Friday, October 30, 2009

On "Completing a Workout 3 Times"

Some workouts have a rule that you cannot advance to the next level of a workout until you complete your current level three times. That means you attempt and complete the workout on three separate occasions. For instance, if you've do the same workout once a week on the same day and you complete it three weeks in a row, you get to move up to the next level.

This rule does not mean that you complete the workout three times in one day or three times in a row. Plus, generally, you shouldn't do the same workout every day or two days in a row (although it wouldn't hurt to do the same workout two days in a row sometimes).

Anyway, just thought I'd clear that up.

Let me see what you've got!

If you've got an idea for a workout or have a workout planned out, just send it to my e-mail at realanimetraining@gmail.com and you may just see it on the blog.

Please include:
  • The name of the anime
  • The name of the workout
  • Your first name
  • Your city and state (or country, if you don't live in the US)
Thanks for all your support, guys! I really look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ippo's First Three Fights

This workout is based on the training seen in the anime for Ippo's first three fights. It's similar to the other Ippo workouts but has some differences as well. Hopefully you'll enjoy it.

Ippo's First Three Fights

Morning
  • 3 Mile Run (5 Sprints Throughout)

4-6 Hours Later
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Sit-ups
  • 20 Hindu Squats
4 Rounds, then
  • 3 Minutes Neck Bridging
  • 3 Minutes Headstand Work
  • 3 x 1 Minute Heavy Bag "Sprint"
  • 3 x 3 Minutes Jump Rope
  • 5 Minutes Speed Bag Practice (if available)
  • 4 x 3 Minutes Shadowboxing or Heavy Bag work
  • 1 Mile Run
  • 3 Sets of 20 Medicine Ball Ab Strikes
Notes:
  • The workout begins with four rounds of push-ups, sit-ups, and hindu squats. There is no rest in between rounds.
  • For Heavy Bag "Sprints," lay into a heavy bag as hard and as fast as you can for the time limit. There is a 1 minute rest period between "sprints."
  • The speed bag is useful for developing one's timing. It will take some getting used to, but you'll get it with practice.
  • Medicine Ball Ab Strikes can be done by dropping a medicine ball on your midsection while you are laying down, or having someone hit your abs while standing, with your arms behind your head. There is a 1 minute rest in between sets.
  • Added neck bridging, so we don't lose all that great neck strength we've built up to this point. If you can do the full three minutes, you can press a weight or hold it on your chest. Also, some headstand work.
That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard.

P.S.- Sorry I haven't put a lot up, I've been sick for a few days and haven't felt like doing anything.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Two Edits

I've edited two workouts to make them more in line with their respective anime. The workouts are the "Himokiri Karate Workout" and "Roshi's Training." Be sure to check them out. I should also have something else up for you guys tonight.

Later!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ryouzanpaku Master Workout #4- Akisame

This workout is based on HSDK's master, Koetsuji Akisame, the Philosophical Jujitsu Master. It's a little hard to pin Akisame's training down, primarily because traditional jujitsu training doesn't have a large amount of physical conditioning beyond constant repetition of techniques. However, Akisame is not a normal jujitsu practitioner and has used a massive amount of physical training to turn all the muscles in his body into intermediate types capable of both explosive and long-term movements. Although, it's probably impossible to change the muscular composition of one's body, it's still fun to think about. This is the first workout for Akisame and there will also be more workouts for the other masters, as well. As always, remember to check the notes at the bottom.

Morning:
  1. 3 Mile Run
  2. 500 Yard Bear Crawl
4-6 Hours Later:
  1. 50 Pull-ups
  2. 100 Push-ups
  3. 200 Sit-ups
  4. 300 Squats
  5. 10 Minutes "Toe Training"
  6. 30 Minutes Jujitsu Practice
Notes:
  • When your time for the three mile run gets down to 21 minutes, begin to pull a tire on the run. Add 10lbs to the tire every time you get the time down to 21 minutes again.
  • You can bear crawl on flat ground or up a hill. When you get to the point where you are pulling a tire on your run, also pull a tire during the bear crawl. The weight on the tire will also correspond to the weight on it during the run.
  • For the pull-ups, you can do wide grip, close grip, supinated grip (chin-ups), behind the neck pull-ups, towel pull-ups, or basic pull-ups. I'd recommend switching every time you do this workout. When you can do 50 reps without stopping on a few of the variations, hold a 10lb weight in between your knees or feet, hang it from your weight belt, or wear it in a weighted vest. You can add 10 more pounds each time you get to 50.
  • For the push-ups, you can do the basic push-up, wide push-ups, diamond push-ups, push-ups with fingers facing each other or away from each other, push-ups on the backs of your hands or whatever. Switch like with the pull-ups. When you can get to 100 reps without stopping on a few of the types of push-ups, wear a weighted vest with 10lbs. Add weight when you get to 100 again. You'll probably need to do the push-ups with your hands and feet on blocks after you wear the vest in order to get the range of motion back.
  • For the sit-ups, after you do 200 reps without stopping, I recommend doing them on an decline bench. After you get to 200 again, you can either devise a way to do hanging sit-ups or you can start to add weight to your decline sit-ups. Hold a 10lb weight just behind your head to add weight to the sit-ups. Be sure not to tug on your own head to assist in the movement. Also, as always, when your do sit-ups make sure to really focus on "curling" up with your abdominal muscles instead of keeping your body straight.
  • For the squats, you can do conventional squats, sumo squats, hindu squats, or lunge squats (it's 300 per leg if you're doing lunge squats). When you get to 300 reps on the squats, add 10lbs to the exercise by holding dumbbells in your hands, a barbell on your back, in the crux of your elbows, in the front on your shoulders, holding a small sandbag (which will obviously get bigger as you add weight), or by wearing a weighted vest.
  • "Toe Training" is anything that will workout your toes. You can pull a dumbbell or barbell across the floor by hooking it with your toes, or pull down on a cable machine by hooking the handle with your toes. You can just hold onto the edge of something with your toes like a table or a metal bar and flex your toes up and down on it or pull down with your whole leg. You can also kick your toes into a sandbag (be careful) or flex your toes through sand, pebbles, or steel shot. Train your feet like you train your hands. It may seem strange, but strong feet and toes are better than weak feet and toes.
  • For all exercises, you may do them fast or slow or with pauses. Change it up every now and again.
  • Jujitsu practice can be practicing breakfalls or throws or submissions. I would go so far as to say any grappling technique, just so you have something to do. 
That's all for today. This workout first builds middle level strength and endurance with bodyweight exercises and slowly adds weight to those exercises, in order for you to build both strength and stamina. Good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ryouzanpaku Master Workout #3- Ma

This workout is based on HSDK's Kung Fu master Ma Kensei, the master of all Chinese Kung Fu. He's small, but quick and extremely powerful. This training is taken from the training in the Shaolin Temple and from the anime. Remember to read the notes at the bottom.

Morning:
  1. 5 Minute Light Jog
  2. 2 Minute Split Stretching
  3. 20 Minutes- Hill or Stair Sprints, Bear Crawl Down (as many sets as possible)
4-6 Hours Later:
  1. 2 Mile Run
  2. Tiger Push-ups- 5 Minutes
  3. Deep Horse Stance- 10 Minutes
  4. Iron Palm Bag- 100 Strikes each side (25 each palm slap, back hand slap, knife hand, punch)
  5. 100 Lunge Steps
  6. Heavy Bag Work- 10 Minutes
  7. 5 Minutes Three Star Training (with partner or pole)
  8. Fingertip Push-ups- 5 Minutes
  9. Practice Headstand for 10 Minutes
  10. Practice Jumping (as high as you can) for 10 Minutes
  11. 50 Horse Stance Punches
  12. 50 Kicks (your choice)
Notes:
  • After your normal warm-up, the morning will start with a light jog, stretching, and HILL SPRINTS. Not just that, but you have to bear crawl down the hill. To bear crawl, you are moving on all fours, with your butt in the air. Have fun! :D
  • On your 2 mile run, go as fast as you can. When you can do 2 miles in 12 minutes, add a 1lb ankle weight to each leg. Add 1 lb every time you get your time down to 12 minutes.
  • For Tiger Push-ups, spread your feet about one and a half times your shoulder width (it can be a little wider if you want), bend at the waist, put your hands on the ground, and push back on your hands with your back as straight as possible. Now, go up on your fingertips. This is your starting position. As you go down, sweep your chest right above the ground, press up, and you should be looking at the ceiling at the top of the movement, with your hips just above the ground. To go back to start, push back on your hands. Don't go back through the same motion for the start.
  • Your horse stance should be deep, so that means your stance is going to be wider than the other horse stance I talked about once before AND you'll need to turn your toes out slightly in order to spare your knees from damage. How deep? Ideally, the tops of your thighs should be parallel with the ground. When you are in the horse stance, hold your arms out at shoulder height, palms facing out, pointer-finger up, with the other fingers folded at the middle knuckle and your thumb should be out at about 45 degrees from your hand and the hands should be held tightly in this position. When you can hold this stance for 10 minutes straight, you may place a 10lb barbell on your thighs as you do it. After you can hold it from there, you may add 1lb/arm each time you get to 10 minutes. You may also use this deep form horse stance in all of your other training if you like.
  • We've spoken of the Iron Palm Bag, the Lunge Steps, and Bag Work before. However, when you can do 100 Lunge Steps without stopping, add another 100.
  • For Three Star Training, get into a horse stance (doesn't have to be low) and with one arm chambered at your waist, swing the other arm from outside to inside, striking the pole or your partner's forearm with the inside of your own forearm. Then, with the same arm, swing your forearm up, palm facing in, and strike the pole or your partner's forearm with the inside of your own forearm in a Middle Block. From there, swing the arm down into a Low Block, striking the pole or your partner's forearm with the outside of your own forearm. Execute with other side. Rest if pain becomes to much. Apply dit da jow if available.
  • We've covered fingertip push-ups.
  • For the headstand, use a wall or a partner as a spotter. Practice getting to the time limit with your hands as support at first. Use a piece of foam or a towel, so your head has something to rest against. Pause as is necessary for this exercise and stop if there is real pain.
  • When you practice jumping, make sure you lift your legs as high as you can at the top of the jump.
  • We've covered horse stance punches before.
  • You may throw any kicks you like at the end. Front, side, back, roundhouse, spin kicks, flying kicks-- I don't care, just kick!
This workout is slightly different than the other two master workouts. There are less explosive movements, but it's just as hard. That's all for today. Good luck and train hard!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

GRAPPLER BAKI- PART XIV

After Baki went ballistic on his old man, he managed to grab a rear naked choke. The spectators think that this might be the end of the fight, but Yujiro just flings the young boy into a fence. The fast-thinking Baki rebounds off the fence and back into laying into his father with every strike he can think of throwing. Unfortunately, Yujiro is all but invincible to the young Hanma's assault. Yujiro thanks the onlookers for helping in Baki's training and turns to fight.

Baki jumps in for a strike, but Yujiro counters by axe-kicking him into the ground. During the next split second, Baki is unconscious and, upon his waking, Yujiro tells Baki in the .2 seconds he was asleep that he was killed twice. In high level fights, it is the opponent who has his bell rung a little too hard that is danger of being hurt or killed by his unrelenting opponent. Baki experienced what can be referred to as a "flash knockout." A flash knockout is a loss of consciousness from which one quickly recovers. Baki backs off after this, using the technique he practiced against his swordsman friend. Yujiro comes down with a chop, Baki flips, but just as the kick connects, Yujiro, too flips and smashes Baki into the ground.

It's all pretty much downhill from here for the young Baki as Yujiro begins to pound the boy's face into the ground. Emi, freaky as ever, is looking on the event with joy. That is until she see's her only son's blank face and something finally snaps in her brain. She launches an attack on her "perfect man," but is brushed aside easily, before Yujiro snaps her back like a twig. The onlookers try to get Yujiro to turn himself in, but he demolishes the lot of them with ease. Baki, in a strange state of confusion, is found walking the streets by himself, dreaming of his lost mother.

With nothing left to hold him down in Japan, Baki decides that he will take two years to travel the world to train and fight as much as he can. At some point, all of us must leave our comfort zones if we ever hope to improve, in whatever it is we do.

There's not a lot to be said in terms of training in this episode. The only things that we might want to take from it are that: 1) If you get knocked out for a split second and are able to recover quickly enough, be ready to fight or run away immediately. Keep your fighting spirit strong the entire time, even if you are unconscious. That sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but it's really the state of mind you have before you are knocked out that helps determine your state right after the flash knockout. 2) When fighting someone who is more powerful than you, do not let up at all. You don't have the luxury of letting him even get in one strike or grabbing hold of you.

That's all for this episode of Baki. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ryouzanpaku Master Workout #2- Sakaki


This workout is based on History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi's Karate Master: Sakaki Shio, the Hundred Dan Brawler. It's brutal, but it is a Master Workout.


Morning:
  1. Run 6 Miles
  2. 500 Horse Stance Punches total

4-6 Hours Later:
  1. 4 Hill Sprints or 2 Partner Drags/person (if partner available)
  2. MAX Handstand Push-ups
  3. 10 Each of Front Kick, Round Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick
  4. MAX Fingertip Push-ups
  5. 10 Each of Front Kick, Round Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick
  6. MAX Knuckle Push-ups
  7. 10 Each of Front Kick, Round Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick
  8. 10 Stance Changes w/Gripping Jars
  9. 10 Each of Front Kick, Round Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick
  10. 50 Dumbbell/KB Toss (Total Reps)
  11. 20 "Stone Club" Front and Rear Lifts each side
  12. Tree Punches (as is comfortable)
  13. Stone Strikes (Flat Slap, Palm Heel, Backfist, Punch, Knifehand, as is comfortable)
  14. 5 Minutes Handwalking or Wheelbarrow Stair Climbs (if partner available)
  15. 500 Strikes on Heavy Bag (Any)

Notes:
  • You may not be able to complete this workout the first time through.
  • For your run, try to pick a hilly area.
  • On your hill sprints, go all out until you can't and then walk back down. Take a second, and start again. For partner drags, it is best if you have a strong athletic band to wrap around your midsection which your partner can hold onto as you make your way up the hill on two feet or all fours, either is acceptable.
  • For handstand push-ups, use a wall as support. When you are able to do 25 or so without stopping, you can use some stools, chairs, or concrete blocks to increase your range of motion.
  • Look up some tutorials for proper kick form and do them on each side.
  • For the fingertip push-ups, use 5 fingers at first. When you are able to do 30 or so reps without stopping, use 4 fingers and work your way down as such.
  • To perform stance changes, you will hold the following stances for a count of three before moving to the next stance. You will be holding the gripping jars low at your sides. 1) Horse Stance, then step forward to 2) Left side Forward Stance, then step forward to 3)Right side Forward Stance, then step forward to 4) Horse Stance. 5) Lift Jars along your front twice each side, then 6) Reverse steps 1-4. Repeat steps 1-6 a total of 5 times for this exercise to be completed. Start with 25lbs per hand in the gripping jars. For this, it would be best to use steel shot, which can be expensive. You may be able to use wet sand, too. When this gets easier, move to 50lbs per hand.
  • The Dumbbell or Kettlebell Tosses are simple. Stand in a Horse Stance and lift the weight in front of you with your arm straight. Toss it slightly at the top, release, and catch with the other hand. Repeat with other arm. Start out with 10lbs, and work your way up from there. Let your arms swing to your sides at the bottom of the movement so you don't whack yourself on the way down.
  • "Stone Club" Front Lifts and Rear Lifts are performed on one arm for the rep count before switching arms. The "Stone Club" can be a Dumbbell or small Barbell loaded only on one side, using the unloaded side as a handle. Make sure you collar the loaded side very, very well. For the Front Lift, hold the weight in front, the loaded side facing up. You'll start with your arm low, in front of you, and raise the weight at your front while keeping your arm straight. The load should always be pointing straight up. When you reach the top, with your arm pointing straight up, bend at the elbow and lower the weight behind you, like a triceps press. This is the Rear Lift. The load will obviously point down at this point, so collaring is a must! Follow the motion all the way to the starting position to complete 1 rep. This exercise must be done slow and deliberately. It should be about an 8 second count up and down for the Front Lift and a 4 second count down and up for the Rear Life. That means each rep will take a total of a 12 second count. Start with 5lbs and work your way up.
  • Tree punches should be delivered to a tree with a smooth bark (or not too rough bark) and should be as hard as is comfortable. If it starts to hurt too much, back off or quit for the day.
  • Stone Strikes should be delivered to a smooth stone (or not to0 rough stone) and should be as hard as is comfortable. If it starts to hurt too much, back off or quit for the day.
  • Keep the clock running as you practice handwalking. When you can do it relatively easily, try to do it on your fists or fingertips, but that will probably be a while. If you have a partner, have him hold your ankles as you use your fists to walk up and down stairs. Bleachers or stone stairs, it's up to you. Try no to go too fast, because you'll probably fall. If you are holding your partner's ankles, really keep a grip on him. If you have to let go, tell him, so you don't just drop him.
  • For the Heavy Bag, you can lay into it with any strikes you want for up to 500 total strikes. Punches, kicks, knees, elbows, whatever. It's a nice way to finish off the day.
As always, if you are new, go at a slower pace, or do less reps or whatever you need to do to make sure that you stay safe and are getting a good workout. You may just end up doing the morning routine to begin with, or you can do a scaled down version of the whole workout, where you just do 1/2 or 1/4 of the prescribed reps or weights.

These Master Workouts are requiring quite a bit of research, but they are well worth it, I think.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ryouzanpaku Master Workout #1- Apachai

This first Ryouzanpaku Master Workout is dedicated to the God of Death of the Underground Muay Thai Arena. He's a simple man, but he's a real powerhouse. This workout is a combination of the training that Apachai does in the anime and the training that real Muay Thai fighters do.

Morning:
-Run 3 Miles (Periodically switch to side shuffle, running backwards, and skipping.)
-3 x 5 Minute Rounds Shadow Kickboxing

4-6 hours later:

-50 Thai Squats*
-50 Forward Jumping Squats*
-50 Side Jumping Squats*
-3 Sets of MAX Push-ups
-3 x 3 Minute Rounds Jump Rope
-3 x 3 Minute Rounds Double Thai Kicks on Heavy Bag or Thai Pads (Alt. Legs After Double Kicks)
-3 x 3 Minute Rounds Punches with Dumbbells
-3 x 5 Minute Rounds Bag Work
-3 Sets MAX Sit-ups
-3 Sets of 25 Side Bends w/weight (each side)
-2 Sets of Gymnastic Bridge to Failure
-3 Sets of 15 Neck Raises w/weight on a rope hanging from mouth
-2 Minutes Tennis Ball Foot Juggling (each leg)


Notes:
  • When running, there is no set time frame that you must switch in between running, side shuffling, running backwards, or skipping. It's up to you.
  • All rounds in this workout have a 1 minute rest period between them. If this workout is getting easy, decrease the rest period by 15 seconds. You may do so again, so that the rest period is down to 30 seconds, but don't go any lower than that.
  • To perform Thai Squats, spread your feet about twice shoulder width, with your feet facing 45 degrees out. Look toward one leg. This becomes your front. Begin in a deep squatted position and explode out of the bottom. In mid-air twist your legs and body, so that your rear leg lands in the same place your front leg was a moment ago. When you land you will be in the squat position. Repeat without pausing in between reps. *When you are able to do 50 reps on Thai Squats, Front Jump Squats, and Side Jump Squats without failing, increase the reps for each exercise to 100. After you can do 100 of each exercise without failing, use a weighted vest or barbell to add 10lbs to the exercise. Add 10lbs each time you are able to complete the three sets of squats without failure. Take a two minute rest in between the the different squats.
  • To perform Front Jump Squats, squat like normal, but when you come up, explode off the ground and go forward. You may go as far as you can or just pick a distance that you "hop" every to on every rep. Picking a distance will help you get a rhythm down.
  • To perform Side Jump Squats, squat like normal, but when you come up, explode off the ground and jump to one side for 5 reps, then jump back for 5 reps. This is 10 total reps. You don't have to to 50 to the left and 50 to the right (Thank God).
  • You can look up a tutorial on YouTube for a proper Thai Kick. If you don't have a heavy bag or Thai pads, make do with practicing the Thai Kick in the air. It will be hard to do doubles, since you won't have a target to bounce off.
  • For the dumbbell punches, adopt whatever stance you would normally take to fight and throw both the left and right, one after another. You can throw straights, hooks, or uppers, it doesn't matter. Just make sure you are going at a good pace, and that you pull your punches just before full extension in order to save your elbows. Start with 2lbs dumbbells then, 3lb, 5lb, 7.5lb, 10lb, 12.5lb, 15lb, 17.5lb, and 20lb. Once you're at 20, that should be about all you can handle and I'm sure that it will take you a while to get there. If you can get past 20, good job!
  • At your leisure, you may add weight to your sit-ups.
  • For the side-bends, start with no weight. When you are able to complete the reps listed, add 10lbs. To perform the side bend, place on hand behind your head and one hand at your side (holding a weight, if you are using one). Starting position has your body bent to the side with the hand hanging down and ending with the body bent to the opposite side.
  • To perform the Gymnastic Bridge, lay flat on your back. Then bend your legs so that your feet are flat on the ground, while reaching your hands behind you to also be flat on the ground. Finally, use your legs and arms to arch your body, with your arms almost locked out. Hold it until you can't. If you are holding both sets longer than 3 minutes, you need to be wearing a weighted vest or something to increase the difficulty.
  • To perform weighted neck raises, tie a dumbbell or a weight to a piece of rope. Make sure there is a large loop in the top of the rope. Next, bite down on the rope while seated and lift your head back as far as you can. You'll be bent over as you are sitting, as well. Start with 10lbs and add 10lbs as is necessary.
  • Tennis Ball Juggling with Foot is taken straight out of the anime. You'll take a tennis ball and with each foot (separately), you'll bounce the ball on the foot as many times as you can without dropping the ball or your foot. Also, try for a good height on the ball when your bounce it. This will be very hard, especially at first and I doubt you'll be able to get more that 3 or 4 bounces without a drop. Work hard, though, because it will help improve your leg control and accuracy.

This is a pretty rough workout, but it's not impossible. I'm sure there are plenty of Pros who could do it with ease. Fortunately, since there is plenty of opportunity to add weight to exercises to increase their difficulty, you should get plenty strong. That's all for today. Good luck, and train hard!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Been Busy

Hey, guys!

I've been a little busy with some stuff at home, but I'll try to post a workout and an episode review for you tomorrow. Until then, good luck and train hard!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Himokiri Karate Workout (Grappler Baki)

We're jumping ahead a few episodes in Grappler Baki in order to bring you a workout inspired by Shinogi Koushou, the master of Himokiri (Cord-Cutter) Karate. Using his fingers to attack, he severs nerves in his opponent's body, cutting off various body parts' basic functions... arms, eyes, whatever. However, in order to fight in such a manner, one would have to have forged his fingers into virtual steel bars, capable of ripping through flesh. It is a long and arduous process and not one that many pursue, especially in the long term. However, I think it is necessary to have very strong hands/fingers if you are a martial artist. I thought it went without saying, what with all the grabbing, throwing, and punching we do!


Several of the exercises in this workout are new and some will require special equipment. If you lack this equipment, there are a lot of place you can get them, but I will also offer some alternatives. We'll get to that later. But, first, the workout!
The Himokiri Karate Workout
1. Fingertip Push-ups- MAX with each type* (Remember to check this note at bottom.)
2. Practice Two Finger Pull-ups for 3 Minutes
3. Iron Claw Catch Bag- 200 Reps, both sides
--------------If you drop the bag, do 25 Hindu Squats
4. Iron Palm Bag- 120 Strikes each hand
--------------30 each of Flat Hand Slap, Back Hand Slap, Punch, 5 Finger Strike
5. Diamond Finger- 100 Strikes each hand
6. Shuto Isometric Hold- 3 Times to Failure
7. Horse Stance w/Gripping Jars to Sides- 5 Minutes Total (Keep clock running)
8. 50 Front Kicks with Rear Leg on each side

Notes:
  • For the fingertip push-ups, you'll start with all your fingers for your first set, then minus the pinky on your second set, then minus ring finger... you get the point. However, when you can't complete a set, you go back to using five fingers and start all over again. You do this until you are unable to complete a single rep of the exercise using all your fingers. Towards the end, you'll be doing a lot of 3 or 4 reps sets with your all your fingers, waiting for them to give out.
  • For Two-Finger Pull-ups, use only the index and middle fingers to hold onto the bar when you are performing the exercise. There is no set rep count, just as many as you can do in the alloted time. If you can't do any, try to just hang on for as long as you can.
  • The Iron Claw Catch Bag is a small canvas bag filled with steel shot that is tossed in front of you and snatched out of the air by digging your fingers into it. This is painful at first, but you'll get used to it after a while. On top of that, it generally weighs from 5-8lbs and so a bunch of reps will kill your shoulders. You may do them in sets of 50 or 100 if you prefer, instead of doing all 200 at once. On the flip side, if you feel like doing some extra squats, maybe you should try to do all 200 at once on each side.
  • The Iron Palm Bag is a larger canvas bag that can be filled with a variety of things. I recommend getting an unfilled bag, so you can fill it for yourself. Plus, it's cheaper that way. At first, you're going to use sand in the bag. You'll be on this for a while, to make sure that your hands are properly conditioned. The material in the Iron Palm Bag is supposed to give, much like the majority of the human body gives when you exert force on it. Some people say you should stay on sand for one month, some three, and some a year. However, that's for people who are going to be hitting it all the time. If you would like, you may do so and I recommend 1-3 months, depending on how your hands are feeling. After that, you can move on to very small gravel for 1-3 months. Then, larger gravel for 1-3 months. Finally, you may use steel shot. For those of you just doing this exercise for the workout when you happen to do it, just stick with sand. You can also just go get a bag of sand from a home improvement store and rap it in duct tape.
  • Diamond Finger is a kung fu skill I found in a book. Point and tighten your index finger and poke it against something that will not give, like a piece of wood, concrete, or metal. While the Iron Palm Bag will train your for material that gives, Diamond Finger will train you to deal with harder things. You'll have to hit lightly at first, but you'll be able to hit harder with time.
  • With the Shuto Isometric Hold, form a knife hand with each hand, as if you were going to do a knife-hand strike and tense all the muscles of the hands and forearm. This will strengthen the hand in that position. Hold it as long as you can and release. Wait a few moments, and do it again. Continue for the number of sets listed.
  • We've covered the gripping jars previously.
  • Pick a spot on the wall, and just crank out 50 Front Kicks on each side, without stopping. It's harder than you think.

I'm not going to recommend any particular Iron Palm Bag, but if you go to Google and type in "Iron Palm Bag," there will be a lot of good results. Try to look for a canvas bag that is refillable. Also, look into purchasing some Dit Da Jow. It's an herbal concoction that's supposed to help with healing during training on the Iron Palm Bag. The sites you find will probably have some for sale. I've had good experiences with the ones I've bought and made for myself.

If you have any difficulty finding an Iron Claw Bag, you can attempt to make one for yourself by filling a double-layered ziplock baggie with iron shot and then covering it with a loose layer of duct tape. You don't want to turn it into an unmoveable iron ball. Think more like a hackey sack with bb's in it.




Here are some pics of my bags:







Live Action Holyland

I just found out last night that one of the manga that I've made a workout from actually has a live-action version. I watched the first episode last night and it's not too bad. It can be a little difficult to find, but I found this episode here. I'll try to get another post up here for you guys tonight.

Until then, good luck and train hard!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GRAPPLER BAKI- PART XIII

Baki gets ready for the fight with his father, by doing a massive 12-hour warm-up. Apparently, it takes the young superhuman a good half a day to get revved-up enough to be in high gear. He figures that his high gear should be enough to handle Yujiro's lowest gear and, thus, plans to end the fight early on. He shadowboxes, spars against both Yuri and Hanayama (at the same time, as well as separately), and just generally keeps his body moving.

His begins his sparring with Yuri and dodges all the punches of the experienced boxer quite masterfully. However, Yuri throws a low kick that catches Baki off guard and right into an uppercut, but Baki turns his head faster than the punch in order to lessen the damage. I've heard of this a few times, but I've never actually met a boxer who could do it (although, I've not met a whole lot of Pro Boxers)-- even so, I'm convinced it is possible to be able to turn your head fast enough to at least soften the blow of a punch, if not negate the damage entirely. Soon after this, Baki grabs Yuri from behind and tosses him with a wrestling throw.

At this point, Hanayama steps in, but Baki takes the powerhouse's punches to his stomach straight on, without so much as a flinch. After a while of sparring, the two fighters decide they need to join forces to fight him. This continues on into the night and, much to everyone's surprise, Baki removes 20 kilograms (about 45lbs) of diving weights from his midsection. They cannot fathom that he has been going so hard for so many hours while wearing the weights. Sparring two experienced fighters while wearing the weights as a handicap shows just how much Baki has risen above his old self. It's a humbling experience to spar against two fighters that are about as skilled as yourself, but it's an experience I think everyone should have every now and again.

Even so, the time arrives for Baki and his father to fight, and it is revealed that Yujiro has beaten Gaia and made him fly the helicopter to the fight location. An earthquake threatens to put the fight on hold, but Yujiro uses all his power and stops the quake in its tracks (yeah, right!) with a single punch. Baki doesn't really care and comes at his father full force with an undefended punch, several knees to the face, and grabbing a rear naked choke. The episode ends, and we are left to wonder if Baki's strategy of going all out from the beginning will work for him.

I know from personal experience that fitter athletes require more time to warm up before they can get into their "groove" or kick it into high gear, although I doubt anyone in the world needs a full 12 hours to reach that gear. Most warm-ups for even seasoned professional athletes last only at most 30 minutes or so. If you need an hour, I'd say you are operating at a superhuman level.

Try this for a workout, though.

The 12-Hour Warm-up

Every hour, for 12 hours, do the following exercises:
  • 25 Push-ups
  • 25 Sit-ups
  • 25 Squats
  • 5 Minutes of Shadowboxing

This will take about 6-7 Minutes out of every hour for the 12 hour period and, at the end, you'll have done 300 Push-ups, 300 Sit-ups, 300 Squats, and a full hour of shadowboxing (or shadow kickboxing). You'll start to understand about half-way through just how rough it could be to warm-up for that long. The shadowboxing doesn't have to be all-out. Try to go at a medium pace, but you can go full bore if you want to.

You'll want to do this workout on a day where you can spare the time, like on a Saturday or Sunday. Obviously, you can't do it on a workday or anything. After you've done this workout a few times, you can try to increase your intensity during the shadowboxing or you can wear a weighted vest during the exercises, starting with just 10lbs and then adding weight as the workout becomes easier to complete. I'd recommend that you not wear the weights all day; however, if you would like to do so, you need to work up to it. For instance, you could wear the weighted vest for 5 minutes after you finish shadowboxing each time and then add five minutes every time.

As in everything, progress slowly and don't rush it. Strength comes in baby steps, but if you keep taking those steps, you'll go a long way before you know it.

That's all for today. Until next time, good luck and train hard!