Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Being in shape

Before and after Gasshuku, my family thought that I was out of shape and I believed them. Therefore, I went to karatekorner.com looking for advice; however, they didn’t say much. This is what I said on karatekorner.com.

“How do I know that I'm in shape or not?

A few weeks ago, my family and I went on a moderately difficult 9 mile day hike. I thought I was going to do well with the hike because I've been doing karate for 6 months. I found out that I had a horrible time hiking up the mountain. At that time, my family and I thought I was the worst shape out of my family. I was the one in the rear instead of in front. Last year, I know I was in better shape for hiking. I walked a lot last year because I didn't have a car. Now, I hardly walk; but, I have taken up karate. Now, my family wants me to start running on a treadmill for 20 min. I'm a horrible runner because I'm so uncoordinated. I even have a weird walk because I bounce up and down. I don't know how to walk normal. In addition, for as long as I can remember, I've ran slower than other people. However, I've been able to keep up at the dojo most of the time.

Then a week later, I went to Gasshuku. It's a very intense karate camp which lasted all 6 days that started to 8:30AM to 9:00PM. It was the hardest physically thing I have done in my entire life. However, I knew that I was in shape because I kept up with the rest. There were some things that were easy to me and some Sempai thought they were hard. So, I found out that I had to push myself harder to get more of a work out. However, I noticed at the end of the day, I wasn't exhausted like a day of hiking or skiing.

I talked to my Sempai about it and they said I'm not conditioned to hike up a hill. I'm conditioned to do karate. So is this true? Am I in shape for karate instead of hiking up a hill? My sister says I’m in a different kind of shape. I think she’s saying that I’m not in shape cardio wise, enough for me to lose pounds. I don’t know if I want to lose weight because I don’t know if it’s muscle instead of fat.

How do I know that I gained more muscle instead of fat? After Gasshuku, I have noticed that I gained 5 to 10 pounds. Last year, I was wandering around 175 to 180. I have been I'm wandering around 185 to 190. Since Gasshuku, I went up to 190. This is the heaviest I've ever been in my entire life. I'm thinking its muscle instead of fat because my clothes still fit me. Actually, I’ve noticed that a pair of pants doesn’t fit anymore because it became too big for me after Gasshuku. I don’t know if 190 is too heavy for a person that’s who’s almost 6 feet tall. However, I do know that I weigh heavier than most people my height because of my body structure.

My stomach is the only area on my body where it's flabby. I have noticed that it's been getting flabbier over the years. I think my abs are flabby because weak. How can I strengthen them? I know that they are the downfall of my body. Sensei has told that I’m strong many times now. Then, how come I struggle with push-ups and jackknife sit-ups? I can’t even do an exercise called the peacock. Is it because of my abs?”

So, what does everyone think? I think that my family doesn’t know what they are talking about because they haven’t seen what we do in the dojo. Probably, they still think that I’m out of shape because I have a little gut on my stomach and because of that hike. I still don’t really know if I’m in that great of shape. However, I know that I’m getting into better shape slowly because of karate. For example, I’m better at doing push-ups and running.


ZenHG said...

I don't think anyone on the internet is in any position to answer something like this.
Would it not be better to just ask your Sensei or Sempai, or even your family, how you can improve your condition?

Even still, you may not need to ask anyone as you may already know what you need to do in order to improve your physical condition, but it would not hurt to get advice, maybe even some additional exercises from those that know you in order to help you do just that.

supergroup7 said...

How do you know if you are in shape? Gosh.. what a question. It all depends on what you define as "in shape". For some people with arthritis being able to get out of bed, and get dressed in the morning is a good sign that today they are still in shape.

Here is a couple of ways that you can see if you are doing o.k.:

Ask yourself how you feel after training in karate ( at a regular pace) for about a half hour.. is your body handling it better than it did last year? Then you are advancing in your health.

Please do not count pounds.. your weight will go up and down based on how much water you drank, how much food you've eaten, what day of the month it is, etc. etc.

How do you tone your abs? Various types of sit ups will help. Walking, sitting, and training with proper posture will help. ( straight back, shoulder's back, and hips tucked in )

Running can be fun.. if you enjoy it. If you prefer swimming.. that can be fun too. Just find something that you enjoy, and can include in your life as part of your everyday healthy activity. The benefits outweigh any hassles it might give you.