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AcroBend

Intro: Got back into grip sport recently after a 10-year layoff caused by shoulder injuries and then other pursuits. Mostly focused on short steel bending and snapping, but I hope to eventually expand to longer bars + scrolling as well. Goal is to bend/snap a red nail and then go from there. I have a secondary goal of shutting the CoC #3 and just generally increasing my crushing and wrist strength. 

Background: I'm a former powerlifter, ice hockey goalie and competitive off-road cyclist (mountain bike + cyclocross). I trained powerlifting at ~190 lbs and raced bikes at 155, so my body has been all over the place in terms of training and composition. Over the past few years I got into partner acrobatics, and I mostly train my body for that and just a general high/functional fitness level. I turned 40 this year. 5'9", 160 lbs, ~10-12% body fat. 

Current Training: I do strength training and conditioning in my office (I have an elaborate DIY setup) and home. On Mon/Wed/Fri I do strength, hand balancing & grip in my office. When I get home I do one or two strength exercises followed by a metabolic conditioning circuit. If I don't feel like I did the metcon hard enough I'll do some sprints on the rower after. An hour later I'll do some DO work with the steel bender's helper followed by a max effort bend + snap. For strength training I use an Eccentric+Isometric tempo, as I feel it's better for my body at this point: https://www.advancedhumanperformance.com/eccentric-isometrics-the-ultimate-way-to-strength-train-part-1 Current template is attached below:

 

Template.2020.8.1.png

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AcroBend

2020.7.31

DB Push Press 45 4, 4, 4.0
1-Arm Row 57.5 6 x 3
X-Shrug 57.5 8 x 3
Belt Squat 119.5 + 40(vest) 6+2 x 3
Wrist Developer L6 (2-3) Orange 9, 9, 9+5
DB RDL 122.5 + #4 Bands 8, 10, 10
Press HS Wall Drill Body 3 Sets
Pull Ups (tucked) Body + 15 4, 4, 4+2
HandStand Line/Tuck 5 Sets
HSPU Body 6, 6, 5, 4, 3
Goblet Squat + Jumps 45 6 x 5
Ring Rows Body 6, 6, 6, 6, 6
Burpee Finisher Body 6 (11:00)
Bend + Snap 1/4 x 6.0" CRS Snap (7:15)

 

Entry #1 is yesterday's office + home workouts. Right now I'm taking a volume approach with the Wrist Developer - working my way up to 10 reps before going up a level and then dropping back down to ~5 reps. So far I've successfully added a rep each set on each workout. I really, really like this tool so far. After I get to Red Nail using DO, I may switch to reverse bending and start the process again up to Red Nail. 

Did some warmups and hard efforts with the steel bender's helper (sub intermediate). I've moved my hands in over an inch to where I was 2-3 months ago. Bend + snap felt great. Definitely felt like I could do ~5.75", but my plan going forward will be reducing the 1/4" CRS by 1/8" until I get down to 5.5". Then reassess from there, but most likely switch to 7" square stock at that point. As I approach the Red Nail I want to be training closer to that length. 

 

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Donc101

I look forward to watching your progress on your steel bending journey! There is a big jump from 1/4 round to 1/4 square. You may want to use grade 5 bolts or 9/32 crs for the next level up. Good luck.

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AcroBend
7 minutes ago, Donc101 said:

I look forward to watching your progress on your steel bending journey! There is a big jump from 1/4 round to 1/4 square. You may want to use grade 5 bolts or 9/32 crs for the next level up. Good luck.

Good call, and I'll definitely look into that. I'm just using stock from Home Depot right now, and they appear to have 1/4 square in HRS, which I hope could bridge the gap between 1/4 round & square CRS?

I still have a lot of 60D nails in the easy & hard variety, so I'll be rotating those in as well. Maybe an order of G5's to come soon! 

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anwnate

Goodluck man.

Stay patient with your 40yo you...especially after a ten year layoff.  You will find your body reacting in inexplicable ways.  While planning is important to guide your success, but your body may decide that massive PR will happen next Thursday instead of today.  It's more important that you just keep showing up and allow things to happen.  Just token wisdom from a nearly 48yo.  :)

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AcroBend
1 hour ago, anwnate said:

Goodluck man.

Stay patient with your 40yo you...especially after a ten year layoff.  You will find your body reacting in inexplicable ways.  While planning is important to guide your success, but your body may decide that massive PR will happen next Thursday instead of today.  It's more important that you just keep showing up and allow things to happen.  Just token wisdom from a nearly 48yo.  :)

Thank you! Yeah, right now my path is unfolding linearly but I don't expect that to last. Crushing is already taking a lot out of me, and it's likely that I can only crush 1x week if I want to bend 3x week. I'd also expect the bending to get cut back to 2x week as well at some point. I had a laid a good foundation over the past few months using the SBH along with sledge levering work to get my technique and wrist strength up to par. And I know far too well how easy it is to get injured and stay that way as I get older, which is a big part of why I structured my strength and conditioning the way I have. 

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Fist of Fury
4 hours ago, AcroBend said:

Good call, and I'll definitely look into that. I'm just using stock from Home Depot right now, and they appear to have 1/4 square in HRS, which I hope could bridge the gap between 1/4 round & square CRS?

I still have a lot of 60D nails in the easy & hard variety, so I'll be rotating those in as well. Maybe an order of G5's to come soon! 

1/4 square HRS will be too easy I think. Try some 5/16 round HRS instead. Then 1/4 Grade 5 bolts, 1/4 square CRS, 5/16 square HRS, 1/4 Grade 8 bolts etc.

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AcroBend

8/2/2020

Leg Raise / L-Sit Body 3 Sets + 3 Sets
Parallette HSPU (E/I) Body 5, 5, 4.0
Ring Dips (E/I) Body 4, 4, 3.0
Bend/Snap 1/4 x 5.875" CRS 0:20/6:45
Wrist Developer L6 (2-3) 10, F, F

Had a really rough strength training session after an excellent day on the bike trails yesterday. Ended up just doing bodyweight work and cutting out some lifts. The bend/snap went well, as I knocked off another 1/8" and cut some time off of the snap. Was supposed to get 3 sets of 10 on the wrist developer, but I failed on the next two sets. My lower triceps and grip were just gone by that point. Finished with some straight arm wrist deviation work with the WD. 

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AcroBend
Posted (edited)

8/3/2020

1-Arm Row 57.5 6 x 3
X-Shrug 57.5 8 x 3
Belt Squat 122 + 40(v) 6+2 x 3
Dumbbell RDL 125 + #4 BAND 10, 10, 8
Reverse Hyper Body 5/5 x 4 rounds
Fingertip Push Ups Body 4/2 x 4 rounds
Goblet Squat+Jumps 45 6 x 4 rounds
Bent Over DB Row 55 6 x 4 rounds
Pull Ups (tucked) Body + 15 4, 4, 4+2
Press Handstand Drill Body 5 Sets
Ring Rows Body 8 x 3
Rower Sprints Body 0:30 sprint x 4, 2-2:30 recovery

Had a great day today for both strength & conditioning. Tried a new metcon with reverse hypers added in, and it proved to be well-balanced and effective. I usually shoot for 5 rounds, but 4 felt like plenty today. Continued where I left off when I got home. Same thing with the rower sprints in terms of 4 rounds feeling like enough. I try to go nearly all out for the 30 seconds with a full recovery after, and there was simply no recovering from the 4th sprint. My hands didn't feel as badly as I expected from yesterday. I even did my pushups on my fingertips, which was the only grip-related thing about this workout. These might be my new Monday training sessions going forward. Let's go Pens!

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AcroBend

8/5/2020

Hanging Leg Raises Body 3 Sets
Push Press 45 4 x 3
Pike Push Ups Body 3, 4, 4, 4
Tricep Ext. 35 4, 4, 4 (sore)
Shoulder Raise CMPLX 12 2 Sets
Reverse Hyper Body 5/5 x 4 rounds
Bent Over DB Row 55 7 x 4 rounds
Goblet Squat+Jumps 45 6 x 4 rounds
DB OH Z-Press 25 5 x 4 rounds
Crushing HG & CoC Warmup, CoC#2 x 2 x 3
Dips Body 4 x 3 (sore triceps)
Press HS Wall Drill Body 3 Sets
Tuck Row Body 5 x 3
Bend/Snap 1/4 x 5.75" CRS 0:12/10:10
Rower Sprints Body 0:30 sprint x 4, 2-2:30 recovery

Pretty good strength & conditioning despite having some non-recovered triceps. Going to stick with the above office metcon for a while, so it seems that I'm back doing double metcons. Was able to at least get a crushing session in the afternoon, and did okay despite not feeling great there. I even no-set-closed the CoC#2 in my right hand. 

At home I decided to do my bending session before the rower, so probably had more effort to give compared to previous attempts. Warmed up with the SBH and I continue to move my hands closer together. Then bent 1/4 x 5.75" CRS quickly, as it felt not different than the previous lengths from past sessions. The snap was harder, as I wasn't able to unbend the steel too much past 90 degrees. Then one of the pads came off. I improvised for a bit before resetting it. Maybe it would have gone it 8 minutes without the setbacks?  

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AcroBend

8/7/2020

1-Arm Row 60 5, 5, 5+1
Belt Squat 124.5 + 40(v) 6+2, 6+2, 6+3+Neg
RDL 127.5 + #4 BAND 10, 10, 08
Pull Ups (tucked) Body + 15 4, 4, 4+2
Press Handstand Drill Body 4 Sets
Ring Rows Body 6+2 x 3
Rower Sprints Body (0:30 sprint, 2:00 recovery) x 5

I felt strong today, but my right tricep is still sore so I decided not to bend or metcon. I've been thinking about dropping down to bending 2x week, so today seemed like a good day to follow through. I did do rower sprints at home and managed to get a 5th sprint in while keeping the recovery periods at 2:00 flat. Will bend Sundays and Wednesdays for awhile until my body feels like it can do 3x week again. 

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AcroBend
Posted (edited)

8/9/2020

Leg Raise / L-Sit Body 3 Sets + 3 Sets
Parallette HSPU Body 5, 5, 4.0
Pseudo Planche Push Ups Body 2, 3, 3, 4
Shoulder Raise CMPLX 11.25 2 Sets
Press Handstand Drill Body 3 Sets
Bend 1/4 x 5.625" CRS 0:25
Straight-Arm WD Level 4 Orange 3 Sets, Multiple Grips
Vulcan Gripper Orange Spring 16x1, 17xF, 16x1, 15x2, 14x3

Tricep is feeling mostly better, but I did still do some modifications to lessen any additional aggravation. Case in point - decided to just bend without the snap. My warm-up with a 60D ended up being harder than the 5.625" x 1/4" CRS, as my grip ended up being uneven and I bent it off of center a bit. The CRS ended up kinking quickly, but I was slower on the sweep and especially the crush. Felt kind of wrong the bend the steel without following it up with a snap, but I had to remind myself it's a perfectly normal thing. 

I know reverse bending on the WD was aggravating my tricep, so I did some some straight arm (towards the floor) wrist deviations/holds. Feels like a rather effective movement, like levering. After that I did some crushing and was pleased with the effort. Level 17 felt a mile apart from level 16, but at least some of that was due to having trouble getting a good set at 17 (I hope). 

 

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AcroBend

8/10/2020

1-Arm Row 60 6 x 3
X-Shrug 60 8 x 3
Belt Squat 127 + 40(v) 6+2, 6+2, 6+3+neg
RDL 130 + #4 BAND 10, 10, 9.0
Pull Ups (tucked) Body + 15 4, 4, 4+2
Handstand Shrugs Body 3 Sets
Ring Rows Body 8 x 3
HIIT Rower Body [0:30 sprint, 2:00 recovery] x 5

Just some strength sessions followed by sprints on the rower. Rest day for grip. Hands felt super worked over from Sunday. 

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AcroBend
Posted (edited)

8/12/2020

Hanging Leg Raises Body 3 Sets
Push Press 45 3 x 3
Pike Push Ups Body 3, 4, 4, 4
Pseudo Plance Push Ups Body 3, 3, 3.0
Tricep Ext. 35 No
Shoulder Raise CMPLX 12 2 Sets
Reverse Hyper Body 5/5 x 4 rounds
Bent Over DB Row 55 6 x 4 rounds
Goblet Squat+Jumps 45 6 x 4 rounds
DB OH Z-Press 25 5 x 4 rounds
Bend 1/4 x 5.4" CRS 0:40

A good, well-rounded office workout effort. Did 2+ hours of acrobatics with a friend after work. We remain pretty well calibrated for not having worked together for the last 5+ months. Was a little short on time when I got home, but was able to follow through on the warmups and then 1/4 x ~5.4" CRS (cut it a little short of 5.5"). It took some effort to get the initial kink, and at one point I was stuck in that deadzone of the sweep when I lost favorable leverage. No snap again, but I hope to snap again next session.

Edited by AcroBend
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AcroBend
Posted (edited)

8/14/2020

DB Push Press 45 3 x 3 (holds at top)
1-Arm Row 60 5, 5, 5+1
DB Shrug 60 8 x 3
Pseudo Planche Push Ups Body

3, 4, 3.0

DB RDL 132.5 + #4 BAND 10, 10, 8.0
Pull Ups (tucked) Body + 20 3, 4, 3+2
Press Handstand Drill Body 4 Sets
Ring Rows Body 3/3 x 2
Bending (Square) 1/4 x 7" CRS Fail (3 degrees in 15:00)

My left knee (under the cap) felt a little weird, so no squatting or conditioning. Feels fine this morning, so I'll go for a nice ride in a bit. Strength felt good. Getting my timing back on push press. Really focusing though on long holds at the top (applicable for acrobatics). The press drills are going well, too. Keep adding an extra second or two. They felt super hard when I started doing them 3-4 weeks ago. 

While I said I was going to drop down to 2x week bending, I was feeling good and lacking the normal level of leg work, so I went for what I feel is next in my progression - 1/4 x 7" square CRS. Unfortunately I took a regrettable attack angle and seem to have been bending into the corner for the first several minutes. I corrected that and really, really tried but was only able to kink it around 3 degrees. There is a wobble in another plane as well from the initial effort. Probably serves me right. I'll have my revenge. 

 

IMG_20200814_175930~2.jpg

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