2020. So Far, So Good.

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.

The Workout

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.

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.

Cheers!

The Importance Of Play

Science tells us that harnessing a spirit of play helps us bounce back from life’s stressors and put disappointments into manageable perspective. – Florence Williams, Your 2020 Burnout Recovery Plan, Outside Magazine

Your 2020 Burnout Recovery Plan

Not a fan of the title of this article but loved the content.

Makin’ Movement Music

Finding Your Why

Sometimes we get lost on the way to the playground, even though it’s only around the block.

That’s how I’ve felt for a good part of this year. The good thing is, I’ve been consulting my inner map and making course corrections to put me back on track. Rather than write about it, I thought I’d do a bit of vocal rambling on the topic of finding your why and getting back on track when you feel lost.

Please let me know if you’d like me to continue with the podcast format since it’s much easier for me. And leave a comment with topics you’d like me to cover.

Thanks for listening.

The Flu-Funk

About two weeks ago I was in Amsterdam for a GMB Fitness European staff meet-up. We do this from time to time where the staff members in a particular part of the world all meet up to do some face-to-face work and play. I love that we do these meet-ups and always look forward to seeing everyone and catching up. Owning an online company has it’s perks but I always prefer hanging out with people in person.

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Get Comfortable At Being Uncomforatble

Throwing a heavy pack on and trekking around in a torrential downpour at night might seem like a very unpleasant way to train for an upcoming hike. However, sometimes the worst conditions can provide the best learning experiences if you’re willing to let go and open up to the opportunity.

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The One Big Thing

Do one thing every day that makes you uncomfortable. 

That last sentence sums up this entire article and you could even stop reading this post right now. You’d miss out on some other good stuff but if you’re pressed for time, then just be sure to get uncomfortable every day. It’s good for you.

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Focus On The Exit

How much time do you spend refining how you exit a hold? Being able to exit a hold or movement with control allows you the option to flow seamlessly into something else. Practice it enough and you’ll find that it’ll also open up pathways to other exit options that you wouldn’t have considered.

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