Since starting my new job in December, I’ve just been exhausted. I love my new job, but my weekends are spent running errands, cleaning the house, and actively relaxing. Part of that involves aerial work and climbing, and I do have some fitness goals that I want to get down “on paper,” so that I can keep track of them and mark any progress.
I started climbing with S. in 2009 (he had been climbing for a couple of years already), and then began aerial arts in 2010, with a few breaks here and there due to moves/lack of gyms or studios, etc. I was never into team sports as a kid, mostly because I lacked interest and the kind of competitive spirit required to excel in team sports, but also because I have bad vision and lack the quick instincts and coordination necessary. As an adult, though, I love rock climbing and aerial fitness. I apparently like being up in the air and upside down, I like the balance of strength and grace necessary for the movements, and I like the puzzle aspect – trying to figure out how to configure your body to hit a certain hold, how to shift your weight and balance to hold a position on the hoop, or to move through a successful transition into another move.
So yeah, this post is in part an ode to the physical activities I like best (well, barring one, HA), but these activities also have a built in progress bar. There’s a constant push to be stronger, more flexible, braver, to be able to pull off a certain move or complete a bouldering problem. S and I got memberships at the local indoor climbing gym in October, and have been going twice or three times a week (so, as a result, I’ve only been to lyra/silks/straps once a week, at most, but I’m used to this kind of shift and fluctuation in training schedules – interest waxes and wanes), but lately I haven’t seen the kind of improvement that I want to see. So I’ve been doing some quick searches and trying to look into ways to maximize my training and meet my new goals. These are a mix of benchmark goals and simply trying to improve – open-ended ones with no definite endpoint.
In 2017, I want to:
- Climb a V6. Currently, I can flash most V4s, and work on V5s and V6s (confused? Terms here and here.).
- Do 10 pull-ups in a row. I can do 3-4.
- Clean up my spinning mounts on lyra & straps – be able to do a few clean rotations before hooking legs.
- Gain more muscular definition in my arms – build more muscle!
- Strengthen my ability to handle slopers – try to tackle more variety in problems.
And how to tackle these?
- More targeted weight training sessions. I admit, I hate pumping iron. If I only have two hours, I’d rather climb than lift. But I can’t argue against the necessity of supplemental lifting. Previously, I lifted more manageable weights for more reps, but based on this Crux Crush article, I’ve recently switched to more weight – the most I can handle for 5 max reps per sets of 3-5. This is going to make a big difference toward #4 and #5, I think, which are mostly about building arm strength – I can already feel a difference in the few times since I’ve made the switch.
- I’m also incorporating more full-body, big movements – more pull-ups, deadlifts, and heavy presses, as suggested in the Crux Crush article. I used to avoid these, just because I’m lazy and the bars and weights are heavy, and weight clips, and lazy, but there it is – can’t be lazy, I guess.
- For #2 (10 pull-ups), this is mostly shoulders; the heavier weight sets for arm and shoulder days should help, but we also have a pull-up bar at home, and just doing a couple a day really helps.
- For #3, this is about core. I’ve always struggled with activating my core (shoulder mounts, anyone?) and I do a lot of core exercises…but in addition to that, I think it’s mostly about repetition. I have this tendency not to practice spinning mounts because I know I suck at them, and that’s a personal weaknesses that I struggle with in other aspects of life (e.g., why I don’t practice learning a language). Time to cowgirl up.
- With all of the above, and with regular climbing sessions, I think #1 will come. It’s just a grade, but what I’m really interested in is raising my level of climbing, and the grading scale is a nice way to benchmark that in a quantitative way.
So, that’s all for me. I really want to make it to everyone’s blogs and start catching up, but I spend my entire work day coding and analyzing things on a computer, and when I get home I just can’t bring myself to spend any more time on it than strictly necessary. I think once I get more into the swing of things, I’ll be back on track, but until then, I do appreciate everyone who stops by to drop me a line, or chats with me on Twitter or Instagram (where I’m much more active, to be honest). You are all my favorite people.
So tell me: what are your fitness goals for the year? What are your favorite activities? Are you looking to try anything new?