Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday, April 29 Workout - A Victim of Spring Fever

I don't know whether I'm getting a cold or if my allergies are just acting up on me. I planned to make this the first day I split my workouts in half - martial arts forms and techniques in the morning and strength training in the afternoon.

But I only managed to do the morning workout. It was still pretty good.

I started with another marathon, super-slow set of Siu Lam Tao. Several accounts I've read say that Bruce Lee's teacher, Yip Man, never took less than an hour to do that set. I only managed to stretch it out to half-an-hour, but I still felt pretty good about it. Even with the pain and soreness in my legs, I still feel like I'm also generating energy from doing that set for so long.

My recovery time seems to be decreasing, too. I suspect it is due the fact that I started taking fish oils again. I really need to keep up on that for my heart if nothing else. But I do notice when I've been taking it regularly that I don't need to rest as long between exercises.

In fact, between sets, I swept and otherwise worked to clean up my carport kwoon. Over the months, I've let a few things get away from me, like letting the leaves accumulate. I also threw out the rotted seat and leg fittings for my stretch rack. I can't wait to finish that.

Alternating with the cleaning, I did some drills on the heavy bag, mostly chain punches and turning punches. It's nice to see I haven't lost too much power or speed. Thanks to the work I've done with Ken Gullette on silk reeling and internal power, I'm learning to get even more power from my waist and penetrating deeper into the bag with my punches.

After the bag, it was time to hit the dummy. I did some drills to brush up on my chi sao, or sticking hands exercises. True, it's not the same as doing it with a person, but at least I can preserve the movements and work on my speed.

I closed with a single run of the wooden dummy form, both the Yip family and the mainland branch sets. I would have liked to keep going, but I had a luncheon with a former editor and I didn't want to keep her waiting.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Monday, April 27

I couldn't sleep so I got up early to finish a couple of stories. That left me plenty of time for a pretty hardcore workout as soon as I came home from taking my son to school.

My carport kwoon looks pretty good, but I do need to make some repairs and get other things cleaned up. It would have been easy for me to postpone my workout while I cleaned off those rubber pads for the floor, or finished repairing my leg stretcher. I got of to a good start with it on Friday, cutting plywood to replace the seat and the leg braces, and sanding off the rust and old paint.

Hell! I'll do anything to avoid my full-body stretch routine. It's probably the most necessary and the most boring part of my training schedule. But I did it anyway, knowing full well that it is the main thing keeping me from being completely stiffened up, especially my neck and back.

Afterward, I settled into a good 30-minute run of the Siu Lam Tao form, the first set of Wing Chun Kung Fu. It's not pretty, but doing a slow superset of SLT will take a lot out of you, mentally and physically.

It did me good. My legs weren't hurting as bad as I expected. In fact, I felt all kinds of new energy just surging to get out. I settled into some sets with the ab wheel and some claw pushups, alternating between runs of the wooden dummy set and sets of individual techniques on the dummy.

Following the dummy work, I did a set of 108 bag catches, throwing a canvas bag filled with 20 pounds of beebees into the air and catching it with the other hand. I closed with some standard crunches.

I should have returned to work as soon as I was done with that, but I couldn't resist doing a little work on the stretch rack. It's now completely sanded, the boards are cut and by this time next week, I'll be back to doing a piss-poor immitation of Bill "Superfoot" Wallace.

Welcome Back to My Training Blog

Last year, while training for the International Chinese Martial Arts Championship, I did a little experiment on - a training blog.

In it, I chronicled my preparations to win the Southern Style Grand Championship. It was a good run, even though I bailed on the tournament. I'd just been laid off from my job and didn't want to keep spending money on preparing and attending the event.

Still, at the advice of Don Weiss, a good friend, training partner and instructor in Hung Ga and Yau Kung Mun styles of Kung Fu, I did resume the blog for a while. It enabled me to organize my thoughts about training and kept me accountable to the half-dozen or so people who actually read it.

Life got in the way. I developed a case on bronchitis. My studies at Hillsborough Community College and efforts at starting a freelance writing career took up a great deal of my time and energy. Even when I was training, I didn't have time to chronicle my efforts.

Well, that's going to change!

Everyone needs accountability. We need people to whom we can share our progress, to brainstorm with, and to kee ourselves honest.

So what do am I willing to give for your help in keeping me honest? I propose a trade. You keep me honest, and I'll do my best to keep you informed. I'll share with you all the latest information on personal fitness, health, inspiration and motivation. I want more than just another personal blog. I want to create something that helps others as I'm helping myself.

Let's see what we can do to help each other. After all, no one does it alone.