A Journey of Strength and Spirit

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Today is moving day for me, as I migrate to the new forums. I'm trying out new avatars, and I thought, "hey, why not a new thread name"?

I also changed my char class. I'm not feeling very heroic these days. More like I'm fighting battles. Hence the change.

Here's an auspicious start:

Bench Press: Started with 142.5 x 5, then worked up to a set of 145 x 4. One day I'll hit five reps! One of these days...
Incline Press: 115 x 5.
Decline Press: 110 x 5, I think.
Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 24 a hand x 20. Jeez, this was heavy.

Hope you're enjoying your Sundays, Bees!

Playing: Cult of the Lamb... my playing of RE3 has fallen by the wayside as CotL takes over my spare time!

Listening to: Alan Parsons Project - Games People Play. Great melody and vocals.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Salutations, Bees!

It's good to see more people showing up on these new boards.

Today is back day, and another chance to practice the "grip 'n rip" method of deadlifting.

Deadlifts: Started from 140 and worked up to 170 for three reps each. Then I hit four reps on 170! Woo!
Barbell Rows: 105 x 5
Meadows Rows: 45 x 6
Alternating Dumbbell Rows: 34 x 24

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. A lot of little things adding up (like finding new work and wondering what the hell I'm doing with my life) and causing me grief. But I'm feeling more mellow and relaxed tonight. As I tell myself constantly, there's still a lot to be grateful for. And to stay in the present.

After the heat wave we've had last week, it looks like things are cooling down. Only too soon, I say!

Have a happy Monday, Bees!

Playing: Yup. More Cult of the Lamb. I'm approaching the endgame, but am still busy levelling up my cu-err, sanctuary of happy souls!

Listening to: Zaar - Peter Gabriel. This is off of the Last Temptation of Christ soundtrack. An ultimately beautiful and healing number.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Heya, Bees!

Today is Bench Day 2, though I've been wrestling with whether or not to make it a light day, or insert another exercise, and leave myself more time to recover. For now, I'm sticking with the heavy chest days 3x a week.

Bench Press: 142.5 x 4, with sets of 3 following. Harder than it had to be, as opposed to last week when I was pressing slightly lighter weights and had more success. Nonetheless, I'm going to stick with this weight.
Incline Paused Press: 110 x 3
Decline Close-Grip Press: 110 x 6
Overhead Rope Extensions
Dumbbell Curls: Five sets. Maxed at 40lbs x 20 reps.

The weather has cooled down by several degrees, and I tells ya, it's so much more bearable walking around than it was a few weeks ago. Can't wait for "winter".

In other news, my mum and I are headed over to the US (New York) to reunite with my sister and her family. We just booked the tickets and we're ready to go, come Christmas time. I'm looking forward to my first chance to travel in four years. Very excited to see big sis and her kids!

Have a good Tuesday, Bees!

Playing: Still inching closer to the end of Cult of the Lamb, as well as RE3. Madshot is kind of underwhelming, sadly.

Listening to: Modern Love is Automatic - A Flock of Seagulls. While my 80's synth devotion goes to Gary Numan, I still have a soft spot for AFOS' many hits.

 
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GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
New York at Christmas can be hit or miss, but the western side has had very little snow around that time. Still cold and lovely, but a bummer for lovers of frozen water! I hope you have a great time!
Thank you so much! I've never been to NY during Christmas time, though I have been to Indiana (which is quite cold). My sister lives upstate, so I'm looking forward to being out in nature again, and seeing snow. Can't remember how long it's been since I've seen snow.

Heya Bees! Another day, another workout.

Squats: 110 x 5. So I suffered another strength drop with my squats. Not really sure why, but I guess I should be grateful that it wasn't a huge setback (maybe 10kg or so).
Front Squats: 82.5 x 5. No strength drop here! I haven't done weight this heavy in a long time. A very minor PR.
Paused Squats: 110 x 3. Going into temporary PR territory again, but I have done heavier.
Leg Extensions: Machine said 160, and I did it 12 times.
Back HyperExtensions: 35 kg x 12. These are always fun, but I can feel my joints creaking.

May not always get the greatest success out of leg day, but I always have a good workout.

Clocked 14,000 steps today, but I really wish my gym had an indoor track, as it would make it easier to get my steps in.

Sobriety, Family, Exercise, Psychology.

Halfway through the week, Bees!

Playing: Cult of the Lamb. Still getting closer. Tried some RE3 last night; I still hate the zombie mechanics, but it's all good. Not sure if I'll return to Madshot soon. Aaaaand, there's a ton of other roguelites and boomer shooters demanding my attention!

Watching: The new trailer for Hellraiser! Squee!

Listening to: Miami Nights 1984 - Sunseeker. In honour of a fading summer...

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Thank you so much @Fremen @JCU @PETERMORRIS966 @mavie @Whirly @CODawn @TopNotch @TheLibrarian and @HellYeah . I guess it's true that every step, no matter how small is progress.

So today is the final workout day for this week, so I got to do what I've always enjoyed: yep, the Bench Press.

Bench Press: 145 x 4, 3, 4, 4, 3, and 3. Just a straight battery of sets. Keep my head down and keep chugging. I'll try again on Monday.
Incline Bench Press: 120 x 4. Hewing close to my limit, just need one more rep!
Shoulder Press: 75 x 5. I think I kind of ran out of steam at this point, and my pushing muscles had exerted themselves too much.
Rope Pushdowns: Keeping the accessories light today.
Bicep Curls: The kind where you twist your wrists with each motion. Got to 22 reps with 20kg.

Tomorrow I'm going to take the day off from working out, wander the city, and drink boba tea.

Have fun, Bees!

Playing: Nearing the end of Cult of the Lamb. Maybe a dash of Nuclear Throne for old time's sake?

Listening to: Queen - A Kind of Magic. I've always loved this one more than most other Queen hits, for some reason. "There can be only one!"

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
@Froud "I'm moving faster than... the speed of light..." ;)

Alright, I've had my boba tea (it was chocolate flavoured, and absolutely delicious), and now I'm back for another workout. I decided to train my deadlifts a second time this week, just as an experiment, and the results didn't disappoint.

Deadlifts: 140, 150 and 160 for three reps, and 170 for five(!) reps. Then I tried 175 on for size and got three reps! Did it again for three reps - could feel my limits at that point. Two PRs in a day, woohoo!
Barbell Row: 100 x 6. Not really up for pushing it today.
T-Bar Rows: 90 x 5. Heavy as hell!
Meadows Rows: 45 x 5
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 65 x 6. A more relaxing, form-driven exercise than the others.

My legs are all rubbery, and my callouses feel like they're about to fall off. A good day's work, then!

Enjoy your weekend, Bees!

Playing: I booted up my old copy of Fallout 4 and installed more than seventy mods to make for a new experience (I periodically do this). I've clocked four hundred hours total in Fallout 4 this way, so I'm ready to do it again!

Listening to: HOME - Captain Forever. I absolutely love the brooding, badass feel of this one. Should've been the theme for a post-apocalypse flick.

 
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GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Haha, thank you @LizardFriend95 @JCU @Sif_Shepard @Fremen @CODawn @Whirly @TopNotch

Felt really good today, and had a good start. But... no PRs today. What a shame!

Bench Press: 145 x 4 for five sets. The bad news is that I didn't get that shiny five rep set. I really felt like I would; the weight moved really smoothly, but I couldn't follow through. In fact, I failed on the fifth rep, and then popped the weight onto my shins and then onto the ground. The good news is that I managed five sets of four reps, which I've never done before, so maybe this is progress of a sort.
Incline Press: 115 x 4: Uggh, had no more energy left for this one.
V-bar Pushdowns
Hammer Curls: 24 x 20.

Waiting for winter here. Any day now...

Happy Monday, Bees!

Watching: Game of Th-err House of the Dragon. I swear, they should call this House of the Childbirth. A good episode, but some really strange plotholes (no spoilers).

Playing: So, Fallout 4 has taken over my freetime. Absolutely loving wandering the wasteland with my souped-up mil-spec gear!

Listening to: Andrew WK - Everybody Sins. It's become a ritual of mine to play this every time I start a bench press workout. It's a massive, epic song.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Augh, my legs. So sore. I don't believe it to always correlate with a good workout, but in this case, it definitely means I pushed my limits.

Today was Back day.

Deadlifts: 140, 150, 160, 170 x 3. And then 175 x 5(!). I had no more strength after that. Tried to lift 180 and failed to get the weight off the ground. Twice. So I moved on.
Barbell Rows: 105 x 6
Machine One Arm Rows: 65 x 6
Machine Lat Pulldown: 65 x 6. Good for form.
Narrow Grip Rows: 60 x 6.

I cannot emphasize how sore my quads feel. Whereas on Leg day it's a pain in my butt (literally), here it's like a slash through my quads. Cardio afterwards was an additional pain.

Take care, Bees!

Watching: I started The Night House ages ago, I'm going to try to finish it.

Playing: More Fallout 4. I'm pointedly ignoring the quests. I'm more interested in roaming around slaying mutants.

Listening to: My Watch Has Ended - Ramin Djawadi. I love the feeling in this once. First heard in season six, and it always stuck with me.

 

PetiteSheWolf

Member
Alchemist from France
Posts: 19
Watching: Game of Th-err House of the Dragon. I swear, they should call this House of the Childbirth. A good episode, but some really strange plotholes (no spoilers).
Like the episode, the new ladies are indeed very good (you know I was concerned for Rhaenyra ; we still have to see the actress's chemistry with Smith, but so far very happy). Yes, guys, after that, will you ever accept to come in the birthing rooms with your ladies when time comes? :devil:

Still, I can never look again at Daemon the same way after seeing how he... ended his first marriage. That definitly ruined the character for me! I suppose they were kind of trying to making him more sympathetic by showing us his relationship with Baela, but that's not sufficient for me.
And it's getting darn dangerous to be Rhaenyra's thryst... Specially now with a pre-Littlefinger character (not exactly subtle with his flower for Alicent, but heck... yeah, we got your message, slime).
 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
@PetiteSheWolf Indeed, the new actresses are great. It'll be interesting to see them in further episodes and see how they have their own twist on the characters (some of which we've already seen). I'm a "book reader" - I'm making my way through Fire and Blood, but I'm familiar with much of the lore surrounding the series. Daemon's a pretty unsavoury type; villainous, even. Whether he has enough redeeming traits is a matter of debate. Reprehensible nature aside, I'm still interested in seeing where his character goes and how he gets there. Think that Larys' portrayal, while distinct, is still cartoonish. Maybe he'll flash his Villains Inc. badge soon. But of course, we still have four episodes (and several seasons, hopefully), to go.

Whew, shows how much I think about HotD.

Some workouts just ain't got it, and this was one of them.

Paused Bench Press: 142.5 x 4, 145 x 3. Ugh, just lousy numbers. The warm-ups felt light, but again, just fell flat when it came to the actual working sets. I am, however, testing out a few promising new tweaks, so hopefully they'll bear fruit when I'm more used to them (eg using more leg drive, and pushing into your shoulder blades).
Incline Press: 117.5 x 3. I would very much like to try this on 120.
(I didn't bother with a triceps accessory today)
Dumbbell Curls: 20 x 20. Supinated, I think that's the technical term for how I did them today.

Tomorrow is Squat day. Hopefully I'll have a better showing than last week, though I admit, I never walk away from a Leg workout disappointed.

Playing: You can probably guess. Steadily building up my char and carefully cheating, in the name of fun!

Listening to: The Munsters theme song. Before Rob Zombie's lousy remake reared its head, I hadn't listened to this one in over a decade (by my guess). Stupid song has been stuck in my head all day! :smash:

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
I didn't walk away from today's Leg workout disappointed. Quite the opposite.

But firstly, my ear buds (I love 'em) ran out of power and I was forced to workout and walk home hearing ambient noise. I typically wear my buds every time I go out because it calms me down and I like listening to music, dammit. No dice today.

Also, a lot of people in my gym grunt. I hadn't realized that because I've been blasting Megadeth and Motorhead in my ears, but yeah, when they're into their reps, they let rip with eyebrow-raising blasts of sound. I admit that I do it too when I'm exerting myself pretty hard - I guess it's surprising to be on the other end. Too much? You tell me.

Anyway, the workout:

Squats: 115 x 5, 120 x 3. A step up from last week. I miss the old days when the reps came easy, but all in good time.
Front Squats: 85 x 5. Auugh. These were heavy, and I finished each set feeling like I'd done a sprint.
Paused Squats: 100 x 3. Too tired to lift anymore at this point - I'd already done 12 sets.
No leg extensions today.
Sissy Squats: 30 in total.
Lying Leg Curls: 40 for ten reps.
Back Extensions: 40 for eight reps. Another tough set. Never done this before, so I found it really taxing on my joints.

Walked home for a total of 14,000 steps. I weigh about 83.2, I was 89.6 four months ago. I want to get to 82 by next month. It's nice to have that heavy, stocky look than I have, but I miss being as lean as I was five years ago (before I got depressed and ate my way through every bakery and sweet store around).

Good luck with your goals, Bees!

Playing: Wondering if I should bother finishing Cult of the Lamb. There's an arbitrary requirement for the endgame: you have to have X members of your cult before you can enter the final gate. I mean, seriously? Who does that crap? Can I be bothered to do more farming? Think I'll just boot up Fallout 4 when I get annoyed with that.

Watching: The Night House is getting creepy! I haven't finished watching it because I typically watch only 15 minutes of something before falling asleep.

Listening to: David Bowie - Quicksand. It doesn't get as much love as the other songs off of Hunky Dory, but it's as well-written and beautiful sounding as they are.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
@JCU Haha, it's okay. The earbuds are fully charged again and back in action. Also, my gym is not like Planet Fitness, so I guess at the end of the day I'm glad people can do as they please.

Today was just a slog... smashing one set after the other for the sake of progress.

Bench Press: 147.5 x 3. For six sets. I didn't feel strong today. As usual, I will make another try at this weight next week.
Incline Press: 115 x 5. Same old story, not enough energy left for the accessory.
Incline Dumbbell Curls: Not much. 16 for 20 reps.

Did I really only do three exercises?

It rained a lot today, but I finally packed an umbrella with my workout. Tomorrow is cheat meal day, so I'm having a buffet lunch.

Enjoy the weekend, Bees!

Playing: I scrapped my old Fallout 4 save... too much cheating made it too easy. So my new save will be sans cheats, but not mods ('cuz they're so much fun!).

Listening to: Light the Torch - Become the Martyr. A powerful, heartfelt Metalcore song with catchy vocals.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Today I decided to go back to the gym. Just because!

Deadlift: 140, 150, 160, 170, 180 x 3 for each set. This is the heaviest I've lifted in awhile. Tried to do five reps but three was the limit. I'm approaching my old levels of strength, but not quite there yet.
T-Bar Rows: 92.5 x 5. Yeeeeesss!
Barbell Rows: 105 x 5. Form over weight.
Lat Pulldowns: 80 x 5. Perhaps a little too heavy for me.
Inverted Rows: 30 reps. A relaxing end to the workout.

Not as chock-full of sets as my back days usually are, but that's fine.

Our government recently passed out 2000 HKD in spending vouchers (it's free money, albeit limited to certain payment platforms) so after gymming, I went shopping for some whey protein and bars and stopped at Uniqlo. Pretty crowded in both places I went to. I think everybody else is busy making use of their vouchers. Then I walked home with 3 kg worth of stuff in my bag: like a mini hike!

Also clocked 14000+ steps.

Watching: The Terminal List, Episode 3. And House of the Dragon tomorrow!

Playing: Fallout 4. Within two nights of gaming, I got my second char as well-levelled as my first one. Otherwise it's the same deal of looting and wandering. A shame that there are no good upcoming games on Steam...

Listening to: Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise. Heard that he passed recently, so I can't resist putting on this classic. RIP.

 

GentleOx

Active member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 28
Set out for the gym not sure what to expect. Would I make it? Or fall short?

I'm glad to report that all went swimmingly!

Bench Press: 147.5 x 4 for the top set. This is an all-time PR for me! My intuition told me that I'd be able to handle more weight today, and I'm glad I gave it a try.
Incline Press: 120 x 5. Another PR! And this was after many taxing sets on the bench press.
Shoulder Press: 70 x 5. Just for the reps.
Hammer Curls: 24 x 22 reps! Ouch.

Tomorrow is a holiday; my mom and I will spend part of the afternoon heading to the cemetery and tending to my grandfather's grave: we call this baai saan. Such is the tradition of tomorrow (Chung Yeung Festival).

Have a great Monday, Bees!

Watching: House of the Dragon - Why was a chunk of this episode so dark? Literally! It was hard to make out what was going on. But by the end of the episode, at least someone escaped the madness.

Playing: A little more Cult of the Lamb (reaching the end soon), and of course the modded wonderland that is Fallout 4.

Listening to: Gary Numan - Call Out the Dogs. I missed this song! In fact, I need to go back and listen to some of Numan's old catalogue again out of nostalgia.

 
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