Lift Long and Prosper

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    Lift Long and Prosper

    So thanks to this thread I now have a name for this journal! Here I will write an introduction here, then get started with the actual journal.

    TL;DR version
    I really need to work on mobility (which I need to figure out how to do) and I'm going to try to be consistently running and doing calisthenics strength training with the wonderful Darebee workouts here!

    My background:
    I am a PhD in computer science and robotics (so yes I'm quite the nerd). I just started looking at the Darebee community after a lab-mate of mine posted about it on one of our forums, and I fell in love quickly especially since I was stuck at home. So for my fitness background, I'm a reasonably fit person but still have a lot of work to do. I think keeping a journal here will be good for documenting my fitness journey.

    My primary activities before were weightlifting and running. For weightlifting I was progressing very slowly, being somewhat inconsistent in my gym going (thanks research deadlines). I was working a simple 5x5 program before. I was able to squat 200 lbs (90 kg) for 5 reps, deadlift 265 lbs (120 kg) for 5 reps, bench 165 lbs (74 kg) for 5 reps, overhead press 95 lbs (43 kg) for 5 reps, and do a few pull ups. I also enjoyed running - I ran the Philly Half Marathon in 2018 at an average 7:46 minute per mile pace (4:49 minutes per km). I am actually pretty proud of these - they are by no means peak athletic performance but they are pretty good I feel. I was planning to run the full marathon in 2019, but I got an injury in my hamstring so I had to cancel going.

    Which leads us into my weak areas. Namely flexibility and mobility. I would say I have the flexibility of a rock but that would be insulting to the rocks. I didn't really stretch to cool down because I didn't see the need and now I'm paying the consequences. So it has caused injuries already, but now as I try to bodyweight exercises there are more advanced moves that I can't do because I lack mobility. For instance, I have the strength to do a pistol squat but lack the flexibility and balance. So this is something I'm going to need to work on a lot.

    My immediate goals:
    For running I hope to run that marathon eventually - I hope to run an 8 minute per mile pace (5 minute per km pace) on average for that. We'll see when that happens, given the craziness of the world these days. It's more scary to run outside with the COVID-19 pandemic going on but I think I can run at safe distances from people so it is safe. Tangentially, I was going to try to learn skating but that's also not happening with COVID-19.

    One thing that is attractive about home workouts - much lower barrier to entry compared to the gym, and given that my gym membership would have expired soon anyways. So I was planning to just keep exploring various workouts and see what fits me. I was thinking of trying the "30 days of Strength" but given how there are no real rest days I wonder when my runs would fit in. Regardless I want to build strength using bodyweight as much as I can - as the weights are lighter than in weightlifting, I guess I will be doing higher reps to get 'strong endurance' of sorts.

    As mobility is probably my weakest area it is something I'm focusing on - I don't really know how to start. I'm doing one set of Farpoint here on Darebee as my cool down but I don't think that will be enough. There are various guys on YouTube videos on this (like here and here and here) but I'm starting at such a beginner level in this area these are very challenging for me. I'm tempted to go with an explicit program like this one, but it's expensive so I'll hold off on that for now. For now I'll just keep working on flexibility but I would appreciate any advice on this front!

    My long term goals:
    I hope to be able to do advanced bodyweight movements (pistol squat, planche, muscle up) for strength training, but actually more just because they are just cool. Running that marathon is a good goal, but in the long term I think half-marathons are more the distance I would enjoy, perhaps aiming for an 1 hour 30 minute time in the long run. I would also like to try other things (skiing, sword fighting) that are more skill based, but for now I'll stick with the functional basics.

    Thanks for reading! And don't forget, Lift Long and Prosper!

    Today I did a strength workout, 3 Sets of the Minotaur workout. I have to say I didn't quite make all the push-ups at the end - it's a tough workout. I have been careful about doing proper warm ups and cool downs (stretching various muscles). My flexibility still is as awful as ever, but improving every so slightly.

    I recently learned I was doing my pull up technique wrong and now that I'm doing it right, it is much harder. I've been doing the pull up challenge on the side, so this might mean I am not as far as I thought I was in that program. We'll see though! I have also been focusing on engaging my core more on things like push-ups and sit-ups so that has been improving as well.


      Welcome to Darebee ! Superb Intro, gives all the backgroud ( and I LOVE the comparison of flexibility of a Rock.. I also recognize myself over there ! )



        Welcome to the Hive!

        I would recommend looking at one of the level 1 programs for agility training (including balance/coordination/mobility). I am at a decent level of fitness but I have been running through most of the level 1 programs since I started with Darebee. Generally I do a level I in each as a warmup for my main workout of the evening. So far I have done Baseline, Foundation and most of Vitality.

        For agility, I have found that it is pretty good to think outside the box. For a while I was juggling while standing on a Bosu ball, which is great for balance and coordination, but my wife and I regularly do belly dancing workouts together (from youtube) and these are pretty fun while also working on mobility. We also do a fair bit of table tennis, which is good for mobility and coordination and even not bad on cardio (though granted that not everyone has access to a table). Even still, when thinking about agility, a lot of exercises fit the bill. I did some trampolining last month, and found it to be a great workout. I would do more if it was accessible to me.

        I wouldn't worry too much about comparing yourself to peak athletic performance of others. If you think that it is a great accomplishment, then that is really the only validation that is required.

        As for the sword fighting, I just bought a $30 polypro katana off of Amazon and just started doing the katana workouts on darebee. Even if you don't want to buy the sword, just grab a dowel of some kind. There is no reason to put off starting something new.


          Exercise Log:
          I did a 3.0 mile/4.8 km run (according to the mapping app I used) with a time of 25 minutes giving an average pace of 8:33 min/mi (5:17 min/km). Then a 10 minute cool down job and stretching at home, along with the Daily Challenge (though I was tired so I didn't finish it in one go) and some crunches.

          Thanks Myrvina and CaptainCanuck!

          Myrvina, I guess good to know I'm not alone in the whole inflexibility business. Good luck with your own training! I hope you don't neglect flexibility like I did.

          As for your suggestions, Captain, doing those Darebee programs in the evening doesn't sound like a bad idea. I don't have access to a lot of those things you said, but perhaps they are something I can order online. The sword practice idea in particular isn't a bad one! I should look online - I've been watching some Historical European Martial Arts aka HEMA videos online so I could at least get some conditioning in. Only I was also hoping to learn about dueling technique but that's hard to do without having a dueling partner. There seemed to be a club near where I lived but well COVID-19 so that's not happening.


            stephenphillips42 Oh interesting, I have a friend that was into the SCA and got me out once or twice.

            I have tried out fencing in the past, but didn't get very far in it (completed a six week course). It is pretty good stuff though with lots of explosive power, and would probably have a lot of transferrable skills.

            There are tonnes of exercises and routines to do if you are interested, even if you don't have a sword (those cost about $60 I believe for the cheapest). This youtube channel has some decent routines if you are interested, I have done a couple of them.


              Yup, you're not alone in the department of inflexibility ! I've always been like that but it got worse during studies. Just after University, between 2015 and 2017, thoses were hard years, anxiety of performance and cumulated overpression on myself just exploded at that moment. Maybe because all was finally over ? I thought... but a beggining in a new career, in real context, is as hard or even worse than studies.
              I've done 2 years of Yoga for relaxing and taking care of myself and all the movement of the type "foward bending" was just a real pain. It still is ! Hahaha !
              But yeah, not everyday but a few times in the week I try to include flexibility or mobility just to try to keep what i've gained with Yoga, even if it's just a little bit of movement

              Looking foward to seeing where your fitness journey will bring you ! (Pretty sure it's going to reach "new heights" ! )


                Exercise Log:
                So my knees hurt a bit from yesterday - so I did some knee strengthening exercises (a la this workout). I also did the daily dare (with EC) and the pull up challenge (I just finished day 23) which with the newer more proper pull up form was pretty hard. I did the Prime Workout level III (sort of) with EC. So toward the end the power push-ups became regular push-ups, and due to my living room having carpet my elbows kept getting chaffed so I had to switch to the push-up position plank for the plank crunches. The first 3 sets were pretty easy, the next 2 doable, and the last two pretty hard. Much sweat was sweated. I did a long stretching routine afterwards not following any routine in particular just trying to stretch all the muscles (hamstrings, squads, glutes and other hip related muscles, calves, shoulders, and triceps).

                Thanks again Myrvina and CaptainCanuck for the help


                  Exercise Log:
                  My knees are still not fully back up to snuff so I did a quick round of the Knee Saver workout for warm up. I did the daily dare with EC, which led nicely into the workout which was ... Bubble Butt. I figured stabilizing my glutes was a good idea and the workout did a great job at that but the name is a bit much . So I completed it with EC and managed to do the all squats with little to no rest. For cool down I did the Top to Bottom stretching routine which did a great job of stretching everything - the legs always feel so tight. Then I realized that I forgot to do today's Pull Up Challenge (forgot to link it last time) day 24. So I had to do a bit of extra stretching after that.

                  I'm still figuring out what works for me so I'm not really following a set routine. I'll probably try some programs.after I've explored a bit more. If I have time I'll try Baseline, Foundation, or Vitality tonight as Captian Canuck suggested.



                    Exercise Log:
                    Yesterday ended up being more busy than I expected, so I didn't get a chance to log things! Due to it being busy I didn't get to do too much of a strength workout - I did the Daily Dare with EC and the Pull up Challenge Day 25. I was thinking of trying to learn a hand stand so I did a warm up from this video and the first few exercises from Handstand Prep workout, then did a few frog stands (mostly unsuccessfully). Then I had to rush off so not much of a cool down unfortunately. It was a bit disappointing but life happens. Today I hope to do a HIIT workout and some more mobility training - I'll post later today.


                      Exercise Log:
                      So following up - I ended up doing cardio not HIIT per-se. I used the 4 Minute Warm up. I wanted to combine the ab work for the Pull up Challenge day 26 so I did the Beer Belly workout (these names are great - OK I'll stop commenting on them in the future). The cardio part wasn't actually that hard for me - but the ab endurance was something I need to work on - so that routine will be something I do at least once a week. I might replace the sit-ups with crunches in the future - we shall see!

                      For cool down, I also wanted to focus on mobility. So I did the first 10 minutes of this hamstring stretch routine and then this mobility routine. I really liked them so I think I'll keep doing them as cool downs.My flexibility is improving! Slowly...


                        Exercise Log:
                        Today was a strength day. Once again I used the 4 Minute Warm up. then I did the Push and Pull workout. I definitely dropped off in performance toward the end - I had to use negatives for the pull ups and only do 6 push up reps. It is likely I didn't have the greatest form at the end. Also I couldn't stop myself from going into a swinging motion for the knee ups - I'm not sure how to fix that... Perhaps I was too ambitious to try it - I will try to stick to the Push and Pull Express next time. Then I looked at the daily dare... and it was a stretch. Well I did it - I might have been able to do it with extra credit but I didn't this time. Since I started doing the daily dares before this log I'm at 13 Daily Dares with 8 extra credits. I did a few other stretches like the deep squat as well to improve calf mobility.

                        Thanks for everyone following along! It motivates me to keep posting these every day.


                          Sure thing, that people can read others check in logs is one of the positive feedback loops of darebee.


                            100% agree to CaptainCanuck


                              Exercise Log:
                              I didn't have time to put in the log yesterday but I did something very similar to a few days ago - 4 Minute Warm up, followed by the Beer Belly workout, followed by mobility routines. I chaffed my tailbone a lot doing the situps. I'm going to have to be more careful about padding in the future - my carpet isn't enough. I'm picking up my yoga mat which I left at a friend's place soon - hopefully that will help.