FitChal #7: Max Squat Jumps in 1 Min

(Click through to see the video)

This month I’ve decided to take on squat jumps as my fitness challenge. I haven’t gotten gym access to the building at the Smithsonian yet so I need a challenge that I can do anywhere. This one isn’t going to require much in the way of equipment.

Squat jumps are a great plyometric exercise to build both strength and power. You can do them with your hands on your hips or over your head. I put up 52 in my pre-trained attempt and hope to far exceed that in the finale.

I know a lot of you are sick of all the fitness/athletics posts – and I promise that my next few posts will be more technical / startup-y. Thanks for bearing with me.

FitChal #6 (Finale): Max L-Seat Hold

(Can’t seen the video? Click through to the post.)

Apologies for the delay, but here is the finale to my Max L-Seat hold challenge. In the month of July I packed up everything I owned and moved moved Washington D.C. from San Francisco. And that’s not an excuse, but just to say I didn’t get as much training in as I’d like.

In retrospect I should I have trained more abs. I did a lot of quads and triceps but core is what gave out first. Still, I was able to post a higher time for my L-Seat hold. About 50% more. Take a looksee.

FitChal #6 (Pretrained) – Max L-Seat Hold

Late last month I was hanging out with some of my old gymnastics teammates from Stanford. At their apartment, there were a pair of parallettes, and my buddy Nick challenged me to an L-Seat competition. Neither of us had done one in a while and we both gave it our best shot. I think he beat me by like 10 seconds —  and I wasn’t thrilled about it.

Much more than a balance exercise, the L-Seat uses chest, triceps, quads and abs to hold. I decided to make this month’s challenge an L-Seat competition and see if I can ramp myself up so next time we face off, I’ll smoke him.

Here’s my pre-trained test.

 

FitChal #5: Increasing My Max Pull-Ups by 40%

(Click through to see the video)

As another month closes out, I’ve got the results from my May Fitness Challenge, which was max pull-ups. At the beginning of May, I completed 20 pull-ups. As per usual, I did my normal workout routine which includes a mix of running, interval workouts and heavy lifting.

In addition, I also started adding sets of pullups. Here’s the breakdown:

Week 1 + 2: 4x 12 pull-ups
Week 3: 2x 14 pull-ups + 2x 13 pull-ups
Week 4: 4x 15 pull-ups

In retrospect, I should have ramped up sooner to 13/14 sets so my last week I could have been doing sets of 16. I think that could have put me over the edge and finished 30, but who knows. In any case, I’m pretty happy with the 40% improvement, especially when I watched the tape and realized I undercounted by one at the moment of the trial.

You can catch up with my other fitness challenges, and read more about how these FitChals got started.

FitChal #5: Max Pull-Ups + What Happened in April

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me on the Monthly Fitness Challenges. As you might remember, I’ve been setting these personal challenges for myself where I test myself on a particular activity, train for about month and then re-test myself. It’s a fun way to stay fit.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

So what happened in April?

Well, my goal was to train for the flagpole. If you don’t know what a flagpole is, it’s where you grip an upright pole and pull yourself horizontal. It requires a lot of core strength + alternate bicep/tricep strength (depending on what side you push/pull on).

Here’s a picture of me doing one in a photoshoot for Outside Magazine:

photo (4) Continue reading…