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Pavowski Focuses Up and Branches Out


Pavowski

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It's time for challenge number two, and it's time to get harder, better, faster, stronger.

 

In my first challenge, I struck a pretty nice balance between my scout and assassin sides, working both on the distance of my long runs and on the strength I desperately needed to develop. I want to continue that trend this time, and now that I have established a reasonable base for strength and endurance, it's time to start raising the bar on my performance. Since I've declared as an assassin this time around, that means the training needs to take on an aspect it was missing last time... a focus on control rather than brute strength, on speed rather than raw distance, on adaptability rather than rote routine.

 

With that in mind, my goals this time form a tripod of Assassiny goodness.

 

1. Improvised Weaponry.

jackie-ladder.jpg

Any assassin knows that anything can happen in the heat of the moment. You may find yourself unable to use a blade for any number of reasons. Does that leave you defenseless? Not if you're prepared to use any odd object that's lying around to get the job done. So for this leg of the challenge, I'm going to dust off my kettlebell and swing it around for at least one exercise during at least 12 of the 24 workouts I have slated for this 6 week challenge. Ideally it'll be a progression -- 1 workout per week for the first two weeks, 2 per week for the next two, 3 per week for the final two weeks. I imagine it will take me a bit to acclimate to tossing the thing around. Ultimately, though, I'll take the 12 any way I can get them.

 

With that in mind, I know only enough about kettlebells to get myself in trouble. If you have favorite exercises or routines -- especially for a beginner -- I'd be all ears.

 

2. Lightning Speed.

fast.gif

The most effective strike is one delivered without warning. The assassin must be able to get to his target quickly, dispatch it quickly, and move on quickly. So for this leg of the challenge, I'm going to work on speed. That means one dedicated speed workout weekly -- either a HIIT sprint session or a mile or more of tempo -- and some fartleks (runner-speak for quick, informal bursts of speed) sprinkled into my slower or longer runs at least one other day per week. I'm not setting a goal for the times or the paces at this time, since it's been so long since I've done any sort of focus on speed. Just working on the movement at all is what I'm after. So, that's 12 speed sessions over the six weeks.

 

3. Body Control.  

luke-handstand-figurine.jpg

The assassin must be prepared to strike from any direction, and to lie in wait in uncomfortable positions waiting for the opportunity to strike. He must demonstrate supreme control over the body to achieve this versatility. So for this leg of the challenge, it's time for me to teach myself a little control over the body through the acquisition of a new skill: a handstand. I know nothing about what I need to do to make this happen, but I feel confident that I have the upper body strength to make it happen, and six weeks is enough time to teach myself to do anything. No progression here at the outset (though I may call an audible if I pick it up more easily than I expect). This one will be strictly pass/fail.

 

I want to use this challenge as a springboard into doing some more dynamic bodyweight stuff, so of course my day-to-day strength workouts are going to incorporate variations on push-ups, new exercises on my gymnastic rings, and a focus on core strength; but those are things I don't need to put a fine point on just yet. I ran the beginner bodyweight workout into the ground last time, and I love what it did for me, but it's time to branch out. I think this challenge is going to give me the opportunity to do that while I get a feel for what it means to be an assassin.

 

Now, if you'll excuse me... *shuffles off to buy more black*

  • Like 2

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

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Welcome to the assassins! Are you going to try for wall handstands first or just going for the whole balance freestyle right away?

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Welcome to the assassins! Are you going to try for wall handstands first or just going for the whole balance freestyle right away?

 

Given that I've no idea how to even begin, I'd imagine it's a better idea for my skull and spine to try with the wall first...?

 

I guess I need to do some reading, eh?

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

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Given that I've no idea how to even begin, I'd imagine it's a better idea for my skull and spine to try with the wall first...?

 

I guess I need to do some reading, eh?

I would think against the wall would be better. Steve had an article on his site, GMB does too http://gmb.io/tag/handstands/

  • Like 1

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Welcome to the Assassins and good luck! :D

Raptron, alot assassin

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

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It's 30 lbs. I wonder if I got too big, as it's about all I can manage for some movements, especially one-handed lifts. That said, I haven't used it enough to really know if it's in my range or not... To be honest, I hardly know what I should be doing with it in the first place besides some basic swings and cleans. I have some research to do.

  • Like 1

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

First few days are in the bag, with mixed results.

 

Monday: HIIT sprint workout. This one felt nice, and while I don't have a great way of measuring my speed (I don't run at a track), My overall pace during the workout was better than 9:00 minutes per mile, which is not so bad considering where I've been of late. Will be heading out for my next run today, and I can take it a little easier.

 

Tuesday: I didn't get nearly the workout I wanted. To understand that, you have to know that I'm coaching soccer at my high school, and due to the weirdo weather we've had in Georgia, we had some game cancellations last week, and ended up playing on Monday night, which is a rarity. It was an away game, to boot, which put me home at about ten fifteen. Now, that's not the biggest of deals, except that my usual bedtime is about nine thirty. So I missed bedtime by an hour and a half, and then the kids had a rough night, so I had to get up twice, and... well. Excuses are excuses, and I don't love making them, but I just couldn't make myself get up to exercise after missing out on more than two hours of sleep. 

 

Still, I was motivated to get in some mountain climbers thanks to the weekly mini, which I did during my lunch break, along with my handstand practice and a few push-ups. It wasn't much, but at least I got moving a bit.

 

Speaking of handstand practice, that's going better than I had thought it would. It's a little hard to tell since I don't have a great way to photograph myself, but it feels like I'm already at better than a 60-degree angle incline to the wall, and I can hold it pretty comfortable for thirty seconds. I think all that plank work I did during the last challenge is paying dividends here. Maybe I won't take as long as I thought to work up to free-standing.

  • Like 4

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

Nice work. Sleep is the most important thing you can do for your body, so if the choice was wake up early to workout and try to catch up on your limited sleep, you made the right choice. 

 

Be warned that the transition from the wall to completely free standing is a big jump! I think you'll be fine, but just be aware they are very different beasts. :)

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Raptron, alot assassin

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

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30 lbs kettlebell seems perfect for swings and cleans! Those are the main things to be doing with a kb anyway. 

And don't underestimate the power of at least doing something, way to go with that :)

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Main Quest: becoming a decent kettlebell lifter and a great coach

Current challenge: KB Girl dusts off her competition skills

my instagram - my gym's instagram

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It's 30 lbs. I wonder if I got too big, as it's about all I can manage for some movements, especially one-handed lifts. That said, I haven't used it enough to really know if it's in my range or not... To be honest, I hardly know what I should be doing with it in the first place besides some basic swings and cleans. I have some research to do.

 

I have two KBs.  One for two handed and one for single arm movements.  It increases my comfort and confidence, and I gradually work into heavier KBs .... and enjoy giving the lighter ones to people who need them. 

  • Like 1

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Walk to Mordor Spreadsheet

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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I have two KBs.  One for two handed and one for single arm movements.  It increases my comfort and confidence, and I gradually work into heavier KBs .... and enjoy giving the lighter ones to people who need them. 

same here. I can swing (with two hands) more than I can lift. 

  • Like 1

Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

Elastigirl:Luck Favors The Prepared - Current Challenge: August 1 to September 4 - Nerd Fitness Rebellion

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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same here. I can swing (with two hands) more than I can lift. 

 

I have two KBs.  One for two handed and one for single arm movements.  It increases my comfort and confidence, and I gradually work into heavier KBs .... and enjoy giving the lighter ones to people who need them. 

 

30 lbs kettlebell seems perfect for swings and cleans! Those are the main things to be doing with a kb anyway. 

And don't underestimate the power of at least doing something, way to go with that :)

 

Thanks for the thoughts. The 30 lb feels pretty right for my 2-handed movements, so I'll stick with those for now.

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

First week in review: blew a freakin' tire.

 

My three-year-old had a nasty little stomach bug in the opening days of the challenge, which was responsible for his rough night that I mentioned in an earlier post. Well, it seems I caught a touch of it; I woke up on Thursday feeling dizzy, on the verge of tossing my cookies. I had no appetite, and even drinking water made my stomach turn. My bones felt like they'd been replaced with pretzel sticks. It was a pretty awful day. No chance of a workout.

 

Friday, I felt better, but definitely not back to full speed. I went back to work and powered through it, but I still didn't have much appetite, and the thought of exercise made my legs want to buckle, so I let it slide.

 

Today I feel fine, but the evil is still leaving my body; that's about the most politically correct way I can say it. I don't think the stress of exercise would be a help right now, so that's three days without a workout, which is almost unheard of for me over the past four or five months.

 

I am planning to resume workouts tomorrow with some kettlebell work, which will allow me to stay on schedule for the challenge despite my setback.

 

Being sick is the pits.

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

Aww, nothing worse than an ill-timed bout with illness. Hope you are back near 100% soon!

Raptron, alot assassin

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

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Actually, there's good news about having the stomach flu. How about four pounds of weight loss in a week? That's healthy, right? And I'm sure none of it will come back next week!

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

I gave myself an extra rest day beyond what I was going to. I'm going to say it was due to the sickness, but the truth is, my nights have been late and I felt the inertia of those missed workouts keeping me in bed in the morning.

 

But, yesterday morning I suited up for my run... in the rain... and reminded myself why I have to keep running as a part of any fitness goal I'm going to undertake. I slipped into the run like putting on an old Metallica t-shirt (and who listens to Metallica anymore?!). Despite the rain and cold, it felt fantastic just to be out there, and the ennui of my missed workouts fell away like so much dead skin.

 

Now to find that kettlebell again and get back in the swing of my workouts... (yeah, I said it.)

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

I have made so many KB swing puns this challenge, I ain't even mad.

 

Hold on to that feeling the next time you feel run down or like you want to skip a workout (for non-health reasons). It's great that running makes you feel that way! 

Raptron, alot assassin

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

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After falling on my face right out of the gate, I sort of lurched back into this challenge. My runs got me back on track, and I hit the kettlebell Wednesday. I'm still one KB workout down, so I'll have to make that up this weekend, perhaps.

 

Positives:

 

I hit the rings pretty hard this week, focusing on dips and rows. They're not a part of my challenge per se, but working out with them is too much fun not to brag about. I can get six dips in a set now, which is pretty impressive considering I tried my first one just a month ago and... well, it was basically a long, slow descent toward the floor, lol. Funny how a couple pieces of lexan can be so humbling. I also got in some ring push-ups (3 sets of 10) which was a huge improvement over my last attempt.

 

Handstands are improving, but I can feel that there's a wall approaching. By which I mean, the moment when I leave the wall behind is getting closer. It feels like my hands are about two feet from the wall at this point, and the difficulty is ramping up exponentially the closer I get. I can hold thirty seconds pretty well, but I can feel my brain saying "if you go any closer you're going to wipe out... DON'T DO IT". So that's a hurdle I'd like to clear in the next week... I want to attempt a free-standing handstand after the halfway point of the challenge. Progress has been made, but it's hard to say if enough progress has been made. 

 

My runs are brilliant, and I'm enjoying the HIIT workouts more than I expected to. Those workouts are the glue when the rest of the week tries to fall apart.

 

Negatives:

To hell with negatives.

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

Great week!!!!  And I'm with you - learn from negatives if they enter your life.  But CELEBRATE all the successes of the week!!

 

748fdeb36b5be4bd2107f9beddf1bdf7.jpg

Some sort of Jedi .....

We are better than we know, if we can be made to see it, [then] for the rest of our lives, we'll be unwilling to settle for less.  

Walk to Mordor Spreadsheet

Past Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35. 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43

"No, I'm from Iowa.  I only work in outer space." -- James T. Kirk

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GOD it's getting so hard.

 

I'm within a few thousand words of being finished with the first edit of my novel and I just can't seem to close it out. I've been stuck where I am for weeks. The lack of momentum is bleeding over into other areas of my life. Not least of which is my fitness!

 

It's getting harder and harder to wake up early to exercise, and with a wife and two kids clamoring for attention and help the moment I get in from work, it's next to impossible to find time for anything extracurricular in the evening. And it doesn't help that thanks to soccer season being in full swing, I'm having a rash of very very late nights.

 

Whew. Sorry for the gripe session, but I am DRAGGING lately. Gotta find a way to push through the wall. I really think that if I can unblock myself on the novel (and the writing in general), all the pieces will start floating back into place. At the moment, my life feels like a Tetris tower stacked right up the middle.

Level 11 Brutish Scoutsassin (That's totally a thing, shut up)

Str: 30 Dex: 26 Sta: 27 Con: 11 Wis: 23 Cha: 18

NerdFitness Trials: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Hellfire Club 4LIFE!

Inspiration comes in many forms. Watch me fumble towards it at Accidentally Inspired.

Link to post

Push through that wall! This is a temporary state of affairs and your goals are going to be harder sometimes than others. You have the mettle to get through it. While I know the novel is probably giving you a lot of grief, don't let it stop up your other activities. Unlink that novel progress from the other ways you are looking to push forward in life. Can you think writing while you work out? Cardio sessions with mind wandering can be helpful for thinking through that kind of thing! While it's not the sprints/speed work you are looking for, it might be worth it? 

 

You've got this. 

Raptron, alot assassin

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

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