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Scalyfreak prepares for battle


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After one of the most unpleasant weeks so far in her short life, Scalyfreak finally leaves the village and the survivors behind her. She puts the long days of endless funeral rites firmly behind her, forces the ones who are still dying but not yet dead, from her mind, and steps onto the long road ahead again.

 

Finally, there is solitude and silence again.

 

It is impossible to be around a village filled with pain and sorrow without joining the survivors in their grief, and Scalyfreak takes more than one deep breath of fresh and unencumbered air as she finally is able to resume her hunt of the large Hydra. Assisting its victims is all well and good, and hopefully recommends her in the eyes of a benevolent deity or three, but it is smothering and suffocating to stay and help with the funerals after the battle.

 

Now back on the road, on her way towards the Hydra, Scalyfreak quickly realizes that the monster has moved further away. So far away, in fact, that there now is an ocean between the two of them. The notion of being exposed and vulnerable on a small ship traveling towards a brutal monster, is not appealing to Scalyfreak at all. So she leaves the road, and rather than traveling towards the nearest port, she goes in search of that wizard she met several years ago, who had an unusual talent for teleportation magic.

 

gm0kF8Q.png

 

 

Actual footage of Scalyfreak and the Flame of Anxiety over the past couple of weeks:

 

Burning+Man.gif 

 

 

The initial phase of the looming boss fight has begun, and it is disturbingly brutal. The real battle though, takes place at the beginning of the next challenge period (initiated during Zero Week), which means this challenge will be all about preparing for the upcoming boss fight that, of course, takes place in distant foreign lands, far from my comfortable home turf. Because the Flame needs extra fuel, I guess.

 

The journey to Stress Hydra’s lair will be long and arduous. This is not the sort of quest one undertakes while injured, exhausted, and poorly equipped. To that end, we have the following preparations to make:

 

Regenerate:

Make the stupid sprained ankle heal. Earlier today I realized that it has been nearly four weeks since I sprained my ankle and I still can barely walk normally. Stairs, running, not to mention lifting anything that is not exclusively upper body related, remain events to look forward to, not something I can currently do well. So this is now a goal. Figure out what to do to make it heal, and do it. Starting with taking it to my doctor in a few days.

Continue to focus on sleep. Getting enough good sleep remains a struggle for me, but I need to continue to put in efforts in this area. Actively trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good nights sleep, leads to better sleep quality than when I’m not trying. So I need to keep trying. (Shut up, Yoda. This is not Force-related.)

Meditate. This is almost 100% a daily habit now, but as the Stress Hydra grow in strength, boosting my mental save modifiers will eventually become critical for my survival.

 

Respec:

Set up and use new lifting program while the ankle heals. Because exercise is how the Flame is harnessed. I was considering a switch over to 5-3-1 at around the time the ankle sprain happened, and expected it to heal long before now. This means I have not bothered with tracking or programming, I just went to the gym and did “random back exercises” or “random chest exercises”. This needs to stop. This is not how progress is made. I will search online for programs and workout plans that focus exclusively on the upper body, I will pick one, and I will start to follow it while the ankle (slowly) heals.

 

Ready for battle:

Prepare everything that needs to be prepared before journeying to Stress Hydra’s lair. There's half a dozen checklists at work, that need to be taken care of before the trip, and they are what they are. However, there is one personal checklist of things that have to be taken care of outside work, such as “locate suitable carry-on bag”, “obtain adapter for laptop charger” and so on. Everything on the list has to be done by the end of this challenge period.

 

And then... to battle!

 

PertinentSlipperyGalapagosdove-max-1mb.g

 

  • Like 4

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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7 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Make the stupid sprained ankle heal. Earlier today I realized that it has been nearly four weeks since I sprained my ankle and I still can barely walk normally. Stairs, running, not to mention lifting anything that is not exclusively upper body related, remain events to look forward to, not something I can currently do well. So this is now a goal. Figure out what to do to make it heal, and do it. Starting with taking it to my doctor in a few days.


I am impressed with your daily meditation. I've stopped and started a few times, even though I know how important it is. The benefits accrue gradually and are hard to track, so I don't get the same instant feedback I do with lifting. Gotta keep my eye on the benefits. 

Hmmm, that's not good about your ankle. I sprained mine twice (I think maybe the first time made it more vulnerable). The second time, I tried to keep doing things as normal and it didn't get better. I had to go to an orthopedist who (ugh, I don't like this bit) injected something directly (spirits preserve us) into the joint (eurghhhhh). Which made it immediately less bad. But then it kept hurting mildly so I got a magnetic scan thingy and the orthopaede said it was a very small bone lesion and that it would get better with time. It was months and months and months, actually, before it felt normal. But in the meantime I still lifted because there's a wide range of more-or-less-okay in between normal and very painful, and lifting didn't make it worse (unlike walking... my squats were super light back then as I was just starting, though). Anyway, I'm glad you're seeing someone about it because four weeks of pain is definitely enough reason to temporarily stop avoiding doctors. 

Let cheese and bread and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination.

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4 hours ago, Harriet said:

I am impressed with your daily meditation. I've stopped and started a few times, even though I know how important it is. The benefits accrue gradually and are hard to track, so I don't get the same instant feedback I do with lifting. Gotta keep my eye on the benefits. 

 

I like meditating, which is one of the reasons it was easy to form the habit - I find it soothing and genuinely pleasant to sit down and relax my brain for several minutes at a time. I'm currently experimenting with the different kinds available in Insight Timer (lots and lots of teachers/guides, the timer itself, etc), and the variety makes it more pleasant.

 

That, and I can tell an immediate and negative difference if I skip it for more than one day at a time, which also makes it easier to keep the habit going.

 

4 hours ago, Harriet said:

But in the meantime I still lifted because there's a wide range of more-or-less-okay in between normal and very painful, and lifting didn't make it worse (unlike walking... my squats were super light back then as I was just starting, though).

 

Bending my sprained ankle at the exact angle required for a squat, makes the pain scream at me. However, I'm going to spend time today and tomorrow putting a program together that has ankle friendly options (light RDL instead of regular deadlifts, experimental box squats, etc), so I can go back to lifting properly at the gym again. I was so fixated on the lifts I could not do, that I somehow managed to block out all the others ones that I normally never pay attention to, but that I actually can do if I try. This particular battle is not lost yet... it does require a change of tactics though.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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4 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

I was so fixated on the lifts I could not do, that I somehow managed to block out all the others ones that I normally never pay attention to, but that I actually can do if I try. This particular battle is not lost yet... it does require a change of tactics though.

 

Is it perhaps the season of benching? That era in which the bench flowers rapidly, gaining in strength and impressiveness while onlookers gaze admiringly upon it? (I love benching. Such fun). 

Let cheese and bread and mead crowd out our secret desires for power and domination.

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20 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Is it perhaps the season of benching? That era in which the bench flowers rapidly, gaining in strength and impressiveness while onlookers gaze admiringly upon it? (I love benching. Such fun). 

 

Yes and no. I can still bench, but I had to lower the weight by 20-25% since attempting to use leg drive was a lost and painful cause. That's not all bad though, since being forced to keep the legs out of the bench forces me to build upper body muscles instead.

  • Like 1

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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16 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

That's not all bad though, since being forced to keep the legs out of the bench forces me to build upper body muscles instead.

 

If you can set it up, floor presses might be a good option

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Neutral Gargoyle Warrior with a dash of Ranger/Monk/Adventurer. Now LEVEL 9!  My Instagram

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40 minutes ago, Blocky said:

 

If you can set it up, floor presses might be a good option

 

I'm looking at those as an option, actually. Possibly to alternate with bench press.

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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Celebrating my happy reunion with my car by eating gummy bears. :)

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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Sorry to hear on the ankle front, friend! But here to read all about your battles with the Stress Hydra and support you in the fight (and to get inspiration to actually freaking stick to a daily prayer / meditation habit again).

 

Huzzah for getting the car back as well!

 

I dunno if you're looking for other people's input, so feel free to ignore this, but...I have a history with lots of mild ankle sprains, and I've found Unbreakable Feet to be a really helpful program of exercises - when I follow them, my feet seem a lot more resistant to injury and also more generally articulate / strong for dancing. Highly recommend if you're looking for supplemental programs to try.

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 Ballroom dancer, data nerd, calisthenics dabbler

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1 hour ago, Mike Wazowski said:

I dunno if you're looking for other people's input, so feel free to ignore this, but...I have a history with lots of mild ankle sprains, and I've found Unbreakable Feet to be a really helpful program of exercises - when I follow them, my feet seem a lot more resistant to injury and also more generally articulate / strong for dancing. Highly recommend if you're looking for supplemental programs to try.

 

I'm always interested in preventing injury. I will look into this, and test it out after the ankle heals. I was already planning to request formal rehab exercises from my doctor.

  • Like 2

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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Training with an injury can really be frustrating, I hope your ankle gets better soon.

 

On 6/2/2019 at 2:16 PM, scalyfreak said:

preparing for the upcoming boss fight that, of course, takes place in distant foreign lands, far from my comfortable home turf

Sounds exciting, where are you headed?

HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28Mardi Gras [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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1 hour ago, WhiteGhost said:

Sounds exciting, where are you headed?

 

Pune, Southeast of Mumbai. Desperately hoping the weather will not be too hot and humid...

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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Challenge update! Because I was late to the party this will cover the first week and what has been done of the second week so far:

 

Regenerate:

Make the stupid sprained ankle heal. I took the ankle to my doctor, who took x-rays to rule out broken bones. Good news: Nothing is fractured. Bad new: Soft-tissue damage takes longer to heal. I have a series of stretches I'm supposed to do to help flexibility, and strict orders to be as active as the ankle tolerates. Stronger muscles facilitate faster and deeper healing, apparently.

Continue to focus on sleep. Have I mentioned at some point that stress gives me insomnia? It does. It's very annoying. On the plus side, temporarily cutting out alcohol from my diet seems to have improved sleep quality. :)

Meditate. I would do this even if I wasn't participating in the all-guild mini challenge, but it's nice to have that extra incentive.

 

Respec:

Set up and use new lifting program while the ankle heals. Now that I know more details about the ankle situation is, I'm a lot more comfortable doing stuff in the gym. I am using the Greyskull version I used to follow, but have modified deadlifts to RDL and squats to box squat, and this seems to be working. I will continue this, while monitoring the ankle closely.

 

Ready for battle:

Prepare everything that needs to be prepared before journeying to Stress Hydra’s lair. Things that have been done so far:

  • Travel vaccinations (very important)
  • Visa application (also important)
  • Locate travel sized containers for the stupid TSA liquid rules
  • Obtain sturdy laptop bag for travel
  • Start making todo lists and checklists for the things I need to pack

 

 

  • Like 5

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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Feeling a little introspective this morning... spoilering the music because YouTube embedding makes for really huge video things in posts and that is just ugly. :)
 

Spoiler


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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9 minutes ago, Harriet said:

Good that the doctor had concrete information about your ankle. And that you're doing more lifting. Ankles are frustratingly slow to get better, but oh well. Nothing for it.

 

Having an expert look at it was enough to completely remove all ankle-related stress. Now I know what I'm dealing with. I can beat this.

  • Like 2

Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:45 AM, scalyfreak said:

 

Pune, Southeast of Mumbai. Desperately hoping the weather will not be too hot and humid...

Neato, I have always wanted to visit India and I have had quite a few business trips scheduled for there but they all ended up falling through.

 

22 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

I took the ankle to my doctor, who took x-rays to rule out broken bones. Good news: Nothing is fractured. Bad new: Soft-tissue damage takes longer to heal. I have a series of stretches I'm supposed to do to help flexibility, and strict orders to be as active as the ankle tolerates. Stronger muscles facilitate faster and deeper healing, apparently.

Nice to get some clarity on what you can & can't do.  

  • Like 1
HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28Mardi Gras [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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I'm going to leave this here instead of hijacking @Harriet's thread.

 

Standard cable machines were a no go. From what I could tell, all of the wrist cable machines were fitted with the Nautilus lever that compensates for the rotational tension while the stacks are just normal round pulleys.  We tried a bunch of angles and attachements and later the physical therapist rolled his eyes at me for taking so long to get to the tubes.. which was the best variation we found with simple equipment - easy to change the tension on a single band, and then to increase harder bands for more.

 

(For folks who have never had tunnel issues I'm still meh with the plates and prefer curls and holds for grip and forearm strength. If you really want to geek out on anatomy I'll get into it, but I'll assume I should just cut ya'll a break on my rants)

 

I did these standing, but having the elbow supported at a slight angle is great if it means proper form :) especially as it gets heavier (I like to control tension with my other hand because it's easier to adjust, more reliable and less unwieldy than anchoring the tubes) Tension should be pulling away from the anchor of course.

 

 

 

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Thank you!! :wub:

 

Your gym has better music than mine does :P

 

46 minutes ago, RedStone said:

(For folks who have never had tunnel issues I'm still meh with the plates and prefer curls and holds for grip and forearm strength. If you really want to geek out on anatomy I'll get into it, but I'll assume I should just cut ya'll a break on my rants) 

 

Why? Geek out, by all means. I am curious about this.

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Book Riot Challenge 2021

“I've always believed that failure is non-existent. What is failure? You go to the end of the season, then you lose the Super Bowl. Is that failing? To most people, maybe. But when you're picking apart why you failed, and now you're learning from that, then is that really failing? I don't think so." - Kobe Bryant, 1978-2020. Rest in peace, great warrior.

Personal Challenges, a.k.a.The Saga of Scaly Freak: Tutorial; Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Intermission; Intermission II; Ch 7; Ch 8; Ch 9; Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12 ; Ch 13; Ch 14Ch 15; Ch 16; Ch 17; Intermission IIICh 18; Ch 19; Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24; Ch 25; Intermission IV; Ch 26; Ch 27; Ch 28; Ch 29

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6 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Thank you!! :wub:

 

Your gym has better music than mine does :P

 

 

Haha, that's new! Old GM had the WORST taste. Also it's only in the main free weights gym, the other gyms are meh -_- Only problem is that it's a pandora account that asks if we're still listening every so often, so sometimes it's uncomfortably quiet until one of us goes into the store room to prompt it :lol:

 

Quote

Why? Geek out, by all means. I am curious about this.

 

Haha ok! Well... you asked for it :P Massive wall of  I-really-enjoy-geeking-out-about-anatomy-on-a-Friday-night text incoming.

 

(Spoiling for space like I should have for the video)
 

Spoiler

 

So a couple things to note first - tendons and muscles work differently due to their cellular structures. (Tendons connect the muscle to bone, in case that's useful for anyone.) Muscles flex and extend while tendons pull them - so the tendon operates more like a rubber band going back and forth inside the arm rather than muscles which contract and extend. We often use terms like flossing or sliding when we talk about tendons... stretching and retreating between the bone and muscle, rather than a contraction in the belly of the muscle.

 

Speaking of terms, it's helpful to get literal with the word tunnel. I approach the entirety of the extremities as tunnels - like on a road, or maybe even a garden hose works okay-ish for an analogy here. There are two segments to each tunnel, split up respectively by the elbow and knee. In the segments closer to the body we have the big powerful muscles, and the thinner long ones in the segments closer to hands and feet.

 

So like any proper sci-fi multi directional tunnel (or garden hose) they do indeed bend, but they also twist - the arms much more so because the shoulder isn't a true ball and socket joint like in the hips, and so has a much wider range of motion in all directions. Even the furthest segment of the arm tunnel twist as much as the elbow allows  - the knee is less lenient.

 

The extensor muscles of the forearm are relatively small unless you're Popeye (who probably has short tendons from the look of him), but the tendons are fairly long compared to the tendons of the biceps or triceps, and the longest ones extend all the way through the fingers, so anything we do with our hands and fingers act on the tendons in the wrist.

 

When the tunnel twists (like with pronators and supinators) it also constricts - think about the difference in a garden hose. if you bend it one way you have a kink, but in the body that's what joints are for. Twisting the hose on makes the diameter smaller, compressing everything inside... and it's harder for the tendon to slide easily back and forth. Issues like corporal tunnel and tendonitis can happen from a variety of things, but in any case, the tendons aren't happily doing the slidey pulley things they do. 

 

Bringing healthy movement to the tendons involves using their natural movement which has more to do with that sliding and pulling rather than exerting tension the way muscles do so well. This is where it all comes together.

 

When we do something as simple as holding a weight, the muscle fires off to make this happen while the tendon holds it in place. This is fine, but there are areas of the body that benefit tremendously from tendon specific work - including the wrists/forearms, shoulders, hips and ankles. These are all high traffic activity areas with long tendons supporting the work.

 

Using things like bands, cables and flex bars provide resistance from pulling - which is one of the benefits of using cable machines for all lifts - you get both.

 

But... the wrist and forearm is a special place. 

 

There are muscles in the body that contract in a spiral shape rather than flexing. There are different kinds and are are often grouped together (these are generally less of a pain in the ass because they understand the fucking concept of teamwork) but there are also a few that work alone. These are called unipennate muscles and we train them in a similar way as tendons - the supraspinatus has a similar makeup - a major player in the rotator cuff - AKA "that fucking guy", but also the big extensor of the forearm. So what we have in the forearm is a big extensor that is naturally shaped to twist, but also has long ass tendons that are sensitive to constriction and pretty much everything we do with our grabby grabby hand holds.

 

So. IMO it makes more sense to train the area with this in mind - particularly for people who either do not have a ton of forearm/wrist strength yet, or have/are inclined towards tunnel issues of the lower arm. Pulling from one side (instead of holding an equally weighted object) encourages the slide and pull of the tendons without unnecessary constriction of an already small tunnel, and tunnel trouble cause chains reaction all the way up to the top. Don't get me started on ankles!

 

(And not to ignore them, wrist curls act on the muscles on the front of the forearm. They do the flexy thing without too much constriction. Carries engage the muscle without too much involvement of the tendons or tunnel.)

 

Oh jeez, super important last minute add/edit - tendons don't get bigger the way muscles do, again, cellular structure. They are fibrous, tough and yet supple. We don't need to add strength to them the same way we build muscle... they're NOT muscles. Keeping them moving smoothly is a much greater priority for them than adding gains, but he more supple the tendon, the better we perform and the more we're able to train the muscles.

 

Can you train the rotations with free weights? Sure. But it can cause problems and there are better ways. And that's the long long long side of my thought process!

 

The End. 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

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3 hours ago, RedStone said:

 

Massive wall of  I-really-enjoy-geeking-out-about-anatomy-on-a-Friday-night text incoming.

 

Thank you! I enjoyed the Massive Wall. Learning new things is one of my favorite hobbies. :) 

 

I learned all about kinetic chains a week or so ago, when my paranoid refusal to over-tax my sprained ankle led to the muscles in that joint going all stiff and crampy on me. They made the calf cramp as well, and my knee was all weird and wrong and hurting. Rather than ask you to transcribe more fascinating information about ankle joints, is there a good resource somewhere that I can just dive into?

 

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On 6/6/2019 at 2:23 PM, scalyfreak said:

 

Continue to focus on sleep. Have I mentioned at some point that stress gives me insomnia? It does. It's very annoying. On the plus side, temporarily cutting out alcohol from my diet seems to have improved sleep quality. :)

 


Insomnia is my lifelong archenemy, and stress increases it's armor class dramatically. Terribly annoying. 
 

15 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Your gym has better music than mine does :P

 

 

Why? Geek out, by all means. I am curious about this.

 

Better than mine, too 

 

And yes, @RedStone, thank you for the wall of geek text, I love that stuff :) Very helpful way to think about how things are supposed to move.

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6 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Rather than ask you to transcribe more fascinating information about ankle joints, is there a good resource somewhere that I can just dive into?

 

 

What are you looking on information for? The whys and hows? Or the what to do nexts?

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