Change gears


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Happy 2023, Bees! I’m former SlothEnergy, but with a new name to reflect my current level :smirk:(see below). Old check-in thread here.

I am on my 99th consecutive day of exercise and I think it’s a nice number :LOL:.

For this year, I want to work out most days. I’m allowed to skip 4-5 because of travel for vacations. Objective no. 2: finish all the easy (level 2) Darebee programs, and 2 or 3 “normal” ones. For a third objective, I would like to start some Zone 2 training and I think I’ll start with power walks just because jogging gets my heart rate up way too fast. Do you guys pay attention to the heart rate zones? Is it bad that I’m at least in zone 3 if not higher during cardio workouts?

I started Zero Hero as my main program, so I spent the week running from all sorts of monsters and killer bots. I also did some Back & Core and Arms of Steel when I felt I could add something.
  • 6 days of Zero Hero
  • 3 days of Back & Core
  • 2 days of Arms of Steel
  • 1h at the gym today
  • 7 days of Power Punch and Posture
Avatar XP gained this week: 43 (total: 575).
I’ve been thinking that should name my avatar levels with increasingly energetic animals. And I’m going to change my user name accordingly :D. So here we are:
  • Level I, <500 points: Sloth (not the slowest animal)
  • Level II, 500-1499 points: Giant Tortoise
  • Level III, 1500-3499 points: Banana Slug (can’t wait to be a Banana Slug!)
  • Level IV, 3500-7499 points: Slow Loris (some sort of monkey)
  • Level V, 7500-15499 points: Gila Monster (it will take years, but I can be a gila monster!)
  • Level IV, 15500-31499 points: Koala
At this rate, I’ll get to Cheetah when I’m 80 :haha:.

With 575 points, I’m past being a Sloth now, so my new user name is TortoiseVibe :LOL:
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Well-known member
Ranger from Australia
Posts: 1,663
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
Welcome to a New You!
Don't stress so about heart zones. The fitter you become, the lower your HR for the same exercise/speed/whatever. It's probably more useful to consider how you actually feel, your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE). I can have a high pulse but still sing along with my playlist pretty well. It's odd. That's me. :LOL: I find too (don't know if this is common - it might be) that my HR shoots up initially and then levels out once the body gets used to the shock of doing whatever it is I'm doing at whatever level I'm doing it. And of course, many other factors can affect your HR day to day - how well you slept, what you've eaten, how much you've drunk, the weather, emotional state, etc. I tried to do zone 2 training but it's quite hard. Running - I have to be slower than I find comfortable to stay in zone 2. On the bike, I found it difficult to get out of zone 2!
Does a banana slug like bananas or does it look like one?


Well-known member
Alchemist from Astral Sea
Posts: 89
"Are you dreaming?"
You can look deeper into this but there are several algorithms for calculating heart rate zones. My zone numbers make more sense using %HRR instead of %MHR.

The standard is often %MHR:
(Max Heart Rate * zone percentage)

Heart Rate Reserve is your (max heart rate - average resting heartrate). If you use %HRR model it is:
(Heart Rate Reserve * zone percentage) + average resting heartrate

With my numbers:
%MHR = (187*0.6)=112bpm for start of zone 2
%HRR = (134*0.6)+53=133bpm for start of zone 2

(zone 1 is 50%, zone 2 is 60%, etc up to zone 5 which is 90%)


Some devices (notably garmin) support %HRR in the settings but Strava does not so I have to occasionally update the zones in Strava using my garmin watch which calculates them dynamically (if any of my stats change). Regardless of algorithm it's important to check/update numbers occasionally but it becomes even more important with HRR because there are two variables involved. There's also a way of measuring zones with lactate threshold but that gets pretty advanced so I haven't bothered with it.

All that being said, I still find it a little difficult/unnatural to stay in zone 2 while running after 3 years so I agree with TopNotch that how you feel is most important but I still find collecting the data very insightful.

EDIT: I distinctly recall seeing my first banana slug hiking with a mycologist on a trip to California. They are huge!
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Well-known member
Posts: 220
Thank you, @JCU , @TopNotch, @oneironaut :welcome:
I didn't think of RPE, @TopNotch , but now you mention it, I realize that I too feel okay with speaking while my heard is pumping pretty hard.
@oneironaut , these two methods seem to give a wide interval, which is good because I can think of zone 2 quite flexibly :LOL:. My MHR, according to my Samsung watch, is about 190. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but I'll go with it. And my resting HR is 65. So zone 2 as % MHR would start at 114, while as %HHR it starts at 140. Sounds good!
Thank you both for your tips here!

Here is an accurate picture of a banana slug:
Banana Slug2.jpeg
And here is a cute one:
Cute banana slug.png

Looking for these pictures I realized what a symbol this thing is :LOL: There is a Banana Slug 8k race, there's Santa Cruz Banana Slugs (some college sports team) and Banana Slug String band :LOL::LOL:


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Hello my Bees!

I seem to be getting back into my routine, though the temptation to linger in bed or to procrastinate before workout is still there. This week:
  • 8 days of Zero Hero (7 to 14)
  • 5 days of Back & Core (4 to 8)
  • 2 days of Arms of Steel (3 and 4)
  • 1h at the gym (and the trainer really made me work!)
  • Posture and Power Punch challenges
  • and 52 knee push-ups as a gift to @Laura Rainbow Dragon . I took this opportunity to measure my max, just to have a starting point. It’s 15… As for normal push-ups it’s only 4!:blink: I’ll check again 6 months from now, unless there is another “push-ups to fatigue” in one of the programs.
Avatar XP: +55 (total: 630)

With Posture, I keep forgetting to do the evening sets, so I do them the next morning. I thought of just doing all in the morning, but I guess the idea is to exercise posture throughout the day. As for Power Punch, I thought it was going well until I realized that I wasn’t doing 3 sets in the days when I was supposed to. So I guess I cheated in 4 of those days until I realized what was going on. But I will keep doing the challenges until the end and restart some other month. Last time I tried Posture I gave it up when I realized that I was forgetting the evening sets, but now I think it’s better to try and stick to it as best I can.

After getting past the light programs and starting with the easy ones, me and DOMS became friends :LOL:. I have to start getting used to soreness in various parts of my body.

Have a great weekend, Bees!


Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 463
"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"
Yep, leveling concept is brilliant. And I like how incremental you're thinking 👍 When you do become a Cheetah you can proudly say you're standing on the shoulders of Sloths and Banana Slugs ;)


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Hello, dear Bees!
and thank you, @Foxi ! :welcome:

Still on track this week with my daily exercise. I also wake up on time(ish) in the morning, but I realize that I need to shorten my routine and start exercising earlier.

Avatar XP: +50 (total: 680)

I had to slow down a bit because my back started to hurt, possibly for doing more planks than I’m prepared for. So I stuck to Zero Hero, and took a break from Back & Core.

It’s surprising to me how my muscles have started to ache from just changing from light to easy programs. My biceps hurt. Why do my biceps hurt?! I don’t even recall doing things worthy of such DOMS. I only used 1kg dumbbells for one of the AOS days. Legs hurt too from just a few lunges. Well, about 100, but still... This shows me how much more I need to exercise before I can call myself fit.

I did better with the challenges this week. Didn’t forget the sets anymore :LOL:.

Have a great weekend!


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Hi, Bees! :welcome:

Didn’t have time to check in yesterday, so I’m recording 8 days now. Managed to exercise daily – so yay!
The stretching workouts that I did deserve a shout-out. My back had been hurting a bit for some days before, and then one morning, after Zero Hero, I did about four of these workouts. It was amazing! My back was just fine after that! So I plan to do them more often. They are all light workouts, quick and easy and with great results.

Also, I have noticed that I deal with cold much better lately, needing fewer clothes then in the past, for the same temperature. I feel that’s due to the daily exercise. Is that an effect of exercise or is it just a coincidence?


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Good morning, Bees! :coffee:

I skipped a check-in, but did work out every day these past two weeks. So I’m logging all of that now:
I'm thinking of changing the way I start a program and 2 challenges around the beginning of a month. The start is almost too easy, and the month end makes me work too hard for a Tortoise like myself :LOL:. The add-ons that I like to do can balance the easier start of a new program, but I'm thinking of doing the challenges differently so that they don't both get to the difficult part at the same time. Assuming I do 2 every month. For the future, I'll try starting a challenge on the 1st and one on the 16th or so.
Now, regarding pull-ups – I’m not able to do any. I can barely move up a few centimeters. However, I have a nice strong elastic band that takes about half of my weight :LOL:. So I’m doing the Pull-up challenge using that. Even so, I’m wondering if I will be able to do 8-10 in a row when I get to the last days.

I was happy to notice my first measurable improvement since I started working out. Day 14 of Back & Core includes a side start plank hold. I was never able to raise my leg while in side plank, so I thought that I would just do the best I can, but probably just a normal side plank. However, I was surprised to notice that my leg actually went up about halfway to star level :LOL:. All those side leg raises, that were included in so many workouts, must have paid off.

Have a great weekend, Bees!:worried:


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Hey, Bees!

I skipped a check-in again, last week. I hope this won’t become a habit.

I also lost my exercise streak. I hope that won’t become a habit either. However, it was only for one day and I had a good excuse. I went on a ski vacation this week and I couldn’t exercise during the day when we got there. However, afterwards I skied all day long for 5 days and also had time to work out on the day we returned.

So, these two weeks I exercised in 13 of the days:
Avatar XP: +95. I think I gave myself too few for skiing, but I’ll go with that.

I won’t be able to finish Foundation by March 1st, as planned, but I want to start a new program on March 2nd. So next week I’ll continue with Foundation and also start Cardio Blast.


Well-known member
Posts: 220
I feel like I exercised more than usual this week. I wanted to finish Foundation, so I squeezed all the remaining days into one week. Plus, the challenges that I’m doing are in their last days and they make me work quite hard.
Avatar XP: +72 (to a total of 990)

I’ve decided against starting Cardio Blast in March. Instead, I started Unbound, and I will continue with Back & Core and Arms of Steel. Also, I want to do more mobility exercises this month so I’ll also do some of the stretching workouts. And I’m taking a break from challenges. I’ll start another one in April.

I’m happy to notice that starting the morning workout became pretty automatic. However, I have to work on my morning routine in order to make more room for exercising. I waste too much time after waking up and I get to start the workout after 7:00.

Have a great weekend, Bees! :hop:


Well-known member
Posts: 220
Hey Bees! :worried:

My week in workouts:
With Unbound – like with other workouts where positions are chained together – the main challenge for me is to make the transitions. It can take some time to do them, plus I often stop to look at the phone and see what the next position is. I guess I shouldn’t obsess about transitions and do them as well as I can.

Also, does anyone else feel that the warmup is the most challenging part of Unbound? :LOL:

This week, I worked out less than last one, meaning that I felt it was easier. But it still happened daily and the workouts lasted about as long as usual. I just focused more on mobility. I really like the feeling after mobility exercises. I’m going to keep doing them for a while.