Reflections on the Grind

thoughts on training and life of an introvert

Posts Tagged ‘fitness

Semen to ash

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Don’t let yourself forget how many doctors have died, after furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds.

How many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about others’ ends.

How many philosophers, after endless disquisitions on death and immortality.

How many warriors, after inflicting thousands of casualties themselves.

How many tyrants, after abusing the power of life and death atrociously, as if they were themselves immortal.

In short, know this: Human lives are brief and trivial. Yesterday a blob of semen; tomorrow embalming fluid, ash.

To pass through this brief life as nature demands. To give it up without complaint.

Like an olive that ripens and falls.

Praising its mother, thanking the tree it grew on.

— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Start training with resistance bands today. It’s a new kind of challenge.

Weight is down to 72 kg. Still the belly doesn’t seem to get any smaller.


Written by Rop

December 29, 2016 at 9:10 pm

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Weight loss attempt

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Losing weight is difficult as you get older. I don’t know why. Anyway, I have decided to be serious about losing my belly fat. Decided to go low carb again. Let’s see how it will go.

Written by Rop

December 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm

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OHP milestone

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A major PB today in the OHP. 2RM at 60 kg. Didn’t plan for it but been wanting to hit this milestone for a very long time. Previous best was 57.5 kg for one rep, way back in March this year. 

Not the cleanest reps but that’s what PB attempts usually look like.

Written by Rop

December 11, 2016 at 7:27 pm

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Focus and progress

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Day off. Time to get it done.

YouTube is great at learning about any subject. But you can go down the rabbit holes quickly and get very distracted about too many things. You can be interested in many things, but you should focus on just a few things if you want to get better.

Feeling pretty good these days. The longer you can stay injury free, the more progress you can make.


Workout – Saturday 10th December 2016

** Barbell Row **
– 45.0 kgs x 12 reps
– 45.0 kgs x 12 reps
– 65.0 kgs x 12 reps

** Rack Pull **
– 65.0 kgs x 15 reps [PR]
– 75.0 kgs x 10 reps
– 95.0 kgs x 10 reps
– 105.0 kgs x 9 reps [PR] [Belt]
– 125.0 kgs x 4 reps [PR] [Belt]
– 115.0 kgs x 5 reps [PR] [Belt]
– 115.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Chin Up **
– 10 reps

Written by Rop

December 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

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When you lift weight you are fighting against a gravitational force. Gravity pulls the weight down but you want to push or pull it up. Rep after rep, set after set.

In the end, fatigue sets in and the earth wins. The earth always wins. So you are fighting not to beat gravity but to keep yourself going. Why? So you can grow stronger. Without resistance you can’t improve. Without obstacles you can’t get better. Gravity is your friend.

Written by Rop

June 27, 2016 at 7:23 pm

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When I’m 84

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Squat to finish off Friday. 86% of 1rm for 6 reps for a hard-earned PB. Not a rep was easy. Each one felt heavy. Being able to stand up each time against heavy weight is the best feeling in the world.

Yesterday I watched a video of a 84-year-old man who weighs 67 kg deadlift 195 kg. That’s 50 kg better than me, 39 years old and 72 kg. It’s super inspiring. I want to be that strong when I’m that age, if I get to that age.

No excuses. Need to keep grinding. Lift, eat, rest, and progress.

Written by Rop

April 8, 2016 at 8:14 pm

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Lifts series: Squat

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I will start writing about my main lifts for a little bit in a short series. They won’t be consecutively posted but I will try to wrap them up before too long.

There are probably thousands of articles and hundreds of videos teaching you how to do these exercises. But these are about my personal feelings about them. Nothing too technical here. I’m by no means an expert. I’ve been lifting for less than two years. My lifts are pretty average. Still, I know more than when I started out. If there are somebody out there at my two-years-ago level (skinny late-30s who has never picked up a weight before), the posts can be a tiny bit useful. Anyway, let’s begin.

All these lifts can be done with just a barbell, a flat bench, and a power rack. No fancy machines are needed. They are minimal, like me.

Lift 1: Squat

The best leg workout there is. The basic setup is to rest the barbell somewhere on your body, stand up straight, squat down until you hit parallel (hip crease below knees), then stand up. Pretty straightforward. It’s a natural human movement. Kids squat all the time to pick things up or to rest their legs. The squat should feel natural when you perform the movement.

There are different variations to the squat. Three main bar positions are high bar (on traps) back squat, low bar (below rear delts) back squat, and front squat. Feet width can be close stance, middle stance, wide stance. By varying along these two parameters you have already nine squat variants that work muscles to a different degree. Then you can customize the squat in even more different ways such as pausing at the bottom or even starting there.

I’m not comfortable doing low bar squat as it hurts my shoulders. With front squat, I have trouble securing the bar in place when going heavy. Everybody is built differently. My natural squat stance is high bar squat.

The high bar back squat “body checklist” that works for me is
1. Back flat. Don’t round it or you will get hurt.
2. Head neutral with back. Don’t look too high or low.
3. Toes out, knees out the same direction.
4. Tighten everything. Squeeze bar, pull shoulder blades back, squeeze glutes.
5. Fill stomach with air to tighten core. Don’t exhale until rep is completed.
6. Sit down to parallel.
7. Then imagine pushing feet through the floor as you stand up, extend knees and hips at the same time.
8. Keep bar directly above feet at all time.

Squat builds the base of your body. It gives you strong quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. It’s awesome. Everyone should do it. It also builds confidence like no others. With the weight pushing you down, you force yourself back up. Just like life.

Written by Rop

February 4, 2016 at 8:32 pm

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