Archive for August 2008
Every now and then someone accuses me of “overtraining” – in fact it happened again just yesterday… and to be honest the subject can get me a little riled up. Sure I exercise quite a bit – okay, maybe more than quite a bit! In the last 6 weeks I’ve only had one day off from the gym BUT before you jump on the overtraining bandwagon *sigh* let me say that the VAST majority of my training is cardio. In fact, I’m only doing weights 3-4 times per week (and that includes BODYPUMP classes).
Back in my bodybuilding days I used to have a favourite saying:
It used to be my mantra – and made me smile whenever someone told me I was obsessed with bodybuilding. In fact, whenever someone used the word obsession or addiction I’d just smile a smug little smile and nod knowing the truth – that I was was in fact just dedicated to my pursuit of muscle. Now in hindsight perhaps I was a little obsessed (haha – the irony), but now I’d like to take that earlier mantra and amend it slightly (as in no uncertain terms do I consider myself a bodybuilder anymore). My updated version would be:
“Overtraining is a word “normal” people use to describe the dedicated”
What a “normal” person is or isn’t I’ve got no fricken idea – but I have a clue that the average Joe (or Jody) doesn’t wake up in the morning looking forward to getting to the gym to bust their gut every single day – and love every second of it! Certainly if that were normal something like 2 thirds of the population wouldn’t be overweight or obese!
So what is my usual weekly training regime these days? Well, I do at least one BODYCOMBAT class every day, on 2-3 days per week I do two classes per day (occasionally 3 but that’s reasonably rare) and as mentioned above at least one BODYPUMP class and 3 weights sessions per week. Total exercise time per week averages 12-16 hours, BUT again the vast majority of that is cardio. And, in my person opinion it’s almost virtually impossible to overtrain aerobically. Short of running marathons every day I just don’t think you can do it. You push your cardiovascular system harder and it responds by increasing your VO2 max. It’s that’s simple. There’s really no recovery time needed – that makes it unlike bodybuilding where your muscles need 48-72 hours to recover from an intense weight session.
In my experience the biggest question you need to ask yourself when determining whether you’re overtraining is this: “Do I still look forward to my workouts?” If the answer is a “not really” or a “no” – then perhaps it’s time to take a break (this of course assumes there was actually a time when you DID look forward to your training – as again – I’m sure the average Joe doesn’t look forward to working out and he certainly ain’t overtraining!). Absolutely there
are other symptoms to consider – fatigue, persistent soreness, irritability, increased incidence of illness to name a few – but, in my mind the number one symptom to look out for is loss of motivation. And in that regard I’m definitely 110% – I spring out of bed every morning looking forward to getting my ass to the gym – in fact it’s the highlight of my day…what would the world look like if everyone were this “abnormal”?
So went and saw “Tropic Thunder” on Saturday night. Not a bad movie – has some quite clever facets to it; always amusing to see actors take the piss out of themselves (Robert Downey Jr playing an Australian actor playing a black man was pretty funny) and the movie starts with mock movie trailers immediately after the real ones, so it takes a minute or two to realise the actual film has started which I thought was a pretty clever touch.
But, I’d have to say one of the best highlights of the movie for me was Tom Cruise’s “cameo” (though it wasn’t really a cameo in my mind as he actually had a fairly prominent role in the film). Cruise played a balding yet hairy, fat, movie mogul (named Les Grossman) and I swear had I not known in advance he had a role in the movie I never would have picked it. Now anyone who knows anything about me may know that Cruise and I don’t exactly see eye to eye and as such I’m probably the last person in the world to say anything positive about him… but… this would be the rare exception.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact you can’t recognise the guy! Some of the lines executed by Grossman were fricken hysterical; “Take a big step back and literally fuck your own face…” and all and all his character was for me the highlight of the flick.
I tried to find a video on youtube showing Grossman so you can see what I mean, but all of them were removed due to copyright violations – but you can see one scene at Defamer. Enjoy!
BODYCOMBAT 37 tracklist
1. Summer Of 69 (Mega-mania) / I Never Liked You (Rogue Traders)
2. Beat It (Fall Out Boy feat. John Mayer)
3. Baby I’ll Let You Know (Darryn Styles vs Hypasonic)
4. We Will Survive (Warp Brothers)
5. How Far We’ve Come (Matchbox Twenty)
6. Stamp (Jeremy Healy & Amos)
7. Let The Beat Control Your Body (2 Unlimited)
8. Sea Of Love [Hixxy Remix] (Frisco)
9. Church (T-Pain feat. Teddy Verseti)
10. Our Solemn Hour (Within Temptation)
So on Sunday I made the trek up to Auckland for the Les Mills Quarterly instructor workshop, and the latest releases of all the LM programmes – specifically for me BODYCOMBAT 37 and BODYPUMP 67. Both were awesome! Both classes were packed to capacity – imagine 300-400 likeminded people just going off! The only thing I can really compare it to is a rave from my clubbing days.
I was really impressed with Bodycombat 37; It has two tracks that have stuck in my mind (and caused me to hobble for the last two days) – track 4, which features an unbelievable 276 kicks in the one track! (I think I remembered that number correctly!) The theme for the release is “The Underworld” (think vampires) and this track (We Will Survive) has a real “Blade” feel to it. To top it off the challenge put to us was to go right through till the end of track 5 with no break – that meant no water and no wiping off the excessive amounts of sweat I was producing! (my word isn’t that a sexy thought haha). So after track 5 we finally got a chance to grab a drink (think ten seconds) before flying into track 6; “Stamp”
Track 6 has a brand new move to bodycombat – the Esquiva – derived from Capoeira and means “to escape”. This is a killer because pretty much the entire track is spent either squatting or lunging, and by the end of it my quads were burning all to hell…. but of course, being combat it turns out that wasn’t the end, only half way and we had to do it all again! OUCH!!!!!
Another highlight for me was the cool down (T10). This track rocks. Funnily enough it’s by Within Temptation and I also loved the other recent cooldown put to another of their tracks (BC33 was it?). I liked it not only because of the music, which was kinda eerie and has real depth to it, but also because the chorey doesn’t have a lot of wishy washy kata. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done over ten years of martial arts and know the importance of kata to practitioners, but I do get a lot of comments from members when we do tracks that have A LOT of “floaty” kata in them. I honestly think that’s why you sometimes see people leave during of before the cooldown… possibly they don’t “get it”. This track does have some kata, but it’s strong movements, feels relevant and ‘fits’. Some releases in the past haven’t (Excalibur anyone??).
All and all I love this release. We’re releasing it at my gym in exactly 2 weeks and I can’t wait! I better get learning! The only thing that scares me a little is that I am doing my instructor module in October, which means I will be assessed on this release… so my legs better get much stronger, and super quickly!! Which brings me to Pump.
Body Pump 67 has by far the best music of any release I’ve done, it has one of my absolute favourite songs, “Now you’re gone” by BassHunter – I love this song almost as much as I love “What hurts the most” by Cascada – which was in Pump 66. Both awesome tracks! Here’s the thing about my Pump 67 experience, at Les Mills Auckland, unlike any of the gyms here in Tauranga, the bars weigh like 7.5kg. Now I knew the bars were heavy but I didn’t know how much so I just added my usual weights to them thinking it would be fine. It was only after I learnt the weight difference – 7.6 kg extra may not sound like a lot, but when you’ve normally got say 15kg on the bar for biceps, and you jump to 22.5kg – it makes a difference!! The additional weight on the squat track, combined with track 4 and 6 in combat made for very sore legs!