Author Topic: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log  (Read 99369 times)

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« on: May 07, 2007, 08:10:41 PM »
Heh. This will be spotty at best until I can work a schedule. But hopefully this will make me more accountable. If any mods or gurus/experienced people feel like "drill sergeanting" me, have at it. I'll appreciate it.

First, some background:

32 year old female, in moderate to good shape (I'm in better shape than most of my peers but am an absolute slug compared to most of you people).

Professional-level ballet training since age 4 (with about a 10 year gap between ages 17-25; recovering from bulimia)
Daily weightlifting between ages 20-24
Northern Shaolin kung fu, including forms, weapons, and full-contact sparring, 2 years; 3-5x/week
On and off running on 2-month to 2-year streaks as the mood strikes me (I hate running... booooring!)
On and off aerobics/step/body pump classes in 20s
More or less daily yoga practice (motivation pending)
Current ballet training: approx 10 hours/week at professional level (more during performance season)

I've been doing the WODs; mostly just the APK warmup, for about 2 weeks, on days when I am not dancing. This normally ends up being Mondays, Fridays, and some Thursdays. I dance all morning Saturdays and keep Sunday as a rest day. Saturday dance training also tends to be lighter. I walk/run about a mile as time permits.

I modify the APK warmup as I don't have access to a chin-up bar, so I do lat pulldowns with dumbbells and incline/decline (whichever one has the legs above the head) pushups instead. I also do the agility ladder stuff up and down my apartment hallway (my downstairs neighbors must love it), without an agility ladder. I have no ladder, but I suspect my ballet training takes care of a lot of the footwork-type coordination, so I mostly do the APK warmup agility ladder stuff for the cardio endurance (which ballet doesn't build very well), more than for any footwork. This is not ideal but it's a start.

As I see it, my strengths going in to beginning parkour training are:

-agility and coordination from dance and martial arts training
-strong proprioceptive ability
-internal "body understanding" of mechanics of jumps

My weaknesses/challenges/limitations as a beginner are:

-overtraining in ballet makes it hard to move in other ways (e.g. allowing myself to bend the torso out of alignment, flex feet, and other "ballet no-no's")
-age makes me more fearful to push my limits (can also be a strength but I see it as a weakness mostly)
-age makes me more easily tired/longer recovery time (also a factor of a lifetime of inconsistent, on-again/off-again training)
-inconsistent schedule makes a full commitment to training difficult (will I really find it in myself to follow through with this?)...I have a full-time job and a part-time job; both of which take much more out of me than the required hours--in a mental/emotional sense as well as a physical (ballet dancer and teacher, and public school teacher), so often the energy isn't there.
-I am a *very* social person and so solo training is unmotivating for me. This is where I see this forum helping a lot; although nothing beats having a training buddy or two.

Mostly I'm worried I'll run out of steam. Hopefully this forum, and this journal thread, will help.

Oh, today I did absolutely nothing in terms of working out. My parents are in town and wanted to meet for dinner. I did cook something very light though: broiled chicken and bell pepper kebabs, sauteed cabbage, and Asian cucumber-onion salad. So that was something, I guess.

Advice, motivational harangues, and general ass-kickery welcome. :)

« Last Edit: May 09, 2007, 08:01:53 PM by Demon »
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2007, 06:22:37 PM »
Kick. :)  Feel free to send me a copy of your workout logs for ass-kicking.
Be Useful.
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Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2007, 08:52:49 PM »
Merci! Do you ever sleep?! O.o

Can I post the training logs in here for you or should I send them via email (or some other way)?

That said, I present today's training log:

90-minute advanced level ballet class:

45-minute barre, emphasis on footwork, back strengthening, and sustained leg extensions.
45-minute centre, emphasis on placement and turns. No jumps today. :(

I also taught a 75-minute beginner level ballet class, and a 90-minute advanced level ballet class after that. Teaching doesn't work me as well as taking class does, so I don't really count it as "training" in a physical sense.

20 minutes of yoga afterwards, emphasis on flexibility.

Thank you, sir, can I have another? :)
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2007, 07:58:32 PM »
Hm... tried to post this at the WOD spot on the main APK page and it was wonky. In any case, here it is.

9 May 07 being a Wednesday, it was a ballet day as opposed to a PK day for me.

90-minute advanced-level ballet class with emphasis on core strength and stability, slow and suspended leg extensions, balance, and rapid direction changes.

75-minute pointe conditioning class: conditioning of ankle, knee, and hip stabilizer ligaments/tendons using resistance bands, large-muscle conditioning (legs) using resistance bands, Pilates "one hundred" abdominal exercise, and a 1/4-mile run (more like a jog in my case); just laps around the studio.

Following that I taught a 90-minute advanced-level ballet class. As mentioned, I don't consider teaching to be "working out," since I do more watching than dancing, but I did do the last ten minutes of large jumps full-out with my students.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Mark Toorock

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2007, 04:23:32 AM »
Somebody's watching ;)
Be Useful.
If I don't try to make the world a better place, who will?
Every person has a choice - live by your fears or live by your dreams

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 08:41:22 PM »
Thursday=dance day (again):

90-minute company class.

This was disappointing because our AD is in a creative mood, so our barre was very short. Then most of our centre was spent working with new choreography (he is starting to workshop some ideas for next season). So it was bursts of dancing interspersed with lots of standing around while he reworked things. More like a rehearsal than a class. :-/

However I also stayed for the modern class afterwards. I haven't done modern in about 15 years but I figured it would be good to do because it would force me to work in a different way which I know I'll need for PK. It was awesome! The instructor teaches Horton technique which is really grounded in developing strength and suppleness, as well as a "fierceness" of movement. Horton's most famous protege is Alvin Ailey. If you've never seen the Alvin Ailey company perform, do so as soon as possible. Their athleticism and grace are astonishing.

Anyhow, the modern class kicked my butt and the whole time I was thinking, "This will be so great for my parkour!" We did:

Spine rolls and flatbacks
Squats and lunges in parallel and turned out
Metatarsal raises/balances and foot articulation exercises
Coccyx balances (god we did like a million of these)
Fortifications (see below)
Leg swings
Egyptian walking (great for upper back and shoulders, and obliques)
Handstands, Rolls, and Falling

Horton technique also has these exercises called "Fortifications." Apparently there are 17 in all (we only did 3 or 4 of them). They're kind of hard to explain but basically they're a series of set exercises that flow from one into the next, and are designed to simultaneously strengthen and stretch lots of muscle groups at once. The closest analogy I can think of is a yoga flow, but these fortifications are much more intense.

The handstands, rolls, and falling were my favorite part, as they helped me get over a little of the "beginner fear" I've got.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2007, 04:44:01 PM »
Today I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and did the following:

APK Warmup, with the following substitutions:

1. With dumbbells, mix-n-match sets of lat pullovers, bicep curls, and tricep presses instead of pullups (I have no chinup bar and no access to one)
2. 1/4 mile run (more like a jog :-/ ) instead of agility ladder work

I also finished with a full coccyx balance series. They are killer on the abs, and my new favorite exercise!

My diet has been steadily improving also. I've always eaten well; fast food *maybe* twice a year, lots of veggies, lean protein, whole grains; but I have an ability to justify all sorts of things to myself so I cheat a lot and sneak sweets and fatty foods in more often than I should. Granted, most of my fatty "cheats" are in the form of fine cheeses, so at least they're not totally devoid of nutrition, but cheats are cheats all the same.

The past few days I think I've eaten my weight in vegetables and haven't had many of my normal urges to cheat. Wahoo!
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Ryan Ford

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2007, 05:08:51 PM »
You'll be better off training compound exercises rather than isolation ones such as bicep curls and tricep extensions. If you cant find a pull up bar, get a little creative. Tree branches, door frames, playground equipment, etc. If you struggle with pull ups, do jumping ones or negatives to start with. Other easy to do compound exercises include squats, push ups, handstands against a wall, quadrupedal movement, and l-sits. These will target a lot of muscle groups at once as opposed to isolating one at a time. This means more efficient training. If you have access to the equipment and if you can get someone to help you with technique, start trying some deadlift, squats, power cleans, bench press. Hope some of that helps!

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2007, 05:34:55 PM »
Thanks, Demon!

I had forgotten about deadlifts. Love those! We did a bunch of handstands and inverted movement in modern class last night. Should I incorporate them into my APK warmup in place of the pullups, then? I dig what you're saying about compound exercises vs. isolation. I used to weight train pretty seriously in college. It's fun to do these exercises again!

And here I must admit a bit of an embarrassing fear: Part of the reason I'm so dedicated to not doing any parkour until I condition first (besides not wanting to break my neck), is that I'm self-conscious. I keep thinking I should go down to the park by my place and clamber around on the bars and do pullups there, but... I'm kind of embarrassed. Isn't that silly? Any time I think "Yeah! I'll go to the park!" this little voice says, "But people will see you, and you suck!" It's so dumb. I perform in front of thousands of people in a world-class performing arts center all the time. Why can't I get myself to run around on playground equipment? I mean, that's supposed to be fun!

Any suggestions for that?
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Ryan Ford

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2007, 08:33:56 PM »
No no, don't sub pull ups with handstands. Pull ups are probably the single most important upper body lift to do for parkour.

Everyone feels weird doing parkour in public at first. You just have to realize you are doing this for yourself and who cares what anyone thinks, especially people you will never even see again. Just have fun with it and people won't care. If it is a park/playground, the kids will probably think you are cool and might even join in. One time I was warming up with some weird quadrupedal movement stuff and a little kid asked what I was doing. I told him I was acting like a monkey. He was very confused and asked why I was acting like a monkey. I told him because it was fun and he simply said, "Oh." Then he joined in and started running around on all fours like a monkey also.

Don't worry what people think. If anyone thinks you are weird, that is their own close minded problem. A lot of people think it is interesting and for those of them that ask what you are doing, thats just one more person you get to educate for the day!

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2007, 08:40:53 PM »
Heh. I figured you would say that. :-) I'll start scoping parks in my neighborhood.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2007, 03:40:44 PM »
 >:(

The intention for today was to teach my ballet classes (among them, Creative Movement with 4-year-olds. They need a lot of demonstrating and it's more, well, creative movement than ballet, so I get a lot of opportunities to do QM and other improvisational stuff!), and then go to the park for some monkey business. I accomplished the former, but not the latter. In between teaching and the park, I stopped by the deli for a salad and got a migraine for my trouble. I went straight home, drugged up, and slept for two hours.

Tomorrow I'll swing by the park... after I grade a million French quizzes. :-/

In sum, today's workout ended up being: 45 minutes (total) of QM and improvisational jumps, rolls, balances.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2007, 07:40:10 PM »
ARG! God does not want me to do parkour, apparently. Apparently God wants me totally unfit and slothful. I have not been able to work out since Saturday. To recap, and update:

Saturday: 45 minutes of QM and general improvisation, jumps, etc. Intended APK warmup and run thwarted by a killer migraine.

Sunday: Rest day

Monday: Intended APK warmup and run thwarted by massive abdominal and back pains, and shooting pains down my legs (apparently an allergic reaction to something in my lunch)

Tuesday: Intended 90-minute advanced level ballet class thwarted by my artistic director asking, "Can you please teach for me tonight?" as I was walking into the studio. He's the boss. I can't say no. :-/ I moved around a little while teaching, but teaching a class isn't the same as taking a class.

*shakes fist*

This is getting irritating.
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2007, 08:25:00 PM »
Finally! The evil force preventing me from training has gone away! Today's workout:

90-minute advanced level ballet class with emphasis on leg extensions and balance (with our ballet mistress, who teaches the hardest ballet class I've ever experienced. I swear, she gives class, and the whole time you're crying inside, thinking everything hurts, and how hard it is, but then afterwards you walk out of class and you can lift a Volkswagen). This was followed by a 75-minute pointe class. Then I taught a 90-minute intermediate/advanced level ballet class.

Everything is sore. It feels so awesome. :)
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Logan Lay

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2007, 08:01:45 AM »
ARG! God does not want me to do parkour, apparently. Apparently God wants me totally unfit and slothful. I have not been able to work out since Saturday. To recap, and update:

It's not God that's stopping you - It's the Enemy and that old lizard is trying to hold you up. Don't let him.

Think about it like this: with out resistance how will you gain strength? If you understand how flight works then you'll understand that it is not possible for anything to fly with out resistance. Sometimes a desire delayed helps you to know that that desire is truely for you. Some of the greatest men and women in history had some of the greatest resistances and problems. If you are familiar with Baseball then you are familiar with Babe Ruth. He at one time was known as the "Home-Run King". He also struck out more then anyone else.

Congrats on breaking through and keep on fighting!!!
"I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil. 4:13

"I'm Going There. I'm Going There Directly. I'm Going There Directly and Nothing is Going To Stop Me. I'm Going There Right Now." - David Belle

"Train for Life, not for Prestige" - Charles Moreland

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2007, 07:59:02 PM »
Thanks for the encouragement, Saint 7!

Today's work included:

90-minute company class, emphasis on precise jumps, big jumps, endurance, and musicality.

90-minute modern class, emphasis on partnering/group work, improvisation, and my beloved Horton techniques: coccyx balances, lateral T's, deep lunge exercise, and fortifications.

She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2007, 05:25:30 PM »
Today was... interesting.

I watched B13 with my French Club kids after school and was then all pumped to go train. :)

I have been kind of a chicken about actually taking the plunge and doing "real" parkour training. I have been hiding behind the excuse that I need to condition first, which is true--I think conditioning is critical--but the truth is I was using that as an excuse to delay actually starting any training in parkour movements because I'm chicken. I don't know what to do with myself. But, with David Belle as inspiration, I decided today was the day. So I got home from school and read over the landing and rolling tutorials. I also tried about 20 rolls in my livingroom and thought,"Well these aren't so bad. I have no flow to speak of but I'm doing better than expected." But it was encouraging nonetheless: I felt like I could roll without being completely clunky.

I also looked up the WOD and saw pullups. Well, certain individuals have been encouraging me to do pullups especially, because of their importance in parkour practice and also because being female I have less upper body strength. So I decided that in addition to doing "real" parkour in the form of landings and rolls, today was also the day I was going to do pullups. My goal was to do one. I figured if I did one, I would try for two, and if I did two, I would try for three, and so on. But I had set one as my goal, knowing how long it's been since I've done pullups, and that the most I've ever been able to do has been 5.

I did a few more rolls in my livingroom, one with disastrous consequences as I curled my body too much and ended up kneeing myself in the nose coming out of the roll (it hurt like the dickens but I was laughing so hard...what a dorky thing to do!). Then I set out for the park to do the WOD and my almighty ONE pullup.

It was about a 1/2 mile jog/walk to the park. There, I did 50 squats, easily, and then tried for my pullup. It did not happen. I got maybe 1/3 of the way into the contraction and could go no further. So I went to the other end of the monkey bars to do negatives. Those were hilarious because they weren't terribly slow. I tried kip-ups but it felt to me like it looked painful and I didn't want to alarm the onlookers into making an unneccessary 911 call.

Okay, fine. So the one pullup was not going to happen today. I did about 40 tricep dips with just my heels touching the ground and moved on to rolls.

I did about 20 more rolls on the grass before the lack of pullups got me too frustrated to do anymore. Try as I might to bear in mind that I'm a beginner, it's hard for me to let myself suck while I learn. I think mentally this will be the biggest challenge for me. I walked/jogged the 1/2 mile home and here I am.

I felt good about the rolls, for the most part. I am discovering some things with timing and breath that I need to work on, but I have kind of a schema and at least have a movement space in my body to work with.

This is going to take a long time.

"One need not be afraid of growing slowly, only of standing still." --Chinese proverb.

She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline Logan Lay

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2007, 06:27:45 PM »
Please understand this with the massive loving smile that's behind it...

Congratulations on Sucking! I'm proud of you for going out there and doing what you were unsettled to do but knew you needed to. It's the concept from writer & speaker John C. Maxwell of "Failing Forward" - success coming from failures. Today you conquered more then just rolls and starting Parkour. Today you began your walk in Parkour which is totally incorporated with the mental side of Parkour - Conquering your fears and pushing past your inhibitions (wisely). You have only made one half Pull Up physically, but you have pulled yourself fully to another level in your walk. Now just do that everyday. Well Done!!! You're doing great!
"I can do All things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil. 4:13

"I'm Going There. I'm Going There Directly. I'm Going There Directly and Nothing is Going To Stop Me. I'm Going There Right Now." - David Belle

"Train for Life, not for Prestige" - Charles Moreland

Offline Alissa J. Bratz

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2007, 06:46:27 PM »
Thanks, dear. :) I totally dig on the "importance of sucking." (See the John Gardner quote in my sig). I dig on it and I get that I have to suck a lot, because the moments of greatest suckage are often when the greatest learning happens. Still, I don't like it much. I keep trying to remember what it means, and that it's a good step, I got out of my comfort zone, and all that, but it's a hard sell from self to self.

So your comments are really helpful. External validation always makes it easier. Thanks again. Your congratulations made me smile. +1 to you as a big thank you.

Merci, mon ami!
She followed slowly, taking a long time,
as though there were some obstacle in the way;
and yet: as though, once it was overcome,
she would be beyond all walking, and would fly.
--excerpt from Going Blind, Rainer Maria Rilke

www.madisonparkour.com

Offline whiteninja

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Re: Muse_of_Fire's Training Log
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2007, 07:45:04 PM »
To help train pull-ups:

1. Find a bar that is about standing height, and place the minimum amount of weight possible on your feet, while doing pull-ups.
2. Find a bar that is very low to the ground, and do rows.
3. Jumping pull-ups.
4. Sling an exercise band around the bar, and slip one foot in it.

Hope that helps.