Weightlifting Standards

One Rep Max (1 RM)

In weightlifting the maximum weight that a person can do of a particular lift is called a One Rep Max (1 RM). There are standards for the 1 RM which are divided by levels of training (Weightlifting Performance Standards). These standards are also divided by gender and body weight. So, for instance, a male who weighs 181 lbs and is untrained should be able to deadlift 150 lbs. This is helpful for determining the weight a beginner should be lifting as well as the progressions they they should be making/should expect. As that same person moves from Untrained to Novice he should be moving from the 150 lbs to 275 lbs.

Levels of Training

From that page:


An individual who has not trained on the exercises before, but can perform them correctly. This is the minimum level of strength required to maintain a reasonable quality of life.


An individual who has trained regularly for up to several months. This level of strength allows for the demands of vigorous recreational activities.

Higher levels are beyond the discussions in this page.

Rep Scaling

There are calculators which can be used to predict a One Rep max based on the number of lbs lifted in a larger set. So, for example, if you can do 5 reps unbroken of 65 lbs that corresponds to a one rep max of 73 lbs. Here are the various numbers this corresponds to:

At CrossFit they list a prescribed (Rx) weight for males and females. These are based on a 1 RM (1 rep max). There is a single number prescribed for males and a different, single number prescribed for females.


Christmas Status Letter


Holidays provide time to reflect on the past year. It’s long overdue to circle back to the purpose of this BLOG. I started this journey of hacking my Type 2 Diabetes almost 18 months ago. In that time, I fixed my Diabetes and so much more.

No More Insulin or Medications

I am on ZERO medications. No diabetes medications. No hypertension medications. I still use a CPAP machine since I am afraid of quitting the machine.

Weight Loss

I have lost over 100 lbs. My starting weight was around 285 and it was 178 this morning. I’ve been in maintenance for a month now and my weight has stayed steady. I wish I had charted better in the beginning.

Added Exercise

After I lost most of my weight (around 80 lbs) I added exercise. I have been doing CrossFit for about four months now. I can lift weights that match the girl’s weights. I usually finish the Workout of the Day (WOD) last but I do finish – even the hard ones. I workout five days a week. The typical CrossFit workout is less than one hour. I take rest days Thursday and Sunday.

Blood Sugar Control

My blood sugar after working out last night was 65 (US units) which is really good. I most often see numbers in the mid 80s. My last HbA1C was taken this summer (before CrossFit) and it was 5.8 (which is at the bottom end of the prediabetes range).

My Macros

My diet consists largely of chicken, nuts and broccoli.

Chicken is a good Protein and different cuts provide different amounts of fat. Kim Chee (from Walmart refrigerated veggie section) is a good probiotic (good for stomach biome). Broccoli is a good veggie and easy to heat in a microwave bag. Finally, nuts fill in the fat numbers in a healthy way.

My Macros

My daily macros are:

My current macros are 1800 calories with 125g of Protein, 20g of Carbohydrates and 136g of Fat. Protein is a minimum. Carbs are a maximum. Fat fills up the remaining calories to meet the limit. If I go over on Protein I will go under on Fat to match. In percentages of daily calories this is 27% Protein, 5% Carbohydrates, and 68% fat.


Here is what I take daily.

Breaking Stalls

I had a long stall this year which lasted for maybe six months. I did some extended fasts which helped a little bit. I then tripped across the idea of doing Protein Sparing Modified Fasting. That broke the fast and gave me a way to make progress with the last 25 lbs that I needed to lose.

My Goals

My goals have shifted over the past 18 months. They started with hacking my Diabetes. I wanted to get off Insulin. That took two weeks.

Since then I have worked at improving my Insulin Sensitivity. For me, the main tool was Intermittent Fasting (IF). One thing that interferes with this is getting in enough Protein. I have added a Protein meal at lunch time. This hasn’t hurt my Blood Sugar numbers.

Another way of improving Insulin Sensitivity is High Intensity Training. I do CrossFit. Training with increasingly heavier weights and intensity will improve Insulin Sensitivity. I hope to keep up this training and there are plenty of goals to reach. I got my first box jump and pullup in the past month.


Learning the Lifts – Mirror Neurons

I really hate to memorize stuff. More than that I really hate to memorize stuff related to physical activity. Even more than that I hate to memorize weight lifting moves.

But I need to improve. I need to remember what the basics of each lift are. And there are not all that many to learn. Sure it takes years to learn the specifics of the move but the general idea is another thing.

This brings me to another concept, that of Mirror Neurons. They are the part of the brain that allows us to watch someone do something and be able to see ourselves doing that same thing. I think mine are pretty much broken.

I can watch someone do something and appreciate their athleticism. But I don’t see myself doing that same motion when I watch someone else. I think that I am seriously broken. And I think it’s a lifetime defect, not just a recent defect.

I am looking for ways to improve this. I looked for flashcards on the Olympic lifts but I can’t find any. Maybe I can make some flashcards of my own?

I’ve watched hours of videos on CrossFit YouTube channel. Same thing. I can appreciate what they do but I just don’t feel the same motions in myself when I watch them.

Plan of Attack

Lacking any other plan, here’s what I am going to do. This is based on my coaches who said I need to tape myself to see how I am doing particular movements. I am going to watch each of the CrossFit Foundational videos and record myself doing the same moves and compare the two videos. Maybe I can empathize enough with myself to fix myself.

If you have a better idea how to tackle this, let me know.

Protein Requirements by Type of Workout

The conventional wisdom is that 20-25 g of Protein is optimal at a meal for Protein Muscle Synthesis has been challenged by a recent study. Turns out that most of the previous studies looked at exercise of isolated muscle groups rather than whole body resistance exercise.

The study (Physiol Rep. 2016 Aug; 4(15): e12893. The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Lindsay S. Macnaughton, Sophie L. Wardle, Oliver C. Witard, Chris McGlory, D. Lee Hamilton, Stewart Jeromson, Clare E. Lawrence, Gareth A. Wallis, and Kevin D. Tipton) took a look at how much Protein is optimal at a meal after larger muscle group exercise. The conclusion?

Our data indicate that ingestion of 40 g whey protein following whole‐body resistance exercise stimulates a greater MPS response than 20 g in young resistance‐trained men.

Since the subjects of this study were young trained men who were healthy this may even be more true with older, untrained and diabetic individuals. See  (British Journal of Sports Medicine. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults. Robert W Morton, Kevin T Murphy, Sean R McKellar, Brad J Schoenfeld, Menno Henselmans, Eric Helms, Alan A Aragon, Michaela C Devries, Laura Banfield, James W Krieger, Stuart M Phillips.)

Dietary protein supplementation significantly enhanced changes in muscle strength and size during prolonged resistance exercise training (RET) in healthy adults. Increasing age reduces and training experience increases the efficacy of protein supplementation during RET. With protein supplementation, protein intakes at amounts greater than ~1.6 g/kg/day do not further contribute RET-induced gains in FFM.


Protein Timing – Bro-Science?

Protein timing is the question of how long after you workout should you eat protein. Until fairly recently, conventional wisdom was that there was a 30-60 minute window to eat protein after a workout to maximize protein muscle synthesis.

Here’s a good article on Protein timing (The New Rules of Protein Timing) which states that there’s newer science which indicates that the window is wider and also affected by what you ate earlier.

Here’s one of the studies (Human Kinetics Journals, Volume 19 Issue 2, April 2009. Effect of Protein-Supplement Timing on Strength, Power, and Body-Composition Changes in Resistance-Trained Men . Jay R. Hoffman, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Christopher P. Tranchina, Stefanie L. Rashti, Jie Kang, Avery D. Faigenbaum).

Results indicate that the time of protein-supplement ingestion in resistance-trained athletes during a 10-wk training program does not provide any added benefit to strength, power, or body-composition changes.

Here is another similar result from analysis of many studies (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013 10:53, The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. Brad Jon SchoenfeldEmail author, Alan Albert Aragon and James W Krieger.):

These results refute the commonly held belief that the timing of protein intake in and around a training session is critical to muscular adaptations and indicate that consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise is the key factor for maximizing muscle protein accretion.


Exercise Equipment

Cast Iron Kettlebells



Power Cage

Hyper/Back Extension Ab Bench

I got more out of my first time on one of these benches than four trips to the Chiropractor.

Pullup Bar


Bodyweight Exercises – Part 2

Why Do Bodyweight Exercises?

I wrote a short post about bodyweight exercises last year. Here’s a few of the advantages to doing bodyweight exercises:

  • Doesn’t take up much (if any) floor space
  • Inexpensive – no gym fees
  • Very little equipment required
  • Quicker – no travel time to the gym
  • Less embarrassing – you can do these alone without someone watching
  • Less likely to get hurt than with heavy weights/equipment
  • Muscle gains are “natural” in appearance (as opposed to looking “jacked”)
  • Not cardio focused, but strength focused (although your cardio will also improve)
  • Improve mobility and coordination

One program that I really like the looks of is the StartBodyWeight.com program.


Note – I haven’t tried this particular program myself since I am doing CrossFit but many of the elements are the same as CrossFit. The difference is instead of using heavy weights and doing Olympic style lifting bodyweight training uses the weight of your body as the weight you are lifting. Not a bad place to start since we’ve all got more than enough body weight.


The Start Body Weight program consists of seven basic exercises intended to work each muscle group. These are:

There’s also a warmup period and a cool-down period at the end of the exercises. Each exercise includes rest times between sets as well.


Since it’s unlikely that a person who is starting out can do these exercises, for each of these seven exercises there is a progression of steps to reach the ultimate form of the exercise. With the progression you start with your current abilities. For most of us untrained people that will be in the first of the progressions within that particular exercise.

Example: Pushup Progression

The progression for pushups goes through the following steps:

  1. Wall pushups
  2. Box pushups
  3. Three quarter pushups
  4. Three quarter pushups + Eccentrics
  5. Pushups
  6. Elbows in pushups
  7. Diamond pushups
  8. Uneven pushups
  9. Decline pushups
  10. Decline elbows in pushups
  11. Decline diamond pushups
  12. Wall one arm pushups
  13. Incline one arm pushups
  14. One arm pushups
  15. Decline one arm pushups

Very few people can do #15 (decline one arm pushups) but everyone can do #1 (wall pushups). The idea is to progress over weeks from #1 through #15. There’s a lot of advantage to doing this as a progression compared to other ways which say, maximize the number of pushups. Plus, wouldn’t it be just plain cool to be able to do one-armed pushups?

How Often?

This program is set up to be done three days a week with a day or two of recovery between each workout day. The recovery time between days allows your muscles to rebuild themselves.

How Many Reps?

Each exercise consists of between 4 and 8 repetitions with a 1-2 minute rest between sets. After you can do three sets of 8 reps move to the next exercise in that progression.



Other Bodyweight Programs

Genetic Muscular Potential

Here’s a calculator for Genetic Muscular Potential (YOUR Drug-Free Muscle and Strength Potential: Part 2). This is useful to know what your current condition is as well as what is possible with the most training possible.

The units are not American (lbs, inches) but are Metric (kg, cm).

I put in my numbers:

  • Height: 5′ 10.5″ = 197 cm
  • Wrist Circumference: 15.24 cm
  • Ankle Circumference: 21.6 cm

Genetic Muscular Potential Results

  • Maximum Lean Body Mass: 79 kg = 174 lbs
  • Bodyweight at Maximum Muscular Potential: 89.8 kg = 198 lbs

The Calculator goes on to tell you how far from goal you are presently. The results came back as:

  • Current body fat percentage: 19.7% (seems too low)
  • Current Lean Body Mass: 66.3 kg = 146 lbs
  • Fat mass I should lose: 5.5 kb = 12 lbs
  • Lean mass I could gain: 12.7 kg = 28 lbs

Those 28 lbs of potential lean mass would be over many years of weightlifting.


CrossFit and Nutrition

CrossFit really gets nutrition.  A few caveats about this video:

  • Not sure I completely agree with their body fat percentage goals for older people – or at least making it the priority.
  • Also their initial macro mix has a much higher carb amount (1/3 of calories from carbs) than what Type 2 Diabetics should eat.

Video Points

  1. Eat real food.
  2. Not too much of it.
  3. Mostly plant based.
  • Living = grew out of the ground or had eyes.
  • Stay out of the middle aisles of the supermarket.
  • No man-made food like substances.
  • Don’t use your macros as a way of avoiding eating right.
    • Macros are your mix of Protein/Carbs/Fats within overall calorie limit.