Photo gallery for this series

(Part 1 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

This post presents a gallery of ALL images in this series. You can click on any to enlarge; you can even click on the first, sit back, and it’ll run them all as a slide show. The gallery is dynamic so it will automatically grow as I add more posts to this series.


7230: I surrender

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

I surrendered yesterday with a heavy heart.

Since July 20th, 2015, it has been a long year of ups and downs. I’ve made some massive improvements in strength, and form, for the activities I’d chosen. But I still have much work left to do — both in terms of the number of reps left before the 10,000 goal, and in terms of the quality of the activities I had hoped to reach along the way.

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A few weeks ago, I started a sprint to the finish. In an attempt to make the 10,000 goal within the dwindling days, I would need to do approximately 200 reps of everything every-other-day for several weeks. I started using a resistance band to ease the strain on my shoulder during the pull-ups, but even that was not enough to preserve my shoulder. This past weekend, at a Parkour event in Boston, it became painfully(!) clear that my shoulder injury was returning.

I have a Parkour trip planned in August, and I must begin that with my shoulder at 100%. I am forced to choose between a good shoulder for my trip, or the remaining 2770 pull-ups. I am choosing my shoulder.

Now, I find I have to write the “wrap this series up” post sooner than expected. So, what have I learned?

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

Anyone can put a challenge in front of themselves that they are unable to do. How well do you know what you are capable of? How well do you know how to make yourself capable of more. I train to know who I am and how I can improve.

~ Jesse Danger


This 10k project is the largest challenge that I can ever recall attempting. It is the only thing I’ve ever tried to accomplish which spanned the course of one entire year. It was ambitious, huge and has taught me a lot about my ability to stay motivated over a long time frame. (Pro tip: I suck at staying motivated.) I learned (or refined) several new skills involving daily and weekly planning of workouts, planning for road-blocks (winter weather, holidays, trips) and recovering from injury.

It is certainly not the first thing at which I’ve failed. It is certainly not the last thing at which I’ll fail.

Perhaps one day I will do it again and make the goal. But for now, I have other things to do.


Maximum effort

(Part 35 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

This past week counts as MAXIMUM EFFORT.

This past week I rearranged my entire life around the workouts. M/W/F were each 5+ hours of just grueling slogging away at it. It was horrid. However, no accute injuries. My forearms seem to be holding up because of the assistance band, but also because I’m managing more/most of the pullups barehanded giving a better grip. (So less forearm pulling. With gloves, the grip slips on the fat bars and you get that hard pull at the elbow from using a different part of the grip muscles.)

The goal was 200 reps [of everything] on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (today.) Instead I absolutely crushed it M/W/F, and today was an easy 70 reps of everything with some friends (after our usual short run and 45 minutes of QM.) Resting the remainder of today… by the pool in the A/C etc.

Here’s the numbers for this week. Next week, I’ll do the 250 reps again Mon/Wed, and then I’m off to Boston so no 10k workouts Thursday through Monday (only a huge Parkour event all day Saturday/Sunday :) If I can keep up these 250s M/W/F, then the places where there has to be a back-to-back workout (basically every Saturday), it can be simplay a 50-reps workout, and that’s like a “limbering up” sessions compared to 250 reps.

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In the history of bad ideas…

(Part 34 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

Today I passed 6,000.

So it turns out it is just barely possible to pull this 10k thing out of the hole.

Friday, instead of 50 reps of things, I kept plugging away and got to 120. (140 bar precisions as I had 20 to catch up from a wet bars rain-out on Wednesday.)

So today (after doing my usual short run and QM workout in the AM) I did two separate 80 reps workouts to get me 160 reps for the day. 160 reps is doable. I’m totally standing on a 1″ resistance band for the pull-ups though.

Screw it… I’m going to make a run for the finish! I’ll even add more resistance bands for the pull-ups if I have to. (Whatever it takes to avoid injury and keep good form.) I want to be done with this before my trips coming up in August!

So with that in mind, I set about juggling numbers in my workbook. There’s a hole coming up when I’ll be in Boston for 5 days at an event; No way I’m going to get any of my structured workouts in. So I marked that in the book. Then, back-figuring… There’s no way I can train every day; I must have rest days. The math leads me to the surreal goal of doing literally 200 reps every Monday, Wednesday, Friday AND Saturday from now to the 365th day on July 20th.

I have a rest day tomorrow (Sunday) and then Monday I tackle a 200-reps day. I’ll [attempt to] do two, 100 rep workouts. I’ll do one in the morning and one in the evening. Counting Monday, there are exactly 20, 200-rep-workout days remaining. (The very last workout is actually less that 200.)

In the history of bad ideas, this has to be up there…

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Seriously, this again?

(Part 32 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

Two weeks ago I started back into putting some numbers on the board. But this just-past-week I hurt my back. Tuesday I did 80 bar precisions (an easy number), but my back was feeling tired. Then Wednesday, I was really pushing it. No, actually, all I did was stand up from my desk chair. *bam* So the brunt of last week was rest, and recovery. Again. :/

On Saturday, I was feeling much better so I eased back into some normal activity. Ran for 20 minutes (with someone who is a faster runner) then did 45 minutes of QM on a tennis court — managed to go 45 minutes without standing up and with only hands and/or feet on the ground. Then I had firewood delivered about 9:30, and spent four hours of hard labor stacking it all. (I clearly don’t understand what “ease” means.)

Today, my back still feels good; it’s still recovering but on the mend.

We’re going to our regular parkour class today from 3-5. Should be beautiful weather – for heat stroke. After that, we’re heading over to the pool for some lounge time in the shade.

Monday I’ll start back into putting some numbers back up. But THIS time, I’m staying on the resistance bands longer to make sure my back is ok.

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Back in the saddle

(Part 31 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

woo-HOO, it feels great to be back in the saddle!

I did this week’s workouts as planned. I’ve 80 bar precisions to squeeze in on Saturday. It’s a busy day, but it won’t be a problem. Monday and Wednesday I did the 80 pullups in sets of 3, WITH an assistance band. Today I did ten sets of 5 with the band, then 10 sets of 3 without any band. I think next week I should be good to go without any assistance band on the pullups.

This week I added 240 to the odometers. That’s WAY too slow to make the 10k-in-a-year goal. I’d have to rack up 500 per week to make it. I’m not ruling out some crazy miraculous rabbit-out-of-hat finish… but I expect I’m going to run over the one-year date.

Next week, I’m going to repeat the same plan (80 reps on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Just to make Saturday and Sunday completely free (from this stuff, I do other things ;) I’ll do all the bar precisions on Tuesday and Thursday. 6 sets of 20 is a nice workout. Next week I’ll be just shy of 6,000 reps of everything, so maybe I’ll squeeze in a few extra sets to ring that bell too.

Spreadsheet snapshot as usual. This week filled in. “Planned workouts” in yellow cells:

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Back on the wagon

(Part 30 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

I’ve been resting/recovering my shoulder for almost 5 weeks. Yesterday, I did 80 reps (broken into sets with rests) of push-ups/pull-ups/body-weight-squats and 8×10 second handstands… The pullups sucked, as I was standing on (I think it is the) 1-1/2” resistence band. Well, not standing, but keeping my knee bent to lessen how much force the band is adding. It’s probably 15 pounds or more at the bottom, and goes to zero before I reach the top of the pull-up. It made for a good forearm burn, but no hint of shoulder problems. So I think it’s safe to get back into this level of effort regularly. (My shoulder is definitely still in recovery though.)

Today I’m going to set up the precision bar. (The scaf is all there, but I pulled out one of the precision-jump bars for something else). I’ll do at least 4×20 to get back on the horse for bar-precisions.

The rest of this week I’ll stick to “easy” and just repeat the 80-reps workout Wednesday and Friday. I’m working further on hand/skin improvements. I did the first 40 pullups bare hands (on the indoor, 1” bar; I think the larger outdoor scaf is easier on the hands). When it’s starting to hurt, I put gloves on and save my hands for the next workout. So I’ll keep doing that. I’ll also work at getting off the band.

I was just reading an article about something like “sprint weight loss”. The idea is to leverage your short-term motivation to push your weight down, and then settle back to your regular eating/living routine. So I’m working on sticking strickly to my 16/8 IF this week. I’ve slowly eased down to wobbling around 220 pounds now, and have touched 218 once. So I think a couple weeks of diligent IF and actively thinking about carbs (that is, avoid them) again will get me to “wobbling around 218 pounds”. Which would be a great thing to help with pullups.

I’ve also now gotten an honest assessment of what happens if you take 5 weeks off from the body weight workouts. Definite back-sliding (no duh) but it’s not a train-wreck-total-start-over. So I hope I’ll feel more comfortable reigning things in for future injury, or injury-prevention, situations that arise.


Another setback and refusal to quit

(Part 29 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

About three weeks ago, I over-did it… raking in the yard. :^/ I’m presuming that was just the final straw on top of everything else I’ve been doing.

At that time, I paused all my 10K workouts, but have continued training parkour, running, and even doing some shoulder-intensive quadrapedie conditioning work (shoulder loading modes which don’t cause pain). Watching the calendar tick away to my one-year deadline on the 10K project is the hardest part. Unfortunately, it would be a miraculous come back to make it at this point.

I’ve decided that I’m not giving up on the 10K goal. I’ve never tried (let alone completed) anything of this scale, so I *really* want to finish it. I’ll either pull off a miraculous come back, or I’ll simply be happy with over shooting the date. To that end, after a good two weeks off from the five exercises, I’m going to start back into doing some numbers. I may even start pullups with resistance band assistance to be 100% sure I do no further damage to my shoulder.

I already have a good, morning recovery habit (stretching, and dynamic range of motion stuff) which I am now doubling-down on to do in the evenings too. I had been focusing on hips (hip ROM being something I really need to work on) but I’m reorganizing to be focused on shoulders. I’m rather happy about my (apparent) ability to pause one goal/focus to retool for this shoulder recovery work. In the past, I’m sure I’d have just tried to *add* shoulder recovery to my overflowing pile.

I continue to shave off fractions of pounds. I was “around 223” and am now wobbling around 221, seeing 220 occassionally. (Some quick body-weight strength checks, and performance in parkour, lead me to think I’m not loosing significant strength.) Weight is the best thing for me to work on at this point as it translates immediately to less “strain” and easier next-day recovery. I’m planning my most ambitious parkour trip ever in late-July and August, and it will involve weeks of all-day moving. It’s also (obviously) the go out and play time of year, so my general activity level goes up.

In other news, I bailed out of a possible trip to rock climb in Colorado, partly due to time constraints, but mostly due feeling it was “off-focus” for me at the moment (if that makes sense).



(Part 28 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

5,000. five thousand. FIVE. THOUSAND!!!

So excited to be half way through the numbers of my year-long project. I have about 110 days remaining to do the second 5,000 reps of all the activities. But at this point, it is now possible to do 120 reps (pull-ups being the limiting activity) in a single workout. Granted, that workout takes about two hours but it means it is finally possible to warm up, get started, and get it done.

Last week was a lot of random-seeming numbers of pull-ups just shoved into every day. That took a real toll on my arms. So I was particularly careful about getting back on the pull-up bar.

But first…

5,000 bar precisions…

This seems inconceivable to me. I remember starting all of this…. and now? Well, here’s the worksheet from the last workout on bar precisions:

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I did 260 bar precisions (I still have the bars set at 64″ like in the video I recently posted). This seems like an insane number when you step up on the bar. But I start counting to 26, then make a mark in my little book… and then do that 9 more times. It is VERY difficult to stay focused for the entire time. I mean, REALLY REALLY difficult. I don’t see how I can fully convey the experience here (in a quick update), so I’ll leave it at that. I’d love to talk about it some time… so chat me up. :)

Meanwhile, I had planned to do the magical 5,000 milepost workout of the other activities on the following day (Thursday, in the screen grab above.) I headed to the bar, did a bunch of range-of-motion movements, some joint rotations, etc. Then tried a pull-up and OW! …not happening. Normally, the FIRST pull-up always sucks, but on Thursday I felt discretion was warranted. I mustered a LOT of courage and pushed the workout back until my arms felt better. (ie, so it didn’t feel as if they were going to be ripped off my torso at the same time my forearms exploded.)

5,000 pullups!

…also, 5,000 pushups! 5,000 seconds in handstand! 5,000 body-weight squats!

Saturday morning, it was conveniently raining (delaying our plans to tackle yard-work) and I decided to get at it. I warmed up and spent just over 2 hours trying to stick to a ten-minute circuit combining pull-ups, squats, handstand, sitting in a resting squat position (another of my projects is to get a full resting squat). Note the screwball “42” pushups in this workout; That’s just a result of a recent push-up challenge I was doing with some friends where I banked a pile of pushups, so in this workout I can just coast to 5,000.

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There it is. April 2nd… 5,000 across the board.

Next week…

I’m going to tweak the circuit just a bit so I can get 125 reps into a workout. At that rate, I have this miraculous spreadsheet projection, where one thousand reps happens in just 8 workouts. boo-YEAH!

…assuming of course I can manage to follow through on this ambitious pace:

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pull-ups pull-ups pull-ups…

(Part 27 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

The more I work on this stuff, the more I’m certain I’ll never be done; I’ll finish this challenge, but, “move, exercise” is just an infinitely deep rabbit hole.

The past two weeks, I’ve been working on trying to increase daily numbers. Pull-ups remain the limiting exercise, so it’s a game of how many pull-ups can I do in a day. Last week, every day, I did anywhere from 1 to 4 separate workouts. I did circuits with small pull-up sets to a total of 24 or 25 pull-ups in each workout. (Circuits of pushups, squats, handstands and seated/resting squatted. But that’s all easy stuff.) So the number of pull-ups on each day last week ranges oddly from 24 to 96.

My forearm continues to feel better. It’s now a sort of “remember to be careful about that”, rather than a feeling of impending doom if I do one pull-up incorrectly. I’m continuing to generally push hard with training, but I’ve no qualms about pulling up short if the arm bothers me at all.

I’ll pass 5,000 reps of everything this week!

I’m planning only 2 workouts this week. They will both be the largest number of pull-ups I’ve every attempted in a day. I’m aiming for 120 reps spread into four workouts. This week would still be a slightly “light” week since it’s only 2 out of seven days with workouts. The following week, I’m tentatively thinking of trying two days with 125 pull-ups in each day. I’ve never managed more than about 70 pull-ups in a single workout, so I’m tempted to try to do one big workout to see if I can do 120 pull-ups in something silly like 40 sets of 3.

If I can do 120 reps on workout days, I can still finish this whole challenge in time (but with literally just a few days to spare.) That seems too finely-planned, so I’m hoping to get up to 125 reps on the work days. This is definitely going to be physically challenging to make it by the end of 365 days.

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Ramping up pull-up numbers

(Part 26 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

Quick check in…

Time to start ramping up to larger numbers. Need to be doing 120 pull-ups in a day if I’m going to be able to do work-rest-work-rest-rest the rest of the way to 10K before the deadline. So Monday I’m going to try doing 4 trips to the bar with 25 pullups (rather than 5 trips of 20), then I can add a fifth trip in coming days to move above 100 reps for the day. We’ll shall see. :P

200+ bar precisions is doable, so I think I’ll plan for a while to double up (two days’ reps, in one bar precision workout) since it’s easier to just go out less often and crank out numbers.

The ladder push-ups thing is still going. I think we’re within a week of it ending though (when the guy rotates home from deployment) so I’ll shift to something less weird-looking at that point.

Also planning ahead to keep Saturday and Sunday open this coming weekend.

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Couple hundred at a time

(Part 25 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

No major changes…

Last week I did two good work days. Did the pull-ups in 5 trips to the pull-up bar over five hours, and still doing very small sets 4×3,4×2 to get me 20 reps without over-working my forearm. I’m going to stick with that plan this week. For the last workout of this week, the numbers-game will work better if I can go up to 120 reps — so that will probably be 6 trips to the pull-up bar.

Also last week, I did the 200 bar precisions in one session. It’s not physically demanding, but more of an aerobic, get-in-the-zone and work on the quality of each jump. I may do that on Wednesday, simply to move the bar precisions to be on a different day from the pull-ups.

There should have been a third workout in last week — but I was away in NYC/Brooklyn for several days (the red blocks). Huge amounts of training, and huge amounts of “hey that’s noticably better” as a result of all this body-weight work. (Also, very little sleep and scattered eating — and, hey look, I think I’m sick again :/


Next week there are way too many “120”s on the workbook. That’s just me moving numbers down without bothering to go farther out and reshuffle numbers (yet). I just passed the “4,000”s mile post last week, and now — FINALLY — with these sized workouts, the “5,000”s milepost is in sight. At a rate of “120”s workouts, on a work-rest-work-rest-rest pattern of days, I can still finish this all in sane fashion before the 365th day.

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(Part 24 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

I passed the 4,000 reps mile-post last week! Woo-HOO! 6,000 reps to go. Booooooo!

Last week was a Herculean effort on bar precisions to dig out of the hole I created. I did 700+ bar precisions in 3 days. It was deliciously decadent to have Saturday/Sunday off from this project. (I spent the days “off” by driving 3 hours to play/train with friends in upstate NY, driving home, and then going to regular Parkour class on Sunday. “Rest” may not be the right word.)

After last week’s “no plan” plan turned out well, I’m going back to my regurlarly scheduled work-rest-work-rest-rest 5-day pattern. I’ll do 100 reps of each, and my goal (over the coming weeks) will be to bring the pull-ups closer together. Currently, I’ve been doing ~100 pullups scattered in bunches of 8’s (as 3,3,2) or 7’s (as 3,2,2) spread through the day. I’ll work on making pull-ups into larger bunches of 9’s (4,3,2), 10’s and so on. The dream being to get to 10×10 pull-ups in one workout. My right forearm/grip is feeling better, but nowhere near 100%; so I’m keeping this as an odometer race, I’m not going anywhere near max rep’s on pullups until my forearm feels 100%.

A note about handstands: I’m going to keep doing them as 15-second stands. I was increasing the time per stand, but I realize now that I need more practice on the kick up and balance. So doing lots of shorter stands gives me lots of practice. I’ve managed a few instances of 5 seconds of complete free standing after kicking up onto the wall.

Next week, I’ll consider going to 120-rep workouts. That would bring the pace up sufficiently to finish 10k well before July 20. (Alternatively, I might invite friends out for a day of hurt to try to do something crazy like 500-of-each-exercise in one sprint to the finish, but that seems risky to me.) I would LOVE to wrap this up early so I can move on to other things.

For the long view, I sketched out doing 100-rep workouts on my 5-day pattern and it now comes up short at the one-year date on July 20. Astoundingly, it comes up exactly 500 reps short. (Except for pushups which are weird now due to that one-a-day ascending pushups thing that is going on unrelated to this 10k challenge. I’ll fiddle with pushups in a few weeks when that’s over.)

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Trying to get back on track

(Part 23 of 36 in series, 10,000 Reps Project)

Today I got a lot of numbers done. On the screengrab attached, I don’t have all of today’s numbers white… just a few more reps to do to finish today. But still totally slacking on the bar precisions. DAMMIT tomorrow I’m gonna get on it!!

The bar pre numbers for the rest of this week are gonzo… I know I can do them, just need to get in gear. Yellow blocks are “planned”, blue is “interesting mile post”, and red is “danger/training obstruction ahead”.

Saturday I’ll be away in upstate NY for some Parkour so I’ve cleared that day with zeros. But I suspect I’ll be tired Sunday — I’ll be driving home 3 hours, and there’s regular class in the afternoon. So I should clear Sunday as well. I’ll see if I can “bank” things. But “banking” 180 bar pre’s will not be easy.

Pushups are almost getting silly. We have this large group that converses each day with a Parkour friend who is currently in the army deployed to Afghanistan (in intelligence, not getting shot at.) Anyway, every day that he posts an “Afgan log entry”, we (most of us) do an increasing number of pushups. So you’ll see a hint of the 40, 41, 42, 43 etc in the pushups column. I just keep filling them in to make numbers, and I keep dropping/ignoring extra pushups done. So this Thursday would be 49, but I’m only recording the 45 I need to get to 4,000. Then Friday, Saturday and Sunday I’m likely to do another 50, 51 and 52 pushups. (Which I’ll ignore because I don’t need the numbers.) Anyway, weird numbers appearing in the pushups column. But it’s awesome to be like “meh. pushups. whatevs.” On Sunday, I did that 140 in 12 minutes and it was cake. Well, cake with nuts in it, but cake.  [ <– Deadpool reference :^]

Bigger picture, this means (if I can pull off this week) I only lost about 9 calendar days of slippage to my recent got-sick-and-then-became-a-slacker slide.

On the other hand, 720 bar precisions in the next 4 days… that’s probably a wee bit ambitious.

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Some pullups

About 6 months ago, I was unable to do a pull-up. These five are part of 70 on the plan for today. I’ve been doing pullups for weeks now withOUT warming up. Just walk over to the bar and haul. Why gloves? At the moment,…

Complexity… but, progress

Not including a spreadsheet snapshot this week, because this nonsense (last week, this week) will only make sense to my crazy brain.

As I described in my last update, my right forearm is the gating issue. I’ve been doing about 30 pullups per day, as sets of 2… just going to the bar every 20 minutes or so and doing two pullups, without my right pinky on the bar (releases the part of the forearm that is sore.) After a week of this, my forearm feels better (not 100% though), and I’m going to see how I feel doing sets of 3 so the odometer goes a little faster towards 10k.

Squats feel better now that I’m going down only to the point where I’d have to unload my heels. Solidly below parallel though, but without the bottoming-out sort of cheat-stop at the bottom. So these are probably the best squats I’ve ever been doing. Fifteen is straightforward, but I’ve been doing 7s and 8s randomly, just because I’m constantly going to the pullup bar to do a lousy 2 or 3.

Pushups are easy/fun.

For handstands, I’m doing 15-second stands because it’s awesome kickup and balance (against the wall, working on free-standing) practice.

Bar-precisions I’ve a pause on (all last week) because I ripped all my scaf apart last week. I spent all day saturday building scaf variations for some blog posts I’m doing. Today (probably tomorrow) I’ll go build something for rail precisions so I can get back on track with those (I’m 3×75 behind from last week.) But these I can just crank out, so I’m not concerned.

This week, going by my now-usual 3-days rotating thing, I’d have three 80 rep workouts, (a +5 bump as I ramp up for the last few months of hauling the mail). Instead, I’m going to not plan specific workouts — since I’m just doing things randomly through the day. I’ll spreadsheet the actual daily numbers for my next check-in. I’m a little nervous about not having specific planned workouts — but I’ve already been NOT doing the plan (last week) so may as well make a real plan (to just do what I can through the day) and keep an eye on the pace.

Bigger picture: This year-long goal is hands-down the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. Harder than losing weight, because the weight loss translates immediately to other results/benefits. Cranking on these activity numbers is just like staring at an odometer. …well, the pullups led to noticable improvements, but now even they’re more like staring at an odometer. Big set-numbers would be cool, but not until my forearm heals.


(shuffles to the other room, does 3 pull-ups and a 15-second handstand against the wall… :)


Crash, burn, reboot

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!


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.


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*.


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.


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


Setbacks are inevitable

Last weekend I trained exceptionally hard all weekend. Monday and Tuesday were tired, sore and broken-down recovery days (as exepected.) But by Wednesday, it was clear I was also sick. booo.

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 7.21.14 AM

So all week I did nothing other than some stretching/yoga-esque recovery work. (In addition to moving and reassembling the scaf on my patio.) All week I was sore, achy, and just felt like there was “no gas in the tank”.

By friday, it was pretty warm(-ish) and I was getting cabin crazy with the new scaf setup still unused. So I tried to go out and do one of the full workouts. It was a planned workout, just now about a week behind schedule. It called for 70s of everything. Well, my right forearm didn’t feel up to it, and I was just really low on energy. (I’m pretty confident the forearm pain is in the muscle, very close to the tendon, but not the actual tendon nor the attachment point.) So instead I made it into a really low intensity workout of just 40 reps… Just enough to put some numbers up on the board. I also mixed in some light work, like moving firewood (in small arm loads) and cleaning up the patio just to move around and get my heart rate up.

I’m feeling better today, so I’ll see what plays out. Some friends are coming over this afternoon to play on the scaf.

In my worksheet, I’ve just been “pushing” the workout numbers forward rather than spend time juggling all the rows in the future. Once I have some idea how long it’ll take to get back up to speed, then I’ll rework the schedule. So I’m not actually going to try to do all those every-day workouts that seem to be scheduled for next week. (All the columns are identical now, so I just snapped the pushups.)


Haulin’ the mail

Whatever it is that you think you could NEVER do, figure out how to make a small step in the direction of your goal. Take that first step. Then look back and say, “well, now that I’ve come this far, I may as well go a little farther.”

I hope someone reads this, gets riled up, and thinks: “YEAH! I want to go for a walk!” …or a run, or a 5k, or swing on some bars, or walk a flight of stairs without gasping for breath, or lower my cholesterol, or be alive to play with my grand-kids. Whatever your goal is, GO CRUSH IT!

I remember when doing ONE STINKING PULLUP was inconceivable. Now I’m doing 70 — yes SEVENTY — per workout. The things that used to CRUSH me in class? …that stuff’s now my WARM-UP. Here’s a part of the worksheet that shows what’s going on with the pullups odometer. 3,000 reps is in the past (again, INCONCEIVABLE!) 4,000 is right on the horizon. Every workout through 4,000 is planned. A few more of the workouts are an identical, “all 70’s”, setup. Then, there are three weeks of bumping everything up +5.

In this screenshot, I’ve just completed January 27th/Day #190. The yellow block is the next planned workout; an exact repeat of today. There are more columns for the other activities, but now that all the activities’ numbers are in sync, they’re all the same. The pattern of workouts-to-rests is work-rest-work-rest-rest so that I have a regular, two-day rest over and over. Also, that’s a 5 day pattern so my workouts do not have the same weekdays — that’s really important to keep things from turning into “Monday’s suck” if I had a fixed weekly pattern. The double-rest also gives me a space to pull a workout one-day-earlier if I need to rearrange things, without making it into a killer two-days-in-a-row. (The things you think of when you do this for six months. D8 )

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If anyone wants the details: The workouts are a ~45 minute circuit, based around 5 sets. Pushups, squats and bar-precisions are 5×14 (that’s 5 sets of 14 repititions.) The pullups are 5×6 (5 sets of 6 reps) plus 8×5 (8 sets of 5). So I do a set of pushups, squats and bar-pre’s to get really warmed up, then do a set of pullups between each set of everything else:

14 pushups
14 squats
14 bar-precisions

6 pullups
14 pushups
6 pullups
14 squats
6 pullups
14 bar-pre’s

6 pullups
14 pushups
6 pullups
14 squats
5 pullups
14 bar-pre’s

5 pullups
14 pushups
5 pullups
14 squats
5 pullups
14 bar-pre’s

5 pullups
14 pushups
5 pullups
14 squats
5 pullups
14 bar-pre’s

5 final pullups (but sometimes I just wedge this in somewhere above)
40 second handstand (against wall)
30 second handstand

When I do a +5 bump, I just turn all those “14s” into “15s” and the 5-set layout makes a tidy +5. For pullups I can add a separate set of 5 at the end, or turn 5 5s into 5 6s, whatever — I have to see what I feel like in a few weeks.