Sunday, 3 January 2016

What I've been up to

Before starting this post I looked over some old posts and realised I posted nothing at all in 2015. I was working some longer hours and still training hard but that’s no excuse. This year I plan on putting in some effort and posting a bit more regularly.

When I started this blog it was mostly about my homemade fitness equipment and a little about the natural method. I was much more into a natural fitness kind of focus. I’ve since changed my focus a little, aiming for higher level performance goals which require more specialised training. For me this means more focus on gymnastics and some heavy (heavy –ish) powerlifting.

A dip variation
Last year was a slow but steady year of progress on the gymnastic bodies foundations 1, and moving some skills into foundations 2. My goal moving forward is to make good progress on F2 throughout the year. I also want to get moving on the handstand series again, but shoulder mobility is holding me back, which brings me to my next gymnastics focus. I have the stretch series which builds to a pancake, pike, back bridge, front and middle splits. I have been putting in reasonably consistent effort into this and I want to keep making progress on each of these. (Here is a link to the programs, I like them, but I don’t get paid to sell them, take a look if you like, or don’t).

Now for the why. For one thing I really enjoy the process on working more and more difficult progressions and building strength for the gymnastic movements. As well and a lot of the auxiliary training that goes with it (like weighted dislocates that Coach Sommer always talks about on the Paleo solution podcast, here, here and here). I find that having new variations and auxiliary training hits new angles I’ve never trained and exposes holes I never knew I had. It’s not variation for variations sake; it’s about finding where you’re weak. This is another reason I enjoy it, it exposes my weakness and I can’t more forward without fixing it. While I still like simple body weight, and natural training systems (whatever that happens to mean), for me I find this gymnastics training approach to be the most beneficial for my training. I strongly suggest taking a look, and adding in some more focused gymnastics training.

Still working on form and depth
I also got back into some powerlifting last year, and have started collecting some basic equipment (some is mine, some is only borrowed for now). Currently I’m working on my squat and deadlift, but I’m getting some bumper plates soon to begin a little Olympic lifting. The goal here is roughly a 200kg squat and 250kg deadlift. That’s strong, but I think it’s achievable without having to get too fancy on it. At that point I figure any stronger in those lifts won’t really carry over to help me elsewhere. I could be wrong and if I am my plan might change. While sandbags and functional training is great (and I plan on continuing, maybe with some strongman as well) I think 1-2 sessions a week building up that high end strength can be really beneficial.

I’ll keep this short and end it here by saying this is all with the natural method philosophy in mind. “Be strong to be useful”. As I’ve said before, it’s more than about just being fit for me, but to be able to help others. One day I might find I pushed this too far, or I’ll find that right spot to maintain. At any rate I’m always open to change. 

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