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Thread: Getting fit with SwordsMaster

  1. #601
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    @SwordsMaster - you still around Swords? We could use some getting fit help after staying in our houses.
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  2. #602
    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    I am indeed! Happy to help with any questions you may have too!

    Personally I have been keeping it very VERY simple. Because that's what I am. So I decided I will try to outline what the new 'fitness' goals should be. And I realised that the goal was not really fitness, but rather mobility, and adjusting food habits to the new normal. My forearms also gave out after an unsuccessful kettlebell swing challenges way back in march, so I can't grip any kind of weight over 10-15 kg / 20-30lb successfully.

    So now I alternate activities: One day I do sun salutations before work, and after. Then try to go for a 1h walk in the evening (after dinner if possible).
    The next day I do 2 rounds of: 50 air squats, 15 burpees, 2-3 min of planks (you could substitute any ab exercise of your choice - planks require not equipment which is why I chose them), and the finish off with 50 pushups. I can usually complete 1 circuit in under 10 min, and the whole thing in about 30 min. If life allows, I still try to go for a walk in the evening, or bike ride, or skate around the neighbourhood.

    On the 'calorie intake' side of things I have gone down to 2 meals a day, with lots of coffee in between. One meal is either oatmeal or black and red bean chili (no meat, 2 eggs) about 70% of the time, and then dinner is something I try to keep at least somewhat clean about half of the time, and the other half is usually pizza, or something we order. It's not amazing, but it is one way we keep our sanity. Portion size is key: there is no point only doing two meals if you eat twice as much, or if you chose donuts every time.

    Sleep is also key to digestion, fitness, and stress management. Make sure you get 7h at the minimum, in a dark room, with as little noise as possible. Do what you must to make that happen - face masks, ear plugs, limiting caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, making sure you get at least 30min of sun exposure during the day, or whatever else will help your body transition from 'daytime' to 'nighttime' will help. It is hard now that many of us sit in a room in our homes day or night, without a work commute to help punctuate the separation, so we must be more thoughtful about it.

    We'll make it through yet. It is our jobs to make sure our bodies still work on the other side so we can enjoy the things we have been missing. Bodies are lazy things though, so I keep a multitude of alarms, pomodoros, and reminders to make myself do things I know are good for me.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

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  3. #603
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Swords, good to see you around!

    I've been picking up going to the gym in the past 3-4 months, being in the house for so long required some necessary fitness changes - plus the lack of any team sports which I love like football and basketball have taken a toll.

    Do you have any suggestions for core strengthening? I do squats with weights but that's about it.
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    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Hey Edyz!

    Have you tried asymmetric exercises to work on the core? Loaded carries with weight only in one side, single leg deadlifts, one arm/leg pushups/squats/planks. Keep good posture (read straight spine).

    Long sitting tends to shorten certain muscles as well, the big ones are going to be hamstrings, quads and hip flexors, glutes, pecs, and front deltoids, so incorporate stretches for those to help 'unbend'. Yoga's 'Upward facing dog' position is very helpful for me as my lower back gets a lot of the tension when I sit for long periods. Lunges, deep squats, and rotating your thumbs outwards (arms straight down at 'attention') and holding that position is also helpful to activate the back of the shoulder and rotate it back to a more natural position.
    Last edited by SwordsMaster; 10-12-2020 at 20:03.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

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    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Also, and this is by no way an advertisement, but I have really enjoyed Nike's Training Center (NTC) app, it is free (though asks you to register) and it provides a good variety of home workouts. It's great at keeping things fresh in case you start getting bored. There's a lot of yoga and mobility there too - at least for me, mobility is easy to overlook and focus on the things I like doing.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

  6. #606
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Swords, thank you so much.

    I will be resuming my gym regimen next week, took a pause for a while for various reasons. I see you noticed yoga, which brings me to the question - how did you get into yoga & did you see significant benefits?

    I'm not really into meditation and exercises but as a very big football fan (soccer for my American friends), there are a number of footballers who swear by yoga that it improved their mobility and lengthened their career.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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  7. #607
    Nec Pluribus Impar Member SwordsMaster's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval View Post
    Swords, thank you so much.

    I will be resuming my gym regimen next week, took a pause for a while for various reasons. I see you noticed yoga, which brings me to the question - how did you get into yoga & did you see significant benefits?

    I'm not really into meditation and exercises but as a very big football fan (soccer for my American friends), there are a number of footballers who swear by yoga that it improved their mobility and lengthened their career.
    Glad to hear you're getting back to exercising Edyz! It has been helping me stay a little sane throughout the lockdowns, and this darker part of the winter.

    Like any other exercise, yoga can be as much about meditation as you would like - there are many who apply yoga to strength, flexibility, balance, and not for its meditative aspects. The same is true of kung fu, or aikido, or any number of other physical practices. I personally know a number of people who would argue that running marathons is a form of meditation though I personally prefer to meditate with a Rioja and so I prefer those yoga workouts that focus on the exercise and not the more 'spiritual' commentary.

    I have begun incorporating various parts of yoga into my workouts for a number of years, usually as a remedy for a particularly sedentary stage in my life. My dad used to do Sun Salutations in the mornings when I was younger, and are a quick and easy thing to incorporate into your workouts. Up, and down-facing dogs and their transitions have been very helpful with hamstring and back mobility as well. If you're already doing one-leg deadlifts you might not find the one-leg balancing exercises very useful, but I don't currently have access to a full gym so I find them helpful for balance too.

    Ibra and Christiano incorporate yoga into their workouts, and there is certainly a vast number of workouts available on youtube so you have a choice of more/less physical/spiritual (Tim Senesi runs a more physical flow).
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

  8. #608
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Thank you Swords for the comments.

    I am definitely looking into it, as you mentioned as well Ibra and Cristiano incorporate it into their workouts - and look at them! 36 & 39 going amazing in their careers!
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  9. #609
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    @SwordsMaster - a little heads up from my side, I've just bought a kettlebell and I've started doing some home workouts with it. I am planning of making a small gym in the courtyard with various equipment - getting the treadmill is going to be difficult in terms of space - but a kettlebell is the first start.

    Squats with kettlebells are definitely tough.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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  10. #610
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    @edyz - That's great!

    I personally prefer to run outdoors on the street - nobody has stopped me so far, but of course if your circumstances are different do what you must.

    Since we all need cardio, what I have done and produces a great workout is kettlebell swing 'ladders' - you may start with 10, then 20, then 30, then 25, then 20, then 15, then 10, for example, with short (30s or less) breaks in between. Adjust for your fitness, if you feel like you may die then do all sets of 10, and start adding 3-4 reps at a time until you get to where you want to be. Once that becomes too easy (it won't anytime soon), add more sets. When I was swinging daily last May I worked up to 400 swings a day, in 2 sets of 50 before each meal, and 2 sets after work. Keep good posture (you should look like you're sitting on a chair with a straight back, not bending to pick berries).

    Try goblet squats - holding the KB under your chin. If you keep your back straight (which you should) it is a good workout also for the core. In addition you may look at one arm clean & presses, one leg-straight-leg deadlifts (keep your hips straight facing forward), or single arm KB swings once you are comfortable with two arms.

    A circuit I have used before included these things: 50 pushups, KB swings, 4x25 (with 20s rest in between), 2x25 KB goblet squats (30 sec rest), 50 pushups, 2min varied planks, 15 each leg one leg straight leg deadlifts. Other days if I didn't feel like swinging so much I may replaced 50 swings with 20 one arm clean and presses, and skip a set of pushups.

    I had a forearm injury that flared up again a few weeks back so I've been doing some surfing, riding my bicycle, and starting to play tennis again next week while my arm recovers sufficiently for KBs. Still doing lots of bodyweight squats, pushups, and the occasional Nike workout to help keep myself honest.

    Glad you're starting the new year on such a healthy resolution!
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

  11. #611
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    First time I've heard of kettlebell ladders - I actually googled how to do them, I like that exercise, I will incorporate it in my workout!

    I've been doing basically Sumo Squats with the kettlebell and deadlifts as well, alternating between the sets so that one uses the back muscles one uses the leg muscles. Also those Sumo Squats - 5 sets x 6-8 reps - will absolutely lock you on your chair the next morning.

    Just ordered a curved barbell for bicep / tricep exercises, gonna arrive tomorrow, I will get some weights but first I want to inspect the bar and see what sizes I need for the weights. Should be great!
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    Default Re: How do you work out

    That's great - however don't get too hung-up on equipment - it is a form of procrastination. There is a lot of triceps/biceps work you can do with pushup variations (try pushups with your hands together in a 'diamond') or pull-ups and variations. Gymnasts don't need EZ bars.

    My general recommendation is focus on full-body work (unless you are injured or impaired in some way) until you find that there is some bodypart holding you back - then work on that in isolation. This is for general fitness. If you are going for a certain look or performance goal, then yes, you need to focus on those. For a 'Hollywood power look' focus on your yoke (traps, delts, upper back), legs, and narrowing your waist - specially if it is wider than your legs or shoulders (which would put you at a higher risk for diabetes and heart disease anyway, so be careful with that).

    Usually a full body workout can be achieved in two ways: compound exercises (olympic lifts, playing a sport, turkish getups, etc.) or split workouts (legs, push, pull is the most common 3-day split).
    You only really need equipment for the olympic lifts, and a kb for the turkish getups.

    Consider squats, squat jumps, pushups and pullups and all their variations, one-limb imbalance exercises (one arm planks, one leg planks, one-arm pushups, one arm pull-ups if you can manage them), planches, and the myriad other bodyweight exercises.

    Also do something that challenges you and you have some fun with. That is rarely running on a treadmill.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

  13. #613
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Treadmill running challenges me a bit, in the sense that it's very good warmup for basically the entire body, and I thoroughly enjoy a light jog / fast walk for about 30 mins to prepare for the workout.

    I will be focusing specifically on lower back exercises, since I consider that to be rather underprepared.

    What's your take on crunches / ab crunches? Do they work? Or would it be needed to first strip the fat then to work out the abs so you can see them?
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Great! Do what makes you feel better. For lower back, strength is important, and as you get older, mobility becomes increasingly important as well. This is where yoga helps too, as there are many exercises that will challenge your mobility and flexibility. Up/down dogs are a great place to start!

    There's nothing wrong with crunches - people who have strong abs do millions of them - boxers (Muhammad Ali famously said 'I don't count crunches, I only start counting when it starts hurting.), MMA fighters, etc. However, the core needs to be engaged in every exercise you do, when you walk, you sit, ride your skateboard, jog, cycle, whatever. Depending on your current shape, if crunches are mechanically difficult (to be blunt, your belly is getting in the way of the crunch) you may want to start with planks, farmer's walks, cat-cows, and exercises that don't require bending very much.

    Other sportsmen, like powerlifters (look at Mariusz Pudzianowski or Eddie Hall (in his skinnier days)) rarely train abs in a targeted way - however, the very heavy weights they handle require ab activation to such a point that they develop quite naturally. Heavy farmer's walks are the absolute quickest way to develop ab strength, and, like any other muscle they will become visible when the layer of fat on top of them is sufficiently small.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Here is another interesting article on the magic of kettlebells.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

  16. #616
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Thank you Swords.

    In the absence of a treadmill or a place to jog consistently, how do you do your warmups?
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

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  17. #617
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    Default Re: How do you work out

    Usually, I either jog outdoors, do some light stretching, jumping jacks, or just lighter (bodyweight only) / smaller (less range of motion, progressively increasing) of the exercises you're going to be working on. So, for example, If I'm planning 5x8s of heavy goblet squats, I would do some light quad stretching, some light lunges, bodyweight squats of increasing depth and then jump into the exercises. Once you're starting to feel your heart rate going up, moved the joints involved through the range of motion, and the muscles are ready to work, you're pretty much ready - there is no hard rule that warmups need to be a particular type of exercise, or even to be done for a particular duration.
    Managing perceptions goes hand in hand with managing expectations - Masamune

    Pie is merely the power of the state intruding into the private lives of the working class. - Beirut

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