Monday, December 16, 2013

My Thoughts On The Desolation Of Smaug

Fun thought experiment for my Martial Artist/Fighter Friends:

    I was watching The Hobbit 2 yesterday (which I enjoyed, yep, I said it), and I got to thinking, if the races of Middle Earth had their own martial arts, which I figure they probably do, what would the be/be based in?  Here's what I came up with (this is just a few of the races represented in the movies, i'm not going to even try to hit up all 25+ including variants):

Dwarves: Definitely Sambo.  Those stout dwarven builds I think would give them quite a bit of leverage to work with and they're at just the right height to apply all those great sambo leg techniques.

Hobbits: Silat for sure.  Perfect height to strike upward into those soft, unprotected spots, very compact builds, great for moving around the body, and let's be honest, with feet like that, they can foot and ankle trap all damn day and not GAF.  Also, hobbits just seem perfectly suited to the karambit.

Elves: Kalaripayattu, given their penchant for flowing, continuous motion and longer range work.  Actually, I'd love to see one or more of the elves bust out a flexible sword in the next hobbit movie (or any movie involving elves)

Humans: Some combination of different classical western boxing styles, I'm thinking british and irish, with that Mexican boxer ferocity.

Orcs: Kajukenbo, but not just any Kajukenbo, we're talking Master Brother Abe Pilau Style.  Lots of super heavy upper body work, forearm strikes, and every hit breaks something.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Seth's Birthday Training Extravaganza!

    I know I'm totally late to this party but Arrow? Great show, i mean, GREAT FREAKIN SHOW.  It's exactly what I want a comic book TV show to be (minus Thea, god I hope she dies horribly, what an annoying, unnecessary character).  I do wish that Kelly Hu's character would quit with the karambits.  It's not just a cool looking knife, there's real technique that goes with it.  Ah well, I know, that's a total martial arts nerd/fanboyish thing, sue me.  And honestly, I'm totally ok with Kelly Hu getting tons of screen time, though truth be told, the world needs to see more Rinko Kikuchi, mmmm...Not sure what it is, but in the last couple months I've become really attracted to Asian women.  You know, in the last couple of months, my whole concept of what I find attractive in women has changed...well, changed is not an accurate term, let's say broadened?  Coincidentally, my definition of relationships has broadened quite a bit too, well, let's not say broadened, let's say I'm giving myself permission to be ok with the concepts of relationships I've had for a while and felt guilty about because..well, yeah.  Really, it's just that I'm all about options, but that's a post for another day and blog entirely.  Also...there are a lot of really in shape, hot dudes in Arrow, and the writers find a lot of excuses to show them shirtless.  Tasty.

Really? You WOULDN'T? Not even a little? ...

    Anyway, I've decided my birthday week 2014 is going to be a whirlwind tour of training, friends, sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  Well, i mean if you replace drugs with craft beer and whiskey, rock and roll with industrial, and sex with...more training (tho if someone wants to give me a..."special birthday present", I'm open).  I will say if there's one thing I'm definitely ok with it, it's the idea that spending money on training and tools is something I'm not going to feel guilty about at all.  I've held for a long time that spending money on experiences outweighs spending money on things by a factor of...some very large number, but it's still a good idea to get the most bang for your buck.  Go airline miles, hotel points, and couch surfing!  So here we go...

  • Martin Wheeler Systema Seminar at Shugyo Center - First steps on my Systema journey, I've always really been interested in the concepts behind Systema but have just recently experienced good instruction.  The last time I took a Systema workshop was about 10 yrs ago and given perspective, the instruction wasn't great.  On a side note, the seminar is taking place in a city where a dear friend of mine lived and passed a little while ago.  Will be good to exchange energy, me thinks.
  • Mateo Kajukenbo - I went to a Kaju seminar in Portland, OR last month and got to train with one of Prof. Mateo's Sigungs.  Gotta say I was really impressed, so I'm hoping to be able to drop in on these guys.  From what I understand, they're changing locations, so hopefully they'll have one nailed down by January.
  • Worden Defense System/NSI - Been talking about Datu Worden since the Portland seminar too, can't say enough good things about working with him.  More than anyone I think he's really got the pulse of MPMA.  Can't find a class schedule for him, so might have to make some calls, but since I'm planning on attending Water and Steel 2014 anyway, may not be a big loss if nothing happens.
  • Kajukenbo-Ge Shou Dao - Another side effect of the Portland Kaju Seminar was that I got to see different groups from the Pacific Northwest (which was my main impetus for going to the seminar) and I was totally blown away.  Didn't get a chance to work with Prof. Davies, but I've gotten to work and speak with his Grandmaster, GM Jerry Scott, and he's a good man with lots of useful information.
  • Whittle Kajukenbo - A little on the fence about this one just because Spokane is like a 4 hour drive, but damn, Grandmaster Whittle was good and his students were awesome.  Good Kaju guys and just good people in general.  They have a Saturday morning class, but given what I'll be doing Friday night, I doubt I'll be getting up at 5AM Saturday morning.  This one's probably worth its own trip anyway, as GM Whittle also teaches Royal Hawaiian Lua, wouldn't mind having the time to take a few classes with him.
  • Systema WA - Highly recommended Systema instructor in Washington who's new to the area from what I understand, so why not drop in?'re making it harder and harder for me to stay away.
  • Capoeira Malês - Should set things right with Mestre probably so I can really get back to playing proper.  Been away from home too long.
  • ...and of course there will be some sort of weight training, I imagine I'll just hit up the 24 Hour Fitness at Northgate like I usually do just because they have tons of gear and heavy kettlebells, which doesn't suck.  At all.


    Once I get the specifics of which classes I'll be taking when, I'll be posting the full schedule here, so if anyone wants to join for any of this stuff, hit me up and we'll throw down.  Slightly ego-centric, I know, yes, I'm sure people are lining up to come train with me, but whatever, it's out there.  It'll be a good time either way.  Also, when did I get so old??

Evolve . Survive . Live

Sunday, November 10, 2013

10,000 Kettlebell Swings In The Air

    Once again I'm approaching that time of the year where my thoughts turn to what sort of crazy sprint I'm going to do for what I call the "Turkey-to-Tree" period.  As you can probably imagine, it's that month between Thanksgiving and Christmas where holiday parties abound, complete with tons of horrible for you food and drink all laid out in the spirit of festive giving and sharing.  Now, I have no problem with festive giving and sharing, but I decided a while back that I didn't really want to follow the pattern of bloating, err, sorry, bulking up over the holiday hibernation period and taking the following quarter to shed the accompanying...well let's just call it what it is, fat, for the beach season.  So I (try) to do what I call a Turkey-to-Tree sprint every year, or T2T (catchy, eh?).

    I started doing Turkey-to-Tree sprints a while ago, but didn't do one last year for a few reasons (bad relationship, busy at work, etc), nor the year before for a few reasons (bad relationship, moving, changing jobs, etc), so I'm pretty committed to doing one this year, and since there are no relationships whatsoever anywhere near me, other than those of my dear friends up in Seattle, who I'm very much looking forward to spending a long and incredibly inebriated birthday weekend with in a few months, what better time to re-visit an old ritual that's always done me some good? I really like the T2T for a few reasons:

  • It springboards me into the next year really well.  I want to get back to being big and strong like I was a few years ago when I started seriously powerlifting, and I've made good progress in the past coming off of a good, high-intensity, moderate-to-low calorie resistance program.
  • It's the end of the year, why not just go out in a balls-to-the-wall, all-in, sprint to the finish?  I love the holidays and everything we associate with them (well except, Black Friday, that's just some BS), but no need to shut down.  In fact, I say take advantage of the empty gyms and empty offices and go hard and heavy.  Cross the end of the year finish line at a dead sprint and keep going into the new year.

  • It's a great way to burn away all the BS that may or may not have happened during the year.  If you had a fabulous year and are riding high, awesome!  Keep it up, crank hard, and finish up knowing you set one more challenge in front of yourself and killed it!  But maybe you didn't have a GREAT year.  Maybe there were some things that you just want to slough off and in the process refocus.  Take a month, go hard, crank those endorphins up the best way possible and get yourself right.


    Look, I know a relationship, according to conventional wisdom, is the worst reason to stop training.  No!  They say, you should train through it!  Use training to get right!

    That's all well and good but you know, sometimes things just add up.  I'm not saying this as a woe is me sorta thing, i'm just setting some context.  It wasn't just the "relationship", it was alot of the things surrounding it as well.  It had me questioning my self worth, my interaction with other people, even my value to my company, everything.  Basically, it played on every insecurity I have about myself and put me in the lowest spot I've ever been personally, and because of some of the specifics, I wasn't able to really talk to anyone about it, and the other party was pretty much unwilling to try and talk, resolve, come to closure, anything.

    So, I need to do something different (and yes, I know, I need to man up.  I'm working on that as well).  I need to do something that gets me focused, gets me breathing, gets me moving, gets the rest of this fat off, and just gets me reset.  I know it's all in my head, because outside of that one thing, everything else has been pretty solid.  Work's gone...ok, my other training, Kajukenbo, Silat, grappling, even lifting, have all been spot on, even with the knee and shoulder problems.  Sometimes things just get too big and out of control because you didn't stomp em down and walk away when you should've.  So, anyway...(and for those of you who have some idea what I'm talking about, this is the last I'm going to say on it.  Sorry if I've been a dick or treated you less than well.  I can't promise it's going to get better soon, but I'm working on it.  That's what I got for now, hang out and deal with my BS (which I will attempt to minimize for social grace), or check back in 6 months.)


    It's funny, because you all probably know my take on extreme volume/intensity/etc programs that are poorly thought out or just done for the sake of being difficult.  Well, I've been a Dan John fan for quite a while, and if there's one thing I've learned about his work, he doesn't just do random things.  Everything that makes it to the public from Dan John comes from testing, observation, and of course, Dan's quite considerable amount of experience.  So when I saw this, it seemed like the perfect way to end the year.  5 weeks, 20 workouts, 10,000 Kettlebell Swings.  Me being me, of course, I also saw this as a chance to do that other thing that I love doing so much, which is plan around/design programs.  I've spent a little bit of time planning (obsessing over) a nutrition and supplementation plan to go along with this, and it's funny, i was mucking about in my spreadsheet today, tweaking some final numbers and it almost literally just appeared.  Total serendipitous moment, it was like the clouds just parted and revealed my nutrition supplementation plan...sounds silly, I know, you had to have been there.  Nutrition and supplementation isn't something Dan touched on in the article, but he does make a few statements that bear some thinking on (from me):
  • "Every person who has completed this 20 workout plan has increased lean muscle mass while dropping body fat."
  • "Everyone got leaner, dropping a waist size or two, in 20 workouts."
  • "Every coach or athlete made visual muscular improvements in their physiques, adding lean body mass."
  • "Abs were more visible..."
    These statements give me pause, not because I don't believe them, but because after years of training, I have a good understanding of how my metabolism works, and I know that if I want to make significant changes, I can't just hop on a really hard program and look markedly different in five weeks.  I have to consider all facets, and I have to hit a bit of an extreme with those other facets too.  I'm not going to sugarcoat it, at the end of the day, part of my drive is I want to look good enough to hook up when I go back to Seattle for my b-day (not that that's on the agenda, but a little positive female attention would do some good for my self-esteem).  I also set a goal of being back around 12-15% BF by the end of the year, and given where I am now, that's doable, but not without some diligence.  Last, while I respect Dan John quite a bit, I also respect my own experience enough to know that, with some tweaks to nutrition and recovery, I can hit this program pretty hard and still hit the dojo as well.  I have another goal of wearing my green belt when I hit Vegas next year for the KSDI Tournament, so no skipping Kaju unless absolutely necessary.  Kickboxing may or may not be necessary for conditioning, we'll give it a test and see what the effect ends up being.

    So that's the preview, I'll talk more about the specifics of my plan at the end of the 5 weeks, what worked, what didn't, and what all I used specifically. November 25th is D-Day, time to do it up.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


First off, a tiny bit of butt-cover. I am not now, never have, and never will claim to be anything close to a person who can give anyone any useful advice about rehab, PT, any of that stuff.  The most I'll tell anyone for the record is "Buy a foam roller (or PVC, if you're like me and effeduproyal) and a lacrosse ball, and here's a bunch of youtube vids that'll show you what to do with 'em".  If you happen to sprain, strain, or tear something, the best advice is get it checked out ASAP.  This is something I did NOT do, not because I'm "hardcore", not because I was broke, not for any good reason, I just didn't know better.  I definitely should've at least gotten an evaluation from some reputable medical professional so if nothing else, I would've had a baseline for how injured I was.

    I AM going to go on record and say that when it does happen (and it WILL happen), you need to take advice on recovery from someone who understands where you're coming from, which for the practicing Devlifter means: Not your regular GP guy.  Find a good sports therapist, competition trainer, someone who has experience dealing with people who train outside the realm of the general populace, because otherwise you just run the risk of getting some yahoo who's going to tell you to go get surgery and you'll never have full use of whatever you injured again.  In some cases, that may be true, but me, I'd rather hear it from someone who can really look at everything in proper context.  I dunno, on some level, I feel really bad writing this because it just reeks of me giving people misinformation, so let's also butt-cover this by saying, this is just MY experience and it's kinda worked for ME.  You really need to figure out what's going to work for you and don't be quite as negligent as i was.  However, if you insist on being ridiculous, like me (don't do that, seriously, don't ever be like me), here are some things that MIGHT POSSIBLY point you somewhere in the vicinity of where you want to go.

Until we can heal like this, it helps to have a plan

    Long story short, about 3 weeks ago in kickboxing class, I landed a flying knee wrong and jacked up my support leg.  See, it's even a lame story, I wish I could be all, "Yeah man, i threw that flying knee and he blocked with his elbow and tore my sh** up," but was pretty much all my fault.  The best (worst) part was I didn't even do it during a drill, I was just practicing the technique BEFORE we started drilling...which meant I didn't really even get a chance to drill the movement.  That's embarrasing man, that's like walking out on the floor to do your forms or something, tripping in front of the judges, and hurting yourself bad enough that you can't compete.  Anyway, whining aside, it was bad enough that I figured I probably shouldn't stay for the second class, but not bad enough that I couldn't finish the class I was in, and definitely not bad enough that I couldn't put some weight on it.  For those reasons I figured it was minor enough that I could take care of it myself and be ok as long as I didn't do anything stupid.  A few weeks of ice, stretching, and foam rolling, and I'd be alright.

    Problem: I hate icing. Actually, I hate anything that makes me feel slow or movement impeded, which is why I don't get drunk very often anymore and one of the main reasons I stopped doing...erm, other things that may be legal now.  I've done the whole RICE thing in the past, and I wasn't really looking forward to doing it again, but you know, as I've gotten older and gained something like the ability to look a bit further down the road and realize what's actually important, I'm ok doing what has to be done to get where I want to go.  BUT I STILL HATE ICING.  Thankfully, I've somehow managed to find myself in the company of many people who are much more intelligent about many things than I am.  Take for instance, my good friend Brad Clark of Rigging Dojo fame, who happened to drop the following knowledge bombs on me just as I was about to embark down that treacherous path:

    Wait so, I could NOT do the thing I hate (even though it's burned into the gospel of recovery) and still recover?  Well, alllllright.  It's funny, because Erica, she of Stuff I Make My Husband fame, had mentioned Mobility|WOD to me a while back and the do have some crazy knowledge bombs.  I definitely recommend checking out the following videos, and while they are a bit preachy and marketing-y (I think one of the guys is trying to sell people some machine or implement), there's a decent bit of underlying knowledge here that may change your view on things.  Again, I don't have any sort of certification for therapy, so no one get all butt hurt because you've been recommending RICE to everyone and now they have an alternate viewpoint (heaven forbid).  Just write it off by saying what I just said, i.e. I have no credentials, just personal experience.
    I think the universe sorta wanted me to go down this path anyway, as T Nation posted another great article that basically amounts to Compression Wrapping 101, along with some more awesome videos that you should absolutely add to your recovery arsenal.  This came out about a week and a half after I started down the recovery path so I didn't make as much use of it as I'd like to, but I'm definitely starting to think about ways to use it as a supplement to foam rolling for general well being.
    To make matters even better (but wait, theeerrrre's more!!), I found this other article on EliteFTS that kinda sums up this whole blog post much more succinctly and informatively than...this blog post.
    Coach Scott Abel talks alot about biofeedback and being able to read your own body, and that's probably been the most useful tool in this whole process for me.  If I go back to the day I injured myself and think about how I was feeling, yeah, my legs were SUPER tight, I mean it really was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back, or in this case, the load that sprained the knee, I mean my legs were uncomfortably tight, and not just because of my Kaju pants.  Knowing that, I pieced together a recovery program that addresses everything based on what I remember feeling:
  • First, I started just WALKING again, and this was a super eye-opening thing for me because the first couple days I did it, it felt awkward.  Imagine that, walking feeling weird!  That right there should tell you that there's a basic mobility issue.
  • I've gotten back to taking mobility and flexibility seriously.  I'm performing hour long mobility/flexibility sessions every morning, upper body some days, lower body other days, but both with the goal of just being able to move around again.  I want the kind of mobility I had when I was doing Capoeira, and you know, we used to stretch and do basic movement exercises for about an hour before we started drilling techniques.  This has actually been huge, not just for the gains I'm already feeling, but just because doing it in the morning makes me feel GREAT for the day.
  • Had to make some little tweaks to my lifting program, but I don't feel like it's been anything crazy detrimental.  The most "extreme" change I've made is moving squatting to the end of the week so I've got a full weeks worth of mobility work stacked up before I go in.  I've dropped my numbers back too, for example, this week my working max was 235, which at a normal tear I probably would've hit for 10-12, but I kept it at 5, just to be safe.  It's a marathon, not a sprint, and even though I do want to do some meets next year, keeping the legs right for Kajukenbo is priority.
  • Lastly, NO MORE SKIPPING PVC ROLLING EVER.  Sure, I'm doing it every morning, but I'm also doing it before every lifting session now, even if it's just 10 or 20 passes over the IT band and adds.  When I take a step back and think about it, I'm putting some serious demands on my legs!  Kickboxing, Silat, squatting, deadlifting, that's alot to ask without giving some TLC back.  So, I'm sorry legs, thanks for reminding me I was being a jerk, it won't happen again (if only I could fix my relationships that easily...another story)
    To wrap it up, look, I'm not going to say don't ever ice again, that's up to you and whoever you're working with.  What I am saying is that this time, I didn't ice and I've recovered faster than I did from smaller injuries that I have iced.  I'm not going to run out and hurt myself again just to see if I can quantify things a bit better, but yeah, I think i'm pretty sold on mobility, flexibility, and compression.  I'll post up the specifics of my mobility splits here in a bit, I'm still fine tuning.  I hope these resources end up being helpful, if for no other reason than they make you think about stuff.  Train Hard So Real Life Is Easy.

Seriously, this is how icing my joints makes me feel...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Now back to our all new programming...

Alright, so I've been working on a slew of new content for Hard Coded and I'll talk more about all that once I get post zero done, but it's weird, I feel like I have to practice blogging again. How crazy is that? There are a few reasons for that, most of them deeply personal having to do with...well, stuff, so here's a small thought to get me warmed up:

    Like many folks who are doin whatever the f**k they wanna do, I've been on and off some for of Intermittent Fasting/reduced meal frequency thing, a bit. I started something LeanGains like around the summer of 2011 when I moved to SoCal, then hit it back up pretty hard January of 2012 when I moved back to the bay. Been on and off for the last year and a half, experimenting with different things and I've come to a really interesting realization. I can't guarantee that it's going to work for you, but you see, I've been wanting to do the DiPasquale-style Anabolic Diet for a while but I've never really been able to just pound down protein and fat the way I understand AD/MD wants you to. I mean sure, I'll be good for the first meal or so, but by the end of the day I'm like...maaaaan, i don't ever want to look at meat and fat again.

But yo seriously, right now, this looks about DELICIOUS...

    SO...I decided to break a cardinal rule of everything and combine some diets. Now I know, everyone's all, hey man, the guy who trains himself is an idiot (or whatever, i know there's some way more eloquent/poetic way to say it floating around the internets, I just don't want to go look for it right now), but look, I've been training seriously for a while now and I've been under coaches, trainers, nutritionists, etc (true story, I used to play Capoeira with Robb Wolf and he'd just drop nutritional biochem info bombs all the time, miss that dude), so I feel like I'm in a good place to experiment on myself and figure out what's good for me. I've been doing Anabolic Diet on an IF-ish meal timing and yeah man, it's just...good.

    It's funny because everything started the way it usually does when I've tried to follow AD/MD, for instance, yesterday I ate breakfast from Whole Foods, something like 4 or 5 egg white omelets, a container of bacon and sausage, etc, then for dinner I had some egg salad, a cheese tray (small one, snack size), a ton of carnitas, some olive oil, and yeah, sure enough, afterwards it was...maaaan, I don't ever want to look at meat and fat again. But Dude! It's only not even noon the next day and I'm thinkin...hmm...I could make myself some kind of wannabe locomoco like thing tonight, some hamburger patties, a few fried eggs, maybe make, well not proper gravy but like some sort of butter and beef stock reduction, hmm, with bacon instead of rice, maybe some grilled halloumi, you get the point. So yeah, so far, AD+IF...I'm diggin.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


I've been up to so much that I haven't posted.  Ballet, salsa, hot yoga, areal silks, and swordfighting!  Well, I went to Ren Faire this weekend with Sterling and Hannah, and ran into my sword school.

At the end I got a little too into finishing the technique.  >_>  I guess sloppy form and good take downs is what happens when you pause swordfighting to work on your Kaju more.  The pulling the sheath out of the ground part was kind of hilarious.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Second Degree Purple Belt Test (for Seth)

It's been SO long since I've posted, and I intend to remedy that.

 This last year has been a major shift away from the classic pole dancing training I used to do. Over the past 1.5-2 years I've been in San Jose, I've been training at Tribull, which I'm sure you've read about from Seth. It's a kajukenbo school, which focuses on a lot of MMA fight team training, and Gracie/10th Planet style brazilian Ju Jitsu.

I've been supplimenting on and off with lots of Hot Yoga with the Buchheit / Kennison family, mideavil swordfighting with Sterling, (mainly rapier and side sword), Ballet with Shannon, Poi (firedancing) and contact juggling with Matt, and running on my own (sometimes with Eddy).  Occassionally if I'm on vacation I'll go to a gym and just do traditional weights.

Each one of those things has helped to grow and inform the other.  I've been through so many different shifts in the fighting spectrum.  At first you enter a new hobby, and you get a lot of verbal confirmation that you're doing well.  After awhile that just fades off and you become quietly watched and accepted.  This is the first time I've ever stuck to a hobby long enough to get to that third stage, where you end up being a big sister/ teacher to younger people.  It's been pretty touching and amazing.

Last night was a belt testing.. I've been traveling so much I didn't feel comfortable in taking part... it just felt disrespectful.  I did hit the bags a bit at the beginning, however.  Been working on my hooks lately... 400 a day.

Punching the Bag

In the intermediate ranks of kajukenbo, we have a thing called bull ring.  It's simultaneously a way of practicing handling multiple attackers, and I suspect a way for the sifu's to judge our skill in a timely manner.  Here's Seth doing his weapons bull ring.

Weapon Bull-Ring

And I really like this video too- mainly because Seth reminds me of Kung Fu Panda everytime he does his flippy spinny things :)

Kung Fu Panda

As wonderful as it was to be able to watch and film my friends, it was really uncomfortable being an observer, instead of a participant.  I think my heart broke a little as I watched them all yell "tribull" without me being part of it.  I hope to never have a repeat, which means no more ditching class!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pre-Training, Week 4 Recap, On To Week 5

DISCLAIMER: I'm probably going to talk ALOT about food in this blog...

    Herein we see the folly of not keeping some concrete progress tracking or otherwise, I really have no way to quantify how well I am or am not doing other than the fact that my clothes continue to fit better.  I can tell I'm approaching that "need state" we keep hearing about just due to my energy levels, performance, and overall attitude towards food/eating.  Towards the end of week 4, I started eating a bit more, keeping to appropriate macros of course, but definitely eating dinner a few days.

    I had planned to wait till week 6 for another refeed, but judging by my performance (skipped training tuesday and thursday, made it through only one class wednesday, numbers in the gym saturday and sunday were significantly down, etc), I decided to trust the science and try a refeed a bit ahead of schedule.  I didn't put away massive amounts of food like you hear people talk about on some diets, but man, definitely not a bad decision.  I think from here on out, it's going to be refeeds every Sunday followed by a fast Monday.  I do really well with sushi, so if nothing else, it's an excuse to try a new sushi place every Sunday now.  Laaaame, I know, I know.

When You Can Clean The Sushi From The Boat, Weedhopper...

    In retrospect, I have some really interesting experiences to look back on when it comes dieting down.  I actually hit supercompensation once, as defined the good Coach Abel, at least I think given the evidence: I was (fairly) lean, I'd been eating around BMR for a few months, and I pretty much "ate the ass end out of a rhino".  It wasn't necessarily a rhino, but it was a ridiculous amount of meat, and the wierd part was it was like I was eating on autopilot.  At the time I didn't realize what was going on, but in retrospect...Eh, i'm probably just making things up, but we'll see what happens.  I do like the fact that I have so much weight to lose that I'll be able to visually assess, so I guess I don't feel terrible about not actually tracking.  Call it an experiment in processing and interpreting biofeedback, I suppose?

Yep, the machine says time for a refeed...

    I think i've finally hit a flow with all this stuff, weird work schedules not withstanding, now it's all about laying back, continuing to adjust, and marching on to 190-ish.  No hard goal dates in mind, but definitely keeping my eye on the seminar dates coming up...Gotta live for something, yeah?

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pre-Training, Week 3 Recap: up the mountain

    I have to admit, I'd gotten to the point where I was honestly just too wiped at the end of the day to blog something.  Isn't that crazy?  It's a really weird feeling to not actually be able to muster up the creative energy to write a few words, or even to just post a training recap.  Some days I didn't really even feel like logging my workout on fitocracy, but what can I say, I love games.  Even the little incentive of fito-points is enough to get me motivated.  I am truly a product of current society.  Ah well, arent' we all?

    Haven't been tracking my weight recently, I need to lose so much that I can pretty much go off of visible results and things like clothes.  When I started Kaju about 16 months ago, I was wearing size 5 gi pants.  Somewhere over the course of the year, I think it was about when I was prepping for what would have been test 2 around august-sept, I found myself in a pair of 6s.  A little tragic because I'd been doing really well.  It's a shitty excuse, but you know, life.  On the upside, it's all handled and I've got some real goals that I actually care about (which is important, you know).

Life, it's not an excuse, it's reality. Deal With It.

    Anyway, whining aside, I did the whole Kaju seminar in a new pair of size 5 gi pants, and they were actually COMFORTABLE, which means somethings happening.  It' s good incentive, just have to remember that the gut fat is going to be the last to go and I have ALOT of it.  Let's see where we are in 3 more weeks.  I feel like this is the stride now, I'm sleeping ok, I'm training regularly, and I've got my intake schedule dialed.

    I've started thinking about carb-loading totally differently too now, just noticing that I feel way better on protein of varying levels and medium to high carbs than I ever did on protein and some degree of fat with low carbs.  I mean it makes sense, I know all the exercise and nutrition science behind it and all that, I've just never really given it a serious try.  The fact that I've been able to keep up some degree of fairly high energy dependent training while "eating" homemade fruit juice and vegetables is an interesting testament.  All said, I'm only taking in about 200g of carbs too (well, not counting the vegetables), so it's been a cool experiment.  Now I must think about how to use this power for good when I transition off.  I have some ideas, I do like experimenting with training and nutrition, the whole "hacking" your training and diet.

    So on to stage 2, in which I add in some clean protein (gonna try Sun Warrior finally) and moderate the carbs a little bit.  I'd like to keep lifting for a few different reasons, metabolic effect and "pre-loading" my muscles being the two main ones.  And with to the gym.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pre-Training Day 9: cheat day

Training for 2013.04.21
  • Squat: (185x3)x3/225x6/245x6/235x6/225x6/(155x10)x2
  • Bent Raise: (25x8)x4
  • Lat Raise: (30x8)x4
  • EZ Curl: (70x12)x4
  • Rope Extension: (65x10)x4
  • Hammer Curl: (40x8)x4
  • One-arm Reverse Extension: (25x10)x4
  • Cable Curl: (35x15)x4
  • V-bar Pushdown: (57.5x15)x4

  • Food Log (cheat day!)
  • Edamame
  • Kaiso Salad (Seaweed)
  • Cucumber Sunomono
  • Vegetable Puree (Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, Beef Bouillon, Greek Yogurt)
  • Fruit Shake

  •     Man, i had some really long string of cool thoughts about training and excelling and my constant weird dream of saving enough money to quit working and train all the time, be it powerlifting or fighting or whatever but then it sorta all went away...

        Good checkpoint today, took a bit of time to get through the lifts today, even on the lighter stuff had to bump up my rest periods to as much as 90 seconds.  Seems about right for this far into it.  Things are evening out just in time for the test this weekend, I think I'll do alright.  Might have to adjust the diet protocol a tiny bit, but let's see what happens.  I'm thinking this is going to be a smaller test, so I may live...

    Saturday, April 20, 2013

    Pre-Training Days 7 and 8: alignment

    Training for 2013.04.19
        Kajukenbo: Self defense curriculum test review

    Food Log
        Beef broth
        Veg broth
        White bean soup broth
        Fruit and veggie shake

    Training for 2013.04.20
        MMA Training: Punch and kick footwork
        MMA Training: Basic boxing footwork

    Food Log     Peach Smoothie
        Green Tea
        Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, Broccoli Soup
        Fruit shake

        I don't mean alignment in some weird self-realizing sense, nor do I mean in some stodgy business-y sense, I literally mean physical alignment, that is, two or more things clicking into place.  I was thinking about the fact that I feel like whatever part of me governs sleep has finally caught up to the rest of me and now that everything's clicked into place, I'll be able to get back to sleeping like a regular person.  I was actually visualizing UIs like that one scene in the fifth element right at the beginning when the glowing circles line up to indicate that the shadow planet has arrived or whatever it's supposed to mean, or all those sequences in the various star wars when some ship gets locked into someone's crosshairs and lasered to death mere seconds later.

    Almooost that's not true, i'm still a ways out

        Yeah, It's getting to that point in the head, so I imagine my writings might get a little more disjointed and lovecraftian (I just mean in the batshit insane sense, not so much speaking of sleeping elder gods and all that) as time goes by.  I need the sleep bad, just because it's amazing what a difference effect the cutting has when you're actually training.  I was beginning to think it was manageable yesterday, then I go to MMA Training this morning and I'm not sure if it was the coffee, but yeah, jump roping is hard and awesome.  Days I (feel like too big of a wuss to/otherwise don't) train I need to start the time honored tradition of steady state cardio, or as I like to call it, going out for a lunchtime stroll.

        Almost two weeks in and starting to notice less gut when I do certain movements, but not fast enough.  Need to figure out how to get the nutrition for lifting sessions in, and I think I'm going to have to just bite the bullet and switch proteins.  I know i'm being a baby, but man, I seriously can't stomach that Strawberries/Cream Isopure.  The peptobismol pink is the first turnoff, but the taste is totally just pukeworthy.  Gotta figure out how to get the powders down too, haven't been able to find anything that makes them usable, but I think that's less to do with their chemical-flavored goodness and more that it's amplified by the nauseating flavor of the orange C4.

    Great results, but man, this stuff tastes like human debris

        My right leg needs the calories and materials to recover though, I'm not sure my massive fat stores alone are up to the task...Doing the footwork drills today really highlighted how much I need to get that stuff down, so no gimp legs.  Making time for foam rolling and mobility, no more questions, no more f'ing around.  Def a testament to the intensity of things like strongman and fighting, all that time i was just lifting in the gym I got by without too much foam rolling, though I did do a ridiculous amount of mobility work...This isn't some excuse i'm trying to make to eat more food, I'm on my schedule and what's happening is happening.

        Gotta say the Amazon Prime is paying off for sure since netflix keeps removing all the food porn shows, but you know, i feel like I'm doing cuts wrong.  Every time I've done a monster cut like this, having access to food porn keeps me sane, altho everything i read says don't think about food.  Of course, knowing how weird i run, I imagine I'm spiking my insulin just by looking at food too, so I'm sure I'm just wrong on all kinds of counts.  It's weird, i'm actually looking at all the stuff I take in during the day and starting to remix things, case in point, spinach, kale, and broccoli soup tonight instead of putting those in my shake.  When you start thinking about it that way, it's probably a sign of some sort of neurosis, or as i call them, food issues.  Thankfully, I'm not too tired or far gone to start TMIing about all that, but let's all be glad I'm not video-blogging (yet).  I'm also trying my damndest not to draw parallels to the Cabbage Soup diet, but really, all I have to do is tell myself that I'm making up excuses to start eating again and it's cool.  I take to self-deprecation way better than I should (for a non-Catholic)...

    Loser's lunch, Wannabe Fighter Style

    Thursday, April 18, 2013

    Pre-Training Day 6: enter sandman

        It was sleep.  I mean, i figured it was, but yeah, took off from work a tiny bit early and had a bit of a nap.  I often wonder how productive I'd be if I split my day into a couple 3 or 4 hour blocks instead of one 6-10 hour block.  I wonder if ever a company will be forward thinking enough to give this sort of thing a shot...well, an American company anyway.  Are there government subsidies or tax incentives to keep employees working >40 hrs a week with only a few weeks of vacation?  Or is it just companies doing the minimum they feel like they have to given most people's expectations of job perks?  Even more incentive for me to get my own studio/design group/whatever off the ground.  I really think it'd go over pretty well.  Naps are good.  I may actually try my own experiment-ish wherein I go to work super early, like say 6, bail out at like 11, take a nap till...2, then work again till I go to class.  Might work at least on days I'm not morning know, when I get back to morning training.  For now, I think i'm just going to admit I bottomed out and stick to 4.5 days training with time off in between weekdays.  Now is the time for a level-headed approach.  There will be time and need for extremes soon.

    No on tells bears they can't have a siesta every now and then...

      You know, this sorta thing makes me think back a great blog post called Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed, which you've probably already at least seen mentioned.  Going through another cut makes me think that beyond the great points outlined in the blog post, it's even more sinister.  The 80 (err, 40, sorry) hour workweek is just another construct to keep the population docile and otherwise non-threatening.  Subsidize fake, nutritionally void food and work a schedule that only enables enough physical activity to barely offset that fake, nutritionally void food you had for lunch (and breakfast and last night's dinner).  Oddly enough, I find myself thinking about all this more right now because I'm drafting up milestone schedules for my project, and I really hope I'm not setting our team up for this sort of schedule.  I'm trying not to, I don't think I am, and I'll redirect if I need to.  But now, going to try and sleep again.  Really looking forward to getting this all right.  This is also the last time I'm ever doing a major fat loss cut...Seriously.

    Wednesday, April 17, 2013

    Pre-Training Day 5: Trenched

        Ok, time to be honest with myself, I am not fight training anymore.  I'm struggling through class and hitting like...something that hits really weak, like i dunno, some weird creature with spaghetti noodles for arms.  Skipped class yesterday, skipped two classes today, yeah, doin' great.  Well, on the upside, at least I burned my two off days so now I HAVE to train from here till Sunday.  See, the problem here is rather than looking at a refeed as a trade for training, I should just look at it as a regular part of the cutting process.  Yeah...i have some food issues.  Had to break the juice fast today too, but at least it was somewhat Renegade Diet-ish.  Light broth, vegetables, and thai seafood combo.  It's not the calories that are killing me, it's the lack of sleep.  Maybe that's what I'll do this weekend, just hang out till I fall asleep and doze for 10-20 hours.

    Yeah, today didn't go according to plan at all...

    Tuesday, April 16, 2013

    Fight Training Day 4: Excuses, excuses...

        I feel kinda stupid logging today since I didn't actually, well, train.  They say recovery is part of training, but that's a shitty excuse for missing a day of class.  I dunno, i have tons of excuses right now, none of them good, you know, i have a Kaju test and seminar back-to-back in a week and a half, I need to allow myself to acclimate to the lower calories, blah blah blah, it's all bullshit, I'm just lazy.  Eh alright tho, I told myself when I started blogging my fight training i wasn't going to write posts like this where I beat myself up over stuff.  Decision made, stand on it and make a better decision next time.

    ...gotta go through it next time. i get one day off, and today was it.

        Whining and feeling sorry for myself aside, I am actually really excited for the Kaju Seminar and I don't want to compromise my performance.  I suppose I could just, um, EAT FOOD the night before, but I think I want to see if I can stay on schedule and hold off till Sunday.  There's this mongolian bbq place...with awesome fried chicken.  That sounds like a good refeed.  Alright, 12 days, and I need to hit...15 of 20, wait, 10 percent, so...18 of 20 potential training sessions between now and then.  Deal.

    Monday, April 15, 2013

    Fight Training Day 3: Reality Check

        No, no, this isn't the post where i bare my soul and say that I'll never be a decent fighter and I'm no good, yadda yadda yadda (don't worry, that post is coming).  It's actually just a comment on the fights I went to this past weekend, which were awesome.  If this was anything to set the bar by, San Jose has a great amateur fight scene, though i suppose it helps when you have folks like Cung Le to promote fights.  Lots of really evenly matched fighters and a good card overall.  Great to see what I might be up against in a few years if I make to amateur fights.  That's good because I noticed alot of the fighters didn't seem to have great conditioning, so if I start focusing on that now, man, in 2 years I'll bet I could have some wicked conditioning.  Might have to pick up a strongman conditioning program...

        It's also a comment on the realization that I'm not actually training for fights right now.  I'm training to get in shape to start training for fights, so technically I guess I can't say fight training.  Dunno man, I train at such a great gym with great coaches and great fighters, so it makes you just want to be part of it all, you know?  And i miss competing.  It's been a long time since I've been to a martial arts event, be it tournament, batizado, or whatever, but yeah...I need to get back to it.  You can do whatever you want in the gym, but your numbers, technique, whatever, don't matter until you step in the cage, on the platform, on the mats, where it counts.  I gotta do this thing.

    Aritra's on our fight team. Yeah, if i'm going to fight, i have to be serious.

        Not making excuses, but given my low calorie state, I can't really do much extended sparring, in fact, it's tricky just to get through technique now, which is also making me realize that I'm not actually fight training right now.  Can't be training for a fight if you're not practicing fighting, yeah?  Guh, oh well, walk before you can run and all that jazz.  If i DON'T cut down, I won't ever be fighting anyway, so...I am where I am because of my own decisions.  Shouldn't have let myself get all fat again.

    Training for 2013.04.15
    • Kajukenbo: Test prep - punches, punch combos, and kicking sets
    • Kickboxing: "Aritra knockout combos" - ones and twos
    • MMA: Jiu-jitsu - working from half guard, taking the back, and into triangle
    Food Log for 2013.04.15
    • 2 scoops Isopure
    • 2 scoops Isopure
    • Superfood Remix - slightly modified cuz i had to get rid of some juices
    • 10g Creatine
    • 10g BCAA
    • 10g Leucine
    • Total Calories: ~1100
        Really should've taken my C4 before class, I was crashing out and cramping up bueno.

    Sunday, April 14, 2013

    Fight Training Day 2: Baby Steps

        Spent some time on the plane figuring out what my whole schedule is going to be, sorta fitting since this was hopefully my last major trip for a while so now I can sit back and focus on training.  Isnt' that sad?  I don't think 'yeah, now i'll be able to hunker down and focus on work,' instead I'm thinking 'Yeah! Training!'  Ah well, everyone has priorities, right?  I have to admit, i've been quite a bit more stressed than usual just because I've had so many presentations to put together, I could seriously just feel myself relaxing on the plane.  It's good, it's good.

    Focus, Jack...

        I'll admit I'm committing a bit of a cardinal sin when it comes to training programming and that's that I'm making tweaks to a program before even trying it once, but I gotta say, I think i've been training in general long enough to have a good idea of how to manage nutrition.  I'm adding some Isopure shakes to my juice regimen so I can try and spend a few days in the gym, just enough to prime the muscles for some real growth when I hit the rebound.  Really excited about that, should be fun.  I have this idea that maybe I can cut down to below 185 and then build back up, but I think I'm going to leave my goal at 200-205 for now and see what happens.  Harkening back to the very first time I did a V-Diet and I lost like 35 pounds in 5 weeks...good memories.  So here we go...

        Age.  It's a funny thing, you know?  It's still weird for me to say '35', because I feel like I'm doing it wrong.  Age.  It really is just a number.  I'll admit sometimes I sit around and lament 'lost years', but usually just when I'm feeling really sorry for myself (which thankfully doesn't happen that often or in public).  Overall, I don't feel like whatever 35 should feel like, but then, I don't really know and I haven't taken a poll, so...whatever.  Back to doing what I do.

    Training for 2013.04.14
    • Squat: (135x4)x2/(185x3)x3/225x5/(245x5)x2/255x5/165x12
    • A1. Bent Raise: 25 4x8
    • A2. Lateral Raise: 30x8/30x4/(30x5)x2
    • B1. Hammer Curl: 35 4x8
    • B2. Overhead Extension: (50x10)x2/50x6/42.5x11
    • C1. Cable Curl: 35x12/(35x15)x3
    • C2. V-Bar Pushdown: 50 4x15
    • D1. EZ Curl: 70 4x10
    • D2. Rope Extension: 50 4x10
    • E1. Uni DB Shoulder Press: 45x6
    • E2. DB Row: 80x8
    Food Log for 2013.04.14
    • C4 Pre-workout mix
    • Juices

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Fight Training Day 1: The Juice Cut Begins...

        When Sifu said cut to 205 so I can fight at 185, i sorta freaked out mentally for a bit.  The only way I figured that was going to happen is if i went on another protein fast, which meant no MMA training.  I love protein fasts for the effect, i hate them for how they feel while you're doing them.  Given my day-to-day, there's no way I could sit around in that mental haze for a week or so until my body kicked over and even then, i still figured i would have to be off the mats for at least 4 weeks.  So, cut to make fighting weight, but don't fight train for a month while i'm doing it...yeah that makes sense.  So he suggested I try a juice cut using something like Odwalla Superfood, you know, something with an abundance of carbs and not too much else.  Now, i haven't learned much in the last year, mainly because I'm fat, weak, and overall a shitty student, but I have learned that when Sifu suggests something, you probably should try it, because he's usually not wrong.  One day in and it's actually not that bad, of course, I'm comparing that PSMFs, which are freaking brutal the first day or so (and about the next 10 days after).  I think i'm also cheating a bit since I'm travelling for the next 4 days and won't actually be training.  Also, I wonder what passes for Superfood in the UK...guess I'll find out soon enough.

    Yeah! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner of champions...and me for the next couple of weeks

        I was thinking about a conversation I had a while back with a co-worker about this idea of warrior culture, warrior mentality, etc.  He made some interesting points about how a warrior is someone who plies the trade of war, and that a modern-day warrior is basically a soldier.  If you want to be a warrior, he said, go enlist, pick up a gun, and deploy to Iraq.  I don't disagree with this, and I do agree that there are alot of folks who train different martial arts and talk about "being a warrior" falsely.  In fact, I remember one of the reasons I started training Capoeira back in the day was because on the surface it seemed a bit more holistic than traditional martial arts that were just about fighting.  Of course, I learned over the years this wasn't entirely true and that at it's core, Capoeira really is a martial art...which makes me smile everytime i see that stupid NOS commercial.  Any Capoeirista worth his salt knows you don't go ito a real fight and do all the flashy shit we do at demos (well, not "we", it's been years since I stepped into a roda), but that's the essence of Capoeira.

        Anyway, now I'm starting to ramble a bit, but my point is that while maybe claims of being a "warrior" are a bit overblown, the concept of a martial spirit is something that I think everyone who trains touches on at some point, but I don't think it's just the training.  I think back to times when a bunch of us were sitting in someone's living room stripping tires for berimbaus, stringing berimbaus, cutting dead skin off of each others' feet or otherwise patching each other up, to today, sitting on the bench wrapping up before training...These are the experiences that tie us all together regardless of what style we train.

        Blah, I'm just waxing all nostalgic and dangerously close to poetic.  Better quit before I do something evolved or enlightened...

    Training for 2013.04.09
    Combat Jiujitsu: Working from butterfly guard
    Kickboxing: Fight Conditioning - Hands and feet w/double unders

    Monday, April 8, 2013

    Fight Training Day 0

        Yep, it's official, going to finally step in the cage and get wailed on for a few rounds.  Kind of a shitty time to start fight training as i'm leaving the country for a week tomorrow and not going to be able to train.  This got me thinking about how not conducive to training modern society is.  Let's be honest, most hotel gyms are just SHIT.  Oh well, i suppose it is a great time to start juice cutting, since I won't be exercising, which means i won't get totally wrecked from going low calorie.  So yeah, i'll be logging progress here now that i actually have something to talk about again, should be exciting...

    Training for 2013.04.08, Current Weight: 235
    Kajukenbo: Fight Conditioning - Punch combos with opposite leg kicks
    Kickboxing: Fight Conditioning - Punch combos with opposite leg kicks
    MMA: Circuit Challenge
    • Pushup x100
    • Situp x100
    • Leg lift x100
    • BW Squat x100
    • Shoot x100
    • Sprawl x100

    Thursday, February 28, 2013

    calling me down

        Man, it's been awhile hasn't it?  Let's just say this right now, no numbers for this post, I'm really just putting some thoughts down on paper...ish.  That and i wanted to post a picture of a bear, because it's been so long...I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation and realizing that he's getting older.  But do bears have such thoughts?  I wonder...

        I have to a little reflection and admission, and that's that training-wise, 2012 sucked.  Yeah it was all my fault, i mean sure, i can grouse about how work got crazy and how my personal life went to hell for a few months and how because of all that i got fat and out of shape again, but regardless, I am in a state of my own creation.  That state being WAY overweight and needing to fix it pretty badly.  Me being me, it means another chance to experiment with training and diet.  Fun, fun.  This time though, I don't want to stop doing martial arts.  Ordinarily if I wanted to drop weight, i'd just do something like a V-Diet or RFL, but the issue with those is i get BORED.  Sure it's only for 6-8 weeks, but 2 months is a lot of training sessions (88, i think), and I already took a really big break from Kaju (during my aforementioned life suck storm).  So the trick now is how do i eat for fairly accelerated fat loss, but still keep doing all the training i want to do?

        Well, i'm glad you didn't ask that question, cuz it means i can just force my story on you and make you read because you're here.  So I'm starting with a modified carb backload, and by modified i mean i'm just not eating a metric ton of carbs every night, i mean seriously, i've read articles where people are talking about eating 3 pounds of potatoes and the like.  I'm sure that'd be awesome, but yeah, that's a bit much for where I'm trying to get.  I'll admit that i like not having to be terribly careful about food, i mean sure, if i were going out to dinner every night, i know it'd be easy to consume 6000 calories in one sitting, but I usually cook for myself (and sometimes Annie if i feel like torturing her), and as we all know, it's pretty tricky to get several thousand calories worth of rice, pasta, and or meat in one sitting if you're doing it from scratch...well, i suppose if you were to add some sauce or something like that...mmmmm sauce. But i digress...

        I notice also that my body seems to be able to handle martial arts training way better than weights anymore.  I'm totally the old broken guy now, training a few hours a day, then limping home so i can pop advil and bathe in aspercreme.  Oddly enough, i can still not sleep and make it through a few sessions of kickboxing and grappling (as today was evidence too) at a...mmm...let's say decent clip, but by no means totally burning it out, but that's mainly because i'm just trying to figure out baselines.  I certainly don't plan on taking it easy on myself just because i'm trying to keep my cortisol levels down, right?

        So i think the training matrix for the next while is going to be:


        It's a little odd for me because it's the first time in a while i've done...err...let's say non-lifting dominant training.  Taking a little advice from Jim Wendler and Dan John (because you know I'm tight with both of those guys, yeah we're like that...or something) and cutting lifting back to the two days so I can keep it in the rotation, but not get totally dominated by it.  I'd probably be crazy to try and do a bit of a cut without some sort of resistance exercise, I'm interested to see how well Wendler's proposed 5/3/1 for MMA template works out.  I guess we'll know soon, I have a Kajukenbo seminar at the end of April I'd like to be in shape for.  It's good to have goals, yeah?

    ...and of course, Today's TrainingTune: Decay - Sevendust