Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by ap Oweyn, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    It's a chain, and there are a few near where I live. I guess the LA in the name stands for Los Angeles? My uninformed opinion is it is basically boxercise type stuff (somebody correct me if I'm wrong).

    It would be cool if there is Savate around here though. I think it is a rare as hens teeth in the states though...
  2. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    If it were savate, I'd be all over it. I've long wanted to try "le boxe Francaise."

    Yep. I assume the "LA" refers to California. It's basically the beautiful people wanting to put on gloves, hit the heavy bag, etc. That's not exactly a criticism. They have nice facilities, instruction in boxing/kickboxing/grappling, etc. If it gets people working out, good for them! I personally wouldn't have a problem going to an LA Boxing. I think I'd feel more ridiculous walking into the UFC Gym personally.

    That said, here in downtown Alexandria, the LA Boxing is literally two blocks away from the municipal recreation center that houses the Alexandria Boxing Club, which was bulldozed along with the rest of the rec center a couple of years ago and replaces with an absolutely gorgeous new facility. And they actually generate real, competitive boxers for a third the price of LA Boxing. Different target audience, to be sure.
  3. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    There was a guy teaching in Columbia, back in the day. I don't know if he's till there. But that'd be about a half hour drive for you, I'd think.
  4. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Don't you dare apologize. Those were terrific questions. And it's taking all my restraint not to wade in and try answering them right this moment. But I'm preparing for an interview tomorrow. So I'm using these questions as my incentive to complete another section of interview prep, so I can come back and talk shop. Thanks for that!

    Interestingly, your point about establishing specific and quantifiable goals is precisely what I'm banging on about at the moment in my interview notes, with regard to measuring the success of interventions at the college.
  5. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    Apology withdrawn, get on with your interview prep and get back here after :)
  6. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Okay, I've got my interview prep under control and I'm feeling confident. Smug even. ;)

    I'm new enough to this aspect of training that my goals aren't as well informed as things like percentage of body fat, honestly. At the same time, I agree wholeheartedly about the need for clear, quantifiable measures.

    So with that in mind:

    1) Blood pressure. I'd like to have my blood pressure in the Normal range (i.e., less than 120 over 80) using a combination of weight loss, exercise, and a reduced dosage of my current medications. I had one week a while back when I did such a good job that my doctor was actually alarmed the following week by how LOW my blood pressure was and wanted to switch me to a lower dosage. I need to get back there and sustain it. Right now, I'm on the higher dosage and I'm in the Prehypertensive range (which is still not terrible for a guy with polycystic kidneys).

    2) I'm going to endeavour to make a fairly general goal measurable. I need to be more active. So let's say engaging in sustained physical activity for at least half an hour 5 days a week. Right now, that sort of regularity would be a real coup. We're getting ready to buy me a bike, so this might mean biking to and from work a couple of days a week, doing half an hour on the elliptical at lunch, or hitting the heavy bag in the garage. But five times a week. When I internalize that habit (as you discussed below), I'll up it on the duration and/or frequency.

    3) Weight. Literally, I think 198 lbs. is probably about right for me. But its composition is an issue. I'm sporting a considerable paunch at the moment. Now, at 6'1" tall, I've been wearing extra large shirts for some time now. That said, I would like for the front of my shirts to stop serving as a sun shade for my feet. A flat stomach with a few of those impressive lines in it is a definite (albeit vague) goal. I'm going to quantify this by saying that I want to do a planking routine I got from Shootodog (unbeknownst to him on Facebook) five times a week.

    4) Resting Heart Rate. I need to do a bit of reading to determine what a good (and realistic) goal would be for this. But I know it needs work. I live in a four-story townhouse and work in a four-story office building (on the fourth floor). I can run up to the top floor in either instance pretty readily, but my heart is beating like a jack rabbit when I do, and I can feel the pounding in my ears. So cardio is a goal. As a corollary to this one, I'd like to do a run of some sort. I did a 5K with my daughter at her elementary school the last two years. I ran the whole thing last year (which, I realize, is no accomplishment for a real runner) and probably could have this year, but I wound up running with a friend of mine who wanted to walk part of it. I'd like to run one comfortably. What I'd really like to do is complete one of those obstacle course runs, honestly.

    This is fantastic advice. Thank you for that. I'd like to focus on the exercise part, because that tends to make me at least second guess the impulse to eat and drink rubbish. It actually has me reading the label and comparing it with the readout on the elliptical machine. "So this bottle of Coke would literally undo the run I just did." I find that helpful.

    I'd like to start doing some basic weight training again. Kettle bells seem to be the big thing right now, particularly among martial artists I know. I don't have the background to form a useful opinion on whether they're a fad or a genuine development. But I'm intrigued in any event.

    The heavy bag at work got broken by some dim bulb who didn't read the "no kicking" sign next to it. Broke the S hook or something. The guys who run the gym got another S hook to rehang it, which got stolen overnight. Who steals an S hook?! I feel like giving them one myself just to get the damn thing rehung.

    On the other hand, the heavy bag has become my "safe haven" in the gym. I go there when I'm feeling too self-conscious about the other exercises. I know that I'm better on a heavy bag than anyone else down there, so I was gravitating toward it even though what I really needed to do was cardio or weight training.

    I actually found it enormously helpful. And, while this was a somewhat random infodump, it's gotten me thinking. Next step is actually acting on it.
  7. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    What is your resting heart rate now. And how are you measuring it? It can vary a lot depending in time of day, whether you are taking it seated or laying down etc
  8. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    No idea. I haven't gotten into the habit of taking it. I know my heart rate when I'm on the elliptical. That's it. And then, I'm just listening to what the machine says. (I consider it good practice for their inevitable takeover and the enslavement of humankind.)
  9. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    How did you think the interview went?

    Counter infodump follows:

    Sounds like you are on track with your goal setting :)

    Have you been advised by your doctor to do certain things, or to avoid certain things?

    Everything I suggest here should default to your doctors advice (of course you know this ;))

    As BP and HR are some of your measurements of success rate, it could be a good idea to buy yourself a home blood pressure monitor (battery powered inflating cuff type thing, the one that we have records heart rate too) so you can take your own measurements at the same time each day, in the same position (standing/seated/lying), the same length of time after eating or exercising etc. Icefield is absolutely right that it varys a lot across the day, and from day to day, so taking regular measurements under the same conditions allows you to track a trend from a better dataset than just a single measurement per month, if that's what you want to do ;)

    If you're going from a starting point of 'not moving around a lot', then moving to 'moving around a bit more' should provide a great initial change, so a target of 30 minutes sustained activity 5x per week sounds great. You could always start by targeting 3x per week, then once you've done that for 3-4 weeks add another session for a few weeks, and build up to 5x. Like we discussed before, it's more about controlled habit formation (who you are) rather than exactly what you do .

    Biking to work and back would be brilliant too, I would suggest starting off doing it towards the end of the week, ideally on Fridays (no one wants to cycle on a Monday unless they're used to it already and it's part of who they are), it means you can mentally prepare yourself on the couple of days leading up to it, and really enjoy (hopefully!) the relaxing combination of End Of Working Week and Heading Home (again, hopefully this is a place you want to go), and associate this with increased movement (cycling) in order to brainwash yourself into feeling (rather than thinking) that movement is good.

    The ride to work in the morning may be a bit tougher, but it can be rationalised as being necessary to allow the Ride Home From Work on a Friday. Make it become a treat rather than a chore :)

    How frequently do you sprint up the stairs at work and at home?
    How quickly does your elevated heart rate return to a normal level?
    You can start timing the second one as a measure of recovery rate ;)

    Heavy bag
    Buy that S hook for the bag in the gym. Consider it an investment in yourself, and be mindful that the dim bulb may break it again, so be prepared to buy 5 of them, or 10 of them, whatever it takes (if you're comfortable with that). Hopefully you won't have to, but it's the attitude that matters.
    Is there a stronger way of hanging the bag? I used a 20 kN screw gate carabina clip to hold mine up. The chains wore through before the clip even showed any signs of being used...

    Heavy bag is always good, provided you keep moving your feet and head, as well as hands - Simon has posted some excellent heavy bag workout videos e.g. http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1074858582&postcount=4

    Everyone has abs, it's just that not everyone's abs are showing...

    IMO, a paunch can be due to a structural issue (if 'the bowl' of your pelvis is tipped forward, then your guts 'spill' out of the front a little) combined with abdominal muscular strength/activation/control - fully relaxing your 'core' (being all the muscles between your lowest ribs and pelvis, on all sides, deep and superficial) contributes to the forward pelvic tilt and gut spill, or it could simply be layers of fat between your abs and the surface of your skin. Or, of course, a combination.

    Planking is brilliant for the structural and muscular elements, provided you do it right by sucking your belly button to your spine, squeezing your legs, bum and 'pulling your shoulders into a reverse shrug' - http://www.t-nation.com/training/superhuman-planks - but won't contribute very much to the fat loss part.

    For that there are a number of approaches, which can (of course) be combined:

    1) total calorie control compared to needs, either consuming what you need (maintenance), or very slightly less (deficit). Remember that if you increase your activity levels (cycling to work, sprinting up the stairs every time, 5x 30 minutes run/heavy bag etc) then your needs increase a bit.

    2) increased caloric output - combined with 1), essentially this is moving around more frequently, for longer, and/or at a higher intensity than you are at the moment (whatever your current activity levels are)

    3) switching some carbs in your diet for some protein. Protein makes you feel fuller - satiety - meaning your less likely to snack; and protein takes more of your body's energy reserves to process and use than fats and carbs - thermic effect - meaning your body burns more calories through the day. It also means you have more stuff available (amino acids) to repair your muscles after all that extra moving around :)

    4) increase muscle mass - I am not sure whether this actually means you burn more calories at rest than if it were fat or whether that's a myth, but it allows you to up the intensity of 2) so you do burn more calories while cycling harder/sprinting faster/hiting harder/lifting heavier

    This is a pretty good thread on the matter of calories in vs calories out: http://www.martialartsplanet.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121445

    Weight training wise, kettlebells are great, dumbbells are great, bars are great, gymnastic moves are good (but harder to measure progress, as they're skill reliant as well as strength), machines are OK (if bars/KB/DBs aren't available), shakeweights are not good.

    Try out whatever's available and convenient for your circumstances (e.g. KB class with technical instruction on how to do all the moves), try a barbell programme (Starting Strength, or Stronglifts 5x5), there are plenty of instructional resources on youtoob/internets/here for lifting (the t-nation website is one of my favourites).
    The idea is to find one you like and stick with it for a while to see what happens.

    Phew, made it!
    Anyway, words are wind, get cracking Sir
  10. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Wow. That post was several kinds of awesome. Lots to work with there. Thanks!

    I'll be responding in full shortly. After I eat this banana (which I chose in favour of the awful egg mcsomething they serve in our cafeteria). This stuff is very much on my mind this morning, for reasons I'm not quite ready to type about yet.

    Thanks HarryF. I greatly appreciate it.
  11. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    No probs :)

    Hopefully it's not too much of an information overload, although you're a clever chap so I'm sure you can sift through to what's useful to you

    Good work on shunning the egg mcnonsense in favour of the banana, another desirable step towards your goals ;)
  12. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Small steps, but I like your point about ingraining habits and thought patterns. It feels like a victory because I haven't succumbed to my existing habits today. No Coca-Cola on the way into the office. No horrific egg sandwich. Now, to avoid any blinding stupidity at lunch time.
  13. Ero-Sennin

    Ero-Sennin Highly Skilled Peeper Supporter

    Ok, pretty sure a banana doesn't take this long to be eaten. Hurry up and have your coffee for your "other reasons" and get to it already! :)p :D)
  14. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    re: kettlebells: kbs are awesome for weight training newbies or those who want something really really really simple, but they're expensive. you can get around that by using a DIY plate-loaded T-handle (there's a good tutorial on how to make them over at instructables)

    acquire kb/t-handle -> do some heavy swings and rows for t3h muscl3s and a ton of lighter rows for t3h c4rdio -> PROFIT!
  15. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Well... I think. Academia is an odd duck. I've had plenty of interviews I think went well, and then never heard another word about it. I've gotten official rejection letters a year and a half after applying for something (having already been at a different job for a full year). So at this point, I just do the interviews and see what happens. That said, I feel like I did as much as I could reasonably have done. And, if I don't get it, I'm confident that it won't be because I botched the interview. Thanks for asking. :)

    Setting yes. Follow through... ? Goal setting is actually a part of our training for counseling as it happens. But, since I don't really understand a lot of the targets one might set in fitness goal setting, this is enormously helpful.

    Yeah. Mostly in connection with the hypertension and kidney condition. I'm pretty good about some of it. And not so much about others. I eat a lot of junk. But I also do a lot of my own cooking. And I don't add salt to anything, due to the hypertension. My wife and kids salt their own stuff at the table. I'm also supposed to avoid caffeine, which I'm far worse about. I love Coca Cola. And coffee. I've cut out both at various times in my life. And felt worlds better as a consequence. I drop 10 lbs. every time I quit soda, doing nothing else differently. But it's a tough monkey to shake off my back.

    This is actually a goal I didn't list, but simply being better about going to a doctor at all is one of them.

    Great! I'll definitely bear that in mind. I do have a BP cuff, but it's old and I'm not in the habit of using it. But it's, of course, one of the first questions I get from basically every doctor's visit I have. I think it's time to get an updated one.

    There are days that I go down to the gym at work, put my shorts and tennis shoes on and think to myself, "huh, that was actually the hardest part."

    As it happens, I'm going to do this tomorrow. It's hot here, so that'll be rough. But my wife had a fender bender in the new car, so we're taking it into the shop and sharing one car. So I'm going to bike to work for... the remainder of the week perhaps. So three days this week, at least.

    I can certainly make a point of using the stairs more often. So it sounds like I need to establish my resting heart rate first. Then take my elevated heart rate. Then time its return to normal. I can do that.

    I might do that. Though there's a chance that I'm moving campuses anyway. I also have a freestanding bag at home in the garage.

    Yep. I enjoy the bag quite a bit. I'll try and get some video going of the bag workouts and get feedback.

    Interesting. I'm definitely going to have to look at this more closely.

    Beautiful. I'll need to read this in more detail when I get a chance.

    I got a book recently on kettlebells. (Getting the books is the part I enjoy.) It's written by a martial arts teacher, so it has that bent to it. I'm going to try and put together a program and get moving.

    I like that saying. "Words are wind." I'm totally stealing that. You've been warned.
  16. HarryF

    HarryF Malued Vember

    So, how is it all going?

    Sadly, I did not invent this but stole it from A Song of Ice and Fire... Good saying though!
  17. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Martial arts folks stealing stuff from fantasy literature is a time-honoured tradition. After all, the Dog Brothers are a reference to a Conan story. :D

    Meh. Summer has been tough. We've tried to travel and take the kids to various camps so they get a proper summer holiday. So I've been out of the office a lot for one reason or another. Makes it hard to take additional time for the gym.

    I have been eating more sensibly, and walking when I can. I'm working two days a week at a different campus, an hour away from home. So that complicates things again. But I'm working with people who haven't seen me in years. And I've had repeated (albeit welcome) questions about how I've lost so much weight. So I must be doing something right.

    I have gotten much more disciplined about my blood pressure medications, which is a big coup for me. I was terribly uncompliant before, and was in serious danger of a stroke. I consider that progress.

    I'm going to an FMA seminar tomorrow, so I'll get some activity then. Not as intense as I'd like, but probably as intense as I can handle at the moment.

    I continue to generally take the stairs at work. That seems to be working some magic. Though my heart is still going like a jack rabbit by the third floor.

    So, on balance, less progress than I'd like, but more than I've made in recent years. Thanks for chasing me up about it. I actually find that very helpful. I'm not good at doing things for myself, so making myself somehow accountable to other people helps a great deal.
  18. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    So I've been looking at some of the photos from this weekend's FMA seminar. And this one is pretty telling. I'm not that heavy overall, but I'm definitely sporting a paunch. I think this is priority one. Not necessarily because it's the pinnacle of proper fitness. But because doing something about that will be reinforcing when I try to tackle some other, more abstract, objectives.

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  19. dormindo

    dormindo Active Member Supporter

    More power to you, ap!
  20. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Three guesses where I'm storing that power. (Rhymes with "staunch") ;)

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