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Do you exercise?

What kind and how often?

Do you think it's important and does, or not, it affect your ability to make knives?

 

I got really fit when I quit smoking in 2011, kinda regressed from there, and the last 4 years my exercise has been limited to getting of semi-staying in shape for long distance multi-day hikes.

Did the one last Winter 10Kg overweight......over and above the additional 10kg+ I carry around :P

 

Apart from sweating like a pig, I noticed I get tired very quickly when forging, fortunately managed to push through to my second wind and get some work done, but I heard the warning bells....

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Life is exercise enough for me.  Too many daily chores that require me to put on my Ox hat.   Since I stopped doing demolition work (not the fun kind),  I added a couple pounds, since I don't lose 8 pounds a day in water in the sun anymore.   I do try to keep in shape though, and yes it does affect my knife making abilities.   Just standing at the grinder for a few hours can really wear you down in short order.  Love forging so I'd probably do that even if I was limp and dead :ph34r:

When doing anything physical, just got to remember the basics.  Breathe.  Hydrate. Pace yourself. Good Form. I'm not a young man anymore,  but I'd bet you that I could outwork myself from 15 years ago, today.    Been about a year or two since I swung the 12# sledge single handed while forging.  Lol, didn't have a helper,   but most the time I avoid doing things that get me hurt.

Keep up on cardio, and the body should follow...

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I used to run and lift weights a lot more. Though I'm one of those with lucky genetics and I stay relatively slim no matter what. I also gain muscle mass pretty easily but I'm too lazy these days :lol:

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I run 4 1/4 miles every other day now. Last week I ran it every day. This week I'm resting up a little and going every 3rd to let myself heal and doing more strength exercises; 100 push ups and sit ups till failure. 

I used to weigh 292 lbs. After a long time of regular exercise I'm down to 230. I'm still a bit fat. I'm actually proud of my body type now. It seems I have the health of a very resilient caveman lol. I've got a good reserve stash. 

I have to say that choosing this lifestyle is a great decision. I feel light, unburdened, free, fully charged; like I could go run a marathon if I really wanted. Your body releases endorphins when you do this type of stuff. They call it a "runners high". A good healthy alternative for a junky like myself! It's not the same as a real "high", but it makes it so that you dont want that junk. Im happy all the time now. I also have a strong sense of purpose and duty to myself to keep doing this and doing right by my body. 

I think it definitely improves mental fortitude and carries over into knifemaking. You gain what seems to be clairvoyance; what to do next and how. Instead of staring at the steel wondering where to start. It teaches endurance, not only of the body, but of your mind. You will learn to push yourself to new limits.

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I know this is an excuse, but it's an honest excuse.....

Get up 6am, go do (what's left of) my day job till 1, go home, 10 minute power nap then into the shop till 5 or 6pm.....then the dog wants food, and I want to couch potato a bit before dinner myself.......and that's it for the day.....

Saturdays are my hardest working days....

What's been missing are the Sunday morning hikes, we used to do 10Km in the hills at least, and that helped immensely.

So time is the problem for me, but I'm also starting to suspect the sacrificing some knife-making time for exercise might make the knife making more efficient, especially the forging. 

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Posted (edited)

I strength train as my primary method.  Squat, deadlift, press and pull downs are my main lifts.  Since most of my work is asymmetrical and forward downward in posture, I believe it important to restore my balance by symmetrical weight lifting (barbell).   Also, since the demands of the shop occasion the lifting of heavy awkward objects (anvils, 100 lb cans of RR spikes, etc) I try to keep my strength levels in the gym to at least twice what I need to lift in the shop.  To maintain my range of motion, I try to do a little yoga in the morning and for light conditioning I regularly hike.

Edited by Gerald Boggs
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One of the best smiths in South Africa (JMO) also does weightlifting, actually built like a brick outhouse.....arms are so big his damascus billets are too scared to de-laminate :lol:

Yoga, as far as I got, resolved my lower back pain......shame on me for not keeping it up.....

Hiking has also done a lot for me, and I miss it, find it very Zen on the flats, and I guess the endorphin hit is what makes slogging up a hill fun.....my vision goes blue'ish if the pump is really running :D

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1 hour ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

Hiking has also done a lot for me, and I miss it, find it very Zen on the flats, and I guess the endorphin hit is what makes slogging up a hill fun.....

For me, this kind of thing is key.  I have never been able to stay motivated to just go exercise.  That changes when it is something I enjoy doing that is also exercise.

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I started goin' to the gym when I retired on 4/1/2014. I do cardio and weights. I do not enjoy either, but I feel better and have more energy. Two bad shoulders and problems with both feet may prevent me from forging, but I will continue to make stock removal knives. 

For me, it's the fact that I am more concerned about the quality of life than the length of life, so I keep goin' to the gym...

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I teach Aikido to young students, which gives me about as much exercise as my body can stand, considering I am rated 80% disabled by the VA. My condition is such that minimal exercise fatigues me right away, so I have to pace myself. Constant sweating due to the heat means I have to work to stay hydrated; I have a lot of land maintenance to do which keeps me busy as well. I try to put myself in low gear and plug away at it. My forging time has been pretty limited; mostly i am just trying to keep the machines running.

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