It's week 2, day 2 of the Stronger by Science bench program.
Bench Press: 11(!) sets, culminating in 135 x 2 for two sets. While many of the sets are below 90% of my 1rm, that's still a ton of volume.
Dips: About 100 in total.
Machine Pushdown: 12 x 8.
Going along, hoping I get stronger over time. Meeting a friend tomorrow for some yummy Indian food.
Enjoy your Wednesday, Bees!
Playing: Of course, going to boot up Grim Dawn. Gotten into a flow for the time being. Maybe a little bit of Fallout 4. Maybe.
Watching: Just watched Wakanda Forever at an early morning showing. Barney forever, Wakanda never! Just joking, and slipping in a small Simpsons reference.
So one wonders what to make of The Black Panther sequel given that the inimitable Chadwick Boseman is absent. Part of the story (rightfully, I feel) gives its respect to his memory, and his passing is given ceremony and celebration in equal measure. Much of the plot is dedicated towards the emergence of a previously unknown empire, and a new "villain" I found to be more compelling than Michael B Jordan's Killmonger. The typical Marvel beats and battles are present, but there's more heart to this story, I felt. The action is also better, which is essential for a blockbuster flick. If I have one complaint, I felt like the flick is overstuffed; some scenes could've been excised with little difference to the movie's flow. This is reinforced by the film clocking in at a butt-numbing 161 minutes (!). Overall, I liked it more than the first Black Panther, and give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Listening to: Chris Thomas King - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues. First heard this in O Brother, Where Art Thou. Amazing song with a forlorn feel to it.
A wave of weakness has hit me! No, I'm not sick or anything, but my lifts today were just dreadful! It may be due to the fact that I was dehydrated and had a big lunch beforehand, but that shouldn't figure into it.
Squats: 120 x 2, then 120 x 3. Bleh. Definitely not my best, but these things can get better.
Front Squats: 80 x 5. Equally bleh. Weight felt like a ton.
Hack Squats: 45 x 6.
Back Extensions: 65 x 8. I tell you, holding three plates at once while extending your back is one hell of an exercise. Absolutely wrecks the joints though, I feel.
So now I'm properly exhausted. Also, hit 17000 steps. Yikes!
See ya round, Bees!
Playing: Grim Dawn has me in its hold, once again. I'm going to try to play past the points I've gotten to in the past where I just get bored and uninstall the game.
Watching: I keep meaning to start Barbarian, but I'm too sleepy at the end of the day to bother (I prefer to do my watching in bed). Watched a little bit of The Dragon Prince Season 4 at the gym, but kiddy-ness of it all is kind of grating.
Listening to: Slipknot - Yen. It's reminiscent of The Gray Chapter's Killpop, and equally as beautiful. I'm still amazed that the band that originally spat out noisy hip hop rhymes and death metal (influenced) chaos can write songs that are so darkly beautiful, albeit as loud as before.
@mavie Thank you for the insight! Sometimes I lose sight of what I've accomplished.
Today is W2 D3 of the Stronger By Science/Sheiko Bench Press program. I got a little bored and made a small variation.
Bench Press: 127.5 - 3 sets of 4, followed by an AMRAP set of 9 (which the program doesn't have. I felt like pushing myself). I was gunning for ten reps, but didn't have it in the bag. Maybe another time.
Dips: Started with 5 reps, then 6, then 7... up to 12. And then back down again. I did a little over 130.
Machine Pushdown: 14 x 6.
Dumbbell Flyes: 24 x 8. I haven't done these in years; I find that it's really easy to strain the rotator cuff doing them. So I changed the arc of the movement, and voila!
Followed by a half hour of cardio, and 16000 steps. I had a small hot dog before going to the gym, and I was hungry throughout. Note to self: eat more before working out.
Whew! That was a long week of workouts! I'm having a hot pot dinner tomorrow and totally abstaining from exercise (maaaayyybeee), but I resume working out again on Sunday.
Enjoy the weekend Bees! You've earned it.
Playing: More Grim Dawn; I've reached that point at which I'd quit in the past. Going to push through. It helps that I have a podcast playing at the same time. Does anyone else listen to podcasts and play video games at the same time? I've done this with many games, most notably Elden Ring (!).
Watching: I watched the first few minutes of Barbarian last night. Can tell that even though it's early on, it's a well-crafted and creepy flick. Have heard that it goes full throttle later on, so looking forward to it.
Listening to: Tyler Bates - John Wick Theme. I just watched the trailer for John Wick: Chapter 4. Am totally hyped - it looks even more expansive and thrilling than before, and that's saying something! I'm a big fan of this song because it matches the tone of the films perfectly.
And I'm back. Didn't do any exercise on Saturday (hot pot was yummy, though), but I did a back workout today.
Deadlifts: 185 x 3. No PRs today. This was a tough set that left my knees sore.
T-Bar Rows: 95 x 5.
Machine One Armed Row: 52 x 6. This one was different from the one that I usually do, as I did it on a different machine. Felt pretty good!
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 70 x 6. Felt pretty weak, tbh.
Pull ups: About 25 in total.
So, to sum up, I started strong, but lifted pretty intensely, which affected my later sets.
Also, I saw the charity doggos again and snapped some pics.
Bonus: store Buns.
Hope you're enjoying your Sunday, Bees!
Playing: Take a guess. Yep, still Grim Dawning away. I'm farther now in the game that I've ever been. Let's see if I can see it through to the end!
Watching: I finished the final episodes of The Witcher Season 2. I still haven't made up my mind on The Witcher series. I guess it's got its moments, but it's definitely no House of The Dragon. Also started the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared series, which I'll write more about tomorrow.
Listening to: Neil Young - Rockin' in the Free World (Live). I love this version more, as the tempo is noticeably slower, giving the intensity of the song and Young's impassioned delivery an extra oomph.
@CODawn I'm a big fan too! @JCU I love cuddly animals, hehe.
Hey Bees! Another week begins. Today was Chest Day W3D1.
Bench Press: 135 for 3 reps for 4 sets, 110 x 8 for two sets. Getting ready for the big AMRAP PR push next week! Weights were heavy, but manageable.
Close Grip Bench: 112.5. Waaahh... this felt really difficult.
Dips: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13... and then back down again. 149 in total.
Bicep Curls: 24 x 20, as a max set.
Not sure what I'm going to work tomorrow - it's a choice between back and legs; either's gonna hurt. I'm trying to stave off ennui... the days kind of roll into each other. One day at a time.
Have a good start to your week, Bees!
Playing: Grim Dawn is, for now, the apple of my eye (and I'm making good headway through it), but I recently bought a small indie called Deathrunner TV that I'm going to try tonight.
Watching: Gangs of London Season 2. I'm already three episodes in, and it's a crackerjack return to form. Loving the action, the twists, and the general return of the story. I admit, however, to forgetting who most of the characters are in the two years between this and season 1. It would've been helpful if they'd had the traditional "Previously, on..."
Listening to: Neil Young - Cortez the Killer (again, off of Weld). You could write a lot about this one, and indeed, a lot has been written, but I prefer to know it as a frazzled, burnt-out jam that's perfect for those late nights. I'm not the biggest Young fan, but I will say I have a fondness for any of the records he made with Crazy Horse.
Yesterday was a mess. I indulged in my favourite desserts (boba tea and egg waffles) and got absolutely no exercise in. So today I headed back to the gym to do what I do best.
Today is W3D2 of the Stronger by Science Bench Program.
Bench Press: About 9 sets in total, culminating in 145 x 3. Only one rep for that top set was required, but I decided to add an AMRAP set anyway. Just because! I actually fudged the set. I started before I was really ready and dug in, and I think that cost me an extra rep.
Dips: About 150 in total.
Machine Pushdown: 13 x 6.
Incline Biceps Curls: 18 x 5. Ugh, haven't tried this weight before, and it was tough.
I went to get my flu shot today before going to the gym. The muscles in my arm were sore, but naturally that didn't stop me from working out. As usual, will have to see if the soreness persists for the next few days.
Watching: I finished Gangs of London - yep, all eight episodes in the span of two days. This is one of the few times that I've binged an entire season of a show so quickly. That speaks volumes about the defining qualities of GoL: it's gritty, violent, dark, and very propulsive. I found myself compelled to watch and see what would happen next to its many characters. That's where the show is strongest. Which makes my next criticism a touch odd. At the end of the day, it's a very bleak show, and it's very hard to root for any of the characters. They're all black of heart, and when all was said and done, I found myself wondering what there was to care about. I also feel the action, while competent, wasn't as good as in Season 1. So watch it for the twists and turns, but keep in mind that nobody really wins.
Playing: Deathrun TV is like Smash TV on steroids. As a twin-stick shooter, everything is done well and it's fun, but it's also quite punishing, and doesn't have that feeling of progression that most other Roguelites have. I do love how the PC spits out insults and one-liners every time something happens; it's a nice touch. I'm slowly losing interest in Grim Dawn, having mashed more than 10,000 monsters since I began. The game's repetition is starting to get long in the tooth. A new up and comer is Jets N Guns 2, though it's very short.
Listening to: Neil Young - I Am a Child. While I'm on my Neil Young kick, I might as well feature one of his many, many acoustic songs. Absolutely love the gentle flow of this one. I posted the live rendition because, well, to me it sounds better than the studio version.
@TopNotch I was unaware that egg waffles were so well known! They're something of a staple street dessert here. Do you have a specific flavour you're a fan of?
Ugh, Leg Day. A barbell bonanza!
Squats: 120 x 5. I decided to try something new for the squats. I'm typically a high-bar squatter (you put the bar on your traps), so today I tried using a low-bar (bar is on the rear of your delts) stance. I'm not going to cover the changes in anatomy and movement, but it felt very odd and uncomfortable for me. After two working sets, I switched back to my regular high-bar squatting, which felt much more comfortable. Sometimes you think one trick is going to make all the difference, but instead it makes things worse!
Front Squats: 80 x 5.
Leg Extensions: 15 x 8.
Back Extensions: 65 x 10. Fun for the whole family! Not.
I swear, it's like someone up there hasn't gotten the memo that it's winter. We have more COVID cases piling up over here, so who knows what'll happen next.
It's almost the weekend, Bees!
Playing: A mishmash of stuff. Pushing through Grim Dawn, dabbling in Jets n Guns 2, and a little Deathrun TV. I kind of miss Prodeus now... maybe time for a little replaying?
Watching: Not sure. Maybe I'll resume Barbarian. There's a ton of other movies in my backlog that I've started, but haven't finished!
Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins - Perfect. I loved this song growing up! It has that nostalgic feel of the 90s down pat, and was my introduction to the Pumpkins. Remember when we had MTV, let alone an MTV that actually played music videos?
Ah, @GentleOx I don't know how well known they are here. Certainly, given the immigrant population in certain areas, some places would have more than others. I've encountered a wide variety of foods, some through people I've met, some through travel (though, sorry, just couldn't eat those grasshoppers in Mexico!), and some through my work. Mind you, the first meal I was served in Hong Kong was roast beef, boiled carrots, and I recall a bottle of HP sauce (which I have never tried) on the table!
@TopNotch Hong Kong is known for having a variety of cuisines, which explains why you can find quality Western food. I think HP sauce is quite tasty, personally. Also, unrelated, I could kill for an American cheeseburger right now. The real, inexpensive, In-N-Out or Arby's (do they have burgers??) kind, not the overpriced, chic crap we get here.
Hey again everyone! Today is W3D3 of my bench press program.
Bench Press: 127.5 x 4. Nothing earth-shattering, just maintaining the gains. No AMRAP sets today.
Shoulder Press: 70 x 5. Today was light, so as not to interfere with my chest strength. I look forward to a time in which I can just blast the weights up and work my hardest.
Dips: About 150.
Machine Pushdowns: 13 x 6. Been stuck at this weight for awhile.
Also walked nearly 19000 steps, which is more than I've done in ages. Going to have some yummy dim sum tomorrow (I should take pictures).
You made it to Friday, Bees! Woohoo!
Playing: I'm giving Deathrun TV more attention; am slowly getting the hang of the game's flow, but it's still pretty difficult. I'm also slooowly finishing Grim Dawn, which I play while listening to a podcast at the same time (I prefer Behind the Bastards).
Watching: I'm rewatching Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared: and all the episodes on youtube. If you haven't heard of it, it's a parody of childrens shows like Sesame Street with many dark, surreal twists. Highly recommended, if you can stomach the subversive humor and occasional gory bits. I heard that a new series has come out, so I'm rewatching and enjoying what's on youtube to "prepare" myself.
Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins - Solara. From one Pumpkins song to another. I'm not a fan of much of their (read: Billy Corgan's) recent work, but some of the songs are absolute bangers.
Hello again! It's Sunday, which is now my new Back day.
Deadlift: 180 x 3. Arrrghh. Felt so heavy this time... I guess there's always next time to look forward to.
Romanian Deadlifts: 115 x 6.
Barbell Rows: 107.5 x 6.
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 70 x 6.
Pullups: 20 in total.
Curiously, back workouts leave my quads feeling quite sore (likely due to the deadlifting). Interested in seeing the results of the bench press program next week.
Enjoy your weekend, Bees! You've earned it.
Playing: I finished Grim Dawn! That's... five years after first buying it? I dunno. Makes me wonder what else in my backlog needs finishing. So what can I do now? Start a new character? Nah...
Deathrun TV is still good for short runs, even though I've unlocked all the weapons and powerups. Absolutely love the quips that my character spits out (the voice actor is hilarious). Looking forward to Warhammer: Darktide and The Callisto Protocol, which are coming soon.
Watching: Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is as hilarious and clever as ever. The quality of the animation/costumes never gets old. Also started watching Tokyo Vice at the gym; in one word, it's electrifying.
Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight. I love the music video for this one, which is a colourful and wonderful homage. Then there's the song itself, which conjures up an amazing array of emotions: among them, hope.
Hi again Bees! It's a rainy Monday in Hong Kong and a strange start to the week.
Today is W4D1 (the final week) of my bench program, and I'm eager to see if it'll bear fruit.
Bench Press: 127.5 x 2. Zzzzz... not too sure why the weight is so "light". Perhaps to allow for more rest and recovery.
Close Grip Press: 120 x 3. Zzzzz...
Dips: 150 in total.
Rope Pushdown: 12 x 6.
Hammer Curls: 22 x 20.
Everything felt really heavy today. Not sure why. I'll give it another hack on Wednesday.
I got a job interview! It's on Wednesday. I'm going to keep my expectations low, as I've had high hopes shattered in the past.
May you have a great Monday, Bees!
Playing: I booted up Prodeus again as my new podcast game, and it's still pretty fun. Deathrun TV is my current mindless staple, but its difficulty is grating.
Watching: Still cracking on with Tokyo Vice at the gym. Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is still awesome.
Listening to: The Smashing Pumpkins - To Forgive. This is a sad, spare little song that's undoubtedly about a painful and broken childhood. I find it very soothing to listen to, but it's also painfully relatable at times.
Hey Bees! I'm quite tired, but satisfied nonetheless. Today is W4D2 of my bench program, leading up to the final day on Friday.
Bench Press: 127.5 x 2. Today the sets built up to this weight and then dropped down again. I'm sensing that this lighter weight is just a lead up to Friday, which will be a heavier day.
Machine Pushdown: 12 x 6
So not much for today. Walked about 18000 steps as well.
Regarding my interview, I've got bad news and good news.
The Bad News is that I was way out of my depth. It turns out the position requires the ability to translate English to Chinese (in writing), which I'm nowhere near capable of doing. So there was no chance of me getting the job.
The Good News is that I didn't let it get to me. I chilled out, relaxed, and had a good conversation with the interviewer. It turns out that my spoken Cantonese still holds up, and we left on good terms. You win some, and lose some.
Keep going, Bees! You're halfway through the week.
Playing: Deathrun TV is my go-to, and I'm making my way through Prodeus again. Uh oh, there's a Steam sale going on... better pinch those pennies! Dangerous time to be destitute, I tells ya.
Watching: Still watching Tokyo Vice. It's a very compelling series (apart from a somewhat flat performance from the protagonist), and I love that it has a very grounded-in-reality feel. Being set in Tokyo doesn't hurt, either.
Listening to: Mood Robot - One Eyed Butterfly. Been playing this one a lot lately. A very chilled out track peppered with synth, and backed by some gorgeous vocals.
@PetiteSheWolf Thank you! Indeed, the ad itself made no mention of being a native Chinese speaker (I'm conversational, at best), so I assumed that my language skills were sufficient. Like you said, good chance to practice interviewing.
Today is Leg Day! Ow.
Squats: 120 x 5. My squatting felt very off today, like my muscles were in sync. Note to self: Warm up more thoroughly and stretch those hip flexors. This is the toughest 120 set I've done in awhile, but I still scored 5 reps.
Front Squats: 85 x 5. Also very off today. There came a point where I pulled the plug and moved on.
Paused Squats: 90 x 3. More heaps of pain!
Leg Extensions: 160 x 12.
Lying Leg Curls: Six sets of 8 reps of... 35 kg, I think.
And now my legs are mush.
Dealing with some family drama. Have a younger sister who regularly misbehaves and causes our family trouble (she's 30), and it's a blessing that she's not in HK with us. My mom blames herself for the way she brought her up, and the way she is now. I had to reassure her that it's not her fault, that she was a great single parent, and that children can grow up to be wildly different from when they were young... I did, after all. It's all left me in something of a glum mood.
Maybe tomorrow will be better.
Take care of yourselves, Bees! It's almost Friday.
Playing: Managed to unlock more goodies in Prodeus. Should make the final push to the ending more enjoyable. Deathrun TV is still on my playlist, but the frustrating nature of the gameplay is... frustrating. I may have to give it a break, soon.
Watching: Tokyo Vice is still a great watch for when I'm on the treadmill.
Listening to: Pink Floyd - The Trial. This song has been a companion of mine during my most sorrowful and melancholy moments. Sometimes the self-castigation and self-judgement in this song speak (almost too much) sense to me. The Wall made such an impression on me that at one point, I was capable of singing it front to back.
Since, my friend, you have revealed your deepest fear
I sentence you to be exposed before your peers
Tear down the Wall!
Ah, I remember watching the Wall on the you-beaut set-up - you know, surround sound, big screen, the works - of a work colleague of my brother. My bro and I were so totally tanked and belted out the lyrics with gusto and (at least on my part) surprising tunefulness. He never invited us over again... The good ol' days!
Sympathies about your sister. My elder brother stopped talking to us because our biological father got to him. Mom understood that, but still wondered what she did wrong with him. There are still days she thinks it's her fault. Hugs for you both.
I have ten siblings, and we're all very different and quite dysfunctional in our own way, with some going WAAAY off the deep end... But, ya know... the one thing that binds us together like glue is that we all love each other... We've all come to terms with having to love some certain somebodies from a distance, but I can tell you that love is what's binding us all together right now, even the ones who wanna keep their distance... In a family of 13, you bet there's someone wanting to keep their distance from somebody else... We all know, though... that even if we're loving each other from a distance, we're all loved. If you're mom's doing that much, she's doing right.
@TopNotch Indeed, the good old days. When kids listened to Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd among other things, haha. @JCU Thank you, and thank you for sharing. @OJJJEM I understand. My mom has always been loving and accepting.
Hey Bees! Today was the dreaded W4D3 of the Stronger By Science/Sheiko bench press program I've been following. So how did I do?
Bench Press: 135 x 6 (this was an As Many Reps As Possible set). Terribly. This is nothing to sneeze at by strength standards, but by my own, it's pretty subpar. I've done seven reps in the past and was aiming for eight today. What went wrong?
Incline Press: 110 x 5. Haven't done these in a long while, felt good to get some sets in.
Weighted Dips: 40 x 5. I haven't done these in years! Feels good to get in some work.
Dumbbell Curls: 16 x 24. Just focusing on the pump, felt pretty good!
To answer the question I posed above, I think that I haven't been pushing myself heavily enough. The program I've been using is nice, insofar as it has lots of reps and practice on the bench, but it hasn't been that good for building strength. With that in mind, I'm going to go back to my usual heavy-duty, pell-mell, seat-of-the-pants strength training. I look forward to beginning again next week!
Good job, Bees! You made it to Friday!
Playing: Of course, Deathrun TV, but I'm finishing up Prodeus; it's appropriately challenging towards the endgame, which is something more games should be (*cough* *cough* Elden Ring). Stupid Steam sale, coming when I least expected it!
Watching: Taking a break from Tokyo Vice to finish up Season 3 of The Boys. It's still as transgressive and brutal as ever, but there's no denying the series has strong storytelling and twists.
Listening to: Sting - Shape of My Heart. I remember hearing this at the end of Leon: The Professional. Absolutely beautiful song for a beautiful movie.
Hey everyone! I just worked my way through an absolutely punishing back workout, and my lower body is still mush.
Deadlifts: 180 x 3. My deadlifts have been pretty weak as of late. I may have to do a bit of a reset (ie change the rep range) to boost them again.
Romanian Deadlifts: 120 x 6. Feels good to do these again, taxing though they are.
T-Bar Rows: 105 x 2. I put on too much weight, and couldn't lift as much as I expected to.
Cable Single Row: 25 x 6. I used a Seated Row machine and attached a handle to do these. Surprisingly challenging, and a good change of pace from the usual heavy weights.
Machine Lat Pulldowns: 70 x 6. Therapy for the lats.
Pull ups: About 20.
I took a few vanity pictures in the locker room, just for kicks.
And here's my back, all pumped up.
These aren't true progress pics, as you can tell I'm flexing hard in both pictures, but they show me in better shape than I was in half a year ago.
I've been working out at the gym for six days straight, so tomorrow I'm going to take a break and have some Korean barbeque.
It's the weekend, Bees! Have a great time!
Playing: I got pretty far in Deathrun TV! The game consists of five sections, and I got to the fifth one, but got KO'd when I got there. I'm still playing Prodeus - this is the replayability and length that should be a gold standard for shooters. Also booted up an old classic, Tyrian 2000! Fantastic side-scrolling shooter.
Watching: Conked out and slept early last night before I could watch anything, but I'm still continuing The Boys at the gym. Also listening to Behind the Bastards, which is a surprisingly addictive podcast.
Listening to: Iji soundtrack - Kinda Green. Iji is a well-made indie platformer with an outstanding soundtrack. It deserves to be more influential than it is. This particular track is mellow, until it blooms into a full-fledged rock outburst.
Hi everyone! Raring to go, and ready to start another week. Today is W1D1 of the GO (GentleOx) Chest routine.
Bench Press: 135 x 5. I started low and built up to this weight. I'll try doing more next time.
Incline Press: 110 x 5. No PRs today.
Weighted Dips: 45 x 5. This was a tough one, but I pushed through.
Machine Pushdown: 15 x 6. I finally added some weight to this one!
Hammer Curls: 24 x 20.
A little over three weeks until our big Christmas trip to the USA! I'm looking forward to getting out of Hong Kong for a little while.
Have a great Monday, Bees!
Playing: I booted up Far Cry 6, but I just couldn't get into it. Maybe it was the great big open world that kind of did it in for me; I'm used to playing my indie shooters with more condensed and compact gameplay. Deathrun TV and Prodeus are still occupying my attention.
Watching: Still watching The Boys. Absolutely crazy show. Also watched the Don't Hug Me I'm Scared tv series. What can I say, I wanted more surreal satirical weirdness, and I got it. I'd say that the makers of the series pulled off the full-series format with aplomb and then some. I give it five out of five sock puppets.
Listening to: David Bowie - Within You (off of the Labyrinth Soundtrack). I'm a big fan of this movie, and its Henson sibling The Dark Crystal. I like this song more than the more well-known As The World Falls Down. Not sure why... maybe it has something to do with the way the song beautifully accompanies the climax of the film, where Sarah confronts Jared in an MC Escher-inspired maze(?).
Everything I've done
I've done for you
I move the stars for no one
Deadlifts: 160 x 5. So I dropped the weight down and focused on my five rep max today, which I mostly pulled off. I had to use the smooth barbell, so I wasn't able to grip as much as I otherwise could.
Barbell Rows: 105 x 6.
Machine One Arm Rows: 52 x 6 reps an arm.
Lat Pulldowns: 80 x 8.
Neutral Grip Pull Ups: 54 in total.
And now my legs are mush once more. I'm meeting up with my ex tomorrow eve for coffee and catch up.
Have a good day, Bees!
Playing: I was playing a lot of Tyrian 2000, but I keep dying. The fun has thus diminished, so I'm going to take a break from it. Also playing Brutal Doom, which makes a classic even more fun, and am going to try the new update to Ready or Not.
Watching: More of The Boys. My latest episode involves a "party" that's absolutely disgusting, and somehow gets worse.
Listening to: Thin Lizzy - Soldier of Fortune. Thin Lizzy are awesome! A shame that they're mostly known for The Boys Are Back in Town, which is IMO not their best song (though it's on their best album, interestingly). This one is a stately antiwar song which showcases tight song writing, soulful vocals, and those awesome twin lead guitar harmonies.
Hey everyone! W1D2 of my self-made bench program: Regaining Strength. And that's indeed what I did with this workout; nothing fancy.
Paused Bench Press: 132.5 x 5. Working on it.
Incline Bench: 112.5 x 5.
Close Grip Bench: 115 x 5.
Triceps Cable Extension (sounds better than Machine Pushdown): 12 x 6.
Dumbbell Curls: 18 x 20. It felt hard this time, so 20 x 20 will have to wait.
Went out with my ex to watch Black Panther (she hadn't seen it yet), and it still holds up on a second watch. And it's good to spend time with her.
It's my dad's birthday today, so we video-called him at prison. It's good to know that he's in good spirits.
Take care, Bees! It's the middle of the week.
Playing: Brutal Doom may become my new mainstay. Also, I beat Deathrun TV! I thought I would never be able to do it; that game is damn difficult. Annoyingly, the ending is pretty anticlimactic, and there aren't even any credits (I guess that's the case when a game is developed by only three people). I may give Ready or Not another go, but it's still pretty challenging. Also, the new big update with new weps and levels is only for the special edition owners - which I am not, and can't be bothered to spend the money to become.
Watching: I'm eagerly awaiting the release of a horror flick called Skinamarink, which I hear is pretty unconventional, albeit effective. Finishing up The Boys Season 3; absolute banger of a season.
Listening to: Roger and The Gypsies - Pass the Hatchet. A sleazy, slinky blues-rock number from New Orleans. That drum groove is to die for.
Thank you @CODawn and @JCU. I'm mostly just glad that dad's okay every time we call him.
Today is the end of the first week of my "comeback" program. W1D3, which is mostly a repeat of D1.
Bench Press: 137.5 x 5 was the biggest set today. Can't crank up the weights just yet, but I think that'll come with time.
Incline Press: 115 x 5. Sloooowwwllly regaining past strength.
Weighted Dips: 50 kg x 5. Holy moly. This felt like an absurd amount of weight. It felt almost as difficult as the bench press sets. Again, as I'm wont to say, I haven't used this much weight in a long while.
Machine Triceps Extensions: 13 x 6. Zzzzz...
Bicep Curls: 20 x 20.
So now I'm totally pooped, once again. Tomorrow I'm having my cheat meal (hot pot)... but only after a leg workout. Gulp.
You made it to the weekend, Bees! Go nuts!
Playing: I'm dabbling in Doom 1 and 2 mods, which radically change the gameplay and generally make it crazier. Yesterday I alternated between eating donuts and playing this mod. I'll try something different tonight, like some Tyrian or Prodeus.
Watching: I watched Skinamarink yesterday. The premise is basic: two kids discover their parents are gone and that the windows in their house have disappeared. They take to their living room to wait and watch cartoons, but something keeps whispering to them. That's not an unusual premise. What's unusual is the way it's filmed: mostly in unmoving, subliminal shots of scenes meant to invoke nostalgia and the terrors we haven't felt since we were kids. You don't even totally see the kids involved in the piece. There's been a lot of hype lately about how scary it is; for me, I counted two scenes that are absolutely fear and anxiety-inducing (and there's even an effective jump scare thrown in), but most of the time it's really, really slow. The conceit of the film is original, but man does it try one's patience. I have no idea how I made it through the film in one day; usually I get bored of other films (which ironically have more going on), and just switch off. Something about the film needled me, but was it worth it? I'm not so sure. I give it two and a half flashlights out of five.
Listening to: Andrew WK - No One to Know. I don't generally listen to WK's stuff, but there's no denying that he puts his heart and soul into his music. Some of it is very inspiring, like this particular song, which could've come from a particularly inspired 80s Hair Metal band. A soothing balm for those times where you feel like you're wandering through the dark.
Hey Bees! Decided to head back to the gym for a lower body workout. Here's a short update.
Back Squats: 120 x 3. Augh. Not a stronger day. The good news is that I found a way to adjust my feet to squat more comfortably. So maybe it'll pay dividends down the line.
Front Squats: 80 x 5.
Hack Squats: 45 x 6.
Lying Leg Curls: 40 x 8.
I think I'm going to adjust my approach to squatting, as it could be that too many warm up sets are bringing down my final working set. Stay tuned.
Post workout was a nice hot-pot style dinner, so I'm awfully stuffed.
Enjoy your Saturday, Bees!
Playing: Been playing a lot more Brutal Doom these days, especially while I listen to Behind the Bastards. I'm back to my usual ways of sticking to one game. Interestingly, two releases that I've been looking forward to have been getting slammed by players: The Callisto Protocol and Warhammer 40K: Darktide. I can't really afford powerful upgrades to my PC, so it's disappointing to hear that more and more triple A games run so disappointingly.
Watching: Finished The Boys Season 3. I've commented a lot about it, so I'll simply wrap up by saying that the writing is on-point, and I loved seeing the storyline progressions. Next season promises to be bonkers! Maybe I can start watching Andor now.
Listening to: Elton John - Bennie and the Jets. Pound for pound, my favourite Elton John song (the only other candidate is The Ballad of Danny Bailey). I think it has something to do with the timeless feel, even though the lyrics are a touch dated ("she's got electric boots/a mohair suit/you know I read it in a magazine). I just love the anthemic swagger of the song.
@CODawn aww, that's awesome! @Nanna Io I thought that Skinamarink was interesting, but it requires a ton of patience. Don't Hug Me I'm Scared was made into a TV series that's basically... more of the original. Which is bonkers excellent!
Hey Bees! The weekend was over in a flash and I found myself back in the gym. Today was Chest Day.
Bench Press: 140 x 4. Aughh. Definitely not where I need it to be. I'll give it another hack on Friday.
Incline Press: 105 x 5. Same with this one!
Incline Close Grip Press: Don't remember the numbers. I don't know why I did this one... didn't feel satisfying or useful. I think I'll just stop doing it in the future.
Machine Triceps Extension: 13 x 6.
Hammer Curls: 24 x 22.
I got my fourth vaccine shot today, in preparation for our trip to the States. Also, is good to feel the weather cooling down again.
Good luck with your Monday, Bees!
Playing: I finished Prodeus! That didn't take long. An excellently paced campaign with many high points, and satisfyingly meaty gameplay. I give it four rockets out of five. Installed a plethora of indie shooters so that I could find another one to satisfy my simple brain. I don't know what it is exactly (may have mentioned this before), but... I can't really be bothered with triple A games at the moment. Most of them are buggy or perform slowly (cf: The Callisto Protocol), but I think it's just so much easier to boot up and play Tyrian or Doom. Or maybe I'm just old(er).
Reading: A bit of GRRM's Fire and Blood. Some Dune.
Watching: Just started Andor; finished the first episode. I like it. Love that so far, there's no mention of the farc-err, force, and no space wizards or grandiose imperial themes in sight. Just people trying to survive any way they can.
Listening to: Peter Gabriel - And Through the Wire. The entire album that this song is off of is amazing, and I could've chosen practically any song; such is the strength of the songwriting. I'm particularly fond of this one, however; perhaps because it's such a compact and competent slice of eighties rock.
Hi Bees! I had my Covid booster shot on Monday, so I took Tuesday off (feeling rather sore). Was back in the gym today for my Push workout!
Paused Bench Press: 135 x 5. My first set was actually for four reps... I chickened out on the fourth rep from the fear of being pinned on the next one. I was a little discouraged after that set, but for my second set I rallied to put up five reps! Squee! It's very unusual for me to get more reps on a subsequent set. So next time I'll move onto 137.5.
Paused Incline Press: 107.5 x 5. Did better with this than I expected to.
Shoulder Press: 70 x 5. Kind of cursory, really.
Rope Cable Extension: 10 x 8.
Incline Dumbbell Curls: 16 x 10. May have to push past this weight at some point.
I couldn't really sleep last night. Too much coffee... so I woke up intermittently throughout the night. Looking forward to getting a better night's rest tonight.
The weather gets cooler and cooler! I brought a hoodie with me to the gym, but never wore it. I'm used to colder weather than we get in Hong Kong.
Have yourself a good Wednesday, Bees!
Playing: A dash of Tyrian 2000, some Brutal Doom, and a little bit of Madshot (which may be my go-to indie now). May give Brutal legend another shot.
Watching: I got around to watching a Taiwanese found-footage horror flick I've been saving. It's called Incantation, and it was surprisingly good. It's about the curse that latches onto a woman who violates a ritual (accidentally), and then attaches to her daughter. The woman seeks to find a way to break the curse and protect her daughter. Even though it had many of the found-footage/mockumentary cliches (why do people insist on filming *all the time*?), there were some effective scares, unlike another recent film I've watched (*cough* *cough* Skinamarink). I give it three and a half chants out of five. Still watching Andor; absolutely loving the down-to-Earth, gritty feel of the series.
Listening to: Neon Nox - Shift. I have no glib commentary for this one. You know how you listen to a song for the first time, your brain lights up, and you realize "they really nailed this one"? That's what I felt with this synth song. Love how it builds up to those great hooks in the middle.
I had lunch with a friend today, and then off to the gym. But throughout my workout, I felt rather sick, and more than a little tired. Here's the admittedly, unexciting workout.
Squats: 100 x 5. Light weight today. Wasn't feeling like pushing my usual weights this time. Will try more next time.
Front Squats: 70 x 6. Starting to feel ill at this point.
Leg Extensions: 130 x 8.
Lying Leg Curls: 35 x 8.
Back Extensions: 12 reps. No weights today.
The workout seemed to get harder and harder to the point where cardio felt practically impossible. So I cut my losses. Did a Covid test when I got back home; turned out negative, thankfully. So this is either some natural flu-like illness that popped up, or a side effect from my taking the vaccine booster shot.
So tonight I'm going to take it easy and see how I feel come tomorrow.
Have a warm and cozy Thursday, Bees!
Playing: Meh, more of the same. A bit of Madshot (I'd better wait till this one's out of Early Access), some Deathrun TV, and Dusk.
Watching: I've got a choice of scary flicks to peruse tonight... maybe Barbarian? I've heard so many good things about it.
Also, more Andor. I've heard that the show has been criticized for being slow and pretentious. I'm not really getting those vibes... I would say it's taking its time and setting up its pieces before putting them into play. I love the writing; I want to say it's both dramatic, and somewhat realistic. And I find it fascinating to see a grimier side of Star Wars (didn't really get that feeling from The Mandalorian). So what I mean to say is that I'm enjoying the series thoroughly and look forward to seeing how things pan out.
Listening to: Darren Korb (Hades Soundtrack) - Lament of Orpheus. Hades is one of the best roguelite games I've ever played (and that's quite a list). This song is played sporadically during the game (you randomly hear it played by Orpheus when you start a new run), but it's my favourite off of the soundtrack for its mournful tone, and the way it plays off of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.