Fitocracy Catch-All

My gym decided to make some renovations over the new year. They tore down the power rack and put up a mirror on the wall across from it. Supposedly, a new rack is on its way, but it's been something like 2 weeks... That's the piece of equipment I use the most over there. If they don't get one in before Monday, I'm going to have to find a new gym. Grrr.

Jonman wrote:
Superbeard wrote:

Ho boy. Hopefully I don't drop the ball on this. I doubt I'll win, but I want to focus on my own personal consistency.

My experience is that it's rarely about winning, largely because you have no control over how many points the other people are scoring. If there's someone who's a big burly guy who's lifting hundreds of pounds of iron, while you're a runner, then you're immediately at a points-disadvantage simply by virtue of the intricacies of the scoring system. You'd have to dedicate much more time to running to score the same points as, lets say Miashara or EvilHomer, (who are the two big lifters of the GWJ gang that spring to mind).

That said, I've found that it's another little bump up to your motivation to maintain consistency, and that's pure fried gold.

This. Absolutely this. The points are fun for a while, and can help you gauge yourself against your past performance as well as someone who's similar to you that you are using as a role model, but don't worry about winning Fitocracy. The system isn't perfect, but it's very useful. Beyond that, the way I think of it is "Come for the points, stay for the community." The folks on there are very good about keeping you motivated with props, advice, and little positive comments that help reward the hard work you put in.

Miashara wrote:
Jonman wrote:
Miashara wrote:
clover wrote:

And we all know fried gold is better than baked gold, no matter what the ads say.

Not if you're trying to get fit, sadly.

I dunno man, a gold-heavy diet would probably result in significant weight-loss :o

This is one of those times getting fit and significant weight loss are not synonymous.

I totally read the title of this song as 'I'm Gonna Gilt You Sucka'. All that gold talk!

Jonman wrote:

I've just kicked off the New Years Resolution Accountability Challenge for Team GWJ on Fitocracy.

You've got a week and a bit to sign up. The challenge runs for a month, from Jan 14 thru Valentines Day. Take your holiday flab and turn it into Valentines' sexy!

I've joined. I fell off the wagon for a bit, but I can tell from sleep patterns and aches and pains that I need to get back in the saddle; if I could be excused for mixing my metaphors.

Re: scoring - I have given up that the scores will make any sense. Routines that are more things that women do are really scored low, whereas high pound weights are ridiculously overscored...there's been discussion about it since beta, but the devs has said they don't really care what the female users want, because those users should be lifting weights. That said, the system did make me investigate lifting, but because I bulk up really, really fast, I don't do high weight, lo-rep, I do low weight, hi-rep...which doesn't score as well. So, I've just given up on score for anything but as a measure to track my own progress.

Re: logging: I may have the android beta still installed on my phone, I'm not sure...but I thought the app was only for Heroes, and I haven't taken that plunge. For logging, I carry a folded sheet of paper and a pen, and just move it with my water bottle, towel and disinfectant from station to station.

During this flu pandemic, I've been a crazy person with the disinfectant. I carry a spritzer bottle of perfumer's alcohol (90%), and spray everything before I touch it. The gym has wipes, but I've gotten sick from the gym 3 or 4 times, so I don't trust the wipes anymore. (Perfumer's alcohol is an ethyl alcohol, so doesn't have the disgusting smell of isopropyl alcohol, it's oderless until you add a fragrance or essential oil...and I leave it unscented for the gym so I don't set off anyone's allergies.) Although, I do keep it in a bottle with a very official looking chemical label, so that if I get stopped, I don't get pinged for having an open alcohol container in the car...because everclear is also an ethyl.

My immune system has been really weakened by something, and none of the tests have been able to figure out what it is, but I'm tired of being sick all the time; so I've gotten really aggressive about sterilizing ALL The Things.

Android app is available for everyone now.

I bulk up pretty much instantaneously too, so I don't really even touch weights unless I'm already working out five days a week. I'm feeling your pain, Duckideva

(Also with the mystery immunosuppression. Yuck.)

Basically, the devs believe that lifting weights is more important than running, yoga, tae-bo, etcetera. Is it broken? Definitately. That said I do believe that strength training is very important in overall health. Just look at Jack LaLanne at 71 years old.
IMAGE(http://anthonycolpo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Jack-LaLanne-at-71.jpg)

Overall, I think the point system is messed up but don't worry about it too much. It is good for comparing your own workouts to each other and not so much comparing your workouts to someone else (especially someone who doesn't do the same things as you). I do like it to see what others are doing and use that to get ideas about things I can do.

The problem with the points being busted is that they also have these "challenges"..... and the most popular challenges are straight-up points based.

Essentially, the heavy weight bias makes ones of the more interesting aspects of the site a complete joke.

Does anyone know how to "complete" quests now, with the new interface? I saw a not on the site that said you have to add quests to your tracker with the new interface to be able to complete them. However, I can't figure out where to do that?

Edit: Nevermind, found it.

Isn't there a way to set up a challenge that rates 1.) the regularity with which people work out and 2.) the duration of the workout?

That said, strength training on the level we're doing it pretty much requires an off day. So that's 800-1,000 points every other day. 1h of cardio typically clocks in at 500-600 points and can be done every day. So as far as a pure points-based challenge is concerned, it comes out about even or with cardio ahead, which is fair, since it's basically double the time investment.

Or you could just pull a m0nk3yboy and move 800-1,000 points worth of boxes everyday. x)

Luggage wrote:

That said, strength training on the level we're doing it pretty much requires an off day. So that's 800-1,000 points every other day. 1h of cardio typically clocks in at 500-600 points and can be done every day. So as far as a pure points-based challenge is concerned, it comes out about even or with cardio ahead, which is fair, since it's basically double the time investment.

At the heavier weights, 800-1000 is a tiny workout. 2000+ points every other day is what a lot of lifters seem to average. The only way I can get close to that as a more cardio-focused guy is sprint training.... I can get ~1200 for a tough hour of killing myself on the field, and still require that day off. (Unfortunately I can't do my sprints in the frozen tundra, so winter is out for that...)

Huh, I guess you're right. Must be my puny beginner's weights and 3 exercise 5x5. But you know what, I still prefer that over the 2h, 10 exercise, 3x20 rep bullsh*t workouts focusing on isolation machines that "trainers" gave me in the past. Those would probably be worth 1,500+ points as well, but the gains I made were pretty negligible.

So yeah, a "who works out regularly, averaging 30-60 minutes a day" challenge would be way nicer.

Luggage wrote:

Or you could just pull a m0nk3yboy and move 800-1,000 points worth of boxes everyday. x)

Not true... I don't work Sunday or Monday nights

Luggage wrote:

Isn't there a way to set up a challenge that rates 1.) the regularity with which people work out and 2.) the duration of the workout?

Not yet there isn't, no. Nearly all of the challenge types are points-based, with a few outliers such as "# of pushups" or "miles run". I'm thinking I'm going to start throwing some of those non-points based one into the mix. I suspect that come March or April, as the weather turns nicer, a "miles run" challenge might be good to tempt the runners in the group to get back into consistent regular training.

Luggage wrote:

Isn't there a way to set up a challenge that rates 1.) the regularity with which people work out and 2.) the duration of the workout?

That said, strength training on the level we're doing it pretty much requires an off day. So that's 800-1,000 points every other day. 1h of cardio typically clocks in at 500-600 points and can be done every day. So as far as a pure points-based challenge is concerned, it comes out about even or with cardio ahead, which is fair, since it's basically double the time investment.

Or you could just pull a m0nk3yboy and move 800-1,000 points worth of boxes everyday. x)

Yeah, I can easily hit 3,000 points per day and have hit 4,000 before. Then I'll do cardio or body weight exercises on off days and I do martial arts in there as well. That said some days I'm spending 3 hours or more working out. This Friday, for example, I'll do an hour with weights and then 90 minutes of drills and sparring for taekwondo. It will likely be a 4000 point day (although some days I skip the lunch workout and eat lunch).

Adding time challenges would be difficult. Many activities (esp. weights) don't have a time involved with them. I suppose with weights you could say they are x seconds per rep or a minute per set or something.

If you are just starting out it probably doesn't matter. Whether you are looking at weights or running or biking someone like jonman or miashara is going to beat you out on points. I'd like to see the challenges be level based so that it levels the points across different levels. Maybe comparing points for a level 30 person to the average points and compares points for a level 3 person to other level 3s and base it on averages rather than standard points.

We all get that the points are silly, but as noted, few of the challenges aren't point based. When I'm doing Smolov, my warm up sets routinely outscore my actual lifting sets. This is one of the reasons I quit logging anything for a while.

In their defense, I don't think a point based system can work for exercise. Even between EvilHomer and myself, it's obvious we're lifting for different purposes, to say nothing of the rest or our other forms of exercise. Yet we're scored on the same scale. That just isn't going to work well. And as for why weight lifting is worth more, honestly it's probably because weight lifting is just easier to score. (Weight x rep #) is an easy formula, where as something similar for cardio, running say, would require time and distance, but also elevation change, possibly altitude, pulse rate, etc.

Honestly I really dislike the points. I think Fitocracy, esp if the android app works well, is one of the best ways of logging exercise and so I'm going using it again in spite of the points.

I think the key thing to understand about the "unfairness" of the points system is that no-one walks into the the gym for the first time in 5 years, squats 300 lbs and logs a 3000 point day.

The reason that EvilHomer is grinding out absurd amounts of points is that he has worked his ass off getting to that point.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

That said some days I'm spending 3 hours or more working out.

Not only is he spending a crapton of time earning those points, those points are built on top of years of effort to get to that point. Let's not forget, the name of the site Fitocracy.

Likewise, at the peak of my race season last year, when I was in the best shape of my life, I was hitting 3000 points on heavy days, but that involved 3+ hours of solid sweating, and there's no way that after a lazy off-season, I could replicate those kind of efforts today. 6 months from now, when I've clawed my way back into peak condition, sure I will, and damn it'll feel good, because I'll have earned it.

In short, those monster points are well earned. If you're pissed that you can't score those same points, then you're really pissed that you haven't put the work in to earn them.

That said, there is still a glaring flaw in that sometimes, genetics conspires against you to preclude you from being able to replicate those efforts. You drop a Y chromosome, and boy howdy do those 300lb squats look further away....In fact, I'm a little surprised that there hasn't been an effort to normalize the lifting points between genders. Something like a 100 lb squat scoring the same for a woman as a 130lb squat does for a guy. I picked numbers at random, but you get the idea.

Even the cardio points can be a little silly, since they seem to weight time more than effort.

I had one instance last spring where I rode my bike with the kids to school in the morning, and did the same ride in the afternoon to pick them up. When I picked them up, I didn't pause my timer while waiting for the bell to ring, and ended up with twice as many points for what was essentially the same ride.

0:30:22.3 || 3.8 mi || 7.6 mph (+45 pts) Kids to school
0:59:49.4 || 3.9 mi || 4 mph (+96 pts) Left timer running, oops.

One thing I noticed about points for biking is that if you use a heart rate monitor you get significantly more points than if you don't. I don't remember who it was but I did a ride without the monitor that was very similar (not exact) to someone else who did it with a monitor. They got twice the points I did.

I dont remember who but someone who was starting out lifting was having trouble with the deadlift and scraping their knees. My biggest suggestion for that is to use one of the smooth knurled bars. I accidentally used a rough bar last week and it tears your legs up. The smooth is so much easier on your shins. Not only that but I think the rough knurl subconsciously makes you sacrifice form for non-bloody shins. It does me, at least.

Finally, if you are starting out with weights don't get discouraged if you aren't doing 300 pound squats. Everyone starts somewhere. It is important to get the form right from the start so you don't get hurt later. Especially so for squats, dead lifts, and anything that involves your back. If you get into bad habits they are tough to break. I would like to break my habit of mouth breathing but it's very difficult to do. Would have been much easier to start out breathing correctly.

EvilHomer3k wrote:

Finally, if you are starting out with weights don't get discouraged if you aren't doing 300 pound squats. Everyone starts somewhere. It is important to get the form right from the start so you don't get hurt later. Especially so for squats, dead lifts, and anything that involves your back. If you get into bad habits they are tough to break. I would like to break my habit of mouth breathing but it's very difficult to do. Would have been much easier to start out breathing correctly.

I am not to concerned about weights, since I am mostly watching form and going up a notch or two every session anyway. That said I looked at the Starting Strength workout and while Deadlifts, Squats and Benchpresses are fine with me, the Clean and Press intimidate me in a "accident waiting to happen" kinda way.

Luggage wrote:

I am not to concerned about weights, since I am mostly watching form and going up a notch or two every session anyway. That said I looked at the Starting Strength workout and while Deadlifts, Squats and Benchpresses are fine with me, the Clean and Press intimidate me in a "accident waiting to happen" kinda way.

Sorry, but NOPE!

Bench press is the *the* thing you should be worried about. Dropping 100+lbs on your face or throat is A Problem. Dropping same weight during a clean-and-press is a piece of cake. You might, at worst, break some toes.

Squats and deadlifts might give you some injuries if your form is poor, but you're unlikely to kill yourself doing those. Screw up a heavy bench press, and you can die.

Yeah I guess, but that's what spotters are for, no?

Points and props... I stopped caring six months ago. Sometimes I open the group and prop a bunch, but mostly just check the work and the chatter.

What I like is the performance graphs, and the fact that, even before the android app, I was logging workouts on my andriod, via the mobile website. I am on 5/3/1 program. Tip of the hat to all the 5/3/1, Starting Strength, Smolov, 5x5, and everyone trying to get stronger.

PR attempt today or tomorrow... star may be seen by all, stars WILL be seen by me, regardless of lift or fail.

EvilHomer: Hope to see you logging again, soon. You are inspiring.

Thanks, wickbroke. I have not found anything else to use so I began logging again last week. That may change when I get my new phone but for now it's back to fitocracy.

I work out alone (no spotter) which makes me afraid to add weight when I bench. I know I could do dumbbell bench and run a slightly smaller chance of breaking all of the teeth out of my head but it just isn't as satisfying.

H to the ickle wrote:

I work out alone (no spotter) which makes me afraid to add weight when I bench. I know I could do dumbbell bench and run a slightly smaller chance of breaking all of the teeth out of my head but it just isn't as satisfying.

Yup. You and me both. I'm always a couple of steps down from where I'm really struggling on a bench press. I'm OK with that. Better a lower PR than being Captain Gummy.

Jonman wrote:
H to the ickle wrote:

I work out alone (no spotter) which makes me afraid to add weight when I bench. I know I could do dumbbell bench and run a slightly smaller chance of breaking all of the teeth out of my head but it just isn't as satisfying.

Yup. You and me both. I'm always a couple of steps down from where I'm really struggling on a bench press. I'm OK with that. Better a lower PR than being Captain Gummy.

Do you work out at a gym or at home? If you have a rack (hur hur) you can set the safety bars up so if you do drop it, it won't hit your face. This does not let you get a full ROM, so there is that problem. Dumbbell bench press is usually the way to get high weight without a spotter, because each individual weight is lighter as well as combined. You're somewhat less likely to drop both of them on your face simultaneously.

Also, would someone look at the description for 2-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl and tell me if that doesn't look like a bent over row to you? I swear I'm not crazy.

Jonman wrote:

In short, those monster points are well earned. If you're pissed that you can't score those same points, then you're really pissed that you haven't put the work in to earn them.

That's nonsense, Jonman. I can play a 5 game (~7 hour) competitive ultimate frisbee tournament - which requires me to be in awesome shape, sweat my ass off, and lose a lot of skin in the process - and score 2500 points (500ish per 1h15m). That's a nice haul, but nothing like one of EvilHomer's ROUTINE days.

Being annoyed with Fito's point bias has nothing to do with being "pissed I haven't put in the work to earn them" - that's just arrogant thinking - it has everything to do with the system being massively torqued towards rewarding one specific type of athlete above all the rest.

If you've got a power cage you can bench in there and have the safety pins above your chest enough so that you won't die if you have a problem with the weight. That said, my bench press sucks because of a weak left wrist, so I'm still very much a novice on that lift.

Miashara wrote:

Also, would someone look at the description for 2-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl and tell me if that doesn't look like a bent over row to you? I swear I'm not crazy.

Uhh....Yup, that sounds like a row to me. Right when they say thumbs facing each other I was like "yeah, that's not a preacher curl at all"

Just logged my first fitocracy workout yesterday! wooo! Here's hoping I'll be able to add something to it every day! Although with the way my legs are feeling today, my cardio day (Wednesday) is looking like it's going to be pretty rough

Well, it's snowing here. In the deep South, which means nobody has chains or knows how to drive. (I'd say they don't know how to drive on ice...but they don't know how to drive on water either. Dry roads are challenging. I swear, people should get out of my damn way....but anyway...) School wasn't cancelled for Boy, so I'm strapping on my big girl panties, and a pair of long johns, in case I end up in a ditch...and I'm headed to the gym. Neither sleet nor sirens shall keep me from my appointed dumbells.

Re; weights....I don't have a workout buddy either; and I scared myself with the bench press; so I'm sticking to either dumbbells or, on the rare occasion it's available; I use the Smith(?) machine; which is freeweights, but in a sort of rack system where theoretically you can't kill yourself because of safety stops. A gorgeous fireman showed me how to use it; but it's usually got a couple of people waiting for it...I think I work out at the same time as the local firehouse and cop shop...lately the early morning gym has been me, the little old ladies (Erm...I may *be* one of them now...sigh) and a bevy of beautiful boys. All of them 20 years younger than I am, but I tell you...the Mrs. Robinson thoughts are enough to motivate me to go watch them while I work out. (I'm a bad woman. A bad, bad woman.)