Friday, July 23, 2010
Albert Vagharshakovich Azaryan is a World Champion Armenian Gymnast that represented the Soviet Union in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. He won three Gold medals for gymnastic rings and invented an amazing and very difficult move now called "The Azaryan". Absolutely impressive. Many top gymnasts today can not accomplish this move.
Monday, July 19, 2010
Going on the assumption that you regularly consume greens such as spinach and kale, I have an easy emergency green for when you open your fridge to discover nothing green to eat- the sweet potato leaf! The good news is that it is also a decorative plant that can clean air as long as it gets proper soil, sun, and water. You can pick them right off the plant and eat them raw, and they are good sauteed or cooked in omelets.
Here's how to grow them:
Cut a sweet potato in half and set the cut end in water and wait 4 to 8 days for the sprouts to start growing. Then plant the potato in some good quality soil in a hanging planter. The hanging planter will help keep the plant free of bugs and dirt and it makes the leaves easier to access. After a couple of weeks you will have leaves growing at a good rate. One half of a sweet potato will yield many leaves in the right conditions. Now you have a decorative hanging plant that you can eat.
Once they are growing well, you are free to pluck off leaves and eat them. Try them raw, and experiment with various cooking and seasoning methods. They have a unique nutty crisp flavor. Sweet potato leaves are a good source of Niacin, Calcium and Iron, and an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Manganese.
CLICK HERE for detailed information about sweet potato leaves.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Bhujangasana, or the "Cobra Pose", is an exceptional Yoga Asana for training the backbend. It is not to be confused with Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, "Upward Facing Dog Pose" (which is found in the Sun Salutation "Surya Namaskar"). It requires a more exaggerated backbend. Even simple Asana (poses) in Yoga are much more difficult than people realize and therefore equally impressive.
Unlike the Upward Facing Dog Pose, The Cobra uses bent elbows and palms on the floor slightly in front of the body to push the shoulders back to assist the backbend. The objective is to keep the hips down and eventually sag the abdomen to the floor. It is important to relax the back to settle in and to engage the shoulder girdle instead of shrugging the shoulders. To create a greater backarch, advanced practitioners can bend their head back to look at the ceiling, and curling the legs will seriously stretch the abdomen and and create great contraction of the hamstrings. Breath should be steady and this pose can be held for time.
No two people are the same, some can backbend further than others, however, regardless of your backbend, any two 100% backbends are equally amazing because they are both developed with time and effort to the maximum possible bend of the spine. So I feel that no one backbend is truly superior to another. Your maximum backbend is YOUR maximum backbend. Yoga is not a competition.
With Yoga, and many things in life, the simplest things are often the hardest to master. There are always details to perfect, so mastery can take a lifetime.
"Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory."
~Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wrestling is the oldest sport on Earth and can be found in every corner of the world, in every region and civilization. Styles can be classified as pinning styles, submission styles, throwing styles, jacket styles, styles that blend striking, or combination styles.
Arias de Mene (Philippines)
Backhold (Great Britain)*
Beach Wrestling (International)
Buhe Barildaan (Mongolia)
Chin Na (China)*
Cornish (Great Britain)
Coreeda (Aboriginal Australia)
Cumberland (Great Britain)
Dau Vat (Vietnam)
Devonshire (Great Britain)
Epoo Korio (Papua New Guinea)
Gushti de Boukhara (Tadjikistan)
Gushti Giri (Turkmenistan)
Hara Moriton (Mongolia)
Istlish Taban (Saudi Arabia)
Judo (Japan, International)
Jujitsu, Jiu-Jitsu (Japan, Brazil, USA)*
Kapu Kuia Lua (Polynesia)
Kemet Mariama (Egypt)
Kourdstan Tustuu (Siberia)
Kusag Guresh (Turkey)
Lancashire Catch-as-Catch-Can (Great Britain)*
Loosehold (Great Britain)
Lucha Carania (Spain)
Lucha Leon (Spain)
Lutte Bretagne (France)
Lutte Parisienne (France)
Malla Yudda (India)
Mossara Taban (Saudi Arabia)
Moulapta (Saudi Arabia)
Mundje Vance (Albania)
Ou Chou (China)
Pahi a Mau Mau (New Zealand)
Pentjak Silat (Indonesia)
Psarani Pata (India)
Re-efi Areh-Ehsee (Ethiopia)
Sambo (Russia, International)*
Shootfighting (Japan, USA)*
Shuai Jiao (China)
Submission (Japan, USA, International)*
Una Tar Taq (Inuit)
Vajra Mushti (India)
Westmorland (Great Britain)
Yagli Gures (Turkey)
Yoetikawa (Brazilian Amazon)
*styles I have trained
note: This list is still growing! If you know of a wrestling style that is not included on the list please contact me with that information.
Friday, July 9, 2010
An Old School Five by Five Method for Kettlebells:
For good basic raw strength with kettlebells the old tried and true 5X5 workouts are great. This is an advanced method that should be worked up to.
This repetition scheme works best with good raw basic kettlebell movements, such as squats, cleans, and presses.
After a good warm up, choose a weight that you can handle for only 5 repetitions.
After the first set, rest 1 minute, then proceed to the second set.
For the second set, try your best to get 5 reps. Then proceed to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th sets with 1 minute of rest between.
5 sets X 5 reps.
So it is obvious that it will not be so easy to get all 5 reps on each set. It may look like 5, 5, 4, 3, and 3 for exmple.
In this case, stick to your 5 rep max weight for your workouts until you can hit all 5 reps for 5 sets.
Once you can execute all 5 reps for all five sets it will be time to increase reps.
Your next workout with kettlebells would now be 5 sets of 6 reps.
Then in successive workouts build to 5 sets of 7 reps, then eventually up to 5X8, then 5X9, then 5X10 reps.
So now you are hitting 5 sets of 10 reps with what was your 5 rep max weight, but now your muscles have adapted and it is your 10 rep max weight.
So it's time for a new 5 rep max weight.
Supposing you were using a pair of 40 lb kettlebells for you initial 5X5 and built it up to 5X10,
now it is finally time to increase the weight to 45 or 50 lbs for 5X5 and start climbing up the reps each kettlebell workout again.
Due to the low availability of kettlebells this rep scheme allows you to stick to one weight for long periods of time.
Kettlebell training can be very complex and unique, or it can be very basic. Many advanced exercises are very difficult and technical so seek out someone who truly knows kettlebells.
Unfortunately today, many trainers use kettlebells as a gimmick and are not knowledgable about the finer details of kettlebell movements. So use caution when learning to use them..
I train with kettlebells about once per week due to all of my other training. Sometimes I use them more often and sometimes I use them less. They can be fun, challenging, and difficult to master.
And one last thing: NEVER EVER curl a kettlebell!!! It is blasphemous to do so and defeats the purpose of training with kettlebells. That is not what the kettlebell was designed for. The kettlebell is used to train movements and athletic qualities, not to isolate bodyparts. Kettlebell exercises are compound and work many muscles together. No movement in life is an isolated movement. So please don't curl the kettlebells.