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All-Purpose Health and Fitness Thread


Super Ape
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As I have said, I did put my newest photos through a photo editor. So, I decided to put my older photos through it, and dammit, I still may be in the best shape of my life at nearly 44 years old.

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I've kept the workout and walking regime up the best I can ( also throughout the weekend) with Wednesday being the only total day off. Took the new profile pic just now, after well over 200 push-ups in 5 or 6 sets, shrugs with kettlebells and some lat and bicep work with resistance band, along with two sets with the powerwheel. That is about as good a pump I'm going to get on my chest at home. The weight shot up to 180, but it's just as well. I like looking ripped, but I do not enjoy being under 180 to do so.

...and you can add another 90 minute walk/jog/stairclimb cardio to this weeks routine. We'll see if this will continue next week, or not? And a short pump workout and a one hour walk on Friday, so good week overall. Much better than I thought.

Just like I said earlier, this is what we shall all pretend that I look like from now on. It's very unlikely that a better pic will emerge any time soon.

Edited by Shartnado
Went for one more walk...
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36 minutes ago, RunningFromAmerica said:

There's no doubt, you are looking physically impressive. Probably too impressive.

 

Thank's man! I already know I freak most chicks out at this point, I only want to know if buff dudes think I'm jacked or not?

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I've been trying to shed some quick water weight by going (practically) no-carb the last few days, and I'm stubbornly hanging on to everything like grim death. I've dropped 25 pounds in a week doing this before, but now we're down to 2 in a week. That's a sad return for the effort being put in, and changes are on the way. Soon. 

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I'm thinking about the usual paradox of upping the calories, reintroducing carbs in limited quantities. I'm just used to my little plan taking off 15-25 pounds of water weight in a week. This is definitely a long haul.

BTW, now I really want some cantaloupe. 

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I finally got jabbed up with the Pfizer a week ago. I plan to be in the gym Thursday as I will probably be antibodied up enough at that point that makes infection less likely, though I will be careful. Can't wait to be quite honest. Will do a lot of speed bench and speed squats as my primary exercises to begin with...though tbh it's little things like the seated calf and the chest supported t-bar row I am really looking forward to using.

Definitely need to cut weight for health reasons, but won't work with a significant deficit until I've had a few weeks to get my muscle memory muscle back - that will increase my metabolism anyway.

And whilst I'm not anti-keto diets at all, I think seasonal melon is too good to pass up. I think it is worth people looking seriously at their carb intake if they want to create a calorie deficit - especially the boring carbs. Fun carbs only is the way to go imo. And fruit is obviously the best of these. I think it's better to not rely entirely on cutting fats because a little oil (along with other dressing components) definitely makes eating veggies more interesting and sustainable.

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What you did there, I see it.  But, reverse lunges are probably better for your knees.

I just started going back to an actual gym this week.  The home workout bit got far too boring, and I quit by January.  No working out of almost any kind between now and then, and I lost every single ounce of weight I gained!  Sometimes I hate my body.  Just doing 5x5s for a while, but I'm already recovered pretty well from yesterday - better than the first workout - so I wonder how long I'll stick with that before I break it back out to push/pull/legs (or more likely, a 5-day loop of upper/lower followed by push/pull/legs, since going to the gym 6x a week is too time-intensive and exhausting).  Maybe 2 more full weeks and then change it up?  Something like that.

Edited by Contentious C
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I wouldn't personally do a 5x5 on the same exercise on consecutive days, not that you're necessarily going to spontaneously combust or anything but it probably isn't necessary either.

I just started back in the gym today. Will be doing Upper-Lower consecutively, but will just be taking rest days off when life gets in the way for the first few weeks - so likely to be 4/5 days a week. Will do Speed Bench and Speed Squats as primary DE exercises for first few sessions, with a couple of additional hypertrophy sets before moving to accessory exercises. I'll add the Speed Deadlifts when work capacity improves.

Today's DE Bench work was 9 x 3 at 60kg. Tbh it was pretty fast, and we'll go up to 65kg on Monday. I then did CG 60kg for 12, was hard to stay tight. I then did medium grip 70kg for 12, which felt pretty good and it was beginning to get hard so I just capped it because I did enough first time back in months to get a training response. Generally I feel like I haven't lost too much raw strength on the Bench, just a bit rusty on finer technique points. I've done 100kg for 8, I'd like to get that to 100kg for 10 in 3 months and I don't think a 3 plate bench is out of reach this year though tbh hopefully I'll drop weight instead and get to a 140-150kg bench a bit later.

I then did T-Bar Chest Supported Row (Plate loaded), Cybex Chest Press (Cable) and a Cable Low Row as accessories for 15-20 reps. I had to work the weight up as I wasn't used to using these neurologically. Normally I would do arm work but I was gassed, and I will likely do Bench again Monday, with a different set of accessories so I don't see it as an issue. I have plenty of equipment at home for extra armwork anyway.

Tomorrow will be squats, probably safety bar. I'l start doing speed work with 60kg, but I'll add weight between sets if it's clearly flying up. Probably one longer set of 10ish, then one set of Squat Stance Good Mornings at 60kg. Then Plate Loaded Hip Thrust Machine, Leg Curl, Seated Calf, maybe some kettlebell swings but I srsly doubt it lol.

I'll slowly bring in secondary/tertiary barbell movements, and Max Effort Days, but even the T-Bar Row really fatigued me so have to leverage decent machines and cable movements for  little while. Looking forward to it, but definitely feeling today's workout and how it's very different to working out at home.

 

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My only issue with 5x5 (which I'm just doing 3x a week right now, in case there was any confusion) is that it's the epitome of a boring workout.  They're all great lifts and things that I do 100% of the time on the appropriate days when I've got a different split, but I usually have to change it up to stay with a routine.  Part of that is my ectomorph body that wants to shed weight, but the larger part is the mental fatigue that gets me after a while.  I mean, granted, I'm not really even doing 5x5s right now, since I've had to sub in Goblet Squats for under-the-bar, and I'm doing Lat Pulldowns instead of Pull-ups because I know I couldn't do more than 1 or 2 at the moment.  So I'll probably work back to the proper lifts first, do those for at most a month, and then break it out into a different split.

Some of the stuff I did at home was actually pretty intense and effective - one of the Athlean X videos I used a while ago was a pull-up/push-up only workout, which I switched to inverted rows since my apartment had no good doorways for a pull-up bar (maybe the next one will).  That was only a 40-ish minute workout, but cranking out 100+ of each in that time frame felt pretty hardcore to me.  A sick part of my brain is looking forward to getting back to a place where I can try it again.

Speaking of Youtubers, who do you guys watch, if anyone?  This time last year, I was pretty much watching every video by Buff Dudes, Ryan Humiston, and usually Jeremy Ethier.  Jeff Nippard occasionally made the rotation, but he's got such a different body type from me that I felt like his routines wouldn't translate as well as others.

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I watch Ath-leanX and Jeff Nippard every once in awhile. And some others here and there.

We've been on the road since Thursday, seeing some nice places in coastal Finland. I took my trusty resistance band with me and have done a short workout with it every day, sometimes twice a day.

Also push-ups, so many push-ups. I lost count every day, but I think yesterday was more than 300, the day before that around the same. Today, maybe less than 300, but more than 250, anyway. This is within 6-8 sets, but today those sets were split in two sessions several hours apart.

There has been plenty of walking and sightseeing each day too, so we've been pretty active. To counter act all the healthy stuff, we have been eating in restaurants, which has included drinks and wine. So far, the damage hasn't been substantial, but yeah, the time for picture taking is over for now.

 

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I probably wouldn't do lat pulldowns for sets of 5 reps tbh - I'd rarely go below 8 on those and much more likely 12-15.

YouTubers - despite being sometime lolcows in the past, I think Jason Blaha and Alex Leonidas both produce good information. Nippard produces some good content, but I think the need to sell new and different programmes on a regular basis makes it hard for me to really trust his content (I think his current idea of alternating full-body workout weeks for hypertrophy and upper-lower split weeks for 'powerbuilding' is pretty suspect). 

I was pretty sore this morning all over, including my abs and lower back - guess I was just not used to 'getting tight'. I toyed with not going today, especially as I had got a bit of a leg workout yesterday doing....erm stuff......but I went and did my Lower Body Dynamic Effort Day anyway. It went pretty much as planned - speed box squats (13 inch I think, the gym has mats for this purpose now) 12x2 with me adding 2.5kg every 3 sets (60-75 seconds between speed sets). The weight didn't fly up but I figured it was because I just wasn't used to having much tension at the bottom. During warm-ups I tried a SSB GM with 50kg for 6 and it was challenging so I didn't bother doing a set at 60kg, but I did sets of 6 box SSB squats at 70kg and 75kg with a nice pause at the bottom. I could have went higher, but, again....have I done enough on my 1st day back doing squats to produce a training response? Yes, no doubt.

Did Plate Loaded Hip Thrust Machine for 3 sets of 20 at 80kg - the weight is underneath the back so it works the back without putting shearing force on it; such a great machine. Supersetted with Seated Calf, and after that finished with 2 sets each of leg curl, abductors and adductors - the latter of which had weakened in comparison to other minor areas - not something I had been targeting much at home clearly.

Plan is to try Upper Body DE work tomorrow - I might do it on an incline press to change it up as I think I did work the chest pretty hard yesterday but we will see.

A medium-term problem I have is my weight belt does not fit right now - it's partly because it hasn't been used in several months but it's not the only reason. It's something I can live with for a 2-3 months, but obv it is a tell-tale sign that I do need to drop weight as a priority. Though getting back into gym training isn't exactly the best time to start trying to establish a calorie deficit. I will probably try to stick with maintenance calories or just underneath for the next 3-4 weeks, and then try to cut 10lbs over 5-6 weeks. If I implement a quick water cut over a weekend I can probably get the belt on and stretch it out a little bit.

Edited by RunningFromAmerica
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I did the Speed Bench at 65kg today, and I experimented with some wider grips - I'm probably best pinkies inside the rings tbh, but it's good to try the different angles especially since I had done speed bench only 2 days before. Being INTERNATIONALCHESTDAY~! and all, I decided not to hog the bench - I'd already done a lot of chest work on Saturday so I thought extra sets would be superfluous. Ripped through the 9 sets pretty quick, was sweating it up something crazy.

Did assisted neutral grip pull ups for 3 sets of 10, which were pretty horrible tbh - I still had some lat doms from Saturday but wanted to do something for back.

I then did seated barbell press for sets of 12, building up to a topset of 47.5kg. There's some upper chest there as I did full ROM but a very different stimulus to the chest work from Saturday. I think it's a pretty good bench accessory and not all gyms have the set up by any means. Will look to do 3 sets with 47.5kg next time, then try for 50kg before switching the exercise. I've lifted 60kg for 10 on it before, but with wrist wraps and a belt so I don't think we're so far off the pace.

I then finished off with supersetted incline dumbell curls for biceps and slightly bent over lateral raises for rear and side delt for sets of 16 using 7, 8 and then 9kg DBss. I failed the last rep of the last set of the lateral raises, which tells me I pitched it just right but I'll try for straight sets with the 9s next time, and then try for 10s.

If you count the 9 speed sets as 3 sets, then I only really did 15 working sets but I am definitely going for quality over quantity right now. As I have said, I know I can get a big training stimulus off this work because I haven't been lifting straight weight and the stimulus is novel. 

Looking forward to a day off tomorrow, though I will probably do some facepulls, tricep pushdowns and some shoulder dislocates. My arms are definitely looking bigger, and I'm not even doing pump work. I will start adding in the citrulline malate for the pumps next week maybe. Speed Squats on Wednesday.

 

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Nurse practitioner says my testosterone level is on the low side of normal, so she prescribes me a "baby dose" of test. Others have described it as a "medium dose." Interested to see how to play this and what it does for my attempt at weight loss. I do know things will be changing a bit. I get too involved in sprint-not-race mentality and try to do too much, too soon, when I need to hang back and be willing to lose a week if it means doing better for several more.

Big picture. Slow and steady wins the race. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If the shoe fits, wear it.

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13 hours ago, jstout said:

Nurse practitioner says my testosterone level is on the low side of normal, so she prescribes me a "baby dose" of test. Others have described it as a "medium dose." Interested to see how to play this and what it does for my attempt at weight loss. I do know things will be changing a bit. I get too involved in sprint-not-race mentality and try to do too much, too soon, when I need to hang back and be willing to lose a week if it means doing better for several more.

Big picture. Slow and steady wins the race. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Take your time. Don't rush things. You've got this. Once you can actually feel (or see) the effects of the additional test, do share your findings. I can't help you there, but am interested to hear how it affects you. Either way, you've got the right attitude, but I symphatize with the feeling of wanting to rush things. I used to be like that, and that's not bad, unless you get discouraged once the quick changes come to a halt, like they always do. I used to get that, a lot. Now, I've stuck with it for a decade straight next year and can assure you that taking the longer road is just about always the way to go. If you are certain that you will not lose interest once the gains (or losses) plateau, then going for the short term quick fix every so often is fine too, just as long as you know that it's never sustainable! I'm well on my way to gaining 20-30lbs back in 4 weeks, but I did get a bunch of decent pics before returning to where I am 10 months out of each year!

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I asked an extremely knowledgeable Facebook group (I know, sounds like an oxymoron, but these people know their stuff) about how to handle this and the consensus seems to be to keep doing whatever I'm doing, as long as its working, and just settle for having my test numbers more in a therapeutic range instead of holding me back like before. 

I was worried about whether to try to add muscle or not, but they all seem to think there's not really a whole lot of muscle to be added at that dose, so they suggest it's full steam ahead with my weight loss plan if it seems to be working, which it is, for now. Gotta get a couple of life things straightened out first, but I'm going to start doing cardio soon, and looking into a gym.

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16 minutes ago, jstout said:

I asked an extremely knowledgeable Facebook group (I know, sounds like an oxymoron, but these people know their stuff) about how to handle this and the consensus seems to be to keep doing whatever I'm doing, as long as its working, and just settle for having my test numbers more in a therapeutic range instead of holding me back like before. 

I was worried about whether to try to add muscle or not, but they all seem to think there's not really a whole lot of muscle to be added at that dose, so they suggest it's full steam ahead with my weight loss plan if it seems to be working, which it is, for now. Gotta get a couple of life things straightened out first, but I'm going to start doing cardio soon, and looking into a gym.

Yeah, that sounds like a very sensible plan. The FB group sounds like a reasonable bunch, since that's good advice. Keep the updates coming , as this thread needs all the replies  (that aren't from me) it can get!

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Remember a few pages ago when I was talking about breaking records and how it is hard at this point? I said I was going to try to do 100 push-ups in a row and got around to 70-75 within a few days but didn't get much further than that, and never updated my progress after that. Well, yesterday, I did 100 push ups in a row. Within 5 sets I did 320 push ups altogether. I thought that was pretty badass!

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I went ahead and dropped the Lat Pulldowns out of my workouts to do assisted Pull-ups instead.  Kind of hated the idea, and practically every time I've tried doing them assisted in the past, they felt like garbage.  Turns out I was garbage!

Once I tweaked my form correctly - pulling to my chest rather than trying to "chin up" (which is really the most unfortunate name in lifting, when you think about it), keeping my core & legs tight and in-line - the motion felt a lot more productive, even though I'm still only effectively pulling 100-110 lbs across the 3-4 sets & 5-6 reps per.  My back is barking at me in the good way, and my biceps feel like they did something, for once.  Everything else so far is just neurological adaptation, but I'm getting my second wind pretty hard at the hour mark.  When I was on my bike a lot, that would hit me around mile 12-15 and then I'd feel like I could pedal through a wall; now it's just me looking like the grimmest, angriest dude in the place while I'm finishing up with Woodchoppers or whatever other ab stuff I've decided to toss in that day.

That's enough typing; need to eat...

Edited by Contentious C
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Getting lined up on the assisted machine is indeed key. Some people lol at the assisted machine, but I think it is a lot better than the Lat Pulldown - I'm not completely against the lat pulldown btw, but it's a really lat focussed movement and won't offer a lot of carryover if you ever hope to be able to do a chin-up.

Obviously other potential options are using a band for assistance and doing negatives/eccentrics - though the latter can be surprisingly taxing. Building up dead hangs for time can also be effective.

The best overall back builder is the Pendlay Row however.

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