Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stretching and Instability

Who knew you could get sore stretching? It's a new experience for me. I've done 2 hours worth of yoga so far over my vacation. While I am more relaxed and loose now, I'm also sore. This is either a reflection of my tightening up since I haven't been very diligent about stretching over the last few months or maybe I just always go overboard trying to hold advanced versions of the asanas. Either way my hammies have been definitely feeling it over the past two days.

On another note, I've learned that I rock quite a bit doing fast pull ups. The pull up bar in my mom's gym doesn't have a very wide base and isn't bolted to the floor like it's supposed to be. I started rocking the entire structure while I was banging out a set of pull ups. I had to slow down my pull ups so I wouldn't tilt the entire bar structure over. I suppose I'm just too used to accelerating up since I'm usually trying to do muscle ups.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The holidays and winding down the year

Well, it's already December, and I'm still just a bit short of my training goals for the year. I can't hold a dragon flag for much more than 9 seconds, which quite a bit away from my goal of 20 seconds. That's directly correlated with my inability to hold a full front lever. I probably won't be upping my static hold times by the end of the year, so those goals are going to have to carry over. My handstand goal I'm going to say is completed since I can actually hold a handstand for a few seconds, even if I can only do it somewhat inconsistently. Next year I'm going to have to up my handstand time to a solid 10s. I'm also going to call my goal of "progressing to a planche" complete since I can hold an advanced tucked planche on the parallelettes.

I'm actually looking forward to a new year of training goals. My next new goal will be an iron cross on the rings. That's probably going to be a little tough. I'll have to limit my goals next year to: 1. iron cross, 2. more planche progress, 3. 10s handstand, 4. 20s dragon flag, 10s front lever. I may add a double bodyweight dip/pullup, but that'll be an intermediate goal on the way to my other goals. I'll have to re-evaluate closer to January and determine what's feasible.

I've already posted my December Google Doc training log. I'm rather pleased that I managed to keep up my log through the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm guessing I'll be able to keep it going through the end of the year without a problem. I actually like logging my training, so I'm going to try keeping it up next year, too.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

News on the gym front

Recently, Gen and I have been going to the campus gym, which I find... well, let's just say less than stellar. It's not actually bad or crappy or anything. It's pretty nice, but it just doesn't suit the needs of someone who's a little more serious about fitness and strength conditioning. I can easily clear the entire weight stack on the cable machine, and the dumbbells top out at 50lbs. Granted I usually don't train with the weights, but sometimes I like doing Turkish get ups; if I can already do the 50lb weights, I can foresee those weights becoming too light down the road.

Anyhow, I've managed to find one acceptable bodyweight exercise (actually progression of exercises) I can do in the gym. I start on the pull up bar, invert and hold a back lever, drop into skin the cat, roll back up and hold a front lever (or at least the 1-leg lever), drop into a dead hang, do a clapping pull up, readjust my hands into a false grip and do a muscle up. I tried adding a 180 degree release and turn, but I can't seem to grip the wide cross bar on the cable machine when I'm attempting that skill. I'm digging this dynamic strength series that I made up. Gen suggested I try it on the rings, but I fear that. Not only are my rings not rated for swings/catch-release moves, but I'm don't actually know if I'm strong enough (or even coordinated enough) to release and catch my rings.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pulling too much, but ignoring the dips?

Ok, for the first time in my life I can do more pull ups than dips. I think having a pull up bar in my home and no corresponding dip equivalent has really biased my training to stuff I can do while hanging. And I guess doing the rings (mostly hanging or straight arm support-type skills) is also biasing the type of strength I'm developing. I did weighted pull ups and dips again yesterday. I can do 70lb weighted pull ups, but I don't think I can do 70lb weighted dips. Plus, my lats and back still feel pretty fresh whereas my pecs are a little sore this morning.

I find it amusing that most people who strength train are too pec-centered in their training. Just look at all the meatheads in the gym doing way too much bench press. I used to overemphasize benching, too. Then I got a shoulder injury and listened to my PT about balancing out the strength in all my muscle groups. I don't think it's possible for me to develop a strength imbalance with all these pulling exercises, but I'll need to check to make sure.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sort of back into weight training

I've forgone weight lifting for nearly two years now, and amazingly, I've actually gotten significantly stronger. That's not to say I think weight training is crap, but I do think now that I was taking the wrong approach to it before. If only I'd started subscribing to the "train smarter, not just harder" mantra earlier, maybe I'd be a beast by now.

I've started supplementing my bodyweight gymnastics-style strength training with some weight training again. Since clapping pull ups have become easy for me now, and I've been able to do 45lb weighted pull ups and dips, I've decided to make weighted pull ups and dips part of my regular workout.

I had a big ego boost in the gym today. I put on the dip belt and hooked up a 45lb and 25lb plate for some pull ups. I wouldn't say they were easy, but I did bang out a solid 3 reps and 1 wobbly 4th rep. Pull ups with an extra 70lbs isn't too shabby. In total, that's pulling 150% bodyweight. And it's great for my vanity. It looks more impressive doing pull ups with plates strapped to you than doing pull downs on a machine.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October gains

Despite working really long hours and not getting nearly enough training and workout time in, I've managed to make strength gains this past month. I went to the gym and banged out 10 clapping pull ups with ease. I was shocked that they were that easy, so I strapped on the dip belt with a 45lb plate. I did 3 sets of 5 weighted pull ups and dips. That's definitely stronger than I've been in the past. I used to only be able to do just 1 set of 5 (followed by another weak set of 4).

My handstands are getting better. I still can't do them away from the wall, but I'm getting less reliant on the wall. I tried handstand pushups on my parallelettes though. That was big ego deflater. Just when I was getting stoked over my improvements, I found out that I can't do full range of motion handstand pushups on the parallelettes. Those bad boys are tough. I guess I'm going to have to up my shoulder strength.

I went on a trip to NY last month and also had my parents visit me, so my October logs are a little incomplete for a few days. I had to guess some things when I was logging my food and workouts a few days after the fact. Oh well. My November log is now started, so I'm still keeping up my daily log. Only two more months until I've done a full year of logging.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Unexpected results

It's been a long time since I've done weight-lifting strength training. The vast majority of my strength training has been bodyweight exercises over the past 2 years. I have done the occasional squat or deadlift, and dabbled with weighted dips and pull ups, but that's about the extent of the actual "weight" lifting I've done in the past couple of years. I'll probably start ramping up the squats and deadlifts at some point since I find it a little difficult to find similarly challenging bodyweight equivalent for those exercises.

Anyhow, what has all this bodyweight training gotten me? Well, it's given me a good amount of strength gains. I can actually do certain weighted exercises better (like weighted dips and pull ups) just because doing the rings has given me a lot of strength gains. I've also gained a good bit of functional strength so that I can do some exercises that give would make the regular gym goer wimper in pain. Dragon flags are a good example of such an exercise. Even most dedicated weight lifters simply don't have the core strength and neuromuscular control to pull off that exercise. And now, I can flaunt in the gym with clapping pullups. After banging out 40 pull ups in a day without a problem, I wondered if I had enough explosive power to clear my hands above the bar to clap. To my surprise, I could. Lots of hanging exercises are the reason I have enough strength (and acceleration) for clapping pull ups.

My least expected and most welcome result from the ring training and other gymnastic skills training has been the increase in my bicep size. I know it's a vanity muscle that meatheads in the gym work way too much, but I think I've earned the right to revel in my vanity a little. I read that straight arm gymnastic skills required strong biceps to stabilize the elbows. I didn't actually expect to develop noticeable guns though. My biceps never looked this good from dumbbell curls. I should have started the rings earlier.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Grippy rings

So, I taped my rings with climbing tape and tried muscle ups tonight. I can now say that the grip on my rings is not holding me back anymore. My hands didn't even come close to slipping out of position. In fact, the glue from the climbing tape started seeping through from the adhesive side to the grippy cloth side, making for a truly sticky hold. The first set of muscle ups felt really awesome. But then the 15 minutes of hard jump roping for my cardio warmup and the weekend pull up fest on my new home pull up bar caught up with me. The next few sets really sucked, and my anterior serratus(?) and abs didn't have enough left to keep my shoulders from floating, which made the transition of rolling my shoulders over my hands really hard. At least that's the story I tell myself as to why my muscle ups started sucking even after taking the grip factor out of the equation.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Raising the bar

With my abundance of free time, what do I do on the weekends? Why, I build myself a pull-up bar so I can bang out some pull ups at home. I don't always make it to the gym since my boss seems to think it necessary to keep me working until past 8 p.m. Not a great way to get workouts in when the gym closes at 9. Anyhow, here's what less than $20 worth of parts gets you:

That's $7 for the 36"x0.75" steel pipe, $6 for the rug pad to provide scratch protection and prevent sliding on the door frame, and $4 for the climbing tape to provide some grip on the bar. The wood is scrap that I had lying around, so it's free. The rug pad and cloth tape (climbing tape in this case) really added up, but those are actually reusable for other projects. I'm going to use the tape on my rings since I'm starting to find that sweaty hands are making my grip slip and limiting the number of muscle ups I can do. The rug pad has already been used as a makeshift solution for keeping some speaker wire and telephone cord firmly on the carpet and not wrapping around our ankles as we walk in and out of my home office. At any rate, $17 sure beats $40+shipping I'd have to spend on one of those fancy cantilever door pull up bars, which I'd have to put up and take down all the time anyhow.

So, I know you're wondering (or maybe you're not): does it work. Of course it works! I've already done over 50 pull-ups on the bar so far this weekend.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Handstand and planches

I'm mostly recovered from my weeklong cold and started getting back into my gymnastic skills training. Mostly, I'm back into the handstand and planche practice because I have no other choice with my crazy work hours. I can do those two exercises at home on my parallelettes. Anyhow, I did manage to hold a handstand for nearly 5s. As usual, my technique needs improvement. I need to keep my core tighter and get my leg and shoulder alignment better. I can also hold the arched handstand a little easier than the fully straight version for some weird reason. I got myself into an advanced tucked planche relatively easily today, and I was all excited until I realized my arms weren't straight. Oof. Straightening the arms made that exercise a whole hell of lot harder.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting over cold

Well, this past week was a wash. I managed to get a cold, so that's taken me out of commission for the past 5 days. The plus side to all this has been that I've had some more time to focus on my meditation training and to do a little research. I came across this fabulous site about DIY home bodyweight workout setups. I particularly dig the doorway chinup bar, wall mounted multi-purpose rack, and the pipe rowing station. I don't have the time (and quite possibly spousal approval) to make any of those things, but it did inspire me to look around the apartment for places to put a pullup bar. I was about to spend the money one of those cantilevered door gyms, but that I decided that I could just put a dowel or pipe over the door frames between the bedroom and bathroom in our hallway. A 0.75" to 1" diameter dowel or pipe about 34"-35" and some padding/gripping material will make a cheap and simple way for me to add more pull ups into my daily routine.

My October logs are now up. I still can't believe I've been keeping logs this long.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Damn work interferes with workouts

Well, I've really been slacking on keeping my training blog up to date. As the title implies, my long hours at work have been slowing down both my training and my blogging. I have been managing to keep up some semblance of training. I started logging my training since the beginning of the year, and oddly enough, I'm still at it. I've been very tempted to stop logging all the food I eat and my training regimen. In fact, I have forgotton to log a couple of days these past few weeks. Oops. But even as nuts as I am for logging everything, I'm glad to know that there are other people out there at least as nuts (and probably crazier) than I am. I just read this article on T-nation about a guy who has 4 years worth of logs. I haven't even made the year mark yet.

Anyhow, it's now October, and I'm beginning to think I may not achieve some of the fitness goals I had set out to accomplish for this year. I've done the muscle up thing, and I can easily jump rope for 10+ minutes at a pretty heart racing pace. The handstand is coming very slowly. I can only hold a dragon flag for 7s at best, which is still pretty far from the 20s goal I had set. The front lever is really hard. I can only do a 1-leg version of it at the moment. To be fair, I did originally state "progress towards a planche" and not a full planche as a goal, so I've made pretty good progress on that one. I can almost hold an advanced tucked planche on the parallelettes, but it may be a while before I can hold a full planche.

I guess some of the goals will likely carry over into the next year. I've determined that next year's feat of strength should be an iron cross. It feels like it'll be pretty hard, and I'm sure it will be difficult training for it. Did you know that an iron cross is only a "B" level gymnastics skill. The skill levels go up to E, I believe. That means my big feat of strength aspiration is something that's easy for the average gymast. Boy does that make me feel weak.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Back in action

It's been a rough few weeks with work, moving, and getting married all at the same time. But Genevieve and I have returned to a semi-normal workout schedule. I realize that my wife is now just as much of a gym rat as I am. I suppose that's good since we can partially combine our workouts and time together, which is nice considering that we both work long hours. My plan for the next three months is to get Gen doing a full unassisted pull up. [Bodyweight] Pull ups are one exercise where women are supposed to have near parity with men. A fit woman should be able to do something like 70% of the pull up reps as a man. If I can bang out 20 pulls fresh, that means Gen should be able to do at least a few.

I didn't make a lot of gains in August since I've been super busy. My martial arts training has definitely taken a hit since my work hours have increased. Fortunately, I haven't lost much strength or cardio conditioning. I can hold a support position on the rings with my hands turned out for nearly 40s now, my back lever is getting better, and my muscle ups feel pretty good. I just need to up my endurance with the muscle ups. I'm pretty worn out after 15-18 reps (over 3+ sets). I can hold a 1-leg dragon flag for 25s, but the full flag still sucks major donkey since I can only hold it for just over 7s. On the plus side, I have made gains on the tucked parallelette planche. I can finally hold it cleanly, if only for 5s.

My September log is now posted. Hopefully, I'll convince my boss that working 12 straight hours is not productive (it really isn't). Maybe I'll be able to grease the groove a little and get some more handstand and planche improvements in my breaks.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Oof. It's been a while since I've been this sore. I had 2 hours of sparring practice and 20 minutes of handstand practice yesterday. Today, I decide to give the bag a beatdown as a warmup since I didn't have my sneakers with me to warm up with the rope. In case you ever wondered, punching the bag for a solid minute as fast and hard as you can is really tiring. I can just barely make 50 seconds on that drill right now.

Stupidly, I decided to do a rings workout today. I'm happy that my muscle ups are getting better. With a few technique refinements and some more strength gains, I should be banging out 5x5 in no time. I don't know what possessed me to do extra Bulgarian dips and false grip pull ups though. I was already tired from yesterday's training. Now everything is just sore.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another challenge bites the dust

Ok, maybe the 30s double under challenge wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I just did it today. I will say it really got my heart rate up, but it only took me 3 attempts over maybe a week to complete the challenge. Probably having a $40 jump rope with smooth turning swivel bearings helps me out a lot. I can imagine it being harder with a standard leather or PVC speed rope simply because it takes a little more arm strength to keep the rope turning at a high speed. I guess I'll have to shoot for 45s to 1min as part of my interval training scheme and maybe retry the challenge with a different rope.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Double Under Challenge

Oof. I did the killer anaerobic rope workout yesterday. 2 minute warm up, then 5 rounds of 3 minutes at a 180-200 turns/min pace, and then a 3 minute cool down. I gave myself 1 minute rest between rounds. It's been a long time since I've felt [mildly] nauseous during a workout. I also tried the 30 second double under challenge during my workout. I can only make it to 15-20s before I start getting tired and my form falls apart.

I tried doing full ROM front squats afterwards. I only made it through 2 sets with just the bar before I felt my hamstrings start to tighten up. Fortunately, I was smart enough not to try more sets with more weight. I stretched, went home, and managed not to cramp up. Who knew that all out jump roping would tire out my hammies?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Woot! New rope trick

It only took like 6 months, but I can finally do the double-under crossover trick while skipping rope. Just in case you're wondering what I'm talking about and you can't see the rope in the above videos, that's crossing and uncrossing the rope in a single jump. So far, my attempts look no where near as good as the two linked examples. But it's coming along. I haven't seriously attempted them in over 4 months, so I'm pleased that I managed to get it. I think my next set of rope challenges will be 30s of double unders, multiple double-under crosses, and more turning tricks. I'd try the crossing behind the back or passing the rope under my legs, but I feel like I waste so much time getting the coordination right when I'm pressed for time trying to get my maximal cardio workout in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

update during the madness

It appears I haven't made any updates to my training blog in a while. Rest assured that I am actually still training. I've kept my daily log of MA training, strength/cardio conditioning and nutrition up to date even though there are many days where I'm loathe to sit down and log everything. Anyhow, on to the updates.

Muscle ups: I can do 6 in a row now and 15-20 total depending on how fresh I am. My technique has gotten much better, and I think my strength is improving now that I can bang out more reps.

Handstands: I can hand balance on parallettes for 4-5s become yelling "timber!" I had the "duh!" moment when I realized I wasn't positioning my shoulders correctly to align myself.

Dragon flags: Still stuck at 7 seconds for the full flag. A 1-leg half tucked flag I can hold for almost 30 seconds.

Front lever: I still can't hold a full front lever, though I'm slowly getting into double digits for the 1-leg half tucked lever. If I can hold my hands closer to my hips and remember to keep my shoulder blades engaged, I do better at the static hold. I started training cranks on the rings to build more strength for the front lever. I have to pike more than the guy in the video. Dear Lord, that exercise hurts. I can only do 3-4.

Back lever: Not one of my original strength goals for the year, but one I picked up while messing around. I can hold the full back lever, but I can only hold it for at most 10s on a bar and maybe 5s on the rings.

Planche: I'm still stuck at like 10 seconds with a tucked planche on the parallettes. I need to ramp up my practice of this skill, but it's the one that is the hardest to find time for.

Jump rope: I can turn the rope around 200 turns per minute for 3-5 minute rounds for up to 15 minutes. I'm trying to ramp up my HIIT training and build up my anaerobic capacity since staying in the aerobic range on the rope is now pretty easy for me.

Martial arts wise, I've been slacking since I've been pretty busy lately. I have been ramping up my work on the punching bag since I've discovered that I have a hard time maintaining proper body mechanics when under pressure with a dynamic, non-cooperative, and bigger partner. Not a particularly shocking revelation. I read on a gymnastics forum that competitive gymnasts need to practice skills for at least 1000 hours for competition level proficiency. That's mildly depressing since that means I have a lot more practice to put in to achieve proficiency with certain skills. But on the other hand, I'm not worried about being competition level, so hopefully I'll be somewhat decent in a shorter period of time. Anyhow, the point of that was that I'm trying to put a beatdown on the bag more often so that I'm better able to keep my frame and deliver effective power. I may still fall apart under pressure, but maybe it'll be less so after more practice.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

yet more muscle up madness

A few nights ago, I had a strange dream that I was doing muscle ups on a pull up bar. That probably means that I'm a gym rat if I dream about exercising. At any rate, I actually attempted some bar muscle ups last night. I have to kip up into them, but I can actually bang out a really ugly looking muscle up on a bar. That was pretty exciting.

In other news, my 1-leg squats are getting better. I have better balance on my left leg now, though I get a little bit of crackling and popping when I do pistol squats on my left leg. I'll have to ask a PT about that. It does hurt a little, but I wonder if it's because there's scar tissue in there constricting my motion.

Finally, my training logs for July are now created and linked. I hope this month it contains more entries about successful handstand attempts.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

more muscle ups

After a week off, I came back to the rings for another tough workout. I still can't get more than 3 muscle ups in a row, but I at least managed to get 4 sets of 3 reps. I'm really close to being able to do more consecutive muscle ups if I can keep my form more strict and my grip more solidly on the rings. I also managed to do a total of 18 muscle ups on the rings yesterday, so I'm pleased with my progress there.

After slacking so much at the gym, I've put on some weight. I'm up to 142lbs right now, which I don't think is all muscle gain considering that my diet and exercise habits degrade slightly while I'm traveling. Oh well. A few weeks of HIIT with the rope should trim me down again.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Weighted chins and dips suck

What the hell was I thinking? Who came up with the evil idea of strapping weight to your body while doing chin ups and dips? Oof, I put the weight belt today with a 45lb plate to do my pull ups/chin ups and dips. I managed to get 4 pull ups in one set and 5 dips. That was about what I was expecting. All in all, I barely eked out 10-12 reps over several sets for both the pull and push exercises. I guess this means I'll be doing more low volume, high load workouts for the next couple of weeks in an attempt to pack some more muscle mass on my lean frame.

Went back to handstand practice after several weeks off. I definitely feel the time off, but it's starting to come back. I definitely see why strong hands and forearms make a difference with handstands. Digging my fingers into the ground like I'd grip the ground with my toes allows me to hold an ugly looking handstand for roughly 4 seconds before I ungraciously lose my balance.

In other notes, my I-Liq Chuan training has been a little slack lately. Busy with life. But I have still been keeping up the teaching, so I'm getting some training at least.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

3 muscle ups

Woot, got 3 mucle ups in a row on the rings today! Actually, I accomplished the feat twice. If I can keep my grip on the rings and my body under control, I should be able to up that number pretty quickly.

Monday, June 9, 2008

muscling up, other notes

Woot! I managed 3 muscle ups today out of 5 attempts. It really is all in the technique. After watching a few Crossfit gymnastics video, I picked up some pointers that helped me more consistently get the muscle up. The tip about reaching forward with your nose at the top of the pull... that tip is completely worthless for me. What did help was keeping more tension in my core and legs. That keeps my body from being a floppy object that's harder to control and manuever. The second tip that really helped was keeping my hands close to the body and also keeping my elbows in front of my body. That was definitely a "doh! why didn't I think of that before?!?" moment for me. With my elbows in front of my body, I can pull behind the rings easier (rather than pulling my chest up to the rings). At the top of the pull, my elbows swing back, my shoulders naturally roll over my hands, and my hands drop right into position for the dip half of the muscle up. It's really not that hard. Of course, now I've got to work on being able to do two or more in a row now.

I also did more dips and false grip pulls today than I have in the past. I attribute the improvement to my two weeks off the rings when I was doing mostly painful 1 minute duration single reps on the chin ups and dips. That probably improved my pull and dip strength while stabilizing my body control more.

Martial arts wise, I seem to be slowing down a bit. I think life is just getting busier. I've decided to mostly focus on stepping and keeping the 13 points and unified structure in mind while stepping. I think it's been very informative for me. It certainly takes a good deal of concentration to feel the integrated body structure while moving.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The bag strikes back

Dear Lord, I didn't realize how much wrist and forearm strength punching a bag requires. It felt good while I was hitting the bag, but 2 hours later, my forearms were completely dead. My left wrist is also sore again. I may have to take yet another week off of my full rings workout after yesterdays forearm killing session on the bag. Maybe I'll be able to at least get my muscle up practice in (keeping fingers crossed).

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Getting back into the swing of things

Oops, I haven't posted into my training blog in a while. But I have been keeping my training logs up to date (as you can check on the Google Doc log link in the right column). My two weeks of resting my wrist are nearly over, and my wrists do feel a lot better. I guess the 6 months of being out of commission last time I got wrist tendonitis made me much more wary of overtraining.

In my two weeks off of the rings, I've been doing the slow negative rep chin ups and dips. I can now do 1 min slow single rep, followed by 10 regular reps, and then another 35s slow single rep (1 min rest between sets) on both chins and dips now. My arms are usually pretty tired afterwards, but I'm pleased that I can do it. I also discovered that I can finally hold a full dragon flag with nearly perfect form (body and legs in a straight line and parallel to the ground), though I can only hold it for 2 seconds or so. Not too shabby. I'll need to work on getting my front lever up to snuff next and up my static hold times.

My weight seems to be stabilizing right around 140lbs, after disturbingly dropping to 138lbs briefly. I'm still on my vanity goal of getting the 6-pack I never had before. Sadly, that means probably dropping at least another 1% body fat. I'm pretty sure I'm sub-10% now since my abs are peeking through. T-nation claims you need to be 9.8% body fat for the abs to show up, but then they had to crush me by mentioning that the exact percentage needed for ripped abs is genetically dependent and could be as low as 6-7%. I'm not entirely sure I have the discipline to drop my body fat that low.

My I-Liq Chuan solo training was going pretty well for a few weeks. I had been upping my practice time to 45 minutes a day, but I seem to have fallen off the wagon this week. Motivation seems to be lacking after a day or two of having too many things to do and neglecting my practice. On the plus side, I have managed to give the punching bag in the Y and regular beatdown lately. They still haven't filled the base with enough sand though. I don't think someone my size should be able to tip the base up two inches with a low kick.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Resting Up

Well, currently both of my wrists are a little sore, which is probably a sign that I should take a break and do light workouts for the next week. I started doing skin the cats on the rings again, did some airborne pushups (not sure what they're called, but both my hands and feet leave the ground), went a little nuts on practicing the muscle up transition on the rings, and gave the new punching bag in the gym a beatdown. That combined with learning the kip pull up and training my grip is probably just a bit too much for my wrists. Thus the need for a break.

I also tried Turkish get ups with the 25lb kettlebell the other day. Overall, it's pretty easy, but my arms start getting tired long before my body. I think gripping on so tightly to the weight and constantly holding it up tires out my arms. It's certainly not tiring out the rest of my body though. I may have to try again with a heavier dumbbell since I've apparently maxed out the kettlebells at the Y. But again, I've got to give my wrists some rest. Maybe in 2 weeks time I'll give a heavier Turkish get up a try.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lifting heavy things

I usually don't lift weights, but last night I made a minor change from my body weight routine for some variety (and to stroke my ego). I did weighted pull ups and dips again with 35lbs strapped on a belt. I did slightly better than I thought I would. I'm still not up to a clean 5x5 workout with the weight belt yet, but I'm pretty close. Next time, I may try strapping a 45lb plate on just to see if I can do it.

I wasted most of today watching exercise demo videos on the Crossfit website. There's actually a lot of good stuff on there. I already knew Crossfit usually had good workouts, but I didn't know there was such a wealth of video material there. Anyhow, with new insight, I'm going to try getting a kipped pull up at my next workout (as a prelude to getting a muscle up on the bar instead of the rings). I also picked up a handy tip about driving my nose and shoulders forward for the ring muscle ups. I'll have to try that to see if my muscle up technique gets better (thus sparing my triceps from bearing so much weight on the pull to push transition).

I also picked up lots of other good tips including working up to handstands, forward rolls out of handstands, Turkish getups, etc. I'm definitely going to have to incorporate some new stuff into my workouts over the next few weeks.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Muscling up slowly

Now that my technique is getting a bit cleaner, I'm more consistently getting the muscle up on the rings. I can still only do single reps, and maybe a grand total of 2-3 muscles ups when I'm fresh. But hey, it's a start. I'm still pretty terrible at the transition of rolling my shoulders over my hands, so I've been using box-assist (feet on box) muscle ups to try to clean up my technique.

My support on the rings is getting significantly better. I can turn my hands out nearly 30 degrees and hold that support position for 50s. Not quite the minute I'm shooting for. I think my anterior serratus muscle gives out on me around 50s. I'm pretty ready to drop by the 50s mark. I tried skin the cat on the rings again today to mix up my routine a little bit. Oof, I forgot how much those challenge the core muscles. Granted, I did the piked (not tucked like I used to), so they're a bit harder than when I last tried them.

I did the slow negative chin up and dip workout again last week. It still really hurts, and I'm still stuck at 50s for my ultra slow rep. Maybe I'll try again next week. I think later this week is time to return to weighted chins and dips and maybe some more deadlifts.

Been training with a boxing guy for the past three weeks. My timing and distance judgment is getting a little better, but they're still pretty sub par. As usual, I'm training with someone taller and heavier than me. Oh well, I guess that makes me better in the end, but it sure does suck having to deal with someone with a significantly longer reach than me. I do try to keep the I-Liq Chuan principles in mind when I'm training. It's kind of neat seeing things I've learned from ILC help me in another art. I'm also sure my training partner must think it strange that I do things a little differently than the usual boxer.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's technique, stupid

After reading two sources, I determined that my inability to do a muscle up was probably a failing in my technique. So, I tried again last night, and wouldn't you know it, I can do a muscle up again. Apparently, I haven't been keeping the rings close enough to my body, which just makes the transition from the pull up to dip a hell of a lot harder. I'm not nearly strong enough to have my hands away from my body. I also modified my false grip to hold the rings a little more laterally rather than on the bottom of the rings. That allowed me to more easily keep the rings closer to my body while transitioning from pull to push. I did a few practice sets with my feet on a box to get my technique down, and then proceeded to get two successful muscle ups. It still doesn't look pretty (I feel like I flail my way through the transition point), which I attribute to my inability to cleanly "roll" my shoulders over my hands.

On another note, my one of my training partners was showing me boxing ducking and weaving drills (which I am completely incapable of doing at full speed). I noticed that the only way I could successfully do the motion was to maintain the absorption at my kua and the dantian. If I lost awareness of my hip joints, my ducking would feel really disconnected and awkward and would leave me out of position for a counter attack.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Jumping into the music thing

Music is such a great exercise motivator. I finally managed to put my jump rope music mix on my mp3 player and had some great tunes to keep me going during my jump rope workout today. I had originally only intended to do 10 or so minutes on the rope, but instead, I went for 20 minutes (not including warm up and cool down rounds). Oops. This could be a mixed blessing. I may end up doing more jump rope than I intend to just because I'm digging the tunes and want to keep going.

I will also have to make sure I don't sing too obviously when there are other people around. I tend to attract some attention with my rope skipping because I do it somewhat fast and use some fancier moves than most people are used to seeing. I might start looking really vain if I'm singing along to Petey Pablo "Show Me the Money." I can just see it now: I'll probably be doing some side swing, cross combos while singing "show off that body you got, you got that dance floor so hot, you workin' that, you twerkin' that, you checkin' that..."

Oh yeah, and in case you haven't noticed it already, my actual training logs are linked on the sidebar. I'm actually somewhat impressed that I've managed to keep a fairly detailed log of my training for nearly 4.5 months. Keeping myself accountable has also been a great motivator for my training, though I think only my mom actually reads my log regularly. I can't imagine anyone actually slogging through my daily log unless they're trying to imitate my training regimen or looking for proof to verify that I'm a nut.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Training notes 04/30/08

Well, I'm finally starting to feel a little worn out from my training regimen. I often complain about my entire body feeling tired and sore, but these past few days, it's been more noticeable. Not a bad sort of sore, but that sort of I ache all over and wouldn't mind soaking in a hot tub and having a massage type of sore. I think it may be time for a few days break from the strength conditioning.

I did dead lifts again yesterday and made it through 30 reps at 135 lbs (over 4 sets). Not too shabby. My form probably wasn't as clean as usual since I was already tired from doing the rings the day before. Anyhow, my back is only a little sore today, so I think I've made some posterior chain strength gains.

I've been slowly upping my ILC solo training sessions to 40-45 minutes. I think I can start getting it up to an hour, but it starts getting tough getting much beyond that since I usually have an hour long workout after my martial arts training. I spent a lot of time during yesterday's training session trying to understand the frontal plane. The frontal plane is slowly getting better for me, but can't say that I fully understand the body mechanics behind it. Generating real power in the frontal plane still eludes me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Body weight, where hast thou gone?

It figures that when I'm trying to up my body weight, I keep dropping weight. I can't say that I'm complaining with the way I look, since I am definitely getting trimmer and leaner. Once I lose a little more body fat, I'll probably have a bona fide 6-pack instead of the pseudo 4-pack I'm sporting now. On the flip side, I'd really like to pack on some more muscle mass to offset this drop in body weight. I may have to resort to buying some supplements like branched chain amino acids and whey powder if I drop much more weight. I actually don't like being this light when I have to train martial arts. It's already bad enough that everyone I train with is taller than me. The weight differential just exacerbates the size difference.

On another note, my fitness level has definitely gone up. I'm starting to jump rope for 10-15 minutes at a pretty fast clip as my pre-workout warm up. A rope workout that would have wiped me out 2-3 months ago feels like child's play now. My dips on the rings and false grip pull ups are slowly getting better, though I'm not quite where I'd hoped to be. I still can't do 10 straight ring dips or 10 straight false grip pull ups, but that may be because I always do them after jumping rope and because I've been concentrating on proper form.

My front lever feels better. I can hold the 1-leg tucked variant (knee pulled in close to body) for a solid 15s. Half-tucking my leg (knee nearly perpendicular to body) drops my static hold time to 5s. It's surprising how huge a difference that leg position makes. Same thing with the dragon flags. One leg tucked variants, I can hold for 20s when fresh, but with the full flag, my time drops to a measly 5-6s. Oh well. I need to strengthen those grinding muscles.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

training habits, deadlifting

Well, I've been upping my personal training time to 30+ minutes a session, which is what I was originally shooting for like 2 months ago. Unfortunately, that personal training time doesn't happen everyday. It's a little tough to work in on certain days, particularly if I have a class/lesson to teach. But, hey, it's a start. Now if I could only revive my daily meditation goals.

I did deadlifts again yesterday. I really like them, but they sometimes bother my left wrist (the wrist that previously had tendonitis) and often make my whole back sore. But today, there was no back soreness or stiffness at all. I hope it's from my posterior chain getting stronger, but it might also be from the fact that I didn't jump rope for 20 minutes before doing the deadlifts. Anyhow, next week I may have to attempt upping the reps or weight. I've been able to get 3 sets of 10 at 135lbs pretty easily. I should be able to do significantly more than that, but I've been loathe to stress my wrist too much or make myself too sore.

Friday, April 18, 2008

4/17/08 training notes

Oof. Man, my muscle ups really suck. After being able to do them last month, I just can't do them this month. I think my pull and dip strength is good enough, but I just cannot for the life of me transition between the pull phase to the dip phase. I've started putting my feet on an elevated box to help me push through that troublesome transition point. It's no problem on the box. I'm not sure whether my grinding strength isn't good enough to get me over the rings or if my triceps just aren't strong enough at the lower end of the dip position. Anyhow, time to revisit Beast Skills to get some technique insight.

That being said, I tried full range of motion dips on the rings again. I feel weak. I used to be up in the 8-10 dip range on the rings. I'm back to 5, but maybe it's because my grip is now wider and I'm really focusing on the full range of motion. I go down far enough for my wrists to nearly touch my front shoulders/upper pecs. I can't say my form is great. My hands keep turning in rather than staying parallel. Anyhow, that'll be a definite strength exercise focus on the rings for the next several weeks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

slowing down for gains

I was a little annoyed yesterday at the gym since some fool was on the cables lollygagging. Honestly, taking 5 minute rests between sets is not necessary, and then sitting down smack in the middle of the cable machine just shows that you're too lazy to do a real workout. Anyhow, rant over.

I had intended to do weighted pull ups and dips yesterday, but the cable machine (and consequently the lower 7 foot pull up bar) was occupied and I didn't feel like jumping up to an 8-9 foot bar on the power rack with 35lbs strapped to me. So, I switched to the slow single rep pull ups and dips. I made it to 50s on the pull up and dip for the first rep. Then I got 25s for the second pull up and 22s for the second dip. That's a solid 10s improvement over my attempts 2 weeks ago. Now if only the strength gains would translate into me losing less weight...

Oh yeah, I also managed to jump rope for nearly 23 minutes straight yesterday: 17 minutes, 1 minute jog in place while twirling the rope, and then another 5 minutes. I had a plan on attempting 30 straight minutes, but I quite honestly think I would get bored of the rope by then and quite possibly get one of those post-workout exhaustion headaches.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

checking in

Well, I tried a dragon flag, and Gen clocked me at a 6 second hold. Form wasn't as pretty as it could have been, but a 6 second hold ain't half bad. I only have to hold it for 14 more seconds to reach my goal. I think I'll be shooting for 10s and improved form in the near term. If I half tuck 1 leg, I can hold it for 25s, so I guess my core strength has improved somewhat. I'm getting closer to the front lever, too. The 1-leg tucked front lever looks pretty good form-wise, and I can hold it for 15s or so (with me counting, no official Gen timer for that number). The full front lever eludes me. I can just barely get into position, but I can't hold it.

Got 1-leg squats on the bosu ball down. Woot!

Handstand progress is still frustratingly slow. I think my forearm strength is getting up to par, but I cannot balance on my hands. Wall handstand press ups: no problem. Wall static handstand for over a minute: no problem. Feet leave the wall: Geronimo! My planche progressions also still suck. I can just barely stick out one leg before toppling over. I know I'm not actually weak, but that exercise makes me feel weak.

My last weigh in was 142 lbs. For once in my life, I don't want to lose anymore weight, and it keeps dropping. All I have to say is that it had better all be fat loss. I may have to start protein supplementing to gain some weight back. I don't think I'm losing muscle mass since some of my strength exercises are improving, but I'll probably up my protein intake just to be sure.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New format, and slow exercises of pain

Well, I'm pretty sure no one actually reads this blog since it's mostly a journal to keep myself accountable for my fitness, training, and nutrition goals. So, I'm going to try something different to keep my blog fresh and looking less cluttered. I'm going to track my progress monthly via publicly viewable Google documents from now on and just note cool milestones in my training. I'll still be accountable to anyone caring to read my training blog, but all those daily details won't have to clutter up the blog. So, here's my training log from March 31st to April 30th, 2008.

I managed to do a modified version of this T-nation workout. Basically, it centers around doing a really slow single rep, doing one set of a similar exercise at regular speed, and one more really slow negative. I will attest that it's quite challenging doing a really slow chin up or dip over 30 seconds. I definitely fall in the category of not being able to do a full minute like the original workout called for, but then again, the author of article notes that he had a lot of people dropout of the workout with the 1 minute slow reps.

I actually made it up to a 40s chin up, and I'm quite proud of that. I will actually probably continue this workout past the suggested 10 days, but maybe at a reduced frequency. Once I hit 1 minute for my slow reps, I'll move on to something else to stimulate some more muscle growth and strength development. I definitely need more pull and ab strength to get the muscle up more consistently and to hold the front lever/dragon flag longer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Week 13: 03/24/08 to 03/30/08

morning warm ups

  • breakfast: 3 cornbread muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: lasagna
  • snack: mung bean soup
  • post workout: cup of soy milk
  • dinner: half quesadilla and handful of corn chips with guacamole and salsa, flatbread with vegannaise, bowl of mung bean soup, salad with walnuts and raisins
  • piece of ginger chocolate
training: 45' form practice: 7x 21-form, 7x butterfly

  • jump rope: 2', 7', 3', 2'
  • 1-leg tucked front lever: 10s, 8s, 8s
  • back lever attempt (easy to do, but couldn't check form)
  • side to side pull ups: 10
  • pull-up to horiz push out: 7
  • ultra slow chin ups: 2 reps over 45s
  • chin ups: 7
  • ultra slow chin up: 20s
  • side to side dips: 10
  • slow dips: 2 reps over 40s
  • side to side dips: 5.5
  • slow dip: 20s
morning warm ups

  • breakfast: soba noodles with peanuts and fried onions
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • breakfast 2: small plate of fruit, half bagel with cream cheese, small danish
  • lunch: lasagna
  • snack: mung bean soup
  • pre-gym snack: 3 corn bread muffins with PB and honey
  • dinner: half bowl of Southwest stew, flatbread, 4 Morningstar nuggets, 1 cup of soy milk
training: 35' form training, 7x 21-form, 6x butterfly

  • 1-leg bosu stand, round side: 2' each leg
  • jump rope: 2', 8', 3', 2'
  • airborne push-ups: 15
  • jackknife push-ups: 14
  • pull ups: 6
morning stretching

  • breakfast: corn chips with guacamole
  • breakfast 2: 2 cornbread muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: lasagna
  • snack: banana
  • dinner: quesadilla and corn chips with guacamole, salad with walnuts and raisins, bowl of red bean soup
  • 1 piece of ginger chocolate
  • 6x21-form, 3x butterfly
  • 1.5h lesson
morning stretching

  • breakfast 1: soba noodles with fried onion and peanuts
  • breakfast 2: corn bread muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: peanuts, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: lasagna
  • post workout snack: banana and 2 spoons of peanut butter
  • dinner: bowl of veggie soup, 2 egg rolls, bowl of red bean soup
  • 1 piece of ginger chocolate
  • form practice: 30', 4x 21-form, 7x butterfly
  • 1h class
  • side to side running man pull ups: 10
  • 30s slow chin ups: 1, 1
  • pull up to horiz push out: 6
  • side to side dips: 10
  • 30s dip: 1
  • side to side dips: 6
  • 30s dip: 1
03/28/08 to 03/30/08:
in NC for ILC workshop

Monday, March 24, 2008

Week 12: 3/17/08 to 3/23/08

morning warm ups

  • breakfast: 4 small quinoa-chickpea flour muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: 2 handfuls of cashews, almonds and raisins
  • 1st lunch: half container of brown rice with tofu Thai curry and spinach paneer
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and curry
  • snack: apple
  • post-workout protein shake
  • dinner: brown rice with dahl and cashews, 1 bowl of red bean soup, half an oatmeal cranberry cookie, 1 piece of candied ginger
  • 5' standing
  • 35' form training: 5x 21-form, 7x butterfly
  • jump rope: 2', 4'
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 40s
    • L-sit: 30s
    • muscle up: 3 attempts
    • false grip pull ups, 5 count negatives: 6, 5, 4, 2
    • slow dips: 5, 5, 3, 3
morning stretching

  • 3 quinoa chickpea muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: brown rice with leftover Chinese food (mixed veggies, 2 pieces of sesame tofu)
  • post-workout: 1 cup OJ
  • dinner: 4 small pieces of spanakopita, 6 grape leaves, small bowl of brown rice with dahl and spinach tofu paneer
  • 3 apple slices
  • 5' standing
  • 35' form practice: 5x 21-form, 7x butterfly
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 2', speed and double under focus
  • bosu squats: 10
  • bosu overhead squats: 2 sets 45lbsx10
  • bosu 1-leg squats: 4 each leg
morning stretching

  • breakfast: 1 quinoa chickpea muffin, 3 slices of whole wheat bread with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: brown rice with dahl and tofu paneer
  • snack: banana, oatmeal cookie
  • multivitamin
  • post gym protein shake
  • dinner: brown rice with tofu thai curry
  • ginger candy piece
  • 35' form practice: 5x 21-form, 7x butterfly
  • 1.5h lesson
workout: 4' 1-leg bosu balance

morning stretching

  • breakfast: 2 Eng muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: brown rice with tofu Thai curry
  • dinner: brown rice with dahl, 4 Morningstar nuggets
  • 1 piece of chocolate
  • 50' form training: 5x 21-form, 10x butterfly
  • jump rope: 2', 3', 3', 4', 2' focus on speed, double unders, crossing skills
  • 1-leg tucked front lever: 14s, 15s
  • pull-up, grip release and switch: 6
  • front lever: 3 attempts (can get into position, can't hold it)
  • towel pull-ups, 5s negative: 6, 5
  • chin-ups, 5s negative: 5, 4, 4
  • 1-leg bosu squats: 5 each leg
  • Swiss-bosu ball pushups: 20 (2x)
morning stretching

  • breakfast: 3 slices of whole wheat bread with PB + honey
  • snack: cashews and almonds
  • lunch: buckwheat noodles with tofu Thai curry and peanuts
  • snack: apple
  • snack: Clif Z-bar
  • dinner: 1 bowl lentil veggie soup, 3 eggrolls, 1 bowl Tunisian tomato stew
  • 2 pieces of ginger chocolate
  • 1 mug of mint hot cocoa
  • 5' standing
  • 45' form training: 7x 21-form, 7x butterfly form
  • 1.5h lesson
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 1'
morning stretching and qigong

  • breakfast: 1.5 bowls of oatmeal with frozen fruit, protein powder, flax, walnuts and maple syrup
  • snack: 1 bowl of Tunisian tomato stew and a handful of corn chips
  • lunch: 1 refried bean-veggie quesadilla and corn chips (3 handfuls) with guacamole and salsa
  • dinner: buckwheat noodles with tofu Thai curry, 1 bowl of red bean soup
training: 35' form practice: 5x 21-form, 5x butterfly

  • basketball: 30'
  • jump rope: 2', 3', 6'
  • 1-leg bosu ball squats: 5, 3 reps (each leg)
  • tucked planche: 6s, 15s
  • planche plank progression, feet elevated: 35s (2x)
morning stretching, qigong

  • breakfast: oatmeal with frozen berries, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, flax, protein powder, and maple syrup
  • snack: bowl of Tunisian tomato stew
  • lunch: red leaf lettuce salad with walnuts and raisins, 1 bowl of Tunisian stew, 2 pieces of flatbread with vegannaise
  • 1 piece of ginger chocolate
  • snack: 1 bowl of red bean soup
  • snack: half a cornbread muffin, half an apple
  • dinner: 1 bowl Southwest stew (quinoa, black beans, cumin, onions, etc), 1.5 cornbread muffins
  • 2 pieces of candied ginger
no training / workout today. did 1 hour of self myofascial release massage.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

MA training, life and working out

I've been working lately on keeping my body unified with the 13 body requirements laid out in the I-Liq Chuan system during my martial arts training, particularly when it comes to form training. It sounds like a simple thing to do. How hard can it be to keep your crown suspended, perineum pointed down, ribs tucked, mingmen open, dantian absorbing, weight on the center of the hips dropping to the center of the feet, etc.? Apparently pretty difficult. The more I practice, the more lapses I notice in my attention to the 13 points. Once you get past the basic mechanics and choreography, the mindfulness training takes center stage. It's pretty tough maintaining high levels of mental attention to keep my body unified through a dynamic choreographed set, but ultimately, the improved awareness and deepening of understanding are thoroughly satisfying.

As I advance in my training, the ILC principles start spilling over into other aspects of my life. I didn't initially start ILC for the mindfulness aspects of the art, but now I can't get enough of it. Mindfulness becomes a perpetual guiding life principle. It's funny how an ostensibly violent and physical training brings me a mental calm a sense of inner peace.

The ILC principles have even started pervading my non-martial arts workouts. I've been favoring exercises that require whole body coordination over the past year, and I'm pretty sure studying ILC factored into that workout decision. I really like the rings (and other gymnastics exercises) because they requires a lot of core stability and mental focus on maintaining proper form to do the exercises correctly. Similarly, I like doing exercises on unstable devices like the bosu ball for similar reasons. Jumping rope requires a lot of total body fitness and coordination. Multi-joint exercises like 1-leg squats and dead lifts require a good deal of body awareness to perform the exercises with proper technique.

Not only do these exercises require mental focus, but they actually work well with the 13 body requirements. Having the shoulders over the hips, front of the body slightly closed, and ribs tucked translates directly into maintaining stability in your core muscles. Paying attention to the weight dropping through the center of the hips to the center of the feet and keeping the knees aligned to the toes while maintaining absorption to the dantian and expansion of the mingmen makes executing a mechanically and technically correct deep squat easier. I've even found that paying attention to absorption to the dantian (particularly at the hip joint), tucking the ribs, expanding the mingmen, and wrapping the elbows to the ground makes my basketball shooting form more consistent and improves my shooting accuracy. The only thing I haven't found to translate directly is the nine solid, one empty concept. That idea allows me to more readily manifest spiral energy and can help me maintain my balance on a rocky train ride, but doesn't actually translate into my workouts. But 12 out of 13 ain't too shabby. The fact that I've translated the much of my MA training into other aspects of my life seems a sure indicator that I'm a gong fu nerd. Oh well, at least I'm becoming a mindful nerd.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Week 11: 3/10/08 to 3/16/08

morning stretching


  • breakfast: three pieces of honey whole wheat bread with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • multivitamin
  • lunch: brown sticky rice with tofu, mushrooms, and Chinese broccoli
  • snack: two small pieces of cornbread
  • post-workout protein shake
  • dinner: multigrain flax pasta with homemade pasta sauce, eggplant parm, and 3 morningstar nuggets
  • 1 bite of flatbread
  • 1 bowl of red bean soup
  • calcium chew

  • 5' standing
  • 40' form practice: 5x 21-form, 6x butterfly
  • meditation: 10'

  • jump rope: 2', 7', 4', 4', 1'
  • rings
    • support, hands turned out: 30s
    • L-sit: 25s
    • muscle-ups: 3 failed attempts
    • false grip pull ups (3-2-1 count): 3x6 reps
    • dips: 7, 6, 3
morning stretching


  • breakfast: 4 small slices of honey wheat bread with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch 1: multigrain flax pasta with sauce
  • lunch 2: rest of pasta, 1 morningstar nugget
  • calcium chew
  • multivitamin
  • post-workout protein shake with Barleygreen and flax
  • dinner: "fauxtoush" (fake fattoush salad), one bowl of mung bean soup, bowl of red bean soup
  • 1 piece ginger candy

  • 35' form practice, 5x 21-form, 5x butterfly

  • 1-leg bosu balance, round side: 90s each leg
  • assisted/supported 1-leg squats: 5 each leg
  • unassisted 1-leg squats: 7 each leg (multiple attempts)
morning stretching


  • 3 small slices of honey wheat bread with PB and honey
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • multivitamin
  • snack: mixed nuts
  • lunch: sticky rice with tofu and stir fried Chinese broccoli
  • snack: banana
  • post-workout soy protein shake with Barleygreen and flax
  • dinner: 1 piece lavash with hummus, buckwheat noodles with braised tofu and Chinese broccoli
  • 1 bowl of red bean soup

  • 40' form practice: 6x 21-form, 6x butterfly

  • jump rope: 2', 4', 5', 4', 2'
  • towel pull ups, 5s negatives: 7, 6, 5
  • planche plank: 30s, 35s
  • planche progression push ups: 10, 8, 10
morning stretching


  • breakfast: 4 small pieces of cornbread with PB
  • snack: banana
  • snack: cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch 1: buckwheat noodles with tofu stir fry and Chinese broccoli
  • chocolate covered pretzel stick
  • lunch 2: rest of buckwheat noodles + veggies
  • post workout soy/yogurt protein shake with Barleygreen and flax
  • dinner: whole wheat Eng. muffins with baked marinated tofu, mixed spring greens, and vegannaise sandwiches
  • two bowls red bean soup
  • 1 piece ginger candy

  • form practice: 6x 21-form, 6x butterfly
  • 1 hour class

  • bosu 1-leg balance: 6'
  • 1-leg squats (each leg): 5 unweighted, 3x25lbs + 2 unweighted, 4x25lbs + 1 unweighted
  • walking lunges: 2 sets of 20 steps
  • calf raises: 20 each leg
  • bosu-medicine ball plank: 2'
  • Swiss-bosu ball plank: 70s
  • star side planks: 40s each side
  • back plank: 45s


morning stretching


  • breakfast: 4 small piece of cornbread with PB and honey
  • snack: almonds, cashews, raisins
  • 1st lunch: Eng muffin with marinated tofu
  • 2nd lunch: tofu-veggie sticky rice
  • post workout: 1 cup soymilk
  • dinner: multigrain flax pasta with tomato sauce, soy cheese, and 4 morningstar nuggets
  • 1 bowl of red bean soup
  • 4 chocolate almonds, 1 square of mint chocolate

training: form practice, 5x 21-form, 5x butterfly


  • jump rope: 2', 5', 2'
  • handstand practice: 3'


morning stretching


  • breakfast: large plate of multigrain-flax pasta with tomato sauce, soy cheese and 3 morningstar nuggets
  • snack: 1 balance bar
  • lunch: brown rice and mock sesame chicken (Kingdom of the Vegetarians)
  • dinner: salad with walnuts and raisins, flatbread with hummus, half an apple, 1 spoonful of PB
  • 2 pieces of candied ginger


  • lesson 1.5h
  • form practice: 7x 21-form, 7x butterfly
  • front lever ups: 8,6,3
  • fingertip plank: 15s, 30s
  • bosu ball V-set: 49s
  • side to side dips: 8, 8, 6
morning stretching

  • breakfast: oatmeal with raisins; frozen blueberries, strawberries, and peaches; flax; brown rice protein powder; and cinnamon
  • snack: lavash with hummus
  • lunch: whole wheat flatbread with portabello, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese, handful of chips, and a small lettuce salad
  • snack: quinoa chickpea muffin with 1 cup soy milk
  • dinner: 1 bowl minestrone, 2 bowls red bean soup, roasted potato slices
  • 1 piece ginger candy
  • 5x 21-form
  • 5x butterfly

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Week 10: 03/03/08 to 03/09/08

morning stretching

  • breakfast: rice porridge with veggies and tofu
  • multivitamin
  • banana
  • handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • 1st lunch: half container of brown rice with tofu, butternut squash curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and curry
  • late afternoon snack: Clif bar
  • post workout: protein shake
  • dinner: bowl of lentil soup, handful of homemade crackers with hummus, handful of corn chips with guacamole
  • 1 mug mint hot cocoa
  • 5' standing
  • 45' form training
    • 6 rounds of 21 form
    • 5 rounds of butterfly form
  • meditation: 12'
  • jump rope: 2', 11', 2'
  • pull-ups: 10
  • weighted pull-ups: 25lbs x 10, 35 lbs x 5, 35 lbs x 4
  • chin-ups: 10
  • weighted dips: 25lbs x 8, 35 lbs x 6, 45 lbs x 4.5, 0 lbs x 6
  • Swiss ball/bosu ball push-ups: 15
morning stretching

  • breakfast 4 slices of wheat/chickpea bread with PB and honey
  • multivitamin
  • snack: handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • 1st lunch: half container of rice with tofu, butternut squash curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and curry
  • snack: small container of quinoa, bean, corn
  • dinner: lentil veggie soup, tortilla chips, hummus
  • two chocolate almonds, 2 pieces of candied ginger
  • 5' standing
  • taught 1+ hour lesson
  • form practice: 21 form x 5, butterfly x 5
  • 15' meditation
morning stretches, qigong

  • breakfast: 2 Eng muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: banana
  • snack: raisins, almonds, cashews
  • 1st lunch: half container of quinoa, bean, and corn stew
  • 2nd lunch: rest of quinoa stew
  • post workout protein shake with Barleygreen
  • snack: 2 handfuls tortilla chips with guacamole
  • dinner: multigrain/flax pasta with olive oil, walnuts, flax seed, soy cheese and a Boca Chik patty, two spears of broccoli
  • 3 chocolate almonds
  • 5' standing
  • 45' form training (5x 21 form, 5x butterfly)
  • 10' meditation
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (4x), 1', 3', 1' (focus on speed)
  • handstand practice: 5'
  • turning grip switch pull ups: 10
  • 5s negative chin ups: 5 (4x)
  • Swiss ball/bosu ball push ups: 15, 11, 12, 10 reps
morning stretching, qigong

  • breakfast: 2 Eng. muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: raisins, almonds, cashews
  • 1st lunch: half container brown rice with tofu, butternut squash curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and curry
  • calcium chew
  • snack: cup of yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • multivitamin
  • dinner: multigrain pasta with tofu, butternut squash curry and cashews
  • 2 chocolate almonds, 1 small square mint chocolate
  • 21-form (5x)
  • butterfly form (5x)
  • classes 2hrs
morning stretching

  • banana
  • tortelloni(?) with alfredo and veggies, 4 small pieces of bread with olive oil, 1 mint candy
  • cashews, almonds, raisins
  • 2 veggie egg rolls
  • 3 chocolate almonds
  • 1 mug mint hot cocoa
off day today since I had 14+ hour Delaware travel day for work. Continuing my workout/training/diet regime again tomorrow.

morning stretching

  • breakfast: bowl oatmeal with frozen fruit, raisins, walnuts, maple syrup
  • lunch: tofu veggie soup with noodles
  • snack: eggroll, 3 morningstar nuggets
  • calcium chew
  • 4 chocolate almonds, 1 ginger candy
  • protein, Barleygreen, flax seed soy shake
  • half bowl of tofu veggie soup with noodles, 1 morningstar nugget
  • two bowls of red bean soup
  • 1.5 hour lesson
  • form practice: 10x 21-form, 10x butterfly form
  • jump rope: 2', 15', 2'
morning stretching

  • breakfast: noodles with tofu veggie soup, soy cheese, and peanuts
  • snack: half bowl of red bean soup
  • 3 chocolate almonds
  • lunch: small bowl of tofu mushroom sticky rice
  • snack: bowl of mung bean soup
  • post-workout soy protein shake with Barleygreen and flax
  • dinner:
    • a few bites of whole wheat flatbread
    • spring mix salad with raisins and walnuts
    • two slices of whole wheat bread with homemade vegannaise and baked marinated tofu
  • snack: bowl of mung bean soup
  • two pieces of candied ginger
  • 40 minutes of form practice: 5x 21-form, 5x butterfly
  • bosu 1-leg balance: 1' each leg on platform and ball sides
  • bosu squats: 10
  • overhead bosu squats: 18lbs x 10, 33 lbs x 10, 45 lbs x 10 (2x)
  • towel pull-ups: 10
  • 1-leg front lever: 12s, 5s
  • dead lifts: 95lbs x 8, 135 lbs x 8

1-leg tucked front lever

I'm not quite strong enough yet for the full front lever, which I can hold for maybe a whopping two seconds. I thought I was doing pretty well with a 1-leg tucked front lever since I can usually hold it for over 10 seconds, but apparently my form isn't all that straight. Granted, I'm no gymnast, so I'm overall pleased that I can even do this. I have to ramp up the ab and grinding strength to get up to the full front lever.

Monday, March 3, 2008

25 day challenge

So Ben has challenged me to 25 days of consistent form practice. The 21-form 5 times a day and the butterfly form 5 times a day. It's definitely a challenge to find enough time to do it. It took me 45 minutes today to get through 11 form iterations (did an extra round of the 21 by accident). Even though it's a big drain on my free time, I do feel my form and concentration getting better, and ramping up my I-Liq Chuan training is after all one of my goals. Hopefully I'll finish the challenge.

The [1-leg] dragon flag

I'm just barely strong enough to hold a dragon flag for 5 seconds (7s on a really good day). I was still a little sore when I had Gen take a picture of my dragon flag, so I couldn't actually hold it long enough for her to get a good snapshot. So, we have to make do with a photo of a 1-leg dragon flag which I can hold for up to 20 seconds (when rested and fresh).

I may try getting my dragon flag a little straighter, but I'm not sure just how much straighter I can make it without arching my back. Oh, and in case you're wondering: yes, it hurts, and the people in the gym think I'm nuts.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Week 9: 02/25/08 to 03/02/08

morning stretching

  • breakfast: 4 small pieces wheat/chickpea bread with PB and honey
  • handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • lunch: brown rice with spinach, tomato, tofu curry
  • Clif Z-bar
  • apple
  • protein shake
  • dinner: kale, potato soup, 2 small pieces of cornbread, slice of wheat/chickpea bread with nayonnaise and tofu
  • small bowl of mung bean soup
  • 3 chocolate almonds
  • 5 minutes meditation
  • 30 minutes ILC practice
    • 10 minutes standing
    • 10 minutes planes, focus on dantian-mingmen
    • 10 minutes form practice
  • jump rope: 2', 6', 5', 4', 2', 1'
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 45s
    • L-sit: 29s
    • wide grip support: 10s
    • muscle ups: 3 successful, 6 attempts
    • false grip pull ups: 8, 7
    • wide dips: 6, 6, 4.5
  • parallel grip pull ups: 12, 9
  • diamond push-ups: 22

morning stretches, qigong

  • breakfast: 4 small pieces wheat/chickpea bread with PB and honey
  • multivitamin
  • snack: handful of cashews, almonds and raisins
  • lunch 1: half container brown rice with dahl and cashews
  • lunch 2: rest of rice and dahl
  • snack: 2 small pieces cornbread
  • dinner: quesadilla with guacamole and salsa
  • 3 chocolate almonds, 1 mug mint hot cocoa
  • 5 min meditation
  • 6 minutes standing
workout: off day, recovering from Monday

morning stretching, qigong

  • breakfast: 2 Eng muffins with PB and honey
  • glucosamine, multivitamin
  • snack: 1 cup yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • 1st lunch: half container of brown rice, dahl, and spinach tofu curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice + curries
  • dinner: kale and potato soup, 2 slices of wheat/chickpea bread with 4 slices of marinated tofu
  • 3 chocolate almonds
  • bowl of mung bean soup
  • 10 minutes standing
  • 1 round butterfly practice
  • 5 minutes concave-convex practice
  • 3 minutes of meditation
  • handstand practice: 4'
  • hanging swing/grip switch: 30s
  • 1-leg front lever: 3 rounds 10s
  • wall handstand press: 9, 7 reps
  • 1-leg bosu balance: 1' ea leg, once on platform, once on ball side
  • jump rope: 2', 3' backwards, 5' backwards/turning practice, 2' speed, 2' cooldown
morning stretching and qigong

  • breakfast: 2 Eng muffins with PB and honey
  • glucosamine
  • snack: large handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • 1st lunch: half container of rice with dahl and cashews
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and dahl
  • post workout protein shake
  • dinner: small bowl of kale and potato soup, 2 small pieces of corn bread, 2 quesadilla wedges with guacamole and salsa
  • 1 mug of mint hot cocoa
  • 5 minutes standing
  • 15 minutes footwork
  • 10 minutes butterfly form
  • teaching 1 hour YMCA class
  • bosu ball balance drills: 4'
  • bosu ball front squats: 18 lbs x 12, 33lbs x 10, 45lbs x 10 (2 sets)
  • cable assisted 1-leg squats: 40 lbs x 4, 50 lbs x 4 each leg
  • pylometric bench jump ups
    • lateral: 2 x 30s
    • front: 2 x 30s
  • ankles (cables):
    • dorsiflexion: 30lbs x 12
    • adduction and abduction: 20lbs x 15
  • dragon flag: 5s
  • 1-leg dragon flag: 20s
morning stretching, qigong

  • breakfast: 1-cup yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • snack: handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • snack: 2 small pieces of cornbread
  • 1st lunch: half container brown rice with dahl + cashews
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and dahl
  • multivitamin
  • calcium chew
  • post workout: 2 cups soy milk, handful of corn chips with guacamole
  • dinner: multigrain/flax pasta with veggies, marinara, 2 morningstar nuggets, and 2 slices of TJ's eggplant parm
  • 1 square mint chocolate
  • standing: 10'
  • abs/proj, condense/expand: 15'
  • butterfly: 10'
  • meditation 5'
workout: jump rope (speed training): 2', 4', 1', 3' (4x), 1'

morning stretching

  • breakfast: pasta with veggies, 2 Morningstar nuggets, 2 slices of eggplant parm
  • snack: handful of cashews, almonds, raisins
  • glucosamine
  • lunch: brown rice with homestyle tofu
  • dinner: noodle soup with tofu, edamame, Shanghai cabbage, veggie mix, peanuts
  • multivitamin
  • mint hot cocoa
  • 2 hours teaching
  • 11 minutes meditation
  • bench press: 135lbs x 10
  • pull ups: 10
  • weighted pull ups: 35lbs x 7
  • dead lifts: 95 lbs x 10, 135 lbs x 8, 155 lbs x 5 x 2 sets, 135 lbs x 5
morning stretching

  • breakfast: rice porridge with mixed veggies and tofu
  • snack: pineapple
  • lunch: two servings noodles with tofu stroganoff
  • brownie with 1 scoop ice cream
  • snack: homemade herb wheat crackers with hummus
  • dinner: rice porridge with veggies/tofu, 2 crackers with hummus
  • half an apple
  • bowl of red bean soup
  • 11' meditation
day of rest today, no workout

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Week 8: 02/18/08 to 02/24/08

half day of ILC training in NY, returning back to PA

morning stretching

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat Eng. muffins with almond butter and honey
  • snack: 2 handfuls of cashews, almonds, and raisins
  • lunch: Moroccan stew (quinoa, tomato, chickpeas, carrots, garlic, ginger)
  • snack: cup of yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • dinner: lentil veggie soup, two slices of herb wheat bread with 4 morningstar nuggets, Nayonnaise, and ketchup
  • 4 chocolate covered almonds
  • 7 minutes ILC form training
  • 1-leg bosu ball balance: 30s each leg, on platform and ball sides
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (3x), 2', 3', 1'
  • rings
    • support, hands turned out: 35s
    • muscle-up: 1 successful, 4 other attempts
    • false grip pull ups: 8, 6 reps
    • 1-leg front lever lift progression: 5.5 reps
meditation: 5 mins

weigh-in today at 146.5 lbs

morning stretching

  • breakfast: 2 English muffins with almond butter and honey
  • snack: handful of raisins, cashews, and almonds
  • snack: 2 handfuls of tortilla chips
  • lunch: Moroccan stew
  • 1 piece of chocolate
  • dinner: egg roll, bowl of tofu veggie thai noodles
  • 3 chocolate almonds
10 minutes standing, focus on 13 ILC points for harmonizing the body

5 minutes meditation training

morning stretching and light qigong

  • breakfast: 2 Eng. muffins with almond butter and honey
  • multivitamin
  • snack: handful of cashews, almonds and raisins
  • lunch: 2 egg rolls
  • snack: yogurt with raisins and walnuts
  • snack: banana
  • dinner: brown rice with punjab choley, masala patty, and broccoli
  • bowl of mung bean soup
  • 5 minutes of standing
  • 25 minutes of form practice
  • class: covered N,S,E,W in relation to frontal plane exercise, covered form up to drag and shoulder
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 2'
  • hand stand practice: 5'
  • wall hand stand press ups: 10
  • deadlifts: 45lbs x 8, 95lbs x 10, 135lbs x 8 (3 sets)
  • towel pull ups: 14, 10
10 minutes meditation

morning stretching

  • breakfast: 2 Eng muffins with almond butter and honey
  • multivitamin
  • snack: handful of almonds and cashews
  • lunch: brown rice with broccoli stir fry
  • snack: tofu banana pudding
  • snack: Clif Z-bat
  • dinner 1: brown rice with punjab choley and cashews
  • snack: 3 chocolate almonds, 1 mug of mint hot cocoa
  • dinner 2: Asian noodle soup, 3 morningstar nuggets
  • 2 chocolate almonds
  • calcium chew
training (45 mins):
  • 5 minutes stretching, qigong
  • 10 minutes standing, focus on 13 points
  • 6 minutes absorb-project
  • stepping practice
  • throwing hands practice
  • ankle dorsiflexion, cable machine (each foot): 20 lbsx15, 30lbsx10
  • ankle adduction, cables: 20lbsx10
  • ankle abduction, cables: 20 lbsx10
  • bosu+med ball plank: 2x90s
  • 1-leg dragon flag: ~10s
  • dragon flag: 5s
morning stretching

  • small bowl of noodle soup, 2 morningstar nuggets
  • 2 handfuls of cashews
  • bowl of veggie soup, 6 morningstar nuggets
  • bowl of mung bean soup
  • 6 chocolate almonds
  • 2 pieces of candied ginger
  • brown rice with eggplant and chickpea curries, cashews, broccoli
  • protein shake
  • 1 mug of mint hot cocoa
  • lesson (~2 hrs)
    • focus on absorb-project, hip roll, throwing hands
    • emphasis on attention on dantian and mingmen
    • partner training: flow, spin to pull, spin to push, spin to pull-push, 4 directions, intro to 6 directions
  • form practice: 10 minutes
  • jump rope: 2', 12', 1'
  • Swiss ball (55cm) and med ball push ups: 12, 15, 15 reps
  • ab throw downs: 75
morning stretching, qigong

  • oatmeal with berries, banana, walnuts
  • handful of cashews
  • black bean, onion, bell pepper, mushroom quesadillas with whole grain tortillas, salsa, and guacamole
  • mung bean soup
  • 3 small pieces of cornbread
  • brown rice with tofu, spinach, tomato curry
10 minutes meditation practice

4 minutes standing post practice

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Training checkup

Well, I can cross one more goal off my list. I've managed to do a muscle up on more than one occasion. Granted, I still can't do more than one at a time before my muscles are just too tired. Still, not bad. I didn't think my false grip was actually strong enough. Now, it's an issue of pull strength and tricep strength on the dip half. The transition from the pull-up to dip is just barely doable for me right now.

I also got back from the annual intensive ILC training in NY with my Sifu. While I have made progress and feel like my understanding has improved, I feel like this workshop really re-emphasized just how much work I still have ahead of me to achieve a reasonable level of martial skill. My mental attentions really need to improve. I've decided to try getting more daily training in. I'd like to get it up to 30 minutes of actual training and 30 minutes of meditation training a day, but at present, that seems unlikely with my schedule. I'm committing to at least 5 minutes of training a day. It's just enough time to get some form training or single exercise training done. If I can manage that, I should be able to gradually up my time to my desired amount.

Week 7: 02/11/08 to 02/17/08

morning stretching

  • breakfast: two slices of herbed wheat bread with almond butter and honey
  • snack: handful of mixed cashews, almonds and peanuts
  • lunch: 1 square lasagna
  • snack: banana pudding
  • dinner: kale and potato soup, 2 slices of wheat bread, 2 TJ veggie egg rolls, 4 morningstar nuggets with ketchup

evening workout:
  • sun salutations
  • light qigong
  • isometric pushup: 60s
  • parallelette L-sit: 30s
  • half-burpees: 30 reps
  • twisting side planks: 8 reps each side
  • bodyweight 1-leg deadlifts: 6 per leg
  • fingertip plank progression: 30s
morning stretching

  • breakfast: 2 wheat Eng. muffins with almond butter + honey
  • snack: handful of cashews and almonds
  • lunch: half container of brown rice with tofu broccoli stir fry
  • snack: cup of yogurt with raisins and walnuts
  • dinner: other half container of rice with tofu stir fry, 2 slices of herbed wheat bread with baked tofu and Nayonnaise
  • snack: bowl of tomato soup with big handful or tortilla chips
  • jump rope: 2', 3', 4', 5', 4', 3', 2'
  • parallelettes:
    • tucked planche progression (swinging up): 5 reps
    • tucked planche hold: 5s
  • bodyweight horiz rows: 10 reps
morning stretching

  • breakfast: banana, one spoon of almond butter
  • snack: handful of almonds and cashews
  • lunch: square of lasagna
  • snack: Clif Z-bar
  • snack: apple
  • dinner: bowl broccoli soup, two bowls brown rice and tofu veggie stir fry
  • tucked front lever-ups: 6 reps (2x)
  • pull-ups: 12
  • weighted pull up: 25lbsx5.5
  • hanging grip switch: 30s
  • handstand practice: 4'
morning stretching

  • 2 whole wheat English muffins with almond butter and honey
  • two handfuls of mixed nuts and raisins
  • chili with tortilla chips
  • Clif builder bar
off to NY for ILC training

02/15/08 to 02/17/08:
in NY for ILC training

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Week 6: 02/04/08 to 02/10/08

morning qigong and stretching

  • 1st breakfast: rice porridge with mixed veggies and tofu
  • snack: handful of cashews and almonds
  • 2nd breakfast: two whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • lunch: home fries with carrots and Morningstar patty
  • late afternoon snack: banana tofu pudding
  • post workout: soymilk yogurt protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: lentil veggie soup, salad with walnut and raisins
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (3x), 1', 3' (2x), 2' focus on footwork and crossing skills
  • 1-leg front lever: 14s, 8s
  • straddled front lever: 10s
  • tucked planche: 10s, 11s
  • towel pull-ups: 12, 10 reps
  • 1-arm push-up attempts: 1 each arm
morning stretching and qigong

ILC lesson: basic exercises up through punctured breathing, discussion of spinning force, focus on pull-push move from 21 form and importance of maintaining suction on dantian and sternum

  • 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • handful of cashews and almonds
  • banana
  • Clif protein Builder bar
  • mixed green salad with goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette
  • chili with tortilla chips
  • lentil veggie soup, Chinese broccoli, veggie quesadilla with guacamole and salsa
morning stretching, sun salutations

  • jump rope: 2', 13', 3', 2'
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 40s
    • muscle ups: 4 attempts, 2 successes
    • false grip pulls ups: 8, 6 reps
    • dips: 7, 7 reps
  • 1-leg bosu ball balance: 1' each leg, both on platform and ball side

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: 2 handfuls of cashews and almonds
  • 1st lunch: half container of brown rice with veggie tofu Thai curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of rice and curry
  • snack: large apple
  • snack: yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • post-workout snack: more yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • dinner: veggie chili with corn chips
morning stretching

ILC class: re-emphasized open-close in context of horizontal plane, covered first three moves of 21 form, explained application of hook from whirl and hook.

  • squats: 95lbs x 10 reps, 135 x 10, 135 x 8
  • pylometric bench jumps: 4 rounds of 45s
  • tucked rock: 2 sets of 5
  • breakfast: 2 wheat Eng. muffins with almond butter and honey
  • snack: handful of cashews and almonds
  • 1st lunch: half container of Barilla Plus pasta with tofu veggie Thai curry
  • 2nd lunch: rest of curry
  • post workout: protein shake
  • dinner: rice noodles, more tofu veggie curry
morning stretching

no training, sick today

  • breakfast: 2 English muffins with almond butter and honey
  • lunch: rice noodles with tofu veggie Thai curry
  • dinner: 2 bowls lentil veggie soup with corn chips
morning stretching

no training, still recovering from cold

  • breakfast: two bowls of oatmeal with blueberries, straweberries, walnuts and banana
  • lunch: two bowls of tomato soup, 5 Morningstar nuggest, two big handfuls of corn chips
  • multi-vitamin, juice with Barleygreen
  • 6 pieces of candied ginger
  • 5 almonds
  • dinner: tofu veggie noodle soup
morning stretching and qigong

no training, still have cold

  • breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, and maple syrup
  • 1st lunch: tofu veggie soup
  • snack: handful of chips with guacamole
  • 2nd lunch: mixed spring green salad with raisins and walnuts
  • dinner: 1.5 bowls kale, potato soup, two slices of herb wheat bread with baked marinated tofu and Nayonnaise

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Week 5: 01/28/08 to 02/03/08

morning stretching

  • jump rope: 2', 5' (3x), 2', 1'
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 40s
    • 1-leg front lever: 12s, 7s, 7s
    • 1 muscle-up attempt, got stuck just before dip half of motion
    • false grip pull ups: 7, 6 reps
    • push-ups, feet on platform: 15, 12, 6, 4 reps
  • pull-ups: 12, 8 reps
  • bosu V-sit: 60s
  • bosu/med ball plank: 65s

  • breakfast: 4 toasted baguette slices with almond butter and honey
  • lunch: brown rice with spinach, chickpea, tofu curry (pseudo-paneer) and cashews
  • snacks: Clif Z-bar, handful of almonds
  • calcium chew, 1500 mg glucosamine
  • post-workout: 10 oz soymilk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: 4 mini baguette pizzas, mixed baby greens salad with raisins and walnuts
  • spoonful of red bean soup
morning stretching

ILC training:
  • discussed suspending crown
  • re-emphasized harmony of yin-yang, suction on dantian/sternum and expansion of mingmen
  • reviewed center of gravity and structure alignment using three triangles
  • covered first three moves of 21 form more carefully focusing a little more on previous points

  • breakfast: two whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • lunch: brown rice with string bean, potato dahl
  • snack: Clif Z-bar
  • multi-vitamin
  • dinner: refried black bean and soy cheese quesadilla with guacamole and salsa, two samosas, and a mixed spring greens salad with walnuts and raisins
  • one mug of soymilk mint hot cocoa
morning stretching

  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 2'
    • speed, double under, crossing skills practice
  • handstand attempts ~2'
  • wall handstand press: 7,6,5,4 reps
  • pull-ups: 8
  • weighted pull-ups: 25lbs x 7 reps, 2 sets 35 lbs x 5 reps
  • bosu ball 1-leg stand
    • platform side: 20s each leg
    • ball side: 1' each leg
  • bosu-medicine ball plank: 90s, 60s

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • lunch: brown rice with string bean and potato dahl
  • snack: apple
  • multi-vitamin
  • snack 2: tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa
  • dinner: brown rice with spinach tofu "paneer", masala patty

morning stretching

ILC class:
  • 20 minutes form practice before class
  • covered center of gravity and absorb-project again
  • paying attention to body line in open-close in horizontal plane
  • first 2.5 moves of form
  • deadlifts: 95lbs x 10, 3 sets of 135 lbs x 6 reps
  • dragon flag: 7s, 5s

  • breakfast: 2 wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: 2 handfuls of almonds+cashews
  • lunch: brown rice with dahl and spinach-tofu paneer curry (half)
  • 2nd lunch: rest of lunch
  • postworkout: 12 oz soymilk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: quinoa tomato stew
  • multi-vitamin
morning qigong and stretching

  • jump rope, focus on tricks and footwork: 2', 3' (5x), 5', 1'

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • snack: handful of cashews and a banana
  • lunch: 2 slices of veggie pizza
  • snack: Clif Z-bar
  • post-workout: 8 oz soymilk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • 3 pieces of candied ginger
  • dinner: quinoa and tomato stew, 1 Boca chik patty
  • still-hungry snack: some chips with guacamole
morning stretching

ILC lesson: focus on yin suction on dantian, sternum. Emphasis on suction on kwa to help expand mingmen. Footwork practice.

  • breakfast: brown rice with string bean and potato dahl
  • late morning snack: protein shake with Barleygreen, banana, and yogurt
  • lunch: Sago seeds, chickpeas and lentils, 2 Morningstar nuggest, 1 piece of garlic naan
  • snack: yogurt with apple, walnuts, and raisins
morning warm-ups: stretching, qigong, sun salutations

40 minutes basketball

10 minutes self-myofascial release massage with tennis ball

  • breakfast: sago seeds, chickpea-lentil curry, 2 morningstar nuggets, small piece of naan
  • midmorning snack: bowl of red bean soup, handful of cashews
  • lunch: veggie quesadillas with guacamole and salsa
  • dinner: lentil soup, veggie patty
  • multivitamin

Friday, February 1, 2008

week 4-5 in review

Well, it looks like I'm making good progress to my fitness goals. I'm actually a little surprised at how much progress I'm making. I'm a bit of an over-achiever, so I want some aspects of my training to be coming along faster than they are. I'm really pleased that I can actually do several false grip pull-ups. Last year, I could barely do 1. I'm making it to 7 now. Weighted pull-ups are harder than I thought they would be. They're a total grip killer for me, but I'm still pleased I can do a weighted pull-up with a 35lb weight hanging on my feet. So, my pull strength has gotten a lot better. I'm almost to the point where I can kick myself up into a muscle up.

I still have a lot of trouble with the front lever. I can still only do it with 1-leg tucked, and even then I can only hold it for 5s. That is an extremely tough static hold for me. On the plus side, I can hold a full dragon flag for 7s. Only 13s more to go.

Just started making deadlifts more regular. All I have to say is "oof." I can see why people say it's an awesome compound exercise. I can also see why it's such a good grip exercise. My forearms are always killing me after deadlifts. I feel like I could be doing significantly more than 135lbs if my grip were stronger.

Anyhow, next week is a light week. I think I need extra time for my body to recover.

The latest weigh-in this week: 149.5 lbs. My stupid body fat meter keeps telling me I'm just shy of obese at 26.1%.