Monday, July 11, 2011

Days 25 - 32: All Systems GO

July 12, 2011

2 days - Arts Fest 2011
28 days - Blue Band Officer Week
35 days - Blue Band Marching Auditions/Band Camp Begins
53 days - Penn State vs. Indiana State
60 days - Penn State vs. Alabama
67 days - Penn State vs. Temple

The title says it all, and is the explanation for why there hasn't been a post on here in eight days.  I'm now pushing 100% towards getting ready for the season - my summer break is over.  Like I usually do in the first paragraph of each of my posts, if I I can sum up the week in one series of words it would look like this:  cardio, cardio, cardio, stretch, work, cardio, read fundamentals, revamp warmups, cardio, work, write drill, teach alto sax lessons, cardio, sleep?  So, here's a summation of what I'm doing now to prepare, improve, focus, and be on top of my game up until I return for officer week on August 9th.

If I haven't made it evident enough, I've cranked up the cardio workouts big-time.  And by big-time, I mean it.  The results are showing, and in comparison to where I was last summer in terms of preparation mentally, physically, and emotionally, I'm miles beyond where I was then.  Just click on this image below this paragraph... it's basically a summation of the past week's workouts in comparison to a similar image taken last summer from my old daily photo blog I used to have (funny that I called a 643-calorie workout "killer", oh what I didn't know then...).  I've started doing heat acclimation - putting myself out in the heat and forcing myself to push myself beyond where I'm comfortable, because when I put on that uniform, which is heavy enough, and then add a layer of Underarmor because the pants are so white they are essentially see-through, it's brutally hot.  I'm now drinking two gallons of water every day because my cardio workouts are so intense that I'm losing between 3-5 pounds of water in one hour of cardio.  I have the elliptical machine on full 20/20 resistance (I'm using the elliptical to limit the impact that running has on my shins), and it is a maximum all-out effort for a full 60 minutes.

For those fitness-inclined, some additional stats for the 1234-calorie 60-minute workout on 7/9/11:  Average heart rate was 154 beats-per-minute, average wattage output was 332 watts, and average mets was 15.23.

I have increased my stretch time to 20 minutes daily, now focusing on the muscles that are under the most stress during the strut, particularly the Psoas muscles (Iliopsoas muscles).  That helps me get a higher kick and allows me to have greater back bend, as well as eventually being able to land into a full split, as opposed to the hurdler's split.  I have also begun the "cutting" process, as a lot of bodybuilders coin it.  I have been bulking since last November in an attempt to put on mass throughout my entire body, but during the season I'll want the least amount of mass on me as possible, which explains the increase in cardio, and decrease in lifting.  I also need to rest my shoulder - I'm going to be getting it examined in November, probably with MRIs.  Rest takes the pain away, but it comes back after an upper-body workout, so it seems to be permanent damage.  I'm thinking separation or a tear at either the AC joint or the labrum. 

I'll be rewriting the band's calisthenics/warmup sequence this year and making it rhythm and music-based, something that Dr. Bundy suggested to me this past spring, in order to get the overall energy and morale of the band up, as well as prepare them better for marching and physical output than the current warmups do.  They don't promote much energy, and there are too many static stretches and not enough stretches that engage the body for activity similar to the ones they will be doing (e.g. marching, holding instruments, managing breathing).  I don't want to coin it "step aerobics", because it isn't... not in the least, but the sequence is all rhythm-based (counts of 4, 8, 16), and it'll be done along with a different song each day, upbeat, in the BPM range of 150-190.  This way the band will also be able to warm up their bodies during the colder weather later in the season (not a huge issue this year because the final two games of the season are away, as well as the conference championship being indoors).  The same old warm-up traditions will be upheld (e.g. arm circles, jumping jacks w/"one for victory", massage lines, etc.), just in a more flavorful and entertaining way.  I want to give the band something to look forward to coming to rehearsal for.  I think it will translate to better rehearsals, higher energy and morale, and a better Blue Band.  With all that said... I'm not a perfect person, and these warm-ups won't be perfect by any means, but hopefully it's a push in a better direction.  I always say that when I graduate, I want to leave my position, as well as the Blue Band in a better state than I left it.  (hint, hint: Improve. Every. Day).

Everything else is going to get more attention now... flips will be happening weekly or bi-weekly now (weather permitting) with video evaluation, conducting will be getting videotaped and evaluated, I'll be reading through the fundamentals booklet and running my own fundamentals sessions with myself, as well as quizzing myself on every detail that's in that booklet.  I'll be practicing mace spinning, salutes, and various techniques on a daily basis.

Arts Fest is going to be my last break, after that, my nose goes to the grindstone until January.

Here's to a great year.

That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Looking forward to seeing these new warmups, Ian! Love the countdown on top too, I like to see those numbers always getting closer to 0! Have fun at Arts Fest this weekend.