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My time to get fit - stage 1 - The beginning.

Discussion in 'Sports Arena' started by RimBlock, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. Mekrel

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 2, 2004

    Posts: 6,687

    Location: Buckinghamshire

    Good thread RimBlock, with this determination - you will get the results you need.

    I moved out of my parents house about 18 months ago (around 98 miles away) to work in an office. The fact I no longer had a good mother to cook for me and my job went from quite an active one to sitting on my arse all day meant I piled on the pounds.

    I got up to 76.5kg (5ft 8), so my BMI was around 25.5 - BMI was a pretty fair indication to me being overweight as I didn't really have any muscle mass at the time.

    I've joined a gym and have been going for about 3 months now, a trip usually consists of a lot of HIIT on several machines and once a week having a PT who usually circuit trains me.

    Circuit training if done correctly can be a great way to lose body fat. I've always been a great runner when fit and can quite easily do HIIT on a tread mill at 17kmph when maxing out for a minute (do about 20 intervals). However, circuit training really does kill me like nothing else.

    The other rule I usually follow is no carbs after 2pm, I'm not really upping my protein intake at the moment either but once my body % fat is down and I've done my half marathon on the 1st November then that might happen.

    I'm now down to 73kg and feel so much better for it.

    Keep up the good work!
     
  2. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Thanks Kappa / Mekrel,

    Kappa,

    Yeah, 8 half litre bottles can be a real pain and having that number to drink can seem quite a mountain to overcome. I am working between 250-500ml when I get up as too much and I am crossing my legs on the hour long train journey to work :eek:. 1 litre was too much ;). I then try for 500ml every 2 hours which is not so bad but then you consider an hour traveling back home where I cannot drink (no food or drink allowed in the trains here) and maybe shopping on the way home for food and then that is two hours gone and I am playing catchup.

    Oh well I am between 2-3.5 litres per day since I started this so it is much better than before. I was considering getting a larger bottle for work. I have two 1.5l coke bottle in the fridge with water just to make very light orange squash but I tend to refill one as it ends so I always have a cold one available.

    Mekrel,

    Seems like you are doing very well. 1Kg / month I believe is around the recommended. Well done with being able to maintain that loss.

    I have upped the protein to help cope with the DOMS. After my first set of squats for around a month my inner thighs at the top are really giving me what for....... Standing and sitting is uncomfortable but hopefully they will recover soon. I think the hour long cardio sessions will help, just need to keep them up. Will rotate to something else this coming week.

    Still need to find another weights routine to follow though. Again, riptoe or stronglifts are contenders unless anyone has anything better to suggest.

    Cheers
    RB
     
  3. Kappa

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 11, 2003

    Posts: 6,289

    Location: Essex

    inner thighs at the top? It could well be the groin area being worked out as a good squat will work that area. Watch out for if it causes you pain during the exercise though!

    And yes, its awesome when you cant even sit on a toilet seat without wincing! :D
     
  4. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Awesome is one way to look at it ;).

    No problem when doing the exercise though which is great. Just lots of effort. What surprised me the most is the fact that the weight of the bar stopped causing me discomfort after 2-3 weeks even though it leaves a mark for a few hours and the number of people only doing half squats. Admittedly full squats are scary with heavy weights :D.

    Think I may switch to 3 days cardio and 2 days weights for a time. Would like to get my pullups / chinups and dips going as well. Need to check out how to help build up for those, supplemental to doing the exercises themselves that is.

    RB
     
  5. rotters

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 14, 2004

    Posts: 5,255

    Location: Hayle, Cornwall

    RB, enjoying reading your thread, im in a similar position, ie getting fit again losing the pounds of unwanted stuff. I do a session of ju jitsu a week but this week i also did 1.5 hours of muay thai, my god i hurt but i feel so so good. the sparring and having a "sensai" (not sure what a MT teacher is called) keep you going til you drop is awesome!


    anyhow keep it up, im very new to my new fat loss plan, so im in the awesome first state of massive losses ie 10 lbs in the 1st 12 days. i know its going to get tougher though. Im also a lot bigger than you. was nearly 20st and onyl 5ft8.


    my 2penneth.




    rotters
     
  6. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Thanks Rotters. Good to see others are also trying to get a bit more healthy. :D

    I used to do a bit of karate for a few years in my teens, touched on Ju Jitsu so a short time but never touched Muay Thai. Being so close to Thailand you get to hear lots about it, much more than I did in the Uk although Wu Shu si the big one here otherwise known as Kung Fu (fight training specific rather than philosophy) in the west.

    Hard work but good for dropping weight and strengthening up.

    Well done with the weight loss so far. It will slow down but with the right management, as as we all can see from this thread and others each person has different requirements, it will still come off all be it a little slower. Just finding the right combination and mixing it up every so often to keep the body adapting.

    Anyway, keep it up.

    RB
     
  7. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Reading through Rippetoes guide here and came across this which, although old, I love.....

    :D:D

    RB
     
  8. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Ok, so I have decided to try Rippetoes.

    3 compound exercises, 3*5, always increasing the weight next session (10 lbs if previous session was easy, 5lbs if previous was hard, 2.5lbs on previous fail, 2nd fail keep weight, 3rd fail then deload 10% and restart).

    Extra exercises can be added but are not needed. Instructions are comprehensive and it should complete in maybe 6 weeks. After this one I will look to Stronglifts. Hopefully Rippetoes will give me a good strength base for stronglifts.

    So, day one, set A;
    Squats, Bench press, deadlifts. Warm-up set then 3*5.

    Squats.
    For the warm-up I pyramided up to get a reasonable starting weight. Found 110 + bar (154 lbs - 70Kg) to be good so did the 3*5 with full deep squats. Thighs definitely below parallel. Happy with that due to not doing squats for so long even though the number of reps have dropped. Not bad as the pyramid up in weight would have added value as well. I was sweating after this :D.

    Bench press.
    After moving a guy off the only bench press bench as he was doing seated db curls pyramided up a couple of sets until 114 lbs (52Kg) for the 3*5. Ok with this but it is just a starting point. Of note though is that my thumb strain didn't give me any issues so hopefully that is now fixed.

    Had a discussion with a gym PT who came over and he hadn't heard of Rippetoes or Stronglifts. Gave feedback on my squats (very good form :D :D). Offered a couple of suggestions such as legs further apart and trying an underbar grip so you cradle the bar with elbows forward rather than pulling the bar down onto the shoulders with elbows back. With elbows forwards you can tell if you ware going deep enough in the squats when the elbows touch the thighs. I prefer the stability of the elbows back as I feel I can control the bar better in the event of an overbalance and the elbows back creates a ridge of muscle to rest the bar on.

    Deadlifts.
    I also asked for form advice on the deadlifts as this was the first time. 114lbs (52Kg) again, using the squat rack catch area (removed the catch bars so it just had the 6" bottom of the frame). Got in position and lifted. Ben knees and lowered. PT told me not to bend the knees and to lean forward more and lift with the butt and back rather than the knees. This had me very confused as the Rippetoes guide mentioned stressing the legs with the deadlift. Anyway did the three sets which were hard on the lower back and hands. Only later did I work it out.... I believe he was showing me the SLDL (stiff legged dead lift) when I just wanted the normal deadlift. Oh well. Back to stage one on that exercise as Rippetoes specified only using the standard deadlift to get the form down correctly before moving to more advances programs.

    The PT then offered to do the weight and body fat measure for me which I happily accepted. 185cm and 114Kg (38% body fat)...... yep, 114Kg the machine read. My response........ 'Your machine is .....' wait a minute, family forum ....... 'not operating within optimum parameters.' :D. I started 3 1.2 months ago at 106Kg. I was measured 2 months ago in the same gym at 104Kg, now I am 114Kg. Ridicules.......

    The PT then outlined a training program he thought would be good for me and at this point I mentioned I would not be buying any PT sessions and out conversation ended there, pleasantly of course but ended.

    I noticed there were some scales in the changing room so after a shower I weighed myself on them and surprise, surprise, 101.1 Kg in a towel. So either the other scales are ... 'not operating within optimum tolerances' or my clothes (excluding shoes and socks) weigh 12.9Kg :eek:.

    Anyway, on the way home I got a small roasted chicken and a oriental salad (no idea, it was the cheapest there). The chicken was pretty good after I removed the skin but a bit salty, the salad was bad, some very strong flavoured leaves in there so ended up mainly eating the lettuce. Had a couple of whey scoops (in water) and a vit tablet before bed and today my upper back, lower back and thighs can feel the work from yesterday. Pretty good. My Achilles tendon is no better. I can feel it being a little uncomfortable walking down stairs. I can just feel it with normal walking. Rubbing behind the tendon in the gap between the bottom of the calf and the heal bone is a bit tender. i don't think it is any worse after the exercise though. I am hoping the cardio will stimulate blood flow to the area more so promote healing.

    Have a good one and remember.......

    Smoking and bad eating contribute to deposits clogging the blood vessels which in turn can lead to impotence.

    Lift hard to stay hard ........ :eek: :D.

    RB
     
  9. Kappa

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 11, 2003

    Posts: 6,289

    Location: Essex

    :eek:

    Really getting on there RimBlock especially your squat! Nice one.

    Glad you're getting on the deadlifts, you'll see you increase weight on that hugely. The PT said don't bend knees??

    The way I do them is have the bar just at my shins, so my feet are UNDER the bar, bend my knees and my back is near enough parallell or 15 degrees off it, then pull with my ass like theres no tomorroiw a bit like a low squat at first, then after my legs are straight, bring my back up, but in one smooth move.

    I think I'm doing it right, I've watched a lot of videos etc, but no one at the gym seriously does them or knows how (poncy health club gym). Hence people always turn and look when they see this 75kg skinny guy pulling up 120kg off the floor. This is either good or I am doing it wrong :p
     
  10. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Hi Kappa, thanks

    Stiff leg deadlift can be seen here (ehowto) and here (muscleandstrength.com). I cannot view youtube at work but can see these videos.

    Yep your description is exactly what I believe I had to do so keeping my legs stiff got a big frown until I worked out what the instructor was showing me.

    I believe I should (grip allowing) be able to lift a lot more than 70 lbs in a standard deadlift. Might give it a go on Saturday when it comes around again.

    Just finished my lunchtime cardio for my off days. 1 hour on the cross trainer again with an average heart rate of 141bpm changing the intensity to keep the target heart rate (104-150bpm). My vest was dripping at the end and by 10 minutes my legs were screaming (didn't have this the previous two times). I guess it was the squats wearing them out from the day before..... 15minutes and I was ready to give in at 20 minutes. 20 minutes came and I was determined to push to at least 30 minutes. 25 minutes came and suddenly no more screaming. I would guess that the body turned over to fat burn mode to fuel the muscle and it kicked in then. Pushed on and did the whole hour. Pretty happy if that is what it was.

    RB
     
  11. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Just started a thread around what shoes are best to wear for weight training here.

    A number of places highlight that running shoes with compressible soles are not the best for getting the power transfer to the ground for heavy lifts.

    Thread can be found here.

    RB
     
  12. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Ok so two sessions later and here are the results from the first week.

    Number in brackets are the changes from the start of the week / previous session if only one session with that exercise for the current week.

    Week 1

    Set A
    Squats: 169 lbs (+15 lbs) / 76Kg (+6Kg)
    Bench Press: 124 lbs (+10 lbs) / 56Kg (+5.4Kg)
    Deadlift: 134 lbs (first time) / 60Kg (first time)

    Set B
    Squats: As above
    Military press: 64 lbs (first time) / 29Kg (first time)
    Pendlay rows: 104 lbs (first time) / 47Kg (first time)

    Remember the recommended increase in weight is 10 lbs if easy, 5lbs if hard and 2.5lbs on failure. 3 sessions a week rotating set A and B so for the first week set A got two sessions and set B got one. This coming week set B will get two sessions. Each exercise is 3*5 apart from deadlifts which is 1*5. Still getting to the max for most exercises apart from squats which are feeling pretty heavy and which I am having to work hard at to push out the last couple of reps.

    The last session this week was on Saturday and I went after work (had to do a weekend system release). Well a few problems with the release so only got out the office at 8pm ish, got to the gym at 8:20 and they told me the gym would close at 9pm :(. Lucky the routine was quick so got changed and sis it in around 30 minutes. Had to use the squat rack for the bench press as a couple of large guys were sharing the only bench press bench and each one was taking what felt like a 5 minute rest between sets. Mind you I seem to be more or less the only one who uses the squat rack so not so bad. Worst thing is that it is right in front of the PT station so I keep getting PT's coming up and chit chatting to find out if I want to sign up for personal training. Not needed in the middle of a session.

    The initial DOMS have gone without taking extra recovery days. The first two days sessions of squats and pendlay rows really got my inner thighs and upper back. Potty flop I believe it is called where you cant quite control that last bit of decent on to a chair and just sort of drop. Yep, had that for most of the week :D. All good now though.

    Cheers
    RB

    Squats are feeling pretty heavy
     
  13. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Ok, halfway through the second week of Rippetoes.

    Havent hit failure yet but the deadlifts are starting to make my fingers ache as of last nights session.

    I also have an issue with the squats causing upper leg / groin pain (think pluching a taught bowstring, it is not a sharp nerve pain though its 'thicker' if you know what I mean). The pain is at the front, inside, top of both my legs and occurs when doing the squats. The soreness remains afterwards but it is only painfull whilst doing the exercise. It is not DOMS as it occurs instantly. During the 5 rep warmup with half weight I have no issues. The day after the area feels a little 'pumped' or tight but no DOMS. My legs feel exhausted though, squats and deadlifts in the same session.

    I also need to correct my form again as I tend to lean a little to the right and forwards when pushing up under very heavy load, for me that is.

    Having done some reading it seems it may be related to the body not being able to keep up with the weight increases or the stance being too wide.

    I will try dropping back 10 lbs, correcting my form and keeping the feet to strictly shoulder width apart to see if that helps.

    I am also getting dissapointed by having to wait for the machines all the time. The single bench press bench has guys doubling up but not swapping, just queuing behind each other and spotting. I finished my whole 3 exercise 3*5 routine and the same people were still on the bench press bench.

    I have now worked out that the squat rack is the best. I can do deadlifts or pendlay rows from the catch secion with teh catch bars removed, shoulder presses taking the bar from the lower pegs of the rack section and cleaning it up, squats as normal adn even a bench press using the catch bars lower down as stops for failure after grabbing a free bench. Had to wait for it last night though as someone was using it for shoulder shrugs ;).

    RB
     
  14. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    End of the second week of Rippetoes Starting strength.

    Results are as follows (rounded to the nearest Kg).

    Week 2

    Set A
    Squats: 184 lbs (+15 lbs) / 84Kg (+6Kg)
    Bench Press: 134 lbs (+10 lbs) / 60Kg (+4.5Kg)
    Deadlift: 134 lbs (first time) / 60Kg (first time)

    Set B
    Squats: As above
    Military press: 74 lbs (+10 lbs) / 34Kg (+4Kg)
    Pendlay rows: 134 lbs (+30 lbs) / 60Kg (+14Kg)

    Ok, the squats were not 3 sets of 184 lbs. Due to the pain I felt last time I have narrowed my stance and did some warmup setc (clean bar, 94 lbs, 154 lbs) then 2 sets of 5 for 184 lbs. It was murder but the tops of my legs didnt feel like they have bowstrings running through them. They did hurt but it was a much thicker feeling of pulling (like pulling rope rather than string if you get my meaning).

    No failures yet but the squats are damn close and now what with the aches from teh rows and squats today, I am also getting body aches and a bad sore throat from the flu it would seem. Only came on today but classic syntoms. :(.

    Oh well, shall see how to cope next week.

    RB
     
  15. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Morba has done a great post on motivation which I think would be well worth a read here.

    Morba, if you have any objections to me linking to it from here then let me know and I will remove the link.

    Well the weekend was rough with muscle aches and this upper resparitory infection. I suspect tonsillitus but the 5 day course of antibiotics given by the doctor made no difference. Back to the docs today......

    I will take a week out to recover from this and also give the body a bit of a break. My pain at the bottom of my thumb has gone, my shoulders feel fine and my Achilles tendon seems to be almost recovered now. I did pull my other wrist a little doing the explosive lift of the pendlay rows with my right hand not in line with my forearm so it put uneven stress on the wrist joint. Luckily there seems to be no real damage.

    Not going to the gym for a week will be hard :D.

    RB
     
  16. TheCybermonkey

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 15, 2009

    Posts: 171

    Location: Bournemouth

    Only had 1 full week off lifting weights in the last 7 months.
    Going BACK after it was the hard part ;)
    Had DOMS like back when I first started!!

    Hope you feel better soon mate and can get back into the swing of things. :D
     
  17. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Cheers, me too.

    Don't like missing the gym but would rather take a week off than keep this sickness going longer than it needs to.

    On the other plus side, my Achilles tendon seems to be showing strong signs of recovery finally. Can just about feel a tiny bit of discomfort when walking (mainly down stairs). Still tender to touch though. Hopefully this week will help set that issue to rights as well.

    Cheers
    RB
     
  18. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Well that week went fast.

    I am now on the strongest antibac's they have for two weeks and this cold is also still with me with a stuffy slightly runny nose. Seems to be going around in the office too.

    Went back to the gym on Monday and dropped to 174 lbs for the squats (barely made 2 sets at 184 before the cold) to get back in to the swig of things and that wes really hard but I think my form is better than before with no pain at the tops of my legs, leaning back more although i am still leaning forwards a little on the initial push up. Up by 5lbs due to the difficulty next time.

    Did the bench presses with 134 lbs again (forgot to update my sheet so is the same weight as last time) and that was also very difficult but manageable. Will up by 10 lbs again next time.

    Deadlifts 1*5 I upped by 20 lbs (old sheet meant it is only 10 lbs above previous best). It was hard but good. Will up by 10 again next time.

    My legs are screaming again regardless of the amount of protein I am putting in to my body. My upper back and shoulders are also complaining but that is not so bad and good to feel it is doing something.

    I will be leaving it out for today and will go back on Saturday so old twice this week to ease back in especially with this lingering cold.

    Something also happened over the weekend. Most people live here in what would be considered council estages in the UK but as the people own the appartments they are much better looked after. Well there is usually a play area, basketball court and exercise area surrounded by these blocks and whilst waiting for my wife to grab something from our flat, I was looking after our older son in the exercise area. They are just static weight counterleaver things with balance beams, parallel bars, hoops so you can swing from one to the other etc. I was quite surprises that I could do a full body weight pull up (wide grip bar behind the neck) without too much effort. It was not easy but I was not puffing and panting red faced getting up there. Also with the rings, I could pull my self up so my head was between the two sets of rings, arms bent at 90 degs at the elbow for 2*1 ;).

    Ok so I was just testing the waters rather than training so just gave it a go rather than trying to push to max but it gave a bit of a boost that I can do that with full body weight even if only for one or two.

    I am also looking to be trying to cut out the carbs (bread and pasta mostly) for dinner. Meat / eggs and a small bowl of frozen mixed veg. It should be an improvement and we will see if it has any positive effects.

    I have booked a couple of days leave from the office as it is my eldests school holiday which is why I will bump Fridays session to Saturday. I am enjoying going back though. I really want to get through this month or two with Rippetoes and start adding to the sets with extra exercises and sets. I like the dead, squats and bench presses but best of all I love the Pendlay rows. Trying to explosively pull the heavy weight up to the top of the abs and then lower and release really feels good rather than the usual lift slowely, lower slowely.

    Makes a nice change :D

    RB
     
  19. TheCybermonkey

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 15, 2009

    Posts: 171

    Location: Bournemouth

    I was starting to wonder where you had gone!

    Sucks that your suffering with a cold.
    Ive been a bit sniffly today, but hoping its just the aircon or something.

    You been enjoying Rippetoe?

    Just started Bill Stars 5x5 this week.
    Its a bit weird as im not lifting at my optimum just yet and not been feeling as 'worked' as I normaly would, but really like how much simpler it is compared to what I was doing before.

    Less to think about and easier to see my strength progression.

    Started gradualy upping my food intake aswell.
    Trying to take it slow so I dont shock my system by going from calorie deficit, to eating like a crazy man. I am trying to keep it as 'clean' as I can aswell.
    Hoping it will all come together and I will get the strength gains Im after.

    Keep up the good work and keep us posted!
     
  20. RimBlock

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 10, 2004

    Posts: 2,237

    Location: Expat in Singapore

    Ok,

    So I think I will just pass over the last 4 days with a murmur abou too much fast food, no gym work and getting back to it this weekend....... :(..

    So the two days off plus someone coming to fix some reoccuring spalling concrete in our apprtment meant no more gym since Monday last week.

    TBH, I was aching all over until Friday which was pretty surprising.

    The bad diet over the 4 days feels like it has helped me put some more weight back on. Will be hitting the gym hard and better get some cardio in to try and offset those 'dark days of decedence' ;).

    Have finally got the pay in so can get some reasonible food again.

    I have been eating some more veg at gome, usually from the snap frozen packs as this is by far the most convenient for me. Chuck it in the microwave in some water (out of the wrapping of course) and a couple of minutes later I have some nice firm peas, carrots, sweetcorn etc ready to eat with my food.

    I also picked up some wholemeal wraps to try instead of bread. I would imagine they will be better than bread but need to check the stats on the packet to be sure.

    Have to get my passport renewed as well this week. With the holiday to Thailand coming in early December, and my Uk passport expiring in March 2010 I have no choice but not only do I need to get the new passport, I also need to get my entry visa's transfered from my old one so I keep my Singapore Perminent Resident status.....

    Well, down the gym tonight, I will report results tomorrow after I try and sit down with badly aching thighs :D.

    RB