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  1. My biggest problem isn't that I don't know what I'm doing. It's that I know too much, and in so knowing, forget how little I know. I have a bunch of different programs that all want to work together. But I haven't really done the work of putting them all together properly, and it's been to my detriment in the past. And it's trying to be now. Still, as it's been pointed out to me, I'm wise enough to know when something is working and when it isn't, and there's no shame in making adjustments on the fly. Putting a bunch of pieces together and adjusting quickly as I need to with the aim of building something better? Sounds like Tetris to me. Okay, so. Goal 1: Nighttime Meditations I originally tried to do a program with the idea of switching between various forms of meditation. Parts of it were interchangeable, but, ah. I didn't know which parts. Since I have some time for meditating set aside in the morning, I'm going to use it for shorter exercises. The longer part, the thing I let slip because it didn't belong, was the longer time of stillness which I find that I need. Goal 2: Writing Making writing a goal last time was a good idea. But it's incomplete. I didn't write every day like I wanted to, and I want to break the curse of the five missing days. To spice this up a bit, we're going to move my standards a bit, so that I'm doing more for minimal, nominal, and maximal standards of performance. Goal 3: NO MORE CHEAT DAYS You can't build what you want by just doing what you want. No. You have to make the blocks fit together, earn the spaces and such. This will not be easy, with my folks being prone to celebration at the drop of a hat, but that means all the more reason for me to do my diligence. Goal 4: Condense Training Whether I like it or not, I'm not really going to be in charge of my schedule much longer. So, I have to work with my training to make it fit everything. There's lots of reasons to do this - for starters, the present modifications I've done make for a very lopsided training split; A day is short and B day is long. That bothers me, because I feel like I'm trading efficacy for peace of mind, and that's not what I need. Additionally, I'm finding that the handstand work I tried to cram in doesn't really fit together with the pike presses. It flirts with failure too much, and that bothers me. And in addition to that, I have a very physical job coming up, and I've got to balance what I'm doing out here with the demands of the work there so that I can be effective. On the other hand, though, playing around with fatigue is proving to be just loads of fun. You'll see as we go. Anyway, the name of the game here is to not let any one training session exceed an hour in length. Ideally, bring it down somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes. I will be timing these sessions to double-check myself and make sure that I'm not being too crazy. ... Yeah. Yeah. Okay. This'll work.
  2. Hello all! Over the course of the last challenge, I kept a list of things that I want to be able to do, primarily inspired my our awesome mini challenge, but also as an extension of my splits and pushup work from last challenge They are: Crow PoseMiddle SplitsRight SplitsPistol SquatDiamond PushupsSo my goals are going to revolve around getting to these things. I'll do basic training for this month and next month's challenge I'll really push on getting these specific things down. I have to tone down the requirements for this challenge because we have my husbands family visiting for two consecutive long weekends this month, right in the middle of the challenge. So I'll keep it flexible with short focused tasks that can be done within my standard workouts. Quest 1: Stretching 4 times a week. With the specific goal of working on middle splits/crow, ie inner thigh flexibility and splits (primarily hamstring for me). Specific stretches to be determined later (probably tomorrow). [+1 DEX, +1 STA] Quest 2: Crow pose training 1 time a week. Probably a yoga flow to crow video, but may vary or include other hand balance work. [+2 DEX] Quest 3: Squat training 3 times a week. To include beginner (and maybe intermediate shrimp squats) 15/leg, weighted squats (probably goblet), and attempts at easier forms of pistol squats [+1 STR, +1 DEX] (this might become 2 times a week depending on how the first week feels) Quest 4: Diamond pushups 4 times a week. I'll start on the 3 step of my staircase the first week and work my way down each week. I'll do 3-5 pushups each time. I'll also do 10 regular pushups to maintain what I have gained the last few challenges. [+1 STR, +1 STA] Quest 5: Alcohol restriction: 6 drinks or fewer per week. It worked well last time, and I want to do even better this round! Not specifically related to my list of goals, but good for me. [+2 CON] Grading will once again be P/F on a weekly basis, earning one quarter of the points each round. Tracking: Quest 1, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 Quest 2: 0/1, 0/1, 0/1, 0/1 Quest 3: 0/3, 0/3, 0/3, 0/3 Quest 4: 0/4, 0/4, 0/4, 0/4 Quest 5: 0/5, 0/5, 0/5, 0/5 Theme tbd, and I'll post some starting stats tomorrow!
  3. Let's get this challenge started!! MAIN QUEST: To be most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe, basically. Last challenge was all about getting back on the horse and reestablishing some basics. I learned some valuable things in the process, and I got a bit of excellent news in the acting department (I will be in the ensemble of a production of Evita this summer!), all of which is leading me towards this, my building blocks challenge. And what better building blocks exist than Legos? QUEST ONE: THE ENDGAME [+2 STR] When you buy a Lego kit, you typically have the endgame: build what's on the box of the kit you just bought. Like a Lego Millennium Falcon. For me, I have a few fitness goals before I turn 30 at the beginning of next year, and so it's time to really focus in on working towards these things. And so, at least twice a week, I will work on: Lifting Pull-up Progression Pistol Squat Progression Leg Raises Progression Handstands A = 100% complete | B = between 50-100% complete | C = 50% complete | D = for effort Since ideally I want to be lifting 3x/week and therefore working on all of these things at least three times a week, if I pull off that third session for any of the above, I will reward myself with $5 per item towards Poe Dameron's Lego X-Wing. Because REASONS GUYS. If my Lego X-Wing didn't give me Lego!Wedge (I got Lego!Porkins instead WTF, Lego) I WILL GET LEGO!POE. (Because I sort of have a big crush on Poe...) QUEST TWO: THE SPECIAL [+3 DEX] To be most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe, one must also be able to fling the kit out the window and exercise their creative mind. That requires flexibility. And so, I'll be spending at least 10 minutes a day, 5x/week, working on exactly that. I'm going to have to up the ante on this if I hope to get even close to center splits by my 30th birthday! (Because fuck you, conventional wisdom, nearly 30 year olds can learn to do the splits too.) A = 5x/week | B = 4x/week | C = 3x/week | D = 1-2x/week QUEST THREE: PREPARE FOR PLAYTIME [+2 DEX] Building without all your necessary tools is difficult at best, impossible more realistically, and makes you look unreliable at worst. You should have all the pieces of whatever it is you want to build before you build it, after all! As mentioned, I was cast in Evita, and those who have followed me in the past know that I lament that my Latin-based dancing is atrocious. I refuse to show up to the first dance rehearsal with two left feet and awkward hip shakes, so at least once a week, I will work on tango, salsa, samba, etc. This can be through my World Tour Zumba game, classes, following along with online videos, anything, as long as the focus is on learning how to dance like I'm in a musical set in Buenos Aires. Pass = Danced | Fail = Nope Like Quest 1, ideally, I'll be doing this twice a week, so every week I manage to work on Latin-based dancing twice, I will earn myself $10 towards Poe Dameron's Lego X-Wing. LIFE QUEST: LET'S GET ORGANIZED [+1 WIS, +1 CHA] Okay, so my life has become somewhat of a disorganized mess, and I need it to be significantly less so. This is due to both my ADHD (forgetfulness + easily distracted + hyper-focus) and my eternal procrastination. So, every day, I will create a to-do list and I will make sure I eliminate at least five things from said to-do list no matter how long that list gets (and if the to-do list is somehow less than 5 items long, I must complete 100% of that list). No excuses. I will be productive and get shit done. A = 7x/week | B = 5-6x/week | C = 3-4x/week | D = 1-2x/week SIDE QUEST: PICK UP THE DAMN BLOCKS [+1 CHA] You know what's really painful? Stepping on a Lego piece. Just ow. So, it's good to pick up after yourself. For me, I have, metaphorically speaking, too many Lego pieces, which causes a mess, and really, I need to get rid of a few. So here is my decluttering quest. There are two pieces to this: Over the course of a week, I need to spend at least 60 cumulative minutes on the task of decluttering. By the end of the challenge, I need to have taken at least twenty items (average 5 items/week) either to Trade Smart, Goodwill, or another charity in addition to what's already in my donation pile. Weekly Grade: A = 60+ minutes | B = 45 minutes | C = 30 minutes | D = 15 minutes Challenge Grade: A = 20+ items donated | B = 15-19 items donated | C = 10-14 items donated | D = 5-9 items donated Time to get down to business!!!
  4. If there's one thing I miss about the 6 week challenge format, it's the week off between challenges to reflect on my previous challenge and polish up my goals for the new one. So, here's my somewhat hastily thrown together challenge write-up. Heed the words of the Rebel Leader: How to Create Your Own Jedi Council I discovered Nerd Fitness 4 years ago and I have definitely learned a lot in that time, but I also think I've spent too much time jumping from one fitness/workout idea to another, trying to find something that really resonates with me. I've stuck with it for 4 years, but still haven't seen the results I was originally after. So, I'm preparing to re-dedicate myself to my pursuit of the LGN body and becoming a superhero for my family. To do that, I'll need the wisdom of my Jedi Council: The Anti-Program-Hopping Master - Anthony Mychal From The 242 Method: “You don’t need a new program. You need a mindset. A mindset that embraces minimalism, because “basic†and “simple†is what paves the road to solid gains.†In the 242 Method, Anthony preaches focusing on 4 "marriage" lifts (2 upper body and 2 lower body) as your go-to, never miss exercises. Make sure you keep doing those, and then you can flirt with anything else that piques your interest. My goal for this 4 weeks is to really hammer my 4 marriage lifts and also fool around with some accessory lifts that I can regularly include as I build a plan for the future. I'll be shooting for 8 marriage lift workouts. The Ultimate Sandbag Master - Josh Henkin During my last challenge, I read DVRT The Ultimate Sandbag Training System and convinced myself to invest in an Ultimate Sandbag (USB). Now, I get to use it! My goal is 4 USB workouts, providing adequate variety so I get a feel for how the different exercises are performed and which ones I want to make part of my regular rotation. The Kinobody Master - Greg O'Gallagher Greg is ripped. No question. He may not be a mainstream "go-to" guy for exercise and fitness, but he has a lot of content on his website, YouTube, and podcasts and he does seem to know his stuff. I doubt I will ever be in single digit body fat territory like him (and that's fine), but I'm going to take his advice on Aggressive Fat Loss to try and lose an inch off my waist during this challenge. It will mostly be centered around calorie restriction and Intermittent Fasting. Because I workout early in the morning, I can't quite follow his exact IF plan, but I'll modify it to work for me. I also want to be getting stronger each week in my lifts, so I'm not going to get too crazy with my cut. I just want to shed a little belly fat before I go on Spring Break with my wife at the end of the challenge. I will probably shoot for eating at maintenance on my workout days, and a deficit on non-training days. The Beast Skills Master - Jim Bathurst I have long admired Jim's skills and reference his tutorials for skills like Pistol Squats and One Arm Push-ups. I'm going to keep working on those progressions this challenge as well as throw in some work on One-Handed Handstands and Freestanding Handstands.
  5. Soooo I am being super boring goals wise and doing nearly exactly the same goals as last time! To mitigate boring-ness of repetitive goals I promise lots of weird pictures and videos and things just because. GOALS 1. Handstand push up progressions - I would like to work this at least 3x per week ). All push up variants count towards this,but I am especially focusing on increasing my AMRAPs on pike push ups, and exercise ball pike push ups. (Standard push ups and diamond push ups will definitely also be a thing, as well as possibly incline push up work if I feel I need more volume.) 2. Straight leg straddle and other adv core progressions - I plan to do core work at least 5x per week. I DID A STRAIGHT LEGGED STRADDLE YOU GUYS. Just 1. I must keep up work on this so I can do more. Aerial days count towards this as well as all other core things I can come up with. I'll be using some of the variations from last challenges core mini for variety, as well as all the stuff in the Cirque du Soleil core and back video from Youtube. 3. Pull up progressions - I want to work pull progression work 3x per week. Aerial counts towards this as well as pull variation specific workouts on my pull up bar. I DID ONE REAL DEAD HANG CHIN UP YOU GUYS!!! Must do more. And hopefully also get a dead hang pull up. 4. Continue pistol squat progression - Continue to work squats 3x per week. I know I am getting soooo close on these. LIFE GOALS Part 1 -Don't be a diva - While I could spend my time being pissed off at our director for being difficult to work with because of her massive ego, if I spend time focusing on that and pushing back I could veer towards being obnoxious and diva-y myself. I see how obnoxious that is coming from someone else. I do not want to be like her. Do not want. Do not want at all! My life goal for the first 2 weeks of this challenge (until after my show) is to not let my irritation turn me into someone I don't want to be, and likewise not to let myself be cranky angry panda. Part 1 - No beer! - I am actually planning on no grain at all including bread etc. for the next two weeks, but definitely absolutely no beer until show time! Part 2 - To be decided!! Must figure this out by the end of the show on the 13th-14th
  6. YAY! I'm a llama again! What exactly am I doing for this challenge? Well let me explain to you; It's.... GOALS! I has them!: 1 - Work those hip...(keys) - I finally have down straddle climb sort of ish. My hip keys are, however, pathetisad. To fix this I shall do dedicated hipkey work three times a week. Aka drill hip keys at least a minute or two every time I am at the studio! 2 - Dost thou even hoist, brethren? Self explanatory? I think? I AM ADDING IN LIFTING WOOHOO. I would like to do twice a week, but since it's new let's start with lift at least 1x per week. Deadlifts and squats are planned! I will do some pressing but that will likely be limited to 1 day per week even if I do lifting 2x per week because I need these arms for aerial! 3 - Put your hands up in the air- AND GRAB ONTO SOMETHING AND LIFT YOURSELF WOOO! Aka pull ups, ya'll! I'd like to get 1 solid dead hang pull up by the end of this challenge. My progress is slow as hell on these so I expect that to take a full 6 weeks, but I will amend if I get this too quickly. Work on pull up progressions 3x per week. 4 - Power buns, yo! - AKA YOU WILL BE MINE, PISTOL SQUAT! I will work on pistol progressions 3x per week! (I am going to count the weighted squats in lifting towards this as well because building strength will help!!) 5 - I don't push up, I push the WORLD DOWN! - Push up work at least 3x per week. I'd like to get where I can ALWAYS do 15 in a row and not just when a badass people challenge me to drunken push up competitions in exchange for beers! Life goals! Check blood pressure at least 1x per week (I'm supposed to track this and I always forget. Thank you genetic predisposition to hypertension. GRRRR!)Drink at least 2 bottles of water (aka 4 8oz glasses ish of water) every day. I am horrible about this on my non exercise days!
  7. I've had a bit of trouble starting my thread for this challenge. The thing is: I have a long-term plan in place, but I couldn't think of a clever/interesting/pop-culture-referencing theme to use for this particular 6 week span. Then it hit me. Just stick with the plan! My overall goal is to add muscle to my skinny frame. My long-term goal is to put on about 10 pounds of muscle by my 40th birthday (Dec 2016). I have been working for the last 5 months to lose a bit of belly fat and achieve a "lean base". I have a new intermediate goal, which is to have a beach-ready body by the end of March 2016 when I am planning to head to Jamaica for a few days with several friends who are all celebrating our 10th wedding anniversaries. So, having lost about 12 pounds and 2 inches from my belly since May, my plan is to eat at maintenance for a month to let things stabilize and then start eating at a surplus in December and January to try and bulk up. I'll then probably go back to eating at maintenance or below for a few weeks before the Jamaica trip to burn any fat I pick up. Having laid that out, here are my goals for this challenge: Goal 1: Consistent strength gains on my "marriage" lifts I re-started the 242 Method of working out back in July, where I dedicate 2 workouts a week to 6 "marriage" lifts that I never stray from: Deadlift, Overhead Press, Dips, Squat, Floor Press, and Pull-ups. I split these over Monday and Friday and then have Wednesday to "flirt" with other exercises. It's been 4 months now and I've seen consistent progress in those key lifts without the program hopping that I used to do every 6 weeks. I want to keep making consistent gains by bumping up the reps or weight on each lift each week. Goal 2: Consistent progress on my bodyweight skills There are a few bodyweight skills that I've wanted to achieve for a long time. Pistol Squats, Handstand Push-ups, One-Arm Push-ups, and L-sits. I've worked on each of these at various points over the last 3 years to varying degrees of success. This time around, I'm going to dedicate my Wednesday workouts to progressing on each of these bodyweight skills. I've got a different progression for each skill: Pistol Squats - Neat StrengthHandstand Push-ups - Kinobody Bodyweight Mastery ProgramOne-arm Push-ups - KinobodyLeg Raises (as a precursor to L-sits) - Gold Medal BodiesGoal 3: Maintain (or decrease) my weight and midsection measurement As I said above, I've been working on losing some belly fat since the end of May and I'm happy with the level of success I've had. Even though I've still got another inch or two I could stand to lose, I'm at a weight that I consider about as low as I'd like to go. So, instead of just jumping right back into a traditional bulk (where I traditionally add an few inches to my waist) I'm going to take it slow and just hang out at maintenance for a month. As I look back at my last 3 and half years on Nerd Fitness, I've bounced around a lot - eating a ton in an attempt to gain weight, but then reversing course because I gained too much in my midsection. I've never really spent time at a consistent weight. I plan to accomplish this by bumping my daily calorie intake up to about 2000 per day, but I'll rely on my Jawbone UP tracker to keep a count of my steps and how many calories I've really burned. If I'm successful in maintaining my weight and waistline for a month, I'll shift into a calorie surplus. My grading will be a variation of a method I'm stealing from Raptron's challenge: Hitting my daily protein goal will be good for 1/2 a point.Hitting my daily calorie range will be good for 1/2 a point.Alternatively, I'll be weighing myself daily and taking a midsection measurement on Monday mornings.If my seven-day average weight is at or below my starting weight or if my midsection measurement is at or below my starting measurement, I'll get all 7 points for the week.Total of 28 possible points for November Goal 4: Average 7 hours of sleep a night One thing I'm told over and over again is that you need rest to recover and build muscle, so I'm making sleep a priority once again. I will aim for drinking a cup of Natural Calm and getting to bed by 10:30 on weeknights and getting up by 5 for my workouts 3 days a week. My Jawbone UP also tracks my sleep, so I'll just take an average for the week rather than grade based on number of days I hit 7 hours. Okay, so typing this all out has taken longer than I thought it would, so I'm going to spare you all my proof that these goals have been vetted against Steve's 9 Mistakes Skinny People Make Trying To Get Bigger. Let the challenge begin!
  8. Hey... Um. I'm late joining. I haven't actually done a challenge since 2012 or 13 (Can't remember. I found the thread earlier, but I lost it again) Anyway! I have some pretty simple goals to hit by December 21st, which I have been working on all year, so I hope you can accept me into the assassin ranks. My motivational self-talk: I want to be stronger, braver, more energised and focused so that I can survive anything life throws at me and come out smiling, supporting those around me who need it, and working to change the world and make it a better place. I also need a wingman or two. I've cut myself off from people a bit lately. Home life is hard, I live in a shared house and I'm not getting on with my housemates at all. It's also a long way out of town, so it's easy for me to keep myself too busy working and being pointlessly busy to spend time with actual friends. So I have to work on that. My main quest: 1. 8 pull ups in a row. (up from 7, but I haven't hit that in a few months!) 2. 25 push ups in a row. (I'm struggling with 20 right now) 3. 5 pistol squats in a row both legs. (I can do 3, maybe 4) Method: Train at least one daily, allowing at least one rest day between. Possible skill points: 3 STR, 3 CON, 3 DEX Side quests: 1. Spend deliberate, dedicated time with at least 3 potential wingmen. Communicate with the NF Rebel Alliance - join in challenges etc. 2. Be able to touch my wrists to my toes with straight legs. Method: Stretch every evening. At stake: 3 CHA 3 DEX
  9. In college my leg days were killers. Our weight room was on the second floor and if you didn't need to hold on the handrail while going down to the lockers room you didn't push yourself hard enough. I honestly didn't think that would ever happen by just doing body weight squats. This morning I started working on pistol squats using my suspension trainer for balance and assistance. I decided to start out with 4 sets of 5 and work up to not needing the bands before adding any more reps. I really had to push myself but I got them done and a good burn going in my legs. I went upstairs to shower and get dressed for the day, got my 2 year old dressed and headed downstairs to start breakfast. The first step almost sent both of us tumbling down the stairs as my leg gave completely out. I was able fall backwards onto my butt, saving the bad fall, but Holly Crap! I haven't had the feeling in 14 years.
  10. I'm still in the midst of my three month Summer of Strong challenge, but I thought I'd start a thread for this 6WC. My plan to do three 4-week challenges hasn't really panned out like I hoped. So some goals: 1. At least one good form one-armed push-up (OAP) with each arm [sTR] I've worked my way up to 3x8 wall OAPs using the Start Bodyweight progressions, but when I tried inclined OAPs this morning, I failed miserably. So, I'm looking for an intermediate step. Anybody know anything about typewriter push-ups? 2. Run 2.5 miles in 20 minutes [sTA] I do a 20 minute run once a week and my plan has been to gradually increase pace, and thus the distance, each week. I have recently run 2.25 miles several times, so I'm going to shoot for a 0.05 mile increase each week. Even with one week off, I should be able to get to 2.5 in 6 weeks. 3. Reduce my belly measurement to below 35" [CHA] I'm currently on a moderate cut in order to lose a couple of inches off my waist. My unofficial measurement this morning was 35.5". 4. Finish reading 3 books I've started this summer [WIS] Surfer's Start-upTo Live is Christ To Die is GainRaising Kids with Character That Lasts I'll be out of town 1 week during the challenge for a work conference, but I guess I can still work on push-ups, reading, and losing fat. I may even pack my running shoes...
  11. Main quest: Reduce body fat to 25% Last full challenge I fell off the wagon around thanksgiving. I got back on it and gave myself Christmas off. But still failed my 2 week serenity challenge because of parties and friends and fun. I don’t regret it – I’m just explaining why I keep having the same goals over and over. I’d like to really string together some good weeks. Not just 4 days here then 2 days off the charts then 5 good days and etc. etc. Goal 1: Protein. (over 35%) Goal 2: Fat. (25-29%) Goal 3: Carbs. (35-45%) Grading: 6 or 7 days within goal A; 5 days B; 4 days C; <4 days F Calorie goal may change. Starting at 1760 and depending on what I’m seeing in my workouts and on the scale after a couple weeks I may raise it. I also love constructive criticism if anyone has any input on these numbers Side quest: Continue lifting and bodyweight work 3x/week. I’m still focusing on progressing pistol squats and pushups. I completed 15 reps of incline pushups last challenge and thought I’d be moving to the floor. I was not able to do so. So, I moved to a lower incline and we’ll work from there. Someday, folks. Someday. Regarding pistol squats: I can kind of do 8 reps of pistol squats on a raised bench. I say kind of because I’m still leaning forward a bunch and can’t get my butt below parallel. Again, any tips or criticism is always appreciated. I hope to continue exploring new recipes that fit my macros and make eating easy and delicious!
  12. Hi knowledgeable Rebels - I've read heaps of good advice on these forums so I thought I'd throw my first try at making a bodyweight calisthenics program in here and see what you awesome people have to say! As background, my goals for the next challenge are in my shiny new Battle Log (link in my sig below), and I've tried to make a workable program based on those goals. My background before finding NF was in weight lifting, though I did gymnastics as a young kid and do Pilates when I have the chance. I understand the progressions for BW and especially strength-building calisthenics/gymnastics are quite different to lifting progressions, so any suggestions or comments are most welcome! My goals themselves aren't for any specific reason except to try and build an overall strong, flexible and resilient body using little to no equipment, plus pistol squats and handstands are cool party tricks I pulled most of the flexibility work from the Assassin's guide for working on Pistol squats, plus splits development I learnt at Pilates. The rest is my best guess from several hours of internet trawling. Aaaaaaand....go! Daily: Handstand work (start with stomach to wall) for 5min; SMR; 2min mini workouts every 20mins (dynamic movement training such as traverse lunges, sit throughs, supermans); walk 10,000 steps Week 1 and 2 plansWorkout 1 (Push, Abs, LB, Flex)Warm Up: Hip mobility (incl leg swings and squats), shoulder mobility, skipping Push up progression: 3 sets 8 reps - knees, flat, one-leg Teaser progression (Pilates): plank, side planks, V-Hold, roll ups, 1-3 reps full Teaser no hold at top Flexibility & LB: bottom squat/pistol squat holds, forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, standing leg raise, splits work Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex)Warm Up: Hip and shoulder mobility Foot Balancing: Tree pose, Warrior III, Standing Leg Raise (hold 5-20sec at top) Hand Balancing: 5min freestanding handstand work Flexibility: forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, back bends, splits work Workout 3 (Pull, MetCon, Flex)Warm Up: Skipping or light jog, hip mobility, shoulder mobility Sprints: 20 sec run, 10 sec rest, 6 rounds (3min total) Inverted Rows: 3 sets 10 reps Negative Pull Ups: 3 sets 10 reps (OR max reps if too hard) Pull Ups: max reps for 2 sets (OR dead hang 30 sec if too hard) Flexibility: Forward bends, pancakes, leg raise, quad stretch, calf stretch, shoulder/arm stretches Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex) Workout 4 (Push, LB, Abs, Flex) Warm Up: Hip mobility (incl leg swings and squats), shoulder mobility, Bear Crawls, frog hops Crow Pose progression: work up to max hold on flat hands, or fingertips if able Horizontal Jump: work up to maximum Full Teaser progression: plank, side planks, V-Hold, roll ups, 1-3 reps full Teaser 5 sec hold at top Flexibility & LB: bottom squat/pistol squat holds, forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, standing leg raise, splits work Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex) Rest Day+ Assassin's Guild mini challenges if they suit Week 3 and 4 plansWorkout 1 (Push, Abs, LB, Flex) Warm Up: Hip mobility (incl leg swings and squats), shoulder mobility, skipping Push up progression: 3 sets 8 reps (or maximum) flat, one-leg, spiderman Full Teaser progression: plank, side planks, V-Hold, roll ups, 1-3 reps full Teaser 10 sec hold at top Squats, Weighted Step Ups, Assisted Pistol Squats Flexibility: bottom squat/pistol squat holds, forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, standing leg raise, splits work Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex)Warm Up: Hip and shoulder mobility Foot Balancing: Tree pose, Warrior III, Standing Leg Raise (hold 5-20sec at top) Hand Balancing: 5min freestanding handstand work Flexibility: forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, back bends, splits work Workout 3 (Pull, MetCon, Flex) Warm Up: Skipping or light jog, hip mobility, shoulder mobility Sprints: 20 run 10 rest for 8 rounds, 4min total Negative Pull Ups: 3 sets 10 reps (OR max reps if too hard) Pull Ups: max reps for 3 sets (OR dead hang 60 sec if too hard) Flexibility: Forward bends, pancakes, leg raise, quad stretch, calf stretch, shoulder/arm stretches Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex) Workout 4 (Push, LB, Abs, Flex) Warm Up: Hip mobility (incl leg swings and squats), shoulder mobility, Bear Crawls, frog hops Crow Pose progression: work up to max hold on flat hands, or fingertips if able Explosive Jump Squats Horizontal Jump: work up to maximum Full Teaser progression: plank, side planks, V-Hold, roll ups, 1-3 reps full Teaser 10 sec hold at top Flexibility & LB: bottom squat/pistol squat holds, forward bend, seated forward bend, pancakes, standing leg raise, splits work Workout 2 (Balancing, Flex) Rest+ Assassin's Guild mini challenges if they suit
  13. Mweeheeheee~ finally I can take on a challenge in a guild! And not the one I first supposed. My ultimate fitness goal is to become a strong fighter (specifically boxing/MMA), but for that I need to get a good conditioning routine down. Training has some but not enough to really build strength significantly, and I’ve been barred from using the one barbell in the studio. But who really NEEDS equipment in order to get stronger, really? Besides, the agility gained from bodyweight strength exercises is bound to serve a fighter well… The Quest: to become truly independent in strength training – independent of equipment and people. I’m not hanging around the starting zone waiting for anyone anymore. Goal 1: Exercise away from the boxing studio, averaging at least once a week. Or, if I make it there more frequently than usual, do a full workout independent of instruction at least once a week. If it’s outside the gym, things such as sprinting sessions count as long as I deliberately go to do them. Then again, you can’t really not deliberately exercise, unless there are hungry lions involved… Scoring system: One grade down per week this is skipped. Stats: STA, STR Goal 2: Progress towards perfecting pull-ups, push-ups and pistol squats, through persevering in practice. The aim is to achieve each unassisted by the end of the challenge time, though that may or may not be feasible. I can already do strict pushups, so with them the goal is to work towards one-armed. Scoring system: out of 36. For each week, 1 point for each time I train for each of the above 3 exercise types. Aiming to do each twice a week. Stat: STR, DEX Goal 3: Get a handle on 'programming'. I really need to formulate a ‘benchmark’ workout to measure strength progression. This’ll need a little experimentation in pushing my limits and seeing what I’d actually want to make a habit of. Scoring system: a bit fuzzy, but a ‘pass’ if I manage to make a decision by the end of the challenge. Quality scores for exercise commentary, and repeating workouts with recorded changes. Stats: WIS, STR Life quest: Japanese study. As before, the one thing I can do day-to-day to know I’m moving forward in my long-term goals is to keep up language study. My life quest will continue from the last. Each day will have a score, averaging one point for 10 new kanji studied but taking into account other types of study or days where I did less but still something. Scoring system: a mark per day, non-integer Stat: WIS Motivation: In my Crossfit days, building strength was a relative cinch with plenty of weights and people to train with. Now, I’m on my own. I slipped up big time after moving country, giving up good habits one by one when I lost my support network. Then one January morning I looked in the mirror, and at the sight of the vague semblance of what was once ‘me’, I thought, “Never againâ€.
  14. 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.
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