Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Post for Me

So this is my first post on here, so I thought I'd give a brief introduction before spilling my training guts.

They call me Robert Cooksey and I am on faculty at Ringling College of Art and Design. I'm on the design side of the Game Art and Design program and I sometimes teach concept development for the animated film side of the house. I also teach as many scripting classes as they let me. I am on the seemingly infinite pursuit of my PhD in Philosophy (only dissertation to go...for a while now). My training is less power-lifting and more functional strength focused. I train with both an MMA fight team out of Gracie Tampa South, and I am currently training for the Ringside World Championships as a Masters boxer (meaning USA Boxing attempts to prevent us from hurting one another...we'll see about that). I do parkour when I can spare the time. Basically, my training is aimed at optimizing diverse energy systems, flexibility, explosive power, sustained control (for climbing and such), and dexterity in as many possible ways of moving as I can imagine. That should give you an idea of the range of training stuff that I might post.

Ringside is at the end of August. I'm looking to fight at 178. I'm on weight now, but could possibly drop to 165 (though not much left to lose). My goal for summer was to drop fat weight first, then start to build up lean muscle slowly. I'm doing two-a-days 4 days a week, I roll on Saturdays with the BJJ crew and then Sundays is the monster hour-long conditioning torture. It's all fairly intense, but the conditioning is a beast involving a lot of vomit, screaming, grunting, and in general, folks trying to mentally not collapse into a bawling mass of aching flesh. There is no stopping. A regular warm-up involves about 20 minutes of jump rope without breaks. Then we start to train.

So today was my private with my boxing coach. We spent an hour with him scrutinizing my feet, hands, chin, footwork, etc. After several rounds of him tweaking my movement while I continuously attacked the bag at varying ranges and working in different directions, we moved to mitts. My feet have gotten a lot better, but what that means is that I'm painfully aware of how good they're not. My left shoulder was on fire after about 45 minutes of jabs and hooks, and I glued my right to my face and my elbow to my side to try to automate as much of the structural management as possible. Right goes out, straight or hooking, it springs back into position.

Our boxing gym is not air conditioned, and I train in Tampa, so it's regularly above 90 degrees before the bodies cram in and start sweating. Today was that kind of day. In that last 15 minutes, coach had me working rounds faster and more continuously, intuitively snapping to the mitts and managing range as he moved about, tried to close, then moved back, countering, slipping. Every few rounds, I was allowed a drink of water. [Quick side note: Only allowed a drink when coach designates time for that. Otherwise, hands-up, on toes, and in fighting mind]. When we finished that last round, my lungs, calves, shoulders, and even forearms felt like they had blowtorches held to them. I had probably sweated a half gallon easily from the weight of my shirt and shorts.

I ate 3 eggs and sausage with my coach. Went home. Ate pot roast with my wife. And passed the #$%$ out. By the way, those who know of Erica and her powerlifting or boxing through Facebook should really check out her food blog, Stuff I Make my Husband. She's a software engineer who is boxing in the Women's National Golden Gloves next week, holds 3 state raw powerlifting records, and went to culinary school. Her blog basically pulls all that together. Sometimes that needs to be explained. I think that this audience understands EXACTLY how those sorts of activities fit together. Her 1 carb brownies are the $%!#. She uses PubMed performance studies as inspiration for recipe ideas. You can get lean, get strong, and eat great food. I won't talk about diet much here, because basically what you see on that blog is what I eat after training.

I woke up after what was supposed to be a short nap (but ended up being 4 hours), grabbed a G2 and went back to the gym to train with the boxing team. More drills, more ring work, then 15 minutes of burn-out sprints on the bags. I am done. Ready to eat and sleep. And do it again tomorrow.

This is what summers are for a professor. I train, write, research, eat and sleep. Not a bad life. Going to be hard to go back to school in August.