Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Post-Raya Entry

First up:  Selamat hari raya and happy independence day to fellow Muslim and/or Malaysian readers of my humble blog.

I'm back in my hometown, devoid of access to a barbell so I have not been doing any kind of proper training.  But I have been carrying weights around.  Cartons of soft drinks.  Babies.  Household items.  They're more like conditioning work though.  And it's good to know all that barbell stuff has transferred nicely to real-world function.

Anyway, I've been catching up on my studying and have just finished reading Convict Conditioning.  It's a fantastic book and guides you step by step on how to perform the 6 most essential bodyweight moves.  It's written by ex-convict Paul Wade and he explains how you can build a powerful and functional body with bodyweight only.  Which does come in handy when you're behind bars and have no access to training equipment.

Coach Wade ( as he is fondly known) is a strong advocate of bodyweight exercises because it allows for natural movements, hence prevents injury and improves joint and tendon strength unlike barbell/dumbbell exercises which forces you to follow a certain range of motion which may not be as natural.  It also takes a toll on your joints and tendon.

Coach Wade  outlines 6 key bodyweight exercise one should master in order to be strong, powerful and agile.  He calls it The Big Six.  They're listed below:

  1. The Pushup (master step: one-arm pushup)
  2. The Squat (master step: full one-leg squat)
  3. The Pullup (master step: full one-arm pullup)
  4. The Leg Raise (master step: hanging straight leg raise)
  5. The Bridge (master step: stand to stand bridge)
  6. The Handstand Pushup (master step: one-arm handstand pushup)
I'm a long way off to conquer the master steps of each of the Big Six.  But hopefully, with enough perseverence and proper training, I may at least be halfway there.  Anyway, I actually agree with Coach Wade in a sense that you don't really need the barbell to get powerful.  

BUT. I still think barbell squats and deadlifts MUST be incorporated in ones training regiment.  I don't care much about the benchpress as I honestly think pushups are a far more superior alternative. And I reckon the handstand pushup is a superior alternative to the overhead press too... but I am nowhere near being able to get... uhhh... vertically inverted, so I guess I will still have to get my overhead presses done while working towards a handstand pushup.

I've already written a post-raya training plan for myself.  It's a 5-day programme with alternate days of barbell training and bodyweight training.  Let's see if I can keep with the programme and whether it works for yours truly.

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