Friday, October 31, 2008
So I am pretty sure that the general feelings and approach to fitness I have developed are going to stay pretty unchanged for the future. I was thinking the other day that I am so content with the changes I have made it is amazing. The fact that so many people are out there trying and wanting to get into shape but go on the these cycles all the time really upsets me. I wish people would just take the time to be healthy because it doesn't take any time at all.
By that I mean the energy and positivity you get form getting in shape is priceless. And before you know it it is all habit, and second thought.
I have noticed a higher confidence in myself. I feel taller when I stand. When I focus on posture I feel powerful and in charge. It is amazing.
The other day I was in my back yard and I just started running full tilt and I don't think I have ever propelled myself that fast before it felt so nice. Post-PCP I definitely am going to focus more on running and biking. I htink it will be a lot of fun. Also as far as Parkour goes I was thinking that it is sometimes seen but not often in nature. I love trail running and that is my ultimate goal but the other day I thought why not take it a step further and do nature PK? After all PK is just getting form point A to point B as fast as humanly possible and it would be so cool to see what kind of movements would be best in a natural setting.
I actually think it would be harder than urban PK since not everything is right angles and firm surfaces.
So here's to the PCP life we have less than 2 weeks. It has gone my so fast but I am already content because I know that you can always improve. I might not have the rippling 6-pack I wanted by the end of the project but the progress I made is so great when I look back on my donut consuming, red-bull pounding, baconater eating past self!
You can only go up from the PCP and refine yourself further and I can;t wait to improve on all fronts of fitness. I am building the ultimate fantasy of running headlong through the woods jumping rocks, crossing streams and climbing trees as we speak.
Off to go day dream!
Have a goodnight everyone!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So recently Adrian and Emiko had some very interesting posts and I seemed to be on the same wavelength mentally so I'm going to discuss a couple point and comments I left on their blogs.
Recently Patrick sent us an e-mail on how our mind shifts perception. As in if we saw a picture of ourselves now on day 1 of the project we would have been like awesome! That is great! So much changes! But now because we are familiar with our current physique it's no big deal and we want to get better and better. Not to mention looking back the changes do not seem as big as they really are. especially because it's so gradual and we obviously track our progress every day.
Adrian was talking a bit about this and I had this really neat observation and commented and this is how I put it into words.
"Dude this really fits with the latest e-mail on change of perception. It's crazy that the body is really good at forgetting things. People who used to be starving that get a chance to have better lives very shortly forget what it's like to be hungry and this tolerance drops. Same with fitness. The other day I was thinking I feel the same too and I realized it's because I am the same. By that I mean our perception is always now, and we are who we are. Our bodies and subconscious can shrug off prior experience and states of being so well. Why can't our conscious minds? Off to blog about this! haha"
So in more detail I am trying to say this.
I am me.
Think about it. You are the same personally mentally as your were when you were 5 years old for example. It's not until you consciously track the difference that you really notice any progression. It's the same with physical states. Every day you experience some form of pain, most likely a very small thing like stubbed toe. But it still hurts a LOT right? Have you ever felt more pain than that though? Like a burn or a broken bone? Probably. But your mind does not catalogue and compare. The pain RIGHT NOW, is the worst pain, it's not toned down because you can consciously remember worse pain.
The same goes for our bodies function and looks. Yes we used to be much less fit, however our minds only see us as fit as we are right now and lose track of the progress. We have to remind ourselves that we have come a long way.
So in turn our subconscious, and our reflexes, and out instinct, only looks at the here and now. Our thinking self has to be pushed really hard to make a fair judgement of progress from the past. But at the same time very easily looks to future goals. And this went on to Adrian next post where he was talking about the wonderful word of post-PCP maintenance and goal-setting. I left this comment.
"Man we are totally on the same wave length right now. I am definitely constantly thinking about post-PCP. I have decided that My goal for the winter (all winters actually) is to not push myself at all physically. Just pure maintenance. so no changes to diet (except to proper amounts for lower activity) The only things I will work on to improve is flexibility, balance, and fine motor strengths. Like grip and forearms. To get ready for intense Parkour in the spring. I really want to get to my ultimate view of Peak Condition by next fall. And that will be over a summer of Parkour. And of course sticking to a healthy diet. Then when winter rolls around stop where I am at and maintain. It's a great idea i think! Plus I will be motivated to paint/write more in the winter! Good times!"
So anyway this post-PCP paradise is tempting. And get this. I look forward to a time of less intense DAILY WORKOUTS, maintaining a HEALTHY DIET, IMPROVING easier things than strength like FLEXIBILITY and BALANCE, and using my new reserves of energy to tackle other projects like ART and WRITING.
The PCP messes crazy with your head. My pre-PCP self would have been like that's the easy stuff you look forward too? Holy crap!
So the post-PCP life will be good and I think it's great we are there mentally. Granted the workouts still require effort on my part and they probably always will. But diet is 80% of the work and I have that down cold. And also I suffer from random bursts of energy and wants to do things the hard way. Like running to my car form the store with groceries. Jumping random things. Jumping in place. Jumping.
For example, today I was stacking wood. Our primary source of heat is a wood stove, so I have to stack (I actually wish I had to chop, again PCP mentality is awesome) 10 cords of wood a year, sometimes more. Today before I started I just ran around my yard a bit and hung on some tree branches. Then I was stacking and loving it, it started to rain hard so I started doing pull-ups in the enclosure we keep our wood in. Then I tried to see how long I could hang from my hands, then I swung a round, and then I brought my legs up and hung upside-down for awhile. It was awesome. Just so you guys know last year, I would have hated stacking the wood as I have my whole life and probably gave up because rain is a perfect excuse not to work!
So life will be good. Life is good. And I have a feeling being semi-shut-in in the winter will make me have boundless energy come spring.
And not to mention Europe here I come. The details are coming together. I can't wait!
So anyway guys have a good one!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
So it seems as everyone has had alack of motivation recently. Myself included. I think the change in weather, sickness, and busy schedules all takes it's toll.
I have to say for myself it's the weather that's the biggest right now. If there is a PCP 3 group sometime soon they are gonna have it ROUGH in the winter. I have to do my jumps outside and man it is not fun in freezing rain. Especially because, believe it or not, upstate NY did just get it's first freezing rain and snow flakes. I saw them today with my own 2 eyes!
My lack of motivation recently hasn't been a bad feeling though just a tiredness and down-ness from the weather and busy schedule. I look forward to the end of the project here as I assume maintaining will be much easier than the effort i put into it now. Like I said earlier you can always improve and choose to get in even more "peak" condition. But I tell you what I realized the other day I am so happy with my body right now and the changes I have made. And over the winter I am merely going to focus on maintenance. After all keeping the motion of a healthy lifestyle is easy if you stick to the diet. So the diet by now requires so little effort with the numbers gone I imagine maintenance will be great! And then next spring Parkour here I come and the term "peak condition" will bring on a whole new meaning.
Also I have an awesome announcement! I am going backpacking in Europe for 3 weeks in May! Can't wait. I'm staying with some friends in Italy and France (primarily spending the trip there) but my friend and I are gonna take sometime to flit around to a bunch of places and do a eurail circuit of northern europe.
Highlights will be Athens, Monet's gardens, The alps, and of course all the beer and wine we can sample!
Also one other good piece of news. I found out just how many skips I can do in 6 minutes if I don't trip at all! That right! 6 straight minutes of jumps I tripped 5 seconds before my timer went off. Want to know how many that was in a row?
That's right ladies and gentlemen I came 54 jumps short of 1,000 in a row! I was so happy I threw my rope across the driveway and flexed like the HULK!
Alright here is a new update picture of how I look. And I'll have official measurements soon. I can't believe that finally my abs are starting to show up! I am really happy about that.
Have a great night everyone!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
So I have been insanely busy. Everyone who knows me personally knows I work 30-40 hours a week, do 18 hours of volunteer work a week. Have the daily workouts and food to prepare. Plus 2 nights a week and sunday mornings that I attend my religious meetings.
I tell you what recently it has just been insane! Preparing numerous public speaking parts to give, visiting friends down in Waterloo NY (about an hour away) more frequently, and the cold darkness in the mornings and nights is taking it's toll. It's very difficult sometimes to get going early enough in the morning. And when I don't and have to do my workouts late I immediately regret not getting up early because it's so hard to be motivated. So most days now I am doing my jump-ropes in 40 or below degrees while it's dark. That's really hard.
Plus the past few days it has been near impossible to get my whole workout done in one straight shot.
My diet went up again and it's now the highest it has been for the whole project. It's pretty crazy and a ton of food to get used to but it's working. I have seemed to plateau with weight and also body fat. That last bit I have been complaining about for a month now is still there holding strong. But I know I am doing all that I can so I'm taking it one day at a time.
Our workouts have changed a little. No new types of exercises but we have 1 less this to do. Instead of 8 different exercises a day it's 7. That doesn't really save us any time but it seems more manageable. Especially because I now do 18 minutes of jumprope, which turns out to be about 2500 skips at my pace. And we are working to muscle failure on a few sets the workout takes me more than and hour from start to finish. And boy it is hard to find even an hour now a days.
So I apologize for the less frequent posts. I have a list of things I wanted to post about and I don't know how many of them I will get to since the project is near it's end but I'll do what I can.
New measurements and flexing in a different pose photo coming soon
have a good one.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Crazy thought huh?
This weekend I'll be around with some interesting posts but this one is just to let everyone know I'm feeling a whole lot better. Just plugged up still. And I was able to do the whole workout no problem yesterday and I think my body was very happy to get to do that!
And also, we have less than 30 days left! 27 days left to be precise! That to me is incredible. I am so happy to be doing this project and I think finally my brain has switched from thinking "I am so happy to have this opportunity" from a student like standpoint to a I really understanding "I know what this is all about and it's part of me" type standpoint.
It's a great transformation to feel.
"Peak condition" is an interesting term. What I mean is the human body can always improve none of us at the end of this project will be as strong or fast or fit as our heroes, so we won't be at a literal ultimate "peak." But the interesting thing is our heroes are at no way at a "peak" either. No one is.
But this project is all about that climb to the top. The search for improvement. The lack of "settling" and the search for healthy, strong, fit bodies. It's also about being in the best mental state possible to never lose the want to carry out those goals, for life.
I really feel that today. I feel like I am already in a peak condition of sorts. I mean 2 days of being sick really threw off my diet and workout schedule and it impressed me so much how easy it was to pick it back up. At the end of 90 days I'm sure it will be that much more solidified.
And that is peak condition.
So I'm sure my final post will talk a lot more about this theme. But I just wanted to tell everyone it's easier to change than you might think. Jut do something. Right now. Don't wait.
Have a great day everyone!
P.S. Great quote from a recent PK video I saw "Share your inspirations, but keep your fears to yourself."
Also there is officially a Rochester Parkour group now! I am sending them an e-mail today and I really hope I can learn a lot and maybe one day contribute to the growth of PK in the Rochester community. They have training sessions that are beginner friendly every saturday so I can't wait to meet up with these guys!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Just wanted to say I am feeling much better today. I'll probably be going to bed really early in hopes to keep it that way!
However I think I really bounced back quicker than usual because I am healthier now and have more energy to fight of illness.
So I am feeling pretty good and look forward to getting back into the swing of things tomorrow. My appetite was way down from not feeling well and I could not maintain the PCP regimen of food. Also that wouldn't have been good due to lack of physical exercise. However now that I feel better my body is definitely letting me know it needs that food again and I feel weird to have sat still for basically 2 days. But man that achy flu feeling is the worst things, and the best thing at laying you out.
It will be nice to start working out again and interesting to feel how my body reacts. I'll pay extra attention to make sure I don't push myself too hard or too far.
Alright guys I'm off to bed in a bit.
Have a good night!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Man this sucks!
So late last week I was feeling sick and left early from work friday. Which I HATE doing. It's one of those things that 1 I rarely ever get sick and 2 I know how much extra work gets placed on the crew if only 1 person calls in. It's really tough because everyone in our pharmacy works to the max anyway so when someone calls in there really is no back-up.
So yesterday I felt fine and worked my shift and was great Got my workout in and it was cool.
This morning I woke up and was achy. I thought form yesterday's workout. I also woke up with a really dry mouth so I thought that was why my throat was sore and also really bad mucus which isn't unusual in the morning for me. So I ate breakfast and then shortly after did my jumps. I made it through those OK went inside cut my hair and by then felt really gross so I took a Looooong shower. Felt better. Ate an apple then man the effects for the shower wore off FAST.
Now I have that achy feeling in all my joints. Feel weak. And have the "hot breath" thing that makes me think I have a fever. You know when you exhale out your only working nostril and it feels aflame? Yea. And also my skin is super sensitive to cold right now.
So things aren't looking so good. I'm gonna have to skip the workout today I want to be better by wednesday. Which is the next day I have to work. I haven't officially called in for the day yet but I called to let em know I'm not feeling to hot and I'm Calling back a little later to confirm one way or the other. But I am not one just to down some tylenol and cover the achy-ness and go to work. I really want to get better and that might mean just taking it slow and healing.
Anyway I hope everyone else enjoys the beautiful day!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
So guys finally here are the pictures of the chin-up bar I got for my home. It's pretty cool. It sets up in 1 second and come down even faster. Uses my door-frame or any door-frame really. Does no damage. And has upgrades I can purchase later. It's really neat and I see know way that I can wear it out ever so it seems like a good purchase for just 45 bucks. Not to mention it took 5 minutes to build.
So here is the bar and what it looks like not on the door
And here it is set up from the front
And the back.
You can see how it works now. The rectangular bar sets on top of the trim in the back and the front cross-bar sets on the sides for the trim on the front. When you get on it the cantilevered effect holds it in place and can support 300+ pounds depending on the door. So here it is being used in action!
Cool huh? It's pretty neat I think I really dig it.
So I also wanted to talk a little bit about Quadrupedal movement. Which is using your hands and feet (arms & legs) to propel yourself. They work together to improve speed, reach, balance, or strength.
Basically it is mimicking certain animal movements in nature and naturally these quadrupedal movements are a huge skill in Parkour to develop.
So on the days that I have to do the creep walk in our work-outs I do other things out on my driveway. Among them being . . .
and/or Monkey Crawl Mix-up
So I'll give some brief definitions and then hopefully later I can post some pictures.
Cat Walk - See Adrian & Emiko blog since Emiko did a great job doing this on a railing and they have video! Basically you go left hand, right foot, right hand, left foot, repeat. Keep your back straight and head up to see where you are going. It can be practiced on flat surfaces but is great for railing or narrow surfaces as your balance is much easier to hold with at least 3 point of contact at all times.
Gorilla Walk/Run - Basically start by sitting like a frog. If you reach out in front and put your hands down you can get a feel for your "reach" the faster you want to go the farther you will reach. And the stronger you have to be. Beginners use your palms but if you want to make it tough use only your finger tips. If you use your finger tips your hand should look like you are holding a big grapefruit. Fingers curved, no knuckles buckling, or bending toward the ground. If you can't keep your hand like that do it with your whole hand, kind of slap your palms down.
So you reach forward place and shift your weight forward by giving a little leap with your legs. All weight will go to your arms in that place right before being able to somersault if you wanted. Then your legs drop back down next to your hands and you repeat form there. It's a great way to travel fast and work great muscles. Also it a great way to learn the movements for a kong vault and getting used your your butt being over your head.
Monkey Walk/Run - Harder to describe in words but I have seen it described as a cross between a cat walk and a gorilla walk. you can lead with your right or left side and you run like a chimp! You know how they kind of do that sideways shuffle? Well that's what thing is!
You place your leading arm followed by the next right behind it. then swing your legs forward in the same way as you did your hands. and your leading foot should be the farthest thing forward. Repeat.
Rolls - Well I cannot explain it as good as the instructional videos out there so go watch some! But basically I have been practicing rolling over both left and right shoulders so I do not favor any side. The basic principles are dispersing impact. Not rolling directly along the spine. Avoid hitting your head. And conserving energy and speed. It's a lot of fun but when you are first starting boy are you sore after doing a few dozen on asphalt.
Monkey Crawl Mix-up - This is my name for it and there a ton out there. It's basic quadrupedal warm-ups and stretches. Slow everything down to an easy speed and move from form to form. Do anything that feels natural and stretches you in a healthy way. Throw in some rolls and hand stands even. Some pistol squats or even down-dog pose and up-dog. Anything really just be like a monkey having a good time and fooling a round. Who knew working out could be so fun!
That's all guys. Have a great one!
Monday, October 6, 2008
Hey guys so here are all my updates for Week 8 so far. A lot of stuff to go over so here we go!
SECTION 1: Diet
SECTION 2: Workouts
I'm going to spare all of the details this week since nothing has really changed. We only have a new biceps workout called the show-off and elevated push-ups for new exercises. And the new concept of working to muscle failure is now mandatory for a few exercises. That's really nice because we can get away from the numbers, just like with times jump-roping. So for example if you do 4 sets to failure you work to failure on every set and naturally the amount you can do decreases with every set.
And we are doing 4 set of 4 minutes of jump-roping. I am having a great time with it actually because I am really spicing it up now with tricks and things. I have developed this way of jumping I call the PCP shuffle. More on that later.
SECTION 3: Indulgence Version 2
So my second indulgence was INDIAN FOOD! I have wanted it so badly for so long! It is my all time favorite food ever.
So I went to this great restaurant called Thali of India and got some seafood masala with basmati rice and garlic naan.
Sadly I have no pictures.
So I quickly devoured my 700 or so calories. I evjoyed every bite it was so tasty and amazing! However it was much saltier tasting than ever before and that was the only downside. I loved the spicy goodness and the garlic naan tasted so good.
However I ate the naan last and then is when I started feeling gross. It was the most white flour I had had in probably 3 months and it sat really heavy in my stomach and a few minutes late I really started to churn.
So over-all it was a great indulgence but the downsides were too much salt, so I felt bloated the rest of the day and next morning. And the greasiness of the food made me gassier than usual and the white flour made me sluggish.
All along there a few things I thought I will change in minor ways after the PCP. I was thinking from time to time I may enjoy some 85% dark chocolate. Make myself fresh OJ like usual (2 Oranges, half grape-fruit, half lemon is my usual recipe) and I really want to start making wine and hard cider.
All of those things aren't unhealthy and I'm sure I will have allowance for them after the project. As my indulgence 1 showed me however the days of chocolate cake are over. So what about Indian food you may ask? well the answer is after the PCP I will do much experimentation to develop awesome indian homemade recipes that cut out the salt and butter, and awesome whole wheat garlic naan!
Because man I can't give up those spices.
Have a good one every body!
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Well I guess technically I am but not a long one.
Tomorrow morning I will blog about the following
Indulgence v2: Indian Food!
And Chin-up bar!
My schedule is insane so I have fallen into a habit of long posts every 3 days or so. I guess that's bad maybe just slightly irritating to any one who follows all our blogs because when I do one of my jumbo posts that would be a lot to read with everyone else's.
That brings me to my only point of the day. If you are a reader of our blogs please comment! We didn't all get 2,000+ views from each other and our few friends and family who follow I'm sure. So if you read please comment. It means a ton and it's nice to know if anyone else out there may be interested in the project. Who knows if there is a PCP3 group you may be it and know us already before you start!
Be back tomorrow. Good night.
Friday, October 3, 2008
This is just a quick post to let everyone know that the PCP by all means is a huge CHALLENGE!
Right now I have been so busy and it seems so hard to keep up with everything and I have totally been battling not letting the PCP take a back seat in some cases. I don't know why it's so hard sometimes just to do stuff but I have been so worn down and tired it has been hard to do 100% of my exercises some days. And honestly I have let a couple slide here and there.
That needs to stop.
I don't want to look back and think "Man I could have had a ton better results if I only did THAT or THIS"
I have been keeping everything pretty much at the level it supposed to be but I know it can be a Slippery-slope and I don't want to start down that path. So I hope I can keep things in high gear here and not slip any further. It's not good to get lax on the project AND feel guilty about it so I'm not going to dwell on anything but form here on out I'm going to cultivate the energy and zeal I had on Day 1.
Let's get the adventure going again.
So Help me all hold to this because I know everyone else has there own stresses and problems and I have proven to myself I'm not the kind of person anymore to say "well I just don't have the TIME to get in shape" I have the time and I have the program and I'm afraid of letting you all down. I just need to balance and readjust my mindset.
Six-pack here I come.
And on a positive note the PCP has changed me so much that my diet has not slipped at all. I find it much harder to stick to the workouts. So At least I know at the end of the 90 days eating right is 80% of the battle, and I have the 80% knocked down and covered. But I have 40 more days to get a handle on making working out not a choice but a habit in every way possible. The jump-roping is fine I have never missed a day without a legit substitution but man I just can't get myself to do all my strength workouts some days. It can be a real battle.
So it's time to change and taking preventive measures to not go any further. And as Patrick has always told us the blog is the accountability that keeps us going. If I'm not honest here then I'm not being honest with myself.
Thanks guys for all your support and this probably isn't as dramatic as I made this post sounds, but the PCP has the effect on you. Avoiding 20 grams of vegetable or your shoulder workouts can seem like a HUGE deal with a PCP mentality. While before I would've been like "eh, it's nothing I'll just make it up tomorrow."
Have a great night
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So this is the last of my PK heros post that I am going to do. I figured since David Belle is the hero I chose to work towards for the PCP he deserved 2 posts. In this post I'm gonna show you a little bit about PK and how it's not always safe. And it is certainly not easy.
For everyone out there new to PK or those that think it's just the next dare-devil risky thing to do beware of stupid videos online of kids just "tricking" that have no training or discipline.
Parkour CAN be dangerous.
But everyone who takes it's seriously knows that you never do anything that you do not think you can do. And the second you do something that you feel uncomfortable doing that's when you get hurt. Naturally you get all sorts of bumps and bruises all the time but we are talking injuries. As you will see in one of the videos below even David Belle and fall sometimes.
So please be careful if you are going to practice PK and work at YOUR OWN PACE. Never someone else's. PK and Free-running are trying so hard to gain a strong footing and a good reputation we don't need people breaking or killing themselves because they were stupid and then PK gets a bad rep.
The other video is from a movie he did. The videos of David Belle are sadly in short supply, especially because so man of the interviews are in french. But I still think it's awesome what he did in that movie and the stunt work involved. You saw in previous posts how he does quality real life PK. So enjoy the bit of entertainment.
So enjoy the videos and learning from David Belle as I have. His years, no decades really, of practice allows him to jump building to building, and I'm sure it also helps him fall better and recover from injury. Go slow, have fun, do PK.