Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2 Hours and 5 Rolls

(11/3/09 5:00pm) Fitness Kickboxing
(11/3/09 6:00pm) BJJ


Renee taught the class again tonight. And again, the "warm-ups" were rough. We started off with what I think were 50 squats before we started jogging. The warm-up period is always difficult and leaves me doubting that I will be able to push thru and finish. Particularly when we do sprints down the long sides with shuffles around the short ends. That little delight feels like it lasts for an hour and a half but I am willing to bet it is only like two minutes.

We worked some different combinations on the heavy bags tonight, which was a nice change. Over the past few weeks my left hook has been getting pretty strong and tonight we worked hooks on both sides and now my right seems to be catching up.

The end of the class was pretty mild as compared to normal. The ab work, though a lot of reps, was not too extreme and only included a handful of the normal torturous exercises. At the conclusion I went to the locker room to change and get ready for Jits.


I hit the mats just as the warm ups were hitting the to-the-wall and back phase. I looked around, saw Dr. Evil but someone was conspicuously missing. Where the hell is Neil. Ok enough of a jab at him for not showing up. I hope the Big Mac was worth it buddy!

We drilled a spider-guard pass. For this one, we gripped the pants, on the inside, shook off their foot-to-biceps control one arm at a time. You then drive one leg to the ground, never letting it go till you obtain stable side control. With the other hand you shoot under the free leg, drive your head to their thigh and reach back grabbing the belt to prevent escape. You then walk around, passing the trapt leg and establish side control. This was pretty nifty and I actually pulled it off twice in rolling. That is great for me because I typically suck at getting past spider.


My first round was with Paul, a big guy tipping the scales at 240+. Big, strong guy. I did pretty well against him. To my surprise, I was able to negate a lot of his strength. I even got to mount and threatened a choke by the end of the round.

Second round was with Dr. Evil. As always we had a see-saw battle. The first half I was in control and even caught him with a wrist lock from on top in side control. But then, I started to gas. As he later pointed out to me, this was like minute 116 of training for me so it is understandable. We finished out the round with him taking my back.

Third round was with Sarge (Ruben). Traditionally Sarge would always take my back right off the bat. This time though I did pretty well with my wrestling and even managed to win an exchange. Sarge is very strong and surviving his constant onslaught felt good.

Fourth was with Ian, our resident phenom. He would instantly trip me up with his slick spider-guard entries and I would be on defense from the start. He choked me from various positions in many different ways. At the end of the round he said something that I am going to try to remember. He said that when being attacked, you need to respond right away; when attacking, you can take your time and wait for openings. On defense I tend to wait for small mistakes or opportunities and sometimes I get too patient till I don't have anywhere to go any longer. So thanks for the advice Ian.

Fifth round was back with Paul. I was doing well again till I missed on a guard pass, got caught in an oma plata sweep attempt and rolled into the wall. Once trapt I was pretty well stacked and with his weight bearing down, I felt something in my left ribs pop. I verbally tapped and sat out the rest of that round (about a minute). The rib is just fine now, but at the time it really took my breath away.

Great night of training. I seemed to hold up pretty well with the double work-out. Just need to keep it going.

Death to the Fat Kid

No offense to any actual fat kids out there. I am not talking about you. This post is about me personally and is not intended to portray any other fat kids real or fictional.

About one year ago I wrote a post in which I talked about having lost 30 pounds (195 to 165) and that I was 15 pounds from my goal of 150 (http://grappling-with-life.blogspot.com/2008/11/changing-weight-classes.html). Since that time I have had some...challenges. I had a couple of strokes at the beginning of this year that kept me off the mats, followed by the diagnosis and surgery to repair a hole in my heart.

All in all the first half of the year was shot from an exercise perspective. I was not allowed to do anything but normal life minus exercise. That was pretty difficult for me but hey, it is what I needed to do in order to make sure I would be alright for a long time to come. So I followed doctors orders and in the process lost focus on my eating habits. Lets see, no exercise and eating too much, not a good combination. Lets just say that I backslid a bit.

I was down to around 165 last November and now I find myself at 178.4lbs a gain of 13-14 pounds. When I look at it in that perspective, 6 months of nothing and only a 14 pound gain, its not too bad. Only 2.5ish pounds a month. Needless to say I still want to reach my goal. I want to get down to my original planed weight of 150 and I am motivated to do so.

I have added a weight tracker to the right hand side of my blogs homepage. I will keep track on a weekly (at least) basis of my current weight and body fat percentage. My first post in there is:
  • Weight: 178.4
  • Body Fat %: 21.5
I am hoping that having it out there in front of me and in the eyes of everyone who reads this will help to keep me marching toward my goal. My biggest problem as of late has been my food choices. I have been eating out tooooo much and enjoying large portions of the wrong foods. I love you ice cream and I will miss spending as much time with you.

Bottom line, I need an accountability system and this is the right venue. Reporting progress or lack there of is a heck of a motivator for me. So I ask your help. Keep me honest and if you see me eating crap, call me on it. Help me kill the fat kid once and for all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kicking Off The Week On Tired Legs

(11/2/09 5:00pm) Fitness Kickboxing

I started this session with quite a bit of apprehension. I totally expected for my legs to barely work if they worked at all. Yesterday was the now fabled 50 mile road ride so I knew that I would just be spent.

I was surprised all day that I was not really sore at all. I had a little bit in my legs but my shoulders and arms bore the brunt of my residual soreness; what there was. I guess that ice bath really did help. Thanks interweb for all those videos of folks like Wand and Tito dunking themselves into freezing cold water after a workout. Finally something useful pulled off the idiot box (other than this blog of course).

We did basically the exact same workout as all of the sessions I attended last week. Starting off with 110 squats before we even started the normal"warm-up" phase. I started feeling it in my legs around squat #30, but I pressed on and completed the entire workout as normal.

Unlike Saturday morning, at the end of class I was able to prop myself up without collapsing into a heap on the mats. Progress. Tonight I actually felt as though I started to turn a corner and that I am in fact getting a bit fitter. It has been a long while of plateaus, road blocks and uncertainty about my heart. Now though, I think it is all starting to come together. So a big thanks to everyone who has helped me along the way to get to this point and thanks in advance for helping me to see it thru.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

On the Road Again....and Again, and Again

(11/1/09) Road Cycling
*I normally don't list my cycling workouts here but this one is special.

Sunday. Normally this time of year Sundays are for sleeping in and watching football. Not this Sunday. I was up at 0600 (would have been 0700 but my phone didn’t auto update with the stupid time change) and getting ready for a ride on my road bike with my neighbor Greg. We had been talking about going mountain biking together for just about as long as I have lived there (4 years now) but as of yet had not. On Halloween evening as my wife and I were sitting outside waiting for kids, Greg and his wife were doing the same. We got to talking and he suggested a road ride and for once, I had nothing else on the docket so I eagerly said yes.

Greg said we could take a normal route of his, do an out and back. Now I already knew that Greg was in much better shape and that he would be kicking my ass on the ride. What I did not count on was just how destroyed I was from Renee’s beatings at the gym all week. When I left the gym on Saturday I could barely walk or hold my arms up due to totally fatigue. So that was the state I was in prior to this ride.

We started out at 0800. I was on my slick little road bike and Greg was plugging along on his mountain bike. All was well until we hit the first little climb on Godde hill road (it is a big, steep, up and over) and that is when all the leg work from the week hit me. Lactic acid was flowing and I could not shake it. Greg pressed on and waited for me at the ends of various sections. I was dying the entire time but I pressed on and made it. I am very proud of that ride.

Here is the box score:

  • Total Distance: 50 miles (yes really….50!)
  • Total Time: 3.5 hours
  • Total Elevation change (climbing): 3,000’
That was pretty rough. When I got home I was physically spent and sunburned. I did the old fighter ice bath trick to try and alleviate the inflammation in my legs and lower back. Basically I filled the tub with cold water and Ice and sat inside. I sat there for 3-4 minutes. Believe it or not but I think it helped. I expected to be worse for wear today and instead I feel fine…..relatively. We’ll see how I feel after tomorrow night's workout!