Jasper Roberts - Blog

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014-09-27 On the Way to Delhi, You Will Stop in Pankot.

You may remember a famous scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where Jones wants to get back home, but the elder in a small village demands that he stop off in a different town not even along the way to where Jones is trying to go.
So it was for me last night. I am super excited to report that I did my first official muscle up. I did this on rings having only touched rings once or twice in my life. I did this without training specifically for it. I did this essentially as a sideline "maybe I should give this a try". In truth, I have been working on the one arm chinup for awhile now, and if you do it correctly you will gain other benefits along the way long before you get a one arm chin. Namely, your pulling strength goes through the roof. So since I felt like my pulling strength was satisfactory, I wanted to try a muscle up. Real gymnastics-style muscle ups are done on rings and allow for proper natural rotation of the arms in the shoulder. No kipping, and a false grip is required to allow for pushing from a very-low dip position once you've pulled your hands to your breast. It's a skill. It's a skill that also requires strength.

"False Grip"
Doing a muscle up on a bar is usually much harder (when done without kipping) because it requires almost incredible levels of strength in ranges of motion not usually trained by folks not specifically training for the bar muscle up. Freakish strength can often allow you to cheat on form like crazy in many different things (Handstands, etc)...until you get older and your strength goes down to only "exceptional levels". Learn the proper form and develop the strength and skills. Then you can go off and do whatever you want.
I'd like to thank my trainer Daniel Spencer for his assistance in this and in my handstand progression. It's a long journey and I'm thankful to have found some exceptionally knowledgeable folks along the way to help.

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014-09-22 The Daily Bridge

The daily bridge. Still working on straightening the legs while keeping the arms straight. This is just on maintenance level, and it's important to bridge several times a week at least. Meeting with my GMB man Daniel Spencer this Friday for some handstand training and a check-in on progress.

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014-09-15 Minor Update

One-Arm Chinup


Freestanding Handstand

These three things are my primary focus right now, but I'm more focused on the OAC and the HS for now. The OAC has the danger of injury to the elbow unless you approach cautiously. The planche is a superhuman act of strength, and the freestanding handstand is a mastery of your body's balance, especially if it is of high quality. Arching backs are crap.
My OAC is definitely coming along, doing some bottom one arm holds and "shrugs" from the bottom. Also doing one arm negatives and archer pullups. Also still doing the weighted full ROM pulls and chins with intermediate targeted holds. Not a ton of volume but enough.
Handstands feel like long times without much progress, than BAM I feel a new advance. Like today, I can pretty much go into a freestanding HS hold at will, but not for extraordinarily long times (5-20 seconds). My ultimate goal is to be able to do full presses form the HS hold...that will come in time.
In my "maintenance work" for pushups, I've transitioned away form regular old pushups and one arm pushups to planche work, because...well, because it's an awesome display of balance and strength no doubt about it. I'm working a few different things- weighted negative placnhe pushups to the best of my ability, wide weighted pushups, and planche holds at targeted positions. Of course I'm doing wrist prep and pre-hab of all sorts.
Also working some dumbbell curls to help with the OAC since the biceps component requires more than my puny arms are at. Coming along slow and sure.
Build the strength...then build the conditioning once I'm mastered some basic movements.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014-09-10 Why We Hate (Love) CrossFit

Ostensibly this would appear to be my most controversial post, but as you read you will see this is absolutely not what you think.
First, let me preface by saying I've never trained in a "box" and my only exposure to CF comes from the experiences of close friends, countless articles read online (both pro and con), and many videos (both pro and con). I actually think that CrossFitter are closer to being on the right track than most of the mainstream folks who are still doing a few bench presses and calling it a day. When I see a "gym" whatever that is, I look for bare walls, pull-up bars, rings, and empty space rather than a room crammed full of equipment...but that's just me. I also want to see pursuits based on HUMAN movement. Maximum capacity is for machines, and only an interesting footnote for humans, IMO. That said, you first need to watch this classic movie clip:

Have you been following all the vitriol about those damn racquet ball players lately? You know, all the trash talking about how everyone hates the racquet ball players? No? Well certainly you've met people who hate golf. Point is, there always has been and always will be those who are jealous of...well, jealous of something. Just 'cuz. Simply because something isn't right with their own lives perhaps, who knows.
Personally, I'm envious (not jealous) of people who have the time to enjoy the company of other friends socially and and have tons of healthy fun doing something physical they enjoy. Who wouldn't? I'm envious of people who walk around a park and chase a ball while chatting with each other and breathing fresh air outdoors. I'm envious of people who achieve great things. I'm not jealous, rather I think it's a great thing that people who have the time and ability to do something they enjoy- do just that. It's great.
You're your own person. You don't know what challenges other people are facing unless you get to know them well.

I guess some people hate CrossFit for the same reason that some people hate golfers- and for the same reason the party crashers in the clip hate the people in the club. Likewise, some people love it for the same reason that golfers love golf and partiers love partying.

In the Roadhouse clip, the guys wanting to come in and party are in some ways, jealous of the people in the bar. They want to come in and mess it up- create chaos. Just 'cuz. Let them be! Go do your own thing and quit hatin' !