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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Week 42. Countdown to Shaolin - 23 months

Part of the obstacle filled path I took through the forest this morning.

Its been a month since I've been to Shaolin training. For the entire month of October the bulk of my Shaolin brothers have been in China, living and training at the Shaolin Temple and attending the World Traditional Wushu Championships.
Because of this our training times back here in Brisbane changed substantially and due to my work schedule I was unable to get to any of the classes. I've been smashing my Mountain Bike a fair bit though so by heart and legs are still getting a work out.

But now they are back, and our training is intense. They have all been training with the monks so their training level is far beyond mine, plus the month off, so first day back was insane. BUT. I got through it.

I would have loved to have gone with them this time however I only started training earlier this year and it came around far too quickly. So now I have to wait 2 years for the next trip to China. Bonus of this is, I've now got 2 years to prepare myself for the temple. I'm still learning Mandarin (slowly but surely) so the next focus is on training. Lots and lots of training.

Key elements we keep getting told, Flexibility, Strength, and Speed. Faster stretchy compressed coiled springs for bodies is our number one goal in every training session.

I cant get to Shaolin Kung Fu Guan every day, but there is a fair bit I can do at home in my own time. Stretching, forms and strength training are the obvious things, but I wanted to mix it up with something a bit different. So this morning I planned to head out into the forest around home and do some irregular running through mountain paths filled with obstacles like tree roots, large boulders and rocky stairways. This is far more demanding on legs and ankles compared to flat ground running (and more fun) and scaling or jumping over fallen trees and land slips makes for a pretty intense workout. I took the Strava app with me just to track distance and elevation but you'll notice times are all over the place each km due to the type of landscape I was dealing with.


Until next time.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Week 38. Back on the bike after several years.

Norco Storm 7.1 (2014) 17" frame
It's been 38 weeks since I started Shaolin training, and this month most of my class mates have gone to China to experience the Shaolin temple and attend the International Wushu Championships.
Because of this, training times have changed and I'm not able to make it much over the next few weeks. Its also been over 7 months since I gave up alcohol, and I've been feeling so much better I need another outlet to burn this extra energy and too keep my blood pumping during the down time of Shaolin training.

Lately I've been watching a lot of the mountain bike videos on Mpora, and Redbull's website and getting inspired to explore the trails up here on Mt Glorious. I've been running in the forest a little in the past, but a Mountain bike would be ideal for longer runs. I've pretty much grown up on bikes. My first when I was about 4 years old, through to riding the BMX and mountain bikes to work and back, and it wasn't until about 7 or 8 years ago that I stopped due to all the life changes at the time. So now its time.

First I hit up my old friend who, 7 years ago I gave my Haro freestyle vert bike. He wasn't using it so I grabbed it back and headed out for a test ride down one of the trails up here. Needless to say, the BMX is not the right bike for trails. fast downhill (and scary) but riding back up is impossible with just one gear.

So next I went to 99 Bikes with my old MTB. Its in pretty bad shape, so I wanted to see what it would take to get fixed ...  A lot. the weather up here has rusted everything that can rust. Broken spokes meant a whole new rear wheel etc. so then the next option was  to get a new bike.

After explaining what I would be up to and my price range, the guys at 99 Bikes did a full measure of my body's build. I know ,, what ? I've never had this before, but its a great service they provide.
Standing in a custom built contraption. they measure foot to shoulder, foot to groin, foot to grip and a few other odd measurements , then put all that into their computer system and it spits out a frame size and all the settings for my body type. we when chose the bike I was after and they build the bike and set it all up specifically designed for me.. I was well impressed and the bike is like nothing Ive ever  ridden .

Entry level Hardrail MTB but with the extras I need for exploring some hectic terrain.
The Norco Storm 7.1 (2014) 17" frame with Hydraulic disc breaks, 3 gears on front 9 on back.
Its very light and handles nicely. But most of all very comfortable. Thanks to the measure up at the store, I don't get a sore back or feel strain while riding, its just a very comfortable machine, which means I can focus on the ride its self.

I've also stopped using map my walk / map my ride and switched to Strava app now as most of my friends are on it. Check out my profile here and see what I've been upto.



Monday, 15 September 2014

Shaolin Week 34. No I haven't quit.


Shaolin Kung Fu Week 34. 8th - 14th September 2014

The past (missing) 14 weeks have been intensely busy.
I've been sick 3 times (from burning the candle ie  missing sleep).
Training up to 4 days a week, as well as working at QUT full time hours
and running a coffee roasting company I started 12 months ago.
Plus after spending every spare moment with my wife and daughter, there has just not been any time to write things down on a website.
But I'm still at it and lets be sure I haven't quit.

Weight 78kg. 10% bodyfat.
Core is a lot stronger.
Flexibility is a lot better both static and dynamic.
And  feel generally a lot stronger.
Ankle injury has completely healed now and have strengthened the area a great deal.

I've also been chosen to join the Sholin Kung Fu Guan performance team and officially represent the Shaolin temple here in Australia which is a huge honour . Not to mention an excuse to work a lot harder. Training 1 to 2 session a day 3 days in a row makes a huge difference and how fast I'm progressing.

I have also officially started learning to speak Mandarin, not just learning bits and pieces here and there.

A few of the guys from the Shaolin school are heading over to the temple in China next month, but I cant make it this time round. Have already started saving to make it there next time in 2016. By then I aim to have a firm grasp on the language which will add to the experience.

I'll try to keep up with the blog from now. Its mainly for my own reference anyhow.

Zài Jiàn



Monday, 23 June 2014

Week 19 & 20 - Meeting goals, on and upside down

Getting there slowly. :) 


The past fortnight has been amazing in the sense of achievement.
Breaking records and meeting multiple goals not only means I've proved to myself I can do these things, but also leads me to believe I'm capable of doing much more complex movements, such as multiple back and springs.

Goals met in the past 2 weeks.
- Cartwheel - check! not perfect yet but its a cartwheel . Im landing on my feet not my butt. Doesn't sound like much but this is a massive achievement for me with years of hard wired fear reactivity that had to be rewired to make happen.
- Handstands on the head.  - check! (Didn't even know this was a thing but I can do it now)
- Clubbell Century Mills (100 right hand 100 left hand as one set 10lb clubs) BAM! done.
- Clubbell Century Swipes (100 double swipes both hands at once as one set, after the mills) BAM!
I made 100 swipes last week but I couldn't get through both mills and swipes in one session as single sets.
- This isn't  really a goal but worth mentioning. I now have a student. My wife. :) Rosanna has now been woken up at daybreak every day for 14 days to start working through intuflow beginner. This was her Idea and choice. as it always must be. No one can make this decision for you...

And the drum beats go like this......

Week 19

Monday 26th May 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery

5am Intuflow Beginner with Rosanna. :)
Im running through the same program as her as she learns, and ill do the more advanced stuff on my own later if I  get a chance.

Tuesday 27th May 2014 - Light 
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna
--
5:30pm
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu

Wednesday 28th May 2014 - Medium
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

6pm
-Intuflow intermediate
- Shaolin Stretching
- Clubbell sets as follows


Total Time 57mins

Thursday 29th May 2014 - Peak
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

6pm Peak - first attempt at proper century with swipes and mills.
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Swipes - 10lb Clubbells - 100 Right hand / 100 Left hand - 6mins BAM..
Rest
- Mills - 10lb Clubbells - Right hand 39 / 19 / 17 / 25  ... Left Hand 29 / 21 / 15 / 15 / 10 / 10
(total 100 in 4 sets Right , 5 sets left . 30second rests in sholder park position)
Total time 8mins 45seconds .
Thought I would do better than this. Weakness in the wrists.
Then I finished up testing the 10min core section of Scotts new 6 degrees of flow.
Far out im weak in these areas. need a lot of work to even think about finishing this.

Also Rosanna (for an early Birthday present) got me the entire 6 degrees of flow package at the into VIP rate. but im not allowed to download it till my birthday.. arrgg , cant wait. Never thought Id be excited about a new fitness program, but this is Scott Sonnon we are talking about. This guy helped change my life in so many ways, and he's coming back to Brisbane for a bunch of certification courses in December so I want to learn all the new material and get up to scratch myself before hand.

Friday 30th May 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

Saturday 31st May 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
We skipped it all today.. as we were busy. But its still a rest day so its allowed.

Sunday 1st June 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
10am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

Week 20 - All this work pays off. 

Monday 2nd June 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

Tuesday 3rd June 2014 - Light 
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

5:00pm - Intuflow Intermediate
5:30pm - Shaolin Kung Fu Training.
My teacher was away this evening so Arthur took the class again.
Geh, he drills us so hard but so well worth it. Doubling the numbers on everything to the point where I couldnt lift myself off the floor . Thanks dude . (meaning both sincere and sarcastic at the same time) ha ha

Wednesday 4th June 2014 - Medium
Can hardly walk from last night. geh.
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

6pm . Medium work out.
- Intuflow intermediate
- 10 min - 6 Degrees core drills
- Clubbell sets as follows 10lb clubbells
Total Time 47mins.

Thursday 5th June 2014 - Peak
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

6pm Peak sets .time for the century
- Intuflow Intermediate
- 10min - 6 degrees core routine
- The following clubbell exercises, see sets for weights.
Mills and swipes both with 10lb Clubbells







Thats a full century with both mills and swipes in the same set. finally did it. very happy with that.
The proper mens Clubbell athletics class is with 25lb clubs , so theres sill plenty of room for improvment.

Friday 6th June 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
5am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna

Saturday 7th June 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
We missed intuflow this morning ..decided to catch up on some lost sleep before a busy day ahead.

We had lots to do today so I worked in the plan to head to my Kungfu school to do the acro class. ive This is only my second class and its more like gymnastics than kung fu. But this is what I originally signed up for.
10AM - Acro class
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Acro

So I had one goal today, land a proper cart wheel. After all the warm up and core strength work, we finally hit the mats. First attempt at the cartwheel and landed on my butt as usual. Ive got many years of built up fear reactivity which causes me to fold and land like this. Did it again a few times , until William demonstrated . "this is what you are doing" he said, then did just that, folded and landed on his butt. Bingo. theres something about these upside down movements. You cant see your self as you are doing it so you really hand no idea what the legs in the air are doing. Unless you have a video camera on you, having someone show you helps a great deal. Once seeing this. the next go, I got it.not great but on my feet . Again and its neater, and again straighter. Ive still got a bit of bend in my legs. but its to the point now that you can call it a cartwheel.

Next we went onto the same but landing on both feet facing backwards. This looked hard but as they said, its actually easier than a cartwheel. It the bend backwards over onto your hands that came next that caused the problems. ha ha. no back hand spring for me just yet. but I now have a taste for how it should feel.

Next up Head stands. I was like, What  ?  yes thats right hand stands on your head. More of a tripod kid of deal. 2 hands and your head. Both legs in the air knees bent. Then balance. This is the lead up to doing the Shaolin... I guess you would say... back HEAD springs. flipping head to feet, head to feet. etc. Although thats a long way off for me. I can now do head stands. and Ill be doing them every day as its the weirdest feeling, and makes you feel like a kid again, playing silly buggars in the park.

Sunday 08th June 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
6am Intuflow Beginner w/Rosanna
- Also played around a bit standing on my head and doing more cartwheels. This stuff is awesome.

--------------

Weekly notes. 
- Hands are still weak for club exercises and acro work like cartwheels etc and need strengthening.
- Core needs a lot of work.
- ankles better but still need strengthening.
- overall flexibility needs a lot of work especially in the back.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Week 18 - Century Training.

My Clubbells from left to right pairs of 5lb , 10lb , 15lb , 25lb. Those 25s are monsters.  



This week Id decided to work towards getting through my first century with 10lb clubbells. Didnt exactly go to plan due to extra intensive Shaolin training but a good week non the less. 

Monday 19th May 2014 -  Rest / Active Recovery
- Intuflow Intermediate

Tuesday 20th May 2014 - Light 
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu Training (1 hour )
This was intense, more so than normal. After all the normal training, we then split up into groups for some anaerobic competition . Exhausting but got through it and our group got second out of 4 groups so not to bad.
Overall my ankle is still healing but I did much better. can feel jumps getting higher and kicks getting batter with straight back.

Wednesday 21st May 2014 - Medium
Already fatigued from yesterday I really should have just done another light day.
I really wasnt feeling it so did what I could without destroying myself.
As Follows.
- Intuflow Intermediate (as a warm up)  with extra ankle circles.
- Swept the Decks
- Shaolin Stretch routine ( not for warm up, just for my own goals)
wanted to do 3 sets of the following but just got through one set and fatigued.
Also started on 15lb clubs but need to go back to 10lb for a while still.
- Mills x 12 - 15lb Club
- Pencil jumps x 20m
- Front Pendulum to back x 12 - 15lb Clubbells
- Frog Jumps x 20m
- Side Torch x 12 - 15lb Clubbells
- Front Kick x 20m
- Wide pushup x 12
- Outside Kick x 20m
- Diamond Pushup x 12
- Punch kick x
After a short break I started to feel pretty good but bored with the routine so just played around a bit with weapons. Swords / Sticks / etc. then attempted still like walking hands and feet down sets of stairs (thats really hard by the way) . by then it was dark so called it a day.

Thursday 22nd May 2014 - Peak
So this was supposed to be a peak
training day but again I should have just rested. but i was keen to attempt my first century with the 10lb clubbells. Didnt make 100 with each exercise as planned but still made the century within time.
- Intuflow Intermediate ( as a warm up)
- Dynamic stretch routine.
- Mills Right arm  10lb Clubbell - 60 / 15 / 25 - Left Arm 70 / 13 / 17  - 8mins 50 seconds.
- Swipes both arms together 10lb Clubbells - 25 / 25 / 25 / 25  - 7mins 53 seconds
Doesnt sound like  much but this is a record for me. to get to single set of 60 and 70 is awesome.
Trying not to totally run myself into the ground I stopped at that for the day.
Main weakness is my hands and grip strength. I could have easily done 100 solid mills each arm if my hands were less like a princess. so will be working on that over the next few weeks.

Friday 23rd May 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
- Intuflow Intermediate.
had a bit of a twinge in my back / neck. not sure if this is from all the training or some imbalance ive overlooked somewhere in my body. Neck is really sore. Im thinking it may be due to tense shoulders which ive come across during Tai Chi practice.

Saturday 24th May 2014 - Rest / Active Recovery
- Intuflow Intermediate

Sunday 25th May 2014 - Rest Active Recovery
Just a total rest day today.
Did some transverse abdominis exercises in the evening to help support my back. Everyone should do TA exercises every day. My physio told me that a weak TA is the main reason for everyones back pain and constant re injuries. Its also the reason I had a back injury for 4 years. and wasnt until I herniated a disc when I thought I was healed, that I went to a sports specialist physio and he solved all my problems.

WEEKLY NOTES: 
I need to get more rest, and design a smarter program for my self. We weeks are really busy and really hard to make time to get through all this. I end up leaving it to late to put a program together and then have to rush it out just before I do it.
Also, this is exciting news,  I discovered on Sunday that my head coach Scott Sonnon is returning to Australia, and conducting certification seminars in my local city Brisbane this coming December. So Stoked. Ill be well equipped to take on Instructor Certifications is Tacfit / Clubbell Athletics and Flowfit. Perfect timing Scott. So starting to save the cash now. Cant wait. Last time I trained with Scott and Joe Wilson in sydney was a total life changer.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Week 17 - Regular Day to Day Training Integration


I've found setting micro goals each week works better than just going through the training for the sake of it. So this week I've started Integrating my Shaolin training I've learnt so far, into my day to day life. Its funny , I wrote this on Monday the 12th and during Tuesdays Shaolin Training, Ramesh talked about just this concept. . Although he was talking more about integrating the disciplines, confidence, fearlessness etc. where as I was thinking more of the basic physical things. for example, Rather than simply bending over to pick something up from the floor, Id use stances.
Hanging out washed clothes and picking up from the basket on the ground I'd use cross step, to bend down.
Opening the huge pots and pans draw I'd use a full low Horse stance.  etc. Not quite as drastic as the front stance to the fridge though. ha.

Also this week I'm continuing to experiment with the Light, medium, peak training days in a row with 4 days rest / active recovery. . As I'm growing Ill need to make it more challenging. So see how this plan goes.

Mon 12 - May 2014 - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

Tue 13 - May 2014 - Light 
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu Training (1 Hour anaerobic)

Wed 14 May 2014 - Medium
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Clubbells 10lb
  Just a light one in the arvo before heading to training.
  3 Sets of the following. Each set consists of each exercise one after the other. Then 30second break between sets. Sounds easy but makes you sweat.
  -  Mills x 12 each side - 10lb Clubbells
  - Ankle press inner x 12
  - Ankle press outer x 12 (still strengthening after recovery from sprain)
  - Flag Press x 12 each side - 10lb Clubbells
  - Reverse Parry cast x 12 each arm 10lb Clubbells
Shower before training.
- Chen Style Tai Chi (1 Hour)
- Shaolin Kung Fu (1 Hour Anaerobic)

NOTES: good day. this works well and a good progression for me at my current stage.
Improving on the jump twisting movements in Shaolin training. which is why Im doing lots of clubbell flag presses, strengthening the core and back with weighted twisting movements.

Thu 15 May 2014 - Peak
- Intuflow Intermediate (as a warm up)
- Shaolin Stretch Routine (only to reach that full split goal)
- 3 Sets of the following. Each set consists of each exercise one after the other. Then 30second break between sets. (although I needed a bit more towards the end heh. was tough.
Total time from warm up to end 1 Hour 29 minutes.
This was intense. I also had to break up the final sets into 20 / 14 with a 30 second break between to make the 34. But I made the century for each clubbell exercise with the 10 pounder. which is a record for me.
Felt amazing after this and ran & Jumped around with Suki (my Daughter) for 20 mins after finishing.
I programmed this exercise to help strengthen my ankles and lower legs (so no more sprains)
Plus to strengthen whole body as support for Shaolin / Wushu / Chen Tai Chi practice.

Fri 16 May 2014 - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate
 Bit sore from yesterday but doing fine.

Sat 17 May 2014 - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

Sun 18 May 2014 - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate
Swept the whole outside of the house again as I started last week, and washed the car. Doesn't sound like much but since we live on a dirt road, I have NEVER washed the car as it just gets dirty straight away.
However ... Because we also live in a rain forest, the weather has been unkind to the cars paint job. The entire surface of the car was covered in this hard black powdery stuff which took 2 hours to scrub off. Was an intense work out in the likes of wax on wax off kind deal so its worth a mention.


WEEKLY NOTES: 
Although I've stopped recording my weekly weight. Out of curiosity I  weighed myself and fat% on Sunday morning and I've lost another 2 kg. Now at 78kg . Gaining muscle and eating way more than I was a few weeks ago which is getting expensive. Only eating clean foods . Good quality meat and veg. Scratch made meals. and no processed anything. plus no refined sugar at all, and no alcohol. Don't even feel like drinking any more. Would rather drink herbal tea.  Ha Ha what happened ?  Have way more energy because of it , its just costly. Although I were to be using supplements in place of real food. it would cost far more. Not its not that bad.

This weeks 3 days on was awesome. Gained a ton of strength and fast. Smarter / shorter work outs are the way to go. Broke my Clubbell record this week, and wasn't that hard. But as Scott mentions in "The Big Book of Clubbells" you need to find your limit but without exhausting yourself. Idea is to build upon, as opposed to breaking your body. Looking forward to next week to break some more records on the peak training day.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Week 16 - Welcome to Chen Style Tai Chi


Monday - 5th May - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate.
I also finally found an old school straw (millet) broom . They are quite hard to find around here.
and why ? yes well Shaolin Kung Fu was built around daily farming / temple chores. Like sweeping the temple paths , digging in the fields, carrying water in buckets up to the temple from the valley below. etc.
Since we do a lot of sweeping around our house Id like to get a more old school broom to sweep out huge decks paths regularly as part of my daily training. There are techniques that use a similar motion to sweeping in this manor so it might help me strengthen those techniques plus it makes for more practical exercise.
I got home and did the driveway, 100 square meters of deck, paths and stairs, and another 120 square meters of downstairs veranda. Definitely worth it. My lower back, core and shoulders are burning from that.
Will do this as much as possible. Plus it make the exterior of the house look lovely. :)

Tuesday - 6th May - Light 
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu Training (Week 16)
This was an intense night. Pushed to the limit. I still did pretty well, however my shins and ankles are still a problem. I also got myself some Muay Thai liniment for this problem to help warm up the area and to keep warm after training. This helped a great deal, although I need more focus on this area to strengthen.
I've also started adding a lot of CST style ankle circles to my pre training warm up routine which is helping.

Wednesday - 7th May - Medium
- Intuflow Intermediate.
- Chen Style Tai Chi (1 Hour)
- Shaolin Kung Fu (1 Hour)

This was the first time at Tai Chi. I went along early last Wednesday to check it out and looked awesome so wanted to give it a go. Similar to kung fu but much slower and flowing. I really enjoyed this and felt amazing after. Legs are burning from all the slow stances, however looking forward to more and will start integrating this into my daily routines (where possible.)

Thursday - 8th May - Peak
Had a big one planned however it didn't go to plan. I had my daughter with me all day so had to try and sneak in the workout when she was having her arvo nap.
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Qi Drill
- Tai Chi warm up & Slow walking
- Shaolin Kicks - Front / Outside / Inside / Palm Heel / Groin Throat
Then 4 sets of the following in a row to make 100 of each.
- Double Shield Cast x 25 - 10lb Clubbell
- Shaolin Punching Drill 1  x 25
- Ankle Squats  x 25
- Shaolin Punching drill 2 x 25
- Side Torch Press  x 25 each side- 10lb Clubbell
- Ankle Circles x 25
- Horse / Front Stanch Drill x 25
- Shaolin Form 1 x 25
- Shaolin / Wushu Form 1 x 25

Only just got one full set done and Suki woke up. Doh. thats ends this set.
Was getting through it quite easily, and needed another 3 sets to make 100 of each.
Total time 1 hours 40 seconds. It was a bit of a rush to put this workout together and really should leave the Tai Chi elements for a separate rest / training day workout. It took up a lot of time which meant I missed the harder peak sets after. Think I was just keen to go over it all again as its new stuff.
Will have to wait till next week to make another peak set.
Everything I've been doing so far is making a difference. Feeling stronger, jumping higher, and ankle is almost repaired. Then its back to Wushu, and try and land those jumping spins that I stacked it on in the first place.

Friday - 9th May - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

Saturday - 10th May - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

Sunday - 11th May - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate.
This was supposed to be a rest day but I was itching to do something physical .
So after the Intuflow warmup. I got to sweeping the decks again. (it really is a decent workout , both hands on same side, long sweeping motion) then into some kicking drills

Friday, 9 May 2014

New weekly routine Take 3

Sifu Ramesh Patel from Shaolin Kung Fu Guan taking classes at Buddhas Birthday Celebrations. 
Photo from Buddhas Birthday Festivals facebook page. 

--
I really should stop calling it a 'routine'.. Trying to plan work-outs around work is more of an organic life form as both my wife and I have such flexible work situations. So its coming down to doing what I can when ever I get a chance.

So this week I knew we were very busy, but this means ill be close to my Shaolin School at the right times so Im planning on doing as much training as possible, and see how my body can handle it.


April 28th - Monday - Rest
- Busy day totally missed doing intuflow. Gotta make time, as it only takes 15 mins.
  Rosanna's new website needed finishing so we were up all night with very little sleep (about 2 hours)
  not a great start to a workout week.

April 29th - Tuesday - Light Routine
- Intuflow intermediate
- Shaolin Kung fu (week 15)
  NOTES: Learnt 2 new techniques to work on. and felt pretty good considering only getting 2 hours sleep . Turned out to be more of a medium routine than light.  Got home 8:30pm. crashed hard. ha

April 30th - Wednesday - Medium Routine

- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu (late session)

NOTES: This was pretty hard as I exhausted myself the day before.
Luckily we focused on wrist / punch defence take downs and pondered the question "What IS self defence"
I learnt a lot and many things to think about over the next few days. 


May 1st - Thursday - Peak Routine- Intuflow Intermediate
- New Peak routine focus on strengthening movements used for Shaolin first form and Broadsword.
As Follows
   - Shaolin kicks x 4 lengths of my deck. Front  / Outside / Inside / Throat groin / Palm Heel
   - Shaolin forms 1  x 10
   - Shaolin basic Broadsword form x 10
   - Shaolin Punching drills 1 and 2 x 1min each.
   - 30 seconds rest (geh)
   - Clubbells 10lb  5 sets all in a row, 30 second breaks between. ended up more like this.
                                                       Set      1         2        3       4         5        6
      - Double Shield cast                               20       15      20     16      16      13       (Total 100)
      - Ankle press                                         20       20     20      20      20                 (Total 100)
      - Side Torch Press left and right.             20       20     20      20      20                 (Total 100)
Total time 1h 13mins including Intuflow.


NOTES: I'm really sore now. ha . Had to do a catch up set as I couldn't handle 5 sets of 20 Double shield casts.
Reason I chose these Clubbell movements
- Double shield cast. is very similar action to some Broadsword movements.
- Ankle press - I'm still strengthening my Ankles, shins and calves.
- Side Torch Press is similar to the second movement of the first Shaolin form, which I noticed a major weakness during last weeks training.


May 2nd - Friday - Rest- Intuflow Intermediate


May 3rd - Saturday - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Day at the coast with the extended family.


May 4th - Sunday - Rest
- Intuflow intermediate
- we spent the day at Buddhas Birthday festival in Southbank.
helped out with the Shaolin market stall for a few hours and met the monks from Chung Tian Temple.
Its amazing how much respect Buddhist monks have for Shaolin. And we received warm welcomes when in their presence . Was a very insightful experience and more motivation to train harder in Shaolin style and get more involved with the Shaolin Kunbg Fu Guan events in the future.

---
NOTES:
Overall this was a good week. Workouts were good and recovery fast.
the 3 days Light medium peak then the rest of the week recovering is working wonders.
I've gained a lot of strength in the past few weeks and new muscles popping out that I've not seen before.
Next week will be quite different so will do the best with what time I have.








Wednesday, 30 April 2014

New weekly work out routine take two


April 21th - Monday - Light routine

- intuflow intermediate
- Clubbells 5 sets of the following with 10lb Clubs
  20 x Mills
  10 x flat foot squats
  10 x Snatch
  10 x slow side kick leg extensions (to open hips)
  10 x flag press
  15 x elevated ankle press
  30 second break

April 22nd - Tuesday - Medium Routine 
- intuflow intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu
  This was a very intense session so bailed on peak workout tomorrow
  as i can hardly walk.

April 23rd - Wednesday - Rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

April 24th - Thursday - Rest 
- Intuflow Intermediate

April 25th - Friday - Rest 
- Intuflow intermediate.

April 26th - Saturday - Rest 
- was too busy to even get intflow done

April 27th Sunday - Rest 
- was still to busy and recovering from 20 hour work day on saturday.


NOTES. 
This week kind of didnt go to plan. To many interruptions with long work days, and heavier than normal
Shaolin workouts.
Next week Ill be out and about the city all week so ill attempt to do as much Shaolin Training as possible as ill be in the area. Will see how that  pans out.. Trying to fit in work outs around work and other engagements is a challenge but not impossible.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

New weekly work out routine take one.


This is a new routine based on the new knowledge I have from the study of CST.
a 3 day on 3-4 day off weekly routine and smarter workouts as opposed to quantity.
Ive tried to work it in so the Shaolin training days are on the peak days to optimise my energy.
See how it goes.
For more info on CST and clubbells check out the RMAX website.

Week one.

Day 1 - April 6th - Sunday -  Light Routine
- Intuflow Intermediate
- ICS Mills - 4 sets x 15 - 10lb Clubbells
- 2 handed front snatch 4 sets x 12 - 10lb Clubbells
- 2 Handed Flag Press - 4 sets x 12 - 10lb Clubbells

Notes:
Mills were easy
Snatches a bit harder than i thought they would be
Flag press was intense. Definitely have weakness in back and core.
-------

Day 2 - April 7th - Monday - Medium Routine
- Intuflow Intermediate
- ICS Mills - 4 Sets x 8 - 15lb Clubbells
- 2 handed torch snatch 4 sets x 8 - 15lb Clubbells
- Side Torch snatch 4 sets x 8 each side 15lb Clubbells

Notes:
15lb much harder
mills just got through weakness mostly around elbows
torch snatch major weakness in wrists, could not get past 5 each set without loosing form
Side torch press got through fine could feel in middle back.
-------

Day 3 - April 8th - Tuesday - Peak Routine
Intuflow Intermediate
Shaolin Kung Fu - 1 hour

Day 4 - April 9th - Wednesday - Rest
Intuflow Intermediate

Day 5 - April 10th - Thursday - Rest
Intuflow Intermediate

Day 6 - April 11th - Friday - Rest 
Intuflow Intermediate

Day 7 - April 12th - Saturday - Rest 
Intuflow Intermediate

Week two.

Day 1 - April 13th - Sunday -  Light Routine
- Intuflow Intermediate
- ICS Mills - 4 sets x 20 - 10lb Clubbells
   - 4 sets x 10 flat foot squats
   - 30 seconds between sets.
- 2 handed front snatch 4 sets x 12 - 10lb Clubbells
   - 30 seconds between sets.
- 2 Handed Flag Press - 4 sets x 13 - 10lb Clubbells
  - 2 sets x 10 slow side kick (opening hip flexor )
- 2 sets Prasara yoga Forest Flow. (working on hips )

NOTES: this is a good light workout for my current condition.

Day 2 - April 14th - Monday - Medium Routine
- Intuflow Intermediate
5 sets of the following chain
- ICS Mills  x 9 - 15lb Clubbells
- 2 handed side clean to back x 9 - 15lb Clubbells
- Parry Cast x 9 each side - 15lb Clubbells
- Reverse Parry Cast x 9 each side - 15lb Clubbells
followed by 1 set (as a test)
- ICS Mills  x 9 - 15lb Clubbells
- 2 handed side clean to back x 9 - 25lb Clubbells
- two handed Parry Cast x 9 each side - 25lb Clubbells

NOTES: 15lb clubs are feeling lighter already,. its amazing how much stronger i am after one week.
25lb is still a bit much though.

Day3 - April 15th - Tuesday - Peak Routine 
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung Fu Training

NOTES:- wasn't great tonight, my stomach isnt dealing with supplement protein
so going to just focus on real food, which is better anyhow.
I also inhaled a bug at the start so that put me off all night. lol

Day4 - April 16th Wednesday rest
- Intuflow Intermediate

Day 5 - April 17th - Thursday - rest / light
- Intuflow Intermediate
- Shaolin Kung fu (light Sword Training)

NOTES: I knew Thursdays are generally lighter for training as not many people show up.
there was only 2 of us so we started using The Broadsword which was fun.

Day 6 - April 18th - Friday - Rest
- rest

Day 7 - April 19th - Saturday - Rest. 
- rest

April 20th - Sunday - Rest ready for new routine
____________________________________________
|  NOTES:
| 2 weeks of this and it isnt working so well.. Im gaining a heap of strength however I think im going too hard  on the medium days which is effecting the Peak shaolin days. Im also still dealing with a high ankle sprain. it  was a very light injury . however it needs another 2 weeks to heal. Focusing on core strength and technique  for clubbells and Kung fu while I heal my leg.
 Changing it up next week so Tuesday will be the medium day for shaolin, then a peak Strength day on  Wednesday. then a light Shaolin day on Thursday. Friday Saturday Sunday rest.

 Overall the 3 days on 3-4 days off works just needs to be adjusted to work with kung fu training.  which is t  the priority.






Sunday, 9 March 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu week 7

I'm now training 2 to 3 days a week. Although I CAN train every day if I wanted to, I like to have days off to recover and heal .

Tuesday session I wasn't feeling great to start with. I didn't have enough food for the day so I broke my clean eating diet and got some spring rolls from the local take away. Wasn't much to them but they completely zapped my energy. Gave me stomach and digestion issues and just felt all round bad. Not a great start for training. I also wasn't feeling emotionally well at the time, not sure if the food triggered this as well or just contributed to bringing these issues to the surface.
Ive been studying CST much more and now at the Prasara Yoga phase. I didnt understand this much back when I was studying before but made much more sense now.  Learning about emotional attachment to physical tension and starting to try and understand the source of the tension within my own body. Mainly hip and sacrum area which I've had for years and contributed to my injuries from 7 years ago. More on this in another post as it requires a LOT of explanation and I'm only just brushing the surface at the moment.

But because of this I decided to try and release some of the tension before the training session. Already feeling bad, I completely forgot the advice . "only focus on yoga tension release practise at the end of the day as you will be mentally and physically exhausted from it, and pretty much useless for anything else. ."
Whoops. I could hardly get through the training session. Even duck walking was difficult as I couldn't even keep balance and kept falling over.
I felt pretty bad about this and it wasn't until I got home I reflected on what had happened during the entire day and worked on a plan to improve where I had failed.

Basically.
- Don't do Yoga before a training session.
- Don't eat low quality food, its not worth it.

Wednesday, after a good passive recovery sleep, I felt a lot better about everything. Spent an hour in the evening working on more of the hip release yoga and after, I felt mentally amazing and had opened up my range of motion almost twice what it was before hand. Quite incredible really. Then more sleep.

Thursday session, I was much more prepared. Eating good food, well timed throughout the day and energy was through the roof. I also felt much better mentally as I'd worked through a lot of the the source of tension in the hips. It was a very good training session over all, and was given new forms to practise.
Felt great the whole drive home.. Massive improvement from Tuesdays session due to the work I had done Wednesday night. I really need to delve deeper into Prasara yoga . And I will.

Saturday was a Tumbling and acrobatics class. Back when I had the injuries I had just started to train in Gymnastics , but this was only very brief due to divorce and other circumstances. This is another reason I wanted to start fresh with Shaolin Kung Fu as it has all the benefits of an efficient martial art with all the acro elements of gymnastics.
I did make the mistake of thinking this would be easier than the straight Kung Fu classes as its all ages so we have ages 4 and up. However this was the most intense session so far. So many plyometric jumping drills and core exercises. I did manage to learn how to do a nice handstand that I was incapable of before the class. Main thing I need to focus on from this is the cartwheel . Easy as kids but much more difficult as an adult.
I was curling up into a ball rather than outstretched legs and landing on my arse.  This is another issue relating to the hip / sacrum tension.
All in all it was a great week of training, and looking forward to another week ..

The training week now looks like this
All at the same place. Shaolin Kung Fu Guan in Brisbane's south side.

Tuesday - Kung Fu 5:30-6:30 .
                and about to start Wushu 7:45 - 8:45
Wednesday -  4:30am Active Recovery .
Thursday - Kung Fu 5:40 - 6:30
Friday - Active Recovery
Saturday - Tumbling and Acrobatics 10:00 - 11:00am
Sunday - Active recovery
Monday - Active Recovery

By active Recovery I mean an Intuflow CST session just after I wake in the morning.
This makes a massive difference to how fast I heal and recover from intense training sessions.
I now also practise Prasara Yoga last thing at night to release emotional tension mainly in my hip / sacrum as its been a problem most of my life.

Will be interesting to see how this pans out over the coming weeks.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Weigh in week 7

Little more progress this week. Ive started training more, so no real progress on the horse stance as I'm still sore and recovering from last training session. I should see an improvement on this in the coming week once my body has dealt with it. Still no running as Its not necessary with all the extra Shaolin training. Exhale time was much less for some reason. not sure.

I'm probably going to stop measuring the run distance and exhale time as i don't really need to monitor this.

Diet has improved. No alcohol for 2 weeks now and don't really feel like it any more.

I'm pretty busy so Ive been pre preparing everything and taking meals with me to work places and in the car as I drive around 1000km a week or more.

My basic day looks like this

4:30am Wake and out of bed. Glass of clean water with fresh lemon juice. Intuflow Active recovery session
5:00am I'm usually in a rush so miss first breakfast. pack my food for the day, Make a large cup of Yerba Mate tea for the drive.
5:30am drive down town (1.5 to 2 hours.)
7:30am Eat breakfast . Fresh clean meat and veg. then start work
8:00am Cup of Liver Detox Tea
10:00am Second breakfast. Fresh clean meat and veg.
10:30am more Mate tea.
12:30pm First lunch fresh clean meat and veg
3:00pm second lunch more meat and veg
4:00pm drive home or to training
6:00pm First dinner meat and veg
8:30pm water whole Protein, wheat grass, etc as a night cap shake. then bed.

training days are fairly different. as the timing has to be perfect for my digestion and energy to be at the right level due to maximum exertion.
also
3-4 litres of water throughout the day. all fresh filtered rain water from my place. I take this everywhere as its awesome.  
notice there's no bread / starchy carbs / no sugar /
just varying amounts of fresh clean meat and veg either red meat or white .
all cooked in either Coconut oil or Bacon grease depending on what I'm cooking.
Red meat gives me enormous amounts of energy and I actually feel like running 10k after a meal like this.
White meat not so much, so ill be swapping out the chicken etc in favour of more read meat.
I have an iron deficiency so this is one reason I do so well.

Disclaimer. : DO NOT copy my diet.
one mans food is another mans poison.
I've spent years learning how my body operates with close monitoring from a doctor with blood tests.
This kind of diet give me personally immense energy and i feel amazing all day long free of insulin crashes. 


If you want to start this journey I recommend reading the facts in Scott Sonnons FREE 28 days primal eating guide .

Monday, 3 March 2014

Veggie House Stage 1

I mentioned a few weeks back we had started to grow our own food, so now its time to get stuck in and build a large scale vegetable garden.

 First we had to break up and remove all the old concrete slab. This took all day Saturday.

 We decided to recycle the concrete as a retaining wall and stepping stones rather than removing it all from site.
 Sunday, Rosanna spent building steps to the letter box and building tiers. She also turned over all the soil and removed the thousands of rocks. I built the frame work from a pile of bamboo we had stashed along the side of the house for years. I drilled holes in the bamboo and used fencing wire to tie them all together. In the end formed a very sturdy structure.


Then we added the anti bird netting . We live in a forest and the animals will eat everything if we didnt do this. Plus the chooks would dig it all up as they do. We still need some more netting other than that its ready to turn over the soil with some horse poo and get planting.
Overall this cost less than 20 bucks and a weekend of work. And Suki keeps calling it a veggie House. ha ha. So now thats its official name.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Weigh In Week 6

Not a great deal of improvement this week compared to last week. however I have been working really hard and my body probably needs more sleep.
I'm now waking up at 4am to fit in my daily Intuflow warm up (Active Recovery) but I haven't been able to get to bed on time in the evening due to many factors. So I'm only getting between 4 and 6 hours sleep.
All this hard work isn't worth anything if I don't allow enough time to recover. So I'm now aiming at 8 hours sleep a night. And see how that goes.

Ive had no beer over the week other than the one last week, which will be my last due to the issues I've noticed.
Also my diet has been a lot better.

We discovered that the local butcher in Samford has a range of organic and clean meats so I'm now heading to see them from now on rather then trekking 2 hours across town to get it.
Also the local veggie shop right next door to the butcher has a nice range of veg to choose from. So now we will be popping into the 2 local stores during the shopping week and have pretty much cut out all supermarkets and processed foods opting for home made fresh scratch made meals.

I spent most of the day on Sunday preparing meals for the whole week, making chicken stock from scratch with the slow cooker. And finishing off with a nice pastaless pasta, with Organic beef mince and home made sauce made from roasted vegetables. Large batches like this make about 10 meals .for that's 5 meals for 2 people which is worth spending the time to make it all from scratch. Then divide it up into meal sizes and freeze.

Other than that lungs are getting stronger. and horse stance is improving. Resting heart rate is a nice 60bpm. Still no walks or runs this week as I've been far too busy and away from home working.


Weight looks light its going to stop around 80-81kg now. Fat % is still dropping and muscle growing.
I'm also supplementing a little with a potion consisting of complete protein, Wheat grass, Barley Grass and alfalfa Grass. This is in addition to meals not replacing a meal. It helps to provide adequate protein and omega oils as well as 10 amino acids.


Also I've been adding a glass of  water with Fresh lemon juice after I wake , which helps alkalise the body as well as aid in fat loss.



Things to improve,
- I still need more vegetables so will try and add more to meals.
- More passive recovery ie. Sleep

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu Week 6

Week 6 and I guess I'm now an official member, after all I've now go the club shirt and Insurance is all sorted. :)
Again this week the class was taken by a senior student. And yet again we got drilled hard. Excellent.
I got there early and ran through the Intuflow " pre-Martial art warm up" warm up which helps avoid injury in strenuous classes.

I can definitely see improvement in jump height and the number of reps I can do of each technique before exhausting myself. Upper body strength and endurance has tripled since I started.

As of next week Ill be training 2 to 3 nights a week and joining different classes such as
Qi Gong, Wushu, and the Tumbling and jumping acrobatic class.

Also Ive been studying some Chinese history which is fascinating and want to learn more. I'm also enrolling in Chinese mandarin language classes. I was going to start now, however I have some work coming up on those dates so will start mid year.

Loving every second of it.

 Amituofo! 阿彌陀佛

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Beer no good for me

Although I have known for a while that beer has negative effects on my metabolic type. I've never really noticed much and always assume its something else causing the problem, cause Beer = yummy!
In the past I have had some reactions like sinus and hay fever type issues but that usually occurs when I'm in a dusty area so I always had the idea it could just be the dust.

As a protein type starchy / grain carbs are especially very bad for me and last night a lot was confirmed.
I've been eating varying amounts of clean veg and meat and nothing else for the past week or so. No sugar, and no beer. Then Last night (Friday) Rose and I sat down to watch a movie. I still have some lovely  preservative free craft beer I brewed from grains so its Friday night, time for a beer.

Because I've been eating clean recently I'm becoming extra sensitive to toxins .
Almost instantly while drinking the first glass. My eyes got itchy, started sneezing and back of my thoat needed scratching. you know that feeling. ? its not nice.
It was a 700ml bottle so theres a couple of glasses in there. Not wanting to waste I had the second.
After the movie we were off to bed and noticed in the mirror when cleaning my teeth by belly was very bloated, sticking out more than I could purposely push it out earlier in the day. More beer Reaction.
This was only one bottle. I used to consume 2 to 3 in a sitting, or more in a party environment.

The sad thing is now I have all this brewing gear to re purpose. 50 litre Stainless stockpots and fermenting gear. Maybe make something healthy with it. Not sure yet.

Also just this week I read about gluten problems and the symptoms were spot on to what my wife Rosanna was going through. Hay fever, tired, no energy, bloating. So she removed gluten from just one meal and almost like magic all the symtoms disappeared. She has trialed this again with a few meals. With gluten, without gluten. And even the tiniest amount of it and the symptoms came rushing back. I note this as we have been dealing with these issues for years not knowing it was food related or just how easy it was to make those issues go away. I wonder just how many people are suffering from long term problems that are simply food related , and with a change of diet (which isn't hard by the way) can be free of all those problems and get on with their life.

I'm now very interested in health tweaking and removing all the negative effects. Keeping record with a food diary is key so when you feel a certain way you can look back at your record and see what you have consumed over the past 48 hours that maybe contributing to it.

Wonder what else is holding me down. hmmm. Back to the body lab.



Thursday, 20 February 2014

Weigh in Week 5

This week I completely re built my food intake. Removed all starchy carbs and replaced with complex vegetable carbs for every meal, plus clean meats for protein. Also increased to 6-7 smaller meals a day to boost metabolism. All of a sudden I started burning off the fat at an epic rate. I've known about the 6 meal metabolism increase for years so i was keen to get that going again.
Ive also not had any beer which makes a huge difference.
Drinking heaps of different teas now including liver detox and antioxidant Yerba Mate.

Also to show just how much the right diet is key, i didn't do any walking or running. just 1 day of Shaolin Kung Fu . thats it. all the rest was food. Scott Sonnon mentions food is 85% of the battle.

most of the weigh dropped off in the past 3 days.

Horse stance has only increased a little. But thats expected as ive not been training to hard ... YET.
Resting heart rate is good. although i Might drop this from recording as its not really useful.
Max walk none. was far to busy this week. Not an excuse. I  was working massive hours. and wasn't home for any day light hours.
Breath exhalation has increases a little as my lungs have improved.

as far as the body weight im guessing it will slowdown and average out at around 75kg. and maybe 10% fat which is the goal. If I continue to eat like this (which I'm loving by the way, tasty meals every day) My body should naturally balance its self at a healthy weight. then i can focus harder on intense Kung Fu training. and get the nice high jumping springy muscles .

Loving eating all this awesome clean food. also Feel freaking amazing all the time. Energy is through the roof. I feel like doing jumping squats and frog jumps all day. Its incredible really but not surprising as ive felt like this before. Just glad I decided to get this health back.

Looking forward to this coming week. Time to get serious with Shaolin Kung Fu. My new love affair.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu Day 5 (week 5)

5 weeks training at Shaolin Kung Fu Guan Brisbane, and I'm about to start increasing the training. I can now deal with the intense training sessions and recovering by the next day rather than taking 4 days to be able to walk again.
Ill only post once a week even though ill be training 3 to 4 sessions within the week.
We have now brushed on basic forms and conditioning and spend quite a bit of time practicing at home .

Areas of weakness.

- Need to focus on strengthening the hip area that caused me issues years ago. Intuflow is helping with this.
- Jumping needs improvement and focus.
- Upper body is better now but needs some serious attention as my legs have way more conditioning due to years of Taekwondo.
- More Horse Stance. You can never have enough Horse Stance.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Weigh in Week 4

Four weeks in and everything on track. I've tweaked my diet a bit this week, with no refined sugars except for about 4 x 750ml beers.

83kg - 14.5% Body Fat
Horse Stance 1min 10seconds
Resting Heart Rate - 68  
(probably due to a recent coffee)
Max Run/Walk Distance 7.88km 

and I've added Exhale time.  1 minute 5 Seconds 

This was an exercise I started doing after the first Shaolin training session, and helping a lot.
Basically inhale all the way, then exhale as slow as you can through the mouth. I could only do about 20 seconds when I first started 3 weeks ago so thats a vast improvement.

I was also planning on doing a lot more walking/running however Ive been extremely busy this week and couldnt find the time.

I also progressed to Intuflow Intermediate program during the week however I was experiencing difficulty and some mild pain so Ive gone back to the Beginner program to work on those areas.
Maily my back, hip/pelvis area which is where I was injured all those years ago. So im in no hurry to injure myself again. At least I know my limits this time around.

As far as body fat percentage I'd like to get to around 10%. and under 80kg.
Theres still a Lot of tweaking to do on my diet but im happy with how its going so far.
One step at a time.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Shaolin kung fu day 4 (one month)

It's now been a month since I first started training shaolin kung fu. I was hoping be to be drilled again as i was feeling up for it and wanted to test myself. and BAM !! .  That's just what we got.
Our teacher was away so the class was taken by an advanced student. A lovely chap with a welcoming smile who took us through the hardest warm up session I've ever experienced in all the years I've trained in martial arts. Ha ha. 

To the point where I couldn't complete most of the exercises.  I couldn't lift my chest off the ground once more.  I could hardly stand up without first rolling to the side and use my elbows as my arms were numb. 
This is actually what I was hoping for.  I've learnt a lot about my limits in a LOT of area's all in one session.  So plenty to work on through the week. 

After that we went on to form practice which was a nice change.
Still loving the styles so as of March 1st I'll be increasing my training to twice a week. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Time to GROW our food



We have been talking about having a food garden for years and being a rental property this can be a challenge. However we have talked to the landlords and we are now able to make it happen.
We have cleared an area in the front yard which gets the most sunlight throughout the day and started with a few pots. Since we live in a forest we also need to cover with wire mesh. There are lots of wild animals who love vege gardens so we have to make sure they can't get to it before we do.

Next the plan is to build raised beds out of free recycled palettes which I can get from some of the local shops. The cheaper light palettes are just rubbish they have to get rid of so most places will welcome the offer to take them away.

This is also good for the kiddies to get involved in as learning to grow food is a great set of skills to have.
Suki is loving it and being able to water and watch plants grow that she planted her self is yet another thing to keep her occupied.

So far we have chili, Mustard spinach, Tomatoes and Parsley, that's just what we had previously. We are also ordering some Heirloom Seeds online to expand our crop to silverbeet, capsicum, cabbage, etc.

Same time we were planning all of this I noticed Scott Sonnon post some links to free wellness guides on his facebook page. One being his 28 days Primal food guide. Which I thoroughly recommend as its what I work towards in my own dietary plan. . Reading through this is just another reason to get stuck into the garden.

Will post progress as we get it all happening.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Off the beaten path (aka. Into the forest take 2)



I wanted to increase the distance for this morning walk / Jog session so instead of heading back down the fire trail with the epic uphill I decided to head down one of the bush tracks. Id not been down here before which is odd as its the closest path to home. It also joins up with a few other paths along the way so there's a few options for increasing the distance step by step over the weeks.

5am and its a stunning morning, clouds have all rolled in which meant low visibility yet nice and cool with light drizzle. This is perfect rain forest weather.
Since Id  never been down there before I assumed where it went and where it came out onto the main road. However what I thought, was wrong. After about 3.5km it joined to a fire trail which led onto the road  but much further down than where I thought I was which was a surprise.


As it didn't drop in elevation much I was In rain forest pretty much the entire way which was a change.
Heaps of animals again. These early morning treks are so well worth it. Saw some Bright Blue birds as well but didn't get a close enough look to identify them .

Over all was a really nice trek through the rain forest , out onto the road a bit then back in down a slightly different path. Only downside was the large amount of leeches due to the wet morning. I had to stop and check every 10 Min's or so, just quickly so I didn't drop pace too much. I flicked off around 25 or so of the little suckers. Next time ill wear long socks and tuck the pants in.

Total of 7.88km and I'm happy with that. Fast paced walk with some jogging . Just stopping for these photos and leech checks.




Rain forest trekking Tips.
- Don't wear running short shorts. Long pants tucked into socks. Leeches suck. Its true!
- The forest is better early morning or late afternoon when its been raining.
- Try not to brush up against too many bushes or trees. This is how a lot of ticks and leeches get on you.
   Plus there's stinging nettle and some other nasties which aren't too pleasant.
- Don't let any of the above stop you from doing Forest treks . Its so well worth it.

Some areas quite overgrown and path blocked by fallen trees or land slides. I had also planned to jog a lot of it however the trail surface was quite rough, with tree roots and large rocks which was a challenge, not to mention the shear drops down the mountain.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Weigh in Week 3


Time for the Weekly weigh in.

Bit of an odd result as it seams I have put on some muscle weight and still lost some body fat.
Putting on that much muscle in one week is a little unrealistic as I'm only eating fresh cooked food and no supplements or protein powders.
I'm putting this down to maybe a larger meal or water the night before.
Will have to wait and see what next weeks weigh in looks like.

Horse stance is only a little improved as my legs are still so sore from Tuesdays training session, I just couldn't hold it any longer.

I've also added some more things to track. Resting heart rate which, at 62bpm, is surprisingly low for only 3 weeks worth of work. This was counted over 3 full minutes and averaged. However came in at 62 every one of the minutes.
Also on the list is a record of longest single distance walked/jogged/run and a weekly total.
This way I can see if the level of exercise is having a direct effect on my weight/fat/lean mass.

Think ill up the level of exercise between Shaolin Training days, and tweak the diet a bit more since I'm aiming to loose some body fat first before building and strengthening muscle. I HAVE been eating a lot of Protein this week which may have contributed to the weight gain.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Shaolin Kung Fu day 3

I was hoping to be completely drilled again this week as I've been working on lung capacity and breath control. That was where I failed on the first day as I almost passed out.

And that's totally what we got. drilled hardcore. I had the breathing under control and was getting through it. Hard yes but coping. And just when I thought I was going to get through, it stepped up a level.
Upper body this time. Arm control and conditioning. Muscles I didn't know existed suddenly yelled HELLLOOOOO!!!

I've had 3 years experience in the past at Taekwondo and Hapkido and had built up a lot of leg strength and control, which is quickly returning, however my poor weak upper body didn't do so well. There were even types of crunches I've not seen before, cant remember the name of, and couldn't complete even one of them. But I wasn't the only one on my back laughing at being incapable so I didn't feel to out of place.

Overall It was a good night, and I'm progressing at a steady pace. All the breathing exercises I've done through the week have given me about 3 times the lung capacity so I'm happy with that.
I've also gained back a lot of my flexibility and the Intuflow program is helping heaps with that.
Ill be progressing onto the Intermediate Intuflow program in a few days.

Shaolin is awesome, loving learning new skills, and keen to take it as far as my 37 year old body will let me.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Exploring the forest




We live on Mount Glorious about 40km drive northwest of Brisbane.
I'm tempted to say we are lucky to live here but that is not the case, we simply made the decision to move out of the city 3 years ago and never looked back.
However in that past 3 years I think we have only ventured into the forest for walks about 4 times.
There's such a great opportunity to explore so once again I made the 'decision' to start walking/jogging/running the tracks and fire trails and get to know the forest a little better.

First up we, as a family walked the local tracks down to the waterfalls last week, and this week I took my daughter on a shorter 2.5km walk down one of the other local walk tracks, nice and easy.

Then last Friday I headed down one of the fire trails. These are 4wd tracks that run all through this massive state forest to provide access for park rangers, bushfire crews and search & rescue teams.

First track all down hill to start with. once I reached the 2km mark I turned around and slugged it back up the steep climb. Mostly walking with short sprint bursts. Was only 4 km all up and not that hard so today I woke up at 5am to head down further down the same trail.

There are paper maps available from the park head office however these trails are not marked on Google maps. So tracking where you are going in the forest is difficult. I ended up finding a GPS app for my phone called map my walk. I dont listen to music or anything as its nice to listen and experience the forest and all the wildlife. So I just used the app to track the distance and map the trail so I kind of know where I've been.
Screen Grabs of the 'Map My Walk' app from todays trail. 


After completing the Intuflow Beginner program as a warm up, I started record on the app and left the phone in a tiny back pack bag for the whole trip, so I could enjoy the experience rather than focus on gadgets the whole way.

Its a nice trail. lots of wallabies and heaps of different parrots and other birds. At one stage there was a stunning view of the early sun over the Lockyer Valley and hot-air balloons over Ipswich, which I had to stop and check out. The terrain also changed about 3 times from rainforest at the top to eucalypt forests, and general scrub at the lower part. The local Olley's Organic Honey also have their hives hidden all over the mountain which smell incredible as I trek past.

Overall I managed to cover about 6.4km and elevation down about 220m (See image above). The way back up that 220m was intense. Ill have to try and make it further down the trail next time.

At the moment I'm just walking the bulk of the way till I'm able to eventually run the whole distance.

Goals
- To run 10km+ every other day.
- Explore more of the Forest trails.

Friday, 31 January 2014

Chinese New Year Celebrations



We decided to take the family and check out the Chinese New Year Celebrations at the Chung Tian Temple on Brisbane's southside. Ive been before many years ago and thought it would be good to get out of the house for a bit of a different experience. I knew the Shaolin Kung Fu Guan demo team were going to be there for the Lion Dance and Kung Fu demo, and knew Suki (our Daughter) would get a kick out of seeing the Lions jump around.

Thursday night so there wasn't as many people as I was expecting from previous years which was nice. Not long after we entered the main grounds, we decided to have a look around and at that moment we were approached by one of the temple information guys and asked if we would like to take a private tour.
I don't know why he approached us and not all the others around, maybe we looked lost, ha ha.

This was an amazing experience. He took us around the entire site and explained what everything meant and all the symbolism etc. From the basics of Chinese writing and how it was formed,  to what all the figures meant on the roof edges. It was also very interesting to hear the true story behind Buddha. I grew up in a Christian family and heard a lot of propaganda and false information about other beliefs, so to hear some real history was refreshing. For instance Buddha was not a Deity, he was and always has been just a man, and all the statues do not represent images of a god but of different aspects of ones self. Buddha himself said that there shall not be any statues made of him, and it wasn't until 500 years later that other crusaders built statues in his image, as he sounded like a god to them. That's a very brief account of the whole story. Also interesting to learn the difference between a lot of other Chinese beliefs and Buddhism, as people tend to get confused and mix them all up as one thing, which is also how I've been taught in the past.
photo I took at the Chung Tian Temple for Chinese New Year 2007

After the tour it was on to drink tea and sample some of the food. We watched some of the dances and music performances while we waited for the lion dances. I wanted to stay until the Kung fu Demos had finished however for Suki, after seeing the lions was enough and was getting restless, so we headed home.






So why have family outings in a health and wellness blog ?
Because wellness isn't just about diet and exercise. Just as your body needs food to stimulate and grow, your brain, and your family relationship needs stimulation to. We knew it was going to be a later night than usual for us and our daughter, and we could have just stayed at home and watched a movie, or just nothing at all. However the experience was so well worth it, and Suki had not seen anything like it before. Plus as Shaolin Kung Fu is derived and formed around Zen Buddhism, the information we learnt tonight was very useful to help understand a bit more about how it came to be.
Knowledge is understanding, and one should not make assumptions about someone, a race of people or their beliefs but learn the true story about them.
This evening was, I dare say, an enlightening experience.