IGX "...overflowing with foulmouthed ignorance."

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:12 am 
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I'll just start with a couple of thoughts ](*,)

The overall goal : Feel good mentally and physically. Be bodily unburdened enough to do whatever I want (or need) whenever I want (or need) to.
1. This means being able to do any activities of daily living (ADL's), job demands (JD's) or sports and recreational activities (SRA's) i might choose to do try. Now and when I'm old.
2. Promote superior resistance to wear and tear and common injuries. I want to be able to move well with no pain.
3. Reaching these goals in the simplest way possible, investing the least amount of time even if it means the training program isn't "optimal" in all ways.
- Maximum efficiency with minmum effort. 80% benefits from 20% effort rule.
- Don't do as much as possible; do what I need/can't do without.

The program should therefore be very general in its focus to promote a high level of potential ability in as broad a spectrum as possible, and not single out any single physical fitness attribute (strength, cardiovascular, flexibility etc), but develop proficiency in each one so far as it still makes sense with regards to my goals and doesn't negatively affect the development of other attributes. First some thoughts on strength and endurance:

Muscular system (strength/endurance): How much strength is necessary? is being able to lift several hundred pounds necessary? Probably not. And how much time do I actually want to spend getting stronger? The time might be better spent working on other attributes after a certain general base of strength has been build (point of diminishing returns).

After the base has been laid, rather than try to become even stronger, focusing on endurance with that strength load might be more worth my while since such training:
- improves vascularization of muscles (so they tire less and recover faster)
- improve vascularization of tendons (so they are less prone to inflammation and rupture--tendons most often rip in areas of poor blood supply).
- Increases the structural strength of muscles and connective tissue so they are less likely to be excessively damaged by strenuous exercises; DOMS, a muscle strain, even a complete muscle rupture. Structural strength is determined by the strength and cross-sectional area of the slow-twitch muscle fibers (they have greater structural strength than fast-twitch fibers) and by the strength of the connective tissue within the muscle. Endurance training benefits the slow twitch fibers - but also the the connective tissue strength within the muscle, probably through the anabolic action of hormones that are delivered to the muscle with the increased blood flow (says Tom Kurz)
- Could double as joint mobility if done through a complete ROM (Think Amosov-like routine)

All these seem to be more relevant in regards to my goals and generalist training program rather than building more strength

Bodyweight training is the easiest way for me to achieve these goals I think. Certainly in regards to goal nr. 3. The simplicity and non-reliance on external equipment appeals to me. And I don't need to use barbells, crazyballs etc. to get the results i want.
So choose bodyweight exercises requiring what I deem "enough strength", and just focus on increasing reps after they have been mastered.

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Last edited by Xian on Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:45 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:32 am 
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Every example of the negative effects of aerobic exercises or cardio are related to people who are doing it excessively (marathons, etc.) or exclusively. There are many benefits of having a well-developed cardiovascular system and everyone can benefit from a moderate amount:

- Increases ability to do more work in an aerobic manner, sparing the limited anaerobic reserves = increased work capacity. By raising our ability to do work, all other attributes and characteristics will be more attainable, because you can handle a larger volume and intensity of exercises without exhausting the body's resources.
- Increases recovery after after endurance and anaerobic strength/speed efforts. It essentially slows down the fatigue inducing effects and restocks the substrates they need to work in the first place faster. That means training with more intensity and more often.

It's therefore paramount in any generalist, all-around preparation program (hint hint) to lay a cardiovascular/aerob base.
your ability to work aerobically is dependent on both central and peripheral adaptions (contents of both categories simplified very much):

Central adaptions (your ability to supply/transport oxygen), Aerobe fitness.
- is primarily dependent upon how much blood you can pump in a single heartbeat (stroke volume) which is primarily dependent upon the volume of the left ventricular cavity.
This is best increased by keeping the heart rate in the 120-150 zone (Not panting, hands on knees, push the envelope type) for 20 min. or more. done at least twice a week. Can be in the form of running, circuit training etc. doesn't matter as long as the heart rate gets up.

Peripheral adaptions (ability to utilize oxygen in the muscles), Aerobe endurance.
- Increased capillary density. The greater your capillary network you have, the more blood (SPICE!) will flow an be available to the muscles.
- Mitochondria activity (number and ability)

Only the muscles being worked in a movement improve their endurance capacities and there is a high degree of movement pattern specificity in their improvement. Running won't increase upperbody endurance etc. These peripheral adaptions are also what's responsible for the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise (increased insulin sensitivity, improvement in LDL/HDL ratio, increased fat oxidation, decreased blood pressure). The more overall muscle tissue involved, the greater the overall health benefits. So heavyhands > running etc.

With the generalist and health oriented goals in mind, I should attempt to increase whole-body endurance while getting my heart rate up for at least 20 min.
I could add a separate cardio session, but the most effective/least time consuming way (my previous post and overall goals in mind) would be to get my heart rate up when doing my body-weight exercises (making sure the whole body is exercised) in a continuous or circuit fashion for 20 min or more. Again, very Amosov like so far.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:55 pm 
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Impressive knowledge or cust and paste in this and rotator cuff thread.

So, what did you do in your workout to meet any of these goals/

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Well it is a mix of both knowledge from my Physical Therapy study and cut/paste kung fu.

The plan is to first elaborate upon what I want to achieve in all the different aspects of health/fitness and want from a program and then gradually try to make one that measures up. I could explain what I do currently, but to explain all movements fully would take a lot of time since a lot if is complicated Sonnen-esque movement douchebaggery.

The basic outline of what i currently do is 3 'flows':
1) Tea-cup exercise as whole body mobility and wake-up exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpdFqbtf ... plpp_video
2) A continuous lower body flow consisting of Pavels cossack roll, Sonnons cossack squat, single leg deadlifts, pistols etc. etc. strung together
3) An upper body and spine flow consisting of hindu pushups, bridges, plow position, inchworms etc.

Nothing is set in stone and I'm currently having a lot of fun trying to mix and match different movements in a way that suits my goals. The overall idea is to move all (or most) joints through a great ROM while building strength/endurance at the same time and getting some cardio benefits while I'm at it.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:45 pm 
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This is very good stuff. My goals as well although I think some barbell/weights should be involved mixed with lots of mobility and flexibility work. That's how I'm approaching it anyway. Perhaps 5/3/1 or Shaf's Ladders with bodyweight exercises for assistance. And, again, lots of mobility and flexibility work. I'm thinking I need to add in sprinting again. Not full speed; varying from 60% to 85%.
Quote:
The overall goal : Feel good mentally and physically. Be bodily unburdened enough to do whatever I want (or need) whenever I want (or need) to.
1. This means being able to do any activities of daily living (ADL's), job demands (JD's) or sports and recreational activities (SRA's) i might choose to do try. Now and when I'm old.
2. Promote superior resistance to wear and tear and common injuries.
3. Reaching these goals in the simplest way possible, investing the least amount of time even if it means the training program isn't "optimal" in all ways.
Don't do as much as possible; do what I need/can't do without.
Very nice.
Quote:
he plan is to first elaborate upon what I want to achieve in all the different aspects of health/fitness and want from a program and then gradually try to make one that measures up. I could explain what I do currently, but to explain all movements fully would take a lot of time since a lot if is complicated Sonnen-esque movement douchebaggery.

The basic outline of what i currently do is 3 'flows':
1) Tea-cup exercise as whole body mobility and wake-up exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpdFqbtf ... plpp_video
2) A continuous lower body flow consisting of Pavels cossack roll, Sonnons cossack squat, single leg deadlifts, pistols etc. etc. strung together
3) An upper body and spine flow consisting of hindu pushups, bridges, plow position, inchworms etc.

Nothing is set in stone and I'm currently having a lot of fun trying to mix and match different movements in a way that suits my goals. The overall idea is to move all (or most) joints through a great ROM while building strength/endurance at the same time and getting some cardio benefits while I'm at it

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:15 pm 
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I agree Mickey. I could benefit from adding barbels, sprints etc to the mix but that would lead to most likely lead to cycling stuff, waving loads and programming complexity as well as being dependent upon having the equipment available when I need it. I'm willing to sacrifice maximum benefits in order to keep "simplicity first" the first law, and to have an "anywhere, anytime" program that will give me all I want/need, more or less.
I'm going to try and hack away at your log - it's a long read! =D>

Kurz mentions an Amosov like program on his site, which I also find interesting and inspiring in regards to what I want to do:
Quote:
Russian geophysicist V. M. Khudyakov, has a herniated disc in his lumbar spine. He describes his experience in a letter to Fizkultura i Sport (number 10, 2002), a popular health and fitness magazine in Russia.

In 1994, Khudyakov spent a whole month in hospital because of the herniated lumbar disc. His pain subsided somewhat after the hospital stay. Self-administration of electroacupuncture also helped him, but he was still far from good health. (I do not go into details of this electroacupuncture treatment as such description would take me off the subject of this article, and besides, I do not give medical advice.) To fully recover, Khudyakov needed to strengthen the muscles supporting his spine. Eventually, he started to exercise when he was able. After a while his daily program looked like this:

5:00 a.m. sauna and bath in ice water followed by 40 to 45 minutes of exercise.

100 back extensions on the floor
100 forward bends, knees straight, putting hands on the floor
100 hip twists to the left and 100 to the right while sitting on a rotating wheel and keeping trunk immobile
100 trunk twists to the left and 100 to the right while keeping hips immobile
100 clockwise circles with the head and 100 counterclockwise circles
20 push-ups after each exercise

This program very quickly made him feel good, practically healthy, but his pain would return occasionally after prolonged work in bent posture while gold digging. (He had to go deep into the taiga to dig gold because he could not find a job in his town, his wife was laid off, and they had two little children.) Final recovery came later, he thinks because of increasing the number of repetitions in each exercise from 100 to 200 and the total number of push-ups on fingers to 180–200. Now he feels better than before his spine was injured.

Khudyakov does all these exercises in the morning, and in the evening he does 500 to 600 squats or alternates back extensions on the floor with leg lifts 300 times.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:28 pm 
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You better set aside a few hours if you are going to read Mickeys log.Did it last year and it is well worth your time.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:44 pm 
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I like that Amosov-like routine. Will have to include that in my mobility rotation. It would be a good idea for me to read back through my log as well.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Mickey. it was in your log I found the "you`ll toughen up" quote.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:58 pm 
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I remember that.

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 Post subject: On mobility....
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Mobility/flexibility exercises are an important part of any program.
Tissue length is valuable to work on in regards to dysfunctional posture and movement patterns and will be covered extensively later.
For know I just want to highlight two different ways to increase ROM

1. Mobility exercises/Dynamic stretching
- very "functional" in that you are more or less always using your ROM in a dynamic fashion, so it makes sense to develop it in a dynamic way. This type of stretching works on nervous tension in the muscles more than actual tissue length (i.e. "longitudinal" hypertrophy, Muscles ’growing longer’ = addition of sarcomeres in series) and is therefore a potentially faster method to increase ROM.
- promotes health of the joint itself; dynamic movement gets the synovial fluid moving and 'greases' the joint. This is vital to the health of the joint cartilage. It is not linked to any blood vessels and receives nourishment from the nutrients in the synovial fluid.
- Since you are actively moving, you develop strength/endurance at the same time which reduces the risk of injuries. HOWEVER not all mobility exercises are the same, and there are two very different ways that mobility exercises can reduce injuries by building strength, and nobody (Maxwell, Pavel, Cressey etc.) has really made a point out of differentiating between them:

1. Reducing active insufficiency (AIS). Take the example of lifting your straight leg as far up to the sky as possible. You'll feel tremendous tension in the hip/quad (agonist), but not much stretch in the hamstring (antagonist). The difference between the ROM you can achieve when the joint is passively moved (when somebody lifts the leg for you and strength is not a factor) and the ROM you have when using the strength of the agonist muscles to get into the ROM is called Active Insufficiency, ROM you can't actively reach. The greather active insufficiency, the greater the risk of injury (Pavel, SJ).

2. By building extreme range strength. This is your ability to RESIST a ROM. If you have great ROM, but not the strength to resist/get out of it, your flexibility is a liability. If you a forced into a ROM (accident, sport etc.) your muscles contraction will not be strong enough to prevent the ROM, and instead of no damage or suffering some muscle tissue damage, you will suffer a more serous soft tissue injury (tendon, ligament).

So as you can see, both dynamic leg swings and the Cossack squat (Pavel) are mobility exercises and are "active" and build some strength, but they do sot in quite a different way. To have optimal and "safe" flexibility, you should ensure that your joints have both the capability of going into and out of a ROM.
The most important thing however is to be able to resist being forced into a ROM. Especially for the lower body. Unless you flail your legs around in a sport, you will most likely have a greater need of being able to RESIST a ROM in your daily life (falling, sliding, tripping over stuff etc. etc.), and your mobility exercises should reflect this (I.e. cossacks, lunges and single legged deadlifts > dynamic leg swings).

2. Static stretching
- Facilitate muscular and mental relaxation, which can be exploited for active restoration and cool-down purposes (Issurin: Block Periodization: Breakthrough in Sport Training)
- Helps muscles reach their resting length faster, which is optimal for biochemical exchanges at the muscle fiber level. (Tudor Bompa: Periodization Training For Sports + Joel Jamieson)
- With animal studies, chronic stretching has shown to increase Insulin Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) and Mechano Growth Factor (MGF) in mice and rabbits.
It serves as a mechanism to not only increase strength but also enhance recovery. Releasing these hormones after a workout or run would help initiate repair much faster, which would lead to increases in adaptation and performance. Some other evidence may help to support this theory, as stretching when combined with strength training has shown to potentially increase strength gains beyond that of just strength training by itself. The hormonal release theory might help explain this. (Steve Magness: Scienceofrunning.com)
- Help break down scar tissue following an injury and/or surgery (when the new connective tissue may require "realignment")

Static stretching has many benefits, but should as a rule of thumb only be done post-workout (highly beneficial) or on off days, and never prior to dynamic exercises.


---
To recap my own program design thus far:

1) Pick bodyweight exercises (making sure to hit all major muscles groups) requiring some basic levels of strength, but focus on increasing endurance in those exercises instead of doing more difficult variations.
2) Make sure that the exercises are dynamic and take all major joints through a, more or less, complete ROM. Make a point out of choosing exercises that build ROM-resisting strength in the lower body.
3) Do these exercises in a continuous or circuit fashion for 20 min or more.
4) Do static stretches post-workout or on off days to increase recovery and tissue alignment. For simplicity's sake, try to choose exercises/movements that can double both as dynamic exercises and static stretches (Hindu-pushups -> down/up dog stretch, cossack roll can be done both dynamically and statically etc.), so that I post workout/on off days can repeat my program focusing on doing the movements as static holds.

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 Post subject: On meditation...
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:24 pm 
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Quote:
Without going outside, you may know the whole world.
Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.
The farther you go, the less you know.
If you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.
Quote:
You need not do anything.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
You need not even listen, just wait.
You need not even wait, just learn to be quiet, still and solitary.
And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.
Quote:
I asked my master once what was the most important thing in practice, and he said: "continuing."
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:46 am 
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cool log - those mobility flows sound very interesting.

Are those quotes attributed Lao Tzu?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:06 pm 
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This is really good, Xian. Thanks for posting this stuff. Regarding the V. M. Khudyakov joint mobility routine how do you do a back extension on the floor? Is it like a Superman? If so, I read that those were not very good for the lower back.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Quote:
cool log - those mobility flows sound very interesting.

Are those quotes attributed Lao Tzu?
The first one is Lao Tzu, the second one is Kafka and the last comes from a Zen master at zenforuminternational.com

The flows are a mix-match of different pilates/yoga/qigong/JM stuff and constantly changing slightly until I (hopefully) find the perfect mix, but as of right know I do the following:

1) Tea-cup exercises
2) Lower body flow (bear with me. It is ridiculously difficult to explain). From standing:
- Drop down into a full squat
- Do the Sonnon Cossack squat thing: putting the left knee on the floor --> roll over lower leg --> put right leg behind you so you end up in a shinbox position with left leg in front, right behind.
- Keeping left leg the same, move right leg forward and to the left until you end up in a kneeling lunge with right leg in front
- Rock onto front leg do a one legged deadlift, and put left leg back into a lunge position (NOT kneeling this time)
- From the lunge, roll the hips until you end up in a cossack squat
- Transfer weight to the other side until you end up in a cossack squat with the right leg extended.
- Now do the previous movements/steps to the other side (reversed) until you end back in the full squat position...
- From here you you do a dragon twist to the ground and return back to the squatting position.
- Stand up and do the whole thing from the beginning starting with the other leg.

If it makes no sense at all I can try to get some pictures of the various steps. ](*,)
I often stay statically in any one of the positions, or just spend time in the position doing circular motions etc. to loosen it up.

3) Spinal flow from standing:
- Put palms on the ground and inch-worm them forward until in pushup position
- Push back into down-dog, then do one (or more) hindu pushups.
- Inchworm back until you are back in the standing forward bend, then squat down (hindu squat style) and sit on your heels
- From here, roll over one shoulder (keeping legs in place) until you end up in a plow position. You may stay here awhile and gently move the legs and/or head to loosen up the entire back and neck region. Any combination you feel like!
- Now, lower the legs until you are lying flat on the ground, then do a straight legged situp to sitting. Try doing it in various ways; coming up in a circular motion, with a twisted upper body, zig-zagging right to leg etc. have fun and vary it.
- Now sitting you can spread the legs into a v-sit and do various bends and rotations you feel like
- Return to a lying down position, again trying to vary how you do it; standard straight-legged situp style, circular etc. etc.
- Lift legs back into plow (play with doing it one-leg at a time, two, into a shoulderstand etc. etc.) and roll back over your shoulder untill kneeling again.
- Rock onto your toes with palms on the ground, straighten your legs and repeat the whole thing



Quote:
This is really good, Xian. Thanks for posting this stuff. Regarding the V. M. Khudyakov joint mobility routine how do you do a back extension on the floor? Is it like a Superman? If so, I read that those were not very good for the lower back.
My guess is that it is only lifting and lowering the upper body. Still, I don't think it is a very good exercise - Very limited ROM.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Never heard that quote from Kafka, love it. Very reminiscent of Hesse's "Siddhartha".

I've spent a lot of time over the years pondering the perfect "all-in-one" Asomov like routine also. Eventually decided that it was best to have several arrows in the quiver, so to speak, and move from one to another as my needs (and need for variety) change.

I think "flow" is overrated as a modality, at least compared to "resilience", but then my tai chi push hands practice always sucked, so what do I know?

You look to have made a good start here. Keep up the good work, maybe post a video to Youtube or vimeo documenting and demonstrating your various syntheses?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:20 pm 
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Xian, tried the scap protraction from Down Dog -- felt like a very good home based shrug, with a litle serratus (I think thrown in), appreciate the suggestion!!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Quote:
Xian, tried the scap protraction from Down Dog -- felt like a very good home based shrug, with a litle serratus (I think thrown in), appreciate the suggestion!!
Glad you got around to it and like it, but the scap protraction actually starts in the regular pushup position (just like regular scap pushups) and THEN you move to downward dog and back again. Think of it as scap pushups with a movement to down dog between reps :)
Quote:
Never heard that quote from Kafka, love it. Very reminiscent of Hesse's "Siddhartha".

I've spent a lot of time over the years pondering the perfect "all-in-one" Asomov like routine also. Eventually decided that it was best to have several arrows in the quiver, so to speak, and move from one to another as my needs (and need for variety) change.

I think "flow" is overrated as a modality, at least compared to "resilience", but then my tai chi push hands practice always sucked, so what do I know?

You look to have made a good start here. Keep up the good work, maybe post a video to Youtube or vimeo documenting and demonstrating your various syntheses?
Thanks for reading ABW!

Glad you liked it. It is one of my favourite meditation quotes - feel free to share your own favourites if you have some. :)

Yes, the perfect routine probably doesn't exist, but at the very least, I will have a good foundation routine which can then be supplemented with whatever it lacks. Would you mind posting what you consider the closest-to-perfect/all-in-one routine you've ever done?

Could you explain what you mean by "resilience" as a modality? I haven't encountered that term in regards to exercise philosophy before. Very intriguing.

Unfortunately, I don't have video camera or anything capable of capturing the flows on video, but I will look at getting some pictures of the different positions and transitions.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Rough cut-paste from Health Without Medicines (Ming China c. 1640) by Dr Li Zhongzi’s.
A small booklet translated by Richard Bertschinger.
Quote:
The theme of the single method of harmonising the breath runs through all three religions, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.
In its broadest aspect it enables you to enter on into the Way or at the very least to nourish and care for your own life.
It is the very highest teaching of jing gong (Stillness Exercise).


Settle the body down, sitting upright,
Lips and teeth should be touching,
Both eyes dropping...

Gradually you arrive at a regular breath,
Passing without effort and quite smooth.
Either count the breaths out,
Or else count the breaths in.
Count from one to ten,
Then from ten to one-hundred,
Focus the mind on the number,
Do not let it go off course...

Until there exists just one single rule,
Summed up in a single word - ‘follow’.
With the breath merged totally,
Coming out and entering in,
Follow it unbroken...

If the mind and the breath follow each other,
Random thoughts will not occur...

If you can diligently practice just so
From within the stillness, a light is born
Of a kind both strange and wonderful.
Truly it can illuminate the heart
And see into of our innermost nature
Not simply promote health.
It is like a blind man
Suddenly able to see...

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:37 pm 
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cool find.... Gonna google that now.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
Xian, tried the scap protraction from Down Dog -- felt like a very good home based shrug, with a litle serratus (I think thrown in), appreciate the suggestion!!
Glad you got around to it and like it, but the scap protraction actually starts in the regular pushup position (just like regular scap pushups) and THEN you move to downward dog and back again. Think of it as scap pushups with a movement to down dog between reps :)
Quote:
Never heard that quote from Kafka, love it. Very reminiscent of Hesse's "Siddhartha".

I've spent a lot of time over the years pondering the perfect "all-in-one" Asomov like routine also. Eventually decided that it was best to have several arrows in the quiver, so to speak, and move from one to another as my needs (and need for variety) change.

I think "flow" is overrated as a modality, at least compared to "resilience", but then my tai chi push hands practice always sucked, so what do I know?

You look to have made a good start here. Keep up the good work, maybe post a video to Youtube or vimeo documenting and demonstrating your various syntheses?
Thanks for reading ABW!

Glad you liked it. It is one of my favourite meditation quotes - feel free to share your own favourites if you have some. :)

Yes, the perfect routine probably doesn't exist, but at the very least, I will have a good foundation routine which can then be supplemented with whatever it lacks. Would you mind posting what you consider the closest-to-perfect/all-in-one routine you've ever done?

Could you explain what you mean by "resilience" as a modality? I haven't encountered that term in regards to exercise philosophy before. Very intriguing.

Unfortunately, I don't have video camera or anything capable of capturing the flows on video, but I will look at getting some pictures of the different positions and transitions.

The most nearly perfect all-in-one routine I ever did was a version of 18 Buddha Hands taught by Larry Johnson at a Dragon Door seminar (one of the very last ones that wasn't about kettlebells) in 2001. It had a little of everything, But it took 70 minutes or more to complete, and that's if you didn't rest or pause between sets. The cross legged bending exercises also irritated my left SI joint until I finally figured out what was going on with my hips (thanks to the compensation drills in Sonnon's "Forward Pressure.")

The 2nd most nearly perfect routinefor me was probably the "Xing Yi Nei Gong" set in Miller and Cartmell's book of the same name. Covers a lot of ground, some of the movements seemed extremely effective at mobilizing chi. Very linear, though, lacks some of the sophistication of Silk Reeling. After two years of daily practice, I couldn't feel any more improvements or changes from the movements without jacking the number of repetitions sky high, so I moved on.

I guess by "resilience" I mean "springiness". Sort of what Sonnon was always talking about with his idea of "stored elastic energy" in the tendons and ligaments. The exercises in Pavel's "Resilience" DVD exemplify what I think I mean - you can flow and do joint circles until you're blue in the face, but at some point if you want to heal soft tissues, you've got to put a load on the muscles and fascia to undo the knots and trigger points. Resistance band training is my new enthusiasm because it seems to address this part of the continuum for my nervous system and imbalances in a way that all the chi kung in the world never did. (In one of my posts here, I mentioned how I managed to undo some chronic neck pain of some 30 years standing with 2 months of upper body band exercises).

If you have a smart phone or a tablet in the near future, or can score one of old "Flip" cameras, you'd be in business with video capture. My HTC incredible can do several minutes of video which can be uploaded to the Internet (or about a bazillion photos).

Happy training, looking forward to further ideas and developments.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:33 pm 
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Quote:
I guess by "resilience" I mean "springiness". Sort of what Sonnon was always talking about with his idea of "stored elastic energy" in the tendons and ligaments. The exercises in Pavel's "Resilience" DVD exemplify what I think I mean - you can flow and do joint circles until you're blue in the face, but at some point if you want to heal soft tissues, you've got to put a load on the muscles and fascia to undo the knots and trigger points. Resistance band training is my new enthusiasm because it seems to address this part of the continuum for my nervous system and imbalances in a way that all the chi kung in the world never did. (In one of my posts here, I mentioned how I managed to undo some chronic neck pain of some 30 years standing with 2 months of upper body band exercises).
I agree that putting load on tissue through some sort of resistance training is important, and that doing non-weight bearing open chain exercises (Ie. joint circles) is seriously flawed as a stand-alone modality. However flows (as in Sonnon's Bodyflow DVD - stringing weight-bearing bodyweight exercises together) indeed puts load on the tissues. Sonnon's neck roll exercise also resembles the exercise from Pavel's "Resilience" where you roll around different transitions of the plow posture. So maybe we just differ on our use of the word "flow" and not so much on the substance?

To me it seems like your "Flow vs. Resilience" contradiction could also be expressed as a difference between levels muscular tension required, as such:
"Open chain/non-resistance exercises vs. full ROM exercises requiring greater levels of muscular tension"?

The two great health and healing systems Yoga and Qigong fit in nicely on opposite sides of this spectrum, and as many have probably found, compliment each other quite well:
Qigong type movements = Open chain based (for the upper body). The lower body is mostly trained through stances (closed chain)
Yoga type movements = Closed chain based movements (requires muscular tension through a full ROM, or at least in the extreme range) for the entire body.

In an earlier post I wrote something that is quite relevant to this:
Quote:
1. Reducing active insufficiency (AIS). Take the example of lifting your straight leg as far up to the sky as possible. You'll feel tremendous tension in the hip/quad (agonist), but not much stretch in the hamstring (antagonist). The difference between the ROM you can achieve when the joint is passively moved (when somebody lifts the leg for you and strength is not a factor) and the ROM you have when using the strength of the agonist muscles to get into the ROM is called Active Insufficiency, ROM you can't actively reach. The greather active insufficiency, the greater the risk of injury (Pavel, SJ).

2. By building extreme range strength. This is your ability to RESIST a ROM. If you have great ROM, but not the strength to resist/get out of it, your flexibility is a liability. If you a forced into a ROM (accident, sport etc.) your muscles contraction will not be strong enough to prevent the ROM, and instead of no damage or suffering some muscle tissue damage, you will suffer a more serous soft tissue injury (tendon, ligament).

Unless you flail your legs around in a sport that requires you too do so, you will most likely have a greater need of being able to RESIST a ROM (falling, sliding, tripping over stuff etc. etc.), rather than moving into it, concerning the lower body.
Normal and natural activities require you to have an upper body and limbs able to move into a ROM, as well as resist it for increasing your well-being in various accidents that might happen.
So from a purely physical level, a qigong practice could very much benefit from some upper body closed chain/yoga like movements to engage muscular tension through a (more or less) full ROM, like you have personally experienced with your neck issues, although you have used bands instead of yoga exercises.
I would very much like to know, if you have tried strengthening and mobilizing your neck from the plow position in a Pavel "Resilience"/Sonnon "Bodyflow" fashion, and whether or not it has a similar effect on your neck issues as the exercises with bands?
Yoga on the other hand would be well-supplemented with some open-chain arm movements from the qigong family (as well as the dynamic and functional lower body movements found in qigong, which are sorely lacking in (traditional) posture based yoga, but that is besides the point).

Lastly, the two systems you highlight as most complete interestingly enough have this "optimal" blend of open- and closed chain movements (my impression of 18 buddha hands is only from what youtube can offer). Specifically:
- Closed chain for lower body (various stances)
- Open chain for the upper body (qigong trademark arm movements of various kind)
- AND closed-chain (weight bearing and requiring application of greater levels of strength through ROM) for the upper body. In the Xing-yi neigong there is the hindu pushup look-alike and in the 18 Buddha Hands there is also a pushup position thing as well as a tabletop position.

My own program also follows this general pattern, although (hopefully) in a much more consistent and efficient way.
Looking forward to your (and anybody else's) thoughts on this little ramble.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:37 am 
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While I think Sonnon's version of the neck stuff from "Bodyflow" and other videos is amazing, I never felt the urge to do it. Just too "roly poly on the ground" for my tastes. Sophistication has its place, but rarely does sophistication on that level meet the needs (or desires) of most people. 99% of the general public can get everything they need from "ground engagement" by simply getting up from and back down on the floor for 10 minutes without using their arms ( not entirely sure where I got that...I know it was from some semi-famous PT, maybe Pete Eqoscue.)

The nice thing about the bands is the accomodating resistance - they pull back exactly as hard you you pull on them, and so there is no such thing as a "failed rep". I used to find that problematic (how can you know if you are "making progress"?) but now that I am after healing and lymph stimulation, I really embrace that aspect of band training.

Otherwise I pretty much agree with everything you posted, and you said it better than I could. Happy training and good luck with the search for "flow".

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:11 am 
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Good posts.

But start with the first statement: be in shape to do what you want to do. I like that.

Then it gets to complicated for me.

I want to be able walk a long distance. Hills shouldn't bother me much. Also, I want to be able to pick up a 50 lb bag of dog food easily, as I've always done.

OK, I'm 68, but those are my fitness goals. It's pretty easy to walk hard and do some altitude. Some light lifting. It doesn't need to be that complicated.

Edit: Sorry, this is your training journal. didn't mean to argue. You've figured it out. Keep working on it and see where it takes you. Best luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Thank for you comments ABW and Seeahill - to each his own :-)
Although it may seem complicated, over-sophisticated and "analysis-paralysis" prone, the goal in the end is simplicity - in the actual program at least. As for the theoretical foundation that I want to build it upon, I still have a lot of technical, theoretical and contrived work to do. It is the only way for me to assure, that the simplicity of my program is the optimal sophistication.

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