Friday, February 27, 2015

Rings One Week 2 Report

I completed Week 2 of the lowest-level Rings One program today.

For the Above The Rings days, I gave up on the Assisted Push-Up because something about the angle irritates my left shoulder.  Full pushups are fine as long as I do partial pushups - the shoulder irritation begins when it is lowered within a certain distance of the rings.  Back when I was seeing a physical therapist for my shoulder, one of the rehab exercises I did was partial pushups against a wall - so this is kind of the same thing, but with more resistance due to the instability of the rings.  I'll try partial movement pushups for the next several workouts and see how it goes.  Tuck Dips seem to be going fine - improved from 3 reps/set to 4 reps/set.  The updated Rings One instructional video for the Plank Hold mentions "Hollow Body" as one of the key points, but otherwise there's no verbal explanation in the video.  GMB does mention the Hollow Body Plank Hold and a separate instructional video for it here, and also has a link to the Hollow Body exercise that is done on the back instead of in pushup position.  Thus, it's possible my Plank Hold could use some technique improvement.  Technique is getting a bit better with the Mountain Climbers, though the reps have not gone up, due to my arms being a bit worn from doing the Tuck Dips.

For the Below The Rings days, I realized I could probably increase the volume (sets x reps).  By replacing the assisted pull-ups, reverse rows, and negative pull-ups with regular pull-ups, I basically cut the session down to just two exercises - the pull-ups and the Tuck to Inverted Hang.  Despite the inadvertently reduced volume, I still improved from barely doing 5 pull-ups to being ready to do 6 pull-ups per set.  My Tuck To Inverted Hang reps were sloppy with lots of unwanted swinging.  Today though I believe I solved the issue.  It seems that I need to engage the pull-up muscles to do the move with proper control, or at least less swinging.  What I was doing before was just pulling with the arms and trying to swing my knees and hips up, which was hit and miss.  So now I start the movement with my arms fully extended overhead, as if I were about to do a pull-up, and my legs bent as necessary so that my torso and arms are straight.  I initiate the movement with a pull, as if I were doing a pull-up, while simultaneously pushing off with the legs to facilitate tucking the knees.  With more of the back muscles engaged in addition to the arms, I have much more control over the movement, and am more likely to be able to extend my legs out of the tuck into the inverted hang without having to use my feet to steady my body.  This is much more taxing than the haphazard technique I was previously using, but feels more right.

This was the first week in which I did two Leg Module sessions.  The Leg Module manual presents 3 different ways to schedule the Leg Module training along with Rings One or  Parallels One training, but the program charts document simply shows optional Leg Module days on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and the weekend.  At any rate, I did 4 circuits of Level 1 on Tuesday, and 4 circuits again on Thursday.  Today, I have quite a bit of soreness in the legs, especially near the glutes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Starting over with Rings One

This week, I began training with the Rings One program.  In this older post I'd reported that I quit Rings One because I was unable to progress from pushups to Tuck Up To Shoulder Stand.

In the intervening time, GMB updated Rings One.  There is now an intermediate skill to practice and master before attempting a Tuck Up To Shoulder Stand, as well as other refinements/revisions over the earlier version of the program.  The program now also says don't worry if you can't do the recommended number of reps for an exercise.  For example, if you can't do a minimum of 8 mountain climbers, it's ok - just do what you can and log what you did, along with the RPE (Rating of Perceived Effort) and RPT (Rating of Perceived Technique) scores for that workout.  Yet another noticeable change is in the warmup routine - now it includes warmups for the hips, hamstrings and lower back.

Also during this intervening time, I was training with GMB's free Ultimate Guide To Ring Training program.  I progressed from a max 4 pull-ups to 11 pull-ups, 0 ring pushups to a max 8 pushups, and 5-7 sec. tuck sit holds with one leg extended.  I also played around with club bells, kettle bells, and Ultimate Sandbag.

So this week, I'm back to Phase A, Level 1 again in Rings One.   For some people, pullups, pushups, and dips are actually not the easiest exercises to do on the rings. This phase of the program is concerned with developing the foundational strength to do those moves, among others.  One significant change for this phase from the older version is that the Top Position Hold is now to be done with rings out, which is quite a bit harder than rings parallel to the body, but probably necessary for better prep for other moves that come out of that position like dips.  Because I can already do ring pushups and pull-ups, I'm substituting those in my workout for the exercises that develop strength for pushups and pull-ups.   I may also substitute what I call the Tuck Dip (the Dip as taught in the older version of Rings One, with the knees tucked) for the Assisted Dip, depending on how blasted I feel after the Top Position Holds.  So far my shoulders seem to be holding up fine.  My lats and triceps have been sore for several days because they haven't had this kind of demand imposed on them for a while.  I was pleased to find that I could still to Tuck To Inverted Hangs - its actually easier when I don't jump into the tuck and focus more on the coordination of pulling with the arms and moving my knees towards my armpits.

The full manual for Rings One has several suggestions for integrating the optional Leg Module with Rings One.  I'm just following the exercise charts, which schedules the Leg Module exercises on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I played with the Leg Module last week before "officially" beginning the program this week - it is indeed harder on the legs than it looks on the surface.  I couldn't even make it to a 5th circuit.  The only problem move with in this program is the lunge, because I have a weird tightness/pain sensitivity in my left foot that flares up when I put weight on my left toes, as I step forward with my right foot.  The left foot seems to loosen up though as the sets pile up.  Wearing my new running shoes with arch support seems to help a lot - I can get into pushup position without any pain on my left toes/foot.

Got a new Korg MS-20 Mini

Sorry for the lack of organization - just throwing some links together.

Korg MS-20 and Eurorack Intergration Thread

Another MS-20 Mini and Eurorack integration thread

MS-20 Looping Envelopes Patch Thread

f you wanna a random sound or random “digital CV signal” just put white or pink noise through a sample and hold module controlled by an LFO. It will work really cool