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@mu

Mu is prepping for HSPUs

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Hiya guys!

 

I have gone a little bit rogue the past few months (hidden battle log in the wilderness). But I'm back in the fold of Alamut to prep for HSPUs. I got Garage Gym Girl's HSPU programme and started the first phase, which is a lot of grind... And I will need all the support I can get! I haven't done a lot of serious bent arm training in a while and lost some strength there. On top of not being that strong in bent arms anyway. So this challenge will be focused on that! I will keep the other stuff I do (mostly flexibility, press to HS, head-in work, some pull work) in my battle log.

 

Goals / evaluation

I will train for HSPU twice a week, and report on slow eccentrics progress because they are the most telling indicators of progress.

 

My first test was on a partial front loaded inverted press (pike press feet on the floor, arms at a 90 degree angle hitting a yoga block with my head): 11 seconds as my rep max on a slow eccentric (max to reach is 15s).

Slow eccentric record for my last workout: partial front loaded inverted press => 9sx 3 - 3 sets

(there are more exercises obviously, including volume on a lower progression but I'll just focus on eccentrics as indicators)

 

The next goal is to hit a full front loaded inverted press: pike press feet on the floor, arms at a 90 degree angle, hitting the floor with my head directly. It will take a while...

 

So far I'm enjoying the programme! I struggled a lot with form on pike presses when I was doing them with P2 a year ago and probably wasted quite a bit of energy training the wrong way. Here the shape is very clearly explained with all the does and don'ts. I'm not using parallettes this time, at least as long as there is no HS balancing involved. I will focus on gaining RAAOWWW strength :D

It's tough though, the first phase is at least 6 weeks and I expect to have to go through a little isometrics detour...

 

Wish me luck!

 

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Oh wow!   This is a shiny I want too, but I am not doing it in nearly as organized a way as you. 

 

Will definitely be following along for tips and hints :)

 

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Your goal is enviable — I’ve nursed a goal of handstand pushups for years.

 

Also, just your first post may have changed my training, because I started googling technical aspects of pike pushups when I saw you mention form trickiness. So it turns out I’m not alone flopping around on the floor, unable to figure out what I’m doing wrong?! Mind blown.

 

Following!

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21 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Oh wow!   This is a shiny I want too, but I am not doing it in nearly as organized a way as you. 

 

Will definitely be following along for tips and hints

 

Helloooo! I should have title this thread "Pike press galore" because this is mostly what I will be doing for ... months... But it doesn't sound as appealing, does it :D

 

10 hours ago, PaulG said:

So it turns out I’m not alone flopping around on the floor, unable to figure out what I’m doing wrong?! Mind blown.

 

Ha ha I'm glad I'm not the only one :D

 

I will share my pike presses mistakes if it's of any use. I was good on arms at 90 degrees and elbows in, but I struggled with consistent feet distance from the the hips (changes leverage a wee bit) and going low enough with my head (I didn't think of using a yoga block to hit the same point every time on partials).

Instead I would start elevating my feet. But I was still not going systematically low enough over my shoulders. And then I went for reps but did not do eccentrics nor proper iso work. I did work on shoulder press a lot which counts as some iso but then I was training it with arms below 90 degree so again not training strength in the right place. I was either too high or too low, and not training efficiently my sticky point. And finally I'd let my back dolphin about every so often... 😓

 

So let's do this again and follow the PLAN. I really trust Kirsty, I followed her press to HS programme and it worked!  Next HSPU session will be either tomorrow or Wednesday depending on how shoulders feel because I have a heavy straight arm session today. I had to re-shuffle my training plan to include HSPU work and I might need to adjust things a wee bit as I go along.

 

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Oh wauw, a challenge! Good luck! :)

 

and I’m so happy for you that you have this amazing coach whose programs you can trust!

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20 hours ago, KB Girl said:

Oh wauw, a challenge! Good luck! :)

 

and I’m so happy for you that you have this amazing coach whose programs you can trust!

 

18 hours ago, Mad Hatter said:

Let the grind begin!

 

hiya guys!

 

Today HSPU training done. I will use the week count from Kirsty. Because I'll probably have to run this across several challenges :D

/* Phase 1 - Week 02 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx4 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 

The last rep of each set was super hard. A butt hair close to total muscle failure. Eccentrics are really the toughest bit in the whole workout.

+ back is looking good, head is going where it should

- elbows want to flare a wee bit as I get tired, especially the left one

 

 

 

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Sounds like it's going swimmingly! Jealous of your hamstring flexibility, doing them with feet on the floor and all.

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On 5/6/2020 at 4:41 PM, raptron said:

Oooh, neat. That is a fun shiny to chase! 

 

On 5/6/2020 at 9:34 PM, DoubleTrouble said:

Lurking :ph34r:

 

Hiya!

 

On 5/8/2020 at 8:01 PM, PaulG said:

Sounds like it's going swimmingly! Jealous of your hamstring flexibility, doing them with feet on the floor and all.

 

It's an easier load though :P That said, today I had odd spasms in my legs after a few reps but mostly hip flexors I think.

 

Workout done today. Eccentrics were HARD. The volume sets after that were also tough. And I'm still on the partial floor progression. So it was also hard mentally to struggle that much at that level but I'm trusting the programme. And when it was done, I felt good about it. At least there is that,  even if it was a sort of sado-masochistic pleasure :P

/* Phase 1 - Week 02 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx4 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 
2: Eccentrics 10sx5 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 

My shoulders are DEAD.

 

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There is one annoying thing with Kirsty's programme: you can't see the workouts ahead until they unlock. For some it makes sense because the drills, number of reps and sets depend on a previous assessment. But I'd like to see what's ahead until the next test (and the test itself). I can't. I have to wait week by week. I could probably ask her to unlock all of them for me. On the other hand, I'm thinking it might be best for morale not to look too much ahead. I just went to check out what's coming ahead for this week and I'm not sure I want to see more than that now :D

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Haha I like that the lessons don't get unlocked all at once. It kind of forces you to trust the coach. :) 

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My sample size isnt very big, but it's actually been almost a 50/50 split of people who would like to see the whole program in one go (and do well with that) and those that are struggling right now because they can't even really handle knowing their entire training session beforehand x) 

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On 5/11/2020 at 2:52 AM, @mu said:

There is one annoying thing with Kirsty's programme: you can't see the workouts ahead until they unlock. For some it makes sense because the drills, number of reps and sets depend on a previous assessment. But I'd like to see what's ahead until the next test (and the test itself). I can't. I have to wait week by week. I could probably ask her to unlock all of them for me. On the other hand, I'm thinking it might be best for morale not to look too much ahead. I just went to check out what's coming ahead for this week and I'm not sure I want to see more than that now :D

Hahahahha, I love reading ahead in programs but then I waffle between "lol holy shit that sounds scary" and "OMG I AM GOING TO BE SO AWESOME" which is a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I can see why not sharing too far ahead makes sense. 😆

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On 5/11/2020 at 3:28 PM, GoodDoug said:

I'm exited to follow along with you!

 

Hiya! Welcome!

 

On 5/11/2020 at 11:09 PM, KB Girl said:

My sample size isnt very big, but it's actually been almost a 50/50 split of people who would like to see the whole program in one go (and do well with that) and those that are struggling right now because they can't even really handle knowing their entire training session beforehand x) 

 

I usually like to know ahead to plan my load a wee bit because I do other stuff too. But right now, I do have a fair idea of how it feels and where I'm hit, and I will go with the week by week thing  :D

 

14 hours ago, raptron said:

I waffle between "lol holy shit that sounds scary" and "OMG I AM GOING TO BE SO AWESOME"

 

 

He he, yeah :D It can be very motivating too. When it comes to HSPUs, the boss battle feels pretty far away, I'm mostly at the scary shit stage :beaten:

 

On 5/11/2020 at 9:32 AM, Mad Hatter said:

Haha I like that the lessons don't get unlocked all at once. It kind of forces you to trust the coach. :) 

 

Have to on that one, it's really hard and mentally draining.

 

Yesterday, I had a work thing early in the morning so I trained today.

Week 3 in progress!

I added the level number in my logs because Phase 1 has actually 2 levels :D

 

/* Phase 1 - Level 1 - Week 02 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx4 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 
2: Eccentrics 10sx5 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 
/* Phase 1 - Level 1 - Week 03 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx5 10sx4 10sx5 10sx5 /* partial front loaded on the floor, a few reps at 8-9s */ 

On eccentrics, I add 1 fail on the second set, and watching the videos, I noticed  a few reps where I was counting "banana-1 banana-2" a bit too fast, so under 10s. So I'll stay at those 10sx5x4 next week. It was very hard.

 

On the other hand the volume supersets (lower progression x15 + hollow body 40s)x3 felt much more doable than usual, and 15 reps is the max to hit so I feel good on that one, even if it's much easier progression (it's not front loaded). There was some increase in the circuit too but that one felt nice. Compared to eccentrics, everything feels nice to be honest.

 

I do need to get some weights though because in the circuit bit there are some DB drills and I don't have DBs. I use glass bottles filled with water but I have to do a lot of reps to start sweating it a little. I have angle weights coming soon that I might put on my glass bottles... (home training DIY). Maybe I could also get my hands on a pair of DBs. It's for shoulders and triceps, it doesn't require a lot of weight but still. I have tried with heavy books but it's not easy to handle rectangular weights.

 

Anyway,  workout checked!

 

 

 

 

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Nice workout!

9 hours ago, @mu said:

On eccentrics, I add 1 fail on the second set, and watching the videos, I noticed  a few reps where I was counting "banana-1 banana-2" a bit too fast, so under 10s.


I hear that. I finally started putting my iPhone with the stopwatch on right in front of my face while I perform the reps. Keeps me honest without having to video every rep (I’m doing them in a walk-in closet in my studio apartment, so it’s tough to get a good form video :) )

 

By front loaded, do you just mean you’re consciously shifting your weight to your arms?

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On 5/14/2020 at 6:32 PM, PaulG said:

Nice workout!


I hear that. I finally started putting my iPhone with the stopwatch on right in front of my face while I perform the reps. Keeps me honest without having to video every rep (I’m doing them in a walk-in closet in my studio apartment, so it’s tough to get a good form video :) )

 

By front loaded, do you just mean you’re consciously shifting your weight to your arms?

 

Filming adds a fair amount of shuffling about to be honest but I got used to it eventually. I tried the stop watch some time ago but had some difficulty with it (distracting). My bananas are usually fairly reliable except in near max effort reps :P 

 

Front loaded means normal pike presses with arms at 90 degrees. There is a progression before that where arms comes down at 45 degrees instead (but you still have to keep the back straight and elbows in). This is what I do for volume (as the programme indicates). Which makes sense because I cannot hit high rep sets (10-15) with normal pike presses, even partial.

 

20 hours ago, Mike Wazowski said:

Oooh, nice and shiny goal! I'm excited to live vicariously through you as I struggle mightily to balance even basic handstands.

 

Hiyaaa! I suspect you are further ahead in terms of pike press strength though! I'm in for the long haul on that one I think!

 

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8 hours ago, @mu said:

 

Filming adds a fair amount of shuffling about to be honest but I got used to it eventually. I tried the stop watch some time ago but had some difficulty with it (distracting). My bananas are usually fairly reliable except in near max effort reps :P 

 

Front loaded means normal pike presses with arms at 90 degrees. There is a progression before that where arms comes down at 45 degrees instead (but you still have to keep the back straight and elbows in). This is what I do for volume (as the programme indicates). Which makes sense because I cannot hit high rep sets (10-15) with normal pike presses, even partial.

 

90 degrees... to the GROUND?! 🤯 That's awesome, and way ahead of where I am. I don't know what angle my arms are at compared to the ground, but it's a lot closer to 45 than 90. Where I am there's no such thing as volume vs high-load work though... it's just building the base of strength, one sucky pike press at a time.

 

You're doing super awesome so far. I'm finding myself super duper curious about the layout of the next few weeks of your plan, but of course you don't know that. I guess the other advantage to the coach keeping the long term plan under wraps is no one can publish it for free. :P

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2 hours ago, PaulG said:

90 degrees... to the GROUND?! 🤯 That's awesome, and way ahead of where I am. I don't know what angle my arms are at compared to the ground, but it's a lot closer to 45 than 90.

 

Wait wait, there might be some ambiguity.There are several angles to watch for. I made this little drawing, it will be clearer I hope, although not exactly to scale angle-wise but you get the idea :D 

 

Pike-press-angles.png.57ee09c4ba63e8dc2aa4da0d9417ebd3.png

 

I'm talking about the BLUE angle.

"Front loaded" refers to the first 2 positions with arms at 90 degree compared to the floor (front loaded, partial front loaded). The lower progression is the third one (lesser angle, lighter load).

 

Then there is the RED angle, which is also important. On the drawing I computed it from the upper straight arm line. [NB: edited for clarity: maybe it's more common to compute it from the bottom arm line: ie 90/135/135 degrees instead of my 90/45/45, that might be what people refer to when saying "from the floor"]

I'm not sure which one you meant?

 

I'm currently on the second progression. I cannot get my head to the floor and push back from there with my arms at 90 degrees (first drawing) and good form. And this is really the sticky point I need to crush. It's exactly the same on pbarz. I can hold a bent arm HS with the blue angle at 90 degree (it's hard to balance anything else anyway), but my red angle is either below 90 degree (quarter or half HSPU) or above (more like a shoulder press or a deep HSPU but without being able to get back up). Pretty common I think though. It's just mostly strength. Then there is the balancing bit that I have worked on a little, but really my goal right now is to make strength gains. It's HARD :tyrannosaurus:

 

2 hours ago, PaulG said:

I guess the other advantage to the coach keeping the long term plan under wraps is no one can publish it for free.

 

I think even if I cut and pasted the whole text, it would be a bit difficult to use practically. The videos are super useful. Plus for that specific programme, regular assessments are used to compute your 1 rep max and set eccentrics hold times + volume rep count for each phase. That bit I find super useful because I wouldn't be able to figure it out for myself. I have managed on my own for other bent arm exercises, but pike presses have been a real struggle bus.

 

All I know about next week is that there is an assessment :ph34r:

 

 

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48 minutes ago, @mu said:

Wait wait, there might be some ambiguity.There are several angles to watch for. I made this little drawing, it will be clearer I hope, although not exactly to scale angle-wise but you get the idea :D 

 

[Awesomeness ensues]

 

OMG, the drawings are perfect. And they perfectly address the issue of ROM in the pike pushup.

 

I had actually thought you were referring to the angle between the arms and the ground when you're at the top of the movement -- I had forgotten when I posted that you're not elevating your legs on anything, so I got it in my head you were putting your feet on something at hip height and that your whole body was forming an upside-down L, pointing straight toward the ground, and then you were pressing from there. I guess that would be what Low would call a box HeSPU.

 

For what it's worth, I think even with our head touching the ground, most of us probably don't get that red angle quite to 90 degrees. I know Antranik put his hands on blocks to eke out a little more ROM before he ultimately got a real (crappy--looking) headstand pushup. You're definitely not alone, it seems like everyone winds up dealing with strength problems in specific ROMs with this exercise.

 

I am biting my nails for you in fear for this assessment. 😓

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3 hours ago, PaulG said:

I had actually thought you were referring to the angle between the arms and the ground when you're at the top of the movement -- I had forgotten when I posted that you're not elevating your legs on anything, so I got it in my head you were putting your feet on something at hip height and that your whole body was forming an upside-down L, pointing straight toward the ground, and then you were pressing from there. I guess that would be what Low would call a box HeSPU.

 

han han I get it now :D Hip height elevated feet are coming later in Kirsty's programme from what I can tell in the overview.

 

Week 3 completed, shoulders are dead.

 

/* Phase 1 - Level 1 - Week 02 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx4 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 
2: Eccentrics 10sx5 - 3 sets /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 
/* Phase 1 - Level 1 - Week 03 */
1: Eccentrics 10sx5 10sx4 10sx5 10sx5 /* partial front loaded on the floor, a few reps at 8-9s */ 
2: Eccentrics 10sx5 10sx5 10sx5 10sx4 /* partial front loaded on the floor */ 

 

I was good on time. But I failed on the very last rep of the last set, damn it.

I did not increase reps/hold times but the first few reps of eccentric pike presses did feel a tad bit less like torture, maybe? It's always easier to say once it's over though.

Let's see what happens next week.

 

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THANK YOU for those drawings! I now have a new movement cue to watch out for, as I have pike presses in my current program phase! We're probably close to equal in pike pressing strength, TBH, I have sort of not trained beyond basic physique maintenance in over a year at this point (just now starting to really progress in strength in earnest again, and even that training is moving in fits and starts).

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