Stretch Machine Calculations

When I bought my splits machine, I had no way to easily calculate the angle of the machine. So I dialed in a visual 90° angle and started looking for convenient ways to measure the machine’s leg length. I measured a leg length of 28 to the screws at the end of the leg, and then measured the “base” of the triangle between the opposite leg’s screws. I discovered a measurement of 39.5, which gave 89.717°. Measuring from the absolute ends of the machine legs show a leg length of 29 and a base (spread distance) of 41, for a result of 89.996°. This was very accurate and since it was round numbers I was happy with the results.

I would then use an on-line triangle calculator to determine the angle of my splits for the session by measuring the distance between the legs.

Months later it occurred to me that I could just measure the distance between the legs and use that to index a previously calculated figure. So I re-measured 180cm from end to end at 180°, and then 125cm end to end for 90°. The implication being that the factor is about 1.6° per cm as you go from 125cm to 180cm. To test this I dialed in a visual 135° using the tiles on the floor and measured 164cm. This is an extra 39cm, and I expected only an additional 27cm. So the figure gets more accurate as you get closer to 180°. What would be better, likely then, is to do a table of expected results based on the leg length and not rely on a formula.

However while doing the table I kept coming back to highly accurate visual results indicating that a leg length of 29 (88cm) was very accurate between 90° to 180°. It became simply too convenient to use this number. Yet, when measuring at 180° we got 180cm, so perhaps using a leg length of 90cm would be a bit more accurate.

As it turned out, a leg length of 90cm provided greater than a very careful visual tuning of the angle. At 135° and 90°, observed error was attributable to human error. For example, I tried to make the machine 135° and measured a 165cm spread from pad-end to pad-end. This would give us 132.9°. But when I went to visually check the degree I found it to be slightly inside 135°. Meaning, closer to 132.9°. Thus the leg length of 90° was adopted and used to key spread lengths to spit angles.

Table 1: Spread Length to Angle

Spread Length Expected Angle
180cm 180°
175cm 153°
170cm 142°
165cm 133°
160cm 125°
155cm 119°
150cm 113°
145cm 107°
140cm 102°
135cm 97°
130cm 92°
125cm 88°

Table 2: Required Spread Length for Angle

Angle Spread Length
180cm 180cm
170° 179cm
160° 177cm
150° 174cm
140° 169cm
130° 163cm
120° 156cm
110° 147cm
100° 138cm
90° 127cm

More later.

Adidas Duramo 7 Review

I have now walked over one million steps in a pair of Adidas Duramo 7 running shoes, and I’d like to share my thoughts about the shoes as a walker and martial artist.

Approximately six weeks ago I bought a pair of Adidas Duramo 7 running shoes. I bought the shoes because I like Adidas in general, but also because the shopkeep said they were designed wider than other Adidas shoes. When I was trying them on in the store I put them through their paces and tried on most of the designs they had. I had tried the Duramo 7’s first or second and they didn’t fit so well, but better than the others for me. So I tried them on again but this time they felt very comfortable. Only later did I understand why, which I will explain in a moment.

For the first 100k steps or so I had problems with the right foot. I would get blisters on both feet but after about 20,000 steps a day I would start getting pains in my right foot. My ankles also started to go out at about 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day. We thought it might be something like bursitis or other repetitive stress or biomechanical issue so I started dosing on collagen and chondritin, that kind of thing with sports drinks and pills. It seemed to fix the issue, but what nailed it is I began to realize that the shoe on the right was tied tighter than the one on the left and that is what was causing the problem. So I loosened the laces a bit on the right and surprise, the foot pain went away after just 400 or 500 or so steps (!!) which was amazing. My foot felt very comfortable and relaxed as the pain went away and I did over 30k steps that day (average was about 18k at the time). That was when I started to understand that these shoes were comfortable or not based on lacing. They are very advanced shoes which require perfect lacing but I did not realize how perfect for another 150k or 200k steps.

In the second week I upped my daily steps to around 22k. I was constantly getting blisters when I went over 15k or 20k over a period of days. I also had heat shocks from certain kinds of socks, I did not get blisters from these but I learned not to wear them with the Adidas shoes. It was a no-name or small-name sock anyways, no need to mention it, no good sock is made from that weave or material, it was a low quality sock but if you get heat shocks, up your socks.

But, I did get blisters in the second and third week, as I kept upping my daily steps until I started to hit 30k a day on average. At one point I had five blisters on my feet and it became difficult to walk. I also began to notice a certain intangible tightness on both feet, which was related to the foot pain I felt before. On a lark I loosened the laces on both shoes slightly once again until they almost felt too loose. I had to tighten the laces on one shoe slightly, but then ended up losening them again. The change was very noticeable, as I had somehow found the perfect lace-up for these shoes and at that point, maybe around the 400k step mark, I stopped getting any kind of foot pain and I stopped getting blisters even when I hit 40k steps a day. I also noticed that these shoes then allowed me the freedom to engage my toes which also helped a great deal with blisters and proper foot structure. I finally understood what was meant by gripping the ground with the toes, I can say as a result of these shoes.

Since then, for the last 600k+ steps I have not had any foot pain or blisters. I wish I had understood these shoes better, because they are really amazing walking shoes. One of the things I really liked about these shoes is that I noticed my normal problem of feet turning out was corrected by these shoes. I don’t do that anymore, which may also be a mental thing, but I do in fact believe the shoes somehow helped. Based on the wear the shoes have been showing I believe these shoes will be good for at least another 2 million steps, 3 to 4 million in total, but I may edit this review or post a new one at that time.

As a martial artist I can say these shoes provide nowhere near the ground connection of the SM-II class of shoe (i.e. Adi-kick, Adiluxe, Tornadoes, etc) but they are also nowhere near as bad as the boost series or any kind of pumps which basically destroys your connection to the ground. Another contender for this kind of poor ground shoe is a Sketchers GoWalk, which basically feels like you’re walking on an air bubble. You do get used to that kind of shoe after a while but it’s the wrong kind of getting used to which goes against martial arts training and will introduce subtle problems if you use them as a training shoe. Thankfully, I do not believe the Duramo 7 shoe has this problem. By no means is it a grounded shoe, but what I am saying is that it is not a serious problem once you get used to it.

That being said the next shoe I review will have a better ground on it and I will be making a direct comparison with the Duramo 7’s in that regard to compare what it’s like in each shoe from the standpoint of training. I’ll provide a link to any updated review at that time. Until then, if you are looking for a reasonable shoe to do a decent 2 million steps in, the Adidas Duramo 7 is great for you — assuming you are willing to spend more time than usual lacing the shoe. It’s like a handmade ferarri or lambroghini engine. It requires tuning, and I believe it is worth it. Other shoes don’t have the padding this one does or the lacing flexibility and it will show in the form of blisters and foot problems if you do high step counts each day.

Status: Recommended

Pros: Excellent padding, Reasonable ground connection, Good durability, No blisters, abrasions, or other repetitive stress injuries.

Cons: Requires perfect lacing or foot issues may occur over 10k+ steps.

Garmin Group “Canada Top Runners” Changes Leaderboard Metrics

This week for the first time, I will fail to win, place or show in the Garmin Groups “Canada Top Runners” and “Downtown Toronto Running”. I have previously reached first place since joining those groups. They have both spontaneously changed to “distance run” which disqualifies me as I have a Vivofit 2 and not a Forerunner or Fenix or whatever their running watch is.

Interestingly enough, prior to my arrival both groups were step tracking groups dominated by the same person (no need to name names). This person was consistently second by a margin of 10% to 20% while I was a member. In any case, the person is now first again and I am at the bottom of their group, so I quit their groups. I can no longer participate on a fair and even playing field, my (entry level) watch only reports step tracking.

I continue to dominate the “Let’s Move Canada”, “Garmin UX Taiwan”, “Vivosmart China” and other groups I am a member of. I am currently first in the 150k Step Challenge this week as well.

Soon I will back down from step diary challenges and devote more time to the splits diary and wuji diary. After I accomplish those goals my long term plans are to ease into a more traditional routine, keeping the same hours but replacing walking and so forth with mainly jibengong, forms and single posture repetitions should come very naturally. I will touch more on this process in a future post on the topic of cross training different systems.

I’m a little disappointed in the way Canada Top Runners and DTR groups have handled my presence, but in the end I was not planning on being long term competitive. Just establishing a baseline amount of training time.

A Long Road Tests a Horse’s Strength (路遙知馬力)

As a long road tests the strength of a horse, so time reveals a person’s true heart. (Zhiching Chen, Epoch Times)

“A long road tests the strength of a horse” is a proverb commonly used by Chinese people.

It is the first part of the saying “路遙知馬力, 日久見人心” (“lù yáo zhī mǎ lì, rì jiǔ jiàn rén xīn”), which literally means “as a long road tests the strength of a horse, so time reveals a person’s heart.”

Chinese proverbs, like Chinese idioms, have layer upon layer of wisdom. They are sayings that are full of advice for people to follow in their daily lives. Often, they originate within families, and sometimes from street vendors and other common folk from all walks of life.

The use of this phrase can be traced to the first act of the opera “Repaying One’s Kindness (also translated as repaying an obligation)” written during the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1279–1368). Xu, the hero of the tale, says to Li, a woman who helps him in a difficult situation and even gives him a gold hairpin before he sets off: “Sister, thank you for helping me. I wish for you a long and prosperous life. In the future, I will repay your kindness when you need help, just as it is said that a long road will test the strength of a horse, thus time will prove the nature of a person’s heart.”

The phrase can also be found in the twentieth chapter of the novel “The Investiture of the Gods (also known as the “Legend of Deification”)” from the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368–1644).

Minister Fei Zhong said to King Zhou: “I secretly dispatched one of my trusted subordinates to enquire about Fang Zhichang. It turns out that he is indeed royalty, just as the saying goes: as a long road tests the strength of a horse, so time reveals a person’s heart.”

Nowadays, the proverb is used to describe a person’s true character or capability that is revealed after a long period of testing.

full article: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/479740-chinese-idioms-a-long-road-tests-a-horses-strength-%E8%B7%AF%E9%81%99%E7%9F%A5%E9%A6%AC%E5%8A%9B/