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Channel the Assassin Within

Learn at least one new bodyweight move/progression per week, every week.  Learn it properly and do it right.  I don't necessarily need to succeed 100%, but I need to be able to analyze where my weaknesses with the move are and strategize on how to fix it. 

 

Suggestions on which to choose are definitely welcome.  I haven't even picked this week's move yet!

 

Week One: CROW POSE

Week Two:

Week Three:

Week Four:

Week Five:

Week Six: PULL-UP WEEK.

 

1 WIS, 3 STR

 

Be Lithe, Assassin

Two mobility work sessions per week, every week.  It can be a MWOD (any length) or a stretch-emphasis yoga session of at least 20 minutes.  I need to make this a habit by actually doing it.

 

My hammies are frustratingly tight, and my new massage therapist expressed some horror at the shape of my back on Saturday (apparently, one should have muscles, not bricks).

 

3 DEX

 

Gracefully Exit the Scene

Average 81 000 steps per week.  Running outdoors can count; treadmills do not count.  This is pretty straightforward: I need to get outside more and not be still so often. 

 

I got my Fitbit shortly before the end of my last challenge, and it tells me I'm averaging about 10 000 steps a day (funeral stillness ignored).  So this is a reasonable stretch from that.

 

2 STA, 1 CON

 

Avoid Identifying Features

1) Floss OR mouthwash once per day. 

I hate flossing, but it's more mobile than mouthwash once I'm travelling for the last two weeks.

 

2) Don't get sunburned.

I have all the knowledge and tools to do this.  Now I just need to actually do it.

 

3 CON, 2 CHA

 

 

General Life Stuff:

I plan to continue most of my workouts from before for the first four weeks in addition to the new stuff (i.e., running and lifting).  After that, I'm on holiday and will likely be relying solely on bodyweight and outdoor cardio.

 

I aim to continue near-daily tracking of food, weight, and cardio workouts on MFP.  I want to do a track-everything challenge (a la Waldo) next time 'round.  Keeping up last challenge's habits will help bunches here.

 

In October, I may be going back to Nepal to trek the Annapurna Circuit again.  I'd be going with three people who smoked me on speed in 2011, so general fitness for walking with loads will factor into the back of my mind for decisions about where my program is going.  (But to be fair to me, they had porters and I carried my own pack.)

 

 

Starting Stats:

Level 3 Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 7.25 | DEX: 6 | STA: 10 | CON: 4.75 | WIS: 7 | CHA: 5.25 |

 

Weight: 167.2

Body Fat: [measurement pending]

 

PRs:

Deadlift: 200

Squat: 140

Bench: 100

OH Press: 65

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Great idea for progressions as goals. Convict conditioning has some great progressions in it. Personally I love bridges, handstands, and pull-ups.

 

Pull-ups are definitely my Week Six goal -- or at least a single pull-up is!  Handstands scare me, but maybe that's a good reason to consider wall-supported ones as part of the challenge.

 

Any exercises/skills look particularly interesting to you?  Of those that interest you, where do you stand now?

 

I'd love to do pull-ups, single-legged squats, and handstands.  Pull-ups and pistol squats are both things I could [most likely] get down for at least one rep.  Handstands... I'd have to start from scratch!  Same with the crow pose, which I'd also love to master.  I'm very interested in a number of gymnast-ish skills, but have been far too busy this week to set any plans up for myself this challenge.  Tonight and tomorrow, maybe!

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Thanks, Sam!  I'm hoping to learn a lot outside the gym this time.

 

Day 1.1:

I've decided to work on the crow pose for week one.  I need upper body strength and I need balance.  I'd like to be able to do a planche one day.  So far, I can hold a poorly formed crow for a very quick count of two.  Wrist strength & flexibility is a problem; so is looking where I don't want to go!  I keep looking at the pillow-safety I have set up for my face, instead of looking ahead.  Guess what? If you look where you really don't want to go, well too bad: you're there.

 

I've taken 15 284 steps, and I used mouthwash this morning.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Thanks, Sam!  I'm hoping to learn a lot outside the gym this time.

 

Day 1.1:

I've decided to work on the crow pose for week one.  I need upper body strength and I need balance.  I'd like to be able to do a planche one day.  So far, I can hold a poorly formed crow for a very quick count of two.  Wrist strength & flexibility is a problem; so is looking where I don't want to go!  I keep looking at the pillow-safety I have set up for my face, instead of looking ahead.  Guess what? If you look where you really don't want to go, well too bad: you're there.

 

I've taken 15 284 steps, and I used mouthwash this morning.

 

Congratulations on a successful day. Can't wait to hear about today. Good luck on the crow pose this week.

 Lvl-2 Human Assassin

STR-5  DEX-3  STA-4  CON-4  WIS-2  CHA-2

 

The greatest pleasure in life is in doing what people say you cannot do.
-Walter Bagehot

 

The Challenge!

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Ooh, cool goals. Love the first one, particularly. Fun stuff on a bar that doesn't require pull-up skills: skin the cat, inverted tuck/hang, and tuck front lever. Also, if handstands freak you out too much, headstands are a good intermediate step to get used to upside down-ness.

Level 13 Elven Assassin
Challenges: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | Current
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. - Goethe

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I was going to suggest the frog stand (crow pose), but you beat me to the punch!  I highly recommend this document (page 2) for wrist prep/warmup/mobility.

 

Woah, those are surprisingly intense wrist exercises!  Lots of tension in my left wrist that I didn't realize was still there.  I spent about 10 minutes on them this morning.

 

Congratulations on a successful day. Can't wait to hear about today. Good luck on the crow pose this week.

 

Thank you!

 

Ooh, cool goals. Love the first one, particularly. Fun stuff on a bar that doesn't require pull-up skills: skin the cat, inverted tuck/hang, and tuck front lever. Also, if handstands freak you out too much, headstands are a good intermediate step to get used to upside down-ness.

 

Headstands are also something I can't do (yet!), so good suggestions.  The bar stuff looks... really tough.  But then, I never thought I'd ever get near a pull-up, and I'm pretty close!

 

 

Day 1.2: I forgot to mouthwash or floss. Already!  I'd also left my sunscreen on my desk at work on Monday, so I spent my day off hiding under long sleeves and running between shady patches.  I did take 10 470 steps outside of the gym.

 

My workout for this day was a 2 hour treadmill run at 8.4 kph, incline between 1% and 1.5%.  The remainder of my workout was lifting beer to my mouth, because I went bar knitting after.  Does knitting count as wrist mobility work?

 

 

Day 1.3: I'm announcing right here and now my intentions to floss at work after lunch.

 

I've done the wrist exercises Wolverine posted above, and also these ones from Global Bodyweight Training's site.

 

I'm GTGing the Crow Pose in my office today with NO face-saver.  It's definitely encouraging me to keep my head up and forward!  I still take my glasses off, though.  I can hold it for maybe 1 second.   I'm not sure yet if the failure after is strength or confidence.  After the wrist exercises, I'm confident it's not my wrists (it was totally my wrists on Monday).

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Wolverine's done well on subsequent challenges with the flossing. For me, the dentist said: "do it, or else." But I found that setting aside a scheduled time in the day for it, which it looks like you've done at lunch, can be very beneficial. It's part of my going-to-bed routine to floss, brush and mouthwash, and has been for months.

 

Good for doing the crow pose! I'm a big fan. Once you've got the crow pose, there are many variations! Good luck.

Sea Level

Vintage Sea-elf Assassin

Current Challenge: Sea Level I : Respawn
Pro Aris et Focis

"To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying, The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying."

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Don't be too hard on yourself... it's easy to forget when it's not a habit yet! I highly recommend Post-It notes... :)

I went with putting the bag of flosser tools in the sink, so I couldn't possibly miss them. I guess I must have taken them out without noticing! Clearly, early morning flossing is not the right time for me.

Wolverine's done well on subsequent challenges with the flossing. For me, the dentist said: "do it, or else." But I found that setting aside a scheduled time in the day for it, which it looks like you've done at lunch, can be very beneficial. It's part of my going-to-bed routine to floss, brush and mouthwash, and has been for months.

Good for doing the crow pose! I'm a big fan. Once you've got the crow pose, there are many variations! Good luck.

My dentist also said "Do it, or else." I picked the "or else". My excuse has been that my teeth are so tight that even hygienists have a hard time flossing them. But it's not a good excuse, because I am physically capable of doing it and it's important for my health.

I can tell you like the crow pose! I'm starting to really like the work of it.

Day 1.3 con't: 9655 steps, an extra flossing at night (trying out a different brand of floss, to see if I liked it better (I do)). And I can hold the crow pose for 4 counts! Once, I even got up to 6 counts!

I am learning to really focus on body positioning and muscle activation for it. My tendency is to just drop into a movement and git 'er done (squats, deadlifts, presses, yoga, whatever: my body's unfocused). I can't get away with that in a crow, even more so than with the Big 4 barbell exercises.

And that is why I've been so intimidated by bodyweight exercises. This shit is hard, yo.

I also tried a few negative pull-ups. I have to stand on a stool, then jump off the stool to get high enough for a negative. Being short is hard. I won't be doing negatives at the gym, though! It's too precarious to jump off boxes there; my aim kinda sucks.

Off-Week Updates:

There are a few awesome things that happened between challenges I want to document!

On Day 0.4, last Thursday before my aunt's funeral, I went to the gym to burn off some anxiety energy. I pulled a 200 lb DEADLIFT. My previous PR was 165, and just for one rep. It went like this:

130 lb x 3

160 lb x 2

180 lb x 2 [PR]

200 lb x Fail

165 lb x Fail

[grump at the bar, walk around gym, do some assisted pull ups, walk around some more, do supersets of bulgarian split squats and OH Press, walk around some more]

200 lb x 1 [PR]

JUMP WITH JOY

The worst part was sloooooowly lowering the bar back to the ground after lockout. My grip was shot, but dropping deadlifts is a serious no-no at my gym. Pulled it off, though!

Day 0.5, Friday, I set the new Tumbleweed Landspeed Record. I ran intervals of 14.1 kph, separated by 4 minutes of 6.3 kph. I've never run so fast before.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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I am learning to really focus on body positioning and muscle activation for it. My tendency is to just drop into a movement and git 'er done (squats, deadlifts, presses, yoga, whatever: my body's unfocused). 

 

 

Yup, same here. I've been reading on quality of movement over quantity... I think it's starting to get into my head at last.

Sea Level

Vintage Sea-elf Assassin

Current Challenge: Sea Level I : Respawn
Pro Aris et Focis

"To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying, The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying."

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Stress, Pride, busy.  Update:

 

Day 1.4: 12 377 steps.  ~10 minutes of wrist mobility work.  Whatever I was doing that made crow work yesterday is gone.  I can't hold it for more than two quick counts today.

 

Day 1.5: 8661 steps.  No luck on the holds again today.  Just quick ups-and-downs with no balance.

 

I saw Iron Man 3.  Without real spoilers, the anxiety/PTSD depiction in it left me feeling a bit raw.  Normally, I'd've gotten a good laugh out of it, but I spent last week with someone intentionally triggering me for her entertainment (thanks, family!) I need to watch the movie again when I'm in a better place, because I'm pretty sure I'd like it more than Iron Man 2.

 

Day 1.6: 23 390 steps!  I started off the morning with a pre-Pride outdoor run of 44 minutes (6.3 km).  A Jehovah's Witness tried to hand me their papers while I was warming up, and tried to warn me about the "evils" of this weekend.  He said I needed to be especially careful "for the life growing in your womb".

 

I yelled, "I'M A FAT DYKE"* and ran off.  I imagine he was suitably shocked.  A man standing at the nearby bus stop doubled over laughing.  Not the best start to Pride, but hey, what does one expect in this city?

 

I didn't try the crow pose and I forgot to floss, but I did remember my sunscreen and to reapply.  I read a Star Wars novel (Republic Commando: Triple Zero) while knitting in a bar!  It was my nerdery of the day.

 

I watched F1 qualy when I got home, and did Episode 2 of MWOD to the best of my ability.  I could only do one minute of the "upright body" part of the stretch before the Pain Cave came a'callin.

 

 

Day 1.7: 11 033 steps, last minute mouthwash before bed, and a TEN SECOND hold on my crow pose!

 

I went to the gym to try out my new runners on the treadmill (Merrel Mix Master Glide).  They're lighter and have less than half the heel drop of my Nikes.  They're also fantastically green, which makes me happy.

 

I did squats:

5 @ 110 lb

3 @ 130 lb

1 @ 140 lb

1 @ 145 lb

3 @ 130 lb

5 @ 110 lb

 

Some real grinds near the end, but I'm happy to be making progress again.

 

 

*I am actually a bisexual with an unfortunately-shaped protruding gut.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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WEEK ONE REVIEW:

 

Crow Pose: B

This is HARD.  I have sharp knees and wimpy triceps.

 

Over the week, I learned how the pose should feel, but I'm not consistently able to get it.  I can now tell right way when I've entered the pose wrong and it's going to fail, but I can't stop myself from doing the wrong things.  It's still more luck than skill when I make it work.  A main failing point is in my abs, I think: I can't hold them steady.

 

This goal is turning out to be way tougher than I anticipated.  Even if I score straight Cs, I'll still be pretty kickass by the end!

 

Next up: Leg Thread and Swoop, stolen from Wolverine's list.  The swoop is a lot like Pidsichka, the coffee-grinder move from Ukrainian dance.  I was the only girl in my troupe that never managed to learn it on the sly as a kid, so I'll do it now!

 

Mobility: A

Lots of wrist work (this and that).  They've really helped with the crow.  I also got to the entrance of my pain cave with MWOD and definitely felt improvement to my running stride and squats after.  It was also easier to get into my starting position with the crow.

 

Steps: A

90 870! Almost 10 000 above my goal!  I made more conscious choices to walk throughout the week, but overall, it wasn't too hard to do.  Part of this is because my boss brought her dogs twice this week to work, and I took them for their pee-walks.

 

Mouth & Skin: B

No sunburn, but I missed two days of the teeth care.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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I yelled, "I'M A FAT DYKE"* and ran off.  I imagine he was suitably shocked.  A man standing at the nearby bus stop doubled over laughing.  Not the best start to Pride, but hey, what does one expect in this city?

 

 

*I am actually a bisexual with an unfortunately-shaped protruding gut.

 

Methinks it's time to see yourself in a new light.  Perhaps... "I'm a dyke who's getting stronger every day"...  "Fat" doesn't do you justice... :)

 

WEEK ONE REVIEW:

 

Crow Pose: B

This is HARD.  I have sharp knees and wimpy triceps.

 

Over the week, I learned how the pose should feel, but I'm not consistently able to get it.  I can now tell right way when I've entered the pose wrong and it's going to fail, but I can't stop myself from doing the wrong things.  It's still more luck than skill when I make it work.  A main failing point is in my abs, I think: I can't hold them steady.

 

This goal is turning out to be way tougher than I anticipated.  Even if I score straight Cs, I'll still be pretty kickass by the end!

 

Next up: Leg Thread and Swoop, stolen from Wolverine's list.  The swoop is a lot like Pidsichka, the coffee-grinder move from Ukrainian dance.  I was the only girl in my troupe that never managed to learn it on the sly as a kid, so I'll do it now!

 

Mobility: A

Lots of wrist work (this and that).  They've really helped with the crow.  I also got to the entrance of my pain cave with MWOD and definitely felt improvement to my running stride and squats after.  It was also easier to get into my starting position with the crow.

 

Steps: A

90 870! Almost 10 000 above my goal!  I made more conscious choices to walk throughout the week, but overall, it wasn't too hard to do.  Part of this is because my boss brought her dogs twice this week to work, and I took them for their pee-walks.

 

Mouth & Skin: B

No sunburn, but I missed two days of the teeth care.

 

That's a darn good start to your challenge!  Keep it up!

Wolverine

Level X Mutant

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Next up: Leg Thread and Swoop, stolen from Wolverine's list.  The swoop is a lot like Pidsichka, the coffee-grinder move from Ukrainian dance.  I was the only girl in my troupe that never managed to learn it on the sly as a kid, so I'll do it now!

 

 

Ohh. Sweet! Now I'm going to steal it from you!

 

Good first week!

Sea Level

Vintage Sea-elf Assassin

Current Challenge: Sea Level I : Respawn
Pro Aris et Focis

"To the Sea, to the Sea! The white gulls are crying, The wind is blowing, and the white foam is flying."

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Methinks it's time to see yourself in a new light.  Perhaps... "I'm a dyke who's getting stronger every day"...  "Fat" doesn't do you justice... :)

 

 

That's a darn good start to your challenge!  Keep it up!

 

I only yell stuff like that to make people embarrassed about assuming I'm pregnant.  It happens a lot.  The yelling reminds me that their assumptions about body shape and size are rude and intrusive.  I don't think of myself that way, because I'm not very fat and my tummy doesn't prevent me from doing anything -- I just got the family "looks kinda pregnant" fat storage genes!

 

Long story short, I bet that man will think twice before the next time he assumes a strange woman is pregnant.

 

Ohh. Sweet! Now I'm going to steal it from you!

 

Good first week!

 

The leg thread is really fun!  Still challenging for my hips, but fun.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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WHEEEE for week two so far!

 

Day 2.1: 10 964 steps, and a very last minute flossing before bed.  I prefer to use floss picks, and I've found a brand that has two lines of floss instead of just one.  I feel like those clean out the plaque better than the single floss ones do.

 

Today the leg thread was easy, but by the time I got home, I really felt it in my adductor area muscles.

 

 

Day 2.2: 9573 steps and flossing!  It's been drizzling for a week, and I've avoided sunburn easily, but I'm not too keen on being outdoors.

 

I ran on the treadmill for 90 minutes of intervals: some run-walk, some run-jog.  I averaged my 10k pace of 7 min/km.  I used 1.5% incline for the whole thing, which is the incline that makes it feel the most like running on outdoor pavement in my calves and shins.

 

The leg thread was really a struggle today.  It was like my coordination took a vacation.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Day 2.3:  I spent almost seven hours wrapping candies up into gift bags.  I did not eat any of them!  Even though I was working with someone I find extremely stressful.  I did eat a cake-pie, but c'mon: it is a cake with crumbled up berry pie INSIDE of it.  You'd probably eat it, too.

 

We were under a severe thunderstorm warning for most of the day, and a tornado warning for a while.  It was a stressful few hours: my office building has no basement, tons of ill-fitting windows, and bathrooms with wobbly doors.

 

Consequently, my steps are rather low.  I didn't feel much like going outside.  8404 steps.

 

I flossed before bed.  This is starting to look like the ideal time for me to form the habit at.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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Cake WITH pie? You're totally right - that deserves to be eaten! Well, occasionally :D

Congratulations for doing your job, not stressing and eating a crazy amount of candy.

Warrior Princess
Eating Psychology Coach

Adventure's Guild Challenge winner: Challenge #24

â•‘ Live the Whole  â•‘ Bucket List â•‘Level up my Lifeâ•‘ 

"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."

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Quicky update before a busy weekend!

 

Day 2.4: 14 876 steps.   :D No flossing. :(  Much book organizing at work, getting our library in order at last!  Plus I surprised people (again) with how much weight I can move.

 

 

Day 2.5: I'm not done stepping yet, but it looks to be somewhere just above 12 500.  (ETA: 12 865)  I WILL floss before bed.

 

@ Gym:

9 min elliptical

Leg threads x 10 (each side); sad attempts at the swoop

 

Squat:

9 x 3 @ 110 lb

 

Assisted Pull Up:

3 sets (fast negative, pull up w/ chin above bar, slow negative) @ 28 lb assist

3 negatives at 22 lb assist

Some work "in the hole" on activating my lats and getting little 'bounces' upward

 

OH Press (overhand grip):

1 x 6 @ 40 lb

1 x 9 @ 45 lb

3 x 6 @ 45 lb

I normally do these underhand, because it feels more secure, but these were surprisingly solid

 

Superset @ 25 lb rep: x 3

Curls (9 reps)

OH Press (9 reps)

 

12 min elliptical

6 leg threads

foam roller & stretching

green tea & hot tub

 

 

Leg Thread Progress:

I reviewed the video and checked out my form.  I wasn't letting my balancing leg rotate out enough.  Fixing that solved the problem that I couldn't keep my kicking leg straight.

 

Tonight, I tried it some more, and if I put my hands out farther forward, I can kick around -- kinda.  I can jump my balancing leg up, but I have to bring my kicking leg in.  The swoop ends up being foot-under-foot, instead of leg-under-foot.  I can swoop my left leg back to starting position.  My right leg isn't quite so good.

Level Four Mandalorian Assassin

| STR: 8 | DEX: 7.5 | STA: 12 | CON: 8 | WIS: 7.25 | CHA: 6.75 |

| First Challenge | Second Challenge | Third Challenge |

You can't look dignified when you're having fun

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