Qigong & Weight Training

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Qigong & Weight Training

Postby adrenalexpire » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:22 pm

Hi there everyone,

Just wanted to ask a few questions related to the compatibility of qigong (namely the sitting/standing Eight Pieces as taught by Dr. Yang Jwing Ming) and weight training (specifically, Mark Rippetoe's 'Starting Strength' programme). I've read through the forums and while similar questions have been asked, the answers have been scattered around, so I thought that I would start another thread and try and condense them all into one.

In the pursuit of knowledge and various other interests, I have sadly neglected my physical body to a certain extent (a typical story!). I haven't done any strenuous exercise for quite some time and am starting to feel the ramifications of this neglect (lack of strength/flexibility, low energy levels, limited endurance, etc). So in an attempt to combat this, a friend of mine recommended that I look into Dr. Yang's training system/s. I have, and am quite drawn to his methods and teaching. My interests in qigong and weight training is quite specific; to aid me in getting my physical health to its peak condition so that it can support my meditation practices. The conflict comes when I examine the position I'm in; I have a fairly light frame (70kg 6"1) and the weight training would help in this regard (and in daily life, lifting things and the like), while qigong seems also to be necessary as it is almost entirely absent from Western culture (until recently) and appears to offer much in return.

The Western methods of exercise (in general) tend to emphasise the external/physical body with a focus on increases in weight, strength, speed, size, etc. Eastern methods appear to be quite the opposite, focusing more on the quality of these things rather than the quantity (Dr. Yang mentions also mentions some other differences in his videos). Now as far I understand it, the Eight Pieces is a fairly gentle method of working with the chi so it shouldn't conflict with the weight training programme I plan on doing (which essentially involves the following weighted compound exercises: squat, deadlift, bench press & military press with some additional body weight exercises added if necessary; heavy weights, 1 set of each, 3-5 repetitions). In fact, from the reading I have done, it seems like weight training in this matter could be a form of 'qigong' if done with the attention focused on the breathing, direction of energy to various parts of the body, etc. So for all intents and purposes, it seems that the exercises complement each other well? Am I understanding this correctly? Because I have also read that performing weight training can conflict with the flow of chi if done incorrectly (?).

So to summarise all this: is it advisable to do both qigong (eight piece sitting and standing once a day) and weight training (three times a week) together? If not, why? If so, in what order should they be done (sitting in the morning, weight training in the morning, standing in the afternoon/evening is what I was thinking)? Also, if anyone knows a 'better' (more efficient) physical discipline/programme/set of exercises than the one I have mentioned (Starting Strength) for the purposes mentioned, then I am also open to hearing about them.

:D
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Re: Qigong & Weight Training

Postby Dvivid » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:31 am

Hi

Short answer: learn four gates breathing. There is no conflict between qigong and weight training. In fact, your weight lifting can BE qigong, if you get the mind and four gates circulation involved.

Dr. Yang talks about this topic in his upcoming Nei Gong DVD (October 2014).
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Re: Qigong & Weight Training

Postby joeblast » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:31 am

when I get on the leg press, the lift is more like a pulsation emanating from the lower dantien :mrgreen:
Even in mildly complex systems, any outcome is the wrong thing to target, with the process being where the focus should be.
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Re: Qigong & Weight Training

Postby adrenalexpire » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:57 pm

Thanks Dvivid,

So you would recommend doing the Four Gates in lieu of the 8 Brocades? Also, the explanation of this exercise is included in the Understanding Qigong series correct?

I should have mentioned that I will also include light cycling (warmup for the weight training), walking and stretching throughout the week to aid with all of this.

note: if general physical strength, health, etc could be increased by doing the qigong exercises (and/or other exercises not requiring external equipment) in a way that is comparable to those offered from weight training, this would be preferable as time and distance constraints will make it difficult (but not impossible) to adopt this method of exercise. I realise diet perhaps plays a larger role in this but I'd like to restrict the questions solely to exercise/training as this is what I am lacking at the moment.
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Re: Qigong & Weight Training

Postby brer_momonga » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:22 am

8 brocades with four gates :) you can do all sorts of breathing techniques with 8 brocades as you can with tai chi chuan and all your kung fu. 8 brocade yes is normally fairly gentle - yet it has good structure and strong root. it all depends on how you practice it at any given time. Funny how tiny things click - I think it was 5 animals - Master Yang said something, "this way is different, this angle is different" - all sorts of minor adjustments for totally different qi flow and tendon work. learn it and make it yours and you'll discover its many possibilities and how you can turn just about any exercise into qigong. Just like what Dvivid said ealier:
Dvivid wrote: In fact, your weight lifting can BE qigong, if you get the mind and four gates circulation involved.
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Re: Qigong & Weight Training

Postby Dvivid » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:24 am

Exactly. Four gates is not in lieu of anything...it should be included in everything...all qigong forms, tai chi, weightlifting, even cycling.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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