I’m making my new year’s resolution one month delayed. It’s no big deal, right? I’m taking off my iTunes, iPod, mobile phone etc ALL sad songs that I like. You may don’t believe this but the songs you listen to influence a lot how you behave everyday, specially when you love sad songs and spend 80% of your waking hours listening to music on your portable music player.
Things are going to go crazy this year, I’m going to need a very proactive and motivated attitude. As much as I love a good and “depressing” song, I can’t listen to them anymore because they always put me down. So… well, farewell, my friends. I’m gonna miss you all. It’s painful. It’s like ending a relantionship with your long term boyfriend or something. Jesus.
Of course, being injured and unable to train isn’t being fucked up enough. Well, for me, at least. Recently I’ve put my hands on Coldplay’s Live 2012 DVD and I gotta say, one of the best purchases I did this year. Everything is so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes during some moments. Charlie Brown proved once again to be my favorite song on Mylo Xyloto - It’s awesome to see/listen it live. Coldplay’s performance at Stade de France, Paris (which you can see in the DVD) made my cry. Other songs I like such as Viva La Vida, Hurts Like Heaven, Yellow, Every Teardrop is a Waterfall, Major Minus, Paradise etc were great too. Needless to say, Live 2012 is a must see if you like Coldplay even if you’re not that much of a hardcore fan.
…be careful if you have some kind of photosensitivity though. There’s a warning on the DVD box but I watched it anyway because fuck off and I started to feel some kind of dizzyness starting at a random point. When I was a teenager I had some seizures, did some medical examinations but never got the proof it was epilepsy (which is kind of normal because it’s VERY hard to diagnosis epilepsy precisely), though the doctor suspected it was. I took some medication as precaution, but still. All the flashing lights and colors triggered some sort of photosensitivity I never knew I had in the first place (but suspected). Sucked hard. Knowing that you can’t even watch a DVD of your favorite band like a normal person is a terrible feeling. Anyway, I still managed to watch the whole DVD. Take that!
Did not train last week because as soon as monday I got a terrible injury on a left hand nail. Guess what, a 30lb dumbbell fell right on it. Talk about pain and blood all over the place. So yeah, no weight training, bodyweight training or swimming for me for a week. And my injury isn’t even 100% recovered yet though I’m almost there. I think tomorrow when I wake up it will be good enough to workout. Maybe. I can only hope. It still hurts when I make a fist or fully open my hands and I don’t want to risk opening the wound again and then restart from zero. It sucks.
But one week without training was enough to make me see once again that sweating through physical training is definitely the love of my life.
P.S.: Reading and writing, I love you a lot as well, don’t be jealous, okay?
While making an athlete strong for his sport standards through specific strength training is nothing new, something is the golden pot of all strength training. You must have noticed it if you’re into reading strength training books or articles scattered through the web by now… yeah, this thing is making a person (not an athlete) strong for life. Making a person strong enough for all tasks that she may come across in her life. Humans are weak living beings, we’re going to keep trying this until our extinction. We will never accept that we are weak. At least, I can assure you that I won’t.
"That’s the point of CrossFit!" A person familiar with CrossFit reading this would shout immediatly. You know, I’m into CrossFit as well, but is it the compilation of the best there is for real world strength really? CrossFit is amazing, no doubt, but I feel like it is more like overall fitness directed towards sports training, not real world strength. At least, not so much. There is some transfer of strength from sports training to real world situations of course (hell, there’s transfer of strength from muscle isolation/bodybuilding exercises to real life situations!) and CrossFit benefits from that, but I don’t think that’s the best we can do for RWS (real world strength; to keep it short). I’m not going to go in depth and diss CrossFit here because as I said, I like it a lot. I’m just going to mention some aspects, why they help with RWS better and you will know that some of them are not present in CrossFit and no other strength training program available make use of all of them as well.
- Bodyweight training: And when I say “bodyweight training” I refer to everything related to bodyweight strength, not just push ups, pull ups and muscle ups. I mean the isometric holds (on the ground and rings), tumbling, rope climbing, some (just some of them, because some others are just fancy and do not are functional nor make you stronger) movements of the “new” (is not so new at all, but its boom happened recently) sport of bar calisthenics and anything gymnastics really. Why? Being able to untangle your body and hold your body mass weight in various different positions plus having full control over it should be the core of all RWS training programs. You may argue that you’re able to lift much more than your body mass weight using a barbell and that’s awesome, but to what extension? Can you get the bar with 100% RM of your deadlift overhead? Can you still maintain your 100% RM if the grip is wider? The point is, the only fixed form of strength is bodyweight strength. It transfers itselft to other bodyweight tasks equally (depending if it’s a pull-push task of course), while barbell relies too much on things like stance, grip and specific exercise. I may write more about this later (hell, I’d need a whole book to write everything I think about this), maybe not. But for now I’ll just recommend Steven Low’s Overcoming Gravity book. My whole point regarding bodyweight strength is there.
- Plyometrics: Because it develops power and has exercises capable of developing the height of your vertical jump. Functional enough for you?
- Sandbag training: It can emulate perfectly any form of carrying weights in real life situations. From picking up and carrying a wounded person or log on your back to carrying a heavy box in your arms. Seriously, sandbag training should be on all strength training programs. Period. If you want a plus, throw atlas stones training in there and you’re golden.
- Grip strength: It can help you with all sorts of things, since you use your hands everytime you apply upper body strength. For example, I can mention it helps you opening door handles, bottles and crushing things with your hands. Grip strength should never be neglected.
- Tire flipping: Because it’s lifting a heavy thing with almost no grip and also pushing them. For maximum effect, try lifting and flipping something even heavier than a tractor tire.
-Sled drag/push: For maximum effect, try dragging and pushing a car. (I don’t really need to explain this point, do I?)
I WOULD mention kettlebells if I had experience enough with them, but I don’t. However they do feel like a very good tool for developing real life conditioning and strength. Check them. I also may be forgetting about tools I never used such as indian clubs… this whole post is based on what I’ve already used only.
There’s some skills that I’d like to mention as well. They’re not really fitness training, they’re other sports (or related to sports), that’s why I’m referring to them as “skills”
- Wrestling: Bodyweight brute force plus self defense value.
- A good punch/kick: It doesn’t really need to be something associated with any martial art or combat sport, just make sure you have a good punch and a good kick. It may be useful to save your ass in various situations. Like kicking in a locked door or using your hands as a hammer (you thought I was talking about self defense only, huh)
- Parkour: Learning to overcome obstacles is always a good one.
- Bouldering/rock climbing: Perhaps the most effective way of developing RWS.
- Swimming: Oh, so you’re all for fitness training and assuming that you’ve read this whole post, you’re at least interested in RWS, but… you don’t know how to swim yet? What the hell?
Leave your feedback in replies or notes, as RWS junkie I’d love to read them.
Fantastic film. Superheroes movies never were my forte but all I can say is that I absolutely liked this one. I’ve seen some fans complaining about characterization of some characters (when you compare them to their comic book counterparts) but honestly, sometimes some sacrifices need to be made to keep the plot/atmosphere in harmony. Plus I couldn’t care less about certain details when the writing was so great, the action scenes were so amazing and the movie kept me on the edge of my seat all along (and it’s a long movie!). I also would like to mention Hans Zimmer’s perfect score.
Absolutely fantastic, I’m planning to watch it again. This time with the writer portion of my brain turned on to see if I can learn a thing or two.
I see some people talking about them as if they were some sort of magical formula to write a good story, regardless if you write for movies, animation or novels. Let me get this straight:
They are not.
Sure, there are a lot of good books on writing out there (I like some Writer’s Digest’s books, specifically), but they’re not going to make you the next George R. R. Martin or J. K. Rowling overnight. They just give you some… tools. Mostly for “commercial” writing, by the way. To make a good story you still need to come with a good concept and a good plot before mixing them up with those tools the books provides you.
Also, you need to “filter” the information you gather from those books. After all, those writing them are writers, just like you (since you’re reading this, I assume you’re a writer). They have their own opinions/approach, your own may be different and you DO NOT need to change your style because a book told you to do so. Please don’t do this. For the sake of creativity in fiction. And there is this other thing, after reading four or five good books on the craft of writing, they look really repetitive as well, it’s like reading the same thing you’ve read before with different words.
So be careful! I’m not some writing guru, I have nothing published yet but it’s been a while since I started on the writing road, so… just my two cents.
One of the best parts about writing a fantasy setting for a story is the world building. Sure, it’s a lot of work making the “World Bible” containing lots of information about the world mythology, history, how the society works there, hierarchies, different forms of fighting styles… sure, it takes a lot of time and dedication. But it’s so worth it!
Currently working on my main story (actually I’m working on it since 2008), The Season of Red Sky (perhaps a temporary name? Who knows) and I’m loving every aspect of the world building for it. Hopefully it will get to see the daylight someday.