Monday, July 30, 2007

Entry #457

Bag-work caused my wrists to ache yesterday. I'll have to continue my break from it. Their condition is most definitely improving, however. I plan on doing primarily Olympic lifts in lieu of orthodox pushes until they're more capable.

Today, I did another double run to the high school and back. At night, I returned there with the intention of jump-roping on the track, but the gates were locked. Count that as a second running session. All of this cardio is strengthening my back. It took me until now to notice the pain was gone. I've also been having issues with my right rotator cuff for the past couple of weeks, but it always feels better after a run.

Also, I found out today that the closing gym is being replaced by...a gym. Los Gatos city council is widely renowned for its tactical brilliance, after all.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Entry #456

I was doing 185 for 8 reps of close-grip bench when both of my wrists started aching. I reracked and ran home. This is more serious than I thought. Curse my deadly strength.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Entry #455

Notes for overview~

I found this to be peculiar: "Never attempt to use a left cross (if
there is such a thing)
as a counter when slipping a straight right. Trying that, you may get
your brains knocked out. You wouldn't have slipping room between your
left shoulder and your chin."

Why counter with any cross at all? Why not a strong jab with the left? A cross has to travel extra distance, so why would the right be adequate to counter a straight that has less to go through?

On with reading.

"The right cross is a terrific blow
because (1) it is entirely
unexpected, and (2) it crashes into your opponent's jaw as he is coming
in. The punch packs the fast-moving weight of both bodies.

The straighter you keep the cross, the
more explosive it will
be. Many fighters make the mistake of hooking the cross. Many also err
in delaying the counter until after their opponent's jab has slipped
over the shoulder.

Keep the
cross straight, and shoot
it in the same split-second your opponent starts his jab. To do that
requires enough practice to give you nearly perfect timing.

I stated earlier that a well-rounded
fighter is always in
position to punch-that you do not have to get set to punch. That's
true. But in using the cross, you must get set mentally, at least. You
must anticipate your opponent's jab. That is, you must watch him and
time him until you're certain he's ready to jab again.


Never attempt to use a left cross (if
there is such a thing)
as a counter when slipping a straight right. Trying that, you may get
your brains knocked out. You wouldn't have slipping room between your
left shoulder and your chin.

Slipping straight rights, you use
movements similar to those
employed in sliding under straight lefts. Counter with corkscrews to
the body, but never attempt a left cross. You can slip inside or
outside on straight rights.

However, remember this: In slipping
either a straight right or
a straight left, you'll be safer if you slip the punch over your left
shoulder. The left shoulder-slip moves your head into a sort of "safety
zone," where it would be difficult for your opponent to hit you with
either fist. In other words, it's more dangerous to use your right
shoulder for slipping either inside a left jab or outside a straight
right, than it is to use the left shoulder for slipping either outside
a left jab or inside a straight right.

When a left jab goes over your right
shoulder, your head may
be in position to be nailed by a following right upper-cut
or right shovel hook. And when you try to slip a straight right over
your right shoulder, there's always the risk that you may roll solidly
into the punch."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Entry #454

My wrist is nearly healed, but not enough to warrant lifting today.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Entry #453

I did another double session, to the high school and back. It was much more difficult during the day, with the heat and the humidity in full swing. Still, I persevered.

The same could not be said for powerlifting. My aim was to bench 295 lbs. for three. I had to stop at 265, when I noticed my right arm shooting up much faster than my left; my wrist couldn't take the pressure. I reracked for the day and, luckily, it felt better on the way out. I just need a few more days for it.

From there, I ran all the way home, able to breathe through my nose the whole way. My ankles and knees were fine. It was taxing on my cardio, but when I got home, I immediately did rounds on the standing bag without rest. Finally, I went for a swim after that. I felt like fainting by the end.

I'd been watching boxing videos the prior night, like I do every night before I go to sleep, and during all of the running, I kept remembering Bundini Brown yelling to Ali during the first Liston fight, when everyone was booing him, "THEY CAN'T BRING YOU DOWN, CHAMP! FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE!"

Friday, July 20, 2007

Entry #452

I'm in the process of renewing my driving legalities so that I can go to the boxing gym. It'll be later than I expected, but if the outcome is the same, it's no burden. On the contrary, I can finish up my conditioning with the extra time so that I can whup everyone faster and be out in time for dinner.

Speaking of conditioning, I've been running every other day to the high school and back. Last week, I was out of breath with one go of that. Tonight, I easily ran two, with a sprint in for the final span.

I'm also contemplating about training in Muay Thai and BJJ at AKA alongside boxing. There's a gym right across the street from there, so that would be of use in lieu of a weight room. I'm applying for a job as an English tutor for high school students, so my full schedule will be flexible.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Entry #451

Feh. That bag pole killed my wrists. They were in pain all day today. It's my fault for palming my hooks, more than anything. I'll take a break from bag work in the next two off-days and focus on shadowboxing and cardio. They should be prime for the next lifting day.

ME lower-body was indentical to last week, but with two more sets of box squats and a full five sets of 135 lb. good mornings. I also did the squats sans shoes.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Entry #450

DE upper-body

Heavy bag warm-up

Speed bench:
10 X 3
185 lbs.

Barbell skullcrushers:
3 X 8     1 X 6
135 lbs.
This was with the Olympic bar and two 45's. All of the front seats were taken, so I resorted to the bench press set-up. I had to clean the weight to my chest, scoot forward to position my legs over the metal support bar, lie and do the set, sit-up with the weight, and curl it back onto the handles. One positive from this was that my elbows were iron-clad, despite the heavier weight and extra required stability for the lenghtier bar. It must be that cursed EZ bar responsible for my past tendonitis. Straight is the way to go.

5 X 6
Those involuntary 135 lb. curls left me in poor condition for these. I only managed six instead of the usual eight.

Hise shrugs:
2 X 15
245 lbs.
This saw a much better ROM than last week.

Heavy bag cool-down: very extensive work. I'm leaning into hooks much better. Still, remember not to push the bag. Snap back. I think this could have been blamed on the actual equipment itself. Untended to and forgotten, the bag is practically deflated. The covering offers thin protection for where your hand is really hitting: the support beam within. It's on a stand, so that's how it's kept upright. Consequently, I had an automatic tendency to connect with my palm more than I would have liked to prevent pointless damage to my knuckles. I don't fight poles.

Just work on jabs and straights, if that garbage is going to be used.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Entry #449

To update, a few hours later, my side feels completely fine now. My wrist is a little sore, but it's non-training related; I twisted it while sleeping (I was dreaming about fighting somebody) and the weights aggravated it slightly, but I expect it to heal by tomorrow morning.

In more serious matters, the gym is closing on the 31st. I've been going to it since I was five years old, and lifting there since nine. I'm going to see if I can score free stuff, like the molten rocks in the sauna that I burned my hand on when I was a little kid.

There's one other gym in this town. It's right by the high school, which means that it probably doesn't have a squat rack. I'll check it out this week. Ideally, I would have access to a weight room underground in a Russian cemetery, like Alexander Fedorov.
Entry #448

I suffered a minor injury today that cut my session short. Every lift prior to that saw gains, however.

ME upper-body

Shadowboxing warm-up

Bench press warm-up:
2 X 15     45 lbs.

Floor press:
5 X 3       135, 185, 225, 275, 315 lbs.

Military press:
1 X 12     45 lbs.
1 X 6       155 lbs.
1 X 5       155 lbs.
1 X 4       155 lbs.

T-bar rows:
1 X 10     207.5 lbs.
Upon the second set, I felt a pop near my rib cage and I immediately lowered the load. It appears that I pulled a muscle (serratus anterior).

It hurts a little to breathe, but it's not serious. I expect it to clear up in a matter of days. Still, I was smart to stop when I did. This happened from a lack of focus. I wasn't tensed up like I should have been.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Entry #447

I forgot a factor on yesterday's weigh-in. I've been off of creatine for a number of months, so I must have gained weight to still be at 230.

"ME" lower-body

Speed bag warm-up

Box squats:
2 X 3       135 lbs.
8 X 3       225 lbs.
Additionally, I removed one plate from the stack for a total of three plates and the box. My old amount was two plates.

Dumbell lunges:
3 X 10     75 lb. dumbbells

Good mornings:
1 X 10     95 lbs.
1 X 10     115 lbs.
2 X 8       135 lbs.

Cable crunches:
5 X 10

CoC grip work

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Entry #446

Weigh-in: still at 230 lbs. There's still plenty to do with my diet, so this is to no frustration.

DE upper-body

Heavy bag warm-up:
Excellent jab, again. I'm throwing it in conjunction with better footwork, and the result is a much more powerful shot. Even while circling, I make subtle changes in weight distribution  when I throw.

Speed bench:
8 X 3
185 lbs.

Barbell skullcrushers:
4 X 8
100 lbs.
Somebody swiped the bar from my bench while I was getting a drink, so I used the heaviest pre-constructed barbell they had. It was much too light.

4 X 8   1 X 5
I was strict on time here, and the shorter rests fatigued me. I stopped before absolute failure on the final set.

Hise shrugs:
2 X 15
245 lbs.
With this, I'm using as a tool to become more and more accustomed to the squat position. I'll continue to incrementally increase the weight week by week, even through cycles. This has a long-term place in my routine.

George and I went out to spar, under boxing rules. Because of his implied reluctance, I made the criteria so that he could hit me full-contact, but I could not do anything except work defense and throw pulled punches at him. I only included the latter to exercise capitalizing on openings in the opponent's guard. It should be noted that, although he's a trained martial artist fully able to throw a punch, he isn't a boxer, and none of this is to his discredit.

I mostly kept my hands low (intentionally) and simply dodged him with effective head movement, but I also did some excellent parries that he never found an answer for. Out of twenty minutes, his glove only fully made contact with my face on one occasion, and square in the jaw, no less. It was a right-hand lead, which breaks the pattern of setting up with a jab. I can't be drawn in to what I perceive as predictability. Anticipate, but don't predict. Simply react.

On occasion, I would throw some combinations, pulling back at the last minute, but they clearly would have gone through. It was very unsatisfying to restrict myself like that, but it was an example of my progress in technique.

There are no complaints with form that I can note, however limited a session that may have been. The biggest problem were my legs. They began to feel like lead after a few minutes. Granted, I've just gotten serious with lower-body lifting these past weeks, but it feels like I need to condition them for better staying-power. It may also be a factor of simply being too tense with them. I'll work on this.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Entry #445

DE lower-body

Shadowboxing warm-up

Hindu squats:
3 X 25
2 X 12

Padded-bar Romanian deadlifts:
4 X 10

Ab circuit

CoC gripper:
3 X 10

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Entry #444

ME upper-body

I completed this in an hour, my shortest session for this day yet.

Heavy bag warm-up (good flicking jab today)

Bench press warm-up:
2 X 15
45 lbs.

Floor press:
5 X 3
135, 185, 225, 275, 310 lbs.
I was in a mental rut again, going through the motions half-asleep, so 275 felt heavier than expected. I punched myself in the face and cleared 310 with much less difficulty.

Military press:
1 X 15
45 lbs.
2 X 6
145 lbs.
There's no pain, but my spine feels dangerously compressed when standing under this. I'll practice the form this week and focus on keeping a straighter posture. It might just be normal pressure, but this would be of benefit either way.

T-bar rows:
5 X 10
90, 185, 195, 195, 195 lbs.

Lateral raises:
3 X 8
35 lb. dumbbells

Abdominal circuit:
chop-crunches, v-ups, leg raises

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Entry #443

I could barely shadowbox properly because my legs were so sore. I fought through it and did some light punching on the flimsy standing-bag, more for the stretch than any actual fighting application. I went swimming later at night. Squats underwater are perfect for leg-recovery. I can get a good stretch and increase my flexibility without any stress.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Entry #442

Today was a milestone as far as lower-body training is concerned. Everything was done light, but it's a jump in progress compared to what I was previously capable of post-back trauma.

ME upper-body (though not actually max effort)

Heavy bag warm-up - I had to work in with the old man. He was a beast on it today.

Box squats:
5 X 3
135, 185, 225, 225, 225 lbs.

Dumbell lunges:
3 X 8
75 lb. dumbbells

Good mornings:
5 X 8
95 lbs.

Chop crunches:
3 X 20

CoC grip work

A good precursor to what the following weeks will bring.

My knuckles were so sore from all of the bag work I've been doing that I could barely close the gripper. I'll spend the next few days shadowboxing and focusing on kicks to give them a break. You're next, shins.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Entry #441

My jabs are becoming much stronger, and, consequently, I'm tiring on the bag quicker. I would have drilled for longer rounds today, but I wanted to save some stamina for lifting later in the evening.

Hooks on the bag need to not be extended so far. Step in and throw; don't reach out and arm-punch. The feet were kept planted where it mattered, however.

DE upper-body

The speed bag is gone. I'm using the gym's heavy bag to warm-up now.

Speed bench:
10 X 3
185 lbs.

Barbell skullcrushers:
4 X 8
115 lbs.

5 X 8

Hise shrugs:
2 X 15
225 lbs.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Entry #440

I started off today with rounds on the new bag. The material isn't as brittle as the stiff leather on my old one, so I think this should be less prone to getting tears. The hardness comes from the compacted material more than the prior one; although it's heavier, it's actually skinnier in circumference.

My right hand lead has become more proficient. Even with the added anchor of the unused bag, the entire station shifts from it. I'm facing more towards the center than before now, so less has to go into getting my right across and out.

Effort needs to go into keeping my feet firmly planted with hooks. I have a Joe Frazier habit of leaping into them. When I'm careless, my back foot comes off the ground. I'll make them a focus.

Later, at night, I walked to the track and did a short jump-rope session. After that, I went swimming. I expected it to be harder with the weight I'm at now compared to the last time I went, but it felt no different.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Entry #439

I purchased a new bag from Big 5 today. The heaviest they had was 100 lbs., 25 lbs. more than my old one. That bag is serving as an anchor for the stand; I shoved it in between the supporting beams and it prevents the entire thing from shifting. Rocky Marciano used to work a 300 lb. bag so that he would be trained to apply more power into every punch just to get the thing to move. I'll have to go carcass hunting one of these days.

DE lower-body

This was done at home. No quantitative recording.

Shadowboxing warm-up

Hindu squats:
2 X 25
2 X 12
I was being cautious with my knee, hence the drop. It held up perfectly.

Good mornings:
4 X 10

3 X 12
I held position for a few seconds and threw punches at the climax of each contraction.

CoC gripper:
3 X 10