What strong people do

I saw this on Twitter the other day, and thought I would share it with everyone.

So what will you do today to lift someone up?

What Strong People Do

Namaste

Observations of switching to a full body routine

full body routine

Now I have always been an advocate of using split routines for strength training so that I could keep my workouts short and focus on limited muscle groups.  I also kind of dreaded trying to work my whole body in a single workout, so maybe there was a bit of laziness on my part.  A couple months ago I began to study yoga and started practicing 6 days a week in the evenings when I would normally do my weight training.  Now I wasn’t about to give up weight (strength) training so I consolidated my routines into a single day that would accommodate my yoga practice on the other 6 days a week.  I thought that I was going to lose strength and conditioning as I did need to trim some exercises and sets out of my strength training program to fit everything in to one session and not kill myself.  In reality the loss of strength or conditioning has not occurred, so I am going to hypothesize that there are several reasons including:

  1. The yoga is actually helping me retain my strength.  If you have ever performed yoga poses you know that they take a great deal of strength, so not only are you taking the opportunity to stretch but you are also using your muscles to balance and hold poses.
  2. It turns out that even though I had to cut out some sets to fit everything into a single strength training session, the fact that I was using supporting muscle groups going from chest to triceps, to biceps and shoulders, to legs and to back.  When I was doing a split routine I would work a muscle group and that was it, with a full body routine that same muscle group gets utilized just minutes later to support the focus on another.  For example after working out my shoulders, I would later do some back work which would again engage my shoulders in a supporting role.
  3. It turns out that at my age I might not need to torch my muscles with weights multiple times in the same week.  So my recovery period is longer and this might actually work to my advantage.
  4. One last thing, when you know you are only going to lift weights once during the week you make sure it counts, and you are less likely to miss a workout.  When I was doing a split routine I would occasionally slack off and just skip a day and my schedule would begin to slide.

I’m not advocating that you drop you split routine, and for myself I would have stayed the course if it were not for the demands of my yoga practice, but to my surprise the full body routine has its advantages.  Maybe another epiphany here is that you don’t have to give up weight training because you love yoga or Pilates or running or some other form of training.  You can find a way to adjust your schedule and still get the benefits that these multiple disciplines provide.

dumbells on a rack

Namaste

More Yoga Really?

kino-crescent-lunge

As I may have mentioned in a previous post I have hopped, jumped, thrown myself on the yoga bandwagon, and thought I would give you a few reasons why.  I started reading “The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace” by Kino MacGregor someone who studied under Jois the person who devoted his life to teaching Ashtanga yoga.  One thing Kino talks about in the book is the importance of regular practice, meaning 6 days a week.  The reason being is that if you attend a yoga class, and maybe practice yourself another day in the week you will not progress.  I’m not saying you will not benefit from practicing two days a week, but you probably will not increase your flexibility or really gain the peace of mind that comes with daily practice.

Last week I performed my yoga practice of about 30 asana’s six days in a row, and it was amazing how my hamstrings and back are beginning to show signs of increased flexibility.  This is actually becoming very addictive as I am practicing at night after work, and look forward to it all day.  Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t practice yoga one, two, or three days a week; if nothing else it is a wonderful form of exercise.  I think the reason Kino advocates 6 days a week is that the body needs more frequent exposure to the poses before it begins to transform the muscles and tendons to allow you a greater range of motion.  As for myself I am still working on some pretty basic poses in preparation for embarking on the Ashtanga primary series expounded upon in the “The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace”, but we all have to start somewhere.

Yoga

Well my journey continues, and in a couple of weeks I will embark on the Ashtanga primary series, and give you and update.  I would recommend if you want to learn more about Ashtanga yoga that you read Kino MacGregor’s book, it is extremely well written and easy to understand.  The book is only $14.95 at Amazon and is 240 pages with great photography of Kino performing the poses.

The Power of Ashtanga Yoga: Developing a Practice That Will Bring You Strength, Flexibility, and Inner Peace

Some other good sources for learning more about yoga include:

Yoga Basics – lots of great information, how to, meditation, etc.

Yoga.com – very cool stories and videos

Yoga Journal – probably the most popular yoga magazine

 

Namaste

Definition of Namaste: In Sanskrit the word is namah + te = namaste which means “I bow to you” – my greetings, salutations or prostration to you. The word ‘namaha’ can also be literally interpreted as “na ma” (not mine). It has a spiritual significance of negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another.