Monday, December 29, 2014

Centurion Method Workout #4: Hercules

Here's another workout from the Centurion Method for you guys!

Workout #4: Hercules

  1. 30 Second Sprint (Recover 30 Seconds)
  2. 1 Minute Sprint (Recover 30 Seconds)
  3. 20 Strict Pull-ups
  4. 20 Wall Balls (20-25#)
--5 Rounds

  • The sprinting is as hard as possible. The recovery times are not listed in the original manual I received, so I added them to make a little more sense of it. 
  • The pull-ups need to be done with no kipping or swinging. If you need to scale them down at any point during the workout, however, you may do so. 
  • I really recommend buying a medicine ball or making a sand bag to do Wall Balls. To perform the exercise, you start by standing in front of a wall, holding the weight at chest height. Squat down, until your hips break parallel with the floor, and then, as you come back up, press and toss the weight up to a height of 10 feet. As the weight rebounds, catch it and repeat the next rep. Don't start your next squat until the weight is in your hands again. 
  • This workout is going to leave you breathing very hard. Rest as you need to, but try to complete the workout as quickly as possible. 
  • To make this workout more difficult, you can wear a weighted vest.

That's all for today! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi (Workout)

This is the culmination of all of Kenichi's training that we get to see. This workout will not be in the same format as the other HSDK workout, as it will not focus on increasing levels, but on a steady increase in abilities and strength for as long as you continue to do the workout. Use this workout in conjunction with the other Kenichi workouts, as this one is a little more technique heavy.

Training never ends.

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi 

Run 2.5 Miles (Same rules as Fundamental Workout)

4-6 Hours Later

  1. Walking the Circle- 10 Minutes 
  2. Treadmill/Hill Sprints- 20 Seconds On/10 Seconds Off x 8 Rounds
  3. Balance Running- 10 Minutes
  4. Brick Balancing- 5 Minutes (each side)
  5. Splits- 3 x 1 Minute 
  6. Banded Strikes on Pad/Post/Bag- 100 Strikes
  7. Technique Practice (Choose 3)- 15 Minutes
  8. Continuous Sparring- 10 Minutes
  9. "Stone Dummy" Training- 10 Minutes
  10. Daily Activities w/10# Backpack and 2# Arm Weights

  • Below are some links about Walking the Circle. When you get better at walking the circle, you can Walk the Circle on red bricks laying flat on the ground. After that, you can turn the red bricks on their sides. When you are able to perform the skill with the bricks on their sides, you may turn the bricks up on their end. This will be require a lot of balance and a lot of time to get to this point. You should practice Walking the Circle for several months before even attempting to raise the difficulty. You can also walk the circle while holding bricks in your hands.
  • Walking the Circle 1 
  • Walking the Circle 2
  • The sprinting is most effective on the treadmill because it is often hard to find a hill that is both steep and long enough to do 4 minutes worth of sprinting. This is high intensity work called the Tabata Protocol. Tabata is designed to raise your fitness very quickly and push your conditioning. 
  • Balance running is just like walking on a balance beam, but running. You don't actually want to use a balance beam, because it is very short, but if you have a curb that is relatively long and away from traffic, that would be very useful. Start off slowly. The increase here over time is your speed. If you must, start out walking, then jogging, then running. Your goal is to cover as much balance distance as possible without falling. It doesn't matter how fast you're going if you keep falling. This mimics the training that Kenichi did with the Elder, running across the the tops of buildings. You definitely don't want to fall off one of those. 
  • Brick balancing is best done with a partner. Your partner tosses a brick down on the ground and your job is to run to the brick and stand on it as fast as possible. Once you stand on the brick, in whatever position it lands, raise the knee of the leg you are not standing on as high as you can and hold it for three seconds. On the next brick, switch legs.
  • When practicing for the splits, spread your feet as far as possible and lower yourself to the ground slowly. Hold the widest position you can get for 1 minute and then slowly bring your legs together. Shake your legs out and walk around for 30 seconds to 1 minute and repeat the process again two more times. 
  • Using exercise bands, starting with a very low tension, tie your waist, each wrist, and each ankle to a stationary object behind you like a tree or a wall. Walk out until all the bands have no slack. This doesn't mean they are fully extended, just that they are now straight with tension. At this distance, the pads, striking post, or heavy bag should be just out of reach of your kicks. That will force you to push just a little further in order to connect with any strikes that you will throw. I recommend using a heavy bag or pads, because very few people would be conditioned enough to throw repeated full power strikes at a post. Do 100 total strikes. When you are able to complete all 100 strikes without being pulled back, I recommend getting a higher tension exercise band to increase the difficulty. 
  • Your technique practice can be solo or with a partner. You select three techniques, striking or grappling, and practice only those three for the allotted time period. You could practice strikes on a target or a pad or a heavy bag, you could practice throws on a throwing dummy or a partner, or you could drill a combination or movement with a partner. You may also do them slowly with dynamic tension, in the water, or in other environments as well. Change it up so you develop your techniques in new ways and fight off boredom.
  • For continuous sparring, you put 10 minutes on the clock and go as hard as you and your partner feel like you can go. I do recommend sparring gear during this process. 
  • The idea for this training is to take an object and hold it from the top or bottom so that it is awkward to hold, like holding the stone dummies from the tops of their heads, as Akisame does. You will hold one in each hand, lifting in as many different ways as you can think, in a variety of body postures and stances and using the rotation of your waist. At the beginning, the movements may be as simple as raising and lowering the weights and they may be as difficult as performing a martial arts form, dance, or other intricate pattern while holding the weights. You probably do not have access to Akisame's stone dummies, so there are some alternatives you can use for this training.  You can use dumbbells held at one end, big jars with a lid on them to keep anything from spilling out of them, an upside down kettlebell to mimic grabbing the head of the dummies, sandbags, or a long stone in each hand. If you can't mimic all of the things exactly in one training session, it does well to try to train each of the things with several different tools. Try to change up what you are using each training session and increase the weight slowly over time. 
  • After your workout, for the remainder of the day, wear the backpack and arm weights. Every time you do this workout, add 2# to the backpack and 1# to each of the wrist/arm weights. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Pirate Hunter Zoro's Training

Before the Straw Hat Pirates break back out on the scene of the pirate world, they split up for two years in order to train themselves to meet the dangers of the New World head on. Zoro sought out his self-proclaimed rival and the strongest swordsman in the world, Dracule Mihawk, for his tutelage. After proving himself, Zoro embarked on a difficult path that would leave him scarred and immensely powerful upon his return to the crew. 

Zoro's training seemed to be more focused on fighting than anything else, but I sincerely doubt that the man doing handstand push-ups with a gigantic barbell on his feet is skipping gym time. Therefore, this workout is not to designed to be done by itself, but included in an overall program, at least consisting of Zoro's Training and some sort of strength workout. Remember to warm-up before the workout and cool down and stretch afterward.

Three swords, two scars, one badass dude.

Pirate Hunter Zoro's Training

Technical Warm-up
  1. 100 Downward Sword Swings
  2. 100 Horizontal Sword Swings
  3. 100 Sword Thrusts
  4. 2 Minutes Shadow Sword Fighting
Drills and Sparring

Note: If you do not have sword-fighting practice gear and experience with sword-fighting sparring, please do not attempt this. Also, it is recommended that you do this under the supervision of a reputable, certified sword instructor.
  1. Attack/Defense Drills- 3 Minutes
  2. Sparring- 1 Minute
  3. Footwork Drills- 3 Minutes
  4. Sparring- 2 Minutes
  5. Technique Experimentation- 3 Minutes
  6. Sparring- 3 Minutes
--Repeat as many times as desired

  • There are a lot of resources out there for sword fighting. You may practice Kendo, a Chinese style of sword, a European style or some other form. I recommend you study as much as possible with whatever style you practice. However, if you do not currently have a style of sword fighting, there are plenty of resources to help you choose and understand them. Best Kendo has some good basic info on Kendo, ARMA is great for European styles, many kung fu schools include sword training in their practice, and here is some from Kali/Escrima. When in doubt, YouTube whatever style you want and practice like crazy!
  • For the technical practice, you can use a wooden or dull-bladed sword. If you use more than one sword (like Zoro) you may use them here as well. Use whatever footwork and striking style is present in your system. Really focus hard during your shadow sword fighting. Imagine your opponent as vividly as possible. Don't focus so much on moving super fast, but on the intensity of your imagination of the movements of an opponent.
  • The drills listed above will vary depending on your style. This is not a race. Your drills can be as slow or as fast as you need them to be in order to burn the movement pattern into you. This is a time for these movements to become second nature. 
  • Your footwork can also include strikes, but the main purpose of this section is to drive home however your style moves as it attacks and defends.
  • Technique experimentation is a time for you and your partner to branch out and see what does and does not work for each of you. It's also a time for you to play with your style and see what is realistic. There are limits to what you can and cannot do. With practice, you will find what those limits are.
  • Sparring NEEDS gear. If you don't have gear or at least foam weapons, DO NOT SPAR! A wooden sword can kill. Don't believe me? Read Musashi.  
  • Your sparring also does not have to be all out. Vary your intensity. The slower spars will allow you to practice your techniques, the faster ones will test your abilities. 
That's all for today! Until next time, good luck and train hard!

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