Training of the form and aerobic exercises

Training of the form and aerobic exercises

Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Wed Sep 07, 2005 3:17 am

Greetings All,

Practice of the bare hand taiji form, as I understand it, is not an aerobic exercise per se, sometimes it's kind of opposite. Some people state that aerobic exercise is needed for the body. My question is what's the rule for combining these two kinds of activities? Are these two kinds of activities somewhat mutually exclusive and there should be a pause between them?

Thank you for any advises you can share to me.



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 09-06-2005).]
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Postby chris » Wed Sep 07, 2005 8:30 pm

Do the long form 5 times in a row, 5 minutes each, and it becomes an aerobic exercise Image

What is necessary and advisable depends on one's goals. Fight and flight both require some aerobic capacity. Reading classics and posting on forums do not Image
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Postby Anderzander » Thu Sep 08, 2005 12:46 am

Hi Yuri

I'm wondering what to do about my own aerobic fitness at the moment :-? I used to be very fit, but for some years have practiced only taiji.

It is demanding - I went through a stage where when I rose from the final closing posture my legs would give way.... but my heart never accelerated.

An accelerated heart rate is in fact non condusive to taiji.

Here are a couple of points that may be relevant though:

Some years ago I got duped into a 'match' with a boxer - in the event I found him easy to fight and we concluded when he was exhausted. Perhaps the fact that I became confident allowed me to relax all the more and made it easier - kind of a positive circle.

Strangely afterwards he thought his fitness had let him down and commenced upon a vigorous and punishing aerobic regime! I advised him that he would be better investing the time in relaxing as he was already substantially fitter than I was.

The 2nd thing is that I recently bought a heart rate monitor. I expected my heart health to be poor. (in my past) I used to be able to run 6 miles a day with no sign of stiffness on top of 4 - 8 hours other training each day. I once ran 3 miles in 16 minutes. Now I run 2miles in half an hour !!! and it is an act of will to not slow to a walk!

So, I was dreading the heart rate monitor. However - my resting heart rate is in the 40's - just watching tv puts it in the 50's and I can drop it from the high 90's to less than 60 in a matter of moments. This can only be the taiji.

I havent drawn any solid conclusions - but it does illustrate that it is perhaps a viable alternative to aerobic exercise.

Instead of increasing the energy available to carry out a task you can reduce the energy neccessary to carry out that task?

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 09-07-2005).]
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Postby cheefatt taichi » Thu Sep 08, 2005 3:51 am

I perfectly agree with Anderzander, taiji allows you to spend energy much more efficiently. You can do vigorous tasks with your heart rate maintain close to normal instead of pumping mad. According to Chinese medical concept, internal organs like heart, lung, kidney etc are very fragile. To be healthy, you don't make them work harder as in jogging, aerobic etc what you need to do is preserve their efficiency and continue to nourish them with good flows of blood and Chi.

I have a student who is a coach of Shaolin boxing, he swims everyday, he lift weights, and he jog very occasionally. Physically he is very much in shape compared to me. I only do taiji daily about 30-45 minutes. In typical modern medical concept he is much fitter than me. But when we go into dynamic push-hands, san sou and other combative drills. He couldn't keep-up with me both in strength and stamina.

Taiji is more superior in this context.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:49 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by chris:
Do the long form 5 times in a row, 5 minutes each, and it becomes an aerobic exercise Image

Reading classics and posting on forums do not Image</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Hi, Chris

Yes, I am convinced of it. Image It's a good point. Sometimes we just have another purpose of the current form training. And I was wondering if one divides these two kinds of physical activities, what he must keep in mind… ? from the physiological point of view so to speak…


Hi Anderzander, Cheefatt taichi

Thank you for the interesting answers! I too came to the similar conclusions regarding the relationship between endurance and taiji training, especially endurance in tuishou matches …
I totally agree that calmness and confidence really affects relaxation and in turn endurance. This process of "slowing down" and aerobics seem to be physiologically somewhat reverse, but eventually may lead to the almost same result in the case of the special physical activity like dealing with an opponent. This is quite out of ordinary, as many other things in this world Image however explainable.



[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 09-08-2005).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:21 pm

Greetings Yuri,

My opinion is that the need for aerobic exercise is one that is artificially induced by the way many of us live in modern society. Taijiquan was not developed for getting into shape or for relieving stress. Those are needs we confront in industrialized society. Many work in jobs that require sitting at computers. We get from point A to point B in cars, trains, planes, and elevators. In pre-industrial society, one burned a great deal more calories in the course of an ordinary day because of the demands upon one’s system.

Taijiquan is an excellent exercise, but I think it is sensible to include aerobic activities in your schedule. I like walking, hiking, bicycling, gardening. I like these activities because I can incorporate taiji principles such as sinking the qi to the dantian, xulingdingjin, alignment and integrative movement, as I do them. I also do a moderate regimen of abdominal crunches and free-weight workouts. That’s something I can do while watching TV, so that I don’t become a couch potato. I’m in my fifties, and I know for a fact that one’s metabolism changes as one gets older. So it’s important to be even more mindful of what you eat and how you burn it.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 09-08-2005).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:54 pm

I think it's important to define what we mean by 'aerobic'. Is this the narrow definition wherein the heart rate is accelerated to a certain number and sustained for a definite period of time? If so many taiji authorities that I have talked to suggest that this is really only for young people and that after 30 or so we should basically avoid ji2lie4 de yun4dong4 'intense' or 'frenetic' exercise like that. I tend to agree with what Louis said and do a lot of cycling myself (apparently Yang Zhenduo has used a bicycle to get around for most of his life) but I'm not sure whether most would consider this 'aerobic' exercise.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 5:59 pm

Came across this on the web:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) defines aerobic exercise as "any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature." It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest. The important idea behind aerobic exercise today, is to get up and get moving!! There are more activities than ever to choose from, whether it is a new activity or an old one. Find something you enjoy doing that keeps your heart rate elevated for a continuous time period and get moving to a healthier life.</font>


Unfortunately it does not really clarify the situation.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:02 pm

Here's another definition, which I think may lie outside of what some taiji folks approve:

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">To strengthen your heart, you should do aerobic exercise intensely enough to reach your target heart rate. This is 60-80 percent of your maximum heart rate - which is 220 minus your age. (Example: if you're 50 years old, your maximum heart rate is 170; your target heart rate is 102-136.)</font>
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:04 pm

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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Sep 08, 2005 6:09 pm

I've never measured it but I doubt that my heart rate goes up to 110 while walking or cycling. I have some doubts about the value of that anyway.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Thu Sep 08, 2005 7:04 pm

Greetings All,

For myself, I define 'aerobic ' close to the first quote - "a type of dynamic exercises that load muscles, the heart and lungs to some sensible degree and causes them to work harder than at rest". And I agree with Louis that in the modern life this type of exercises plays the role of natural physical activity of the past times.

Louis,
My teacher used to say "a whole day overbalances a morning training" so I also try to don't forget about taiji in daily activity. Personally I would include in your list of principles the rooting in the first line … However, of course it's matter of taste Image




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Postby Anderzander » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:40 pm

I was defining aerobic as being where you push your heart into work at the upper levels. This certainly fits with the athletic perspective.

The activities Louis listed, I would say, when practiced in the 'taiji' way are done with the emphasis on keeping the heart rate down. Which would be the opposite of my previous definition.

In fact - walking (inc hiking), cycling and gardening are my main forms of exercise these days and they all prove to be opportunities to improve my Sung :-)

[This message has been edited by Anderzander (edited 09-08-2005).]
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Postby Anderzander » Thu Sep 08, 2005 8:42 pm

Jerry,

I forgot to say - 100 bpm comes up pretty easily and doesn't feel at all like any real level of effort.
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:21 pm

I have been involved in stair walking for some time, which no longer raises my heart rate! My doctor prescribed this activity to me to help with some problems I've had with my neck and I've been doing it for so long now it doesn't come close to being able to raise my heart rate "aerobically". I do two sets of twenty flights of steps each day. Each one takes me almost exactly ten minutes each time. At first my heart rate soared right up the "target" level each time I did this, but now I can barely get my heart to beat more than 70 bpm's for each set no matter how strenuously I do them. If I speed up and do more reps, I still am unable to get my heart rate up over 70.
I guess the conditioning of doing them every day has lead to this point for me. I dunno.
I do know one thing, I began to do these sets of steps as TCC stair walking some time back, we've discussed this before on this forum, and since then my heart rate still doesn't go up, but I do sweat every bit as much as I used to when it did.
I have found that Fair Lady Works Shuttles is the single best form to use for my TCC stair walking sets, though to break it up I can use any form from the 103 that involves taking a step to do this.
I've always recommended giving this a try since I began doing it. I've been steadily losing weight and I feel a lot better each time I do my set.
I read in one of Master Ma Yueh Lang's (hope I spelled that right?) books that TCC stimulates the Vagus nerve (again on the spelling) while aerobic exercise stimulates another set of nerves in the body, can't recall the name off the top of my head.
I don't have the book, so if anyone out there could help me with this theory....

Anyway, that may help us get some further insight into this. It was Master Ma's Tui Shou book I had borrowed it from a friend but no longer have it in my possession.
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