Current training – September 2013

I’m still cycling through lift days, move days and run/swim days, generally two of each a week. This pattern has been working really nicely for a while now and I see no reason to change it.

It’s a nice balance of structure and randomness.

I’m currently doing ring dips and deadlifts for my lifting. I have been following a volume-based approach which is working nicely. I set a timer of twenty minutes and cycle back and forth between the two exercises, staying away from failure, and taking as much rest as I need – you can get a lot done in not much time if you put your mind to it.

Those sessions look like this:

  •  A1: Warm up
  • B1: Turkish get up plus overhead walk – 2 x 1L/1R
  • C1: Deadlift/Ring dip – 20mins = 20-50 reps of each
  • D2: Farmers walk –varied weights & distance
  • E1: Rope climb – as many as possible in 5 minutes

The move days are some combination of bridging, crawls and hand balancing.

The run/swim days are pretty self-explanatory!


A revised dip/muscle up progression

I wrote a post a while ago about progressions for ring dips and muscle ups. As I’ve been working on them it’s become clear that:

  • The jumps in difficulty were too big
  • RTO dips are too hard for me right now
  • I need to add more steps.

I’ve since revised the progression I’m working on. For dips it now looks like:

    1. Forearms touching rings
    2. Forearms touching rings with hollow
    3. Forearms off rings
    4. Forearms off rings with hollow
    5. Keep rings turned out
    6. Keep rings turned out with hollow

      My muscle up progression is taken from this post by Coach Sommer:

        1. Kipping narrow grip (inside shoulders)
        2. Kipping medium grip (shoulder width)
        3. Kipping wide grip (outside shoulders)
        4. No kipping narrow grip (inside shoulders)
        5. No kipping medium grip (shoulder width)
        6. No kipping wide grip (outside shoulders)

          Right now I’ve dialled right back to the start and am working dips twice a week. Once I am doing them with forearms off of the rings I will switch to one day of dips and another of muscle ups.

          I’m thinking this will work fine until it comes to RTO dip/muscle up integration – that is very hard and may need another rethink. At that point I may take the two skills in different directions: dips go RTO, MU go for minimal forward lean or ring routines.

          Current ring dip/muscle up progression

          This is a summary of the progression I plan to work through for ring dips and muscle ups.

          It’s a good example of how bodyweight exercises can progress and become more challenging without simply adding weight.

          I’ll be working on them twice a week.


          Session 1 Goals
          Muscle up Increase ROM – currently can’t do reps without starting with bent arms
          Increase sets/reps to 3 x 5
          No momentum
          Session 2 Goals
          Ring dip No arm contact on rings, rings held turned out (palms slightly forward)
          Keep hollow position during reps
          Increase sets/reps to 3 x 5

          Turning out the rings on dips makes them much more difficult. Adding the hollow position even more so.

          I was able to do these dips for 3 x 4 on the first session. Adding an extra rep per set shouldn’t take too long. Once there I’ll keep the sets/reps static and focus keeping each rep slow and controlled.

          The muscle ups started at 3 x 3 so there’s a bit more work to do there – my wrists are the limiting factor more then anything else.

          Stage 2

          Session 1 Goals
          Muscle up Integrate RTO/hollow dip into muscle up
          Remove any momentum required to do this initially
          Increase sets/reps to 3 x 5
          Session 2 Goals
          Ring dip Maintain ability to do higher reps (3 x 5) with RTO and hollow while building strength in MU
          All reps at slow, controlled tempo

          Turning out the rings and adding the hollow will make the muscle ups much more challenging. My reps will definitely drop so I’ll keep the dips as they are to maintain the ability to do at least 5 reps.

          I expect the transition to be where I’ll need to build most strength. If progress is slow I’ll start dropping into the transition in my dip reps as well to work that section of the movement more often.

          Stage 3

          Session 1 Goals
          Muscle up Maintain ability to do 3 x 5 with hollow and RTO dip
          All reps at slow, controlled tempo
          Session 2 Goals
          Muscle up with embedded static holds Work ability to use MU to move into static holds
          MU to l-sit – come into l-sit as dip rather than from support, work up to reps
          MU, lower to front lever – work up to reps (i.e. front lever pull to MU)
          MU, roll to back lever from top of transition (no dip) – reduce momentum in back roll, difficulty in back lever

          In this stage the RTO/hollow muscle ups go into maintenance. I will continue to progress the exercise by starting to play with different entrances and exits.

          I’m planning to do this rather than work full ring routines simply because I’ll be able to work the individual skills harder this way.

          And after that?

          I’m not sure – full ring routines
          would be an obvious direction to go in. Chances are I will be a bit dipped out and want to introduce a different pressing movement.

          As always – thanks to Ido Portal & Gymnastics bodies for the information and inspriation.

          Current workouts – July 2011

          Life is still pretty hectic, which means the blog is pretty quiet. All three people in my little family have our birthdays in July which keeps us very busy – it’s always lots of fun though.

          The introduction of florieo work last month was brilliant. I haven’t stuck that closely to my planned workouts in a long time.

          That said, I do like to change things up so have added a few extra bits into my weekly routine for the summer months – namely some MovNat style training and muscle up practice.

          I’ve been following the MovNat guys for some time and in October they are finally coming to London to do a seminar. I’ve signed up and am really looking forward to it. It is a great way to train but weather/equipment issues sometimes make it difficult. I hope to learn ways to apply that style of training to an indoor setting ready for the winter as well as learn some great new skills.

          As summer is here the weather shouldn’t be a problem (in theory) so I’ve added in some MovNat style stuff on Mondays. I can run to a park in about 5 minutes and there is a great little trail through woods with trees, fallen logs and various other bits to climb, throw and carry – all good.

          Previously I didn’t have the space to work both below and above my rings without adjusting the height, so muscle up training was impossible. Since moving house this isn’t the case so I’m going to start working towards this skill – it will really advance the stuff I can do on the gymnastic rings. The main challenge at the moment is the false grip, so I’m working that hard on Wednesdays and practicing the transition between pull up and dip on Mondays.

          I’m also pushing my back lever at the moment using either one leg extended (10 sec holds) or half straddle (5 sec holds).

          Kettlebells and clubs are in there for conditioning and leg work and I’ve kept a fair bit of florieo work throughout the week. This is a really nice mix of interesting bodyweight exercise and moving medium weights for a lot of reps. These are my two favourite ways to train.

          As last month all sessions begin with some joint mobility, a wrist routine and Ido’s squat clinic.

          Monday – muscle up practice & MovNat
          A1: Back lever – 4×5-10 sec
          B1: Kneeling muscle ups – 3×5
          C1: MovNat style training

          Work through A1 to C1 in sequence

          Wednesday – lots of ring work and KBs
          A1: Rotation into low bridge (as far as can go) – 10
          B1: False grip rows – 3×5-10
          C1: Weighted ring dips – 3×5-10
          D1: Ring routine – 3 rounds
          E1: KB swing/jerk – using 24kg

          Work through A1 to E1 in sequence

          Friday – Florieo work and powerclubs
          A1: Slide to low bridge – 5 (with 5 sec hold)
          A2: Rotations into arch using wall – 10
          A3: QDR rotational push ups (beginner) – 10
          A4: Chin ups – 5-10
          B1: Powerclubs (mostly double swipes)

          A1-4 for three rounds, then B1