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  1. I always enjoyed watching movies with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had a big influence on me when I was younger and his movies were always something I enjoyed no matter how many people said he couldn’t act. His one liners are legendary and my being back this time is a homage to Arnold. Actually, there’s a little more to it. My last couple challenges weren’t the best and this challenge for me is all about being back. Karate, Karate, Karate... I am still training for the next tournament and I need to get back to basics again. This time around is four days a week or Karate fundamental training. The basics are the key to a solid foundation and those are what I’m returning to this time around. Loosen the hips and tighten the core... With the exception of a tight Achilles, my body is moving fairly well overall. Fairly well isn’t great so five days a week will have at least 10 minutes of mobility and glute & core training. Breathe better... ‘I learned something about my breathing in relation to my power output in my techniques. I thought I already had good breath control but I found if I keep my tongue on the top of my mouth when breathing in, my power goes way up. The goal is to do this with all my training but I need it to be automatic. I can’t really gauge but I want to do this for at least 75% of my training. Extra credit - Write at least one blog post I haven’t published one blog post in months but this time it’s different because I’m back.
  2. The last challenge went well but there is I need some more work to continue on my journey. I don't have a good theme this but maybe I will find one before this starts. 1. Karate complexes - 3 times a week The kicking complexes do work well for me but I have to do them in order to get the benefits. On top of the kicking complexes, I plan to do katas on those days also aiming for 40 katas a week. I am also coming up with some stance training complexes that I will add to the mix once I figure out how to do them. 2. Circuit training - 2 times per week This time around, I am going to do some sort of strength training two times a week. It can be the inhumane burpee, a kettlebell workout or some form of strength work. 3. Active rest - 2 times a week What I have found in the past challenges is that near the start of week three, my training starts to fall off. I seem to be losing my motivation and my body is just tired. To fix this, I am planing on two days of active rest which will include stretching and mobility work. I have a lot of choices to choose from so this should be a fresh way to do something useful but not drain me like the full out training that I was doing six or more days each week. Teaching Karate might also count as an active rest day, since I am not really training but I am moving around. Extra credit - Write 500 words per week This is one of the things that I have to get back into. The last two challenges showed a little glimmer of hope but now it's time to get real.
  3. So this challenge will be more or less identical from last time, but with some small changes and improvements. Again is the goal to eventually eat pancakes with my feet, and then celebrate it in a pancake stretch. More info will maybe come not sure yet Lifestyle: G:1 Practice contact juggling 3 times pr week. for at least 10 minutes pr time. Fitness: G1: Daily handstand (at least 5 attempts pr day G2: Head2toe 5 times pr week G3: Pancake or hip opening (I found out that on the last challenge if I didn’t go to the gym I couldn’t do my pancake progression, so this time I will allow for hip opening poses as well at least 5 out of 7 days. G4: Rings 3 times pr week. W1: 3/3 Contact jugling: 7/7 Handstand 5/5 Pancake // Hip opening 3/3 Ring training W2: 3/3 Contact jugling: 6/7 Handstand 5/5 Pancake // Hip opening 3/3 Ring training W3 0/3 Contact jugling: 0/7 Handstand 0/5 Pancake // Hip opening 0/3 Ring training W4 0/3 Contact jugling: 0/7 Handstand 0/5 Pancake // Hip opening 0/3 Ring training Total: 3/12 Contact jugling: 7/28 Handstand 5/20 Pancake // Hip opening 3/12 Ring training
  4. After a disappointing previous challenge, it time to go back to the basics again. 1. Workout five times a week: As long as I workout for more than a few minutes, I'm going to call it a workout. This could be Karate training, lower body work, lifting heavy metal objects or any type of mobility work. 2. Tai Cheng three times a week: Since this really helps my Karate, it's time to get back to doing this on a regular schedule. I am trying to be more realistic with my current workload and three times is attainable. 3. Static and moving Karate stance training interval style three time a week: This is one area that had suffered the most over the last 7 weeks. I can still get into good stances but moving out of them is more difficult since I haven't been training. Extra credit - Meditation three times a week: The extra stress is not doing me any good at this point and I really need to find some way to relax. Call of Duty used to work well but I need to put my mind in a much calmer state. I have a couple of apps on my iPhone that could be useful and I do like the simple breathing meditation at bedtime but I have to do it. Life goal: Write 150 words a week for my blogs: My writing has really taken a back seat over the last few months and I have to get back to it. I know that a 150 words a week is not much but it's better than zero so I am setting the bar lower to get a win here.
  5. Hello all!! I've been quite inflexible my whole life... I tried doing yoga but I wasn't very consistent, mainly because the classes were so expensive. I can't touch my toes without bending my knees. My main objective is to be more loose so I can be better at dancing, which I plan to pick up again after not doing it since I was a little kid. What exercises do you recommend I should do to improve my flexibility, especially in the hips? I would be very thankful for any suggestions. Love to you all!!
  6. After three months of fairly consistent workouts, it's time to put my newly added hip strength and mobility to use and focus more on Karate. 1 - More Karate training - Karate class at home each week Ever since one of my Senseis, who is also my Iaido Sensei, retired over two years ago, I no longer have the same amount of fundamental training that I had back then. I am told by my kata coach that my basics are very good but I still feel that need more of the back and forth drills that I used to do in class each Thursday night. With that said, this time, I have to get in that second Karate workout each week at home along with my formal Karate class each week. 2 - Kick, kick and kick some more - Kicks at least 5 days a week Now that my hips are starting to cooperate, it's time to work on some kicks again. Sets of 5 kicks with each leg to start and I will see where it goes from there. 3 - Time to cut the fat Doing all the workouts I did over the last three months really helped me pack on some leg and glute mass but it also helped me gain over 15 pounds and some of that is in my waist. Needless to say, I like the smaller waist and I do feel that I am carrying a bit too much weight even though is has had any impact on my endurance. I'm eating less now than I was before so I am not totally sure where the weight came from but I want to spend the next four weeks figuring out how to take it off. Life challenge - Level up my life I recently bought Steve's excellent book and am about a third of the way through it and I really like what he is saying. I have read many self help books and I went to see Tony Robbins last year but for some reason, I have this big motor and my tires are spinning instead of it taking my life forward. With that said, I want to finish Steve's book and starting implementing what he suggests over the next 30 days. I think I already have my alter ego picked out and now it's time to get going with it.
  7. I had to give this a lot of thought - I didn't want to take on too much, but I also had some goals I wanted to add... and still need to keep a handle on the good habits I've been working on. After some contemplation though, I decided to go for the "All the things" route. Hey, this is supposed to be a challenge right?! Goal One Metrics: Calories: 1400-1700 Carbs: <100g Protein: >80g 1 point per item per day: A = 100+ B = 85+ C = 70+ D = 55+ F = <55 Goal Two Self-propulsion: I did a good job of getting in to a routine with both of these last challenge - this is just cementing the habit. Bike Commuting: 4x per week (1 pt for each way) Steps: 70,000 per week (1 pt per 10,000) A = 90+ B = 83+ C = 75+ D = 68+ F = <68 Goal Three Work out: This will probably be largely comprised of yoga, but substitutions are fine. 2x per week A = 12+ B = 10+ C = 8+ D = 6+ F = <6 Goal Four Hip Opening Work: I'm going to try this routine - it looks promising. May change it up as we go on, but I've GOT to do something to loosen up those hips! And I'm hoping making it an actual goal will help. 3x per week A = 18+ B = 15+ C = 12+ D = 9+ F = <9 Goal Five Kitchen Purge My cupboards are tiny, poorly organized, and way too full. Need to get rid of a bunch, and better sort the rest. This may happen in a binge session some weekend, or I might spread it out, we'll see. 8 cupboards A = 8+ B = 7+ C = 6+ D = 5+ F = <5
  8. This challenge ends during my next convention, so it lines up pretty perfectly with some of my goals to get back in shape and make progress on costumes. Here we go. Let's do this. For real this time... cause something has to work, eventually, right? Dauntless – I Am Brave We believe in ordinary acts of bravery; the courage to drive one person to stand up for another. I am going to be less hard on myself. I always say I will do “x†program for this challenge. I’m getting a little workout ADD, so I want to just say that I will workout 30 minutes or more 5x a week. It can be biking, yoga, running, one of my many home programs, WHATEVER. My goal is to work toward doing push-ups on my toes, so I will try to incorporate push-ups every day, but the focus will really be on just MOVING 5x a week and increasing my strength. Candor – I Am Honest Truth makes us transparent. Truth makes us strong. I’ve been unwise with money this year. I’ve paid off my credit cards only to hike them back up again. I have $1,500 to pay off and I need to pay it off fast. I want to be done with credit cards because it is becoming more and more obvious to me that I can’t use them responsibly. They make it too easy to spend money I don’t have because it doesn’t seem tangible. Money isn’t a thing anymore, it’s the swipe of a card and a worry for tomorrow. As I try to get more into the mindset of setting myself up to start a family, this can’t be the case anymore. My goal is to pay my debt down by half by the end of this challenge. That’s $750 between three cards. I can do that. If I do more, great… but the goal should be realistic and attainable, so we’re starting with just half. Erudite – I Am Intelligent Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict. I know that I need to slow down my social life and focus on getting ‘me’ things done 3x a week. I will have two tasks under this category and every time I work on either of them, I will count it as a success. I want to make progress on my cousin’s baby blanket (knitting). I want to complete my Princess Bubblegum gown in time for MetaCon on September 4th. These things are stimulation for ME. It’s me time, and time for my brain to recoup and regenerate without feeling like I’m being pulled in 100 directions to do other things. Amity – I Am Peaceful Trust, Self-Sufficiency, Kindness, Forgiveness, Involvement. This portion of my challenge will explore yoga and stretching 5x a week. Let’s be honest. I am not flexible – especially in my hips. It may sound crazy but sometime in the next 18ish months, I’d like to think I’ll be squeezing a tiny human out of there, so it’s time to suck it up and work on the hips and hammies. I plan to combat this by working through stretches that prepare the body for doing splits. I have several places of reference for making my hammie and hips more flexible: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Do-Splits-3551904#photo-3552999 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZTGgEWPbLk And Cheech’s famous Hip Openers http://rebellion.nerdfitness.com/index.php?/topic/50130-side-quest-3-put-your-hips-into-it/ http://www.yogajournal.com/article/practice-section/hip-enough/ Abnegation – I Am Selfless I will become my undoing if I become my obsession. This is going to be a stretch, but for Abnegation, I am going to be selfless by treating my body like a sanctuary again. I’ve gotten back into processed foods, lots of coffee, and quick meals out, but I need to practice more discipline or I will be my own undoing. For this challenge, I am allowed ONE meal out per week and ONE cup of coffee a day. If I don’t use it, it doesn’t pile up. If I don’t use it, it’s gone. This, in theory, will stop me from stockpiling them to have one week where I just slack off and eat out every day.
  9. I've been doing StrongLifts for a little while now and making decent progress. I'm at the point where I'm squatting my body weight (140#) and have realized that the difficulty comes not from my muscles not being strong enough, but because at the bottom of my squat, all I can feel is the strain on my hip joints. I've tried widening my stance, narrowing my stance, moving where my toes point, checking my form otherwise, and nothing seems to make a whole lot of difference. Is it simply too heavy? I mean, I can manage to do 4-5 reps in a set, but I feel like my form does suffer a bit -- like I'm leaning forward as I push up. I guess the bottom line is: has anyone else had this happen, and do you have any tips? If I back down on the weight and, say, do more reps per set, would that be likely to help? I'm getting a little frustrated over here -- I want to up my weight but it doesn't seem like I'll be able to anytime soon.
  10. The actual quote from Firefly is "You're like a trained ape. Without the training." but I want to be better than that and be like the trained ape that actually has the training. Main quest: Like all of my other challenges, my main quest is to improve my kicks. To be more specific, my side thrust kicks have always been my main goal but I need to add roundhouse kicks to this goal because they need help too. 1 - Mobility: Cheechoe's hip routine is going to be the main focus here but I also want to add the resets to make my hips work better. The goal is to do both of these at least 4 days each week.2 - Back to basics: Do 2 full Karate workouts at home each week in addition to my Karate class. Before the Karate workout do a strength movement and at the end of the workout do a core/ab movement. (modified 8/14/14) 3 - Karate specific: Total of 1000 kicks and punches per week. Life quest: Spend more time with my wife Spending the time walking with the Typhoon and doing something fitness related while doing it really helps put my mind in a better place and it also helps loosen up my hips. Walk 5 days a week.
  11. I have lost track of how many challenges I have done now. I am pretty sure this is number seven or maybe eight but either way, I am back again to cause trouble as much as possible. Many of you might be wondering why I titled this challenge, Here comes the Boom. The main reason that is that I just watched that movie again and it is stuck in my head. I also like the title because that is what I plan on doing with my Karate training. It's time to bring the boom and literally, kick my kicks up a notch. The last challenge really brought my kicks up to the next level but it's not time to rest, it's time to bring it and that's what the plans are for this challenge. BOOM!! Here is the song with a video of parts of the movie that I found on Youtube. Here is my challenge: As always, this is a work in progress. 1: Keep up the kicks or keep the kicks up..... My side thrust kicks are better than ever before and now that I know I can improve them, it's time to get real. My plan is to do anything and everything to keep improving my kicks. I spent a lot of time working Tabata magic on my glutes and hips over the previous six weeks and that is the plan for this challenge. I plan on using the same movements, side leg raises, donkey kicks, glute bridges and a few others to keep things going but I also want to add stationary side thrust kicks at least five times a week to the mix. I was only doing the kicks once in a while but this time, I need to do them more often. I don't do much more than five or six kicks with each leg but that needs to be done more often. This includes getting more stretching in, especially HFS. 2: Learn to do the Turkish get up..... I bought a really good book by Pavel about how to do the Turkish getup and kettlebell swings and I need to use it. Even though I read it from cover to cover, I am fighting with the getup. I plan on starting small and doing partial getups but by the end of six weeks, I would like to have a full getup on both sides. 3: Pull up or chin up, time to get back to the basics.... I used to be pretty good at pull ups and chin ups when I was young. About 30 years ago, I could bang out over 20 at a around the same bodyweight I am at now and I would like to revisit those numbers again. I am not sure if my shoulders will let me see those numbers again but I would like this challenge to be a test pilot to see if I can find some of that former glory. 4: Write not wrong..... I have been doing a lot more writing than before but I am still not publishing enough. With that said, I really need to publish more blog posts across all my blogs. I also plan on finishing up the text for my first kata book. I know that I planned on finishing the kata book a long time ago but this time is different, right? Yep, it is. More to come....
  12. Hi guys, before I get into my question, let me give you a little background of my injuries. I'm a former ROTC cadet as well as a horse trainer. When I was 13, I had a horse fall on my back. My back is in constant pain as a result. The muscles on the left side are two inches shorter than the right, causing my left hip to be raised and my left shoulder to be dropped. When I was 17, my horse stepped on my right foot, kicked my shin, and jumped over my leg. This resulted in my ankle being held in place while also being kicked away from my body. However, this never hurt until I took a false step while running with my company. Ever since then, pain after one mile running. Recently, my left hip has been hurting as well. I think it's from the misalignment of my back and the compensation for my ankle. I can't walk longer than 20 minutes continuously without pain. If I run, it hurts after 5 minutes. To summarize: pain in the lower lumbar region of my back pain in the right ankle due to overpronation (stability shoes, motion limiting shoes, and high arches haven't helped) pain in the left hip Doctors have looked at me. X-rays, CT scan, MRI. There's no muscle, tendon, ligament or bone damage according to any of these. So... I need help... How do I deal with all of these problems? I'd like to participate in a mud run this July, but I'm not sure my body will handle it. I'm only 21. I shouldn't have all of these issues... plus I'd kill to get into parkour.
  13. While doing leg lifts my right hip makes a clicking sound as I lift and lower the leg. In the past, I have had this sound during yoga as well. It is not painful, but it feels weird. I am concerned it may lead to an injury or a weakness. Any suggestions?
  14. Hi Rebels! I've been back in the gym, already seeing my body change, and it feels great! I just have a few exercises that annoy the stew out of my hips, which regularly are misaligned due to a former injury. I went to the gym today, and this is what I did: 5 Minutes - Arc Trainer5 Minutes - Yoga Stretching for Back5x5 Weighted Squats - 27 lb bar5x5 Leg Press - 130 lbs5x5 Calf Raises - 130 lbs5x5 Hip Adduction Machine - 90 lb - 80 lb - 70 lb x35x5 Hip Abduction Machine - 90 lb - 100 lb - 115 lb - 105lb x25x5 Hamstring Curl - 80 lb - 70 lb - 60 lb x310 Minutes - Yoga Stretching for Legs and BackThe weight differences there are me seeing what my limits are. =P So I went to do lunges, and it was so uncomfortable! Does anyone have a good alternative to that and the Hamstring Curl machine? Thank you!
  15. Hi all! I have a bad left hip - I tore the labrum training for a half marathon and had surgery four years ago. Recently I found out I tore it again and will be having surgery to both repair the labrum and reshape the hip joint in about a month. For the past four years, my hip has really been a prohibiting factor in my ability to train. I can't run anymore, and I find it difficult to follow many workout plans because they like to incorporate things like jumping jacks or jump rope, etc, which causes me pain for days afterwards. I was wondering if anyone has suggestions to replace the impact parts of workouts - particularly a solid alternative for jumping jacks. When I'm home or have access to my gym, I bike, but I am on the road for about half of every month. I like the 20-Minute Hotel Workout, but I'd love to find something I can do other than jumping jacks or pretend jump roping to get my heartbeat up on the alternate days. Any suggestions?
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