Sunday, December 31, 2006

Artur Ginko Snatches

Although this was on Toms blog it's just such beautiful form I wanted to archive it on my blog as well.With the exception of the corkscrew descent it is very similar to how I am snatching lately: lots of forward lean, high hips and a straight arm swing snatch.Of course the man is a world class gs athlete and that is 32 kg he is playing with.The mirror provides lots of opportunities for motion analysis from both sides.


Nick Sweeney throws the discus

Having Doc Rob show up at Stones yesterday brought back many memories.I have a new client who was a Heptathlete for Ireland and the name of my old friend Nick Sweeney was brought up.Nick was a multi time Olympian for Ireland and trained for many years at my World Gym in Campbell as well as my garage gym.Great great guy and super funny. Strong as a horse too although he had as many injuries as me and was forced to retire and resume real life as a stock broker in NY.
Found this video of him throwing in 1999 ,when he was still training with us.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Robs squat videos

Rob squats a big 770! talk about bar speed.




Rob warms up with 700.

Doc Rob squats BIG!

Great friend and pro strongman Rob Meulenberg showed up for a squat session at Stones today to see where he is at for a meet he has in two weeks.
After warming up well he hit easy singles with 700 and 770! This is after not having done any formal powerlifting training in two and a half years!
Rob sees this as the WSB conjugate method in action. He just got very strong in a lot of very varied posititions and it made his powerlifts go up! special exercises and a training both high force and high velocity.

Have the videos but youtube is throwing a hissy fit. will post them later.
this is still warming up and is about halfway down. Doc Rob squats deep.





300 snatches


I got this number in my head and I couldnt get it out. Knew I wanted to go lighter today and use the 20 kg and thought 300 sounded good. Wednesdays 240 one arm swings with the 24 kg gave me a lot of confidence so I thought I could do it. THen, good friend and pro strongman Rob Meulenberg showed up to squat and I knew it was a done deal!

Snatches
26x5/5/5/5x2
36x4/4/4/4

44x5/5/5/5x15 sets
300 reps ! Ties PR
13,200 pounds

excellent. wasnt the fastest pace but it was steady as we had some spotting to do but cardio was fine. switching off hands every five reps let me really focus on going hard each rep and getting more overload on the legs and hips than the arms. switching hands frequently definitely changes the focus from arm and shoulder fatigue to the overall system and lower body. And thats what I need.
My form was very solid throughout and I didnt even get any hammie fatigue until the last two sets and it was mild. I just have to think 'one arm swing' and let myself bend over. much smoother that was. did NOT pause at the top much for two reasons:
1) it definitely is harder on my right shoulder
2) it definitely slows down the pace from more of a total sprint to a collection of single reps.

This was much easier than the first time I had done it. Should have done another set.wasnt quite sure this was my pr. have to get better at recording these different weight prs.

I do have to add my snatch holds back in though as that position,esepcially with no presses or windmills is getting weaker,even as my flexibility increases.

Halos
26x10/10
36x8/8x2
26x10/10

datsit, very happy with the workout and what a thrill it was to have big Doc Rob squatting heavy again. Brought back lots of great memories!Staying loose.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Once a Runner

This quote is from one of my favorite books Once A Runner by John L Parker . It's about the trials and tribulations of being an elite runner. It also hit the perfect note in this passage to describe how I approach my Hardcore life and training for years

"Cassidy sought no euphoric interludes. They came, when they did, quite naturally and he was content to enjoy them privately. He ran not for crypto-religious reasons, but to win races, to cover ground fast. Not only to be better than his fellows, but better than himself. To be faster by a tenth of a second, by an inch, by two feet or two yards than he had been the week or year before. He sought to conquer the physical limitations placed upon him by a three-dimensional world (and if Time is the fourth dimension, that too was his province). If he could conquer the weakness, the cowardice in himself, he would not worry about the rest; it would come. Training was a rite of purification; from it came speed, strength. Racing was a rite of death; from it came knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where you can lean over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and see exactly nothing."
"Running to him was real, the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free."That quarter mile oval may be one of the few places in the world where the bastards can't screw you over, Quenton. That's because there's no place to hide out there. No way to fake it or charm your way through, no deals to be made. You know all that stuff. You've talked about it. It's why you became a miler. The question is whether you are prepared to live by it or whether it was just a bunch of words."

."

Hardcore


Tom Furman had a great blog entry the other day entititled "Dont be a sissy"http://physicalstrategies.blogspot.com/2006/12/dont-be-sissy.html.
The post deals with the topic of toughness and the difference between mature,real world toughness that reveals itself when the chips are down and the narcissistic, almost manufactured toughness of the obsessive trainee and the specialist athlete.

And do I know that world. I have spent most of my life trying to control, manipulate and otherwise bend- to -my- will my body and my mind and my environment to adhere to the training and competition goals I had set forth. And for many, many, many years nothing else came ahead of my training,my competitions my recovery and creating the ideal environment to make gains from. I only had to look around at the best in the field at whatever I was trying to do to see exactly what I needed to bring to the table to have a chance of success.

But I have always thought of this as my career and I was doing what was necessary to get ahead. I always wanted to be the best I could be and learn from the best there were.At the very least I could read them and or talk to them.I always thought that inorder to be a pro one needed to live like a pro first, and then you could be one. I still feel that way.

I have always known this as being Hardcore. Hardcore lived and breathed and slept and ate and dreamt their goals. I remember dreaming about gymnastics every night from 9th grade through college. Every night.My heroes were always the most hardcore at whatever sport I was in and relished being like them. The Bushido code of the Samurai called for total committment and devotion to the goal,no matter the price and I tried my best to live up to it.

I didnt have the most talent of anyone but I knew I had more will and more willingness to sacrifice than most anyone I met. I loved the fact that one could not 'buy' physical success, it had to be earned. And by default if you had it you have earned it. The most democratic of situations and one I still relish today.

I lived like an ascetic monk and focused as much as possible on "perfecting" my life so that it supported training as much as possible.Money meant nothing to me and possesions were things that just got in the way.

Society rewards obsessive compulsive successes in all walks of life. IN big time sports to big time business. How many hours a week does a partner in a big time law firm or VC firm put in each week? As many as it takes,and how balanced is that? Not very but people rationalize it with " thats what you gotta do to make the big bucks". Which is true.Is it balanced? No.

If you do this for an amateur sport, as I did, people think you are nuts because there is no "payoff". Well, no monetary payoff perhaps but is that all that matters? I could never have learned the things I know about training and the body without that obsessive,one pointed laser beam behavior.

One can only recover from so much stress. To be a top athlete requires that as much of that stress come from training and not from other distractions like real jobs and demanding families.

So most top level athletes are on the brink of illness and injury all the time and live in a very narcissitic world. The next step off ANY peak is down. To be a top athlete, and these days there are NUMEROUS monetary rewards, means making many sacrifices.

But there are only so many chances one has and it soon becomes obvious what once was a passion is now just a hobby.

Of course this all changed, as it must, with a wife and a son. From focusing on just yourself to realizing your son and wife, and not you, is the most important thing in the world.And that decisions about what you do have to be put through that filter first. Not your competition or your training goals.

And thats where becoming real tough instead of just gym tough comes in.Really learning what "man up" really means each monday morning. realizing that the commericial that says "challenges dont build character, they reveal it " is correct and that how big your arms are or what your best squat is doenst mean much in the real world.Doing what needs to be done regardless of whether you want to do it or not does.

One of the joys of my life is being able to train myself first thing of the morning. I always have my best energy early and loved being able to totally focus on the training goals of the day.But my clients like that too and they come first. SO I have to train after expending maximal energy on being the best trainer I can for the first part of the day. THEN its my turn, when I'm stiff, cold and tired. Boo freakin hoo. Man up, get in the gym and get what I can done as best I can.

Now, as I approach mid century I realize THAT is my new Hardcore.

I am now training for Toms version of toughness and it's perfectly appropriate for this stage of my life. Being able to do real world tasks strongly and with good energy is way more important than any specific number goal of my training. My training now is to make me tougher, more resilient,more mobile, more enduring and more balanced ;not just as big or as strong or as skilled as I could be.That was for another time.

And yes it was FUN.I still beleive that to accomplish great things in life one has to be, as Jon Pall Siggmarson said in his video" I'm a little crazy; yes I have to be." There is a price for everything, including a balanced life. What the value of anything can only be answered individually. I have many scars but wouldnt trade any of them for the experiences that produced them, thats for sure.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

One Arm Swings


Recovered better than exected from the swing medley on monday. No substitute for me getting on the floor and opening things up right and thats what I did.Had one arm swings on the menu today and wasnt sure whether to use the 20 or 24 kg weight.I decided I would back off on the snatch weight this saturday to the 20 kg and go for 250 plus snatches so that meant today was the 24 kg again.


One Arm Swing

26x5/5/5/5

36x5/5/5/5x2

44x5/5/5/5


53x5/5/5/5 x12 sets

240 reps

12,720 pounds


these went very very well. all swings were head high and leaving the arm locked into the body worked great!Let myself bend over and got great momentum and force production. I like the idea of doing low reps per arm and switching more. This will let me work at both my goals similtaneous: high force output per rep AND high volume.


I did one set of 10/10 one the 11 the set and could feel myself gear down right from the start knowing I had more reps to do!


Mixed grip chin pulls/jumping off bosu

6 sets of 6 with 5 second hang/scap tracs at end of set


these went very well. I am almost ready for real ones, I can tell.


that was it as Mike Castro and Mr Bosu David Weck showed up and we played with some of Wecks TopSecret new toys.I am sworn to secrecy but great stuff is coming down the pike.


bw 161

bf 8.9%

water 60.8%


datsit, staying loose.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas present to myself.




One of my least favorite aspects of being( finally) a responsible adult and having to actually work for a living is not being able to train first thing in the morning. Nothing I love more than to get up and have nothing to do but focus on my training before I have to do the rest of the real world tasks.
I get to do so on Saturdays and it is always the highlight of my week. So today, having taken the day, off I got to train myself first thing and was happy as a kid on, well, Christmas day.

Plus, I believe I have finally figured out what to do with my Monday's workout. One of the realizations from Saturdays snatch workout was that my bent over form, for better or worse, was MY form and trying to mess with it to mimic a more squat style was not only silly but ineffective. I wanted to do another swing based workout but hitting the same nail with one arm swings or even lighter snatches didnt make sense. that groove wasn't recovered yet.

Another realization is that my high pull form, both one arm and two hand, IS more of a squat based pattern, getting my hips and legs more.But it doesnt work for my snatch. And doesnt have to, I now see. I can use these exercises on Monday and let them hit my (relatively) underutlized glutes and legs and still let my back and hams recover from snatches.
These will be a special exercise to target the areas my comp form does not get. As they get stronger it should make my snatch form stronger as well.Less weak points everywhere makes you stronger.

Again, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so we will see how I am tomorrow and wednesday.

I also wanted to increase volume and was reading former Sr. RKC Nate Morrisons adn Air Force ParaRescue instructors site http://milfitmag.com on strength endurance training for military and LEOs. This type of real world functional, go all day ,real world strength endurance is what I am after now and the more my work capacity comes up the better I feel. His articles on continuous work circuits and high rep swing trainig is very inspiring

heres just a hint from his site.

The Swing is a cyclic and ballistic exercise, which challenges the musculature of the trunk in an off balanced dynamic and functional manner. No rep is the truly the same.
The Swing develops power and power endurance like no other exercise. Guidelines for the Swing
If you have lower back pain or soreness, start with a light weight and limited range of motion. Gradually increase the range of motion before you increase weight. This is assuming your doctor has cleared you!
If you are a woman, especially recovering from child birth, follow #1 and also be sure to pay extra attention to contracting your glutes and all of the muscles of the abdomen (as if bracing for a punch).
If you are in the military, work up to over 100 reps per set with a 24kg KB.
If you are in SOF, go heavier and shoot for 50-100 reps with a 32kg KB, especially if your team carries large ruck loads of 100+ pounds.
For detailed instructions on performing the Swing, be sure to pick up a copy of my video, The Kettlebell Starter. Also check our archives


When I get my knee replaced and can really walk/hike/ruck watch out!
I highly recommend you check out Nate's site as there is always great info on a multitude of topics there.It is a pay site and you always get more than what you pay for! Way more.

Swing Medley

Circuit
two hand swing
one arm hi pull
two hand hipull
DARCS

10 reps each with 12 kg 50 reps =1300 lbs
10 reps each with 16 kg 50 reps =1800 lbs
10 reps each with 20 kg 50 reps = 2200 lbs
150 reps/5300 pounds

all supersetted with 200 foot rack walks, 100 foot per arm with 16 kg

then with the 24 kg

two hand swing 20 reps

one arm hi pull 20 reps

two hand hi pull 20 reps

DARC 20 reps
twice through

80 reps per round/160 total/8480 pounds total + swing circuit above=310 reps/13680 pounds.

each set was superesetted with 200 ft rack walks with 16 kg. The swings were not done in a circuit.I had ambitions of three rounds and 240 reps but the second round was much tougher and I didnt want to be wrecked tomorrow.

2000 feet of rack walks PR!

Jumping Chins
3x5

this was working out well until my left wrist started protesting so I switched to a mixed grip! Left arm pronated and right arm supinated. As twisted as I am it felt really GOOD! Of course.But then I thought about how much I used mixed grips( both sides) in my powerlifting deadlift and thought this might actually square me up!

jumping pull/chin off bosu

5x5 !

this worked well. I am so tweaked, lol.If i ever were to dl again, instead of using a hook grip to try to be square that way I would use a left hand undergrip and a right hand overgrip to twist me left to right, the manner I need to go to be "square" . THe other way just perpetuates my existing imbalances! But I ain't gonna be deadlifting anyway.No thanks I dont need that too,lol.
datsit! one hour of pretty much continuous work, right on target.
staying loose.



Sunday, December 24, 2006

Twenty years ago



although not in Dec. A little trip down memory lane. March, 1987

Ten years ago today.


Ten years ago today I was just 39 and perhaps the strongest I have ever been in my life.I weighed 190 and was working on a 600 pound squat and a 430 plus bench(long term goals) . A few workouts from my log of that week:


12/23/96 Max effort dl
1) Safety bar deadlift off pins( bar is balanced on shoulders, hands at comp dl bar level)
175x5x2
25x2
340x1
394x1 (pr)
406x X miss

2) Wt hypers

50x8
70x8
90x8x2
50x5x5 sec holds

3)reverse hypers

210x12x4 sets


4) 2 DB wall sits( at parallel)
50lbs x30 sec
90lbsx 30 sec
100#x30 sec( pr)


5) spread eagle situp(straight leg)
100lbs x10x3 sets


6) cable side bends

110 lbs x10x3 sets

7) standing calf raises 4 sets


12/26/96 bench max effort

1)close grip decline 135x5x2

225x3x2
275x1
315x1
365x1
390x X
390x1 PR ( love getting these after I miss!)

2)Close grip decline ring grip
315x1
365x1
390x1 PR ( got my 6 reps above 90 as per Prilepins table, I sure sign I was in shape.)

3) rack extensions from dead stop in power rack

88x10
132x8
176x8
225x5
247x5
269x5
291x4 315x2.5 (LOL)

strong triceps and lats were my bench. weird weights as I have half pounds and half kilo set


4) wt pullups
bwx8
25x5
45x5
60x5x2
bwx12

5) plate raise seated

100lbs x10x3 sets

6) chest supported row

3x8

7) db hammer curl

40,50,60 lbs x 6 reps


12/27/96 Box squat speed day
12.5 inch hard box(loose suit bottoms/belt)


135x3x2
185x3
225x2
275x2
315x2

337lbs x 2 reps x 10 sets, 45 sec rest/sets

381x1
413x1
430x1



2) arched back good morning

225x8
270x6
315x5x3 sets



3) reverse hypers

210x12
260x12x3 sets



4) cable pull throughs

200lbs x15x3 sets



5) incline leg raises 4 sets to failure


6) incline straight leg situps 4 sets to failure


7) donkey calf raises 4x15

two months later I squatted 513( made an easy 562 but got reds )benched 391( missed 407) pulled 545 and just missed 562 weighing 191.No one can say we didnt train hard.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Back shoulders and arms, kb style.








Runners legs and Go Late.


I have been obsessed with leg strength and leg training since I destroyed my shoulder in 1977 and realized I could only train with my legs and they sucked. They had been weak since my knee injury in 1975. Then I learned how to run and got a feeling of strength and endurance in my legs I had never felt before. That they could run forever and not get tired.An amazing feeling and one I miss more than any of the other physical skills I can no longer do.
Even more then running, cycling gave me a feeling of power and strength in my legs that was amazing yet you were tired to the bike. Running made me feel like an animal. A fast and strong one with a solid base.

When I went into bodybuilding I became truly obsessed with getting big legs. I was told the more muscle I had the bettter protected my damaged knee would be and I took it to heart.BUt they got tight. And out of a natural balance that running gave them.Powerlifting made it even worse; tighter and even more unbalanced.

So I gave up the squat motion except as a stretch a year and a half ago and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I LIVED to squat and worshiped at the alter of Tom Platz and then Ed Coan and Kirk Karwoski.But my legs have felt better and better the more is just did snatches and swings and did not load the legs with squats.

I could be strong at squats in the workout and limp around all week, or not squat at all and be a much better walker all week. Not much of a choice anymore.

But today I realized, as I was rounding the corner into my 200th snatch, that my legs were taking on the feeling I used to have as a runner. Smaller and less one rep max strong but enduring and resilient in a way they havent been in years. I am steadily loosing the unbalanced tension that was causing so much knee and back pain and my legs are 'getting under me' again.
The swings and the snatch dont put me into a classic squat pattern and use the legs that way but even in my deadlifters lean over style the legs are getting worked and worked well! ANd the more I try to make myself "use the legs" more the worse I am. You have to use what works for you.


(Long warmup with swings with 12 kg and 16 kg)

snatch
16kgx5/5x2
20kgx3/3x2

24kg
5/5
6/6
7/7
8/8
9/9
10/10 x2
5/5
5/5

200 reps/10,600 pounds

in about 45 minutes.

this was a good one although it took forever to get started. My right shoulder has been out for the last couple days( messing around with pressing again!) and I didnt know how things would hold. Plus the super cold and early start does not help that.
But it was fine.Made me really concentrate on keeping the arm straight as I came out of the hole.

BUT ,as I started to fatigue and bit and slow down around 150 reps I was trying to sit back more to get more hip snap and that wasnt working. What I realized was, just like in my dl I have to lean over more to get my hips into it better and thats what I did! Worked like a charmOpened the stroke up a bit, got more momentum and didnt hurt anything!

I also realized I have to think 'go late' on the snap to hit it in the right place. I always want to go early and rush it.Missed my snatches last week and was worried it would feel heavy. no problems.excellent.

halos
12kg x8/8x4 sets

Chin Hangs
4 sets of 8-10 sec.These feel GREAT!
bw 160.8
bf8.8%
water60.8%

datsit staying loose.



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Recovery


Training is really about recovery.Recovery is the holy grail of any kind of training because it truly is the limiting factor as to the gains you are going to make. That,of course and genetics. But that is another topic.

You can only make as much progress as you can handle loads in training.FOr instance, if you want to squat 500 pounds as a max you need to be able to train with 70-85% of that, or 350-425 lbs on a regular basis. We can argue as to how often and much much you should train with those loads but the key is being able to work with those weights. If you can do the workouts but they break you down so much you dont get stronger. you get weaker.so recovery is key and is truly the factor limiting how good you will get.

If you want to run a 4 min mile you better be able to do the 20 quarters in 63 seconds that the top milers can do with ease.Not only do those workouts but recover from them stronger than you were going in. Not an easy task and one that requires considerable sacrifice and dedication to accomplish.Building up to those required loads takes many many progressive workouts. And you have to recover from each one. the less the recovery the greater the chance of injury as well.

There are a multiple of facets to increasing recovery not the least of which is anabolics which work well( in the short run) and are easy. Hence their popularity. The least popular are the ones that require thought,work and discipline such as regular massage and body therapy, stretching, active recovery work,nutrition,visualization and not the least of which a very calm, balanced lifestyle and lots of rest as well as sleep.

Olympic and true professional athletes are very lazy when they are not training as they are very jealous of their recovery energy and know the more they waste with superfluous activities the slower their progress will be. It's all a choice of course. Stay out late, have some drinks and party a bit or watch a dvd, doing some mental preparation for the tomorrows workout and get 8 hours of great sleep.It's all about priorities and choices. Every day. Every choice.

Makes a big difference, especially over the long run,positive or negative, which is where all the real progress takes place.If you aren't in it for the long haul you are't in it.

Rest is not the same as sleep and those who never sit down and put their legs up will have very dead legs the next day. This is especially true for endurance athletes,bodybuilders and powerlifters. trying to get to the top of your game requires quite a bit of work and sacrifice, just no way around it.

As I write this though I am struck by how much things have changed for me.Again, this is from the perspective of the specialist athlete whose main purpose was to progress in competition. The concept of the "human animal" who is not training for sepcialzed sport competition but to be "ever ready and fit" to survive is a different way of thinking, and of training for me.

But to progress in your discipline of choice you must be able to do harder and harder workouts. To do that you have to figure out how to recover as fast and completely as possible between sessions.Its all part of the puzzle of experiements and discovery that is training.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Greedy.

Not much sleep last night; was up from 2:30 am on and out of bed at 4 am. Knew it was going to be rough as I had extra clients today to take care of coming makeups. Late start. ALso I think I let how good I feel lately go to my head, as usual. Here I am thinking about max force and high velocity training and forgetting that just a few months ago I was hoping I could train at all!

I have to not forget that I should KNOW by now I have to stick to the movements and workloads that have shown of late NOT to injure me, but actually to make me better and not to get too greedy.It is my nature to always want to push more. To lift more, more heavily, more intensely, more often. I want to be able to do what the best can do and I have to realize that is what got me so injured in the first place.

To be able to move much more painfree, hell, to actually be able to MOVE at all is a blessing.To be able to snatch and swing hard and do 15,000 pound workloads and walk normal the next day is an amazing thing.

I can only load my right shoulder overhead so much without it complaining greatly is a reality I have to accept. Snatching well once a week is good enough. It has to be.

To be able to walk without much of a limp is an unbelievably great thing.

Suck it up and get started.

10 min HOT bath as passive warmup

One arm swings( straight arm)
26x10/10x2
36x8/8x2

44x8/8x 15 sets
240 reps, 10,560 lbs
20 minutes

this went very well once I settled down and decided to keep the reps down.I wanted a rep range that ended with strong power,regardless of what it was.I'm not very fast after ten reps of anything.Eights felt easy and still had plenty of snap on them. I recover much much better if I dont get into oxygen debt. as soon as that happens recovery sucks ass.
Form felt good and shoulder was fine.

Bosu Jumping Chins
6,6,5,5,4=26!!!
full weight hang and scapula tractions after each set!!!!! no problem,actually felt GOOD to hang like that. still have to go slowly and be very careful, this is so new.

rack walks 20 kg
200 feet per arm 1200 feet total

these felt great! left wrist was a little strained buy the supination and hangs but I didnt push it.

bw 161
bf 9.4%
water 60.2%

damned gingerbread cookies. I can eat ice cream and keep my bf down but as SOON as I add the processed flour shit back in it goes up!and one of my clients gave me 8 of my favorite cheese danish, which is my favorite pastry! uh oh.

datsit, staying loose.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Cheks progressions of training: revised.


Chek advocates that training progresses in this order


1) flexibility( both joints and muscle length)

2) stability

3) strength

4) endurance

5) power


I have used this metric for many years for my clients and myself with great success but I think it time I adapted it a bit:


1) flexibility/mobility

2) stability

3) basic endurance

4) strength

5) strength endurance

6) power


I think once the joint is mobile and stable than, as McGill suggests basic endurance of that stable position is important as a base for strength training. Then strengh THEN strength endurance. Then power training can come into play safely.

Scott Wilson from start to finish.

Scott as very advanced teenager the late eighties
the early eighties

The late ninties
Scott was an incredible training partner, business partner,mentor and most of all, friend.I learned as much from my time with him than I have with just about anyone I've spent time with. The consumate professional I NEVER,EVER, EVER saw Scott cheat on his decided upon diet plan until Sunday, his cheat day.His discipline was PERFECT.

He would just want to smell the donuts I was eating and that was enough, lol!

That is until cheat day and WATCH OUT, it wasnt pretty.This guy was the epitome of the hard core professional bodybuilder during its golden era and NEVER got the acclaim he deserved, although he had more covers than anyone but arnold!He jsut couldnt pose for shit and never worked it at all although I begged him. He hated it and it showed. He shook and that looks like shit. Had he had had better body control he would have cleaned up. Oh yeah and if he hadn't advertised for the wrong supplement company, lol!

Bushido


Great synopsis on the Way of the Warrior.

"Without the dishonor of dieting or aerobics."


After sleeping on it I realized my post yesterday was a bit convoluted. Since I wont be doing any real "max effort" days ala wsb max weight or max reps days I have to organize it a bit better.

Mondays will be the max effort day equivilant and therefore should NOT be timed rests but low reps with max force output per rep, lower total volume. Sets of 5-10 in the high pull will do fine but I should go when I am ready to. Yesterday was no problem cv wise but that is not the point. I should let myself recover so I have more to put into each set.
I could also alternate the exercises on this day as well as you would on a "real" ME day. One possible schedule would be
week one : two hand hi pulls
two: cleans
three: two hand low swings
four: one arm high pulls
this would not be a true me day but my "heavy day"

Wednesdays will be "dynamic effort" day, or speed day as I always called it, and here is where the submax weight(20 kg or 16 kg with bands) will come into play, as well as the short rest intervals. this will increase total tension and workload without having to do longer sets.emphais will be on perfect swing form and max force output. IN reality in wsb template all days are max force days, some days just have sub max weight and some days have max weights. to lift the most one must concentrate on the ability to produce as much force as possible as well as building work capacity to allow for more than one max force attempt( this is more applicable to pl'ing than my situtation but hey, cant hurt).

Saturdays will be my major deviation from the wsb scheme as I will practice with the comp form and the comp weight. not sure yet how I will organize the rep schemes as I'm not sure of my goal with the snatch;other than trying to perfect the movement and the power I can produce with it. I know I won't allow myself to go up in weight so I will have to devise a plan, which will probably revolve around total volume of reps within a time frame. we'll see.


ANother way to view it could be this:


Saturday= Max effort day with Comp lift( snatch) and comp weights focusing on total volume of lifts done( the goal) and not on time it takes.Pretty much what I have been doing. this will also provide GPP.



Wednesday: Dynamic effort day with one arm swings with sub max weight and reps and timed rest intervals.


still leaves the question of what to do ( and call) Monday.If I could press it would make things so much easier.


this is how I get into trouble, lol. I think too much.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Max effort day

Decided to look at my KB ballistic training according to the WSB template. I beleive I am finally physically balanced enough to tolerate some bilateral movements and some higher forces ones as well.Speed work and max effort day if you will. We'll see how much :))


It has become very clear to me that RKC Hardstyle training is very similar to WSB training,especially in regards to high intensity interval training, compensatory acceleration training, accomodating leverage( Louie says resistance but I think its more increased leverage you are accomodating), and focusing on maximizing accelerative forces when swinging.It is precisely the opposite of GS training where pacing plays so much a part. There is no pacing in a box squat on speed day during the rep and none also in a hardstyle swing or snatch.You root and static stomp the whole swing, continuing to apply force into the ground and being ready ( linked) to transmit it through your body into the bell when it comes back up through you.

Thats the point, to develop higher accelerative forces and teach yourself how to increase the velocity of your lifts. More speed equals more power.More power more force.More force equals more overload which equals more adaptations for strength.The kettlebell is a power tool for sure.

It can ,of course be used for many things but how many things can you throw hard and still hang onto?

SO today will be my heavy max effort day, lower volume and heavier weights and a bilateral movment
.Wednesday will be speed day with one arm swings and a lighter weight to maximize acceleration(kbs and bands perhaps?)

both the above days will use submax weights and shortened rest periods rather than trying to build the reps up and let the force output go down.

Saturday will be the goal move( snatch) with the highest volume and the comp weight ( 24 kg). This day will include higher rep days as well as lower reps for volume goals

Two Hand hi pull
36x10
44x10
53x10

62x10x15 sets/30 sec rest/sets

150 reps/9300 lbs

these went very well and I originally only planned 10x10 but they were strong. I like doing low reps and higher sets. I like the fast twitch stuff AND hi volume.we'll see how much my body can tolerate.But I HATE slogging though long sets

Tactical pullups
5x5
4x4

man these were HARD after all those hi pulls! arms were fried. Plus I was an hour later today as I had to stay late for a client. Pretty bushed to start with considering my long saturday.am considering ditching pullups for chinups for awhile. we'll see.

rack walks
16 kg for 200 feet each arm
800 feet total ( bushed!)

bw 161
bf 8.8%
water 60.9%

man I need some more food!

datsit ,stay loose.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kettlebells are amazing.

KBs, like barbells, absorb and retain the lifts that were done with them, I believe. These guys got a whole bunch of new energy yesterday . The new foam roller is hard as a rock and supposedly won't deform with hard use. We'll see :))


Revelations from yesterday
After watching a couple dozen, fairly well trained personal trainers, martial artists and other fitness people go through six hours of very basic kettlebell drills yesterday I am even more convinced of the incredible value this tool, and the RKC system of teaching the kb drills has to offer.
The five basic kettlebell drills; the swing( and its basic variations), the clean, the press, the snatch and the TGU are so inclusive of the entire body in even the simplist applications that the implications are mind boggling to me. The energy systems that can be so easily trained also create a "swiss army knife" of a training tool that is so beautiful in its minimalism and Zen simplicty that it still gets me pumped.

And after hearing a seriously well built SWAT officer trying to get his air back after a short practice set of TGU's with a 16 kg say" it doesnt look like it should be that hard". Exactly. That is the magic of the KB and the RKC methods of using it.

And the methods matter because there are many, many inefficient ways of using a kb;from a biomechanical standpoint as well as an energy standpoint.Knowing the appropriate corrections to fix a form fault as well as the most efficient progressions to increase strength, intensity and volume also matter. Especially for the average person who is most interesting in finding the fastest, safest and most efficient method of getting leaner( first on almost everybody's list),stronger, able to move more and have more energy for life and life's daily challenges. Which are considerable. Especially when you consider just how many people are literally not strong enough to stand up straight and oppose the force of gravity!

And that is just what poor posture is; the inability of a person to push back hard enough against the pull of gravity to find a neutral posture! Amazing. And people are worried about how big their arms are. Nothing I find creates this necessary extension strength better than kb ballistics, the swing clean and snatch.Nothing that burns more calories in an equal amount of time. Or builds lean mass ,cardio power and real world endurance all at the same time. It's so simple, but damn,it is NOT easy, as a whole bunch of people found out yesterday.

As they also found out that a swing is not just a swing. There are many, many,many parts and facets to a perfectly swung swing.And many nooks and crannies to explore without getting bored. As Steve Cotter just wrote about the other day "working in, not out".
This is also the RKC Deep Skill and " Practice not train" focus and ones that pay numerous dividends.
And for the athlete who is using kbs just as a means of improving their sport skill they soon realize just how much a little bit of KB work can go!

Another thing is the scalability of the KB swings.One is able to go as hard or as easy as they require for their specific goal. Since the basis of all training adaptations is overload the ability of one to apply force through a huge range of full body motion is very important. Once the biomechanical postitions are correct( hinging not squatting,etc) being able to accomodate leverage and apply force through the entire swing brings far more overload than just working the minimax point. Just like Louies Box squats with chains or bands ; one pushes with way more force than is necessary to get the job done.

" Push with 100% effort when you have 70% on the bar," Louie told me" and when there IS 100% load on the bar you will still push explosively. If you train too heavy all the time you get slow."
I have remembered these words as they are just as applicable to kb training. Maybe more so as kb swings dont crush the spine like heavy box squats and deads do.

Kettlebells rock.

The Warrior Diet makes you smarter

Interesting studies from Yale that links the hormones produced when we are hungry to better thinking.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

200 Hi pulls in ten minutes with Steve Cotter.

Got the chance to assist Steve Cotter in his workshop today in San Carlos. Tracy took part and a good time was had by all.Steve asked me to take the group through a Rifstonian ROP Hi pull ladder and since I had not trained yet that day I decided to lead from the front and participate.

Most of you know my fondness for warming up so having to jump into a pr test with no warmup after standing around for six hours was not what I had expected but you gotta CowboyUp when the situation demands it. When Steve decided to be my partner for the test I really knew I was in for it as Steve can set a fast pace. And since its "I go, you go" for the whole ten minutes I knew I was gonna hurt.

But it went great.

snatch hi pulls/24 kg
10/10
12/12
14/14
16/16
18/18
20/20

and for the last set of
10/10 I Snatched the weight!'

200 reps /10,600 lbs.

Don't know the exact time but we were definitely under ten minutes.Steve was blasting out his sets with his newly honed gs style so he was moving!

Also hadn't eaten anything all day and had no problem. THe warrior diet works great! Plus PLENTY of Farmers walks of all kinds at the start, in the middle and at the end of the day as well as numerous swings ,hi pulls and snatches throughout the day just to keep warm!

The Evolution of Westside Barbell Training. Pt Two




The second half of my article on the basics of WSB training and how to use the system.Sample routines included.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Classic! Siff Vs Crossfit!

My shoulder is BACK! First chins in years.

After working on this for the last 2 years I have succeeded in getting my shoulder to fully supinate so that I can now fully hang from the chin bar and even do chin ups again! This is a huge,huge thing for me and coincides with my shoulder finally fully settling in the socket in neutral again.

It also gets me out of the incredible constant pain I've had in my rotator cuff,shoulder, bicep,neck and AC joint I've had for what seems like forever. I knew that being able to fully supinate the arm and get the teres completely stretched out would be key but I didnt think it would unravel things like it has.

This has taken forever but it is definitely worth it.It makes sense,though, from my developmental theory standpoint, as I spent SO much time swinging around the hi bar with my palms fully supinated and arms externally rotated.Undergrip giants. many many many undergrip giants.Not having that ROM killed me.THe more I restore the ROM I had when I started training the better my body feels. Close stances, piked stretches, stretched hamstrings,close overhead postitions.

Everything except spinal flexion, that kills me.THat is where the KB extension saves the day, and my back.It is the perfect antidote to my gymnastic induced flexion injuries.But I have to maintain alot more ROM and muscle flexiblity than I have and today proves that even more.

BUt I also had to do my one arm swing (instead of the one arm hi pull) experiment today and that went well also.

10 minute very hot bath( passive warmup, this is working like a charm: 10 minutes)

Straight arm one arm swings
36x8/8x2

44x8/8
x10/10
x12/12
x14/14
x16/16
x18/18 in 10 minutes
x20/20 in 12 minutes 196 reps

this was so different from the hi pull it took me awhile to get my groove. Did the warmups in my Nikes thinking that would be good as I am barefoot on rubber covered plywood but I didnt like it at all. Messed up my root so I kicked them.

10/10
10/10
10/10
10/10
10/10/5/5= 100 reps

total reps =306 in 24 minutes 13,464 lbs

as usual it took me a couple hundred reps to warmup and the second group felt much stronger!form was superior and force was higher.go figure. This is definitely the assistance exercise for the straight arm snatch technique. I have a lot of work to do to master this though, so much differnt than the pull style of snatch.

Way easier on the shoulder though as well as my biceps.Connect the arm to the body. Brett Jones style "an arm disconnected from the body will be punished!" I love that quote and use it all the time.It puts all the emphasis on the hip snap to propel the bell, as it should be, and NOT the arm.Need to take more warmups though.

Rack walks with 24 kg
100 foot per arm/ 200 feet laps x 4= 800 feet.

this was tough.havent done it with the 24 in a long time.knee was good and the nikes work very well. gait feels best it has in eons. hammie and calf are staying open very well.

Jumping Chins off Bosu
5x5!!!!!!!


strangely enough I just kind of went to this rather than really testing the shoulder in a hang only position. I put the bosu under the bar to help me slowly lower into the full hang and then I had the idea of crossfit style jumping chins. Since I dont jump ever with my knee the bosu seemed like a safer idea. It went GREAT!!!!!
I had no trouble getting all the way into the hang( not perfect but 85%) with no pain and the whole movement seemed "right" to do.Then, after each set I just hung from the bar to see if I could do that and it felt great!

I am seriously excited by this! Also, some very interesting things happened to my thoracic extensors in this supinated chin up position. This has very good possiblities. I got my thoracic extension then I have had in years. I could be very sore tomorrow but I dont think injured. Of course time will tell.

BW 161.4
BF 8.8%
water 60.7%


SO this is the schedule and the focus of each day and movement:

Saturdays: competition movement( snatch) and comp weight(24 kg), medium volume.

Mondays: heavy overload movement(28 04 32 kg), max force low volume

Wednesday: assistance movement , speed work, highest volume.

gait worked on monday and wednesday.

datsit,staying looser!


Monday, December 11, 2006

Two Hand Hi Pulls and some adjustments.




this worked well today and it seems that my back will tolerate the movement now. Keeping it in close I think is the key.But I have to decide the correct workload for it now. Saturdays is snatch day,primarily with the 24 kg for volume and skill specific work

Monday then should be a lower volume but heavier loads.Now that I can use the two hand swing this will fit.Wednesday is back to volume with one arm swings, now, instead of one arm high pulls, as it will be the better assistance exercise for my snatch given the new form.

This will be very interesting and I also think I will keep the swings to the 20 kg for speed work and the highest volume of the week. This looks great!

ALSO: My shoulder seems to have FINALLY ,REALLY gone back into place and almost ALL the pain is gone in my neck, levator,AC, biceps tendon,and teres major has released.The underhand overhead stretch is the key and keeping that open puts the shoulder back in! Its been a long, long, long time( almost 3 years) with this thing "out" and it ain't been no fun.

Who knows how long it will last but it sure is cool right now.Life is so much easier when you are not in acute and chronic pain, :))


Two hand hi pulls
36x20(720)
44x20(880)
53x20(1060)
62x15(930)
72x12 (864)
x 2 rounds

174 reps/8908 lbs.

Supersetted with Tactical Pullups
4,5,6
4,5,6
4,5,6=57 reps

Rack and Farmers walk with 44lb
1200 feet various combinations.

Tact. Pullups again
4,4,4

BW161.4
BF 8.4%
hydration 60.7% (this is good, been hanging out here pretty consistently)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

"Proud to lift like a girl"

Great highlights from this years American Open.Textbook studies of form, guts and heart.Not to mention some serious strength!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A great snatch workout!

and perhaps a form breakthrough. I know I was supposed to hi pull swing today but that damn snatch was talking to me, daring me to figure it out!Seeing Franz's numbers coming up revitalized my interest in keeping my numbers high. As well as realizing that I should be able to snatch that 24 kg for my cert numbers any time and I would have a hard time with that right now.

And I know its just technique so I had to go today. I also realized it would be better to break up the one arm work from the two hand. SO: one arm today, two hand pulls mond and then one arm hi pulls wednesday.

I have also been studying the GS videos on Marko Suomi's site from the Riga Worlds and wanted to play with some things.The shoulder has been feeling GREAT the last two days; I had to do almost zero stretching to keep it pain free. It felt solidly in the socket for the first time in eons and it was great. the undergrip overhead stretch is the key.Seriously opens up my teres major! Chinups are just a heartbeat away!

But I slept badly and sure enough it was tight again this AM although it stretched out fast. BUt I knew I wasnt getting away with any technique that would set off the biceps tendon.Even the 16 kg started it aching so I remembered the straight arm Hard style technique of one of the female competitors in the video and gave that a try. Voila! No shoulder pain and great momentum! I thought I was bending over MORE than usual but Nick said it looked to him that I was more UPRIGHT than normal.

I kept the arm as straight as possible throughout the swing portion and tried to "ride the broomstick" at the start.Classic straight arm swing snatch.Just flipped the wrist at the top and it flew up with NO SHOULDER ACHE! Yes! Since I realized how much of my shoulder problems are basedin my forearm and bicep tricep points things have been much better but all this hi pull snatch technique was contributing to it I htink. Too much bicep loading for my shoulders.We'll see how this works out.

So of course since its a brand new technique I decided to do some higher reps, lol!

Straight arm swing snatch
5/5
6/6
7/7
8/8
9/9
10/10
10/10
9/9
8/8
7/7
6/6
5/5

180 reps in 39 min/9540 pounds

First angle









Another angle





this was much better than expected.did the first 90 in 17 minutes.I could tell at the end I was getting tired and the muscle were being used in a unique way. I was thinking 200 but decided I was good at 180.

halos
12kgx8/8
x10/10
x12/12
x14/14


Stability Ball squats
4 sets of 8

this is the only squat pattern I can do these days and I like it. good cool down.
Still waiting for the videos to upload and I will put them up when they do.Great great workout.

datsit, staying loose.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The conjugate method by Louie Simmons

800 pound plus Deadlifter John Stafford of WSB
If you are a power lifter or a strength athlete and you don't fully understand and have tried the WSB methods of training you are doing yourself a huge disservice. While not for everyone all the time training using these methods is a lesson in the reality of the essence of the powerlifts.

Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com More On The Conjugate Method: The Principle of Variety
By: Louie Simmons

Training is not as simple as doing 5 sets of 5 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps or any combination of sets and reps. You must plan to obtain certain objectives. Increases in speed, explosive strength, absolute strength, and stamina are equally important.

It has been known and discussed in Weightlifting for All Sports by Ajan and Baroga that a greater training result can be obtained over a greater length of time by using special exercises than by doing the classical lifts. Doing the same exercises repeatedly will rapidly decrease your coordination. There are many reasons for this. Our observation is that very few lifters can increase their abilities without special exercises.

A question that should be addressed is, when handling max lifts, how do you recover? And how do you at the same time increase muscle mass? The conjugate method is the answer. This is a complex method of rotating special exercises that are close in nature, in our case, to the powerlifts. This method also increases special strength qualities and perfects coordination, which will help advance technical skill. First, and most important, is to properly select exercises that address your particular problems. It could be an exercise that will build up a lagging muscle group or a special strength, such as starting, eccentric, or accelerating strength.

How do we train heavy continuously? The answer is to pick several special barbell exercises for a particular lift, for example, the deadlift. The good morning is very similar in motion to deadlifting. A conventional deadlifter will, no doubt, bend over. Therefore, bent over good mornings will increase the deadlift. But remember, when doing the good morning, in your brain, you must duplicate the action of your deadlift precisely. It is not so important to raise your good morning as to raise your deadlift by performing the good morning. We do many types of good mornings, for example, with a Safety Squat bar suspended from chains. But remember to use the same body mechanics as you do in the deadlift.

A popular special exercise for the deadlift is squatting off a very low box. Angelo Berardinelli does his off a 6-inch box. At this depth, Angelo's back is in a position similar to his sumo deadlift style.
We use a Safety Squat bar very often. When raising out of a squat or deadlift, the shoulders must raise first. The 5-inch camber on the Safety Squat bar teaches you to raise the head and shoulders first; otherwise you will buckle over forward. Once again, when using this bar, think about pulling even though you are squatting. To summarize, pick a core lift with a barbell and try to duplicate the same motion of the lift you are trying to increase. Pick four or five core exercises
Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com
that work for you and rotate one of them every 2 weeks. Do a max single for a 2 or 3-rep max, but no more.
For example, you could do bent over good mornings, Safety Squat bar squats, Zercher squats, very low box squats, and then finish with 2 weeks of rack pulls. This represents a 10-week cycle, rotating each of the above exercises in 2-week mini-cycles. It is important that you end with the most productive exercise for you leading into the meet. \

After your selection of a core barbell exercise, pick three to five special exercises. Your workout should last less than 60 minutes. Pick a few special exercises and do them very intensely.
If your form is good, then your lower back may be holding you back. Again, select four exercises for the lower back, for example, back raises, straight leg deadlifts off a platform, pull-throughs with legs straight, and reverse hyper®5356,359 and 6,491,607b2 extensions, and rotate them when necessary.

For weak hamstrings, do heavy reverse hyper®5356,359 and 6,491,607b2 extensions, squatting pull-throughs, glute/ham raises, and sled pulling with your hands behind your back or below your knees while holding onto a strap.

For weak glutes, do heavy reverse hyper®5356,359 and 6,491,607b2 extensions, low belt squats, high-rep deadlifts (2 sets of 20 with back arched, glutes pushed out to rear, shoulder-width stance, hands outside shoulder-width: after first rep, drop bar to just below knees, catch and raise as fast as possible for the entire 20 reps), and glute/ham raises.
If your abs are weak, do side bends with a cable bar or dumbbell, leg raises, standing lat machine curl-overs, and strict sit-ups.

Again, pick one exercise for each muscle group and use it until it becomes ineffective, then switch.
For the bench press, you could do board press, floor press, inclines, declines, or rack lockouts for singles. Rotate one of these every 2 weeks. You could also do ultra wide bench presses for a 6-rep max. You could also do three sets to failure with dumbbells, with a 2 minute rest between sets for singles and a 5-6 minute rest for high reps. Then pick some type of triceps extension with a bar or dumbbells, some type of lat work, and raises for the front, side, and rear delts.
There are many types of exercises for each muscle group. Just change when one stops working, and your lifts should continue to increase all year long. By training with this system, you can max out every week of the year, while working continuously on speed and building muscle mass. It works for us and it will work
Westside Barbell www.westside-barbell.com
for you. It is the most effective form of training we have ever tried, and in the past 36 years Westside lifters have tried them all.

Just remember, it's the selection that counts. You must pick a lift or exercise that builds your particular weaknesses. Don't get caught up in doing an exercise that your friends like but that does little for you. George Halbert has special exercises he uses for his bench. Chuck Vogelpohl does things that no one does, but they help his squat and deadlift. Amy Weisberger does front and overhead squats to help her squat, and on May 9 at the Ohio State Championship she made a 445 national record squat at 123 and an 1125 total, proof that she does well in selecting her special exercises.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Steve Goggins Power Squat

He would always look down ,get seriously bent over and good morning the weight up but he was the first 275'er to squat 1102 and has been at this for decades.Sometimes it just aint pretty but it is strong.
I seemed to have survived the two handed hi pulls.What I am going to try is switching days:doing high pulls( two hand) and cleans on saturday and snatches on monday. I am theorizing this will be easier and better as saturdays is just too slow with all the spotting I have to do and three guys to get a decent pace and rythym into my snatches.
Plus Sat AM is tougher trying to go overhead without a lot of time to really warm my creaky old body up.
the two hand hipulls will fit in well with nicks squats and I can go heavier with less volume and not worry about pace so much.We'll see if this works at all

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Except it didn't work.

H2H was a great idea except it didnt work. Like so many of my ideas lately the concept was sound but the body doesnt want to cooperate.Way too much loading on the already overworked biceps and shoulders. It wasnt bad but I knew right away it wasnt ideal by any means. Tried two hand hi pulls after and it was great.Keeping the bell in close does wonders for the efficiency of my swing stroke.
Much shorter and reminded me of how tracy swings.

Will see if the shorter stroke will be ok on my back. Will know first thing tomorrow.

BUT I hit a PR in my bodyfat at 8% dead on.Lowest I've been since 1987 and the San Jose open bodybuilding show.

bw 161.4
bf 8%
water 61.7% highest I've recorded
lean mass 148.5 lbs

I've been eating much less crap lately, although honestly not intentionally. This is just the benefits of consistency.

H2H;
20 minutes with the 12 kg

around the body pass
around the leg pass
figure eights
underflip transfers
underflip catches same side
overflip transfers
overflip same sides
two hand underflips
two hand overflips
flips and palm catch transfer cleans
bottoms up snatches

even played with some double underflips.

another things I'm good at I can no longer do. Lovely.


Two Hand Hi Pulls
36x20 720 #
44x20 880 #
53x20 1060
62x15 930
72x15 1080
62x15 930
53x20 1060
44x20 880
36x30 1080

175 reps/ 8620 #

Cleans
36x 7/7,6/6,5/5
44x6/6,5/5,4/4
53x5/5x3 sets

Just playing with form and some extra work.Its so interesting to me that when I try to stay more vertical in my swings and make my form "pretty" it hurts so much more than when I do my much longer stroke,"ugly ass bent over" form,lol. I am the Steve Goggins of KB swings.

datsit, staying loose.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I gots an idea.


What I need on mondays is something that works but doesnt kill my lower body. Pullups are a good workout but most things on my upper body don't inspire me as it is a strength. I need some more lower body but anything too heavy or challenging won't work as I am not fully recovered from Sat and Wed is a key high volume workout.


So I thought about a low intensity swing workout with just the 16 kg. Kind of going jogging instead of a run. Cyclists call this "taking the bike for a walk". I very low intensity ride that is mainly used to maintain mileage and get the kinks out.


Its just very hard for my ego to allow me to do much of anything with the 16 kg. BUT then I thought about H2H kb juggling and realized it might be just the ticket. I don't even feel bad about using the 12 kg for juggling, I am good at it, I like it and I can do very long low intensity sets with it. An added bonus is that I can do it 'freestyle' and just make up routines as I go along.


I will do that first and then finish with pullups. I did tons of this a few years ago with Mike C when he trained me for my cert and it just ight fit the bill. Very much like gymnastics as well.

Chasing the Dragon

There is a feeling so sublime when one is in the zone, all systems are go and you are feeling strong and fluid and capable of anything that is perhaps the most addicting feeling I've ever had.I seek that out every workout and when it arrives it carries me through the many, many, many workouts when nothing is going well and I feel old and creaky and weak of bone.

I used to live it that zone and that is perhaps why it is s hard to adjust to barely being able to visit there as anything. Even those visits are few and far between and today was no exception.Mondays is still a mystery day for me. Saturday is snatches, Wednesday hi pulls and Monday is pullups and.....

Perhaps I am asking too much and should be satisfied with just a serious pullup workout and let my back hips and biceps tendon relax but I seem insistent on finding another kb exercise to do today that doesnt tweak me.

I let one of my clients Peter, train with me today and he was doing presses and I SO wanted to do them. Again, one of the few things I really know how to do well I can no longer train.So I went light but knew it wasnt a good idea.

Clean and Press
36x5/5x2
44x3/3x2
53x3/3x3 sets
44x3/3
36x3/3

Supersetted with Tactical Pullups

5,6,7,
5,6,7,
5,6,6
4,5,6
4,5,6
4,4,4,= 80 reps/ all paused at bottom.

Got my shoulder back in but the biceps tendon slipped out like nothing. oh well. I know I could train to press the Beast if my shoulder was not going to disintegrate.

rack walks
20 kg kb 220 feet per arm per lap
8 laps= 1760 PR! these felt great. its so nice when the knee is in the socket.



bw 161.4
bf 8.7%
water 61%

this is as low as its been in weeks.

datsit, staying loose.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Developing your Chest by Mark Reifkind, The Book.

Amazon.com still carries my book! I wrote this in 1984 for the Getting Strong Series published by Bob Anderson of Runners World fame.I also wrote two other books for the series that were not published when ANderson closed the book division when he got divorced!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Capt Kirks 1000 lbs x2 in the Squat

I have read about this from Marty Gallagher in PLUSA but I have never seen it.

" I want to hold it! I want to hold it!" Classic and priceless. One of the all time Power God Immortals.

Tracys swing/hi pull, transfer set.

She has amazing swing form, if I say so myself. Not to mention some serious endurance. She would have made a great bike racer.

Snatch Day.

Snatcher extraordinaire Rob Lawrence with the arm rotation I am referring to.



I like it when a workout has a singular focus.I cut my iron teeth on chest and arm day, leg day, squat or deadlift or bench day. For so many many years Saturday was squat day and this was the culmination of my week. The reward I got for my toils for money during the week. This meant I could get up and ONLY have to think about squatting, instead of fitting it in amoungst the rest of mental detrius life demands you focus on so regularly.

When I couldnt squat anymore it became Snatch day, my true measuring stick as to my progress these days. If my snatch training is going well life is good. If it is not then :(((((Its great to get around a serious group of guys and hit it as hard as possible that day. This is even better if people are getting ready for competition but training for PRs is just as good for me these days.

After a serious squat or deadlift workout there was little left that needed( or actually could) be done in serious way. I feel that way about the snatch.I can still do small assistance exercises but one big move and its over.
I would rather put out all my energy towards that one lift that day to maximize my performance and then rest up and hit it hard again.But that's just me.

High Pull/Snatch
26 x hundreds( really cold today)
36x10/10x2
44x10/10

53x10/10 x12 sets
240 reps/12,720 pounds

thought this was a bit tough but I also thought I had done 256 last week. I had done 256 but I had alternated with the 20 kg! No wonder it was harder, lol!Fast pace too as it was only two of us. No Nick slowing us down with his squatting! lol!

Internal Rotation technique on the snatch

Spoke to Pavel about the interesting arm rotation I got from the double snatch the other day and he said it's only possible with two kbs as doing it with a single bell could create too much counter rotation to stop the spin of the body. I have such screwed up orthopedics it actually seemed to work for me!It was especially easier on the right arm and seemed to give the shoulder a much better resting place overhead as I rotate slightly to the right.

We of course will see how my back is tomorrow. It was very slight, not a major change. Will see. I think the doubles are out though as the too wide stance tugs too hard on lateral hammies and IT.

oh well.


halos
26x10/10
36x8/8x2
26x10/10


datsit, staying loose

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Double Snatch or the KB Shoot to Handstand

With my right shoulder sitting in an entirely new place these days and my desire to find anohter movement to go with pullups on my Monday session I have been mulling over presses, side presses, push presses,etc. All for naught as my shoulder just doesnt like the movement anymore and there is just no getting around that it seems. So while I waiting for a client I decided to play with some 2 kb snatches. Why I thought that putting both arms overhead would be easier on my shoulder than just a single one I don't know but I never said I was sane and I try to listen closely to the messages the Universe and my body send me these days. I have learned to ignore this stuff at myown peril.

My overhead hangs from the power bar are now done with a much closer grip than ever before; very close to the position I would swing around a high bar with. Or swing on rings for dislocates( now THERE is an apt name for a ring move!) and shoot to handstands.

It feels like I have to reclaim my range of motions back from my developmental days first, and then expand them out. I am getting my gymnast body back and the more it goes in that direction the less pain I have. I was both surpised and NOT surprised that these went went. It felt very much like a swing to handstand on the rings.The bent arm kind. I bet double bottoms up snatches feel like a straight arm shoot to handstand.

Suprising also was the hand rotation and line of pull on this double snatch as opposed to my single arm version.It was a much more GS pull and punch through! To my amazement as I wasnt trying to do that at all. The overhead lockout position was much different than my single arm also, with the arm more INTERNALLY rotated at the top!

I think my newfound ability to hang with a pronated grip has something to do with this as well. I just used the 12 kg as I want to see tomorrows effects on my back knees and shoulders before I play with this again.

6 am: One hour RIFGA stretching. Client missed and I had the whole time to stretch out.

Most excellent.

2 pm
2 kb snatch 12 kg x5,7,8,10,7,8,9,10 =64 reps/3392 lbs

2 kb hi pull 5,6,7,8,9,10=45 reps/3320 lbs

Very interesting, the 12 kgs were easy and the 16 kg were awkward as I have real problems with a wide stance,especially on a bilateral move. will take this slowly, if at all. The overhead position really intrigues me though.

The Rifstonian Hi Pull ladder. 24 kg 10/10 12/12 14/14 16/16 18/18 in ten minutes 20/20 10/10 in 11.5 minutes 200 reps/ 10,600 lbs.

havent done this in awhile and was very pleased to see how well it went but then again I was fully warmed up, which helps me tremendously.wind was actually good and the groove was solid as well. Was interesting to see what my body did when faced with the hi rep and time challenge. It shortened the stroke considerably, kept the bell much higher in the crotch and kept my hips back and high as well.I conserved power on each stroke as well . Climb the hill, I told myself.


Rack walks 24 kg/100 feet per arm,200 foot per lap 3 laps= 600 feet.


these were the heaviest I have done this in quite awhile. felt strong.

BW 160.8
BF 8.9% wow. this has been consistent
Water 60.7%

datsit, staying loose and hoping I can do double snatches.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Evolution of Westside Barbell Training




Part one of an article I did for Pavel.

Building up, not tearing down.


For years I trained to destruction. Especially as a bodybuilder where muscle self torture was the rule of the day. One's ability to withstand lactic acid buildup was a sign of manhood.
I accepted the extreme soreness and debilitation as sure signs I had stimulated growth.Now my job, until the next workout, was to encourage recovery.This destruction/rebuilding process was the template and for years I put my heart and soul into it.

Yet somewhere down the line I just realized that I was breaking down way more than I was building up.Yes I could do the workout but it took way too long to recover to make it worthwhile. As I approach the Half Century mark early next year I realize that doing exercises and programs that don't leave me crippled but actually make me feel and move better and easier are the way to go.

Not having to compete anymore makes this possible.I may not be able to "fight for the kingdom" as Pavel says but I ain't laying down in bed to rest my legs either!

Yesterdays swing form experiment proved this to me once again. MY left knee locked up almost immediately after the workout and I had pain in my ankle, knee, quad, IT band, glutes and SI joint that I havent had in months.The knee was not sitting right and everything around,above and below it let me know.

SO lots of nsaids, traction, foam rollers, baths,on the floor stretches for the hammies, quads and calves and lots of prayer and woke up this morning okay.The universe let me know in no uncertain terms which swing form it preferred. I am going with the Big Dog,LOL.

Now with my shoulder almost fully back in the socket and my leg attatched again I have fleeting moments of, dare I say it?, almost NO pain and a feeling of full body integration! Wow, so that's what that feel like,lol!

I so want to be more powerful, stronger and be able to do more work in the gym but I am constantly reminded of just how much I can do, right now, and how good it feels in and of itself to be able to do so.Those little moments of panic and terror that tthose basic things I tend to take for granted will be taken away from me lets me know for sure that those little basic moves are nuggets of pure gold.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Form play and pullups


I always learn something when Mike Castro visits. He dropped by our Saturday workout and did some swings just to pass the time til we finished. Three sets of 100 reps with the 24,28 and the 32 kg if I'm not mistaken and I dont think he's been doing much kb work of late either.
That didnt surprise me; I've seen him do stuff like that regurally. But it did force me to look at his swing mechanics.

He had much more of a knee bend on the descent than I am used to seeing of late and it made me think back to when he trained us and how he swings the bells. There is no "right" and only way to do anything. For beginners there is the classic technique for everything as well but once someone enters the intermediate( let alone the advanced) stage of training, individual nuances come into play. One must maximize individual biomechanics to maximize output.

I, of course, being the dogmatic perfectionist that I am, always try to fit myself into the quintessential classic form regardless of whether it fits or works best, or even if it works at all.This almost always gets me in trouble and it did when I trained WSB. I was always trying to squat with too wide of a stance for my build( which is very small hipped and no ass).

AS Louie said to me " you are built to deadlift".Unfortunately I am too weak to excel in it but you get the point. Deadlift, not squat.

As per Bretts post about single leg deadlifts and starting the lift with a 20 degree knee bend I always felt that way about barbell squats. I knew if I could start the lift with a 20 degree knee bend I could get my hips into the lift from the start. Starting with a locked knee it was very hit or miss whether I could get my hips back.Usually miss.
ESPECIALLY if I am trying to JUST sit back and NOT use my legs.

WSB almost made a fetish of NOT using quads or pecs and this, imo, was a mistake. Use it all. Why leave anything out of a lift? Just use it in the right place.

Quads are breaking muscles as well as knee extensors and when I break at the knee first it seems to provide a platform for my hips to rotate from. My own lumbo-pelvic rythym( thank you gymnastics very much) is pretty screwed up and this is how I get my hips and legs into squat/pull pattern.

If you look at Mikes picture in GiryaStrength gallery you can see this on the cleans and swing.He has a long femur and strong quads as well as hips. He uses them both. More like an olympic clean off the floor than a power squat( basic rkc).

It also keeps his combined center of mass over hisbase of support much better as it shortens the lever arm. Looked interesting so I gave it a try and it even more interesting!

Dont know if my knees will take it but it felt very natural, and strong stroke.I put up some vids of it .






Here's the hip centric form



Steve Cotter also has a more leg centered swing I just recalled. Makes sense considering how freaking strong his legs are. Train you weakpoints but compete your strengths( me).


Tactical Pullups( shoulder is most open it has been in years. almost scared to write it down)
5,5,6,6,6
4,4,5,5,5
4,4,4,4,4

71 reps

I cant beleive how good these felt. my shoulder was the most "in" it has been in eons! The reverse grip hang really finished off the ROM and flexiblity issue I think. at least for now.

Misc. Swings

200 reps of one arm, two hand, hi pulls, transfer and snatches working with this new techniqque

weights varied from 16 to24 kg.

this will be an interesting experiment anyway. what else do I have to do? not training to compete is the hardest thing I have ever done in training. Having a competition to spur you on makes training so much easier. Holding back all the time and yet still showing up and pushing as hard as safely possible is way tougher.


Rack walks
20 kg 200 feet per arm

1600 feet. PR
30 sec rest/arm

these also felt fantastic! gait is much improved and stronger.

bosu ball
light stands two and one foot

bw 160.8
bf 8.9%
water 60.6%