Join Date: Aug 2007
Ok, so there's a lot of stuff to respond to, and my draft of this post ended up being way to long, so let me try to condense it one more time...
1. Regarding my reasons for gaining weight: Yes, generally speaking, the heavier you are, the harder gymnastics type stuff is. However, how would putting a few more pounds of muscle directly on my lats and shoulders make a front lever harder? That's basically what I'm trying to do, and it's why I'm laying off doing much leg work, like squats, etc. I realize that the dearth (though not total lack of) lower body movements might make gaining happen a bit more slowly, but if it makes it more directed where I want, that's fine. I'm just confused by the total stop in weight gain, in spite of the gallon of milk.
As a side note, over the past few years, I've taken a handful of circumference measurements a few times, just for curiosity's sake. As I went up from 180bs to 210lbs, my arm measurement increased from roughly 15" to 15.5". I don't know if that's normal, but for a 30lb gain, it doesn't seem to be. Since continuing with more BWE based work staying at 210lbs, then jumping up to 220lbs, that's gone up to 16". I'm in no way relating size to strength, but you can't say that more size doesn't at least give more potential for strength, and in that case, laying off the leg work hasn't negatively impacted my potential for upperbody BWE strength. (Coincidentally, it hasn't even negatively impacted my mediocre lower body lift strength.)
2. Regarding bodyfat goals. I realize that putting specific numbers on bodyfat percentages is kind of silly, since you really can't measure it accurately, and even if you could, it wouldn't matter, but I find it helps label the generalities. Right now, I'd guesstimate I'm at 220lbs/15% (not low-balling the estimate for my ego's sake). My end goal would be something like 230lbs/10%. So, yeah, that's about 20lbs of LBM. I don't have to do that all this summer by any means, though I'd like to get as far as possible (who doesn't like making progress?), and the stalling of the scale doesn't really show that happening.
I've always been under the impression that 230lbs/10% was a reasonable limit for a guy of my height. I'm not sure where I got that impression, but as Dave said, it seems to be right around there where you start turning down the road to lard-ass. I'm not shooting for 230lbs/6%, since that's rapidly moving several steps away from the potential of the average, dedicated Joe, but 230lbs/10% doesn't seem too bad, and as I mentioned before, if it's on the muscles that help you lever, planche, or whatnot, how would it not make levers, planches, and whatnot easier?
Let me be clear that the whole reason for setting a bodyfat guideline isn't even for aesthetics, but just to set a limit on how much dead weight I want on me while I'm hanging from the rings. Please hold your laughter; I'm being serious. I don't take my shirt off in public (Do you?) so that's no reason. Nor do I have any girls to impress in bed with my washboard abz (there are several good threads on IGx about this), so that's no reason either. I'm saying ~10% because that seems to be a reasonable compromise between added effort on the rings and added effort in the kitchen. I could just as easily say 220lbs/6%, since that'd be the same from an LBM perspective, but then that'd just be a pain to do. I'd do it if it'd make a substantial difference in my bodyweight:strength ratio, but otherwise, I like ice cream too much.
3. The "need" to gain weight. I don't need to, but I'd like to. (If I have used the word "need" anywhere before in this thread, I misspoke.) I will not feel like my life is a waste if I never hit 230lbs. I could just as well drop down to 180lbs to make progress on rings skills, but then that'd make partner balancing much more difficult, and that's also important to me. Partner balancing is basically just lifting another person in a series of strength/balance poses, and since that other person's weight is set, the bigger I can be, the more effective of a "base" I could be. Also, I might decide to give a SM competition a go at some point in the future just for the hell of it, but when the classes are normally 231lbs, 265lbs, and SHW, a 180lb guy doesn't stand a chance. So, when picking either down or up in weight as being a move that'd help me accomplish my goals, up seems to be be the better choice in my mind.
Also, tightrope walking doesn't discriminate between heavy or light, so either one works there. The only minor issue is that the heavier you go, the more it hurts your feet, since you have more weight to support, but the same area to support it on (a 3/4" wide strip down the centerline of each foot).
4. Regarding precedents. There was one guy on the club my first year who was 6'0, 240lbs and pretty damn jacked. Guys like him are hard to come by though, in a variety of ways, and I don't use him as an example of what I'm going for. He had a good handstand press, but definitely could have been stronger, simply because he never trained strength moves on rings.
5. Regarding physical activity. In day to day life, I'm not a lazy ass, though I'm generally not working my ass off 24/7 either. This week has just happened to be particularly bad because of yardwork (bamboo clearing), but the weight stall has been going on for longer than that - even during a 5 day period I took as deloading/rest (final exams). As I said before though, I'm shooting for pretty high-volume when it comes to the number of workouts per week, since I want to make a lot of progress on skill based work (like handstands/presses) and hammer the various strength moves I've come to find effective as frequently as possible (you don't get better at something by doing it less). To help maximize volume while minimizing accumulating fatigue, I'm giving intuitive training a shot. This gives me roughly 8-12hrs of working out, plus some tightrope walking. All my workouts are "feeling good," and I can tell I'm making progress on the stuff I'm working, so I figure I'm doing something right with it.
6. Regarding olive oil. Like I mentioned, I've had no positive results with this in the past, when I was trying to break past 190-195lbs, and taking in 5000-8000 calories per day. About 2000-3000 of that was olive oil, and a lot of the rest was ice cream; couldn't get nearly enough good protein from the campus diners (I cook for myself now though). It was delicious - at least the ice cream, not the olive oil - but I hardly gained an ounce from it. Now that I've got the protein (~300g/day is good enough, right?), do you think ~1000 cals of olive oil per day might give me the extra bump I need? I realize I could also get that hypertrophy-inducing nudge from backsquats, but since that's not going to help me at all with my BWE goals, I'd rather leave them out of it.
7. Regarding facial hair. Unfortunately, I can't get much beyond a gnarly neckbeard. It comes in on the upper parts of the face, just no where near thick enough to make it balanced. I've considered shaving my head too, but I've got a feeling that that would leave my head looking awkwardly large.
I think I touched on all the points I meant to. If I missed something you want me to address, please just bring it up again. Believe it or not, this is shorter and more concise than the last draft of this post.
And yes, I'm actually holding that handstand. Get on my level.