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“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

It’s been an arduous journey so far. I’ld like to use this space to share what I’ve done, what I’m doing, what I’m planning, to recieve advice and critique, and perhaps offer my own if the occasion arises.

I weighed 225 pounds when I was twelve years old. I was a big boy. Today? I clocked in at 210. A foot taller as well. Now I wanna be a big guy. I already was, in a grotesque way, the second to last time I weighed myself I was about 400 pounds. After that, I was too fat for numbers - my electronic scale returning the word ERROR the last time I dared to check.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Thank God I decided to do something about it before I was beyond words - sighs of disgust, or barnyard braying, that’s where I was headed.

It took about two years of constant effort, drip by drip, to drop those 200+ pounds. For those of you who see this who are just beginning? Good luck. You’ll need it. If you want it, you can have it. But you owe. More than you know.

Because now I must begin the task of hammering this misshapen body into iron. My bones, my skin, they belong to a man twice my size. My joints don’t articulate like a normal human. At the moment, I look like a tailless t-rex toy that’s been microwaved for a few minutes - massive legs, a core that rivals Heracles, and itty-bitty arms. Big ass head to boot.

I started with a body that had never been tested physically - from what I can piece together I was somewhere around 70% body fat. I believe I’m around 15% now, though that was ten pounds ago, with inaccurate instruments.

I’ve been bloviating. The plan is to lock this in, I can’t stop here, there’s so much I’ve missed out on, still so much catching up to do. I’ve started with Starting Strength, as well as the Start Bodyweight program on off days. I practice martial arts for around 10 hours a week. I was running but that was something I did my first and only ex, and after she broke my heart I could barely manage a few hundred feet before breaking down into a blubbering mess. Time to quit this bitch-mode shit.

Sunday will be a day of rest - I’ll update my log with what I’ve done during the week, to keep myself accountable and consistent.


210 lbs
Squat: 185 (This and all other compound lifts at 5RM)
Deadlift: 185
Bench Press: 145
Press: 60

Current Calisthenics: jack-knife pull-ups/elbows-in push-ups/bent leg raises/inverted rows(legs elevated)/bench dips 1LE/diamond pike push-ups LE/beginner shrimps

Mile Time: ~9 minutes

My sticking point is upper-body, not only is it woefully underdeveloped, my left shoulder joint lacks any stability - my clavicle isn’t actually connected to my scapula on that side. I could go on, but this has already gone on long enough.

Lastly, thank you all (not just for reading this!) - lurking here for diet advice was always a great help, with folks like Gen. Stalin or Kaotic and others inspiring with their own logs. Wish me luck, and likewise to all of you.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Dude with lifts like that, don't focus so much on 'underdeveloped upper body' or lack of separation. Just get your lifts up.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Thanks for the calisthenics recommendation, I'll have to check that program out.

Dude you're doing OK. Losing that much weight is a big accomplishment for anybody. Just make sure to eat a piece of protein at every meal (meat, eggs, and milk) and be diligent and patient, the gains will come.

It takes about 8 weeks for true strength gains to appear once newbie gains stop. If you are lucky, during each 8 week cycle your old 1RM could be your new 5RM for about a 10% strength increase. Keep that in mind, meaning it could be 40-50 weeks or more to hit 205-225 on bench if you gain well as a trainee. These things take time.

Also there is nothing wrong with hitting upper body every day to make it look better. Chest, arms, delt, abs, back. I am doing that myself now. Almost a third of my workouts are machine rows supersetted with dumbbell fast curl and press.

I dont know what you mean by clavicle separated from scapula but a physio might be able to find workarounds and prehab/rehab for it?

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Thank you Flanders for the encouragement, and bob for keeping it real.

This isn’t my first time to the rodeo so to speak, during the beginning of my weightloss journey I had been keeping up with SS consistently - IIRC I capped out around 315 S/375 DL/245 B/190 P at ~300 lbs. Then that clavicle came into play.

I have a grade 3+ strain of the acromioclavicular joint, meaning all three ligaments that attach the clavicle to the scapula are completely severed. This doesn’t sound that bad until you realize that the AC joint is the only structure keeping the arm on the body - everything else is muscle and tendon. The bone actually juts up around 2 inches out of the shoulder on that left side, and there are muscle imbalances that are impossible to recoup (my upper trap is actually completely atrophied - i.e. it’s gone on that side).

A combination of illness/14 hour days in a restaurant/improper recovery/etc. led to catastrophic muscle failure of the left shoulder and back - it basically froze up for about 2 months, coupled with extreme back pain, etc.

I never made it back into the gym, but luckily I kept my diet on track.

So when I started again I started from the bar on all lifts, focus on form, and have slightly modified the program.

Rather than 3 sets of 5, I’ve been working with 2 sets of 5 with 5 second pauses, and then a final set of 10-12 reps at about 80% of the working weight. My focus this time is on form and stability, rather than mindlessly grinding out the program.

It’s going to take time I know, and this time I’ll keep my ego from setting me back... Hopefully. Foolishness being the father of Wisdom or something like that...


Yeah, start bodyweight is great so far. It’s a much more manageable progression than convict conditioning, and the 30 minute workouts can either be done on off days or slipped in at the end of a free weight session.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Alright, week one is off to a shaky start. Understandable, I’ld been away from the weights for a week or so, couldn’t eat much at all as well (a few days I managed nothing), needed to regroup and get back at it. Where as the week before I hardly ate anything, this week has been a catastrophe in that regard.

The Good:
A combined total of some 20 hours practicing traditional Chinese martial arts, as well as at least a half hour of yoga daily. Flexibility is already noticeably better. 3 sessions of SS without incident.

The Bad:
Didn’t bother with running or calisthenics. Motivation to hit the weights crashed hard on Friday, really motivation to do anything at all. Managed to force myself to make up that missed session on Saturday.

The Ugly:
Weighed in just north of 225 pounds today. Ate like a damn dog this week, absolutely sick of pizza and burritos. Bags of cookies... Thirty God damn cookies in one sitting. That’s three tens. Dirty, dirty dog. I know that most of it is water weight, I’m literally full of shit right now. Definitely still have issues with emotional eating that I’m going to have to sort out if I want to stay fit for the rest of my life.

The plan for next week:
Continue building momentum with what’s going well. Add in some calisthenics on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. Today I’ve been fasting for some damage control, may run a short PSMF - going to have to see how I feel. No fast food this week.

Motivation has already tanked, emotional state of mind has been turbulent to say the least. The only way out is to develop discipline.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Week two wasn’t much better, but I’m my own worst critic. Monday was just one of those days - I don’t like Mondays.

Training was down.
Yoga was up.
Weight is down.
What I ate still sucked.
Only managed two sessions with the weights this week.
Haven’t started running.
Still need to get back on the calisthenics.

Didn’t want to weigh in here, but I need to own it.

It’s not so bad, it’s not so bad.

Weight: 222.7
Squat: 210
Death Lift: 210
Bench: 165
Press: 70

Plans (best laid):
More Martial Arts
More Yoga
Start Running
Get on top of what I’m eating
And get under that weight three times

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Done goofed again. I was 218.7 on Thursday, woke up just below 230 after a gluttonous weekend. Enough is enough - I’ve had tremendous success with the Rapid Fat Loss Diet in the past, time to get on it again.

Aside from the weight, everything else is going just fine. Haven’t started running yet, though I’ve been waking up consistently at the crack of dawn - the body is ready and willing, the mind is dragging its feet.

I realize part of my problem may be that I do not have any concrete goals - everything is insubstantial. I need a deadline to keep me honest, otherwise everything is at the whim of whimsical emotional swings.

As such, I will weigh 185 pounds by the end of July - I’ll be freshly 32 by then, and stripping my body of the rest of this lingering stubborn fat will be the best gift I can give myself. As far as strength goes, I want to hit the standard benchmark for Starting Strength.

.75xBW Press = 140 lb 3x5
1xBW Bench = 185 lb 3x5
1.5xBW Squat = 280 lb 3x5
2xBW Deads = 370 lb 1x5

Currently at 80/170/230/230. Bench and Squat are easily doable, Press and Deads may be iffy. Wish me luck gentlemen, I’ve had enough of this stuff.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Now we’re on a roll, baby! Building some momentum. I can feel it, just outside the finish line. Time to square up and break through the chains, Xeno’s Paradox notwithstanding.

Weighed in today at 213.

Improvising as things change and shift.

With regards to the diet, I’ve got enough discipline to stick to the PSMF 80% of the time. Occasionally I’ll have some yogurt and fruit on top of the whey - when the tastes demand it. I love feasting, as much as I enjoy fasting, and so I feast when the opportunity arises - showed my face at a baby shower, housed 12 street tacos, a liter of Italian ice, and a fistful of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Hunger is the sweetest sauce, such savor.

Now, I’m having such an easy time with this because my social life clings to physical activity. If you’re one who enjoys a good meal with friends (not to mention a drink or two) I could imagine you’d have some struggle.

Physically I feel fantastic - light and spry. However, endurance is down across the board.

On the iron. Strength is still steadily rising. There’s no trouble with those 5 lb. increments - however I’ve scaled squats and bench back to sets of 3. With such low glycogen stores those last two reps are too dangerous, form breaks down, whole muscle groups shut off. Otherwise things are moving with ease - like a breeze.

Work has been heavy, thankfully so, yet yoga has been set simmering. For the better - rather than attending as many classes as possible I’ve focused on mobility and mobilization drills and techniques. To great success. Flexibility has already dramatically improved in just a week even though I’m doing half the work I was. Working smarter and harder.

My martial art is culminating into something sweet. Here too, I’ve had to scale back - rather than training in a 4 hour chunk, an hour here and there with 2 hours at night is working beautifully.

It may be that the fast has imparted some increased cognition and furitive focus. It’s also illuminated a few ideas concerning diet and spirituality that I hope to pursue once I’ve landed.

Good luck, lads! Remember, we’re all gonna make it.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

We soldier onward.

Currently 206 pounds. Now is where I’m feeling the broken fascial chain of that left arm - the shoulder complex will come unrooted during bench press, or grip will spontaneously fail at the top of a deadlift. No matter, minor setbacks. The challenge is to leave ego by the wayside, work slowly, and wait for recomposition.

P: 100
B: 180
S: 260
D: 260

Not bad progress for a 3,000 calorie deficit.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

So you're surviving on like 500 calories a day? Switch over to keto and you can eat a decent amount of food while still losing fat.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

It’s closer to 1,000.

The diet is currently 8 scoops of top-shelf whey, each one is approximately 25 g of protein and around 125 calories. This is all consumed within a 4 hour window, generally bracketing any weight training - outside of that it’s black coffee and water with the occasional protein bar or bit of yogurt. And some edibles here or there.

I’m not entirely sure how, but I’ve consistently lost about a pound a day (refeeds not withstanding) which would imply a 3,700 calorie deficit...

You’re absolutely right though, I imagine I can’t continue this pace for much longer scott free. I’ll do just that and add some fats when things become a struggle - I’m guessing that’ll be in the mid 190’s.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

The problem with what you are doing is you will hit your goal weight, start eating again and pack on a bunch of weight. If I was you I'd either eat more while still maintaining a 500-1000 calorie deficit or switch to keto.

You want to start putting on some decent muscle right? You need to eat more.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

You’re trying to teach a 40 year old hooker how to fuck! The weight regain is no skin off my back - disregarding all the loose skin. It’s something cyclical that I’ve learned about myself, I’ll lose 100 pounds and gain back 40, or 40 and gain back 20. The hope is to make sure the weight regained is mostly lean mass this time - and this time something feels very different.

Fitness was never a passion for me before. Exercise always felt like a chore - what kept me going was just the weight falling off and general health. Now I finally have a hobby rooted in physicality, coupled with what’s probably the best support system imaginable. First time in my life where there aren’t too many crabs in the bucket, you know?

The thing about a protein sparring modified fast is that it’s not just about dropping weight quickly. As far as I can tell it’s the fastest, safest method to shed pounds and requires one to completely detach themselves from mouth pleasure. For me this method dampens the emotional addiction I have to food for a few months - which is just enough time to really right myself, cut out this gluttony. Hence the journal.

Like I said, I don’t think I’ll be able to hit 185 with just this protocol. It’s possible, however I’ll need to see 181 on the scale to make sure I land at 185 after I switch gears. If I had to guess, I’ll need to come out of the fast over the course of a month or so.

So, 190 by July 1st.
185 before August.
Absolute deadlines.

“Rise from Your Grave” - A General Fitness Journal

Running into a bit of an oddity, one of those discrepancies where calories in vs. calories out goes out the fucking window.

When I near 200 everything just stops. Having done a bit of research, I believe this is because of emergency fat stores. It’s strange - starting to look a little bit like Doctor Robotnik! My neck, arms, and legs have a grotesque kind of definition to them - all of the muscles are well defined, ‘ripped’ if you will, striations in the deltoids, the forearms, quads clearly defined, veins everywhere. I have vascular shins...

However the bellyfat is going no where.

I suppose this is because we store our starvation fat in the stomach - that stubborn lower belly fat. For most people, you’re looking at 2 to 5 pounds clinging to the thighs and gut and chest. However, having been three times the size of most people I imagine there’s closer to 10 to 15 pounds there.

So, this is where fasted cardio while loaded up on Yohimbine and caffeine comes in.

I’ll check back in in mid June to make sure I’m on track.

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