LVL1 Fitness thread reboot

All styles welcome, this is to chat- be it yoga, simple calories in/out diet/weight loss, macro ratios, keto, bulk/cut bro spits, recomps (are they even real?), martial arts etc. Share here please.

Heck, we are all adults, so if you have gear/PED experience, I find that fascinating as well. When I was an EMT my partner got a super candid ‘briefing’ on gear by the local huge guy we knew at the gym- from a science standpoint its fascinating stuff.

Not sure what the official necro rules are but all the fitness related threads I found are pretty old. Want to start one off new:


I’m getting back into fitness and would love to conversate with LVL’ers on their journey, lessons learned, goals etc.

I’ve found this subject can get pretty toxic and highly opinionated, I hope that the community here can do well at being a higher… LVL than that.

So where to begin? What I’m currently up to:

  • YouTube IronWolf (Marine that learned to do a lot of body weight stuff due to FOBs lack of equipment).
  • Think of Iron Wolf like p90x and the like. A routine that is more cardio than strength and can be done with next to no equipment.
  • caveat, since I’m overweight I actually put muscle on doing Iron Wolf as the body weight stuff is more like progressive overload you would do in a gym to build mass. So your results may very due to the speed in which you do it, your current health, weight and diet.

Advanced: April Challenge_Advanced.pdf - Google Drive

There are so many that would sell this for money, or use PEDs to make an unrealistic aesthetic and then sell some blah routine for natties that won’t have near the expected results. I love that he just started up a channel of him hardly talking and just un-edited going through the reps. He is like a digital work-out buddy.

Praise from some dude I can empathize with:

As the above post, I have some experience. I was NOT into sports in school, not athletic, but many moons ago as a typical young male of my time and geography I wanted to get aesthetic and got taken under the wing of an ex college ball player. He showed me how to make gains, before that I did random magazine stuff with next to no results. So for a long time I was more a ‘big gainz’ weight lifting type that would do phases of bulks and cuts. I peaked around 2007, where after a cut I was both aesthetic but also felt like a million bucks- a fitness test I was required to take yearly showed I far far above average for my age.

current head space

At my older age I’m less into gainz and size, and more into actual fitness (validation not with aesthetics but with good blood work, low BP and low resting HR).
Secondly: Covid closing the gyms near me
Thirdly: I’m an introvert and the longer away from gyms, the harder I find the idea of returning to them
Fourth: With current goals, a gym is not required, I love the Iron Wolf / Prison style of being able to do almost all of it in a small room.

Not hating on aesthetics and I give praise be to the mighty Zyzz, but at my age I’m gunning for max gains in healthy biochemistry, organ health, low blood pressure, low heart rate etc. If I’m small and meh looking from it, so be it. As the Zyzz would say, we are all going to make it brah.


Contrary to the above, the last 6 years or so I really let myself go. After a left ankle surgery long ago, I stopped all gym and cardio work and never really got back into it. But I kept eating like I lifted… so… I’ve fluctuated between 30-20% body fat. When on the heavier side I’ve noticed pre-hypertension and pre-diabetes.

TIME for change:

I am currently on my 3rd “cycle” of the Iron Wolf beginner program. 1st cycle I had to modify the program a lot in order to complete, for example do a lot less pull ups, less burpees, skip some of the runs. By this 3rd phase I’m up to doing the exercises in full with gas left in the tank so I’m about to graduate to intermediate.


I use MyFitnessPal. Yes its a privacy nightmare but its unmatched in function and tie-in with other APIs.

For more privacy minded people there are alternatives. I forget off the top of my head so you would need to google them.

Garmin Connect- used to keep tabs on my HR, and monitor exercise to auto upload into MyFitnessPal to correct for Macros required of the day.

Chomping at the bit for a brand to finally get blood pressure via light (much like HR) dialed in.


I think this will vary big time on the person. With lots of genetic and ethical diversity there will be arguments on what is “right” and “wrong”.

I say, you do you. Do what your body responds positively to. You can find vids, forums, studies and blogs that can convince you to be all meat, or vegan, or whatever.

IMO - Do what you can sustain and what your body responds to. Please don’t coming into this thread with a religious zealot of opinion about your particular diet.

WHERE my nutrition is at:
I have a sensitive GI so there are a lot of things I can’t eat even if I wanted to. So my goals are:

  • healthy meats (sourced from ethical free range options) (again for you zealots, take “healthy” and “meats” in the same sentence with a grain of salt if your vegan/etc)
  • “healthy” carbs such as sweet potato. I also eat rice. I avoid simple/fast digesting carbs such as sugar, corn syrup etc. Basically I avoid a lot of what we call “food” these days haha.
  • I try to get fiber, pro and pre biotics into the equation via yogurt, cottage cheese, vegies, pickled things (really pickled, not just brined).
  • I’m not really convinced of the uber high protien to weight ratios of the youtube types, but I’m still trying to get in more than the above will provide so I found a protein powder that doesn’t cause me distress (Quest multipurpose for baking).
  • I’ve done keto in the past with great results, so I will likely do a few keto “cycles” to get to my target weight/body fat percent.
  • I take a multivitamin, glucosamine and other stuff. I will take various doses of electrolytes depending on the day or diet I’m on (for example Keto I take a lot of the three electrolytes to avoid headaches).
  • Vitamin D seems to do a lot for general health of both mind and body, and supposedly its not absorbed well (if at all) in pill form. Thankfully I’m in a sunny region so I get the natty source.

where to start?

I think a lot of beginners stop before they start- paralysis by analysis.

Lots of the industry loves to split hairs and make big deals about things that make a 1% difference in results.

IMO just dive into it, the only caveat is research for good form. Just diving in can cause injury so take due diligence into researching warm ups and form. Ask me how I know/why I think this…

Outside of that, don’t stress on when to eat, beef vs. chicken, this supplement or that- just get after it, those things will follow as you get more experienced and confident, as you first graduate optimum macros, then micros, then get into the sub-atomic stuff that makes the smallest of difference in results.


IMO should be self-perceived health. We live in a really bad head space these days. Tons of super hero movies where all the actors are hella juiced, magazine covers, YouTube etc of super un-realistic aesthetics of what it is to be healthy.

Google pic a 1980s gold medalist with their shirt off, their lifespan. Then google pic the deluge of 5% body fat “fitness influencers” that have died recently.

What is fit and what we think fit looks like have diverged into two very different things. Think about your arteries, organs, damage from sustained high blood pressure (being too big, supplements, pre-work out, stims, etc).

For me the motivation is not having a hard time putty my shoes on. To not just live longer but with quality of life, and from my prior experience of being fit- the headspace those positive/good body chemistry puts you in. IMO a cure to a lot of people’s depression and anxiety would be a sustained healthy exercise routine.

When I was at my peak those years ago, I was also in my best mental health as well, and IMO it wasn’t coincidence in timing. The body chemistry of eating clean, of lots of good activity, of a great BMI, it had trickle down into my state of mind. As freewill as we think we are, IMO lots of mood and therefor decisions we make is highly influenced by chemistry in our blood.


Please share your journey, your goals, your hacks. This is already a forum that ups our technical game, lets up our physical and mental health game too.


Every hour on the hour is a good start for total noobs

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talking about BP readings?


Nope I’m talking about doing some kalisthenics every hour on the hour.


Like right now. Excuse me


Thats diversity in training right there- I’ve never had that mindset (correction, for a small period of work from home I would do something about every hour, it was meh for me). That mentor of mine would do little stuff here and there throughout the day- I wouldn’t- I was so wrecked from the sessions I couldn’t fathom it.

I still have that mindset I guess, of doing a routine that wrecks enough that you don’t do much between them. I did the legs and lungs set two days ago, my legs, butt and some other places still very sore- good thing today is just a bunch of burpees (Iron Wolf burpees do not include the jumping bit).


Honestly ive done it before but @SgtAwesomesauce reintroduced it to me again and ive been going it for a while. Its a crazy good way to step up your work day sit at desk activity. I hit some runs in the afternoon and RARELY (once or twice a week) but I will crank out some deadlifts,squats and other compound excercises.

My every hour on the hour consists of 5-8 pushup, some planks, 5-8 sit ups and some burpees to really crank out the energy at the end.

He reintroduced it basically a week or two back and ive been doing so for a week and feel great


could you show me a reference to this. Im unfamiliar

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I have no receipts but recall its bad to stay still for too long, thus smart watches have an option to remind you to do something periodically. I should integrate this.

I call it Iron Wolf but its because I don’t know what else to call it. Most will say you are not doing a burpee if you don’t do the hop/jump at the end. He does all his burpee styles (6 count, 8 count body builder, SEALs, 2 pump, 3 pump etc) in the typical squat down, kick legs out, do a pushup, pull legs back in, stand up- repeat. No reach for the sky and jump at the end of it.

Skip to 1:50

He talks more in his newer vids. His older vids would get right into it. I developed the habit of fist bumping my abs as well (monkey see monkey do). At a reserve function this muscle memory was a bitch as I would constantly forget the jump part and I would fist bump my abs on start- but surprisingly I didn’t get called out for either. Maybe they just didn’t notice, maybe there was respect that the body mechanics clearly showed I did many a burpee before… meh.

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personal nutrition

Please take with large(est) of grain of salt, this is me, its probably wrong, I’m not saying ‘this is deh way’.

I’ve stopped intermintent fasting, I break my fast with a Quest protein cookie in the morning.

Lunch: Just killed about 6oz of butcherbox beef, 1 cup white rice, 1/2 cauliflower.

Will Iron Wolf beginner day 21 shortly, finish with goat milk and Quest general purpose protein powder (no flavor, doesn’t have all the artificial sweeteners)

Dinner: TBD

take another grain of salt, I do not have the $$$ to go crazy with blood tests/equipment

#1. My GI is not NEARLY as tolerant as it used to be when I was younger so I avoid lots of spices, flavoring and complicated ingredients.

#2, Purely antidotal but from a keto stint (BTW loss massive weight, its amazing) I feel I’m one of those that react to zero cal sweeteners as if they have carbs. Some people seem to react to sugar once in blood stream, some seem to have a taste receptor to reaction link, and thirdly there seems to be a gut biome relation too. I would have what I think is an insulin response, but no sugar in the blood stream and crash super hard, test low on ketones (these tests are affordable and fast). Thus I need to kick my habbit off of the quest cookies. I eat them for now cause they are one of the shelf stocked protien products that do not cause me distress.

I might get into the carton of egg whites thing.

latest goal

I’ve been trying to do a recomp, I’m convinced they are myth, or PED fueled. Or according to some its possible but at a super slow crawl, its much faster to go full in on a bulk or cut and not diddle about at a small calorie deficit. I need to convince myself to cut and accept the loss in strength, motivation and muscle size… Can always bulk again when I get to a good low target weight then hit a maintenance routine.

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BTW is there a way to host files on the forum? I have the older school Iron Wolf challenge PDFs (all three of them) that I am referring to (not what I linked above as I could only find his newer stuff) and IMO the older stuff is in an easier to read format.

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Taken from the lounge this reminds me, I got the Rona in April and my lungs are still trashed. My cardio has suffered big time, my run times trash. Walking up stairs winds me. So this thread might also be a ‘recovery (or not) from long term Rona symptoms’ as well.

Strangely I can do 1 pump burpees at a very respectable pace so I think some of one’s improvements in burpee pace and volume is not a drastic improvement in cardio but also a big improvement in efficiency/mechanics.

Swimming takes this to the next level, cardio doesn’t do much at all (in fact I think one can only improve their cardio over baseline very little), its all about perfecting form.

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I got it in August last year


Any symptoms, any long term symptoms? I had typical flu like symptoms, nothing crazy with my breathing- no lung pains, no shortness of breath. Just fever and super tired. When I get a cold or flu I always loose sense of smell and taste, so that wasn’t something new for me.

I talked with a few that got it around January, and in April they were saying their lungs were still not back to 100. These are super active people always tracking their run times.

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Brain fog, dementia like symptoms, sleep apnea, all directly related to my cut lung capacity from it


I’ve had this due to other things for some time, so I’m not in a good position to measure if Covid contributed to this/keeps it around.

Crap, more and more often I’ll get up to do something, go to a room, or unlock my phone and then totally forget why I got up/went to room/unlocked phone… I just attributed it to being a scatterbrain lately.

I don’t know how to track on this- is it just waking up feeling completely un-rested?

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Some of it is neurological also.

Take pullups for example. One reason people find them so difficult at first isn’t just because they lack the strength, but because their body hasn’t yet been trained in that specific pattern of movements. Once they do it for a while and it starts to get easier most people think that means they’re getting stronger. If that’s within the first week or so though, then most of what’s going is probably neurological, and it’s just their nerves better teaching their muscles how to fire.


I can believe this, as building muscle mass is crazy difficult. It also explains why my burpee game got much better while my cardio gains didn’t match via other things like run times.

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I had COVID in January, it took all of three months to get back to 80% and I’m still not back to 100% cardiovascular endurance.

For reference, I’m a physically fit person.


I’m really worried about permanently. If there is scar tissue and 100% isn’t a feasible goal. Same for other cells it attacked that I’m not even aware of, other organs or the brain.

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