Lent Challenge Day 13 – Hit the Jackpot

Its Lent Challenge Day 13. Fare tredici as they say in Italy – Do the 13. Which means to hit the jackpot, and you have certainly hit the jackpot today.

So: 13 Pushups in the variant of your choice. If you have to break them up then do. If you can go unbroken then well done. Then 13 squats. Then for the puller-uppers among you, an active hang (for a very minimum of 13 seconds, but try for 30 – it sounds similar at least).
Then repeat… no, not 13 times. That would be taking it a bit too far. Do 4 sets total.
Also, just to improve your luck and more importantly, to improve your form, I want you to film yourself doing your first set, and view it back before you proceed. Last time we did the video day I didn’t see an awful lot of engagement, and even had a couple of comments along the lines of “my form isn’t good enough to video myself yet.” I really need to reiterate here: the whole point of filming yourself is to be able to objectively look at how your form is. Even if you feel like your form is perfect, it probably isn’t. How a move feels while you are doing it and what it actually looks like are usually two different things. It is rather like singing along to music while you have headphones on. It takes time to perfect any exercise move, but the entire point is to be constantly working on where you are going wrong and correcting it. Simply blaming your technique flaws on not being strong enough, for example, is a bit of a cop-out, and usually not correct. Putting the time in to get your form right will give you the basis to build the strength to do more reps. Usually if your form is wrong, there is a point in the movement where your arms or knees or whatever go in the wrong direction, and the mistake leads from there every time. If you watch yourself on video and watch the demonstration video back to back it is easy enough to identify the point at which things start going pear shaped. And once you have identified where the error starts, you are able to correct it. if you don’t you just keep on doing the same thing again and again.
Those of you who did the squat challenge will be familiar with my insistence on the regular video self criticism. Several of you who did that commented week by week on how they were able to isolate points where their form went wrong and as a consequence were able to improve their squat and consequently reduce the effects of previous injury or get deeper or more reps or whatever.
So. Lecture over. Bust out that smartphone and film yourself. If you are puller uppering, film yourself from the back and see what is going on with your lats and shoulders when you pull up into the active hang. The more you understand what your body is doing in a move the better you will be able to do it.


  1. julia

    I have not done the other stuff but I did do my daily hang… 30 seconds each of dead and active and 10 negative drops. I film myself once a week to chart my progress so that I will see a huge jump when I can actually do a big one. My hands have become calloused and I am considering gloves but then is this cheating?

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      Billy Rhomboid

      If you ever want to see someone flamed to death have a look at any of the FB bodybuilding groups when someone posts a picture of themselves in gloves. Use chalk and sand them down so they don’t get too thick.

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