Tag Archives: strength training

The Joy of Bodyweight Training

When it comes to fitness and getting in shape, there are basically two common approaches: hitting the gym or going running. If you tell someone you are getting in shape, there’s a 95% chance they will assume you are doing one of these things, and possibly both. It’s also likely gender-specific: people assume guys will lift weights whereas women likely won’t. I don’t know why this stereotype exists, but it does.

When people find out I’m a fitness professional, there is often a moment of confusion or uncertainity in their eyes. I’m lean, very lean, almost too lean. I look 160lbs soaking wet, which is very thin for someone over six feet tall. Shouldn’t a fitness professional by, well, jacked or ripped or shredded or whatever the current buzz words is?

Physique Sept 1 2015

I have no body fat but also no muscle.

Perhaps I am an endurance athlete, someone who runs marathons or triathalons, but that’s not it either. I’m a poor cyclists and an even worse swimmer. I do enjoy running, but I don’t actively train it. I don’t follow a schedule; I simply run whenever I feel like it, almost like a leisure activity. I’m thus a thin, non-endurance, non-strength fitness pro? That doesn’t seem to make sense.

The answer, of course, is that I’m a martial artist, and I specialize in bodyweight training. Continue reading

Why I Don’t Lift Weights

When it comes to fitness, I’m a freak. Unless I’m sick or injured, I do something active every single day. If I’m not doing a workout I’m stretching or running or jumping and playing around. I sometimes do random cartwheels just for fun. I do all this in the morning and then go teach martial arts and fitness classes all evening. When I get home, I usually start to relax, but even here all throw in extra mobility work or do some foam rolling on the odd occasion. Being fit makes me happy, and I try to do as much as possible.

Despite all that, there is one thing I never do, and that is lift weights.

No, I don’t.

People often find this amusing. Here I am, a fitness professional and a paragon for healthy living, and I never lift weights. It’s perhaps the quintessential fitness activity, the first thing people imagine when they think of getting in shape. Most of my students know I have strong legs, and one asked how much I could squat. I could only reply, honestly, that I had no idea. I have never done a weighted squat. Continue reading

My First Workout Post-Injury

I woke up today with one mission: complete a workout. It’s been too long. I’ve barely done anything since my ankle injury, more than two months ago. I did nothing more strenuous than walk down the street, and that’s a big blow for me. I teach martial arts; I’m addicted to fitness. I love moving and pushing my body to new limits. Getting super sweaty after an intense workout is almost a badge of honour, something to say that I did good work just then. I haven’t felt that in more than two months. That changed today.

It also makes you look possessed. Demon pushups here.

My whole week, in fact, had been planned for this exact moment. Today was the best day to do it, as I have the lightest schedule and no other obligations. Nonetheless, I needed to get it done early. If I didn’t do it first thing, I might not do it at all. I might lose my nerve, or something might come up. Something always comes up if you wait long enough. The night before I went to bed early so I could get up early this morning. Let’s do it. Continue reading