My gymnastics-based strength training log

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by tedrodai, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. mchammer187

    mchammer187 Diamond Member

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    I've done it both ways. As a counterbalance is easier of the two but both were easier than weightless.
     
  2. EvilYoda

    EvilYoda Lifer

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    Yeah, I'll have people hold a weight (5-10lb) to help counterweight themselves if they've drilled pistols against a pole/rack a lot and still can't do it without assistance.
     
  3. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Well, last month didn't go so well. I had a 40hr class (school) at the beginning of the month, followed by 3 weeks of being sick with first 1 thing and then another...thanks to daycare. My workouts were inconsistent all month. I'd made decent gains in Oct, but this last cycle was supposed to be an 8 week one, so I didn't take maxes in Nov. I won't be surprised if I've lost a little muscle during Nov. It's time to start a new cycle anywho, so without further ado...

    Maxes:

    Warmups
    *Only concerned with the ones I don't have an easy 60s hold for.
    hollow hold - 45s (same as 2mo ago...ugh)
    arc hold - 105s (+15s)
    dead hang - 60s (I've definitely gained some grip STRENGTH, but my time on this hold hasn't budged)


    FSP (& handstand)
    L-sit - 35s (+5s - I'll take it, considering my performance last month)
    wall handstand - 60s (not actively training this atm, but I want to keep track of my max)

    FBE
    (max reps for 1 set with good form)
    L-pullups - 1x7 (same as 2 mo ago...ugh)
    Ring dips - 1x6 (+1 rep)
    Towel pullups (for grip) - 1x7 (+2 reps)
    HSPU progression - 1x5*
    Pistols -1x8 each leg (+4 reps)

    *Frustratingly slow progress here recently, but it's hard to quantify because I'm trying to get rid of any outward flare of my elbows, which changes the difficulty somewhat. Next week I might also try to switch to facing the wall instead of facing away from the wall. Hopefully after these transitions I'll start seeing steady progress again.

    Weight still fluctuating between 186-190.
     
    #28 tedrodai, Dec 5, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    P.S. I'm having all 4 wisdom teeth removed tomorrow, so I'll have to ask the surgeon about recovery time and how long it'll affect my workouts.

    As soon as I'm able to get back into it full swing, I'm going to try some high frequency training (GTG perhaps) to increase my regular pullup & psuedo-planche pushup reps. I can do around 10-11 pullups (down from 14 early this year), and the pushups are easily scalable by how far you lean; so I'll go with hand approx at mid-back (maybe a tad below mid back), which is a point where I can do at least 10 reps.

    When I hit 10 reps on the pistols, I'll probably do the same with them.
     
  5. KIAman

    KIAman Diamond Member

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    When I got all 4 wisdom teeth removed, early this year, it didn't affect my body at all. My mouth felt like somebody punched me but that was about it.
     
  6. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Cool, I hope I can get back to it right away. I wouldn't think it would affect my body (assuming no complications)--I just don't want to aggrivate the wounds and cause a dry socket or the like. We'll see how it all goes =). A couple of my teeth are impacted to some degree.
     
  7. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Well my wounds have been healing nicely, but I'll be damned if I didn't get food poisoning or some bug like it last night. Fortunately I was only vomiting for 5 hrs (so it could have been much worse), but that is an experience I never want to repeat. Ever. I hope I'm truly done with the worst of it. The aftereffects are bad enough.
     
  8. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Anywho, I got back to it Thurs last week, after I recovered from being weak from the food poisoning. This past week was great for trying out grease the groove...had a 1-week class that had 10min breaks approx every hour, and Hallelujah they had a pull up bar in the small workout room in the building. I'll be as consistent as I can over the holidays.

    Will re-evaluate how I'm doing in Jan.
     
  9. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    I was feeling kinda weak today after some workouts last weekend and raking tons of wet leaves on Monday (it took more out of me than I thought it would), but I decided to get some maxes anyways. The show must go on.

    Maxes:

    Warmups
    (Only concerned with the ones I don't have an easy 60s hold for)
    hollow hold - 35s (-10s*); UPDATE - 55s (+10s lol...that's more like it)
    arc hold - 125s** (+20s)
    dead hang -

    FSP (& handstand)
    L-sit - 40s (+5s)
    wall handstand -

    FBE
    (max reps for 1 set with good form)
    L-pullups -
    Ring dips -
    Towel pullups (for grip) - 1x9 (+2 reps)
    HSPU progression - 1x4***
    Pistols -1x9 each leg (+1 rep)

    *I felt extraordinarily weak in this exercise today (and most of my upper body). It's possible that I've stalled or made poor progress, but -10s isn't correct. I will retest next Mon.

    **This is an easy 60s hold now.

    ***I did indeed switch to facing the wall, which is (not a lot, but somewhat) harder than the previous way I was doing things. Basically following this instruction for form: Gymnastics WOD - wall HSPU. This 1x4 isn't apples to apples with the 1x5 exercise I did last month.

    Weight today: 188 lbs

    =========================
    Jan 3 - adding these to my routine next week
    FSP
    tuck FL - 22s
    tuck BL - 26s
    frog stand - 35s

    FBE
    seated cable rows - 15 plates is challenging for 6ish reps and still allows good form; it felt like form was suffering with 16+...I don't really care what this equates to. I just want to keep track of progress. Bodyweight rows with elevated feet are too easy, and FL is currently too difficult to handle tucked FL rows.
     
    #34 tedrodai, Jan 2, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  10. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    I'm not usually one who makes new year's resolutions -- the whole concept is silly to me, especially since people rarely put forth serious effort to meet them. But I've got a resolution to make, and it's the new year, so it might as well be a new year's resolution.

    Background: I am seriously addicted to sugar. Destructively addicted. It might as well be nicotine or some other addictive drug. My body completely overrides my willpower to say no when I start, and I will compulsively seek out more. Back in '11 when I got serious about fixing my lifestyle, one of the first things I did was to actively avoid sugar, and I did very well with it until I started relaxing my restriction for...say...birthdays, visiting family, holidays, etc. It was a slow, negative spiral until finally, I realized this holiday season that I was right back where I started.

    So, without further ado, my resolution:

    *I'm re-imposing my strict restriction on sugar-heavy foods/snacks/deserts (max of 1 serving/month) and will no longer allow myself to relax the restriction for any reason.

    I may not even allow 1/mo this time around, but we'll see how it goes this month. I did very good with that restriction for 7mo+ last time, and it wasn't the plan itself that failed...it was me saying "ok mother-in-law, I'll have a piece of your homemade apple pie this time...but I can't do this all the time because I've already had my 1 sweet for this month"... Not to blame the mother-in-law...that's just an example of how I slipped.

    Anyways, GL to me. I'm recording it here because this was seriously starting to affect my diet.
     
  11. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Finally, based on my current progress, I think it's time to start putting serious effort into the bigger FSPs: planche, back & front levers. I probably could have started a while back, but I was starting from a pretty low basis of strength, and there's no need to rush things. I think I've really benefitted from focussing on the pre-reqs up til now.

    Anywho, to that end, I'm going to follow Killroy70's beginner template, which it seems is pretty similar to the initial template I started with. Here's his original template, and here's my variation:

    ===============================
    Day 1:
    Warmup
    FSP - L-sit (on floor &/or parallettes) & handstand (facing wall)
    FBE -horizontal pushing (PPPU) & pulling (cable rows for lack of better progression), legs (pistols w/arms straight forward)

    Day 2:
    Warmup
    FSP - front lever (tuck FL)
    FBE - curling (inverted pullup) & dipping (ring dips*)

    Day 3:
    Warmup
    FSP - Planche (frog stand + planche leans)
    FBE - pullup (L-pullups) & HSPU (facing wall)

    Day 4:
    Warmup
    FSP - back lever (tuck BL)
    FBE - legs & TBD
    ===============================

    I'm doing only 1x FSP most days both to ease them into the schedule (straight arm strength is my current biggest weakness, and it takes time) and also because I'm worried about how long my workouts will be. I'll include all these in my maxes this week to get a starting point, and start an 8-week steady state cycle for this routine next week...excepting the 2x warmup exercises that I don't have an easy 60s hold for (hollow hold & dead hang). I'll follow my old routine for those 2, and every other warmup exercise will be 1x60s.

    *I'd prefer to work Russian dips first, but I don't have PB's for them. I will see what I can find, but will probably just do ring dips.
     
    #36 tedrodai, Jan 3, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  12. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    My fitness center at work made some changes last Wednesday that basically prevents me to doing most of my exercises there. This really sucks. To keep this routine, I've got to do as much as possible in the fitness center (F), and start doing the rest when I get home (H). Going to try to plan it out. Also, after doing the routine for the first time last week, I'll make a few minor modifications:

    ===============================
    Day 1:
    (F) FSP - L-sit (on floor &/or parallettes) & handstand (facing wall)
    (F) FBE - horizontal pushing (PPPU) & pulling (cable), legs

    Day 2:
    (H) FSP - front lever (tuck FL)
    (H) FBE - curling (inverted pullup) & dipping (ring dips),
    (F) legs (pistols)
    (F) run

    Day 3:
    (F) FSP - Planche (frog stand + planche leans)
    (H) FBE - pullup (L-pullups) & HSPU (facing wall)
    (F) run

    Day 4:
    (H) FSP - back lever (tuck BL german hangs)
    (F) FBE - legs & TBD
    (F) run
    ===============================

    notes on volume:
    FSPs - work between 30-60s total. Aim for 60s, but listen to the body. Exceptions being: Handstand, possibly planche leans. Handstands aren't as difficult as the others, and they need more time. Naterman suggests working leans in 60s sets to get the right amount of lean. Still working to find the right amount of lean for a set.
    FBEs - max of 3 sets currently...5 sets was too much last week.
     
    #37 tedrodai, Jan 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  13. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Today I'm writing down a few lessons learned. Firstly, I'm finding this log to be EXTREMELY helpful in several areas, especially with motivation, planning, staying focussed, and helping me learn from my experiences. I was skeptical at first how useful it would be, but I'm really glad I started it.

    My routine changes this week have so far worked well. I both decreased the total volume of work and started eating a lot more--and I feel much better today than I did at this point last week. The volume of my FSPs still needs a little adjustment though. I'm gonna cut out the 6th set of FL for now, and will also try to adjust the planche & BL stuff after I attempt them this week. These exercises are definitely challenging enough that I'm going to go with a full steady state cycle (SSC - 8 weeks holding my workout sets & reps constant) this time around.

    On the subject of eating, I'm going to ignore my bodyweight for this current SSC and simply focus on making sure I'm well fuelled, so to speak. Not overboard...just well fuelled. I don't want to prepare myself for failure during my first SSC. I was eating an average somewhere around 2-2.5k calories prior to this week, and my weight was staying within 186-189 consistently...however I wasn't always recovering or making as much progress as I thought I should. I started eating a lot more last friday, and I'm recovering a LOT better this week. I haven't been worried about my weight in 2 years, but I'm also currently ~10lbs over where I think I should be hovering on average--the result of a bulk phase followed directly by my diet getting off-track for the second 1/2 of last year. Well, I've regained control of my diet, so after this SSC ends @ the end of Feb, I'll hold my workouts steady and cut for 1-2 months to get back to par. April marks 1 year of this program.

    Finally, I've said before that this has been a fun routine to work on, but it just got a LOT more fun. It's kindof hard to describe, but I feel much more in control of my body as I'm getting stronger with these exercises. It's similar to the feeling of simply being able to lift more weight, but different in that previous exercises are allowing me to move on to slightly more advanced exercises...and the rings themselves are just fun. And in fact, after 1 year of these bodyweight exercises, I feel stronger than I ever have in my life. I'm not nearly as strong in bench and squats as I used to be playing high school football, but my overall body strength and stability is waaaaaay better. And I'm still just building the foundation.
     
    #38 tedrodai, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  14. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Considering these changes to the routine:

    1) Do Coach Sommer's wrist warmup series before each workout (except when I'm working legs only)

    2) Add jump rope to legs workout, for calves...otherwise I'll be ungodly sore every time I randomly decide to do jump rope. 3x3min for now.

    3) inverted pullups -> bodyweight curls on rings (as per this vid)

    4) TBD on Day 4 -> ring support (turning rings out), inverted hang, & handstand work (unless I'm too tired from Day 3's HSPUs)



    This guy explains the wrist warmup series as well as I've seen in 1 spot: Wrist Conditioning Pushup Series. The level I'm working with: Dorsal pushups in full pushup position, wrist pushups on knees and piked...a lot, first knuckle pushups on knees and piked, finger pushups on knees, fingertip hopping wasn't even comfortable on knees and piked, so I'll try to add those later.
     
  15. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Oh yeah, those bodyweight curls are staying in the routine. You don't really feel it until the top of the movement, but those last few inches to get your hands to your head/shoulders is enough to make it feel as good as any barbell/dumbell curl I've worked in the past. It's been a while since I've had an isolation exercise like that in my workout program (uh, well maybe some of the grip exercises I've done are isolation), but seeing as though it's an established routine for folks that have been doing this bodyweight stuff a lot longer than I have, I figure it won't hurt for me to do the same. I'll play with it this some this weekend to find the sweetspot as far as leverage goes, but for the record I did them yesterday with my knees bent and was a few inches in front of the rings' anchor point.

    Also, I found a video I want to keep a reference to: handstand tutorial

    He talks slow enough--even for us southerners--that I feel like I'm losing IQ points listening to him speak, but the instruction seems pretty solid. I like his demonstration of hollow body progressions (maybe I can talk my wife into using that), and a couple other things I might try...another form of wrist prep and the L-stand.
     
  16. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Sorry for the double post, but OMG, I've been trying the advanced frog stand all WRONG prior to today. I'm not even close to bothering with the stuff his tutorial shows, but he DOES show how to set up the advanced frog stand: Advanced Frog Stand Variations Tutorial.

    I'm not nearly as behind as I thought I was with the straight arm stuff for planche progressions. I'm still incredibly weak (lol), but I was failing miserably trying to go to straight arms before this video showed my how to set my hands. It's amazing how much of a difference such a simple thing makes. I *might* possibly break the SSC tomorrow and switch to advanced frog stand for the rest of it. I'm definitely going to try it out tomorrow and see what my max hold is.
     
  17. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Nope, not ready for the adv frog stand. I can get up in the hold, but my hands/wrists need more strength before I can reliably stay there without begging for an injury. But I now know how to straighten my arms a bit more and practice balancing on my hands during the frog stand. I wasn't getting much out of it before. This exercise should also carry over nicely to my handstand balance.

    I'm going to back down on my HSPU progressions though. It probably has to do with the added volume of my new routine, but not only am I not progessing, I feel like I've lost a little ground.
     
  18. KIAman

    KIAman Diamond Member

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    Holy crap, I tried that frog stand variation and it is hard as hell to balance on the hands. I don't know if I lack flexibility because I have the strength to extend one leg but my back is arched and the leg ends up pointing more horizontally.

    Kudos to you if you can pull that off.
     
  19. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    It's like anything else--you just gotta spend time on it and slowly work your way up. But yeah...it is hard as hell (for us anyways ;)). I'm determined, but I have no idea how quickly I should expect progress.

    Just for my reference, here's my completed routine. I felt pretty good with last week's workout, though still pushed a little too hard on the FSPs. Will tone them down a little more. Extra inverted hang work is out on Friday--grip was already tired from the german hangs--but back bridge is in. Blue text = @home; black = @fitness center

    ===============================
    Before any strength work: warmup

    Day 1:
    FSP - L-sit (on floor &/or parallettes) & handstand (facing wall)
    FBE - horizontal pushing (PPPU) & pulling (cable)

    Day 2:
    FSP - front lever (tuck FL)
    FBE - curling (ring bw curls) & dipping (ring dips), legs (pistols, jump rope), back bridge
    run

    Day 3:
    FSP - Planche (frog stand + planche leans)
    FBE - pullup (L-pullups) & HSPU (face wall, stop 2in from grnd)
    run

    Day 4:
    FSP - back lever (german hangs), ring support, HS
    FBE - legs, back bridge
    run
    ===============================
     
  20. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    I tend to forget things like this if I don't record them in my log. I need to focus on scapular protraction for hollow positions such as plank & planche leans, til it comes naturally:

    https://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/topic/5959-scapula-position-for-basic-and-static-exercises/

    I've read through that in the past, but never thought of it when actually doing my workouts. That's one of the problems of not having a coach for specific training like this. I'm sure there's plenty of additional little things I don't know to watch for.
     
  21. SociallyChallenged

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    Scapular position is insanely important in general, but especially with gymnastics stuff. You don't actually have to lock out in maximal protraction, but it's a lot easier to lock it out maximally than hold it in a neutral position. One thing to watch for it to make sure your shoulder blade isn't elevating up toward your ear or tipping forward. If you look at the hollow position of the guy in the thread, the scapula is flat against his rib cage. A lot of people with serratus anterior muscular weakness will get winging of the scapula so it's something you'll have to train to prevent, especially with more challenging press-like moves.
     
  22. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Thanks for the input. I am usually in some degree of protraction when I'm doing these pressing positions, but sometimes I've held it in more of a nuetral position, and never maximal. I'll just practice maximal (or near that) to ingrain the position into my memory.

    Though let me make sure I understand the positions you're referring to. By elevating, do you mean the whole shoulder like shrug? Or will the scapula itself tend to elevate in some cases when a person tries to protract?

    And tipping forward--do you mean so that the medial border sticks out away from the ribcage?
     
  23. SociallyChallenged

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    It's a good practice scenario, but it's actually a bad position for the shoulder. It drags the head of the humerus off of the glenoid (the joint surface of the scapula). It puts the rotator cuff at a big disadvantage, excessively strains the ligaments/muscles on the front of the shoulder, and overall is a high-risk position for subluxation. Gymnasts use it all the time, but I believe if they had a more neutral position, they'd have fewer injuries.

    By elevating, I do mean shrugging up toward your ear. You don't want that, as that means your upper trapezius and pec minor are too active. It's essentially the wrong muscles firing. The scapula shouldn't elevate as you try to protract - it should stay in the same position height-wise and even go down a little bit. That means some muscles are substituting to create the force, as I mentioned.

    Tipping forward - the technical term is anterior tipping of the scapula. And yes, the medial border of the scapula pulls away from the ribcage. More commonly, it's a combination of anterior tipping and protraction/abduction, which is collectively called scapular winging.

    PS: I like your uses of the words scapula, protraction, medial, etc. Makes my life way easier :)
     
    #48 SociallyChallenged, Jan 31, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2013
  24. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    Also good to know. I'm not trying to be a gymnast, I just want to gain strength via their template and not hurt myself. So note to self: try not to push yourself when heavily protracting the scapula.

    lol...well I generally have to look up anatomy terms to make sure I'm not getting them confused. But anyone has to admit, they are very precise descriptions that limit misunderstandings and are pretty quick/easy to look up. Thanks again.
     
  25. SociallyChallenged

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    Right, that's why I figured I'd throw a bit of info your way. It may also help if you have someone video tape you doing something like a planche with your shirt off - from above and from the side. That way you can actually see what your shoulder blades are doing. You can start with the easiest progression and move your way up and see when you/if you start to compensate.

    Well, if you ever have any anatomy questions, hit me up. I'm more than happy to help facilitate learning of the human body.