As part of my fitness training I have decided to follow the programme set out in the book 8 Weeks To SEALFIT by Mark Divine, a Navy SEAL’s guide to unconventional training for physical and mental toughness. I know this is going to be very hard work, and believe the rewards will be well worth the effort I put into it.
As time allows, I also intend to keep going with the other parts of my current fitness training – gym classes (Metafit, Go Tri and spin), boxing, kettlebells, rowing and swimming – so I will make it clear which parts of these blogs are specifically SEALFIT. This week also sees me begin a 30 day KOKORO Yoga challenge, another aspect from Mark Divine to add to my training.
Monday 25 April 2016
I am going to mention a few ‘nutrition’ items this week. As I mentioned last week, I am continuing with the lemon drink mixture from Matt Ollie Ollerton (of the Channel 4 television programme SAS : Who Dares Wins fame) first thing each morning, at least 30 minutes before any food. It is half a grated frozen lemon, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil, a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and hot water. It works for me, definitely kick starts my metabolism, and seems to hold my appetite in check !
Be interesting to see what this does…
SEALFIT Week 2 : Strength : Day 1
I have been playing catch up with my SEALFIT sessions up to now and decided to change that this week by making sure I got right on it on the Monday. I ran down to the gym in a sub-9 minute mile time, without really setting out to run a fast time, and I am pleased my running is coming together again. Now I need to work on the stamina. I do like the time it takes me to get to the gym because it means that mentally I am ready to go with the session as soon as I get there and have gathered together the equipment I need. I warmed up with 30-20-10 repetitions of jumping jacks, air squats and arm circles, then moved on to 5 x 5 repetitions of strict presses using a 25kg barbell. The work capacity section was for time, doing a 1000 metre row, 25 x strict presses, and 20 x supine ring pull-ups. I used the 25kg barbell for the strict presses and completed the section in 8 minutes 18 seconds.
That’s the rowing done
I am not going to describe what happens in the Kokoro Yoga sessions, and instead will simply provide you with the daily online headings and descriptions, to give you an idea.
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 1 – Engaging The Warrior Within
“We are so excited that you are embarking on this 30-day challenge of developing your Kokoro Spirit. What does Kokoro mean? For us, it means merging your heart and mind with your Inner Warrior. Kokoro Yoga is the practice that will get you there. We have combined ancient and modern techniques that are effective and powerful. So get ready for transformation and some fun in the next 30 days!”
- Run (St Albans) – 1 mile – 9 minutes 48 seconds
- SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 1 – 14 minutes 49 seconds
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 1
Tuesday 26 April 2016
I ran down to Metafit, the first of three gym classes I would be taking on this week. I had defrosted the car before running down to the gym, and it was freezing out there. It is on mornings like this that I wish Garmin would just find a satellite… Anyway, Metafit takes place inside, so that was good, and this morning brought us a new session, named the Al Frego Matrix. We worked up and down two groups of four exercises, listening to the soundtrack for instruction and also following the lead of Sam Sage, who takes the class, doing lots of active movements like walking lunges, burpees and sprints, before finishing off with core exercises on the floor. I enjoy the intensity and variety of the class, and if the blurb is to be believed it carries on burning some time after the class itself ends.
SEALFIT Week 2 : Strength : Day 2
Immediately after Metafit I went outside to brave the cold for my SEALFIT session. I do like training outside, still preferring it to being inside a gym, and as the things I am doing at the moment do not often allow me to train outside I have to take the opportunity when it arises, even if it is a freezing cold, windy morning. I ran from the gym to the Adizone in the park for the 500 metre run, then did 3 rounds of 5 walking lunges on each leg, 10 push-ups and 15 sit-ups. This had me ready for the 20 minutes AMRAP of 25 metres walking lunges, 10 burpees, and 25 metres jogging back to the start. I completed 7 rounds plus one extra set of the walking lunges. My legs really felt like they had been worked after the Metafit and SEALFIT sessions.
Definitely needed the fleece out there
I did all the companion sessions of the KOKORO Yoga before moving on to Day 2 of the Challenge.
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 2 – Developing Your Morning Practice – Overcoming Being Versus Doing
“We know with a busy life that carving time out for your daily practice can be challenging as we have heard from academy participants over the years as well as our own experience of juggling practice and schedules. If you have to wake up 15 min. early for the next 30 days to watch this brief morning practice transform your life, we challenge you to do it. In this video, Mark will guide you through a morning ritual that will anchor, inspire, and propel you forward into Kokoro Spirit.”
I went for a swim in the evening, which felt very good, and I managed 36 lengths in the time available. I do believe I have got faster since my swimming in February, and now need to increase the amount I do each week.
- Run (St Albans) – 0.9 miles – 9 minutes
- Metafit (St Albans – gym) – 30 minutes
- SEALFIT (St Albans – Adizone) – Day 2 – 32 minutes
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 2
- Swim (St Albans – pool) – 36 x 25 metre lengths – 26 minutes 42 seconds
Wednesday 27 April 2016
I started Wednesday with an early morning spin class at the gym. I had never taken a spin class before now, so did not really know what to expect. I was not expecting to get saddle sore so soon, though. The class was taken by Sonja Hill and we spent a lot of time climbing. I covered 18.8km through the class and was sweating buckets by the end of it. I could not hit the required rpms, so that is something to work on.
My first experience of spin
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 3 – Connect to Your Fighting Warrior – Higher Purpose
“You might be feeling the tug of your unconditioned ego saying, ‘Forget this challenge, I have better things to do.’ We challenge you to fight! Don’t listen to that part of yourself that doesn’t serve your highest potential and resists change. Listen to the warrior within. The Inner warrior knows it can do anything for 30 days and overcome challenges like schedule, attitude, or social limitations. We want you to win because this world needs more people who are connected and present in their day to day choices. In this video, you will learn a martial arts breathing technique guaranteed to fire you up to strike down the negative thoughts and win in your mind.”
And then disaster struck – my Garmin Fenix 2 froze. I tried everything to correct it but am going to have to send it back to either be repaired or replaced. It has served me well for about 3 years, but I am expecting to get a few more good years out of it yet. It is a real pain having to record everything on the Strava app on my phone.
I took Debbie down to the spa at the gym and decided to do some leg work on the weight machines, doing 3 rounds of 10 repetitions of leg extensions, individual leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses. I recorded the weights in lbs, doing 70lbs on the leg extensions, 60lbs on the leg curls, and 100lbs on the leg presses.
SEALFIT Week 2 : Strength : Day 3
I went back to the gym in the evening for my SEALFIT session, and I think it is good that I am doing different things at different times, because that should get my body used to reacting well whenever I need it to. This session began with 3 rounds of 200 metres run, 5 x strict presses, 5 x dips and 5 x jumping jacks. I ran on the treadmill, for 1 minute at a pace of 7. I used a 25kg barbell for the strict presses. I had not planned ahead for the dips, so I had to improvise on the fly, using the end of workout bench which had not been put back after use. The strength part of the session was 5 x 5 push presses with the 25kg barbell. For the work capacity I completed 4 rounds for time of 400 metre run, 10 x push presses, and 10 x ball slams. I ran 2 minutes at a 7 pace on the treadmill for the run, pushed the 25kg barbell, and used a 10kg medicine ball with handles for the ball slams, not actually slamming it because I was not sure how that would go down in the gym. I still felt it from the downward motion. My 4 rounds took 17 minutes 02 seconds.
Time for another nutrition alert. I have started taking a raw vegan protein powder after training, Warrior Blend by Sunwarrior. I chose to go with something plant-based because I wanted to avoid gluten and dairy. It is chocolate flavoured and does taste good, if a little ‘powdery’. It definitely makes a difference.
- Spin (St Albans – gym) – 47 minutes 12 seconds
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 3
- Weight machines – legs (St Albans – gym) – 3 x 10 repetitions
- SEALFIT (St Albans – park and gym) – Day 3 – 35 minutes
Thursday 28 April 2016
I jogged down to the gym for my SEALFIT session. It was later than I had intended to get there, but I was determined to keep on schedule this week.
SEALFIT Week 2 : Strength : Day 4
This morning was Grinder PT. I stuck to the same session and did 20 minutes of 10 x run and drop, 10 x 10kg dumbbell squat jumps, 20 x push ups, 20 x leg levers, 15 x burpees, 15 x 4-count smurf jumping jacks, 15 x tuck jumps, 20 x 10kg dumbbell thrusters, 20 x push ups (narrow), 20 x crisscross jumping jacks. I completed 2 rounds plus the first 4 exercises. The session suggests 10 minutes of LSD run, ruck, or swim, and I decided to do 30 minutes of swimming, again like last week, and improved to 42 lengths in the time.
Grinder PT does not get any easier
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 4 – Train Like A Jedi
“When we think of Jedi Warriors we think of the light overcoming the darkness. The strength of knowing we can plug into something greater than ourselves. Use the force today in everything you do. Look for the silver lining in every aspect of your day today. Resiliency, discipline, and commitment to your mission are key components to being in sync with the force. The force is known as prana, chi or ki in the ancient martial and yoga techniques. You were born with the force and it is all around you. In this video, you will be introduced to a Qigong method of connection and rebalancing.”
- Run (St Albans) – 1 mile – 12 minutes 23 seconds
- SEALFIT (St Albans – gym) – Day 4 – 23 minutes
- SEALFIT (St Albans – pool) – Day 4 – 33 minutes – 42 x 25 metre lengths
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 4
Friday 29 April 2016
I went to Go Tri again and this time it was taken by Sam Hart. It is good to be getting to know all the personal trainers around the gym. He had set up a series of circuits in the spin studio, based around the Vipr, mat work, and kettlebells, and I found myself using a 20kg Vipr and 12kg kettlebell as we spent 60 seconds on each exercise. It was a full on session and I really enjoyed it.
A nest of Viprs
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 5 – Cultivate Your Peaceful Warrior
“Being Peaceful is about knowing ourselves. For us to do this, we have to spend time in focused awareness. This is why concentration practices and meditation are so key to the Kokoro Yoga program. Inner peace is achieved through time and energy spent on connecting to your thoughts, actions, habits (good and bad), and learning how to navigate in a way that is compassionate and loving for yourself and others in all circumstances.”
SEALFIT Week 2 : Strength : Day 5
I began with a 250 metre row followed by 15 push-ups, and then another 250 metre row followed by 15 push presses. Everyone else in the gym appears to stay in their appropriate sections of the gym, whereas I turn up at the rowing machine with a barbell and put in some push-ups in between. I am not sure what they must think of me. I was happy with the rowing, doing both in 58 seconds, and actually traveling 269 metres and 270 metres. I used a 20kg barbell for the push presses because there was not a 25kg one available, and then used it for 5 x 5 push jerks. I then completed 21-15-9 repetitions for time of 4-count mountain climbers, push jerks, and sit-ups, which was a tough session, causing some aching in my left shoulder especially, and taking me 7 minutes 55 seconds. I can feel these sessions getting harder.
- Go Tri (St Albans – gym) – 36 minutes 06 seconds
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 5
- SEALFIT (St Albans) – Day 5 – 18 minutes 55 seconds
Saturday 30 April 2016
Once again I came to indoor rowing not feeling at the top of my game, and once again I had to cut it short because I simply ran out of steam. I had splits of 1 minute 56.7 seconds, 1 minute 56.1 seconds, 1 minute 56.6 seconds, 1 minute 59 seconds, 1 minute 59.6 seconds, and 2 minutes 0.2 seconds. At least I am in the area below 2 minutes when I can hit the intervals.
I decided to do some leg work on the weight machines to get over that, doing 3 rounds of 10 repetitions of leg extensions, individual leg extensions, leg curls, and leg presses. For some reason I recorded the weights in kgs this time around, doing 30kg on the leg extensions, 36kg on the leg curls, and 80kg on the leg presses. I will have to compare the two sessions from this week and work out what weight I should be doing. I have no idea of using these machines is of any use, compared to using free weights, but it gives me something to use up a little spare time.
Some extra leg work
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 6 – Fit Warrior: Feeling Good, Noticing a Positive Impact on Your Life
“Being fit is not just about being in good physical shape. Physical, mental, and emotional fitness is what makes a Fit Warrior. Developing the inner domain takes dedication and focus. Sometimes we have to work on the physical to access the inner space of our being. Our bodies, however, are a great teacher of our mental and emotional fitness. We breathe for the mental push up, we watch the mind and emotion as well as the story for the emotional burpee and of course we exercise for a fit body.”
- Indoor rowing (St Albans – gym) – 6 x 500 metre row – 14 minutes 42 seconds
- Weight machines – legs (St Albans – gym) – 3 x 10 repetitions
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 6
Sunday 01 May 2016
I found the written copy of a tabatta from June 2011 which I used to do when I was training with Christianne Woolf, and decided to give it another go. It is 4 x 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest, doing bicep curls with 10kg dumbbells, squat jumps, tricep dips, alternate lunge jumps, press ups, shoulder presses with the 10kg dumbbells, sumo squats, and full jump up sit ups. It felt as good now as it did then, and I am going to keep it as part of my weekly training.
Wonder how many times I’ve actually done this…
KOKORO Yoga 30-Day Challenge – Day 7 – Ageless Warrior: Staying Calm in the Storm and Living with Purpose
“Imagine yourself sitting in nature- healthy, content, and eternal. See your story written in the stars and the Book of Life. Know that as you become a master of your destiny you will learn to appreciate time and space the way the Ageless Warrior does, with a fluid and grounded presence of a Sage. Life is full of mystery and magic. Not Harry Potter magic but the kind like, ‘Wow, you are sitting here reading this and your body knows exactly what to do to keep you alive without much thought.’ What if we gave a bit more attention to the body, mind, and spirit and pondered our place amongst the perfect chaos of this world? What if you thought about death not to depress yourself but rather to inspire you to live more fully in this moment? Developing that Ageless Warrior is to look at how we can contribute to the world in a positive way so that our actions will affect multiple generations after us.”
- Tabatta (St Albans – gym) – 16 minutes
- KOKORO Yoga (St Albans) – Day 7
Positives from this week : I am really enjoying following the SEALFIT routine, feeling the progress, and adding in the other classes. The KOKORO Yoga introduction is fascinating and I have a feeling that is something I am going to take a lot further. One observation I have from the past two weeks is that I do need to organise a session with one of the personal trainers at the gym to run through the proper technique for the weightlifting I am now doing. I have an idea of what I am doing, but I would like to have that confirmed, and also work out with them what weight I should be lifting for each lift, and what weight I should be aiming for.