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    (Original post by miser)
    Usually I avoid checking myself out in the mirror due to issues with getting jealous of myself, but the other day I was half-naked and happened to be in front of the mirror, so I thought it was okay if I took just a quick peak.

    After about 45 minutes I had worked my way up to my guns, when I realised they were bigger than before. Visible improvement. Nice! :yy:
    That's a long time to mirror check.

    How is the lifting going? That's the important thing.

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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    That's a long time to mirror check.

    How is the lifting going? That's the important thing.

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    It's a shambles really, but somehow the gym gods have deigned for me to improve anyway. I haven't been going 3 times per week for various reasons, and my nutrition is lamentable. Simply not getting the calories in - I've not put on any weight at all in the whole 3 months I've been doing this!

    But I'm still improving. Yesterday I discovered olive oil - a mere two tea spoons in a meal or shake ups the calories by 250! And I'm still setting PBs, for example in the last workout I did the best I'd ever done on all the exercises I did.

    I've been thinking a lot about my body structurally. I need to fix my posture and flexibility. I've identified anterior pelvic tilt and poor range of motion with my hip flexors, quads and calves. I want to devise a flexibility routine to do each day to work on these issues. I've also been walking around a couple miles a day with my hips thrust forwards, activating my core and glutes.

    But the main thing I need to work on is calories and not having things get in the way of my gym attendance. I'm pretty much recovered from my cold now so will be fine on Tuesday.
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    Copied from another blog I posted in

    This is what I used to do and recommend for flexibility, really improves squatting
    For my hips.. I do 20-30 mins stretching a day.. recommend having a look at frog, lizard and butterfly yoga positions. Do 2 mins a leg in each position and increase the burn periodically (I do every 15 -20 secs... then go all out for the last 10 secs.. there are some long 10 secs )

    I also sit with my legs pointing out at 45 degrees to one another and reach for my toes as far as I can for 2 mins each side

    For glutes I do pigeon pose and seated glute stretch for 2 mins again each side, increasing the burn.

    It's removed an awful lot of pain from my squatting. Don't be surprised if you crack your adductor when you start.. mine still do sometimes

    Oh and make sure you use the word yoga in your search terms in google... my eyes burn from making that fatal error when I was first researching it.
    For calf flexibility, stand a few inches in front of a door, then place one foot slightly in front of the other (about a foot or so), hands on the door and then try and push your knee over your middle toes, push as hard as you can for 30 secs, then rest for 5 secs, then try and push your knee over big toe for 30 secs, rest and then push your knee over your little toe for 30 seconds
    Repeat for the other leg. Do this once or twice a day (I did it when I brushed my teeth )
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    For the food eat more. I went from 60 - 88 kg just by eating more.

    For the dedication. Make the gym number one and plan other things around it. Be too busy with the gym to do other stuff and if people care you'll turn up afterwards or they'll move it.

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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Copied from another blog I posted in

    This is what I used to do and recommend for flexibility, really improves squatting


    For calf flexibility, stand a few inches in front of a door, then place one foot slightly in front of the other (about a foot or so), hands on the door and then try and push your knee over your middle toes, push as hard as you can for 30 secs, then rest for 5 secs, then try and push your knee over big toe for 30 secs, rest and then push your knee over your little toe for 30 seconds
    Repeat for the other leg. Do this once or twice a day (I did it when I brushed my teeth )
    Thanks! This is exactly the kind of stuff I was looking for.

    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    For the food eat more. I went from 60 - 88 kg just by eating more.

    For the dedication. Make the gym number one and plan other things around it. Be too busy with the gym to do other stuff and if people care you'll turn up afterwards or they'll move it.

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    I'm struggling with the 'eating more' bit.

    Gym will never be my number one priority, though it's reasonably up there. As for why I've been missing the gym, for weekdays I've just had a short string of bad luck recently. I was ill this week, last week I had a team building bowling/meal thing after work and the week before I had my driving theory test. But for Sundays, I've failed for lack of trying. The inconvenience of it seems stronger than my conviction. Not sure whether to try to fix it or just go twice per week.
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Copied from another blog I posted in

    This is what I used to do and recommend for flexibility, really improves squatting


    For calf flexibility, stand a few inches in front of a door, then place one foot slightly in front of the other (about a foot or so), hands on the door and then try and push your knee over your middle toes, push as hard as you can for 30 secs, then rest for 5 secs, then try and push your knee over big toe for 30 secs, rest and then push your knee over your little toe for 30 seconds
    Repeat for the other leg. Do this once or twice a day (I did it when I brushed my teeth )
    Spent some time looking at yoga videos today, including ones on frog, lizard and butterfly. I did a 25 minute yoga routine in fact. It was surprisingly challenging - not just in terms of the flexibility but in holding the poses.

    Is there a resource you'd recommend for learning about yoga?
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    (Original post by miser)
    Spent some time looking at yoga videos today, including ones on frog, lizard and butterfly. I did a 25 minute yoga routine in fact. It was surprisingly challenging - not just in terms of the flexibility but in holding the poses.

    Is there a resource you'd recommend for learning about yoga?
    Not really tbh, I find it very much a pseudoscience backwater, most of the stuff on the internet "positive energies" etc

    I literally google stuff like "shoulder yoga positions" if I want to improve my shoulder flexibility. I gathered the stuff I posted above from a combination of reading random yoga articles and youtubing how to do certain positions + I looked at a few gymnastic blogs, however as I did it around this time last year, I've long lost said resources so I'm sorry to say I don't have anything
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Not really tbh, I find it very much a pseudoscience backwater, most of the stuff on the internet "positive energies" etc

    I literally google stuff like "shoulder yoga positions" if I want to improve my shoulder flexibility. I gathered the stuff I posted above from a combination of reading random yoga articles and youtubing how to do certain positions + I looked at a few gymnastic blogs, however as I did it around this time last year, I've long lost said resources so I'm sorry to say I don't have anything
    Yeah I've been finding that. Was watching a video earlier and the guy started talking about energies...

    Ok thanks anyway. I might get a book on it or something.
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    Chapter XXIII: The Void (in my belly)

    Things have been going swimmingly lately. By which I mean it's rained a lot and I've gotten wet. Luckily I'm characterised by immense foresight, which is why I keep a spare pair of socks in my desk drawer at work, so today when I was saturated like a walking sponge, at least I could take off my socks to leave them to dry and put on a fresh, dry pair.

    Walking to work in the rain is a bit of a mission. There are a lot of puddles and a lot of drivers who are so glad to be dry that they can't imagine what it'd be like to have their socks splashed by happy dry person. I imagine it must feel like a sunbather resting peacefully when a volleyball suddenly lands on their face, and the feeling of being safe enough to lie back down and close your eyes being shattered forever.

    There is a distinct timing element to dash past a puddle before the next morning commuter ploughs through it, covering the pavement (and pedestrian with inferior timing) in a knee-high spray. It's kind of like playing Frogger, but the stakes are much higher - unless you're like me, and have a spare pair of socks in your drawer.

    Humans aren't the only enemies of course - the trees are out to get you too. They inspire the raindrops to work as a team. Instead of lots of little, manageable rain drops landing individually, trees consolidate these drops into lump sums of 5 drops or more. The insidiousness of it isn't readily apparently until you're under the tree, and the rain drop field density is low enough to give you the hope to think you could conveivably avoid them all, until the startling wetness of each drop erodes that hope in an inimical cascade of cold disillusionment.

    Anyway, this has been a long and round-a-bout way to say I haven't been to the gym for 2 weeks. I don't really know how that happened. I guess I'm not feeling so passionate about it anymore.

    In my analysis I seem to have failed fairly soundly with the nutrition aspect - for whatever reason I can't seem to eat enough calories to put on weight. Even when eating feels like it dominates my day, I regularly fail to get the 3000 calories that may or may not be enough to put on weight. I'm making all these changes like eating whole milk and granola for breakfast, breakfast bars at work, protein shakes, olive oil in what I cook, etc., but they don't seem to have made an impact.

    There are about 3 or 4 places I think I'm going wrong. I think they are the following:
    • Time: Regularly I feel like I don't have enough time to eat and prepare food. If I get home in the evening and still need a ton of calories, I cook a big meal and eat that, but it takes a while to feel like I can fit anything else in. There is also the issue of finding time to do shopping, so often when I want to eat something quickly, I've run out of things that are convenient to eat.
    • Passion: Being confronted with the apparent non-effects of my efforts,I'm feeling less passionate about the challenge.
    • Vegetarianism: This limits my nutritional options somewhat. I think it'd be easier if I could eat meat and fish and this translates into a temptation to do those things, which exerts a tax on self-discipline and my self-image.
    • Self-discipline: I've been going too easy on myself.

    So it seems like it's time to give up. It's just much nicer to get home an hour earlier and not have to bother lifting weights, counting calories and stuff like that. Quitting can be sensible sometimes. It'd be better to quit, since I think I'd just prefer to sit around and not push myself. Actually it sounds nicer the more I think about it.

    I guess it's just too bad. Too bad for me, anyway. Turns out a few years ago I went and did a weird thing like come up with a bunch of "life rules" to live by. I guess I should have thought about how nice it'd be to not have to push myself before I committed my entire life to never letting myself off the hook.

    Rule 2:
    PERSEVERANCE. Never disengage from a resolution or goal for the lack of self-discipline.
    So there goes that plan. I guess I will just have to fix the issues. Time to get back in the game!

    I've decided the best way to tackle this problem is to give myself more time. Presently when I get home, I switch on the computer and sit down. I use TSR or watch something, use Facebook, etc. So maybe, I figured, I should just not turn my computer on. Voila! Instant free time to do productive stuff. Like stuffing my face and holding yoga poses.

    I did this yesterday in fact. I'm going to trial it and see how it goes. So long as I'm always making progress, buffness is only a finite number of days away.
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    Post up your diet from the last few days and I'll give you eating tips.

    Went from 60-88kg.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    Post up your diet from the last few days and I'll give you eating tips.

    Went from 60-88kg.
    Well its not complex is it . Eat more! Gaining weight is easy. Gaining a high percentage of quality weight is whats hard...
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    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Well its not complex is it . Eat more! Gaining weight is easy. Gaining a high percentage of quality weight is whats hard...
    Yea but there are techniques and tips to make it easier.

    E. G. Peanut butter Ftw. Easy to eat many calories of that in no time.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    Post up your diet from the last few days and I'll give you eating tips.

    Went from 60-88kg.
    Today is fairly typical - it's been:
    Bowl of granola with whole milk (400 kcal)
    Cheese, tomato and onion panini with nachos (300 kcal?)
    Flapjack bar (100 kcal?)
    Quorn chicken korma with egg rice (1k kcal)
    Whole milk whey protein shake with olive oil (500 kcal)

    Which leaves me about 700 kcal short of 3000.

    I've been bringing extra granola cereal bars in to work and eating an extra 400-600 kcal's worth per day from those, though I ran out recently. Got some more yesterday.

    I think if I really want to conquer this I will have to start bringing packed lunches into work or something.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Today is fairly typical - it's been:
    Bowl of granola with whole milk (400 kcal)
    Cheese, tomato and onion panini with nachos (300 kcal?)
    Flapjack bar (100 kcal?)
    Quorn chicken korma with egg rice (1k kcal)
    Whole milk whey protein shake with olive oil (500 kcal)

    Which leaves me about 700 kcal short of 3000.

    I've been bringing extra granola cereal bars in to work and eating an extra 400-600 kcal's worth per day from those, though I ran out recently. Got some more yesterday.

    I think if I really want to conquer this I will have to start bringing packed lunches into work or something.
    The evening meal shows potential, and that is a good shake but you need a bigger breakfast and lunch.

    Can you add in some snacks or just eat bigger amounts or switch then it for more calories?

    E. G. Pb and stuff on toast in morning

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    (Original post by miser)
    Today is fairly typical - it's been:
    Bowl of granola with whole milk (400 kcal)
    Cheese, tomato and onion panini with nachos (300 kcal?)
    Flapjack bar (100 kcal?)
    Quorn chicken korma with egg rice (1k kcal)
    Whole milk whey protein shake with olive oil (500 kcal)

    Which leaves me about 700 kcal short of 3000.

    I've been bringing extra granola cereal bars in to work and eating an extra 400-600 kcal's worth per day from those, though I ran out recently. Got some more yesterday.

    I think if I really want to conquer this I will have to start bringing packed lunches into work or something.
    Having two peanut butter sandwiches 20g each (2 pieces of bread each) is just over 500 calories not to mention very tasty and doesn't take long to prepare. And maybe like a chocolate bar or two/cottage cheese and crackers(if you still need to make up the protein for the day) should help bring it up to 700cal.
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    (Original post by Motorbiker)
    The evening meal shows potential, and that is a good shake but you need a bigger breakfast and lunch.

    Can you add in some snacks or just eat bigger amounts or switch then it for more calories?

    E. G. Pb and stuff on toast in morning

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    Thanks. :yy: I can add in the cereal bars in the mornings. It's quite realistic for me to eat 800-1000 kcal before lunch. Lunch I think it might be a good idea to just prepare myself PB sandwiches to have in addition to what I eat already.

    (Original post by TSA)
    Having two peanut butter sandwiches 20g each (2 pieces of bread each) is just over 500 calories not to mention very tasty and doesn't take long to prepare. And maybe like a chocolate bar or two/cottage cheese and crackers(if you still need to make up the protein for the day) should help bring it up to 700cal.
    Thanks for the tip. Yeah, PB sandwiches are some of my favourites.
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    If in doubt raid a supermarket late in the day

    Co-op is really close to me, if I'm short on calories I can buy a bag of doughnuts, an apple pie etc etc for 20p and less

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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    If in doubt raid a supermarket late in the day

    Co-op is really close to me, if I'm short on calories I can buy a bag of doughnuts, an apple pie etc etc for 20p and less

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    Ooo great tip! I live near a Morrisons.
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    Chapter XXIV: A personal revolution

    I went to the gym last week. Emphasis on 'went'. When I got there it was busy. All the stuff I wanted to use was in use - everything. I thought I ought to sit down and wait. Then I noticed it. I was intimidated by all the muscley guys getting their pump on. I didn't want to sit down in there. All that focused energy made the atmosphere intense. It triggered something primal. I immediately ran away. To the train station.

    I don't really enjoy the gym anymore. It was fun when it was all new and interesting. Now it's a chore. My new hobby is to come up with excuses for why not to go and enjoy the warm fuzzies of acquiescence to sloth. It's disgustingly indulgent, like eating a plate of Belgian waffles. Yummy.

    It's not all good though. Failure for lack of self-discipline serves to overtly affront my character. I mean let's get real here - how can I wax egoic, thinking to myself all day about how amazing I am, if I'm so easily toppled by wants for material comfort? A slap-in-the-face contradiction. I'm better than that.

    A life lesson I learnt from Disney: Aladdin was a diamond in the rough. Thanks Disney, I hear what you're saying. There's a gemstone in all of us. Inside me there's a Bruce Lee lurking. A Mo Ali weaving. I know what's inside me, but do you? How could you? Inside everyone there's a gemstone, surrounded by imperfection. Are you gonna keep it to yourself? Or are you gonna show it to the world? It's time to break out the Mr Sheen. Polish 'til you shine. Who are you really? Show me.

    It's time for a revolution. One life, one chance. It's all a choice. Weakness
    or strength. Flaws or perfection. The current regime is weak - overthrow it!
    The rulers are unprincipled - oust them! It's time for a personal revolution.
    Embrace the struggle. Time to DO and let those who can't keep up marvel from the sidelines.

    The crowd's eyes trained on me. Blink and you'll miss it. The world better be watching, 'cause here I go.

    Thoughts on future workouts
    In the past few weeks I've been experimenting with yoga and bodyweight exercises. I like them both. I've got myself a yoga routine to improve my mobility. I put on some zen music and count my breaths. Pretty peaceful actually.

    I've been looking into bodyweight exercises because the gym is expensive and seems to be an inhibitor of my success. The gym I have isn't that great and it's also been pretty damn inconvenient in the recent downpours. So I've been measuring the feasibility of switching to a bodyweight routine. There's some hope for it.

    It probably wouldn't be as good due to not having a decent equivalent for squats and dead lifts. But the best workout is going to be the one I actually do reliably. Progression of exercises is a little more awkward but seems workable.

    I have decent equivalents for all the others except shrugs, straight bar and bent over row. I have some ideas in mind for how to address these if I bought some cheap stuff.

    I've learnt a lot from lifting weights I've noticed. I used to do home workouts with press ups and situps and wondered why I never made any progress in strength or physique. But what I needed was high enough resistance that I can only manage short sets.

    I got out my scales to measure what I was benching with elevated press ups. In different positions I can go up to about 45kg. Then I realised I could just stick some heavy stuff in a backpack and wear that while doing standard ones.

    Something about bodyweight workouts is more appealing to me anyway. Don't know why.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Chapter XXIV: A personal revolution

    I went to the gym last week. Emphasis on 'went'. When I got there it was busy. All the stuff I wanted to use was in use - everything. I thought I ought to sit down and wait. Then I noticed it. I was intimidated by all the muscley guys getting their pump on. I didn't want to sit down in there. All that focused energy made the atmosphere intense. It triggered something primal. I immediately ran away. To the train station.

    I don't really enjoy the gym anymore. It was fun when it was all new and interesting. Now it's a chore. My new hobby is to come up with excuses for why not to go and enjoy the warm fuzzies of acquiescence to sloth. It's disgustingly indulgent, like eating a plate of Belgian waffles. Yummy.

    It's not all good though. Failure for lack of self-discipline serves to overtly affront my character. I mean let's get real here - how can I wax egoic, thinking to myself all day about how amazing I am, if I'm so easily toppled by wants for material comfort? A slap-in-the-face contradiction. I'm better than that.

    A life lesson I learnt from Disney: Aladdin was a diamond in the rough. Thanks Disney, I hear what you're saying. There's a gemstone in all of us. Inside me there's a Bruce Lee lurking. A Mo Ali weaving. I know what's inside me, but do you? How could you? Inside everyone there's a gemstone, surrounded by imperfection. Are you gonna keep it to yourself? Or are you gonna show it to the world? It's time to break out the Mr Sheen. Polish 'til you shine. Who are you really? Show me.

    It's time for a revolution. One life, one chance. It's all a choice. Weakness
    or strength. Flaws or perfection. The current regime is weak - overthrow it!
    The rulers are unprincipled - oust them! It's time for a personal revolution.
    Embrace the struggle. Time to DO and let those who can't keep up marvel from the sidelines.

    The crowd's eyes trained on me. Blink and you'll miss it. The world better be watching, 'cause here I go.

    Thoughts on future workouts
    In the past few weeks I've been experimenting with yoga and bodyweight exercises. I like them both. I've got myself a yoga routine to improve my mobility. I put on some zen music and count my breaths. Pretty peaceful actually.

    I've been looking into bodyweight exercises because the gym is expensive and seems to be an inhibitor of my success. The gym I have isn't that great and it's also been pretty damn inconvenient in the recent downpours. So I've been measuring the feasibility of switching to a bodyweight routine. There's some hope for it.

    It probably wouldn't be as good due to not having a decent equivalent for squats and dead lifts. But the best workout is going to be the one I actually do reliably. Progression of exercises is a little more awkward but seems workable.

    I have decent equivalents for all the others except shrugs, straight bar and bent over row. I have some ideas in mind for how to address these if I bought some cheap stuff.

    I've learnt a lot from lifting weights I've noticed. I used to do home workouts with press ups and situps and wondered why I never made any progress in strength or physique. But what I needed was high enough resistance that I can only manage short sets.

    I got out my scales to measure what I was benching with elevated press ups. In different positions I can go up to about 45kg. Then I realised I could just stick some heavy stuff in a backpack and wear that while doing standard ones.

    Something about bodyweight workouts is more appealing to me anyway. Don't know why.
    To replace bent over rows, simply do front lever rows (full lay, half lay/straddle, tucked-flat or tucked-rounded depending on how strong you are).

    Start doing your pushups unevenly (put most of your weight one arm each rep) for more effective load. Try and progress to one arm. Handstand pushups for shoulders/tris etc and you can work up to planche pushups (again it will probably take you quite a while before you can even hold a round back tuck planche before you can even think about adding the pushup to it).

    Theres loads you can do with your bodyweight .
 
 
 
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