14 votes

Fitness Weekly Discussion #1

What have you been doing lately for your own fitness? Try out any new programs or exercises? Have any questions for others about your training? Want to vent about poor behavior in the gym?

31 comments

  1. [5]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Meta Question: Is it okay to talk about diet and nutrition in these threads? I don't know if that's widely considered a topic that falls under "fitness" or if the intent of these threads is to...

    Meta Question: Is it okay to talk about diet and nutrition in these threads? I don't know if that's widely considered a topic that falls under "fitness" or if the intent of these threads is to focus on exercise specifically.

    No pressure either way, I'm just curious. I ask only because I want to gush about overnight oats and how well they've been working for me, but I want to check whether this is the right place to do so first.

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Absolutely - I would consider anything undertaken to make your body healthier to be in the pursuit of fitness.

      Absolutely - I would consider anything undertaken to make your body healthier to be in the pursuit of fitness.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        kfwyre
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Thanks for clarifying! Here goes my oat saga: (cc: @ReapersGale) I don't remember which threads they were, but there were several instances within the past several months where people talked about...

        Thanks for clarifying!

        Here goes my oat saga: (cc: @ReapersGale)

        I don't remember which threads they were, but there were several instances within the past several months where people talked about doing "overnight oats," and the idea seemed appealing to me because I'm an absolute sucker for convenience. The idea that I could prepare make-ahead meals that were easy, tasty, filling, and healthy was great. The idea that they were vegan/vegetarian (depending on how you prepare them) is also a bonus, as my husband and I are trying to cut down on our meat consumption and go for more plant-based foods. We're not vegan or vegetarian, but we would probably consider ourselves as pointed more in that direction than we ever have been before, if that makes sense?

        I should qualify here that I don't really like oatmeal in general. I find the taste bland and the texture off-putting. I grew up eating those flavored instant oatmeal packets and loved them, and it wasn't until I returned to oatmeal as an adult that I realized I liked them because they were absolutely loaded with sugar. Every other attempt I'd made as an adult to eat oatmeal had floundered, because I couldn't find a way to make oatmeal tasty without making it unhealthy. It felt like the only way to make it palatable was to counterbalance the good oats with other bad things. If I tried to get around it, with, say, sugar substitutes, it still tasted terrible. I would mix in fruit and find myself picking it out of the mush, avoiding the rest of the still-bland oats.

        Given this, it's a surprise that the idea of overnight oats would appeal to me at all, but again, I'm a sucker for convenience. So, a little less than two months ago I started experimenting with overnight oats. My goal was twofold: I wanted something that was decently healthy, and I wanted something that was genuinely tasty to me. I've changed my diet many times before and failed, and a lot of that is because I'd go from eating stuff that was awful for me to stuff that tasted awful. I'd force myself to eat the healthy stuff, telling myself all the while that "I can do this because it's the right thing to do." That's a hard hook to hang your hat on when it comes to food, and there have been countless times in my life that I've done the "health whiplash" move as I call it, going from junk food to extremely healthy stuff, only to shift rapidly back to junk food once my well-intentioned willpower breaks.

        This time, my husband and I wanted to get really serious about our health. We're overweight, and we're getting older. We're starting to feel the effects of our neglect to take care of our physical organisms. Early in life many people, us included, feel invincible. We could eat whatever, not sleep, not exercise, and not feel the effects too badly. We now live with a sense of foreshadowing given to us by others and felt within our own bodies. Things are only going to get harder from here on out. It's not alarming right now, but it's definitely foreboding. Furthermore, in a pragmatic sense, getting healthy is always easier now than it will be in the future. It's hard to see that when you're younger, but I get it now. I don't want to look at myself years down the road and hate my past self for the things it didn't do to take care of me.

        As such, the changes we've decided to make have focused on smaller, incremental steps and sustainability. We're also treating "falling off the wagon" as an inevitability and prioritizing frequent, smaller resets than large-scale diet and exercise overhauls that tend to work for a bit and then fizzle out, leaving us defeated. The best diet, they say, is the one you stick to. We're now prioritizing the "stickiness" of our actions over ideology or perfection.

        Overnight oats have been an incremental and transformative change for me. They are now my lunch at work, every single day. I'll spare you the gory details of all my experimentation and just go to some of the key things I've figured out that really work for me:

        • Texture was a main complaint of oatmeal, so I was surprised to find out that I far prefer the texture of overnight oats to cooked ones.

        • Between quick oats, rolled oats, and steel-cut oats, I surprisingly like the texture of the quick oats the best. Steel-cut have a nice nuttiness and chewiness to them, but I haven't yet figured out the right ratios of everything to make the meal as satisfying as it could be.

        • I bought a big bag of frozen berries and pour some out on the top before sealing the containers up. I then mix them in before eating. This is easier than using fresh fruit (I don't have to keep buying berries each week), and they seem to hold up better, though they are kind of mushy and dead by my last (4th) day.

        • Adding some dark chocolate chips gives a taste and texture break, so that the meal isn't as "samey" the whole way through. They tend to end up at the bottom, and sometimes I scoop down to get them throughout the meal, and sometimes I save them for the end as a little "dessert" phase.

        • Sunbutter mixes in really well because it's very soft, but it tends to add a bitterness to the whole thing that I find offputting. Almond butter is tough because it's more solid and doesn't mix in as easy, but I love the flavor it brings. I'm still trying out different nut butters to see what works best.

        • I don't love cleaning mason jars since I'm an aforementioned sucker for convenience and their lids tend to rust after repeated dishwasher trips, so I got some plastic containers off of Amazon that work wonderfully and dishwash easily.

        • Adding in chia seeds changes the texture up in a good way. For regular oats it makes them less slimey, and for steel-cut it basically creates a two-layer meal, with the oats on the bottom and a "chia pudding" on the top.

        • This is somewhat TMI, but I'll offer it here just in case it helps anyone: I tried adding in flaxseed and it gave me what I will politely call "sustained gastrointestinal discomfort." I then learned that I'm supposed to use ground flaxseed instead of whole ones, and that gave me what I will call "slightly less sustained gastrointestinal discomfort."

        At present, here's my "recipe," though each week I try different tweaks:

        • 1 1/4 cup water (most people use almond milk, but water has worked fine for me)
        • 1/2 cup oats (1/4 if using steel-cut)
        • 1 scoop protein powder
        • 1 tbsp chia seeds
        • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
        • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
        • 1 tbsp nut butter
        • an unmeasured sprinkling of frozen berries on top

        I can't say that I crave it, but I can say that I like it, and have been doing it now for almost two months. Combining this with some other incremental dietary shifts have allowed me and my husband to each shed 10+ pounds without feeling like we're really "restricting" ourselves, which has been dramatically different from all the other times we've tried in the past.

        If anyone has any overnight oat recommendations, tips, or tricks, please share them!


        EDIT: I just had the dawning realization that I accidentally created a post that has a too-long, unnecessary life story at the beginning with a recipe tucked all the way at the end. I'd like to apologize to every food blog I've ever unfairly judged for doing the same thing. I get it now.

        4 votes
        1. monarda
          Link Parent
          I am also a sucker for easy food. I keep hearing about overnight oats, and I jut never do it because nothing about oatmeal sounds appealing. But after reading your story, I'm going to give it a go...

          I am also a sucker for easy food. I keep hearing about overnight oats, and I jut never do it because nothing about oatmeal sounds appealing. But after reading your story, I'm going to give it a go tonight. You have inspired me!

          Edit:
          Regarding mason jars, I use the wide mouthed ones and buy the plastic lids that go with them. Those lids are way better than the metal ones used for canning.

          2 votes
    2. ReapersGale
      Link Parent
      I've been considering giving the overnight oats a shot after I finish off my breakfast burrito stash (still got ~25 in the freezer)

      I've been considering giving the overnight oats a shot after I finish off my breakfast burrito stash (still got ~25 in the freezer)

      2 votes
  2. [5]
    Adys
    Link
    I found a new fencing club which I'm interested in trying out. I was going to go today but ended up delaying it until Monday for lack of motivation and bad timing. You know, there's a gym not too...

    I found a new fencing club which I'm interested in trying out. I was going to go today but ended up delaying it until Monday for lack of motivation and bad timing.

    You know, there's a gym not too far from here. I was interested in trying it out. It's a Basic Fit. I actually went to visit it, it's pretty clean and all. I was going to subscribe, until I figured out their shitty little game they're playing.

    You see, they're advertising monthly costs of 20 EUR. But it's not 20 EUR for 1 month. If you actually wanted just one month, you'd have to pay 48.98 EUR (19.99 EUR / month base price, 9 EUR / month for "flex" option which lets you cancel before the end of the first 12 months, and an additional 19.99 EUR they call a "subscription fee"). Of course, you also wouldn't have the "first six weeks free", nor would you get the "basic-fit bag".

    So you may be tempted to go for the "premium" option which costs 29.99 EUR and has no "subscription fee", which works out cheaper the first month. But then, when you wanted to cancel at the end of the month, you'd be on the hook for … drumroll … 389.87 EUR.

    Fuck that.

    6 votes
    1. Alfred
      Link Parent
      It's pretty standard but that doesn't mean it isn't predatory. I recently canceled my commercial gym membership because of the cancellation fees, and their process for refunds was really fucked...

      It's pretty standard but that doesn't mean it isn't predatory. I recently canceled my commercial gym membership because of the cancellation fees, and their process for refunds was really fucked up. I ended up cancelling, getting charged for the next 2 months of membership after cancellation and just charging it back on my credit card.

      I now mark every "we miss you" email from them as spam.

      I hope you are able to find a local gym that doesn't have all the bullshit on top of their membership. You may be looking at a higher flat monthly rate though.

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      krg
      Link Parent
      Do you happen to have enough space for your own lil gym? You'd just need an Olympic bar, some weights, a bench, and a rack. Could be expensive, but better than dealing with gym membership...

      Do you happen to have enough space for your own lil gym? You'd just need an Olympic bar, some weights, a bench, and a rack. Could be expensive, but better than dealing with gym membership shenanigans.

      If that stuff takes up too much space, kettlebells of various weights can also provide you with a complete workout.

      2 votes
      1. Adys
        Link Parent
        I don't. But I did buy a mat and I've been happy with Fitness Blender which someone recommended a while back.

        I don't. But I did buy a mat and I've been happy with Fitness Blender which someone recommended a while back.

        3 votes
    3. JakeTheDog
      Link Parent
      That's pretty standard though, it's rare that I don't see this. The exception being government/public or some university/academic institution recreation centres.

      That's pretty standard though, it's rare that I don't see this. The exception being government/public or some university/academic institution recreation centres.

      1 vote
  3. [4]
    Gaywallet
    Link
    I've been slowly easing back into lifting again. I finished up my PT and while it helped some with the shoulder, the pain hasn't been completely fixed. I have a referral in to a pain clinic now so...

    I've been slowly easing back into lifting again. I finished up my PT and while it helped some with the shoulder, the pain hasn't been completely fixed. I have a referral in to a pain clinic now so hopefully that will help resolve whatever is causing it.

    This last weekend I managed to put in 100k steps dancing between Friday night and when the club closed early Sunday AM. Probably not great for my body as my sleep suffered quite a bit from crashing on different people's beds and couches, but it was a ton of fun.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      JakeTheDog
      Link Parent
      Yes! Dancing/raving is the best cardio. Man I've had some exhausting nights. I sometimes put in some extra effort into my core and leg workouts when I see a festival coming up...

      Yes! Dancing/raving is the best cardio. Man I've had some exhausting nights. I sometimes put in some extra effort into my core and leg workouts when I see a festival coming up...

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Gaywallet
        Link Parent
        Getting a total of like 8 hours of sleep from both Friday night and Saturday night certainly didn't help 😂. But absolutely, dancing is fantastic cardio. It's one of two kinds of cardio I actually...

        Getting a total of like 8 hours of sleep from both Friday night and Saturday night certainly didn't help 😂.

        But absolutely, dancing is fantastic cardio. It's one of two kinds of cardio I actually enjoy.

        I've found beat saber has been pretty good for keeping my cardio up. I try to dance as much as possible while playing too, but it tough to do in the higher difficulties.

        1. JakeTheDog
          Link Parent
          Oh man, so many non-fitness-orientated VR games really get my heart rate up. Especially when untethered like with the Oculus Quest. I love it! Now I just need more space to move around in.

          Oh man, so many non-fitness-orientated VR games really get my heart rate up. Especially when untethered like with the Oculus Quest. I love it! Now I just need more space to move around in.

          2 votes
  4. [5]
    Diet_Coke
    Link
    Does anyone else here climb? I have been hitting the climbing gym since February and it's been great. I also do yoga once a week to improve flexibility and help heal from climbing. I never could...

    Does anyone else here climb? I have been hitting the climbing gym since February and it's been great. I also do yoga once a week to improve flexibility and help heal from climbing. I never could get invested in the gym because it's too much like a hamster wheel, and I love bicycling but people in cars are just crazy. Climbing is the perfect mix of physically strenuous and mentally engaging. Highly recommend checking out a climbing gym if there is one near you!

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      ibis
      Link Parent
      Are you me? Haha I started climbing a couple of months ago and I love it (and dislike the gym) for exactly the same reasons. I also like that climbing is individualistic/non-competitive, but still...

      Are you me? Haha I started climbing a couple of months ago and I love it (and dislike the gym) for exactly the same reasons. I also like that climbing is individualistic/non-competitive, but still social.

      I’ve also been doing yoga for a few years and find it super useful for preventing back/shoulder/neck pain.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        Diet_Coke
        Link Parent
        Do you do more bouldering or top ropes? I find myself bouldering most of the time because you can do it solo, and it is a good way to get stronger. It seems like too roping develops your technique...

        Do you do more bouldering or top ropes? I find myself bouldering most of the time because you can do it solo, and it is a good way to get stronger. It seems like too roping develops your technique and endurance more.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          ibis
          Link Parent
          I’ve been doing top rope more, because getting up high is part of the fun for me. But I want to start doing more bouldering, I need to build up better grip strength.

          I’ve been doing top rope more, because getting up high is part of the fun for me.
          But I want to start doing more bouldering, I need to build up better grip strength.

          2 votes
          1. Diet_Coke
            Link Parent
            My gym is expanding right now and building a new section with 40 ft high walls, it makes my palms sweat just thinking about it, but I'm looking forward to giving it a shot.

            My gym is expanding right now and building a new section with 40 ft high walls, it makes my palms sweat just thinking about it, but I'm looking forward to giving it a shot.

            2 votes
  5. JakeTheDog
    Link
    Winter is here. Which means I can't reliably safely cycle to work anymore. Instead, I'm prepping for ski season. Starting it out easy with regular mobility warmups (see PDF summary towards the...

    Winter is here. Which means I can't reliably safely cycle to work anymore. Instead, I'm prepping for ski season. Starting it out easy with regular mobility warmups (see PDF summary towards the end) followed by a kettlebell workout series, primarily swings and shoulder presses with lunges and squats, and bodyweight core workouts. After another week or two I'll be introducing Tabata training. My favorite part is that I can do all of this at home!

    3 votes
  6. [2]
    nmn
    Link
    I recently injured my right shoulder on the bench press, but otherwise am pretty happy -- I've been able to run Greyskull LP for 1 year now with few breaks and have significantly improved my...

    I recently injured my right shoulder on the bench press, but otherwise am pretty happy -- I've been able to run Greyskull LP for 1 year now with few breaks and have significantly improved my physique and posture.

    Running a low carb/almost keto cut for a few weeks now, only seeing 0.5-1.0lb of loss per week. Seems like I'll have to cut harder?.

    3 votes
    1. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Depends on a lot of factors. 0.5-1lb is a good rate if you want maintain muscle mass. However, a lot of bodybuilders follow between 0.5 and 1% bodyweight loss per week (which could be faster or...

      Running a low carb/almost keto cut for a few weeks now, only seeing 0.5-1.0lb of loss per week. Seems like I'll have to cut harder?.

      Depends on a lot of factors. 0.5-1lb is a good rate if you want maintain muscle mass. However, a lot of bodybuilders follow between 0.5 and 1% bodyweight loss per week (which could be faster or slower depending on your total bodyweight).

      2 votes
  7. crdpa
    Link
    I started running on my off days. So i'm in the gym 4 days and running 2 days, 1 is full rest. I'm doing couch to 5k, but just two days per week. Let's see how this goes. On the gym, i'm doing...

    I started running on my off days. So i'm in the gym 4 days and running 2 days, 1 is full rest. I'm doing couch to 5k, but just two days per week. Let's see how this goes.

    On the gym, i'm doing GZCL General Gainz and i've been pretty happy. I'm doing less these days. Don't have the time/patience for lots of exercises and it suits me very well.

    3 votes
  8. Alfred
    Link
    I run Wendler's 5/3/1 with Boring but Big accessories. I recently switched to a local gym from the commercial one I was going to, so I had a few weeks off when I was in-between gyms, and now just...

    I run Wendler's 5/3/1 with Boring but Big accessories. I recently switched to a local gym from the commercial one I was going to, so I had a few weeks off when I was in-between gyms, and now just getting to the point where I go consistently again.

    Just trying to lift myself into a good headspace, and feel more confident about my body again. I lost a lot of weight this summer and most of it was muscle and form, so I'm cosniderably weaker and smaller than I'd like to be.

    Really just want to vent that I'm not as strong as I was and I've been not as disciplined as I could be.

    3 votes
  9. [4]
    Surira
    Link
    I don't have access to a gym and only have a 35 and 20 lb kettlebell at home. Any programs you'd all recommend for someone trying to build some muscle again with such little available equipment?

    I don't have access to a gym and only have a 35 and 20 lb kettlebell at home. Any programs you'd all recommend for someone trying to build some muscle again with such little available equipment?

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      krg
      Link Parent
      Goblet squats, deadlifts, and swings would be a good start with kettlebells. Also, add in sets of pushups, and if you don't mind purchasing a pull-up bar, sets of pull-ups for upper-body strength....

      Goblet squats, deadlifts, and swings would be a good start with kettlebells. Also, add in sets of pushups, and if you don't mind purchasing a pull-up bar, sets of pull-ups for upper-body strength.

      I'd say doing those every other day and gradually increase number of reps and/or sets each week would do you good.

      Don't forget to eat. :)

      2 votes
      1. Surira
        Link Parent
        Yep, already on it with those moves! The one thing I'm missing is the pull-up bar, because my doors just won't work with it... There aren't any substitutes for pull ups, as far as I know.

        Yep, already on it with those moves! The one thing I'm missing is the pull-up bar, because my doors just won't work with it... There aren't any substitutes for pull ups, as far as I know.

        2 votes
    2. Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Pretty much anything you can do with a dumbbell you can do with a kettlebell as well. The recommendations on the Reddit /r/fitness FAQ are actually quite good. I'd start with that and also check...

      Pretty much anything you can do with a dumbbell you can do with a kettlebell as well.

      The recommendations on the Reddit /r/fitness FAQ are actually quite good. I'd start with that and also check out /r/bodyweightfitness as well. Sub out for bodyweight or kettlebell wherever barbell exercises are in the program.

      2 votes
  10. [3]
    krg
    Link
    Same old, same old (if 6 months can be considered "old"), for me. Today was low rep/higher weight bench press, high rep/lower weight squats, high rep/lower weight over head press, and chinups. I...

    Same old, same old (if 6 months can be considered "old"), for me.

    Today was low rep/higher weight bench press, high rep/lower weight squats, high rep/lower weight over head press, and chinups.

    I was actually able to complete all of the higher rep squats (in this case, 170x8x4), which has been a challenge for me in the past. So, that felt good. Though, I still fill a tinge of anxiety each time I'm about to do a set.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      nmn
      Link Parent
      I found a trick to make the tinge go away, before I start my set I close my eyes and visualize myself doing the exercise for 1.5x the weight and 1.5x the reps easily and happily (e.g. I'm aiming...

      I found a trick to make the tinge go away, before I start my set I close my eyes and visualize myself doing the exercise for 1.5x the weight and 1.5x the reps easily and happily (e.g. I'm aiming 200 squats so I'll imagine I loaded 3 plates and did 8 reps and smiled after hitting the 8th one). Then the real weight seems much more doable in comparison :)

      2 votes
      1. krg
        Link Parent
        Ha... I kind of do that, but like... actually. Sometimes I'll load more weight than my current working weight so that when I go back down it feels light. Or... after doing heavy sets I'll do a set...

        Ha... I kind of do that, but like... actually. Sometimes I'll load more weight than my current working weight so that when I go back down it feels light.

        Or... after doing heavy sets I'll do a set with lighter weight and it'll feel easy and I'll feel strong 💪. it's a nice mental treat.

        1 vote