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Nov/Dec/Jan 3 month challenge

Nov. 7, 2014, 10:21 a.m.
Posts: 1037
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

ahhhh, the season of candy, turkey, parties, booze and watching games on the couch is now upon us. so how about a little challenge to keep your fitness from completely disappearing? i'm thinking simple things that can be done at home in minimal time.

1. strength

pistol or one legged squats. yes that's right, being able to do a full squat while standing on one leg, like 12 of them. start off with having good squat technique for a set of 15 bodyweight squats then start working on the pistol squats. if you need to you can start off holding on to a support as you build up your balance with the end goal being 12 on each leg.

2. speed

how about working on your 100m sprint time. it seems simple just running on the street, just make sure you've warmed up well by doing an easy jog for 7-10 minutes. for the first few weeks don't worry about going full out, just make a point of doing 3-5 100m sprints twice per week. between a warmup, a few sprints and a short cool down with some easy stretching for the legs this should only take less than 20 minutes of time.

3. endurance

instead of focusing on all out endurance let's look at speed endurance via a short run or hill sprints on the bike. we want to aim for a work effort that will last between 5 and 10 minutes, so 1 mile or 1.6km run is perfect. if you choose to do a hill climb on the bike aim for the same amount of time. again, it's a relatively short workout done twice per week. between a 7-10 minute warmup, the workout and a cooldown with some easy stretching after you should be done in less than 30 minutes. start off the first few weeks on the easy side and gradually ramp up the intensity.

context is everything

Nov. 7, 2014, 7:41 p.m.
Posts: 1584
Joined: June 20, 2003

I just got back to doing one legged squats this week good timing!

Nov. 9, 2014, 6:26 a.m.
Posts: 12656
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

ahhhh, the season of candy, turkey, parties, booze and watching games on the couch is now upon us. so how about a little challenge to keep your fitness from completely disappearing? i'm thinking simple things that can be done at home in minimal time.

1. strength

pistol or one legged squats. yes that's right, being able to do a full squat while standing on one leg, like 12 of them. start off with having good squat technique for a set of 15 bodyweight squats then start working on the pistol squats. if you need to you can start off holding on to a support as you build up your balance with the end goal being 12 on each leg.

2. speed

how about working on your 100m sprint time. it seems simple just running on the street, just make sure you've warmed up well by doing an easy jog for 7-10 minutes. for the first few weeks don't worry about going full out, just make a point of doing 3-5 100m sprints twice per week. between a warmup, a few sprints and a short cool down with some easy stretching for the legs this should only take less than 20 minutes of time.

3. endurance

instead of focusing on all out endurance let's look at speed endurance via a short run or hill sprints on the bike. we want to aim for a work effort that will last between 5 and 10 minutes, so 1 mile or 1.6km run is perfect. if you choose to do a hill climb on the bike aim for the same amount of time. again, it's a relatively short workout done twice per week. between a 7-10 minute warmup, the workout and a cooldown with some easy stretching after you should be done in less than 30 minutes. start off the first few weeks on the easy side and gradually ramp up the intensity.

I was curious about your post, tried a pistol squat, failed more or less (gotr back up with a lot of struggle, left leg was easier than the right) and am now seriously intrigued.

I have a few questions though.

ad 1) Is it ok to start with a pistol squat on a box, i.e. is it allowed to make the learning curve easier? Three months to a full set of twelve reps seems doable. I am already envisioning pistol squats as my only leg workout.

ad 2) Has the sprinting be done as a stand-alone workout, or can it be used at the end of a workout where the focus is not on the legs (either squats or deadlifts)? I tried it this summer as a finisher and it was quite a rush, although it was quite taxing.

I think I start tomorrow.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Nov. 14, 2014, 1:50 p.m.
Posts: 12656
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Soo, here is what I did this week, I rode quite often but did not do any timing since my old comp is broken, do not want to invest into a new one and I really like just riding for the sake of riding, but going as fast as I can (uphill and downhill).

My pistols

Monday - bodyweight, 3 reps and four sets of half pistols onto a box

Wednesday - same as monday, just one set more

Friday - same as wednesday

Monday and wednesday I did some swings, clean and presses and bent presses as well. Today I'd just focused on the pistols after a few warm up squats.

I think I want to play it safe, did a full pistol with each leg on Wednesday with a 8kg kettlebell grabbed by the horns and with outstretched arms, but I am really scared of doing too much too soon. I actually noticed a slight tension on the inner sides of the knees after monday, and on tuesday as well.

My plan is to continue with this until I can safely do 5 reps without struggling with balance and the like, and then move on to full pistols.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Nov. 17, 2014, 4:48 p.m.
Posts: 1037
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I was curious about your post, tried a pistol squat, failed more or less (gotr back up with a lot of struggle, left leg was easier than the right) and am now seriously intrigued.

I have a few questions though.

ad 1) Is it ok to start with a pistol squat on a box, i.e. is it allowed to make the learning curve easier? Three months to a full set of twelve reps seems doable. I am already envisioning pistol squats as my only leg workout.

ad 2) Has the sprinting be done as a stand-alone workout, or can it be used at the end of a workout where the focus is not on the legs (either squats or deadlifts)? I tried it this summer as a finisher and it was quite a rush, although it was quite taxing.

I think I start tomorrow.

the big thing with pistol squats is the balance and control, so use a box if you need to or even hold on to something like the edge of a table or couch.

sprints could be done stand alone or at the end of the work-out, but i would suggest doing them on their own. as they don't take a lot of time considering doing them in the morning and they'll also help get you going for the day.

context is everything

Dec. 10, 2014, 11:41 a.m.
Posts: 12656
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Had a serious case of allergy once more, basically full of stuff that is fighting side-effects of some other stuff that I had to take to tackle a serious skin issue. Fun times. Tired throughout the days, was even at home on sick-leave for six days, sluggish.
The doc said any serious training had to be put on hold for two weeks, these end on friday, three weeks altogether, given the fact that the medication was not properly working for one week.

Ever had the feeling that a doctor who is specialized in any given field is really interested and intrigued by how your body is reacting? Interesting and scary at the same time.

Did some pistols though. Used a light dumbbell (2.5kg) as a counnterweight and did them ladder style. First one was 3,2,1,1,1 and increased the reps on consecutive days so that the last one was 3,3,2,2,2 which resulted in pretty stiff legs the next day.

Tomorrow I start with a new cycle, starting with 4,3,2,1,1 or maybe I change the order to 1,2,1,3,4.

I think if I keep this up I might have a shot at 12 reps per side.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

Feb. 25, 2015, 12:43 a.m.
Posts: 12656
Joined: Nov. 24, 2002

Soo…nearly four weeks into February. I did improve on the pistols, but had to stop it. Highest ladder ever done was 6,5,5,4,3.

Due to a movement patterning accident while doing martial arts training in december (stupidity on my side) I have been diagnosed with a damaged pattella/pattella arthritis (do not know the proper English term, the cartilage is possibly damaged) and a damaged meniscus on the inner side of my left knee.

Am doing rehab movements now, date for a MRT is end of March. The good News is that I was specifically told to ride my bike as much as I can. The doctor said that even squats are ok as long as they are NOT below parallel and I do not sfully traighten my knees when standing.

But thanks to kettlebell swings, snatches, bent presses and carries I have in fact lost a bit lard, and the Holiday seasong has not been that difficult.

"You don't learn from experience. You learn from reflecting on the experience."
- Kristen Ulmer

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