Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:44

The old man I met a couple of months back in China

I wrote to you yesterday regarding a drastic change in diet a couple of months ago, and the wonders it did for me - including get my hill jaunt timings down to less than 15 minutes - something I couldn't do even at a trim, lean and fit 25 years of age.

And while diet played a massive role in making this happen, there was more to it than just diet.

I think I mentioned I returned to China in March, and started to go for my daily climbs again as soon as I got back. Well, due to work related reasons I've been climbing mostly in the afternoons as of late, around 2P.M. on most days, and that applied to my March climbs as well.

(Side Note: Tough outdoor exercise during the peak hours of the day is NOT recommended if you live in extremely hot locales, as dehydration is a very real risk especially if you are pushing yourself hard. If you absolutely have to exercise at those times,  make sure your a) drinking enough water, b) drinking enough water, c) know what you are doing, and d) yes - you guessed it - drink enough water - and by water, I mean good old H2O - nothing else during your workout.)

Ok, that side note turned into more than a "side" note, but it needed to be said - I don't want any of you keeling over in the hot sun for sure!

The hill I climb  has many different routes, my favorite one (or should I say one of my favorite ones) being a long, steep climb with tons and tons of stairs. Sort of like a Stairmaster workout x 10, if you get my drift, or tougher. . .pictures on the site as well on the Fast and Furious Fitness Facebook account.

But, there is another route I use regularly - one with a long, sloping path going straight up  and "around" the hill. There are NO steps on this route for say 70% of the climb, and the last 30% merges with the other route I take (the one with steps).

I usually alternate between these two routes. If I climb up route A, I go down route B, and if I climb up route B, I descend via route A. And I alternate between A and B daily - works different muscle groups in an intense manner.

This wasn't what I did years back in China - I stuck exclusively to route A going up, and route B coming down - it seemed to give me a better workout - but times change, and so should your workouts if they need to. Plus, it adds a bit more variety into the route, keeps it interesting.

So, anyway, I'm huffin and puffin one day at the top of the mountain, and I notice this old Chinese man walk up the stairs behind me, observing me quietly, yet intently.

We acknowledged each other, but didn't say much, mostly due to a language barrier. This guy must have been at least 70 years of age by the look of it, probably more if you consider the fact that many old Chinese people actually look a few years younger than they are, due to following healthy lifestyle habits their entire life.

He walked around the top of the hill once, and left, and I returned to my pushups.

Come the next day, I took route B, and I saw the old man again. We started together up the hill, and I was expecting I'd easily keep pace with him, maybe even outpace him, but what surprised and shocked me was the speed and pace at which he motored up the hill. I think I must have kept pace with him for about 20% of the climb that day, and I was already bushed after that.

Now, just so you know, this guy is not a "fitness guru" or "fitness buff" or anything like that, at least not in the traditional sense. No rippling muscles, no excess brawn, and like zero percent body fat - actually quite a small guy if you look at him from a distance.

But as they say, it's not the size of the dog, it's the size of the FIGHT in the dog.

Anyway, I got to talking to him a few days later, and shook his hand - and it felt like I'd put my fingers inside a pair of iron pliers.

I started to notice this guy's routine more closely after that. At the end of each climb, when most people are gasping for breath, this guy walks coolly over towards a nearby wall, and kicks up into a letter perfect handstand against the wall - and holds that position for exactly 60 seconds.

After that, he stretches his hamstrings out thoroughly -  but in a manner most people wouldn't dream of doing. That sort of stretch stretches the ENTIRE core, lower back, chest and hamstrings - as well as calves and shins to a certain degree.

And after that, he walks back down the hill. Sometimes, he'll bang out a few pull-ups - letter perfect reps, almost always 15 reps per set.

And that's the extent of his workout. A 10 minute climb up the hill (which some folks can't complete in 30 minutes), and a 5 to 10 minute stretch/workout combination that works the ENTIRE body as a unit. And the results are there for all to see.

Granted, the guy probably follows a great diet as well - but still, a 70 year old (or more) doing all that? Most people would be lucky to kick up into a handstand at the age of 30, let alone 70, and add in pull-ups and a hill to the mix, and we're talking some serious fitness levels there, my friend.

And why do I tell you this? Well, first to let you know that age is NOT a barrier in terms of achieving your fitness related goals. I don't care if your 15, 25, or 40 or even more - the right attitude and the right workout routine WILL get you results - there is no other way.

Second, because inspiration doesn't always come from those who you think it might come from. This guy is an ordinary old man - nothing special to look at, but he's the one that in part inspired my less than 15 minute climbs.

Ok, a little urging from him (I'm not going to get into what that urging entailed, hehe) helped, but still, he inspired me to push myself and achieve what I couldn't even back in 2005 at the age of 25!

And third, because one never really stops learning in terms of fitness. I know a little something about handstands and handstand pushups - I've written an entire training manual on that exercise alone - but this old man showed me a tiny little adjustment to make in terms of leg placement while kicking up, and that tiny  little bit DOES make a difference to how your final handstand turns out.

I'll cover that in more detail in the future, but that's the story for today.

Anyway, my goal is to beat the old man's approximately 10 min timeframe - and do it in less than a month. See how THAT pans out!

All for now - if you work out today - make sure it's one of the best ever workouts!

Best Regards,

P.S: - Talk about shoulders like boulders - this old man has a pair of shoulders on him that would shame most gym goers. Pound on over here to find out how YOU, my friend, can develop a vice like grip and shoulders like King Kong here: -