Category Archives: workouts

52 Cards

…and a helluva lot of burpees.


R’s newest idea for our training sessions include his idea of some sort of ‘fun’ card game.


He went out and purchased a deck of cards JUST so we could train with them. Tell me I’ve got a dedicated boyfriend.

So we decided this week’s training session we would break out the cards. Since I’ve been waiting to officially transfer over to R’s gym my cardiovascular tolerance has decreased. (sad face) We warmed up with jumping jacks, BJJ drills and pommeling before we drew the cards.



I asked to split the deck so that we would take turns flipping cards. Hearts – burpees (because, apparently I love burpees), Clubs – pushups, Diamonds – situps, Spades – squats.

1/3 of the deck!

We would do the number of reps as dictated by the value of the card. Face cards equalled to the number 10, the lucky Ace was 11. We started off at a fairly good pace but I burned out pretty quickly. We drew mostly average deck numbers (7,8,9’s) and a helluva lot of squats and burpees. My lungs were burning near the end and R called it quits when it was clear that I was lagging behind. I was nauseated (the good kind) from the workout and paced around the mats and sipped water.

Then it hit me. My legs started burning, then got weak and I was stumbling and laughing as I tried to control the jelly-like feeling in my legs. R counted the cards – and we did 1/3 of the deck for our first time through! He’s optimistic that we’ll be going through the deck easily in a couple of months. Me, I’m a little more reserved. In any case, it was a fun workout and a nice change from our usual cardio sessions.

Onwards and upwards! Except, next time I get to shuffle the deck.



When you can’t train…

I’m back on a series of night shifts which really means that I’ll be missing out on training until Wednesday (it’s Monday now). Even then, I’ll have to squeeze in the quick class after my third night shift in a row which is going to be rough. It’s vaguely familiar to a decision I made a few weeks ago. I came off nights, didn’t eat or sleep and showed up to wrestling class… that was *not* pretty.

I can’t wait till we move into our new gym – They’ll be adding a slew of morning and afternoon classes at our new location since it’ll be our gym space exclusively. No more setting up and taking down the mats! It’s all pretty exciting. The photos of the new space look amazing, and the new set of mats come in sometime this week!

Until then, I’m stuck with workouts/drills from home and swimming at the local pool for cardio. My night shift schedule, which is almost the entire month of March consists of coming home, sleeping and waking up midday usually around noon/1pm, working out, food,¬†shower, errands and then back to work for the evening. It’s a pretty constant cycle that doesn’t really allow for any semblance of a social life. My free time during the night shift is spent watching competition footage and BJJ tutorial DVDs. So at least mentally I’m practicing…

Was supposed to have a good training session with R over the weekend, but we got ourselves up to some other fun activities instead! Looks like I’m in for some major ass-kicking this week though… I was even telling him I had to mentally psyche myself up to push my body to train with him. How ridiculous is that? Talk about some sort of emotional masochism.. ūüėõ

Anyway, time to set up for another workout with my new toy! I have yet to find the time to go to a shipping yard.. or some other climbing¬†facility¬†and purchase a climbing rope! For now, doing pull-ups and flexed arm hangs are going to have to do… pictures to come!

Active Rest

I finally took some time off to take it easy and let my body heal itself. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed an awkward pattern to my workouts. I have trouble sleeping – and staying asleep if I haven’t sufficiently tired myself out during the day. I’m unsure if this self-induced insomnia is a good thing or if I’m just overtired.. Either way, it’s doing bad things for my circadian rhythm.

Classes have been very technical-based all weekend. We drilled a variety of different takedowns on Sunday and because Monday was a holiday, they hosted a two hour gi choking seminar instead of usual classes. I barely worked up a sweat in either class so I’m looking forward to training with R this weekend and getting my heart rate up.

I’m thinking of going to the gym and hitting up a good workout today with some good cardio and a strong leg/back workout today. If there’s one thing I’m lacking it’s the back strength to maintain and perform pull-ups. I’ve finally installed the hard points in the loft, now to go and purchase a 14′ climbing rope for the rope climb I’m going to install in the loft. Yes, I live in an pretty awesome space.


The workout was rough, and didn’t go as smoothly as planned. I was feeling tired after the first 30 minutes on the elliptical, and quit early and headed over to the free weights for some dead lifts. I paced myself through the lifts and my lower back started to spasm on the back extensions so I finished up the last of the back workouts and called it a day. Overall it felt pretty good to lift some weights again even though I was more tired than usual.

Not really looking forward to working nights again. March is a killer month for me as I hit the part of the work schedule that has very few day shifts and plenty of nights. Looks like I’ll be sleeping through most of March!

Safe Word.

Before starting my regular training regiment at BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) classes, I knew my endurance for cardio wasn’t great. In fact, it was pretty dismal. I used to have problems with exercise-induced asthma as a teenager when I swam competitively, and the last thing I wanted to do was try to cough up a lung in class.

So, I started swimming/training on the elliptical again.

At first re-training my heart and lungs was really rough. I could pace myself when I was on my own, but when our instructors were pushing us to do cycles of burpees, pushups and crunches in class, I felt like my lungs were burning out of my chest. I was going to class two to three times a week, and the end of the 15 minute ‘warm-up’ my lungs were aching. In a little over 3 weeks, I can now do back-to-back classes without the use of a puffer before class.

I had my real test last week.

I’ve got a friend that’s also become a bit of a personal trainer. He has years of BJJ experience over me, and is dedicated to helping me achieve some of my BJJ goals. ‘R’ came over to roll with me last week and work on fine-tuning some trigger drills at my place. What I didn’t know was that this was going to be a real test of all my endurance cardio over the past few weeks. He told me to choose a ‘Safe Word’ that was basically my chance to call it quits in the middle of the workout if I felt like I was pushing my body beyond the point of no return. My ‘Safe Word’ is Atari.

We started off at a steady pace of active pummeling, fighting for double under hooks, and moving around the mats. We did classic jumping jacks, burpees, tuck jumps, and active rest (jogging on the spot.) It felt good to have my heart rate spike fairly quickly and I didn’t feel the need to cough (win!) We practiced a variety of drills that constantly changed the body position to mimic sweeps and¬†maintaining¬†position. We moved on to a variety of drills for the arm-bars, triangles, and the kimura over and over again. At this point, my heart was beating so hard, I could feel it pounding on the inside of my chest. On the downside, it was frustrating to feel my body react slower than my mind was commanding it. It was a combination of dehydration and mental sluggishness. At this point, I had no idea how much time had elapsed, but we started to cycle through the repetitive drills. He called ‘Burpees’ and as he partnered in front of me to start the first count, I was shaking my head in frustration.

I didn’t feel the need to call my safe word, and I would probably be throwing up on the mats before I felt compelled to use it. However, after the first cycle of burpees he called ’20 more’ I was ready to punch something fierce. He was trying to motivate me, telling me I wasn’t tired and to keep going. I was cheating with the burpees at this point. I couldn’t get down and up fast enough and was literally stepping to stand up.

Have you ever been in a dream where everything was out of focus except for a single point?

My workout felt similar to a dream at that point. Everything was out of focus.. except for his face. Which I was feeling a combined emotion of frustration and absolute loathing. It was weird.

5, 4, 3, 2…1.

And it was over. I asked for some water, and was obliged.

“So, now that the warm-up’s over.. we can move on to the work out.” He jested.

I barely heard him as I sipped water carefully, making sure I didn’t make my stomach contract and attempt reverse-flow.

I was breathing hard, but beaming on the inside. I knew I’d come a long way three weeks ago, and it was just another small victory in my training. No puffers, no asthma attack, and I still finished without stopping, or calling the safe word.