Suns Out, Guns Out

Summer time fitness check in:

It’s been a couple months since the spring semester has let out and since I’ve been back state side (more on my Taiwan trip to come, my bad for the delay!).

Here’s what I’ve been up to in my fitness game.

First up – Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 41″
  • Chest: 36″
  • Biceps: 11.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 22″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Weight: 142.8# BF: 21%

Next up – 1RMs:


  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 90#
  • Dead lift: 205# (new PR!)
  • Squat: 125#


  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 40#
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 60#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 315# (222.705# at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 585# (413.595# at a 40° angle – another new PR!)
  • Leg Extension: 175#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 145#
  • Hip Abduction: maxed out
  • Hip Adduction: maxed out
  • Chest Press: 100#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 100#
  • Seated Rows: 100#

Haven’t done much running at all this year; missed the PGH Marathon (ran every year since 2010) due to being out of the country (which is a pretty cool reason) but I’ve been biking everywhere and doing my best to keep up with the National Bike Challenge (May – Sept). I’ve also been hitting the gym for some lifting time about 2-3x a week, keeping it casual with alternating upper/lower body focus days plus some abdominal work.

Upper body focus days:

  • Bench press
  • Lat pull downs
  • Bent rows
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Overhead press


  • Incline crunches
  • Incline Russian twists with medicine ball
  • Oblique bends with plate

Lower body focus days:

  • Squats – barbell, on bosu ball, free weights
  • Deadlifts – barbell
  • Leg / Calf press – hip sled
  • Lunges – weighted with plates or dumbbells, walking

Abdominals: variations of above list


  • 969.2 miles in 46 days
Year to date:
  • 1,359.7 miles in 82 days

January – 13 out of 31 days, 106.1 miles total

February – 7 out of 29 days, 62.5 miles total

March – 3 out of 31 days, 29.2 miles total

April – 13 out of 30 days, 192.8 miles total

May – 20 out of 31 days, 440.6 miles total

June – 25 out of 30 days, 509.6 miles total

July – just started

Aside from commuting I’ve been hitting up some trails and going on group rides at least once a week. Including: Steel City Roll (first Mon of each month – next ride 07.04.16), 412 Flock (third Fri of each month – next ride 07.15.16), PGH undies ride (last Thur of each month – just went on one last night 06.30.16, next ride 07.28.16) and random rides with friends around Pittsburgh, the #LunchLoop (new) with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH (06.17.16, 07.14.16, and 08.23.16) as well as OpenStreetsPGH (last Sun of May, June, July – new route this month) again with with HealthyRidePGH and BikePGH. For those in the Pittsburgh area feel free to come out and join me for these monthly group rides!

12 week Fitness Check-In

This assessment took place about mid-later November, just before my Thanksgiving break. I’ve added 2 more races to this month (Nov), taking place over the break: the Turkey Trot 5 miler and the Ugly Sweater 5K. I’ve also added a December run: the Jingle Bell 5K. No measurement checks for this round but I did weight in at 135# my lowest yet since the summer only this time it’s in a healthy way and at no cost of muscle mass.

ZooZilla 5K Results: 30:05 (9:42m/mile pace)

Turkey Trot 5 miler Results:

Ugly Sweater 5K Results = 28:03 (9:03m/mile pace)



  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 100#
  • Dead lift: 190# (new PR)
  • Squat: 115# (back to PR from last year)


  • Arm Curls: 30# (90# using the cable stack weights)
  • Arm Extension: 40# (100# using the cable stack weights)
  • Shoulder Press: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 55#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15-20# (LF>RT) (frontal>lateral)

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 450# (318.15# since this is at a 40° angle)
  • Calf Press: 450# (318.15# since this is at a 40° angle)
  • Leg Extension: 190#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 185#
  • Hip Abduction: 245#
  • Hip Adduction: 245#
  • Chest Press: 120#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 116.6#
  • Seated Rows: 110#
  • Pec Fly: 90#

8 week Fitness Check-In

I had to recalculate my 1RMs for my free weights and machines since there were extra weights that I had not consider and much debate as to how much the barabells weigh. It has been confirmed that the weight of the large barbell is 45# not 65# as originally thought and the small barbell is 25#. For the stacked machines I had not been adding the cylinder weights, which range from 6.6-10 additional pounds to my total weight. I am now deciding to focus on using the barbell for my squats (vs. the smith machine) and overhead shoulder presses (vs. the stacked machine which isn’t fitted correctly for my body type).



  • Bench Press: 100#
  • Bent Over Rows: 100#
  • Dead lift: 165#
  • Squat: 110#barbell



  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 35#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 50#
  • Lateral/Frontal Shoulder Raise: 15#benefits-of-the-dumbell-582x319

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 219.17#
  • Calf Press: 275#
  • Leg Extension: 180#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 165#
  • Hip Abduction: 245#
  • Hip Adduction: 220#
  • Chest Press: 120#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 116.6#
  • Overhead Shoulder Press: 105#
  • Seated Rows: 110#
  • Pec Fly: 70# 86519628_xs

New Measurements: (I’ve lost another full inch total – slimming down in my waist & thighs + gaining more musculature definition in my arms and calves)

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 40″
  • Chest: 35″
  • Biceps: 10.5″
  • Waist: 32″
  • Hips: 37″
  • Thigh: 21″
  • Calf: 15″

Height: 5′ 4″ = 64″ (for BMI) Weight: 138# BMI: 24.2 Body Fat %: TBD

I’m seeing great improvements in strength, mobility, speed (running), mileage (biking) and tonicity (definition). It’s nearing the end of week 9 (end of Oct) in my lifting/ fitness/ exercising journey and others are now starting to notice a positive difference. I’m maintaining a 5 day/week training routine: anaerobic exercises paired with aerobic training. I’ve been including more core, specifically with abdominal strengthening exercises.


M, W, F = UB days -> a combo incorporating chest, back (upper, mid and lower), shoulders (anterior, mid, posterior deltoids) and arms (biceps and triceps) + abdominal exercises… Bench, Bent rows, Lat pulls, DB curls/extensions/presses + incline crunches, Russian twists and woodchops with cables. I also do my biking on these days (8-12 miles typically each day)

T, Th = LB days -> a combo incorporating glutes (max, min, medius), hamstrings, quads and calves with some adductor/ abductor isolation if need be (but I’m focusing on free weight squats so won’t need to do these as much) + more abdominals… Squats, Leg/Calf Presses, Lunges, Dead lifts + planks, penguins, crunches on the balance ball

I’ve been racing pretty frequently, about every weekend or so now. My latest running conquest was the EQT 10 miler, will post a race report on tumblr. I did really well, timing at 1:34:38 (9:27/mi pace). If I keep this pace up or better I’ll be right on track to hitting a new PR for the half marathon distance. My next race is the Zoozilla 5K and I’m looking into a couple event options for my Dec run.

Summer Fitness Goals

I’m happy to be on summer break now after finishing up my first year back in college. I’ve studied hard and worked hard now it is time to play hard.

End of spring semester 1-RMs:


  • Bench Press: 85#
  • Bent Over Rows: 75#
  • Deadlift: 115#
  • Squat: 115#


  • Arm Curls: 25#
  • Arm Extension: 30#
  • Shoulder Shrug: 45#

Stacked Machines:

  • Leg Press: 250# (x.707 = 176.75)
  • Calf Press: 250# (176.75)
  • Leg Extension: 155#
  • Seated Leg Curls: 155#
  • Hip Abduction: 215#
  • Hip Adduction: 215#
  • Chest Press: 125#
  • Overhead Press: 95#
  • Lateral Pull Down: 106.6#
  • Seated Rows: 95#

Plank: 2 min Push ups to max: 33 Sit ups: 105 in 1 min Pull ups: 3 (haven’t tried in about a year so prob 0)

Current Measurements:

  • Neck: 13″
  • Shoulders: 42″
  • Chest: 37″
  • Biceps: 11″
  • Waist: 35″
  • Hips: 39″
  • Thigh: 23.5″
  • Calf: 14.5″

Height: 5′ 4″ = 64″ Weight: 149.5# BMI: 25.7 Body Fat %: 26.5%

I want to get down to my ideal running weight and build strong, lean muscle mass. I have done some reading and calculating. My goal is for a body fat percent of 13%, it’s right in the middle of my range (low 10-16 high), which means my ideal weight for racing is 127# so I need to loose about 22# of fat. This number is really arbitrary since the important aspect of this goal is to cut fat and gain muscle. I want to use the summer to get a jump start on this goal and am not necessarily looking to loose all of this weight in 3 months (that’s about 2# a week).

optimal racing weights

I want to really work on my racing pace over the summer, Right now my 5K race pace has been about 10-11 min/mi, I haven’t really done a 10K race officially but I’ve run the 5+ miler fun run in 50min which is a 9:48 min/mi pace and I ran the Pittsburgh marathon relay this month my leg = 6.2 miles with my time/ pace being 1hr 9min/ 11:16min per mi, my best PR for the half is 2:15 which is a 10:18 min/mi, I’ve only done one full since I’ve started running and I finished just over 6 hours with about a 14+ min/mi pace. My race pace goals are as such —> 5K: 25min (about an 8 min/mi pace) 10K: 50-55min (less than 9 min/mi pace) Half Marathon: 2 hours (9:10 min/mi pace) Full Marathon: 4:22 (about a 10 min/mi pace).

I’m already signed up for a couple 5Ks and a 10K for the summer and fall + True Runner hosts weekly fun runs and monthly happy hour runs that are free and include great hill work. I want to get more serious about my running. I do well with each race and hit my goals but I think running for so many years has made me take my training for granted and even get a little lazy about it. I stay pretty active year round doing a variety of activities (climbing, biking, walking, lifting etc.) but I want to include more running. I also want to have fun with them and include words/ drawing out pics during my runs!

In addition to running I want get a lot miles in on my bike and swim practice. Another fitness goal is to get myself ready to fully complete the Pittsburgh Triathlon. Last year I participated in my first triathlon but was unable to finish the swimming portion; I completed the bike and running parts though. I won’t be going on my annual summer bike trip (DC to Pgh tour) so I want to make sure I get in long rides. I’m also hopeful to get in a couple day trips maybe even a weekend trip riding on the GAP to Ohio Pyle and back.

I think that covers my cardio based workouts and event training so moving on to lifting. My main focus will be heavy free weight exercises using the bench press, bent over row, deadlifting and squats as my core lifts. I want to be able to lift at least my body weight but since I have goals to loose some of that, it’s a relative number so I’m going with 150# initially then working my way up. The last couple months have been pretty rough on me and I hadn’t been in the gym lifting like I wanted so I have some catching up to do. I have promising job interviews coming up (wish my luck) and so I have to make extra sure that I make time to train/ exercise.