2012-the best year of my strength training so far!

2012 has been my most successful year of training to date. After going through a dark period in my life and working to see the light, china helped me to not only get fitter but to change my perspective on the way I live my life through fitness. Before China I could do 8 pullups (10 on a good week) and I was fairly strong on basic exercises which were heavy dumbbells.  When training in china I lost my weight training considerably, we had a ghetto of a gym at the kung fu school, and even though I was having protein powder everyday we all got weaker on our gym strengths.

At the time this was really scary, I don’t like being weak and I was scared about how weak I was getting. But My power and speed had increased tremendously I was faster more nimble, my back muscles had actually become stronger through martial training, I could now do 14 pullups.  All the old Chinese masters prefer the use of light weights to heavy weights, they don’t think that kind of bulky strength works. I noticed a huge difference in my martial capacity when I got back.

Most people at the Kung Fu school lost weight, I pretty much stayed the same, it wasn’t until I went travelling around China for three weeks with Ronny that I lost alot of weight rapidly. Even though the Kung Fu school did me alot of good, I was over trained hence why I was getting weaker, more frequently injured. With the travelling our diet wasn’t great but we walked great distances, in China you have to walk everywhere.

Okay back to 2012, if training in China was the best thing for me, why do I think that in both terms of strength training and martial arts that 2012 was a better year. I think China gave me the tools to train smarter, to experiment more and enjoy the fitness more. Before I would stick to my own routines which were in conflict with my martial arts training. Now I knew there was a way of combining them, for the majority of the year I turned away from weight training and stuck with bodyweight training, pressups, dips, burpees, pullups, chinups etc. I did some lighter weight dumbbells in conjunction with it, but nothing to heavy focusing on strengthening my smaller muscles.

I trained with bricks in my hand to gain more speed in my punches, tried out different workout programmes and experimented with them to make them better, I tried P90X to see what it was like, until I over trained and injury my back. Which was annoying as I needed to get ready for my grading, and push came to shove I had to grade and hope my training would hold. This allowed me to experiment with the Armstrong workout (its free on the web) which I adapted, and I loved it but overtraining caused a elbow injury. This allowed me to adapt and try GTG routines and this year has been the year of experiments.

I can now do pullups at 19 reps, prior to my elbow injury I had done chinups at 27. This is about me bragging, quite the opposite, I am in shock that I could do such feats, for prior to china 10+ pullups always seemed impossible.

China taught me that I needed to increase my volume alot more, it taught me to experiment and it taught me that with the higher volume overtraining can occur.

Recently my brother has returned for the holidays, and we have been experimenting even more. Lets hope I can carry this on to 2013 and more.

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