How is your Stamina?

Apr 5, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What type of exercise do you engage in? Weights, Yoga, Pilates, running, elliptical and the list goes on. Is one better than the other?! Tough question, with no easy answer. The answer may be in another question – How is your stamina? Whatever type of exercise program you follow does it provide you the ability to sustain prolonged physical effort?

If you do lost of cardio you will have a well developed cardiovascular system but may not be able to lift heavy weights; if you only lift (body building/split routines) you can lift heavy weights but will have almost no stamina. The Yoga and Pilates genre is great for flexibility, some strength and slightly better when it comes to stamina but not great.

So what is the approach needed if you want true stamina beyond just being able to run/do cardio mile after mile?

Well from a class or group exercise standpoint it would have to be crossfit. It’s a perfect blend of strength and stamina work. However there is a steep learning curve and chance of injury. But the answer was aforementioned – you need a blend.

Good examples of athletes that have the “blend” are boxers and MMA fighters. They have a great combination of strength and stamina. Surprise, surprise I have been doing martial arts for 30 years.

My current program is 3-4 days of martial arts training, 2-3 days of cardio and 1-2 days of lifting but when I lift it is a non stop burn, sort of like a MetCon in crossfit but longer and I hope safer.

I’m not advising anyone to fight round after round, but do you have the stamina to do it? Strive for that type of stamina and I promise you, your level of fitness will be superior!!

Time to Change it Up (No resting on your laurels)

Feb 23, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So as I was training one of my clients the other day, it hit me that I may actually not be able to keep up with him/my programming. It was certainly bitter sweet seeing one of “pupils” doing so well but this also came on the tails of starting to feel winded while training martial arts and a realization that I can’t rest on my laurels.

It then dawned on me that since my last 10k race and my knee issues I have done zero cardio and only split routines for weight lifting. This would be great if I was a bodybuilder doing mass work in the winter but it doesn’t do much for my physical fitness and martial arts training. Am I in shape, yes certainly, am I fit…I think not currently.

That being said today was day one of my new training program and programming will be roughly as follows.

Two days of lifting focusing are minimal rest, lots of calisthenics, kettlebell work and functional movements.

Here is an example:

Warm-Up

Rope
Band
Halo
Squats
Side shuffle
Grapevine

30 Push-ups*
50 Squats*
1000 m row

3 Rounds

Chins 5 sets (3 overhand 2 underhand) of 10 sets with 30 bicycles in b/w

Complete in 50 min

*with weight vest

Other days will be filled with cardio – elliptical, some running if my knees can handle it, and as much stretching as possible (at least 3 days a week), I really want to finally achieve a lotus position.

I will also try to maintain my current Kung Fu training at 3-4 days a week.

I’ll keep you posted…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Second Update On the Knees…

Feb 14, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

So here we are a week and a day later after my synvisc one injections in each knee (http://www.synviscone.com). I have gone from barely being able to walk to light leg training yesterday. The first couple of days I really had trouble walking, my knees felt tight and inflexible and I could not kneel.

By the weekend it was starting to get better and again yesterday I trained light legs – front squats, leg extensions and leg curls.

I will start back to my martial arts training this Friday and that will be the true test.

The ultimate benefit may yet to be revealed, but as long as I’m not having surgery I’m happy!!

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

The State of the Union

Jan 30, 2018 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Here is the “physical” state of the union for Mr. JETT aka – Eric Toussaint

Height: 6’0

Weight: 172

Age: 47

Bench press: 225lb.

Squat 315lb.

Weight lifting 3-4x/week

Kung Fu training 3-4x/week

Stretching and rolling 2-3x/week

Goals for 2018

More cardio – has to be elliptical, right knee meniscus issues

Restart my ground fighting training

What are your stats and goals, I would love to hear them…

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Light at the End of the tunnel

Jan 18, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I am nearing the end of the story of my feet. I just had had my second surgery last Friday and and will be convalescing for about ten days. The surgery was a success and both neuromas were removed. If you have following my tale of woe then you know that I have been dealing with Morton’s neuromas (two in each foot). Only being able to remove one at a time from each foot, I needed two surgeries.

I am hoping to be back to 100% by June, but will start this coming Tuesday with the upper body cycle, then the recumbent elliptical and then swimming. I will also try some light calisthenics as well. That regimen should hold for about two and half months and then I will try the regular elliptical and the zero runner with an eventual transition to running.

The ultimate goal is to get back to my kung fu training with an additional focus on intense cardio, stretching and less focus on weightlifting only as cross-training.

I am excited for a pain free future and my new focus; before my surgery I was to focused on weightlifting, and my martial arts training was left wanting. I am also going to stick to my New Years resolution of learning some ground fighting.

If you too are struggling with and injury I hope this provides some inspiration. Keep your chin up and focus on the can, not the can’t and you will rise above.

The New Year

Jan 1, 2017 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What will you be thinking about when Auld Lang Syne is playing? I should frame this a little more particularly, I am referring to your health and fitness in the past year…this is not me trying to be Tony Robbins.

I myself have had ups and downs in 2016. I was able to focus for better or worse on a lot of weight lifting à la bodybuilding. To the point that I was contemplating entering a contest/show. This style of lifting however does come with a cost. It is all consuming, very painstaking and the rewards comes slowly. You cardio suffers, your flexibility and speed as well. But boy do you love looking in the mirror, it becomes very narcissistic.

That being said my martial arts training very much fell by the wayside, but not only due to bodybuilding. I have been having foot issues, more specifically – Morton’s Neuromas. This led to surgeries in each of my feet. The second round of surgeries will be January the 13, 2017 (yes I need two surgeries in each foot). This for all intents and purposes has brought me to a complete halt. I have only recently gone from using the upper body cycle (UBC) to recumbent elliptical and I swim when I can.

The last time I lifted was Thursday November the 17, 2016. For those that bodybuild you know thats enough to put you into absolute freakout mode. Fortunately I have vacillated from aerobic to anaerobic training so many times over the years it doesn’t really bother me and it actually sets me up for the New Year.

My plan for the New Year, although due to my next surgery really won’t go fully into effect until Spring will be focused on cardio, flexibility, speed and martial arts. I will also try my hand at grappling as well to compliment my Kung Fu training. My strength training will be greatly reduced most likely two days a week.

I am looking forward to this change of pace and programming, and pushing the limit with my new focus for 2017.

Staying Focused On Your Physical Fitness While Injured

Dec 20, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

How do you keep your focus on physical fitness while you are injured? It is an issue I am wrestling with currently. I am preparing for my second round of surgeries on my feet (yes both feet) in January.

I have been literally trying to keep my steps to a minimum to heal as fast as possible and avoid possible scar tissue and nerve damage (a possibility if I don’t ease back into my everyday routine). I keep a fold up tripod stool with me that I sit on whenever possible while at work and recently got a temporary handicap placard for my car. The handicap placard is somewhat helpful; but his humbling experience has also led me to the sad conclusion that the Bethesda area is really not very accommodating for those with disabilities, especially for longterm parking.

Some much energy is spent trying to not move and taking extra time for every task because of my naturally slower approach to everything that it’s hard to get motivated to workout. I started with using an upper body cycle and in just the past ten days or so I have started using a recumbent elliptical. It feels pretty good but of course it is harder to burn calories in a recumbent position.

I have been trying to eat less to not gain weight, my muscle mass due to not lifting weights is being affected, which is a little bit of vanity hit but there is a upside. I will be going back into martial arts full force once this is all over (hopefully April, 2017) and being lighter is a good thing for speed and agility. I will also be focusing on a lot of stretching and I have promised my self to try my hand at some grappling training.

All that being said, as mention it is a struggle to stay motivated and it is a little depressing to be so immobilized. However I am enjoying reading more and catching up on some Netflix viewing. I am doing my best to stay upbeat and have also been doing research for how I want to structure my eventual return to the physical.

Keep me in your thoughts and if you can move do it…you may not alway be able to one day!!

Do you stretch enough?

Feb 6, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I know personally I could stretch more, and need to even more so now that I have started going back to my martial arts school.

So the question is how much is enough to affect change? Studies show that stretching four times a week for thirty seconds per body part will yield flexibility improvements. it is not conclusive as to whether more that four days if helpful.

That being said my personal mission will be to shoot for four days a week. I do tend to focus more on the lower body due to the extreme flexibility needed for my martial arts pursuits. My toughest/tightest area are my hips, more specifically the lotus position/stretch. The flexibility of my legs is actually fairly good and I have no problems with high kicks, but the lotus position is the bane of my existence.

Here is the lower body stretch routine that I am currently following:

Day 1: Holding all for at least 30 seconds

Standing piriformis stretch on a raise platform – 3x each side

Lotus stretch – 3x each side

Front Split – 3x each direction

Straddle Split – 5x

Day 2: Holding all for at least 30 seconds

Standing piriformis stretch on a raise platform – 3x each side

Lotus stretch – 3x each side

Hamstring stretch on bar (I like to use the smith machine and raise the bar each time)
From this position I roll into a side kick/round house kick position – both positions 3x each side

Leg stretch machine – 5x

Here also is a link for a very thorough full body stretch routine, you may not need all listed but all body parts are covered.

http://jettllc.biz/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/stretch_routine.pdf

Good luck stretching!!