Monday, January 17, 2005

The Progression of Things

First, my front lever is much more solid now. It use to be a strain and struggle to hold one. No longer...

a shot from the back


a shot from the front

I've been jumping up into a front lever just about every time I went through my door. No long workouts, just short, frequent ones. The constant repetition helped tremendously in strengthening the skill. I can actually say I have a front lever now.

My one arm handstand has become the forgotten child.

I don't tend to practice this too much at home due to the very real risk of injury when I fall over to one side. Therefore, I only work on it at my gym in the matted room... with plenty of space. In any case, I'm seeing a bit of progress and my current state has me up on one hand with a one finger assist.

It's always tempting to snap my assisting hand up to my hip and try and hold a one arm handstand in practice. While this generally gives me a short-held o.a.h., it's not going to give me a solid one! If I can gradually lower the assistance needed from that finger, until I can curl up my hand off the ground into a fist, then I'll have it solid.

What am I aiming for? CHECK THIS OUT. This guy holds a one arm handstand for an easy 10 seconds. The video is from style2ouf, a french breaking site with some incredible clips.

Guess that creates a good segue into a video of my straddle planche attempts. Like the last video, it'll only be hosted for a week.

(size 17.1 mb)

I filmed this on Jan. 6th when I was able to wrestle my work camera back to my place. The film is crappy, but you can see my current state of planche training. I still don't know where my hips and legs are, and the straddle planches are shaky, but there's something there! There is definitely something there. It's been such a long fight, so I'll take what I can get. I think if I start training this skill like the front lever - with a shorter number of reps more frequently - it will really help to bring things along.

OAP training took a bit of a blow this past weekend. The skill feels like a real grind, so I figured I would work on my endurance for the one arm chin, so I increased assistance to 15 lbs. With this assistance, I'm training to get 5 reps. When I can get 5 reps, I'll drop the assistance down to 10 lbs, etc...

Well, I got a bit overzealous since the reps were easier. Too many sets later, I still felt ok. But two days later when I went to do some regular chin ups?? Oh man, the elbows started screaming!! Tendonitis, damn. I tried some more chins today and the elbows still yelled a bit. Things are getting better, but I have to watch myself closer now. No more all-night one arm chin workouts. I'll still work for 5 reps, but I'll keep the sets at a much lower number.

On a positive note, my regular chins feel weightless. And my one arm assisted chins are definitely moving faster than before.

I've been very pleased with my hand strength training. Here is a picture of my #2 close.

Hmm, well you'll have to trust me that it's a #2.

I first closed a #2 a few weeks ago, but some KTA training has me smashing it consistently now - even with my left hand. I even no-set closed it with my right hand! For those unfamiliar with the grippers, a set is assistance from the non-closing hand so that you can get all your fingers around the gripper. The set puts your fingers in a better position and gives you a bit of a headstart on the close. When I can no-set the #2 consistently with both my hands, I'll start up another cycle of KTA training to mash my beef builder super master gripper - it's about a 2.5 in terms of difficulty.

If you have any sort of interest in training your grip, please check out the gripboard in my links section to the right. It's free to register and is home of some of the strongest hands in the world.

What else has my hand strength gotten me? How about some airtime under a 40 pound block weight!

I finally picked it up this past week.

This is a training breakthrough that's very exciting for me. That 40 lb chunk of metal had been glued to the ground for far too long. I had been working two handed lifts with the block, as well as some assisted one hand lifts. KTA training had strengthened my hands, and I have been doing some additional thumb work after I stopped the KTA. It's the thumb work that I feel really helped push my hand strength over the edge. So grab those pony clamps and get training!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's good stuff on the front lever and planche, the rest is good but those are the two I'm chasing. I shall try your idea of more regular, less intensive training. I'm just about getting a one legged front lever but for no length of time. My best advance lately is on the planche. I can lean forward into the planche and with straight legs get both feet off the ground by only a few inches for around 5 seconds. I can only do this on the parallettes though as the extra height helps. Each day I try them I can get my feet a tiny bit higher off the ground. Four months ago I couldn't even do a frog stand for more than a few seconds so I've done pretty well I think. Watched your handstand video a couple of weeks back and just watched the planche video. Can't wait until I can get into it that easily.

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