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bigger than iphone

February 9, 2008
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Here in Japan, Billy Banks’ Boot Camp is more popular than the iPhone. I kid you not. People know all about “Beeri Kaichou” yet ask them about the iPhone and you get an, “eh?” for an answer.

I got to give it to Billy. Being a martial artist just like me, he took what presumably was a personal and lifelong love of the arts and marketed it to the masses as a fitness program.

I mean, I exercise because that helps me perform better as a martial artist especially in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. So why can’t I use martial arts help me stay in shape? That’s what Billy’s done. He’s showing that the martial arts can be used as a means to become physically fit. Granted its only a sliver of an aspect that is martial arts, but gotta hand it to him. Genius.

And the real reason I write this is because I did Billy’s Boot Camp today. Let me tell you it’s hard. And, more importantly, it pointed out my fitness flaws and my physicial capabilities.

I did two DVDs with a friend of mine (Hi Faye!) and she’s been doing Boot Camp for longer than I have. I did the second DVD (Maximum Power) first and the abs workout DVD afterwards. Not only did she do both DVDs non stop but she did it with the weighted resistance bands as well. I had a higher resistance band but it sure wasn’t heavy. Oh and for the abs workout DVD Esteban jumped it.

Anyway, here is my personal assessment:

Room for Improvement

Shoulders – They aren’t as strong as I’d like them to be. I was okay at the beginning of the DVD but towards the end, my shoulders are burning and aching and I don’t extend all the way. It was during this time that I wanted to put Billy in an armbar everytime he said the words “one more set” which meant we did 50 more sets.

Balance – Towards the end of the DVD we do a bunch of kicks and at one point we’re standing on one leg doing rapid fire kicks to what we can easily imagine is Billy’s face at that moment. And I’m desperately trying to stay balanced. But it’s hard to do. Sure kicking does require balance but to remain on standing on one leg, for a good two minutes or so while kicking imaginary Billy in the face is tough.

My Badass Abilities

Conditioning – Yes, I was sweaty. Yes, I was breathing hard at the end of the DVD. But I wasn’t gassed nor was I in the least bit tired. And I recovered very quickly. The DVD never pushed me to the point of passing out or feeling so sick I wanted to vomit. And I’ve been there. I push myself that hard when I work on my conditioning. I push myself harder when we roll full tilt. So I’m pretty proud of myself that I went through one DVD and when asked if I wanted to try the abs DVD I said sure, which means I did 2 DVDs in a row. Ha.

So I suppose my workouts have had some sort of positive effect on my fitness level. It’s not where I want it to be. Case in point: Faye can do an Upward Bow (yoga position – uses flexiblity plus lots of upper body strength) easy. I can’t. I just bridge.

Anyway, today’s workout that just means I gotta work harder to achieve the level I want. But I’m glad I did it. I might even make Billy’s Boot Camp a regular component of my workouts.

Train to go beyond “One more set.”

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