Tag Archives: ninja training

For the New Year: Officially Starting the 5:2 Intermittent Fast (and returning to my bad-ass ninja training)

Today is my first ever 5:2 Intermittent Fasting day.  I’d decided during the holidays that I would give this at least 3 months.  As I’m typing this I am aware of a feeling of lightheadedness.  I’ve been feeling it all day.  I don’t recall ever having gone this long without food – not while I am awake that is.  I have had several cups of tea throughout the day to add to my two cups of black brewed coffee earlier this morning.  The lightheadedness comes and goes.  The Filipino phrase nalipasan ng gutom (literally, passed-over by hunger) comes to mind.  The feelings of hunger have definitely passed me over today – lots of times.

I’m pretty much okay, though.  My wife and I were concerned that I’d be cranky the whole day (something that tends to happen when I’m hungry), but so far so good.  Or maybe it’s because I’ve been psyching myself up for this for almost a week now, ever since my brother and his life partner gave me a copy of Mosley and Spencer’s The Fast Diet.  I guess there is a difference between feeling hunger as a result of purposefully and enthusiastically skipping a meal, and being hungry and just wanting to eat already but not being able to immediately do so.  There is a sense of control and purpose in the former, and maybe that’s why I haven’t snapped at anyone yet.  Don’t get me wrong: it is not the most comfortable feeling in the world.  But it’s not as unpleasant as I thought it would be.  It also helps that I have dinner to look forward to, which should be about an hour from now.

Anyway, below is my basic fitness and nutritional plan for the first quarter of 2015.  The nutritional plan is meant to help with my physical training in two ways: first, less excess weight makes for easier movement and less strain on the joints; second, less excess fat will help me fit back into my clothes.  I actually still fit in my training clothes, but I don’t wanna wait until I’m too big to fit in them before I take action.  Most of my pants are really tight now.

Nutritional plan:

Mondays and Fridays are fast days, the rest of the week I can eat normally.  I’m mulling over having Wednesday as an added fast day every other week, making it a 5:2, 5:3 fast plan but we’ll see how it goes.

Bad-ass ninja training plan:

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: yoga in the morning.  Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays: alternate between bodyweight circuit training (my Workout A) and tumbling supersets (my Workout B).  Tumbling supersets is performing cartwheels, parkour rolls, and working on floor kips in supersets.  Tuesday evenings is for Kali class.  Thursday afternoon is for parkour/freerunning practice.  Saturday afternoons is for solo Kali practice.  Sundays are rest days, though I may sneak in a few minutes of jump rope Tabatas if I’m feeling energetic.

That’s pretty much it for the first three months of 2015.  We’ll see how it goes.  Happy New Year everyone!


Day 2 of Going Back to Ninja Training – Err… Parkour/Freerunning and Martial Arts

I feel sore.

In places I didn’t expect, though in hindsight I should have expected.  After all, going back into tumbling after a few weeks of not tumbling is bound to make one sore in the core.  It’s just that I expected to feel it more on my abs and sides, and I’m feeling the soreness on the sides of my lower back.  Must be all those cartwheels.  Yup, definitely all those cartwheels.

After a long period of relative physical inactivity due to suffering and recovering from sinusitis (hey, remember when I said my week-long headache may have been caused by my dental issues? Yeah, turns out it was acute sinusitis.  Go figure.), traveling out of town twice – first for a wedding and then for a live audition (more on that on the next blog post), and then recovering from said travels and THEN recovering from having my wisdom tooth removed, I finally officially returned to my regular physical training routine.  It helped that yesterday was a holiday, which meant I didn’t have to worry about getting things done by 7 so I could leave for work by 8.

So before breakfast I worked on:

  1. Cartwheels – both regular (2 arms) and single-arm cartwheels for my right side, which is my stronger side; and regular cartwheels for my left side.  I intend to work up to doing single-arms on my left as well, but all in good time.  I have noticed a significant improvement on my left: I’m more stable and I travel in a straighter line than I used to.  So it’s just a matter of time.
  2. Parkour rolls – on a yoga mat over a tiled surface.  No, I’m not bragging.  Okay, maybe a little.  But only because I used to stack said yoga mat over some thin kiddie puzzle mats.  No more.  If I’m gonna train in Parkour and Freerunning, I’m gonna have to get used to rolling on hard surfaces.
  3. Jump rope intervals – this is a new one for me.  I’ve never used a jump rope as part of a regular routine before.  I patterned my intervals after the Tabata protocol – 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x 4 + 60 seconds cool down – but I rested 20 seconds instead of 10, and I didn’t go all out like you’re supposed to in Tabata.  Hey, I’m jump rope virgin!  It’s okay to take things slowly.

After breakfast I still had some time to kill before a 10:00 meeting, so after I felt reasonably settled in my stomach, I proceeded to practice the 13 basic strikes of Kali.  I would have finished it with a minute of Carenza (free play) but my son borrowed my stick and we ended up playing sword-fighting.

In the afternoon, I was still feeling okay so I decided to practice some Aikido sword movements then finished with the 24 forms of Taichichuan.  I learned the 24 forms a few years ago when I was in graduate school.  I only took a few lessons though, just enough to learn the forms.

So that’s what I did yesterday that left me feeling sore.  This morning I worked on my straddle press to handstand and freestanding handstand.  For straddle press, I worked on doing the against-the-wall progression where my head and back are supposed to press tightly against the wall as I stand in a straddle and roll up into a leaning handstand and slowly roll back down.  I still can’t quite do it – and I’m pretty sure it is more psychological than physical – so I placed two chairs behind my legs, placed one foot on each chair, then rolled from there.  After a couple of reps, I kicked up to a handstand against the wall, then worked on pulling away both feet and holding that freestanding position as long as I could.  To date, I have never gone past 4 seconds.  It’s pretty frustrating, but it is what it is.  Sometimes all you can do is just train your ass off.  It is comforting to know that even though I can’t still pull off a 10-second freestanding handstand, I can tell that I have gotten better in the past year or so.  This time last year I was still struggling to kick up to a handstand (again, it was more of a mind thing than any actual physical shortcoming).  And as I’ve mentioned earlier my cartwheels have improved, which can probably be attributed at least partially to my handstand training.

Well, there you have it.  Two days of ninja training.  The original plan was to also include pull up training this afternoon, but I ran out of time.  Oh well.  Next time.  Tomorrow is recovery day, and I’m looking forward to a massage in the evening.  Yippeee!


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