My Bodyweight / Calisthenics progress

I checked Weightlifting in Latin America by Expat Chronicles as a guide and I’ve been avoiding Gyms like Bodytech or Stella del Mar (only old women go there). I’ve seen “People Training” in downtown yet I never been there because I don’t spend much time there besides some daygame, some vueltas or sometimes El Chorro.

That’s why for eight months I’ve been on Bodyweight calisthenincs excercises (with a doorway bar I bought on Mercadolibre). Inspired by Convict Conditioning, 30 Days of Discipline and Barstarzz vids and Calisthenics Works blog, but doing mainly Wide and Close Push Ups (100 reps in as less sets I can, when I started I couldn’t reach 20 now I do 35-50 straight), Pull-ups (I couldn’t even do one when I started, now I can do 20-30 straight), Hanging Leg raises (50 reps or until I can’t do more) and going to Ciclovía friday-sunday (I’ve diminished my intensity to avoid losing muscle) for legs (calves especially). In these few months of intermittent discipline,  I’ve gone from 120 pounds to 135 pounds (Ectomorph) at 1,75 m and I’ve lost a lot of fat so I can now see some abs (was somewhat skinny-fat – SHAME).

Regarding public parks, some of them have pull-up bars, but they’re designed for children so they usually are very low (ideal for Hanging L-sits and practicing muscle ups). The mayority have monkey bars that are good for chinups and dips (but very elevated from the ground). But the dip bars are scarce and when I found one near home, It was very wide that the only use was push-ups on them.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “My Bodyweight / Calisthenics progress

  1. Convict Conditioning is BAD ASS – but when followed to a T. I just skimmed it and looked at the pictures the first time through. BIG MISTAKE.

    The main downside in that was not doing the reps in slow, controlled fashion – 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down, momentary pause at the top and bottom of the rep. Doing them like that, it was difficult to get 2 sets of 20 close pushups! That’s why I never could get a true 1-arm pushup without twisting my torso or spreading my feet out. But now I’m on the way and I really feel strength building, and the JOINTS getting stronger and healthier.

    From now on I’m not putting beginners on StrongLifts 5×5 anymore. Not until they’ve gotten balls deep into Convict Conditioning first!

    P.S. That BarStarrz stuff is cool but I think it has a negative impact here in Bogota, where it’s clearly popular. A LOT of dudes using speed and sloppy form so they can look cool doing tricks, but they won’t progress to the truly bad ass shit unless they master the movements’ FULL RANGE OF MOTION in a way where they can stop at any position in the rep and HOLD for a momentary pause.

  2. You’re right! Oh man I’ve seen some “cool kids” (In Alcala Park and in Mazuren’s) posing as “Hannibal” yet don’t dominate the form. They start doing a lot of cool shit and they after are crying over shoulder and elbow pain. Some of them don’t seem to progress at all, always for rushing and not taking the time. (I hate them because they have so cool parks near them to train while I have to get creative near my house).
    I’ve been trying to be faithful to all the progresions in CC (pull-ups and push-ups) after I made the mistake on rushing to the final of the book, failing stupidly on the One Handed Pushups and almost killing myself with one handed chins.
    That was beggining.
    Now, I try to start all my workout sessions with a lower progression (Wall fingertip pushups and inverted rows on a towel) in a high rep form as a way to warm up. Also as a form of training the shotgun muscles (especially fingers and forearms).
    Maybe I’m very concentrated on the upper-body right now, telling myself that the ciclovía will do the trick but I’m starting to see the need of doing some bridges (especially wrestler’s) and squats. Also I’m going to use the old jump rope just because of feeling like Rocky.
    As you and Wade say, form is king when developing strenght: always feeling the rep and squeezing tight the muscle makes them sore and happy as I have my pecs right now from yesterday’s push-ups.
    Finally, as you said, I considered Stronglifts/StartingStrenght. For some time I was getting in and out of the Bodytech gym because of wanting the barbells, yet I didn’t and don’t have yet the base strenght for that. But who nows maybe I’ll stick to Bodyweight because these gainz are addictive man!
    How are you doing with Handstand pushups?

  3. is there any evidence anyone anywhere has done a one armed handstand pushup with CC form?

    i found it hard to transition into one-armed work in CC (pushups and pullups). started to plateau after awhile. i’m thinking a weight jacket might help make the move into the one armed stuff easier. any thoughts?

    • No, I haven’t that evidence. Yet, i’ve seen Hit Richards from Calisthenics Kingz do in one vid a one handed hand-stand. And the same guy of the CC photos, Jim Bathurst of Beastskills.com has a post, “Evolution of a One Arm Handstand” http://www.beastskills.com/evolution-of-a-one-arm-handstand/

      “i found it hard to transition into one-armed work in CC (pushups and pullups). started to plateau after awhile. i’m thinking a weight jacket might help make the move into the one armed stuff easier. any thoughts?”

      I’m not there yet. I’m still fighting even when doing one armed wall pushups, but I’ve seen that they recommend using a rucksack or a weight vest instead of transitioning to harder versions of the excersise but only adding more and more weiight progressively. While on the other hand others (as CC) don’t reccomend doing that and opt on keep on the progressions. Contradicting advices that let you choose whatever is the best option for you.

      I’m not an expert. I’m just an amateur, there are others that know a lot more than me, so keep on researching.

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