Wednesday, 2 January 1980

The Challenge: Progress

This is a page that I will be updating regularly as a record of my progress and tactics for the items of the challenge. Updated 06/05/2010.

1- Handstand Push up (Free standing)

My Free standing handstand is now over a minute and I can perform just four (I know, it's not great but I'm shite at overhead presses and that's four times better than where I was two weeks back) strict form reps of the headstand push up while spotted for balance. My aim is to increase overall training volume (reps per session) until I reach a stage where I can perform ten strict reps in a set (No arch in the back). From there, I will begin to gradually increase the range of motion by raising the hands on books, not progressing to the next level until ten reps are achieved once more.

2- One armed chin up (Underhand grip)

Achieved in November 2007. Can perform just one rep.

3- One armed pull up (Overhand grip)

Achieved in November 2007. Can perform just one rep.


4- Box Splits

No progress

5- Front splits

I haven't been practising these for six months (around November 2009) but at that time I was very close after a good warm up. Will begin training these once again immediately.

6- Front Lever

Close but no cigar. Have stopped training it as it was fatiguing me for the Iron Cross. 

7- Planche

No progress. I have achieved the Handstand straddle press which i believe to be an important early stepping stone for this skill.

8- The Flag

Achieved February 2010. Awaiting video link. I actually managed it sometime in summer 2009 but lacked a confirmation from someone else.

9- Dragon Flag

Achieved November 2009.

10- Iron Cross

Slow progress. I am training it at least twice a week now but am yet to reach my peak level from last year.


  1. Great to get an update Rich. I've recently been able to do freestanding HSPU and my journey was slightly different compared to your path but what I must say is over head pressing made a great difference. 2 weeks of 5x5 on top of everything else I was doing made the skill so much easier so perhaps if your OHP is lacking giving it some attention could help!

  2. Sure thing James. Although I didn't realise I'd pressed the publish button, I meant to write more before doing so:)

    Congrats on the free standing handstand push ups! Can you do three reps or more?

    I've always been far weaker in the vertical pushing plane than in the vertical pulling. I'd built up to twelve reps of HeSPU but realised I was arching my back pretty badly. Doing strict straight body reps has been like starting again but progress is rapid so far.