29 February 2016

Stretching and Warm Up Overview

There are already countless websites with thousands of tutorials on stretching techniques and what is considered best by the author. It is difficult to determine if these are general and possibly wrong concepts that are passed down from instructors over decades, or are from people that study human movement scientifically and give the best medical advice.

12 February 2016

My weight loss journey - The Home Stretch

So here we are with the end zone in view. If you have just come to this or need a refresher, please click here for the start and here for the middle.

Last time I mentioned I dropped to under 100kg but it was short lived. Within two weeks of achieving my then ultimate goal I injured myself. It wasn't a bad injury but had me out for about 10 days. I had developed a pattern of eating that helped fuel my six days of training as well as lose weight. When the training stopped I didn't alter how much I ate.

10 February 2016

Tackling Motivation

Staying motivated in any extended activity can be a challenge. It is critical to have coaches and guides with great technical knowledge, as well as the ability to inspire and push you towards your full potential.

This doesn't only refer to sport, but to life. How many times have you tried something but failed to remain motivated? Maybe you quit because it was too hard, frustrating or you had too much pressure to succeed? Keeping motivation is difficult when we can no longer see a reason to enjoy an activity. Perhaps your success has pushed you into a higher level of competition and the intensity is no longer fun.

9 February 2016

My weight loss journey - The Middle

When I last left off, I had managed to lose enough weight to utilise the Wii Fit and was looking at getting back into Martial Arts. If you require a refresher please click here.

From past experience in Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Shorin Ryu Karate and medieval weapons fighting I knew what I was looking for in a new gym. I didn't want high impact as I had several back and knee issues. Thankfully I had a best friend that trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and we spent time on the carpeted floor or back yard having a wrestle and going through techniques. Side note, don't do BJJ on carpet, learn from my stupidity.

5 February 2016

Training After Surgery or Injury

While I am generally fit and healthy now (for my age at least) I spent a long time without exercise or diet of any kind other than soft drink and fast food. I spent decades with poor diet and it remains a struggle to eat right. (Click the Weight Loss Label for some strategies).

Through all this I created several issues for myself, two of which required surgery. The one that took me out of training the longest was when my stomach wall was rebuilt. Many of my muscular issues were the result of being extremely overweight. The fat got behind my muscles and pushed them out of the correct alignment. This caused them to not work correctly if at all. I had small stabilising muscles doing the work of large power muscles and vice versa. This caused countless injuries and trips to the physio even though the weight was dropped. Having the surgery saved a lot of trouble, but there were some issues I wish I could have planned for better and asked more questions about at the start.

How to set goals

Settings realistic and attainable goals is crucial in sports, weight loss and for most major projects in your life. But just having the goal is not enough. I can say I have a goal of having a best selling novel by the time I'm 40, but without a planned approach with measurable steps along the way it will just remain a dream.

Setting a goal is more of a process cycle. The steps flow into each other but never stop. The process restarts with your new status as the starting point for further improvement. The basic steps are:
  1. Decide what you want to achieve
  2. Plan how you will get to that point
  3. Work towards the goal
  4. Monitor and evaluate

4 February 2016

My weight loss journey - The Beginning

Since birth I have always been a large person. I am tall and broad shouldered, a combination that hides my weight well. As a kid I was a little overweight, but you couldn't tell by looking at me.
I was also inherently lazy and always looked for the simplest and easiest way to do something with the least amount of effort. That worked well for video games but not for being fit.

3 February 2016

Subtract from Diet Month - Feb

I figured February was a nice short month to test my resolve in subtracting things from my diet. This month I have decided to remove Coke related products.

I enjoy drinking Coke. Before my weight loss journey I could easily have consumed a 2 litre bottle a day. I still enjoy it, but understand it isn't exactly the best option for my health. So I came up with a few rules to stick to for all of February.

Advice for chronic lower back pain

Chronic back pain (SIJ) was my biggest, most painful and longest lasting issue. It is still a problem but a manageable one. From being so overweight (190cm with an almost matching weight of 175kg), I damaged myself with the abuse of food and no exercise for over a decade. While the weight is mostly gone now, the damage is done. I had constant pain in my back of about 5 out of 10, with 10 being the most pain I had ever experienced. (Until that point, the greatest pain was getting my testicle squashed between my thigh and a speeding cricket ball. Said cricket ball was struck for what would have been a boundary had I not intercepted it at full sprint without groin protection. There is a lesson here somewhere I think.)

AJ Watson Introduction

Eight years ago I was 175kg (385lbs) and ran out of breath tying my shoes. Today I am a three time Australian Jiu Jitsu champion, two time Pan Pacific Jiu Jitsu champion and hold an assortment of other titles and achievements in my chosen sport.

I am nearly 40 and have endured two major surgeries and countless injuries due in large part to the poor way I treated my body for the first 30 years of life. I work a standard 38 hour week and fit in time for training, family and entertainment.