Okay, this is slightly belated, since…I believe I’m almost halfway through BB Level 2 already. But I’m flying back to Singapore tomorrow, and then potentially Bangkok the weekend after (not sure if our travel plans can be cancelled or not since the political situation there seems a bit up in the air), and then Christmas and all the related feasting will be upon me. So. Here goes.
Today was awesome, and I’m up to 66kg. I think I could have done more, but I’ve also gotten to the point where my grip is giving out on me, so I’m making sure that I do 2 sets of whatever weight I’m lifting so that I can alternate grip for each set. And I don’t think I had two sets of 68kg in me. I haven’t been sleeping super well this past week, so meow to that. But otherwise this is good. I’ve actually met one of my intermediate goals, but I failed to set a reward before meeting it so…too bad. Haha. I guess last night’s fried chicken feast can be that reward?
I’ve noticed a little improvement here - as of Monday I am now squatting 54kg (I think). I’m definitely finding it easier to stay with the proper form and make sure that I get my hips below my knees for every rep, so yay for this.
I HATE THESE. I can’t seem to find a comfortable position to be holding the bar, and after the second week I also had a ridiculous pair of bruises on the front of my shoulders. I am getting my butt low enough on every rep, but my back feels super weird (not painful, and I know your back is meant to be pretty arched with your chest pointing upwards so I don’t think I’m doing this wrong, just that it feels very very very very awkward. Do not like. But anyway. As of last Friday I’m up to 40kg.
Still doing declines, not much to talk about here.
I ended up deloading this week and I’m down to 42kg for this. Am pretty ambivalent about this since my benching is a little bit ridiculous anyway so I’ll take my time with this.
Oh last week was terrible for OHP. I ended up scaling down to 27kg. But it’s okay, I’m more comfortable doing them now, I don’t think my back is too arched etc so yeah. I still don’t enjoy thrusters though but I half feel like I never will.
Okay this has been pretty fun. I only found the assisted pull ups machine in the gym last Friday, so I’ve only had a couple of sessions with it. On Monday I managed 1 (and a few inches on the second) rep of a 12kg assist, so YAY. Today was BRUTAL though, doing the 25 reps in as few sets as possible thing. I set my assist weight as 26kg, and ended up doing 7, 6, 5, 4, 3 reps. My shoulder also now feels a little bit odd. And I was so worn out after that when I had to do the inverted rows for the circuit, I only managed 4x5 reps. Shrug.
My weight loss also seems to have stalled a bit. So I’m preparing myself to say goodbye to the S$100 I stashed with V as my reward for losing all the weight by Feb 16. :(
HOKAY. Time to pop off to Central. Wish me luck for the next two weekends of overeating and not enough exercising haha.
So, the 4 weeks ended up even shorter, thanks to half of the third week being lost to a pretty nasty sore throat. But! I’m pretty happy with my progress, and I’ve signed up at a new gym YAY and I’m looking forward to starting Level 2 tomorrow.
Here’s a quick status check:
I’m back up to 58.5kg! This is roughly what I was doing before I strained my back, it’s not quite my pre-injury PR (of 60.5kg) but I’m very happy that I’m back here already. I also felt like I could have maybe bumped it up a notch more, but in the spirit of trying not to push things too far, I decided to leave it as is. We’ll see what next week brings. :)
I’m up to around 45kg for squats, which is…decent. I’m still struggling a lot with this - I don’t really understand why they’re so bloody hard for me. On my last workout (on Friday), I deloaded a little to focus on my form, which went pretty well I think. So hopefully next week I can power back up again.
I finished 3 sets of 10 declines (feet raised to around 30cm or so off the floor?) so YAY. I’m happy with my progress here. I haven’t tested out how many push ups I can do in a row, but I think I’ll try that out tomorrow. :D
I’m more or less at 45kg for this. It was definitely a struggle, but YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN HOW CAN I BE BENCHING THE SAME AMOUNT I SQUAT OMG.
I’m at 31.5 for the OHPs, so..that’s okay. I decided not to go crazy on the increases since I’m not super confident on my form (I feel like my back might be arching a bit too much) so not dissatisfied with the progress here.
My progress for inverted rows has stagnated a bit, so I’m looking forward to switching up to assisted pullups once I’m at the new gym. I’m still doing either 4x6 or 3x8 every workout (alternating overhand and underhand grip) and I can actually feel some increase in the muscles in my back haha (although I’m pretty sure NO ONE can see it thanks to the massive layer of fat over it) so…we’ll see. Hopefully I’ll be on track for my GoPro soonish.
HALRIGHTY. Will check back in after I’m done with my first week of Level 2. HARD HAT ON.
Okay, so I’m just done with week 1 of the NFA Barbell Battalion Level 1 workout, and this is where I’m at for some of the exercises. Mostly I’m pretty happy with my status, since I’m not doing any of the exercises on the easier variations, even without pushing myself to the absolute limit this week. The only exception was my last set of burpees where I ended up doing squat thrusts (without the pushup and jump) for the last set.
I’ve also tagged on inverted body weight rows to both Monday’s and Friday’s workouts, since my focus is on getting me to that first pull up teehee. So I’m doing sets of inverted rows until I get myself a pull up bar and then I’ll switch to assisted/negative pull ups until I can do 3x8 too, then off I go to attempt my first pull up. If the weight drops according to schedule, fingers crossed that I should be attempting this sometime within the next couple of months.
I’ve also decided that my reward for my first pull up is my GoPro camera! So I need to work super hard and make sure I get this in time for my next snowboarding trip teehee.
I did 42.7kg this week, which is…a fair bit below what I was lifting before I strained my back. It wasn’t difficult (or easy, for that matter ugh), but I’m gonna hop back up to 50kg next week and then slowly progress from there. I was regularly hovering around 57-59kg (for around 5x10), and my PR was 2x10 at 60.5kg I think, so I’ll be happy when I’m past the 60kg mark again.
THIS WAS HORRIFIC. HOUMAIGARSH. I found myself struggling more with squatting 36kg than I did bench pressing 36kg! I was truly, truly horrified by the damage done to my lower body strength here from the 3 or 4 weeks I took off deadlifts and squats. So I definitely need to work hard for this one.
This week, I did 3x5 overhand, 4x6 overhand, and 3x8 underhand, so I’m quite pleased with my progress here. There’s nowhere for me to do pull ups or assisted pull ups in the gym or the playground in my building, so I’m probably gonna buy a pull up bar I can use at home for this, since it’s time to move up to negatives or assisted pull ups. HOORAY.
Also, I earned my Kalita Wave Dripper. Just in time for my trip to Tokyo! :D
I did 3x10 full pushups this week, I’ve not really tried it before but I got all the way to the 9th rep of the last set before I felt my form start to falter a bit. So next week onwards I’m switching to declines. GO GO POWER RANGER.
As mentioned, I did 36kg for this, and it was pretty easy, so I added in an extra set. I’ll go up to 40kg next week and see how things go from there. But anyway this is the exercise that I’m closest to for my long term goal. (So I pushed my long term goal from 50kg to 60kg haha.)
Overhead Shoulder Presses
I did 29kg for the 5x5 presses, and 20kg for the 3x10 thrusters (front squats that end in an explosive sort of overhead shoulder press). I haven’t been doing much of either so I don’t have a lot to compare against, but that’s where I am anyway.
More Intermediate Yardsticks
3x5 60.8kg deadlifts (bar + 90lbs)
5x5 50kg squats
20 full push ups
5x5 50kg bench press
5x5 35kg overhead shoulder press
I shall have a think about what I can use to reward myself for these intermediate goals, and I’ll add them to the other post on goals so everything’s nicely kept track of in one place. I’m hoping to be at or very close to these intermediate yardsticks by the end of my 4 weeks of Barbell Battalion Level 1, so that’s the timeline for this goal. YAY.
Okay. It’s been a little quiet here since my two week cheat and then I strained my lower back and had to take some time off strength training, but I’m more or less okay and have been slowly easing myself back into the swing of things.
After hitting my 10kg milestone, I also lost a bit of steam, since I didn’t really have any firm goals planned for after that. But I’ve joined the Nerd Fitness Academy, and I’m starting a new training programme (now’s as good a time as any, since my strength has dropped significantly after taking a couple weeks off), and I set some new goals too.
Anyway. Here’s what I’ve got so far, which I’m going to stick here for easy reference.
Complete 3 strength training workouts and 1 interval workout per week in order to earn one cheat day that weekend. (If I make 3 strength training workouts but miss my interval workout, I’ll get one cheat meal, instead of an entire cheat day.)
I don’t diet on holidays, but in exchange I will do one workout per every full day I’m there. (Either strength or interval.)
When I can do 3 x 5 inverted body weight rows, I’ll buy a Kalita Wave dripper.
When I can do 3 x 5 negative pull ups, I’ll buy a new pair of
barefoot shoes sunglasses.
When I can do my first pull up, I….haven’t thought of a reward for this yet. -___-
Weight Loss Goals/Rewards
5kg: I get a new cookbook!
10kg: I left S$100 with my friend in SG, and when I hit this I’ll get it back. My deadline is 16 Feb, Sunday, and every extra week it takes me to hit this goal will deduct S$10 from the amount I get back.
(I know measuring by kilos lost isn’t the best way, but I’m pretty sure I’m still at a body fat percentage where a blanket weight loss goal still works. It might get tough towards the end of the 10kg end goal, but I’ll reevaluate this if my body looks the way I want it to already, and just losing kilos doesn’t seem to make much sense anymore.)
Other Longterm Goals
30 push ups in a row
5 pull ups in a row
10 dips in a row
Bench press 60kg 8 times in a row
Overhead press 40kg 5 times in a row
Deadlift 100kg 5 times in a row
Squat 70kg 10 times in a row
Once I start my new exercise regime next week, I’ll see where I stand and how far away I am from these longer term goals, so I’ll see what little milestones I want to set up (apart from the pull up related ones of course) then, and plot them out with little incentives for myself. :)
I’ve just hit 10.1kg in weight lost thus far!
COMMENCE THE BIRTHDAY CHEAT FORTNIGHT, BRB GUYS.
So, it took a couple of weeks to get into the swing of things (re moving away from video workouts and towards lifting free weights), but I think I’m pretty settled. At last. I wasted a lot of time during the first couple of sessions pottering around, hemming and hawing, trying to decide what to do, and pulling up YouTube videos on correct form (it’s been a while since I’ve done a lot of this stuff).
Aside from all those squats, presses, lifts, rows etc, I’ve also managed to work in a HIIT workout into my Mon-Fri schedule, at least once or twice. It started because I didn’t have time to potter all day long, or because I forgot my gloves and was too lazy to go back and get them, and ended up being pretty enjoyable ‘cos it got my heart rate up, got me sweating, and was over pretty quickly.
So I thought I’d post an example of what a HIIT workout looks like for me. This is roughly what I did today:
Warm up (dynamic stretching, a minute or so of jumping jacks etc)
Kettlebell swings (35lbs): 12 12 12
Jump squats: 15 15 15
Jump lunges: 20 20 20
Dips: 12 12 12
Stability ball pike ups: 10 10 10
Wide-arm push ups: 10 10 10
Plank hold: 30s 30s 30s
Plank jacks: 30s 30s 30s
High knees w oblique twists: 30s 30s 30s
Butt kicks: 30s 30s 30s
Rowing Machine intervals: 10 minutes (alternating sprint and slower pace every minute)
Cool down & stretching
Excluding the cool down bit, this took me about 25-30 minutes (I cycled through one set of each exercise with no breaks - except for the last set when I took a 30s break between the jump squats and jump lunges hahah oh boy my quads were complaining! - and took a 45s break in between sets), so it was over pretty quickly. Ending it off with a 10 minute session on the rowing machine (or on the treadmill or elliptical - depending on how I feel) makes me feel like I got a little more out of the workout. And I’ve quite obviously borrowed heavily from the workouts that I’ve done before (JM, T25, Insanity) which made this all feel quite familiar and safe. Heh.
I’m aiming for a rough schedule of lifting Mon Tue Thu Fri (with Monday and Thursday being maybe lower body, and Tuesday and Friday upper body etc) with a Wed HIIT session, or Mon Wed Fri lifting (full body) with Tue and Thu HIIT sessions, depending on what inspiration strikes me that week. Nothing too regimented, since this is the flexibility I was after when I abandoned the video workouts, but if I have no basic structure I’ll just end up doing…nothing. Ha.
Finally hit 60kg today for deadlifts! 60.5kg to be exact, and for 2 sets of 8 reps. Super psyched and rather pleased with myself right now haha. I imagine I’m going to be here for a while working up to full sets of 10 reps, but I’m definitely happy that I’ve broken this barrier.
Also I’m 600g shy of my 10kg weight loss milestone, which feels AWESOME. My reward for reaching this goal was a new coffee grinder, which I’ve ordered and should be here in a week or two. So I’m definitely going to be receiving it after I have hit my goal (I had to order it preemptively haha), and yay for not having to let it sit there in its box until I hit my target.
I’ve also decided to move away from the slow carb diet. Nothing massive, change wise, but I’ll be moving towards a more paleo approach, and I can’t wait to not be eating anymore beans hahaha.
Anyway this Friday my best friend arrives in HK and it will be the start of my 2 week birthday break from dieting, and I’m very much looking forward to this. :D
So I’ve mostly abandoned T25 in favour of lifting in the gym (for the duration of this sg trip anyway) and I think it’s been going fairly well. My best friend lifts too and she’s a good 15-20kg lighter than me and right now deadlifting 10kg more than I do (as of today anyway! WATCH OUT IM COMING FOR U) haha so it’s good to have a (moving) yardstick I can use to challenge myself with.
I’m trying not to go too crazy on the weights just let and focusing on making sure I’ve got my form right. But I think I’m doing pretty okay - the right muscles are hurting in the right way etc.
I think I’ll probably try to stick to a rough schedule of lifting on Mon Tue Thu Fri (alternating muscle groups) and maybe incorporate some T25 videos for a midweek HIIT session. I’ll give myself until the end of September to see how this routine goes and at worst I’ll switch back to workout videos come October if I’m not happy with my progress.
I’m also pretty psyched with the prospect of getting stronger and what that will mean for my next snowboarding trip! D says it’s high time I start attempting jumps and hops and random tricks so the added core and lower body strength is definitely gonna come in handy. :)
Suddenly feeling pretty meh at the prospect of another 7 weeks of T25. I’ve been enjoying the gym sessions I’ve done here, and I’ve missed this.
I’m not very pleased at the idea of not finishing a workout I’d committed to doing, but I’ve got the rest of the week in Singapore so I’m a little more inclined to just stick to this solo weight training plan instead of going back to Shaun T. At least until I get back to HK then I can make up my mind for sure.
We’ll see. Maybe this trip was what I needed to change things up a little and get me out of my dependency on trainers in my TV yelling at me haha. I’m also feeling generally meh so maybe that’s why nothing seems particularly appealing to me right now.