Author Topic: Mike's Parkour Journey  (Read 2054 times)

Offline guitarmike2000

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Mike's Parkour Journey
« on: July 07, 2007, 05:32:20 PM »
And so it begins.
Recently I've gotten into some MMA training and was looking for something to do as conditionign for it... and stumbled across parkour again.  So I decided to give it a try.  I read the tutorials and some of the FAQ's yesterday, and this morning I went out just to get a feel for what I could and couldn't do, and what I should work on.  Here's what I did:
1-2 mile jog, not quite sure how long it was
vault takeoff (from demon's drills)
rolls (on grass)
i then began walking around and looking for suitable places to practice some of the basics.  I found some bike racks with no bikes on them (the kind with two pipes at ground level and then the raised section with vertical pipes to separate the bike tires) and practiced some precision jumps from one ground pipe to another.  they were maybe 3-4 feet apart and only 2" off the ground, I had a lot of trouble stopping and not being overbalanced from my momentum taking my weight too far in front of my feet.
I tried a few vaults, and am absolutely horrible at the monkey/kong vault.  Didn't try any other kind, but the approach and launch gave me trouble with spacing and timing, and I had issues going straight over.  A lot of it is practice for distance and timing, and the rest is the mental aspect.
Found a great spot for cat leaps, got a few of those in.  I can jump up and hold on fine, but the muscle up part is too much for me.  Gotta work on those pullups I guess, I think I can probably only do maybe 2 or 3 in a row right now.
Did a gate vault or two, they worked ok but were not at all fluid.
Took a few small hops off a 2' concrete wall to work on landings.  Got the basic one down enough and did one roll on concrete from the same height, felt fluid and seemed to work well, but I didn't want to press my luck.
Did a lot more precision jumping, found out I can currently jump further out than my height from standing/squatting, which is a good starting point.
Managed to get some small scrapes on my hand taking a small spill from a vertical jump.  I had made the jump probably 20 times before and my legs had gotten tired.

So here's my grocery list of things to work on.

1) more accuracy on the landing of precision jumps.  I'm going to try throwing out two pennies and trying to land on them as suggested somewhere on the site.

2) more cardio fitness just so I can try things at speed when I'm good enough

3) pull ups, pull ups, pull ups (and muscle ups from hanging)

4) timing and distance for vault takeoffs

5) vaults, all of them

6) standard landings from around 2 feet with a hop.  small enough not to hurt myself but high enough that i'll get the hang of using my legs to stop myself

7) rolls.  possibly some rolls from 1 or 2 feet on a mat

8) balance.  i have major issues with wobbliness trying to balance on rails or even just on my toes.

So, if any of you have a good exercise to build balance that is easy enough to practice without the balance to begin with, I would much appreciate it.
Also, hints or suggestions of ways to mentally prepare yourself would be appreciated as well.

All in all I'm feeling quite optimistic after my self-introduction.  My one spill has encouraged me to continue to keep things small and safe, and the number of things I already feel comfortable with (albeit at a very basic level) is encouraging.

Offline Jim "Monkey" Parker

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Re: Mike's Parkour Journey
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2007, 07:36:50 AM »
Sounds like you're off to a good start Mike. Keep practicing on obstacles that are close to the ground and respect your body's limits and you will be able to train for a long time :)

For vaults...try practicing a two-handed vault (two hands on top, swing your legs over) and speed vaults (similar to two handed vault, but only put down one hand) These should get your body used to being up in the air and, when you have them dialed in, should give you the confidence to go for the kong vaults.

Also, a good progression into kongs is to just practice "monkey plants": Try to do the kong movement (legs come between hands) but just aim to get your feet planted on top of the obstacle. Confidence and skill will follow.  ;D

For balance, try walking on those rails you mentioned that are 2" off the ground. Try walking on them and also cat balancing (on all fours). I find that balance is one of those things you just have to keep trying and working at and eventually your body will learn what to do.

Have fun and keep training!!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
-Japanese Proverb

Offline guitarmike2000

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Re: Mike's Parkour Journey
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2007, 02:36:14 AM »
So, it appears as though my MMA training is during prime time for exercise for me.  Early in the day I have work, in the early afternoon something usually comes up, early evening MMA training (standup mon-wed, grappling tue-thur) which leaves either night time, after dinner for parkour, or fri, sat, and sun.  Looks like I'll have to fight my schedule for the time to get the WOD in, though I have been doing a little QM and a few precision jumps in my apartment just to get a feel for the balance and to keep doing the motions.

Scrape on my hand not quite healed, no pullups, dips, or anything requiring my palms to be on an obstacle until they heal a little more.  As far as reminders to respect my limits, a nickle sized scrape is getting away lightly, almost scot free.

Did abs yesterday after grappling.  2 minutes of medicine ball situps and 70 leg throwdowns.  not bad considering I did some abwork monday too.

Been walking a few rails when I get the opportunity, balance still has a long way to go.  Tried to QM on the rail, couldn't even get both hands and feet on it at the same time I was so wobbly, although putting my hands further from my feet would help once I'm on the rail.

Offline guitarmike2000

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Re: Mike's Parkour Journey
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2007, 01:50:48 PM »
so... pullups need a lot more work, dips are doing ok.
i now have goals for pullups and dips: i want to be able to do a fast 55
sets starting with 10 reps, then 9 reps, then 8 reps, then 7 reps, then 6 reps, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
want to be able to do that with pullups and pushups.
also, want to be able to do enough of a handstand to start doing handstand pushups.
did 2 sets of 30m QM, felt good.
did a few landings from 2 or 3 feet up onto a mat.  need to learn to use my knees more and start the resistance early.
did a LOT of shoulder rolls, have issues hitting my knee on the one leg that is sideways on the landing.  got the hang of using hand placement to "steer" the roll.  tried one or two with a 2 foot drop onto the mat, but i need to get the hang of not landing rigidly THEN rolling, have to learn how to keep the knees active and lowering myself into the roll.
did some precision jumps, gotta work on really short ones (say 5-6 feet) until i can land on my toes.  i seem to have the problem of trying to land on the arch of my foot or my heels, from all the time wearing shoes.  got to get used to landing on my toes and not falling backwards, that's how i scraped up my hand after all.
also worked on my vault takeoffs, got a long way to go before it'll really be usable, but i'm working on it.
gotta work on my energy level though.  i get to a point where i feel like my energy isn't getting to my muscles and my technique goes down the tubes.  gotta work on that technique and keeping my technique as i tire.  but there's time enough for that, off to some grappling!

Offline guitarmike2000

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Re: Mike's Parkour Journey
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2007, 07:08:54 PM »
Finally found a nice wall to get over.  It's somewhere between 8 and 9 feet high on the one side with only 2 feet of height on the other side.  I can start at the ground and do a single step on the wall and then climb over.  I cannot do muscle ups correctly though, i find myself needing to reach my hands over the wall so i'm on my forearms on top instead of being able to pull straight up onto palms and straight arms, gotta work on that.  I can get over the wall fairly easily, makes me feel good.
Found a nice 3.5 foot high obstacle to work kongs on, getting the hang of it but still babying my right hand due to the small scrape that isn't quite healed.  So close but at least I can work it.
Found a long rail and worked some bastardized speed/lazy vaults back and forth over it to get the hang of always leaving off the outside foot as I tend to not get enough height off of the inside foot.
The more I do them the more I love cat leaps.  I think the Prince of Persia video games did that to me, but they're so cool.  Just need to get the hang of the muscle up and I'm sure I'll love them even more.
Been working a bit on crane landings since I have trouble stopping my momentum when I jump onto high things.  Leaving that one foot behind to touch the obstacle and stop me on top of it if need be seems to help a lot, it allows me to go a lot harder at whatever it is I'm trying to get on top of without worrying about going too far over it.  It also helps me learn to get my hips under me when I take off.
All in all a good day, but I've got goals for a strength workout for tomorrow.

1) minimum 25 unassisted pullups
2) minimum 40 unassisted dips
3) 25 shoulder rolls onto each shoulder done slowly with attention to technique and body control
4) 50 drops from 2-3 feet with the following number at each key concentration
20 for foot placement
20 for drop arresting control (bending the legs etc)
10 rolling landings (5 each side)
5) 50 precision jumps of the following types
15 right leg takeoffs with a hop-skip lead in
15 left leg takeoffs with a hop-skip lead in
10 standing/squatting 2 leg takeoffs for distance
10 standing/squatting 2 leg takeoffs for accuracy (keeping in mind these are precisions to begin with)

I also plan on working my core quite rigorously with some inclined/declined situps as well as working my obliques and lower back.  THEN I get to head off to my grappling/jujitsu, ought to be quite a workout I would imagine.

Offline guitarmike2000

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Re: Mike's Parkour Journey
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 05:52:19 PM »
i managed to do my pullups and dips yesterday.  got to my shoulder rolls but i was drained enough that i couldn't keep my technique correct.  kept slapping my shoulder on my left shoulder roll.  not good.  got all my rolls in but only got maybe 15-20 precisions and maybe 5 drops because my technique was bad and i didn't want to hurt myself.  i got one set of 7 pullups in then i had to do them in 2's and 3's.  gotta work on that.
anybody got a sort of pre-workout meal that's good for energy?  currently i have a smoothie about 2 hours before i go... it's got whey protein in it so i don't think my blood sugar's going crazy (PROTIEN).  it's an apple, a banana, 6 oz fruit juice, 1/2 cup dry oats, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, and 1/2 cup frozen raspberries with one scoop of whey protein in it.  i find myself out of energy after maybe 30 minutes of strength training.  i know i'll get more efficient the more i do it, but if there's something dietary i can do before hand to give me a leg up it'd be awesome.