Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Upside down

I found this fun quiz to identify which Tarot card you are. Mine turned out to be:

You are the Hanged Man

Self-sacrifice, Sacrifice, Devotion, Bound.

Try it out here: http://www.flarn.com/~warlock/tarot/

Monday, September 29, 2008

2008/09/29 - Upping the pace slightly

Today I did:

One Arm Jerk: 16kg @ 8 minutes @ 10rpm: 40/40
Snatch: 16kg @ 6 minutes @ 14rpm: 42/42 (2 min R / 2 min L / 1 min R / 1 min L)

Swing (32kg): 10/10

Some Prasara Yoga postures and movements to end off.

I decided to start increasing the rpm slightly in both the jerks and snatches. On my longer set days I used to work at 8rpm for jerks and 12rpm for snatches. Today I upped it slightly to 10rpm and 14rpm respectively. I am still struggling to extend the length of the snatch sets to 10 minutes. Maybe upping the reps while working slightly shorter sets will help. We'll see.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

27/09/2008 - More level 7 work

For my moderate session today I kept to the AKC fitness protocol with the 24kg bell. I did:

Intuflow intermediate level

24kg / 3 minutes work / 1 minute rest

Press: 17/17
Half Snatch: 15/15
Clean: 15/15

Swing: (40kg): 10/10

I finished off with some compensatory yoga postures.

2008/09/26 - Low intensity

I started as usual with the Intuflow intermediate sequence. Since moving to intermediate level I am noticing some more changes in my body. My general mobility and body awareness seem to be increasing, apparently due to the increased sophistication of the Intuflow movements.

I followed the Intuflow with six rounds of the Prasara Cricket flow and one round of the See Saw flow. The Cricket flow is improving every time I do it, especially the Crane posture and transition to the Quad Squat. I'm really loving the yoga practice and am planning to get some more of Scott's Prasara oriented materials asap.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

2009/09/25 - Intuflow

I just did a quick Intuflow intermediate session today. In stead of doing the movements slowly I tried to move as fast as possible while maintaining maximal relaxation. Everything felt smooth and I got through the session in just over 10 minutes. I have been noticing lately that I spontaneously use a lot of Intuflow principles while going about my daily activities. This stuff seems to become part of you in unexpected ways. Tomorrow the plan is to do another Intuflow session followed by some Prasara. I'll see how the day goes though because I'm working quite late.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

2008/09/24 - High intensity GS session

Today I did:

Intuflow intermediate level

16kg One Arm Jerk: 10 minutes @ 8rpm: 40/40 (Only one hand switch)
16kg Snatch: 6 minutes (2 minutes R / 2 minutes L / 1 min R / 1 min L): 14rpm: 42/42

24kg Swing: 20/20

I finished off by working twice through the first and second kinetic flows of the See Saw flow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2007/09/23 - A moderate level 7 session

I am still choosing to work with heavier weights and shorter sessions on my moderate intensity days. Today I did a level 7 AKC session with the 24kg. Here is the result:

Intuflow intermediate level (excluding 4CBD, floor work and breathing)

24kg bell / 3 minutes work / 1 minute rest

Press: 15/15
Half Snatch: 15/15
One Arm Jerk: 15/15

Swing (40kg): 10/10

I ended off with some Yoga. Rather than doing my usual Prasara flows I selected some postures from the various flows and just held them for a while with the intent of learning to relax and deepening the postures. I enjoyed the session and am seeing some definite improvement in my work with the 24kg.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2008/09/22 - Low intensity Yoga

Yesterday I just did the Intuflow beginner sequence. Today I decided to add some sophistication by going through the intermediate sequence. I really like the way in which Intuflow adds to sessions by enhancing the sophistication of movements rather than simply adding intensity. I felt loose, warm and comfortable after the session.

I then proceeded to work through six slow sequences of the Prasara Cricket flow. My emphasis at the moment in my Yoga practice is on deepening the postures and smoothing out the transitions. I allow myself to relax as much as possible during the practice rather than making it into a "workout". After the Cricket flow I worked through the first and second kinetic chains of the SeeSaw flow twice. I find the SeeSaw flow really working the core of the body while also being quite relaxing - just what I need at the moment.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2008/09/20 - High intensity Saturday

Today I did some slightly longer sets again. I generally felt good during the session but am not yet where I was a few weeks ago. Next week I hope to hit some 10 minute or longer sets again. Here is what I did today:

Intuflow beginner level

16 kg One Arm Jerk: 8 minutes with one switch: 32/32
16 kg Snatch: 8 minutes switching hands every 2 minutes: 48/48
32 kg Swing: 10/10

To finish off I did one slow round of the Cricket flow and one round of the first two kinetic chains of the SeeSaw flow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

2008/09/19 - Moderate day with the 24

I did another session with the 24kg bell. I took things up a tiny notch by moving from 2 - 3 minute sets. It was hard work - 30 seconds apparently make quite a difference. Here is the breakdown:

Intuflow beginner level

24kg / 3 minutes work / 1 minute rest:

Press: 15/15
Half Snatch: 15/15
Clean: 15/15

Swing (40kg): 10/10

To cool down and loosen up I went twice through the first and second kinetic chains of the Prasara yoga SeeSaw flow. It is a relaxing and smooth flow but mine needs a lot of work.

2008/09/18 - Low intensity yoga day

As usual I started my session with Intuflow. Like yesterday I worked through the beginner sequence slowly with an emphasis on breathing, relaxation and proper technique.

I then went through the Prasara Cricket flow six times. I also worked slowly with an emphasis on relaxing and breathing into the postures. I worked up a good sweat and felt loose, warm and relaxed after the session.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008/09/17 - Just Intuflow

I did a slow and focused sequence of the Intuflow beginner exercises today. I tried to really focus on the parts being worked and combined the movements with deep breathing to relax as much as possible. The whole process was quite meditative and felt kind of like Qi Gong. I'm becoming aware lately of an interesting relationship between tightness in my pelvis/hip area and some apparently related restrictions in my lower and mid back. This is especially noticeable when I do the pelvic side to side movements. When I move from side to side a lot of clicking and stretching also happens in my back - weird stuff. Hopefully enough of this will eventually cure my fall injury once and for all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008/09/16 - High intensity - NOT

I'm still feeling under the weather from this stupid cold I picked up a couple of days ago. I can feel that my body is working harder than normal when I train. As a result I took things easy today and just did the following:

Intuflow beginner level

16 kg One Arm Jerk: 6 minutes: 24/24
16 kg Snatch: 4 minutes: 24/24

32 kg Swing: 10/10

Twice through the Cricket flow (slowly).

Monday, September 15, 2008

2008/09/15 - Moderate intensity

I took the past three days off due to my left hip still bothering me. I'm feeling better today but not perfect yet. I also have a bit of a Spring cold which is leaving me a bit under the weather. I decided to just work through a short AKC session with the 24 kg bell rather than doing longer sets. Here's the result:

Intuflow beginner level

24 kg / 2 minutes work / 1 minute rest

Press: 10/10
Half Snatch: 10/10
Clean: 10/10

Swing (24kg): 20/20

One slow round of the Prasara Cricket flow.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2008/09/11 - High intensity

It is still very hot here and not difficult at all to work up a sweat. I'm still a bit careful of my hip so opted for a short but intense AKC session today rather than a classic long set approach. Here is the outcome:

Intuflow intermediate level

4 minutes work / 1 minute rest / 16kg bell

Jerk: 32/32
Snatch: 32/32
Half Snatch: 10/10

I only did 1 minute per side for the last set (half snatch) because I started getting dizzy, probably because of not having eaten yet today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008/09/10 - Moderate Intensity

Summer is coming early this year. For the last couple of years here in Joburg it seems that we totally skip spring and jump straight from winter into mid-summer. For my session today I chose exercises from the AKC protocol that puts very little strain on the hip flexors since I've been struggling with my left hip for about a week. Here is how it went:

Intuflow intermediate level

16kg / 4 minutes on / 1 minute off:

Press: 24/24
Half Snatch: 20/20
Bottom up clean: 24/22

Swing (40kg): 10/10

Twice through the Prasara Cricket flow.

Monday, September 8, 2008

2008/09/08 - Low intensity Intuflow and Yoga

I worked through the Intuflow beginner sequence today followed by a few rounds of the Prasara Cricket and Vine flows. The purpose of the session was just to slow down, release residual tension and be aware of what is happening with my body. It felt good to just observe without pushing anything. One of the things I'm trying to figure out is why I have less ROM in my left hip than the right. It seems as if there is a whole pelvis, hip, lower back (all on the left) thing going on but I cannot fully figure out how it fits together. I have a suspicion that my kung fu training did some damage (particularly the way we used to stretch and some very wrong use of the ma bu stance). As I work more with Intuflow and Yoga I'm sure the puzzle will unfold to the extent that I might regain some of the lost ROM. Let's see where this goes.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

2008/09/07 - Intuflow day

This morning I did the Intuflow beginner sequence. I went nice and slow to really feel the impact of the movements. It is amazing to notice how moving your shoulder can cause a movement in your lower back or hip. The body really does not work in isolated pieces. I enjoyed the slow session this morning and am tempted to do some more Intuflow or yoga tonight. I'll see how I feel later.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The simplest fitness protocol

Since starting to incorporate some of Scott Sonnon's material into my training I've been toying with the idea of doing a 4x7 protocol with just body-weight exercises. I am likely to do this in November after the IKFF cert. My thoughts on body-weight training reminded me of something my Systema (Russian martial art) teacher said during one of the classes. I'm loosely paraphrasing what he said but it amounted to the following: Everybody seems to believe that getting fit requires money, gym equipment etc. All you need to do is lie down on the ground flat on your back. From that position get up to a full standing position in the most efficient way possible. Do that for 10-20 minutes at a time and you will never need a gym again.

Vadim (my teacher) actually made us do this for 5 minutes during one of our classes and I can assure you it is not fun. Such is the weird and wonderful things us humans do with our bodies.

2008/09/06 - Another day's training

Yesterday I worked late so I missed my scheduled high intensity day. All the sitting yesterday for some reason tightened up my left hip and it is feeling pretty uncomfortable today. I did the Intuflow beginner sequence this morning to see if it would shift something. I do feel looser but the hip is still not wonderful. I decided to train anyway and this is how it went:

Intuflow beginner sequence (I skipped the 4CBD, floor work and breathing at the end)

One arm jerk: 8 minutes @ 8rpm: 32/32
Snatch: 6 minutes @ 12rpm: 36/36

Swings (24kg): 20/20

Twice through the Prasara yoga Vine flow.

For some reason my hip felt a lot better after the jerk session. The jerks actually seemed to relax whatever was stuck a bit. The Vine flow is something else. I'm grateful nobody can post my performance on Youtube - it was ugly. I enjoy the flow a lot but it is going to take a long time before I can do any of it in such a way that it resembles yoga.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

2008/09/04 - Something slightly different

I've been thinking about the 4x7 approach's split between moderate and high intensity days. It seems that the moderate day is more about strength work (in other words lower reps) with less of a cardio focus. The high intensity day is supposed to be more metcon oriented (such as a typical AKC sessions or long GS sets). As an experiment I decided to reduce my session length today and do everything with the 24kg while still sticking to the basic AKC protocol outline. This is what I did:

Intuflow intermediate level

24kg / 2 minute sets / 1 minute rest

Press: 10/10
Half Snatch: 10/10
Push Press: 10/10

Swing (40kg): 10/10

Twice through the Prasara Cricket flow.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this experiment. I definitely feel like I've worked but the session was over so quickly. I do think that incorporating the 24 into my sessions will help my work with the 16. Perhaps I'll do one of these sessions a week for a while and see where it takes the rest of my training.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

2008/09/03 - Low intensity

I cheated yesterday and didn't do my pure low intensity Intu-Flow day. I simply had too much work to do - for some reason EVERYONE wants something at the moment. Anyway, today I managed my low intensity day which consisted of Intu-Flow beginner level and 4 rounds of the Prasara Cricket flow. After the armed robbery two weeks ago I still feel emotionally unstable (don't worry - I don't mean men in white jackets fetching me in hug-me jackets unstable) and it is interesting to note how this impacts my flow during the yoga session. I am a bit more rigid and the postures don't flow as nicely as before. On the upside, I got my car back from the police lock-up today. Next step - getting to the UK.

Monday, September 1, 2008

2008/09/01 - Spring day and longer sets

Today is spring day here in the Southern Hemisphere (although the weather doesn't seem to agree). Being my high intensity day I did the following:

Intuflow beginner level

One Arm Jerk (16kg): 8 minutes @ 8rpm: 32/32
Snatch (16kg): 8 minutes @ 12rpm: 48/48

Swing (40kg): 8/8

Twice through the Prasara Cricket flow.

As usual I only switched hands once in my Jerk set. For the snatch set I broke the set up into:

3 minutes R / 3 minutes L / 1 minute R / 1 minute L.

That's it for today.