Photo gallery for this series

(Part 1 of 36 in ~ 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 ~ 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?

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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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 ~ 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).

5,000

(Part 28 of 36 in ~ 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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