Tag Archive for one hundred push-ups

Course Correction

Despite an impending deadline for The Pack: Lie with the Dead (sequel to Winter Kill — shill, shill), I’ve spent most of the week obsessing about health and fitness.

I started by thinking about diet again, both what I eat and the quantity I put in. It’s a lot better than it used to be, but it’s still not what it should be. I’ve stalled out on weight loss since my first couple of years in karate, and my doc would like to see my cholesterol figures improve. Make no mistake, my karate training keeps me fit for my size. If I lost a few extra pounds, though, it would help prevent future problems.

I also need to put running off for a bit. While I did get a run in the other night, I woke up the next morning and discovered my plantar fasciitis had gone into overdrive. I’m working on some stretches out of a Men’s Health sports injuries book to correct it, but I see no sense aggravating it in the meantime, especially because it will interfere with my karate training. I’m going to wait until late Spring or early Summer to reevaluate. (In the meantime, I did pick up another Nike+ sensor and it’s ready to go when my damn foot is.)

That’s when I started thinking about my body type. I’m short and stumpy, not built for speed at all. I can fool myself into running when my foot’s up to it, but I can accept it’s not something I’ll ever be good at. I am, however, built for power. I’ve been doing well with the One Hundred Push-ups plan again, and in karate I can pick up a 220-pound classmate, spin him on my shoulders, and set him down to mimic a throw without dropping him. My karate instructor and I have been talking about supplementing our karate workouts with strength training, and this week it occurred to me strength training may get the best benefits for me for the time being.

Unfortunately my karate instructor and I couldn’t make our schedules jive, so he joined a gym near his home. I checked out two local gyms, but they were all about machines. To get a full range of traditional weight gear, I’d have to drive a half hour or so and I wouldn’t have 24-hour access. I have a bad habit of waiting until late to get my home workouts done. It’s not uncommon for me to be doing karate in the living room at 10:30 or 11:00pm, and I’ve even been out for runs at midnight the last two summers.

So, it’s time to look at getting my own bench. I found a folding bench set on Amazon, and the Wife and I measured my office and it will just fit.

Bench Set

If I turn it into a coat rack or book shelf, she'll shoot me.

We’ll be ordering it soon. I don’t need to get huge or buff, but if I can tone things up and trim off some more fat like I did when I worked out with a pulley machine in my old garage, I’ll be happy. It’s also right here in the house, putting off excuses like having to travel, going out in the rain, etc. I just have to fit it into my existing home workout schedule.

Of course, it reminds me of the Joe Piscopo reference in Family Guy. I’ll just work out when I’m not writing. D’oh.

I guess that’s my long, rambling way of saying it’s time to change things up. If I can’t run without threatening the primary exercise, it’s time to find another way to supplement it. I can always use more strength for both karate and judo, and as artist and gym rat Mike Henderson tells me, I can still get a good cardio workout if I do it right.

I’m not giving up on anything, just making a course correction. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some more push-ups to bust out before I get back to the keyboard to write.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Ran, Didn’t Explode

I woke up, got out of bed, looked outside, and thought “Yeah. This is a good day for a run.”

I must be feeling a heavy dose of self-loathing right now. I started the One Hundred Push-ups program again a couple of weeks ago, and tonight I went for that run. I should probably just throw myself in front of a truck and save some time.

But hey, I got through it and my heart didn’t explode, so I guess I should call it a win.

Tomorrow I need to pick up a new Nike+ sensor. My current sensor is about three years old, so the battery is dead as a doornail. After I get  new one I can start tracking my runs all proper-like again. I’ve set a simple “run more often” goal in Nike+, shooting for 10 runs over the next four weeks. Tonight’s probably won’t count due to said dead sensor. C’est la vie.

This is the first time I’ve not run on a track, too. Everyone tells me I’ll have more fun if I run through town or the park or something. This town doesn’t have the best reputation for taking care of its streets and they aren’t big believers in sidewalks, so I don’t know that I’d call tonight’s run fun, but I’ll grant it did feel a lot different from running on the track. For one thing, I’m sure the school’s cinder track is a spongy, horrible mess right now. For another, if I pussed out halfway through a run around town, chances are I’ll be far enough from home that I may as well suck it up and finish the run.

Unfortunately this is more time away from the keyboard when I’ve got a deadline for The Pack: Lie with the Dead looming. I need to get my act together on that one. Of course, I could also argue if I croak because I’m not in good shape, I can’t finish anything.

Maybe I just need more folks to buy my book or preorder the hardcover so I can afford to stay at the keyboard for a living.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Crackle Crackle!

That’s the sound my left knee makes. I’m assuming that’s not a good thing.

I worry it’s the result of a sparring match in karate class last week. I went in for a kick to my opponent’s ribs, and he raised his knee to block. The top of my shin, about an inch or so below the knee, connected hard with his knee and it’s been hurting ever since. The only external sign of injury is a small red mark, but I’m sure there’s a nice bruise deep inside and I’m wondering if that’s what’s lead to the problem in the knee. No pain (yet), just noise. I’m taking a break from the running as a result, as the last thing I need is to aggravate the problem.

Meantime, I’m going to try the One Hundred Push-Ups program. I’ve improved my push-ups quite a bit since starting karate, and the program suggests I start at Week 3. Cut the program from six weeks to four? I can deal with that. It’ll be fun to see if I can make the same gains.

I’ve learned push-ups are important to my karate as well. There’s a physical requirement to making black belt in my style, Shuri-ryu, and my school tests prospective black belts on six exercises: jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups, two dumbbell exercises, and front kicks. They want black belts to hit 45 consecutive push-ups.

I’m getting there, as I’m now able to hit at least 30 consistently. It’d be nice to blow that number out of the water, though. While a black belt does not have to hit 45 push-ups, my understanding is if you can’t, it counts against you in your overall score. This means your kata, techniques, written test, and so on, all have to be just that much better to make up for any physical deficiencies. My black belt test is at least a couple of years off, so it makes sense to start now.

Not to mention that it’s just good for me, period.

Then there’s sit-ups. Black belts are shooting for 75. I don’t do as bad at sit-ups as one might expect given my size, but I’m certainly not going to hit 75 any time soon. I wondered if there was a similar program for sit-ups, looked through the site’s links, and found Two Hundred Sit-Ups. Then I clicked the link and learned it’s actually two hundred crunches. Swell. Somehow I can actually execute more of what most people think of as a sit-up than I can a crunch; the middle of my abs gives out before my hips and lower abs so. And neither are comfortable as I near my limit.

I must be a masochist. But again, it’s good for me. If I keep at ’em, maybe this belly will be less in the way and I can execute them better.

The real question is whether to keep these programs separate or execute them together. I’ll have to give that some thought. Meanwhile, if anyone out there has tried them together, I’d love to hear about it. Official initial test will be this weekend. First workout will be Monday.

Incidentally, this summer when I get sick of working upper body, I can move on to Two Hundred Squats. Woo!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.