Author Topic: Strength & Fitness 2015  (Read 179673 times)

unmetamorphosed

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #550 on: May 05, 2015, 03:09:33 PM »
Any other olympic weightlifters here?

I do a little olympic lifting. I just PR'd on my snatch tonight after really focusing on my technique for about a year. I'm hoping now that my technique is better I'll start getting PRs a little more often. I would love to be able to snatch my body weight some day.

I just saw your reply, nice job!

Now that snatching has finally "clicked" for me (aka pull the bar into the hips, damn it) it's actually my favorite lift. I'm 11kg from a bodyweight snatch and 1kg from a bodyweight C&J. Though I know I could totally hit at least 48kg now, my programming just doesn't let me go that heavy until the meet.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #551 on: May 05, 2015, 05:14:58 PM »
No. The only thing my grip would limit is a deadlift, but I hook grip, so it's not an issue.

Ouch, you hookgrip for deadlift?

Yea, it only hurt when I was starting out doing it, and if I take a long break from deadlifting, but other than that it feels fine. I think Gillingham hook gripped somewhere north of 700. I was looking to avoid muscle imbalances and biceps strains, and just stuck with it.

George Leeman 909lb American Deadlift Record, hook grippin.

KiwiSonya

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #552 on: May 06, 2015, 01:37:29 AM »
Hi, I want in too. I'm more at Homehandymums level than olympic weightlifting. My goals are to:
- Lose 5kg to get to healthy BMI by 1 August
- Complete 5 pull ups (currently can do 0) by 1 Aug
- Complete the length of the monkey bars at the kids playground.
- Do a sprint up my very steep street once a week
-Sort out my pelvic floor muscles (2 natural births snd they've never been the same).

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #553 on: May 06, 2015, 06:24:21 AM »
-Sort out my pelvic floor muscles (2 natural births snd they've never been the same).

If you arrive at any good exercises for this, please share. My wife is looking for help in this area as well.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #554 on: May 06, 2015, 03:04:04 PM »
Went out for a 6km run this morning - I really wanted to push the pace and see if I could do it in 30 minutes - a 5 minute per km pace, something I don't think I've ever done. Missed that by 30 seconds, no biggie there, but what was really cool was that I experienced one of the most remarkable "runner's highs" - so much so that after a quick rehydration I went for another 4km to make it an even 10km. Running is still very much a chore most of the time, but 40% of the runs, like today, it feels really good.

Would love to know if there are any secrets to increasing the runner's high incidents. :)
« Last Edit: May 06, 2015, 07:01:02 PM by Jon_Snow »

lucky-girl

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #555 on: May 06, 2015, 06:54:24 PM »
Looked back at page one to check in on my goals:

Complete 1 pullup - Making real progress here! by the end of the summer for sure. I've got good range of motion now on inverted rows (I think that is what they are called) and am starting to practice hanging as part of my workouts. I think I may invest in a pull-up bar for home. Been out on the playground quite a bit lately, and have been working on the monkey bars too.

Body fat between 20-25%
- so hard to judge, and it really seems to fluctuate. But I have much more definition in the muscles that are still lurking under a nice layer of body fat. I think based on pictures I'm in the 25-30% range. Down from the 30-35% range.

Swim multiple freestyle laps (Metric TBD - PR 2) - almost swimming season!!!

10,000 steps/day average - I think I may change this goal. I haven't been getting 10,000 steps and I'm not sure I care... I think I'd rather replace this goal with this one: 6 self-powered commutes every week (out of 10 in a 5-day work-week). I was walking almost every day in the winter, and then when the snow melted I got way to comfortable riding my scooter around every day. Luckily I have a fabulous husband, and he reminded me that I should really be riding my bike (only about two miles each way). So I've been biking every day for the last two weeks. We'll see if I keep it up.

4X/week exercise (2X - outdoor adventures, 2X structured)
- I was doing great during ski season- getting out for a good 1-3 hour cross country ski 2-3 times a week. I've picked up jogging since, but I don't love it, so have been out just a half hour at a time. But... as I mentioned before, swimming season is around the corner! And I've got a few budies excited about getting some good hiking in this summer. And maybe I can squeeze in some long road rides on my bike. Yay Summer!

Still not much change in my weight. I've started focusing more on my diet, specifically getting more protein and trying to scale down the percentage of calories I get from carbs. And of course keeping an eye on my total calorie intake.

Thanks for listening!


jordanread

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #556 on: May 07, 2015, 01:45:03 PM »
Great job everyone who is still carrying on. I've got some updates soon too, but will take some time tomorrow to update the goals with all of the accomplishments and changes. Keep up the great work everyone!!

Rheagar

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #557 on: May 07, 2015, 03:52:45 PM »
Chiming in to get my end-of-year goals in ink:

1) 600 pound deadlift
2) 500 pound squat
3) 315 pound bench

I'm hoping to hit those in time to compete in my second ever powerlifting meet sometime late this year! I'm currently cutting so my strength gains have come to an abrupt halt, but come fall I'm going to dedicate myself to a bulk until I hit those numbers.

boarder42

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #558 on: May 08, 2015, 05:53:45 AM »
Sticking around the 190lb mark.  5lbs above goal weight but my %BF has dropped all the way to `14.1% as of this morning.  hoping to bust thru the 14% barrier next week.  changing my end goal of 185 to 180 b/c i think i'll need to be 180 to get to 10% BF or less. unless i start adding on more muscle mass

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #559 on: May 08, 2015, 08:14:06 AM »
Folks familiar with my Journal or my story in general might know that I split my time between Vancouver and one of the B.C. Gulf Islands. As summer approaches my time "on island" increases. Of course, this means that I am away from my local gym - as this transition has approached, I have been increasingly unhappy with the thought of losing my ability to continue my strength training.

So, last week I took a ferry to Victoria and spent some serious money ($1000+) in order to set up my own rudimentary gym on my island. A relative of mine was very kind to give my a corner of a garage in which to set up a high quality weight bench along with a nice assortment of rubber coated hex dumbbells - ranging from 15 to 50 pounds. A dumbbell only workout regime is a bit limiting (I may add in some barbell stuff in future) but it is sufficient to scratch my workout itch for now.

My original plan was to cease my gym work on June 1st and resume sometime in the fall. I underestimated how much fitness has become an "addiction" for me. I cannot stop. ;)

I may have an outside shot at reaching 10% body fat by the official start of summer, in late June. In the last few weeks my level of vascularity has increased noticeably. I like the look, but my wife thinks its a bit creepy. ;) My weight seems to bounce around 186 to 190. As I mentioned before, increases in protein intake has seemingly helped some muscle gains.

Onward and upward, my fellow buff Mustachians!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #560 on: May 08, 2015, 11:52:38 AM »
Jon snow - why not barbell style dumbbells. Slight PITA to slide plates on and off, but with plates as low as 1.25 LBS, you get 2.5lb increments. That way weights can move back and forth from dumbbells to barbell, unless you insist on Olympic diameter plates, in which case the dumbbell bars feel quite silly.

Wiggle

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #561 on: May 11, 2015, 08:47:23 AM »
I had to take nearly 3 weeks off, I had developed some jumper's knee.  I am planning to go in this week with full weight for upper body and reduced weight on legs.  Looking forward to pushing hard again!

Wiggle

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #562 on: May 11, 2015, 08:51:08 AM »
Chiming in to get my end-of-year goals in ink:

1) 600 pound deadlift
2) 500 pound squat
3) 315 pound bench

I'm hoping to hit those in time to compete in my second ever powerlifting meet sometime late this year! I'm currently cutting so my strength gains have come to an abrupt halt, but come fall I'm going to dedicate myself to a bulk until I hit those numbers.

Awesome goal.  I too have strength goals but more modest.  Hoping to boost from 850lb total to 1000 lb total.  I am also cutting weight like you and am getting happy with my rapidly leaning out physique but part of me loves lifting more weight everytime I hit the gym and that is difficult to achieve right now.

Hedge_87

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #563 on: May 11, 2015, 08:54:06 PM »
Ugh the year is almost half over already! I've not been doing worth a damn. If anything I've actually gained a couple pounds. this is ridiculous. Time to get my jiggly ass in gear for real this time.

mrpercentage

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #564 on: May 12, 2015, 02:11:29 AM »
Goal: maximum gains through reduction of injuries.

Focus  on core workouts. I will save time and fatigue by cutting out the silly shit.
Exercises
1. Deadlift--  build up to sets of 10 with 300lbs again.
2. Squat-- beat my PR of a set of 20 deep butt to calve squats with 255lbs
3. Standing military press more than my body weight.
4. Dips-- >10 with 45 lbs attached by belt
5. Beat my PR of 19 consecutive pull-ups through the Armstrong pull-up program
6. Fill in non-weight days with 100 burpees
7. Do all of this without injury by never going to failure, Except on pull-ups, and quit when my form starts to suck

Longwaytogo

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #565 on: May 12, 2015, 08:51:46 PM »
Ugh the year is almost half over already! I've not been doing worth a damn. If anything I've actually gained a couple pounds. this is ridiculous. Time to get my jiggly ass in gear for real this time.

I'll second that!!  Just recently signed up for a obstacle course race August 1st to get my ass motivated (DC Spartan if anyone's doing it; let me know)

We can do it!

Rheagar

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #566 on: May 13, 2015, 10:29:48 AM »
Chiming in to get my end-of-year goals in ink:

1) 600 pound deadlift
2) 500 pound squat
3) 315 pound bench

I'm hoping to hit those in time to compete in my second ever powerlifting meet sometime late this year! I'm currently cutting so my strength gains have come to an abrupt halt, but come fall I'm going to dedicate myself to a bulk until I hit those numbers.

Awesome goal.  I too have strength goals but more modest.  Hoping to boost from 850lb total to 1000 lb total.  I am also cutting weight like you and am getting happy with my rapidly leaning out physique but part of me loves lifting more weight everytime I hit the gym and that is difficult to achieve right now.

The 1000 pound club is a great goal! It's achievable by pretty much all healthy males but still takes quite a bit of work to hit. Depending on how much you weight now you can definitely still build strength on a cut, especially if you're relatively new to lifting (<1 year). Good luck!

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #567 on: May 13, 2015, 10:30:11 AM »
Just signed up for another half marathon! Didn't think I'd do another one this soon, but I'm feeling so great physically these days, why the heck not!

horsepoor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #568 on: May 14, 2015, 01:59:07 PM »
I survived the Peru quarry trek, and have a 10k over sand dunes coming up in a few weeks.  One of my horses is going to have surgery, so I'll be riding less for a while, so need to focus on formal workouts more.  Need to do at least one legs workout during the week, and get out for a hike in the hills or running hill repeats the next few weekends to prepare.  Hoping I have little more lung capacity after being at 10-13k feet for a week.  Anyone know how long that lasts?

Not sure where I sit on weight; will check it Sunday night after a few days back on my normal diet.

bb11

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #569 on: May 18, 2015, 02:05:42 PM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

Cromacster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #570 on: May 19, 2015, 07:51:14 AM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

Diet could be one thing.  The program could also be the other.  Stronglifts 5x5 is a good beginner program, but overtime it is going to lose it's efficacy.  Might be worth checking out Wendler 5/3/1 or The Texas Method.  I did wendler for a few cycles and saw some good results.  I haven't done the Texas method, but I have heard good things from some friends.

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #571 on: May 19, 2015, 08:36:01 AM »
Had a bit of a setback in my weight training regime...about a week ago I pulled or strained something in my left bicep, either in the muscle itself or in the tendon connecting the bicep to the forearm. Only a tiny bit of discomfort there now and I would like to resume lifting. I may just avoid bicep curls for a while longer to be safe...too bad cuz bicep curls are FUN. ;)

Zikoris

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #572 on: May 19, 2015, 09:49:58 AM »
My balance goals are coming along great - as of Saturday I've officially built up enough strength and balance to dance pirouettes! Now if I could just get that splits down....

Anyone here who can do the splits? Tips for getting there?

KiwiSonya

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #573 on: May 19, 2015, 08:28:28 PM »
-Sort out my pelvic floor muscles (2 natural births snd they've never been the same).

If you arrive at any good exercises for this, please share. My wife is looking for help in this area as well.

Hi Thegoblinchief,  was recommended a device called the PelvicToner from the UK. Google it. Mine just arrived but I'll let you know if I get good results but could take a month or two to tell.

mrpercentage

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #574 on: May 20, 2015, 01:14:40 AM »
My balance goals are coming along great - as of Saturday I've officially built up enough strength and balance to dance pirouettes! Now if I could just get that splits down....

Anyone here who can do the splits? Tips for getting there?

Front and side are slightly different. Front lay on you back and have a friend push one leg as close to your shoulder as you can go-- stop-- they hold it-- you try to push your leg back against them for five seconds-- relax they push again this time down further as far as you are comfortable-- done. Repeat every other day religiously.
Side is harder. Same principal but use your body weight against gravity.
You can thank Tang Soo Do. That's the art Chuck Norris started with and I trained in when young

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #575 on: May 28, 2015, 08:22:02 AM »
Going to attempt to incorporate my favourite hobby into a monster workout today. I have circumnavigated my island many times in the past, but with my newfound fitness level I want to see if I can knock perhaps 30 minutes off my usual 3 hour mark. Yesterday I washed the "fleet", so my kayaks are ready to go for paddling season now. I recently bought a new paddle and I was shocked at how light they are making them now. That will most likely contribute to a record time as well. I'm not sure which boat I will go with today - the orange one on the right is my fastest in a straight line, but the blue one responds so well to leaning that I never have to use a rudder with it. It is a joy to paddle, nimble despite being over 18 feet long. I'll probably go with that one.

I have been looking forward to testing my new and improved upper torso on a long, and intense paddle for many months. Here we go.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 08:38:52 AM by Jon_Snow »

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #576 on: May 28, 2015, 03:50:39 PM »
2:15!!! Yep, it's official...I've never been this fit, though I've suspected this for a while.

As soon as I put my kayak in the water I noticed a whale watching boat out front - and wouldn't you know it, 4 humpbacks...the were quite a way out, and I was tempted to paddle out and get some pictures, but today was to be a FITNESS paddle, not a wildlife excursion.

I gave it hell, only stopping at one beach for a brief rest, more to stretch my legs than anything. I used a running app to track my distance (16km) and pace (8 min/km). I changed up my grip width on my paddle to target different muscle groups - holding the paddle at roughly shoulder width or a bit less will really isolate the arms, while a wider grip really helps blast the abs and back. The shoulders are worked hard no matter what you do.

My wife and I will probably paddle together on the weekend - a little more leisurely pace I'm thinking, and a stop at a winery on the way.


squatman

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #577 on: May 28, 2015, 10:35:35 PM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

No reason to quit SL if you're still making some progress (are you resetting? increasing your loads in tiny increments as you get closer to stalling?), but you could use some dedicated squat work. That DL/BS ratio is a bit high for my liking. Somebody else mentioned Texas Method, and that's likely a good option for you.

5'11 170 is skinnnnny IMO - I'd recommend upping your calories through fat (e.g., avocados, nuts, olive oil) rather than through protein. But especially if you're trying to gain weight, good carbs are your friend too.*

* - I am not a nutritionist.

Longwaytogo

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #578 on: May 29, 2015, 06:43:40 AM »
Awesome kayaking Jon_Snow!! I'd much rather mountain bike than sit on a stationary or elliptical any day.  I think some people write off exercise as a chore instead of finding something they can enjoy.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #579 on: May 29, 2015, 06:46:31 AM »
Awesome kayaking Jon_Snow!! I'd much rather mountain bike than sit on a stationary or elliptical any day.  I think some people write off exercise as a chore instead of finding something they can enjoy.

Kayaking always looked cool to me but I can't swim, so I'd probably be terrified if I actually tried (even with a life vest).

jordanread

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #580 on: May 29, 2015, 11:04:50 AM »
Goal: maximum gains through reduction of injuries.

Focus  on core workouts. I will save time and fatigue by cutting out the silly shit.
Exercises
1. Deadlift--  build up to sets of 10 with 300lbs again.
2. Squat-- beat my PR of a set of 20 deep butt to calve squats with 255lbs
3. Standing military press more than my body weight.
4. Dips-- >10 with 45 lbs attached by belt
5. Beat my PR of 19 consecutive pull-ups through the Armstrong pull-up program
6. Fill in non-weight days with 100 burpees
7. Do all of this without injury by never going to failure, Except on pull-ups, and quit when my form starts to suck

Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

For those of you who have just joined, I want to say welcome to the challenge. This entire thing is based on us working together, and reaching out when we suck (I've been sucking lately, and will have more details later). You guys are all awesome, and I will add you to the tracking post soon. I know I've said that before, but that relates to my aforementioned sucking. I will get this stuff setup today. Lot's of stuff to read through, so if I don't have you on the post within 3 hours, let me know here. I have notifications enabled.

Ugh the year is almost half over already! I've not been doing worth a damn. If anything I've actually gained a couple pounds. this is ridiculous. Time to get my jiggly ass in gear for real this time.

I'll second that!!  Just recently signed up for a obstacle course race August 1st to get my ass motivated (DC Spartan if anyone's doing it; let me know)

We can do it!

No shit. We can do this. I've just recently started working out again, and will have some updates on the Convict Conditioning stuff soon. ANW is back, and I will be using that as additional motivation. I slacked for a bit, but soon will be back into the swing of things. Good job on all of you rocking this challenge!!!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #581 on: May 30, 2015, 07:39:42 PM »

A&R

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #582 on: June 01, 2015, 09:25:35 AM »
After leading a pretty sedentary life for the past 10 years (extremely sedentary for the past 3 years), I am starting to realize how horribly unfit I am. I am 31, and although I am not overweight, I am extremely weak. In the past when I was better at exercising, I focused on cardio but never on strength training. Any suggestions for a complete newbie? I really am basically starting at level 0. I have very little upper body and core strength, which I would  like to change. Also might be helpful to mention that I am female.

How long do you think it would take me to reach a reasonable level of fitness? I can commit to working out 3 days a week and cleaning up my diet. Thanks in advance for any advice!

bb11

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #583 on: June 01, 2015, 09:52:21 AM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

No reason to quit SL if you're still making some progress (are you resetting? increasing your loads in tiny increments as you get closer to stalling?), but you could use some dedicated squat work. That DL/BS ratio is a bit high for my liking. Somebody else mentioned Texas Method, and that's likely a good option for you.

5'11 170 is skinnnnny IMO - I'd recommend upping your calories through fat (e.g., avocados, nuts, olive oil) rather than through protein. But especially if you're trying to gain weight, good carbs are your friend too.*

* - I am not a nutritionist.

Appreciate the advice squatman and Cromacster. I have been lifting for 3 years now but only just started Stronglifts a month ago. Before I was doing my version of alternating push/pull workouts, and not always super efficiently. I am consistent in going to the gym.

This is the first time I've ever tried really squatting regularly, but unfortunately I hurt my knee playing basketball and have been unable to squat the past 3 weeks. Currently resetting with some light lifts. Had been "eating heavy" the last two weeks but just weighed myself and I am the same weight at this point. :) Still, seeing some good progress from my last post. New numbers:

Bench: 210
Squat: stalled
Deadlift: 375
Overhead: 130
Row: 210

I want to stick with Stronglifts another 6 months and see how it goes.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2015, 08:20:55 AM by bb11 »

squatman

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #584 on: June 02, 2015, 09:15:23 PM »
After leading a pretty sedentary life for the past 10 years (extremely sedentary for the past 3 years), I am starting to realize how horribly unfit I am. I am 31, and although I am not overweight, I am extremely weak. In the past when I was better at exercising, I focused on cardio but never on strength training. Any suggestions for a complete newbie? I really am basically starting at level 0. I have very little upper body and core strength, which I would  like to change. Also might be helpful to mention that I am female.

How long do you think it would take me to reach a reasonable level of fitness? I can commit to working out 3 days a week and cleaning up my diet. Thanks in advance for any advice!

What's your definition of fitness?

I'd focus on creating habits and getting better every day more than I'd focus on achieving some level of fitness. Partly because your goals maybe way under/overshooting what you're capable of, and partly because your goals may totally change once you get there!

As for what you should do, my biggest recommendation is this: do whatever keeps you active! I'd love to have everyone do lots of Olympic lifting and play 12 different sports, but that's not practical. The advice of basically "the decent program you stick to is better than the great program you don't do" is very true. That said, if you were my best friend, here's what I'd vote for. If you can afford it, I'd find a trainer of some sort who can teach you compound barbell lifts (squat/deadlift/press/bench/and throw in some pullups). This may be heresy in the eyes of some around here, but a crossfit gym that has a distinct, dedicated lifting program would be a great option. I say this for two reasons:
1) crossfit gyms are used to teaching women how to squat/deadlift/etc.
2) crossfit gyms tend to be incredibly supportive places.

You can try learning this stuff with a gold's gym membership and a lot of hours on youtube, but I think lifting is one of those skills that's way easier/safer to learn with a teacher. A good teacher will both show you how to do the lifts and put you on a program to get stronger pretty quickly. There may be some conditioning to go along with it, but it's not 100% necessary. You could probably do nothing but lift for 6 months to a year+ and constantly improve. From there? You'll know a lot more, possibly use lifting as a gateway drug into other things, and the world will be your oyster.

Does that help? Happy to explain any of that further if it was jargony.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #585 on: June 02, 2015, 09:27:28 PM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

No reason to quit SL if you're still making some progress (are you resetting? increasing your loads in tiny increments as you get closer to stalling?), but you could use some dedicated squat work. That DL/BS ratio is a bit high for my liking. Somebody else mentioned Texas Method, and that's likely a good option for you.

5'11 170 is skinnnnny IMO - I'd recommend upping your calories through fat (e.g., avocados, nuts, olive oil) rather than through protein. But especially if you're trying to gain weight, good carbs are your friend too.*

* - I am not a nutritionist.

Appreciate the advice squatman and Cromacster. I have been lifting for 3 years now but only just started Stronglifts a month ago. Before I was doing my version of alternating front/pull workouts, and not always super efficiently. I am consistent in going to the gym.

This is the first time I've ever tried really squatting regularly, but unfortunately I hurt my knee playing basketball and have been unable to squat the past 3 weeks. Currently resetting with some light lifts. Had been "eating heavy" the last two weeks but just weighed myself and I am the same weight at this point. :) Still, seeing some good progress from my last post. New numbers:

Bench: 210
Squat: stalled
Deadlift: 375
Overhead: 130
Row: 210

I want to stick with Stronglifts another 6 months and see how it goes.

How are you at those #s if you've only been doing SL for a month? You don't need to start week one squatting/DLing an empty bar if you're a bit more experienced, but you should be erring far on the side of too light on that type of a program. I wouldn't be surprised if 3x/week squatting 5x5 pretty heavy contributed to your knee injury. I've seen people with 300#+ squats do linear progression programs while they were bulking, and the most common starting weight was 135. Continuing with that program for 6 months is going to be tough if you're pretty far along - only super new lifters are capable of maintaining a linear progression for length of time.

As for the eating part, eat more! :)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #586 on: June 03, 2015, 07:24:02 AM »
Ugh the past week I've been doing some crazy volume with my squats.  I've been stupid and haven't kept up on maintenance.  Man my IT bands are inflamed and sore.  This week is low volume with heavy weights, so easier on the ole IT bands.  Spending much more time on mobility and hydration now.  Sometime it takes something to go wrong to highlight what needs to be worked on.

Two more weeks until my first Weightlifting meet.  I'm excited.  I'll report back and let you know how it goes.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #587 on: June 03, 2015, 08:11:30 AM »
I haven''t been very good at recording my progress in terms tracking the amount of weight I am lifting in various exercises.

But I do know that when I first started (8 months ago?), dumbbell shoulder press was 25 pounds per dumbbell - I am now lifting 40 pounds. Dumbbell bench press was 35, now 45...biceps curls were 30, now I am doing 40 pounds per arm.

So, definitely stronger...but the mirror says "leaner" and the scale says "lighter". No mass builder here. ;) Cardio fitness continues to progress - a 50 minute, 10km run is basically routine for me now, something I have never been able to say before in my life.

I'm almost tempted to say this has been the #1 surprise of my post-FIRE career so far. :)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #588 on: June 03, 2015, 08:28:02 AM »
Following. I'm doing Stronglifts 5x5 right now, here is my current progress:

Bench: 205
Squat: 245
Deadlift: 365
Overhead Press: 125
Rows: 200

Note: these are 5 sets of 5, not 1RM. Been having some difficulty making consistent gains. I am skeptical that eating a ton is key, as is recommended by many bodybuilding websites. I'm 5'11" and 170 lbs, size 30 jeans are easily comfortable (slightly loose) so I don't have a ton of fat. I also play basketball and run once each week, with quite a bit of walking sprinkled in too. Trying to at least up my protein, and I certainly don't restrict my eating, although perhaps because I eat pretty clean I'm not getting enough calories. Definitely open to suggestions, as I would love to hit a lean 180 lbs.

No reason to quit SL if you're still making some progress (are you resetting? increasing your loads in tiny increments as you get closer to stalling?), but you could use some dedicated squat work. That DL/BS ratio is a bit high for my liking. Somebody else mentioned Texas Method, and that's likely a good option for you.

5'11 170 is skinnnnny IMO - I'd recommend upping your calories through fat (e.g., avocados, nuts, olive oil) rather than through protein. But especially if you're trying to gain weight, good carbs are your friend too.*

* - I am not a nutritionist.

Appreciate the advice squatman and Cromacster. I have been lifting for 3 years now but only just started Stronglifts a month ago. Before I was doing my version of alternating front/pull workouts, and not always super efficiently. I am consistent in going to the gym.

This is the first time I've ever tried really squatting regularly, but unfortunately I hurt my knee playing basketball and have been unable to squat the past 3 weeks. Currently resetting with some light lifts. Had been "eating heavy" the last two weeks but just weighed myself and I am the same weight at this point. :) Still, seeing some good progress from my last post. New numbers:

Bench: 210
Squat: stalled
Deadlift: 375
Overhead: 130
Row: 210

I want to stick with Stronglifts another 6 months and see how it goes.

How are you at those #s if you've only been doing SL for a month? You don't need to start week one squatting/DLing an empty bar if you're a bit more experienced, but you should be erring far on the side of too light on that type of a program. I wouldn't be surprised if 3x/week squatting 5x5 pretty heavy contributed to your knee injury. I've seen people with 300#+ squats do linear progression programs while they were bulking, and the most common starting weight was 135. Continuing with that program for 6 months is going to be tough if you're pretty far along - only super new lifters are capable of maintaining a linear progression for length of time.

You could be right with regards to the squatting. As for starting at those lifts, I just shifted the exact order of my workouts. So I was at 360 lb deadlift before, but was doing it as part of "pull day", where I would also do rows, pullups, curls, and straight-leg deadlifts. Now it's part of "workout B day", so done with squats and overhead press. As for why I didn't "start over", well that would be like taking 2 months off lifting. I wouldn't get much of a workout out of deadlifting until 300+ pounds, bench until 185+ pounds, etc, unless I did a ton of lifts. So doing 5x5 of bench at 135 for example would be nothing, and it'd be 10 workouts (about 7 weeks) until I even got up to 185, even though I know 185 5x5 is pretty easy. Of course I don't expect growth to be linear, and I do light workouts or even light weeks from time to time.

Quote
As for the eating part, eat more! :)

Trying! I am already known as the vacuum cleaner for eating so much, but I'll try and shovel some more down. :)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #589 on: June 03, 2015, 03:32:32 PM »
After leading a pretty sedentary life for the past 10 years (extremely sedentary for the past 3 years), I am starting to realize how horribly unfit I am. I am 31, and although I am not overweight, I am extremely weak. In the past when I was better at exercising, I focused on cardio but never on strength training. Any suggestions for a complete newbie? I really am basically starting at level 0. I have very little upper body and core strength, which I would  like to change. Also might be helpful to mention that I am female.

How long do you think it would take me to reach a reasonable level of fitness? I can commit to working out 3 days a week and cleaning up my diet. Thanks in advance for any advice!

I am absolutely not an expert like many of the other posters on this thread, but am a fellow normal-weight but very weak female so I guess I'm an expert in that part... Anyway the thing I found got me the most results with the least effort was a very simple body weight training routine. (I used this one from nerdfitness but anything similar would probably be good too: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2009/12/09/beginner-body-weight-workout-burn-fat-build-muscle/)

I started out weak enough that even with such a basic routine I had to modify the exercises a bit while I was building strength so I wouldn't end up using bad form and hurting myself. (Pushups from the wall instead of the floor, not squatting/lunging all the way down at first) But within only about a month of doing it regularly (only takes about 30 minutes 3x a week) I was strong enough to do everything fully with proper form except for the pushups, and could feel it getting a little easier every time I did it. And I definitely noticed a difference in my overall strength and the way I looked and felt on a daily basis. My husband who works out a ton and does lots of crunches and stuff was even asking me what I was doing for my abs, hooray for the plank! So simple and yet so effective. :)

Like a previous poster said though, the most important thing is finding something you don't hate doing so you'll stick with it!

squatman

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #590 on: June 03, 2015, 05:43:30 PM »
I haven''t been very good at recording my progress in terms tracking the amount of weight I am lifting in various exercises.

But I do know that when I first started (8 months ago?), dumbbell shoulder press was 25 pounds per dumbbell - I am now lifting 40 pounds. Dumbbell bench press was 35, now 45...biceps curls were 30, now I am doing 40 pounds per arm.

So, definitely stronger...but the mirror says "leaner" and the scale says "lighter". No mass builder here. ;) Cardio fitness continues to progress - a 50 minute, 10km run is basically routine for me now, something I have never been able to say before in my life.

I'm almost tempted to say this has been the #1 surprise of my post-FIRE career so far. :)

Awesome progress!

Jon_Snow

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #591 on: June 04, 2015, 02:55:41 PM »
Just back from the gym. Here is what I did today, which is fairly typical - and pretty much how I reversed my horrendous slide into the abyss of poor health. ;)

10 mile bike - constant uphill - 400 calories burned
1.5 hour weight training. Today was chest, shoulders, triceps...basically the "pushing" muscle groups.
3 mile run, slight uphill grade, again 400 calories burned. I don't always do a treadmill run at the end of a lifting routine...depends how much "I have left". Today I felt good, so a dragged my butt onto the treadmill.

Chugging protein shake as I write this. Really the most enjoyable segment of the workout.

Have to admit though, it's never EASY, but it's not the TORTURE it used to be those many months ago when I started down the fitness path.

Philociraptor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #592 on: June 04, 2015, 03:07:13 PM »
Goals:
  • 15% body fat on scale (12% stretch goal)
  • Rx 4 out of 5 workouts a week
  • Whole 30 in January and July, modified Paleo 28 days each month

Hurdles: How I will overcome them
  • Motivation: Drive directly to gym after work, do not pass go, do not collect other obligations
  • Injuries: Do 15 minutes mobility work before each workout, 30 minutes on rest days

Not doing so hot so far. Some goals I've somewhat abandoned, some I haven't really made any progress on. My fat % on the scale continues to fluctuate from 18-20%, with no sign it wants to go down.  I have managed to Rx several workouts though, probably 1-2/week on average, depending on the programming. I've given up on the diet goals, I simply can't eat enough when trying to be that strict. I've added in oats in the morning and protein shakes in the evening to add in some much-needed carbs and protein for the workouts. If I had to guess, I might not be eating enough still. We shall see.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #593 on: June 05, 2015, 05:37:50 AM »
Update

I think my plan is finally gaining some traction. For the last three weeks I've been doing pretty good eating "primal/paleo" about 80% of time. I've also been doing pretty good hitting my workouts in the morning. I've seen some weight loss but it's hard to  tell how much is actually lost. It's amazing how much better I feel throughout the day. My biggest weakness.... good beer lol. I'm sure this is the reason I'm over weight in the first place. I've cut back a lot but have snuck a couple in here and there.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #594 on: June 05, 2015, 08:28:09 AM »
Ran the annual corporate challenge 5k yesterday--1:67 longer than last year, but I pushed myself to the point where I had really intense aura at the end, so not feeling bad about it. I haven't been doing that many long runs this year, but my knees are doing good. I think I've gained a little weight so my eating should probably get another look, but I'm better at moderation than at restriction (that usually backfires). Hoping to be able to keep doing 30-60 minute runs through the summer and fall with no injury!

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #595 on: June 05, 2015, 12:43:51 PM »
A bit late to the party, but, here goes:

 - Attain and maintain a 300 Army Physical Fitness test (75 Pushups in two minutes, 80 Sit ups in two minutes, 13:00 Two Mile run)
 - Attain and maintain a 35 minute 5 mile time, exceeding Airborne standard of 45 minutes
 - Attain gold level German Armed Forces Badge (12 KM footmarch w/ 33 LBS in 2Hrs, 100 meter swim in uniform, sub 3:45 1000 meter sprint, 65 sec flexed arm hang, shuttle sprint 10 meters 11 times in under 42 seconds)

________

Non career based fitness:

Gain 15 pounds - currently 170 at 6'4"
Run another relay race, last one was the Texas Independence Relay.
Beat my older brother in an arm wrestling contest. (damned meathead marines)


I'm in great shape, but not perfect shape like I ought to be.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #596 on: June 05, 2015, 04:33:03 PM »

smoghat

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #597 on: June 05, 2015, 06:07:34 PM »
Run an 8 minute mile.
Lose 15 pounds.
Cycle 100 miles.

2 out of those three seem entirely doable. 

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #598 on: June 05, 2015, 06:19:15 PM »
Run an 8 minute mile.
Lose 15 pounds.
Cycle 100 miles.

2 out of those three seem entirely doable.

Or all... virtuous reinforcement.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2015
« Reply #599 on: June 06, 2015, 05:23:18 PM »
I ran my 7-minute mile today - unfortunately it was in 4, 1/4 mile segments.  I think I could manage 1/2 mile intervals at that pace, so if I would, like, apply myself, it wouldn't take long to meet my goal.