Less Exercise More Time For Recovery
This Year Was Easier For My Body Than The Last Year – WHY?
Factor 1 – LESS EXERCISE
I was doing maybe ½ of the training from the first year (see the table):
- After 1,5 month I started to participate only in the morning classes. Afternoon was reserved to work for Dragons Warriors.
That gave my body time for recovery, but also helped my brain to manage both training and work.
- I also did not practice Tai Chi anymore.
- In summary, my daily routine complied to around 3 hours of training instead of 7 hours.
- Also, when I had my “strawberry days”, I was skipping the classes, which is equal to 3-4 days off a month.
Factor 2 – NUTRITION
I was prepared with what my body needs when I train intensively. I focused more on my diet. I was aware that if I want to gain strength and ensure fast muscle recovery, I need to provide a proper portion of proteins, essential minerals and vitamins.
Factor 3 – MORE INDIVIDUAL TRAINING
More than half of the classes was my own training. This is how my training plan looked like.
How Less Exercise Influenced My Training
LESS EXERCISE MORE POWER
In this year I only trained shaolin kung fu with a focus on jumps. It is ridiculous how many times I fall on my ass when I practiced a front handspring. Sometimes I was asking myself: is it stubbornness or stupidity or both?
I cannot say why I am giving myself these crazy goals like learning jumps, when I had never done such things in my life. It takes years for me to learn one jump and it’s still not a good one. But somehow I have motivation to do it and I just go and try again and again till my body hurts.
Accordingly, almost 3 – 4 times a week I was training jumps (mostly front handspring). But I guess the only reason I had power for that was because I was training only in the mornings. That’s my point here.
There are only two ways of INTENSIVE training:
- Either you train in a low and moderate intensity 6 – 7 hours a day
- Or you train in a moderate and high intensity 2 – 4 hours a day.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to train moderate and high intensity during a whole day and than the next day and the next day. Your body would never handle that. To be honest I prefer the second option. I like to feel that I trained hard and I like to have more free time 😉
I tried in the last year the first option and the thing is, I couldn’t give a full power during some of the classes even when I really wanted to. I was giving what I had – 60% or less. That was my 100% at that moment. I only realized that, when I started to train less. The body had time to recover and I was surprised how much more I am able to do during the training.
The master also confirmed that:
- Basia it is not good to do 20 times the same jump without power. Do it 2 – 3 times but with everything you have.
Well, for me it doesn’t really work doing it 2 – 3 times, because I cannot give a full power at the beginning. I need to adjust, boost my body first, overcome my mind (which still has some blockades when I jump) and then maybe after 5th try I can start giving more power into the jump. Maybe after 10th I can actually perform a jump without falling at the end.
But I got what my Master said. I should not be tired, when I train jumps and each time I should give my best. It is not Tai Chi or long distance run, where you distribute the energy over time. Here, it’s one time and 100%. That’s what is most difficult for me. But it become easier to apply when I train less.
LESS EXERCISE LESS PAIN
According to the changes of my training schedule this time my body has reacted differently to a daily kung fu training (see the table). For example:
- I didn’t have knee pain any more.
- It was much easier for me to stretch.
- I didn’t have pain, when I was kicking (due to hamstring recovery).
Still though I was training and pain is an inherent part of the intensive exercise. At least one month I was suffering from a lower back pain. Most likely due to a lot of jumps and back stretches. I even went to a Chinese Physiotherapist (check the video below). The treatment immediately helped, but the pain returned the next day. I knew that I just needed to give my body a bit of rest (especially from jumps). The circumstances were right for that. Soon I was not allowed to train jumps due to the upcoming competition. I was supposed to focus only on the competition forms.
However, definitely I had less pain during the second year of kung fu training and that allowed me to heal my hamstring.