Archive for the ‘Physical fitness’ Category

Funny Karate Winter Training Story

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Yesterday I was reminded of a funny situation I found myself in a few years ago. But first, here is a little background to help put the story in perspective. We have an annual tradition where I do my karate training. Every first full week in January, our JKA school in Trenton/Hamilton meets each morning at 5am for some invigorating training. This year marks the 45th annual training of the school.

I’ve been participating in this week of “Karate Winter Special Training” since I was about 11 years old. I have missed a few years here and there, but I’m currently on a perfect attendance streak of 12 years. I look forward to the training each year, along with its “interesting” rituals. The special classes consist of kihon, kata and kumite (basics, forms and sparring), but there are other traditions we maintain. One of those traditions is an outdoor run, barefoot and shirtless, regardless of the weather. So if it’s snowing or if there is hail coming down, or if the ground is covered in ice, we still run outside barefoot sans gi top. It might sound crazy to some, but it’s simply a custom we do to build spirit and character, and maybe a few blisters on our toes. I must admit, we also do it because we are told to.

These classes are only an hour long so the run is not that far, otherwise it would consume too much of the hour. After all, it’s a karate class, not a running class. We typically run about one mile. If the temperature is closer to zero, we might only do a half-mile. But on some days, Sensei Kisaka keeps us inside for other special activities.

A few years ago during one of our winter trainings I suspected we wouldn’t run during class, for reasons I won’t get into here. However, I wanted to keep the barefoot running tradition (I enjoy running). So each day I arrived extra early and went out to do my barefoot, shirtless run alone. If we ended up running during class too, I just conceded the point that I would run twice. On Thursday that week, it was about 4:30am, snow was falling, and there was already a nice coating on the ground, a couple of inches of cushion — you know the kind where the road actually feels soft to run on and you can hear the snow crunch when your foot lands?

I was running in the street headed south on Olden Ave. Of course there are almost no cars on the road at that time of day. Sometimes just a few vehicles pass by, delivery trucks or sanitation vehicles starting their run, or even a salting truck or snow plow.

There happened to be a Hamilton Police Officer sitting in his cruiser parked alongside the road. It was easy to spot from a distance because the parking lights were on, and I could see the car was running by the stream of fumes escaping from the tailpipe. As I approached, the Officer opened his window and called me over.

When I jogged up to his door, I remember noticing the warm air coming out the window. It was cold and windy. He very bluntly asked: “Are you all right sir?” I didn’t hesitate to respond, blurting out “Yes” in my hardened, macho, cold state of mind.

Then the image of what I was doing suddenly flashed through my mind from the Officer’s perspective. He must have though I’d lost my mind, running barefoot and bare-chested in the snow in what looked like my “pajamas” (white gi-bottom pants). Maybe he suspected I had escaped from a mental institution.

He didn’t look convinced with my one word answer so I repeated, betraying a slight smile, and explained, “Yes, really, I am okay… Doing special karate winter training at the school down the street. We do it every year.”

With a slight smirk on his face he responded “Okay. Carry on,” and rolled the window back up in his warm cruiser.

Frank Medrano Motivation

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

I should probably watch this video every day to motivate myself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFPsvF3UOdo

7 Minute Abs Workout

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with no more than a 5 second transition in between.

Exercise 1: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 2: V Ups (30 secs)
Exercise 3: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 4: Slow In & Outs (30 secs)
Exercise 5: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 6: Right Reverse Hip Dips (30 secs)
Exercise 7: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 8: Left Reverse Hip Dips (30 secs)
Exercise 9: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 10: Static V Pulses (30 secs)
Exercise 11: Left Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 12: Normal Crunches (30 secs)
Exercise 13: Right Half Planks (30 secs)
Exercise 14: Stretch Push Ups (30 secs)

Descriptions of Each Exercise:

Half Planks:
You will notice that every other exercise is the half plank. Its a phenomenal ab exercise the strengthens the entire midsection including your obliques. To get into the proper position start off in the normalplank but then lift one arm off of the ground. You will be balancing on one arm. IMPORTANT: Try to keep your hips parallel with the ground. Your body will want to rotate upward but in order to keep the exercise challenging keep it down.

V Ups:
This is a classic ab exercise made popular by Jack Lalanne. Here’s a video that will show you the proper form. V Up Video

Slow In & Outs:
Start off by sitting on the ground. Slowly bring your legs out while simultaneously leaning backward and bringing your arms out. Once you have reached as far as you can without tumbling over, bring your body to starting position keeping your legs off of the ground.

Reverse Hip Dips:
Here’s an exercise that I made up. It’s called Reverse Hip Dips. In order to get in position, start off in the normal push up posture. Lift one hand off of the ground (right hand for example) and put it under the left arm pit. Slowly lower your right hip toward the ground by twisting left and sinking your hip down. Do so until your right hip touches the ground. The more you arc upward while your hip is down the harder it will be. Come back to starting position and repeat on the other side.

Static V Pulses:
Here’s a great ab exercise that will add variety to your workout routine. To see a full video and description, click here.

Normal Crunches:
Most everyone knows the normal crunch so I should have to explain it here. HOWEVER many people do it wrong so I will give a few pointers. Tip 1: Don’t crank on your neck. You should use your hands for support only. If you are getting tired and find that you are pulling your head upward on the movement, adjust your hands so they are crossed over your chest. Tip 2: While you are doing the movement CURL your abs upward and don’t come down all the way until your shoulders touch the ground. This relieves the pressure and is NOT what you want. The movement is small. To see a video of the proper technique for crunches, click here.

Stretch Push Ups:
I included this exercise last because it targets the whole body but also focuses on the abdominals really well. To learn how to do a Stretch Push Up, click here.

How Often Should I Do The Workout?

Beginners:
If you are just starting out, many of the exercises will be very challenging. It’s ok to do just 5-10 secs of each exercise if you are a beginner. This will start to develop strength in your midsection and prepare you for longer workouts. I recommend that you do this workout 3X per week.

Intermediate:
If you have been active for longer and can do at least 100 sit ups in a row, try to get through the whole workout without stopping. You will want to do the workout twice through and 3X per week.

Advanced:
If you already have abs of steel and want a unique workout that is challenging here’s what I recommend. Increase the time that you do each exercise but stick with the 5 second rest. Try for 45sec to 1 minute of each exercise. This will increase the total workout time to about 14-15 minutes but you’ll certainly be blasted. You can do the workout 3-4X per week.

Source: http://ashotofadrenaline.net/the-7-minute-ab-workout-from-hell-using-ab-exercises-you-have-never-seen-before/

Navy Seal 3-Day Abs Workout

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Source: http://www.extremesealexperience.com/71.l.2410.NAVY_SEAL_EXTREME_TRAINING_WORKOUT

THIS IS A THREE DAY ON 1 DAY OFF WORKOUT.  A  VERY QUICK BUT AWESOME WORKOUT.

DAY ONE. UPPER ABS. 10 SLOW WEIGHT SITUPS FOLLOWED BY 15 SLOW STRAIGHT LEG CRUNCHES, FOLLOWED BY 20 BENT KNEE CRUNCHES.

5 SETS, AND THAT’S IT.

WHEN I SAY SLOW I MEAN SLOW LIKE AS SLOW AS IT TAKES YOU WILL FEEL SPENT AFTER THE FIRST SET.

DAY TWO LOWER ABS. 10 SLOW FOUR COUNT FLUTTER KICKS, FOLLOWED BY 15 HIP THRUSTERS OR “TOES TO THE SKY” FOLLOWED BY 20 REVERSE CRUNCHES.  AGAIN,  I’LL STRESS YOU NEED TO DO THEM SLOW AND FOCUS EVERY THING ON THE EXERCISE, THIS IS THE HARDEST OF THE THREE WORKOUTS.

DAY THREE OBLIQUES. 10 SLOW WIDE V TOES TOUCHES FOLLOWED BY 15 JANE FONDA’S FOLLOWED BY 20 SIDE CRUNCHES.

Workout 10/14/2013 – Fight Gone Bad

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Karate:

Body balance; body care. Lesson on not using the mirror. No, not the mirror on the wall, but the center and side-view mirrors. Bokutan. Sensei scratched our backs vigorously today… not really sure why. He has his methods. Maybe he’s “Miyagi-ing” me. Hangetsu kata. Extra stretching afterwards.

CrossFit:

Warm-up:
4 Rouds NFT:
10 Jumping squats
7 burpees
10 inchworm push-ups

WOD:
Fight Gone Bad

I was really worried about FGB today because my back has been extremely tight and at times, painful just to move over the last two weeks, since I PRd my back squat. But now most of the pain is only on the right side of my back.

I worked with Jeff counting his reps for his three rounds of FGB, while I did what I could to loosen up my back. It was still tight once I started, but my hope was the physical activity would loosen it up further.

Push press – 40,36,40; I was amazed. I had planned to do about 20 based on my previous score.
Box jumps – 28,27,28; step-ups. One day I’ll get past my fear of ripping open my shin again 🙂
Sump-Dead High-Pull – 18,16,17; I could have done much more but my back was limiting me here.
Row – 18,18,15; again; my back was limiting me or I might have squeezed out another calorie or two
Wall Ball – 20,17,17; I dislike wall balls. I need to get past it. I should be doing almost 30 of these. Yes, my tight back affected performance here too.

The good news is my score improved from 314 to 355. Most of this was from the push-press, which I practically doubled. I found it was largely about the form and timing of the push. I also thank Jeff for his support, coaching me along to get another rep or two. Also, my numbers were more consistent round to round, where back in May my wall-ball score tanked each round. I started out more conservatively on the wall-ball this time, so pacing certainly helped.

 

Workout 09/29/2013 plus Spartan Race

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Karate – bassai dai bunkai; semi-free sparring; 2 on 1 attack drills

Crossfit:
Warmup:
Squat therapy

WOD:
5 Rounds for time:
400 m run
30 sit-ups
20 push-ups
10 box jumps
5 pull-ups

Citizen Bank Park Spartan Race
Finish time: 53:29 with the team from Crossfit
– Dave Szgeda
– Matt Fleming
– Joe (Dave’s friend)
– me

This was approximately 3 miles in and around the stadium, including:
ascents and descents on the ramps over and under bungee cords
30 slam balls
over/under/through obstacles
monkey bars (varying heights)
500m row in under 2 mins
6 foot Berlin wall
ascents and descents on the bleacher stairs
banded bunny hops
atlas stone raises to top of platform with rope
heavy rope jump rope
sandbag carries up and down bleachers
farmer carries with 5gal water jugs up and down bleachers
javelin throw (need to work on this)
rope climb
atlas stone carries with burpees
7 and 8 foot berlin walls
successive 5 foot berlin walls
box jumps
lateral wall climb
cargo net traverse
gladiator zone

Workout 10/02/2013

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Crossfit:

Warmup
10 3/4 pace 40 yard sprints, warm up slow
10 all out 40 yard sprints
Squat therapy

Strength
Front Squat + Jerk
80/3+1  3  (95#, 115#)
Split Jerks
5×3 (95#)

MetCon
12 Minute EMOM, one minute of work followed by one minute of rest
Complete 7 Burpees to start the minute
Stone Dead Lift the balance of the minute
I used the 145# stone for my deadlifts. Bad choice – Halfway through my back was angered, probably from PR-ing back squats on Monday.

Lunch:
BodyFit Class 1:15-2:00
60 seconds of each exercise, five or six times through (as time permitted)
Exercises included:
– Cleans with 110#
– Wide mountain climbers (foot to hand)
– L-sit holds
– Clapping pushups
– Snatch, 60#
– Russian kicks from reverse plank position
– Banded sit-ups
– Skiing motion with weighted bars

Workout 10/01/2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Crossfit:

Warmup:
400 m run
10 sit-ups, 10 push-ups, 10 air-squats

Strength:
Find 2-rep max Chest Press
Good Mornings 7 x 3

WOD:
1 min max effort situps
1 min rest

4 min AMRAP:
4 jumping squats (reach up and touch a target 1ft above your fingertips)
4 clapping push-ups (scale by just getting hands off the ground, or do flag push-ups)

1 min rest

4 min AMRAP:
4 Plank-overs (1 time over is one rep)
6 walking lunges (3 lunges with each leg)

1 min rest

1 min max effort sit-ups (try to meet or exceed the count from your first set)

Post-workout:

Worked on double-unders
Worked on halting deadlift
Worked on 95# snatch followed by 3 overhead squats

Workout 09/19/2013

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Karate:

Discussion topic: kami and ke; animal hair and human head hair.
ke and kami should be together. To demonstrate how we shouldn’t forget they should stay connected, he showed two ends of a piece of hard wire, then crossed them and twisted them together with pliers.

Worked on heian godan, meikyo, tekki shodan, bokutan (jodan oi-zuki, age-uke, jodan ude-uke, gedan-barai, slice through the next and then through the stomach).

Crossfit (7am, Dolph):
Warmup
Pass Throughs (shoulders were VERY tight after yesterday’s PRs and several training sessions)
OHS with PVC

Strength
Snatch Complex  10x thru – worked with empty bar for 3 sets, then 95# for remaining 7 sets – shoulders are sore 🙂
3 Behind the Neck Jerks
3 Snatch Balance
3 OHS 

MetCon
4 Rounds for time
5 Squat Cleans 135# (this felt easy last night, but today it’s feeling heavier, perhaps I’m fatigued)
10 Pullups (5 dead-hang, then kipping in first two sets, last two sets was all kipping)
20 Double Unders (I CAN FINALLY DO SINGLE-DOUBLE, PRETTY CONSISTENTLY! Thanks PunkRope)

This took about 10:15, but should have been much less.

Workout 09/18/2013

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Crossfit:

Skill
Double Under Practice
Accumulate as many DBs in 5 minutes

Mobility
Tricep smash
Improve front rack position
Hip and Ankle Mobility

Strength
Front Squat
10×2, 90% 1 Rep max.
I actually started my sets with my 1RepMax: 185#.
For the last set, I jumped to 2 x 200# (PR!) and still felt strong, so jumped to 1 x 215#.

2 sets of 2 x 135# (warm-up)
9 sets of 2 x 185#
1 set of 2 x 200#
1 set of 1 x 215#

MetCon
1 mile run
5 minute Max effort KB Snatches, switch hands as needed (116 reps at 24kg)
800 meter run
3 min Max effort Burpees (33 burpees)
400 meter
1 minute Max effort Pushups (30 push-ups)

Lunch:
BodyFit Class
Random combinations of the following exercises, selected by playing card, in sets of 60 seconds each:
Ace: Bar Jumping jacks (essentially a push jerk with 40 pound barbell)
King: Boxing punches with dumbbells
Queen: Band Rounds (step on the band, and rotate arms in circles holding just below the handles)
Jack: Hulk Squats (holding two dumbbells, squat and touch the floor, then raise DBs overhead and jump into the air)
10: Lunge Jumps
9: 1-legged burpees
Joker: run up and down 4 flights of stairs.
Core: Duck-duck-goose style core
– situps until each person in the circle jumps up and runs around the circle
– hold plank
– disc-ins/outs with a 30 second lead-in before the first person stands to run around the circle.
Evening:
Olympic Lifting Class
– Worked on burgener warmup, and clean progression.
At the end of class, I was able to do my max clean with great form, and felt good. I added 20 more pounds and did it three times total.
So, new PR for Clean: 165#.
And new PR for Front Squat: 215#