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


Waldo

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GHRs are quite simply one of the single most badass bodyweight exercises....period.

 

Bonus points for the creative setup as well. :encouragement:

I prefer to use the name Natural Hamstring Curl for that exercise. It could be called a Glute Ham Raise, but that minimizes the exercise a bit. The exercise by that name done on the gym apparatus with that name is MUCH easier than the exercise that I am doing.

The gym apparatus has the support above the knee instead of below, it has a toe plate, allowing calf assistance, and it allows you to completely hinge at the waist, using momentum to pass through the maximum contraction point.

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How would you recommend I improve ankle mobility, to get deeper squats? Both pistol and regular?

Doing pistol squats will greatly improve it over time. Another thing you can do is to go down as deep as you can in a BW squat and just sit there as long as you can. With really good ankle mobility you should be able to sit there nearly indefinitely; the more ankle mobility you have, the less effort you need to spend to maintain that position.

Basically anything where you have to use leg force while at the extreme of your range of motion.

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Catching up from the weekend:

Did my usual 5 mile run Sat pm, almost 53 min flat, not too good compared to how I've been running lately, but its a fairly good time in general for me.

Sunday I did my usual hour of Yoga. Plus I did a mini-workout of 3 sets each of advanced tuck front lever reps (5 reps x 3) and tuck planche rotations (6 reps x 3).

***************

Today my measurements took a nice step forward, almost across the board increases. Haven't had that happen since my last bulk. Weight was high again today after it dipped yesterday.

Ht: 6'1"

Wt: 188.6 -> 189.8 (average)

Neck: 16.6 -> 16.8

Chest: 46.1 -> 46.4 (measured just above nipple, flexed)

Waist: 28.5 -> 28.6 (flexed, pulled hard at natural waist)

Bicep R: 15.5 -> 15.8

Bicep L: 15.0 -> 15.2

Forearm R: 12.9 -> 12.9

Forearm L: 12.6 -> 12.8

Glutes: 39.8 -> 40.0

Quad R: 23.4 -> 23.6

Quad L: 22.4 -> 22.6

Calf R: 15.6 -> 15.8

Calf L: 15.3 -> 15.4

Not too concerned about the waist, its waivered between 28.5 and 28.6 since the final week of my cut. I don't think I've gained any fat yet whatsoever.

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Hey Waldo, Awesome challenge.  There is a lot of good information here.  I was wondering if you have any advice or someone looking to push through the basic BW exercises ( Push-ups, BW squats etc) and onto more advanced forms.  I saw your advice on handstands and that is something I am wanting to incorporate into my workouts.

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Thanks for the advice buddy. I'll definitely incorporate it into my day.

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I prefer to use the name Natural Hamstring Curl for that exercise. It could be called a Glute Ham Raise, but that minimizes the exercise a bit. The exercise by that name done on the gym apparatus with that name is MUCH easier than the exercise that I am doing.

The gym apparatus has the support above the knee instead of below, it has a toe plate, allowing calf assistance, and it allows you to completely hinge at the waist, using momentum to pass through the maximum contraction point.

 

Yeah....I used to do them on the cable pulldown in much the same manner you do them.

 

On the GHR, it comes down to placement of the knee on the pad.....you can definitely make them easy by putting your knees low and using the pad and thigh as a fulcrum....but at that point they should be called hyperextensions....lol

 

Done right.....hamstring curls are a crazy good hamstring annihilator...

 

 

Edit: Waldo, a Mr. "swe" was asking me how to recomp on BW-only exercises....I am sending him your way.

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Hey Waldo, Awesome challenge.  There is a lot of good information here.  I was wondering if you have any advice or someone looking to push through the basic BW exercises ( Push-ups, BW squats etc) and onto more advanced forms.  I saw your advice on handstands and that is something I am wanting to incorporate into my workouts.

Move on to a harder variant by the time you can do 8-10 reps of any exercise (30 sec hold for static exercises). Just keep on progressing, soon you'll be doing advanced stuff.

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Workout Log - 9/23

 

Handstand Practice - 10 min

- A few 10 sec+ holds, best 16 sec

 

Leg Day A - Intensity

 

Lunge Matrix x5

Kick Circuit x5

BW RDL - 10 reps

BW Squat - 10 reps

One Leg Standing L - 15/15 sec

 

Pistol Squat (BW) - 5e++/5e++ reps

Pistol Squat (+30) - 5y++/5x++ reps

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

- 2 reps at ++ form first set of +50

- Slow but steady progress

 

Deep Step Up (+90) - 5y+/5x+, 6y+/6y+ reps

Deep Step Up (+70) - 5z++/5y++ reps

Deep Step Up (+50) - 11y++/11x++ reps

- Added reps to most sets.

- Legs are frickin dead after this workout.

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Woot, woot. What a great workout today.  Got two exercises for the first time that I've been working on for well over a year.

Workout Log - 9/24
Dynamic Upper Body - Volume
 
Standard Warmup/Mobility
- One arm hang time extended to 20 sec.  My hands are absolutely fried.
 
Handstand Pushup - 1z++, F reps
Handstand Pushup (10 books) - 2y++, 2y++, 3z++ reps
Headstand Pushup - 6y+, 6y+
- Wooooo, I did a full depth HSPU.  It took everything I had, but I did it.  Achievement unlocked.
- Going to keep supplementing with partial reps (staying at 10 books for now) until I get more traction on the full reps.
- Added reps to the HSPU and HeSPU (though those are pretty much just to further fry my already fried arms).
 
Wide Grip C2B Dead Hang Pullup - 8x+, 7x+, 7x+ reps
Neutral Grip C2B Pullup Rest-Pause Pyramid - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 - 8*, 7*, 6*, 5*, 4, 3, 2, 1 reps
- Used a false grip on the final set of wide grip pullups, felt way stronger at the top.
- 5 breath pause during the pyramid except for starred breaks, which used a 10 breath pause.  Break between up and down was 30 sec.
- Pyramid absolutely trashed my arms and back.  Man that is torture.  The sets don't look that daunting (at least not when 20 reps in a set isn't a big deal to you), but 72 pullups in about 6 minutes will really kick your butt.  The whole way down I was riding the wave of failure.
- Will be staying at 8 on the pyramid until I can complete it with no 10 breath pauses.
 
Parallel Bar Pseudo Plache Pushup - 8x+ reps
Parallel Bar Tuck Planche Pushup - 5x-, 5x-, 6x-, 4x- reps
Concentration Curl (35 lb) - 8x++/8e++, 9y++/9x++ reps
- Wooo, I finally can do tuck planche pushups.
- I've been close and could kinda do them, but these felt right, these were the real deal.
- Form grades will be as follows: -- = not holding back parallel throughout, - = using power/momentum assist to get arm lockout, + = controlled, used strength to push to lockout, ++ = hold lockout for a second (or more)
- Did a few + reps sets 2/3 of the TPP's.
- I'll be replacing ring dips with tuck planche pushups for the foreseeable future in this workout.
- Doing the tuck planche rotations seems to be what got me over the hump.  Going to continue doing those on Sundays, good exercise.
- Arms were still cashed after the pyramids, not so good on the curlz today.

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Pressing strength in general will transfer to dips. Pushups, bench press, overhead press, all will transfer to dips.

First things first though with ring dips, before you start doing dips you should have a solid support hold. You should be able to get on the rings and hold yourself up straight armed without your shoulders collapsing for at least 20-30 seconds. Work on static holds to get that, press down into the rings and push yourself as high as you can go. Doing dips with collapsed shoulders is terrible for your shoulders. One of the few injuries I've given myself was doing dips before I was ready for them; I hurt something that I felt in both my collarbone and under my scapula.

Once you've got a good support hold, then you can start working on dips. The deeper you go, the harder they are. If you can only do partial ROM at first that's fine, over time you'll be able to go deeper and deeper. A palm grip is much stronger on the rings than a finger only grip.

ok. I checked my static hold. i held for 24 seconds. I probably could have held till 30, but my arms started shaking and i made the choice to give up. should i try to do short range of motion dips instead of doing jumping ones? i feel like when i do banded ones, i can do them "forever" and not make any progress. help!

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Hey Waldo. Love that you are taking questions. I have a pretty complicated one for you. In fact it may be impossible for you to give me any sound advice without a clearer understanding of how I am working out but I'm hopeful you can help me somehow.

 

I am currently doing a home body workout (called athlean xero). I needed a program that required NO equipment (i have no way to put up a pull-up bar in my room and getting to the gym takes 40min one way trip due to terrible living location). It is a mixture of strength and conditioning training 5 times a week. A six week program. 

 

Now I'm 1.85m and weigh 73kg. I have some belly- and lower back fat (the usual place where guys have the last stubborn fat) and I would really like to get rid of all of it within the next three months. After this semester, in the second week of January I'll move and be able to join a gym and will want to start stronglifts then. And at that point it would be great if I could do a slow "lean" bulk and not have to gain fat in the process (or as little as possible. A clean bulk would be preferred). So I would love to have my abs showing at that point and then keep it that way. I don't have precise measurements but I'm between 15-20% bodyfat.

 

How do you recommend that I eat and train to lose the fat? So far I am eating at a deficit and training 5 times a week and I've lost weight but I seem to be losing muscle just as much as fat because I'm no nearer to have visible abs.

 

When i last bulked up with stronglifts I was up at 79kg but I couldn't enjoy my muscle progress due to having fat in the way. Any advice you can give me or should I keep doing what I'm doing and hope to get to know my body in the long run? Due to social uni life it's hard for me to eat macros so specifically that I can learn from it from week to week. I am tracking protein and calories and that alone is hard enough to maintain.

 

Thanks and sorry for the rambling!

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ok. I checked my static hold. i held for 24 seconds. I probably could have held till 30, but my arms started shaking and i made the choice to give up. should i try to do short range of motion dips instead of doing jumping ones? i feel like when i do banded ones, i can do them "forever" and not make any progress. help!

Yes. Go as deep as you feel comfortable with. Try to keep your elbows in, don't let them flare (though that isn't much of an issue with rings). Depth will come with time. Leaning forward makes them a little easier and limits the depth you can go somewhat.

24 sec isn't bad. You probably want to keep working that as well, but it should be enough to be productive with dips.

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Hey Waldo. Love that you are taking questions. I have a pretty complicated one for you. In fact it may be impossible for you to give me any sound advice without a clearer understanding of how I am working out but I'm hopeful you can help me somehow.

 

I am currently doing a home body workout (called athlean xero). I needed a program that required NO equipment (i have no way to put up a pull-up bar in my room and getting to the gym takes 40min one way trip due to terrible living location). It is a mixture of strength and conditioning training 5 times a week. A six week program. 

 

Now I'm 1.85m and weigh 73kg. I have some belly- and lower back fat (the usual place where guys have the last stubborn fat) and I would really like to get rid of all of it within the next three months. After this semester, in the second week of January I'll move and be able to join a gym and will want to start stronglifts then. And at that point it would be great if I could do a slow "lean" bulk and not have to gain fat in the process (or as little as possible. A clean bulk would be preferred). So I would love to have my abs showing at that point and then keep it that way. I don't have precise measurements but I'm between 15-20% bodyfat.

 

How do you recommend that I eat and train to lose the fat? So far I am eating at a deficit and training 5 times a week and I've lost weight but I seem to be losing muscle just as much as fat because I'm no nearer to have visible abs.

 

When i last bulked up with stronglifts I was up at 79kg but I couldn't enjoy my muscle progress due to having fat in the way. Any advice you can give me or should I keep doing what I'm doing and hope to get to know my body in the long run? Due to social uni life it's hard for me to eat macros so specifically that I can learn from it from week to week. I am tracking protein and calories and that alone is hard enough to maintain.

 

Thanks and sorry for the rambling!

Just keep on cutting and do your best to get stronger. Fat loss will be largely a function of diet. Muscle loss will only be an issue if your protein intake is very inadequate, you are very lean, or you aren't strength training. Protein and calories are the important things to track, not tracking anything else isn't a big deal, though any apps that you use should calculate all the macros.

Visible abs is a long and frustrating journey. Mine show when flexed at about 20%-22% BF, and quite literally I look no different between 17% BF and 12% BF.

Its really tough to come up with a functional program lacking a pullup bar. I don't know anything about that program but it at least seems decent with a quick glance. But the lack of any higher load pulling exercises is a problem. Can you at least do inverted rows, and thus can be working toward a feet elevated, one arm inverted row?

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Workout Log - 9/25

 

Handstand practice - 5 min, 21 sec best

- A few 15+ sec holds.  My best session yet, including a new PR.

 

Bar Muscle-up - 3+, 3+, 3+ reps

Tuck Flag Negatives - 3/3, 3/3, 3/3 reps

- Did a good job of avoiding bar contact today (brushing the bar doesn't count as a -, much different than smashing the sternum).

- Lifetime total of 110 good bar muscle-ups.

 

Run 2.6 miles in 23:19.65

- OK, time, faster than last week, but a couple seconds off PR pace.

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Just keep on cutting and do your best to get stronger. Fat loss will be largely a function of diet. Muscle loss will only be an issue if your protein intake is very inadequate, you are very lean, or you aren't strength training. Protein and calories are the important things to track, not tracking anything else isn't a big deal, though any apps that you use should calculate all the macros.

Visible abs is a long and frustrating journey. Mine show when flexed at about 20%-22% BF, and quite literally I look no different between 17% BF and 12% BF.

Its really tough to come up with a functional program lacking a pullup bar. I don't know anything about that program but it at least seems decent with a quick glance. But the lack of any higher load pulling exercises is a problem. Can you at least do inverted rows, and thus can be working toward a feet elevated, one arm inverted row?

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to give us some advice!

 

I actually know (mostly) how to work out with barbells and weights at this point it's just BW that I'm very inexperienced with. I realize it would be optimal to have a bar or some dumbbells but since I'm only staying where I am for 4 months it seems like a waste of money to go buy all that when I already have it back in Sweden (only in France for a year) and already in January I'll have access to a gym here and I can start stronglifts.

 

But I'll do as you say! Track the calories and the protein. That's what I've been doing so far. It's just frustrating to watch the numbers on the scale decrease because I really don't want to get a six pack at the price of becoming skin and bone.

 

I definitely have a smaller bf % than I did at the start of my cut but I feel I'm losing muscle as well. Now I have that last stubborn fat (belly and lower back) that I've always had. Even in high school before I ever started working out and I was skin and bone I still didn't have visible abs. So I don't think I have the best genetics for it but I'll give it a good fight and see if i can get there :)

 

As for inverted rows I can really only do that with the table I have in my room. But it's a small and rocky table so not the safest. I don't have any way to make a bar to do them from.

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For pull-ups, I'm at a point where I can do the first pull-up in a set from a deadhang, and then I can usually do another 4 if I go 95% of the way back down, but not fully into a deadhang between reps.  If I try to go back into a deadhang, I just get kind of stuck there and can't re-engage the right muscles to pull back up into a second rep.  Is it at all important to do a strict deadhang pull-up for each rep, or is it fine to do what I was doing, with only the first rep being from a deadhang?

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Yes. Go as deep as you feel comfortable with. Try to keep your elbows in, don't let them flare (though that isn't much of an issue with rings). Depth will come with time. Leaning forward makes them a little easier and limits the depth you can go somewhat.

24 sec isn't bad. You probably want to keep working that as well, but it should be enough to be productive with dips.

sweet. thank you!

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"Later, I would learn that coincidences are the most planned things in the world. Later, I would learn that every single moment is a coincidence." - Douglas Coupland

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