Archives for October 2013

PACK A PUNCH: 4 WAYS TO POWER UP YOUR PUNCHES

“I’m not one to start fights, but I sure as hell am not afraid to end them.” G.K 

The ol' canucklehead Wolverine lets his fists do the talking.

The ol’ canucklehead Wolverine lets his fists do the talking.

Sometimes you just have to let your fists do the talking!!

Punching is a basic self-defense mechanism. One of the few things that people often just intuitively do. I don’t think anyone really over thinks throwing a punch or taking a “swing” at someone. However, you want to make sure your punches count, whether in the ring or out on the street. (I don’t condone going around and starting fights).

You can take any other weapon away from someone, but you can’t remove a part of their anatomy. (Not easily anyway).

Here are a few pointers that I  myself use with pretty satisfactory results in the punching power department.

Time to build some “hurting bombs.”

Bare knuckles on a heavy bag 

It’s not uncommon to use a punching bag. Everyone from boxers, martial artists to Joe Blogs at the local gym use them. They’re great. Feeling angry? Well you can unleash that fury and frustration on the bag.

Best part is you can unload all you’ve got and it’ll still be there for you. It’ll take all your hits and still stand as if to say, “Was that really the best you’ve got?” Nothing’s more honest than the good old punching bag in that respect.

If you really want to power up your punches, go bare knuckles. (No mitts/gloves). Truth is, your skin will probably  tear and turn red.  Your hands will hurt like hell. But hey,you want fists of iron. So, you’ve got to go through the effort to get them, and sometimes that effort comes with the added element of pain.

Beginners shouldn’t attempt this. If you’re a beginner I recommend you start with mitts and work up to using your bare hands.

Fist Pushups

A personal favorite of mine and pretty self explanatory. Simply get down into a regular pushup position, but instead of resting on the palms of your hands you’re going to rest on your fists. From there just perform regular pushups. Do as many as you can, until you can’t do anymore.

If you’re beginning with these I would start out on a softer surface, like a rug or carpet, then progress to harder surfaces. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you can do them on solid concrete. That’s when you’ll know you’re in rare territory.

Finger-tip Pushups

http://youtu.be/fIVfe-crHDs

This one’s a further progression from the fist pushups. Now you really are taking it up a notch. You’re developing your finger strength here, which is often overlooked by plenty of martial artists.

This move’s a killer. Especially when you’re doing it the first time. Form is everything. Better to do 1 good than 10 lousy ones. Don’t get disheartened if you can’t do that many, they’re tough. Perform them the way you would a regular pushup but use your finger-tips to support your body. Once you’re doing them consistently and with ease, congrats you’ve done well and reached a level many can’t imagine.

Forearm work

If you have weak forearms you can be damned sure your punching power’s going to suffer. The take home message is, unless you already have big or strong forearms you should work them. (Especially if having powerful punches is one of your priorities).

Bruce Lee had incredibly strong forearms that weren’t amazingly big, but damn they were powerful and his punches reflected that.  He got them, by training them hard.

My preferred forearm moves include the farmers walk, deadlifts and shrugs performed with a thick bar.

Nothing works your grip strength and forearms like squeezing and holding a thick bar. If you don’t have a thick bar wrap a towel around your barbell to thicken it up.

You have the knowledge. Now go sculpt those Iron fists. 

Important consideration: Self-defense and martial arts are not childs play. They’re not a damned excuse to go out and incite violence. Used incorrectly they can result in injury or even death. I’m not suggesting anyone go out a start fights. As always seek medical advice before undertaking any form of physical activity.

PAIN AND PLEASURE 

Photo Credit: http://dualspades.deviantart.com/art/Wolverine-133103565#skins 

TRAGIC TIGER: PASSING OF THE CUB

Roar of anguish.

Roar of anguish.

“No parent should have to bury their child.”

I don’t know who said it, but it fits the bill. Not a pretty phrase, but one that sums up the situation.

Just a short note about the passing of the newborn cub at London zoo, whom I wrote about in “HISTORY IN THE MAKING: BIRTH OF THE TIGER CUB.”

A heart felt condolence goes out to Jae Jae and Melati at the London zoo for the loss of their young one. The cub met it’s untimley end in the pool in the tiger enclosure. It’s damn unfortunate that this rare animal, so young has already departed.

The first cub in London in the last 17 years is GONE. GONE FOR GOOD. Little’s known about how it got into the pool but it was discovered by the edge.

Losing a child’s difficult for any parent to deal with. It’s also something no parent should have to go through. That’s why it’s such a damn shame.

Once again, Condolences go out to the parents for their loss.

THE FORGOTTEN FOUR

FOUR UNDERUSED EXERCISES FOR AN INCREDIBLE PHYSIQUE

The weight ..... ing's over

The weight ….. ing’s over

Hundreds of exercises and routines are on the market nowadays. Over time some fade out, which is understandable as the world constantly evolves and changes. However, it’s a real kick in the nuts when genuinely good exercises are discarded with no real rhyme or reason.

So, without further ado I present to you the “Forgotten Four”. Four underused/forgotten exercises that will get you on the way to looking like you’re carved from granite.

SCULPTING TIME

T-bar Rows

An “old school” move for the outer back. Made popular by Arnold Schwarzenegger. This exercise has been dying out over time and it’s a damn shame. It’s got a lot to offer, problem is it’s hardly used.

Everyone concentrates on regular barbell rows or one arm rows which are fine, but this move really targets, thickens and hammers away at that outer back with pinpoint focus.

To perform,  pickup a T-bar and start rowing as you would when executing any other rowing movement. Raise the bar to your ab region and slowly lower it back down. I like to use a rep tempo of about 1 second up and 2 seconds down. (Play around and see what works for you).

Tip: This is a heavy movement. So go heavy. Hit it hard. Don’t be afraid to add weight. Don’t wimp out or you’ll skimp out on the benefits of this exercise. If you don’t have access to a T-bar you can use a barbell. Just load one end of the bar and place the other side in a corner. (You’ve got no excuse not to perform it now).

Pullovers

This move, I personally think is a real beauty. No other exercise targets, expands and stretches the chest, ribcage and serratus muscles like this one does. Another exercise popularised by Arnold.

To perform,  lie across a bench and keep your feet flat on the ground. Only your upper back and shoulders should rest on the bench. Grab a dumbbell, hold it above your chest, keeping your arms straight, lower it towards the ground behind you.

Tip: Unlike the T-bar row this isn’t a heavy move. Don’t under any circumstance use too much weight. (Before you ask, you don’t want to know). This move is all about the stretch. So lower the dumbbell as low as you’re comfortable and until you feel the stretch before raising it back up. You can execute this move with either a barbell or dumbbell. Personally I prefer dumbbells due to convenience and range of motion.

Farmers Walk

There’s nothing more fulfilling and basic than picking up the  heaviest pair of things you can find and then walking with them. This is a power move. Plain and simple.

Although it’s becoming more popular, it’s still not quite fully there yet. Pretty much all the commercial fitness chains don’t have the space for this move to be performed. This move is great for your traps, upper back, legs and forearms etc. It’s pretty solid for your body on the whole.

Tip: Not a lot to say about this one other than go hard and heavy. Give it all you’ve got. If your muscles aren’t on fire you’re not doing it right. You can use either dumbbells, barbells or farmers walk handles. Whatever, just pick up something heavy and get walking.

Lumberjack Press

This one’s a pretty unconventional move.  Fairly unknown and therefore, underused. A damn butt kicker nonetheless. Think back to that scene at the start of “Commando”, where Arnold’s resting a heavy-ass log on his thick shoulders as he makes his way through the forest. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about watch Commando). It’s a great way to hit your shoulders in a way they’re not used to.

To perform, simply grab a barbell, rest it on one shoulder, press it up and over your head and rest it on the opposite shoulder. Repeat as many times until you complete your set.

Tip: Don’t go overboard with the weight on this move. You will screw your shoulders if you do. Remember, you’ve really got to balance the weight as well as lift it.

There you have it. Add them to your routine. Try them out and see how you like them.

TRAIN INSANE!!!

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: I’m not a doctor. Seek medical advice before undertaking any fitness regime or exercise.

IRON AND WILL 

READY FOR BATTLE

Battle ready.

Battle ready.

Bole So Nihal“. (Shout of victory)

Are you ready? 

Ready for battle?

Yesteryear, the battle-ground was for the warriors. Today however, there’s one place that’s home to the modern warrior. The name echoes everywhere. Many know it and know it well.

THE GYM. (That’s what I’m talking about).

Warriors?… You say.

EXPLANATION TIME.

I’m not talking about your average gym rat. Hell no. I’m talking about a rare breed. A breed that doesn’t ass around. Doesn’t buckle under strain. Finds comfort in discomfort. A conviction, average gym rats just don’t have.

 Listen up gents, ladies too, and listen well…

Where warriors used to train for hours on end with brandished swords, stifling shields and sharpened spears, the warriors of today train with weights. The commonality is. “Passion for iron”.

Where previously, warriors faced hordes of attacking enemy, the modern warrior faces heavy-ass dumbbells and barbells. Gleaming with the sweat of those who came before, as if to send a message. A message, “We’re from hell, we’ll push you to your limit and leave you broken in half ”.

Approach every training session like a battle. Go in with a plan and relentless, unyielding dedication. Destroy those weights in those 45mins, 1hr, or however long you “workout”.

You’ve got to go in with the intent of completely annihilating the opposition. (In this case the weights).

Get Ready for battle

The battle-ground

The battle-ground

Here are the strategies I use my self to get battle ready. (Time to hit it).

TIP 1: HAVE A PLAN

Plan, plan, plan!! If you look back in history, you’d find that the successful warriors had a battle plan. They knew what they had to do and planned for it. Knowing alone isn’t good enough. You’ve got to implement it too. You can’t go in blind and expect a good result. Go in without a plan and be prepared to fail.

No good saying, “I know I have to train legs today, but don’t know how I’m going to go about it.” Have a plan. Period.

TIP 2: PRE-TRAINING MEDITATION

Get your head in gear. Get your butt ready. Envision what you’re about to do and achieve. Sit down before you even pick up a weight. Think and focus on the task at hand. Take 5 minutes and mentally tune and prepare yourself. (It’ll do you a world of good).

TIP 3: PUT ON SOME PUMPING TUNES

Whenever I train I want to avoid all distraction. Don’t like anyone bugging me. Half the time the music played at gyms is irritatating and doesn’t help in the concentration department. To avoid all of that, I simply pop on my headset and go to work. Don’t just listen to any old garbage. Put on something that’ll get you in the zone and ready to work.

TIP 4: SCREAM LIKE A DAMN ANGRY SILVERBACK (OPTIONAL)

This one’s a joke by the way. But seriously, every warrior has a battle cry. Discover yours and leverage it in a way that motivates you to throw those weights around like ragdolls. (I don’t actually recommend going around screaming in your gym at the top of your lungs. It’s your call though).

FINAL TIP: GIVE YOURSELF A PAT ON THE BACK

Above all, have a great workout. When you’re done, be proud of yourself. Don’t get comfortable though. You’re going to go through hell all over again the next time you face the enemy. (weights).

How about telling me about your strategies and plans. Drop a comment below. I don’t bite.

Happy training.

HEART AND SPIRIT 

HISTORY IN THE MAKING: BIRTH OF THE TIGER CUB

 

Jae Jae awaits the magic moment.

Jae Jae awaits the magic moment.

“I don’t make up the news, I just report it.”  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

I’ve got some great news to share with you today.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have likely caught the reference to animals. (If you haven’t, you darn well should have). Animals are one of the central themes of “UNCAGE THE ANIMAL”, tigers in particular.

A while back I posted up “THE FACE OF UNCAGE THE ANIMAL.” I’m sure you’re all familiar with Terrific Tiger. Enough of that, that’s not the point of today’s post.

Today at “UNCAGE THE ANIMAL” we celebrate. We celebrate the birth of the first Sumatran tiger cub in London since 1996. The birth was officially announced on Wednesday.

Congrats to Jae Jae the father, whom I had the privilege of filming for the “UNCAGE THE ANIMAL” official site promo whilst in London. Check out the following videos below.

You might be wondering where the mother of the new bundle is and why there’s no footage or mention of her. Well thing is, she was actually preparing for delivery and as a result  wasn’t camera- ready. In fact she was kept in isolation, waiting for the magic moment.

“UNCAGE THE ANIMAL” sends it’s “Best Wishes” to the Happy Tiger Family.

Final shout out to Jae Jae, “Keep em comin bud.” “Hope to see more uncaged and reintroduced into the wild in future.”

EYE AND COURAGE OF THE  TIGER