Before I get started with this a blog edition, a big thank you to Alex Jarvis who invited me to his firm's Corporate Box to watch WWE live in the O2 Arena recently. A great experience and interesting to see how they are playing in the big leagues nowadays. Also good to see wrestlers who used to be faces on the UK circuit having made it to the Holy Grail of professional wrestling.
Right back to me, I am most certainly not in WWE! In fact I am not even on any wrestling shows at all at the moment, nor should I be in my current form - I would stink the joint up. Well, there is only one way to change that - this is my training montage! (If you read the below to the Rocky soundtrack playing in the background I believe it will have much greater effect.)
Big! Heavy! Strong! My new weightlifting routine is the 5/3/1 method by John Wendler, which is actually a powerlifting routine rather than a conventional bodybuilding routine. Essentially designed to make me stronger rather than just look good without a t-shirt on.
A little controversial in the world of wrestling that is essentially a bodybuilder's domain. In fact when I was younger, my friend and I used to laugh at a man named Gavin at our gym who was obsessed with getting strong (and would constantly talk at us about how strong he was getting), but aesthetically he looked terrible. Well young JC, stop laughing! You are now Gavin!
Actually I'm not too concerned I'm a Gavin. In fact I think poor Gavin probably had many other issues going on in life, which would not fit into a single blog post and is also massively off topic! I've noticed a lot of people seem to be converting to this more functional style of lifting now and they still look fantastic. Essentially if you train your body for athletic performance you're going to look like an athlete. Plus, soon I will be picking people up above my head with triumphant ease! Hear me roar!!!
The last few months I was being an idiot. I got very annoyed at myself for getting so skinny from all the running I did in the BVI (as I mentioned in a previous blog post). However, the reality is I got skinny because partly yes I was running a lot, but mainly because I wasn't doing weights and not eating enough. I love running, it is great for my cardio and fat loss and perhaps more importantly I find it gives me focus and a time to think things through in this slightly unusual transitional period in my life.
I realise a few people did question me when I said I had stopped running due to the fact I was getting back into wrestling and I wanted to get big again. Well yep this is me backtracking! You were right I was wrong! Run JC Run!
On the triangle of fitness, I've always been fairly strong and had good cardio, but an element I have always been particularly bad at is my flexibility. I don't know if this is because I was lifting weights and wrestling so much when I was younger without stretching or if I'm just naturally inflexible. Regardless, it is something that needs sorting as it just makes wrestling so much easier if I am flexible and mobile.
At the end of my weights workout or run I usually throw in a quick yoga workout followed by my own wrestler specific stretches. This involves a lot of wrestler bridges and dynamic leg stretches. The yoga I usually crib from Diamond Dallas Page Yoga* (I told you I was a mark for this guy now). The wrestling specific stretches involve a lot of wrestler bridges and dynamic leg stretches to improve my kick height. The bridges have improved but are still crap and need some serious work. The leg stretches and other mobility stuff is going great and I've seen some real improvement.
And of course wrestling! Yeah wrestling! Last week I attended Grapple again a couple of times, where Paul the Poison Parisio continues to enlighten me with old school British locks and holds that this British born professional wrestler really should have learnt years ago! A great group of guys and a fantastic set up by Paul. I will be visiting quite frequently over the next few months.
I also went to Manchester on Sunday to visit some old friends at Grand Pro Wrestling (GPW), who despite me being responsible for getting them banned from a wrestling venue years ago (sorry guys!) were incredibly hospitable and it was great to see some familiar faces.
GPW has being making its mark on British wrestling for the last 10 years and run some excellent shows in the North West region. It is run by Johnnie Brannigan, who wrestles under the name Heresy. The training school has a nice 20ft-wrestling ring, which I got to run and bump around in for 4 or 5 hours. Most things good, some things bad and maybe a couple of things a bit ugly (essentially anything that involved those pesky wrestler bridges). Overall though I'm happy with where I'm at and I've highlighted areas that need improvement. There were also a tag team there, The Island Boys, who had a WWE tryout recently and they were showing and explaining some of the drills they had them doing there too. All very interesting stuff and valuable additions to my own training. Thanks GPW, I will see you again this Sunday.
In the BVI I started to train quite a bit in MMA (that's Mixed Martial Arts, sometimes known as cage fighting) with the fantastic Dominic Bufton. This is something I would love to continue and coincides quite nicely with wrestling. In fact it not only coincides with wrestling, but has had a huge influence on wrestling in recent years. Amongst all the things I have been describing above I have also being attending a few Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes. I will probably attend some kickboxing classes too soon. It would be cool to incorporate some of this stuff into my wrestling at some point, but for now it is just a fun thing to do and further helps me get back into shape.
Ok you can turn off that soundtrack now. I'm exhausted just writing all that! No wonder I felt so weary Monday morning this week. I must be careful not to burn myself out by over-training, but at the moment I think I have about the right level, so long as I eat and sleep enough.
The training will continue much as I have described above and I hope to soon be ready to make a comeback. The sad fact does remain, however, as hard as I train I will never be as good as these guys.....
Thanks for reading
*DDP Yoga - check out this inspirational video