Snow Fun at Paisley Moss

Last weekend saw Renfrewshire and much of the west of Scotland covered in a beautiful few inches of snow. Without doubt it was some of the fluffiest snow I'd seen for a good few years - great fun! So the next morning (Sunday) I had planned to head to Paisley Moss next to Glasgow Airport with the wife to do my 'abs on the bar' session.

I try and vary my ab day sessions to involve exercises on the floor and some on the bar. Usually my social life and the weather outside will dictate whether I stay home or head outdoors!

When we arrived we took a stroll through the nature reserve which looked beautiful as all the branches were holding lots of snow from the day before. The temperature was just starting to rise and melting was inevitable, but we caught it just in time.

After throwing some snowballs and generally larking about it was time for me to get down to business, using the chinup rings, whilst the wife started building a big snowball.

For the past six months or so I've been working towards being able to perform a front lever at least one day a week. I don't always work out on the bar, but when I do I complete three-six sets of four different exercises.

I begin with leg raises, keeping the legs straight and doing my best to maintain the form all the way up until my toes can touch the bar. Currently I can only manage multiple sets of this when completing 5 reps at a time, but I'm working on increasing this to sets of 10.

Right at the start of my calisthenics journey I added leg raises to my usual workouts but restricted the raise to waist level - at the time I was still working my way up to an L-Seat hold so this early progression helped me with develop the strength I needed to perform that movement.

Following that I've been holding a tucked front lever for about four months, after initially holding my knees in to my chest when I started. The front lever is now my most coveted movement, especially with my recent success in the muscle-up department. 

In case you are wondering what a front lever involves, it's an extremely challenging holding move, where the whole body is held in a horizontal position whilst the arms hold the bar above.

I had been aiming to hold this tucked front lever position for 30 seconds prior to progressing my training to a one-legged variation of the full movement. Incredibly, this session I met that goal on the first set, despite not completing on abs on the bar session for a few weeks over the Christmas period. I had however done lots of floor work over the festive period, reintroducing planks to my workout. Maybe the additional planking was enough to keep building my strength in this area.

I didn't waste any time in progressing to the next level and attempted to extend one leg. Unsurpisingly this was not that graceful a first attempt but I did manage to lower my extended left leg to an angle of around 45 degrees - which I was quite happy with. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress over the next few months.

After the front lever work I complete 10 seconds of butterfly kicks, which involve holding in an L-Seat position whilst the feet kick up and down in an alternate fashion (like in back stroke when swimming).

The final exercise in this session is simple an L-Seat hold, which I can currently hold for a maximum of 22 seconds. I have also been trying to push this hold from an L-Seat to a V-Hold, especially in the first few sets. I also complete V-hold work in my floor sessions so this is progressing quite well.

I completed 3 sets of these exercises before becoming distracted by the now huge snowball my wife had been building in the field in front of me. She was definitely needing some help to keep building this snowball and I jumped at the chance!

I was surprised by how much of an awesome cardio workout this became, I was exhausted after about 15 minutes of rolling this whopper around the field.

By the time we were done it was just about 5 feet tall, and we were quite proud of our efforts! I was disappointed we couldn't keep building it but fatigue had set in and I was going to hurt myself if I kept going!

There was still time to climb up and pose for photo's, acting like we'd just scaled Mount Everest. 

I even tried to act like a daredevil and jump off (I was too scared to do something cool like a somersault)...but I wasn't all that graceful and ended up hitting the ground like a sack of $#!+!

All in all, great fun on a Sunday!

Get outside. Build muscle. Have fun.


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