Chin-up Challenge Workout 19: All Sorts of Hurt

The first exercise today was the chin up. As in, no assistance – just your straight up, chin-over-bar exercise. From there, I was to do as many as possible and then do assisted chin ups once I failed. I haven’t tried to do a real chin up in a while because I know it’s not going to look pretty and it’s a bit of the ‘ignorance is bliss’ syndrome, but today I had to do it. It was written in the stars.

I did everything right.

I bypassed those amped up pop songs and let the hardcore rock songs stay silent. I went for the motivational speech. It’s one of those things that make you feel powerful when you listen and you really believe that whatever is holding you back doesn’t have a chance.

Today is your day.

This is your time.

Take a listen, it’s worth it: Mindshift Motivational Video (The video itself is fairly typically cheesy, but the audio is what gets me going.)

I started stretching with the words sliding over the air and setting up camp right in my very core. I even put on gloves for better grip. I paused before reaching for the bar, envisioning my muscles going through the motions. And then I started to lift.


As in I have maybe gained a centimeter or two, maybe even an inch of distance since the beginning of this challenge. I can’t blame the motivational speech – that was spot on. The chin up really is a mark of physical strength. There’s just no way to cheat it. When you’re doing cardio, you can run slower; when you lift weights, you can sacrifice form. With the chin up, you just do it or you don’t. There is no gray area, no sort of, no excuses.

So, needless to say, I went straight to the assisted chin up from there. I also had my second run-in with the devil’s trifecta: front raise, lateral raise, rear delt raise – no breaks. Individually, these exercises are A-OK, but one after another is a rough go, particularly with my weak left elbow. Now, I also had a sporting commitment in the evening so my workout was followed up with a grueling season opener broomball match. Grueling in that my team only had one sub… And this was my third sporting event of the week. So, If I were to add on to Tuesday’s soreness diagrams…. it would look something like this:

stick all pain_edited-1

Today’s Workout

  1. Chin ups (do assisted once you fail)
  2. Deadlift
  3. Bent over row
  4. Assisted chin ups
  5. Crunches
  6. Stability ball plank
  7. Dumbbell squat
  8. Reverse lunge
  9. Chest press
  10. Front raise
  11. Lateral raise
  12. Rear delt raise

Frozen Day 1: Soreness Prevails

Temperature: -12 degrees Celsius

Time: 1:34 pm – 3:50 pm

Today’s Minutes: 136

Total Challenge Minutes: 136

I had fun last night. A lot of fun. So today was, well, rough.

After a weekend of broomball games and celebration beverages, I awoke with a smattering of bruises everywhere, some nicks, an incredibly sore body and a near inability to move my neck any which way. Nevertheless, I dragged my sorry self out of my cocoon and embarked upon my outdoor adventure. My companion and I walked down to the snow castle for its opening day.

Okay, okay. It was more of a shuffle on my part, but we made it there and back. The snow castle itself is amazing. Sitting inside of it was like any kid’s dream come true. I’m talking some serious snow fort magic here. This isn’t just a hole dug into a mound of snow. This is a fortress made of snow and ice. It comes complete with a café, a roof top viewing area, stage, courtyard, snow carvings and seating. Sometimes you just have to stop, take in your surroundings and really appreciate the moment. I still can’t believe this place sometimes. I mean, really… I’m sitting in a gigantic snow castle. This is real life. Check out the snow castle yourself here.

It was such a beautiful day with the temperature barely dropping down to the double digits; however, my poor battered body couldn’t do much more so I trudged home and spent the rest of the day flat out. Perhaps the most uneventful start to a challenge yet, but I did manage to clock my 2 hours and my neck will be good to go in a couple of days – I’ll be a bit more lively after I’ve recuperated a bit. The fresh air was much needed and, as always, it felt great to be outside. This is going to be a fun challenge, though I know maintaining it on the weekdays will be a lot more tough. So, bear with me and let’s see what I discover along the way.

Oh. And yes, both the teams I played for won gold this weekend. So the bruises were worth it.