I’m really frustrated. I had shingles over CNY and although the rash is mostly gone (or almost healed up anyway) the fucking pain still keeps coming back. My shoulder gave out on Monday when I was on my third set of planks (I skipped the proper strength portion too) and today there was suddenly a stabbing pain while I was deadlifting.
I’m really struggling at 10kg below my usual deadlifts weight and it’s pissing me off because it took so long to get up to lifting 75kg and now I’m back down to 65? I mean. COME ON.
I’m also not sure if I should just stop. Especially since I can’t think of any exercises I can do which aren’t going to involve me dropping a barbell or dumbbell on myself if my shoulder gives out.
I made it to 3 assisted chin ups (5kg assist) today, and probably could have squawked halfway up the fourth but wasn’t feeling up to it. So. Depending on how I feel on Monday, I might try my first ever pull up.
Wish me luck.
So. I’m done with 6 weeks Barbell Battalion Level 2 (in fact, I think I finished it about two weeks ago haha), but I’m really enjoying these workouts (EXCEPTING THE FRONT SQUATS WHY DO YOU ALWAYS ROLL DOWN MY ARMS AND BRUISE ME SO, BARBELL??!!!) so I’ve decided to stick to this for the time being. Now that the Christmas and New Year festive (read: greedy) period has passed, I’m also buckling down for the last couple of months I’ve given myself to get in shape.
SO. This is gonna be a pretty long post since it’s time to do a status check (fitness wise) and also to have a look at where I stand re all the mini and not-so-mini goals I’ve set for myself.
First up, fitness.
Yay deadlifts, ilu always and forever. Last week I hit 73kg, bringing me properly over the 100% bodyweight mark. (I actually dropped in weight to 70.3kg but then thanks to Christmas etc I went back up to around 72ish when I cleared 71kg for my deadlifts, but this time nobody has to hem and haw over technicalities.) YAY. My grip is really starting to be the super weak link here, so I got a couple of those squeezy grip things which I now absently use whilst watching TV, as well as spending up to 60 seconds hanging from the pullup bar at the end of some workouts when I remember. I’m not being super mindful about this, but I don’t really want to have to be, so we’ll see if this helps at all. If not, then I’ll start maybe being a bit more mindful and actually factoring this into my actual routines.
After my last post, I started getting a bit unstable and noticing my form failing, so I dropped my squats weight down to 35-40kg, and I’ve been working my way back up. I’m more confident now, especially after a couple of sessions with V when she was in HK to keep an eye on me, and it felt pretty good yesterday knowing that I was definitely sinking low enough even without having to glare at myself in the mirror. I also got back up to 51kg yesterday, I think, so yay we’re coming back to where I was before.
I HATE YOU FOREVER THE END GOOD BYE.
I’m now alternating between declines and regular push ups every week. Again, nothing much to talk about. Thinking about switching up to plyometric push ups soon, but I’ve also been pushing myself on benching so I’m generally fairly tired by the time I get round to these.
Deloaded a bit to work on my form, back up to 42kg.
So V taught me this power clean and press thing (basically shrugging the barbell up then finishing with an OHP) which I’ve switched to doing as of the last couple of weeks. I’m up to 26kg, which is pretty darn heavy-feeling - by the last couple of reps I’m usually struggling to finish the OHP evenly.
HAH. Okay. I’m not there yet. BUT IT IS CLOSE I FEEL IT. I was doing 3 sets (-12kg, -19kg, and -26kg) and then it actually started getting too easy so I’m now doing -5kg, -12kg and -19kg. I can so far do about 2 pull ups with 5kg assists. I’m waiting until I can do at least 3 good ones (and struggle about halfway up on the fourth at least) before I attempt a proper pull up. My chin ups are definitely lagging behind, but it’s okay, I’d prefer to be able to do a pull up before a chin up anyway. And this week I have to switch my 25-in-as-few-sets-as-possible assist weight to 19kg ‘cos I did 13 assists in a set with the 26kg weight so clearly this is now too light. I SCARE. But also, GOPRO I AM COMING FOR YOU.
Anyway. On to my goal tracking.
I’ve been pretty good about the 3x a week weights + 1x a week intervals so far. I think I only ever missed anything when I was sick. I’m upping my intervals to 2x a week (but not super strict, just when I have time on Saturday mornings, and I’m aiming to do this at least once every fortnight?) so I can get cracking on the weight loss and power through this last month or so.
I’m pretty much done with all of my strength training intermediate goals, except for benching 50kg, and my first pull up (as mentioned above) so yay! I haven’t been doing negative pull ups but I figure when I get to my first pull up I’ll get the GoPro AND the sunglasses haha. :D
So I earned my cookbook (which I actually pre-bought, long story), so yay for that. It’s actually with a friend now so I wouldn’t be tempted to read it before I earned it, but that’s okay. No rush. :)
I’m still around 5kg from getting my S$100 back from V, but MAYBE JUST MAYBE I might get it (all) back by 16 Feb. That’s the deadline I have.
I occasionally feel like there hasn’t been that much visible change in my body from the last 5kg I lost, but I’ve also been told I’m an idiot so I’m trying not to worry too much. My jeans (including the new ones from around August/September) are all pretty loose now, which feels great as I have an excuse to shop but my wardrobe is getting pretty boring ‘cos as far as I’m concerned I’m not done yet so I don’t want to spend too much on all these intermediate articles of clothing either haha. #firstworldproblems amirite. But all in I’m feeling pretty good, generally, and I barely even see the diet as a diet anymore. My fat percentage has also dropped about 8% total since I first embarked on this properly, so I’m quite happy with that too, obviously. BUT MORE MORE MORE. Haha.
In the meantime, I’ve got just under 3 months to the wedding that was the catalyst to kickstart all this, and slightly over a month before I start losing money off my S$100, so LEZDODIS. Thankfully, CNY will be a healthy if lonely affair here with the cats (wrestling medicines into Rufus’s mouth during my tuanyuanfan for one) so I don’t need to worry about backtracking on the progress then.
OKAY. CHECK BACK WITH ME ON FEB 16 TO SEE IF I MADE IT OR NOT. BRB.
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. :)