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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Building a garage gym

Getting situated in Florida has been a lot of fun. With the initial wave of TODOs wrapped up, I've started planning my own mini-gym in the garage.

I'm starting out simplistic and minimalistic with an eye on value. The goal is to be able to do a basic Greyskull/Start Strength program at home (back squats, deadlifts, presses). Oly lifts can come later. First priority:

  • An Olympic bar. Foregoing really cheap options, I'm eyeing something in the $200 range. I've thought about buying used before, but I haven't been able to make much sense of bar restoration guides on the web.
  • A minimalistic squat stand, again in the $100-200 range (example). I haven't found much on Craigslist but I'll look again. A power rack would be amazing, but the ~$1000 price tag will have to wait.
  • Bumper plates (example). I'm looking to be able to drop the bar without damaging the concrete floor (e.g. back squat failure). Bumper plates are pricier than iron plates (almost 2x) so I'm thinking of grabbing a pair of 25lb and 45lb plates and filling the rest with iron plates.
  • Iron plates can be had on the cheap at used gear stores and Craigslist. Surprisingly, fractional plates are ridiculously expensive.
I figure I can make this version 0 happen for $800-900, hopefully less. Adding stall mats would be a good idea thereafter. I haven't really thought through what to do about a pull-up bar (racks that include a crossbar are out of the price range); maybe rings would work.

Have you done something like this yourself? Can you share some words of wisdom?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great to be back at Paraclete XP

I'm about to wrap up an awesome 8-day stint at Paraclete XP. Rhythm put up a strong training session during the week, followed by a weekend of coaching. It's great to be back.

It's excessively exciting to have begun the 2014 training season this early. Early season is that special time when we delve into tons of technical detail, picking things apart. Slow motion and dry erase marker time!

Tunnel coaching is simply a pleasure. I can't believe this is "work." The highlight of the week has been working with a long-time skydiver flying in the wind tunnel for the first time. A challenging but incredibly fun and rewarding experience!

Living far away from a tunnel is ... interesting. 3 summer months away from XP is way too long. The good news is that I'll be back at least once a month all the way through June.

P.S. Have I mentioned we're going to Dubai?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Next step: Rhythm!

It's been a while since my last post here. The last few months have been chaotic to say the least. I've joined SDC Rhythm XP -- a huge step up in the 4-way formation skydiving circuit. It's been a real pleasure stepping into Rhythm's community at Skydive Sebastian and Paraclete XP; can't wait to get to Skydive Chicago! Thank you for your support!

The learning curve has been tremendous:
  • Flying at a faster pace with more precision and power: more looking, more preloading, more stopping, cleaner block builds and inters, tighter levels control. 
  • Studying block technique in more detail than ever before.
  • Flying with rigs in the tunnel: feels like flying the hill!
  • Eating well, sleeping well and maintaining fitness while spending a lot more time away from home.
  • Generally cramming more and more into a 24 hour day.

I hope to keep you more up-to-date in the coming months. Stay tuned!