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Disney's Wide World of Sports / runDisney Disney Marathon Events Discuss "The Virtual DWT Gym" in the Miscellaneous Disney forums; Alright, as long as I've got Debbie's interest whetted, I'd better go ahead and lay out a few more principals of The Pistol. I still strongly suggest that anyone about ...
  1. #61
    Conceited Ape's Avatar
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    Alright, as long as I've got Debbie's interest whetted, I'd better go ahead and lay out a few more principals of The Pistol. I still strongly suggest that anyone about to take these up read the book, though--Pavel does a much better job laying down the finer points of this drill, and gives you photos to illustrate exactly what we're talking about.

    On the way down, lean your upper body forward to help compensate as you go lower and lower.

    Keep your weight focused on the heel of the foot that's flat on the deck. Try to imagine you're driving that heel into the ground.

    Keep the lower leg of the one doing the supporting as straight up and down as possible. Imagine you're wearing a ski boot.

    DO NOT BOUNCE once you're in the down position in order to help you get back up again.


    Again, this one is a real goodie. There aren't many better of it's kind out there, with or without equipment.
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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    Quote Originally Posted by SnwhtNdwrfs
    I think my buns will be screaming something other than "Thank you!" lol
    oh yeah, your buns and all the way down to your calf... i strapped a 5 pound ball around my ankle last night, and lifted my leg side, front, and back, 15 times each... now, i hurt.
    April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conceited Ape
    DO NOT BOUNCE once you're in the down position in order to help you get back up again.


    Again, this one is a real goodie. There aren't many better of it's kind out there, with or without equipment.
    you are so funny Hans... and how do you suppose i get back up... LOL.. such a crazy man
    April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!

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    Alright. In response to iwannabeminnie's repeated desire to avoid pain in all shapes and forms, as well as a few others who have expressed similar sentiments yet are still interested in building strength (I have to assume this, or you probably still wouldn't be posting on this topic), please read the book I referenced earlier, and follow the principal Pavel spells out that he calls "Greasing The Groove (GTG)."

    Basically, stop looking at the pursuit of strength as a "workout." Think of being strong as a skill, a skill that requires practice. As we learned in school, the more you practice something, the better you get. Take something you want to excell at, and do it a lot, but never to the point of burning out.

    Right here, right now--let's bury the myth of "reps to failure/do-or-die" training. Point A: training to failure is not only unnecessary, it's also counterproductive (this is defined as lifting until you physically cannot lift it any longer. I personally did this for years, and I was a fool who didn't know any better). I know this is going to ruffle even more feathers with a few members of the weightlifting community, but I'm not going to get into it here. B: do NOT mistake muscle soreness necessarily as a sign of making progress.

    Alrightey, not that I've got that off my chest (hope it helped easy some anxieties about training, and that you're still with me), "greasing the groove." Take a strength drill you want to excell at, and practice it often throughout the course of the day, never working to the point of buring out and avoiding fatigue altogether. You may have your doubts, but THIS WORKS. It is not uncommon for practitioners to go from 5 to 10 pullups in a week. Men have gone from 0 to 5 clean, butt-to-floor Pistols in days. For me, I've gone from only a couple wobbly ones to pressing out double digit one-armed pushups in record time (these are far more beneficial than just a stunt to impress girls with, trust me).

    Example of GTG in action--had a Marine buddy who wanted to ace his upcoming physical fitness test, but he had never been especially great at pullups (the bread and butter of Marine calisthenics. I've got to hand it to them, a very good choice for measuring real upper body strength and endurance). Well, we went to the local sporting goods store, and installed a chinning bar right into his bathroom door. Being a good military member, he stayed well-hydrated, and therefore, had to use the facilities quite a bit. The rules were; everytime he went to answer nature's call, he'd knock out half his estimated best pullups on his way back. This added up to over a hundred reps a day, and he never came close to failure nor even getting overly fatigued.

    Three weeks later, he went from 7 to 16 strict pullups.

    In the case of the Pistol, hey--if you can get up from your desk for just a minute or two and pop out a couple (or if you can't yet do this, work on your range of motion drills); several times throughout the course of the day, you will be amazed at what you come up with whenever you decide to test your max. You really can't ask for a more flexible and painless way to get the job done.

    (Now, for you pain-gluttons who are incredulously saying "Whaa....??? No failure? No pain? This is too easy!"--all I can say is after doing this all day, get yourself a kettlebell and do high-rep snatches until you're ready to vomit your heart out. That should be all the pain and suffering you've been deprived of in one neat little package.)

    Now get to work!!!
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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    got it...
    April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!

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    My problem is that I want to do it but I don't have a lot of time and my students would laugh hysterically at me if I did it right now.

    No time at home due to the kid and 2 job situation. So how do I find the time, energy, and desire to do it?


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    Quote Originally Posted by SnwhtNdwrfs
    My problem is that I want to do it but I don't have a lot of time and my students would laugh hysterically at me if I did it right now.

    No time at home due to the kid and 2 job situation. So how do I find the time, energy, and desire to do it?
    Ha ha--you've gotta learn to take it in stride, Teacher Lady. I know, not everyone is as bashful as I am, but I will find myself an unoccupied corner of a room and start pressing the deck if I've got anything that looks like a minute to burn and I'm not hurting from the last time (I do this a lot in the parks, too, since much as I hate to admit it, I don't always train the way I should while I'm on holiday. One of my fave spots is in that little alley behind the bathrooms outside of Pirates of the Carribean. It's usually fairly deserted, but if a train lets its passengers off back there, I do get some strange looks and occasional wolf-whistles.......).

    I know it's tough, Gae--believe you me, I know it. But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

    First things first, no one can get you 100% fired-up and motivated but yourself. All I suggest is try to find just one thing you like about exercising, and keep that in mind. Keep your goals specific rather than vague, and hit it hard when you can, easy when you can't. If you can find fifteen minutes to yourself a day, and JUST fifteen, you and I can work something out. And if you can't find fifteen, Gae--I hate to say it, but I'm worried you may need to seriously slow down your pace. That can't be the best way to take care of yourself and yours.

    (Coming straight from the heart, I worry about you, Teacher Lady.)
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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    It would probably help if I would step away from this computer! lol


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    When you get to the bottum in the pistol, what are you pushing yourself up with, what muscle or muscle group? Cuz if its the way i think it is, it seems like it would hurt the knees and im pretty sure thats not its intention.
    "L'amour brille sous les étoiles Illuminant leur cœur Sa lumière
    Eclaire à l'infini Un sublime espoir" -so i dont really speak french but would love to would u amour to?

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    Thanks for reminding me about that point, LDP. Knew I was forgetting something.

    As anyone who has more or less paid attention to my drivel, I'm a fan of compound muscle drills. Getting back up from the Pistol requires tension from just about everything in your lower body. Like I said before, it isn't cheating, it's cheering your system to get you up and down. Tight abs, tight butt, squeeze those quads and hamstrings and righteously raise yourself back up. Every little thing you can do to create tension in your body will help--make white-knuckle fists and curl your toes into the ground. These little things will all add up. Again, Pavel spells this out much more clearly and with better a-n-a-l-ogies (overzealous text editor is at it again.....) that I could ever hope to duplicate here.

    And yes--you are training the one-legged squat through the entire range of motion. Unless you are recovering from a pre-existing condition, going as low as you can into this drill will not damage you. For anyone nervous about breaking that 90-degree plane, keep this in mind: if you do not train your joints through their full range of healthy motion, you can expect them to remain weak.
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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    Okay- so being someone who hasn't exercised much--except for jumping to conclusions, it may take a while to even attempt one successfully.

    Or at least I sure hope so because it will be a while before I can get this one. It did embarrass my daughter that I tried this at school before I went home. Paybacks are wonderful.


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    Hey body by jake, how are you doing man... so, i did try 1 for you as promised... um, are my legs and buns and calves, and toes suppose to hurt like this... maybe i didn't do it right? maybe i should have bounced?
    April 23rd, oh yeah it's gonna be ON!

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    Contrary to what you may think (doubly so for any of the guys I used to hammer), my intention is not to cause you any undue discomfort, so at the risk of sounding like a broken record; please, please consult the book. It's not too hard to find on the shelves of the local Barnes & Noble or Borders (two of my favorite haunts).

    I know this is in defiance of all that is macho, but the cliche' of "pain is weakness leaving the body" is only true to a point. There's pain and then there's pain--Deb, if you're seriously hurtin', please watch yourself.

    Well, watch yourself and curl up in one of the big leather seats of the bookstore cafe' with a hot cup of caramel Ralph Macchiatto and Pavel's masterwork to get the finer points.
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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    To begin with, can you "cheat" and have a leg up on something as you lower yourself down? Just thought I would ask.


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    I wouldn't consider that "cheating," either--in fact, if it helps you build up to a legit butt-to-deck Pistol, you go right ahead.

    To help my roommates learn doing this one under their own power, I had them "greasing the Pistol groove" by using the doorframe of the bathroom. Since the balance of most folks is a pretty sad state of affairs, they can use the borders of the door to keep them vertical, and give them just a little boost up when they hit their sticking point.

    Another goodie is to use a chair. If you can muster the tension to get up from your seat on one leg, without using momentum (that is cheating), you've got something to start with. Once you get confident enough with that, start sitting up and down on something a little lower. Keep it up, and soon enough, you'll be doing them all on your own--savvy?

    If you can, another way to get stronger for this drill is by getting into the rock-bottom down position of the Pistol, and work on the isometric of it. In English, this means making everything tense--the leg muscles, the butt, your abs, make some whiteknuckle fists, curl up your toes, and breathe in a hiss (sounds goofy, but again, this works). If this is enough to bring you up to standing on one leg, congratulations!! You've got the hardest part done. If not, just keep working that tension until you run out of air (hhhhhssssssssssssssssss..........), then switch legs and repeat.

    As I've said, total body tension counts for a lot. For you fellas, assume the bottom position of a one-armed pushup, and feel free to rest your chest on the deck. Spread your legs out for balance, put your non-pressing arm bent with the hand flat against the small of your back, keep your pressing arm tucked in against your ribs (moving the arm out away from the body is both cheating, and unhealthy for your shoulders. While I praised his drawbridges earlier, the so-called one-armed pushups Stallone was doing in the montage of Rocky and Rocky II looked like something out of a Richard Simmon's video when up against the real deal), and avoid rotating the torso as you proceed. Now, from here, tighten yourself up, get ready, and PUSH. This is a lesson in getting yourself the kind of tension you need. Unless you compress that air, make your guts hard, pinch your glutes, make talons out of your fingers and toes and believe in your ability to make it happen, you won't get up. Simple as that.

    As Pavel, a Russian of all folks reminded us--FDR once said, "Do what you can, where you are, with what you have." He may well have been talking about the Pistol.
    Last edited by Conceited Ape; 04-13-2006 at 05:14 PM.
    "The society that draws too great of a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will end up having its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools." --probably Thucydides

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