Barley1 - Fiready Log

Eternal Warrior–Week 10, Day 3

*Prep Circuit x 1 w/vest
**DB High Pull supersetted w/TBDL Ramp to 275lbs x 4
Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio circuit x 3

Sigh.

Doing high pulls, even with light weights, fatigues the pulling muscles–like, all of them–making it hard to generate enough tension for the TBDLs.

It’s a bold programming strategy for sure.

Plus, I’m down a pound or two since last week, so leverages are changing and it’s time for total mindf*ck phase.

Otherwise, two more weeks of carrying on.

Weight: 170.2 (or something)
Cals: 2000ish
Steps: 12,000

Week 10, Day 4 Barbarian Day
Preparation Cycle 1
Shoulder halos 3x10, alternated with bike sprints
*Six circuits w/weighted vest of:
-Chinups x 6
-Swings x 12
-Dips x 10
-DB Thrusters
-Med ball slam x 10
-Trap bar carry x 120 feet
Shoulder halos 3x10

Threat of rain again today, so I went back to my new standby. I think it’s more demanding than the mile-long sled drag, but maybe I’m just telling myself that because I don’t want to drag a sled almost fifty laps in my driveway whilst my neighbors stop and stare.

But I really do think it’s harder.

My wife’s birthday was earlier in the week; she wants to celebrate tomorrow by going out for pancakes. I’m going to eat more than I should tomorrow–a true cheat meal–mostly just to see how I react. The extra food will also, hopefully, power ms through Monday’s squats.

Last night and so far today, I have very little interest in anything other than protein. Like, if I eat enough of it, I’m not really hungry; when I am hungry I want more. I still sleep terribly, which is probably somehow related.

Weight: 169.8
Cals: 2000ish (probably)
Steps: 12,000+ (probably)

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Eternal Warrior–Week 11, Day 1

Prep Circuit x 1 w/weighted vest
Squats, Ramp to 2RM @ 235*, each set supersetted with jump squat
*Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio Circuit x 3

Welp. This was awful. These may have become the most physically demanding workouts I’ve ever completed.

Again, there wasn’t much left after the lunges, squats, depth jumps, and jump squats for actual squatting. I couldn’t quite hit 235 for a double. Oh well… chalk it up to the price to pay for abs. Or something.

I ate out for my wife’s birthday and probably went way over maintenance. Even so, between bites of French toast, all I wanted was lean protein. I wonder if this is normal when pushing yourself to extremes.

Weight: 170.6 (169.2 on Sunday)
Cals: 2200ish
Steps: 12,000

Eternal Warrior–Week 11, Day 2
Prep Circuit x 1 w/weighted vest
*Bench Ramp to 2RM, superset with speed DB Press, up to 215 x 2
Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio Circuit x 3

I was worn out today. The demands of this program keep escalating. Meanwhile, I’m eating below maintenance, rucking, and walking a ton.

Thank goodness for caffeine and Surge, which have powered me through these last four weeks or so. I also tend to think I’d benefit from another refeed this weekend–I’m interested to see what happens on the scale this week.

I was pretty happy benching 215 for two after all the upper body presses, bear crawls, etc.

The assistance was tough and the cardio about killed me, but what else is new?

A week and a half to go.

Weight: 170
Steps: 12,000 +
Cals: 2100

Eternal Warrior–Week 11, Day 3

*Prep Circuit x 1 w/vest
**DB High Pull supersetted w/TBDL Ramp to 265lbs x 2
Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio circuit x 3

The jillion weighted pullups felt easier, the jumps felt easier, the deadlifts absolutely did not. This week, the rucking and walking, the deficit, an inability to sleep, and the crazy demands of this program finally caught up with me. I have simply been worn out these past few days.

Today, I figured I’d be good to pull 285x2; I wasn’t. It’s the same problem I’ve run into several times in this final block: explosive movements are draining. A bunch of jump squats make my quads ache and I struggle to maintain tension in the bottom of a squat; high pulls do the same thing to my hamstrings at the bottom of a deadlift.

If I were to take another run at this program, I think I’d reverse the progression, going from longer to shorter pauses. Maybe for the final block, I’d pair ramping a major exercise with an explosive one; then drop the explosive movement the last 2-3 weeks.

This may also be the rambling of a crazy middle-aged dude in a deficit, stuck in the mindf*ck stage of dealing with his stagnating lifts.

Also: I decided early on that if my weight got sub 170, I’d begin adding some food back in. That I will.

Cals: 2300
Steps: 12,000
Weight: 169.4

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Week 11, Day 4 Barbarian Day
Preparation Cycle 1 w/weighted vest
Shoulder halos 3x10 superset with sprint
*Sled drag w/80lbs, plus weighted vest, plus 30lb DBs @ 1 mile
Shoulder halos 3x10

This was, as Greg Doucette would say, way harder than last time. At times, I had to break the drag up into crazy small stretches, as little as 100-150 feet at times.

It was warm and humid in the driveway this morning, but I’m pretty sure this means I AM weaker due to weight loss, less joint stability, less glycogen, and whatever else happens when you lose weight. I noticed feeling weaker the most in my quads and grip, which kept failing in my left hand.

While this is the price to pay for weight loss, it leaves me two questions:

  1. What do I about this? Accept it and keep sucking? Cut back on the walking? Add some calories? Have a refeed cheat day/meal?

  2. How would the results of this program have been different if I ate at maintenance and didn’t go bonkers on the walking?

:thinking:

Weight: 169.8
Calories: dunno, gotta think about it
Steps: as of now, 150 :joy:… at least 10k by the end of the day

Maybe start with whichever one of those things seems the most lucrative to you and see how it goes. You can always switch course, or add one of the others.

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I appreciate hearing this from you.

Sometimes, in the moment, it’s hard to keep in mind fat loss and gaining/maintaining strength are two competing goals, to accept the inevitable strength loss that’s sure to come with losing 10-11lbs.

Last week, for the first time in a while, I felt weak and was worn out. I’d avoided both for about two months, so it kinda took me by surprise.

Since my goal is just to be a remotely fit middle-aged dude on the beach, I decided it was most important to feel better. I ate over maintenance Saturday, nothing too crazy—a large plate of pasta and a cupcake–on Saturday. Yesterday, I did feel a million times better. I’ll try this approach the next couple weekends before vacation season begins in mid-June.

If nothing else, I’ll have a sense of how this approach affects the future beach-readiness of barley1.

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Eternal Warrior–Week 12, Day 1

Prep Circuit x 1 w/weighted vest
Squats, Ramp to 2RM @ 240*, each set supersetted with jump squat
*Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio Circuit x 3

All of this was pretty terrible. I ate a lot more than usual on Saturday and ended up feeling stronger and less worn out. I stopped at a squat of 240. I was probably good for 5-10 more, but didn’t see the point t of pushing things.

The assistance circuit was terrible.

The cardio circuit wasn’t even in the plan, a deload I guess, but I did it anyhow.

Steps: 12,000
Cals: 2100
Weight: prolly around 170ish

Progress pics below. I have an old phone and suck at photos and some weird AI feature that changes lighting. For now, this is the best I can do.

Looks like all my gains were in my back:


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Eternal Warrior–Week 12, Day 2
Prep Circuit x 1 w/weighted vest
*Bench Ramp to 1RM, superset with speed DB Press, up to 225
Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio Circuit x 3

This was, surprisingly, not bad. Sure, I was a sweaty mess by the end, but not gasping for air or looking for a corner to lay down and die.

Again, I probably left the last 5-10lbs on the table, probably could’ve benched a bit more, but I didn’t see the point.

With the structure of this program, eg prefatiguing with an explosive lift and increasingly demanding prep circuits, and the weight loss, my bench and squat are down roughly 25lbs from three months ago. I think I would get half that back just by skipping the prefatigue and circuit.

Two more workouts and then I’m an Eternal Warrior. Or something.

No idea what’s next.

Weight: 170ish
Cals: 2000ish
Steps: 13,000+

Eternal Warrior–Week 12, Day 3

*Prep Circuit x 1 w/vest
**DB High Pull supersetted w/TBDL Ramp to (an embarrassingly light weight)
Assistance Circuit x 3
Cardio circuit x 3

Welp, that ends the lifting portion of the Eternal Warrior. Again, my deadlifting strength seems the most dramatically affected. As the world’s worst deadlifter, I suppose that’s to be expected.

I do remember someone, probably Thibs, writing that the deadlift is the lift most affected by fatigue. And although eating above maintenance last weekend made the early part of this week easier, I’m back to feeling weak and worn out–I imagine that’s part of the issue as well. I probably would’ve benefitted from a deload. Live and learn.

Assistance and cardio circuits, unbelievably, felt almost (almost) unchallenging.

After Saturday’s final Barbarian Day, I’m going to eat way over maintenance, maybe even drink a beer, then start tapering back the walking and gradually increasing food.

In other news I hit a multi-year low this morning of 168.8, while eating 600 more cals a day than this time last year.

I think the lesson is that I can reach new levels of leanness through activity, but there’s a fine line between just the right amount and too much.

Final thought: I’m really curious to see the results of this program eating at maintenance or even slightly above. Maybe this time next year, to begin 2025?

Cals: 2000
Steps: 13,000+
Weight: 168.8

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Week 12, Day 4 Barbarian Day
Preparation Cycle 1 w/weighted vest
Shoulder halos 3x10 superset with sprint
*Sled drag w/80lbs, plus weighted vest, plus 30lb DBs @ 1 mile
Shoulder halos 3x10

This went significantly better than last weekend. It still sucked the life out of me–Barbarian Day workouts done my way take about 80-90 minutes. A lot of this is the 45 laps in the driveway require lots of turning; turning with a sled takes time.

Once again, about three-quarters of the way through, the end of this preposterous workout clearly in sight, I found myself speeding up, drawing on a reserve of energy I didn’t realize I possessed. And, now, it’s over.

While I have enjoyed this program, and I lost 10 lbs because of it, I’d make some tweaks before running it again, eating at or above maintenance. Given my current circumstances, Barbarian Day as planned, has got to go. The Fiready metcons would certainly fit the bill here.

To me, it also makes sense to mix up the prep circuits so it’s lower body prep on press day or upper body prep on squat day. That way, I’d be doing full body workouts AND be less fatigued for the day’s main lift.

In other news, yesterday marked the official start of summer–I’m a teacher. For the next week or so, I’m in the weird gray area between consistent training and travel.

While I have some ideas about what comes next, I have time to think about it. For now, I will slowly scale back the walking, and slowly begin eating a bit more, except for today, when I’ll eat a lot more.

Bonus: multi-year low of 168.4 in the scale yesterday morning.

Weight today: 168.8
Cals: dunno, but it will be a lot
Steps: dunno, probably 10,000

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Life after Eternal Warrior, Day 1

A1. Incline bench press 155 x 6, 6, 6
A2. DB Row 90 x 6, 6, 6
B1. Dead hand chin BW x 4, 5, 4
B2. Dips BW +25 x 6, 6, 6
C1. DB Curls x 6, 6, 6
C2. DB Tri Extension x 5, 6, 5

Just putting in some work before vacay starts in a week. This summer I will be traveling a ton; lifting times will be irregular.

I figure I’ll keep my diet mostly in check–oddly, I don’t really have any wonky cravings until I START eating junk. On the lifting front, I will do some minimal stuff when home, or when a gym is available, strategically deconditioning for a major push this fall. I’ll shoot for 8-10k steps and, well, just kinda see what happens.

Life should get back to normal in August.

In other news, I went to Lake Erie again. It was incredible, we probably put 40+ fish in the boat.

Here’s one:

Cals: 2100ish
Steps: 10k
Weight: No idea

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Life after Eternal Warrior, Day 2

A1. Front squat x 3, 3, 3
A2. Leg Curl x 8, 6, 6
B1. Gob squat x 8, 8, 6
B2. RDL x 8, 6, 7

Meh. Think I’ll be in a bit of a post Eternal Warrior funk for a while; I’m finding it hard to generate much intensity, still kinda worn out and probably not eating enough. Strangely, I’m not remotely hungry.

I’ll finish a couple more of these lackluster workouts before taking a full week off to go fishing in Michigan.

Cals: 21-2200 ish
Steps: 10k ish
Weight: 170.0

Life after Eternal Warrior, Day 3

A1. Incline bench press 155 x 6, 7, 7
A2. DB Row 90 x 6, 7, 7
B1. Dead hang chin BW x 5, 5, 5
B2. Dips BW +25 x 7, 7, 7
C1. DB Curls x 7, 7, 6
C2. DB Tri Extension x 7, 7, 6

Just doing something. I felt a bit less worn out, a bit stronger than last time, able to add a few reps here and there. This is kinda like a deload from the Eternal Warrior program; I feel as though I’m making a slow rebound to normal.

I’ve cut steps to 10k per day. Slooooowly increasing cals.

Weight has been steady around 170.

Legs tomorrow, then vacation and NO training for a week!

Life after Eternal Warrior, Day 2

A1. Front squat x 3, 3, 3*
A2. Leg Curl x 8, 8, 9 (add weight)
B1. Gob squat x 6, 6, 6
B2. RDL x 8, 8, 8 (add weight)

Front squats were too heavy. Most people say they lose upper body pressing strength when dieting. In my case, front squats seem to be the ultimate barometer of how far into a diet I am and when it’s time for more food.

Today, I had more food.

There will be plenty of time to tinker with diet and exercise when I get back…

Because now, right now, it’s time for a week-long break to northern Michigan for fishing. There will probably be lots of paddling, too. And other stuff. But no training. None.

Weight: 171

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Enjoy your vacation!!

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Life after Eternal Warrior

A. Incline bench press Ramp to 5RM @ 165, 135 x 10
B. DB Row Ramp to 5RM @ 100, 80 x 7.5
C. Dead hang chin BW x 4,5, 6
D. Dips x 6 @ BW, +10, +40
E. DB Curls 30lbs x 5
F. Tri Extension 45lbs x 8

I returned from Michigan a couple of days ago. Because boys will be boys, I didn’t sleep the last two days–when I got home I was plain worn out.

Lifting today felt alien. Everything seemed heavy, but strength was pretty much the same as when I left, which is relatively weak compared to six months and 13lbs ago.

Oddly, after a week of eating off plan, minimal walking, lots of sun and lots of desserts, I am at a pre-Covid low of 167.5. Weight loss is weird, man.

It’s hot as hell here in Ohio, so steps are gonna be lower than usual until the sidewalks cool off a bit.