Author Topic: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs (feedback welcome)  (Read 8783 times)

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs (feedback welcome)
« on: August 10, 2008, 09:13:04 AM »
The whole point of it all

Here I outline the purpose of my training and where I want to go with it.  This will hopefully help me put some structure into my training and allow me to judge whether I'm making quantifiable progress toward realizing my goals.

Teaching.  This is the first and foremost of my goals in parkour.  Having seen firsthand the benefits of this highly mental and physical discipline, I consider it a worthy cause to teach it to others.  More than anything other route, this is how I will become useful.  Of course, this includes teaching the philosophy as well as the physical movement.  The most impact can be made by teaching this to those who can be most useful with it most often.  This class of people includes law enforcement officers, other educators (in various methodologies), firefighters, military personnel, and other such classic examples of people who can use this discipline.  The most personally rewarding people to teach it to, however, are kids.  This is because I have always enjoyed working with kids, and I feel that this is the age in which a smallest guidance can make the largest impact on a personal scale.  Of course, these preferences in no way preclude teaching anyone who want to learn, as well as learning from whomever can teach me anything.

Direct aid.  This is the classic example of how parkour can be used: directly benefiting others in need.  Though this purpose takes precedence over teaching whenever it actually arises, I list it as secondary because I project that its incidence will be much lower than that of teaching.  Also, I have the chance to help many more people by training to teach than by training to help others.  Whenever anyone I helped on the path of the traceur directly aids someone, I will have been useful.

Personal growth.  The path of the traceur is one that appeals to me personally.  Long ago, I used to do a lot of community service projects with the American Red Cross and the United Way Kids' Way.  I feel that since I've left that by the wayside, I've allowed myself to grow callous to the needs of others and make excuses as to why I suppress compassionate urges.  Training in a discipline in which altruism and respect are core tenets has reawakened in me whatever it was that I had before, and I consider this a good thing.

Self defense.  Self-preservation is good.  There's not much more to be said about this one.

Health.  Growing up, I hated sports.  It wasn't until I rediscovered swimming last summer that I started really exercising.  Parkour has gotten me interested in my physical health, both in exercise and diet.  This is preventative as well as enjoyable: I have a rather weak constitution, so I must be live my life healthily to compensate.

Fun.  The simple joy of overcoming obstacles, learning about my body, and so on is a compelling reason for training, but I believe it should be ancillary to other, higher purposes.  However, this should never become a chore.  If it does, I'm doing it wrong.




Skills I'll need

The next step is identifying the skills I've I'll need to work on in order to fulfill the purposes detailed above.  I've tried to be as complete as possible, but maybe I'll realize through my training that I missed something.

Strength.  Like it or not, I'm going to have to accept that I need more strength.  Upper body, lower body, core.  Currently I'm not strong enough to execute many of the moves I need to be able to perform as effortlessly as I need to be able to perform them.  I resist building strength subconsciously.  I liked my slim body type before I started training in parkour, and so I always view my muscular gains with a split mind.  Since I'm losing what I considered one of my better physical assets (rockin' the twink look), I must keep in mind the benefits that outweigh what detriments tenfold.  Becoming physically stronger will allow me to continue to practice for many years to come, and it will allow me to help myself and others more effectively.  Furthermore, my health will benefit greatly from me putting on more lean mass and conditioning my bones to become denser.

Control.  Control is one of my stronger points right now, having done a lot of rail work while various limbs healed.  Since I lack power, I tend to compensate by repeating a movement over and over until I get it perfectly, and always with as little wasted energy as possible, at least for the small movements.  I think, though, this has led to a deficit of a different type of control: versatility.  Doing only one movement over and over has hurt me immensely in being able to flow through an environment, since my path becomes static.  This will definitely help me cut down on the injuries, which come up because I lack control on bigger movements.

Fear.  Doubtlessly my biggest obstacle currently.  Since that bad injury back in June, fear has been the limiting factor in my progression.  It is absolutely necessary for me to continue to push through my fear and do things I know I can do, building up more and more confidence.  On the other hand, I must be careful not to sustain another major blow to my confidence, as it's already very low.  I cannot teach in the way I want to if I haven't the self-assurance to execute the maneuvers I'm teaching.

Creativity.  Another weak spot.  I tend to see the same things over and over.  I must develop an eye for creative paths.  I'm not sure how I can do this, but maybe some of the following will work.  I can train in new places, on new obstacles.  I can train with different people.  I can learn new techniques and variations on old techniques.  I can ban myself from using a certain favoured vault and flow through an environment.  However I do it, becoming more creative will teach me more control and allow me to keep having fun in my training.

Acrobatics.  Okay, I know that I train mostly in parkour, but I think I may have to start dabbling in free running and tricking.  Besides it looking like a lot of fun, it will also help me learn better control of my body, which in turn helps me help others.  In addition, it's a crowd pleaser, which means more people will be willing to sit down and learn with me if I can impress with flips.  This is especially true of my favoured students, kids.  Heck, maybe I'll even be able to make money off of this someday.  Is it parkour?  No.  But it can help my parkour.

Cross training.  Learning how to use my body means learning how it interacts with my environment in all situations.  Cross training in various other disciplines will help me become more rounded, and will keep my body from becoming used to one thing.  The things I must cross train in include running, swimming, and climbing.  Other things that would help my parkour include just about every sport, juggling, dancing, and all sorts of other physical tricks.  But I will not cross train in weightlifting.  No way, no how.

Service.  The path of the traceur, I feel, includes selfless service to others.  This means more than dedicating a certain time each week or so to serve soup at a kitchen.  This means fully embracing the idea of serving others every day, helping out others in small ways alongside one's daily routine.  This is not to say that one should be patronizing or, gods forbid, subservient toward others, but rather that the default attitude should be of respect, consideration, and kindness.  Of course, being helpful can sometimes mean not doing something for someone.  I think to properly improve this, I may have to learn the intricacies of the service culture here in Austin, or perhaps on a larger scale.  Only this way can I effectively and efficiently help others.  Of course, this being tied so closely to what I believe a traceur is, I will be training this by going out and serving others.

Teaching.  I am constantly trying to learn this anyway.  I get the feeling it makes me sound a little pretentious or like a know-it-all; I must become more humble about this.  Teaching is the noblest of professions.  Learning how to communicate better is going to be integral for my personal path as a traceur.  Learning how to explain the philosophy the movements, and how the two meet is an art I'm still refining.  Furthermore, I'll have to learn how to explain this through various media (print, video, sound, and in person) and to all different types of people (teens, children, parents, the media, and special audiences like police).

Knowledge.  I think this will be how I define myself as a teacher.  Being knowledgeable about what I'm talking about, having a wide breadth and depth of knowledge about physiology, biochemistry, kinesiology, architecture, ecology, survivalism, and all sorts of other applicable fields will help me become best equipped to help others, teach others, and move through my environment safely and efficiently.  Training in this can include massive amounts of reading and learning, so that my database of knowledge can expand appropriately.

Social skills.  Another of my weaknesses.  I grew up being a quiet bookworm, and I hang out with many of the same.  Only recently have I become a more social person, but I'm still struggling with awkwardness.  It's quite apparent, I feel, and being self-conscious about it doesn't make it any easier.  However, in order to help others properly, it will be necessary to interact with people all day long, so I must become more at ease with people.  I'll have to overcome this somehow.  I just don't quite know how just yet.




Current goals

Except for the first one, each of the following goals is measurable and is a clear step toward improving at least one of the skills I enumerated.

Continuous
* Be useful to a stranger every day I have the opportunity.

22 August
* Set up an info session with UTPD.

End of August
* Dive confidently into kongs.
* Juggle three objects for 30 seconds.
* Understand energy pathways.

15 September
* Confidently execute rail-to-rail precisions.
* Swim 14 lengths of my pool without stopping.
* Run a mile continuously.
* QM a quarter mile continuously.

End of September
* Top out smoothly by the end of September.

15 October
* Hold a handstand for 10 seconds.
* Hold an L-sit for 10 seconds.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 08:12:41 AM by Patrick Yang »
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2008, 10:23:11 PM »
I didn't read the paragraphs, to be honest.  Skipped to your goal...no offense intended just didn't want to read all that so late at night :P

It is great that you identified some awesome goals.

Any plan of action to achieve these goals?  Do you need help with this or would you like to try your own methods?  Would you appreciate advice?

You also did not address your diet.  If your physical goals are important, it may be prudent to post your diet up here so that we may identify changes you can make to accommodate your goals.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2008, 01:04:40 AM »
I didn't read the paragraphs, to be honest.  Skipped to your goal...no offense intended just didn't want to read all that so late at night :P

None taken.  Though I appreciate and welcome any input, certainly none is expected.  This is, after all, mostly a place for myself, to keep track of my own progress.  The bits about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it are rather wordy, and mostly they serve to remind myself of the purpose of doing what I'm doing.


Any plan of action to achieve these goals?  Do you need help with this or would you like to try your own methods?  Would you appreciate advice?

This is going to take some more consideration.  I have about 1/5 of this done in a .txt file on my computer.  It took some five days to write that first post, actually, so the plan of action is going to take a little bit longer.  And certainly, I'd appreciate any advice I could get.


You also did not address your diet.  If your physical goals are important, it may be prudent to post your diet up here so that we may identify changes you can make to accommodate your goals.

This is true!  I hadn't thought about my diet when I was writing this up.  This is not for lack of ignorance or need, for I acknowledge the fact that my diet is an important factor in my health, and I've been trying to change it about.  This has been met with varying degrees of success.  I think this is due to a lack of structure.  I'll order a few-day full inquisition into my current diet to begin tomorrow morning.
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 10:30:34 PM »
This is a three-day sample of my current diet.  I currently weigh probably somewhere between 133-138 lbs, and I stand at about 5'-6.5".  I don't know my BF%, but I have a thin body type - you can see a hint of my ribs under my armpits, and in the morning you can see the slightest suggestion of my abs.


Mon 11 Aug 2008

Four baby cut carrots, dipped in peanut butter (unsalted peanuts milled at the store)
Steel cut oats, 3/4 cup dry
Rousong, a lot
Frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, lima beans, and corn), about 2.5 cups, with a drizzling of olive oil

unwiches:
1 medium tomato
3.5 oz turkey deli meat
2 pieces of red leaf lettuce
1 large handful of straw mushrooms
eight baby cut carrots w/ PB
1 banana
2 large tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese

very small banana nut muffin
green tea

1 slice of pizza: spinach, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, green chiles

Some brie & small cup of chocolate soy milk



Tue 12 Aug 2008

1.5 medium tomatoes
half a large onion
1 garlic clove
half an orange bell pepper
handful of straw mushrooms
5 eggs
olive oil

6 baby cut carrots w/ PB

Taco Bueno:
1 soft taco (chicken, lettuce, pico, tomatoes, onions, guac, sour cream, cheddar cheese, wheat tortilla)
1 muchaco (chicken, lettuce, pico, tomatoes, onions, guac, sour cream, cheddar cheese, wheat pita)
refried beans
rice

handful of white grapes
1/2 cup yogurt



Wed 13 Aug 2008

6 baby cut carrots & PB
large bowl of mung bean soup (mung beans & water)
6 oz pork

Shake:
handful of strawberries
handful of grapes
1 large banana
handful of carrots
handful of sunflower seeds
handful of cashews
scoop of chocolate protein powder
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2008, 07:27:24 AM »
quality of your food is pretty good...

is this a comprehensive list of food for each day or a sampling?

If this is all you are eating, then you need to eat much more.  Tons more.  I have met you.  You need more food.

Most people wth your body type or activity level are eating 3-5x as much food as you are.

Your veggie consumption is stellar.  But it is lacking the absolute amount of calories you need.  Eat more fruit, more meat and definitely more fat.

You likely fall into the category of people who need to take shots of olive oil throughout the day.

For a person like you, the tortillas and all that aren't bad at all...but pack them chock full of meat, guacamole and follow up with a handful of nuts.

If you start eating more you will see weight gains and energy level improvements.

Just a suggestion

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2008, 07:30:39 AM »
Also, your weight and body description leads me to believe you need to put on some muscle mass.

Going to need a strength routine.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2009, 10:55:37 PM »
I have been absent from the Austin parkour scene since June due to work, travel, school, and most devastatingly, a knee injury that has left me with some patellar tracking problems.  I'm still trying to figure out how to fix my knee (doctors have been spectacularly unhelpful), but I'm getting pretty disgusted at myself sitting around and neglecting my training.  I've been getting soft and have lost a lot of lean mass — each ounce of which I fought hard to put on.  Enough!  It's time to get back into the game.

To effect this, I will be working bar and ring work, mostly on campus.  I will also be doing a bit of other stuff to regain some posterior chain power, with special attention to rehabilitation of the right knee (though the left is still a little delicate too).

I will break this into my purposes, my goals, and my plan.  My purposes comprise what I want out of the training.  My goals are the specific things that will help me achieve my purposes.  The plan is self-explanatory.

Purposes
  • Improve general upper body strength and power
  • Improve posterior chain power
  • Rehabilitate right knee
  • Get a functionally strong core
  • Look great without a shirt

Goals
  • 15 continuous full ROM push ups on rings with good form
  • 20 second frogstand
  • 15 continuous pull ups, elbows in, hands shoulder width, bar to nips
  • 15 continuous knees to elbows
  • 15 continuous skin-the-cats
  • 15 continuous pistols on left leg
  • 10 second natural leg curls

Future goals — the previous list feeds into these, or on hold until knee is rehabilitated
  • 20 second back lever
  • 20 second handstand
  • 15 continuous muscle ups
  • 15 continuous smooth climb ups
  • sprints
  • box jumps

I'm still working on the plan.  If anyone happens to read this and has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 11:14:38 PM by Patrick Yang »
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2009, 07:22:35 AM »
Your goals seem OK - though some of them seem a bit redundant or unnecessary to me - if you can do all of them then you have a really solid foundation of strength.

The PU on rings is a good goal.  Make sure that you feet are at least even with hand level, though.  I would suggest that you start with a goal of 15 PU on rings then progress to a goal of 15 PPPU on PB with elevated feet (so that shoulders and feet are even) and then a goal of 15 PPPU on rings with same feet elevation.  If you are going to do this then you can probably cut out the Frog Stand work since PPPU, imho, will be more effective.  Either that or keep the PU on rings for now and replace frog stand work with the PPPU as I specified here.

You know what to do for continuous pullups - I would recommend GTG and/or another endurance based program like Death-By-Pullups or Elastic Density Training -- both of those get numbers up pretty quickly (assuming you can already do some nips to bar pullups.)  These methods also apply to the skin the cats and knees to elbows -- though both of these moves have a high translation to one another and should help your FL and BL, as well.  As I said, both are good goals for a foundation of strength.  Approach them as endurance goals, for now, since your goal is to increase your endurance of doing these moves.

For the leg curls...just do them at least 3x a week, imho, unless there is significant strain on the knee joint.

Contact steve for help with your knee tracking problem - he can probably recommend some rehab movements and foam rolling/massage techniques to help you out.  I am thinking that foam rolling/tennis balling the IT Band, Quad and Hammie will help with your tracking a lot.  Also, you may want to consider some closed chain exercises for the knee like light squats or DLs, if possible.  Steve will have more info on that.

In terms of diet...eat a lot, obviously.

By the by, I would say to start working towards your HS goal immediately.  Its relatively low intensity and handstands are VERY beneficial in all aspects of movement.

Offline Dudley

  • Oryctolagus Cuniculus
  • *
  • Posts: 26
  • Karma: +1/-0
    • View Profile
    • Dudley Photography
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2009, 09:08:47 AM »
Patrick, this is my first time looking at your training log and I like the mental approach you have taken to your goals. You have a great eye for the quality of food that you eat. I absolutely agree with Chris that you need more meat and healthy fat in your diet. You may want to consider tracking what you eat with a <a href="http://www.fitday.com/" target="_blank">food log[/url]. I have tracked *almost* everything that I have eaten for 2.5 months an it has helped me to monitor my cravings and maintain a consistency in caloric intake as well as measure my protein, carb and fat intake. I see your posts in General Fitness and Diet from time to time and I'm sure you have read these but I am including the links for convenience.
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/05/eating-right-how-to-get-started/" target="_blank">Eating Right: How to Get Started[/url]
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/the-relationship-between-diet-and-exercise/" target="_blank">The Relationship Between Diet and Exercise[/url]
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/a-call-for-kiss/" target="_blank">A Call for KISS[/url]

As I am sure that you are aware, you won't gain weight if you don't eat for it. You will need to increase your food intake overall to aid in strength building and recovery from your workouts (i.e. one gram of protein per lbs of bodyweight, everyday). I am fortunate to live in the same state as Chris Salvato (Colorado), we have trained together several times and he helped me to build a strength routine. Which, I followed from 8/31/09 to 11/1/09. The routine is outlined in my own training log (weighted pull-ups/dips, etc.). I saw great improvement following this routine (esp. in climb-ups), and have since built on to my routine to pursue greater strength gains. Similar to your goals, I seek to maintain a high-strength to low-bodyweight ratio.

I think your goals are good start, you can also consider developing more of them if/when you add more exercises to your workout. Accomplishing your goals is a great confidence booster and will translate into the rest of your life.

For teaching and social skills I would recommend trying to talk to one stranger per day, male or female. Think of it as a social experiment. Everyone's reactions will be different. You can start with something as simple as saying hello; try to take it farther than that. Talk to employees at the grocery store, people you see every day, but don't know, etc. You never know what new friendships can unfold. Being comfortable talking to people you don't know will translate greatly into your teaching, and the confidence you gain from improving your training will definitely help.

Let me know if you have any additional questions or comments. I look forward to reading about your progression in your log in the near future.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2009, 09:59:03 AM »
I imagined my overarching plan to achieve later goals in terms of a tech tree, like in a real-time strategy game.  This is how I imagined it:

MU / OAP tree
Dips ————————> L Dips ————————> Ring Dips ——————————> Muscle Ups
Pull ups ——> Clapping Pulls ————> Ring Pulls ———/
                              \———> Archer Pulls ——> One Armed Pulls



"Around the World" tree (not sure if this is what it's called — straight hang to front lever to inverted straight hang to back lever and back)
Skin The Cat ————————————> Adv. Tuck Skin The Cat ——————————————\
Knees To Elbows —————————> Adv. Tuck Knees To Elbows ————————————\
Tuck Front Lever ——> Adv. Tuck FL ——> 1 Foot FL ——> Front Lever ————> Ice Cream Makers ——> Front Lever to Inverted Straight Hang ———> Around The World
Tuck Back Lever ———> Adv. Tuck BL ———> 1 Foot BL ———> Back Lever ———————————————————————> Back Lever to Inverted Straight Hang ———/


HSPU tree
Frog ——> Tuck ——> Adv. Tuck ——> Straddle ——> 1/2 Lay ——> Planche ——\
Push Ups ———> One Armed Push Ups ———> Pseudo Planche Push Ups ———————> Planche Push Ups ———> Press Handstand ———> Headstand Push Ups ———> Handstand Pushups
Wall Handstand —————————> Free Handstand ——————————> Walking Handstand ——————————————————/


Is this accurate?
« Last Edit: November 18, 2009, 12:37:24 PM by Patrick Yang »
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2009, 11:24:32 AM »
The PU on rings is a good goal.  Make sure that you feet are at least even with hand level, though.  I would suggest that you start with a goal of 15 PU on rings then progress to a goal of 15 PPPU on PB with elevated feet (so that shoulders and feet are even) and then a goal of 15 PPPU on rings with same feet elevation.  If you are going to do this then you can probably cut out the Frog Stand work since PPPU, imho, will be more effective.  Either that or keep the PU on rings for now and replace frog stand work with the PPPU as I specified here.

What do you suggest with regards to the tree I posted in the previous post?  Should I cut out the frogstand, etc. if I'm eventually trying to do a press handstand?  Will PPPUs still have higher translation?

Contact steve for help with your knee tracking problem - he can probably recommend some rehab movements and foam rolling/massage techniques to help you out.  I am thinking that foam rolling/tennis balling the IT Band, Quad and Hammie will help with your tracking a lot.  Also, you may want to consider some closed chain exercises for the knee like light squats or DLs, if possible.  Steve will have more info on that.

What do you mean by closed chain exercises?  I've been assigned BW squats and leg presses, both of which have hurt the knee, so I've stopped doing them.  I've also been assigned some adductor work, which I have not done.

In terms of diet...eat a lot, obviously.

Yeah, I've cut down my caloric intake since I started my hiatus, but since I'm starting my training again, I'm going to be ramping up my diet again.

By the by, I would say to start working towards your HS goal immediately.  Its relatively low intensity and handstands are VERY beneficial in all aspects of movement.

My main problem with this is that my knee hurts from the impact when I'm pirouetting out, so I've put this on hold.  I don't want to aggravate it.
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2009, 01:46:31 PM »
Patrick, this is my first time looking at your training log and I like the mental approach you have taken to your goals. You have a great eye for the quality of food that you eat. I absolutely agree with Chris that you need more meat and healthy fat in your diet. You may want to consider tracking what you eat with a <a href="http://www.fitday.com/" target="_blank">food log[/url]. I have tracked *almost* everything that I have eaten for 2.5 months an it has helped me to monitor my cravings and maintain a consistency in caloric intake as well as measure my protein, carb and fat intake. I see your posts in General Fitness and Diet from time to time and I'm sure you have read these but I am including the links for convenience.
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/05/eating-right-how-to-get-started/" target="_blank">Eating Right: How to Get Started[/url]
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/the-relationship-between-diet-and-exercise/" target="_blank">The Relationship Between Diet and Exercise[/url]
<a href="http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2009/08/a-call-for-kiss/" target="_blank">A Call for KISS[/url]

As I am sure that you are aware, you won't gain weight if you don't eat for it. You will need to increase your food intake overall to aid in strength building and recovery from your workouts (i.e. one gram of protein per lbs of bodyweight, everyday).

Thanks for the feedback, Dudley.  I'm the diet I posted is old information — I hadn't updated this thing in a year and some change!  Caloric intake was my biggest stumbling block, and Chris had talked to me extensively about eating for gains.  I'm a hard gainer, and every ounce of lean mass I gained was a hard-fought battle.  The frustration that I experienced from watching those hard-fought and expensive gains withering away is what drove me to start again, training around my current injury.

I've thought about using FitDay, but I ultimately decided against it because I'm one to get caught up in process.  I'm a chemist — I measure things precisely if I'm going to record the data.  I spend enough time trying to prepare healthy meals; if I had to measure, record, and codify this data, I would not have enough time for schoolwork and sleep (I already don't anyway). 


For teaching and social skills I would recommend trying to talk to one stranger per day, male or female. Think of it as a social experiment. Everyone's reactions will be different. You can start with something as simple as saying hello; try to take it farther than that. Talk to employees at the grocery store, people you see every day, but don't know, etc. You never know what new friendships can unfold. Being comfortable talking to people you don't know will translate greatly into your teaching, and the confidence you gain from improving your training will definitely help.

I've been doing this!  I'm currently studying social work, so I've been leveling up my social skills like crazy in the past semester.  Since I put down those original goals, I think the social aspect is where I've improved the most.
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Spencer B

  • the Romantic
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 1021
  • Karma: +47/-25
  • ...*BANG*...
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2009, 02:32:56 PM »
I've been doing this!  I'm currently studying social work, so I've been leveling up my social skills like crazy in the past semester.  Since I put down those original goals, I think the social aspect is where I've improved the most.

...

I leveled up this September myself. Two or three times I think actually. Took a quest that gave MASSIVE experience and lasted the whole month. I put a lot of stat points into CHA myself, two or three into STR and POW and the regular few into INT and a lot more than normal into WIS. Overall, I think I made some good choices there.

What'd you do with your stat points?
www.cracked.com
www.tvtropes.org

There are times when you want to break down and rage at the heavens. Don't. Stay calm, and let the emotions flood in, accept them and then rise above them. Never dwell. Don't fear or worry. Anything worth thinking about is worth talking about. And... Good luck.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2009, 07:57:25 PM »
Overall, your tree is OK but its a bit too rigid.  A lot of people learn things on that tree "out of order" compared to how you laid it out but its a decent guideline.  Its best to pick a move from the list and work towards it exclusively then be surprised at the amount of translation you experience.

What do you suggest with regards to the tree I posted in the previous post?  Should I cut out the frogstand, etc. if I'm eventually trying to do a press handstand?  Will PPPUs still have higher translation?

Cut out frogstand totally.  Press handstand takes specialized work.  Most people get straddle press before adv. tuck, anyway because its so easy.  The presses require their own work and PPPU will help with that a bit, anyway -- much more than frog stand will.  In fact, you will have a really epic frogstand if you can do 10 PPPU on rings, easily.

What do you mean by closed chain exercises?  I've been assigned BW squats and leg presses, both of which have hurt the knee, so I've stopped doing them.  I've also been assigned some adductor work, which I have not done.

Define "hurt the knee" -- if the knee recovers within 72 hours its usually OK but then again my area of expertise is not injuries and definitely not tracking issues.  Closed chain is pretty much any exercise where you move your body as opposed to a weight -- there is more to it but thats a good guideline.  Definitely foam roll...

My main problem with this is that my knee hurts from the impact when I'm pirouetting out, so I've put this on hold.  I don't want to aggravate it.

Roll out or do your work against a wall for now.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2009, 08:02:49 PM »
BTW, email steve about your tracking problem (or post it on the injuries forum and he will hit it up)

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2009, 08:58:11 AM »
I leveled up this September myself. Two or three times I think actually. Took a quest that gave MASSIVE experience and lasted the whole month. I put a lot of stat points into CHA myself, two or three into STR and POW and the regular few into INT and a lot more than normal into WIS. Overall, I think I made some good choices there.

What'd you do with your stat points?

Nice!  I've been dropping points into CHA like crazy, with WIS and INT close behind.  I actually sold off some of my physical stat points to fuel those.  Now that the semester's winding down and I'm getting back into my training, though, I'm looking to up my STR and POW again.


Overall, your tree is OK but its a bit too rigid.  A lot of people learn things on that tree "out of order" compared to how you laid it out but its a decent guideline.  Its best to pick a move from the list and work towards it exclusively then be surprised at the amount of translation you experience.

Clearly.  It was more of an exercise in visualizing progressive training than a inflexible program.


Cut out frogstand totally.  Press handstand takes specialized work.  Most people get straddle press before adv. tuck, anyway because its so easy.  The presses require their own work and PPPU will help with that a bit, anyway -- much more than frog stand will.  In fact, you will have a really epic frogstand if you can do 10 PPPU on rings, easily.

Gotcha. 


Define "hurt the knee" -- if the knee recovers within 72 hours its usually OK but then again my area of expertise is not injuries and definitely not tracking issues.

It hurts to do the movement, and continues to hurt at least for the next day.  I don't recall how much it hurts in 72 hours.


Roll out or do your work against a wall for now.

Also no good: rolling puts strain on the knee.  Because I'm still a novice, I fall while against the wall, and both rolling and pirouetting out hurts.  Otherwise, I would be on my hands constantly.

Thank you again for the advice.
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2009, 10:19:51 AM »
Wed 18 Nov 2009

Trained at Clark Field to set a baseline for my abilities and to begin to improve.  This is what I was capable of on the first try:

  • Five continuous ring push ups.  I found that good form felt very different on rings than on solid ground.  I felt that I had excessive lumbar lordosis, and to compensate I bridged.  Perhaps this is caused by weak abdominal muscles?  Either way, I feel my core is not currently strong enough to hold good form.
  • Five continuous knees to elbows, with one more bad-form thrown in at the end.
  • Four continuous skin the cats, with poor form on the last one.  So three.
  • Four second natural leg curls.  Because I'm afraid of injuring my knee, I tense up my entire right leg to keep the kneecap from shifting around while I go down.  I also experienced minor calf cramping in the left leg.
  • I did not work on pistols, somewhat out of concern that my left knee is not properly recovered.  I will begin assisted negatives during the next session and see whether it hurts.
  • I did not attempt pull ups, as my upper body was already rather fatigued at this point.

I have also eliminated my frogstand goal, as per Chris's advice.  Instead, I will focus on achieving ten PPPUs on rings.

I will also begin GTG for pull ups, knees to elbows, and skin the cats, starting tomorrow.  I will need to research escalating density training and death-by-pullups to see which one is right for me.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2009, 11:21:15 AM by Patrick Yang »
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2009, 01:17:15 AM »
Thu 19 Nov 2009

Rest day.



Fri 20 Nov 2009

Started GTG pull ups all day.  Don't know whether it's my loss of strength, my focus on form, or just being sore, but I'm down to 1 pull /  for GTG.

I will use escalating density training for the less skill-based upper body exercises.

Block 1: Alternating ring push ups and knees to elbows for 20 minutes
Block 2: Alternating pull ups and skin the cats for 20 minutes
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Patrick Yang

  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 638
  • Karma: +55/-12
  • Outrunner
    • View Profile
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2009, 05:53:16 PM »
Sat 21 Nov 2009

Ten minute EDT block: Ring push ups + knees to elbows.  Didn't keep track of how many, though.  Took it to be an intro of to how to do an EDT block.



Sun 22 Nov 2009

Twenty minute EDT block: 30 ring push ups + 28 knees to elbows.

I tried a second EDT block of PPPUs + skin the cats, but this is proving to be way too much shoulder and core work.  Ended up failing hard and pulling something in my left hip.  Instead, I just did ten PPPUs on the ground.

To prevent this from happening in the future, I'm going to modify my two EDT blocks:

Block 1: Ring push ups + knees to elbows
Block 2: Ground PPPUs + inverted rows

I'll continue to GTG pull ups and skin the cats on days when I'm not doing my EDTs.  Let's see if this works out better.
Training log.
Train hard, eat smart, and act with honor.

Offline Chris Salvato

  • Moderator
  • Hirundo Rustica
  • *****
  • Posts: 3916
  • Karma: +327/-64
  • Eat. Move. Improve.
    • View Profile
    • Chris Salvato
Re: Becoming useful: Patrick's parkour memoirs
« Reply #19 on: November 23, 2009, 09:44:38 AM »
Also no good: rolling puts strain on the knee.  Because I'm still a novice, I fall while against the wall, and both rolling and pirouetting out hurts.  Otherwise, I would be on my hands constantly.

Hrm.

How about this, do your handstands near a bed.  When you start to fall over, you just keep your arms straight and lean straight over yourself.  This will cause you to fall down on the bed in a full lay.  I do this all the time for fun but never did it to train.  You may want to consider it.  Alternatively, you can lay pillows in front of you instead of a bed and don't roll to your feet...roll onto your butt.