One year later

14 02 2014

It’s been about a year since I started consistently weight training again, so I thought it would be interesting to look back and see what kind of progress I had made.

“Consistently” needs a little bit of a qualifier. I had several weeks here and there when I wasn’t able to train, largely due to travel; although I’ve done better than ever at finding gyms when I’ve been out of town, sometimes it just wasn’t possible. I also had my training impacted a bit by a shoulder injury that caused me to not train upper body for about a month.

I’ve been training using Jim Wendler’s 5-3-1 program, which I highly recommend to everyone who wants to increase strength in a straightforward way. One of the great things about it is that it pushes you to set new personal records every time you go to the gym, which also makes it easy to track progress over time. I took my calculated 1 rep max for each of my major lifts and put them into a chart:

training progress

Deadlift (280 to 468: +67%) – The deadlift is by far my favorite of the big lifts, and I’m quite happy with how much progress I’ve made.

Squats (250 to 373: +49%) – I took a break from heavy squatting starting in September, because I was experiencing hip pain, and I wanted to work on my flexibility. Despite the break, when I resumed squatting last week, I immediately set a new PR, and then broke it again this week.

Bench press (233 to 304: +30%) – Due the shoulder problems, I hadn’t bench pressed in years, but I decided to start doing them again midway through the year, and I’m making great progress.

Military press (140 to 180: +25%) and push press (180 to 215: +20%) – For overhead pressing, I started the year doing military presses, then switched to push presses (where I can obviously move more weight), then recently back to military presses again.

Goals for 2014

29 12 2013

I’m not typically one for New Year’s resolutions, but I do have some things I want to accomplish this year, that I’m going to throw out there for accountability purposes:

  • Weigh less than 210 by the end of the year. Possibly 200.
  • Be able to carry on basic conversations in Spanish
  • Be able to surf
  • Brew a drinkable batch of beer
  • Develop more of a social life

Stupid comments

3 12 2013

I regularly make the mistake of reading comments online. Sometimes, I respond to them, but frequently, there are so many ignorant comments that I just can’t respond to any of them without feeling like I should respond to all of them. So instead, since I feel the need to rant, I’m going to occasionally do that here.

Today, the comments in question are from NBC 7 San Diego’s post about Amazon wanting to use drones for delivery:

Note that I’m not weighing in on the idea either way – there are a number of legitimate problems with it. What annoys me is the ability of people to think critically. I’ll call out a few representative comments:

Someone might shoot down the drones and steal the order

Yeah, they might, but that would be a serious crime that would be very likely to be noticed, and since the would-be thief wouldn’t know the contents – and thus value – of the package, it doesn’t seem like it would happen very often. It seems like it’d be easier and more profitable to hold up a FedEx truck. Besides, theft is something that happens with existing delivery mechanisms, and both consumers and retailers manage to deal with it.

does anyone really need their pkg that fast?

Gee, I don’t know. Is every single purchase you make something you’re willing to wait 2+ days for, or are there some things that you actually want right away? Thought so.

how many more jobs shall we take away?

This one really gets to me whenever it comes up, and it’s part of a bigger problem with people being generally ignorant of economics. Yes, technological advances can cause short term job displacement, which sucks for the people affected, but in the long run those people are freed up to do other things which ultimately improves everyone’s standard of living. Look at all of the types of jobs that people have today that didn’t even exist a couple of decades ago. I, for one, am glad for the technological advances that allow me to work as a software engineer, rather than having to spend my whole day growing food for my family.

Sorry, but I don’t think this is true. Please check your sources.

This blows my mind, but there are few comments like this. Look, I’m all for people being skeptical of things they read online – I wish more people were like that – but this story is easily verifiable.

I really need to stop reading comments.

Back, Maybe?

20 09 2013

I’m feeling somewhat motivated to start blogging again. Not that anyone will notice.

A lot has happened in the past three years. I married Amy at the end of 2011, and she moved to California. We now live in Encinitas. I also found my birth family last year, and they are amazing! Sadly, I also experienced the death of both of my adopted brothers. I’m probably going to post a bit more about those things soon, but in general, my posts going forward will be less of a personal nature, and instead focus on fitness and the occasional political rant.

Speaking of fitness, after reaching a low weight of 197 about 3 years ago, I started gaining it back. By the time I got married, I was up to 225, and by the beginning of this year, I was up to 253. This was all pretty much due to me falling off the wagon, both with diet and exercise. Since the start of the year, I’ve been weight training pretty consistently, despite a nagging shoulder injury (tendinosis and impingement), and my diet has been more on than off. I currently weigh 234. My goal is to get down to 215 by the end of the year. I’m pretty motivated to get stronger and lose some fat.

Weightlifting goals

18 09 2013

Here are my short and longer term weightlifting goals, relative to my body weight. I hope to reach the short term ones by the end of this year, and the long term ones sometime next year. The plan is to do this both through increasing my strength and dropping some fat.

Short Long
Squat 1.5 x BW 2 x BW
Deadlift 2 x BW 2.5 x BW
Bench 1 x BW 1.5 x BW
Overhead .75 x BW 1 x BW

My new favorite protein shake

30 03 2012

I started making this recently, and now crave them all the time:

2 scoops of vanilla whey
1 frozen banana
1 graham cracker square
Water based on the consistency you like

It tastes like banana cream pie.

Calories: 375
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 38g
Protein: 50g

A couple weeks of milestones

24 09 2010

The last couple of weeks have seen some significant milestones.

On September 13th, my kids moved to Italy with their mother. Perhaps “moved” isn’t the best word for it, because it’s a temporary thing; they’ll be back in 3 months. I’m excited for them to experience this adventure, but I miss them. Their internet access is sporadic, so I can’t talk to them very often. I AM going to see them in a few days, so that will be good.

September 16th marked a year since my first date with Amy. I still remember it vividly, especially the nervous excitement I felt. I already knew I liked her from the conversations we’d had, and the first time I met her in person, there was an immediate attraction. We spent several days together, going to a Weezer/Blink 182 concert, the Wild Animal Park, SeaWorld, the beach. I was so unhappy when she had to return to Utah, not knowing what the future would hold due to the distance, but I knew that I wanted to spend more time with her. Since then, it has been an amazing ride. I still feel the same nervous excitement when I’m about to see her, and the same sadness when it’s time to part. She made the last year the best in my life so far, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us.

The 20th marked the date that my divorce from Melissa became official. There was no particular sadness associated with it. We first decided to get divorced nearly a year and a half ago, and I moved out more than a year ago, so I had processed it, and we’ve both moved on (obviously). We chatted briefly when she was at my place with the kids, and we both acknowledged regret at the things that went wrong, but we’re both happy now and wish the best for each other. Looking back, I was definitely unhappy, but the good times stick with me more than the bad. I’m especially thankful for the 5 fabulous kids we had together, and my only significant regret in all of this is that I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like now.

Finally, today, after what seems like ages, I broke the 200 pound barrier. I don’t remember for sure the last time I weighed less than 200 pounds, but the most recent it could have possibly been was in 1994, which was my first year of marriage. I had initially hoped to break this barrier on September 1st, and I got within a couple of pounds of that, but a trip to Seattle and 10 days with my kids derailed me a little bit.

So what’s next? I knew that at 200 pounds I’d still have a little fat around my middle, and I do. My best guess is that to get as lean as I’d like to be, I’ve got another 10-15 pounds to go. Possibly more. Part of me wants to focus on building muscle for a little while, but I’m pretty sure that if I do that right now, I’ll gain a lot of fat at the same. So for now, I think I’m going to continue to focus on losing fat, but a bit less aggressively than what I’ve been doing. I’m going to just continue to eat healthy, be active, and weight train without a specific goal until the beginning of November. Then I’ll see where I’m at and set my next goal. Ideally, I’d like to finish losing before the holidays, so I can use them to start my bulking cycle :)

Weight: 199.5
BF%: 22

Jan 1st starting weight: 232.5
Starting BF%: 31


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