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Author Topic: The 201X Health Improvement Thread  (Read 17500 times)
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pr0ner
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« Reply #480 on: May 14, 2013, 01:21:35 AM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 13, 2013, 08:25:49 PM

Scientific 7 minute workout:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/

Basically 30 seconds each exercise, 10 seconds rest between. The amount of strain/discomfort you should feel should be an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. while doing these exercises, so you really have to push yourself. The order of the exercises matter since it is planned to give each muscle group rest periods.

This uses all the latest data from research into interval training. Apparently doing these consistently at the intensity required is as good as longer workouts.

I think I'll try this for a week.

You'd think the NYT would get the timing on that workout right.  It's more like 8 minutes, not 7.
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« Reply #481 on: May 14, 2013, 04:09:28 PM »


I used to lift regularly but injured my shoulder in March of 2012 and it took almost a year for it to get to the point that I could lift heavy stuff again. It didn't help that we had a new baby in March of 2012 and I didn't do my prescribed at home rehab. Add in shitty sleep schedule and diet and you get a fat tiktokman.

I'm 41 years old, 6' tall. I started this year at 213 lbs.

I use the myfitnesspal app on my iphone (started January 5th) to track my calories and started lifting again in February. My target is to lift 3 days a week in the early morning.

Typical workout (with olympic free weights) -

Bench - 5x5 (2 warm up sets, 3 work sets)

Sqaut - 3x8

Deadlift - 3x5

Chin ups - As many as I can do in a row until I get to 10. Once I get to where I can do 10 in a row I'll up the count to 20. I'm currently at 7. Pretty sure I could do more if I weren't doing them after benches and squats/deads.

Miscellaneous dumbbell work as time allows

When I started the weight was fairly light so I'd do squats and deads on the same day. Now that they've gotten heavier I squat Monday and Friday, deadlift on Wednesday.

I've now started doing some body-weight circuits 3 times a week as well. My wife wanted to start working out again so I do that with her MWF after the kids are in bed. We've just started week 2.

As of yesterday I'm down 23 lbs on the year, weighed in at 190.

My target weight is 185 but I may re-access that when get there and try for 180. After I lose the fat I want I'm going to start a bulk and try and pack on some more muscle. That should be fun.
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« Reply #482 on: May 30, 2013, 01:30:49 AM »

I ran my second 5k race this past Sunday morning and finished in 28:05 (9:05 pace)...ahead of the 9:15/mile goal that I had set for myself, and shaved 2:45 off my first 5k just over two months ago Headbanging!

Now I'm only a few days out from my first official 10k race this Sunday, and feeling really good about meeting my 60 minute goal. I ran the course with my training group two weeks ago and finished in 62 minutes, and that was coming off a week of being sick...should have a much better go at it this weekend icon_cool
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« Reply #483 on: May 30, 2013, 02:50:09 PM »

Quote from: disarm on May 30, 2013, 01:30:49 AM

I ran my second 5k race this past Sunday morning and finished in 28:05 (9:05 pace)...ahead of the 9:15/mile goal that I had set for myself, and shaved 2:45 off my first 5k just over two months ago Headbanging!

Now I'm only a few days out from my first official 10k race this Sunday, and feeling really good about meeting my 60 minute goal. I ran the course with my training group two weeks ago and finished in 62 minutes, and that was coming off a week of being sick...should have a much better go at it this weekend icon_cool

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« Reply #484 on: May 30, 2013, 11:54:45 PM »

Quote from: Turtle on May 13, 2013, 08:25:49 PM

Scientific 7 minute workout:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-scientific-7-minute-workout/

Basically 30 seconds each exercise, 10 seconds rest between. The amount of strain/discomfort you should feel should be an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. while doing these exercises, so you really have to push yourself. The order of the exercises matter since it is planned to give each muscle group rest periods.

This uses all the latest data from research into interval training. Apparently doing these consistently at the intensity required is as good as longer workouts.

I think I'll try this for a week.

Just saw this and thought I'd give it a try since it was too windy to cycle tonight.  I made it through two circuits going as hard as I could, and sticking to the schedule... definitely feeling it.  This might be a fun thing to replace some of the strength stuff I've been doing all winter.  I've been feeling slow on the bike, like I've been slipping from last year, so maybe this could help.

I definitely want to be able to do 3 circuits of these... I think on a morning where I'm not this tired I could do it.

And yeah, it's 8 min/circuit.
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« Reply #485 on: May 31, 2013, 01:03:08 AM »

I do Crossfit and that looks a lot like a Tabata workout which in 8 cycles of 20 seconds of movement and 10 seconds of rest. Only thing is that Tabata is commonly used as a warmup activity instead of the actual workout.
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« Reply #486 on: May 31, 2013, 04:07:52 PM »

Yeah, I think one time through would be a fairly intense warmup, though at 8 min/circuit, it's more than twice as long per circuit as what you describe.

I'm used to doing hour long circuits at lower intensity... higher intensity is a different beast.  I keep flirting with the idea of Crossfit, but nearly everyone doing it is so fucking annoying about it and can't talk about anything else... plus I don't really care for gyms.  The workouts seem interesting though.
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« Reply #487 on: May 31, 2013, 10:48:10 PM »

Quote from: kratz on May 31, 2013, 04:07:52 PM

Yeah, I think one time through would be a fairly intense warmup, though at 8 min/circuit, it's more than twice as long per circuit as what you describe.

I'm used to doing hour long circuits at lower intensity... higher intensity is a different beast.  I keep flirting with the idea of Crossfit, but nearly everyone doing it is so fucking annoying about it and can't talk about anything else... plus I don't really care for gyms.  The workouts seem interesting though.

Agree with you 100% on the Crossfit thing.  My God, most people I know who do it are 100% annoying as FUCK about it.
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« Reply #488 on: May 31, 2013, 11:20:33 PM »

LOL, you guys need new friends then. icon_razz

I've been doing crossfit for 5 years and typically the obnoxious ones are the one who are high strung, type A personalities who are hardcore into the competition aspect of it. I do it because it's the only thing in all the years I've struggled with my weight that has actually worked. If done properly at a good gym, it can really change your life, both physically and mentally, but I learned a long time ago that evangelizing it only works when people are ready to make that commitment and are truly interested. Being obnoxious and pushing it on people is a waste of time and really off-putting, so I only tell people about if they ask me about it first.

Anyhow, whether it's crossfit or any other exercise program, people in general should do what they are comfortable with and what works best for them.
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« Reply #489 on: June 01, 2013, 04:12:19 AM »

Not really friends doing it... just people I know... and the main obnoxious thing about it is that they can't talk about anything else. Ever.  And they have all the t shirts with silly slogans, etc.

Agreed that you gotta find what works.  I feel like I need to do some more high intensity things that I think will help my cycling, etc., which is why Crossfit appeals to me... this thing I did yesterday seems like a good intro to that style of a high intensity circuit.  I actually felt it today, which seems weird since it was short and not any exercises I didn't already do... I just did them as fast as I possibly could, so I'll take that as a good sign.  I see a lot of room to mix up the movements and add other ones.  If it ends up being effective to do that for 20 minutes, it'll be a great option on days when I'm really pressed for time.
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« Reply #490 on: June 01, 2013, 07:18:55 PM »

Just 3 1/2 months of intense working out, I am almost back to where I was physically a few years ago. All it took was hatred, pain, and a slight inferiority complex to motivate me.
But yeah I probably have too much time on my hands
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« Reply #491 on: June 02, 2013, 10:01:31 PM »

Today was the big day for running my 10k race...woke up bright and early to run at 7:30 this morning. When the race started, it was already about 75 degrees and 80% humidity. Those of you who have run before can probably relate to how miserable those conditions are for a long run...might not seem all that warm when you're just standing around, but that kind of humidity and bright sun can really steal your energy. I think most people did pretty well for the 5k and 10k events, but it really took a toll on the half-marathon runners who were facing temps around 85 degrees by the time they were finishing...saw a number of people stumbling across the finish, and heard that several had collapsed along the course. It was still a fun morning, but I'll be hoping for something a little cooler for my next race.

So how did my run go? I had set a goal to finish 6.2 miles in under an hour and just barely came up short...crossed the line with an official time of 1:01:38 (9:56/mile pace). Even though I didn't quite make my goal, I'm happy with my time given the day's tough conditions and fact that I could barely run a single mile (let alone six) at the beginning of the year. I still feel like I've come a long way and plan on continuing to push myself in the coming months. It has taken me 4.5 months to get this far, and I have the same amount of time to finish my prep for my first half-marathon in October...and a second 13.1 a month later. I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life at 34 and don't plan on stopping any time soon icon_cool
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« Reply #492 on: June 03, 2013, 05:15:13 AM »

Nice work!
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« Reply #493 on: June 03, 2013, 11:54:43 AM »

Well done!
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« Reply #494 on: June 10, 2013, 12:21:21 PM »

After holding steady last week, this week's weigh in this morning showed  a 4lb drop.

Just 1 lb away from being 50% to goal and 1.2 lbs to being back in the 100s.

My question is, as always, how does one make this a lifestyle?

I'm great at losing weight. I'm great at gaining it back. I'm terrible at maintaining.

I'm less than two years from 40 and I'd like this to be the last time I have to lose weight.

Tips for you folks who have lost it and kept it off or have always been fit?

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« Reply #495 on: June 10, 2013, 08:41:00 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 10, 2013, 12:21:21 PM

After holding steady last week, this week's weigh in this morning showed  a 4lb drop.

Just 1 lb away from being 50% to goal and 1.2 lbs to being back in the 100s.

My question is, as always, how does one make this a lifestyle?

I'm great at losing weight. I'm great at gaining it back. I'm terrible at maintaining.

I'm less than two years from 40 and I'd like this to be the last time I have to lose weight.

Tips for you folks who have lost it and kept it off or have always been fit?



The way in which someone makes it a lifestyle is entirely personal, fitting into that specific person's strengths, lifestyle habits, interests, and preferences.  What works for one will not necessarily work for another.  

Let me provide two real-world examples, myself and my wife.

Despite some friends insisting that I've "always been fit," I would argue otherwise.  In the past I followed a fairly predictable cycle.  I'd lose weight for summer, and then gain it all back during the winter.  I'd be consistent with going to the gym when the weather was nice, but I'd fall right off the horse as soon as cold weather and dark mornings became the norm.  Also, numerous injuries have sidelined me through the years and when I am physically unable to go to the gym I regress into eating poorly and sitting around depressed.  When I am consistent with the gym, I am consistent with healthy eating habits.  And when I fall off the horse, whether it be due to injury, a break from lifting, or a hectic schedule, my eating habits follow suit.

But, back in 2009 when I lost my job and started down the pharmacy path I managed to make fitness a lifestyle, not merely a seasonal thing.  I had ballooned up to just under 200lbs.  I managed to drop down to my current weight of 155lbs and I've stayed there for the past 4 years, even with surgeries, injuries, and a ridiculous pharmacy schedule.  I strength train four to five times a week (sometimes six), I play softball two nights a week, I fit in 25 minutes of interval training post-workout when I can, I play intramural soccer, and intramural basketball.  I only drink coffee in the morning, then have some kind of lean protein with green vegetables for lunch, drink a ton of water throughout the day, and for dinner I try to stick with some kind of protein, veggies, and I occasionally have some rice (one of my primary vices, but I'm okay with that).  I drink more beer than I should on a regular basis, but my eating habits and gym frequency offset the empty calories.

This works for me.  I love strength training, I love being active, and I simply feel better when I eat right.  I definitely have my cheat days, and that's necessary to remain consistent with a routine.  Complete denial of personal vices makes healthy habits feel like a job or hindrance rather than a desired lifestyle.  But I limit days of complete indulgence to maybe once a week.  The rest of the time I cook meals from scratch and limit the garbage I put in my system and make sure to keep consistent with the gym.  Plus I feel like crap when I eat crap.  I do love late-night pizza after drinking with friends or the occasional greasy Chinese take-out, but 90% of the time I cook for myself (and my wife when I'm in town) and can therefore control all I put in my system.  And the easiest way to make sure to keep things healthy, I grill a LOT.  Meats, veggies, it all goes on the grill with some olive oil and seasoning.  

My wife, on the other hand, despises the gym.  She prefers to monitor all calories she consumes with a phone app she likes and her only exercise is softball three nights a week.  She's lost a TON of weight, feels and looks fantastic, but has ZERO interest in exercise for the sake of exercise.  And her weight loss has been entirely through limiting caloric intake.  She still allows herself the occasional cheat day, but overall she has seen such great progress that she continues to develop more motivation to maintain her current habits.  Because of her hectic schedule she utilizes prepared meals like Top Chef Healthy Choice frozen entrees or their salad-maker line, but mainly for lunch so she doesn't eat out.  Then for dinner I make us healthy meals like grilled chicken with grilled asparagus with a side of whole wheat couscous or something along those lines.

You're going to have to find something that works for you.  Also, you have to WANT to.  You can't do it out of obligation, or it won't last.  If you WANT to live a healthy lifestyle, then you simply have to make the conscious decision to do so.  You also have to be aware of times when you start to fall off the horse.  When I came back from being away for two weeks in Costa Rica it would have been easy to take a few days to decompress, especially since we didn't get in until around 11pm.  Yet the very next morning I was back in the gym forcing my body back into my usual routine.  Even after two weeks it was rough, but it only took a week to get back in to form and today I had a MUCH better workout.

I personally don't track calories, I just eyeball portions, always include some kind of protein (chicken, turkey, pork, etc), and eat a lot of veggies.  I also drink water non-stop throughout the day and am a complete gym rat.  If I'm not pressed for time my typical workout takes around 2 hours if I include 20 to 30 min of interval cardio.  If pressed for time I can cut it back to 90 min.  My wife is a calorie tracker, and it works for her.  But you will NEVER find her in a gym.

In your case, if what you've been doing is "easy" in the sense that it's not to complex or labor-intensive, you should be able to stick with it, maybe with a few modifications once you reach your goal weight.  But, if it's a crash diet to get to your goal as quick as possible, those types of programs aren't maintainable.  Lose weight slowly, be patient, and make choices you can stick with long-term.  That's probably the best advice I can offer.  And pick heavy shit up.  Strength training gets fantastic, maintainable results.  It's simply more effective than spending hours a day wandering aimlessly on a treadmill.  I also utilize Fitocracy to help with motivation.  I enjoy the points-tracking system, achievements, and leveling up, plus as I have a number of friends on the site, there's some level of friendly competition in terms of earning XP, and if I skip a workout but a friend scores big points, it drives me crazy.  Fitocracy holds me accountable.  As do the friends I lift with here in Phoenix and down in Tucson during the school year.  When you skip a workout you only hurt yourself, no one else.  

Nice job so far and good luck with your long-term plans.  thumbsup
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« Reply #496 on: June 11, 2013, 02:36:52 PM »

Thanks, Pete.  I would say I'm an in-between stage of you and your wife.

I love statistics about myself (2.03 peak K/D in Call of Duty!) so I enjoy tracking calories on Myfitness. I use it as a rough guide and it has helped me to 'eyeball' portions and accurately estimate calories but I do it every day day in day out.  I also use runkeeper to track my runs and rides.

For exercise, I've always been about cardio as I'm not physically very strong and hate lifting weight.  My goal is always to get trimmed down, burn through the miles at a decent pace (for me) when I run and develop a super strong cardio engine.

Now that I'm into biking it has compounded the exercise benefits as I cannot consistently run with joy (seriously, one bad outing can make me quit) and because of the punishment it causes.  So I have rotated cycling in to keep me motivated and fresh.  I only have to run 2x or 3x per week now and I mix in one or two giant bike rides (for me 18-25 miles at approx 3:50 to 4:10 per min pace) per week.

The problem, like you described, is I'm either ON or I'm OFF. If I'm in, I count calories and make exercise a point. If I'm off, I am a glutton who eats at all hours a day just to do it and I don't do anything. This leads to depression and eventually disgust which gets me started on the road back until I get there and quit or quit along the way.

Maybe the solution is there's no middle ground and I always have to be ON, but not punish myself if I have a bad run or a day where I consume more than I want to.

I've tried to take that to heart as I've had two very bad runs that I've persevered through with the simple truth of: the goal is not your time on this run. Your goal is to get back to 180lbs (and be fit and live longer etc). And it worked. The nice thing though is that this time around I've layered in something new: biking. 

When I get back to the 180s (I'm 6'0) I am hoping to find the time and $$ to join a gym for lifting.

My one great fitness goal (I've done two marathons and am eyeing triathlons but am a terrible swimmer) is to benchpress my own weight. I've never even come close, not even when I was getting really strong in college.  If I can do it by 40, (18 mos from now) I'd be completely over the moon.
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« Reply #497 on: June 11, 2013, 03:29:11 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 11, 2013, 02:36:52 PM

Thanks, Pete.  I would say I'm an in-between stage of you and your wife.

I love statistics about myself (2.03 peak K/D in Call of Duty!) so I enjoy tracking calories on Myfitness. I use it as a rough guide and it has helped me to 'eyeball' portions and accurately estimate calories but I do it every day day in day out.  I also use runkeeper to track my runs and rides.

For exercise, I've always been about cardio as I'm not physically very strong and hate lifting weight.  My goal is always to get trimmed down, burn through the miles at a decent pace (for me) when I run and develop a super strong cardio engine.

Given your appreciation of statistics, performance tracking, etc, I would strongly urge you to give Fitocracy a shot (or another shot if you've tried it and lost interest).  You input workouts and receive XP based upon your performance.  You earn badges for leveling up and can even go for achievements, for example benching your own weight (as you've mentioned later in your post).  Cycling, running, P90X, strength training, it is all included on the site.  If you decide to give it a try, I'm PeteRock over there as well.  Just click the "follow" button and you'll have access to all of my workouts, stats, achievements, etc.

Quote
Now that I'm into biking it has compounded the exercise benefits as I cannot consistently run with joy (seriously, one bad outing can make me quit) and because of the punishment it causes.  So I have rotated cycling in to keep me motivated and fresh.  I only have to run 2x or 3x per week now and I mix in one or two giant bike rides (for me 18-25 miles at approx 3:50 to 4:10 per min pace) per week.

It's great to mix it up.  It keeps exercise from becoming a chore, and cycling allows you to cover far more ground than running.  Plus it's much lower impact on your joints.

Quote
The problem, like you described, is I'm either ON or I'm OFF. If I'm in, I count calories and make exercise a point. If I'm off, I am a glutton who eats at all hours a day just to do it and I don't do anything. This leads to depression and eventually disgust which gets me started on the road back until I get there and quit or quit along the way.

I know this cycle all too well.  Usually it's an injury that sidelines me, and when it does I immediately want to hork down cheeseburgers and garbage and fall into that "if I can't lift then what's the point" mindset.  I like to consider myself of strong will and determination, otherwise I wouldn't be where I am with fitness, school, etc, but I still sometimes fall victim to lapses in drive or consistency.  The key is being aware of it, and rather than giving in, the hard part is saying, "No, not this time." 

Quote
Maybe the solution is there's no middle ground and I always have to be ON, but not punish myself if I have a bad run or a day where I consume more than I want to.

I've tried to take that to heart as I've had two very bad runs that I've persevered through with the simple truth of: the goal is not your time on this run. Your goal is to get back to 180lbs (and be fit and live longer etc). And it worked. The nice thing though is that this time around I've layered in something new: biking.

Think of it this way.  Are you always on your game at work?  Are professional athletes always flawless in their competitions?  Are you always top dog in COD?  No.  Everyone has bad days, whether at work, on the softball field, on the basketball court, in a COD match, and some people are occasionally surprised to learn that the same goes for workouts.  It's simply a fact of life.  It is impossible to turn in your best workout for each and every workout.  There are just too many variables.  Did you eat enough, or too much, did you get enough rest the night before, is your body sore, did you train too hard the previous day, is your mind wandering, are you stressed, did something upset you, are you distracted............These ALL influence your workout.  And that is in no way grounds for discouragement.  Hell, before neck surgery I was deadlifting 265lbs.  Now?  I have yet to get past 185, especially after a severe back strain in late April.  Before my trip to Costa Rica I was squatting 225.  Now 205 is tough (for reference I'm not talking one-rep-max, I'm talking 5 working sets of 6-8 reps on all this). 

We all have bad days, in almost anything you can think of (video games, work, relationships, etc).  Workouts are no different, and surprisingly a lot of people for some reason don't make that connection.  You can't be at the top of your game 100% of the time.  The key is not to get discouraged, to understand this fact, and overall a shitty workout is better than no workout at all.  There's always the next one.  And the next one.  And the next one.

Quote
When I get back to the 180s (I'm 6'0) I am hoping to find the time and $$ to join a gym for lifting.

There are also some cool books on bodyweight exercises for strength training, eliminating the need for a gym altogether.  I just prefer to use weights as I enjoy strength training.  I track every single workout, every pound lifted, every exercise completed, both in a journal and on Fitocracy.  I get to track my progress, to see where I left off last workout to push me to lift more this workout, I see what exercises I've done and perhaps decide to change things up on occasion, and I'd be lying if I said the XP on Fitocracy wasn't a strong motivator. 

Quote
My one great fitness goal (I've done two marathons and am eyeing triathlons but am a terrible swimmer) is to benchpress my own weight. I've never even come close, not even when I was getting really strong in college.  If I can do it by 40, (18 mos from now) I'd be completely over the moon.

A very realistic and achievable goal.  Most of my life I wasn't able to do so.  The day I finally did was an achievement I had pursued for years.  Then it became squatting and deadlifting more than my weight as well.  Then it became benching my weight in dumbbells rather than just barbell.  Then it was 1.5 times my weight in deadlifts and squats.  There is always a goal, always something to work toward achieving, and the best part?  Throughout the process you're always making yourself better.  You get stronger, improve your health, improve your appearance (people who insist they ONLY exercise for good health are typically lying, we all want to look better because it improves confidence and how you feel about yourself), you become more confident, your self worth improves, and you perform better in other areas of your life.

Don't let bad days discourage you.  They happen.  Just like in COD, sports, etc.  I always feel that a bad workout is better than no workout, and my next workout usually improves considerably.  My first week back after two weeks of vacation was rough.  This week?  It's good I dressed in black because I killed it.   icon_cool

Get some. 
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« Reply #498 on: June 17, 2013, 05:57:54 PM »

Woo!

Under 200 as of this morning. Woo!
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« Reply #499 on: June 25, 2013, 06:34:45 PM »

During the spring semester and into this summer I've been focusing on doing a lot of volume in my workouts, up to 8 sets per exercise (including a warm-up set or two), 8 to 10 different exercises per workout.  My strength and endurance have gone up considerably, but my workouts last just under 2 hours and I'm physically fried for a good portion of the day after.

For the next few weeks I'm working on decreasing reps, decreasing sets, decreasing rest between sets, but to offset that I'm working to increase weight, increase intensity, and shorten my workouts to closer to 60 min rather than the usual 100 to 120 min.  Today was chest/tris, and I was able to bench 15lbs more on flat and incline, I only dropped reps from 6 or 7 to 5, and decreased sets from 8 to 6.  My overall workout volume didn't decrease by much, but I finished my workout in a hair over 60 min.  I'm sufficiently drained from the intensity of my workout, but my body doesn't feel as battered as it usually does.  Going to give this adjustment a try for a few weeks to see how I progress.  But it certainly is nice to be home in 60 min rather than the usual two hours, and I'm curious to see how my body adapts to the new regiment. 
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« Reply #500 on: June 25, 2013, 07:40:57 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 25, 2013, 06:34:45 PM

During the spring semester and into this summer I've been focusing on doing a lot of volume in my workouts, up to 8 sets per exercise (including a warm-up set or two), 8 to 10 different exercises per workout.  My strength and endurance have gone up considerably, but my workouts last just under 2 hours and I'm physically fried for a good portion of the day after.

For the next few weeks I'm working on decreasing reps, decreasing sets, decreasing rest between sets, but to offset that I'm working to increase weight, increase intensity, and shorten my workouts to closer to 60 min rather than the usual 100 to 120 min.  Today was chest/tris, and I was able to bench 15lbs more on flat and incline, I only dropped reps from 6 or 7 to 5, and decreased sets from 8 to 6.  My overall workout volume didn't decrease by much, but I finished my workout in a hair over 60 min.  I'm sufficiently drained from the intensity of my workout, but my body doesn't feel as battered as it usually does.  Going to give this adjustment a try for a few weeks to see how I progress.  But it certainly is nice to be home in 60 min rather than the usual two hours, and I'm curious to see how my body adapts to the new regiment.

Okay I'll be giving this a shot since my gym workout times are getting ridiculous (2+ hours)
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« Reply #501 on: June 26, 2013, 03:54:26 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on June 25, 2013, 07:40:57 PM

Okay I'll be giving this a shot since my gym workout times are getting ridiculous (2+ hours)

I've had the time to put these kinds of workouts in, but my body is shot afterward.  It also definitely takes me a lot longer to recover than when I was in my 20's.  But I've been doing heavy volume for about three months and have hit a little bit of a plateau in terms of 5-rep maxes (I don't mess with 1-rep-maxes as they don't tell me a whole lot, I'm more interested in what I can move at least 5 reps).  Injuries have also slowed my progress, but overall I'd like to see better increases in my compound lifts.  I'm not really concerned with isolation stuff as I just use that to finish up my workouts, starting with compound lifts as my focus and then finishing with isolation stuff for what I consider to be "vanity muscle groups" like triceps and biceps.  Compound lifts already hit them pretty hard, and isolation stuff is just to get that finishing burn. 

I haven't seen much change in my body's strength development and physical development as of late.  I'm trying to get stronger, but my workouts lately have felt more like maintenance as I haven't been able to increase weight much.  I'm hoping a change in intensity, format, and efficiency might be enough of an adjustment to give me more noticeable strength and physical changes in the next few weeks. Changing things up is always a good thing.  Plus I'm hoping my body will be able to recover faster and I won't feel as fried every day following my 2+hour sessions.
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« Reply #502 on: June 26, 2013, 04:08:26 PM »

ATB, I've actually been thinking about some of the things you've said and thought I'd address them further.

Quote from: ATB on June 11, 2013, 02:36:52 PM

When I get back to the 180s (I'm 6'0) I am hoping to find the time and $$ to join a gym for lifting.

To be honest, you're likely to see far more efficient progress if you start a strength training program now rather than waiting for an "ideal" weight to begin.  A lot of people intending to get back into shape through strength training can be intimidated by us muscleheads in the free weight area.  But to be honest, neither I nor my lifting friends have ever frowned at someone trying to lift to get into shape and lose weight.  It's not easy, and it says something about that person to give it a try and to hopefully stick with it.  

Quote
My one great fitness goal (I've done two marathons and am eyeing triathlons but am a terrible swimmer) is to benchpress my own weight. I've never even come close, not even when I was getting really strong in college.  If I can do it by 40, (18 mos from now) I'd be completely over the moon.

I'd like to hear about your gradual progress.  My advice?  Keep a journal.  I'm not talking about something along the lines of "I went to the gym today.  It was crowded.  I met a new friend...." but more along the lines of tracking progress.  For example, I list each exercise, then each set in terms of weight and reps.  For example, yesterday's chest/tris workout was entered as follows:

BB Bench - 135x8/165x5/175x5/180x5/185x4/135x10
BB Incline Bench - 135x8/145x5/155x5,5,6/135x8
Dips (tricep) - 15/15/15/15/15
...

I then enter all information on Fitocracy which also tracks my progress, personal bests, XP (a gamer's dream), etc.  I can refer back to pages in my journal, check Fitocracy, and always know where I've been, where I hope to go, and what my progress is so I can adjust workouts accordingly.

Set goals, then work to achieve them.  I weigh 155lbs.  I had always wanted to squat a reasonable amount of weight, especially given a history of knee injuries.  When I started, I practically tipped over with 95lbs on my shoulders.  Now?  I can do five sets of 5 at 225lbs.  I then had to almost start over following cervical disc replacement surgery, which was discouraging, but I'm back to where I was pre-surgery.  And like you, I too had dreamed of benching my own weight.  Recently my high just reached 185lbs, and I hope to break 200 for the first time in my life before Christmas.  

You have goals.  The key is to go out and start pursuing them.  I understand losing weight is a key part for you, but it really isn't too early to start strength training.  
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« Reply #503 on: June 27, 2013, 12:41:41 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 26, 2013, 04:08:26 PM


To be honest, you're likely to see far more efficient progress if you start a strength training program now rather than waiting for an "ideal" weight to begin.  

Psychologically, I'm not ready. I am wholly consumed with cardio and calories in/out.  I'm not ready to modify yet and re adjust to muscle building...

Quote
A lot of people intending to get back into shape through strength training can be intimidated by us muscleheads in the free weight area.
 But to be honest, neither I nor my lifting friends have ever frowned at someone trying to lift to get into shape and lose weight.  

I've never been intimidated. I know my limits.  Just like I never look down on some slab of chiseled beef who obviously ignores leg and cardio days and  can't run on the treadmill for more than 3 minutes without collapsing. slywink


Quote
I'd like to hear about your gradual progress.  My advice?  Keep a journal.  

That will be the plan. Honestly, I think I'm going to start out with just doing pushups. Perhaps that 100 pushup challenge to get those core groups doing something.  I haven't mapped it all out yet...


Thanks, Pete!
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« Reply #504 on: June 27, 2013, 03:48:47 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 27, 2013, 12:41:41 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 26, 2013, 04:08:26 PM


To be honest, you're likely to see far more efficient progress if you start a strength training program now rather than waiting for an "ideal" weight to begin.  

Psychologically, I'm not ready. I am wholly consumed with cardio and calories in/out.  I'm not ready to modify yet and re adjust to muscle building...

Fair 'nuff.  Strength training requires reasonable psychological dedication, so only you will know when you're prepared to begin.

Quote
Quote
A lot of people intending to get back into shape through strength training can be intimidated by us muscleheads in the free weight area.
 But to be honest, neither I nor my lifting friends have ever frowned at someone trying to lift to get into shape and lose weight.  

I've never been intimidated. I know my limits.

Again, fair 'nuff.  I wasn't necessary suggesting that you specifically are intimidated, but I do have a number of friends made rather uncomfortable by the free weight area, who instead opt to utilize various isolation machines.  Most membership gyms aren't too bad, but I can see their point when lifting at the University of Arizona gym.  I go when it opens first-thing in the morning, so most "bros" are still asleep, but afternoons become "bro-town" and it becomes one giant social circus of idiocy.  Hence why I opted for an LA Fitness membership, to lift with friends when home over the summer, but it also opens an hour earlier than the university gym so I can get a much better workout in without having to rush to my 8am classes.

Quote
Just like I never look down on some slab of chiseled beef who obviously ignores leg and cardio days and  can't run on the treadmill for more than 3 minutes without collapsing. slywink

We call them "bros", and they're rather easy to spot.  My closest friend from pharm school used to be a bro in terms of his workout, but after we started lifting together he shifted from isolation lifts to incorporating more compound lifts, and I also convinced him to incorporate a leg day.  His strength went up exponentially.  And his legs no longer look ridiculous. 

Quote
Quote
I'd like to hear about your gradual progress.  My advice?  Keep a journal.  

That will be the plan. Honestly, I think I'm going to start out with just doing pushups. Perhaps that 100 pushup challenge to get those core groups doing something.  I haven't mapped it all out yet...

A word of advice.  Don't get too caught up in the minutia of planning everything out in great detail.  Many people new to strength training (or returning from a long hiatus) often get discouraged or sometimes get too bogged down in fixating on developing the "perfect" workout.  Others can get overwhelmed with the variety of so many different programs, exercises, methods, etc.  And the end result is always the same, thinking to much about one's workout instead of just getting out and doing it. 

To help combat this, the most recent popular trend for beginners has been to begin with the Starting Strength program.  It is greatly effective in developing the necessary strength foundation for pretty much all future training.  And here's a more focused write-up of the program:  Starting Strength for Beginners.

I'm not saying it's the one way as to how you should begin, but it gives you some things to consider in narrowing down the overwhelming world of strength training to what is most effective and efficient in developing the proper foundation.  Fitocracy has an entire section dedicated to fitness knowledge, including information on supplements, recipes, training programs, current philosophies, etc. 

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Thanks, Pete!

My pleasure.  I'm passionate about healthier living in general, hoping to impact my community as a pharmacist by not only educating patients on medication, but aiding in developing healthier lifestyles to potentially eliminate some medications from a patient's regiment.  And I simply love strength training, fitness, sports, etc. 
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« Reply #505 on: June 27, 2013, 04:41:18 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on June 27, 2013, 03:48:47 PM

Starting Strength program. 

 icon_eek Ok. Maybe I have been intimidated...    icon_eek

As I'm usually on my own and have never been that strong, I've always used machines...

I'm pretty sure if I did squats, dead lifts or most of those exercises with free weight, I'd injure myself horribly.

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« Reply #506 on: June 27, 2013, 04:56:29 PM »

Quote from: ATB on June 27, 2013, 04:41:18 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on June 27, 2013, 03:48:47 PM

Starting Strength program. 

 icon_eek Ok. Maybe I have been intimidated...    icon_eek

As I'm usually on my own and have never been that strong, I've always used machines...

I'm pretty sure if I did squats, dead lifts or most of those exercises with free weight, I'd injure myself horribly.



It's really not meant to be intimidating, but designed specifically for the beginner to teach proper form and weight progression to aid in future training.  In the case of squats, you can start with doing body-weight squats without even bothering with a barbell.  Only after you've developed the proper form should you try using a barbell, and just the weight of the bar itself (45lbs) is sufficient to learn how to properly balance the bar.  In the case of deadlifts, the point is also to begin with just the bar before progressing up in weight. 

The point is to first train your central nervous system (CNS) to handle the combination of muscle groups necessary to do these exercises.  My first day of squats the bar was tipping left and right, I was leaning forward and tilting backward, and ultimately struggled considerably.  But in about a week my body adapted to the movement, engaging my core and balancing the weight became more comfortable and intuitive, and now I can squat 225 and make it look easy. 

Once your CNS adapts to the various exercises (and it's only a short list), adding weight becomes much easier to accomplish.  The goal of SS is to first train your CNS,  then your strength can better develop.  Machines will forever limit your overall strength development by limiting the activation of your CNS, stabilizer muscles, and utilization of your core.

We've all started where you are.  Hell, I lifted for over a decade before ever trying a single deadlift or squat.  And when I first tried SS I felt like I was resetting my strength training to the very beginning all over again.  But, I'm not trying to sell you on SS as it isn't the be-all end-all program for beginners, but it will provide a better foundation for future training than going back to the comfort of machines. 

But ultimately any strength training will be beneficial to you no matter what type. 
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« Reply #507 on: July 02, 2013, 04:44:37 PM »

Hit a BB bench press PR yesterday morning - 220 lbs. I'm 6', 188 right now.

This was at the end of 5 work sets of 6 @ 165, followed by singles of 185, 195, 200, 210 and then the PR of 220. I *think* I could have put up 225 or 230 but as I lift alone in my basement I get a little leery of pushing it too far. I'll probably try for 225 next Monday.


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« Reply #508 on: July 02, 2013, 06:10:17 PM »

Nice work!
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« Reply #509 on: July 02, 2013, 09:26:02 PM »

Quote from: tiktokman on July 02, 2013, 04:44:37 PM

Hit a BB bench press PR yesterday morning - 220 lbs. I'm 6', 188 right now.

 thumbsup

As I've mentioned to ATB, you can't be "on" at the gym all the time, and today I got my own taste of having an "off" day.  Last chest workout I managed to bench 185, but today I was only able to manage four working sets of 175.   disgust  I knew going in that I wouldn't have an ideal workout, I just feel a little fatigued for some reason, but I was a little chapped to fall 10lbs short of last week's progress.  Still, I gave incline dumbbells a try as I've been doing barbell for quite some time, and put up 70's for my working sets.  Being that the most I've ever done in DBs was 80's on flat bench, 70's on incline is a nice personal accomplishment.

Leaving for Tampa Bay in the morning for a week, and I'd rather not take an entire week off, so there's a gym down the street from the beach condo where we'll be staying which should provide a nice break from social overload.  They let me pay by the day last year, so I'm hoping to do the same again for this trip.  If not, I can always do bodyweight stuff on the beach and I also have a set of travel bands specifically for when I can't get gym access.
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« Reply #510 on: July 08, 2013, 03:26:00 PM »

66% to goal in the weight lossedness.

Plateaued for 2 weeks, but am on the move again. 2.2 lbs a week lost on average.

If I get to my goal and see that I can comfortably lose another 5%, I'll amend my goal. If not, the churn and burn phase will be done and it will be time to start building building some hurtin bombs.


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« Reply #511 on: July 15, 2013, 06:40:39 PM »

The Blurch
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« Reply #512 on: July 15, 2013, 07:37:06 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on July 15, 2013, 06:40:39 PM


LOL @ 18.1 to 18.2.
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« Reply #513 on: July 15, 2013, 07:50:18 PM »

That is a great take on endurance stuff in general.  Loved it.
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« Reply #514 on: July 15, 2013, 07:52:50 PM »

I really must be broken.

I don't know that I've ever gotten a runner's high.

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« Reply #515 on: July 15, 2013, 08:26:08 PM »

Quote from: Moliere on July 15, 2013, 06:40:39 PM


My favorite line: "It tasted like the souls of ten thousand unborn panda bears."  icon_lol
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« Reply #516 on: July 16, 2013, 05:22:56 PM »

Quote from: ATB on July 15, 2013, 07:52:50 PM

I really must be broken.

I don't know that I've ever gotten a runner's high.

It's gotta get painful first... and stay that way.
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« Reply #517 on: July 16, 2013, 06:51:51 PM »

Quote from: kratz on July 16, 2013, 05:22:56 PM

Quote from: ATB on July 15, 2013, 07:52:50 PM

I really must be broken.

I don't know that I've ever gotten a runner's high.

It's gotta get painful first... and stay that way.

Explain.
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« Reply #518 on: July 16, 2013, 07:10:18 PM »

Some research suggests that the "runner's high" and similar "exercise highs" are more myth then actual results of endorphin release and biological response.  While higher endorphins are found in blood circulation following exercise, these endorphins do not pass the brain's blood/brain barrier, negating any potential effect from their circulation, and in cases where endorphin receptors have been chemically blocked, subjects still demonstrated a change in mood following exercise.

That isn't to say people do not experience mood changes following exercise, but the broad range of subjective responses along with little clinical support for the phenomenon might explain why some believe in the response while others never experience any such euphoria.

But, understand that there is conflicting information regarding "exercise highs."  For example, German scientists in 2008 used brain imaging to suggest the phenomenon does exist.  However, another article states otherwise. 
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« Reply #519 on: July 17, 2013, 07:34:09 PM »

Body felt a little beat up today and I wasn't very excited about my workout as legs/shoulders day is the toughest in my rotation.  But, after a couple of cups of coffee I sucked it up and went to the gym anyway.  And man am I glad I did.  So much so that I had to share (format is from Fitocracy's tracking system with associated point values included, personal records in bold):

Quote
PeteRock  Tracked a Workout for 3,061 pts Today

Body Weight Squat:
10 reps   (+6 pts)

Barbell Squat:
135 lb x 6 reps   (+70 pts)
185 lb x 5 reps   (+92 pts)
205 lb x 5 reps   (+105 pts)
215 lb x 5 reps   (+113 pts)
225 lb x 5 reps   (+121 pts)
235 lb x 5 reps   (+129 pts)
225 lb x 5 reps   (+121 pts)
225 lb x 6 reps   (+128 pts)

Romanian Deadlift:
135 lb x 8 reps   (+59 pts)
185 lb x 6 reps   (+77 pts)
185 lb x 6 reps   (+77 pts)
185 lb x 6 reps   (+77 pts)
185 lb x 6 reps   (+77 pts)
185 lb x 6 reps   (+77 pts)

Barbell Shrug:
225 lb x 8 reps   (+51 pts)
315 lb x 8 reps   (+94 pts)
325 lb x 8 reps    (+101 pts)
325 lb x 7 reps   (+98 pts)
335 lb x 6 reps   (+101 pts)
335 lb x 5 reps   (+95 pts)
335 lb x 5 reps   (+95 pts)
315 lb x 8 reps   (+94 pts)

Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press:
50 lb x 7 reps   (+64 pts)
50 lb x 7 reps   (+64 pts)
50 lb x 7 reps   (+64 pts)
55 lb x 5 reps   (+62 pts)
55 lb x 5 reps   (+62 pts)

50 lb x 6 reps   (+62 pts)

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise:
20 lb x 8 reps   (+34 pts)
20 lb x 8 reps   (+34 pts)
20 lb x 8 reps   (+34 pts)
20 lb x 8 reps   (+34 pts)
20 lb x 8 reps   (+34 pts)

Front Dumbbell Raise:
20 lb x 7 reps   (+16 pts)
20 lb x 7 reps   (+16 pts)
20 lb x 6 reps   (+16 pts)
20 lb x 6 reps   (+16 pts)
20 lb x 6 reps   (+16 pts)

Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine:
200 lb x 10 reps   (+9 pts)
205 lb x 10 reps   (+9 pts)
205 lb x 10 reps   (+9 pts)
205 lb x 10 reps   (+9 pts)
205 lb x 10 reps   (+9 pts)

Dumbbell Side Bend:
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)
45 lb x 15 reps   (+33 pts)

For being 36 years old with a separated shoulder, minimal remaining cartilage in my left knee, a prosthetic cervical disc, and permanent loss of grip strength in my left hand due to irreversible nerve damage, I'll take it.  For reference, I weigh 155lbs.  
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