Lifting thread

Jefferson

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I fasted from carbs for five straight days
I just learned something that caused me to switch from eating 100% carnivore to adding maybe 10 - 15 grams of healthy carbs (like blueberries) into my diet.

A carnivore diet causes blood sugar to be too low which activates cortisol to raise blood sugar up to a normal level which is good except cortisol raises your blood pressure and also causes belly fat. So we want our cortisol to get activated as little as possible.

Solution: A small amount of carbs.

The best time to eat carbs is right after exercising when your blood sugar is low. Or maybe a small amount of carbs before exercising also.

Maybe this is old news to you but it was new to me. My source for this information is below.

 
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Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
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Study: Lift 30-60 minutes a week for health

Literally, from the time I posted this article, to about now. That's literally it. Lift weights for that long, once a week, for health. Cf. the article.

Once a week, half an hour.

For health.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Canonical deadlift
240 LBS
1. 5 +>1 (form variable)
Competition dead
2. 5 +>1
3. 5 +>1
4. 3 +>1 (technical complication; had to stop the set and adjust)
5. 5 +>1
6. 2 n.a. (bad angle on hip, that's enough)

Unsure on form I'll use next week. Need to think about this.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
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I just learned something that caused me to switch from eating 100% carnivore to adding maybe 10 - 15 grams of healthy carbs (like blueberries) into my diet.

A carnivore diet causes blood sugar to be too low which activates cortisol to raise blood sugar up to a normal level which is good except cortisol raises your blood pressure and also causes belly fat. So we want our cortisol to get activated as little as possible.

Solution: A small amount of carbs.

The best time to eat carbs is right after exercising when your blood sugar is low. Or maybe a small amount of carbs before exercising also.

Maybe this is old news to you but it was new to me. My source for this information is below.

I'm fasting with zero carbs in part because I like the idea of insulin dropping. If I have a little carb, then I'll get a little insulin, and I like taking a break entirely from insulin while I'm fasting, that's one of the benefits of it for me.

Incidentally I'm working on a 72-hour fast rn. I'm not sure when I'll break it. Maybe tonight's supper (that would make it 72 hours), maybe tomorrow's breakfast (interesting how "break fast" came about as a word that means literally what it says, it breaks your overnight fast while you're sleeping), maybe tomorrow's supper, maybe Thursday's breakfast, maybe Thursday's supper. I'm kind of committed rn to breaking it by no later than Thursday's supper, because I think that gives me enough time to eat and refill all my glycogen stores in my liver and muscles, which will prepare me for lifting on Saturday.

Also btw, don't be this guy lol:
https://www.reddit.com/r/Whatcouldgowrong/comments/w8f11v
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Canonical deadlift
240 LBS
1. 5 +>1 (form variable)
Competition dead
Competition is also just called conventional but regardless, it engages the thighs /knees more during the start of the lift.
2. 5 +>1
3. 5 +>1
4. 3 +>1 (technical complication; had to stop the set and adjust)
5. 5 +>1
6. 2 n.a. (bad angle on hip, that's enough)
Hip's OK.
Unsure on form I'll use next week. Need to think about this.
Decided. Canonical.
250 LBS
1. 5 +0

Canonical is basically an extended Romanian deadlift (RDL). The unrounding of your lower back while only bending your knees slightly lifts it off the floor and then it's just an RDL the rest of the way, and in reverse on the way down.

2. 4 +1

So I graduated to 260 LBS next workout. But it seems pretty clear that it's possible I'm struggling to maintain strength with all this fasting. I hit 108 hours this past week, and then tried to eat enough to prepare to lift today rapidly, to try to recover.

idk. We'll gather more data next workout.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
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108. That ties my all-time record.
So I did 260 LBS last week:
1. 5
2. 3

Along with my strength not being very good after this 108-hour fast week, also my form was just not very good, so this week I started by loading over 400 LBS on the bar and applied as much safe force as I could, fully knowing I would not lift the weight (recall a few weeks ago my 1RM was 300 LBS), but to get the sense for how it should feel before the bar lifts off the floor. To remind myself, really, and essentially.

So now, I'm off to do my first 270 LBS set:

Canonical deadlift
270 LBS
1. 5
2. ... tbd ...

One thing, while I'm waiting between to sets to catch my breath, is I wanted to mention creatine. I'm "off" creatine, and have been for most of this year, after a couple years of being "on" creatine. Creatine basically makes you stronger. My 1RM was like 400 LBS before I went off creatine, and even though I've been fasting a fair amount recently, I know also that reducing creatine has also diminshed my strength.

Why would I stop creatine? Just because I'm not sure if it's something I want to include in my diet the rest of my life or not. Plus, it's an additional expense. The whole process for me this year has been to really break down all my habits here, or some of them anyway, down to basics and fundamentals, down to zero, and then just start building up from there. I want to know what to eat and when, and what exercises to do and how (form), with an emphasis on performance and on avoiding injury, or preserving health and wholeness.

Once I have these things nailed down, then I do intend to reintroduce creatine. I anticipate that having my fundamentals more secure, that adding in creatine with its anticipated positive effect on strength, is just going to be better for me long-term (i.e., forever, for the rest of my life).

270 LBS
2. 3

OK. So that was all right. Same rep pattern as last week but with 10 LBS more on the bar, so stronger this week: banana. Next week: 280 LBS.

One more thing very interesting just now: I focused between my reps on really extending my legs, straightening out my knees first, and then focusing on straightening out my back to lift the bar. This is all in line with the whole "canonical" deadlift form that I'm using, which does focus on the back (squats are really for your legs and knees, under the canonical deadlift paradigm), so it isn't new but rather helps to force your form toward canonicity.
 
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Jefferson

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The whole process for me this year has been to really break down all my habits here, or some of them anyway, down to basics and fundamentals, down to zero, and then just start building up from there.
It's always so interesting experimenting with things like this.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
It's always so interesting experimenting with things like this.
During this experiment . . . I've been cheating, full disclosure.

I started this thread to talk about lifting in general, and in particular my own workout, which was exclusive to the deadlift.

My thinking then was that I wanted to keep lifting to a minimum, time-wise and also in the number of exercises that I do. That number was one: the deadlift. The deadlift also was my exercise of choice because 1) you only need a bar, no rack required, and no spotters 2) it focuses on the back, which of all the body parts, seems to be the most common place where people have debilitating trouble as we get older (this is especially when doing what I'm terming the "canonical" deadlift, which is basically a Romanian deadlift RDL, or a "rack pull", but fully extended to the floor) and 3) it along with the squat, works the most muscle in just one exercise (the squat might have a slight edge here, but requires a rack, and if you're pushing it, a spotter or safety system of some sort to avoid being "pinned").

But I started to cheat. Because of my experimentation, fasting for extended periods early in the week, and then eating to prepare for my weekly workout at the end of the week, I started to realize that I had all sorts of energy in not only the muscles I worked while deadlifting (primarily my back, my hamstrings, and to a lesser degree my shoulders and arms) but also in all the other ones. So I thought, why not do some more exercises while I'm at it?

So I did. I rebuilt my rack, which had been dissembled, laying dormant on the floor, so I started each workout with the deadlift, but then progressed to squats, then to bench press, then to overhead press, then to tricep extensions, and then I even added in bicep curls to finish off.

This all started a little over a month ago now.

I'm still only lifting once a week, but now I'm really hitting a lot of my muscles that weren't getting any work from deadlifts. I was inspired I think by both @ffreeloader & by @TomO who've weighed in at various times itt, along with my realization that after my one exercise (deadlift), I still had a lot of energy in all the rest of my muscles, to rebuild that rack to add more exercises.

I mean, why not? It takes more time of course, not just the exercises but having to change all the weights and move the bar around and set and reset the rack hooks, sliding around the bench, and getting my curl bar out of retirement, so I'm looking at something like a three hour workout instead of just an hour or two tops (when I was doing my top sets in deadlift, followed by de-loading the weight and continuing with more deadlift sets), but I'm really enjoying it anyway, and my enjoyment outweighs the added time.

And the result has been that my joints are really feeling a lot better now, to the extent that I'm able to treadmill without even the slightest complaints now from my knees or hips, and my shoulders are gaining back some lost mobility. Plus of course my waist is slimming down and I look a lot better.

I've expanded my program now to do five sets of each exercise. As with the deadlift, I'm starting at a weight where I can do five reps hopefully, and then I just keep doing five-rep sets as long as I can, and when I can't do five reps anymore, I de-load and keep doing sets until I do five.

So it looks like this:
1. deadlift
2. squat
3. bench press
4. overhead press
5. behind-the-head press
6. tricep extensions
7. bicep curls

Combined with all the prolonged or extended fasting, the six-days-a-week treadmill, and this expanded lifting program, I really feel like I'm turning a corner in preparing myself to live out the rest of my life as best I can, as far as being strong, lean and mean.

lol. :)

Edit. Note the progression of exercises start with the biggest lifts and then go "downhill" as far as how much muscle they require; that's by design. By contrast, I'm not starting with the curls, which are very isolating, and progressing to the squats and deadlift, because I want all my energy and power to be on those big compound lifts, and only finish off with the smaller lifts, the ones targeting smaller and fewer muscles.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Next week: 280 LBS.

... with the deadlift, I'm starting at a weight where I can do five reps hopefully
Nope. Not this week. Couldn't do five reps.

Canonical deadlift
280 LBS
1. 3
, and then I just keep doing five-rep sets as long as I can, and when I can't do five reps anymore, I de-load and keep doing sets until I do five.
De-loading to 230 LBS, and continuing:
2. ... tbd ...

What this is telling me is that if I fast for 96 straight hours in a week, there's not enough time for me to eat enough to be measurably stronger for the following week's workout. No banana. I might be stronger than last week, I might be weaker, I might be the same strength; the only thing I know is that I'm not stronger enough to show it in a set with 280 LBS (I'm not measurably stronger), which is 10 LBS more than last week's deadlift top set.

==
230 LBS
2. 5
3 ... tbd ...

==
230 LBS
3. 5
4. ... tbd ...

Seems as if that fourth consecutive fast day is what eats into strength. The fasting difference between this past week and the one before was 24 hours, this past week was 96 consecutive hours and the one prior only 72. I broke each fast on the same day and at the same time of day, so eating in preparation for lifting was similar. If anything, this week was more preparatory eating than last, in terms of calories.

==
230 LBS
4. 4

De-loading to 190 LBS.
5. ... tbd ...

==
190 LBS
5. 5

Off to squats, bench, OHP, etc. Banana.
 
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Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Canonical deadlift

280 LBS
1. 3
I shook things up this week. I had a hunch, call it a hunch, and stuck with 280 LBS again instead of de-loading.

Here's what happened:

Canonical deadlift
280 LBS
1. 3

lol, it was the same. So much for my hunch (my hunch was that I would actually be stronger but instead, I'm apparently exactly the same strength as last week).

I then did not de-load, again based on another hunch:

280 LBS
1. 3
2. 2

Based on this result and my program so far, I should have de-loaded after the first set and now again after the second set, but again, based on now more of a guess than a hunch, I continued to shake things up:

280 LBS
1. 3
2. 2
3. 1

Finally I de-loaded:

230 LBS
4. 5
5. 5

My first hunch was based on cutting my fasting this week down from 96 hours to only 60 hours. 'Thought I might be stronger based on cutting my fasting this much. Instead, I was apparently just as strong.

The other hunch was based on abdominal gas which was really impeding my performance in the first and then also the second set. It hurt. I could not be sure how much it was impacting my performance, so I rolled the dice and tried another set.
Off to squats, bench, OHP, etc. Banana.
Same this week. I'm doing OHP in front of the head /neck, and behind the head /neck, two separate exercises, five sets of five each (if I can't do five reps I de-load for the next set), both standing, using my rack. I've never really focused on these lifts before, it's been a steep and rewarding learning curve.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
... Getting Stronger: There are efficient ways to try to get stronger. These involve what are to you heavy weights. They are weights that you can only lift like five times in a row before you 'break' your technique or form or mechanics (iow before 'technical failure'). When you lift weights that are this heavy for you, and you try 'sets' of no more than six 'reps' each, you WILL GET STRONGER. ...

... I'm still only lifting once a week ...

Here's what I've learned now, adding half a dozen new exercises to my program. I'm getting novice /beginner gains in the new exercises, but I'm simultaneously regressing in the deadlift.

I've been deadlifting for over three years, mostly just one workout a week. Throughout that time I was able to see strength gains although they were harder to come by after I progressed from beginner /novice to advanced /expert level. But I could still get them.

But now, I am markedly weaker in deadlifts than I was at the start of this year. Even though I am stronger in squats, bench press, and all the other exercises I've added to my program. This is because of the beginner gains in all those other exercises, beginner gains are easy to get, just grab some weights and lift them, you'll get gains too, and you'll keep them, even if you only lift once per week like me.

But once you become better at the lifts you're no longer a beginner, and it's going to take more to continue to get gains. You need to eat for one thing, and if you're not going to eat, then you need to lift more than once a week to open up the muscle protein synthesis anabolism "window" again, which is when your body especially builds muscle and strength.

This window opens when you lift. It's open until just a few hours after your workout. During the time the window's open you can maximize the muscle protein synthesis by eating plenty of protein (for amino acids), and maybe carbs for energy.

But if you're fasting for any considerable amount of time (I've fasted for more than half the week before, and I'm regularly fasting for two or three days or more each week), even if your eating well in preparation, and eating well for when that muscle protein synthesis anabolism window is open, you're still not going to make gains as an expert or advanced lifter if you fast for big parts of the week, if you stick to just one workout a week.

So I need to either really restrict my fasting, or I need to add another workout, to open up that window a second time during the week, so that I can try to at least preserve what strength I have left (to "stop the bleeding" or stem the tide), and hopefully get back to making gains.

So I'm considering a "split." One way to work out twice per week is to split your exercises between two workouts, rather than just repeat all your exercises both workouts. That's not a split.

Right now, with my recent experience in mind, I would split deadlift, bench press, incline and decline bench press, and bicep curls one day, and then squats, overhead press, behind-the-neck overhead press, and tricep extensions the other. This is just based on how my muscles feel in doing all those exercises all in one workout. I reach fatigue in my shoulders pretty soon after starting the overhead press, and it's because I use them during all the bench presses too. So if I stop before then, I can save my shoulders for another day. And similarly with squats, I've gotten enough novice gains in squats that now my squats are affected by (limited by) my deadlifts, which I do just before them.

Sigh. But on which day should I do my split workouts? I had been thinking, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday probably. Lift on Saturdays, and on one of these other days for my splits. But now I am seriously considering Saturdays and Sundays instead. I know I won't be fully recovered in one day, but that's why I'm splitting up my exercises, so that I don't have any direct overlap from one day to the next, so I should be able to do OK, and I would be able to open up that window again, and that should lead to more gains, even if I continue with prolonged /extended fasts.
 

Jefferson

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I've been deadlifting for over three years, mostly just one workout a week. Throughout that time I was able to see strength gains although they were harder to come by after I progressed from beginner /novice to advanced /expert level. But I could still get them.
Same as losing weight. The first 5-10 pounds often falls off pretty easily. Then comes the grind. Primarily being consistent.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Same as losing weight. The first 5-10 pounds often falls off pretty easily. Then comes the grind. Primarily being consistent.
But this is my challenge: What is the consistency? In order to be consistent I have to be consistently something, but what is it?

I'm losing weight and I'm gaining strength. I can easily do one or the other by consistently doing the things I know work, to do either one. But what about doing both at once?

I have reduced body fat this year, but as I said I also lost strength. Can I lose body fat and gain strength, or does it have to be one or the other? Do I have to basically "cycle" between gaining strength (which also means gaining fat), and losing fat (which also means losing strength)? Or can I do both at once?

What do I have to be consistent at, in order do it, if it's possible at all? I'm wagering now, that it's working out on two days per week instead just on one. I should see within the next couple weeks if this idea has legs.
 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
I just learned something that caused me to switch from eating 100% carnivore to adding maybe 10 - 15 grams of healthy carbs (like blueberries) into my diet.

A carnivore diet causes blood sugar to be too low which activates cortisol to raise blood sugar up to a normal level which is good except cortisol raises your blood pressure and also causes belly fat. So we want our cortisol to get activated as little as possible.

Solution: A small amount of carbs.

The best time to eat carbs is right after exercising when your blood sugar is low. Or maybe a small amount of carbs before exercising also.

Maybe this is old news to you but it was new to me. My source for this information is below.

I found a link and thought of your post here:

 

Jefferson

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But this is my challenge: What is the consistency? In order to be consistent I have to be consistently something, but what is it?

I'm losing weight and I'm gaining strength. I can easily do one or the other by consistently doing the things I know work, to do either one. But what about doing both at once?

I have reduced body fat this year, but as I said I also lost strength. Can I lose body fat and gain strength, or does it have to be one or the other? Do I have to basically "cycle" between gaining strength (which also means gaining fat), and losing fat (which also means losing strength)? Or can I do both at once?

What do I have to be consistent at, in order do it, if it's possible at all? I'm wagering now, that it's working out on two days per week instead just on one. I should see within the next couple weeks if this idea has legs.
There has to be a reason why this video on building muscle while losing weight has over 11 million views in 2 years.

 
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Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
;) That's where I'm at now....I spent my time power lifting with a 405# bench press and 515# squat back when I was in my 40's...I decided the injuries weren't worth the pump.
Huge numbers. Were you doing any other power lifts? Deads? Were you using creatine? Whey?

I tapered way off whey this year and I quit creatine completely while I figure out a sustainable program and diet.

I know creatine works, I just want to get my diet and routines right before re-introducing it.
 

TomO

Get used to it.
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Huge numbers. Were you doing any other power lifts? Deads? Were you using creatine? Whey?

I tapered way off whey this year and I quit creatine completely while I figure out a sustainable program and diet.

I know creatine works, I just want to get my diet and routines right before re-introducing it.
Yeah...That was the culmination of years of heavy lifting & martial arts...I didn't use creatine all the time but yeah...Whey was life.

Used this stuff for alot of years...Very high quality but you pay $$$ for it.

 

Idolater

"Lahey, I live in a tent!"
Temp Banned
Yeah...That was the culmination of years of heavy lifting & martial arts...I didn't use creatine all the time but yeah...Whey was life.

Used this stuff for alot of years...Very high quality but you pay $$$ for it.

Wow do things change.

When I first started lifting after high school, whey or egg protein was only available in boutique stores like GNC or Vitamin Shop, and creatine was only available through body building magazine ad mail order. Now, Walmart carries multiple options for whey isolate, and they even have their own store brand creatine and regular (non-isolate) whey powders to boot.

Another big change is the prevalence of "cage" style racks (like skeletonized boxes), those are everywhere now, available to consumers. Those things are awesome, a huge improvement over the racks available when I got mine, mine's OK but there's no safety system on it, I only have one set of hooks, there's no pull-up bar on it (it's too short for that).

(Incidentally this kind of change people might want to call "capitalism" (Marx certainly did), but it's really just America and the American idea; Marx and others were just jealous. American economic policy paved the way for this kind of rapid development and improvement of the market, where, even just in this tiny case, you go from having to jump through hoops and paying premium prices to being able to get "swole" just at Walmart.)

The only thing I don't like about the market changing like this is Walmart no longer stocks Olympic 2" plates like they did 20 years ago. They were selling 45-LB chips for like 25 USD each back then. I can't believe I didn't back up the truck when I had the chance lol, now dirty old used chips sell on Craigslist around here anyway for like 60 USD minimum each! Brand new Rogues and Yorks are like 80 each. It's crazy.
 
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