On a personal level, 2020 has been pretty good so far.
First off, I’ve added an additional day of BJJ to the week with the focus on my sitting guard. In particular I’ve been working my butterfly guard transitions along with another guard, my favorite, that my instructor is known for around these parts. Is this something that you’d be interested in learning more about?
- Workout video below so keep reading. 🙂
In other news, I’ve returned to my roots of sorts with a focus on bodyweight strength skills. I’ve been working on these since the beginning of January and training them differently than I’ve ever trained them before. Rather than focus on one specific move at a time with long rests between reps, I’ve instead been groupIng them together into a circuit of singles done back to back. While this definitely isn’t the protocol I recommend to a beginner who is just learning these skills, I’ve seen good results so far with what I’m after. Mind you, just because I spent many years working to attain a fairly high level with each them doesn’t mean that I’m doing these skills at a high level still! Nope.
The phrase, ”Use it or lose it” is very applicable in my case right now.
The single reps that I’m doing are at what would be considered in the calisthenics world a ”lower“ level. Whatever… But oh does it does feel good to acquaint myself with these old friends again.
Having built solid foundation with each of these skills over the years I know that I can get them back to a relatively high level with a bit of time and practice. Honestly speaking, there’s really no rush for me to “get” these skills. There is no pressure for me and I just want to enjoy the journey. Something I’ve actually not had the opportunity to do with these types of skills since they’ve also been related to my job.
Since there’s no rush or pressure to perform, I’m not going to push myself to spend countless hours and multiple days training each of them. Yuck.
Been there, done that.
Instead, I’ve decided to keep it super simple and explore these moves a couple times a week and enjoy the process.
I’ve using the following circuit, along with an additional play day, for the past four weeks. It seems to be doing the trick and isn’t burning me out for the other stuff I wanna do in my life.
I do the following strength and endurance circuit back to back twice a week and it takes me about 1 hour each time. That includes a quick warm-up.
On another day I’ll do the same strength circuit but at a less intense level. For example, instead of HSPU on the pbars I’ll do a headstand push-up on the floor, instead of planche push-ups I’ll hold a tuck planche, etc, etc.
Here’s a breakdown of the the strength skill circuit I do.
- 1 rep full handstand pushup on pbars
- 1 rep of one arm chin-up – I pull to the midway point, hold for about 3 to 5 seconds, then lower myself. Repeat on opposite arm.
- 1 rep planche push-up on crane. Right now I’m using an open tuck position.
- 1 rep pull to inverted hang and lower to a tuck front lever, hold, then slow lower
- 1 rep shrimp squat EACH leg with hold at the bottom position
I do this for 5 rounds with just enough rest to allow me to catch my breath. Could be 10 or 30 seconds between the single reps.
Obviously I’m working towards being able to eventually being able to perform the full variation of the movement. Deeeeeeeep HSPU on the balance canes, full OAC, full planche push-up, full front lever, full elevated shrimp where knee drops below bench. But you know what, if it doesn’t happen, no worries. I’m getting stronger, enjoying the process, and no stress. That’s a good thing.
After doing 5 rounds of that strength circuit I then do an endurance circuit that I’ve found to be building some muscle as well. Winning! I only perform 3 rounds of thIs second circuit, doing each move for 45 seconds with a 20 second break. I’ve been increasing the weight each week and really feel myself getting stronger. I’ve been very strict with my form, going slow and pushing myself by making it a grind rather than trying to simply crank out as many reps as I can.
- Goblet squat press (using weight plate)
- Ring reverse row sit back
- Plate hold candle stick “sit-ups”
- Plate hold lunge step back
- Push up with hand release at bottom
- Sandbag deadlift
I know this is working for me because I feel myself getting stronger each session and it’s also not interfering with my other activities in my life.
Again, if you are a beginner I don’t suggest training these skills this way and doing these circuits back to back will probably wipe you out. You would be better off with more dedicated practice work with each individual movement and I suggest choosing only a couple to work on at a time. Here are some resources on how to train some of these moves. I suggest first building a solid base for each move like the basic handstand push-up on the floor, tuck planche, tuck front lever, etc etc before putting these in circuit fashion as I’ve done above.
Leave a comment below letting me know what you think of this.