Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'll take an unexciting win over an exciting loss

I've been working on the conditioning section of our book for what seems like forever. We keep adding more details, like photos of each exercise, because I think maybe not everyone knows what a lat pull is, or a v-sit twist. So, three days were taken up taking photos for the weight training section, the plyometric exercises and the conditioning circuits on the mat.

I've been spending a lot of time on this conditioning section and it reminded me of a couple of people who had made snarky remarks about both Jim Pedro and me, and our supposed lack of knowledge. My lovely daughter, Ronda, commented,
"Why, on a beautiful day like today, would you waste one second of your time thinking about a couple of bitter losers? Neither of them have ever won anything at all and neither of them have been all that successful as coaches, either. Screw them!"
She has a valid point. However, other people who I respect and like and would never consider bitter losers  have brought up the same points, that I can be, well, kind of boring. I do teach uchi mata , seoi nage and juji gatame, but I have to admit don't I, that much of my judo was, well, grinding the other person into the mat. More than once, it's been said,

"You have to admit that other people had better technique than you but you just kept attacking and attacking until you wore them down"

Having beaten people because I was in better physical condition which then allowed me to apply what judo I knew at 100% force for 100% of the match doesn't seem to me like something one needs to "admit", on the order of, say having won through blackmailing the referee that if he doesn't call it for me I'll let everyone know about that little thing he likes to do with rodents.

The people who complain about the way I train and teach have a different view than me. In fact, the same people have asked me,
"Have you ever thought that it's maybe better to lose with flash than take a boring win?"
In a word - no.

In fact, I think it is a real myth that there are successful judo players out there who win by perfect technique without a lot of physical conditioning. I was looking for more judo blogs today and I just happened to come across this video on the judo podcast site of Mike Swain competing and he looks likes he's in pretty good condition to me.

For those of you who might think the same way as me, here are a couple of exercises we recommend in the book. (We also have a lot of throws and matwork, too, but I'm working on the conditioning section right now.)


Everyone knows what a bench press is, right? I'm putting it in here because I just cringe every time I see someone doing a bench press without a spotter.

See that nice man in the pictures above? He's standing over Ronda as she's doing her bench presses. She's in really good shape and she's not lifting very heavy weights and STILL he insists on spotting her. She had a really hard work out already that day (I came at the end to take pictures) and just for safety's sake, one of the trainers at the gym came over to spot her. A spotter, in case you don't know, is not someone on the lookout for people coming into the gym to arrest you on those unpaid parking tickets (you know who you are), but rather, a person who is working with you when you're lifting to help if your lose control of the weights.

[Thank you very much to Leo Frincu of Results Personal Fitness and his staff for assistance with the photos. ]

I snuck the shoulder press, shown below,  into the book as an example of supplemental or alternate exercises.  The shoulder press is something I used to do when I was training but it isn't part of the training program Jim has his athletes do. I really don't think there is any magic, perfect conditioning program. Although the conditioning I did and the conditioning program Jim recommends overlap about 80 -90%, we both agree that it is more than okay, it is actually recommended that you don't slavishly follow the identical practice every day.

It CAN get boring hitting the weights every day, running every day and then going to judo practice on top of that. Mental fatigue is as much of a problem as physical fatigue, probably more. One way to fight that mental fatigue is to vary your work outs from time to time.

Speaking of which, this website on 75 dumbbell exercises is AWESOME for adding variety to your training.

I don't know why Ronda has that cheesy grin on her face but I suspect it is because she LOVES getting away with things, even something as little as slipping in an exercise that isn't supposed to be in a work out.


Anonymous said...

gosh I could of sworn i've seen that rodent somewhere before.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

No, I think you're supposed to say, "I swear, it wasn't me. I've never seen that rodent before in my life!"

Marina Shafir said...

AnnMaria! I really like your blog! And I can't wait for your book to come out. I am doing that circuit you posted a few blogs back and it really kicks your bum! I just wanted to tell you also that I miss all you guys and I'm trying to come visit really soon! _Marina

Dr. AnnMaria said...

It would be great to see you again. Glad to hear you are working out. Hope your mom is doing well, I know the adjustment is really hard.

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