So it’s just a few days past the halfway point in the July Tadoku Reading Contest put on by lordsilent. I’ve already passed by previous score of 1307 and am on my way to beating my Round 1 score of 3027 (I currently have 2035 read pages). You can see what I’ve been reading mostly by looking at my score breakdown or at my profile on bookmeter. I’ve read 24 volumes of the 結界師(Kekkaishi) manga and 10 of Deadman Wonderland, the 11th Volume doesn’t come out until October (T . T). I’ve read a few pages from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and from Tokyo Tower by Ekuni Kaori, of which I also have the audiobook for the latter.

This contest I am following the unofficial Tadoku rules I’ve read on a few pages, which is don’t look anything up, skip over words you don’t know and if something bores you move on to something else. While there are words that I don’t understand here and there I understand over 75% of what I am reading so it’s not too much of a headache.

Oh and I’ve also been watching Ghost in the Shell, I still have trouble with the Japanese name for this show which is 「攻殻機動隊」こう・かく・き・どう・たい so let’s break down the Kanji:

攻- aggression

殻- husk

機- mechanism

動-move

隊- regiment

The only compound in this string of Kanji is 機動隊 – which means “riot police, and riot squad.” And the first two Kanji I suppose you just have to make sense out of it yourself, of course the first kanji 攻 has to do with attacks or some kind of offensive while 殻 – has to do with armor and protection of some sort, an outer layer. So I suppose robots are armored things that attack you. You will find similar string of Kanji in Japanese news paper where they don’t equal  compounds but you get the meaning by understanding the Kanji, and it isn’t always clear if you use On-yomi or Kun-yomi, I don’t always read Japanese news articles =P

Anyways on to the second section of this post which is about a workout called the “Spartacus Workout” which is supposedly the workout that got the cast of Spartacus: Blood and Sand all cut for the show. Of course this isn’t true but they did have the cast endorse the workout and had videos of them doing it, but they did many more things to get ready for their roles. Anyways the Men’s Health article is here. I didn’t realize how popular this workout was until I did a bit of searching. Some nice people even had a printout and an MP3 to help you through the workout at The Spartacus Workout Club site. Okay So I did this workout this morning, with a recently recovered ankle, I was pretty anxious to start working out again. This workout was a real wake-up call for my muscles, I overdid it in the first circuit, paced myself through the second and in the last circuit I pushed myself to the limit. Not everyone has a jacuzzi or pool to jump into after a workout so I am very fortunate. =]

Anyways I will do this workout every Mon, Wed, and Fri and do some cardio in between on Tues, Thurs, and Sat and finally sleep all day Sunday cause I’ll be so tired. =P

I wish much luck to all my fellow Tadokuers and workout enthusiasts!

Jury Duty and Moderation.

October 7, 2010

So yes I have jury duty. I am sitting in the Jury Assembly room as we speak, and will be here for another 6 hours or so. So I thought I might as well do a blog update, maybe I’ll do a lang-8 post as well. So the post title has Jury Duty in it but I think I am done talking about that. I will be discussing a few things I have learned as far as learning techniques.

In my previous post about a month ago I said I was doing the Beachbody Insanity workout. I am still doing it, I am on the 5th week which is the recovery week. I also(recently) decided to do some calorie counting to help burn more fat. When I began the workout I found myself getting extremely sore in the shin area, I dunno what that bone is called but it always hurt in both legs. After not doing Plyometrics (jump training) for several months I shouldn’t have tried to do it like I did before. So I modified most of the plyo moves in the videos so I can do them without jumping and still feel the burn.

I also applied this to my studies a while ago. I wouldn’t have finished Remembering the Kanji vol. 1 if I tried to do 100 kanji a day. Instead I only did 10 Kanji a day, it took nearly a year but I got through it and still do my reviews everyday, I try to add about 5 from the RTK3 everyday, but if I don’t it’s okay. When I began reading some Japanese novels I realized how many RTK3 Kanji there were popping up, so I figured I should learn them. I am still taking the JLPT2 this December,I may be shooting to high for my first time but I feel very confident about the test, I already recognize double the required Kanji and I use my SRS everyday as well as plenty of Japanese immersion.

On an aside I noticed that when I study Japanese I do better on my reps when I don’t listen to Japanese music or shows while I do it. Probably because i’m not much of a passive listener, if I hear I sound I try and figure out what it says. As we speak in the Jury Assembly room I can isolate peoples conversations, or I can choose to hear the general noise that a bunch of people talking sounds like, which is pretty annoying. So while listening to Japanese music or shows I pay attention, but with English songs pretty much know already I don’t have to think about it so I can just worry about my SRS reps. I guess I could listen to classical music but until I know the songs well I’d be pretty distracted.

So in conclusion do what you can, don’t follow along with the in-shape people on the DVDs, you’ll just burn out. Don’t try to do a polyglot’s daily routine, you’ll burn out as well. Just do what you can, even if it’s just a minute, or even less. I guess I am echoing AJATT’s recent post topics, but it’s true. I use the EpicWin iPhone app to make the things I do seem rewarding, cause no one is praising me for all the exercise and studying I do, I don’t even praise myself, so this program helps a lot with that.

Beachbody Insanity

September 13, 2010

So last week I started the Beachbody Insanity workout. I had done P90x last year, and while I had pretty much kept my arms and shoulders in pretty good shape everything else fell to the wayside. I didn’t really follow the nutrition plan, I don’t have the money for that. It doesn’t matter much for arm strength, that donut you eat is more likely to go to your stomach and thighs, etc. So in the end I was unable to get what I wanted from the workout, abs. I’m sure they are under there somewhere, diet is really important for getting and keeping abs.

Now that I am doing Insanity I am at least counting calories this time around. Someone of my height and weight can have over 3000 calories if you are doing extensive exercise (My BMI is 24 btw). So while i’m not “fat” I am not really in shape, so I decided to change that. The first week of the exercise really kicked my ass, really did a number on my legs, the key is not to follow the people in the video and try to outdo them (at first). I tried doing that for the P90X Plyometrics and I had to ice my legs and could barely walk, haha. What I like about Insanity is that it’s about burning the fat, then working in the muscle. P90X, at least to me, seemed to be about lifting weights and building muscle. I always had muscle fatigue form the workouts of P90x, but the Insanity workouts leaves me exhausted and dripping sweat like crazy. Though I think these workouts are “harder’ than P90X I feel better after doing them, more accomplished.

I don’t know if I will post pics or anything like people usually do, though it is good motivation. I took a pic of myself the first day, and I guess I’ll take some more on day 30 then 60. If I am happy with the results I will probably put them up. I have a good feeling about this 60-day workout.