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WhiteGhost The Arruvia Conspiracy Chapter 2


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Intro/Chapter 1 here:

Spoiler

Intro Cut-Scene: Shadows and Voices

    In the shadows of the narrow alley, a hooded figure moves silently forward along the wall trying to get a better view of the street.  The street is deserted except for two men standing beneath a dimly lit LED billboard, advertising a luxury sedan.  WhiteGhost’s eyes linger on the advertisement for only a moment before shifting his focus to the two men in the street. 

    “Man, it would be nice to move around the city in that instead of creeping through shadows all the time,” he thinks to himself before shaking his head to clear his thoughts. 

    At 3 o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday in Aldenton it would not be uncommon for a drunk office worker to be dragging himself home from a “client meeting” or perhaps a group of students from ACC, the local community college, to be finishing off a round of bar hopping.  These two, however, are as out of place in this low income neighborhood as orcs in Rivendell.  One of them is short and fat, with a receding hairline and deep grating voice, the other is tall and muscular with a nasal, rasping voice. 

    “I wouldn’t want to run into that guy in a dark alley,” WhiteGhost thinks to himself, chuckling inwardly about the irony of the idea.  Both men are dressed to the nines, the shorter man in a dark blue Italian double breasted pinstripe suit and highly polished black wingtips, and the other in an off-white bespoke seersucker suit and brown leather cap-toe derbys.  “Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K,” WhiteGhost thinks as he inches closer to try and catch their conversation. 

    “The BVI SPV could funnel mez cap through the Cayman holdco, it wouldn’t even hit the listco,” the gravelly voice says in hushed tones.  Even in the dim light of the LED billboard, Whiteghost can see the larger man roll his eyes. 

    “We’ve been over this! You have the routing info, I’ll message you when they execute the SPA.  Now let’s get out of here before someone sees us.  Who knows what kind of lowlifes might be lurking in a stinking dump of a neighborhood like this.”  Both men instinctively look around, but WhiteGhost is well concealed in the shadows.  

    “I have no idea what all that means, but sounds like these jokers are up to no good,” WhiteGhost thinks as he slowly creeps deeper into the shadows.  “I better get out of here too and go find Blinky, if anyone would know what this is about, it’s him.”

    Suddenly the LED billboard changed to show a flashing bottle of a new diet soda that had just been launched.  The light from the LED screen dissipates the shadows and both men are suddenly aware of the figure crouching at the mouth of the now fully lit alleyway.

    “Mishmash ‘n’ meatballs,” Whiteghost curses under his breath as he races back into the alley with the bruiser hot on his heels.  Unfortunately, this alley is a dead end so getting away from this guy is going to be a bit of a climb.

 

Chapter 2: A Blinky Mess

WhiteGhost reaches the end of the wall and takes a bounding leap off of the back wall, tic-tacing over to a window ledge and pulls himself up. Afraid that looking over his should to check his pursuer will take precious seconds, he focuses on shimmying up a rain gutter until he reaches the edge of the roof.  Only once he has pulled himself over does he risk taking a look to see how things are going.  To his delight, the big man is still on the ground of the alley, trying in vain to grab the fire escape ladder.

WhiteGhost breathes a sigh of relief

Well, that wasn’t so bad, but I am going to need to be more careful so I don’t get recognized.  It will be a lot harder to find Blinky if I have people looking for me” he thinks to himself as he sets off at a brisk run across the rooftops.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Blinky lives in a nondescript 3rd floor apartment in Indian Flats, a middle income neighborhood on the West side of town.  He started out as a CIA forensic accountant many years ago working in the organized crime unit, but he traded sides and went to work as a financier for a mob boss who made him an offer he apparently couldn’t refuse.  A couple of years ago he got caught embezzling his boss' cash and as punishment got his eyelids cut off, hence the nickname.  He now works as a freelance financial advisor, supplying his services to white hats, black hats and anyone else with a lot of cash and something to hide. 

When WhiteGhost gets to Blinky’s place he finds the front door hanging from just the top hinge, twisting slightly with every gust of wind. 

“I guess I’m not the only one who needs a word with old Blinky,” WhiteGhost mutters under his breath and he slips silently through the broken doorway.  Inside, Blinky’s place has been completely ransacked.  Drawers have been pulled out and dumped on the floor, his bed has been flipped and the bedsheets are strewn wildly around the bedroom.  His bookshelves have been pulled down and the floor of the living room is a sea of books.  WhiteGhost takes a look at the computer desk and smiles to himself.  The guys that did this clearly were not professionals, just some low level thugs who didn’t understand Blinky’s world.  The computer keyboard has been smashed to pieces and there is a hunting knife sticking through what remains of it, pinning it to the desk.  The monitor has been knocked to the floor with a fist sized hole through it.  However, the tower under the desk is untouched and apparently still on, the cooling fan creating a dull hum in the background.  Empty diet cola bottles litter the floor and a half eaten burrito is mashed under a tipped over chair.  Apparently Blinky was interrupted unexpectedly.

WhiteGhost hooks up his tablet to the computer through an HDMI adapter and discovers a TOR browser open, with TrueCrypt and Bleachbit running in the background.  If Blinky didn’t have time to close these, he must have really been in a rush to get out.  The TOR browser is open to a Lelantos email account, but most of the emails don’t make any sense.  It seems Blinky was encrypting his messages manually before entering them into the encrypted system.  Given the types of people he deals with, he couldn’t afford to mess around.  The last email received, though, was not encrypted.  Opening it up, WhiteGhosts finds a Darknote XDN blockchain showing transfers of large sums of bitcoin to accounts in varying countries with Switzerland, Russia, South Africa, China, India and Mongolia coming up the most.  The email sender is merely identified by a single letter: H.

“No time to worry about that now,” WhiteGhost thinks to himself. “I need to find Blinky and get to the bottom of this.”  He reaches down to unplug his HDMI cable, and decides to pull out the hard drive for later.  As he pulls it out, he notices a yellow sticky note stuck to the inside of the computer tower.  He pulls it off and finds “WG38.2946071.-80.3132366” scrawled in pencil. 

 

 

Mission 1: Improve Grip Strength 3x/week (excluding Mission 2)

Spoiler

 

1.       One hand hangs 5 seconds/hand x5

2.       Two hand hang 1 minute x5

3.       One hand supported hang 10 seconds/hand x5

4.       Grippers 10x3 + 10 second hold/hand

 

 

Mission 2: Muscle Up Routine (+full body) 2 Days/Week

Spoiler

 

1.       Landmine 15/leg x3

2.       Jump MU / Eccentric MU x5

3.       Situps 25x4

4.       One hand hang 5 seconds/hand x3

5.       Dragon thrusts 10x3

6.       Shrimp squats 15/leg x3

7.       Pullups 10x3

8.       Flutter kicks 100 x3

9.       Alternate hand hangs 5/hand x3

10.     Knees to bar 10x3

11.     Jump lunges 30 x3

12.     Headbangers 10x3

13.     Hello Dolly 50 x4

14.     2 hand hang 20 seconds x3

15.     Front levers 10x3

16.     Air squats 25 x4

17.     Clap pushups 10x3

18.     Glute/Ham raises 25 x4

19.     Scapular Retraction 15 x3

 

 

Mission 3: Focused Flexibility 5 Days/Week

Spoiler

 

Bent knee ankle stretch

Straight knee ankle stretch

Longsitting stretch

Seated forward fold

 

 

Mission 4: Homemade Meal 1/Week

Spoiler

 

1.       Select recipe by Tuesday

2.       Buy online ingredients by Wednesday

3.       Buy other ingredients by Friday

4.       Cook & serve meal during weekend

 

 

Go/no-Go = 15 second one hand hang on each hand by end of week 4

Neither hand = Can’t decipher the clue, needs to keep working

1 hand only = Deciphered the clue but needs help

Both hands = Deciphered the clue and can act on it

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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Level 2 Ninja

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I was at the park yesterday doing my muscle up routine and there was a guy there doing one handed monkey bars.  It was straight up wicked so I talked to the guy to learn more about learning to do them.  However, after giving it a try, I realized something that kind of crushed me.  I couldn't even hang on to the bar one handed.

 

Apparently I have no grip strength 

Image result for bawling gif

 

The worst part of this was the realization that the real reason I failed that one obstacle at the Spartan Sprint was not because the rings were slippery, as I had been telling myself to feel better.  I just wasn't strong enough to hold on.

 

That changes this challenge!

Image result for this stops now gif

 

I will keep 3 of the objectives from my last challenge, but my primary goal now is improving my grip strength. I haven't figured out what the routine will be yet, but I want to be able to increase my hang time by 15 seconds each week (hang for 1 minute by the end of the challenge).  Realistic? I have no idea.    But that's what I am shooting for.

 

Image result for let's do this gif

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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love it!! maybe i'll add some one-handed hangs to my days and see where i'm at. i have a freaking pull up bar at home i never use...

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1 hour ago, CourtnieMarie said:

love it!! maybe i'll add some one-handed hangs to my days and see where i'm at. i have a freaking pull up bar at home i never use...

 

Great, this thread can be out hang out :)  

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Wait, one handed monkey bars? Like he just used his like left hand the entire time hopping between them? :o:o That is some ninja shit.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, raptron said:

Wait, one handed monkey bars? Like he just used his like left hand the entire time hopping between them? :o:o That is some ninja shit.

 

 

That wasn't the half of it either. He grabbed the side poles like he was trying to pull them together, but instead pulled up and regrabbed higher to make his way up to the top. He then pulled himself the same way to grab the first rung with one hand, and hopped the whole way across with that hand. When he got to the other side he switched hands and hopped back.

 

All with no kip, hip hinge or even much swing.

 

Straight up ninja. If he is there again tomorrow I will get a video

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

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The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

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Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Worked out in the yard this morning instead of going to the park, so I didn't get a chance to look for ninjaguy.

 

I am finding that my MU routine is really intensive on a few select muscle groups and worry that I am overly focusing at the expense of other areas.  Given that I need to rest my arms between exercises anyway, I have decided to throw in some leg and core workouts into the routine.  This not only gives the arms a longer rest, but allows me to get a full all around workout.  This morning it was:

 

One hand hang @6 seconds each hand

Two hand hang @ 15 seconds

Pullups x10

Hello Dolly x100

Jump MU / Eccentric MU x5

Shrimp squats x15/leg

Knees to bar x10
Clap pushups x10
Landmines x15/leg
Front lever x10
Glute/ham raise x25
Headbanger x10
Dragon thrust x10
Air squats x25
Scapular retractions x15
Flutter kicks x100
Jump lunges x30

 

Repeat 3 times

 

I feel like my arms are going to fall off...

 

Image result for arms fall off gif

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The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

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Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Nice! Yeah, definitely smart to spend your "downtime" on legs and core, hahah. Awesome. My one-armed hangs are also terrible. I've considered working on them a bit more but man they are hard! 

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holy moly! that routine looks intenssssse

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Following again!

 

Some advice for one-handed hangs: for me the most awkward part is that I naturally swivel around, so I'd need to recruit some muscles to fight that rotation. To make them easier you can wrap your legs somehow on the pole(s) so you won't rotate. Another possibility is to use your free hand to secure yourself against the upright pole (or even the horizontal bar, pushing upwards.

 

Depending on which muscles are weak on you, you might be able to do 1-and-a-half-handed hangs, where (e.g. your right) hand is gripping the bar and your left hand is gripping your right hand.

 

Good luck! I need to look around for some bars to practise pull-ups and muscle-ups again...

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8 minutes ago, SymphonicDan said:

Another possibility is to use your free hand to secure yourself against the upright pole

I like this idea. It is going into the grip routine for sure.

 

This us already very much in line with a parkour move I have been working one where I do an angled skin the cat/assisted backflip kind of thingy (not sure how to describe it) but the bar grip is is just like you described.

 

8 minutes ago, SymphonicDan said:

Depending on which muscles are weak on you, you might be able to do 1-and-a-half-handed hangs, where (e.g. your right) hand is gripping the bar and your left hand is gripping your right hand.

I can do these but not for very long. I didn't realize that that the reason I can do this and not the standalone hang is due to different muscles, but it certainly makes sense. I will need to think about this some more (and do some research) as I figure out how to go about this.

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The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132Ambition [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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I've had some success incorporating like alternating hand releases rather than just full-on hangs as well! Like, standard two-handed hang, uncurl the fingers of one hand, pick it up like you were maybe reaching for a bar above it for a couple seconds, put it back, then do the other side. Might be too low on the progression level for you, but I think they're helpful! 

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11 minutes ago, raptron said:

Might be too low on the progression level for you, but I think they're helpful! 

Not too low at all (I feel like I am starting from pretty much zero on one handed stuff). In fact, this was something I was thinking about including, but haven't had a chance to test it out yet.  I will try it tomorrow and see how to work it in.

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The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

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Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Lurking again!

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12 hours ago, fleaball said:

Lurking again!

yay, welcome! Are you going to have a new challenge this time? 

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Level 2 Ninja

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Update as of Saturday Afternoon

 

Mission 1: Improve Grip Strength 5x/week

I have noticed that my grip strength varies depending on a lot of factors.  If my arms are flexed or in motion it is far easier to keep ahold of the bar, and the more I twist/rotate, the harder it gets to keep a grip.  This tells me that there are certain muscles which  need more work than others so I need to do some research to figure which ones those are and how to target them.  I also noticed that the way I hang (knees up and in front vs flexed behind me) has a big impact on how much pressure is on my hands, and more pressure makes the grip quite painful because my callouses get squeezed badly.  Some more research is required on this to figure how to overcome/mitigate this.

 

Mission 2: Muscle Up Routine 3 Days/Week

I was doing my routine this morning and was rudely interrupted.  I normally don't mind a bit of chit chat as long as it doesn't go on too long, but this was overly egregious.  The calisthenic equipment in our complex is located in front of the gym (I am not a member) and every once in a while the coaches will stop and say hi and chat a bit as they go into work.  Invariably they always ask if I want to join the gym but don't push it when I decline.  So today I was about halfway through my third series and this guy comes over and introduces himself as a coach.  He asks about my workout and so I tell him I am working towards muscle ups.  He immediately goes super negative, saying muscle ups are one the five hardest bodyweight exercises in the world and asks how many pullups I can do.  I tell him I can do 15 or so in a set but usually do 30 across a workout.  He says "You are doing way too few, you need to be ale to do 100 before you think about muscle ups". clearly this guy doesn't know what he's talking about so I explain to him that 15 is enough and that 1,000 pullups isn't going to help without the right technique.  I show him the rest of the things I am doing as part of my routine and that it covers all of the parts.  So then he says "Oh you need to do more work on your legs and core, just working upper body isn't enough"  At this point I just shake my head and tell him I have already been doing this for more than an hour, walk over to the GHR stop and knock out 50, then go back over to the pullup bar and knock out 15 of the best headbangers I have ever done (chin kept above the bar, elbows extended beyond 90 degrees and core tight so that I get no additional sway.  I hopped down and gave the guy a "what else you got, bro" look.  I guess he finally got the message and walked into the gym.   People trying to teach me stuff when I already know more about the topic than they do is a big peeve of mine.

 

Mission 3: Focused Flexibility 5 Days/Week

I finally watched all of the videos and figured out which stretches I will use for this and tried them out last night for the first time.  I don't think I am doing it right because I am either super comfortable or in excruciating pain as I shift into and out of the stretch.  I need to go back and review the videos again.

 

Mission 4: Homemade Meal 1/Week

I made homemade sausage & biscuits for breakfast yesterday and they were awful.  Made baked fish and broccoli for dinner and it was awesome.

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Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Haha, he must be a pretty lame coach if he doesn't know the difference between muscle endurance (100 pull-ups) and strength (1 muscle-up). It could even be harder for someone to do a muscle-up if their max pull-ups were 100 rather than 15, in the same way as you'd expect a sprinter to be better than a marathon runner at high jump.

 

I wonder how many Olympic rings gymnasts could do more than 50 pull-ups, even if they had the incentive to try?

 

Anyway, for the one-handed hang, you need to be able to hang for 10 hours with two hands before you can start trying that the forearm muscles for grip pull on the other muscles in a way I don't fully understand, and when you're in a dead hang those muscles are extended and therefore weaker... What's your motivation for increasing grip strength? it's notorious for coming/disappearing much more quickly than other types of strength, maybe because the hang muscles are smaller.

 

Maybe file your callouses so they don't pinch and you don't risk ripping them if you do laches etc.?

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current 5-week challenge: March 2020

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2 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

What's your motivation for increasing grip strength?

 

That's, well, you know, a very good question.  One that I suppose I probably should have asked myself before starting this challenge. :D 

 

I just remember being able to swing like a monkey as a kid and was disappointed that I couldn't do it.  Plus I will need it for OCRs (although I don't have any coming up immediately).  Besides, in every movie the hero or whoever grabs onto a ledge or whatever and then grabs their buddy and keeps them from going over the edge. Not like I would ever actually have to do that, but at least being able to jump and grab something one handed should come in handy for parkour?  

 

Aw, who am I kidding, I just want to do it to show off.  Which, by the way, is the same reason I am learning the muscle up (and everything else).  

 

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10 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

yay, welcome! Are you going to have a new challenge this time? 

Yeah, I'm just slow getting there. Zero Week the First was all about packing and moving and chaos. I don't have a new challenge planned out yet, but there should be a thread in the next few days. :)

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3 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

Aw, who am I kidding, I just want to do it to show off.  Which, by the way, is the same reason I am learning the muscle up (and everything else).

There are definitely worse sources of motivation out there.

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I guess that was the coach's way of trying to show you that you needed to join the gym? Really weird, and like Dan said wrong.  I really like how GMB does it with progressions, and with working on other similar skills like the dip and pulls at the same time.

 

The thing that gave me the most progress with the two handed grip is doing it several times a day, I think my goal was 5 minutes a day. Same thing might help with single hand. The one arm hang is definitely on my one day goals. 

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Wisdom 22.5   Dexterity 13   Charisma 15   Strength 21  Constitution-13

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song, above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world" J.R.R.Tolkien

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Following! :D 

 

12 hours ago, WhiteGhost said:

I have noticed that my grip strength varies depending on a lot of factors

Sure, there are a lot of small muscles that need to interact and which ones get recruited the most depends on load angles. That's why climbers have to train in a bunch of different grips, just because you can hang for an hour on a pull-up bar doesn't mean you'll be able to hold on to a teeny crimp or huge round sloper.

 

On 28/06/2017 at 7:00 PM, WhiteGhost said:

 

That wasn't the half of it either. He grabbed the side poles like he was trying to pull them together, but instead pulled up and regrabbed higher to make his way up to the top. He then pulled himself the same way to grab the first rung with one hand, and hopped the whole way across with that hand. When he got to the other side he switched hands and hopped back.

 

All with no kip, hip hinge or even much swing.

 

Straight up ninja. If he is there again tomorrow I will get a video

That's frickin' insane. :o 

 

On 30/06/2017 at 2:48 PM, SymphonicDan said:

Some advice for one-handed hangs: for me the most awkward part is that I naturally swivel around, so I'd need to recruit some muscles to fight that rotation. 

 

Depending on which muscles are weak on you, you might be able to do 1-and-a-half-handed hangs, where (e.g. your right) hand is gripping the bar and your left hand is gripping your right hand.

One exercise that I like for controlling the swivel is to swivel back and forth on purpose by initiating the rotation through the shoulder only. It's pretty hard but it's nice for learning stability and control in the shoulder. You could try that with a light foot support.

 

Hmm don't really see the point of one and a half hand hangs... it's basically a two arm hang but with a different grip.

 

On 30/06/2017 at 4:05 PM, raptron said:

I've had some success incorporating like alternating hand releases rather than just full-on hangs as well! Like, standard two-handed hang, uncurl the fingers of one hand, pick it up like you were maybe reaching for a bar above it for a couple seconds, put it back, then do the other side. Might be too low on the progression level for you, but I think they're helpful! 

This is a much better approach I think! These and supported one arm hangs. Unglamorous but

effective. :) 

 

10 hours ago, SymphonicDan said:

it's notorious for coming/disappearing much more quickly than other types of strength, maybe because the hang muscles are smaller.

Oh yeah. So annoying. :P 

 

 

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Thanks @Mad Hatter . some really good (and useful) insights!

HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library   Shuffle Club

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132Ambition [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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Week negative zero update

 

Mission 1: Improve Grip Strength 5x/week

Well, I lied when I said earlier I will carve out grip work from my regular routine.  I have decided to keep it.  So far, my grip workout includes:

 

As part of the regular workout (three sets of each):

One hand semi-supported hangs (I hold my feet out against the side poles to stop rotation and hold for 5 seconds each hand)

Two hand hang (The bar is too short to do a straight dead hang, so I do a 10 count with my legs behind me and then a 10 count with my knees raised in front).  The different hang positions seem to work different muscle groups

Alternating hand hangs (press my feet to the side bars to stop rotation and then let go with alternating hands, extending the free hand fully over the bar) 

Standalone (non-workout days):

Two hand hang for 1 minute, 30 seconds each for legs behind and in front x3

One hand hand hang (free rotation) 5 seconds each hand x3

One hand supported hang (toes on the ground) forced rotation 10 seconds each hand x3

1.5 grippers (150lbs?) 10 each hand x2 + 10 second hold

 

Mission 2: Muscle Up Routine 3 Days/Week

Pretty much the same routine as above, but now with situps.  I will need to revise the order, however, to maximize rest time between muscle groups

 

Mission 3: Focused Flexibility 5 Days/Week

I have the routine now, but have only done it once so far.  This is much more intense than what I was doing, so I am going to have to step up the willpower game to make this happen

 

Mission 4: Homemade Meal 1/Week

made 2 meals last week, but neither were first time meals, which is what I would prefer to do.  repeat meals are an acceptable backup, however, as it reinforces the recipes I have done and I know if I don't allow it, I will just end up ordering in if I am not going to hit my target.

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HUNTER OF ALL THINGS SHINY

Intro Thread    Bodyweight Exercise Library   Shuffle Club

The Arruvia Conspiracy Challenges: 1, 2, 3, 4, 567, 89, 10 

Other Challenges: 12345, 6, 7, 89, 10, 11, 1213, 14, 15 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 3132Ambition [Current]

Level 2 Ninja

Strength: 13 Intelligence: 14 Wisdom: 6 Dexterity:14 Constitution: 12 Charisma: 11

 

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