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Workout Recap - Week of October 22, 2017

I don't have anything particular in mind to talk about today, so I suppose I can touch on the logic behind how I set up my workout routines. Since I don't have any focused fitness goals and just kind of want to get "better" at everything, I try to work through a rotation of different workout types with a variety of exercises to keep things interesting.

In general, I'll have two strength-focused workouts where I'm not under any time constraints, though I try not to pause TOO much along the way and try to limit my break between sets to 2-3 minutes to have some part of an endurance element in it, too. These start with an explosive "bonus" movement after my warmup as part of getting myself in the right frame of mind, followed by a trio of exercises (either straight from Convict Conditioning or variants thereof), and they're finished off with another "bonus" to burn off any excess energy I've got left in the tank.

I try to also have two workouts per week that are more aimed at improving speed, endurance, and/or explosive power, either by means of doing a target routine as quickly as I can (as fast as possible-type workouts) or by trying to keep doing a target routine as many times as I can in a certain window of time (as many reps/rounds as possible-type workouts). Both styles are inspired by the concept of high intensity interval training (HIIT), though modified to better suit my tastes since I find doing something like cycling between 2 minutes of jogging and 30 seconds of sprinting for 15 minutes to be only slightly less boring than the typical sustained cardiovascular workout approach. As with the strength-focused workouts, these are finished off with a "bonus" to squash out whatever life is remaining in me.

Capping off each week is an all-purpose fitness challenge workout, and anyone who's actually paying attention to these posts would've likely picked up the pattern behind them by now, I'd imagine. High volumes of big compound movements done as quickly as I can (with 80% of the rotating routines having a non-negligible power component as well, thanks to including burpees) are certainly a challenge, but I have to make sure that they remaining an appropriately challenging challenge, too. Thus, I keep track of my theoretical optimal times (based on scaling up how long the first set takes, to simulate a case where endurance isn't a concern), and if the ratio of my theoretical time to my actual performance ends up being better than 75%, I take that as a sign that I need to increase the difficulty. I've only had to do this a couple of times so far, but it's something that I try to be mindful of. Anyway, as with the others, there's also a "bonus" after these to punish me for living through the workout.



Type: Pass/Fail

Semiclose Handstand Push Ups - 1 set of 15 (pass)

Uneven Pull Ups - 1 set of 10 (pass)

Shrimp Squats, Both Hands Behind Me - 1 set of 10, each side (pass)

Bonus: 4 sets of 3 Superman push ups

This one was a step back on the difficulty scale compared to what I usually do, I know. I had company over this weekend, so I tried to just fit in something to stop myself from slacking rather than going all the way to my limits.


Type: As Fast As Possible

2 sets of:

40 Prisoner Squats

30 Push Ups

20 Hanging Knee Raises

10 Pull Ups

Time = 8:30

Bonus: 10 bridges

Ah, the infamous "century" test for the Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC) training course. Obviously, it wasn't hard enough for me on its own, so I did it twice. I think the time limit to complete it (just one set) during the training course is 8 minutes, so I'm apparently in better considerably shape than I need in order to be qualified to be a PCC trainer. I'm not sure whether that's a compliment for me or an insult to the certification requirements, but either way, it's...something.


Type: Pass/Fail

1-Armed Push Ups, Feet Together - 1 set of 10 (pass)

Stand-to-Stand Bridges (with one touch of a wall on the way up) - 1 set of 10 (pass)

Hanging V-raises - 1 set of 12 (pass)

Bonus: 4 sets of 3 two-way suicide jumps, 10 burpees

This was a set up from my previous best single set performance in this workout, so that's as much a sign of progress as anything can be. The last one or two push ups on each side were a little shaky, so I'm not yet ready to hit my final target for that step, but it's within reach. I suppose the progression from there could be either working towards 2 sets of 10 gecko push ups or working towards 2 sets of 10 1-armed fingertip push ups. Either one sounds fucking badass, but I think I'll tend to favor the latter as being a better compliment towards my long-term goal of doing 1-armed pull ups.


Type: As Fast As Possible

4 sets of:

10 Close Grip Pull Ups

15 Burpees

20 High Knees

Time = 9:30

Bonus: 10 breath isometric holds for each variation of a 3-limbed bridge

I thought it'd been a while since I did sets of double-digit burpees, so I wanted to change that. Thus, I did. On the topic of gecko movements, though, the third limb used in 3-limbed bridge holds pretty clearly doesn't take much weight and is really only there for stability purposes, so I am tempted to try doing some gecko bridge holds. I've heard it said that being able to do those for 30 seconds is a sign that you're strong enough to do stand-to-stand bridges, but honestly, I don't think a lack of strength is what's holding me back from those, anyway. My problem with stand-to-stand bridges (or rather, the bulk of the reason why I still need to touch a wall once on my way up) is lacking the flexibility to push my hips out over my feet while in the bridge position. Nevertheless, gecko bridges just sound like they'd be fun to do.


Type: As Fast As Possible

7 sets of:

7 Pull Ups

7 Bridges

Time = 6:15

Bonus: 1 pull up, 1 bridge, 10 burpees

This was just a bit slower than my personal record, which obviously sucks, but considering that I felt like I was going much slower during the actual workout, I wasn't too upset about it. Really, when I step back and think about it, most people in modern societies seem to be physically unable to do 50 pull ups in a whole day (and at least from what I've seen personally, I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of people in modern urban/suburban areas couldn't even do a single pull up), so being able to do 49 of them in about 6 minutes is nothing to scoff at. Well, unless I was thinking about competing on one of those Ninja Warrior-type obstacle courses, but I'm not, so it's good, even if I do think it'd be fun to try doing a salmon ladder some day.

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