Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My RushFit Diary

This is my RushFit diary.

RushFit is a training program designed by mixed martial artist and UFC Welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. I decided to give it a shot, since I was a big fan of MMA and of St-Pierre as well.

Since I am a total beginner, I used the Beginner's Calendar. I just started yesterday, and I will document my progress for the next eight weeks, training, accompanied by diet.

Day 1 - Measurements
For tracking of progress, RushFit encourages to measure body parts before embarking on the training. Here are mine: 

192 lbs
106 cm
106 cm
104 cm
Thigh (R)
58 cm
Thigh (L)
58 cm
Bicep (R)
33 cm
Bicep (L)
33 cm

RushFit also encourages to take actual pictures of your body before training so you can compare it with a picture after you have finished the 8-week training program.
Another part is the RushFit Assessment. Before you go into the 8-week workout, you are going to perform 4 exercises, 1 minute each with a 20-second rest between exercises. This is to be performed before going to the whole 8 weeks and after, to track your overall progress. Also, GSP's data are provided for comparison. Here are my stats.

EXERCISES - 1 min with 20s rest

Air Squats
Push ups
Sit ups

Day 2 - Strength and Endurance
RushFit's videos start with the warm-up phase which lasts for at least 10 minutes. These are light to moderate workouts that keep your heart rate up without making you release much lactic acid and feel pain.
I enjoyed working on the warm-up phase. It got my heart rate up and it felt good, not tiring. Though I suck at push-ups. My upper body strength is really low. No wonder I have a hard time doing lay-ups.
After the warm-up phase, the strength and endurance workout follows. RushFit is designed and tailored to simulate the championship fights in MMA - five five-minute rounds. As in any MMA fight, the first few minutes are for pacing, attacking and pacing yourself. The key is to have enough energy to last until the last minute of the round, where the pace must be picked up especially the last ten seconds of the round, which will give the fighter a boost in the eyes of the judges should the fight go the judges' scorecards.
In my first day of training, I went through four rounds, still I suck in the push-ups. I tried a few but could not finish. I used the modified push-up and still could not make it. I could not get by the fifth round and gassed. It felt great though. Worked up a lot of sweat.
After the workout the next is the cooldown. This is a series of stretching routines to allow the muscles to gain flexibility and un-stretch on their own. It also relaxes the muscles.
Flexibility is an issue for me, that's why I did not go through much of the cooldown phase, but I tried hard to do the positions. I hope this would change in the next few days. There is also the concern about my knee injury, but hey, I won't make any excuses here. I'll just have to work my butt off.

Day 3 - Cardio
In RushFit calendar, there are days where you just have to focus on Cardio, meaning building some endurance. It has to be lighter than the actual workout, for now.
I did the warm-up routine since it's a good cardio workout. Again, push-ups are my enemy. Also, this is the first time I've worked back-to-back, so there's soreness all over my body from yesterday's workout, but I just gotta endure and quit complaining, and keep working.

Day 4 - Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning
This video focuses on abdominal strength and core, my weakness. It is very true that in these set of videos, you will find the weaker muscles in your body, evidenced by easy fatiguability and pain.
The video always starts with the warmup, then the hard exercises. In the video you can see GSP wincing in pain, meaning the workouts are really hard. I had a lot of trouble in round 4 and especially round 5, where there is flexibility exercises incorporated. Really fun but really tiring as hell.

Day 5 - Cardio plus Strength for Flexibility Workout
Combined with a cardio workout, this video is purely for stretching. This trains the flexibility aspect. This is not as heavy as the previous workouts.
I started this day with a good twenty minutes of brisk walking. I kept the pace a bit faster to keep my heart rate up, without making me feel very tired. I also did not want to run, so as not to aggravate my knee injury. After doing the cardio, I went straight to the Flex DVD. The routines are fairly easy, as compared to the previous workouts. As usual, I still suck at pushups.

Day 6 - The Fight Conditioning
The Fight Conditioning video simulates all aspects of MMA - punches, kicks, knees, sprawls to name a few. Round 1 consists of body movements, followed by Round 2 which focuses on stances with punches and kicks. Round 3 incorporates sprawling to round 2 routines, whereas Round 4 focuses on ground game and Jiu-Jitsu. Round 5 is a mix of everything learned from the previous rounds. There are no weights used - this is full body weight workouts, and the rest period is skipped by doing squat-kicks and push-ups. Also, level changes and pivots are done, which will test your balance and proprioception, allowing to use equal amounts of your left and right sides, not just your dominant side.
The first few rounds were good. I loved doing the basics of boxing and muay thai. Sprawling is a bit difficult, I tend to modify the routine once in a while. Rounds 4 and 5 were the most challenging, no wonder it is called the championship rounds. Ground game uses a lot of core strength and maintaining proper balance while on your back. Round 5 incorporates everything you have done in the previous rounds, coupled with a lot of position and level changes. This is the hardest part since we are accustomed to move and favor our dominant side, which is my right side. I broke a lot of sweat while doing this, but it's pretty amazing I did not feel any pull in my muscles. Well, maybe tomorrow when I wake up I will.

Day 7 - Cardio plus Balance and Agility Workout
This video is for achieving great balance and stability. It is shorter than the usual workouts, not twenty minutes. In-between rests are also absent. The workouts involve a lot of single leg raises, jumping-in-places and some crawls which activate the core.
The start of the workout is fairly simple. One-leg raises are not that difficult. The main thing is to maintain balance without falling off of place. I made it through the initial routines with relative ease, partly due to the strength of my leg muscles. There are routines that involve hopping in different places. It is a modification of skipping ropes. The hardest parts are the last part, which involves my worst enemy. Yes, if you've been following my post, you will know that my upper body strength is weak, therefore I can barely do push-ups and its modifications. Unfortunately for me, there were a lot in the last part. Being able to maintain your balance is in large part by core strength and upper body strength, something I really need to work on. Hopefully I get it done as I progress.

Day 8 - Rest
In the RushFit calendar, there are days when you are not encouraged to work out. This is the Rest day.
Today is rest day, but I felt like I wanted to work out so I did some Strength and Endurance workouts. I was surprised that I made it through the whole workout, only doing lesser routines unlike the last time! I feel like there's really some changes going on. I wanted to rest but it just felt like I wanted to work out. Seems like I'm having some progress with my workout and diet. It's a good motivation, seeing progress.

Day 9 - Strength and Endurance
I'm typing right now as soon as I finished cooling down, and my arms are still shaking. I tried to do the routines dilligently; I could do almost all except yes, you guessed it, everything related to push-ups. Burpees are the most difficult of them; I managed to do only 4. There was this excessive lactic acid buildup on my left flank area that when I did the lateral planks I felt a lot of pain. I tried stretching my left arm to the right to alleviate the pain and it did, but went back as soon as I dropped my arm. It felt really weird and painful, but I endured some of it and finished the workout. It feels good.

Day 10 and 11 - Cardio / Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning
I got to Round 4, did maybe more than half of it, then pushed but it was too much for me to take. The 5th round may very well be the hardest round of all I've done. Strength plus flexibility and core stability is just too much for me. I just did some pushups and leg raises to compensate. I will do it, but not just now. I just have to cut my losses and focus on what I can do.

Day 12 and 13 - Rest / The Fight Conditioning
I actually did two days of rest, and now I just finished the Fight workout. As usual, there are 5 rounds, the 4th and 5th being the toughest. I made a little of rounds 4 and 5. One thing I noticed in this workout is that I can pull off a decent pushup already, not many repetitions but at least I got the right form (knees bent first - I'm doing this progressively). Also, I could do the lateral planks today which is also a bit of a surprise since I really had a hard time balancing with one hand while getting my (still weak) core activated. I'm glad I'm doing progress, slowly but surely. It gives me motivation and positive reinforcement to train more and harder.

Day 14 - Cardio plus Balance and Agility Workout
This video is probably the hardest for me. Like I said the previous time, the routine starts fairly easy, focusing on one leg balances and squats. The next few ones are the most challenging, especially the lateral walk push-up, gorilla squats and alligator walk. These routines involve the core, and abdominal strength. Also, I have a pretty cramped up place so there is little to move on, but it's not made to be an excuse for not doing the work. Instead I did some pushups. I still have a lot more ways to go.

Day 15 - Rest
Today is rest day, but since I skipped a few days I decided to do an hour of cardio. It was fun. My mom joined in and did some of the routines. It was more of muay thai, boxing and kenpo. It was all good. I'm looking forward to another workout tomorrow.

Day 16 - Strength and Endurance
I went through almost all the routines but the push-up - burpee combo really kills. It's a push-up followed by a burpee (combination of squat thrust, push-up and small jump). My energy is used up from doing push ups that I have nothing for the burpees. I managed everything except these two.

Day 17 - Cardio
Did a good hour of cardio. Broke a lot of sweat, because I increased the intensity of the routines, and the weather seemed pretty hot and humid today. I feel great. I did feel a bit of pain on my injured knee (left) but I pushed through it. I just hope it doesn't get worse. Knee injuries are the worst common injuries. Still sweating right now as I type.

Day 18 - The Fight Conditioning
Finally I can do the Uchi Mata! I managed to do it but still with a bit of difficulty, due to the change in positions and balancing. The ground exercises are killing me. I was able to do almost everything except the hip escape and one ground movement I forgot the name, probably due to the lack of space in our room...and it's really hard when you have a weak core. It's day 18, and I can say I have a lot of progress.

The best part? I weighed in at March 4, weighing 192 lbs. Now, a month after, I weigh 184 lbs. Not bad, huh? I still have long ways to go, but I'm very positive I can achieve my goals.

Day 19 - Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning
I just got from a tiring night and I made a morning workout with this. As usual, the first 2 rounds went fine, the 3rd it became harder, the 4th was the toughest, and yes, I did not make it to the fifth round. The routines in round 5 is really difficult, something that I will take a long time to even try doing. These are strong athletes, very fit, and trying to do what they do is an insurmountable thing, at least for now. My abs and legs are tired though there were not much sweat.

Day 20 - Cardio plus Strength for Flexibility Workout
Again, I got home late from a friends' gathering, ate a lot of bad stuff and feeling really bad and guilty today, but I still managed to do the whole workout. It's pretty amazing I got to do every stretch, except the one involving too much knee bending. I still feel a bit of pain on my knees so I just stretched to the best I can. Feels good. I thought the lack of sleep would be a factor but it went pretty good and felt great.

Day 21 - Full Body Strength and Conditioning Workout
This workout consists of modifications and combinations of all the previous routines, but done continually for the whole 5 minutes with a 30 second break per round. It is a combination of at least 4 routines. The objective is to do as many reps as possible, and to fill the body with so much lactic acid with constant movement.
This is the first time I will be doing this routine. So far it went great. I was overwhelmed at first but still managed to finish majority of the routines. The push-up is still the most challenging for me but I just sucked it all up and tried to do as much as I could. Hopefully the next time I do this routine I can make it better. There is one more exercise left to be done but I think it will be a few weeks more before it shows up on my calendar. 
I feel tired end exhausted. I'm sure I'll feel more when I wake up tomorrow.

Day 22 and 23 - Rest / The Fight Conditioning
As usual, I did not rest. Instead, I did 45 minutes of cardio.
As for day 23, I woke up early due to a morning committment. I made only three rounds because I was pressed for time. It was good, and really I'm getting more confidence doing push-ups and lateral planks. It seems like my upper body strength is slowly improving.

Day 24 and 25 - Cardio / Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning
I'll go through day 24 because it was just cardio work. Day 25 is the ab workout. I missed two days due to important matters. What I've noticed is a slight dip in my performance, which makes me think that the two lost days were still significant. I made it until round 4. Round 5 is really difficult for people who has a weak core and upper body strength, like me. The movements are complicated and it really will fatigue you. I am getting busy this week so I hope to do my workout still.

Day 26 - Full Body Strength and Conditioning
I was a bit surprised this exercise showed up too soon in my calendar. Nevertheless, it was a good workout for me. I did almost all routines. I couldn't follow their pace though (GSP is a world-class athlete so it's understandable) but I worked at my own pace and tried to quicken the pace at times just to see how my body responds. I also got a higher record for my pushups so that means I really am progressing, slowly but surely.

Day 27 - Balance and Agility Workout
If you noticed, I wasn't able to include a cardio workout, that is because I remembered the cardio workout while I was halfway with the routines.
I'm making progress. I did the alligator and gorilla walks already.
The bad thing is due to being busy this past week, I get to do my workouts only twice this week. It's a major bummer. The worse part? I gained three pounds. I'll do extra next week.

Day 28 - Strength and Endurance
At last after 3 days I get to go down to the floor and work once again. As usual, the first rounds are manageable, some of the ground work are hard but I still managed to do some, and the fifth rounds was pure ground but it was not that hard, maybe because my body has adopted to the work. I'm glad I finished it. Tomorrow's my rest day but since I skipped for three days I decided to do some cardio to offset the lost time.

The day after I did my Str and End workout, I felt a really bad spasm on my back. This sidelined me for five days. It was not a good feeling, going through that pain and the feeling of being kept from doing what you love to do. It was day 28, and I already made it to a month only to be injured. It was really tough.

Day 29 - Rest
After a 5 day rest I've decided to go through cardio, limiting myself to kickboxing. There were no ground works. I also lifted some weights. It feels so good to be back. I just hope the back pain won't get worse when I wake up tomorrow. When it does, now I have decided to modify my routines, minimizing back stretches. The hard part about it is that the back is a great contributor to posture, so a considerable amount of pain will be felt. I just gotta work hard.

My back pain went from bad to worse, and I stopped working out for three weeks. I just started today and it felt really great to be back.

Day 30 - The Fight Conditioning
As for this exercise I skipped one warmup routine. I went for three rounds only and did no groundworks. I substituted the groundworks for lifting weights. My back felt good, only a small amount of pain. My left knee also felt pretty good but I still feel some clicks in between. I asked a doctor friend and he told me to do exercises that will strengthen my quads so that my knee can be supported well. This is the first day since I had back problems and I really hope my back won't hurt tomorrow so I can continue with my daily routines.

Day 31 - Cardio plus Balance and Agility Workout
I am writing this a day after I did the exercise, something different from the previous ones wherein I write while I'm resting immediately after the workout. I skipped the ground routines and subbed it with lifting weights. One thing I've noticed is the "clicking" sound of my left knee while I was doing the forward/backward lunges. I think I may have torn one ligament over there, I'm not really sure about it. I finished up to the last minute, and right now I just feel my inner thighs are painful but it is alright, as long as my back feels pretty good.

Day 32 - Abdominal Strength and Core Conditioning
I did all the warmup routines. As for the whole exercise, I managed to do most of it, except the last round. It felt good, and it felt better without the back pain. I did not skip the last round, instead, I substituted the routines with lifting weights.
On a side note, it has been three months since I last stepped on the basketball court due to a knee injury. I finally got to play yesterday. There's a lot of rust but it will be better once I get the hang of it again.

Day 33 - Cardio plus Strength for Flexibility Workout
I started doing cardio for about 20 minutes then switched to the workout. I pretty much did most of the routines except for the last 10 minutes where I switched to lifting weights again. I incorporated the iso squat maneuver to strengthen my quads and eventually strengthen my knees. It felt great. The bad thing is I ate cake and drank cola. It's my parents' anniversary. :)

Day 34 - Full Body Strength and Conditioning
Changed some of the routines to abdominal crunches and iso squats. Feeling less back pain. Great workout.

Day 35 - The Fight Conditioning
Again I got lazy and missed at least two weeks practice. I was hoping to play more basketball but the rainy season has started. Anyway I started with the warmup, and my left knee is a bit stiff once again so I've decided to pass up on the squats and lunges. I managed to finish only round 2. I was sweating like I did five. It was a good workout except that my knee again gave up on me. Should I get it surgically repaired? I don't know.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you had a string of bad luck there. I hope you're able to give it a try again someday (if you want to).


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