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PaulG

PaulG Hacks All The Habits

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I made it back.

 

So, funny story. This is kinda-sorta my first challenge (I gave it a shot about a year back, but it never went anywhere). I usually hang around updating my battle log, which has been around for a while now and documents my journey through bodyweight fitness, and a few bulks and cuts. I'm happy to say I've been pretty successful with fitness.

 

HOWEVER. I have some other habits I need to change. My main quest involves a new job and successful finances, and no amount of fitness know-how will get me that. So it's time to change some other aspects of my life.

 

 

Main Quest.

My ultimate goals are simple: I’m a nerd who wants to be a ninja.
 
Okay seriously can you spit it out please
So I've been involved in the Seattle parkour community for a couple years, though I had to take some time away recently to focus on other aspects of life. My main quest involves getting back into it and focusing more on tumbling and acrobatics. I would love to compete in Ninja Warrior someday. And to get there, I plan to find a new job and move to Seattle full-time (right now I live outside it), explore some career options I let fall by the wayside since I graduated college, and train my happy little self into oblivion. And somewhere before oblivion, Ninja Warrior. And living in France for a year. I'd really like to do that.

 

But goals that involve money -- like a big move or living in a foreign country -- mean I have to treat myself as a little one-man business, and optimize. I'm not much of a businessman. So this challenge will be quite tough for me.

 

So! I've been doing a bunch of reading on habit formation and the science thereof. Most recently, I've finished up The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which is an excellent book on how habits are formed, changed, and broken. I plan to use that know-how to get me what I want: namely, a new job, new apartment, and a better-managed income.

 

With that in mind, here are the habits I've decided to tweak...

 

 

Goals

 

Goal 1: Change my daily post-work routine. I've had a bad habit for a while now. When I get home, I always seem to jump on the laptop and put on some Netflix to unwind. But then I never get anything done after work, and lately there have been lots of bills piling up. So instead of getting home from work and starting dinner, videogames, or Netflix…
Each afternoon I’ll take my laptop and mail into my home office and spend 10 minutes opening mail and taking care of personal business from my Reminders and calendar apps. Once the clock runs out, I can finish up, cross off the things in my to-do list, and choose a 5-minute reward. After the reward, I will spend 10 minutes writing cover letters. Altogether, it should take me about a half hour total each day.

 

I'll grade this one based on a streak method where I reward the longest continuous streak of following through on the habit. I'm thinking of making a spreadsheet to print so I can mark off the days on my bathroom mirror. That's still in the works. In the meantime...
 
Goal 2: Read "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" & Implement Every Feasible Recommendation.
Despite the hammed-up title, I’ve read this book before on the recs of several smart friends, and it’s a great book on personal finance for young people. It has bite-sized actionable items for six weeks’ worth of personal finance improvements. Some of them I’ve already done, but there are at least a couple things that are either ongoing or unfinished. Here are some criteria that will be complete by the time the 6 weeks is over, if I’ve met this goal:
Spend a few minutes maintaining my Mint.com account every Monday

  • $600 saved for a new apartment
  • $800 paid on my credit card debt
  • My retirement account switched out of Edward Jones and into a free/low-fee IRA, with the money invested in index funds

This is all one goal because it should all happen pretty much automatically – the savings money is all marked to be auto-transferred from my paychecks, all I have to do is work on my retirement account and manage my budget briefly each week. (I've done some work on my finances already leading up to this challenge, so now my quest is to sustain my progress.)
 
Goal 3: Fitness on autopilot: weigh every day. Most of my fitness stuff is pretty locked in at this point and I don’t need to worry about it much. But I do struggle with weighing daily, and it messes with my very pretty spreadsheet I use to track my weight, bodyfat percentage, and metabolism. If I had weigh-ins for every day, I could do a lot more with that spreadsheet – track my metabolism better, mainly, and have a better idea exactly how my lean mass is changing (which will be important soon, as I’m planning on beginning a bulk in the next couple weeks). So rather than set qualitative goals for gaining new skills, I’m going to keep working as planned and simply work on weighing every day. It shouldn’t be hard – both my place and my girlfriend’s place has a bathroom scale. I just need to remember to use it.
 
Goal 4: Exercise with my girlfriend once per week. Since late January, my girlfriend has also gotten involved in fitness. It all started when she asked my advice to cut for a few weeks... so now we want to work on some exercises together. However, this is more about spending time with her than actually trying to accomplish something specific. She has a few skills, like handstands and back bridges, she wants to learn. To count toward this, we’ll spend some time together (at least 15 minutes) working on mobility and doing a little skillwork.
 
Bonus: read a book on good communication in relationships. My girlfriend and I have both struggled with good communication in past relationships. Lately as we’ve talked more seriously about long-term commitments, like moving in together, we’re realized that approaching communication like any other skill, with planning and practice, will do us a lot of good down the line. Right now I don’t have a specific book, but I’m on the hunt for one.

 

 

Rewards

 

This is partially just for fun, but it could come in handy.

 

It's important to follow up new habits with rewards when you first start: it gives you an important bit of pleasure right at the end of doing that thing you've been kicking yourself for not doing. So this will be a list of rewards: each time I complete a habit, I'll treat myself to a reward picked from this list. Here we go, here are the things that give me warm fuzzies:

 

  1. Chocolate
  2. Ice cream
  3. Activity: light handstand practice, a walk around the neighborhood, etc.
  4. Video games
  5. Crap TV
  6. Podcasts!

I may add to this list as the challenge continues. And I'll update my goals with some notes on grading for each. In the meantime, signing off -- let me know what you think of these goals, I'd love to get your feedback.

 

genes-meme-fry-emergency-fund.528425131.

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Thanks, all!

So! Still working on my goals. I do have a slight problem with the post-work routine: I don't always go home right after work. About once a week I drive up to Seattle for a date night with the girlfriend. So I'll need to work in some kind of accommodation for that. I am considering taking my laptop along and, for a half hour or so before I get on the road, knocking out my business time in a coffee shop nearby.

Still in progress, but that's my working goal for now.

I've put a lot of thought into the idea of running myself as a business -- a lot of business concepts have been applied to fitness. They're a natural fit, actually: people who study habit development know that habits are developed within companies and organizations just as much as individuals. In fact, the great majority of what a company does is dictated by its collective habits; so you really can't run an effective business if you can't change those habits to suit your needs.

I think a lot of business concepts can be applied to other aspects of our habits: our finances, for one. And (a little bit tougher) our time management and morale/quality of life.

All this thought has borne some fruit: I've gone so far as to write a business plan for myself. (Yes, I am that nerdy.) I've also recently penned out a guide, addressed to myself, to end my bad habits around procrastination and create new, productive ones.

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In other news, i worked out last night. Here's the log. Feel free to ask about what anything means, I use some complicated notation at times.

Workout 4/6

Normal Warmup

+ DB Wrist Extensions

Ring Support Holds: 2 holds

L-sit Holds (on PBs): 2 holds

German Hangs: 3 holds

HS Skillwork: 10 minutes kickup practice

Bent-Over Pistols

7/7 a-e, 6/6 a-e, 8/8 a-x

False Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

3 a-e,

+7.5: 3c2c1 a-x, 3c2c1 a-y, 3*c2*c1 a-y

Wall Headstand Push-ups (2" elevation)

1n3(5s) b-y, 2n1(5s) b-y, 1n1(6s) c-y, 1n1(7s) b-y

-Negatives are starting to feel rough on my shoulder in a way the full motion usually doesn't. Gonna have to watch that. But hopefully I'll be able to get adequate volume to perform the full movement within a week or so.

Tuck Front Lever Rows

3n1 b-x, 4n1(3s) b-x, 5 c-y

- Every time I come back to these I feel a little better in my form. Very happy right now, my arms can finally straighten out at the bottom, which they couldn't do before.

Ring Dips

3 b-y, 3* c-y, 3 c-y

- Shoulder's not feeling great so I didn't push very hard in the last set. I want perfect form, not tons of reps. (If I keep telling myself that, maybe it will become true.)

Deep Step-ups

+20: 7/7 b-x, 6/6 a-x, 7/7 b-x

Cooldown

Compression/shoulder/wrist prehab circuit

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I think a notation legend may not be a bad idea, at least for the superscripts?

Actually, good idea. I have been thinking about updating it for a while, now's as good a time as any. It's also on my battle log, I'll repost it here.

Workout Log Key

I list the name of the exercise first in bold. Under it, I list the weight (if I added any weight), then information for each set. In each set I list the number of reps, and a grade for my form and how much effort I exerted in that set. (More on that later.)

So if I list:

Pull-ups

5 a-x, 5 a-x

It means I did two sets of pull-ups, 5 reps each set, and both sets had a-level form and x-level exertion.

Form Notation

I grade my form primarily because in bodyweight exercise, that’s often a type of improvement. If one day you perform 5 terrible pull-ups, then the next you perform 5 pretty good pull-ups, you’ve gotten stronger. Problem is, if you’re writing your numbers in a log, you may think you’re actually stalling – the numbers don’t show your improvement. This is my solution. (Or at least the solution I stole from Waldo.)

a: to my knowledge, my form was perfect throughout the set. No issues or incredibly minor ones.

b: Not perfect form, but workable. A few minor issues that I can work to solve in the future, or a minor breakdown toward the end of the set. No major issues, just details to iron out.

c: Below average form. Major form issues may be happening, though they’re not making the exercise unsafe. The details of good form need lots of work.

d: Crap form, major form issues with the movement. I may need to look at whether I’m risking injury with my form.

RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion):

I shamelessly stole Waldo's system for grading his RPEs, which he outlined in his blog post. For that matter, my form quality notation is also based on his.

Waldo being something of a pioneer of bodyweight training on these boards, I've also borrowed a few other aspects of his notation:

/: denotes left/right reps of a single-limb exercise. For example, 5/3 reps on a pistol squat means 5 reps on my left leg, 3 reps on my right.

n: Used to denote negatives used during my sets. (For example, pull-up negatives. They’re also called eccentrics.) I use these most often to give me some remedial work if I’m not yet able to perform the full movement very well. Sometimes I’ll use it at the end of a regular set just to give me some extra volume. I usually notate the number of seconds in parentheses, though if I don’t it was a 5-second negative. For instance, 5n3(6s) pull-ups would be 5 full reps, followed by 3 negatives, each of which lasted 6 seconds.

c: Denotes cluster reps, which I use to give me extra volume with a very difficult exercise. I usually take a 5-breath break between my cluster reps, but I will notate any nonstandard breath breaks in {} brackets. Another pull-up example: 3c2c1{10br} means 3 reps, a 5-breath break, 2 reps, a 10-breath break, and one last rep.

m{}: Denotes myo-reps, which I use to give me extra volume in an exercise that’s somewhat easy for me. I notate the activation set, then the following sets in brackets. I usually take a 5-breath pause between each set, but nonstandard pauses will be notated in () after the set. For example, 10 m{3,3,3,3}(10br) means I did 10 reps for an activation set, took a 10-breath pause, then did 3 reps, another 10-breath pause, another 3 reps… and so on. (Again, credit to Waldo for coming up with this notation.)

*: If I fail partway through my last rep of a set, I still count that rep but add this to mark that I failed. So 3* reps of pull-ups would be 2 good reps, and a third that I failed on partway through. This is only when I'm really going all-out, leaving nothing in the tank for the next set.

Let me know if you see any other notation I didn't cover here, I'm happy to update the key.

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Awesome challenge, and impressive workout! Took me a while to figure out the notation you used (I thought you were using some mind-blowing algebra), but it certainly is a good way of tracking exercises!

Subbed. ^^

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So! I've been doing a bunch of reading on habit formation and the science thereof. Most recently, I've finished up The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, which is an excellent book on how habits are formed, changed, and broken. I plan to use that know-how to get me what I want: namely, a new job, new apartment, and a better-managed income.

 

With that in mind, here are the habits I've decided to tweak...

 

 

That's a great, eye-opening book. I read it a while ago, but should reread it.

 

Goal 2: Read "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" & Implement Every Feasible Recommendation.

Despite the hammed-up title, I’ve read this book before on the recs of several smart friends, and it’s a great book on personal finance for young people. It has bite-sized actionable items for six weeks’ worth of personal finance improvements. Some of them I’ve already done, but there are at least a couple things that are either ongoing or unfinished. Here are some criteria that will be complete by the time the 6 weeks is over, if I’ve met this goal:

Spend a few minutes maintaining my Mint.com account every Monday

  • $600 saved for a new apartment
  • $800 paid on my credit card debt
  • My retirement account switched out of Edward Jones and into a free/low-fee IRA, with the money invested in index funds
This is all one goal because it should all happen pretty much automatically – the savings money is all marked to be auto-transferred from my paychecks, all I have to do is work on my retirement account and manage my budget briefly each week. (I've done some work on my finances already leading up to this challenge, so now my quest is to sustain my progress.)

 

Awesome. This is something I've been reading into a lot more recently as well. I read IWTYTBR a while ago...and should reread that one also! Have you read The Automatic Millionaire? It's a good one too, that's all about automation, and a "set it and forget it" philosophy. Also, do you read budgetsaresexy.com? A great financial blog, generally, with some good tips about saving. He likes index funds too. I recently moved my IRA to another company with index funds and low fees, and one of my goals is to max out my IRA contributions this year. It'll be a challenge, but with automation, it might be possible.

 

Best of luck this challenge!

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I just recently updated a write-up of my short- and mid-term physical goals. These aren't part of the challenge, they're goals for my bodyweight training that I've already got the habits in place to accomplish. But since I'm updating them anyway, up here they go, for your viewing pleasure and feedback.

Plus! Bonus! At the end I have a video of my form check for ring dips. Feel free to give feedback on it too.


Goals!
Full-Depth, Pain-Free Pistol Squats.
It’s time to get serious about pistols again. My lower body used to be in great shape, but since my layoff last winter I’ve been shy about building strength due to a left knee that’s always been a little less stable and more prone to pain. And it shows; I still can’t do full-depth pistol squats. However, they’re a great exercise*, and it’s time to get serious about them again, especially as my bulk begins pretty soon.
- Work box pistols to 3x8-10
- Incorporate parkour single-leg balancing drill as warmup
- Leaned-over pistol negatives to 3x4-5 DONE
- Leaned-over pistols 3x3! DONE
- Work pistols to 3x8-10
- 3x3 upright pistols! (Goal: 5/1/15)

3 Wall Headstand Pushups.
I’ve been working on these for ages, albeit on and off. However, I know I’m within weeks of getting it now. I’ve had minor wrist issues, particularly toward the end of my last cut, that have held these up a tad; but I’m looking forward to getting back into them on Monday. At this point I’m a mere 3-4 inches from the ground – so close I can taste it. I have my fingers crossed that I’ll have these by 5/1/15.
- Work up to 3x8 on a mat, head elevated
- 3 Wall Headstand Pushups! (Goal: 5/1/15)
- Then: add reps, clean up form before moving to hard ground.

Return of the Ring Dips.
Ever since I got a small impingement from these way back in 2013, I’ve been wanting to get back to ring dips for real. The way I injured them was simple: hubris. I didn’t have the strength or mobility to make my dips as deep as I tried to make them, and let my shoulders cave forward as a result, which stressed my shoulder ligaments (and possibly the cartilage). So now I want them for real, and I’m willing to take the slow route to get them. I’ll take it in 3 phases. First, negatives and mobility work to give me that missing range of motion. Second phase: ring dips to strengthen my shoulders, with lots of remedial form work to lock in that new range of motion. Third phase: moving on to more stressful forms of dips, such as Russian dips.
- Ring Dip Negatives to 3x5-6 DONE
- German hangs & wall slides between each set DONE
- 3x3 Ring Dips! (goal: 5/1/15) DONE
- Work ring dips to 3x8 – slowly – incorporating form days 1x per week

3 Kipping Muscle-Ups.
I want these. Right now they're my overarching mid-term goal. I feel like I'm very close to a breakthrough, attacking them from several different angles. It's been tough to work them without being sure of what my milestones are; I have a few ideas, but no guarantee that the short-term goals I've laid out will actually get me all the way there.
- Practice kip & jumping MUs
- Improve pull height with explosive pulls
- 3x6-8 explosive pulls
- Add weight to explosive pulls
- 3x3 tuck front lever rows
- Begin Russian dips



And now... Ring Dips Form Check!



How'd I do, everyone? By all means, let me know.

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That's a great, eye-opening book. I read it a while ago, but should reread it.

Awesome. This is something I've been reading into a lot more recently as well. I read IWTYTBR a while ago...and should reread that one also! Have you read The Automatic Millionaire? It's a good one too, that's all about automation, and a "set it and forget it" philosophy. Also, do you read budgetsaresexy.com? A great financial blog, generally, with some good tips about saving. He likes index funds too. I recently moved my IRA to another company with index funds and low fees, and one of my goals is to max out my IRA contributions this year. It'll be a challenge, but with automation, it might be possible.

Best of luck this challenge!

Thanks! I've never read either of those, but they are exactly the sort of tips I was hoping to get -- I'll check them both out.

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Workout 4/8

Normal Warmup

- I noticed this a couple days ago, but it's crystal-clear now: very recently I started exerting more effort when doing my wall slides, and suddenly I have a ton more mobility in my overhead position (shoulder flexion). It's translated to big strides in my handstand practice just in the last couple workouts.

Ring Support Holds: 2 holds
Ring L-sits (~45 deg): 2 holds
L-sit Holds: 3 holds
German Hangs: 2 holds
HS Skillwork: 5 mins kickup practice
Kipping MU practice: 4 tries.
- So. Freaking. Close. I'm getting my lower abs to the bar, but can't generate the spin to upright, instead I'm leaning back at what feels like a 45 degree angle. I feel like a kick backwards would solve that problem, but I don't quite have the timing down yet.

Bent-Over Pistols
8/8 a-e, 8/8 a-e, 8/8 a-x
- Pistols are growing by leaps and bounds, and the knee is not bothering me anymore. Definitely seeing some classic noob gains here, they'll probably taper off once I go upright and manage about 3x5.
- This growth definitely cements something I've suspected for a while: the #1 inhibitor for most when they're new at pistols is single-leg balance, and thus an extra focus on that will drive very fast progress. I've done some extra single-let balance stuff the last several days, balancing on rails just for fun, and I can feel the difference clearly.


False Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups
BW: 3 a-e,
+7.5lb: 4*c2 a-x, 3c2c2*{6br} a-y, 3c2c1{6br} a-y,
BW: 2 a-y
- Really proud of all my bodyweight reps, all were perfect top of abs to bar. Even the reps after my weighted sets.
- Tried to eke out a 4th rep in the first set but no dice. I completed it but ground it, so not as explosive as I would have liked. Plus, had to use my legs to pop my chest to the bar.


Wall Headstand Push-ups (2" elevation)
3 c-x, 3 c-x, 3n1(3s) c-y
- F**K YES. I have 3x3. That's my magic number. A week or so spent working on form and I'll be able to start working the full move, no deficit.
- First 2 reps of the last set were almost b-level form, not nearly as much arching in the upper back.


Tuck Front Lever Rows
5 b-x, 4n1 b-x, 2n1 c-y
- Definitely burned a lot of strength on those weighted pulls, I was not feeling it by the last set here. The negative on the last set felt really good though, straight arms, solid shoulders, and really felt it in the lats.

PBar Dips (Form Day)
5 a-e, 4 a-e, 5 a-e
- Went light to give my shoulders a break, I've really been beating the hell out of them lately. I promised myself I'd do a form day for dips once a week. So here we go.

Assisted Natural Hamstring Curls
5 a-x, 5 a-x,
- More pain than normal in the lateral hamstring on the 2nd set. Go easy, don't want to hurt myself.

Cooldown
Compression/wrist prehab circuit

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How did you go about fixing your shoulder position on the ring dips?  I have the exact same problem right now, where my shoulders tend to cave forward on my ring dips (well, and a lot of other shoulder intensive moves).  Merely trying really hard to pull my shoulders back doesn't seem to be working for me.  

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How did you go about fixing your shoulder position on the ring dips? I have the exact same problem right now, where my shoulders tend to cave forward on my ring dips (well, and a lot of other shoulder intensive moves). Merely trying really hard to pull my shoulders back doesn't seem to be working for me.

Sure, I'd be happy to give my two cents, sounds like your problems are similar to mine. What's your warmup/prehab look like for your shoulders, and what exercises do you do?

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Quick goal update.

 

Since the 7th, I've successfully changed my post-work routine the last two days. It's having about the effect I thought it would: the ten minutes easily turns into more, and I get a lot more done than I would otherwise (even while simultaneously cranking Chet Faker and enjoying a beer).

 

I had this idea for the slight change in my routine when one day I took my computer out of my room to the office, and what was supposed to be a little budgeting became opening a new savings account, reading a book, and making an overdue car repair in the span of two hours. So yep. I definitely get more done if I wait a while before retreating to my bedroom. And it helps a ton if I have reminders on my phone set to go off when I get home.

 

So far I've weighed every day this week in preparation for goal 3. Only thing I have not nailed pretty well is the book on relationships -- I'm still not sure what I'll be reading just yet. It's on the to-do list for tomorrow, though. So I'll do some research after my workout.

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Sure, I'd be happy to give my two cents, sounds like your problems are similar to mine. What's your warmup/prehab look like for your shoulders, and what exercises do you do?

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

Warmup and prehab are mostly yoga based.  I do planks while trying to pinch my shoulders back.  I'm also doing upward planks, the stretches where you put your arms on something and then try to push your chest downward through your arms, various stretches where you clasp your hands together behind your back, and shoulder dislocates.  

 

I find that my shoulders really hunch forward for just anything on the rings, but they're a little forward for pull-ups, too.  I'm sure a lot of the imbalance is because I rock climb, and generally your shoulders are forward for climbing.

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Thanks for any advice!

Warmup and prehab are mostly yoga based. I do planks while trying to pinch my shoulders back. I'm also doing upward planks, the stretches where you put your arms on something and then try to push your chest downward through your arms, various stretches where you clasp your hands together behind your back, and shoulder dislocates.

I find that my shoulders really hunch forward for just anything on the rings, but they're a little forward for pull-ups, too. I'm sure a lot of the imbalance is because I rock climb, and generally your shoulders are forward for climbing.

So I'm not gonna lie, I wrote you a novel. Here's my response, a little cut-down to save space, but I just posted the full version on my training log.

You have the basic idea, good instincts. Almost always the cause is a muscle imbalance. Your lats and pecs are fighting your traps and rotator cuff, and the lats and pecs are winning because they're stronger. So instead of gaining more flexibility (like with all those stretches), the best way to solve this problem is by strengthening those weak muscles (which will give you more usable ROM and thus more mobility in your shoulders). You want to get your shoulders acquainted with a few motions that are weak in most people: pulling your shoulders down (scapular depression and retraction), and external rotation.

If you’re not already injured, the best way to solve the problem is to simply hold the top of a dip for time. All you have to do is get on parallel bars or set up for a bench dip and push your shoulders down as far as they’ll go. That’s scapular depression. (Sneak a peek at your elbows, and try to get your elbow-pits forward. This is external rotation of the shoulder.) You can shrug your shoulders up to your ears and then push down again to get a feel for it. Then, you can do that for reps (that motion in a bench dip position with your legs on the floor is a common PT exercise) or hold it for time if you’re strong enough. Another great way to work into a workout routine is by working L-sit progressions (since I started training L-sits I’ve had near-zero shoulder problems).

Once you’ve got that down, your next step is to work on ring support holds (which is the exact same shoulder position, just on rings). When you can hold them for about 20-30 seconds without major shaking, you’re ready for ring dips.

Mobility note: When I first started, my shoulders were not very mobile in that range. Scapular wall slides fixed that very quickly (they also have fixed my overhead position mobility issues): they force you to relax the big internal rotators of your shoulder and pull your shoulders up and down with the propermuscles.

So the real TLDR is: holding the top of the dip position, then ring support holds when you’re strong enough, supplemented by scapular wall slides worked into your warmup. L-sit holds are an option and will help you progress more quickly with your shoulders.

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Good luck in your challenge Paul!

 

Thanks for encouraging me to join in on this 6WC. I might have flaked out otherwise :)

 

Kipping MU practice: 4 tries.
- So. Freaking. Close. I'm getting my lower abs to the bar, but can't generate the spin to upright, instead I'm leaning back at what feels like a 45 degree angle. I feel like a kick backwards would solve that problem, but I don't quite have the timing down yet.

 

Do you ever video your muscle up attempts? I'd be very interested to see one.

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Good luck in your challenge Paul!

Thanks for encouraging me to join in on this 6WC. I might have flaked out otherwise :)

Do you ever video your muscle up attempts? I'd be very interested to see one.

At this point I need to. Otherwise I probably won't make much more progress.

Glad you're joining the challenge! Gonna hunt for your thread, right after I post my...

Workout 4/10

Normal Warmup

Ring Support Holds: 2 holds

L-sit Holds: 3 holds

German Hangs: 3 holds

HS Skillwork: 5 min kickup practice

Jumping MU Practice: 3 tries. Not as successful as last time, couldn't get the bar past mid-abs. I'm remarkably tired everywhere.

Upright Pistols

5/5 c-x, 4/4 c-x, 5/5 c-y

- Noticed on my nonworking leg, my heel has been tapping the ground once or twice in the hole, for balance. Cutting that out right now.

- First 4 reps of the 3rd set were b-level form.

False Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

BW: 5c2 b-y, 4 b-x, 5 m{1,1,1}(5br) m{1}(10br) a-z

- Largest volume of c2b pulls I've ever done. Not sure if those myo-reps at the end will prove to be a good idea. Guess I'll find out in the morning.

Wall Headstand Push-ups (2" elevation)

2 c-y, 3 c-y, 1 b-z, 3 c-z

- Lots of back arch in that last set. But I made it.

Tuck Front Lever Rows

4 b-y, 4 c-y, 1n2 c-y

Ring Dips

2n1 c-y

- Just not feeling it today, the tank started off really low. Usually it refills once I get warmed up, but not today. Clearly I need to get some more rest, I haven't slept 7 hours a night this week like I have been lately. Gonna call it a night and give myself a weekend of rest.

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Welp, it's Monday morning, the birdies are tweeting, the challenge is beginning. And it's Parkour Monday! Enjoy the following reel from an extremely talented UK traceur.

Thus far today, all the boxes have been checked. I weighed in this morning (184.4, unusually high), and spent my morning work break maintaining my budget. I am feeling very accomplished, I'm not gonna lie. Next on the list is a little light reading: I picked my relationship book (Nonviolent Communication, which all my coupled friends who I look up to tell me is the best place to at least start).

I even did a little bit exercise/shoulder mobility workout with my girlfriend the other night, though my challenge hadn't started yet.

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Funny story. On a lark, I downloaded the Coursera app. Now, Coursera is something I've been interested in for a while: years ago I read on nerd fitness about it and a physiology of exercise course it has, and I've been interested in taking it ever since. Unfortunately, they aren't running any sessions on the physiology course right now. However… no sooner did I download the app then I got a notification that three new courses are starting next week on music production and writing. I played the guitar since I was 16, and the ins and outs of songwriting and production always interested me, so before I knew it I had signed up for a full 18 to 24 hours a week of class work.

Good times. It won't be a top priority for this challenge, so I won't make it a core goal, but I think I'll have the time and I would love to see how the classes go.

On the physical front, I've been thinking of taking a light week this week.

I've been going pretty much pedal to the metal. In the last 6 weeks I haven't missed a workout, much of it through the last half of a brutal cut. I've made big strides, gotten all my old strength back and more, but I'm also at the point where I'm pretty much perma-sore everywhere, especially the wrists and shoulders. That's what two months of pushing yourself will do to you, I guess. So I'm going to take it easy this week, enjoy a vacation with my girlfriend, and get back in the fold swing of things next week. In the meantime, I'll be doing a volume deload: same exercises, but just practiced enough to maintain my strength, so I have plenty of time to fully recover.

Workout 4/13

Normal Warmup

L-sit Holds: 5

German Hangs: 3

HS Skillwork: 5 mins kickups

Upright Pistols

5/5 b-x, 3/3 a-e

- nothing major form wise, but my hand snuck out in the hole to rebalance on one rep. Bad hand!

- Knee got a little twinge with that last set, so I called it.

Neutral Grip Chest-to-Bar Pull-ups

5 a-x, 5 a-x

Wall Headstand Push-ups (2" elevation)

4 a-y

Cooldown

Compression/wrist prehab circuit

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Emergency fund = zen happiness. Seriously this is one smart goal. When I finally got my emergency fund I could finally sleep at night. (I'm self employed so it's even more necessary for me, but really everyone should have one.)

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