A Journey of Strength and Spirit


Well-known member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 456
Reminds me in Japan when I had some delicious but just-impossible-with-chopsticks-for-lots-of-us-Europeans udon bowl, and "fuko o kudasai" was answered with a gesture that nope, I wouldn't have a fork there, LOL!
(Gosh, I loved the food in Japan...)
And for the US, I miss Tex-mex ; I have different cuisine available very close to my appartment, but no tex-mex (or mexican ).


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@TopNotch I'm being a bit unkind, as I'm spoiled: Hong Kong is home to loads of good Chinese restaurants (and lots of little holes-in-the-walls). There is good Chinese food in the States... just not as easily found as here. I believe you that there's good Chinese eating in Aus, and that they adhere to chopsticks use!

@PetiteSheWolf Haha, indeed some dishes are impossible to attempt with chopsticks. I've tried to pick up rice off of a plate with chopsticks! I would like to think that most places here in HK can provide forks and spoons, as they're used to visitors coming. I didn't get any tex-mex this time! What a missed opportunity! You have good taste.

Today was my "light" day - and true to the name, I wasn't able to lift that much.

Paused Bench: 117.5 x 5
Board press: 120 x 3. Ugh. So mediocrity, such terrible.
Paused Shoulder Press: 67.5 x 5. I actually liked these a lot. Think I'll do them more.
Rope Pushdowns: 10 x 8
Dumbbell Curls: 16 x 20

I found myself fading pretty badly during cardio, and couldn't go very far. Was really happy to make it back home and through the front door, but was thoroughly gassed. Maybe I should try eating more before I workout.

Ugh, I'm feeling the fatigue of four workouts in the row. I know that most of you Bees have long consecutive workout streaks, but I'm incapable of going to the gym so many times in a row.

So tomorrow, after seeing the doctor, I'm going to get some bubble tea, and maybe a muffin or two. Shame there are no good cookie stores around (save Mrs. Fields, but I'm not a fan of theirs).

Hope you're having a good week Bees!

Playing: A mix of Roboquest and Last Epoch. I don't know what's stopping me, but for some reason I avoid playing triple A games like Cyberpunk... it's like I feel like they require too much investment; like they need too much energy from me. So natch, I gravitate to lower-energy, "brainless" games like roguelites.

Watching: Finished The Last of Us episode 1. Absolutely crackerjack opening; everything was spot-on. The directing, writing, and especially the acting (coincidentally, I've only played 20 minutes of the first Last of Us, and am not totally familiar with the references). I also watched a bit of Jack Ryan, but who cares about that.

Listening to: Real Hero - Electric Youth. A classic of the synthwave genre. Not sure if it's a happy or sad song; despite its celebratory tone, it feels quite melancholic.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Oops, I forgot to add Tuesday's workout. Silly Ox, tricks are for kids!

Today is my final Push day of the week. Still tired, but not as much as before. Very grateful to have had a day off yesterday. Today was an absolute grinder of a day... I decided to myself, what if I did six sets for every workout? And so, six sets I did. Don't try this at home.

Bench Press: 127.5 x 5. It was easy - at first. I think I may bump up the weight to 130 next week.
Incline Press: 107.5 x 5. Feeling the pain train hit me!
Decline Close Grip Press: 112.5 x 5.
EZ Bar Pushdowns: 14 x 8. I liked the feel of these, due to the wrist positioning. May use this same implement for the foreseeable future.

Augh. The sheer fatigue. Then I went back home and had too many munchies! Uh oh.

Have yourself a great evening, Bees!

Playing: I really should be replaying Fallout 4 a little. I've been spending my time listening to podcasts while playing Roboquest.

Watching: Last of Us episode 2... so many days away. I'm going to see if I can finish up Cabinet of Curiosities.

Listening to: Dreamhour - Yesterday Three (Everything is Fine). I had no idea this group existed; they put out one of the better songs to channel that nostalgic 80s sound. Sometimes you stumble across real finds on youtube!



Well-known member
Guardian from Vancouver, BC
Posts: 437
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
Listening to: Dreamhour - Yesterday Three (Everything is Fine). I had no idea this group existed; they put out one of the better songs to channel that nostalgic 80s sound. Sometimes you stumble across real finds on youtube!
Nice sound! Familiar with Drab Majesty? I've binged their The Demonstration album quite a few times:


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@JohnStrong I am not familiar with them, but that's a great sounding album! It's like a mix of Joy Division and The Sisters of Mercy.

So I was supposed to do a lower body workout today, but all the stations were taken up. So what else did I do but another Chest workout.

Bench Press: 130 x 4. Okay, but I really need to have more days off.
Spoto Press: 115 x 3. Haven't done these in a long time.
Incline Press: 100 x 5. Not feeling these today.
Machine Shoulder Press: 100 x 6. There's no way that's really 100 kg!
Close Grip Standing Press: 35 x 6. Look Ma! I made a "new" exercise!
Flat Dumbbell Curls: 16 x 20

+Kettlebell Swings at home (not keeping count)

Today also happens to be the eve of Chinese New Year. The tradition is to have a tyuhn nihn meal with your family. Mostly this is had at home, but I went out with mom and we had a delicious Korean dinner. Tomorrow is the first day of The Year of the Rabbit, and I'm going to be spending time visiting with relatives while the gyms are closed (boo).

Happy New Year, Bees! Gung Hei Fat Choi!

Playing: A grab bag of things. I play ten minutes or so for each game: Baldur's Gate, Roboquest, Call of Duty 2, and Last Epoch. I used to have the energy and the inclination to game for hours at a time... I have lots of time now, I just can't be bothered.

Watching: Jack Ryan in the gym, and Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities - the episode I'm on (Pickman's Model) moves really sloooowwly.

Listening to: George Olsen - Big City Blues. This one's been playing on repeat in my head a lot lately ever since I heard it in a video on Buster Keaton. I find it gently addictive and quite calming.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Thank you so much @Whirly @PetiteSheWolf @TopNotch @Mianevem @CODawn @mavie @Fremen !

According to some website I stole the info from, those born in the Year of the Rabbit "are believed to be vigilant, witty, quick-minded, and ingenious."; I suppose that these are the traits the rabbit represents.

Here are some photos I took throughout Day 1 (cho yat) onwards.





I'm glad to see that people haven't lost their sense of tradition.

Funny story regarding tradition: when I greeted my mom on the morning of the first day, I said the new year greeting (gung hei fat choi) and bowed to her three times. She was aghast; I learned a bit late that you only do that when you're honouring the dead. Chinese people are pretty sensitive about that.

Today the gym opened up again, so I went to do my sole Chest workout of the week.

Bench Press: 130 x 4. I did five sets of these in total. They were tough sets, but the reps were under control, so I consider this one a success.
Incline Press: 105 x 5. Much as I love the Incline Press, these were really hnnnngh.
Decline Close Grip Press: 112.5 x 5. Getting there.
Triceps Pressdown: 13 x 8.
Hammer Curls: 18 x 20. Is it just me or am I getting strong again?

+ Kettlebell swings at home.

Four weeks until my competition. I haven't checked my weight. Fingers crossed that things go smoothly from here on out.

Take care of yourselves, Bees!

Watching: I watched M3gan with a friend. One might get the impression that (because this is a killer doll story) this movie traffics in gory scares and violence. It doesn't; instead, it relies heavily on humor, wit, and sheer entertainment value. Despite a disappointing climax, the movie was executed with aplomb. I give it four scary dolls out of five.

Playing: I dusted off my copy of Baldur's Gate again - I swear, I'm going to try to finish it this time! It's become my latest... not exactly brainless game, but I can still listen to podcasts while playing this one. I'm currently at Level 4, and have finished the first major quest of the gaming. Hopefully I'll actually make it to the titular city this time!

Listening to: the Every Horror Movie on Netflix podcast, which features a cast of several discussing a random flick on Netflix and any merit (or lack thereof) such film might have. Usually it's quite witty, and at times even funny.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@JCU No problem!
@PetiteSheWolf I've never actually seen that episode, but it indeed sounds quite creepy.

Today was an absolutely titanic back workout. Seven exercises of fun!

Deadlifts: 155 x 5. Eh, there's always next time.
Barbell Rows: 102.5 x 6.
T-Bar Rows: 85 x 6.
Machine One Armed Rows:
Lat Pulldowns: 65 x 6.
One Armed Cable Rows: 30 x 6. Phew!
Incline Dumbbell Rows: 20 x 8.

So I'm absolutely knackered now. The New Year is over, and Hong Kong is as busy as ever (and hopefully will be more so in the future). We all lived through the days of Covid spread and shutdowns, and have the scars to show for it.

Watching: Well, I was watching Horror in the High Desert, but as far as mockumentaries go, it's on the slower side (in a genre in which movies take their sweet time). I may watch Rec 4 instead. Watching Jack Ryan at the gym... eh, nothing transcendent (and I'm halfway through the season). Eagerly looking forward to the next episode of The Last of Us.

Playing: Baldur's Gate continues! The weakest part is the exploration... I hate having to gradually "unfog" the map. And the world map is unintuitive.

Listening to: Icarus Project - Epochal. Some mellow synth to end the evening with.

Last edited:


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@lofivelcro Haha, I can see why it would be enjoyable. I think the problem is that your characters move so blasted slowly (cf Fallout, where you could run and walk)! Thankfully, I've acquired a set of boots that double my protagonist's walking speed. Impatience FTW!

Hi everyone! I felt stronger today, but I'm not sure that translated into dramatic results. Always next time, I suppose.

Bench Press: 130 x 4. I tried for five reps but didn't make it. The weight moved well, though.
Incline Press: Was it 110 x 5? I think so.
Decline Close Grip Press: 110 x 5. Tough to make progress in this one.
Rope Pushdowns: 12 x 8.
Bicep Curls: 16 x 22. Should've tried for more weight.
Wrist Curls: A new addition!

A little over three weeks until my competition, so still trying to lean out.

Have a relaxing weekend, Bees!

Playing: More Baldur's Gate. I made it to Baldur's Gate itself, but I kind of miss wandering around the wilderness, putting the beatdown on random fools. Also took a portal (Thanks, Shandalar... grr) into another realm and spent many attempts fighting a set of crazed wizards, before finally laying the smack down. Magic ain't got nothing on my gang!

Watching: I finished Horror in The High Desert. I'd say that as mockumentaries go, it's much slower and less intriguing than, say, Mungo's Lake. There is a payoff, but having to sit through interviews with three rather amateurish actors tests one's patience. I give it two and a half VHS cassettes out of five. Moved on to outdoors "horror" flick Backcountry, which is set in my native Canada (not that you could really tell). It's taut and well-made so far.

Listening to: The Highwaymen - Highwayman. I'm going to ignore all the amazing star power on this song and simply say that it feels like one of those songs I've grown up with; it fills me full of nostalgia every time I hear it.

Last edited:


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hey Bees! Another massive Back workout today.

Deadlifts: I got impatient, and made my way to 160 x 5. Pulled it off, but my grip was slipping.
Barbell Rows: 102.5 x 6.
T-Bar Rows: 87.5 x 6.
Meadows Rows: 40 x 6.
Machine Low Row: 40 x 6.
Machine One Armed Row: 50 x 6 (Tough to do this one-armed).
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 65 x 6.

And... that's a wrap. A big development may be coming... watch this space.

Have a happy start to the week, Bees!

Playing: More fooling around in the city of Baldur's Gate (or being lead around like a frenzied chicken) with numerous quests. BG seems to have monopolized my focus as of late; perhaps this is because I'm farther in the game than I've ever been. Want to buy the Dead Space Remake, but I'm a bit short on cash at the moment.

Watching: The Last of Us Episode 3. Absolutely moving - I think I shed a tear, at one point. It's a digression from the usual far of Joel and Ellie, but I would argue a necessary one. Still watching Backcountry... really should finish it!

Listening to: Porcupine Tree - Harridan. This is the first album in a long while, apparently. And the music is as consistently amazing as one would expect.

(I don't know if they're truly prog-metal?)



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hello again Bees! I used today to work my shoulders (a vanity workout, if you will).

Shoulder Press: 72.5 x 5. Six sets in total. Getting there...
Shoulder Press Machine: 50 kg a side, for five reps.
Front Dumbbell Raise: 14 x 20.
Side Dumbbell Raise: 12 x 20.
+ Wrist Curls: 35 kg barbell x 20.

And now I'm properly knackered!

I had a video interview just this evening for a volunteer position at a rehab in Thailand. I feel like I whiffed it. Just gave the same meandering, pointless answers as I usually do when I'm interviewed. Oh well; today's failures can be handled tomorrow.

Hope you're having a great week, Bees!

Playing: Continuing where I left off in Baldur's Gate. Man, I really hate boss fights in this game; fighting mages just sucks. Maybe I hate it because I can't steamroll them like I do other enemies. In other developments, I'm installing a promising boomer shooter called Amid Evil, which looks like great podcast fodder.

Watching: I finished The Last of Us episode 3. It's a contained episode about the love story between two survivors, and they both absolutely deliver in the acting department. I think I was close to tears several times throughout the episode. Loved it.

Also finished Backcountry - beary bad news, pardon the pun. The film climaxes early and kinda... fizzles out? I dunno. I give it three bear claws out of five.

Listening to: Chrono Trigger Soundtrack - Sealed Door. Chrono Trigger has an amazing soundtrack, and this is one of my favourites. It goes from mournful and forlorn to curious in a few beats.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hey everyone. Got good news and bad news.

Bad news first. Remember that interview I mentioned above? Didn't get the position. Not sure why, and I guess it doesn't really matter. So right now I'm more than a little disappointed and dejected.

Not that that's going to stop me. Got to keep moving forward and onwards. And I'm definitely not going to drink over something this stupid: that's where my mind tends to go.

The good news is that I *finally* reached a small PR in the gym. Felt good today, and took advantage of that.

Bench Press: 130 x 5! And for two more sets! I'm not sure how I reached this breakthrough, but I'm thankful that I did. An additional rep is big progress.
Incline Press: 105 x 5.
Decline Close Grip Press: 112.5 x 5. Uggh, still having trouble with this one.
Triceps Pushdown: 11 x 10.
Wrist Curls: 40 kg x 15. Love these!

I'm going to take it easy tonight, and maybe do a few more kettlebell swings.

Thank you for your support, Bees!

Playing: I finished Baldur's Gate! Well, that only took me 25 years (I think it's a 1998 game); I've been playing the Enhanced Edition. I find that near the endgame, you run out of exp, and the final boss fight against (REDACTED) took me loads of tries. Fewer than with Elden Ring, though. So now what am I going to do with my life lol. Game some more, obviously! I'm reinstalling Graven and trying a new RPG called Elex.

Watching: Just about finished Jack Ryan. No big shooty shooties in the end, but lots of political "intrigue". Lots of horror movies to peruse from tonight!

Listening to: TV on the Radio - Trouble. This video is a most beautiful reminder that we all experience trouble, fear, anxiety, and disappointment (to name a few things).



Well-known member
Guardian from Vancouver, BC
Posts: 437
"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Socrates"
I finished Baldur's Gate!
Very cool. I've heard so many good things about it, and hope to pick it up one day during a Steam sale :)

And congratulations on that PR! Well done!


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Thank you @CODawn @JCU @Mianevem @JohnStrong @Fremen @TopNotch and @PetiteSheWolf. Your encouragement and support means the world!

Still a little down today, but life, and my workouts, go on! Today was Leg day.

Squats: 100 x 5. Still on the low side.
Front Squats: 70 x 5. Wah, so tough today!
Leg Extensions: 120 x 10.
Lying Leg Curls: 40 kg x 8.
Back Extensions: No weight today.

Enjoy your weekend, Bees! You've earned it!

Tomorrow is a "buffet" lunch with mom. It's not exactly a buffet in the Western sense, but a Japanese one! You basically go to the restaurant and place your order on an app in your phone, and servers bring the food - be it sushi, chicken skewers, or udon noodles! And you can order as much as you'd like, though mom and I never order too much.

Playing: I think I've given up Amid Evil and Dread Templar as podcast shooters. I just don't enjoy them for long enough to run a podcast at the same time. I did install Icewind Dale EE, which should scratch my RPG fix for awhile. I tried Baldur's Gate 2 briefly, but I want to give the franchise a bit of distance before I resume the epic story of CHARNAME. I think I need to give the endless walls of text a bit of a break (Icewind Dale is more pithy).

Watching: Did I mention that I finished Jack Ryan S3? The finale was okay, I guess. I give the series three burner phones out of five. I also finished watching Guillermo Del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities Episode 4: Pickman's Model. The accents in the story (particularly Crispin Glover's thick Bostonian speech) are outrageous, and the story meanders, but there were some delectable gory moments. I give it three sanity-warping paintings out of five. I've also just started Jan Svankmajer (spelling is off the top of my head)'s Alice in Wonderland, which is... pretty weird. As you would expect.

Listening to: Korine - Forevermore. They resemble the 80s groups of old (most notably The Cure) in sound, and among their songs are some absolute gems.



Well-known member
Hunter from the sticks
Posts: 550
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today"
I never finished Icewind Dale. I dimly remember getting stuck in the mines or something and not really liking that it didn't have as much of a story as Baldur's Gate. Did you play the add-on for Baldur's Gate, too?
Baldur's Gate 2 is epic, I think I've played it for two years or something.


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@lofivelcro Yeah, Icewind Dale is more of hack and slash adventure, and skips (or is that skimps?) on the quest/interaction heavy gameplay of BG. I haven't played the BG expansions... I felt like I needed a break from BG after investing so much in it. I've heard BG2 is epic, and before this week, I hadn't played it in over twenty years. I want to polish off Icewind Dale first before resuming the BG story.

Today I upped the weights on my chest workout. The cycle begins anew!

Bench Press: 132.5 x 4. Rise and griiiind.
Incline Press: 105 x 5.
Decline Close Grip Press: 105 x 5. Not feeling like piling on the weight today.
Triceps Extensions: Did this on a machine. 32 x 8.
Flat Curls: 16 x 20.

Triceps were giving me a bit of pain this time. Maybe it's because I've been ramping up my lifting; I'll have to see.

My competition is in a little less than two weeks. I know I'm firmly ensconced in my weight class, but I can't help but feel the need to lose more weight. I don't think I'll be totally happy until in the 70 kg+ range.

Happy Sunday, Bees!

Playing: Enjoying Icewind Dale. I'm a simpleton, so I enjoy games where the only focus is pointy-shooty or slashy-bashy. And this one, more so than BG, scratches that itch for me.

Watching: So I did something a little different. I watched a bit of Blair Witch Project 2 last night, and continued watching it at the gym. I haven't quite finished yet, but I'm going to rate it anyway: I give it half a stick figure out of five. It's a truly execrable piece of "entertainment", obviously made to cash in on the success of its vastly different and more original predecessor (The Blair Witch Project from 1999). So why waste my time watching what is obviously a markedly inferior film? Because it's entertaining, that's why! The dialogue, characters, and overall plot (nevermind the fact that it has less than an iota of the genius put into making BWP 1999) are all absolutely risible, and I for one find these things all fabulous to behold! I highly recommend anyone watch a really bad movie once in awhile... it's quite refreshing!

Also, waiting for The Last of Us Episode 4 tomorrow. Soon...

Listening to: Macintosh Plus - (I can't read Japanese, so I have no idea what the song name is). It's actually a repurposed Diana Ross song, but slowed-down to absolutely ear-pleasing effect.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Yiu moh gwaai gwai faidi jau! (I think that means Evil Spirits, go away!)

Hey again, Bees.

So I got stuck between the proverbial rock and a hard place today. I got an email from a rehab saying they'd like to discuss offering a position to me - at the same time that my employer here wants me to commit to teaching a client that came along. Gave me no end of worry, I tell you - I (still do) felt like being squeezed both ways. There was no way to cut the Gordian knot - I said I would speak with this rehab further (as I don't think an offer is 100% certain), while committing to this client next week. At the end of the day, I'm going to say I'm grateful that I have opportunities coming my way after a dry spell.

And of course, this didn't stop me from going to the gym.

Back Day!

Deadlifts: 160 x 5.
Barbell Rows:
T-Bar Rows: 87.5 x 5.
Machine One Arm Rows: 60 x 6.
Incline Rows (where you sit facing the bench at an incline): 22 x 8.
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 65 x 5. As I've said before, therapy for the lats.

Did I do only six exercises this time? Could've sworn I did more. *shrug*

Hope your week is going dandy, Bees!

Playing: More Icewind Dale. It's got all the hack and slash my little heart desires! Though I had to retry a battle six times, at one point (against three spellcasters and ten trolls, WTF?). I do note that this is markedly less vexing than Elden Ring. May also give Ready or Not another go as well. Also, definitely not going to play Hogwarts Legacy. Formulaic open world which doesn't inspire? Screw that.

Watching: Going to watch The Perfection tonight. Watched a bit of Tokyo Vice at the gym. There's a creepy short horror film I'm going to definitely watch, too! (See below)

Listening to: Adam Ant - (Physical) You're So. This awesome song was definitely ahead of its time. It's like it predicted the grind of industrial music!



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@aku-chan I'm a big fan of stuff like the SCP series, which The Backrooms series seems to take after. It is quite creepy!

Hey Bees! Given that next week is the competition, I decided to max out on the Bench Press. I knew I wouldn't be able to go all out, but that's okay.

Bench Press: 145 x 1. About what I expected.
Incline Press: 117.5 x 1. Same.
Decline Close Grip Press: 110 x 5. Zzzzz...
Rope Pushdown: 10 x 10. More reps, less weight today.
Hammer Curls: 18 x 20.
+ Wrist Curls, as a bonus.

And now I'm absolutely knackered.

Playing: More Icewind Dale. I actually pushed past that point which I'd previously stopped at when I first played IWD. I was previously stuck in this reality-shifted tower occupied by undead elves and a whole lot else. With the help of a guide (don't judge me!), I pushed past and moved on to Dorn's Deep (?). Also playing a lot of the System Shock remake demo. It's still got some rough edges, but I'm liking what I see!

Watching: Well, I've been meaning to watch The Perfection, but I never got around to it. I've been watching the surreal, stop-motion Alice (1988), which is based on the eponymous Lewis Carroll story, but with an extra helping of weird.

Listening to: Harvey Danger - Cream and Bastards Rise. Dude, all the nostalgia! Reminds me of when I'd just come back to Hong Kong and was constructing a new music library. Harvey Danger put out an entirely free album which had this killer number.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hi again Bees.

So I spent Friday oversleeping and doing nothing. Not a good day. Saturday was better; went out for a big meal with mom.

And today I went back to the gym. Yay! I maxed out again, just to get a feel for how things will pan out competition day.

(Paused) Bench Press: 145 x 1. I did this for several sets. Could I have done more? Possibly - and ended up failing the rep, potentially. So this weight leaves me in an acceptable place.
(Paused) Incline Press: 120 x 1.
Decline Close Grip Press: 105 x 6. Upping the reps a little here.
Triceps Press: 10 x 10.
Flat Curls: 18(!) x 20. Not bad for today.

A good workout after two days of enjoying myself. Looking forward to Returnal, but I'm low on funds. Also playing more of the Sshock demo... the full game launches next month, and I'm definitely excited!

I'm also teaching a few lessons on Tuesday. Quite anxious... but the only solution is to prepare.

Hope your weekend has been great, Bees!

Playing: I finished Icewind Dale! I had some help from a walkthrough, but otherwise did it on my own. The final boss took more than a few tries, but I got 'em! Note to designers: Please don't design games so that we have to save the game, then encounter the boss and then BOOM long-ass unskippable minutes-long cutscene. At least autosave the game after long-ass cutscenes (I'm sure many RPGs are guilty of this).

Watching: The latest Last of Us episode is the bee's knees. The first big action set piece (perhaps the only one?) of the season, and a horrifyingly tragic conclusion. Also watching an anime called Spriggan - it has a bonkers plot, and the dialogue is pretty silly (why do characters in anime feel the need to announce anything and everything, including the obvious?), but the action and detail is impeccable.

Listening to: James Horner (RIP) - Charging Fort Wagner. This is off of the Glory soundtrack, and seems to be inspired by O Fortuna. It's an absolutely intense piece for an intense set piece (seriously - if you haven't, watch the film!), and I listened to it repeatedly while finishing Icewind Dale.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hey Bees!

Didn't feel strong as I rolled into the gym. Just felt as blah as usual, coming off of another eating binge of a day. To my surprise, this was the strongest day I've had in awhile. I made gains in most of my lifts.

Deadlifts: 165 x 5, 170 x 2. I set my mind to doing 5 reps, and it was done with relative ease. Not bad! Didn't get 170 today, though.
Barbell Rows: 100 x 6. Underhand grip version.
T-Bar Rows: 90 x 5. Hnnng...
Machine One Armed Row: 70 x 6. It just didn't seem heavy today!
Incline Rows: 26 x 8.
Lat Pulldowns: 67.5 x 6.
Neutral Grip Pullups: Maxed out at 10 reps, which is the most I've done in awhile.

This is the best I've felt in awhile. Here's hoping this is the beginning of a streak?

Take care of yourselves, Bees!

Watching: I was all jazzed up for Antman, which comes out today in Hong Kong. I made a plan of watching it tomorrow morning at an early show. Then I read the reviews (53% on Rottentomatoes) and thought twice. I'm going to wait until next week to watch it with a friend. Will it be enjoyable? Maybe. I guess I should be more jazzed about Guardians of the Galaxy. At the gym, started watching Sin City 2 (aka A Dame to Kill For). It's grimy, sleazy, and violent, but still quite compelling.

Playing: I haven't found a replacement podcast-listenable RPG yet, so for the time being, I'm playing Fallout 4 again. I've definitely cheesed this playthrough though - I spawned myself an AK-47 (I love mods!) and a thousand rounds of ammo for my romp through the wasteland, as well as a mod that increases the enemy spawn rate. Because... hey, why not? F4 functions as a serviceable shooter, if not an exemplary one, but it's one of the few looter shooters I go back to (Borderlands 3 being the other one).

Listening to: Bombay Bicycle Club - Everything Else Has Gone Wrong. I don't usually listen to indie rock. For some odd reason I revived my playlist of more positive and upbeat songs and stumbled across this song in the process. It's dangerously catchy!

Last edited:


Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
@PetiteSheWolf Thank you for the encouragement! Most days I want to stay inside and not do much, but it's important to

Yo, Bees! I had an inkling that today would be another strong day, and it was!

Today is my alternate Push Day, and the last one before I compete.

Shoulder Press: 77.5 x 5. Just shy of 80, but it's an improvement over last time (72.5).
Shoulder Press Machine: 100 x 6. Did this one facing backwards, actually!
Front Dumbbell Raise: 16 (!) x 20.
Hammer Curls: 20 x 20. More than I've done in awhile.

So it seems like my strength is returning after getting ill with covid, and an absence of gym time on vacation.

My competition is coming up on Saturday, and I'll be sure to make an update about it.

Hope your week is going well, Bees!

Playing: More Fallout 4. I *really* want to play Returnal; it sounds like a blast. However, funds are low, so I'd better save my money first.

Watching: Just finished Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. While the black 'n white, comic-inspired visual schtick hasn't changed in the years since the first movie's release, it feels like the stories set in the titular city are nastier, grimier, and generally sleazier than ever. But is it enjoyable? Sure! There's something about it that's compelling, even if it's bleak. I give it three leather jackets out of five. Tonight I'm going to try to watch Infinity Pool, providing I'm not too pooped. On the side, the Backrooms has scratched my surreal horror itch; I'm amazed that a sixteen year-old produced the series!

Listening to: Symphony X - Set the World On Fire. I can't think of a song at the moment, so I picked a typically competent and soaring song from prog-metallers Symphony X.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Hey everyone! Ox here, tired but still in one piece. Today is Leg day... oh joy!

Barbell Squats: 105 x 5. Better than two weeks ago!
Front Squats: 80 x 5.
Leg Extensions: 75 x 10.
Lying Leg Curls: 50 x 6. Boy are these tricky!
Plus some regular air squats to finish off.

Funny fact, I listen to hip hop on Leg day, and only on Leg day. It's something of a tradition of mine.

Weighed myself after going to the gym and having some water. 83.6 kg - the weight class I'm in is the under 83s. I'm not worried, as when I wake up, I'm typically several kg below my everyday weight.

The competition is tomorrow. Let's see if this old Ox has it in him.

See you on the other side, Bees!

Playing: Fallout 4, of course. Maaaaaayyyybe Destiny 2.

Watching: I started watching the Israeli tv series "Fauda" at the gym. It was compelling enough for me to extend my time on the treadmill to finish the first episode: that's saying something. The last tv series that had this much of my attention was Andor. I keep telling myself I'll watch Infinity Pool, but I never do! Maybe tonight?

Listening to: Lorn - Sega Sunset. Haven't listened to this one in ages - it's like watching a waning sun set above a megalopolis.



Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 215
Thank you @BetaCorvi @JCU @PetiteSheWolf @TopNotch @Fremen !


Big update today. I'll write in bulletpoint format to get my thoughts out.

- This was likely my worst performance at a bench press competition. I weighed in at 80.3 kg and benched 142.5 for a horribly heavy, grindy rep. I was hoping to put up at least 145, which I can comfortably do in the gym. Compare that with six years ago, when I weighed 69 kg, and pulled off the same feat with more ease. Why? I feel like I was too rushed, and didn't really follow a strict training schedule (you all know how I am).
- Nonetheless, I won! There were two other competitors in my weight class (83 kg), and my first lift was stronger than their best attempts. I get the feeling that it could've been much harder; I've competed at times where there were five or more competitors in a weight class. The 66 and 74 kg categories had more competition. One guy in the class above me was the only competitor in his class and naturally scooped up a gold.


- My sifu was there acting as a judge. His impression was that I was too rushed, and using unfavourable form (my grip is quite narrow). It was good to see him again and have his encouragement and feedback.

Empty stage.jpg

- Gone are the days where winning meant prize money and other... prizes.


- This is Gam Chi Leung, perhaps the most gifted bencher in Hong Kong. I've seen him in the past pull off over 180 at 85 kg bodyweight. Here, he managed 177.5 while failing his second and third lifts... I'm not sure why.


- There was a surprising amount of drama and events of interest. Three lifters had clearly never been to a competition like this before, and didn't follow commands from the judge. But the big deal was the switch in "stances". Basically, many competitors grip the bar with a very wide width so that they can reduce the distance that the bar moves; less than a year ago, this was essentially banned. A lot of lifters today didn't get the memo, and were left upset over why their lifts were all disqualified. And then of course there were the usual bits from people who failed their lifts and wanted to argue about it.
- Didn't get selected for doping this time. Thank God - it's so tedious, and I've done it more than five times in the past.
- There's another compo in June, but this is a big one - it's an international bench press competitions featuring athletes from Asia and Africa. I qualified for it by virtue of ranking well in this competition, so I have four months to prepare. And get smushed by everyone, hehe!

Now I'm going to chill a bit and relax. Tomorrow is hot pot! Yum yum.

Enjoy your weekend, Bees!

Playing: Still having fun with Fallout 4.

Watching: Hmm... still hunting for stuff to watch.

Listening to: Saxon - Demon Sweeney Todd. Now I know I haven't posted this one on here before. It's an absolute shredder of a song, and positively menacing in tone.

"Was he the victim of vicious blood lies?
'I am the demon - The Demon!' he cries