November 27, 2010

Hey Leon, could you put up a chart of your weight loss?

Graphical tracking of a little over a year.


About 40 lb. since I had my moment o' clarity last October.

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November 26, 2010

Workout log, week 9 (5/3/1)

Monday (11-22-2010):
Overhead press 5x80lb, 5x95lb, 7x105lb, 3x105lb
Dips 15, 15, 15, 12, 10
Chin-ups 10, 7, 5, 5, 5

Deadlift 5x205lb, 5x235lb, 7x270lb, 3x270lb, 3x270lb
Back raise 3x10 w/45lb, 2x12 w/25lb
Hanging leg raise 4x15

Bench press 5x140lb, 5x160lb, 6x185lb, 4x185lb
Dumbbell bench press 10, 10, 6, 8, 10
Dumbbell row 5x5
Close-grip cable row 3x10

Squat 5x165lb, 5x190lb, 8x215lb
Squat 5x10
Leg curl 5x10
Prone bridges 3x60s
Forearm twists 3x12
Forearm extensions 3x10
Forearm curls 3x10

Weight (Friday): 185 lb

Notes:  I continue to be disappointed with my bench presses.  I was really hoping to hit 7 reps at 185 lb, but I felt a twinge in my left forearm and decided not to risk it, stopping at 6.  I gave myself a 1min rest and then cranked out 4 more reps, trying for 5, but that 5th one just wasn't there.  My tennis elbow isn't all the way gone, but the pain has moved, and different activities hurt now.  Gripping is mostly painless, but horizontal pressing to full extension causes a little bit of pain.  Strangely, vertical pressing doesn't hurt.  I threw in some extra forearm work into Friday's workout to try and strengthen the muscles and give them a little bit of stretch-under-load.  I'm still trying to baby the arm in and out of the gym, but I'm not sure it'll be enough.  Since I'd rather not totally lose another week in the gym, I might completely forego assistance work on my next Bench day, since that appears to be the injurious workout.  Wendler calls this the "jack shit" assistance routine, as in, "I ain't doin'".  Seems worth a try.

On the nutrition front, I managed to make it through Thanksgiving with only a minor dietary deviation for a pair of small desserts, and I actually weighed less at the end of the day than at the start of it.  I ate plenty of the good stuff, too ("would you like some turkey with your turkey?" was asked).  I count this as a win.

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Stupid gym tricks

Workout log coming later today, this is just something I saw that floored me, and I had to share.

So I'm at the gym, finishing my workout with some static core work (i.e. prone bridges), and I see this 40-something gal on one of the treadmills at what had to be maximum incline, with the belt going at a nice fast clip.  Hard work, right?

Not really.  She's at a high incline and a high speed, but she's got a death grip on the "heart rate monitor" handles at the top of the treadmill, and her biceps and forearms are fully engaged.  She's at a 20 degree incline, sure, but she's "walking" perpendicular to the belt.  No kidding, the line of her spine is tilted 20 degrees backward she's maintaining that leaned-back angle with a sort of static hold on those handles.  With that much weight off her feet and on her arms, she's actually getting less of a cardio workout than she would walking flat, and she's tiring her arms out with no range of motion.  Congrats, lady, you've managed to combine a crappy leg workout with a crappy arm workout.

Oh, and no, I didn't offer free advice.  That'd be rude and waste my time (who listens to free advice?).  This is intended as education.  Don't be this lady.  Also, don't get me wrong.  I respect anyone trying to get in shape or stay in shape just for the effort alone; just trying is more effort than most put in.  I don't normally snark, and this isn't really, it's just frustrating because I want to help her not waste her time in the gym, but there's no socially-acceptable way to do that.

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November 21, 2010

Rest Week (wrist weak)

Took the week off to rest my sore forearm ligament, along with all my other joints and my central nervous system.  My muscles might have needed it, but I didn't really feel any serious soreness after the deload week.  The week off seems to have helped.  My tennis elbow isn't all the way better, but it's a lot better than it was.  I'll need to keep babying it a little outside the gym

This was also my first full week without dairy.  Not lifting means I didn't have anywhere near the appetite I've had lately.  Likely, those two factors combined let me drop 5 lbs this week.  I'm hopeful that it was mostly inflammation and fat lost.  I don't feel any less muscular (i.e. like I've lost muscle), but I've also been deliberately avoiding serious exertion so I could rest as completely as possible.  New 4-week cycle of 5/3/1 starts tomorrow.

Weight (Sunday): 185 lb

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November 18, 2010

These two ought to combine nicely.

I turn 35 in just under a month, and I'm not planning on a huge cheat for my birthday, so my current plan is to make something dessert-like that's not too much of a stretch.

Behold, I have the makings of an almost-paleo pumpkin cheesecake:

I'll review after I've actually made it.

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November 12, 2010

Workout log, week 8 (5/3/1)

Monday (11-8-2010):
Overhead press 5x50lb, 5x60lb, 5x70lb
Overhead press 5x10
Chin-ups 10, 6, 5, 4, 5

Deadlift 5x125lb, 5x155lb, 5x170lb
Back raise 5x10
Hanging leg raise 5x15

Bench press 5x85lb, 5x105lb, 5x125lb
Bench press 5x10
Barbell row 4x10
Close-grip cable row 2x10

Squat 5x95lb, 5x125lb, 5x155lb, 1x225lb, 1x245lb, 0x275lb (f), 1x265lb, 1x275lb, 0x285lb (f)
Leg extension 3x10
Leg curl 3x10
Prone bridges 3x60s

Weight (Friday): 190 lb

Notes:  I have tennis elbow in my left forearm.  Presses and pulls with anything gripped in my hand both seem to aggravate it.  Pushups and dips seem safe when I've tried them, so I might have to switch to those for assistance work on pressing days, and just do back raises on deadlift days.  That should take a lot of the volume of work literally out of my hands for awhile.  I'm contemplating taking all of next week off from lifting, rather than starting the next 4-week cycle right away.  We'll see how my forearm feels on Monday.  A week off is likely a good idea, since I haven't taken one since the second full week of September.  I did try for a PR today on squats, just to see.  I think I might have been able to pull off 285 if I'd been in top form, but it's nice to see that I could hit 275 on the second try.  It's still a lot less than I'd like, but it's better than I'd expected.  I might have to adjust my targets for the next 4-week cycle accordingly, since the whole program is based on percentages of 1RM.

It's funny, I remember reading training logs of experienced lifters -- back before I started getting serious about strength training -- who noted that they hated taking time off from training.  I'm right there.  I believe I should take a week off, that the de-load week hasn't been enough "rest" for my joints given the pain in my forearm, but I really, really wish I could just train next week.  I may still, it's hard to say whether I'll be okay to do it by Monday, but it's weird to feel anxious about taking a week off.

Also, today will be my first full day of deliberately abstaining from dairy.  I'm giving it from today until December 15 to see if it makes a big or even noticeable difference in how I look/feel/perform.  I'm solidly grain-free at this point, even when I cheat, so this is the last thing I really need to experiment with.  I will likely end up making a lot of guacamole for my burgers, since I have a weird psychological need to have something on top of them when I eat them.

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November 05, 2010

Workout log, week 7 (5/3/1)

Monday (11-1-2010):
Overhead press 5x90lb, 3x100lb, 3x115lb
Overhead press 5x10
Pull-ups 9, 5, 6, 5, 5

Deadlift 5x220lb, 3x250lb, 4x280lb
Barbell shrug 5x10
Back raise 5x10
Hanging leg raise 5x15

Bench press 5x160lb, 3x180lb, 3x200lb, 1x200lb
Bench press 5x10
Dumbbell row 5x5 each side
Close-grip cable row 5x10

Squat 5x175lb, 3x200lb, 5x225lb
Squat 5x10
Leg curl 5x10
Standing calf raise 5x10

Weight (Friday): 189 lb

Notes: Heavy week, hard but not too hard.  I'm hungry a lot, worn out, and I've got "tennis elbow" in my left arm.  I need the light week next week.

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According to WRIF's Drew and Mike, breast implant prices are now down to the same as they were in 1990.

Deflation, in breast implants.

Meanwhile, sugar's up 58% in the last 3 months.  As I'm a consumer of neither sugar nor aftermarket bewbs, deflation hasn't helped me and I'm still in the clear on this whole quantitative easing thing.  For now.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 09:20 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 02, 2010

Midterm voting, 8:45AM

No waiting this morning at Scarlett Middle School.  There were about 12 total voters in the gymnasium while I was present.  Given that this is Ann Arbor (i.e. 25 square miles surrounded by reality), I choose to interpret it as a good sign.  Rick Snyder is a local, but I'm guessing his local constituency isn't my generally my neighborhood.  If AA turnout is low, that might be good news for Rob Steele, but there's no telling on that one, since the dead voters of Detroit are sure to turn out for zombie-master Dingell.

I'm headed back with my wife for her vote this evening, I'll update then with what I see.

Update (7:30PM):  Still not crushing turnout when I was there the second time, but it was about 30min from the close.

Posted by: leoncaruthers at 11:24 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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