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Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Background:
I'm 44 years old and have struggled with being overweight most of my life. I'm one of the weirdo big guys that despite being overweight, I've always been athletic and strong. I've been into martial arts since I was 19, the majority of the time spent in Shotokan karate. The most fit I've ever been was back when I was 27 and discovered Pavel's books on training. Although I've had a career in IT for over 20 years, I did a 7 year stint in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff.
Fast forward to the last few years, and things are starting to take a toll. My joints started hurting, my job was sedentary, and my diet suffered. Osteoarthritis and digestive problems were making me miserable. I'm 6'2" and got up to 360 lbs. I even developed high blood pressure.
With the help of a great GI doctor, I found the source of digestive issues and changed my diet. I also had a surgery that corrected the severe acid reflux that was making me feel like I was having a heart attack daily. With elimination I found that I thrive on the keto diet and got down to 318 lbs. I got off blood pressure and acid reflux meds and now take no medication. The severe pain in my shoulders was diagnosed by MRI as rotator cuff tears and I just finished 8 weeks of physical therapy that has improved that dramatically.
Now that things are going well again, I feel it is time to regain what I can of my former self. I knew where to turn, I looked up what Pavel Tsatsouline was up to and bought the Simple and Sinister book. I've never kept a training journal before or put myself out in the open, so this is a very new experience for me.

Goals:
1. At least "Simple" standard on the Simple and Sinister workout.
2. Increased mobility. I can barely do a proper squat, and I want to achieve the "third world squat" position.
3. I want to achieve a real world level of fitness that lets me get the most of my time left on the planet.
4. I want to lose all excess body fat that is holding me back.
5. I want to be able to shop for clothes anywhere.
6. My main hobby is shooting and I want to be mobile and fast enough to do well in competitive shooting.

The Plan:
1. Simple and Sinister workout as laid out in the book.
2. I have a suspension training set up in my office at work. I'm taking a break every 90 minutes and using it to work on mobility, do supplemental strength exercises, and continue rehabilitation of my shoulders which are still not 100%.
3. Continuing a dairy-free keto diet which is working very well for me.

My Courage Corner:
20190725_072020.jpg
Office NOSSK suspension setup:
20190730_112848.jpg

Starting Measurements:
Weight: 318
Neck: 16 in
Shoulders: 51 in
Chest: 49.5 in
Waist: 53 in
Hips: 57 in (I know, I don't understand it either)
Upper arm: R 16 in L 17 in
Forearm: R 12 in L 13 in
Thigh: R 30.5 in L 31.5 in
Calf: R 18 in L 18 in
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Week 1 Recap:
I actually started on 7-22-19 before deciding to keep a log here, so this is a recap of 7-22 through 7-29.

7-22-19:
Getting up a 6 am for S&S, which is a new challenge because I am NOT a morning person.
I'm starting out with pretty light kettlebells on advice of my Physical Therapy doctor, even though my ego is severely bruised (lol). It turned out that she is a kettlebell aficionado as well and she gave me a thorough blessing to do getups to continue my shoulder rehab.
I used the 8kg bell for Halos and Goblet squats.
5x10 2 hand swings with the 12kg bell.
I'm being cautious with my shoulders, and did half get ups with the 8kg bell. I'm holding off on full getups until I feel I'm controlling the bell without any pain.
Suspension training at work. I'm not following a routine there yet, really just getting a feel for it and trying to be mobile throughout the day to counter my desk work at the computer.

7-23-19
Skipped S&S and walked instead, continued suspension training at work.

7-24-19
Stepped up to 16 kg on 2 handed swings, kept everything else on S&S the same.
Suspension training at work during breaks, mostly mobility.

7-25-19
S&S, I increased the weight on Halos and Goblet Squats to the 12 kg bell. 16kg for 2 hand swings. Still using the embarrassing pink 8kg bell for half get ups as I'm not confident in my shoulder stability yet.
Assume I'm doing suspension every day at work until I actually come up with a program that's trackable with that.

7-26-19
Skipped S&S

7-27-19
S&S same as 7-25

7-28-19
Day off from everything, went shooting and had a great sense of energy and getting things done around the house.
This was also weigh in day. Bodyweight history from my starting point of 318 lbs:
7-14: 318lbs
7-21: 309lbs
7-28: 303.8 lbs. I'm happy.

7-29-19
S&S: Keeping the same weight, but I upped the volume on 2 handed swings to 10x10. Still on half get-ups with the little pink demon bell.
 
Last edited:

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
7-30-19
Skipped S&S this morning, I just felt like I needed to rest. It's amazing to me how sore my legs were from the Goblet squats, and probably also from the squat stretching I've been doing with the suspension unit. I had to take my oldest son for his physical for the upcoming football season, so I started my workday at 11 pm. I upgraded my office suspension set up to what you see in the photo on my intro when I got to work. I was using the door, but it was creaking and bending like it was going to break. I installed the NOSSK anchors into the studs above the door frame, and now it is rock solid and gives me much more confidence to use more gravity. Shoulders feel great mostly, but still hurt when I wake up.
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
I've been using the FitNotes app to track my workouts, and just realize I can export to a text file that makes it easy to post here. Everything felt better this morning. I was pain free in my right shoulder during getups, and my left shoulder had very little to no pain. I may attempt to do full getups next week. I'm trying to be very patient rehabbing my shoulders as I want to avoid another surgery. During my work breaks today I'm going to use the suspension trainer to do presses, shoulder mobility, and squat mobility.

FitNotes Workout - Wednesday 31st July 2019

** Kettlebell Halo **
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Goblet Squat **
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Supine Bridge **
- 5 reps
- 5 reps
- 5 reps

** 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing **
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Kettlebell Half Getup **
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
The struggle was real when the alarm went off this morning. I felt much less energetic than normal, which I'm attributing to an inadequate dinner the night before. However, when I finally picked up the first kettlebell, I got into a groove and got it done. Halos feel really good. Squats are a struggle as my hip mobility sucks. I do find that the curls at the bottom bring me a little deeper with each rep, so I make sure to do at least 3 to force me into position. I still can't get my elbows low enough to pry. Swings were more challenging. Half get-ups were an improvement as my right shoulder is with the program now and my left shoulder is improving and kicking and screaming the whole way. I'm doing mobility work only during today's work breaks.

FitNotes Workout - Thursday 1st August 2019

** Kettlebell Halo **
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Goblet Squat **
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Supine Bridge **
- 5 reps
- 5 reps
- 5 reps

** 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing **
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Kettlebell Half Getup **
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
I missed S&S this morning, had to leave early to run an errand before work. I hit the suspension trainer hard on my breaks from the computer to compensate with a really good push, pull, squat workout. I really like the versatility of that piece of equipment for staying active. I'm on the fence on whether I should enter what I do on the suspension trainer to in Fitnotes to track, as I really don't have any programming around it like I do with S&S. If anyone is reading this, I'd like your opinion on that. I'm noticing some hypertrophy in my shoulders and chest, I think I'm gonna get measurements as well during the Sunday weigh in.
 

SMalishev

Level 5 Valued Member
Welcome and good luck on the Simple journey - it constantly teaches you something new and is never a straight journey but hopefully will pay dividends
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 6 Valued Member
Regarding logging the suspension trainer work, you should consider why you log any workout.

I log my sessions primarily for my future self:
- keeps me accountable to future me, who will be checking back from time to time to see if/when I had gone slack
- gives future me a chance to compare with what I'm doing now, and get some measure of progress

From that perspective, my view is that you should log everything.
 

Kiacek

Level 7 Valued Member
I log my sessions primarily for my future self:
This is interesting; @WhatWouldHulkDo is a born competitor and a absolute beast, so his approach makes sense if you are like him.

On the other hand, I log because I tend to lose focus if I don't pay attention. So I only log the big things like the main workout I'm on and the big side workouts that may affect my progress (for the better or worse).

Also, this is great advice that look me a lot of trial and error to figure out:
...you should consider why you log any workout.
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Weigh-in and Measurement day. The results are very interesting. At first I was pissed because my body weight was practically the same, but then the measurements told a different story. While my waist and hips got smaller (thank God), a lot of the other measurements increased. Even though hypertrophy isn't my primary goal, it is happening right now. Considering the measurements compared to weight ratio, I'm convinced I did lose body fat this week.
Units are pounds and inches.
Body Weight: 303.4 (-0.4 from last week)
Measurements were last taken Sunday, July 14 2019
Neck: 16 (same)
Shoulders: 51.5 (+0.5)
Chest: 50 (+0.5)
Waist: 51.5 (-1.5)
Hips: 54.5 (-2.5)
R Upper Arm: 16.5 (+ 0.5)
L Upper Arm:16.5 (-0.5)
R Forearm: 12 (same)
L Forearm: 12.5 (-0.5)
R Thigh: 31.5 (+0.5)
L Thigh: 31 (-0.5)
R Calf: 18 (same)
L Calf: 17.5 (-0.5)
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Supplemental Exercise Plan

I think I've figured out some simple programming and tracking for the daily suspension training. I've narrowed down what I want from it and what the goals are:
1. S&S is the primary training. It will not be compromised, ever.
2. The role of any suspension strap/bodyweight training is purely supplemental, and the primary goal is to stay active and counter sitting at a desk all day.
3. There will be days where I'm at a client site,in a meeting, on a long phone call, or traveling where one or more of the suspension/bodyweight circuits doesn't happen, and I will not view this as a negative as long as the morning S&S workouts are on track. The bottom line is if I can, I will. If I can't, I will adapt and do something even if it is a brisk walk. Sitting for longer than 90 minutes is now forbidden in my life.

I'm going to create a few varied circuits based on mobility, pushing, pulling, core, and squat. I'll pick one movement from each category for a circuit and use 45 second timed sets instead of sets and reps (time under tension focus). This style of programming gives me flexibility to throw in pure bodyweight exercises along with suspension work. The idea is that if I'm working at my desk, which is the majority of my day, I'll work 90 minutes sessions and then take a 10-15 minute break. During the breaks, I'll pick a circuit and try to go 3 rounds. It's roughly a 1o minute workout and in my experience doesn't cause me to sweat like crazy. I'll consider getting in 3 circuits in an 8 hour day an outstanding achievement. I don't have to wear a business suit and usually wear a polo and tactical pants every day. I'm going to buy some zero drop shoes that will stay in my office for me to wear while I'm there.
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
I was on point today. S&S started on time and completed, and my shoulders felt good. I'm going to start alternating days of doing full getups with a 10 lb bell as a step to doing full getups all the time. I added some dead hanging from a pullup bar in the mornings after S&S. I easily fit in 3 suspension circuits at work. They bring me right to brink of starting to sweat, so hopefully I'm not making myself un-presentable by the end of the day. I feel like I might need to limit the circuits to 3 days a week and do stretching on the other days, it feels like it might eek into overtraining if I'm not careful. I definitely don't feel like I sat on my arse all day for sure.

FitNotes Workout - Monday 5th August 2019
S&S [Started 6:07 am]
** Kettlebell Halo ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps [Started 6:07 am]
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Goblet Squat ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Supine Bridge ** (Warmup)
- 5 reps
- 5 reps
- 5 reps

** 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing **
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Kettlebell Half Getup **
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps

** Pull Up Bar Hang **
- 00:10
- 00:10
- 00:10

Circuit A 9:15 am
** Suspension Press ** (Circuit)
- 00:45 [Started 9:15 am]
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Row ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Squat ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Squat Stretch **
- 00:45

** Suspension Torso Stretch **
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Plank **
- 00:30
-
Circuit B 10:50 am
** Suspension Shoulder Press ** (Circuit)
- 00:45 [Started at 10:50 am]
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension High Knee Lunge ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension IYWT Reverse Fly ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Kossak Stretch **
- 00:45

** Suspension Shoulder Mobility **
- 00:45

** Hollow Body Ground Hold **
- 00:25

Circuit C 2:11 pm
** Suspension Triceps Press ** (Circuit)
- 00:45 [Started 2:11 pm]
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Biceps Curl ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45

** Suspension Jump Squats ** (Circuit)
- 00:45
- 00:45
- 00:45
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Today is pure mobility and stretching as I feel like I need it. After viewing the wall of text that was yesterday's log, I'm not going to track supplemental work from this point forward. For one, the work with the straps is almost impossible to track progress on as resistance is determined by the angle I hold my body. I have no real way to measure this accurately. My goals are centered on working up to heavier kettlebells and being able to do pullups. It makes more sense to me to track S&S and pull up progressions since there are goals attached to those things. Everything else is gravy and no one wants to know my entire movement history, LOL. I am working on planks and hollow holds and will log times, as I have a new goal to be able to hold it for a good amount of time
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
I'm getting into a groove, S&S felt like an old friend this morning even though I friggin' hate getting up early. As soon as the kettlebell makes the first rotation around my head on the first halo, everything falls into place and I'm awake. I kept everything the same with a plan to try a progression on getups this coming Friday when I have more time for the whole workout. At work I got in 3 full body 10 minute suspension circuits. I'm working in the hollow body ground hold as per the recent StrongFirst blog post on working towards the first pullup. That and the good old fashioned plank. I can't hold it for very long, and it makes me super hungry to get stronger. Volume seems not to be too much, I feel pretty good.

FitNotes Workout - Wednesday 7th August 2019
S&S [5:57 am]
** Kettlebell Halo ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Goblet Squat ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Supine Bridge ** (Warmup)
- 5 reps
- 5 reps
- 5 reps

** 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing **
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Kettlebell Half Getup **
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps

** Pull Up Bar Hang **
- 00:10
- 00:10
- 00:10

** Hollow Body Ground Hold **
- 00:25 [9:25 am]

** Plank **
- 00:30 [11:35 am]
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Yesterday was mobility and stretching only. I had a sharp pain appear in my lower right back so I was being cautious. After a good night's sleep it is less pronounced today, so I punched the clock on a S&S. I tried a full get-up with a 10lb kettlebell, but my left shoulder was not down with that. I'm wondering if I need to add a set of 5 unweighted full getups, then do the half getups with the kettlebell. I increased times on my dead hangs, which was cool. Swings didn't mess with my back at all, don't know what that pain was about. I may need to get a 24kg kettlebell ordered and on the way for swings.

FitNotes Workout - Friday 9th August 2019

** Kettlebell Halo ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps [10:18 am]
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Goblet Squat ** (Warmup)
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps
- 12.0 kgs x 5 reps

** Supine Bridge ** (Warmup)
- 5 reps
- 5 reps
- 5 reps

** 2 Hand Kettlebell Swing **
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps
- 16.0 kgs x 10 reps

** Kettlebell Half Getup **
- 4.5 kgs x 2 reps [Full get up, left shoulder not ready]
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps
- 8.0 kgs x 2 reps

** Pull Up Bar Hang **
- 00:10
- 00:25
- 00:25

** Hollow Body Ground Hold **
- 00:35
 

Sean Townsend

Level 1 Valued Member
Weigh-in and measurement day. Weigh-in was a negative WTF when I saw I gained a pound. Measurements were a positive WTF when I noticed gains in my shoulders, upper arms, and forearms! My shoulder rehab showed some significant hypertrophy in just a week. Losses were in the chest and right thigh, which makes some sense because I do have excess body fat in those areas. Waist and hips were the same, maybe squats and core work are cancelling out fat loss there? I consider the week a victory as I'll take hypertrophy in my weakest area right now over fat loss any day. I feel like the measurements more than explain the 1 lb gain in body weight in a positive light.

8/11/2019 12:29:09 Bodyweight 304.4 lbs + 1
8/11/2019 12:31:34 Neck 16 in
8/11/2019 12:31:49 Shoulders 53 in +1.5
8/11/2019 12:32:21 Chest 49 in -1
8/11/2019 12:32:29 Waist 51.5 in
8/11/2019 12:32:50 Hips 54.5 in
8/11/2019 12:34:20 Upper Arm (Right) 17 in +.5
8/11/2019 12:34:24 Upper Arm (Left) 17 in +.5
8/11/2019 12:35:14 Forearm (Right) 12.5 in +.5
8/11/2019 12:35:03 Forearm (Left) 13 in +.5
8/11/2019 12:33:15 Thigh (Right) 31 in -.5
8/11/2019 12:33:25 Thigh (Left) 31 in
8/11/2019 12:33:37 Calf (Right) 18 in
8/11/2019 12:33:42 Calf (Left) 17.5 in
 

seward

Level 6 Valued Member
I've been tracking my weight daily for a long time, and it's constantly jumping around by at least a few pounds. There's just some randomness based on water retention & other factors. Keep up the good work and results will come.
 
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