Progress Log: Week 10

Weekly Weigh-In

247 lbs. I haven’t dropped, which can be disheartening, so did a side-by-side below that shows me that I actually am making progress.

I realized this week that I’ve been kind of dumb about my weigh-in day. I’ve been weighing in on the first day of each weekly cycle.

This is kind of stupid as I have a dedicated cheat period that extends from 5 pm Friday night up through Saturday. This allows me to do things like guilt-free date nights and dining with friends on weekends.

Jonah Week 10 Progress
Slowly but surely, week by week. The progress is *not* drastic and we don’t want it to be. When we hit middle age, our skin doesn’t snap back the way it does in our youth. To see a comparison between today and 10 weeks ago, scroll down.

It also means that I’m packing a lot of extra water from the excess salt and carbs I gobble down.

So, to keep morale up, and also put some guard rails in place for cleaner eating during the week (which I’ve been pretty lousy at for the past couple of weeks), I’ve shifted my weigh-in to my last gym day of the week, which is Wednesday. This will also give me another reason to make sure I get in for that Circuit Training day on Wednesday.

Details

Mode

It was a high rep/low weight week.

Sunday

Sunday was strong. I have many personal bests coming in at this time, but a large part of that is due to the fact that I’ve revamped this particular workout and added a bunch of new exercises that I’m still feeling out.

About a month ago, I added free weight flat and incline bench presses back into the mix after many (many) years away from these exercises.

This warrants a backstory…

In the mid 90’s, long before my transition, I was a competitive powerlifter and bodybuilder. I loved to bench press. I was the 1994 Oregon State Open bench press champion in the 165 lb class and by 1995 was ranked 14th in the nation in the naturals (I was not on T at this time. I didn’t start testosterone therapy until I began my medical transition in 2018, at the age of 48).

In short, bench pressing and I had a very long love affair.

In 2011 I blew out two disks in my neck, which required a cervical spinal fusion with a four-inch block of titanium screwed in there for support. This particular surgery kind of really drove home the fact that I was entering middle age. I ended up taking a very long hiatus from the gym.

When I started back in 2018, I stuck with the Smith machine on all of my heavy pressing for safety purposes. I typically don’t have a workout partner and need to be able to rack the bar quickly and safely if I feel something’s going to give out. I’ve had satisfactory gains using this method, but using the machine doesn’t quite yield all the results I could be getting if I were free weight benching.

So, I chose to add the free weight versions of these exercises back in, but for my light days. This way, I get the benefit of working out those ancillary, stabilizing muscles using weights that are manageable for high reps.

It’s feeling really good, kids.

Monday

Monday saw a solid workout for my legs and shoulders. I just have to say here that I love, love, love heavy shoulder days and I hate light ones. They hurt.

For my lights days, I hit my shoulders hard with superset Cable External & Internal Rotations, Dumbbell Front Raises, Dumbbell Lateral Raises, and Dumbbell Reverse Flyes. For all of these, I start out really light for a set of 25, raise weight for a set of 8-10, drop weight for a set of 13-15, drop weight again for a set of 8-10. By the end of session, my shoulders are toast.

It’s time for me to start adding another exercise or two for my quads. I’m still thinking on this, but I’m at the point where the chronic pain in my legs is pretty much gone and I need more of a challenge. It will probably be some type of lunge or band work. I haven’t decided yet. My home gym is small and cozy. It doesn’t offer much in the way of equipment beyond squats, leg presses, a leg extension machine and a seated leg curl machine. My gym is a regional chain and it’s opening a new, bigger facility that’s about the same distance from my home. I may need to consider doing leg day at the new place. I do need to keep my total gym time tight, however, as I’m on a strict 2 hour timeline to ensure I get back to work on time – and that includes drive time.

Tuesday

Three days in a row! It’s been a minute since I’ve done this, solo. Back and Triceps day was really good. No personal bests…which I don’t often expect on these days as my back and triceps are both very strong. When I start hitting new personals it’ll be when I can finally do more than one stinking pull-up at a time. šŸ¤£

I’ve started doing hyperextensions again, which is great. When my legs were doing their weird thing, I couldn’t find a comfortable position on the gym’s hyperextension bench. It really wrecked havoc with the back of my right knee. I’m happy to report that now, as long as I have the bench positioned kind of high on my hips and keep a little flex in my knees, I can do them comfortably.

Wednesday

Four gym days in a row! I had a great circuit training session. Nine exercises, 4 sets of 8-12 each, with only 30 seconds between exercises. I got it done in 51 minutes and felt good enough afterwards to put 5.6 miles on the stationary bike in 20 minutes.

Thursday

Technically, Thursday is a non-gym day. The official goal for this day is an hour of yoga and a 30 minute core session. I got the hour of yoga in but work took my life over for the rest of the day and I was pretty wrecked by 6 pm.

Friday

Also, technically, Friday is a free-for-all. The goal here is to get in at least an hour of some physical activity. It can be lawn work (such as mowing the lawn, which actually gets me about 10K steps), taking my doggo out on a nature walk, kayaking with my fiancĆ©…anything.

Also, technically, Fridays are supposed to be half days for me at work (I work 9 hours M-Th, 4 hours on F). Between a four hour training workshop and a few meetings thrown at me, I actually ended up putting in nearly a full day.

I did, however, get in an hour of yoga.

Saturday

Saturday is my “lazy” day. It’s the day to eat junk food and be a couch potato, or get together with friends and loved ones to catch up, or focus on some hobby/passion of mine that has nothing to do with work or the gym.

Today I’m driving three Miss Daisies down to Antiquum Farms Winery, which is where Alicia and I will be getting married in September. The idea is to plan how we’re going to do our wedding in the venue while the ladies get day drunk on vino and I eat lots of snacks and then drive us all home.

Diet

My diet this week has leveled out. I was in caloric deficit all week long, but not in a deep enough deficit to hit the fairly aggressive goal I set in my Fitbit app. While I would like to see more days in the blue and green, quality of life and enjoying things is also important. Having a realistic, healthy relationship with food, cultivating and maintaining good eating habits, and not stressing about things is the overarching goal here.

This is what my Fitbit results are for the week:

Jonah's diet progress over the week of March 4-11. A bar chart showing calories in vs calories out. Calories in are less than calories out for all days.
The day with the highest output up there is my circuit training day with the 20 minutes on the bike. If I can find a way to squeeze in 20 minutes of time on the stationary bike, or a brisk half hour walk every day, it would put me solidly in the blue.

10 Week Comparison

side-by-side comparison of Jonah at the beginning and 10 weeks later.
The changes, week-by-week, are subtle, but when we do a side-by-side, it’s quite noticeable. There’s a marked difference in the old love handles, shoulders and triceps are starting to carve out, the double-chin is disappearing, and the kettle belly is starting to flatten out. I’ll take it. Good job me!

Published by Jonah Sheridan Fenn

Nerd herder, word wrangler, working on the next chapter...

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