Jasper Roberts - Blog

Thursday, September 27, 2012

2012-09-27 Infants and Octogenarians

Ok people, some recent stuff going around the Internet related to what we do. You've got an infant doing pullups and an 86 year old woman doing a planche. Let's get with the Godamnned program here and get to work. Otherwise we face the reality of great-grandma and little baby Johnny kicking our asses in Convict Conditioning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

2012-09-26 Coming Back Strong

Coming back form an injury, even one that's not that serious is a struggle and a setback. It's emotionally challenging as well as physically challenging. But when you've spent a long time developing a strong base of strength, which is what I believe I have done, then at least you don't have to start completely from square one.
I'm on my new regimen and it seems to be going well. Working more often. Today I did

20 Full Pushups
10 Flat Leg Lifts
10 Full Bridges
Towel Hang :30
20 Double Bent Leg Calf Raises

10 One-Arm Pushups at 33"
8 Full Leg Lifts on Bar
10 Airplanes
Towel Hang :40 (with 3 pullups)
40 Double Straight Leg Calf Raises

10 Lever Pushups
Single Leg Lift Holds :30 E.S.
3 Full Bridges, Very Slow with 3 Second Hold at Top
Fingertip Pushup Holds :10

Rehab work on ankle
Rehab work on shoulder

Monday, September 24, 2012

2012-09-24 My Secret Agenda

Remember that movie "The Professional"? I know it was bad ass. But remember how Leon was doing calisthenics in his room? Ever since I saw that movie I always thought that you could achieve some respectable level of fitness and strength on your own without any special equipment.
But more than that, I imagined acquiring a gameplan to maintain fitness and strength long-term. Whether on the road or at home, or work, or wherever. The system must allow you these options.
Then many years later I came across Convict Conditioning. And now I have many other tools in my arsenal, but the game plan remains the same: Get to a high level of fitness and strength and maintain it into my golden years. Still working on building that base.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012-09-20 You're Trying Too Hard

Today my CC workout was twenty minutes, not including any cardio work because I'm still healing my knee and ankle. I also forgot to do Handstand Balance work, L-Sits, and Twists, but you still read it correctly: twenty minutes.

Full Pushups: 20
Flat Leg Lifts: 10
Full Bridges: 10
Single Towel Hang: 30 sec.
Double Bent Leg Calf Raises: 15

Lever Pushups: 8 (Each Arm)
Hanging Leg Lifts: 7
Airplanes: 10
Single Towel Hang: 35 sec.
Double Straight Leg Calf Raises: 30

Lever Pushups: 9 (Each Arm)

That's it. Now before anyone freaks out, I will probably bump up the volume a tiny bit and do a full third set, but I'm thinking that more than that is not necessary. Thing is, I'm already feeling my strength return and I feel really good about "greasing the groove", and getting in my difficult exercises more frequently throughout the week. For example, instead of doing pullups once a week, I'll be doing them three times a week.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012-09-19 New Territory

Getting back to my regular CC routine I was doing prior to falling off my motorcycle and spraining my ankle and knee was something I thought I would be doing. It is not. Granted, I was already looking at a new path of calisthenics but now I'm forging new territory.
First priority is to get back into strength training slowly so as not to injure myself with the rehabilitation itself. That would be really stupid. I also have to recognize my limitations. There are some things I would really, really like to be able to do such as a one-arm pullup, a free-standing HSPU, and a planche. I'd also like to get back to my pre-wreck strength level and move beyond that.
Having said that, I want to begin integrating interval work for cardio and I've already purchased a cool interval timer for that purpose. Thing is, if I can't run or do burpees or jump rope yet, theh I can;t really do interval training safely until I heal more.
The new CC routine will be  working out at least four days a week, alternating between Day A, and Day B. Day A is Pushups, Leg Lifts, Bridges, Calves, and Grip. Day B is HSPU, Pullups, Squats, and Neck. Every day will be Planche and HS balance work (and cardio work as I heal sufficiently).

Today I did the following: (ALTERNATING exercises, meaning I did HSPU work, then went to Pullup Work, then to Squats work, etc.)

Pike Pushups: 15
Full HSPU: 2
Half HSPU: 12

Horizontal Pulls: 14
Full Pullups (UH): 10 (done fast)
Ful Pullups (OH): 6 (done slow)

Assisted Squats: 25
Full Squats: 20
Lunge Steps: 25 (done slow)

Neck Wall Preses (L,R,F,B): 20

Twist Hold, L-Sit

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012-09-17 Think it's Difficult...

If you think it's difficult simply doing another workout in your normal series week-to-week, try taking three weeks off with a injury. Holy crap. Plus today I have zero energy from busting ass this past weekend on housework. At least my wife and I got the chickens out of the house and into their new outdoor coop. They seem a little confused, scared at first, but happier.

I am changing my routine in a major way. Going forward I will have two different workout days. Day A will center around pushups, leg raises, bridges, grip and calves. Day B will center around pullups, HSPU, squats, and neck. This way I can work exercises more frequently, greasing the groove better. Plus, I will try to get a workout in at home on Saturday and/or Sunday and add even more. And if that's not enough, as soon as I can run I'll be adding in interval work.

Then it will get interesting as I melt CC / progressive calisthenics into interval training....of course this is all talk at this point. Just keep tuning in.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012-09-13 Some Thoughts...

A bunch of things going through my head lately. First, it's pretty damn easy to do nothing but work and eat and sleep. So I have a new-found perspective on NOT working out and on working through lunch, etc. Gotta say, I understand the allure. The thing that is most profound for me is realizing how hard it is to get started on something that requires a lot of effort unless either A) that thing is fun like jiujitsu or aikido or karate, etc. or B) that thing involves specific goals which can be laid out onto a relatively easy to comprehend road. So in other words, when it comes to physical exertion, I better either be having fun or if not then I better see some sort of plan and a goal to work toward. That's for me, but I suspect that this is true for others as well. Because let's face it, doing pushups and pull ups alone in a box are not inherently fun. Perhaps that's why things like CrossFit are becoming so popular. because then, you are introducing the concept of community, which is inherently different from strict Convict Conditioning in the social aspect at least.

Speaking of that kind of thing, I have been thinking about diet recently as well. I'm a huge fan of evolutionary psychology and biology. And yet, I find it hard to believe that grains are "bad" for you as many in the Paleo diet claim. I'm willing to read scientific papers of course. Thing is, so many people are forgetting the Roseto Effect. Yeah, look that one up. Then you think about the CrossFit "community", and the Paleo "community". Again, I'm not condemning any of this. It's good- getting people working out and eating better. However, let's give some credit where credit is due. The power of community should not be overlooked.

Hell, I feel healthier just writing this.

PS. I am still on hiatus, letting my sprained ankle heal form my motorcycle accident. My knee has reared its head form that wreck and I'm nursing it as well. Fortunately, both shoulders are about back to normal.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012-09-04 Count Your Blessings

On Friday I crashed my motorcycle into the pavement, heading into a right-hand turn at about 15mph. Going back to the scene today I suspect a major problem was a super-smooth manhole cover, probably made even worse by some drizzle coming down that morning. The fact that a squirrel ran out into the road distracting me is largely irrelevant, because the millisecond I noticed the squirrel, my body was already being scraped along the road.
Here's the crazy thing- as my bike went down to the right (you see the scratches on the bike at three levels), it was the INSIDE of my right boot that was scratched up. This means that my leg was pinned underneath, at least momentarily, while my foot was twisted to my outside. X-rays said there were no broken bones, which makes sense because I can walk and put weight on it. It's the side-to-side movement that is difficult.
And check out the foot peg that my foot was resting on...snapped in half. So when the 450lb bike went over all the way, the foot peg fractured and then got scratched on its underside. It probably saved me from worse damage.
The scariest part was the absolute immediacy of the event, just not knowing what the fuck just happened to me, at least for the first moment. I've dodged punches in sparring, seen other accidents coming a mile away, and I've experienced the illusion of slow motion time during traumatic events, but I have never experienced something happen so quickly before as when I ended up on the ground on Friday.
It will humble you I guarantee you that.
So with an already less-than perfect shoulder issue I now have to heal my ankle and my other shoulder (can't figure that out). These things happen in life. As my grandmother would say, it's better than the alternative. (The alternative in this case is not ever standing up again.) 
So I will take this as a gift. It's a beautiful life lesson, and an opportunity for growth.
I'm not going to start at square one in my training, but I will be backing up a bit and testing the waters.