Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Squat

Kelii, USAPL Nationals 369 at 123 lbs.
After reading Mr Brett's post(http://appliedstrength.blogspot.com/2006/10/squat-squat-squat-great-exercise-funny.html) about the squat it got me thinking about this movement that was the center of my existence for so many years and one which I rarely ever do anymore.

After blowing out my knee in my junior year of high school I became incredibly aware of the fragility and weakness in my leg(s). I still competed my Senior year and three years at the University of Iowa despite doing JUST gymnastics and NO leg training whatsoever! THen I blew out my shoulder on rings and my lower body was all I had that would function. This is when I learned that I could run and I set about learning HOW to run. The feeling of having strong stable legs was something that I had never felt before and I knew I would have to keep my legs strong if I were to have even a chance of being athletic with my destroyed knee that would only bend 90 degrees.

SO I ran, then I cycled, falling in love with the professional cyclists freakish quad development and setting that as my goal. Keeping my leg strong was proof that I would not be a cripple!

Then it was bodybuilding , where leg development was my specific fetish and I memorized the routines and training theories of Tom Platz, Tim Belknap, Mike Mentzer and of course Arnold, The squat cage became my temple and squat day was the sabbath. Time to go sacrifice myself at the alter of strength.

Real lifters squatted. Always. Whether they were bodybuilders or powerlifters , if you wanted to be Real Deal you squatted. Plain and simple. It was a proving ground of your seriousness, of your desire to get big and strong for real, of your courage and your aggression in the gym. All the big guys squatted and squatted hard. Many many times my entire routine was nothing but squats and perhaps some leg extensions to death. 12-15 sets of full pyramid squats would let you know very quickly the difference between quality work and just pretending.
My thinking was if my leg was big it wouldn't be crippled.

I trained with some serious squatters as well. Bill Hogarty, a very talented Teen Mr America contender,and built like a combo between rich gaspari and tim belknap would ROUTINELY squat ( hi bar close stance ass to heels) 4 sets of 25 reps with 405, blood spewing from his nose covering the mirror at California Gym like some demonic jackson pollock painting. His legs were like Cotters but 31 inches. Just sick. But thats what I wanted and I worked as hard as anyone to get there. Genetics, as we all know, is destiny, but I didnt give up.

Until I realized I could be strong and not have to worry about being so big if I were a powerlifter and my numbers would speak for my strength.If I could squat 500-600 pounds it would have to signify I had conquered the weakness in my leg and knee. Well, sometimes it does. But in powerlifting it may mean you have a strong back or abs and some good gear.

I had routinely used 405 for sets of five in the bodybuilding hi bar squat to parallel( all my knee will bend)and did lots of reps with lighter weights as I tried to blow torch my quads into growth but I was not at all ready for what a really maximal one rep, 100% weight would feel like. And for the challenge that it would become for me. In the perfecting of the form and the mental confrontation it would produce.

Some say the deadlift is the king of lifts as it is almost impossible to cheat with gear or by cutting the rep. But the bar is in your hand and you can always just let go when it gets really tough. Can't do that with 600 pounds balancing on your shoulders. You are not just involved, as they say, you are committed.

Never in my athletic career had I experienced the singular focus and concentration that the one rep, maximal contest power squat required of me. Both in the gym and on the contest platform.

It was pure confrontation. Just me and the bar. ANd once you committed to it, once you started ducking under to rack that freaking world on your shoulders and walk it away from any support or assistance. To then stand there, calmly, in control, and take that weight down to where it feels like you might never get back up and then do it. Get back up.With every ounce of your being and your mind never so much in just one place in your life.

It required every ounce of my energy condensed to a total body committment like none other I had felt.It used every muscle you had plus way more than you thought you had.Only having to do one rep changed everything. No longer could I warm myself up through a set to get to the strong part. You had to be strong on demand. NOW!. And once your name was called their was no backing away from that platform or that bar. It was like walking into a fight. No turning back.

A true Zen moment if there ever was one.No time for thought, just ACTION! One rep.

That bar on you back , trying to crush you back down was so symbolic to me. Atlas like, trying to lift the world, to conquer it. To lower yourself with it only to stand strongly again.ANd again, and again.As usual in the search for knowledge and truth I went a little too far.It's hard to know where the edge is until you step over it.

And it wrecked me and now the only squats I do is the stretch, trying to rid myself of the excess tension all that strength left me with.Lifting heavy heavy weights with a fundamentally unsound structure makes no sense but hey, I wanted to be a champion and dems the breaks.But I can't recommend it for sane people.

And although bilateral movements tend to bring back the imbalances I have fought so hard to correct, the assymetric single kettlebell seems to strengthen the legs, hips, back and shoulders in the kindest way I have seen, while building real strength.

Real Deal, real world strength.With a movement that reminds me of nothing so much as the power squat.In its mechanics ,in its simplistically beautiful power and the total body connection and committment it demands. And my bad knee and leg is straighter and stronger than it has been in many many years.

And I feel so good that I just dont miss the squat at all. Go figure.

The more we look outward or inward the stranger things get.But also more beautiful.Nothing is as it seems

Monday, October 30, 2006

It's all easy til it's heavy.

Mondays are the step child of my workout week. Still trying to decide what to do with it. today I choose to do cleans as I wanted some swing activity but nothing that would kill wednesdays hi pulls or require too much since saturday is tough volume as well. And I am getting bored with so many pullups,lol.

But I knew I would be picking up some heavy bells today and that was both exciting and fearful at the same time. I have no problem driving myself to go heavy. In fact I have to STOP myself all the time from pushing it up if I am the least succesful in my attempts with alighter weight.

The key is, making the lift and NOT tweaking myself in the process. LOL, therein lies the rub. BUt the cleans are a short stroke movement and I have been feeling strong so:

kb cleans

I do beleive that is a pr with the 40 kg. I have cleaned it before, even Bottoms up cleaned it, but never did a triple, much less this easily, as today.my swing technique held up well too and that helped a lot.

Bottoms up cleans
72x5/5 !!

woo hoo. havent done five with this in awhile either. easy too. the hardest part is just trying to GO and not get hurt. A controlled letting go, if you will.

tactical pullups
5 sets of 5

this is a more reasonable number and after all that arm work not that easy.

Farmers walk

2/53's x100 feet x9 sets 30 sec rest/sets

figured I might as well finish up heavy too.

Heavy bag

3 songs. lots of jabs, hooks and combos. this always loosens my shoulders and arms up

one foot calf raise
3x5 bw very slow and full range

bw 162
bf 8.9%
water 60.2%

datsit, staying loose.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Living from your goal.

The hardest thing to do in training,for most, is to do what is
necessary for progress towards ones stated goal, rather than what one likes to do the most. Bodybuilding has such great examples. So many gym bodybuilders have great chest and arm development. But much fewer have great legs much less great backs and calves. Chest and arms are fun to do and the results are very obvious. Proper leg training is sheer torture and requires great discipline and a very high pain tolerance. A dash of masochism doesnt hurt either.

Very similar in powerlifting as well. Good progress in one's squat and bench with much less success in the much more difficult deadlift. Gear hardly helps the dl as well so much less cheating.

The diet provides a myriad of opportunities to act in opposition to what your stated goals are. It is hard no doubt. It all depends on your motivation, which depends on your inspiration. That is why I work very hard at finding things, and keeping them in front of me, that inspire me. This blog is very much a part of that.Writing down your goals and stating them is very powerful as well. The act of creating something requires Thought, Word, and Deed. Think it, say it, do it.

And if you can't keep trying til you can. Dats about it,lol.

For me it requires keeping my goals in mind as much as possible and conciously choosing whether what I am going to do( or not do) next will help or hurt me towards that stated purpose.There is no getting away from having to be concious about what you are choosing and doing. Life gives us plenty of things we have no control over this is true. But we also have many many things within our actual control and from these we can decide so much of our directiona nd trajectory.

I have to do so much bodywork and stretching just to stay somewhat pain free that on Sundays it is always fun not to even go near the gym or get on the floor. But I know if I don't, and just lay around and watch netflix all day and just fully relax tomorrow I will have a hard time in the gym. But my goal is to be as mobile, painfree and fucntionanal as possible, so it's 20 minutes of stretching and foam rollering and I already feel much better.

Being in pain really helps one's motivation as the other options are so much more noticeable.And I have always said injured clients listen MUCH more carefully; tongue only partly in cheek.

And I just as easily could have lazed around and been tight as a drum tomorrow. But I wouldn't have been confused about why I was.

Being alive and awake is no easy job and the stronger one is, the easier it is I believe.

that is powerlifter extraordinaire Lance Mosley helping me with my first ever RKC presentation on the kb clean at the April 2006 Cert.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Arch it up.

Nicks 601 at APC Nationals
Not a bad effort although it wasnt what I expected. My hi pulls went so well on wednesday that I thought it would carry over to the snatch as well but it didnt. I was struggling to find the same groove on the snatch as I had on the pull and it wasnt happening. Driving my hips too early out of the hole.

I knew I didnt want to pull with my arm but I was a having a hard time feeling what I was supposed to be doing.Wednesay, the bell was swinging well and my hips were popping at just the right place. Today I was trying to find the gas and got my hips into too soon. I got my reps but it wasnt what I wanted.

Then Nick helped me figure out I had to extend the back FIRST, just like in a power squat to get my hips in the right place to snap hard. It's also very much like the tap swing on the rings or the high bar. There is only ONE place where leverages and motion are optimized to get the most momentum out of the snap and create the biggest arc. Same with the swing, or snatch and now I got it.

On a power squat you go down from the hips first with the head moving last. On the way up you drive your traps into the bar and extend the back hard, which opens up the hips enough to get them into position to drive and then the quads finish things off. I was doing nothing to extend my back and trying to just use the hips and let the bell swing.

When I started arching up I immediately found the groove I had on the high pulls. The problem with snatching is that it is so easy to think about the snatch portion( which should be an afterthought) way too early. Then I start scooping or pulling on the bell. Gotta create the swing first, then snatch it.

( 20 minute full stretch out first)


53x5/5/5/5x9 sets.180 reps/9540 pounds

One arms swings
5/5= 68 reps/3074 pounds

Just to work technique on the swing position( which held) and get my reps around 250.


Bosu ball stands

supersetted with halos. feels great and left foot is so much more stable than the last time I played on the bosu. training barefoot has really helped.

Feel great.datsit, staying loose. rifga later today.

Marko Suomi's Finnish KB Bash

Got these from Marko's blog. Looks like a hell of a good time and a bunch of serious guys. Plus the scenery looks beautiful! Nice job Marko. wish I could read Finnish.
Here's a great Youtube video off the same site

Friday, October 27, 2006

Feeding time

It's four oclock now and time to start eating. What I want is some enchiladas or pancakes.Or even something simple like cereal but tomorrow is snatch day and what I need is a veggie stirfry.

The hardest part of eating right to me is not not eating the wrong foods, it's making sure I do eat the right foods.
So it's onions, garlic, cabbage,mushrooms, spinach, shallots,two eggs and about 3 ounces of swiss cheese stir fried in macademia nut oil and butter and I am seriously full.Yum yum yum yum yum.
Eating now signals the end of my work day and time to hunker down, relax and get ready for sleep. This rythym now helps create even more balance and stability in my life. Love that, lets me train that much harder!

New phrase I heard today

"Motion is Lotion"

Love it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's a meal,not a party.

It always amazes me how completely addicted people are to food and how blind they are to it. In all my years of training people, I have almost NEVER heard someone say " yeah, I eat like crap, that's why I am fat." Except for my wife, who took full responsibility for being as heavy as she was. "I know why I'm fat," she would tell me. " I eat too much and too much crap.I'm just not motivated to lose it. But it's not like I dont know why." So so many people are really clueless to how much they eat and the effect it's having on them on so many levels.

The need for each meal to be a pleasure filled experience with an unlimited array af gastromic choices available all the time is a wee bit immature imo. Eat your meal first, then you get dessert.What ever happened to that concept?

But starting your day off with a 700 calories frappa crappa latta and another 700-800 calories from a mutant scone on steroids is just "having breakfast". Right, that's why you are gaining 25 pounds a year with no end in site.

People eat like they will die before lunch if they dont "get their bloodsugar up". It's like filling up your car with gas and driving 2 miles to the next gas station and "topping it off".You just dont NEED that much food. The idea that the gene expression that occurs after exercise and intermittment fasting actually helps promote fat loss and muscle gain is gaining acceptance and my own experience can definitely correlate with that.

Living on refined, processed foods,developing insulin resistance and becoming pre diabetic or diabetic is becoming way too common these days. It's almost the norm that I see in the population around me and I work in a highly educated, wealthy community who should know better.

But very few want anything to be tough.And God forbid anyone gets a bit hungry! Not being so dependent on eating every two hours has been one of the most liberating experiences of this whole RKC kettlebell experience for me. Recreating a body that I've never had before. I've had lean and I've had strong. I've had strong lower body( cyclist) and strong upper body( gymnast).

But until KB's and the Warrior Diet I haven't had them all together. Lighter,leaner, strong with stamina and balanced development in the upper and lower body. Not to mention the core. But nobody wants to suffer, at all.

"Pain is a great instructor, it is said, but nobody wants to go his classes". Don't know who said it but it is so true. People want many things but few are willing to pay the price to get them. And not just monetary price, which most times is the least of the expense.

And if one is not willing to pay the price to achieve what they thought they wanted that too is good knowledge. Then you can accept why you are not achieving what you said was your goal. You don't want it enough to do what it takes to achieve it. It is too hard, or too uncomfortable> Or requires too much mental effort too often. That is cool. At least you would know the truth and that is alway powerful.

That's all I ask from people, take responsiblity for your choices, and deal with the consequences of those choices, good or bad, without whining.It's not like you can do anything that doesnt have a consequence.Or that you can choose NOT to choose. Doesnt happen. Whether you see that consequence as a good or a bad thing will entirely depend on where you are at the moment.

The key,imo is being conscious about what you choosing by looking at what you are getting. If you don't like what you are receiving figure out what it takes to change it and then, just do it.

How? By being willing to do what it takes, to the best of your ability. And that usually means eating food before dessert. No matter how good it looks. Or maybe skipping dessert entirely. Or being willing to go a little hungry. Or learning how to cook real food. Whatever it takes to get results.

Or accept that you arent and live with that.

Part of this food cycle is the understanding that by eating refined carbs and tons of sugar one is basically drugging themselves. Carbs release insulin and seratonin which calms you down and relaxes you.Comfort food. And this is good. Unless you can't eat anything else and are falling asleep from your blood sugar dump at 10 am. Where's the roach coach?

Changing from being a carb burner to a fat burner is one of the best things I've done. I feel so much more alert for much longer, have way more energy and clarity of thought and know that in a pinch I can go for long periods with little or no food and no fall off of strength or energy. All good things.

IN my favorite book by Herman Hesse "Siddhartha" Kamaswai asks the ascetic sadhu Siddhartha what skills he posseses when he tells him he will earn the money necessary to spend time with the courtesan Kamala.

"I can think, I can wait and I can fast."

Kamaswami asks him of what value fasting is.

"It is of great value sir,. If a man has nothing to eat fasting is the most intelligent thing he can do. If, for instance, Siddhartha had not learned how to fast, he would have had to seek some kind of work today ,wither with you, or elsewhere, for hunger would have driven him.But as it is , Siddhartha can wait calmly . He is not impatient, he is not in need, he can ward off humfer for a long time and laugh at it. Therefore, fasting is usefull sir."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Reverse Dousing

I must be cold blooded cause I tend to get cold very easily and cold muscles are even tighter and that does me no good. So instead of fighting my way through a stiff warmup in my frozen garage I took a page out of the Russian play book and did a passive warmup a short, hot bath right before I trained.

Read about this from Dr Hatfield in his awesome book "The Complete Guide to Powerlifting". Just love it. It was magic when I trained at 5:30 am and had very heavy weight on my back at 6:15 am. Hatfield said the Russians used sauna, hot showers or baths. Today the bath was needed as everything was locking up on me.Super hot, Japanese style and no more than ten minutes and I was loose as a goose and ready to go. Unreal. The weightlessness of the bath also helps relieve muscle spasm so well.

Also, inspired by Dan's Cenidoza post about his Rite of Passage Hi Pull workout( inspired by my cert workout) I decided I would do the same ladder,except with the 24 kg. I did seriously consider the 28kg but considering the shoulder was freshly in place for the first time in three days and I have changed my swing groove I decided against it.

Dan used the 32 kg! That's intense.

ROP Hi Pull Ladder
36x5/5x2 ( man I am already warm! what a difference.everything feels LOOSE for a change).

x20/20 in 11 minutes
x10/10 in 13 minutes and some change.

200 reps /10,600 pounds

Man, what a difference being really warm, but without using any energy made! I barely had to warmup the swing and went right to the 24 kg which I almost NEVER do. Or can do.It was tough on set 16/16 and the last two hi reps sets were killer. BUT the new swing technique worked GREAT right from the start and the groove was right there. AND the right shoulder felt NO tug in the bottom as it usually does. Good enough for me. Much more power, velocity and acceleration.and noticeably less joint stress

rested five minutes then:

28 kg high pull
5/5= 50reps /3100 pounds

total high pull pounds = 13,700 pounds. not bad.

These went very well and actually had MORE power and height on them as I only had a few reps to do.Maintained power after all that work pretty well.

Rack walks, one kb

20kgx100 feet one arm, rest 30 sec, 100 feet opposite arm

800 total feet.

knee was good and pace was quick. again going shorter and harder was easier.

Snatch overhead holds
16kgx 60 sec
20 kgx45 sec x2

supersetted with

Bosu stands eyes closed

these went great as well.doing this barefood makes all the difference. One foot stand was the best its ever been. Getting back to what works feels good and VERY excited about new swing form.

bw 161.2
water 59%

One hour later bw 161 bf 8.5%!!!!! New low water 61.1 %
the water must be shifting into the muscle cells,which is what this impedence machine is measuring to quantify bodyfat. I knew I felt lean. Eating later and getting that extra hour or so is key. It is 4 pm and my last food was 7 pm last night.

datsit, staying loose.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

OK, I'll listen.

Alright, it's obvious my body doesnt want me to do the press because my shoulder has been talking to me in a way it hasnt since I stopped doing presses months ago. The fact that I easily pressed the two pood after all that time NOT pressing did show me that I can press. The fact that my right teres is as tight as a drum shows me I shouldn't be pressing on a regular basis.

Luckily I am nowhere near as stubborn as I used to be and appreciate the things I still CAN do, such as snatch , hi pull and pullups. I will keep cleans and bottoms up in as I think they will be no problem. It seems like I have just burned certain grooves out and I will be able to train them no more.

That's alright. I prefer to focus and be thankful for the things that I can still do that don't create more pain or agravate old injuries. I am falling back to old habits less and less these days. Must be a sign of maturity or some such thing. I will be fifty in just a few months.

Hi pulls tomorrow.

Too much bread = Kidney cancer?

Got this off Franz's blog. Very controversial but interesting as well. I haven't had any bread at all for months now and dont miss it at all. In fact, almost no cereal grains.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Marathon Training

Learing to run and training for the marathon saved my sanity. I had just blown out my shoulder and my Olympic dreams were officially dead. I went from being Captain of the University of Iowa gymnastics team and headed for the Israeli Olympics, the Maccabiah Games, to nothing.I quit college and went deep into despair. My shoulder was non functional but otherwise I was in the best shape of my life and mentally tougher than ever. I had to do something physical or I would have exploded but what?

Out of total frustration and rage I ran away, and ran and ran and kept running.

I had never run further than it took to get down the vault runway or the 4o feet of the floor ex mat and I always ran as fast as possible . but now I found myself wearing a new pair of Adidas cross countrys and learning how to run for real. Once I learned how to run at a pace I could breathe at I could run far enough to get the 'second wind' and knew I could run as far as I wanted to. It was heaven and I felt strong again.And calm My runners high was very real.

But I had to compete and the marathon seemed the perfect choice. So tough only crazy people did it and a goal so huge I could really devote myself to it. I of course researched what the best runners were doing in training and set out to emulate them, building up slowly mile by mile week after week.

The marathon is such a symbolic quest as well I totally understand why people want to train for it even though I know now it is probably one of the unhealthiest things you can do for your body.Reading Art Devanys and Mark Sissons commentary on Arts Evolutionary Fitness site have opened my eyes to my past mistakes regards endurance training.

But it truly is a vision quest for many, and in that regard I wholeheartedly agree with its undertaking. To climb a mountain that had seen, at the outset, unclimbable is truly a transformative experience. It's not only how long we live that counts, but how we live while we do.
My first marathon ,and the training that preceeded it, strengthened my mind in a way I can still feel to this day, and for that I am very thankful. even if it took a few years off my life.

The reps within a single.

This is from my post on DragonDoor. Just wanted it archived here. I will work this into an article for Pavel as well.

As I go back to doing presses using just singles I am reminded of the last three lift powermeet I did in 1999. I am planning on using low volume to try and escape rebuilding the shoulder imbalances I have been working to fix. Inspired by all the great ROP stuff going on I want to get my press back while doing it safely and with more total body participation than before.

In 1999 my knee locked up badly as I was preparing for the Ironman meet using WSB volume approach. This was before I understood how much a steel tight IT band could exacerbate my knee problems. I knew I couldnt do my usual volume and live but I was determined to compete and couldnt figure out how to train.

My very smart wife asked me the perfect question:" can't you just do enough to not get hurt?" Simple idea but it rocked me. Just how little could I get away with and still squat and pull decently?Maybe I could still pull this off.
Although I was addicted to volume I knew very well how many legendary powerlifters had trained for years: heavy singles. So I set out on a program of as few singles as possible to reach the weight that I wanted for that day.I knew I had to train between 80 and 90% this way to have a chance. The first thing I realized that if you only get to do singles you pay close attention to EVERY aspect of every rep.I only got to do 4 or 5 total reps and had to commit to each of them completely.

Each had to be perfect.
So the unracking of the bar became its own rep and getting tight before I took it off was a form of overload.Walking with the weight another rep that could be perfected with as much total body tension as possible.The setup another. The negative had to be maximally tight while as fluid as possible into the hole which is where everything is determined.The ascent,done as strongly as possible a critical high intensity movement. The hold for the rack signal and another walk. Each its own individual component that could be done maximally with as much tension strength and perfect technique as possible.

I squatted 462 in the gym for one strong single and squeaked out a 525 at 181 at the meet, which set the stage for my pr total. All on a few single once a week for 8 weeks. Now as I start to train the press again I plan on approaching the it the same way. You can't shoot a cannon out of a canoe and that saying has more meaning for me know than ever.I know that building the starting power for the press from the ground up is the secret. Just look at Mr Cotter or Jones or Kenneth Jay press.

A single rep has many parts.


This was a suprise as was how well the pressing went today. right shoulder was a mess all day today following some nasty DOMS from the scapula pullups, I guess. Who knows?It was just nasty all morning and I was wondering how the hell was I going to press? Not to mention should I press?

BW 162.2
BF 8.8%
Water 60.9%

I'll take it.

One of my rules is never decide before I warmup if the workout is going to work. So I did. Very suprised but I shouldnt be. This happens way to often to be suprised anymore.

One arm swing

wanted to play with my new HS technique. still works! :))

Clean and Press
72x1/1 woohoo! no problem

three reps I would consider heavy.a good start. REALLY focused on pressing from the contact point of the bell and my arm.I focused on IT being the top of my hand and that is where I pressed from.Also tried to press with a neutral grip. this kept the arm in external rotation and it helped.

Also did NOT look at the bell and just kept the same head position that I have when I snatched. Much easier to get the arm overhead.


easy but good to hold the weight.really let the back swing happen here as well.

Bottoms up clean

this was solid too.

ballistic pullups

Farmers walk
2 20 kg x 200 ft x 3 sets

Bosu stands
5 minutes

datsit, staying loose.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Rifga and Bosu

30 minutes of Rifga stretching.

really concentrated on opening up the left hamstring and calf as well as the right shoulder, getting ready for tomorrows presses. Lots of hanging from the power rack both single arm and both at the same time. I can feel the thoracic myofascia stretching open big time in this move. Great antagonist to sitting. Lots of downward and upward facing dogs.

Spoke with Mike C yesterday and told him how happy I was training fully barefoot. He asked if I was doing Bosu barefoot. I realized I havent been doing bosu at all and am probably ready to bring it back in the mix. One good thing about building a big foundation is you have more energy and can do more movements to work on more weak points.

Bosu stands barefoot two and one foot. ten minutes.


For reading my blog. One of the best things about getting the site meter on the blog is being able to see where the readers are coming from. I am getting readers from all over the world and that is perhaps the coolest part of this whole thing.

Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Finland, Belgium,Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria, South Wales, United Kingdom are all represented and that is just today! I wish more people would comment but I understand if they do not wish too. It's just so cool to be able to communicate to so many people all over the world. Not to mention the entire US, west to east. I am honored.

Hopefully one of these days I can travel to do seminars and workshops in some of these places. Going to teach at the Danish RKC in 2008 is something I am so looking forwards to.

Thanks again to all!

Client physiology

I resisted getting certified as a personal trainer for many years. I have been coaching and training people virtually from the beginning of my gymnastics training in 1972. It was as natural to me as breathing and I started charging for private weight training lessons back in 1979.

The "personal training" industry started rearing its ugly head back in the late eighties and early nineties and I always said I would get certified when Arnold did. I saw it as an affront to my competitive experience on the "race track" as Dr Hatfield would say. Not to mention my many years of study and research about every and any aspect of training.

In 1998 when I closed my gym and went to work as a full time personal trainer I had to get certified to be able to work in a studio. I chose the ISSA, Dr Hatfields organization, as it was steeped in the real deal training world of Dr Squat and not some fluff of the day babysitting organzition. Even the supposed "gold standard" courses of the ACSM looked at training as some sort of medical intervention and the trainers as some sort of clinician rather than the physical culture expert they should be.

When I was a competitive runner I would read bodybuilding magazines looking for information that could help my running. When I was a bodybuilder I had subscription to Powerliftng USA for the same reason. I was always looking for that "one good idea" that I could use. If I got one good idea out of an article, video or conversation then it was worth it. One good idea could blossom into a training revelation and that was what I was looking for.

I saw no difference between training for the average person who had a physical goal and the competitive athlete who had a goal. The approach was the same, only the levels of intensity, load and committment differed.After all, their bodies were the same, physiologically, their minds were the same, psychologically. Why should their training be vastly different?

If doing real exerises with real weights and a planned, progressive approach worked for Olympic athletes why should joe or jane average have some kind of weirdo, touchy feely voodoo workout prepared for them?

Of course they couldnt (or wouldnt) do the same loads or the insane hours of training that the wannabe Olympian did but why should the essence of the training be so different that it wouldnt even look the same in basic apprearance?

I have always worked with a "top down" approach to clients. I would start with the plan I would do if I had their goal and then scaled it down to what level they were willing to committ to. the same approach as if I were training an athlete for a competition.

That was the jumping off point and we would build from there. I always wanted to start with "program minimum"; the level of committment and regularity that they would absolutely, without question, be able to committ to come hell or high water. In many cases this was just two days a week for an hour. Didn't matter.

What did matter was how many weeks they made those two sessions without missing a workout. These programs that promise people to 'get in shape' in 6 weeks or 12 or whatever are totally missing the boat. Training to get in real shape, the kind that lasts a lifetime, requires a real committment, not just for 12 weeks. Ok, so you did your 12 weeks, now what?

One of my favorite sayings is "win or lose, the next day it's back in the gym'". And so it is with clients as well. One needs to build a base, a real base to step up to the next level from and that takes time; for everyone.Don't tell me how many workouts a week your schedule has. Tell me how many workouts you have missed in the last year. Or two. That shows me if you are going to make real progress or if you are just pretending.

People who say they want to look like an Olympian but only want to committ to train like a librarian need to wake up and smell the coffee. Another one of the best things about training is the pure democraticness( is that a word?) of it. You get what you train for and what you are willing to pay the price for. And the cost of the session is NOT the price. That's just the entrance fee.

You cannot buy your body, you have to earn it. Especially if you are older than 23. Anyone who has a strong, lean and functional body after that age is earning it. Every day.
But trainers who insist on treating their clients as children do they clients and themselves a huge disservice. And no, that does not mean turning your 50 year old female client into a powerlifter or a competitor of any sort.

It means using the same basic, progressive, functional movement and analytic approach to her goals as you would to your own( providing you are one of those rare trainers that actually trains) or to an Olympian in your charge. Her body adapts to overload just as yours or the Olympians does. Just requires a lower level of overload.Not a different course of action or some made up, bullshit exericse selection that no self respecting athlete would use.

The quickest path to a goal is usually a straight line. THis is true for the trainer as well as the trainee. The same level of confrontation is required of grandma when she wants to drop five pounds and can't give up the cake as it is for Mr. Olympia who has to get down to 5 % bodyfat for his meet. If you can't make yourself do something you don't want to then very few things are possible. If you can then very few things are unreachable.At least a semblance of them anyway.

It all starts with willpower, which has everything to do with motivation.This is why it is so critical to keep your goals in front of you all the time and the things and people that motivate you to reach those goals. Without inspiration there is no motivation and without that there is no discipline. No discipline,no willpower, no goal. That simple and I'm not sorry at all if that is 'not fair'. Oh well. Makes it much easier for me to get ahead as I am willing to do the things most are not to achieve my goals. As I wrote early it is very democratic. Everyone can get a lot of their physical goals but they must pay in blood sweat and tears. If you get it you probably earned it. And vice versa. Olympians and grandmas alike.

I believe the real key to motivating your clients is leading from the front. Live the lifestyle you are preaching to them; be an inspiration no matter how basic or simple the goal might be. That matters not at all. For once you achieve that goal you must set another anyway so one shouldt get too caught up in the goal, just that one has one. It IS a lifestyle, not just a short term plan.

Strength is a choice.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Very interesting/scary article


People better start having babies.

Let it swing.

Man 160 reps used to kill me now it's an easy day. Had a hard start today although my warmups technique with two hand swings and overhead swings went great. figured out a crucial piece of my snatch technique mid way through the workout so it was all worth it.

Two hand low swing

these went well and really got my hips open. the low swing rocks.

Overhead Swing

this was a little tougher as my shoulder was slower to open up with the close overhead hand position. still went well just wont go very heavy.


53x5/5x16 sets= 160 reps/8480 pounds.

This was easy in terms of workload. I was having some right shoulder issues and my swing was off for the first sets so I was going slower than I wanted to. I was not pulling on the bell but my hip snap was early and not really connecting to the bell.If I tried to sit back more I just felt my bicep tendon more. I was not in sync and it felt off. I tried reaching the bell( and my hips) further back but that wasnt working. still felt the static stomp point was "off".

Then I realized I was keeping the bell too close to my crotch and this was limiting the back swing. I let myself lean over more and the bell pendulum swing more freely NOT trying to keep it locked( 'riding the broomstick' in GS terms) against my body. I do not do GS why am I using that technique?

WOW what a a difference! the bell was taking off,.Back to the future with a very simplistic, but totally hardstyle one arm swing snatch! Follow the bell.

By locking the arm too tightly against my body I limited the ROM of the bells path and thus the potential power. You still have to keep the bell connected to the body but just not so much surface contact with the arm.

One arm swings
53x5/5x 5 sets

This was just for technique work with the new back angle and it worked great.I was sitting back TOO much. THis feels much freer. I can really feel the bell swing and I am following it not the other way around. Set it in motion and hang on! The interesting part was that I felt an immediate lessening of the load on my touchy right biceps tendon. The arm was freer to swing.Interesting. All were chin height with LESS effort than my normal swing to chest height.

Scapula Pullups
8,9,10,8,9,10= 54

these are so important to really keep my shoulder/scapula opena moving correctly. The rest of the pullup is just more bicep and teres anyway.What I dont need.


one foot calf raise
bwx10x4 sets slow.

bw 163
bf 10.65
water 59.2%

datsit staying loose.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Warming up

Knee went back in today. It's been "out", or subluxed for the last two days. Not a lot of fun but now it's in and I can walk again. Too much kb dragging I'm afraid and I think the grip limitations of farmers,rack and waiters walks are a good thing. Too much direct work on the leg right now and its hard to know where the edge is when it feels so good when I am doing it.

The problem is not doing the workout, but surviving it,lol.

That's a problem with trying to rehab a limb with a structurally bad joint. If the muscles get too tight,even "good" tight, it tends to pull things in the wrong direction. Have to settle for being less strong and more mobile. Walking is good.Pain is boring.Knee pain anyway.

Going to use the two handed swing as a warmup for tomorrow snatch workout. The early start on Saturdays is not optimal and I tend to rush into the snatch as I always have a ton of reps to do.Problem is my hips take A LONG time to get warmed up and if I push it too early the arm gets involved. I will keep the reps low, 3-5 and use it to open up the hips.

Been trying to figure a way to put the two hand swing back in but control the volume. This could be it. Use low reps and really get the hips to get opened up BEFORE I start to warm up the snatch. We'll see. Will do some two hand swings all the way overhead too to open up the shoulders.

The shoulder feels great by the way and my body liked the idea of low rep heavier sets. I can tell because it didnt smite me down for even thinking of adding it back in.

Another incarnation

The week before the San Jose Open, 1987. 175 lbs. This seems like another lifetime ago.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Extending the fast

This has definitely helped lower the bodyfat. Starting no earlier than 3 pm has made a big difference already. My body responds, good or bad, very quickly to stimuli. Waiting just that much longer after I get hungry seems to be the key. Lance Armstrong writes that when in training for the Tour ( and trying to cut weight) he would wait 2 hours after he finished one of his grueling rides to eat, to further the fat loss.

I used to fast the day before an ultra run to better increase my fat burning and it worked well. same principle I guess.

BW 162
BF 9.5%
Hydration 60.2 % this is the highest number I've seen. Didnt check water when I went 8.9.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

High Pulls, High Force.

I have noticed that with all my focus on volume recently that the force level of each rep has really gone down. Had to, because as total volume and time under tension go up the level of force output has to drop. You can sprint 40 yards but you can't sprint a mile.
It's been what I've needed, to loosen up and get more stamina and a lower level of total body tension.

But I think I can handle a little more strength and tension now.

High Pulls

x10/10=90 reps x 3 rounds
270 reps/14,310 pounds! excellent. 30 minutes.

This really was great. I focused on applying force as long as possible on each rep and getting the bell as high as possible.Not having to do such high reps made this easy. The tens were a bit tough and the lst part of the third round I noticed the force output per rep drop but overall was very pleased. As usual negative split time and did the last two rounds almost faster than the first one!

Clean and Press
53x3/3x3 sets

Couldnt wait to try these. It's been a long time but they were easy. Focused on pressing from the contact point of the bell and the forearm and this really shortened the stroke. The key here for me if I am to do these safely is to limit volume and treat this as a Maximum effort day as I would in the WSB template. 3-6 reps per workout. I have YEARS of pressing volume under my belt and I don't want to wreck my already wrecked shoulders.

Scapula pullups

5 sets of 8 reps alternated with the presses

AHHHHH. SHould have been doing these all along. These are what got me able to do real pullups again and they are so good for my shoulder girdle

Left leg calf raise

BW 161.8
BF 10%
Hydration level 59.7%

all good. lots of shoulder strethcing to do later.

dats it, staying loose.


Mark circa 1975

I used to be really flexible.

That was one of my early strengths as a gymnast, allowing me to do v sits and straight arm, straight leg presses to handstands, flat palmed, on the floor or parallel bars or the pommel of a side horse.But that type of lumbar flexion and EXTREME abdominal contraction really over stretched my back. And way too many locked knee'ed, bent over landings that I did thousands of time trying to "stick it" eventually stuck me. They told me years ago that the L5-S1 was fused and it probably was genetic. BS, it was from all those totally unsupported stiff jointed landings from competition and from the unnatural and weak postures they make modern gymnasts adopt.

Pointing the toes totally disconnects the hips and the hamstrings from functioning properly and totally takes the ass out of all movements. This is very bad ,especially with all the running and jumping gymnasts do- with no hip extension!Everything "hollowed out". Bad, bad, bad for the human animals basic movement patterns and development.Gymnasts develop very weak erectors compared to their flexors. Not good over the long haul. And people get stuck in postures they do with so much high force repetitions.

Parkour is a much better example of how human gymnastics should be ,imo. Especially how they treat those landings from impossible heights. Not a "stick" in sight. roll out, defuse the force, save the joints. that makes sense.Sticking landings to make it look pretty and stylish is ridiculous,especially with the level of difficulty they force on the athletes these days.

So when I became a powerlifter I was too flexible; not enough"superstiffness" to hold those big weights.I stopped stretched and devoted myself to developing more and more tension. It worked.Unfortunately all those length tension relationship imbalances I had developed all those years(especially with those big joint injuries) got really tight too and combined with loose ligaments from over stretching,created some serious pain syndromes.

But two and half years of basic ballistic kb movements, joint mobility, selected static stretches tons of bodywork and selected strengthening of the atagonistics I am closer than ever to balancing out my joint structure and reclaiming my body.

And as this happens the pain gets less. and less.

For the first time in perhaps my entire life I am looking for physical balance instead of the extreme edge of the possible. Once I realized that I could overcome lots of genetic weakness with willpower and concious choices it was very tempting to push things as far as I could . Even when I knew I shouldn't. The cycle of aging, of course, has a huge impact on this. BUt from this perspective I can clearly see that the window of oppurtunity to accomplish those huge adolescent dreams of greatness is so small.Age 15-30, maybe. Probably 15-25. Ten years. Big deal. Glory is temporary, pain is forever.

But that's notquite true either. The body heals;much more and for over a longer period than I have ever thought before.And it heals so much better and faster when it is balanced. On all levels. Nice to have new goals that are actually good for me, to balance the tension.

When I was 22 I wrote a bad novel about the world of gymanstics called "A question of balance". I wrote it in longhand and it never got published but even that far back I was seeking that balance. It's tough, extremes are fun :))

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Press


This is the stuff that gets me in trouble. After seeing the crazy great short video made about the Danish RKC and seeing Kenneth Jay manhandle the press and then reading his article about pressing in the new Hardstyle mag I have been seriously inspired to train the press again.

I feel like I want to go do some pressing right now! Its tough purposely NOT training any of your strengths to keep things in balance. Especially seeing KJ press. Its one of my strongest moves. I have a feeling this is going to go back in the mix for awhile.Just have to work twice as hard to keep my shoulder stretched out and mobile. Its not like it doesnt get tight now and I have to work it to stay somewhat balanced( catch the rationalization? I did,lol) .

We shall see.


BW 161.6
BF 9.5%

I figured out what I was doing wrong with my eating; I have let me start time of my break-fast start creeping in too early. I was waiting until 3 pm at the earliest and then it started moving back more and more until some days it was 12:30! It is 3:30 pm now. More discipline eh?

Monday, October 16, 2006

1995 IPF World Championships, Chiba Japan

Hanging with Kelii and Ed Coan after the meet. Kelii tied for third and lost on bodyweight and I was head coach for the womens team. what an amazing experience. This is what kelli did( look under cathleen kelii.
the order is
all in kilos of course

Carrie Boudreau
Irina Orekhova
Suzanne Hagersand
Cathleen Kelii

KB Fartlek

yes, I said fartlek. It is a swedish , I think, for 'running about in the woods'. It is a runners term and is used to describe an unstructured run, including sprints of different lengths and intensities, flats and hills and interspersing hard efforts with light ones.

I took the 16 kgs out to the park( which was overwatered again! ugh, a swamp) and proceeded to drag, rack walk, farmers walk, walking swing, drag again, farmers again,etc. for different times and lengths. It was cool but I do need a sled I think. Always worried about tearing up the field.So much easier to do point to point walks as the goal is so clear. easier to focus. knee held up well and walked about for 30 minutes. drove there today as I wanted all the walking on the grass and sand.

the walking swings, for about 100 feet, kicked my ass and I will have to include this one in the mix more regularly!

Tactical pullups

This was interesting; doing pullups AFTER all that slogging but it went well although energy was just not good today. Woke up all kinds of crazy times during the night and just generally was on a low cycle. Power though it and get what I can.Bodyfat is up too. I can feel winter coming on and those hot days where I sweated my ass off are almost non existant. I can see why people love sauna, or even bikram. sweat cleanses and heals.

TPU All Paused at bottom

Did 4 sets of 6, then 4 sets of five the 4 sets of 4
60 total reps/20 minutes . ugh. this was dead as expected after last weeks 105 and dragging first. I'll take it.

Need to do another day of static hangs and scap pullups.really open up the shoulders.When I get too much into pullup numbers ROM is the first thing to suffer. got to really HANG in the bottom and stretch a lot too.

weight later.

datsit, trying to stay loose.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Training Bum.

Its Sunday morning and I'm stretching in my garage gym. I've spent the week either in my downtown studio training client , training myself in my garage or pouring over the net thinking about training.

Yet here it is Sunday AM and I'm out in my gym stretching,AC/DC is loud on the stereo, my wife is doing upteen sets of swing combinations and I'm a happy man. I spent the morning pouring over my newly arrived Powerlifting USA and Vitalic magazine as well as getting the site meter on my blog to function properly. There is nothing I like more( well almost) than either training or thinking about how to make my training better.

Training was never a chore for me and I remember thinking after four years High School and 5-6 hour days 5 days a week pf practice that I never ONCE thought of going to practice as work. Never. Ever. I lived to go in the gym and fly. To master my body and calm my mind. To get to do so was a privlege to which I soon was addicted. And still am to this day.

So to hear people bitch about having to train is weird to my ear every time I hear it. What? I get to train not have to train. Now its no fun when you are exhausted and in pain and still have a killer workout to get done but what does that have to do with it?

I also beleive if you want to be a pro first you LIVE like a pro and THEN you get to be one. Not the other way around.But it relates to anything one wants to do but is lacking in will. It means that you do what is necessary to make progress, not what you want to do, or like to do best. This is the essence of WSB weak point training and analysis which I have done unconciously all my training life.

By having heroes and role models to emulate I always patterned my training( which meant my life) on what was necessary to go forward. What the best did.Everything else revolved around that. To many things' detriment no doubt; but it was all about paying the price to achieve your goals. THAT to me, is where champions live. Is it a heavy price? No doubt. If it wasn't we would have many more greats, period.But I am convinced Champions see things others never get to.

I did my best, scaled some heights, payed some price and here I am.

But now that I have no desire to scale heights but to master the ground level the concepts are still the same, just the goals( and the sanity) a bit different. Now being pain free and being able to walk as easily as possible is the goal. Not my 600 pound squat. Now its a full bodyweight squat and having my knee bend another 20 degrees. Its having both arms overhead with no imbalance as well as 300 snatches with the 53.

Its about building a balanced body, an optimized body not an extreme body.It's about finding out whats healthy not whats humanly possible. I guess these are things that we think about when we get old, and that is probably as it should be or very few great things would get accomplished. And the bottom line is that one pays the price whether you conciously risk anything or not. Being alive is being at risk.

Or maybe not. Maybe the great thing is leading a balanced healthy life your entire time and realizing that just because it is there does NOT mean we have to climb it. Pick your poison.

573 Squat at 1997 APF Masters nationals

Bodyweight 192. Missed 601 on my third attempt. Had I know it was going to be my last try with 6oo I would have made it I think.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

545 Deadlift PR, 1996

300 snatches

All time volume PR although with the 20 kg. Decided to drop down to the 20 kg after all that heavy work last week and drop reps as well to 5's. Saturday am are getting colder and much harder to warm up,especially now that I am barefoot! LOL. Oh well.

Had a serious allergy attack yesterday for the first time in almost 20 years and was feeling the HR effects of claritin. Not the fastest pace( 45 min) as I was waiting for nick a lot but that wasnt the goal.Had 300 in mind since yesterday. Nice week, 300 hi pulls and 300 snatches.

warmup: two hand swings 16 kg x20x2,20 kg x20
Hi pull snatch, transfer with 16 kg x 5 each arm x2 sets


20kgx5/5/5/5 x15 sets= 300 reps/ 13,200 pounds.

hands held up nicely and form was solid and fluid. Baseline condition now is very solid and the 20 reps/set was no problem with keep power up the entire time. happy with this.

36x8/8 x2

One leg calf raise

Rifga stretch: 15 minutes focus on shoulder and hammies

will weigh later when hydrated.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cheks order of progression

for safe and proper loading one needs :

1) Flexibility: the joints must have full ROM before loading

2) Stability: if you can't stabilize you can't exert force efficiently

3) Strength: once you are stable you can safely overload

4) Power : Strength moved quickly

5) Endurance: baseline stamina and gpp

I find this to be so true,especially for my back. Once you have torn discs disaster is never far away and I know I must keep my system balanced to avoid pain and disability. I have to maintain as close to perfect lumbar and shoulder ROM via LOTS of decompression hangs and my own rifga set of postures to keep my back in neutral, and thus stable.

As pavel says in his second kb video " if you cant get comfortable in the bottom of a squat with no kb you need flexiblity, not strength, first".

I did tons of upward facing dog( to stretch abs,psoas,pecs, move discs forward), downward facing dog( to stretch calves/hams), shoulder to floor( close hands).

so first I have to stretch the joints as close as possible to what their ROM should be and then I do some stability work to make sure both sides of the joints are firing.

Then I can warmup and exert some decent force safely. Otherwise I am just asking for injury and back injuries are just no fun at all anymore.

Hanging from the power bar tells me so much about where my lumbar spine and my lower abdominals are. two key areas for me to keep open to keep my spine painfree.my abs gets big strong and tight fast and pull my spine into flexion in a hurry and that's no good :))

It also opens up my shoulders and lats big time. I just have to spend a LOT of time doing it or I get spasms pretty easily. especially with the volume I've been doing lately.I still do not have even close to perfect overhead flexion of my right shoulder.the teres gets way tight way easy and it opens up but it takes regular work.

If you ignore this progression and overload joint structures that don't have solid ROM all kinds of bad things happen. some immediately, some down the road. none good. THis is the balance that must be maintained. conjugate training! LOL! working on all components similtaneously and continuously. speed and force and gpp and hypertrophy, all depending on what is needed at the time. same with the above just on a bw level.

My back has been saying hello lately and with Franz's injury it has got me thinking some.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Not bad at all

After how much I locked up after all that kb dragging on monday I was very happy with how mobile I was today. Especially since I had to drop off the jetta diesel at the mechanics and hoof it to work. Now it is hardly 5 long blocks but for me that is a big deal. A year ago that would have caused considerable knee pain and lockage and I would have been cursing. yes I was that lame. Today it caused virtually no problems and I hardly noticed it! this is a big thing to me.

Back and hips are tighter than normal but I took a long warmup and was planning on going lgiht with medium volume. Felt great.

Snatch Hi Pulls

44x5/5/5/5x15 sets= 300 reps/13,200 pounds

wow, thats a bigger number than I expected. excellent.

these felt very, very good. the 20 kg is perfect for my bodyweight and I can move it very fast in both directions and it always feels light in the hand. sometimes the 24 kg does and sometimes it doesnt.

Snatch holds
26x one minute ( right lat ,pec minor and teres are tight)
36#x one minute
44x 45 sec
44x one minute

One arm Deadlift
88x5x4 sets -right arm only- had to do something with the Bulldog. He was looking lonely.The first rep of the first set was suprisingly heavy!Then I got tight.

one leg calf raise

I think there are really helping my terminal knee extension and strength. the knee locks our much more evenly as well as more completely.Statically as well as dynamically in the gait cycle.

bw 161.8
bf 10.5 %
hyrdration 59.8%

datsit,staying loose.

Early Chinese weightlifting ,early KBs

this is cool. Thanks to Bill Fox for finding this on youtube.

Woke up fine this am

its 4:30 am now and the worst is past. as long as I get the offending muscles fully loosened up it seems I can bypass the usually torquing that throws me out.Tons of decompression hangs, floor stretching and foam rollering did the trick.Beautiful that means I can do high pulls today!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just a wee bit too much.

Not even 24 hours after all that dragging and the hips are starting to lock up bigtime and the back is usually right behind that,lol.Hopefully I can cut it off at the pass before the real D.O.M.S sets in.

The combo of the power belt to push on, which fired the abs hard, and a decent forward lean, which got the hips working and 5000 feet more than I am used to was a bit too much .

oh well tons of h2o and even more stretching should keep it from going nuts.

bw 161.2
bf 10.1%

Monday, October 09, 2006

Rif Family Double PR day.

I thought I had good news to tell Tracy today when, inspired by Kenneth Jay's statement that he uses for triples a weight he can do 25 with I decided to do lots of low rep tactical pullup sets and hit an all time PR of 105 reps in 29 minutes.I have been working my way up to sets of ten and needed a low rep day.

With Steve Cotter hitting some huge numbers with this protocol as well I was even more inspired.

Tracy was also pushing some iron this morning and did 400 Snatches in 29 minutes as well! She used the 12 kg and did 10/10 with a 30 second break. This cycle took 90 seconds and she did 20 of them in the 29 minutes. This was also after an hour and a half Bikram yoga session!

She decided that wasnt enough and did another hundred reps in 12 minutes.she did 12 and 12 each side, which took 90 with 60 seconds rest. Five total sets!So 500 snatches in 41 minutes. She said she felt strong today and just went for it. I should say so.

Tactical pullups
3,4,5 =12 rep roundx 4 rounds=60 reps
3 rep setsx 15 rounds= 45 reps

total reps 105 in 29 minutes. all time pr!

This started out badly as I got a cancellation and decided to do these by themselves, instead of as part of a superset with transfers or cleans or whatever. I was 4 hours ahead of schedule as well and felt as warm as an ice brick, even after 20 minutes of stretching at 5:30 am.Gettin old sure is fun :))
I thought I would cut it at 60 reps as things felt tight, crampy and just not flowing. Even the fives were getting tough; I am not used to following myself on these. Much, much harder. Bu thten I did a few sets of 3 and got warm. I just kept going and then realized 100 was in sight as well as 30 minutes total. ALl were solidly paused at the bottom although the last reps of the last few sets were BARELY touching chin.

Field Day

Farmers walked 2 16 kg kbs to park 1500 feet away from house.
Dragged 16 kg 1000 feet
2 /16 kg 1000 feet x 2
16 kg 1000 feet x 4 30 second rest /sets
2/16 kg 500 feet x2
farmers walked 2 16 kg home 1500 feet

Woo freaking hoo! This was hard but great fun~!!! The fact that I could actually do it is amazing. when I was leaning into the sled and being able to push off it reminded me so much of when I ran.nothing like being able to move your own bodyweight strong and effortlessly.

I stopped well short of what I wanted to do knowing I had to walk them home and I have no idea how things are going to hold up. The field was thick grass, totally soaked. It was great.Just tied these to my power belt and pulled!

Heavy bag

2 songs righty,1 song southpaw.

Rifga : 10 minutes

bw 160.4( that's low)
bf 10.6%
hydration 59%

I'm always worried when I do new things so I will stretch and pray alot tonite,lol!

datsit staying loose.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

a Jack Dempsey fighting tutorial

This e book is fantastic! thanks tom again.

Ed Coans 959 squat in his first 2401 total

I watched this from the side of the platform in 1991. Cant do it any better than this.

A serious strength compilation video

thanks to Tom Furman for the link

Goals, Deadlines, Balls and Heart.

Maybe I am just weird. Ok, I know I am weird but maybe I am even weirder than I thought. I have a hard time understanding those who have mucho talent but little drive to compete and excel. It probably has much to do with having LESS feeling of inadequacy. I believe that most desire to accomplish and achieve things, in men, come from an innate feeling of not being enough, as they are.

Most bodybuilders started as underweight and scrawny. Many rich people overcame severe poverty with the vow never to be poor and go without again. I know my desire to build and control my body stemmed from adolescent feelings of inadequacies. Being short and small isnt the best postition to hold in male society. Tom Platz once told me it was not enough to want to be a champion. One needed to NEED to be a champion, to need it in their soul,to HAVE to have it in order to do what is necessary to overcome all the obstacles they will encounter on their way to the top. I agree.

I have seen so many with so much talent but no will. My high school friend in gymnastics was like this. TONS of talent but always coasting. He got a full ride to Iowa, with me and never accomplished anything. He was always holding back, afraid to committ his heart and soul to the task of becoming great in case he didnt succeed. It was far easier, after not accomplishing his goals, to say he "really didnt care" that much, than to lay it all out there, full desire and all and miss the ring. Then what could he say? That he tried his best and still didnt measure up?

To me thats preferable because there is nothing to stop one from trying again. And again. And again. And.....

So is that desire to achieve that which seems unachievable healthy? Probably not. Normal? Possibly. Desireable? I wouldnt wish my obsessions on any one. But what you see depends on where you stand and the few moments when I have achieved that which I so sought with every fiber of my being provided a view that was worth every moment of pain and suffering that it took.

At least to me.It would be a far easier, and probably more sane, life to take the middle road as the Buddha taught and enjoy that which you already have, and not push so hard.I just don't know how to do it.Even now after all this pain and hardship.

I heard Matt Serra, BJJ Black belt say that the competition wasnt about beating the other guy but testing oneself and that's exactly how I feel. The goal, the deadline, the pressure is all about taking yourself to where you wouldnt go by yourself and seeing what you are really made of.
Of stepping onto the edge of the cliff,looking into the dark void below and stepping off. With a smile, knowing you will get a glimpse of something almost no one else gets to.

And it will bite you. Hard. But the ecstasy of that wholeness you feel when it doesnt bite, and you conquer it, and within that conquer yourself, is indescribably beautiful and keeps me going back to the gym and the pain, day after day after day.

I beleive you never get what you want in life but what you choose. One's wanting of a thing produces just that; the wanting of that thing. In order to GET it, you must choose it, and all the actions that that requires, over and over again, until it is had.And then you must choose again.

But then again, no one ever accused me of being normal. I am just thankful for all the highly talented guys with no work ethic who's asses I got to kick through the years. I never would have been able to beat them otherwise.They helped me strengthen myself in ways they never knew.

Bodyfat scale experiments

It always interests me how what I eat, do or sweat affects the readings on my tanita bodyfat scale. Saturdays is always a lower water day for me as I start eating earlier than weekdays and dont have my normal 8 hours after waking to take in fluids. So it was no surprise to me this am when my scale read high.

then I decided to test things with a hot bath, which always seems to LOWER my BF % on the scale, even though the scale is measuring water levels.

pre bath

bw 162.4
bf 14.5 %
hydration level 56%

post bath

bw 161.2
bf 10.4%
hydration level 59% !!!!

that is very strange. I sweated and lost water and measured a higher level of hydration. very wierd. I will take it again after hydrating more before I start eating later.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

All time snatch PR

Decided to go for a real pr since last week was a tie. In retrospect it was not a good idea to do such a heavy wednesday hi pull workout as the first few sets today were shockingly sluggish.Oh well, you pick it you play it. I didnt feel in danger of hurting myself, just a lot of suffering.

Sets were 7/7,8/8,9/9. hate anything close to ten reps.

Snatch with 24 kg

x9/9= 48 reps x 4 rounds= 192 reps
x6/6= 38 reps
Total reps= 230 !!! all time highest number
Total weight= 12,190 pounds! thats even better!

Only two of us this took a long time, 40 minutes, as I was letting my partner take too long a break as I knew pushing the pace in my semi weakened state wasnt good my bones either.
Got two very nice blisters but no tears! Next week will definitely be a down week with the 20 kg and go back to fives with multiple transfers.back to longer sets for awhile.

Going to add in a field day monday to see if that works for getting more gpp and legs without frying my arms so much.dragging the sled was a revelation.I think it has all kinds of possiblities.

36x8/8 x2

One foot calf raises

dats it staying loose. weigh in later.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

District B-13

This is the best action/adventure movie I have ever seen. David Belle, of the real Parkour fame, is perhaps the best human animal I have ever seen as well. I would call him the best athlete, but his ability to move and his overall conditioning go far beyond that. This is a rocking, non stop action flick and there are no Crouching Tiger Hidden Wires anti gravity tricks either. Its all real.

Can't wait to see Tony Ja in the Protector. Be very interesting to see how they compare.Belle proves that modern gymnastics has taken a very wrong turn,especially when one sees how he lands all of his skills; nary a STICK in site. He lands as we are supposed to land after dropping great distances, by deflecting force, not absorbing it into the body.

If you love human movement see this film

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WSB, KB Style.

Well, well, well. You just never know why you are going to feel good now do ya? Since I had done 250 high pulls with the 53 last week, then 210 snatches with the 53 again on Saturday I knew I needed to go either lighter or heavier today. Want to snatch a true PR on this Saturday( 230-240 reps) so I could either work power with the lighter bell or strength with a heavier one.

Decided to do both.

I have been burning the candle on the high rep ranges so some low reps are in order. I decided to do a 3 weight wave, using the same rep scheme( 5/5) to better focus on compensatory acceleration and max power output.
Lately, since I've been doing so many reps I feel that I am really conserving energy on each reto make my numbers. This is fine given my goals( strength endurance,stamina) but I felt healthy and strong enough to push it abit today.

By using the 28 and the 32 kg bells a semi max effort would be involved as well. I would cycle these three weights until speed ( and therefore power) was going down. Suprised myself.

Snatch High Pulls

72x5/5= one round. did 6 rounds 30-45 seconds rest between sets

60 reps with the 53= 3180 pounds
60 reps with the 62= 3720 pounds
60 reps with the 72= 4320 pounds
total = 180 reps/11,220

53x5/5x4 sets 15 seconds rest between sets.
40 reps 2120 pounds

total reps= 220
total pounds= 13,340

This felt awesome. All the bells felt light in my hands, my hip groove was very solid, the knee was actually attached for a change, and I didnt pull my arm at all, even on the heaviest ones. Not having to hold back to do so many reps I really concentrated on full hip drive, full extensions rooting all the way through each rep and maximum power output. The bell was flying!

This felt just like the old days and speed squat sets of 2 reps;no sense in holding back as you only had two reps to do. Short rest periods maintain muscle tension. great stuff. AND after throwing around the 72 the next set with the 53 sent that puppy flying! Fun neurological stuff. making the 53 fly really helped put max output on the 62 and 72 as well. the light stuff teaches the body to stay loose so it can contract fast. Tight equals slow.

KB SLed drag

Forget the tire or a sled. I attached my kb to my power belt via an Ironmind daisy chain and towed it through the grass. This is just what I have been looking for. Worried it would tear up the lawn and it didnt dent it. Perfect

20 kg drags
600 feet 30 sec rest
400 feet 30 sec
200 feet 30 sec

20 kb rack walk
100 foot right arm
100 foot left arm x 3 sets

1600 total feet walked.

snatch holds
20 kg x 30 sec each arm 15 sec rest x 4 sets
these felt strong. really pulled the scapula down the entire 30 seconds.
finished the workout as I started. High intensity, short work bout and short rest bout.Max speed, power as well as some heavy stuff as well.

bw 162.2
bf 10.1 % back to being a fatty again, I guess, lol.Its the trendline boss the trendline.

Feel great though back and knee are back in place, for now.

datsit staying loose.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In the 8's baby!

Hit a new low today when the bodyfat scale read 8.9%!! at 162.8 pounds . First time in the eights in long time recent memory. I don't bother measuring if I know I've not had enough fluids. what is also interesting is that I am weighing bf % lower after a sweat whether from training or a bath.

20 minutes rifga , ab release emphasis.lots of back over ball stretches, prone cobras, decompression hangs, L sits and dowward dogs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

This is what makes wrestlers some of the most amazing athletes ever

these guys know how to train hard


Hill work and lots of pullups

Just a slog today. Long day at the office with the normal bs associated with any business and my back was talking to me all morning. Havent had back tension in so long
I've almost forgot what its about. Well I got a good reminder today. I honestly think it's just the barometer dropping as I've been doing the same things and getting fully stretched out.

This will be the first winter in 7 years with no prescription nsaids. should be interesting.
I got the back back into extension but then the knee dropped out. I like to tell people there is only ONE pain; it just moves around the body. I chase it around but havent gotten to get out fully yet. one day. Having very loose ligaments and hypermobile joints sucks. The glory of elite gymnastics.

Also decided to NOT do two handed swings as I of course thought my back was associated with them.bilateral flexion/extensions moves probably still are not the best moves for me.Too much ab work or tension and the lumbar spine freaks out. So transfers it was.

H2H Transfers

44x20x4 sets 3520 pounds
53x20x4 sets 4240

160 reps/7760 pounds.

Not bad. These felt very light, fast and loose. supersetted a 20 k with a 24 kg one and kept the reps at 20 each. This was interesting as I havent done this move in almost a year( for sets/reps anyway). Knew I had to start slow and they felt great. the short stroke of the two handed swings but the looseness in the arm of the hi pull. of course we won't really know until tomorrow :))

Supersetted with Tactical pullups

5,5,5 = 84 total reps

the last two rounds were supersetted with Farmers walks with the 36's
200 feet 5 times= 1000 feet

Heavy Bag

2 songs
30 seconds rest
2 songs

left leg calf raise
bwx5 slow
8kgx5 x2

really focusing on getting the knee fully locked out at terminal knee extension and ankle platar flexion and zipping up all the muscles. its so weak I cant beleive it but of course thats mainly cause the joint wont hold.havent worked this position in years and I used to have really strong calfs.
was getting a wee bit fatigued at the end I must admit but felt better going out than coming in

will weigh later I know I didnt drink enough.