Friday, February 22, 2013

aerobic training

H'ok.  We all remember the PE class schpiel about max heart rate (MHR) and target heart rate (THR).  Turns out that sports science has advanced enough that there's a more detailed theory about what range we should be trying reach to achieve certain results.

And if you're a fatboy like me and have been punishing yourself on a treadmill wondering why you're not seeing any gains AT ALL, then you're probably doing what I'm doing: training like you were an 18 year old athlete instead of a 40ish computer nerd.  Or to put it another way, pushing way too hard.

Here's what I've learned and how I'm planning on changing up my workouts to see if it makes a difference... more words after the jump.

that's more like it

So this past week, the workout has changed a little bit more.. but the big news is that I am now losing weight after the workouts (the trick is not backsliding over the weekend or by "justifying" Bad Food).  I think I've finally finished putting on whatever new muscle was coming.

I ended up pushing to 2K in swimming last Thursday, and it pretty much wiped me out.  The pool was closed Friday and Monday, and since I was still feeling burned out on Monday I skipped the heavy bag, too.

Starting Tuesday, the workout was basically just 2K swimming.  75% freestyle (no backstroke), the rest breast stroke.  I did take short 2 breath breaks in between laps (25m), but only one 30s break at 1.5km and a couple of breaks just long enough to stretch out my shoulders at 700m and 1600m.  Finish it up by treading water for 2 minutes to cool down.  I'm swimming about 1.8K in 1 hour, so 2K is about 1:10.

At night, I'd do 2 sessions of Bas Rutten's 2 minute boxing CD (around 30 minutes) just to keep working on the shoulder and leg strength.

Repeated that for Wednesday and Thursday, pool closed today.  So I did some bag work for about 45 mins, then swung by the gym for 3x8 powerlifts at roughly the same weight I'd left off at back in December (bench was down 20 and leg press was down 100lbs due being tired and having been out of the gym so long).  I gave myself around 30s between lifts, and rotated through BP->LP->Military Press-> back to BP.

Considering taking an hour long Basic Bag class tommorrow, and maybe sticking around for a KM class.

End result is that despite eating quite a bit more than normal, I'm down 6lbs and at my low point when just dieting.  Unlike weight loss with dieting, though, this weight will come back quickly... and it's easy to "justify" a trip to Shipleys with "I'm about to do an hour of swimming".  Even drinking Gatorade/Powerade will wreck the weight loss for the day... been sticking to strictly water in the workouts.

Post swimming lunch has been a couple of double cheeseburgers from McD's and a bacon ranch salad (no chicken), and dinner has been a couple of double Whataburger Jr.'s (toss the bun).  Not exactly healthy, but it seems to be working.

Depressingly, my performance hasn't been improving noticeably during these past few weeks of high intensity exercise, and like I said weight loss just ain't happening (although I chalk that up to muscle gains).  Even flat-out full speed, my time for 100m in the pool is at best 2:15s (which is absolutely poor) and started off at 2:20s.  I've been doing some research on aerobic training that is counterintuitive to what I was expecting and I'll go over that in the next post.

But I'm still happy with the progress made thus far.

Monday, February 4, 2013

slowly getting there

Feel pretty good about today's workout:

1 hour swimming (1.6K)
 * for the first 1K:
  - tried to keep it at least 75% freestyle/front crawl (sub backstroke if I'm sucking down too much water)
  - breast stroke the other 25% if shoulders are tuckering out
  - it's ok to stop every 150m, but no longer than 10s (3 deep breaths)
 * last bit
  - 50% front crawl, 50% breast stroke
  - no set distance.. just shoot for whatever you can get until the hour is up

20 minutes footwork
* warmup laps
* 3x10 pushups and situps
* shadow box for 3 mins
* "tour the gym" once in fight stance... start at front left corner: walk back, to your right, forward, then left along edge of gym
* 2x "tour the gym" with 10lb dumbbells in each hand at guard position.. 1 min breaks (keep moving)
* 3x10 straight punches w/weights (work on keeping guard hand up and in the right spot!).. 1 min breaks between
* 1x10 punches w/o weights, make sure you use good form, then stretch out

1 hour heavy bag
* five sets of 5x10 straight punch
  - each arm does 5 subsets of 10 punches
  - focus on speed and form, not so much on power
  - keep hands in guard position, even during breaks
  - should take around a minute
  - 1 minute break in between... walk/jog

* 5x15 of two-fers
 - switch lead hand on each set
 - left+right = 1 rep
 - chop feet, try for power and KO on 2nd punch
 - should take around 15s... 30s breaks

* 5x15 four-fers
- switch lead hand on each set
- left+right+left+right = 1 rep
- chop feet, try for both speed and power
- should take around 30s... 1m breaks

* 5x15 3bows
- switch lead hand on each set
- left+right+left+right elbow
- try to put a crease in the bag with the elbow
- both speed and power
- should be around 30s... 1m breaks

* 3x10 front kicks
- 10 with each leg = 1 set
- defensive kick... use whole foot to hit bag
- focus on form (knee up to cock it, then snap it forward)... keep balance and work on foot position
- work on getting power from popping the hips
- 30s break between each set

* 5 sets of 20 second flurries
- front punch as fast and hard as you can for 20s
- break 20s, then back into it
- it's ok for the punches to get really weak... just keep going like your life depended on it

My big goal for the next week is to start shortening the break times some more (ie, no break is longer than the punching time) and then maybe work on increasing reps.