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Wellness Wednesday for June 5, 2024

The Wednesday Wellness threads are meant to encourage users to ask for and provide advice and motivation to improve their lives. It isn't intended as a 'containment thread' and any content which could go here could instead be posted in its own thread. You could post:

  • Requests for advice and / or encouragement. On basically any topic and for any scale of problem.

  • Updates to let us know how you are doing. This provides valuable feedback on past advice / encouragement and will hopefully make people feel a little more motivated to follow through. If you want to be reminded to post your update, see the post titled 'update reminders', below.

  • Advice. This can be in response to a request for advice or just something that you think could be generally useful for many people here.

  • Encouragement. Probably best directed at specific users, but if you feel like just encouraging people in general I don't think anyone is going to object. I don't think I really need to say this, but just to be clear; encouragement should have a generally positive tone and not shame people (if people feel that shame might be an effective tool for motivating people, please discuss this so we can form a group consensus on how to use it rather than just trying it).

Jump in the discussion.

No email address required.

A friend's having a kid, and is skeptical about vaccines. I'm believe she's doing her own research, but have no idea how reliable whatever sources she's looking at are.

Do any of you happen to know of anyone who goes through which childhood vaccines are best, weighing concerns people raise against likelihood and severity of disease? My immediate searches just bring up either government sites or similar, and extreme skeptics, which is not helpful.

What resources have y'all used to teach yourselves how to sing? Specifically contemporary style -- or whatever you call what Sinatra was doing. If anybody happens to know any good teachers around the Cambridge, UK area, that would be fantastic too.

My fear with doing much beyond simple vocal exercises is unintentionally accruing bad habits. It just seems smart to learn the basics of breathing and vocal technique myself, and then to enlist the help of a vocal coach. That will make things a lot faster and less hazardous. Also, I live in a dorm, so practicing at home isn't much of an option. I do plenty of singing in my car though. What's been helpful to you guys?

When tragedy struck my family, and really struck me for the first time in my life, I looked to tradition to guide me. The Catholic Church has historically encouraged a mourning period of about six months for the loss of a parent. So, I told myself I’d mourn and hurt for six months, then steel myself emotionally and put the past in the past.

Which brings us to today. Six months went by shockingly fast. I cried harder than I had in a while today, looking through some photos of my dad and me, shortly before his death.

I thought I would do a better job of coming to terms with things. But there are still moments where I forget he is dead. I still don’t know what he died from—he was fine one day and gone the next, and the doctors still can’t agree on what happened (they’re even still ordering tests.) His affairs aren’t wrapped up, though we’ve made considerable progress. I don’t know what my widowed mother’s future looks like. I still resent anyone older than me with both living parents. I still resent everyone who lives to enjoy their retirement.

I resent the fact that he lived more years without me than with me. I resent that my daughter won’t remember him, and my future children will never know him.

I resent doctors and medicine and Steven Pinkeresque arguments about how much life and technology are improving. I loathe health and longevity advice—how can I take that shit seriously after watching a lifetime runner die of a cardiac mystery event in his early sixties. The last time I saw my dad we ran a five mile race together.

Oh, and this guy (I discovered…) highlighted parts of his test results and took notes in the margins when he reviewed with his doctor. So I resent the implication that being an active participant in your healthcare does anything to deter or delay the ultimate end.

I’m 30. If I live as long as my dad, I’ll live another 34 years. If I live as long as my grandpa, 38 years. Great grandpa, 12 years. Anything and everything I want to do I need to do with a sense of urgency. I resent the time that others have, or feel they have, to enjoy and grow and waste before gracefully aging into the next phase of their lives.

Where does that leave me? My career feels like a game. I still take my profession seriously—I am after all a professional—but “saving for retirement” is a joke. I don’t much care about making more money because I have enough and my dad was the only person I felt it was both fun and appropriate to brag to.

My kids are real and my marriage is real, so I know what I need to do and who I need to be in the years ahead.

But shit, it’s a bitter bitter pill to swallow.

I was trying to eat my lunch downtown when I read this and you had me crying.

I was once rescued from a dream in which I was at my dad's funeral trying to say some words about him. I was roused and told I was whimpering and hyperventilating in my sleep. I'm sorry OP.

It's been several years for me and it still hurts. Ages were roughly the same. What hurts most several years on is that as I pass through the same gates in life that he did, I can't call him up and tell him "at last, I get it now" or ask him "how did you feel when you were standing at this juncture?" And I can't show him the man I've become. I'm sure he would have been terribly proud.

The best you can do is just treasure happiness while you have it and never take it for granted. Human existence is a long stream of suffering, drudgery, and petty indignity. Hug your mom and your kids when you see them. Let small stuff go. Take a moment each morning and evening to be grateful and give thanks. Happy times are so fleeting.

Impermanence is a mfer. When we are born we walk with death.

The harsh truth is that 1/3 of us don't live to see retirement/65+. Even in modern Western countries. So your father wasn't particularly singled out for anything. He might have died years earlier if he hadn't taken good care of himself. Not that that's much of a relief. Sorry for your loss.

Sorry for your loss. The day my father dies is going to devastate me.

I'm sure this has come up before, but I am once again asking for resources on pregnancy. What's the best stuff out there these days? I am of course familiar with SA's biodeterminist guide, but what about books? Any updates on the boosting IQ front? Anything people can recommend would be appreciated

I have heard good things about Emily Oster's books. She's an economist who goes through pregnancy opinions and evaluates the studies, should be rat-compatible.

Unfortunately, IQ is still not supported by any company AFAIK. You can get general health embryo selection to avoid the worst disabilities and reduce the chance of some common diseases, and this will almost surely indirectly benefit general competence as well. But tbh IVF sucks pretty hard, and the tech is still in its infancy. Genomic Prediction/Lifeview afaik has not fundamentally improved its testing since 2022 or so, in fact probably couldn't even if it wanted to at this point unless they do a major reorientation. Orchid I have less info about, but from what I can gather it's at least still improving. Very hard to tell which is better in practice at this point, though I lean towards GP since their publications were generally more technical/in depth. But sometime in the next few years Orchid will probably overtake them.

My usual recommendation is to definitely do embryo selection if you do IVF anyway, definitely do it if you know you're in some kind of high risk group, but if you're neither it depends a lot on how well your wife handles IVF. You can also sequence yourself and your wife beforehand to see what your risk profile is to begin with.

Well the pregnancy has already occurred so it's too late for any of that - at least I hope so. We'll be rolling the dice on our genetics, but we are both healthy, capable people

How have you/your partner been handling the pregnancy so far? I’m nearly through the first trimester with my first and it’s honestly been a lot more challenging than I was expecting. Due to a myriad of symptoms I’m struggling with some of the basics like hydration, good nutrition, keeping my prenatal down, and exercise, let alone optimizing for higher IQ.

My husband and I skimmed through Emily Oster’s Expecting Better but didn’t find it particularly enlightening (though better than the average What to Expect When You’re Expecting type book). If I find anything better I’ll let you know.

It's still early days for us, not even at the first scan. Mostly just been reassuring my wife that not everything has the potential to cause a miscarriage.

We also got Oster's book, and yeah, it's not too much that you won't know already, and the unorthodox advice on things like drinking alcohol and caffeine aren't any use for my wife as she barely touches either in normal times

You might have already come across this but we found this website to be reassuring regarding the risk of miscarriage:

Congratulations and I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible for your wife in her pregnancy!

I like the Mayo Clinic's book for the baseline stuff that isn't about biohacking.

I need a lawyer. It's not crime related. I've picked out a couple of candidates. I'm wondering how to prepare and execute my first contact with them. I guess I'll send an email.

Can I describe the problem concisely to them, and ask for an estimated task description, timeframe, and cost for the case, without me being charged for them simply reading and replying to the email? :P

They won't charge you just for reading and replying to the email, though they will probably tell you that they won't discuss the particulars of your case until some payment is made.

Your local bar association's lawyer-referral service probably says something like "the initial 30-minute consultation will not cost more than 30 dollars". So I would expect that to be the bare minimum for an initial consultation from a lawyer who does not explicitly advertise "free consultations" on his website. (But I have never hired a lawyer, so I may be totally wrong.)

I've never paid for consultations, but I've always been recommended by an existing client. If you have someone who can vouch for you, they'll be less likely to suspect that you're a time waster.

Might not be the best place top post this, but is anyone going to do an effort post on the Indian election ? The most electrifying 'nothing happened' that I've seen in a long time.

For those who are from the outside looking in, I strongly recommend checking out Shekhar Gupta's segments on ThePrint - '' . He sits squarely in the center (American Center, would be considered Libertarian/ lib-right in India), but is old enough to stop giving fucks. I have been reading his work since about 10 years old, and I can vouch for his credibility.

The most interesting tl,drs for me are :

  • The Congress commands incredible default votes, and had been losing millions of votes each time Rahul Gandhi spoke. This time he shut up, and the Congress recovered
  • The Indian elections are intact. We've called it the world's biggest and fairest elections. And the results have maintained the sanctity of that claim
  • Modi wins but is weaker = dependent on coalition partners
  • Modi sidelined Yogi and lost huge ground in UP - Modi/Shah narcissism hurt them. We might see some ugly internal Shah vs Yogi dogfighting in the last few years.
  • Modi destroyed the party structure in Maharashtra, and lost huge ground there - Modi/Shah narcisissm hurt them
  • Chandra babu Naidu will have insane leverage. Similar to the NDP in Canada.
  • Indian voters cannot be permanently polarized. Caste, Regionalism, Religion & Economics will continue to be active threads and Modi's attempts to use Religion as the main exclusive polarizer ran out of steam this time.

Might be worth discussing in the transnational thursday thread. I am mostly completely unaware of Indian politics. I have a vague sense that Caste and Religion are big issues, and that Modi is some kind of traditionalist. Aside from that I'm totally in the dark. What do they even argue about?

Modi is pro-Hinduism and NOT pro-Islam or Christianity. I'm given to understand that in practice he's much more Islamophobic than anti-Christian due to eminently practical conditions on the ground related reasons. He's relatively more socially conservative than his main opponents, the Indian National Congress, which were the dominant party running India as a dictatorship under socialism and are still controlled by the same family- the Gandhi family(no relation to Mahatma). The INC is, as might be implied from their history, quite a bit less committed to democracy and democratic norms despite being the relatively socially liberal opposition party. I think the BJP is generally a bit more willing to bite bullets on necessary economic reforms, but that might be specific to Modi.

People that went from not exercising regularly, to exercising regularly: what motivated you to do that? What got you started?

Personally I've enjoyed exercising since my mid-teens. I carry on doing it because I like having functional strength for the demands of daily living; and I also need agility and stamina to do well in sports I enjoy, especially tennis. When I was younger, I was also driven by the desire to look better. I did have success there, but I don't think about that aspect much anymore.

There are a couple of people in my family who, while they have normal or at least not-terrible weight, simply do not exercise. It isn't part of their life. While I know such a change largely has to come from within, I know from conversations with them that to some degree, they simply have never seen a reason to - having, perhaps, never really thought seriously about it. I'm curious about what angles I might take to try and convince them to give it a shot. I have a lot of social capital in this setting, and I do think I'd get a fair hearing.

I guess I may begin with the reason I want them to do it: as a defense against all-cause mortality, and as a method for keeping quality of life high well into middle and older age ranges. But I'm not sure how to back this point up or drive it home. Maybe if I had the right anecdote, blog, or article from a well-spoken source, it would help me.

In my 20's I had my manager/mentor drag me to the gym after a particularly stressful week of projects/clients. He introduced me to weightlifting as he had a background in amateur sport for which it was a benefit. I've been lifting on and off (just bought a rack/barbell/bench for my home gym) and I love the mental and physical benefits. Like others I started doing it for the girls. Now I do it for me.

I was also introduced to running when I was 18 for work related reasons. I've kept up with that (on and off) even when a gym hasn't been available. I go through periods of no exercise and generally get fed up with lack of energy/brain fog/being overweight and then go on a health kick to get things under control.

From my point of view, its much easier to maintain fitness as a lifestyle (or at least something familiar that you can return to) when you are exposed to it while younger. Have you tried to introduce an adult to say.. swimming or bike riding if they've never been exposed to those activities? Watch their looks of incredulity at their suggestion. You might as well suggest belly dancing on a public stage.

Although if I was going to suggest something to someone who had never exercised, Hiking would probably be the gateway drug. Almost everyone can walk a fair distance and if you get them to do it in the sunshine there is the double whammy of Vitamin D exposure and endorphins. Combine that with being their 'exercise partner' to keep them accountable and you have a better chance of getting some traction.

Have you tried to introduce an adult to say.. swimming or bike riding if they've never been exposed to those activities? Watch their looks of incredulity at their suggestion.

FWIW, I learned to ride a bike in my mid-20s. It took about a half hour of messing around in a parking garage (riding uphill as a learner is much easier because you can pedal harder without going fast) to get the basics down and then maybe like five rides outside to be reasonably competent.

Swimming, on the other hand, I've basically written off and triathlons with it. I can doggy paddle around or do a really goofy semi-freestyle well enough to keep myself alive if I needed to, but actually putting my face in the water is deeply uncomfortable and I just don't care to learn at this point. So, yeah, pretty much what you said.

I started lifting as a teen to get big for the girls. Stopped many times in between, always get back because not having discernable muscles as a male looks gross to me. I continue because I like doing the same thing for the 10000th time like an autist, if there is going to be a payoff. Unlike pure entropy curtailing with lifting you can actually get a lead on it.

I noticed that my wife looked much better than her age and wanted to match her looks. And I busted my back in a covid-induced coughing fit.

I started riding a bike because I was getting a little soft looking and wanted to move around more and explore. I got talked into entering a duathlon. I enjoyed the duathlon, but also found out that I liked running more than biking. I picked up running, got talked into a half marathon, did really poorly in my first one and was annoyed because I knew I could do better. After that, being naturally competitive, decent enough at the sport, and really enjoying it have been more than enough. Having been fully immersed in it for a long time now, there isn't any motivation necessary - I like running, I run almost every day, I run with a club and other friends, and the benefits are very easy to see. I have more trouble making the smart decision to rest than I do with just lacing up every day.

I was in a luxury college with a free gym and lifting courses. Yeah, pathetic story, but it's a counterbalance to "with sheer grit, determination, and weighted milk jugs."
Also change doesn't have to come from within if your surroundings make change the default choice. This is an underappreciated lesson that explains a lot about the last decade.

After college I got a free set from a woman whose son left, because she couldn't lift the weights to get rid of them herself. And a bench press the school was getting rid of.

People that went from not exercising regularly, to exercising regularly: what motivated you to do that? What got you started?

For me, the motivation was just to be able to function without great discomfort, since I'd been overweight/obese for about 5ish years when I started losing weight. By BMI, I was right around the overweight/obese boundary (30), which was making simple acts like sitting on a chair without discomfort from fat rolls or walking up one flight of stairs very difficult and arduous. It was probably a bad decision given my weight at the time, but I started running, and as I ran more and more, I found that I enjoyed the experience of tracking my stats and pushing myself to get faster or keep up longer streaks or to go on longer runs and such. Being in my early-mid 20s helped my body tolerate the punishment, I think. As I discovered the fun of athletic activities, I pivoted to other ones, and I landed on ultimate Frisbee as a dependable go-to exercise that I partake in throughout most of the year.

As you allude to, I think this is the kind of thing that can only come from an internal motivation. But one thing that I think I took away from this experience is that finding a sport or other activity that you find fun or engaging is a big BIG help for making exercise stick. I don't run anymore, partly because of my knees, but mostly because I don't enjoy the actual moment-to-moment experience of running. The runner's high was pleasant, and the act of transforming my body both in terms of its physical composition and in terms of actions the body is capable of performing was fun, but at the end of the day, if I could get all those benefits without running, I would. I wouldn't say the same for ultimate Frisbee. For that, the activity is the benefit, and the exercise is a side-effect. Running for 30 minutes is a chore, but playing ultimate for 90 minutes is fun the whole time and burns more calories while also likely hitting a higher max HR. I've been able to manage my weight and general fitness level pretty well for the past decade or so without putting much effort at all into fitting regular exercise into my schedule - I just have fun playing a game that also happens to require me to exercise.

So I think, from a 3rd person perspective, to get someone else to pick up exercising, one path I would try to follow is to find some activity that they find fun that also enforces exercise. There are plenty of fairly low-level, low-commitment activities that can be tried out, including ultimate, but also other pickup sports like soccer or basketball, or biking or hiking or indoor rock climbing or even something like MMA or BJJ (though usually those take more commitment). I'd actually invite them to partake in these various activities with me, since 99.99% of the time, when the conversation goes "X is cool, you should try it," "Oh thanks for the recommendation, I'll give it a shot!" the 2nd person won't even remember what X is 30 seconds later, much less actually try it (that 99.99% probably drops to around 90% if you actually invite someone, but that's still a 1000-fold increase in success rate!). And if you have some social status in this environment, certainly attaching yourself to this activity will make them more likely to genuinely enjoy the activity in itself.

In 2021 I went from basically never exercising to exercising intensely at least once a week.

One of the main reasons for the change was that my lifestyle was fucking me up. I was diagnosed with diabetes and had just turned thirty. Maybe encourage people to go to the doctor (which is a smaller ask), and then the doctor will scare them into exercising more for you.

I mostly still hate exercise. I hate many similar activities that I consider just "holding the line" against entropy. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, pooping, meals for fuel, sleeping, hygiene, etc.

I've only managed to have a consistent habit of exercise because I made it a lot of fun. I play a rec team sport with people for my exercise. Even when I was younger I found it much easier to motivate myself when I was playing a sport with people. I have recently expanded to exercising more a week, but my main reason for doing so is to be better at the rec team sport I play.

I guess my advice is:

  1. Get them to have a health scare.
  2. Make it fun for when they do exercise.

A friend of mine was recently told he has type 2. Which sucks. Did you have to drastically change eating habits along with beginning medication/exercise? If this is too personal, ignore it.

So I'm not cjet but I was diagnosed with diabetes (type 2) in 2021. To be honest, I haven't been managing it particularly well because the #1 thing is lifestyle changes (diet especially, even moreso than exercise) and that shit is way harder than taking medicine. I'm not even at a point where it would be useful to work with a nutritionist to optimize my diet, I'm talking basic stuff like "stop drinking soda or at least switch to diet" and "stop eating sweets". I've tried pretty hard to make those changes but have been unable to make them stick for any length of time (best I did was 6 months).

There is a medication side to it too. My doctor prescribed me Metformin, which gave me awful diarrhea. I finally asked her for other options and she has me on glipizide, but at my appointment next week (if I can manage to fight through the shame and actually face her) I'm planning to talk to her about Ozempic. By all accounts (including our very own self_made_human), it really is effective at cutting your desire to eat things so I'm hoping that will give me the boost I need to stick to the diet changes.

Overall it isn't great but I haven't had serious consequences yet. I know they'll happen, I'm not fooling myself. It just turns out I'm a real failure as a person and I keep falling off the wagon (so to speak) because of my weakness. But I am continuing to try because... what else can I do really?

I'm planning to talk to her about Ozempic. By all accounts (including our very own self_made_human), it really is effective at cutting your desire to eat things so I'm hoping that will give me the boost I need to stick to the diet changes.

Just be careful, I had a friend in pretty much exactly the same situation as you who went on Ozempic. The nausea and reduced appetite meant they were eating almost nothing and went into ketosis. As they were diabetic and that toppled them into diabetic keto acidosis. They ended up in the ICU for 4 days after their blood sugar topped 860 and was still climbing. So just make sure to monitor your blood sugar maybe a little more tightly than you otherwise would in the initial stages. But once they were stabilized and more watchful Ozempic does seem to have helped in the medium term at least. They did also lose 40 pounds from the whole ordeal, but it doesn't seem the best option for that.

Thank you for your response. I asked cjet because as I say a friend of mine was recently diagnosed. I was wondering to what degree lifestyle/diet changes are major part of managing the disease. My friend has also been a smoker probably the better part of the last 30 years and that would have exacerbated all sorts of issues. I don't know how he's dealing with it all. I periodically check in on him but it's hard to gauge the "Everything's good!" responses. I don't know if he has the typical diabetic symptoms of fatigue, etc. Or more pronounced symptoms. Or to what degree he has tried to make dietary adjustments. I can't imagine him suddenly eating cauliflower "rice" or the other recommended foods for people avoiding carbs. Also he lives alone so there's no one there to suggest he lay off the S'mores or whatever.

I'm sorry to hear you're finding it difficult to be as vigilant as you would like. I also cut all sugar for a while just as a personal project, but my blood glucose is fine. Six months sounds like a substantial amount of time. I wouldn't have thought backsliding as it were would be easy after a half year of abstaining (from sugar or whatever).

I've only barely resumed a fitness routine (push-ups, given that I can't be bothered to take a gym membership for the months or so till I leave the country) after several years off, so I can't comment for myself.

But my younger brother? He's absolutely insane, he's hitting the gym like it owes him money, and when I ask him why the fuck he bothers since he doesn't give a shit about female (or male) attention, his justification is that "I'm doing this to mog women".

So yeah, his entire impetus for being fit is just to flex in front of women who are into him while ignoring them entirely. I'm in awe, I think he's the only sane person on the planet, and approaching levels of based I can't comprehend.


a term popularized by modern day aesthetic bodybuilders meaning out sizing or dwarfing somebody in muscle size, fullness, and definition Watch me man I’m about to fucking mog these rockets over there! Jesus Christ that guy is about to mog them!


I really doubt that it's his real reason why he's hitting the gym so hard. For me, after around 3 months of hitting the gym consistently without skipping, it actually became really enjoyable and now I'm looking forward to every workout. I feel on top of the world after every workout, the mental clarity and physical pump is incredible. I thin your brother is addicted to that.

I must respectfully disagree, given that he's my own brother and I do know him.

We used to hit the gym together back in the day, and I was far more serious about it to boot. If he was addicted to lifting for the sake of lifting, I'd have known by now, but no, mf genuinely only does it to make other people seethe with jealousy. Sure, he probably does get some satisfaction out of starting to build muscle, but it's not the driving motive given how much he bitches after leg day.

Fair enough. To me, it just sounds like something an edgy teen/twenty-something guy that watches too many tiktoks/ig reels would say to own brother/friend to sound cool. I'm myself in that age range and have been around people with similar attitudes. But regardless, if that's truly what motivates him, more power to him.

Your brother sounds like he took way too much inspiration from Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, lol. I kind of love it though.

Ah, to live in an endless state of kenjataimu, I can only dream.

I'm easily disgusted, and I became disgusted with myself. I was disgusted by the little bit of flab under my chin, I was disgusted by my skinnyfat paunch, I was disgusted by my weak forearms, I was disgusted by my diet of microwave dinners and Diet Coke. I resolved to have a body and life I could look at without feeling disgusted. I don't know if this is considered the "healthy" thought process or motivation for physical change, but I don't really care if it isn't. I like feeling the difference in strength when I move things around, I like being able to run and swim longer, and I like the difference in how women behave around me. But I've also been doing it for long enough now that it's become an integral part of my daily routine, so I just do it without thinking too much about it anymore.

I got off the waiting list for my local neighborhood pool. I've been taking the family with me just about every day on the weekends, and some weekdays as well.

Pool life is great! I get to see some of my neighbors with kids that I like. I get exercise. I get Sun. I get happy.

Expect to see me on here a little less often while I enjoy the pool. Maybe I'll be back more in the dreary winter.

Going to the local pool club as a kid brings back some of my fondest childhood memories. My dad, who was a stay at home father, loved going to the pool. So as kids, we were there probably 2 or 3 times a week. We swam, played cards, jumped off the diving board, grilled, and generally had a great time. Im looking forward to the day when I can enjoy it my from a fathers perspective.

Nice, nice, nice. More time in the water and less hanging out with us dorks on the internet is good for the body and soul. Happy summer!

I splurged and bought a 44kg Kettlebell. My plan is to do a kind of "easy strength" or "program minimum" effort over the next month-plus, doing a few sets of swings, goblet squats, and push-presses every day, along with a little bit of core work, in the AM or PM, and trying to do extra workouts at another time in climbing, yoga, or cardio. I'd like to use the 44kg the majority of days, with lighter days using my other bells where necessary for rest or desirable for convenience (ie, I have some road trips planned, I'll probably take either the 20kg or a 16kg, both for practicality reasons and so I can share it with my wife and friends, and I'm not trying to go crazy on a beach vacation).

This is a fun toy. The fucker is heavy compared to the 36kg bell which was my prior heaviest. I kind of planned to get 48kg to break 100lbs, but decided on the 44kg because it is basically 1/2 bodyweight for me, and because it was available $100 cheaper and with free shipping, I didn't want to spend $150 extra for 4 extra kg.

I was surprised that I was able to clean it immediately and press it overhead on the first try. I thought it would take more warm up, tbh. I've lifted much more overhead before on a barbell, but thought it would take time. Right now the workout looks like: 3-5x10 swings, ramp up 1-5 push presses, doing both hands as one long set. So 1l-1r, 2l-2r, 3l-3r, etc. I was able to hit 5 more or less immediately, so maybe I'll be able to hit 10 reps in a few weeks.


Maintain strength and muscle while continuing to cut weight. I'm down about ten pounds at this point, and would like to lose another five or so. I'm not going to want to do a heavy barbell workout plan in that time, but I don't want to get back to the barbell and have lost too much off my jerk or deadlift.

Clean and Strict Press Long Cycle for three reps with each hand, push press for fifteen reps with each hand, snatch it with each hand for five reps, 8 sets of 8 goblet squats in 4 minutes.

Keep/build a strong back and core without injuries.

Ultimately, near the end of the summer, I'm hoping to work towards hitting a big pentathlon again, this time using mixed weights. Right now I'm thinking 36kg for Cleans, 28kg for Clean and Strict Press, 44kg for Jerk, 20kg for Snatch, and then either the 44kg or the 36kg for Push Press. The adjustment on points runs like this: 4kg=.5 point/rep. So 20kg is 2.5, 28kg is 3.5, 36kg is 4.5, 44kg is 5.5. I'll have more information once I actually try it, but I'm thinking that's the optimal breakdown of weight-exercise to maximize points. The Snatch was my bugaboo, I lacked the cardio and endurance to hit it well, and it exhausted me so badly that it hurt the push press, so I'm thinking sacrifice points for reps on the Snatch to the 20kg, and then try to hit big points totals on the Jerk and the Push Press to make up for it. I think with this strategy I can break the 1700 point barrier I had using the 28kg only.

Update on my fat wife.

Thank you for the responses and thoughtful discussion, and special thanks to our ladies who participated. I am mulling over what dietary changes I might pursue; it’s just I know nothing of nutrition.

I did 7 pull-ups yesterday. When I started I was able to do 3 with enormous effort, and the most I had ever done before that (in high school) was 4. So I’m excited about that.

My wife commented on my body for the first time last Friday, and again last night, each time concerning my chest right after doing some exercises, when I had what I think the initiated call a “pump.” What interests me though is these new muscles that are cropping up from the side of my ribcage a few inches below my armpit. I knew there were muscles there but only in a theoretical sense. As far as I’m concerned they just sprouted up from the bones.

As for her, she joined me on one of my runs on Monday, and it was her idea! She expressed interest in running more with me, but not on my schedule. She also got a little interested in my pull-up tower, and I told her about negative pull-ups. I caught her doing some (and crunches) one night, but she hasn’t systematized anything.

Female here, with one point that's missing from the previous thread: you don't mention how old your wife is, but if she's anywhere in the mid 30s- mid 40s range, then normal perimenopausal hormone shifts will absolutely cause a natural change in body composition and fat distribution, particularly increasing visceral fat in a way that gives that "pregnant" look, without any changes in diet or exercise. Stress and sleeplessness make this fat-deposition pattern worse (so if you see things that could reduce her stress levels, that might be a good approach), but I'm not aware of anything that can fully reverse it. Just go to the mall and glance around and see how many 50-year-old women you can find who still have a 25-year-old's waist shape, regardless of overall fitness or weight: it's a vanishingly small proportion.

Thank you for your reply!

I wasn’t aware of this, and you make a good point that I should keep in mind. I was instead prepared to blame it all on American culture and obesity patterns.

But no, she’s in her late 20s and has only suffered the post-teen slowdown so far—and also as a teen her belly wasn’t flat, which I found cute at the time because the fat was staying near her belly button, and not creeping below.

Yes, I hit my 40s and rapidly developed a belly, after having a flat stomach my whole life. It's distressing!

Thank you for the responses and thoughtful discussion, and special thanks to our ladies who participated. I am mulling over what dietary changes I might pursue; it’s just I know nothing of nutrition.

The big enemies are: liquid carbs (like soda and juices), dry carbs (like rice crispies and hard candy), fatty carbs (like chips, Twinkies and chocolate). Basically, you want wet but chewy carbs in your diet (like fruit, vegetables, legumes, potatoes, maybe some rice and pasta). Eliminate the big enemies and you will see the effect immediately.

Try to learn to enjoy the feeling of emptiness in your stomach. When it starts nagging you, think "fuck yeah, I can feel myself getting leaner already, I'll eat when it's time, it's not hunger, it's just maladjusted appetite".

Calculate how much protein you eat every day. Aim at 2g/kg and prioritize lean sources if you need to eat more: whey powder, chicken, turkey, lean fish, seafood. If you can see your serratus muscles already you'll see the results very soon.

Try to learn to enjoy the feeling of emptiness in your stomach.

Man, my wife 'taught' me that this is not necessary. She jams soooooo many vegetables into my stomach; I feel soooooo full on basically negligible calories.

You have a good wife.

I read your first post and I'll not comment about your wife, but its funny how you expressed something along the lines of "I do not want to be a gym rat or get humongous. ".

My brother in Christ, I've been trying to get "humungous" for years, actively trying, and I'm still not there yet. Trust me, you won't get too muscular by accident, in the same way you won't accidentally get a PhD from Harvard after reading a book.

I hope understanding how much effort it takes to simply do more BODYWEIGHT pullups (to get big you will have to do many with additional weight :P), dissipates that concern of yours.

My brother in Christ

TIL you weren't a Muslim

I'm agnostic.

Christ is a prophet in Islamic theology

"My brother in Christ" is used online in general as a somewhat sarcastic way to address someone. It doesn't necessarily mean someone is a Christian.

This came up last time. I thought in the context it would clearly read as “I don’t plan on being a gym rat or ever being humongous.” In the very next sentence I elaborate by mentioning simple equipment which will very obviously not turn me into Mr. Universe.

I’m not nervously wringing my hands, scared that I’ll wake up as gigachad.

If I appear frustrated, I guess I’m concerned that I’m somehow coming off as naive enough to believe that being a bodybuilder is easy.

it's hilarious to me that these responses have basically proven your point. You dropped that line in, very clearly to specify what your goals were and avoid gymbro pointers, and you've gotten gymbro pointers about how you can't accidentally become a gymbro.

It's impossible to avoid, every gym bro wants to point it out so fucking bad.

I'll stop pointing it out even preemptively the day people stop saying " I don't want to be big, I'm okay with your size". That's not a compliment!

My bete noire:

I don't care if you make Charlemagne black and George Washington gay, but I will go nuts when I see characters in media be absolutely jacked and shredded and we never see them work out. Like we see every fucking aspect of his life in The Bear, we never see even a hint of gym time, dude is yoked.