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Thread: Timothy's Journal of Primal Peregrination page 2

  1. #11
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    Sungrazer -- so great to hear from you! Thank you very much for the kind compliments. I have some catching up to do reading your journal, but from what I've seen so far you have been doing great, and bringing great honor to the tribe. Your progress pictures are amazing! You have enviable viking shoulders!

    As for me, I'm doing well and making progress, but still have a long road to my goals. Most of the weightlifters on this forum are vastly more advanced than me, and that includes the women. But this is where I like to be... standing on the threshhold of a world full of possibilities.

    LVFitMama -- You're very welcome! I'm inspired by your progress so far. You have already scored some big victories. Making treats and serving them to others, while refraining from indulging yourself, is a great willpower exercise. I'll never forget the time my wife sent me for burgers during my first fast. Standing in that burger joint next to the grill, watching everybody chow down, taking that greasy bag home and smelling it in the car, and then going to bed on an empty stomach... when morning came, it felt like I had defeated the devil himself.

    Fasting does affect my workout days -- it makes me much stronger! In fact, I would even say I can't exercise properly unless I've been fasting for at least six hours, preferably twelve or more. When my digestive tract is empty, it seems to activate my predatory instincts to hunt down a ruminant. As there is regrettably no wild game near my home, I focus my wrath on barbells, and then eat a pound of rare beef. My philosophy on exercise is well summed up by J. Stanton:

    Imagine this: every time you get hungry, you and your six closest friends have to chase down an antelope or spear a mammoth—and if you can’t, none of you get to eat. That is the required intensity.
    Still, it took me a while before I could fast regularly like this. I had to break my carb addiction (which was severe) and learn to burn fat efficiently for the first time. It took about a month of not cheating. Now fasting doesn't feel difficult at all; in fact I rather enjoy it.

  2. #12
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    WOD: No morning sledgehammer today due to childcare exigency.

    Today was my weekly pushing workout.

    Keeping this journal is already giving me an indescribable motivation that I remember from when I first went primal. In my daily life, I have no primal friends or fellow travelers besides my wife and baby son. There are no role models to inspire me; no teachers to learn from; no students to instruct. I have been utterly unsuccessful at converting anybody I know (was it something I said?). Nobody wears Vibrams but me; nobody runs barefoot but me. I have only my exercise log and my faithful sledgehammer.

    However, being part of this forum gives me a sense of community that is incredibly uplifting. Even though you all are not here with me, I feel your spirits as if we all just left the village this morning. I know you're all out there, doing your own things in your own ways, trying to find a primal path in your own lives... and that puts a big wind in my sails, for which I am most grateful. So thank you, fellow forum members, for your unwitting inspiration.

    Pre-workout bodyweight: 174.3
    Bench press: 85x12, 100x10, 120x8, 165x5 (F6), 150x8, 150x8
    Weighted dip: 0x16, 70x3, 70x3, 45x6
    Overhead press: 85x6 (F7), 85x5 (F6)

    I have been marooned at 165 on the bench press for 10 weeks. I won't increase the weight until I can manage six reps. I thought I had it this week, but failure came on the last rep very suddenly, as it often does on the bench press, and I was left swearing with the bar pinned to my chest. I rolled it down my body in the usual fashion -- gone are the days when I took it on the neck, thank goodness. I did manage a new record for reps on the subsequent work sets, so maybe the 11th week will finally set me free from 165.

    The dip is another story entirely -- today I officially hit EMI Level 2 on this lift (1.4 x bodyweight)! This is a long-sought victory for me and I could almost feel fireworks in my brain as I hit the third rep on the top set. Or maybe it was just exploding blood vessels. In either case, I'm not sure why I am so much more advanced on this lift than the others, but I suspect it has something to do with frequent greasing-of-the-groove via chair traction exercises.

    The overhead press is something I just introduced in my last pushing workout and I am still trying to perfect the form. I won't add weight here until I can do two sets of 12 reps, which is my policy for all tertiary lifts.

    After all that, I was pumped up like a balloon animal, and my hands were trembling, even though I barely broke a sweat -- all signs of a good weight session, in my experience. I celebrated with the usual post-workout meal.

    B: Fast
    L: Beef, broccoli, mixed greens, sweet potatoes with cinnamon and honey
    D: Korean BBQ. Positive: raw meat over a charcoal grill. Negative: Marinade included sugar, soy and quite possibly MSG. Mitigating circumstances: group dinner where I was so engrossed in conversation that I missed most of the meat, but got plenty of veggies and kimchi.
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-16-2011 at 01:10 PM.

  3. #13
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    WOD: 20 minute morning walk.

    Normally I would skip lunch on this day, but due to inadequate protein intake last night, DOMS covering my upper torso like spaulders, and the anticipation of a vigorous workout this evening, I decided a moderate-size low-carb lunch was warranted for proper recovery.

    I intended to one hour of martial arts practice before dinner, but by the end of the day I had all the energy of a crushed aluminum can. I couldn't even bother to prepare a proper dinner before collapsing in bed.

    B: Fast
    L: Beef, chicken, bacon, sausage, broccoli, lettuce, lemon
    D: Macadamia nuts a l'outrance, whey, cinnamon, coconut milk, strawberries, kefir
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-19-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy View Post
    Sungrazer -- so great to hear from you! Thank you very much for the kind compliments. I have some catching up to do reading your journal, but from what I've seen so far you have been doing great, and bringing great honor to the tribe. Your progress pictures are amazing! You have enviable viking shoulders!
    Dude, you're not lacking in that department either. You shredded the puppy fat to reveal a frame lacking muscles, and then progressed to replace the flab with pounds of muscles. I am impressed and not very little jealous of the progress you have had. Outstanding!

    You just gave me the kick in the hind side to keep on keeping on.
    Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

    My journal

    I see grain people...

    Exist in shadow, drifting away.

  5. #15
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    Sungrazer, thanks so much! You brightened my day. It seems I can't look at myself objectively after a lifetime of being out of shape; I keep thinking I'm going to wake up in the morning and be obese again. The reality check is much appreciated.

  6. #16
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    Weekend wrap-up:

    Saturday

    WOD: Farmer's market trip with baby Leo on my shoulder. I didn't used to consider this a workout, but the dude is almost 30 pounds, and with a week's supply of beef and eggs in the other hand, it's no walk in the park. Then I took him to his gym class. Leo rocks the pull-up bar. You should see his baby delts.

    Also, Saturday was my weekly legs workout:

    Pre-workout bodyweight: 176.0
    Squat: 105x12, 125x10, 145x8, 210x6, 210x6, 190x7, 190x7
    Incline Press: 310x12, 310x12

    That's a new personal record on the squat. Never have I gone under 210 pounds and not ended up crushed on the floor. I suspect I may have compromised the range of motion a bit -- I didn't feel the bench touch my rear on the later reps. But I most definitely felt myself on the edge of failure at the bottom of each move. The 190 work sets also took me to the edge of failure; I'm quite sure I would have failed on the eighth rep on each. Should I progress to 220 next week, or be a stickler for form and try to get my butt on the bench for each rep first? Right now, I'm leaning towards progression. DOMS on the next day was not that bad, and since my legs seem to adapt faster than other body parts, I want to give them a solid challenge. But I'll have to be conservative and be sure to stop the set before failure. The last thing I want is to be sitting on a bench with 220 pounds on my back, unable to move and wondering how to get the bar off my shoulders without putting a hole in the floor.

    I'm still looking for an incline press weight that will take me to failure before 12 reps. This wasn't it, even though I screamed myself hoarse on the last set. (I try to work out in an empty gym for this reason, among others.) Maybe I'll find failure next week.

    B: Fast
    L: Beef, broccoli, mixed greens, sweet potatoes with cinnamon and honey
    D: Hmm, I can't rightly remember... I know there was a big salad involved and some sort of meat, and that Leo was pitching a fit because I wasn't eating fast enough for his liking... I should really take notes on the weekend...

    Sunday
    WOD: Another farmer's market trip (this time for milk and broccoli) shouldering the toddler and generally chasing him around. Why do I never see anyone else carrying their kid this way? It's easier than holding him in my arms, since I am male and don't have hips. And carrying him straddling my neck is bad for his back and mine.

    B: Fast
    L: Pork sausage, pork belly, broccoli, eggs
    D: Beef bacon patties, mushrooms, mixed greens, tomato, whey, cinnamon, kefir, eggs, strawberries, almond milk
    S: Maltitol dark chocolate bar with almond butter. It's been a long time (months) since I had one of these. The sugar alcohol went right to my gut flora and I'll spare you the details except to say that I won't be doing this again any time soon.
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-19-2011 at 10:29 AM.

  7. #17
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    I picked up a body fat scale this weekend. I was shocked and disbelieving when it told me this morning that I had 11.3% body fat at 177 pounds after a weekend of massive calorie consumption. Homedics scale, flattery will get you everywhere! Last time I measured myself was at a doctor's office, where I was 16% body fat at 155 pounds (over a year ago). But maybe it's actually true that I'm within striking distance of single digit body fat? It's just numbers on an LED, but today I feel a definite sense of accomplishment...

    WOD:
    15 minutes of morning shovelglove. Am I seeing extra striations in my delts today or has the scale warped my perception? I've beefed up a lot since I shot the pictures for my beginning shovelglove course. It's going to be fun shooting the next series.

    This morning's cloud cover dissipated nicely for sunbathing at lunch.

    Pre-sunbathing bodyweight: 175.3

    I'm feeling very nutritionally replete today and will take the opportunity for an all-day fast.

    B: Fast
    L: Fast
    D: Fast

    That was a very easy all day fast! I had a mild hunger pang around 4pm which quickly dissipated, and then when dinner time came I just wasn't hungry at all. When I woke up in the morning, it was extra early and with abundant energy, and still with no hunger. I feel like I could go like this for a very long time.
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-20-2011 at 09:50 AM.

  8. #18
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    So my body fat scale clocks in at 12.5% today... probably closer to the truth, but ridiculous to think I would have gained 1% body fat while fasting all day (and that I lost 10% of my bone mass overnight, haha). This thing has all the credibility of a coin-op horoscope dispenser. But who cares; the numbers that really matter are in my exercise log and on the plates on my barbell.

    WOD:
    30 minute morning walk with toddler. Adding the toddler raises the calorie burn, brings the upper body into play, and encourages sprints. Normally I try to keep my morning workouts low-key, but thanks to the fast I was on fire with energy and could have wrestled a yak to the ground for looking at me askance. Those insolent yaks... I'll show them a thing or two!

    Today was pulling workout day and the start of week 17 of my Leangains-inspired program.

    The 36-hour mark is my favorite time of the fast. I am relaxed, yet hyper-aware. Digestive tract is empty. Sympathetic nervous system is ascendant. Adrenal glands are on a hair trigger, waiting for any excuse to launch me into a berzerk frenzy. In the words of the great philosopher H.P. Baxxter: "Psycho... wind it up!"

    Pre-workout bodyweight: 172.0
    Deadlift: 135x12, 165x10, 190x8, 275x3 (F4x2), 250x5 (F6)
    Chins: 0x10, 20x3 (F4), 15x3 (F4), 10x3 (F4)
    Rows: 50x10, 50x8

    Warmup deadlifts went swell. Today was my first crack at 275 evenly distributed on the bar, and as expected, my left grip proved to be the weak link. First rep was great; second rep also great after a false start. Third rep was a real grinder. Failed twice attempting the fourth rep with the bar slipping out of my hand. The drop set was much easier but by the end my left grip was weak as a kitten's. Also, I ended up with extra strain in my lower back, an unusual breach of form which is no good at all. Looks like I am barely clinging on to this weight and will probably not progress for a couple of weeks at least. You win for now, Nikoley...

    So the long fast dialed up my intensity, but shortened my endurance, which I felt keenly on the bodyweight chinups: 10 this week instead of 11, despite being a couple pounds lighter. The weighted sets were marginally better than last week, but I'm still pretty much stuck in the mud here.

    By the time I got around to rows, my glycogen stores, light as they were to begin with, were pretty much empty and gluconeogenesis was not keeping pace. 10 and 8 reps were a definite step down from 12 and 10 the previous week, but they were all I had to give.

    I tucked into my extra-large recovery meal with relish, experiencing a familiar, strange ache in my hard palate that always accompanies breaking a long fast. I wonder what causes that.

    I don't usually walk away exhausted from a workout, but I sure did this day. My metabolism has shifted from extreme catabolism to extreme anabolism like a 747 reversing its engines. What a roller-coaster ride! This has been a thrilling reminder of why I only do long fasts once in a while.

    My kingdom for a nap.

    B: Fast
    L: Beef, mixed greens, sweet potatoes with cinnamon and honey
    D: Spectacular 1.7 pound grass-finished flank steak (of which I could only finish 1.2 pounds), mushrooms, asparagus
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-21-2011 at 09:20 AM.

  9. #19
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    Mmm, lovely DOMS today in my biceps, digital flexors, and posterior chain. Lower back is complaining a bit from my imperfect form yesterday, but I've experienced a lot worse.

    WOD: Morning sledgehammer for 20 minutes. Traction feels especially good today. Got a couple of nice pops in my lower back on the torso twists, the kind that only my chiropractor can duplicate.

    Sunbathing at lunch.

    1.2 mile toddler walk before dinner with many sprints. Leo has learned to say "zoom zoom" when he wants me to hold him like superman and sprint madly down the sidewalk. Needless to say, his appetite for this is more than I can deliver, but I hate to disappoint the little guy. So I found myself doing intervals that are more relentless than anything I'd devise for myself.

    B: Fast
    L: Fast
    D: Flank steak leftovers, buffalo chili (buffalo, tomatoes, garlic, green beans), raw mixed greens, raw tomato, two spoonfuls of coconut oil -- my, those were tasty.
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-22-2011 at 01:30 PM.

  10. #20
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    My energy levels are through the roof these past few days. Found myself doing pull-up bar gymnastics in the middle of dinner yesterday and then lying awake in bed until 11 (lights were out at 9). I need to find a better way to get my ya-yas out before nightfall.

    WOD: Morning sledgehammer for 10 minutes. When I'm pressed for time like today, I focus on what I consider the five most essential moves: Torso Twists, Boat Rows, Hail Reinhards, Bullroarers and Grutte Piers.

    Today was pushing workout, week 17. Inspirational song lyric of the day: "Play nothing but hardcore."

    Pre-workout bodyweight: 171.0
    Bench Press: 85x12, 100x12, 120x8, 165x5, 165x4, 150x7 (F8), 150x5
    Dip: 0x16, 70x3 (F2, F4), 70x2 (F3), 45x8
    Overhead Press: 85x5 (F6x2), 85x3 (F4x2)

    The catecholamines are in full effect this week, and I'm pretty sure a couple of pounds of body fat have been put the torch since the weekend.

    I was really feeling my oats on the bench-press warmups and stacked an extra two reps on the second set just for fun. I bravely faced my top-set nemesis, 165 pounds, and duplicated my performance from last week but without the failure -- the fifth rep was a serious grinder and I didn't want to add to my bruise collection today. Pissed that I still haven't conquered 165, I took another crack at it and managed four reps. This took some of the wind out of my sails on the drop sets, but I'm pleased to have increased the volume here. I'll keep notching it up until I can get that sixth rep on 165, which will be a glorious victory indeed.

    Having expended much of my energy budget on the bench press, the sixteen warmup dips were more challenging than usual. Seventy pounds of plates felt terribly heavy today, but I was happy to match last week's performance while having lost three pounds, even if I did have a false start on the second rep. The next crack at 70 was brutal indeed, and the swinging plates belted to my waist sent me flying off the dip station on the third attempt. I've got to find a better way to secure those. Strangely, the drop set to 45 pounds went much better this week (eight reps instead of six).

    Finally, the overhead press. Definitely slid backwards from last week, which I was slow to believe (as evidenced by two failures at the end of each set -- just couldn't get my elbows past 90 degrees). But that's okay. I deliberately front-loaded my efforts today.

    Today's workout was respectably severe, but not as devastating as Tuesday, which is more or less how I would have planned it. I left the gym with a spring in my step.

    I tweaked my recovery meal today, swapping out the sweet potatoes with cinnamon and honey for some mashed white potatoes. I'm hoping that by eliminating the fructose, I'll reduce the glycemic load but maintain the insulin spike. I'm going to try saving the sweet potatoes and honey for pulling day only, when my efforts are at their zenith.

    B: Fast
    L: Beef, broccoli, mixed greens, white potatoes, lemon
    D: Beef bacon burgers, pork belly, pork sausage, eggs, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus
    Last edited by Timothy; 09-23-2011 at 11:07 AM.

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