Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another challenge bites the dust

Ok, maybe the 30s double under challenge wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I just did it today. I will say it really got my heart rate up, but it only took me 3 attempts over maybe a week to complete the challenge. Probably having a $40 jump rope with smooth turning swivel bearings helps me out a lot. I can imagine it being harder with a standard leather or PVC speed rope simply because it takes a little more arm strength to keep the rope turning at a high speed. I guess I'll have to shoot for 45s to 1min as part of my interval training scheme and maybe retry the challenge with a different rope.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Double Under Challenge

Oof. I did the killer anaerobic rope workout yesterday. 2 minute warm up, then 5 rounds of 3 minutes at a 180-200 turns/min pace, and then a 3 minute cool down. I gave myself 1 minute rest between rounds. It's been a long time since I've felt [mildly] nauseous during a workout. I also tried the 30 second double under challenge during my workout. I can only make it to 15-20s before I start getting tired and my form falls apart.

I tried doing full ROM front squats afterwards. I only made it through 2 sets with just the bar before I felt my hamstrings start to tighten up. Fortunately, I was smart enough not to try more sets with more weight. I stretched, went home, and managed not to cramp up. Who knew that all out jump roping would tire out my hammies?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Woot! New rope trick

It only took like 6 months, but I can finally do the double-under crossover trick while skipping rope. Just in case you're wondering what I'm talking about and you can't see the rope in the above videos, that's crossing and uncrossing the rope in a single jump. So far, my attempts look no where near as good as the two linked examples. But it's coming along. I haven't seriously attempted them in over 4 months, so I'm pleased that I managed to get it. I think my next set of rope challenges will be 30s of double unders, multiple double-under crosses, and more turning tricks. I'd try the crossing behind the back or passing the rope under my legs, but I feel like I waste so much time getting the coordination right when I'm pressed for time trying to get my maximal cardio workout in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

update during the madness

It appears I haven't made any updates to my training blog in a while. Rest assured that I am actually still training. I've kept my daily log of MA training, strength/cardio conditioning and nutrition up to date even though there are many days where I'm loathe to sit down and log everything. Anyhow, on to the updates.

Muscle ups: I can do 6 in a row now and 15-20 total depending on how fresh I am. My technique has gotten much better, and I think my strength is improving now that I can bang out more reps.

Handstands: I can hand balance on parallettes for 4-5s become yelling "timber!" I had the "duh!" moment when I realized I wasn't positioning my shoulders correctly to align myself.

Dragon flags: Still stuck at 7 seconds for the full flag. A 1-leg half tucked flag I can hold for almost 30 seconds.

Front lever: I still can't hold a full front lever, though I'm slowly getting into double digits for the 1-leg half tucked lever. If I can hold my hands closer to my hips and remember to keep my shoulder blades engaged, I do better at the static hold. I started training cranks on the rings to build more strength for the front lever. I have to pike more than the guy in the video. Dear Lord, that exercise hurts. I can only do 3-4.

Back lever: Not one of my original strength goals for the year, but one I picked up while messing around. I can hold the full back lever, but I can only hold it for at most 10s on a bar and maybe 5s on the rings.

Planche: I'm still stuck at like 10 seconds with a tucked planche on the parallettes. I need to ramp up my practice of this skill, but it's the one that is the hardest to find time for.

Jump rope: I can turn the rope around 200 turns per minute for 3-5 minute rounds for up to 15 minutes. I'm trying to ramp up my HIIT training and build up my anaerobic capacity since staying in the aerobic range on the rope is now pretty easy for me.

Martial arts wise, I've been slacking since I've been pretty busy lately. I have been ramping up my work on the punching bag since I've discovered that I have a hard time maintaining proper body mechanics when under pressure with a dynamic, non-cooperative, and bigger partner. Not a particularly shocking revelation. I read on a gymnastics forum that competitive gymnasts need to practice skills for at least 1000 hours for competition level proficiency. That's mildly depressing since that means I have a lot more practice to put in to achieve proficiency with certain skills. But on the other hand, I'm not worried about being competition level, so hopefully I'll be somewhat decent in a shorter period of time. Anyhow, the point of that was that I'm trying to put a beatdown on the bag more often so that I'm better able to keep my frame and deliver effective power. I may still fall apart under pressure, but maybe it'll be less so after more practice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

yet more muscle up madness

A few nights ago, I had a strange dream that I was doing muscle ups on a pull up bar. That probably means that I'm a gym rat if I dream about exercising. At any rate, I actually attempted some bar muscle ups last night. I have to kip up into them, but I can actually bang out a really ugly looking muscle up on a bar. That was pretty exciting.

In other news, my 1-leg squats are getting better. I have better balance on my left leg now, though I get a little bit of crackling and popping when I do pistol squats on my left leg. I'll have to ask a PT about that. It does hurt a little, but I wonder if it's because there's scar tissue in there constricting my motion.

Finally, my training logs for July are now created and linked. I hope this month it contains more entries about successful handstand attempts.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

more muscle ups

After a week off, I came back to the rings for another tough workout. I still can't get more than 3 muscle ups in a row, but I at least managed to get 4 sets of 3 reps. I'm really close to being able to do more consecutive muscle ups if I can keep my form more strict and my grip more solidly on the rings. I also managed to do a total of 18 muscle ups on the rings yesterday, so I'm pleased with my progress there.

After slacking so much at the gym, I've put on some weight. I'm up to 142lbs right now, which I don't think is all muscle gain considering that my diet and exercise habits degrade slightly while I'm traveling. Oh well. A few weeks of HIIT with the rope should trim me down again.