4 Months 4 Moves: (Phase 1) Month 4 Results

Finally… the conclusion of The Pursuit of Movement’s Phase 1. I began this program back in April, right after turning 31 and deciding that I didn’t want to be old. 4 months of training later, I’ve added a few skills to my repertoire and also met a few shortcomings.

These results were measured as of August 15th 2013, shortly before I moved out of South Korea and traveled for a month. Let’s see how I did:

Handstand

handstand

3 months: 25 seconds
4 months: 28 seconds (GOAL OF 30 SECS ALMOST MET)

  • My PB didn’t cross the benchmark I had hoped, but my understanding of the movement has greatly improved. This is reflected in the consistency of my holds.
  • A lot of my previous PBs have been more reliant on balance with a compromise on technique and form (body line). This month had been spent trying to bridge the gap between these 2 factors.

Planche

planche
(not my personal best there…)

3 months: < 1 second – high straddle
4 months: 3 seconds – high straddle (GOAL MET! sort of…)

  • This calls for celebration and reflection. I’m celebrating meeting this goal, but the more I learned about this technique, the more I realize how much I’ve compromised form and approach for holding time. Basically, I’ve been cheating.
  • My hips are too high (not aligned with shoulders) and I really should have a better grasp of the advanced tuck before jumping into straddle.

L Sit

L sit

3 months: 20 seconds
4 months: 20 seconds (NOTHING CHANGED! GOAL OF 30 SECS NOT MET)

  • What can I say? Either I got lucky for month 3 or this move is just that hard. Part of it might have been me getting distracted and working on other things. Time to get back to basics.

Bridge Rotations

bridge-rotation

3 months: 4 per side – low bridge
4 months: 4 per side – high bridge (GOAL EXCEEDED!)

  • 1 word: yoga. Seriously, the back stretches I’ve been doing have helped me tremendously in progressing through this movement.
  • Also focused on a few nuances like hand-eye coordination and being very precise with hand placement.
  • Shoulder girdle and lower back have strengthened considerably.

Muscle Ups

muscle-ups

3 months: 5
4 months: 7 (GOAL MET!)

  • These are really fun to do once you adapt to the transition. Grip, bar width, and wrist placement. Once that’s settled just embrace the rhythm.
  • Working on MUs on gymnastic rings for Phase 2.

One arm chin-up (OAC)

OAC

3 months: 0.8 (hand on bicep assisted)/ 3 second negative
4 months: 1 (hand on bicep assisted)/ 10 second negative (GOAL OF 1 NOT MET)

  • Although it looks as if I may have bitten off more than I could chew with my expectations with this move, I think I’m finally on the right track with how I’m approaching my training.
  • Focusing more on negatives have dramatically increased my shoulder strength. Combining them with 1 rep concentric pulls is helping me progress much faster than the first 2 months. This goal will carry over (and most likely be met) in Phase 2.

CONCLUSION

Let’s see: 2 goals met, 1 goal exceeded, 1 goal nearly met, and 2 goals not met. Not bad for my first go at self-training.

Ever since childhood, I’ve had a tendency to not finish things I’ve started, especially when they got difficult. I always knew I was capable of doing this and that, but I had never put in that investment of consistent time and dedication. Well, 4 months of the Pursuit of Movement showed me what I could accomplish when I stubbornly commit to something. This “training regimen” led to newly formed habits. And these habits along with the changes I’ve experienced have molded a new lifestyle.

Along with improvement and revelation comes humility. The deeper you dig the more you realize how complex everything becomes and how little you actually know, both on a mental and physiological level. What you thought was 25% of the journey was likely in fact just 5%. Drat!

But no long journey was ever a wasted one. Life would be boring if mastery only took a few years instead of a lifetime.

Phase 1 has ended. Phase 2 is set to begin.

 

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