Friday, July 4, 2008

Day 106, One More Band

Getting stronger. As you may recall I broke two of my resistance bands on Day 44.

Following that I figured out that I needed to distribute the force over more bands. So for the past 2 months I've been using two bands. But recently I wasn't feeling so much resistance so I went ahead and added a third band, which is the last one I have.

So I'm getting stronger, but what I'm most pleased about is that I've kept my muscle lean through this whole thing. We managed this by keeping the overall amount of food low and the protein high, coupled with low weight exercises.

In my mind, the absolute worst outcome would have been to look like these guys:

These guys are actually very fit and incredibly strong. They can probably lift a car, but the question is who wants to lift cars? I'd much rather be strong enough for daily life and a little martial arts, flexible enough to be comfortable in my body, and toned and slim without any unnecessary mass. The few times I went to the gym with Chen as part of my studies I could feel a weird kind of pressure from all the dudes there that bigger is better. And you start comparing the size of your bicep to the guy next to you. This is all very silly.

If you look at Bruce Lee, he is actually a very small guy. You could probably wrap your arms all the way around him.

But what power! What speed! He could actually do something with his body, rather than just lift heavy things like a plodding ox. This is the same philosophy that informs my yoga practice. Find out how a pose fits into real action in your daily life and work from there. The kung-fu and yoga approach also has another important benefit. You can do them all the way until very old age, when all the muscle and flash has faded.

I've met several older kung-fu guys and even though they appeared to be small old men, when I got near them I could feel enormous confidence and power radiating off their bodies. I'm not trying to get new agey and talk about their chi force or anything. I'm just saying they held themselves and moved in such a way that told you they could still release a lot of power if called upon to.

That's what I want from my life. As I wind down my PCP I'm actually going to try and get smaller. I've gained a little too much shoulder and arm mass. It's the beginnings of another project Chen and I are cooking up. I don't have much more than the name of it, which I'll share with the public now for the first time... The Kung Fu Body!


Nate said...

I think this is what's most appealing about your project Patrick. You often mention what we would have been like as Hunter-gatherers, and for the most part no one in any large margin would be "jacked" like those guys. They were too busy worrying about survival than pumping iron, and i think that's what is important. Getting to a fitness level that is natural and is all pros, no cons (Not being able to touch your own shoulders is a con) And that's what I think you achieved here.

Hey here is a couple links you may find interesting . I don't know if as a pescetarian or practicing Buddhist you can eat bugs, or if you would want to, but i find these Mopani worms very intriguing. They are packed with protein! Also Here is a small portable Gym & Chin up bar Too bad the shipping costs so much to Japan but I thought this was cool.

One question: The resistance band I have did not come with multiple bands that can be mixed an matched. What brand do you get?


Sean said...

I like the sound of the Kung Fu Body and am looking forward to reading about that. Perhaps I'll try and bring some of that knowledge over into my own training and turn myself into an old, incredibly strong kung fu mass-tah like you desribed.

Anonymous said...


I already sent you an email w/my brilliant idea, but anyway, here's some public encouragement. Get that thing published!