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Etchi's fourth challenge- the one without a clever name.


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This challenge in some ways follows on from my previous ones but also has a couple of tiny changes. Once again I'm basing my workouts around the progressions in Convict Conditioning- they worked for me so far so I don't feel the need to mess with the formula. I'm also carrying on with the daily handstand practice although I have to admit that I've missed a lot of days between the end of the last challenge and this one but not anymore. I'm also adding in a few more daily tasks as I've found that practicing skills daily really works wonders. Enough rambling, here are my goals:

GOAL ONE:

Work out 6 days per week.

Last challenge I tried doing three full body workouts per week but it didn't pan out too good. The on one day, off one day thing really didn't help with building up a steady routine and several days were either skipped or postponed until later in the week. Also, a full body workout takes quite a bit of time and I had to get up too early in the mornings to fit it all in before work. In these cold winter months, it's tough getting up at 5:30 when you know that you could stay in bed for another half an hour and not work out but still get to work on time.

So, I'm now trying the CC Veterano programme- six days straight but each day focussing on 2-3 sets of only one exercise. A pretty intense warm up followed by very specific exercises can be done in less than half an hour if I push myself hard (which I really plan to do) so I have big hopes that I'll find it easier to stick with this programme than the last one.

STR +2, STA + 2

GOAL TWO:

Daily handstand and crow stand practice. I had pretty good success with the handstands on the last challenge until I over did it it pulled my shoulder so I'm going to carry on with them again but with the addition of working towards a 15 second crow stand too. One of my goals for the year is to learn to do handstand presses and being able to do 15 second freestanding handstands and 15 second crow stands are pre-requisites for having the strength to do them so this goal is primarily working towards that larger goal.

DEX +4 (+2 per stand)

GOAL THREE:

Six weeks of healthy living. Another goal for the year is to reduce my % body fat down to 15 or lower. I'm currently hovering around 18-20% so I'm really going to be focussing on shedding the fat and adding lean muscle mainly through good diet. Following on from the usual holiday orgy of bad eating and drinking this goal is all about cutting out the alcohol, unnecessary sugars and general rubbish from my eating. So, no booze, no liquids apart from water or green tea, no chocolates and other sweet treats.

CON + 3

GOAL FOUR:

More Haikus! I really enjoyed writing them last time and over the Xmas period I unpacked the last of my books from when I moved house back in July and I found my copy of 'The Haiku Handbook' a guide to writing and reading haikus. My goal is to read the book cover to cover and to try to write at least 3 good haikus per week bug hopefully more. It's a bit of fun really but it feels great to exercise my creative mind.

WIS +3, CHA +1.

In the past I've tended to record my workouts on my battle log but from now on I want to be more a accountable so I'm going to post them on here instead and try to record more details of what I'm actually doing. I've started a new paper workout journal for this year so I'm already being a lot more thorough in my records so I've got them for reference so I see no reason not to bore everyone on my challenge thread too!

Challenge on!

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Um, the beginning of your post sounded scarily like my own - daily workouts + bum shoulder.  Boo to sore shoulders - hope yours is all better!  Great goals - looking forward to your progress.

 

Let us know how the daily workouts go for you - I did find them to be easier to remember/follow-through rather than the 3x a week aspect, and I'm always interested in how others are liking/disliking them.

Level 5 Lizardfolk: Assassin STR - 4, DEX - 3, STA - 5, CON -4, WIS - 20, CHA - 12

"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

 

Current Challenge: "Idealistinfire's 2% Improvement Plan"     Battle Log: "Idealistinfire Battle's Saboteur's Spawn"                                

Epic Quest: No fancy name yet

 

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Um, the beginning of your post sounded scarily like my own - daily workouts + bum shoulder.  Boo to sore shoulders - hope yours is all better!  Great goals - looking forward to your progress.

 

Let us know how the daily workouts go for you - I did find them to be easier to remember/follow-through rather than the 3x a week aspect, and I'm always interested in how others are liking/disliking them.

After a fair bit of rest my shoulder is better than ever now, thanks for asking. I used to do daily workouts for 4 to 5 days a week back when I started off exercising so it really worked for me then- I'm hoping going back to it will instill some discipline in me.

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Workout for Monday 6th January

Pull-ups

Warm up:

Vertical pulls- 40

Bodyweight rows- 10, 10

Full squats- 20

Kneeling push-ups- 20

Band-assisted pull-ups- 6, 4, 3 it's been a week since I last worked out so I wasn't expecting anything special. I'm viewing this week as a warm up to the new regime so I'm not going to push myself too crazily. That'll be next week!

Handstand training: wall planks- 45 seconds, 30 seconds, 30 seconds

Crow stand- several attempts but the best lasted 6 seconds.

Also completed trifecta of active stretching ( 2 10 second holds of straight bridge holds, straight leg holds and half-twist holds) and a one minute dead-hang from the pull-up bar for grip training.

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Tuesday 7th January

Warmup:

Full squats- 20

Kneeling push-ups- 20

Short bridges- 30, 30

Straight bridges- 20, 10, 9

Ideally I want to be working up to three sets of 40 of these. I've been easily doing 2 10 second holds of these as part of the trifecta active stretching but this is the first time I've been doing it as a dynamic movement so I didn't realise how tough the later reps would get!

Handstands:

Wall planks- 35, 35, 25, 15

I've been doing these as part of my workout however my suspicion is that if I do them separately, I might have more success as I'll be a bit more rested.

Crow stands- 5 seconds, 4, 5, 12!

Seeing as my target for the challenge is to work up to 15 seconds, to manage 12 at the end of the practice is pretty exciting. It could just be luck but I'm going to see if I can replicate it again tomorrow .

Also completed trifecta holds and one minute deadhang.

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Wednesday 8th January,

Warmup:

Full squats- 20

Kneeling push-ups- 20

Lunges- 20

Band assisted pull-ups- 7, 3, 4

Handstand push-ups:

Straight arm planks (in seconds)- 3x60

Headstand (in seconds)- 30, 30, 22

Pike headstand push-ups- 4, 3

Daily handstands:

Wall planks- 27 seconds, 39, 22

Crow stands- 5, 8, 5, 5

Trifecta and dead hangs completed too.

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Nice work on the 12-second crow stand and on keeping up with the workouts!

Level 5 Lizardfolk: Assassin STR - 4, DEX - 3, STA - 5, CON -4, WIS - 20, CHA - 12

"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

 

Current Challenge: "Idealistinfire's 2% Improvement Plan"     Battle Log: "Idealistinfire Battle's Saboteur's Spawn"                                

Epic Quest: No fancy name yet

 

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Thursday 9th January

Warm up:

Full squats- 20

Kneeling push-ups- 20

Lunges- 20

Flat frog raises- 15, 15

Hanging leg raises:

Hanging knee raises- 15, 15

Hanging bent leg raises- 6

I can definitely meet the progression standard for the hanging knee raises so I thought I'd also try the beginners level of one set of 5 hanging bent leg raises which I managed but it was pretty tough though.

I didn't get round to handstand work today so that's one miss for the week. I did do a few crow stands however of varying success but I did hold one for 11 seconds.

I did get in a trifecta but didn't manage a minute dead hang.

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Friday 10th January

Warmup:

Full squats- 20, 20

Kneeling push-ups- 20

Lunges- 20

Squats:

Close squats- 20, 20

I haven't done close squats for quite a while so I was pretty excited that I can still hit the progression standard and squat all the way down to hamstrings touching calves with my heels touching. I had one wobble of balance during the second set so I redid the rep just to make sure. I'll do them again next week and then look into the next step.

Handstands:

Wall planks- 54, 30, 30

A little annoyed that I couldn't hold on the extra 6 seconds to manage the full minute but maybe next time I'll get there.

Crow stands- my best were 10, 12, 10. I'm definitely getting closer to 15 seconds and with more consistency now. I've got high hopes for the next week.

Trifecta done but again no dead hanging. I shall try to get in to sets tomorrow throughout the day to make up for it.

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Subbed, I think I can learn alot from your challenge. I never considered doing body rows until I can find a pullup solution. Thanks for helping already.°~°

No problem, glad I could be of assistance!😄

Body rows are good as an alternative to pull-ups but as you're pulling horizontally instead of vertically they also work your pulling muscles differently so it's a good idea to do them occasionally even if you've got something to do pull-ups on too.

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Handstand practice for the day: wall plank for 60 seconds and then 30 and 20. If I can do 60 again tomorrow il try moving closer to the wall and working up to 60 again. Steady and consistent progress without over exerting myself is going to be the key.

I also did 2 one minute dead hangs to make up for the missed couple of days.

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Time for some haikus: I've decided to try to do one for each of the rules of the rebellion. Here are some first drafts for the first three plus an extra.

Rule 1:

Your past is THE past

March forward to your future

No more excuses!

Rule 2:

You are in for life

Don't fear it- embrace it and

We won't desert you.

Rule 3:

No machines; no lies

Just free weights and body weights

Train for the real world.

The Rebellion:

To take control of yourself

Be bold and be strong!

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Congrats on the 15-second crow stand!!!  How exciting to have a win in the first week :)

Also, nice work on the haikus.

Level 5 Lizardfolk: Assassin STR - 4, DEX - 3, STA - 5, CON -4, WIS - 20, CHA - 12

"You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried."

 

Current Challenge: "Idealistinfire's 2% Improvement Plan"     Battle Log: "Idealistinfire Battle's Saboteur's Spawn"                                

Epic Quest: No fancy name yet

 

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Handstands for Sunday:

Wall planks- 49, 30, 32. I didn't manage a minute this time but I'm happy that I'm still doing at least 30 seconds for the second and third attempts. Ideally I'd like to get them up to 45 seconds each at some point.

Crow stands were a little shaky after the handstands so I couldn't seem to stay longer than 10 seconds.

Trifecta and dead-hang done.

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Summary for week 1:

Goal 1: I did do all six workouts even though I ended up doing Saturday's on Sunday. This will mean that I'm most likely going to be ending up doing 7 days straight for week 2 unless I decide to have a day off during the week but I'll just have to see how that works out

6 of 6

Goal 2: I missed one day of handstand training but I managed to get some crow stands in at least once a day and even stayed up for 15 seconds but just the once. They're easier to practice than the handstands as I just need a bit of floor to do the. On whereas handstands I need some suitable wall space. My plan for next week is to workout first thing in the mornings and then do handstands at some point in the evening. So that the two activities won't have a detrimental effect on each other.

6 1/2 of 7

Goal 3: Aside from one glass of wine on Saturday night as the bottle needed to be finished, I've done well with the healthy eating. I've only drunk water and green tea and I've not had any junk food or sugary treats. Next week I'm trying out some new lunch ideas so I'm excited to see how they work out and I'll be back to my morning smoothies which I have missed whilst I've been on leave.

Goal 4: I've read the first chapter of the haiku book but I'll get through a lot more of it from tomorrow when I start commuting again. I've also started a little project to see if I can distil the 11 rules of the rebellion into haikus too. I've done the first three but I'm not quite happy with them at the moment but I'll try to do the next three soon as possibly work on some revisions.

I'm feeling confident about the challenge at this point but it is still early days. In the past I've always found it gets a lot harder from week 4 onwards but that's still a way away.

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I'm curious, what is your trifecta? I googled it and found several different ones. And I found one I like :3 reverse crunches, birddog hands and toes and the side star bridge. I really should've asked about this sooner.

°~°

°¬° 

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Tuesday handstands etc:

Wall planks- 60, 41, 30.

That's another 60 seconds achieved with my hands slightly closer to the wall. I've developed a new attic of not checking my time on my stop watch until I've counted to 30 in my head. This way I'm not messing with my balance by keeping on glancing over at the clock and it gives me something to focus on. It seems to be working well so far.

Crow stands- a whole bunch of 6 to 8 seconds holds but I did manage 12 seconds at one point. It does really seem at the moment that if I get my balance right at the start that I can stay upright for longer so I just need to work on getting into the correct position every time rather than trying to wobble myself into equilibrium.

My 60 second dead hang didn't seem to be nearly as bad today as previously so maybe my grip is getting stronger or maybe I'm getting a better tolerance for the finger and forearm pain that really kicks in around the 40 second mark. Tomorrow, rather than stopping at 60 seconds, I might see how long I can go before I finally lose my grip.

Anyway, handstand push-up training tomorrow so even more balancing and being inverted.

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I'm curious, what is your trifecta? I googled it and found several different ones. And I found one I like :3 reverse crunches, birddog hands and toes and the side star bridge. I really should've asked about this sooner.°~°

It's three active stretching holds from Convict Conditioning that are supposed to help oil your joints and get rid of niggling aches and pains. There's a guy talking about it in this video and showing off the final positions that I'm working up to: http://youtu.be/S4feVupBxRs

I'm nowhere nearly as flexible as him yet but I'm working on it. I've definitely seen big improvements in my bridging and L-sits from spending a bit of time on each every day.

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