olimay: (Default)
[Originally from my training log on Gaiden Force HQ forums. Since the main part of the post is a reply to my previous posts, I've quoted parts for continuity.]

May 08:

Starting Stats - 2015-05-08
Body Composition

Weight: 205.4 lbs
Estimated Body Fat: 0.30


Back Squat 5R: 285 lbs
Standing Press 5R: 90 lbs
Bench Press 5R: 150 lbs
Deadlift 5R: 275 lbs
Chin-Ups: 0

July 19th:

BW 198.0 lbs

325 x 5 x 2
325 x AMRAP = 5

170 x 5 x 2
170 x 4 (fail)

315 x 6

The deadlift was supposed to be 330. Due to a loading error, it ended up only being 315.

I still feel really frustrated with the amount of technical difficulty I had in squat, failure on the last set of bench presses, and the loading error on the deadlift. My squat felt wobbly and at several points, I cheated at the sticking points by leaning forward. It should not have been this bad at these weights. I felt I did well with the bench press, but I messed up on the last set. Attempting another double and then failing only intensified the frustration. Lastly, I really wanted to give 330 a try with the round plates.

But I also want to keep the long term view. Reinforcing frustration will only lead to more frustration/aggression later.

To a large extent, I think the mistakes this workout had to do with adjustments to differences in environment and lack of mental focus. Next time, I will participate less in changing plates. I will also chart out the plate amounts for deadlift and squat beforehand.

Dec 4:

Coming up on age 31. Since summer, I've switched over to a very simple HLM for squat, while continuing alternating bench and press like I did on Starting Strength. The autoregulation scheme I posted above seems way too complicated now.

Here are my current bests from the past month:

Squat 11-30
315 x 5 x 3

Press 11-27
110 x 5 x 3

Bench 11-30
180 x 5 x 3

Deadlift 12-02
325 x 5

I was able to do Press 115 x 5, 3 on 12-2 but that was a big strain.

As you can see, Bench Press has continued to advance, Squat has stayed close to the same, Press has stayed the same, and Deadlift is sort of in a purgatory. I'm considering increasing deadlifting frequency; nowadays I only deadlift around every 5 days or so.

Squat technique has probably improved--I did 315 with a belt but no knee wraps. Last year I was frequently scared to go over 300 without knee wraps. A few weeks ago I told myself that I would use the knee wraps when I do 315, but last time I couldn't be bothered. So I probably won't use them when I match last year's PR.

At some point in the summer, I squatted and deadlifted more than than I have recently. There were a lot of resets and repeats due to missed workout since then. Ideally, I'd like to transcribe my workout records and see a graph of top sets over time, but I don't know that I'll get a chance. I'm even supposed to be doing something else right now, but here I am typing this up.

Looking at bodyweight:

On 2014-12-06 (4-day moving average): 208.15 (206.6, 210.2, 208.6, 207.2)
Today, 12-3 (2-day moving average): 194.5 (194.6, 194.4)

I don't know if comparing a 4-day moving average and a 2-day moving average is okay in general, but I don't think it's that big of a deal. In general, I'm maybe 10lbs lighter than I was in May, and definitely more than 10lbs lighter than I was last December.

On the whole, this feels like very slow progress, so when I'm pretty tired (and procrastinating on a lot of work) like today, it's frustrating that a year has gone by, I'm just catching up to 320 squat again, and my weight loss is sort of stalling between 193-195, mostly because I'm not being consistent with cooking for myself. At least it's staying put and only coming back up slowly.

My objective is to lower my weight to 192 and at least keep it under there for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Key factors will be going back to cooking legumes every day, continuing to take a generous amount of fiber (Metamucil) with every meal, and being consistent with the 16/8 Leangains meal timings.

After New Year's? I don't know what I'll do. Going up this slowly is really really boring, but I'm seeing that at the very least, my main accomplishment has been keeping fat off. My goals in the New Year will probably be dictated by what's going on in the rest of my life. I don't see myself committing to a program that's even more time consuming than the one I'm doing right now, both in and out of the gym.

Just so I have somewhere to record it, even if it's a bit discouraging: this article estimates maximum muscular ripped bodyweight in kg as:

BW (kg) = [height in cm] - 98.5

That's something like 4% BF. I'm 165cm tall, so that puts me at 66.5 kg if I were to focus on getting towards my genetic limits--training consistently for a decade or so. About 146.5lbs. WTH.

From that, I can do a calculation to somewhat bound my current BF% based only on my weight and height.

BF_r = ([weight]-[max muscular weight]*.96)/[weight]
= (88.6-66.5*0.96)/88.6 = .2794 ~= 28%BF

We can improve the bound by including the following assumptions:

10% of mass that would be counted as fat is connective tissue that will be lost along with the fat
0.5kg is glycogen

But it's probably safe to assume water is constant, since the max ripped muscular bodyweight is when pretty dehydrated, and I take my best scale reading of the day when recording my bodyweight. (Usually as far into a fast as possible and before I've drank a significant amount of water.) Assuming contest dehydration is a bit more extreme, then I'll account for 50% of my usual water weight variance, which comes to about 1.5lbs, or 0.68kg. Also, we'll say 2.5kg for the glycogen, since bodybuilders replenish their glycogen after weigh in.

BF_r = ([weight]-[max muscular weight]*0.96 - 0.5 - W_v)*0.9/[weight]
= (88.6-66.5*0.96 - 0.25 - 0.68)*0.9/88.6 = .24206 ~= 0.24

So I'd be 24%BF at my present weight if I were already huge and muscular and close to my generic limit right now. Thus, my actual bodyfat right now is almost certainly above that, unless connective tissue lost along with fat is some crazy amount, like 0.25 of fat weight lost on a cut. I don't know.

I can solve backwards, to be even more depressed:

BF_r = ([weight]-[max muscular weight]*0.96 - 0.5 - W_v)*0.9/[weight]

BF_r/0.9*[weight] = ([weight]-[max muscular weight]*0.96 - 0.5 - W_v)

[weight](BF_r/0.9 - 1) = -[max muscular weight]*0.96 - 0.5 - W_v

[weight] = -([max muscular weight]*0.96 + 0.5 + W_v)/[BF_r/0.9 - 1]
So if I want to be 20% bodyfat, I should weigh at most:

(66.5*0.96 + 0.5 + .68)/(0.2/0.9 - 1 = 83.597 ~= 83.6 kg = 183.9 lbs

That's under 184lbs absolutely freaking jacked as hell in order to be under 20%BF. So even if I'm able to lose another 10lbs in the next year, there's just no way I will be under 20%BF. (Unless, again, I am drastically underestimating how much connective tissue comes/goes with fat.)

Yeah. This makes sense given 85kg is still the third highest weight class in Olympic lifting, and 83kg is 4th highest in USAPL, with national qualifying total at 1252lbs.

None of this quite makes the decision for me. Filipinos, as well as East Asians in general, are at risk for obesity-related diseases at lower amounts of relative bodyfat. So, at 27-29%BF right now, I might still have similar risk as someone of European descent who is 31-33% (and can squat 315 x 5 x 3).

At the same time, do I want to keep putting aside to gain serious strength order to keep losing fat? One thing I've decided is that I'm no longer going to do RFL, because of the amount of stress very fast weight loss imposes on the body, which accelerates things like hair loss. So fat loss will have to be slow one way or another.

I'll think about this and decide come New Year's.
olimay: (Default)
From last night's workout:

Squat:    305 lbs x 5 reps x 3 sets
Press:     95 lbs x 5 reps x 3 sets
Deadlift: 305 lbs x 5 reps

Squat = Barbell Back Squat, Low Bar
Press = Overhead Barbell Shoulder Press ("Olympic" style with hip flex)
Deadlift = conventional Deadlift

My bodyweight is down from a spike to 207 lbs about three weeks ago. I weighed in at 203.6 yesterday morning, and 201.0 today. 10-day weighted moving average seems to be around 205, which is good enough. I'm trying to prevent excessive gain. Excessive weight loss will probably also be bad for strength, since it indicates my nutrition is inadequate to continue to drive performance.

My goals, with the deadline of 12-06, two Saturdays from now, for the lifts look like this:
Squat:    320 lbs x 5 x 3
Press:    110 lbs x 5 x 3
Deadlift: 345 lbs x 5
Power Snatch: 20kg x 3

In the best case I have five workouts to make progress.

I haven't trained the Power Snatch very much, so I'm a bit concerned about that one. I'm a little behind on the Press, so I've decided to forgo training Bench Press until after my goal deadline (on Starting Strength, you usually alternate between Press and Bench Press.)

The Deadlift is quite behind schedule, so I may need to increase my calories in order to train it more frequently. I usually train the Deadlift only every other workout, since it takes a lot of energy for recovery.

I'll say more in the new year, but here is the most compelling reason that most people should do strength training.

Effective strength training protects against age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia), increases bone density, reduces the risk of accident-based trauma, increases insulin sensitivity, and promotes production of human growth hormone. No other intervention does all these things.

Here is an graphic relating strength training to general physical fitness:

olimay: (Default)
We went to an all you can eat Korean BBQ today. It was my favorite all-you-can eat place I can remember. I ate a lot, like everyone else, and that took its toll when I pushed forward with going to the gym. A lot of food in the gut is not a good combination with exercises where increasing abdominal pressure is necessary.

How I ended up going: I was originally just dropping off Marlon at the train station. We were late in leaving, so I drove him 25 minutes to Edison. Along the way, we started talking about PUZZLE, our shared tabletop RPG campaign setting. We stopped at a Rite Aid so he could get cash. He kept asking if I wanted to join and I kept saying no. When we finally arrived, we were still talking. I walked him to the front door and finally gave in.

I felt rather unpresentable the whole time, wearing my sleeping sweatpants. I didn't even have my hat, and my hair was a mess. The place and all the workers were all so proper and nice looking. So were the mostly-Korean families who made up the other clientele. No one in our rowdy college student party-of-ten really cared.

When I got home I had to take a a nap. I woke up with about 90 minutes before the gym closing. Once we got to the gym, we had less than 45 minutes. I made it through squats: 260lbs for the work sets. I'm 5lbs below my all-time personal record of 265lbs for 5 reps. That'll be next Tuesday. The gym was closing, so I'll have to go back to the gym tomorrow to do the overhead presses and deadlifts.

On the way home, Marlon was talking about a friend of his who is on crutches from a running injury. Runners get injured a lot. A lot. Barely anyone gets injured in weightlifting, in comparison, even looking at relative frequencies. It makes sense that people engaged in intimidating activities--such as poking each other with swords or lifting massive amounts of steel and iron with their bare hands--would spend a lot of time making sure it was really safe.

The benefits of strength training are enormous compared to running, too—especially for geriatric populations. Bone density, mobility, strength through normal range of motion, muscle mass to stave off ataxia, and increased output of human growth hormone.

Strength training is something everyone should do. Men and women, young and elderly. It seems to improve the quality of life of most sedentary, non-athletic people more than anything else. Instead, everyone looks to running or dancing for exercise to improve their health. I suppose yoga is pretty good too. But yoga isn't going to as good a job protecting you against osteoperosis.

Here are some videos of elderly people doing deadlifts.

Strength is valuable for these people. They use strength every day--to lift groceries, objects around the house, maybe their grandchildren. Strength lets them get up out of chairs and up stairs without significant strain. They have a better shot of not getting critically injuries when they fall down--and with more strength, they'll fall down less. I think it's a hell of a lot more useful for most folk than being able to run 6.21 miles really slowly.

This 92 year old can deadlift more than I can right now. I'm inspired.

My goal isn't to break records. It's to be that strong when I'm that age. At least that much—secretly I'm hoping for a 300+ deadlift (and with conventional not sumo!)

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