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Focused on Goals in 2014

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Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:41 pm

So, here I am again… the start of another new year. The past couple of years I have focused on developing more consistency. I did really well a couple of years ago, but this past year has been tough. I need to get rededicated to that goal.

I have also lost control of my diet and it shows. As I start the new year, I am up to 182 lbs. That is about 22 lbs more than I would like and a full 12 lbs more than this time last year.

To make things worse, I have been struggling with sciatica due to a tight piriformis muscle over the past 4 months as a result of a low back injury. Although it is getting better, much better in the past couple of weeks, it is still not 100% and may not be for several more weeks.

Today, I have been reviewing logs for the past year and something Dave said to me at this time last year has been ringing in my ears. I have just not been focused on achieving specific and achievable goals. Last year I tried to learn the handstand and spent 4 months of pretty focused work on it, but I could not manage it, at least in part because I just do not have the overall body control to manage it. After that fail, I never could get back on track with a reachable goal. That is what I need to work on most.

So, to start the year I am only making three goals, and I think that they are all achievable.

1. Drop at least 17 lbs, preferably 22.
2. Workout at least twice per week for a minimum of 48 weeks this year.
3. Set a goal at the beginning of each quarter and develop a plan to achieve the goal.

The first is a must. If I do not get control of my diet, then nothing else matters. I have done it before, and I can do it again. I just need to be more disciplined. I have talked to my wife, and she is going to help me stay focused. That support is critical.

The second is a revision of my 250 workouts goal. That one fell completely apart with some injuries this past year. This goal is similar to that one in that it will force me to do something every week. The difference is that I do not have to manage 5 workouts every week all year long to make it. I plan to do 5 workouts most weeks, but I only have to manage two workouts in a week to meet this goal. Some weeks those two workouts may come at the very end just to get them done, but that is the point. I have to stay consistent and do at least something every week.

The third goal is about trying to make tangible progress over time. My goals can change throughout the year. Right now, I will focus on my upper body as I allow the inflammation in my piriformis continue to heal. Specifically, I want to increase my pullups. I have seen injuries each time I have tried to go for 20 pullups, so I will adopt a less ambitious goal of 15. I have only managed this many pullups a couple of times, but I am hoping to get there and maintain for a while. Given that I cannot do a lot of lower body work anyway, focusing on pullups makes a lot of sense right now. So, I will put a lot of emphasis on them for the first quarter. Clearly, dropping some weight will help a lot with that goal as well.

So, my plan for the 1st quarter this year is to do mostly upper body exercises with a focus on pullups. IN addition, I would like to start doing some yoga, if I can do it without inflaming the piriformis. Then, I will reevaluate my plans at the beginning of April.
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Week 1 workout 1

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:47 am

WU
Some light strand pulling
A few pushups
Arm circles
Pec stretches
Tricep stretches

Pullup test: 8

20 min A.M. Yoga back bends

I felt really good about that pull-up test. I went all out and pushed as hard as I could to complete the 8 reps. Frankly, I was a bit surprised that I could do that many at this weight. That looks like a good starting point. The plan I will be using is the 50 pullups program, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] I looked at a lot of plans to decide what I wanted to do. The things I like about this one are that it has a strong focus on both progress and rest. It slowly but steadily increases the reps, and it emphasizes the importance of getting plenty of rest between workouts. Another key feature is that it calls for a new test at the end of each cycle to deice what to do for the next cycle. I will be starting the 6-8 range cycle on Monday.

The piriformis was a bit tight during the yoga. There were some moments that were tough because of the stretch on that inflamed muscle almost rough it to spasm, but I was able to relax and get it under control. By the end, it had loosened up considerably, and I was much more mobile. Overall, this ws an excellent workout. I will plan to use yoga to continue to improve my mobility a couple of times each week.
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Week 1 workout 2

Post by ccheatum on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:41 am

Upper Body Deck o' Cards

Hearts - Pushups
Spades - Ring Rows
Diamonds - Resistance Band Back Presses
Clubs - Resistance Band Front Pulls
Aces High
Face Cards 10
24:39

This one was almost a minute slower than the last time I did it before Christmas. Given the time off and the extra weight I added, though, I am not surprised. In spite of the slow down, I still enjoyed this workout. It is tough, and my arms are just dead afterwards. It is a good combination of pulling and pressing that gives me a great pump!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Brahma Bill on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:54 am

Nice one! DOC is a hell of a way to start the day. :twisted: 
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:22 pm

I was going to post a video on piriformis stretches but there are A LOT. I couldn't choose, so I'm reporting there are a LOT of videos for that. Just about all are variations of the same stretch and I think the yoga you're doing will not hinder you at all.
Keep on, I think you are on the right track!

Oh yeah....subbed!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by TheMasterKey on Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:49 pm

Good stuff cc, you motivated me today.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Sun Jan 05, 2014 9:59 am

itlives wrote:I was going to post a video on piriformis stretches but there are A LOT. I couldn't choose, so I'm reporting there are a LOT of videos for that. Just about all are variations of the same stretch and I think the yoga you're doing will not hinder you at all.
Keep on, I think you are on the right track!

Oh yeah....subbed!

Oh, I know all of the piriformis stretches. My problem has been that it was so inflamed and sensitive that doing them made the problem worse not better. Finally in the last week, the inflammation has subsided enough that I have been able to start doing some light stretching. I think I am finally back on the path toward full recovery, but I will proceed with caution just to be sure! Hopefully, the yoga will help me address the problem and prevent future problems. Generally, I think I need to be more flexible.

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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:35 am

Glad you're making some progress in that area.
Soldier on!
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Week 2 workout 1

Post by ccheatum on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:02 am

WU

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 2
2 3
3 2
4 2
5 max: 7

Strand Pulling
2 min rest between sets
10 Back Presses
10 Front Raises
10 One-arm overhead Press (each arm)
10 Front Pulls
5x

This was a solid workout. I am using the 50 pullups program and I am on the 6-8 pullups cycle. It starts pretty easy. This pull-up workout was a snap. The 7 at the end felt really good. The strand pulling was a great workout too. That last set was tough. These things are great for my shoulders as I can hit those muscles from every possible angle, which is pretty cool. Right now, all of those muscles in my arms and shoulders are pretty tired, so it was a good workout.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:30 am

Keep watch on your elbows as your numbers increase on pull-ups. Everytime I get on a program, I end up starting some tendonitis.
When I do start back pull-ups, I'm going to use J-mans suggestions about going slow (slow pull-ups).
Good luck with this!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:00 am

You mean really slow reps? How would that protect the elbows?
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:08 am

Not really slow, but slower than I usually do them. I tend to go balls to the wall and not extend far enough. I think more control is in order for me.
J-man talked about a training technique that someone (Pavel or Sonnen?) does where you hold at certain points on the way up and down. They say the hold is what strengthens your connecting tissues. I'ma try it, anyway.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:59 am

Focusing on a few good goals is the way to go. This will be a great year for you CC. Subbed!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:13 pm

Cheesedog wrote:Focusing on a few good goals is the way to go.  This will be a great year for you CC.  Subbed!

Thanks Cheese!!
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Week 2 workout 2

Post by ccheatum on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:15 pm

20 min Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga Back bends

Again this was really good. My piriformis screamed when I started, but I eased myself into it and got it to calm down and relax. AFter a few hours though, I am really feeling the benefits. It is feeling much better now than it has in months!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:40 pm

Sounds like the yoga is doing it's work! Stay on it. You'll be back to 100% before you know it!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:00 pm

itlives wrote:Sounds like the yoga is doing it's work! Stay on it. You'll be back to 100% before you know it!

You can count on that!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Ab1 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 3:42 am

ccheatum, good luck with the back issues, it is hard rehabilitating an injury. Hard work will get you back to being fighting fit.

Your goals are great, stick with it man.. I'll keep an eye on your post this year.
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Week 2 workout 3

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:49 am

WU

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 2
2 3
3 2
4 2
5 max: 7

Simple 70s
10 Pushups
10 Prisoner Squats
10 Ring Rows
7x

Solid workout! I have not been able to squat for a while. Today, there was no discomfort! The pullups felt really great today. This program moves things along slowly. The Friday workout will increment just a little, then there are more increments next week. That is part of why I chose this program since the cycles add reps slowly. I am counting on that approach to keep me healthy and making slow and steady progress toward the goal!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Glinda on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:29 pm

That does look like a solid workout. I always like the ones that push us but don't leave us in pain for days after...

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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:26 pm

Glinda wrote:That does look like a solid workout. I always like the ones that push us but don't leave us in pain for days after...

I had planned for 10 sets, but I was running out of gas on the rows, so I cut it back to 7. I am a little sore this evening, so I think that was probably a good choice, especially with the pull-up program. So it is exactly like you say… a push, but I will not be in pain for days.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by TheMasterKey on Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:59 am

ccheatum wrote:20 min Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga Back bends

Again this was really good. My piriformis screamed when I started, but I eased myself into it and got it to calm down and relax. AFter a few hours though, I am really feeling the benefits. It is feeling much better now than it has in months!

Good to hear, and AM Yoga is great.
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Week 2 workout 4

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:33 am

20 min Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga Hip Openers

I love this DVD! The hip openers felt good, which is amazing because most of these movements would have sent me into painful spasms a few weeks ago. It is nice to be feeling some progress on recovering the mobility in my hips.
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Week 2 workout 5

Post by ccheatum on Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:30 pm

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 3
2 4
3 2
4 2
5 max: 7

Quick Strand Pulling

10 Front Pulls
10 Back Press
10 Overhead Pulls
10 Military Press (L/R)
10 Front Raises


I only had a little time to workout this morning, but I made time for it anyway. I did not have time to record it until this evening though. What a crazy busy day. Nevertheless, at least I did something!! With this workout, the first week of pull-up training is done. So far it has been pretty easy. I know it will get more difficult, but I am counting on progressing slowly enough that my body can adapt and keep up.
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Week 3 workout 1

Post by ccheatum on Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:47 am

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 3
2 4
3 3
4 3
5 max: 7

Descending Sets
2 min rest between sets
N Back Presses
N Front Raises
N One-arm overhead Press (each arm)
N Front Pulls
N Pushups
N = 10, 7, 5, 3

Finisher
3 Tuck Yewkis
3x 2 min rest between sets

This was a killer upper body workout!! I added an extra strand to my chest expander so, I had to do descending sets because the sets were so tough. I also decided that I wanted to add in some yewkis just to hit my upper back again. Altogether, this workout was an awesome way to cart the week!
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Week 3 workout 2

Post by ccheatum on Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:07 am

60 min Yoga - Rodney Yee Yoga Conditioning for Athletes

Lots of good opening in my hips both front and back. This felt good!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by itlives on Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:29 pm

Rodney is my favorite yoga person.
Good news with your spasms and general well-being coming along!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by CheesedogTheFirst on Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:01 pm

I had to youtube yewkis. Nice! I'll give them a try when I lose some of my "built in weight vest".
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:11 am

itlives wrote:Rodney is my favorite yoga person.
Good news with your spasms and general well-being coming along!

Thanks. It is not quite 100%, but it is getting close...
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:12 am

Cheesedog wrote:I had to youtube yewkis.  Nice!  I'll give them a try when I lose some of my "built in weight vest".

They are an awesome multilane pulling exercise. I am a big fan!
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Week 3 workout 3

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:58 am

Just Pullups

2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 3
2 5
3 3
4 3
5 max: 8

It was a short night, and I needed the sleep more than I did the workout. So, I slept in and did just the pull-up workout. Honestly, I am still a little fatigued and sore from Monday's strand pulling. I upped the resistance for that workout, and I really felt it afterwards. So, it is probably just as well that I got a little more rest by taking a light day today. It does mean, however, that I need to commit to a really solid workout for Friday!
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Week 3 workout 4

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:32 am

20 Min Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga Back bends

SHort set again today. I had a bad night and overslept again. I need to get to sleep and stay asleep one night to get caught up! Oh well, the weekend is coming, and that will be better.
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Week 3 workout 5

Post by ccheatum on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:46 am

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 4
2 5
3 4
4 4
5 max: 7

7x7
7 Pushups
7 Prisoner Squats
7 Ring Rows
7x 30 sec rest between sets

Finisher
3x3 Tuck Yewkis

This was a pretty good workout. I am intent on improving my pulling, and this workout gave me a lot of work in that area. Next week is time for retesting on pullups, so I am eager to see if I have made significant improvement. I did 8 reps at my first test. I would be content with an increase as minimal as 9, but 10-11 would be awesome. Even if I am disappointed though, I am committed to progress in this area! So, a few days of rest and I should be ready for it!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Iliander on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:49 am

great workout! keep using that 50 pull-ups program
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Dave on Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:27 pm

Indeed, good workout! Nice to see you working away on those pullups.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:31 am

Dave wrote:Indeed, good workout!  Nice to see you working away on those pullups.

Thanks Dave! I am committed to increasing those pull-up reps!
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Week 4 day 1

Post by ccheatum on Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:03 am

60 min Rodney Yee Yoga for Athletes

This workout was pretty good. I did some traveling over the weekend, and my back and legs were tight, so this was good to loosen up. Unfortunately, my piriformis was screaming at me during most of it. By the end though, it had calmed down and felt much better. It was good that I did this workout today.
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Week 4 day 2

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:51 pm

Pullups Test!

WU

Pullups one set max reps: 9

So, I have been going light this week since I was preparing for a pullups test. Today was testing day, and I managed 9, which is one more than my max last time. I am pleased by this result especially because it sets me up for the next cycle. The 9-11 cycle is pretty intense too. By the end of the two week period I will be doing one set at my current max reps. The prescribed cycle is both more progressive and demanding than the 6-8 rep cycle. I am hoping that this increase in work load will lead to more significant gains over the next cycle than the last cycle did. Either way, I plan to be busting out the reps to build my way up to this for sure!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Brahma Bill on Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:06 pm

Progress! Keep at it, you'll be knocking them out in no time.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Iliander on Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:07 pm

congrats!
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Week 4 day 3

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:38 am

Some light yoga and stuff

20 min made up yoga
10 bilateral hip thrusts
10 side leg raises (L/R)
10 One leg hip thrusts (L/R)
10 Bird dogs (L/R)

I did not have access to the televisions since my kids were up early, so I directed the yoga myself. WHile I would not want to do that every day, it did give me a chance to focus on some of the poses that I like best and hold them a little longer to really feel the stretch. This felt good!
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Week 4 day 4

Post by ccheatum on Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:04 am

EMOTM Fun

EMOTM
5 DB Swings (L/R)
5 DB OHP (L/R)
15 lbs DB
15x

I have not done swings in a long time! This was fun. My legs are going to be really sore, but I needed a workout like this!! I have been protecting my legs and posterior chain from doing much so that my piriformis could recover. I have has a lot of success with yoga, so I decided that I would try to do something more ambitious. I kept the weight low, so that I would not push myself too much, but this was still demanding and proved to be a lot of fun. I am eager to do some more workouts like this in the coming weeks.
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Week 5 Day1

Post by ccheatum on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:20 am

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 3
2 5
3 3
4 3
5 max: 7

Strand Pulling Simple 5s
5 Strand Back presses
5 Strand OHP (L/R)
5 Strand Archer Pulls
5 Strand Front Pulls
5 Pushups
1 min rest

Finisher
3 Tuck Yewkis

A good workout. The pullups were slow to get started and felt a little like lead at first, but by the time I go to the last set, I was able to bang them out pretty well. Otherwise this felt pretty good. It was a good way to start the week.
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Week 5 Day2

Post by ccheatum on Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:56 am

Legs
10 DB Swings 15 lbs (L/R)
5 Hot Potato Squats 15 lbs (L/R = 1)
5x

Yoga
20 min Rodney Yee A.M. Yoga Backbends


This was a good workout. I got a chance to get back to the swings that left my legs aching all weekend. I am confident that I will feel this one but not quite as sore as this last weekend after the last go at swings. Still, this workout definitely convinced me that my piriformis problems are under control and on the mend!
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Week 5 Day3

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:49 am

Pullups
2 min rest between sets

Set Reps
1 4
2 6
3 4
4 4
5 max: 7

Push-Pull

5 Pushups
5 Ring Rows
5x
2 min rest
3x
2 min rest
1x

3x3 Tuck Yewkis

This was a good solid workout! I am making some progress with the pullups I think. I had hoped to manage a max of 8 and almost made it, but I still failed on the last rep. Nevertheless, that is getting to be a lot of pullups. The rest of the workout was really solid too. It is good to do all BW workouts sometimes!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Dave on Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:26 pm

Yes it is! Looking good and keep up the good work on the pullups.
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Wed Jan 29, 2014 10:57 pm

Dave wrote:Yes it is!  Looking good and keep up the good work on the pullups.

Thanks!
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Week 5 Day4

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:45 am

Leg Fun

5 Plate Swings @25 lbs
5 OHP Squats @25 lbs
5 Plate Swings @25 lbs
5 OHP Squats @25 lbs
2 min rest
5x

15 min Yoga Poses for Flexibility

That leg workout was awesome. I had not tried OHP squats, and I love them! They force me hold much better posture than I usually do. This workout was a lot of fun. I wish I had started a little earlier since I did not get to do a real yoga routine. I just did a few poses on my own so that I would get in some of the flexibility work that I need to make sure I am doing regularly!
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by Dave on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:20 am

Very nice! Can you describe your OHP squats?
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Re: Focused on Goals in 2014

Post by ccheatum on Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:33 am

Dave wrote:Very nice!  Can you describe your OHP squats?

Sure, though I am not sure that is the correct name for them.

I raise the 25 lbs plate over my head with both arms straight straight up as in the fully extended position of an overhead press; then, I do squats to just below parallel with the plate held fixed in that position. I found it to be really helpful because I have to keep my back straight and my bodyweight centered over my heels in order to keep the weight balanced above my head. It felt like that improved my form considerably.
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