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milnercraig's log

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:50 am
by milnercraig
Friday 19th Sept
Well I started SF this week with L2D1 and managed 34 rounds which I was pretty pleased with, coupled it with an hour of football (soccer for those of you across the pond) the same day. The aftermath wasn't pretty at all! Very sore quads and thighs for the next few days....that'll teach me.

Wanted to balance up the week so I get into a routine of D1 early in the work week and D3 at the end of the work week so skipped to D3 this morning. Completed it in 4:35 which again I was happy with although the form of the last few pull ups was pretty poor if I'm honest. The reps went 3 pull up, 3 chin up, 2 pull up, 2 chin up, 1 pull up, 1 chin up, 1 chin up. Not pretty but got them done in the 5 minutes.

The question now is whether to move up to L3 or stick another week at L2...gut says move up but head says play safe and stick with L2.

Probably go with the gut....

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:48 am
by cheapo
Welcome aboard.
I was wondering just last night if there were any SF members from outside North America.

As someone who is always looking to clear the next level of SF, I am sympathetic to your drive to move up.

There is nothing wrong with dividing your pull-ups into manageable chunks.

As for form, the instructions for SF say "Speed should not come from fast movements, but rather from less rest between exercises"

and the description of a pull-up reads:
Grasping a bar, pull your body up until your chin clears the bar, then finish by lowering your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended. Use whatever grip feels right and it is often good to alternate grips.
So the prescription is controlled pull-ups from a dead-hang. But I get the feeling that form gets compromised on D3 quite a bit.

I think you have to keep track of your own progress. If you can bang out the requisite D3 pull-ups (and push-ups and squats) in less than 5 minutes, that's always a good thing, but if on D1, and especially on D2, you are not using excellent form, then you have to wonder what kind of strength are you really developing?

In my case, after 19 weeks of SF, I came to a decision regarding pull-ups (palms away from the body) and chin-ups (palms facing the body). I had known this all along that was considerably weaker when performing the former, but I kept hammering away doing chin-ups. At 19 weeks, I realized that better pull-ups weren't going to come out of more chin-ups and decided to do only pull-ups from then on.

I took a big hit on all my numbers and am still recovering (I am now on my 26th week), but my numbers are more meaningful too.

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:31 am
by captain
SF is a fitness routine. It will give you more strength, flexibility and endurance. Patience is key. Nearly everyone I have introduced to the program worried about how fast they were moving up, ignored elbow and shoulder pain and eventually had to sit out for a spell. If your goal is fitness you know the answer without asking, it simply doesn't make a difference how fast you move up if you are performing the exercises with correct form and doing as much work as you can in the allotted time for day one and striving for the best time on day three. You will discover if you move up too quickly that you did not lay a sufficient foundation of strength to enable endurance. If you stay too long at too low a level you will harvest more endurance but strength gains will slow down. While these sound contradictory you will find that day three demands more and more strength as you move up to perform the movements in the allottted time with correct form-cheating on form is silly and not productive. If you are cheating you lack the strength to do them properly so you are only working on endurance but compromising strength- move down. By the way if your quads are hurting but your hamstrings are not it is very likely that you are not performing the squats correctly. The weight should be on your heels, you should lower yourself between your legs back straight knees tracking over feet until your hips are below your quads, the effort to rise comes from the hips without rolling forward onto the balls of the feet and the posterior chain bears the brunt of the effort. Pull ups or chin ups is your choice and your shoulders. The goal is fitness.

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 7:46 am
by cheapo
Good post, captain.

Real question:
Is it possible to do D3L7 in less than 5 minutes without compromising form?

40 pull-ups
80 push-ups
80 squats

Posted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:28 am
by captain
I once thought so but my form improved and now am not so sure. I am not sure that the day 3 level is a good metric. If fitness is the goal at some point the important day switches to day one with day three a display of strength. At level 7 or 8 doing 20 to 30 sets Day one is fantastic goal. 20 rounds will mean 600 movements in 1200 seconds; 30 rounds would be 900 movements in the same time. DOABLE but Barely. My point is if you can not do multiple sets of 10 p/u or more likely 20 without much rest you can not ever hope to do day three at level 7 or 8 in 5 minutes. Do the math 200 and 250 movements in 300 seconds do not permit many transitions and no rest but if you can do two sets of 25 plus 100 each of push ups and squats in less than 10 minutes you are doing it very fast. The speed day is day one so it becomes more important except to determine your max pull up strength. Fitness is the key the levels are designed to keep it interesting. Form must be paramount over time to maximize the outcome.

Posted: Sat Sep 20, 2008 8:51 am
by dan
Grasping a bar, pull your body up until your chin clears the bar, then finish by lowering your body until your arms and shoulders are fully extended. Use whatever grip feels right and it is often good to alternate grips.
I didn't realize that switching grips (pullup vs. chinup) is recommended. I can do far more chinups than I can pullups, so if I were to switch it up I could probably progress much faster.

I guess it all depends on your goals, but would it be better to go through the levels alternating grip each day, or stick to one or the other?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:10 am
by milnercraig
Well moved up to L3D1 this morning. Only managed 20 rounds so a big dip on the L2 numbers but expected that.

Varied the grip used each rounds on a revolving basis and form stayed pretty good. Focussed on keeping weight over the heels on the squats so I'll if that makes a difference. May drop back down to L2 if I'm not keeping the form of the exercises high, progress will suffer but that's not my main motivator at this stage. Building a strong foundation is more important.

Thanks for the advice and feedback so far, the support is really appreciated.

Well done in the golf but we'll be claiming the Cup back next time. The better performing team won but it was close.

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:43 am
by milnercraig
L3D2 today. Managed it in under 30 mins (including the 3min rests) which I was pleased with. Not as tough as I expected and form remained good throughout. All that said D3 will be a sobering challenge...

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:53 am
by cheapo
You don't need to include your rests in your time.

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:35 am
by milnercraig
Had to skip a couple in the last week for a variety of travel, blood etc....

Managed a few more rounds of L3D1 and improved the L3D2 numbers too so pleased all round really.

Hoping to hit L3D3 tomorrow just to see where I am