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Old 07-06-2007, 12:02 PM   #84
Ron Nelson
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Center of the heterosexual universe
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Updates and revelations:

Weighed in last night at the gym for the first time in a couple of weeks. I was pleased to find that I finally dropped to 214 and have lost about 2 inches on my waist. I'm almost back to my 34" shorts as opposed to the 36's I've been wearing. I was also surprised at the drop seeing as I've been out of the gym for over a week and my diet while in the casinos last week consisted of beer and McDonald's (I also went to Tony Roma's for dinner once, but it wasn't as good as the sausage McMuffin with egg).

I attribute the drop in weight and fat to getting on the bike and riding to work more often. If it weren't for flat tires, I'd have ridden more often. Also, I tend to stay active once I get home. I pick up things, I clean, I cook, I fix. If the kids are willing, I get out with them. It's basically the John Walsh approach, except I'm not selling out like he did. I'm limiting my time in the gym to 2-3 days max, and just for strength work. If I can, I'll just do bodyweight work whenever I feel like it. So far, so good.

On my trip to the gym last night, the goal was to get out in under an hour and get a decent workout in. It should be stated right now, my goals have changed. . .again. I feel I've worked off a decent amount of fat and can keep on doing it as long as I work the strength and keep up my activity level. The IF'ing doesn't hurt as well. So, last night I decided to follow the sage (if not plagiarized) advice of Dan John (you know I'm kidding about the plagiarism part, right Dan?) and I did one of his workouts from his last T-Nation article. It starts with squats (5x5) then moves to a ladder combination of dumbbell clean and press with pull ups. The ladder is a 1-2-3-3-2-1. I'm not sure how many ladders (up and down) you're supposed to do, so I did 3. That's 1-2-3-3-2-1, times 3. A total of 36 reps for each movement.

The squats were kind of light, even for me, as I had taken about 2 weeks off from doing any. I ended up at 225 for 5 and it felt fine.

The ladders started with 50lb and no weight added for pull ups. Second round the cleans and presses stayed the same and I added 15lb to the pull ups (to make up for the weight I've lost). The third round was 55lb cleans and presses and no weight added for the pull ups. In all, I really enjoyed the work. It felt like GPP as I was gasping and sweating like a pig (although, technically pigs don't sweat, so I guess it's all kind of ironic. . .or absurd). Nonetheless, I was out of the gym in 45 minutes and felt like I got my money's worth.

Back to this thought on goals. I know many are big on goals and their training centers around that goal. My problem is my goals remain vague. That is, I'm not sure what I want out of my training. I'm not an athlete as I do not compete (I'd like to, but the opportunities to do an HG around Orange County seem slim), but I do play basketball occasionally and play softball in a league. I like being in better shape than most of the men my age I see. Occasionally I'll see a guy older than me sporting a bunch of muscle, but he can't run or even bike for shit. Me? I can lift, I can run, I can bike, I can keep up with my kids with no problems. I know, good for me. . .pin the medal on my chest. But really, what do I need from my training? At one point, I was concerned with getting stronger and to an extent, I still am. My problem was I looking to all the wrong places to get my advice.

I was reading and applying a lot of things from the EFTS newsletter and site. Problem was, I'm no powerlifter. I did focus on the big three and still do (press, squat, deadlift), but I was eating like I was Dave Tate on a Pop Tart binge. My lifts did not go up, I was not going to compete, and I was getting fatter. As a side note, Dave Tate is one of my favorite minor league fitness celebrities. He likes to push his limits and experiment on himself. Sort of like me, but without the muscle and Pop Tarts. Anyway, I also took a lot away from T-Nation, guys like Cosgrove, Waterbury, Cressey, and Gentlecore. I applied what was useful from each, sometimes to the exclusion of all other advice. Now, I'm at a crossroads and find myself adhering to the advice of John Walsh: Just be active. So far, I like it, but we all know that will change in less than 10 days.

So, to conclude: Dan John, good workouts, always seems to come up with something I like. T-Nation writes who aren't DJ, hit and miss, but I'll always try something new because. . .well, it's new. Dave Tate, good for powerlifters who like speed metal, Budweiser, and sugary snacks. Crossfit, got me pretty far, but it hurt like a mutha. I still do it occasionally.

Next? Depends on what I feel like next.
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