Monday, February 6, 2012

Progress Report

A few things worth talking about:

Since I am working out more my elbow has felt a little more tender, a little tighter. I haven’t hurt it but I am going carefully. I skipped my PT exercises today, with no good reason other than I wanted to leave the house early. But I did do yoga, which included some elbow stretches. I worry a lot about how this is going to heal. I have not fought since Crown on the first weekend of November. I don’t want to rush back in and hurt it but I want to fight, dammit! I was planning on fighting at our event this Sunday at BAT, but at this point I don’t know. At some point I have to get back into armor.

Last week I didn’t do much in the way of aerobics, just 25 minutes on a life cycle. But I did lift and do yoga, and that worked well. Wednesday I did circuit training and Saturday I did a cable workout. The cable work out is special because, even though I was using it as a total-body workout to just do simple resistance while burning calories, it is one of the two best workouts of building fighting muscles I know (the other being the kettle bell/Indian club workout). My workout goes something like this (everything is three sets of ten except the last one, which I just do to fatigue).

Standing cable flies, like this:
Double low cable curls
Standing cable press (these I’m probably doing wrong, since there’s nothing on YouTube like that).
Cable rope lat pulls like this:
Rope tricep push down like this:
Overhead cable rope tricep extensions like this:

The last thing I do, which I do to exhaustion, is kneel facing away from the pulley and grip both ends of the rope with both hands. I pull from behind be but, unlike the tricep extensions, I don’t lock my upper arms to keep my elbows in place. I pull all the way through, and I alternate bringing the cable to the left side of my head and the right (there’s no video of this on youtube). This is the key exercise. Here is why:

The best fighter I have ever seen is Duke Radnor of Guildemar. The best fighter I have ever seen his first day in armor is his brother Manu. The best unbelted fighter who was never knighted that I saw was Wolfshawl MacWombat. All three of them grew up in Hawaii and (I’m told by one of his squires—I need to ask His Grace this) all three of them raced out-rigger canoes growing up. That pull down and through motion is *exactly* the same motion the elbow makes when throwing a snap, especially the way Radnor throws it. Check out the first blow in the first fight here.

See how his elbow comes down before his hand goes out? Note also the little crunch he does with his abdomen. He even breaks one of the cardinal rules (which I learned from one of his former squires) by lifting his back foot off the ground. As Paul says, he uses his body like a whip. Core strength is important to everyone, but in Radnor’s style it comes from that straight handled oar. Study this.


Keith said...

I'm slow. Is his off-hand "shield" a broken lance?

MAC said...

Keith: yes. Radner invented the so-called Bunny Round or Spanish Half Round, and he fought with one between 18" and 22" for years. Several years ago he tore his left bicep, and the movements required for using that shield became difficult for him (at least this is what I have been told), so he started fighting with just a stick in his left hand. Eventually to make it look a bit better he had his "shivered lance" made. It is just a long thin shield, not a weapon. He won his last crown with it.

STAG said...

Another fine sniper. But that thrust at 1.19 shoulda gone through. Props to be able to dodge that!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you mention not lifting your back heel off the ground. Watch the vidio of gemini talking about Frame Weight Transfer. You almost HAVE to lift the heel to get the body motion...