Beeminding Fitness/Strength Goals

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit style
workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton

Hey Ryan,
Would be interested to hear what you come up with. I have similar fitness
goals but haven’t figured out a good way to bee mind.

I thought of creating goals for fitness tests: Fran, max pull ups, 400 m
sprint, etc.

And I thought you could combine that with an overall activity goal. Set a
goal to do a work put every day, but you get to choose from a list of
diverse activities or even they get generated randomly.

Jake
On Nov 9, 2013 7:05 PM, “Ryan Freckleton” ryan.freckleton@gmail.com wrote:

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit style
workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

I don’t have a complete solution, but for the strength training side
powerlifting competitions have the Wilks Coefficient
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilks_Coefficient for normalizing strength
goals across different sex/sizes/ages. From what I’ve heard, Crossfit
throws a bunch of random things together and is designed to make you tired
rather than helping you track progression.

A gym visits per week goal achieved what I wanted. Once I’m on a consistent
gym schedule, I’m already going to push hard as my goals are strength and
progression.

For gamification, there’s fitocracy. The points system might not be too
balanced, so it could make it hard to beemind.

Perhaps you could have a meta goal to improve on one of your fitness
measures X times per week. Like if you have run speed goal, run distance
goal, strength weightlifting goal, endurance weightlifting goal, then make
it your meta goal to get a PR on one of those measures.

On Sunday, 10 November 2013 10:49:54 UTC-5, Jake Jenkins wrote:

Hey Ryan,
Would be interested to hear what you come up with. I have similar fitness
goals but haven’t figured out a good way to bee mind.

I thought of creating goals for fitness tests: Fran, max pull ups, 400 m
sprint, etc.

And I thought you could combine that with an overall activity goal. Set a
goal to do a work put every day, but you get to choose from a list of
diverse activities or even they get generated randomly.

Jake
On Nov 9, 2013 7:05 PM, “Ryan Freckleton” <ryan.fr...@gmail.com<javascript:>>
wrote:

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit
style workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two
questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if
    anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+u...@googlegroups.com <javascript:>.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.

My n=1…

I’ve been doing Mark Sisson’s Paleo Blueprint workouts. Bodyweight at home,
4 major categories: pushups, pullups, squats, planks. Each has levels of
increasing difficulty. Efficient and free - no travel time to the gym.
Portable. Low time investment.

So the categories are standardized which normalizes tracking. I’ve used a
google spreadsheet with graphs. The “total” column=reps*level. Having the
spreadsheet is a strong motivator to make progress.
http://screencast.com/t/ROL5wymFCQY. The data entry in one place, and
having the graphs update right away is convenient.

Other metrics: I track waist and body fat on a separate spreadsheet. Only
use Beeminder for Weight; I find the workouts easy and look forward to
them. Not the soreness the next day :slight_smile:

Seems like your challenge is the heterogeneity; you don’t have fixed
exercises.

Martin Berkhan has the concept of checkins, looking at relative strength
gains: http://www.leangains.com/2010/01/how-to-look-awesome-every-day.html

  • “With strength, muscle follows.”
  • “An extra 10 lbs added to your bench isn’t impressive if you also gained
    10 lbs of body weight.”

… so those are less granular outputs he’s tracking.

One more thought: Nick Winter has the idea of tracking inputs, not outputs.
Working out is a virtuous habit that you can control and feel good about.
The outcomes (strength) are harder to predict/control, should probably not
be beeminded.

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:05:41 PM UTC-5, Ryan Freckleton wrote:

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit style
workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton

Inputs over outputs especially when if, when you start falling behind
despite regular inputs, you can’t make a greater effort to get outputs back
on track. (For exercise, you’ll just be perversely incentivized to
overtrain and sacrifice form.)

If you only focus on inputs, though, the danger is that you keep doing a
workout routine that stops being useful in terms of outputs. A little
scheduled strategic review may do the trick here.

On Friday, November 22, 2013 3:10:33 AM UTC-8, Jeff Winkler wrote:

My n=1…

I’ve been doing Mark Sisson’s Paleo Blueprint workouts. Bodyweight at
home, 4 major categories: pushups, pullups, squats, planks. Each has levels
of increasing difficulty. Efficient and free - no travel time to the gym.
Portable. Low time investment.

So the categories are standardized which normalizes tracking. I’ve used a
google spreadsheet with graphs. The “total” column=reps*level. Having the
spreadsheet is a strong motivator to make progress.
http://screencast.com/t/ROL5wymFCQYhttp://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fscreencast.com%2Ft%2FROL5wymFCQY&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEgDvNc1VfrBvbP0CoEhvhlxlbkRg.
The data entry in one place, and having the graphs update right away is
convenient.

Other metrics: I track waist and body fat on a separate spreadsheet. Only
use Beeminder for Weight; I find the workouts easy and look forward to
them. Not the soreness the next day :slight_smile:

Seems like your challenge is the heterogeneity; you don’t have fixed
exercises.

Martin Berkhan has the concept of checkins, looking at relative strength
gains: http://www.leangains.com/2010/01/how-to-look-awesome-every-day.htmlhttp://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.leangains.com%2F2010%2F01%2Fhow-to-look-awesome-every-day.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEuxYLGDd3GKu1qTiUO5IPb61cMlQ

  • “With strength, muscle follows.”
  • “An extra 10 lbs added to your bench isn’t impressive if you also
    gained 10 lbs of body weight.”

… so those are less granular outputs he’s tracking.

One more thought: Nick Winter has the idea of tracking inputs, not
outputs. Working out is a virtuous habit that you can control and feel good
about. The outcomes (strength) are harder to predict/control, should
probably not be beeminded.

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:05:41 PM UTC-5, Ryan Freckleton wrote:

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit
style workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two
questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if
    anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton

Thanks Jeff and Nick, I really like these methods that you’ve given and am
working to integrate them into my own strategy.

=====
–Ryan E. Freckleton

On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 12:11 PM, Nick Winter livelily@gmail.com wrote:

Inputs over outputs especially when if, when you start falling behind
despite regular inputs, you can’t make a greater effort to get outputs back
on track. (For exercise, you’ll just be perversely incentivized to
overtrain and sacrifice form.)

If you only focus on inputs, though, the danger is that you keep doing a
workout routine that stops being useful in terms of outputs. A little
scheduled strategic review may do the trick here.

On Friday, November 22, 2013 3:10:33 AM UTC-8, Jeff Winkler wrote:

My n=1…

I’ve been doing Mark Sisson’s Paleo Blueprint workouts. Bodyweight at
home, 4 major categories: pushups, pullups, squats, planks. Each has levels
of increasing difficulty. Efficient and free - no travel time to the gym.
Portable. Low time investment.

So the categories are standardized which normalizes tracking. I’ve used a
google spreadsheet with graphs. The “total” column=reps*level. Having the
spreadsheet is a strong motivator to make progress.
http://screencast.com/t/ROL5wymFCQYhttp://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fscreencast.com%2Ft%2FROL5wymFCQY&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEgDvNc1VfrBvbP0CoEhvhlxlbkRg.
The data entry in one place, and having the graphs update right away is
convenient.

Other metrics: I track waist and body fat on a separate spreadsheet. Only
use Beeminder for Weight; I find the workouts easy and look forward to
them. Not the soreness the next day :slight_smile:

Seems like your challenge is the heterogeneity; you don’t have fixed
exercises.

Martin Berkhan has the concept of checkins, looking at relative strength
gains: http://www.leangains.com/2010/01/how-to-look-
awesome-every-day.htmlhttp://www.google.com/url?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.leangains.com%2F2010%2F01%2Fhow-to-look-awesome-every-day.html&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNEuxYLGDd3GKu1qTiUO5IPb61cMlQ

  • “With strength, muscle follows.”
  • “An extra 10 lbs added to your bench isn’t impressive if you also
    gained 10 lbs of body weight.”

… so those are less granular outputs he’s tracking.

One more thought: Nick Winter has the idea of tracking inputs, not
outputs. Working out is a virtuous habit that you can control and feel good
about. The outcomes (strength) are harder to predict/control, should
probably not be beeminded.

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 10:05:41 PM UTC-5, Ryan Freckleton wrote:

Alright, so I’ve used Beeminder in the past to track visits to the gym
(great use case, btw. Definitely lets me get my money’s worth out of my
membership!) and tracking maximum weight lifted (with mixed results – I’m
still working on this one and can report details if someone is interested.)

But I want a better ‘fitness’ goal. I tend towards a paleo/cross-fit
style workout, but I also want to have some gamification to encourage me to
continue. Basically I want to show improvement over time but also want have
enough flexibility and randomness for it to continue to be fun.

As such I’m thinking about the following method.

  • Find an example workout which combines various aspects of strength,
    speed, power etc.
  • Track how close I am to it by counting differences between where I am
    and where I want to be
  • Track the number of differences over time, beeminding the number of
    convergences made until I have completed it
  • Possibly assign points depending on difficulty

I guess I’m looking for a measurement model that will answer two
questions:

  • What should I focus on for my workouts?
  • What should I change about my health and fitness lifestyle, if
    anything?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

–Ryan E. Freckleton


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
“Akratics Anonymous” group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/groups/opt_out.