Friday, 28 May 2010

Training Status Update 4 - Five Weeks In

Just over a month ago, I set myself three goals in which I want to focus. Here is my progress thus far. In the diagram below, the numbers represent repetitions per set of HeSPU and reps in which my back arched were not added to the total. Volume is the reps per session:

Full Range Handstand Push Up (HSPU)

My goal here was to go back to basics and practice the Headstand Push Up (HePU) with very strict form until I was able to complete ten reps. From there my goal would be to increase the range of motion (by raising the hands progressively on books) until I'm able to perform the HSPU.

Note: A HeSPU is a push up from handstand with the hands on the ground while the HSPU is the same thing on parallets so that you can go much deeper. The latter is many times harder.
 I have only been doing one session a week and became injured between the 7th and 18th of May but the volume increase has been high. I aim to reach ten reps in a couple of sessions.

Handstand Straddle Press

I actually managed to do this a few times over the last month but still lack consistency. I've been working on the eccentric (negative) version in order to build up control and progress is almost as steady as the handstand push up.

Iron Cross

With the two week injury of my shoulder, (falling off the parallel bars while swinging back into handstand) I've made stagnant progress in the Iron Cross. I'm feeling more motivated than ever to achieve it though and have a few new techniques to try out so watch this space.


I'm learning the back handspring and managed to get it on the sprung floor with a spotter and on the soft mats without one. Tumbling's never been my strength but now I'm spending much more time doing gymnastics and feel it's time to remedy this.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Training Status Update 3 - Three Simple Goals

So, I've been back from Borneo for one month now and have made the single biggest change to my training in seven years... I've stopped climbing.

Simply put, I've had far too many active goals for too long. By "active" I mean goals which I am currently training for. As well as the goals on my list, many climbing oriented goals began finding their way into my program e.g 1-5-9 on the campus board. Combined with a busy competition season, my irregular gymnastics training was reduced to a weekly session for which I was already fatigued.

The problem with too many active goals is that your body soon suffers from overtraining. Sessions on fatigued muscles contribute nothing to your strength training goals and result in a lower training volume and lower training effect than training on fresh muscles.

To prevent stagnation, I decided to focus on just two items from my list and one item that I believe to be a necessary stepping stone to achieve the planche. They are:

1) The Iron Cross (back to training with a vengeance)

2) The Full range Handstand Push Up
3) The Handstand Straddle Lift

The Iron Cross, I've been working for a while and will continue to do so. I aim to reach my previously highest level within one more month. 

The full range handstand push up itself is not on the list but will translate to the easier free-standing variant nicely. Finally; the handstand straddle lift has been a side goal I've been working for a while without much progress. Incidentally, after a month of focused training, I achieved it yesterday. (Sloppily).

I will continue to improve upon it and will post a video in the next few weeks. I recently managed a one minute handstand too.