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SymphonicDan

SymphonicDan - caught in action! [level 12]

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Hey :) For anyone new to my threads, I'm a 24-year-old guy from England. I do:

  • amateur gymnastics
  • hand balancing
  • climbing
  • weightlifting
  • bodyweight exercises
  • slacklining

While motionless I work as a software developer, compose piano music and listen to metal.
 
This challenge: my aim is to create a training sampler video that demonstrates lots of the stuff I've been working on this year. To do this, I'll need to:

  • collect videos of various things
  • practise some skills to get them as good as I can manage
  • produce the video

Goal #1: keep training: the main goal this challenge is to train many of the following list each week. For some of them I can count two sessions per week if i do them. There are 23 listed in total. Stat points will be awarded as follows:

  •  6 or more: +0.25 DEX
  •  8 or more: +0.25 STR
  • 10 or more: +0.25 WIS
  • 12 or more: +0.25 DEX
  • 14 or more: +0.25 WIS
  • 16 or more: +0.25 STR

Explosive push-ups: [plus second session] I've been working lots on clapping push-ups recently, so now I want to experiment with some more advanced variations.
 
Muscle-ups: [plus second session] On the gymnastics rings I can do these, but I want them to look prettier so I need to build strength for the transition. I also want to learn ring forward rolls and bar muscle-ups, which will benefit from and count towards this training.
 
Weighted pull-ups: [plus second session] Currently I can lift over 31kg (68#) on pull-ups, and want to get even stronger. An extended session on 1-arm rows or similar will also count for this.
 
Backflips: [plus second session] I can just about do these onto soft surfaces, and I've conquered some of the fear issues involved, so the next steps are to improve them and get used to doing them on scarier surfaces.
 
Handstands against wall: [plus second session] I don't do these enough but they do help me
 
Freestanding handstands: [plus second session] Currently I balance for 5 seconds if I'm lucky. I'm making slow progress and should continue.
 
Handstand walking: [plus second session] I can walk on my hands quite well, and want to learn to control my direction rather than just walk to prevent me from falling over :tongue:
 
Levers - front and back: such as this [plus second session] - I need to increase my shoulder strength for this.
 
Slacklining: My friend has a line and there's a circus group who have open sessions, so I should make use of these opportunities much more
 
Hopak dance - jumping: hopak is a style of Ukrainian dance involving some crazy acrobatics that I'd like to learn. This item is for the jumping moves.
 
Hopak dance - windmills: this item is for the move at 1:50 in the video above
 
Hopak dance - cossack squats: this item is for the item at 0:00 in the video above
 
Tricking kicks: jump high, spin around, and have a reasonably aesthetic kick in the middle! Like this. I've only tried these once so I'm interested to see how they'll progress.
 
Anything else **new** that might be worth including in the sampler: [plus second new item] watch this space :)
 
 
...that should cover everything :)
 
 
Goal #2: collect videos: to ensure I record some good material for the video, I'm going to record at least one thing every week to a quality that I consider worthy of inclusion to the final product. As I want to keep the last week free for creating the video, The 6 weeks will be weeks 0-5. +2 CHA is available, and I'll award:

  • grade A: 6 weeks
  • grade B: 5 weeks
  • grade C: 4 weeks
  • grade D: 3 weeks

Goal #3: sleep early: I keep sleeping too late. I should sleep before 0045 so I have more than 8 hours' sleep. This challenge will run from evenings of Sunday 26th to Saturday 5th September. +2 CON available.

  • grade A: 36-42 nights
  • grade B: 31-35 nights
  • grade C: 26-30 nights
  • grade D: 21-25 nights

Goal #4: adulting: There are a few responsible things I should sort out before the end of the challenge:

  • move house: I need to find a nice place to live before the end of August
  • plan holidays: 17.5 days of my holiday allowance will go to waste unless I find something good to do with them. I'll arrange something for 4 days
  • plan more holidays: actually make that 7 days
  • plan even more holidays: actually make that 10 days. Nice problem to have I know, but it needs to get fixed.

+0.50 CHA for each.
 
 
Hope this will be an enjoyable challenge both for me and for everyone reading. I appreciate your support and advice as always :)
 
~~~ TRACKING: ~~~
 
Goal #1: keep training:

  • 1_3___ - explosive push-ups (1)
  • ______ - explosive push-ups (2)
  • 1234__ - muscle-ups (1)
  • ______ - muscle-ups (2)
  • 1_3456 - weighted pull-ups (1)
  • ______ - weighted pull-ups (2)
  • 1_____ - backflips (1)
  • ______ - backflips (2)
  • _2____ - handstands by wall (1)
  • ______ - handstands by wall (2)
  • 1234_6 - handstands, freestanding (1)
  • _2____ - handstands, freestanding (2)
  • 123___ - handstand walking (1)
  • ______ - handstand walking (2)
  • 12_4__ - levers (1)
  • _2____ - levers (2)
  • _2____ - hopak, jumping
  • ______ - hopak, windmills
  • 12_45_ - hopak, cossack squats
  • ______ - tricking kicks
  • 1__4__ - slackline
  • 1234_6 - something new (1) - elbow levers; elbow levers; pistol squats; pistol squats; suicide jump; front handsprings
  • ___4_6 - something new (2) - [forgotten]; paused reps in weightlifting
  • week 1: DEX STR WIS (10)
  • week 2: DEX STR WIS (10)
  • week 3: DEX (6)
  • week 4: DEX STR (8)
  • week 5: (2)
  • week 6: (4) => grade D (challenge probably too ambitious)

 

Goal #2: collect videos:

  • week 0: YES (front lever)
  • week 1: YES (rings basics)
  • week 2: YES (muscle-up, lever, 1-armed lock-off)
  • week 3: YES (weighted pull-up)
  • week 4: YES (slackline, rings)
  • week 5: YES (hopak, 1-armed row) => grade A

Goal #3: sleep early:

  • week 1: sm_wT__ (4)
  • week 2: s_t_TF_  (4)
  • week 3: s_t__F_  (3)
  • week 4: _mtw_F_ (4)
  • week 5: smtwTF_ (6)
  • week 6: smt_TF => grade C

Goal #4: adulting:

  • moved into new place
  • booked holiday to the Netherlands, Spain and Morocco (with more to come)
  • booked holiday to the Lake District (England) => grade A
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So, you're planning on the usual awesomeness again.   :)

Lol yes, well I'm planning on it - who knows how this will actually unfold!

 

Ooooh shiny! :D

SO FRESH AND CLEAN AND NEW!

All the adjectives! (well the nice ones, anyway...)

 

Love the adulting goal. What kind of place you're thinking of (both for house and holidays?)

Waiting for more videos!

There are a couple of groups of friends with whom I've discussed going for a holiday - places considered include Croatia and Turkey, but I'm open to possibilities :) For a house, I'll be renting a nice room somewhere in a shared house. My city is expensive, I travel by bike (so want to live centrally), want somewhere modern (I'm living in a small room in an old house at the moment) and want space in my room for my keyboard and a desk so I can write messages on here... so I have reasonably strict criteria to satisfy!

 

It's before the official start of my challenge, but yesterday I went to gymnastics :)

  • backflips: needed one spotted one onto a crashmat in the foam pit to get me started, but after that I had a really good session of these
  • frontflips: meh
  • handstands: okay, but no progress
  • cartwheels: getting neater!

I have more gymnastics planned tomorrow, and maybe I'll start filming some material :)

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Oh i'd love to see the process of making this video! I'll be lurking again, as usual.

 

Good to see you here KB Girl :)

 

Today I had an interesting gymnastics session:

  • frontflips: on the inflatable tumble track these had very nice jumps, but I just cannot tuck up properly... I tried to grab my shins today like I do for backflips, but I can't reach at all :o I think I need to solve this problem before my frontflips will improve any more. My cues for the jumps were to jump with my arms straight up by my ears, and with my legs slightly forward. This worked very well.
  • backflips: spotted on the tumble track, but not so great today. I think my main backflip practice should be with the foam pit on Mondays, not the tumble track on Wednesdays.
  • handstands: no good today :(
  • cartwheels: better than ever! I'm doing a weird thing bending one knee to keep my centre of mass over my hands... If I give myself strong cues to keep my legs straight and apart then the cartwheels are much nicer
  • upstarts: did lots of work on these on the bars - so much so that I ripped the skin of my left hands just before the end of the lesson. I've heard Raptron complain about this a lot, and for the first time I know what she means :P I'll have to learn how to take care of my callouses... Still, the upstarts were better than ever - it's just the last part of the move (the "pulling up your trousers" or inverse deadlift motion) that I get wrong... Cues are to shift my hand position and to straighten my body immediately.
  • hopak jumps: went to the park to do just about the only thing I could practise with a freshly ripped palm - hopak jumps. Just did basic pike jumps today. Good cues are to focus on something above eye level for the duration of the jump, to swing arms right up to vertical at take-off, and to dig a little deeper than natural for take-off

Lots of cues. I'm going to make notes in my training notebook lest I forget :)

 

Goal #2: collect videos: intended to get some of frontflips today but was too busy with the upstarts

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I'm so looking forward to the hopak! :D

 

And I can't believe you managed to go rip free this long. Clearly you haven't been doing enough. :P 

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And I can't believe you managed to go rip free this long. Clearly you haven't been doing enough. :tongue:

 

Yeah.  That ^^^   It seems like whenever I have to do anything involving big swings on a bar in parkour class, I end up with ripped hands.  And the rips are especially annoying since they're so hard to tape and tend to split open over and over in the course of healing.  

 

I haven't worked on them a lot, but upstarts seem so frustrating.  The timing required is so precise, and it's tough to feel how you need to make adjustments.  I'm kind of stuck at the part where the legs swing back down and the body goes up to the bar.  

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yay on the HOPAK :)

 

also I see you are aiming for it all again and we are in for an awesome journey as per usual, mmmh, like like it

 

Yay, good to have you here :) And this time I'm aiming for it all with a more solid plan... so fingers crossed! (except when I'm doing handstands, ouch)

 

 

I'm so looking forward to the hopak! :D

 

And I can't believe you managed to go rip free this long. Clearly you haven't been doing enough. :tongue:

 

I'm going to have to do a lot of work for this hopak, I couldn't bear to disappoint you now haha :P And yes, clearly I haven't been doing enough upstart work - do people get rips doing other gymnastic things? On the rings there isn't much friction, for example, so it seems you'd have to be swinging on a bar to risk any rips.

 

Yeah.  That ^^^   It seems like whenever I have to do anything involving big swings on a bar in parkour class, I end up with ripped hands.  And the rips are especially annoying since they're so hard to tape and tend to split open over and over in the course of healing.  

 

I haven't worked on them a lot, but upstarts seem so frustrating.  The timing required is so precise, and it's tough to feel how you need to make adjustments.  I'm kind of stuck at the part where the legs swing back down and the body goes up to the bar.  

 

Any recommendations for how to tape them if I feel the need to do more upstarts before my hands have healed? The point you say is hard in the upstart is exactly what I'm having trouble with... it seems like it shouldn't be hard, but we've learnt the hard way that it is :P

 

How'd you like your first shower with your shiny new rip? ;)

 

I'll tell you next week. Wait what... just kidding :P It wasn't actually that bad as long as I avoided getting much soap on the wound. there's still a layer of waterproof skin undearneath that hasn't been damaged, luckily!

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Pre-challenge gymnastics rings session today, despite the rip on my hand. A couple of friends joined me, including one new friend who is interested in doing more so yay for that :)

 

ring muscle-ups: did a lot of practice at these - my false grip is fine but I've lost the strength for the transition so I can only complete these if I hurl myself up in an ugly way. I experimented with some exercises, and found that if I arrange everything perfectly I can do a muscle-up row that really works the transition at the right intensity, so I did a load of those.

 

front lever: big win here - last challenge I wanted to build up my strength for a particular easier variation (Manx front lever pull) but failed. Today I managed it for the first time so although it's 4 days too late to count, I'm happy with this :)

 

support hold: today I demonstrated how it's much harder to turn the palms out (i.e., turn the palms so they face forwards) but apparently I'm now strong enough to get pretty much the perfect position :o I'm wondering which part(s) of my training have randomly given me this ability... maybe levers?

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Don't you love it when you discover a new strength or skill unexpectedly :) oh wait, that's me, I love that, you will probably rack that smart brain of yours until you figured out how it happened :D

Congratulations on all the wins, that is fantastic!

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I'm going to have to do a lot of work for this hopak, I couldn't bear to disappoint you now haha :tongue: And yes, clearly I haven't been doing enough upstart work - do people get rips doing other gymnastic things? On the rings there isn't much friction, for example, so it seems you'd have to be swinging on a bar to risk any rips.

 

Good. :P 

 

I get callouses from hanging on pull-up bars and then I rip them up climbing. Happens all the time. Especially after that pull-up duel. :P

 

support hold: today I demonstrated how it's much harder to turn the palms out (i.e., turn the palms so they face forwards) but apparently I'm now strong enough to get pretty much the perfect position :o I'm wondering which part(s) of my training have randomly given me this ability... maybe levers?

 

Don't know, but I love when that happens! :D

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Haha congrats on getting the palms turned out in top holds! Isn't it nice how sometimes these things just happen.

We use muscle-up rows as the last progression towards a ring muscle up, it works like a charm. You using false grip, shoulders under the rings and just pulling up + doing transition + lowering transition as slow as possible?

 

How'd you like your first shower with your shiny new rip? ;)

I'll tell you next week. Wait what... just kidding :tongue: It wasn't actually that bad as long as I avoided getting much soap on the wound. there's still a layer of waterproof skin undearneath that hasn't been damaged, luckily!

The lucky sod doesn't have long hair that can get caught underneath the skin flap.

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Don't you love it when you discover a new strength or skill unexpectedly :) oh wait, that's me, I love that, you will probably rack that smart brain of yours until you figured out how it happened :D

Congratulations on all the wins, that is fantastic!

 

Haha, I think I should accept the win and rack my brain instead for the reasons why I can't yet do some of the other cool moves/holds I want...

 

Good. :tongue:

 

I get callouses from hanging on pull-up bars and then I rip them up climbing. Happens all the time. Especially after that pull-up duel. :tongue:

 

Don't know, but I love when that happens! :D

 

Ooh, I don't know how you rip callouses climbing - maybe I'm using my fingers too much and the rest of my hand too little! Although I guess it only takes a single movement to cause a rip, if you have a vulnerable spot...

 

Haha congrats on getting the palms turned out in top holds! Isn't it nice how sometimes these things just happen.

We use muscle-up rows as the last progression towards a ring muscle up, it works like a charm. You using false grip, shoulders under the rings and just pulling up + doing transition + lowering transition as slow as possible?

 

The lucky sod doesn't have long hair that can get caught underneath the skin flap.

 

I would like to have proper long hair, but not because I envy the grooming complications :P I think I could rock a proper long mane but I don't look good with intermediate length hair, and I'm not prepared to tolerate spending 4 months looking like this:

 

e54daca2779c2df299ab2180d25a3ada.jpg

 

Anyway... muscle-up rows? Yep that's pretty much what I was doing except with the negatives. Probably I should do negatives too to build the control...

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For gymnastics, it's the big swings and circle skills are the most likely to make you rip for both high bar an uneven bars -- because you have to shift your hands and regrip the bar. Once you get used to upstarts/kips, you probably won't even rip on them as the regrip is pretty gentle compared to other skills. 

 

Sick front lever work!

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For gymnastics, it's the big swings and circle skills are the most likely to make you rip for both high bar an uneven bars -- because you have to shift your hands and regrip the bar. Once you get used to upstarts/kips, you probably won't even rip on them as the regrip is pretty gentle compared to other skills. 

 

Sick front lever work!

 

Wow, I've got a lot of hand care to look forward to then! My rip is now mostly healed though, expediated by the frequent application of moisturising cream

 

Weekend: had a great football match on Friday, scoring 6 goals (compared to my usual 0-2), and it was in quite heavy rain which is fun too as long as you don't expect it to be just like a game in the dry. On Saturday I had a big afternoon out in London and Sunday I was tired and rested.

 

Monday: I'm still very tired, and the traffic was crazy on the way to gymnastics so we only got half the session and no warm-up... it was a nice convivial outing but there wasn't much gymnastics win to speak about:

 

Goal #1: keep training:

  • backflips: did some practice and had a small amount of success getting them more vertical
  • handstands: was recommended to plant my front leg further forwards so I can get upright more easily, so experimented with that

Goal #3: sleep early: 100% record so far :)

 

Goal #4: adulting: I've got one potential good option already for a new place to stay - and had some productive conversations about 5 separate holidays between now and the end of this year... so hopefully some of them will happen and i can use my holiday for fun things yay

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Goal #1: keep training: Today I was tired but this challenge motivated to go do at least something, so I took my rings to my favourite location with the intention of doing a nice long warm-up for muscle-ups, followed by 10 attempts. This went according to plan, and managed 6 out of my 10 attempts. Some thoughts:

  • keep the rings close to the body
  • pull-up high
  • don't flare the elbows during the transition
  • do the transition quickly

Also today I had good form on all attempts (no leg swinging, or body twisting) which is a markèd improvement from my form check a couple of months ago :)

 

Goal #3: sleep early: oops, failed today :( 2/3 passes so far...

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Goal #4: adulting: I've got one potential good option already for a new place to stay - and had some productive conversations about 5 separate holidays between now and the end of this year... so hopefully some of them will happen and i can use my holiday for fun things yay

 

Nice! Any particularly fun destinations? :) 

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Nice! Any particularly fun destinations? :)

 

One here in England, two in the Netherlands, and two others in Europe (not yet sure where) - I'll give more fun details if/when they emerge :) I'm sure some of them will fall through though - they're just in the early stages of planning.

 

I'm currently awake, which is miraculous since I randomly couldn't sleep last night until after 3am! :o I felt physically tense, like I was about to go do more rings training or something... I tried lying there for an hour, I tried some meditation, I tried doing some housework... but still kept awake... Eventually I spent a bit of time planning the training sampler video and the focusing on my mind on the handwriting meant I slept quickly afterwards. Definitely looking forward to a long deep sleep tonight though!

 

Goal #1: keep training: I was tired enough today that I skipped gymnastics - which I usually attend religiously - after deciding that I wasn't going to make good progress on anything. However the cycle home and quick dash to buy milk woke me up, so I decided to have a serious session on hopak dancing - cossack squats. :)See here for an example. I've experimented with them before, but today managed a couple of repetitions, yay. Some useful cues:

  • can warm up or build strength by doing the move with arms resting on some chairs
  • need to push forwards when jumping up otherwise I'll fall backwards on my ass
  • best to jump high and tuck the leg right underneath me ass as I land, again to prevent falling backwards

In some ways it's quite similar to pistol squats in that a significant component of the difficulty is not falling backwards :P

 

I also tried doing the steepest decline push-ups I could... I can do them from my 5th stair, but need to find a wall to see whether I can work up to handstand push--ups....

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