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gazareth's journal

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by gazareth, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Welcome to my journal :)

    I'm Gaz, I'm 25 and live in the Oxford area in the UK. I'm currently trying to maintain after cutting my way down from a lifetime high of 227. I hope to continue cutting at some point in the future, but right now I'm enjoying a mental break from it and concentrating on my strength training.

    I play a lot of sport, mainly rugby and cricket, so my training is partly geared towards these endeavours.

    Here are my current goals, as of June 26th 2007:

    Bench press 5RM: 100kg (currently 80kg)
    Squat 5RM: 140kg (currently 120kg)
    Deadlift 5RM: 140kg (currently 130kg)
    Get good at dips & pullups
    Cut bodyfat to around 10% or so


    The post quoted below is the original first post I made on 5th October 2006.

     
    #1 gazareth, Oct 5, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2007
  2. bballer143

    bballer143 Well-Known Member

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    Hey Gazareth!
    First off, welcome and congratulations on the progress you've made so far, as well as starting up a journal!!! I can certainly notice a difference in those pictures :) Secondly, it seems like you really know your information when it comes to structuring a fitness plan, so I bet you'll reach your goals in no time! I just started my journal recently and it definitely has motivated me to keep working hard and not slack off (at least not yet :lol: ) so I've really found it helpful and actually kind of fun to have. :D
    :gl:!!
     
  3. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Thanks for your kind words. I've no doubt that I'm geared up and ready to nail this attempt.

    I think the biggest hurdle for me to overcome is rugby. Every time I go to rugby training I seem to pick up a new bruise or scrape, and it won't be long before I end up putting myself out of action for a week or more. Last night I thought I'd pulled my groin muscle after I took a particularly big hit in a tackle. I couldn't run at all afterwards, but it seems to be OK this morning. I've also done something to the index and middle fingers on my right hand :rolleyes: I'd only just gone back to training after 10 days out with a mild shoulder injury sustained after falling over in the gym :lol: I wonder what entertaining way of injuring myself I'll come up with next...
     
  4. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    My Friday Mars bar tasted extra good today for some reason :eat:

    My leg feels fine now, I'll test it at the gym later but I feel like I'm in good shape for the match tomorrow. Seems I'll probably be playing for the 3rd XV. The standard can be quite poor there, but our 1st XV doesn't have a game so some of them will probably play for us, which will help!

    Sticking to the eating rules so far... now here comes the hard part: le weekend!
     
  5. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I've now gone 4 days straight without veering off track in any way :tu: It's been pretty easy for the most part, but I have had to exert some willpower to stave off hunger cravings a few times.

    I played my first rugby match for 8 months today. I lasted the full 80 minutes and did OK. I made a few mistakes but I think I can iron those kind of things out from my game once I've got a few matches under my belt. We lost 43-24, but I did score our last try (similar to a touch-down in NFL) with a pacy burst past the last line of defence. My fitness held up OK but I definitely need match practice to get my sharpness back.

    I weighed myself today - down 2 pounds from Wednesday, so that's a good start. Still, since the 25th August I've been going between 182 and 186 constantly (weighed in at 183 today) - I'll only be confident that I've broken the plateau once I see 181.
     
  6. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I weighed in at 182 this morning. I'm not gonna weigh myself again until Friday now...

    I just ran 5km on the treadmill at the gym. This might seem like a piffling amount to some of you, but to me it's a big deal. I've never run further than 3km or so in one go before, so it feels like a big achievement. It took me about 30 minutes, so hardly lightning speed, but I'm proud of this milestone nonetheless. At the end of May I could barely run at 10km/h for 12 minutes, let alone 30!
     
  7. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Another small personal milestone: I bench pressed for the first time tonight! Every time I've tried it in the past I've had to stop due to a sharp pain in my right wrist. I decided to give it another shot today and I felt no discomfort whatsoever :)
     
  8. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I know I said I wouldn't weigh myself again until Friday, but I couldn't resist it :)

    This morning I hit the magical 181 mark, meaning that I am officially through the plateau :guitar:

    I played football last night as my mate managed to book us a new pitch. Having played at the luxurious Oxford University sports ground, where they have plush water-based astroturf pitches and modern goalframes with proper netting, we had a bit of a shock when we turned up at Magdalen College yesterday to find that the pitch we had booked was the only the size of 3 tennis courts. Not only that, but there were no goalposts whatsoever, and the pitch was in fact concrete (i.e. like the hard tennis court surfaces you get). My knees and ankles took a pounding as I was wearing my astroturf boots which don't nearly enough support in them for that kind of hard surface. Sadly my mate block-booked and paid for this "pitch" until December... :bang:
     
  9. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    In the words of John Belushi, "hoollleeeee shitttt-uhhhh".

    I just had a speedwork session at the gym and I am absolutely exhausted. The aim of these sessions is to improve my anaerobic fitness and help make me faster, both of which are essential for rugby.

    The session is essentially done in circuits. I do the following 4 times, resting to let my heart rate return to 130bpm between exercises, and then a 2 minute rest between circuits.

    8 x Up/Downs: I start in a prone position, sprint 10 metres, turn around, go into a prone position and spring back up. That's one rep. I go up and down 8 times. :cry:
    24 x DB box jumps: I put one foot on the floor, and the other on a box about 1 foot high. I then have to jump off the foot on the box. I do 12 jumps on each side.
    12 x DB squat jumps: This is self-explanatory. I go into a parallel squat position, dumb bells by my side, and jump upwards as high as I can. I do this 12 times.
    20 x bounds: I "hop" down the length of the gym, stopping in between each jump (without resting my other leg) and making sure I sink low to spring into the next jump. I do this 10 times on each leg.
    Farmer's walk: I do a lap of the gym with a DB in each hand. The weight is heavy enough that I can't break into a run.

    This is me right now: :drool:

    Only without the smile.
     
  10. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    One of the company directors at my work who doesn't work full-time in our office (he's an academic :read: ) walked past me at lunchtime. I said "hi" and he didn't say anything. Then he came into the office this afternoon and saw me - it took him a few seconds to register who I was and then he said "good lord, I didn't recognise you at lunchtime!".

    That's a good feeling :cool:
     
  11. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I strayed slightly from the dietery rules at the weekend. Nothing too major but it was straying nonetheless. I also had a few beers on Friday night as well as on Saturday, but I have a good excuse! On Friday I was meeting a friend as she wanted to introduce me to some of her single work colleagues (turned out to be a bit of a waste, but hey), and on Saturday it was my mate's birthday. For some reason I was hit by an overwhelming feeling of depression after about 4 beers on Saturday. I dunno if it was something I ate or what, but I really felt out of place amongst my friends and I had a horrible sense that no one would care if I wasn't there.

    Thankfully I felt a lot better on Sunday morning, although I was craving some endorphines so I hit the gym and ran another 5km. Some twerp tried to pull some alpha-male shit on me and every time I increased the speed of my treadmill, he followed suit. It was especially amusing as I'd already been running 10 minutes when he started, and after another 10 minutes he was holding onto the machine for dear life :lol:
     
  12. misterrossi

    misterrossi Well-Known Member

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    Nice work fella!

    Careful on that stuff, I picked up a couple of nasty injuries a few years ago playing on similar ground.

    Ross
     
  13. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Last night I managed to complete my speedwork session for the first time! On previous occasions I haven't been able to fit all 4 circuits into the 50 minute timelimit (any longer and there's danger of muscle catabolisation etc), but evidently my recovery time is much quicker now as I easily got all 4 circuits in.

    However, I was absolutely shattered afterwards, and I was also suffering from really bad heartburn (acid reflux) for the last half hour or so. My trainer suggested that I eat more oranges, so I went out to buy a load of clementines today :eat:

    I decided not to play football this week - after the debacle over our booking, the goalposts and the surface last week I thought it would be better for me to go to rugby training. It says something about just how hard that surface was on my joints that I felt there was less of an injury risk from going to rugby training! I've got rugby again tonight, and then a match on Saturday. I'm only a sub though, so it remains to be seen how much of a run out I'll actually get. Here's hoping though...
     
  14. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I take my progress pics on the 10th, 20th and 30th of every month, so this morning I took my latest pic and noticed some of the after-effects of rugby training.

    Both of my upper arms are covered in bruises, making me look like a smack addict. Last night we did some tackling practice, and after a few weeks of getting pushed around due to my lack of upper body strength, it was great for me to feel vaguely strong. It seems that 12 weeks of squats and deadlifts have given me pretty good base strength in my legs and lower back, enabling me to drive through the low tackles really well. The first XV captain even complimented me after I put in an absolute corker of a hit on him. There might be a 3rd XV match tomorrow, in which case I'll probably get a full 80 minutes, otherwise I'm subbing for the 2nd XV.

    I wrote on the 11th that I was through the plateau, but it now seems otherwise. I've stagnated again, and haven't lost another pound. I'm wondering if I'm doing enough cardio - although rugby training can be quite tiring, I'm not sure that I'm really burning enough calories by doing it, and I'm only doing one formal full cardio session a week - on a Sunday. On Fridays I'm doing 3 compound lifts (last week it was side squats, DB bench press and BO row) plus 10-15 mins of cardio.

    I'm thinking that I'll maybe need to fit in 2 sessions of LISS first thing in the morning to give me that extra boost. I'm also going to try and work out my daily calorific intake today, but it's tough because FitDay is so USA-centric. I'll need to write down the info from all my food packaging :doh:
     
  15. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Here's yesterday's progress pic, showing off my rugby bruises. They're particularly noticeable on my right arm :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
    #15 gazareth, Oct 21, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2009
  16. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    We lost 71-0 in our rugby match today :lol: I ended up playing for the 3rds against a local club's 4th XV, but it turns out their 2nd XV had no game so a load of their players turned out for the 4ths instead. I had to play in a new position, as did several other people, and the opposition had to lend us 2 players to make our numbers up to 15.

    It was basically an exercise in tackling practice for most of the game - I got the ball in my hands maybe 3 times in the whole game! My afternoon was cut short after about 60 minutes when I fell heavily on my left shoulder after executing a thumping tackle on an opposition winger. It's very painful now and I think it's going to keep me out of rugby and weights for a couple of weeks at least :(
     
  17. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    My trainer doesn't think my shoulder injury is too bad. He did some flexibility tests on it and is pretty sure that the ligaments and tendons are fine, which is a huge relief. With luck I'll be fighting fit for the next game I'm available for, which is on Saturday 4th November. I'm gonna see our rugby club's physio tonight just to see if there's anything else I can be doing and to check that there's nothing I've missed so far. It still hurts, particularly when I have to stretch it to put on a t-shirt or a jacket, but it's a lot better than it was on Saturday evening.

    Last night I managed to get in 50 odd minutes of cardio - 20 minutes running (shoulder seemed to cope with that!), 20 minutes on the recumbent bike and 10 minutes on the cross trainer with my arms by my sides - so I'm not gonna be completely inactive while I recover from this injury :tu:

    I'm going to Copenhagen on Friday for a business trip. Well, I say business trip, because from Sunday until Tuesday I'll be at a conference, but on Friday and Saturday I'm gonna be partying with some Scandinavian friends in Malmo and Copenhagen. :jumping:
    Luckily there's a gym in the hotel I'm staying in so I'll be able to get in a few cardio sessions at the very least ;)
     
  18. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    Dunno if anyone's reading this, but I just thought I should say hello ;) I'm still alive and still going. I weighed in yesterday at 180 pounds, so I've lost 5 since I started this journal. That's 5 pounds in a month, so slow progress but progress nonetheless. I had a bit of a week off for my trip to Copenhagen - a lot of beer was drunk and I didn't do any exercise.

    I'm back on it now though and taking part in November's 100 challenge. Sadly I've lost 2 points already. On Friday night I had a few too many beers and as a result I didn't feel like doing anything on Saturday. I then drank again on Saturday, thus losing a point for no exercise, and a point for breaking my once-a-week rule for alcohol.

    I ran 5km yesterday and I'm going for my full body workout tonight - not able to do bench presses yet as my shoulder isn't fully recovered. Hopefully I'll be fit for Saturday's rugby match but I'll have to see how it goes...
     
  19. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I haven't updated this in a while :o

    December and the first couple of weeks of January weren't great months for me nutrition-wise, I must say! I went to Slovakia for a week of partying in early December, and to Australia for 3 weeks of sun and cricket over Christmas/New Year, so my "athlete's diet" went to pot slightly. IT WAS FANTASTIC :lol:

    Sadly I've been back 2 weeks and I'm not entirely back into the groove. I'm hovering around 185-188 lbs, so I haven't put on a massive amount, but enough to get me annoyed. It really hits you hard when you indulge your sweet tooth just a few times - I'm struggling to hold out against chocolate cravings once more. I am doing well now though, and know that if I can just hold on a few days I will be through it.

    My current schedule looks something like this:

    (I do 2 weights sessions a week, the day I do them depends on whether I have indoor rugby practice on a Wednesday)
    MON: Full-body weights / Indoor cricket practice/match
    TUE: Cardio
    WED: Indoor rugby training / Full-body weights
    THU: Outdoor rugby training
    FRI: Full-body weights
    SAT: Rugby match / rest

    I'm trying also to get, at least temporarily, into a strict eating pattern so that I can ensure I'm getting back into good habits. I'm doing a basic pattern of oatmeal and boiled eggs for breakfast, fruit n nut mix in the morning (raisins, unsalted nuts etc), sandwich with tuna/chicken/turkey for lunch, lots of fruit in the afternoon and a normal meal in the evening (meat & veg, pasta etc). I'm also dabbling in cottage cheese, although I really can't stand to eat it on its own. I know that eating it on crackers (aka water biscuits) isn't the best nutritionally, but it's the only way I can stomach this protein source. Any other serving suggestions? :)

    Anyway, my current target is to hit 178 by 1st March. It should be easily doable if I stick to the rules I've outlined above.

    Oh yeah, and I am hoping to run the Oxford town and gown 10km in May. I've never done anything like this before so it's quite daunting, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. While I was down under I did a couple of 5km circuits around Albert Park Lake in Melbourne and that was knackering enough, so I've got plenty of work to do for a 10km :)
     
  20. gazareth

    gazareth Senior Member

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    I didn't think my cardio fitness had suffered too much over my holiday, but rugby training over the last 2 nights has kicked my ass well and truly in to gear.

    Last night we did indoor training, which given the nature of a contact sport like rugby, means you have to focus on things like fitness and ball handling rather than tackling, rucking or mauling. After we'd warmed up with sprints and the like (I was pleased to note that I'm easily one of the quickest in the squad, it makes up for my lack of talent :D ), we did 15 minutes of circuit training. It reminded me of the speedwork sessions I used to do with my trainer, only I'm sure it seemed 10 times worse. Each exercise lasted 2 minutes I think, and were:
    * Shuttle runs with an up/down (going from upright to a press-up position and back up again in one motion) at one end, at full pace
    * Ab crunches
    * Front plank (I can do this for 2 mins just about when I'm 100%... argh)
    * Hopping with both feet together over a bench, back and forth in a zig-zag motion down the length of the bench
    * 1 on 1 scrums for 10 seconds on each side, alternating sides for the 2 mins
    * Some back exercise I don't know the name of (lying on your front and raising your shoulders)
    * Running lightly into a tackle bag held by your partner 3 times on each shoulder, alternating and swapping the tackle bag for 2 mins

    After that it was mainly ball-handling drills and other things aimed at improving defensive line organisation and attacking running lines, and it wasn't quite so bad, but I was pretty sapped from the fitness bit. I did find some comfort in the knowledge that I had stayed the course in the fitness bit and that 12 months ago I would have barely been able to complete one set of shuttle runs, let alone a full 15 minute circuit. :)

    Tonight's training session was outdoors, in the lovely January Oxford weather. It was minus 2, the ground was pretty hard and soon became cut-up as well, so it wasn't much fun to run on. That really took it out of my lower legs. Ah well, better suck it up - dead lifts tomorrow :bb:

    I realised today that I've gone a whole week without breaking my diet rules regarding chocolate/sweet stuff, so I really feel as though my "Friday mars bar" is fully deserved this week. Hooray :claphigh:
     

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