Muay Thai 2 (Garage gym post!)

Surprised to see another garage gym post again so soon? Well, the other day – that would be Friday – our houseguests took off in the morning, and Callaghan went back to work. I could’ve done any number of useful things, but I was feeling better after a couple of days of medical shenanigans, and the garage was just sitting there in the fine spring weather.

I had no plan, so what ended up happening was a Muay Thai workout, because that’s usually the direction I go when I wing it in the garage.

Whatever the case, I recorded my workout again. That’s just the best way for me to see where I can improve. It also allows me to share a few pics with those of you who enjoy these garage gym posts. Thank you for that, by the way!

During the 45-minute workout, I practiced the techniques in haphazard sets, mixing it up at random. Instead of jumping rope, I started with a little resistance-band rowing for a warm-up.

Speaking of which, it’s already getting warm in that garage! This year we must find a way to make it survivable during the hot months.

 

Let’s get this party started.

 

rowing (with resistance band)

 

rowing

 

(dummy migration)

 

lower-body warm up with a little side-shuffling (tentatively, because of my knee)

 

keeping warm

 

round chamber (warmed up and feeling okay)

 

round kick

 

(I was mindful of how I felt during this workout; I wasn’t going to continue practicing a technique if it was causing discomfort.)

 

teep

 

teep

 

(teep pullback)

 

(down elbow dummy set-up)

 

down elbow chamber and throw

 

down elbow

 

(same thing on the other side)

 

down elbow

 

down elbow – sticking it

 

back to the bag for side elbow strikes (this one’s a jump)

 

(That whole move right there should’ve been higher. I didn’t get in close enough, so I missed my target. I cringed when I saw the footage! I threw this strike something like 30 times throughout the workout, and it was all terrible.)

 

side elbow

 

(My ground side elbow was a little better. To be fair, though, it’s hard to get in close on a bag with a base such as this one, especially with my short reach.)

 

back to the dummy for knee strikes

 

(Left side only, since my right knee had just recovered.)

(Also, I would LOVE to have a B.O.B. again, especially for knee strikes.)

 

back to the bag for speed punches

 

(I also practiced power punches and combinations on the bag.)

 

to the floor for stretches (holding a modified plank – active rest)

 

plyo push-up (top)

 

plyo push-up (descending)

 

I finished with speed punches on the dummy, sitting on the floor and stabilizing the upright dummy between my lower legs. That was a good core workout as well as a speed and knuckle-conditioning workout…. the dummy provides a more solid punching surface than the upright bag.

Oh, there’s no “walking back” pic this time. I walked away around the edge, for some reason. But there’s a “walking on” pic at the beginning, so maybe that’ll be the new tradition. Haha.

Medicine Ball – “Let the Good Times Roll” (Garage gym workout!)

How long has it been since I’ve posted a garage gym workout?! I think the last time was actually on a beach, and that would’ve been in November. This is long overdue.

The digs

We gave up on keeping the mat in the garage dust-free. Let’s be real: this is Arizona, where your interior abode gets dusty quickly no matter what you do. A dust-free garage in the desert? Not going to happen. It was a losing battle, especially since we don’t have a lot of time, so we finally bought some cheap, light, and flexible slip-on shoes, which we wear only on the mat. We do sweep the mat and clean it every once in a while, but in between cleanings, footwear is a must.

Disclaimer and apology

Every time I put together a garage gym workout post, I struggle to explain things clearly and then I get to a point where I say to myself, “Self, why do you do these garage gym workout posts when you’re clearly not a trainer and therefore unable to explain how these exercises are done?” (Please to note the former and accept my apologies for the latter.)

The workout

A medicine ball is a versatile and affordable piece of workout equipment, and you don’t need a lot of space when you use it! You can work with a medicine ball for 30 minutes and get a full-body strength and conditioning workout. Ours is 8 lbs, so it’s a lighter one, but believe me… after several sets of each of these exercises, that ball is heavy.

When thinking of which exercises to do, a core and body-weight strength workout came together naturally. Doing stuff with a medicine ball involves a lot of core work, as you have to use your entire body to balance. All of your muscles are engaged. With several rounds of jump rope thrown in for a warm-up, I got some extra conditioning in there, as well.

[Sidenote: it maybe wasn’t a good idea to do this workout on the same day that I had a kickboxing class at the gym!]

I swear I didn’t intend to wear a shirt that says “Let the Good Times Roll” while doing this medicine ball workout. Haha! Get it? Total coincidence.

On with the pics. Thank goodness for the pics; I screenshot the moves at each step to help make up for my lack of ability to explain the exercises.

 

1). Jumping rope (warm-up).

I switched it up during the rounds to avoid boredom.

Jumping rope (medicine ball workout)

Jumping rope (medicine ball workout)

Jumping rope (medicine ball workout)

 

Then I started with the medicine ball:

2). Leaning core twists from horse stance.

Here, I’m leaning on the bag, but I’m not sitting on the base. This exercise strengthens the core (with emphasis on the leg part of the core as well as on the obliques), and it’s usually done against a wall. Using the round punching bag instead allows for more of a stretch, but I only twist as far as I comfortably can while maintaining my stance.

Leaning core twist with medicine ball – starting position (horse stance)

Leaning core twist with medicine ball – holding the ball static in front of my solar plexus while twisting to the side

Leaning core twist with medicine ball – holding the ball static in front of my solar plexus while twisting to the other side

 

3). Burpees with medicine ball.

This exercise involves a squat, a horizontal jump back (with the legs only), a push-up, and a horizontal jump forward (with the legs only), all while balancing your body with your hands pinning the ball to the ground. Then you jump straight up with the ball, land where you started, and repeat.

Burpee with medicine ball – starting position

Burpee with medicine ball – holding upper body firm and pinning the ball down while jumping legs back

Burpee with medicine ball – land in push-up position; do a push-up

Burpee with medicine ball – jump feet back in to starting position (you’ve held the ball firm on the ground this whole time)

Burpee with medicine ball – immediately spring straight up, bringing the ball with you

 

Then you land in the starting position and do it all again, continuously to meet your goal number of reps (I do 3 sets of 10 reps).

 

4). Slam-downs.

This is self-explanatory: you slam the ball to the ground as hard as you can, then catch it and do it again. Be sure to get out of the ball’s way after you slam it down; it will bounce up, and you don’t want eight pounds (or more) of rubber ball smashing your face.

Medicine ball slam-down – top of the move

Medicine ball slam-down – as hard as you can

Medicine ball slam-down – quickly move back to get out of the ball’s way as it bounces up

Medicine ball slam-down – catch the ball; repeat

 

5). Push-ups.

I did both incline and decline push-ups on the medicine ball. Both ways are challenging, but the decline ones are killer: you need all of your core strength to balance in the push-up position and do the push-up with your toes on the ball instead of on the floor. I did them with both feet, then one-legged. I take my time with these push-ups. I have to. It’s not easy balancing on the small, unstable ball!

Incline push-up on medicine ball – top of the push-up

Incline push-up on medicine ball – bottom of the push-up

Decline push-up on medicine ball – top of the push-up

Incline push-up on medicine ball – bottom of the push-up

Decline push-up on medicine ball – left foot on ball (top of the push-up)

Decline push-up on medicine ball – left foot on ball (bottom of the push-up)

Decline push-up on medicine ball – right foot on ball (top of the push-up)

Decline push-up on medicine ball – right foot on ball (bottom of the push-up)

 

6). Under-leg passes.

This is a straight-up ab exercise that is going to be more difficult to explain than it is to do. You basically sit on the floor in sort of a V-position and pass the ball from one hand to the other, back and forth under each leg, alternating the leg lifts to keep a smooth rhythm going. Your legs never touch the ground.

Medicine ball under-leg passes – getting into position

Medicine ball under-leg passes – right leg extended, left leg up with bent knee, holding the ball in left hand and passing it under left leg to right hand

Medicine ball under-leg passes – left leg extended, right leg up with bent knee, holding the ball in right hand and passing it under right leg to left hand

 

7). Hip thrust.

Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, rest the medicine ball on your lower abdomen and push your hips straight up. The resistance provided by the medicine ball’s weight makes this simple move an effective glute exercise.

Medicine ball hip thrust

 

8). NOT PICTURED – Medicine ball swings.

(I film each exercise individually, stopping and starting as I move from one exercise to another, and I accidentally deleted the medicine ball swing part. It’s the exact same thing as a kettlebell swing, but you’re holding the medicine ball instead of a kettlebell.) If you look up “kettlebell swing,” you’ll see what this exercise looks like. I also add to it a little by slightly releasing and catching the ball at the top of the exercise after doing a few warm-up swings.

 

Walking back:

Here’s the usual derpy walking-back pic at the end of the workout. I believe I’m holding the jump rope here, as I finished the workout with a little more jump-roping.

Walking back

 

And of course here’s the post-workout selfie… only I took this one after Sunday’s garage gym workout. I forgot to take one yesterday!

Selfie from the garage gym workout I did over the weekend.

 

La Fin.

“Dear Holly Holm:” (a rap in response to UFC 208’s main event)

I wrote this rap so Drake could perform it for Holly Holm.

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-holmvderandamie_ufc208

 

~~~~~

Dear Holly Holm (aka the REAL Featherweight Champion):

You won that fight, as everybody knows

Everybody saw it when she hit you with the blows

she threw after the bell.

Excuse me, the TWO bells; she did it twice,

fouled you against the ref’s advice.

(Which was bullshit, the ref should’ve dealt with it,

taken points from her score,

“Quoth the Raven, Nevermore” –

to borrow a line from Poe.)

Yeah she was good, but it was you

who threw that stunner of a wheel kick

and dropped her to the floor, schooled her with it.

And it was you who dropped her again

when you caught her with your bomb-ass

straight left punch.

She, on the other hand, never dropped you;

her biggest moments of glory came illegally,

cuz that’s how cheaters do.

Only an amateur gets “caught up in the moment”

as she said she did, seriously,

what a ridiculous excuse, she’s not an amateur, now, is she.

She was out of line,

we all saw her gloat when she walked away

the second time,

elated and proud because she knew

she would get away with it. And she did.

We watched the fight in a crowded sports bar,

not one person wasn’t outraged by the injustice of it.

Her cheap shots were the most damaging of the night,

no doubt they altered the outcome of the fight.

We were all yelling at the referee

because no one could know

how you would’ve fought had she not cheated.

She would have been defeated.

You were doing well, just warming up,

controlling the octagon and clinching, making her grapple

against the cage, totally dominating.

But the ref was against you, unquestionably,

so she was rewarded with a win,

inexcusably –

a championship belt won for the glory of fighting

a dirty fight. You were robbed,

and we hope you get a re-match, regardless,

so we can cheer you on when you show her who the Champ is.

 

Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208, GLOATING after fouling Holly Holm with punches after the bell

Germaine de Randamie at UFC 208, GLOATING after fouling Holly Holm with punches after the bell

 

Sincerely,

All of Us.

La Fin.

 

Get back on the ground! Les Mills Body Combat #70 (new release informal review).

Last week, we did Les Mills Body Combat release #70 for the first time. You knew I would come here to share my thoughts, right? heheh.

The work-out:

There’s a big difference between #70 and some of the older Body Combat releases I’ve seen; if you’re a Body Combat purist, you may not be thrilled with the change: #70 deviates from the norm by moving in the direction of a greater fighting condition focus.

For the first time that I’ve seen, there are three warm-up tracks, rather than two. The additional warm-up track is conditioning-intense. There’s a lot of core-work in this release.

There’s a heavier emphasis on muscle endurance in #70. It includes more ground-work… push-ups, mountain climbers, bear crawls, and hip escapes (kick-throughs)… moves we’ve seen in previous releases, but not all in the same release, and not so much in the warm-up and throughout the tracks. #70 also has you doing squats and sprints. You don’t get into fighting condition by just striking and kicking, after all. Les Mills is amping it up.

There’s also the addition of a boxing defense technique I haven’t seen in Body Combat yet: the parry (in track 4).

The music: #70 moves away from the usual dub-step/trap-heavy commercial song remix tracklist. #70’s tracklist is more like, Les Mills Went to the Club and a Rave and Got Inspired. It’s 50 minutes of electronica (EDM, electronic house, drum & bass, hardcore), plus a little hip-hop. Tempos vary to accompany the choreography, of course, but overall, this tracklist is like there’s a DJ in the house.

Electronic music tends to be a love or hate thing, so if you’re not a fan, you may not feel as motivated by #70’s tracklist. If that’s the case, you can use it as an opportunity to focus on form even more. This music isn’t so much do I like this song as it is about the drive behind it.

 

"Samurai - Honor" (original art by David Lozeau)

“Samurai – Honor” (original art by David Lozeau)

 

(Yes, this is the third time I’ve posted a pic of this print since Callaghan gave me the print a month ago. It’s my favorite of all the gifts he’s given me, period.)

I’ve decided that this particular Samurai ancestor is my spirit animal.

*****

Les Mills Body Combat 70

Track 1a: Upper-body warm-up [Party Favor – Bust ‘Em]

Music: EDM

The workout: Upper-body warm-up with combinations of the usual punches, 1-2-3-4. Jumping jacks. too.

Track 1b: Lower-body warm-up [Hardwell & W&W feat. Fatman Scoop – Don’t Stop The Madness]

Music: Electro house

The workout: Again, combinations of typical lower-body moves: hip rolls and front, roundhouse, side, and back kicks.

Track 1c: Integrated warm-up [Nero – The Thrill]

Music: Electronic. (Slower tempo, good for the core work in this track)

The workout: Bear crawls, hip escapes (kick-throughs), 2-part push-ups.

Track 2: Combat 1 [Hardwell & Showtek – How We Do]

Music: Electronic/EDM

The workout: Lower/upper-body conditioning with typical kicking and striking combinations. Also, sprints.

Track 3: Power Training 1 [Sigma ft. Labrinth – Higher]

Music: Drum & Bass

The workout: (Upper-body) Slow-tempo uppercuts from a front stance (modified horse), involving more upper-body lateral movement than usual. Then a tempo-increase for typical punching combinations. Then back to the slow tempo, but the lateral move is with hooks, rather than upper-cuts. [EDA: There are no hooks! Just uppercuts, jabs, and power jabs. The power jabs are added last, rather than hooks. Apologies for the goof!!]

Track 4: Combat 2 [Knife Party & Tom Staar – Kraken]

Music: Electronic

The workout: (Lower-body/upper-body) Knees and kicks building to jump kicks. Then a striking combination that finishes with a parry (defense) before launching into a jump kick.

Track 5: Power Training 2 [Rudiment – Not Giving In]

Music: Drum & Bass

The workout: (Conditioning) Ground-work: 2-part push-ups, mountain-climbers, bear crawls, more mountain-climbers. Then up on your feet for sprints in ascending sets.

Track 6: Combat 3 [L-FRESH The LION – 1 in 100,000]

Music: Hip-hop/Electronica/Drum and Bass

The workout: (Plyomectric lower-body conditioning) Alternating front kicks jumping down to squats. Then just jumping out to wide squats with pulses, alternating hands to ground.

Track 7: Muay Thai [(UK Hardcore) Re-Con & Klubfiller – Freak]

Music: Hardcore/EDM

The workout: Usual Muay Thai combination (jab/cross/ascending elbow, two back knees, option to make the second knee a jump). Then running-man knees. I’ve seen more involved Muay Thai tracks than this, but it’s still a good track, and your legs are already dead by the time you get to it, anyway.

Track 8: Power Training 3 [(DnB) – Feint – We Won’t Be Alone (feat. Laura Brehm) (Monstercat Release)]

Music: Drum & Bass

The workout: The usual upper-body finisher with jabs/crosses/jump jabs/power hooks.

Track 9: Conditioning [Don’t Let Me Down- The Chainsmokers ft. Daya ]

Music: Dance/EDM (slower tempo)

The workout: (Abs) Typical combination of crunches/leg extensions

Track 10: Cool-down [I need a dollar- Aloe Blacc]

Music: Hip-hop

The workout: Stretching.

In summary: LOVE IT. #70 is a conditioning-heavy, cardio kickboxing extravaganza of punishment with a soundtrack that works well, too. Can’t wait to see what Les Mills does with #71!

Now that MMA has everyone’s attention…

I realized something this week: all this time I’ve been writing about Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in this blog, I’d assumed that everyone reading had knowledge of it.

I apologize. That was a silly assumption.

MMA is a sport relatively new in sports broadcasting, but it’s been growing in mainstream popularity, capturing fans beyond MMA participants and aficionados. This week, it was brought further out of obscurity when the term “Mixed Martial Arts” was dropped in a pejorative way before a broad audience.

It’s an awkward moment when someone who’s lamenting prejudice uses a specific example in a context that amounts to prejudice…

and when the speaker’s prejudice goes on display for the world to see, but much of that world doesn’t know any more about (MMA) than the speaker, so they aren’t capable of recognizing the hypocrisy of the comment.

On the bright side, MMA now has everyone’s attention, which offers a learning opportunity for those who wish to open their minds.

First, to be clear with my own terminology:

Definition of prejudice (Merriam-Webster)

  1. a (1) :  preconceived judgment or opinion (2) :  an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge
  2. b :  an instance of such judgment or opinion
  3. c :  an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

The gist of the prejudice against Mixed Martial Arts, its participants, and its fans captures this sentiment: MMA is a barbaric/low-life sport that gratifies the plebeian tastes of bros, bullies, rednecks, and mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. 

Some general points I’d like to make:

1). History: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) finds its roots in the sport of Pankration in the ancient Greek Olympic Games.

From Wikipedia: Pankration (/pæn.ˈkrti.ɒn/ or /pæŋˈkrʃən/) (Greek: παγκράτιον) was a sporting event introduced into the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was an empty-hand submission sport with scarcely any rules. The athletes used techniques from boxing and wrestling but also other types, such as kicking and holds, locks and chokes on the ground. The only things not acceptable were biting and gouging out the opponent’s eyes.[1] The term comes from the Greek παγκράτιον [paŋkrátion], literally meaning “all of power” from πᾶν (pan-) “all” and κράτος (kratos) “strength, might, power”.[2]

–This is a broad summation of MMA, though unlike Pankration, there are plenty of rules in MMA.

Admire these images of Pankration found on Greek pottery:

 

Pankration

Pankration

 

Pankration

Pankration

 

Pankration

Pankration

 

Pankration

Pankration

 

2a).The original and most well-known MMA promoter in the U.S. is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

2b). The UFC’s current champions include foreigners Amanda Nunes (Brazil), Johanna Jedrzejczyk (Poland), Conor McGregor (Ireland), Jose Aldo (Brazil), and Michael Bisping (England). The remaining five champions are American. Three of the American MMA champions are black.

Ergo, of the UFC’s 10 current champions, only two of them are white Americans.

3). MMA is an international sport rich with diversity. There’s no indication that racism is an issue in MMA such that it’s likely we’ll see a hashtag for FightCardSoWhite (as the hashtag OscarsSoWhite ripped through social media leading up to last year’s Oscars when well-deserving actors of color were snubbed in the award nominations, prompting some Hollywood stars and insiders to boycott their own union’s biggest award event.

(Hollywood is still working on living up to its own hype of being a paradigm of diversity and inclusiveness. But it will catch up to MMA soon enough.)

5). Mixed martial artists employ a variety of martial arts styles from various countries. Some of the arts comprising an MMA fighter’s repertoire are Muay Thai (Thailand), Brazilian Ju-Jitsu (Brazil/United States), Judo (Japan), Wrestling, Tae Kwan Do (Korea), Karate (Japan and China), and boxing. As the sport is evolving, we’re starting to see increasingly common usage of techniques from other martial arts, as well, such as Capoeira (Brazil), Kung Fu (China), Wu-Shu (China), and Kali (Philippines).

6). MMA is the only sport that has the word “arts” in it, and the term is there for a reason.

Classical martial arts involve body movement and training, discipline, and practice of techniques through choreographed sequences. In Karate, these choreographed sequences are called kata. They’re performed at tournaments as dancers perform in dance productions. The Shaolin Monks (China), for instance, perform their Shaolin Kung Fu techniques on prestigious stages all over the world. The art side of martial arts is akin to the art of dance.

Like dancers, martial artists spend countless hours practicing their techniques in order to master them. Command of their art demands mental as well as physical training.

In this video of a kata competition performance, the competitors display the artistry of Karate techniques, some of which are used by MMA fighters (punches, kicks, take-downs, ground-and-pound):

 

 

[Performance of Team Serbia in the WKF World Championships Belgrade 2010.]

5). The gender aspect: women joined the UFC’s ranks only 18 years into the organization’s inception. Before 2011, there were no women’s divisions in the UFC. (European female MMA fighters were competing in Europe before females could fight in the United States’ UFC.)

Ronda Rousey was the first female champion in the UFC. She not only paved the way for women in the UFC, but she arguably elevated the UFC and the entire sport of MMA to the status of household familiarity.

Since Ronda Rousey has been the most famous of the UFC champions, it’s a common mistake to judge her and then build on that judgment to make assumptions about the entire sport. Like her or not, Ronda is someone to respect for the success she’s achieved not only for herself, but for all of us. Ronda is a tough, ambitious woman who has overcome tremendous hardship in her life; she is inspirational in many ways.

Sidenote: Ronda got her very own Twitter insult from Donald Trump the year before the 2016 presidential election because she publicly declared that she would not vote for him. Ronda was an outspoken Bernie Sanders supporter from the beginning, so when she lost to Holly Holm, Trump was quick to tweet:

 

“Glad to see that @RondaRousey lost her championship fight last night. Was soundly beaten – not a nice person!”

 

The next women’s UFC bout I’m anticipating is Valentina Shevchenko vs. Julianna Pena on January 28. Shevchenko is from Kyrgyzstan and fights out of Peru. Pena is Venezuelan-American and fights out of Spokane, Washington, USA. This fight is the main event of the fight card – that means it’s the headliner fight – and the fighters are female. It’s not uncommon for female fights to headline a UFC fight card. How’s that for diversity in an organization that started out exclusively for men only 24 years ago?

I’m glad that MMA was brought into the spotlight via a controversial speech this week. Fall-out speaks volumes, and there’s always something to learn from it.

SHAKA beach workout in Hawaii! Capoeira-inspired! (But still a garage gym post.)

[Edited To Add: Pidgin English ahead! The pidgin words and phrases are in italics!]

It’s Friday! Howzit?!

Essential elements in Sunday’s beach workout: sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, a partner-in-crime with a willingness to take pics, and a nephew whose photobomb game is hilariously ON. You’ll see da pictures!

Knowing that I was going to miss three workouts while in Hawaii, I intended to slip one in somewhere. When there’s a beach in front of your rented condo, no can work out anywhere else, yeah? I mean, why would you?

Neither could I help but keep it light. No to da max this time. I was on a beach in one of my favorite childhood places, on the Pacific, my favorite large body of salt water. My workout wasn’t hardcore by any means, but whatevahs. “The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do” – !

Was good fun!

There was no plan other than fo’ do da kine. A little shadow-boxing. I jumped in and went with the flow, and the flow swerved in the direction of capoeira, because, I guess, the setting invited it. You play capoeira… it’s a game, not a fight. Energetically speaking, capoeira makes more sense on the beach than anywhere, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t train in capoeira for very long, but I loved it and still love it. I practice the techniques here and there. Why no do it more often? I should do it more often!

Anyway, enough talking story. Here are just a few pics from my mostly capoeira-inspired beach workout. You’ll notice that I mixed it up with a little Muay Thai:

 

Warming up: squats

Warming up: squats

 

Warming up: lunges

Warming up: lunges

 

Stretching

Stretching

 

Burpees

Burpees

 

Sprawl (from burpee)

Sprawl (from burpee)

 

Kick-throughs

Kick-throughs

 

Hanging loose with my nephew!

Hanging loose with my nephew!

 

Front kick chamber

Front kick chamber

 

Bencao (push kick)

Bencao (push kick)

 

Roundhouse chamber

Roundhouse chamber

 

Ginga

Ginga

 

Reaching down for an esquiva baixa (with nephew photobomb)

Reaching down for an esquiva baixa (with nephew photobomb)

 

We had other pics that showed better execution of this esquiva, but I chose this one because HELLO, epic photobomb. (Click to enlarge!)

 

Meialua de Frente (inside crescent kick)

Meialua de Frente (inside crescent kick)

 

Spinning back elbow

Spinning back elbow

 

Rapping. Okay, not really. Just goofing around.

Rapping. Okay, not really. Just goofing around.

 

Push-ups

Push-ups

 

Esquiva lateral (with nephew photobomb)

Esquiva lateral (with nephew photobomb)

 

AH hahaha!! I seriously love my nephew.

 

Aú (Capoeira cartwheel)

Aú (Capoeira cartwheel)

 

(Cringing at my form here… I should be lower, closer to the ground for this one, yeah? Gah.)

 

Resting

Resting

 

I finished the workout with a dive into the water and a 10 minute swim for a little more cardio – I like frog stroke – then floated for a minute to rest. Or, I tried to float. I don’t float well. (I sink.) Regardless, it felt fantastic! Callaghan said he likes this pic because I look like an otter. I suppose this is a compliment of some sort.

 

"Walking off" - ! [photo credit goes to my amazing nephew!]

“Walking off” – ! [photo credit goes to my amazing nephew!]

My “walking off” pic is just me sitting on the beach after the workout, local style. LOVE the beach, love working out on the beach, love the ocean… this was a shaka way to start our last day on the island.

All pau! Mahalo for reading.

I started Les Mills Body Pump. (First impressions report!)

In workout/fitness news: After over two years of whispering tempting testimonials into my ear, my Body Combat crew finally succeeded in dragging me over to the dark side: I started Les Mills Body Pump this week! I added two Pump classes to my weekly schedule when it suddenly hit me that self-motivated weight-training was never going to happen (it only took me a year to figure this out, can you believe it).

Also (I had to remind myself), I can make my own schedule, so morning classes during the week are totally doable.

And! By the luck of the schedule at my gym, I have a Pump instructor who’s as kick-ass as the class, itself.

 

Les Mills BODYPUMP [pic from lesmillsdotcom]

Les Mills BODYPUMP [pic from lesmillsdotcom]

Now I have a concrete workout schedule of five days a week… three Combats, and two Pumps. [::rejoices::] …plus whenever I can get into the garage.

After this week’s two Pump classes, I’m already hooked! I’d done the class one time before, over two years ago (before we started Combat), but I wasn’t on board for various reasons. (Namely, laziness.)

I felt tight in my upper body after the first class, so I expected to be incapacitated the next day, but it wasn’t that bad. My legs were super sore, and my biceps were straight-up mangled. I didn’t feel anything in my chest, back, shoulders, or triceps. I took four Advil for my legs and biceps before going to Combat and managed to get through without too much trouble.

Back in Pump the day after that – yesterday – I almost didn’t make it through the biceps track, because my bi’s were still struggling to recover from Tuesday… I mean, I probably only actually did 65-70% of the track. I had to rest a lot. My legs were mostly back to normal (thanks to Combat the night before).

I. Am. Loving. It.

Izzy the Trainer advised me to start out with just 5 lb plates on the barbell, which was excellent… she saved me the hassle of fumbling with weights in an unfamiliar format when I had no idea what those weights should be! Now that I’ve done the class twice, I know that I definitely need to increase my weights for chest, back, shoulders, and triceps. I’m not increasing the weight for biceps. I’m not increasing for legs yet, either, because I like going deep in my squats, and it’s already a challenge maintaining that depth during the faster bottom half reps/pulses.

As for the lunges, I’m thinking of dropping down to even lower weights, or using no weight at all, so I can optimize my form and depth. I have a hard time modifying my knock-knees in bent-knee lunge position; it makes me somewhat unstable. If I take it slow, I can adjust my feet and sink down low, but there’s usually no time in class, so I end up doing shallow lunges. (FUN FACT: I was late to walk and wore metal leg braces up to my hips as a child… thankfully. The braces corrected things quite a bit. No complaining here!) I’ll probably start next week with no weight for the lunges, and then work my way up gradually as my muscles adapt.

Some of my first-impression thoughts during my first class:

YAY there’s a warm-up *** Clean and press? What? Wait!! How??? *** Awesome, legs are done. *** [::deep breath::] OMG How long was I holding my breath? – Can’t believe I actually forgot to breathe. *** HOLD UP all that was just the warm-up!! *** Sweat dripping down my elbows. Weird. *** Starting with legs, good. Then they’ll be done. *** Loving the burn from these low-squat pulses!!! *** More sweat dripping down the inside of my arms to my elbows. *** […] *** Okay I totally need a remedial class in clean and press. *** I’m not feeling anything in my back – this is too easy – am I doing this right?? *** Skull-crushers, cool *** Holy crap What is even happening to my biceps right now *** Legs AGAIN?! *** Make sure we’re successful in this lunge track, she said. –  I am NOT being successful in this lunge track. *** Squats, YES. – These I can do! *** Shoulders, hell yeah *** This ab track though!!!! LOVE IT. *** Okay – It’s over and we only did a thousand clean and presses and I had no idea how to do them but I think I faked it pretty well.

…After the second class, I had the clean and presses down.

Good times!!