Quest for Muscle: The Return of the Pump

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Thank you so much @Nanna Io and @JCU. My shoulder does indeed feel better!

Hi Bees! Hope you've had a good weekend. I haven't been able to exercise since today, so I hit my muscles hard.

Today I found my one-rep max for the Bench Press. This also marks the end of my Strength program cycle. I'll restart the program next week!

Bench Press: 160 x 1. Hoo boy. I warmed up with 147.5 x 1, and went on and on up to 160. Started out shaky with the first few reps (which is why I need to warm up for a long time). Didn't know if I was going to hit 160. It was a difficult rep, but I managed! Now I have a new PR! Hopefully I can break it in the next cycle.
Larsen Press: 125 x 5.
Incline Press: 112.5 x 4. Tough.
Hammer Curls: 16 x 20.

A typhoon passed through. It's been pretty rainy these last few days, but nowhere near as bad as the last time. I for one am enjoying the cooler weather. It's good to have a break from the tropical heat!

I've also grown slightly obsessed with going to a Haunted House (as in the attraction, and not the "real" haunted deal). I am however balking at the price tags for some of them: Ocean Park's two haunted attractions, which promise a good time, can only together be accessed for more than 900 hkd. Sheesh. There's a slightly cheaper option for 388 hkd, but I'm not sure if I'll go.

So for now I'll have to be satisfied with the haunted attraction walkthroughs on youtube.

Hope your spooky season is going great, Bees!

Playing: What's this? I've gone several nights without playing Starfield? Say it ain't so!

On a whim, I booted up Cyberpunk 2077 again. After playing for a bit, I was blown away. In so many ways, Starfield doesn't stack up to that game. The animations, graphics, and perhaps most importantly storytelling in Cyberpunk is worlds above Starfield. And it runs so much better on my aging PC! I'll see how my playthrough turns out, but will update the Ox Gazette if I play more Starfield (which isn't too unlikely).

Watching: I finished Wekufe, the Chilean found-footage horror flick. This is the story of two students who investigate the origin of the "Trauco" myth in a small community and get more than they bargained for. Despite sending up its own premise quite regularly (the guy of the duo is a horror-flick fan, and never stops to remind us), Wekufe follows the found-footage formula to a T. I found the characterizations pretty thin, and too much of the film is dedicated to interviews, rather than spooky happenings (cf the Blair Witch Project, which is better paced). The climax was... okay, but underwhelming. I was glad that this was a brisk 63 minutes, but even then, it didn't use its runtime that well.

I give it two... shit, I can't think of an appropriate item. I'll just say two haunted relics out of five.

Started watching V H S 85, the newest entry in the found-footage (yep, I confess that I'm a big fan) series. Looks promising so far.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Iced Earth - Damien.

The lyrics and title give away that this song takes inspiration from The Omen. I didn't like the movie much myself, but there's no denying its ominous pull. The song is a crunchy, epic number.

 
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GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Thank you so much @JCU, @Fremen, @CODawn, and @aku-chan! These things are only possible with your support!

@JCU I had no idea Haunted Houses were so expensive over there. And you would have to drive pretty dang far, I bet.

Hey everyone. Positively beat my body into a pulp today! Today was another Pull Day.

Deadlifts: 150 x 10. Meh, I really need to bring chalk!
Paused Deadlifts: 130 x 3.
Romanian Deadlifts: 115 x 5. Kind of stalled with these today.
Rack Pulls: 145 x 5. Boy did these tear through my calluses.
Pull ups: Max of five reps.

Trust me... not that many sets, but this one just ground me up.

Take it easy, Bees! The spookiness continues!

Playing: In Issue #8 of the Starfield Ox Gazette, I chased down a delinquent debtor, but helped him pay off his debt in the end. Then my companion and I took a trip through a mine infested with Spacers, and cleared 'em out.

Also playing more Cyberpunk - made it past the first act. Also some Tyrian 2000 on the side (revisit this one from time to time).

Watching: Took a break from watching Seal Team at the gym to watch a bit of the new Castlevania series. I like it so far.

For Late Night Cinema, I'm still watching V H S 85. Still on the first segment.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Venturer - Cerberus. Lots of horror-based synthwave pops up around this time of the year, so here's a new offering!

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Thank you kindly @Mianevem and @Mamatigerj!

Hello again, all. Tired Ox electric boogaloo comeback tour!

Today was my second Push day of the week. I did something unusual - since I tested my 1RM for the bench press earlier in the week, I took today as an opportunity to test my 1RM competition style. This essentially means

- unracking the bar, and holding it above you for 1-2 seconds
- bring it down (relatively) slowly
- pause on the chest for 1-2 seconds - this feels like an eternity!
- explosive push back to the top
- hold the bar at the top again
- rack it.

So I'm mimicking the conditions of a competition lift, as I don't have additional crew to help me with the commands. This is different from how I usually "fire and forget", or just basically do the lift as quickly as possible (I call this "touch n go"). So how did I do?

Bench Press: 152.5 x 1. I'll take it. I was expecting at least 150. The lifts were pretty challenging but 152.5 went well enough, albeit not well enough to continue the weight increases. So for my next cycle, I'll go for 155.
Larsen Press: 120 x 5.
Incline Press: 112.5 x 5. Griiiiind.
Decline Press: 115 x 5. Wary of these, but no injuries this time.
Rope Pushdowns: 11 x 6.

Tomorrow is Leg day. Crap. In the meantime I'm going to kick up my feet and rest well.

It's almost the weekend, Bees! Keep going.

Playing: In Issue #9 of the Starfield Ox Gazette, I surveyed a planet for useful minerals, helped a delinquent AI escape its captors, and offloaded a whole lot of my junk weapons on some poor vendor.

No Cyberpunk last night (too sleepy). Played some Stone Crawl and Tyrian 2000 as well.

Watching: A bit of Seal Team at the gym. Still making my way through V H S 85. I like it so far - the segment I watched involved an earthquake in a South American (Mexico maybe?) tv studio, and a descent into its depths, and absolute mayhem. So yeah, good fun.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Angel Witch - Reawakening.

I have a soft spot for Angel Witch's second, less successful album - even though it's lousier than its predecessor. The group switched vocalists and even their sound changed, straying from the lean, mean NWOBHM sound they originally had. Anyway, this song is an effective slice of horror theatre, and metal all in one. I'm not sure if it's about vampires or demonic possession.

 
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GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey gang. Feels like forever since I worked out, but it's only been three days.

I went to a Chinese banquet dinner yesterday, and ate too much, naturally. So I came to the gym with renewed vigor, and the need to start over on my fitness.

The problem is that I eat too much. I like my snacks and soft drinks and so on. I know my diet isn't working because it's harder for me to fit into my clothes. The programs I'm doing are fine, but I need to have that commitment to eating cleanly.

Anyway, today was W1D1 (starting over) of my... third strength program cycle, I think, and a Push day.

Bench Press: 125 x 8. One rep more than the cycle before, so I'm chuffed. Could possibly have done nine reps, but I'll try that next time.
Incline Press: 112.5 x 5. My first workout with at least four reps a set. Absolute slog!
Larsen Press: 120 x 5. Not feeling it today.
Decline Press: 115 x 5. Ditto.
Rope Pushdown: 11 x 8.
Flat Curls: 16 x 12. I'll work on doing more next time.

I also experienced some mood instability during the gym. A lot of anxiety about how I stack up compared to other people (I did this last night with the people I was sitting next to) and believing myself to be less worthy in response. Also a bit depressed about where I am in life and how I'm going to shift gears and move forward. It kind of subsided a bit after I left the gym and went back home, and I applied some CBT to myself to assuage my doubts. Still... there're roots of uncertainty and frustration that remain. I'll have to work more on staying present and remembering that yes, I have a mood disorder, and it will flare up from time to time.

Also, regarding last night, I historically don't do well at Chinese banquet dinners. As an introvert, they really aren't my thing. But I didn't drink any of the free-flowing wine. And anytime my sobriety is challenged, but comes out strong, I'll take that as a victory.

Here's a funny clip from Tommy Boy that made me feel better!


Hope your weekend is going well, Bees!

Playing: I'm rapidly getting fed up with Starfield. I can tolerate the crappy performance issues I've been having, even though Cyberpunk 2077 is so much better. I can't stand anymore of the crashing I've been guaranteed. It's like twenty minutes in (or sometimes less) I experience a crash. So... may give it a break, and wait for further patching.

Cyberpunk is fun, in other news, and my dungeon crawling in Stone Soup still goes along steadily.

Watching: I *still* haven't finished V H S 85. Just get too sleepy at night when I set aside time to watch. And this is even more egregious given that I want to start watching The Fall of The House of Usher (Mike Flanagan's latest series).

Also watched some Seal Team at the gym.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is quite apropos for Halloween. I select Dance with the Dead - Blood Moon.

I could've picked any of DwtD's songs (and may do so again), as they're all horror themed. They also, not coincidentally, rock out with all guns blazing.

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Thank you so much @JCU and @Mamatigerj. It feels good to know that people are cheering you on.

Hi Bees. Absolutely thrashed my body with today's Back workout. It was as if I were exorcising all my demons of the past few days. Put in my earphones, blasted some nu-metal, and got to work.

Deadlifts: 160 x 6. Notes: Felt good. Had a few more reps in the tank.
Paused Deadlift: 135 x 3.
Deadlift and Row: 120 x 3.
Rack Pulls: 155 x 3.
Pull ups: Top set of 5.

(I went heavier in a lot of these exercises than I usually do.)

And now my quads and my butt are in pain. Such is the cost of high li(ft)ving!

Hope your week is going well, Bees!

Playing: So I did it. Uninstalled Starfield. The rationale wasn't just that it kept crashing (and believe me, it still does), but because there were other games I want to play, and Starfield is taking up space (hur hur pun intended). But I'll definitely revisit it, when the modding community has refined it more.

Reinstalled Ready or Not, which is definitely an experience, each time I play it.

I also bought a first-person RPG named Lunacid on Steam (it wasn't on sale, but it was only 38 hkd, so why the hell not). I'm liking it so far... very measured and moody in equal doses.

Watching: Seal Team is my reliable gym entertainment. I'm *still* watching V H S 85, but I'm going to cut that short tonight, as there are more (and let's face it, better) movies to watch.

Also listening to Behind the Bastards while doing chores.

Listening to: Today's spooky song is Tool - Sober.

I suppose it's not so much the song that's creepy as the accompanying music video. I do feel the song is suffocating and ominous, so it earns a spot on my list.

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees! Coming atcha near the end of the week.

Today was my second Push day of the first week of the program. I sought to get a new PR, but wasn't able to do it this time.

Bench Press: 125 x 8. Felt tough overall - knew ahead of time that I wouldn't hit 9, let alone 10 reps.
Larsen Press: 120 x 5.
Paused Incline Press: 110 x 3. Wasn't really feeling the regular Double Progression reps, so I did a little switch today.
Dips: Top set of 10 reps.
EZ Bar Pushdown: 10 x 8. Keeping it light.
Bicep Curls: 14 x 20.
- Also walked 23000 steps today! Hooboy.

A mix of heavy and light.

We haven't been free of the rain and damp yet, but hopefully it subsides in the next few days. In a few days, mom and I will pay our respects at my grandfather's grave, though we'll have to wait for the rain to abate.

We're almost at the weekend, Bees! Keep at it.

Playing: *Not* Starfield, for one. I've gone back to a mix of different games. Some Arthurian Legends (it's a tongue-in-cheek throwback to 90s shooters, only it's a hacker), some Ready or Not, and of course, Stone Soup.

Watching: I finally finished V H S 85. I watched it over the span of several days, but I wasn't making great progress (50 minutes in over four nights) so I brute-forced it and finished the remaining portion yesterday. If you haven't heard of it, it's an anthology horror movie with five different segments, each with a particular theme. As with any anthology movie, the quality of each short film varies; some were rather spotty, while one or two really impressed me. Overall, I give the film three VHS tapes out of five.

Also watching an alien invasion flick called No One Will Save You. It's minimal in dialogue, and whether the action follows the same approach remains to be seen.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Lisa Gerrard - La Bas (Song of the Drowned).

It might actually do this song a disservice to call it "spooky". I actually think it's terrifying.

The beginning is ominous enough, with those deep and leaden strings. But when Gerrard comes in with her inimitable vocals, the overall impact is just devastating. Either way, it's one of the scarier songs in my collection (a lot of her stuff with Dead Can Dance is similarly dark).

 
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GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hi all. I dead. Totally beat my body into submission with today's Leg workout. This marks the first leg workout I've done in several weeks, so I felt like working it extra hard.

And boy did I!

Squats: 105 x 5. Started at 60, then made my way up. That was just the beginning.
1 1/2 Squats: 60 x 5. Squat down all the way, rise halfway, go back down all the way, and then rise again to the top. Could only use 60. More weight was just not in the cards today.
Front Squats: 60 x 6. the 1 1/2 squats already beat my quads into soreness, so I couldn't really use more weight.
Zercher(?) Squats: 60 x 5. Will try to use more weight with this one in the future.
Lying Leg Curls: 45(?) x 8. These were admittedly a bit of an afterthought.
+ 20000 steps. Gurk.

So now I'm at home, after catching some rain on the way back. I'm going to have a scoop of ice cream to celebrate, and game a little. Tomorrow we're going to Japanese buffet (fong tai) again! Yummy.

It's Friday, Bees! Take a load off.

Playing: I've actually been having fun taking time away from the open world games to play a wider variety of games (I devote about 15 minutes to three games a night). Arthurian Legends, whose FPS lineage stretches back to the crappy and little-played Witchaven, is a standout, but I'm also playing dashes of Void Bastards and Ready or Not.

Watching: Didn't make any progress on No One Will Save You last night. Watched a bit of The Fall of the House of Usher, and it looks very promising.

Also some Seal Team at the gym. Interesting to see how the first season has morphed from a mission-of-the-week format to a longer storyline.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Poe - Haunted.

I've posted this one before, but I'm including it again because it's pop perfection from Poe (the singer, not the author). I've read that the song was originally mean to accompany and indeed, explain the plot of the novel House of Leaves; I used to have a copy, and it was an amazing book. In any event, the song captures the mysterious and frightening nature of the story(ies).

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees! It's the tail end of the weekend, and time for me to fit in another workout.

Today is W2D1 of my benching program; the weights have been upped to previously unused levels.

Bench Press: 115 x 10, 122.5 x 8, and the big kicker, 130 x 6. About what I expected, actually.
Larsen Press: 120 x 5. Want to go heavier, but I feel like it would be too big a risk.
Incline Press: 112.5 x 5. I resurrected the Double Progression sets, as I felt more able today.
Paused Shoulder Press: 70 x 3. Should up the reps somewhere down the line.
Bicep Curls: 16 x 20.

In a bit of bad news today, mom and I were walking down the road towards the church. Mom tripped and fell on her arm; after that, she experienced lasting pain and was unable to raise her arm without pain. After some deliberation, we went to the hospital to get it checked out, and it was confirmed to be non-serious. The medication should help, but for awhile, that was a bit of a scare. I hope mom's condition improves tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Chung Yeung, where we would normally go to pay our respects to my late grandfather (the cemetery is quite close by to where we live), but that may be off the table until mom recovers.

Hope your weekend's been great, Bees!

Playing: A bit of this, and a bit of that. Arthurian Legends, but I gave Madshot another chance, and it's been more addictive and playable than before. Also some Ready or Not, which I sometimes rage quit.

(Also, I hear there's a Steam SALE coming soon.)

Watching: No late night cinema last night... more Seal Team at the gym. I'll give a brief Seal Team review when I've finished the first season.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is off of the Terminator soundtrack, by Brad Fiedel. It's called Police Station.

The scene it frames, in which the Terminator enters and shoots up a police station, I felt was played more for horror than 80s action cheese (even though it is an action scene). I feel like the scene, and especially the music in it adequately portray the hopelessness of taking on a solid-metal, stone-cold killing machine.

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hello Bees! I am totally beat from my workout today, but glad I got it done nonetheless.

First of all, thank you @JCU, @Fremen, @CODawn, and @Mamatigerj. Mom and I appreciate your wishes and good vibes. The bruise on mom's arm has turned an ugly purple, and really hammers home how badly she fell on her arm. I can only hope that with good rest and medication from the hospital, she'll gradually get better.

As for today's Back workout, here it is!

Deadlifts: 370 x 5. *Really* need to bring chalk, as my grip keeps giving out.
Paused Deadlifts: 140 x 3.
Snatch Deadlifts:
Rack Pulls: 145 x 4. Never using that fatty bar again. Pfft.

I may have to incorporate more lat-work in the future, as I've been very heavily emphasizing my deadlift muscles.

Carry on, Bees! You're doing great.

Playing: The same stuff these few days: Arthurian Legends, Madshot, and Stone Soup are my mainstays. Trying to find more time for Ready or Not. Still no open-world gaming, but I'm sure that urge will hit eventually.

Watching: More Seal Team at the gym, as it's reliably engaging. I've made Fall of the House of Usher my late-night watch, until I find another good horror movie replacement.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Jeff Buckley - Nightmares by the Sea.

This is an eerie, and indeed nightmarish number that proves that Jeff Buckley could write songs with unsettling, spooky moods (another example being So Real, from his debut).

"I've loved so many times and I've drowned them all
From their coral graves, they rise up when darkness falls
With their bones they'll scratch the window
"

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees!

Today was another Push day... this is W2D2 of my Push workout.

Bench Press: 130 x 6. Decided not to chase that seventh rep, as I'm wary of failing, and being stapled to the bench.
Larsen Press: 125 x 5. This one could've turned ugly quickly! But I shelved it.
Incline Press: 90 x 5. A do-over was needed, so I dropped the weight a great deal to start over. Felt good going through the motion and not worrying.
Rope Pushdown: 90 x 10. Light weight, buddy!
Hammer Curls: 16 x 20. Next time I'll try for more.

My sweet new Reebok shoes just arrived, in time for Leg day! Looking forward to putting them through their paces.

Mom is feeling better, but her arm has an ugly bruise that should fade with time.

Take care of yourselves, Bees! It's almost Friday.

Watching: Uhh... kind of been neglecting late-night cinema, once again. Will make sure to get some screentime in tonight. Still watching Seal Team at the gym, and it delivers, as always.

Was going to watch Five Nights at Freddy's today, but a hunch made me wait for the reviews. I had a bad feeling about it, and it looks like it's being vindicated.

Playing: More Madshot and Arthurian Legends, which has become my new podcast game. I occasionally squeeze in playthroughs of Ready or Not, but it's a daunting game to play.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is HIM - Wicked Game.

Obviously it's a gothed up cover of Chris Isaak's originally breezy hit. It's not the scariest song I've selected this year, but it is a real earworm.

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Ugh. Leg day. I actually look forward to it walking into the gym, but afterwards, it's just agony.

Usually you have to wait a day for pain to kick in, but I could feel my energy levels were totally sunk afterward. The 2 km walk home was just a fatigued trudge.

Anyway, here's the workout.

Squats: 110 x 5. I did 15 sets of these, gradually walking the weight up. The squats didn't move very well, so I thought that I'd have to curtail them, but to my surprise, I moved 110. Not well, but I'll take it nonetheless.
Paused Squats: 90 x 4. I knew it.
1 1/2 squats: 60 x 5. Gah, these suck. Sure-fire way to grow the quads, I feel.
Lying Leg Curls: 35 x 10. These were a bit of an afterthought. In the future, I'll have to give them more attention.

And I know I'm going to be feeling it tomorrow! And the day after, and the day after that. Yikes!

At least tomorrow we're having hot pot. Om nom nom.

Enjoy the weekend, Bees! You've earned it!

Playing: Still bits and pieces. Madshot, Arthurian Legends, a little bit of Ready or Not.

Watching: Uhh, didn't watch anything last night. May get started on Climax, which I've heard is an extreme film. Not sure if it'll be "entertaining". Also, more Seal Team, at the gym.

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is the theme from Silent Hill 1, as composed by Akira Yamaoka.

I kind of blanked on a horror-themed song for tonight, so I drew from a song that I first heard years ago, on my Playstation. I always thought that Yamaoka's alternative rock influences made for a surprisingly personal score - contrast this with so many horror movie scores that are composed of orchestration.

 

GentleOx

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Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hi Bees!

I thought the worst of my problems would be my soreness from Leg Day, but it turned out to be the least of them. I had a sore throat for several days, resulting in some coughing: even up to today I had a bit of a cough. So I took the last few days off to rest and recover, but today I got impatient and hit the gym again.

Today was W3D1 of my Push program.

Bench Press: 137.5 x 5. Very much a grind. The program calls for me to do 140 x 4-6 next time, so we'll see how this pans out. But I'm glad that I retained much of my strength today.
Larsen Press: 125 x 5. Tough to keep your balance with this one (by design).
Incline Press: 100 x 5. Just going through the motions.
Dips: Top set of 14.
Straight bar pushdown: 10 x 10.

Happy Monday, Bees. Keep on going, it gets better from here...

Watching: Waaah, sleep has been bigger on my agenda than spooky movie watching. That and playing Bejeweled in bed. I'll try to get in one more, for the sake of Halloween. And of course, Seal Team at the gym.

Playing: What's this... Bejeweled? A filthy casual game? It's actually not the first time I've played it. I just revisited it for the first time in (many) years. I find it very helpful for killing time when I'm waiting for public transport, too.

On the PC, I'm still playing Arthurian Legends, Stone Soup, and a bit of ROTT (Rise of the Triad).

Listening to: Tonight's spooky song is Saxon - Demon Sweeney Todd.

I think this is the first song (outside of the musical, obviously) I've heard that pays homage to the legend of Sweeney Todd. It's a reliably ferocious number from Saxon that's also suitably eerie and evil sounding, especially when the beat is pounding and relentless.

 

GentleOx

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"So sleepy!"
I didn't work out today. My cough came back in force, so I'm tabling my workout until tomorrow.

What's this? A non-exercise update? Oh well. I got some work done and finished some household chores, so it wasn't a bad day, per se. Just a sick day.

Also, today is the final day of spooky season, the day itself, so here is my final spooky song of Halloween 2023:

Listening to: Meg Mcduffee - Entity. I feel this is a suitably intense way to cap spooky season, and represents a milestone for Mcduffee as a songwriter and performer. Love the way the music video turned out, too.

Edit: Oh, I forgot. Happy Halloween, Bees!

 
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GentleOx

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Can you feel it?

OOOO AH AH AH AH!

Ox is Down with the Sickness!

Well, less so than a few days ago. It got pretty bad for awhile... I was coughing every minute, my nose was stuffed up, and my throat full of phlegm. I even went to work regardless! I'm happy to say that I felt well enough today to go back to the gym, albeit not fully recovered. Not a very thoughtful move, I know, still being sick and all, but you can't keep a gym rat out of the gym for too long! I even wore a mask.

Thank you so much for your encouragement @colin, @JCU, @Mamatigerj, @aku-chan and @Fremen!

So today was Bench day, W3D2, which called for 140 x 4 (at least four reps, but I can't imagine how anyone would be able to exceed that). So how did I do?

Bench: 140 x 4. Pretty well, surprisingly. The weight didn't move that well (the final fourth rep in each set was murder), but I made it through three sets of this. For the fourth and fifth ones I dropped the reps to 3.
Larsen Press: 125 x 5. This one is resistant to my attempts to increase the weight. 125 is a big enough battle.
Incline Press: 102.5 x 5. Slow and steady...
Shoulder Press: 60 x 5 for five sets. Just for now, will increase the weight later.
Straight Bar Pushdown: 11 x 10.
Incline Curls: 18 x 20, surprisingly!

I also saw the charity doggos today, but forgot to take pictures. Next time!

And now, I'm going to sit back and relax, now that I'm feeling myself again. But sleepy.

祭り問催-wasagoodboy-0ge-sea-no-more-newz-tbcomwow-suchpage-d0ge-sea-am-tired-fbcomwowsuchpo-花粉対策に朗報.jpg


Have yourself a good weekend, Bees! I'll certainly try.

Playing: I'm flirting with the idea of reinstalling Starfield. But I know that when I inevitably do, it will inevitably crash. Grr arf arf.

So in the meantime I've been playing a hodgepodge of indie games, like Arthurian Legends, Black Sky, and Stone Soup. I may even give good ol' Hrot another go.

Watching: Watched more Seal Team at the gym - the whole show is blatantly transparent in its love for its gnarled and weathered operators, but also in the exposition-heavy doses of story. Not that I mind, as it's still pretty entertaining.

Started watching a Comedy(-Horror?) flick called Sorry to Bother You last night. It's an absolute riot. I laughed out loud three times in twenty minutes - and I'm really really hard to amuse when it comes to these things. I'm definitely watching more of it tonight.

Listening to: I resume my regularly favourite song of the day format, now that Halloween is over (sadly).

Tonight's song is Aphrodite's Child - 666. This is a dreamy number from that weird Grecian Prog-Rock band of the 70s whose sound I love. I don't really know what the song itself is about, apart from some (suitably) slowed-down references to The Book of Revelation.

 
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GentleOx

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"So sleepy!"
Thank you @Fremen, @colin (it is indeed a great film, and The Coup a great band), and @CODawn. Nearly recovered!

But not totally! I decided to head down to the gym again in the hopes of setting a new 3rm, but things didn't pan out. I think it was a combination of still being a little sick, as well as not being fully recovered from Friday. Eh, you live and learn.

Bench Press: 145 x 2. So close to three reps. Manage to rack the weight on the "safety" hooks to avoid getting pinned. I'll give it another go this Thursday, when I'll be more rested.
Incline Press: 90 x 5. The rest of the workout was kind of like one giant "back-off", where I didn't use any heavy weights.
Decline Press: 100 x 5 for five sets.
Machine Pushdown: 36 x 10.
Hammer Curls: 16 x 20.

Walked around for a bit afterward, and spotted the charity doggos!


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Lots of pets were had. The golden was an absolute sweetheart, and lots of people were stopping by to say hello!

And now I'm back home, getting some work done. Sleepy Ox...

Enjoy your Sunday, Bees!

Playing: Haven't touched a AAA game in awhile. S'more Tyrian 2000, Black Skylands, and Madshot. Purchased Dread Delusions too, so looking forward to that.

Watching: I finished Sorry to Bother You. This is the story of Cassius Green, a down on his luck guy who happens to get a job as a telemarketer only to find that progressing in his new job means using his "white voice" to get ahead. The weirdness is hinted at early in the storyline and when it gets going, it gets going! This is an all-round superb comedy (with a dash of surreal horror near the end) that makes use of witty writing and hilarity to satirize consumer and corporate America. I loved the jokes; there's a killer one involving someone's name (It's pronounced Dee-boh-cherry). The characters, while not universally realized, are still interesting. I admit to being a little disappointed that while the film mostly trucks in surrealism/magical realism throughout, when it gets all-out crazy, it's not the crazy I expected (I was hoping for John Dies at The End zanyness I guess). Still, an excellent breath of fresh air from the lead vocalist of The Coup.

I give it four Cola cans out of five.

(And some Seal Team, of course).

Listening to: The Coup, thanks to Sorry to Bother You. This is OYAHYTT, which is a suitably kinetic, charged song featured to good effect in the film.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey everyone. I hope your week is going well so far. I am, as usual, bushed from working out.

But I keeps on doing it!

Today was Pull day, so lots of deadlifting, of course.

Deadlifts: 155 x 6. Eh, could've done more.
Paused Deadlifts: 150 x 3. Now we're cooking with gas!
Snatch grip Deadlifts: 110 x 3. I can barely do these, despite the weight being lighter than all the other lifts today. Feels like they hit the legs harder than most other back exercises.
Rack Pulls: 160 x 3. Heeeaaaavvvyy.
Neutral Grip Pull-ups: Top set of 6.

So sleepy, and still a little sick at the gym, but I'm getting better, and just as importantly, so is mom. Things are well.

Take care, Bees!

Playing: Fired up Rise of the Tomb Raider again, for auld lang syne. Eh, I'll keep at it. It makes for a good podcast game, surprisingly. Also splashes of Madshot, Stone Soup, and a bit of Ready or Not (which is prime rage quit material).

Watching: Apart from Seal Team, not much. Need to designate a new spooky flick for late night cinema. Maybe Beyond the Black Rainbow?

Listening to: Toad the Wet Sprocket - Brother.

Getting my 90's alternative pop groove on! I used to have the CD to the So I Married an Axe Murderer soundtrack, but I'm not sure where it went. But with the power of Youtube, past nostalgia can always be revisited.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
What happens when you hit a plateau in the gym? Try something different.

Hello Bees! I trust you are well this week. I've been shaking off the last bits of sickness (yeah, it's been going on awhile) all the while hitting the gym. Today was Chest day; W4D2 if you want to get technical.

Bench Press: 145 x 2. Bombed it. So close to pulling off three reps, and my muscles failed on me. Have two options - try again next time or move on. I think I'll do the latter.
Block Press: 140 x 3. These are pretty tough!
Incline Press: 102.5 x 5. Simple enough.
Decline Press: 110 x 5. Not feeling the heavy weight this time.
Triceps Pushdown: 11 x 8.

Super tired, once more, but okay otherwise.

Tomorrow's the end of the week, Bees! You've got this.

Playing: Once again, a bit of everything. Ascended to new heights in Madshot, though the final boss kicked my butt. Interestingly, I've quit several games now due to not wanting to bother with final bosses (Elden Ring is a noticeable exception for me). I'm giving Diablo IV another try, and it's more fun with a different class - I'm playing the Barbarian and Druid classes simultaneously. I feel like playing as a melee Rogue was untenable. Will play more tonight!

Watching: Seal Team, as always. Got started on a new scary flick called Hell House LLC: The Carmichael Manor. I've watched the first film in the Hell House series and liked it a lot, so maybe this one will follow suit. That's a big maybe, I admit.

Listening to: Power Glove - Clutch. And... back to synthwave once more! Here's one from the inestimable Power Glove.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Yo, everyone!

Too much good eating over the weekend, so time to get back into the gym and hit them muscles hard. Getting close to the conclusion of the Bench Press strength program. I feel like my progress was halted by getting sick, so I'm going to cut out the part where I find out my max (an educated guess says that it hasn't changed) and instead start another, hopefully better cycle.

Bench Press: 150 x 2. Good God, today was a total mess. Started with 142.5 x 2, and the reps were hard; almost as hard as if I'd made no progress these past months. I persisted to a hard won 150 x 2, but half of that was dumb luck and momentum, I feel.
Block Press: 145 x 2. Ugh, this one was equally tough.
Incline Press: 100 x 5.
Shoulder Press: 70 x 5.
Rope Pushdown: 8 x 8. Zzz...

Watching: Of course, more Seal Team. It's fascinating to see how the show has changed, even though the show itself is not that fascinating (meat and potatoes entertainment). In the final stretch of Season 1, it's become a procedural with impeccably researched action scenes. The verisimilitude of the series is beyond question, even if the storylines are somewhat bland.

Been watching a bit of HHLLC: CM (am *not* typing out the full frickin' title again) as I mentioned in my post above. Just as meat and potatoes as Seal Team; does its franchise proud, and has some effective scares, though it liberally copies from the playbook its forbears wrote.

Playing: More Diablo IV. I understand what Blizzard was trying to do; there are more build options than ever before, and speccing your char is a science now (it wasn't before?!). I kind of wish it wasn't, but that's just my preference.

Also, some Stone Soup and Ready or Not. Tried a bit of Roboquest, but I just couldn't hack it. I may be growing tired of the predictable roguelite formula, and few have done very much to innovate it, or within it.

Listening to: Robots with Rayguns - Through the Night. Absolutely love this groovy track; some of the synth (ie a very small percentage) I encounter on youtube are absolute gems.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Yo, Bees.

Today was my Pull day, so I went forth and put my back through the wringer. So sleepy...

Deadlifts: 162.5 x 5. Note: Really need to bring chalk, I could've managed more reps.
Paused Deadlifts: 155 x 3.
T-Bar Rows: 92.5 x 5.
Machine Rows: (Done this time with two hands, not just one) 60 x 5.
Wide Grip Rows: 50 x 5.

I tried to mix upper and lower body exercises, as it's been awhile since I incorporated both.

The temperature has dropped, and people are clad in jackets and hoodies. Doesn't feel that cold to me, though.

Hope you're well, Bees!

Playing: Last night I went to sleep early and only played a few minutes of Diablo IV.

@PetiteSheWolf I'm not that dedicated either. I don't mind playing an OP character, or at a lower difficulty level.

Watching: Yesterday I finished HH LLC: CM. This is about several paranormal investigators/youtubers that head off to a haunted manor (the titular Carmichael Manor), to investigate the origins of said manor and any purported hauntings. Things go wrong, naturally.

I don't really have much to say about this one. Characterization is nil, all the inexplicable tropes of found footage filmmaking are present, there's not much of a plot, and I couldn't care less about the lore of the films, despite my love of the original Hell House LLC.

Seriously. Why is there this weird insistence from the investigator that they film everything? And WTH don't people put down the cameras when shit goes sideways? The scares are workmanlike, but effective enough, I guess.

For being barely entertaining, I give this film two sinister clown mannequins out of five.

Tonight I'll get started on Beyond the Black Rainbow. Assuming I'm not too sleepy!

(Oh, and watched some Seal Team and Castlevania at the gym).

Listening to: Let's Talk - If I Stay with You. Here's another synth find with a shimmery pop melody.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Still tired, and still going to the gym. This train don't stop for nothing!

Today I took a break from my usual Push/Chest routine to have a little "fun", and get away from all the PRs. Next week, it's back to business as usual.

Larsen Press: 132.5 x 5. I've never lifted with this much weight before. A fun lift, but it constantly feels like you're teetering on the edge of disaster (which one very well may be, without your feet on the ground). Here's the Larsen Press in action.


Close Grip Press: 120 x 5. As fun as the above, but pretty challenging.
Incline Press: 105 x 5. No PRs today.
Bicep Curls: 20 x 20. I deliberately pushed myself with these, as I've been slacking when it comes to Biceps (am I a real gym goer?!). The form got sloppy at the end, but I made it.
Rope Pushdowns: 8 x 8.
+ 20000 steps!

Going to enjoy some White Rabbit candy and work on my class notes now.

See you round, Bees!

Playing: Didn't play much last night. A bit of Stone Soup and some Madshot. Not sure if the latter is growing on me or not... I play it because it's dependably entertaining, but it's not great. Whereas Stone Soup is the exact opposite (and a true Roguelike, to boot).

Watching: Watching some Castlevania: Nocturne at the gym. So far it looks like as much a slam dunk as its predecessor was.

Started Beyond the Black Rainbow last night, though I conked out at the ten minute mark. Even the little I've seen so far is pretty weird. Look forward to watching more.

Listening to: Tom Petty - Learning to Fly. Can never have enough Tom Petty!

 
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GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees!

Today was Legs. *shudder*

Squats: 115 x 5. These were a real trial. I did know going into my workout that I wanted to hit 115, which I haven't done in years. Made for a very challenging set, but I smashed it, one shaky rep at a time.
Front Squats: 60 x 5.
Paused Squats: 60 x 5. See below. I stopped doing these because my quads felt pretty weird.
Leg Extensions: 13 x 10.
Lying Leg Curls: 35 x 10.

I noticed throughout my workout this feeling of my quads about to give way (which alarmingly happened while I was using really light weight), and did some other stuff instead. I'll see how my quads feel next week.

Keep up the weekend vibes, Bees! You're doing great!

Playing: Not much. A touch of Madshot, some Stone Soup, and a bit of Diablo IV. I also reinstalled Fallout: New Vegas, as I feel like there was so much I hadn't explored in my previous playthrough. So I've wiped the slate clean, so to speak, and started a new save.

Watching: I've put aside Beyond the Black Rainbow for now. I've started When Evil Lurks, and will return to BTBR when I'm done. When Evil Lurks looks more my speed, anyway. The first ten minutes that I've watched look very promising.

Also, some Castlevania at the gym.

And this documentary about the making of Half-Life, which is one of those games that defined my childhood years.


Listening to: Run the Jewels - Yankee and the Brave. Half of RTJ's discography makes for great workout tunes. All of it is brilliant nonetheless.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hey Bees! Still tired, but still lifting.

I took a break on Sunday and Monday, but it's good to be back in the gym. Too much chocolate and ice cream over the last few days, so I corrected that with a big workout today.

Coincidentally, I started another Bench Press Cycle today, so today is W1D1.

Bench Press: 125 x 7. Not what I was hoping for. I was aiming to get at least 8 reps in. But there's still time... I'll try again on Thursday or Friday.
Larsen Press: 120 x 5.
Incline Bench Press: 107.5 x 5. Zzzz...
Shoulder Press: 80 x 3. I'll try again with these as well.
Dumbbell Curls: 18 x 20.
Flat Curls: 16 x 20.

Have a great week, Bees!

Playing: Once again, Fallout: NV has taken over my spare time. I'm playing a total munchkin powergamer build; all XP gains, all the time. Fairness? Balance? I don't care about that! Also some Stone Soup.

Watching: So, I finished watching When Evil Lurks. This one sunk its hooks into me 15 minutes in, and didn't stop.

The is the story of two Argentinian brothers who chance upon a pustulant, grotesque "Rotten", or possessed person in a house in the woods; they bring the matter up with the landlord, and chaos follows from their foolish decisions.

This is basically a demonic possession movie without the cliches that the genre is known for (courtesy of the seminal The Exorcist). All the rules of the book are torn up and new ones are written - not that you're privy to them early on in the movie. It's interesting that the film takes place in a world where such possessions do exist and are acknowledged - but the rules surrounding them are tricky and outright diabolical. This is a film that's not afraid to be nasty and cruel, and in doing so, shocked and scared me on several occasions.

I give it five tubs of manzana ice cream out of five. May be the first film I've seen in awhile that I'd comfortably give a five out of five!

(Also some Castlevania at the gym.)

Listening to: Warrant - Uncle Tom's Cabin. Forget Cherry Pie (cause it's past time that it was), this is Warrant at their best. I had this CD as a kid and I remember being pleasantly surprised by this song.

 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hello, Bees. It's the Tired Ox, once more with another workout.

I took a bit of a risk and made today another Push day; usually I wait three days in between these workouts. But it paid off!

Bench Press: 125 x 8. I still gots it! Setups were smooth, the bar grooved well, and I managed for 8. Was thinking of doing 9, but I'll try that again some other time.
Incline Press: 110 x 5. This one was a real trial.
Larsen Press: 120 x 5. Glurk.
Lateral Rows: 10 x 10.
Hammer Curls: 16 x 20

Couldn't be arsed to push myself any harder. Also, 21000 steps! So sleepy.

We're nearly at the weekend, Bees! You've got this.

Playing: I'm thinking of reinstalling Starfield again. New Vegas is losing a bit of its lustre, as I've rapidly levelled up to the point where I'm Death walking the Mojave. Let it be said that the appeal of an RPG is of slowly gaining power, and not rushing through things like the munchkin I am (actually, I did a bit of reading, and it looks like I'm more of a "power gamer" than a "munchkin". And a dash of Diablo IV, which is my go-to before bed.

Watching: More Castlevania at the gym. This series (Nocturne) isn't as strong as its predecessor was, but it's still very good. Started Mean Spirited, which is a found footage (again! I sure do love 'em) comedy/horror series lampooning youtubers. It's certainly "slick", but I'm not sure if it's any good yet.

Listening to: Decade Defector - Time to Leave. It would seem to be inspired by a certain Imogen Heap song, but I like the gentle lull of this one.

 

Nevetharine

Well-known member
Viking from The Depths
Pronouns: She/her
Posts: 874
I used to love that robo-dog in New Vegas.. was it the dog who was called Elvis or the owner? Been too long. These when I play games I jam Skyrim. But it kind of feels like I'm wasting my time by not being productive, so now I write my stories instead. Write the heroes instead of playing them. Well, it's sort of the same thing I suppose. 😅 Skyrim doesn't feel like so much time wasting, because I get lots of inspiration for writing from it. Damn elves!
 

GentleOx

Well-known member
Warrior from Hong Kong
Posts: 529
"So sleepy!"
Hiya Bees. Super tired, but satisfied. Went these past few days without exercise, so...

BAM! Push workout W2D1.

Bench Press: 130 x 7. One more rep than the last time I attempted it. Am I getting strong again? Or just for today? Either way, chuffed as chips!
Larsen Press: 120 x 5. This one absolutely beat my body into submission. I need to get it back up to 125 again.
Incline Press: 100 x 5. I couldn't manage more, so I toned down the weights.
Straight Bar Pushdown: 10 x 10.
Flat Curls: 14 x 24.
+22000 steps. Feels like my feet'll fall off!

Hope your weekend is going great, Bees!

Playing: I finished my first complete runthrough of Madshot, so I'll give it a review.

This is a colourful roguelite that borrows from John Woo and HP Lovecraft (obviously, as it's baked into the premise) in generous doses. The platforming, two-fisted gunplay is satisfying enough, even though it took multiple playthroughs for it to click. That the game hews so heavily to the typical structure of a rogue (random levels, random perks, building up your character along the way) is no knock against it except to say that it's unexceptional, and never bold (cf Source of Madness, which is more experimental and ambitious). I had fun playing all the way to the "end", but I dunno if I'll keep revisiting this one. I give it three masks of ungodly power out of five.

Also playing some Project Warlock, and Diablo IV.

@Nevetharine I believe the robo pooch was called Rex. I've never recruited it. I may revisit Skyrim again sometime, but only with lotsa mods; that said, it's always reliably good fun. The Special Edition is calling my name, but I'm not sure if I want to go through the trouble of installing another pile of mods right now.

Watching: Apart from Castlevania at the gym (it's coming to a close, too), not much. Need to resurrect late night cinema and resume Mean Spirited, as it's been entertaining thus far.

Listening to: ORAX - It's Raining. The lyrics are a bit naff, but for some songs, you want to focus more on the ambiance than the fine print. This song has a great heartbreak feel to it, and is perfect for those rainy days.

 
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