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  1. Hey guys! Long time no see! Yeah, I dropped off the wagon again. …or did I? The last few months have been going great. I started my first semester at university and resolved to really work as hard as I could with my studies. Believe it or not, actually working hard is having some kind of magical effect! My grades are at the top percentile for all of my modules and I have a very disciplined, organised manner of studying now. This is a big deal; it’s the first time in my life that I can honestly say that my academic stuffs are going great. I’ve also kept up to date with training! My main thing is gymnastics and I climb every fortnight, but alongside that? I’ve picked up powerlifting, which I started during my previous challenge. Probably not going to focusing on that this challenge. Now, I was playing with the idea of joining the boxing club. However, it started to get a little tough; I have three hours of gymnastics training the same day that the boxing club meets. Tried going to both and realised training both on the same day would probably mess with my progress in both for the long run.. …and then I found out that we have a breakdancing team. I do not believe that further explanation is necessary. Honestly, when it comes to developing myself, I don’t really think I have a problem. I’ve developed a mindset that keeps me hungry for improvement, mental or physical. So.. why am I on here? Two reasons! First off, I do a crap ton of things in my spare time. It’d be nice to organise some of it! Secondly, and most of all, it’s very difficult to find people who understand why I do the stuff I do. I’m a first year student; we’re expected to drink and go clubbing multiple times a week. Me, I wake up at 5:30AM and spend all my time either working or training. I’m virtually a monk (as in, more like a shaolin monk, not the NF Monks.. for now) at this point… I wouldn’t have it any other way! That being said, given that my training and development is a big part of what I do, it’d be nice to have some people to talk about it with and a place to record the stuff I do. So, here goes! 1. Morning stuff! As I mentioned, I wake up really early in the morning nowadays. It’s not because I enjoy it! It’s really a matter of discipline and one that takes a lot of patience given how annoying my housemates are. I generally have to be at university by 9AM; I use the time I have beforehand to get a bit of training done. I generally stretch out (no heavy flexibility work, more limbering up) before doing gymnastics conditioning or cardio. As it stands, here is my schedule: Mon: Cardio Tue: Gymnastics Conditioning Wed: Cardio Thur: Gymnastics Conditioning Fri: Cardio Sat: Both! Sun: Rest. After this, I shower and get dressed and all, but then I do some focused visualisation. This is a really helpful technique for really complicated technical skills for acrobatics. Occasionally I can’t be bothered to run through backflips a hundred times in my mind I visualise hard maths stuff or chess tactics in my head. Now, the deal is, I need to be more consistent and disciplined with my morning routine. I want to really cement it into habit rather that something I need to drag myself out of bed for. I’ll grade myself weekly to see how things are going along. A - At most 1 failed morning per week B - 1 to 2 failed mornings per week C - 2 - 4 failed mornings per week F - More that 4 failed mornings. 2. Evening stuff! Okay, so I’ve become an organisation freak ever since starting university. Evening for me focused a little on injury prevention and a lot on the more mental tasks I have to do. With injury prevention I do stuff for my wrists, elbows, ankles and neck; the parts of me that are most at risk when training. Thrice a week I do some hard flexibility work; this is also tackled in the evenings. I’m going to start practicing freezes for breakdancing on the days I don’t have flexibility, too; freezes take some time getting used to. After all this I set aside all the training and do some other stuff. I do some more visualisation after stretching, but this time it’s exclusive to mathematics topics. I also signed up to Japanese classes on a whim a few weeks back and I review vocabulary and all during this time. I then update my journals before reading a book until it’s time for bed. This is basically just the evening version of the morning thing. Really no different, just different things to do. Here’s the schedule for the physical bits and bobs: Mon: Freezes, Neck+Elbow Tue: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Wed: Freezes, Neck+Elbow Thur: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Fri: Freezes, Neck+Elbow, Sat: Wrist+Ankle, flexibility Sun: Rest! A - At most 1 failed evening per week B - 1 to 2 failed evenings per week C - 2 - 4 failed evenings per week F - More that 4 failed evenings 3. Breakdancing! Not going to hide it. I suck. I’m a completely useless dancer. Of course, I’m okay with the more physically demanding things like handstands and whatnot, but rhythm? Flow? Grace? Nah. Top rock in breakdancing is supposed to be smooth and precise. I’m just.. awkward as hell. Now, of course, the first step to getting good at something is to suck at it, right? That is precisely what I intend to do! I no longer look completely ridiculous when doing top rock, but I still suck. I’m going to do a bit of top rock every day. One day I might log in 10 minutes, the next it might be 30 minutes… but I’m going to be logging it in, definitely. At the end of the challenge I’ll record the total time I’ve spent practising top rock. Check this out! Grading: TBD 4. Nutrition! I used to have my nutrition under pretty good control. I ate good food daily and I kept the sugar cravings under control. All that changed when the fire nation attacked when I discovered this pizza place near my house. A large vegetarian hot with stuffed cheese crust with large fries.. was only £10. Christmas didn’t help either. My parents run a few grocery stores and I get all the junk food I could eat for free at my convenience. I’ve definitely put on weight. No more! I’m going to do a food log. I’ll note down everything I eat in a day right here on this thread. Then, I’ll assess it all at the end of the week. Okay I’ll be honest; I am not going to give up mochas. Everything else can go but not mochas. But yeah everything else will be all healthy and whatnot. I’ll also stick it on MyFitnessPal for the sake of tracking. Grading: TBD Closing notes The aim of this challenge is to build a foundation of good habits that’ll help me in the mad challenges to come. 2016 will be an awesome year and hopefully the routine I get into with this challenge with make it easier to for me to make it more awesome. … IMPROMPTU BACKFLIP!!!1 (This was the fifth backflip I ever landed! ) Wish me luck!
  2. Welcome everyone old and new ~~~ INTRODUCTION ~~~ I'm 25 years old, male and from the UK and was never good at physical things except for high jump and sprinting, which I stopped at age 18. At age 23 I got interested in sports once again and now do: gymnastics / flips / handstandsbodyweight exercisesweightliftingclimbing / boulderinggymnastics ringsThis August I compiled a training video of my favourite things I'd been working on - it's here if you'd like to see: ~~~ NEW CHALLENGE ~~~ Last challenge, I dropped off the wagon in many places, so this challenge is designed to ensure I jump back on again if/when that happens. Rules: for everything in the list below, there's +0.25 stat points available bodyweight training:pull-ups: 15pull-ups: 17pull-ups: 20weighted pull-ups @+15kg x6weighted pull-ups @+20kg x5weighted pull-ups @+25kg x4weighted pull-ups @+30kg x3weighted pull-ups @+32.5 x1weighted pull-ups @+35kg x1ring dips: 15ring dips: 17ring dips: 20weighted ring dips @+10kg x8weighted ring dips @+20kg x5weighted ring dips @+30kg x3support hold for 90 secondssupport hold for 120 secondspistol squats on RHS: 20pistol squats on LHS: 20diamond push-ups: 23diamond push-ups: 30ring push-ups: 301-armed straddle push-up (LHS)1-armed straddle push-up (RHS)1-armed push-up (LHS)1-armed push-up (RHS)gymnastics skills: ring forward roll on my ringsstraight cartwheel on both sidesconsistent round-offfront handspring on floor (no crashmats)front handspring on floor (no crashmats) bonus celebration point!frontflip on floor (no crashmats)frontflip on floor (no crashmats) bonus celebration point!backflip without spotters, not in foam pitbackflip without spotters on proper floorhandstand walk in a circlehandstand walk in a figure-of-8upstartupstart: bonus celebration point!weightlifting goals: overhead press 1RM: 50.0kgoverhead press 1RM: 52.5kgoverhead press 1RM: 55.0kgoverhead press 1RM: 57.5kg = 75% bodyweight!overhead press 3RM: 45.0kgoverhead press 3RM: 47.5kgoverhead press 3RM: 50.0kgbench 1RM: 70.0kgbench 1RM: 72.5kgbench 1RM: 75.0kg = 100% bodyweight!deadlift 1RM: 140.0kg = old PRdeadlift 1RM: 145.0kgdeadlift 1RM: 150.0kg = 200% bodyweightback squat 1RM: 100.0kgback squat 1RM: 102.5kg = old PRback squat 1RM: 105.0kgback squat 1RM: 107.5kgback squat 1RM: 110.0kgback squat 1RM: 112.5kg = 150% bodyweight!back squat 3RM: 100.0kgother achievements: 5 km run for fast time 1 mile run for fast time 800m run for fast time (02:55) 400m run for fast time (01:06) study form for bench press study form for back squatworkouts: As well as these, I will also count any workouts (up to a maximum of 35) for a point in the challenge. The workouts have to be the following: a solid weightlifting session (counts double!)10 minute-long decent-intensity exercisesRunning total of workout points: 12 (08 Dec) Recently I've tried choosing 6 exercises, and repeatedly rolling a 6-sided die to determine what I should do next. I'll probably do this for lots of the workouts this challenge. ~~~ SUMMARY ~~~ Okay, that's 100 potential points in total, and I have 15 stat points to collect, so a perfect challenge would be to complete 60 of these. A good challenge would be to complete about 45, and an acceptable challenge would be to complete about 30. Hopefully this time I can have a solid challenge, and I look forward to watching everyone else doing well too
  3. Welcome lurkers, old and new For those of you who don't know, I do gymnastics and bodyweight skills, and supplement that training with weightlifting and climbing. Last challenge I worked extensively on squats, deadlifts, flips and muscle-ups. I also broke the British record for calendar calculations, wrote a new piano composition, and started practising speaking in Spanish. I also realised that I'm missing some strength in some key areas... so that's what I want to work on now. I tend to work out with very high weights and low reps, which got me strong fast, but I'm now at a plateau where I feel I should change this somewhat... and need the motivation to do so... Challenge #1: the checklist! The aim this challenge is to complete as many items as possible from this checklist. Each one carries +0.25 of some stat point. I'm expecting to complete about 25 of the items. There are 8 stat points available, and therefore if I do particularly well and get more than 32 then I get to choose which of the stat points to claim If illness, injury, war or famine prevent me from working on these, I can claim +0.25 CON per day as long as I'm super good about recovery/rehabilitation that day. Fingers crossed that this doesn't need to happen! STA:(X) pull-ups: 12 [started at 10]( ) pull-ups: 15( ) pull-ups: 18( ) pull-ups: 20(X) ring push-ups: 20 [started at ~16](X) ring push-ups: 25( ) ring push-ups: 30(X) ring dips: 12 [started at 8]( ) ring dips: 15( ) ring dips: 18( ) ring dips: 20( ) overhead press @45kg x3 [started at 0]( ) overhead press @40kg x8 [started at 5] STR:( ) weighted pull-up with 10kg x 10 [started at 6]( ) weighted pull-up with 15kg x 6 [started at 4]( ) weighted pull-up with 20kg x 4 [started at 2]( ) weighted pull-up with 25kg x 3 [started at 1]( ) weighted pull-up with 30kg x 3( ) squat @105kg [started at 100kg]( ) squat @107.5kg( ) squat @110kg(X) squat x3 @92.5kg [started at 85kg x3](X) deadlift @130kg [started at 125kg](X) deadlift @137.5kg( ) deadlift @145kg( ) deadlift @150kg(X) deadlift x3 @112.5kg [started at 100kg x3](X) deadlift x3 @127.5kg DEX:( ) consistent low frontflips on crashmat [started with inconsistent flips]( ) regular high frontflips on crashmat( ) consistent frontflips on ground( ) consistent frontflips on ground - bonus point( ) upstart / glide kip [started completely unable]( ) upstart / glide kip: bonus point( ) upstart / glide kip: bonus point(X) archer ring rows: 5 [started at 3]( ) archer ring rows: 8(X) bar false grip pull-ups x3 [started at 1](X) bar false grip pull-ups x5( ) straight-leg straight-arm toes-to-bar with no swing [started able only with bent arms/legs CHA:(X) ring muscle-ups: 2 [started at 1 without negative](X) ring muscle-ups: 3(X) ring muscle-ups: 4(X) ring muscle-ups: 5( ) bar muscle-up [started completely unable]( ) bar muscle-up: bonus point( ) bar muscle-up: bonus point( ) cartwheels that look like cartwheels [started looking like a spider in a hurricane]( ) cartwheels that look like cartwheels: bonus point( ) backflip alone again on tumble track [haven't done this since the summer]( ) backflip alone on tumble track without spotters to warm up [never done]( ) backflip on tumble track, consistently landed I'm so looking forward to start crossing items off this list Challenge #2: core strengthening: lots of the advanced gymnastics skills on which I'd like to work involve being stronger in the core. In particular, in the summer I'd like to work on:frontflips (more!)backflips (more!)handstandsleversother bar/ring gymnastic workTherefore for the next 6-7 weeks I'm going to really work my core. I'm grading this subjectively based on intensity, regularity and quality, but a grade B would involve doing a serious core workout 3+ times per week. +3 CON is available for this challenge. Challenge #3: understanding Spanish: I've been learning Spanish on-and-off for the last 3-4 years and recently have been speaking weekly with Talvi. I want to take it more seriously this challenge, and I'm splitting it into three components, worth +1 WIS each: work: 2 hours of Spanish, including 1 hour of speaking (doesn't matter who with), roughly every weekstudy: create and maintain a notebook with useful phrases etc.train: be able to understand Spanish radio - judged by listening to EuroNews Radio (Spanish) and understanding most of itThe work component will be graded by counting how many times in the next 7 weeks I fail to meet the 2 hours target or the 1 hour speaking target: grade A: 0 or 1 failsgrade B: 2 or 3 failsgrade C: 4 or 5 failsgrade D: 6 - 8 failsgrade F: 9 - 14 failsThe study component will be graded subjectively. The train component will be graded by the proportion I can consistently understand: grade A: 85%+grade B: 75%+grade C: 65%+grade D: 55%+ Challenge #4: no pathetic days: sometimes on the weekend when I've got nothing planned, I don't leave the house and have a super lazy day.... while this sounds good, especially as my lifestyle is very active, it means I end up feeling anxious and lethargic by the evening, and the day afterwards... therefore I should do something vaguely active every weekend day (unless I'm ill or injured) even if it's just a few miles' cycling so my body can recover properly rather than grinding to a halt. +1 CHA is available for this... I lose +0.25 CHA for each pathetic weekend day. Okay, that's all! My challenge starts immediately. Good luck for your challenges, and I'll be hopefully reading some of your challenges in the next few days
  4. So last challenge, I worked on pull-ups, core strength, and finally achieved a 10-second handstand... and also created a compilation video of all my handstand progress in the last 5 months: I intended to work on Spanish, but failed thereI intended to sleep early most days, but only half-completed that.I intended to be more fearless, but that was a bit too vague. So what next? Challenge #1: new movements! I've found that recently I've been focusing on an increasingly narrower set of skills and exercises... to to change this, I'm going to get my body to do something new nearly every day These will be things like:try movement X on my left-hand sideattempt a new gymnastics skillattempt a gymnastics skill a completely different wayuse a new exercise in my strength work-outI'll be listing below here the things I try. To make things practical, the days are flexible +/- 1 day... grade A: 37 days (+2 DEX, +2 WIS) grade B: 34 days grade C: 28 days grade D: 19 days Jul 28 - clapping pull-ups Jul 29 / arch hold Jul 30 / power cleans Jul 31 - assisted 1-and-a-bit-handed pull-ups Aug 01 - () Aug 02 - blind 1-leg balance for ankle stabilityAug 03 - handstand kick-up on opposite side (left foot on floor, right foot kicking up)Aug 04 - scapular shrugsAug 05 / glide kip (solid attempts)Aug 06 - hula hoopAug 07 - clapping push-upsAug 08 \ weighted dipsAug 09 - 5k runAug 10 - ()Aug 11 - ()Aug 12 / bar pull-downs (gymnastics)Aug 13 - assisted backward walkovers from heightAug 14 - ()Aug 15 - ()Aug 16 - ()Aug 17 - inverted pressAug 18 - 20 pull-ups as quickly as possibleAug 19 - Y-handstandAug 20 - ()Aug 21 - ()Aug 22 - rotating handstandAug 23 - deliberate handstand walkingAug 24 - pull-up jumping around apparatusAug 25 - bridge walkingAug 26 / bouldering *with climbing shoes*Aug 27 / no-handed kip-upAug 28 - one-handed lat pull-down machineAug 29 - ()Aug 30 - ()Aug 31 / gymnastics at Huntingdon gymSep 01 - flips into foam pitSep 02 \ handstand rollsSep 03 - ()Sep 04 - rowing machineSep 05 - pole climbingSep 06 / Spartan RaceSep 07 - swimming in trainers 31/42: grade C Challenge #2: whole-body strength training: I want to regularly do three sets of exercise for each of the following muscle groups:legs - including plyometricsupper body pushing musclesupper body pulling musclescoreEach day I get 2 points for doing one of these, 3 points for two, 4 points for three and 5 points for all four. grade A: 84 points (+2 STR, +2 STA, +1 CON) grade B: 78 points grade C: 66 points grade D: 48 points Jul 28: 3 2 2 4 2 _ 2 (15) Aug 04: 4 _ 3 4 _ 2 _ (13) Aug 11: 2 _ 2 5 _ _ _ (9) Aug 18: 3 2 _ _ 4 3 _ (12) Aug 25: 5 _ 2 4 _ _ 2 (13) Sep 01: 3 3 3 3 2 _ 4 (18) 80 points: grade B Challenge #3: habit optimization: you know how most of the things you do each day are done without thinking? Well this is a good thing, and means that our minds are free to think about important stuff rather than obsess over minutiae. However, I thought it would be interesting to find some of my automatic habits that could be replaced by better ones and change them. They should be easy to change, as they'll mainly be very minor things... I'll keep a list below, and strike them out once I'm happy that the habit has been implemented. grade A: 37 changes (+1 WIS, +3 CHA) grade B: 34 changes grade C: 28 changes grade D: 19 changes write notes with left hand to learn to be ambidextrous (except when in a rush)keep some frozen peas in the freezer as another option for a healthy snackhave larger portions of "meal-quality" food so I don't need to make up the calories later with less healthy fooddon't eat a huge meal late at night but make up the calories next breakfastavoid caffeine after 2pmavoid alcohol when tireddon't automatically get unhealthy food from train stations etc.neglected: grade F Challenge #4: sleep before 00:30: this is a re-run of part of the last challenge, but two things will be different:If I'm late to bed one day because I'm doing something interesting then I can score 0.5 points for that day as long as I sleep reasonably earlyI'll consider 00:20 to be a signal to get ready for bed... rather than staring at my laptop until 00:30 and beyondgrade A: 37 nights (+2 CON) grade B: 35 nights grade C: 31 nights grade D: 25 nights Jul 28: +++__+= (4.5) Aug 04: _+++___ (3) Aug 11: ++++=+= (6) Aug 18: +++_+_= (4.5) Aug 25: ++++_++ (6) Sep 01: +++++_+ (6) [note: each entry refers to the bedtime the night before] 30/42: grade D Let's go!
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