Been working the bag this week, doing the 20 strikes, and haven't missed a day. It is starting to feel like part of my routine, and on days when I had to modify the time (e.g. hit at 4pm and 10pm instead of 5am and 5pm) it felt a little wierd to me. Good sign.
Starting Monday I'll be doing 30 strikes. I'm most of the way through my first 8oz bottle of Jow, and am thinking about getting a different type from coiling dragon to hold in reserve for when I get up to 50 strikes.
The most notable change is that doing a strong exhale is becoming habitual at the point of striking.
I'm thinking about adding in forearm and shin conditioning while I'm at this. As my changes in schedule become routine (i.e. getting up earlier so I can do a short workout and my palm conditioning) I'm feeling more confident that I can add more in.
I am a little concerned that I won't be able to afford all of the Jow I'll need though. If I add in more body parts I suppose I'll have to start buying in bulk, or getting the herbs to brew my own.
Today begins week three, and I'm up to 30 strikes. I found a new surface to strike on, a sturdy old home-made bar that we have in the living room. It sits at just the right height, but I have less privacy (that part of the house is pretty much open from kitchen to TV room).
I'm not sure if I'm subconsciously hitting the bag harder or what, but I continue to try to relax and let my hand fall to the bag naturally, tensing only at the last moment. Despite that, the strikes are starting to get pretty loud, and it kind of echoes through our whole half of the duplex. No complaints from neighbors yet though.
My hands feel a little stiff today, which makes me nervous (e.g. oh no I'm turning my hands into unusable claws!) but I'm following all of the directions, working up gradually, and I tend to have stiff hands and fingers anyway (always been like that even as a kid).
Today is the first day that my hands are actually sore from doing my bag-strikes. Needs more Jow!
This weekend I'm going to be taking my iron palm bag on the road for a conference up in DC. I might not have an appropriate striking surface in my hotel room. I plan to manage the height problem by switching to a low horse stance if necessary. Not sure how I'll manage the noise problem, but I think that as long as I adjust the times that I do my strikes it shouldn't be a problem to make some noise for 10 minutes.
I'm staying at a cheap ass motel anyway, so some thudding sounds are probably the least of their worries.
Up to 40 strikes, and next week I'll be capping out at 50. Qi Gung meditations are beginning to leave me with a pleasant feeling of warmth running through my body, and particularly when I concentrate on my hands.
My next task is to figure out where to go from 50 strikes. Should I wait one more month and then change the medium? Stay with Beans for longer? Skip up to gravel or steel shot? I also need to start bulk buying jow because I'm using more.
Taking my first complete day off from training due to having some pretty annoying arm and shoulder pain. I didn't even hurt it training or doing muay thai, just slept on it funny or something. I rubbed some Jow on it, because Jow is aparently my 'tussin now.
Back to striking tomorrow I hope
My first Iron Palm-related injury..... A little bruise over the first knuckly of my ring finger. I've been getting more redness too, but then again, I'm at 50reps per strike now.
The decision I have now is what to do next with my training. After this week I plan to keep doing the regular 50 strikes for the rest of July at the minimum. After that I could either 1) begin to practice some power generation, thus hitting the bag a little harder 2) add in new surfaces (e.g. fingers, forearms*) or 3) upgrade to a new medium.
*I've been doing my forearms on and off, but decided that hitting the bag with them is cumbersome. Am going to explore other methods of shin and forearm conditioning. A wooden stick perhaps.
I'm still trying to find the right balance between how much I WANT to do in the mornings and how much I CAN MAKE MYSELF do. I would really like to add in some heavier exercise, but its hard to get motivated. Currently I have started doing the hundredpushups.com thing which only takes 5 more minutes 3 mornings per week. My next goal, I think, is to add in a longer qi gung routine if I can find one. I don't have an instructor, but I can forge ahead on my own. I've really enjoyed the qigong stuff that is part of Dale's iron palm foundation program.
Took two days off from training because I smashed one of my hands while helping a friend move. Happily used some "Tiger Exits the Forest" liniment to treat the bruise. Not sure if it helped but it feels good and smells fantastic.
One thing I have added to my regimen is that I have started timing when I wake-up with sunrise so that I can do some more standing meditation. It's helped me to keep a more regular schedule for the time being, and I feel pretty energized for my day.
I'm trying to decide if I should cut back on my coffee intake. But that's pretty daunting. Anyway, hopefully back to training tonight or tomorrow.
Articles and Reviews
Tools and Info