“You are a monster.”
In the context of sports, this is probably the best compliment that I could ever give. If I tell you that you’re a monster, it means that you’re in more or less that physical state I aspire to be in. Earlier this year, I told myself I want to be as fit as I was back in college. Today, I pull that goal up a level higher. I want to be fit as a monster.
Really. And although I’m not an athlete or anything of that sort, I have been carving out some time to workout regularly. Lately I’ve been doing at least 2-3 times of Capoeira with Sinha Bahia Capoeira Manila (@SBCManila) a week – this includes basic, advanced skills, and conditioning. I am already starting to feel a bit more energetic and stronger than when I first started training again, but this is just the beginning. I will need to exert more effort to become a total “monster”.
Aspiring for fitness entails a change in lifestyle, and I’m happy to say that I’ve been spending my past couple of Fridays working out rather than burning cash on Jack Daniel’s (although for purposes of disclosure, I do free that up on special occasions). Friday nights at the gym are spent with Ferdie – and boy, do we enjoy that.
I wanted to let you take a quick peek at what we do before the weekend, so maybe next time you can join our journey.
‘Fro Day Fridays
‘Fro Day Fridays is a name given by one of my fellow Capoeristas, Pandora, to the session led by our very own, Ferdie. (By now, you should have already guessed that it’s because he sports an awesome afro)
The training is composed of four parts, which I will attempt to explain vaguely. This, of course, begins with a light warm up and stretching.
Part 1: The 99’s
99 is the number of repetitions/seconds we do for each exercise. For every set, this number goes down by 11 reps. Thus, we do 99 for the first set, 88 for the second set, and so on until we reach 22 reps. There is approximately 30 seconds walk or rest period between sets. These are the exercises:
- Jump jacks – 99 reps
- Leg raises (or your preferred ab workout) – 99 reps
- Wall Sit – 99 secs
- Crunches (any type) – 99 reps
- Push Ups (any type) – 9 reps only
What happened to the 11? After the last set, we do 11 minutes of non-stop freestyle ginga, kicks, and esquivas as cardio exercise. Non-Capoeiristas may replace this with other cardio drills.
Part 2: Circuit Training a la Capoeira
So you’ve done circuit training? We do it Capoeira style. There are basically 10 stations, each station with a different exercise. We stay in one station for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds before moving to the next. A peek at the exercises:
- Rip 60 (core workout: superman)
- Capoeira: negativa trocada, role, au
- Resistance band (with hands: squat, pull band down)
- Capoeira: armada, fall to queda de rins
- Resistance band (strapped to ankles: knee raises)
- Exercise ball (core workout: spiderman)
- Jump rope
- Capoeira: fall on headstand, lift to handstand
- Capoeira: martelo rotado
Part 3: Capoeira Floreios
Floreios is the Portuguese term for “flourishes” – those awesome movements in Capoeira that make people whoa. We practice around 5 combinations during this part of training. Although this may vary from session to session, here are some examples for the sake of students in the beginners class aspiring to train with Ferdie:
- Martelo rotado, au
- Negativa trocada, bananeira
- Esquiva lateral, balanco, au batido
- Queixada, au de frente
- Meia lua de compasso, macacinho
Part 4: Capoeira Roda
The last part, which we all love, is the roda. We play around 30-40 minutes of this, depending on whether we can be stopped in the middle of our excitement!
I can’t give expert advice on “How To Be Monstrously Fit” yet, but I’ll work to reach that time I’ll actually be able to write that post. For now, I’ll spend a bit of time once in a while to share what I’ve learned and where I am so far. Maybe one day I can boast of crazy monster photos. Oh I’d love that.
Sinha Bahia Capoeira training is at Club 650, Libis, MWF 8:00-10:00pm for advance, and TTh 7:30-9:30pm for beginners. We also have classes at Big Shift, A. Venue, Makati ave., MW 8:00pm-9:30pm and S 10:00am. More details here: www.capoeira.com.ph