Gym Engineering #1

Yesterday was the 4rd day on my HFT program.

I decided to pay a visit to my Stadlau-based dojo (for those non-Vienna residents amongst you: Stadlau is a part of Vienna’s 22nd district) before going on to teach at my Aspern-based gym (again, Aspern is another art of Vienna’s 22nd district).
While my partner, Chris, was holding the children and youth classes, I set a basic „outdoor-gym“ that perfectly suits my needs at the moment.

All the equipment I used was a stool, a piece of rope (which I could have done without), a towel and a 12 KG kettlebell.

The kettlebell and the stool I used for the pistols. To add some variety, I’ve decided to do them with extra weight today – that’s where said kettlebell comes into play. Due to my ankle injury, I did box-pistols for my left leg. Hence the stool. Also for the sake of variety, I used my rope (which is usually used in kids and youth classes for strength-building games) for the pullups. The first 5 sets I did only with the rope, for the last five I’ve combined it with the towel.

In „The naked Warrior“, Pavel Tsatouline says that „effective training must be different and the same simultaneously“. I can fully get behind that. In fact, that’s one of three pillars when it comes to our teaching philosophy. There’s no such things as fixed patterns, poomsae, kata or whatever you might call it in a Shinergy class. Techniques aren’t practiced by repeating the exact movement over and over again. Once a Shinergy student learns a technique, he’s required to adapt that technique to a wide variety of situations. Angles and timing need to be changed according to the demands of the moment. There’s no point in learning a „perfect“ technique that can’t be applied to non-perfect situations. A technique can only be judged in a context – the situation in which it is applied. If it does the job, it was a good technique. Otherwise, it was bad.

I find this idea of adaptation and variation also true for physical training. Of course, in some cases you want to do the same things over and over again to get the body accustomed to a particular move. However, to maximize the carry-over to the real world, you need to be constantly changing details so as not to give your body a chance to adjust to that particular movement all too much.
Unless, of course, you want to get really proficient at that very movement.

On a side note, I couldn’t finish the training yesterday. I did the pistols and the pullups. When I came home, it was just to late to do the leg raises. There was no gas left in the tank after the day. Same thing today, only I didn’t even get a chance to do the pullups today. I went out around 7am and returned just now – and it’s midnight. Didn’t have access to any equipment whatsoever.

Over the course of the coming week, I’ll give the program one more try. If I can’t do it on more than one day, I’ll have to replace the pullups and leg raises for exercises that are independant of equipment.

In any case, I’ll keep you informed.

So long,

take care

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