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Rooks

Rooks checks the boxes, literally.

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So life has been goofy lately.  I haven't been very diligent with getting into the gym, or really anything associated with a healthy life style.  Been getting 1-2 workouts in per week, but my low back is still a bit of a mess and overall, I'm not doing much to get back on track.  So I think it's time to get back into the challenge game to give myself a kick start.  

 

So, I've been doing this for about a week now, and it's been working so far so I'm going to go with this for my challenge.  I've been physically writing out a list of some daily stuff I want to get done (on top of my job and family stuff).  Not sure why, but it's been helping.  The daily stuff for this whole challenge will be.

  • Meditate (10 minute session, 7 days a week) - Been using headspace.com for awhile now.  I'm on like a 55 day streak, although I'm still not sold that its helping me.  But I've got a year subscription and there are days when it's great, but a lot more days that it sucks.
  • Bible Verse (Could be a single verse to a chapter, 7 days a week) - My faith is important to me, and it's been a huge struggle lately.  Tons of doubt, mainly I think stemming from my child having a brain tumor.  Either way, I'm sticking with it for now, and I'm going to be diligent about this.
  • Grease the Groove: Grip (3 sets of 5 closes, each hand, with a CoC Trainer, 7 days a week) - Pavel says that random sets throughout the day will make you better.  I'm trying it.  
  • Grease the Groove: Pull-ups (3 sets of 1, 7 days a week) - I suck at pull-ups so I'm going to do a boat-load of them and try and get better.  Mostly this will be at work.  Take a break from my desk and go knock one out in the gym.   
  • Workout (6 days a week) - Get something done 6 days a week.  Programming is a bit odd right now, but I'm going to get into the gym and do something.
  • Mobility Work (10 minutes per day, 6 days a week) - Hopefully knock this out near bedtime every night, but I need to get better about working on my hamstrings, IT band, and glutes right now as I think that's where the issues with my back are stemming from.  
  • No snacking (7 days a week) - Just trying to eat a bit cleaner.  This will be fairly loose guideline and mainly revolves around crap at work.  Too often, I'm eating all sorts of sugar goodness that other people are bringing in.  Need to stop that.  

 

Example list:

 

qrawjk.jpg

 

Seems like a lot, but I think it's doable.  I was going to add one about getting to work by 7am every morning, but life is just too much for that right now.  My daughter sleeps like crap and too often is up by 6am for me to get outta the house since my wife isn't up until 6:45am most mornings.  I added it this morning, then after some thinking decided it was too much out of my control at the moment to be something I could measure.  

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12 minutes ago, Rooks said:
  • Grease the Groove: Grip (3 sets of 5 closes, each hand, with a CoC Trainer, 7 days a week) - Pavel says that random sets throughout the day will make you better.  I'm trying it.  

I have a CoC Trainer, and I highly recommend it if you want to build grip strength.  I was really diligent about it the first month I had it.  I was up to sets of 15 and looking to get the Level 1, but then dropped off.  Now that I've started lifting again, I dusted off and went from a really sad attempt to sets of 8 in a couple of days as my muscles woke up.  I do still have soft baby-like hands, but they'll toughen up quick.  Going from the knurl on the CoC to the bar is like sleeping on feathers after gravel.

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1 hour ago, Grymm said:

I have a CoC Trainer, and I highly recommend it if you want to build grip strength.  I was really diligent about it the first month I had it.  I was up to sets of 15 and looking to get the Level 1, but then dropped off.  Now that I've started lifting again, I dusted off and went from a really sad attempt to sets of 8 in a couple of days as my muscles woke up.  I do still have soft baby-like hands, but they'll toughen up quick.  Going from the knurl on the CoC to the bar is like sleeping on feathers after gravel.

 

I had originally bought a #1 and a #2 thinking that if I had a 200kg deadlift to my name, I should be able to close a #1 a few times and work up to a #2. :) How wrong I was.  And since I could barely close the #1, I rarely used them.  So recently I pickup a Trainer, #0.5, and a #1.5.  Plan is to keep up the training and over time, finally get that closure on the #2.  

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Day 1 was a solid day.  

 

☑ Meditate

☑ Verse

☑ GTG: Pull-ups (1 per set, 3 sets per day)

GTG: Grip (5 closes per set with Trainer CoC, 3 sets per day)

No Snacks

Mobility

Workout

 

Workout:  Format is load/reps x sets

Back Squat - 135/5, 185/5, 225/3, 250/1, 285/1, 315/1, 235/5 x 5

-- Felt good to do some heavier stuff again.  Could tell I was getting into the groove in sets 4 and 5 even with the rest being pretty short (less than 3 minutes per set).

Competition Bench - 135/5, 150/3, 175/3, 200/1, 225/1, 250/1, 190/5 x 5

-- 250 seems to be getting heavier and heavier.  I keep getting it up, but I'm worried I'm losing a bit of strength here.  That said, getting into the gym more than once a week will help solve that issue.

Lat Pulldowns - 70/10, 80/10 x 2

-- Just something to get the blood flowing into the back.  

 

Wanted to do more, but ran outta time.  Got a real good sweat going though. :) 

 

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Day 2.

☑ Meditate

☑ Verse

☑ GTG: Pull-ups (1 per set, 3 sets per day)

 GTG: Grip (5 closes per set with Trainer CoC, 3 sets per day)

 No Snacks

 Mobility

 Workout

-- 1.88 Miles / 26:35 minutes run.  Very slow.  Calves feel like crap today as I did the run in Vibrams.  Need to get back in the swing of running.  

 

So a couple random thoughts for the day.  First, hello @wildross and welcome @Sloth the Slow and Steady.  

 

Second, I fell prey to my emotions last night and started a comment war on Facebook.  I won't go into super details, but it just drives me so insane when I see people touting their Christian beliefs, yet they seem incapable of compassion when the foundation of the religion is around a person who was the most compassionate man to every have lived.  But I need to always remind myself, nothing good comes from doing those conversations on Facebook.  Tough conversations like that involve too many emotions are are too complex to be handled through words behind a computer screen.

 

Third, grip work seems to already be paying off.  Most sets are up near 7 reps already where 5 was a challenge just last week.  Pull-ups I've started holding the negative phase of the single for more work as well.  I'm really hoping this does indeed help me get over the hurdle of being able to do a full pull-ups at a time.  And yes.. I know I also should just lose some weight.  Sort of working on that. :)

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Day 3.

☑ Meditate

-- I've been very diligent with getting in my 10 minutes a day, but lately, I've been wondering what I get out of it.  I always have a hard time staying focused while doing but it seems to get better as the 10 minutes goes on.  The problem is that I don't feel like it carries over into my daily life.  Not sure how much longer I'll keep this up.  

☑ Verse

☑ GTG: Pull-ups (1 per set, 3 sets per day)

-- These were especially hard yesterday.  Curious to see how fast (or if) my body adjusts to doing this movement so frequently. 

 GTG: Grip (5 closes per set with Trainer CoC, 3 sets per day)

 No Snacks

 Mobility

☐ Workout

-- My first un-checked box of the challenge.  Had intended to get in a basic body weight circuit plus a nice long mobility session as I was pretty beat up from my run.  Well, meetings shifted last minute and suddenly, I didn't have the hour I expected at the end of my day.  Such is life.  My fault as I know if I didn't get my workout in right away in the morning, work can (and often does) get in the way.  I did still get in a solid 20 minutes of mobilizing my calves right before bed.  They were super sore from the run the previous day.  

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Channel that unchecked box into a couple extra sets during your workout today.  If the run made you decently sore, the rest may have been of great benefit.

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On 6/19/2016 at 5:37 PM, Starbuck said:

So much happening in this challenge. Looks like it is going really well so far.

 

Loving the check boxes.

 

Thanks!

 

On 6/19/2016 at 11:39 PM, Pat G said:

I'd not heard of headspace.com before. How does the app go, breaking it up into little little pieces? 

 

So, it's basically 10 minutes of guided meditation.  They do have unguided stuff, but most of it seems to be guided with small cues every few minutes to keep sharpening the mind.  Some days I find that I'm really glad I did it, and some days I'm not.  At the very least, it's usually giving me a nice little break in the middle of the day, or it's a great way to start my mind going in the morning.  

 

Check out Andy Puddicombe's Ted talk.  He's the voice you'll hear.  

 

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Week 1 Summary (June 13th - June 19th)

☑ Meditate - 7/7

 Verse - 5/7

 GTG: Pull-ups - 5/7

 GTG: Grip - 5/7

☐ Mobility - 4/7

☐ Workout - 3/7

Week 2 Summary (June 20th - June 26th)

 Meditate - 5/7

 Verse - 4/7

☑ GTG: Pull-ups - 7/7

☑ GTG: Grip - 6/7

☐ Mobility - 5/7

☐ Workout - 4/7

 

So overall, I think I overreached a bit on my goals here.  That said, I've actually been happy with how the checklist approach is going.  It's helping me get more done and helping me stay focused on things I want to get done.  

Other notes.  First, where was I for the last 10 days?  I didn't really intend to take a NF / Internet hiatus, it just sort of happened.  I was off work since June 17th and just ended up wanting to spend time doing other stuff.  The first part of the vacation was spent at home working on some projects that I have going on here at home.  Fitness related items would be that I picked up metal for building a 2" fat bar as well as built the top of my jerk blocks (see my IG post here).  Then on the 24th, my wife and I took a camping trip for her birthday.  Dropped the kiddo off at grandma's house for 3 whole days and we went did our first ever backpacking camping trip.  Hit up a campsite up in Itasca National Park in northern Minnesota.  Had to hike 1.5 miles back to get to our site.  It was wild as neither have done camping like that before.  Luckily, I had chatted with a good friend who is an avid camper prior to the trip, and he hooked me up some bomb tools (like a really cool portable stove and hacksaw for firewood).  Despite crazy wind one day, loads of ticks and horseflies, and lack of amenities, we both had a blast and will be doing it again.  So yeah... now I'm back to work and probably back to checking NF on a bit more regular basis.  

P.S. Not really related to my post, but damn.  Stan Efferding has been crushing it with his videos lately.  They are long, but if you can't spare the full 25 minutes, just listen to the last 2 minutes.  #knowledgebomb #truthbomb

 

 

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That was excellent.  I'm impressed that someone could be so organized in thought for that long.  I would have long wandered off topic and forgotten my point after 5 minutes.  I'm sure there was some underlying pre-organization/outline, but it felt very fluid, conversational, and easy for him.  I might share that with others.

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2 hours ago, Grymm said:

That was excellent.  I'm impressed that someone could be so organized in thought for that long.  I would have long wandered off topic and forgotten my point after 5 minutes.  I'm sure there was some underlying pre-organization/outline, but it felt very fluid, conversational, and easy for him.  I might share that with others.

 

Indeed.  I knew Stan was a smart guy and had a great work ethic, but it wasn't until recently that he had started to make videos actually speaking online.  His thought process is just top notch.  Even if that was a 25 minute speech with notes in front of an audience, I'd be impressed, but yet, this is him just rambling while driving.  

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Week 3 Summary (June 27th - July 3rd)

 Meditate - 6/7

 Verse - 6/7

☑ GTG: Pull-ups - 6/7

☑ GTG: Grip - 6/7

☐ Mobility - 3/7

☐ Workout - 1/7

 

Twas an off week for sure.  Workouts just didn't happen.  Work kept getting in the way (mainly because I let it).  I've now come to the conclusion that I have to workout in the morning if I have hopes of getting a session in.  If not, something always feels more important than working out.  Just how my head works.  

 

Week 4 Updates

So July 4th.  I remember as a kid I used to love the holiday.  It meant a long weekend at the lake with my cousins enjoying their speed boat and seeing a spectacular fireworks show put on by the city of Cumberland, WI.  Now, I just find myself getting really irritated by the whole thing.  Aerial fireworks of any type are illegal in Minnesota, with the exception people who put on shows.  Yet, from July 2nd to July 10th, my neighborhood is full of massive aerial fireworks going off at all hours of the night.  July 4th (or technically July 5th), things were still going strong at 3am.  And to make matters worse, the Minneapolis Police Department basically issued a statement saying "we don't care, we aren't going to enforce fireworks complaints." (highly paraphrased, but you get the point).  And of course driving around the neighborhood is disgusting.  It's just litter everywhere, mostly used fireworks, but there's more generic litter like alcoholic beverage bottles and food wrappers everywhere.  It's just disgusting.  I find myself no longer enjoying the day.  My wife and I have agreed that we need to get out of town in the future.  It's just too much to stay at home and try enjoy a quiet long weekend.

In other news, I've purchased and started GymnasticBodies.com Fundamentals course and have started working my way through it.  Bodyweight maneuvers have always been inspiring to me, so I figured I'd give it a go and work it into my daily routines.  The Fundamentals part says less that 15 minutes per day, so shouldn't be too bad to do as a cooldown in my workouts.  

Otherwise, I got to battle a wasp nest yesterday.  I managed to get out unscathed so that was nice.  Ended up snapping a piece of the garage off to get to them, so I have to fix that now, but the wasps are no more.  Would have honestly just left them alone if they weren't right next to the door.  Just too much potential for a ball or something from kiddo to irritate them and her getting stung.  

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22 hours ago, Rooks said:

In other news, I've purchased and started GymnasticBodies.com Fundamentals course and have started working my way through it.  Bodyweight maneuvers have always been inspiring to me, so I figured I'd give it a go and work it into my daily routines.  The Fundamentals part says less that 15 minutes per day, so shouldn't be too bad to do as a cooldown in my workouts.  

Neat!!! What type of stuff is included?

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10 hours ago, miss_marissa said:

Neat!!! What type of stuff is included?

 

Well, only on Day 3 at the moment. :P  So far, it seems like the Fundamentals course is going to mobility type movements that GB will build on.  Day one was something called a Ape Walk and a Crab walk (google if you are curious) but they gave specific queues to try and focus on then, plus an additional video explaining where most beginners are going to have issues.   Day 3 is all about doing wrists stretches which they said was a must for getting into handstands later on.  So far, I've been satisfied with the instructional content of each video in that they explain why things are important in the context of gymnastics.  That said, not sure if I'll ever fully pull the trigger on their full blown courses.  Those things are spendy.  

 

Week 4 Updates

So far this week has been going great.  I've been crushing my challenge based stuff.  I did manage to get through my workout this morning before realizing I had forgot to pack a clean shirt in my gym bag.  Woops.  Quick run to Target and picked up a nice Punisher T. :P Got to satisfy my inner geek because of my own boneheaded-ness.  

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Well... yeah.  I'd say this challenge was a failure.  DIdn't even get past "page 1".  Such is life.  That said, I did finish out the challenge on a high note at least.  Week overall went better than the last few with getting in more mobility, got in 2 workouts in a row after the 4th holiday sort of screwed everything up, and I finished up a fabrication project I've been meaning to do for awhile.  Writeup in a separate thread for anyone interested in metal fabrication, or just DIY workout gear.   

 

Week 4 Summary (July 4th - July 10th)

 Meditate - 6/7

☑ Verse - 7/7

 GTG: Pull-ups - 5/7

☑ GTG: Grip - 6/7

☐ Mobility - 5/7

☐ Workout - 2/7

 

Challenge overall was pretty solid, but I think I set the standards just a bit too high.  I should know better than to assume I have all sorts of free time in the summer.  Seems like so much always needs to get done.  Such is life though I suppose.  Better to be getting stuff done than to just be watching TV right?  As far as my challenge days go though, I'm going back to my battle log.  I won't steal @The Most Loathed's words, but the summary post of his latest challenge sums up my thoughts pretty well.  Seems to easier for me to just dump my thoughts in one spot.  Thanks for following along, but for the time being you'll find my ramblings here.

 

 

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