Tuesday 21 October 2014

Judo and 5BX update

Well, I survived my first Saturday afternoon Judo lesson, but for a while I thought I might not even last through the 'warm-up' session! If I hadn't been doing my daily '5BX' exercise program and a long walk every day for the previous three or more weeks I never would have got through the entire lesson without collapsing. The first lesson was a good refresher of 'Ukemi' (break-falls), and an introduction to the throw 'O goshi' (major/large/full hip throw).

I was feeling pretty exhausted after the first lesson and had a sore shoulder and hands (the cost of being thrown while still having a BMI around 32!) the first afternoon. The next day I was feeling sore around the neck (probably for tensing up when getting thrown), and by the third day was feeling sore around the diaphragm (poor core body strength). Fortunately by day four I was pretty much back to normal - and was fully recovered in time for my second lesson.

The second lesson started off with an even more exhausting 'warm-up', as we were training in pairs, and I was having trouble keeping up with the thirty-something woman I was training with. I'd also managed to catch the cold that had kept DS2 home from school the day before, so I ended up coughing throughout most of the lesson. The second lesson reviewed O goshi and then introduced 'O soto gari' (major outer reap) throw and the pin 'Kesa gatame' (Scarf hold). I was favouring my right shoulder (which had been sore the week before), so of course I ended up with a sore left shoulder this week! I also had a sore inner thigh (O soto gari probably used muscles that I don't normally use very much). I ended up going to bed early due to my cough (and feeling exhausted) and was feeling pretty sore on Sunday. Fortunately I was already feeling pretty normal again today, so my 'recovery time' already seems to be improving.

Barring any injuries it is looking more likely that by the end of the ten week 'adult beginner' course I should be fit enough to handle to standard adult judo classes. I'll probably forget about attending the second weekly sessions (on Thursday nights) until I get my weight down to where it should be (about 22 kg less than it currently is).

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Saturday 4 October 2014

Getting fit (or at least a bit fitter) on the cheap

With my 'adult beginner' Judo classes starting next weekend (I found my old 6th Kyu and 5th Kyu grading certificates from 40 years ago, but I'll be starting from scratch obviously) I needed to improve my fitness. So having recently cancelled my Crunch Fitness gym membership (I wasn't going often enough to make it worth keeping) I've taken to doing an hour or so brisk walking every day (at lunchtimes and in the evening), logging my 'step count' using my mobile phone (I'm finally reaching the recommended target of at least 10,000 steps per day). I'm also doing '5BX' exercises every day, which despite it ridiculously easy exercises at the beginning, is starting to gradually improve my fitness level (as measured by the weekly 'step test' I do). Combined with a modest rate of weight loss (using a combination of attempting to cut out all 'junk food' and 'lollies', eating a CRAN-style core diet plan most days, the odd low-calorie 'fasting' day thrown in along the lines of the "5:2 diet", and an increased level of physical activity, I'm managing to shed about 0.75 kg each week) I should be in reasonable shape to commence Judo lessons if I take it fairly easy to begin with.... we'll see how it goes. There's a grading at the end of the 10-week beginner's course (so hopefully I'll get my "yellow belt" back again), and at this stage I'm planning to continue with Judo one or two times a week during 2015, with the goal of achieving my "orange belt". I'm not sure that aspiring to any higher grades would be realistic at my age and level of health/fitness...

ps. DS1 managed to break his arm falling down while ice-skating for the first time during this school holiday period, so with his arm in a plaster cast for the next 4-6 weeks it looks like he'll miss his yet another Judo grading, and won't be attending the older kids class that runs concurrently with the 'adult beginner' classes - at least for a while.

For anyone interested in starting a free, equipment-less, easy-to-do, and quite effective exercise regime that literally only takes 11 minutes each day, you can download the original '5bx' pamphlet from various places such as:


And you might find this old training presentation of interest. It's both amusingly quaint, and provides some useful examples of how to do the advanced versions of some of the exercises properly:


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Net Worth: September 2014

The stock market was down last month. Such is life. Hence our SMSF balance was down, and my geared stock portfolio was down by a larger percentage. Sydney house prices (at least in our suburb) were unchanged. In the long run being heavily invested in the stock market should be a "good thing", but then again, as Keynes quipped "in the long run we're all dead". Maybe October will be a good month for the market...

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