Tuesday, September 12, 2006

 

Less than a month, exactly one change in training, and more than twenty-thousand words of research documentation

So it's been a while. I could make excuses about how my research and general life.... but I won't.

I've been training but not in the way I would like. Mostly upper body work because the ongoing war with the tendons and ligaments in my legs seems to be at a stalemate. So at the moment it's just bench press, shrugs, lat pull down, rows, curls, and basic push-ups for my actual gym work. Aside from that the legs are getting lots of stretching and I'm doing lots of core work. I have been trying a couple new stretches with my legs including one to try and stretch the hips/glutes which I think is helping. I say this alot about stretching but everything is connected and practicing my squat technique has been worrying a I'm starting to get a stretching pain up my back (didn't used to happen). The articles I've sifting through are helping with the squat. I've got an idea to rig up a mirror system at home so I can see my technique from the side and adjust it. I used to feel I was going to fall forward all the time, but now I find myself more on the heal of my foot and starting to tumble back. The whole technique is fine with heavy weights on shallow (quarter squats). I REALLY want to go deeper. One article stated the most common error that people who squat make is that they are too much "over" their ankles. Meaning that they are leaning the knees forward over the feet using the ankle instead of keeping the ankle straight and bending the knees such that the body is behind the feet. That's the best description I can give. Would really appreciate comments on this. Hope I didn't lose anyone in my absence. I'm still committed to this. It's always in my mind. I do now and always will define myself as a rugby player.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

 

Ekka day

I've been pretty busy with uni work the last few days (my research is getting some momentum and looks promising) so the whole rest week thing has worked out well. My shoulder is still playing up, I thought it was getting better but I'm getting these spikes of pain more frequently now. Have been watching too much TV. I've been doing all my boring light weight stuff as well as this wierd exercise for my shoulders on my stomach. I've been going through a lot of internet sites (big thanks to Bruce's and Scott's blogs - gotten alot of good info through the links) for squat and stretching advise. I'm actually spending today (it's a bit of a holiday in Brisbane for the exhibition) just one hour on my theory work (uni) and an hour on stretches and light wieght. Feels good. I'm going to spend tonight just with an empty bar practicing deeps squats with some more new ideas I'm reading on the other browser windows now. Hoping that twenty mintues of pre-stretching will let me get down to a three-quarter squat comfortably.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

 

Empty bars

Comments. I have comments on my blog. Still a strange feeling. They brought up important things I haven't discussed so a post was warranted.

(Scott's comment)
As far as exercise equipment goes I have a small weights set up at home. Bench press, lat pull, row, and squat rack as well as a fair amount of free weights. At home I tend to just spend my time on the physio exercises for my shoulder, but if I have free time in the morning I try to kill it with some heavy bench (4-8 reps) and core work. I actually do most of my heavy weight work at a gym that's near my uni (not the uni gym). They've got the full set up and I'm yet to find anything they don't have. The way I use it is that I catch a bus near the gym and then walk on to uni. I'm in at uni like it's a full time job so I get access a fair bit.

(Bruce's comment)
I have no intention of ignoring anything anyone says. I'll take all the advice I can get (especially from ex-props with rugby blogs). I know it's very old school but I am only doing the military press for the "shoulder pads" it will develop. I just couldn't bring myself to ever wear pads on the field. I gave up wearing headgear (couldn't hear well enough) and I only wear a mouthgaurd because I spent so much money on my teeth.
The quarter and half squats I'm stuck with at the moment because my leg/back/ankle (it's all connected) flexibility is terrible. I have done alot of work to go lower but my technique just falls apart because I compensate for the lack of flexibility by bending my back and lifting my heels. I actually practice on an empty bar once a week to keep my technique on the half squats (heard too many stories about bad technique). My balance isn't great either (once again it's all connected). Stretching is probably going to take up most of my time for the next week as I've been told to just take a week off weights training (I'll still be doing light stuff). The week off weights is to let my body just relax a little (coach's advice).
The long endurance runs I find help me sustain for a whole game. Most of the props at the club can't get back to the ruck where they are needed and end up walking in off the wing due to low fitness. The fact that I can is what gets me selected in some cases. When I start areobic training it will be mostly shuttle run type trainings as for the majority of the game I will be running from ruck to ruck (as was pointed out).
I don't know any neck exercises (so no, I haven't been doing any). I'll be going on an internet traul today though.

So the plan now with physio, coaches and blog visitors all taken into consideration is:
More leg stretching to get those deep squats (there really is not adjective to describe how bad my flexibility is)
Squat exercies are going to be done on low weights purely for technique
Going to be doing the core work (weighted crunches, gym ball balances and back extensions)
Really light bench (because it's allowed)
Physio shoulder exercises (light rows, stretches, ice, modified push-ups, and a bunch of other stuff that can only be explained by diagaram)

There are a lot of things I really want to do at the moment, but this relax week has realy been enforced on me. It's just one week and I'll hit the other stuff hard. I find the thought of doing less than I had planned bloody frustrating though.

Monday, August 07, 2006

 

Tempermental clutch

I used to have a Datsun 120Y. I loved that car. It drove like a piece of shit and the steering was so lobsided that turning left required me to brace my inside foot againt the central console. The most memorable thing about the car was how incredibly tempermental the clutch was. Nobody else could drive it without stalling. I stalled a little today. I really want to work on my shoulders as I have been taught that the shoulder is the scrum as the fist is to the fight. I've got a messed up shoulder at the moment and in my haste I've aggravated it somewhat. I pushed myself too hard on military press and now it's really pissing me off. My opinion on pain is that it is a useless signal unless it's indicating permanent irreprable damage, otherwise it's just a temporary annoyance that I'm more than happy to just put in the back of my head. Apparently my shoulder could progress to become much worse if I don't slow down and work on it. So I will.

My main area of work is my legs though and they are going great. I'm squatting a fair bit of weight. But once again I have to work on my flexibility so I can go further than the quarter and half squats I am stuck with at the moment. My fitness is actually pretty good of late. I'm going to get stuck into some long distance runs in the morning soon just to improve.

As for the weight gain factor I've actually started eating less. Well actually I'm still burling through two lunches a day, but I've started eating healthier. The comments left by Bruce and things people have said have made me decide that fat really is useless for me (so bloody simple and yet it takes five people to get through to me). I know my friend/coach/mentor has suggested I start taking stuff like Creatine and that bulk up stuff that body builder places sell. We'll see. I'm not a fan of stuff like that.

So here's the plan. Eat healthy (Red Rooster looked so good today). Leg work with high load medium reps. Chest work on a reasonable weight to do lots of reps (physio's instructions). Shoulder stuff very lightly (near empty bar light) just to remind the muscles what I want them to do (physio again). Core work as normal (heavy sit-ups and back extensions). Going to hold off running this week. Scheduling all this isn't easy against uni, but I have a plan.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

 

It's a good feeling

Scrums went well yesterday. I am getting better. Strange to give one's self praise, but my ego can probably handle it. The strange thing is the big learning I did yesterday came off the field at the end of season drinks at the club. I had a lot of people telling me how much I had improved over the year and using words like "potential" and "dedication". I'm not a fan of being complimented, I don't like the idea of becoming an ego monster. But by the same token, I think I need to a bit. Confidence and ego are related. Being a good prop requires confidence. Usually after I drink I fall off the rails and do some stupid shit and end up thinking of quitting my jobs and getting my Saturdays back by leaving rugby. Not today. Today I want it more than ever. I've heard rumblings of a few coaches who have wanted to help me out and I'm pretty sure I want to hit them up for it. It's a good feeling. It's a shame I'm not going to get to run the paddock for almost six months, but I REALLY am going to become that rugby player I want to be this off season. And this time next year... damn that's an exciting thought.

Gym tomorrow, first big test of my dedication and my injury recovery. I'd say wish me luck but I don't think anybody is reading this thing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

 

As a season ends

The season ends. An inevitability of rugby. As I think back over my season and mistakes I have made I become unsure. The last game of the my rugby year occurs today. In under 5 hours I will be handed my jersey from the year (which has always been to big for me) and some part of me will be less involved in rugby. The team will disperse. There will be drinks. I will get drunk. Playing rugby is a huge part of my life. I define myself as a rugby player.

So what happens on Monday? Still unsure of what to do I will awake early with the intention of going to the gym and getting started, but will I do it? Do I want this badly enough? Someone once told doubt is a necessary part of faith. I'm doing this. Just have to keep telling myself that.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

 

The rails

I've fallen off the rails a bit the last few weeks. I had a good game on Saturday and I didn't drink much over the weekend, but I have felt my mentality slipping more of late. Uni and work shit are piling up. Injury and sickness are preventing me from doing anything strenuous at the moment. Once I get better (flu) and my body recovers (having big flexibility issues) I know I'll be ready to go and properly hit off season training. This thought really doesn't seem like it needs chronically, but I guess I just wanted to. Gotta say though, alcohol is really going to be a problem for me. I can't drink and train. I need to figure out some drinking scheme such that I can enjoy myself and still be good for training. I responsible engough to never drinking on the night before a game, even though my stance on that has begun to slip too. All my mates just get ridden off every weekend and I'm usually leading the charge and spending Sunday in a dark room with an ice pack. But then I feel weaker for days afterwards and I can deal with that. It's not the physical side effects that throw me. My whole outlook shifts after I drink. The mistakes I make and way I think are fucken detrimental. Honestly, I'm not going to not shift teams if I keep going this way. Don't get me wrong I'll still be there on club nights causing a raucus, but I'm really going to restrict intake outside of that. I was in a shit mood before my fingers slammed the keyboard today, but now.... things look better. The track that I'm on is easy to fall off of, and difficult to get back on. That's why I don't want anything helping me to tip. Rickety enough dammit.

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