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Charlie Quinn Arrives Late, Gets Lost


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I’m a bit late and a bit lost! I know this challenge started a few weeks back, but the next challenge start date is too far away!

Hello. I’m Charlie and I usually hang around the Ranger camp. I’ve been MIA for a bit, but I’ve decided to return and kick it with the Assassins for a while.


A little background on me; I’ve enjoyed doing OCR’s for the last 8 years or so and spent a lot of time running and lifting in my home gym with occasional trips to climbing walls and outdoor OCR training gyms - ah, the good old days when fun places were open and we could touch things and hug people! In December 2018 I joined the local Crossfit gym and fell in love with all things Crossfit. I had some big goals this year mostly revolving around lifting and pull ups, but then COVID-19 closed the gyms and most of those goals got put on hold. On top of that, my home gym got put in storage while we sold our flat and the pandemic forced us to turn the spare room into an office. So the lifting gear has remained in storage, waiting for our house move to complete, which is taking more time than it should and is causing untold amounts of stress (3 months and counting and still no sign of a moving date!)
My Crossfit gym has been great at providing programming during the crisis using body-weight movements and dumbbells, as well as live follow along mobility flows, so I’ve being keeping up with strength and conditioning for the last few months and I still feel strong, if not stronger than before.

 

Although I’ve had the time to focus on mobility and flexibility during lock-down, I’ve not given it as much attention as I should. On top of that, I injured my wrist a few weeks back which prevented me from putting any weight on my hands. Now the pain is starting to ease and I can handle some weight through my wrists again, I need to start working to get the range of motion back, and hopefully improve on the ROM and strength I had before the injury.

 

1. Three Mobility Flows Per Week
My first goal is to do at least three 30min+ flows a week, probably on a Monday, Thursday and Sunday, as those are the days that the live flows are currently running.

2. Daily Mini Stretches and ‘trouble spot’ work
On top of the longer flows, I want to do some extra work each day on the my problem areas – Ankles, Hip Flexors, Wrists and Shoulders (yeah, I have a lot of problem areas!) I’ll break these sessions up into 10 minute mini sessions throughout the day at least twice a day.

3. Pistol Squat Progressions
A lot of the movements in the home wods are obviously body-weight based and that’s encouraged me to work on some of the gymnastics based Crossfit movements. I started working on handstands and handstand push ups at the start of lockdown, but unfortunately the wrist issue put a stop to that. So last week I started to look at working towards learning to pistol squat. I’ve always struggled with this movement as my balance is shocking and the ROM in my ankles and hips is even worse!

This is where I need your help! I’d be really grateful if anyone has any tips for pistol squat progressions. Currently I’m doing single leg squats to a chair, but I feel like this is a little too easy and I’d like to try something a little more challenging. I’m also not sure how many times a week I should work on this. All ideas are greatly appreciated!

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1 hour ago, sylph said:

Eh, you're only about a week off :) Plenty of time to join in for the rest of the challenge.

 

And time has no meaning any more anyway. What do you mean it's JULY TOMORROW!?

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UPDATE: Tuesday 30th

1. Three Mobility Flows Per Week 1/3
I did the live flow on Monday so the next one will be Thursday
 

2. Daily Mini Stretches and ‘trouble spot’ work ✔️

Did 3 mini stretch sessions yesterday, mostly on my hip flexors as the home wods have been very hip and leg heavy this week and my left hip has been feeling quite tight. Also did some rehab and stretching on my wrists. 

 

3. Pistol Squat Progressions 
Not yet. We've been prescribed Bulgarian split squats in our wod today, so I'm going to do these and count that as it's building unilateral strength and stability for pistols. I still need to work out a progression schedule for these.

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Found you.

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Following along! Is your place sold but you just can't move yet?

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On 6/30/2020 at 4:12 AM, Charlie_Quinn said:

So last week I started to look at working towards learning to pistol squat. I’ve always struggled with this movement as my balance is shocking and the ROM in my ankles and hips is even worse!

This is where I need your help! I’d be really grateful if anyone has any tips for pistol squat progressions.

 

I have some experience working toward and achieving pistols before, so I might be able to help a bit.

 

Pistols aren’t terribly complicated, but they are one of the first exercises you’ll encounter that are both a strength movement and a skill. That means there are a couple of moving pieces that have to click into place before you’ll achieve them. You need to develop a little bit of balance and mobility, along with pure strength, to do them properly.

 

The first thing you should know about pistols: a lot of their difficulty comes from the fact that they have a much greater range of motion than two-leg squats. rather than getting your thighs parallel to the ground, you are dropping all the way until your butt hits your heel. Strength for any muscle is specific to the range of motion you train it in; this means most people who do two-legged squats, whether bodyweight or barbell, are pretty strong in the first half of the pistol movement, but often fall over when they go much lower. They are weak in that bottom half of the ROM.

 

The second thing to keep in mind is that if you train any given movement (like a squat), you'll build strength in that specific ROM, plus about 7 degrees to either side. So by progressively increasing your squat's ROM, you can improve until you are able to hit a full-depth pistol.

 

There are a number of different ways to progress from a two-leg squat to a pistol. But because the main issue you're looking to improve is ROM, my favorite way to do it is the "box pistol" method: find something (like the chair you're currently using) that you can do pistols to with decent form. Work that as a strength exercise, adding reps as often as you can until you hit about 3 sets of 10-12 reps per workout, and you're not resting your full weight on the chair/box. Then find something a few inches lower that you can still do about 4-5 pistols to, and start working your reps up at that lower height. Eventually you'll get very close to the ground, and then you'll be able to remove the object altogether and work full pistols.

 

That's how I am doing it right now myself. A good strength progression like that, worked 3-4x per week, will handle the strength and balance components for you. The only thing that usually requires a little extra work is improving your hip/ankle mobility. For mobility, I had best results by spending time daily in a third world squat, I just did it while I was watching TV. I started out only being able to do it for a minute or two at a time, with my feet planted pretty wide to either side of my hips; as I got better, I was able to get my feet closer together and hang out for longer. Once I was able to spend 5-10 minutes in that position and with my feet side-by-side, I had more than enough mobility to do a full pistol.

 

The only other thing I'd suggest is reading an old article by Waldo, an NF member who was active a few years back, which has a bunch of excellent tips on pistol squat form and how to work yourself up to them.

 

Happy to answer any questions if you've got them.

 

Also, this looks like an awesome challenge, totally following. :)

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14 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

Found you.

 

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14 hours ago, Maigs said:

Following along! Is your place sold but you just can't move yet?

 

Pretty much. We have a buyer for our place and have found a house. The process of buying and selling in the UK is basically a clusterfuck! It takes months for solicitors to get contracts and everything sorted and the buyers and sellers can pull out of the process at any point without any reason and the whole "chain" falls through. We've come close to this chain falling apart and it's caused a lot of tears and sleepless nights! We are now basically working to a point where we can all exchange contracts and then we can arrange moving dates, but the people we are buying from have hired really bad solicitors and our solicitor is having a tough time getting them to do anything. We'll get there (hopefully) but it's taking far longer than it should.

 

14 hours ago, PaulG said:

 

I have some experience working toward and achieving pistols before, so I might be able to help a bit.

 

Pistols aren’t terribly complicated, but they are one of the first exercises you’ll encounter that are both a strength movement and a skill. That means there are a couple of moving pieces that have to click into place before you’ll achieve them. You need to develop a little bit of balance and mobility, along with pure strength, to do them properly.

 

The first thing you should know about pistols: a lot of their difficulty comes from the fact that they have a much greater range of motion than two-leg squats. rather than getting your thighs parallel to the ground, you are dropping all the way until your butt hits your heel. Strength for any muscle is specific to the range of motion you train it in; this means most people who do two-legged squats, whether bodyweight or barbell, are pretty strong in the first half of the pistol movement, but often fall over when they go much lower. They are weak in that bottom half of the ROM.

 

The second thing to keep in mind is that if you train any given movement (like a squat), you'll build strength in that specific ROM, plus about 7 degrees to either side. So by progressively increasing your squat's ROM, you can improve until you are able to hit a full-depth pistol.

 

There are a number of different ways to progress from a two-leg squat to a pistol. But because the main issue you're looking to improve is ROM, my favorite way to do it is the "box pistol" method: find something (like the chair you're currently using) that you can do pistols to with decent form. Work that as a strength exercise, adding reps as often as you can until you hit about 3 sets of 10-12 reps per workout, and you're not resting your full weight on the chair/box. Then find something a few inches lower that you can still do about 4-5 pistols to, and start working your reps up at that lower height. Eventually you'll get very close to the ground, and then you'll be able to remove the object altogether and work full pistols.

 

That's how I am doing it right now myself. A good strength progression like that, worked 3-4x per week, will handle the strength and balance components for you. The only thing that usually requires a little extra work is improving your hip/ankle mobility. For mobility, I had best results by spending time daily in a third world squat, I just did it while I was watching TV. I started out only being able to do it for a minute or two at a time, with my feet planted pretty wide to either side of my hips; as I got better, I was able to get my feet closer together and hang out for longer. Once I was able to spend 5-10 minutes in that position and with my feet side-by-side, I had more than enough mobility to do a full pistol.

 

The only other thing I'd suggest is reading an old article by Waldo, an NF member who was active a few years back, which has a bunch of excellent tips on pistol squat form and how to work yourself up to them.

 

Happy to answer any questions if you've got them.

 

Also, this looks like an awesome challenge, totally following. :)

 

This is awesome! Thank you!

I've been doing the third world squat - the mobility coach calls them hindu squats - a few times a day to try to help my ROM and I also have some ankle range problems that I'm working on. 

The problem I have with doing seated single leg squats is I'm struggling to find a stable object lower than the chair I'm currently using! But I do have some gymnastics rings that I attach to my pull up bar, so I was thinking about doing assisted pistols? Or is this still going to be too difficult at this stage?

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UPDATE: Tuesday 30th

1. Three Mobility Flows Per Week 1/3
Did one this morning, so that'll be on tomorrow's update 😊
 

2. Daily Mini Stretches and ‘trouble spot’ work ✔️

I didn't do as much as a should yesterday, but I made sure to do my wrist rehab and some shoulder release stuff, as I spent a lot of time at my laptop yesterday and they were feeling a little sore.

 

3. Pistol Squat Progressions ✔️
I'm counting the Bulgarian split squats as pistol training! I loaded them up with a 12.5kg (27lb) dumbbell and did 4 sets of 7 reps each side. My butt has all the DOMS today!

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11 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

The process of buying and selling in the UK is basically a clusterfuck!

Wow, that does sound like a clusterfuck! I thought it was kinda bad here that it typically takes 4-6 weeks. Hopefully it all comes together soon

 

11 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

My butt has all the DOMS today!

Butt DOMS are a special kind of DOMS. More than other kinds, I have a strong love-hate relationship with them :) 

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14 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

This is awesome! Thank you!

I've been doing the third world squat - the mobility coach calls them hindu squats - a few times a day to try to help my ROM and I also have some ankle range problems that I'm working on. 

The problem I have with doing seated single leg squats is I'm struggling to find a stable object lower than the chair I'm currently using! But I do have some gymnastics rings that I attach to my pull up bar, so I was thinking about doing assisted pistols? Or is this still going to be too difficult at this stage?


Yeah, finding objects is always the fun part. Eventually, I find it easiest just to use a stack of books or a pot from the kitchen or something. For example, right now, I’m using a stool turned on its side and only making contact with the edge.

 

Assisted pistols do work, though I like them less. It’s hard to track the amount of assistance you’re giving yourself, and that assistance tends to increase as you get tired. That’s a solvable problem, I’m sure, but I never found a good way to solve it and make solid progress myself.
 

Any assistance from a wall or rings (or your other foot in split squats) also removes almost all balance development. A big part of the reason it’s tough to balance is that your stabilizing muscles are weak relative to the larger muscles of your leg; you can do a squat, but you can’t stabilize that leg very well. That means you’ll be putting off developing your balance until you remove the assistance and try to do full pistols on your own. It’s also worth mentioning that with single leg squats, very poor balance can also increase the risk of injuring your knees, since the only for-sure way to hurt yourself is your knee wobbling side-to-side during the motion.

 

Those are the main reasons I lean toward box pistols personally. Of course, definitely do whatever you need to based on the equipment you have; but if you really root through your place for pots, containers, storage boxes, books, etc, you may find it easier to do than you imagine.

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On 6/30/2020 at 7:12 PM, Charlie_Quinn said:

 

I’m a bit late

I'm even later finding your challenge, but glad that I did. It's gteat to see you back around again.

 

 

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@Charlie_Quinn are you lost again?

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On 7/2/2020 at 10:50 PM, Maigs said:

Wow, that does sound like a clusterfuck! I thought it was kinda bad here that it typically takes 4-6 weeks. Hopefully it all comes together soon

 

4-6 weeks would be a dream! The average 'chain-free' sale or short chain sale here, which ours is (e.g. a first time buyer buying our flat and the seller of the house we're buying is moving into a newly built property) still takes an average of 12-16 weeks.

 

On 7/3/2020 at 1:13 AM, PaulG said:

Yeah, finding objects is always the fun part. Eventually, I find it easiest just to use a stack of books or a pot from the kitchen or something. For example, right now, I’m using a stool turned on its side and only making contact with the edge.

 

Books is a brilliant idea! I've got a nice stack of hard back cook-books that should do the trick. Thanks for the tip!

 

On 7/3/2020 at 1:13 AM, PaulG said:

Assisted pistols do work, though I like them less. It’s hard to track the amount of assistance you’re giving yourself, and that assistance tends to increase as you get tired. That’s a solvable problem, I’m sure, but I never found a good way to solve it and make solid progress myself.
 

Any assistance from a wall or rings (or your other foot in split squats) also removes almost all balance development. A big part of the reason it’s tough to balance is that your stabilizing muscles are weak relative to the larger muscles of your leg; you can do a squat, but you can’t stabilize that leg very well. That means you’ll be putting off developing your balance until you remove the assistance and try to do full pistols on your own. It’s also worth mentioning that with single leg squats, very poor balance can also increase the risk of injuring your knees, since the only for-sure way to hurt yourself is your knee wobbling side-to-side during the motion.

 

This was one of the reasons I was hesitating on doing these. I've tried them in class once and I noticed it didn't take long for me to lose tightness in me core and kind of just collapse down into the squat instead of using my leg and core strength to get me there. I'll stick with squatting to objects for now then.

I really appreciate your feedback on this. Thanks so much.
 

On 7/4/2020 at 3:38 PM, WhiteGhost said:

I'm even later finding your challenge, but glad that I did. It's gteat to see you back around again.

 

 

 

Great to have you WhiteGhost! I'm doing my best to not let life get in the way, but it has a horrible habit of doing so!
 

On 7/7/2020 at 4:47 PM, Maigs said:

@Charlie_Quinn are you lost again?

 

Still here! Still alive! Kinda keeping up with my challenge. Things have been a bit hectic the last week or so so I did kind of get lost in that I completely lost track of time (I woke this morning convinced it was Friday)
 

20 hours ago, Mr_Willes said:

 

Last time i saw her she was having beer, so not that surprised...

 

big smile gifs | WiffleGif

 

And gin! 

alcohol drinking GIF

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Things took a bit of dive the last week or so. Things with our move hit another brick wall and we're pretty much ready to call it a day and start over again. We got "Gazundered". Not sure if this term exists outside the UK, but it's basically where the buyer of a property suddenly lowers the amount they are willing to pay. Out of the blue, our buyer decided to say she wasn't prepared to pay the previously agreed price and wants us to knock £10k. This is after we had already negotiated £10k less on our initial asking price for the property. 

 

We know that the amount agreed for our flat is fair so there is no way we are agreeing to this. Partly because it's unbelievably unfair and sick to do this at this stage of the process, but also because I don't have £10k just sitting in my back pocket to cover the deficit this will cause with our purchase! The buyer may just be a chancing her luck, so we've basically called her bluff and told her we're more than happy to re-market the property and she can find somewhere else. We're still waiting to see if the gamble pays off, but if it doesn't we're both actually OK with putting the flat back on the market. The whole process has been one piece of bad news after another so I'd rather take a small financial hit and start again now than have to deal with anymore shit from these awful people.

 

Anyway! 

Deep Breath Chill GIF by Josephina

 

That kind of put my challenge on the back-burner for a few days. I have kept up with my mobility each day. I missed the live flow on Sunday but I've done both Tuesday and Thursday this week ( today's was done when I woke up this morning). I haven't done any pistol squat work, so I think I'm going to do some of that today and then hopefully again on Sunday as that's the next time I'll have a chance to do it.

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16 minutes ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

Not sure if this term exists outside the UK,

I have never heard of it before but I am quite familiar with the practice. It's a real dick move and usually it only happens if the buyer thinks the seller is desperate.

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38 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have never heard of it before but I am quite familiar with the practice. It's a real dick move and usually it only happens if the buyer thinks the seller is desperate.

 

so a good thing you called their bluff! For me it just would have become a principle thing, and flip 'm off, but in the end money is money so if they just end up paying that would be good!

 

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... a little odd in the head ...

 

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47 minutes ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have never heard of it before but I am quite familiar with the practice. It's a real dick move and usually it only happens if the buyer thinks the seller is desperate.

 

They absolutely think they have the upper hand. Unfortunately for them, they've underestimated how stubborn I am! We aren't in a position where we desperately need to move so this dick move isn't going to work with us.

 

12 minutes ago, Mr_Willes said:

 

so a good thing you called their bluff! For me it just would have become a principle thing, and flip 'm off, but in the end money is money so if they just end up paying that would be good!

 

 

I can't lie, there is part of me gleefully hoping they are panicking that they over-played their hand and end up backing down. That might be a bit petty, but I don't care! They've done a shitty thing and it makes me not want to have to deal with them anymore. 

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"You have the heart of a Rebel"

"I'll take that as a compliment"

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40 minutes ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

I can't lie, there is part of me gleefully hoping they are panicking that they over-played their hand and end up backing down. That might be a bit petty, but I don't care! They've done a shitty thing and it makes me not want to have to deal with them anymore. 

 

I know that feeling, but at the end of the day you just want the money in your pocket and the house sold, how you got to that situation isn't that important...

 

But is so so get you on this!

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... a little odd in the head ...

 

Assgined to the following Adventuring-Parties:

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6 hours ago, Charlie_Quinn said:

We got "Gazundered". Not sure if this term exists outside the UK,

I have read it in Pratchett as a euphemism for a chamber pot, which gazunder the bed. A fitting metaphor because what goes into a gazunder is exactly what your buyers are full of.

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Current Challenge Original 1,2,3, R 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51

52

"By the Most-Righteous-and-Blessed Beard of Sir Tanktimus the Encourager!" - Jarl Rurik Harrgath

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On 7/9/2020 at 1:08 PM, Mr_Willes said:

 

I know that feeling, but at the end of the day you just want the money in your pocket and the house sold, how you got to that situation isn't that important...

 

But is so so get you on this!

 

Very true. I'm very happy to report that the gamble paid off! The buyer backed down and is sticking with her original offer. I've been hearing lots of horror stories of people that had this happen to them literally on the day of completion. So really, the face that this happened now and not then is actually a good thing! As long as she doesn't try it again later on! 

 

21 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I have read it in Pratchett as a euphemism for a chamber pot, which gazunder the bed. A fitting metaphor because what goes into a gazunder is exactly what your buyers are full of.

 

Excellent! We should try to make this every day slag for when people talk bullshit. "Shut up Gary, you're such a gazunder" 

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As mentioned above, we got the good news call from our agent yesterday that the buyer backed down. She gave some lame reason that she thought we were asking for a discount from our purchase so thought she'd do the same. We gave her no reason to think we were doing this, so it's all bullshit, and I'm more convinced than ever that she planned to do this from the start. 

Brady Bunch Jan GIF by MOODMAN

 

But at least that's done with now. Hopefully we can go on without any further complications, as we've had more than our share! But at least the government have decided to suspend Stamp Duty (tax paid on house purchases) until March 2021 in a bid to get the housing market moving again, so that'll save us around £6,000.

 

Challenge Update

Not much to report. I pushed my pistol squat work back to today as I had less time than I thought to get it done. It was my brother's birthday so had to drive there straight after work. Had a good night though, ate lots of yummy food including a home made black forest gateau that his wife made. It's nice to be able to see family in real life again after months of just seeing them on screens.

 

But I did do a bonus yoga flow video at lunchtime today. My hips and hamstrings were still feeling a little tight so I did a 15 minute lower body flow. Hopefully that'll loosen me up for my workout later!

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"You have the heart of a Rebel"

"I'll take that as a compliment"

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Yay, pistol squats! I'm working on them, too.

 

Curious, because you mentioned Bulgarian split squats with a weight - do you find that you progress faster by doing an easier squat weighted, or powering on to the harder variations with bodyweight only?

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