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Iskaral Pust

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About Iskaral Pust

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    Male
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    Chicago

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  1. Iskaral Pust

    Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

    Despite some long days at work on Monday and Tuesday, I dragged myself down to the gym on Tuesday evening and had a surprisingly great workout. Squats at 220lbs went really well and I even increased deadlifts from 270lbs to 290lbs. Having three full plates either side of the bar feels like a tangible milestone. But my lower back muscles are a bit tight today, so I need a heat pack on them later to help them relax. A friend of mine at the gym thinks I'm nuts to count the Smith machine bar at only 20lbs. He thinks it's a proper 45lb bar, and that the friction that makes it feel lighter (because it doesn't drop in a free fall) acts as resistance as you push up. Basically he thinks I'm under-counting all my lifts by 25lbs, but I disagree. We debated this again last night. Whenever I get to bench press with an Olympic barbell, I do 185lbs (1.5 plates each side) and it feels like the same challenge as what I lift on the Smith Machine (which is 165lbs of plates, plus an assumed 20lbs for the bar). But I lift 240lbs on the seated chest press machine -- the mechanics of that machine definitely seem to somehow assist the lift and reduce the force needed. Wednesday was another really long day at work, and then I went to the gym for shoulder press and pull-ups. We have a new pull-up bar that is set much higher. I definitely feel more strain in my abs doing all the pull-ups with my legs vertical all the time rather than my knees bent (and heels at my hamstrings). Good workout but I dropped a rep in my penultimate set of shoulder press and pull-ups. I'll be resting this evening and Friday. I like the six pack as a contra-indicator of obesity. Self-deception is too easy as your weight creeps up, but you can either count your abs or you can't. Plus most of us had grand canyon abs in our 20s, and we bitterly resist their loss as we age. I'm in a quandary about this lately. 3 months ago I weighed 181lbs, now I weigh 188lbs. In the meantime I started taking creatine, increased my workouts from 2-3 times a week to 4 times a week (an extra day of squats and deadlifts), I've improved my sleep and I've increased weight on all my lifts. Any added fat definitely would appear first on my waistline, but my pants fit the same and my belt fits the same. I cannot decide if I've really only added "good" weight, or if I'm just deceiving myself. As to the ab indicator, when viewed from an angle (three-quarters or 90 degree) I have very clear cut abs. But from a front view, unless there is a light source from the side to provide contrast, I can discern the shape of the ab group but not count the individual abs. I cannot decide if I'm one sandwich from being fat, or if I should just accept that this is what a pretty athletic early-40s man should expect to look like. Or get better lighting in our bathroom. I have no intention of going on a punitive cutting diet to get my abs insta-worthy (because even those guys only hit those low levels of body fat but briefly), but I don't want to be kidding myself about accumulating body fat so gradually that I cannot see the change day to day. Probably the truth is somewhere in the middle and I could stand to cut say ~2-3% body fat, but it's just too miserable to feel hungry all the time. I'm pretty sure we all have body dysmorphia to some extent in one direction or the other anyway.
  2. Iskaral Pust

    Third Quarter 2019 Reading

    I read Sarum, London, The Forest and Russka. I really enjoyed his depth of history showing how a society was shaped and changed over time. But I also found his characterization and narratives to be repetitive and slightly bland, which left me reluctant to read any more of his very long books.
  3. Iskaral Pust

    Careerchat III

    Be very skeptical of unsolicited approaches on Linked-In. A genuine collaborator or peer in academia wouldn’t reach you via that route.
  4. Iskaral Pust

    Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

    I actually did manage to reach the gym on Friday evening and Saturday morning. And then ate too much while visiting our friends. I think I'll be able to get two midweek gym sessions this week too.
  5. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    If Coutinho is gone on loan only then it seems like Barca can only offer a loan for Neymar. It would be a huge risk to commit to a purchase of Neymar while Coutinho might land back at the Noucamp next summer. Gareth Bale had a good opening game for RM, despite all their attempts to push him out. Ojo has started life at Rangers really well. Considering Ryan Kent was also one of their best players last season, the Scottish PL looks pretty weak. Harry Wilson scored another long range winning goal on his debut for Bournemouth. Grujic scored a nice goal against Bayern but then conceded a needless penalty too (they got a draw). Cantwell, who impressed me for Norwich against Liverpool, got two assists on Saturday. Although I thought Chris Hughton was very hard done by as Brighton sacked him, the team definitely looks reinvigorated under Potter so far. Perhaps the board was right to address stagnation.
  6. Iskaral Pust

    Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

    A good mental trick for grip strength is “melting steel”. When deadlifting or doing pull-ups, imagine your grip is so strong that your fingers are sinking into the bar, pressing deep grooves into the steel. It’s like the idea of aiming your punch through a point rather than to a point.
  7. Iskaral Pust

    Small, unworthy things: part whatever

    Tonight we did the floating lanterns thing for the first time. Fun, and no inadvertent fires started.
  8. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    That’s a convenient escape for United. I was looking forward to them carrying that contract to completion, and poisoning every other contract negotiation.
  9. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    I got to watch most of the City-Spurs game in the gym. Spurs were bloody lucky. City battered them all game, but fluffed several chances and conceded two soft goals. Spurs possession game was very poor. They tried to play out of defense but struggled to get past the press. And whenever they did break the first line of the press, Winks would receive the ball in space and then promptly pass it back to a CB and put them all under pressure again. Every. Single. Time. And their forwards weren’t offering an effective out-ball either. Kane, so ponderous, could only show short for the ball each time, easily tracked by Otamendi, and his lay-off nearly always went to a City player. Without Son or Moura to offer a threat behind the defense, they made it too easy for City to play a high line. Kane was basically a non-factor in the game. That said, City’s defense was great at playing out but terrible at defending. Spurs had so little possession or territory but still scored two, and neither was a worldy. Spurs defense at least made some good blocks, even if they were carved open by every KDB cross. And when will RBs starting looking over their shoulder to track Sterling’s late runs? It can’t be that hard. Anyway, nice for City to drop points when Liverpool had the more taxing week. But next we face Arsenal who have lots of firepower against our shaky defense and back-up keeper.
  10. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    Pukki will be the new Michu.
  11. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    Ragged again from Liverpool in the first half, then cruising comfortably late in the second half until Adrian just gifted them a goal. At least we held on, and we have a full week until our next match. An away match immediately after our midweek effort was a tough task. This is done and now we can regroup. Norwich produced what we expected after their Anfield performance. Liverpool’s defense might be a bit ragged, but Norwich created their chances because they pushed forward and had good movement.
  12. Iskaral Pust

    Third Quarter 2019 Reading

    BSC was the worst for me too, but I did enjoy Red Country. The Heroes was the best though.
  13. Iskaral Pust

    Football: A New Hope

    Wolves and Rangers both progress in the EL by large margins. Next is the final play-off round for both.
  14. Iskaral Pust

    Careerchat III

    Same. I use it to stay in touch with industry contacts after they’ve changed jobs. I ignore all the marketing, 95% of the connection requests, and almost all of the desperate job-seekers.
  15. Iskaral Pust

    Exercise & Fitness: Summer Bodies (TBD)

    I got two midweek workouts again, with legs on Tuesday evening and then shoulder press and pull-ups on Wednesday evening. Weekend workouts will be a challenge this time. We’ll be visiting friends out of town. I have an ambitious plan to do legs again on Friday evening and then do bench press and rowing on Saturday morning just before we leave. There’s a sizable risk that will fall through.
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