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Iskaral Pust

Exercise and Fitness: bro science debunked

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Well, January is over. One month of no alcohol and no meat (fish allowed). I feel pretty good - last night I had my first beer since New Years (and then a few more). My taste for it has changed perceptibly though, so I think I'll only have one or two tonight while I eat. Last year while cutting down I began to really cherish how much better I felt on Sat/Sun mornings, and last night/this morning I felt that to an even greater degree. I also don't feel like I want as much meat going forwards, although we'll see how long my attitude on both of these things lasts. 

I've seen massive improvements since I knuckled down last August. In terms of speed if not distance, my running is better than it's ever been. My recent PBs for 5k and 10k were ~ 22:30 and ~ 48:30 respectively.

My focus for the rest of Winter/Spring is to continue running and perhaps begin to look at improving my distance. Outside of running, I'm focusing on my upper body (particularly pectorals). I've never had big arms so I'm not bothered as much about those, but I would like to tone my chest up a bit. Press ups are going well despite my shitty wrists, so just crack on I suppose.

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I was lazy last weekend.  I did bench press and rows on Saturday but nothing else.  The Super Bowl cost me my legs day on Sunday.  But this evening I did a good session of shoulder press and pull-ups at the pitiful hotel gym.  

Of the three sessions I do, this one demands the least equipment so it’s a good fit for travel.  Most hotel gyms have dumbbells up to 50lbs, and I can just do lots of sets to get the same volume of work.  And most have pull-up handles on their cable machine. 

I feel better for doing something. 

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This morning I went to a later workout and only two of us showed up, opposed to around ten that usually show up. It just felt weird. The fact I prefer working out in bigger groups did not surprise me at all but I never knew how much that was the case.

I know that some of you guys workout alone and I understand the upsides of doing it that way, but it's just not for me.

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6 hours ago, baxus said:

This morning I went to a later workout and only two of us showed up, opposed to around ten that usually show up. It just felt weird. The fact I prefer working out in bigger groups did not surprise me at all but I never knew how much that was the case.

I know that some of you guys workout alone and I understand the upsides of doing it that way, but it's just not for me.

I always enjoyed the social aspect of team sports, but I generally prefer weight lifting alone.  I’ll exchange brief chit-chat with some of the gym-goers I know, but I’m mostly focused on what I’m doing or listening to my body to decide when I’m ready for another set and how hard to push.

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I hate working out with other people. I have a friend who keeps being like "I'll go to the gym with you!" and I feel bad because I just do not want to do that. I know for her (and many people) it's more fun and motivating to go with someone. For me, it makes me less likely to go (having to plan with another person's schedule), makes my workout less productive, and usually ends up taking longer. Plus this friend isn't a huge gym goer so she's happy to just do whatever I am doing, which makes me feel like I ought to be coming up with routines that would be good for both of us. Anyway, I finally just allowed myself to not worry about it because it was honestly making me go to the gym less frequently.

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I would hate to have a workout partner.  I am not maxing out sets to the point of literal exhaustion.  I tend to go close to where that would get a little scarier, but I cut it short a rep or two short, and actually bench is the only one where I'd even need a spotter.  You can drop the bar with deadlifts, and the squat rack, properly setup, allows you to drop the bar as well if need be.  

I actually relish having the head phones on and just being in the zone at the gym.  I think it's very therapeutic.  

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I see your points and agree with them. Having a "workout buddy" usually gets really annoying very quickly. It's just that I find group workouts much more fun than working out alone or with a buddy.

That's the best part about crossfit for me - you have your time slot and you get to the gym in time, do what's on the board with whoever turns up and you're done in an hour. There's no fitting in anyone's schedules, no time for too much chatter and you get people to push you to go stronger when you need it.

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On 1/29/2019 at 1:41 AM, Iskaral Pust said:

Upright rows get a lot of criticism for putting inappropriate stress on your joints.  I think it's better to do shrugs instead.

I stopped doing them cause of the wrist and shoulder pain they caused me.I now do dumbbell high pulls instead.

 

 

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Spent years training rowing and every day is leg day at rowing practices. :lol: 

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:36 PM, Starkess said:

I hate working out with other people. I have a friend who keeps being like "I'll go to the gym with you!" and I feel bad because I just do not want to do that. I know for her (and many people) it's more fun and motivating to go with someone. For me, it makes me less likely to go (having to plan with another person's schedule), makes my workout less productive, and usually ends up taking longer. Plus this friend isn't a huge gym goer so she's happy to just do whatever I am doing, which makes me feel like I ought to be coming up with routines that would be good for both of us. Anyway, I finally just allowed myself to not worry about it because it was honestly making me go to the gym less frequently.

You should just be honest with her about preferring to go it alone and then pivot and invite her to some athletically themed event (whether it be a 5k mud run or a game of tennis, etc.). That way everybody wins. 

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I've had an increasing strain/pain between my right pectoral and bicep (I think that's where the pectoral attaches to the humerus) during bench press in recent weeks as I increased my heaviest workload.  So yesterday it was sore enough that I limited my sets to only 160lbs (down from 185lbs) and did 5x8 of those, plus some slow dumbbell flies and dumbbell incline press.  I got a decent volume of workload without aggravating it any further.

Any attempt to push through my established plateaus tends to bring an injury strain.  I know that most distributors of online advice claim that you should always be able to progress through any plateau, but I just don't think that's accurate.  I can vary things up, add sets, increase briefly my heaviest sets, etc.  But at some point I cannot sustain an increase in my heaviest weight for bench press, squats or dead lifts without causing strain.

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I love the class aspect my gym has and once in a while a true partner workout is a nice break.  Get to potentially increase intensity knowing there's a break coming up.

Been working on handstand walks since 1/1.  Went from nothing to hitting 29' yesterday - my goal for the year is 30' so pretty close.  Been a lot of fun to try to get a new skill like this one!

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I got traumatized once upon a time about the military press.  I think that this was because I had a high school sports shoulder dislocation which wasn't fun, but it made me tackle the dead lift and the squat with abandon but not touch the military press.   Well, I will still not touch the version where the bar is behind your head, but I have thrown this lift back into the routine in the last few go-rounds, and it feels like a major addition in terms of a pump, endorphins, calories burned, etc...

It's a weird one in my mind because I try to compartmentalize days (eg leg day, back and bis day, chest and tris day) and don't know where to put that one.  That's probably true of shoulders in general, and I'd be curious for people's feedback on how they see it.  

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I've gone to the gym twice in the last month.  Between getting ready for the baby, and the baby being here, it's been really hard to carve out time for myself.  Lots of people stopping by, cooking, cleaning, and being there at any moment when mom needs a break means very little time to get out of the house.  Not going to worry about it quite yet as we're still figuring out our schedules.  Might try to see if morning workouts can be fit in during the week with 1-2 weekend workouts as well.  We'll see.

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8 hours ago, aceluby said:

I've gone to the gym twice in the last month.  Between getting ready for the baby, and the baby being here, it's been really hard to carve out time for myself.  Lots of people stopping by, cooking, cleaning, and being there at any moment when mom needs a break means very little time to get out of the house.  Not going to worry about it quite yet as we're still figuring out our schedules.  Might try to see if morning workouts can be fit in during the week with 1-2 weekend workouts as well.  We'll see.

I can't recall if you announced the baby or not before, but just to stay on the safe side, Congratulations! 

And just think about it like this Ace, your in the beginning stage of training for your dad bod!

 

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On 2/15/2019 at 6:28 AM, Triskele said:

I got traumatized once upon a time about the military press.  I think that this was because I had a high school sports shoulder dislocation which wasn't fun, but it made me tackle the dead lift and the squat with abandon but not touch the military press.   Well, I will still not touch the version where the bar is behind your head, but I have thrown this lift back into the routine in the last few go-rounds, and it feels like a major addition in terms of a pump, endorphins, calories burned, etc...

It's a weird one in my mind because I try to compartmentalize days (eg leg day, back and bis day, chest and tris day) and don't know where to put that one.  That's probably true of shoulders in general, and I'd be curious for people's feedback on how they see it.  

Back in the days while I was going to the gym and doing chest and tris etc. I always did legs and shoulders in the same session.

I've been off that compartmentalization, as you put it, for a while now so I don't know if that answer is worth anything.

On 2/15/2019 at 3:51 PM, aceluby said:

I've gone to the gym twice in the last month.  Between getting ready for the baby, and the baby being here, it's been really hard to carve out time for myself.  Lots of people stopping by, cooking, cleaning, and being there at any moment when mom needs a break means very little time to get out of the house.  Not going to worry about it quite yet as we're still figuring out our schedules.  Might try to see if morning workouts can be fit in during the week with 1-2 weekend workouts as well.  We'll see.

Congrats, man! Hope the mom and the baby are doing great!

Don't worry about skipping workouts at all. When my daughter was born I skipped two months of workouts completely. Then I started getting back into it. I still skip a session now and again when I need to. You may need more or less time to figure out where to squeeze workouts in your new schedule but I'm sure it will work out fine.

Btw, I can't recommend morning workouts enough. It just feels much better than doing it after work. At least for me.

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On ‎2‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 5:28 AM, Triskele said:

It's a weird one in my mind because I try to compartmentalize days (eg leg day, back and bis day, chest and tris day) and don't know where to put that one.  That's probably true of shoulders in general, and I'd be curious for people's feedback on how they see it.  

You could try the 'Push/Pull/Legs' split. It is basically what the name suggests: a split dedicated to minimizing muscle crossover. In terms of your shoulders, you would train them in the day dedicated to muscles that predominantely involve 'pushing', which would be pecs, delts and triceps.

I mainly alternate between this and the typical 'Chest/Triceps; Back/Biceps; Legs; Shoulders/Biceps or Triceps' split, but I like to use 'Push/Pull/Legs' when I want to focus more on frequency and intensity rather than volume, as it basically means I get the chance to train the muscles again one or two days sooner than I would by using the traditional 'BroSplit'. But I wouldn't suggest tying yourself down to this split specifically, because sometimes it is good to give your delts a session dedicated almost exclusively to them, as they respond well to high volume and high reps.

A good idea if you do decide to use a 'Push' session is to alternate between training pecs and delts first in the session, so that you're not always training shoulders when they are already pretty fatigued after chest, and vice versa. Generally, though, it is the 'Push' day that I like least during that split, as I feel it's hard to get a decent volume for all three muscle groups in the one session without spending a lot of time in the gym. I'd usually limit pecs, delts and triceps to about three exercises each during a 'Push' session, or else try to throw in big compound exercises that heavily involve them all, such as bench press, shoulder press and dips.

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@aceluby congratulations on the new arrival.  I hope all are coping well with the traumatic change in circumstances. 

@Triskele you’re basically doing a PPL (push, pull, legs) system now, so shoulder/military press fits with chest and triceps.  In which case, it might help to alternate between starting with the chest or shoulders so that you are not always short-changing your deltoids for your pectorals.  PPL is really effective if you can do each twice a week for breadth/variety and fuller workload.  Since I cannot get to the gym six times a week — I struggle to do three some weeks — my preferred alternative is to do a slightly different system of (1) horizontal push-pull, (2) legs, (3) vertical push-pull.  That means I still do two days each week of heavy push and heavy pull exercises, but chest (bench press) happens only once a week, and shoulders (shoulder press) happens once a week on a different day.  Similarly lats happen once a week (pull-ups), while traps/rhomboids/posterior delts (various rows and shrugs) happen once week on a different day.

If you’re doing a heavy bench press, it’s difficult (and redundant) to do a lot on triceps and shoulder/military press in the same session.  You can still do some as supplements, but you have to scale back the weight a bit and acknowledge that your triceps and deltoids are already pretty tired.

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