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Introduction- carddante

Discussion in 'Fitness Journals' started by carddante, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Well, I decided I've been lurking around these parts long enough. It's time to come out of the shadows and say hello. I've really enjoyed reading what everyone else posts and your progress, failures, encouragement and challenges have inspired me.

    I started working out while in college. I was not very educated about it at first, but picked things up here and there as I tried different things. (I still remember how excited I was the first time I dumbbell pressed 50lb dumbbells :D )I really started learning more after I picked up the Body For Life program and various Men's Health programs. My biggest problem, though, was staying dedicated to any particular program. I would burn out after a couple of months and then pick it up again a few months later. I can honestly say I've not stayed on a program for longer than 3 months at a time without falling off of the wagon.

    I was a steady 185lbs throughout college but after graduation, my sedintary lifestyle started to get to me and I have ballooned up to 215. It's not noticeable to many people, but I know what I used to look like and I know what I used to feel like and it's very easy for me to see how far I've fallen.

    So a month ago I rededicated myself to the cause. I sat down and in no uncertain terms set my goals and the timeframe I would meet them in. October 17th was the first day of my challenge and I have made remarkable progress so far. I don't know if it is the newfound focus I have (or just the rage-metal music on my iPod) but I'm now lifting more than I have ever been able to lift before. After the first month of getting back into fighting shape, I found the Max-OT program used by so many people on here and decided to give it a shot. I started it yesterday.

    I guess I just wanted to get on here and introduce myself as someone who has watched John grow for about a year and a half now as well as someone who has enjoyed all of your posts. Don't ever think that the things you say and do on here cannot affect someone who reads them because I am proof otherwise. I encourage all of you to keep up the good work because not only are you making yourselves healthier, you are helping others do the same. Best of luck to all of you.
     
  2. williamso

    williamso Well-Known Member

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    Welcome aboard. Glad to have you here. You've been around for a while now, so there's no need to tell you about JSF community, but thanks for becoming a part of it.

    Good work on your progress so far. Keep us updated. Any pics?
     
  3. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    Welcome. :)
     
  4. Sole

    Sole Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the boards! Make sure to keep us posted with your progress.
     
  5. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Update with actual measurements:

    Oct 17, 2005

    Height: 6'
    Weight: 215
    BF%: 22.3%
    Neck: 16"
    Shoulders: 50"
    Chest: 40"
    Arms: 14" cold 14 1/2" pumped
    Waist: 39"
    Quad: 24"
    Calf: 16 1/2"

    Nov 28, 2005
    Height: 6'
    Weight: 213
    BF%: 21.2%
    Neck: 16 1/2"
    Shoulders: 49 1/2"
    Chest: 43"
    Arms: 14 1/4" cold 15 1/4" pumped
    Waist: 38 3/4"
    Quad: 24 1/4"
    Calf: 17"

    Goal:
    Height: 6' (Not expecting a whole lot of change in this department...)
    Weight: 185
    BF%: 15%
    Neck: 16"
    Shoulders: 52"
    Chest: 46"
    Arms: 16"/17"
    Waist: 34"
    Quad: 26"
    Calf: 17 1/2"

    Also, here are a couple of pics from before I started. I'll post some new pics as soon as I can.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #5 carddante, Nov 29, 2005
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2009
  6. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Man, it's fun going back and comparing my current state to previous results. I've been working out very regularly for the last two years after many, many years of going off and on and off and on again. In fact, I'd long since forgotten I ever posted those pics! Since that time, my stats have changed to the following (as of this morning):

    Weight: 220.5
    BF%: 19.2%
    Neck: 16.5
    Shoulders: 50.5
    Chest: 44
    Left Bi: 16.5
    Right Bi: 16
    Forearm: 12.5
    Wrist: 7.25
    Waist: 38.25
    Hips: 37.75
    Thigh: 25.75
    Calf: 16.75

    The ones I notice the most are the 4 inches I've added to my chest measurement, the 2 inches I've put on my arms in the last few years, and the nearly 2 inches added to my quads.

    I'm currently cutting weight. Last summer I cut down to 15% body fat and then packed some weight back on playing fall/winter intramural football. Then I injured my shoulder and broke a finger and was forced to take time off. Really, I needed the rest too, though I didn't do a good job of watching my diet and I ballooned up to 230 lbs.

    Since I started my cut, I've lost almost 10 lbs and 4.8% body fat. I'm learning a lot about proper diet and planning my workouts to maximize muscle growth. Here are a few back pictures I took last night, trying to determine my back progress. I was a bit disappointed- my middle lats look like they are developing well, but my upper and lower lats leave something to be desired. At least, that is what I got from the pics- I'm certainly open to listen to any advice people might have.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Leg pics from this morning:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Workout planned for tonight:

    Squats:
    135 x 10
    230 x 7
    250 x 7
    270 x 6
    290 x 5

    Walking Lunges:
    30 x 10 - 4 sets

    Seated Calf Raise:
    90 x 12 - 4 sets

    Should be fun!

    New measurements this morning.

    Mon, March 8th
    Weight: 216.5
    BF%: 18.6%
    Neck 16.5
    Shoulders: 50.25
    Chest: 44.25
    Left Bi: 16.25
    Right Bi: 15.75
    Forearm: 12.25
    Wrist: 7.125
    Waist: 38
    Hips: 37.5
    Thigh: 25.5
    Calf: 16.75

    Buying a scale really helped things. I saw my biggest drop yet this week and I attribute it ALL to actually measuring out my food instead of eyeballing it. Thanks for the advice, MannishBoy.
     
  8. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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  9. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    Quads lookin' mean!!! :tu:
     
  10. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I forgot to post results from last night- I absolutely destroyed my legs. You can see the videos posted above. Squats went great- I did 300 on my last set instead of 290 and NEARLY got a 5th rep...close but not quite. Walking lunges had me wanting to puke. Calf raises have me walking like a cripple today. It's great! LOVE LEG DAY!
     
  11. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Despite being VERY sore from leg day on Monday, back/bicep day went very well. I videotaped my deadlifts to check my form. I'll be honest, I thought my form was not great until I saw the video- it is actually pretty darn good. I'd be interested to hear any critiques out there, but I am pretty happy with it.









     
    #11 carddante, Mar 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  12. chicanerous

    chicanerous Elite Member
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    When you lower, try to keep your chest up.

    Also, put a bit more emphasis on hip flexion at the start of the eccentric. As it is, you're lowering part of the way down the thigh and then you're acting more like the movement is a squat, which gets your knees a bit in the way of the barbell and gives you a bit of a scooping motion at the bottom of the pull. The idea is that you want to mostly just push the hips back until the bar reaches the height of the knees and then you want to let the knees bend as needed to get the bar the rest of the way to the floor. This is not to say you want to solely push the hips back to the exclusion of bending the knees, as this would turn it into a RDL and would be contrary to what you're trying to achieve.

    Technically, it's not necessary to make this change because you're able to keep your lower back in good position, but experimenting with it might put you in a stronger position to pull on the concentric, which will help you progress to heavier weights.

    Finally, on your 290 video, take a look at your start position. As soon as you pull, your hips shoot up before the bar even moves. This is a clear sign that you have them positioned too low. When you pull, you want the bar to start moving as soon as your body starts moving and not having parts moving independent of it. If you want to pull with a moving start, you should be getting some benefit out of it, such as activating the stretch reflex just before pulling -- you're not getting that here though.

    Overall, your pulls look quite functional and safe. You definitely understand the mechanics of how to pull, while keeping the body in good posture, which will keep you from injury. The only issue is that it doesn't seem like you've ingrained what appears to be the best positions for you to assume when starting the pull (from a leverage standpoint) and you still seem to, at some level, treat the movement like a squat (perhaps your quads are strong?). For the latter, don't be afraid to let your back get a bit more horizontal in the bottom position, either in starting from the floor or lowering back to the floor. Inclination of the spine has little to do with causing injury after all -- bad posture is almost always the culprit and it can occur in any position from horizontal to vertical.
     
    #12 chicanerous, Mar 13, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2009
  13. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Moved to Tulsa in May. That kind of threw me off track. But I found a gym close to home and I've been back in there every day lifting and running. I really haven't lost much strength on my big exercises- Dead, Squat or Bench. I put some pounds back on eating out a lot though. :o

    My wife and I just celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary. We went skydiving. It was awesome. Here's the video, if anyone is interested. We tandem jumped from 10,000 feet. I got to do a backflip and a few spins before pulling my chute. My jump is at 3:17 and my wife's is at 3:50. Totally awesome.

     
    #13 carddante, Jun 9, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  14. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Changing my July workouts to follow the Crossfit program. I am getting burned out on doing the same things month after month and need a little variety, plus Crossfit is some of the most intense workouts I've ever done.

    29 June 09
    Crossfit Total:
    Squat- 365 (and I could have done more, but this was my last set- dangit!)
    Shoulder Push Press- 165
    Deadlift- 325 (I think I could have done more here too but I didn't rest long enough)

    Total- 855

    I felt STRONG too. I was really hitting it hard. My new gym is really...anesthetic. It has all those lousy rubber weights that bounce off of each other and don't give you a good feeling like the CLANK of metal weights. Also, there is only one squat rack so as I was doing my reps, there were people waiting to use it when I finished. That's frustrating as hell.

    I pulled a barbell off of the bench press to do my deads in an open corner. I was laughing to myself as the people around me struggled to lift 135 lbs on different exercises as I was pulling 6 plates. Of course, I remember only being able to lift 135- that was pretty frustrating back in the day. Heck, I remember only being able to dead 85 lbs and STRUGGLING to do it. I don't think back then I ever thought I would be pulling 300+. It really makes me want to get up to 8 plates on dead. Eventually...

    I'd hit a bit of a plateau the last few weeks and some of my lifts were actually getting WEAKER. I was really having trouble deadlifting more than 225 for more than a few reps. I think it's my grip strength because I did 315 yesterday for one rep and had no problem. Need to work on some forearm exercises, I think. I also upped my calories after doing some JSF research- perhaps I had cut them too low in an effort to cut weight. We'll see how it translates in the gym over the next few weeks.
     
  15. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    July's workouts have been great so far. I have really increased my cardiovascular ability through these Crossfit workouts. Invariably, halfway through the Workout of the Day, I'm gassed and ready to pass out but I push through and finish (most of the time).

    I have been reading a great deal on the forums about meal planning, macros and nutrition and I am trying to adjust my meal plan to better serve my current goals. I have been subsiding on about a 2000 calorie diet with 20:30:50 fat:carb:protein ratios. I'd like to start cutting body fat at this point, and one of the things I've thought about doing is boosting my calories and carbs to 2400 per day at a 20:40:40 ratio on lifting days and around 1900 per day on cardio days. I actually made the adjustment last week.

    I am sensitive to carbs in that when I don't get them, I get insatiable cravings. When I get lots of them (as I have done in the last week) I feel FULL all the time. I prefer the full feeling, myself, as I am far less likely to deviate when I'm feeling full.

    My current stats are:
    6'
    218 lbs
    18% body fat
    I started lifting about 9 years ago, got serious about it about 2 years ago. I've been a member here since 2004. I've done many different workout plans throughout the years. I am currently doing Crossfit and supplementing with additional cardio. One of the things I like doing (instead of running on a treadmill) is going up to the local high school football stadium and running stairs for 20-30 minutes.

    I'd appreciate your thoughts.

    Here is my current meal plan:

    [​IMG]
     
  16. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    Last night's workout was great! I did the Crossfit workout listed for Tuesday: Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1-1-1

    I warmed up with some lighter deads- 135 x 10 and 225 x 5

    Then I went heavy.

    315 x 1
    335 x 1 (PR)
    355 x 1 Failed
    345 x 1 (PR)
    350 x 1 (PR)
    355 x 1 Failed
    355 x 1 Failed
    355 x 1 Failed
    335 x 1

    Then I cooled down a bit on the backside- 315 x 2, 225 x 5, 135 x 10.

    Kind of CRAZY to hit three new PRs in one workout! Before this, my best was 325, and that was just a month ago (during my Crossfit Total). I KNEW I had more in me than the 325 I did back then. It felt GREAT to lift so much, though it was weird. I could lift 350. I couldn't lift 355. Strange how such a minuscule amount of weight made the difference between success and failure.

    I'd appreciate ANY advice people may have on my meal plan (post directly above this one). I don't even know if anyone reads my journal, but if you do, your advice is GREATLY appreciated!
     
  17. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    I started Law School three weeks ago. The last three weeks have been a flurry of late night reading, early morning classes and next to no gym time. I did get in there over the weekend and I'm paying the price today. My biceps are so sore I can hardly lift my arms. I did a back and bicep workout and while my deads were not phenomenal, I still ended up doing 285 x 7 for my last set. I probably could have done more but I didn't want to push it too much.
     
  18. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    The last couple of weeks have been uneventful. I've settled into a routine with school/work/lifting and I'm starting to feel more comfortable with my daily schedule. There really is nothing worse than having to deal with constant flux. As much as I enjoyed living a hectic lifestyle when I was younger, I far prefer things when they are more settled down.

    Last week's workouts were good. While I'm down from my previous squat PR from this summer (365 x 2), I still managed to knock out 315 x 5 on my last set last week. I work out in a "family gym" with only one squat rack. It's not my cup of tea, but it's inexpensive (through work) and it's very close to my house, so convenience wins out. Anyways, I asked a guy working out next to me to spot me on the last set of squats. When I finished, he just kind of stood there amazed. He said, "That's impressive. If I tried to lift that much, I'd blow something out." THAT made me feel pretty good. :)
     
  19. carddante

    carddante Well-Known Member

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    I had an AWESOME leg workout last night. Thanks to a bit of re-dedication to making sure my caloric intake is in the right place, I had TONS of energy in the gym last night and took it out on some HEAVY squats. Leg extensions were better than last week and I went up significantly in my other leg exercises as well. By the end of it I was completely exhausted and my legs were shaking uncontrollably. I felt almost sick, but it was a good feeling.

    Cardio today- I'm decreasing my calories and carbs on cardio-only days to see what happens with my weight. I had been taking in around 2000 cals per day and regardless of what I was doing I was staying at 220. I could NOT budge off of that number- up or down.

    Tomorrow I'm hitting chest and triceps and making sure I have fed myself correctly prior to the workout. Last weeks results were disappointing so I'm really excited for this weeks to be a better workout!
     
  20. Phoenix

    Phoenix Active Member

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    I have been looking around for different gyms and it is very hard to find one with more than one power cage, and they don't have the good ones that you guys in the USA have. With many adjustment heights, so I am probably going to go to a community gym run by the police it has 2-3 power cages and is only $365 for a year.

    By the way nice numbers on your lifts. :nod::nod:
     

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