Happy New Year!
As with every new year I make sure to review the past one and set out goals for the next. If you do this, and then put plans to achieve those goals into action you will get better.
Back at the beginning of 2013 I did a podcast where I talked about the goals I wanted to hit that year. You can review that here if you’d like, although I’m going to bring up all the goals I wanted to hit in this article, including the successes and failures.
One Arm Chin-up
This one has been a goal of mine for awhile. At the beginning of 2013 I was training it. I was doing some rock climbing and working with a one arm variation of a lat pull down with a machine they had there.
When I switched to doing weight lifting from the mostly bodyweight work I was doing I decided to give pullups a break as I did other exercises like rows. After some time I got back to pullups but was focusing on weighted versions. In doing that I worked up to a 110 lb chinnup as well as a 95 lb pullup.
It was only towards the end of the year that I switched back to seriously working on the one arm chin again. Although I haven’t achieved this goal yet I am happy to report that I am closer than ever. Doing a free arm assisted progression series I’ve made some serious progress.
So I will be carrying this goal into this year and working on it with lots of focus.
Bouldering V4 and V5
As mentioned, at the beginning of the year I was working on rock climbing. But I stopped doing that as I focused elsewhere so I never really worked towards these goals after that point. I figure at some point in the future I’ll probably get back to it, but its not a high priority for me at all.
Straddle Press Handstand
The straight arm straddle press handstand has eluded me for a long time. I was seriously focused on it and working on it consistently at the beginning of 2013. I was getting closer and closer. Looking back through my youtube channel I found this video of my best negative.
But before I reached this goal I cycled off of hand balancing. I’m only now getting back to it so this goal is something I’m working towards now once again.
605 lb Deadlift
In 2013 I worked towards this goal for some time. I had to build back up to my previous best in the deadlift which was 505 lbs. Here I am doing it in easier style then the previous time.
Two times I went for 525 lbs. and almost had it but was not successful. I think it was in failing on those and pushing a bit too hard that I got stopped up. Thus I decided to switch to squatting which I’ve been doing since that time hitting better numbers there. I figure this will carry over to my deadlift, since my squat was significantly weaker.
So right now I’m doing some work with squats and once I hit the couple goals I have there, I’ll likely get back to deadlifting. I will hit 605, its just a matter of when…
I honestly didn’t do much work towards this goal this year. And I still haven’t got back to it. My thinking is that since it involves significant lat work it could impede progress on the one arm chin to work on this at the same time. Not saying it can’t be done, just that I’m focusing on the other one now. I figure I’ll switch to this move, which I still want to achieve, after I hit that one.
Here is another one I haven’t practiced all that much. At the PCC I held a fairly decent full flag though for a couple seconds so I guess I’ll call this one achieved. It certainly can be cleaned up and held for longer but I did get the full hold.
Five Freestanding Handstand Pushups
I accomplished this goal early in the year. In fact, I did six.
This is another one I hit shortly after the handstand pushups. It’s the only rep I’ve ever done. But now that I’m back to hand balancing I’ll likely be doing some more of these soon.
In 2013 I wanted to hit a full pancake with the chest flat on the floor. This would have helped a lot towards that straddle press handstand. Also I wanted to do full front and side splits as those have been goals for some time as well.
I did some work on these especially the pancake early on, but flexibility has not been something I’ve focused on at all since then. But it will be now. I’ll be going into more detail on that in my next big article.
1000 lb Support in Wrestler’s Bridge
This had been a dream for a number of years ever since I got into weighted bridging. This year I seriously set out to do it, when I built a platform that would allow me to do it. It took some training to achieve but I nailed this one.
At the start of last year I set out two kettlebell snatch goals. Both with the 32kg bell. One was to do 200 reps in 10 minutes with multiple hand switches. The other was the GS style of one hand switch doing 65 snatches per hand which would be what is required to get Master of Sport.
I didn’t really work on those. Instead I got the idea of the Beast Snatch Test. And I have been working on that off and on for awhile. Here’s 50 reps in 5 minutes.
Moving forward I’ll be working towards a number of snatch goals that should all work hand in hand as I work towards these big numbers.
What I Learned from this…
So that covers what I wanted to hit last year. You’ll see I had a few successes. I also had a number of failures. It was only the deadlift that I felt I got stopped up on. All the other “failures” were because I didn’t really work on those things.
I realize that I do this. In being a physical culture renaissance man and wanting to be good at a wide range of things I’ve found the best way to do that is to cycle from one thing to another. I like to do this when I achieve goals. For instance after I completed the weighted bridge I haven’t done that since. I also cycle off when I get bored with one thing and want to do something else. Thus sometimes, I’m working towards something but I just want to work on something else and so I do that.
I started off the year with lots of bodyweight training and hand balancing. I hit a couple of the hand balancing goals but not all of them. Then one day I said to myself I want to lift some heavy weights. So I did. I worked on that for a number of months, doing no bodyweight exercises. Then it became a mix again. And now I’m shifting back towards more hand balancing. In fact, right now I’m doing something quite a bit different than I’ve ever done before. I’ll fill you in on that in the next article.
But also, in doing what I do, I hit big goals that I didn’t set at the start of 2013, but came along the way.
I spent lots of time on various partials. This 1000+ lb. rack pull was something I was very happy about.
I had also wanted to achieve a full standing rollout for several years. It just didn’t make its way onto the goals list for the year. But I did hit it. Ugly and it still needs work but I count it as it is full and standing.
There’s tons of other PR’s along the way.
So what am I doing this year? I have a smaller list of goals (in training and elsewhere). Most of them are those that I didn’t finish this past year. But I’m not setting out to do them in the same way. Since I don’t know what I’ll be doing in six months I’m only going to focus on what I’m doing NOW.
In fact now is time to go train…
Last year I made a call for people to post their top three training goals. If you did that you can see those in the comments here. If you’d like to do that again, post them below.
Whether you posted that or not, one year ago, how did you do on your goals and what are your aims for this year? Comment below.