New Years always bring waves of people in to the mindset of saying “New Year, New Me” and then embarking upon a journey to the gym…most for the first and final time. However for somebody who already frequently visits the gym but still wants to develop it seemed logical explore the training techniques of sportsmen and women (who many will agree are inspirational in deciding to exercise whether for aesthetic or performance gain) and implement them around my regular workouts.
As such I have created a “Train Like a Pro” series for 2016 in which I shall implement the training techniques and exercises experienced by those in a variety of Sports and investigate the effectiveness of a range of fad exercises and types of exercise in to my regular workout routine. So far in 2016 I have set myself the goal to reach 150 pounds by June 1st when I finish the University Year and within this I will need to gain around half a pound each week.
For the first quarter of 2016 the Sports/Exercise Groups explored are:
January- Powerlifting- At the gym using high weight, low reps and high sets on each machine if available as well as the free weights in areas such as bench press and squat rack. Alternating with Gym Days complete a 30 minute bodyweight circuit which can be supplemented by adding resistance of household objects. (Wearing a loaded rucksack/backpack while doing push ups/press ups)
February-Yoga/Pilates-Visiting the gym as normal, completing a regular resistance exercise routine, once every two days. The days without gym activity complete a half hour routine of 15 individual yoga activities which focus upon flexibility, balance through core stability and controlling breathing. Hold each pose for two minutes and shuffle the order of their completion each time to stop the activity from becoming boring. For the 10 minutes following find an online yoga challenge and complete the poses of two of them for the current day of the month as well as for the day you shall skip. Potential for Progression: Raise the time spent on each individual pose.
March- Gymnastics/Rhytmic Gymnastics- The key element to performing and succeeding both kinds of gymnastics is to have complete control over the movements of your body and as such the main components of physical fitness used within gymnastics are Strength (Especially within the core muscles), Muscular Endurance, Flexibility and Balance. With the latter two this shall appear similar to February’s Yoga/Pilates activities. Within the gym as in February, completed once every two days, only on the machines available, using 75% of your maximum lift complete eight repetitions, follow this with a 30 second rest and then raising the weight by 5 or 7 kilograms depending upon the denomination of the machine complete 4 repetitions. After another break of 30 seconds complete the set of 75% for 6 repetitions followed by another 30 second rest period and then a set of two repetitions on the higher weight. In the day away from the gym complete the following stretches for two minutes each: Straddle Stretch on the Left Leg, Straddle Stretch on the Right Leg, Straddle Stretch Leaning Forward, Pigeon Pose on the Left Leg, Pigeon Pose on the Right Leg, Butterfly Stretch, Front Splits, Box Splits, Cobra Pose and Wheel Pose. Follow these with 20 minutes of HIIT bodyweight core exercises such as Superman holds, V-Ups, Abductor Leg Raises and Variations upon Leg Raises.
For many years I’ve been fighting against those who try and have multiple “Fuck Buddies” or “Friends with Benefits”, even thinking of the former phrase makes me cringe. Friends and I alike have been hurt by these people, creating messes of tangled emotion which I have had to tidy away…So why do I find myself in a situation where I am mutating in to the monster which I have been fighting all this time.
July 2015, I began dating this Girl, Girl A for the purposes of this exert of my life, she is fantastic, everything that would fit in to “My Type”. However with University and other commitments we have seen each other four times since the start of September never being able to secure the titles of Boyfriend and Girlfriend keeping it a relationship very much emotional rather than physical.
Fast forward to New Years Night. The events of which are quite surreal. Getting progressively intoxicated over the evening leading combined with reconnecting with an old friend unseen for over three years…a girl… a close friend of Girl A. How the situation of 00:02 to 01:30 came to be is something out of a B Movie as the protagonist went from counting down and screaming “Happy New Year” to chanting the name of a fourth tier footballer to kissing this second girl, Girl B, much to the shock of everybody at the party. But as programmed at 00:03 my phone sent a message to Girl A, attending the celebrations in London, professing my feelings for her. Whereas my physical self had moved in to the kitchen to get some food where the make out restarted with Girl B and continued in various locations all over the house.
The morning after, seeing if Girl B was OK I discovered that she hadn’t been drunk like she had made out and that she aimed to get something physical from the start. To any normal guy this would be brilliant a girl that is finally physically available and interested in me, but I’m not any normal guy and as such I have not heard anything from either Girl since the 2nd of January thinking that both girls know about what has happened. No contact from the one I have cared about for so long has been killing me, never knowing when her number will pop up again.
That brings me to the coming weekend where I am supposed to be attending a group night out. A group which for one time only contains both of the girls. Even if Girl A is still unaware of what is happening my body language favouring either or neither girl will swiftly result in questions being raised and stories being told leaving me imprisoned in a lose-lose situation in front of my friends.
What I’m getting at here is as it may all sound cool to have more than one person after you and being fun making out, this time has been a nightmare and a ruinous start to 2016. It doesn’t just affect you or even just the people involved as emotion always rubs off on to others. Only by divine intervention or an act of cowardice will I escape tomorrow night with my happiness and social dignity in tact. Don’t be like me, don’t be an asshole, don’t be a player because one day, no matter how long it takes and out of the woods you feel, it will bite you in the ass and your world will implode
I’m no where near a strong guy, standing 5 ft 10 inches and weighing 140 pounds, I am essentially the twig of the sport of Professional Wrestling (Commonly seen through promotions such as the WWE and TNA). Being a part time wrestler there is always criticism that comes your way, “You must be gay touching other guys like that”, “It’s just oiled up muscular men in pants”, “It’s completely fake”. However wrestling is quite the opposite to that, in that not only is it a sport that is exclusive to body shape or type but it is also a form of escapism and expression only seen elsewhere within the theatre of a ballet.
Yes, it is fake, no lie about it. If you want to see real fighting, go and watch MMA or UFC, although in different promotions real blood is permitted, injuries occur and botches cause contact, it is unsustainable to run a wrestling show which produces action weekly or monthly while there is the ever present risk of serious injury. The main point of professional wrestling is making it clear that it is fake with the use of storylines. However without this fake element it would not be possible to have the factor which I love so much which is I can be a character and for a few minutes I do not have to be me.
My characters, “Crag Banna” being a psychotic high flying energetic version of myself and “The Doctor” being a comedy character with the catchphrase, “Did someone call for a Doctor? BECAUSE YOU’RE GONNA NEED ONE!”, followed by a sneaky punch. Within this time backstage or on the ramp or in the ring, I am completely disengaged from the outside world and completely focussed upon producing a spectacle of Shoot Wrestling (Wrestling with no pre-planning other than the outcome and a time frame) including jumping from heights, charging around the ring, improvising speeches and throwing people twice my size over my head. As mentioned before it is like a ballet as it would not appear as effortless as it does if you did not work with your opponent in harmony, moving with the strikes, feigning pain and jumping to be elevated in to lifts. Aside from these points it is as sociable as other team sports especially training, performing and travelling with a roster of wrestlers as well as providing health benefits from the strength, aerobic endurance and flexibility conditioning.
I recommend the sport to anybody who would like to try it and, with my background in Jiu Jitsu I was able to focus on the submission element therefore if you are already involved within a martial art this can be a stepping stone for moving on to being an all-round martial artist.
With that being said get inspired, get out there and try something new at your local wrestling school/academy and I hope to come face to face with you in the ring some time soon.
In an ever evolving world with changing social constructs, it is hard for young people to set an identity which they can live by while being accepted and respected by everybody. Quotes be it through music, family or drunken ramblings stick in the memory and here are three which have had a profound effect upon my personality and image;
“Only worry when I worry, only cry when I cry. If I am OK then no problem is that bad.”
“The only time I will let a girl cry is at my funeral”
“Go ham or go home”
One place that constantly receives bad press is my home town of Wellingborough along with the county capital of Northampton. However is it all that bad? So here is the comparison to a widely revered capital of posh society and the high life; The Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
For Kensington and Chelsea
- A better calibre of Football Team (Chelsea FC-Reigning English Champions)
- Produces shoes, a necessary item which everybody uses daily compared to a television programme which cannot decide if it is a drama or a documentary.
- Higher Unemployment and as we all know higher means better.
- Highest Teenage Pregnancy Rate in Europe, therefore the best in the continent at something
- A better calibre of Cricket and Rugby Union Team (Northants County Cricket and Northampton Saints).
- Northampton has a whole county named after it.
- Kensington is in Greater London whereas Northampton is in Northamptonshire. Within the county names Northampton doesn’t boast with words like Greater, therefore Northampton is more humble.
Who wins? You decide.
One day until Hell or just One-Hundred and Thirty-Three days until the phoenix can rise from the ashes?