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RealFolkBlues

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  1. You're welcome! It was funny, though, because I pressed "Submit Reply," looked at your post right before mine that was clearly posted while I was writing, and saw that it said almost exactly the same answers, just with more, you know, facts and stuff. Show-off. Like I said, I'll probably try IF, but I do worry I will be like zircon, and get like super duper hungry some time during my fast and hate life. If so, I'll probably do what he described above, small meals throughout the day. I tend to have very long days. That being said, I've been playing around with the idea of fasting workouts, which I've read can subdue hunger if you work hard/quick enough. Anyone got experience here? I'm pretty ok with being Mega Man. I got really into The Megas last year and since MAG I've become a die-hard Mega Ran fan. @kitty: Yup. I feel ya. I don't know if you've had a doctor give you the arch test (which felt really unscientific though probably effective,) but for me, the doc could just barely fit one knuckle in my arch. My dad's feet are even flatter. He looks like a caveman. Agreed, though, running on the beach is much preferable. If I'm gonna do standard cardio, I like to ride a bike or do the elliptical, to save my knees and shins. You?
  2. Pretty good questions, from what I saw. Soul Splint pretty much said the same stuff as me, though (natch) more eloquently, so I feel ok continuing the conversation a bit. Having never done a hardcore change to my diet, I can imagine it's an unsettling prospect, so Soul Splint's suggestion of gradually increasing your caloric content should be a good bet. That way your digestive system gets to ramp up slowly as well, which is prob a good idea. First and foremost, there's no shame but sitting sedentary. The fact that you're working out at all is proof positive you're doing something good for you and your's, and your routine is pretty intense, overall, even if there isn't a lot of weight involved right now. For that matter, what's your height and weight? Those are the biggest factors for determining what kind of numbers you might shoot for with lifts and weight loss. That's less of a bulk goal and more of a strength goal, but yeah, they are similar. As stated earlier, lower the reps and increase the weight. It's up to you what you want to do, but if you really want to have visible muscles, there's no substitute for some quick, hard work. That being said, if you're feeling unusual strain and pain when you use your 15's, my guess would be that there may be something wrong with your form. What kind of exercises are you doing with these? If you have access to a barbell, I would recommend trying some barbell exercises. You can engage more muscles at once typically, which will both help to develop the full muscle groups and compensate some for weaknesses you may have. Also, there's nothing wrong with working up your weight limits. 8 to 15 isn't numerically large, but it's almost doubling the weight lifted. If you really feel confident in your form and are still feeling these pains, 12's may be the weigh (sorry) to go. Either way it's probably a good call to drop weight for just a second and focus on form before moving up. Your workout right now seems very endurance-based, so you would natch feel tired right afterwards and less so the next day. Strength-based workouts will feel real different. For instance, I did squats on Monday, with my last set being 5 reps. My quads still ache today. You're welcome! Yeah, it's kind of awesome that there's some real discussion and work on fitness among a community centered on our love of video game music. Full props to OA and Soul Splint for getting this going and keeping it going. Speaking of OA, I'm more than likely going to do IF, as I've heard good reviews from pretty much everyone. Metabolism confusion also can work, take a look sometime, but it seems easy to mess up. Basically, the thought is that your metabolism gets used to a caloric deficit if you continue into perpetuity with it, but if you intentionally cheat every three days, your body is "fooled" and treats every caloric deficit like the first one. Like I say, I've heard some good buzz about it, if you stick to it, and the thought of cheating every three days sure sounds nice to me. Also, 1000 posts! Only took me 10 years.
  3. Sounds like good calls, all. You've got a plan, just execute. Good luck! @OA: Mister, you're a better man than I. I think I may do a hardcore cut here in spring or summer, but ugh, I don't know if I can hold myself back to that degree. We shall see. Orrrrr, I may try and do intermittent fasting or metabolism confusion. Anyone try these and have input?
  4. Meh. I've been athletic for most of my life, and I don't now and never have enjoyed running just to run. In the context of ultimate frisbee, basketball, or other sports, it can be alright, but even there that's not what I like about the sport. Everyone's different, and I don't think running is for everyone. There's so many good choices for cardio, I don't feel like anyone should feel obligated to actually get out there and run. If that's what you like, so be it. I may try it out years down the line, but for now, I'll stick to other stuff. @kitty: Way to get back into it! Do you by chance have flat feet? I'm sure these guys explored all kinds of thoughts with you, but that's a big part of why running sucks for me. The main problem is an intellectual one, but mechanically I'm not well suited to it either. @Soul Splint and zircon: Ok...sorry guys...I'll see ya <hangs head in shame, walks down street while the sad piano music from The Hulk TV show plays> Lol, seriously though, I'm not gonna cut it out entirely, I just gotta go into this month's lifts with lowered expectations, which I am. Like I said, I'm losing weight and trying to make gains at the same time, which is very hard. I've been making it work, more or less, for a while now, but man, there are some bumps. @Cyril: Haha, ok, that's a little more reasonable, though still ambitious. Good for you, though. To your question of how to track calories, yeah, it's super tough. I'm not great at tracking in general (not enough time,) but myfitnesspal is great if you can stick to it. I might advise just trying to keep a vague tally in your mind throughout the day. Not so much I ate this banana so that's blah blah calories, but try to cut out a little every meal. That way you won't feel as hungry throughout the day, but you'll still be cutting down on calories in the aggregate. Also, I know you're wanting to work on your upper body strength and appearance, but don't neglect that lower body. If I had to recommend just one lift for everyone, squats would be it. You activate those big leg muscles and they'll gobble up the fat.
  5. So, sorry for the double post, everyone, but this post happened while I was writing my last one, and I feel the need to comment. First off, well met, DKeddo! Way to join in the fun, and awesome work thus far! It looks like you've done some terrific tracking thus far, and have a great work ethic! So, to answer some of your questions, from my perspective: Pretty much. The only dependable answer for adding muscle I've ever seen is pick up heavy stuff and add in the protein to build muscle. I understand your fear of changing your habits so quickly, but your cutting work has laid the groundwork for you to cleanly feed your muscles. That, plus breakdown (the aforementioned picking up heavy stuff,) leads to rebuilt, stronger, bigger muscles. It really depends on your goals, but from the above, I would say you probably want to do high weight, low rep work, which I don't believe P90X focuses on. I'm not downplaying P90X, it's hard stuff and great for you, but if you want to bulk/see strength gains, high weight, low rep is the way to go. It looks like the jury is still out there on this one, but yes, caloric deficit is all that matters for weight loss, but not for fat/muscle loss, satiation, and general health. You could just eat off of the dollar menu and lose weight, so long as it met your macros, but man, that would be super bad for you and suck a lot. For what you're doing, I would say get a good amount of calories period, though mainly from protein, carbs, and lean fats. Trans fat is the devil, and saturated fat should be taken in moderation. Sugar happens, but try not to do too much of it, just because it spikes your metabolism. Correct. It is important to general health, though. Some is necessary, a lot is dangerous, especially if you have a family history of heart issuess Meh. Break when you need to, but I wouldn't say you should feel obligated to ever do so, more than just what you need to let your muscles heal during the week to week work. It sounds great! That being said, as I stated above, it might not quite be in line with your current goal of gaining muscle. I also would recommend HIIT for cardio, for lots of reasons, probably the number one being that it produces good results with less time. Anyways, hope this helps, and thanks for posting! Join our Fitocracy group if you haven't already. It's good times, and a great way to track your lifts.
  6. Good call to be general, though frankly 20-30 pounds in two months or so is pretty intense. I would call it unsafe and unwise, to be honest. How tall are you, if I might ask? Also, are you dieting? I would definitely caution trying to lose that weight more steadily, though. Fast weight loss often has all kinds of undesirable effects. @Modus: Your goal and zircon's are actually fairly similar, all things told. Be able to do what you're talking about and you'll probably burn through junk calories much better than the rest of us. Not that you'd want to overdo that, of course. Also, I'll agree with the rest of the crew that if you build muscle, it will appear similar to cutting weight, and if you're feeling like that's the way to go right now, carry on. Additionally, muscle eats fat, so if you get more of it, you'll naturally burn more of your fat off as well. @SoulSplint: It happens, brother. I saw that on Fitocracy, and hated it for ya then, too. I gotta cut down on my bench right now. I'm still losing weight (weighed myself in at 172 on Sunday,) and I think between it and just not adequately letting my arms rest (I know, I know, just tough with my schedule,) I'm plateauing at best. Meh. Hopefully my assistance work will help to compensate and I'll be getting back into gains by the end of this month.
  7. Good for you. Way to get back into it. Please refresh my memory as to what your current goal is?
  8. You're welcome. Yeah, fries are the devil incarnate practically if you're trying to get in shape, especially if you're trying to get cut. Their metrics make baby Jesus cry. And they're super tasty. And quick. It's tough for sure.
  9. From everything I've seen, there's a lot of factors to this. Genetics definitely plays a large part, but probably the biggest thing is leaning out. That's more than just being thin. You need to build lean muscle mass, which means good lifting/cardio and a low carb/high protein diet, but also you would need to cut out some of the water weight you carry. We all carry water weight, all of the time. Study how fighters or wrestlers cut weight to meet goals for competitions and you'll see what I mean. One of your dietary issues may be sodium. It's in like everything nowadays, but especially processed or canned food. If those are large parts of your diet, you probably are retaining more water than you normally would, which would show most as stomach flab on most dudes. That's where men tend to carry our weight as is. It's definitely frustrating, so I would also advise to be patient. Slow gains are better than no gains which is still better than injury.
  10. I'm a huge Megas fan, and yeah I like this remix as well. I wonder if this wasn't a side project of sorts for one or two of the band members, and that most of their focus might be on their more typical rock arrangements. That being said, they might very possibly welcome the idea of someone or someones doing an electronica-centered remix album of more of their songs. Now where could we find a bunch of people to do remixes of video game based music?
  11. Meh, the only answer I want is the right one. My lifting is primarily for health, but really mainly for making me strong enough to be an effective fighter/trainer. Back work does seem pretty important there, and I'll look into the idea of proper ratio of pull to push. It's interesting you say arm/grip strength, though, with all of the other stuff I see you doing on Fitocracy. It seems like bench/OHP and all of the supplementary exercises you do (such as pull-ups) would be working those sufficiently. For me, I do lots of stuff right now for arms and grip. The best argument I've heard thus far for back work is that it, like leg work, activates the biggest muscle groups in your body, which in turn promotes the greatest production of testosterone and consequently the most righteous gainz. Hmmm. I do lots of ab work, more or less at the same time as everything else. That is, I usually don't have an actual "ab day," but work in sets of ab exercises with my other lifts. On bench day, for instance, I do my six sets of bench with five sets of leg circles in between, starting with a set of ten and then going up by ten reps with each subsequent set. I typically do lots of oblique work as well on any given lifting day, mainly woodchoppers on the cable machine and oblique body lifts (on that weird diagonal platform thing you would do back body lifts on.) My ab work is for a few different reasons: in hopes that it will improve my endurance (this idea has long been held by fighting coaches, and is why you generally don't see boxers with weak abs, but the question of whether or not it's actually true is being reevaluated by science nowadays,) to develop a set of abs to take body blows should I need to, and for aesthetic purposes. The ladies love the abs. It does take a fair bit of time, though. I mention it in reference to back work in the thought that the back and abs are antagonistic muscle groups. I'm of two minds here, and just don't know what's right. On the one hand, when you train one side of your body, the other side does get a little work through counter-movement. On the other, you def can create muscle imbalances, and those aren't good, based off of everything I've ever read. I must investigate more, but yeah, I may try to at least work dead lift into my workouts. Like I say, I love dead lift, so it's not too much of a heart breaker. I just don't have a ton of time, so I may have to combine it with one of my other days. Maybe my push jerk day? As always, thanks for the advice, Soul Splint! You're my online brofessor.
  12. Yeah man, as beast as your workouts are, you got all of that by year end, for sure. You inspired me to try some weighted dips and pull-ups. Tough stuff. It was just for kekles, though, I don't think I'm gonna try and work those into my routines. Speaking of which, to what degree is it an issue that I don't have a back day? Is it exacerbated or helped that I do a fair bit of ab training? Don't get me wrong, btw, I love deadlift. It's naturally my best lift. I just feel like I need to work the other stuff more and don't have a ton of time. Also, I'm up to date on my Fitocracy, finally. Now I just gotta keep tracking. I really need to do the same consistently with my nutrition, but one step at a time, I suppose.
  13. Hey guys, it was great to finally get to see you again, after so long! Mad props to you guys for how warm you were given the length of time since last we hung out. OCR=super nice people. The OCU concert was great, and getting into a random theological debate at 1:30 in the morning was pretty terrific. I hope to see you guys next year, if not sooner! Oh yeah, btw, thank you, bitches.
  14. Brutal. Yeah, I was working panels at the time. :/ I got a good workout in there on Friday morning, though. Like you say, not a bad setup for a hotel, though I had actually hoped for more in a place as big as the frickin' Gaylord. I was supposed to do my squat and/or my push jerk max, but I just ended up doing an improvised leg/ab workout. Wasn't too bad, all things told. Next year, if not sooner.
  15. So I'm guessing the workout meet-up didn't happen? I'm sorry if it did without me, I had to change my volunteer shifts at the last moment so that I could attend the concerts (my fave part, natch.) Next time, brodudedudebros, next time.
  16. Ok, OCR, I hope I wasn't our only representative in the pit just now. Between the Megas and Powerglove that was the best moshing I've ever had.
  17. Seconded. That much sugar will probably be spiking your metabolism all day and together with that few calories it may enter starvation/fat retention mode, which is clearly not what you want. What fruits are you eating? I might suggest changing some. Maybe berries rather than apples, bananas rather than oranges, and so on. Also, I'm here in the fitness center at the hotel. Any bros wanna lift?
  18. I could be down for a Sunday morning workout. I'll try not to get crappy the night before. I intend to do mostly beer sipping this MAGFest, rather than tequila chugging like M6 (unfortunately.) Water is pretty great. It makes up the vast majority of what I drink on any given day. That being said, there's some definite advantages to many other drinks, so I couldn't live without 'em. Low fat chocolate milk, for instance, is one of the best post-workout drinks, and is freakin' delicious, so yeah. Kind of the best. Yeah, with a lower back injury I imagine the options are limited. HIIT can work for anything though, really. It's tough on some machines, but the concept's the same. Can you row currently?
  19. The more presses the better, imho. They're all great compound moves, which will absolutely build strength and definition in your upper body. Anything on the cable machine is terrific, and the chest crossover is fairly effing alpha, bro. Go for it. That stuff will def build your chest. It sounds like your focus right now might be on appearance? If so, what are you doing to cut/bulk? I see good muscular endurance stuff (medium weight, medium reps,) but if you're looking to get bigger, you need to do some low rep, high weight, and natch for cut you need to do the opposite. MAGFest! Let's do this, gentlemen. I'm pumped. I'll be there tomorrow and might try and get in a late night leg day going if anyone wants to join. I actually am supposed to 1rm this week, and hope it goes better for my squat than it did on my bench yesterday. Would have got squished on my 215 1rm if not for my spotter. He says he barely helped but I'm not so sure. If I were to make excuses I might point to the fact that I did my 3's on push jerk on Sunday and so my triceps felt sore yesterday, but no excuses! Meh. Next time, bench press, next time. <shakes fist> @zircon: Yeah, caffeine for the win for pre-workout. Do you ever try green tea? I've heard it's ok, though natch not quite enough caffeine for a tough workout. Also, is all of your cardio medium to long length, or do you do fartlek/interval stuff too?
  20. Yeah, I think that's the commonly accepted terminology, I was just confuzled. To be pedantic, I could say that you bring your chin up in both movements, but you use more of the muscles associated with the "pull" muscles (such as your biceps) when you have your palms facing inward. Meh. Splitting hairs. Related, so that we can get off of semantics in a lifting/exercising thread, what's your favorite motion of this kind? I like chins cuz I'm better at them, but I think my favorite overall may be hammer grip pull-ups. Just feels like it hits a lot and is pretty low impact.
  21. Huh, how about that. Bodybuilding.com also has the same terminology. Weird. I must have got that from some broscientist. Thanks for the correction! Yup. That's pretty much where I was from doing some looking, but it's always good to get more encouragement. I liked that article, thanks. I guess my plan now is to do ACE this year, NASM next year, and maybe get specializations the years following. NASM has an MMA conditioning specialization, which seems fairly up my alley, so that's on the docket for sure, but that's a tough start-up cost with them, so I think ACE is the way to go for now. Thanks again!
  22. Well, I feel you on not liking the Smith machine much. I was mainly thinking of using it for upper body exercises like bench and military presses, spurred in part by your description of inclined dumbbell lifts being tough/dangerous. For that matter, have you tried using kettlebells for the same lifts? I hear they're safer and good for balance loading stuff. @Soul Splint: That's funny, that's the opposite of the terminology I'm familiar with for pull-up/chin-up. Also, it's the opposite of my experience, more or less. I've always been much better at palms facing inward. Sooooooo, OCR, I mentioned that I wanted to become a personal trainer. A big part of that is becoming certified as such. There's a ton of certifications out there. Which one(s) do you recommend, if any?
  23. It's the best. Really, though, more and more research shows that it has as good or better results than longer exercise sessions. I personally saw great gains over the last year and some doing mostly Tabata. It also (obviously) doesn't take anywhere as much of your time, which means you can get on to important stuff like video games.
  24. Lame. :( Well, good on ya for getting your learning on.

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