After a weekend of flow channeling from slackline, to breath work, to climbing high stuff, it was time to start the week off with a bang.
Down by the riverside ..
An adventurous weekend in world of Cloudfoot these last two days.. from walking longlines in my underpants, to an impromptu crane climb at 3 am…
Since learning to slackline, I’ve never been more obsessed with controlling my breath: breathing in to the diaphragm deliberately, or the chest cavity, or both. It is phenomenal to feel in control of your breath, especially when it helps you get past some kind of fear or energy block within, or even heal an injury. But that’s another story.
Today I played with the idea of aggressive inhalation; breathing in with force, energy and intent, rather than channeling all of that into a strong exhalation. Often in the realms of sports, physical disciplines like martial arts or even pseudo-science areas like stress management, we are taught to channel energy, or attach a sense of ‘release’, to our out-breaths. It works. However, the only situation I’ve noticed where this method doesn’t work so well, is when you’re puffing out of your arse from exhaustion. Come and do one of the Hybrid Conditioning sessions down at Locker 27, and I guarantee your diaphragm will be a’flappin’! Struggling for air after these conditioning rounds led me to explore the idea of controlling one’s recovery speed.
Watch this video of legend Rickson Gracie below – look out for the clip where he runs stairs, then feels his pulse in his neck and times his recovery process. Pay attention to how he breathes:
And the cycle continues…
90% of my training programs, until now, have used rest periods of anywhere between 60-180 seconds, or more. These rest periods partner with programs that primarily favour building strength and muscle.
It is only now that I have changed my resting style: doing mobility exercises as a form of active rest, before returning to do a work set. And the difference in feeling is prominent.
The first thing I notice is the pump. It’s ridiculous. Come 3rd or 4th set, the muscles are really full of blood. For me, it’s my forearms that balloon. The second is the burn, and how that affects my mental state.
The beauty of this new program that I’ve started – a gymnastic-based, bodyweight system – is that you have way less muscle-soreness (DOMS) in the days following the workouts.
That means Wednesdays, rest days, can be used for skill training. In this case, Handstands, with one of the coaches at Locker 27, Ben Lee.
Check this short clip out of our session :
We warmed up with some wrist mobility for about 5-10 minutes – vital to prep the wrist joint when getting into hand balancing territory. Then some shoulder dislocations to warm the shoulder joints.
So the second day of the Gymnastic Bodies, Foundation One workout was today. The exercises I completed were contributing to technical gym moves, such as the Side Lever, Single Leg Squat and this beast, The Manna:
Weightlifting. I love it. I’ve been doing it for the last 16 weeks, using a personalised template created by Joe De Franco, trainer to NFL athletes, WWE wrestlers and all-round sick heads. The results have been amazing. This good, in fact:
However, the stimulus for growth needs to be changed. Weights have served their purpose thus far, now it’s time to turn to GymnasticBodies.com for their Foundation One program.
“Foundation?” I thought when I first heard it. I was happy to admit I didn’t need no simpleton, foundation workout plan. Until I heard the guy who created it say “My guys do shoulder dislocations with weight up to 45 lbs,” immediately shutting me up and forcing me to examine the holes in my game.
The sun seems to be returning and the light is in sight to signify the end of winter; a powerful time of year for any van dweller!
This weekend had an action packed itinerary, including : slackline workshops at Boulder Brighton’s anniversary Climbing Competition, the re-introduction of carbohydrates to my body after a week’s depletion, and a creative, athletic photo shoot with photographer Jack Daly.
Read on to find out more from this first instalment of The Cloudfoot Diaries…
My training continues over at Locker 27.
Recently, as part of my finishers, (conditioning exercises used after a strength workout) I have been including some Grappling into the mix. You may not know that I used to train in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a while back, for about 3 years.
The video below shows clips from 1 x 10 minute round, working a mixture of positions, transitions and submissions. If you’re new to it, start with 1 x 5 min round.
Cardio, in the regular sense of the word, bores the hell out of me. This, however, is not only exciting, but will get your lungs working for every last piece of oxygen.
Time to get Caveman!