What To Work

In which RVA talks about different training programs he’s tried…

So pursuant to two weeks ago where I discussed my dietary history, I thought I’d take a moment to discuss my history with some of the training programs.  Like dieting, exercise is surprisingly easy and yet there’s a whole industry that complicates it.  And like dieting, finding a good program is equal parts experimenting and knowing yourself, as well as keeping honest about your goals.  You can say you want to be athletic all you want, but if deep down you want big shoulders and a chiseled midsection, you are going to be disappointed to some extent.

I’ve been exercising most of my life.  I started doing martial arts when I was 12, which quickly was joined by general fitness and physical activity.  I started lifting weights sometime in my early teens: calisthenics at first and then a whole lot of machines.  I didn’t really embrace free weights until my twenties, and I didn’t really get into kettlebells until my thirties.  So that should give you some idea. Continue reading “What To Work”

What To Eat

In which RVA talks about different diets he’s tried…

Some friends of mine recently were discussing the Ketogenic Diet, one of whom was just starting it and the other who was looking to start it.  I’ve done the Keto Diet twice, both times to moderate success.  I thought some people might benefit from hearing my take, but then things progressed.  I’ve done other diets too, and exercise programs.  And if you’ve ever looked into honest and comprehensive reviews of exercise programs, you know they are often quite lacking for thorough yet unbiased virtues.

Well, after the (moderate) success of my Ask Me Anything, I thought I’d take this week and give some reviews from my history of and experiences with different diets. Continue reading “What To Eat”

Survival of the Fittest

In the 1888 book Twilight of the Idols, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote “What does not kill me makes me stronger”.  This is a frequent sentiment seen among athletes, especially in the contact and combat sports, even more so among martial artists.  I’ve reflected on it a bunch recently as I’ve listened to old tales of martial arts ‘back in the day’.

My primary style at the moment is Kajukenbo, a system born out of the post-World War II slums of Hawai’i.  It was a hardcore style in the truest sense, composed by black belts from various systems, in an attempt to create a truly universal and effective fighting style that would protect them and their students from the ravages of gang and racial violence.  Legends abound about the training at this time.  The black belt test involved being kidnapped from your home in the middle of the night and dropped off in the jungles.  Or maybe the test started at dusk and you had to survive the beatings until dawn.  Al Dacascos – one of the heads of the style and the creator of its primary off-shoot, Wun Hop Kuen Do – talked about the day’s training not being done until there was blood on the mat.

Good stuff, right?  Hardcore.  Tough training makes one tough.  It makes sense.  This is martial arts.  This is fighting.  This is violence.  You must be prepared for the viciousness of a true fight to be able to reliably survive it.  Bruce Lee once said ‘the best preparation for an event is the event itself’, right?  So what better preparation for a fight than a fight itself?  If you get your ass kicked, and survive, than you’ll come back stronger?  Right?

Right?

Well, funny thing… Continue reading “Survival of the Fittest”

What’s In A Grade?

I’ve spent a decent amount of time thinking about grades, and ranks.  Related to my earlier post on gamification, I’ve been thinking about how we assign value to accomplishments.  How do we state ‘this is a 90 out of 100’ and ‘this is a 75 out of 100’?  What comprises ‘a hundred’?  How applicable is that?  Is one person’s 75 equal to another person’s 75?  Was the process for one person to achieve 75 equal to the process of another person achieving 75? Continue reading “What’s In A Grade?”

Learn, Love, Live

Rather unexpectedly, I’ve found myself learning two new skills recently and it is has been exceptionally educational.  I’ve begun learning about cars, and I’ve begun studying Kempto-Jutsu.

Just shut up and do it

I’ve never been a car person.  I’ve never cared much about cars, nor how to maintain them.  I can change oil, change tires, and change headlights, but anything beyond that is beyond me.  Likewise, how a car looks hasn’t ever registered with me.  I generally thought of automotive wax as aesthetic only.  And unless it effects fuel economy, I didn’t concern myself much with aesthetics.  I mean, sure Charges look dope as hell and most Lamborghinis are so badass, they’re classified as a sin in at least three major religions.  But otherwise?  Meh. Continue reading “Learn, Love, Live”