Sunday, January 27, 2008

Week 4: 01/21/08 to 01/27/08

morning stretches and brief qigong.
It was a little cold this morning since the heat failed, so I didn't feel like inhaling too deeply for the qigong

  • bosu balance
    • 2 legs: 1.5'
    • 1 leg on platform: 1' each leg
    • 1 leg on ball: 1' each leg
  • jump rope: 2', 11', 3', 2'
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 35s
    • L-sit: 30s
    • Iron cross progression: wide grip support (~15 deg. angle): 8s
    • 1-leg front lever: 10s, 5s, 5s (second two focused on getting form right)
    • false grip pull-ups: 8.5, 5 reps
    • dips: 8, 6 reps
  • breakfast: small bowl of tofu veggie sticky rice
  • handful of mixed nuts
  • 1 Clif Z-bar
  • lunch: brown jasmine rice with spinach and tofu curry and peanuts
  • apple
  • dinner: baked potato with chili and soy cheese, small bowl of mushroom barley soup, small handful of peanuts
  • 1 mug soy milk mint hot cocoa
  • multi-vitamin
quick morning stretches, still waking up late

quick round of tendon changing exercises during work break

ILC lesson, focused on concave-convex and introduced spheres of offense and defense

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • multivitamin, 2 calcium chews, 1500 mg glucosamine
  • lunch: tofu and veggie sticky rice, and quinoa with kale
  • 1 Clif Z-bar
  • dinner: polenta with tofu veggie chili and soy cheese
quick round of stretching and qigong

  • breakfast: two cups hot cocoa (forgot about a meeting, so missed breakfast)
  • lunch: polenta with chili and soy cheese
  • post-workout: soy milk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: mushroom barley soup, corn chips, handful of almonds

  • 2-leg bosu ball balance: 1'
  • 1-leg bosu platform balance: 2 rounds 1' each leg
  • 1-leg bosu ball-side balance: 1' each leg
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x) bursting speed for 15s every minute, 1' cross and double under practice, 2' cooldown
  • wall handstand press: 8, 6, 8 reps
  • hand stand practice: ~2'
  • tucked planche: 10s (2x)
  • weighted pull-ups: 20lbs x 10 reps, 30lbs x 6.5 reps
  • L-hang chin ups: 9 reps
morning qigong and stretching

  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • lunch: tofu veggie sticky rice with broccoli
  • afternoon snack: apple, Clif Z-bar
  • post-workout: soy milk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: mushroom barley soup, 4 Morningstar nuggets, handful of almonds and cashews
ILC training:
  • 20 minutes of personal practice time: butteryfly and 21 form practice, some throwing hands, and footwork practice
  • 1st class: reviewed absorb-project and open-close, drills for understanding hips and knees, reviewed first two moves of form
  • 2nd class: worked more on absorb-project, open-close; introduced suction on dantian and expansion of mingmen; reviewed 1st two moves of 21 form again; introduced flow 2-person exercise
  • weighted dips: 35 lbs x 8, 45 lbs x 8 reps
  • L-hang chin ups: 10 reps
qigong in the morning

  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 2'
  • planche plank: 30s, 35s
  • tucked planche: 12s, 14s
  • regular and reverse forearm curls: 2x12 reps with 10 lbs, each hand

  • breakfast: grits (messed up polenta) with soy cheese, 2 morningstar nuggest
  • midmorning snack: Clif Z-bar
  • multivitamin, calcium chew
  • lunch: tofu veggie sticky rice
  • 2nd lunch: 2 slices veggie pizza
  • post-workout: soy milk protein shake with Barleygreen
  • snack: handful of mixed nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
  • dinner: jalapeno refried black bean, soy cheese, onion, bell pepper, mushroom quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas and salsa, side of tortilla chips
qigong and sun salutations in the morning

ILC lesson: emphasized suction on dantian and sternum and open mingmen, worked on partner exercises (flow, spin to grab, spin to push, 4 directions)

  • breakfast: grits, boca patty
  • lunch: quesadillas, handful of mixed nuts
  • snack: Clif Mojo bar
  • multivitamin
  • dinner: veggie noodle soup with broccoli and tofu
morning sun salutations

no training, rest and recovery day
self myofascial release with tennis ball

  • breakfast: two bowls of oatmeal with berries and walnuts
  • lunch: eggplant parm sandwiches with marinara, soy cheese and sesame seed baguette
  • snacks: small bowl of tofu veggie sticky rice, red bean soup
  • multi-vitamin, calcium chew
  • dinner: chickpea, quinoa, tomato stew
  • more red bean soup

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My cheapest equipment purchase yet

The first really cheap piece of training equipment I bought was a jump rope. The jump rope was just under $3 after taxes and has done wonders to improve my cardiovascular conditioning. Just how can I beat three buckaroos? It wasn't easy, but I managed with a little inspiration from a pair of articles from Testosterone Nation: Feel Better for $10 and Soft Tissue Work for Tough Guys. Basically, the articles cover Self Myofascial Release (SMR) techniques for keeping your fascial tissue in good shape and loosening any knotted fascial tissue. Having suffered from wrist tendonitis and used similar principles to aid in my wrist recovery, I decided to give SMR a try.

So, I picked up a tube of good old made in the USA Penn tennis balls. Total price somewhere around $2. I know, I was shocked too. There are indeed still products in the department stores that are actually made in the USA and not China. And they were only $0.22 more expensive than the made in China ones. It's reassuring to know that American balls haven't been completely outsourced to China.

The SMR was, as promised by the T-nation articles, quite painful. Being the macho man that I am, I gritted my teeth and kept at it. Boy am I glad I did. I felt so much looser after the self inflicted soft tissue work. It's really hard to beat $2 equipment for self-massage.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Week 3 in review

Well, I have to say that the goal of jumping rope for 10 minutes didn't take nearly as long as I had anticipated. I made it to 11 minutes, though I did miss quite a bit. I say close enough. I guess I have to make that resolution a sliding target now. Next goal is to get 10 minutes more consistently then shoot for 15 minutes. I'm not a fan of just training for one goal since it's boring and doesn't fit my model of trying to keep my workouts varied. So, I'll probably be doing some interval rope work in between (rounds of 3 minutes with occasional 15 seconds of speed bursts) and skills practice.

I'm pleased to find that my grip strength is better than it was before. Not great yet, but getting there. I finally did false grip pull ups with relative ease. I used to do one and have my false grip fail. I didn't get through that many this week, but that's probably because I started with a false grip hang.

Martial arts training was a little more consistent this week, probably because I'm back into teaching mode. I'm not finding a whole lot of time for my own personal training, but I sure like to think about finding time for training. Still haven't ramped up the qigong. I really must start sleeping better so I can wake up early to get my qigong practice in.

Diet-wise, I still need to work more fresh fruits and veggies into my daily consumption. I've completely fallen out of the habit of drinking my powdered green drinks.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week 3: 01/14/08 to 01/20/08

quick morning stretches (woke up late again, bleh)

evening workout:
  • bosu ball balance (2-leg) 2'
  • bosu ball balance (1-leg), 30s and 45s round each leg
  • jump rope: 1', 7', 2', 1.5' (oops, just met my goal for 6.5+ minutes for the week)
  • rings:
    • support, hands turned out: 40s
    • L-sit: 30s, 29s
    • 1-leg front lever: 10s,9s,8s
    • muscle up progression
      • false grip, bent waist hang: 30s, 35s
      • false grip pull ups: 3 reps, 2 reps
    • archer push-ups: 8
    • jack knife push ups (knees): 10
    • jack knife archer combos (knees): 7

breakfast: two whole wheat English muffins with peanut butter and honey
1 tangerine
handful of mixed nuts
lunch: brown rice with chickpea and spinach curry
1500 mg glucosamine, 1 multivitamin, 1 calcium chew
dinner: brown rice, dahl, cashews, and a side of kale and quinoa

quick morning stretches

did a few rounds of tendon changing during break at work

evening training: ILC warmups, rocking, absorb-project exercise, front plane, and 5 minutes spinning with Gen

breakfast: 2 English muffins with honey
handful of mixed nuts and dried fruit
lunch: brown rice, dahl, cashews, chickpea and spinach curry
multivitamin and calcium chew
1 cup yogurt with trail mix
dinner: quesadilla filled with refried black bean, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, soy cheese and topped with guacamole and salsa.

morning stretches

  • jump rope: 2', 11', 4', 2', 1'
  • 1-leg front lever hold: 10s, 5s
  • front "lever-ups" (1-leg): 6 reps
  • wall hand stand: 60s
  • wall hand stand presses: 9.5, 8 reps
  • wall handstand attempts/practice: 4
  • chin-ups: 20
  • L-hang chin-ups: 8
  • pull-ups: 6

breakfast: two whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
a few walnuts and cashews
lunch: a little brown rice, dahl, cashews, and chickpea/spinach curry
calcium chew
1 cup soy milk (pre-workout)
dinner: quesadillas with guacamole and salsa

quick morning stretches (woke up late again)

5:30 ILC class, covered absorb-project in some more detail and taught up to brush knee and push
7:00 taught another lesson, covered center of gravity (rocking), absorb-project, and open-close
  • jump rope: 2', 1', 8', 2'
  • pull-ups: 10
  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat Eng. muffins with PB and honey
  • lunch: 3 slices of pizza
  • 2nd lunch: noodles with tofu, carrot, mushroom stir fry and broccoli
  • dinner
    • 2 cups hot mint cocoa in soymilk
    • 1 bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and walnuts
morning qigong

evening workout:
  • jump rope: 2', 3' (5x), 1' (3x)
  • planche progression
    • planche plank: 30s (2x)
    • frog: 37s
    • tucked planche: 14s, 11s
  • breakfast: oatmeal with strawberries, blueberries, and some maple syrup
  • lunch: half container of noodles with tofu stir fry and broccoli
  • handful of mixed nuts
  • late afternoon snack: corn chips with guacamole and salsa
  • dinner: 3 baked veggie/tofu eggrolls, 7 Morningstar nuggets with ketchup
  • 1 mug soy milk peppermint hot cocoa

morning stretches, sun salutations

  • bosu platform balance, 1 and 2 leg: 3'
  • jump rope warmup: 2', 3'
  • deadlifts: 45 lbs x 10 reps, 95 lbs x 8, 135 lbs x 8 (3 sets)
  • cable assisted (50 lbs) 1 leg squats: 2 sets 8 reps each leg
  • 1-leg dragon flag: 30s
  • full dragon flag: 5s
  • tucked planche practice: 3s
  • handstand attempts: 1'

  • breakfast: 1.5 bowls oatmeal with blueberries, apple, walnuts, and some vanilla soymilk
  • lunch:
    • black bean, mushroom, and soy cheese quesadillas with guacamole and salsa
    • tortilla chips
    • 3 candy cane Jojo's and 6 oz of soy milk
  • snack: handful of mixed nuts
  • multi-vitamin
  • mug of soy milk mint hot cocoa
  • dinner:
    • mushroom and barley soup
    • half a large baked potato with chili and soy cheese
morning stretches and sun salutations

  • breakfast: leftover quesadilla with salsa, 1 small bowl oatmeal
  • lunch: bowl of barley mushroom soup, 2 whole wheat English muffins with PB and honey
  • multivitamin, calcium chew
  • 2 small handfuls of mixed nuts
  • 1 mug of soy milk mint hot cocoa
  • 1 cup yogurt with trail mix
  • dinner: brown jasmine rice with spinach tofu curry and peanuts
  • 1 square Green and Black's mint chocolate

Monday, January 14, 2008

Thoughts on training so far

All in all I'm pleased with my progress in my conditioning. The Buddy Lee Aero Speed jump rope (which I review here) is totally awesome. I don't miss as often because of kinks in the rope or unexpected rope turning behavior. Now my misses are almost purely due to tired legs or my form getting sloppy. Since I can now jump 5 rounds of 3 minutes with 1 minute breaks (in which I'm starting to do hand passing drills rather than resting completely), I think I'm making very good progress towards 10 straight minutes. I think I'll try to break 6.5 minutes straight in the next 2-3 weeks to get back to where I was last December.

Since my wrist tendonitis seems to have mostly passed, I've started doing more wall handstand stuff and planche progression practice. All I have to say is that holding a planche plank is really taxing on the upper body and wall handstand presses are really difficult after jumping rope for 15 minutes. I'm a little disappointed that I can only do 20 chin-ups at the moment. I was getting close to 35 before the wrist tendonitis slowed me down. On the other hand, I'm quite pleased that I can hold a 1-leg tucked dragon flag for 20 seconds. That puts my goal of holding a full dragon flag well within grasp.

I'm less than pleased with my MA practice since I haven't been able get back into the flow of things. We'll see if I can turn that around this week.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Log: Week 2 -- 01/07/2008 to 01/13/08

Morning: qigong and stretching
Rocking and paying attention to center of gravity/center of feet

Evening workout:
  • Jump rope: 1', 5' (2x), 2', 1' rounds
  • Rings:
    • Support, hands turned out: 30s
    • L-sit: 24s
    • 1-foot tucked front lever: 10s (2x)
    • dips: 8 reps
Weighed in at 151 lbs.

I got my body fat analyzer today. This cheap piece of crap tells me I have 26.2% body fat, which is a far cry from the 11.5% I was measured at last month. Oh well, I knew ahead of time it was going to be inaccurate. I only need it to measure my change in body fat. I'll never get an accurate absolute reading out of this cheapo device.

Also did mindful raisin eating with Gen. It was a different and enjoyable approach to mindfulness training.

morning qigong

focused on breathing slowly and deeply during my morning walks to and from the train

checked fat analyzer: 26.4%

I've been trying to get the tendon changing exercises my sifu taught me incorporated into my daily routine. Today, I've started trying to do them whenever I need a break or am waiting for something at work.

I'm also going to start logging what I eat. My food for today:
  • 2 whole wheat cinnamon raisin English muffins with peanut butter and honey
  • a few honey roasted peanuts
  • 1 big square vegan spinach,tvp lasagna
  • handful of cashews
  • half a large apple
  • 1 small chocolate candy
  • chickpea,spinach stew
  • 3 Morningstar nuggets
  • two bowls of corn chips with guacamole, and salsa
  • two Trader Joe's JoJos with half a mug of soy milk
morning: stretching, sun salutations

wasn't very diligent this morning about controlling my breathing during my commute. Had a hard time focusing and staying present.

quick round of tendon changing exercises during late afternoon break

Evening workout:
  • jump rope: 2', 3', 3', 1.5', 3', 2', 1.5' rounds
  • 12lb partner med ball toss on bosu: 5'
  • wall hand stand: 60s
  • wall hand stand press ups: 7.5
  • chins ups: 20 reps
  • pull ups: 9 reps
  • L-hang chin ups: 8 reps
  • 1-leg tucked dragon flag: 20s, 22s holds
Jump rope mildly sucked. I was aiming for 5 rounds of 3'. Also a little disappointed that I didn't make at least 25 chin ups. I blame the jump rope for wearing me out.

Food consumed:
  • breakfast: 2 whole wheat cinnamon raisin English muffins with PB and honey
  • midmorning snack: 2 small handfuls of holiday nut/dried fruit mix
  • lunch: 1 square lasagna, big handful of cashews
  • post-workout: 6 oz soy protein shake
  • dinner: brown rice with chickpea curry, cashews, and stir-fried broccoli and carrots
  • 1 piece Green and Black's mint chocolate
  • 1 calcium chew, 1 multivitamin
woke up late, so I missed morning warmups today. Tried to stretch and do my breathing exercises at random breaks in the day.

Worked in a few rounds of tendon changing exercises during my downtime.

ILC class
  • came early to do some extra qigong since I missed it this morning
  • 2 new people today, reviewed absorb-project and open-close exercises

Light evening workout:
  • jump rope, focusing on speed and double unders: 1', 2', 2', 1' rounds
  • deadlifts for technique, sets of 8 reps: 45lb, 95lb (2x), 115lb (2x)

Food for the day:
  • breakfast: 4 X 3" baguette slices with PB and honey
  • lunch
    • half a takeout-sized tupperware of brown rice with chickpea curry, cashews and broccoli
    • half an apple
    • a few mixed flavored nuts
    • multi-vitamin
  • afternoon second lunch:
    • rest of brown rice and curry
    • 1 cup of yogurt with walnuts and raisins
  • post-gym 6oz protein shake with Barleygreen
  • dinner: tomato soup and 2 slices of herbed baguette pseudo pizza
woke up late again, only got some quick stretches in

Evening workout:
  • Jump rope: 1', 3' (5x), 2'
  • planche progressions:
    • frog stand: 10s, 10s, 25s
    • tucked planche: 5s, 7s
    • planche plank: 30s, 40s
  • regular and reverse forearm curls, 10lbs, 12 reps each hand
  • wrist flips, 10lbs, 40 reps

food for the day:
  • breakfast: two slices of [fake] cheesy toast
  • midmorning snack: hanful of mixed nuts and dried fruit
  • lunch: 4 baguette slices, 6 flavored tofu slices
  • multivitamin, 1500 mg glucosamine
  • post-workout: 8 oz soy milk, yogurt, banana, protein powder, Barleygreen shake
  • dinner: soba noodles with tofu and mixed veggies, two candy cane JoJos with 6oz soy milk
quick stretches and qigong, brief round of sun salutations in the morning

evening workout:
  • jump rope: 1', 3'(5x), 2' rounds
    • slower pace today since my legs were still tired
    • only 1' rest between rounds, except final cool down round
    • worked on crossing skills
  • pull-ups: 10 reps (2x), 12 reps
  • double bosu push-ups: 18
  • side-to-side push-ups: 12
  • front lever progressions:
    • tucked horizontal pull-up, 5 reps (2x)
  • side-to-to pull ups: 6 reps

food for the day:
  • breakfast: leftover clearout
    • small amount of rice porridge with mixed frozen veggies and a few peanuts
    • two bites of Gen's buckwheat noodles from last night
    • a banana
  • lunch:
    • two bowls of tomato soup
    • handful of cashews
    • a small potato pancake
    • one Masala patty
    • two pieces of candied ginger
  • shopping snack (free sample day at Whole Foods):
    • two bites of salad (spring mix, red onion, feta, walnuts, cranberries, and acai berries)
    • two tiny pieces of bread with artichoke dip and chile queso
    • half rice cracker with almond butter and blueberry jam
    • three mini bites of 3 different granola bar samples (hemp/flax, cranberry, and sunflower?)
    • one square piece of peppermint chocolate
  • two half-sized vegan mushroom crepes
  • cup of yogurt with raisins, walnuts, half a banana
  • 7 almonds
  • dinner:
    • mushroom/onion/garlic spaghetti
    • sauteed broccoli, carrots, and bell peppers
    • 3 Morningstar nuggets
    • 3 candy cane JoJos, 4 oz of soy milk
  • multivitamin
morning: a few rounds of sun salutations, 25 minute walk

  • oatmeal with protein powder, blueberries, strawberries, walnuts, and banana
  • handful of almonds and cashews
  • two tangerines, a couple of bites of apple and grapefruit
  • 1 multi-vitamin, 1 calcium chew
  • leftover mushroom pasta with 3 Morningstar nuggets
  • bowl of tortilla chips
  • 6 small vegan crepes filled with chickpea and spinach curry

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Log: Week 1 -- 01/03/08 to 01/05/08

Between the holidays and having a cold, I've had quite a bit of time off from my regular workouts. I haven't lost too much, fortunately, despite the slacking.

Last weigh in on Thursday was 152 lbs. Not sure if it's possible that I could start the year 3 lbs lighter, but oh well. I'll stick the same scale in the YMCA locker room for consistency. When my cheapo bio-impedance fat analyzer gets here, I can start tracking changes in my body fat percentage.

Qigong and stretching in the morning.

  • Jump rope: rounds of 1', 2' (3x), 1.5' (2x)
  • 1-leg tucked front lever: static holds 10s, 9s, 8s
  • double bosu plank: 60s
  • Jump rope: rounds of 1', 3' (2x), 2', 1', 1' skills practice
  • Wall handstand 60s
  • Handstand practice 30s
  • 12 lb med ball partner toss while standing on bosu: ~8 min
  • forearms dumbbell curls, 8lbs: 15 and 12 reps (each hand, regular and reverse)
  • tucked rock (not sure what to call this): 7 reps
Doing the tucked rock, or whatever it's real name is, hurt like hell. My abs actually briefly cramped up after doing that exercise. My abs haven't cramped up in a really, really long time.

Stretching and qigong in the morning

  • jump rope, skills practice: 1', 2' (5x), 1'
  • bosu ball V-sit: 10s
  • planche progression: frog 10s (2x), attempted tucked planche (held maybe 1s)
Qigong and sun salutation in the morning

~30 minutes of yoga in the evening

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Training Goals for the New Year

As I've already detailed in my main blog, my resolutions this year are to drop 1% body fat and work up to skipping 10 continuous minutes on the jump rope.

I have other fitness goals to shoot for this year. I may not achieve them this year, but that's ok because I'll have fun trying. So, in 2008, I hope to:
  1. Improve my grip strength. I don't have a plan for measuring or tracking this, but it's more or less a requirement for several other of my fitness goals.
  2. Progress towards a planche.
  3. Get a muscle up.
  4. Hold a front lever (>= 10s)
  5. Hold a dragon flag (>=20s)
  6. Hand stand.
Of those, I think the planche will probably be the hardest. I've already made a decent amount of progress last year towards goals 4-6. With better grip strength and improved grinding muscle strength from the front lever and dragon flags, I think the muscle up should come by the end of the year.

In terms of my martial arts (MA) training, it's an ongoing goal of keeping my I Liq Chuan (ILC, 意力拳) training consistent so I can improve. So my current MA training goals are to:
  1. Work through the 15 basic exercises more carefully. I need to start training and analyzing them more thoroughly in blocks of 3-5 rather than just trying to get through all of them.
  2. Gain a deeper understanding of the 21 form (二十一式). This involves my practicing the form more mindfully while keeping the 13 body requirements, 6 physical points, and 5 qualities in mind.
  3. Improve my butterfly palm (蝴蝶掌) form. I've got the rough choreography down, but now I need to work through the form the same way I'll be breaking down the 21 form.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Welcome 2008 - Keep on training

It's 2008 and I'm attempting to get into the whole blogging thing. Since I wanted to keep a log to track my training progress without cluttering up my main blog, I decided to make a separate training log blog for myself. I'll be using this blog to journal my workouts, check my progress, and discuss fitness and martial arts training topics that I find interesting.

I don't expect many people will actually read this blog, but if anyone actually does, I hope this blog inspires you, gives you ideas on improving your own training, is informative, or at least marginally interesting.