Author Topic: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal  (Read 31813 times)

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #140 on: February 05, 2009, 08:22:09 PM »
2/5/09

The intention was to work squat-press-power clean today, but I got a call from a friend about 30 minutes before I was going to head out, asking if I wanted to take advantage of the great weather (almost 60!) and do some parkour.  Of course!

For about an hour we just went out and had fun.  It was a much different method than drilling techniques and stuff, and I really liked it.  I warmed up with handstands and rolling, then we did some simple tic tacs, tried to gauge our wall runs with snow that hadn't melted yet, tried QM on the ice (that was fun!), and messed around with some vaults.  About the most structured thing I did was 20 standing broad jumps as far as I could each time.  My abs are already feeling that, which surprised me.

I get the feeling sometimes that people are looking at training the wrong way.  Here in the West we're very goal-driven people, and unless we're doing something with an intention or structure that we can watch results from, then we're not doing something valuable.  I'm definitely guilty of that from time-to-time, but I don't really like it.  Today was a nice breath of fresh air, and I came to realize something: if I don't have a really rigid training structure where I push myself all the time, I won't see results as fast, but I will have fun the whole time.  Considering the idea of "slowly building up your body armor" I think I'm completely okay with that.  I'll be experimenting for the next few weeks, and we'll see how things go.

By the way, I'm not planning on abandoning the strength schedule.  That's still set in stone, but my approach towards parkour will be undergoing some changes, maybe.

Also, about a week ago I tried a handstand and held it for about half a second.  The next day, I held about ten handstands for 4 seconds each, and I'm getting consistently better every day.  I don't know why I changed so drastically so soon, but I did and I like it!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2009, 08:23:55 PM by Eli Kurtz »

Offline Charles Moreland

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #141 on: February 06, 2009, 08:42:59 AM »
Never forget how to play or have fun Eli! It's perfectly okay to just have one of those days where you go out, explore, and train.

RE: handstands, are your exercises labeled "Presses" over head presses or was that short for bench press? I have a couple clients and friends interested in holding a handstand for a decent period of time and I found that OH presses actually helped them out immensely in learning proper shoulder and spine positioning.

Also, wall supported handstands (belly against the wall) I found extremely beneficial. Walk your hands as close into the wall as you can and you will find that a lot of stress has been placed on your fingers. To keep yourself up you will need to push your body back into the wall with your fingers. This is exactly the feeling you need to hold your handstand 10+ seconds.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #142 on: February 06, 2009, 10:21:43 AM »
Awesome, thanks for the advice!

Yes, my "presses" are OH Press.  I'm on SS, so I have a healthy respect for that exercise. :)

Offline Max G

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #143 on: February 06, 2009, 04:24:00 PM »
good to see that you found a lighter side of training; it always feels great just to ease up on the drilling and turn it to play.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #144 on: February 07, 2009, 09:29:01 PM »
2/7/09


Saturday weekly Springfield training session

Today was the first day I had really trained parkour since I left for break mid-December.  The weather was fantastic, and we just chilled out most of the time and had a good two hours.

Warmup
Monkey Walking, Handstands, Rolling, Pushups - 6:00 minutes

Workout
Jog .25 miles
10 Standing broad jumps
Rolls - 10 minutes
Bouldering on a concrete "rock play gym" - 10 minutes Note: Wow, that was fun and hard.
"The Floor is Lava" - 10:00 minutes

Cooldown
Walk - 10 minutes
Stretch - 15 minutes

It was a really fun way, and--like I said--a nice way to break back into training.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #145 on: February 21, 2009, 08:36:50 PM »
It has been two weeks since my last time training or lifting.  I don't have an excuse, I've just been lazy.  I don't like it.  Let's get back on track.

2/21/09 Saturday Weekly Training Session

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x3
Push Up - 10x3
Burpees - 5x3

Workout

Conditioning  Note: This is going to be a monthly thing for Springfield Parkour, to make sure people are constantly reminded of what they could be doing between Saturdays.
Squat Jumps: 10 Note: This involved holding  squat position for 5 seconds, then jumping up as high/explosively as you could, then immediately getting back into a squat position.
Monkey-slide thing: 10 Note: this is the movement where you begin in a squat position, then take one sort of crab step to the side and settle into another squat position before doing the movement back.  Anyone know what I'm talking about?
Revenge of the Monkey-slide thing: 10 Note: As above, except hold the "outside" leg parallel to the body in the air for three seconds before settling into squat position.
Distance Monkey-slide thing: 2 trips Note: This motion is the same as the first exercise above, except the movement is repeated along a 20 foot line.
High Knees/Mountain Climbers: 10 Note: Each set was 8 high knees followed by an explosive vertical jump, followed by 8 mountain climbers and an explosive vertical jump.

There were 4 new guys there today, so we went over landing and rolling for about 30 minutes.  For the next 30 minutes, I showed them the basics of speed and lazy vaults, cat landings, QM, climb-ups, wall runs, and precisions. 

I'm still tuning my methodology as a teacher and as a student, but I think I like the idea of hitting people hard with a lot of structure at the beginning.  I feel like it shows newcomers that we're serious about what we do, and we're interested in working hard to make parkour as safe and easy as possible.  Learning how to have fun with it isn't a problem, so I feel like we need to teach people how to make it more like work, and let the fun work itself out.  Thoughts?

Cooldown
Stretch - 15:00 minutes


It has been a long time since I've done any decent parkour exercise, and I have missed it.  My hands have gone soft on me, and I'm excited to build callouses up again!

Also, I made a presentation on parkour to my college last week, where I spoke with the Dean of Students, the Assistant Director of Security, and the head of Campus Facilities about the positive aspects of parkour.  Eventually we might try to set up an on campus group, but for right now we're only looking for permission to use campus as a training grounds.  The meeting went well, and although we haven't got an answer yet, I'm optimistic.  I spoke with a Assistant Head of Security a few days later, and he said that not only would he be interested in sponsoring a group should we choose to start one, but he's also interested in coming to train with us!  Really exciting news, because it says to me that we did a good job of showing how parkour is a positive, mature, constructive force in the world. :D

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #146 on: February 22, 2009, 12:36:13 AM »
Also, I've been continuing to work on my handstands, and they continue to get better.  I have good days and bad days, but generally I'm seeing improvement.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #147 on: April 03, 2009, 09:45:19 PM »
I lifted yesterday?  For the first time in two months?  My legs hate me for it?

Warmup
squat - 15x3
dips - 10x3  Note: These are harder than push ups, but I like them more and they're more in line with my goal of doing a muscle-up, so there.
pull ups - 5x3 Note: Doing dips may have had an effect on my performance here, but this was harder than it used to be.  Then again, all of it was harder than it used to be.  I guess I got weak? :P
sampson stretch - 2x3

workout

squat
(45x5)x2
135x5
185x3
205x2
-------
(235x5)x2

Bench Press
(25x5)x2
35x5
40x3
50x2
-------
(55x5)x2


Deadlift
(135x5)x2
185x5
225x3
245x2
-------
265x5  Note: My back was letting me know that I should correct my form before getting heavier.  It wasn't immediate "something's wrong now" pain, but it was "if you fix things we're going to have a serious talk" pain.

I ended up doing just two sets of the target weight instead of three.  I want to ease back into this.

I've been doing random handstands all the time, and I can pretty reliably stay inverted for 10 seconds.  I'm not completely still (actually, my body is pretty straight and still, but I walk around a little on my hands to maintain balance), but I'm making improvement all the time.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #148 on: April 04, 2009, 11:08:54 AM »
4/4/09

Springfield Weekly Jam

Today was a blast.  I haven't been to a weekly jam almost at all for the whole semester because of business, laziness, and the crappy weather, but this was just great.  The whole day was focused on play rather than training, and I think I like that a lot better.  It may take me a long time to make progress, but I think this is the way to go for me.  For the first hour and a half we roamed our little downtown paradise and tried everything from precision jumps and kongs to rolling and cat leaps, then came back to Founder's Park to play tag for 30 minutes or so.  We stretched afterward a headed to a great lunch.

I've been reading and watching videos about methode naturelle in my time off from parkour, and I think I prefer it.  I consider methode naturelle to be a less specialized discipline geared more towards overall preparedness than parkour is, and that's what I want to go for.  I'm reading through "Exuberant Animal" by Frank Forencich right now, and it's a really great book that's got a lot of cool insights in it.  I don't think I'm ready to give up strength training (because I can see the benefits of it), but I'm going to be switching gears a little bit.  I'm no longer concerned with how much weight I can lift, but rather how explosively I can lift it.  I'll still be pushing myself to lift progressively more weight, but the numbers aren't the goal anymore.  I'm also interested in more bodyweight oriented, gymnastics-style exercises like the front lever and planche.  I have a general understanding of how movement, strength training, and gymnastics-style stuff can all benefit each other, so I guess my training won't change radically in any way but how I approach it mentally.  i'm getting tired of quantifying, and I want to play. :)
« Last Edit: April 04, 2009, 11:58:14 AM by ThatGuyEli »

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #149 on: April 14, 2009, 03:51:40 PM »
4/14/09

Warmup
Body Squat - 15x2
Dips - 10x2
Pull-ups - 5x2

I feel like my 3 set warmups were really long, so I'm going to try these out for a while.

Workout
Squat
45x5
135x5
205x3 Note: Again, I felt like 5 warmup sets was too long, so I'm trying out three sets to see how they feel
-------
(235x5)3  Note: This felt lightish.  It was a challenge, but my target weight was a little higher, I think.

Bench Press
25sx5
35sx5
45sx3
-------
(55sx5)3

Power Clean
45x5
65x5
95x3
-------
(125x5)3  Note: I did a LOT better than I thought I was going to, since it's been so long since I last did P.Clean.  My form was at about 90%, but my strength and power were just fine.

Cooldown
Stretch - 15 min.

I haven't been really "sedentary" since the 4th, but I haven't done much that's worth logging.  I usually do handstands, rolls, frisbee etc. daily, and most of the time I just get really tired with how slow walking is, so I run a lot of places instead.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #150 on: April 16, 2009, 08:18:00 PM »
4/15/09

Wednesday I went out with a friend and climbed trees on MSU campus here in town.  It was a lot of fun, and was a light to moderate workout.  Pretty good stuff!

4/16/09

Today I did some light parkour stuff with some friends for 1:30 hours or so.  We were just sort of playing around and having a good time, but it was nice to get parkour back in my bones a little bit.  We did some wall runs, long jumps into a sand pit, various vaults, and I even did a butterfly twist...sort of.  I'm really not that into tricking etc., but ever since I saw Darth Maul in Ep. I I've wanted to be able to do butterfly twists.  I've been able to do a mediocre b.kick for several years now, and I decided that since we were in the sand I could go ahead and try it out.  Long story short, my legs weren't very straight, and I didn't tuck my arms tight enough, but I landed on a foot and one knee, which is better than I would have expected.  Pretty soon they'll be old news!

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #151 on: April 18, 2009, 03:57:25 PM »
4/18/09

Today was the weekly Springfield Jam, and it was a lot of fun!  Eight guys came out for two hours of precisions, landings, rolling, and vaults.  I brought my camera out, and I've already put up the pictures that turned out on Facebook.  Anyone is welcome to check them out; if you friend me, just send me a message along with it to let me know you're a traceur or traceuse, and all will be well. :)

I feel that for whatever reason (and in spite of all logic), weight training inhibits my ability to do parkour.  When I wasn't lifting for a few months, I felt like I could jump farther, run faster, etc.  Now that I'm lifting again (albeit sparsely), it feels like I'm getting sluggish and heavy.  It might just be in my head, but I'm definitely going to be paying more attention to this for the next few weeks.

Offline Max G

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #152 on: April 19, 2009, 08:18:34 AM »
when you say you feel sluggish, how close to your lifting sessions are you jumping/moving around? same day/next day/2 days after?

if you're attempting movement practice relatively close to heavy weights sessions, then it would make sense that you feel heavier and sluggish. If you lay off lifting for a couple days, there won't be any significant drop-off in your strength, and you will be fresh, so you'll definitely be able to do more/go farther in a case like that.


Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #153 on: April 19, 2009, 11:25:52 AM »
Ideally, I life T-R and do parkour MWF, but it usually ends up where I only lift on one of those days, and I do parkour once or twice per week, but never on the same day.  I hadn't considered that my body might still be tired, but that's a possibility.  Thanks!

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #154 on: April 25, 2009, 02:57:43 PM »
4/25/09

Saturday Weekly Training Schedule

This week was filled with papers (i.e. no parkour or lifting), so it was nice to run into the weekend all of a sudden.  Today was a pretty awesome time!  We only met for an hour or so, but we got a lot done and had a lot of fun.  We had a new guy there today, so for the first time in probably too long we drilled the basics: landing, rolling, jumping, and vaulting.  Dusty and his brothers also finally had a chance to come out, so it was great to see them again.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #155 on: April 27, 2009, 06:35:34 PM »
4/27/09

I'm helping a friend get ready for a Lifeguard Certification challenge course in three weeks, so my workouts until then will be largely about swimming.  After that I'll be in the Rockies at Estes Park Center working as a Lifeguard (with nary a rack nor lifting platform for a 30 mile radius), so I'm getting really excited to try out some Methode Naturelle stuff.  I'm sure there will be trees and rocks aplenty out there in nature (that's been my experience elsewhere), so it should be fun to run around like my ancient ancestors: near-naked and exuberant.

Anyway, today was about seeing where my friend is at, so I introduced him to all the different strokes.  He's never done any lap swimming, and it's been about 6 months since he's been in a pool at all, so it will be a long journey.  That said, I think he can pull it together in time to make things happen (and it will be nice to get used to lap swimming again), so I'm looking forward to it.

Offline Eli Kurtz

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Re: No limits, only plateaus - Eli's Training Journal
« Reply #156 on: May 01, 2009, 11:15:56 AM »
5/1/09

There had been another paper crunch in my life, and I think all the water from the atlantic ocean is currently falling on Springfield.  No joke, there has been almost constant rain for the past 18 hours or so.  That said, I haven't had much time for training in the past few days.

This video is a huge inspiration.  I am almost mesmerized by the grace and power he shows off.  When he glides into those QM gallopsWow.

I still practice handstands every day, usually 2-3 separate sessions of 4-5 holds, usually for 4-5 seconds each hold.  I also do QM down my hallway pretty regularly, because let's face it: walking is the most boring thing ever invented.  I also run almost everywhere I go, just because walking is so. damn. slow!

Anyway, yesterday before it started raining I ran a little course as fast as I could.  It was about 200 yards, and was mostly about open running and rounding corners.  I also rolled a few times, did a few vaults, and generally enjoyed myself.  I've found that when I think less about the movements and let my body take over, things seem to be much easier.