View Full Version : Need suggestions for training exersises I can do at home.

03-11-2001, 05:35 AM
Hi. I just started my Kung Fu training a few months ago and have seen a little improvement in my level of fitness. I still have a long way to go and really aren't sure what to do.

I've been overweight my entire life and am still lacking in arm strength, leg strength, endurance, etc. I'm looking for easy exersises I can do within my own home to improve these aspects(It's to cold outside right now to do anything outside of my home for the time being, but those kind of exersises would be great too.)



P.S. Also suggestions on things to eat/not to eat would be great too (I've already cut soda out of my diet and actually feel better because of it.

[This message was edited by Zigar01 on 03-11-01 at 07:52 PM.

[This message was edited by Zigar01 on 03-11-01 at 07:58 PM.

[This message was edited by Zigar01 on 03-11-01 at 07:59 PM.]

03-11-2001, 07:21 AM
Welcome to training in the martial arts. It is a wonderful experiance. I can empathize with some of your situations about what you perceive of as your "weaknesses".
The biggest problem people have in martial arts, and with a poor health seems to stem from lack of discipline. You have started to change that with martial arts classes. Keep it up. It is well worth it.
--Let me address diet first. Most Americans have a horrendous diet.
--My first recommendation is to try to increase the amount of healthy whole foods in your diet. Replace refined sugar with real maple syrup (from Vermont of course) or honey. Use real butter instead of margarine. Most store bought bread is very poor quality and unhealthy. Lots of veggies, and minimal fruits. Fruit is mostly sugar, so think of it as candy.
--Second, (and sure to eventually get a negative response from some one), is to cut back on simple and complex carbohydrates. The reason is this. Carbohydrates basically are sugars or very close to sugars. When you digest food, the nutrients first go to where they are needed. If you digest sugars and do not burn them in a short amount of time, they are stored as reserve energy in the form of fat. So, if you eat two big bowl of pasta, and sit down for a few hours after that, then go to sleep, you did nothing to burn it off, and it becomes fat. So, if we consume more calories in a day than we need, it is stored as fat. Thus we gain weight. Carbohydrates digest quicker than any fats or proteins. Additionally, large amounts of tasty food in our diets is packed with carbohydrates. So, start to cut these out of your diet.
--When most people go on a diet, the first thing they loose is water, then muscle mass (muscle protein), then fat. Then they are always wondering why they gain weight back when they break the diet. Muscle fibers are what burns energy in the body, but they are also proteins, so they burn up as well. So if you loose muscle mass, then you will not have as much stuff to burn the energy. So you become even less efficient. It is like trying to run a v-8 on seven spark plugs, it might limp a long, but it is not going anywhere fast. So the solution is to make sure that you consume a sufficiant amount of protein so that you don't burn muscle proteins for energy. My personal recommendation from my personal experiance is to try to eat at least one gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. This means lots of meats, soy, eggs, cheese, etc. Dont worry about the cholestoral unless you have a high cholestoral level already. You will find your cholestoral level will drop when you cut out sugars and flours etc... **An interesting side note is that soy protein has a tendency to increase estrogen in the body and beef protein will increase tetosterone.**
--Fat consumption is a concern, but not as much as the media has hyped it to be. If you dont follow a good diet it is very bad. But dont worry too much about it right now.
--Eat five to seven small meals a day instead of one or two big ones. If you are brave and can handle the taste, protein bars or protein shakes are good to have. If you keep your stomach full, you will be less apt to binge or snack on candies and sodas. A car runs best if it always has something in its gas tank. It will not run at all if you have no fuel.
--I hope that helps for simple dietary guidelines. I use that formulae along with my work out and have dropped 27 pounds and four percent body fat in a short period of time.

--For strength and conditioning, the key is not so much what exercises you do, but CONSISTANCY and disciplin in doing them. For at home general overall conditioning I think push ups and sit ups/crunches are best. Along with your stretching and stance work. Set a goal and a time frame to achieve it and work for it.
For instance. If you can do 25 pushups, set the goal to be able to do 50 push ups in four months. Then add a few each week. Dont set a goal that is so big it seems impossible. Dont say that you want to do four sets of 1000 push-ups in a year unless you are real close to that already.
(I think a nice mid term goal that will give you some decent upper body strength is 100 minus your age for push-ups, then do multiple sets.)

Finally, dont torture yourself because you dont make the progress you want. It all goes back to discipline. I found that there were a large number of areas in my life that I was not please with. Each of these could relate back to poor self discipline. Everytime I said "I will improve" or "I will do this and this and this" and I failed to do those things, I felt worse. Each failure would re-enforce the thought process that I could not succeed in all those areas, and I would give up for a while. Finally, I broke it down. Instead of tackling all the areas at once, I would do one at a time. I started off with watching my language, discipling my tounge. When I found that I was no longer swearing, I felt good about myself in succeeding in that area, and used that to say, "I can cut out sodas from my diet." The success in this area enabled me to start to wake up earlier. I could go on and on about this but I hope you get the idea.
Enjoy yourself and keep working on each of these things, and dont get discouraged. Develop the self discipline and you will succeed.

I hope that this helps. If you have any questions, please contact me.


yi beng, kan xue :)

03-12-2001, 04:01 AM
very very good post Sin.
my reccomendation.....since you are training kung fu, do it on your own. practice your stances and what ever upper body training you do. if your school is good, you will a workout that is hard enough to leave you cooked at the end of it.
train every day.
as sin loi said, it comes down to discipline. so maybe start with training 3 times a week, then 4 times, etc.
setting goals is good too.
the only thing i can disagree with in the previous post is beef. beef is filled with antibiotics and nasty growth hormones and who knows what else. i wouldn't reccomend eating more than 1 or 2 times a week. even better would be just to stop eating it altogether. the same goes for milk. unless you raise and milk your own cows that is....
chicken and farm raised fish [salmon for instance] are the cleanest sources of meat/protein these days....

03-12-2001, 05:11 AM
For exercises, this is what I like to do. I pop in a good soundtrack with techno music on it. (The Matrix comes to mind, but any of the Mortal Kombat ones are a little better, since they pump you up with taunts from the movie!) Then I just do my martial arts in the living room. Techno has a tendency to get you moving and elevate your heart. That's why it's not only dance music, but they use it in aerobics and cardio tae bo stuff. basically, if you are in a martial arts class, you don't need tae bo. Do all your basics, do some forms, then more basics. Make up combos. If you run out of technique, go into the calisthenics. Keep moving, the goal is 20 minutes for you, 45 minutes for the advanced guys. Speed isn't an issue, again its consistency. If you are getting too worn out, take a breather but make it useful, like do stretches. Another tip for an advanced workout, grap a weapon. You probably can't play with a braodsword in the house, but escrima sticks are a good substitute.

Martial Joe
03-12-2001, 05:37 AM
If you want to eat healthy...Check out vegan sites.That can help you a whoooollleee looott.And i was wondering how tall you are and how much do you weigh.

03-12-2001, 05:50 AM
HAHAHAHAHA! Chicken is a clean source of meat/protein? I'm guessin' you've never spent anytime inside a chicken coop, or seen the inside of a Tyson processing plant, or wrung the neck, gutted and de-feathered one of the little two-legged rats?

Still, your points are well taken in that chicken and fish is probably better for your diet than beef...but I believe almost anything in moderation is usually okay. The problem with most people is that word "moderation"; they don't know what it means. Add to that lots of whole grain breads, fruits and vegetables. And remember, MA is HARD in the beginning. Only later, after you've learned to focus your mind away from the pain (yes, it always hurts) will you not mind the pain so much.

All in all, Zigar, the only person who can make you quit is yourself. It pretty much all depends if you have the sack to stick it out; a lot of people don't. But anytime you're having trouble just come on by the forum for a little pep talk and everyone here will be more than glad to help you through the rough spots. Good luck... :)

K. Mark Hoover

03-12-2001, 10:21 PM
Thanks for all the input and motivation :). I found out the gym that my Kung Fu class takes place in during the week (which I am a member of), offers personal trainer appointments to members, so I'm making an appointment so I can learn how to use the equipment effectively and what to work on etc.
Again, thanks!

03-13-2001, 02:34 AM
Agree with low carb diet. I cut out all sweets and sugars and breads and pastas from my diet.No more processed food or junk food! I now eat a diet consisting of only meat, eggs, vegetables (except corn and potatoes) and lots of fruit. I feal healthy, am never hungry, lost a lot of fat!!! built muscle and have more energy-plus I get all the vitamins, iron, and minerals, and fiber the body needs!! IT works!!!! A great book to read is "Neaderthin" it talks about this all natural diet. As for exercise-try this: Three time a week do 3-5 sets of Pushups, Dips, and pullups. Max out each time! Then everyday do 50 crunches and 50 leg lifts. If you have stairs, walk up and down at a moderate pace for 20 minutes everyday. On top of this practice you martial arts forms everyday and work out on a heavy bag, wall bag, or wooden man (depending on your art) If you follow all this you will be in great shape and lean and tight nda good at your martial arts in just 2-3 months!!!!!

03-13-2001, 04:15 AM
With all due respect SinLoi, here is my reply to your post. I apologise for the differences in ideas we have, and if I stepped on your toes...
Fruit is an important source of Fructose, which is a simpler form of sugar than say sucrose of fructose. Although similar to Glucose in its elements, it has a different molecular structure.
Fruit also allows and aids in the digestive process. Not only does the colon of a human being differ vastly from the carnivorous mammal
(which much shorter and direct for the passage of rotting meat), the imperfections lends itself to consipation.
Enzymes in fruits aid in the adsorbtion of nutrients in your food, eg calcium, Vit C etc...
I also think that the correct types of protein are required and most marketed protein "bars" contain proteins that the body has plentiful suppply without the use of supplements, unless your diet is wrong. Though I can think of at least one group that KF practitioners need, and that is, the increase in Glucosamine, Chonditrin etc... for bone, soft tissue repairs.
Proteins break down too quickly and should not be used as a source of endurance fuel. Opposingly, amino acids which are converted from protein (like in nuts etc.) and will reduce the case of flatulence caused by protein charge.

I do not assert I am correct and I am sure many would have other ideas. Just based on the ideas of which I have learnt from lectures back in the good old university ...

And since we are on the subject, do consider the pain that the animals go through to end up on your plate, of which I have been equally guilty of committing. U know what they say, a seed bears lots of fruits.

What is occupying that corpse you call 'I' ?

03-13-2001, 05:54 AM
If what Sin Joi says about soy protien producing estrogen-that would explain why so many vegetarian men i have met are wimpy- and if they are into kung fu it is usually the mystic-fantasy tai chi non-real world combative value. As for meat- animal protein are a complete protien that are very high up on the BV (bioligal value ) usually 90%+ wereas most vegetable proteins score only in the 50%-60% ranger. Also red meat is a vital source of iron and if you are intersted in building muscle then you need good quality animal protein. By the way the BV is based on eggs which score a perfect 100%-the perfect protein. Men were meant to be hunters, not some tofu eating sissy. My teachers I had in China really liked me because I was a big meat eater and som many of the white foreigners they met were the hippy vegetarian types-they think you are really strange in China if you do not eat meat!

03-13-2001, 06:09 AM
Not all vegetarians are wimpy - I know at least 3 vegetarian gentlemen who train in kung fu who are definitely big boys :)

You don't have to eat meat to get all your dietary needs, even if you are training in martial arts. Meat may be a very ready source of iron and protein, but there are also a lot of good vegetable sources of them as well.

Vegetarians generally tend to be lean, but not necessarily wimpy.

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-13-2001, 06:20 AM
Why no corn or potatos, Chongnoi? Is it because of the starches, or you just want to cutdown on your intake of carbs?

K. Mark Hoover

03-13-2001, 07:38 AM
Corn and Potatoes have way to many carbs to make a permanent part of a diet.
I like both though so I do eat them from time to time. In moderation.
In fact. After a person has lost the weight they want to loose, I reccomend slowly building up the carbs in your diet until you are at the point that if you had more, you would gain weight.
The strict high protein/no carb diet is really a way to loose a lot of weight efficiently and quickly.
As for fruits, I think that if a person is satisfied with their weight and they are healthy anyway, then it is not a problem to consume a lot of them. However, they have sugars/carbs that can cause weight gain. Additionally, they can mess up the insulin level in the body. A lot of TCM texts in fact discourage high fruit intake. Along with the five grains.
The nuts are a very good for you. I eat a lot of them. Along with lots of veggies and meat.
The key is to get in shape. So one needs to change their habits.
I agree that a lot of meats have hormones and nasty things in them. So the key is to buy some good healthy "organic" range grown meats. Thank GOD I dont live in Europe at the moment! :)
At the same time, Soy has a lot of Genetic alterations in it as does corn and potatoes. If you are worried about GMO then you should be very careful as to your source of these three items.
A lot of vegetarians are very strong, however, I find they are the exception to the rule. (The world record for bench presses is held by a vegetarian.) Most are weak and in poor health. Their internal energy is weak. Look at the rings under their eyes and the quality of their skin and teeth. (Yoga practicioners are often in even worse health. Again, look at some of the basic indicators of health. Deep sunken eyes with dark rings around them does not indicate health.)
One other thing that I forgot to mention in the first post I made in this forumn. DRINK LOTS OF WATER. I recommend that while you are trying to loose weight to consume 64 oz of water as a base, then 8-10 oz of water a day extra for every 10 pounds you are trying to loose. (Dont try to loose more than 80 pounds at a time.)
Finally, I train my feet as well as the rest of my body, so if you step on my toes, you wont bother me! :)


yi beng, kan xue

03-13-2001, 08:03 AM
Zigar01 what has worked for me... is what you can call a chi diet.. some people believe that what you eat very well effects your chi, i believe this as well and i didnt go on the diet to loos wieght that was just a postive side effect... here is the deal.. i only eat white meats like turkey and chicken of course fish... i eat alot of green leafy veggies... the only oil i use is olive oil.. i dont eat butter or margin the only milk of course is non fat but even still very little milk.. and i cut our sugar on the whole i replace it with honey and some times corn syrup only some times... to replace candy and stuff i eat dates.. which are very tastie and are very sweet and are good for you...

If you offend me even your wise thoughts may seem ignorant...

03-13-2001, 08:43 PM
Yeah, good point with the emphasis on consistancy and disipline. These two are both absolutly necessary for a significant increase in fitness level. Setting short term goals is also a good idea. (Oh and Sin, I got totaly freaked out when I saw that two of your early goals were giving up soda and sleeping late, as I did the exact same thing in the same order. This makes me feel more like I'm on the right track. ;) )
Anyway I have a question of my own. Lately I have been putting huge emphasis on my flexability training (stretching for 30 minutes in the morning and for an hour at night), and about a week ago I ran into a problem. Due to stretches like splits (not full) with toes forward, and butterflies (when you put the bottom of your feet together and push your knees down), my inner thy area and groin has become sore as hell. It doesn't bother me when I'm not stretching, but whenever I try to stretch the area, I get some prety intense pains. This is probably from overstretching and not warming up enough beforehand (two lessons I have now learned the hard way). But my question is, how long will it last, and what can I do to speed my recovery. (should I keep stretching, or should I lay off untill the pain is gone). Any advice would be apreciated. Thanks

03-14-2001, 04:29 AM
Very good info everyone! But I would just like to know, what type of diet would you recommend to a "still growing 14 year old"(me)?

Would the diets still be the same? What do you suggest I eat?

My current diet consists of McDonald's once or twice a week, yogurt everyday, Potato Chips, Turkey sandwiches for lunch, and lot's of sugury snacks, such as Gushers, Cinnamon Graham Crackers, and other foods.

Ok, so part of that is actually my everyday lunch (starting with the chips). But, I do eat veggies and fruits every night or afternoon.

The thing is, I haven't really developed muscle yet, at least large muscle, so I was wondering if this had anything to do with my diet, although I know I still have alot to grow.

03-14-2001, 05:39 AM
My advice is this: ditch the unhealthy stuff - you know which bits are unhealthy. Given your age, I would advise you eat a balanced diet with plenty of fresh foods.

Avoid McDonalds :).

Though I do not believe there is anything wrong with a vegetarian diet, if you want to bulk up then make sure you get plenty of meat in your diet. Make sure you keep up a solid exercise routine to actually build muscle.

That is my non-expert opinion :)

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-14-2001, 06:51 AM
Stay away from mcdonalds im sorry :) but my opinion is that we are so focused on finding foods that taste good we forget about the health part of it.. i now have the mentality to eat food that is good for me not on how it taste i do not eat for taste anymore.. and believe it or not i do not crave any of the stuff i used to eat.. infact the smell of red meat makes me sick now..

and i once was talking to a doctor who told me what im doin is a good idea because humans in general were never really hunters.. they were gathers.. they gathered food.. and i was thinken where would they get there protien from? well apprently nuts.. nuts are full of protien and certain types of veggies have it as well like beans, bread fruit which not many of you may heard off..

Why question a man? - master his essence....

03-14-2001, 08:19 AM
I am currently on a diet to try and fix up some digestive problems I have, and I must say that it has been a long time since I have felt this good.

I have cut out all fried foods, eat more fresh fruit and vegetables, and eat little meat.

I had a Burger King burger the other night because I was in a hurry to get to class and needed something to eat before training, and I felt terrible.

This diet has made me realise just how bad for me fast foods can be, no matter how good they taste.

Talk softly and carry a big stick.

03-14-2001, 08:48 AM
I've heard that if you eat crap after detoxing it does tend to make you feel bad.

03-14-2001, 06:00 PM
You have strained or pulled something. Recovery time estimation is impossible in cyberspace. While you shouldn't continue with the overstretching that caused the problem, you don't want the area stagnant and immobile. Walking is good, stretching adjecent muscle groups, and massage if you can stand the pain. Pain means rest, and there is nothing to speed time.

I am not a professional, this is only what has worked for over-achiever me.

Remember that stretching is not the be-all end-all. Hopefully you train strength, power, speed, condition and endurance in balance with flexibility. They are all many parts of a whole.

"Waiting is bad." - Musashi