Chenjiagou Training (Chen Village)

Many of you will have seen older folks in the gardens, parks, community centres and such, doing their slow gentle exercises in the mornings. Taijiquan nowadays is commonly practised with a very gentle and relaxed pace, such that it gives rise to the misunderstanding that this is what Taijiquan (or Tai Chi Chuan) is all about. Then again, most old folks taiji as a form of gentle activity than as a martial art, which suits them just fine. Read more

How do I know if I’m burning fat?

You are burning when your body is exercising within its aerobic range. You should be burning fat instead of carbohydrates after 20 minutes in your aerobic zone. Your muscles will continue to burn fat after both aerobic or anaerobic (muscle training) exercise. According to recent studies in regards to fat burning, a moderate intensity workout works best. If you are exercising at a heart rate equal to about 75% of max, your fat burning will be between 0.5 grams – 1.0 grams of fat per minute for a 45kg to 90kg(100 to 200) pound person respectively. Fat burning will increase by another 10% roughly after one hour of continuous exercise – for fit people. Those less fit will burn more sugar and less fat. 

How high or how low should my stance be?

The height of your stance depends on your fitness level, age or routine you are learning. Fit individuals should go for the low stance which will greatly build up the lower foundation. This will be four steps wide between your feet. Normal, healthy persons should go for middle stance, about three steps wide. Unconditioned individuals should go for a high stance of 1-2step(s) wide. As a rule of thumb, at no time should the flexed knee joint exceed 90-degrees. Individuals or beginners who are sedentary (no sports activity whatsoever in the past 6 months) should begin on a high stance and graduate to lower stances, if they are up to the challenge. 

How often should I be training?

This will depend on what you want to archeive and your current physical state of health. If you are a beginner and recover from illness, moderating is important.
If you are after a healthy life style then it is commonly agreed amongst experts that 3-5 times per week is sufficient. You should be exercising for at least 20-60 minutes at 60-90% of age-specific maximal heartrate or 50-85% of VO2max (heart rate reserve). However, remember that your body needs time to repair. Your body won’t rebuild until fater your training workout; no rest, no rebuild.

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