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Waldo's Challenge - Q&A, Ask Me Anything!


Waldo

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This challenge is going to be a little different for me. For the most part, those of us that have been around a while use our threads as a workout/progress log and a place for general chit chat, only vaguely related to goals. Being my 12th challenge now, I'm really out of ideas to be honest. There is very little about diet/routine/life that can be improved, at least in a manner that goals would help. But I do get asked a lot of questions; in pm, in my thread, in other threads, I try to answer them as much as possible, I think using my challenge thread as sort of a Q&A forum would prove to be very helpful for people and its something I like doing.

That said, ask away, no question is too basic or complex. I think I've got a pretty broad knowledge base and have experienced most situations; I've been underweight, obese, and skinnyfat at some point, lost a lot of weight, and have both bulked and cut a couple times now. I've got a good handle on bodyweight exercise from the most basic levels on up to the most complex and understand all the various programming methods. Plus I've acted as a guide for my wife; she too has been extremely successful (she doesn't just copy what I do).

Gohls:

#1 - Answer Every Question Posed in This Thread

- As noted above, feel free to ask anything, I'll answer as best I can.  These sort of threads elsewhere tend to be very successful and helpful.

 

Points Available: CHA +5

#2 - Reduce the Amount of Soda I Drink
- This isn't really that big of a deal, I only drink diet soda, and I don't really drink that much.  But as of late its been my go to when thirsty and my mind has made the thirsty = craving soda connection.  I'd like to get back to where thirst = craving water.  On top of that it'll save a couple bucks.  My goal will be to limit soda consumption to with meals (lunch/dinner) only, and only 1 can at each of those times.

 

Points Available: CON +2
 

#3 - Take One Exercise/Diet/Fitness Related Photo or Video a Week
- One of the bottlenecks with my website has been having ample photos.  Sure I can find stock photos and CC photos, but shots of myself doing things are inherently more valuable.  With it being early football season, things will be slow on the website front.  But I can still be taking photos/video.

 

Points Available: STR +1, DEX +1, STA +1, CHA +1

#L - Complete All Coursera Class Work I Signed Up For

- Last challenge I took the Exercise course with a few other NFers, and really enjoyed the class.  Learning things is just something I enjoy doing.  I think that I can always have a class going and it would be very beneficial to me.  Free education is a hugely valuable resource; not necessarily for people just graduating HS (yet), but I've already got the fancy piece of paper to list on a resume. 

 

I'm signed up for "Networks: Friends, Money, and Bytes", a 6 week course that about modern networked life from Princeton University, and another 5 week course starting in 3 weeks, "Video Games and Learning" about the thinking and learning involved with video game play, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I'm really excited about both these classes.

 

Points Available: WIS +4

Character Points

Class: Bodyweight Powerbuilder Assassin
Level: 11

STR: 30.50
DEX: 24.75
STA: 14.50
CON: 20.25
WIS: 29.00
CHA: 21.50

Workout Log Key:

I use a lot of easy to write shorthand in my workout log, which greatly increases the data carrying capability without long written out notes, however it does make it a bit difficult to read without a means of decoding it.

Starting with the basic:
Exercise Name - Reps or time in a set
I try to add the unit (secs/reps) as much as possible, though I do forget from time to time.

From there I add a lot of modifiers:

/ = Forward slash indicates that it is single limb work, and that the set is broken up per limb. I always use the convention left/right. 3/3 means 3 reps on the left, 3 reps on the right.

, = delimiter between sets. 3,3 means a set of 3, a break, and then another set of 3.

n = negative reps. 5n1 means a set of 5 with a negative rep at the end. 0n3 means a set of 3 negatives.

c = cluster reps, can have a modifier in () to denote a nonstandard pause time. Standard pause time is 5 breaths. 3c3 means a set of 3 reps, a 5 breath pause, and then another set of 3 reps. 3c(10br)2 means a set of 3 reps, a 10 breath pause, and then 2 more reps.

m{} = myo-reps, I'll usually add a () and note pause time. 10 m{3,3,3,3}(5br) means that I did a 10 rep activation set, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, took a 5 breath pause, did a set of 3 reps, etc... (repeated 4 times total). I often use multiple pause timings when doing myo-reps.

Going past what was done, I also have 2 grading scales in use to note how it was done. The following is added to the rep/hold numbers above for each individual set to grade the set.

Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE), notes how "hard" the set was. I use shorthand to note the standard RPE scale:
z = RPE 10, need to be mentally prepared for that output (making noises helps as well), true failure/edge of failure, very slow grinding final rep.
y = RPE 9, might have a highly motivated rep left in the tank, failure or edge of failure when training calm, slow grinding final rep.
x = RPE 8, left a rep in the tank (2 or more if highly motivated), rep speed slowed down noticably and there is a slight grind, but not close to failure.
e = RPE's 7 and below, several reps left in the tank, did not lose rep speed, easy work.

Rate of Perceived Technique (RPT) notes how good set form was. I'm going to use my own form rating system at first:
++ = Very high quality form, no major issues, any issues with the form are extremely minor.
+ = Average/above average form. No major issues, though there are some definite problems with the smaller details.
- = Below average form. Major issues possible (though not severe), smaller details need a lot of work
-- = Poor form, major form problems.

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Lots of edits still to come on my opening post, including the key for decoding my workout log.

Workout Log - 9/13
Static Upper Body

Standard warmup/mobility

One Arm Wall Handstand (10 sec) - 4/4, 5/5 reps
- These things really fry the traps and obliques.

Planche Lean - 20 sec
Tuck Planche (Floor+contact) - 10 sec
Tuck Planche (PB) - 20, 20, 20, 20 sec
Middle Split Hold - 10, 10, 10, 10 sec
- Took a big step forward on the tuck planche. Those press into tuck planche reps I did last Sun must have had a huge effect. Wasn't just that I was able to hold it 20 sec x 4, it wasn't even all that hard. The holds just felt so much easier.
- Starting to try to get rid of the knee-inner arm contact on the ramp up hold on the floor.
- Didn't feel as strong at the middle split hold today.


Tuck Front Lever - 20 sec
Advanced Tuck Front Lever - 10, 7c3 sec
One Leg Front Lever - 0n3 reps
Advanced Tuck Back Lever - 20 sec
Half Layout Back Lever - 15, 15, 15 sec
- Back lever work felt fine, but again I was weak at the front lever work this week.
- I'm going to start doing rep based front lever work along with rep based planche work on Sundays in a mini-workout to hopefully speed up progress at both exercises.

- I'm considering switching to a circuit of all 4 exercises (planche/MSH/front lever/back lever) instead of 2 supersets in order to improve my front lever and back lever work.

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Sweet, I have a question for you. This will be my second challenge. I think my primary goal will be to learn how to do a handstand (maybe hold it for at least 5 sec). I am starting from scratch and don't expect to get there by the end of 6 weeks. What I'm wondering is where to start? What would be 3 good goals to set myself for this challenge to help build towards a handstand?

 

The obvious one seems to be upper body strength, as I can't even do a real pushup (just halfsies). So that will definitely be in there. But in terms of getting balance, form, etc, do you have any recommendations for what I should start to work on? Thanks!

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big move mr Waldo :) admirable one too... I hope you can handle the river of q's that will flow here :) yes / no - you will make a big difference with your actions. Glad to have you on boards :)

 

I will jump in later on with some question for sure...

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Sweet, I have a question for you. This will be my second challenge. I think my primary goal will be to learn how to do a handstand (maybe hold it for at least 5 sec). I am starting from scratch and don't expect to get there by the end of 6 weeks. What I'm wondering is where to start? What would be 3 good goals to set myself for this challenge to help build towards a handstand?

 

The obvious one seems to be upper body strength, as I can't even do a real pushup (just halfsies). So that will definitely be in there. But in terms of getting balance, form, etc, do you have any recommendations for what I should start to work on? Thanks!

First off, you want a really solid wall handstand (60 sec+) before you start to learn to freebalance. Holding the handstand strength-wise should be easy, so you don't have to think about it and can concentrate on balancing. But that is something for the future.

But to work up to a solid wall handstand:

- Pushups. There will be a lot of direct transfer between regular pushups and wall handstands. Pushups will probably be your best bet for building the strength to do a wall handstand.

- Wall walks. These will help you get comfortable being upside down and are the most beginner friendly way of getting up and down. Crouch down in front of the wall, back to the wall, put your hands down in front of you about shoulder width, then walk your feet up the wall. At the top you can walk your hands in a little closer. To get down, walk your hands away from the wall at the same time you walk your feet down.

- Overhead pressing. If you have DB's or a barbell, this will transfer even more than pushups for building up the necessary strength. If you are looking to supplement pushups, this is definitely the best option. If you don't have DB's a barbell, just stick with the pushups and wall walks.

When doing wall handstands, back to the wall is easier to bail out of, but it doesn't reinforce good handstand form. You are better off doing all handstands belly to wall until you are ready to work on handstand pushups and/or freebalancing (exercises where you can expect to fall A LOT). Once you can start holding wall handstands, you'll want to learn the tuck and roll and/or cartwheel way of getting out instead of walking down.

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Most accurate TDEE calculator you have found? There is a wild disparity sometimes, which is why I inquired about your spreadsheet. I figured the only real way to know was to figure out my own body's.

Also, if you wrote that spreadsheet (and if you get a chance, I would like the woman's body fat version), you could probably figure out a way to sell them as apps ala The Hacker's Diet from years back.

Glad you are doing this. You have helped me correct some erroneous thinking, and probably saved me ( with WeirdQuark's) help from the bowels of orthorexia :)

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Hi Waldo!  Thanks for make a q&a thread.

 

My wrists are all messed from being a massage therapist.  I took a break, and here it is a month later, and my forearms still hurt.  For this challenge, I'm trying to exercise in a way that won't bother them but I also want to recover so I can getting strong for handstands and pull ups. 

 

I will be doing regular heat/massage and eccentric work for the wrist flexors.  Should I try to strengthen the extensors at the same time?  Wait till later for either?

 

You seem like a guy that would know how to help the wrists.  What do you do to help yours recover?  The hands, wrists, and elbows are such little joints, and now that mine hurt, I realize how much we ask of them.

 

Thank you :)

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First off, you want a really solid wall handstand (60 sec+) before you start to learn to freebalance. Holding the handstand strength-wise should be easy, so you don't have to think about it and can concentrate on balancing. But that is something for the future.

But to work up to a solid wall handstand:

- Pushups. There will be a lot of direct transfer between regular pushups and wall handstands. Pushups will probably be your best bet for building the strength to do a wall handstand.

- Wall walks. These will help you get comfortable being upside down and are the most beginner friendly way of getting up and down. Crouch down in front of the wall, back to the wall, put your hands down in front of you about shoulder width, then walk your feet up the wall. At the top you can walk your hands in a little closer. To get down, walk your hands away from the wall at the same time you walk your feet down.

- Overhead pressing. If you have DB's or a barbell, this will transfer even more than pushups for building up the necessary strength. If you are looking to supplement pushups, this is definitely the best option. If you don't have DB's a barbell, just stick with the pushups and wall walks.

When doing wall handstands, back to the wall is easier to bail out of, but it doesn't reinforce good handstand form. You are better off doing all handstands belly to wall until you are ready to work on handstand pushups and/or freebalancing (exercises where you can expect to fall A LOT). Once you can start holding wall handstands, you'll want to learn the tuck and roll and/or cartwheel way of getting out instead of walking down.

Thank you so much! I'm currently putting my challenge up right now. I really appreciate the advice. :D

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Most accurate TDEE calculator you have found? There is a wild disparity sometimes, which is why I inquired about your spreadsheet. I figured the only real way to know was to figure out my own body's.

Also, if you wrote that spreadsheet (and if you get a chance, I would like the woman's body fat version), you could probably figure out a way to sell them as apps ala The Hacker's Diet from years back.

Glad you are doing this. You have helped me correct some erroneous thinking, and probably saved me ( with WeirdQuark's) help from the bowels of orthorexia :)

I guess I'm not sure about the TDEE calculator, I've pretty much gone off of my own data from very early on, using MFP's default as a starting point (mfp was very good at first, way off nowadays). The Katch-McKardle equation is widely considered the best equation for most people.

It is really individual though since the activity modifier makes such a huge difference. About the only way to estimate it (outside of exercise sessions) is to use something like a Fitbit (my wife has one and it seems to work pretty well).

When I get a chance I'll add the measurement sheet I made for my wife as a women's tab.

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Hi Waldo!  Thanks for make a q&a thread.

 

My wrists are all messed from being a massage therapist.  I took a break, and here it is a month later, and my forearms still hurt.  For this challenge, I'm trying to exercise in a way that won't bother them but I also want to recover so I can getting strong for handstands and pull ups. 

 

I will be doing regular heat/massage and eccentric work for the wrist flexors.  Should I try to strengthen the extensors at the same time?  Wait till later for either?

 

You seem like a guy that would know how to help the wrists.  What do you do to help yours recover?  The hands, wrists, and elbows are such little joints, and now that mine hurt, I realize how much we ask of them.

 

Thank you :)

Forearms are something I have a TON of experience with. I went through a yearlong battle with forearm splints and pretty much tried everything to get rid of it. It's mostly gone nowadays, as least gone enough that it doesn't impact my workouts at all anymore (can feel it at times).

The wrists/forearms are extremely complex, the amount of movements that they are capable of is insane.

What sort of movements bother your forearms and where does it hurt?

For all the stuff I tried:

- When there is general tightness or soreness from tightness, Novel Movements seemed to work well.

- Finger strengthening, both pressing and pulling, made the biggest difference. For pressing I worked from knee fingertip pushups on up to fingertip l-sits. For pulling I worked from dead hangs in my knuckles to fingertip dead hangs and now pullups using the molding on a door frame.

- Working on freebalancing handstands (with wall assist) seems to help a great deal as well.

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I guess I'm not sure about the TDEE calculator, I've pretty much gone off of my own data from very early on, using MFP's default as a starting point (mfp was very good at first, way off nowadays). The Katch-McKardle equation is widely considered the best equation for most people.It is really individual though since the activity modifier makes such a huge difference. About the only way to estimate it (outside of exercise sessions) is to use something like a Fitbit (my wife has one and it seems to work pretty well).When I get a chance I'll add the measurement sheet I made for my wife as a women's tab.

Thanks. Guess I will replace the FitBit that the puppies ate. I think I will get the Flex this time. Not buying cigarettes, so I can afford it :)

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Forearms are something I have a TON of experience with. I went through a yearlong battle with forearm splints and pretty much tried everything to get rid of it. It's mostly gone nowadays, as least gone enough that it doesn't impact my workouts at all anymore (can feel it at times).

The wrists/forearms are extremely complex, the amount of movements that they are capable of is insane.

What sort of movements bother your forearms and where does it hurt?

For all the stuff I tried:

- When there is general tightness or soreness from tightness, Novel Movements seemed to work well.

- Finger strengthening, both pressing and pulling, made the biggest difference. For pressing I worked from knee fingertip pushups on up to fingertip l-sits. For pulling I worked from dead hangs in my knuckles to fingertip dead hangs and now pullups using the molding on a door frame.

- Working on freebalancing handstands (with wall assist) seems to help a great deal as well.

These are great!  I stumbled onto that Novel Movements video the other day, so now I'll take it seriously.

 

I've never been seriously diagnosed, and I'm sure all the possibilities blend into each other.  I've been told pre-carpal, and shin splints of the forearms.  I think it basically comes down to being crazy inflamed for a long time.  I haven't gotten the tingly/numbness that I'd always heard about.

 

Squeezing is the worst movement.  Hyperextension doesn't feel good.  One day I tried holding the bar for a front squat and that really twerked my right wrist.

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These are great!  I stumbled onto that Novel Movements video the other day, so now I'll take it seriously.

 

I've never been seriously diagnosed, and I'm sure all the possibilities blend into each other.  I've been told pre-carpal, and shin splints of the forearms.  I think it basically comes down to being crazy inflamed for a long time.  I haven't gotten the tingly/numbness that I'd always heard about.

 

Squeezing is the worst movement.  Hyperextension doesn't feel good.  One day I tried holding the bar for a front squat and that really twerked my right wrist.

 

Sounds a lot like splints.  Applying rotational force to the hand, especially while in hyperextension, is the worst for it, along with squeezing hard, especially on a straight bar (which causes rotational force).

 

Can you ID a single pain point with pressure?  Move your thumb around, pressing hard, (with the forearm in question largely neutral and unflexed), is there a single point that will cause some pain?  Its pretty much the first thing to come and last thing to go with splits.  For me its on the outside of the outer bone, slightly closer than halfway from the wrist, when I press on the bone itself.  Even when I have no other symptoms, I can feel it when I do that.

 

Give fingertip pushups a try.  Start on your knees and work toward full pushups on your fingertips (the pads of your fingertips, not the actual tips).  Those probably helped me more than anything.  If it wasn't for planche work (which really stresses the forearms, there is a reason forearm splints are also called planche forearms), the fingertip pushups surely would have been enough to get rid of the problem.

 

When progressing on things like fingertip pushups, take your time and only progress when you feel like you are ready.  Don't be going to failure and trying to set PR's.  When I first started with them, I noticed an enormous difference within a month or two.  I began to feel the splints issue was totally manageable, and it started getting better consistently.

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Thanks. Guess I will replace the FitBit that the puppies ate. I think I will get the Flex this time. Not buying cigarettes, so I can afford it :)

 

Congrats on quitting smoking.  It takes far more willpower to quit smoking than it takes to quit being fat.

 

Very generous from you Waldo! Well believe me, I'll be asking :)

 

Thanks!

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Allright, done with my goals.

 

Workout Log - 9/15

 

Straight arm rep based mini-workout:

 

Planche Lean - 15 sec

Tuck Planche Rotations - 4, 5, 5, 5 reps

Tuck Front Lever - 15 sec

Advanced Tuck Front Lever - 5, 5, 5, 5 reps

- Surprising progress on the planche rotations.  Last week I could only do 3 reps at max.

- First 3 sets of tuck lever reps I did a negative of rep #6.  The last set I barely finished rep #5.

 

60 minutes yoga (Rodney Yee Total Body Power Yoga) later in the day

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Sounds a lot like splints.  Applying rotational force to the hand, especially while in hyperextension, is the worst for it, along with squeezing hard, especially on a straight bar (which causes rotational force).

 

Can you ID a single pain point with pressure?  Move your thumb around, pressing hard, (with the forearm in question largely neutral and unflexed), is there a single point that will cause some pain?  Its pretty much the first thing to come and last thing to go with splits.  For me its on the outside of the outer bone, slightly closer than halfway from the wrist, when I press on the bone itself.  Even when I have no other symptoms, I can feel it when I do that.

 

Give fingertip pushups a try.  Start on your knees and work toward full pushups on your fingertips (the pads of your fingertips, not the actual tips).  Those probably helped me more than anything.  If it wasn't for planche work (which really stresses the forearms, there is a reason forearm splints are also called planche forearms), the fingertip pushups surely would have been enough to get rid of the problem.

 

When progressing on things like fingertip pushups, take your time and only progress when you feel like you are ready.  Don't be going to failure and trying to set PR's.  When I first started with them, I noticed an enormous difference within a month or two.  I began to feel the splints issue was totally manageable, and it started getting better consistently.

 

Congrats on the quick progression!  It's such an incredible feeling when the body can do more than the mind expects.

 

I tried to feel around with my thumb.  Your spot is one for me.  Another is the medial elbow, just below the elbow, where the tendons turn into flexor muscles.  And there's general pain, all on it's own, all around the wrist.  At the end of the ulna and radius, and the center of the medial wrist.

 

I've tried the novel movements a few times.  Gosh my flexors are tight, but my forearm does feel warmer overall when I finish.

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Raised my calories by 100 again today.  Week 5 of the reverse diet, at 2800 net cals now, my old maintenance level.  Metabolism dropped enough during that cut that I expect to soundly gain weight this week, hopefully around 0.5 lb.  Thus far I've gained about 1.5 lbs since my low point, most of that though is glycogen/creatine/water/more stuff in guts.  

 

Workout Log - 9/16

Leg Day A - Intensity

 

Lunge Matrix x5

Kick Circuit x5

BW RDL - 10 reps

BW Squat - 10 reps

Standing One Leg L - 15/15 sec

 

Pistol Squat (BW) - 5e++/5e++ reps

Pistol Squat (+30) - 5x+/5e++ reps (4 ++ reps on left)

Pistol Squat (+50) - 3y+/3x++, 3y+/3x++ (2, 2 ++ reps on left)

- Not my best night.  No progress this week.

 

Deep Step Up (+90) - 5x+/5x+, 5y+/5x+ reps

Deep Step Up (+70) - 4y++/4x++ reps

Deep Step Up (+50) - 10y++/10x++ reps

- A little progress on the +90 reps

- Not as much at +70/+50, but I had a real focus on quality form.  Definitely needed to clean up my +70 form, too much foot assist.

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Wow, double paged in less than 12 hours. Assassins are active this challenge. Keep up the good work.

Wonder how tonight's workout is going to go. I got surprisingly sore from my mini-workout on Sunday. Amazing that just a few quick sets is capable of producing soreness. Rep based straight arm work is an extremely effective way to work.

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Waldo, I was wondering if you do anything "weighted." Like dips/squats/pullups with a weighted belt, loaded backpack or otherwise....

 

Just curious.

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Yes.

Single leg squats (pistol squats) and deep step ups I use weight. Bodyweight are too easy to make strength gains anymore for me on those particular exercises. I use dumbbells and a weight vest.

From time to time I do weighted pullups/chinups, though I'm not currently. I don't especially care for heavy weighted pullups (I prefer lighter weight and more explosive pulling), though eventually I'm going to strap on 95 lbs (0.5x BW) and see how many chins I can do, just to say I did it.

I used to do weighted dips, but they are kind of a pain to strap up all that weight and I don't feel they are a particularly good exercise, a deep BW L-sit ring dip >>>> 75 lb weighted standard dip.

I do curlz. Not a lot though.

Long story short, in the legs, yes, upper body, minimal.

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Did you manage weighted pistols with the weight behind your back? I know that was something you were talking about for a while, but I kind of drifted out there for a bit when life got in the way.

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Did you manage weighted pistols with the weight behind your back? I know that was something you were talking about for a while, but I kind of drifted out there for a bit when life got in the way.

I did with my right, but not with my left. I haven't tried in a while. I haven't been particularly creative with leg workouts as of late though.

Workout Log - 9/17

Upper Body Dynamic

Standard Warmup/Mobility

Handstand Pushup - F

Handstand Pushup (10 books) - 2y++, 2y++, 2z++ reps

Headstand Pushup - 5y++, 5x++, 4y++ reps

- Not much progress on the full depth attempt.

- Added a couple reps to the book aided sets. Going to stick with 10 books again next week.

- Definitely still a little sore from Sun.

Wide Grip Chest to Bar Deah Hang Pullup - 5x++, 7x+, 6x+, 6x+ reps

Wide Grip Pullup - 10x+ reps

- Soreness was enough that I didn't want to push the volume too much. Going to back off a bit this week I think, not do any rest pause work, let my recovery catch up a bit.

RTO Ring L-Sit (45 deg) - 15e++ sec

L-Sit Ring Dip - 11x+, 10x+, 10y+ reps

DB Concentration Curl (35 lb) - 11y++/11x++, 8y++/8e++ reps

- Good day of dips, added reps.

- As above, skipping the rest pause work this week.

- Added reps to the curlz too.

 

currently maintaning

battle log challenges: 16,15,14,13,12,11,10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1
follow me: myfitnesspal
don't panic!

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