To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

The Food Forum's Evil Twin. Trying to lose weight or get in shape? Tips, encouragement, status reports, and so forth go here.
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Belial
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To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 17, 2008 3:43 am UTC

Alright, I suppose I should get started here.

Height: 6'0"

Starting Weight: Not sure. I didn't have a scale until three days ago. At that time, it was 262

Current Weight: 245 lbs (updating as it changes)

Goal Weight: 180 lbs.

I started exercising again in earnest about three weeks ago (I think). I got an elliptical machine for the living room, and have been running a few miles each day. It's a lot easier to exercise if I don't have to leave my house or be around people. I started at one mile per day, and worked my way up day by day. I'm currently running between four and five miles a day.

I've been motivating myself by buying season DVDs of shows I want to watch (right now it's House MD and Stargate: Atlantis) and watching them almost exclusively while running. It really takes one's mind off the burning in one's legs, though lately the pain and exertion has been less of a limiting factor compared to the sheer time involved.

Anyway, I didn't see much if any effect until somewhat recently, when I finally bit the bullet and also modified my diet. I've previously been diagnosed with certain metabolic badnesses (insulin resistance, mostly) that make it difficult for my body to find and break down fat once it's stored, so all my workouts were doing was making me ravenously hungry, and cancelling themselves out.

Apparently, a low-carbohydrate diet has a pretty stunning effect on this problem, though, causing the insulin resistance to disappear, and return much decreased once I return to carbs later. In fact, if I manage to reduce my weight enough during the zero-carb or low-carb period, it probably won't return at all, which is good because it can develop into diabetes if left unchecked, and that's not something I want to allow.

So recently I also cut carbohydrates out of my diet entirely*, and kept up with my daily runs, and thus far I've lost about eight pounds in the last three or four days.

So...uhh...hooray?

Anyway, I'll keep updating my personal quest to be thinner and healthier.

*I don't necessarily recommend this for others. It's unpleasant, and it probably won't have the same drastic effects for other people.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Azrael001 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:00 am UTC

My dad tried the low carb diet. He lost a lot of weight but a lot of it was muscle mass. It worked doubly well for him because he was allergic to wheat but didn't know it at the time. He regrets the diet now because he didn't really lose any fat, and could probably gotten more favorable results had he only cut out gluten.

I need to get more exercise.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Quixotess » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:00 am UTC

May I ask what elliptical you have/how much it cost? I'm in the market...

Good luck!
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:21 am UTC

I'd have to go look at it, because I forget the name and it's mostly rubbed off.

I wouldn't recommend it, though, it's kindof shoddily constructed and squeaks and grinds a lot if I don't take it apart now and then and spray WD-40 in everything.

However, may I suggest that you never, ever, ever buy exercise equipment first hand? People buy the stuff all the time at ridiculous prices, use it three times, use it as a coat rack for a year and a half, and then finally stop lying to themselves and donate it to good will or some other similar thrift store where you can pick it up for a song.

Garage sales are also good for this. Either way, the price goes from hundreds of dollars to tens, if that.

Edit: Oh, it's a "Gazelle" freestyle trainer. They seem to be selling for about 200 to 300 dollars. Got mine for 20.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby ronnie » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:22 pm UTC

WD-40 isn't actually a lubricant, its for preventing rust and loosening parts in the short term, it evaporates in less than half an hour, so oil is much better. Also, if anyone likes cheap exercise equipment, take a look at freecycle, theres *always* some on there, especially once people get bored of the weight loss plans they started for the new year, theres always enough lazy people to provide some.

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:15 pm UTC

it evaporates in less than half an hour, so oil is much better


Oh. That would explain why the problems keep coming back.

Do they make a spray lubricant that actually remains in place?
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:26 pm UTC

Belial wrote:So recently I also cut carbohydrates out of my diet entirely*, and kept up with my daily runs, and thus far I've lost about eight pounds in the last three or four days.


Hooray indeed! Small strides dude, and little victories are the name of the game. You won't drop 10 lbs a week (and if you do, your doing it wrong!).

I completely second watching good shows while running on treadmills/ellipticals, although (and hate to point out) if you CAN run outside, its way better. That is subjective.

But also, be aware that the Atkins diet has its own host of issues (bad breath for one), and isn't necessarily recommended for anyone who wants to be in good cardio shape. So I dunno sir, perhaps your metabolic conditions would allow you a beneficial, lower calorie diet and grant similar effects? I cringe a bit seeing people take the high protein low fat route for their diet.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Steve » Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:34 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
it evaporates in less than half an hour, so oil is much better


Oh. That would explain why the problems keep coming back.

Do they make a spray lubricant that actually remains in place?


I do not know if it is applicable for metal, but I used a silicone based lubricant spray for a variety of composite parts a while back that worked wonderfully. You should be able to find a large selection at your local hardware superstore or car place.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Quixotess » Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:12 pm UTC

Thanks, that's good advice.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Flying Betty » Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:37 am UTC

So for whatever reason, this thread inspired me so I went for a nice long walk and then had a salad for dinner. Many thanks, sir.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2008 1:40 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:although (and hate to point out) if you CAN run outside, its way better. That is subjective.


Eh. If I had any decent trails in walking distance, maybe. As it is, there's only so long I can run in a circle on the track, looking at the same apartment buildings, before I get bored and quit. Put on the TV, though, and I can run for hours.

Izawwlgood wrote:But also, be aware that the Atkins diet has its own host of issues (bad breath for one), and isn't necessarily recommended for anyone who wants to be in good cardio shape.


I'm going the less extreme south beach route, because apparently my doctor fucking loves that stuff. The no-carb period ends next tuesday. Then I gradually add carbs back in in small amounts.

Flying Betty wrote:So for whatever reason, this thread inspired me so I went for a nice long walk and then had a salad for dinner. Many thanks, sir.


Glad I could help, in however oblique a manner.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

Flying Betty wrote:So for whatever reason, this thread inspired me so I went for a nice long walk and then had a salad for dinner. Many thanks, sir.

That's funny, I was about to bike to school today but it's raining. Oh well, guess I'll just have to kill the earth a little more today than I had originally planned.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Mar 18, 2008 4:38 pm UTC

Belial, do you run/elliptical whilst wearing a hat? Please, for the love of the inspired mental image, say yes. Bonus yes for the expected monocle.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

Hahahah. No, I try to wear as little as possible whilst running.

"As little as possible" is set by who is in the apartment at the time.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:32 pm UTC

Belial, you're a closet exercising nudist, aren't you? I knew it!
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:42 pm UTC

Eh, I usually wear boxers at the least. But if the roommate is about, I wear a t-shirt and running shorts, too.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby ronnie » Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:35 pm UTC

American Psycho comes to mind, do you have a pair of trainers that have never been worn outside?

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:19 pm UTC

ronnie wrote:American Psycho comes to mind, do you have a pair of trainers that have never been worn outside?


Hahah. No, but they haven't seen the outside in years, I think. They're from high school, when I used to run around charlottesville.

Anyway, update:

After the Boston trip, I seem to have gained 5 pounds. I was tempted to attribute this to a lapse in diet while I was there, but judging by when the weight appeared (progressively over the two days after I got back), it seems more like it was a gain in leg muscle from the miles and miles and miles of walking I did on the trip and was still recovering from.

I can think of no easy way to determine which is true, though.

Either way, since then, I've come back down to 250 again and broken even. If the weight gain was never fat in the first place (I hope I hope), then I consider that a net win.

Now on with the work...
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:18 pm UTC

Most likely a combination of the two. However, it's good to see you're not worried about the number so much as the composition.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

Hahah, I wish composition wasn't such a factor, though. A number I can track, and see my progress. Composition, less so.

And I desperately need to be able to see my progress. It's what caused previous attempts at weight loss to founder and drop off: I am not the most disciplined human being alive by any stretch, and if I can't tell I'm progressing, it becomes increasingly difficult to motivate myself to keep going.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Quixotess » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

Hrm, in my Aerobics class we had a machine that looked rather like a scale. When we put in our age and height, it would weigh us and then tell us our body fat. Something about electric pulses taking longer to go through muscle, maybe.

It's probably pretty expensive, but maybe your local gym has something like it for use?
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Solution, get someone to taser you each day you don't use the elliptical. Yay, motivation!

In all (well, some, anyway) seriousness, though, composition is so important when dealing with weight loss. You're big enough that doing cardio work will have the added effect of increasing your muscle mass (especially in the massive leg muscles) and if you're truly as out of shape as you claim to be (or at least as I picture you being from what you've said) then you are going to notice an very quick increase in that muscle mass early on which will (dammit) lead to increased weight. So you certainly shouldn't be surprised if your actual weight doesn't drastically change in the first couple/few weeks. However, your mileage makes it sound like you've been doing this for long enough that you should be losing fat faster than you're gaining muscle, which should help with lowering the almighty number on the scale.
Quixotess wrote:Hrm, in my Aerobics class we had a machine that looked rather like a scale. When we put in our age and height, it would weigh us and then tell us our body fat. Something about electric pulses taking longer to go through muscle, maybe.

It's probably pretty expensive, but maybe your local gym has something like it for use?
Yeah, those things are awesome (though not entirely accurate). If you can get access to one of these to use once a week or so (aimed at Belial, btw), this could be your new goal, rather than just weight.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Thu Mar 27, 2008 8:42 pm UTC

if you're truly as out of shape as you claim to be (or at least as I picture you being from what you've said) then you are going to notice an very quick increase in that muscle mass early on which will (dammit) lead to increased weight.


My first impulse is to say "I'm not that out of shape" but...heh. Yeah, I am.

Luckily, I think the weight gain bit happened before I got the scale, so at least there wasn't that bit of discouragement.

Yeah, those things are awesome (though not entirely accurate). If you can get access to one of these to use once a week or so (aimed at Belial, btw), this could be your new goal, rather than just weight.


The gyms around here suck ass (and are dirty fucking cheats besides), but I'll see if I can find one
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Ragavin » Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:09 pm UTC

Man. The threads in this here forum are inspiring. I just took an hour and half lunch break and walked a couple miles. XD

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Barbie » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Yeah, those things are awesome (though not entirely accurate). If you can get access to one of these to use once a week or so (aimed at Belial, btw), this could be your new goal, rather than just weight.


The gyms around here suck ass (and are dirty fucking cheats besides), but I'll see if I can find one

They're not too expensive. They may not be the most accurate measurement of body fat ever, but I think they're relatively consistent, so you could measure changes. It would definitely be more enjoyable than going in for underwater weighing every time you wanted to measure your body composition ;)
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby GiantMonkeyMan » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:42 pm UTC

Here's an algorithm for measuring bodyfat on the cheap:
(from src: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/body-fat- ... ormula.php)

Body Fat Formula For Women
Factor 1 (Total body weight x 0.732) + 8.987
Factor 2 Wrist measurement (at fullest point) / 3.140
Factor 3 Waist measurement (at naval) x 0.157
Factor 4 Hip measurement (at fullest point) x 0.249
Factor 5 Forearm measurement (at fullest point) x 0.434
Lean Body Mass Factor 1 + Factor 2 - Factor 3 - Factor 4 + Factor 5
Body Fat Weight Total bodyweight - Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight

Body Fat Formula For Men
Factor 1 (Total body weight x 1.082) + 94.42
Factor 2 Waist measurement x 4.15
Lean Body Mass Factor 1 - Factor 2
Body Fat Weight Total bodyweight - Lean Body Mass
Body Fat Percentage (Body Fat Weight x 100) / total bodyweight

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby GiantMonkeyMan » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:50 pm UTC

Also, I encourage you to migrate to a diet and set of lifestyle habits that you are capable of maintaining for the long term. Crash diets have a pretty terrible track record and if you lose weight at a 1lb a week or so you'll be at your target weight within a year or so with a much better chance of maintaining your target weight.

Furthermore, for a variety of health outcomes people care about (Diabetes for instance) consistent exercise habits are actually more protective than weightloss. It's better to get exercise and maintain a healthy weight, of course, but by exercising you are already giving yourself quite a leg up when it comes to long term health outcomes.

Also, it seems like you are doing at Atkins/South Beach-ish diet. The cardiologists get nervous about those, but I haven't seen evidence that really argues against them so long as you are getting an adequate quantity and variety of vegetables in your diet and are minimizing saturated fat (which is tied to a variety of bad outcomes).

If anyone is actually interested, I'll track down citations defending the above statements.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:39 am UTC

Barbie wrote:They're not too expensive.


Fantastariffic. Thank you.

GiantMonkeyMan wrote:Also, it seems like you are doing at Atkins/South Beach-ish diet. The cardiologists get nervous about those, but I haven't seen evidence that really argues against them so long as you are getting an adequate quantity and variety of vegetables in your diet and are minimizing saturated fat (which is tied to a variety of bad outcomes)


South Beach.

And last time I got my lipids checked, I am scary-healthy in that regard, so I'm not too worried about my heart.

In updateness, I've reached the point in the progression where I add carbs back in, so that's good (eggs, chicken, and salad were getting extremely old), weight loss is slowing but not stopping.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby robg54 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:11 pm UTC

Do you have any minimal weightlifting componenet or is it all cardio?

About a year ago I lost about 50 lbs in the course of 3-4 months. I went from 205 to 155 (6.0'). I watched my diet, but nothing strict. Just tried to eat more consistently throughout the day and cut out soda and fried stuff almost completely.

However, what I think helped was a weightlifting component. I am by no means huge(don't look like a work-outer), and I was never looking for such a build. But, what I understood is this:

Muscles burn calories. More muscles burn more calories. You burn calories all day every day. Walking sleeping walking to the car, picking up the milk. And when you build your musce mass, you burn MORE calories doing all those things.

Since my general understanding is that 3500 calories = one pound, and I know I wasn't burning anyhere near 3500 calories on my elliptical every day, and was stll loosing weight, that those incidental all day calory burns must be significant, and making it more efficient seemed like a good idea:)

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:11 pm UTC

I've been looking into getting a set of free weights, but haven't come across any on the cheap recently.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:22 pm UTC

Belial, partially because it's good advice, partially because I've been dying for a chance to put this out there:

My roommate and I first moved into our apartment early last summer. The building was EMPTY, and the 'workout room' was just a vacant room with exposed wiring. So we improvised:

2x 5-gallon buckets (with handles).
~2ft of rubber tubing of whatever softness you prefer.
Lots of rocks.

Viola! You have created a set of freeweights! You can do: Bicep curls, tricep raises, traps, pecs, and with a little balance and a raised chair, quads and abs. I'm not sure how you'd do hammies, as the bucket would roll and likely spill rocks all over you (and possibly nut you in the process)...

Also, install a pullup bar in a door frame and you can do a myriad of exercises. Hanging situps with various intensity subject textbooks is a FANTASTIC ab workout.

Also, if someone ever asks you about your routine, you can things like "3x 15 curls with a 3/4 bucket, 3x 10 quads with a full bucket plus water..."
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:29 pm UTC

Hahahah. Not a bad idea. I may have to get on that.

I think if we put a pull-up bar in any door in our apartment, though, we'd only succeed in breaking our apartment.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:31 pm UTC

You can actually get pretty solid pullup bars for just such an occasion at just about any "sports" store, and usually for no more than $20-ish.

Also, robg, where did you get the 3500 calories = 1lb? I'm not saying it's wrong, it just seems very...counterintuitive to me.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Yakk » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:03 pm UTC

Waist size. It doesn't translate between people, but for the most part it will measure "lost fat" as opposed to "lost muscle", and "gained muscle" as opposed to "gained fat".

It isn't as good as doing a body-fat-percent calculation, but it is almost as fast as weighing yourself.

As a bonus, the volume of a cylinder varies with the square of the radius/circumference.

Ie, r^2 = k v, or r = sqrt( v/k )
dr/dv = c * sqrt(1/v) for some c.

volume roughly proportional to weight. So each 1 lbs of weight lost generates loses you increasing numbers of inches as your weight goes down!

...

The second bit of advice would be to generate an exponential decay chart based off of losing 1% of your current body mass every week (which is roughly what you can lose sustainably without going all crazy and eating mathematicians by cleverly opening doors). With a spreadsheet graphing your current weight against that curve, you can see how you are doing medium/long term against goals, instead of obsessing over a short term water weight gain.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:20 pm UTC

Waist size. It doesn't translate between people, but for the most part it will measure "lost fat" as opposed to "lost muscle", and "gained muscle" as opposed to "gained fat".


Oh good. Then the fact that I'm becoming too small for all my pants (and my only belt, for that matter) is a good sign.

22/7 wrote:You can actually get pretty solid pullup bars for just such an occasion at just about any "sports" store, and usually for no more than $20-ish


Free standing? Because I'm not really worried about how solid the bar is, I'm worried about how solid my apartment is.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Yakk » Wed Apr 02, 2008 6:44 pm UTC

So measure it and chart it. :) You have open office/excel for a reason, and it isn't taxes.

Measurement around your gut, squared, will give you, roughly, a number that grows and shrinks with the volume of your gut. On most men, the majority of your spare fat storage will be there.

Aiming for a weight is actually somewhat silly, unless you are a boxer: you could easily end up having more bone+muscle in your body than your target weight. It is easier to visualize than aiming for a body fat percentage, I suppose!
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby 22/7 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:35 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
22/7 wrote:You can actually get pretty solid pullup bars for just such an occasion at just about any "sports" store, and usually for no more than $20-ish


Free standing? Because I'm not really worried about how solid the bar is, I'm worried about how solid my apartment is.
No. The cost of a freestanding bar would probably be a couple hundred bucks (for the material alone and labor alone). This would definitely be one that would go in your door frame. That said, any "outdoor" frame should be substantial enough (think front/back door) to hold you, no problem, and the indoor ones probably are, too. Sure you'll have to guess at it, but I mean, hell, what's a security deposit for?
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 09, 2008 4:45 am UTC

Belial wrote:
it evaporates in less than half an hour, so oil is much better


Oh. That would explain why the problems keep coming back.

Do they make a spray lubricant that actually remains in place?


I've tried spray lubricants before and found nothing but frustration. I advise going for the thick liquid 3-in-1 stuff instead. My experience suggests that while it's pretty messy when it first goes on, once the excess is removed you will never have lubrication problems again.

I remain resolute in my endorsement of group fitness, though I understand it's not for everybody. Nonetheless, it might be said that the courage you build up in regularly flailing about randomly in a room of strangers might serve you well in other areas of life.

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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Belial » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:07 pm UTC

Courage isn't really the issue. I consistently got A's in modern dance in high school for three years. If I was uncomfortable with flailing around in front of strangers, I'd have been dead of social anxiety years ago.

I'm just an introvert. I like interacting with people, but I find the process to be somewhat draining. If I'm required to do it in order to exercise, it just becomes another excuse not to exercise. ("Oh, it's not that I'm being lazy" I will tell myself "I'm just not up to dealing with people today") And I'm trying to put as few obstacles between me and exercise as possible, so that I'll actually end up....doing it. So far, this philosophy has been serving me well.
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Re: To become a leaner, sleeker, faster.......guy in a hat...

Postby Jorpho » Wed Apr 09, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

I should add that thinking to myself, "I paid x.xx dollars for this thrice-weekly class, and I'll be losing x.xx dollars for every class I don't go to, so I'd better show up at the appointed time!" is also excellent incentive.


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