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And so begins my next challenge, The Path of the Barbarian! This is not only a way to get fit and stay fit, but a way to connect with the great outdoors, regardless of weather conditions. Because a Barbarian does not shrink from a little cold and a few snowflakes!

 

I'll be drawing heavily on many barbarian-esque influences to flavor this challenge. This includes historical barbarians (Gauls and other Iron Age Celts, Germanic tribes, Vikings), as well as fantasy-inspired barbarians (Conan, D&D, etc). I will also top it off with plenty of folk/viking/pagan heavy metal! 

 

On to the challenge itself:

  • Goal 1 - Barbarian Mobility: This is the primary focus of the challenge. A true Barbarian should be able to traverse all kinds of terrain, even while carrying a heavy load, even over snow and ice. I will be going for a 20-30 minute ruck (basically walking with weight on my back) 4 times per week. Location isn't really important. I should be able to adapt, whether it's a ruck through the woods or simply through the neighborhood. As winter starts to set in (as it undoubtedly will within the next month) and groomed ski trails become available, I will start substituting crossing country skiing (or XC skiing) for rucking. XC skiing has become a real passion of mine of the last couple of years. Either way, snow or not, I will get outside 4 times per week and put some miles/kilometers behind me.
  • Goal 2 - Primal Awareness: To survive, a Barbarian needs to be in tune with what is happening around him. The goal here is simply to meditate every day, for at least 8 minutes, to keep improving mindfulness and awareness. In addition to meditation, I will also make a daily list of tasks/priorities to complete (in the morning or immediately after work), and make sure I get to bed no later than 11:00 PM. Also for this challenge, NO VIDEO GAMES! Video games are bad for me. After all, a Barbarian should have a strong sense of what his priorities are, and be well rested, in order to be effective and strong. Barbarians don't play video games anyway. Clumsy fingers.  :playful:
  • Goal 3 - Hold the Heathen Hammer High!: A Barbarian must be strong and able to wield his weapon! For this goal I will complete a sledgehammer workout 3 timers per week. Part of the inspiration for this goal comes from here. The rest comes from the likes of Thor and Wulfgar. I may at times replace or augment this workout with bodyweight exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, squats) and training with a nunchaku. Part of the reason for this is that as I write this, I don't actually possess a sledgehammer. I hope to obtain one by the end of the weekend. But if I don't, and have to order one (I want a very specific size), I want to at least be able to do something in the meantime. Conventional strength and endurance training through body weight exercises will fit the bill. As will some time spinning my nunchaku. I have developed quite an affinity with the nunchaku, as I have re-learned how to relax my muscles when using it. Many aches and pains, especially in my back, have subsided since I started the practice, so I expect that even once I get into the full swing of sledgehammer training (hah, nice pun), I plan to keep up training with the nunchaku.

 

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Barbarian theme.  Eluveitie and Tyr for the soundtrack.  You know Rurik's going to pop up!

 

Especially with rucking mentioned!

 

I'll leave you with a favorite of mine...

 

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[Level ?] Altered Outrider (Tech Shaman/Lightning Tempest)

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Equipment: Armor of the First Altered (rare), ECA-AR4 'Space Revenant' rifle (rare), Outrider's pack & Enoch alchemy kit.

Total experience earned to date:  0 / 5000 XP

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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Doing stuff outdoors. Oh yes, I am very much in favour of that

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

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

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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hammer_and_anvil_zpsclmplke7.jpg

 

I have my hammer! My own personal Hammer of Sucellos!

 

I just finished trying it out on my modest tire, only a little bit (no more than 40-50 strikes each side). Yeah, wow...even with just an 8 lb hammer, this is going to be a real workout. But as a guy who has never really possessed much in the way of raw strength and power, I think this is exactly what I need.

 

Despite the low reps, it was still a good workout. I started with some nunchaku action for a warm-up, mixed some pull-ups and squats in there too, and topped it off with 10 minutes of meditation. All outdoors in the cool night air.

 

I also got a good 2+ mile ruck in earlier today with my daughter and sister. Good times amidst the autumn leaves.

 

This is only the beginning. The shit gets real, starting tomorrow!

 

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Today was the official Day 1 sledgehammer workout. Being new to this, I was careful to start quite modestly. No 2 or 3 minute boxing rounds of hammer swinging. Not yet. I did swings for 12 sets of 30 seconds, with 15 seconds in between (made of alternating sets of right diagonal swing, left diagonal swing, overhead swing). I did the first 6 sets, did some squats, then the final 6 sets, more squats, then some shovel glove style snow shoveling exercises, followed by one final set of squats. It was enough to get a little sweat going.

 

I must be careful about where I put my tire down in the backyard before I start swinging. It's rather hard to see everything out there, as it gets dark so early now, but I think I'm tearing up the grass, making little doughnut shaped patches of raw dirt. I'll have to look again in the morning, when I have daylight to aid me.

 

As for where I go with my workouts in the future, I would like to slowly build up to swinging for a minute or more, and still do that for 12 sets. I will take my time getting there. My body is quite unused to this kind of exertion, and I don't want to strain something in the process. So far, so good. I feel a good burn after the workout, but nothing more. No pains, nothing to cause me worry. A good start.

 

Tomorrow will be a ruck day. Sledgehammer gets a rest.

 

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Tomorrow will be a ruck day. Sledgehammer gets a rest.

 

Ruck Day is Best Day.

 

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[Level ?] Altered Outrider (Tech Shaman/Lightning Tempest)

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Equipment: Armor of the First Altered (rare), ECA-AR4 'Space Revenant' rifle (rare), Outrider's pack & Enoch alchemy kit.

Total experience earned to date:  0 / 5000 XP

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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For the record, I always do my sledgehammering outside. Always. I don't think that would go over too well in the house.

I really like the idea of smashing the tire. Is that the "standard" sledgehammer workout or something you've developed? I've seen it before where someone "chops" at the air but part of the exercise is catching the hammer before it hits anything. That seemed like the kind of thing that could hurt a back so I'm interested in your technique. And yes, outdoor hammering does seem like it's probably for the best.

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tinkerer
Level 14 Elven Blacksmith

current challenge - yearlong quest

14 13 12 11 10 9.1 9.0 8 7 6 5 4,2 4.1 4.0 3 2 1

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I really like the idea of smashing the tire. Is that the "standard" sledgehammer workout or something you've developed? I've seen it before where someone "chops" at the air but part of the exercise is catching the hammer before it hits anything. That seemed like the kind of thing that could hurt a back so I'm interested in your technique. And yes, outdoor hammering does seem like it's probably for the best.

 

I definitely did not invent this myself. I've only become aware of it in the last year or so, but I am led to believe that hitting a tire with a hammer has been around for many, many years. The primary article I consult is found here, and it was written back in 2006. You can see in the video that he is clearly making full contact with the tire. No slowing of the technique or catching the swing in the air. As far as technique, I pretty much go by what is written in the article: the diagonal swing (as shown in his video) and the vertical swing, which is much, much harder. The only variation I do is with the vertical swing, I tend to widen my stance more than shoulder width, similar to a karate horse stance or square stance. As far as how long I swing, or how many sets, I suppose I take a few more liberties in that area. The article talks about "tabata" sets (and I don't actually know what that is, better look into it sometime), and also doing rounds of 2-3 minutes, like boxing rounds. Because I'm quite knew at this, and not terribly strong, I'm starting with 30 second rounds, and building from there.

 

In the future, I plan to play around with some of my own variations. I would like to incorporate a horizontal swing into my routine as well. However, I think that will require some unique engineering, as I expect that would require having a tire (or other squishy, durable target) mounted on a vertical surface. I'm not quite sure how that's going to work. I'll figure it out in time.

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Very cool. I love sledgehammering stuff. Car tires get bouncy when you smack them. If it's an option, you might want to bury half of it in the ground to keep it from moving around on you.

 

Yes, I've considered that. I may try it if I can get a bigger tire. I think if I buried half of this one, there wouldn't be much left sticking out. Especially once the snow starts falling.

Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Today was ruck day. I managed just shy of 2.5 miles. I'm still rucking with only a 15 lb weight. I really don't notice the added weight at 1 mile, but at the 1.5 - 2 mile point I notice it slowly starting to wear on me. While I am relative confident that I could add some more weight without risk, I'm still going to play it safe and stick with the 15 lbs for now. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will try a short ruck while stepping up to 30 lbs.

 

I did have slightly more than 15 lbs on my return trip, as I stopped at a liquor store and bought a bottle of wine for my wife. Win-win...I get my ruck, she gets her wine.  :orange:

 

I'm definitely feeling it in my core muscles after this one. A tad bit sore, but a good kind of sore.

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Today was ruck day. I managed just shy of 2.5 miles. I'm still rucking with only a 15 lb weight. I really don't notice the added weight at 1 mile, but at the 1.5 - 2 mile point I notice it slowly starting to wear on me. While I am relative confident that I could add some more weight without risk, I'm still going to play it safe and stick with the 15 lbs for now. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will try a short ruck while stepping up to 30 lbs.

 

I did have slightly more than 15 lbs on my return trip, as I stopped at a liquor store and bought a bottle of wine for my wife. Win-win...I get my ruck, she gets her wine.  :orange:

 

I'm definitely feeling it in my core muscles after this one. A tad bit sore, but a good kind of sore.

 

Rucking and wine for the wife... double adulting win!

 

I don't think my rucking adventures have ever hit me in the core muscles.  It's usually my upper back.  But I run some pretty heavy weight most days, so there's that. 

 

Definitely work up to the 30# though!

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[Level ?] Altered Outrider (Tech Shaman/Lightning Tempest)

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Equipment: Armor of the First Altered (rare), ECA-AR4 'Space Revenant' rifle (rare), Outrider's pack & Enoch alchemy kit.

Total experience earned to date:  0 / 5000 XP

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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Rucking and wine for the wife... double adulting win!

 

I don't think my rucking adventures have ever hit me in the core muscles.  It's usually my upper back.  But I run some pretty heavy weight most days, so there's that. 

 

Definitely work up to the 30# though!

 

Perhaps the reason it's hitting my core muscles is because my current backpack is rather old and worn, and I am not able to adjust both straps as I would prefer. As a result, it sits much lower on my back than it ideally should. This is also another reason why I have been reluctant to add a lot of weight right away. I don't want to rusk putting excess strain on my lower back until I get an equipment upgrade.

 

Or maybe my core is just way more out of shape than I thought, so I'm feeling it more there. All the more reason to build up on weight slowly.

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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Perhaps the reason it's hitting my core muscles is because my current backpack is rather old and worn, and I am not able to adjust both straps as I would prefer. As a result, it sits much lower on my back than it ideally should. This is also another reason why I have been reluctant to add a lot of weight right away. I don't want to rusk putting excess strain on my lower back until I get an equipment upgrade.

 

Or maybe my core is just way more out of shape than I thought, so I'm feeling it more there. All the more reason to build up on weight slowly.

 

Ah, gotcha.  That old pack will lend some more grief than you want while rucking.  But lesser amounts of weight out to help.  Keep on keepin' on, my friend!

[Level ?] Altered Outrider (Tech Shaman/Lightning Tempest)

BRUTALITY 13 | FINESSE 12 | GRIT 13  | INSIGHT 15 | MOXIE 13

Equipment: Armor of the First Altered (rare), ECA-AR4 'Space Revenant' rifle (rare), Outrider's pack & Enoch alchemy kit.

Total experience earned to date:  0 / 5000 XP

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR.

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wolfpool.

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager.

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So every time I head out with my back pack and carry heavy loads I am rucking?  Running home with a 5 pound back pack?

 

All this rucking enthusiasm has me thinking how this might be cool to do once a week building up to a few miles and much heavier weights.

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Food Fight - current challenge

Yeary Bug Count 0... if you are out and about then you are probably eating bugs. :onthego:

2015 - 22.5 bugs consumed

Chasing down the most awesome version of myself one step at a time.

The Character Battle Log 1 Daily Mile

 

 

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So every time I head out with my back pack and carry heavy loads I am rucking?  Running home with a 5 pound back pack?

 

All this rucking enthusiasm has me thinking how this might be cool to do once a week building up to a few miles and much heavier weights.

 

For your own training, I think any weight counts. It only gets more specific for official rucking events. I've only glossed over it, but I think there are certain minimum weights, plus group weight requirements, etc. I don't really worry about it this point. I just go with what feels right for me, and what I can do with the equipment I have on hand.

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Daryl of Barbaria - Ranger / Footpad

"Smart-aleck jaybird!"

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