Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weighted chins and dips suck

What the hell was I thinking? Who came up with the evil idea of strapping weight to your body while doing chin ups and dips? Oof, I put the weight belt today with a 45lb plate to do my pull ups/chin ups and dips. I managed to get 4 pull ups in one set and 5 dips. That was about what I was expecting. All in all, I barely eked out 10-12 reps over several sets for both the pull and push exercises. I guess this means I'll be doing more low volume, high load workouts for the next couple of weeks in an attempt to pack some more muscle mass on my lean frame.

Went back to handstand practice after several weeks off. I definitely feel the time off, but it's starting to come back. I definitely see why strong hands and forearms make a difference with handstands. Digging my fingers into the ground like I'd grip the ground with my toes allows me to hold an ugly looking handstand for roughly 4 seconds before I ungraciously lose my balance.

In other notes, my I-Liq Chuan training has been a little slack lately. Busy with life. But I have still been keeping up the teaching, so I'm getting some training at least.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

3 muscle ups

Woot, got 3 mucle ups in a row on the rings today! Actually, I accomplished the feat twice. If I can keep my grip on the rings and my body under control, I should be able to up that number pretty quickly.

Monday, June 9, 2008

muscling up, other notes

Woot! I managed 3 muscle ups today out of 5 attempts. It really is all in the technique. After watching a few Crossfit gymnastics video, I picked up some pointers that helped me more consistently get the muscle up. The tip about reaching forward with your nose at the top of the pull... that tip is completely worthless for me. What did help was keeping more tension in my core and legs. That keeps my body from being a floppy object that's harder to control and manuever. The second tip that really helped was keeping my hands close to the body and also keeping my elbows in front of my body. That was definitely a "doh! why didn't I think of that before?!?" moment for me. With my elbows in front of my body, I can pull behind the rings easier (rather than pulling my chest up to the rings). At the top of the pull, my elbows swing back, my shoulders naturally roll over my hands, and my hands drop right into position for the dip half of the muscle up. It's really not that hard. Of course, now I've got to work on being able to do two or more in a row now.

I also did more dips and false grip pulls today than I have in the past. I attribute the improvement to my two weeks off the rings when I was doing mostly painful 1 minute duration single reps on the chin ups and dips. That probably improved my pull and dip strength while stabilizing my body control more.

Martial arts wise, I seem to be slowing down a bit. I think life is just getting busier. I've decided to mostly focus on stepping and keeping the 13 points and unified structure in mind while stepping. I think it's been very informative for me. It certainly takes a good deal of concentration to feel the integrated body structure while moving.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The bag strikes back

Dear Lord, I didn't realize how much wrist and forearm strength punching a bag requires. It felt good while I was hitting the bag, but 2 hours later, my forearms were completely dead. My left wrist is also sore again. I may have to take yet another week off of my full rings workout after yesterdays forearm killing session on the bag. Maybe I'll be able to at least get my muscle up practice in (keeping fingers crossed).

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things

Oops, I haven't posted into my training blog in a while. But I have been keeping my training logs up to date (as you can check on the Google Doc log link in the right column). My two weeks of resting my wrist are nearly over, and my wrists do feel a lot better. I guess the 6 months of being out of commission last time I got wrist tendonitis made me much more wary of overtraining.

In my two weeks off of the rings, I've been doing the slow negative rep chin ups and dips. I can now do 1 min slow single rep, followed by 10 regular reps, and then another 35s slow single rep (1 min rest between sets) on both chins and dips now. My arms are usually pretty tired afterwards, but I'm pleased that I can do it. I also discovered that I can finally hold a full dragon flag with nearly perfect form (body and legs in a straight line and parallel to the ground), though I can only hold it for 2 seconds or so. Not too shabby. I'll need to work on getting my front lever up to snuff next and up my static hold times.

My weight seems to be stabilizing right around 140lbs, after disturbingly dropping to 138lbs briefly. I'm still on my vanity goal of getting the 6-pack I never had before. Sadly, that means probably dropping at least another 1% body fat. I'm pretty sure I'm sub-10% now since my abs are peeking through. T-nation claims you need to be 9.8% body fat for the abs to show up, but then they had to crush me by mentioning that the exact percentage needed for ripped abs is genetically dependent and could be as low as 6-7%. I'm not entirely sure I have the discipline to drop my body fat that low.

My I-Liq Chuan solo training was going pretty well for a few weeks. I had been upping my practice time to 45 minutes a day, but I seem to have fallen off the wagon this week. Motivation seems to be lacking after a day or two of having too many things to do and neglecting my practice. On the plus side, I have managed to give the punching bag in the Y and regular beatdown lately. They still haven't filled the base with enough sand though. I don't think someone my size should be able to tip the base up two inches with a low kick.