Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I really LOVE Rogue Fitness gear, especially their t shirt line. I bought four shirts, then their rings and I know they are real deal, and it looks like all their equipment is. Hell , they carry WSB line, what more do you have to say?

I don't have a need for power racks or plates or much else beside what I have but if I did I would buy it from these guys.

They have the right spirit and that's almost more important than anything else. I don't care if you're passionate for distance running, crossfit, powerlifting, kettlebells or bodybuilding. As long as you're passionate about it that's what's key to me.

So I was looking for my next shirt and I saw this one to the right. I had no idea what "sisu" meant or whether it was a word, phrase or acronym but it looked cool. I didn't want to buy it without knowing what it was about so I emailed Rogue to ask.

I got a mail back almost immediately telling me that SISU was the English equivalent for the Finish word for "having guts".This from Wikipedia expounded on that

Sisu is a Finnish term loosely translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. However, the word is widely considered to lack a proper translation into any language. Sisu has been described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. The literal meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts", and the word derives from sisus, which means something inner or interior. However sisu is defined by a long-term element in it; it is not momentary courage, but the ability to sustain an action against the odds. Deciding on a course of action and then sticking to that decision against repeated failures is sisu.

Perfect . I would get one. I love having things that motivate me or cultivate the right mind set for strength, courage and will. It makes training, and life,I find, easier.

Next thing I know I get an email from the owner of Rogue; Bill Henniger and he told me he was sending me a SISU shirt on Rogue. Turns out I was his Team Leader at his RKC and he appreciated my efforts. How freakin cool is that? Just got the shirt today and it's on tomorrow. The saying couldn't be more apt to describe my approach to, well, everything :))

And it showed itself today during my long cycle clean and press and ring work. Just getting started with both these moves and I have a long way to go. BUT I am so stinkin' happy just to be able to have the privilege of training to get them stronger I can't bitch at all:)

Playing on rings, no matter how weak I am on them. Awesome. One thing about starting at the bottom, the only direction to go is up :))

6-7 am Mobility/flexibility work upper body focus.

lots of toes, ankle knee mobs and thai squatting. bretzells of course with bent and straight legs, lots of overhead stretches and up and down dogs as well as back bends over stability ball. rkc hip flex stretch v 2.0 rumble rolling, of course

8:30-9:30 long cycle clean and press
one arm swings 16 kg x 5/5/5/5x 3
two kb cleans 16 kg x5 x 2

16kg x5
20 kg x 5x 3 sets
24 kg x3 x 5 sets

Wanted to get some volume in so I took a page from Sheyko's book and did some lower intensity volume before moving up in intensity and still doing some volume; just in a different configuration.

But I need to do way more work and really find my optimum two bell groove. I think it's more up than my one arm version, which is more 'out/up'n simultaneously. I think this will be much more straight up, with more vertical forearms.

That's fine and will translate into the push press, and later on the jerk, than the outside groove. I will still use that, though, in my single arm press. I just can't say enough how stinkin' HAPPY I am just to be able to write these words about my actual training, to actually have more than ONE thing I can do without breaking myself down!

After six years of rehab. Thats SISU to me.

But these were strong and fast. I will do some mirror training, perhaps on another day to practice more and not 'train' the lift as I groove it.Next two bell workout, though, will be with the 28's ;))

Two hand clubbell arm cast
20 x 10/10
25 x 10/10
35 x10/10

these are getting a bit easier( the 35) and I can get 10's consistently now without it killing me.Tracy is rocking her clubbells too as well as her press's. Love training with my Queen. Tuesdays are always special.

But I didn't do more shield casts as I wanted to get on my rings! First pike up handstands

Pike to Handstand, feet on stability ball
4 sets of 5

these were easier also,next week feet in the TRX harness. This is a much more symmetrical way for me to get overhead.

Ring Support

wow, this was a surprise. JUST HOW FREAKING HARD IT WAS!!! LOL. I couldn't get my arms locked at all and I could barely stay up for just a few seconds. wow. Did two more sets of about 5 seconds. I need more triceps.I am embarrassed to put this up but it will improve. I just have to really respect my body and my injuries and NOT GET GREEDY. Slow is fine.

This also gave me a object lesson in feed forward tension; one I haven't had in many years. I had to REALLY contract my, well, EVERYTHING, in my upper body as hard as I could to get enough tension to really hold and stabilize my body against those three planes of forces. My triceps pecs lats SERRATUS ANTERIOR as well as the obliques locked and loaded, fast!

Trying to turn the hands out was fruitless as I couldn't lock my elbows.Abs and front delts and everything were working hard the whole time. crazy hard. Felt good though. and familiar, in a very unfamiliar way,lol.

Ring plank

2 x 30 seconds

This, however was much better than last week. After the upright support this was a breeze and I should have gotten video of this instead of the above :)
No worries, I could barely get 20 seconds here last time. I can see, though, where these movements have to be practiced more often to progress.

The body forgets very quickly. It's not just muscle here, its way more complex. Cool.

6 am swipes on Thursday. My bet is that it's just too early for Nikko; so I'll be on my own.



Rob O'Brien said...

Hope you are well. Love the SISU shirt. Bought one immediatley!


Mark Reifkind said...

thanks Rob I am, physically better than I have been in ten years and digging it. Looks like your training is kicking ass too.well done.

I think I will need more than one of these.

Kai Johnson said...

Great post Mark. I love Rouge's stuff as well.

I have their metal rings, some bumper plates and the B&R York made barbell. All of it excellent quality. I've been eyeing some of their shirts as well since my wardrobe could use a bump.

Very cool to see you getting a chance to play on the rings again.

Bear said...

If you ever talked to any of the Mikkos (Salo, Aronpää), you can feel the Sisu-aura of these guys :)

Mark Reifkind said...

thanks Kai,I immediately could tell the quality of the gear even though the web page,:))

being able to play on the rings again is great fun, even if there is SO far to go to get to even bad :))

Mark Reifkind said...


never have met any of the those guys and have just been introduced to the concept. it's a small world though, who knows?
thanks for reading and for commenting.

jockeRKC said...

SISU was the name on your APC in Bosnia and yeas they was from Finland =) but in Bosnian SISU is breast female breast just so you know ;)

Mark Reifkind said...


thanks man, didn't know that :))

jockeRKC said...

hahaha a lot of no good info in my head ;)
but you can understand the reaction from people when the hard charging soldiers with SISU written on there APC came in to town hehehehe

Mark Reifkind said...



jockeRKC said...

armoured personnel carrier


Mark Reifkind said...

thanks Joakim :))

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