Monkey Bar – Day One

Holy crap, do we have a lot of ruggers taking our Monkey Bar classes this year.

This is my third year of taking the rugby classes with our trainer Chad. Day one we always do fitness testing to set the bar, if you will, for improvement. I have recently decided that I like fitness testing. Because I like to see myself improve over time. We’re going to do some basic testing on our team when we head outside for practice too, so everyone can see where and how they have improved by the end of the spring.

I did better than I thought I would in some aspects. I am a serious weakling in others. All in all, I was slightly surprised that I had my natural strength considering I have been a very lazy butt since October. And when I say “lazy”, I mean pretty much nothing since our last game or practice. Ugh.

I ran a surprisingly decent 14.92 second 60-yard shuttle. The slower girls were running 16-second times while our fastest were in the 13-second range (who are both awesomely fit and gifted athletes). My time was only slightly slower than one of our speedier players, so I was kind of happy. It probably helped that I ran against the Goose.

My balance tests were awful. We have to stand on one leg, with our arms crossed over our chest and our eyes closed (hard to do!) for 60 seconds. If you wiggle too much, lose your balance at all or touch your foot down, you get a point. You count all of your points at the end. My left leg had a 4, while my right had an 8. I’ll have to start doing my balance exercises again while I wait for the bus. A good way to work in some strength while I’m just standing around.

I was not so bad in the pull-ups, but I did the 90-degree pull-ups from the ground versus the full-weight hanging style. I know I couldn’t get even one on those, but I had 14 in the 90-degree. The 90-degree pull-ups use a rope with two handles hung from the ceiling (or a monkey bar in our case) set to chest height (Boobs!). You lower your butt down to the floor, arms straight up to your handles and you feet out in front of you a bit, so that when you pull yourself up, you move straight up, you power up with your legs helping through your heels and your knees don’t move forward. Whereas, the traditional pull-up is the one where you hang off the ground and just pull yourself up. Yup, not working for me. But we work the same muscle groups, so there is – literally – nowhere to go but up. (I know, horrible aren’t I?)

Push-ups were my worst. Got to do them with proper form. My full plank was only 7. That said, they were full plank and not on my knees. I would wager the vast majority of you who think you can do a “a lot” of push-ups aren’t using proper form at all. Suckas. Abs in, back straight.

Later, I used the power-wheel to do pike-ups and had a 6.5. I fell attempting my 7th, because I didn’t keep decent form (which means I’m done). You start in a plank with your feet in the wheel, then pike your butt up into the air, bring your legs in under you. It’s pretty tough. Although, I’ll take that for now over having to do the crawl on the wheel. I nearly vomited on that one last year.

We also had to do a weighted-throw with 20-kg balls. My chest press throw and my backwards throws were decent, a 17-foot and a 15 or 16 I think. Not too weak, but could be better.

My walking lunges holding a 12-kg weight in each hand sucked horribly. I only made it about 12 yards before I was done. But that’s a bigger weight than I initially wanted to use, so that’s pretty good considering. My knees were not bothered, but boy were my legs not happy. They did not want to move up. The goal is to do walking lunges, touching each knee to the ground in proper form (meaning feet/knees straight, not moving your knees past your toes, etc.). HARD!!

So, tonight, we have our team indoor sessions. Lots of running and ball-handling. I need that cardio badly, but I know I will be sucking wind. Hello, inhaler! Worth pointing out, it will only cost me $5 for all eight indoor winter sessions. $5!

Thursday, I’m back at the gym and I’m not looking forward to the big workout, but the sadistic inner rugger in me says bring it on. I hate that bitch sometimes. But the gym and all of our teammates make it worth it.

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Filed under fitness, Health, Monkey Bar, WWRFC

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