Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Da hips boss, da hips

Pavels push the hips back first technique is working so well on ALL my movements. A truly fundamental shift in technique that is paying immediate dividends. With todays movements, the snatch hi pull and old fashioned kb cleans, I could really concentrate on using it on every set of every rep.

Snatch hi pull

62x10/10x7 sets
total=140 reps

58 more reps than last week. its amazing how the numbers jump up just by adding 2 reps per side per set.This was hard; took one minute rest/sets for the first five sets then 1.5 minutes for the last two sets. Dont like rushing,especially when the load is significant and the goal is power , form and explosion.

The sit back first technique worked very well today and I wish I had understood this when I was powerlifting. I could NEVER get my hips in the lift properly and always used my quads and back too much. Strong but not optimal.The key is having the hips truly under you when you are in the support postition. THis means super tight glutes and pulled up kneecaps with a high chest.

The hips are further in than I thought and only now can I do this technique without losing my lumbar curve. that took awhile.Its a slingshot effect and a much shorter stroke than I have been doing.

One kb clean
62x5/5 x 6 sets

I've always loved these an a standalone exercise even though most do not.It really forces me to use my hips and legs while not putting my shoulders at risk.the heavy weights and high reps can really get the lungs and the arms at the same time.Plus it really works the finish position with the rack. I held each tight before the next rep. I really got waaay back on my heels as I let the bell drop down the front and the hip tension was great.

No problems pushing through the heels on the ascent and my knees are not moving forward at all like they were.More balanced on the foot as well.

Waiters walk
36#x 2 laps alternate arms 3 times each

this doubles what I could do last week! Much better on the right arm and I am finally feeling support from the shoulder girdle and hips together! very exciting. I can almost rest up there now.And this has really helpd my gait forcing my under the weight to a balanced position; which lead to to hip position discovery. Its all tied together butTraining is the source.

weight 162 this am. going down to 158-159.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I like the quantitativeness of weight training. 24kg. 150 snatches. 100 reps.very easy to relate to and to try to improve upon. As my training days are whittling down to one basic swing movement( imagine, shades of powerlifting !) done for varying sets reps and intensities pullups and farmers walks its interesting to see what is happening to my form and groove.
Cleans and presses were very solid today; mechanics were good. I am finally getting how to use my hips properly in the swing and its way different than what I thought. I have to really get back on my heels and stay there much longer than I thought.This keeps the bell in closer over my base and loads the hips more than the arms and shoulders, which is what was happening.Much much more power here.

Gymnastics ruined my hip and back posture for a long time.

Clean and Press
53x5/5x8 sets= 80 reps

this was really strong despite training two hours later than normal on zero food.I knew I needed to move though.

Tactical pullups/ farmers walk in rack position
4,5,6,4,5,6 /30 reps / 2/36'sx 2laps 4 times

Supersetted these two, again walking in the rain which is cool.Pullups had long bottom pauses and holds at the throat for each. the rack walks SUCKED. This was very hard for me. shoulders clunking a lot too. have to hold the lats tight.

about 50 minutes then twenty minutes of hammie stretching.


Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ah Saturdays like they used to be.

Saturday was always squat day, therefore the most important day of the week. The entire focus of the week as well and if it went well the next week would go well. And if it didnt....
It was always intense and focused and the energy would be with you for hours later.Today everybody was there and hitting on all cylinders. A new training partner who had never dl'd before pulled an EASY 405 after his squat workout and will pull 600 in a year should he desire.

Nick squatted and pulled big and my snatches were strong and easy. excellent. Even Palmer snatched and press well above himself. A good time was had by all.AND I got introduced to someone who will surely change my life in the near future.


53x6/6x10 sets= 120 reps

No problem whatsoever and the teshnick is holding together very well> pushing my hips back before I drop the arm down has totally changed my groove for the better.Density was a little low as I was spotting and coaching a bunch but thats no problem.

Tactical Pullups
ladder 6,7,8 three times= 63 total reps;

This is a recent volume pr. no problem just staying bodyweight is good. want to be able to do 20 tactical pullups when next I test.

2 kb deadlift


ran out of time but this is a great movement for me. really works my erectors and quads. A good counterblance to all the swings.

datsit.feel great!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Negative Splits.

When you are a runner, or cyclist, this means doing the second half of the race, ride or run faster than the first half.I always ended up going faster in the second half and sometimes had my best lap or pace times at the finish.

I am just a slow starter and today was sluggish. great day at work working though with many new faces and teaching a brazillian juijitsu studio owner the basic six exercises.Everybody is snatching so easily and picking it up fast.SO I was beat but I know the rule. NEVER ask yourself THE question and just get started.

latest program design said one kb snatch high pull, cleans and waiter walks, a brand new combination of assistance exercises.

snatch hi pull

62#x8/8x7 sets 112 total reps.

Now this went really well. Finally got Pavels technique of pushing the hips back BEFORE the arm descends in the snatch. HUGE HUGE HUGE difference. In balance and leverage and hip activation. PLus it brings the kb in much better over my base and this is always good.

Once I got going my energy and wind was good. This is a good first exercise for me.

one kb cleans
53x8/8x5 sets
x10/10 1 set= 100 reps.

Man I havent done this as a stand alone exercise in eons. But I realy like it and its good for me. It bothers Pavels elbow but feels fine to me. I can get a rythym here too and it doesnt hurt anything.ALso this finishes this a a leg pace too.

Waiters Walk

One 36# kb
100 feet right arm, 100 feet left arm = one lap
Did four laps

this is getting better for me everytime I do it and I can see it is a foundation movement for me. forces me to stay over my feet as I walk too and keep everything in line. Cant wait till I can do this with TWO kbs. Still a ways to go though.

Subbing out clean and presses on mondays for the jerks. that rattles my bones too much. the snatch is ballistic enough.very excited about the course of this new program and training solo again.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Jerks and pullups

man its still raining and its driving me nuts!!!soreness from last wendesdays swing FINALLY wore off. man that was weird.



104 jerks! this was tougher than I expected, especially on the last two sets of 7/8 on the second round.Defintely lost shoulder stability on the last two reps of the last two sets.Lat tightness is the key.and not rushing.

supersetted with

Tactical Pullups
4,5,6,4,5,6,4,5,6= 45 pullups

these were solid too, good pauses and throat over the top. I'm going to stay with just bodyweight for awhile.been going too heavy here too.

Farmers walk in the downpour

2/44's x150 feet laps. 4 sets

really getting to enjoy doing these in the my old running days. these are a staple now.

Training partners

Will be training solo for mondays and wednesdays now and it got me thinking about past training partners. Altough I trained alone alot while I was bodybuilding in the eighties I was also blessed to have a professional bodybuilder, Scott Wilson, for a training partner for four years. He truly taught me the meaning of training like a pro.Of committment to a goal; single minded dedication to a task and discipline like I've never seen.

When Scott was dieting for a contest he NEVER, I mean NEVER, broke his diet,-during the week.On his cheat day on Sundays count your fingers and toes if you got close to his ice cream.Same with training. He was never late and we trained at 7 am sharp. 5 days a week.He was always totally prepared as well,knowing exactly what the plan was for the day, having actually mentally rehearsed the workout and the planning the desired outcome.He expected to make progress and we did, or we analyzed it until we understood why we didnt. No detail as overlooked.

I realized then that true secret of the aspiring professional athlete was to LIVE like a pro first and then you got to BE a pro. I have tried to live that way ever since , no matter what sport I was training in.Except running. Had to do that alone. I also like cycling alone, much easier to find your own rythym.

ANd that is the tradeoff of a training partner; you have to compromise something in order to work together. Its never possible for each to have the exact same goals and weaknesses and need the same training. BUt that is also the value of a real training partner in that they are always working to bring out the best in you as well,and know your weaknesses and think about how you could improve them, as well as their own.

Scott taught me so much about being a pro athlete, dedicated to his craft.The absolute bottom line key was: Consistency. SO much is in just the showing up. Then preparedness, intensity, big balls and lots of guts.Being smart didnt hurt either.

Then I had the good fortune to find Scott Waits who at 6' tall at 177 pounds squatted 661, benched 367 and deadlifted 601. Lifetime drug free.He taught me the meaning of strong. both physically and mentally. Scott never gave up and many more times than once came back to make a big lift , both in competition and in training after missing it. Very hard to do.

Scott was a systems analyst and did we ever analyze our training. But we also argued like an old married couple.It was distrubing but he never tired of trying to figure out a straighter path to our goals.We were the first in Cali to fly out Louie SImmons of WSB so we could pick his brain about his new system of powerlift training.He also NEVER missed a workout. Never. Ever.If it was scheduled he made it. Period, end of story.Nothing worse than your partner bailing on a squat workout. Unless its a bench workout and you need a handoff.

Later I trained with Steve Silver, a gorilla of a guy who at 5"9 and 242, also drug free, had Intensity as a first and middle name. Steve was a brute but I had grown old and jaded and no longer wanted just anyone for a partner. When he asked if he could train with me I gave him a Powerlifting USA magazine ,told him to read the article, order a subscription and the back issues,read them, then come talk to me. He did and he was one of the best partners ever. Silver was a madman in the gym and we pushed each other to the limit. He did have a weakness for too much water skiining in the summer though....Everyone has their achilles heel.

Training alone, although much harder to make the greatnumerical gains offers many deep insights. especially when you find your own rythyms.IN fact the key to those insights, I think, is in finding and going with those inner rythyms.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Too Strong.

One thing I have to remember is that too much intensity, no matter where its source, is no good for me. Like an alcoholic that thinks he can have a social drink I have to remember that max effort kb work is just as bad for me as max effort barbell work.Well, maybe not AS bad but it aint good.
trying to use heavier and heavier bells all the time will just mess me up. Doing it isnt the probem, surviving it is. I'm too strong for how fragile I am. Try not to forget that again.

No client this am so real training preparation.Sleep in, hot bath, stretching and mental prep. Man I miss having the time to do that for everyworkout like I used to. Such a huge advantage.


53x5/5x10 sets
100 reps

deloading today so the pace was pretty slow with Nick, Jonathan and Tony training as well. I need the break and the snatches felt great. A key technique for me is to push the hips back AS I start to flip the overhead kb into the arc.This keeps the kb in much closer to my center of gravity and loads the hips much better. Not pushing back resulted in the kb being out in front too mucha nd loading the biceps/shoulder too much.

With KBs, as with everything, the Devils in the details.

two hand one kb swing cleans

these were fun, gave a little dip at the catch to load the quads a bit. a bit rusty though, havent done these in ages. catching it in the crush grip really works the abs, biceps and pecs too.nice light swing day.

2kb deadlift

just playing around these are ok. work the quads a bit and the arch but its too light unless I do TONS of reps.

5,6,7,5,6,7,5,6 =47 reps! not bad, more than I thought

datsit. more rest required.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Wow! Cooked leggage.

Well this is what I get for training the will. My legs are COOKED! Fried, died and layed aside. Could barely walk today.It was those heavy 88's I did I think. Havent done low rep heavy swings in a long time. Plus this was just a tough, but good week, training wise. time to train lighter for a week or so.

This just really shows me that what my legs need is strength endurance, not high tension.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Training the WIll

Ah, another fun day. Part of the problem with squaring up a body that has been torqued for most of its life is that new things , that havent been loaded in years, start to talk to you. My left glute and SI are saying hello unless I can get on the floor and stretch out these hamstrings pretty often.that can be sometimes 'inconvenient'. Standing for most of the day at work doesnt help either.

Clean and Press

38 reps above the 20 kg.

It didnt SEEM like that many presses but it looks like alot. the presses were ok today but my cleans were out in front a bit. running late and in a hurry to get going. never a good trainng mindset. Got to baptize Geoffs 28 kg today. works great! thanks again man,that was way cool.

two hand swings

total= 150

thats a shit load of heavy swings.

Farmers walk with 2 44's/suticase carry
100 feet
150 feet
150 feet
150 feet
100 feet/

these were three laps and the third one hurt.This really helps my gait more than any other thing.kicks my ass though for the longer sets even with light weight. this was tough and I realized that the key component I was training today was my will power. I did not want to do this workout but I kept pushing through, focusing on the state of my will, not my energy. Much better.My Will, thats what got trained today.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Now THIS is a thank you gift!

Strength athlete, coach and private trainer Geoff Neupert came by my garage gym(Stones) this Christmas as he and his wife were out in Nor Cal to visit her parents and he needed a place to train. I was only too happy to oblige, especially when I learned Geoff was an Olympic lifter;old school and hard core to boot! My bumber plates and York OL bar needed a workout.

Geoff trained with me for a week and it was great fun watching him power snatch 110kg from the hang as well as throw KBs around like toys. We talked shop and lifting and training theory and had a great time.

Geoff told me a few weeks later to keep a lookout as he had sent me something as a thank you for letting him train here. I was thinking a dvd or a book.

Well yesterday my beleagued UPS man delivered a big chunky box that could only mean one thing; a Kettlebell! Geoff had sent me a 28kg KB as a thank you gift!!!!! I had told him I needed one to complete my home gym collection and he got one for me!Man oh man, I was blown away.One of the nicest things anyone has done for me. Thanks Geoff, you are welcome at Stones Gym anyday.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Training solo for awhile. Hard to get started for sure but a very different flow afterwards.the workouts are always shorter though!

26x8/8 lower to shoulder technique
36x8/8 not lovin it.
36x5/5 nah.

44x5/5,6/6,7/7,8/8,9/9,10/10 TWICE
total 180 reps

I think this is an all time volume pr.easier and harder than I thought it would be.forearms are cooked too,lol!techniques held up well. REALLY have to push the hips back as I start to descend from the top and be aggressive about getting the bell turned over quickly, and back into the arc.
was going to stop after the second round of eights but I figured, why not do them all?

rest periods were one minute for the sets up to eight and then 1.5 for the 9's and 2 minutes after the 10's.

weight tactical pullups

18#x3 chin over bar all

the last two sets had three attempts but they got only halfway. I am weaker in these since I stopped doing them every workout like I was in the force recon workout. interesting.

farmers walks
2/53'sx100 feet 4 times/30 sec/setss

I was cooked by now but I need to do these more too. this really strengthens my gait. felt better walking after these than before.

Sunday, March 12, 2006


How to really get strong

Until one has read ,digested and understands these articles by Louie I dont think any other strength training literature is required.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

More imperfection training

Late night last night from the SHamrock fight and WAAAAY too many stairs for my knee but you never know how the training will go till you start. THis went very well.

One KB Jerks

Woo hoo! These went great. Decided to ditch the cleans as I already do clean and presses on wednesday. Really could focus on leg drive.The 53/10 were continuous, something previously very hard for me. The two pood was tough for the last set of 5s.


too much bicep work do I switched to

snatch high pull
88x5/5 !!!

not bad at all.this is a much better arc for me than a straight arm pendulum swing. my arms are too long for that with heavy weights.too much bicep/shoulder stress.

med ball slams

these have jumped the shark for me already and will ditch them. not enough of anything.

Tactical bodyweightpullups



Friday, March 10, 2006

Frank Shamrock Interview

Check out Franks interview online as he talks about his kettlebell training and working with our own Joe Sarti.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

These are the workouts that really count

Its easy to train when you are into it. Motivated,rested,strong,mobile, pain free. Its a whole nother thing on a midweek session with a small amount of poor sleep and a body that says stretch me, Dont train.BUt I know that will fade as soon as my heartrate goes up and the blood flows.

Stayed up too late with Steve Cotter as he is in town to show the Forty Niners what Kettlebells are all about and we had a post dinnerIHOP carbo loading session.It was good but I paid for it this morning at 4:10 am. Lots of loading and walking with heavy kbs into and out of cars yesterday and that is not a good movement for my knee or my back.

All I wanted was a very hot bath and and hour of stretching and rolling but what I got was 6 clients in a row and lots of demos. Ah getting shape for three days of fun at the RKC!~

You must be wary of the sissy voice. Once you listen it to it once you are done.Turned into a great workout.

Two hand swing

53x45 seconds one 45 seconds off
8 sets 201 reps

This was tough, as always, but getting better. Using these different loading lengths and energy system. very interesting. very different feels and power ouputs for 30,45 and 60 second repeats. Form is getting solid though . last two sets had 5 second breaks at 25-30 seconds , but I didnt put the kb down. I was gassed though.Next week 20 seconds with the 72 with a 45 second break for power and strength.

Clean and Press,LC
62x3/3x4 sets

These were suprisingly good.Had time to focus on form as well as just pushing hard and noticed some good cue positions for my left arm. details, baby details! Once I can do 5x5 with this easy I am off to the two pood for regular work.

Seated Rope Pulls

44#x 4 pullsx5 repsx 4 sets

WOW these were tough for me. I had Joe doa few and he just blew them away .A weakness of mine exposed. TONS of lats, teres major,rear delts and bicep biceps biceps!~ Perhaps too much. will see tomorrow. but this is a great new exercise

I threw a 25 foot rope over the pullup bar, knotted it to a kb , sat on the floor on the other side and proceeded to "climb" the rope as I pulled it in, just like I was climbing a vertical rope with no hands.Tough one but great I think.

dats it!

Russian step ups article as promised...repost: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

Russian step ups article as promised...repost: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

Monday, March 06, 2006

Body-Mass Index, Waist-to-Height Ratio and More...

Body-Mass Index, Waist-to-Height Ratio and More...

great little tool and pretty acurate too it seems!

More snatches

Solo again today and wanted to get on the schedule I am going to be on so I did some snatches again. Work kicked my ass today so I wasnt up for pushing the pace but still kept an eye on the clock. My body is truly ready for warm weather.


53x5/5x12 sets= 120 reps. rest/sec = 50-60 sec.

not much slower than last week but the extra 15 sec rest per set really helped.teshnik felt solid.

weighted tactical pullups
53#x2( first rep chin TO bar, second rep 3/4 of that)
62x3/4 rep

The 62# attempt was much better than I expected. I got decent height toward chin over the bar with the 53# double. the 62 got to nose level. solid.

Farmers walk
Backwards walk with 2/44s

4x100 feetx4 sets quads got worked but the knee did not likey.

2/44sx200 feetx4 sets knee is touchy, thats enough.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Work rest intervals

It's coming together now. The right set/rep/time combo for each of the exercises that seem to work best for me.

two hand swing

30 sec on 3o sec off
60 sec on 60 sec off
15 sec on 15 sec off
15 sec on 30 sec off

5 reps x 10-15 sets ,30-45 sec rest/sets

snatch hi pulls
5-10 reps x 5-10 sets

clean and jerks
30 sec on 30 sec off
60 sec on 60 sec off
30 sec on 15 sec off

clean and press
2-5 reps x5-8 sets

Med Ball Slams
not sure about this yet. I know I can take short rests here but not sure of the loading parameters.

Imperfection training

Franz Snideman commended me for doing my farmers walks in the rain the other day, after telling me I was crazy, by saying it is good to do training under imperfect conditions. He is right and today cuit the bill although not in the usual way.

I had to train today, instead of tomorrow am because of a work committment and fridays are always a killer day to train on. Its my earliest wakeup (3:45 am) and the longest work day. Plus it IS Friday and the end of a long work and training week. Plus my saturday training partner committed to train then bailed at the last moment. I freaking HATE that and would rather not even think about having a partner I can't depend on. What was I thinking?

Enough whining. As I am apt to say to my clients and training partners, do not ever even ASK yourself if you feel like training. Just get started . If you arent supposed to train that day you wont warm up and you can leave. I have never left once I warmed up . Today was hard to do it though.I SO did not want to train. But there is no real choice to me.SO:

warmup with mb slam chops,bosu bola snaps.


53x5/5x10 sets 30-45 rest/ set/ 100 reps

Its hard to do,especially solo, but I like to train against the clock with short rest intervals.Like speed squat and bench day.AS long as I keep the work sets low reps, and dont go too far into lactic acid I have great strength endurance and power endurance.Once I get to lactic acid though I wilt as far as power.I started out with 30 sec rest and they grew to 45 seconds at the end.

It wasnt my wind but I was worried about my technnique, not wanting to crank too hard on the shoulder.Felt great.

Medicine ball Slam Chops
15kg x 10 reps/8 sets 15-30 seconds/sets

got this idea from Franz and Yoana which they got from Dimitri.Its also a crossfit tool I think.Basically it a chop motion where you take the MB and with two hands, flex at the hip and throw the ball as hard as you can into the floor, catch it on the rebound at arms length overhead and then repeat. Bascically the dimemetrically opposite motion of the kb swing.Looks to be a great coutner balance to all this hip extension.Plus KILLER abs and hip flexors.

We'll see how I am tomorow but it felt easy. and naturalI started thinking about 30 seconds rest but that was too long. 15 was fine for most sets.easier than chopping wood with an axe outside but basically the same thing.

Plus its FUN to do.

Clean and press
62x3/3x3 sets

this is why you do the workout as planned. this turned out to be a great workout. you'll never know if you dont start.short and sweet, demos at the Palo ALto Health Expo tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

New training schedule.

Since one of the things I hate most in life is doing different workouts than my training partners and since there is NO WAY I am training for the TSC I have to adapt my schedule a bit more to Nick Joes and Monicas:

To wit:

Two hand swing
Clean and press
Ballistic pullup

this works as Nick will be squatting and I will be swinging. the swing is the powersquat of kettlebells.

Wt pullup
Farmers walk or tire pull

I will snatch as Joe and monica dl. then I will do wt pullups as they snatch. this will work as they are doing heavy dls and I am doing heavy snatch( low reps). then I will do thepullups as they hog the platform,lol .aint perfect but better than what is going on now.

wednesday at girya
clean and jerks
snatch hi pull

this works as we do the first exercise together and then he does pullups as i hipull . if we get the first big exericse right thats really all that matters. then we can individualize.I do handstand with the mirror as he swings. no problem.

my tues workout in the park will be

bear crawls
walking swings( all directions)
waiters walks

this, of course, is all subject to

Officially almost middle aged.

I'm 49 today and feeling a million times better today than I did last year. If this is a trend 50 should be rocking. I might be able to run a bit by then!Got my sandbags and should have a tire to drag very soon. Overloading my walkng gait is definitely the way to go for mee to compliment the posterior chain work I get with the kb.

The farmers walk worked great at first but now its my grip and not my legs that are giving out. Time to pull.Really, really, really sore in the legs and the shoulders from Mondays workout. Too much direct leg work always wrecks me more than helps me. The lunges arent necessry.

Ten minute Swings

53x60 seconds on 60 seconds off for 10 min( 5 sets).

172 total reps

Holy freaking hell this was tough ALTHOUGH I am in waaaay better shape than when I tried to do multiple sets of 30 last time. Each 60 seconds produced between 30 and 36 reps.I tired to NOT focus on the reps( didnt count them, had Joe do it quitely) but making the time goal. I adjusted my form to how tired I was but none of the swings were below mid rib and most were lower chest high.

used a very relaxed grip at the top which is really helping me. On sets 3 and 4 I stopped at thirty seconds to breathe for 5 sec but didnt put the bell down. I should not have suggested this time zone today although didnt mind: he was doing clean and push press, much better for 60 seconds. This is SO my weak zone but it is definitley getting stronger.This is also so good for finding a very efficient stroke. Used as much compensatory compensation as possible.

BW ballistic pullups
6,7,5,6,7= 31 reps . got to get this to 50. my shouldes are FRIED!

See saw press

These were suprisingly ok. Very strong in fact despite being very tired in the delts.

datsit. where the coconut cream pie?

Oh, and more good old man news. Next year I only have to do 38 total snatches to recert when I am 50. LOL! I will do the open number of 52 though. Dont be sissy.