Thursday, April 19, 2012

4/19/2012 Early AM Session

Before we get into today's madness, I want to wish my big sis a happy birthday (don't worry, I won't give away your age...)!

I spent the last day or so really working on loosening up my legs & trying to relieve my knee pain (which is in both knees). The compress and floss technique is one way I've been working to cease the painhell my leg has been in and the other leg was heading toward. Heavy doses of lacrosse ball were in order for TV time last night, as well as couch stretch...disaster averted on one leg, pain is greatly alleviated on the other. I've got to keep "taking care of business" on the forefront going forward!

Warm up:
Burgener's Warm up
Mobility exercises

45LB BB Snatch...didn't count reps.

By this point, I was confident that despite feeling good after stretching, etc, squatting just wasn't going to happen today. Guess what is a component of nearly every card left in the deck...I had to punt.

Instead of a card, I decided to do some deadlifting. I was thinking (but not hard enough...) of the Crossfit WOD from Tuesday 4/17; seven sets of 1 rep deadlift, but I only made it to five (but it's all good).

10 x 225LBS, 4x275LBS, 1x315LBS, 1x365LBS, 1x405LBS [PB]

See, I told you five sets was all good...

I tried jump roping, but it nearly got disastrous so I left it alone. 50 double unders, 30 sprint turns, I tripped over the next 30 double unders...

More mobilizing and end scene.

4/18/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:

Circuit x 2:
10x 10LB DB Windmill
10x 10LB DB External Rotation

Burgener's Warm Up

12 Burpees
24 Pushups
36 Squats
400 M run

The end of the warm up is actually one set out of the workout I was going to do. I've been very lax with mobilizing and tending my goats and developed some seriously bad pain in my knees. I point to the lack of mobilizing because I'm coming off of nearly 5 days rest and it was an issue during MS1 last week.

Fast and Furious: as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes
10 Pullups
10 Plyo Pushups
10 DB Swings (45LBS)
10 Tuck Jumps

Tough way to start the week. By the end of three, I was huffin' and puffin'. Also, someone disrupted the flow of things, so I only managed to get four rounds. Truth be told, I highly doubt I would've finished 6 rounds without the distraction, so I'm not bent out of shape...

Standing Cable Crunch: 10 x 170LBS, 10 x 190LBS, 10 x 190LBS

Stretching. It hurt. So badly, I couldn't get onto my knee for couch stretch :-/

In fact, I went home and started to pull out all of the stops - my "Stick" like implement for myofascial release, lacrosse balls, compression band and got to work.


4/13/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:

Circuit x 2
10 x 10LB DB WIndmill
10 x 10LB DB External Rotations
10 x 10LB DB Romanian Deadlift
10 x 25LB DB Halo

Burgener's Warm up

Workout: Max Strength 1 (MS1) -5x5

Db bench Press 75LBS, 85LBS, 75LBS, 75LBS, 75LBS -- Fun with the bum shoulder, still...
W pulls 25LBS, 50LBS, 25LBS, 25LBS, 25LBS
W dips  25LBS all five sets
Squat 185LBS, 205LBS, 225LBS, 275LBS, 275LBS

Cool down and stretch,


4/12 Early AM Session

I'm behind a few days, so details may be a bit sketchy...

Warm up:

Circuit x 2
10 x 10LB DB Windmill
10 x 10LB DB External Rotations

Work Capacity 101 -- 75s work, 45s rest (2 min) for 20 min
5 Pullups
10 Medball slams
15 Burpees
20 Jumping Jacks

After the second round, I figured out that I wasn't going to do more than 20 jumping jacks through the entire I moved the jumping jacks ahead of the had a minor effect on the number of burpees I did per round --never dipped below 6, but only hit 10 once...

I'm fairly certain I finished with abs...but I don't recall :-/

Cool down and stretch

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Food For Thought

"Who you are is who you are; you can't hide who you are. "
 "Practice does not make perfect, practice makes permanent."
-Kelley Starrett, Crossfit San Fransisco/Crossfit Mobility Expert.

Who are you? And, how much permanence do you strive for daily?


4/11/2012 Early AM Session

Not the best session, but a good workout nonetheless. Shoulder issues have crept back, which made today's session a little harder to deal with.

Warm Up:
10 x 10LB DB External rotations
Shoulder mobilization exercises

Workout: Bagwork 4: "Ten good ones". The premise is ten of the best reps you can muster; if it's crap, toss it out, it doesn't count. Only the ten best.

As Many Rounds as Possible (I have 10 rounds listed on the card)
Mawashi geri
Jab (W)
Cross (W)
Jab + Mawashi Geri
Jab + Mawashi Geri

The first couple of rounds were a good way to start the warm up (I know better next time --marked with a "W" for warm up). After two circuits, I dropped the single jab and cross; I felt it was a better usage of time to focus on the combinations than the single technique; I will leave them in for warm up next time.

I finished 4 circuits. Doesn't sound like much, but that's four rounds of max power/effort of ten solid reps. Not terrible, in my humble opinion, and it leaves a lot of room for improvement. That said, the shoulder played a big role in limiting the number of rounds.

50 Double Unders
10 x 10 LB Leg Raises (bench)
10 x 30LB Knee raises (cable)
10 x 20 LB Leg Raises (bench)
10 x 30LB Knee raises (cable)

Finisher: 100 Double Unders. Stalled around 50; the next ten left a lot to be desired, but I got it back on track around #63. The last 10 were not fun either.

Stretched and called it a day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4/10/2012 Early AM Session

My alarm went off this morning...and I shut it off. Felt like I took a five minute buffer, it was actually 45 minutes. Good thing I get up early

Warm up:
5 x 25LB DB Halos
10x 10LB External Rotations
Burgener Warm up
5 x 25LB DB Halos

Ross E's ICT #5
5 rounds:
10 Burpees
10 Chinnies
10 Squats
10 Pushups

I did not set the world on fire doing these, lol. Good circuit, got the lungs going pretty good. Despite not going at blazing fast speed, I finished fairly quickly, so I moved onto the next card as a finisher...

Ross E's EIT#4:
As many as possibly in 15 min:
Sprint 50M
Bear Crawl 25M
Crab walk 25M

I didn't have the space, so I adapted to the basketball court in the gym, so instead of 50M, simply point A to point B. I managed 6 reps before my wrists started giving me fits. I did learn, however, that the bear crawls and crab walks made a great time buffer. After 7 minutes, I stopped torturing my wrists and did sprints.

In 15 minutes - 16 total trips down and back; 6 included crawls/walks, the other 9 were straight up sprint up and back. Or simply: 15 minutes of sucktitude.

Quick stretch and called it a day.

Friday, April 6, 2012

2012 First Quarter Review

Previously, on Yoshukai Strong...
That said, here are my goals for 2012:
  1. Keep training focused by dividing the session into strict, time-based segments, by the end of January.
  2. Increase leg press working rate to 800LBS (2 rep minimum) by February 1, 2012
  3. Work toward 3 times bodyweight deadlift 1RM (1 rep max), based on average weight (180LBS) by Feb 4, 2012
  4. Complete sandan test on Feb 10, 2012...preferably in one piece.
  5. 100 consecutive double unders by May, 1 2012
  6. Perform 100LB DB  Bench Press by Feb 1, 2012
  7. Perform 225LB Bench Press 1RM by April 1, 2012
  8. Perform 400LB Squat by June 1, 2012
  9. Maintain ability to perform all achieved goals through end of 2012
First quarter 2012 is in the books. I want to take a look at the goals I set for the year and reevaluate. Looking at some of them...I wonder what I was smoking when I came up with these.

Goal 1: Keep training focused by dividing the session into strict, time-based segments, by the end of January.
The card system I'm using now goes a long way in helping keep sessions going. Having a plan is a good thing. There are some of the planned workouts that simply run long. In fact, I have two coming up: "52 pickup" and "Crossfit Angie" :-/

Goal 2: Increase leg press working rate to 800LBS (2 rep minimum) by February 1, 2012
I haven't met this goal yet, but, I could. I need to prioritize it and do leg presses before I'm too beat to complete them. I have flirted with the low 700's since the beginning of the year...I have no doubts I can do this, I just need to do it (even if only for the sake of saying I did).

Goal 3: Work toward 3 times bodyweight deadlift 1RM (1 rep max), based on average weight (180LBS) by Feb 4, 2012
Lofty goals aren't a bad thing, but unrealistic goals are.  My current PB is 350LBS, which is less than half of my current bodyweight (188LBS) - 2.5 times BW sounds a lot more end of the year.

Goal 4: Complete sandan test on Feb 10, 2012...preferably in one piece.
Nearly lost an eye, but I made it :)

Goal 5: Perform 100LB DB  Bench Press by Feb 1, 2012
Done, and... (1/19)

Goal 6: Perform 225LB Bench Press 1RM by April 1, 2012
Done! (230 on 3/8)

No time to rest, however. Still plenty of mileage left to burn up and more goals left to accomplish.

How are you doing with your goals for the year? Do you work on them daily?? If not, it's not too late, get back on the wagon!


4/6/2012 Early AM Session

This morning's session inspired the question: "What on earth was I thinking when I made THIS ONE up?".

I also realized that I may have failed in my efforts to not repeat a single session. The session this morning looked to have a duplicate card as well...I will have to check to be sure, but it would be a bummer if I screwed that up! That said, it was a replacement for the next card on deck...which also means I'm in trouble with the remaining workouts, because I am sure they've all been swapped out at some point and I'm getting to the point of not having any latitude to do that going forward. D'oh.

Warm up:
Circuit x 2
10 x 10 DB WIndmills
10 x 10 DB External Rotations

Burgener's Warm Up
7x25LB DB Halos.

My shoulders were a smidge on the stiff side from yesterday's session and sparring at the dojo...should be interesting.

Todays session was a Ring stuff.

As written:
Circuit x 5
Pullups x 8
Dips x 8
L-sit, to inverted position, pullup, pike to L-sit x 5
Thrusters x 8

Sounds good in theory, but I had to scale it back some. I did manage to get through two circuits before deciding this wasn't going to happen as planned.

As performed:
Circuit x 5
Pullups x 6
Dips x 6
L-sit, lever to inverted position, pullup, pike to L-sit x 3
Thrusters x 5 @ 75LBS

Abs (on a bench):
Leg Raises - 10 x 15LBS, 10 x 15LBS,10 x 15LBS
Knee ups - 10 x 30LBS, 10 x 30LBS,10 x 30LBS

Finisher: Untimed bag round. ~3 minutes or so. I'm starting to get back into form, where punches and combinations are flowing nicely. Now the plan is to not let this progress slide!


4/5/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:
Mobilization stretches
Bergener Warm up

Today's torture was 5x5 Max Strength.
Push Press (155) [PB Match]
Romanian Deadlift (275) [PB]
Double Arm Row (185)
Leg Press (630)

Now here's the downside; I lost all of the numbers for this session (*sigh* Technology, gotta love it), but I do recall some of the max weights

That said, I didn't reach 5 sets on the leg press, I was pooped. It looks like I wasn't tracking the two arm row, so the 185 makes a PB by default as a baseline. Not bad for a session where the point was just to make it through...

2 min 7/5 burst on the heavy bag
30 Double unders
1 min 7/5 burst on the heavy bag
30 Double unders
1 min 7/5 burst on the heavy bag
30 Double unders

20 x 45LB Seated Russian Twists
20 x 45LB Seated Russian Twists
45LB Seated Russian Twists to failure (26)

Stretch then end scene.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

4/4/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:
Circuit x 3
10 x 10LB DB Windmills
10 x 10LB DB External rotations
10 x 10LB DB Romanian Deadlifts

Dynamic stretches

Today's workout was Crossfit Helen:
400m Run
21 KB Swings @ 1.5 pood
12 pullups

I used a 55LB DB instead of KB; I tried to do as many kipping pullups as possible; progress is being made, but my KP is still pretty pathetic. I tried to push the pace on the runs, but they still were not blazing fast.

I had a little time, so I "played" with the clean and jerk. Once this cycle with the cards is complete, I may add some workouts that highlight the Olympic lifts or add more Crossfit workouts that contain Olympic lifts. Nothing to particularly write home about with these sets, I didn't lift over 75LBS and didn't do more than 3-4 per set.

10 x 110LBS Side Standing Cable Crunches

Circuit x 3:
10 x 150LBS Standing Cable Crunches
10 x 45LB Side Bends

Quick stretch and called it a day.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Managing Expectation, Part I

I'm going to have to tread lightly...very lightly...with this topic, but it's one that I feel needs to be addressed. Before I get started, let me state, I love karate. After all, it's both an individual and a team sport; a karate-ka can learn a plethora about themselves in this sport. Physical boundaries can be expanded, the impossible can be made possible. Over the years, I've seen children and adults experience tons of progress and growth.

Specifically, I love Yoshukai Karate; if I didn't, I wouldn't dedicate the time I do to this style. Nothing is perfect, but I feel like there is a ton of good in Yoshukai Karate.

But let's be honest: in the grander scheme of things, on the surface anyway, that all accounts for a hill of beans.

"Are you serious, don't possibly believe you?" Yes, yes I do. And besides, you read it on the internet, so it must be true. ;-)

Let me explain: You've been doing this karate stuff for several years, you're a brown belt and it looks good on would look even better. But let me ask you a question: how do you feel about sparring?

...not a big fan, that's OK, your kata is phenomenal. That must make you amongst the the top...five, ten baddest people on the planet...right? Nope, not even close.

OK - let's try another scenario: You fight like a beast in the dojo. It's lonely at the fact, it's just you and Sensei...and the clock is ticking for him. You'll catch him before the next rank're well on your way to dojo domination. To boot, your kata is impeccable. If Chuck Norris existed in iambic pentameter, he would be you...pure poetry in motion. You are king of the jungle, a young lion in his prime...rawwwrrr!

Amazing...I'm with ya. You're nothing to balk at. But...what happens if an argument or confrontation happens 3 feet away from you? Do you soil your pants? Step back into a fighting stance with your hands waaaaaaaaay too low to actually stop anything? I know, you immediately step back into zenkutsudachi and kiyah, right?!

Any of the above and boy, are you in trouble.

I say all of that (and I jipped you about 5 more scenarios, I figure by now you get the point) to say this; the expectations you have with your karate needs to be served with a heaping helping of reality and perspective. Without it, you're toast.

Let me explain: In Yoshukai karate, like many others, we have kata, kumite (Japanese style and point sparring), weapons & self defense. It's hard to focus on any one thing, with such a broad range, but if you're mastering one, you're neglecting a lot of material. Overall, that point is neither here nor there for the purposes of this post, but it's true. And I'll be you a dollar that you had never thought of that.

Sometimes, it seems as though there is a false sense of bravado obtained by your everyday, casual karate-ka. Being a "casual everyday karate-ka" is not a problem, the false sense of bravado is. Doing good kata does not make you the baddest person on the planet. And here's something that may shock you: being a good fighter does not make you the baddest person on the planet either (and let's go ahead and include how you swing a nunchuka and/or bo).

Kata Konnections

Pay very close attention to this next statement: kata != fighting. Yep, I said it, and you cannot convince me otherwise. I'll take another step over that sacred line and say: "The only effectiveness kata has in fighting is the cardio...and that's only if you do them one after another after another as hard as you can". Yep...I said it.

Some, SOME, karate-ka take the time to bunkai kata; there's problem number one; SOME. Not very many, at that.Even those of us that could pull something out of their tokus for the moves of some kata, surely don't believe that most of it would work in a self defense situation...or at least I hope. Let's draw some analogies: I call the "base" bunkai the potatoes. I am a french fry guy, so my potatoes will be fries, but I digress. They're good; they make a great side dish or even a great snack, but not a good main course. Sometimes, I'll take the snack, but it's just that --a snack. Dive deeper young Padawan, there's meat behind those potatoes. How can the lesson behind that bunkai be applied. Think about it...try it out; how does it work out for you? Not well? What did you learn, though? How does that work for you? Better? Enjoy your steak.

I'm not suggesting that kata doesn't have it's merits, I am merely imploring you, the reader, to put it in its proper place. It is a way to develop coordination, drill concepts applicable to both fighting and self defense, develop strength and stamina (if done right...) could even be used to get you onto ESPN screaming like a banshee! OK, let's leave that last one out, shall we? :-D

Why Are You Really Here?

Many people take karate for the self defense benefit...but...are no where to be found on sparring night.

...really?!? REALLY!!?!

So, help me understand; you come to the dojo in hopes that you will be prepared in the unlikely event that someone attacks you on the street...but you don't want to condition yourself for what might happen to

Errr. Riddle me this, Batman, on the street is your expectation that you will end any conflict swiftly, with one blow, without breaking a sweat. Hmm. Upon what experience are you basing this expectation? Your bench press must be awe inspiring...and you must spend a fortune in heavy bags. Seriously, you need to be in the dojo, learning how to hit and be hit, feeling the pressure of not being the second coming of Bruce Lee, learning how to manage the adrenaline rush you WILL FEEL if you find yourself remotely close to a self defense situation.

The notion that sparring hurts is valid; it does. It certainly isn't ticklish. But that pain doesn't change; your reaction and coping mechanisms do. Skip out on sparring night at your own risk...I'll be you TEN dollars your Plan A reduces greatly if you aren't equipped mentally for being hit.

The Great Self Defense Debate
OK, green belt. You've made it to the big time...first line! Good stuff. This next test should be easy...right? I mean, you only have one new weapon/kata and a few self defense techniques to demonstrate. That's cake!

Punch, side step, chudan tsuki, stomp the foot and end with an ax kick...cake, I say!

Hold on, one second. Think back to the last time you punched full force someone the size of your partner, I mean, really swung for the fences. How'd that work out for you? Did they continue to stand there, waiting for your next technique or did the double over in pain? If you said the former, you might want to go back to the drawing board.

I often tell students self defense needs to be quick, violent and explosive --if your self defense for testing is slow, tentative and might want to go back to the drawing board. By no means am I suggesting you hurt your partner, absolutely not, but you should be convinced (and be honest!), "Man, that's going to really hurt". The litmus test: Does your partner cringe when you execute? If they don't, they're either really trusting or not the least bit afraid you're going to hurt them if you make contact; my money is on the latter.

Oh, and one more thing: are you actually going to remember that? What are you going to do if you do not? ...yep, thought so, you hadn't thought of that.

So Why Waste Time?
Here's where I bring all of this back home. I'm not saying karate is bad; in fact, if I've done my job correctly, you're brain is running it should be ALWAYS after you leave the dojo or while you're training.

If you're mailing it in, you're not doing yourself any fact, if you're mailing it in, you're at even more of a disadvantage than someone who is disillusioned. You've got some serious homework to do. I mean, you don't really even have a clue what you're doing and how bad a situation may get for you.

How does this change...where do I start? Ask questions. Find the meat and enjoy both the meat and the potatoes! Talk about what you're doing with your instructor, think about what you're doing (and ask how it applies, how is it useful) and most importantly, be realistic about what you're doing!! Never assume what you're doing is enough, chances are it's not. Stamina, strength training, technique...especially technique...can always improve, but these are the tools, you are the house! Put the pieces of your training, your karate toolkit, in order --each tool has a specific use and purpose. If you think kata, kumite and self defense (for testing) is all you need, you're sorely mistaken! Remember, meat and potatoes.

More on managing expectations later...stay tuned for Part 2.