Weekly Training Update – May 5-11

(CC BY-SA 2.0) by Orse

(CC BY-SA 2.0) by Orse

It’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been training consistently, just haven’t kept up with my training journal. If you check out the latest weight loss update, you’ll see that I’ve put a bit of weight back on. I’ve read many times that journaling is a real help in achieving and maintaining weight loss. Obviously eating wrong is the root cause of the weight gain, but I do think I make better choices when I know I’ll be recording my progress at week’s end.

Training

I made it to ABD Norwich for three classes and one sparring session this week. It was arms week and I felt like I had jello at the end of each class. As usual we also worked on core strength, this week low/high planks and a single leg raise/crunch type movement. The crunch’s left me with horrible back spasm for a couple of days. I know from experience that my hip flexors are a weak spot and I hit them pretty good this week. Good news was that once the spasms went away after the first class of the week, I had no more spasm during the rest of the week. The muscles are a little sore, but that’s OK.

Krav Maga

This quarter is focused on knife defense. This week was knife to the throat from the front. Still feels very clumsy and awkward. Need to keep practicing. Next week is a different knife to throat defense defense, different based on which side of the throat the attacker is holding the knife on.

Muay Thai

This quarter is a Muay Thai quarter, so lots of time spent on Muay Thai basics. This week was throwing knees, especially focussing on the hip extension to punch the knee forward. My mind know’s what the body should be doing, but the body doesn’t always go along for the ride… I think I’m starring to overcome the cave man syndrome when somebody holds up a set of pads for me. This past week I focussed on good technique over power, and actually got feedback that I was kicking and throwing knees pretty hard.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

After tweaking my shoulder during the Neiman Gracie seminar, I think I’ll finally be back to BJJ next week. Regular class, plus being diligent about my physical therapy exercises and stretches seem to finally be having the desired effect.

Jake Steinman Seminar and Final Week Before Stripe Testing

Jake Steinman Seminar

The highlight of my week was the Jake Steinman seminar Thursday night. Jake is a trainer out of the Boston area and is Master McShane’s Muay Thai instructor. The 2-hour seminar was focused on the kicks to the leg and kicks mid-body. We all learned several new drills to help with focussing on different parts of the kick. For example, one drill had us putting our right hand, assuming you kicked right, on the head of your partner and throwing a leg kick while keeping you hand on the head. It really forced you to focus on using just the hip to swing the leg around. Overall we learned four specific isolation drills that all combined make up a solid kick. I’m looking forward to the next time Jake does a guest seminar.

Training

It was a short week at ABD Norwich because of MLK on Monday and the Muay Thai seminar Thursday. Luckily I had loaded up on classes last week and taken a private class, so I actually started the week with all the classes I need to test next week.

Monday – 21 January 2013

I was quite surprised to see how much strength I lost on my pushups. The 3 sets of 25 were very taxing and my arms were really tired after them, but it also felt good to be doing them again. All the Muay Thai work was specifically for technique only. I’m trying not to learn too many bad habits that I’ll have to un-learn later.

  • Stretch
  • Convict Conditioning
    • Wall pushups (Planned: 30/30/30) Actual: 25/25/25
    • Knee Tucks (Planned: 20/20) Actual: 15/10
  • Muay Thai
    • Practice turning hip over.
    • Round kick practice (full step forward each time)
    • Punching technique jabs and crosses

Wednesday – 23 January 2013

I’m thinking of starting Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and I started watching the basics videos that Sensei McShane post for us on the ABD Norwich digital dojo. Today I started incorporating what I can of those basics videos into my home workouts.

All the Muay Thai drills and kicks are specifically focussed on opening the hips and turning them over, same as Monday. I’ve definitely gotten stronger and was able to reach the progression standard for Convict Conditioning pull-ups and squats. Apparently I was a bit overzealous, the progression standard was 3×40 and I did 3×50. I also did the same thing with the vertical pull-ups. Guess that’s what happens when you try and over achieve Finally get to move on to step 2 in these.

  • Stretch
  • Convict Conditioning
    • Vertical Pulls
      • Goal: 50/50/50
      • Last: 25/25/25
      • Plan: 30/30/30
      • Actual: 50/50/50
    • Jackknife Squats
      • Goal: 50/50/50
      • Last: 25/25/25
      • Plan: 30/30/30
      • Actual: 50/50/50
  • Muay Thai
    • Turn over hip drills 20x each leg
    • Kicking practice (full step back then forward) 20x each leg
  • BJJ
    • Hip Heist Sweep (10x)

Thursday – 24 January 2013

Jake Steinman seminar.

Friday – 25 January 2013

Regular ABD class. This is the last week before stripe testing, so we cover the complete 1st half of this cycles curriculum. Which means being competent on two Krav Maga moves, front choke agains wall and rear choke against wall. Also covered the fist half of the Escrima stick routine.

I finally signed up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Got my Gi and wan’t wait for Monday night.

Saturday – 26 January 2013

Sparred again to day, my second week. Went well. Worked on clinch and clinch defense. I think I’m getting a little less shocked when I get hit in the face, so that’s an improvement. Only had to ask one partner to ease up a bit. There’s so much to learn for sparring, but I think I’m staying too still and making for too much of an stationary target. Some thing I’ll try and work on next week.

Also squeezed in an afternoon workout at home:
I switched to the next Sit-up progression in Convict Conditioning. The fist one is a knee tuck, done seated, and I realized I was not able to sit back far enough to do them the way they are suppose to be done.

  • Stretch
  • Convict Conditioning
    • Wall pushups (PS: 50/50/50) (Planned: 30/30/30) Actual: 30/30/30
    • Flat Knee Raises (PS: 35/35/35) (Planned: 10/10) Actual: 10/6
  • Muay Thai
    • Jake Steinman hand on target / kick drill 20 each side
    • Right arm ripcord drill 20 each side

Krav Maga and Legs Week

Training

My first night as an ABD Norwich BBT student. It’s legs week, so lots of squats, jump shots, frog squats, and squatting knees.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai was the first half of the new sequence for this quarter. I learned that in addition to practicing the strikes and kicks, I also need to start practicing as if I was holding pads. I didn’t do a horrible job, but a couple of times I forgot about something.

Krav Maga

Worked on our gun defenses to the head and chest. I need to pay more attention to two things on the gun to chest defense. First, I keep putting my hand back into the line of fire as I go to disarm, and second I’m not always aware of where the muzzle is pointed as I controll the barrel. Final drill was to go from blocking and returing punches to groin kicks. That was the first round. For the second round we added a frog jump shot when switching from block/punch to kick.

Moved Out of Basic And Into BBT

Feeling 100% better than I did yesterday, I took the day off yesterday because I did not feel well. I absolutely hate using my time off because I’m actually sick.

Training

Wow, what a surprise at ABD Norwich this afternoon. Mr. Angel asked to speak with me in the back, I assumed it was related to an email I had sent to Master McShane earlier in the day. Mr. Angel told me it was obvious I had been working hard and practicing, I started to think I wasn’t doing a good enough job and he was going to tell me so. Instead I got a great surprise. I was promoted to Black Belt Training (BBT). At ABD there are two groups of students, Basic and BBT. Basic is where everyone starts and learns the fundamentals of the ABD system. Once the Basics are down you can be moved into BBT when the instructors feel you are ready. I’m very exited and looking forward to the BBT training, which also means I can participate in sparring, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the BBT only seminars.

Class itself was pretty much the same intervals and final drill as Tuesday’s Late Class, except that I worked with the BBT students on Muay Thai and Krav Maga. I got to work on gun defense during Krav Maga and a new, longer, Muay Thai sequence.

Convict Conditioning, Muay Thai and Krav Maga Practice

Woke up at my usual 5 this morning. Finally got to bed a bit later than I wanted last night after getting home from the 8pm class. Felt a little tired throughout the day. Think I’ll try the late class a few more times and see if I can’t get to bed sooner after getting home. I did like the smaller 8pm class last night and the extra time to get stuff done before class.

Training

Convict Conditioning Pushups / Leg Raises and Muay Thai / Krav Maga practice. This was originally my Thursday workout, but it only ended up on that day because it was between my two ABD workouts for the week. I’m shifting it so it falls between my two ABD classes this week. CC / R.O.P.A. will get moved to either Thursday or Friday, depending on when I do my second ABD class this week. Currently I’m thinking Thursday 8pm for my second class.

Convict Conditioning

Was able to add 5 reps to all my sets of Wall Pushups, brining tonights reps to, 35/35/35. Knee Tucks were a different story. We did a fair amount of core and ab work in last nights class, so I’m thinking that is what impacted my numbers tonight. Kept 20 reps on the first set of Knee Tucks, but was only able to manage 10 on the second set.

Krav Maga

Practiced defense against straight punch and a haymaker. Still trying to workout a better way to capture the arm in the haymaker defense. Have a couple of ideas on some tweaks, so that I don’t cause myself pain, that I’ll try out during my next class.

Muay Thai

Rounds of technique only of the first and second parts of the first-half. I feel like I’m in really close after I throw the left hook and before I throw the cross. Watched the ABD videos again and I see that the pad holder is holding out further for the left hook. I think when I’m practicing at home I’m getting in too close to the bag, so I can make contact with the left hook and that leaves me too close for the cross to feel right.

Practiced round kicks, right and left. 10 each side working on technique, form, hand movement, etc.

Krav Maga at the Late Class

Training

Decided to try the 8pm class tonight. I liked the smaller class size, though the bigger classes don’t bother me. I also like that I had an extra hour to get other things done at home. When I take the 7pm class I find that I get nothing done after I get home from class. Taking the late class will mean getting to bed later than normal. I’ll have to see how I feel in the morning before I decide if the 8pm class with be something I do on a regular basis.

Month 1 continues… One area I think I have improved in is the warmup. I’m now making it through entire warmups without stopping, even when jumping jacks are involved. Even did the shoulder taps, think high plank and touch hand to opposite shoulder, from a real plank position. Shoulder is feeling stronger every time, but I’m still being very cautious about pushing it too far.

Intervals

Intervals tonight were sit-ups with a medicine ball and sit-ups with wall shots with a medicine ball. High planks and roll the ball between your hands and pushups with one hand on the medicine ball. Leg flutters and Russian twists, with the medicine ball.

Had two issues during the intervals. My lower back is still tightening up during some of the ab exercises, in this case leg flutters. Not surprisingly, leg flutters have the body in much the same position as Vees and scoops. The good news is the tightness goes away very quickly and I seem to go a little longer each time before the tightness sets in. The other issue was with pushups with a hand on the medicine ball. I did a few on each side from a real pushup position, then dropped to my knees to keep doing them. I think I could have pushed out a one or two more real ones, but I’m not sure it would have been worth the risk to my shoulder. Regular pushups and planks I’m not too worried about hurting my shoulder again, but anything where I load the shoulders differently I’m still very cautious of. But, I also need to be careful that I don’t start using the shoulder as an excuse for not giving 100%.

Muay Thai

Continued to work on the new Muay Thai sequence. Tonight we practiced the second part of the first half; duck and weave, left hook, right cross. Since we are Krav Maga focused this quarter we were wearing MMA style gloves. I either need to punch different or get some hand wraps. My hand is shifting a bit in the gloves when I punch and the back of my knuckles started to feel pretty raw.

Krav Maga

Practiced the 360° defense and defense against a haymaker punch. Definitely need some practice on the haymaker defense. In my initial attempts I was trying to pull in the attackers arm, grab the shoulder and throw a knee simultaneously, when in reality they should be discrete actions, which is not to say they happen slowly. I was also pulling the attackers arm in in such a way that I was pinching their arm between my arm and the flesh on the side of my chest. Very painful for me and I’m sure I’ll have a good bruise their in a day or two. I think I need to either hook the arm better as I pull it in, pulling it up more into my own armpit or pull the attackers arm lower on my body and then lock it in. Pulling the attackers arm down a bit may also help pull them off balance.

One Day Two Workouts


Art of Strength Ropes

Since I spent my normal workout days trying to get ahead on homework, and just plain goofed off a bit, I was missing two of my workouts from the past week. So, today was catchup day, and a commitment to stop missing workouts during the week. I was missing my Convict Conditioning/R.O.P.A. and Convict Conditioning/Muay Thai/Krav Maga workouts.

Training

Warmup

The usual stretching routine laid out in my 12 Week Training Plan.

Convict Conditioning

Because I put off both my Convict Conditioning workouts this week, I got to do them both today. Managed to make progress in all exercises. Results are recorded as #reps-set1/#reps-set2/etc. Results from today

  • Wall Pushups (30/30/30). The goal is 3 sets of 50 reps before progressing. Plan for next time is 35/35/35.
  • Vertical Pulls (20/20). The goal is 3 sets of 40 reps. Plan for next time is to add third set, 20/20/10.
  • Jackknife Squats (25/25). The goal is 3 sets of 40 reps. Plan for next time is to add a third set, 25/25/15.
  • Knee Tucks (20/20). The goal is 3 sets of 40 reps. Plan for next time is still 2 sets, but add at least 2 reps, 22/22.

R.O.P.A.

Got my post workout heart rate up a bit from the last R.O.P.A. workout. Todays pre was 68, post was 144, and post+5m was 84. That’s a pretty good jump, almost a 10% increase, in my post heart rate, but the post+5m rate, which I use to judge recovery ability was only up 5% from my last two workouts. A post heart rate of 144 represents 80% of my theoretical maximum heart rate, depending on whose calculations you use. Assuming my heart rate was similar during the rest of my workout, I’m pretty happy with that level. Ultimately I’d like to see it up a bit higher, around 155 max, and would like to see my recover heart rate after 5 minutes get down below 80.

Muay Thai / Krav Maga

It’s the start of a new cycle at ABD Norwich, so today’s Muay Thai practice was all technique practice for the 1st half of this quarters Muay Thai sequence; jab, jab, cross, duck, cross. Krav Maga practice consisted of practicing solo the defense against a straight punch. Several times I caught myself throwing a knee at the same time I was getting into my point of reference. I need to work on getting into the point of reference, then throwing the knees.

Krav Maga Déjà Vu

Trained at ABD Norwich again tonight. Two nights in a row was not as bad as I though it would be.

Class was identical to yesterdays. See Start of a New Krav Maga Quarter for my thoughts on tonights workout, and yes holding the low squat position was still the worse part.

Start of a New Krav Maga Quarter

Training

First night back to ABD Norwich since the belt test last Wednesday. Little did I know that I would be having flashbacks to the 650 squats before the night was over…

Intervals

Since it’s the 1st week of the 1st month of the quarter, the intensity has scaled back down. I didn’t realize just how high the intensity was over the last several weeks until tonight’s class. Really noticed a differences in my performance during the intervals tonight.

Had a bit of trouble with 2 of the intervals. During the scoops and vees interval my lower back tightened up something fierce, to the point where I could not get my legs up to a proper height. I’ve noticed this tends to happen when doing scoops in particular. The other interval that gave me a problem was the walking planks and twisting push ups. I was able to do all rounds of the walking plank, but only got one real round of the twisting push up. My shoulder, the one I spend a month in physical therapy for, was the limitation on doing those. The good news is that every time we do planks or push ups I’m able to do a few more than last time.

The worst interval was squats and holding a low squat position. While fond memories of last weeks belt test did come rushing back, the squats weren’t that bad. Holding the low squat position was the real challenge. Master McShane told us that if we weren’t shaking, then we weren’t doing them right. I’m pretty sure I did them right.

Muay Thai

Started working on the new Muay Thai sequence, 2 jabs and a cross. Mr. Angel was working with the beginner students and friends that had come to class, it’s buddy week and you can bring a friend to class. I noticed that his feedback to me on my punches was much more focused and specific than before. So instead of the correction to twist my hips when I throw a punch, I’m getting more subtle corrections like straightening my wrist a little more. I take this as a positive sign that I’m starting to get the fundamentals down.

Krav Maga

The block the punch drill was much harder than it looked. The drill consisted of your partner throwing, slowly, jabs and crosses at your head and you blocking with the same side arm. Somewhere along the way I must have learned to block differently, because I kept blocking with the opposite hand. I have a feeling it’s going to take a fair amount of practice to engrain the new method in my head and get my muscle memory readjusted.

The blocking drill fed into our first Krav Maga technique, defense against a straight punch. The only advantage here was that the punch was always a right cross, so blocking properly was quite a bit easier. Similar to the beginning of last quarter, everything feels very clunky and requires a lot of thought. The next 3 months should help smooth everything out and make it more automatic.

The final drill of the night was a lot of fun. Actually, any time you get to smack your training partner about the head and neck with mitts, it’s a fun drill. Basically, the defender would protect their head and face with their hands on their head and elbows down and together, while the attacker hit with the mitts; the hits were actually not that hard. The cue to counter attack was 3 swift hits from the attacker. When that happened we would counter back with jabs, crosses and knees. What made it tough was as the interval went on the number of strikes increase, from 2 punches, then 4, then 8, then 16. During round 2, we added a couple of knees after the punches. I thought it was a great drill, especially for working on the transition from defending to attacking.

Belt Testing at ABD

Note: This post is dated the day of the belt test, but was actually posted after everyone had finished belt testing, so as not to give anything away about what to expect in the test.

Paul throwing a right roundhouse Muay Thai kickPaul in Krav Maga point of reference throwing a knee

It was belt testing tonight. Nice small class tonight, only 8 of us total.

Training

To start class we did jumping jack ladders with squats in between. So it was 100 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 90 jumping jacks, 10 squats, 80 jumping jacks, 10 squats……

Class was a mix of 2m rounds of our Muay Thai routine and 2m of Krav Maga. I lost track but think we did 3 rounds total of the Muay Thai and 1 round of the Krav Maga. Beginners got a little break while the BBT students did some 2m sparring rounds. Because of the small class size there was only one pair sparring at a time, so we all got to watch the sparring.

Class ended with another set of ladders, this time 100 squats, 10 jumping jacs, 90 squats, 10 jumping jacks…..

In total we did 650 jumping jacks and 650 squats. My legs are shot and I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow, and the next day, and the one after that…..

I did pass my belt test, no longer a plain white belt. I’m now a white/yellow belt!