Sunday, July 29, 2007

Getting Back in Shape: Part 1

So now that I am in Israel I have a goal that has been haunting me for a while. That goal is to get myself back in shape. In order to understand the importance of this goal to me I have to back track a bit. When I was younger I was somewhat skinny, from the shoulder's to the waste. From the waste to the knees I was thicker, my calves were somewhat skinny, and I had big feet. For a long time I felt really bad about not only my physical appearance, but also who I was in general. This changed over time, but physically I felt like I could be more. This changed when I had a room mate my freshman year of college named Troy Bundy, or as we called him "Little Hercules." Troy was a body builder and it wad due to his example that I spent the next few years working out and getting into really good shape.

Yet, when I moved to New York, I had a number of set backs. The free weight set that I used in the morning and at night I had to give away because I didn't have room in my apartment. Normally, I would do free weights at home in the morning and at night every day. During my lunch break at work I would do my cardio work. This allowed me to save on time in the gym and not feel rushed in my work outs. I also was able to keep off additional fat from the amount of food I ate because of doing cardio every day. During that time my weight was between 220 and 225.

The next thing that happened was that I decided to join a gym closer to my apartment in Manhattan, intead of the gym at my job. The problem was in the winter it was often to cold and I did not want to walk to the gym. So not having my home equipment and not have a reliable gym schedule began to take its toll. Next, I had a series of financial setbacks that forced me to have to give up my gym membership.

After watching the movies 300, Chronicles of Riddick, and Scorpion King I was eager to get back into shape. Not the same kind of shape I was before when I worked out, but this time I wanted the full body system. So before I left America for Israel, I ordered a bowflex. I also dusted off my copy of Lee Haney's book Ultimate Body Building.

I also looked into the workout that used by the actors who played the Spartans in the 300 movie. The 300 workout for the movie was created by Mark Twight, a self-taught exercise guru and former world-class mountain climber. It consisted of the following. According to Kathleen Doheny in her WebMD Feature, The 300 Workout: Can You Handle It?

The workout gets its name from the total number of repetitions. But those 300 reps weren't done daily, as some media accounts report, Twight says. Rather, the 300 workout was the finale of months of training, a kind of graduation test, after actors had weight lifted and trained with tools such as medicine balls and Kettlebells (cast iron weights with handles).

300 Finale Workout

  • 25 pull-ups
  • 50 deadlifts at 135 pounds
  • 50 push-ups
  • 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box
  • 50 "floor wipers" (a core and shoulders exercise at 135 pounds)
  • 50 "clean and press" at 36 pounds (a weight-lifting exercise)
  • 25 more pull-ups -- for a total of 300 reps
There's no rest between movements and the score is based on total time. The workout was also consistently changed every time it was time so that the body consistently could not adjust to one workout strategy.

I found a scaled down version of it at Josh Hillis's blog.

It consisted of the following.

12x Assisted Pull-ups
25x Dead-lift @ 70-90lbs
25x Push-ups
25x Box Jumps @ 12” box
25x Sit-ups
30x KB Clean and Press @ 18-26lbs
12x Assisted Pull-ups
154 reps total

This in no way means I am going to consistently use this method, because we all have to find our own, but it is a good something to scale for myself.
So now I am putting my gym arsonal back together. When I find an apartment I have to have a room for my fitness equipment. I have the Bow-Flex, the Shoes, the Gear, and additional work out tools. I am the type of person can only work out effectively if I either have someone with me or if I have equipment. I also have my handy MP3 player filled with the soundtracks of Conan the Barbarian, 300, Star Wars, the Chronicles of Riddick, Batman Begins, Dune, Big O, and Dragonball Z. All of these soundtracks have songs that get me in the mood for training. I also intend to begin training in martial arts again. My choice is with the Abir Warrior Arts taught by Abir Aluf Mori Yehoshua Sofer, more than likely at the Tel Aviv school.

My hope is to not regain my former stature, but to take where I am now and become something different. The most important part of what I want to accomplish is to combine all my efforts with the Judaic perspective that I live by that can be summed up by the 13th cent. Sephardic Rabbi Rambam (Rabbi Mosheh Maimon) in his book the Moreh Nevuchim i.e. the Guide to the Perplexed.
Rabbi Mosheh Ben Maimon (1135 - 1204)

"Thus those who accomplish acts of exercising their body in the wish to be healthy, engaging in ball games, wrestling, boxing and suspension of breathing are in the opinion of the ignorant engaged in frivolous actions, whereas they are not frivolous according to the Sages of Israel."


Content Black Woman said...

I wish you well in all your endeavors to be and get stronger. As you well know, it all starts with the mind.



Ehav Ever said...

Hello CBW,

Thanks for coming by my blog and thanks for your kind words. You are definately right one must start with the mind or else everything else won't come together.

You also keep doing what you are doing with your blog. It is really great.

Ehav Ever

Tr8erGirl said...

Good luck with it! I started running a few years ago but I got really bored and stopped but I've recently started again. I have to keep my brain occupied while I do it - its hard to read while your running!! Anyway - hope you reach your goal!

Ehav Ever said...

Hello Tr8ergirl,

I actually hate running unless I am running with someone or I have some kind of motivation. Like if I am being chased or something. That is one of the reasons I use the Waterboy mantra. I just think of someone or something that makes me angry and I can run for days.

Tr8erGirl said...

Great tip! lol! I'll try it next time and let you know how it goes - I have a list of people I can think about!

Jacob Da Jew said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

I took classes with Master Sofer about 8 year ago.

Good luck with the training.

rivkayael said...

Rav Kook also says in Orot HaTechiyah that physical building for the sake of building E"Y (he even commented on secular kids kicking a soccer ball on Shabbat--"the holy feet kicking the holy ball") is holy work. Kol hakavod.

Unfortunately won't be able to run Tiberias 2008 (finals end about 24 hours before the marathon) but I've also been inspired by Rav Kook to get into adequate shape to drag a full pack and run a marathon.