Crash, burn, reboot

(Part 20 of 36 in 10,000 Reps Project)

Workout catchup…

…ok, so yes, I’ve been sick, but I’m still a slacker. This past week, I went to the doctor and got some good cough medicine to improve my sleep. Friday I was feeling better and coughing less, so I talked myself into going out and trying to finish the 30-reps, second-half of the workout I had split in half the previous week. So I got that done, but, ….brrrrrrrrr CHILLY!

Bar-precisions…

This is challenging again. My latest scaf setup has higher bottom bars. Used to be about 4 inches off the floor — scary as hell when you start out, but at the low height, it’s nearly impossible to hurt yourself if you slip long or short. New setup has the bars about a foot high, so this is again SCA-RY when you slip or don’t have your feet where you want them. Also, the current setup makes the bars rock-solid. So the old setup you could pre-load the bar flex just before jumping and then the landing bar is nice with just a bit of flex. Now, if you don’t do the legs correctly on the landing, it’s a bone-jarring bang when you land. Anyway, just yakking about an exercise that I’ve tweaked just a bit and is suddenly a fresh challenge.

Squats…

Hip ROM is one of my current “projects”. I’ve been working (desk-type work) on the floor in my living room using my coffee table as a desk. It’s like japanese-style living :P I’ve a couple yoga blocks to sit on as a starter-crutch and I cycle through cross-legged, one-straight, seiza, etc to work on hip ROM/flexibility. I usually run a 15 minute or so timer as I work and then shift to a couple of minutes of working on a flat foot squat. So doing body-weight squats is ever-so-slightly easier. I can take a bit-wider-than-shoulder stance and do a full squat to seated, but up into multiple sets numbers it starts to feel tight in the knees and then I let my heels unload… I’m thinking going forward I should keep the heels planted and just not squat all the way down. (Would also increase the difficulty on the descent as I’d have to do more negative work to stop before the movement limit. Probably also a good thing.) As soon as I unload the heels (even the slightest) I can feel that I’m no longer pushing the hip/ankle ROM like I could be. So I think just stopping before the last few inches of squat depth would yield more results in hip ROM. I can take a *wider* stance, but then it seems the knee pull/torque comes to my attention *sooner*.

Pullups…

These are definitely a “can do” exercise now. Getting better velocity/acceleration from the dead hang, and the consistency of height, and height in general are slowly improving. (I don’t dead hang most of them — I prefer to run up and down with the shoulders/lats remaining activated at the bottom.) I’m convinced the next step in my progression is to shave off a bit more dead weight. There’s 5, maybe even 10, pounds I can easily drop just by paying attention to carbs. So I’m off to try and get that in the coming weeks.

Related, two weekends ago I did my first ever “climb up” in perfect form. Basically, a fingers-over-top wall grab, feet on the wall, arms fully extended, pull up to max height and with the last of the momentum, hop your hands up on top of the wall, so the heel of you hand can bear weight. Haul your chest forward (low) over the top of the wall so you center-gravity moves into where you can push up through the dip part of the lift. Never managed the fluid hand transition before as a continuation of the pulling movement. It’s crazy difficult; the transition of hands is pretty easy, but if you do it and end up too low, you’re not able to tricep-push your way out of the dip (because the wall is in your way in front of you) …can make for a smash-your-chin/face train wreck if you mess it up. ANYWAY, my point is, pullups are really paying off in some of the functional movements that have been on my list for years. The grip-strength gains alone are crazy-useful.

Now for the problem: My right forearm is no longer sore/aching in general. Before this two-week-ish sick break, I could make the muscles ache just by making a fist and flexing my wrist pinky-side. That’s healed/gone away. But as soon as I start pullups, that exact muscle/area complains. I did 6×5 on Friday and it was a consistent “you better cut that out”. So again, losing a few pounds would help.

But my workouts require getting 70+ pullups in to make the 10k goal. I have the general strength/stamina to do it in an hour-ish workout, but it’s going to trash that right forearm if I go at it. So I’m going to experiment with a few things: 1) Banking pullups indoors; I have a smaller sized bar indoors versus the 1-1/4″ scaf pipe outside that is way harder to grip. So doing 5 or 10 reps, a few times through the day will allow me to vastly reduce the pullup reps when I do the “main” workouts. (Bonus, reduces how much I have to take my gloves off to do pullups outside… fr-fr-fr-fr-icking cold scaf pipes!) 2) Changing the grip; perhaps switch to the easier chin-up grip on one side. I’m not sure if its better to switch the right grip to not aggravate the muscles, or switch the left grip so I can do more work on the left to lessen the load on the right. I’ll also try removing pinky finger from the right grip since that corresponding side of the forearm muscle is the part that complains. 3) shift the hanging position (eg slight archers) to just load the left side more.

So, lots of work remains with pullups.

Worksheet/workouts…

Snapshot attached with usual-looking plans for next week. Bearing in mind that for the pullups, I’ll be working on banking reps in the day(s) before each workout.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 11.45.08 AM

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