Posts Tagged ‘Body Sculpting’

The last two weekends, I’ve been building flower beds with a  group for a leadership community service project. When I showed up the first day, they were unloading wood and carrying it up a hill. I jumped in line right away and, after they dropped two large pieces of wood in my arms, I began carrying them to their final destination. It wasn’t until then that one of the guys pointed out that I was carrying just as much wood as the men. My intention wasn’t to be competitive and do so, but after he said it, I looked around and he was right.  So, how was I able to do so?

Sanchin. Sanchin is the first kata you learn in Uechi-Ryu karate. So far, I’ve been working on mine for over 10 years! Anyway, one of the first movements is drop your weight and hold both of your arms in front of you with your elbows dropped so that you form a modified “v” with the rest of your body (see the 18 second mark on the video above). I remember someone once telling me this was the appropriate way to carry wood, but I never had wood-hauling duties, so it never came up until this project.

What I realized looking around is that the men were carrying them under their arms or on one shoulder, so they were struggling with not only the weight, but also the length (8 feet each) of the wood. By using my karate stance, I was able to balance and haul the wood with little effort. And, I subconsciously knew this was the best way to do it.

And, before you ask, no I didn’t tell them how I was able to do it. I just let them continue to think I was just really that strong :-).


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While we are on the subject of Jillian Michaels (see Jillian Michaels has had to change her philosophy), Fitness Magazine also published her Bodyshred Circuit Workout, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Below is my review.


  • It’s tough! You don’t want to be able to do a workout well all the way through the first couple of times or you aren’t challenging yourself in new ways. This workout definitely took some getting used to.
  • It’s efficient. With cardio and weights combined and about 35 minutes (she say’s 30, but I take a bit more for some water sips and transitions), you get a full workout very quickly.
  • It’s easy to understand what you need to do. Except the one-legged mountain climber thing. I recommend watching a few videos on YouTube to understand that move.


  • You are supposed to do it four days a week. I find that a bit excessive. Aren’t you supposed to give your muscles rest between weight-lifting days? I work out on average 6 days a week, but I do weights every other day and cardio on the off days.
  • It’s boring. I can’t really explain why, maybe it’s the repetition, maybe because there’s nothing really unique about it, maybe it’s because it’s meant to be done in a group exercise class. No matter what the reason, I just find it incredibly boring, which doesn’t help me want to do it.

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…you need to get down on the floor for your ab exercises and instinctively do a side fall instead of just lowering yourself like a normal person.


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I’ve been working out most of my life, but I’ll admit, I’m pretty clueless if you ask me to put together my own workouts. I really do need a step-by-step guide. Thankfully, one of my friends showed me the Body Sculpting Bible for Women book (yes, they have a men’s version too). It literally tells you week by week what weights to lift, in what order, for how many repetitions, and how much rest in between. Oh, and there’s photos of each lift and a DVD showing you how to lift properly. Seriously, it doesn’t get any easier than this. So, for me, it’s an old standby I come back to often, which explains why my copy is ridiculously tattered, but that’s cool.

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