Friday, August 31, 2012

August 31st, 2012 - It's working!

The new routine is officially going well.  I've put on at least 2 lbs this week.  Maybe more.  I'm the highest I've weighed since March.  Woot!  And no noticeable increase in bodyfat.  Feels awesomeness.  I should break 180 in a week or two.

I'm hoping to start working on "greasing the groove" with my pullups.  GTG is when you do 50-70% of your max reps of pullups several times throughout the day.  My current max is 9, so I am doing sets of 5 throughout the day.  I'm trying to get at least 6 sets in over the day with a goal of 10 sets.  It's a lot of volume so I'm a bit scared.

Oh, I was able to up my time in Band Assisted Tuck Planche from 5x8s to 6x12s!  The 6th set was a mistake.  Thanks to a rather fun playlist on Songza, I wasn't paying attention well enough.  :)

I worked out today:
10m warmup + handstand work
6x12s Band Assisted Tuck Planch
4x15s Tuck Front Lever
3x8 Dips (+ 5lbs)
8,10,12 BW Curls (rings @ 47", legs bent)
12,12,10 Goblet Squats (43 lbs.)
3x12 High Step Ups (23" + 5 lbs.)

SIDE NOTE: Mrs. Wife lost another 3 lbs. this week.  She's withering away before my eyes!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28th, 2012 - Still Here.

I haven't been blogging recently for two reasons:

  1. I took a week off between August 20th and 27th.  I got sick in the afternoon of the 20th and it threw me out of rhythm for the whole week.  
  2. The time I normally would spend blogging has been spent designing workout routine for a few friends.  I'm basically acting as their long distance personal trainer.
But I'm back at it as of yesterday.  I think I've settled into a good routine.
  • Warmup (mobility work + handstands)
  • Hold 1 (Back Lever M,R, Front Lever T,F)
  • Hold 2 (L-sit M,R, Planche T,F)
  • Superset:
    • Pullups/HSPUs (M,R)
    • Rows/Pushups (T)
    • Dips/BW Curls (F)
  • Leg Superset High Step Ups/Squats (M,T,R,F)
Cutting down to two strength exercises per workout seems to helping me give better quality reps.

Anyway, I don't feel like writing more, so here's my workout today:

Warmup (including 7 clapping pushups. HARD)
5x8s Band Assisted Tuck Planche
5x12s(ish) Tuck Front Lever
8,8,7 Ring Pushups (0" differential, FINALLY)
8,7,7 Ring Rows (0" differential)
3x12 Step Ups (23")
3x12 Goblet Squats (43lbs)

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 16th & 17th, 2012 -

The new routine is going well, but I've definitely got some adjustments to make to the programming.  The A routine feels good, though a bit heavy on pushing, but the B routine has far too much pulling.  I've been failing hard on pullups as a result.  To fix these imbalances, I'm doing the following:

  • Swapping A and B routines.  So B on Monday and Thursday, A on Tuesday and Friday
  • Swapping L-sit work and Planche work
  • Dropping down to 2 strength exercises/day
I may drop the Ring pushups too.  Still thinking about that one...  I feel strongest in my chest, so I think it may be beneficial to use that energy towards other weaker areas. 

No matter what changes I make, it's crazy how much better everything feels in my upper back even with so few days put in.  My muscles are working together.  I'm almost standing up straight! And not too much DOMS. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 14th, 2012 - Routine B

Things I have learned from this new routine after 2 days:

  • I need to eat more.
  • I think I need to cut down strength exercises per routine from 3 to 2.  Doing pullups in a circuit with BW curls = me failing at pullups.
  • I need to eat more.
  • I shouldn't put L-sit work and dips on the same day.  My triceps are on fire.
  • I need to eat more.
All this extra eating is going to be a pain tonight; I have to fast for 12 hours tonight in preparation for a cholesterol screening tomorrow.   No bacon in the morning?  What will I do?  I am looking forward to a day of rest, though.  These past two workouts have been killer.

I worked out today:
5 minutes general warmup
5 minutes handstand work - I had about 4 seconds of freestanding today!
5x12s Tuck Back Lever
3x20s Tuck L-Sit
8,7,3 Pullups
6 Ring Dips
2x8 Regular Dips - felt REALLY unstable on the rings, so I switched to chairs.
3x8 BW Curls - Rings @ 50", but legs straight.  Seems to be a valid step up from the way I was doing them previously: Rings @ 37", legs bent.
6x10s GHR eccentrics 
6,8,8 Pistols

Monday, August 13, 2012

August 13th, 2012 - New Routine!

I feel good right now, but I foresee some major DOMS in my mid and upper back.  Holding static positions for 8-10 seconds doesn't seem that long when I'm not working, but time seems to slow down about 400% when I'm hanging from the rings.

Mrs. Wife told me that my posts aren't narrative enough.  I don't know how to write a good narrative, though, so I will use this space to tell her I love her.  Because I do.  Also, SUPER HIGH FIVES TO HER!  She ran 3 miles Sunday!  This is from the lady who never wanted to be a runner and never ran a complete mile as of 6 weeks ago.  Craziness!

I worked out today:
5m Warmup (Hollow Holds, Jumping Jacks, Wrist Stretches, Shoulder Stretches)
5m Handstand Work (Wall Handstands trying to pull feet away from the wall)
5x8s Band Assisted Tuck Planche
5x10s Tuck Front Lever
8,7,7 Half HeSPUs
3x8 Ring rows (Rings@50",Feet@47")
3x8 Ring Pushups (Rings@50",Feet@47")
3x8 Pistols (Mostly FS)
3x8 Step Ups (~18" stool)

Friday, August 10, 2012

August 10th, 2012 - Static Hold Training Begins Today!

I finally created a new routine.  As mentioned earlier, I've been feeling a bit blah about my workouts, so it was time to change something.  After several weeks of research and two or three days of hard thinking, this is my new routine:

Part of training static holds is that you need to measure the maximum amount of time you can hold each position.  I'd never done this before and it was freaking me out.

Yesterday, I decided to just bite the bullet and get started.  I realized I was becoming a victim of paralysis by analysis caused by fear of the unknown.  That shit ain't cool.

Despite my awkwardness and fear, I decided to just go for it this morning.  And record it.  And show it to other people on the internets!  So, I guess I'll show you too.  Here ya go...

Band Assisted Tuck Planche Awful. I spent the most time on this, but I can't feel what I'm supposed to be doing with any part of my body.  Halp!

Tuck Front Lever I thought I was holding my hips too high in the first half, so thats why I dropped down a bit.  Watching the video now, I was wrong.

Tuck Back Lever This was my second attempt. I watched the video of my first attempt and realized I was holding my hips too high, so I tried again... And still held my hips too high.  Damn.  I need to keep my head up too.

Low Tuck L-sit Not bad, I think?

All in all... OK.  I'm very unhappy with my planche attempts, but everything else seems to be acceptable for someone just starting out.  Expect more less awkwardness in the future.

I worked out today:
3x50 Jumping Jacks
3x120s Wall Handstand Work
Band Assisted Straddle Tuck Planche for Max Time  (4 sec max)
Tuck Front Lever for Max Time (~20 sec max)
Tuck Back Lever for Max Time (~20 sec max)
Low Tuck L-sit for Max Time (~25 sec max)

Monday, August 6, 2012

August 6th, 2012 - Evening Workouts Are Weird

I overslept this morning.  Not intentionally.  I've got a dual alarm clock; I set Alarm 1 (6a) instead of Alarm 2 (5a).  So no morning workout for me.  Bah.

Luckily, my boss was totally cool and let me go home early yesterday.  I asked to go home early because I needed to spend some time tidying up the house before Mrs. Wife returned from visiting friends in Chicago.  Tidying took less time than expected, so I was able to fit in a makeup workout in the evening before dinner.

The workout was odd.

  1. I normally get through my entire warmup before I've really woken up.  It's a lot easier to do planks when your brain doesn't really realize what's going on.  
  2. Different lighting in my garage makes me feel differently.  There's something about working out when it's dark out that keeps me focused.  Last night, I kept getting distracted by the world outside.
  3. The PWO meal after an evening workout can be way more awesome than plain ol' bacon and eggs.  I had a 21 oz. pan-seared ribeye, a sweet potato, some grapes, and a glass of Macallan.  I felt like a king.
  4. Sleeping after a workout was surprisingly difficult.  I generally get REALLY tired about 2 hours after completing my workout, but 2.5 hours after completing a workout, I get a second wind that lasts 1-2 hours.  That second wind coincided with me laying my head down to sleep.  Whoops.

I'm beginning research to majorly overhaul my workout.  I feel like I'm getting bored with basic strength calisthenics and not working towards any of my gymnastics goals.  So, over the next month or so, I'm going to come up with a mostly new program that will allow me to focus on the fundamental static positions: front lever, back lever, planche, and handstands.  As my first change, I'm going to replace ring pushups with the planche progression and replace ring rows with the front lever progression.  All I've really learned about my new program style is that programming with static holds is more difficult and more time consuming.

I worked out today:
8 Toes to Bar
2x10 Hanging Fron Raise
3x75s RKC Planks
3x8 Ring Rows (rings@38", feet@35")
3x8 Ring Pushups (rings@38", feet@35")
3x8 Bodyweight curls (rings@38", legs bent)
2x5,2x4 Ring Dips
3x8 Pistols (all freestanding with very minor support out of bottom position with hands)
2x8 Modified GHRs
1x3 GHR eccentrics
4 Chin-ups
4 Wide Ring Pushups (awesome!)

Friday, August 3, 2012

August 3rd,2012 - I don't remember.

I forgot to blog after this workout, so the details are a bit fuzzy.

I remember a few things:

- I got down to a 3" differential between my hands and feet on both ring pushups and ring rows.  I finally  reached a point where I couldn't do 3x8 in either the pushups or rows.  Felt weird.

- I'm almost there with Half-HeSPUs.   I call them half, but they're much lower than half in reality.  I sit a 1.5" thick cardboard box between my hands and then lower myself until my head lightly touches the box before pushing back up.  I should hit 3x8 on my next session on August 8th.  Then I'll pull out the box and try to go for full HeSPUs.  I assume I will get 3x8 pretty quickly which means it's time to build some parallettes.

- Toes-to-Bars are still hard.

- Fitocracy sometimes scores things strangely.  I did the same max number of pullups today as I did on August 1st, yet the scoring was MUCH lower today.  I don't know.

- I tried doing High Step Ups instead of Pistols for one set.  They're supposed to be a little more taxing on the glutes and hams, but it didn't feel like it to me.  I'll try them again soon.

- GHRs are becoming stagnant.  I need to build something to hold my feet properly, or just move on to another exercise.  :/

I worked out today:
8 Toes to Bar
2x10 Hanging Frog Raise
3x75s RKC Plank
9,8,8 Pull-Up
8,8,7 Half-HeSPUs
6,7,8 Ring Rows (Rings@38", feet@35")
8,8,7 Ring Pushups (Rings@38", feet@35")
1x10 High Step Ups
2x8 Pistols (only last two reps were ring assisted)
8,8,7 Modified GHRs

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

August 1st, 2012 - Over 1000 Points? That can't be right.

I didn't think I was doing anything extra-ordinary this morning.  It certainly felt like a normal workout.  But somehow I ended up with over 1000 points (on Fitocracy) for this morning's routine and I didn't even try for it.  It looks like the point values for pull-ups have been bumped up a bit.  Or maybe they haven't changed at all and I've just never seen the point values assigned to nine pullups.

Oh yeah.... I got my NINTH pullup this morning.  I've been stuck at 8 since mid-June.  Unfortunately, I could only get over the bar 9 times on my very first set, but it felt phenomenal.

In addition to my ninth pullup, I was also able to get two sets of 7 Half-HeSPUs.  Previous best: 6. Records are being broken all over this place!  PROGRESS.

So, enough gloating and shit...  here's where I'm having issues: leg raises.  I do not feel comfortable holding my legs in front of me.  So, I've started doing toes-to-bars in order to get my abs stronger through the full abs range of motion.  Once I can get 3x10 on TtB, I'll start working on straight leg raises again.  I will defeat you, abs.

I worked out today:
1x7 Toes-to-Bar
2x10 Hanging Frog Raises
3x60s RKC Plank
9,7,8,4 Pull-ups
7,7,6.5 Half HeSPUs
3x8 BW Curls (rings @ 34", legs bent)
5x5 Ring Dips
3x8 Pistols (Set 1: 8 FS, Set 2: 6 FS, Set 3: 2 FS)
3x8 Modified GHRs  (I need to build a true GHR box.)