Halt to Heal

I started having a problem with my left wrist maybe 3-4 weeks ago.  It felt like jammed/sprained it although I don’t recall a particular moment when I hurt it.  I sort of have ignored it and continued my normal routine.

Well the recent addition of Metins program to my work out schedule has made things worse since some of the holds really put the wrist at angles that are quite painful (handstands, planche, diamond push ups, etc..)

So yesterday after struggling through the push routine I decided I need to let the wrist heal.  In order to do so I will be avoiding almost all pushing movements (push ups, dips) and anything that requires me to be on my hands vertically.  I am hoping a week or so of babying it will give it time to properly heal.  In the meantime I hope to fill the void with lots of cardio and pull ups, both things that will come in handy for the Tough Mudder.

Did you see my 49 continuous push ups?  If not, here you go.

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Mashed by Metin, Almost 50

Last night I tried a continuous push up set to see what I could manage.  Last week I got 50 reps although it wasn’t on video (so it didn’t really happen).  In most of our push up challenges on the BB forums you are allowed to pause during your push up sets at the top as long as you don’t break form (raise hips, knees on the ground).  With the set last night when you stop for any discernible pause you are done.  I was bummed that I used my last drop of energy on rep 49, failing to hit the 50 milestone.  Even so, I think that may have been the most non-stop reps I ever caught on tape.

So I have been working with Metin’s (LittleBeastM) program that I bought.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, it is designed to progress you towards moves like front/back levers, hand stands, hand stand push ups, and the planche.

It is broken into a pulling and pushing work out with 7 -8 movements in each.  I have found with the time I have at lunch I am better suited to break the workout apart further, doing 3-4 exercises per session.

The workout is tough, tough on areas that don’t normally see all that much focus in my former exercise routines.  The shoulders particularly get blasted very hard.  My forearms/connective tissue in my elbows and shoulders are getting worked like they never have been before.

I have had some issues with form, evidently protraction of my scalpula is not something I excel at.  Yesterday though I held what felt to be very solid front tucked levers. (retracted scalpula) I need to get it on tape to know for sure if what I feel is the same as what I see.

Of course my major concern with doing a program like this at 44 years old is the risk of injury.  I need to push myself into uncomfortable holds but be able to discern discomfort with doing damage.  So far I have been navigating that line pretty well.  I look forward to where the program could take me if I keep working it diligently.

The Reason

You haven’t seen much going on here is because I am in the middle of the massive chore of migrating all my YouTube content to a new channel.  Be back soon.

Birth of another workout and acronym – the SPS

So today at lunch I attempted another self created workout plan based on the pyramid training I mentioned several days ago.   With a pyramid set your reps look like this 2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2.  There is supposed to be practically no rest between the sets, you either stand up or get off the bar and then go right back into the reps ideally.

Well today I took that concept and turned it into an ass grinding workout, I call it a Super Pyramid Set or SPS for short.

Super setting normally means you alternate between exercises that utilize different body parts.  As you are “resting” one body part you are exercising another.  It is a great way to work anaerobically.

Well my idea was to “superset” pyramids, doing a pyramid set of dips, pull ups and push ups.

At first it is tough to know what sort of pyramid heights to establish so that it is challenging but allows you enough in the tank to get through everything unbroken.  I went with a 10 dip pyramid (50 reps), an 8 pull up pyramid ( 32 reps) finished off with a 10 push up pyramid (50 reps).  It was quite difficult for me.  The faster you try to go the harder you are going to be sucking wind.

After maybe a 5 or 6 minute break I went through the cycle again changing things up a bit doing a 8 bar dip pyramid, 6 chin up pyramid, followed by a 10 knuckle push up pyramid (started as finger tip)

It’s a nice little circuit that will have you working hard quickly.  By the end my shirt was soaked.

Give it a shot, and remember if someone asks what you are doing, say “Duf’s SPS!”


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Protected: Doing everything wrong

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Little behind, Little crazy, Little BeastM

I have been a bit neglectful of updating here lately, my last entry was a full 11 days ago.  No need to be concerned, I have been working out of course, I actually just have been kind of busy.

Since I posted last I had my newly found revenue stream of Google AdSense dollars yanked out from under me.  It was my own dumb fault, I started posting banner ads on my main blog and encouraged my readers to click them.

Well evidently this is STRICTLY prohibited by Google which I was not aware of.  Obviously I violated their TOS but I don’t think it is unreasonable that when they detect an abuse going on they give people a one strike rule.  Warn me and then if it continues, drop the hammer.  Their approach instead seems a bit short sighted and severe.

You can see my rant about the situation in the video below. I am working on an alternative way to monetize my videos.

I’ve also done a hard mode attempt at this month’s BB challenge which you can see below.

I had the idea to superset pull up and push up pyramids.  It is very challenging.  I plan to try to work this into my all cali routine on a regular basis.

One of my whackier work outs of the last week was a modified death crawl. Poon had taken my original Death Crawl and upped the ante, doing it uphill while pulling 4 tires.

Well I came up with the idea of doing one while pulling my 500 pound tractor.  I came up with a towing harness that seems like it would work.  Unfortunately it seems like I will need a driver as well.  Almost immediately the tractor wanted to veer to the right.  I only wound up pulling it 50-75 feet.

This video was my first two camera shot ever.  I had one camera taped to the grill of the tractor for a first person perspective and another stationary on a tripod for a distance shot.  It made for an interesting perspective.  You can see the end result below.

Finally, late last week I dropped 15 euros on Metins program that is designed to give you a clear path to attaining some of the staple advanced body weight moves, the hand stand, planche, front lever and back lever.

The plan is simply a text file that gives you the exercises, broken into steps, each step lasting 1-3 months depending on your progress.  It’s pretty low-tech but gives you what you need.

I shot a video of me trying the various movements so Metin could give me some form feedback.  The feedback was basically, I have some work to do.

Finally, I had another whacky idea, I seem to have a lot of those lately.  I was eying up the distance between my pull up bar and my parallel bars which is approximately 9 feet.  I started to wonder if I could “Niroc” between them.

For those of you who don’t know Niroc, he is one of the strongest and most daring bar athletes around.  One of his specialties is flying from one bar to another.

I see a number of issues with my attempting this trick.  First I am concerned about the lateral forces on the parallel bar as I potentially come crashing into it.  Prior to any official attempt I think I would install temporary bracing to the other side to strengthen it.

Then there is the height difference.  My pull up bar is right around 8 feet high, my parallel bars are somewhere around 5 feet tall.  The G forces on my hands trying to secure a grip as I accelerate downward 3 feet is going to be severe.  Finally I somehow would need to keep my legs tucked as I grabbed on.  If my feet touch the ground obviously I couldn’t count it as legit.

So the question is can I do it?  With my long limbs fully extended I reach 8 feet.  Unfortunately to pull this off I am going to have to do a lot of experimentation with release angle, height of swing, approach vector, etc… it could be a lot of painful trial and error.

I still am going to give it a try regardless.  If I pull it off it would be pretty epic.  If I don’t it could be even more epic.  🙂

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All Cali

So today I began my new (almost) calisthenics only training as opposed to utilizing free weights and machines as a big part of my fitness program.  Today was shoulders and abs day.  My shoulder work went like this after starting with a set of 55 push ups (BBR number):

3 static wall handstand holds 45-60 seconds, one on fists, one with fingers facing in opposite directions, one with finger facing each other.

I wanted something that would imitate a shoulder shrug.  I wound up doing an inverted version on the Smith machine.  I brought the bar to about chest height when standing and then hung myself upside down, using the braces above to keep my legs in place.  This was very challenging and felt like a shrug on steroids.

I did a set of 5 reps of skin the cat, starting from a dead hang to STC position and back again.  That works your shoulders along with a bunch other things.

I once again utilized the Smith machine to do some static holds with straight arms with my body at various angles, trying to focus on using my shoulders to control the hold.

Finally I did inverted V style push ups (not sure the correct term for them)  Basically you bend over from the waist (legs straight) and touch the ground, walking your hands as far forward as necessary based on your flexibility and strength level.

The closer your hands are to your feet, the more difficult the move is.  You then lower your head towards the floor and push back up, in a manner similar to a HSPU.  Concentrating on keeping your elbows tighter to your body (as opposed to flared out) is the proper form and makes the movement tougher.

By the time I was done my shoulders were torched.  My lats were burning as well.

For the ab part of my workout (although a lot of the shoulder stuff utilized abs too), I did some dragon flags, L seat kick outs and trunk rotations.

I can honestly say this is the most spent my shoulder area has felt after shoulder day.  I have a feeling I am going to be incredibly sore tomorrow.  So much so that a Friday Ray’s Way might need to be postponed.

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Wake up call

So anyone that has read my online ramblings over the last few years know about how long I struggled with getting my first muscle up.  It was literally at least a couple year process due to injury and just not getting the technique until I finally got my first rep in September 2011.
Once I got my first rep I was excited to keep going, keep building my reps as well as cleaning up my form which I did for several months.  I got my one set rep max to 7 and was slowly improving my form.

However right around the new year a new goal popped to the forefront in my head, the BBR’s.  For the first third of 2012 I was really pushing to work the core movements of the BBR’s, dips, pull ups and push ups, figuring my muscle ups will take care of themselves.

Well once again the injury bug bit and I also hit a plateau where it seemed I just couldn’t significantly improve.  I derailed my BBR focus and continued various body weight exercise but never picked back up my quest to improve my muscle up.

Well today at the gym put an exclamation point on how my muscle up has eroded.  I tried to do a slower, false grip muscle up at the gym and didn’t really get close.  I tried multiple times and just did not have the strength through the transition portion of the exercise.  It also felt like it put a ton of stress in my elbow tendons since they haven’t been used that way on a consistent basis for quite awhile. The extra 8 or 9 pounds I have on my frame compared to when I first did a muscle up doesn’t help either.

So the muscle up is once again in focus and more generally calisthenics in general.  I am thinking about almost eliminating the weight portion of my daily lunch workouts at the gym (right now 4 of the 5 days are mostly weight work) and instead use that time for calisthenics.  I wish my gym was better equipped for calisthenic work outs, there are no good bars and depending on how crowded it is, sometimes there is an issue getting access to certain equipment/floor space.

I think going almost exclusively with calisthenic type workouts will give me the results I am looking for.


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Sunday evening video bonanza

Take your pick…



September BB Forums Challenge posted!

A new month is upon us so that means it is new challenge time. This month the idea once again comes from Lou and is called “Maintain the Pain”

The goal here is to maintain a certain amount of fixed reps for as
many sets as possible, your score is based on the amount of sets
performed doing the fixed amount of reps. We will have 3 modes with
fixed reps that must be maintained for as many sets as possible, once
you can’t maintain the fixed amount of reps your set ends.

Normal mode = Diamond pushups 10 reps, Hard mode = Pull ups 10 reps, & Bar-baric mode = Muscle ups 3 reps.

The reps may seem easy in the beginning but with the limited rest you will find yourself in pain pretty quick.

Normal mode = Maintain 10 Diamond push ups for as many sets as
possible with 40 seconds rest in between sets. Once you can no longer maintain 10 reps of diamonds your set ends.Your score is the number of sets you performed doing 10 diamonds + however many reps you managed in your failure set!

Hard mode = Maintain 10 pull ups for as many sets as possible with 30
seconds rest in between sets. Once you can no longer maintain 10 reps of pull ups your set ends. Your score is the number of sets you performed + however many reps you managed in your failure set!

Bar-baric mode = Maintain 3 muscle ups for as many sets as possible
with 20 seconds rest in between. Once you can no longer maintain 3 reps of muscle ups your sets ends. Your score is the number of sets you performed + however many reps you managed in your failure set!


Obviously since the sets have timed rest periods it is important that you adhere strictly to these timed breaks. To make sure you don’t go over in your breaks, start 2-3 seconds early.

With diamond push ups, your feet should be together. On the down portion of the movement your chest should be hitting the top of your hands, at the top your elbows should be almost fully extended.

With the pull ups, minimum height is chin to bar (higher is always better), at the bottom of the reps your elbows should be almost fully extended. Kipping should absolutely be avoided if at all possible. Keeping your legs straight with feet together is the recommended form.

Muscle ups can be the swinging variety however if someone using strict form has the same score as someone with sloppier form, clean form wins, every time.

This month will NOT be a prize month but I expect everyone to bust it just as hard because that is what it is all about in the end. Compete against yourself.

Lou will be final judge in any form disputes this month with me filling in when he is busy lifting atlas stones. Cool

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