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So I've joined a 12 weeks challenge called Discipline Your Dedication run by a fitness-personality Pauline Nordin.


Pauline is promoting her Fighterdiet concept which is basically an advice to stuff yourself with low calorie, low GI vegetables so you can have large (&healthy) meals, reach satiety and not binge on crappy foods. And she sells branded supplements and expensive e-books on how exactly you should eat to get lean and stay that way.  There's even quite a variety of these e-books i tell ya! But "nothing new under the sun", and as she puts it - "you don't get fat from what you don't eat" so I believed that motto and never spent time studying the details of what she preaches, and never bought anything of her.

But now I did. I've joined this challenge, spent good 60 USD and intend to make them work for me, and record my progress.

The actual challenge starts on 1 August 2016, which is very conveniently a Monday (and it's always good to start a new virtuous habit on a Monday, especially when it's also the first day of a month!) Until then, I have no idea what the instructions will be - will it only be a meal-plan to follow, or workout schedule and plan too. I'd like to have a way to record how it goes and reflect on it later so for the moment I'll be posting this stuff here.


As part of this challenge I'll be taking weekly progress pictures -  which I believe is excessive but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. So before these 12 weeks start on Monday, I'll submit my pics and stats.

Will keep this journal alive for the whole 12 weeks? Either here, or in a proper blog, or in my little green gym-notebook - I will.


Alright. DYD Dairy - 3 days to start.


P.S. Still haven't found a gym buddy girl, so I guess I'll be asking random strangers to check my form and help with the last few reps. (Who am I kidding, I'm not lifting that heavy. Not yet ;-) )

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nice one, welcome to the forum and good luck with the challenge! in the past when we had a similar gymnation challenge i remember it really inspired me to work a little harder just out of committing to something, keep at it and journalling it is definately a good idea

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Hey Al, good to see you starting a journal. And nicely written, too - I'm definitely going to keep checking in here.


As far as your form goes, don't feel weird about asking strangers in the gym to spot you (it's actually the best way to find a training partner anyway). The other thing you could do is film it, chuck it up on Youtube/Instagram, and give us the link here. Then we can make suggestions for you too.

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Thanks for the comments, this is really encouraging. Think I write better than I lift.


I'm in a bit of a limbo right now -  the challenge doesn't start until Monday and no information is released before the start date. That means I don't know what to do over the weekend. Should I rest and mentally prepare for hard work? Or should I better "warm up" and do at least something?

My workout plan at the moment is not a plan at all. I just aim to show up at the gym every other day or so and do something that will give me a feeling of achievement, like occupy the squat rack for a little longer than I did last week, or sweat into that incline bench a few millilitres more than before, or take a couple more selfie-shots flexing my 25cm biceps (no, I don't do that but maybe I should).

Seriously though.


Last week's log is:

Sat -  Shoulders&Biceps;  Mon -  Legs and a bit of lats; Wed - Shoulders&Biceps; 

So tomorrow, Saturday - chest&back, and Sunday - the most challenging exercise of all - Shavasana! :)

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I did start a proper blog thinking that it might be more searchable and readable later. I'm not sure it will unless I invest in learning markup and CSS and what not. Anyway.

Yay! The book and "Shopping Lists" were released on what they thought was Monday morning, but you and I, we know it was actually Tuesday. This kinda ruined it for me because I already bought all the food for the week and cooked most of it in advance. Will have to read-up on the suggested diet and start ... somewhere!

I couldn't wait and started exploring the workouts though. 

So here we go:

Week 1. Workout 1: Legs is posted here https://dyddiary.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/i-guess-day-1/ 

But it's not fair to suggest anyone should go and read all that. So I'll summarise by conveniently including a snippet from the book.

I don't normally do stuff like hip thrusts (who does that in public anyway?!), so I didn't know what to expect and used 10kg dumbbell - put it on my lower belly (yes, I have an upper belly, middle section, and a lower belly -  very good belly definition ;-) )

Same with Bulgarian split squats - I had to look for pictures of the exercise and watch myself in the mirror and I'm still not sure I did it right, though these made me feel like I'm in hell (only my left leg&glute  for some reason  was in hell, the right leg didn't sin enough probably).

Walking down the stair in J-ville cityfitness to the squat rack I've reconsidered what my working weight should be and loaded 2x5kg plates, and I could have had more but my body was telling me "I don't care, I can do it - I just don't wanna".

Then I wondered wtf is glute ham raises, and apparently no cityfitness gym offers this glute-ham-raise machine so I did laying leg curls. Any thoughts on what could be a better alternative?

Romanian deadlifts are my quite favourite, so that was easy and the weight wasn't too heavy, though I could feel my lower back at some unfortunate point.

And lastly calf raises. (I envy those tangata whenua and Chinese people with meaty developed calves.) I cried, I almost cried on sets 3,4 & 5


Today, after yesterday's workout I was hungry all day. Couldn't resist a handful (or two) of bhuja, while watching the Family Guy. Other food consumed today included :

  1. Breakfast at home 7am: x3 egg whites & yoghurt omelette, ~40g bread with vegemite (tastes like batteries), strawberries 120g; (+Multivitamin)
  2. Breakfast at work 11am: ~40g oat bran with some 20g of various seeds like linseed, chia, sunflower, and pumpkin, 3-4 almonds, one 16g scoop of whey isolate;
  3. Lunch 3pm: steamed bok choi & cauliflower ~180g and slowcooked beef ~80g -all measured cooked;
  4. Dinner 6.30-7pm: spinach ~150g & salmon ~120g (thank god steam-cookers exist!), 2 tsp of some japanese sauce;
    bread ~70-80g, 1/2 tomato, 10g butter and 2tsp of pesto, 2 slices of cheese slices (yes, that not even real food type of cheese) and about 15-20 more g of some other cheese, shredded;
  5. 4-5 small nuts, almonds and cashews, and ...bhuja mix...

Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 06.59.17.png

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I haven's started on THE diet still, but here's a rundown of the stuff I ate yesterday - 4 Aug 2016 and the workout completed yesterday as well, though it is "Day 2, of weeks 1-4" according to the program.

Meals 4 -Aug -2016

  • 7am: 1 "edge" slice of wholemeal bread (what do you call it?) , with vegimite and 1 egg, 2 egg whites;
  • 11.30: ~40 g oat bran + `15g seeds and around 3-4 almonds, 15g whey isolate;
  • 4pm: ~180 g broccoli & cauliflower with ~90g chicken breast and 1 tbsp of linseed oil;
  • 8pm: unknown amount of cabbage, ~80g Japanese seaweed and ~90g of slowcooked beef, measured when cooked;
  • after the workout - really really hungry! - handful, like a heaped tablespoon of bhuja and about 3-4 cashew & almond nuts.

Workout 4-Aug-2016

Again, attached is what it was supposed to be.


And in reality -  only disappointments. First of all I lost my gym card and didn't go straight to the gym after work. Second, I forgot my BCAAs and even water bottle. Third, it was jammed! This specific workout is really difficult to complete in the specific J-ville CF gym. I was running between floors for every next exercise. Lastly, I think it may be too challenging for me, I had to swap one exercise and I struggled picking the right weight to complete the reps.

So here we go:


  1. External Rotations: 5kg was too heavy, 3 kg x 17# / 17#,  2kg 17# / 12# -  left arm burnt and hurt, could't keep the same range of motion for my left arm as for the right. Next time -  START with the LEFT arm.
  2. Pushups: -x 15#, -x12#, -8# -  this was embarrassing, though I did my best to stick to very short rest intervals and keep good form.
  3. Incline Bench Press: 30 x 6#, 30 x 6# (barely made the last two), 30 x 5# with help in the last two. The first two exercises killed my arms that I didn't even feel my chest getting engaged. I am wondering why structuring the workout in such a way that it's potentially dangerous and injury prone?
  4. Flat Bench Press: 25 x 10#, 25 x 10#, 25 x 9# completed with difficulty. Again, arms tired, chest not engaged. Why?!
  5. Incline Dumbbell Press: 6 x 10# - too easy. 8 x 10# , 8 x 10#, 8 x 10# - can use more weight. I tried to do press but still bring arms together at the end, since it's dumbbells not a bar.
  6. Dips?! You're kidding me. I tried and did like... 2! So worked a seated arms extension machine, the one with something like a Scott preacher bench. The weight markings won't make a lot of sense, but it was something like 36 x 10#, 36 x 6# and immediately 33 x 4#, 33 x 8#;
  7. Incline Triceps Bar Extension -  used an EZ-bar: empty bar x 13#, added 2.5kg x 10#, same 2.5kg x 10# and it was fairly easy though if I had to do more reps, I think I'd fail at 12#, or if I had more weight on - I'd fail before reaching 8#.
  8. Unilateral Triceps Dumbbell Extension, standing. 5kg were way too heavy. Started with left, struggled through and left hand started failing at 5-6 reps, whilst my right arm could go more (but I didn't :) )

Overall - very frustrated with the workout structure and how I did. My left arm is so much weaker and I need to do something about it. Any advice? 





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Today's workout: Back & Biceps.

If I was structuring it, I wouldn't have had four biceps exercises after I've already used it in four other back exercises. But until I'm famous for my or my trainees exemplary physique, I'll just shut up.


Week 1. Workout 3: Back&Biceps 6-Aug-2016


  1. Pull-ups. Let's face it. I'm not a starfish and the center of my mass is not at my belly-button level, it's at the level of my bum, and it's darn heavy to lift. So I need to use one of those assisted pull-up machines. And I don't even know what is my weakest link - like if there was one thing to improve -  what would it have to be? So the weight here is not how much was added, it's how much was removed.
    • Warm-up set 35 x 12#, 
    • 20x9#
    • 20x6+#
    • 20x6+#
    • 20x6#
  2. Unilateral Dumbbell Row:
    • 14x10#
    • 14x10#
    • 14x10#
    • can go heavier and still do the reps, but not as smoothly. Need to go  with 10kgs probably to *feel* the muscle not the weight.
  3. V-Grip Cable Pull-Down
    • 35x10# - Ok, good even.
    • 35x10# - a bit difficult in the last two, though resting for less than a minute to share the crossover machine.
    • 35x8#
  4. Seated Straight Row (Seated Row Machine, because both crossovers were busy)
    • 34x10#
    • 34x10#
    • 34x10# - Ok but not as controlled as the first set
  5. Chin-ups - assisted again, though I can do bodyweight chin-ups, 4 on a sunny day
    • 20x8#
    • 20x6#
    • 20x6#
    • received some feedback that my range of motion for this one is too wide and I might be struggling getting myself out of the initial biceps stretched position and should not completely extend my arms.. Hmm..
  6. Incline Alternate Dumbbell Curls. Inline bench with really slight incline, only so the elbows hang behind my back.
    • 6x10# (left arm started pretty much failing at rep 8)
    • 6x5# (aaaaand it failed. Right arm could keep going for maybe 10 more reps)
    • 4x13#
    • Note to self: Go with 5kg and stick to rep-range
  7. Reverse (Pronated) Grip Barbell Curls, standing of course working with one of those lightweight bars - 10kg total
    • 10x10#
    • 10x8# - left failed
    • 10x8# - probably took more than 1 min rest so left arm failed but not as drastically
    • I picked up EZ bar of the same weight and completed a few more reps and it felt nicer. Unless hurting my wrists is part of the deal - I'll use EZ bar next time.
  8. Standing Alternating Hammer Curls. I was ready not to lie to myself and went to where all the cross-fit and yoga stuff is.
    • 3x10#
    • 3x12#
    • 3x12# -  Should have lied to myself, I could go with heavier dumbbells.

Stretching -  hanging on a bar to stretch my back, more back stretches, and a wee more again..

And I was a free man (Uhm. Woman) only after 80 minutes at the gym.

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 17.52.06.png

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This Sunday's workout was, as French would put it, "meh".  Probably 'cause it took good 80 minutes. And many of the exercises were new to me so I wasn't sure about my form. And I forgot my water bottle but worst of all - ran out of BCAA.


Week 1. Workout 4: Shoulders & Abs: 7-Aug-2016


  1. Butterfly.
    Laying with my stomach on a bench and pretending I'm an upside-down snow angel with dumbbells.
    • no weight x 20# -  easy!
    • 2x6# -  bloody heavy! dropped that 1x13#
    • 1x13# -  it's just tiring..
  2. Horizontal External Rotations.
    I know I was gonna use 2.5kg dumbbells, but there's no 2.5.
    • 2x20#
    • 2x17# - left arm failed, right was just burning.
    • 2x17# - same
  3. Standing Barbell Push-Press.
    Well I've never done those. I've done shoulder barbell press with wide grip, and military press with narrow grip, but I never did push-press and will probably to have my technique checked. Worked with an empty barbell and was surprised to find myself so weak after two seemingly not-really-working-deltoids exercises.
    • 20x10#
    • 20x9#
    • 20x6#
    • 20x5#
  4. Seated Dumbbell Press
    • 8x10# - very good, even thought I can work with higher weight
    • 8x10# - barely made it through the last rep
    • 8x8# - left triceps failed, haha
    • Checked the time - it was 39 minutes including warm-up shoulder rotations and stretches at the beginning.
  5. Seated Lateral Dumbbell Raises.
    Interesting, I've never done those seated and both arms. Most frequently it's standing and unilateral for me. I've tried not to bend my elbows too much too, to lengthen the lever and maybe that wasn't such a great idea.
    • 4x10# paused for a sec to check what was the target rep-range and did 5# more, last 3 were tough
    • 4x12# good and 3# ugly
    • 4x6#, 2x10# and I couldn't lift my arms no more.
    • At ~52 minutes - Abs section, finally.
  6. Vertical Straight Leg-Hip Raises.
    Quite frankly, I didn't know the difference between Hanging Leg Raise and what I was doing, so I'll try the prescribed exercise next time.
    • -x20#
    • -x15# - I could probably do a few more, and I didn't push myself
    • -x15# - same
  7. Superman.
    hat the heck is that? I googled a video and did what I thought was right, used no added weight. Laying on my stomach on mat, arms stretched in front of my, alternating raising contralateral extremities. To make it harder -  raise both arms and legs.
    • contralateral x20# or maybe less 'cause I got bored.
    • both x15-20# - same
    • both x15-20# - same
  8. Decline sit-ups
    • -x15#
    • -x10# -  not that it is hard to do, I just haven't trained abs for ... probably 6 months?
    • -x8#
  9. Russian Twist, with feet raised parallel to the ground and a med ball
    • 2x20# -  that's total twists, not per side. Yeah, I know, lame...
    • 2x20#
    • 2x16#

And the total time was just around 80 minutes. I was unbelievable bored and demotivated doing the last 3 or 4 exercises. Partly because I was depleted of energy, partly because I haven't worked my abs for ages so it was kinda difficult. Also, this workout had several exercises I haven't performed before so I'm not sure if my form was Ok or not.


And to make sure I didn't go to the gym on a Sunday in vain, I finished by doing tabata-style cardio on a treadmill.

  • warm-up: 2'
  • 8 intervals of: 20" run on 13 , 10" rest
  • walk on speed lvl 6.2, incline lvl  4 : ~4'
  • 8 intervals of: 20" run on 13, 10" rest
  • walk on speed 6, ramping down for remaining time until ~25 mins

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Week 2. Workout 1: LEGS    9-Aug-2016, Tue 6pm.

  1. Bilateral Glute Thrust (2x20#).
    The gym was packed, as expected at this time. I wanted to use a barbell this time, but had no space for a bench and a barbell. So I used a kettlebell. And if I had balls - I wouldn't have them after this exercise. So next time, I will try and find a bench and a barbell. Besides I'll want to add more weight.
    • 20x20#
    • 20x20#
  2. Bulgarian Split Squats (3x10#).
    Again, was hoping to use a barbell (last time it was one 10kg dumbbell), but tough luck. Used two 8kg dumbbells instead.
    • 2*8x10#
      Working left then right. The instruction calls for no rest between unilateral sets, but I just had to take ~45-60 seconds to restore my heartbeat after working each leg. 166-170bpm.
    • 2*8x10# - same. Good thing -  no burning sensation or pain in the right leg like last time.
    • 2*8x10#- completed with difficulty.
  3. Barbell Squat (3x10#)
    • 32.5x10#
    • 32.5x10#
    • 32.5x10#
    • What's more important -  good form or increasing the weight? I feel I can do the movement with higher weight. But my form is poor already and it doesn't feel like I'm working the muscles properly. So what should I do?
  4. Glute Ham Raise (3x10-15#) Replaced with Laying Leg Curls again.
    I spent like 7 or 8 minutes trying to figure out a way to do the prescribed exercise. The exercise itself is bloody hard as it is, but not having a way to actually do it is hopeless...
    • 24x7#
    • 18x15#
    • 18x15#
    • left & right separately 6x6#
    • At this point I was 48 minutes into the workout.
  5. Romanian Deadlifts (3x10#) -  go 45 next time
    • 35x10#
    • 35x10#
    • 35x10#
  6. Unilateral Calf Raises (5x15-20#)
    • 34x20#
    • 34x20#
    • 34x20# feet turned toes inwards
    • 34x15# toes outwards
    • 34x15#
    • 16x15# very quickly pumping movement

Total : 67 minutes this time.


And I walked home which is about 15-20 minutes up a sligth hill so that was my cardio :) heh

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On 8/10/2016 at 0:47 PM, maccaz said:

post a video of your squats and someone here will be able to tell you if you're good to up the weight or not

Thanks. I'll try to do it next time I do squats, which is next week ~Tue. Though by that time I will already have made a decision to work with the same weight ... (does this "will have made" construction even make sense? :) )

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Ooookay! I'm sliding into THE diet.  Well... as much as I could be bothered to slide initially. I'll see if I grow to like it. So far it hasn't been hugely different from what I eat normally, just missing cake.
I'll cover the generic stuff from the DYD challenge book in the blog and will only include yesterday's menu on here.


10-Aug-2016, Wednesday

  • 7am: 1 egg and 5 egg whites, 40g slice of bread with 1Tsp Promite , and ~7-8 almonds- I still have three of four jars of various yeast extract and I had two more slices of venerdi brown bread in the freezer and it's really hard for me to part with spreadable batteries (do listen to this son, it's hilarious) on toast - it tastes so good with egg whites!
  • 11am: Oat Bran ~50g, and ~20g of mixed seeds - chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, and 1 15g scoop of chocolate whey isolate;
  • The challenge meal plan for my calorie range says: Meal 1: 50g egg, 200g egg whites, 50g oat bran, 15g almonds, 20g optional Chia seeds.  So I kinda split it in two and casted an extra piece of bread O:-)
  • 3pm: ~100g of cooked chicken breast (and oh boy do I have the simplest and the best recipe ever for chicken breast!), 220g of steamed broccoli, 1 Tbsp of flaxseed oil;
  • The challenge plan would have me eating ~650g vegetables: 450g green beans and 220g mushrooms measured raw. I tell ya -  after cooking it's not that much less. It's a friggin lot! My half-the-size meal took me around 30 minutes to eat at work. I can't just sit there and eat all day! 
  • Workout time @6pm and my periworkout nutrition consisted of 5g BCAAs and a few sticks of bar mix/bhuja mix - so less than 10g.
  • The recommended peri-workout meal on the challenge meal plan for my calorie range is - protein+water shakes before and after, plus 40g of Cheerios after the workout. I don't even want to start down the Cheerios path...
  • 8.30+pm: a pack of Shanghai bok choi (the Fresh Asian Veggies stuff you get in supermarkets, I think it's about 400g) and about 120g of steam-cooked salmon filet.
  • Now the true diet prescribes having flounder for dinner with half a kilo of asparagus and 220g of bell peppers aka capsicums, but I'm not even sure what a flounder is and whether you can get it in NZ. Besides, the only fish I know that keeps well in the fridge cooked - is salmon. And asparagus and capsicums -  well maybe we can talk about it in December, or when I'm rich. So I had salmon and it was yum. And bok choi was just bok choi. You can't expect bok choi to be asparagus no matter how you cook it.
  • The challenge plan also includes 6g of fish oil taken as supplement, but I trust I got more than that from my salmon.

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Oh the joy of Wednesday after work training!


Actually, it wasn't bad. I went out of the gym energised, talking to myself and listening again to a podcast on how to do bench press - tips for powerlifting vs bodybuilding (by Scott Abel & two other guys whose names don't ring a bell)


Week 2. Workout 2: CHEST, TRICEPS - 10-Aug-2016, Wednesday 6pm

(rest between sets ~1min, no rest when switching left to righ)

  1. Horizontal External Rotations (2x20#)
    • 2 x 20#
    • 2 x 20#
    • Why am I doing this? Get 2.5 kg. Where?
  2. Push-ups (3xmax#)
    • -x 20# - I actually recruited my chest and tried to forget that I have shoulders and arms.. pretty cool.
    • -x 12#
    • -x 8#+3# - falt defeated
  3. Incline Bench Press (3x6#)
    • tried 30kg like last time, and decided to drop the weight to observe my form
    • 25    x 8#
    • 27.5 x 8#
    • 27.5 x 7#
  4. Flat Bench Press (3x10#)
    • 30    x 7# 
    • 27.5 x 9#
    • 27.5 x 9#
  5. Incline Dumbbell Press (3x10#)
    • 10 x 9# -  bench was positioned too high vertically, lowered it to 45 degrees. 
    • 10 x 5#
    • 9   x 9#
    • 9   x 6# -  left triceps failed.
    • Oh I love dumbbell press and fly :) 
  6. Dips. Replaced with Bench Dip Heel on Floor (3x10#)
    • - x 10#
    • - x 10#
    • - x 10#
    • Yes, I did do all the prescribed reps, but it wasn't pretty and smooth. It was - pushing myself to finish sooner rather than move up and down like a pump and feel the muscle work. Next time will need to find another bench and rest my heels on the bench though.
  7. Incline Triceps Bar Extensions (3x10#) thick EZ
    • +2.5 x 8# -  very reduced range of motion
    • - x 10#
    • - x 10#
    • I think the right arm is doing all the work here and left is just hanging there.
  8. Unilateral Triceps Dumbbell Extension (3x10#)
    • 4 x 7#
    • 3 x 8# clean and 2# with kick
    • 3 x 17 clean and 3# with kick

Total time: 68' min


Cardio - 15'

Interval running at speed 13, one session of 8 intervals with warm-up and cool down.


If I had do assess the quality of the workout -  I did have the energy still to do stuff, as long as it didn't involve moving my arms. And today - one day later - I feel my left shoulder hurts as if it was stretched during the workout. Chest and triceps are Ok.


Oh, and Wednesday challenge progress pics were due, so I weighted myself and took photos this morning.

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So this is from Friday. I managed to finish work by 3pm, answered a few calls and went to the gym before 4pm and it was just beautiful how few people want to workout on Friday afternoon.

I stuck to the prescribed 1 min rest interval as best as I could for the first 4 exercises - some sets, I feel, I could have done more reps and better/smoother form if I had 30-60 more seconds rest. I took a longer break before starting on exercise 5 - chin-ups.


Week 2. Workout 3. BACK, BICEPS - 12-Aug-2016, Fri 4pm


  1. Pull-ups (3 x max rep#) I'm doing assisted pull-ups and have a way to go until I master that let along bodyweight. So the first digit - weight, is removed/assisted weight - that's off my now about 58kgs.
    • 17.5x7#
    • 17.5x6#
    • 17.5x4# , 25x4#
  2. Unilateral Dumbbell Row (3x10#)
    • 16x10#
    • 16x10#
    • 16x10#
  3. V-grip Pull-Down
    • 35x10#
    • 35x9#
    • 35x9# -  I wasn't sure about my form.
    • 21x6#
  4. Seated Straight Bar Cable Row (3 x 10#)
    • 28  x10#
    • 30.5x10# - range of motion was not full. not very convenient grip with higher weight.
    • 30.5x10#
  5. Chin-ups (3 x max rep3). Assisted, just as pull-ups.
    • 17.5 x 8#
    • 17.5 x 8#
    • 17.5 x 5#, 25x3#
  6. Incline Alternating Dumbbell Curls (3x 10#)
    • 5x10# - Ok-ish
    • 5 x 10# (left arm pretty much failing in the last reps)
    • 5x7-8# (i forgot to count, left arm failed)
  7. Reverse Grip (EZ) Barbell Curls (3x10#)
    • 10x10#
    • 10x7# - left arm failed. If I had more rest between sets, I probably could have squeezed out 2-3 more reps.
    • 10x7# + 3# negative movements only. Was kinda throwing the barbell onto my chest then lowering it slowly. I can hold 90 degrees quite Ok, and the problem is starting the curl from the fully or even 160 degrees extended position
  8. Standing Alternating Hammer Curls (3x10#)
    • 3.5 x9#
    • 3.5 x 9#
    • 3.5 x 9#
    • Left arm was failing each time.


Total workout time - 68' minutes. (That's 12 mins down from 80 ' last time for the same workout)


No cardio, stretching, no nothing. It was raining cats and dogs and I had a choice between a cardio or a proper cool down and a comfortable ride home and I chose comfort.

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I did a cardio-mostly session on Saturday.

Week 2. Workout 4. CARDIO 13-Aug-2016, Fri 11am 

  1. Abs (because all treadmills were taken) Vertical Leg Hip Raise (this one -  Oh btw - I just love this resource, this is my go-to exercise database, so I'll just start adding links to questionable exercises because I discovered that probably 4 or 5 exercises that I was doing - I was actually doing wrong, or doing wrong exercises alltogether!);
  2. And then spent around 45 minutes on a treadmill doing:
    • steady pace elevated walking
    • silly side-walking, this time with added 2kg dumbbells in each hand. You see a girl walking on a treadmill sideways like a crab 100 steps in each direction - that's probably me! Come and say Hi to me :)
    • 2 of x8 intervals tabata interval running sets
  3. And total ~ 7 sets of ~20 reps of various crunches .. for completeness, sort of. 

Sunday was a weight training day which actually included Abs training, which I haven't completed.  To tell you the truth, I think it wasn't a great idea to have three gym-days in a row, because I then took Monday AND Tuesday off. It's Wednesday today and I'm thinking about the upcoming Legs workout with reluctance. Nevertheless.


Week 2. Workout 5. SHOULDERS, ABS- 14-Aug-2016, Sun 11am

  1. Butterfly (3x15#) with dumbbells (this youtube video is actually from the fighterdiet girl)
    • 1x15#
    • 2x5#, 1x7# -  I thought I could go heavier, but nah ... damn isotonic or isometric, or what's it called exercise!
    • 2x5#, 1x7#
  2. Horizontal External Rotations (3x20#) (this)
    • 3x10#, 2 x10# -  again, I thought I could go a wee heavier but my rotators thought I can go heavier only if I do less
    • 3x10#, 2 x6#
    • 2 x17# - left arm failed and right arm just plan hurts.
  3. Standing Barbell Push-Press (3x6-10#)
    1. 20x10#
    2. 20x9#
    3. 20x6#
    4. 20x7#+3# - I think I just got mad with myself. Not being able to improve since the previous workout - this is just lame.
  4. Seated Dumbbell Press (3x10#)
    • 10x9# -  The notes from previous workout say "try 9kg", but I stayed in the "boys' dungeon" and went for 10s probably too soon.. Which is more important? Weight or volume?
    • 10x5#
    • 10x7# -  My notes from that workout are really poor. I'm just guessing a took a little longer to rest between set 2 and 3.
    • 8x8# -  Again, added another set because it felt like a right thing to do. Little did I know...
  5. Bent-over Rear Dumbbell Raises (4x10#)
    • 4x12#
    • 4x12#
    • 4x12#
    • 4x10# - maybe the angle of my arms wasn't quite correct, maybe they're too behind and  should try to bring them higher / closer to my head.
  6. Seated Lateral Dumbbell Raises (3x15#)
    • 4x10#
    • 4x10#
    • 4x10#
    • 2x10#,
  7. Single Arm standing lateral raises 2x2x15#
  8. Hanging Leg Raises (3xmax) I had my knees bent
    • 20#
    • 13#
    • 9#

And I did not finish the rest of the workout:

  • Superman - this is one of the exercises I learned I was doing a wrong exercise. To be fair -  it's because there was no instruction or illustration for that one and the title is not only far from self-explanatory, it's just wrong. The exercise is called Superman Abs and it's really legs and core raises from a laying position.  Not the "lay on my stomach and pretend I'm flying in red budgie smugglers over blue lycra" type of exercise :)
  • Decline Sit-ups
  • Russian Twist

So where did I go wrong. I think:

  • I tried to add weight for non-key exercises. I don't *need* to add weight for rotation exercises, I do need to go heavier on press and raise exercises.
  • I added extra sets and they just tired me and ate up the time. 
  • I worked on Abs on Saturday knowing that Abs exercises are included in the Sunday's workout. So on Sunday I had an excuse to not finish the workout properly. 

I guess the solution to all would be to stick to the program as prescribed. But then... I already know that in two weeks time, when the split will change to 5 days train / 1 day rest -  I won't be able to keep up. So .. need a solution for how to cut the number of days in the gym..

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Oh I just remembered what ELSE went wrong on Sunday. I went groceries shopping to J-ville veggie market - it's about 2km from where I live, up and down a hill. And I bought... well food for the week (which will probably last me three weeks!) - 2 heads of cabbage, ~ 2kgs of green beans, ~1kg mushrooms, ~1kg brussel sprouts, ~1kg apples (not for me), 3 bunches of bok choi, some .5kg of onions, and a flat carton of 30 jumbo eggs -  all of it costed something like $68 and weighted ... plenty. And was bloody uncomfortable to carry on me on a hot and sunny day, which I only realized after having refused Alex's kind offer to come and pick me up with my groceries...  Silly me.

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So it's been a bit busy and workout updates didn't quite make it here. I was posting stuff in gymnation forum. Why there? Well perhaps because I stand greater chances to find some readers there rather than in the open space of the Internet.

Spoilers: this week I've actually pulled my socks up and did some glute ham raises.

Journal 17 Aug 2016

Because I've skipped Tuesday... I don't really have a good excuse for skipping it. Anyway. Because I skipped Tuesday, I felt guilty and wanted to give this workout all I can, and have the right equipment available pronto - I went to Thorndon cityfitness gym. Pronto never happened. I had to wait for a squat rack and calf machine anyway, so it wasn't a quick workout. However, it was a good workout because - see inline.

So here we go, a retro-post covering:
Week 3. Workout 1. LEGS 17-Aug-2016, Wednesday 5.30pm

  1. Bilateral Glute Thrust (2x20#)
    • 25x20#
    • 25x20#
    • This exercise may look ridiculous but it feels good. I didn't struggle with a kettlebell like last time, used a barbell so it didn't hurt my pubis. And my mind, my mind was there - squeezing those butt-cheeks on the way up and stretching them on the way down. Can go heavier, but do I need to?
  2. Bulgarian Split Squats (3x10#) with a barbell this time, instead of a pair of dumbbells.
    • Tell you one thing - squatting with barbells is way easier. I'm sure this had nothing to do with the slightly increased weight and everything to do with the center of mass being moved higher thus making it harder to balance on one foot. So am I gonna do it differently next time? Nnnah, probably not.
    • 20x9# left and 7# right
    • I struggled finding a balanced position. The fact that my legs are slightly different length and I am generally not symmetrical did not help at all!
    • 20x10#
    • 20x10#
    • 10 minutes of rest - forced, since I was waiting for a rack and watching people squatting and deadlifting, etc. You'd think that out of four racks at least one should have been free, but no. Everybody likes to squat at 6pm on Wednesday.
  3. Barbell Squat (3x10#)
    • 35x10#
    • 35x10#
    • 35x9# - I felt good. I mean with squats form is definitely important but I felt the form was acceptable. Yeah, last time I was saying I'll film myself to check the form, but it is so awkward...
  4. Glute Ham Raises (3x10-15#)
    • Ok, so I was doing this exercise for the first time and except trying it at home once when my husband was holding my feet and I was trying to raise anything else but my bum. Quite frankly, I don't think I did particularly well this time either.
    • I did try to film it but you can't see much there except that my bum wants to stick out and that a lot of the initial momentum comes from me pushing myself up, my arms are much more involved than I'd like to. People in the Discipline Your Dedication Facebook group recommend using resistance bands. This becomes such an awkward exercise with so much hassle to find satisfactory equipment, position myself and then attach those bands somewhere... I am hating it, but I believe, when done properly - it's really good. I hope..
    • 6#
    • 10#
    • 6#
    • Kinda pathetic, right?
  5. Romanian Deadlifts (3x10#)
    • Now about this exercise, I've discovered this week that what I was thinking of as Romanian Deadlifts are actually Straight Back Straight Leg Straight Everything Deadlifts. So I looked up the Romanian Deadlifts and did that and I think the first set wasn't quite smooth, but the next two were pretty good. I could feel my back (and I mean all of it including the upper part) the next day.
    • 40x6-7#
    • 40x10#
    • 40x12#
  6. Standing Unilateral Calf Raises (5x15-20#)
    • Had to do my bit of waiting before I could use the machine and by that time I was bored and had no energy. So usually when working calves I feel them burning and the exercises almost make me cry of pain, but this time I just ... went through the motions. Not proud of myself.
    • 43x15#
    • 36x17#
    • 34x15#
    • 34x15#
    • 25x15#

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I haven't been slacking off but I haven't had a lot of time to post anything about my progress. So caught up on Week 3 workouts in the blog here https://dyddiary.com/2016/08/25/week-3-from-where-ive-left-it-off/

Major highlights:

  • Trained on Wednesday (logged above), Thursday (Chest & Triceps), Saturday (Back & Biceps) and Sunday (Shoulders and Abs - crossed out because I didn't do them). Skipped Cardio -  which is supposed to be done on Day 5, so after Back and before Shoulders. Why did I skip it? Because last week I didn't have a particularly good experience with the shoulders workout after having no "me-time" and proper weekend lie-in. So Week 3 cycle was shorter and I had Friday, 19th August and Monday this week, 22nd to rest.
  • I did well on chest day on Thursday, 18 Aug and specifically - completed the 3 sets of 6 reps with 30 kg (that's 2.5 heavier than a week ago) with no spotter and decent form. And completed 3 sets of flat bench press with 30 kg though not 10 reps per set. Nevertheless - greater total volume of work.
  • On Back & Biceps day - I did more reps of dumbbel rows, and added a wee more weight& reps at curls. The disappointing part is that I still suck at pull-ups and chin-ups, no observable progress made there.
  • Shoulder day was completed with pretty much same results. Went with higher weight for the standing barbell push-press, but completed less reps. So can't talk about any progress there. Which is unfortunate because I want to target shoulders for growth.
  • Nutrition wise - I can be honest, I'm not 100% sticking to the meal plan, but I'm not going wild. It's really difficult to go wild when your stomach is so full of cabbage you almost can hear a cracking noise. But there's always that piece of chocolate that melts in your mouth and not in your hands :) 

Week 4 is in progress now and so far Workout 1. Legs was completed on Tuesday and Workout 2. Chest and Triceps - ground out yesterday. Today was rest day and I don't yet feel I've rested at all. So heading to bed now and more to come..


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On 8/25/2016 at 11:41 PM, PETN said:

might have to join pseudonym in stalking you on here. Any progress pics?

Thank you PETN :) Progress pics are part of the deal with this challenge - so I do take photos every week.  I may post a collage at some point.

In terms of progress  metrics -  my short term goal is to lose some of that body fat and stay at about 54-56 kg long term (or rather - at about 64 cm waist and 95cm hips circ -  I still have a WAY to go there).  Starting at ~59.8 kg on 31 July I've gone down to 57.7 in the first 10 days or so, (Weekly check-point is Wednesday/Thursday AM for me) stayed flat (if not gained) on week 2 of the program, and last weighted in this Thursday AM, summarising week 3 - at 57 kgs. Although it's probably a healthy rate - I'm hoping to plateau a bit at this weight because I'm starting to struggle with workouts and recovery. 

 And I don't measure myself that often - can't face the stress :D haha  But since the beginning of the challenge I have lost a few cm around my waist, hips and, what I'm most delighted about, around my upper thighs. I know it's silly but it just annoys me when they rub :) they don't anymore :)

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Damn - work has been busy in the past weeks, so I was playing catch up and posting in the blog only https://dyddiary.com/2016/08/29/weekend-workouts/ 

This covers Week 4 workouts 3 - Back & Biceps, meals, and workout 4 - Shoulders in the morning and Abs in the evening (with Paris-Brest desert treat-meal at La Cloche and The Shining at the Embassy in between) -  and I can't laugh much today 'cause when I do - it hurts so I laugh no more. Just giggle.


I've started on the new program for weeks 5-8 yesterday. It was LEGS German Volume Training workout - and I'm starting feeling the pain now, almost a full day after. I can sit on the toilet Ok still :)  Btw, speaking of toilet - I need to post separately about the toilety aspect of the FighterDiet meal plan :)


The workout was pretty simple:

  1. Squats: 10 sets of 10 reps. The weight I took was what I thought was 60% of my 1RM = 35kg, but it seems I am stronger than I thought since I've completed all sets and all reps. "Nothing but a peanut"
  2. Romanian Deadlifts: 10 sets of 10 reps. Almost nailed it with 40kg. My palms look like shit and hold heavy scratchy bars like shit too, so I only completed 7 reps in the last set before the bar slipped away and ... thankfully, not on my feet, just made some noise, no one got hurt.
  3. Unilateral Calf Raises: 5 sets of 10 reps. Did that with I don't remember what weight, I think 52 in the first 4 sets and went lower on the last.

Today is Chest day and I expect to spend at least 1.5 hrs at the gym =/

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So I'm in week 5 of the program already (I suppose at some point the DYD training program's week counter will start lagging behind the actual calendar weeks, just because I'll want to have more rest than what the program prescribes). Yesterday was Day 2. Attached is a screenshot from the e-book with the split for Weeks 5-8 (I haven't heard back from Pauline regarding using any of the content from her e-book, so copyright-nazis - bring it on!)

  1. Day 1: Workout 1. Legs (the German Volume Training workout with the basic basics squats and Romanian deadlifts)
  2. Day 2: Workout 2. Chest and Shoulders (One might say it is a silly idea to combine the two. And I would quietly agree. But let's see how it works for me over time. Also - 8 exercises, of them 4 done in supersets - and total 28 sets!)
  3. Day 3: Workout 3. Back and Abs (this time - 32 sets total!)
  4. Day 4: =^.^= rest
  5. Day 5: Workout 4. Legs (a different workout. More exercises, mostly targeted for a specific muscle and/or isotonic work, less sets though - total 15)
  6. Day 6: Arms and Abs (I don't know where to begin being scared-  let's just say there's 36 total sets, of 12 exercises - half is combined into 3 supersets and half is just there. This speaks to the challenge title -  Discipline Your Dedication. You should have to dedicate your time to working out if you gonna train like that)
  7. Day 7: x_X rest

That said, I think I'll soon start needing more rest days between training days, because the workouts are long and demanding. Would it be better to split the workouts into two and do them separately? Become the Laundry Generator -  workout twice a day! :)... what would Ronnie do?


Yesterday's workout (#2) was a pleasure, just a song. A whale song to be more specific.

Contrary to my expectations, it didn't take FOREVER to complete the workout, just 75-ish minutes.




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I'm behind so posted a whole week of workouts in the blog. It probably makes sense to copy and paste the same stuff here, but I find it boring to read individual workout notes quite frankly, so for your sake and mine - let me share the links and summarise the week in a few bullet points.  It's damn hard to be succinct when there's so many control points to track and stuff to talk about.


30-Aug, Tue – Legs - the German Volume Training workout I've posted about before.
31 Aug, Wed – Chest, Shoulders  - that was badass.

  • Used 30kg for flat bench press and will add more weight next time. (I remember when I first tried to use the empty olympic barbell, about 2 years ago and couldn't really do more than 3 reps. I suppose there's nothing to be proud of, but it's me vs me, and I am winning!)
  • 12kg dumbbells for incline bench press and will stay at that for now.
  • I've overestimated myself in Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses superset with Seated Lateral Dumbbell Raises, so next time will be working with 8 and 4kg dumbbells.
  • And I used the Smith machine to do Seated Barbell Press and am not sure whether that was the correct form, it looked much like military press because the barbell moved right i front of my face but then the grip was wider. Since I'm using Smith machine (until I'm strong enough) shall I go with behind the neck or is that too dangerous?

1 Sep, Thu – Back and would be Abs

  • I didn't do abs and had excuses for it. Attached the screenshot from the group discussion just so you get a preview into what's going on in this closed group and how I can get an advice from the challenge moderators (though most of these moderators are not professional trainers or even athletes and I don't just take any advice)
  • Back workout was fine, though with my scoliosis - I prefer unilateral movements and try to avoid bent-over rows or pretty much everything bent-over, but i thought "what the heck" this time and did 30kg and will use 40 & straps and gloves next time - my palms looked ugly and hurt that day.
  • The pull-ups hell -  I reckon because I didn't quite nail the pull-ups, I got demotivated to work the abs. These are really challenging for me to do. 
    • 10x7#, negative 3#
    • 10x3#, negative 2#
    • 10x4-6#, negative 2-4#
    • 10x4-6#, negative 2# dropped
    • 10x4#, negative 2# dropped
  • Speaking of negatives, I target to lower myself in 4 seconds, and counted those that took 1.5 seconds or more. It was really pathetic. Tears in my eyes. And laughter on Alex's face…
  • And as mentioned -  no Abs trained that day, no fucks given about training them the next day - see the screenshot, "my mum said I could" just like that Durex commercial

2 Sep – Rest day – watched Pumping Iron.Didn't eat ice-cream.
3 Sep, Sat – Legs, different workout

  • As opposed to the first Legs workout -  this works specific muscules.  Front barbell squats were challenging for me because I hardly every do them. The few times I did them - I worked with an empty bar to put emphasis on the "teardrop" muscle. So this was new and unusual and I couldn't squat as deep as I'd go normally, but that was Ok still. Will go with 35kg next time. 
  • Stationery barbell lunges was .. interesting. I started with an empty bar and then added a wee weight and could do more reps than required but my heartbeat skyrocketed, I had to rest when switching legs. So I'm thinking of adding more weight, maybe go for 27.5 kg and do as many reps as I can, hopefully around or under 10, and will see how I feel then. 
  • Fucking Glute Ham Raises -  tried doing them with a TRX band and feet locked under a small barbell and it was a very crappy experience. I need to figure something out with this exercise- just can't think about it today..
  • I've added another exercise to sort of compensate for the faulty Glute Ham Raises - standing cable hip extensions.

4 Sep, Sun – Arms and Abs

  • Pushed through the arms workout as if my life depended on it and I know I'll do even better next time.
  • Used EZ barbell with 2.5 plates on each end for curls and skull crusher - heaviest I've ever gone.
  • Struggled through dips - used the assisted pull-up machine and had the assisted weight set at 10kg, and squeezed max 6 reps. Don't like this new machine. To be honest, before this machine there was none - but there's an older type, not as fancy, but much smoother movement and more granular weights. Misa like betta.
  • Combined exercises 5-6-7 into a three-set.Wow, I'm a lazy ass. I half-did the abs, didn't use any weight when I was supposed to. Absolutely ignored the proper form and just sort of waved my body back and forward... Gee... 
  • Combined the wrist extensions and flexions into a superset (why on earth doing them separately?!) and have no idea how to do them properly to activate the right muscle.. Anyhow - I was bored by the end of the workout and it took over 80 minutes ...way too long.

5 Sep, Monday – today – Rest Day.


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