Randomness and Light
My Workout For Wednesday January 08

I earned 1916 points for my workout on Fitocracy!


  • Barbell Deadlift +681 pts

    • 50 kg x 5 reps (+72 pts)
    • 60 kg x 2 reps (+57 pts)
    • 70 kg x 2 reps (+66 pts)
    • 80 kg x 2 reps (+76 pts)
    • 85 kg x 2 reps (+82 pts)
    • 85 kg x 2 reps (+82 pts)
    • 85 kg x 2 reps (+82 pts)
    • 85 kg x 2 reps (+82 pts)
    • 85 kg x 2 reps (+82 pts)
  • Barbell Squat +345 pts

    • 20 kg x 8 reps (+52 pts)
    • 30 kg x 3 reps (+43 pts)
    • 40 kg x 2 reps (+42 pts)
    • 50 kg x 2 reps (+49 pts)
    • 55 kg x 2 reps (+53 pts)
    • 55 kg x 2 reps (+53 pts)
    • 55 kg x 2 reps (+53 pts)
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press +250 pts

    • 10 kg x 6 reps (+50 pts)
    • 10 kg x 6 reps (+50 pts)
    • 10 kg x 6 reps (+50 pts)
    • 10 kg x 6 reps (+50 pts)
    • 10 kg x 6 reps (+50 pts)
  • Dumbbell Bench Press +285 pts

    • 14 kg x 6 reps (+57 pts)
    • 14 kg x 6 reps (+57 pts)
    • 14 kg x 6 reps (+57 pts)
    • 14 kg x 6 reps (+57 pts)
    • 14 kg x 6 reps (+57 pts)
  • Power Clean +355 pts

    • 20 kg x 3 reps (+39 pts)
    • 25 kg x 2 reps (+35 pts)
    • 30 kg x 2 reps (+38 pts)
    • 35 kg x 1 reps (+33 pts)
    • 40 kg x 1 reps (+36 pts)
    • 40 kg x 1 reps (+36 pts)
    • 40 kg x 1 reps (+36 pts)
    • 37.5 kg x 1 reps (+34 pts)
    • 37.5 kg x 1 reps (+34 pts)
    • 37.5 kg x 1 reps (+34 pts)

Think you can beat me, or want to comment?

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The World of Lifting

I hang out on the Internet a lot. Through mailing lists, message boards, blogging, and Twitter, I’ve come across many people whose opinions I didn’t share.

My approach in that case is to listen and find out who people are and where they are coming from. For example, I got to know Mormons, Plymouth Brethren, New Atheists, and Skeptics. There was some skew in those people - most of the New Atheists I read were the evangelical ones, like Richard Dawkins* or PZ Myers*, while most of the Mormons and Plymouth Brethren I knew were thoughtful people who thought hard about how best to reconcile their beliefs with science. 

Reading both sides gave me an appreciation of where the individual biases and restrictions were, and how that played off my own biases. 

Within lifting (powerlifting, weightlifting), I’ve come across yet other groups of people I wasn’t too familiar with. For example, on lifting forums, you see men talking to other men, with lots of testosterone, alpha male strutting, and posing (no homo!). I see people who chose an alpha male identity, because that is for them a good way to make sense of their lives. Some of these guys don’t know how to deal with strong, assertive women. 

I also see a lot of jokes that play on the weakness of women relative to men - don’t be a pussy, North of Vagina, I was lifting like a girl on her period - all from people who genuinely help women get strong. 

The way I chose to deal with it is to stay with the community, note my discomfort, and filter what I see to get to what really matters, quality advice about lifting and powering through hard times, different views of the world and different life histories, stories of grit and inspiration. 

* I often find that people like Dawkins and Myers speak to those who have had to struggle free form restrictive belief systems, and to those who have seen the damage those restrictive beliefs can do. 

memrise:

James Chapman’s animal sounds illustrations are so cool!

Multilingual animals, via Shellebelle

Being A Crippy Female Powerlifter.

Inspired by FitBloPoMo, I am going to chronicle my life as a weak female powerlifter for a month. 300 words a day, written for others, not as a training log. 

Crippy - I have a motor coordination disorder, gross motor dyspraxia, which mainly manifests in clumsy movements. That’s where the “crip” part comes from. The “cr*ppy” part comes from the weights I lift - I’ve been lifting seriously for two years now, but the heaviest dead lift I’ve managed so far was 100kg, the heaviest squat 65kg for a single, and the heaviest bench press 50kg for a single (and that’s at a body weight of 70kg).

Women who do the normal Starting Strength linear progression tend  to be at that stage in a year, adjusted for bodyweight. I needed excellent tailored coaching and programming from the awesome Jim Steel, with whom I’ve now worked for one year, 16 weeks and counting, to get as far as I’ve gotten. 

And although my lifts are a bit crap, I am proud of every single hard-fought kilo.

Female - I’m a woman, not a girl. I’m 39 years old, I’ve never been a girlie girl, and I dress to feel strong and confident, not to feel attractive to men. Women come in all shapes and sizes, from cuddly to slinky, and I refuse to take “washboard abs fitspo” seriously. In fact, I find outfits that advertise buff pictures of gleaming men and women with their heads cut off - sorry, cropped off - intensely annoying.

Powerlifter -  I’d say I’m a powerlifter in the sense that many people who run regularly call themselves runners - it’s their main physical activity, it gives them great joy, they hang out on running web sites, and they strive to get better. 

Although I haven’t taken part in a meet yet, it’s definitely something I plan to do next year, when I’m old enough to enter the Masters category. 

Word count: 323

coturnix1:

I am going to make a bold, wild prediction. After a couple of more election cycles (I would not be surprised if in four years, as things are moving fast these days, but more likely in eight or twelve), we will still have a two-party system. And one of those parties will still be the Democrats. But…

To Those Who Slate Nate Silver: Statistical Analyses aren’t Infallible Predictions.

deadspincom:

By David Roher

In case you haven’t been hanging around the benighted corners of the political internet lately, there’s an idiotic backlash afoot against Nate Silver, the proprietor of the FiveThirtyEight blog who made his name as one of the sharpest baseball analysts around.

With the election just a few days away, analysis based on state poll aggregation—Silver’s included—suggests that Barack Obama is a heavy favorite against Mitt Romney. The president holds a slight but strong lead in key electoral states. This doesn’t sit well with many political pundits, who insist that the outcome is anyone’s guess and headed down to the wire. Many of these people have directed their anger toward Silver, whose New York Times-hosted blog has predicted a strong probability of an Obama victory since June. They insist he is biased or sloppy in his methodology, even though they seem unaware of how he makes his predictions and of statistical analysis in general. They say—and I’m not kidding—he’s too gay for this sort of work.

In retrospect, we should’ve seen it coming. It was only a matter of time before the war on expertise spilled over into the cells of Nate Silver’s spreadsheets. In fact, in some ways it had already. Turns out that nothing could have prepared Silver better for the slings and arrows of a surly and willfully obtuse pundit class than working on the fringes of sportswriting over the past decade. 

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Binders full of women? I got hundreds, Mittens.

Binders full of women? I got hundreds, Mittens.

jjcharfman:

Does everyone remember the famous letter from Caltech chemist Erick Carreira to his unruly, unmotivated, and apparently unprincipled laboratory assistant? Or subsequent discussion about the compulsory workaholic culture of academic chemistry which followed the letter’s publication in 2010?

Don’t look at me, says this kitten.
Do we really want active kids and teens?

Children and teenagers should be active for around sixty minutes a day.That’s vigorous activity, as in running, swimming, cycling, playing a sport, or other strenuous physical play.

Spotted the problem yet? If you’re a parent with children who lives in a city, what do you tell them? That’s right - be quiet, sit still, don’t run. In almost all spaces in the city, children cannot play, or, in academese, “engage in vigorous activity”, without disturbing the adults who go about their daily business. The floors of flats are not adequately sound proofed, so kids can’t dance, run, or jump indoors without inconveniencing the neighbours downstairs. There are some public gardens and paths, but unless there are dedicated play parks, the space needs to be shared with cyclists and dogs and their owners (or it is prohibited to step onto the grass).

While children at least have play parks, teenagers have school sports and organised sports; older teenagers may be able to join a gym on their parents’ dime. That’s (mostly) it.

"The environment has been shown to have the strongest influence on children’s objectively measured activity", say Mark Hamer and Abigail fisher in their recent editorial on the effectiveness of interventions on child activity levels. No shit, sherlock.