Update

After a couple of months of irregular training I’ve found myself in the same place and it feels like such a waste when one knows the potential of the body. I thought it was a good idea to place goals for each exercise or else I’ll be stuck for ages.

Goals for october:

DAY A:
My next target for the master step is the pull-up so I decided to take away one exercise from this day so I can focus better.
Pull-up: Keep doing uneven pull-ups, I’m pretty sure I can master the one-arm pull-up by tweaking this movement.
Push-up: I want to move to harder variations but since I’ve been training on and off I want to use this month to make the regular push-up feel like walk in the park. I’ll be 1×5 regular full push-ups as a warm-up, then one set of close push-ups to the max and end with one set of regular full push-ups to the max.

DAY B:
This day remains with the same exercises, bridges and leg raises make sense together.
Handstand push-up: I remember when I used to to 2×10 of these and now I’m below that. For this month I want to be able to make at least 1×11 and break that mental breach. I won’t be progressing this exercise until I reach the one-arm pull-up.
Bridge: I keep feeling more comfortable doing bridges by the day. I’ll stay here for this month and maybe start exploring the next step by next month.
Leg raise: I’ve fallen below the 20 reps so I want to regain 2×20 by the end of the month. I’ll also be doing some not-logged reverse crunches every now and then just because I love the feeling of burning in the abs.

DAY C:
I feel that taking two days between pull-up workouts work great but I didn’t just want to take a day off so I decided to improve my leg training a bit.
Squat: Been kinda stuck here, want to reach 2×10 by the end of the month.
Split: Side and front splits. I should be able to reach a side split in about 1 month if I trained every day but I don’t want to increase my flexibility past what my legs can handle when kicking so for now I’ll train splits just this day.
Kicks: Front and side pushing kicks. I will focus in control and technique and let my legs and body re-adapt to these, try to regain some balance specially for the side kick. This first month I’ll only do 1×20 each/leg for front kicks and 1×15 each leg for side kicks.

That’s it! I just hope to have the will to stick with this even when I get home late and tired! Until next time.

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My first one-arm pull-up

I’ve been absent in here for a while, maybe out of laziness or simply because I didn’t feel there was anything worthy of posting, but I think I’ve got something now.

The other day (April 1st) I was about to do my regular workout which included (for that day), uneven pull-ups, I then decided to grab my phone, press record and try my luck on the first rep and I’m glad I did (despite the bad quality of the video, sorry about that).

My first ever one-arm pull-up, it’s not great but it’s a start.

See you next time!

Test #5 September

Another month went by and I’m feeling stuck in some exercises while confident about others. I find it easier to put special focus on one exercise at a time, this month was the pull-up and I’m happy with the results, probably during October I’ll keep focusing on this exercise as I feel the one-arm pull-up getting closer to my reach.

Last month I felt my push-up had improved and that I really owned the movement, but once I started doing unilateral work I became insecure which turned out to be a great experience in the end. After reading a lot and watching several videos I feel like I’ve gained a lot of understanding on the push-up mechanics.

I feel like making a short video displaying where I’m currently at but I think I’ll wait a little more, anyway this entry is supposed to be about the test results! so here they go:
Now, the results of this month’s test:

Results

Exercise Step Reps
Push up 7: Uneven push-ups 9/8
Bridge 6: Full bridges 11/12
Leg raise 10: Hanging straight leg raises 16/16
HS push-up 5: Handstand push-ups 8/11
Squat 8: Half one-leg squats 12/10
Pull-up 7: Uneven pull-ups 9/9

Past month’s results:
Test #4 (July 2013)
Test #3 (June 2013)
Test #2 (May 2013)
Test #1 (April 2013)

Comments

Push-up: Still stuck on uneven but seeing them with a new light, at the same time I’ll be working on one-arm push-ups with the legs spread. Basically working from both ends towards one goal.

Bridge:: I recorded myself to see what my bridge looked like and I realized I still have a long way to go so staying here.

Leg raise: Slowly increasing my numbers, when doing these (and some other exercises) I realize that my overall endurance has decreased.

HS push-up: Stuck here. Trying to be objective I feel it’s not a strength issue but it’s all about endurance so I’m going to try something different this month and see how that goes. Step 6 (close HSPU beginner progression is 1×5), so I’m going to bring my hands currently shoulder width apart closer while still doing at least 5 reps until one day the index fingers touch and I’m actually on step 6. If shoulder width apart is step 5 and index fingers touching is 6, I’ll measure that distance to see how close I get them with time and put that fraction as a decimal on the step number so don’t be surprised if I say I’m on step “5.5”, that just means I’m halfway there.

Squat: I’m done with half one-leg squats, I’ve been careful with my knee all this time and thanks to that I’ve been feeling great, no pain whatsoever . Now I have enough strength to go as deep as my knee allows it and back up a couple of times and all I need is endurance so I’m moving to step 10 to increase my endurance while going deep.

Pull-up: What a nice feeling being able to pull myself up (from a 90 degree angle) with just one arm, I was scared when I was doing about 7/7 uneven pull-ups that I wasn’t able to do even 1 half one-arm pull-up but here I am today I can do 4. Moving to step 8. I’ll be doing close pull-ups as the full range movement.Overall I’m quite happy, my homework right now is measure how close I can bring my hands for the HSPU and get better at my bridge. Moving on!

TEST #4 (July 2013)

I haven’t updated the blog in a while, this right here is the data from the test of the end of July. Saldy I had to skip august because the last week or so of July I was feeling a little discomfort on my left wrist so I decided to take a break after the test, last 10 days of august I started a light workout again and by now I’m doing great!

Anyway I don’t remember much what happened 2 months ago but I do have the numbers!

Results

Exercise Step Reps
Push up 7: Uneven push-ups 9/8
Bridge 6: Full bridges 10/10
Leg raise 10: Hanging straight leg raises 18/15
HS push-up 5: Handstand push-ups 8/10
Squat 8: Half one-leg squats 9/7
Pull-up 7: Uneven pull-ups 7/7

Past month’s results:
Test #3 (May 2013)
Test #2 (May 2013)
Test #1 (April 2013)

Comments

There’s no much to comment because I didn’t hit any progression level and also because I don’t remember much! but today I’ll be doing this month’s test so hopefully I’ll write the new entry with my latest progress, see ya!

Test #3 (June 2013)

Uff, what a crazy month. I haven’t had the time to update my online log altought I’ve been training as much as I could.

There were a couple of changes on my routine during this month, on June 12 I went from uneven squats to half one-leg squats simply because I wasn’t using the ball at all. On June 17 I jumped again to full squats, I found out the pain I felt last time was me simply pushing it way too far.

Now, the results of this month’s test:

Results

Exercise Step Reps
Push up 6: Close push-ups 22/20
Bridge 6: Full bridges 7/7
Leg raise 10: Hanging straight leg raises 13/15
HS push-up 5: Handstand push-ups 12/9
Squat 8: Half one-leg squats 8/7
Pull-up 7: Uneven pull-ups 6/6

Past month’s results:
Test #2 (May 2013)
Test #1 (April 2013)

Comments

Push-up: My perception on the close push-up changed a lot during this month, I kept trying to improve my form so I kept the numbers low but now it’s time to go for strenght, so, moving to step 7 (Uneven push-ups).

Bridge:: After going from step 6 to 1, now I’m back at step 6. I’ve had 4 sessions with full bridges so far and no pain at all. I’m also going to keep the numbers low here and improve form instead of reps at least for a while.

Leg raise: Not much of an improvement on the number of reps but I’m definetely learning more about this exercise. It’s amazing how I used to do so many crunches before and now with just a few reps of this I still feel my abs hard.

HS push-up: Still showing little improvement, I really think this is the hardest exercise.

Squat: I’m really happy with what happened here. The first time I tried it, my working leg was shaking trying to keep balance. Now I can do 5 of these with no problems, I see step 10 really close.

Pull-up: After a couple of sessions doing only uneven pull-ups I missed close pull-ups so did a few, it was mind blowing how light I felt, but I know I still can’t do half one-arm pull-ups so gotta keep working.

Despite the trouble I had to find time to workout, I’m pretty happy because I still feel a lot happened this month, I was even able to do 2 kipping muscle ups!. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to workout this month but I’ll do what I can.

Test #2 (May 2013)

Finally this time of the month! I was eager to get here because I’m excited to try new steps for a couple of exercises. Here’s the paper version of my log:

2013may

Anyway, these are the results of this month’s test:

Results

Exercise Step Reps
Push up 5: Full push-ups 24/22
Bridge 1: Short bridges 35/35
Leg raise 10: Hanging straight leg raises 12/12
HS push-up 5: Handstand push-ups 9/8
Squat 6: Close squats 30/30
Pull-up 6: Close pull-ups 14/12

Past month’s results: Test #1 (April 2013)

Comments

This month numbers weren’t mind blowing but hey! I’m still improving. A brief summary for each exercise:

Push-up: Last month I was only two reps short for the progression standard but decided it was a good idea to give this step one more month anyway. The other day I tried close push-ups (sneak-peek) and had no issues with my elbow so it seems it was a good call. Really happy with my form too so moving to step 6 (Close push-ups).

Bridge:: Well, this one gave me trouble and it was my own fault. I started this exercise in step 5 and after getting pain in my lower back I had to go back to step 1. I’ve been adding some reps every now and then, I know I could do 50 reps right now if I wanted, but I plan to add reps evenly through this month and be performing 50 by the end of may.

Leg raise: Since I started combining this exercise with grip work (using towels) it’s got a little tougher, today however I performed the exercise hanging from the bar alone and I felt a great improvement. I’ll be moving to another exercise (skin the cat) very soon.

HS push-up: Still not happy with these, I began doing free standing handstands to practice balance and that seems to have helped a little. I’m going to try a different approach for this and if it gives me good results I’ll make a post about it.

Squat: I was expecting to stay here for a bit longer just to be on the safe side for my knee, but after this month I’ve gained so much confidence on this exercise that I feel ready to move on. I’ll be moving to Step 7 (Uneven squats) but with one precaution, I’ll have to place a safety stop under my butt in case I can’t push myself up because I just can’t afford my knee to bend past a certain point.

Pull-up: Not my best performance today but still past the progression. I have the feeling that I won’t have many problems reaching the next step’s progression, I’m more worried about step 8. Anyway, moving to step 7 (uneven pull-ups).That’s it for now! I can see how performing 2 sets of each exercises twice a week could become a workout program altough for now I’m happy with the program I’m following so it’s staying at least for another month.

Getting ready for uneven pull-ups

For a while I’ve been meaning to add some grip work into my routine, specially since I’ll be starting with uneven pull-ups by the end of the month, but I’m too lazy to dedicate time to grip work alone since I’m still exploring the big six.

I thought about doing it along with my pull-ups but I’m afraid it may take focus away from the exercise and end up holding back my progress, so what now?. By the picture below you may guess what was the answer for me.

legraise plus grip

Today I combined hanging leg raises with grip work and it seemed to work great for me. The time it takes me to do a set of leg raises seems to be just perfect for grip work and I can focus on my leg raises just fine.

I know it’d be better to hang on one arm only but this will be my starting point, perhaps in the future when I’m more advanced on my pull-ups I can use it there too.