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November 2008 monthly report

This is my eleventh monthly report. To review introductory comments and the purpose of these reports, please refer to the initial report made for January 2008. Text in italics is copied from the previous monthly report for reference.

Looking back: November 2008

Physical – To begin with, I intend to continue the long journey towards the one-armed chin-up. This means basically that I will continue doing the exercises from last month and gradually increase the load. I hope that I will be able to gradually increase grip strength without jeopardising my right ring finger. However, I still feel like experimenting with different exercises, so rather than defining a specific goal, I will try to do physical workout aimed towards the one-arm chin-up at least eight times in the coming month.

No problems. This is my current output (if available, last months figures will be in brackets):

Normal chin-ups, round bar: 19
Normal pull-up, square bar: 10
One-handed chin-up: 7 x 2 (5 x 2)
One-arm chin-up,, 30 kg assistance: 3 x 2
One-arm chin-up, 40 kg assistance: 10 x 2 (5 x 2)
Negative one-arm chin-up, 20 kg assistance: 3 x 2
Negative, one-arm chin-up, alternating, 20 kg assistance: 5 x 2
Pulley-aided one-arm pull-down: 7 x 2 x 90 kg (5 x 2 x 80 kg)
Pulley-aided one-arm pull-down: 5 x 2 x 100 kg (5 x 2 x 80 kg)
Pulley-aided one-handed pull-down: 10+ x 2 x 130 kg

Conclusion: I have a long, long, long way to go.

The hand-balancing is a bit unclear, because the many skills I want to achieve overlap. However, two of them (one-handed handstand and clapping handstand push-up) require more balance than I currently possess, so focusing on standing still with balance seems like a good idea. Once upon a time, I was able to do a free handstand for 76 seconds. Over the past few days, my record is 61, which is not bad, but the median is horribly low. If I want to work towards these skills, I will have to solidify my handstand. My goal for November is doing 400 timed handstand attempts. That means 20 every day, allowing for some days rest or other activities. This will make me unable to focus very hard on walking in stairs and doing push-ups, but I will still try to try the stairs at least five times and the push-ups at least eight (usually together with the auxiliary exercises described below).

These two proved a bit more inconvenient than I thought. Doing my auxiliary routine competed for the same time as some other things, which resulted in a lack of hand-stand push-ups.I tried the stairs only once, and did push-ups only four times. The times hand-stands proved difficult for a completely different reason. In the beginning, everything went well, but I recovered my balance pretty fast, which lead to an average (over 20 attempts) approaching 50 seconds. Doing 400 handstands if the average is 50 seconds is simply not very convenient, because it is only  a matter of endurance, not balance. Anyway, I have achieved my goal of regaining balance. Very good.

I also intend to continue some auxiliary exercise for abdomen and back. I have a small routine that seems to work quite well. Basically, it consists of 3 x 10 headstand leg raises (excellent workout for the back, specifically aiming for some more advanced handstand skills later) and 3 x 25 piked leg raises lying flat on my back . This regimen is nothing fancy, but I intend to complete it eight times.

Only four times out of eight. I still like the routine, so I intend to continue. The reason I did not do this more is mostly because I practiced too much, but I think that better planning is the key here.

Furthermore, I have decided to continue working on my vertical jump. This summer, my Sargent’s Jump measured 63 centimetres. Since I cannot practice diving here, I intend to do at least something which will be of value when I take up diving again. I am going to do two things: weighted squats in the gym combined with normal jumping. Currently, I can manage 5 x 105 kg squat for five sets. Since I tend to do the squats at the same time as the chin-up workout, I will set an identical goal: eight sessions of squat workout for November. In addition to this, I will try to refine my technique a little bit by practicing jumping at least five times. The important thing here is technique, not actual workout, so the number of times I do it is more important than how much each time.

Complete success. I can handle 130-kilo squats if I do not have to worry about balance, and 120 if I have to worry about it. This is a fairly rapid increase from 105 kilos at the beginning of last month.

It seems silly to add a goal for swimming, since I seem to be able to do it anyway. Right now, swimming works as some sort of weight control. I have terribly bad discipline when it comes to food at the moment, and I must admit that it is bothering me a little bit. Swimming almost fifty kilometres this month made sure my weight stayed roughly the same (the change is not statistically significant); I do not even dare to contemplate what would have happened without the swimming. I currently weigh 79,4 kg wearing gym clothes (no shoes), and as long as I stay under 80 kg, I do not feel I need to bother about being specific.

No problem. The difference in weight is 0.1 kg, which should be well within normal statistical variation. For your information, I swam comparatively less in November, only 17 000 metres.

Creativity – I feel a surging need to increase my creative output. I have a few ideas on how to do this, but for various reasons I do not intend to talk about all of them here. However, I will keep the failed goal from last month and make sure that I finish the two scenarios for my role-playing game. Hopefully, I will then be able to wrap up the project in December. I will also experiment a little bit with various projects and inform you about the results later.

The creative output has increased somewhat, but not in the direction I predicted. Instead of working on my role-playing game, I focused on the novel writing instead. However, “focus” and “writing” are probably not very accurate terms, since I still spend most of the time planning and thinking about what to do. Also, with a few exceptions, I only do this sporadically.

Lucid dreaming – Yes, I have decided to take up lucid dreaming again! It was a long time ago, but the reason I stopped was not because of dwindling interest, but because I was lacking the necessary time. To start again, I will need to freshen up my capability of remembering dreams, so for November, I shall record every dream I can remember. Medium does not matter, but I think voice recording is the easiest way.

As this goal is formulated, it is a complete failure. I only recorded a few dreams. On the other hand, I spent pretty much time focusing on the dreams themselves, and I have had two more lucid dreams (I have written about one here, but the other is so insignificant that I do not think it merits a report). However, I need to keep this goal if I am to make any progress at all. I need more chances to get used to the lucid dreaming.

Looking ahead: December 2008

The next report probably spells the end of monthly reports as they have functioned previously, so I will make my best to make something good come out of it. During December, I will probably me quite busy with things not covered in these reports, so I will try to be moderate when setting my goals. As usual, I will begin with the physical part.

Physical – I think I should change my chin-up workout to greasing the groove (i.e. doing hordes of repetitions through-out the day), but the problem is that I do not yet have a chin-up bar at home. Therefore, I will set the same goal as that of last month. I will do physical workout aimed towards the one-arm chin-up at least eight times in the coming month.

Following last months success with hand-balancing, I feel that I can leave two-handed handstands for a while. Instead, I will focus on two things: handstand push-ups and one-handed handstands. I will shelve walking in stairs for now. The push-ups need some change, because doing them with the auxiliary workout does not work. I will change to greasing the groove, aiming for 500 repetitions in December. I will begin by not touching forehead to the ground, but will try to lower the push-up gradually. I also intend to practice one-handed handstands eight times. Right now, I have no idea how difficult this is, but I will do my best to map whatever difficulties might lie ahead.

I failed the eight times I set for the auxiliary regimen last time, but I really think I ought to try again. Since it is highly flexible and can be done anywhere, I also think my moving around or being busy should not present a serious problem. Thus, eight is the number of times I will aim for this time around as well.

The vertical is progressing, I think. Including the jumping in the auxiliary workout makes it unnecessary to treat separately. I cannot reach the ceiling in my apartment with both hands yet (one is pretty easy), but soon I will. Squats and jumping will continue as before, meaning the same as the chin-ups, eight times a month.

Creativity – Sad to say, I do not think I will have the time or energy to focus very much on creative matters, but the novel will be in focus. Perhaps I will be able to start writing or at least finish planning, but I will not set an ambitious goal I cannot reach.

Lucid dreaming – I think recording dreams is a good way of seriously focusing on dreams and what they contain. Even though this was a complete failure last time, I will try again.

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  1. Niklas’s avatar

    du ska int slita som en snigel på 100m nu sista månaden ifall att nån gud däruppe e en snel hest?

    Reply