New Year, New Blog

For 2013 I’ve decided to take a big step.

For a few years now, I have maintained two separate blogs.

Samourai HQ has been my lifestyle blog, where I post music clips and talk about style, drinks, and things of that nature.


Fit Monkey Hawaii has been my fitness and martial arts blog.

For a variety of reasons I have opted to merge these different interests into one blog, A Gent in Training.

I approach my life from a sort of holistic point of view. Everything I do in some way is linked to something else I do. Thus, I decided it isn’t really natural for me to have different blogs to reflect different aspects of my personality as they aren’t really different at all, just part of a larger whole.

For the immediate future, I will be concentrating on reposting revised and updated versions of posts from my older blogs on the new blog. However, I have plenty of ideas for new content so there will be lots of original material up soon.

Thanks to all of those who’ve been reading my posts over the years. I hope you will join me in my latest blogging endeavor


Friday Training, 5.05.12

I finally was able to squeeze in enough time in an otherwise busy week to do a longer workout today, so I grabbed my Jungle Gym and 53-lb kettlebell and headed to the park.

To warm-up I did some joint mobility work, swung my Kali sticks, and did some KB around-the-bodys.

Next, Chin-Ups and Hindu Push-Ups, 2 sets of 10 each. Then, a quick set of 5 1-Arm Military Presses, followed by 2 sets of 10 1-Arm Clean-&-Jerks.

To finish, I did a sprint/swing circuit:

  • 5 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 25 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 25-m sprint
  • 5 KB Swings, 25-m sprint

I cooled down with a few minutes of yoga.

Quick Bodyweight Workout for a Busy Week

I have family from the Mainland visiting me in Hawaii this week, so I haven’t really had the time for my full kettlebells-in-the-park training. However, that doesn’t mean that I’m just taking it easy. I’ve managed to squeeze in some short bodyweight workouts here and there. Essentially, I’ve been doing modified ladders of Chin-Ups, Hindu Push-Ups, and Hindu Squats.

Here’s how it works. I start with one Chin-Up, two Hindu Push-Ups, and four Hindu Squats. As you may have noticed, the number of reps of each exercise is double the number of reps of the previous exercise. So it ends up going like this…

  • Chin-Ups: 1, Hindu Push-Ups: 2, Hindu Squats: 4
  • Chin-Ups: 2, Hindu Push-Ups: 4, Hindu Squats: 8
  • Chin-Ups: 3, Hindu Push-Ups: 6, Hindu Squats: 12
  • Chin-Ups: 4, Hindu Push-Ups: 8, Hindu Squats: 16
  • Chin-Ups: 5, Hindu Push-Ups: 10, Hindu Squats: 20

After the 5-10-20 set, I’d drop back down to 1-2-4 and work my way back up. It’s a pretty short workout but you get lots of reps in while still having energy to do what you need to do… such as entertaining visiting relatives.

Monday Training, 4.23.12

Well, I claimed a little while ago that I would get back to blogging regularly. I didn’t. It’s been a busy spring so far! But that’s a good thing.

One promise I didn’t break was my committment to revamp my training. And I’ve been doing just that. Today was a good example of that.

I recently read a great post by Steve Maxwell. Entitled A New Year, and a New, Improved Version of Yourself, the post discussed the importance of movement-based exercises for both performing better and looking better. Steve then made some suggestions for very simple but effective workouts.

I decided to start incorporating some of those suggestions in to my own training. For example, here’s what I did today…

Warm-Up: Joint mobility work, kettlebell halos, around-the-bodys, and windmills

Circuit 1: Ten minutes alternating between Chin-ups and Dips. I kept the reps low, somewhere in the 3 or 5 range, but kept the rest periods very short, usually less than 30-sec. For Chins, I played around with different grips, i.e. palms facing me, palms facing away, neutral grips, etc.

These ten minutes alone are quite a workout. As Steve Maxwell says, “These 2 exercises provide plenty of stimulation to every muscle in the upper body. These exercises exemplify virtue: honest, simple pulling and pushing the bodyweight and pure function. You can neither cheat nor pretend.”

Circuit 2: Tri-set of Sumo Deadlift, Alternating KB Swings, and Box Jumps. I did three sets of these, keeping reps just a few short of failure.

Circuit 3: This is my own addition. Five 50m sprints. Sweet and simple.

Cool-down: 400m ocean swim and yoga on the beach.

All in all, it was a fun and productive session. I plan to do this workout at least once a week for the forseeable future. Be sure to read Steve Maxwell’s original post, and get inspired yourself!

Time to Revamp Training

Over the last few months, my main training focus has been strength and size. You can get an idea of the sort of workouts I’ve been doing here. I’m happy with my results so far. I have gained about 10 pounds with no significant increase in body fat. My waist is the same as it was before.

However, with spring upon us, it’s time to start mixing things up a bit. While I’ll still have days focussing on strength and size, it is time to start throwing in more intense conditioning workouts as well. I’m happy about this, as one thing I love about kettlebells is the variety of training options. I look forward to starting a new regimen and experimenting with new routines.

Actually, that’s just what I did today. Men’s Health recently featured an interesting kettlebell workout. Essentially, it’s a kettlebell complex incorporating snatches, windmills, squats, and presses. Go check it out. Today I decided to give it a try. To warm-up, I did some joint mobility work, swung my Kali stick, and did some kettlebell halos and around-the-bodys. Next, three sets each of chin-ups and dips on the Jungle Gym. Now it was time for the aforementioned new workout. It was pretty challenging, especially with a 44-lb kettlebell. I finished with a bunch of swings and 25 yard sprints.

Video: More Kali Sparring!

Here’s a few more clips of my buddies and I engaging in some Kali sparring at the park recently.

Here’s Travis and Gary doing some stick sparring, both right and left handed:

And here’s Gary and I doing some Daga y Espada (stick and knife) sparring:

Hope you enjoy!

Video: Kickboxing Footwork

Some valuable tips on kickboxing footwork from my friend and training partner Travis Ewing.