Felt dreadful yesterday - simultaneous deadlines and poor planning kept me working long hours with not enough sleep. Two days in a row off training (one rest day a week is plenty), and I was feeling tired at the end of a third day with little physical movement. Unless you've been working on a building site all day, that tiredness might be real but it's symptomatic of stress more than physical exhaustion. So it was on with three shirts and the ancient ski-jacket I use for cold weather training, and never mind that it was 10:45pm. Up the garden to my below-freezing dojo/gym.

Padded up like the Michelin man, I'd planned on some light calisthenics to warm up, followed by a slow-tempo weights session. But once inside, I realized I needed speed and effort, so I made up a routine (just a variation on one of my usual routines), fixed it in my head, then got to work:

10* x (25 x Hindu push-ups; 50 x Hindu squats; 10 x burpees)
4 minutes static Wrestler's bridge (neck bridge)
5 x (25 x pulldowns ; 25 x ab crunches)
then I worked karate drills - 10 different combinations - followed by the single-set finisher:
50 x 2-hand kettlebell swing

Some stretching, and I was done, and not a cobweb in my head.


Low intensity exercise bores some people; high intensity work demanding full concentration is very different. And it doesn't require a big budget, only heart (and maybe a few square feet of floor space). As for running, the (rare) independent research on running shoes apparently indicates that expensive new shoes cause injury (by over-protecting the foot, making it weak and unable to cope with inevitable twists or other stress). Cheap battered shoes are better. Injuries were rare in the old days before hi-tech footwear.

Something else occurs to me about keeping things simple. Running routines are usually based on EITHER deciding in advance how far you're going to run OR how long you're going to run for. In other words, fix one number and don't bother about the other. (Or else measure it afterwards to determine the quality of the workout you've just had.) For the circuits above, I'd determined the numbers, so I didn't bother about the time - I used my judgement on rest times between circuits (practically zero for the first 5 circuits, and always resuming work before my breathing had calmed right down).

Right then. Back to work.

* - to keep count of circuits, I have laminated cards with numbers on: I move a card at the end of each circuit. In hotel rooms, I use coins or whatever else is in my pockets.

† - pulldowns done with a high-tension band fastened to a ceiling beam. Indoors in the house, a gi belt looped from a doorway chin-up bar (the "indoor gym" variety just fits in place without screws) would have let me do horizontal rows for a high-rep back-and-biceps exercise. Or I could have just opened a door, taken hold of the door handles, squatted and leaned back with my feet either side of the door, and performed doorknob rows: no equipment necessary.


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