Sunday, October 31, 2010

Squat day.

No, not me, unfortunately. Nick has taken to training his power squat again with the intention of breaking his 2006 pr of 601 and I get to support him as he supports me every Saturday when he drives down to Girya to train snatches with me.

The very interesting part is that for the last two years Nick has barely been under a squat bar, and, when he was, the most weight that was on the bar was between 350 and 400 lbs for not an impressive amount of volume.

One could call it maintenance but that would be a generous phrase. What Nick HAS been doing is showing up, rain or shine, crazy business travel schedule or not to train with me on Saturdays. And for many moons it was his only workout of the week.Just a bunch of kb swings and or snatches 24 and 28 kgs.

When he decided to start training for real a few months ago and actually wrote out his training cycle and followed it he was amazed that it produced a very easy 502 double that was so much better than the 500 he did before squatted his pr 601 at Nationals that it wasn't funny. It had to be the kettlebells.

The RKC Hardstyle kb swing and snatch use basically the same mechanical positions, ( straight back, hip hinge, biomechancial breathing match, max acceleration) and focus as the power squat and deadlift.The transfer from KB to Barbell has been obvious and amazing. Even to Nick.

He can't believe that he not only maintained strength but actually Gained barbell strength by swinging and snatching.What the Hell effect indeed!

Here is today's effort. 90 % of his last best , recent effort of 500 for 2. This is how it's done. On a Sunday morning, in a small garage, just two guys, after a crazy busy travel and work schedule,AFTER 100's of snatches yesterday with the 28 kg. Nice job man

450 lb squat, two ways:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Snatch day.

Ack. More sets of 20 reps done in groups of 10/10 slowly, with long pauses at the top. Well, long for me. This type of paced snatching is akin to pulling duct tape off an open wound, one millimeter at a time,lol. I completely understand this is working, building, a much different type of strength that I have, more static strength and strength endurance from a foundational standpoint but man it is crazy hard for me.

And not in a good way. I honestly don't know if I can do it. Or want to do it. As my body feels better I want to step on the gas, after spending so much time with one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the brake. This feels like more time on the brake.

I took Tom Corrigan's suggestion and opened my hand at the top of each rep but for some reason my right shoulder was tighter than it should have been this morning and that didn't help anything.

I think I like the idea of this type of distance training rather than the reality of it.I have to constantly hold myself back during each rep in this format which is just so different than how my body wants to go.Short and hard. Sprint and rest. Hardstyle.

Still got it done.

16 kg x5/5 x2
20 kgx5/5

24 kg x 7/7
x 10/10 x 4 sets
20 kg x15/15 x 2 sets

94 reps with the 24 kg
60 reps with the 20 kg

154 total
I actually was good until the 20 kg down sets and they just pissed me off. I wanted to go fast and tear the bandaid off and I was still pulling the tape off one hair at a time. I was tired and bored and abandoned the plan to do down to the 16 kg and do 20 rep sets. Ack. Couldn't handle the thought.

Put on my olympic shoes for the last two sets with the 20kg and really liked the position and leverage. Will wear these again next week for all snatches.

I don't want to go back to mvo2 snatches as I really enjoy working the solid overhead lockout and I don't think this slow paced is going to work for me, perhaps Sr RKC Peter Lakatos's Hungarian Snatches is the next experiment. It's an interesting amalgam of all the things I like:

a powerful descent and ascent
a dead stop hold at the top
working just one arm at a time ala mvo2
resting between sets until HR is 115-120

As much as I want to train for the RKC snatch test I think I will just have to do it when I need to and train as I want to; for power and strength.

Two hand swings

32 kg x10 x 5 sets

short rest /sets. equal work to rest. These felt solid and powerful

Been having a great time playing with the kinesiotape I discovered at Keat's place last weekend. Taping all the weak areas of my left leg and really see a difference in stability and less pain already. wish I had discovered this stuff a long time ago.

Also, the magnesium oil spray is working crazy good and my bodyfat levels have fallen and my muscle mass and strength are decidedly up in very short order. This product is a winner and I can't wait to try some more of the products on the hormone optimization list Mike Mahler sent me. Here's Mike on SuperHuman radio talking about hormone optimization, great info.

datsit :))

Friday, October 29, 2010

I just love this


"Cassidy sought no euphoric interludes. They came, when they did, quite naturally and he was content to enjoy them privately. He ran not for crypto-religious reasons, but to win races, to cover ground fast. Not only to be better than his fellows, but better than himself.

To be faster by a tenth of a second, by an inch, by two feet or two yards than he had been the week or year before. He sought to conquer the physical limitations placed upon him by a three-dimensional world (and if Time is the fourth dimension, that too was his province).

If he could conquer the weakness, the cowardice in himself, he would not worry about the rest; it would come.

Training was a rite of purification; from it came speed, strength. Racing was a rite of death; from it came knowledge. Such rites demand, if they are to be meaningful at all, a certain amount of time spent precisely on the Red Line, where you can lean over the manicured putting green at the edge of the precipice and see exactly nothing."

"Running to him was real, the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free

."That quarter mile oval may be one of the few places in the world where the bastards can't screw you over, Quenton. That's because there's no place to hide out there. No way to fake it or charm your way through, no deals to be made.

You know all that stuff. You've talked about it. It's why you became a miler. The question is whether you are prepared to live by it or whether it was just a bunch of words."

John L Parker "Once a Runner".

Here's how I did my 24 kg swing pr

A pic from the old days.
Found my 24 kg one arm swing PR workout, way back in december 2007. I have a long way to go

but tomorrow is snatches. Hope to do 5 sets of 10/10 with the 24 kg 3 sets of 15/15 with the 20 kg and 1-2 sets of 20/20 with the 16 kg. We'll see how i feel in the morning but I've been thinking about it all day. Just like the old days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swings and carrys.

Not a bad workout but I don't think this plan is going to stick. I thought I wanted a workout more freestyle and out of the gym but I think this is TOO much freestyle and will lend itself to slacking off.

With the general purpose of staying moving for 40-60 minutes alternating various forms of kettlebell walks: farmers racks with one arm or two and swings( one arm, two hand, transfers, etc) there is way too much room for "going with the flow" and taking it easy.

Today was a good case in point. I was pretty tired going in so I started the first half off with the 16 kg bell. Not too bad but I wasn't particularly inspired and with no real set goals or pr's to chase it became very easy to slack off a bit. Maybe that's a good thing and I needed more rest but I think it was jsut hard and I didn't want to do it and, since there was no real measurement, no real accounting, I could.

Realizing this I stepped it up and bit and drug out the 24 kg for the walks and the swings but it was still uninspired. Being in the elements was nice but distracting as well. I think I need to stay after at Girya on Wednesdays and train my one arm swing.

Then go home and do my carrys like I used to; alternating one arm rack walks for continuous distance. My old pr with the 16 kg was 2000 feet and I can add in pr's with the 24 kg as well. I think I will start building my one arm swing volume back on Wednesdays with the 24, 28 and 32 kg bells, switching weights each week and then recycling.

Who knows, perhaps I will add in one arms with the 36 kg? It is a handsome bell and just sits at Girya way too much. Lonely and hardly used. Who knows how strong I can get again?

My best in the one arm swings are 300 with the 28,400 with the 32, and 600 with the 24 kg. I rested as long as necessary between sets, until my HR got down to 115 or so, or my partner finished his set and used reps between 5 and 10, sometimes doing multiple arm transfers to get the volume in.

Will try this approach again next wednesday and see how things go.

40 minutes alternating 100 foot farmers and rack walks with swings.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stretch out.

This is for Mablack2 who wanted to see my stretch routine. I will list my current routine but also add in some old favorites that I am not currently doing regularly but I believe are amazing
The Full Stretchout: this is pretty much the sequence every AM

1) Foam roller( now on rumble roller): IT band, hamstrings,hip rotators/glutes, quads, TFL, calves, anterior tibs, lumbar spine.

2) Upward dog for abdominal release( can stay here for minutes at a time)

3) Downward dog, alternate leg for calf, hamstring release( and for my left knee)( same here. sometimes a five minute set), then double leg traditional down dog.

4) squat stretch: from downdog keep arms vertical and bring legs to side of arms, hip and knee stretch

5)seated straddle stretch: traditional pre split stretch for adductors and hammies. I don't emphasize forward lean here, just getting wider with tall chest position and vertical sacrum.

6) Single leg hamstring stretch with strap.

7) Crossover hamstring stretch with strap.

8) Single leg hamstring stretch from toes( strap looped over each individual toe)

9) Bretzell with straight top leg for hamstring stretch

10) Bretzell with bottom arm in external rotation

11) Bretzell with shoulder slide in frontal plane on floor( I don't grab the bottom leg and just work shoulder flexion with scapula flush on floor)

12) Hip opening stretch ( wide stance squat holding onto to support. shins vertical hips only move deeper,. Kind of like a supported goblet squat with prying, just wide.

13) Overhead stick stretch( straight back then each arm to ear. repeat 3-5 times moving hands in closer each time.

14) Behind back stick stretch with both grip positions, forward and back.

15) Overhead hang stretch on TAPS bar with under and over grip

16) Overhead stick stretch, three positions in standing lunge.

17) Back bend stretch over stability ball, hands clasped and locked elbows.

18) Standing Horse Stance squat stretch

19) Power squat rack position with stick, shoulder stretch

20) Foam roller, start over if necessary.

I hold each of these positions from 30 seconds to five minutes , focusing on breathing in and backing off the tension of the stretch and then exhaling and advancing the depth of the stretch. " breathe in back off, exhale an advance" the stretch. Basic Relax into Stretch.

The goal of static stretching is to push back the stretch reflex which is firing too early to give you your desired level of flexibility.I hold each stretch as relaxed as I can for as long as it takes to get the tight muscle to "release" .

How long? Can't tell you. Until it releases. Sometimes it takes seconds, other times many many minutes.The point of the stretch is the release. You have to wait for it and breathe, breathe, breathe into the stretch.

I now view my stretch training as Real training, not just something I have to do when I'm injured, or, trying to prevent injury. It is my yoga, it's own special practice. And, it ain't easy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

28 kg presses, another volume pr.

Another really stellar day in the gym. After missing two workouts in a row( I skipped Wednesdays swings and carry's and was in Tempe for Saturday) I didn't expect to be feeling good this morning but I was wrong. Maybe it's the Ancient Minerals magnesium spray I've been using for the last week that I got from Mike Mahler but I was strong today!

Don't know if this stuff can work as fast as it seems to but I recognize what a higher test level feels like and mine is up, as well as my bodyfat being down. Now I use magnesium citrate already as well as dhea capsules but they don't work like this! Crazy.

Although I was hoping to be able to use the 28kg today for some presses I had pretty much resigned myself to just the 24 considering how heavy that 28 can feel on low days. But after a solid warmup with the 24 I decided to give it a go with the 28 and boy did it go!
6 am warmup
40 minutes full stretchout including new bretzell variations for shoulders.

8:30 am
second warmup
one arm swings
16 kg x10/10x3

16 kg x5/5x5

short cycle press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x5/5
24 kg x6/6

28 kg x2/2 x7 sets PR
man these were easy! I could have done triples or fours with this for the same amount of work and I could have easily kept going today but I only had an hour and had other things to do.

Went in "I go, you go" fashion with my beautiful training partner who was doing double presses. SO NICE to train with Tracy and so nice to feel strong again too.

Handstand kickups

6 sets of 7 kickup to stack position with solid holds on the 3rd and last kickup. Handstands haven't felt this solid in eons. A definite correlation to my pressing strength and my increased shoulder flexibility.

Two hand arm cast
15 lbs x 10/10
20 lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x8/8

Two Hand Shield Cast
20lbs x8/8
25 lbx8/8

outatime! good to feel good. tomorrow: swings and carrys and my kb lunges.

Datsit :))

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Tempe Brettzel

I haven't found anything as effective as Gray Cooks "brettzel" to increase thoracic mobility and shoulder range of motion.
This HKC's candidates had the best thoracic spine mobility of any cert I have done and they took to the Brettzel like ducks to water! As much as most people do not like, and resist static stretching they for most part just LOVE doing brettzels! Go figure.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Britt Buckingham, walking his talk.

It ain't all pretty but, as Louie said, this ain't no beauty parlor. 50 reps overhead, non stop with the Beast.

I'm impressed.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Long cycle clean and press,handstands and a new training partner.

November '09This is my back off week as Tracy and I get ready to travel to Tempe Arizona this weekend for an HKC with Keats.It's a good time to do less too as this last ramp up peaked really well last week and it would be time to step back , HKC or no HKC.

The next step off a peak is always down and one can either step back or fall off. I'm so learning to step back if I even smell a peak.The question always is, though, how much to step back, how light is too light and how much volume is enough.?

Too light and I won't feel like I've done enough to maintain my fitness and strength without actually going backward and too heavy, well too heavy makes itself apparent very quickly.I seem to always go to my fallback basic strength work load five sets of five, in some configuration.

I love five rep sets as you can make them just heavy enough to feel satisfied with the weight but the reps are low enough to do enough multiple sets to feel like muscle mass is being maintained, or even improved; even with lower weight loads.

Strict pressing the 24 kg has become a light day for me, as it should be, and I feel that I can press the bell for as many sets for moderate reps as I want to given enough time. Not that I can press for unlimited reps per set but the weight doesn't scare me at all. I remember not too long ago it was a fairly heavy day for me. Thank goodness that's not the case any more.

It's actually harder for me to do long cycle clean and presses than just repping out continuous presses. Tracy finds it just the opposite but we have different strengths and weaknesses for sure. So I decided to DO long cycle just to add some volume and make it harder, especially in the patience and concentration part, definitely a focus of mine of late in my training.

Started the AM off with an hour of stretching as usual and I was REALLY tight today for some reason and it took awhile to loosen up- this hour of stretching, an hour and half with a client and then an hour of pressing, to be exact,lol.

AFTER my workout was over I felt stretched out square and relaxed.That wasn't the case at the start of the workout but I'm just glad I didn't have to go heavy :))

Clean and press
16kg x5/5 x 2 cleans only
16 kg x5/5 clean and press x 2
20 kg x 3/3 clean and press

24 kg x5/5x 5 sets
The first few sets were rough, not from a weight standpoint but from being so freakin creaky and stiff~! The more sets I did the easier, faster and stronger they got! I'm just a slow warmer-upper; always have been.

The BEST part, though was being able to train with my new training partner, my wife, Tracy, the Queen of the kettlebell swing and one heck of a good presser as well. We have been training at the same time, in the same place for quite awhile now but always doing different things.

Her ,some gianormous interval workout with very hard sets and short rests and me, well, you read this blog you know what I do.

But today we were on the same page, doing the same workout, I go, you go style, and it rocked. Each set took about a minute so we were actually doing a Tracy style equal work to equal rest workout as well as my hardstyle, high tension low rep pressing.

I can recover from upper body work way faster than I can from lower body training. Hey, I spent my developmental years living on my hands for 5 hours a day, go figure!


Stacking kickups. about ten sets and these went great, way better than last week when I dove in the deep end too fast without enough warmup and progressions and got my butt handed to me.
I also started teaching Tracy the beginning progressions to learn the handstand and that was great fun. LOTS of great upper body work to be had just in the early stages.

By changing my focus to the single leg stack up and NOT trying to go right to the handstand I found myself hitting damn near perfect handstands, free of the wall, without even trying.Its so important in the handstand that the lead leg gets over the hip and shoulders BEFORE one tries to bring the other leg up to finish the move.

Put the together too early and the weight of both legs will just pull you down very fast.Stack the first leg and other legs seems virtually weightless.

Can't to get to teach these progressions in three weeks at Hardstyle Ventura. And so nice of my handstand to remake an appearance just in time for the workshop,lol.Also can't wait to see Tracy really learn this very cool skill from me.

KB Lunge( left leg forward only)
16 kg x8,10
20 kg x10
24 kg x8, 9

these are getting much better and it's right to only do the left leg in front, a page from my asymmetrical training that I did to rehab my back injury and get the left glute to fire better. Did A LOT of wide stance free squats during my stretching the morning and I definitely get the feeling I will be able to load some resistance into the squat pattern again very soon. How cool!

Clubbell Arm casts
two handed
10 lb x10/10
15 lb x10/10
20 lb x10/10 x2

Shield cast
15 lb x10/10
20 lbs x 10/10 x 2

Trained Tracy up on these too and she got it really fast,no surprise there. I also think she will see interesting arm and upper body benefits from these. Plus they are just cool to do :))

Just as with my swings I am enjoying the two handed version of these more than single arms and my body agrees. Always listen to the body, it tells us everything. We just have to learn to really listen well.

Lots of stretching tomorrow then off to Tempe and LOT of kb fun.

datsit :))

ps it's always great when you love your training partner :))

Monday, October 18, 2010

When you hear this

you know there's some training gonna go on.

You want crunchy power cords? It don't get crunchier than this.Music to train hard by.

and lets not forget TOOL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Snatch day, 150 and counting.

Thanks to Boris for so much inspiration lately via his great blog Squat Rx and this picture and quote.

It's so nice to be able to worry about such things as total volume of snatches, how many reps I can get in each set and polishing technique rather than will my back,hammy or some other bodypart explode for no damn good reason during the set.
Very nice. Harkens back to a simpler more focused time in my life when training intensity and goals were the mindset not just surviving A workout. Any workout.

Since next week is the Tempe HKC at Keats Snidemans Reality-Based fitness center it is a back off week and it's actually perfect timing as I've had about a solid month ramp up of workouts with each week growing in intensity as well as total volume. Almost feel like my old self again :))

Strong feels so good.

And so does conditioned as I am finding out again as I work on improving my total reps per set of snatches as well as total volume of snatches as I prepare for my five minute snatch test at some undetermined time in the future.

I used to ALWAYS have a goal in mind when I trained,;some actual contest or at least a goal number I wanted to hit in the gym. Goals and deadlines were ( are) how I distinguish training from just working out.

But with the slew of injuries these last years I have had to reset that concept, as every time I pushed on the gas pedal some part of the car or the engine broke or fell off. I accepted the reality ( and blessing!) that being able to workout and move at ALL was and just hoped that some day the body would recover enough so I could push a bit more and re experience the joys of that flow state again; where ( formerly ) heavy weights felt like, high reps felt effortless and strength and fitness flowed pain free through my body.

It now seems that all my patience and hard work, willingness to go backwards to move forwards and my appreciation and embracing of the most basic of movements and stretches is paying off and my lost physical function is returning.

Plus, the prospect of being able to add in previously impossible movements( such as two hand swings and - next- wait for it kb jerks!) bodes well for the future.

I had plans, ok, hopes, that I would be able to do 30 rep sets today in the 24 kg snatch. Since I did sets of 10/10 last week and wanted to back off a bit on reps per arm I thought I would go down to 5 rep sets and just transfer until I hit 30 reps total.

Of course I knew I wouldn't really KNOW until I picked up the bell and did my first set and I didn't EXPECT anything but I had some hope. Didn't turn out exactly what I hope for but close enough to be very happy with the workout.

7 am warmup: full stretchout with my new bretzell combinations as well as plenty of down dogs for my tight leg calf- DOMS set in right on time after Thursday's carrys and swings-that HAS to go on Wednesdays once I get back from Tempe. 40 minutes.I so need to stretch out first in the day. makes major difference in muscle tension and hence function.

16 kg x5/5 x 2 sets
20 kg x5/5
20 kg x3/3

24 kg x5/5/5/5 x2 sets
x5/5/5/5/5 x3 sets
x 10/10

151 total reps
8003 lbs

here's the video of the last set

This was very interesting. My first set of 20 in groups of 5's I knew I could 30 reps but didn't want to push too hard too early.
On the third set I decided to not be greedy and just do 25 reps finishing with an extra set on one arm. I alternated the starting arm.

The key is slowing down for me and working at about 70-75% heartrate, resting at the top and REALLY working the back swing, not pulling too early. These are NOT Hardstyle reps as my goal is endurance for the snatch test and not max power.

I find it SO hard to be as patient as I need to in order to get through these reps.I also discovered that sets of ten are actually easier than breaking it up! LOL!. Maybe my groove and condition is just better than in the past but that's what it seemed and why I did the 6th set with 10's! I could feel the total load adding up so I chose 8's for the last set and lived to snatch another day.

I always like to train at double the volume of the goal I am reaching for so that means regular bouts of 200 snatches per workout. Getting close but I am in no hurry at the same time. Just LOVE being able to feel like I am training instead of just surviving :))

Two Hands swings

32 kg x8
40 kg x8 x 3 sets
32 kg x8

Ouch, this kicked my butt a bit as fatigue from the snatches and swings and carrys Thursday were catching up. The 40 kg felt heavy. It shouldn't.

Clubbell Arm casts and shield casts
two hands

15 lb cb x 8/8 arm cast 8/8 shield cast
20 lb x 8/8 then 8/8
25 lb x 5/5 then 5/5

I was done,lol. wanted more but that was it.

datsit :))

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Swings and carrys, stronger already.

I can't believe how much I am enjoying doing some training outside. As a lifelong gym rat I have not really gotten into doing my weight work outside. Running, cycling, swimming of couse. But weights?

I just didn't get it until recently. Being in the studio training people, and then training myself in the same place was getting claustrophobic. Plus pretty tough to get 'psyched' at all about pushing myself in my work space. Saturdays with Nick and Tuesdays with Tracy are different,there's extra energy but wednesdays or thursdays are on my own so I needed a boost,.

It used to be great when the garage was Stones gym and set up for training but that's no more. Doing these swings and carrys outside though is turning out to be a blast.I wouldn't have given two cents for todays workout though as yesterday's training got pushed back til today and then I had an extra client to push it back further. Tired and not motivated to walk which is hard on my knee when I'm not carrying kbs and be extra painful when I am.

I didn't want to get started but as soon as I did I knew this was one of those days when things would be easy, not hard, I would be strong, not weak and all the pieces would fit together.At least for awhile.

I actually dragged out the 24 kg for my swings and some carrys and it was perfect.I really need to get stronger at this sort of training; what's more basic? Also, one of my original goals was from Pavels first RKC book" " a back of iron and legs that never quit".

How cool would that be?

I alternated rack walks and single arm, farmers carrys with single arms with swings of some sort, two hand, one arm hand to hand with both the 16 and the 24 kg after a short rest. Carrys were done for about 100 feet and swings fell into the 10 -20 rep range. Did the walk interval, stretched and let my hr go down, then did some swings. Rinse and repeat.

Total workout time 45 minutes,up by 15 from last week if I recall correctly.

Did overhead shoulder stretches as active recovery. Beautiful hot, sunny California day in the low 90's. got a great sweat going and a tan as I trained. Nice.

datsit :))

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

32 kg Presses and a small pr.

So the roll continues it seems, even though I debated even going up to the 32 kg this morning. I knew that I would be strong, as training and recovery continue going really well with super food, good sleep and some stability in my schedule.

But I worry a lot of about getting tweaked these days, even minor ones and going into workouts trying not to get hurt is definitely not the way to hit big numbers and is the way to get hurt unintentionally.

But at 160 lbs and 53 years the 32 kg bell is heavy for me and putting it overhead is not a task I undertake lightly. I won't snatch it anymore after a couple of bicep problems but I still feel safe pressing it. But it commands my respect and LOTS of attention to details. One poor movement or positition and things can get overloaded quick.

So why do I still do it? Because I know I still can and I want to get everything I can out of the abilities I have left, WITHOUT putting them at risk( or at least, not too much). Strong feels good,what else can I say?

Slowly building up my strength and work ability there is still the moment when you face the bell, suck it up and DO IT, regardless of fear or insecurity. Or not.
And live with that.

I feel that there are so many opportunities each day to get stronger or weaker and if you make more choices towards stronger you will go, overall , in that direction.
But the same with weaker.

It seems that as soon as one takes the easy road, takes the shortcut or lets weakness gets it grip then all hell breaks loose. It's a slippery slope.

It's not that you can't get hurt with light weights, you can. Especially because they don't scare you and one tends not to concentrate as well.

I was concentrated today as I did my first set of presses with the 32 kg. I haven't done them since May and even though last weeks big work with the 28 kg should portend great things today I just never know if my body is going to like my schedule or not.And it usually doesn't tell me til after.
It's always a leap of faith.And sometimes the leap seems further than it needs to.

That's where one just has to rely on training, and heart and passion and step off. And in.

It's a fine line. Between chasing strength, as Master Instructor Geoff Neupert calls it, and being foolhardy. And again, nothing matters til you step up to the bell, or the bar, and try.Hoping to succeed but willing to fail.

6 am stretch out: 50 minutes of full body stretching

8:30 am KB press

16 kg x5/5 x3 cleans only
16 kg x5/5 press
20 kg x 4/4
24 kg x3/3
28 kg x1/1

32 kg x1/1
x2/2 x 5 sets pr.

This went great! I've re-grooved my clean and can't believe it got so out of sorts. That was getting in my head a bit and today was nice to see it's back. I've been 'greasing the groove' during work with cleans as I take out weights for certain clients, cleaning them and rack walking the weights around a bit before putting them down.
This has helped more than I imagined it was.

I only did a single on the first set as I had no idea how strong I would be.After that I knew doubles were minimum I just didn't know how many total sets. It's been awhile since may :))
My best is five sets of 2 so I had to do that sixth set to get a pr. Have to be ready to grab it and all that, lol.

They went up easy, they felt light in the rack and my technique felt solid although not perfect( a bit on internal rotation at the sticking point).Eye position felt good and the press went fast. Glad I got that done!


As strong as I was on presses that's how tight I was here.Yuck, all over the place.Started free with a bunch of confidence only to head back to the wall for more practice,lol. No worries though, I was stoked to have pressed the 32 so many times so easily and escape tweakage.

About ten sets of ten seconds, almost all touch the wall and then set it free.

Kb Lunge ( bell in left hand ,only left leg forward)
16 kg x 8x2
20 kg x8
24 kg x8x2

these are getting better and stronger each week. The left quad and glute and the right( tight) rectus are appreciated the asymmetrical training

Clubbell Shield Casts
15 lb CB x 10/10/10/10 x 2 sets

quick and dirty. I could do these all day. Should do a ten minute test here one day switching every 10 reps. It's a strong and safe movement for me. Wish I could still do swipes, should try again.

tomorrow swings and carry's with Tracy at my side :))

BTW the Big Bell in the background is the one I'm pressing, circa 2001.

Datsit :))

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Work Capacity is back.

Good timing too. It sucked feeling weak and not capable of even half of my former workloads. But, as with all training programs what worked is what always worked: consistent progressions that allow for back off times as well.

I really focused on listening to my body and attempting workloads that were only small increases from the previous workout, also always taking into account external recovery factors: sleep or lack thereof, food or lack thereof, stress or lack thereof. You get the picture. It all counts and it all adds up. Ignore these factors and just try to hit the numbers on the program that you wrote down weeks or months ago when you were feeling one way is folly. At least for me now.

I like small steady increases each week. It give my mind and body confidence to know that what I am asking my body to do today is just a little more than what it strongly handled last workout( hopefully). Big jumps make things contract too hard and my joints can't handle that anymore.

I also have to be very careful to REMEMBER just how jacked up I was not too long ago and not be too greedy for more, heavier and longer. Just being out of pain is a miracle and being able to train fairly hard and heavy again is even moreso. Slow steady progress is just fine with me.

But as usual I still didn't know what I would be able to do this morning. Last weeks set of 10/10 and 130 snatches and Tuesdays pr on kb presses made me think I could do multiple sets of 10/10 with the 24 kg. Just didn't know how many.
A decent amount it turns out, and I left with more in the tank, although not much more. Multiple sets of 20 is way more than I've done in forever and I never knew what was going to happen next set.

Ed Coan talks in his video about how his progressive cycle works so well for him. Each week he goes up and each weeks he knows he can because he fulfilled his mission the last workout. It gives him confidence knowing he can do just a bit more and I feel the same.

This is not max effort training at all but classic ,old school, western style periodization, ala Coan and Karworski. Instead of adding pounds to the bar each week I'm adding reps and or sets. A different kind of overload.

I still want to do the snatch test with the 24 kg and the SSST still is on my wish list, despite how much I LOATHE high rep training of any kind.Still something draws me to it; perhaps because I'm scared of it, perhaps because I know how big an accomplishment for me it would be. To really overcome my weakpoint.

SO to that I need to be able to cruise sets of 10 each arm and SLOW DOWN my pace. I'm so used to sprinting everything and that is not conducive at all to 5 or 10 minute sets. Pacing is but it's way harder than sprinting to me lol.

Not training max vo2 has helped slow me down as well as laddering my sets and volume up. Really fixing the bell overhead and MAKING it a rest position is part of the plan and it's working.

45 minute stretching, rolling.

kb snatch
16 kg x5/5x2
20 kg x7/7
20 kg x4/4

24 kg x10/10 x 5 sets
x 7/7 x 3 sets
142 reps
7526 lbs

NICE! Just 12 reps more in total than I did last week but doing the first 100 of them in sets of 10 was a big increase in intensity for me.I just relaxed and focused on not going too hard so that I didn't exceed about 75% heartrate. Having a much better overhead position on my right side now is key. I can rest their much better.

Today's sets felt as good as these done in Dec of 2006. Man that's four years ago!Slower but even more solid,especially overhead.

Two hand swings
28kg x10
32kg x10 x 5 sets

this was hard, lol. I was getting tired and I did these as Hardstyle as I could with downward eccentric speed and as much hip snap as I could. Thought about laddering up but decided with the snatch workload I had to back off here. the 32 still felt plenty heavy. 45 seconds rest between sets too.

Clubbell Arm Casts
15 lbs x 10/10 x 4 sets

Clubbell shield casts
25 lb x 5/5 x 2 sets

these are really getting my arms ,pecs and upper back growing. Nice. Three days of these this week, I'm really prefering the two hand version, just like in the swings. 9 years of one arm stuff; I've paid my dues there,lol.

A great training week!


Friday, October 08, 2010

Team Rif, Hungary 2010

I miss Hungary. Can't wait to go back next year. Tracy and I get to teach at both the Level 1 and the Level 2 certs AND we get a full week to explore in between. Awesome.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Swings and carrys.

SO Saturday's workout is set and Tuesdays am workout(s) are set which led to the last day's training and what to do then. As well as what day to do it on? If I do it Wednesday I have one less day of recovery from Tuesdays workout and if I train on Thursday I'll have one less before Saturday's heavy snatch day.

I decided to come back to Stones gym( kind of) and do the third workout at home, as well as do it on Wednesday. The reasoning is this: I'm training more clients than ever there, as well as doing my own training there for the first time and on Wednesday where the focus is high volume ballistics and I'm training solo it's gotten really hard to get pumped for the workout in the same space I just coached kbs for the last seven hours.

Plus, I feel that outdoor training would be good for me, even in the coming weather, at least for my carrys.

With all this traveling I've done of late I've really come to realize the importance and primal-ness of carrying things around for protracted periods. Few movements are more primal than bending down to pick things up off the ground ,or, carrying things around to get them from one place or the other.

It's a skill like any other and I need to practice it more so that I adapt and it's much easier when I have to do it for real life situations. So I've solved the wednesday training problem by combining swings and kb carrys.

It's also going to let me do more freestyle workouts, making them up as I go along and not worrying about exact number and rep counts. Just go by feel and keep track of time involved and perceived effort. As well as the weight of the bells used.

Which brings me to today's workout. I came up with these swings:

1) two hand swing
2) hand to hand swing
3) one arm swing
4) walking swing
5) cleans

and the carrys

1) one bell farmers walk
2) one bell rack walk
3) one bell overhead walk
4) two bells farmers walk( even or uneven weights)
5) two bell rack walks

I walked the distance of my front yard, about 50 feet with one rack position, rested a bit, then did one variation of swing for between 1o and 20 reps, the walked back the 50 feet with another carry variation.

I had grandiose plans of using not only the 16 kg but the 24 kb bell but I quickly came to my senses. This was TOUGH!~ and I haven't done this type of training in forever. Plus being outside threw me off a bit too but in a good way. It was sunny and hot and I got a great sweat going right away.

Plus letting go of the need to record every set and rep let me free to improvise and really go with what felt right at that moment; as well as be creative. But the 24 kg, not to mention the very lonely 28kg that's been in the abandoned Stones Gym garage for so long was not even thought of again once I started.

But I see TONS of room for improvement, not only in my ability to walk longer distances with more weight more easily but also in my work capacity and my more aerobic, lower intensity abilities. Moving weight and my body consistently for 40 minutes was not easy today.

Also did a quick 15 minute Clubbell workout while waiting for a client. was solid

Arm Casts followed by shield casts

10 lb clubs x 10/10- 10/10
15 lb x10'/10-10/10
20 lbs x10/10-10/10
25 lb x8/8-8/8

Datsit :))

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

KB Press PR and 3 in a row.

I must be on some kind of roll; the kind where you feel completely unsure of what's going on but end with a pr or an quantum jump in performance from where you've been in the last group of workouts.

Saturday's snatches were like that as were today's presses. Crazy stuff.
Not that I didn't feel good going in today, I did. I got in my hour of stretching at 6 am and everything opened up fine. I've been including barbell power snatch patterning( using a stick) in with my overhead and behind back stick stretch work and it's a blast. I've done a 70 kg barbell power snatch back in the day and I have a good groove for that move.

Now squat snatch, that's another story but this still feels good.

Felt good also warming up for the presses. Had it in the back of my mind to do ladders with the 28kg thinking a five rep top set was possible.As far as I can recall my best ever effort with the 28 kg was for triples a few months or so but I don't think I've ever done more than that.

Last weeks 5/5x5 long cycle clean and presses were so easy I thought it was a 16 kg and that's exactly how I want to feel before upping the weights and reps so I had some confidence. But at 8:30 am I am not always really warmed up and I only have 55 minutes to train; have to choose between rushed or tired ( end of workday training).Rushed is better but I have to be careful.

But today felt good. I started with two hand swings with the 16 to warmup as our fake summer has turned pretty quickly to fall and it's cold in the am now. Then some one arm swings, into rep cleans, and a few sets of cleans themselves before starting the ladder.

Short cycle clean and press
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x4/4
24 kg x3/3

28 kg x1/1
x5/5 PR!

Nice. I've never done more than 3's here and these were easy. Very easy.Now the clean almost killed me but that's another story in a bit. I've got my groove in the press pretty well dialed in now and today's little detail really put the finishing touches on it.

Normally I flex my lat right before the start of the press, then I push back on the contact point between the bell and my wrist as I drive up and out similtaneously. works great. but today I reaally concentrated on lifting my chest AS I did both of the above and the bell just flew up.

Very much like my start in the barbell bench press where I could really get some acceleration off the chest.A real key point to me to insure a strong lockout. Part of the lats function, with the origin( spinal area) fixed is to create lumbar/ thoracic extension and this helped my pressing tremendously,as well as put the final piece into my puzzle about the timing of my start.

Just think GS tempo press without the tempo.

But the clean tweaked me a bit.Everything up to the 28 felt perfect. Then I must have let my knees drift forward a bit on the first rep and felt my left adductor say hi! a bit. Knowing never to push things I put the bell down after the left arm single and assesed things. As usual the site is not the source and I did some work on my left hip rotators when calmed down the adductor but I was not happy.

I've been trying to 'squat' my cleans a bit of late as the other technique was irritating my left shoulder a bit, lol. Can't seem to win here! things went fine for the rest of the five sets but I did not have my full attention on the presses praying that I didn't wreck anything trying these.

I never know when something is just going to say NO WAY.Not today son.
But it made the press PR just a bit brighter.

As did Tracy when she asked me after my presses " do you have a weak side ?" LOL. well actually I have a strong side and a stronger side. It's the only thing on my body I can say that about. I've been pressing something consistently for the past 40 years and it's the most natural thing my body does.

Three in a Row.

Handstands. To a gymnast, in order to really say you can do a move, you must be able to do it at least three times in a row without a miss. One time, well, that's just luck. Being able to do it two times in a row is close to "owning " it but three times is the number.

At least it was for me growing up in my gymnastics practice and with handstands this is harder than it seems. I've been practicing my handstands more and more of late but I reverted to using the wall to find my center of balance as my groove was nowhere to be found.

Last weeks attempts to kick up freely in the center of the mat felt short, I could get there but it took 2-3 shots at finding the center. SO I started on the wall today

Wall touch handstands
3 sets 10 seconds

just a quick foot touch for proprioception than onto the free handstand. Easy

Free handstands
THREE IN A ROW, 10 seconds each.

Nice! easy too. My upper body mojo continues.Could really feel the strength in my shoulders and all the overhead flexibility work is really paying off. right shoulder ROM is the best it's been in 15 years or more.

KB Lunges( bell in left hand)
16 kg x8 x 3
20 kg x8
24 kg x8

these really felt solid. adductor felt fine too. thank God.

Datsit. 55 minutes. Tomorrow is Swings and Carry's my new mid week workout. All kinds of variations of swings ( two hand, one arm, transfers, high pulls, walking swings) interspersed with all kinds of kb carrys( farmers one arm farmers two hands, rack one arm, overhead)
Of course I've decided to train outside a bit, just in time for winter.

Monday, October 04, 2010

I need more water.

I'm a double pisces, I need more water. Warm water. I need to surf again, too.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

"You have to be ready to grab it

when Grace lays in down in front of you. "

You have to be there, ready for those moments when the stars are aligned and everything is working right.At least that's what I believe, and what I wrote down under this blog's title as my 'mission statement' of sorts.

Here's the whole quote
"And in those simple beautiful movements I remembered what was really important in training; that consistency trumps intensity; all the time. That intensity is born from consistency. That one cannot force it, one has to lay in wait for it, patiently, instinctively, calmly and be ready to grab it when Grace lays it down in front of you."

I think you just have to show up, suit up and do your practice and sometimes you can experience moments in the "flow' that are purely ecstatic, at least they are to me.

Moments like in 1977 in the Big Ten Gymnastics finals on parallel bars where, after I started the routine, I literally came out of my body and watched the entire routine from above the apparatus. In my body, in total control and out of my body observing myself similtaneously.

I had never experienced that before and had no idea that it could happen but it was way cool :)) Hard to describe but intoxicating and addicting like nothing else I had felt before. I got more of those moments all the time as I searched them out in training. once I knew that state was possible,that it existed I had to try to learn how to create it,to manifest it at will. To will it into being.

But that never worked. On days when you "should have" had the best chance to find it; when you were rested and focused and well fed and mentally 'there' it never seemed to show up. There was no pattern more than training your practice regularly with apt attention to the process and your body.

It showed itself when it was damn good and ready.

I later experienced that in almost every run I did when, after an always tough and slow 30 minute start, I would get into a flow where , for lack of better words, my body was 'running itself'. I was just observing. And deciding , but it was effortless Effort.

The same under a barbell the heaviest weight I had ever attempted, in front of an audience in a competition when the bar was suddenly empty and I knew, I KNEW, I was going to make it.

When you know HOW it is supposed to feel when it is done 'right' there is such a desire to chase it, to seek it out, to MAKE it happen. But it won't be forced. Just show up when it was good and ready. And you better be, to.

Then there are the days when it's just show up suit up and slog through. For me the experience of the strength and beauty of that 'flow zone' is well worth it. Big time. Talk about inspiration that leads to motivation.

Today was a good day, although like most good days I had no indication. In fact, just the opposite. My back was cranky and slightly weird, not in a good way at all. My attempts at right arms windmills on Thursday didn't go well and I ended up with some lateral flexion and some "adjustments" that had me a bit worried.

Plus, the 150 high pulls with the 24 kg was too close to my snatch groove and my biceps and forearms were getting a bit achy and tight. Not good for my plan of 24 kg snatches. I need to train on wednesdays not thursdays,even if that means tues and wed back to back. I need two days of recovery after volume these days.

SO I was more than willing to drop back to the 20kg and low reps even though i had missed last weeks snatch workout. I would decide when I got there and got warmed up and I was more than willing to do more if things went well.

And they did :))

Stretched out for 30 minutes prior and my back and hammies felt fine.My arms were sore but I paid particular attention to behind back stick work as well as overhead shoulder stretches.

16 kgx5/5 x2

x 7/7
x5/5 x 4 sets
130 total reps
6890 lbs

wow! this shocked me.everything felt great and my tight forearms actually may have helped my form as I HAD to concentrate on reaching all the way back and not cutting the back swing or I could feel it on the top of my forearms.
I would have been very happy with just 10 sets of 5/5!

The first set felt so good I knew I should ladder up. Nick asked me how far I was going and I told him I didn't know; till it started getting a little hard. This was the top set of 10/10 and it was just my forearms that complained. cardio was perfect and overhead position,timing and power was spot on. Loved it!

130 was a solid number after this week. workout was "I go, you go" pacing with Nick.

Two Hand swings
32 kg x10
36 kgx10
40 kgx10

these went great as well.took my wider stance and really felt the hips working. so happy to be able to train these finally.So much strength, power and stability in this movement. Just like I knew it would feel.

Two Hand Shield casts
15lb cb x8/8
20 lbcb x8/8
25 lb cb x8/8

Two hand Arm Cast
25 cb x10/10 x 1
I am really digging the two hand version of these. elbows are liking them as well as my triceps, mid upper back and pecs.