Saturday, March 31, 2007

Entry #400

My connection was disabled for the better part of yesterday. We went on another hike, this time at Castle Rock. I was looking for rattlesnakes, but all I saw were lizards. I didn't even get West Nile virus or anything. It was a disappointing trek, to be sure, but at least a difficult one, even moreso than last week's.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Entry #399

An accident off Lark disabled power for that entire area and closed down the street that the gym is on. I know they did it specifically to off-set my schedule, but it won't work. Instead, I'll move everything one day behind so that I do squats tomorrow and can lift more conveniently Monday through Friday instead of starting on Tuesday.

The back-supported lifts are doing a lot. I'm not going to max out on push-presses until I've fully regained spine composure.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Entry #398

ME upper-body

Bench press:
5 X 3
135, 185, 225, 255, 275 lbs.

Overhead dumbbell press:
3 X 8
75 lb. dumbbells

Seated dumbbell rows:
5 X 10
65 lb. dumbbells

Seated lateral raises:
3 X 12
30 lb. dumbbells

Abdominal circuit:
crunches, reverse crunches, and leg raises

Monday, March 26, 2007

Entry #397

George and I went running up to Lexington, but I decided to stop midway because of my ankles. They didn't hurt by much margin; on the contrary, I'm able to run farther now than in recent months, and that's why I do not want to risk aggravating them. They're definitely getting more conditioned, though. I hiked the rest of the way. It was slower than what I was planning for, but I made it to the top. If anything, I increased the trail's agony by taking longer on it.

I don't like having to wait until a specific time of the year to be able to run. I'm going to increase my cardio drastically so that I can be fully conditioned year round.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Entry #396

George is here, but we can't fight because his wrist is sprained from a sparring mishap. We went on a hike at Walden West today. I dragged with me a backpack filled with water bottles and food, a recovering back, a state of low conditioning, and the most weight I've ever been at uphill for hours, with no break. My joints began to hurt 10 minutes in. Once my knees started to buckle and my cardio gassed, I felt like quitting more than any instance ever before, but I didn't. I made sure not to use my hands to grab anything for support. After an hour of this, everything changed and I felt better, still going uphill, and at even steeper inclines. I wasn't tired in the least by the time we were finished. 

Friday, March 23, 2007

Entry #395

I was up all night redoing an erased homework assignment, but still felt energetic enough to do some early-morning bag rounds. The issue here is muscle catabolism, not fatigue. One night should not have any drastic consequences, but I lose weight too easily to not be wary. Consistent eating throughout the night/morning and vitamin supplementation should have stifled this.

I've also discovered a simple enhancement to improve my standing bag. Propping it up close to the heavy bag causes it to hit and bounce back much faster and more unpredictably at me.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Entry #394

After reconsideration, I've decided to analyze a shadow boxing video I uploaded. It was done as afterthought after a work~out, but skill should be instinctive and automatic in every instance, so it's liable for assessment. Some video is better than none at all. I film almost every account of shadow boxing now, but erase it immediately after watching.

Conventionally speaking, I can recognize that:

> ..."cat~pawing" instead of straight jabs should be avoided.

> ...more hip involvement should be utilized, especially in combinations.

> ...there should be more head movement.

> ...the shoulder should be rotated to get more reach.

> ...practice with this shouldn't be linear. I should be moving and circling.

> ...the chin should be tucked in to more extent.

> ...for the upper~cut, elbows should be lowered in accordance to the shifting of the body so that the fist can rise up farther and stronger.

And in conclusion to that, striking would be slowed down so that detail can be examined because form shouldn't be sacrificed for speed at this point.

However, what I do feels right to me, and I've won with it before. A few years ago (recorded on October 23, 2004 in this journal), I fought Marty Wood, a boxer with an amateur record of 20 ~ 0 ~ 3. I had none, of course. He dominated in the first round, won more narrowly in the second, and by the third, despite his superior conditioning, I had gotten comfortable with my movement and he couldn't hit me, nor avoid my counters. The fourth was the third with less activity. I bled from the first, but he quit in the last. It felt right what I did then, and it feels even better now.

One boxer today advised me not to practice south~paw. I see no reason for that. Actually, I'm equally comfortable in orthodox, but south~paw is what I'm natural with (I specifically chose it for that clip so that my front would be towards the camera for clearer study).

I can win with what I want to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Entry #393

Mid~bulk progress: 221 lbs.

The cheap bag gloves that I've been using aren't adequate enough
for me, even with wraps. I will use the sparring pair until I can buy
some quality bag ones.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Entry #392

I was unable to record yesterday's circumstances due to a disabled internet connection. This account will be in accordance to Friday, March 16. Today was a reluctant period of leisure time.

The heavy bag felt heavy hands. In the midst of striking it, a gap in the zipping suddenly opened and stuffing flew into my mouth. However, I could not fully capitalize on solid positioning. The bag is hung directly over the edge of the patio, and I have to stand near the tip of the curb to hit it. I cannot adequately work in~fighting without continually stopping the bag with my hands from swinging beyond my reach. Consequently, my hooks often turn into swings, reaching out at odd angles to make contact. The way to train that type of punch would be to drill it from a dead~hang, but this does eliminate the aspect of incorporating it into combinations. Practicing that in shadow~boxing will have to suffice.

I continue to film all of this to self~critique.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Entry #391

My back has recovered exponentially, as has my shoulder. However, it is in best interests to take this week off of lifting in order to prevent further injury. With consistent eating, I should return stronger.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Entry #390

The entirety of today consisted of bag work. I will analyze technique at a later point, when I am more comfortable maintaining a seated position. I threw out my back practicing bodyweight squats and am essentially reverted to the state of last week. In the ultimate perspective, this will mean nothing.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Entry #389

RE upper~body

I trained sore. It affected performance in exercises involving chest and triceps.

Warm~up dips:

Weighted push~ups:
25 lb. plate, 3X15

50 lb. dumbbells, 4X8


Hise shrugs:
225 lbs., 3X12

My right shoulder became inflammatory mid~session. Foreign movements call for a more extensive warm~up. At this bodyweight, dips aren't a warm~up in themselves.

Boxing work concluded the day. I cycled between shadowboxing, speed bag, and heavy bag. My hands felt unusually brisk. During shadowboxing, they snapped back and forth like rubber~bands. I was also notably faster on the speed bag, but that was because the platform wasn't loose, in an unprecedented state of maintenance.

Coach was there. He remarked on how proud he is of me after the three
years he's known and helped me, and how my success has helped motivate
him to better his own life and spirit. Just kidding. He stomped in the
room and roared a greeting while kicking an exercise ball clear
across the area, disturbing a woman and her trainer in the corner.

There's an old man that I've seen training there for quite a long time
now. He's lightning on the speed bag, and the standing bag tips over on
its base when he does rounds on it, his body swaying so fiercely into the punches that his adjacent foot nearly leaves the floor. I once struck up a conversation
with him, and he told me that he used to box in the Navy. He's 82 years old. I
saw him in the locker room today after a long absence and I was going
to ask him something important about boxing, but he was engrossed in a
conversation with somebody else about musicals. And I had to go.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Entry #388

My back is nearly healed to the fullest extent. I can bend and grab my toes with no pain; there is only a slight tingling sensation in the corners of my torso that is diminishing day by day. It actually feels better than the state of performance it was at before the injury. Deadlifts will not elude me for much longer. I will not tolerate setbacks of any manner because they will ruin the plan that I have for this year. This is the only mention I will make of this boxing experiment until the event itself, but it's something that I've had in mind for a long time now. I won't lose at it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Entry #387

ME upper~body

Bench press:
135 lbs., 3 reps
185 lbs., 3 reps
225 lbs., 3 reps
255 lbs., 3 reps
275 lbs., 3 reps
This is the standard power approach. Previously, I would pyramid up, decreasing reps and increasing weight. The floor presses have proved to be an extremely effective addendum; 275 posed no trouble for triples here. I also experimented with a new technique, at the suggestion of Scott Mendelson's page: squeezing the bench between the thighs to allow greater drive. However, this forces a much narrower stance. I found it more proficient to maintain a wide base.

Dumbbell press:
90 lb. dumbbells, 8 reps
3 sets

Seated dumbbell rows:
65 lb. dumbbells, 10 reps
5 sets
"Seated" denotes lying face down on the seat ~ in this case, at a slight incline ~ and doing the movement. This demands much stricter and more isolated form, as the rest of the body cannot be utilized for drive. It was a necessary switch in order to compensate my back, and even barring that factor, it's a suitable variation for exercise cycling.

Seated lateral raises:
30 lb. dumbbells, 8 reps
3 sets
Pertains to the same situation as explained above.

Abdominal circuit:
crunches, reverse crunches, and leg raises

On the topic of nutrition, the store was out of flax oil, so now I am taking cod liver oil before sleeping. It is actually a richer source of Omega's, but the price is twice as high. On top of that, the calories are a third of flax seed, so olive oil should be taken with the serving. Peanut butter is also a profound pre~bedtime food for gaining weight. In regards to carbohydrates, I can eat a slice of bagel smothered in peanut butter, rather than a whole plain piece. One's heart races from the excitement of this.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Entry #386

The state of my back has improved by a significant margin. Flexibility motions throughout the day are key. With that said, I've placed an order for a copy of Stuart McGill's highly acclaimed book, Low Back Disorders. The most alluring aspect of it is the technical standpoint of a medical perspective, and the emphasis on dispelling popular myths on back mechanics and the exercises pertaining to it. His other publication seems to be more of a conventional fitness guide, of which I'm in no short supply of.

In the meantime, I've been making the most of my still~limited range of allowable movement. Hard kicks aren't doable at this point, nor are hooks and upper~cuts. I'm spending my time with straight punches, such as jabs and leads.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Entry #385

Weigh~in: 221 lbs.

ME lower~body

Squats (at last):
45 lbs., 15 reps
45 lbs., 10 reps
135 lbs., 5 reps
185 lbs., 5 reps
225 lbs., 5 reps
275 lbs., 5 reps
The weight was light and my balance was impeccable, but I threw caution to the wind due to slight stiffness in my back. I only went down to parallel.

105 lb. dumbbells, 5 reps...
...7th rep, and then
My spine crumpled like an accordion. I stood for a few moments in shock, then dropped the weights and staggered to a seat. There was a lesson payed for advancing too impatiently. Everything else had to be cancelled. Enduring the seat shape on the drive home was more taxing than the squats.

It will be bothersome trying to sleep tonight, as there's no possible position that isn't painful; lying down hurts more than standing. Comfort is for the weak, anyways.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Entry #384

DE upper~body

135 lbs., 3 reps
6 sets

Barbell skullcrushers:
110 lbs., 8 reps
5 sets

8, 6, 6, 5, 4 reps
Performance on this exercise is actually improving as I gain weight.

Hise shrugs:
225 lbs., 12 reps
3 sets

Perhaps above all, I managed to close the #1 gripper today in my right hand. My positioning was wrong; the bar wasn't fitted deep enough into my palm. I only did it once, but I don't think buying the trainer is necessary. That single rep wasn't difficult at all, but the second attempt met with failure. It's a very uneven experience.