Chris Hobbs Posted November 27, 2008 Share Posted November 27, 2008 Hi all,As I sit here waiting for my T-day turkey to smoke I figured I'd write up a short bio/intro and give my thoughts/questions from Coach's recently released book. I have been reading through these forums for the last week or so after stumbling across this site from reading Coach's initial article on Building An Olympic Body. Quick BioI spent a few months doing gymnastics as a kid, but as the program (or the teacher I suppose) wasn't really designed for boys I got bored and/or frustrated and stopped. Never continued with it as any other classes were too far from were I grew up for my parents to take me to them. I am now 29, but the things I figured out how to do from just screwing around as a kid I can still do - handstand, kip up, front handspring, one handed cartwheel. Dabbled in plenty of other sports, but in HS my focus was on wrestling, and when I finally moved to a city that had a boxing gym I started doing that. I recently resumed going to the boxing gym after a layoff of a year and a half or so for work purposes. I had taken so long off because work gets in the way often and I get frustrated if my schedule gets screwed up not allowing me to go as often as I like, and so I end up feeling like it is better not to go at all - competitive streak I suppose. For a period of time I was going twice a day five days a week, training skills in the morning and sparring in the evenings. Now that I have returned to it I am trying to just go when the mood strikes me and not be so formal about the schedule. It is much easier to get the time to workout at home than to carve out the block needed for a trip to the boxing gym.I tried Capoeira a year ago when I wanted something that I wouldn't get so upset about not being able to do consistently - e.g. something I was doing more for fun and enjoyment. I wanted something fun, yet taxing, and found that art to be a culmination of things I enjoyed, however my lack of flexibility was finally a problem. I have never had good flexibility, even wrestling in HS. It was never a necessity for how I wrestled, and in boxing it wasn't a factor either. But, with Capoeira I found that it most definitely was. I stopped going after a short while and started to focus on my felxibility, but still practice some of the stuff on occasion at home. I would really like to get back to it on a more consistent basis but without the flexibility it is simply too frustrating.So, I have spent the last year trying a variety of things to improve my flexibility. Thus far nothing has worked. I made some progress using the resistance/meridian stretching method by Bob Cooley, but after some short initial gains (I can finally touch my touch - whereas previously mid shin level was it) progress came to a halt. I have tried the standard stretching stuff, which was what we did all through HS wrestling, and I have also tried Pavel's methods from "Relax Into Stretch". The last set of things I tried were body rolling with the Yamuna balls, the foam roller, yoga, and rolfing. The person I had been working with for the resistance stretching told me I had a very dense body with a lot of built up connective tissue in the muscles. For boxing this worked well, providing me a shell of some sorts, but when I needed to be able to move for Capoeira it showed itself to be a problem, and thus inhibited my range of motion. But despite this insight I haven't been able to make any further progress in flexibility. Progress creeps forward during individual stretching sessions, but nothing sticks. This is what finally brought me back to boxing with a desire to treat it as a fun endevor instead of something serious.I haven't completely given up though - that lack of flexibility and searching the internet somehow brought up Coach's article on DragonDoor, which I had read long ago but it didn't coincide with my needs at the time so I filed it away. I came here hoping to have found smething that would improve my flexibility and directly carryover to my capoeira practice, of course wonderful feats of strength are a nice bonus. My strength hasn't diminished over the years, but muscle endurance has. I hit a PR of 57 dips and 36 pull-ups in HS, and would dip for reps with 90lbs hanging from my waist, pull-ups with a 25lb plate - bodyweight of 130-145 depending on the time of year and how far out of wrestling season it was. I currently weigh about 180 and can still do the dips with the attached weight for reps, but my straight BW PR's are way down (no big surprise there), although I haven't tested them in the same way for a long time. Book Review/Thoughts/QuestionsOrdered the bood/dvd/rings package last week, got the notice that it shipped on Monday and found it waiting for me at home yesterday. Obviously quite fast turnaround and I was very pleased to have some reading material for last night.My overall impression of the book is that it is very comprehensive and understandable for the lay-person. Aside from my brief stint with gymnastics as a kid I have no background in this at all, yet found the material to be very easy to understand and well layed out.The pictures illustrating the exercises were nice and clear although IMHO it would have been better to have them all be a standard size and take up multiple lines when the sequences were more than three pics in length. In any event it is kind of moot since the dvds should fill in the gaps there.The program design section for Integrated Trainging seemed a little sparse. Considering the importance it is given by stating that results can be substantially greater by combining the static positions and bodyweight exercises I would have expected a bit more detailing how to put them together ... but that may just be a result of my unfamiliarity with the most of the movements. Still, it would have been nice to have a short table of movement pairings - noting which static positions should be done with which bodyweight exercises (mostly in regards to the multi-plane movements as these are in the gray area to me). Don't really want to have to find out through trial and error which movements should be worked together. Maybe an addendum table could be posted here on the forum from somebody familiar with all the movements?My only real complaint with the book is that it seems to reference the future volumes quite a bit - which I am okay with, except for the inferences that the future volumes contain base work which is needed before undertaking the material contained in volume 1. The most direct example is on page 25, where it states thast the static positions can be very taxing on the wrists and that special prep is needed to handle the load which is detailed in "Liquid Steel™". Aaargh ... more waiting.This of course brings me to the main question that this book brought up for me. Normally I am okay with just jumping in and doing it, but I have seen references on this site from Coach and others about base work being important and without it proress stalls out for many - so should I be undertaking anything in this book without the future material?My hope is that some gymnastics training will improve my flexibility enough and provide enough strength in the range of motions I currently don't have to make my Capoeira practice a fulfilling instead of frustrating endeavor. I don't want to sabotage my efforts by starting something now that should come later. Any thoughts are appreciated.- Chris Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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