Focusing on Flexibility

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The holidays tend to throw me off to some degree every year. This year I sort of just went with it for a number of reasons. I certainly scaled back on the amount of work I was doing, although I still managed to get a few important things done.

There’s also something else that complicated things during the end of the year. I moved. My home is back up in the Santa Cruz mountains. Not only that but we opened up a new facility for Superman Herbs. So its been a busy month to say the least!

I always spend a fair amount of time reviewing the past year and planning out the next one. I would contribute a large part of my success to this review/planning process. What I do is a far cry from New Year’s Resolutions. And its not just at the start of the year that I do it. I do the same thing to a lesser degree every month and week. This helps to keep me on track.

As you read in my previous article I discussed a number of goals I’m going for. One of the big things I realized is that I often still spread myself too thin.

In looking at all the change that went on, I decided to go with it and embrace the change. Therefore, I’ve made a big change to my training…

I’m using exclusively shake weights…just kidding 🙂

I’ve decided to make my primary focus flexibility for the time being. More specifically, I’m working towards the front and side splits, as well as a full chest to the floor pancake stretch.

Over Split

I have no plans to go this far, even if it were possible. I’ll be content with a “normal” split.


I’ve always wanted to be able to do the splits. For a long time I’ve had a pretty close to full front splits but my side splits have always been far behind. There’s no real reason why I need to do the splits, I just want to.

Just like there’s no reason I need to put a 106 lb kettlebell overhead 100 times in 10 minutes, its just something I’ve decided to do.

I was describing this to someone else the other day and I brought up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. My training goals certainly are not for survival but more towards the top of the pyramid. I think of my training as self-actualization. (As a side note this is probably a big reason for the difference between the results I get in training and what most people get, where training is about a lower level need. Just a thought…)


As for the pancake, I do have an application for that. I feel like the thing that is holding me back from doing a straddle press to handstand is flexibility. I figure if I can do this stretch to this degree, it will go a long way in towards getting me towards this move.

I’m still working on strength and endurance (primarily in the form of one arm chins and kettlebell snatches), although those have taken a back seat to flexibility for the time being.

The interesting thing is I have never done this before. Sure I’ve worked on my flexibility but always as an after thought, a secondary or tertiary aim. Thus, this should be an interesting experiment.

Side Split

Here’s my side split at of the start of January.

So in the near future I’ll be sharing more about flexibility, how I’m training it, and the results I’m getting.

One interesting idea I’ve come across is that flexibility can be trained faster then most of the other physical attributes. With proper training you can become more flexible faster than you can get stronger, bigger, quicker or more enduring.

Note that that says “with proper training”. Without it you can remain at the same level of flexibility for years and never get better.

I’m hoping that’s true so I can bang out these goals quickly and then move onto the next thing.

I’ve been reviewing lots of resources on flexibility training to “super-saturate” myself into the field. I’ll be sharing some of those with you, but for now one of my favorites is this one.

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