Friday, 3 June 2016

Handstands Week 3 - Getting It Up

I've come to remind you that this challenge is, in fact, still about handstands. So here's what you need to know:

Handstands have a lot of benefits, and there are a tonne of reasons to practice them:
  • Highly scale-able - No matter your athletic ability, there's almost always going to be something to work up to; whether you're trying a plank position with your feet up on a stool, or one-armed handstand push-ups. This also means that as long as you're not going beyond your ability and taking proper precautions, it's a great deal safer than it might seem at first.
  • No equipment required - You can always supplement your workout with some, but this is primarily body-weight based. You can practice anywhere with empty walls or open space, and you don't have to spend a dagblasted dime.
  • Balanced development - While the legs specifically aren't getting a lot of love from handstands, developing the skills necessary to perform them are gonna amp up your overall strength, mobility, and balance in a really harmonious, practical, and healthy way.
  • Being upside down is awesome - The (initially uncomfortable) blood rushing to your head, and stacking of bones / joints opposite from their standard position allows the body to go through beneficial processes that don't normally occur in day to day life. Plus, have you ever met anybody that doesn't think handstands are fucking impressive? If so, send them my way so that I might learn their secrets (or punch them in their stupid butts if they can't actually do a handstand).

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Handstands Week 2 - Shoulder: The Burden

Last post I promised to talk about mobility, so here it is! If downward dogs don't get you down, and you feel confident in your mobility, this probably isn't necessary for you. If you're like me, this is going to be your starting point, whether you want to do a handstand, or just about any other physical endeavor. Primarily: mobility takes time. It takes approximately 3 times longer for connective tissue in joints to recover than your actual muscles. This slow recovery means a lot of things for your training. Firstly, you're gonna wanna get as much of a head start on mobility as possible, because you really can't rush it. The joints need time to recover, and pushing your body more than it's capable of fixing is only going to hurt your gains and put you at risk of injury in the long run. It's a counter-intuitive approach that's eluded me for years. This is going to produce results that come about as fast as turtle shit, aaand if you're anything like myself, this is going to murder your march into mobile magnificence; which is a shame, because it does so many wonderful things for you. Wonderful things like reduced risk of injury, increased physical performance, more efficient training in other areas (maybe the reason you've hit a plateau), and most crucially: reaching the remote without getting off the couch.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

New Challenge - Handstands

I'm still alive! I think we can safely say that the last challenge was a failure. FAILURE! It's often an ugly word. Knowing that I started something and didn't finish it was painful, and certainly one of the factors contributing to another year-long absence. I want to get into my head- get into your head for a second! Failure is awesome! It means one of two things: you busted your ass and made progress, or you didn't and you need to shift your focus. For myself, the latter is twofold true. I started with the best intentions on my flair challenge, but things quickly fell apart because I had too much on my plate to meet the lofty goals I set. In retrospect, I also think my challenge was too closely tied to my actual job, and it became a redundancy issue. None of this changes the fact that I crashed and burned, but the only progressive option is to look at that failure objectively and tweak my goals, processes for meeting them, and general failure-based thinking. That reminds me. There's something over there, glistening on the horizon. What's that? It looks like... feet? Wait.. it's...


Friday, 6 March 2015

Flair Bartending - Week 1 - Setting the Bar Higher

Oh hey, welcome back, good to see you again. Here, have a seat, I've got just the thing for you. Today's special is all about the basics of bartending and prepping drinks. I'll be covering four main areas: Knowledge, Etiquette, Quality, and Efficiency. Those are the four orders of barcraft you would do well to develop if you wish to become a master of mixtromancy, a wizard of the pisser'd; a truly powerful pourcerer. But first! Progress, progress, progress. How little of thee I have been making...

I've underestimated just how little time I have to spend on the project this month, and just how much of a hindrance being broke is on the project. Nobody likes excuses though, and the exact reason this month's challenge has taken so long to get to. So, as always, don't let excuses get in the way. The joy of working towards my goals still overshadows the dissatisfaction of not being able to produce the results I'd like. In the last week I have managed to decide that my signature drink for the month is going to be a platform for an apple brandy I purchased yesterday. Gold stars if you can figure out why I might come to such a decision (Hint: it has nothing to do with a love for apple brandy, and everything to do with lame drink names). I've also been practicing my pours/mixing technique and researching what I can only assume is all the drinks. I've also managed to get a little flair practice in, by means of a Franken-like monster I will smugly claim proprietorship over (and I doubt anybody will care enough to argue) which combines fitness and flair. I'll have more details, and probably a delightfully awful name I put more effort into than the workouts themselves, in the following week. That's where I'm at, so without further adieu...

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Challenge - Flair Bartending

Oh, hey there. Welcome back, friend. It's been too long. Almost a whole year, actually, but who's counting, right? What I'd like to say is (mostly to myself, but also to you, dear reader, whom I can only discern as being deeply dismayed at my disturbing disappearance), well... I'm no good at this stuff, but I am great at being excessively dramatic.

Now, you probably aren't here to pat me on the back and hand me a hanky, and we're all about effective use of time, so let us get to it. 'It', being one of the things most likely to get the person in front of you gooned, just somewhere between 'being exceptionally attractive', and 'shouting "JAGERBOMBS, BRAH!"'- it's Bartending; and because nobody comes to the internet to see you talk about perfecting your Old Fashioned for a month, we'll focus specifically on the exciting world of flair bartending. I hear you uncultured swine out there. What is this Flar Beartending thing? Well, I'll tell you! Bartending, as I'm sure you already know, is the job bestowed upon a bartender to serve their customers that sweet sweet nectar we as a society have grown to love: Alcohol. The flair is the style, the flash, the razzle-dazzle that you all would love to see me attempt and fail miserably. Taking on the month's challenge means knowing and appreciating both parts of that delicious recipe.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Bulking - Finish - The Weight is Over

My month is up! How did I do? I think a body transformation photo is in order!


I'd say the results speak for themselves, just look at that sorry sack of man-lump on the left. All it took was some good old fashioned elbow grease... and half a cup of olive oil, some carefully placed lighting, a rolled up ball of socks, a well-timed flex/smile, oh, and about 30 minutes of awkwardly taking photos of myself before my roommates got home. Surprise: the two pictures were taken the same day, aaand I actually did a pretty shitty job. If somebody wanted to, they could make the two photos look significantly different. The point here is, not every body transformation you see is actually as impressive as they look. If you're trying to improve your fitness level and self-image, it's not always as simple as the photos make it look. You've gotta keep at it over an extended period if you want to make some noticeable improvements. Most people don't give their body enough time to see the benefits, or make a half-assed attempt, expecting to see at least some results, which just ends up being discouraging when it doesn't happen. Use that whole ass, asshole!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Bulking - Week 3 - Dost thou even heave?

So get this, there's this awful place I know. Let me give you a mental picture. The clanging of metal bars, plates, and pulleys; while grunts of agony fill the air, thick with the musk of labourious sweat. In the distance, you see a man in red gleefully relaying absurd orders to a huddled pack of suffering husks of human flesh sprawled out on the floor. It ain't hell. They call it a gym... and people pay to go here! What would drive a person to such utter insanity? Well there's lots of reasons, actually. It's your decision whether or not it's worth it. Do you want to feel well? Energetic? Healthy? Do you want to look your best? Do you want to push the limits of what your body can do for you? Then you're going to have to work for it! Or just pump some 'roids and screw the healthy part. Whatever. Going to the gym may not be for everybody, but make no mistake, humans weren't built for the sedentary lifestyle so many live today.

"No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable"