Lucha libre workout
arena mexico, exercise, lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, Professional Wrestling, strength, training

Lucha Libre Workout: The Mexico Regimen

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a workout. Since the my last published workout, I’ve done both heavy and hypertrophy regimens, both of which were built around my training and show schedules. For example, when I was only training on Saturday and/or Sunday and doing shows on Friday and Saturday, I could work a muscle group to complete exhaustion Monday through Wednesday and still have time to recover. Although I’ve got back to heavier lifting days, I carried over one particular element from my pervious hypertrophy program: tempo lifts. After 12 weeks of assorted hypertrophy exercises at various tempos, I not only saw muscle growth, but slowing down my lifts also made me more conscious of my range of movement and thus a better lifter. 

Now that I’m in Mexico Citythe Mecca of lucha libre—I’ve adapted my lifting program to my rather-busy lucha training schedule. To reflect the entirety of my week, I’ve included both lifting and lucha days in my training overview. Below you’ll find said overview, and a preview of the workout. Because this program was written by La Avispa—who is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science—it is subject to patronage of her Patreon. If you want full access to this workout, new workout plans, and other cool shit, check out her Patreon for more deets.

Note about neck exercises: I learned this simple, three-way neck exercise regimen from CMLL Profesor Tony Salazar. It’s a means through which to safely strengthen your neck without the potential for spinal compression—a problem that traditional neck bridges can often cause. Essentially, there are three basic movements: nodding “yes,” shaking your head “no”, and a circular motion. The workout is as follows:

  • Lay on your back in crunch position, with your knees up, feet tucked near your bum. 
  • Once you start, do not rest your head on the floor until after you have completed all reps from all three exercises. That means once you start, you will not rest until you’ve done all. Of. The. Reps. 
  • Lift your neck about 1-2 inches from the floor.
  • In a controlled manner, nod your head “yes” 20 times. 
  • After completing 20 reps, shake your head “no” 20 times. Again, do not touch your head to the floor between reps, nor after you complete all 20 reps.
  • After completing 20 reps, move your head in a circular motion to the right. STILL Don’t touch rest head to the floor—you’re almost done. 
  • After 20 reps, move your head in a circular motion to the left. Once you finish all 20 reps, you can rest your head on the ground. 

Depending on your current neck strength, you can add reps as needed. I was advised to perform the exercise at least twice per week, and to add 10 reps to each exercise every two weeks (meaning +10 to “yes,” +10 to “no”, +10 to circles to the right, +10 for circles to the left for a total of 40 additional reps) until you hit 50 of each. Adjust accordingly, but 20 reps of each should be an easy baseline for anyone who fancies them self a pro wrestler. 

Now to the workout: 

Monday: 

  • Horizontal push & pull exercises 
  • Weighted ab exercise 
  • Neck exercises 

Tuesday: 

  • Lucha libre (~2 hours high-impact, interval-based cardio)

Wednesday:

  • Fasted HIIT exercises (10 rounds @ 15 secs, 1 minute rest between intervals) 
  • Vertical push & pull exercises 
  • Weighted ab exercises 
  • Neck exercises 

Thursday: 

  • Lucha libre (~2 hours of high-impact, interval-based cardio)

Friday:

  • Squats, deadlift, misc legs 
  • Weighted ab exercises 
  • Neck exercises 
  • Lucha libre (~2 hours low-impact chain wrestling) 

Saturday & Sunday: rest and/or perform 

 

As promised, here’s a snippet of the first three exercises for Friday:

Lucha libre workout

What’s your current workout plan? Interested in seeing the whole program? Hit up my comments and let’s chat.

 

Guerrero Gym Lucha Libre
arena mexico, exercise, lucha, lucha libre, Mexican wrestling, mexico, performance, Professional Wrestling, training, wrestling school

Passion, Fear, and Life (In Mexico)

I have a fear. 

It’s not a fear of failure, nor success. Not spiders (okay, kind of) nor death—not irrationally, at least. 

I don’t lose sleep over finances, bad performances, or soured relationships. Injury? Maybe. I mean, lucha libre is innately a dangerous sport, and many careers and lives have been ended as a result of injuries sustained in and around the ring. 

Such fear is, of course, attached to an auxiliary fear: The fear that I’ll lose skills that I do not use. As the old adage states, “practice makes perfect.” Therefore it stands to follow that an unpracticed practice makes imperfection, and imperfection can lead to injury, and injury can lead to the end of a career. 

But mostly this self-flagellation isn’t even about injury, training, or practice: I train my ass off, all of my teachers have regarded me as a good student, and I generally practice a policy of consent—meaning I’m not willing to spontaneously experiment a potentially dangerous move without knowing that both my partner and I are capable of pulling it off safely. 

So no, it’s not the potential for injury that worries me. 

Occasionally these fears are induced by the thought that what I do, that which I pursue, that which compels me “to do,” could ultimately be tantamount to nothing. The fear that outside of itself, the work, the training, the traveling, the countless hours of sweat and practice and exertion and pain and body dysmorphia and late nights covered in grime and glitter and sweat will all be swept into the dustbin of history, essentially amounting my career in lucha libre to a masturbatory act. This is especially true when considering the possibility of failure, of not succeeding in the business. 

But I enjoy lucha libre in and of itself: my level of commercial success doesn’t necessarily directly impact my happiness. So no, it is not failure that I fear. 

It’s more difficult to triangulate what scares me: it’s much more abstract. 

I have a fear of the will-and-can-never-be-known, of being forced to consider those alternative timelines. 

A fear of “what if?”

That in my old age a fit of nostalgia will incite that often painful stroke of hindsight: what if I had trained harder? More often? Where would lucha libre have taken me if had I truly pushed myself to my limits? 

What if I had made different choices? What if I had taken different  performance opportunities? What if I had come to Mexico sooner? What if I had started lucha libre sooner? Chosen a different name? A different mask? No mask? 

I fear those moments of steeping in deep reflection and the unforeseen— yet inevitable and obnoxious— sting of regretful hindsight, to which I can merely retort “that time has come and gone” and hope that I’ve soothed the self-induced guilt. In moments of clarity I realize this is all, of course, trivial: these are decisions I made at another time and in another place. Many decisions were also made out of ignorance (how could I possibly have known that I’d want to go to Mexico to wrestle?). 

Negro Navarro lucha libre
Sometimes you get to train with legends.

But something is different now: I’ve noticed that as of late, such moments of regret are infrequent and fleeting. Perhaps it is because several years of preparation, work, training, traveling, countless hours of sweat and practice and exertion and pain and body dysmorphia and late nights covered in grime and glitter and sweat, have all lead me to what I’m doing right now: living in Mexico City and training with Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre. This is not to say that I’ll be debuting in a CMLL ring in the next month or so. But for now that’s not the point: this is the most accomplished and happy I’ve felt in lucha libre in a long time. 

Years ago I tried to move to Mexico City and eventually ran out of money. Nearly 7 years later, I’ve made it back here with purpose and focus. And I couldn’t be any fucking happier. 

Well, maybe I will be once I get a puppy. 

Arena Mexico

academic, Cultural Studies, lucha libre, masculinity, Mexican wrestling, Professional Wrestling

The Big Comeback (Post)

I can’t stay away.

There, I said it.

No apologies, no profound reasons: there was no magical moment wherein I realized that I wanted to continue writing about pro wrestling.

Well, maybe. There was one particular interaction with a fellow luchador which reminded me that my work is not done.

In the wake of Richard Spencer’s well-deserved punching, I came across a shirt that read “Punch More Nazis.” I had one printed for myself to wear during and upcoming show, and attempted to rally the rest of my colleagues at Lucha Libre Volcánica to follow suit. Sónico, the other half of Los Sexi Mexis, responded by stating that “we’re luchadors; not activists.”

Sónico’s argument is perhaps not inaccurate. However it presupposes that professional wrestling is completely devoid of political significance. Assuming that wrestling was somehow completely isolated from the realm of politics, I may have conceded. However, knowing that professional wrestling is thoroughly steeped in ideology, I continued with my original plan to wear the shirt. Our exchange did remind me that I still have work to complete in this realm.

Accordingly, I am compelled to again write about pro wrestling. Within the next week I intend share a proposed outline and itinerary for completing this project. It is admittedly an ambitious one, and incredibly multifaceted. As is customary for my approach, I will address professional wrestling in a critical academic fashion. However, in order to make the topic accessible as well as to offer a thorough exploration, I will utilize a multimedia approach that will include images, video, and audio, in addition to writing. The aforementioned approach ensures that each post will be unique, but also that completing each one will be no small task. Consequently, I may not be able to provide weekly updates, save for the occasional unrelated musings.

As previously stated, this will only be a pure “wrestling blog” in that it will be demonstrably using examples from wrestling for argumentative purposes. That is to say I will be writing about wrestling in an academic sense, but I will not be “chronicling” the history of wrestling, writing about my own wrestling adventures, nor providing fan insights like a damned mark.

It has been a while, but I’m stoked to be back. 🙌🏽

academic, arena mexico, art, Cultural Studies, culture, exercise, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Lucha Volcánica, masculinity, Mexican wrestling, mexico, performance, Performance Art, Professional Wrestling, school, strength, training, travel, Washington, wrestling school

The Final Post Edition, or Goodbye For Now

Friends,

It is with some sadness, albeit zero trepidation, that this will serve as my final blog post. My reasons are few: mostly I have just become too busy to dedicate the time required to write at the level that I demand of myself. Although I have not talked about it here, I recently began picking up stunt work for commercials and film, which—in addition to regular lucha gigs, full time employment, and my 7-day training regimen—not only occupies more of my time, but also has forced me to broaden my focus from just lucha libre. Given this personal shift, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to dedicate the same rigor to thinking and writing about lucha libre that I was once capable of maintaining.

I started training as a luchador in 2011 during my senior year of college. During that same year I applied for the Watson Fellowship, which would have funded an entire year of studying lucha libre abroad in South America, Spain, and Japan. Unfortunately I was selected as an alternate awardee, Although disheartened, I was undeterred, and redirected my existential flightiness: I moved to Mexico City to immerse myself in lucha libre. The exodus was relatively brief: I quickly ran out of money and my lack of Spanish made employment opportunities scarce. Despite emptying my savings account, my experiences were invaluable, and the relationships I forged with locals and other luchadors during my tenure continue to this day.

Another byproduct of the trip was this blog, which I had originally intended to use as a diary to chronicle and share my experiences from the road. But now that I was no longer pursuing lofty goals within lucha libre’s mecca, what would be the scope of this blog? After returning to the States, the blog unintentionally became a smattering of cultural theory approaches to lucha libre—to mixed reactions from many readers who just wanted a “wrestling blog”—as well as observations about interpersonal relationships within the sport. Although the theoretical lens seems a bit far afield from professional wrestling, I am by no means the first person to give pro wrestling an academic treatment.

Despite the breadth of topics, my quarterly workouts (which were initially just filler posts) proved to be my most popular posts. I feel it’s safe to say that post-Mexico, I had no coherent vision for the blog and thus it never found a voice.

To that end it should be noted that I am not abandoning the blog on account of it not gaining monumental popularity: I knew quite well that the blog of a non-famous luchador would garner only a specialized, rather small audience (nevermind the fact that the blog was simultaneously academic in tone). Rather, this blog represents a particular chapter in my life that was rife with uncertainty, fear, and passion: uncertainty in the wake of moving to Mexico City to pursue the impossible; fear of said uncertainty; the unbridled passion for a sport. I was in an intense, naive, love affair with lucha libre, for which I flung myself into a personal exodus, into Mexico City, into the birthplace of lucha libre.

While I still love lucha libre, our relationship is now an established one; the maddening, lusty, honeymoon phrase has passed. And although my visions of performing in CMLL during my time in Mexico City did not come to be, I have not abandoned my passion for lucha libre nor the pursuit of excellence, and opportunities within the sport. In fact, I will achieve one of many lucha goals this August when I perform in Arena Naucalpan alongside three of my colleagues from Lucha Volcánica.

I am leaving behind this blog because of it’s significance from a specific period within my relationship with lucha libre, and by extension, a period within my life. I am instead shifting my focus to my future with lucha libre.

Put differently, I am moving on.

No, I am not moving on from lucha libre: when I started this blog I was pursuing, thinking, and dreaming about doing lucha libre. Now? Now I am simply too busy with the doing to be dreaming, a luxury that I was dreaming about back when I first started here.

And I like it that way.

With love,

Ave Rex

PS: You can still find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

 

academic, Cultural Studies, exercise, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Lucha Volcánica, Mexican wrestling, observations, performance, podcast, Professional Wrestling, school of lucha libre, strength, training

Why I Haven’t Been Writing: A Explanation for Both You and Me

For those of you who follow my adventures, you’ve probably noticed a distinct descrease in posts over the past few months, something that I would like now to address.

For me there seems to be a inverse causal relationship between doing and thought: the more I’m doing something, the less time I have to think about it abstractly. Conversely the less I’m doing a thing (e.g., when I first started Rex N Effect), the more time I may spend exploring it intellectually. Beginning back in January, Lucha Volcánica has had monthly shows in Seattle. We have scaled back our training regimen from daily, to 3-hour sessions on Saturday & Sunday. This schedule affords me more time to focus on weight training and conditioning, as well as to train for stunt work. However the increased frequency of shows also means that I’ve been spending more time preparing for shows than I have previously, which in turn, seemingly leaves me less time to ponder the sport in which I am participating.

While I never set a particular scope for Rex N Effect, I did pride myself on writing a non-wrestling wrestling blog of sorts. Further, I never wanted this blog to merely a newsletter of my activities, but now that my activity level within the sport has increased, it may mean that I will need to take a different approach to how I share on Rex N Effect. Although I still intend to explore lucha libre through writing, I will likely be diversifying how the exploration occurs, including more photos, videos, and perhaps (maybe) the resurrection of the mythical podcast.

Exciting things have been happening: I recently won my first mask vs. mask match, and Lucha Volcánica hosted a training seminar featuring the legendary Negro Navarro, both of which I intend to talk about at a later date. Today however, is another training day

exercise, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, Professional Wrestling, school of lucha libre, strength, training, wrestling school

A Luchador’s Workout: 2016

I admittedly intended to stop posting the quarterly training updates, but due to the bizarre popularity of these posts, I am compelled to continue sharing said workouts.

Historically, my workout updates have always featured moderate regimen changes. However Lucha Volcánica’s recent relocation has forced us to change our training schedule, which in turn has altered my personal exercise schedule. LLV now trains in 3-hour blocks on Saturday & Sunday, which includes 1 hour of conditioning—lead by La Avispa—and 2 hours of in-ring training and drills. While this change has hindered my usual MWF lifting schedule, the increased time between in-ring sessions does permit me to maximize my lifting time, as I have more recovery time between lucha training sessions. Accordingly, while my exercise regimen itself has undergone fairly modest changes, I’ve increased the number of repetitions whilst maintaining moderate to heavier weights as well as maintained various max rep sets throughout. Essentially I am able to work harder during the week without fear of muscle failure or exhaustion whilst in the ring.

Additionally I’ve included a sort of high intensity interval-based “second leg day” at the end of the week, which allows me to work on endurance with low weights. Elsewhere I’ve also added a few short runs to switch up the cardio schedule, as well as a yoga day to force myself to focus on general flexibility and take stock of any sore muscles.

I’ve included a printable PDF below which outlines the entire program, including weight regimens as well as the HIT/Tabata circuits. If you happen to try any of the training programs, message or leave a comment: I’m always open to feedback!

Early 2016 workout program

interview, lucha, lucha libre, Lucha Libre Volcánica, performance, Professional Wrestling, training

StoryCorps — A Chat with Trueno Verde

Late last summer, myself and other Lucha Volcánica luchadors were invited to share our stories on NPR’s StoryCorps. I sat down with friend and fellow luchador Trueno Verde, a conversation that was recorded and stored in the Library of Congress. As a whole the conversation meanders, although after revisiting our conversation, I realized there was on particular point that I had failed to address.

Outside of the context of lucha libre, many of us would never have had the occasion to cross paths. Lucha libre has brought us together into an environment where cooperation is imperative, for both the sake of the show and the safety of the performers. This experience is not exclusive to us: instead it seems to be common amongst many performers within the sport.

As Trueno and I both note, there’s an implicit trust that we build with most of our luchador colleagues, which in turn creates a particular kind of friendship that involves a  mutual trust—essentially a trust that you will not commit undue physical harm to each other whilst engaging in a sport that is founded upon violence. While neither of us explored the nature of these relationships, it’s a profound and unique aspect of our sport. For me, lucha libre has helped to build friendships that I hope will continue long after we stop performing.