Week #3 Review

Weight: 218.7
Weight loss this week: – 1.7 pounds
Total weight loss: 6.3 pounds.

Negative weight loss! Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

It’s no big deal – I am still exercising, and getting stronger. I know exactly why and how I gained the weight – bad diet and lack of rest. I splurged this week, starting Wednesday evening, and had chili, cheese, pizza, hot fudge sundaes. I also only got about 4 hours sleep Thursday and Friday nights. I knew it was all going to affect my weight, but I was in the binging mood. Plus, I still kept up my exercises, all the way into Friday evening. I couldn’t exercise Saturday – including the distance run – because I was on the verge of physical illness. I could feel the energy level in my body pushing zero, and knew my immune system was on the breaking point. So I rested. Got about 12 hours sleep last night, and here I am, reviewing, healthy as a fiddle!

Overall, things are going well. All of my “modifications” from last week have been implemented, and I am accomplishing all of them. I am avoiding injury, especially on my left plantar fascitis, which has been acting up. I have advanced in my Ba Duan Jin, and these seem to be working out well. My running stride is getting stronger and lighter.

The only thing I am upset about is my pull-ups – they are just not improving. I think I will have to do them everyday, just like in boot camp, until I can do sets of at least 10. Right now I am still maxxing out at 3 or 4, and that is just ridiculous after three weeks of training.

I am also interested in increasing my VO2 max. On my runs, my breathing is very strained, and yet my body and my muscles are not tired at all. My lungs are the weakest link. Unfortunately, I do not have access to a facility where this can be done scientifically, so I am stuck in the Stone Age – I gotta do it on my own. But how? Well, I thought about Pranayama, the yogic science of breath, but I can’t do the Full Lotus position just yet, and without it, pranayama cannot be done correctly. (Note to self- incorporate stretches to accomplish Full Lotus position). So, serendipitously, when I needed to insert another calisthenic in my B-II session, I chose dumbbell butterflys, and lo and behold, the next day I read how these are good for stretching and opening up the intercostal muscles, which lie between each rib, thus helping to expand the chest during respiration!

Stretching: Going well.
I have to move my stone platform closer to the hamstring post, because the height is pulling my body closer. Also, the difference in flexibility between my right and left hamstring is becoming markedly more noticeable. I guess I will just have to work with that.

Forms: Going well.
I incorporated the advanced forms of Ba Duan Jin, and they seem to be beneficial. Really, it is just extreme stretching, but I like it – it is stretching the tendons and joints, as Chinese Nei Dan is wont to do. I recently discovered a video of “Shaolin Yi Jin Jing Muscle & Tendon Changing Classic” (see below) and I love it. I want to start doing this very soon, to replace my Ba Duan Jin.

Calisthenics: Going well.
Accomplishing all of my sets, muscles not too sore. All is well except the pull-ups. I need to move those to every day, until I start improving, because my muscles are not even sore from maxxing out 3 sets at a time. I am also inserting dumbbell butterflys into my B-day afternoon session. Here is a pic of my “weight-bench.”

It is a tree that was felled by a storm in 2006. I always knew I would use it for something. Lying on the rounded surface, I have to keep my balance, or I will slip off, so that is a nice “extra” when I am doing my butterflys.

Running: Going well.
I am getting impatient to start speed training.

The running, stretches, and forms remain unchanged. After reviewing my calisthenics, I see gaps and imbalances. I am going to add three yoga postures (asanas) for my upper and lower back, in order to balance the strengthening of my abs. Here is the new schedule of calisthenics:

Day A, Cycle I
Front Kick (1 x 20)
Deep Horse (60 sec.)
Pull-ups (3 x max)

Day A, Cycle II
Push-ups (3 x 12)
Dhanurasan (“bow” yoga pose) (3x)
Leg-lifts (3 x 25)

Day B, Cycle I
Tu Ma (60 sec.)
Wrist exercise (1 x 30)
Pull-ups (3 x max)

Day B, Cycle II
Dumbbell Butterflys, 10 lbs. (3 x 15)
Bhujangasan (“cobra” yoga pose) (6x)
Arhda-Salabhasan (“half locust” yoga pose) (4 x each side, hold for 5 sec.)

As for working towards the Padmasana, or the Full Lotus position, my inner thigh stretch is already helping me with that, so I will continue on with that stretch until I can bend all the way forward, then I will review and make changes.

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