Friday, May 29, 2009

2009/05/29 - More Stagecrazy

I just did another quick stagecrazy session today...3 x 3 bodyweight circuits of three minutes each. The total training time was about 14 minutes (including rests) but my ass feels soundly kicked.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

2009/05/27 - 12 Intense minutes

Thankfully my back spasm seems to be something of the past so I could get on with training today. I did a quick 12 minute session of Stagecrazy (3x3 minute body-weight circuits). Nasty stuff!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

2009/05/27 - A bit weird

I have not been training since last week Wednesday...due to some interesting developments. I've had back issues for some time now..especially after I fell down a flight of stairs. Recently I decided to let go of my stubborn insistence that I will cure anything by trying harder and actually went for 3 sessions with a practitioner of an alternative therapy known as Body-Talk. I won't go into too much detail but I can say that I'm impressed so far. The system seems to incorporate methods from applied kinesiology, chiropractic and even psychology into a package that allow the inherent healing potential of the body to deal with all types of discomfort in an appropriate manner.After my second session I ended up with a pretty severe back spasm - which seems to be related to stored memories in my body after my fall. Even though this has been the reason for me not training for the last week I am feeling a strong sense of moving forward. I will probably have another session next week and hopefully that would help me to finally let go of the tension that has been holding me back for a while now. Life is so weird and the logical mind really cannot figure it all out.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009/05/18 - Starting a new cycle

After my back-off week last week I'm ready to tackle the body weight strength work again. Given the fact that the gymnastic type exercises I am focusing on take some time to master I will be following a steady state approach rather than the 4x7 cycles I'b been using lately. The idea with a steady state approach is not to push for PR's regularly but rather to maintain a certain volume / intensity until it becomes really comfortable. I will probably train M/W/F and do some light work like Prasara on T/T. Today I did:

Crow: 10 x 6 seconds

Ring Push ups: 3 x 3

Ring Rows: 3 x 3

Stagecrazy circuit x 3

That's all for today.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

2009/05/16 - Going "Stage Crazy"

So today I decided to take Ryan Murdock's new "stagecrazy" cardio circuit for a test drive. Like I said in my review of the program yesterday the program was designed for people with very limited time to train who need an intense metcon type program. Furthermore given the fact that stagecrazy comes from an RMax faculty member the program is firmly rooted in the RMax philosophy of health first and the concept of the "6 degrees of freedom." As a result this is not a typical circuit of things like push-ups, crunches etc.

The program consists of 3 x 3 minute circuits, each circtuit consisting of 6 exercises (or movements). After a quick Intuflow warm-up I set my timer and jumped right in. The first circuit felt fairly easy but the second and third were pretty brutal. I was still breathing hard about 5 minutes after the end of the last circuit. I'll be playing some more with this program and Flowfit as my metcon tools in my next cycle starting on Monday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

2009/05/15 - Last back off day

I'm feeling really good right now. I can feel some pretty interesting and well-being inducing chemicals flowing through my body...don't worry, I didn't do anything illegal that involves needles, smoking or sniffing. These good feelings are in fact the result of just having finished my first long Flowfit set at level 2.

Flowfit was designed to be done for 14 - 18 minutes without stopping, not as a set/rep program. That was all good and well for me when I was doing Flowfit level 1. After a few weeks 15 minute rounds became quite easy. Flowfit level 2 has been a different story up to now. So far my best effort has been a 3 minute round. Something about the full body movements performed at level 2 just always seemed to really kick my ass hard. As a result I stuck to a set / rest format of either one:one work/rest or 2:1. Today I decided to use some advice I got over at the RMAX forums and also some good old fashioned GS wisdom. Basically this boils down to selecting a time period to work within and then to manage your energy in such a way that you are still moving when the timer sounds.

I set my timer for 12 minutes and set off on a pace of just over 1 minute per round. At the 5 minute mark I could feel myself working hard but for some reason things got a bit easier around the 9 minute mark. When the 12 minute mark was reached and the timer sounded I was still moving. In fact, I went just over 12 minutes in order to finish the last two movements of the flow. Granted, I took things fairly easy and didn't push the pace but at least I have one full 12 minute round under my belt. The key it seems is to manage energy effectively and to BREATHE.

Now that I've done Flowfit the way it was intended to be done I can really begin to appreciate the principle of breaking through the physiological barrier of distress that inevitably occurs at some point during the session. Once that has been overcome the body seems to adjust and becomes ready for more work. Wonderful stuff!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another kick ass product by Ryan Murdock

I've been a fan of CST (Circular Strength Training) for some time now. I've been using a variety of the CST training protocols such as the Intuflow joint mobility system, Flowfit and Forward Pressure on and off for some time. More recently I got hold of the Bodyweight Exercise Revolution by CST coaches Ryan Murdock and Adam Steer. The programs contained in this ebook volume and related downloadable video material really opens up the field of body weight only training to a remarkable degree and I've had some amazing results working through some of the material. Naturally when Ryan Murdock brought out his latest product, the 12 minute Stage Crazy workout for rock stars I was intrigued to say the least.

Ryan created this product to meet the physical demands of the rockstar lifestyle; long periods on the road, energy sapping stage performances, limited time (or space) for exercise and living off hotel (or junk) food for extended periods of time. Obviously this will also be most relevant for busy executives, people who travel a lot and in fact anyone with limited time or resources available for maintaining their fitness.

The program consists of a downloadable ebook and two video clips, one providing a breakdown of the exercises and the second a follow along circuit. The ebook is well written and filled with Ryan's trademark humor and straight talking. It also provides a very well written and concise overview of the concept of "the six degrees of freedom" which forms part of the core of CST's "health-first" philosophy. In addition the ebook does a good job of positioning the body weight circuit within the realm of metcon (metabolic conditioning) or high-intensity cardio. This is very much in sync with some of the great voices out there when it comes to modern approaches to fitness and weightloss, like for example Alwyn Cosgrove and Craig Ballantyne. A lot of these fitness "mavericks" have shown quite clearly that fitness doesn't have to be about extended and boring encounters with treadmills, rowing machines or jogging. In fact, major weightloss and cardio benefits can be obtained by short, intense sessions based on metabolic resistance training. Ryan's new product certainly falls into this category as well.

The exercises are clearly illustrated in the ebook and demonstrated in the two video clips and I cannot imagine anyone feeling that they don't understand an exercise once having read the book and watched the clips. One really cool thing about the program is that the exercises are...rather unique. If you think body weight training is boring and consists of endless push-ups or sit-ups, think again. Most of the exercises in the program you probably wouldn't even have seen (or thought of) before. Unless of course you have spent some time on some of the other CST products. However, even if you are fairly familiar with CST the Stagecrazy program will almost certainly teach you something new.

Another element that makes this product great is the fact that its foundation in the six degrees of freedom will not only allow you to get pretty fit pretty fast; it will also develop a great improvement in your general movement ability (and perhaps even your ability to approach life in a more playful or adventurous fashion).

All that is left to say is this: Get this product right now over at

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Halfway through back-off week

I did another simple session today based on Intuflow and Flowfit. I did exactly the same volume of Flowfit today as on Monday but in half the time. On Friday I might cut the time even more. We'll see how I feel then. The session went like this:

Intuflow Intermediate

Flowfit level 2: 5 x 2 mins work / 1 minute rest

That's it for today!

Monday, May 11, 2009

2009/05/11 - Back-off week

I've been doing 4x7 cycles back to back for a few months now. This week I decided to take things a bit easier and work only on mobility and some Flowfit. The main reason for this is to give my joints a rest from the demands of the gymnastic strength work I've been doing lately. My session today looked like this:

Intuflow intermediate level

Flowfit level 2: 10 x 70 secs work / 60 secs rest

Some Tai Ji practice

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2009/05/09 - Day 28: High day

Today was the last day of my first cycle with Coach Sommer's gymnastic body methods. I've made reasonable progress but realize that this is a long term process. I will continue with these methods in my next cycle (and perhaps even beyond that). Here is today's session:


Tuck FL: 10 x 6 secs

Ring Support: 10 x 6 secs

Basic body weight movements:

Pull ups: 3 x 3

Roccas: 3 x 3

Hanging leg lifts: 3 x 3

Arch ups: 3 x 3

Flowfit level 2: 4 x 2 minutes work / 2 minutes rest

The session felt good, except for the Ring supports. In the last couple of sessions the Ring Supports have been hurting the front of my shoulders. I don't know what this is about but I'll explore possible reasons in my next cycle and try and fix the problem. I again ended my session with some Tai Ji (this time inside since it is pretty cold outside).

Friday, May 8, 2009

2009/05/08 - Day 27: Moderate

Yesterday there was no training due to a lot of work that had to be finished. Luckily today's really nice session made up for it. I did:


Crow: 10 x 6 secs

L-Sit: 10 x 6 secs

Basic body weight work:

Bulgarian XR push ups: 3 x 3

XR rows: 3 x 3

Pistols (to box): 3 x 3

Hanging leg lifts: 3 x 3

Flowfit level 2: 3 x 2 minutes work / 1 minute rest

I was amazed with the static holds today. Both the crow and l-sit (still with bent legs) felt almost effortless. The Bulgarian push ups are however pretty taxing and was most likely the source of my sore shoulders earlier this week. Hopefully this won't be the case tomorrow.

I finsihed things off with a few rounds of the Yang Lu Chan form first section outside in the garden. I find the Tai Ji to be great for releasing stored tension after the strength work. In fact, Tai Ji feels like a joint mobility workout in its own right. During the form I felt a lot of releases of tension and also some interesting clicks in my spine. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2009/05/06 - Day 25: No intensity

My shoulders are feeling a bit sore after the hard work of the past two days. Today was luckily just a relaxing session of Intuflow advanced and Tai Ji. The two actually works very well together and I sometimes wondered which was which. I guess relaxed (and relaxing) movement is relaxed movement. Very nice. It is amazing how much warmer I'm feeling (particularly after the short Tai Ji session). Tomorrow will be more of the same plus some yoga.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

2009/05/05 - Day 24: High intensity

Some hard work today. Nothing different but I felt pretty worked after my session yesterday and I also pushed pretty hard today. Here's the session:

Static holds:

Tuck front lever: 10 x 6 secs

Ring support: 10 x 6 secs

Basic body weight:

Pull ups: 3 x 3

Rocca from box: 3 x 3

Ring jack-knives: 3 x 5

Arch ups: 3 x 5

Flowfit level 2: 4 x 2 minutes on / 1 minute off

Monday, May 4, 2009

2009/05/04 - Day 23: Moderate day

Nice session today. I felt strong and focused.

Static holds:

Crow: 10 x 6 secs

L-Sit: 10 x 6 secs

Basic body weight work:

Ring push ups (Bulgarian): 3 x 3

Ring rows: 3 x 3

Pistols (to box): 3 x 3

Hanging leg lifts: 3 x 3

Flowfit 1: 1 x 14 minutes

After the session I went outside and worked through the first bit of the Yang Lu Chan form a few times.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2009/05/03 - Day 22: Low intensity

I don't have much to say today except that it is getting pretty damn cold over here. I was almost too lazy to train but I did eventually manage to get my butt moving. I did:

Intuflow advanced

A few rounds of the Cricket flow

Spider monkey practice

Tai Ji forms practice

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2009/05/02 - Day 21: My first outing with Intuflow Advanced

Having been working with both the Intuflow basic and intermediate levels for a few months now I decided to explore the third (or advanced) level today. Like all RMAX programs Intuflow is also based on the concept of gradual sophistication of movements. A simple example of this would be doing a push up from the knees, a normal push up, or a push up with the feet elevated. Although reps don't necessarily have to increase the complexity of the movement does, which will obviously tax the body in different ways. I can quite honestly say that I love the advanced level of Intuflow. Whereas level 1 works with basic cardinal directions and level two with circular movements the level 3 series contains a lot of figure eight (infinity) movements. It also includes some double arm work rather than just working one arm at a time. All of the changes gave my mind a lot of new things to focus on but also allowed my body to get into a really pleasant flow. For some reason the increased sophistication feels more flowing rather than less so and I felt thoroughly relaxed after my session.

Directly after the Intuflow work I went outside and worked through most of the first section of the Yang Lu Chan form a few times. I am currently up to the first Fa Jing (explosive) movement in the form. Unlike a lot of Tai Ji seen in the West (except the Chen style) the Yang Lu Chan form contains both slow, flowing movements and sudden explosive expressions of power. The Fa Jing movements feel...interesting. Due to the fact that the internal martial arts don't use brute muscular force but rather a relaxed, whip-like expression of power the mind seems to go almost completely blank during the split second Fa Jing movements. Like Erle Montaigue says, Fa Jing is almost like sneezing in the sense that it feels like a totally involuntary full body movement over which the conscious mind has very little control. Interesting stuff indeed. I felt warm and calm after working through the form a few times and am now looking forward to a relaxing evening watching DVD's with the family...and of course some online XBox action.

Friday, May 1, 2009

2009/05/01 - Day 20: High intensity

I pushed the strength work a bit today. I didn't do more but I tried to use high tension methods to really work my muscles as much as possible. The result was a fairly tough session that will for sure lead to some DOMS in the morning. Here is the blow by blow:

Static Holds:

Tuck FL: 10 x 6 seconds

Ring Support: 10 x 6 seconds

Basic body weight work:

Pull ups: 3 x 3

Rocca with feet on box: 3 x 3

Ring jackknives: 3 x 5

Flowfit level 1: 1 x 14 minutes round

The biggest improvements I noticed today were in the Ring supports and Roccas. The ring holds felt solid and I was almost tempted to do a few ring dips but managed to contain myself. My upper body is now almost vertical in the Roccas which means I am fairly close to beginning headstand push ups. Tomorrow will be just Intuflow and Tai Ji.