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[Salivanth] Ch. 2: Quest for the Golden Pullup

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The Story So Far:

Salivanth is a hobbit in a small, fairly isolated village called Rushforth. He recently joined the Assassins. Seven weeks ago, he received his first mission, despite most assassins waiting at least a year for a mission. It was small and low-key; find an old shrine created by the long-dead dwarven race.

In order to find this shrine, Salivanth began barefoot walking, as hobbits lack shoes. His feet toughened up over time, but after a couple of weeks, an unexpected development occurred; an old hobbit called Malinar revealed that he used to be an Assassin himself, and gave Salivanth a book of gymnastics exercises; Foundation One. He strongly implied this book was given to him by the Assassins, but that Salivanth should keep it secret. Salivanth's strength training is now near-exclusively Foundation work.

Eventually, with the help of Hazard and the Assassin archivists, Salivanth tracked the shrine down to a network of caverns to the east of Rushforth. In an insight of logic, he realised how to navigate the caverns to reach the shrine, and found it. The shrine was protected however, by a network of doors. Each would only open if an exercise was performed. Salivanth successfully passed the first three doors, performing a pike push-up, a diamond push-up, and a 60-second plank. However, the fourth door required a 60-second crow stand. Salivanth has never gotten beyond 15, and was unable to make it through the door.

He reported his findings, and the guild informed him that an agent would be sent in order to succeed where Salivanth could not. Lastly, Malinar told Salivanth that not only was he an ex-Assassin, he was also the one watching Salivanth and appraising his progress for the Assassins.

Our story begins a few days later, when the Assassin arrives...

It was bright and sunny the day the Assassin came to town.

I was standing at my new, high-tech standing desk, which was absolutely not just my regular desk with an old toy chest on top of it, when I heard a knock at the door. I went over an opened it, and an Elf stood there. I looked him up and down; I'd never seen an elf before. He towered over me, six feet tall if he was an inch, all covered in lean muscle. He wore leather armor, carried a long bow slung across his back, and had strange things on his feet that I'd never seen before. He would later tell me these were called "shoes", and protected his feet from hard surfaces. If only I'd had some of those last challenge!

I realised I'd just been staring for a good five seconds, and extended my hand as I spoke. "Hi. I'm Salivanth. You must be the one Hazard told me about."

"That's right." he replied. "Where's the shrine?"

"You don't want a drink or something?" I asked.

"No thank you." he said. "I'd rather just get to the shrine. Besides, I've brought my own. It's only a few kilometers, correct?"

I confirmed this, so we left my hut, stopping only so I could grab a torch. As we did I noticed a horse standing there, tied to my fence post, with saddlebags attached. I concluded he must have provisions in there. Without further ado, we began our walk. I'm sure the Assassin must have been impatient with my glacially slow pace, but to his credit, he hid it well. I tried to pick up the pace somewhat, but lacking these foot-coverings, there was only so fast I could move. On the way, we made small talk. He didn't give particularly detailed answers, but I did find out the elves lived in a forest a couple of days northwest of Rushforth, and a bit about these "shoes" he was wearing.

We reached the cave, and I gave him the directions, just in case something happened. Swiftly we made our way to the shrine and approached it. Absolutely nothing happened.

"So how do we open it?" the Assassin asked.

"It...should just be opening by itself. It did when I approached it." I said.

"Alright." he said. "I'll head back up a little bit, see if it opens then. If it does, shout out."

He headed up the corridor, and was swiftly out of sight. After a few seconds more, the door opened.

"It's open!" I called out, voice echoing off the narrow walls. As soon as the Assassin walked back into sight, the doors closed again.

"Alright." the Assassin said. He stroked his chin. "Either it's only opening for you, or more likely, it only opens for one person. Head back two caverns, and I'll come back and let you know what happens."

I walked back to the cavern that was two caverns away from the shrine, and waited. After a minute, the Assassin walked up. "No luck." he said. "Do you have a Warrior's guild in the village?"

"No, sir, I'm afraid not. We don't have any guilds in Rushforth; not many hobbits join up." I said.

He raised an eyebrow in surprise. "Very well. I'll have to check my briefing materials and go check with the nearest one."

We left the cave in silence, and then the Assassin spoke again. "I'll be back in a day or two with the equipment we need. I'll require your help, so be ready. Goodbye."

The Assassin broke into a jog. It looked like he could do it all day, but it was still much faster than I would be able to muster. I settled for walking at my usual pace. When I returned to my house, the Assassin and his horse were gone.

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Last challenge went pretty well, but there are still improvements that can be made! With that in mind, let's take a look at the goals of our new challenge, shall we?

Main Quest: Get to 60 kg (132 lb) or visible abs, whichever comes first.


Last challenge my goal was to reach 12% body fat, but as it is I've realised that I've been treating 60 kg as the end goal all along. I might be under/overshooting how much body fat 60 kg is, but based on my visual estimation of my 73 kg self (A self that I'm happy to say is now long dead), I think it's about 10%, which is also visible abs territory. If I get to visible abs, I know I've gone far enough. If I get to 60 kg and still look like I need to lose more fat, I'll do that. It's an ongoing process. 

My weigh-in at the end of last challenge was 67.3 kg, though that was an average; I was actually at 67.0 kg (147.4 lb) on the final day, so I expect to be a bit lighter when this challenge begins. I'll post the average weigh-in in two days, when I have all three data points across three days. I'm 5'4''. (Yep, worthy of the term hobbit :D)

Last challenge, I operated under an XP system. I'm going to be doing the same this week, but operating under a week-by-week system this time, so that it requires less micromanagement on my part. Since I'm now Level 3, and I'm going under 4th Edition D&D rules, that means I need 1,500 XP to advance, or 250 XP a week. So that's what my goals will be based around.

Despite the name of this challenge, the main theme of this challenge is MOBILITY. The pull-up is my character's quest, as opposed to my own; I'll still work on it of course, but it'll be my side quest. (I'm using side quests as my way of working on story-related quests, but the story shouldn't substantially get in the way of my actual training, of course!)

I'll be making two big changes for this challenge as well. The first is my maintenance goal. That's gone. I can do my diet and workouts without getting virtual XP for it; I have the intrinsic motivation there, and I don't need it to take up 1/3rd of my goal space. The second is a rest day. Every Saturday, the only thing I have to do is maintain my diet. I don't have to do any physical activity / productivity work on that day. This is good for both a physical and mental rest. The thing I miss the most since intensifying my workout regimen is waking up of a morning and realising that today, I have absolutely nothing I have to do. I can do whatever I want, all day. So I'm going back to that, once a week. The other six days, I'll be working hard.


With that in mind, let's look at the challenges I'll be undertaking in order to earn those sweet, sweet DEX points.

Goal One: Always be ready for action. Spend at least two hours per day, 6 days a week at my standing desk. (+50 XP per week) (-10 XP per failed day) (+2 STA, +1 DEX)


I've been hearing for months now about how sitting has really screwed people up in terms of mobility. I've known for months that I should switch over to a standing desk, but I've resisted making such a large lifestyle change. But it's time to suck it up and commit to it. I intend to gradually up the amount of time I spend on the standing desk, probably by 15-30 minutes each week, but I'm not going to hold myself to that. Once the 2 hours is fairly easy on my back, then I'll move up, not before. Hence, all I have to do to get my XP is two hours per day. If I have to stick with that for six weeks, that's okay. 

Goal Two: Rehabilitate the squat. Work up to Ido Portal's 30 minutes a day squat challenge. Add 5 minutes each week. 6 days a week. (+50 XP per week) (-10 XP per failed day) (+1 STA, +2 DEX)


I need to get more comfortable in the squat position, as well as increasing my squat mobility. The 30 minute per day squat challenge seems perfect for that, and it can scale to the level I'm at. I can't get my heels to the ground no matter how wide I go, but that's okay; I can build up to it. The important thing is to spend time in the bottom of my ROM, wherever that ROM happens to be. I'll be starting with 5 minutes, and if all goes well, will hit 30 minutes on Week 6.

I couldn't think of a cool, Assassin-ish way to write this goal. If someone comes up with one, let me know :)

Goal Three: Train like a ninja. Complete all my mobility exercises 6 days a week. (+50 XP per week) (-10 XP per failed day) (+3 DEX)


My mobility exercises are:


- Foam rolling

- Perform a series of squat stretches twice a day.

Stretch each ankle, using Focused Flexibility's protocol. 10 dynamic movements, 15s hold, 10 dynamic, 15s hold, 10 dynamic, 30s hold. Do 10 skiers (Hard to explain, it's a Foundation exercise) after each one. Then go through the parts of Ido Portal's squat clinic I can do without being able to hold a deep squat.

- Do 10 minutes of static stretching each day.


These are all (with the exception of foam rolling) aimed at improving the squat position, which is definitely my weak link at the moment.

Life Goal: Work on my cover! Do at least 7 90-minute sessions of productive work per week. (+50 XP per week) (-10 XP per failed session) (+10 XP per bonus session) (+2 WIS)

Since I'm resting Saturday, that means I have to do the full three hours at least once per week. That said, since I use HabitRPG and don't allow myself to buy any health potions, HabitRPG should take care of the motivation for that anyway :) This is also my way of making up for any failures. Getting 1,500 XP without any life goal bonuses would require me to be perfect in all my goals. So this way, if I fail a few days, I can make up for it by doing more productive work. In general, it's easier to just do the goal than it is to make up for it with productive work, so I don't anticipate using this very often.

I'll probably be spending a lot of the productive work time this challenge on programming. As I mentioned in the last challenge, I've really gotten into ProjectEuler.net, a site that contains hundreds of language-neutral programming problems that are mathematical in nature, and steadily increase in difficulty. To give you an idea, here's a few of the problems;

Problem 1 - Sum up all multiples of 3 and 5 that are less than 1000.
Problem 10 - Sum up all primes below 2 million. (Harder than it sounds, because you have to get a little clever lest the program take hours/days to complete.)

Problem 17 - How many letters are in the numbers between 1 and 1000 if they were written down?


I've completed about 15 of them so far, and I'm learning a great deal in the process. Great fun!

Side Quest: Unlock that shrine! Work on my crow stand 6 days a week, and add 1-2 pull-up sessions a week. (+30 XP per week) (-5 XP per failed session) (-10 XP if 0 pull-up sessions) (+1 DEX, +1 STR)


Unfortunately, unless I want to wait til Monday to post this, I have to give away the game a day or two ahead of time. The shrine from last challenge contains five doors in total. The first four doors are already known. To pass the fifth and final door, Salivanth has to complete a dead hang pull-up. He'll find this out just before or just as the challenge begins, so I'm not giving away too much.

I'll be doing 5 minutes of crow stand work 6 days a week, and also doing 1 or 2 sessions of half pull-ups, where I jump halfway up and pull myself up the rest of the way. I won't be being too systematic about this, as Foundation is going to be making up the majority of my pulling work anyway, hence why one session a week is okay.

Side Quest: Unify mind and body! Complete 2 yoga sessions each week. (+20 XP per week) (-10 XP per failed session) (+1 DEX, +1 STA)


Yoga is another of those things I've thought of getting into for a while, and now I've decided to take the plunge. I'm still looking into what I'm going to do; DoYogaWithMe is a great site, and has a 6-week beginner program, but their videos are mostly on Vimeo, which doesn't like me; it always loads super slowly. I'm sure I'll find something if that doesn't work out. I'm basically using yoga as a way to stretch for 30+ minutes without getting bored, but it should be pretty good for that purpose.

And that's my challenge! There's quite a lot involved, but I really want to increase my mobility. I imagine I'll see some pretty nice flexibility gains over the next few weeks :)

Thanks for reading!

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Are you in the NF guild on Habit? There is that and an Assassin party.

I'm not; I didn't know that was a thing. I prefer to torture myself by adventuring alone (Even though I expect the upcoming Vice's Shadow battle will take me 6-8 weeks), but I'll look into the guild!

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Wow, I was playing with the idea of writing prose, and here you are already doing it, and so awesomely.  Can't wait to see how this goes for you!  We can train pull-ups side by side!

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The Assassin returned the next morning with an unusual cargo. I was standing outside the house when he and his horse rode up in a trot. At first, it seemed as though nothing was different, but then I noticed the second horse behind it, carrying, of all things, half a dozen weightlifting bars.

"What are those for?" I asked.

"You'll see." he replied. "I'll meet you at the shrine."

With that said, he trotted off, leaving me to hurriedly grab water and a torch and follow him at my best pace. I arrived at the cave entrance in time to see him grab the last two weightlifting bars off the horse. Four of them were already gone. Following him into the cave, his armor itself gave off light in some unknown fashion. I realised that in the time it had taken me to reach the entrance, he'd already made two trips down to the shrine with a pair of the bars. He didn't even seem to be breathing hard, despite the fact that those bars had to have been heavy, and he would have kept a fast pace.

We reached the shrine, and he placed the last two bars down near the entrance. Then he spoke. "Alright. Here's what you're going to do. I'm going to leave, and the door will open for you. Then, you'll place a weightlifting bar in the entrance. When the door tries to close, the bar will stop it, and I can just walk through."

My eyes widened in surprise. "I would have never thought of that."

"Standard procedure. We would have our own equipment for it, but this way we keep good relations with the Warriors, and they usually have a guild nearby where we can borrow all the bars we need." he said, walking back up the tunnel.


After about ten seconds, I approached the shrine, my heart pounding. Something about this seemed...off, but I guess raiding ancient structures was never going to have the most lawful vibe to it. I picked up the weightlifting bar and approached the door. The door opened as usual, and I placed the weightlifting bar between where the doors would have to close. I made sure to remain outside the shrine in case something went wrong, and called for the Assassin. Once he got within sight, the doors began to close...and the bar held. The door was wedged open by the weightlifting bar, and our way into the shrine was clear.

The assassin stepped in, and I followed. He'd clearly been briefed on the way the shrine worked, for he immediately headed to the center of the room and performed a flawless pike push-up, with no more effort than getting out of a chair. Nothing happened.

"Alright, you try it." the Assassin said.

I got into position and performed the same move, with somewhat more effort. Still nothing happened.

"What now?" I asked.

"It's either reacting to two of us being in the room, or the door still being open. I'll try leaving, see if that works. Wait sixty seconds, then try it again." he said.

Dutifully, I waited the required minute before attempting the push-up again. Nothing happened. I called out again, and a few seconds later, the Assassin stepped over the bar and back into the shrine. Seeing the closed door, he exhaled. "Alright, it must be the door." he said.

He reached out to grab the bar from in between the doors. Suddenly I felt a burst of panic. "NO!" I shouted. He stopped.

"What?" he said.

"That door wouldn't open for two of us. What if it refuses to open up again if both of us are inside the shrine? We could be trapped here forever!" I said, louder than I'd intended.

The Assassin's face went white and his eyes widened. "...Oh." he said after several seconds. "That...is a good point. It's too dangerous to explore any further. I'm afraid that for whatever reason, you're on your own. I'll be heading back, and I'll report what I've found to my superiors. Unless you can think of anything else worth trying?"

I thought for a moment, and shook my head. "I'm pretty sure that whatever's going on with this shrine, the makers have thought of everything. I have no idea why I can access the shrine and you can't, unfortunately."

We worked together to get the bars back up to the surface. The Assassin carried two bars with each trip, and I carried one. Even that was a struggle, constantly going uphill, but I took solace in the fact that even the Assassin had to slow down a bit when carrying the bars up a slope. After two trips, we had all six bars reloaded onto the pack horse.

The Assassin mounted his horse, and faced it to the west. "Good luck, Salivanth." he said. "And thanks."

With that, he trotted off back to where he came from, as I began the walk back. It wasn't until I was halfway back to Rushforth that I realised it was the only time he'd spoken my name.

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A couple of days passed. I spent most of the time resting up in preparation for the next mission. For whatever reason, I seemed to be the only one who could get into the shrine, and I doubted the Assassins could spare more agents trying to figure out why without a solid theory to go on. For better or for worse, getting into that shrine was going to be up to me. Then, one afternoon, I received a conversation request from Hazard. Naturally, I immediately opened it.

Hazard: We found it.

Salivanth: Found what, sir?

Hazard: We found your shrine. In the Archives. It's not actually a shrine at all. It's a test.

Salivanth: A test?

Hazard: Dwarven children, once they were deemed ready, would go on a journey across Arcadea to prove their independence and physical strength. Your shrine is actually the first step on that road. We're not sure how many other shrines there are, or where they are, however. We've known about this path for some time, but we didn't think to connect it with the shrine until you found it.

Salivanth: So what do we do now?

Hazard: We believe the reason you could get into the shrine and Alnel couldn't is your height. Hobbits and dwarves are both small races; the shrine probably only lets dwarves in, and because of your height, it thought you were one.

Salivanth: Ah. And Alnel is a really tall guy.

Hazard: Exactly.

Salivanth: So, are you going to send a short Assassin out?

Hazard: Well, here's the thing. All our Assassins that are your height or shorter are a week's journey or more away from Rushforth right now. Not to mention, we actually know what the shrine is now. So there's no particularly pressing need to open it. Therefore, we're going to assign the task of doing so to you.

Salivanth: Wow. It's an honor, sir.

Hazard: Oh yes, one last thing. You'll want to keep up with your pull-up training. There are five rooms in total in that shrine, and the room you didn't see requires you to do a pull-up.

Salivanth: Crow stand and pull-up. Sounds simple enough. I won't let you down, sir.

Hazard: I certainly hope not. Good luck.

Hazard has left the conversation.

Without further ado, I began searching the Assassins' knowledge base with my Laptop of Limited Omniscience. Foundation training was all well and good, but if I wanted to get a pull-up fast, I'd need to do dedicated pull-up training as often as possible. Not to mention that while Malinar was watching me and keeping the Assassins from learning the true nature of my training, if I didn't come up with a pull-up and an unlocked shrine within a few months, suspicions might start to be raised. At the very least, they might think I was slacking off, or not particularly good Assassin material. After all, there had to be some amount of curiosity about me...as Malinar had mentioned, Hobbits typically don't join guilds very often.

As always, there was work to be done.

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Progress Report: Day 1

So the first day had it's failures and successes. On the plus side, I did my full 3 hours of productive work today; playing poker. I warred with myself for some time over whether poker should count as productive work, but eventually concluded it did; after all, I'm good enough to, on average, win money playing poker, so poker earns me a small amount of money when I play. This is at least as productive as learning mathematics and programming. However, I'd still like to continue working on non-poker skills, so if poker ends up taking up all my productive hours, I'll have to limit how many of my sessions per day/week can be poker and still count. (And I am up a few bucks today, so all's well that ends well.)

On the minus side, I put off my mobility for too long and didn't get all of it done, so that's -10 XP, leading me to be 5 XP down on the first day. Not a good start, but I don't care, because all that is dwarfed by what I just did 20 minutes ago.

I have had a crow stand EPIPHANY. It finally clicked today, when I was upside down and balancing, that I was doing it all wrong. When I began to feel that sensation of fighting a faceplant with my shoulders, I stayed there, and held. And held. And held. What I hadn't realised was, despite being a bit more work, that sensation of my body threatening to faceplant is exactly what I want. It is, in fact, the most stable position for me to be in while I'm in the crow stand. Armed with my new knowledge, I was able to hold that crow stand for twenty-five seconds. And then I smashed that too, and got a THIRTY-SIX SECOND crow stand. I thought it would take months to get a 60-second crow stand, and now I'm suddenly more than halfway there! The balancing has gotten far, far easier now that I know what position I'm supposed to be in. By using my shoulders and hand movements (Not really sure how to describe it, but if I curl my fingers upwards I can use it as a last ditch way to stop myself falling forward), I can prevent myself from falling forward in this position for far, far longer than I could when seeking this mysterious perfect equilibrium that I no longer am sure actually exists. I remember reading that when moving on to planche variations, fighting against that faceplant sensation was how one stayed in the position. I just didn't expect it to apply to the crow as well.

So that's the crow stand lesson I've learnt today; embrace the faceplant! Also, the lower I am, the easier it is; there's a reason the advanced crow stand (aka crane pose) is harder than the crow stand, despite being almost identical except for being higher off the ground. Something to do with centre of gravity I'm sure, plus the fact that bent arm strength comes easier than straight-arm strength.

Thanks for reading!

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Progress Report: Day 3


The challenge continues to go very well in it's early stages. In the last two days, I've completed everything, including a pair of bonus productivity sessions, so that leaves me 5 XP up rather than 5 down. HabitRPG continues to be an even more effective motivator than NerdFitness for this; because I neglected my productivity for so long and I just started a new boss which does damage for failed tasks, I lose almost half my health in one hit if I fail to complete my 3 hours. That's a powerful motivator, especially since on death in HabitRPG you lose all your gold; gold which I spend on real-life fitness items. It's like actually tossing money away.

3 of these sessions were programming as well, so I'm not worried about all my productivity time being taken over by poker. I may put in a mandatory 3-4 non-poker sessions a week just in case though. I managed to solve 5 Project Euler problems in a single day as well! Admittedly, I spent an hour and a half doing the grunt work for one of them last night, and just had to tweak it today to find the solution. For those of you who didn't follow me last challenge, Project Euler is a site with hundreds of maths-based, language-agnostic programming problems. I've been using it to learn programming via tangenital learning; if I get stuck on a program, it encourages me to learn more programming stuff. If I have an idea of how to proceed, it lets me practice my existing coding skills. I'm getting much better at those; already I code faster, more fluidly, with less errors, and have better ideas for how to tackle problems. Not to mention the problems increase in difficulty as I go along, so I'm taking on harder problems as I go.


But that wasn't even the best thing; the best thing that happened over the last couple of days was squat-related. I've struggled with the deep squat for months. In fact, it was one of my first goals from Challenge ONE, but I haven't made much progress in the first two challenges. In Challenge 1, I fooled myself into thinking I was getting steadily deeper, but my form was actually just getting steadily worse. In Challenge 2 I overcame that illusion, but still couldn't get much progress done. However, I recently found a squat clinic by Ido Portal; a series of stretches designed to improve the squat, including a brutally effective stretch where I get as far down as I can (As if I was going to the bottom of a dynamic squat) and hold that position for 30+ seconds. Hurts like hell, but it WORKS. (In fact, I'm thinking of incorporating this "Hold a static position at the edge of your ROM" technique for a couple of the Foundation moves I'm struggling in.)

Today I was working on my squat, thinking about how it was improving, and how I was going to just work on getting the ROM by any means possible other than lifting the heels. It's okay if my feet are spread wide apart and facing very far outwards, as I can work on that over time. I went to squat down as deeply as possible, expecting to get slightly below parallel, which I did...and then I suddenly sank another few inches. All of a sudden, I was almost in a deep squat. A sloppy one, for certain, but a deep squat nevertheless. I practically could not believe it. I was like "Oh my god. What the hell's happening, how am I doing this!?" I'm probably only a couple of inches away now, then I can start working on getting the feet closer and less turned out over time. I've made more progress on my squat in the last two weeks than I have in the previous three and a half MONTHS. I can't wait to see where I'll be at the end of the challenge; hopefully with a functional deep squat that I'm working on improving. My feet may be turned out so far they're practically sideways, but that first step is so close I can taste it.

Lastly, an interesting thing happened during my workout on Monday that I didn't get the chance to mention. Since it's deload week, I was doing half the normal reps. For me, one of those was 5 sets of 8 incline push-ups. Yeah, that's half the reps; Foundation goes all the way up to 5x15 incline push-ups, with only about 15-20 seconds of rest in between. I do mobility work in between each set, then rush straight into the next one. So I did my 5 sets of 8 in extremely quick succession, and I noticed something. Despite the fact that my muscles were aching at the end, it didn't feel hard. It felt like it should feel hard, but it didn't. Two months ago, I would have considered a workout of that exact intensity to be quite difficult. I realised then that one of the biggest things Foundation has done to me is that it's raised my threshold for what "hard work" really is. I was thinking "So my muscles are burning somewhat; I'm not breathing hard, I'm not trying to keep my grip through the sweat, and I don't feel like making pain-sounds with every rep. This doesn't even qualify as difficult yet. Oh, and now it's over."

So it's definitely been a successful couple of days. I'll be happy if the rest of the challenge is half as successful as it's been so far :D

Thanks for reading!

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Can't believe what an awesome start to the challenge you are having! Major woot on the squat! So cool too that you endurance level is increased!

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this is awesome! congrats on the super deep squat practice!


and re: poker - I have to say, that is kind of the best problem to have with poker. You're right to try and balance it and other activities, but it's kind of hilarious that you have to choose between doing that and making money and doing something else.

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this is awesome! congrats on the super deep squat practice!


and re: poker - I have to say, that is kind of the best problem to have with poker. You're right to try and balance it and other activities, but it's kind of hilarious that you have to choose between doing that and making money and doing something else.

Hehe :) Well since I play at super low limits, I only make very small amounts of money (Like, 1-2 bucks an hour at most on average small) hence the balance is necessary. Poker is really more of an investment at my level; the amount I make is negligible, but if I improve my skills I can eventually play for larger amounts of money and win there and make more.

Though really, any of my skills is an investment at this stage. *shrugs*

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Progress Report: Day 6


I've found the pull-up training I'm going to do, and today I passed the first phase of it. The video I used works up to 8 pull-ups like this:

Phase 1: 5 sets of 8 negative chin-ups. (2 seconds each) 60 seconds rest per set. When this is doable, move to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Phase 1, but with pull-ups. When this is doable, move to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Two partial chin-ups, as far up as possible, then 6 negative chin-ups. 60 seconds rest per set. When 2 full chin-ups are reached, move to Phase 4.

Phase 4: Work out twice a week, one A, one B.

               A: 5 sets, 2 minutes rest. Do as many chin-ups as possible. When you can't do one and only go partway up, hold that position for as long as possible.                          The set ends here.

               B: 5 sets, 1 minute rest. Do as many chin-ups as possible. When you can't do one and only go partway up, fill in the rest of the 8 reps with negatives.


When 8 full chin-ups are reached, move to Phase 5.

Phase 5: Phase 4, but with pull-ups. Repeat until 8 full pull-ups.

I estimate I should be able to pass Phase 1 and Phase 2 on my first attempt at each, and that I'll get my first pull-up midway through Phase 4. (Completing Phase 4 seems to assume that you can now do 2 full pull-ups, so if I can get to 5-6 chin-ups, that should equal one pull-up.) I passed Phase 1 today; I've learnt my lesson about making sure I can pass each step before moving on. It was a lot harder than I'd anticipated, but I managed. Because I can only work specific pull-up training once per week, once I reach Phase 4 I'll probably stick to Workout A; Foundation will be happy to provide high-volume pulling sessions for me.

A couple of inconveniences did occur, though nothing too major. On Friday I again didn't get around to all of my mobility work, and thanks to a lack of internet bandwidth (Yay Australia, we still have data caps!) I haven't been able to do yoga yet. That said, my data resets tomorrow, so I'll do a session tomorrow. I'll still end up with an XP deficit from the first week, but I should be able to make that up given time. I'll also be downloading a yoga video, so that if bandwidth again becomes a problem, I'll have a fallback routine I can do.

Lastly, I've decided to change my day off from Saturday to Sunday. Not this week of course, as that would be double-dipping, but next week. Saturday made sense when I was doing maths as my only skill work, since the tutoring service I use is closed on Saturdays. As it is, I haven't been doing maths recently, and if I start again, I can always choose to program or play poker on Saturdays. The advantages to this change are twofold; first, it simply makes more sense from an instinctual mindset. Even though I don't work a Monday-Friday job, I still think of Monday as the "start" of the week. I'd prefer to have my rest day at the end of the week, then jump straight into my Monday workout (My hardest one, currently) afterwards.

Secondly, it would mean my pull-up work wouldn't have to fall on a rest day. Since I do pulling work on Monday and Thursday for Foundation, that leaves Saturday as the best day to do it. Moving the rest day to Sunday allows me to do less on my rest day, which seems to me like a good thing.

Tomorrow I'll post my end-of-week summary. 

Thanks for reading!

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You're story line is awesome! I wanted to do something like that, but couldn't find a good place to start! Thanks for the motivation to work on it and start a storyline for my next challenge :) You've also motivated me to get back into programming. Super cool thread, can't wait to see how your journey goes!

"A boat at harbor is safe, but that's not what it was made for."


:ph34r: level 0 Wood elf assassin :ph34r: 



:ph34r: 6 Weekers: :ph34r: 

1. Wake Up


"We all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret. The difference is that discipline weighs ounces, while regret weighs tons."

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Looks like a solid plan. Make sure you stretch/foam roll. Negatives can actually be harder on the joints and tendons than regular pullups

Yeah, I already do that. I was okay when I was doing negative training three times a week (Less volume, longer reps) so I can't imagine once a week being a problem for them.



You're story line is awesome! I wanted to do something like that, but couldn't find a good place to start! Thanks for the motivation to work on it and start a storyline for my next challenge :) You've also motivated me to get back into programming. Super cool thread, can't wait to see how your journey goes!

Great to hear :) I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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Cool challenge!  I'm a math nerd, and I'm working on programming (Xcode and objective C) stuff, so Project Euler would be great for me to check out!  


And congrats on the crow stand progress!  :)  It looks like you're already ready to move on to some of the more advanced hand balances!  

Level 30? who the hell knows anymore? Direwolf Assassin/Ranger - current challenge

 ACL rehab thread      2016 parkour

My tutorials:

handbalancing: crow, flying crow, side crow, crow->headstand->crow  Bo staff: strikes 1 2 3, spins 1 2

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