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Old 02-02-2007, 10:09 AM   #1
Roman Kremianski
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
Location: Toronto, Canada
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 404
Mixing Aikido with working out


A year ago I broke my collar bone during a dojo ski trip. (Don't ask )

I was out of action for 2 months, and when I returned I had absolutely no power in my left arm and shoulder. I started doing push ups 3 times a week, along with bokken exercises. I couldn't do more then 5 at the time, but over the year I worked my way up to 100. (5 sets of 20, with a ton of abdominal exercises in between) But now lately, with Aikido practice 6 days a week, and all these exercises, I feel like I am slowly destroying my body. I have a freakishly low amount of body fat, I do a ton of cardio during practice, and I eat a lot.

Do you think it's not a great idea to combine a trillion breakfalls daily with push ups at the age of 17?

Thanks in advance
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:36 AM   #2
Location: Indiana
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,311
Re: Mixing Aikido with working out

Over training is a risk. You need recovery days. Other then that, running, body weight exercies, and aikido are all good for you.

- Don
"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough" - Albert Einstein
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:05 PM   #3
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crbateman's Avatar
Location: Orlando, FL
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,502
Re: Mixing Aikido with working out

This may seem silly for me to respond, as I am big enough to have my own gravity, but it's not how much you eat, but what you eat. You need adequate carbs for energy, based on your training regimen. But you also need fiber, vitamins and minerals, and suitable low-fat protein. Protein is the building block for tissue. You cannot heal an injury or replenish tissue which dies off in the normal course of living without protein. Generally, if you are not gaining weight, you are not eating too much. If you are gaining weight, it may just be muscle mass from your program. Your body fat index will tell you this. Be careful not to let your eating habits become obsessive, or you will be more susceptible to an eating disorder. And remember that you are young, and changes occur as you age. If you get used to eating everything (I did) you will get into trouble when you are older (I did) and will regret it alot (I do). Listen to your body, and take things in moderation.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:33 PM   #4
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Re: Mixing Aikido with working out

Clark just gave you some really good advice. 17...mmmmm...those were the years. Anyhoo, have you ever tried some of the protein drink supplements? Check with a nutritionist, they should be able to recommend something.

Ron (used to do sets of 20 push-ups ... up to 300 in 15 minutes ... not anymore )

Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:53 PM   #5
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Re: Mixing Aikido with working out

Clark is right about quality food, but you also need fats - especially good fats. Unless you have bad blood cholesterol problems, low-fat is not really an issue. So long as the fats aren't synthetic trans-fats or damaged fats like overused deep-frying oil, the idea that fats are bad is a myth.

You need to eat omega 3 fats especially - more is being found out about how vital these are all the time. This generally involves taking fish oil pills or making an effort to eat what seem like "special" foods in today's processed and mass-produced food age. The main available foods with decent omega 3 content are wild-caught cold-water fatty fish and grass-fed beef - I have also seen fortified foods like high omega 3 eggs.

In general, the easiest way to distinguish good food from bad is by assessing how processed it is. The fresher and less processed the food is, the better it is for you. Also, generally, the wider the variety in your diet, the better.


As far as the workout regimen goes, I agree that rest days are important. If you feel like things are not healing or you are getting weaker, you may want to group the sessions to make for complete rest days - maybe 2 or 3 per week.

It is virtually impossible to gain muscle mass on the regimen you are describing. Tons of pushups and situps is endurance training, not strength training, and doing too much cardio also inhibits strengthening. If the weakness from you injury is not improving, you may have to cut back on all that massively and do strengthening exercises for a while.

I'd say most people would have to limit intense endurance training to 2 or 3 times per week and do probably 2 low-rep strength workouts per week to expect any kind of gains. Many people are less fortunate and have to severely limit endurance exercise in order to gain strength - some have to pare down to strength workouts and walking alone. Then again, a few people can balloon up on workout regimens that would get most people overtrained, stuck and on the road to overuse injuries in just a few weeks. These things vary widely between individuals, but the main point I'm making is that there is generally a tradeoff between endurance and strength, and when it comes to the strength training itself, high intensity and less volume is generally more effective.
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
Brad Allen
Location: Melbourne
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17
Re: Mixing Aikido with working out

I'm 32 now. When I was 17, I was into Taekwondo at the intensity you described with your Aikido and workouts. I thought I was basically invincible. One time I tore my shoulder escaping a ninjutsu demon crusher, my partner freaked out (you have to do a backflip to escape the demon crusher hold), and I crashed down onto my shoulder. It still bothers me a little today (damn ninjas!)

You're 17--you're like a cat right now, you can probably handle a lot, heal fast, etc. Yes, watch what you eat--maybe smaller meals throughout the day, blah blah blah.

I guess my real concern of your practice is that you are consumed with training and not going out to parties and things, socializing in moderation.

Man, when I was about 18, after praciticng full on for five years, I flipped out and went crazy. Up all night, smoking, binge drinking, and you can imagine the rest. It was like I discovered having fun outside the dojo and needed to make up for years of missing out on partying.

After 10 years of that, I've finally come full circle and am back to training. Still need to shed some weight, but I'm doing it in moderation.

So, I don' t know if that's you at all, but skip a few aikido classes and hang out with your boys once and a while, too.

Just another take. Don't let what happened to me happen to you, young Skywalker.

Good luck! Heal fast! Train hard, but have fun!
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