Dani's Rebel Log 🏴‍☠️

Last week was kinda crazy, physically. I only did two real lifting sessions, but spent so much time on my feet assembling crap and putting stuff together and hauling stuff around that I was famished. Absolutely starving all the time. My body was burning everything I gave it, and asking for more.

Never underestimate the power of non-exercise physical activity. Especially if you have a decent amount of muscle. Why? Because muscle is expensive calorie-wise. And you put all that muscle to use even when you’re not thinking about it.

Lifters always talk about how good walking is for leanness, but what about odd jobs around the house? How about cleaning? Or yard work? Bathing dogs? Shooting rifles? Shopping and trying on clothes? Dancing in the kitchen when your husband bakes cookies?

It all adds up. It all counts. Walking is fantastic, but there’s more than one way to move your body.

Always love when I can use a power tool.

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Yep, a day at home pottering in the shed/garden easily hits over 10k steps here without even thinking about it. Power tools ftw!

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Exactly! Plus you end up accomplishing something that needed to get done!

:heart: And - SAME!!

Well, I’m sure it looks great. Also, I feel the “microscopic boobies”, but on the bright side, they’ll never sag! lol.

I am being VERY cautious - no squatting/deadlifting for at least 3-6 months for sure. I’m only doing what feels good and at a reduced volume. I do not want to ever feel the kind of pain I felt a few weeks ago. It was soul crushing.

I’m only lifting 3-4 times/week - so nothing crazy here either. Keep me posted on your progression strategy for if/when I ever get to that point.

Maybe I should start one with the same title expect Amy in place of Dani. Your hips and knees are my hips and back. It’s ridiculous!!

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True! :rofl:

Good! And don’t feel any pressure to start leg pressing again. Certain leg press machines can be harder on the low back than others.

I’m so sorry to hear you went through that pain. When the low back is messed up it’s hard to walk, stand, lay down, or even sit for too long… let alone lift weights!

Oh nooo! Aren’t we a pair!? :sob::joy:

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ATTENTION: Leg press machines are not all the same.

Yesterday I had an alteration appointment and needed to get a lot of work done, so I skipped a normal training session, and instead just did a mini-leg press workout at T Nation HQ.

So anyway, the leg press machine at HQ is amazing you guys. It hits your glutes and quads in all the right places. And you can load it up with waaaay more than you think.

I ended up doing 100 unbroken reps with two, 45-pound plates. It hurt but was totally doable. Next time I use that machine I’ll do 100 reps with 100 pounds.

Video is sped up, but total time took around 4 minutes.

Then after that, I did 4 sets of 6-8 reps using 225.

I think my target muscles (quads and butt) feel this more when I go lighter.

This is the best leg press machine EVER. Here’s the brand in case you want to buy this for your own home gym.

Here’s the link to Christian Thibaudeau’s 100-Rep Leg Press Method if you missed it:
https://forums.t-nation.com/t/the-100-rep-method-for-big-legs/

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Upper Body Day!

A1. Dips: 4 sets: 15, 5, 5, 5

I wanted to test myself and see how many total dips I could do on that first set. I got to twelve, paused at the top, and then did the last three reps. So unfortunately I can’t brag about being able to get 15 unbroken reps. Maybe someday though!

A2. Banded one arm pulldowns: Random amount of reps (held at peak contraction) to activate the triceps and lats between sets of dips.

B1. Hammer Strength Chest Press: 3 sets of 8 using 140 pounds

My chest was a little fatigued after the dips. I probably should have gone lighter and aimed for more time under tension with some set-extending techniques. But my ego got the best of me and instead I went heavy-ish for fewer reps.

B2. Banded shoulder external rotations: I love these between sets of chest presses. It hits the rear delts and I think it trains you to have better posture.

C. Lateral raise machine: 3 sets of full ROM reps, followed by partials and a drop in weight.

D. Seated Abduction Machine: 5 sets of a million reps with partials and drop sets.

Why do a glute exercise on upper body day? Because this particular machine doesn’t just make the butt perky, it also makes my knees feel better. Activating the glute medius has that affect, and my knees were kinda hurting from using 225 pounds on the leg press yesterday. I probably wasn’t ready to use that much weight.

E. Rear Delt Cable Flyes: 4 sets of tons of reps until my shoulders felt like they were on fire. I didn’t go to failure, just spent time in those burning reps.

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Saw this on Twatter. Apparently, since I drink protein and preworkout shakes and get my hair cut regularly, I’m affirming my male gender.

What are your thoughts?

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Off Day Mini-Workout

100 Leg Presses with 10-pound plate

The leg press machine at 24-Hour Fitness is way different than the one at T Nation HQ. Your body is in a different position and you can’t load it up with as much weight – it feels heavier right off the bat.

But since I’ve been doing 100 unbroken reps fairly easily at 24, I decided to add 10 pounds.

It was so much harder than expected. I got to 60 and then had to pause about every 3 reps all the way up to 100. I didn’t take any full breaks, just tiny pauses at the top.

The next goal is to be able to do that with just one or two pauses. Then the goal after that is to do it unbroken.

Why do this at all? Because I like what it does to my quads and the shape of my legs in general. My lower body looks a lot different than it did before I started this. And I can’t prove this, but I believe this challenge has strengthened my joints/tendons. My knees and hips feel fantastic after doing 100 reps – so even if nothing else good came from it – it’d still be a spectacular lower body warm-up that only takes about 4 minutes.

Banded Ab Crunches: 3 sets of 10-15 reps per side

Next time I hit abs, I’m going to try one of these: 11 Ab Exercises You’ll Love to Hate

I’ll probably start with the first one, see if it’s easy enough to add load and go from there.

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Pre workout and protein shakes are for men only, got it. Same goes for haircuts.

Any woman who does these things is clearly trans, because I’m now determining your gender for you.


In all seriousness though, guys doing things that guys do - IS gender affirming, we just never needed a term to define it other than “grooming and personal care”. The term “gender affirming care” is demonstrably inaccurate.

  • Giving prepubertal boys the same drugs we use to chemically castrate sex offenders, is, well, NOT gender affirming.
  • Performing double-mastectomies on girls for cosmetic purposes is also, NOT gender affiriming.

We can’t ignore the hyperbolic trend of this. You also don’t want to see the proportion of girls to boys seeking this ‘treatment’.

A few months ago, a woman was sent to jail after her 10 year old son was seen with a tattoo by the school nurse. She could have had doctors literally castrate him, and there would be no crime.

Sorry, as a father of a beautiful little girl in California, this topic is one i hold close to my heart.

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Don’t apologize! I was wanting someone to help me pinpoint why that post made me so angry and you did the job beautifully. Also, your sweet little girl is very lucky to have amazing parents.

Bingo. “Gender affirming care” is based on science-denial and gender stereotypes.

Also, isn’t it weird that the same people who believe in these body-altering treatments also probably believe in the idea of body acceptance?

How ironic. Accepting your body is only okay if you’re obese. But if you feel a little different, well, then don’t accept your body; instead, accept a lifetime of reliance on the surgeons who will gleefully chop off body parts, and feed you a lifetime of medications to keep your hormones from doing what’s healthy and natural.

Body acceptance: Good and necessary if you’re obese! Bad and terrible if you’re a girl or boy who doesn’t follow stereotypes and doesn’t feel comfortable at times. (And who did when they were a preteen?!)

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I kind of get what she is saying but like so many tweets, boiling it down to some ill thought phrases dilutes her point.

Arguably, everything she talked about outside the hair transplant is done for healthy reasons or at least a desire to be healthier. But, all these things fall under “personal care” and should be done whether one is male or female (biologically).
Equating taking preworkout to giving minors drugs that hinder puberty (as lifting enthusiasts we all know the risks/downsides of hormone manipulation whether or not we have taken PEDs) is a false dichotomy at best. At worst, this is an attempt to push what she feels should be the ongoing norm without the necessary longevity research on the outcomes of using these very powerful hormone altering drugs.

My wife and I have agreed that if our one of our daughters comes to us and says she feels like she should be a boy we will be getting her the best therapist we can afford, but will not let her take hormone/puberty blockers or have surgery that affects her chances at reproduction later.

In the next 5-10 years I believe we are going to see a very significant percentage of those who have chemically/physically transitioned regretting it.

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I think we should give all Anorexic patients a Gastric Bypass.

A quote that isn’t my own said something along the lines of “people will go to extreme measures to make/find hurdles to climb over”.
^I butched that quote horribly btw

I can attest to this being true for the sheer sake that I LOVE being told “no” or that I can’t. Nothing motivates me more than to prove them wrong. I think this is the exact same phenomena that we are seeing here… it isn’t broke people who are finding themselves in need of genital mutilation - it’s those with money (and usually lots of it). They need a hurdle, they need someone to tell them “no”. The problem is it’s usually the parents who are purveying that shit onto their children.

We’ve already seen a number of individuals in this scenario. These people need help - not encouragement.

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:dart:

You and your wife sound like awesome parents. That’s the best approach.

It’s going to be a very sad situation. There are already lots of young women who’ve permanently damaged their voices, gotten unnecessary mastectomies, and are balding the way man often do in their late 40s. There’s no way to undo that. And getting breast implants to make up for the natural tissue that’s taken out comes with its own potential side of drawbacks.

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My aunt had a double mastectomy with reconstruction after breast cancer and she has had issues with the implants that required follow up surgery 3 separate times…

It’s definitely not a great solution.

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Right?! Affirm every delusional thought and the world would be chaos.

Fascinating! That’s a totally new perspective and quote to me. I’ll have to let it marinate; it sounds very relevant here.

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I’m so sorry to hear that. Some women seem to do fine with them. Others, like me and your aunt, aren’t so fortunate.

What’s wild is that surgeons who are doing mastectomies on young women are flippantly telling them it’s no big deal because they can just go get implants later. It’s a load of BS.

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Lower Body Day

100 Rep Leg Press Challenge

The machine at 24 really makes me appreciate better leg press machines, like the one at HQ.

Yesterday I loaded it up with a 10 pound plate, and had to take a billion pauses to get through 100 reps. So this morning, I backed it down to just 5 pounds and it was much easier. I still had to pause three times and do a minor foot adjustment.

Turns out, when you’re dealing with 100 reps, even the tiniest increase or decrease in weight will make a difference.

Leg Press: 4 x 15, 10, 10, 10
5 second eccentric, normal concentric
Weight: 90, 140, 140, 140

So here’s an example of not progressively overloading a compound lift. My knees were giving me warning signs, so instead of challenging myself with more weight, I did higher reps and used a slow eccentric.

Do strength-focused people think this is worthless because I didn’t go heavier today than I did last time? I still felt the target muscles working and it was still physically challenging. A whole lot of muscular tension was present for a decent amount of time.

You can’t convince me that adding weight is the only way to make a lift effective.

Smith Machine RDL: 4 x 10

Got this idea from a Paul Carter tip. Man, he had some great ideas! I wasn’t that focused on weight or reps here. In fact, some of the sets were more like 15 and some were probably more like 8 reps.

But my main goal was to put tension in the upper hams and glutes, and train myself to properly do this exercise for that purpose.

Ham Curl on Ball: 4 x 12, 10, 10, 10
Nothing new here. My hams were already kinda smoked from the previous exercises.

Butt Lifter Machine: 3 x 15 with a drop set and partials
Pull-Ups: 3 x 7, 5, 4

I feel dumb resting a long time between sets of isolation lifts sometimes. So doing a non-competing exercise just makes sense. And why not do pull-ups if there’s a bar nearby that nobody is using?

Legs and glutes were toast, but the hubby-bear wasn’t finished with his workout, so I did some bicep curls and tricep pulldowns.

So that’s my weird looking stomach and abdominal hernia. You can actually press it in and see the round thing disappear. It doesn’t hurt or cause discomfort, so I’m not worried about it. It’s been there for decades.

I’m not proud of my tummy area. It’s not rock solid or bursting with turtle-shell muscles. It also doesn’t really taper in very much because I don’t have wide hips from which to taper.

Anyone know what the consensus is on women with jacked stomachs? I want one and think they look cool, but recently some sort of health guru caused a kerfuffle on social media by saying that women with six packs actually aren’t healthy.

Ugh, who knows? Just do what you want in the gym.

Here’s the last thing. I’m so glad Chris got a picture of this because you guys have to try it. This is a stretch I got from T Nation coach, Tom Morrison:

Press your hand into a wall and externally rotate it. Straighten your elbow. Then try to press your palm into the wall.

You’ll get an enormous stretch up through the bicep and some sort of tendon in that area. It’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before.

Tom says it can help you avoid pec tears, bicep injuries, wrist pain, and more. He explains how to do it (and why) here: The Daily Stretch Every Lifter Needs

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Upper Body Day (Mostly Shoulders)

• Dips: 4 x 7 super controlled reps
• Banded straight-arm pulldowns: Just enough to activate the triceps

My chest was tired right off the bat. Pressing movements weren’t feeling great. I tried to do pec deck and machine chest press and my strength was in the tank. I didn’t go beyond a warm-up set for either.

But my delts were ready for work!

Chest-Supported Bent Over Lateral Raise: 4 sets of this monster…
10-12 chest-supported reps
Stand up for regular lateral raises
10-12 reps
Drop set to lighter dumbbells, do chest-supported lateral raises
More reps
Stand up straight
More reps
Go 3 more times

I mainly wanted to learn how to do this exercise and get a solid mind-muscle connection. It was so effective that I only used 12.5-pound dumbbells and then drop-setted to just 5-pound dumbbells.

Watch Gareth Sapstead teach the chest-supported lateral raise. If you’re wanting to build shoulders, and rear delts in particular, it’s AMAZING.

What I noticed is you have to play around with your chest’s position on the top of the bench otherwise it kinda hurts. So tinker until it feels fine.

(Right after this I walked through a guy’s fart cloud. I don’t know what he ate but I feel bad for him.)

Rear Delt Pec Deck Flye: 4 sets of however many reps it took to feel the delts working

I’m going to be honest. The pec deck flye has always been weird for me. I usually feel it in the low traps and somewhere in the scap area. But it’s one exercise I’ve always wanted to use for delt growth because everyone who does it seems to have spectacular shoulders.

Machine Lateral Raises: 2 extended sets with partials and a drop in weight
Band Pull-Aparts: 3 sets to failure-ish

Shoulders were done-zo. But I really wanted to load up some external rotation with the band pull-aparts. Why? Because I hate my posture. When my shoulders hunch forward I look like a dude. Women who hunch forward usually don’t look bad. Women with developed traps who hunch forward look extremely masculine.

Where’s your OHP? How can you even train shoulders without pressing a barbell overhead?

Well, I can and I did. Overhead pressing is fine. When I do it, I use moderate to light dumbbells and do Arnold presses before hitting a mechanical drop set of regular DB overhead presses.

But when I’ve been consistent with barbell overhead pressing – and aimed for more weight – all it did was make my shoulder joints ache. And for all that, I didn’t even notice any delt growth from it.

The things that’ve built my delts the most were high pulls (and other Olympic lift variations), and heavy trap bar loaded carries. But heavy loaded carries irritate my elbows. And I don’t want to do O-lift variations without someone coaching me in person.

Also, my traps would like to meet you.

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Leg(ish) Day!

A. 100 Rep Leg Press Challenge

Once I hit the one-month goal of doing this, I kind of got inconsistent. Maybe this won’t be an every-workout-thing, but it’s fun to do before leg days! Today, I was planning to tweak it and do a strip set. Start with 15 pounds, do a bunch of reps, remove 5 pounds, do a bunch of reps, remove 5 pounds, etc. all the way up to 100.

But I got to 75 unbroken reps with 15 pounds, which shocked me, and then I decided to just go all the way to 100… even if it meant taking some pauses.

Question: Why was I able to use 15-pounds for this today when last week I struggled to use 10 and even 5 pounds?

Answer: Surge Workout Fuel. That’s the only difference I can think of. I had it today and hadn’t been drinking it during previous workouts.

For anyone new here, yes, clearly 15 pounds on a leg press is absurdly light. But try using it for 100 reps in a row with as few pauses as possible.

It’s “fun”. :smiling_imp:

B. Leg Press: 5 x 10, 8, 5, 5, 5
First set: 90 pounds
Second set: 140
Third set: 160
Fourth set: 190
Fifth set: 190

C. Smith Machine RDL: 4 x 20, 12, 10, 8
First set: No weight
Second set: 50 pounds
Third set: 50 pounds
Fourth set: 50 pounds

Reps went down every set because my forearms were fatiguing. Not even sure why I’m listing the loads here. This exercise is all about feeling the glutes and hammies working. If you can get a better mind-muscle connection without the weight, then it’s as much of a win as getting it with a million pounds. I don’t care about PR-ing in this… kinda like I don’t care about PR-ing in anything. I just want to be sufficiently challenged.

D1. Butt Lifter Machine: 4 x 15 full ROM, then 10 partials
D2. Neutral Grip Pull-Up: 4 x 5 bodyweight

Doing pull-ups on lower body day is the life-hack I didn’t know I needed!

The Smith machine RDL doesn’t just hit glutes and hams, it also places tension on the lats and triceps. This makes a huge difference if pull-ups cause your elbows to ache. The RDL basically warms up the long head of the triceps, and I believe (can’t prove) that hitting that upper part of the triceps prevents my elbows from aching.

Now, obviously, 5 pull-ups per set is kinda low. If I’d done more reps, it might’ve caused some elbow pain. So I just aimed for a total of 20 reps this time… and that’s actually all I could do.

E. Ham Curl on Ball: 3 x 12

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