Quest for Muscle: The Return of the Pump

Froud

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Warrior Monk from Brussels
Posts: 905
I have caused a slight misunderstanding, when I say Good Game, I mean «Bravo», «Well Done», «Congrats» :)
As I matter of fact, I am not a gamer at all, I never owned a game console. Once in a blue moon, I play a bit with Civilisation VI :)
 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
@Froud I'll take any encouragement I can! Funny enough, I am a lifelong gamer, though now it's not as crazy as when I was in my teens.

Hey Bees! It's the start of a long weekend here in Hong Kong, as tomorrow is a holiday. Of course, I did my usual gym thing; today was leg day.

Squats: 115 x 5. Was not feeling these today. Sometimes I get the movement right, and everything grooves, but this wasn't one of those times.
Front Squats: 80 x 5.
Paused Squats: 100 x 3. I may move up to 105 eventually, but not today.
Leg Extensions: 15 x 10.
Back Extensions: 10 reps.

I counted 20 sets of different squats. Real grinder of a workout... near the end, I was just fatigued, and had to get out.

I am celebrating my mom's birthday on Saturday, and we're going out to a buffet lunch. Always good to spend some time with mom.

You've made it to Thursday, Bees! Just one more day 'til Friday!

Playing: I didn't play Oblivion last night. I spent time reading up on mods and how to install them, and will give the game a shot today. I'm avoiding all the gonzo mods that make your buttocks bigger or turn your armour into something out of Final Fantasy. Plan to play some Zero Sievert again, though it's clear I'm reaching the "endgame" for now. Wild West also deserves a shake, as it's intrigued me so far.

Watching: Watched a bit of Saloum last night, which is a big genre stew. Still watching Altered Carbon at the gym, and am at episode 4.

Listening to: Tina Turner - We Don't Need Another Hero. RIP Tina Turner; you were simply the best, and an absolute shining star in Rock 'n Roll.

 
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GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hello again, Bees! Was originally planning to take today off, but made a late decision to head to the gym. Glad I did.

I took a day away from the program to work on weights I was comfortable with, and did pretty well, I thought.

Paused Bench Press: 125 x 5. Felt alright. Perhaps could've gone for 130.
Paused Incline Press: 105 x 5.
Paused Shoulder Press: 75 x 5. Pretty challenging at this weight!
Machine Pushdowns: 15 x 6.
Dips: Top set of 15.

Gym was real crowded because today's a holiday. I prefer it when there are fewer people around (all the fewer to hog the equipment).

You made it to the weekend Bees! Well done!

Playing: It took a lot of futzing and tweaking, but I got Oblivion up and running. It's still the same gorgeous (if you can ignore the character faces) experience that sucked me in back in 2005, when I lived in California. I prefer playing it now, and it's better on PC than on Xbox. Zero Sievert has finally vacated its spot on my playlist? Who knows. Still need to get back into Weird West. And looking forward to the System Shock remake next week (to say nothing of Diablo 4)!

Watching: Uhh... more Altered Carbon. Last night, I was too sleepy to watch anything else.

Listening to: Elton John - Madman Across the Water. Absolutely love this one, and it still makes enormous sense to me lyrically.

"get a load of him, he's so insane!"

 

Runamok

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Amazon from Miami, FL
Pronouns: She, her
Posts: 52
"Mantra: I am ready to make my dreams come true and create my happy place."
I wish they would do more Altered Carbon seasons, it was the best sci-fi series I’d ever seen, besides Discovery and Picard of course, but Expanse gets 6 seasons and I have yet to get through an episode without falling asleep 😴 Oh the humanity! 🤣 I'm forgetting Mandalorian, Dr Who, and Firefly, I gotta stop. I'm obsessed I'm even trying to write my own sci-fi novel. 🤞
 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
@CODawn Elton forever! He's got some gnarly rock 'n roll songs in his collection that I love listening to (Street Kids, anyone?).
@Runamok I'm not sure why they only had two seasons, as so far, it's a very compelling and addictive series... expense, I would guess. Agree with you on Expanse. Apart from a few set pieces (like the S1 shootout in the motel), that one was just way too slow going for me, and I called it quits at Season 2.

Hey everyone! Hope you had a good weekend! I ate a lot, as usual, and am working off my gut. Again.

Anyway, today is the 2nd week of the 2nd cycle of my bench program, which always means fun.

Bench Press: 110 x 10, 120 x 8, and then 125 x 8. Possibly 9 or 10 reps, but I felt like 8 sealed the deal.
Decline Press: 125 x 5.
Incline Press: 110 x 5. Felt real tough today.
Machine Pushdowns: 13 x 8.
Dips: Top set of 15.

And 19000 steps.

Had a yummy chicken dinner with mom tonight while we discussed our trip to San Diego in July. We're going to a wedding, though I confess I'm more interested in seeing old friends and revisiting one of my favourite cities than celebrating the wedding. Ahem.

Take care of yourselves, Bees! Hope you start the week off well.

Playing: Oblivion, but the random crashes from it are quite grating. Good thing it's still fun. A dash of Zero Sievert, and am eagerly awaiting the launch of System Shock Remake tomorrow eve.

Watching: Of course, Altered Carbon. It's reliably lurid fun. My late night, bedtime movie watching has ground to a halt... usually I stay up too late, and am too tired to watch something. May watch Spiderman: Across the Spiderverse in cinema. Definitely giving The Flash a miss, as even with the genius reprising of Michael Keaton and Michael Shannon, it still looks like absolute tosh.

Listening to: Beverly Klass - Temple. This one's a real blast from the past. They broadcast Nikita here back when I was growing up, but I never got into it until I came back to Hong Kong. Here's an absolutely iconic song choice from the series.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hey again, Bees! Today was Back day.

Deadlifts: 190 x 7. This one was a titanic effort. It was rough going from the first rep, and then I just hung in there for the rest of the reps. Could feel my muscles stacked upon each other telling me "no more, no more!" I'm not sure I'm going to continue this linear progression... honestly feel kind of like I need a deload.
Barbell Rows: 102.5 x 5. At least these went smoothly.
T-Bar Rows: 85 x 5. Someone stole the handle for this, so I used my hands instead.
Machine One Arm Rows: 60 x 6.
Narrow Grip Rows: 55 x 6.
+Close to 19000 steps.

Overall, after that killer deadlift set, I took it a bit easy. Had an evening lesson, and now I'm back home, waiting for System Shock.

Have a nice Tuesday, Bees!

Playing: I'm eagerly awaiting the unlock of the System Shock remake, which I purchased last night. Two hours to go... Played a bit of Weird West last evening. It lives up to its name, and I like the "janky", prickly, and unforgiving nature of the game so far. From what I've read, SSRemake is going to deliver much the same.

Watching: Uhh, no late night cinema, and given the above, I'm likely not going to watch anything. Of course, Altered Carbon continues!

Listening to: Tim Ries, Greg LoPiccolo - System Shock (1994) Menu Theme. Here's another blast from the past! System Shock is one of those lifelong games that has stayed with me since I played the demo as a 9 year-old. I still have my retail disc. And now, seeing the game remade and polished for this gen is nothing short of amazing. I'm so excited!

 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hi everyone. Thought I'd bash out a quick update before going through my paperwork for the evening and preparing for class tomorrow.

Today was basically a repeat of Monday; another push day. Wasn't really feeling it at first, but it ultimately gelled and worked out in the end.

Bench Press: 110 x 10, 120 x 8, 125 x 8. Couldn't make it past 8 reps, but I'll save that for another cycle.
Incline Press: 112.5 x 5.
Decline Press: 130 x 5. Shifting some heavy weight now...
EZ Bar Pushdown: 16 x 6.
Dips: Top set of 15.

Sleepy Ox. Is there any other kind?:night:

Have yourself a good Wednesday, Bees!

Playing: System Shock is, as expected, very good. I played through the first level, which was playable as a demo previously. It's harder than the demo was... there are more enemies, and they hit like bricks. Also, I spent half an hour working on a single puzzle, giving up, then having a flash of inspiration and then going back to it. So they've changed the puzzles too.

It's also uncanny how closely the game hews to the original's level design. It brings back my memories of playing the original, and it's awesome to see the old areas get a visual upgrade.

Looking forward to Diablo 4 next week. Had mixed feelings about The Beta, but I know it's already got its hooks in me (it's surprisingly difficult, especially compared to its predecessor, and there's more latitude in skill choices). There's the option to buy it digitally (if you fork out 200 HKD for the deluxe edition) and play early, but I'm going to save myself the 200 HKD and preorder in my usual computer games store. Support your local businesses!

Watching: Altered Carbon and not much else.

Listening to: PJ Harvey - Meet Za Monsta. This one's a real stomper, and PJ Harvey is rad. That is all.

 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
@PetiteSheWolf It kind of took me by surprise, too! I was under the impression that it would release in 2026 or something. Guess I'm a guinea pig, 'cos I plan to buy it on day one. I played the dual-wielding Rogue in the beta, and look forward to developing my skills further! Necromancer sounds like a lot of fun.

Ugh, Bees. Today was Leg Day, my least favourite day of them all. Got in another titan of a workout, though.

Squats: 120 x 5. Yeah, these were real fun. I think I did 11 sets? Working my way up 5 kg at a time, of course.
Front Squats: 80 x 5. I figured out a lifehack that made these more manageable; previously, I'd been focusing on the front quads and extension of the leg, whereas this time, I put more effort into using my glutes to get back up again. Worked like a charm.
Paused Squats: 100 x 3. And that was enough!
Back Extensions: 10 reps for five sets.

Short, simple, brutal. My glutes and my quads are protesting in pain.

Almost Friday Bees! You got this!

Playing: More System Shock, as it's quite an absorbing game. It's also quite difficult - there are only clues as to how you progress, rather than objectives, which is an obvious design choice. Will keep playing until I give up, or move on to Diablo 4.

Watching: More Altered Carbon.

Listening to: Ramin Djawadi - My Watch Has Ended. Always loved this one, and found it to be one of the more memorable GoT compositions.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees!

I didn't work out yesterday, so I made sure to rectify that today was a bonus workout of Shoulders!

Standing Barbell Press: 75 x 5. Ugh. Not feeling this one today.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 34 x 15. Never done this before. Previously, managed to do 12 reps.
Machine Shoulder Press: 60 x 5.
Lateral Raises: 8 x 20. Eh. Not so sure about these.
Rope Pushdown: 12 x 6.

It's still the weekend. Some welcome rainfall to drive away the dogged heat, but not enough.

See you next time, Bees!

Playing: More System Shock Remake. I've sunk about 10 hours into it these last four days. I think I've fully explored 3 out of the five floors I've accessed and fought my first miniboss. It's quite an absorbing game, and uncompromising in its gameplay. Highly recommended.

The downsides are that I feel like I'm not going to replay it again, though I can't put my finger on why. Also, the six degrees of freedom Cyberpunk sections are just rubbish. If I ever replay the game, I'm going to be sure to make them easier (amazingly, you have the option to do this when you start a new game. Why didn't I take it?!).

Watching: Continuing on with my Altered Carbon run. I must be on Episode 6 or 7, and we finally get the backstory on Takeshi Kovacs, the protagonist. Exciting action sequences aside, I'm not impressed. When Kovacs and co. hide out in the woods, dress in their crappy costumes and talk a grand game about ideals (I'm pointing my finger specifically at Quellcrist, who I just find annoying) and all that rubbish, feels something out of an inferior sci-fi tv series like the 100, or the Walking Dead (I've never actually watched any of those shows, so your mileage may vary). And we could've used more of his backstory earlier on. I'm looking forward to this episode ending and getting back into the gritty, dystopian cyberpunk environs.

Listening to: Megadrive - Crimewave. Huh. I'd forgotten all about this one. Going to add it back into my playlist - oh, and it fits well with the cyberpunk nature of System Shock Remake.

 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hi Bees!

Today was the first day of Week 3 of the Candito strength program.

Bench Press: 130 x 4, 5, 6, and then 7 reps. I wanted to push my limits a little (heh, when have I not) and see how far I got. Not bad...
Incline Press: 110 x 5. Didn't feel good today.
Decline Press: 120 x 5.
EZ Bar Curls: 35 x 6.

I pulled my left pec muscle doing those bench press sets, but was able to continue on with the workout in good form. Perhaps some rest is in order .

:scroll:

Looking forward to Diablo 4 tomorrow. Woohoo!

Have a great Monday, Bees!

Playing: I take back what I said about not playing SShockRemake again. On second thought, I think it'll be more fun now that I know what to do (the puzzles and "quests" are quite cryptic), and can dispense with the backtracking and FAQ-finding. I definitely have to try another playthrough where I snag all the powerful items early on and make mincemeat of my foes. I can't tell how close I am to the end, maybe 65%ish?

And the big "problem" is that Diablo 4 unlocks tomorrow, so I'm going to be busier slaying demons than I am slaying cyborgs. Not that I mind, of course. It's been interesting playing through SshockRemake, but maybe I'm due for a break.

Watching: Finally made it through Altered Carbon S1E7. I'm glad to be done with the silly flashbacks and frolicking in the woods and back in the dystopian world. The episode ended with some rather well-placed revelations that have me looking forward to the rest of the season.

Listening to: Nick Cave - Red Right Hand. I first heard this one in Dumb and Dumber, of all movies. Taken on its own merits, it's a song replete with low-key menace and seductive warnings.

"They're whispering his name
in these disappearing lands
Hidden in his coat
is a red right hand..."


 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you @Tileenah, @JCU, @Fremen, @PetiteSheWolf, and @Zeugma. Today's workout notwithstanding, my sore muscle from before does feel better today.

I spent most of yesterday not getting anything done, and playing Diablo 4, and feeling crappy because I didn't workout.

But I was back in the gym today. Today I worked on my back.

Deadlifts: 195 x 6. I tried doing these the traditional way, in which you bend down, hold the bar, and prepare before lifting it. Didn't take. Couldn't even get it off the ground. Took two minutes to collect myself, then did it the "fast" way, in which you bend down, get your hands right, and pick up the bar as quickly as possible.

Amazingly, it worked. And I'm surprised it worked after I failed the first time (this rarely happens, in my experience). This is another all-time PR, but I'm going to back up a bit and work with lighter weight because I felt like I was at the end of my tether with this much weight.

Romanian Deadlifts: 100 x 5. Making their triumphant return to my workout!
Barbell Rows: 100 x 5.
Machine One Arm Rows: 60 x 5.
Incline Rows: 26 x 6.
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 60 x 6.

I put in 30 sets! Amazing deadlift aside, workout was pretty bleh/weak. I think I expended most of my energy with that deadlift.

Now for some Diablo 4! I've included some thoughts below.

Take care of yourselves, Bees!

Watching: More Altered Carbon at the gym. In a few weeks I'll have gone through the whole first season, and it will be missed. Will move on to the Dragon Age series, methinks.

Playing: It's so weird. I woke up yesterday morning to install Diablo 4, then went back to sleep. I took the day off from the gym, and you'd think I would've used it to game uninterrupted but... I didn't. It was a strange, anxiety-filled day, and I got in only about an hour of D4 amidst my anxieties. I actually missed playing SshockRemake, which I will play a bit of tonight. But enough about that, how was D4?

It's a lot of fun, definitely, and contrasts very strongly with Diablo 3. In that game, you were akin to a superhero (the plot outright says so), but here, you are surviving a harsh, corrupted world. While you do feel powerful, this is a dangerous world and I found myself dying quite a bit. Your skill choices are everything, and gameplay is overall more tactical than it used to be.

I love that there's this big open world to explore, and you're free to roam around and slay as you please. The graphics are absolutely great, and it runs without issue on my PC. I've had no problems connecting, though I heard that the servers were (unsurprisingly) overwhelmed at one point. The game has formidable production values, in a series already known for its redoubtable budgets.

And yet... it hasn't had me as addicted as D3 did. I need to more to get a better take.

Listening to: Matt Uelmen - Tristram theme. In honour of the release of D4, this is a favourite of mine from the Diablo 1 soundtrack. Tristram is where it all began...

 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you @TopNotch, @Froud, @Fremen, @JCU and @Mianevem. @PetiteSheWolf Some days are harder than others.

But today was a good day, so I'll count that as a win. Today was another chest workout, though I upped the weight by 2.5 kg. Not easy...

Bench Press: 132.5 x 4, 5, 7, 5, and 5. My pec injury from several days ago is still there, though it didn't affect my workout too badly.
Incline Press: 110 x 5.
Decline Press: 120 x 5.
EZ Bar Pushdown: 12 x 6.
EZ Bar Curls: 40 x 6.

Met up with a friend for a dinner; always good to see old friends and take stock.

I'm going to take a break from working out over the weekend.

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

Playing: Finished another major quest in SShockRemake, and am closing in on the end. I've had to consult a guide a few times to steer myself in the right direction; the game's old-school quest design takes some getting used to. Only by paying close attention to details and using a notebook have I been able to solve certain puzzles. The walkthroughs are mainly handy for pointing one's self in the right direction.

Still continuing with Diablo 4. I lowered the difficulty level... in previous years I never would've done this, but I'm getting older, and I no longer have the patience to bang my head against the wall repeatedly with difficulty levels. Sometimes an easier game is better. A major exception to this was the time I played Elden Ring, and died 30+ times against the final boss, but usually I just game to have fun.

Watching: More Altered Carbon. Getting close to the end.

Listening to: Mitch Murder - Eye of the Storm. This slice of synthwave makes very effective use of a speech from 1976's Network. Mitch Murder's songs always have great atmosphere, and build up to some effective pop hooks.

"It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out any more. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials, and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.

Well, I'm not going to leave you alone.

I want you to get mad!"


 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you @CODawn!

Today was my first Push day of the week... didn't go particularly well. I'm not sure if it was because my pec is still strained (after all, I did pretty well on Friday), or for some other reason. I'll try to set a PR later this week, after some rest.

Bench Press: 142.5 x 3. I supposed I should be lucky that even on a bad day, I can match my old PRs, though I didn't exceed them as I'd hoped. Maybe
Close Grip Press: 115 x 5.
Incline Press: 107.5 x 5. Did not feel good...
EZ Bar Pushdown:
EZ Bar Curls: 40 x 6. Good to do these again... I'd forgotten how good they felt.

Hopefully my next workout is better...

Mom and I have been watching a local singing competition; it's a new way to learn more Cantonese.

Have yourself a good Monday, Bees!

Playing: I finished System Shock Remake, which is a feat I haven't accomplished with the original. Here's my review.

I waited years to get my hand on this game, and it's as near perfect a remake as we are going to get. RE4make was also a pitch-perfect remake, but it had the advantage of being drawn from simpler, and relatively more recent source material. The effect of the SshockRemake is transformative. It's amazing to play through decades old environments re-sculpted and polished for the modern age. The gameplay has been refined (I like the "gunplay" in particular), without fundamentally changing the core experience: even with all the new guns and the more-polished controls, this is a hard game.

And it should be! It's not just hard in an "enemies kill you easy hur hur" kind of way (though ramping up the difficulty will do that). The puzzles are surprisingly intricate, and the quests at the center of the experience are not spoon-fed to you. There are no waypoints telling you where to go (unless you lower the difficulty). This is a very different kind of difficulty level that had me scrambling for a few walkthroughs.

If there are any negatives, I'd have to say the Cyberspace experience sucks. It just wasn't fun, and every minute I spent in there was spent wishing it was the last.

All of it makes for an uncompromising experience that has the heart of an old-school gameplay, but many of the conveniences that make it palatable to today's audiences. All in all, I'm glad that I waited.

I give it four and a half lead pipes out of five.

Watching: On the penultimate episode of Altered Carbon. It's been quite a ride, and even though I know what's going to happen, it's been a lot of fun to watch it all unfold. I think I'll watch the remainder of the season tonight instead of it being parcelled out, 25 minutes at a time on the treadmill at the gym.

Listening to: Alice Cooper - He's Back (The Man Behind the Mask). Ki ki ki ma ma ma... It's a firmly 80s Alice Cooper song, and nowhere near as good as, say, Billion Dollar Babies. But it's still a good song, and it's got some great hooks.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hi everyone! Had a great workout this time. Today was Pull day, so I set out to achieve a new Deadlift PR.

Deadlifts: 180 x 10. A new PR! I've never done this before in my life. The closest I came to approaching it was 6 or 7 years ago. I was real nervous in the sets leading up to the lift, but I just took it calmly, and it worked out.
Barbell Rows: 102.5 x 5.
T-Bar Rows: 90 x 5. These are back, feel better than ever.
Machine One Arm Rows: 60 x 6.
Incline Rows: 28 x 6.
Behind the Neck Pulldowns: 55 x 5. Will have to experiment with these more; I do them by using the usual Lat Pulldown Machine backwards.

Now that it's summertime, one of the biggest struggles involves dodging the heat, and the frequent rainstorms. Glad I was high and dry today.

Take care, Bees! We're halfway through the week.

Playing: Oddly enough, I'm replaying System Shock Remake, despite having finished it some days ago. This is surprising because playing it the first time was a bit of a frustrating experience; perhaps now, I know how to accomplish the tasks, and where they're located, so I can relax a little.

Didn't play any Diablo 3 last night, but will definitely continue with it tonight.

Watching: As I have finished Altered Carbon, I've moved on to an animated series: Dragon Age... Something. I forgot the name. It's basically about a band of likeable scoundrels that embark on a heist. One episode in, and it looks encouraging; it is, however, quite short, so I'm going to go through it pretty quickly.

Listening to: Brainstorm - Highs without the Lows. Is this Power Metal? Most of the Power Metal I'm familiar with is a bit fluffy (eg Hammerfell). I'm a fan of this darker sound, which is evident in bands like Nightmare. Either way, this song is anchored by a great melody.

 

Fremen

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Shaman from Italy
Posts: 3,527
"“Keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change.” Percy Weasley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."
Congrats on PR :worried::yas::worried:
 

BlackButler

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Witcher from Kent
Posts: 199
"True Failure is Never Attempting"
Celebrate We The Best GIF by Booksmart


nice work on your PR :D
 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you so much @aku-chan, @Mamatigerj, @TopNotch, @Fremen, and @JCU! Your support means the world.

Today was my second Push day of the week. I set out to do better than I had on Monday.

Bench Press: 145 x 3, 147.5 x 2. I wasn't really sure about how I'd do, but the weights felt lighter than they did days ago. I didn't get some of the sets right, but others grooved well. Then I got to 142.5, and I had to determine whether I could lift 145 three times. I'm glad I took a chance, as it felt "easy". I thought I'd push my luck and go for 147.5 three times, but the second rep was too challenging, and I called it a day.
Incline Press: 110 x 5.
Decline Press: 120 x 5.
EZ Bar Pushdown: 13 x 6.
EZ Bar Curls: 40 x 6.

So sleepy... again! Must be the weather (and not the two and a half hour workout).

Keep going, Bees! You've almost made it through the week!

Playing: More System Shock Remake, which still hasn't been knocked off its throne by Diablo 4. It's also a great podcast game (so for that matter is Diablo 4). I played Diablo 4 a little last night, but only to advance the storyline.

Watching: Still watching Dragon Age Absolution. Early review: I give it three stars out of five. It's entertaining enough, but not exceptional, I feel.

Listening to: Dan Terminus - Digital Onslaught. I'm not usually a fan of fast, thrashy synth, but there is the occasional gem to be found.

 
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GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you so much @CODawn!

Oops, I almost forgot to update. I got impatient, so I took today as the first Push day for the penultimate week of the program.

Bench Press: 150 x 2. Not bad! An improvement over a month ago, albeit not a big one. I also did 152.5 x 1, but not twice. Wasn't feeling it too much. Anyway, I'll try again later this week.
Incline Press: 110 x 5.
Dips: Top set of 12.

Today was a rushed session, but that's okay. Had a good weekend, and not looking forward to the paperwork awaiting me tomorrow...

Hope you had a good weekend, Bees!

Playing: I'm dusting off and reinstalling my old copy of System Shock 2. I'm jonesing for another Immersive Sim experience, and while my second playthrough with SShockRemake has been fun, I'm rapidly approaching that point where the journey becomes less about exploring and more about being shunted to the end (I'd say 80% through the game). Also dabbling more in Diablo 4 - I really want to make my way through the campaign before I try to cover the massive map, and there's a good story being told; I can feel it.

Watching: I watched Extraction 2 on Netflix the day it dropped. What's there to say? Jaw-dropping set pieces at the expense of drama and story. Thankfully, a game Chris Hemsworth carries the movie on his massive shoulders, and the training he endured to make the film must've been prodigious. Unlike the John Wick movies, which have artistry in their action and surprising heart, this sequel is more fond of its artless, steak and potatoes approach. I give it three and a half chase scenes out of five.

Listening to: Talks from Tim Cain, designer on the original Fallout game and 40-year industry veteran. He's actually put out a talk a day for the past four weeks, and they're filled with tidbits about game design and politics, as well as interesting anecdotes. If you're into gaming or wonder how games are made, highly recommended.

 

GentleOx

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Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees! Killer Pull session today.

Deadlifts: 185 x 10. Never done this number of reps before. Around 8 reps, I could feel my body giving way, but I crammed in another two reps. Whew!
Reverse Grip Barbell Rows: 105 x 5.
T-Bar Rows: 90 x 5.
Machine One Arm Rows: 60 x 5.
Incline Rows: 28 x 6.

That deadlift really took it out of me.

I had a lengthier session in the gym today and I'm quite grateful. Tomorrow I'm going to take a break to hammer out some lesson plans, and get boba tea as well. Mmm... boba tea.

Start your week strong, Bees!

Playing: S'more System Shock 2. Even more of a harrowing, hoarding experience than the SshockRemake. And a dash of Diablo 4 (this one still hasn't really grabbed me).

Watching: More Dragon Age Absolution. Chugging along, towards the end - too soon, I feel. The plot centers around one heist gone wrong, and it's a very compact story.

Listening to: Blur - Coffee & TV. I heard this a long time ago, and it's aged pretty well. Pleasant little song. Considering it's written apropos of recovering from alcoholism, I guess that makes it extra relevant for me.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you @Tileenah and @CODawn! I'll take all the encouragement I can get.

Feels like I haven't posted in forever. Been a few days, so today was my second Push day of the week. No PRs today.

Bench Press: 150 x 2, 152.5 x 1. I actually tried to go for a second rep with 152.5, but failed midway up! Nearly crushed my noggin as I dropped the bar, but I slid out of the way. So I survived with my body, though not my dignity, intact.
Incline Press: 100 x 11. Glurk. This one took some considerable effort!
Decline Press: 120 x 5.
EZ Bar Pushdowns: 13 x 8.
Dips: Top set of 21.

So apart from my near injury, it was a good workout!

Today, (as it's the Tuen Ng Festival) there were Dragon Boat races, but I've never been into that stuff. I suppose the rain's all fallen and the sun's out again, but I can't be bothered to endure the heat to watch the races. I'll just catch them on TV.

See you next time, Bees!

Playing: I've given up on System Shock 2. Fun as it is to scurry around and collect items, it feels woefully unbalanced, and even a plentiful supply of patches can't do enough. So I reinstalled an old classic - Deus Ex to help deal with my immersion sim cravings. Have also shelved SshockRemake. Beat a major boss in Diablo 4, but otherwise have not been doing much.

Watching: More Dragon Age Absolution. May watch a bit of Secret Invasion, though I'm not terribly excited for it. I need a spooky movie to watch again, but haven't had my eye on anything since Evil Dead: Rise.

Listening to: Lou Reed - Street Hassle. An exercise in minimalism and storytelling.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Hey everyone! Ox here.

Today was Leg day: my first in several weeks. No PRs today.

Squats: 110 x 5. May take a few weeks to regain my normal strength.
Front Squats: 75 x 5. Not feeling these today.
Paused Squats: 95 x 3.
Lying Leg Curls: 42.5 x 10.

Not one of my stronger days, but I put in the work nonetheless. Boy am I pooped.

I have a strange characteristic that persists after my workouts. I've noticed that my hands twitch. How intensely varies from day to day, but it's noticeable to other people. I've chalked it up to several different causes.

A. Anxiety/Nerves
B. The intensity of my workouts
C. Being over-caffeinated from supplements (I would guess that it's this one).

Thankfully, it doesn't actually impede what I do with my hands (as I'm typing up this post without any trouble). Has anyone else had something like this happen to them?

Have a great weekend, Bees!

Playing: Still having a great time with Deus Ex. Truly a game that was ahead of its time. Still remember playing it as a teen and thinking, "it doesn't get any better!" Even with an overhaul mod installed, it's still a little rough around the edges, but the freedom to play how you want still stands tall.

In other news, I haven't played Diablo 4 in several days. Now that I have some time, better rectify that.

Watching: Finished Dragon Age Absolution. Fun and games, but too self-contained and short to really have that epic Dragon Age feel. I give it three dragons (what else) out of five.

Also watched a bit of Secret Invasion last night (as in, the first ten minutes). Leaving aside the lousy, AI-generated intro, I feel like the whole big-budget Marvel-y filmmaking style is a bit long in the tooth. Of course, with this series I was kind of hoping to see Marvel by way of David Mamet or Michael Mann, not the Russo brothers. Guess I shouldn't be surprised. So to sum up, I'm not very hopeful, but I'll keep watching.

Listening to: Neil Young - When Your Lonely Heart Breaks. I'm not particularly heartbroken right now, but I'd just rediscovered this song and remembered how good it was. There are so many good songs that Neil Young has done with Crazy Horse!

 
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OJJJEM

Well-known member
Mother of Dragons Posts: 598
I've only twitched from adrenalin. However, too many stimulants can definitely contribute. Be a scientist about it. See how your body does without for a while, then try again with, and if the shaking stops, then continues again, you've got your answer.
 

Wiaaam

Well-known member
Barbarian from The Netherlands
Posts: 60
I have already encountered this issue when I didn't drink enough water and when my main hydration source was coffee :break: ^^'''''
I agree with OJJJEM, you should see how you do with and without supplements, see how your body reacts. For me I stopped coffee for a while and my twitching issues stopped (also I was feeling like I add hay fever all the time and it stopped (never thought it would be because of coffee)), then I drank coffee again and the twitching and stuffy nose came back really quick so I knew it was coffee and just I stopped for good.
 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 561
"So sleepy!"
Thank you for the feedback @OJJJEM and @Wiaaam. In the future I'm going to have to curtail my generous caffeine supplements/dosages.

Hey Bees! Today I took a break from my regular lifting to find a one-rep max for my Bench Press. So today was a very special push workout - I was aiming for 155 on the bench.

Bench Press: 140, then 145, then 150, 152.5, and 155. Didn't feel great on the lead up to the max single. But 155 went alright, so I pushed it a little further, and ground my way through 157.5 - that's 345 lbs. Not bad! It's within striking distance of my old max (162.5 for a single).
Incline Press: 110 x 5.
Decline Press: 120 x 5.
Machine Pushdown: 13 x 8.
Dips: Top set of 21.
+ 20000 steps! Glurk.

So I plan to run the Candito strength program one more time, and see where that gets me. An increase of 10 lbs was more than I could've asked for.

Take care of yourselves, Bees!

Watching: I watched a bit of Seal Team at the gym. The dramatic storylines are nothing special (guy married to job finds his other marriage suffering, boo hoo hoo), but the attention to detail merits at least a casual watch. I'm probably going to ditch it for another series, like Love, Death and Robots, however.

Also found a horror flick called Malum, which is a remake of an indie horror named Last Shift. I've only watched through the intro, and it looks quite promising. Been awhile since I indulged in some bedtime cinema!

Playing: Still playing through Deus Ex, and it's still good fun. I finished a segment that's set in Hong Kong, which I definitely got a kick out of. Nostalgic digression ahead...

When I was 15 and I first played Deus Ex, I didn't speak enough Cantonese to take note of the Chinese being used; I was simply happy that Hong Kong was used as a setting. Now, the faux-Hong Kong in the game sticks out like a sore thumb. 90% of the Chinese words used make no sense. There are maybe two signs that have the correct characters. And most people from Hong Kong would throw a fit at the display of simplified Chinese characters, but who knows. This might be prophetic!

The voice acting/accents of the NPCs you encounter are laughable, and while the accurately used "gwai lo" is thrown around, only one character (a monk) speaks accurate and tonal Cantonese. I guess my increasing fluency in Cantonese has changed my perspective... I do understand how difficult it is for games to make an accurate setting. I haven't even touched on one character's musings of China granting its citizens freedom. That aged real well...

Also playing a bit more Diablo 4, though I'm mostly interested in racing through the story.

Listening to: The Lions - Girl from the North Country (Bob Dylan, originally). A very inspired cover, which suits Sons of Anarchy well. I watched the show through to Season 5, but I don't remember hearing this one, though I do remember quite a few quality songs (eg John the Revelator).

 
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