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  1. Hey all, my challenges have been a little loosey-goosey lately, and I think I need a little more structure, so I have plans for next year's first challenge, and we're going to transition back to themes with a little Christmas mini-challenge. If the weather cooperates, I'll get some more barn work done and share pictures, but we're not going to focus on that. Instead, we're decking the halls with HOLLY: Hydrate I was doing really well with this through the summer/fall, but as soon as the weather changed, my water intake tanked. Also my alcohol consumption has been slowly creeping up, which isn't a good combo. The goal here is simple enough: fill my water bottle every morning and empty it by bedtime, plus no alcoholic beverages unless I'm at least 75% through my water bottle. Organize My parents made us clean our rooms really well right before Christmas because they said we shouldn't be getting new stuff if we can't take care of what we already have. So I always get the urge to clean this time of year. I had the house pretty clean before Thanksgiving - a large influx of company sort of destroyed that, but it won't take much to whip it back into shape. So I'll take care of that and then do something about my desk, which has been buried under papers for months. Lift I am bound and determined to finish this chin up program before the end of the year. I have lifting plans for next year, and not only do I want to get my chin ups back, but I also want to start developing some workout consistency. Liturgy We are closing in on my one year anniversary of coming to the Anglican Church, and I am loving it. Advent (which started yesterday) is also the start of the church year, so I've decided it's a good time to start doing Morning Prayer. This will also be helpful as part of the spiritual direction process that I'm starting to determine whether or not I should pursue ordination as a deacon. I'm also still more or less following the Bible Eater plan I started in October. Yule 'tis the season after all. One of the things I really want to get away from is spending evenings on my phone, which I believe is the leading contributor to my recent sleeping problems. Therefore the plan is to pack my evenings full of Christmas activities such as decorating, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, playing Christmas carols, etc. I also have a stack of Christmas books and Christmas jigsaw puzzles. This is supposed to be fun, so there's no real plan here, except that I cannot open games or social media on my phone after 5. Possible exception for NF, which I never really think of as social media anyways. You guys are way too wholesome for that.
  2. After a year+ of building, I am ready to put the roof on my barn! Which is actually supposed to happen this weekend, so the rest of the challenge will be focused on other barn things like windows and walls But for the next three days, it's all about the roof. Oh, and the chicken coop. I really need to finish repairing the winter coop so the chickens can move back in from their summer home. My other goal this challenge is to transition back into regular workouts by completing the NF Chin Up Challenge. I did the first workout Tuesday. Still feeling pretty sore, but I think I'm going to go ahead and do workout 2 tonight, so I can stay more or less on track with it. Probably not going to keep the gifs up all challenge, but it's a Friday and words are hard, so here are moving pictures! Also, one not-moving picture to show the current state of the barn:
  3. on we go Lucky fire dragon shifts shape part 3 Shifting shape part 1 had me slim from 70kg down to 68kg roughly, in shifting shape part 2 I got to 67kg but then back up to the 68 and now I'm aiming to stabilize at 67 and/or go lower aaaaaaaaaand stronger again Strength gains happened slowly as I had to tickle myself out of big inertia, but slowly I'm getting into motion again, whooohooo. Now to keep it going and build up a bit more. As shifting shape also needs a certain innate flexibility and clarity in focus, I've been training my meditation skills and will keep building on those some more as well. Inspiration is another helpful aspect to keep me going, in many ways this is really just a continuation of my previous two challenges. Part of this challenge however will be providing the best mom-support I can for my kids especially my son as he is in his second last school year, with lots of exams coming up over the next weeks and months. One of his major exams will be in sports and he chose basketball and swimming for this. He will also have to run through a circuit training of basic strength and endurance drills like push ups, squats, weighted sit ups etc... While I can't help him with basketball, I can renew my daily 10 motivation and have him join me and I can take both kids to the indoor swimming pool regularly for a while. Youngest is learning to swim the crawl (is that how you call it?) at school so extra practice will be great for her as well. My boy needs to build up to 600m swimming endurance, which I think should not be a problem, but we'll have to see how far that really is in the end and also depending which style he needs to swim it in. Best to tackle it early so why not theme this time just SWIM Sadhana Sadhana practice is what kundalini yogis call their morning practice and ideally it means rising 2 - 2,5 hours before sunrise, freshening up with a cold shower and then practising pranayama (breathing exercises), kriya yoga (physical exercises), chanting and meditation. In a way, hubby and me had started on this with our 5am meditation habit already, so now I'd like to expand on it. I gave this way too much thought again I'm good at complicating things - wondering how to do it that I don't wake any of the kids up too early, like would the shower wake them... how do I find undisturbed time to add the pranayama and kriyas in... should I get up at 4am, will that be enough time... will I manage though? I already struggle with the 4.45 getting up time.... and so on, my mind would try and plan and drive me mull So this morning after our meditation time I woke youngest, popped their buns in the oven and made her tea, tidied up a bit around the kitchen until the buns were finished and then went right back into the living room and started a pranayama exercise. I didn't care about youngest thinking her mom might be totally nuts now and I didn't care when I had to interrupt in between for talking to her. What I realized is this: I won't EVER be completely undisturbed! Yes, I could force myself up at 3am in the morning or whatever, but then the cats would think it's time for breakfast and even if kids and cats and the whole world would not interfere, my mind would still cause a racket from time to time and I'd have to refocus just the same! This realization brought immmense freedom for me: I can basically do my exercises of choice whenever and when I have to interrupt, I'll just get refocused and start again. With time I'm sure, we'll work it out in a way that's smooth enough. It's better to do it imperfect than not doing it at all, so if I do my yoga while the sun is already up, so what?! I'll still do it first thing in the morning and have a great start into my day So here is my plan: Get up at 4.45, wash face with cold water and feed cats, meditate with hubby until 6, get buns etc for kids ready and wake youngest, once she is sorted do my pranayama and kriya yoga, then take my cold shower while my boy gets up for his breakfast, see if he's alright and then get my own breakfast going and voilà I'm set for a great day. Wish me strength - those kriyas are harder than they look and getting up is still a battle Water Despite being a fire dragon, water is really good for me I'm aiming to go swimming with the kids at least 4x over the course of the challenge Drinking at least 2 Liters of water / day Have cold shower in the morning and wash my feet with cold water before going to bed at night (I found it very soothing and helping me sleep deeper) with some lovely skin creams for luxury after (I have so many nice creams and lotions and hardly ever use them, time to shine instead) Inspiration An idle mind often comes up with such nonsense! I'll keep filling it instead with inspiring stories and teachings by reading and reflecting on helpful things. Also have to finish writing the script for my healing workshop and that will challenge me to tap into my inner inspirations, so that will count towards this goal as well. 10 minutes of reading per day keeping my 4TW streak going (444 words per day, currently my streak is 61 days) will be enough. That is a small goal to reach, so I'm hoping to top it on many days and to really reach it every single day even amidst unexpected action and chaos, which are part of life and bound to happen. Mom support As meditation is already part of the sadhana practice I'll dedicate the M to my mom duties instead, well duty is not the best word as it's much more voluntary then that. I want to be the best support I can be for my kids. Not sure how to structure this goal yet, as I'll have to see when making them study and maybe helping them study is due and when break times, games, or outdoors times would be better... might just look at it a day at a time and do my best without a structured measure to go by. And yes, salads will be a continuous thing and so will yoga classes be - do shout at me if I start slacking on them again! That's it, let's do the thang
  4. Grayspeed Vs Goals. Last challenge I learned how to create processes based on immediate "stepping stone goals" that should eventually lead to my long term goals. Now I've decided to focus in on just two of my goals directly. This should help my really make progress in those areas, while still working on other areas as "background tasks". This is sort of an experiment, so I may change things up as I go. What are my immediate goals? 1) Be able to do an unassisted ring dip. 2) Be able to do a set of 5 reps of good form chinups. That means a hollow body position - no kipping, no half reps, no using knees for momentum. 3) Run one mile in less than 10 minutes. 4) Learn to cartwheel. This will be a precursor movement before getting into rolls, handstands, and other fun stuff. Which goals am I choosing to focus on right now? Chin ups. I'm at 4 good reps right now so it seems logical to get this checked off and move onto the next level. Ring dips. I kinda did an ugly one last week, but I really want to clean it up. Quest 1: Strength. Build strength by doing a NF Rings workout at least 3 times a week. It's probably also worth pointing out that my rings workouts also include lower body exercises and other bodyweight movements. So they're a full body workout that focuses on rings, or at least incorporates them. Quest 2: Mobility. Build up mobility and bodily awareness by doing a 5 minute flow every day. Link to explanation of 5 minute flow. Quest 3: All the other stuff. This seemed like a good place to use an Assassin's Creed gif. Why not. Keep up my other areas of physical fitness by doing at least 3 sessions of physical activity per week. Anything physical outside of my main rings/bodyweight workouts: this can include running, yoga, kettlebell workouts, HIIT training, skill work, walking - whatever I feel like doing really. Just as long as it's physically challenging in some way. Simple stuff. Let's do it!
  5. Thi challenge I will step into the scary and exciting world of BULKING. I will be eating to gain about a half a pound per week. For the next couple of months, my main focus will be on building muscle. To succeed at the challenge, I need to Climb The Tower of Gainz. Each week I will have steps to climb to get to the top. Three of the steps for each week will be my main goals. In order to finish the step I must either complete all the days of the goal, or do a repair to the step. Then I have extra steps that I earn by picking from various activities. I'm making a pretty gameboard. Tomorrow or soon I will post it. Right now I can't find my colored pencils- jet lag, just got home from New Orleans. Goals Morning Routine; Bible, Kitchen, at 9:30 Monday -Friday Track food and water; 6 days a week Mobility work 10 minutes a day; 3 days week one, 4 days week 2, 5 days week 3, 6 days week 3 Repair steps( for days I don't make goal) choose one 20 burpees 100 lunges 3 minutes of Farmer Walks 7 chin ups Bonus- for additional steps 15 minutes of either ; scrapbooking: cleaning bookshelves,declutter cook new food eat new food 2 mile Ruck adventure 10 minute gymnastic skill work 15 minute stretching routine 5 minute AMRAP BW squats 2 steps for shopping for couch
  6. Continuing on from my previous challenge with similar goals and Deadpool goodness Goals 1. Stick with Half Marathon Training Plan I've got 8 weeks till my next half marathon and training is going well so far. I just need to stick to my training plan to run 3-4 times a week. The plan is to a long run on Sunday (unless it's OCR week), a recovery run Tues, speed or hill session Thurs and Parkrun on Saturday (again, unless it clashes with an OCR). 2. Strength train when not running incl GtG chin ups. Pretty self explanatory, do a strength training routine - whether that's lifting or body-weight based - 2-3 times a week (climbing is included in this too). Also keep working on chin ups whenever I can to try and do more than one. 3. Stretch properly and foam roll my ass regularly. I've started to let this slide again and my body is starting to suffer because of it. I need to make sure I warm up before running, stretch afterwards, and try to foam roll whenever I can, particularly my ass! I did a 10k run yesterday and my left glute seized up so badly I struggled to walk back to the car! If i'm going to increase my running distance and intensity, I've got to look after my butt! I'm also going to experiment with some BCAAs to see if these help with recovery. Bonus goal - Don't eat like a dick on weekdays. Keep a food log Mon-Fri. I'm allowed to eat what I like at weekends but that doesn't mean I can go crazy. I started tracking what I ate in the middle of the last challenge and found it helpful to just keep me mindful of what I was eating. I'm not monitoring calories or trying to lose or gain weight, I just want to make my diet healthier to try and keep my energy levels up and hopefully stop me catching every bug that goes around!
  7. Lucky fire dragon pulls herself up and up and upside down Hi everyone, for those who don't know me yet, I am an amateur pole dancer who got hooked about 3 years ago and is since then slowly, stubbornly building some strength to actually do some dancing on this fabulous thing. It's totally addictive, gives me big bruises and even bigger fun, confidence and has turned me from sluggish desk worker into circus-nerd, active, stronger than I have ever been and roughly 10 kg lighter to when I started three years ago. Apart from pole dance I dabbled with aerial hoop, will get gymnastic rings for my birthday in May (whoohoo), love yoga, hiking, bathing, reading, travelling, music and of course all the gorgeous amazeballs in here Due to some work changes and challenges I was quite absent during the last two challenges and ... am embarrassed to admit... let myself go a bit. Well, contrast is our friend, right, so here is me motivated and dedicated for a proper tough challenge again Let's BRING IT ON!!!! (will have to look for a proper gif later, sorry) This time I'm going to do it all: spring clean detox get super strong, especially on PULL UPS train all the inversions and stay super focused with meditation powers The rough plan is there, I might still adjust some details later. Also this challenge will have different parts for each week as it builds up gradually and that will give me some room for adjustments if need be. 1. Get sparkling and focused I have a fabulous yoga book by Tiffany Cruikshank with a 30 day yoga detox program that helped me shed about 4 kg two years ago and will go through the progress again. Might shed less weight this time, but am hoping for some cm less and also noticed the cleaner my diet and the less alcohol I drink, the better my grip on the pole. Aaaaand it turns out that is a BIG motivation For Week 1 I will - drink a lemon drink every morning - do the detox week 1 yoga program every morning breathing exercise (inhale for 6 seconds, hold for 6 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds, same with 8 seconds and then 10 seconds for 3 rounds each or more) 10 x cat / cow 3-5 sun salutations A (forward fold, plank, lowering into cobra, downdog, jump to hands, forward fold, roll up) 2-5 sun saluations B (forward fold, jump into plank, up dog, down dog, lunge left with arms up, down dog, lunge right with arms up, downdog, jump to hands, forward fold, roll up) Savansana (after hoop and inversions) meditation (after savansana or later in day, see below) - add 5 of each pull up and chin up rows as well as tuck into straddle and crunches on the aerial hoop every morning - meditate for 10 minutes minimum every morning (can be done later in day if need be, but morning would be ideal) - do all this early enough that I can still do all needed desk work in the mornings and have the afternoons free for other things - do 3 rounds of fire breath every day - drink no alcohol except on Saturdays but only if I had at least 2 liters of water before - drink 2 liters of water or herbal tea every day - take measurements on Sundays 2. Get Stronger As I want to really really play with my rings when I get them and apparently you need to have pull up strength for that, pull ups it's going to be. Plus pole lessons at Level 2+ are really challenging me majorly so no more lazying around on that either - 3 x pole training at home / week (plus the lesson at the studio) - collect 50 pull ups or chin ups over week 1, negatives and rows count as 0.5 each -> will raise this goal in the weeks 2-4 3. Train all the inversions I have this fabulous feetup stool at home allowing me plenty of play with headstands without any pressure on neck or hand, so I could play more with that... or with handstands (I recently managed to kick into a wall handstand and hold it for the first time idk!!!!! That was so cool it needs repeating) ... or with headstands as we need them way more controlled for pole choreos than I can do right now - spend 50 minutes / week upside down Current status videos Here is the video of the hoop morning training with lots of work still needed on my rows as you can see. I'm thinking now that maybe I am positioning myself wrong and must go a bit more back to that when I come up the hoop is not at my head but at my chest rather... any hints? https://vimeo.com/161294594 Also can we still imbed videos in here or not anymore? Couldn't find yet how... Here is a video of some current pole projects: seat relax into hangback should ideally be switching from one into the other and back with as little hand help as possible (good prep for higher levels ) the handstand attitude with one leg away from the pole feels for some reason suuuuuuper scary, so it will be my bravery expansion for a while and the slide down needs more control and less hooking in with the bent leg, finally the headstand - goal is to lift straight legs up controlled from top of foot (i.e. not standing on toes like I did here) and then crunch up to hold straight away at the top of the pole (not use the help of hand below butt like I did here...) https://vimeo.com/161296316 Measurements and weight on Day 1 upper right arm: 29.5 cm upper left arm: 29.5 cm chest: 88.5 cm waist: 83 cm hips: 89.5 cm right thigh: 54 cm left thigh: 53 cm right calf: 35.5 cm left calf: 34.5 cm Starting weight 64 kg Squeeeeeeeeee EXCITED Best of FUN and SUCCESS and safe training everyone!!
  8. THE YEAR OF DISNEY PRINCESSES BECAUSE I AM A MOTHERFUCKING PRINCESS MONK: PRINCESS JASMINE EDITION As is tradition (hey, once totally counts as tradition!), have my favorite Jasmine song: What? She's only got the one song, and as much as I like A Whole New World, I like this better. Rock That Crop Top, Jas. Having some core confidence definitely translates in other areas of life - I mean, just look at that sassy princess in her crop top. I totally need that. And core strength. After all, a rocking crop top isn't going to toss the guys off of me in bjj. CHALLENGE: Core - 3 sessions a week GRADING: A - 3 sessions | B - 2 session | C - 1 session Obviously, to be done on different days. If there is a class at work that is core heavy, it will count. No time limit on this - just need to make sure I'm focusing on this. Climb That Wall Now, Jasmine just wanted to be ~*~free~*~ from her princessly obligations. I mean, we all feel that feel sometimes. Me, though? I just want my damn chin up back. CHALLENGE: Chin Up - 3 times a week GRADING: A - 3 days | B - 2 days | C - 1 day At least one set of 5 attempted three times a week. This can be done at home (which... let's be real, would be me jumping futilely), at work (which has assistance bands), or at the other gym (which as the assisted pull up machine). I Can't Keep Eating Like an Asshole, Part the Third Now that Jasmine knows that food doesn't grow on trees (wait), it's time to start being a bit more specific in how we decide to eat. CHALLENGE: Food - stick to the plaaaaan GRADING: A - Stuck to the plan | B - Mostly stuck to the plan | C - There was a plan? So, this go around, I'm going to have some specific things to work towards since two months of beating into my head what should and should not be a daily nom thing has started to sink it. The plan is as follows: Limit bread/pasta to 4 meals a week - this means 3 days of no wheat; rice does not count towards this Processed food no more than twice a week - basically, if it comes from a box or a can (unless it's corn), I can only have it twice a week. Chocolate does not count, nor does dairy. Soda on double bjj days, otherwise once every 5 days - when it comes down to it, I like soda, so instead of saying no more soda, time to restrict it. There will be an exception to this rule on 3/9 and 3/10 because I'm in all day meetings, and as I don't drink coffee, I need caffeine from somewhere or I'll fall asleep. Making Kitty Famous Let's be real - the actual star of the movie was Rajah. And he's such a handsome boy. I've got two handsome boys at home, and the world really ought to see more of them. CHALLENGE: Instagram - one new cat picture a day GRADING: A - 7 pictures | B - 6 pictures | C - 5 pictures Follow me on instagram if you want (~stillskies), but I'll also post them here.
  9. It was our family game night. Mr. I, Violet, Dash and I were all sitting around the table playing Pandemic. Jack-Jack was already asleep for the night. It was pretty much a typical game night, Dash dashing out and running around the block every five minutes, Violet disappearing occasionally, and Mr. Incredible texting Frozone about their latest exploits . All the sudden Mr. I interrupted our game, with a loud exclamation “NO†we all looked up at him. He shakes his head as if in disbelief. “What is it?†I ask “We need to turn on the news†He says, quickly grabbing the remote The TV turns on, and the newscaster appears on screen, while the words, Breaking News scroll underneath him “Everyone should stay calm’, he starts- uh oh I think that doesn’t sound good He continues “Stay in your houses and do not leave. Our city seems to be under attack from some kind of robot†“Let’s talk to Danger Jim who is currently on scene†The scene changes and we see a man huddled behind a car. Then the camera pans out and we get our first view of the city. In the middle of the street, there is a giant spider-like robot. It has long tentacle like arms, and at the end of each is a giant claw. It is grabbing cars, trees, buildings, everything in its path and crushing it with its mighty claws. I look at Mr. Incredible. Is that….? Yep, an Omnidroid†But, I thought we killed them all?†Mr. I shakes his head again “Well, we must not have†We turn our attention back to the TV. We watch in horror as Omnidroid emits a laser beam, shining the powerful light on the nearby buildings. In a second, the building are engulfed in flames. Then we see a line of police, guns pointed, bravely running up to the robot. As we continue to watch, the robot shoots an unknown mist on the police. The brave police suddenly stop, dropping their guns and turn to face the news camera. The captain yells, “Everyone hide, and it’s no use fighting the creature. “ Mr. Incredible and I have seen enough. The city needs us. We quickly run for our superhero outfits, making plans as we hurriedly race out the door. We will fight this new Omnidroid and destroy it before it can do any more harm. Challenge: Elastigirl battles Omnidroid XIII Gloomy Mist Spray: Shoots mist of darkness and despair over the city of Metroville, causing the townspeople to hide in their homes, too full of gloom to venture outside. To defeat the mist spray, I will spread my body over the entire town, creating a canopy of protection from the Mists of Gloom. Walking is a habit for me. However when it is rainy and gray, I really would rather huddle inside my house. But walking is one of the best ways for me to combat seasonal depression, and so I am making it a goal. Goal 30 26 miles a week-as tracked on my fitbit 1 point a mile 15 minutes doing some sort of movement( GMB, yoga,gardening, stationary bike) = 1 mile Giant Claws with the power to grab hold of whatever is in its path and crush it with the force of its mighty claw hands. I plan to make use my superpower of stretchiness, lengthen my arms around his claws and crush them, thereby ending any destruction by the evil claws. Goal: 6 days a week tracking on MFP: will be working on maintenance note: sometimes when I eat at someone else's home I just leave a good margin rather than bother with tracking;this is allowable 6 or 7 days= 12 points 5 days= 10 4 points Omndroid earns 2 points 3 or less Omnidroid earns 5, 6, 7 points 7 days bonus= a day that I can put on to another week to increase my score 72 points possible Laser Beam of Destruction: This horrifying weapon aims its powerful laser on an object, instantaneously incinerating it. Mr. Incredible has built a light distribution amplification device that will render the laser beam ineffective. I’ll shoot the device, known as LDAD straight into the robots control sensor. Goal: videos Swings 3 x during challenge completion dates: Week 1, 3 or 4, 6 Presses 1 x during challenge: completion date week 2 TGU 2 x during challenge: completion date week 1 and 3 or 4 If not completed on the week noted Omnidroid earns 5 points 5 points per video= 30 points possible BONUS added presses second video = 5 points Life goals: I will help rebuild the city, and restore the people's morale after the devastating attack on their city Family scrapbook complete 10 points/not complete 10 points to Omnidroid Vacation scrapbook-planned out and photos edited and ready- 10 points- Work on Dash’s old room each week 2 points (what is determined as working is entirely at my discretion and is not officially tracked and very wibbly wobbly- I still have some Chaos in my blood after all) My son moved out in July. I haven’t done anything to his room. He has some stuff left that I need to box up, and I could move some of our office stuff in there to give us more room in the office. I just sort of spin my wheels and don’t know where to start, plus the goopy sentimental mess it makes me. So just doing a little and getting started is counted as win. Life goals =32 points possible Omnidroid is a gigantic powerful robot, capable of crushing me in its claws, spraying me with it’s soul deadening Mist of Gloom, or setting me on fire with its deadly laser. In order to defeat this monstrous machine I will need to earn 280 260 points
  10. Prologue The worst happened. We thought we were safe, we thought the thing we feared the most would stay in the realms of science fiction. We were wrong and we were so unprepared. The world as we knew it ended. It happened so fast, no one was ready. Not many of us survived the bombings. Some people were lucky enough to make it to shelters in time before the bio-chemical attacks started. Some weren't so lucky. We thought we were safe in the shelters but we had no idea the horror that awaited us on the outside. Not everyone hit by the bio-chems were killed; some survived, but they can no longer be classed as humans. Some call them mutants, some call them demons, abominations. I call them zombies. My name is Charlie and I'm a Ranger in the squadron for Compound 3, one of the last human settlements left. Our job is to defend the people and the compound from the nightmares outside and to scout the wasteland for supplies. We are soldiers, protectors, the last line of defense. This is my diary, my story.
  11. I find that I can execute at least one chin up, one pull up, and one neutral grip pull up from a standing position with slightly flexed arms. However, I can't figure out how to get my body to that position from a dead hang at this point. I'm thinking maybe flexed hangs for time might help get me to the point where I can knock out a rep from a dead hang? I'm curious what others have done to overcome this hurdle. Suggestions on movements/exercises to facilitate this? Thanks for your help! Just to clarify on the starting position I mention above, here's a video in the event my description above was unclear. My feet are on the floor at the beginning of this rep.
  12. So I'm starting a couple of weeks late but that's ok, it's my first 6 week challenge so I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. My main quest is to do at least 1 chin up by December 31st. Starting weight - 77kgs and a body fat of 28%. This 6 week challenge goal is to complete Level 1 of Steve's road to pull ups which is Bent Over Dumbbell Rows. As I am a woman of nearly 6ft, with little upper body strength, I will be aiming for a weight of 18-20kg @ 8 reps x 3 sets to complete this challenge. Wish me luck! Last week I completed 14kgs @ 8x3 along with: Strength Training Sets Reps/Set Weight/Set Lat Pulldown 3x 8x 33 Mid Lat Pulls 3x 8x 38 Close Lat Pulls 3x 8x 42 Machine Row 3x 8x 33 Standing cable pulldown 3x 8x 15
  13. So here lies my official battle log for my annual goal....completing at least 1 chin up! I have a competition going with my sister in Sydney who can do one first - from free hang - no cheating now. Although she is a good 20kgs lighter than me, I won't let that stop me from giving it my best shot! I have taken Steve's articles on pull-ups on board, and have set out my 6 week challenge to help me get there. I am currently working from stage one, aiming for 20kg single arm dumbbell rows. Once there I will move on to supine rows, negatives and assisted pulls. Is there anyone else out there working towards this same goal? Would love to hear from you.
  14. Main Quest – Become Resilient People have accused me of becoming “consistent†over the last challenge. Sadly, this remains a struggle for me. Over the last few years, I’ve learned what works to keep me happy and healthy. Far too often, I wander astray because I “deserve some time off†or want to pursue some shiny new method or goal. Time to develop persistence and focus like Batman. Time to bounce back from setbacks even stronger and wiser. Time to become resilient. (BTW, grading = >90% - A 75-89% - B 50-74% - C <49% - F) 1) The Training is Nothing! The Will is Everything! The Will to Act! [+5 STA] Doucard is right. The will to act is how I will continue my daily training, including: - pray and read the Bible - prepare food - play outside (walk, BWW three times per week) - post on NF - pause (meditate) - plan for tomorrow This is the big goal for this challenge - consistent will to develop a healthy, happy Batperson. 2) Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up. [+3 DEX] Because sometimes falling is the only way forward, at least 3 times per week, I will develop the following skills… - chin/pull up negatives - bailing from handstands - parkour rolls 3) I synthesized an antidote. [+3 CON] I will counteract fear toxin (candy, junk food, baked stuff, work cafeteria “foodâ€, and other forms of emotional eating) with new antidotes. Some ideas (feel free to suggest more)… - drink tea - walk - listen to a song on my iPod - meditate - find a joke on the internet - animal pictures - read inspiring quotes - five deep breaths Side Quest – I am the Night! [+2 CHA] For the last 2/3rds of the challenge, I’m going to be working a super wonky schedule – 16 hour overnight shifts every other night. I have enough trouble shifting my schedule, but this looks to be playing sleep on expert difficulty. Here’s my plan to maximize the sleep that I can get, but expect adjustments - while on days sleep 9pm-6am - while on nights sleep – 9am-3pm - nap sometime between 1-4am or sleep later on non-working days - yellow glasses - magnesium? Life Quest – Build the Batcave [+2 WIS] My house and laptop are crammed to bursting with too much stuff. I will spend at least 15 minutes per day to declutter, organize, clean, or otherwise improve my physical and digital batcave.
  15. Pull-ups* = pull ups, chin ups, pull up negatives, flex hangs, deadhangs, or wherever you are with your pull-up progressions. The world is our playground! And doing pull-ups on horizontal bars or rings is boring. So, the goal is to go out and find new and interesting objects on which to do your pull-up sets and build your grip strength in the process. +1 point for each new and exciting place or object for pull-ups, but you have to describe where you're doing them. +1 more point for each photo or video posted of yourself doing a pull-up somewhere interesting. The winner is the person with the most points at the end, but we could also do weekly winners, if people would like. So, who's in? To get people's creative juices flowing, here's a video of me doing pull-ups by sticking my fingers through the holes on the tread of some playground stairs:
  16. All right. Let's get this party started. So, in case any of you didn't get the chance to see, I've been working on new goals. I've desired to grow stronger and fight better, and my goals to that end have helped me with that a lot. But at the same time, I've been exposed to my limits. I've done manual labor and found that strength training has its limits in terms of what it can do to save you. And I've seen what it's like to wake up in the morning and not feel pain. I like those things. I like them very much. The overarching mission of this year is twofold - one, to make my body move better, and two, to make martial arts indelibly part of my life. No one challenge is going to be enough to make that happen, anymore than any one goal can make those things happen. As such, I'm ultimately going to spend this year focusing on building and maintaining systems that put me in a better place than I was before. GOAL 1: Hip Flexibility System This is something I've heard a lot of good things about. I'll be in the second week of the program by the time the challenge officially starts, and my challenge for myself is to not miss a single workout here. I have no real excuse to - at this point, it's mostly just a couple minutes added onto my warm up, and I've seen some good come of it already in my hill sprinting exploits. But at the same time, I feel so impatient with this, and it's implausible. I don't know why it's that way. But having the public accountability to all y'all is gonna help me with that. I don't quite know what the exact number of sessions is going to translate to, but we'll grade this as: +2 CON, +1 STR, +1 STA. GOAL 2: Active Recovery This has two opportunities to happen. Strength training that acknowledges martial artists tends to say that technical work - being in class and training, etc. - is a form of active recovery. Since I'm seeing my sensei on a semi-regular basis, that's one way that this can happen. The other way is to use the active recovery routine that I have on hand. I've also begun to slip on my morning mobility, so I'm going to go ahead and throw that in for this goal too, so that I can rebuild that habit and put some new stuff with it. +1 CON, +2 STA, +1 DEX GOAL 3: Solo Practice I still can't believe that the last challenge was too ambitious for this. But I'm gonna shake it off and learn from it. We're going to focus on just ten combos and ten uchikomi. Feels pathetic, but the seed has to be planted somewhere. +2 DEX LIFE GOAL: Finances So, this is going to be interesting. The job situation has gone chaotic, and without going into a full-blown rant, I stand to lose both the writing gig and the UPS gig. I don't know how any of this is going to shake out, although I do have a personal training interview to go see to on the tenth of January. As usual, no guarantees. I've begun to take a look at my finances to see what I can cut that I don't really need anymore. Unfortunately, she's pretty much been cut to the bone. I managed to drop out of some training communities that were charging me that weren't benefiting me, which was a win. I still need to find a way to drop out of the gym membership, given that I'm not going to be there any time soon. This one is really, really vague. The clearest form of success would be to cut that gym membership, but as for the rest, I honestly don't know how I'm going to define success. Survival? Bleak, maybe, but that suits me rather well. ; Maybe I'll know at the end of it. +3 WIS, +2 CHA We'll see how this all goes. I'm genuinely excited to have a new mission for 2014, an overarching focus to drive me. It's nice. We'll see what happens.
  17. This is my first try at a challenge and I'm feeling ready to go! I'm a type 2 diabetic and my overall quest is to get my A1C number back down to 6. I've done it before but in the last year it has jumped back up to over 9. My next checkup isn't scheduled until late March so I'm not going to set an A1C number as the specific goal for this challenge. In the past setting specific performance goals has served me well, so that is what I will do here. Stats/Current Fitness Level Male, 31 years old, 6'2" 172 lbs. I currently run at least 3 times a week, usually 3-4 mile intervals. For strength training I do mostly bodyweight exercises about 3 times a week. Main Quest Increase my max outs on the following exercises: Pull-ups: Current - 13, Goal - 20 Chin-ups: Current - 21, Goal - 30 Hand Stand Pushups: Current - 13, Goal - 20 Goals Maintain running at least 3 days a week. Keep a log of everything I eat. Strength train 4 times a week.Life Goal Get my wife out for more dates. We've been married 5 years and now have two young daughters (2 and 4), so we don't get out much. My primary motivation behind all of this is to make sure I can be there for all my girls for many more years but I have to make sure we actually take the time to enjoy each other along the way. *Edit - Grading system below added on 1/21/2014 Grading Goal 1: Every run workout of 3-5 miles = 4 pointsRuns over 5 miles = 5 pointsLesser runs can receive a 1, 2 or 3 based on combination of whether they included hills or intervalsGoal 2: Food log is incomplete, or a large amount of junk food is consumed - 1 to 3 pointsFood log is complete for the day - 4 pointsFood log is complete and no junk food was consumed that day - 5 pointsGoal 3: Workout includes some strength training but does not meet or exceed reps and/or weight in a previous workout - 1-3 pointsStrength workout meets or exceeds a previous workout - 4 pointsStrength workout sets a new PR - 5 pointsPoints: 1 - F 2 - D 3 - C 4 - B This would be the point where I am meeting all my goals 5 - A Only for when I exceed goals and display true Badassery! Battle Log Point Sheet - I've learned you're not truly nerdy about your fitness until you do something like this!
  18. I have been gearing up for this now for about 4 weeks. In fact I am a nerd now because of my goal of being able to chin and pull up with ease. I was trawling the NET for how to do a proper chin up and I stumbled across Steve's Youtube video - which inevitably led me to where I am now. Here with you great guys. So on Friday - after a lot of inverted rows, and assisted chin ups I managed my first one from a full hanging loose position. It felt great!!! I was so stoked that I thought I would 'go big' and try for the full pull up. Well that I am still working on - in fact I was so far away on that one, I could barely see the bar!!!! This is milestone number one. I still have the pull up to do and whilst I did a chin up it was only one and it definitely wasn't with ease. So the journey continues and I'm loving every step.
  19. Hey there everyone. You mind if I come play over here for a while? I would have hung out in one of the other guilds, but I have too many jobs for Serenity, and I'm not gonna run (much) so the Pavement's out. I'm not trying to bulk so no Weight Gain, but I'm not planning to resist holiday treats either, so Weight Loss is out too. So, the only one left for me to join is this one. I hope y'all don't mind. Anyway, posting up today's workout: Warmed Up Chin Ups: 3x61, 5 (notation indicates the number of sets, out of the total executed, that this particular rep range was used). Pistol Progressions: 3x5/Leg Close Push Ups: 3x6 Hanging Knee Raises: 3x6 Inverted Ring Rows: 3x4 Skater Squats: 3x9/Leg Pike Press, 1-Step: 3x3 Full Bridge: 3x6 Core Work: Dynamic Hollow Body Wall Walk: 3x1 Bent Leg to Bar: 3x1 Hanging Knee Hold: 3x6 seconds Took about an hour or so. Then went off to work UPS, which proved to be... interesting, on a Christmas Eve.
  20. A little while ago I asked Rebels for their thoughts on whether resistance bands would be enough to get me to be able to do an unassisted chin up. Turns out they were! My next challenge is to improve the quality of my chin ups. My form is not perfect - I start close to a dead hang but not quite there, a very slight bend at the elbow. I do quite like this because it seems to be easier on my shoulder joints than a dead hang but at the same time it'd be nice to be able to do strict form. Besides MOAR CHIN UPS, what would be a good way to build the strength needed to improve my form? I find negatives really awkward but I like flex hangs a lot so I wondered if that would help. Or should I maybe do partial reps, starting from a dead hang and then pulling a quarter way of the way up? Thanks for your help
  21. Wow, two pages worth of monk topics, and your guild leader didn't even show up. Wow, guys, I dropped the ball. Sorry for that. So, life done gone became a hurricane in the intervening period. Lease is coming up in August, and I've been trying to get into personal training in a big way. Animazement happened in my town, which led to me meeting up with some friends of mine from high school whom I hadn't seen in years. They didn't recognize me, which was a freaking fantastic validation of my efforts from the old days. Anyway, the war against myself continues. The program I'm following to develop the physique is a combination of four programs. I am following the first, to some mixed success. It's ostensibly an insulin resetting protocol, which just means it's about burning fat. I've had some good results, but it relies on adhering to a very strict low-carb plan to start with, and between the con and some low willpower on the weekends, it's not always easy to do what I need to do. Still, I refuse to be defeated. My dalliances tend to be larger meals rather than day-long binges, so it's not unbearable. Might even be a good fit-in, who knows. Oof. I'm writing this too early in the morning. Let's get some challenges up, shall we? Goal 1: Prime, Adapt Workouts Currently doing the workouts and following the diet advice of Engineering the Alpha, by John Romaniello. Man is good. Workouts are good. I'm seeing definition in my arms that I never thought I'd see, and when I find myself at the limits of what my gym can do for me, I find new ways to challenge myself. Anyway, I will be posting the workouts here to keep myself accountable. 4 workouts per week; I'll go ahead and post the numbers and the notes here for everyone to see. Graded out of 24. +2 STR, +2 STA Goal 2: STICK TO THE DAMN DIETARY DIRECTIONS Right. So, this is a comprehensive program, with very specific directions about the macros and the like. I'll go ahead and post them up each week, and I will let you know if I blow it. Interestingly, cheat days are not permitted for the first two weeks of this challenge; then, the program shifts, and they are allowed again. Graded out of a possible 42. +2 CON, +2 WIS Goal 3: 6 Minute Superman So, I've been fooling around with warm-ups and the like. The newest name that's come out is Dan Go, who basically took the myofacial release protocols from MWOD and created a mobility system for warming-up with them. I intend to follow these protocols with each workout. I should have no excuses, given that I have a lacrosse ball and six minutes before each workout. Graded out of a possible 24. +3 STA, +1 CON LIFE GOAL: GET LIFE SORTED Despite my goal of being a better writer, I have more problems to solve at the moment. My lease is up in August, and I need to get into a better-paying job if I have any intention of staying here in Raleigh. Some things are moving here that make me hopeful; my goal is to have them solidified before these six weeks are done. This will be graded as a Pass/Fail, with room for half credit if only one of the two objectives is accomplished. +2 CHA, +1 WIS Get all this sorted, and one day I will be free to go play in the dojo again. But let's just focus on winning these next 6 weeks, shall we?
  22. Hello everyone! I'm newbie here, and recent got a question to do. But first, i need explain one of my objectives.Do pull ups! Right now, i can only do chin ups! Just 4-5, and 0 pull ups! Question 1: Training harder to improve my chin ups will power up my muscles for pull ups? Question 2: The major difference between chin ups and pull ups is the grip form right? But, talking in muscle groups, what is the major difference? From now on, i thank you all! []'s
  23. Hi everyone, For the past couple months I've been rotating all my exercises once to complete a set and doing three sets total. In this way, I could do 12 chin ups each time. Today I decided to do all three sets of the same exercise back-to-back before moving on to the next ones. In that fashion, I could only do 12, 6, and 4 chin ups. Quite the dip!! I know people say it comes down to preference, but am I still getting as much out of my workout if I'm doing so many fewer reps? I don't know if I feel as worn out tonight as I usually do (I was able to push harder on other exercises, so I don't really know what the "net effect" is). Thanks for your input!
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