My side of the mountain

Where are you and where are you going?
2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1645
Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:20 am
Location: Earth

Re: My side of the mountain

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

Lovely update.

Interesting practice with regards to not eating 5 hours before sleep. For me it's the opposite, if I consume too many calories early in the day and have even the slightest hunger in the evening it makes getting to sleep much harder. Strategy currently is to have ~30% of my intake for the day about 3 hours before bed time, go for a longer walk within 30-60 minutes of the meal to aid digestion. The caveat here is that I try to have that meal be one with a lower glycemic index.....lots of carbs/sugar at night = no bueno.

Really looking forward to checking out Kings County! We're still right on track to be in your neck of the woods in late August :)

thef0x
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2024 2:46 am

Re: My side of the mountain

Post by thef0x »

Extreme Experiments / Pendulum Swings / Nicomachean Ethics

Testing boundaries often helps me fast-track my skill development. Understanding extremes enables me to field-test a landscape of possible options quickly.

Extremes are often discarded quickly in turn, of course; they're extreme for a reason. But not always (heheheheh ;)

It doesn't take a genius to understand why testing extremes is a good idea, but it does require resilience and dedication because extremes are rarely fun, even if highly instructive; as such it's fairly uncommon to witness folks out in the wild having "given it a shot". For folks seeking deep understanding, visiting extremes is just one more possible move to test.

Aristotle has a metaphor about the job of a philosopher: born on a raft whose logs are inherited beliefs, floating down the river of life, that journeyer's job is to test each timber to see if it keeps them afloat, or is dead weight. Mastery also often requires stepping on every possible log to see how it feels. "Why does this log feel unhelpful? How can I abstract that structure to sense other useless logs in the future?"

If deep understanding is the goal, visiting extremes is a useful tool.

The thing is, beyond being uncomfortable, most extremes are bad. Cold/heat, quiet/loud, hungry/stuffed, alone/crowded.

These poles teach us where to aim which might not be in the middle, but often is. The problem with people who never test extremes is they do not experience the possibility landscape enough to know where to settle. They might always need things to be cold because they've never tested how they feel being hot. These can be expensive mistakes. The person who has forgotten what life is like without constant consumption, instead of savoring ideas and friends and the outdoors, wastes life on earning more to buy more. They give up time, money, and the opportunity for experiencing life's richness outside of the box they've put themselves in. The stoics practice a routine return to living minimally to remind themselves what is important for this very reason.

But beyond finding the right balance, which is a core part of Artistotle's Nicomachean Ethics (I'd recommend it), we also need to traverse the landscape of possibility because we want to be versatile players in life.

We use dynamics in music for a reason. We want breadth in our possible expression. Sometimes it is right to be very quiet, very alone, very hungry, and very hot (sauna in the forest upon waking while fasting to promote apoptosis :) We just cannot sustain visiting these places indefinitely by their very nature.

How then?

Aristotle suggests, perhaps in a systematic way throughout his philosophy (thinking political as well*), to look around us for clues. Find the starving man and the gluttonous man. Find the coward and the foolhardy woman. Notice the shape of courage from the people in the environment around us.

Makes sense. The thing is, when I look around me, often times everyone I see looks a little bit crazy. Sure, I'm "the extreme" in this case, but this just means that my middle is shaped differently than others. I'm not as concerned with fitting in, I guess. Again, hello ERE forumites.

My method:

Structure: (1) time bracketed experimentation. (2) pendulum swinging between poles. (3) periodization. (4) deload / recovery / integration. (5) rebalance to new mean.

^^ Weird/cool to me how power-lifting programming seems to overlap with so many structures of human experimentation.

I've loved the thirty day challenge framework for these experiments because, ime, the last ~7 days of the challenge are really really hard, and I want to taste what it feels like to visit an extreme when motivation is null and void. Each experiment, however, warrants its own time frame.

I'll spare you my own personal history here but examples are plentiful; I'm sure you can think of accidental experiments that retrospectively fit this structure.

Kratky hydroponics is my most recent, answering the question "how can I grow produce with the least amount of attention possible?". Results were surprising and now I have more levers to adjust in that realm with a better understanding of the inputs (time) and outputs (lbs of delicious produce) of that system. Possibility landscape tested and the path has widened.

Firmware upgraded. That's a permanent(?) life win.

And I keep saying this but it's worth repeating: hard pursuits filter boring people.

I tend to think that folks with a mindset for mastery and tinkering are the most interesting of folks. I see a lot of you here. Maybe the name of the book, albeit slightly misleading, was a good idea after all :)

Hope this was a useful post to chew on.

I'd ask you, reader, and I'm wondering about this myself: what is the right rhythm to revisit experiments to "maintain" balance? How does that relate to competence, conscious and unconscious? How does the frequency of review scale against the mastery of said study? Is each thing particular or can I abstract a structure? Can we "learn the balance" permanently or must we always revisit? What does the answer to these questions say about the structure of mastery itself?



* Aristotle's political conservatism is just the idea that we look to history (aka the environment) to make decisions about the future. Contrast this with liberalism which is the idea of rewriting history/politics anew / from scratch. Maybe .. hear me out .. the right balance is to take the good from both; a reverent study of history coupled with a Rawlsian look at how to build the future.
Last edited by thef0x on Tue Jun 04, 2024 4:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.

thef0x
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2024 2:46 am

Re: My side of the mountain

Post by thef0x »

2Birds1Stone wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2024 11:44 pm
Interesting practice with regards to not eating 5 hours before sleep. For me it's the opposite, if I consume too many calories early in the day and have even the slightest hunger in the evening it makes getting to sleep much harder. Strategy currently is to have ~30% of my intake for the day about 3 hours before bed time, go for a longer walk within 30-60 minutes of the meal to aid digestion. The caveat here is that I try to have that meal be one with a lower glycemic index.....lots of carbs/sugar at night = no bueno.
Cheers dude! Excited to meet up.

I totally agree re going to bed hungry, it's nearly impossible for me. I'm trying to thread the needle here a bit in that regard and so far it looks like:

Super high protein, low fat/carb meal before noon. A complex carb-focused light lunch pre workout. A protein heavy post workout meal. And finally dinner where I bias fats to increase persistent satiety into bed.

Your strategy of the post diner walk is super smart, I might try that out coupled with extending my eating window to a bit farther along before bed; the goal is to go to bed without too much ongoing digestion and an evening walk definitely could help. Knowing myself, my motivation diminishes heavily after my large-ish dinner, so I'll have to build in compliance somehow. OTOH, even just a quick stroll down the block with my kiddo will probably have a noticeable impact, so I might move that around to 2birds1stone it ;)

thef0x
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2024 2:46 am

Re: My side of the mountain

Post by thef0x »

Disjointed mess of an update

Pausing the hydroponic gardening because it's road trip season.

Helping fam w financial planning stuff, mostly just taking notes in meetings so my mom can rely on me to reiterate concepts, status update, etc. Torn here, as it's limiting freedom-to slightly but we've been able to accommodate my off-work-weeks (every other 2 weeks) which has been generous.

Strength training consistency is 100%, frankly to the point where I'm *barely* recovered for hitting that same bodypart 6 days later, so I might add another active rest day. This will also enable each lift to be on the same day per week, so I can probably better schedule weekend events with friends without interrupting my flow.

Split: Back, Chest, HIIT, Cardio, Legs, Arms, Cardio.

Programming is astonishingly simple: ~6-9 sets / body part (e.g. arms = bi/tri = 12 sets, legs = hamstrings/quads = 14 sets), 2-3 movements, focus on time under tension instead of maximum loads, mind-muscle connection, squeezing, slow eccentric movement, explosive concentric, big stretches, perfect form. Taking a massive ego check on pressing movements and squats to exclusively focus on form and mind-muscle connection. Using maybe a third of my 1RM per movement but causing intense DOMS just the same without all the joint damage and CNS fatigue. Feels great.

HIIT has been weighted stairs, either with a vest or my kid on my back. If I'm extremely pinched on time, I'll do kettle bell swings.

Hosted friends yesterday and had a huge carb up, planned, which felt great knowing the scale would be going up. Today's workout was gnarly, I felt powerful and extremely connected with my whole body; hard to explain why this feels so good but it was awesome, everything in sync.

Just got back from doing stairs with the kiddo and the feeling persisted -- carb up success -- cardio is really improving with the weight loss and having the intramuscular glycogen reserve felt awesome as I've been depleted for a long time now. We also hit the big kid swing at the adjacent park, which he ejected himself from; he said "all done" and immediately let go three feet from the ground. Is there a lesson in that? A man of action. He was a champ about it, dusted off the woodchips and we were back at it. Much "wa wa" was chugged, a solid state change / recovery.

Thinking about hitting a maintenance period, with the +1-2% accompanying weight gain, to continue the carbed up workouts and establish my new baseline. OTOH, I'm ~3lbs shy of a round number. I may just try to get smarter about carb timing, even though I prefer eating them in my last meal, and push down. It feels a little arbitrary but I'm not above that. Strategic potatoes may be implemented soon, especially on leg days.

Been writing more on the guitar, lullaby-y in nature. No goals or outcomes here, just enjoying the sounds.

Noodling more on self-hosted server projects, always fun.. somehow I actually enjoy just updating and optimizing the software regularly, it's odd.

Road trip to the John Day Fossil Beds here soon.

Feeling overwhelmed by all the excess junk in our house but totally unmotivated to start up my ebay habit again. The tendency to compare the income/effort ratio of that work vs a few more sales calls is off-base as one has a fairly meaningless impact on my wellbeing now (the sales calls, as I don't feel my SWR in any sense) whereas I know I'll feel calmer without all the the junk yelling at me each time I walk by.

Fixed / debugged a bunch of household problems, including a leaking fridge, faucet, overflowing rain gutters, and basement bathroom grout. Tested our exterior house paint for lead (none, thankfully) so I'll get that large project started end of summer when all the wood has really dried out. Bit the bullet and after my dishwasher's controller failed again, we replaced it with one with a great warranty, using credits from our local hardware store that we got as gifts from our wedding, so out of pocket for under $150. No idea what to do with the old one.

My FIL is gifting me his broken pressure washer to see if I can breathe life back into it. He thinks it's just a faulty gasket or two so I'm hoping I can get it working for under $20 in parts. It's gas powered which sucks. I might just sell it.

Looking back, nothing feels "monumental" in life these days and I'm good with it. I'm happy to have life stress look like a leaky fridge, given the last 2 years I've had.

2Birds1Stone
Posts: 1645
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Location: Earth

Re: My side of the mountain

Post by 2Birds1Stone »

I would definitely take one full day off per week to avoid building up too much systemic fatigue.

Our resistance training is very similar. This is my first time dabbling with higher rep, lighter loads with slow eccentrics and man do I wish I learned about this stuff sooner. The biggest variance is that I split arms into push/pull and hit every body part 2X every 8 days or so.

For performance, peri-workout nutrition definitely matters, especially in a caloric deficit. Have some fast digesting carbs an hour before your workout and some afterwards with a faster digesting protein and you'll improve performance while maintaining your deficit. The longer you've been in the deficit, the more impact it will have.

How fast are you losing weight as a % of your bodyweight?

AxelHeyst
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Re: My side of the mountain

Post by AxelHeyst »

Your programming reminds me of a Mentzer style HIT routine I did in my early 20s which was the most fun I've ever had in the gym. Three lifting days/wk, longest workout was 23min, leg day took ~7min to complete but I seriously considered purchasing a cane to deal with the DOMS. :lol:
thef0x wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:21 pm
Feeling overwhelmed by all the excess junk in our house but totally unmotivated to start up my ebay habit again. The tendency to compare the income/effort ratio of that work vs a few more sales calls is off-base as one has a fairly meaningless impact on my wellbeing now (the sales calls, as I don't feel my SWR in any sense) whereas I know I'll feel calmer without all the the junk yelling at me each time I walk by.
My struggle right now is the comparative advantage thinking that is yelling at me to just take one trip to the thrift store and be done with it "for good, this time." :roll: instead of ebaying it all.

mathiverse
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Re: My side of the mountain

Post by mathiverse »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:56 am
My struggle right now is the comparative advantage thinking that is yelling at me to just take one trip to the thrift store and be done with it "for good, this time." :roll: instead of ebaying it all.
I have this struggle too... The question I ask myself is whether I'll learn my lesson if I don't suffer the consequences by selling everything rather than dumping it on a thrift store (likely for them to toss quite a bit...).

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grundomatic
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Re: My side of the mountain

Post by grundomatic »

The struggle is real. Which resource shall I waste, and which will be conserved?

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