January in review:
Rather than a regular log entry I figured that this time I'd review the outcome of the last month. The goal this month was to develop muscular endurance. I spent the month using circuits to try and develop this muscular endurance over my whole body. It took some time to develop an understanding of muscular endurance (something I'll sadly admit I was lacking in!).
After a month of work in this area I decided to give myself a test of sorts. The goal was to develop endurance for MMA. So instead of just doing the workouts to see where I was endurance-wise. I spent a couple hours working the Thai Bag and grappling bag. The goal was to see how far my endurance had come, and how far it still needed to go.
I was more than a little surpised with the results. After about 45 minutes of bag work, my muscles usually start to fatigue. It starts to sting to hold them up in a high guard, and my defenses suffer. I usually start to plant my elbow against my torso and lower my rear hand. While my lead, which is usually fully extended and about chin level for reaching jabs/feelers, etc begins to drop and waver at around chest level.
After a month of endurance work. I reached the about 45 minute marker and was happily surpised to see that my muscles were laughing at my extertion. My guard was high, my punches were fluid and crisp. I felt great. I worked some more and made it to about 90 minutes of steady work (including about 20 minutes of initial warm up wearing only hand wraps) before I reached the previously described level of fatigue.
I moved on to ground and pound on the grappling bag. I train this area under the idea that one should throw 10 strikes (punches/hammerfists/elbows) then move to another position. The positional movements are, full guard, half guard, side control, mount, side control, half guard, full guard. Moving to the other side of the bag for the second half. I'm sorry to say I don't have the grinder's endurance. This has always been where my muscles have never lasted and I've felt like a loser.
However I was happy to note that I spent the full 30 minutes working this positional change and stiking exercise. That's a huge improvement from where I was previously.
This final test, as it were, has shown me a few things.
1. This circuit style is ideal for developing endurance.
2. My muscular endurance is still in need of dramatic improvements.
3. My cardiovascular endurance is in the toilet. It was twice during this workout that I went to a bucket fearing vomit. My heart rate was off the charts. I can't remember the last time I kept it that high and was acutely aware of the condition.
I've been thinking, and I need to spend another month working purely on endurance lifting. I've finally tacked down leg, back, and chest/core workouts that work for me. Now that these have been established, a need a solid month of work on them to get the most out of my muscles before trying to develop more strength and explosiveness. Which are the two other areas of muscular development where I feel I am also lacking. However before working on those, I think I need to address cardio in March.
Overall. This month has been a success on multiple fronts. I've gotten myself out of the multi-month-funk that had been KIIILLLLIIINNNGGGG my training. I've been able to negociate for somewhat better food at home, as well as organized some of the problems with my social life that had been a nuisance. Here's hoping I can keep it going!