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TeaKwonDo

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For the finger plank, it's more on the base of my knuckles, so it's like half-hands, and working from there to legit Al Kavadlo-style fingertips. You can also use that hand position for yoga as a strength/mobility boost, when doing the 4-legged poses like Cat/Cow, Downward Dog, etc. A real nightmare is Upward Dog on half-hands, lawl. I can't hold that one for more than 10 seconds.

I do a set of pushups on my fingertips each upper body workout.

That finger strength should translate to frog stands/planches, since there is a signficant contribution to it. Doing the fingertip pushups I feel has greatly aided with my recent progression, and is leading to my forearms being less and less sore after handbalancing work.

Longer advanced frogs means more wrist and shoulder stamina and less worrying about falling over, so you can focus more on keeping your haunches tucked up there and it def engages the core more. The higher and tighter the tuck, the closer it feels to the back lever, so you're probably already familiar with that feeling. Since 25 seconds x 3 surpasses the cumulative 60 seconds recommended on Dragon Door, do you think it's safe for me to move on to the tuck planche and 1-legged back lever? Otherwise my workouts are getting pretty long with all these extended hold times, and I'd rather use that extra time towards directly useful things--like getting a damn chinup, lawl.

Tuck planche, yes. Play it by ear, the bicep tendon, on the insides of your elbows, that prevents hyperextension, is the weak point for people moreso than strength. I can definitely feel when I bump into my boundaries a bit much, the tendon gets sore. Usually you don't have to worry that much about that tendon until you get to tuck planches. It was an issue for me, but my size and biomechanics (long arms) were likely a significant reason I reached elbow issues earlier than normal (and why I couldn't do advanced frog stands).

It is the same with the back lever, however the back lever is a little more dangerous because of the forearm strength difference (your grip should be way stronger than the strength you use for hand balancing), its harder to notice how much strain there is on the bicep tendon when doing it. Take the back lever slow, only progress every 8-12 weeks. Next step after a tuck though should be a flat back tuck. Just flattening your back is a pretty big step up in intensity.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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WHAT A DAY.

Workout: record time for 1:00:02. No recap because it's just more of the same, only difference is location (I've been at home this weekend for fall break) and the added time came from extra not-quite-there chins. Decided against the tuck planche for now. Way improved the tuck L-sit now that I could test it without shoes, solid 3 seconds.

Took the GREs! Pretty content with my scores, too. Luckily my field of study relies more on qualitative accomplishments rather than test scores, so time to crack down on that thesis.

Speaking of thesis, I finished a certain project for NYCC, something I'd given up on before leaving for school in September...

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AND to boot, for lunch I made Catspaw's spicy pumpkin puree concoction, subbing smoked paprika and chili flakes for the cayenne. DELICIOUS. I think it was half the reason for my bangin' GRE.

All-around success.

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Train hard. Drink tea.

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WHAT A DAY.

Workout: record time for 1:00:02. No recap because it's just more of the same, only difference is location (I've been at home this weekend for fall break) and the added time came from extra not-quite-there chins. Decided against the tuck planche for now. Way improved the tuck L-sit now that I could test it without shoes, solid 3 seconds.

Took the GREs! Pretty content with my scores, too. Luckily my field of study relies more on qualitative accomplishments rather than test scores, so time to crack down on that thesis.

Speaking of thesis, I finished a certain project for NYCC, something I'd given up on before leaving for school in September...

[ATTACH=CONFIG]5806[/ATTACH]

AND to boot, for lunch I made Catspaw's spicy pumpkin puree concoction, subbing smoked paprika and chili flakes for the cayenne. DELICIOUS. I think it was half the reason for my bangin' GRE.

All-around success.

OMG. That is all.

Actually, that's not all... congrats on your DAY of WIN (that you worked hard for and came through on and and and... yeah). Congrats.

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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Workout recap back at school, after a weekend of walking in the city followed by two very sedentary days. The irony is that after all the rest I got yesterday, I felt weaker than usual during the morning's training and my back was complaining more. Prob should've done some extra yoga before the 3-hour car ride. Ah well, lesson learned.

Warmup: 5 min treadmill walk/jog.

Dynamic skills, 3 rounds:

Dips x8

BW pistols x5 each leg

1-arm pushup x5 each arm

Jump-switch lunges x20, x40 last round

Conditioning/strength, 3 rounds:

Halfway home chinups x5, x4, x4

Elbow lever leg lifts x8-12

Negative tuck dragon flag x7-8

x4 more chins

Static skill, 3 rounds:

Frog ~5s --> Advanced frog ~25s

Horse ~55s

Tuck L-sit ~2s Hot mess, these. Debating to cut them out of the workout for a while since it's a lot of fuss for such tiny hold times.

Full back bridge ~30-40s

Tuck flat back lever ~20-25s Been practicing these with a flat back since the beginning, but still need to work on keeping flat from start to finish.

Finger plank ~100s

1-leg side planks ~100/90s

Reverse plank ~100s

Total: 1:02:13 min. Those extra chins really tack on the minutes.

Train hard. Drink tea.

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Glad to know I'm not the only person who does yoga in their underwear. But I'm pretty sure the NF forum allows underwear photos because, well, seriously, it's a forum about bodies. You gotta be able to see 'em. Still, no need to put those sorts of pics up if you don't want people looking at you in your underwear. I know I'm shy like that.

Level 4 AssassinStr 8.50, Dex 7.25, Sta 6.75Con 6.00, Wis 8.00, Cha 6.00

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Lawl, so underwear-yoga is a thing? Glad to be part of the cool kids' squad. I just do it like that because I'm too lazy to put on a proper "yoga clothes" outside of class, and if no one else is around, it's great to just whip off your pants and get Dogging.

Banged out Friday's and today's workouts with no great variation, so no recap. Didn't have much gas this morning, probably because of the con, though it's funny because I didn't do anything too strenuous over the weekend aside from all that walking around the convention center and the city, and I thought I'd gotten pretty used to walking around here already, so when I crashed hard yesterday it took me by surprise.

Speaking of surprises. I'd built up NYCC to this huge great big deal in my head, how wonderful it was going to be to show off my hard fucking work in a badass costume and get recognition for it from thousands of total strangers. Yeah, it's vain. So as you can expect from any TV episode that ends with a lesson learned, I came out of the con feeling hollow. Unfulfilled. Even though I'd gotten amazing compliments like, "That's legit Wonder Woman there," and "I'd have taken a picture of you even if you weren't in costume." And to top it off, a breathtaking photoshoot with a really spectacular photographer. Everything went better than according to plan, even meals--thank god for self-serve deli buffets where you can get your lovely pound and a half of meat and veg. (Granted, I forgot to eat until 4-ish on Saturday, which is crazy on its own because I'm Edible Hulk and ME ALWAYS HUNGRY, so maybe that impacted recovery for Sunday.)

I'd set myself up for NYCC thinking, "I'm not totally happy right now at school, but this will make me happy." And it didn't. I'm constantly seeking validation for my body, only now I'm realizing that I'll never be satisfied, no matter what people tell me. It's exhausting. Now that I think about it, in France at was the same thing. Guys telling me I'm the most beautiful girl in the room, getting hit on at the supermarket, and not giving a shit because men aren't my department of interest. But then when I finally started getting girl attention, I felt just as uncomfortable. Part of it has to do with an incomplete acceptance of this body--I fear that the only reason I look this way is because I cut out grains and IF, as if I'm cheating the system, no matter how much I eat like a horse.

Last week, I was sailing on my non-mirror-measurable progress--the King Pigeon, upping my not-quite-there chin volume, the sweet hold times I've been getting for the statics. That's where true pleasure comes from, knowing I can do these things and still have energy to bang out my schoolwork to make my parents proud, to make my money-draining existence worth it because goddamn this school isn't cheap, and neither is supporting my non-school expenses. But the true, honest-to-whateverisupthere joy? Just being with friends. Sex shop escapades in Northampton, watching movies that may or may not make you think, catching up on study abroad experiences, listening to them gabble about anything.

And that's what was missing from the con. Saturday I forgot to eat because I was too busy enjoying the company of a wonderful Disney Princess of a girl who I hadn't seen in ages. But then she took off, and I caught others for brief intervals, but the rest of the con? Nearly all of Friday was spent alone. And came back to the hotel alone. Saturday to Sunday some school friends came up and joined me, so thank god for them because they made the rest of the weekend fabulous. But without them I don't know what I would have done. And here at school, most of my time is spent alone as well. Some of it is self-imposed, like when the others want to hit a dining hall that has no decent food options for me (pasta bar, etc). And while it's nice to meander around the gorgeous campus or fiddle around with yoga alone, there's definitely such a thing as being in your head too much, because it makes all the self-involvement that much worse. Socializing is a break from wondering if I'm going to hit my macros for the day, or how to get that stupid single chinup, or when the hell am I going to get over my fear of handstands. Too often I cheat myself out of that break by thinking, "Oh no, I should stay in because I have so much work, have to get X Y and Z done, would rather relax the rest of the evening watching Dance Moms because after all that I deserve a break..." So, vicious cycle all around.

NYCC is over. New priorities: grad school apps, homework, thesis work, and above all Making Time For Friends. Don't half-ass this, K-dog. That includes that extra text, wall message, whatever. You gotta give in order to receive, hangouts don't just fall into your lap when you need them most. Call your dudebro, spend some time with him since you didn't get to hang out over fall break. It's the little things.

Everything else--dragon flags, chinups, L-sits--will come when they come.

Train hard. Drink tea.

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I can relate to a lot of your post. Well, not the awesome King Pigeoning, but some of the rest of it. :)

I think, however, that you definitely hit the nail on the head when you talked about the discovering the things that do make you happy. Like the physical accomplishments, like hanging out with friends, like socializing and just having fun with life.

I don't have much useful to add, but just wanted to say "oh man, I hear you" and "yes!" and "yes, totally!"

Keep rockin' it. <3

You gotta experiment to find out what works for you.
PM me with any questions about, well, anything! :)
Current challenge: Catspaw Starts Strong

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So many feelings! A LOT of what you wrote resonated big time. Props for self-realizations and new resolutions. You definitely have it under control. Keep kicking ass!

And dude, your Wonder Woman looked AWESOME. I was debating WW as contender for this year's Halloween costume, but I don't think I have the time/resources to do it properly. I was Harley Quinn ala Arkham City two years ago and Catwoman last year, so WW would continue the DC trend. I could also do Poison Ivy. But then I was thinking of switching to Marvel characters (I'm a Marvel girl at heart); one of my best friend's is going as Psylocke, so I was thinking of going as Rogue (my childhood fave). Sigh. Decisions, decisions.

"In the silence of your bones and eyes forgotten magic sits and waits for fire." 

-Robert Montgomery

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STA: 6.25 | STR: 6.5 | CHA: 9 | WIS: 12 | DEX: 5 | CON: 6.5

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Loved the Wonder Woman Costume!

Wow, I think your post about not trying to find happiness in our appearance can be related to by so many of us. And then we are just never happy with that. Thanks for the reminder

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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I can relate to a lot of your post. Well, not the awesome King Pigeoning, but some of the rest of it. :)

I think, however, that you definitely hit the nail on the head when you talked about the discovering the things that do make you happy. Like the physical accomplishments, like hanging out with friends, like socializing and just having fun with life.

I don't have much useful to add, but just wanted to say "oh man, I hear you" and "yes!" and "yes, totally!"

Keep rockin' it. <3

Thank you, Catspaw! I'm honestly glad that this post resonated with others. It's so easy to get caught up in these challenges that some things get lost along the way, and it's comforting not to be the only one going through this stage. Your threads have been so inspiring, with your fearless experimenting and thoughtful analyses, but it's even more compelling to hear about your human side. So, right back atcha. <3

So many feelings! A LOT of what you wrote resonated big time. Props for self-realizations and new resolutions. You definitely have it under control. Keep kicking ass!

And dude, your Wonder Woman looked AWESOME. I was debating WW as contender for this year's Halloween costume, but I don't think I have the time/resources to do it properly. I was Harley Quinn ala Arkham City two years ago and Catwoman last year, so WW would continue the DC trend. I could also do Poison Ivy. But then I was thinking of switching to Marvel characters (I'm a Marvel girl at heart); one of my best friend's is going as Psylocke, so I was thinking of going as Rogue (my childhood fave). Sigh. Decisions, decisions.

So many feelings in this thread! Just makes me happy that people can relate, is all.

Whoever you decide, you are going to rock the hell out of it! (Psst, Poison Ivy is hot. You get to go wild with makeup and cover yourself in leaves. Do it.) Though if you're gonna switch to Marvel, now's definitely the season. There were SO MANY AVENGERS at NYCC. So many genderbent Avengers, too! Between this con and the last one I went to, there were definitely more female Lokis than the male version.

I don't feel like I even need to make a comment on this.

Are there pictures of your WW cosplay on the forums already? If not, there should be!

Ffffg whelp guess I walked into that one, so I'll make the comment for both of us: THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID.

There's just the one shot here in my thread, and I'll post the others from the photoshoot when it's done. =)

Loved the Wonder Woman Costume!

Wow, I think your post about not trying to find happiness in our appearance can be related to by so many of us. And then we are just never happy with that. Thanks for the reminder

Thank you! <3 You're absolutely right, just find what you're happy with and do the hell out of it.

Train hard. Drink tea.

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I'm glad the con went well and that your costume was a hit. There's nothing quite like pulling off a costume... Sigh... Sorry, got lost there for a minute... :)

I think it's incredibly brave and awesome to voice your emotional challenges and realizations and (soon) triumphs. Sometimes I forget to pursue the things I love. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes it's not easy but it's always worth it.

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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I'm glad the con went well and that your costume was a hit. There's nothing quite like pulling off a costume... Sigh... Sorry, got lost there for a minute... :)

I think it's incredibly brave and awesome to voice your emotional challenges and realizations and (soon) triumphs. Sometimes I forget to pursue the things I love. Thanks for the reminder that sometimes it's not easy but it's always worth it.

If it was always easy, there wouldn't be an NF for people to come bitch about how hard it is. =P That's what makes it worth it.

Also, remembered that progress pics are due now-ish:

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Train hard. Drink tea.

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Thanks for that heartfelt NYCC post; it's definitely a lot to think about. After that experience you're probably sick of complete strangers telling that you're amazing, so I apologize in advance. It's so easy to discount your progress, to diminish your accomplishments, to say "eh, it was a cheat", or "eh, so what?", but I want to remind you that you're amazing and that you're such an inspiration. It's also really cool that you took the time to introspect and re-prioritize; I hope feel better as you spend more time with your friends.

On a completely different note... holy shit, your progress! Want to join our 6-pack PvP and show us how it's done? (To everyone else that's currently in the challenge... oops, I think I just threw a monkey wrench in all our chances of victory by asking Knockingdog to join... my bad :-P)

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Level 2 Assassin

-------------------------------

STR: 7.0 | DEX: 7.0 | STA: 1.0

CON: 2.0 | WIS: 4.1 | CHA: 2.0

-------------------------------

Current Challenge | Battle Log

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Thanks for that heartfelt NYCC post; it's definitely a lot to think about. After that experience you're probably sick of complete strangers telling that you're amazing, so I apologize in advance. It's so easy to discount your progress, to diminish your accomplishments, to say "eh, it was a cheat", or "eh, so what?", but I want to remind you that you're amazing and that you're such an inspiration. It's also really cool that you took the time to introspect and re-prioritize; I hope feel better as you spend more time with your friends.

On a completely different note... holy shit, your progress! Want to join our 6-pack PvP and show us how it's done? (To everyone else that's currently in the challenge... oops, I think I just threw a monkey wrench in all our chances of victory by asking Knockingdog to join... my bad :-P)

Those are some sweet words--truly, thank you.

As much as I'd love to tack on the PvP to my challenge goals, in the spirit of reducing introspection I'm gonna pass. The mirror has seen too much of me as it is, but I'll lurk the thread once in a while for Waldo's EPIC core breakdowns because damn, dude knows what he's talking about when it comes to bodyweight lifting.

On that note, recap!

Warmup: 5 min treadmill walk/jog.

Dynamic skills, 3 rounds:

Dips x8

BW pistols x5 each leg Almost almost almost able to do a set of each without the elevated leg touching the ground. And lemme tell you, focusing on that alone is enough to drain your legs without upping the volume.

1-arm pushup x5 each arm Stilllllll at half-reps.

Jump-switch lunges x20, x20, x40

Conditioning/strength, 3 rounds:

Halfway home chinups x5, x4, x4

Elbow lever leg lifts x12, x10, x10 The hardest part is keeping one's legs together, but the up-down motion is miles better with more control.

Negative half-tuck dragon flag x7-8

x4 more chins

Static skill, 3 rounds:

Advanced frog ~20-30s Just going straight for the A-frog at this point.

Deep Horse ~40-50s

Tuck L-sit ~5s <--ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED.

Full back bridge ~40-45s

Tuck flat back lever ~20-25s

Finger plank ~100s Was completely wrecked by the end of the statics, so this whole plank set was made of, "Fuck you, I'm doing this to the end."

1-leg side planks ~100/100s

Reverse plank ~100s

Total: 1:04:09 min. These workouts just keep getting longer, something's gotta give and I'm way overdue for a routine change. Any suggestions, brotherhood?

Train hard. Drink tea.

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this whole plank set was made of, "Fuck you, I'm doing this to the end."

Know that feel, bro.

These workouts just keep getting longer, something's gotta give and I'm way overdue for a routine change. Any suggestions, brotherhood?

1. Any static holds that you have over 60 seconds, try to find something more difficult. More work in less time will be wonderful for everything. Same is true for any exercises you have that are over 8 reps.

2. Don't be afraid to cut a little. If you're crunched for time, focus on varying the muscle groups you work. If you have semi-redundant stuff (i.e. lunges and squats), do one for one workout, then switch it out the next workout. Like, say, do a set of planche-arms planks one day and then next workout do a set of side planks. They don't work the exact same muscles the exact same way, but staggering them out over the days will retain that variety while keeping your workouts at a reasonable length.

Level 4 AssassinStr 8.50, Dex 7.25, Sta 6.75Con 6.00, Wis 8.00, Cha 6.00

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You are amazing-100 ec fingertip plank-I bow to your greatness.No help on what to do next as I'm not near as far as you. Seems like you could eliminate the reverse plank since you do the full back bend. You could do it all in a Rolling Plank of Doom- Plank- Side Plank-side plank-reverse (or back bend) without resting between sets

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Was completely wrecked by the end of the statics, so this whole plank set was made of, "Fuck you, I'm doing this to the end."?

Lol. I always feel that way when doing fingertip pushups. No matter how bad they hurt, I just ignore it and say screw it, I'm going to finish, even if they break (which fortunately hasn't occurred).

Workout wise it might be worth it to specialize. Focus on fewer goals and accept that you might go backwards on things. Switch things up every now and then (4-6 weeks) with new goals. This was hard for me to really embrace but it was really freeing when I did. The bonus is that as long as you at least have a program that hits everything a little, when you come back to things, progress is easier and chances are you'll go past where you were before quickly.

The other thing that I've been doing is splitting exercises between workouts. Doing an exercise once a week is totally different than working that muscle once a week. You can do dips one workout, pushups the next, and alternate them. You should keep progressing at both at a good pace.

I've come to really only be able to do 2 primary exercises in a workout and 2-4 assistance exercises (fewer sets, higher reps). After those primary exercises usually I'm pretty well burned out. Though I do cover a number of things in my fairly long warmup at a basic maintenance level (L-sits and handstands for example).

Progress photos are looking good. Your whole shoulder area is amazing.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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Wait, dips and push-ups are the same muscle group?

No wonder last workout kicked my ass so hard. >.<

Yep, chest and triceps.

Pushups have a little more deltoid involvement and work both the upper and lower pecs as opposed to primarily the lower pec, dips work the traps in the upper back a lot better. But for the most part the prime movers for each exercise are the chest and the triceps.

currently cutting

battle log challenges: 18,17,16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1

don't panic!

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