Getting into Spartan IV Shape

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
So while I am planning out and folding the pep pieces for my Sarah Palmer build I am really aware of how much this suit is going to end up weighing. I know I have a very scrawny body type, and will never be able to maintain a work-out regime that will actually bulk me up like the game models, I really do need to build up some good muscle tone and endurance. You know, for those long days at the conventions walking around, standing around, posing for photos; add the 50 to 70 pounds I figure this armour is going to be and that's a workout.

Of course genetic enhancement isn't an option at this point (those cheater spartans!) so I have to work with what I've got. And what I've got is hilariously sad... You see, I picked out a very nice workout regime and started it. And after two of the workouts my muscles were so sore I had to crawl up and down my stairs - for 3 days! I clearly need to scale back the program to something I am more capable of achieving, which I have done by scaling the exercises to fit into a XBX style build-up. It will take me pretty much a whole year to actually ramp up to the full exercises from the original workout, but that will be perfect timing with the expected completion of my armor.

Why am I writing this out here? Well for two reasons, the first being that perhaps I am not the only one trying to achieve a Spartan Physique. I am pretty sure there are at least a couple of 405th members who are working on their fitness for their perfect Halo build. Why not share what exercises we are doing and what is working? The second reason is ACCOUNTABILITY, really the same reason I post build updates. If I post my progress here I have a public trail of what's happening, and if I miss out, or start slacking off not only will I have disappointed myself, but all of you will also know that I have been slacking too!

So I started yesterday with my first baby steps:
  • 3X3 Overhead Chest Lunges with 2lb weight, each side
  • 3X1 Chest Press with 2lb weight
  • 3X1 Split Stance Deadlift with 2lb weights, each side
  • 3X3 Static Squat Curl with 2lb weights, each side
  • 3X6 Elbow push-ups, each side

Today is cardio, 3X 3 minute intervals on the Elliptical. Which is where I am heading now.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
While genetic enhancement may not be an option, there is another "cheat" option. From what you've said I'm assuming you're working on a pep/fiberglass build? Those certainly can get heavy. If it's an option, foam is a much lighter alternative. Another lighter weight alternative is to mold and cast the armor pieces in plastic or silicone to help reduce the overall weight. Still a good idea to improve one's physical condition, particularly cardio as there's a lot of walking, standing, and generally being on your feet at a convention.
 

FlusherCape26

Member
Lol Spartans cheaters that's a good one, they get kidnapped by ONI and all juice up with super steroids lucky :(
If you are interested there is a guy on YouTube named Mike Chang who does all kinds of exercises and they are good ones :) his channels called six pack short cuts :) hope it can help :D
 

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
Today's workout:
  • 3X3 Push-ups
  • 3X3 T-Reach Squats
  • 1X3 Skydive Extensions
  • 1X3 Kneeling Pretzel Kick
  • 1X3 V-Pulls

Here's the link to the T-Reach Squat, you know Spartans need balance too.

PS. Push-ups are the devil. I know because my abs have told me so.
 

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
While genetic enhancement may not be an option, there is another "cheat" option. From what you've said I'm assuming you're working on a pep/fiberglass build? Those certainly can get heavy. If it's an option, foam is a much lighter alternative. Another lighter weight alternative is to mold and cast the armor pieces in plastic or silicone to help reduce the overall weight. Still a good idea to improve one's physical condition, particularly cardio as there's a lot of walking, standing, and generally being on your feet at a convention.
I considered doing a foam build, but after a significant amount of consideration I am sure I will want the majority of the pieces to be fibreglass, and I wouldn't want to have a couple of random foamies to make things look inconsistent. Molding might be a decent alternative, but I assume that it would require a fair amount of workspace outside. We have lots of inside space for pep work, but really only enough space outside for working on a few pieces at a time, not enough for storing moulds and such. Once the pep/fibrglass option was chosen I knew that working out was going to be a requirement.

Lol Spartans cheaters that's a good one, they get kidnapped by ONI and all juice up with super steroids lucky :(
If you are interested there is a guy on YouTube named Mike Chang who does all kinds of exercises and they are good ones :) his channels called six pack short cuts :) hope it can help :D
Is this the channel? Six Pack Shortcuts I had a quick look and will have to watch some of them. I may incorporate some of the workouts when I get bored of these ones, and have some foundations to build upon.

I'd say work up to P90X and Insanity... it's what I'm doing.
P90X looks like it would be interesting, although I am probably not inclined to pay for an exercise program (as I already have the advice of a personal trainer). I actually think the insanity version is more my style (using body resistance over lots of weights and such) as the workouts are shorter. Realistically, I believe the exercises I have chosen will get me to the point of being ready for this style of workout.

View attachment 1202

This is my answer. Combine with a 1-3 mile run.
Well this actually looks a fair bit like the end goal of my exercise regime. Except instead of doing it all in one it would be broken up over a few different workouts on different days. Probably not as effective overall, but I'm a busy lady so I have to pack this into my 30 minutes of 'me time'.

Today's workout:
  • 3 X 3 overhead press lunges with 2lb dumbells
  • 1 X 3 chest presses with 2lb dumbells
  • 3 X 3 split stance deadlifts with 2 lb dumbells
  • 3 X 3 static squat curls with 2lb weights

I couldn't do the elbow push-ups as my abs are still screaming at me from the 3 X 3 up-up-down-down elbow push ups from the day before yesterday. I am going to scale these push-ups back to a simpler version for the next week to make sure I can get them done consistently.
 

Zaff

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure if you've had the opportunity to check out LilTyrant's Kat build, but if you haven't, it's a prime example of how detailed and, quite simply, amazing a foam build can be while still coming in at 1/2-1/3 the weight of a fiberglass build (depending on how many layers of fiberglass are applied). Foam is also more forgiving of the occasional bump and squeeze as it's not rigid like fiberglass. But, you have to find what works best for you and as you mentioned already giving foam considerable consideration before deciding on fiberglass, you seem to have found what works for you, it just requires a bit of adjustment.
 

RYNO 666

Well-Known Member
This is what I do to bulk up. I'm 6"2 245lb. http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/how-build-muscle-pyramid-training

Getting big is a science. Protein+The right exercise. It takes 42hrs to repair your muscle cells after tearing them. That's why you divide your body into sections to speed up recovery. Such as upper body and lower body. It's better to allocate areas so that your body doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood to the torn cells.

I've been guilty of hitting exercise too hard too fast. It's a sure fire way to set yourself for failure. Start a two week low impact primer workout to assess your tolerance. Then start the pyramid.

Also to bulk up avoid stretching the muscles out too much, it will elongate them.

Remember Cardio can be counter productive. You can't do both at the same time if you want fast results. Endurance training and mass building are opposing forces.

I've been weight lifting for many years and these are tried and true methods.

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WandererTJ

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
I am pretty sure there are at least a couple of 405th members who are working on their fitness for their perfect Halo build. Why not share what exercises we are doing and what is working? The second reason is ACCOUNTABILITY, really the same reason I post build updates.
Mind if we post our updates in here too?

Here's my progress:
Weight Loss - 2014,7-30.png

I'll try and go into more details later.
 

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
Absolutely, the more the merrier. Your chart looks interesting, although I'm not sure what your end goals are. I am very much not able to do any calorie restriction. I think my chart would be opposite to yours with a calorie goal I try to aim above.


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GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
Well today's workout was a heavy lifting workout:

3X3 Single Arm Dumbbell Romanian Dead lift
3X3 Push-ups on an incline
3X3 Single-Arm Dumbbell Row
3X3 Dumbbell Shoulder-to-Shoulder Press
3X3 Single Leg Hip-thrust
3X3 Side Plank with dumbbell lateral shoulder raise
3X3 Band Squat and Row
3X3 Band Core Rotations

I definitely need to go out and pick up a new resistance band before the next heavy lifting workout. I think I may try to up the dumbbell weights for next one too, as my core is feeling it from the push-up, hip thrusts and side plank lifts, but my arms are feeling no pain.
 

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
This is what I do to bulk up. I'm 6"2 245lb. http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/how-build-muscle-pyramid-training

Getting big is a science. Protein+The right exercise. It takes 42hrs to repair your muscle cells after tearing them. That's why you divide your body into sections to speed up recovery. Such as upper body and lower body. It's better to allocate areas so that your body doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood to the torn cells.

I've been guilty of hitting exercise to hard to fast. It's a sure fire way to set yourself for failure. Start a two week low impact primer workout to assess your tolerance. Then start the pyramid.

Also to bulk up avoid stretching the muscles out too much, it will elongate them.

Remember Cardio can be counter productive. You can't do both at the same time if you want fast results. Endurance training and mass building are opposing forces.

I've been weight lifting for many years and these are tried and true methods.
Because I am trying to get my whole body toned up in a really small amount of time the workouts tend to have a lot of whole body impact exercises. Like squatting while lifting weights to work the lower body, core and arms at the same time. This is why it really hurt the first time when I was trying it at full reps, since then I have severally reduced the reps to try to build up more gradually as I begin the regime.

I could look up some primer workouts and see what they include, but I am pretty sure I am just a big wuss. I know that building up muscles requires tearing them up a bit first, so that means that after a workout my muscles will be sore, but after 36 hours they should be good to attempt another workout (although with different exercises).

I only do cool down stretches after my intervals on cardio days. So hopefully this isn't too much stretching.

I did know that cardio would be counter productive, that is why I am doing intervals on those days instead of the 60 minutes of cardio that usually make up cardio days. Right now I am doing strength day then cardio day alternating. the strength workouts rotate between 3 different regimes, and the cardio rotates between running, elliptical, biking, and swimming. I am currently doing 3 - 60 seconds High, and 120 seconds Low for my intervals and will be working my way up to 5 of the intervals total. I figure the cardio days give my muscles a chance to heal up while building my endurance a bit and giving me a way to control my weight a bit. I can only drop 7 pounds before I have to reduce the cardio to maintain my body weight.

If you have some of your favourite exercises or workouts, please let me know. I like to add a bit of variety into my workouts to keep things fresh.
 

RYNO 666

Well-Known Member
Doing endless sets in each workout will put you in a catabolic state in which lean tissue is eaten, not built up.

Consistency+fast and hard.
If your workouts last longer than 45 minutes your doing nothing.

I pulled this from one of my favorite articles about your body type.

">> Minimize or eliminate aerobic training (read: cardio). The caloric deficits that result will counteract your ability to put on size.

>>* Missing a meal is much worse than having a bad meal. Having the constant calorie influx helps to combat the speed with which your body tends to break down fuel.

>> Consider investing in an appetite enhancer in order to keep you stuffing your food hole. Echinacea has been shown to boost appetite with a dose of about 1 g per serving before meals, for up to 8 grams per day."

As protein is key. Increase your calories and amounts incrementaly. Our bodies are very smart they can tell when you are serious and when you are not. So stick to it no matter what. Avoid muscle confusion and target groups that support one another.

Here's what I'm doing ATM.

Monday: Shoulders and Arms
Tuesday: Plyometric Circuit and Legs
Wednesday: Rest or Cardio
Thursday: Back
Friday: Chest and Shoulders
Saturday: High-Intensity Interval Cardio
Sunday: Rest

But I'm at my mass levels I want right now.

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RYNO 666

Well-Known Member
My favorite is the hybrid power clean. It's a modified power clean. Using your weighted bar when you go up you extend your arms as high as they will go and when you go down you kick your feet out and do a push up.

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transmut1

Member
Some types of work outs I like are yard work, lots of people over look that, but splitting wood and then stacking it on the other side of the yard works great, also raking leaves is another good one while that's mostly a fall thing, you can always pretend during other seasons. :) Splitting wood can be done all year, and you can offer to do it for other people just as a work out, that's what I do for my dad and some neighbors.

Remember, this whole weight training and working out has only been around in recent years, most people kept in shape in the past by doing normal every day outside work, course they lived on farms mostly too, so that helped. Anywho, don't be afraid to think outside the box. :)

And like you, I've never really been built, but I'm working myself up to both fight having fibromyalgia, and so my body can handle my all metal version H3 Mk6 suit that I'm developing. ;)
 

WandererTJ

RMO
405th Regiment Officer
Your chart looks interesting, although I'm not sure what your end goals are.
My overall goal is to just be happy with myself and to love myself, which was hard to do when I looked myself in the mirror just a few months ago.
As part of my overall goal, I want to be healthier and more fit; I want to look good and feel good.

I decided early on that this was my primary project for the year, and that I would need to dedicate 12 months in reaching my goal.
Towards the end of this project, my goal is to reach a point of fitness that is fairly easy to maintain while I move my attention to other goals and projects I want to work on and complete.

Just about every year during college, I had made a resolution to get good grades and lose weight. Well, I got good grades, and thanks to them, I'm now a mechanical engineer. But the 2nd half of the resolution never got worked on while I was in college. Now, I'm no longer in school, I have a job as an engineer and I don't have grades I need to lose hair over trying to achieve. So when January rolled around this year, my resolution was to just lose weight and be healthy.

If you look at the graph that I posted only a few posts up, it obviously shows that it starts in March. Well, it was hard to work up the motivation and get into the habit of working towards my goal, but thankfully I made a friend who was a Kinesiology major who has gladly answered the plethora of questions I have had and who has encouraged me along my journey to reach my goal. Since I started in March and I want to dedicate 12 months to my project, it will still be going till next March, not just the end of this year.

Within my general Overall goal, my primary goal is not so much as reaching a certain weight or anything, instead, it has to do with my percentage of body fat.
I want to achieve the 10-12% body fat Range, and I am currently at 14.25% (estimated within ±3%), and I started at probably somewhere between 25-30%. My minimum weight I will allow myself to go down to before reverting to a daily caloric goal for maintaining weight, is 160 lbs. This is starting from being at 195 lbs, and I am currently at 165 lbs, meaning I've successfully lost 30 lbs, albeit not all of it was just fat.
Now that I am at the sub 15% mark, it does mean that I will need to definitely work harder to lower my body fat percentage while maintaining muscle, especially if I continue on my calorie deficit diet. Once I reach my body fat goal, I will be going all-out working to get up to at least 175-180 lbs gaining muscle, but still keeping fat off.
My secondary goal has to do with my fitness. I don't want to be ripped, I just want to be more fit, more toned, and have better definition to my muscles. I want dense muscle more than I want size.
I have found that probably the best example of how I want to look would probably be Michael Fassbender in Centurion. I definitely love the sculpted shoulders and arms without having tits/large pecs.

Well... in terms of dieting, I've done both a good job and a bad job. At the start, I knew that so long as I went under the calories I needed to maintain my weight that I would lose weight. So I hit the reduction to my calorie intake hard, too hard actually.... I wanted results fast.

I recently calculated my TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure), which can be calculated here: http://iifym.com/tdee-calculator/

It turned out that for me, going lower than 1583 calories was actually detrimental to any muscle growth. If you intake less than 75% of your daily TDEE, then even if you are working out your muscles, there is a good chance you will not only not gain muscle, but you'll lose muscle.

In the early part of my diet, I was hitting below 1400 on some days, I even hit 800 a few times. I didn't know that my goal was to actually try and aim for my daily intake goal of 1650, I thought I was simply just that I was not supposed to go above it.
Now I have to make a harder effort to work on lifting, but that's okay.

My diet has been really easy, 1650 calories isn't hard to achieve, and with it I try to intake at least 100g of protein each day. Nowadays I also try to actually reach at least 1550 Calories and I try to stay under 1800. Originally, I considered 1000 to be my minimum and 1650 to be the highest I should go.
One of the reasons I consider my diet to be really easy is because I can eat anything I want. I just know that it comes at a cost that I will need to exercise that day as well. I love pizza and I love cheeseburgers, but now I try to plan ahead on days that I intend to eat them. 4 slices of delicious pizza is 1200 calories; this takes up almost all of the 1650 calories I can eat in a day, so when I have pizza, that turns into me needing to do a lot of exercise for the day to balance things out.
Given all of that, I do have a pretty standard eating setup. At this point, it is really easy, and I enjoy what I eat so it isn't really a struggle.
I try to break up eating into at least 5 meals that occur roughly every 3 hours.
On weekdays, my 1st meal is between 8:30-9:00, which is typically a protein bar and water, 2nd meal is from 11:00-Noon, and is the same as meal 1, and my 3rd meal occurs between 3:00-4:00, which is also the same meal as 1 and 2, a protein bar and water. The morning protein bars are:
Special K (Strawberry or Chocolatey Chip): 10g Protein, 26g Carbs (15g Sugar), 4.5g Fat, 170 Calories​
I typically get home at around 5:30-6:00, and I will eat 2 items between 6:00-7:30 followed up by a 3rd item at 8:30-9:30. Depending on what I eat, it sometimes allows me to eat a 4th item, which gets thrown into one of the 2 aforementioned time slots.
The items are:
Tilapia fillets lightly seasoned: 4oz of fillets = 21g Protein, 0 Carbs, 1.5g Fat, 100 Calories
Crispy Chicken Strips (Tyson) with Mustard: 4oz of Chicken = 20g Protein, 16g Carbs, 12g Fat, 253 Calories
Lean Cuisine French Bread Pepperoni Pizza: 15g Protein, 48g Carbs, 7g Fat, 310 Calores
Pure Protein Chewy Chocolate Chip Protein Bar: 20g Protein, (3g Sugar), 5g Fat, 200 Calories​
While the Special K bars are a lot higher in sugar than I would like, they are also considerably cheaper than the Pure Protein bars; while Pure Protein bars are obviously better, it is also important to not break the bank.
As for the chicken, eating breasts would be significantly healthier, but they also require more work to make, and I eat when I'm hungry, I'm not going to make an effort to prepare a meal before I get hungry. Tilapia only takes 5 minutes to thaw and 10 minutes to cook and if you prepare what you need while it thaws and cooks, then there is only about 2 minutes between thawing and cooking when you are actually handling the fish and adding seasoning.

On the weekends, lunch consists of french bread pizza and pure protein bars, mid day I have a special k bar, and dinner consists of about 10-15 oz of meat including grilled tilapia fillets (4+ oz) and chicken breasts (4+ oz), with a romaine salad (approx 3 cups) topped with craisins (1-2 tbsp), strawberries (3-6 tbsp), apples (about 0.3 cups), and poppyseed dressing (2 tbsp, typically Briannas, but homemade is better). Sometimes I add cashews or pecans (1-2 tbps) to the salad, but it is better from a calorie standpoint to just leave them out. For dessert, if I'm still hungry, I eat a cup (or two) full of strawberries.

Exercise (cardio) has been pretty easy as well. When I exercise, I typically just get on the treadmill for an hour and I walk, I don't run or jog, I just walk fast, and I try to maintain my heart rate at around 150. In an hour, I burn at least 300 calories over a distance of at least 3.5 miles. I like walking because it isn't hard on my knees, one of which has had its MCL torn before, but I have noticed that if I walk frequently, or if I go on long walks (10 miles in a day) that my hip starts hurting.

I have a routine for working my upper body strength, but it could be better; I have one that works what I want to, it focuses a lot on my shoulders, but I need a 3-day rotation of workouts. Getting up and going lifting takes the most motivation from me, I don't really care for it since I have chronic neck pain and almost all upper body workouts make me strain my neck. But I do understand that I need to work out more and increase my strength.

My routine was 4 sets of (all these are using dumbbells):
Standing:
Side Laterals (going up) rotating to Front Raise (going down) x8
Dumbbell Leaning-Forward Rows x10
Dumbbell Push Press (Elbows Inside) mixed with Arnold Presses x8
Front Raise (going up) rotating out to Side Laterals (going down) x8
Bicep Curls x12
Skull Crushers x8
Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Elbows Outside) x8​
Laying Down:
Dumbbell Flyes x8
Bench Press x12
Wrist Curls - Thumbs Up (Abductors) x20-40 (5 lbs)
Wrist Curls - Palms Down (Extensors) x20-40 (5 lbs)​
I started with this, but I eventually ended up switching everything to 8 reps, and for Bicep Curls and Bench Presses I had heavier dumbbells I would switch to.
I think initially I was using 10 lbs for everything which was switched up to 12 lbs, and I use 20 lb dumbbells for the curls and bench.

I need to manage my time a little better, I've been getting behind on exercise (though I have been maintaining my diet). I've picked gaming back up a little too much, and I need to dial it back a bit.

I am meeting with a buddy of mine later this week to discuss ways in which I can improve my workout routine in order to build muscle and increase my strength.
Hopefully we can come up with some exercises that don't make me stress my neck.
 

GeekGuardianDee

Jr Member
I must send out my thanks to @RYNO_666 and WandererTJ . Your posts got me too do a little research on my own and boy-oh-boy I have really been missing out on the diet portion of my exercise routine.

So after reading your post RYNO I went to Google and found this article: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Bigger

And then I decided to see what my TDEE is with the calculator you included in your post, Wanderer. Well, my Total Daily Energy Expenditure is 2116 calories, which I can pretty much guarantee I do not get in a day. So I guess I will have to try to ramp that up so I can actually get some muscles starting to build.

I am not looking to get super built, but getting rid of the wiggle-waggle of my arms when I roll my DND dice, and the extra belly squish so I can rock the wonder woman outfit are my main goals. After that it will be strengthening without building a lot of bulk.

I also went ahead and timed the walk I do with my daughter to get her to daycare. Yeah, with the running we do during that walk we cover my cardio needs, and I already do that every day. So I am definitely considering reducing the cardio work I have incorporated into my regime.
 
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RYNO 666

Well-Known Member
That's a great tool! I know most women think that weight training will make them look like she hulk. However it is untrue. Fact of the matter is you are working with a testosterone deficit and you will have to do more than enough to achieve that massive body type. Trust me when I say that these types of workouts and diet will get you to your desired destination. Focus and consistency are paramount. Also remember that you are in control of the areas that you are sculpting.

You are doing great so far.

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