Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Warrior's Way.

I've never been a soldier or been to battle but I've been a warrior for most of my life. At least by my definition. To me a warrior is one who takes up the call and goes to battle, regardless of who or what the enemy is.Or the challenge. One who is undaunted by the challenge they have ahead of them and pushes on despite great pain, fear,mistakes, setbacks or whatever else is in their path to their stated goal or mission.
I broke my knee in my junior year of high school and was back competing at the start of senior year. I destroyed my shoulder in college , then learned to run and ran a marathon six months later.I'm not that special but I am a warrior. I will find a way. I'm not afraid of pain or effort.
And sometimes the warrior chooses the mission and sometimes the mission chooses them. Doesnt matter, the warrior goes forth and does their best, and the outcome is the outcome.Not being attatched to the outcome is classic Zen buddhist philosophy.
Samurai warriors studied Zen Buddhism and did Zen meditation to lose their egos and to learn how to be totally in the moment.The last thing a Samurai wanted in the heat of battle was to try to save their own life or to be concerned for the future. That , in their mind, would guarantee defeat and most certain death. Only if they were 'already dead' in their minds, could they give themselves totally to the moment and do whatever was necessary to defeat their opponent. Any hesitation would give their opponent a huge advantage.
To be able to give oneself totally to the moment, no matter how painful or uncomfortable it is is crucial, again in my opinion, to be able to succeed in the gym, or in life for that matter.
To me most people fall into two categories, workers and pleasure seekers. Workers just want to know what it is that is required of them to meet their goals and they will push on,towards that goal. They may, and most probably will, fail, perhaps again and again, gets pushed down or over but they get back up and try again. Pleasure seekers really want their goal too but when it gets tough or too hard, or too boring they cave, fold like melted cheese sandwhiches and inevitably try to find a way around the obstacle, instead of going through it, as they should. I'm a worker, I know no other way.
As Bikram says, the right way is the Hard Way; and if you can you Must. I agree.
Not that it doesnt suck but it doesnt matter. Find a way. You gotta do the work. that bell ain't gonna swing itself.
And usually that way involves letting the pain happen, not trying to get away, accepting it,not reveling in it like a masochist but letting it happen and waiting; waiting for it to transform, as it will, as it must, as it does; into something better, something greater, something stronger.Making you stronger in the process. Into more of who you really are.

So what does that have to do with my training this morning,lol?
Well I really, really, really didnt want to do max vo2 this morning. My schedule is completely screwed. BOth training partners are gone, the stability and regularity I crave is gone.Everything's different. I have to drive down to Girya and train too early, I have to try and keep up with the Swing Queen and not be too embarassed, Saturday is no longer heavy and slow day. Boo hoo hoo.Cry me a river Rif.
But I did it and it was fine. I let Tracy drag me kicking, but not screaming to the gym and used her and Meg as inspiration to get my head out of my ass and do the work. To let it hurt and just go through it, and NOT try to 'sneak up on the bar" as the Big Chief Jim McGoldrick used to say about my deadlift style. GO through, not around.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
30 sets of 7
20 sets of 8
370 reps
13,320 lbs

I was only going to do 15 sets of 8's as it was early and i was tired and waah waah waah, and then I realized both Tracy and Meg were using the 16 kg, same as me,were doing SIXTY sets and planned on doing 10 sets of 8 at the end.Shit. I had to man up.And it was fine.Not expecting it to be easy makes it easier. weird.
Biceps were tight from the 180 snatches heavy on wednesday and it took awhile to fine the best groove but that's the deal. Deal with it and get it done.

Two clubbell swipes
10 lbs x 20
15 lbs x 20, 15,13, 12,12

these were good and just the ticket for stretching out my tight elbow flexors. I love this move and have done 300 continous reps with the 10's and 150 continuous with the 15's. havent been able to tolerate it for awhile because of my back but I think that's done.
Pressed on wedneday and want to give that a break.

Handstands( against wall)
5 sets of 20 seconds( really working to open up shoulders
Shoulder stretch on chin bar as superset.
these got much easier with each set.Determined to get these back strong again. still need way more shoulder flexibility but it's coming.

datsit. going to double up today and do a bikrams class with my love in one hour.More opportunity to man up.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Ventura,Handstands, Bikrams and snatches.

Jordan did a great job capturing the essence of the day in Ventura.TOns and tons of great work on the bodyweight drills themselves as well as the corrective exercises and 'fixes' for each of the movements.With the beach and the great waves in the background just 400 feet or so from the training and a perfect day weather wise you really couldnt ask for more if you wanted to master the principles and concepts of high tension training with bodyweight.
And with about 12 toplevel instructors the teacher student ratio was insane.There is so much information that really needs to be mastered about how important bodyweight training is, and how much of a foundation it is to become truly strong with resistance work that it really can't be overstated. If one can't use their own bodyweight strongly why would they need more resistance?
ANd it was great, as I wrote earlier to be able to bounce back into my handstands, and, more importantly, NOT get tweaked by doing so!I was fine Sunday and Monday and to me it was a clear sign for go ahead for getting back into handstand training. I also checked on my video date that I posted and it was almost a year to date earlier!crazy.
When I first started taking Bikrams just about a year and half ago I decided that one of the reasons was to help me recover my gymnastics body and some of the flexibilities and movements that I used to have.I now feel like this is finally starting to happen. I can get through a Bikrams class walking normally (well for me,lol)the next day and with almost no residual problems. THis has NOT been the case for many moons and getting through the ninety minutes in the heat was not as hard as trying to unravel myself for the next three days.Now it seems I have the progessions pretty well dialed in for my knee and back and shoulder and I can really just focus on the training and getting stronger. this is great.and I can really see how it opens me up much like my gymnastics stretching did, although I still have much more stretching work to do. Like get back my splits.not to mention much more shoulder mobility for my handstands.
and this has inspired me to work on getting back my hs pushup and straight arm,straight leg handstand press. I used to be the Master of the straight arm press and I can possibly be again. Just have to get back on that road.I think I am ready.

Yoga yesterday was great and a perfect first workout back after my undesired layoff.snatching today went well and no problem after yoga
Decided to switch max vo2 days to saturday with Tracy at Girya and make Wednesdays heavy snatch day.its good to be a bit warmed up for 24 kg snatches.

16 kg x5/5 x3
20 kg x 8/8x5
24 kgx5/5 x9
80 reps with 20 kg/3520
100 reps with 24 kg/5300
total reps = 180
total weight=8820

nice! 80 reps with the 20 and 100 with the 24 with a decent set of 20/20 at the end. had much more just wanted to make sure everything was in the right place. rest between sets about 45 sec or so.

5 sets of 15-20 sec
these went very well. against the wall although most were free held. stillhave to open up my right shoulder more. abit twisted. more

Clean and press
24 kg xx1/1
nice and light.
elbow was a bit tweaked after the last press workout. handstands fixed that although I still wanted to be careful.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ventura Hardstyle Worksop with Pavel; short debrief.

Just got back from a great weekend out in the sun and surf at Pavel's Hardstyle Ventura workshop. Almost all the boys were there with Senior Instructors David Whitley, Will Williams, Doug Nepodal, and Team Leaders Doctor Mark Cheng, Mark Toomey,Jeremy Layport as well as RKC prodigal son Michael Castrogiovanni,and Paul Daniels.
We had about 35 students and so much was covered in the 7 hours it was hard to beleive. Pistols, pullups, pushups, hanging leg raises, headstands, handstands , handstand presses ALL kinds of related drill,corrective exercises and assistance work was demonstrated and learned.
I got called into service to teach the handstand segment and was extremely happy to find out I can still do a handstand; the last time I tried being almost a year ago as shown in the video below.In fact it went so well I have been completely inspired to start training my handstand again.
I also realized that I need to develop my own version of a bodyweight exercise/movement seminar based on my gymnastics background and the exercises and drills that I know from years of training and coaching gymnastics.I think my shoulders and back are finally ready to handle a bit more of upside down work. My handstand was my favorite and best skill when I was a gymnast. I never missed a handstand in my seven years of competing and I'm very proud of that.
It was so much fun to teach people who have never done a handstand the joy of inverted strength, and so nice to see that my restoring lost function work is still progressing.
mo later.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Snatch Vo2, the worm turns.

Fun at the Danish RKC 2008.
Tracy and I are going to Ventura for Pavel's hardstyle bodyweight and kb training on the beach
this weekend. Lots of handstands and pullups and crazy training! Can't wait.It will be THIS much fun.

The good stuff continues. Getting in shape feels SO much better than feeling weak and tired.After last weeks 45 sets of 7 and 5 sets of 8 I knew I had to do 10 sets this workout and I knew yesterday that not only would I do it, but that it would be strong. And it was. This is nice.I can see being able to work up to 50 sets of 8 again fairly soon and be able to bump the total number of sets up to 60 and beyond as well soon as well.
I worked a lot on snatch technique today; trying to make the stroke as short as possible but still being as explosive and fast as I could. I really focused on keeping the arm locked to the body on the ascent, and pulling back hard and fast with the upper back to initiate both back and hip extension.A lot like my old DL technique, actually. Throwing the bell down hard on the descent helps speed things up a bit too.
Heartate stayed low until I hit the 8's and even then it only got to the 170's. This is a sign that I am in adaptation mode and that's what I've been waiting for. It's so much easier to concentrate when you can breathe but that's precisely the point of max vo2 training: operating at the top level while you can't breathe, cause you're at max heartrate. Situation awareness indeed.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
39 sets of 7
11 sets of 8
361 reps
12,996 lbs

KB Military press
20 kg x1/1
28 kg x1/1
32 kgx1/1

these went really well. I know they are only singles but I put a lot into a single,lol. Really, I do. When you truly are using total body tension techniques there are a lot of 'reps' in a single. everything has to be tight, everything has to stay tight, in sequence.this ain't easy. and tensing all those big muscles gets things tired quick. I need a 36 kg. Still not quite ready for the 40 kg but the 36 would be a perfect challenge right now. Have to place an order, lol.

The real good news is that I have been able to press for the last month weekly without jacking up my shoulder, volume ( or lack thereof) notwithstanding.Just like in a power meet you only have to do it once. being strong at fives is NOT the same as being strong for one. I don't understand why more guys who are truly interested in absolute strength don't understand this.Oh well, I do.

One arm clubbell arm casts
10 lbs x 10/10/10 10
15 lbs x10/10 x 3 sets
these felt great. Need 20 lb'ers as Gotta spend some money I see.Very happy with condition and mental focus of late. 'bout time.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snatch work and clubs

Another way cool Maltese. Lats for days . Note the seriously hyperextended elbows. Gymnastis is SO good for the joints,lol.
Not the hardest training today but enough. Whenever I demo bent presses and level 2 skills my back and left shoulder always get more tired than usual( the right shoulder can't externally rotate enough for bent presses) and I was feeling it a bit today. Discretion is the better part of... and all that. So just sets of 5 today with Nick at a good I go you go pace.


16 kg x5/5x 2

20 kgx 5/5 x2

24 kg x5/5 x11 sets

x10/10 x 1 set

130 reps

6890 lbs

these felt fine except for some weak noises from the lumbar spine and sacrum reminding me that I did what I did yesterday and to be smart. I wanted 150 reps at least but hey, I want a lot of things I can't have, lol. Make haste slowly.

two hand clubbells

two hand arm cast

two hand barbarian

two hand shield cast/barbarian

one arm clean and arm cast

all with the 25 lber for sets of 5-8 reps. Very solid with the one arms, perhaps the most solid ever. All that pressing is paying off.

Yoga tomorrow!


Bent Press Perfection

I am working with more people every week getting them ready for the Level 2 cert in San Jose in February 2010 and inevitably it's the Bent Press that has them stuck. Here is the BEST tutorial ( as well as demonstation) of bent press perfection by our own SR RKC David Whitley, The IronTamer hisself in the "Shed of Strength"
Shades of Paul Anderson

Thursday, October 15, 2009

HKC Girya Strength

Coming to Girya Kettlebell Training Studio in December, '2009.
Get your Kettlebell certification before the first of the year fitness craze!
Registration is now open for HKC certifications on December 5 and December 12 at Girya in Palo Alto Ca. Entries are limited to 12 candidates only for the most hands on kettlebell cert you will find!
Go here to register: or contact me at
more to come.....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The rythym of training.

It was bound to happen. If I got my routine settled back into place, got some sleep and more food and kept trying to progress my training whenever I could I was bound to feel better. To feel strong again. To feel like I was not just hanging on for dear life and 'surviving' my training but actually getting better.
Tracy's class on Saturday with those killer high intensity 20 rep snatch sets with the 24 kg just pushed everything into place and today I stepped back into the realm of 8 rep sets in my snatch vo2 again, and it wasn't that hard. Thank God. Bout time.Even my press workout seemed so much stronger than expected.
From consistency comes intensity.And I've found from students to clients to even Elite Instructors most people have the hardest time not with any one high intensity workout or workload but stringing together workout after workout after workout.
I always tell people when they are bragging about their current program design:"don't tell me how many workouts a week you have scheduled, tell me how many you miss in the next six months."
Not traveling is SO important. I think it truly is impossible, at least it is for me, to train hard and make any real progress if one is constantly changing their day to day routine. The body thrives on regularity and routine. Just ask any elite athlete. The answer is always the same. One can survive a serious travel schedule but I don't know anybody that thrives on it.
If one is serious about making progress you have to do what needs to be done, not what one wants to do.Simple, but not easy eh?

Snatch Vo2
15:15 16 kg
45 sets of 7
5 sets of 8
355 reps
12780 lbs

This was strong from the get and I was finishing the set with 3 seconds left for at least 20 plus sets. then it settled into 2 seconds left.The biggest problem, as usual, was my overactive sweat glands and trying to keep the bell from getting wet. My HR for most of the workout as in the low 160's and didnt jump up to the 170's until the last 15 sets. I wanted to include some 8's but when I hit 45 sets so strongly I knew I should do the last 5 sets of 8. no problem. The fact that it was as humid as it has been in eons( raining humid lol) helped a lot. It's very hard for me to go fast when I am cold or it's really dry. so the environment helped alot. I'll take it.
Hopefully this will hold and I will try to do 10 sets of 8 at the end next week and increase the loads again. when I can do 50 sets of 8 I will increase total sets. we'll see :))

KB Mil Press
20 kg x2/2
24 kgx1/1
28 kgx1/1
32 kg x1/1/1/1 ( this is a recent best. recleaned each rep.NO problem. Can't wait to get my 36 kg!
28 kgx1/1
24 kg x3/3

presses feel awesome and for some reason seem to really work at the end of snatch speed day. Who knows why? Maybe it takes that much for me to warmup. don't care. it's working.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bikram Yoga Master Class

After the morning's beatdown I was not sure what to expect in our 2 hour Master class at our Bikram studio;especially after the dissapointing experience we had at the last one. But I went in with an open mind and a body that wasn't too beat up, yet.
I've been feeling much stronger lately and it feels right to push myself a bit.And I knew this would be a push, I just didn't know how much or how far.
I had never been to a posture clinic/class and didn't know how much actual regular practice we would be doing versus corrective technical stuff. All I knew was that I only had to survive two hours. Just a half hour more than a normal class. That's nothing. Had to be.
I could tell right away after meeting Master Instructor Michael Harris from Yoga College of India, Bend Oregon, that he had something special. There was a calmness and confidence that was immediate aparrent to me. He opened with the ideas of intuition and starting each practice fresh, raking the ground clean and planting new seeds.I like both those ideas and I was ready to see what the training was going to be like.
When we started class and he had us do about ten million pranayama's and then hold half moon for what seemed forever I knew his calm exterior belied a serious ,serious yoga guy. Pain and suffering were part of the process, and testing limits was right there to. He would just torture us in the most loving kind way,lol.
Calm assertive as the Dog Whisperer would say.
And when I asked a posture question about which position to focus on improving first in my arms overhead position for half moon; should I concentrate more on locking my elbows and getting my arms fully overhead before trying to increase sideways depth he shut me up by making me get my arms overhead as he instructed( straight out to the sides) then lock my elbows and pull my head into position instead of my trying to get my arms back I knew he knew. He knew of what he spoke,as Tracy would say.
Like any good Zen Master he focused not on the words but the action. I shut up.
BUT, he also confirmed my belief ,via another's question, that the locked leg in standing forward head to knee is NOT about the strongest way to stand on one leg but FOR the back strengthening series!
When the knee locks the glute is taken out of the equation and the load is more on the hammies and back. This is not the safest position for the back, as they say, but is done for a much different reason.I just wish they all would know that. Hey, at least I got my answer and can feel good about going about getting my knee locked in a different way.
Using my intuition, as Michael said. I like that.
The class went very slow, then very fast and things were good except standing series went for almost 1.5 hours and I was gassing. But I never sat out a pose,although I took a knee more than a few times as he was doing corrections on others or answering questions.
He had a perfect sense of rythym and timing and never let us wait too long to get back to the practice, lest we cool off, even in the 105 degree heat. Really solid work, I learned a lot.
The guy is the real deal, I could tell. It's so cool to be in the presence of people like that,especially since their are so many poseurs out there. You know this guy has a serious serious personal practice.
That's why he can know of what he speaks, because he has found out the hard way. The right way. The only way.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Early morning training at Girya

The Maltese cross.One of the hardest of all and an unbelievable demonstration of total body tension mastery. One of the most intense planks you can do.I'm loving all the work we are doing with the plank at the HKC and RKC and have an renewed respect and appreciation for it.This is why gymnasts all have lats.
Nick was a no show today so Tracy invited me to train with her class today at Girya. Normally Nick shows up about 8 am and we do the real slow warmup and get to the actual lifting around 9 am or so.But Tracy cuts right to the chase and we were going off my lead( heavy snatch day)so I had to get going early and warmup fast.Plus, I was in front of her students so I had to do well. The fear of public speaking, as Pavel would say,lol.
I've performed athletically almost all my life, and have loved to do so . I was good at it. Still am. But I also know, from very painful experience, that when I 'push on the gas pedal' I tend to get hurt so I have trained myself NOT to push, or to even put myself in situations where I would be tempted to push.
One foot on the gas and two on the brake is how I describe my training these last 3 years. But I have been feeling much more aligned and balanced of late,recovery has been good and thought it safe to push a little bit.Of course I did yoga yesterday , these snatches today and have a Master class in a few hours so we will see how smart I really am,lol.
Now it's time to hyrdrate, rest up and stretch out a bit before class. Mainly make sure I don't start to stiffen up.
Slept well and ate well yesterday too and that always helps.All this high intensity training reminds me of my early days. It feels good to train hard and feel safe doing it.As I wrote early i LOVE that zone and it's nice to be able to visit it again a bit. I will be cautious though, because as good as that zone feels, NOT being in pain and being able to move normally feels way better, and I can't forget that.Ever.
Gen Ovalle, Chris Gaines,RKC and Meg joined Tracy and I for the workout and it was intense.I talked Chris into using the 28 and he is a horse ,Gen used the 16 kg as did Tracy and Meg.
GO time.

16 kg x5/5/5/5x2
20 kgx3/3/3/3x2

24 kg x 5/5/5/5x4 sets
x 10/10 x 1 set
x 5/5 x 3 sets

130 reps
6890 lbs
fast pace :))

Doesnt look like much when I write it down like that but it sure felt like much.Especially because these guys train much faster than I do when I am training 'heavy', even though I am sure it felt slow to them. I did here quite a bit of heavy breathing so people were working hard.It was basically 'I go, you go' and that's the first time I have done sets of 20 with the 24 kg in forever.I would have done a few more but it was getting to me and I knew I should back off. When I blistered up on my right hand from the different bell at Girya than I am used to at Stones I knew it was right. So I taped up and went to sets of 10.My left hammie was starting to get tight so I went to clubs while the group went into some insane swing combos of Tracys.Of course they 'warmed up" with Max Vo2 work for 12 mintues or so,lol.! crazy workloads so easily done. Tracy is a machine and coached throughout the whole workout.If you can talk through this stuff I'm impressed.
I'm impressed.

One arm shield casts
10 lbs x 10/10/10/10
15 lbs x 15-10 downhill ladder( somewhat with Tracys swing combo)
fast pace for me, not much rest

One arm mills
10 lbs x 10/10x2
x 10-15 uphill ladder 2 sets
15 lbs x 10/10 x 2 sets

two bell swipes
10 lbs x 15x 2
15 lbs x 12-15 up hill ladder

on the floor stretching and foam rolling.

this was good, nice to see my snatch form and work capacity are getting better all the time.

now,off to the master class, we'll see how THIS is,lol. 2 hours. Oh man.

datsit for now.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Grace;you gotta be there when it shows up.

Who woulda thunk it? Had the strongest Bikrams practice I've had in many, many moons. My client cancelled so I could go with Tracy to the 12 noon class which is my second favorite time next to 8 am. I really didnt think I would be strong today but things started out good and got even better. Everything felt solid and this was the first time in recent memory, perhaps ever, that I did not cut short any pose at all, and, if fact, sprinted through the finish line.Now it is true that the instructor did not hold the poses long, and in fact shorted them a bit but today it wouldnt have mattered.
I always love to say that they key thing to training is, arcane periodization cycles aside, is showing up, day after day, doing your best and waiting for the gods to smile on you AND being smart enough to jump on it when you are feeling strong and ready to push it.Today was one of those days, as usual, when you would least expect it.
The fact that I hardly drank any water for the first hour spoke volumes as well.Usually I am drinking pretty regularly and as much as I can at regular intervals but today felt no need to drink.I felt calm, strong and in the moment.This experience, being in the flow, in the moment is what I lived for for most of my athletic life. There is almost nothing like it.The calmness, the ease, the perfection of the moment, no matter how good or bad it is.It still feels strong.
And strong feels good. Haven't felt strong in quite some time but I've kept showing up and waiting for it,hoping for it, praying for it.And then it appears. How cool.Havent felt in the stream in so long but there it was, like I had never left. So easy, so calm.So strong.
And tomorrow is a big day. Heavy snatches with Tracy at her class in the early AM and then a Master Class for yoga at noon. this will be fun. I'm ready.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bikram bodybuilding and Snatch Vo2, tues and wed training

We are actually getting back to some semblance of a training schedule now and I made tuesday Bikrams 12 noon class as planned. And, as I expected I got my ass kicked. It was nice when I was fresh but I wasn't on tuesday and it was a struggle. That was fine and I pushed through the best I could but it was one LONG hour on my feet through the standing series and the room seemed hotter and more humid than on Sunday. It was just me, I'm sure, as Tracy had no problems with it.
It struck me though, just how much tension is involved in doing the 26 postures. Well, if one is doing them correctly, as instructed. Hey for me just locking my elbows out completely overhead in half moon is crazy hard on the triceps and delts and makes lats and serratus stretch like crazy; which, of course, is just another form of contraction and hence, tension. Tension tension everywhere.Just like bodybuilding, lol.
I definitely saw a difference in muscle tone ; a decrease, over the two weeks I didn't practice more than once a week. Locking everything out,especially all the shoulder holds really ,really really works the crap out of the upper body,lol!Awkward series got me and I had to drop my arms for a bit. Just a bit but I was hurtin'.I really focus on using my lats to hold my shoulders in place during those postures and they were just tired from saturday and worries, I just accepted that was the limit that day but it weren't no fun.
Not really supposed to be. Especially with Bikrams favorite phrase as the tag line: " the right way is the hard way". Perfect. I was going the right way then.
No tweaks though and pretty fast recovery for today which was snatch vo2 which I also havent done in weeks,lol. RIGHT into the deep end of the pool. this was gonna hurt.
Of course Tracy was doing her workout with me using the 16 kg for sets of 6 as her easy max day so I had no choice but to man up. It really showed me how much attitude effects my strength and endurance. sleep or wine notwithstanding.

Snatch vo2
16 kg
49 sets of 7
1 set of 8
351 reps
12,636 lbs/25 minutes
505 lbs per minute/lol

this went well and my form took over. I focused as much on 'standing up with my whole body' rather than concentrating on using my hips or back or pulling the bell in. Stand up with everything was my manta.I also got the images of WSB style power goodmornings where I visualized my back as the lead extensor in the whole extensor chain. First arch it up, which open up the hips which give the knees the right leverage to finish extension. And, standing up with everything. A jump if you will.Worked well.
Tracy commented that even though I was doing sevens I was going at an 8 rep pace which is true, I always try to snatch as fast as I can that day, even if I have a second or two left over in the 15 sec. I know it's not VWC correct but neither is doing this only once a week,which I have now for 3 years!Some days that acceleration is good, somedays not so good.the key is that it's the best I can muster than workout.

KB Military press
20 kg x3/3
24 kgx2/2
28 kgx1/1
32 kg x1/1
40 clean loaded clean and mentally press

this went so well! the 32 felt light and grooved perfectly. and the 40 kg loaded clean, well I haven't cleaned that in years so I was really happy. I will keep the load high and the volume though on these. I have to remember than I am remembering how to press, not training the press.
I could feel how being so light now will be tough on the Bulldog press.It's more than half my bodyweight!How cool will that be when I press it.
My lats got worked over well in all these clean and presses too. Can't wait to pullup again, too.
Day off tomorrow.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Like riding a bike- up a steep hill.

That's what my Bikrams instructor told me this morning as we walked into class and I said I hoped I remembered how to do the class, it felt like it had been so long since I practiced. "Ah", he said, "you'll remember,it's just like riding a bike, up a steep hill".
And that is so true.
Actually it wasn't that bad at all,even though Tracy and I forced ourselves to the 8 am class.I think it's better to take the beating before you are fully concious and can really feel how hard it is. Plus, it wakes you right up.The heat actually felt good too, as the fall weather is setting in and my blood is still thin from all the outside summer certs and lots of great zinfandel :))
My engine runs hot all the time and doing Bikrams in the summer is a lot like adding insult to injury.In the winter it's a great respite from the cold( I know I like in Cali and it's not really "cold". But I also went to school in Iowa so I do know cold and 30 degrees is still cold to me no matter what the summer was like.
Anyway, as usual I was stronger from the layoff and for a change my conditioning felt alright as well.Being ready for some heat helped too.
I AM tight as crap though and that was apparent right from the gate. Pranayama went well but as soon as I got, or should I say "tried" to get my arms overhead for half moon and back bend series I could really see how much overhead and thoracic flexibility I had lost.It felt good to really reach tall and open up the rectus and obliques and lats.Still my arms didnt want to lock out and my shoulders felt super tight.
Ditto on the forward bend and it was interesting to do poses with my feet THAT close together( heels and toes touching). That rarely happens in real life but what a big stretch it is.
Lower back felt a bit fragile as I haven't done much flexion like that lately so I took it easy.
Still that HUGE sweat after the first series was a welcome relief,like diving in a pool. A heated pool but a pool nonetheless.
The standing series always kicks my ass and today was no exception.When you can't get your knee to fully lock out with NO weight on it trying to keep it as locked out as possible while similtaneously pull the other leg up and bend over completely is quite the trick.I have to focus on so many things that aren't working every second of the pose that's it's very hard to know exactly what to concentrate on most.
One of the contradictions in Bikrams is their constant admonishments to push "beyond your flexibility" and to take each pose to it's fullest expression regardless of your current level of flexibilty and mastery as well as to do each component perfectly and not move beyond that one stage until it is mastered!Well which one Sir?
The dialogue speaks to the students as if eveyone can do the pose correctly and the main goal is taking it further and further into the 'fullest' expression.
And I'm still trying to stand on my left leg and keep my knee locked out enough to grab my right foot while bent over and not shift to much to the left to center myself,lol. Lots of fun.
So I focus on what I think is the most important element that day and, as usual ,my breath and meditating through the 90 minutes.
I want to work at 80 % of my physical ability and as close to 100% of my mental ability that day.The mind leads the body and the breath leads the mind.I can only push as hard as I can maintain my breathing and today was solid.I didnt get ahead of myself physically or mentally.
Things were tight though and I gave up after six tries to get my left knee to bend enough to get into standing bow pulling pose.I went into my own variation for the remaining 30 seconds and did get it for the second set. But That hasn't happened in awhile.
Right now I am set for two solid days of yoga( sunday and tuesday, with an optional third on Fridays.Friday means 4:30 pm and I loathe that.We'll see. Two good days will be fine.I need recovery as much as anything and I can really tell since the layoff that yoga, although it stretches me out, creates as much tension in the body from the static poses as lots of traditional lifting least for me.especially all that one legged stuff on my bad side.Got to make sure I balance it out with as much relaxation stuff.
tomorrow perhaps a couple hi rep clubbell sets.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Snatches and swings.

Back to basics, and how humbling it is. I haven't trained swings for volume in eons and it was very apparent this morning. Now, granted I am just getting back into volume type training but I was surprised at how much they hit different things than just the snatches I have been doing.
Now I will have to cut snatch volume back, at least at first, to accomodate doing more swings but I think that's fine for now. I have had a year straight of almost all snatches and my 50,000 reps are going to get there so I can change course a little now.
Had to train very early this am to accomdate Nick and it was COLD too, so I took it very slow to get started. I also took my passive warmup Russian Style 10 min HOT bath to get things less stiff. I always know winter is upon me when I start taking baths before my workouts again.

12 kgx8/8
16 kg x 8/8x2 32 reps 512 lbs
16kgx5/5/5/5 x2 20 reps 720
20 kgx 5/5 10 reps 440
20 kgx5/5/3/3 16 reps 704
20 kgx5/5/5/5x3 60 reps 2640
24 kg x 5/5 10 reps x 3 30 reps 1590
106 reps total
4206 lbs

pretty weak but it's a start. need more sleep and food.

one arm swings
20 kg x 10/10 x 3 60 reps 2640
24 kg x 8/8 x 3 48 reps 2544

these felt good. did them barefoot as opposed to wearing my OL boot as I do on snatches. what can I say, I'm weird, biomechanically,lol. at least.flat foot feels much better for my swings and the heel works better for the snatch.considering my still too tight right shoulder I'm not suprised. hey it works. Plus I really felt my glutes much better and I think my back can now handle more glute work. we'll see.
back to yoga tomorrow too. now THAT should be fun.
it's been awhile.I can already feel my hammies getting tight so I'm off to do some floor work