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  1. I've been having trouble finding motivation lately (actually, more than lately). Originally, when I joined NF, my goal was to become a police officer (and NF was my path to passing the physical). I still have that goal, but I'm feeling less and less like I will achieve it (I know absolutely I'd be good at it and that it's what I want to do, I'm just less confident that the people in charge of hiring will see that in me). That has translated to less motivation on getting and staying in shape for the physical, which I have to redo every 6 months to maintain my qualifications (because I'm less sure that all that work will be worth it in the end), which then feeds back into my 'I'll never be a cop' thinking, which feeds back into my lack of motivation, and on and on. So, when life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? This challenge will be nothing new (well, a couple things will be, but mostly not). I'm following Dory down into the depths, and hopefully if I just keep swimming, I'll have a little success with the physical, and that will help me feel a little more hopeful about my prospects, and will eventually lead me to my P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. And maybe I'll even make friends with a whale or a sea turtle along the way, who knows? For the record, I'll be officially starting this challenge on April 3, and measuring my weeks from Sunday to Saturday, so it'll be a full 4 week challenge. Zero week will be status quo on my workouts, I'll probably post here anyway just to keep myself honest, but I won't start counting until the 3rd. Stick to The Plan™ (R - 0/12; P - 0/12) The Plan™: R = run 3x/week (4k hilly route) + 3x20 bulgarian split squats; P = pushups etc. 3x/week. Note: PREP practice on Monday nights counts as a run day, and squats will be depending on how my legs feel after the practice, since the circuit gives my quads plenty of work by itself. Pushups etc. consists of: ~ knee pushups (mini-set method for Zero Week and maybe Week 1, 3 x max for maybe Week 1 and for sure Weeks 2-4) ~ butt things + superman hold - 3x10 + 75s (working on first fully extending my arms, then hold time) ~ hollow body holds (sort of) - 3x30s (working on lowering feet while maintaining proper form, then on increasing hold time) ~ body weight rows - 3x10 (working on lowering the rings, then on some progression towards pullups) ~ 5 minutes of crow practice on the parallettes I recognize that the things in the 'working on' brackets won't happen overnight, or even in 4 weeks, but that's what I'm thinking about when I'm doing them. Also, please ask if you want an explanation of any of my non-technical names for things. Added to this, I'm going to try to do the pushups etc. in the before rather than after work. Morning workouts are iffy with me, but see goal #3. Runs will never, ever, ever happen in the morning, so I'm not even going to try. I don't mind if I do the occasional strength stuff in the evening, but I want to feel like I'm legitimately trying to do it in the mornings. I'm also ok if I leave the crow practice 'til the evening, I'd rather have time to focus on it and practice mindfully than to rush and squeeze it in just because I said I would. Stretch (and Mobilize and Mush) Dem Things (S - 0/28; M - 0/4) S = Stretch the things daily. Do my shoulder physio daily (I mean, c'mon, it's only 2 exercises!). Do thoracic spine mobility daily. Do wrist mobility daily; M = Mush my shoulders at least once per week. (Now that I'm looking at this, the S seems like kind of a lot, since in my head I do 3 sets of all but the stretching. It might be fine, but it might take more time than I think it will. I will try this out in Zero Week and see if I need to tweak it for the rest of the challenge) To Sleep, Perchance to Dream (N - 0/28; G - 0/28) N = TV off by 11pm (reading a magazine after 11 is fine); G = Get up at 8:15am (and no lazing about in bed and/or drifting back off to sleep and then having to rush). Ugh, this is going to be hard... Domestic Rangering (C - 0/1; T - 0/4) C = Clean up my room some time in Zero Week; T = tidy and vacuum once per week to help keep it that way. And, for the love all that is good and holy, put away my damn laundry as soon as it's done!!! Other Things L = Learning forums, one/week, cuz I really need to do these things... Plan my weeks a bit, which means looking at my calendar and posting here each Sunday what days I plan to do what. I have a bad habit of saying 'Oh, I'll do this thing on this day instead' while not realizing I have 1000 other things to be doing on that day and then not having time then I skip a thing I should be doing instead of doing it. Also try to cook/preapare some things on Sunday to have for easy, healthy lunches during the week. Keep trying to eat healthy, which consists mainly of having carby/grainy/starchy things at only 1 meal/day, and being mindful about my treats (I enjoy the occasional Coke, and like to have a small sweet something after dinner, usually one 'line' of a large sized chocolate bar. I don't have any qualms about these indulgences, but I need to be mindful of not overdoing it, it can be easy for me to justify more treats than I really need by saying 'Oh, I only have these things once in a while, an extra won't hurt'). The Count (for easy copy and pasting) R ~ 0/12 P ~ 0/12 S ~ 0/28 M ~ 0/4 N ~ 0/28 G ~ 0/28 C ~ 0/1 T ~ 0/4 L ~ 0/4
  2. Being consistent is something I struggle with. In the last challenge, I found a bit of consistency, but the trouble was it was consistently mediocre. So I'll be doing more of the same, but hopefully with a little more consistent awesomeness. Also, progress bars. Goal #1 ~ Run 4k 3x/week* I've decided to dispense with the first half of my 4k route that I've been doing and just run my 2k hilly loop twice. I'm not pleased with this decision, but when I was first training for the PREP, doing that loop once 3x/week as hard as I could got me where I needed to be. I'm looking for a little more endurance overall, so it stands to reason that doing it twice 3x/week should be good. I'll be shooting for max-ish effort each time, with the realization that I'm not a robot so that won't always translate into the same performance each time, and I'm ok with that (accepting that idea can be hard for me). *Note: in the weeks in which I have a PREP practice, that will count as a run day, but I have to go all out on the shuttle run for it to count. I've been giving up on the shuttle because I don't wanna, but I gotta stop doing this, regardless of what I want. Goal #2 ~ Physio, and Extras 3x/week I'm nearly done with the actual physio appointments for my shoulder rehab. It's been feeling really great over the past couple weeks, I'm finally feeling like it's close to back to normal (I did have issues with some of that area pre-injury that are still nagging, and maybe a little more nagging than before, but that is what it is, and probably always will be). So at my next appointment I'm planning to ask what exercises I should keep and what ones I can drop, and discuss some progressions I can take on my own to continue with the strengthening, and how often I need to do them so I keep the gains I've achieved without feeling like all I do is physio, etc. Whatever we come up with will be my physio portion. The extras are one each of a push, pull, and legs, as well as 2 core exercises (one back, one front). I have been doing 2 one day, the others the next, but I'm hoping with shortened physio being the norm, and potentially not needing to do it every day, I can put them all together and do a 'strength' day one day and a 'run + physio' day the next. Or something, that'll probably get tweaked as I figure out what works. Regardless, I wish to do the following 3x/week: knee pushups - currently at 3x19, ultimate goal of 3x37 body weight rows - no current numbers on this, but I can probably do at least 3x10 with decent form, depending on how low I hang the rings. I'm going to try to find a height that gets me to about 8 with reasonable effort (ie. 10 is a challenge, if not un-doable at first), and then work my way up from there. Ultimate goal is one single pullup, but I'll have to take that slow because of various shoulder issues, and this seems like a good place to start (weighted) squats - currently doing 3x30 at 23+lbs, which I'm not sure I'm finding beneficial. I'll probably tweak as I go on this too, as I see what the 2x hilly route does to my leg endurance elbow plank - currently at 3x60s, ultimate goal of 3x180s, but I'm not sure I love it enough to ever actually make it there butt things + superman hold - currently at 3x10+60s, no ultimate goal except to keep improving the hold time hollow-ish body hold - currently at 3x30s with legs only, no ultimate goal other than to keep improving the hold time, at work at being able to extend my arms too. I would do this in place of a plank, because planks are boring, and I actually like this one better. I'm not good at keeping my lower back on the floor though, so it'll be a slow progression. Goal #3 ~ Stretch Daily This is always a goal for me, because I can never make myself do it regularly, as good as it makes me feel. Maybe with a progress bar for all the world to see, I'll do a little better... Goal #4 ~ Crow Practice 3x/week There's a long list of things I'd like to be able to do one day, and I've always thought that the crow pose would be a good place to start with hand balances. Trouble is, I have wrist issues such that I can't put any weight on my hands when they're flat on the floor without ridiculous amounts of pain. Enter: homemade paralettes. I feel like this increases the difficulty in learning the crow pose (?), but I'd like to play around with it for at least 5 minutes 3x/week. This is completely extra to all other things, and will take a back seat if life gets busy, but the way to start is to start, even if it's just a bit. Untracked But Still Kind Of Official Goal - Make good food choices I have extra pudge I could do without, but losing it is not high on the priority list, at least not right now. But that doesn't mean I can have a free-for-all at meal times. I'm generally pretty good at making good choices, but there are some rules I'd like to try to follow most of the time: - carby/starchy/grainy things at one meal/day - fruit at 2 meals/day - veggies at 2 meals/day - no pre-bed snacks (if I'm really THAT hungry, make it a good choice, and not cheese and crackers) - eat only when I'm hungry, stop when I'm not, regardless of what's left on the plate/in the container I also like to try to make a point of planning ahead on weekends to have healthy choices that are filling for my lunches during the week. This doesn't always work out, but I'll continue to try. General List of To-Dos That I'd Like to Get Done Over the Next Four Weeks - learning forum videos x4 (at least) - stuff for Special Olympic volunteering - read a book - $150 into my savings, $40 into my jar
  3. Ok, so. I've been slacking. A lot. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but enough is enough. Time to get serious. Again. To maintain my qualifications for the police, I have to retake the physical test every 6 months (I can do it as early as 4 months). Which means that I'll have to retake the test by the beginning of March, at the latest, and I plan to do it some time in February to give myself some wiggle room on the off chance I fail it. So this challenge is centred around getting myself ready for that, while still having some fun. For anyone who has looked at my challenges before, this will seem very familiar. Until I'm officially hired by the police, I'm mostly staying in a holding pattern with respect to my exercise, partly because I've had success with what I was doing and so want to continue to do it so I continue to have success, and partly because new things take willpower that's being directed elsewhere at the moment. Goal #1 - Run This is the thing I've been slacking with the most, since it's the thing I hate the most (as Aeryn said so eloquently, I hate it with the buring fire of a thousand suns). Anyway, my goal is to run 3x per week. I'm going to let myself replace a run with hockey every now and then, but it can't be a regular thing. With it being winter, if there's a windchill of -35C or the world turns into a skating rink again, then maybe I'll skip the run and let hockey replace it, but other than that, no excuses. It's only 2 km (10 minutes) so I have no real reason to say no. Goal #2 - Strength I'm keeping up with the climbing 2-3x per week, since I love it (I might have even conned a friend into coming with me. We're doing the lesson on the first day of the challenge, and she gets a free month membership as part of the deal, we'll have to see how she likes it). But I also need to add in some more strength stuff to maintain/improve certain areas. So, I shall do the following 3x per week (doesn't necessarily have to be on the same day as climbing): Note: I plan to do only 1 of each type of exercise, so when there's a list of possibilities it's there to let me choose what I want to do, to hopefully keep me more interested Squats of some sort, 3 sets of 10 (I'll probably do some jump squats and maybe some split squats, though I don't like those as well. I might also do something crazy like 3 sets of high reps, or 50 or 100 in a row or something, since working on endurance in my quads will be helpful for the pull machine and the body drag in the test) Pushups, working up to 3 sets of 10 (I think I'm going to try doing them with a narrow grip, as I have been doing, and doing 3 sets of as many as I can, then finishing it off with 1 set of wide grip onces to work my chest a bit more, and just do them to failure) Core stuff, 3 sets of however long I can hold for if it's static, or 3 sets of 10 if it's dynamic (these will include hollow body planks and side planks off my paralettes, tuck L-sits on my paralettes and hanging tuck L-sits on my pull-up bar, knees to elbows on my pull-up bar) If I don't get to the climbing gym for the 3rd time in a week, I'll add in some band assisted pull-ups and some flex hangs, but I don't want to overdo it and hurt myself. I probably won't be able to resist doing a bit of this when I'm doing knees to elbows or L-sits, but it'll be a bit more structured when I miss a climbing day. Rice bucket, as per video. Thanks to Lillith for reminding me this was a thing! I will say, this is hard on my wrists (as it should be), so if I find it's impacting negatively on the pain there, I'll adjust/eliminate this. Goal #3 - Stretch This is actually the thing I've been slacking with the most. I don't know why I can't make myself do this regularly, I always feel 83% better when I do it, and 117% better when I do it regularly. A full-body thing is probably asking too much of me and my laziness, so these are the areas of focus, to be done daily: Neck/shoulders Hamstrings Quads Calves/Soleus Wrists (physio stretches, I've actually been fairly good with these) Goal #4-A - Get My Shit Sorted Out This one should be accomplished by the end of week 1/middle of week 2, depending on how long it takes for people to get back to me. For this I need to book a retest date with the testing company, and sign up for some practice sessions with the college I went to before, as well as with Toronto Police. Goal #4-B - Write Shit Down I'm usually pretty good at recording stuff here, but I don't ever have a thing I can glace at to see where I am. So I'm taking a page from Nyxy's last challenge and writing my stuff down on a calendar. I have one that hangs on my wall anyway, with pictures of foxes on it. At the moment, it's just decoration, but now I'm gonna use it for actual useful things and write down each day what I do. I won't record detail, necessarily, that's what this thread is for, but I'll write down 'Run' if I run, 'Strength' if I do strength other than climbing, 'Climb' if I climb, 'Stretch' if I stretch, and 'Rest' if it's a rest day. So. There ya have it. More of the same, but still moving foward. Ish...
  4. So, I'm training (on my own) to be able to pass this test. The part that concerns me the most is the wall jumping/climbing. The wall is (apparently) 1.2m tall, which for me is about boob-height or so (ie. I'm shorter than the guy in the video). I think that I am currently capable of getting over a solid wall of that height, but only from a standing start and with considerable time to 'set' myself to do it, and I doubt I can do it easily/cleanly/quickly. At the moment I'm working on bodyweight training (a modified version of Steve's Advanced Bodyweight Workout, doing the 'advanced' lower body and 'beginner' or 'easier' upper body stuff) and weightloss. I am also working at building endurance and flexibility. I'm firmly in the beginner category, I think, but I'm wondering if there is anything that I should/could be doing to help specifically with the wall jumping. I'd like to be able to do it with minimal loss in forward momentum, since it's a timed test and I'd like to avoid being slowed down whenever possible. I've read through this pdf about training for parkour movements, and feel that working towards a direct vault (passment) or possibly a wall run/pop vault (passe muraille) would be useful for this particular challenge. I don't feel that I'm prepared to start jumping over walls, mainly because it's snowy and I think that adding ice and snow into a beginner training program is probably a recipe for disaster, but is there anything I could be doing at the gym (with bodyweight or with freeweights) that will help build up the muscles necessary for this? Or any methods to practice some/all of the movements/techniques needed for the wall jump without actually having access to a wall to jump over? Related question: is there a rule of thumb for deciding when to use a passment and when to use a passe muraille to get over an object, or is it just a case of personal preference/ability/experience? For reference, this is my current bodyweight workout: 10 split squats 20 body weight squats 10 incline push ups (on knees) 20 walking lunges 10 triceps dips (off bench, knees bent) 15 hip raises 10 inverted rows (underhand grip) 20 jump step-ups 10 inverted rows (overhand grip) 35 second plank 15 box jumps (6 blocks) x 3 sets
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