Rock's Quest For a Black Belt

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    Rock's Quest For a Black Belt


    A few weeks ago, my sensei informed me that I would be testing for black belt this spring. I have about four months to get ready. I'm already in pretty good shape, but I've decided to change my lifting program which was basically 5/3/1 in the AM and evening cardio to a more full body approach, keeping my PM cardio as it is.

    So, here's the basic schedule:

    Monday: Power. Bench press, squats, shoulder press, deadlifts, and rows. All done at close to my one rep max range. Breaks as needed, stressing total power.

    Wednesday: Complexes. I'll be doing lifts that involve a series of movements with the same weight, before putting it down. The exact routine will likely change from week to week, but the focus will be strength endurance.

    Friday: Body Weight. Push-ups, pull-ups, dips, box jumps, etc. Moves that are either entirely body weight or incorporate the full body as much as possible without heavy weights. Focus will be core strength and practicality.

    Cardio: I do cardio just about every weekday in a separate session from my lifting and it's been working out well, so I'm going to keep that in place. I'll be using a variety of things including light dumbbells and kettlebells, resistance bands, jump rope, heavy bag, etc. A good portion of my cardio relates directly to martial arts already, but I'll definitely be looking for ways to incorporate it further.

    I'm also considering throwing in some yoga/stretching where there's time as flexibility is not one of my strengths at all.

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    BB in what?
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
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    In classic form, I started a day early on this and did my first power workout on Sunday rather than waiting until Monday. Last week was a nice recovery week for me with mostly cardio and core work and several days completely off, so I'm fresh and ready to hit it hard.

    First power routine went like this:

    Squats: 275/20 -Controlled, deep reps, five second pause between. Every 5-10 reps, I racked the bar to help catch my breath, but kept the same overall pace.

    Deadlifts: 275/10 -Same pace. Lift, pause.

    Bench Press: 205/14, 185/6 -Again, these were not steady pace lifts. I racked the weight for 3-4 seconds every rep. I failed on my 14th rep and took a pair of 10's off the bar to finish for 20.

    Bent Over Rows: 185/20 -Same pace.

    Shoulder Press: 40's/20 -I wanted to do these standing, but my ceiling doesn't allow for it. I did these at a slightly faster than the pace for the other moves to account for the lighter weight. I have an ongoing issue with straining my trap/neck area, so I have to modify a bit on overhead moves.

    _____

    This morning, I did "Plyocide" from Tony Horton's "One on One" series, since a friend sent it to me. Truthfully, I found it pretty easy. It's probably not one I'll be using again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rodja View Post
    BB in what?
    Bando Ryu Karate.
    http://devoreacademy.com.s71674.grid...d=68&Itemid=57
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    Last night was karate, working kicks a little bit, then I came home for a quick 30 min. cardio circuit since karate was pretty low key. This morning was my first time trying out a new routine of complexes. It was quick, but it did the job. Definitely a new kind of challenge for me, but I think I like it.

    Barbell Complex: (95 lbs)
    Deadlift
    Rom. Deadlift
    Bent Row
    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Shoulder Press
    Back Squat
    Good Morning
    (5 reps of each move before moving to the next)

    Dumbbell Complex: (40 lbs.)
    Goblet Squat
    DB Swing
    Clean & Press
    (3 reps of each before moving to the next move, two sets/side, alternating sides)

    After completing both complexes, I took a 90 second rest and started again. The total workout was four sets of the entire sequence.

    -j
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    Had karate last night, then came home for some quick cardio. Work is ridiculous today, so if I have time to work out, it'll be this evening. No big deal though, I'm a day ahead of schedule anyway.
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    Last night I did 45 min. (including cool down) of cardio, circuit style, and burnt 880 calories and had my heart rate at 175-180 most of the time. This morning, I did a different circuit for 25 minutes and burnt 550, about the same heart rate. I'm actually a day ahead of schedule since I started Sunday instead of the usual Monday, so I decided to stall and do cardio today and save my strength workout for tomorrow, since it's unclear how much sleep I'll be getting tonight. I feel like I'm wasting a strength workout to do it, then not get my regular sleep that night. As soon as I've gotten a good eight hours, I'll be hammering it out f'sho.

    -j
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    Got my body weight workout in. LOTS of push-ups, pull-ups, dips, crunches, one-leg squats and jumps...
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    I thought about doing hot yoga at the gym with my wife this morning, then changed my mind. I know yoga's good for me, but I've been really tired this week and I'm thinking maybe that complete recovery is a better option.
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    I like to do P90X stretch...it takes an hour, you go from neck to feet, and unfortunately the guy is an unentertaining douche, but its the best stretch routine I could find.

    Anyway, if you have a torrent downloader, such as bitcomet(.com to download it) you can find the p90x at btjunkie.com and download. Then burn to a DVD or transfer to a memory stick and throw in the PS3 to watch, or watch on the PC I s'pose.

    And its a good place to get DVDrips of movies that are still in theaters
    True story:

    I give a f**K!!
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    I actually have P90X already, but never bothered with the stretch routine. Maybe I'll pop it in later.
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    Well whats the matter with you ?! LOL....I always figured if I had an hour to do the videos then I had an hour to lift, so the stretching is the only thing I do. Its prety good, if you can stand the host. Luckily I have it almost all remembered so I listen to music and leave the TV volume down. But the first 5 times ain't so bad, LOL...
    True story:

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    Yeah, I'm just lazy, I guess. I don't mind stretching for 5-10 minutes after a workout, but the idea of *just* stretching is so boring to me.
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    I would imagine you would want to be as flexible as possible, so stretching before and after, and somedays in between(ala p90x) might really do the trick.
    PHF Anabolic Trinity Epistane, Trenavar, and Mentabolan - Available Now!!
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    I do it on my off days from the gym, not everyday. Especially for an hour.

    But a couple three times a week is a good goal I try to get.
    True story:

    I give a f**K!!
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    Just finished hitting the weights this morning. It looks like karate is cancelled tonight and the wife wants to go to "Boot Camp" at the gym, so I guess that will be my cardio.

    Leg Press: 530/20 (pause for 2-3 seconds at the top)
    Bench Press: 185/20 (racked the weight between reps)
    Chest Fly: 100/19
    Deadlift: 315/11 (3-4 second rest/re-grip)
    Shoulder Press: 45/10+40/5+35/5+30/5+25/8
    Shoulder Fly: 15/20
    Bent Rows(underhand grip): 115/20
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    Monday night, my son ended up getting sick, so no boot camp at the gym, but I set up a cardio circuit at home. Yesterday morning, I did a little bit of cardio mixed in with some core work and a good long stretch, then basketball last night.

    This morning I'm about to go do some barbell and dumbbell complexes and I'll report back after.

    -j
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    Just finished the same complex routine I did last Wednesday with a few small changes. I took out good mornings and added in a set of 10 push-ups after each complex. I also cut down my rest time to 60 seconds instead of 90. Oh, and I put 5 more pounds on the bar. So, it went like this:

    Barbell Complex: (100 lbs)
    Deadlift
    Rom. Deadlift
    Bent Row
    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Shoulder Press
    Back Squat
    (5 reps of each move before moving to the next)

    10 Push-Ups

    Dumbbell Complex: (40 lbs.)
    Goblet Squat
    DB Swing
    Clean & Press
    (3 reps of each before moving to the next move, two sets/side, alternating sides)

    10 Push-Ups

    Four times through everything, 25 minutes total, plus a couple minutes warm up and cool down.

    -j
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    Had a nice little cardio circuit this morning. Seven moves for 1 min. each, then a 1 min. rest. Four rounds and a little cool down. Average heart rate was 170ish, 674 calories in 35 min.

    -j
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    Last night I went to the gym while my wife did her TurboKick class and did a little running on the treadmill, shot some hoops in the gym, then went back and did a little more running. I ran about 4 miles total, but didn't keep track of the time very well. I wasn't running especially hard though. Treadmills make me nervous.

    190.2 lbs. this morning. Dropping a few pounds is making it very hard for me to keep my strength up, but thankfully I'm about to eat big (bigger) for a week or two. Back in the gym for the heavy stuff:

    Deadlifts: 315/1, 365/1+1+1+1+1+1+1

    Extreme Rows (Hammer Strength machine): 140/18 (lift, pause)
    superset with DB Curls: 30/22

    Chest Press (H.S. machine): 180/14+140/7
    superset with Tricep Pressdown (pulley machine): 70/16
    also superset with Shoulder Press (pulley machine): 150/10+130/5+110/4+90/3

    Leg Press: 400/30
    superset with Leg Extension: 100/9

    All lifts were done VERY slow and controlled. 1-2 count on the positive, 3 on the negative. I had the most massive headache ever for my last 6-8 leg presses and my legs were incredibly shaky. Ouch. Also, I don't know what the Hammer Strength machines weigh without the weights on them, so I'm not sure how those numbers translate to free weights.

    -j
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    Your work outs look great! I have a second degree black belt in hapkido and 1 st in judo and jujitsu ( not Brazilian style rather Korean) I would recommend more grip work. I am not familiar with your form but all 3 (even though hapkido is mixed) a strong grip was more important to me overall than muscle strength.I am not saying muscle strength is not important but I think grip and cardio (which you got down) where the most important. Also spend extra time on your training as technique will be more important than strength. Good luck bud this is a huge deal
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    Thanks man! I appreciate the tips. We tend to do more striking than grappling stuff, but there is some in our discipline, so I suppose it would be good to work on grip some more. I attend classes twice a week for technique, but also try to work some things into my cardio like kicks and striking. Sometime between now and then, I'm going to have to work on my kata. Last time we did them in class, I had a tough time remembering which step was next. That's my least favorite part of everything, probably because I have trouble seeing the practical application of it.

    As a side note, what was your testing like? I've heard ours is an all day test of your will. Belt review the two weeks leading into testing is where they weed out the people who aren't skilled enough, then the actual test itself is just an attempt to overwhelm you and make you want to quit out of exhaustion, frustration, or both.
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    Today's workout was a beast. It kicked my butt several times over. Except for leg press and ab stuff, all lifts were done as drop sets, continuing until I hit around 40 total reps. I used machines for safety and faster weight changes. Supersets are grouped together.

    Leg Press: 400/20

    Incline Chest Press: 300/drop
    Chest Fly: 130/drop

    Rows: 170/drop
    Wide Grip Pull-down: 150/drop
    DB Curls: 30/drop

    Leg Press: 400/26
    Leg Ext.: 130/drop
    Hamstring Curls: 110/20

    Full Body Crunches: 35
    Crunches: 35

    Shoulder Press: 180/drop
    Tricep Press-down: 80/drop

    And that was it. This was honestly, one of the hardest workouts I've done and I still feel like there were a few times I wimped out from the pain when I maybe could've done another rep or two. Getting stronger/faster/more fit is definitely you vs. you. I'm not sure if I won or lost today.

    -j
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    Decent cardio this morning. A little heavy bag, some weighted jump rope, kicks, burpees, etc. Honestly, I was really lacking motivation to push myself for some reason. About 1000 calories in 60 min., according to my HRM.
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    Well, I ended up having some good cardio after karate last night with a couple other people and my wife. 30 minutes, 712 calories burnt, max heart rate of about 185. When I woke up this morning, I was back to my weight before the UFC/Superbowl weekend, so I guess my binging has been atoned for.

    Today was the complex routine from the past few Wednesdays, but up another 5 lbs:

    Barbell Complex: (105 lbs)
    Deadlift
    Rom. Deadlift
    Bent Row
    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Shoulder Press
    Back Squat
    (5 reps of each move before moving to the next)

    10 Push-Ups

    Dumbbell Complex: (40 lbs.)
    Goblet Squat
    DB Swing
    Clean & Press
    (3 reps of each before moving to the next move, two sets/side, alternating sides)

    10 Push-Ups

    Then, because I felt particularly masochistic, I did push-ups and chin-ups.

    Push: 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
    Chin: 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

    -j
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    Also, pics.

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    I'm feeling a bit toasty today, so I kept this morning's cardio kind of light. 30 minutes, average heart rate of about 155, 500 calories burnt. It's going to be a long work day, possibly all night, so if I need a break, there's a small chance I'll do some cardio again later. We'll see.
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    I was a little too busy to post, but I did get in some PM cardio on Thursday, then had a very nice work out Friday afternoon. Heavier weight or more reps across the board. I guess I'm doing *something* right.
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    I'm so sore today. Yesterday's workout was a tough one and I'm feeling it today, especially in my chest & shoulders. I did some moderate cardio this morning. Weighted jump rope, heavy bag and sit-ups for about 50 minutes.
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    Last night was karate and the instructor decided to be a hard-ass and make us do push-ups every time she saw someone who wasn't saying "Yes ma'am" when she spoke. So that pretty much sucked. Basically 10-25 slow push-ups every time, then a 1-2 minute hold in the low position and it happened a lot. Also got some good cardio in the class hitting, kicking, and kneeing bags, running stairs, and all that jazz. Then, to top it off, I played basketball for an hour after.

    So, I woke up pretty light on the scale this morning and ate an entire can of mixed nuts & dried fruit before my morning workout, so that's 1200 calories in the bag right there. No big deal...I normally eat between 4-5k anyway.

    My workout this morning was complexes. Same as before, except I cut out the push-ups because my chest and triceps are still sore from all the push-ups. Also, I added 5 lbs to the bar again this week. I don't know how many more weeks I'll be able to do this. It's friggin' hard every week, but my ego doesn't want me to quit.

    Barbell Complex: (110 lbs)
    Deadlift
    Rom. Deadlift
    Bent Row
    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Shoulder Press
    Back Squat
    (5 reps of each move before moving to the next)

    Dumbbell Complex: (40 lbs.)
    Goblet Squat
    DB Swing
    Clean & Press
    (3 reps of each before moving to the next move, two sets/side, alternating sides)

    These took about 25 minutes, then I hit the heavy bag and jumped rope for another 20 minutes. I may or may not do some lighter intensity cardio tonight before bed. It depends on how I feel.

    Oh, also noteworthy is that I picked up a Jungle Gym (generic TRX/Suspension Trainer) today and will be getting back to making either my Friday or Monday strength workouts more body weight oriented working it in along with push-ups, pull-ups and the like.

    -j
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    My tests where week long each. We had forms which was our version of a Kata. I hated doing them. Also a 12 hour meditation with 10 min bi hourly breaks. A fast. Demonstrations. Lots and lots of sparing/ grappling. Weapons demonstration but that was more like a form or kata. I had vocabulary I had to learn (Korean). brick breaking. I was also required to study anatomy and was tested on muscular skeletal and cardiovascular anatomy. I had demonstrations in break falls and being agile that wad a plus for me. Basically every thing from white - brown belt was fair game on the test. That was for hapkido. Judo and jujitsu was different for me as both forms are actually included in hapkido and the testing was much more grappling and technique related.
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    Sounds pretty tough. Our belt review process takes up a week or two before the actual testing and that's where people tend to get eliminated, from what I hear. Most everyone who gets to the actual test passes, but they do everything they can to make you miserable. I've gotten to this point quicker than most and my sensei is actually skipping me a couple belts to give me this chance to test, so I want to prove I'm not just barely making it in. I want to pass with flying colors.
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    This morning's cardio was a beast, but I felt pretty good all the way through, considering. Nine move cardio circuit, 1 min. each, with a 1 min rest at the end.

    Side shuffle
    Side to side jumps
    Seated switch kicks
    Low-high punches with res. bands
    Bear crawl
    Push-up/Pull-up
    Weighted jump rope
    1-2-3 Heisman
    Med. Ball Slams

    After five rounds of this, I alternated between the rope and the heavy bag for about 6 minutes, then cooled down and stretched up to the 60 minute mark. My watch says I burnt 1207 calories in 60 min. My average heart rate was around 175.

    -j
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    My workout was pretty light today...30 minutes of cardio, broke the heavy bag again, then went for 3.5 mile jog.
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    I'm changing up the schedule this week because I'll be doing some strength stuff with the little group that works out with me after karate on Tuesday. So, I lifted today, taking a light or totally off day tomorrow, then I should be rested up for Tuesday night. I did complexes again today, adding 5lbs to the bar again, as I have for the past month. I think I'll have to stick with this weight for a while though, and maybe work on increasing reps on the dumbbell section over the next week. I'm also thinking about shuffling up the barbell complex from here out. For some reason, front squats are painful for me, so I'm leaning towards replacing the whole 5 clean, 5 front squat, 5 shoulder press section with 5 clean & presses. Doing this *should* take out the painful part for me, keep it somewhat explosive, and maybe allow me to keep increasing weight as well. We'll see. Anyway, today went like this:

    Weighted Jump Rope -2 min

    Barbell Complex: (115 lbs)
    Deadlift
    Rom. Deadlift
    Bent Row
    Power Clean
    Front Squat
    Shoulder Press
    Back Squat
    Good Morning
    (5 reps of each move before moving to the next)

    15 Push-ups

    Dumbbell Complex: (40 lbs.)
    Goblet Squat
    DB Swing
    Clean & Press
    (3 reps of each before moving to the next move, two sets/side, alternating sides)

    15 Push-ups

    Like usual, I did the entire set four times through, then jumped rope a few more minutes.

    -j
  36. New Member
    JohnRock's Avatar
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    Well crap. I was told last night that I'm supposed to be attending testing at our sister school tonight. I really hope they've been working the same things we have. Physically, I'm not nervous at all, but if they start doing katas or something like that, I might be in trouble. We've only done kata at our school three times since I started coming. I don't get the impression this is for a belt so much as just to see how I stack up against other students. Here goes nothin'...
  37. New Member
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    Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day for me, but I found out at the last minute that I was to be participating in the belt testing at a sister school to the dojo I attend. Obviously, I was a little nervous because of how little notice I had and the concern that they had been working on different things than we have and the possibility I'd get confused/look stupid. None of that happened. It was a two hour testing and a bit of a workout, all cardio related things doing kicks and whatnot. I sparred several times against several other people in the class, including a 4th dan who owns the school and has fought in the ring multiple times and a guy who boxed in the military with a 70-0 record. And honestly, I felt like I held my own with both...of course I had a considerable reach advantage in both cases as well. Anyway, it was a good night. Tonight, I have karate at our normal dojo and am working out with a few of the black belts after class, so I'm going to rest up until then and eat, eat, eat...
  38. New Member
    JohnRock's Avatar
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    6'4"  225 lbs.
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    34
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    I did this last night with my wife and several others from karate: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/hi...tine/index.php
    60 seconds/station, no rests between stations except for 60 seconds at the end. We did four full circuits and I used 30 lb DB's. Total calorie burn was 849 and I'm pretty sore today.

    This morning I did some light cardio from one of the P90X discs.

    -j
  39. New Member
    JohnRock's Avatar
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    6'4"  225 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Age
    34
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    Lv. Percent
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    I had a pretty good cardio routine this morning:

    Diggers w/bands (60 sec.)
    Switch kicks (60 sec.)
    High-Low choppers (60 sec.)
    Skip knees w/band pulls (60 sec.)
    Super punch w/bands (60 sec.)
    Heisman (60 sec.)
    Rest (30 sec.)
    Tuck jumps (45 sec.)
    Rest (45 sec.)

    Four rounds, 32 minutes, 650 calories burnt. Heart rate was usually 170-175.

    -j
  40. New Member
    JohnRock's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"  225 lbs.
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    Full body strength workout yesterday and cardio today. Both were kind of made up as I went, but good workouts. I'll be back to the schedule on Monday.
  

  
 

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