Getting thinner by getting fatter

Well I have 190 shares of IMB so I think I’ll stop buying now; I got my last 40 shares at a really good price ($12.38) but right now it sits at $11.85. I want to keep a hand on some money, because I want to buy tires (195/75 R14 Regattas); an XO laptop; and some other stuff by the end of the year.

Currently I take Aikido and Pentjak Silat at a nearby dojo. This actually entertains me, but also helps me get in shape; I nearly died the first night of Silat, my body couldn’t handle the warm-ups and I couldn’t walk for two days due to my muscles needing repair badly. Besides cleaning out my heart and arteries, this also will help flatten my belly and leave me with a solid coating of muscle around my entire body instead of a soft coating of fat; interestingly enough, a fist ramming into a bulge of fat tends to go straight through into whatever soft tissue sits behind, while a solid strip of muscle puts up a little more resistance.

And on that line of thought, I came across something interesting to use during my Aikido training: The X-Vest weighted vest. According to some research, the creators of this thing designed it based on their research showing how to improve posture and add core weight to increase the effectiveness of strength training. According to other stuff on the ‘net, the extra weight amplifies any wobble (no, really? Momentum and inertia actually exist?) and thus forces you to learn tighter balance. Stay off the manufacturer’s site when you do your own research; they claim (in horrible grammar) you see results immediately following first use:

In another words, you can perform an exercise with the Xvest on, take the Xvest off and do the exact same exercise and you will immediately see results, you’re either quicker if you’re doing a reactive or agility drill; you’re faster if you’re doing a speed drill; or you’re jumping higher or longer if you are doing some type of jumping drill.

The X-Vest I picked only handles about 40 pounds max, but you can find the X-Vest in 84-pound variations. Unless you want to hurt yourself, you should really only train with up to 10% excess body weight. Certain strength training exercises like chin-ups can work with higher weight, but jogging or walking or martial arts or anything high-endurance shouldn’t push it; my choice goes up to 40 but I’ll never exceed 20 most likely. I also looked at the X2, but the “clamshell” design doesn’t allow for posture enforcement like the original.

Again, this vest should only hold maybe 15 pounds to match 10% of my 150 pound weight. I neither want nor need to dress up like Goku with a 200 pound vest and a 100 pound undershirt and 100 pound pants and boots that weigh 50 pounds each; seriously, even if I could move like that, what idiot would try? I must admit, though, that I got the idea exactly from that.

In any case, this should help my posture and balance, improving my stance and my ukemi. It should also require more energy to move (momentum and inertia again?), and (obviously) get my muscles in better shape–which I seem to need, since my ukemi fails both on forward and backward rolls when my arms collapse under me. I think I can just tuck it under my Gi to protect the mat; but I’ll throw a t-shirt over it as well just to make sure. Have to ask Sensei and Guru if they will allow this.

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~ by John Moser on November 3, 2007.

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