit but not as lean as I'd like so a goal of mine is to see if I can attain a low BF% for first time in my life :)

Awesome work!  It's amazing how much shedding a few pounds can make bodyweight exercises easier.  My chinups went through the roof after losing 10 lbs and doing ladders almost everyday. 

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #475 on: March 26, 2015, 06:50:38 AM »

That's some good information. I'm trying to stay away from Oly shoes, but I've used a plate before with some success.

What? Why? They are awesome.


I'm not competing and I don't see the usefulness of them. "Hold on, let me go get my special shoes before I actually lift this thing." Same thing with a belt and DLs.

For anyone wondering, I think I've seen the best description of my issue here: http://www.crossfit.com/cf-info/exercise.html -> Air squat: Keeping the torso upright, Matt Lodin. It's exactly what I look like and feel. Maybe balance is hurting me too.

If you don't want to get OLY shoes, squat barefoot, in your socks or in a pair of shoes with a hard sole (Chuck Taylors, etc.) and use a small plate under your heels.  Squatting in squishy running, cross training shoes will limit how much you can squat.  Same goes for DL.

Relative to a belt, I'd only use one for heavy sets- DL and squats.  I use one for heavy singles (1RM) or sets of 3 - basically, any time I think there is a risk of my form breaking down that could cause injury.  For me, its less about having something to push against and more a trigger to really tighten up my core.

I wear almost flat shoes. NB Minimus trail. Only a 4mm drop. I guess I just don't understand being able to squat/lift more with a belt on just to be able to say that I lifted more. it's not comparable to my history of squatting/deadlifts, so it's basically apples to oranges. It's like wearing one of the bench shirts. Sure, I can lift more but it doesn't mean I got stronger.

Especially for the shoes, I want to get the flexibility/balance to squat correctly. I feel like the shoes would be a crutch and I wouldn't correct my bad form.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #476 on: March 26, 2015, 06:52:37 AM »
As to what I eat pre-workout, it depends on how much time. I'm one of those "has to eat something" before I do anything in the morning kind of people.

If I'm going to the gym early, I'll either have a 1 or 2 block snack depending on how much time I have (a block has a set ratio of carbs/proteins/fat). If it's a 1 block, it'll be a cheese stick, 3 almonds, and an orange. If it's two blocks, it'll be an apple, 6 almonds, hard boiled egg, and cheese stick. If I'm eating that big of a snack though, I'm going to want to take a bit of a break (about a half hour) before I actually start to work out.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #477 on: March 26, 2015, 08:58:07 AM »
I wear almost flat shoes. NB Minimus trail. Only a 4mm drop. I guess I just don't understand being able to squat/lift more with a belt on just to be able to say that I lifted more. it's not comparable to my history of squatting/deadlifts, so it's basically apples to oranges. It's like wearing one of the bench shirts. Sure, I can lift more but it doesn't mean I got stronger.

Especially for the shoes, I want to get the flexibility/balance to squat correctly. I feel like the shoes would be a crutch and I wouldn't correct my bad form.

I don't think there's one right answer...

In my mind, the shoes are more about stability than flexibility/mobility.  Squatting 300 lbs in squishy gym shoes isn't the best feeling.  Not sure what the NB's you're using are like, but a little bit of a heel does help.  Also, oly shoes won't eliminate form or flexibility issues, but they may help you work through them quicker.  Again, for me, its all about having a stable platform.  I've squatted in socks when I've forgotten my oly shoes and that's a much more stable platform than squatting in my "regular" gym shoes.

With regards to the belt, I don't use it to lift more per se and I wouldn't promote using it that way. It's more about avoiding injury.  I don't use a belt 98% of the time.  If you use it all the time, you don't strength your core to be able to deal with heavy loads, which is what I think you're getting at, but for max effort stuff (1 to 3 rep maxes), I'd rather not risk injury, especially, the older I get.  In my 20's, I didn't care about any of this stuff I just went to the gym and lifted.  In my 40's, I've got a lot more creaks, aches and pains.

Everyone has different opinions and we all have to do what works for best for us.  Just wanted to relay my experiences and thought process. Cheers
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 10:31:41 AM by cross3700 »

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #478 on: March 26, 2015, 10:02:55 AM »
I wear almost flat shoes. NB Minimus trail. Only a 4mm drop. I guess I just don't understand being able to squat/lift more with a belt on just to be able to say that I lifted more. it's not comparable to my history of squatting/deadlifts, so it's basically apples to oranges. It's like wearing one of the bench shirts. Sure, I can lift more but it doesn't mean I got stronger.

Especially for the shoes, I want to get the flexibility/balance to squat correctly. I feel like the shoes would be a crutch and I wouldn't correct my bad form.

You're confusing two things here.  Bench shirts are a much different concept than shoes or belts.  Not to get off on a tangent of raw vs geared lifting......

Belts and shoes are tools.  You won't automatically be able to lift more by wearing different shoes.  They will help to get you in a better position so that you can squat properly.  With proper form your body is structurally capable of lifting more than if you were using bad form.  Not only that, if your body is in proper position it is much, much safer.

Where I feel you are making the mistake is the assumption that using shoes allows all form and flexibility requirements to go out the window (far from the truth).  If your form sucks, which you admitted, you should be using any assistance you can in order to squat with proper form....when using weight.  Keep doing all stretches, moblity, Ido portal squat routine etc with out shoes.  If you are squatting with weight I would do whatever you can to squat with proper form.

And you use plates to raise your heels....How is this different than using shoes?  The end result is the same.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #479 on: March 26, 2015, 10:38:55 AM »
After spending a fair chunk of change on a new pair of runners, combined with diligent stretching and use of a foam roller, I seem to have my IT band problem under control. A 15km run this past weekend went extremely well.

My attempt to get leaner while building muscle mass simultaneously has predictably had mixed results. My weight continues to drop as body fat% drops - muscle gains cannot hope to keep pace since there is no way in hell I am consuming enough food to pack on muscle.

In short, I like what the mirror test is telling me (I would guess 12% body fat), but not what the scale says - 185 lbs for a 6'4" frame is starting to feel too light for me - though I am lifting progressively heavier weights, I don't feel particularly "strong" at this weight. Hard to explain.

But this feels a little like nitpicking...I am THRILLED overall with what's happening in regards to my fitness.

My 3 months membership at the local gym just elapsed and I bought a 50 session package. Now that Summer is closer and I will be off doing "Summer-y" things, my gym time will slowly decrease - if I find myself in Vancouver over the Summer (hopefully not too often) I may pop in for a session or two. But I will mostly be gardening, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and running up a storm in the Gulf Islands - putting my "new body" through its paces...

Awesome thread, and very motivational and helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed.

cross3700

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #480 on: March 26, 2015, 11:47:33 AM »
After spending a fair chunk of change on a new pair of runners, combined with diligent stretching and use of a foam roller, I seem to have my IT band problem under control. A 15km run this past weekend went extremely well.

My attempt to get leaner while building muscle mass simultaneously has predictably had mixed results. My weight continues to drop as body fat% drops - muscle gains cannot hope to keep pace since there is no way in hell I am consuming enough food to pack on muscle.

In short, I like what the mirror test is telling me (I would guess 12% body fat), but not what the scale says - 185 lbs for a 6'4" frame is starting to feel too light for me - though I am lifting progressively heavier weights, I don't feel particularly "strong" at this weight. Hard to explain.

But this feels a little like nitpicking...I am THRILLED overall with what's happening in regards to my fitness.

My 3 months membership at the local gym just elapsed and I bought a 50 session package. Now that Summer is closer and I will be off doing "Summer-y" things, my gym time will slowly decrease - if I find myself in Vancouver over the Summer (hopefully not too often) I may pop in for a session or two. But I will mostly be gardening, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and running up a storm in the Gulf Islands - putting my "new body" through its paces...

Awesome thread, and very motivational and helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed.

That's awesome. Foam rollers are definitely one of the best torture devices out there...combine that with a lacrosse ball and you've got a pretty good medieval torture chamber.

At 12% you should be on the border of seeing abs.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 11:49:47 AM by cross3700 »

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #481 on: March 26, 2015, 11:55:20 AM »
Yea, what Cro and cro said. Also, I re-read your post, and it sounds like you are trying to do powerlifting squats? With verticalish shins and just breaking parallel? Flatter shoes like Chucks would help your positioning if that's what you're going for, but don't be worried that your back bends more (what you called a good-morning style). Oly shoes help more with deeper squats.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #482 on: March 26, 2015, 02:17:06 PM »
For anyone who is curious about different types of shoes (and different thinking about shoes) when I spent 3 months last year choosing shoes for weight training, I relied heavily on these two articles:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/feats-of-feet-minimalist-shoes-and-strength-training.html
and
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/meet-the-minimalists-reviews-of-minimalist-training-shoes.html

In my experience, the minimalist shoes are great for kickstarting posterior chain work, box jumps, lunges, and anything where you want glutes and hamstrings to get a workout.

Weightlifting shoes are great for feeling securely planted to the floor. I definitely feel a difference when I am driving through the heels for squats and cleans. Having tried them, I'd be reluctant now to attempt heavy lifts without them. So in that way I think lifting shoes are a bit like cycling knicks and jerseys - until you try them for yourself it's hard to see the difference or comprehend why anyone would wear them in public.


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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #483 on: March 27, 2015, 07:36:15 AM »
In short, I like what the mirror test is telling me (I would guess 12% body fat), but not what the scale says - 185 lbs for a 6'4" frame is starting to feel too light for me - though I am lifting progressively heavier weights, I don't feel particularly "strong" at this weight. Hard to explain.

Man, I'm 6'0" and I can't even imagine what I would look like at 185. I'd feel like a stick! I was making my goal weight 195 but as muscle gets added I don't think I will ever get there. Yeah, I've got plenty of fat to lose (probably 20-25% BF), but I've gained 5 pounds since lifting and I'm still dropping waist circumference. I've finally got to punch a new hole in my belt - been hovering at the last pre-drilled hole for months now.

Funny how different body types are.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #484 on: March 27, 2015, 08:00:27 AM »
Awesome progress Chief!

Agreed on body type differences. My body type very much resembles that of an olympic swimmer - long legs and arms, big hands and feet. ;) When in competition, Michael Phelps is 6'3" and 185 pounds. I think most people would agree that he is not an unpleasant looking "stick". His physique would be something I could see using as a target goal.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #485 on: March 27, 2015, 09:11:05 AM »
Yeah I'd guess most would consider Phelps an OK body type to aspire too. Ha ha

I'm 6'2 and before starting Paleo had ballooned to 245 lbs. At the height of my challenge and strictness I got down to 192. I felt awesome had gotten up to 4 sets of 6 pull-ups, benched my weight for the first time since high school, ran a half marathon and a tough mudder. It was the bomb!  Then somehow it all back slided... I was hovering around 200 for a while but now am back to about 210. Got  to get back on the stick as here in the northern hemisphere at least it's soon to be "beach" time.

I'm going to join in this thread for a little tracking/accountability. My goals for 2015 will be -

-Get to 200 pounds and maintain through end of year.

-Complete 1 set of 10 consecutive pull ups

-Finish a 13.1 mile run in under 2 hours (may not actually sign up for an organized race as my discretionary funds are pretty low and I'm kind of over the races right now)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #486 on: March 28, 2015, 09:46:49 AM »
Hit 191.4 this morning and 15.8% body fat.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #487 on: March 28, 2015, 11:31:13 AM »
I'm a bit late on board, but here's my goal for this year:

Run an official marathon.

I came close a few years ago, but a foot injury put me out and I never got back into it.  This time, I'm cross training in bicycling to reduce to strain on my feet.

I'd also like to give the Big 6 thing mentioned near the beginning of the thread a shot (https://s3.amazonaws.com/wordpress-downloadables/Convict+ConditioningWall+Chart.pdf).  I have no specific goals on it just yet, since I only just learned of it.

Grid

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #488 on: March 28, 2015, 05:17:10 PM »
Awesome progress Chief!

Agreed on body type differences. My body type very much resembles that of an olympic swimmer - long legs and arms, big hands and feet. ;) When in competition, Michael Phelps is 6'3" and 185 pounds. I think most people would agree that he is not an unpleasant looking "stick". His physique would be something I could see using as a target goal.

Along the lines of what TGC said, I would agree that you're probably at just the right weight.  I have a similar frame (it's actually kind of goofy, wingspan is 6'8" but I'm 6'4"), and 185lb is the bare minimum for me to feel active and healthy.  I haven't yet really put on fat (my body has yet to do anything but burn everything I feed it...) and I feel healthier (mostly more capable) than ever having built up some muscle mass, now at 200lb.  I'm just saying it sounds like you're at a good weight, and you may even struggle to eat enough to maintain your activity level now... (4000 cals a day is probably healthy)


As a side goal, I pulled off a 2-armed static hang for 2:40 last week.  On a larger bar at the gym (1.5" diameter), I'm still at 1:33 before failure.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #489 on: March 29, 2015, 04:44:56 AM »
As a side goal, I pulled off a 2-armed static hang for 2:40 last week.  On a larger bar at the gym (1.5" diameter), I'm still at 1:33 before failure.

Why static hang and not pullups?

Grid

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #490 on: March 29, 2015, 12:51:39 PM »
As a side goal, I pulled off a 2-armed static hang for 2:40 last week.  On a larger bar at the gym (1.5" diameter), I'm still at 1:33 before failure.

Why static hang and not pullups?



It's good to mix things up.

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #491 on: March 30, 2015, 08:20:51 AM »
And you use plates to raise your heels....How is this different than using shoes?  The end result is the same.

Tried it. I don't actively do it. It was shown to me to let me know that I have poor flexibility and balance. Anywho, I guess I just needed the smack upside the head to say "you're not stretching and you're not working on your squat balance and you haven't seen any results. This is not surprising at all."

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #492 on: March 30, 2015, 08:24:06 AM »
Yeah I'd guess most would consider Phelps an OK body type to aspire too. Ha ha

I'm 6'2 and before starting Paleo had ballooned to 245 lbs. At the height of my challenge and strictness I got down to 192. I felt awesome had gotten up to 4 sets of 6 pull-ups, benched my weight for the first time since high school, ran a half marathon and a tough mudder. It was the bomb!  Then somehow it all back slided... I was hovering around 200 for a while but now am back to about 210. Got  to get back on the stick as here in the northern hemisphere at least it's soon to be "beach" time.

I'm going to join in this thread for a little tracking/accountability. My goals for 2015 will be -

-Get to 200 pounds and maintain through end of year.

-Complete 1 set of 10 consecutive pull ups

-Finish a 13.1 mile run in under 2 hours (may not actually sign up for an organized race as my discretionary funds are pretty low and I'm kind of over the races right now)

Welcome to the club (the one that relapses). I'm 6'1". Biggest I ever was - 225lbs at the end of high school. Got down to 185 by eating and running. Then started crossfit and stayed at 185 but looked a lot better without a shirt on. Then we had the baby and now I have tons of excuses to not work out. Topped out at about 200 again. Slowly working back down. Goal is 185 by end of June. Still on track now, but it's going to take a lot of effort.

Hedge_87

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #493 on: March 30, 2015, 11:30:26 AM »
Yeah I'd guess most would consider Phelps an OK body type to aspire too. Ha ha

I'm 6'2 and before starting Paleo had ballooned to 245 lbs. At the height of my challenge and strictness I got down to 192. I felt awesome had gotten up to 4 sets of 6 pull-ups, benched my weight for the first time since high school, ran a half marathon and a tough mudder. It was the bomb!  Then somehow it all back slided... I was hovering around 200 for a while but now am back to about 210. Got  to get back on the stick as here in the northern hemisphere at least it's soon to be "beach" time.

I'm going to join in this thread for a little tracking/accountability. My goals for 2015 will be -

-Get to 200 pounds and maintain through end of year.

-Complete 1 set of 10 consecutive pull ups

-Finish a 13.1 mile run in under 2 hours (may not actually sign up for an organized race as my discretionary funds are pretty low and I'm kind of over the races right now)

Welcome to the club (the one that relapses). I'm 6'1". Biggest I ever was - 225lbs at the end of high school. Got down to 185 by eating and running. Then started crossfit and stayed at 185 but looked a lot better without a shirt on. Then we had the baby and now I have tons of excuses to not work out. Topped out at about 200 again. Slowly working back down. Goal is 185 by end of June. Still on track now, but it's going to take a lot of effort.
another relapse Here as well. When I started working out I was 6'6 260 lbs. Started working out joined a martial arts club played pickup games of basketball a couple times a week and got down to ~210-215 (even drop under 200 once for a jujitsu tournement). then I relocated and didn't have the friends anymore that liked doing active stuff. Now 5 years later I'm back up around 250 lbs. I haven't even been doing good at this challenge lol. I need to get my jiggly ass in gear and quit screw get around

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #494 on: March 30, 2015, 12:05:14 PM »
Yeah I'd guess most would consider Phelps an OK body type to aspire too. Ha ha

I'm 6'2 and before starting Paleo had ballooned to 245 lbs. At the height of my challenge and strictness I got down to 192. I felt awesome had gotten up to 4 sets of 6 pull-ups, benched my weight for the first time since high school, ran a half marathon and a tough mudder. It was the bomb!  Then somehow it all back slided... I was hovering around 200 for a while but now am back to about 210. Got  to get back on the stick as here in the northern hemisphere at least it's soon to be "beach" time.

I'm going to join in this thread for a little tracking/accountability. My goals for 2015 will be -

-Get to 200 pounds and maintain through end of year.

-Complete 1 set of 10 consecutive pull ups

-Finish a 13.1 mile run in under 2 hours (may not actually sign up for an organized race as my discretionary funds are pretty low and I'm kind of over the races right now)

Welcome to the club (the one that relapses). I'm 6'1". Biggest I ever was - 225lbs at the end of high school. Got down to 185 by eating and running. Then started crossfit and stayed at 185 but looked a lot better without a shirt on. Then we had the baby and now I have tons of excuses to not work out. Topped out at about 200 again. Slowly working back down. Goal is 185 by end of June. Still on track now, but it's going to take a lot of effort.
another relapse Here as well. When I started working out I was 6'6 260 lbs. Started working out joined a martial arts club played pickup games of basketball a couple times a week and got down to ~210-215 (even drop under 200 once for a jujitsu tournement). then I relocated and didn't have the friends anymore that liked doing active stuff. Now 5 years later I'm back up around 250 lbs. I haven't even been doing good at this challenge lol. I need to get my jiggly ass in gear and quit screw get around

It's frustrating, isn't it? I look back at my wedding (3 years ago) and love how I looked. But then again, I had a lot more free time and no children yet. I feel guilty about going to the gym, but I think that's more rationalization than anything. I have plenty of time with my daughter, I just don't feel like I'm in the moment enough while with her. Doing that will let me go to the gym without the guilt.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #495 on: March 30, 2015, 03:35:26 PM »
I've been checking out a bunch of fitness sites since getting some great recommendations from this group. I was looking at Gym Jones and in the FAQs someone asked for some "standards" to aim for for goals. Below is what they laid out (I'm not including the narrative and caveats, just the goals themselves). Honestly, I am guessing (I don't even know!) that most of these are currently way out of my reach, and many of them I have never done at all. But I'm glad to have some things to try to measure against. I thought I'd post here so I could find it again, and in case someone else found it useful- or had comments!

Strength/ Power Standards:
Deadlift: 2x bodyweight male, 1.5x female
Front Squat: 1.5x bodyweight male, 1.25x female
Overhead Squat: 1.25x male, 1x female
Clean: 1x bodyweight male, 1x female
Jerk: 1x bodyweight male, 75% bodyweight female
Turkish Get-up: 50% bodyweight male, 50% female

Strength Endurance Standards:
Deadlift: 25x @ 225# male, 15x 135# female Bench Press: 10x @ 185#, no standard for females
Back Squat: 20x @ bodyweight, same for females
Pull-up (straight bar, dead hang, no kip): 15x male, 3x female

Power Endurance Standards:
Ten-minute KB Snatch Test: >150 @ 53#, >200 @ 25# female, >150 @ 35# female
Sandbag Get-up @ +/- 50% bodyweight, max reps in 7 minutes: (target >35 reps), same for female

Cardio-respiratory Power Standard:
Row 500m in 1:30 male, 1:50 female
Run 400m in 1:00 male

Cardio-respiratory Power Endurance Standard:
Row 2000m in 7:15 male, 8:45 female
Row 5000m in 19:00 male, 22:30 female
Run 1.5 miles in 9:00 male, 9:30 female
Run 5km in 22:00

tofuchampion

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #496 on: March 30, 2015, 08:59:28 PM »
I know it's super late in the year, but do y'all mind if I jump in? I had a baby in November and am working on getting back into my old stuff. I was doing competitive powerlifting before I got pregnant, training in Aikido a couple of times a week, doing long bike rides (as well as commuting by bike), running some (did a marathon back in 2012 but only short distances since then, and no races), and had very good intentions of getting back into yoga, which I've been practicing on and off since I was 18. As you can see, I like a lot of variety in my fitness!

During pregnancy, I did Aikido till 35 weeks, and kept cycling to work till 37 weeks, but that was it.

Currently, I'm doing a little of everything. Powerlifting is my main focus & priority; I'm doing the Starting Strength novice routine 3x/week. I'm up to 135x3x5 for squats, 70x3x5 for bench press, and 165x1x5 for deadlift. I'm going to test 1RM's in a couple of weeks. I'm really excited to do that; I've been making gainz WAY faster than I expected. Pre-baby, my 1RM's were 200, 110, and 240. I think I can surpass those by the end of the year, and that's my goal.

Also running, 2-3x/week. The longest I've done is 2.25 miles so far. I'm going to do a half-marathon with a friend in November.

Cycling: mostly to & from work (only 4.25 miles each way, sadly), plus Spin class at least once a week. I really want to do a ride with my local cycling club, but I haven't been able to get out because of my and my husband's schedules. Soon, I hope! I also have tentative plans to get certified as a Spinning instructor later this year, and make a side hustle of it.

Yoga: been doing about 2 classes a week at the gym, and occasionally a DVD at home. My gym just hired 2 new instructors, and I really like them both. It's nice to be back into this, and the stretching is a good counter to so much lifting.

Aikido: I've only been to 1 class so far this year. :( Again, it's an issue of scheduling. I can only go when my husband and I are both off work, because I can't exactly take the baby with me, and I don't want to pay a sitter.

Oh, yeah, and I'm hoping I'll lose some weight in all this. Pre-pregnancy, I was around 150. Highest after pregnancy was 175. I'm currently at 169 and hoping to get down to 125ish by the end of the year (I'm 5'3").

Wiggle

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #497 on: March 31, 2015, 05:22:36 AM »
For people doing squats and deadlifts I would like to second the recommendations to use very low and thin shoes or, preferably IMO, go barefoot or socks only.  Shoes offer no help for these lifts and sometimes do not allow you to balance as well as you could without them.  Just be careful when loading plates not to drop one on your foot :) 

I would also recommend that people try sumo deadlifts as well.  They are my style of choice as I have long arms and legs and I find in a conventional stance I have more difficulty getting around my own legs with the bar.  Sumo allows me to lift in a more comfortable position including keeping the bar pretty much right on my shins throughout the pull.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2015, 05:24:19 AM by Wiggle »

Philociraptor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #498 on: March 31, 2015, 07:08:44 AM »
tofu, that is quite impressive, your 1RM's are pushing up against mine! That's it, time to lift!

For people doing squats and deadlifts I would like to second the recommendations to use very low and thin shoes or, preferably IMO, go barefoot or socks only.  Shoes offer no help for these lifts and sometimes do not allow you to balance as well as you could without them.  Just be careful when loading plates not to drop one on your foot :) 

I would also recommend that people try sumo deadlifts as well.  They are my style of choice as I have long arms and legs and I find in a conventional stance I have more difficulty getting around my own legs with the bar.  Sumo allows me to lift in a more comfortable position including keeping the bar pretty much right on my shins throughout the pull.

For everything crossfit (strength, skill, and metcons) I use Reebok Nano's (not sure which version). They're pretty much flat throughout but give cushion when running/jumping/etc. I went to these from Vibrams after getting weights dropped on my toes not once but twice =/

As far as sumo goes, they're also great if you have a lower back injury. They allow you to still work your legs while making the forces on your back more compressive and less shear (spine is GREAT at handle compression, not so great with shear forces). I have trouble getting around my knees with regular deadlifts as well, but I find that it's a form issue; I'm opening up my hips too early instead of going all legs until the bar passes my knees. Really focus on getting your butt down at the start and pushing the floor away from you for the first half of the lift, see if it helps =)

eyePod

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #499 on: March 31, 2015, 09:50:38 AM »
For people doing squats and deadlifts I would like to second the recommendations to use very low and thin shoes or, preferably IMO, go barefoot or socks only.  Shoes offer no help for these lifts and sometimes do not allow you to balance as well as you could without them.  Just be careful when loading plates not to drop one on your foot :) 

I would also recommend that people try sumo deadlifts as well.  They are my style of choice as I have long arms and legs and I find in a conventional stance I have more difficulty getting around my own legs with the bar.  Sumo allows me to lift in a more comfortable position including keeping the bar pretty much right on my shins throughout the pull.

I can sumo and conventional (with the switch grip) DL the same amount.

For shoes, I love the low profile ones. I just feel much more comfortable in them. Still doesn't help my shitty squat balance though!