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1  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Any opinions, intformation, etc. about nursing or respatory therapy? on: August 29, 2013, 07:38:11 PM
I worked as an environmental consultant for 10 years, and now I am currently right smack in the middle of a career change pursuing a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.  I spent two years working on prerequisites, and I am now in my second year of PharmD graduate school. 

I absolutely love my decision to make the change, I am really enjoying the curriculum as well as the amount of hands-on experience, and I become even more passionate about my profession every day.

Things to consider?  Cost of education, time commitment, earning potential (no one likes to admit it, but it has to be a part of the reasoning process), location of your program (my wife lives in our home in Chandler, Arizona and during the school year I spend 99% of my time at the UofA in Tucson), specialization (I'm considering a residency, which adds another year to my education path), how you plan to finance your education (loans, loans, and more loans), and the fact that you're starting completely over again.  The last part was a little unsettling, but I've since adjusted.  But I would recommend getting into health care because you WANT to, not necessarily because it merely sounds "neat." Do your homework, research the paths you've mentioned, and try to find volunteer opportunities to provide some exposure to a typical professional day.  To apply to the UofA I was required to earn a certain number of experience hours in an actual pharmacy before even beginning the pharmacy program, primarily to determine if this is a field I want to be involved with and if I am capable of doing so.

After my volunteer experience it was a resounding yes.
2  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Batman vs Superman (Man of Steel 2) on: August 23, 2013, 04:39:09 PM

Quote from: Jumangi on August 23, 2013, 04:32:23 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 23, 2013, 03:53:26 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on August 23, 2013, 02:22:15 AM

Ben Affleck is your new Batman.

I found Man of Steel to unfortunately be somewhat mediocre.  I really WANTED to like it, but was ultimately underwhelmed.  I just don't see this acting choice working out.  I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong, and while he has turned in a number of poor performances, films like Argo and The Town still give me hope (despite it being rather fleeting).  At least with low expectations, perhaps I will be surprised.

Add in Gone Baby Gone to that list(his directorial debut). In fact that list of movies IMO shows his best talent is as a director. I'd be more stoked to hear he was doing that for the movie than playing Batman.

Agreed.  He has definitely impressed as a director more so than an actor.
3  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: [movie] Batman vs Superman (Man of Steel 2) on: August 23, 2013, 03:53:26 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on August 23, 2013, 02:22:15 AM

Ben Affleck is your new Batman.

I found Man of Steel to unfortunately be somewhat mediocre.  I really WANTED to like it, but was ultimately underwhelmed.  I just don't see this acting choice working out.  I'd be thrilled to be proven wrong, and while he has turned in a number of poor performances, films like Argo and The Town still give me hope (despite it being rather fleeting).  At least with low expectations, perhaps I will be surprised.
4  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bud Light + Clamato Chelada on: August 13, 2013, 07:16:49 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 13, 2013, 06:51:26 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 13, 2013, 06:38:59 PM

It's hugely popular in Arizona, but not with me. 

You mean the Bud Light Clamato is popular in Arizona, or that real michelada is popular in Arizona?

The Bud Light Clamato is.  If you're ever pumping gas at a nearby Quick Trip in the early afternoon you inevitably see landscapers getting off from work and finishing their day with a 24-oz Bud Light Clamato.   

Quote
I've enjoyed the non-Bud Light micheladas I've had, but it's weird to be eating something spicy, reach for your drink... and drink something that's equally or more spicy than the food.

I've had non-Bud Light micheladas, but inevitably I find myself wishing it was a bloody mary.
5  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Bud Light + Clamato Chelada on: August 13, 2013, 06:38:59 PM
It's hugely popular in Arizona, but not with me. 
6  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: wedding ring on: August 13, 2013, 06:00:37 PM

Quote from: Caine on August 11, 2013, 06:09:06 AM

I am not in the least surprised by this part.  Pete has a stand just for his ring

Fabulous
7  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 09, 2013, 08:07:20 PM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on August 09, 2013, 07:58:59 PM

The things we do to stay in shape...

For me working out is the "easy" part (but obviously not THAT easy).  It's the things I have to EAT to also LOOK in shape, now there's the challenge...
8  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 09, 2013, 04:55:46 PM
Took a different approach at the gym yesterday.  Body has felt pretty battered from doing so much volume, playing softball three nights a week, traveling, and fitting in tournaments on the weekends when possible.  Yesterday I deloaded a bit, tried doing slower reps with less sets and less rest between sets.  We'll give this a try for a bit and see how my body feels as well as if it makes any noticeable changes in my physique or overall strength.  I'm also trying to be better about taking rest days.  When I have a trip or something coming up when I know I won't get any gym time in I'll go for consecutive days in a row and inevitably over-train.  I'm trying to do better about taking rest days as I know I need them, my body tells me as much, but I sometimes simply don't listen.    retard

But I'm sure in a week I'll be pushing around heavier weight again.   ninja

Oh, also won the championship last night for our Thursday softball league with four straight hour-long games, and now hope to do the same tonight in our Friday league.  But after playing two games Wednesday night, playoffs last night, playoffs tonight, then another two games tomorrow afternoon, Sunday might be spent snacking on ibuprofen.
9  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Re: Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 08, 2013, 08:35:14 PM

Quote from: disarm on August 08, 2013, 05:57:20 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain.

I feel bad coming in here to correct the pharmacy student, but it should be noted that acetaminophen isn't an anti-inflammatory. It's a centrally acting (works on the brain & spinal cord) pain reliever that might make you feel better, but you'll need to stick with ibuprofen or naproxen (both NSAIDs) if you want to decrease inflammation in the strained tissues. A few days of NSAID pain relievers, rest, and stretching can do wonders for a muscle strain.

 icon_redface

Damnit.  Good thing I'm not usually running out the door on my way to meet a friend at the gym when I'm normally discussing medications. 
10  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [TV] Graceland... on: August 08, 2013, 03:42:03 PM
I'm surprised there hasn't been any talk about this new series.  From the series' USA website:

Quote
GRACELAND is a place where nothing is what it seems and everyone has a secret. From the outside, this idyllic beachfront property is inhabited by a group of young, diverse roommates. Inside, a vastly different world is exposed: one that sustains itself through a complex web of lies. USA's new original series Graceland delves into the lives of an elusive group of undercover agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and US Customs, who live and operate under one roof (the house got its name because the drug lord from whom the authorities seized the property was known to be an obsessed Elvis Presley fan). When forced to give up any shred of normalcy and the question of trust is a matter of life or death, the house becomes their sanctuary, their "Graceland."

Graduating at the top of his class, FBI rookie, Mike Warren (Aaron Tveit) anticipates a traditional DC desk job when he's unexpectedly shipped to "Graceland." Immediately thrown into his first undercover assignment, he relies heavily on the guidance of legendary FBI agent and mentor Paul Briggs (Daniel Sunjata). Briggs is an unusually Zen senior agent who notoriously hates the rule book and will go to any length to protect "Graceland" from the outside world.

The show is based on true events and is fairly consistent in maintaining a level of anxiety and tension while the featured agents push the boundaries of their undercover personas.  Not to mention no shortage of "omg" moments.  The pilot grabbed me right from the start and since then Graceland has been a rare TV series I make it a point to keep up with.  It airs on Thursday nights, when I typically have softball, but Cox Cable's free On Demand service allows me to catch up with missed episodes at my leisure.  

I definitely recommend it.  
11  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: August 08, 2013, 03:30:55 PM

Quote from: ATB on August 08, 2013, 12:08:26 PM

Today is the first injury related non- exercise day I have had in the almost 4 months I've been back at it.  Left calf feels like it has a strain in it that feels like a non-stop charlie horse.

Slept in today, resting it, hoping to be back at it tomorrow...if it's not better, I'll rest it until Monday.

An anti-inflammatory might help as well.  Ibuprofen (like Motrin or a store brand) would be ideal, but Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Aleve (naproxen) might also work.  The charlie horse feeling is due to the muscle spasming from injury.  Muscles will tighten to limit mobility so that they cannot be extended further beyond their strain. 

Good luck with your recovery.  Hopefully it's just a minor strain you'll be able to work through without lasting discomfort.
12  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Ninjas in 2013: Nature's cool kids? Or the equivalent of AV Club members? on: August 07, 2013, 04:31:59 PM
I'm not exactly sure you've seen any real ninjas.  Perhaps they're merely gymnasts dressed like ninjas. 
13  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Letters on: August 07, 2013, 04:25:52 PM
I can't pick just one as my favorites typically come as a pair:  F and U. 
14  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: wedding ring on: August 07, 2013, 04:19:43 PM
I wear my wedding ring at most times but with a handful of exceptions.  I do not wear it to the gym, playing softball, boating, swimming, or during any physical activities during which it could be damaged or lost.  I also take it off at the end of the day before bed, always setting it on a ring stand on my bureau next to my watch and phone.

Quote from: USMC Kato on August 06, 2013, 09:03:12 PM

Also my ring is super heavy (tungsten)


Mine is as well.  I definitely notice if I forget to wear it as my hand feels distinctly lighter without a slab of platinum on it, but I believe tungsten is even heavier.   
15  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: July 26, 2013, 08:43:34 PM
Met with my orthopedic specialist today. Again.

Had MRIs done recently for some shoulder problems associated with its separation back in November.  The good news is I don't have any damage requiring immediate surgery.  My labrum and rotator cuff are both inflamed and causing a fair bit of discomfort, but primarily from wear-and-tear over many years of lifting, playing sports, etc, but not from any specific trauma or injury.  So the diagnosis is I'm simply old, battered, and worn down.  But functional. 

How did I celebrate?  Deadlifts.   ninja2
16  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Speeding ticket on: July 24, 2013, 08:26:52 PM
I went with "outrun the cops" as there's no option for "never."
17  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Burgers on: July 18, 2013, 04:09:50 PM
I crave In-N-Out when I'm shit-hammered.  If I want a good burger, few compare to the delux burger at Delux restaurant in northern Phoenix.  Gratch has experienced it as well, so perhaps he would agree.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Five Guys.   
18  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Burgers on: July 18, 2013, 03:12:14 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on July 18, 2013, 02:14:05 PM

Oh man, animal style is the way to go, if just for having them grill the onions.

Double-double animal style, well-done fries, and a neopolitan shake.
19  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread on: July 17, 2013, 08:36:16 PM
During the semester I have to cut my workouts shorter so I'm forced to cut back on sets and rest time.  For the summer without any time constraints I'm focusing on doing more volume.  On my last set of each exercise I typically go to failure, but I don't count the failed rep if I don't fully complete it.  All movements are slow, form is rarely sacrificed (although we all have the occasional form hiccup when tired), and I make it a point to avoid bouncing, momentum, or allowing gravity to do the work on downward motions.  I'm not trying to lift heavier weight for the sake of lifting heavier weight, but to increase overall strength in the manner you see in my workout format.  It also has been translating well to sports performance and I both look stronger and am stronger than I've ever been, especially given that my workouts are fasted.  I can lift more when eating like a horse pre-workout, but for now it's swimsuit season.  

Fabulous
20  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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.  
21  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heatwave Western U.S. on: July 17, 2013, 03:45:12 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on July 17, 2013, 03:09:44 PM

Quote from: PeteRock on July 17, 2013, 03:08:40 PM

Usually our humidity is in single digits, but lately it has reached as high as 45%.  

I'll trade you for our 66% humidity.

I was near Tampa Bay in Clearwater, Florida last week as well as Crystal River where the humidity exceeded 80%.  You can have it.  It might break 50% here, but that's rare.  The rest of the time we top out around 9%.  Being at the beach and boating in the Gulf while in Florida certainly helped though.   icon_cool

Now please excuse me while I start packing for a 4-day trip to Rocky Point to escape the heat at the beach and at the pool bar.   icon_cool
22  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heatwave Western U.S. on: July 17, 2013, 03:08:40 PM
It's no longer as hot as it was a few weeks ago in AZ, but now we're dealing with high humidity due to monsoon season.  Usually our humidity is in single digits, but lately it has reached as high as 45%.  When combined with 100+ temperatures, it certainly feels a bit sticky.  And we get a heavy thunderstorm almost daily, making it pointless to wash your car until October.
23  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Test your Die Hard knowledge (Die Hard is 25 years old?!) on: July 16, 2013, 11:01:32 PM

Quote from: Suitably Ironic Moniker on July 16, 2013, 10:28:27 PM

The first one is a true classic.

Every Christmas my wife suggests we watch a Christmas movie.  I always put on Die Hard.  Best.  Christmas.  Movie.  Ever.
24  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Test your Die Hard knowledge (Die Hard is 25 years old?!) on: July 16, 2013, 08:40:20 PM
17 out of 20.

Haven't seen Die Hard 4.0, so missed the villain in 4.0, the day on which it takes place, and for some reason I couldn't remember the length of time between Die Hard and Die Hard 2. 
25  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Poles on: July 16, 2013, 08:16:49 PM
Where is the "pole dancing is how I'm getting through college" option?
26  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Venting...When it rains it pours... on: July 16, 2013, 07:54:00 PM
While the worst thing someone can say is "I understand what you're going through", I can at least relate if it is any consolation.  In 2009 I was laid off from a rather lucrative position after 10 years in the environmental industry, struggled to find any comparable level of employment, instead was told to settle for re-entering the profession back at the bottom despite 10 years of experience, shortly followed by my wife's 150-gallon saltwater aquarium breaking and flooding the first floor of our house (while she was away on business in California), causing thousands of dollars of damage and requiring an insurance claim.  I went through a number of months of fairly severe depression.  I could barely get out of bed, let alone muster up enough motivation to even turn the TV on.

Turning my mental state around took a very conscious decision and taxing physical effort.  But it all started with on step.  Followed by another.  And another.  I used my "free" time following my lay-off as an opportunity to completely gut our first floor and remodel it to better fit our needs and lifestyle, all on my own (with a bit of direction from a contracting friend of course).  It was hard, and slow-going, but it gave me constant feelings of accomplishment with every completed task, no matter how minor.  I returned to the gym and got back into strength training, dropping 45 pounds to get down to my current weight.  I then did some soul-searching to determine where I've been and where I'd like to be professionally.  I returned to college with my wife's complete support, took 2 1/2 years to complete the necessary healthcare prerequisites, was accepted to the #7 pharmacy school in the country, and am now about to enter the 2nd year of my Doctor of Pharmacy education. 

The main problem?  Turning things around takes time.  And the necessary amount of time differs from person to person.  I spent about 6 months in a level of depression I had never experienced before.  Up to that point I had scoffed at depression medication commercials, believing depression could never happen to me.  While my state never required treatment, it took every ounce of my being to make that first step, which was to attempt to renovate my house without any home improvement experience whatsoever.  I then made that step to return to the gym.  It hurt to just get out of bed, and here I was trying to strength train again, 45 pounds heavier than I had been upon graduating college.  I then made the decision to return to school, despite the looming sacrifice we'd have to make. 

Now?  Sure, things are hard.  But I look back at my darkest feelings of depression following my lay-off, and am thankful for that bout with adversity as I would not be on my current path, would not be as healthy as I currently am, and would not have worked so hard to improve my disposition.  And it has all helped to make my marriage stronger as well.

My point?  Things will not be easy.  But you're not alone.  This isn't the end.  And when you're ready to make that first step, each subsequent one gets easier and better.

Best of luck.  Fortunately you have a community like this to stand behind you each and every step of the way.   
27  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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. 
28  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read 2013 Edition on: July 12, 2013, 07:56:00 PM
Finished Pulse by Jeremy Robinson and was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it.  Already almost finished with the 2nd book in the series, Instinct, and plan to blow through any others I can find as well.  If you enjoy the Joe Ledger and/or Sigma series, I'd recommend Robinson's Chess Team series as well.  Fun stuff.
29  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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.
30  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heatwave Western U.S. on: July 02, 2013, 03:13:47 PM

Quote from: Ironrod on July 02, 2013, 04:00:08 AM

Quote from: Biyobi on July 02, 2013, 02:16:28 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on June 29, 2013, 04:16:20 PM

But it's a dry heat!  icon_lol

If only. It's been uncomfortably (and unusually) humid along with the heat.

We aren't having extraordinary heat here but I can't remember a more humid summer. We had more than 10" of rain in June and July isn't starting out any better. The air is so wet that sometimes I honestly can't tell if it's raining or not. Ordinarily I like hazy-hot-humid weather, but this is way over the top.

After visits to Orlando, Costa Rica, and Baltimore this summer, in each case I welcomed the warm, dry air upon exiting the airport back in Phoenix.  But just as I wilt in high humidity, I'm sure those more accustomed to humid locales would feel like they were roasting chicken on a typical Phoenix summer day.
31  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heatwave Western U.S. on: July 01, 2013, 07:37:06 PM

Quote from: Exodor on July 01, 2013, 06:22:52 PM

96 today in "always cloudy and rainy Portland."    crybaby



It always amuses me to see people who choose to live in the desert complain about heat.  It's kind of like Portlanders who complain about the rain.   retard

 icon_confused

No one living in the desert is complaining.  Those who don't live here are commenting about the heat.   retard
32  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Heatwave Western U.S. on: July 01, 2013, 05:21:01 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on June 29, 2013, 04:18:26 PM

It's about 120 in Phoenix I hear!

It "officially" reached 119 on Saturday, setting a new area record for the date.
33  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Random Youtube Links Part 1: This time it's random Youtube Links (NSFW) on: June 27, 2013, 06:35:11 PM
Shark Week 2013:

Snuffy's triumphant return to the sea.
34  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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. 
35  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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.

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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. 

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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. 
36  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Books Read 2013 Edition on: June 26, 2013, 07:26:07 PM
Finished Two Graves, the most recent entry in the Pendergast series by Preston and Child.  I'm sorry to say that the series has grown a little stale for me.  I wanted to see how the "Helen/Der Bund" trilogy would conclude, but I felt like I was reading more out of obligation than enjoyment.

As I'm about to take a weekend trip to a lake in the mountains to escape the heat (expected to hit 117F this weekend, but temps in the "high country" will be around 90F during the day, 60F overnight), I'm going to need something to read and am currently without a backlog.  While browsing at the local library, I stumbled upon a series I had not yet heard of by an author named Jeremy Robinson.  It's called the "Chess Team" series and involves an anti-terrorism special forces unit along similar lines to James Rollins' Sigma Series and Maberry's Joe Ledger series.  The cover lists praise from Rollins himself, and the storyline resembles two of my favorite series (Sigma and Joe Ledger), so I'm going to give it a shot.  The first book is Pulse and it is followed by Instinct.  I grabbed both in case they're quick reads.  We'll see if my discovery was dumb luck or a Rollins/Maberry rip-off.
37  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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.  

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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.  
38  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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.
39  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: The 201X Health Improvement Thread 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. 
40  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Next gen purchase poll on: June 25, 2013, 04:01:45 PM
I went with "I'm going to wait for a while."  Not because I am torn between consoles or their price points, but because during my first year of pharmacy school I turned on my 360 during the first week of orientation, and then not really again until June.  There's little reason for me to enter into the fray right now, which will allow me to sit back and see what the consensus will be once both consoles are released.  This is certainly not by choice, but being that I haven't even bothered to play my 360 this summer when I actually do have time, I'll at least be able to live vicariously through my brother-in-law whenever I have a moment to visit home for a weekend.
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