Friday, February 21, 2014

Update on my ring training

This is a followup to my previous ring training post.

I've realized that to make further progress with my ring pushups, I need to improve my shoulder strength and stability.  I also want to work in more lower body training to help strengthen my back and hips.  So this is what the routine looks like now:

Warmup - Joint mobility as recommended by the beginner ring program mentioned in that post.

Pullups (neutral grip) - 3 sets of 6-11 reps (my current pull-up max is 11)

Ring Pushups - 3 sets of 6+ reps

Partial L-Sits - 3 sets of 3 5-second straight-leg holds per side

Kettlebell Military press - 4+ reps per side
Double Kettlebell Front Squat - 6+ reps

I do the military presses for the shoulders, catch my breath for a few seconds, then do the front squats.  I then rest for a minute before doing another set.  I do 3-5 sets.  Kettlebell weight is 16kg per kettlebell.

I will stick to this routine until I achieve 3 sets of 10+ reps in the military press.  Then I will go back to doing more sets of the ring pushups (going for 4 or 5 sets instead of just 3).  When I achieve 15 reps in the front squat, I will switch to reverse lunges with double kettlebells.

Looptical review

Looptical is really good for writing straightforward songs. It's very easy to create sections of songs, then append them together to create the overall song. I rarely ever write music this way, so I found that my song kinda sounded like several loops strung together. However, Looptical made it really easy to overdub some stuff to connect sections a little more. Yes, I could have messed with MIDI or whatever to try get a wider selection of sounds than the sample-based tones provided with Looptical, but I wanted to see what I could do with just the internal samples and effects. The Event Editor is limited in that you can transpose, quantize or erase notes, but you can't change the pitches or velocity of individual notes. I do see there is a "Human" slider in the velocity section of the Notes editor, but I forgot to try to see what does. As far as the Interfaces go, this was the first time I tried to record something with a virtual guitar strum interface - it's pretty good considering you can't do Hendrix-like hammer-ons or other embellishments in your chordal playing. I slipped in some experimental fun with a short solo using the Granulator interface.

I also promised to rate this app, in addition to writing a song on it, which I did: 4 stars. Very friendly popup mini-tutorials, and there's an in-app manual - not having to be online to read the manual always scores points with me! What would make it a 5-star app would be more editing capability in the Event Editor, though admittedly I cleaned up my mistakes by simply using Undo (and re-record) a lot. On one section I simply slowed down the tempo and recorded at the slow tempo before speeding it back up to the song tempo.

The main melody and the chords of this tune jumped into my head on a sunny morning, while walking around the vicinity of a particular intersection in one of the world's great cities. The song is thus named after that intersection, not after a couple. 

Anyway, here is my instrumental pop/post-rock tune, done entirely in Looptical - this will probably be the last non-experimental music I post up in a while ;) :