Friday, November 21, 2008


It is time to talk more about workouts, since it is the “off season.” Worked out Wednesday and today, more or less the same routine.

There are SCA specific workouts, which I'll talk about later in the winter, but right now I’m doing a general one, and it’s not that intense. Because I don’t like fighting with fatigued muscles, and because it takes me a couple of days to recover form an upper body workout, I don’t lift much anymore. In fact, I went two years with nothing but spin class, bike riding, and yoga, and was in great shape (still am).

In general, so long as you just want to tone and not actually build muscle, you should do resistance training two to three times a week and do aerobics three to four times a week. Fighting is mostly an anaerobic activity, but I count it as aerobic for my third session. That means I can go to the gym twice a week, fight, and I’m doing ok. Of course, I live in New York so I walk a lot and climb stairs, plus I ride my bike even when it's cold. That helps a lot.

Right now I’m on my old “getting back into the gym” routine, which means I concentrate on circuit training. Because there is less chance of injury and because they force you to keep your form right, I use machines when starting up after a layoff. They have a big disadvantage--they don't use *all* your muscles or worrk out your core, but they do a good basic job nonetheless. For sets I will either do one set of twenty or two sets of twelve to fifteen, but today I pushed myself and did a set of twenty and a set of fifteen (to fatigue) at each station. Today’s routine was typical:

Warmup: 15 minutes of Yoga

Aerobics: Treadmill (Life Systems), hill profile, level 10, speed 5 mph, 30 minutes.

(all machines on the weight circuit)
Chest Press, 100 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15
Tricep push, 110 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15
Curls, 50lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15
Seated rows, 90 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15
Shoulder press, 50 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 7(to failure)
Leg extensions, 80 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15
Leg curls, 80 lbs, 1 set 20, 1 set 15

That’s my basic machine workout. It is great for getting back into the swing of things, and if you vary it from time to time (like adding weight, or more sets) you will increase your strength and endurance as you do it. It’s not the best fighting workout, but that can come later. Like I said in an earlier post, my goal this season is to be able to clean and jerk 135 pounds by spring. That will take some bulking up—not much, but a bit.

And tomorrow at 100 minutes, when endurance is key, I will be dog meat.

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