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  1. Hello! I had my first challenge over here (with a wee intro). I do mostly parallettes, low-height aerial (in-house apparatus) and some flexibility/stretching work. My second quest will be some sort of a continuation of that (improve lines/sleakness/stability). This time around I'd like a bit more focus on strength where it's lacking (shoulder/back, hand and knee grip), get into the habit of having a slot for creative work: movement flow/improvisation/choreography/ a bit of physical theatre. Start small but do something. So here we go (I'm testing the format during this prep week to see if it works, might adjust but more or less it would be like this): Goal 1: bent arm press => work on that shoulder angle (can't manage 90 degrees atm) and be more stable 3 sessions a week, with the following 3 sets: slow press negative to tuck hold x3 x4, bonus point if I can link reps. If I can't, I should get back up with a pike press Scoring: points for each rep properly completed, bonus points for linking Straddle bent arm press increase from 3 to 6 reps Scoring: points for each rep properly completed Alternating each session: bent arm press hold up to 120s (sufficient max for the purpose, I doubt I will hold that long anyway). Scoring: hold time. crane hold up to 120s. Scoring: hold time. HSPU negatives x3. With cushions and against the wall... Scoring: number of reps + bonus if I can get back up... Goal 2: aerial drills => increase one-hand grip, knee hock strength, and sleakness... 2 sessions a week with two moves in each session: A - Front balance Basically this move (starting from 2:33 til ~3:10) but a simpler variation after front balance: https://youtu.be/A7VfGi6Lubs?t=2m33s Scoring: pretty scores for 3 runs on each side (right & left) 0 is epic fail. 1 is getting to front balance and back. 2 is sequencing a bit further. And the score is adjusted for fluidity / sleakness (or absolute lack thereof!). B - Knee climb This is a knee climb hocking one knee on each silks from the inside. My apparatus is a bit low so I can't really do more that one step... but it's enough work for now since I can't do a full hang (no hands on) from this. Scoring: pretty scores for 3 runs, move is assymetrical so no need for left vs right scores Best score (2/2) would be hocking, hanging completely from the knees only and going up without using the silks for assistance, all the while being fluid / clean. NB: The scores are just there to measure progress if any, I don't mean to hit 100% on each move by the end of the challenge. Goal 3: assassin level up Create a one-minute (or so) aerial mini-choreography with an assassin-related theme, record it with appropriate music, do some video editing, and see what happens! There is no scoring for this. The objective itself really is to find a regular slot for improvisation, routine work and movement-based goofiness / exploration. It's more likely to happen during week-ends when I'm not in a rush and have a more settled mental & physical space. I want to manage this slot at least once a week. So 5 sessions for this challenge, it's not that much even for a tiny routine. But will see, let's try at least. I want to use the prep week to see exactly what the heck I'm gonna do, get the basic theme and music sorted, and see if I can get some sequencing already.
  2. @mu

    Fall wizardry

    I'm going to revamp my goals with a little bit of magic. Persian Well, magic comes from a Persian word (cf Magi), right, so it totally fits. I will focus on contemporary Persian: Read (literature / newspaper – social media do not count) – 7x/week Possible variations (I must at least have 5 reading sessions though, that's the primary focus): > Watch a movie or listen to a radio programme > Start a Persian diary/notebook? Work on calligraphy (or least a decent hand writing )? Copy and translate bits of texts? Maybe include some drawings too? Ok this might go somewhere else entirely but I'll have it as an option as long I read regularly enough. Levitation charms & anti-gravity spells Last challenge, I managed my very first press to HS (with love, to Gravity, gotcha!). It will still be the main focus of my parallettes practice because, well, it was my very first rep and it will take a while before I can manage those on a regular basis. I need to practice 2x/week and it's not going to be easy (cf next section). Mana mana-gement I'm starting 2 new circus classes next week and I will have to re-organize my personal practice around those. One of the classes is aerial - I know roughly what to expect but it has been a while! And the other one is cross-disciplinary (aerial / handstand / acrobatics / expression / juggling...), and I have no idea what it will be like in terms of intensity and impact. My current plan is to keep up with my usual parallettes and flexibility sessions. I will be super lenient though (ie if I need rest, I will take it). My first trick will be to reduce intensity, and remove items that will be covered in class. I could easily let go of one HS consistency session for instance and merge my 2 flexibility sessions in one. Since I have 2 days rest, I can also be flexible and swap days if I need it. What I will do is track > how fresh vs tired I am (make sure I sleep enough) > how motivated I am (having enough sleep can also help that one) > take note if any body part feels really cranky for too long, with a special attention to my rotator cuff and the love-hate relationship between my rhomboids and my traps. > track progress - or lack thereof, the usual wizard grind, that mostly means venting out my frustration here! That's it! I will take the first week easy, it's actually deload week. I will start tracking seriously from next week on.
  3. I'm in a rush, quick goal setup: Train 5x a week – as the title says my main focus is press to HS (on parallettes) Daily Persian Go to bed early enough on work days Limit coffee consumption, from last challenge, it seems that 10 a week is about ok (ie does not impact sleep / HS practice), 7 would be ideal Monday Hips session Daily Persian = yes Coffee = 2 Went to bed just before 10pm, yo! Tuesday Press to HS => gained 1 or 2 centimetres today! And also destroyed my bike basket oops Here is the video I was so pooped by the end of it that HS consistency was a bit too hard: 2 2 4 4 3 => 15/25
  4. Hiya again fellow rebels Goals for this challenge Maintain your assets: Daily Persian Read a few pages from proper literature every day (e.g. newspapers / books – chat/messaging/social media do not count) Stay away from magic potions for a while Limit coffee, ideally 1 a day, no more than 2! Stoicism practice: better change your habits than struggle changing the feline's The cat is still waking me up at 5:30am. So I shall go to bed ideally at 10pm on work days. And of course training and specifically press to handstand. I'm still on Kirsty's course, I'm nearing 3 months, believe it or not (time flies!). I'm very consistent with training so I don't feel the need to track super accurately here, but I'll keep venting about my mêlees and skirmishes with gravity. This is more of a mini battle log for the challenge. I need to run to work, see yer all soon!
  5. TL;DR Maintain training consistency without tracking on NF (end of challenge evaluation) Train in the morning Daily reading in Persian Bonus: finish 2nd layer of guesso on cardboard project Current training focus: parallettes, handstand, press to handstand ~~ Last challenge, I started working with Garage Gym Girl's press to handstand programme. I went through assessments / handstand line / negative presses (wall & free) and I'm now working on elevated press. Most of this challenge's topic is likely to be focused on that because I'm very excited about it! I also do a custom session of GMB Parallettes 2 (bent arm work), some stretching and complementary work, some pull (background in aerial but not doing much at the moment because I'm very focused on press). I have been tracking all of this for ages here. I have been fairly consistent and I maintained the habit despite a big life change (international move). The challenge will be to see if I can maintain that without having to be accountable here. I'm curious. I do maintain a workout plan & log for myself, let's see if that's enough. I will see at the end of the challenge how it went. I'm still very likely to spam you with progress (or lack thereof) but it will be more blog-like than actual tracking. I pondered about having a daily battle log but I kinda like the challenge format better. There is one thing that I do want to track & challenge myself on a bit: I usually train in the morning but these days I tend to postpone my training sessions (stretching in particular) and it's not working for me (more tired, less focused, and sometimes I postpone so much that I end up skipping...). I will make training in the morning a challenge item. I do think it's ok to have some flexibility to deal with life impromptus, and doing it in the evening is better than not doing it all. I don't need 100% to pass, but I don't want it to happen too regularly basically. Life-wise, E., the cat and I moved countries a couple of months ago. I'm looking for a job (IT related) and it's a bit stressful of course. I have been quite good at prepping for that (CV, daily coding, market research, motivation letters, interviews are starting to come up etc). I don't think I need to challenge myself further on that item because after a little moment of doubt, fear and procrastination, I'm now definitely motivated and engaged in the process. But I might still do some regular venting here I will also leave out anything creative like drawing because I'm not in the mood at all, no point trying. If I manage to finish my cardboard project, it would be great though because it's still taking a lot of space in the living room. At least finish the second layer of guesso, so that I can move the furniture to its place until I can get on with decoration. That will be a bonus goal again (I did not manage it last challenge...). There is one last little item that I do want to challenge myself on, and it is reading in Persian. Back in Iran, I always had a bit of reading to do no matter what (work being a big one) but these days of course not so much. I always have a daily read in English without thinking about it (primarily international news, tech and training stuff, sometimes a book). In Persian, I still read social media + messages/e-mails, I read some news. But on a daily average, I don't think it amounts to much. Compared to English, I don't read as much literature either. And I noticed that I have started using more fenglish (f for farsi aka Persian, written with the English script) when I need to type. So let's try to read proper Persian a little bit every day. I won't be measuring volume / time for now, just a daily pass (social media / messaging do not count).
  6. The focus of this challenge (and most of the following ones) will be of course press to handstand! At least, how I get started with Kirsty's programme. I wish I could click & load “press to HS” but it does not happen that way I have several HS spirit animals accompanying me on this journey. The rabbit The furious spastic rabbit.... it's a dangerous spirit, with a very unique attack (slow death by failed handstand kick-up). But HS training does require some obsessive-compulsive features. You can't just throw your rabbit away. I have started taming it a little bit with a lot of kick-up consistency work. But its rawness still comes up every so often in moments of existential HS despair: The donkey The donkey is strong, kicks hard and loves planching it, because, you know, mobility and flexibility are not his strongest features. He is however very persistent, some might say obtuse. Blunt strength is definitely a plus but it can get in the way sometimes. The banana fish It's legit: Flopping about, very slippery and feeling somewhat boneless (until landing). Its main issues are a very inconsistent relationship with the body parts known as shoulders and a fuzzy sense of alignment. Sometimes it also doesn't know how to breath. It's otherwise a very creative spirit and it enjoys impromptu performances. And NOW, in this challenge I will try to summon the handstand PUPPY! Light, gentle and cute, what's not to like? Brief schedule outline: Week 0 => complete my last cycle of P2 phase 3 => do pressToHS assessments which also include little workouts (x3) Week 1 => P2 deload: evaluate drills I will keep working on without overwhelming myself (bent arm work) => Press to HS starts, first week is focused on HS line (2 workouts) Weeks 2-3-4 => Settle into my new combo of P2+pressToHS Now for the goals: ~ Practice ~ Core work: PressToHS - 2x/week (except assessment week) P2 - 1x/week HS - 3x/week (consistency x2, endurance x1) Stretching (hips, back bends, some of PressToHS flexibility drills will go here as well as needed) – 2x/week PressToHS doesn't seem to have a deload programmed in, I will tweak HS/P2 workouts to make them a bit lighter every 3 weeks. Complementary work (usually spread out before/after core sessions): Cirque Physio – 18 drills /week (deload: 12 drills /week) Legs – 2 drills /week (I bike as well ) Flexed feet work – 4 drills /week Pull – my rig is up and functional again after the move break. I won't evaluate this section but start pulling more regularly focusing on alignment and conditioning work at first. I will just track the number of sessions where I do some pull. It will likely remain complementary work while I get on with PressToHS. ~ Light study ~ Interview prep 10x/week (reading / coding / Java quizzes / industry research) I'm job hunting, that will apply until I find something. ~ Bonus creative goal ~ I'd like to keep some drawing/painting practice and I also have an on-going cardboard project that needs finishing because it's currently standing in the middle of the living room I will just track this to encourage it but not evaluate.
  7. Summary for the quick reader: Likes: pull / push / bend Tools: body weight, parallettes, (aerial silks), (ball) Epic quest: complete GMB Parallettes 2 (P2) This will be a settling down challenge after a big move (Iran → France). We are staying at my parents' at the moment and hunting for flats & jobs (their house is 1h30 by train from the city where we want to move in so logistics are no super straightforward). Epic quest is still on Keep calm and P2 on. I managed well so far but I think the hardest is yet to come (when I get a new job / a new schedule + stress that goes along with a new job). My aerial rig and silks are still packed and will stay that way until we move in (if we can find a place where it fits...). I also have rings somewhere but no safe place to attach them really. So I guess I'll keep slacking on pull activities for a while. I'm not sure there is a gym in my parent's village... Will ask...But my main focus will definitely be P2 (my preciiiiiouuuuus!) Plan: P2 3x/week and HS 3x/week (deload: 5 mini workouts) Stretching (hips, back bends) – 2x/week Cirque Physio – 18 drills /week (deload: 12 drills /week) Legs – 4 drills /week Ball / flexed feet work – 4 drills /week Pull => NA for now... Here is a phase/cycle recap for P2 since I'm actually approaching a full year on it... honestly I wouldn't be surprised if I needed another year to complete it – if not more... I have been doing parallettes for less than 2 years, so I'm no longer noob noob but still, P2 final flow is still a pretty hot potato with respect to my current skills. P2 Phase 3 - cycle 4 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [9 March 2019 – 29 March 2019] ← current P2 Phase 3 - cycle 3 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [9 February 2019 – 1 March 2019] P2 Phase 3 - cycle 2 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [12 January 2019 – 1 February 2019] P2 Phase 3 - cycle 1 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [15 December 2018 – 4 January 2019] P2 Phase 2 - cycle 4 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [17 November 2018 – 7 December 2018] P2 Phase 2 - cycle 3 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [20 October 2018 – 9 November 2018] P2 Phase 2 - cycle 2 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [22 September 2018 – 12 October 2018] P2 Phase 2 - cycle 1 – 3x/week – 4 weeks [18 August 2018 – 14 September 2018] P2 Phase 1 - cycle 3 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [21 July 2018 – 10 August 2018] P2 Phase 1 - cycle 2 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [23 June 2018 – 13 July 2018] P2 Phase 1 - cycle 1 – 3x/week – 3 weeks [ 26 May 2018 – 15 June 2018 ] P2 Prep Phase – 3x/week – 4 weeks [ 21 April 2018 – 18 May 2018] Drawing / painting I started drawing last challenge, and I really enjoyed those moments although they were few. I don't want to constrain that goal too much by fear of losing the joy by “having to do it” + these days are still going to be very busy. But tentatively I'd say, take a pen 2x/week and draw whatever. I'm pretty keen on samovars these days and I'd like to learn how to get a brass or silver effect with acrylics. That would sort of be the direction. All my painting stuff is packed somewhere and I'm not sure what material I have left that I could use or need to buy. The painting bit will have to wait until we move in but in the meantime I can still draw with a pen. Job interview prep Pursue light prep upping to 10x per week (Java tests + reading / bits of coding will also count) CV-related prep (finalize English, send to a friend who is a senior project manager, finalize for good, maybe do a French version which is not super necessary in IT but hey = 4 steps) NB: My schedule is still aligned on the Iranian calendar so my week starts on Saturday. I might have to adjust that at some point...
  8. Summary for the quick reader: Likes: pull / push / bend Tools: body weight, parallettes, (aerial silks), ball Epic quest: complete GMB Parallettes 2 (P2) Big move coming up at the end of this challenge as some of you already know... I sure hope we (me + husband + cat) will be landing on our feet. That is sort of the feeling. In the meantime, we still have a lot to do. Minimalistic challenge because I have enough on my plate really. Same ol' goals Consistency as boring as it gets probably but I'm kinda appreciating the routine right now Not planning any shiny breakthrough or creative activity ... just doing the thing.... if I can manage that, I will be really happy. Practice P2 3x/week and HS 3x/week (deload: 5 mini workouts) Stretching (hips, back bends) – 2x/week Cirque Physio – 18 drills /week (deload: 12 drills /week) Legs – 4 drills /week Ball – 4 drills /week Pull – my aerial rig is down so hanging will be limited, but I want to go to the square next door to pull some (hanging leg raises, straight arm inverts, German hangs, meathooks => 4 drills). Light study Java tests 5x/week And that's it for the todos... you might notice I have no particular plan to deal with closure, stress, feelings and other niceties that come with big life transitions. I just don't want to challenge myself on those. I do acknowledge them but I don't want to tackle them via a a list of goals. Shape shifting is an elusive task. Now the schedule: Week 0 => deload Week 1/2/3 => the usual Week 4 => planned departure and deload week, since that week is likely to be very hectic, I will be lenient and not stress myself if I miss workouts, it's deload anyway.
  9. @mu

    Puzzle time

    Summary for the quick reader: Likes: pull / push / bend Tools: body weight, parallettes, aerial silks, ball Epic quest: complete GMB Parallettes 2 (P2) Nothing fancy but an international move in progress (happening in March), hence the puzzle title because there will be a lot of problem solving going on in the background. Not really a full-blown theme here, but I needed at least a title! Goal 1 will focus on keeping my routine, I'll need it. Goal 2 is work-related prep. Goal 3 will be a proper puzzle goal, mostly for fun & play - I like puzzles on my spare time as well Goals (1) Practice The usual, running my epic push quest + pull activities, and various supporting drills: P2 3x/week and HS 3x/week (deload: 5 mini workouts) Stretching (hips, back bends) – 2x/week Hanging raises – 6x/week Cirque Physio – 18 drills /week (deload: 12 drills /week) Legs (traditional leg stuff) – 4 drills /week Ball flex (ball held on a flexed foot work) – 4 drills /week Aerial (alignment, conditioning) – 3x/week This week, I'm finishing P2 Phase 3 Cycle 1, next week (from Sat) will be DELOAD, the proper way to start a NY challenge P2 is hard these days. There are only 4 phases, but the final phase feels very very far away from my current abilities. Honestly it might take me ages to complete, I don't even dare to think of a timeline. I started end of last April (OMG 8 months already) and I have a big training log that no longer fits here (here is a YouTube playlist log instead). A good summary so far could be that I came to P2 to get myself a solid bent arm stand, I still don't have it but I made a lot of progress on handstands (you can't pick your shinies, they pick you, it seems). (2) Work prep A - Java tech tests: 5x/week B - Design patterns / project methodology / tech review / whatever work-related skill that fits in 30-60mn: 1x/week C - Job market review: every week, find out in details about one company in the area where we will be moving (technologies, domain, size, business model, salary scale etc.). I've already started doing that informally but I need to take notes somewhere. (3) Puzzle No zombie routine this time but a more puzzle-oriented activity. I want to create a silks flow that uses my little home rig my parallettes my ball I have to find one move involving each item and put those moves together. Ball constraints: holding it is not enough, I have to work out a move with either a throw or a roll (bonus point for both). That's pretty hard to do while in the air and training it is also painful (unless I can find a minion to give me the ball each time it falls...) so for this exercise, it does not need to be a mind blowing throw/roll, a little bit of it will do. On the other hand, I don't need to have the ball with me during the whole flow. It's up to me if I want to grab it from somewhere and put it back, or pinch it in the silks etc.. Each week I will have one session on this puzzle. Have a good challenge every one!
  10. @mu

    So say we all!

    Summary for the quick reader: Likes: pull / push / bend Tools: body weight, parallettes, aerial silks, ball Main focus: GMB Parallettes 2 Moving on with P2! I completed GMB Parallettes 2 prep phase last challenge. I will now start Phase 1. It is supposed to be 5 weeks followed by a deload week. I'm pretty sure 5 weeks without a deload will be too hard for me (intensity level + I do other workouts). As suggested by the programme, I will tweak it a little bit and run Phase 1 for longer but I will deload every 3 weeks. It is a conditioning phase, it won't hurt to make it a tad bit longer. Otherwise same ol' goals, including aerial training and stretching – I revamped the whole thing with a BSG twist (including my own cheesy poster! ). Checking in for consistency, support (great community!) and hopefully some progress along the way! Welcome to With a slight Sin City overtone In order of appearance from top to bottom: 1- G-Force training system 2-The Eye of Pythia, ok I made it up, I don't have the Arrow of Apollo, but the red ball is looking mystical enough 3- Nugget in training 4- Cylon Toasters – Models 1 & 2 Nugget training will include: ~ TOASTER BATTLES ~ Parallettes Battlefield: P2 phase 1 consists of 3 sessions a week based on 2 alternating workouts except deload week which focuses on 2 exercises at medium intensity for 5 days. Skirmish: Crow PvP and/or open practice (at my own pace because P2 is intensive enough). ~ G-FORCE TRAINING ~ Aerial Pull conditioning and skills/flow practice on silks: Reporting to the CAG: Conditioning – 1x/week or more, I need to cover a bunch of drills during the week, I can spread them out if needed depending on fatigue/schedule. Party on the deck: skills & flow practice – 2x/week ~ PRACTICAL STUDY OF THE SACRED SCROLLS ~ “And the people of Kobol had a choice: keep up with alignment work and stretch themselves - or take the high road through the rocky ridge…” Upside Down Alignment HS alignment drills (hollow, scapular pushes, belly to wall) – 1x/week Aerial invert alignment drills (rotations / shelf / tuck / straddle) – 2x/week Stretching General stretching session with a focus on hips and shoulders - 1x/week GMB spinal flexibility and deeper back-bends - 1x/week Hall of shame: if I don't stretch after a strength workout “And unto the leader they gave a vision of basil seedlings numbering two and ten, as a sign of things to come.” The secrets of life: Basil My basil seedlings are currently recovering on a botanical cruiser. Hope is having me using the plural but I can see only one survivor seedling from last challenge... I will provide light and water resources, and guard them against the cat, which I suspect to be a Cylon agent The goal is to, well, keep the basil alive! And eat some of it eventually. SO SAY WE ALL! I'm currently in the post prep phase deload week, I will start on Saturday. Have a good challenge everyone!
  11. Wait! A new board! How exciting! Am I late!? I'm coming, I'm coming!!! Summary for the quick reader: Likes: pull / push / bend Tools: body weight, parallettes, aerial silks, ball Focus: handstand, bent arm press, straight leg pulls, shoulders, hips, back bend Other keywords: GMB Parallettes 2, basil Yes I want to have a first go at GMB Parallettes 2! I completed Parallettes 1 last year and it was very enjoyable. After a few months playing on my own, I think it's time to follow a master plan again. There is a 1-month prep phase in the programme that I will follow during this challenge. The whole programme is flexible enough to be performed at different levels (e.g. you don't need to have a full planche to run it) but there are still a few prerequisites for it to be actually useful. I may have to iterate through phases a few times with some breaks in the middle. But this challenge will be my P2 starting point! There are 3 big items I want to focus on: > my bent arm press form: I need to start getting my arms into a 90 degree angle basically, it is very important for the skills coming up next in Parallettes 2. The prep phase will be great to focus on that and hopefully improve a little bit. > my handstand: I need to start getting 5s consistently. Again, it's a prerequisite for Parallettes 2 core phases. No HS, no P2 brownie. > straight legs in my aerial/pull work – this is not P2-specific but rather a forever todo list item... Beyond that, I will keep the usual, a fair amount of stretching, and an open space for push/pull skills, to relax a bit and just in case I want to do something a little outside the box. I have rigged my shorter black silks in a sling for a bit of change. Nothing really new in my goals, apart from a little and very limited sort of gardening thingy. I will start this Saturday! Still very busy with theatre, 11/30 nights so far! And I'm having a wee deload week right now. Primary Goal - Set square: Bent arm press 90 degree angle | Straight arms | Straight legs ~ Beautiful curves come from a straight line ~ A – GMB parallettes 2 prep phase (push 2x/week, and some pull-ups and stretching-the-cat sets 1x/week that will go into my B item) B – Custom aerial conditioning + ball drills for straight legs (2x/week) C – 5s+ HS consistency tracking: I will practice free HS 4x/week (including my workout sets + 1 extra session). I am limited to 25 attempts per practice (5 sets of 5). The underlying purpose is to stop just throwing my legs in the air and expect some magic to happen – or going into wild bunny mode, tiring myself for nothing. Each attempt needs to be prepared and meaningful. I haven't done this sort of tracking before so I'm not sure what my baseline is, something like one 5s+ HS every 20-25 attempts maybe, so 4-5 per week? I will check it out during the first week and try to improve. NB: I'm not sure I will use this tracking for ever because it's rather rigid and might be even unhelpful at some point. But for a month, I want to make each attempt count - no more no less. Contrarian goal 1: Preztel! A - General stretching session with a focus on HIPS and still some shoulders – 1x/week B - Customised GMB spinal flexibility and back bends – 1x/week C - Hall of shame entry if I do not stretch adequately after a strength session Contrarian goal 2: Freedooooom! An open practice space focusing on movement quality / good form and flow rather than reps A – On parallettes (a lighter push 1x/week and/or PvP every so often) B – On aerial apparatus (short sling improvisation 2x/week + sequencing/skills 1x/week) Life goal – Basil There is a variety of basil here but it tastes a bit different, not bad but different. I got some seeds for the type of basil I really like, let's see if I can manage to get something out of it. Apparently basil is easy to grow but erm... I will check my basil once a day. So far I planted the seeds, and bad luck, we are in a very rainy and cold week... Usually the sun light is crazy, but this week nada! I hope the seeds make it through
  12. We are back for a third installment! I feel we should start having a logo or something Exquisite corpse, also known as exquisite cadaver (from the original French term cadavre exquis), is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. (Read more) We are doing this on parallettes! This is a video-based challenge. The first participant presents a single move or shape on parallettes. The second participant reproduces it and add to it. And so on. The primary objective is to build the longest possible sequence by the end date. It's a friendly co-operative challenge. Rules: If a move or shape is too hard, an easier variation or some assistance (e.g. wall or spotter, on the ground, using props) is totally acceptable and recommended (but not a completely different move!). We can discuss together what an appropriate variation is. The exact same move cannot be used twice in the sequence. Or at least it needs to have some variation (for instance left versus right). The same person cannot contribute twice in a row. Transitions from one move to another are important. Don't be pedestrian about those. It's a sequence not a set of moves. If you feel like it, you can perform the sequence along with music and add some choreography work on moves and transitions. It's completely optional though. Let's have a fairly balanced sequence and not always do moves on the same side for instance. Keep in mind that people have parallettes of different heights. Avoid moves that require high parallettes (such as hanging under the bars). If you want to participate, give us a shout! We will add you to the queue. You can join, leave and join again at any time. But please wait for your turn and watch out for new posts here and who is next, otherwise you might be working on a sequence that is not the latest one. When your turn has been called, you have 2 days (48h) to post your contribution. Somebody else might take your turn after 48 hours, just say youhou! and you will get back in the queue, no problem! If 2 days is too short, we can re-evaluate that, just bring the topic up. How to contribute: Record the sequence + 1 new move and post your video here. In your post, call the name of the next contributor to notify him or her. Please also include in your post the list of moves so far (cut & paste from the previous contribution and add your move to the list). History: Cadavres Exquis on Parallettes [March 19 – April 15] – 16 moves – 2 participants Cadavres Exquis on Parallettes [March 1 – March 11] – 20 moves – 3 participants
  13. Winter in Alamut was, well, quite heavy! Time to focus on rounding things up and trying to make the heavy stuff feel a bit lighter – if such a thing is possible. Right now, I feel like gravity's little servant. The usual suspects are still around: silks, parallettes, red ball...(and the cat of course) And nothing very new with my goals, this is turning into a sort of battle log. I have reduced the list slightly because my schedule is quite hectic these days and my attention span has gone a bit out of the window. I'm hoping to regain some focus with fewer items Goal 1 Get a massage Stolen from Raptron. Come on, pick up the phone, get an appointment, can't be that hard Goal 2 Stretch – 2x/week + post-workout - General stretching with a shoulder focus - Customised GMB spinal flexibility routines (front and back bends) - Stretch after every practice, I have become fairly consistent with this but every so often, I bum it a little (mindless quick and dirty sort of stretching). If I don't stretch properly, I shall record it here on the wall of shame because this is really important. Goal 3 Parallettes and silks practice – 3 to 4x/week I made a new plan. I should be back to 1h max training in the mornings, and during the week-end, I can choose between a split push/pull, or a big push/pull and rest. I will see how this works out. Dimensions: Strength: rep work and conditioning, similar to last challenge with a new focus on straddle hold progression (aka hump your elbows). Skills: on parallettes, start working on elbow lever to straddle hold (stolen from the parallettes' PvP), and bent arm press to L-sit. On silks: polish the little sequence I worked out for my apparatus in the last challenge, working it on both left and right sides, and move reviews every so often to have some variety. Play/explore: look into this new combo parallettes + silks, play with press while holding the ball with my feet and free/open practice with silks too. I will officially start on Saturday. I'm currently still testing things.
  14. We are back! Exquisite corpse, also known as exquisite cadaver (from the original French term cadavre exquis), is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. (Read more) We are doing this on parallettes! This is a video-based challenge. The first participant presents a single move or shape on parallette. The second participant reproduces it and add to it. And so on. The primary objective is to build the longest possible sequence by the end date. It's a friendly co-operative challenge. Rules: If a move or shape is too hard, an easier variation or some assistance (e.g. wall or spotter, on the ground, using props) is totally acceptable and recommended (but not a completely different move!). We can discuss together what an appropriate variation is. The exact same move cannot be used twice in the sequence. Or at least it needs to have some variation (for instance left versus right). The same person cannot contribute twice in a row. Transitions from one move to another are important. Don't be pedestrian about those. It's a sequence not a set of moves. Let's have a fairly balanced sequence and not always do moves on the same side for instance. Keep in mind that people have parallettes of different heights. Avoid moves that require high parallettes (such as hanging under the bars). If you want to participate, give us a shout! We will add you to the queue. You can join, leave and join again at any time. But please wait for your turn and watch out for new posts here and who is next, otherwise you might be working on a sequence that is not the latest one. When your turn has been called, you have 2 days (48h) to post your contribution. Somebody else might take your turn after 48 hours, just say youhou! and you will get back in the queue, no problem! If 2 days is too short, we can re-evaluate that, just bring the topic up. How to contribute: Record the sequence + 1 new move and post your video here. In your post, call the name of the next contributor to notify him or her. Please also include in your post the list of moves so far (cut & paste from the previous contribution and add your move to the list). History: Cadavres Exquis on Parallettes [March 1 – March 11] – 20 moves – 3 participants
  15. Exquisite corpse, also known as exquisite cadaver (from the original French term cadavre exquis), is a method by which a collection of words or images is collectively assembled. (Read more) We are doing this on parallettes! This is a video-based challenge. The first participant presents a single move or shape on parallette. The second participant reproduces it and add to it. And so on. The primary objective is to build the longest possible sequence by the end date. It's a friendly co-operative challenge. Rules: If a move or shape is too hard, an easier variation or some assistance (e.g. wall or spotter, on the ground, using props) is totally acceptable and recommended (but not a completely different move!). We can discuss together what an appropriate variation is. The same move cannot be used twice in the sequence. Or at least it needs to have some variation (for instance left versus right). The same person cannot contribute twice in a row. Transitions from one move to another are important. Don't be pedestrian about those. It's a sequence not a set of moves. Let's have a fairly balanced sequence and not always do moves on the right for instance. Keep in mind that people have parallettes of different heights. Avoid moves that require high parallettes (such as hanging under the bars). If you want to participate, give us a shout! We will add you to the list. When it is your turn, record your sequence + 1 new move and post it. Please wait for your turn and watch out for new posts here, otherwise you might be working on a sequence that is not the latest one. When it is your turn, you have a day (24h) to post your contribution. We are just 3 people now, if it gets busy, we might start adding more rules. Let's see how it goes for now. The current order is: @mu / plank Norgaard / down dog @mu / swing Norgaard / 1-leg L-sit R @mu / table top Norgaard / leg lift in table top R @mu / crossed-legged triceps dip R Norgaard / front split L Elastigirl / pushup @mu / side plank L Norgaard / side plank R Elastigirl / 1-leg plank L extended @mu / front balance aka superwoman Norgaard / middle split Elastigirl / 1-leg L-sit L @mu / double elbow lever progression Norgaard / straddle hold Elastigirl / 1-leg plank R extended @mu / standing pike on parallettes Norgaard / to squat on parallettes
  16. @mu

    Winter in Alamut

    I finally had my Assassin Level Up and have now gained a decent mastery of Teleportation by freeing the little Red Ball from the silks. I also started linking bent arm press reps on my parallettes. But the real grit is yet to come... On the programme: more conditioning (the beatings will continue until morale improves)... some string theory (aerial puzzles)... experiments in fluid mechanics (sequencing, movement quality, improvisation)... ~~ Overall goals – the usual suspects ~~ Increase push/pull strength More back flexibility Up aerial practice ~~ Artefacts and challenge companions ~~ A pair of parallettes Silks hanging from a low-height in-house aerial rig Red ball Teenage tabby cat ~~ Implementation plan ~~ Goal 1: Push-Pull - 3x/week - 12 sessions (Warm-up on floor & equipment) Core sets – 12 sessions: Bent arm press linked reps on parallettes x2+ set 1 Dead hang to inverted pike x3 from bars (no silks / wrapping to catcher Left / Right) Bent arm press linked reps on parallettes x2+ set 2 Long arms straddle up x2+ each side Supporting sets - alternating 2 workouts – 6 sessions each: Support A 1-arm hold progression LR Bent arm press hold on parallettes with ball Support B Meat hook progression on silks x2+ each side HSPUs in sling: 3+ reps working on good form Adding reps / moving to a new progression = bonus Goal 2: Bend - 2x/week - 8 sessions (Warm-up – general/prep stretching) Standing back drop to support / Elevated Jefferson curls Camel bend back drop / Pancake Elbow stand hold to bridge on sofa back to front / Legs behind shoulders/neck Aim at 3+ sets for each Goal 3: Apparatus puzzles - 1x/week - 4 sessions Low-height rig puzzles: find ways to wrap high enough modify / tighten moves to limit sliding / slack find decent exits when the floor is very close Try to solve at least a couple of those issues. Practice on both sides. This will require some prep during the week to get into my session with ideas ready to test. I made a little aerialist paper model to check my knots on a wee string. Here it is in a belay Examples of puzzles: S-wrap entry → helicopter → exit Belay entry with enough height left to hang from Catcher → angel → exit Ankle hang … Goal 4: Movement quality - 1x/week - 4 sessions Practice a mini-sequence but instead of doing plain reps, use each repetition to work on movement quality and improvise on it. e.g. minimalist / slow and sustained / flickery / body part focus / organic vs robotic / small vs big Have some plan for each session and report briefly afterwards about what works / does not, findings, dead ends and so on. Practice on both sides. Goal 5: Sequencing - 1x/week - 4+ sessions Work on sequencing with a bit of music. In my last challenge, I had a similar goal but I got myself entangled into a lot of constraints (theme / story / music / ball taking up space / different video takes to be put together). It still worked out and it was useful to get more training time in but I'd like a bit more freedom on that one. No upfront constraint on theme / music / length / moves. But still take a final video for accountability. Because my week-ends are Thursdays-Fridays, I will start on Saturday rather than Monday. In the meantime, I will continue my prepping to check specifics / feasibility / timing. Have a good challenge everyone!
  17. Edit: Based on my New Years’ food resolutions, I’m gonna be making a lot of Mac n Cheese this year. Probably none this first week, but keep an eye out for the first attempt circa 01/07. So I’ve added a bonus goal in addition to the 5 main ones I started this post with! Alright, here goes first challenge of 2018. Everything will start Jan 3rd, my first full day back in Dallas. Clearly I'm getting a little stir crazy staying with my parents in that I'm already typing this up - will add a theme and gifs sometime before the 3rd as well. Hit target calories and protein, every day: I want to hit the ground running with my physique goals (specifically, post holiday cutting) as soon as I get back home to TX, so starting on the 3rd I'll aim to hit the calorie and protein goals I set for myself every day - this is going to be most challenging when traveling to Houston for practice, but I'm planning to start buying groceries when I'm in Houston so I have access to plenty of veggies and lean protein while I'm there. Sleep 8+ hours a night, 6+ days a week: I need to refocus on sleep for my recovery - really let this one slip over the last 3 months or so. Time to start tracking it and get the number back up to optimal for me. Get pre-gym morning routine down to about 15 minutes: Part of a broader plan to optimize my work day routines so I have time to train in the morning, work a full work day, teach and practice in the evening, and still get plenty of sleep (and occasionally socialize somewhere in there, too); morning routine will ideally just be making my bed, mixing PWO, swishing some mouthwash, popping a couple pills, and grabbing a breakfast I can eat in the car en route to gym. Theoretically, should let me wake by 6:15, be in the car by 6:30, be at the gym by about 6:45, and finish a decent length workout at 8 to be at work by 8:30. Do your scheduled workouts, adjusting as needed: I have all 5 days of the work week scheduled for an ideal setup, and if I need to shorten it due to national holidays, etc, I'll prioritize things from top to bottom, conveniently: Mon - Upper body lift w/ HIIT finisher Tues - Lower body lift w/ HIIT finisher Wed - Gymnast stuff, plus full-length HIIT session (20-30 mins) Thur - Pilates plus steady state cardio Fri - Gymnast stuff, plus full-length HIIT session (20-30 mins) Start tracking how focused and productive you feel at work: Simple 1-5 on each, assigned at the end of the work day. Won't do anything with the data yet, but getting it is the first step to look at patterns. BONUS GOAL: Make one (or more) Mac n Cheese recipe and post the results here Let it be known that I wanted to chuck a #6 and #7 at the end of this list, but stopped myself. Just barely.
  18. Hi everybody! I'm coming in late for the current challenge but I read somewhere than better late than never Quickly on my background: I'm a 38 yo woman, used to do powerlifting and then aerial dancing (silks and rope). I stopped aerial for 2 years and a half (needed a break and moved to another country). During that break, I kept weight lifting, more as maintenance than anything else. Then got myself parallettes and did about 3 months exclusively on them (GMB parallettes 1, which was very enjoyable). And 2 months ago I got myself an aerial apparatus, not very high (~2m60 or so) but enough for me to train again at home (no aerial classes where I live). I now train about 5-6 times a week, alternating parallettes+aerial and stretching routines. Length and intensity depends on how my body feels / how much rest I need (can go from 20mn to 2 hours, but usually it's about one hour in the morning before I go to work). I'm fairly consistent with my workouts but I have a tendency to go all over the place, and I'm a bit nostalgic of the level I was at, it can be very frustrating. I can do some tricks but I want to be able to start sequencing again and make it look good. I'm hoping to find some focus here, and feedback/support, see what people do with their own training, learn from that. The challenge format looks very promising and I love the guilds idea Let's see how it goes! What else, I'm a typical nerd in some ways (sys admin and developer for a small organisation), shows I like: Battlestar Galactica, Spirals, and I'm currently reading the whole Inspector Rebus series (Ian Rankin). I love languages, be it programming languages, natural languages, body languages... So here we go: Medium term quest (say a few months from now): create a 2-3mn video of a solo choreography on my mini aerial apparatus Challenge quest #1: improve my body lines / gracefulness. I tend to be very forceful or a bit wobbly and it's not a pretty sight. I want to do my usual workouts but focus on alignment / stability / tempo. I'm entering late so it's only a 3.5 weeks challenge for me :~ Goals press lines: 3 times a week: 3 sets of 3 reps of straddle bent arm press on parallettes focusing on movement control and quality (lines). I hope to see improvement in quality rather than just knocking reps. I thought maybe I could grade quality for each set: 0 = ugly, wobbly or less than 3 reps | 1 = passable | 2 = pretty (of course pretty is subjective and my bent arm press is not that pretty but let's say I can feel a difference between: holy crap that was horrid / mhm sort of okayish / not bad at all, and I take a video to check it out) Evaluation on 3.5 weeks: 11 times => 3x11 = 33, maximum pretty score = 66 aerial lines: 3 times a week on silks (sorry for the aerialist jargon, I could get pictures if needed) - drill: straddle up with straight legs from the floor (x3 left/right) - drill: same knee hook from straddle (x3 left/right) - drill: beats from same knee hock to grab the pole above (x3 left/right) - mini sequence: straddle up with straight legs from the floor to same side knee hitch to hip lock and back to floor focusing on movement quality (straight legs at all times, minimize arm movement): 3x left & right. I will grade quality here as well (0/1/2). Evaluation on 3.5 weeks: 11 times => 3x11 = 33 (on each side) for each drill, and a max "pretty" score of 66 for the mini sequence (I don't really need a "pretty" score for the drills). And there will be a score for my right side and my left side (poo!). Always stretch properly after each strength workout, I want to block a slot of 10mn doing various shoulder & hips/legs stretches, and not cut it short because I'm in a hurry or can't be arsed (bad habit!) Even if I have stretching sessions on their own, I feel that this bad habit has been a bit self-defeating. Life level up: smile (genuinely) to people the first time I see them (strangers included) I hope the goal setting looks ok. Goal 2 must be hard to read with no aerial background, basically it's drills and sequencing. The actual action is much simpler than the wording of it :~ See you all soon!
  19. Hello and welcome to a new challenge! To end the summer season, I will try to improve the things that didn’t work these past months. This means that: · meditation, eating freggies in every meal, and daily technique practice are not goals anymore, because after several months, they’re habits now. Yay! · PvP push-up challenge is over, so no more inclined push-ups everyday -and my arms do need that rest- but will be taking part on the dead hang challenge if it finally becomes a thing. Also waiting to see if there is a PvP abs challenge, in which case, I’m in. The remaining goals -plus a new one- are: Exercise I’m finding it difficult to keep a routine this summer, and I’d like to improve this before classes start again. 4 workouts a week, doesn’t matter which one, the ultimate goal being to move everyday. For 1-3 workouts a week I get nothing. For 4 workouts a week I get 4 points, to choose between STA, STR and DEX, depending on the type of exercise I’ve done. If besides this I do some active recovery days (walking, easy floor routine, stretching…) I can go up to 6 points (STA, STR, DEX) + 1 CON point. Icelandic Apparently, saying I’d sit and practice doesn’t work, who’d have guessed? Specific goal: 2-3 articles a week. 1 article a week: nothing. 2 articles a week: 0.5 CHA. 3 articles a week: 1 CHA Wim Hof course This is the big goal for next months. Things I hope I will get from it: improved tolerance to cold, to better enjoy the upcoming winter season; improved blood circulation (goodbye to cold feet!); lower breathing rate, to reduce floating anxiety and fatigue; and finally, having fun being a weirdo. This is a yes or no goal. If I quit, I get no points. I can miss some days if there is a reasonable excuse, and of course I can extend any week of the course if I consider I need it. If I stick to the task until september 10th (but the course won’t be finished, it is 10 weeks long), I get 0.5 STR (the course also involves physical exercise), 0.5 DEX (course involves some yoga/stretching), 0.5 WIS (meditation also present) and 0.5 CON (for cold exposure). That's it. Now let's see how it goes
  20. As @deftona said in her new challenge, it is about seeing just how much progress I can make in such a short time frame. I found this very inspiring the moment I read it, and decided to go for it too. Then, this challenge is about making the most of the summer and working hard to improve myself. There is maintenance: everyday meditation, eating lots of freggies, daily music practice. There is consolidation and improvement: cross country run, parallettes and floor work, self-defence, sink push-ups. There is novelty: stop visiting my favourite news site to stop being so angry and frustrated; taking all my supplements everyday (recent events at home have caused a huge rise in anxiety). And even one old friend: icelandic. How will this work? Simple enough: For the next 6 weeks, I will give myself permission to rest when needed but also will give the best of myself when I am active. And this is a long challenge, so I go back to a 15 points reward system. Everyday meditation: +2 WIS Lots of freggies and supplements: +2 CON Daily music practice: +1 CHA Cross country run: +1 STA Parallettes: +2 STR Floor: +1 DEX Sink push-ups: +1 STR Self-defence: +1 DEX ; +1 STA Stop reading the news: +2 WIS Icelandic: + 1CHA I need at least half the points to achieve level 23.
  21. For those who have been following me lately, you already know that I’ve been feeling a bit low and with no energy, but I’ve done my best to put in place some nice and helpful routines, like taking some time for meditation and relaxation everyday, and improving my nutrition by eating lots of vegetables. Now my next step would be to come back to my previous fitness level, trying to remember how I felt last year: self-defence, acrobatics, running cross-country… I can barely believe I could do all of that. It was me, right? You all remember, right? It wasn’t a dream, RIGHT?? The picture is rather different today. Walking briskly leaves me breathless and I don’t think I could do a wall handstand right now, not even an inclined one. However, I miss it SO MUCH, that I am willing to at least try to come back on track. My plans: - Start TODAY with something flashy, like a full energy parallettes workout; - Do another parallettes workout during the week. I am SURE I can find the time. If I don’t, it is laziness, not lack of time; - Try to go once to the woods and mix walking with running. - After I come back from London, I MUST go back to self-defence. It is going to be tough, I will give myself plenty of excuses*, I will probably want to leave the moment I’ll reach the door, but it is something I have to do. For my body’s sake. *I have some rehearsals in the mornings that week and I am sure my mind will try to tell me I don’t have the time, but I received a call last week from the gym: they’ve changed their schedules and now they offer self-defence 5 mornings a week, instead of 2, so there is no way I can use the “I don’t have time” excuse. That’s the schedule for the first 2 weeks. After that, I will see which are the results and will decide where I go from there. The ultimate and main goal is to appreciate again the wonders of an active body, the thrill of going a bit further, and to rekindle the love for shiny things.
  22. Hi everybody! For those of you who don't know me, brief introduction: I've been here for 2 years and a half now, trying to change my life after almost 30 years of sedentary lifestyle. I began my journey with Steve's "one mile a day", and I've slowly built up from there. I've spent many challenges in other guilds (mainly adventurers and druids) but as my main focus has slowly shifted to mobility and bodyweight I feel this is the place to be. Here are my goals for the challenge: Sitting pauses – move all day long I'm keeping this goal from my last challenge because I'm liking it a lot. It does lots for my back and also my productivity (less sitting=less internet). The only rule is that every time I work on something that requires sitting for long, I'll get up every 20-30 minutes and use the pause to move for a short while. Same as last challenge, there will be assorted pauses to choose from: neck stretch short/long routine hip mobility routine shoulder mobility routine self-defense practice any stretch/routine from focused flexibility drinking water going upstairs and downstairs short errands short chores gmb inspired movements: frogger, monkey, bear squatting/squats push-ups feet, shoulders or neck trigger points whatever floats my boat Go out! Same as last challenge too. I want to expose to sun and light everyday. It doesn't matter whether I go for a walk or I just sit to read in the patio. What counts is to spend time outside (time spent going to work and back doesn't count). Have fun! Parallettes! Acrobatics! Jeet kune do! The goal is to strengthen myself and to get more control over my body, but above everything, to have fun. I have to assist to every lesson planned and to do at least one parallettes workout a week, better if two (unless I get to go twice to self-defense). Side quest Small everyday actions towards excellence There are several areas of my life that need attention. But I always get overwhelmed or stole time from other activities for this, the result being that I quit, because of saturation or because of guilt (when stealing time from anything else). So I am going to adopt the approach I took last summer with my music practice and that revealed itself so productive: 10 minutes periods, not more. Not even everyday, but will try to make it frequent. · Cleaning. I am pretty good at keeping my kitchen clean and ranged, and laundry is usually at bay, but since I abandoned my 15 minutes of everyday cleaning/declutter, the house is not ok and I'm forced to suffer long cleaning workouts when I don't want to. So I am back to it, but with 10 minutes this time (at least until holidays). · Pedagogical project. There are several books I want to read and take notes from, one course at coursera I want to follow, and a new homework notebook I want to prepare for the youngest. There are many new things I want to apply to my teaching for the next year. Also, students had fun with the technique competition I organized this year, and are eager to know which game will they be playing next year, so I have to start planning something. · Feldenkrais. I've recently bought a guide book with a whole month plan to follow and that's what I intend to do to make my practice a bit more organized and to learn new exercises. I've skimmed through the book and it seems there is a different activity for each day, but also recommends to stay for a few days on it if it is difficult, interesting or there's need to go deeper, so there is no pressure to end the book with the end of the challenge. · Icelandic. I don't think I'd be able to say more than "hvað er þetta?" right now, so I'll better retake it. There is no pressure on this side goal. It's just that it would be nice and I could get extra points. I think that 10 minutes now and then are totally doable and really worthy. Let's do this!
  23. Salivanth Does 10k Training! Who Am I? Hi guys! I'm Salivanth. To get the stats out of the way, I'm male, 23, 5'4'', 59 kg (130 lb), Australian, and getting ready to study Computer Science via distance education starting in July. As of April 13, I'll have been working out for exactly one year. I've mostly been doing bodyweight strength training with the Assassins, but a few months ago I started running. Last challenge I improved my 5k time from 29:56 to 28:16, and this challenge I'm increasing the distance to 10k. 57:26 is my goal time (I'll explain why a bit later in the post), but I'd be happy with any time that's under an hour. I consider myself an Assassin/Scout, so I'll be working towards goals from both classes. However, each challenge I'm planning to pick a goal that I want to achieve by the end of the challenge, and that goal determines what class I choose. Since I want to complete a 10k this challenge, that means I'll be boarding with the Scouts. Goals So, let's get into it! What am I trying to achieve this challenge? Goal One: Run 60 miles over the course of the challenge. (+3 STA) The big one, and the reason I've chosen the Scouts for my challenge! I've never run further than 5k in one run before, but a few months ago I couldn't run a mile, so I'm confident I can build my way up to the distance. I'll be using Hal Higdon's 10k program, modified slightly to reach my goals. Naturally, I'll need to run 10 miles a week on average to complete this goal. This is achievable by following the program I'm on, with a couple of extra short runs sprinkled in there. I'll be running Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, with an optional extra run on Tuesday. I may also choose to run Monday, Tuesday, Saturday; I'm fairly flexible depending on the weather and how I feel that day. As long as I get 3 runs in each week, and one of them is a long run, I should be alright to achieve this goal. Grading: -1 stat point for every 6 miles not done. (42 miles or less: failure) Goal Two: Complete 3 strength workouts per week. (+3 STR) I'll be using the Parallettes One program created by Gold Medal Bodies for my strength work. It's a 3-month beginner program that puts a heavy focus on perfect form, and the later portions of the program focus heavily on flow, i.e, stringing moves together. This is important to me because I'd like to be able to perform a basic gymnastics routine eventually. One of my medium-term goals is to be able to complete this routine: Yes, that's a 7-year-old completing this routine. Gymnasts start very young, but if I want to progress along that path, even at my age, I need to swallow my pride and start from the beginning. I may never be a competitive gymnast, but I'll at least be the best I can. Grading: -1 stat point for every 2 workouts skipped. (12 workouts or less; failure) Goal Three: Complete daily yoga practice. (+3 DEX) For flexibility, I've recently taken up yoga. I'm currently halfway through DoYouYoga's 30-day yoga challenge, and once I'm finished with that, I'll start from the beginning again. I may take up dedicated hamstring stretching at some point throughout the challenge as well, to improve the pike flexibility I'll need for gymnastics. I'd like to get the yoga habit cemented too. Likely I won't add hamstring stretching until next challenge, and only if I do well on this one. Adding small habits over time is what got me here, after all. Grading: -1 stat point for every 5 yoga workouts skipped. (27 yoga days or less; failure) Diet Goal: Eat within 50 calories of my target each day. (+2 CON) As I'm trying to bulk up this challenge, I'll be eating at 2,150 calories per day, plus 100 calories per mile on days that I run. I'm aiming to gain 2-3 kg this challenge; any less and I need to up the calories, any more and I should reduce them a bit. I'm giving myself permission to alter my calorie amount as required for this challenge. Grading: -1 stat point for every 5 days not reached. (32 days or less; failure) Quests Nerd Fitness wisdom suggests that goals should be process-oriented, not results-oriented, and I agree with this. However, I also like having specific goals to aim for in a challenge, so I call those quests and assign a few stat points to their completion. Here are my quests for this challenge. Quest One: Complete a set of 3 pull-ups. (+1 STR) My Main Quest as detailed in my signature is to be able to do 3 sets of 8 pull-ups and 3 sets of 8 dips. I'd be remiss if I didn't include that in my goals somewhere. I can currently do 2 pull-ups, so this isn't a particularly huge ask, but it should help me stay on track with my pull-up work. Quest Two: Complete a 10k in less than an hour. (+1 STA) Quest Three: Complete a 10k in less than 57:26. (+1 STA) These quests are pretty self-explanatory, except for the 57:26 time. It's oddly specific, so I'll explain why I've chosen that as my goal. In a book called Daniels' Running Formula, whom I bet a lot of the experienced Scouts have heard of, there's a measurement called VDOT. VDOT represents oxygen consumption, and is based on race speed. It can be based on distances from 800m to marathon, and ranges from 20 (Basically a brisk walk) to 85. (Pro athlete/world record/beyond WR depending on the exact race.) My current VDOT is 33, and was 31 about 2 months ago. This challenge, I want to increase it to 34. Someone with a VDOT of 34 should be expected to run a 57:26 10k, so that's why I chose it as the time I'm aspiring to. Quest Four: Reach 61-63 kg (136-139 lb) in weight. (+1 CON) Lastly, I'd like to reach the 61-63 kg weight range by the end of the challenge, seven weeks from now. Being outside of this range indicates something wrong with my diet. I'll be weighing myself halfway through the challenge to see how it's going, and adjust calories accordingly. If I'm within this range, it means I'm bulking correctly; not bulking so slowly I don't gain much muscle, nor so quickly that I'm gaining mostly fat. Conclusion So that's my challenge this time around. I'll use this week to make sure everything's in order, and then get right into it next week. I'm really looking forward to doing a challenge with you guys. Best of luck to everyone in their training / races! Thanks for reading!
  24. My last challenge was a mixed bag and a learning experience. I started strongly in all areas and then lost track. For my exercise goal - life got in the way a bit. For my habit goal – I didn’t get to it being a habit and then lost it altogether For my Food goal – I started brightly, but due to the way I had step-up the challenge I changed direction after 2 weeks and lost touch with the goal. For my inertia goal – inertia got the better of me for the most part but I managed to take a couple of baby steps. My challenge this time around is basically the same as the last challenge – if the goals were important enough last time they should still be important now. I am still trying to work out how to make them work more effectively this time – I haven’t quite figured this out yet, but the challenge must start regardless of whether I have this finalised or not. Goal 1: Exercise every day, including: 3x week Parallettes, 2x week getting moving and having fun. In the last challenge I set myself the goal of 3x week parallettes and 2x week moving and having fun. I did fairly well with both, averaging about 60% on my parallettes goal and 75% on my getting moving goal. Even though I wasn’t entirely successful with this goal I want to step it up a bit by aiming for some exercise every day, just so that I am maintaining the minimum and not letting myself go completely. I will set the minimum as 25 air-squats or 2x 1minute plank. I will aim to reach my main goals by planning my week ahead. Planned activities: 3x parallettes Leg workout 1x Frisbee session Yoga Just a warmup 25 air squats 2x 1 minute planks Hiking Goal 2: Maintain habits - Sleep 8 hours a night and get up to my alarm everyday in the morning. (Edit: It occured to me that the getting up is the part I want to prioritise. I get about 8 hours sleep a night but I don't want to mark myself down if for whatever reason I cannot get 8 hours sleep but do get up to my alarm) The maintain habits title of this goal is a little deceptive as it is really a ‘keep trying to build a habit’ goal as I have never quite got this part of my challenges up to something which I would describe as a habit. Last challenge I started well but dropped to an overall average of 1 day out of 3 by the end. Much better than 0 day out of 3 but something which I aim to be the foundation on which I aim to build the other aspects of my challenge. Habit formation: Can I incorporate some sort of reward to make this stick? Practice: Doing the same thing over and over again leads to the creation of a habit. At the moment I have practised not getting up to my alarm many times and therefore it is my fall-back option. Clearly getting up in the morning to my alarm would be great practise towards forming this habit, but this goes against my current programming, which is why I have this goal to try and change it. Therefore this challenge I will practise in the evening my getting up routine. This a bit bizarre and will feel weird, but if I can get the feeling of getting up ingrained into me then it will make the whole thing easier in the morning – at least in principle. Goal 3: Food – Drink a protein shake every morning. My food goal in the last challenge was planned to be specific at first and then undergo a re-evaluation. What resulted was 2 weeks of everything going well then the re-evaluation after which I did nothing. With this in mind my goal will now be a specific one: drink a protein shake every morning. This is a bit of a weak food goal for me as I am not sure if I really need to add additional protein to my diet. My gut feeling says yes, but I am probably not so far off in reality. Either way I feel that this is not detrimental and will at least be a positive on days when I have been doing parallettes or sprinting. I can also do it and record it easily, which are important criteria. I plan to use this as a first positive step towards shoring up my diet and can be a model for specific food changes in subsequent challenges. Strategy: Make the protein shake the night before. Goal 4: Life Goal (overcoming inertia) - Finish the data analysis for my project so that I can send it off for the next step. Daily small steps. I have a project I worked on for a long time that has never been finished due to overwhelming inertia that arises from it being connected to a bad period of my life, a terrible working environment surrounded by people who basically pschologically abused me. It wasn't nice and I didn't know how to deal with it. I have now escaped the environment but find myself unable to tackle the project as it is still connected to all of these feelings. On the other hand not completing the project is one of the things that keeps me up at night. I want to be a finisher and I want to complete the project for myself regardless of what comes out of it at the end. I just need to get it off my back so I can stop thinking about it. I know what I need to do, but I need to get myself back into it (it is a year since I have touched it), do some data analysis and then send it on to someone who can do the next step. It makes me sad and uncomfortable just thinking about this goal, so I really do need to get it done so that I can get back on with my life. This introduction is pasted directly from my last challenge where I didn’t manage to overcome inertia in this area. I need a better strategy for how to do this and maybe some sort of reward structure to make it fun and try to distance it from the problem at the root of it. For the benefit of my confidence and psychology I really need to make some in-roads here.
  25. So many challenge threads already! I've finally, at long last, officially, reached level 9. More soon. UPDATE ONE: So here's what I'm thinking. A lot during the last challenge I was looking at Gold Medal Bodies (GMB's) stuff. I decided that I would pull the trigger with the Parallettes One program on the next challenge (this one). They have a bundle with their Focused Flexibility program, and flexibility has been on my to-do list for a while. So why not both! The tricky part is that I'm on vacation, away from home, away from my computer, and I haven't looked at how the programs are structured, so I'm uncertain of how it'll fit into a six-week challenge, with goal setting etc. Can I do both FF and Parallettes with a reasonable schedule? I will have to wait to find out. So my goals may have to be fleshed out and/or adjusted as time goes by. Presently here's where my goals stand: 1. GMB's Parallettes One Program (x times weekly...to be determined) 2. GMB's Focused Flexibility Program (x times weekly...to be determined) (1a-2a) Swing dancing warm-ups. Post playlists. 3. Eat well: cook two healthy meals at home per week. 4. Post (follow-up) on five Assassins' threads weekly.
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