2012 Wrap-Up

This year was about figuring out what I was made of – both mentally and physically. Moving around up and down the East Coast put my worth under scrutiny – from the sunny beaches of the Jersey Shore to the cold fringes of Massachusetts,  I’ve experienced a lot of awesome things this year..!

I’m going to be honest – while everyone is hopping on the 2012 wrap-up theme, I’m more or less thinking about my future already, and what is in store for me in 2013 and beyond. I’m at a point where there are a number of positive unknowns ahead of me (Rule #4!) and I can only go up from here. So for everyone that has helped me – whether it is helping me realize my potential on one end, or grounding me while I daydream at the other end – thank you.

So whether you believe in Chinese Astrology (this year was the Year of the Dragon, which also happens to be the same as my birthyear!),

2012 is the Year of the [Water] Dragon

or whether or not Nostradamus flubbed up in predicting the end of the world, I’m in full belief that the journey is what you make of it, and on that note, what it means to appreciate the journey and not just look to the destination.

So after talking about my 2012, what about my physical progression? I’ve seen some awesome progression in my lifts from the beginning of the year to the end. And although I haven’t been dancing as much, I still like to progress my bodyweight exercises and see what I can do physically. Here is a smattering of my physical feats that I happened to catch on video!

My Top 4 Bodyweight Physical Feats of 2012

1. 55″ Box Jump
This came as a challenge – either my own self-challenge or from someone else, I forget. But at the end of the day, we had some boxes – I had to jump on them. This was done with a 1-2 Power Step, Derrick Rose style.


If someone were to attempt these, I would progress them in this manner, with 2-3x for 3-4 weeks at a time for each bullet point:

  • Box Jumps on Soft Plyo Box (12″ to 24″)
  • Band Resisted Broad Jumps (attach band to rack or pole)
  • Hurdle Jumps (work on getting quick, hip flexion)
  • Higher Box Jumps than previous attempt (16″-30″)

First by starting with a smaller box, and then incrementally adding height. After about 3-4 weeks of this, change up the type of jump (keeping it bilateral as well) – so either depth jumps (no higher than 18″), hurdle jumps, or band resisted broad jumps, the idea is to vary the jump used to prevent any chronic joint issues from popping up on your quest to big air.

2. Pistol Squat + 32kg KB + 16kg KB

This particular feat came out of hearing about something in the RKC world called the “Beast Tamer” – in particular it is a series of challenges that includes a pull-up, pistol, and overhead press… with a 106lb kettlebell, also known as The Beast.

106lbs of FUN

Well, I didn’t have access to a full on 106lb kettlebell, so I did with what I could: I used two kettlebells, for a combined weight of 48kg, aka the 106lbs!


My Progressions for a Pistol Squat 

  • TRX or Resistance Band (On Rack) Pistol Squat
  • Single Leg/Pistol Squat to Bench with 5-10lb counterbalance
  • Pistol Squat to Small Box (16,14,12″) with no counterbalance
  • Goblet Pistol Squat to Box – Heavier DB to counterbalance
  • Pistol Squat from Bottom Position – similar to working on big lifts in a dead stop position (pin press, squat from pins, etc.), almost everyone can perform the eccentric position of the pistol – it is merely dropping into the hole. However, coming out of the hole is the issue for many that I have seen attempt this exercise; this progressive step is meant to attack that portion of the lift.
  • Pistol Squat

3. One-Arm/One-Leg Push-Up

Admittedly, this physical feat was again attempted after seeing a member of the RKC practice these and posting videos of them on Facebook. Here is what a few members of Fitocracy had to say after seeing this video below:


What can I say – I’m easily stirred by physical challenges, and those crazy RKC folk know how to challenge me to do some awesome stuff.


The progression for this is a bit different, as it is not strictly just a push-up – it is a whole body movement. Learning how to maximally contract your whole body is a skill that needs practice. So learning how to do so in a plank position will definitely help at first, but afterwards, here is a progression I would use, and it is actually relatively simple:

My Progression to a One-Arm/One-Leg Push-Up

  • Two-Handed/One-Leg Push-Up on Floor – This will work on your rotational component when one leg is out to the side.
  • Two-Handed/One-Leg Push-Up Feet Elevated
  • One-Arm Push-Up on Elevated Surface (Feet Separated) – Goal is to reduce height significantly, so either the pins on a power rack progressively getting lower, or a lower height in general.
  • One-Arm Push-Up with Band Assistance on Floor
  • One-Arm One-Leg Push-Up with Band Assistance on Floor
  • One-Arm-Push-Up on Floor (Feet Very Wide)
  • One-Arm/One-Leg Push-Up on Floor

4. Standing Ab-Wheel +30lb Weight Vest

Curiosity got the best of me again, and I wanted to see how difficult I could make the conventional ab-wheel rollouts. I think my next progression is to follow Ross Enamait’s ab wheel tutorial and go from there.


Progression for this is similar to the push-up progression in the sense of creating maximal tension throughout the body – I certainly wasn’t loosey-goosey during this exercise, and even for almost all of these bodyweight exercises you can hear how I utilize tension and air to my advantage.

My Progression to a Standing Ab-Wheel Rollout

  • Kneeling Ab-Wheel Rollout
  • Kneeling Ab-Wheel Rollout + Weighted Vest (learning how to create that maximal tension with additional force on your body is crucial!)
  • Standing Ab-Wheel Rollout + Incline Ramp (as outlined in Ross Enamait’s tutorial)
  • Standing Ab-Wheel Rollout


That about wraps up my physical feats for 2012. 2013 is going to be equally as ridonkulous, and with that, I’ll leave y’all with a quote that has greatly helped me throughout the adversities that I’ve faced throughout 2012:

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”



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