What I Spend

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: What I Spend

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:26 am

Oh man, you make me want to pick up powerlifting again, just for fun.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:09 pm

Lifting for a goal is the best. You should do it :)

Getting my food sorted out was a pain. I'd been doing two large, low protein meals a day. I had to make a special trip to the store to have enough high protein items. Packing food for my 2 day work trip took more than an hour. Stopping to eat often kind of sucks. However, my energy is already way up. The work trip took much less out of me. I know my body does better on this meal plan.

I mapped out cycle weights for the +10% goal, using 5x5 at 80% of 1RM for my core exercises. 80% is a little high for 5x5, but I am coming off aimless training with no peak and weak nutrition. Test days will be on 11/10 and 11/11, dictated by a work event that makes the following week especially busy. I'll rest during, then re-evaluate.

My core progression for each exercise is below. If I hit these numbers, I'll get the maxes I want. I tend to quit when a set gets hard, so it is important I use predetermined weekly goals. Similarly, I have some speed work in each session. I'll track velocity on those exercises, hitting 0.6 - 0.8 m/s.

Trap Dead
Current Max 289
Week 1 5x5 230
Week 2 5x5 235
Week 3 5x5 240
Week 4 5x5 245
Week 5 5x5 245
Week 6 5x5 250
Week 7 5x5 255
Goal Max 318

Safety Squat
Current Max 192
Week 1 5x5 155
Week 2 5x5 155
Week 3 5x5 160
Week 4 5x5 160
Week 5 5x5 165
Week 6 5x5 165
Week 7 5x5 170
Goal Max 211

Multi-grip Bench
Current Max 165
Week 1 5x5 130
Week 2 5x5 135
Week 3 5x5 135
Week 4 5x5 140
Week 5 5x5 140
Week 6 5x5 145
Week 7 5x5 145
Goal Max 182

Barbell Press
Current Max 126
Week 1 5x5 100
Week 2 5x5 100
Week 3 5x5 105
Week 4 5x5 105
Week 5 5x5 110
Week 6 5x5 110
Week 7 5x5 110
Goal Max 139

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Re: What I Spend

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:20 pm

I started yesterday. Got some baseline test lifts in. 250 lb squat, 315 lb dead, and 235 lb paused bench.....800lb total @ 201 lbs body weight.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:13 pm

@2Birds1Stone - An 800lb total is a great starting point.

I realized today that my % projections for the safety squat and barbell press weren't so useful, as they are not the training exercises I selected. I am posterior chain dominant, so my squat variation is a front squat with the safety squat bar. I worked up to a conservative 5 rep max and used it to set cycle weights:

Safety Front Squat
Current Max 154
Week 1 5x5 125
Week 2 5x5 125
Week 3 5x5 125
Week 4 5x5 130
Week 5 5x5 130
Week 6 5x5 135
Week 7 5x5 135
Goal Max 169

One of the things I learned from working with the Strongman, is to train exercises I am bad at. This certainly fits the bill. I'll do similar with an overhead press using my trap bar tomorrow, though there I am trying to avoid shoulder impingement as well.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:57 pm

On the work front, my boss indicates the only way he can sell a raise for my promotion, is data from public job posting and salary surveys. I unfortunately am out of the loop on that front. I haven't looked for a job in 10 years. I have coasted along the generalist route, specializing on whatever our growing small (now medium) business needs today. Comfort has kept me complacent.

I am doing well by his standard, but I believe the salary survey and job posting data does not reflect the true market rate for someone like me. There have been several times where we break some of my duties off, and what I was doing in 10 hours a week becomes a full time job for someone. Even though they are specialized full time professionals, I do not observe more work being done, or being done better.

I think there is another job market tier, where top professionals make each other better and trade positions via networking. I don't think those candidates make it to salary surveys. I don't think their positions pass through the large recruiter or public job board grind. My employer has been going the recruiter route as they've grown, and I've observed a dilution of talent.

I have not decided what to do about this. I either play their game, find a new game, or opt out entirely.

Things I think I know are:

1. Compensation strategy is set by a team of people above my boss. Even if I got an immediate term raise through a competing offer or trying to leave, the company pays what they pay. It's a losing battle to make that trajectory different.

2. There's a good chance just doing my job would net a moderate raise at year end, against a salary that is already comfortable. I earn more than I ever have in my life, live on a small percentage, make more than my parents, etc. The position is secure, easy and would readily survive the next market down turn.

3. Pivoting my career to tap into the networked job market would require a lot of immediate and medium term discomfort. Some might call that personal growth.

4. That pivot could be worth a few 10's of thousands in additional compensation now, and open a trajectory that is worth $100k+ a year longer term. But again, operating at that level also means sustained discomfort. Taxes and social posturing also make those big numbers much smaller than they seem.

5. I have a potential exit strategy that has me FIRE'd in mid-may of next year. Concerns over healthcare and high market valuations make it a little brittle, but I am conservative by nature. It's probably more than enough.

6. Company growth at the current position keeps adding annoying overhead and bureaucracy to my work. There are also times I have to work on things I believe add zero or negative value to society as a whole.

7. I like to win. I have a habit of fixating on arbitrary criteria as the measure of victory. It is likely the nonsense around my promotion has caused this to happen with salary, reducing it to a high score proving ground.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:59 pm

Got numbers for a trap bar overhead press today. The 5RM I am using to project this was pretty hard, I might have to back off the sets by 5lbs if I get stuck:

Trap Bar Press
Current Max 128
Week 1 5x5 100
Week 2 5x5 105
Week 3 5x5 105
Week 4 5x5 110
Week 5 5x5 110
Week 6 5x5 110
Week 7 5x5 115
Goal Max 141

My velocity tracker won't hold a charge. I've emailed support.

I started researching IT salaries. On the West coast, it seems possible recent grads are pulling down 200k total comp, with experienced developers getting 300-400k. I am not willing to move there, and have not figured out how transferable the salaries are to other areas of the US. Remote work with some travel might be viable.

I coasted through a BS in computer science from a decent school, about 15 years ago. Earning A's in my major classes was straight forward, including masters level courses on AI and algorithms. I think I have the ability that is demand, but my skills are dated.

I opted not to code for a living because the tooling constantly. shifts. I spent most of my career leading technical projects - ba, pm and release management. I could certainly retool, but I also wonder if a decent percentage of those west coast numbers could be available for my current skill set.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 am

I spent the evening getting a better read on the job market. I don't have the motivation for a search or a new position. There's not any tech I'm passionate about, I'm not hungry for money, and I have zero appetite for all the posturing.

I want to spend career time solving problems and playing with toys, not using fancy clothes and big words to pretend I'm important.

I guess that narrows my options to the exit strategy or finding a more satisfying way to play the current company's game.

I'm well over the minimum work week. I tend to get caught up in what I am doing and like to help anytime someone presents me with a problem.

Step 1 is to reign that in. I'm going to start by assertively handing off work that was from the old position, minimizing involvement in problems that don't fall under my new job description.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:07 pm

I worked my contracted day the rest of this week. It feels weird to stop working an hour or two earlier.

I took a last minute half day and talked through strategy with my wife, among some other fun. She's a strong supporter of the do less, be less approach, over quitting.

She also fully expects me to just decide I'm done one day. It would not be out of character for me. Making "be less" work is the far more lucrative option.

My first full week of the lifting cycle is done. By far, the hardest was my 5x5 deadlifts. That was still fun. I'll try to tough out the planned increases. My bench day felt pretty light. I have an unreliable shoulder, so I'm just going to work the plan and see what happens.

Out of gym has been tough. Getting meals in sucks. It makes me feel great, but it is tedious. I just ordered 20lbs of whey isolate, to keep the twice a day shakes going. It works out to about fifty cents a 25g serving, which is cheaper than any other high quality protein I get.

My sleep is a mess. I'm letting myself down here and need to figure it out.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:54 pm

Last week my deadlifts were really tough. I barely made the reps. I was concerned about hitting my weight progression over the course of my cycle.

This week (Tuesday is deadlift day), I was able to hit all my sets, with the added 5lbs dictated by my plan. I was also able to "ring" every rep of my last set, pulling hard enough that the change plates bang in to the bar at lockout. It was still very hard, but that is clear progress.

I have been putting in the recovery time. I did yoga on Saturday. I hit the fancy gym on Sunday, so I could do a couple rounds of hot / cold - sauna to cold pool to hot tub to cold pool, etc. I have been getting my meals in. I slept for 8 hours on Saturday night.

It turns out working my contracted day makes falling asleep much easier. I ended up taking a nap Monday evening, just because I felt tired. I've been wired for months after work, fighting to get into bed by midnight or 1am. Nodding off for 90 minutes, at 7pm is fantastic. I got my fitbit back out and am using it to collect sleep data.

These recovery patterns are really good for me and my lifting. I need to defend them. Today I slipped a little, helping at least 3 different people with things that are not in my job description. I got the time from work that is in my job description, but that doesn't benefit me a whole lot. I need to let go of being people's friends. From prior experience, odds are the last day I am at the company, is the last day I ever talk to them. I need to consider that when taking from my home life to do work I am not being compensated for.

My wife and I have been talking about the times I successfully hand work over to others or direct them to another person for their answers. Those are my small victories to cherish.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:22 pm

This week I added 6 more pounds to my deadlift - 5x5@242 and got all the reps. I was only ringing the first 3 on each set, so the weight is getting harder. It feels like my grip is going. I am going to try straps on the last set of next week's 5x5. I also took a walk before to warm up. I need to keep that going. The rest of my sessions have been highly doable.

Eating remains the hardest part. I only lift 4x a week. Eating is 5x a day. There are a lot of times I'm choking down a protein drink, apple and peanut butter. It is working, and discomfort is why the cycle has an end date.

Sleep has been up and down. Last night I logged almost 8 hours asleep, which is close to 9.5 in bed. I've had others where I get 5-6, especially around work travel. I just put my video game away for a little bit, in hopes of improving.

This lifting cycle is also a coping strategy, to get my work life and spending going better. Notable events there:

1. I cancelled a weekend trip to the city that was going to cost $500. My wife and I would have split it, but we are both happier with the simpler weekend and cost savings. It was originally scheduled when I was trying to buy happiness from working so hard.

2. Eating out is way down, limited to events with family / friends. Once or twice a month.

3. I did end up going to a bar with the other managers for team building. I regretted it. I ended up out too late, spent an extra $20, ate crappy, disrupted my sleep, etc. And there are some pissed off people who used the time to unload their negativity. No thanks. I am going to decline these events in the future. I had adopted a habit of always saying yes, since relationships are how we get ahead in life. Now that I'm not trying to get ahead at work, it's not worth it.

4. I am continuing to work only my contracted week, focusing on doing my job, instead of helping anyone I can. It is a lot easier. I am almost out of a recurring weekly meeting. I see some things languishing and am just watching to see what happens. I took all work communication (email, slack) off my phone. It all feels very weird, but it is making the job a lot better. Nobody seems upset so far. One person who has noticed, is glad I have stopped propping a couple lower performers up.

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Re: What I Spend

Post by prognastat » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:35 pm

Congrats on making progress with your workouts and noticing you were trying to buy happiness due to work related stress and deciding against it.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:31 pm

Week 4 of deadlifts down - 5x5@248. My plan calls for 245, but this is how my plates add up. I am supposed to repeat the weight again next week, and that is good, because the reps were not fast. I tried straps on the last set, they did not help. I think my grip is reflecting my overall body strength, rather than acting as a limiting factor.

Sleep has been going much better. Lots of 7+ hour days, according to my fitbit. Working my contracted day, coupled with putting the video games away and taking the time wasters off my phone, has been effective.

Eating remains the biggest challenge. Starting today, I am playing around with planned nutrition around my workout:

Pre - Hard boiled egg, 4oz OJ, 5 crackers
During - 10oz coconut water
Post - Whey protein shake, toast with peanut butter, apple

It didn't hurt. Hard to tell if it helped. I'll probably add a little juice to the post workout meal. It will make getting my food in for the day easier, in any case. I paid the $50 for a year of my fitness pal premium. Breaking down macros by meal has really helped keep my eating on track. Outside of gains in the gym, I've been eating out less and my digestion is better. Both of those are easily worth $4 a month.

Working my contracted day is really much, much better. Some notable events:

1. We had a couple high profile departures, including someone who quit via company wide email. Not a happy camper.

2. I pushed back on taking some of the rage quitters work, though it may still come to me, I'll get extra time to do it and help with a difficult director (who I suspect lead to the rage quit).

3. My director complimented one of the projects I am doing, which is out of character for him. I really wasn't getting credit for the people I was helping.

4. I have set expectations that I am not doing the after work bar runs anymore. This will help to maintain my resolve when asked to leave for 4pm beers.

5. I booked private space for myself when I'm in office, rather than joining the team in a conference room all day. Outside of the mental relief, it will give me space to easily get my meals in.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:41 pm

I had to abort this week's deadlift workout. After my warm-up, I failed my first attempt at my working weight. I probably could have made my reps on nerve, but I opted to end the session with a little yoga instead. Contributing factors:

1. I worked until 9:30 yesterday, meaning I didn't get to bed until almost 2. Outside of being up too late, sitting for so long is hard on my body.

2. Because I woke up late, I missed meals and did not get to my work sets until 6pm. I was already 10,000 steps into my day, on 1300 calories. Not good.

3. My sleep in general was poor this weekend. I over committed my time.

My sessions this weekend were low energy as well, though I hit my reps. I'll see how lifting goes tomorrow. I am eating an extra big dinner and going to be early, in hopes of resetting.

Work has been a mixed bag. I am still learning to protect my time:

1. I opted out of a bar visit while traveling for work, but I ended up working until 7pm instead

2. My work depends on something the rage quitter used to do. I had to take it over, it is time sensitive, and I last did it 2.5 years ago. He had made a mess of it. I opted to work extra hard yesterday, going through the problem, rather than forcing management to deal with it. In retrospect, that was not a choice that served my personal life.

3. I did approach my boss about work from my old position, and push to have it transferred to the "new" (3 months now) hire. It is easier for him to just have me deal with it, the transition will cause headaches, etc.. But there is no reason it should be my job. At the very least this has extended the timeline to do the work.

4. I pushed back on some training that would require me to be in a hotel overnight. I am hoping to either get excused from it or participate remote.

5. I sent an early reminder about my upcoming time off, and that it also restricts my availability on evenings and weekends. That should be obvious, but in my experience, asserting my boundaries is required.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:52 pm

With week 6 of my training cycle, I decided to start pyramiding up the 5x5 sets, adding 2.5% of my max to the working weight each set. I am mentally stale and needed something to change.

Front squats with the safety squat bar went well, I hit 5x155 on the last set of my 5x5, which works out to a 180 max vs. my cycle goal of 169. I'll switch this exercise to 5 sets of triples with speed work, for the last two weeks of the cycle.

Most notable was the last set of today's 5x5 trap bar deadlifts, where I hit 6x288. That works out to a rough one rep max of 345 vs. my cycle goal of 318. A higher score might be possible with a low volume session of triples. However, this was a limit set and well over my goal. I am taking it as the cycle max. I still need a max on the back squats with my safety squat bar. I'll swap that out for my deadlift 5x5 over the next two weeks.

My press workout is going to continue as planned. I'll learn more about bench tomorrow.

Part of the reason I've been harvesting my gainz, is I've been missing meals and sleep. There's a good chance I'm going to stall out. Factors:

1. Water heater failed. Getting a good price stressed me out. The initial quote from our regular plumber was $375 higher than the plumber we ultimately hired. I felt like original plumber was taking advantage, but learning enough to know took awhile. No hot water for 5 days either.

2. Work required a release that ran from midnight to 4am on Saturday, followed by 2 more hours fixing problems on Sunday. Outside of the immediate sleep and food disruption, my schedule is all out of wack. I was lifting at 10pm on Sunday night.

I am trying to fix things, but not doing so well yet. I only ate 3 times today and am barely over 6 hours of sleep a night for the week.

Balancing work has been up and down:

1. Working essentially a full day over the weekend sucks. A release is supposed to be 60-90 minutes. I am trying to get it fixed.

2. I got approval to attend a training remotely, which otherwise would have required a night in a hotel.

3. I am back to normal days with this work week. That should not be disrupted until early December

4. November starts in 2 days. Lots of time off planned.

5. I've got an idea to make my new job more engaging and hopefully justify higher pay eventually. Even if it doesn't work, it is fun to try.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 9:54 pm

Oh, and my net worth is down $20k over the last month. The bear market will be fun.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:07 pm

So the ERE part of my post - I have patterns running to earn money via salary and invest it over time. At this point, the only trick is keeping myself happy, so I don't screw it up. Lifting is the tool that occupies my mind. Here's the current story. Training journal ahead.

This week work and life events left me drained - on the verge of getting sick. As a result, I minimized training volume after Wednesday's bench session. Basically warm up, build up to a max set on my main lift, end session. I appear to have avoided any serious illness. I'm proud of myself for backing off, even though it wasn't the plan.

I checked off some goals and am close to others. The cycle ends next week:

Trap Bar Overhead Press - Max set of 4x117.5 - projected max of 134 vs. 141 goal. I know I can do more here, it was a bad training day. I don't know if I will make the attempt. This lift was to work around the shoulder irritation a lot of straight bar press causes.

Overhead Press - Max set of 1x140 vs. goal of 139. I failed at 145. Because of the shoulder irritation this lift causes, I kept it to singles. I am happy with this as my peak for the cycle. 5 pounds under my lifetime PR.

Multi-grip Bench - Max Set of 5x155 - projected max of 181 vs 182 goal. I will make another attempt at this tomorrow, with a low volume session of triples. The current high score was the day after all out deadlifts. I am sure they drained me. I can do better.

Safety Squat - Max Set of 1x250 vs 211 goal. Lifetime PR with this barbell. A highlight of the cycle. Building up, the first rep of each set felt much better than the others. After 2x220 was pretty hard, I decided to gamble on the PR. I got video. It's clear my hamstrings are the weak point. That will inform my next cycle.

Based on my squat performance, I bet taking a max single for the trap bar deadlift would beat my lifetime PR of 350. I am not going for it though. The only number that really interests me is 400. I am sure that's not available.

Work / Life Updates

1. Things at work have slowed way down for November / December. I effectively have 4 weeks off over the next 2 months. I can easily navigate that without rocking the boat. My lifting cycle has served its purpose.

2. Rebound from last week's stress made me a little spendy. Indian takeout twice, more junk food than usual at Aldi, and a couple new lifting toys - knee sleeves, knee wraps, cambered football bar. I'd guess roughly $400. I have minimized gym spending over the year and am taking advantage of black friday sales. It's possible there is more to come.

3. I have started planning my next training cycle. Another stint of max lifting is out. My joints deserve rest. I am considering a 2 month conditioning cycle, using the YMCA step test as a metric.

https://cartwrightfitness.co.uk/ymca-3m ... tive-data/

I have an annual physical at the start of 2019. Last year, my blood pressure was 136/80, against a resting heart rate of 80. All higher than I'd like. There were confounding factors. I hadn't been to the doctor in 10 years and was nervous. I got a very severe cold over thanksgiving and was in bed for about 2 weeks. I was still recovering from it in December and could do little training. I traveled for work the day before my physical and had not slept well either.

However, I also think there was some truth to the score. I gave the step test a try today and landed an underwhelming Very Poor ranking. My peak heart rate was 163, with a one minute recovery heart rate of 136. I think a substantial improvement is available to me in 2 months. Just changing my lead in to the test could help - no caffeine, warm up properly, don't follow a max squat, etc. I usually see large and rapid improvements from cardio as well. It's been 2 months since I was on an elliptical.

Lifting would be similar to my current cycle, but replace the 5x5 main lift and percentage based goal weights. Maybe 4 sets of 8-12 reps. Short rest periods, whatever exercise strikes my mood, whatever weight feels good, and an emphasis on non-barbell lifts. Dumbbells, kettlebells, machines, etc. I'd limit barbell lifts to speed work. All this flexibility would make it much easier to lift at the gym and have access to cardio equipment. Since I'll be home a lot on vacation, it's also a nice reason to leave the house.

I'd still lift 4 days a week, each with a primary focus - hip hinge (deadlift), bench, squat, press. Hamstrings would get priority on the lower days. I'm not sure if there is a clear weak point for my upper body days. I could also take it a little easier on the food. I've had to force a lot of meals down to keep my body weight stable and strength going up. It'd be nice to have a break there.

This would all set me up for another strength cycle at the start of 2019. Lifetime PRs could be on the table for several lifts.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:06 pm

Hit a 1x185 on the multi grip bench today. Got stapled by 190, so the rep max I did last week was very close.

Triceps were a clear weak point. I haven't done any direct arm work in months, so that's not surprising. I had guessed using chains on my speed work would be enough, but it seems not.

This cycle is over. I'm going to play with the conditioning idea over the next couple weeks, then make a firm decision after Thanksgiving.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:34 pm

Work and spending are more of the same.

Reading online convinced me I wanted an expensive lifting toy. I actually went and tried it, instead of just ordering it, and talked myself out of the purchase. Go me.

I've put a couple sessions in against the conditioning idea and am definitely using the step test as a metric for my training cycle. I scheduled the annual physical and will test my BP and blood markers in early January.

I am still fleshing the training approach out. Roughly:

1. Lift 4x a week, higher reps, emphasizing hamstring and triceps work
2. Do the step test on my lower days, if lifting at home
3. Do a 20 minute walk before lifting at home
4. Do 20 minutes of higher intensity cardio if lifting at the gym
5. Follow the movement reminder on my fitbit, targeting roughly 70,000 step weeks

I am counting on activity volume and practice to give me improvements, rather than lots of focused cardio. I am so bad at the test, that I think it will be enough.

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Re: What I Spend

Post by jennypenny » Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:32 pm

Scott 2 wrote:
Tue Nov 06, 2018 4:07 pm
Last year, my blood pressure was 136/80, against a resting heart rate of 80.
My cardiologist was a little alarmed when my resting heart rate rose above 80. I have to wear a heart rate monitor 24/7. Part of her concern is because my family history is poor but she also said they don't wait until it's close to 100 anymore to treat it as tachycardia.

Just FYI in case your numbers are the same at this year's physical and they make you see a cardiologist.

Scott 2
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Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 11:41 pm

I'll keep that in mind.

I see numbers in the low 50's laying in bed, which is part of why I was surprised by the measure at the doctor.

I notice the resting value varies a lot based on my day's activity and food. The Fitbit gives me a resting HR score around 60, but I haven't looked into the calculation rules.

Outside of more cardio, the obvious change in my lifestyle is to eat with a priority for health over strength (ie less), but I'm hoping to push that off at least a few more years.

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