Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stick press/upward shrug for the Yoganator




This movement has done more to de-impinge my shoulder than anything I have done yet. I use a regular stretching stick and slide it up and down the outside of a power rack( as if it were a smith machine) going through the full ROM of a perfectly strict military press.The forerarms stay perpindicular to the ground at all times and this is one of the keys. FIghting to keep the arm externally rotated as the bar passes the head is vital for 'turning on' these easy to deactivate but critical external rotators.
The upward shrugging releases the lower rhomboids in some way normalizing scapula mobility and allowing the humeral head to position itself more in neutral. I dont quite understand how the mechanics actually work but they have! I can wake up relly impinged, go to the rack, do a bunch of these and have it release the teres, the levator , the corocoid brachialis and reset the shoulder! It also has worked wonders for all my clients.
I can now also get the same release with a free movement but the rack was pivotol in finding the correct groove.Slide the bar overhead as if you were holding a big med ball between your elbows.
Sorry for the dark pictures; we took these months ago.

A MUST read; the article that really change my shoulder by Bill Hartman. The shoulder from the inside out.
http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1426252

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Acceleration day.

The Squat Master, Louie Simmons.


That's how I think about wednesdays swing workouts. Trying to get my body standing up as fast as possible each rep and transfering that force into the bell each rep.If the reps start to slow down I am over my limit. Since I did 300 reps in transfer sets of 5/5/5/5 last week I wanted to do something different. I decided on sets of 20 reps per arm but only one arm per set.
I would do 20 reps on one arm as hard and fast as possible., set the bell down and let Joe go, then do the other arm. Worked great. 20 reps worked out to about 40 sec per set which is about the peak time for anaerobic training. The longer it goes the more oxygen dependent the set gets and the less white fiber gets used.Lower intensity is for mondays. Today is sprints.

One arm swings.
16 kg x5/5/5/5x2

24 kg x20 reps per arm
5 sets per arm
200 reps total

reps starting to slow down and lose force so I go to
10/10x 3 sets
60 reps

260 total reps
13,780 pounds

I was hoping for closer to 300 ( or even above) but a serious racoon/cat death match got us up and kept us up in the middle of the night so I didnt get much sleep.Energy ,bell and extension speed started to wane so I shut 'er down.
We thought it was our favorite calico Jello, and I seriously thought I would find a dead cat this morning. Thank goodness she was ok.

Snatch holds
20 kgx 45 sec x 4 sets

this felt great!snatch position is improving daily it seems. Overhead ROM is doing great and the stick press rocks! The two kb/one arm press also seems to be helping, strangely enough.

rack walks 20 kg
200 feet per arm
200 feet per lap
6 laps/1200 feet.

ok I bonked and just got through this. I was not in the mood.the 20 kg seemed heavy. Just tired . The higher intensity of each rep also played a part. Can't sprint for that long, it has an accumulated fatigue effect. This is also the point of Hardstyle and WSB box squat training. High force per rep, low reps per set, short rest periods, high level of total muscular( re; white fiber musculature) overload and fast twich adaptive response set into play.

Low force, low intensity long duration sets work the red fibers, mitochondria, capillaries and oxygen delivery system. Great base and ground work as I am finding out from my monday rep sessions. forgot how that feels; havent been able to do that since 2000 since I hurt my back.
Louie always emphasized LOTS of GPP and being in shape to lift; hence the 12 sets of 2 on below parallel box squats with chains and or bands and only 45 sec rest between sets.Dragging sleds, pulling sleds and lots of extra lower intensity special exercise workouts to increase work capacity and bring up weak points.reverse hypers, pullthroughs, kbs, anything,everything.

Being real strong and being in great shape at the same time feels amazing. I will settle for being in great shape and being able to move with no pain.

except for the shitty night sleep killing my energy this was a good one.Nothing like a big shot of adrenaline at midnight and then trying to go right back to sleep. How the hell do firefighters do that?No wonder they can only work ten days a month.

BW 162.6
BF 8.5%
Water 61.1%

Stir frys and ice cream are back and the bodyfat is down. go figure.

datsit, gotta stretch.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I could fly

Back in the day.My senior year, 1975. another view.

gymnastics is seriously addicting.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Let it hurt.

I definitely have a love/hate thing going with Mondays focus on high rep sets. On the one hand I love what the high reps are doing for me; conditioning and gpp wise. Now if its not a hundred rep set it seems like it's nothing. But I freaking LOATHE doing them,lol. Thank goodness Joeis here to count my reps and yell at me. Helps a lot.Its just a reflex by now for me. Tell me I'm slacking and to push harder in a set and I just go. THis is even better if I am dying inside and want to quit. Something clicks and it just overrides the weakness.

I do have to be very careful with this though as I should NOT override deep fatigue or technique breakdown ever again. Can't afford it. But I feel pretty safe with 16 kg swings,especially at the ass end of a hundred rep set and I am too fatigued to call up much in the way of real force. And I feel square and plumb enough to push things a bit thesedays.Not too much, but just a bit. Gotta have some fun eh?Truth is just not being in searing pain is a lot of fun. Pain puts things in perspective pretty quickly.Have to keep reminding myself of that as I do what I do naturally, keep going forwards.

Warmup:
around body pass( left to right ONLY. same as my pommell horse circle direction)
around knee pass( as above)
figure eights( as above)

12 kg, 5 reps per move x 2 set
16kgx 5 reps per move x2 sets

One arm swings
16 kg x60/60
x30/30/20/20
x 20/20/20/20
x15/15/15/15
x20/20
400 reps
14,400 pounds( this weeks magic number it seems)

The first big set was not that bad and I conciously relaxed my grip at the top of each set( as I rooted) and that helped a lot.Last week 50 reps torched my grip and this tiem 60 was ok.Plus my next set was not impaired as it was last week. The first set worked the grip endurance, the next 4 worked systemic endurance and weren't that bad at all. recovery between sets was solid and Joe and I alternated 3 setsof him to my 1 as he was doing deadlift singles.Still wind was solid and I sprinted the last 20 to 30 reps of each set, pulling the bell down and really standing up as fast as possible.
The first part of each set was very relaxed and focused on pacing.
The 120 rep set took 3:20.Have no idea what pace that means for me yet.Thinking I could train to do 100/100 and that would be a feat,lol. Of pure mascochism.It seems to be going that way on Mondays now.

Two KB/One hand Press
8kg and 12 kg(20 kg)x3/3
12/12kg (24 kg)x3/3x 2 sets!
12kg and 16 kg(28kg) 3/3x 2 sets!!!!!

wow, had to try these again to see if them not hurting my right shoulder was a fluke or not and it doesnt seem to be! Doing aa triple with 62 in my right arm PAINFREE was very wierd. Very interesting groove for me.It did NOT activate my biceps tendon or my teres. Most excellent :))
Something also about the very WIDE grip is not messing with the biceps tendon and having the two kbs stacked on top of each other makes it HARDER, I think to internally rotate the arm. I get stuck just where I need to be. At least thats the hypothesis.

It also seems like the press tension starts at the mouth area rather than from below my chin,even thought thats where the hand is, because of the stacked bells. much higher combined center of mass but it makes it easier, not harder, for me.I dont seem to have a sticking point like I do with the single bell press. I am strangely built and wired, thats for sure.

Halos
12kg x10/10x3
16 kg8/8x3

Rack Walks/16 kg
300 feet per arm
600 foot per lap
3 laps + 200 extra on last pass
2000 feet.

these are getting tough after these 100 rep sets and working all morning. But they are also what test me the best. I so want to give in and cut the reps down and not push my self to do more,especially at the end of the walks when I just want to sit down; but then I ask 'how bad does it really hurt? Let it hurt, how bad is it? Is it gonna kill you? ( thanks furman, though I've been saying that too for years. True knowledges.) Let it then. Just freaking die right here. Go ahead. Ok I'll finish the damn 2000 feet. Good, I win again. Winning, at anything is good for you and builds testosterone as well as confidence.
Everytime you dont do what you set out to do you lose, and lose testosterone and confidence. Doesnt matter what the challenge is, it's good for you to win. Set the bar as low as you want, don't matter,just acomplish it, THEN raise the bar and repeat.

BW 163.2
BF 8.2% ( havent seen this in eons.)
Water 61.5% ( all the extra tea is helping)I guess the weight increase is water in the muscle. Most excellent.

dats it, gotta stretch.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ross Rocks.

This guy has it all.

Myo fascial release

Very interesting article/website on myo fascial pain, trigger point therapy and myo fascial pain management. Good stuff.

http://www.painsociety.com/articletemplate.cfm?id=21

and here's a good list of the muscles' tendencies to be too tight or too long.

Muscles Prone to Tightness
Gastrocnemius
Soleus
Tibialis Posterior
Short Hip Adductors
Hamstrings
Rectus Femoris
Iliopsoas
Tensor Fasciae Latae
Piriformins
Erector Spinae
Quadratus Lumborum
Pectoralis Major
Upper Trapezius
Levator Scapulae
Sternocleidomastoid
Scaleni
Flexors of Upper Limb
Masticatories

Muscles Prone to Weakness
Peronei
Tibialis Anterior
Vastus Medialis and Lateralis
Gluteus Maximus, Medius and Minimus
Rectus Abdominis
Serratus Anterior
Rhomboids
Middle and Lower Trapezius
Deep Neck Flexors
Digastricus
Extensors of Upper Limb

Rifga= Corrective Yoga.

I just realized what my 'rifga' stretching/yoga practice is, at it's heart. It's corrective yoga. My approach is to do the poses/stretches that open me up in the best way to get to anatomical neutral . That is my goal and that is why I stretch early and before exertion.I want to be as plumb and square as possible before I load my body. If I dont 're-open' my structure as exertion and activities tighten it back up, pain increases. A sure sign I am doing something wrong. especially when I can get the pain to diminish by getting closer to square all the time.
That was the major mistake I have made all those years of heavy training and competing. I didnt fully address my serious myofascial imbalances enough and loaded the frame way to hard for how 'bent' it was.
I have never seen any "magic" in basic yoga other than a series of poses held for varying lengths of time and focused on integrating breathing and open primal positions at the same time. Great stuff for sure but I never saw any supra physical mojo to being flexible enough to wrap both ankles around your neck. And I think that learning how to breathe, and hence relax, while working the body is the key component.
When clients ask me about taking yoga my only reluctance is to say that it is not individualized enough for most of them and would overstretch some areas and understretch others. Not good for unstable spines or joint capsules.And certainly not the best and straightest path to "neutral body".
The key is really being able to hold the poses and breathe deeply into them.Gradually increasing one's ROM and comfort zone in those positions.
I found a great calf/ankle stretch in the basic position of kneeling horse stance( a chek position) just by dorsiflexing the left ankle. to Such an incrediblly basic and simple posture but so replete with possibilities to connect to the entire body.Opening up that sides soleus while working knee flexion AND holding neutral spine connects all the dots. SO it's not just opening up the ankle but opening the ankle while manipulating the knee/hip and back angles for optimal balance as well.

This may not make sense to all but remember my left knee only bends 90 degrees and that side ankle is almost as locked as well. These are extreme restrictions but I see minor variations every day in my 'normal' clients that can very well add up to future injuries if they are not addressed early. Especially if they are going to load themselves seriously,either with weight or volume.accumulated micro trauma gets almost all,regardless whether one is weak and can't hold themselves up against gravity anymore or one is strong and pushes the limits their frame can handle in the quest for super health, fitness or performance.

So it's corrective/selective stretching/yoga for me. Just as I am 'corrective' in my approach to exercise selection that is the basis of my stretching yoga practice as well. Neutral is the goal.Not only neutral spine but neutral knee, shoulder, neck, elbow,etc.
Chek was right.

How to set up the 2 kb, one hand swing, by Royce

Much thanks to Royce Mills for showing me an idiot proof way of setting this up.Thanks again Royce.

Guardens's at it again. 2 32 kg no hand TGU!

Cameraman missed the first part but you can clearly see how tough this is!

Rifs arm

I sent Ken Black a pic of me holding a kb overhead when I was thinking of changing logos.this is how he morphed it. pretty cool,eh? Thanks ken.

This is just stupid strong.

This is the strongest ring routine I have ever seen

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Think you can swing? Try this

This was my probably my best event in gymnastics and my second favorite( to parallel bars). Look how much the pommels resemble kb handles.



Course this is some crazy shit too. Man gymnastics was great fun.

Strong is Good.



one 24kg and one 16 kg



2x24 kg. The setup for the second hand was the hardest part,lol

Still pumped up from that Danish RKC video I got some fun stuff in today that I havent even thought of trying in months! Got the basic part of the workout done and then played around with a bunch of 'tricks' that I saw on the video.It went very, very well,suprisingly enough :))

Warmup:
Around the body pass/around the knees pass/ figure eights
8kg for two sets of 8 or so each move
12 kg for two sets of 8
16kg for two sets of 8

I LOVE this move.Reminds me everytime of swinging side horse in gymnastics. I will play around with more H2H from now on as a warmup.

DARCs
36x20x2
53x20

72x20x10 sets
200 reps
14,400 lbs
Havent played with the two pood in a few weeks and I was tentative. It warmed up well and the last half of the sets my groove was back.

2 KB, One arm swing
2 12 kgx 5/5 ( 24 kg)
1 16 kg and 1 12 kg x5/5 ( 28 kg)
1 24 kg and 16x 5/5 (40 kg)
2 24 kg x6/6 ( 48 kg!- this is a PR)
I have done this before and it feels very good to me. It shortens the lever arm when I swing and it seems almost easier for me! I also ALWAYS feel my hips more with this version. FUn too. The grip is no problem but getting it started( as is evident in the video,lol) is another story. I'm sure I could work up to the 32 and the 24 kg (56 kg).
This also makes Kenneth Jays double Beasts ( 2 48 kg=96 kg!) look like another Galaxy away.

Snatch Holds
24kgx 60 sec x 3 sets
this is getting much better,both in overhead position for my right shoulder and the endurance.

Two kb, one hand presses
2 8 kg x5/5
2 12 kg x 5./5
2 16kg x 3 left
2 12 kg x 3 right
this was suprisingly alright on my right shoulder. the raised center of gravity was easier on the joint. very interesting!Another good find.

Open Palm presses( waiters press)
12 kg x5/5
16kgx8/8x2
this also felt good on the shoulder pressing. we'll see. I like the open palm, it helps stretch out my always tight forearms

Face pulls
1x12
1x20

datsit! Good one. gonna stretch.

Friday, May 25, 2007

If there is no will, there is no way.

One of the things I've always told my boys was that one of the key principles in life was to train yourself to able to make yourself do things you didnt want to. If you cannot make yourself do what you do not want to do you cannot accomplish anything. If you can make yourself do what you seriously dont want to,but need to , you can move mountains.
All the important or morally correct things we need to do are hard to do. They require a force of will that is no longer regarded as vital to one's character and that's a shame. That force is discipline,which requires an act of will to be brought to bear. And discipline is just like a muscle; use it, challenge it and its gets stronger, bigger and can exert more force. Let it lie low and rest it gets weak and sallow and smaller. Much harder to get going in an emergency and capable of so much less than it's potential.
The gym , or more correctly, the Courage Corner, is such a critical place in peoples lives just for that reason. A safe, controlled atmosphere to practice ones physical discipline and watch it grow stronger and more alive after each workout.regardless of whether one can make the kitchen a courage corner of its own ,training, for just such a small amount of time and energy invested( as long as its consistent)can pay huge dividends. On many levels.
So many are so concerned with what I call the "Big Program". The perfect program design. First things first. What really matters is "Program Minimum", which to me is the minimal amount of days per week, minutes per day and number of exericses one will ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY commit to doing WITHOUT FAIL OR EXCUSE each week. Indefinitely.
That they know that even if the baby is sick and they had a shitty day at work and absolutely do not feel like training, they can FORCE themselves to do.
Thats the starting point. Once that is done then one can advance into more time and more technicalities.
AS I wrote in this months Hardstyle about the RKC as a Stand Alone program, doing just TGU's and Swings twice a week for 15 minutes sounds easy til both are done with the two pood and you are getting as many reps per set as you can. Do that twice a week without fail for a year and see how you feel. Hell just swing twice a week, as hard as you can that day, for 15 minutes and call me in a year. You will be transformed.
BUt if you get the latest and greatest 5 day a week program that promises to increase your strength or size some ridiculous amount in some ridiculously short period of time don't worry about it working or not because 99 out of 100 will not stick with it long enough to even start to get those gains.
Consistency is much more important than intensity. If consistency is maintained, intensity is right around the corner.

As far as not having time, I did MANY, MANY, MANY workouts at 4:45 am for years because that was the only time I could squeeze it in.Even when my kids were young, even when we were broke. Cause I knew that once I started missing it was all down hill from there. It just gets easier to skip as you get weaker. As your will gets weaker.
And knowing that JUST SHOWING UP is as much a part of the training as any weight that goes on the bar.That THAT ACT OF WILL is the key to you achieving whatever goals you have set for yourself.Cause you can't make any progress if you don't first get to the gym ,eh?
So even if you show up and leave you are still stronger than never getting started and staying on the couch.
When I am having problems getting going I always imagine one of my coaches or mentors waiting for me in the gym, getting ready to impune my manhood for being so damn weak. If Louie or Pavel were waiting to train I would not be dragging my ass no matter how early I got up.It used to be Arnold when I was a bodybuilder but times change eh?LOL.
As Louie would say, 'git er dun'.

And as Pavel would say, " it will make you a better man".And they are both right.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

2007 Danish RKC Video.

This video rocks! What a collection of Monsters, all of them. Kenneth Jay, Mr Jones tearing shit,Whitley!!!! What a horse!Very good promotional video and it kinds of lulls you in with the goofy music and then you see what these guys are doing; effortlessly! Made me sit back and go wow.
I am teaching there next year.Think I have to gain some weight.

Guardens Beastly TGU

Now heres a serious piece of strength work! well done Jacob!



http://guarden.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Speed Day.

Just like this picture. brings back lots of great memories.nobody knows swings like a gymnast.

Back on schedule finally, and for once I didnt feel dead right before the session. Slept well and body feels relatively stable.Still LOTS of stretching thumping and rifga to do but things aren't acute for a change. Course with me wait ten minutes and that can change.
Good to be back focusing on swings again. I like the snatch but know that I can't train it hard at all anymore and should be happen to do it a little. THe bent arms involved do not make my right shoulder happy, whereas the swings actually do. SO swings it is and lots of work to be done perfectly those, that's for sure. It's all easy til its heavy. Or you have to do 100 reps of anything.

Today being speed day I decided to only do 5 reps a side and then transfer, to keep acceleration as high as possible each rep.When you can switch hands before lactate sets in you are testing the overall system more than one particular set of muscles(specifically hand and forearm flexors). Transfering definitely affects a different musculature and lets the force stay high longer than staying on one arm.

One arm swings

16 kg 5/5/5/5x2

24 kg
5/5/5/5x 15 sets
300 reps
15,900 lbs
these went great,very snappy and with good rooting all the way through the rep.really feeling my way around the balance point too, playing with laying back at different times to find the optimal power spot. Maintained good speed for all three hundred although the last 50 was tough on my hands. a bit tender :))

Snatch holds
16kg 60 sec x 3 sets. Right shoulder felt really good. solid set.bicep is loosening up too.

Rack Walks
20 kg x 200feet per arm
200 feet per lap
6 laps/1200 feet/
I was tired and it was late.the extra weight does make a difference though. This will evolve to 24 kg rack walk day.

BW 162

BF 9.1%

Water 60.5%


got LOTS of tea today. made me realize that I havent been drinking near enough.datsit, gotta stretch.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Taking the bell for a walk

The road cyclists I used to ride with had a phrase they used to describe those rides where they just went out and put some miles in. No hills, no sprints, no overdistance ; just 'taking the bike for a walk'. A recovery ride when doing nothing was not an option , yet neither was anything too hard.

So I took the bell for a walk. So often life messes up your training and this weekend was one of those times. Nothing horrible but stupid bssand it took the wind out of my sails today, especially for high rep training day, which I hate under the best of circumstances.

LOTS of waiting around for the training muse or at least some decent anger to show up and kick me in the head but I was just flat and thats all there was to it.Waiting longer wasnt going to make me stronger or the workout easier. I thought of the tv show I saw on the training of the French Foreign Legion soliders and their bootcamp motto of "don't think, just do" and got er done.I still hate high reps but being able to do some decent numbers even when this apathetic shows me my base line fitness is defintely up.

One arm swings
50/50
40/40
30/30
20/20
15/15
10/10/10/10
25/25

400 reps
14,400 pounds

God this was hard getting started, lol. Especially with a 50 rep per arm set which is a pr,even though it is twinky weight. The forearms were burnin' pretty good though at the end of each 50!~I need this grip endurance work. I have good grip absolute strength but I need more endurance. this will help.
For some reason, even dropping the reps each set didnt help all that much. ugh.
BUT, the 25/25 finisher set was probably the strongest of the bunch so it was coming back . good.

Rack walks
16 kg x300 feet per arm
600 feet per lap
3 laps/1800 feet.

these were the longest laps I have done and they were quick. painful but quick.short rest between laps as well.

halo
12 kg x10/10x3 sets

havent done these in awhile and need to.

BW 162.6
BF 9.8%
water 59.5%

definitely been eating too much cereal. love it though.steak tonight.

datsit, gotta stretch.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Push Pull by Brian Siders




Note the pvc pipe under Brians back as he benches. He uses it to help increase his arch.A guess touch and go deadlifts also have a purpose!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bounce back.

Woke up feeling pretty good this morning. A little back stiffness but I slept well( meaning I could turn over without pain) and that was really good sign.One of the things I did yesterday that I know helped was to get back to normal movement and ROM as fast as possible. Once the spasm released( tylenol works MUCH better than Aleve; never used it before- this could be good) I got back to moving normally as best I could.
I think the CNS recognized the 'up to now pain free' ROMs and let me do them . THis helped to normalize things I think.The more you splint the longer you stay tight it seems. The G5 helped SO much.Melted the ab spasms fast.
I was very happy with all that I could do today.

One arm swings
warmup:
12 kg x5/5/5/5x2
16 kgx5/5/5/5x3

work sets
24 kg
5/5/5/5
6/6/6/6
7/7/7/7
8/8/8/8
9/9/9/9
10/10/10/10
180 reps
9540 lbs

this was good enough. back started slowly and loosened up each sets

Snatch( OL pull ascent, corkscrew descent)
16kgx
25/25
20/20
20/20

20 reps a minute pace.focused on keeping the bell close on the ascent and descent and resting at the top. havent really done the corkscrew technique but it's not that hard,especially with the 16kg. really spares the grip too, as it is supposed to. Focused on technique and pace, not power.
Using the ol style pull/yank as I hip extend takes all the pressure off the biceps and also spares the grip. doing a HS swing snatch really works the crap outa the grip.not the best for reps though. Since my back was tweaky and I didnt snatch the 24 today thought I would fool around a bit.

Snatch holds
24kgx
45 secx3 set

Face pulls
3x12
Stickpress
3x8

Very, very happy with being able to train today and not crawling on the floor hoping I can stand up and work monday. I got the lesson on facilitation and it's even fresher in my mind than ever,lol. No need for a refresher course again.No more double kb work or ab dominant stuff.

datsit, gotta stretch.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This should change things a bit.

Water as fuel

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Facilitation.

It's very interesting to me how the universe can work.Fer instance, I have been reading and thinking a lot about tonic and phasic musculature and the whole length tension relationship thing and got a fer real lesson in it the last two days.

It's never fun for me when the universe smacks me in the head, or even worse, the back, but it seems I'm getting better reflexes and am able to see the punch and get out of the way in record time. At least for me,lol.

I thought I could do a little bilateal work with the double kb rack holds but I was worried about it and even though I got mostly out of the way, I got tagged abit the last two days.. Too much glute ab tension and my back gets wonkers quick. And NOTHING scares the shit out of me more than my back going out. Just that simple. Give me a knee or shoulder dislocation any ol time.

So when a tonic muscle gets facillitated it basically contracts when it shouldnt; like when your erectors fire when you do a situp or a crunch. You dont want your back locking up as your abs try to flex the spine. SO Cheks approach is to stretch out the facilitated muscle BEFORE trying to activate the antagonist, to get it into balance.

Those rack holds activated my mighty abs and they locked down on my erectors ,quadratus, deep hip rotators and medius.I SO wanted to release the back caused it seemed so tight but I k new I had to go to work on my abs and got on the floor and did upward dogs, back stretch over the stability ball and overhead decompressions from the chin bar but the problem with all of those, is that when the back starts to 'splint' or spasm and lock up even trying to get light stretching activates the stretch reflex and you get MORE contraction, not less.

SO out comes the G5 thumper and just let it hum over the abs and obliques and it just melts the ab tension and with it goes the back tension. Wow, that things just melts spasm and trigger points. This saves SO much work on my thumbs too. Looking back to the earlier methods with the 'thumbs of death' and sticks and early thumpers it seems getting these facillatated muscles to open has come a long way.Now I can actually stretch again. Cool.

BUt that was too freakin close and is a good reminder NOT to get greedy. Shit can happen in a second.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How to tape your hands.






This has proven to be a most effective method of taping hands as a preventative to tears or after one has already torn.I used it for years a gymnast and a gymnastics coach with athletes that tear their hands to shred every day training. If you tape horizontally the tape rolls up and it doesnt last.

Use Johnsons athletic tape ,the cloth porous kind. the cheap stuff and or plastic tape DOES NOT WORK.
Once you set the strips you can anchor at the body and at the end of the workout take off the anchor and reuse the "grip" another day or two. Or just retape but the setup is durable. There is an art to getting the tape right over the hot spot(s) and not rolling or bunching and practice makes perfect.

If you are going to the June Cert PLEASE PRACTICE these techniques. I swear I taped 30 hands each day at the April Cert each day. Team Leaders and assistants should definitely learn this technique as well so they can use with their team.

The cert is tough on hands, no real way around it and having this technique avaible really makes a huge difference because you can still swing,snatch and clean even if you have a tear with this setup.

Have fun!

Rif

All killer no filler.

It was a long ass day at work today with seemingly everybody needing bodywork. My G-5 thumper kicks ass and its better than using my thumbs but man it still works my hands wrists forearms biceps and thus, shoulders. Plus, then my arms are too wrecked to work on myself,lol.

I know,cry me a river; life's a bitch then you die.Get to work.

One Arm swings
36x5/5/5/5x2

54x5/5/5/5x 15 sets
300 reps
15,900 lbs

This went well and 20 reps sets where you switch every five are freaking cake,lol after 100 reps.This is the effect I was hoping to get from my endurance sets; making the low rep stuff seem like nothing so I don't hold back at all on each rep.

Trained with Joe today and he was snatching the two pood like a toy so it was much easier to do my little swing workout.As usual once I got started and got out of my head and into my body for real the workout was great.Strong today too,although my back and hips are tired from the 100's.

Waiters walks/12 kg
200 feet per arm
400 feet per lap
3 laps/1200 feet

dropped down to the TINY 12 kg and did 200 feet per set. Shoulders are tired from the snatches and all theheavy and light holds. The 12 kg was the right weight and they went well.

Two KB Rack holds
2 16 kg x 1.5 min for 3 sets

I am starting to like this GS inspired form of masochism.Especially perfect for guys like me that can't move well anymore but know how to sit still and suffer. Tried to used it as a standing meditation and that was helpful. Hold 2 32 kgs for ten minutes is a ridiculous amount of total body static strength and endurance.

One technique I like is 'find the center of the pain'. When something hurts instead of trying to get away from it, of resisting it try going into the pain and try to find the center of it.Find the exact spot where it hurts the most, and then find the center of that. and then again and you'll be suprised and what you will find.

I find that it is impossible to find the center and the more you seek it the more elusive it gets. ANd, as that is happening, you notice that the "pain" is nowhere near as intense and has dispersed a bit; no center to be found. Pain has a spectrum of course and what one perceives as very intense in one instance can become quite mild with a different mind set.

It is boring as hell, though, that's for sure.

About an hour.

BW 161.8
BF 10%
Water 59.5%

Datsit,gotta stretch. all meat no potatoes today. felt good but i have to watch my back, its pretty fatigued and it's mainly from the reps. Time for a back off week.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Great new blog!

Doug Nepodal, RKC and Team Leader has a great new blog out. Doug is the real deal, both as an athlete and an instructor and has a great eye,something you can't buy.Enjoy!


http://dougnepodal.blogspot.com/

The Ability to suffer.

Bernard Hinault. Suffering strongly.


My ability to suffer is increasing, a sure sign I am getting in much better shape, cardio wise, than I have been in a long time. Although I hate high reps with a serious passion I know how much they do for me on many levels and it was great that I could finally drop some ego and machismo and use the 16 kg and focus on really building a base of endurance.It does feel good after Saturdays heavy pounding with the snatches and heavy swings. And it's only the beginning.

As usual I can never tell what kind of day it will be going in and I didnt feel particularly spunky at all today,and, also as usual, wondered if I could get even ONE set of 100 today, much less multiples. BUt I dropped the two hand swing and just focused on one arms and darcs and things went very well indeed.Dont need a lot of warmups when the weights are light and the reps are high.

Combination one arm swings and darcs

16kgx5/5/5/5x2

16kg
30/30+ 40 darcs
30/30+40 darcs
30/30+40 darcs
35/35+30 darcs PR- first time I've done four 100 rep sets!
10/10/10 darcsx2 rounds 60 reps
40 darcs ( just to get to 500 reps)

500 reps
18,000 lbs!

Wow, great great workout! Didnt see that coming. The first 100 rep set was so easy I couldnt beleive it. same with the second and the third wasnt bad at all. set out to only do 70 on the fourth set but it was so easy I finished it up.Stellar.Recovery is very fast too, time between sets is dropping as well.

High rep kb work always reminds me of climbing hills on my road bike and roadies take great pride in their ability to suffer greatly and still keep the pace and make the climb strongly. Being in pain is no reason to be weak.Nothing like strength endurance work to make you understand that it's ALL in the mind.And that all training is really mental training.The body only does what you tell it to, from the concious or unconcious.

Snatch holds 16 kg
x90 sec
90 sec
60 sec these are not that much easier than with the 24 kg! These hurt.

Rack walks 16 kg
300 feet per arm
600 feet per lap
3 laps/1800 feet.
these were solid and pretty fast. I just wanted to get em dun :))

10 min RIFGA

BW 162.3
BF 9.1%
Water 59.8%

datsit gotta stretch

Genetics

Paul Chek as a kid. Who said genetics didnt make the biggest difference?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chek on Chek

Very interesting piece done by Paul on Paul on T Mag magazine:


http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=885647

Paul Chek


Since I am presenting on Length/Tension Relationship imbalances at the RKC Level 2 I decided to really start organizing my ideas. There is a lot of material and I only have two hours, lol.So, I went back to my beginings and pulled out Paul Cheks Scientific Back Training video series.This information changed my life forever and set me on the path that got me to where I am today.I wouldnt have appreciated kettlebell and their importance in the 'most basic functional training' paradigm anywhere near as much had I not gone through my Chek phase first.

It was 1998 when I discovered Paul Chek's Scientific Back Training by accident. I saw his video on squatology advertised and, being a certified, squat training information FREAK at the time I decided to order it and then realized the entire course was available for not much more than the one video. I need the continuining ed credits for my personal training cert anyway.
When I got through the tapes I was another person. I couldnt beleive this one guy could be so smart and answers to so many of the questions I had about my body, my injuries and how best I needed to go about training my clients.

THis was the beginning of the 'functional training' era of PT and I was so happy to found Chek when I did.His corrective exercise approach was light years ahead of everything else I was reading and his understanding of anatomy,physiology,neuromuscular connections, biomechanics and orthopedics and his multi-interdisciplinary approach to getting the best results was mind boggling! Plus he was a total stud athlete who walked his talk to the Nth degree and that always counts big time with me. He was self taught for the most part but brilliant in his passion for finding real answers and totally devoted to the cause. He had scads of time in with clients and really fixing people, making them strong and preventing more injury at the same time. Just what I wanted to do.He was a neuromuscular therapist and worked on bodies all the time and knew just how badly muscles could behave and tweak a person if the root causes werent not found and fixed. His appreciation of Vladimir Janda so early just shows how smart he was.

At the time I was a 'regular' personal trainer, focusing on performance enhancement via bodybuilding, powerlifting,cardiovascular and nutritional techniques. After getting certified by Chek I entered a new realm of training people, one that sought to seek out potential injury sites, balance them out to avoid injury( pre-hab) with corrective exercise program designs as well as heal people's( and my own ) overuse injuries with a combination of stretching, strengthening,soft tissue work and repatterning movements. All focused on the seven functional primal patterns ( squatting,lunging,pushing, pulling ,bending twisting and gait).

I knew that with a knee that would only bend 90 degrees and a sport( powerlifting squatting) that required one bend the hip below 90 degrees that this could cause some orhtopedic problems. I didnt really know how badly I was screwing myself til I saw those tapes. And yet I still ignored it trying hard to fix the imbalances while still loading my badly bent frame waaaay past what any reasonable person would do. Passion is not reason and I have always had more of the former than the latter.

And then in 2000 there was no ignoring it and what Chek had fortold in the tapes had come true for me. My aggregious length tension imbalances torqued my spine until it could stand it no longer and it broke. Years and years of compensations, imbalances, scar tissue and inflammation would all be required to be addressed; full time now and heavy lifting was OUT. Probably forever but definitely for the immeditate present. That's when I discovered that as much as I loved squatting with a barbell I loved walking and working MUCH more. Oh yeah, and NOT being in ridiculous amount of searing pain.

And Chek's methods gave me the blueprint, showed me exactly what I needed to do to square and plumb myself. Which muscles I needed to stretch, which ones I needed to strengthen and how to go about it. Which I did, like I do everything, in total earnest.I watched and read and studied that series until I had it mastered and then I took his High Performance Core conditioning series and his Advanced Swiss Ball Methods for rehab course. All excellent but none so much as that first Scientfic Back training course. ANd an approach I still use to this day and one that is paying off big time for me.

Had I used my brain and stopped squatting and deadlifting so heavy earlier it would have been much better but hey, what can I say ;0))

They informed my methods and my approach with my clients and are very much responsible for me getting so many people's backs, shoulders and knees better and avoiding surgery.Or being able to come bask ASAP after surgery. Also, being able to trouble shoot potential problem areas ahead of time with his basic CROM assesments and using the same length/tension balancing approach to keep people as square and plumb as possible.

Watching him speak so articulately and deeply about his subject impressed me as it did in 1998. The guy is sharp.And the info holds up very well.I know his soft tissue approach has made a world of difference for me and my clients. The idea of using soft tissue modalities to releive trigger points which would postively affect length /tension force couples in the body is very cool.
more than one way to open up a tight flexor or faciliated muscle.

The introduction of the kb as the exercise tool of choice to utilize all those primal patterns(almost all at once) was the next step in my physical evolution and healing. THe more i used the single kettlebell movements as the cornerstone of my movement patterns the more the body 'reorganized itself' in a natural way that doing isolated movements,with bodybuilding type methods never could.

Not to say that they weren't ( aren't ) needed. One needs isolation sometime,especially post injury or surgery. But isolation ( as Chek states too) need to transition into integration or it stagnates ones progress. IMO the KB is a superior tool for the average person( or the previously injured person) to transition to as opposed to barbells or dbs. They would be next after kb work ,imo.

Back to the video series, I still have a lot of remembering to do.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Some serious one arm rows.

This from powerlifter and cancer survivor Matt Kroczaleski. 175 lbs for 33 reps, no straps.

Training for real.


Saturdays always used to be a special day. It was squat day and the entire week revolved around it.It was prepared for and focused on like it like a religious Jew would prepare for the Sabbath. It was indeed Holy to me and it could take me to places only similar serious acts of committment can. But it was a fight. Between your soul and heart, a cold uncaring barbell and gravity at it's meanest. I liked that. It was simple, straightforward and up to me what I got out of it.
When I couldnt do that anymore I felt lost and confused for a long time. My injuries had to be dealt first and primal and very basic abilities had to be rebuilt.When I stopped snatching and pressing I really thought I might not be able to do them again if I wanted to stay out of shoulder pain but now I am thinking differently. The shoulder is coming around now like I didnt know that it could and the program design seems to have brought up the strength while allowing healing to occur. Not perfect by any means but now I have the movements that seem to put things back in balance very quickly.
Today was like the old days. Nick squatted 495 for 3 sets of 2 EASY, Palmer had swing PR's and I felt solid in my snatches and swings. Everybody was kicking ass and pushing hard, the music was loud and gravity was light. It was good. I have earned my weekend now.

Snatch
warmup:

one arm swings with 16 kg

10/10 x 3sets
swing snatch transer 16 kg
5 swings/snatches each side x 2 sets
snatch transfers

5 each side

24 kg warmup
swing snatch transfer 5 each side
snatch transfer 5 each side]

worksets

24 kg snatch
13/13
12/12
11/11
reps =72

not bad at all. Havent done that with the 24 in long time.These were much easier than the last time I did them.All that overhead holding is helping.My old formula held that I needed to do 4 sets of 15/15 to be able to snatch 25/25. I want to be able to be within spitting distance of the RKC snatch test ( in the open division) all the time. I just have to limit the volume of snatches I do and I will be fine.

Used a very close to the body style, pulling back from my upper back, still standing up as strongly as I can.Just have to keep the load off the biceps and on the upper back. I will slowly build this up to 4 sets of 15/15 and on occasion take some higher rep sets.But NOT rely on them for the bulk of my volume as I was doing before.

I also would like to be able to do 100 reps in the ssst, which never thought I should test because of my shoulders.didnt want to push to find the edge anymore but I think it will be fine becasue that level is NOT the edge anymore. All this special exercise training has definitely provided a strong carryover.

One arm swings with 32 kg
6/6
7/7
8/8
9/9
10/10
10/10
10/10
10/10
10/10


160 reps

11,520 pounds

This was very strong as well.Solid hip snaps and solid rooting. So great to play with the two pood like this; no big deal and being able to feel strong and powerful again.I can see the 40 kg in my future as well as some two kb one arm swings as well.

Snatch holds
24 kg x
60 sec
60 sec
45 sec

Face pulls/stick presses 4 rounds

leverage press 4 rounds of 5 with 12 kg



Thursday, May 10, 2007

Grad Workout April 2007 RKC



THis rocks, what a great finish, the energy was insane, like a power meet but better.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

One arm swings.

Man it's been a long week with tons of new clients taking slots of tons of vacationing regulars. New clients are always much harder with mucho demonstrations, evals ,etc.etc. Way more energy output,especially when I do them back to back to back. Good news is my waiting list is almost full ,lol, so its a problems I want to have.

Ran late and it's hot but I am digging how it feels on the joints and muscles. just have to very more diligent about staying hydrated in the afternoons. Normally I drink water and herb tea all morning during working and "fasting" then I dont drink much when I start the eating phase until the end. When you are more thirsty than hungry you are done eating according to the Warrior Diets inoventor Ori Homflacher. Have to really ramp it up cause I'm a sweater( not a cardigan though).

One arm swings:
36x10/10x2

53x 10/10x 12 sets
240 reps
12,720 pounds

not a bad starting back week.power feels good and snap is strong. All swings head height or above.

Waiters Walks
36x100 foot per arm
200 feet per lap
4 laps/800 feet.

right shoulder is tight.Not enough stick presses lately, it's been feeling too good,lol.

Two kb rack holds
2/16 kg x 1 minute
Stick presses
8 reps
Face pulls
10 reps

three rounds of each of these. The rack holds are hard, as expected but more biring than anything else. 10 minutes with 72's would be monsterous. Keepin my left knee locked for too long though is never good, hard to get it to bend again,lol.But I like these and will get up to a few minutes per set, then go up in weight.

The stickpresses are golden and unlocked my shoulder almost immediately . I also need to keep the face pulls in their as the rhomboids/external rotators get weak fast it seems. was hot as hell today and it was no problem Time to build up my heat tolerance for the June certs I have.

Being able to be strong in the heat is tough. When I was ultra training I used to do hour runs in Miami in August at noon and got to where it didnt bother me at all.. LOL, I know, only maddogs and englishman but hey, I never claimed to be sane, just passionate!


Dats it, really gotta stretch.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Joe presses the Beast

Joe finishing the second third of the Beast Challenge last year. Only one inch in the pullup and Joe would have been the lightest Beast Tamer. Next year, after a TSC or so, I predict Joe will Tame the Beast. Great photo, you can smell the intensity!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back in the saddle.Reps day.

Didnt miss this light, high rep day last week at all.Really glad Joe is there to count reps and make sure I do what I said I would :)) Today is the first real hot day we've had in awhile and while my joints and muscles love the dry heat ,90 degrees is always hot to me.

The knee is back in and what an amazing difference that makes. Working on the inner head of the gastroc seems to be a real hot trigger spot right now and releasing it puts the fibula head back in pretty quickly. Its the fibula sliding out that seems to cause all the instabilty.I've hated working in the calves as it is probably the most painful area to get trigger point work on in my entire body. BUt thats where the action is so there ya go.

Thought I would delay some of the 'fun' with combination swing sets of one arm swings, two hand swings, and darcs. I still hate two hand swings. Just doesnt fit me well.


Combination swing sets
16 kgs x one arm swing/two hand/darc
10/10/10/10 ( 40)
12/12/12/12/ (48)
14/14/14/14 (56)
16/16/16/16 ( 64) x 2 rounds

416 reps
14,976 lbs

will go back to doing either darcs or one arm swings next week. cant beleive I was doing 100 rep sets just a few weeks ago,lol. I hate reps.

Snatch holds
16 kg x 45 sec
60 sec
140 sec

these are getting good. am really setting into the shoulder well.

Rack walks
16kgx200 feet per arm
400 feet per lap
4 laps/1600 feet.

Man it feel like I havent done these in ages. good to get back on schedule.
Joe pulled very well today and really found the groove with totally raw 427 for 5 singles(no belt either) still thinking more about form and groove than anything. The kid is seriously strong.

Injuries, complaining and blogging.

I've been reading some interesting posts on a not to be mentioned site about how it seems I constantly talk more about my injuries than anything else, and how, as a Sr RKC I should be magically and fully healed by the kb, as if I never destroyed a major weight bearing joint 30 plus years ago. Well of course these are people who dont know me, never met me and dont realize how far I've come from whence I started training full time with the kb as 3 years ago.

Let me just say this up front: I probalby should have had my knee replaced 5-10 years ago as was recommended to me by Dr Dillingham, the team Doc of the 49'ers. The knee only bends 90 degrees, and only has bent that much since 1974,which causes as much problems as any other aspect of having no internal ligament structures, no meniscii, no articular cartilage and LOTS of very active arthritis.

Getting the knee to sit straight(er) under these conditions is a full time project and I have to say that most if not all of my detractors would not only not be training as hard as I am( have been) they wouldnt be doing much of anything.The fact is it is getting better all the time and being able to stand and walk for 14-16 hours a day for 4 days straight is as much an accomplishment to me as some of my heaviest lifts. Getting off all prescription meds was a great thing for me as well.Being able to walk 30 minutes straight made me as happy as a 500 plus pound squat used to.
Each day, little by little I decode another piece of this puzzle called physical balance. When joints are truly injured; and I mean really destroyed, as my knee and my shoulder were, it changes things FOREVER, and thats no joke. Physical abilities usually DO NOT get better with age and joints are right at the top.This is another reason I am so adament about kids not training or competing so hard so early. ONce you get hurt for real, you are never the same.

Of course these malcontents who never really put themselves on the line, never really pushed themselves to be the best they could be, never really took any real chances physically but just sat back and did a little of this and a little of that are pretty much just fine now in their middle age dotage.Of course they never really accomplished anything either but who cares now? It's so easy to pretend the COULD HAVE had they really WANTED to. But they know the truth.

The truth is their is a price that has to be paid for greatness, or even attempts at greatness and these costs sometimes have to be paid over a lifetime, when the audience is gone, and the lights fade and their is no glory left. Pain is forever, glory is extremely temporary. Especially when one's peers care not for what you have done, just what have you done for me lately. BUt it doesnt matter because I do what I do, as I have done since I was 14, for myself. You gotta please yourself cause thats who you really live with.

And I blog for myself. When I started this thing 3 plus years ago it was just as an online way of keeping my training log and notes to myself about what I was doing and strategies for getting there. The fact that ANYBODY reads it is great but it is for me more than anything. It has evolved now and I am aware that some people do read it on a regular basis which makes me work harder to NOT change how I approach it.

I write about what is at the forefront of my mind from my training and my goals perspective.Many, many times it is how I going to( God willing) find away to STILL keep training despite the pain and issues brought about from injuries that are old and very serious. I will not quit. I will find a way to get better and stronger.If I get beat down I will get back up, as I have for the last 32 years.Some see it as complaining. ANyone who knows me the last thing I complain about is my injuries or my pain.I picked it, I play it.That doesnt mean I dont think and analyze and observe what I am doing so I can make it better and avoid doing the same thing again. As I said in an earlier post, training is the source for me and I learn many things; not being able to have everything I want for one.

Many of those criticizing me have accomplished absolutely nothing themselves but still feel they can pass judgement. Talk is cheap,especially on the internet.
For those who are bored with reading about my injuries and strategies for finding ways around them I have a simple solution : DONT READ MY BLOG.

There, that was easy.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Mechano receptors

Something Pavel spoke about last weekend at the cert was the different reactions one could elicit if you chose to stimulate the mechanorectors in the heel of the hand versus the ones in the thumb pad. He said the MR in the heel of the hand elicited an extension reflex and stimulated the tris and helped extend the arm whereas the ones in the palm of the thumb would stimulate the long head of the biceps and flex that as well as help flex the shoulder.

This explains a lot. Snatches and cleans tend to have me doing a lot of work with my arm slightly flexed right before the bell goes into the bottom or right after the hip snap on the way up. The weight gets much more into the front of the hand. When I just do swings I can keep the weight way over into the heel of the hands. Have the callouses right under the last two fingers.

Swings stimulate the extensor relflex on me and help open up my shoulder as the bent arm movements tend to do the opposite. Cool.

The KB leverage press, the 'out' version where the weight is on the heels is going to get a lot of work from me. This could be the triceps exercise I've been looking for.

The only thing harder than figuring it out

is remembering to do it. I've been wondering what sets my leg to getting quite so torqued when I overdo it( either with ballistics, walking or even too much standing- too much tension!).First thing that happens when my knee starts to hurt is that I shift over to my right leg and if I dont take the time to reset my base even when the knee lets up I am shifted onto my right leg. After I stretch I have to take the time to center myself by starting the balance on my left leg, then placing the right.

I have been doing some standing "meditation" if you will, of late, just standing as square as I can and trying to get as relaxed as possible in that position. I don't need a bosu,my frame gets me as wobbly as I need to be for balance training,lol.

But I have to base the stance off the center point of my left leg and then things unlock much more easily.And I have to remember to freakin do it,even after I feel square.

I just don't get it.

I've been watching videos of elite and amateur GS competitors, reading GS training logs and forums and contemplating the discussions I read about how to train,specifically, to improve one's GS scores.
What I don't get is how anyone, much less an experienced and educated trainer, could say that training in GS style( sorry VF, to me that's exactly what it is, a specific style of using the kettlebell) would create ANY carryover to sports that require speed, power or strength. endurance and pacing yes but speed and power? No.

Any trainer that has an athlete, say a sprinter, weightlifter,powerlifter or football player come to them for supplemental training with kettlebells and who gives them a strict GS protocol program design is doing them a great disservice, imho. One could make the case for GS training for MMA or boxers perhaps but I would still argue against that as the sole method of using kbs.

It would be the same as if you had a sprinter come to you as a trainer and you gave them long slow distance runs as the gist of their program design. Great sprinters will balk if you ask them to run a mile continuously, much less five.Yes, both styles are still running but going long and slow will prepare you to go: you guessed it, long and slow.

And yes I know GS competitors aren't even supposed to think about using the 32kgs bells until they can comfortably press them for numerous reps, and yes that will make one stronger. But that is NOT the basis of GS training. Increasingly longer, paced timed sets designed to get one to being able to go the full ten minutes distance is the first key to GS as far as I can tell from what I've read. This makes TOTAL sense for GS athletes. It does not for power and strength athletes, not for the average person who most of the time desparately needs more strength as well as a higher VO2 max. High intensity interval training, as well as the high tension, linking the bodyparts techniques , the kind the RKC promotes, is much more applicable to these populations and I haven't heard the argument against that that is even close to convincing me.

Arguing that GS does not promote minimal energy output is disengenuous when all one has to do is watch the videos and see first hand the energy saving techniques that are the cornerstone of the sport. Again, I love the sport and if I had the shoulders and knees for it might give it a go and think it would make any who undertake it seriously tough ,as only hi rep endurance activities can but it is not good for strength and power athletes.Its perfect for masochistic minimalists like me and many will be drawn to the sheer simplicity of the athletic task.

And using the strength exploits of Mr Federenko as an example of how strong one can be and do GS makes as much sense as saying training like Ed Coan will make you as strong as he. Ed could squat 500 lbs at 150 pounds in his first meet.Federenko was a World Champ by 18 if I'm not mistaken and thats great genetics meeting the perfect opportunities.


But just as when I was a competitive powerlifter I did NOT make my clients squat and deadlift with barbells just because I liked to, the Gs style of KB training is probably not the best prescription for most of your clients. Strength based biomechanical positions, biomechanical breathing techniques, learning the keys to increased tension, force production and power ,progressively taught and increased will go much further for far more clients as well as give way more carryover. THe KB "what the hell" effect is real no matter what it's detractors want to fantasize.Just because you can't explain it does not mean it's not real.

Plus, like all sports , anatomy is destiny and our best US GS competitor, Marty Farrell, is built almost exactly like the top GS guys ones sees on youtube. Coincidence? I don't think so.ANd to those that say there is only one "right" way to lift a kettlebell they are correct. The way that gets you the results you are after. Which is to say there are many ways. If you want maximum strength, speed,power and incredible cardio results spend some time learning the methods of the Kettlebell School of Strength, the RKC.

Congrats to all who are competing in the NAKF GS Nationals held in Miami this weekend and may you all have many PRs! Just remember that just because you love a sport doesnt mean its the right training method for your students or your clients.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I've caught the snatch bug.

Again. Suprise surprise,lol. It's just such a cool movement it's hard to stay away. I do plan on approaching it much differently this time though. Instead of focusing on repetition snatches I will take a page out of Tracy's book and do alternating swing/snatch reps. This always puts me in good position to maximize momentum which keeps me snatching from my hips and the swing, instead of the arm.
The biceps and forearms just dont like it when I do olympic style snatches and I just cant seem to get the big swing I want with rep snatches. This might work. Plus as evidenced by wednesdays workout I really detest hi rep snatch sets.I dont need to cook my grip anymore than work already does.Opening up my forearms has had a lot to do with the releases in my shoulder as well.
SO:

Swing/snatch/transfer:
36x5/5x2 sets( one swing, one snatch one transfer five times each arm)

53x8/8x5 sets
8 swings and 8 snatches per set
40 total swings
40 total snatches
80 total reps
4240 pounds

these felt great! This definitely puts me in an optimal hip position to snatch.excellent.shoulder feels fine.reps were fast and strong.

One Arm Swings
53x10/10x 5 set
100 reps
5300 lbs

Good to get some volume in

72x5/5
x6/6
x7/7
x8/8
52 reps
3744 lbs


These got stronger each set.solid.

total reps= 232
total weight=13,284

Not a bad start back.

Leverage Presses
12kgx doubles both in and out
16 kg x singles both in and out

these are freaking HARD and VERY interesting.Caught this on Jason Browns site

http://www.kettlebellathletics.com/KettlebellTrainingVideos.html

really interesting exercise and right up my alley.The out position gets the triceps great and hardly any deltoid. Could be my next favoite exercise.

Halos
12kg
3x12

datsit, gotta stretch.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Training is the Source

Everything I know about training and the body I know because I tried it out for real in the gym and on my body. Of course I have read and studied and learned from many great books ,coaches and teacher. I was tempted to go down the academic road but instead chose the "race track" as the good Dr Hatfield called competition and real training. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I have to keep remembering and relearning this as I go down this road and the landscape continually changes.

My clients gets the benefits of all my injuries and attempts at rehab. Once something is tweaked I get DRIVEN to figure it out, open it up, get it back to normal. Or at least what passes for normal at any given moment :)) As fast as possible.

ANd since the next step off a peak is always down if you plan on scaling any heights you better get good and learing how to fix things yourself. At least a little bit.
Chiros and masseurs are great but you better be able to do some basics or its gonna be an even slower trip, anywhere.

Once something tweaks or locks up I stretch or work on the area from the moment I get up til I go to sleep. And sometimes when it wakes me up in the night then too.

But the real work comes when I am done working and can fully relax as I stretch things out.Strething at work is maintenance at best. As Pavel said you must "relax into stretch' and it takes a lot of focus to actually relax everything. Especially when it's in pain.Or at least it does for me. But the more I move and open it up the faster it heals. Not moving it keeps things hurt and tight MUCH longer. SOmetimes forever.


My left leg and knee got pretty tight this last weekend and its taken me til today to get some of the looseness back. It brought back the bad old days three years ago when I was seriously contemplating knee replacment. Vioxx was off the market, I could barely get off the floor with a crane and my knee hurt, bad, with every step.

When my calf and hammie tighten up it twists my already torqued knee and 'she just won't take no weight,captain'.Not fun.ANd getting it open, once it really locks up, takes some serious time and brought back just how much bodywork and stretching I had to do,everyday, to get things even close to normal and with less big pain.
Of course 3 years ago,just daily walking would bring that much pain and now I could race through airports, be on my feet for 15 yours a day and demo kbs all day long too with minimal upkeep to keep that pace. Course, as with everything, there ain't no free lunch and its been payback time all week.

LOTS of the adhesions and locked muscle is in my soleus, gastroc and peroneals ; once that ankle locks up the tensions and restrictions go right up the chain. Left too long this will make my back hurt too as I will not be walking square. So it's 'however long it takes" to thump, stretch and massage it out and make human flesh of that side of beef jerky that is my left leg.

I can see the calf is the new territory to conquer , I can really see how its holding my knee ROM back and is the source of most of my knee pain right now.

But I can see the painfree light ahead though and I realize just how far I've come in three years since I got my RKC.It blows me away and I will do my swing workout tomorrow and be back on track in less than a week. Not bad. I just have to keep training and keep listening to what the body is telling me. Keep building the base and expanding my work capacity as well as my mobility.

To get what you really want, in terms of athletic, fitness or, really any goal ,one must do ,or at least try, whatever is necessary to accomplish that goal or you can't really bitch about not having it, imo.Once you figure out what it takes, you then have to figure out if it's worth it to you to do what it takes.Many times , when people really are truthful with themselves , they are NOT willing to do it. That's ok, just don't pretend. Many times the price is too high. Set a smaller goal.

And if you are willing to do it,whether it's stretch as much as necessary to get loose, or lift as much as necessary to get strong, the best thing I've heard is:

"Yard by yard is hard; Inch by inch is a cinch"

This could be my training philosophy. Small bites.

I have to take bending this knee more seriously as well as opening up the calf.

Today:

about two hours of RIFGA stretching, spread out from 4 am- 4 pm.
More to come.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Got THAT our of my system.

Came back from the cert itching to do some repetition snatches after seeing all my comrades having so much 'fun' doing theirs. I havent done rep snatches in months and havent done anything more than ten reps in more than a year, I'm sure.

So, what better time to test it than after two missed workouts and a weekend in the sun,lol?
Now I remember why I hate rep snatches. For me it comes down to a test of my grip more than anything( as it did before) and with my massive forearms (:)), which pump up mucho quickly, it's not that much fun.
Lungs and wind was fine, legs were fine, just a pretty serious forearm pump.Good to have done it and now I dont have to do them anymore.I wasnt stupid enough to test with the 24 kg but the 20 was just fine today.GIve me heavy weight and low reps anyday.

Snatch
16 kg x10/10x2
20 kg x23/23
x15/15

man it doesnt look like anything when you write it down( and to all the gs studs out there it isnt anything, I know) but what it tells me is that with just the sheer minimum of practice I can pass the Open level snatch test for my weight( 24/24) witht he 24 kg when I want to. So it's back to swings swings and more swings.

I also think if I put in practice with high rep swings on each arm I would fix my grip pumping problem as well without having to snatch for reps.


Clean and Press

20kgx3/3
24 kgx3/3 x 3 sets

I figured since I was talking my right shoulder for a ride I might as well go all the way. Havent pressed with the right arm in months and after doing a bottom up clean and press with the 25 kg at the cert I was itching to press a bit as well. This also was so easy it was laughable. All those stick presses have paid off and the shoulder tracked as well as it ever has!

Stick press/face pulls

4 sets of 8/12

One arm swings
20 kg x10/10
24 kg x10/10x 4 sets

Ah, now this feels right,lol.

Snatch holds
16 kg x
40 sec
50 sec
60 sec ea arm.

this always feels good.

BW 163
BF 8.7% (!)
Water 61%

wow, that was a surprise,especially with all the chowing down and not working out I've done the last two days. Nice.

dats it, almost got my left leg stretched out, alittle more to go.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Will Also pressed the Beast.

So fast I missed the shot. Good thing Denny didnt.
Hoo Rah Will!


Food and sleep.

AS Cmdr. Jack Reape would say, want to recovery faster? eat more. And yesterday and today I have and I can feel the increase in my recovery already.Warrior Diet got me through the weekend strong but I lost 3-4 pounds and needed to fill up the tank again.

Deep sound, long enough sleep and real food; food that looks like it did when it came out of the ground when it's on your plate are the two best items for recovery I know. I loaded up on garlic, onions, spinach and peppers and I can feel the difference.Food is not just about calories but nutrients. SInce I gone over to eating plenty of complex carbs in the form of veggies and not so much grains I can feel how critical minerals,especially trace minerals, must be to our health and recovery.

I love to be a training monk and not have my routine disturbed but it's good for me to get out of my rut and push my soccial skills a bit once in awhile. I loved teaching so much this weekend;it's such a sharp contrast to the one on one work that I do pretty much do exclusively.Group dynamics are much different than one on one. I have a feeling I am going to be doing much more group work in the future.

Lots of floor work and vibration work today too. Knee is opening up will do some js band traction later.

Big Will Pistols the Beast

Will got this on his second attempt, pressed it so fast I literally couldnt get the video going and barely missed his pullup. He will be a Beast Master the next time he tries this I'm sure. Will was SO helpful to all of us, Instuctors and students alike this weekend; what an incredible guy and fantasic instructor.