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Kettlebell WHEN PLANS FAIL - Parenthood, BJJ and getting back to basics.

Aj Bhardwaj

Level 1 Valued Member
WHEN PLANS FAIL - Parenthood, BJJ and getting back to basics.

Training has fallen off the backside recently. The last few weeks have been a toss up between spending limited time I have with my newborn daughter or doing things that I want/need to be do.

Having a newborn is a lot less stressful, at least as a dad, and A LOT MORE time consuming. I had initially planned these shorter workouts, and more flexible scheduling. GTG. EASY MUSCLE. As it is often said, "When man plans, god laughs". Plans failed. Things worked here and there but for many reasons, nothing was consistent. Consistent in the sense that I was used to.

Being at work from 9-5, all I wanted/should/could really do when either at home before or after my shift was spend time with my daughter or give my wife a break. There was also the added factor of fatigue, sleep deprivation, irregular diets. We were told that the first 3 months will be "tough" but having been in the military for almost 8 years, I laughed at this "tough" statement. "Surely, war is tougher".

The answer to that question, if there really is one, - YES. It's tough because I never could imagine something so small can take up so much of one's time. Partly, it has to be with the fact that we get in our own way a little. We don't make things easier for ourselves. We say yes to social engagements and get-togethers that require a monumental war-like planning efforts, simply to just exit the door. We place huge expectations on ourselves that, when looked back on, seem more like wishful thinking. Whether that is trying to follow structured training programs or using "Re-Usable" damn nappies that are great for the planet but not for my sanity.

Sleep is definitely a major issue. I have been sleep deprived plenty in my life. Military makes you pretty good at being moderately functional with 2-3 hours of sleep. It does matter however how your partner is with sleep. It also matter how the baby is with sleep. We got pretty lucky with our newborn. She is a pretty good sleeper. Most "good nights" she sleeps 5-6 hours straight without waking. Ask around, that is - BRILLIANT. But even for my little champion, there are some "bad days". Gas, Sickness, over-tiredness because mummy decided to have her friends over way too late to bed time routine.

Here is something I learned, Sleep deprivation, agitation and aggression go hand in hand. Military welcomes this. It's useful. If you can stay in that state but can handle a rifle safely, point and shoot, follow orders and carry out tasks, you are an asset. 1.37am in the nursery, these qualities ARE NOT an asset. Sleep deprivation becomes difficult from parenthood because every inch of your mammalian brain whats this damn crying thing to quieten yet, when one has no reserves for rational thought, you are to act rationally. To be kind. To be peaceful. Not only to this fragile little thing but also to your other half.

Nutrition is another factor. I am sure there are plenty of people here who maintained a perfect diet while having kids but in our household nutrition was on the back burners. We didn't eat terribly. In fact by most people's standards, we probably ate really well but there have been one too many cheat meals, a little bit more carbs than usual and more processed food that usual. We don't really follow a diet normally regardless. We have always been agnostic when it comes to diets. We eat most things. 80% of the time we eat at home, cooking the meals ourself, normally from scratch that involves the staples. Steaks, salmons, roasts etc. There are days where we have tacos and some days where I make kangaroo burgers (an aussie special). Couple of times a week, we order in. We used to go out but impossible in the early stages of parenthood. What really changes when it comes to nutrition is - actually eating. In the last 2 weeks, I can count more than 6 times where I have had my eggs cold, my dinner while walking around and lunch that comes out of the fridge to go back in it an hour later.

All things considered, there has been one constant. 4 days a week, instead of going to the night classes for jiu-jitsu, I started going to lunch time classes. Sure, I could have done strength training, done some alternate programming or whatever but I chose BJJ. I chose BJJ over strength training because of it's other "benefits"- mainly that I get to see my friends. Since week 36 of my wife's pregnancy until the first lunch time class I attended, I hadn't seem some of my closest friends for over 8 weeks. Some for longer.

The classes have been a brilliant relief, both mentally and physically, and though I have missed doing regular structured strength training, it has been enough for my physically. I told myself, I'll do what I can strength wise, when I can. I removed the expectations. I just did what I could with the time I had. Most weeks I got at least 1 barbell session maybe once or twice a week, just following "easy strength principles" to practice some movements in between clients at work. These sessions didn't last longer that 15-20 minutes because really that all I had.

3 weeks ago, I bought Kettlebell Strongfirst for BJJ from BJJ Fanatics. Doing the 4 BJJ classes per week had become now become a staple in the day. My clients were organised so I had nothing from 12pm to 2pm so I started going to BJJ classes a little earlier if time allowed and replaced the barbell training with KB SF from BJJ sessions.

I would get to the gym at 11:50ish am, do some Goblet Squats with 24kg KB, normally 3 sets of 5 and then start a timer that beeped every minute. I did the beginner protocol with 10 one arm swings every minute. Most days I did this, because of time, for 12 - 20 minutes, then follow it with the rest of the time, what was left before class, with Turkish get-ups. I soon changed to 5 swings every 30 seconds purely because it was more time efficient. I stayed with the 24kg KB for swings for 20 minutes and used the 20,24,32kg KB for Turkish Get-ups. Once the practice is over, at 1.30 the BJJ class begins, and technique runs for 40-45 minutes and then normally sparring or rolling occurs for 15-30 minutes. Back at work around 2pm.

Most sessions were only 30 minutes and I did this on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, I added some GTG pull ups at work, doing sets of 3-5 normally doing 4 - 5 sets through the day. I also struggle from lower back pain which if I go hard at jiu jitsu gets worse, I have added 2-3 rounds McGill Big 3.

Ideally I would have liked to do longer practice with Turkish get ups but to be honest, the fact that I have been able to do the above protocol with strong adherence now for 3 weeks has been brilliant and I'll take it. Done is better than perfect at this moment in my life. Also going to lighter load has had some huge benefits and WTH effects:
- My lower back pain has decreased tremendously.
- I had shoulder pain from being shoulder locked in a competition 3 months ago. Almost completely better.
- I haven't got a dad bod - YET. WIN.
- My BJJ game has improved. This is subjective, of course but I can tell I am breathing easier, stronger in structure and my body awareness has improved huge amounts.

The only thing I will now work on improving is my mobility. I am going to add 1 day of structured mobility on Sunday. Any Suggestions????
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
WHEN PLANS FAIL - Parenthood, BJJ and getting back to basics.

Training has fallen off the backside recently. The last few weeks have been a toss up between spending limited time I have with my newborn daughter or doing things that I want/need to be do.

Having a newborn is a lot less stressful, at least as a dad, and A LOT MORE time consuming. I had initially planned these shorter workouts, and more flexible scheduling. GTG. EASY MUSCLE. As it is often said, "When man plans, god laughs". Plans failed. Things worked here and there but for many reasons, nothing was consistent. Consistent in the sense that I was used to.

Being at work from 9-5, all I wanted/should/could really do when either at home before or after my shift was spend time with my daughter or give my wife a break. There was also the added factor of fatigue, sleep deprivation, irregular diets. We were told that the first 3 months will be "tough" but having been in the military for almost 8 years, I laughed at this "tough" statement. "Surely, war is tougher".

The answer to that question, if there really is one, - YES. It's tough because I never could imagine something so small can take up so much of one's time. Partly, it has to be with the fact that we get in our own way a little. We don't make things easier for ourselves. We say yes to social engagements and get-togethers that require a monumental war-like planning efforts, simply to just exit the door. We place huge expectations on ourselves that, when looked back on, seem more like wishful thinking. Whether that is trying to follow structured training programs or using "Re-Usable" damn nappies that are great for the planet but not for my sanity.

Sleep is definitely a major issue. I have been sleep deprived plenty in my life. Military makes you pretty good at being moderately functional with 2-3 hours of sleep. It does matter however how your partner is with sleep. It also matter how the baby is with sleep. We got pretty lucky with our newborn. She is a pretty good sleeper. Most "good nights" she sleeps 5-6 hours straight without waking. Ask around, that is - BRILLIANT. But even for my little champion, there are some "bad days". Gas, Sickness, over-tiredness because mummy decided to have her friends over way too late to bed time routine.

Here is something I learned, Sleep deprivation, agitation and aggression go hand in hand. Military welcomes this. It's useful. If you can stay in that state but can handle a rifle safely, point and shoot, follow orders and carry out tasks, you are an asset. 1.37am in the nursery, these qualities ARE NOT an asset. Sleep deprivation becomes difficult from parenthood because every inch of your mammalian brain whats this damn crying thing to quieten yet, when one has no reserves for rational thought, you are to act rationally. To be kind. To be peaceful. Not only to this fragile little thing but also to your other half.

Nutrition is another factor. I am sure there are plenty of people here who maintained a perfect diet while having kids but in our household nutrition was on the back burners. We didn't eat terribly. In fact by most people's standards, we probably ate really well but there have been one too many cheat meals, a little bit more carbs than usual and more processed food that usual. We don't really follow a diet normally regardless. We have always been agnostic when it comes to diets. We eat most things. 80% of the time we eat at home, cooking the meals ourself, normally from scratch that involves the staples. Steaks, salmons, roasts etc. There are days where we have tacos and some days where I make kangaroo burgers (an aussie special). Couple of times a week, we order in. We used to go out but impossible in the early stages of parenthood. What really changes when it comes to nutrition is - actually eating. In the last 2 weeks, I can count more than 6 times where I have had my eggs cold, my dinner while walking around and lunch that comes out of the fridge to go back in it an hour later.

All things considered, there has been one constant. 4 days a week, instead of going to the night classes for jiu-jitsu, I started going to lunch time classes. Sure, I could have done strength training, done some alternate programming or whatever but I chose BJJ. I chose BJJ over strength training because of it's other "benefits"- mainly that I get to see my friends. Since week 36 of my wife's pregnancy until the first lunch time class I attended, I hadn't seem some of my closest friends for over 8 weeks. Some for longer.

The classes have been a brilliant relief, both mentally and physically, and though I have missed doing regular structured strength training, it has been enough for my physically. I told myself, I'll do what I can strength wise, when I can. I removed the expectations. I just did what I could with the time I had. Most weeks I got at least 1 barbell session maybe once or twice a week, just following "easy strength principles" to practice some movements in between clients at work. These sessions didn't last longer that 15-20 minutes because really that all I had.

3 weeks ago, I bought Kettlebell Strongfirst for BJJ from BJJ Fanatics. Doing the 4 BJJ classes per week had become now become a staple in the day. My clients were organised so I had nothing from 12pm to 2pm so I started going to BJJ classes a little earlier if time allowed and replaced the barbell training with KB SF from BJJ sessions.

I would get to the gym at 11:50ish am, do some Goblet Squats with 24kg KB, normally 3 sets of 5 and then start a timer that beeped every minute. I did the beginner protocol with 10 one arm swings every minute. Most days I did this, because of time, for 12 - 20 minutes, then follow it with the rest of the time, what was left before class, with Turkish get-ups. I soon changed to 5 swings every 30 seconds purely because it was more time efficient. I stayed with the 24kg KB for swings for 20 minutes and used the 20,24,32kg KB for Turkish Get-ups. Once the practice is over, at 1.30 the BJJ class begins, and technique runs for 40-45 minutes and then normally sparring or rolling occurs for 15-30 minutes. Back at work around 2pm.

Most sessions were only 30 minutes and I did this on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday, I added some GTG pull ups at work, doing sets of 3-5 normally doing 4 - 5 sets through the day. I also struggle from lower back pain which if I go hard at jiu jitsu gets worse, I have added 2-3 rounds McGill Big 3.

Ideally I would have liked to do longer practice with Turkish get ups but to be honest, the fact that I have been able to do the above protocol with strong adherence now for 3 weeks has been brilliant and I'll take it. Done is better than perfect at this moment in my life. Also going to lighter load has had some huge benefits and WTH effects:
- My lower back pain has decreased tremendously.
- I had shoulder pain from being shoulder locked in a competition 3 months ago. Almost completely better.
- I haven't got a dad bod - YET. WIN.
- My BJJ game has improved. This is subjective, of course but I can tell I am breathing easier, stronger in structure and my body awareness has improved huge amounts.

The only thing I will now work on improving is my mobility. I am going to add 1 day of structured mobility on Sunday. Any Suggestions????
I personally enjoy mixing OS resets into a flow

Excellent post . I think many parents need to read this. It has many golden nuggets
 

Aj Bhardwaj

Level 1 Valued Member
I personally enjoy mixing OS resets into a flow

Excellent post . I think many parents need to read this. It has many golden nuggets
Thanks Mark. OS Resets are brilliant really. I do try and do em every morning after waking if I can.

I wonder if there is place then for dedicated day of flexibility/mobility work. I am getting stiffer and was wondering if I should dedicate some time to it.

@Mike Torres did you do any flexibility work while running KBSF for BJJ?
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Thanks Mark. OS Resets are brilliant really. I do try and do em every morning after waking if I can.

I wonder if there is place then for dedicated day of flexibility/mobility work. I am getting stiffer and was wondering if I should dedicate some time to it.

@Mike Torres did you do any flexibility work while running KBSF for BJJ?
Which parts feel stiff for you??
 

Wyanokie

Level 5 Valued Member
You're doing all the right things. It sounds like you are balancing your time as a parent and activity level with staying aware of self-care. If you don't mind me sharing something on a personal note, I am a father of two boys, currently ages 11 and 14, and am in disbelief that the time went so fast. Cherish every moment with your little one, the days seem long but the years really do fly by. You'll blink and it'll be daycare, you'll blink again, elementary school, and before you know it, middle school. We never get that time back as parents, so keep up the good work in BJJ and strength training, and trust the process all the while staying mindful of your time with the family.
Sleep deprivation becomes difficult from parenthood because every inch of your mammalian brain whats this damn crying thing to quieten yet, when one has no reserves for rational thought, you are to act rationally. To be kind. To be peaceful. Not only to this fragile little thing but also to your other half.

Yes it's tough sometimes. I had a unique perspective on this because we lost our first to miscarriage, so I welcomed the sound of my little guy crying in the night after the silence was so terrible.
The only thing I will now work on improving is my mobility. I am going to add 1 day of structured mobility on Sunday. Any Suggestions????

Concentrate on hips, shoulders and spine. I trained BJJ for a few years and those are the areas that seem to need the most TLC. Also, pay attention to recovery and listen to your body. It sounds trite, I know, but if something is asking for stretching, mobility work or recovery, give it.
 

Sam Goldner

Level 5 Valued Member
Excellent post.

Perfect is the enemy of good and good is the enemy of acceptable. “Should” shouldn’t get in the way of what we can and will actually do. Precision Nutrition has articles and Infographs on meaningful and lasting change that results from even 10% consistency; Dan John and Pat Flynn talk about ”seatbelts,” or minimums that are so doable you don’t even think about them, they just happen automatically. That concept, creating “seatbelts,” has been really helpful for me.

I have also been using KBSF as my “check the box“ workout program and it has been going really well. If I have time/energy for more, I do more, if I don’t, I don’t, but I got what I needed to done at least and can check the box. The auto regulation lets me not feel the pressure of needing to do something specific; I generally try to progress consistently based on the guidelines and as if I was on a different program that prescribes structured progression, but having the flexibility to do more or less based on whatever my situation is is a nice feeling to have so that I am not walking around with one more demand.

Thanks,
Sam Goldner, DPT
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
A little lesson I learned after picking up bike commuting..

When uphill, go steady.. as long as you keep moving...

If you are really tired, you can stop or hop down on your bike and push....

What usually stops us from making progress is this illusion everything has to be done perfectly, we need to do x amount of movements, train x amount of days.
 
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