Barley1 - Fiready Log

Still not dead. I continued the fat loss plan, using frequent lifting, low volume workouts and more HIIT, hitting a several year low of 169.6 lbs. I looked like this:

I still want to look a bit leaner and more muscular, but should be satisfied with my progress. I’m not. I need to keep chasing goals, whether I meet them or not, else I lose focus. It’s the process that matters.

Roughly speaking, my goals to keep me focused for the next 18 months: visible abs, bench press 300 (or 225 for 10), deadlift 400.

Since wrapping up the T-ransformation Challenge, I took five full days off, but started getting after it again today. I’ll head off for an annual fishing trip in two weeks. For these two weeks, I wont follow any particular program.

Afterwards, or soon after, depending on how summer shakes out, I’m going to take a run at Thib’s Advanced Eternal Warrior Program. FWIW, it looks like the best kind of terrible.

Today’s workout:

Incline Bench Press (Rest Pause) 170lbs x 6, 3, 1
NG Chins (Rest Pause) BW+20lbs x 6, 4, 2
Incline bench press 145lbs x 6, 6, 6 Supersetted with
NG Chins BW x 6, 6, 5

Dips BW x 8, 10, 8
Rows 90lbs x 8, 10, 10
DB Tri Extension 40lbs x 8, 8, 6
BB Curls 55lbs x 6, 7, 5

Paul Carter’s quote on sticking with it, no matter the end result, popped up in today’s featured article. Seems appropriate to end with it here.

“somehow you have to learn to fall in love with the process and stop worrying about the destination.”


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Today’s workout:

Front squats (Rest Pause) 160lbs x 6, 2, 2
Front squats 3x5 @ 145lbs
SLDL (Rest Pause) 185lbs x 8, 4, 3
SLDL 2x5 @ 135lbs (no belt)

Circuit x 3
-Lunges x 10/side
-KB Swings x 15
-Goblet squats 8, 4, 8 (Holy hell were these hard) plus four air squats up to make up for sliding out of the hole and dropping the dumbbell in the second circuit.

Somewhere along the way, I got significantly weaker on front squats. It’s weird. I think that, leaner, it’s a bit harder to find a stable position in the bottom position, almost like my stomach provided some sort of anchor to push off of.

I look forward to gaining the strength back.

Been eating closer to maintenance. Life is looking up.

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Today’s workout:

Incline Bench Press (Rest Pause) 170lbs x 7, 2, 3
NG Chins (Rest Pause) BW+20lbs x 8, 3, 4
Incline bench press 150lbs x 6, 6, 6 Supersetted with
NG Chins BW x 6, 6, 6

Dips BW x 10, 10, 10
Rows 90lbs x 10, 10, 10
DB Tri Extension 40lbs x 8, 8, 7
BB Curls 55lbs x
8, 7, 6

Today, I just kept moving weight, making slight strength improvements. Probably keep at it for another week before a fishing trip.

Afterwards, I’m going to take another run at fat loss. I’m the leanest I’ve been, maybe ever? But I want more, probably five pounds more.

The plan is more circuit-style training or Metcon for Muscle and a very modest deficit. I purchased Thib’s Advanced Eternal Warrior, but won’t have 12 uninterrupted weeks starting until mid August.

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Yesterday’s workout

Front squats 160lbs x 5
Front squats 3x5 @ 145lbs

SLDL 190lbs x 7 (grip failure)
SLDL no belt 2x5 @ 135lbs

Three circuits of:
Lunges x 12, KB swings x 15, and Goblet squats x 10

Planks 3x35 seconds, 20 seconds rest

Eating around maintenance and still losing weight… yesterday, I was 168lbs, my lowest in at least four years. More importantly, I look leaner.

Since dropping 20lbs, I feel unstable in the bottom position of front squats and have been fighting gradual strength loss in the movement. It’s especially odd because I’m making slow progress everywhere else.

I ordered a sled and weighted vest for Metcon for Muscle and general rucking.

My long term plan is to run Metcon for Muscle during the summer, take some vacay in August, then run Advanced Eternal Warrior at the beginning of next school year.

Afterwards, I’ll run the twenty weeks of Beyond 5/3/1.


Great to read, congrats.

Thank you.

And congratulations to you on being named “Most Supportive Member of the Community” during the T-ransformation Challenge. Well deserved.

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Thank you

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Today’s workout

Incline Bench Press (Rest pause) 170lbs x 7, 3, 3
NG Chins Ups BW+25lbs x 7, 4, 3

Incline bench press 150lbs @ 7, 6, 6 supersetted with
NG Chins BW @ 7, 7, 6

Three circuits (no rest b/w) of
Dips x 12, 12, 10
DB Rows 92.5 lbs x 10, 10, 10
DB tricep extension 40lbs x 8, 8, 8
BB Curl 50lbs x 8, 8, 6

One arm dumbbell rows as part of a circuit, for whatever reason, are incredibly taxing. They leave me almost as out of breath, heart pounding almost as hard, as squats.

I really like this style of training–knock out a big lift or two, superset a pair of exercises, and do the assistance work as a circuit. It’s quick, efficient, and there’s no time to overthink things.

My fishing trip begins in four days. I hope to squeeze in a lower body and upper body workout before then.


Today’s workout (last lower body before a ten-day break)

Front squats 160lbs x 3, 3, 3, 3, 2

SLDL 190lbs x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3

Three circuits of:
Lunges x 15, KB swings x 18, and Goblet squats x 11

Planks 3x35 seconds, 20 seconds rest

Tried doing triples as I still felt weak and unstable on front squats. I actually felt strongest on the third and fourth work set. More warmup is in order for the future, I suppose.

The circuits have been a great addition to my workouts; they are also a grind and test me mentally.

Overall, I’ve felt kinda worn down since the last couple weeks of the T-ransformation Challenge. I don’t really get more focused through the workout and have kinda been sleepwalking through the main lifts. One more day, then time for some rest.

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Back from vacay for over a week. Here’s a peek:

Lifted the day before I left, June 9th.

Incline Bench Press (Rest pause) 170lbs x 8, 2, 3
NG Chins Ups BW+25lbs x 8.5, 4, 3

Incline bench press 150lbs @ 7, 7, 7 supersetted with
NG Chins BW @ 8, 8, 8

Three circuits (no rest b/w) of
Dips x 12, 12, 12
DB Rows 92.5 lbs x 11, 11, 11
DB tricep extension 40lbs x 9, 9, 9
BB Curl 50lbs x 8, 9, 9

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Returned from vacay on June 19.
Began Metcon for Muscle.

Week One is in the books. I really like this plan. It’s a good mix of strength and conditioning work. I’ll probably need to tinker with the weights a bit.

Leg day was hard, especially the loaded stretches.

Grip is an issue on carries.

Got through 14 rounds of physical labor.

I’m floating around 172lbs since I got back. I’m eating around 2200 calories per day…a little more on workout days and a little less on rest days.

I’ll monitor weekly changes to my weight, my appearance in the mirror, and adjust accordingly. I think a lean 165lbs is a realistic target for the end of six weeks. My schedule also allows me to rerun a week before the next vacation.

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Yesterday, I completed the second week of Metccon for Muscle. Again, I’m surprised to find I really enjoy this style of training. I tend to do best when I don’t have to think, just bite down on the gum shield and go. In that regard, this program absolutely delivers.

Even at 44, it’s surprising how quickly I adapt to training demands. I had to bump the weights up on a few complexes that left me doubled over, gasping for breath last week.

Last week, for example, I had to rest after thirty seconds during the loaded carries…this week, I made it to the minute mark easily. Not sure what to do, I went a while longer, until my lungs and traps were screaming at me to stop.

On the physical labor day, I recorded 13 rounds in my notebook, but I’m pretty sure I forgot to log one. In addition, I was able to add weight to every exercise over the last week.

On Monday, I weighed 168, matching my lowest in years (from a few weeks ago). Plus, I think I’m still slowly getting leaner.

Four weeks to go!

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Yesterday, I completed the third week of Metcon for Muscle.

I’m getting better at the carries, which, unsurprisingly, make my actual lifts more of a struggle.

There are some minor changes for the second three weeks; I’ll have to adjust some of these to fit my situation.

I completed 15 rounds of the physical labor with one minute to spare. The bottle neck, for me, is the clean during the clean and press…after seven or eight sets, getting the weight into position to press starts to take a toll and I need to take a few breaths between reps.

Weight is up to 171. Eating has been on point (I think), averaging @2100ish cals. I don’t buy that I need to cut calories or add more cardio (yet). It just seems like everytime I begin a strenuous plan, I hold 1-3lbs of water weight for a few weeks before dropping it, and more, all of a sudden. Then again, I may eat my words.

I’ll reassess in a week or so–I can always switch to the Velocity Diet for the final two weeks.

Finished the fifth week of Metcon for Muscle today. The program is still dope and, gasp, maybe my favorite of all. I’ve discovered I enjoy conditioning work and, surprisingly, quickly make those sweet, sweet conditioning gains. While the workouts are far from easy, they’re getting easier.

I made it through 15 rounds of physical labor today, only pausing to take a few breaths at the beginning of each circuit.

Weight has held steady at 170ish, give or take a pound or two. I entertained the idea of cutting cals, but realized that this never works for me. I cut down to as low as 1400/day last spring and stalled for months at a time while feeling horrible.

“Aha” I thought, “I’ll try offsetting the calories I eat with physical activity.”

Last week, I increased my steps by 4,000/day. If this gets me nowhere, I’ll add a couple thousand more and/or break out the weight vest for rucking before eating less. I’ve noticed the added activity comes with a heaping side of hunger…a good sign, I hope.

I have two full weeks before vacay, so I’ll likely run the last week twice.

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I finished Metcon for Muscle earlier today, completing a personal best 16th round of physical labor as the clock ran out. I can’t emphasize enough how much more I enjoyed this style of training than the endless variations of cookie-cutter 3-5 sets of 8-10 rep programs that I’ve seen everywhere that’s not T-Nation.

I’m leaner, gained some mass in my legs, gained strength between workouts and feel that my conditioning has improved leaps and bounds over the last six weeks. My weight, however, has mostly hovered around 170. Two weeks ago, I added a few thousands steps per day and three one mile rucks per week. Ever since, my average weight has trended a pound lower. I’ll stick with getting in the steps and rucking for another week before heading off to Michigan for vacation.

Originally, I thought it made sense to rerun the last week of Metcon, then start FireReady. I looked over FireReady and it uses a lot of exercises I’m not familiar with–I’m certain, for example, I’ve never done a Zercher squat. As a result, I’m leaning towards running the first week of FireReady, dialing in the weights and getting a feel for the exercises. When I get back from vacation, I’ll rerun the first week all the wiser.

The plan is to keep average calorie intake the same during FireReady, maybe going over maintenance on the two heavy lifting days, and eating at a moderate deficit the remaining five.

I’ll definitely keep MetconforMuscle in my rotation of programs while looking forward to the next challenge.

Fiready is another cool program I’m grateful to have the opportunity to try. I did a trial run this week to learn the movements and figure out appropriate weights.

The heavy hypertrophy day was fairly standard, four exercises for three sets of 12. I don’t think I’ve done that many reps in years. I used the Fat Gripz sent out during the Surge challenge so the bar would sit more comfortably in my arms for Zercher squats. When I was done, I had the FatGripz logo imprinted on my forearms. It stayed there for a while.

The sled/carry day was hard. I had to add weight to the sled, but struggled to complete the carries.

Friday was power…lots of plyometrics, speed squats, speed bench, etc. I felt like an athlete and seemed to get more athletic set to set. Oddly, this kind of training had me gasping for air.

Today was physical labor, six circuits of six exercises. It sucked and looks to suck more in the future.

Im still eating around maintenance, moving a lot, and think I’m gradually getting leaner.

The plan is to take a week off, spend a week with family, eat, drink, and be merry, then run the Fiready plan for a full 12 weeks.

Fiready Week 1, Day 1

Zercher squats 3x12 @ 125lbs
Bench press 3x12 @ 145lbs
Neutral china 3x12 @ BW
Block pulls 3x12 @ 235lbs

I really tried to focus in on a slower, three-second-ish negative and fast concentric. It’s shocking how much harder that is than cranking out reps with momentum.

Lately, I’ve been of the opinion that sets of more than five reps are cardio. Whoo-howdy, I’d forgotten how much higher rep sets suck. I had to rest-pause my way through a few of the sets, even after the first set felt relatively easy.

For the record, Zercher squats feel like front squats, but place a lot of strain on the arms and upper back–a very demanding exercise.

I figured block pulls would be like easier deadlifts with tons more weight. It didn’t work out that way…the slow negatives made the last 3-4 reps in each set have me question whether I wanted to go on. I had to remind myself I want that firefighter fitness, so I gritted my teeth and pushed through, ending each set leaning against the wall sucking wind for a minute or so.

My weight has more or less held steady over the last seven weeks, averaging 2200 calories. This seems low, but it’s what the math says.

I’m going to eat above maintenance on the two lifting days of this plan and slightly below the rest of the week. I’ll reassess in two weeks.

Starting weight 171lbs
Cals: 2500

Fiready Week 1, Day 4

Six circuits of:
Bear crawl @ 35ft
Sled sprint 60lbs @ 35ft
Hand over hand sled rope pull @ 35ft
Bear crawl @ 35ft
Backwards db farmer’s carry 50lbs @65 feet (I don’t have a sandbag)
Medicine Ball slam x 10 (sub for sledgehammer)


I was, however, impressed that I didn’t really need to stop to take any breaks. I took three pulls of Surge, one between each of the last three circuits. I completely sweated through my shirt, felt my lungs were going to collapse, and my breathing sounded like a train engine…but I didn’t stop.

Earlier in the week, I did both the Power workout and aerobic workout with lots of sled dragging. The power work is cool, jumps and plyometrics. I felt 20 years younger, and, again, almost immediately felt more nimble and athletic.

I’m digging this plan so far.

Keeping my steps at 10,000.

Today’s cals ~ 2200
Forgot to step on the scale

Fiready Week 2, Day 1

Zercher squats 4x10 @ 135lbs
Bench press 4x10 @ 150lbs
Neutral china 4x10 @ BW
Block pulls 4x10 @ 250lbs

Holy smokes, did this add up to a killer workout. I was fried by the end. Something about block pulls makes them my new least favorite exercise–I think it’s the combo of the strain of moving the weight, plus the fast accumulating oxygen debt–that leaves me doubled over and sucking wind for a couple minutes after each set.

Weights still aren’t perfect, had to do a bit of rest/pause to complete the all reps, but I feel like I put in an honest effort.

Calories: 2600
Weight: 171lbs

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Fiready Week 2, Day 2

Three circuits of
Sled drag forward 80lbs x 3 min
Farmer’s carry 40 lb dbs x 3 min
Sled drag backward 80 lbs x 3 min

Three minutes rest at the end of each circuit.

I do the sled dragging in my yard. Fatigue builds quickly. I’ve noticed, for the first time ever, that my yard slopes gently to the west. I’ve noticed because of the brief, minor reprieve that comes dragging the sled on the slight decline and the burning lungs and fiery quads that coincide with the minor upslope.

I was absolutely a slobbering, panting, sweaty, disgusting mess by the end of all this.

I had to drop the weights a bit this workout–I barely completed the full two minutes last week. Adding a fourth circuit next week will really test the cardio.

Challenge accepted.

Weight: 171
Calories: 2200ish

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