Can we push ourselves beyond?

Aug 10, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

With the Olympics in full swing, it begs the question am I/we (all my super fans out there) pushing ourselves hard enough?!

Personally I have been been hitting my goals. I have been pushing hard to get back to a 225lb. bench and a 315lb. squat. I achieved both of those goal weights for the second time in as many months this past Monday and Tuesday respectively. I will now try to push beyond and am setting new goals for both my bench and squat and will keep you posted.

I am also hoping to pass a forms test at my martial arts school that I have been working on for almost a year. As soon as I pass this next test, there is much, much more for me to learn. I have upped my martial arts practice time and will continue to try and keep that pace…I will try to push beyond.

Now the question is what are you doing to push yourself beyond, please let me know what your personal Olympics are?!

What are your Summer Goals?

Jun 15, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, you’ll have hopefully picked your Summer Plan by now, if not quickly read the last post – http://jettllc.biz/summer-plan/

So now that you have picked your Summer Plan; what are your summer goals? What do I mean by this exactly? Let’s say you picked rock climbing, do you have a spot picked out to practice be it indoors or outdoors? Do you have a schedule and routine to keep you on track? Is there any equipment that you need to purchase? Is there a book or magazine that may help hone your skills? Are there lessons or coaching that you can take?

I’m a fan of immersing myself in my activities and learning as much about them as possible, and to practice them as much as possible to get results and achieve success. If you take this approach you certainly will move forward in your pursuits. You will also find that you have built in “mandatory” leisure time, which we all need in our desperately busy world while becoming more healthy all at the same time.

I have two goals for this Summer:

1. Bench – 225lb.
Squat – 3151b.

2. Pass another belt test at my martial arts school – www.taiyimkungfu.com

Please let me know what your goals are and if I can help you to achieve them.

eric@jettllc.biz

Summer Plan

Jun 9, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

Do you have your summer exercise plan together?!

Here are some outdoor and indoor activities for you to consider and links to further your potential pursuits (it’s always a good idea to have indoor options available with the heat, humidity and air quality of the Washington Metropolitan Area).

Outdoors:

Tennis – No Limits Tennis email – henryhollowell@yahoo.com

Horseback Riding – http://candylaneacres.com

Running – https://www.mcrrc.org

Cycling – http://www.freshbikescycling.com

Swimming – http://www.ancientmariners.org

Hiking – http://www.montgomeryparks.org/PPSD/ParkTrails/

Kayaking – http://www.boatingindc.com

Rock Climbing – http://bit.ly/28l2cFr

Indoors:

Spinning – http://www.pureryde.com/#!bethesda-md/cfbd

Yoga – http://balancestudio.com/page/

Pilates – http://balancestudio.com/page/

Rock Climbing – https://www.earthtreksclimbing.com/md-va/

Martial Arts – www.taiyimkungfu.com

Crossfit – http://toughtemplecrossfit.com

Please feel free to let me know what you’re up to…

eric@jettllc.biz

Bone Density Training – (not for the feint of heart)

Apr 18, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

What is the best way to increase your bone density? Well that can very much depend on your physical pursuits. The general recommendations are weight bearing exercises, adequate calcium and sometimes, prescribed supplements such a Fosamax, Boniva and Actonel.

I would like to talk about a much more visceral approach – Impact Conditioning. Impact conditioning has been used for years by marital artists. Repeated hard impact forces a biological response to the high pressure that causes greater bone density from microscopic fractures – this is also know as Wolff’s Law. There can be a downside to this rigorous approach – stress to tendons, ligaments and muscles.  Often in taking this traditional approach lineaments will be prescribed by your coach/instructor/Grand Master to help you heal after this type of intense training. One good example of this is Dit Dow Jow (http://amzn.to/1RTLV2R).

I have been training in this manner for years at my martial arts school more specifically with a Southern Shaolin approach. Here are five basic techniques I have used over the years. To help the reader who is not familiar with martial arts training when I refer to strike points, these are the areas on the leg or the arm that come in contact with opponents.

The first is an exercise called Sam Sin and is a series of forearm clashes with another student that helps to toughen all the striking areas of the forearm.

The second is a similar approach but the technique is performed (also with the forearms) on a Wing Chun Dummy (http://amzn.to/1Xv6WBv), this drill also strengthens all the striking area of the forearms.

The next two techniques are for the legs and are very similar to the afore mentioned approaches for the forearm.

The third approach requires a partner, you perform a series of leg clashes on all the contact points of the leg.

The fourth approach requires a whole bunch of chops sticks and some duct tape. You tape them together (lengthwise) about forty or so. Now you use your new toy to tap on all the contact points of the leg.

The fifth approach is for the body itself and requires a partner. Its quite simple you take turns giving round house kicks to the body.

In just the past month I have also found one more technique/tool that can be used on almost any part of the body but is best used for the legs and arms. It is called the Iron Arm (http://amzn.to/1VlLQri). Same approach you strike all the contact points of the legs and forearms. I’ll let you know how it works out with the Iron Arm soon!!

Now a little due diligence; I have been using these techniques for years but your must have guidance by a good coach or Grand Master. I would also check with your doctor. You can expect abrasions, cuts, possible skin infections, possible tendon and ligament damage as well as possible stress fractures. With these considerations in mind again make sure to seek expert guidance if you are going to engage in this type of conditioning. There are some risks but you will reap the benefits if done properly.

I have also attached a few links to articles, books and videos of this type of training.

http://bit.ly/1S6wroV

http://bit.ly/23Eqw1S

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH_TJvcNVBs

http://amzn.to/1VlOopa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlKZ6_EhI5o

Train Hard, Train Safe!!

Back to School!!

Jan 18, 2016 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I have been promising myself that I would go back to my martial arts school for sometime now and  finally this past Saturday I made my triumphant return!! I have been going to Tai Yim Kung Fu (www.taiyimkungfu.com) off and on for the past twenty years. There are times when I have taken up to five years off, but it always seems to call me back.

The reasons I always return are that I love the training, the curriculum, the friends I have made and Sifu. Sifu means teacher/Father and he is just that. Sifu Tai Yim started the school in 1975, and just recently celebrated his 40th year anniversary. I have great respect for this man and consider him one of my mentors.

I started going in the late eighties, when I thought I could become the next Bruce Lee. At the time I was still in my teens and it was very hard for me to understand the amount of time and practice it required. I remember expressing this concern to one of my instructors and saying to her “I would give anything to become more flexible” (I could barely touch my toes at the time). She simply answered…”Just give your time”. It was so simple, yet so profound, I should also point out that this instructor was younger than I was, but obviously much wiser.

The Tai Yim Kung style is call Hung Fut. This Southern Kung Fu style it is a blend to two systems – Hung Gar (the basis of modern Karate and very hard) and Fut Gar (a soft style that emphasizes palm strikes). This unique incorporation of linear, circular, and angular techniques is powerful and explosive, yet precise, flowing, and without rigidity. Essentially it’s very martial while at the same time very esthetically pleasing.

So what brought me back this time, as if all the reasons above weren’t enough? My twin boys will be five next November and that is when they will join the school. Just as I practice what I preach when it comes to my clients, I need to do the same in this situation.

My return was fun, as it always is and I remembered more of my forms that I thought I would. I was of course very tired but very much at piece. For anyone that practices martial arts, you will understand this feeling. It is like moving mediation, and brings you to a peaceful centered state of being.

Happy to be back!!!

How to Stay Functional and Fit!!

Oct 21, 2015 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I have been personal training for nearly twenty years, and it has be a pleasure to watch the field evolve. The training methodologies that are currently available for trainers and exercise enthusiasts are amazing.

The way I trained “then” and “now” are radically different. I won’t bore you with all the comparisons, but will outline what I think currently is the best approach.

There are three levels that need to be addressed:

  1. Structure – You need to make sure that you actual structure is in good order. I currently like the Chiropractic Biophysics approach to address this issue. Check out http://www.gotyourbacktotalhealth.com
  1. Function – Once you get your structure where it should be, you need to make sure that you are functional and have no asymmetries. I recommend an FMS Screen (http://www.functionalmovement.com) – we provide that www.jettllc.biz
  1. Training – Find a trainer that espouses the the first two “levels of need” and that focuses on training in a way that provides real strength gains that have real world applications. There should be a good blend of FMS corrective movements, functional movements, and work on flexibility and balance.

Now once you find all this, yes it’s a tall order but doable, it comes down to one thing – compliance. The ball is now in your court…

Be happy be healthy

What was it like to wear Armor?

Sep 30, 2015 Eric Toussaint 6 Comments

I am always looking for new workouts and ways to challenge my body physically. Last weekend I went to our local Renaissance Festival https://www.rennfest.com and I went in costume. My costume was basically leather body armor, leather greaves, and leather vambraces.

What it reminded me of was wearing a weight vest; I was actually sore the next day from tramping around all day with my “costume” on.

I got to thinking, what it must have been like to wear armor while in battle and how much energy the average night in shinning armor would spend to move and fight. I did a little research and I came across this study http://bit.ly/1KRglMc . Long story short the average knight burned upwards of 2.3 times more energy just to move. I was just wearing leather armor and I felt the effects, it must have been tough going and those knight in shinning armor must have been in great shape.

I am not suggesting that we all go out and get ourselves plate armor to enhance our workouts but I think I’ll break out my weight vest this week http://amzn.to/1OG0TZi and add it to some of my workouts.

Ok I’m done with my historical exercise update…everybody have a nice day.