FizryHR for iOS devices has an upgrade out. The upgrade has a new streamlined look, adds better support for iPad and adds the Karvonen (heart rate reserve) method as a second option for calculating target heart rate training zones.
Planning your training and conditioning in cycles (a la the macro, meso and micro cycles used in serious conditioning) allows one to keep track of the important factors involved in performance enhancement while avoiding the potential for overload injuries. Keeping records of your training activities, especially volume, frequency, and intensity, allows you to pinpoint areas that have received too much, or too little training time, and the associated changes in your movement quality. Looking back over these records provides the foundation for planning further improvements.
But another aspect of training can be as important as any of the other details- a record of aches and pains* that pop up during and after training. Why is this useful? Consider that most martial arts-related injuries are chronic in nature. Despite the habit of attributing major injuries to an acute incident (“that one punch”, or “when the dog jerked my arm”) the constellation of knee, hip, back and shoulder issues that are common in long-term training are usually created over years, and the moment that they finally give out is mistaken for the cause itself. It’s amazing just how stubbornly the afflicted will cling to this idea, ignoring years or decades of causal factors. This is where a pain log can come into play. In your conditioning or martial arts session notes, simply include any observations on flare ups of trouble spots, new ones that develop, or any lingering discomforts that appear in the days between. It might look something like this:
- During Monday training: left shoulder, grindy at the AC joint. Noticeable during punching drills.
- After: right ribs, ached for most of the week. Worse when rotating to that side.
- After: right side of neck strain. Persistent for 4 days.
Keep these notes on the same page as your training/conditioning notes (you do keep notes, right?). Include what palliates or provokes each (makes worse or better) and any measures that caused improvement (self myofascial release, hot compress, etc.). If something keeps reappearing in your pain log, then some adjustment of your conditioning and training priorities is probably in order. You can correlate this information with the training cycle; high volumes of pushups with new shoulder pain? Match. High intensity randori, no neck conditioning for the past year, and a neck strain? Match. This is where your resident corrective exercise specialist can come into play, and that sort of information is exactly what we are looking for when someone pops up with a musculoskeletal or functional complaint. This can be another potent tool in your kit for increasing productive, injury free training time, and making sure that your training isn’t setting you up for an injury down the road.
*and FFS, please leave “pain is weakness leaving the body” to the BroScientists. Pay attention to pain; it’s telling you something important, and although it is sometimes inevitable and doesn’t need to consume your attention, ignore it at your peril.
Stress reduction can help with recovery. Not sure this particular trainer has got it down yet.
Audrey Yap over at Fit is a Feminist Issue:
“All I ever wanted to do in those cases was take those kids aside and tell them that they were fine, that there was nothing wrong with them, that the number didn’t really mean anything except maybe what time their first match would be. I know some of those parents were monitoring their kids weights like crazy. And fostering the mindset that pounds gained were bad. Never mind that kids are supposed to gain weight. I mean, that whole growing thing.”
Read the whole post here: http://fitisafeministissue.com/2013/11/29/your-kid-is-not-in-the-wrong-weight-class-guest-post/
Starting to feel worn down after training or hard conditioning? Eat a carbohydrate-rich snack, with a moderately high glycemic index (monosaccharides, or simple sugars), immediately after finishing up, to the tune of 50-75 g. It can make a world of difference in avoiding fatigue, and aids in overall glycogen (your main fuel when training) restoration over the next 24 hours. There is good evidence to suggest that this also optimizes protein synthesis while minimizing protein catabolism. Fruits aren’t a good choice in the immediate post-training window, since fructose is not immediately available to the body; it must first be processed by the liver.
2 hours or more of moderate to high intensity training depletes the body’s glycogen stores, and it typically takes 20-24 hours to fully replace them. After the immediate post-training window, getting in 7-10 g/kg complex carbohydrates (preferably of a lower glycemic index) helps to restore liver and muscle glycogen stores. It doesn’t really matter if you eat that all in one big meal, or several smaller ones. Unless you are planning on multiple days of this level of intense training, there’s no need to keep up a high carbohydrate intake. 5-7g/kg is probably sufficient if you are training less than an hour per day, or taking time off.
- >2 hours sustained grappling, pad work, sparring, or partner drills
- High intensity interval training, sustained high intensity runs/swims,
- Moderate-high intensity strength training in combination with any of the above
Depletion of glycogen reserves will also increase dehydration, since each gram of glycogen stores about 3 g of water along with it. As always, hydrate to replace fluids lost to sweating and metabolic processes. 1.5 liter per hour of training is a good starting point.
Be honest with yourself about the intensity level of your training. An hour of a mild sweat isn’t justification to eat a massive meal afterward, and two or more hours of continual high intensity work will leave you worse off if you decide to cut calories/carbohydrates afterward. Inadequate glycogen stores can be a significant limitation in the quality of your training, so pay attention to the nutritional toll of your training and conditioning, and replace as needed.
With the passing of Lou Reed, most news outlets have recounted his notorious drug use or ruminations on the underbelly of society along with the far-reaching influence of his musical contributions. But Reed was also an avidmartial artist, a tai chi practitioner, for the last 25 years of his life, and apparently passed after revisiting a favorite form. For those of us who have been involved in a martial art for years or decades, there’s something reassuring and encouraging about someone like Lou Reed devoting much of his free time to training as well.
“No, not like that, that shit’s wrong.” He moved my arms up, down and then to the side in one brisk movement. “This is about strength, not limp-wristed shit.”
There are several older articles and interviews out there that delve into his practice, but the gruffly non chalant approach that he demonstrated in this one in particular caught my attention. This article has a good slide show of Lou at work, and this one has some great insights into why Reed took tai chi up, and how it related to his other major artistic endeavors. If one of our ultimate misfits has a place on the training floor, there may well be hope for the rest of us. Thanks for the music Lou, and the reminder that no matter who you are, the “secret” is to “just work.”
When I’m teaching martial arts classes I sometimes use a chained timer app on my phone. Here are a couple of situations in which it is useful:
1. Newaza: I might have students doing 2 minutes of groundwork, followed by 30 seconds of rest in which they have to find a new partner, followed by 2 minutes of groundwork, 30 seconds rest, and so on. You can set a chain timer so that a buzzer goes off after 2 minutes, then after 30 secs, then after 2 minutes etc. I can forget about the timing and concentrate on what is happening with the students. Of course, this works just as well for sparring/tachiwaza/randori.
2. Core Workouts: for the last few weeks, I’ve also been using it at the beginning of nearly every class for our core workout after we’ve stretched. Here’s a sample workout, that I’d do with students who can already hold a good front plank for 30 secs:
30 seconds front plank
10 seconds rest
30 seconds side plank
10 seconds rest
30 seconds side plank (the other side)
10 seconds rest
30 seconds transitional planks
10 seconds rest
30 seconds spiderman planks
10 seconds rest
30 seconds up-down planks
10 seconds rest
30 seconds plank twists
10 seconds rest
30 seconds side plank with hip dip
10 seconds rest
30 seconds side plank with hip dip (other side)
10 seconds rest
30 seconds plank jacks
I mix up the particular exercises and the length of the core segment depending on who’s in class that day. (Most people have to work up to being able to do the workout above.) But it’s really useful to have a chain timer that can be programmed to go off at 30 seconds and 10 seconds and then repeat indefinitely. Here’s the app I use:
It’s pretty simple, but I’ve had it for 3 or 4 years now and I seem to use it all the time – for my own workouts as well as when I’m teaching others.
It’s become common among many traditional martial artists to appeal to traditional Chinese medicine (specifically chi and meridian theory) to explain some of the less obviously useful techniques and practices in various forms of training. The story of New York Times reporter James Reston’s appendectomy gets cited again and again as evidence of how effective TCM can be, and by extension how effective these training methods are. What’s overlooked is the fact that the story is mostly fabricated propaganda.
While the title is a bit of a stretch this article in Slate introduces some forgotten context to the story of TCM.
Rightfully wary of ethnocentrism, some scholars have suggested that negative judgments about Chinese medicine result from the misapplication of “Western” criticisms to “Eastern” thought. In the words of anthropologist Judith Farquhar: “The standards of argument by which we judge our own most rigorous explanations cannot be applied to Chinese medicine.”
But this produces an absurd picture of China as a mysterious place where logic doesn’t—and shouldn’t—apply. In truth, skepticism, empiricism, and logic are not uniquely Western, and we should feel free to apply them to Chinese medic…
…The second part of Mao’s project was to provide Westerners with sensational evidence of Chinese medicine’s efficacy, particularly of acupuncture analgesia. The watershed moment was in 1971, when New York Times editor James Reston wrote an article entitled “Now, Let Me Tell You About My Appendectomy in Peking.” In it, he recounted how Wu Weiran of the Anti-Imperialist Hospital had administered “a standard injection of Xylocain and Bensocain” before removing his appendix. Later, while Reston recovered, acupuncture was used to relieve pain from post-operative gas. Eager to believe in mystical Eastern miracle workers, credulous Westerners misreported the story, claiming that acupuncture had been used as an anesthetic during Reston’s appendectomy, a falsehood that still has currency.
- VO2max is a basic measure of physical fitness, a “vital sign” of athleticism. A good VO2max might not be the same as being athletic, but it’s something that has to be in place before you can perform at your peak. You know your BMI, you know your blood pressure, your resting heart-rate and your cholesterol levels. You should know this too.
- V02Max isn’t just for runners (I): the rate at which your body can use oxygen is important in any fight or match that lasts longer than a few seconds.
- VO2Max isn’t just for runners (II): it isn’t an either/or choice: strength training or cardio-respiritory fitness. Good cardio-respiritory fitness helps you lift weights (anyone who has done a challenging set of 20 squats already knows this!) So it contributes to strength.
- But that said, good VO2max scores are nonetheless strongly correlated with distance running performance.
- Good cardio-respiritory fitness is correlated with living longer and an increased sense of well-being.
- And also with reduction in the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
- More generally, people with good VO2max scores can exercise more intensely – and so reap more benefits from their training.
- If you are less easily winded during training, it’s easier to concentrate on other things, like technique or strategy.
- VO2max is something you can change. Just how much it can change varies from person to person, but some people have the potential to as much as double their score.
- If you want to control, you have to measure.
FizryVO2, our newest app for IOS 7 is now available in the App Store. It includes instructions and calculators for four different methods for calculating VO2 max. The app includes a stop watch function so you don’t have to leave the app to monitor time, and tables for comparing your client’s results with normative data.