Friday, August 05, 2016

Ring One: Phase 2 Update - All above, all the time!

So far this summer, my Rings One training hasn't been that consistent.  I've taken a few days off here and there to travel out of town to help a friend work on music.  I've also had nearly two weeks of bike commuting daily due to work on our Metro system - the service disruptions would have added so much time to my commute I figured I might as well commute by bike instead.

Each day that I commute by bike is a day I'm much less likely to train on the rings.  During those two weeks of daily biking, I stopped at one of the exercise stations along the bike trail that I ride on in the evenings and did a couple of sets of Tuck-to-Bent Arm Stands, Skin The Cats, and Pullups.

This week I decided to change up my training by doing all of my Rings One workouts as an Above The Rings session.  I'd made some progress on my Below The Rings workouts, particularly in the pull-ups and the Tuck Roll Chin-ups.  However, focusing on a few things at a time for a couple months seems to produce results for me.  My two weakest movements in Ring One: Phase 2 are both in the Above The Rings workout - the Tuck to Tuck Shoulder Stand and the L-Sit.  So if I practice Above The Rings 3 days a week instead of 1-2 times a week, my progress should speed up a bit in those two exercises.

The result after one week of doing only Above The Rings sessions:

Dips - 8 reps max
Tuck-To-Bent Arm Stand (still done on parallettes) - 5 reps max
L-Sit Variation (Slight Alternating Leg Extension) - 3 sec hold/leg
Hanging Knee Raise (5 sec. hold) - 4 reps max

I'm sure my performance in the Below The Rings session will drop as I continue to practice only Above The Rings,  but my lack of progress in those two Above The Rings exercises - especially the L-Sit - has been holding me back from further advancement in Rings One, so I think this is worth doing.  I think once I get to 6 reps/set of Tuck-To-Bent Arm Stand with good technique and mid to low effort, I'll start testing my ability to do the same movement on the rings.  If I progress to doing 12+ dips a set with low effort and high technique, and 10+ reps of Tuck-to-Tuck Shoulder Stand on the rings without much progress on the L-Sit, I may switch to doing a more L-Sit focused routine 3 days a week, but that's still far enough in the future to not worry about too much now.