Monday, February 25, 2013

Do I train too much? OR Have I built my body that way?

Just yesterday a friend of mine who has been connected with fitness training for about a decade and myself got in to a debate that I do not give my body sufficient rest or time to recoup as I virtually train everyday. Well this is debate that I have had with many other people too over the years. 

Some say am going to reach a stage of  permanent exhaustion, some say I will develop serious muscle or joint injuries and the list of things people say to scare me is very long. To all of them I have only 1 thing to say - I have been training for almost 30 years now without any such injuries and have trained and built my body to be like this. 

There is virtually no limit a human body can be stretched and trained to. In my case even the mind has been trained once I start training I can go on and on for over 24 hours without much rest, food or water in between. Just reading the hours will make many think am crazy others will say am fibbing. Well yes am crazy and if you think am fibbing then lets train together for 24 hours and see if it is possible.

So then why does my body not show any signs of injury, fatigue or wear and tear especially since it has been so many years of crazy training routines that it has endured?  The answer is not easy to explain I feel one has to experience it. In my opinion if one trains in the traditional ways of martial art training then one builds or improves or strengthens their Chi / Qi energy. This energy is a healing force within the body that has the ability to even heal serious ailments. Besides the Chi / Qi energy there is also the methodology of training. I did not wake up one day and start running like crazy or buy an iron hammer and start smashing my bones with them. It has taken me years and all my instructors have guided and trained me in authentic martial art training methods. I have gradually built on my endurance, stamina and so on. Am no super human in fact my family has a long history of arthritis and with the amount I train there should have already been lots of signs of arthritis creeping in. However there are no such signs. I guess every time I bang my bones with an iron hammer I scare the arthritis away.  

That is why I give a lot of importance in the methodology of training. Proper methodology will not only prevent any injuries but will go a long way in making you far surpass your previous fitness levels. Training should always be wholistic or multi dimensional. A person doing only one kind of training and being good at it is often considered to be fit. Well in my mind that person is very unfit. You have to train the whole body and mind not just few areas. If you can  run a marathon I say that is very good  but can you train for 2 hours after the marathon? If you can lift heavy weights I say you are strong but can you kick a stack of bamboo sticks with your shin bone or run a marathon? Well this is how most of us are we restrain our training routine to just a few areas of our liking and leave the rest. This is a major reason why crossfit has suddenly picked up all over the world. Crossfit training is not new it is just a new coined term to old traditional training. The training routines of military personnel and traditional martial artists are very similar in most aspects except for the training in the use of fire power all the other physical training is more or less similar. The reason being martial arts were formed to train warriors and soldiers of the days back then. In fact many believe that Ninja's were the worlds first special forces who would be assigned just like today's special forces to go behind enemy lines stealthily and complete their mission undetected. A martial artist does not only learn to kick, punch, throw or lock we also train in conditioning our body and mind to adapt to our surroundings, to be able to survive in situations where a normal body and mind would break down. We train for anything and everything. Such training transforms the body and improves all the bodily functions which also includes faster recoup time. A workout that will require a so called fit person a day to recover from may take a martial artist just a few hours to recover from. 

This is something which a non martial artist will never understand that is why I say you have to experience it. Just a couple of months will bring about so much change in your health and fitness level which you would have never achieved in many years of other form of fitness workout. I do not say this by taking my own example but by seeing the change in the number of people I have trained with or I have taught.

Always remember two important things - 
1) Find a good teacher
2) Once you have found a good teacher trust him / her completely and do what they say

If you are lucky you will find a great teacher the difficult part in not finding a teacher but to completely surrender to them and follow their training instructions and suggestions to the dot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

110 miles (did 178kms) in 20days.

Being a passionate martial artist with the ever increasing craving to train and improve my endurance and body conditioning a good workout daily is just as important to me as breathing. My normal routine daily involves a minimum of 4 - 8 hours of training. One aspect of my daily training over the years has been my morning jog and workout after that. My last official timing at a 10k run in Nov 2012 was 52 minutes. So at an average I do complete 10kms within 45 - 52 minutes.

In the last week of January 2013 I saw a friend on Facebook attending the event - 110 Miles In 28 Days. I have never actually bothered to calculate how many miles / kms I run within a month. So seeing the event I was tempted as it would not only be a target to achieve but would also help me get an idea of how many kms I end up running every month. With this in mind I signed up for the event. The Facebook event link is below - 

I started the event from 1st Feb like everyone else and was on a good start with an average of 8 - 10 kms daily. I guess I would have trained and ran even without being part of the event. However being part of the event kept me focused towards achieving the target of the event. Everyday when you see people posting  how much they have run or cycled on that day it is a subtle reminder to add on your miles too. Am sure events like this can do wonders in motivating and pushing people who have just started working out and also to keep them going and not giving up easily. Though many of us have never met and are spread all over the world but to see a status of someone running even in the snow made me force myself to crawl out of bed and go run on some days when I just wanted to skip and sleep a bit longer. It is a very nice concept and am happy that such events exist to help people of varying fitness levels to push themselves to achieve the target or at least give it their best shot. 

There were a few days that I did skip out on my run in the morning. I would try to make it up by going for a run in the evening or run in the morning and evening the next day. After the first 10 days I was close to the half mark of 178 kms (110 miles) that is when I decided to try and finish it by 20th February itself. This decision really stepped up my pace in my daily runs and even tried running for longer than an hour at a stretch in order to log in more kms daily. Today the 20th of February I completed the target, this made me reinforce my belief that group training or partner training does wonders even if it is by being part of an event online. 

I would also like to mention that I did my run in my Vibram's (KSO). I moved over to the five fingers after my last half marathon run in August or September of 2012. The Vibram's are wonderful to train in. You can trek, hike, run or do any sort of workout in them. If shoes were cars then in my opinion Vibram's are the Rolls Royce of shoes. They are very comfortable and teach you how to really run the way we were made to. 

Though I have completed the target of 110miles seeing people post their daily distance logged makes me push myself to log in the same as them or do a bit more. So whichever way you see it is a challenge for all. I will surely be part of the next event in March. It was a great experience and am just happy to be part of  it.

I would like to thank the people behind the event and all those who have posted their daily distance logged in on the event page. By doing so they have actually kept many others focused and motivated to give it their best. I also wish all those still logging in the miles to keep it up.

It does not matter if we reach the summit what truly matters is how determined and committed we are to set foot on the summit.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

If not now. Then it will be NEVER.

Life has truly become a rat race we all seem to be racing through life maybe that is why even life seems to be racing with us resulting in reducing numbers of the average life expectancy worldwide. This dilemma of having so much to do in so little a time makes us prioritize our life's. There is nothing wrong with doing so but sadly society some how tunes us to have our priorities all mixed up. Many a times if we introspect our priorities are influenced by the people around us or what is expected out of us at a certain stage or age of our life. Let me ask - Who set these rules for all to follow? Well no one did and no one can for all our life's are different with varying experiences and situations. So basically we are the only people who can actually decide what is best for our own selves.  

There are so many things we wish or desire to do. Well try this exercise - take a paper and pencil and sit in a quiet place now let your mind wander back in the memory lanes when you were about 10years old. Start noting down all the things you have wanted or desired to do from that age till date. Most of us will have a big list with some of our desires accomplished but there will be a big list still left of what we have always wished to do or accomplish and have some how never got the time to do so. Excuses are always there some may be genuine at a specific moment but am sure after the temporary phase of the genuine reason passes away we still do not get around doing what we wished to citing another set of excuses.  

So let me ask you a question - 

Well this is the reality. Most of us keep postponing many things in life. Am no wise saint am equally part of     humanity in this habit of avoiding, postponing or citing frivolous excuses to hide behind or escape from doing what we truly desire.There is no fixed time to do anything and no one has the right to judge us for what we do and when we do it. Well if people do sit to judge then all we can do is feel sorry for them that they have nothing better to do in life than try to be the self appointed monitor of another persons life.

Our life is just as rich and enriched as we wish it to be. So get out there and do anything you wish to as long as you are not harming another person then just go for it. Do not worry about factors like age or how insane the thought is. If it is your desire then it could be an experience that your soul needs to grow and you need to enrich your life or just feel the thrill and joy of accomplishing something which forget others even you thought was a challenge for you. 

Always remember the human body is the best machine on this so called progressed and evolved planet if we can make machines to fly to distant planets am sure our wonderful machines (bodies) can achieve or accomplish feats far beyond the imaginable. All that is required is the desire and will to go for it. 

So let us all try not to let our life's be filled by things we did not desire but were told to be right instead lets enrich our life's with experiences that make us feel the joy of being truly alive of being the master of our own thoughts and actions and not just some puppets whose strings are in the hands of society and the people around us. 

So step out and go do what you desire to do now for if it is not now then there is a good possibility it will be NEVER.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A training partner does wonders.

I consider myself to be very dedicated and disciplined to my fitness and training. Have been training 6days a week for almost 3 decades now so I guess I am pretty committed to training. Over the last few days have been feeling lazy to leave the cozy bed early in the morning and go for my usual run and workout at the park. Today I somehow broke this new pattern and went for my run again.

This is something that can happen to anyone no matter how disciplined you are or how many years you have been training. However there is something that can change this or at least help in curbing it from becoming a set pattern. 

The solution is - Having a training partner.

I personally train with and without a partner too. May be the long years of training have made training a part of my life itself so my workout level is the same if I train solo or with a partner. However I still enjoy to train with someone rather than train alone. A training partner is very useful for those just starting to venture in to training or those who know they need to workout but are just to lazy to keep up with their training regimen regularly.  

Having a training partner has many uses and benefits. The most obvious ones being having company while training. A training partner helps you get more committed to the workout it does not matter how committed you or your partner are towards working out daily what matters is that you train together. This makes both partners feel compelled to be there at the venue set for training so that the other is not left waiting while you are all warm and cozy in bed. I think it surely helps to move the lazy bones out of bed early in the morning. When you are training on your own your mind tends to focus more on all that you have done and somewhere within a voice keeps telling you that you have trained enough and you could rest. However when you are with a training partner your mind tends to be more focused on the training rather than the quantity of your workout. This surely will effect in a better workout. Humans are generally competitive, the levels may vary from person to person but all of us are competitive. So when you train with a partner it helps you push harder to improve. If your partner can do say 100 repetitions of an exercise you will strive to reach 100 first and then strive to do more than that which will then end up challenging your partner too to reach your level.  This really works have seen that personally with all the students who come to train with me when am training. There is a remarkable change in their training as they are constantly trying to be on par with me. When I see them coming close to my level I push myself to raise the bar higher so it challenges me and them too. That is why I always welcome students to come and train along with me.  So it is an unspoken challenge which both partners are aware of but no one mentions and yet both benefit. When we workout there is a general tendency to take breaks between routines or sets. Am not saying one should not take the breaks but too long a break and the body and mind both start making excuses to stop too short a break could result in excessive strain , fatigue or even injury. When you are training with a partner this seems to be resolved as a rhythm gets set between the partners and so they keep moving together not taking very long breaks nor very small breaks. 

There are many many more benefits from training with a partner but I feel a very long post makes it boring too unless you have a partner to read it with you.

So get up call your friend or training partner and go have some fun working out and getting fit for life.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Awesome Video Flares Up the Insanity Within

Am blessed by great set of people around me. It is some sort of karmic wheel that seems to know the right time to push me a bit further. Many months back a senior student lead me on to the Spartan Race and that totally pushed not only my training but even of the other students to a very different level altogether. Today morning a fitness enthusiast and marathon runner lead me to a video that just blew the madness out of me. I guess the timing is perfect as usual. We were all just coping with the Spartan workout and now there is something else set at the horizon to reach. 

I saw the video about 7 - 8 times tried almost all the exercises that could be done without the need of equipment and decided this is what was needed to push me on to push me further in to a more intense training mode.

The results of such inspirational jolts on myself are really crazy and immense. After watching the workout video and trying few exercises from them I was just too charged up to calm down the result is here -

Workout -

Ran up and down 5 floors for 10 repetitions.
10 sets of 3 minute plank with a 10kg sandbag on my back.
push ups down 5 floors and return up with bunny jump on steps for 2 repetitions.
about 1 hour of weight training.

Now if all this was not enough I got this crazy urge for musk melons and not having them at home I took an old shoulder bag put on the Vibram's and ran for about 3km to a fruit shop that I know is far away, filled the shoulder bag with 6kg of musk melon and ran back home. Making it a total of 6km jogged.
 Finally ending the workout with 50 burpees. 

Had a big glass of milk blended with musk melon, flax seeds and some whey protein. Will take some rest now since I would be training again for an hour before class starts.Now am feeling a bit calm. It may sound like I am mentally unstable but only those who love to train will understand this kind of madness.

I have decided to push my personal training routine to an altogether new level. If anyone from the Jukaado family would like to push themselves with my crazy ways are most welcome to train with me at any time.