Vet Training - What do you do?

Discussion in 'USA Veteran Fencing' started by matimpiin, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. matimpiin

    matimpiin Rookie

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    Curious what Vet age-groupers do for fencing training/conditioning, and how many hours per week you dedicate to it? I'm 55yrs, and like many on this board, I'm trying hard every week to balance work/family/fencing so I can be respectable on the piste (i.e. competitive). But what does it really take to excel at the Vet stage?
     
  2. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    Approximately two hours' practice, four times a week. Additional two hours most days walking and using exercise machines. Twice-weekly lessons when I was attempting national teamship. Six-to-ten mile mountain hiking on temperate weekends. Two World Vet champs started with their kids. Beer capacity for post-practice/tournament.;)
     
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  3. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Depends on how you define "excel." If you're talking about a medal at Vet NACs and you aren't making noise at that level yet, it's going to be awfully difficult regardless of how much effort you put in, short of living and training and fencing until you're 70 or 80 and hoping the ravages of time affect your rivals first. Vet 50 at the national level is murder.

    If you're talking about earning a rating and being competitive in local events, you need to understand your own particular strengths and weaknesses and train accordingly. Consultation with a physical therapist can help you understand the limitations of your particular body and develop a training plan that will improve your weaknesses and reduce the risk of injury (traumatic or overuse).

    Find a coach who understands the differences between adults and teens in how they learn and how they fence. If your coach trains adults the same way as teens, just with less intensity, find a new coach. Your coach also ought to be able to articulate what your skills and vulnerabilities are after watching you fence: they have to diagnose before they can treat.
     
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  4. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    In my case, I found a club change helped a lot. I was doing most of my training with teens, and we adults learn differently and have different needs, so I've made a lot more progress in skills development since I started training in an adult/vet class.

    I train 4 or 5 days a week, with one of them being just a light 40-45 minute workout (exercises from PT and some exercises suggested by my daughter's conditioning coach) and bouting with the teens. I skate once or twice a week (good for cardio), and try to have one day for recovery. Our adult practice routine is about two hours: half hour warm-up and conditioning, half hour footwork, half hour blade skills, half hour bouting with pull-out for short individual lesson somewhere in there. Several of the vets in our club (me included) know which of our standard warm-up exercises and drills pose problems for our bodies (I can't do "open the gate" due to wear and tear on my hips) and stay out of them.
     
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  5. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    One and a half to two hours of fencing, four to five days a week---that's bouting, I don't do drills, exercises and haven't taken a lesson in forever. On the days I don't practice I walk ( well, more like march ) three or four miles carrying a 15 lb. backpack, and do maybe an hour of bodyweight exercises---pushups, leg lifts, squats, planks, that sort of thing. I used to lift weights and put in some time on the stationary bike but I don't get to do that much any more.
     
  6. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    The PFT was changed to throwing a medicine ball overhead, hanging knee-ups, weighted shuttle runs, sled-pulls and yes - deadlifts.
     
  7. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    I saw that. Also some sort of weird variant of the push-up.

    Fortunately I am well over 35 years old and ineligible to serve again, hence safe from the test. :)
     
  8. Mac A. Bee

    Mac A. Bee is a Verified Fencing ExpertMac A. Bee Podium

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    They reactivated a 50something wounded warrior, claiming his Release from Active Duty was flawed.
     
  9. Inquartata

    Inquartata Podium

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    If so I'll bet he was either (a) an officer or (b) "active" for about 15 minutes after they got a look at him.
     
  10. Philly Diana

    Philly Diana Made the Cut

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    I fence 2x week for 2-3 hours with at least one lesson a week. Three days a week, I do an Olympic Lifting Cross Fit type class (squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk, snatch, etc. - I deadlift 235 and squat 225) One day a week a do an hour of reformer based Pilates. I try to get an hour of yoga in a week. I try to get an hour of arms/abs/agility in a week.

    57 yo female who started fencing in May 2016 after her kid quit with private lessons left to be used. Not setting the world on fire, but showing up at NACs and Summer Nationals and earning points. Hoping at some point to break into the top 10 of my age group. In the top 25 right now. Try to fence as many local/regional events as I can get on the calendar.

    Hubby and I have started taking trips where he can run (he does half and full marathons and I can fence - e.g. the Can-Am over Memorial Day there will be a half marathon in Buffalo same weekend.)
    We have one kid in college, one in high school and both work full time. We've made fitness our priority.

    BTW - I disagree with Zebra - I know someone who didn't start fencing until she was in her 40s and has been on multiple Vet World teams and taken home plenty of shiny at the national level. So, yep - Vet 50 is hard, but the only way to get better is to fence people who are better and learn by getting creamed.
     
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  11. matimpiin

    matimpiin Rookie

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    @Philly Diana - wow what a training/workout regiment. I gave up sabre 15yrs ago because of work, family, etc. and just now getting back into it. Absolutely love being back on the strip. I'm with you: with some commitment and dedication, hopefully I can earn something shiny at some point. That's the dream anyway.
     
  12. Zebra

    Zebra Podium

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    Of course. I should have specified Vet 50 men. And yes, that fencing mom-turned-champion and her counterpart across the river are exceptional fencers as well as exceptional friends.
     
  13. Philly Diana

    Philly Diana Made the Cut

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    FWIW - I work out like a maniac because I have spent the last three years losing 150 pounds and I don't want to put an ounce of it back on. So I have multiple motivations. I've taken home some local shiny so far, but working every day to get a little bit better on the strip.
     
  14. mfp

    mfp Podium

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    The are several Vet 50 men who didn't start fencing until their 40s that have done quite well at the national level.
     
  15. Phrogger

    Phrogger DE Bracket

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    This is a great question. I started fencing in college and have been on again-off again since then due to work and other factors. I've started up again but it's been discouraging to say the least. I either get to fence a bunch of kids in foil (which I hate because it messes with my epee) or drive an hour and get my arse handed to me by a bunch of A and B level epeeists. I'm cordial about it but it's not fun losing 15-2 over and over. I don't see getting better unless I can actually find a coach and get weekly lessons. It looks like a long ladder to climb to even be locally successful. Is it possible to improve without a coach?
     
  16. wwittman

    wwittman DE Bracket

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    I know I've said elsewhere that I'm mid-60s and was an A foil fencer back 45+ years ago.
    I"m only just trying to get back in.

    I'm pushing myself to work on my aerobic conditioning (on the elliptical machine),
    but I'm also focused for now at least on just taking private lessons rather than bouting (although I fence 5 touches with my instructor/coach at the end of a lesson just to focus on tactics and get the feel of actual fencing again)

    I want to focus on getting good again, not on falling back on habits that might just 'win' (or not) without improving and really getting back into fencing shape.

    Fortunately I found a relatively busy, relatively local, club with an Olympic team bronze medalist to take lessons from.
     

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