Author Topic: Strength & Fitness 2016  (Read 349987 times)

jane x

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1350 on: July 20, 2016, 01:07:51 PM »
@SoccerLounge and @Lagom - thanks for the encouragement!  Yesterday I was able to do my workout by tricking my mind - I told myself I only had to do one shred, which is 20 mins and very doable, and the 2nd shred was optional.  The first set was kinda hard, harder than it's been in a while, but I pushed on and finished 2 of them.  That was a workout.  I was exhausted after and pretty much collapsed.

Last night I got to bed earlier and got some rest and this morning I was able to do 2 shreds pretty well.  Still a good workout but not as tiring as yesterday.  And I also did my walk!  Yay! 

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1351 on: July 20, 2016, 02:47:08 PM »
Glad to have you here. Did you want to formalize some goals and I'll get them added to the tracking (Jordanread)

Thanks Jordanread!  Hmmm... not sure I have any formal goals right now.  I'm not an athlete and the only times I've injured myself are when I was trying to be one.  I think for me the goals are just to have physical health be a part of my everyday life. 

If it changes I'll let you know.

Darcy

Not a problem. It's a fun place around here.

Oh wait, I made some goals!  Can you add me to the list?

Darcy's 2016 Strength & Fitness Goals:

1.  3 months of regular workouts = at least 5 days a week
2.  6 months of regular workouts = at least 5 days a week, with increasing difficulty of workout

Thanks!


I've got you added to the tracking post. I suppose it's all official now.

brute

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1352 on: July 20, 2016, 03:30:19 PM »
Got some quality bench pressing in today. Worked up to 255 x 3x3. Not huge, but bench has always been a problem lift for me. Each rep was paused and solid.

After that, hit some overhead pressing, working up to 225 for 3 singles. A little shaky, but this is the first time I've pressed overhead in a year, even since I tore my right trap.

So, a long way from my goals, but with the wedding and honeymoon over, I have more time to train. On the downside, I'm a little worried I broke a bone in my left hand. it's hot and sweaty here in kansas city, and I nearly dropped a plate on my foot, but I caught it. Yay. Except I smashed my left hand between the plate and one of the pegs on the rack that holds the plates. Bruising pretty badly, but we'll see. It doesn't hurt too much if I don't poke at it, so ice and elevation it is.

Edit--
Good news, doesnt' seem to be broken. Bruised pretty good, but no real swelling. Not worth getting an xray of really. Makes me miss my last employer though, free medical on site, including xrays.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 06:16:09 AM by brute »

SoccerLounge

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1353 on: July 20, 2016, 07:00:18 PM »
Advantage of flexible rest days in my schedule: I didn't feel bad about not working out today so that I could bake stuff instead. (Counterproductive pursuits, go!)

Disadvantage of flexible rest days in my schedule: Now I have to go four days til my next rest day. I should point out here that my schedule is designed such that four-days-in-a-row incorporates a variety of exercises and difficulties so as not to constitute excessive demands on one part of my body or one element of my training. Still... no being lazy the next four days. I actually kind of like the mild, self-imposed "pressure".

hudsoncat

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1354 on: July 21, 2016, 12:44:54 PM »
Advantage of flexible rest days in my schedule: I didn't feel bad about not working out today so that I could bake stuff instead. (Counterproductive pursuits, go!)


DH is a fabulous baker. It's one of the reasons I run. I mean, I like being healthy and stuff, I LOVE the amazing things being in shape allows me to do, but I also really like cupcakes.

Woo! has it turned steamy outside this week. All of my paces (running and cycling) have suffered as has some motivation. But I've hit my workouts so far and took advantage of the Y membership for an air conditioned run last night. We've had such a mild summer so far, I forgot how miserable real summer weather can be when it comes to outdoor cardio.

jane x

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1355 on: July 21, 2016, 02:53:23 PM »
I've been holding steady on my workouts and meeting my goals so I feel really good.  The workouts have been a bit tough but I'm really noticing the new muscle development which keeps me motivated to push myself each morning.

Setting long-term goals for Jordanread's post also made me look at when I started working out and I realized it's been over 9 weeks.  I'm 2/3 of the way to hitting my first goal!  Whoo-hoo! 

I'm also doing the sugar-free challenge and I think the two are working well together.

@hudsoncat - that's nice you can use the Y.  I'm thinking of using it next winter for swimming.  I miss it (the swimming) and just love going there when it's all quiet and deserted.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2016, 02:57:25 PM by M.Darcy »

SoccerLounge

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1356 on: July 21, 2016, 04:16:26 PM »
I almost quit on a hike today. I was most of the way up, it was a very difficult hike technically (very uneven cambered - sideways gradient - ground with enough rocks to have to use my hands semi-frequently). My calves just didn't want to go on.

Turns out I was less than one minute from the top of the mountain. If I'd turned back, I'd never have known how close I was.

(This post is written like some sort of Life Lesson, but it's not meant to be! It's just... what happened! :) )

Longwaytogo

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1357 on: July 22, 2016, 07:23:40 AM »
Weight lifting still too inconsistent; going to try to be better next 5 weeks or so.

Had my best/most amount of Mountain biking recently. 6 rides totaling about 75 miles over the last two weeks.

~ 5 weeks until my Spartan race, trying to work on my Burpees as that is the penalty for uncompleted obstacles. Man they are way harder than you would think. I'm up to 50 about every other day, but I'm doing 5 sets of 10. The penalty is 30!! No wonder it seems to take some people 2-3 hours to get through this 5K course.

Goals between now and race day August 27:

-Get weight to 205 (currently 212) - Stretch goal Sub 200

-Complete a set of 30 burpees in under 3 minutes (no current time, going to try and time myself this weekend)

-Try to find a place to practice a rope climb (this is typically one of the obstacles)

-Run 3 miles at least 4 times (BUT BUT biking is so much more fun)

Jordan - No need to add these to my yearly goals; I will post an update around race day how I do with these.


Everyone is doing great!!

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1358 on: July 22, 2016, 09:55:41 AM »
Still sore from my Tuesday workout, at a level that hasn't happened for well over a year. I now suspect I know why my squat went down last cycle. I've been sabotaging myself by sandbagging workouts. If I'm being honest, Tuesday was the first time I pushed through the entire prescribed reps/sets on a heavy squat day in some time. I've been consistently skipping the last set, using a few % lower weight, etc., because I hate squatting so much. I was convincing myself that I wasn't doing this too often, but I think it was worse than I thought. Time to refocus. Upper body today, but gonna grind as much as necessary from here on out with the squat!

jane x

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1359 on: July 22, 2016, 11:29:20 AM »
Question for the ladies on this thread:

Do you change your workout routines during your monthly cycle?  The last couple of months I've found that I feel well enough to do my workout on my period days but then after my period I feel really tired and end up missing a couple of days of working out.    So I'm wondering if maybe I should plan to just not workout for a couple of days to let my body do it's thing.  Or I can do a shorter workout to stay in the routine but not over tax my body. 

Just wondering what everyone else's experiences have been. 

Darcy

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1360 on: July 22, 2016, 12:27:42 PM »
Hello Miss Darcy, I found this article very interesting, and informative. Geared towards optimizing weight loss, but also addresses what kinds of exercises to do during each phase. I've spent the last 45 days tracking my weight daily, and ya know, actually paying attention to wtf is going on. My (very limited) dataset has backed up with the article is saying re: hormonaly driven fat storage/loss.

Now, cue many people screwing up their faces and saying "Sailor Sam is a GIRL????"

monstermonster

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1361 on: July 22, 2016, 12:48:15 PM »
Question for the ladies on this thread:

Do you change your workout routines during your monthly cycle?  The last couple of months I've found that I feel well enough to do my workout on my period days but then after my period I feel really tired and end up missing a couple of days of working out.    So I'm wondering if maybe I should plan to just not workout for a couple of days to let my body do it's thing.  Or I can do a shorter workout to stay in the routine but not over tax my body. 

Just wondering what everyone else's experiences have been. 

Darcy
I haven't mastered figuring out a routine, but since I started a new immunosuppressant 6 months ago, I have an "inexplicable" migraine/fatigue right before my cycle starts and I'm always confused about why I can't work out as hard. It's only occurred to me recently this might be cycle-related and now I'm endeavoring to track it and figure it out. I have noticed that I seem to be OK working out on those days, but I need to focus on more restorative exercise (pilates, Barre, yoga) instead of things that are hard on my body (weight lifting).

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1362 on: July 22, 2016, 03:33:06 PM »
I have a question for the lifters:

I've recently taken up lifting heavy things. I started trying the StrongLifts program but since my gym doesn't have a squat or bench rack I've had to tweak it a bit. But I've been steadily adding weight to my deadlift and yesterday I pulled 145lbs. Not huge compared to many of you but I'm excited to be closing in on the 150lbs mark. But I'm getting close to being at my max weight with good form. I'm lifting in a free gym in DH's work's basement which has no trainers and rarely even anyone else in there so I don't have anyone to spot/watch my form.
How do you handle hitting your max? I'm worried about trying to lift beyond my max and hurting myself. How do you decide when you've hit your max with good form? What's the best way to proceed after that? I've been adding 5-10lbs per session, do I just hang out at my max for a while once I find it or should I cut back some and add back each time again?

So I'll comment with the disclaimer that I am not a certified trainer. But I do consider myself a somewhat experienced lifter at this point. First off, 150 is a great number for someone at your experience level. Very nice work!

As for form, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure you truly do have good form at lower weights. There are a number of online forums where you can post a video of yourself and get critiqued on that if you are not totally confident about this. Once you know what you look like when you are deadlifting correctly (which can vary a bit from person to person. For example, because of my build I bend my knees less than most), you can just video yourself during workouts and review to make sure you're staying on track. In my opinion, deadlift is actually one of the safer lifts as long as you have good fundamentals (which many do not). As you get more experienced, you'll also develop the body awareness to know when something is off, at which point you can just drop the bar.

While not necessary at your strength level, you may want to eventually consider buying a powerlifting belt, especially as you move up towards 200 and beyond. Used correctly, they are a big help with keeping your core braced, which in turn helps you keep better form. I would personally recommend you only wear it when lifting weights at the higher end of your range though.  It's an expense, but a worthwhile one and they build them tough, so it'll last forever.

Finally, most people do not have 100% perfect form on a 1RM attempt, and that's OK. You certainly don't want to be horribly rounding your back, jerking the bar, or doing something funky like hitching the bar, but small form mistakes are not going to lead to injury unless you are already injured or if you are using that same questionable form over and over on non max effort lifts. I'm not saying you shouldn't strive for perfect form on a max attempt, but it will be fine if it's not quite there. Incidentally, even as a beginner, I wouldn't recommend maxing out more often than every 6-8 weeks at a minimum (I regularly go 12-16 without maxing).

Hope that's helpful. Lifting is awesome and only gets more fun as your strength improves. Keep up the good work! :)
« Last Edit: July 22, 2016, 03:34:44 PM by Lagom »

SoccerLounge

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1363 on: July 23, 2016, 01:09:18 PM »
I ache all over from my lifts yesterday - in the good way. It's nice to be (very slowly, per my program) sneaking up into the kind of weights that will provoke mild DOMS and 'post-lifting wobbles' again!

redbird

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1364 on: July 23, 2016, 03:04:02 PM »
I'm about 60 days out from moving (do not know where yet - a separate issue) and I had this disturbing revelation today that moving is going to SUCK because I really need to get in better shape. So I did some research, put together a fitness plan, got my DH on board, and we bought some lightweight dumbbells. Tomorrow will be our first official exercise day. Day 1 of a week seemed like a good place to start.

Not looking forward to being sore, but I'm looking forward to both losing a little weight and to get in better shape. If it helps me even a little for moving, I'll be happy, but regardless I fully intend to continue this long term. I was glad DH was so willing to get onboard too. If we have someone to keep each other honest and motivated, that'll just make it easier.

marty998

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1365 on: July 24, 2016, 01:44:34 AM »
Well... my local fun run was today. Finished the 11k's in a time of 59:55

Goal not achieved (sub 57), but still smashed last year's time of 1:05:59 by over 6 minutes... which I think translates to being 1km further up the road this time around.

I stopped to walk only once this year (last year 3 times)... at the last hill at the 9km mark... probably due to all my so called "training" being 4-6km runs.

Anyway, happy enough with the gains... will try and go for 55 minutes next year :)

horsepoor

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1366 on: July 24, 2016, 09:47:10 AM »
I need to get back to running a bit more regularly, since I signed up for the Rim to Rim 7.5 mile run in September.  Doubt I'll beat my last time, which I think was around 1:10.  It's a fun race that starts at a country club in the bottom of the Snake River Canyon, runs 500' up switchbacks, over Perrine Bridge, then back down the other side of the canyon rim and across a footbridge over the river.  My goal at the beginning of this thread was to run the Zeitgeist half marathon in November, but I may be working in DC for a stint at that time, so I haven't signed up.  Being prepped for RtR would put me in a good spot to get ready for the HM if I'm here to run it.

So that means getting up and running before work, since the forecast is for 100 degree days through the end of the month.  I've been deadlifting about once a week lately and hitting up to 175#.  I feel like that's a pretty good spot for me, since I'm not looking to put on muscle mass.  Balance is good, and I'm making progress on single-leg squats, bench and pushups, having neglected upper body training outside of kettlebells for quite a while.  Have plenty of fat to shed after a couple months of lackadaisical eating/drinking capped off with a food-centric vacation.

Longwaytogo

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1367 on: July 24, 2016, 10:17:55 AM »
Well... my local fun run was today. Finished the 11k's in a time of 59:55

Goal not achieved (sub 57), but still smashed last year's time of 1:05:59 by over 6 minutes... which I think translates to being 1km further up the road this time around.

I stopped to walk only once this year (last year 3 times)... at the last hill at the 9km mark... probably due to all my so called "training" being 4-6km runs.

Anyway, happy enough with the gains... will try and go for 55 minutes next year :)

Awesome job!! 6 mins is a great one year improvement.

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1368 on: July 24, 2016, 11:32:43 AM »

Thanks. I'll have to have DH come with me sometime to record my lift so I can check (have others check) my form.

But what do you do between maxes? Deload and add back or something completely obvious that I'm not thinking of? I suppose it may matter that I'm not doing 1RMs, I'm doing 3 sets of 5 reps and am just getting where adding more weight will either keep me from completing or possibly cause injury

If you have a smart phone with a selfie option and something to lean it against that gives a good side angle, that can work just as well for recording a video. I will often to this and then delete the video afterwards to save room.

tldr on the below: De-load and working back up works just fine for beginner to intermediate lifters. I'm not sure how much you know so I've expanded on that a bit:

There are many philosophies on programming, but the most common one for beginners to intermediate lifters is a linear progression program. You can Google a lot of examples to get a feel of what you think fits your goals best. One of the more highly regarded would be Starting Strength, which is detailed in a book, but you can find outlines of the program through a Google search as well. It doesn't have you deadlift as much as other programs though. In general, the basic premise of these programs is a series of mid range rep schemes (like what you are doing with 3x5) at which you increase 5-10lbs/week (typically 5 on squat/bench and 5-10 on DL). It sounds like this is basically what you've been doing. To reset after a 1RM, you just start over with the same program from a % of the max (something like 60-70%) and work up again. If one week feels especially hard or you miss a weight, but you haven't maxed yet, just repeat the week without adding weight.

There are so many variations you could do that I'm not sure it would be helpful for me to get into them, especially since I mostly only know about my own programming, which is pretty different than linear progression at this point. In case it's helpful, I did find one deadlift program from about a year ago, when I was working through a high volume linear progression model. I think at this point my max was somewhere in the 335-365 range (as a 195lb man), so I was an advanced beginner. I was lifting M/W/F (squat/upper body/deadlift) using the following program for my deadlifts. Accessories each deadlift day consisted of 5x10 rows, 5x10 lat pulldowns, and ab work. This is one of a million examples, but I always like seeing exactly what other people are doing, so perhaps it will be helpful. I believe when it says add 10lbs, 20lbs, etc., it means from week 1, as opposed to adding that much on top of the previous week. So week 3 & 5 use the same weights, for example.

W1
4x4@70%; 2x2@80%; 70%x8

W2
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8

W3
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 10lbs

W4
Accessories only

W5
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 10lbs

W6
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 20lbs

W7
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 30lbs

W8
Accessories only

W9
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 30lbs

W10
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 40lbs

W11
4x4@70%; 80%x2; 90%x2; 70%x8 add 50lbs

W12
Accessories only

W13
Deadlift Max

« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 06:09:46 PM by Lagom »

jane x

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1369 on: July 25, 2016, 12:06:43 PM »
Hello Miss Darcy, I found this article very interesting, and informative. Geared towards optimizing weight loss, but also addresses what kinds of exercises to do during each phase. I've spent the last 45 days tracking my weight daily, and ya know, actually paying attention to wtf is going on. My (very limited) dataset has backed up with the article is saying re: hormonaly driven fat storage/loss.

Now, cue many people screwing up their faces and saying "Sailor Sam is a GIRL????"

Hey Sailor Sam!  Thanks for this article.  Very informative.  And according to it strength training is the thing to do during your menstrual cycle so that's what I'm doing and it's working our pretty well.  I do get more tired than normal but I can still get the benefits of a good workout and I found myself less cravy of junk food and sugar than normal. 

jane x

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1370 on: July 25, 2016, 12:11:41 PM »
Question for the ladies on this thread:

Do you change your workout routines during your monthly cycle?  The last couple of months I've found that I feel well enough to do my workout on my period days but then after my period I feel really tired and end up missing a couple of days of working out.    So I'm wondering if maybe I should plan to just not workout for a couple of days to let my body do it's thing.  Or I can do a shorter workout to stay in the routine but not over tax my body. 

Just wondering what everyone else's experiences have been. 

Darcy
I haven't mastered figuring out a routine, but since I started a new immunosuppressant 6 months ago, I have an "inexplicable" migraine/fatigue right before my cycle starts and I'm always confused about why I can't work out as hard. It's only occurred to me recently this might be cycle-related and now I'm endeavoring to track it and figure it out. I have noticed that I seem to be OK working out on those days, but I need to focus on more restorative exercise (pilates, Barre, yoga) instead of things that are hard on my body (weight lifting).

Hey monstermonster!  You might want to check out the article provided by Sailor Sam.  It's very good.  When I've done cardio in the past while on my cycle, I found that I could barely do it.  My stamina was just shot.  Of course, you're body might be different.  But the article says strength training is what we should do on our cycle and I tried it and was pleasantly surprised that I could still work out, not as much as normal, but still got a really good workout in.  Oh, and I read somewhere that there's certain yoga poses we need to avoid during our cycle as well.  I forgot which ones but I'm sure you can google it.  Good luck!  Let us know what you find.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1371 on: July 25, 2016, 05:01:08 PM »
Guys. Guys. Guys.

I did a clean and jerk with 95lbs. I put 95lbs ABOVE MY HEAD and got a great lockout and help it. I have NOODLES for arms. They are like 5' long and about 4" around, so you have NO IDEA how excited I am about this.

Also, my husband pointed out yesterday when I was brushing my hair that I actually have biceps, that you can SEE (kinda sorta). This is a novel and delightful experience.

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1372 on: July 25, 2016, 05:33:34 PM »
Guys. Guys. Guys.

I did a clean and jerk with 95lbs. I put 95lbs ABOVE MY HEAD and got a great lockout and help it. I have NOODLES for arms. They are like 5' long and about 4" around, so you have NO IDEA how excited I am about this.

Also, my husband pointed out yesterday when I was brushing my hair that I actually have biceps, that you can SEE (kinda sorta). This is a novel and delightful experience.

Ha that's awesome! Great work! Next stop is 100+!

I can definitely relate to how you feel. While I often have to remind myself not to humblebrag about the weights I can lift today (it's just so damn exciting to be strong when you were weak your whole life!), let it be known that I was mega skinny fat before I began my fitness journey. Something like 6'4" 170lbs (male) with a flabby belly and arms so skinny I could almost wrap my hand all the way around my arm at the bicep. I could barely bench the bar for a few reps and running 400m totally depleted me.

Sometimes I think back to that time (only 3 years ago) and it feels like I am a totally different person. For all of the downsides of being unhealthy for many years of my youth, I do think I appreciate the changes in my body so much more having gone through this as an adult, than I would if I had always been fit. I suppose it's a sort of body dismorphism, but in a good way. It really is worth the early pain, and once you start to make visible progress, it gets so much more fun and motivating! :)



use2betrix

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1373 on: July 25, 2016, 06:03:18 PM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

SoccerLounge

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1374 on: July 25, 2016, 07:12:21 PM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

Just dirty bulk on Snickers bars and McD's. You know you want to*




* - maybe not ;)

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1375 on: July 25, 2016, 07:41:49 PM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

Just dirty bulk on Snickers bars and McD's. You know you want to*




* - maybe not ;)

Man, I respect bodybuilders that bother to track all that stuff, but give me a dirty bulk any day where I don't have to count anything to make gains. Fortunately, I have found one recipe that helps a lot while being semi healthy (or at least not McDonald's level unhealthy). Protein shake with whole milk, a couple giant scoops of peanut butter, a banana, and a scoop of protein powder.  Tastes pretty good, lots of good fat and protein, and ridiculously caloric. One or two of those a day and I can get away with eating semi-clean the rest of the time while continuing my lazy-man's bulking. :)


redbird

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1376 on: July 25, 2016, 11:22:11 PM »
I did successfully exercise on Sunday. It left me sore enough that I realized I should probably do a rest day when I woke up today/Monday. So I'm back on tomorrow/Tuesday for day 2 of my exercise goal. I was hoping to exercise a bit every single day, but I think I'll have to build up to that. I'm just too out of shape from years of sit down office jobs. I did not do anything exercise-wise post-FIRE until now.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1377 on: July 26, 2016, 06:14:19 AM »
Jordan, you can add an official goal for me.

I want to total 1200+lbs in the 93KG class at the USAPL Philadelphia LOVE Powerlifting Championships on December 17th.

20 1/2 weeks out. Will be testing maxes and running a 16 week training block leading up to the meet. Any suggestions on a good 16 week program to prep for a PL meet?

Yesterday I did a deloadish pull session

Kept it lighter and lower volume

Highlight - Barbell Deadlifts
225 x 8
275 x 8
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 3
405 x 5


Today was a very nice upper push workout.

Highlight was Barbell Bench Press
225 x 8
255 x 5
280 x 5
280 x 5
280 x 5 (Oh man, this is SUPER close to my all time strongest)

Followed by accessory work and a slow 21 minute 2 mile run.

Woke up 216.4lbs with my 7 day rolling average weight at 216.0

use2betrix

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1378 on: July 26, 2016, 06:38:54 AM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

Just dirty bulk on Snickers bars and McD's. You know you want to*




* - maybe not ;)

Man, I respect bodybuilders that bother to track all that stuff, but give me a dirty bulk any day where I don't have to count anything to make gains. Fortunately, I have found one recipe that helps a lot while being semi healthy (or at least not McDonald's level unhealthy). Protein shake with whole milk, a couple giant scoops of peanut butter, a banana, and a scoop of protein powder.  Tastes pretty good, lots of good fat and protein, and ridiculously caloric. One or two of those a day and I can get away with eating semi-clean the rest of the time while continuing my lazy-man's bulking. :)

Oh yeah, I'd consider that pretty healthy for sure.

I have done somewhat dirtier bulks in the past, I.e. Like 2500-3000 calories/day healthy food, then go to mcdonalds and get 1200 calories of crap.

I haven't bulked hard in a while so this is a bit more trial and error. My diet is rarely "extremely strict" I usually eat a bit less during the week so I can always afford a decent cheat meal with my wife on the weekends, I just don't let it get stupid out of control. My stuff is easy to track because I eat the same breakfast every day, have shakes for meals 2 and 5, eat the same thing for meal 3 and 4 (alternate between 5 different meals) and alternate between 2 different dinners. All my meals are delicious and I get enough diversity it makes it easy. Like breakfast is 2 eggs, 1 cup egg whites, 1/2 banana, 3 pieces of Ezekiel bread with apple butter. Pretty delicious.

I've gone months of 4000-5000 calorie bulks in the past where I rarely hovered above 12% BF. And that was at 5'10 and 220 lbs eating 1500 calories of crap a day on top of my healthy food. I took about 8 months off last year and lost a lot from where I was at. I've been hard back at it about 10 months and it's coming back slowly but surely.

Id post a pic of me bulking at 220 before my break, but I know it makes members with different goals uncomfortable seeing fit people without shirts on. Oddly enough, you'd think bodybuilders would carry that egocentric stigma of being less respectful of what others do fitness wise, however this forum is obviously the complete opposite. I was amazed to see people a few pages back in a general fitness thread whining that "maybe this thread isn't for me" because others have different goals. Especially when the physique/bodybuilding type people of this thread makeup probably less than 10% of the people that post.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 06:56:35 AM by use2betrix »

jordanread

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1379 on: July 26, 2016, 07:19:37 AM »
Jordan, you can add an official goal for me.

I want to total 1200+lbs in the 93KG class at the USAPL Philadelphia LOVE Powerlifting Championships on December 17th.

I've got that goal added to the tracking post! That sounds like an awesome challenge. How are you doing on the other goals? Do you still have some of those triathlons to do, or did I miss them?

Id post a pic of me bulking at 220 before my break, but I know it makes members with different goals uncomfortable seeing fit people without shirts on. Oddly enough, you'd think bodybuilders would carry that egocentric stigma of being less respectful of what others do fitness wise, however this forum is obviously the complete opposite.

Feel free to post a pic. I'd be interested just because I realized yesterday that I don't really have a frame of reference when it comes to bulking. I think since my goals and everything are very much all about general function, I don't quite get the concept. I feel like I'm missing something obvious, and I'll google it later. But I was discussing this thread with the SO yesterday, and I realized that I must be missing some fundamental benefit. I could only fathom of it being useful when it comes to specific tasks that require one to either anchor or leverage bodyweight. Oh, and fighting, where they have weight classes. So what am I missing? Is the idea of bulking just to increase calories so you can have more energy to workout more, is it a muscle gaining goal where you want to maintain your BF% but get the weight up, thereby gaining more muscle? And I get cutting and bulking being two sides of the same coin (maybe it's like the conversations earlier where one is all about losing fat, and the other is gaining muscle), and that is a totally different coin than just maintenance to remain healthy and capable.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1380 on: July 26, 2016, 10:49:17 AM »

Feel free to post a pic. I'd be interested just because I realized yesterday that I don't really have a frame of reference when it comes to bulking. I think since my goals and everything are very much all about general function, I don't quite get the concept. I feel like I'm missing something obvious, and I'll google it later. But I was discussing this thread with the SO yesterday, and I realized that I must be missing some fundamental benefit. I could only fathom of it being useful when it comes to specific tasks that require one to either anchor or leverage bodyweight. Oh, and fighting, where they have weight classes. So what am I missing? Is the idea of bulking just to increase calories so you can have more energy to workout more, is it a muscle gaining goal where you want to maintain your BF% but get the weight up, thereby gaining more muscle? And I get cutting and bulking being two sides of the same coin (maybe it's like the conversations earlier where one is all about losing fat, and the other is gaining muscle), and that is a totally different coin than just maintenance to remain healthy and capable.

Personally, I see "bulking" as coming in two fundamental forms. As a powerlifter, I am less concerned about BF% and physique and more concerned about lifting the most weight possible. In general, greater body weight = more strength, even if there's a little extra fat thrown in there. Different powerlifters have different tolerance levels when it comes to fat, and for vanity reasons, I personally don't like to go too high there, but I also don't bother tracking anything other than eating as much as I can stand when I want to gain weight, and eating a bit more reasonably when I want to "cut" (aka be less fat). One nice thing about gaining muscle is that losing fat usually becomes increasingly easy, especially if you have an average to fast metabolism already.

Bodybuilders generally want to maintain their physique as much as possible. During a bulk, they'll put on some fat, but as I understand it, the goal is to maximize muscle gain while minimizing simultaneous fat gain. Getting stronger is a tertiary goal. They also train differently and with higher rep ranges, so their definition of getting stronger differs from a powerlifter.

Either way, if the goal is to gain muscle, bulking is the fastest way to do it. If the goal is to gain muscle while keeping defined abs, regular cutting is also required. At the end of the day, bodybuilders and powerlifters are both essentially hobbyists, as much as they are athletes. We want to be better at our hobby, and this approach to weight gain is one way to do that. If the goal is just all around fitness, then just move often, eat reasonably well, and enjoy your life! :)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1381 on: July 26, 2016, 11:00:04 AM »
Jordan, you can add an official goal for me.

I want to total 1200+lbs in the 93KG class at the USAPL Philadelphia LOVE Powerlifting Championships on December 17th.

20 1/2 weeks out. Will be testing maxes and running a 16 week training block leading up to the meet. Any suggestions on a good 16 week program to prep for a PL meet?


I don't write my own programming, but I will say that it seems like you are doing quite a few reps at lower weights before you work up. Most methodologies I am familiar with operate on warming up and jumping straight to a x3, x5, or x8 rep scheme at a fixed weight with 3-5 sets. I would be interested to hear why you have chosen this alternative approach. To be clear, I don't intend any criticism, as I am certainly not qualified to critique programming.

One thing that has definitely paid huge dividends for me is speed training. I do heavy lower body days once/week (only deadlifting heavy once or twice/month) and speed lower body days once/week. Speedwork is usually something like 60%-80% of a 1RM with a 5x5, 3x8, or 8x3 rep scheme. The focus is on technique and explosiveness off the bottom for both squat and deadlift. I used to struggle off the floor when going heavy on DLs, but since I started speed training, I never miss a pull short of my knees.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 11:02:18 AM by Lagom »

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1382 on: July 29, 2016, 06:41:23 AM »
Past two sessions have been killer!

Weighing a super consistent 216lbs the past few days.

Wednesday Squats
225 x 8
275 x 6
335 x 5
335 x 5
335 x 5

Today Deadlifts
315 x 5
365 x 5
405 x 10
405 x 8
405 x 5

Tomorrow is a bench press day

Going to be going for triples, thinking about shooting for 285-290ish.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1383 on: July 29, 2016, 06:47:45 AM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

I can't begin to imagine why the protein was that high? Was this on purpose?

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1384 on: July 29, 2016, 07:36:21 AM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

I can't begin to imagine why the protein was that high? Was this on purpose?

Yep. Works out great for me. Maybe you need to up your protein some?
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 07:38:42 AM by use2betrix »

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1385 on: July 29, 2016, 07:49:56 AM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

I can't begin to imagine why the protein was that high? Was this on purpose?

Yep. Works out great for me. Maybe you need to up your protein some?

I do, I've been under for the amount of lifting I have been doing. That being said I try not to exceed 1g/lb of bodyweight, and even that according to most of the more recent science (past decade) dictates is more than enough for an unenhanced (no exogenous anabolics) athlete.

If I were to guess, I have been closer to .5g-.7g/lb of bodyweight over the past 12-18 months. I haven't tracked my macros since my last contest prep in 2014.

use2betrix

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1386 on: July 29, 2016, 09:27:29 AM »
Started bulking Saturday. Quickly reminded how much harder it is than cutting.

Total for workout days: 3505 calories, 327g carbs, 83g fat, 342g protein

I can't begin to imagine why the protein was that high? Was this on purpose?

Yep. Works out great for me. Maybe you need to up your protein some?

I do, I've been under for the amount of lifting I have been doing. That being said I try not to exceed 1g/lb of bodyweight, and even that according to most of the more recent science (past decade) dictates is more than enough for an unenhanced (no exogenous anabolics) athlete.

If I were to guess, I have been closer to .5g-.7g/lb of bodyweight over the past 12-18 months. I haven't tracked my macros since my last contest prep in 2014.

It's very trial and error. Everyone digest macros differently and you have to find what works best for you. I'm at a little over 1.5g/lb of bodyweight, which is a bit much. I did bring it down a tad (20-30g/day) but while bulking I'm fine with erring on the side of too much.

I often see the "per lb of bodyweight" term thrown around and that's a pretty broad generalization. A 5'6 200lb man at 8% BF is going to utilize FAR more protein than a 6'2, 200 lb man, at 20% BF. The 5'6 guy literally probably has 30-40% more muscle, at least.


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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1387 on: July 29, 2016, 09:35:29 AM »

It's very trial and error. Everyone digest macros differently and you have to find what works best for you. I'm at a little over 1.5g/lb of bodyweight, which is a bit much. I did bring it down a tad (20-30g/day) but while bulking I'm fine with erring on the side of too much.

I often see the "per lb of bodyweight" term thrown around and that's a pretty broad generalization. A 5'6 200lb man at 8% BF is going to utilize FAR more protein than a 6'2, 200 lb man, at 20% BF. The 5'6 guy literally probably has 30-40% more muscle, at least.



This is definitely correct, everyone is different but since protein is expensive (relative to carbs) I prefer to get a higher % of my calories from carbs/fats once protein requirements are meant.

Not sure if this matters to you, but having higher protein intake is more important in a caloric deficit (especially a prolonged one) vs a bulk.

A diet high in protein is proven to be more thermogenic than previously thought (despite caloric balance being identical), you are also more at risk of catabolism in a deficit. While bulking you are generally in a surplus of energy balance and the risk of not enough protein diminishes almost entirely. The only other thing I wanted to add regarding protein intake (not necessarily amounts but rather timing) is that there is some very solid evidence that MPS (muscle protein synthesis) is more pronounced when a subject consumes 2-4 protein feeds a day vs having protein constantly throughout the day. This goes against the whole eat 6-8 small meals a day mantra that has been spewed since the 80's.

If you want to do some more interesting reading I highly recommend Dr. Layne Norton, Alan Aragon, Lyle McDonald. The focus primarily on studying nutrition in unenhanced athletes.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1388 on: July 29, 2016, 11:57:39 AM »
My very delayed check in:

I have successfully been averaging over 5 miles of walking each day.

I've also started strength training, so my goal of either a pushup or pullup is progressing. Can't remember which one was my actual goal...

Hello Miss Darcy, I found this article very interesting, and informative. Geared towards optimizing weight loss, but also addresses what kinds of exercises to do during each phase. I've spent the last 45 days tracking my weight daily, and ya know, actually paying attention to wtf is going on. My (very limited) dataset has backed up with the article is saying re: hormonaly driven fat storage/loss.

Now, cue many people screwing up their faces and saying "Sailor Sam is a GIRL????"

Wait, WHAT? WHAAAAT? YOU'VE BEEN LYING TO US ALL THIS TIME?

(Ah, fake outrage memories are so sweet.)

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1389 on: August 01, 2016, 08:24:18 AM »
The next chapter begins....

I posted on FB over the weekend asking my powerlifting friends for some training plan suggestions. One of my old acquaintances is a coach and reached out to me via PM asking if he could coach me.

He has been doing so for many years and has his masters in human performance, having coached a few national level raw powerlifters I figured why the heck not.

He had me test my maxes over the weekend and this morning

Bench
Barbell Bench Press
225 x 5
255 x 2
275 x 1
290 x 3
290 x 3 (estimated paused 1 RM ~300lbs)


Squats
225 x 8
275 x 5
315 x 5
345 x 3
365 x 1
385 x 1 (RPE 9.5)

Deadlift
315 x 5
365 x 3
405 x 2
445 x 1
475 x 1
495 x 1
510 x 1 (RPE 9.5)

The goal is to get my bodyweight down ~12-15lbs over the next 19 weeks while improving strength under meet conditions.

I have to relearn how to squat without a mirror.

I have to start doing paused bench work vs touch and go all the time.

Pretty excited to see the first training block he sends me as well as nutritional guidelines after we assess my base metabolic rate.

use2betrix

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1390 on: August 01, 2016, 09:05:05 AM »
And umbilical hernia number 3 started rearing its ugly head over the last week. Looks like another surgery this winter will be in the works. Not going to let it slow me down in the mean time. Causes minimal discomfort and shouldn't get much worse. Just going to have to cut back on my 475x6 dead lift and 345x6 squats. I'll lower the weight and increase the reps and focus on better breathing. Also turning my belt around backwards helps as where the belt comes together in front doesn't keep pressure on that small spot where my hernia is.

Not a big deal, just annoying. Apparently my body is not made to lift heavy shit.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1391 on: August 01, 2016, 09:25:05 AM »
Sprint Triathlon complete!  Jordan- Will you mark this off my goals?

I completed in 1:41:42.6 (I'm really not fast). Basically it went like this:
  • Swim: Disaster. Turns out I freak out when I can't see in the water (probably should tried an open water swim pre-race, eh?). I spent a lot of time on my back trying to calm down and get my breathing under control. But hey, I didn't drown and finished the course, so I'm calling it a win.
  • Bike: Awesome! Not sure if I was just really relieved to be out of the water or what, but the bike was SO MUCH FUN. Had a stupid grin on my face the entire time. Averaged 16.6 mph... which isn't bad for me. Had fun passing people on road bikes with my little straight bar commuter bike.
  • Run: Just solid. I was certainly a little tired and my legs felt heavy, but it overall felt fine. Time: 33:26.2 for the 5K

Pretty sure with that, my career as a triathlete is over. At least as a competitor. I'd consider another one with a pool swim. Maybe.

This week I'll ease back into my workouts, but it's time to build running mileage again for my fall half marathon! I have really enjoyed the increased bike mileage of the last two months, so I plan to keep that up as well. I'm strongly considering breaking up with swimming though...

SoccerLounge

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1392 on: August 01, 2016, 03:40:24 PM »
I'm strongly considering breaking up with swimming though...

I divorced amicably from swimming a few years back. She's a crowd-pleaser, but we just didn't get along. I've been happy ever since in my little menage a trois with Hiking and Occasional Cycling.

(In other words, no need to feel bad if a particular cardio flavor just isn't enjoyable to you. Especially if you actively partake in a couple others already!)

So... crappy news on the injury front for me. I've not actually gotten Capital-I Injured!!, but I'm getting those familiar old niggles in my knee and spinal erectors that tell me I'm pushing too far/too fast and a Real Injury is imminent if I don't cool it. The thing is, I've already "cooled it" a shitload from my previous weight-room and hiking habits. Except I've obviously let myself get lulled by the temptation to Make Gains and done the one thing I wanted to avoid: overtaken the pace of my program. Back to square one - or, at least, to 60% of current working weights and then VERY DELIBERATELY SLOW PROGRESSION after.

Jordan, I'd like you to add a goal for me, if you'd be so kind: "No significant injuries in 2016". Because it turns out I'm just going to have to put that up there on the priority list until I understand that 'regularly increasing resistance' is not my goal this year.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1393 on: August 02, 2016, 07:33:56 AM »
Sprint Triathlon complete!  Jordan- Will you mark this off my goals?
Jordan, I'd like you to add a goal for me, if you'd be so kind: "No significant injuries in 2016". Because it turns out I'm just going to have to put that up there on the priority list until I understand that 'regularly increasing resistance' is not my goal this year.

I've got your goal marked as complete hudsoncat!! It looks like you only have 2 left, and they are maintenance. Working out twice a week, and maintaining fat loss from last year. Am I missing any, or are you feeling good about those goals?

SL, I've got that goal added. In the interests of that, especially since we are seeing a bit more people actually lifting some damn impressive weights, if you and anyone else here has resources regarding avoiding injuries while lifting, let me know. I might make a 'rules of thumb to avoid hurting myself' post for next year's challenge. Also, is there any specific injury you are keeping an eye on? What about you Use2BeTrix? How did that happen? Is it something that you've dealt with before?

hudsoncat

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1394 on: August 02, 2016, 08:57:50 AM »

I divorced amicably from swimming a few years back. She's a crowd-pleaser, but we just didn't get along. I've been happy ever since in my little menage a trois with Hiking and Occasional Cycling.

(In other words, no need to feel bad if a particular cardio flavor just isn't enjoyable to you. Especially if you actively partake in a couple others already!)


I actually don't overall hate swimming, in the pool it's fine. Sometimes, dare I say it, it's even fun. The tri swim was just that bad of an experience for me. So I'm thinking, maybe we'll just take a little break until the weather cools again and swimming becomes a nice, warm, indoor cardio option... though husband has convinced me that I should probably go at least once to the pool this week. Told me he doesn't care if I never swim again after that, but doesn't think the tri should be my last experience with swimming... He is usually right about these things. Sigh.


I've got your goal marked as complete hudsoncat!! It looks like you only have 2 left, and they are maintenance. Working out twice a week, and maintaining fat loss from last year. Am I missing any, or are you feeling good about those goals?


Jordan- I'd like to add "sub-2:18 in half marathon." Times in my shorter races say this is possible, I'm not sure it'll happen this year, but it is my next goal to work towards. I have a half in November, I'm going to shoot for it there (small-ish race, fairly flat course- my favorite things). But if I don't hit it, it'll be my working goal for next year.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1395 on: August 02, 2016, 12:42:48 PM »
40 yoga classes complete! Final goal is 60, I have to have it done by 18-August. This is going to be fun :)

I've been teaching at least once a week, a couple times I got to teach two classes in a week. I'm loving teaching, but it definitely isn't the same thing as attending yoga. I spend most of my class on my feet though walking around and assisting students, or just pacing. I'll need to figure out my gym schedule to balance with my teaching schedule once I finish training this month.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1396 on: August 02, 2016, 06:40:53 PM »
In the interests of that, especially since we are seeing a bit more people actually lifting some damn impressive weights, if you and anyone else here has resources regarding avoiding injuries while lifting, let me know. I might make a 'rules of thumb to avoid hurting myself' post for next year's challenge.

I wish I had more expertise - that's why I had to consult professionals to help design a program! Plus, my injury problems are from earlier in life, and are exacerbated / triggered by lifting too ambitiously, as opposed to caused by lifting. For me, the biggest thing has been getting carried away with 'one more rep' and continually pushing past the tolerance point of my muscles, ligaments and tendons. And this doesn't have to mean a big pectoral tear. One thing I've realized more recently is that there can be a fine line between 'micro-damage that turns into gains' and 'slightly bigger damage that turns into an injury over time'.

Some people can get away with continually training to muscle failure. Particularly, to be frank, people who are using anabolics. But I can't (and don't!), and it took me a long time to realize that my only sustainable gains were going to be slow gains. I'm still not quite there!
« Last Edit: August 02, 2016, 06:42:42 PM by SoccerLounge »

Lagom

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1397 on: August 02, 2016, 07:01:37 PM »
In the interests of that, especially since we are seeing a bit more people actually lifting some damn impressive weights, if you and anyone else here has resources regarding avoiding injuries while lifting, let me know. I might make a 'rules of thumb to avoid hurting myself' post for next year's challenge.

I wish I had more expertise - that's why I had to consult professionals to help design a program! Plus, my injury problems are from earlier in life, and are exacerbated / triggered by lifting too ambitiously, as opposed to caused by lifting. For me, the biggest thing has been getting carried away with 'one more rep' and continually pushing past the tolerance point of my muscles, ligaments and tendons. And this doesn't have to mean a big pectoral tear. One thing I've realized more recently is that there can be a fine line between 'micro-damage that turns into gains' and 'slightly bigger damage that turns into an injury over time'.

Some people can get away with continually training to muscle failure. Particularly people who are juicing. ;) But I can't (and don't!), and it took me a long time to realize that my only sustainable gains were going to be slow gains. I'm still not quite there!

For me it was the arguably unmustachian but undeniably effective approach of:

1. Find a highly qualified trainer with proven results.
2. Follow his programming religiously (telling him things like when something was hurting more than normal, or course).

Powerlifters trend towards crazy, with many well-known ones regularly doing stupid things like training through bicep/pectoral tears. Fortunately, I found a guy who is highly qualified (backed up with his own meet results), but actually concerned about training smart, rather than just training hard. I have made ridiculous strength gains in the past 15 months with no hint of injury (as a 33 year old with some minor past back issues), so I think I made the right choice.

A couple things I have noticed that are probably worth considering for DYIers worried about injury:

1. Form trumps all. I was not allowed to lift anything resembling heavy weight until I could do it right.
2. Max effort infrequently, especially on deadlifts, especially as you get stronger. I do max effort deadlifts (usually a variation like 1-3RM off a deficit/blocks, etc.) once every 3-4 weeks at the most. The rest of the days are lower weight speed work.  I go heavy on squats and bench once/week. Maxing too often will not only get you hurt, it will also slow your strength gains, so it's doubly stupid.
3. Use spotters. Self-explanatory, but so many people ignore this rule.
4. While it's important to learn to push through a certain level of discomfort, get to know your body and stop your workout immediately if you feel something twinge or give in a manner beyond normal wear and tear. This takes some experience, but I think it's fine to err on the side of caution as long as you're not being too much of a wuss. Sleep on it and reassess the next day.
5. That said, SoccerLounge is right. If it hurts a small to moderate amount, that's not always inherently bad. But if it starts getting worse, you may have a problem and it's best to rest or do alternative exercises for a while.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1398 on: August 03, 2016, 06:13:59 AM »
As someone who doesn't consider herself a weightlifter but does use weights as part of my workout, I have access to a personal trainer through work and it was incredibly valuable for me to do a session with him to assess all my strengths and weaknesses, and also doing a quick follow up later to make sure my form was right and that I wasn't hurting myself. Usually I'm happy off doing my routine on my own, but being able to get ten minutes of the trainer's time when I'm starting a brand new routine is good because I can show him how I'm doing a couple of exercises that either I feel like I'm not doing them properly or I can't do it and I'm not sure why. At one point I was trying to do either a push up or a plank (I forget now) and trying to get into position he was immediately able to see that my shoulder had a weakness and something wasn't engaging the way it should. He was able to show me an additional exercise to strengthen up that one shoulder and in a few weeks I was able to do the push up/plank properly. If I hadn't gotten his feed back I would have been trying (and failing) at that exercise for who knows how long and possibly damaging my other shoulder as it tried to compensate.

tl;dr - trainers are expensive but a little bit can go a long way, even if you don't think of yourself as a weightlifter.

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Re: Strength & Fitness 2016
« Reply #1399 on: August 03, 2016, 06:41:17 AM »
In the interests of that, especially since we are seeing a bit more people actually lifting some damn impressive weights, if you and anyone else here has resources regarding avoiding injuries while lifting, let me know. I might make a 'rules of thumb to avoid hurting myself' post for next year's challenge.

I wish I had more expertise - that's why I had to consult professionals to help design a program! Plus, my injury problems are from earlier in life, and are exacerbated / triggered by lifting too ambitiously, as opposed to caused by lifting. For me, the biggest thing has been getting carried away with 'one more rep' and continually pushing past the tolerance point of my muscles, ligaments and tendons. And this doesn't have to mean a big pectoral tear. One thing I've realized more recently is that there can be a fine line between 'micro-damage that turns into gains' and 'slightly bigger damage that turns into an injury over time'.

Some people can get away with continually training to muscle failure. Particularly people who are juicing. ;) But I can't (and don't!), and it took me a long time to realize that my only sustainable gains were going to be slow gains. I'm still not quite there!

For me it was the arguably unmustachian but undeniably effective approach of:

1. Find a highly qualified trainer with proven results.
2. Follow his programming religiously (telling him things like when something was hurting more than normal, or course).

Powerlifters trend towards crazy, with many well-known ones regularly doing stupid things like training through bicep/pectoral tears. Fortunately, I found a guy who is highly qualified (backed up with his own meet results), but actually concerned about training smart, rather than just training hard. I have made ridiculous strength gains in the past 15 months with no hint of injury (as a 33 year old with some minor past back issues), so I think I made the right choice.

A couple things I have noticed that are probably worth considering for DYIers worried about injury:

1. Form trumps all. I was not allowed to lift anything resembling heavy weight until I could do it right.
2. Max effort infrequently, especially on deadlifts, especially as you get stronger. I do max effort deadlifts (usually a variation like 1-3RM off a deficit/blocks, etc.) once every 3-4 weeks at the most. The rest of the days are lower weight speed work.  I go heavy on squats and bench once/week. Maxing too often will not only get you hurt, it will also slow your strength gains, so it's doubly stupid.
3. Use spotters. Self-explanatory, but so many people ignore this rule.
4. While it's important to learn to push through a certain level of discomfort, get to know your body and stop your workout immediately if you feel something twinge or give in a manner beyond normal wear and tear. This takes some experience, but I think it's fine to err on the side of caution as long as you're not being too much of a wuss. Sleep on it and reassess the next day.
5. That said, SoccerLounge is right. If it hurts a small to moderate amount, that's not always inherently bad. But if it starts getting worse, you may have a problem and it's best to rest or do alternative exercises for a while.

Jordan I also recommend Becoming a Supple Leopard book, it's my go to for prehab/stretching/foam rolling/self massage therapy stuff. His videos on youtube are also good.