Christmas Gala

Christmas Gala

No more excuses. That was my motto back in August. That is what I used to kick-start getting back into the shape I needed to be in. Sadly, it did not stick. The only part that did was the motto itself since I have no excuses for not succeeding in my plan. In Part I, I went into the start of my weight loss and strength gain. The plan for this post was to continue through my journey in discussing Stronglifts 5x5 and fun friendly competitions with new friends I made along the way. For now, I’m going to drop the latter portion and focus on Stronglifts. The reason for this is that I currently need to refocus on what I plan on doing going forward rather than what I did in the past. I’ll mix in what I have done in the past, but this should be read as a plan forward more than anything.


First, diet adjustments will be key in making this work. I’m not going to go into detail on this topic, but it is time to watch my portion size, add more veggies, more protein, less carbs, less empty calories, and a lot less fried food. Oh….and MORE WATER!

Time to start over again. Time to check my ego at the door. My 515lb max deadlift is no more.

Back around 2011-2012, I discovered Stronglifts 5x5. This would be the first time I adventured into the free weight area for barbells. I was nervous. I’m a big guy and assumed everyone would be expecting me to put up some big numbers. This was the first thing I needed to correct. I checked my ego at the door, started low to ensure proper form, and quickly realized that no one in the gym was paying attention to me, let alone how much weight I was lifting. It’s time to do it all over again. I won’t need to drop down to the point I started back then, but I will need to check my now bigger ego at the door, take the weight down to the point of being able to properly do all 5 reps for all 5 sets, and work my way back up…slowly.

The key to making this work last time was strict adherence to the program. The only way to do this is either pen and paper or using an app. I have now re-downloaded the Stronglifts app, and will not budge from it. It might also be time to breakout some old spreadsheets and tack on some old fashioned pen and paper note taking.

Lastly, I plan on picking back up with supplementing with body weight exercises. I had become obsessed with pull-ups until I injured my shoulder, and really want to add that back into the mix. While doing this, I need to gauge how much I can push my shoulder now. No need to go into detail here, but I do not want another injury that causes me to doubt myself and ability to heal and keep going.


I came across Stronglifts 5x5 and Starting Strength when I joined Nerd Fitness back in 2011 after starting to research how to properly use barbells. Both of these programs are considered beginner programs, but they will definitely take you further than what you would imagine a “beginner” would lift. I personally stuck with Stronglifts a little longer than needed, but this wasn’t a bad thing. I was still seeing gains, so there was no need to switch. I was comfortable with the lifts, the program, and was already supplementing other items into it (primarily body weight exercises). I later moved on to more advanced programs as I did eventually outgrow the 5x5, but I’m going back into this assuming a similar timeline as before until I can “graduate” again to a more advanced program.

The basic idea behind many of these programs is 3-4 days a week, 3 lifts a day, 5 sets for 5 reps. Rest days are taken in between lift days, but I also took the weekends off. The various programs differ slightly, but Stronglifts divides the lifts into 2 alternating workouts.

  • Workout A - Squats, 5x5; Bench Press, 5x5; Barbell Row, 5x5
  • Workout B - Squats, 5x5; Overhead Press, 5x5; Deadlift, 1x5

Take note of the 1x5 for deadlifts, not 5x5.

Back when I first started, it was perfect. I didn’t want to spend more than 3-4 days in a gym and didn’t want to spend more than an hour at the gym each time. Initially these workouts stayed in the one hour time-frame without a problem, but by the time the weight got to the point that required more rest between sets and longer sets due to not being able to breeze through them, my gym time went up to about an hour and half or a bit more. By that point, I didn’t mind the extra time since I felt good doing it and was steadily seeing results.

Getting back into it, in addition to reforming the routine, another big hurdle to initially overcome will be DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). I had gotten to the point where I didn’t experience DOMS unless I was pushing myself to the next level, which sometimes was a little too far. Week 1 will go fine with the possible exception of the last day, but I know week 2 will be a battle for me to keep going. I know I can do it. I have done it before. So to bring back my semi-failed motto, no more excuses.


Today it begins again. The big difference this time around is that I am starting off not needing to lose weight. I am also starting off knowing what needs to be done, how it is done, and the experience to get there. Today, the battle is with the routine, the desire to skip the gym and go straight home from work, and the desire to turn planned gym days into lazy evenings. The turning point will be when the battle switches to be against just me and the iron.


I just realized I haven’t explained the “Warriors” part in these post titles. I will go into that with Part III when I dive a bit more into Nerd Fitness and some of the best like-minded people I could have come across with my fitness journey. I will also go into some of the inspiration and drive I got from these people through some of the best experiences I’ve had in competitions and other interactions, both in person and online.

Later on, I’ll bring in other past inspirations that drove me, as these are things that will continue to push me to my goals. Items from Henry Rollins, random shared videos, the Warrior Dash, and the desire to be able to compete in longer and harder endurance style courses.

Foam Party in the DR


Glass seats!

Glass seats!


Boxed Wine?

Boxed Wine?

Revive an old hobby?

I got the email. After over 5 years going and I got the email.

I have been tethering my iPhone off and on for years. I’m still grandfathered into an unlimited plan that doesn’t allow it, but I have been tethering since before it was even supported on the iPhone. I’ve never been one that has used it heavily or completely relied on it for my day to day use, but it was a nicety to have for use with various laptops over the years.

Until the last few months, I hadn’t tethered in quite some time. My recent reason was for my Android tablet, and I’ve only used it maybe a couple times a week at no more than 30 minutes each session. This time was a bit different and maybe this is what caught me.

There have been many ways to tether over the years. The first I can remember was a short lived App Store app named PDANet that later went to the jailbreak side (Jailbreak Tethering - 01/2009). I used it briefly, but mainly for testing purposes. My go-to for years has always been the MyWi app even though it was always on the more expensive side, and this is where I may have gone wrong. I gave up the MyWi app for convenience with the TetherMe app so that I could quickly toggle it on and off through the iPhone control center screen. I read up on it beforehand and all looked good. Well, 2-3 months later, I have now received the “we caught you tethering without paying for it” email.

On the soapbox stance, I hate that I’m paying $xx/mo for data that I can’t use the way I want. This has forever been the fight so many people have been dealing with. Having to pay an extra $20/mo to use my data in another way is stupidity (or greed) at its best, especially when it forces me off of my unlimited data plan, but this is why I give up.

Here I am, over 5 years later fighting the same fight, dealing with the same greed, and nothing has changed. The cheapest plan for me to switch to will increase my monthly bill by close to $25. I’m not quite sure I have given up enough to do that, at least not with my current provider. Instead, I believe it is time for me to look at other options. Switching carriers is one option considering the iPhone 6 will be out soon and I’m due for an upgrade, but another option would be getting a standalone tethering device of some kind. Although it may be the more expensive route, it may prove to be the more reliable.

For now, tethering will remain off on my phone. Carrier, you won this round.