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All-Purpose Health and Fitness Thread


Super Ape
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Okay, so another mesocycle begins. My gf is having a few more days off because it was her birthday and stuff, so I've been in on my own last couple of days.

Yesterday, I went for a heavyish 3-4 on bench and yeah at 105kg it was 3. That's not a rep PR by any means, but I used to peak at that and now I can hit that pretty cold so that is progress of sorts. Did my backoff sets close-grip with good speed for a 3x12,12,15 and then I decided to actually strap up for wide-grip lat pulldowns and I think that actually worked quite well. If I'm honest, I don't exactly know what my goals are regarding upper body - but generally my approach is to keep most accessories to 2 sets and make sure I get a good range of exercises in e.g. doing a flat preacher curl AND a hammer curl for 2 sets each as opposed to one curl for 3-4 sets. I'm going to be 44 in 8 weeks and it can't all be about crazy volume. I'm also trying to keep the workouts to 75 minutes. Again I'm old, t-levels probably not what they once were and I think long workouts potentially do me more harm than good (my gf just turned 30).

Today was lower-body. Now I've been neglecting heavy squats recently, but what I have been doing is getting used to narrow-squatting to box with either bodyweight or a plate - my knees didn't like this at first but they have adjusted. So today, having warmed up with 3x20 on bodysquat-to-boxes with different stances,  I put on the SSB and did morally proper narrow stance ATG squats - just going up to a plate each side 3 x 10,10,12. And they were kinda tough at the bottom, not going to lie - and they also left me gasping for breath. But they felt good lol. I supersetted them with 3x 10,10,12 on the Pin SSB Good Morning with the same weight.
 

Accessories were Seated Curl, Seated Calf, Elbow Supported Leg Raises and Plate-loaded Leg Extensions for 2 sets each. All done in 60 minutes which is very pleasing. I definitely feel worked out, but not too beaten up. Back in Wednesday, Thursday for more.

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4 workouts this week, highlights being a single 515 off the floor on trapbar and 524 off a pair of 5,5lb plates, 3x471 and 3x482 as well as 444 while standing on a slightly lower platform than last time.

Other stuff was mostly pump stuff for upper body while instructing a new co-worker who is trying to rehab his knee after a recent surgery in between.

Still, feeling the DOMS on my lower back and between my shoulder blades. Surprisingly, not the thighs and glutes, like last week!

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On 9/15/2022 at 2:18 AM, Control said:

Guys, is it possible that working out has made my hands grow?

Yes, I’m serious.

The palm of the hand contains a bunch of X-shaped muscles that move the fingers laterally. You can feel them tensing if you do the Live Long and Prosper (which some people can't do). A lot of times they won't develop very much at all from normal living, unless you go out of the way to build them up. But working out will develop them as an incidental benefit.

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2 hours ago, Death From Above said:

Nearly broke down crying in the shower after trying on all my pants and realizing how few of them my stupid fat ass that won't stop eating can still actually get in. My life's pathetic, have a nice day.

Dieting is easy! losing weight is easy! (Presuming there isn't some hormonal or physical issue). You just have to find a way to reduce the calories you take in that you can live with, and find a way to move your body more that you enjoy, and make up your mind to do those things and stick with it. Make a commitment. Reduce bad habits. Add good habits. If I can do it, it is likely that anyone can. I'm 56 years old, lazy, self-indulgent, fond of comfort. I let myself go for years and got back in pretty good shape in a matter of months. You can stop eating. You can eat better. You can move around more. Once you start looking and feeling better and getting compliments, it becomes easier and easier. You get more and more motivated. You'll find more and more healthy foods that you enjoy. You will crave crap less and less. You'll get better at your chosen kind of exercise and enjoy it more and more. 

Start today!

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Wise words from @Gordlow ! I also found the recent Chris Jericho GQ-interview (it was linked in AEW discussion threads) very fascinating read. He obviously found what works for him. A huge revelation among other things was that apparently, he found out that Fozzy's raider doesn't have to include a giant bottle of Vodka, EVERY night! Well, no shit Chris! Yeah, that definitely helps! You definitely may be onto something, there!

I have no room to talk about cramming too many unhealthy calories into my system in their many forms, but I have made the hard choice of having a ridiculously "active lifestyle" in order to get away with it, somewhat. Even with that in place, the psychological toll that the post-summer bloat takes on me (going from your best form of the year to close to worst within a month's time) is kinda rough. Granted, while that month is going on, I wouldn't have it any other way, because without it, I probably couldn't grind away for the other 11 months of the year the way I have for the decade and a half. Gym has been a part of it for a decade, the "active lifestyle" has already been around for nearly two.

I have one more workout to go this week and I'll give an update tomorrow. It's been a decent week in the gym and a rough one at work, but I've definitely had worse weeks than this one recently. On the brighter side, even at 45, the post summer bloat seems to still subside after about a month of just grinding away at it. That's when you realize that it is indeed a marathon, not a sprint, even if you spend a part of the year sprinting.

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I'm fully aware that a lot of my issues stem from chronic depression, and I self-medicate with food. It's just gotten more out of hand over the last couple years, I do need to reel it back in with the bags of chips and what not. Nobody needs to be eating as much of that shit as I do.

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Ok, so this week. 4 workouts 2 upper body days that both included bench. The first one was 6x8x220, plus one more set with 5 reps and the second one was 4x3x264 (plus a couple of partials at the end of each set) then 6×242 and 7×220.

On the first leg day I remembered that the squat machine exists and did light but intense quad and calf workout with some light shoulder stuff between sets.

This latest one was Trapbar and shrug day. Not the greatest, but started out with 5x251, 3x372, 3x405, 3x471, 1x515 and after failing 568 off the floor and off a pair of 2x4's as platforms, I went on to fail 559 off those as well. Finally, I successfully lifted 537 off the 2x4's. I wasted time by trying to get the bar on top of higher platforms, but it kept rolling off so I moved onto shrugs at that point. The heaviest set was with 328 and the next one with 295 and then lighter stuff.

Tomorrow I'll go for a sports massage and plan on spending a good while in sauna later on in the evening. Also, I need to stretch my legs as they feel stiff as fuck right now. Anyway, decent week at any rate.

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Last week was exhausting and last weekend was amazing, as I saw my cousin for the first time in a few years and we had a wonderful 80's nostalgia evening that stretched well into the night. The effects took me most of the week to get over, however.

Anyway, work week was also quite brutal this week and I have slept badly, every night. So, only two workouts this week, but I liked how they went, eventually.

Thursday, I tried to cram in a bunch of light upperbody pump stuff between bench sets. I did 5 sets of 8x231, then 3 sets of 5x231, then 7x220 and 12x176. The usual ab work at the end.

Today, it was Trapbar day against all odds warming up with 12x140 standing on a low platform, then moving onto a higher platform for 8x240, 5x350, then failing 447 off the higher platform, so moved the lower one back in (about half the height of the first one) and got one. Then another single with 458 off it, and a single with 447 off the floor. I was like, Ok, this shit is hard today and placed 5,5lb plates under both sides to get the weight an inch (and a half?) off the ground and proceeded to do 4x4x447 and 3x5x447. Then shrugs, first some 12 reps with 405, then 20+ with 295, with a couple of long sets with the pairs of 55 plates while unloading them off the bar, then one more long set with 183 and one for the road with the 55's. Then abs and that's it. I think both days made for a nice bunch of volume training.

The workday afterwards was rather punishing, but I got a lot of shit done, so I was happy with it. Let's see, if I can recover enough over the weekend and do better (well, more times in the gym, anyway)?

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Ok; lift of the week returns: SSB ATG Squat with 1 second pause -  100kg x 6, 130kg x 1. I guess this is a PR of sorts.

Very happy with these having just come off the covid - I never tested positive, but my gf did and I had minor symptoms which lead to me....shock horror....having to skip a session, and all of my sessions last week kind of being dogshit - I leaned into that, & cut reps accordingly. 

I'm still not sure I'm absolutely 100% but v. pleased with 130kg on the above squat - had nothing above 90kg in quite a while. Back was the weakpoint, which you would expect.

Also pleased to note that my girlfriend is finally able to squat to below parallel! She's got terrible ankle mobility, and it's still a work in progress but we're moving in the right direction.

Basically we got there by doing a lot of squats-to-box, with bodyweight, plates, dumbbells. These seem to have enabled me to keep most of my squatting power without me having to put weight on my back frequently.

Tbh I'm not feeling that motivated to hit really big PRs at the moment, but today was kind of cool so maybe I'll get back into it.

 

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I sort of promised a better week this time around and I think I came through.

4 workouts, Tuesday to Friday, while also working a bit later than usual on most of those days before the workouts.

Tuesday's bench was 4x8x242 plus 2x6x242, with 3,10 and 4x220 around those sets. There was a bunch of other upper body stuff in there, too.

Wednesday I tried to avoid training same parts again, so I did a bunch of calf raises with 260 and some light curls  and push-downs between sets.

Thursday I was in a bit of a hurry, so I did the dip, pull-up, reverse shrug combo with 66 lbs for three rounds and one with 44 lbs, then a bunch of abs and abductors with a short resistance band.

Today I went apeshit on Trapbar and shrugs. Started with 10x140, then while standing on the higher platform 6x262, 5x350, 3x405 and 2x460 (which is a record), then 1x471 on the lower platform. After that 4x493 off the floor and them placing the bar on top of 33lb plates (about twice as high as the 5,5's last week, so 2-3 inches?) and did 4, 3, 3, 3 and 4x504. Then, shrug time! First, some 10+ reps with 416, 20ish reps with 372, then long sets with 306, 196 and the pairs of 55's. Ab work and abductors to finish the day.

I'm supposed to be bulking up now, but I'm actually getting back to being pretty ripped at this point, but I'm not going to complain. I will, however, stuff everything in sight into my mouth this weekend.

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Yeah, 4 workouts and a sports massage this week. Work week took a lot out of me as well and I don't feel that this week was as good as last one, though.

Sunday evening was bench and EZ-bar curls. What I was going for was 4x8x253, but reality was not that. The first set was fine enough though getting uglier towards the end. The other 3 were worse. Theoretically, I did do 8 reps per set, but in reality a lot of them were only partials. I did a few sets with 220 as well and EZ-Bar curls with 60 lbs between each set.

Monday was lat pull down and side delt day. I did something like a 10 set pyramid from 60 lbs to 143 lbs and back down to 60, with the rep range of mostly 10-12, but there were a couple of 15's and a 25 in there, too. I used a shovel handle and pulled to front, so towards the chest. A bunch of very light but long sets of side delts between sets.

Tuesday was the sports massage to that was just another extra bike ride of maybe 7 miles there and back.

Wednesday I decided to do mostly calves, but figured I'd get a few sets of squats on the machine before that. 260, 350 (12 reps each) and 3 sets of quarter reps at the bottom with 395. Then a few sets of calf raises with 395, then 350, 260 and then smaller.

Yeah, those fuckers did do a number on my thighs as I was pretty much shot for last night's Trapbar and Shrugs. I started with the usual 12x140, then 6x240, 3x350 standing on the high platform. Then I failed 471 on both the high and lower platform, but I did get the weight off the ground on both attempts. So, off the floor I did 3,3 and 2x471, then 5x405. Shrugs I did two sets with 317 and two with 185 and lighter, long sets with the plates when taking them out, as usual.

Each workout also included the ab work as well as resistance band training for the outer side of my thighs and glutes, hoping it will help with the stiff lower back.

My weight has been dropping still and I even saw a number ever-so slightly under 80 kg (176 lbs) which is unacceptable at this time of the year. This must be remedied, but the weekend is here, so bring on the calories!

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Well that fucking sucked.

Woke up 1am yesterday in excruciating pain around my left shoulder, and around to my left breast. Thought I had pulled a muscle and slept on it wrong, so took a Flexoril. At 7am got up, still couldn't move without extreme pain, decided to make myself a hot drink to try to relax things. Trying to pull a breath and swallow spiked the pain to a 190 on the 10 point scale. Decided I really needed to go to the ER. Woke up Mom, got her situated, took myself to the ER.

Spent a few hours in the ER, got some Good Drugs which helped the pain, but was noticing that I couldn't breathe past a certain point without pain. Chest X-rays, CT scan. You guessed it: pulmonary embolisms. In both lungs. They wanted to admit me so they could start IV Heparin. I might have panicked. I called my Dad, my brother, our friend the house cleaner. Got two people to my house within a few minutes of each other to take care of Mom. They took me up to an ICU room. Got little sleep because of all the lights and beeps and things.

This morning brother texts me that Mom called him on her new track phone to tell him she'd slid out of bed. Queue up panic again. Martin got there after an hour or so (they live 45 minutes away) and determined she was OK, just cold. I spoke to a case worker who told me 20,000 things in a minute flat about getting the expensive medication they want me to take for the blood clots. I'm considered an indigent case, so I can get stuff free/reduced cost, but oh good lord the hoops I am going to have to jump through.

Just got home. Have eaten a sammich. Have to go back out to the downtown hospital to get the expensive medication because the hospital I was in does not do the indigent care stuff (or something, at this point I was too tired to catch everything), my brother will drive me.I should probably at least comb my hair.

How're y'all?

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I'm praying for you.  I know when I was in the hospital for two weeks, I don't think I slept for more than two hours straight, between them drawing blood every four hours and the honks and beeps from the nurses station.  That was hell on earth.

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Sending good vibes and friendly thoughts to you @JLSigman 

I remember the last time I was in the hospital was when the majority of my leg was amputated. I was in horrible pain, couldn’t sleep and cried several times. It was awful. 

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On 9/19/2022 at 11:36 PM, SprintingFromAmerica said:

generally my approach is to keep most accessories to 2 sets and make sure I get a good range of exercises in e.g. doing a flat preacher curl AND a hammer curl for 2 sets each as opposed to one curl for 3-4 sets.

Alex stole my idea lol.

It's interesting to see these different approaches. Sharty does 2 exercises in a workout (and we did do a 'chin-up challenge' the other day which was basically 10x5 on reverse pyramid assisted chins, followed by some curls!), and I do....more. It all works really, and tbh it's good to change things up every few months (not every few weeks though probably). I'll probably go back to more of a powerlifting focus eventually.

Weekend workouts:

Upper: Shallow Incline DB Bench - 1x10, 1x12 at 30kgx2 (need work getting weights in place, probably as far as I can take these right now), Wide-grip pull downs, Chest Press Machine, Narrow Grip Low-to-High Cable Curls, Seated Cable Fly, DB Upright Rows, Tricep Pulldown (we try to do them strictly like Kross), Flat Cable Preacher Curl.

Lower: Medium-stance 2 second (really) pause ATG SSB squats (hard!) - topset 1x8 at 80kg, Pin narrow-stance SSB good mornings, Booty Builder Machine Hip Thrusts, unilateral ankle-strap standing hamstring curls, bodyweight split squats, reverse hyper (performed with bands on hyper-extension), leg extensions, standing calf raise

Hurts to think about all that! I didn't really feel like doing abs yesterday, so I'll probably do some later - may do them in the gym and throw in some fluff as next workout is Wednesday,
 

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Yeah, there's a YouTube (mostly) cooking & educational guy named Adam Ragusea who had a video about the "problem" with both cooking and weightlifting: everything kinda works, so there are relatively few "wrong" ways to do anything, after you exclude the really obvious, sloppy kinds of stuff in both fields.

I'm at the point of only doing 3 workouts a week at most because I can't be bothered to give a fuck.  I also haven't taken my creatine reliably in weeks or months, and I'm...fine with that?  I think skipping it has made me look a bit leaner since I seem to retain water (at least from an aesthetics perspective) when I take it.  So, all things considered, I'd rather be off it.

My strength is garbage compared to where I was 6 months ago, before I broke my rib or whatever it was I crushed in my back.  But, again, can't be bothered to care.  I just go until I'm sick of being there and that's it; don't really want to ever go back to the point where it feels like a separate job of sorts once more.

Edited by Contentious C
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I had one of the worst exercise layoffs since I started training ten years ago over the course of this past year. Our house got hammered by flu and Covid last winter and adjusting to being a stay at home dad while the kids were home this summer had me wrecked. I’ve bounced back to doing a six day split, but I’m not going to make myself crazy sticking to it anymore. I’ve got some back pain this week so I’m taking the day off. There’s always tomorrow. 

I swear by creatine though. Stopped taking it over the summer and I felt like a shell of myself. 

Edited by (BP)
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I need to find my creatine....it's somewhere.

Got a nice 110kg training max on the bench, clean as whistle today on NO CAFFEINE. I guess that's kind of a PR lol. Again, with basically no reps on the bench recently I'm pretty happy with that and it tells me a PR is on if I fancy it.

I've also made another change recently - as the IPF isn't allowing people to put their feet on the bench to set up, I'm not doing that either.

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The week is not over, since there will be trapbar in my immediate future in the next few hours, but it has been a good week so far. Well, not for work, but workouts, anyway.

Monday's bench target was 4x8x259 and the first set was actually pretty close. For warm-up, I did 10x132, 3x220, 2x231, 2x242 and 1x253 After the one good set, the next three sets got progressively worse, but getting around 5-6 that actually counted. I was doing lat pull-downs with the resistance bands and light curls between the working sets. Going back down, I got at least 4 clean reps with 253, which was nice and a couple ugly partials after those. I took the weight off by only 5,5 lbs at a time (until I was back down to 220), so I ended up doing like 15 shorter sets overall. At some point, I switched to doing chest flies with the bands between the sets. Abs and resistance bands for the outer thighs to finish up the day.

Tuesday was leg day, but I didn't want it to do a number on my trapbar THIS week also, so I scheduled it earlier in the week, and took it easier, for squats, anyway. I did 4 sets of 12, going deep, stopping at the bottom on several reps and stretching to full extension at the top. I also placed my feet rather wide, so I could squat as deep as the machine would allow me. The weights for the sets were 175, 220, 260 and 305. After those, I started on my calves with the 305 for 3 sets during which I changed ankle positions 3 times each, then one similar set with 260, 220, 175, respectively. Abs and resistance band work for thighs, as always.

Wednesday I stretched, rolled, massage-hammered and went through my problem areas with a hard rubber ball for an hour before leaving for work. Also, on top of a large breakfast that included 6 eggs and bread, I ate 3 largre, warm meals and one decent snack throughout the day, in order to recover properly.

Yesterday, I was like, "Let's fucking GO!!!" It was going to be a full-on assault on my upper body. I usually forego writing it down, as to not get even more repetitive than I normally do in these, but at the start of each workout, I do obliques by using a stick behind my neck and stretching from side to side. Then a couple of sets of face-pulls, pull downs, these weird push back thingys that Athlean-X was advocating and some scapula work (all with resistance bands), light side delt raises and a set of reverse shrugs with body weight only. This happens basically every time, so I will not be writing all of this down from now on.

The actual workout consisted of EZ Bar curls with 74 lb followed by behind the neck over head press with the same (rep range 15-20), narrow grip over head press using the squat machine with 88 (rep range 10 for three rounds, on later rounds 5-7), incline dumbell bench press with 63 lbs on each hand (rep range 10, one set was 12) and shrugs with the dumbells straight after each set. I did maybe 5-6 rounds with the others, but with incline bench it was 4 and then switched it up to 3 sets of hammer curls with the same dumbells (rep range 12ish). Some of the rounds were punctuated with a set of light side delt work for recovery. Abs at the end...shit, I really don't need to write this down every time. Look at my F'n abs, there's plenty of ab work, yes.

Ok, so trapbar is still looming over me, but I tried to limber up and do mobility work this morning, so hopefully it won't be as difficult as last week. It will be updated during the weekend, if not later today.

Edited by Shartnado
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Trapbar was Ok. Standing on the higher platform, I only did 3x240 and 3x306, then 3x372 off the lower platform. Then failed 482 off that. Was able to get 1 while standing on a 2x4, so that's something. Then did 3x482 off the floor. Then I placed the bar on top of 33 lbs plates (4cm off the ground, is that like an inch and a half?) and proceededto do 4x2 with 515. Then shrugs with 372 and 306 and a bunch of lighter stuff.

Yeah, I'm about done with this week right about now!

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