Monday, January 26, 2009

Strong abs???

So, I read a T-nation article today about ab strength. I was all excited that there might be some new exercises which I've never seen before. I tried their ab strength assessment and passed the hardest level without much effort. I won't say it was cake, but it wasn't that hard. Maybe they should have added another level and made the test subject do a front lever, dragon flag, or a crank on the rings.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Training thus far

We're just about 3 weeks into the New Year.  My training has been going ok.  I've been consistent with my goal for this month of getting in at least 5 minutes of I-Liq Chuan solo drills training a day; most days, I've been getting up to 15+ minutes a day.  Sounds pretty measly right now, but I'm developing the daily habit.  And believe it or not, 15 minutes of concentrated training actually takes real effort.  I'd much prefer that I get those few minutes of attentive mindful training in rather than hours of mindless, rote training.  Add in the 10-30 minutes of meditation I've been trying to get in every day, and I'm slowly getting back to a respectable practice regimen.  All I need now is to find consistent training partners for the partner work.

My strength conditioning has been going well.  I can almost hold a front lever now; my butt still drops a little and I can't hold it much longer than a second or two.  But hey, it's a start.  I finally realized that I wasn't clamping down on my lats (and rest of the posterior chain) hard enough, which was making the front lever harder to hold.  I can almost hold a handstand on the parallelettes for 5-6s.

My deadlift and squat form is improving.  I realized that I was underutilizing my glutes (especially on the left side), which was throwing my form off a little bit.  After two weeks of correcting that, my deadlifts feel much better.  I blasted through 165lbs.  I'm still at measly 65lbs on full R.O.M. front squats for the time being until I can correct a movement imbalance.  I can feel my hips tilting just a little because my left hip/glute is not activating right.  Once I correct that, I think my squat numbers will jump pretty quickly.

I'm also really enjoying the Ironmind dip belt that Gen gave me for Christmahanukwanzikah.  I'm still stuck at 70 lbs max on the weighted pulls (60 lbs for my 5x5 sets), but I've upped my dip weight to 60 lbs.  Those 60lbs on the dips were easy today, which means I'll need to torture myself by upping the weight next week.  I think I'm struggling a bit with the weighted pulls because I just do so many pull up type exercises, and I do weighted pull ups the day after deadlifts.  My posterior chain is probably still tired from that workout when I get to the weighted pull ups.  It's hard to do them on any other day though since I need to get in my iron cross practice on the rings, and I like to have two days off from weighted pull ups and dips training the iron cross.  The iron cross is a little tough on the elbows, especially after doing weighted dips and pull ups.  Gen wisely suggested that we sit down and rejigger our workout schedule.  I need to figure out how to space out deadlifts, weighted pull ups/dips, and the iron cross training, all while trying to minimize our workout time because Gen is now teaching a heavier load this semester.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Gift of Strength

So Santa/Hannukah Harry brought me a pleasant surprise this year. Ok, maybe it wasn't a huge surprise since I did write a letter specifically requesting this gift. Anyhow, though Santa may not be in great shape, he sure does deliver on the fitness gear. I'm now the proud owner of an IronMind dipping belt. Rated for up to 1,000 lbs, I (nor any other mere human) should ever be able to break it without a chainsaw, blowtorch, and similar device of destruction. Considering that I'm struggling with a piddly little 70lbs weighted pulls/dips, it'll be a while before I'm even within an order of magnitude of straining the straps.

I've started my January logs. I know I've said it several times, but I still can't believe I've been keeping relatively complete logs of my diet and exercise for this long. I've also got my fitness goals for the year planned. I'll be getting around to writing them up at some point, but probably not tonight. I may be a little ambitious, but I think I can pull off all of my fitness goals. More later.