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SymphonicDan's warm winter campfire [Level 7]


SymphonicDan

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So winter is cold and dark and damp and nearly here, but rather than complain about it, let's prepare the perfect antidote: a proper campfire!

 

Around_the_Campfire_Header-13171355.jpg

 

We will need 5 things for the campfire:

  • get outside
  • atmospheric music
  • collect firewood
  • collect food
  • light the fire
Conveniently (or by design :tongue:) these correspond to the 5 things that I'll be working on this challenge. In previous challenges I've set myself targets that I have no idea how to achieve (and subsequently fail), so this time I have a concrete plan for each one:

 

 

Challenge #1: get outside: GYMNASTICS RINGS: For an excuse to get outside during the dark season, I've bought myself a set of rings to play with, and intend to spend the rest of 2014 experimenting with these. I have no specific plans, but I have a dynamic list of things I want to play with and work on. Here is a picture of me struggling to maintain a support hold:

 


 

I'll be grading this subjectively, with consideration given to:

  • volume and intensity of training
  • variety of experimentation
  • improvement made
  • effort made to make my environment good for training (e.g. warm-ups, new locations, social involvement)
Total points available: STR +2; WIS +2

 



 

Challenge #2: atmospheric music: FINISH CURRENT PIANO COMPOSITION: I haven't done an artistic challenge before, so let's try this... I often compose piano music, but haven't released anything for a while. Here's something I wrote about one year ago:

 


 

At the moment, there are a few new ideas floating around my mind, so I'm going to craft some of it into a new musical piece. Usually this takes me way longer than it should, so this will help me waste less time! Grading subjectively, where to get 'C' I must have a finished piece and to get an 'A' I must be really pleased with the result.


 

Total points available: CHA +3


 

 

Challenge #3: fetch firewood: LEARN OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING: On my recent holiday to Singapore, a friend taught me the Clean and Jerk (from Olympic weightlifting). This would surely be useful for picking up and carrying large logs for firewood (especially if they happen to be shaped like perfect barbells...) but the snatch would be faster. The challenge is to become reasonably competent at both types of Olympic weightlifting so that I can use them in the future for strength training.

 

A: get good at both the clean and jerk and the snatch

B: get good at the snatch only

C: -

D: get good at the clean and jerk only

 

I'll achieve this by reading some snatch tutorials, practising safely, and reviewing form with someone.

 

Total points available: DEX +2

 

 

Challenge #4: collect food: BENCH + PRESS >= 100KG: We need to do a whole lot more lifting of firewood before we can relax around the campfire, and this will be in the form of increasing my bench press and overhead press to be 100kg in total. This was in my very first challenge, during which I got injured on the bench press :( Since then, I've hit 56kg on bench and 40kg on OHP, before taking a month away from relevant training.

 

A: 100kg total

B:  98kg total

C:  96kg total (i.e., get back to previous best form)

D:  94kg total

 

Total points available: STR +2; STA +2

 

 

Challenge #5: light the fire: STAY WARM DURING WINTER: When it's cold my body basically shuts down (too little body fat) and I don't do any moving or thinking, so I should prevent that from happening.

 

Steps to achieve this:

  • eat enough to stay warm
  • wear more layers
  • use strength training to warm me up
Sounds simple, but I'm super bad at this. Grading subjectively.

 

Total points available: CON +2

  • Like 5

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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I love your goals!  I've had so much fun with my rings, and I'm sure you'll enjoy playing with yours.  It's such a great way to do some heavy duty strength training while still convincing yourself that you're just playing and having fun.  :)  And I'm really intrigued by your piano composition stuff.  I play, but my background in theory and composition is pretty much nil.  Being able to compose stuff is just amazing.  

  • Like 1

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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I love your goals!  I've had so much fun with my rings, and I'm sure you'll enjoy playing with yours.  It's such a great way to do some heavy duty strength training while still convincing yourself that you're just playing and having fun.

 

Yes, it's so true that it just feels like you're exploring a new toy, but then two days later you have crazy DOMS in your shoulder muscles and you realise what the culprit is :P

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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I like a lot your new challenge! That campfire image is great. You know I am a skinny too, so I have this same problem in winter, only wanting to stay on the couch with a thick blanket and a book. So you've inspired me, maybe I should focus on it too and stay warm more hours a day so couch and blanket are not so tempting. Will also have to find a way to assure myself I go outside...

 

About your composition project, I think it's great. I'll impatiently await for your new music. If you want a composition not to linger around, there is one thing you need above everything else: a deadline. Decide the date it has to be ready for the public or for recording, remastering or whatever, the day it escapes out of your control irreversibly. Make sure you make room for that "final retouching" that easily becomes as long as writing the piece. My brother has learnt this very quickly, and from years now everytime he needs me to write him some music he always adds something like "oh, and I need it for friday". It works. So tell us, when will we be able to listen to it? ;)

What I am not sure is about your grading on the composition. Giving you only a C for finishing it, is underestimating your effort and creativity. I'd say at least a B for finishing it, better an A. For being pleased with the result, I don't know, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we don't like much our work but other people would find it excellent. Maybe that should be A+++.

 

Wish you the best for this new challenge! I'll be amazed if you make your mark to 100 kilos lifted. My bench press and overhead press combined make 20 nosweat.gif, so you can imagine my face when I read your numbers.

Best of luck!!!

  • Like 2
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I like a lot your new challenge! That campfire image is great. You know I am a skinny too, so I have this same problem in winter, only wanting to stay on the couch with a thick blanket and a book. So you've inspired me, maybe I should focus on it too and stay warm more hours a day so couch and blanket are not so tempting. Will also have to find a way to assure myself I go outside...

And I always thought I could avoid this problem by just moving to Spain for the winter. Maybe I'd have to move to Mauritania or something instead :P You should look after your temperature though yeah - it is sad for us to lose several months each year to involuntary hibernation lol
 

About your composition project, I think it's great. I'll impatiently await for your new music. If you want a composition not to linger around, there is one thing you need above everything else: a deadline. Decide the date it has to be ready for the public or for recording, remastering or whatever, the day it escapes out of your control irreversibly. Make sure you make room for that "final retouching" that easily becomes as long as writing the piece. My brother has learnt this very quickly, and from years now everytime he needs me to write him some music he always adds something like "oh, and I need it for friday". It works. So tell us, when will we be able to listen to it?  ;)

What I am not sure is about your grading on the composition. Giving you only a C for finishing it, is underestimating your effort and creativity. I'd say at least a B for finishing it, better an A. For being pleased with the result, I don't know, sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we don't like much our work but other people would find it excellent. Maybe that should be A+++.

Haha, I've only composed for a deadline once before, so I'll give this a go :) I'll have a recording posted here before I go back to my hometown for Christmas (where I won't have access to my recording piano).
 

Wish you the best for this new challenge! I'll be amazed if you make your mark to 100 kilos lifted. My bench press and overhead press combined make 20 nosweat.gif, so you can imagine my face when I read your numbers.

Best of luck!!!

 

You work with dumbbells though, no? And it's always harder with dumbbells than barbells as you have many more degrees of freedom in which you need to stabilise the dumbbells, and your weaker arm can't assist your stronger arm. Also, this is my 1-rep max, so if I had to do sets of 5 reps with dumbbells, I'd be way less than 100kg. I'm optimistic with hitting the 100kg though :)

  • Like 1

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Oly lifting and rings work? Niiice combination! :D

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Raptron, alot assassin

67666564636261605958 575655545352515049484746454443424140393837363534333231302928272625242322212019181716151413121110987 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

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Oly lifting and rings work? Niiice combination! :D

 

My shoulders are going to end 2014 either as strong as nails or as strong as jelly... time will tell :P

  • Like 1

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Are you following any specific ring program, or are you just winging it?  I'm planning on playing with my rings tonight, and I'm always looking to learn some new moves. :)

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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I actually decided on the contents of this challenge last weekend, and started working on the non-weightlifting components. Today I've been to the weights gym for the first time in ages, so I have a first set of updates for everything :)

 

 

Challenge #1: rings: I've dived into this with more enthusiasm than my chest can handle (I had to forbid myself from using them on Tuesday night to keep me fresh for other things) although I'm sure both my enthusiasm and my DOMS will wear off soon... So far I've had three practices in three locations, and:

  • in my sports notebook I have a huge list of skills, drills and exercises to try
  • it now takes only a couple minutes to set up the apparatus (rather than 15 minutes the first time!)
  • just before work is a good time to try, although I need to warm up properly (otherwise my chest really does complain)
  • trees are the best places to put the rings
  • 5 friends are interested in playing with the rings, one of whom has already done so

I'm starting with the basics, including:

  • support hold (like in the picture in the first post of this thread) (harder than it looks, especially with rings far apart)
  • dips (from support hold) and Bulgarian dips
  • moving arms away from hips (towards the iron cross shape)
  • push-ups and flys (with the rings about 20cm from the ground - much harder than standard push-ups, and I can only do partial RoM on the flys)
  • "false grip" hangs (holding the rings with the wrist and thumb, which is necessary to do a proper muscle-up)

At the weights gym I did some more exercises to get used to the false grip (mainly one-handed false grip assisted pull-ups with a lot of assistance). My left wrist feels funny when I do it, so I'm going to treat it carefully and continue training it (probably a strength imbalance) but watch it carefully in case something more sinister (pardon the pun) is happening.

 

 

Challenge #2: composition: I've been playing around with some ideas, but still very much in the experimentation stage :)

 

 

Challenge #3: olympic weightlifting: at the weights gym today I did some drills of the clean and jerk (it felt unnatural, so I need lots more practice) but mainly concentrated on the snatch. Some things I learned:

  • my shoulder mobility will be a massive problem for holding an overhead squat (the position halfway through the Olympic snatch) and needs work
  • overhead presses in a squat position, and squats with the bar overhead will be good drills to address this, as will shoulder dislocates
  • I understand the correct motion and my gym does have a long-enough barbell
  • the first half of the motion can be worked on in tandem with the Olympic clean, as it's a similar movement (I'm not yet good enough for any differences to be important, but I'll have to train them separately soon enough)

 

Challenge #4: bench + ohp 100kg: today I was gymning on my lonesome so I didn't have anyone to spot my on the bench press, but I equalled my best-ever overhead press lift of 40kg with no problems (but then failed twice at 41kg) so I was pleased at that :) For the bench press, I set the machine to 50kg and did 20 as fast as possible (took me 7 sets and 5 minutes, but would probably have been quicker if I hadn't already done loads of similar work earlier in the session).

 

 

Challenge #5: keep warm: it's now properly cold, so I've used my latent pillow fort skills to assemble bed linen in the most warm way, and dug out my gloves and hat for cycling. Maybe I'll survive the winter after all...

  • Like 4

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Are you following any specific ring program, or are you just winging it?  I'm planning on playing with my rings tonight, and I'm always looking to learn some new moves. :)

 

Just winging it :) I thought that to start off with I'd just experiment loads to see I can do and what stuff I can work towards. If my progress plateaus or I run out of ideas then I might look for a specific program.

 

Hopefully we'll get some ideas from each other's threads (and maybe Hazard's, if I've successfully swayed him into getting some rings for this challenge!) If you want any specific ideas (like more advanced versions of X, or preparatory drills for Y) then I can see what I have that's relevant, whether or not I've tried it myself :P

  • Like 1

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Challenge #1: rings: I went out for a session today, but within 5 minutes an old man in a motorised scooter appeared and told me that he used to use gymnastics rings in the Chilean army... the guy turned out to be in Britain having sought political asylum in the 1970s, while Chile was under dictator control... and proceeded to tell me his entire life history (which was interesting but not pretty :( ) so I listened to him (partly out of politeness and partly because it was genuinely interesting). And then I had to meet a friend, so no rings workout today!

 

Question about false grip: how much should this hurt? If I try hanging with false grip, my wrists hurt in a way that feels unhealthy. Especially my left wrist, and I'm not sure whether it's a minor injury that needs rest to fix, or whether I just need to do more light preparation exercises in order to become comfortable. Any advice?

 

Random other things:

  • I forgot to mention gymnastics on Wednesday! I did a load of frontflips and they were the highest-ever and I landed lots of them on my feet rather than my ass :D And then I tried to film them and it all went wrong, meh. Handstands were rusty but eventually good.
  • My knee injury from September seems to be completely gone now :) I played football on Friday pretty intensely and it is still feeling good today.
  • Also my DOMS from Thursday evening has disappeared much faster than usual despite it being only the second gym session in 5 weeks. Maybe it's because I drank extra water yesterday and it helped the muscles' recovery?
  • Like 3

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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You have a pretty exciting challenge there: weights and rings and flips and all sorts! Good luck and I am looking forward to seeing how you do!

 

And remember to eat MOAR!

  • Like 1

Level 11 Morgana Scout

STR 14|DEX 11|STA 31|CON 11|WIS 23|CHA 19

Current challenge:  Talvi makes tactical decisions | Epic quests: 2015, 2016 | Running instalog: new_tracks_to_follow | Previous challenges: -2 -1 etc...

 

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Why do random people with complicated life stories always want to tell me everything about themselves? Yesterday it was the Chilean guy in political exile, and today it was a retired armed robber who certainly felt like he'd got what he wanted from life :S Interesting conversation for sure! But quite difficult, as seemed to have no remorse for any of it. Anyway, the rings workout did happen:

 

Challenge #1: rings: finally got over my fear of skin-the-cat, and tried some cool upside-down stuff that I saw in Nymeria's thread :) It's quite fun just randomly hanging upside-down... Also experimented with different distances between the rings (70cm is super hard to even hold support hold!) and did a load of dips and iron cross prep. I doubt I'll ever manage the iron cross, but I'll gain some strength by casually working in that direction. Finally, archer pull-ups are too much for my arms to deal with (somewhere between 2-armed and 1-armed pull-ups) but I did some isometric holds and negatives to help work up to them.

 

Challenge #2: composition: Experimented more with ideas, getting a feel of which ones will work together most naturally

 

Challenge #4: 100kg bench + ohp: I've been eating all the good foods help the relevant muscles recover, and I think my ring training will have a massive carry-over to this goal :)

  • Like 4

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Hahaaahaaa, I usually have to rescue my boyfriend from those situations. Maybe you are like him, he has this nice and welcoming face so everybody tries to talk to him.

Good work on the rings! Must be difficult to be upside down holding yourself only on the rings, right?

  • Like 1
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Sub'd for learning about weird random people's life stories! Jk! I sub'd a while ago! This is hilarious though!!

Ooo! I've got it! Jenna Marbles has a solution for this on YouTube!

http://youtu.be/8wRXa971Xw0

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Sub'd to follow the awesome!  Keen to see the weightlifting progress and the pictures of fun with rings.

(hint hint the Interwebs love pictures)

Once I've seen some progress or tried out a bunch more stuff, I'll get some more pictures up :) I do have a few videos too... maybe I'll do something with them later (like I did with the handstand evolution video) but I don't have any plans yet!

 

 

Hahaaahaaa, I usually have to rescue my boyfriend from those situations. Maybe you are like him, he has this nice and welcoming face so everybody tries to talk to him.

Good work on the rings! Must be difficult to be upside down holding yourself only on the rings, right?

I hope I have a nice and welcoming face haha... or maybe it's just harder for me to pretend to be in a rush to be somewhere else if I've got a load of gymnastics apparatus tied to a tree lol...

 

Holding oneself upside-down from hanging underneath the rings is a mix of core and pull-up strength to get yourself upside-down and tucked... and core strength and a bit of arms to straighten your body... overall not crazy difficult... if you did it from "support hold" (like in the picture I had) then you'd end up in a handstand and I think that would be super difficult (I've never tried!)

 

 

Sub'd for learning about weird random people's life stories! Jk! I sub'd a while ago! This is hilarious though!!

Ooo! I've got it! Jenna Marbles has a solution for this on YouTube!

 

Ooh, funny video, but I can see that backfiring badly for any girl who is getting unwelcome attention in a club or wherever :( Hopefully I'll be able to extricate myself next time without practising isometric holds of "the face" in their direction!

 

Random other things:

Went climbing yesteray for the first time in ages, and felt stronger for the pull-up/muscle-up stuff that is probably already thanks to the rings training, yay :) Lots of routes defeated me though, but that's partially being out-of-practice and partly because I was attacking more difficult routes than usual. Also I've signed up for a random 30-minute exercise bike race at work on Friday...I usually cycle standing up so I don't know how that will work on a stationary bike!

  • Like 2

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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Wasn't sure whether I'd manage to get to gymnastics yesterday, but it was a good session - mostly working on frontflips, and for the first time I even over-rotated a frontflip onto my face (on a crashmat) so there's a good sign. The main improvement I was making were:

  • punch off hard on take-off
  • tuck with straight arms rather than just adopting a foetal position and bracing for impact

They're still really inconsistent, so plenty more work is needed. Might go to a gymnastics class on Monday too.

 

Challenge #1: rings: discovered that my false grip was twisting too much (putting too much strain at the wrist under the little finger) so adjusted that and it feels better. I took the rings out before work this morning and can do very partial ROM false-grip pull-ups, so that's a start in working towards muscle-ups :) Did some dips and basic stuff as well but again, I was cold and not very well warmed-up. Really I should wake up a little earlier to get a warm-up before leaving the house.

 

I got myself some glucosamine tablets to try to help my joints recover from the stresses I put on them. I don't expect to notice any effects, but it's probably beneficial nevertheless!

  • Like 3

Level 25 Cyborg Assassin

[ STR 36.75 | DEX 26.00 | STA 28.00 | CON 31.25 | WIS 29.25 | CHA 24.50 ]

current 5-week challenge: March 2020

external websites with my resources for...

fitness & breathwork | mental math & mind sports | motivation & productivity

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