Chin-up Challenge Workout 17: To The Point

Today, I’m going to save you all from being subjected to another one of my… Witty? Cool? Entertaining? Lame? Horrible? Awesome? posts and jump straight into the workout exercises. Besides, as you can imagine, it went exactly how all the previous workouts have gone (now that’s some succinctness right there.)

Until next time!

Today’s Workout

  1. Jump pull up with controlled descent
  2. Bent over row
  3. Hanging leg raise
  4. Dumbbell row
  5. Bicep curls
  6. Barbell squat
  7. Reverse dumbbell lunge
  8. Bench press
  9. Push ups
  10. Shoulder press
  11. Tricep overhead press

Chin-up Challenge Workout 16: Those 5 Pounders…

It felt grueling out there today.

I mean… every workout feels grueling as I’m a superb weakling trying to attempt the seemingly impossible (the impossible being the lifting of the more than a hundred and fifty pounds of myself over that dad-blasted chin up bar) with a titanium plate in my elbow and sciatica firing in my back, but today was a just a little bit more… harsh. Just a smidge.

I normally keep it pretty consistent with the dumbbell fly, but today I couldn’t even manage one using 15 pound weights and had to scale back to 10 pounders. But where things got particularly dicey was for the front raise, lateral raise, and rear raise part. No breaks, no rests – nothing. After a couple sets of that trifecta, my arms went on strike. I mean, I ordered them off the picket line and back to work, but it just wasn’t quite the same.5 pounders

Every time I use a 10 pound weight… or 8 pound…. Or… *sigh* 5 pound… I can’t help but think of the end goal and how the aforementioned plus 150 pounds is supposed to be hoisted to victory by me. Me. The person who sometimes uses 5 pound weights. Sure, the 5 pounder doesn’t appear too often, but when it does – it just looks like defeat.

Although! There is no doubt that I am stronger. I see it in other ways so that is encouraging. I am getting somewhere, but by the end of the challenge it still probably won’t be… up.

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted chin-up
  2. Inverted row
  3. Dead lift
  4. Hyperextension
  5. Sit ups
  6. Dumbbell fly
  7. Front raise
  8. Lateral raise
  9. Rear raise
  10. Overhead press
  11. Bicep curl
  12. Dumbbell squat
  13. Spider crawl
  14. Mountain climbers

Chin-up Challenge Workout 15: Mastering the Couch Press

The flip-flop of the past few workouts continues! That controlled descent was back with the full four count lowering (again, not for every rep though.) So the good news is that I’m not 100% pathetic – just a mere 50% pathetic. But who’s keeping stats, right?

Recently I’ve upgraded to phase two of my training so although the workout exercises look primarily the same as what I’ve been doing since the beginning, they are a bit more strenuous due to increased reps and what-not. On Thursday I laid down morelifting-24401_640 squats than previously and my body was still sore going on to today. As an added bonus round to my workouts, I also spent yesterday afternoon helping another friend move out which gave me another chance to crush some couch presses, coffee table curls, and booze box lifts. Now, remember folks – always lift with your legs!

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted chin-ups with 4 count descent
  2. Deadlift
  3. Inverted row
  4. Hanging leg raise – alternating sides
  5. Dumbbell squat
  6. Reverse lunge
  7. Stiff legged dead lift
  8. Dumbbell fly
  9. Reverse delt raise
  10. Push ups
  11. Planks

Chin-up Challenge Workout 14: Bipolar Muscularitis Whiplash

Okay. I definitely made up ‘bipolar muscularitis,’ but it does have the right kind of ring to it. As for the whiplash part, well, that’s where you come in. Consider this fair warning.

Last workout’s confetti celebration is being subjected to a retraction in today’s post-workout review. The controlled descent chin-up seems to be my greatest measure of how I’m doing, so let me do a bit of a recap on that front for the past 4 weight sessions.

Workout 11: Not awesome, but felt a bit more controlled on the way down. So, progress.

Workout 12: A huge step back from workout 11… Retraction!

Workout 13: Killed it! In a good way… Progress.

Workout 14 (today): No good. Retraction!

With so much back and forth, you must be getting some serious whiplash just watching my struggle unfold. As for my muscles, well, as you can clearly see, I’m on an exhaustive seesaw of able and not able. teeter_totter_2(Why is that piece of simple playground equipment called that? Someone suffering from tense confusion? And what does it have to do with sight? Teeter totter makes so much more sense.)

Anyway, there seems to be a pattern developing here and I’ve deemed this pattern the aforementioned bipolar muscularitis. I fully encourage any and all of you to swiftly adopt this term into your vocabulary. Now, in case you missed the obvious, I was a free-fall fool plummeting groundwards on my attempted controlled descent chin-ups today. It’s a little sad because I felt so victorious on Tuesday, but, like life… you lose some, you win some. If there’s anything to this bipolar muscularitis pattern then I’m sure the next workout will another underdog uprising.

Today’s Workout

  1. Bent over row
  2. Assisted chin-up with controlled descent
  3. Dumbbell row
  4. Sit ups
  5. Hyperextension
  6. Chest press
  7. Shoulder press
  8. Tricep overhead press
  9. Bicep curl
  10. Dumbbell squat
  11. Dumbbell reverse lunge
  12. Couch press (More colloquially known as… helping a friend move their new couch into their place.)

Chin-up Challenge Workout 13: Mysteries Revealed!

I tried today – I really tried – to do a single chin up. I put today’s workout on the back burner, eyed up the bar that is the bane of my existence, and tried my best to believe I could do it…

I did not succeed. Shocker, right? Though I was fresh off that defeat, I got down to business and began my workout in what feels more and more, with each passing day, like a futile attempt to succeed. However! There was some more undeniable (undeniable in that ‘Harper-needs-to-go’ sort of way) improvement with my assisted pull-ups, meaning I don’t have any doubt: I crushed my first set of assisted pull-ups today… and Harper really needs to be put out of office.

I actually accomplished a 4 count decent.

That’s right. Cue the applause. Release the confetti! Fire the works!! (…Light the fire? Boom the firework? … Blast! Blast the fireworks!) You gotta celebrate the small things right?

Now, I did, in fact, find out who said that less than 5% of people can do chin ups. And what’s more, she also says how many. Boomshakalaka! The great mysteries of this challenge have been revealed! Unfortunately, I don’t know where she got her stats from. So. There’s that to think about. Shawna Kaminski (C.P.T.) is responsible for this thought/idea/stat/pondering/reflection/fact/detail/truth/info:

5 %_edited-1

So there you have it. I had some serious questions from the last workout about this so-called fact… and those questions primarily still remain. For the most part. But the gleeful part of me is all hunched over, with my palms together and my right fingers tapping those of my left in a conspiring manner. Ah, yes. Just a single chin-up. Perhaps I’m not failing as hard as it appears. There is hope! Mwahahahahaha –

Yeeeah. Right.

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted pull ups
  2. Inverted row
  3. Bent over row
  4. Barbell squat
  5. Stability ball curl
  6. Chest press
  7. Lateral raise
  8. Rear delt raise
  9. Bicep curl
  10. Tricep overhead press

Chin-up Challenge Workout 12: A Begrudging Truth

Welp. I take back what I said about Workout 11. Not all of it, just one teensy, tiny, little bit – which just so happens to be the only measure of progress I had that day.

Today I did not do any assisted pull ups that were actually what they were supposed to look and feel like. No four count descent for this gal right here. I’m back to the I-just-leapt-from-an-airplane-without-a-parachute plummet. At least the floor isn’t 30, 000 feet below… not that I let go of the bar or anything.

Now, it’s time for honesty here. I jumped the gun and I jumped the gun hard in the most overzealous manner. Every time I pump the iron, (Yup, just said pumping the iron. Sounds cheesy out loud; looks just as bad written out.) with each repetition it’s like there are whispers in my ear as the weight passes by:

“Never going to happen.”






“Put me down.”

(This last one is not so much whispered but shrieked like a cat screech when you’re just picking them up to show them some love and though they’re purring like a motorboat at high noon they’re also screaming bloody murder just because they’re cats and that’s what cats do.)

But. Those personified weights are kinda right. I didn’t really have a good reason for choosing 10 as the number of chin-ups I would do. What started it all was that I read somewhere that most people can’t do pull-ups or chin-ups. It never said how many is the line between able and not able, so of course now it is just mayhem: Is it ten? That’s such a nice, round number. The perfect 10. Oh, but wait – it is 12? An even dozen? What about a baker’s dozen? Maybe it’s only 5, but that’s an odd number so it must be 4. Right? It can’t be one, because there was an “s” on the end, implying more than one….

So. Two?

That darned internet has stuck again, pumping out useless, uncorroborated nuggets of information that may or may not have whatever degree of fact to 99406a26ee17f9c358deab0c8a757cbdc6b60199554bce28fe389b41e5a6324fthem. And I have to admit it: I fell for it. Hook, line and sinker.

None of this really matters, just that in my long drawn out, roundabout way I’m saying that while my challenge is to do 10, personally I just want to be able to do 1 (and I maybe, sort of, begrudgingly am admitting that I maybe shouldn’t have chosen ten as the magic number. Emphasis on the maybe… both of them. When I stumble on a a challenge I get excited to jump right in without doing due diligence. Lesson learned. )

Even as I write that out, it really lacks the pizzazz, you know. One chin up. Basically three months to prepare. Sound ridiculous. Like, come on, of course that’s possible. Right? And ten sounds way better… a real challenge!

Ohh boy, look at me – falling into that trap again. And yet, here I am, no closer to ten than I am to one and I only have about a month and a half left.

Today’s Workout

  1. Stick ups
  2. Scapular retractions
  3. Assisted weighted pull ups (5 lb extra)
  4. Inverted row
  5. Dumbbell row
  6. Push ups
  7. Planks
  8. Chest press
  9. Dumbbell shoulder press
  10. Dumbbell squats
  11. Stability ball curls
  12. Sit-ups

Chin-up Challenge Workout 11: What Goes Around

… and I’m back!

No, I haven’t given up on this challenge though my muscles are clearly telling me it’s hopeless (ah, but I’m stubborn!) Nevertheless, I’ve been a little absent and that was initially due to gettin’ dirty and playin’ hard. Also known as slow-pitch playoffs. We went all the way to the championship match so we were swinging bats and catching balls every day of the week and weight training got put on a serious back burner. (Don’t ask if we won the championship… just… don’t.)

Now, this playoff run was followed up with the year-end gala and while I slayed that dance floor with my teammates in a late night cardio blast, I’m sure the overall evening was partly to blame for the cold that oh so stealthily snuck into my system and put me down and out for the next while.

Though I’ve still got tissues on stand-by and the lovely taste of phlegm sticking with me through thick and thin, I put up that old chin-up bar and got down to it. While I overall feel weaker, I am slowly getting better at the controlled descent. A few more of the 30 assisted pull ups I did were actually what they were supposed to be. Not like 30 percent of them or 15 percent or… just, you know, a few more than usual. Yeah, yeah. That doesn’t mean much. But it kinda does. Or, at least, I tell myself this because everything else was even more pathetic than usual. So it goes.

And now that you’re all up-to-date, here is what you really want to know…

Today’s Workout

  1. Stick ups
  2. Assisted weighted pull ups with controlled descent
  3. Inverted row
  4. Bent over row
  5. Reverse dumbbell fly
  6. Hanging leg raise
  7. Turned out bicep curls
  8. Chest press
  9. Push ups
  10. Stability ball plank
  11. Dumbbell squat
  12. Stiff legged dead lifts
  13. Spider crawl
  14. Mountain climbers