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courtneyc

CourtneyC vs. The Full Push-Up

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Last month I unofficially took on the sit-up. Training six days a week took my sit-ups from strained with lots of pauses to smooth and controlled. With the increased core strength I'm ready to take on my next opponent: the full push-up.

 

Two challenges in with pass/fail, and I'm convinced it is the most effective system for me. So once again all components will be pass/fail, allowing for modifications in the case of injury or illness (no passes for laziness though!). 

 

Fitness

 

Push-Up Training (6 days/wk) - 5 reps, dropping as low as I can and holding for 1-3 seconds

 

Core Strength (6 days/wk) - Side Plank w/ dropped knee (30 sec per side), Shrimping (10 per side), Up-kicks  (10 reps), 90 degree Turns on Back (5 per side)

 

BJJ Training - Continue attending at least 4 classes/open mats per week. Create a master list of moves I know from bjj and from what position they can be executed. (Practice linking techniques will get built in in future weeks)

 

Weight Loss 

 

Tracking - Continue to log food daily and don't exceed weekly caloric limit.

 

Fruits & Veggies - Eat two servings of fruits/vegetables a day.

 

Professional

 

Weekly Word Count - Write 7,500 words per week.

 

Revision Work - Log 4 hours of focused work on revisions by bedtime Wednesday night.

 

It's time for me to improve my revision skills. I tend to procrastinate on this part of the writing process, because it is difficult to measure my effort. First drafts have those lovely word counts. The number keeps going up, and I feel happy knowing I've done my work for the day. To bring a little structure to the revision process I'll approach them as deep work problem solving sessions, putting the hours at the start of my week to combat my tendency to procrastinate.

 

Rewards

 

Still firming this part up. I'll update in the next day or so.

 

So that's that! I'm stepping things up a bit this time around. I might be up for a belt promotion at the end of the month, and I really want to give competition grappling a try in the next few months, which means the time to get focused is now. :)

 

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Someone else working on revision! I'm tackling my own revision procrastination demons this challenge, so I'll be cheering you on.

 

Yeah, it should be interesting. And yay for fellow writers!

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Good luck on the push-ups! It's quite a rush when you can conquer something that was hard before.

 

Indeed! My big boss version of bodyweight exercises is the pull up. I'm not ready to take it on just yet, but one of these days I'll conquer it.

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Ooh, the use of the pause is very, very good. It will help you to do that. It'll increase your strength within a few degrees of where you stop, and before you know it, you'll be down all the way. :D

 

All right. Everything else looks good. Let's go to work.

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Awesome stuff! You got this push up! Or is it like Chuck Norris in that you don't push up off the ground but rather move earth between your hands and body? 

 

I love the weekly calorie count goal. I do mine daily and tend to exceed, but looking at things from a weekly perspective also has a ton of value. I may start doing that myself. 

 

Let's do it! 

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Week 1 Day 1

 

Push Up/Core Work: 1/6

BJJ: 1/4

Tracking: 1/7

Plants: 1/7

Weekly Word Count: 1,657

Revision Hours: 1

 

First day of the challenge completed. So far, so good! 

 

The core work might need some adjusting, but I want to give it a few days before I make any changes. Yesterday, I thought I had this brilliant idea for fitting in push-up/core training after my daughter got off school. I invited her to do it with me aaaaand yeah, it was distraction city. If I was just doing sit ups it wouldn't be a problem, but technically challenging moves need my undivided attention. Going back to that adjustment possibility, my core didn't feel as physically taxed as I expected. It's possible that maneuvering around my chatty, whirling dervish messed with my execution. More data needed.

 

Otherwise, all is going well. :)

 

Thanks for the huge turn out of support fellow nerds! 

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Awesome stuff! You got this push up! Or is it like Chuck Norris in that you don't push up off the ground but rather move earth between your hands and body? 

 

I love the weekly calorie count goal. I do mine daily and tend to exceed, but looking at things from a weekly perspective also has a ton of value. I may start doing that myself. 

 

Let's do it! 

 

Ha! I'm trying and failing to come up with a witty response, so ::insert witty response here::

 

The weekly calorie count has made a huge difference for me. It gives me the flexibility to enjoy a nice meal now and then, and keeps me thinking big picture. I don't use MFP so I'm not sure how they have it set up, but LoseIt will tell you in your home screen if you're over or under your total calories for the week. If that hadn't been there I probably wouldn't have considered it as an option.

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Aw, sorry to hear that you couldn't get the little one in on the game with you. Getting the core activated in push ups is definitely an act of concentration though, and if you can fit the practice in without distraction you might see something better.

 

I mean, maybe. Bodies are weird. Minds are weird. Throw 'em together and you have no idea just what you're going to get.

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Aw, sorry to hear that you couldn't get the little one in on the game with you. Getting the core activated in push ups is definitely an act of concentration though, and if you can fit the practice in without distraction you might see something better.

 

I mean, maybe. Bodies are weird. Minds are weird. Throw 'em together and you have no idea just what you're going to get.

 

Oh she was into it! She just went racing ahead and finally got bored of my snail-like pace. Cue the rolling and cartwheel attempts.

 

I was able to go through the routine today kid-free, and it was noticeably more rigorous without the distraction. For week 1 I'll keep it as is.

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Week 1 Day 2


 


Push Up/Core Work: 2/6


BJJ: 2/4


Tracking: 2/7


Plants: 2/7


Weekly Word Count: 3,245


Revision Hours: 1/4


 


Core and Push-up work child free was much more effective yesterday. I got some good training time in as well, and learned a new choke during free roll: the zip tie choke. It's a nasty little lapel move that gives you a lot of control over your opponent's movement...can't wait to bust it out during some rolls. :) 


 


I'm nervous that I might have a knee injury in my future, if I'm not careful. The inside of my right knee gets sore when I do activity that puts pressure on that side (shrimping onto my left is a prime example). I don't know if it's just muscle fatigue though or if it is the early signs of a problem. I might get a knee sleeve to be on the safe side.


 


Lots of revision time to get in today. I've come up with all sorts of ways to procrastinate already. Time to put an end to that and get some work done.


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Push ups are always a great challenge!  

 

One thing I have found, that has worked for many of the people that I train with is, starting with your body all the way on the floor, put your hands in the push up position and let your body go limp,  From there, tighten up your core and push up.  This creates strength from what is one of the weakest positions of the push up.  Another thing that can help is straight arm planks in the top position, held for 30 seconds or more.  This gives you a really good isometric contraction and helps build all the stabilizer muscles that will help with the end of the push up.  The key is not letting your core relax during the movement, once the core relaxes the push up falls apart.

 

Hope this helps. 

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Push ups are always a great challenge!  

 

One thing I have found, that has worked for many of the people that I train with is, starting with your body all the way on the floor, put your hands in the push up position and let your body go limp,  From there, tighten up your core and push up.  This creates strength from what is one of the weakest positions of the push up.  Another thing that can help is straight arm planks in the top position, held for 30 seconds or more.  This gives you a really good isometric contraction and helps build all the stabilizer muscles that will help with the end of the push up.  The key is not letting your core relax during the movement, once the core relaxes the push up falls apart.

 

Hope this helps. 

 

Good tips! I spent last challenge doing planks for 30 second everyday, so this felt like the natural next step. People seem to be split on starting from the bottom vs. the top with training. If only there were two of me to simultaneously test out both methods at the same time in a race to the perfect push-up. :)

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Week 1 Day 3


 


Push Up/Core Work: 3/6


BJJ: 3/4


Tracking: 3/7


Plants: 3/7


Weekly Word Count: 3,245


Revision Hours: 4/4


 


Yesterday, I broke my usual morning routine, because I was focused on getting those revision hours in. I should have trusted in the routine I've developed that has been incredibly helpful in dipping into work first thing.


 


In case you're interested the routine roughly looks like the following: breakfast and tea, more tea and a couple minutes reading non-fiction, a quick task list and time block scheduling, then straight into writing my morning pages. At no point does my computer get opened unless I'm quickly checking the time, and the phone is always in another room. When I finish my morning pages I go straight into my first writing session, absolutely no internet use may happen until prescribed points in my day.


 


Anyway, I abandoned my system, thinking I should really just get straight into the revisions, and proceeded to break the most crucial rule by getting on the internet. It took me a few hours to reign my focus in from that series of mistakes. Lesson learned. Next time if I'm feeling squirmy about revisions, stick to the routine no matter what. I'm might experiment with shortening my morning writing block, but I think that time is crucial for getting my mind moving creatively.


 


Aside from the procrastination issue, revision went fairly well. I'm experimenting with breaking my story into revision sections. Each section gets a title (not to be included in the actual story), and working from that I lay out the emotional and physical stresses/shifts that will be the focus of that section. So far it is helping me better organize the process.


 


Had a good bjj class last night and roll time afterwards. One guy was kind of an ass on the mat, but otherwise my partners were good. I guess you just learn who to avoid in the studio. There's a definite pattern with who this happens with. I won't let it stop me from giving someone new who fits the markers a try, but rolling is an act of trust. I've been fortunate so far that the majority of my partners don't violate that trust.


 


Push-up practice is going alright. I don't make it very far down before I have to pause. In time I'll work my way down. One tip I came across was to spread my fingers and really focus on distributing the weight to them. That helped me get a little lower.


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Had a good bjj class last night and roll time afterwards. One guy was kind of an ass on the mat, but otherwise my partners were good. I guess you just learn who to avoid in the studio. There's a definite pattern with who this happens with. I won't let it stop me from giving someone new who fits the markers a try, but rolling is an act of trust. I've been fortunate so far that the majority of my partners don't violate that trust.

 

Former aikidoka here who had to quit because of dojo bullies... Avoiding the assholes on the mat is actually a good strategy (better than letting them drive you insane and then eventually making a scene, at least), just make sure no one notices you're deliberately avoiding a particular person. I don't know how you work things out in your dojo, but in mine, we had a code that everyone should pair up with each other, regardless of their personal issues. I always avoided a girl who gave me hard time, and then another guy noticed it and used it against me. To make things worse, we were a small community, so eventually one day I had to pair up with her and got "accidentally" punched in the face. Twice! That was my tipping point, and unfortunately last training session.

 

Roll time is both fun and a great way to improve your conditioning! I sometimes miss rolling around on the mat :D

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Former aikidoka here who had to quit because of dojo bullies... Avoiding the assholes on the mat is actually a good strategy (better than letting them drive you insane and then eventually making a scene, at least), just make sure no one notices you're deliberately avoiding a particular person. I don't know how you work things out in your dojo, but in mine, we had a code that everyone should pair up with each other, regardless of their personal issues. I always avoided a girl who gave me hard time, and then another guy noticed it and used it against me. To make things worse, we were a small community, so eventually one day I had to pair up with her and got "accidentally" punched in the face. Twice! That was my tipping point, and unfortunately last training session.

 

Roll time is both fun and a great way to improve your conditioning! I sometimes miss rolling around on the mat :D

 

That sounds like an awful situation. I'm not surprised you wouldn't want to stick around for more of that. Maybe one day you'll find a dojo with a different mentality.

 

I'm not sure what the rolling rules are at my studio, but I'll be sure to familiarize myself with them. I'm going to avoid this guy from now on, but should he offer to roll again I'll probably tell him I prefer to work on technique, not explosive power. If he ignores my request, then as I see it I am well within my rights to stop the roll and say we'd both be better off working with different partners. 

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That sounds like an awful situation. I'm not surprised you wouldn't want to stick around for more of that. Maybe one day you'll find a dojo with a different mentality.

 

I'm not sure what the rolling rules are at my studio, but I'll be sure to familiarize myself with them. I'm going to avoid this guy from now on, but should he offer to roll again I'll probably tell him I prefer to work on technique, not explosive power. If he ignores my request, then as I see it I am well within my rights to stop the roll and say we'd both be better off working with different partners.

That's a great idea ;) I admit mine was a rare case, and there's probably not a creepy stalker in your dojo that tracks with whom you pair up. But I wanted to share my experince, you know, just in case...

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Week 1 Day 5


 


Push Up/Core Work: 5/6


BJJ: 4/4


Tracking: 5/7


Plants: 5/7


Weekly Word Count: 4,779


Revision Hours: 8/4


 


Had my writing group tonight, so most of the day was spent revising part of a work in progress. After a big revising session it is difficult for me to judge what sort of state a story is in. A couple days away should give me a little perspective. Writing group had some good feedback and seemed to enjoy it. 


 


Training is going well. I'm getting as much roll time in as I can manage, and it's making a difference. I'm starting to see some opportunities as they present themselves. I can't always remember the full sequence of what to do, but I count that identifying as progress in my learning.


 


Yesterday, I did manage to get a tap on a legbar and a rear naked choke. The leg bar happened as the result of a transition going screwy...let's call it a ridiculously deep north-south? Anyway, the leg was there doing nothing and looked potentially useful to me, so I went for it. My partner said, "I don't think you can do a leg bar on your stomach." Now, we both know you totally can.  :playful: 


 


Last challenge I earned a set of new gi pants and a rashguard. Those items arrived yesterday, and I'm crazy excited to take them for a test roll. The rashguard is pretty much the most fantastic thing I've ever worn. I may just wear it all the time. Because I'm a brat I upgraded my gi pants to pants and a jacket. It's blue and this one fits better than my first attempt at purchasing. (For any plus-sized female rollers who are shopping for gi's definitely give Fuji's offerings a look.)


 


That's enough rambling for one night. The word count needs some work this weekend, but otherwise week 1 is going well!

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Week 1 Review


 


Push Up/Core Work: 6/6


BJJ: 5/4


Tracking: 7/7 (600 calories over)


Plants: 7/7


Weekly Word Count: 4,779


Revision Hours: 8/4


 


This week wore on me more than I expected. I was feeling really stressed out by Sunday morning with the word count looming and 300 calories to make up for and some general life stuff. I think meeting all the revision work on Friday to prep for my writing group combined with the more intense training left me physically and mentally drained.


 


Feeling stressed and guilty yesterday for not buckling down and getting the rest of my challenge met doesn't have me starting week 2 in the best place. Big picture though? I still had a really good week. I got a lot of training in, still had a caloric deficit, lost a little more weight, wrote about 5,000 words for my novel, and got a short story in a much better place. Oh yeah, and I ate a lot more fruits and vegetables than I had been. 


 


Now, onto week 2.


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Awesome job with everything. It sounds like you aren't going to let some frustrations derail you either, which is great. Sometimes I am like that with diet, like I will eat too much one day, just say 'Screw It', then eat all the pizza and ice cream I can get my hands on. Doing the challenges has helped me be more mindful of this. Good to hear you aren't going down that road! 

 

Also, sorry to hear about the annoying person at the gym. There's a couple of folks I would go way out of my way to avoid, usually just people who go all out 100 percent of the time, which is a great way to get injured and develop crappy technique. So avoiding this person seems totally reasonable. Are most of the rest of the folks OK? 

 

Good luck with week 2! 

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Awesome job with everything. It sounds like you aren't going to let some frustrations derail you either, which is great. Sometimes I am like that with diet, like I will eat too much one day, just say 'Screw It', then eat all the pizza and ice cream I can get my hands on. Doing the challenges has helped me be more mindful of this. Good to hear you aren't going down that road! 

 

Also, sorry to hear about the annoying person at the gym. There's a couple of folks I would go way out of my way to avoid, usually just people who go all out 100 percent of the time, which is a great way to get injured and develop crappy technique. So avoiding this person seems totally reasonable. Are most of the rest of the folks OK? 

 

Good luck with week 2! 

 

Thanks! I'm trying to resist the 'scew it' mindset...it's not the mess up, so much as a general malaise that's settled in abruptly. I hate when that happens, because I don't know if it is going to stick around for a couple days or turn into something bigger. If it really takes hold, I might have to adjust my challenge. Nothing is worse than battling depression or anxiety and being stressed by goals that are suddenly unrealistic for your situation.

 

Yeah, 100% power with sloppy technique is going to get someone hurt, and unfortunately, it will probably won't be the person acting like an ass. Most of the people at my gym are wonderful, which means I have a ton of good options. :) 

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