Sunday, June 26, 2016

1985 Miles Davis interview

Some new stuff I hadn't read before in this interview - Miles was as colorful as ever.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Video: Lightning to USB 3 multiple MIDI devices - haQ attaQ 155

The ever-irrepressible Jacob Haq has published a video on incorporating Apple's new Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter into a mobile music-making setup.

The main advantage of this latest adapter over the earlier one is that it has a Lightning port for power.  You could presumably plug your iPad AC adapter and its Lightning cable into the Lightning port and thus charge your iPad and anything connected to the USB port (eg. a USB hub) all at the same time.

Haq uses a battery pack in his video to supply the power.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Rings One: Phase 2: Level A: Below The Rings session

I progressed to a max of 9 chin-ups.  In addition, I was able to do at least 2 sets of 6 reps of the Tuck Roll Chinup (I did do a 3rd set of Tuck Roll Chinups but stopped at 5).

I was able to do 2 sets of 6 reps of the Pistol Squat too - an improvement over the Monday session in which more than 3 reps was a struggle.  I think bike commuting only once this week helped.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rings One: Phase 2: Level A Above The Rings

Today was my first session using my latest idea - subbing the Tuck To Bent-Arm Stand on the parallettes for the Tuck To Tuck Shoulder Stand on the rings.  They're almost the same movement, though the Tuck Shoulder Stand on the rings is a lot harder to do than the Bent-Arm Stand on the parallettes due to the instability of the rings.

Rings One advises practicing the Assisted Tuck to Tuck Shoulder Stand until one is ready to lift both feet off the ground.  However, I figured if I can do the movement on the parallettes already, it would be more fun, and possibly more productive, to practice the movement on the parallettes until I can do it for at least 3 sets of 6 reps in good form and ease, then try to do the movement on the rings.

Dips (rings) - 2 sets of 6 reps
Tuck To Bent Arm Stand (p-bars) - 3 sets of 3 reps
Tuck Hold (p-bars) - 3 sets of 15-sec. holds
Hanging Knee Raise (rings) - 2 sets of 4 reps, 5 sec. hold per rep and pause in Top Position for RTO (rings turn out).

The Hanging Knee Raises are one of the core/lower-body supplemental exercises prescribed for preparatory training for the L-Sit.  I'll continue practicing the other core/lower body supplemental exercise (Front Scale) on the in-between days, otherwise it's just too much time for one session.

Some weird tension in my right forearm.  I think it's a technique issue - have to work on it.  The bruises on my palms are well-scabbed over but they're still sensitive enough to pressure to be a distraction.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Revisited GMB's L-Sit Tutorial, plus small update

Last night, I revisited GMB's L-Sit Tutorial.  As I've reported before, my inability to perform an L-Sit has held back my progress in both the Rings One and Parallettes One (aka "P1") program.  The L-Sit Tutorial claims that Parallettes One covers the L-Sit in detail, but all I recall seeing is practicing the Tuck Sit, then suddenly jumping  to the full L-Sit.  This could of course be user error in that I simply missed the part where P1does indeed cover the L-Sit in detail, or it could be that all the exercises in Phase One (for Level A or B) are supposed to prep you for the L-Sit in Phase 2.

In any case, I definitely missed this part of the tutorial:

Programming Your L-Sit Practice

I recommend training the L-Sit at least three days a week, either before your regular training session as part of your warm-up, or on its own.
  • Start with stretching the areas that you need to (if flexibility is an issue for you).
  • Then practice the progressions in the L-Sit video above, up to the most difficult level you can do, for 3-5 sets of 5 seconds at that level.
  • Next, move on to the supplementary strength exercises. Pick two for the upper body and two for the core and lower body. Rotate through the exercises until you hit the ones that are the most difficult for you, then focus on those to make your L-sit as solid as possible.
Oops!  You're supposed to practice the L-Sit progression AND the supplementary strength exercises! I was practicing the Hanging Knee Raise but not practicing the L-Sit progression itself.

I'm covered for the upper body part by simply practicing the Rings One routine at my current level and phase (Level A, Phase 2), because that routine includes Dips and the Pulling Prep when I do Chinups with Pulling Prep.   I've been missing the Front Scale practice, so I'm throwing that in as part of my quick warmup on days that I bike commute.

Practicing pistol squats on my Below The Rings days was working out well until last week.  I believe the combination of accumulated pain in my perineum due to bike saddle pressure and just fatigue from cycling has compromised my pistol squat performance.  My best performance was 3 sets of 6 reps.  Now its a struggle to do 4 in one set.  I'm hoping that taking today off from bike commuting - so I only have one bike commute for the whole week - will relieve my perineum pain and allow my legs and hips more recovery time.

I bruised my palms when my bike slid on a slick spot on a wet road almost 2 weeks ago.  So all my ring training sessions so far have been Below The Rings, as none of those moves put pressure on my palms.  I'll see if I can do an Above The Rings session tomorrow.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Cycling saddle search

Bought a Specialized Phenom Expert saddle a while back after realizing the stock saddle on my Renegade adventure road bike was too narrow for my sit bones - basically no sit bone support.  Dunno why I never noticed when I was test riding the Renegade.

The Phenom gave me the needed sit bone support but I still felt too much pressure on the perineum.  I think it's because the Phenom is designed for an aggressive road riding position, whereas I tend to ride in a relaxed road riding position.  A nice info graphic showing four different riding positions can be seen here.

Thanks to the store's return policy I was able to swap out the Phenom for a Specialized Avatar Comp, which was one of the saddles recommended by the Spokes lady after she took my sit bone measurements and asked me about my riding style.  A quick test ride in the parking lot afterwards seemed to indicate less pressure on the pubic bone arch/perineum, and a more "in the hammock" kind of feel.

The real test will be on my next full commute ride.

Monday, June 06, 2016

BBC Documentary on Moebius

Jean "Moebius" Giraud was one of the most influential comic book artists of all time.  His science fiction art in particular has been an inspiration to me.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Interesting hip mobility exercise

I started practicing this exercise last week.  It'll be interesting to see what this does for my hip/low-back pain issues, in addition to the advertised benefits: