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Old 05-05-2005, 07:42 PM   #1
awh
 
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Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan
Location: Tokyo
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Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Hi Everyone,

I'm a new student studying at Roppongi Yoshinkan here in Tokyo. I've been training for two months, a couple of times per week.

2 years ago, I was 30 lbs. heavier than I am now. That said, I'm still fairly overweight and it's been an impediment to my training.

I've been frustrated watching my fellow students in the beginner class do breakfalls, rolls, knee-walking (I forgot what it's called), and seiza, seemingly effortlessly, while I struggle with these and fail.

So, my question is, what should I do, in addition to Aikido, that will help my training and my overall fitness? Here's what I've been doing so far:

- No more McDonald's for breakfast (d'oh!)
- Walking every day. About 5km, 50 minutes or thereabouts. Sometimes I get bored with walking and take the bike 15-20km instead.
- Sit-ups. Trying to build up stomach muscles so maybe I can stand up after a breakfall.
- Lots of stretching every morning

What else? Unfortunately joining a gym isn't really feasible right now since the only one in my little town has ridiculously short hours. So, what else can/should I be doing that I can do without a gym?

Thanks for your help,

Drew
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Old 05-05-2005, 07:53 PM   #2
Qatana
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Sounds like you're doing exactly what you should! Keep practicing, it will come.

Q
http://www.aikidopetaluma.com/
www.knot-working.com

"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 05-05-2005, 08:12 PM   #3
theflyingheadbuttsuplex
Dojo: Aikido Institute Davis
Location: davis
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

what you're doing is good, but situps are a bit primitative try doing crunches with your legs off the ground. There are also some very good ideas at trainforstrength.com. The divebomber pushups nearly killed me :O But are you training for enduance, strength, or both? also look at the crosstraining for aikido thread in the forums under training. there are some very good ideas there too.

If there is no wind, row!
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Old 05-06-2005, 12:06 AM   #4
Colbs
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Here is my two cents.

You seem to have a handle on the excersise thing so I won't comment on that...


The best thing you can do next is DIET DIET DIET - and I don't mean one of these fad starvation thingies, I mean a proper diet (that is a controlled nutritional intake). Look at controlling the GI of your food (low GI means the sugars in the food is absorbed into the body slowly), a diabetic's diet is a good example of this. Having uneven blood-sugar levels throughout the day tends to get the body creating fats etc.

Counting calories can also work, but generally because people who watch the calorie intake of their diets wind up eating foods with low GI.

The key with diets is to eat healthy, not eat less.

The other thing to remember is some people are just naturally heavier and fatter than others, don't concentrate on how much you weigh compared to other people, just eat well, excersise and your body will find it's natural ideal weight. Things like BMI are just rough guides and really quite meaningless in the long run so don't bother with them.
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Old 05-06-2005, 12:10 AM   #5
xuzen
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
Andrew Hamilton wrote:
Hi Everyone,
I'm a new student studying at Roppongi Yoshinkan here in Tokyo. I've been training for two months, a couple of times per week.

2 years ago, I was 30 lbs. heavier than I am now. That said, I'm still fairly overweight and it's been an impediment to my training.

I've been frustrated watching my fellow students in the beginner class do breakfalls, rolls, knee-walking (I forgot what it's called), and seiza, seemingly effortlessly, while I struggle with these and fail.

So, my question is, what should I do, in addition to Aikido, that will help my training and my overall fitness? Here's what I've been doing so far:

- No more McDonald's for breakfast (d'oh!)
- Walking every day. About 5km, 50 minutes or thereabouts. Sometimes I get bored with walking and take the bike 15-20km instead.
- Sit-ups. Trying to build up stomach muscles so maybe I can stand up after a breakfall.
- Lots of stretching every morning

What else? Unfortunately joining a gym isn't really feasible right now since the only one in my little town has ridiculously short hours. So, what else can/should I be doing that I can do without a gym?

Thanks for your help,

Drew
Hey Maikerus,

You student is complaining that you are too soft on them. Are you turning into a softie or what?

Dear Andrew,

Losing abt 15 lbs per year is good achievement in itself. Kudos. And if you want to lose further lbs, my suggestion is to tell Mike Stuempel, "Yowaimushi dese ne!". And he will be willing to help you lose another 30lbs.

Andrew, hope you acknowledge the tongue-in-cheek comment. Hope no offense taken. Welcome aboard to this forum.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:37 AM   #6
ChrisHein
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Don't set lofty goals that you wont stick to. If you fall off the wagon, get back on. a little at a time. Stick to your goal of loseing weight and you will win the battle of self control. Be happy that you see your short siteings, and stick to your guns!!

-Chris Hein
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:14 AM   #7
jk
Location: Indonesia
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

If you're pressed for time and want something simple:

http://www.workingclassfitness.com/blackjack.shtml

Guaranteed to put a smile on your face the first time you do it.
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Old 05-06-2005, 03:52 AM   #8
Bridge
Dojo: Slough Aikikai
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Sneaky tips are (and I guess you probably know already) use the stairs rather then the lift, get off bus a little earlier and walk rest of the way etc.

If you have space, a skipping rope is fantastic as you build co-ordination as well as cardiovascular strength AND it can be done infront of the TV.

For tummy, the front plank excercise is a good alternative to sit-ups (better for your back). Lie face down on floor with feet together and hands flat down infront of each shoulder. Push yourself up onto elbows and toes, holding tummy in and entire body straight as possible. Aim to hold for 30 seconds+ then relax back down again and repeat twice more.

Push-ups, squats, lunges, possibilities are endless!
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Old 05-06-2005, 06:39 AM   #9
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
Andrew Hamilton wrote:
2 years ago, I was 30 lbs. heavier than I am now.
You've made great progress thus far! Excellent job!

As others have mentioned, SCRAPPER has a number of bodyweight workouts you can adapt, and Wiggy has a routines that require limited equipment.

Work within your limits, embrace variety and keep your eating habits in line and I'm sure you'll continue to make good progress.

Regards,

Paul
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Old 05-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #10
Nick Simpson
Dojo: White Rose Aikido - Durham University
Location: Gateshead
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Perhaps try some jogging/running if your up to it.

Some weight training is also good, but it looks like your doing fine as it is, just keep going and your fitness will improve even more!

They're all screaming about the rock n roll, but I would say that it's getting old. - REFUSED.
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Old 05-06-2005, 09:18 AM   #11
SeiserL
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Sounds like you know what to do.

Cut the carbs and calories.
Cardio to burn fat.
Resistance to firm and build muscle.
Stretch to increase range of motion.

Takes time. Learn patience.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:10 AM   #12
jester
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

How much do you weigh? How tall are you?

I played basketball for the last year and I still eat real bad, but I lost 25 lbs. I was 220, now I'm around 196. I get bored real fast with running and biking, so basketball keeps my mind busy.

Try riding a bike rather than walking more often. You have to push it kind of hard on the bike so you can burn more calories. Try jumping rope. 30 minutes on a jump rope is a great workout. You can go for 1 minute, rest 30 seconds etc. until you build up stamina to go longer.

Your body is like a cup. If your intake overflows the cup, you gain weight. If your intake is less than the cup, you lose weight.

Lynn is correct.
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:54 AM   #13
kironin
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
John Kuo wrote:
If you're pressed for time and want something simple:

http://www.workingclassfitness.com/blackjack.shtml

Guaranteed to put a smile on your face the first time you do it.


what the heck is a blurpee ?

they never really explain it though I can guess from one snapshot that perhaps you crouch and spring up.

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Old 05-06-2005, 11:06 AM   #14
paw
Join Date: Mar 2002
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote:
what the heck is a blurpee ?
From Ross Enamait

To perform a Burpee, you will begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you (1). Kick your feet back to a pushup position* (2). Immediately return your feet to the squat position (3). Leap up as high as possible from the squat position (4). Repeat, moving as fast as possible. You should maintain a fast pace for this exercise. Strive for maximum height with each jump. Most athletes will average between 12 and 15 repetitions per 30 seconds.


Regards,

Paul
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Old 05-06-2005, 12:36 PM   #15
Paul Kerr
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
John Kuo wrote:
If you're pressed for time and want something simple:

http://www.workingclassfitness.com/blackjack.shtml

Guaranteed to put a smile on your face the first time you do it.
I just tried that! Believe me, there was no smile.
That is one brutal workout.

Paul Kerr
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Old 05-06-2005, 01:22 PM   #16
kironin
 
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
From Ross Enamait

Regards,
Paul

thanks!

Something to add to the morning routine.

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Old 05-06-2005, 01:37 PM   #17
Amendes
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 130
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Yeah I agree with bridget buy a skipping rope. Man they work great, just remember to use it.
Also drink lots of water instead of juices, soda, beer, and such.

I have been getting in shape lots recently. I have been working out every night, I do sprints, skipping, work the bag, and then sit ups, leg lifts which are the best to work your abs.
Don't cut out eating either, eating is good, just make sure to eat the right things before training. If you eat the wrong things your not helping. Here is a link to the right things. It says TaeKwonDo, but its the same idea. http://www.airport-tkd.com/nutrition.htm sorry I cross train.

Lie on your back on the mats. Lift your legs above the ground about an inch, bring them all the way up and down to where you started again. Don't let it touch. Do some sets of this. Also a circle from side to side while not touching will work the sides of your abs. I warn you though these ones are hard at first.

Later you can get someone to stand behind you with their ankles at your head and push your feet back down while you try not to let them hit the mat.

Most importantly make sure to stretch the area you want to work out or you will feel it later.

Also, make your training real. It's your choice on how hard you get pushed in the end, not your teachers. If you jog as a class, jog twice as hard, if you do sprints go twice as fast.

One last thing your not competing with others in your class, but yourself.

Cheerio.
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Old 05-06-2005, 02:00 PM   #18
jxa127
Location: Harrisburg, PA
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

From one Drew to another, congrats on losing the weight and getting in better shape!

In the past two years, I've gone from weighing 340 lbs. to 295. A big part of the weight loss was due to eating smller portions of healthier food more frequently through the day. It wasn't easy, and I had a lot of bad days in the time, but new eating habits developed over time. Sticking with aikido has really helped too.

I just found out that I've got type II diabetes (at age 31!), so I'm again changing my diet to really cut back on carbs and to eat a lot more vegetables.

I've also started walking a lot more in the hope that it will help me continue to lose weight. I'm 5' 11" or so, and when I weighed 200 lbs (back in high school), I had a 34 inch waist. I've got a 48" waist now, but that's down from 56 inches a couple of years ago.

Being lighter has really helped my aikido. I didn't have problems with breakfalls, shiko (knee walking), or seiza beyond what others in my class have experienced at the same stage of training, but I had a heck of a time with getting very winded and fatigued. Now, I get a lot less winded and trian for a longer period of time before getting really fatigued.

I used to think that my body was just wrong for aikido. I've been training for 5.5 years now, and for the first three, I really envied the skinnier, more agile folks. Then two or so years ago I attended a seminar by Ellis Amdur. He pointed out to me some of the advantages that come from being a big guy.

He made the same point again at another seminar earlier this year, but to the whole class. He stated that our bodies, however they are built, are the perfect bodies for aikido. Make the attacker conform to your body's strengths, not the other way around.

A big guy has the advantage of having mass and being easily well-centered. Training has added some agility to my skill set, so now I can move my well-centered mass more quickly and precisely. A smaller person may be more agile, but need training to achive center.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 05-06-2005, 08:09 PM   #19
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Quote:
Paul Watt wrote:
To perform a Burpee, you will begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you (1). Kick your feet back to a pushup position* (2). Immediately return your feet to the squat position (3). Leap up as high as possible from the squat position (4). Repeat, moving as fast as possible. You should maintain a fast pace for this exercise. Strive for maximum height with each jump. Most athletes will average between 12 and 15 repetitions per 30 seconds.
We do a variation of this where we do a back breakfall (koho ukemi) and when standing jump really high and land in the burpee position to do a burpee and then jump really high and do a back breakfall again...and then a burpee...and then a back breakfall...again...and again...

We usually don't do this with our beginner course until towards the end of it when breakfalls are better, so it will be coming up soon, Drew. Something to look forward to

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-09-2005, 09:20 AM   #20
Amendes
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Funny burpee story. I was doing them in class and was always the last one to finish. Anyways I hated being last. So one day after class I was working out with my teacher and we did a set of burpies. He got up before me and I was still doing them.
After his observance and comment I learned that when doing a burpee you are supposed to put both your feet back at once to push up position. I was kicking one foot back back, then the other into push up position, then kicking them back one at a time again. So I was doing twice as much. Now I am pretty fast at burpees.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:41 PM   #21
peter martin-browning
Dojo: sei ro kan, nottingham
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Hi Drew

I'm in a similar position to you. What you absolutely must do if you are out of shape is look after your spine. The method I have been taught by several physios over the years is to lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hands at your side, palms up. Then roll your pelvis up, without strain, hold and release. Do this with a one-inch-thick book under your head. You can also exhale while in the relaxed position, emptying your lungs, and pull your belly as though to your spine, and hold for a few seconds. Don't do this exercise more than two or three times each day for the first few weeks, then increase as your fitness grows. This exercise strengthens the muscles that support your spine, stretches it so that the nerve fibres in your spine are gently massaged, strengthens your abdominals and massages your internal organs. It adds to the stability that is needed, not just to support your spine, but for all types of exercise. Generally, it's good for spinal health to use exercises from such disciplines as yoga. You can do a series of about six yoga exercises that concentrate on the spine in about ten minutes, and this will give you more than just physical well-being.
In addition, to develop your ki, you could also learn some exercises from qi gong (a bit like Chinese yoga) that will not only promote fitness, but also promote health and the generation and storage of the ki.

Hope this is helpful. It comes not from any expert knowledge, just from what's been taught to me over the years.

At your service



Peter
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Old 05-10-2005, 07:20 PM   #22
maikerus
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

Peter,

Excellent post and great suggestion. I think I will use that, too.

Thanks,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:15 PM   #23
Paula Lydon
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Re: Fitness for out-of-shape beginners?

~~Brisk walking and yoga~~

~~Paula~~
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