Ramped up the training in class last night, just a little. Since our December start, most students have made it to every class, which means they are starting to really show the results of the hard training. It’s not just the tough exercises that are challenging, it’s the variations of pacing I put them through. Someone could show up to one class and appreciate the exhuberant exercises, but it’s only after a few weeks that you start to see and feel what’s going on. The pain increases during recovery, and the appetite soars. It can be a time of brief confusion, while the body tries to switch gears to adapt to the rhythm that is being forced on it.

It’s been a grind, but we are past that. Yesterday before training we were all tired, our bodies feeling exhausted and in need of comfort…but as the hour for class approached, closer and closer, our energy started to perk up. We started class hungry for effort, starved to push our limits.

Compound sprints were the first challenge. Things like tuck jump landing in full squat, and then sprint…or cartwheel, out of the squat. At the end of the sprint, turn and repeat with no pause. This kind of exercise really rewards the diligent athlete. With no training, you can make it through the exercise. Even if you are only a little fit, you can do this exercise and wonder why everyone else thinks it’s hard. When you’ve hit the right level of strength though, you can accelerate pretty damned fast. More muscles are activated, in faster time and with more intensity, than they are in a less trained person. The compounding turns that speed against the athlete, and ramps the intensity up even higher.

So, yes, this morning feels a little more stiff and slow than usual. It would probably be worse but I managed to eat within the recovery window after the workout. And I squeezed in a beer, too. Hot tub would have been better, but what can you do? Overall a really damned good class. The workouts are killer…and fun. The unarmed section is really just as intense as the workout portion, but it’s so more engaging to the brain that it seems easier. I keep hitting everyone with some pretty advanced techniques, challenging them to adapt without too much slop in their form, and they keep meeting the challenge.

The rapier hour is really the gem of the class, though. Big gains here. The increased fitness is showing itself in crisp and sharp movement, the drills are paying off in excellent displays of measure control and technical finesse movements. Keeping strict timing on the drills…limiting them to thirty minutes, means every class wraps with half an hour of solid sparring. Everybody fights, and even after two hours of really freaking hard work…you still have to drag people off of the floor at the end of our time.

I think we are almost ready for the real fun to begin…