Gymnastics & Ninja-ism

Things have been a little quiet on the blog lately as I’ve started to transition into a slightly different fitness realm.

As I like to do from time to time, I have taken a step back to reevaluate my exercise program. My priorities have narrowed to a few big ones and that’s what I’m going to use to frame my exercise and training decisions for a while. I wrote about this on the Bare 5 blog a week ago or so (Why A Trainer Is Giving Up Working Out… Again), basically explaining my decision to trim my fitness time down to activity/play/fun and ninja warrior training.

Priority number one is family, two is work and three is training for next year’s American Ninja Warrior. I want the little extra time and energy I have for fitness to go toward a very specific training purpose. I’m not going to spend time and energy doing exercises and routines that won’t contribute toward my goal. It’s not that doing things like bench press isn’t good, it’s that I want to focus my efforts toward other things.

You’ll see this reflected in my Bare 5 Fitness workout posts, which I’ll get back to doing shortly.

The two big things I’ve been spending time doing are gymnastics and playground training. I decided to follow the Gymnastics Bodies training system to start from the ground up. I’m starting from the beginning and will follow it to the letter, as it’s designed, without skipping ahead, even when a few of the things aren’t terribly challenging. It’s designed as a slow, steady and graduated program with great progression and thought built into it. I’m looking at this as a year long commitment to gaining gymnastics strength, something I’ve wanted to go after for a while. It’s 20-30 minutes per workout, 4 times a week. Simple, direct, challenging and very transferable to ninja training. Add in a little grip training and call it a day.

I’m also continuing to play, climb, swing and jump at parks and playgrounds when I get a chance. This is intuitive, random and fun. I do things that are similar to challenges the ninja warrior courses traditionally offer but very rarely plan anything ahead of time. Every day is different when I go to the park/playground.

The last piece to the puzzle is rock climbing, which I’ve done sporadically but hope to get on a semi-regular schedule with. Upper body strength, endurance and grip are all very important for the ninja obstacles, as is the flexibility, body control and creativity developed by rock climbing. Not only that, but it’s fun, challenging and has a nice community.

So, in a nut shell, I hope to share as many workouts as I can but they will be a bit different from what you’ve seen. I hope that rethinking, finding and focusing my fitness goals will give me the direction and inspiration to become more ninja-ish while saving a bunch of energy to be a great dad to four kids.

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Fri 5-9-14: Run & Pullups

Simple workout at the basketball court at the nearby park…

Run & Pullup

5 min light warmup and muscle activation

Pull-up/Run Combo
10 Behind Neck Pullups
Jog 2 laps length of basketball court
10 Chinups
Run 2 laps length of basketball court
8 Behind Neck Pullups
Run 2 laps length of basketball court
8 Chinups
Run 1 Liner
7 Behind Neck Pullups
Run 1 Liner
7 Chinups
Run 1 lap Zig Zag Across Court
7 Behind Neck Pullups
Run 1 lap Zig Zag Across Court
7 Chinups
Run 1 lap with jump over half court
6 Behind Neck Pullups
Run 1 lap with jump over half court
6 Chinups
Sprint 1 length, rest 10 sec, sprint back
7 Behind Neck Pullups
Sprint 1 length, rest 10 sec, sprint back
7 Chinups

90 Pullups total

Fri 5-2-14: Run & Handstand

Simple workout at the park today similar to a couple weeks ago. Jogged, shuffled, skipped, back pedaled, and ran. After a few rounds on about 100 yard of grass, the main workout was to sprint one length and recover by walking back and doing handstands every 15-20 yards. Did about 5-6 rounds of this and finished with some handstand pushups against a fence and some jumping and handstands. Very warm but good work and great fresh air and sunshine.

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Thur 4-24-14: Jump & Hand Work

Simple workout in the backyard…

Jumping & Handstand Work

5 Supersets:
Broad Jump 3 jumps
Handstand Pushups (supported) 4-6 reps

5 Combos of:
Running Long Jump one leg
Handstand 2-3 attempts
Running Long Jump other leg
Handstand 2-3 attempts

5 Combos of:
Ice Skaters 5 each side
Various hand work:
Round 1: Handstand Pushups 6 reps
Round 2: Cartwheels 5 each side
Round 3: Front Handspring 5 reps
Round 4: Handstand Pushups 4 reps
Round 5: Crouch Hold 30 sec

Sat/Sun 4-19/20-14: Pullups and Hand Work

Some short and simple bodyweight work over the weekend…

Saturday

Pullups
6-7 sets of ~8 reps, different grip or platform each set.

Sunday

Hand Work

10 minutes of handstand practice

Wall Handstand Pushups
5-6 sets of 3-5 reps

5 minutes of handstand practice
5 minutes of handsprings and cartwheels

Thur 4-15-14: Run & Handstand

Simple workout at the park today. Jogged, shuffled, skipped, back pedaled, and ran. After a few rounds on about 100 yard of grass, the main workout was to sprint one length and recover by walking back and doing handstands every 15-20 yards. Did about 5-6 rounds of this and finished with some 45 sec handstand holds against a fence. Good work and great fresh air and sunshine.