Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Fitness Quest — The Day Shit Got Real

This started on Thursday.

As a senior rank in the school, I’m asked to work with lower rank students. On Thursday, I happened to work with a newer student, maybe ten years old and half my weight. Obviously, I can’t do things at full strength. One of our exercises is the Kanshiwa Bunkai. When pairing off for this, we always take our turns as attacker and defender, and I always play attacker first. While doing the bunkai as the defender, Dan (my Sensei) interrupted to mention that he was proud to see me doing the kata to the best of my ability, that I wasn’t being lazy about it. Dan praised that and talked about it for a good minute or two, and I was waiting for the silent comma.

You know what I’m talking about. That pause before the rest of the statement. In Dan’s case it would have been kind and constructive. But it never came. He was just happy to see me setting a good example.

On Saturday, Dan took me aside for some one on one work, pointing out some needed improvements for my Sanchin and Seisan kata. At the end he talked about how well I was doing. Then he mentioned that he was going to be testing for Black Belt in November and that if I hustled, I should be able to take it.

Well, color me floored.

In five months I could be fulfilling a long unanswered dream. I could also get the crap beaten out of me, but that’s neither here nor there.

Right now I’ve got a belly still full from fried mac&cheese “fritters” ciopinno and beer, most likely the last such indulgence I’ll be enjoying until December. Training and diet have been fairly strict thus far, and I seen no reason to change that. In all honesty, I didn’t expect to lose 30 pounds in five months. I didn’t expect to recall the kata or renew the conditioning that had faded over a twelve year “leave of absence.” I figured it’d be another year before this opportunity would come.

On the other hand, it still might, but I’m not going to worry about that. I’m just going to step things up, train hard.

As far as I’m concerned, my time has come.



Fitness Quest — Phase Two

I figure it’s time for an update on my state of being.

First of all, I’ve made it down to within my goal range (180-185 lbs.). That’s a “yay” in my book. Now we get to move on to Phase Two, which is an arsenal of weapons powered by the Cosmic CubeĀ  — er, uh… yeah. Not that Phase Two. You didn’t see that.

Phase Two is turning what fat I have into muscle. The boring end of this is numbers: 22% body fat versus 40% muscle mass. I figure one of the better ways to get the fat down is to build up on muscle. As a result I need to step things up in the gym. Taking 5-6 weeks to focus on a body group (such as arms and shoulders) has been working fine so far, but the intensity isn’t there to build things up. Since January, each cycle has been targeting a specific set of muscle groups at 8-10 exercises, 3 sets of 15 reps at a decent weight. “Decent” means challenging, but not too difficult. For example, I’d do a bench press at 95 lbs (that includes the weight of the bar, so I won’t be surprised if you’re underwhelmed).

I decided to do a little research into seeing just how I can step it up. Here’s what I’m trying.

For the next five weeks, which to say until I go back on-call, I’m alternating between a three day and a two day split, the latter for weeks when I can’t go to the gym on Mondays.

For the three day, I’m starting a body group with two sets of heavy weights with only a few reps (power), then 2-3 sets of moderate weights for 6-12 reps (muscle), then one final set at a lighter weight for 40 reps(burn…and how). The two day split is a bit more consistent with what I’ve been doing but with smaller sets — meaning I can add a little more weight — and a more aggressive rate of progression.

I’m not sure what alternating the routines will do, outside of keeping my body in a regular state of confusion as to what the hell to repair.

As I’ve said, I’ve only just started. Yesterday I did a chest and back routine that’s left me quite sore. Here’s hoping that means I did it right. Then again, I did legs today, and I have karate tomorrow, so here’s hoping I can walk…

After the next round of on-call, I’ll likely change the routine to toning things up, and just keep going back and forth until I get to where I want to be.

Should be interesting. Have absolutely no idea how this will pan out, but as long as I don’t rip myself apart in the process I’ll be okay.