Stronger everyday

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
:onfire: Best Thing completed :onfire:

Aside from my streak goal, I have a weight loss goal to drop 7.6 lbs by December 24th to reach a goal weight of 180 lbs. No plans to adjust diet at this time because I believe I eat pretty clean, but will revisit if progress is slow. Main strategy is to increase physical activity, which looks like at least 2 Darebee routines daily; some occasional weighted bar exercises (I should probably look up a Darebee challenge for that). I fear jogging may be necessary to reach my goal, lol. Maybe I can dream up another viable type of cardio. We'll see 😉

Day 8/20 of streak goal
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Completed Daily Push-ups :v:

I exercise daily now, choosing a workout from my Darebee Volume #4 book. Love the books! My goal is to complete every workout on every level of difficulty.

I really liked this video from @Damer , it helped me reflect on the pitfalls I've fallen into on my fitness journey. Feelings of guilt and shame, over missing a workout or falling short of a fitness goal, have definitely been a factor. When I reflect on it, allowing guilt and shame to factor into the variance that occurs on a life long journey just doesn't make sense. There will always be hills and valleys - should you become angry because you could not manifest a uniform prairie? Additionally, 1) I don't enjoy expectations leering over my shoulder every day (others or my own), 2) If I encounter a friend who is struggling I am going to respond with kindness and curiosity, not judgement and condemnation - why should it be different for myself?, 3) This is about something bigger than exercise streaks (though it can be a useful tool). For me it's about forging a new identity with more physical activity at it's core. Daily exercise is a component of that process, but mental and emotional regulation are just as important.

I am also realizing that as I form new, healthy habits - and notice the fruits of my efforts - I tend to get a bit excited and ambitious about taking on more new things, habits, rituals, tasks, etc. and really lose perspective on the burden of stress it imposes. I am going to try and remember to play the long game (tortoise mode) and take it slow.

"Form a line please, wait your turn. Only 1 life-encompassing transformation at a time."

Me: "I know, I know! Let's go on 2 journeys at the same time!"
Also me: "Multiple personalities? Yes. Multiple bodies? No, sadly. Can't be two places at the same time, without consequences."

= = =

My wife has started her own journey related to diet and is making great progress. Though not diagnosed with "addiction", she felt out-of-control when it came to food. Much like like an addict might feel powerless to make the choices they know to be right. So, she took a look at the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous to see if she could glean some wisdom from it. I'm happy to say we've both learned a lot from all the real-life testimonials contained in the books. One of the recovered alcoholics said something that stuck with me:

"Hi, I'm an alcoholic and I'm not going to drink today. I don't know about tomorrow. But I do know, come hell or high water, I'm not taking a single drop today."

There's something liberating to me about his statement "I don't know about tomorrow". Maybe it's about liberation from 'worry'. Because we don't know what tomorrow will bring, we don't have any purchase in tomorrow. Today, meanwhile, is where we have all the power to choose. One today at a time.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Another great video

Injury-free plan:
  1. Go slow
  2. Listen to your body
  3. Be your on coach
My family and I are on a short trip to celebrate my wife's birthday. I'll be heading down to our AirBnB's gym facility to exercise shortly. Using a 10+ years old bluetooth keyboard to type this post on my phone.

My wife is doing a great job with her diet plan and is keeping to her commitments with thorough planning. She is demonstrating to me (who failed to plan a few things of late) that lack of planning is simply planning to fail.

On the subject of my own emotional regulation - just being in a new place and breaking up our normal family routine has been it's own monkey wrench. Different people. Different pace. More time than usual in the car. There's a bit more impetus for me to recognize my needs and assert myself, because in our daily routine these typically fall into place through habitualization. I start to feel a bit more fragile than I thought I was! That's fine, grist for the mill.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Up quite early today. Doing some reading and writing.

I'll be performing a workout from Darebee Volume #4 in a couple hours. I always select my workout in the previous evening, so I'm not humming and hawing, losing time flipping through pages. I like that I'm having to develop a strategy to finish all the workouts; there's one workout I know I'll have to actually train for (lots of jumping squats). I'm seeing improvement in my push-ups and squats thanks to my present challenge. I plan on limiting my exercise to 1 workout daily, and 1 ongoing challenge. I know I'll be tempted to add more, it often happens.

I've been trying to reach a 4 hour target of standing while working. Most days I reach the target just fine, but my feet sometimes feel fatigued, which interrupts family walks a bit. I could try to move around a little more and shift my weight; the floor is quite hard, experimenting with standing on a folded yoga matt.

I want to make creative output a daily thing, just like exercise. I've wanted this for some time, but struggle to make any headway. Daily creation. This is typically part of my job, but it's in service of a client. I don't want to burden myself with high effort expectations, just get the self-expression juices flowing. So here's a start:

A;LSKD84POUHA;LGH3;lkas;ldfh

^Hope you enjoyed it. I have been regularly journaling, and that has been creative. I was really inspired by @Beat_Samurai when he was posting his drawings. My daughter is a factory of expression; her output requires a paper mill.

Perhaps I'm too contented with my life to have anything worth expressing? Stupid life balance! MUST I SUFFER?! I don't think that's it. I'm going to journal about it and see what I find. Perhaps some friendly interrogation of this desire would be fruitful. I do think it would be wise to primarily use physical media, whatever it is. I log enough hours in front of a screen.

I've got some ideas for hikes and bike trips this summer that I'm excited about. It can be invigorating to really unplug and travel at a snail's pace. There can be something delightful on the other side of boredom.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
As to be expected, I'm tempting myself to take on more exercise 😂 Eh, I'll never learn. But here is the *optional* addition I am proposing to myself:

Afternoon-Core-Dicerolls! It could work like this:
  1. Roll a 6-sided die. Whatever # I get is the # of exercises I will perform. I'm allowed to re-roll but can only accept higher numbers 😉
  2. According to the # I rolled, roll the die again # times and record the number for each roll. The exercise roster is as follows:
    1. plank back kicks
    2. sitting punches
    3. plank count
    4. flutter kicks
    5. plank leg raises
    6. downward/upward dogs
Each exercise consists of 10 reps (or a 10-count). Dice available at 2pm.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Completed Push-ups & Squats ✅
I like the messy, scribbly visual record you're left with at the end of a challenge:
1715513607670.png

Next up will be 1000 push-ups (upper body throughout the day) and Lower Body Blast (afternoons). This means I'm taking on more than one challenge (which I stated I'd confine to 1), but: 1) the challenges don't overlap muscles, 2) I feel strongly I have bandwidth for more activity in the afternoons, and 3) both are of low-moderate difficulty. Plus I only tried my dice game once 🤷‍♂️. I think the lack of structure/goal made it bound to fail as a daily practice, but it was fun to think about. I will continue to consider creative ways to make exercise more fun and engaging, I really haven't shaken the itch since NorthRoy 😀

My workplace is 7 days into a month-long step challenge... several are logging almost 20K daily, and one young whippersnapper is logging more than 30K steps daily 😲
Suddenly my goal changes from 'rank in the top 10' to 'don't finish last!' 😂

You Can Do It Feet GIF
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
That's a lot of push-ups in one day.

Also, 30,000 steps is something like more than three hours of constant walking? Madness.
It's 1000 over the course of a month, so it should be manageable :)

Yah, 30K, I don't get it. We've all got desk jobs I thought? Maybe he's equipped his with a treadmill? Impressive effort either way. Won't be trying to compete!
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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'm noticing something for myself that is very real about the difference between exercising 1) amongst others, and 2) exercising alone.

I usually head to a nearby recreation complex to exercise indoors. The short walk or jog to it gives me a chance to warm up and it serves as great, free shelter in the harsh winter months when exercising outdoors could be very difficult (planks with mittens for sure). A few people usually arrive as I do and we greet one another.

Now that spring has arrived and temperatures have risen, I thought — let's workout at a nearby playground and enjoy the fresh air and sunrise! I did that for a few days... and it was so lonely. I was surprised how different my workouts felt, and I'm positive it had to with the isolation. I was surrounded by homes mind you, but no people in sight.

Contrasted with the recreation complex — myself and others just murmur polite greetings to one another (we don't even know each others names), but I enjoy it. It's interesting how different an activity can feel amongst 'exercise colleagues', and in their absence.

Have a good one exercise colleague 😉
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Getting ready for the start of a new exercise chapter. I could continue as I have (1 Darebee workout daily + challenges) but I'm really intrigued by some new ideas.

One is a simple push/pull/squat program (that I associate with Kyle Boges) that prescribes doing 3 exercises each day to fail/near fail. The overall goal being that you're striving to master these basic movements (pushup, pullups, squats and their variations) and steadily increase your rep/set count but never at the cost of form. My concern is that this approach could get boring. However I really like the idea of narrowing my focus onto a few exercises, that I practice daily, and trying to make progress on those.

The other approach I'm interested in trying is Tim Anderson's "reset" program. It prescribes spending 15-20 minutes daily performing basic movements that we all did as infants, e.g. nasal breathing, nodding of the neck, rolling, rocking, and crawling. I like the theory and simplicity. While I'm sure there will be plenty of effort required, I like the slowed down, low-impact nature of this exercise set. And it could supplement my regular program. Maybe a nice activity for me to practice becoming present too.

/ / / / / /

On a completely different note, I have been trying to minimize phone use and mitigate distractions. It's such a struggle. This is part of why I really lean into the Darebee books. I'm frequently asking myself how I can track things efficiently on paper, or without screens. I used to use my phone's timer to track recovery times, but now just rely on my own imperfect counting. It's fine. It's great how many apps are out there for aiding you in exercise and productivity goals. The problem is they're always conditioning you back to your phone... back to a screen. I've become very skeptical of all this screen habituation. I say this as someone who has made a living for over 20 years spending most of my waking hours in front of them. I've been thinking a lot about the value of boredom, and how easy the internet makes it to eliminate it from my life completely.

Another example - there are great, free apps for interval timing that I've used — but I'm considering the offline GymBoss Minimax. Mmmm, buttons!
 

MadamMeow

Well-known member
Fae from Central NJ
Posts: 904
"I see my vision burn, I feel my memories fade with time, but Im too young to worry..."
I like you have some ideas to try out and I hope you find one that works for you!

Also really like your phone minimalizations.

It's not quite the same, but I am someone who quit social media in 2013-2016. I do not facebook, Twitter/X, Instagram, TikTok or any of that. It significantly improved the quality of my life.

With that, I do know what you mean about the phone thing. I try to put it down much more myself.

Hope that works for you as well. :)
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Day 1 of adding get-ups to my routine.

The task was to simply spend 10 minutes getting up from a lying position on the floor, and get back down again. I thought 10 minutes of this would be exceedingly boring and feel like forever. It was oddly satisfying. There was no correct form to follow. Just get up and down in as many different ways I cared to explore and enjoy the movement of my body.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Why does marching feel so good?

As I've experimented with standing for around 4 plus hours at my work station, the most significant points of fatigue have been my knees and heels. Occasionally I would march in place and found it to feel so good! It really brings so much relief.


I'm trying to use the cross-crawl variation as often as I remember.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
On a short trip for work. Day 1 of 3 completed. Nasty sleep. I blame the too soft, unfamiliar mattress and large pillows. Between you and me, these team building retreats drive me nuts. I'm a chronic people pleaser and there are people everywhere. Lizard brain wants me to constantly elevate the sides of my mouth into the biggest fake smile you've ever seen. Deer-in-the-headlights-smile. It's exhausting, and I'm doing it to myself!

I will try to relax and just be me. The exercise I got in this morning will certainly help take the edge off.
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Day 2 of 3 completed. Much better sleep! Turns out my room's couch is more agreeable than either of the two beds. Mentally I've been fine. One of the advantages of being physically exhausted is that it's harder to muster the energy to be anxious.

"I would stress out about this, but I'm too tired."
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Day 3 of 3 completed. Got to try mountain biking for the first time yesterday. I had an absolute blast. I guess I underestimated how transferable my many years of road cycling would be. I could have ridden circles around the group! It was a nice feeling, particularly since the primary focus of the organization I work for has little to do with my skill set. Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water. This was probably the first time I felt like a fish in water amongst my colleagues.

Thanks for all the support :)
 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
1000 Push-ups Challenge completed ✅
Lower Body Blast Challenge completed ✅

I finally started chipping away at the Splinter workout from my Darebee Volume #4 book. It's as hard as I feared! When I finish level 3 I will feel very proud of myself, if I'm still conscious.

My focus now is 1) finishing volume #4, 2) continuing to do daily push-ups with a challenge, 3) committing to an Original Strength movement program (I think I'll convert a program into a Darebee challenge) and, 4) start progress on pull-ups. I'm quite excited to start my pull-up progression again. I'll try and install my pull-up bar this week so I can at least play with some dead hangs.

I bought the Gymboss interval timer and I love it! It's going to come in extra handy when I start my next book: 100 HIIT Darebee workouts :)

 

JohnStrong

Well-known member
Commando from Alberta
Posts: 488
"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"
Woohoo, pull-up bar installed! I spent some seconds holding onto that thing... and I am at Level 0, no doubt! It struck me that improving my pull-ups is probably going to involve more weight-loss than muscle-building 😅 Certainly both will help.

I adapted an OS program to a Darebee challenge because I am a faithful bee and like consistency:
1718361611251.png

I'm not sure how I'll proceed with the "heavy carrys". Maybe the gymnasium I exercise in has something heavy lying around I can borrow. I think I'll need to restrict my workouts to Level 1 simply to manage time effectively. Some of these OS commitments will add 20+ minutes. I'm also concerned about the before-bed requirements. At that time I'm typically in "zombie" mode just trying to defend myself from the relentless attacks of my children (hint: do not sit or lay down in spite of the strong urge to do so). I will have to muster some space and energy!
 
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