Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Master your own weight.

While just stretching out my very tight back, shoulder and hips in the post workout post mortum I realized a key metric for me is whether I can still maintain good performance on body weight movements/exercises such as gait, handstands, pullups, splits,pike stretches,joint mobility movements in general.

If I let these slide it seems injury is right around the corner. what kind of load and base I can maintain while keeping these qualities high is the question. again, if I seek out my limits I will find them.

Tough workout

and not in the pr way. Not enough sleep last night and although I felt great all during work I just was stiff and sore all workout. cold and damp now outside as well. did my best and took extra warmup sets. I dont know how these guys do max effort stuff without warming up. I would blow apart my joints in a heartbeat.

ah , My favorite.
18x5/5x2-3 sets of 3 right side is horribly tight. the hip wont set, the back wont rotate and the shoulder wont stay down. fun....
36x4/4x 3 sets. third set was starting to get down. I wonder if greasing the groove would help on this? probably kill me.
44x4/4x2 finally getting rotated. Kept reading on my chalk board : a STRENGTH IS A SKILL.
I need constant reminder of what I am supposed to do.

started flat footed and immediately put the heel back on. much easier to arch my lower back.
72x20 these all felt rickety and still. was very careful and not very explosive. held form though.
72x30 this was some work.pathetic.
44x40 actually this felt fluid. I am slow to warm, being a fish and all.It is much harder to get back my previous strength endurance levels than I thought. Course I aint that motivated and that makes a big difference.

Put up new poster of Capt Kirk squatting 804 with just a belt. Mutant.

Side press
44/5/5 yeaow. tight
53x5/5 better. reallly have to focus on rooting the opposite side glute and heel ane and same side lat and leaning into it BEFORE I start to press. I have to lean in. right arm left leg is critical

actually this could be the corrective exercise combo:
right arm side press( works weaker left leg/hip and right lat and arm stability overhead)
left arm overhead windmill ( works weaker left hip and stabilizes left shoulder overhead)

the right arm overhead windmill always feels bad and the left arm press is too easy. plus neck is usually messed up for days afterward on right arm windmills.

farmers walk
one arm with 72 two laps: ugh. this is not good

two 53 kbs 5 laps. much better. this exercise is one of my favorites now. I really feel it transfers directly to my walking in life.

have to think about this.


Oh and we were named in City Sports Best of 2005 issue as the recommended kb studio in the bay area. Nice.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A new Snatch technique

I love the snatch but it scares me lately. After two bicep injuries snatching the two pood I am still gun shy even with the 1.5. With the palms down grip I tend to feel it in biceps insertion when I pull too hard or get hip/leg fatigue. One of my clients has developed a technique of snatching using a thumbs up grip. She swings with this grip and it looks great on her. I had never tried it til today.

I have done LOTS of thumbs up swings when I do the bottoms up clean and it feels very natural and strong. So today thumbs up swings and snatches.

36x8/8x2 swing it hammer grip and then just internally rotate it in at the top. decent is just the reverse into the hammer swing noticed my elbows were straighter immediately.
x8/8 wow. very very natural and can really use my hip with my hand in this position.
x10/10 no problem

82 total reps.

this is a very good weight for me considering the 53 is now my 100%. its a good form and speed day workout. we'll see if this technique holds up on Sat with the 53. the real test.

one arm swing ( hammer grip)
53x10/10x2 strong. can really lay the arm across the abs/inner thigh and hip snap it off.
72x8/8 decent!

KB cleans
72x5/5 decent. being a little heavier is helping . about 164 now.solid.

all sets done with ol shoes.

kb lunges
53x8/8x2 strong but I can tell I havent done these in awhile. very necessary.

tactical pullups/bodyweight
3,4,5,3 all reps chin over bar and held. pause at bottom too. cant beleive I can do these again.

handstands: 12- 15 secondsx 4 sets/ solid.

splits work 10 minutes

bola snaps 100 reps

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Deadlifts/weighted pullups

Much more beat up from yesterdays workout( and the preceding weeks) than I had anticipated. I had skipped the last two fridays and havent done windmills in two months. Hips and legs very tired.

One arm swings
36x5/5x3 sets
44x5/5x2 warmup

185x3 wearing the ol shoe. easier to hold the arch but very different than my normal pull patten
275x2x2 not sure I like this technique
308x2x3 sets good bar speed.

weighted pullups(tactical style: dead pause hang- chin touch)
18#x3 ( two chin overs)
36x2( one chin over)
x2 added in 5 scap tractions after.

wow this is really good. havent been able to do a bodyweightpullup in years.No shoulder issues.

Depth squats
53x6 wow, now I feel the hips!
88x6x3 sets focused on the stretch. sore sore sore.

Triceps pushdowns

datsit. weekend has officially begun!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Strength is a skill.

This phrase keeps dancing around my head as I have been re-reading Power to the People, probably the best overall book on strength training ever written. AS one might notice from reading this blog I tend to overtrain and push myself too far. thinking of my strength training more as a skill to practice rather than workout to be pushed through is new to me but perhaps and idea whose time has come.

Especially for my grind lifts. Fridays is always a tough workout day for me as far as programming. Usually I am beat by then between work and workouts and I have a tough saturday to do as well . Endurance stuff I am usually not in the mood for. So I decided to focus on my kb grind lifts and it was great today. Just heavy enough, tough enough physically to focus on the skill of what I was trying to do more than just the numbers.

I have not done any weighted windmills for the last two months but have instead worked it as a stretch instead. I was very surprised the last few days when my left to right side rotation actually worked well! Time for some weight.

High /Low windmill
5 sets of 3-4 reps with the 36 overhead and off the ground. THis gets my weaker left side hips and leg and my weaker right lat.

regular style 36 for 3 sets of 5 right side opened up very well/

kb side press
53x5/5x3 this is where I really focused on technique rather than push. found out I havenet been shift to the opposite side leg strongly enough . really helped take the load off my shoulder

kb clean
73x4/4x2 no problems.

bottoms up clean

two kb bottoms up clean
2 36'sx5x2 sets these were solid.

reverse band chops( left to right only)
black dynaband 4x15

4 sets of 12-15 seconds. needed to do these, shoulder were tight.

datsit. Deadlifts early tomorrow am!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Encyclopedia of Russian Kettlebell Lifting

Encyclopedia of Russian Kettlebell Lifting
Steve Cotters new comprehensive dvd series on kettlebells. Cant wait to see this. It will be incredibly motivational and depressing all at the same time! Steve rocks.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

secrets of gold medal sports performance training: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

secrets of gold medal sports performance training: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

great post about training for the top in the world of cycling, coaching,politics and the desire to get to the top of sport.

back to basics- with a heel

kettlebells, that is. two handed swings and some farmers walks. wore the olympic shoe for the swings and was surprised how strong and balanced it felt. I spent so many years sprinting on my toes for gymnastics and punching the floor on my toes for floor ex and vaulting that doing anything on my heels is very wierd for me.

this is of course,why I have such underdeveloped hips and glutes. they dont work well with the foot plantar flexed( toes pointed)/. I truly beleive it is unnatural and unhealthy, orthopedically, to spent so much time loading the frame with the toes pointed.

the heels really make it easier for me to use my hips. odd.But my lumbo-pelvic rythym is such that if I lean forward my hips move back( a compensation by the body to protect the back, not uncommon) so it does makes sense.Just standing there I can feel glute medius tension, WHICH I ALMOST NEVER FEEL,especially flatfooted.

I've spent numerous years trying to "strengthen and balance" this area by going against my instincts and training flatfooted but I am going to use this shoe for awhile. I have a good feeling.

I will also so flatfooted training as well for gait and stability.cleans will be done flat as well farmers walk ,and windmills( although I will have to try the windmill with the shoe as well- I have a feeling....

two handed swings
53x20x5 sets
72x10x4 sets ( a little right forearms tightness). the hips felt great in this.

100 reps x53#=5300#
40 repsx72#=2880.
total=8180 #

farmers walk
2/44's x 6 sets of two laps. really helped to lean into this. paced picked up considerably and much less strain on my knee.mid foot/heel strike instead of just heel. 45 seconds between laps.felt great!

Handstands/deompression hangs 5 sets.
this was suprisingly hard to get up there. I could really feel how tight my left rotators were andit took five sets to get it straightened out. this and my decompression hangs are the key shoulder/thoracic region assesment for me. plus they rehab it as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I had forgotten

just how freaking hard kettlebell snatches are . I am sore all over in places I havent been in weeks. wow, I knew I was going to be sore but not this much. and its not like I havent been training either. Just not snatches and not with the 53. and things are just settling in. tomorrow should be fun too.

I am way out of shape for ballistics.AND I was in pretty amazing shape at the time of the RKC. Work capacity was off the hook. Its amazing what you can do when you are really motivated. Havent made up my mind yet about the ol boot. back feel oks and hips really feel worked so it should be a good thing. Will see tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2005

How to adjust your static training when a 60 second total is just too much: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts
Great post by Coach Sommer on training progressions and adaptations in training the front lever.

kettlebell snatches

Just couldnt bring myself to go to golds today as much as I thought I would after saturday.Knowing for sure now benches and squats just freaking HURT my knees back and shoulders with almost any real loads. So of course I couldnt stop thinking about snatching. Is that out for good too?
The more I tried to talk myself into getting into bulking a bit again the less I wanted to actually do it. It just feels shitty . This has been my classic training conflict since the begining. Love how I feel lean and conditioned and SMALL but hate how I look. Hate how I feel pumped up but like how I look.People respond so differently too. from 125 ultramarathoner to 175 bodybuilder 2.5 times in 1977. Nuts. OCD is so much fun.

36x6/6x2 wearing my ol shoes, so much easier.

53x5/5x5 not bad at all. really scared about the shoulder but it was fine and I really concentrated on going with the hips. the shoes put me in a better lumbar position which lets me use my hips and legs more. IF my knees will tolerate it though.
44x10/10x2 wow. snatches is some hard ass work. I hadnt forgotten but its another thing to feel

114 total reps above 44#

DARCS ( with ol shoe)
72x20x2 wow, I am pissant weak in the legs. amazing how quick that went.

kb lunges
36x5/5x3 barefoot

Handstands/scapula pullups
5 sets of 10 seconds and 5x5 pulls

I havent done these in a week and I can tell . these are an essential rehab group for me. really opens up my shoulder girdle.

dats it. Have no idea how long it took,probably 50 minutes.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

this one too.

that is one freaky arm.


I remember when I first saw this picture of robby robinson. It freaked me out.Still does..

A visit to a gym

Went to a commerical gym for the first time in 8 years today to help Nick use the monolift and get ready for his meet Dec 10. I also had to try the monolift as well so I guess I squatted again. Actuallyit was very cool to use the rack as I havent had the chance since my meet in 1997 when not being familiar with it cost me my last shot at a 600 # squat.

I can tell though just how much it would help me as you can really lock into position and not budge through out the whole movment. Nick said he's never seen me squat so square. But I can also that training the squat again for real is just not in the cards. Just had to play abit a gain I guess.

kb swings
53 lbs 5x15

225x1x3 sweet. just up and down and no walking .most excellent.

255x1x3 easy.

two board bench
225x1x3 no problem

various hammer strength machines. I like these. no shoulder pain at all. incline presses and pushdowns for sets and reps.

datsit. I might just get a membership at Golds and see what happens.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I Love to squat

but it certainly doesnt love me. Its amazing to me how much more tension this little weight I used the other day can pound into my body. I probably did less than a 2000 pound workout, much less than even 100 reps with the 53 in the swing but all that eccentric loading changes the deal. way way way tougher.

I will have to stay totally loosened and stretched out or this wont work at all. thats whats good about the deadlift: no eccentric loading and a perfectly square setup: no walking. now I have to go stretch again :))

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Powerlifters mind by Kirk Karwoski

A perfect qoute for this day from none other than the power god himself Capt Kirk Karwoski, King of the Squat.

rehab necessities


scapula decompression hangs/pulls

single and double arm kb swing work
overball backbends
full body extension hangs from bar
full hamstring stretching
assymetrical supermans over ball

depth squats
farmers walk
reverse band chops
bosu stands

these are things that HAVE to get done, regardless of what else I am doing for training in order to maintain a semblence of body balance and joint integrity.

speed bench, squats

went right to it today and layed down on the bench like I have done for countless speed bench workouts. felt like home.

3 grip bench( pinky on ring, mid line and on smooth, false grip)
117x3x10 sets. 30 sec rest/sets. this felt suprisingly great.shoulder was fine
close grip
152x1 no problem
185x1 no problem, no handoff. 3 singles after speed work. I remember.It just used to be 359 for my last close grip single after 225 plus two sets of chains for speed work! LOL!!oh well.

rolling db extensions
30#x7x8 15 sec rest/set/ these are classic.

power squat
figured a way to unrack the weight without walking. I think this might work. walking out wrecks my back and knees and ankles. shit I can barely walk with NO weight!LOL!
135x3 put on OL boot. much better.can really sit back. I will say this, the kettlebells have totally changed my squat groove. for the better. WAAAAAAY more hips and way easier to use them. bizarre.
185x3 no wraps. wrapped here last time
207x3 light wrap
225x3 woo hoo. no problem
225x3 same easier. hips feel good knees too. no walking really makes a difference. If I keep doing this I will have to get a Crespinsek monolift for the garage.
135x3 pause.

two hand swing
53x15x5 sets. this really will keep things loose and open.
72x8x2 easy

farmers walk/handstand
2/53s for 30 meters do a handstands then repeat; 7 laps/handstands

It would be so nice to be able to survive this. I actually had a great workout today for the first time in a long time. felt right.just have to go very slow and build a base back.see how the fram holds up.

Hybrid training

When I found kettlebells I was a powerlifter with a bad back who couldnt handle any volume training at all. I couldnt get in shape because I was hurt which made me weaker and more unstable. Then I found kettlebell swings and snatches and cleans and found that as my kb volume increased, my ability to squat more than one rep increased as well.

And my back pain went down and my mobility increased.I combined the two for a year or more until I had to decide between heavy snatches and a competitive bench. I choose the bench and was the worst for it overall. Again, I lost my conditioning because I was powerlifting too much and swinging too little.

After training exclusively with kbs and warrior dieting for the RKC for the last year I'm now in the best condition I have been in years with much better movement, mobility,much less pain and work capacity. But I do miss the barbell and mindless bodybuilding reps are not an option. I squatted again today and figured out how to unrack the bar without walking out. It worked very well and, as I suspected, not walking had a very good effect on my back, knees and ankles. I have to keep the load even and the position perfect however. A very good challenge.

I also benched wsb style, including rolling db extensions for 7x8 with 15 sec rest/set and it felt like the old times! Man does that feel weird saying that but it is so true.

A blend of kbs and powerlifts will do I think; I hope. Workout to follow.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Been reading a lot of young, healthy guys training logs and have to say I am not impressed. Everyone is getting way too excited about pulling 405. No disrespect; it is a decent weight that I will be very happy with when I can pull it again. But not for a young, healthy and strong man.

It is impressive for a 40 year old, lifetime drug free 123lb woman. The picture of the woman above is Kelii,my training partner and protege for nine years. She not only pulled 402 in a meet but did it after squatting a strong 391, benching 231 and then pulling 402. Something to consider. I know I do everytime I step up to the bar.

GTG "greasing the groove ": Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

GTG "greasing the groove ": Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

Monday, November 14, 2005

Upper body training

Well this didnt work either. Kettlebells have ruined me for "conventional" training. I did my entire upper body workout and felt like I hadnt done anything. Training for the pump just aint gonna cut it I can tell already. So I did some darcs and snatches to get some work in.

db bench press 8x8 with 45's( left bicep tendon doestn like bench it seems in any form)
one kb rows 8x6 with 54 these are good
dips 5x5 with bodyweight( shoulder is not happy with this either)
BW Pullups 5x5 these feel good at least
lying db extensions 4x10 with 30's
seated db curls 4x8 with 30's

that was all I could take. went to:


36x8/8x3 experimented with keeping the bell in close to the crotch on the downswing and then just a regular punch through technique on the snatch itself. felt suprisingly decent. not much knee bend.


5 sets of ten seconds. these save my shoulder. what a crap workout. I am tempted not to write this shit down but I want anyone thats reading to understand this is how training in real life, for long periods of time goes. You go through ups as well as downs but they key is to keep searching for what's right for you and what works AT THAT TIME. This getting older crap has got to go. Stuff is falling off at record rates.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Legs that don't quit

Those who have been reading this blog know I have been searching for a new direction in my training since I have retired from competition. I thought just getting incredibly lean and well conditioned would satisfy but it doesnt.
My recent little forays back towards powerlifting dont make much sense either and I know it. I do love kettlebells but I will never be Brett Jones or Steve Cotter with them as that poses the same problems heavy powerlifting does.

So I've been thinking very hard about what my goals are and what I neeed from my training.Since I blew my knee out in '74 most of my training has centered around strengthening and building my legs. First size with bodybuilding, then endurnace with marathons and cycling, then strength with powerlifts. Kettlebells have done more for my legs in terms of functional, useable strength then anything has since running. Trying to barbell squat again showed me that while I might be addicted to the power it is not the way to go if I dont want to be a cripple again.

But I do miss my upper body and heavy benches arent the way to go either. So perhaps a hybrid. Train my legs two times a week with the kettlebell lifts, swings for the hips and back and swing squats and depth squats for the legs themselves. What I really need are legs that dont, a back of Iron and a work capacity of a mule. The KB is the best tool for that. But train them like a bodybuilder would, with pyramid sets and reps and short(er) rest periods.

For my upper body use dumbells and the bodyweight exercises that have shown to be so helpfull in rehabbing my shoulder; the handstands and pullups, as well as the arm work to please the wife :)).

I shouldnt even push the deadlifts as it doenst help my back anywhere near as much as the kbs. It just has that Macho factor I need right now. Hoepfully the db benches and arm work will help ease that. This is the best I can come up with now and I feel excited about the coming weeks training. Hopefully this will last longer than a week.

The Plan:
Monday: Chest back arms
db bench 10x10
kb rows 8x8

dips 6x6
scapula pullups 6x6

db extensions
db curls: superest to pump

cable curls:superset to pump


wednesdays: Legs
H2H warmups
Darcs swings pyramid up and down
two hand swings: same
farmers walks

friday: shoulders arms
Bottoms up cleans 5x5
two kb cleans 5x5
db laterals 10x10
rope extensions
seated db curls
db kickbacks
band curls

Saturday: legs
H2H warmups
swing squats 10x10
depth squats 5x20
kb lunges 3-5x10
bosu one leg stands

This should cover all the ground. Fucntional leg strength and size as well, stability for the knee and back and plenty of conditioning to tire my ass out. the upper body stuff will just be fun. Plus I can eat again although I still plan on using the Warrior Diet, just with more carbs and calories during the evening eating phase.

Legs that dont quit, a back of iron, and some decent sized guns.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

deadlifts off blocks

Havent done this ever. Loaded the barbell onto three inch high wood blocks and pulled from there. Suprisingly a great start position.

two hand swing
88x8x3 this is a great warmup .

Dl/block(belt only)
315x1 strong!
348x1 strong
374x1 (knee wraps) very very solid.

Depth squats

Reverse grip bench
117x3 feels ok
135x3 decent on descent. ascent is

put in one board
163x1 strong

two board
207x1 easy. feels solid in hands. this is a very natural groove for me. My lats flare automaticaly,my elbows come right in and I push from the triceps and lats towards the hips.

Training partner intervention.

Had a great dl workout today and told my training partners I had squatted on wednesday. They went a little nuts, having been through most of my most recent injurys, and my solemn vows never to squat heavy again. I knew it wasnt a viable option but it felt great for a couple days. Its just playing with fire and I have a history of being pretty flammable.

I will just have to create something else. But thats how it goes with me; first I imagine it, then I try it on for size( live in it) and then decide if I want to really create it. But I have to try it on first. If I cant imagine it I cant create it and that goes with bodies as well as weights.

The kettlebells have produced a really functional legs for me and with a little tweaking of volume and loads I can set it up to get some leg mass from them, with the heavy muscle tension, and resulting body torques, that I get with heavy barbell squatting. Plus it gives me the work capacity and conditioning that I need. If I manipulate my calories and protein levels correctly I should be able to get some good leg growth from my kb work and avoid crippling a knee or a back.

Two days kb legs and two days db and kbs upper body bodybuilding. Lets see how this feels. Oh and I will still keep the dl in. Need to maintain a high degree of back strength.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Power squats and reverse grip benches

power squat( medium wide stance, wrestling shoes, hi bar,belt)
117x3 these are feeling great! I am sitting back into the squat like I never have.Trying to keep the knees upright as I squat down, then back into the hip.
183x3 wow. getting warm and feeling better
205x3 a little slow but ok
135x3 paused. interesting. we'll see tomorrow how much I pay.

Reverse grip bench
I knew regular benching wasnt going to work too well with my shoulder so I tried reverse grips. I competed with this in the early ninties. works great for me raw,scares the crap outa me in a shirt. great for the triceps which in me have dissapeared.
117x5x5 sets. this took awhile to groove. my shoulders were all over the place BUT what a short stroke and no shoulder rotation. we'll see here too.

db bench
30x10x4 these felt great.tris were cooking if you can beleive that! I am so weak in some ways its pathetic.

db curls
db kickbacks
cable curls sets of 10 til pumped. wierd to train like this again but my body knows this so well its scary.

db laterals 4x12

feel good now.

Power Squats.

Hello. My name is Mark Reifkind and I am a Powerliftaholic.Did the first barbell squats I've done in over a year.And it was great fun. Made me feel like myself again: strong.

I just have no direction with my training right now, other than just showing up and hitting something hard. THis is very hard for me as I have trained for competition each year for the last 34 years. I dont know how to train unless I am going for a specific goal. And it seems that pushing too hard is what gets me injured but man just exercising and not training is killing me.

I think.Until of course I push too hard and am lying on the bathroom floor with my back out wishing I could stand without pain and not giving a damn about how much I could power squat. With no training partner except for Nikko once a week I have to figure some things out.

The kettlebells have really strengthened and balanced me in a way I couldn't have imagined. the swings the thing, thats for sure as my squats were some of the best form I have ever done, even though I had to use a pretty high bar rack position to accomodate my shoulder.

If I could survive this I would have to really maintain focus on full joint flexibility as I am doing now.I have to get on the floor and stretch ALOT. All the injured areas. I am also really light now, 160, and I'm sure that helps too but I would like to be bigger and so would my wife!LOL!! great.

" those arms," she said yesterday "used to be so big!" Man. That hurts.

We'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Kettlebell Bodybuilding, the workout

one kb clean and press( long cycle)
53x5/5x2 these felt good. fast clean and press. kinda hitting the shoulder, tightening and going.

two kb clean and press( long cycle)
2/44sx5x2 these were getting tired at the end. but fast pace and , dare I say it, a decent pump!

( this is where I tweaked the right shoulder on a one arm swing warmup :(( didnt tighten up til later.
44x8/8 strong though
44x10/10 easy
53x5/5 strong too
53x6/6 solid
44x10/10 fast

handstand pushups/ scap pullups
these were hard as my right shoulder was tightening up and I was working on the trap in between sets. I can get this out I'm just tired of doing it.
about five sets of two very shallow hs pushups. was tough even holding the hs as my shoulders were so tight. good stretch though.

scap pullups five sets of five

farmers walk
4 laps with the 53's. these were strong suprsingly.

shoulder rehab; 60 minutes

A little Kettlebell bodybuilding

Pavels 'fast tens" article got me going and I played around with the concept today. I started with long cycle clean and presses with 1 kb and then went to double bells.then I snatched again.Of course the universe had to give me its smack in the head not to get to excited as I subluxed the RIGHT shoulder on warmup one arm swing set with the 36! Just too loose and trying to get TOO much range of motion.

I am reminded again that full( and relatively easy) range of motion in all the joints has to come first. If I neglect this and get too tight, bad things happen. Lots of torsion going on when one side does not felx or extend as much as the other side. My joints lock up so fast I cant beleive it. So I finished my workout and went right into shoulder rehab. oh baby oh.

I did like the workout> I added my own touches to I and pyramided up in weight dropping reps as I upped the weight. This increased volume at the lower percentages is what builds a lot of mass I am convinced. It sure seemed that way when I was bodybuilding. the heavier weights increased density but the lighter ones ,and the pump, increased the size.

I am not sure, however that I should be chasing size, as thats what seemed to mess me up in powerlifting: to much tension in the muscles.I've got too many injuries to carry that much total body tension.I feel much better staying looser and (relatively) weaker. This is why I've been trying to get my weight and bodyfat down .I think I am just getting greedy again when I should be thankful I am in so little pain and can train so much.

bw 160.6
bf 10.6

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Being Swung

Its very easy to try to manhandle the swing, especially when you get tired. For those like myself with relatively weaker hips, the desire to pull the weight is strong. I was thinking about this yesterday during the tabata sets and realized that I had to learn to let the kbs momentum do its share of the work; stomping when the time was right, not through the entire movement.

Gymnasts must realize that you dont have to work the entire part of a giant swing; instead you have to wait for the right part of the bottom of the swing to "tap" and use the momentum you have created in the downswing to go upwards. Same thing with the kettlebell. If you reach back properly and get into the right position, the stretched muscles of the hips, glutes and thighs will contract on their own reversing the kettlebell and starting it back on its upward path.

Trying to push too eary does not help, in fact it hinders the swing as you are not in the correct position to exert maximum force.I thought of the idea of "being swung" to try to focus on using this momentum to my advantage. Coach Sonnon talks about being "breathed" in his bodyflow exercises reacting to the breath movement instead of forcing it.Same thing here.

It does not mean being loose or passive, more like the idea of riding the diving board or trampoline up until its the right time to jump. Trying to jump too early; before the board is properly coming up gives you less height, not more.

Monday, November 07, 2005

When it comes right down to it

I am just like everyone else. SO much of my training is geared towards changing my body composition. Whether I am doing extra sets or more weight to gain size or strength, or doing more sets of high rep snatches or swings to get leaner and harder I am breaking one of my golden rules.

To wit: do not overtrain just to burn off calories. Changing body comp is from diet not just training. I am still eating too many crappy carbs( halloween candy). I am always trying to push to do more sets and more reps and go at least and an hour and a half, but training alone I am finding an hour is it. Not counting mandatory stretching( which I should count) . I am a classic overtraininer, always trying to kill more demons.
Of course I have stalled a bit in my weight loss and my bodyfat is not dropping either. My training volume is definitely lower than its been.

36/8/8 x2 using a very hardstyle, straight arm, flip it over at the top form. Just being very instinctive with the move. also, trying to really feel the pendulum and time the stomp off that. I'd kill for an ass.

A lot of lean but not much knee bend.I am feeling last weeks training a bit. especially the heavy dls.
x8/8 back to what I know. I love ladders, always a good workout and what got me in shape last time/

124 reps with the 44, a decent volume. decided I need more time with the 20 kg although I am embarassed I am so weak these days.

one arm swings,tabata style( ten second rest between arms)

53x10x6 sets. Man, these freaking KILLED ME!
I would do one set of ten ,rest ten seconds, then the other arm. this shouldnt be so hard. course I did just do 124 snatches.

one leg squats( rear leg elevated in power rack)
26kbx8/8x2 sets. these are tough.

handstands/15 sec each
these are the longest I have held a handstand in forever. definitely harder than ten seconds too. shoulders start to tire.

these are coming along. this helps open my left hammie like nothing else.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It seems they are right.

Ori Homflecker, Dr. Art Devany, Dan Johns and his Meat leaves and berry diet as well as the Paleolithic diet. I feel so much leaner, stronger and cleaner since really cutting my carbs( even complex) and subbing vegetables. I never thought you could use vegetable carbs for energy but I guess if you become a good enough fat burner it doesnt really matter.

And the consistent mini fasting really sets the stage for the fat burning as well. I cant beleive how much more energy I have with so much less food. and my strength is good too. amazing.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I love Frazetta. Always a great energy to get you ready to train. Savage and intense. Or, as Pavel would say; "fluid and vicious".

Heavy and slow

WOke up feeling pretty spry from yesterdays training.

warmups( with 12kg)

around body pass

around leg pass

figure eights

around body pass

did this three times. only left to right on all movements.

overhead swings





72x3 Yes. the first time I have done this.

72x5 not bad at all. fun to play with the two pood again. just have to be carefull.

deadlifts( belt only, double overgrip)





315x1 a bit slower than I would have liked. I did dl on wednesday.

337x1 better.

348x1 very solid.

359x1 excellent. this moved the fastest of them all.

depth squats off 13" boxes

53x10 72x10

88x10x5 sets ah these are great!!!! really opening up the hips and back as it torches the legs. really tight eccentric reps.

kb touches base each rep.

have to get it so I can off the floor instead of the two board( 3") the weight hits now.

arm bars 36x5/5 44x5/5 53x5/5x2


Friday, November 04, 2005

Light and Fast

Been reading Dr Art Devanys first chapter of Evolutionary Fitness and already I love it. This is just where I need to be going and right now and he is a light in the darkness. The guy is just brilliant, imo, and has an honesty and bluntness that truly smart people have. they just state their truth and its yours to do with what you want.

I will have to read and reread, as is my curse, to really grok this stuff but thats alright. Its so fascinating I cant keep away. Nothing better than something really good to sink my teeth in on the cutting edge of the state of the art. lol.

Just how I was when I discovered Mr Tsatsouline. These guys are different.They have the ring of truth and the stink of integrity on them. Devany is definitely hitting on some intuitions I have always had about training and diet and explaining them from a scientific, as well as poetic perspective. Like Joseph Campbell for mythology.

Devany is big into training fast twitch and uses lighter weights and trys to increase acceleration during his compound an sprinting movements. Like Westside barbells dynamic effort day. short intense efforts and dont train too long. this will take some getting used to!LOL!!

Its getting easier to train faster and in less time now that I am solo . I used to train very fast in bodybuilding.

one arm swings, darcs, one arm cleans, snatch, two hand swing to overhead with one pood. 8 reps each

two sets of these

Swing flip squats
53x8x7 sets. Havent done these in awhile. defiinitely a good squat position.

two kb clean and press
36x5x5 took about 30 sec /sets.
felt great. light and fast. explosive. shoulder has relaxed from wednesdays bench presses.

pullups/ handstands
alternate sets of 5 reps and ten seconds. these are getting downright easy now. almost never miss first attempts.

two kb farmers walk
2/44's x6 laps. lighter and faster. 30 sec between sets.

I like this style of training. very wsb. shorts sets and short rests. no problem. its those long sets I hate. wind is getting decent and this helps my funtional leg strength( i.e ability to actually walk!) that I will have to add in another day at some point. It is literally teaching me how to walk right. the kettlebells low center of gravity really helps me root as I walk. its definitely getting stronger.I need another 72.or do mixed sets with the 72 and the 53 for a half lap.

On the FLoor stretching
20 minutes. also training splits 20 minutes this am.have to be careful swithing from side to side and this causes my shoulders to sublux! and they dont go back easily either.
L sits
downward dog
Hammie walk ups
sumo squat stretch

deads again tomorrow am cant wait.

bw 159.6
bf 11%

Thursday, November 03, 2005

No Slack.

Man, I am old. Just a tiny little bench press and curl workout and I can feel the stiffness and restriction in my right shoulder, which hasnt been bothering me at all for months, settling back in. No thanks.

I am in the training doldrums and its not pretty to see, or be in but the only really important thing is that I keep training, no matter what. Keep training and figure it out as you go. I will be training 90% solo now and I have no excuses for not doing exactly what my body needs to balance itself and keep getting better.

I was also thinking about putting on some more mass but I really like being lighter again. It is so much less stress on my knee and back as well. very noticably. also, not loading heavy is a key thing too. Another great thing about the kb is that it doesnt increase in weight forever, like a barbell. big difference in structure stress with the kb instead of the bar.

I would like to go backwards into power training, something I know so well, but my body doesnt seem to let me. I have to find a balance and a challenge I can live with.

I also HAVE to stay flexible, as much as possible, and keep working on my splits and full pike position. these are key to releasing the knee and the back.Handstands and overhead hangs do the same for my shoulders and NOT benching or building pec mass. oh well. I think dl will be ok as long as I dont get crazy heavy.

Training now is just as much about my preventative and restorative exercises as it is the kb or barbell work.And I have to give those extra sessions their just due and count them as part of my training. Because without them I dont go very far.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Dan Johns: The Meat, Leave and Berries Diet

Dan Johns: The Meat, Leave and Berries Diet

ANother great version of the Paleo diet. this time its from Dan John

Back to the Darkside.

I just can't face another hi rep day,especially training by myself, so I did a little powerlifting again today. Feels good to do some low reps and heavy( very relative) for a change. Without a deadline and some clear cut goals its almost impossible for me to get motivated to get going these days and being able to do 100 swings is just not enough.

Getting on the bench was like putting on an old,well worn pair of slippers. Not much support but it feels like home. I am nuts its seems.

Bench press
very easy but the left biceps tendon will want some adjustment time. I will give it to it.

rolling db extensions
25#x10x10 15 sec rest/set whats this? a tricep pump? forgot about that. I love this move and didnt even know when we were doing this that it is the Tabata intervcal protocal.

deadlifts ( double overgrip)
225x1x12 sets 30 sec rest/sets. fast and easy. perfect. very close stance set up with the weight in the medial arch. strong position.

two hand swings
53#x5x15 sets 15 sec res/set. ah this is almost like Dynamic effort squat day. so much more natural for me to go really hard for short periods;even with a short rest, rather than long low intensity sets. Just no good at them. Used a long hardstyle power stroke, reaching behind me as much as possible and accelerating as much as possible.

db laterals 4x12

pushdowns 4x20

hammer curls 4x10 time for a bit more mass again

handstands 4x 10 sec holds
have to keep this in the mix to keep the shoulders open.

I think the key to me staying (relatively) uninjured is really NOT neglecting my stretching and NOT pushing the loads. Hope this works, training has been very depressing lately. Push pull guy might work.anything but the void that is now.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Classic convential dl position

Here is a great photo of John Dzurenko a solid 198'er in the 60's. It aint pretty but when the weight gets really heavy this is how most of the top guys look.