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Everything posted by Spine

  1. That would be great! I'm committed to my gyms--one is right near my office, and the other is right near my house. Can't beat that. But I'd gladly head over to a 24 Hour Fitness for an occasional meetup.
  2. Just wondering where the Portlanders here train. I saw a thread from last year about occasional meetups at different gyms in town.I couldn't tell if that ever happened, but it's a great idea. Lift weights, talk about broccoli and Vega, lift more weights--sounds a lot better than the conversations I usually have at the gym. (Wait...I don't have any.) I work out at Lloyd Athletic Club and West Coast Health & Fitness (usually the Lombard location). Others?
  3. Tuc: you're right, I need to get a good shot of my back. Seems like posing for a back photo is an art in itself. I don't think there's much to show yet, though--that's one area that definitely needs more attention in the months ahead. Just started doing V-bar pulldowns today and loved them. Daywalker: my avatar is a detail from a portrait of me made by a friend of mine for a show he had here in Portland. Talented bastard. You can see the full version at my blog. Once again, thanks to all for the generous comments.
  4. Thanks, fellas. My T-shirts are feeling a little smaller, so I guess that's a good sign... DV, I belong to two gyms (a total luxury, made possible by a reimbursement benefit from my employer): Lloyd Athletic Club and West Coast Health & Fitness. I'm usually at Lloyd during the day, and at the Lombard St. WCHF evenings and weekends. It would be great to meet up with some fellow vegan lifters. Anybody here work out at either of these gyms?
  5. I prefer almond butter for nutritional reasons, but yeah, it can be pricey. I get mine (and all nuts and seeds) at Trader Joe's.
  6. Hey, thanks guys! Robert, I'd love to meet up with some people from the forum. I was a bit too late seeing the post about the last meetup at Proper Eats, which is just a few blocks from my place. Lean & Green, thanks for the encouragement. I do try to stay lean--in fact, I'm at my all-time high weight right now and I have to keep reminding myself it's muscle. I don't think I'll be joining the 200 Club anytime soon... I wish I'd taken some proper "before" pictures, because I've made some modest gains and it would be nice to see the improvement. On the other hand, I'm motivated to keep working out the next few months to see some real progress. I eased into lifting, not wanting to injure myself. Now I'm starting to lift some heavier weights and push myself to work harder.
  7. Thanks! I think it was a photographic fluke, but I'll take it. My abs are getting stronger, but I'd love to have a flatter stomach and narrower waist. That gets more challenging the closer I get to 40 (gulp).
  8. UPDATED July '08: Scroll down for new entry and photos. Age: 37 Height: 5'9" Weight before training (started December 2007): about 154 Weight in March '08: 160 Weight in July '08: 161 March 2008 Well, I've been hitting the weights for about three months now, so I thought I'd stop lurking here and post some pictures. For me, these are progress photos, but they'll be "before" photos for you--assuming I keep at it and post again in a few months. I'm grateful to have found this forum. When I went vegan last year, I found that I had more energy to burn, and I wanted to be a good ambassador for veganism, which meant using my own good health to counter all the usual myths about vegans. Discovering this site got me intrigued about weight training, so I got started. (I'd lifted in the past as part of my usual gym routine, but nothing serious or thorough.) Robert's sample routine for beginning bodybuilders gave me a starting point, and recently I've been using the pyramid method that is so frighteningly well documented in Troy's training diary. I've also learned a lot from John Hansen's book Natural Bodybuilding, which has been an invaluable source of information for different exercises and how to do them. Only in the last few weeks have I felt that I'm actually doing the exercises correctly. My shoulders in particular were hurting, and I probably would've damaged my rotator cuffs if I hadn't started 1) using proper form (or trying, anyway--still a lot to learn) and 2) beginning my workouts with light weights to warm up the muscles. I'm feeling more comfortable handling weights. I didn't start squats until a few weeks ago because they scared me--what if I break my back? Now I'm enjoying them. My favorite area to train: chest/biceps. Least favorite: abs. I haven't learned to love the burn of an abs workout yet. I usually work out four days a week: chest/biceps, back/abs, shoulders/triceps, legs. I try not to go more than two days in a row. Learning about the role of nutrition has been a revelation. I don't think I ever made the connection among calories, protein, and muscle growth. Eating a lot is a tough one for me. My style before was to have a low-calorie, highly nutritious whole-foods diet. So it's a bit weird to be chugging Vega and eating mid-morning and afternoon snacks, but I'm getting used to it. Here's a photo from last summer: http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_before.jpg And below are photos taken this morning, March 1, 2008. Suggestions are welcome and most appreciated. I want a balanced physique, so let me know what needs work (besides the obvious--everything ). Thanks to all of you for making this forum such a unique and motivating resource. I'll post more pics in a couple of months. (Pics moved to updated entry below) UPDATE: July 2008 OK, so I finally got around to taking some new photos. I continue to hit the weights 3 or 4 times a week, though I've had to take a hiatus here and there due to winter colds or busy times at work (of which there have been far too many). I'm pleased with the progress I've made. But seeing these new pics makes me realize that I've got plenty more work to do. My weight has pretty much leveled off at 161 or so. That's only a pound more than I weighed in March, and yet I'm thicker now. I suppose this means I've lost some fat and replaced it with muscle, and that's pretty cool. My legs are stronger now but haven't really gained any mass. I'm intrigued by the idea of getting bigger but I think I'm pretty much where I want to be. I'm definitely eating more calories, but I can't seem to put away more than 2500 or so in a day. Just doesn't feel natural to me. So for now I'll just work on symmetry, definition, and LBM. I feel like I'm still learning how to lift weights properly. I'm not in a hurry to increase the weight I lift, because I find I can make the exercises harder and more stimulating to the muscles just by concentrating on form and contracting the right areas. It's been a really interesting project, and I love the results. Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions! I look forward to meeting some of you during the PDX portion of VV '08. Same T-shirt, summer 2007 and summer 2008 http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_before.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08e.jpg If you think that's a skinny arm in the 2007 pic, here I am at 18 years old: http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JFat18.jpg Yes, that's a mullet. Hey, it was the 80s. Now on to the comparison pics: March 2008, July 2008 http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_Mar0108a.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08g.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_Mar0108c.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08a.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_Mar0108d.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08c.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_Mar0108b.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08f.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_Mar0108e.jpg http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08d.jpg Onward! http://masaladose.com/wp-content/files/JF_July08b.jpg
  9. Damn, sorry I missed this! I'm fortunate to live a few blocks from Proper Eats. Love the place. I'm digesting a tempeh reuben right now, as a matter of fact... Hope to meet up with some of you next time.
  10. But has your taste in eyewear also improved? Seriously, very inspirational pics. Great work! I think we have a similar body type so I was especially interested in seeing your progress. Something to work toward. I'm hoping to put my own pics up soon.
  11. Hey--I'm in PDX already so I'd love to take part in Vegan Vacation. I haven't been very active on the forum--more of a lurker so far. But I'm always down for a good veggie event.
  12. Thanks all! I've already found some great tips here to try at my gym (West Coast Health & Fitness on Lombard, for any North Portlanders out there). Robert--nope, we haven't met yet, but I plan to attend the Holiday Fest so I'll look forward to seeing you there.
  13. Hi all, Nice to see such a vibrant vegan community. I'm 36, a lucky resident of the Pacific Northwest, and a hardcore nutrition fan for the last several years. I recently made the full switch to veganism because I realized it was the best option for me and for the planet. I get most of my exercise from hiking, rock climbing, and cardio at the gym. I do lift weights a bit and have always wondered how far I could take it. My body responds quickly to weight training. (I'm 5'9", 155 pounds.) Maybe this site will inspire me to take it further. If only ab work didn't burn so bad... See you all around.
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