Thursday, June 30, 2011

Prepping for the Beast.

I've never owned a 4b kg Beast KB. Since I couldn't do two handed swings there really wasn't much I could do with it for the last 10 years. I wanted to own one but I already had a 44 kg Max Power bell that I dusted every now and then but didn't do much else with so it didn't make sense to buy it.

But I wanted one anyway.

Since I now can do and train two hand swings I decided to complete my collection and get an Official Dragon Door Beast and, lucky for me, I have a client that wanted to trade it.Awesome. It comes in next Wednesday and I figured I'd better ramp up the weights a bit to get ready for it.

AM Stretchout 45 minutes lots of splits,ankle mobs and stretches,overhead stretches,thai squats, down dogs and roller work,

10 am Two Hand Swings

16 kg x10
20 kg x10
24 kg x10
32 kg x8
36 kg x8
40 kg x8

work sets
44 kg x8 x 5 sets
36 kg x 8 x 5 sets
32 kg x10 x5 sets

wow, this kicked my butt,literally, but the groove and the swing felt great. the weight felt light also. the video above is the first set and they got better as I went along and I started getting more speed on the downswing. Still very tentative in my two hand swing groove and do not want to get hurt 'going' for it. As I let my body do what it wants and go where it has to to find the best path to power things inevitably go better.

I'm through trying to make my very unique body and mechanics fit into any other mold than what feels right and works. Whether I can explain it to anyone else in a way that makes any sense to any one but me is not my responsibility and I finally get that.Everyone needs to ultimately make their own way through the fog to where they want to go and who they want to be.

As the Chief Instructor says " Figure it out, Comrade"


8 sets from 10 -15 seconds

these felt surprisingly strong. I've moved my hand position in a bit and it gives me a bit more control. Pretty amazing to see and feel the changes in my right shoulder and T spine in the last 6 months, from no presses to lots of presses to double presses, and perhaps double snatches as well,lol.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Snatch endurance training.

Today was the first day Tracy took me into her world of high rep snatching and snatch pacing. Now that I can push myself again a bit I need to revisit the 5 and perhaps ten minute snatch test.Tracy does multiple 5 minute snatch tests at the end of her classes and workouts as a finisher,lol.

It is a great idea as I can learn tons from her about how to make high rep snatching easier. But today was not easy, even though the weight was only the 16 kg. So now Tuesday is snatch day. I was going to do heavy snatches on Saturdays, after press training, but now I don't think so. I want this day to turn into 20 and 24 kg volume work in preparation for the 5 minute snatch tests and I don't think I'm ready for two intense snatch days just yet.

SO Sat will be presses and one arm swings, Tuesdays snatches, heavy and light and Thursdays two hand swings and handstands. For now,lol.

I was just going where Tracy as taking me this morning and this is how it went. First

6-7 am Stretchout and mobilizations

solid hour of good work with lots of emphasis on splits and rolling.

8 am
16 kg one arm swings
5/5/5/5 x 4 sets
16 kg snatches
5/5/5/5 x 2

work sets
5/5 on the minute x 3 sets ( work 30 sec rest 30 sec) 10 on one arm, then switch
6/6 in 30 sec x 2 work sets x 2 15 on each arm then switch
7/7 in 30 sec x 1 work set

10/10 rest 60 sec
12 /12
18 /18

total = 228 reps in 25 minutes.

Not used to do anything over 10 reps on one arm and it was a challenge, but as much from trying to stay on pace as anything else. I'm so used to just going hard as I can each rep it's a very different way of thinking.

It was harder to do 5 reps in 15 seconds than 7! I'm not used to holding and slowing this down. this will build an entirely different type of strength. Way more static strength

Clubbell Swipes
10's x 15 x 3 sets
15's x 10
x 12
x 14
x 20

was hoping to ladder up by 2's all the way to 20 but the grip was starting to go and I decided to just get the goal set in. It was tough after all those snatches. Grip was toasty oaty.

4 sets of 4

this was interesting after all the previous work. Moving up well but arms and shoulders were tired.

Datsit. Sisu

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Snatches and presses; the new Saturday Schedule.

Wasn't sure about anything today other than 24 kg snatches were going to be done first. After that it was a tossup. Want to get on the new schedule that has Tracy and I endurance snatching on Tuesdays and me pressing with Nick on Saturday morning. I had already pressed this week but didn't want to go from last Tuesday to next Saturday without press so I hoped I could sneak in a bit of double work without destroying my shoulders.

It turned out better than expected and both the snatches and presses were strong and easy.

Almost got my full hour stretchout in this morning but some distractions from a student in Tracy's class that was having some physical issues took some attention and I wasn't quite where I wanted to be in the sequence but oh well. At least I felt good and nothing was screaming at me.

16 kg x5/5 x2
20 kg x5/5

24 kg x10/10 x 5 sets
100 reps

These were some of the best snatches I have done with the 24kg! Strength and power were fine, wind was solid and mechanics felt great. hands too, no stress at all. Just a bit muscularly fatigued from the weeks work but no worries. Could have done more sets but didn't want to be greedy.

Two KB Military press
16 kg x5
24 kg x 5 x 4 sets

this was a shock. how easy it was. And, as suspected, the cleans are the hardest part for me and only having to do one rep was nice. the presses felt very strong. Everything feels strong.

and Nick just KILLED IT, getting a solid set of 5 with double 32's the first time ever doing a double kb press and maybe having done single bell presses 2 or 3 times ever! Well done man, you killed it. Strong is strong,

Tactical pullups
4 sets of 4

wow, these were super easy as well and ALL the reps went chin above and almost to throat from the first rep. NICE! Shoulder extension was much better at the top too.

Ring extensions

5 sets of 6-8 reps. nice finisher.Let the new schedule begin!

Datsit. Sisu

Thursday, June 23, 2011

max freestyle and swipes

Man I've got to find another time to train on thursdays.trying to go fast or do high volume anything doesn't seem to work well after 7 clients and no food. Messing about with my snatch form playing around with my GS techniques, trying to watch a clock and slow way down was just not in the cards today.

I abandoned ship about 15 minutes into the GS experiment and went back to some max vo2 training, which was hard enough.Just no gas in the tank today.Tracy suggested I switch my press workout to Saturdays and we could work on snatch pacing and endurance work on Tuesdays which might work out just fine. She is the Queen of pacing and she can really help me with my endurance work. I just have to make sure I stick with the technique I know and that works so well for me;Hardstyle.

It's so beautiful in it's simplicity. Such a straight line and segments. For me to get anywhere near competent with GS technique I would have to quit all other methods and devote myself to it's study.

Not going to happen.

But I can learn to snatch for five to ten minutes with my current form. That's about pacing and that's what Tracy can help me with.

GS snatches
20 minutes practice, 16 rep sets x 1 minute x 5

Free style max vo2
16 kg
35 sets of 7

this was kicking my ass. I probably took 30 minutes to do these sets and it was all I had. yuck. No excuses weak ass day.

Clubbell swings
10 lbs x 20 x 3
15 lbs x 10 x 3

Torch swings
10 lbs x 8-10 x3

15 lbs x 50 reps( almost continuous)

I almost had a video for this post as I taped the swipes set. I felt like the workout sucked and I had to redeem myself so I decided to do 50 reps non stop in 2.5 minutes with the 15s. Shouldnt be a problem eh?

But I was sweating like a big dog and put on wrist wraps for the set to help alleviate any problems. Except they caused their own problem and I had to stop and take them off at rep 25 or so. Then I had to stop and chalk up the heel of the hands at rep 35. Made the 50 but deleted the video out of disgust.

No handstands. ack.

So the new alleged plan:


Clean and press (LC or SC one bell or two)
Or( alternate each week)
Snatch heavy ( ballistic or hike,snatch, park) OR High pulls.
Tactical Pullups


Endurance snatching
Two hand clubbell casts
Tactical Pullup


Two hand swings( ballistic or hike, swing, park)

we'll see. Saturday is snatches.

Datsit. Sisu

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All Day.

That's what I said out loud prior to my last rep of my last set today in the long cycle clean and press. I was finishing up my third set of 10 and 10 with the 24 kg and honestly felt I could press it as many times as I wanted to.

Now I know that's not true but it sure felt like it and it hasn't felt like that much in eons, although it is happening more and more. Today the 24 kg felt like a 16 and that makes me very very happy:)

Tracy even asked as I finished the set after she recorded my last side of reps " is it speed press day?" Felt like it.

I've laddered up from 5's to 10's with the 24 but never multiple sets and never starting with the top end weight. I hadn't planned on doing it but I thought I might not get more than one set so I recorded the first one just in case. But it was easy and I knew I was good for three.

All the heavy single work as well as all the double presses are paying off, as is all the rehab and mobility work.These felt like toys today.

6 am stretchout mobility

great session today with lots of splits, hurdle step work, overhead stretches and the usual suspects of Rifga poses especially some 3-4 minute set of downward dog.

8:30 am Long cycle clean and press, one bell

one arm swings
16 kg x5/5/5/5 x3
one arm cleans
16 kg x 5/5 x 2

long cycle c&p
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5

24 kg x10/10 x 3 sets pr!

It's always nice to back down to a weight that used to be your top end training weight and have it feel like the light day work it has become. I'm finally on the RIGHT side of momentum as Coach Stevo would put it.

Capt America Shoulder Casts

I was inspired to do these shoulder casts( didn't know what they were called before) after watching Alberto Gallazi do them with EASE with a 97 lb CB!!! in the middle of a class with no warmup.

20 lb x 10/10
25 lb x 8/8
35 x8 x 6 sets ( I did one hand position at a time, rested and repeated with the other hand position).

The 35 lber finally felt light and I have to get a Bruiser soon ( 45 lbs) it seems. I like this version and will add it to the mix.

Tactical Pullups

6 sets of 3 TO ABOVE CHIN!

these went up effortlessly and are the closest I've been to the throat since I started training them again. Locking into the hollow body position and winding up of the toque into external rotation for the shoulder is really paying off. My body feels like one solid segment as I initiate the pull.

Hanging leg raises
4 sets of 5.

so easy. wow.

Bodyblade Laterals
5 sets of 8 each side.

20 minutes of stretchout, client no show. Perfect workout and Tracy just rocked her 14 kg presses for 8's as well, her best effort to date.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Alleged Plan

I say alleged but I seem very capable of writing great workout routines only to continue to adjust, adapt and outright throw out the entire plan if it doesn't seem to 'feel' right.After 40 continuous years of training, competition, coaching, studying, analyzing, obsessing, and dreaming about training and the body I've finally learned to listen to that instinct that says yes or no about each direction change we take.

Especially when it comes to training. I've pushed myself through programs and exercises and techniques that are 'theoretically' correct, but just don't feel right to me in the real world.Being so hampered for so long by imbalances, asymmetries, injuries and pain it's a kick to be able to have so many new( old)training tools and tricks at my disposal again.

But I really love the creative side of imagining a new routine that will deliver the next desired goal. Like a recipe,like an equation like a map.It's fun for me to try to figure out the formula that will deliver the consistent result. Or at least give me a running start,lol.

So here is the new plan based on a four week rotating cycle, each exercise gets its time at the start of the workout and many then get cameo roles as assistant moves when a new exercise(same but different) gets the main focus of that day.

Rep schemes and weights will vary according to what happened last week, last workout and last night ;)).

Each new month I will look back at what weight and load I used for that particular workout and adjust up or down accordingly. Ideally I would progress up each month for four workouts then scale down but we'll see.

The loads will also be varying from workout to workout depending on which part of the next days workout cycle I'm in( light to heavy, etc).

As I said at the beginning, the best laid plans, etc. The only thing that matters is that I train as hard as I can each time I go to the gym, don't miss sessions and stay supple! The rest are details and high quality problems.


Week one
2 hand Ballistic Swing
1 arm Power Swing
Tactical Pullup
Ring work

Ballistic Snatch
2 Hand Power Swing
Tactical Pullup
Ring work

1 Arm Ballistic Swing
Power Snatch
Tactical Pullup
Ring work

2 hand Power Swing
Ballistic snatch
Tactical Pullup
Ring work


Week one
LC C/P 1 Bell
Cb arm casts
Tact Pullup

SC C/P 2 bells
CB Shield cast
Tact Pullup

LC C/P 1 bell
CB arm casts
Tact Pullup

LC C/P 1 bell
CB Shield casts
Tact Pullup


Week one
max vo2

endurance snatching/pacing
2 cb swing

max vo2

endurance snatching/pacing
torch swings

Looks like a good start. Lots of Same but Different.Try to ladder up the weight and the corresponding volume each week for each of the different swing,snatch and press variations. Wave up and down.

Hey at least I can DO all the exercises I've listed above,lol. Add in a full hour of stretching/mobility and rolling at on Tuesday and Saturday ams and 30 minute minimums on ALL the other days, with the other 30 minutes done in the evenings.

NO days off.

Datsit. Sisu

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Two Hand Ballistic swings and more snatch endurance work.

It was going to be interesting to see how this workout fared, as I did 45 sets of 7 in max vo2 late on Thursday and that has been killing my forearm extensors by Saturday. I had two hand swings on the schedule so even if they were blown out it wouldn't affect the workout too much I figured.

And so it was. Not only did they not hurt much, the progressions to two hands was perfect. All the extra snatching I'm doing must be helping me get back into snatch training shape. I was dreaming of doing sets of 10 with the Bulldog( 40 kg) but since I haven't done the workload with the 36 kg I knew I had to check that off the list first. Can't skip ahead and expect things not to go wrong. Got to maintain Sisu,lol.

One thing at a time.

The power swings, in all their manifestations are really helping all my other ballistics as they tighten up , strengthen and correct my form,forcing me, almost, into the optimal position to produce optimal strength and power.
Just like the box squat does for the power squat.

I had also decided to take Tom Corrigan's advice and test my snatch again with the 16 kg instead of jumping up to the 20 before I OWN it. He also suggested going up in reps as well, into the 120-140 range. It was going to be interesting also since I did 350 explosive snatches on Thursday how it would affect my lower intensity endurance.

Man , I just LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to train like this again, actually able to try different ideas and strategies and test them out without hurting myself. It's a freakin' Miracle and I will never forget that. Or not be grateful for getting so much function, strength and movement back.

6:46-8 am Full stretchout emphasis on splits, three sides and opening up adductors for the two hand swings that were coming. Also lots of overhead time for snatch work. I can really feel the positive momentum I've gotten from NOT missing these stretch workouts, as well as really taking them seriously and making sure I don't stop til every thing feels "supple" as KStar would say.

I don't forget as well that I could not even DO two handed swings for the last ten years without my back locking up! Getting through my cert was extra fun, let me tell you. Each year for the last ten I have tried to train these again, sure that I was finally rehabbed enough to do thi s most basic and powerful version of the kb swing. And each year I was wrong. Until this year. Happy doesn't even begin to describe it.

The two hand swing is the Power Squat of the kb swings and is the easiest and the hardest of all swings. The easiest because you have two hands on the bell and are the most stable. Hardest because there is no switching off of the pressure as you get in one hand swings and transfer.

No where to run, no where to hide. Which makes what my wife does even that much more impressive. Heavy high rep two hand swings are evil .
But in a good way:))

Two hand swings
16 kg x10
20 kg x10
24 kg x10
28 kg x10
32 kg x10

36 kg x10x10
100 reps with work weight
7920 lbs

fast paced and groove felt great.

Snatch test

Ended up with 120 reps in 6 minutes, 20 seconds.Not bad at all since last week was the first time I did more than a few minutes continuous snatches with any weight ever. It wasn't fun, exactly but more about relaxing and breath control than anything; which I knew would be the case.

I've done enough running, cycling and swimming for long and short distances to know how aerobic exercise has to be done and high repetition snatching is definitely endurance work.

Today the goal was to go 6 minutes regardless of the reps, just to get more feel for pace and rhythm.
I definitely could feel the affect the max vo2 work had on my shoulders, upper back and outer forearms but the weight was light enough I could deal with it. I played with varying the pace as I got tired to give those specific muscles a break, as well as some corkscrew descents and anatomical breathing. It all helped.
Not doing this AFTER my main workout will really give me a bump when I actually test it for real. But for now it's perfect.

I do believe I will start doing this work on Tuesdays after my press workout and get the Queen of snatch pacing to help me.Tracy is as strong a kb snatcher as she is kb swinger.NO joke.

She did 5 sets of 100 snatches with just a few seconds rest between sets on thursday AFTER she did 1400 swings with her 6 am class! Just another day at the office, so I know she can teach me tons about pacing this exercise and long ass sets :))

I just realized that the addition of this snatch work will really complete an all around approach to my snatch training

Strength = basic ballistic snatch
Speed= Max Vo2 training
Power= Hike, snatch Park training for RFD/speed strength
Endurance : RKC snatch test, SSST, and GS style training

Nice. I love it when things feel complete.

Tactical pullups
3 sets of 5 touching chin
2 sets of 4 touching chin

these are gaining ground fast and I didn't even have to do any scapular pullup progressions, just right up to chin. most excellent. Full throat will be soon and then we start adding weight.

ring extensions
6 sets of 6-7 reps. Much better good finisher for the triceps and midsection

Datsit. Sisu

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back to Max

Teaching the snatch in Hungary. We're back there in 8 weeks!

So much for early Thursday training. High demand for my training services( very high quality problem) made me realize I can't sacrifice any more of my work schedule to my personal training. I train with Tracy in an 8:30 am slot that I could fill but won't because I love to train with my Queen and that's the only time it works for both of us.

But I can't turn down clients as I only work from 6 am - 1pm. I know, tough life. So back to the garage at 2 pm for some max vo2 training. It is as I have been praying for WARM, dare I say it HOT and the garage was toasty.The biggest challenge for me doing Mvo2 snatch training is the sweat factor.

Trying to stay dry and still make it in 15 second becomes seriously frustrating in the hot months.So I decided since I am not in great met con shape anyway to go ahead and do snatch vo2 training but do it freestyle. As fast as I could but by feel, letting the workout wave up and down in rest time lengths and making sure to keep the bell and my arms dry.

It's no joke; sweaty bells tear up your hands and seriously jack up your grip. My shoulders never appreciate that.

Snatch VO2
16 kg
45 sets of7
315 reps
11,340 lbs
31 minutes

If I were doing strict 15:15 that 45 sets would have taken me 22.5 minutes. I was 9 minutes late so I was doing 20:20 instead of 15: 15. Not bad for instinctive training. I always start slow and speed up at the end. I'm a negative split racer and a kicker; this way of doing max might end up being my preferred way.

My main though was that I wanted to do as much volume as I could and in as fast as time as possible. Not just how many I could do with the 15 sec time interval. I had set my sights on 50 sets but bell speed went down mid 40's and I haven't done near this volume the last few weeks so I went cautious.

I needed this cardio work. I've been going very heavy for medium volume but it felt really good to sweat so well and not be pissed it was messing up my workout.Sweat is good. That's the only thing I miss about Bikrams except getting to do my practice right next to Tracy :))

10 sets of 5-10 second sets

these were surprisingly strong and easy. Nice.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Ultimate Training Tool.

Last night was just like the old days, going to bed knowing,dreaming and almost dreading the task I had set before myself for today.It almost seems like it was in another life that I couldn't press two kettlebells overhead(actually press at all!) without my right shoulder locking up for days.

I finally had to accept it and gave up all pressing work for almost three years and did just rehab work instead of the "real" training. Also, since pressing is my cradle gift,polished with almost as many years of practice and training it as I am alive, it was quite a shock when I could no longer do it at all.

But after jacking up the rotator cuff on my already injured right shoulder I knew pushing the pressing was foolish. Besides with snatching I wouldn't miss pressing, right?

Not really but beggars couldn't be choosers and I just sucked it up. Sisu.

I never knew how much I had done it nor how strong I was at it.Or how much I would miss it( and the resulting musculature as well) when it was gone.

So when I got back to the place where I could train the one arm kb military press I was overjoyed, although I kept harboring thoughts that perhaps one day I might be able to do double presses ( which I have never done, all my overhead work was either bodyweight, barbell or dumbells and very little of it at all since I retired from gymnastics).

If I could progress to double presses then why not to double push presses and finally double jerks? Why not indeed?

But I didn't think they would come back so fast when I first did them three weeks ago. Last workout with double 24's felt, dare I say it?, easy. But I was not so silly to think that adding just ten pounds to each bell would be anything like easy. I know better and those damn 28's are big.

And my legs are short. Doing the long cycle thumbs up makes it possible but I still had to press them and that got me up at 2:30 this morning getting ready way too early. Just like the old days,lol. But now I went back to sleep knowing rest is way more important than psych.

6-7 am stretchout
double focus of opening up abductors and hips to get ready for the wide stance and then shoulder work to get ready for the presses. everything opened up well. Basic r phase z mobility drills to start off the day for Tracy's swing class.

one arm swings
16 kg x5/5/5/5x3
two kb cleans
2 14's x 5 x 2
2 16's x 5

long cycle clean and press
2 16s x 5
2 20's x 5
2 24's x 2

2 28's x2 x 4 sets

The video above is of the first set and the first real life weight PR I've had in quite a while. No asterisk for age or weight, pre or post injury or if the Moon was in Pisces. This was the first time since I quit powerlifting that I felt that " moment of confrontation" that I got so much in powerlifting.The inevitability of what you have set in motion.

You know what you did last cycle. You know what you should be able to do. You know that you've done the training for the weight on the bar, but you have never done it. And now it's time. No where to run, no where to hide. It's like stepping off a cliff, knowing you should be able to fly but never having done so.And you have no choice but to take that step.

Not really.

A leap of faith indeed.

You don't need a barbell, you don't need a kettlebell. You just need You, the Body. The Ultimate Training Tool.

Short cycle press
2 24's x 5 x 2 sets

man these felt tiny after the 28's and felt seriously light! Exactly what I was hoping for. I could have pressed the 24s for eights no problem. And it feels so great to be able to push again and walk away like an athlete and not a basket case, waiting for another axe to fall and lop a bodypat off.

Two Hand Arm Casts
20 x 10/10
25 x8/8
35 x8/8 x 3

wow, the 35 was seriously heavy and my upper body was seriously tired but it was great to have this as a regular workout weight for multiple sets no matter what. You have to own the weight.

One Arm Shield Cast
10 x 10/10
15 x10/10 x 3

Nice change of pace from two hands and elbows were fine.

Tactical pullups

4 sets of 4 chin to bar now, a marked improvement. Each set had 2 reps to throat as well. first time for that.

Great day. Love it.

Datsit. Sisu.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

KB Snatches, two ways.

Since my wife is a gourmet cook so I watch a lot of cooking shows. One trend with these chefs is to prepare the same food ingredient "two ways" showing how the same food can be used completely differently. I did the same with my snatch training today, focusing first on power and rate of force development with the power snatch , and then on endurance snatching doing the RKC snatch test for 5 minutes right after.

I have made no bones about hating to do continuous snatching for much over 10 reps per arm or 20 reps per set and did my snatch test reluctantly because I had to. I will willingly do tons of total reps and sets,I just don't like to do them one after the other because that requires a completely different energy system, power production and mind set.

Mainly, being relaxed. Not my norm when I train as I like speed, power and strength training much more.

But it's bugged me for awhile that I can't just pop off an RKC snatch test with the 24 kg whenever I want to. For a long time it was my injuries keeping me from pushing myself with the test but I can't use that excuse anymore.

Especially when I can do 100 swipes in five minutes whenever I want, easily ( as long as it's the 10lb clubs,lol).And being able to do so with the tens made me realize that I've never taken the test with the 16. Tom Corrigan RKC and GS athlete/coach extraordinaire told me I should start my gs training with 12 kg and work up first for time and then weight. This is what the great GS coach Rudnev told him.

So I put my pride in my pocket and decided to do the snatch test with the 16kg today, after my power snatch work. I wasn't sure my wind would be good even with the 16; it's been THAT long since I did this type of snatch work.

It went well. Very well.Much like the 10 lb clubbell test. It's all easy when it's light,lol. But when I fell off pace in the middle and Nick screwed up my info I almost lost it.But it all ended well and I got my 100 in 4:50.Perfect. Next time with the 20 kg. They key is staying as relaxed as possible and doing as little work as possible on each rep and still keep the pace.

6:45-8 am

Full stretchout and mobilization, upper body focus. Lots of hammie work, splits three sides and toe mobs.

Power snatch
14 kg x 5/5
16 kg x5/5
20 kg x4/4

24 kg x5/5 x 10 sets
100 reps
5300 lbs

these were WAY tough! I filmed the 5th set because I didn't know I would get to the 10th set. As my wife likes to say, "it's just a suggestion", as far as how much work to do,lol, but I knew I had already programmed 10 sets of 10 in my head and anything less would be a failure.

Besides whether or not I could do the 5 min snatch test after these, all I could think of was Sr. RKC Peter Lakotos doing 100 consecutive power snatches with the 32 kg! This is such a a different animal than ballistic snatches that it really took me awhile to re "get" my groove. But I did and the last 5 sets were the strongest.

Nick asked me mid way through what was working the most on me and I said " my ass!"My glutes and legs were on fire! Excellent! Power snatches rock. Thanks to Tracy for taking the Power swing to the next level.

Five minute Snatch test

16 kg x 100 reps in 4:50.

This is really all about pacing and I've got a lot of work to do,lol. Next stop the 20 kg bell and perhaps before the heavy work,lol,

tactical pullups

5 sets of 5 up to chin level with solid hollow body and vertical forearms. these felt great.

Ring triceps extensions

5 sets of 4.

better than last week although I can't get full extension or my left biceps tendons gets wonky. Good work though..

Datsit. Sisu.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

CB Torch Swings, Swipes and Handstands.

This is the last set of torch swings I did with the 20 lb clubs. I hadn't planned on doing torch swings, just basic swings this morning but it seemed the logical progression once I started warming up. This day is still a work in progress( no pun intended) . Since I do handstands on this day the torch swings seemed a natural since I look at them much like a parallel bar swing to handstand in reverse. Haven't done them in quite awhile and was pleased to find my bilateral overhead shoulder flexion with this grip has improved a lot.

Full torch swings feel like swinging p bars.Same parallel grip, outside the body ROM from full shoulder extension to full shoulder flexion with not much hip movement. Just reversed :))

but I got in extra early ( 5:40 am) to get my stretch/ mobs in. Has to be done.

6:15 am

CB swings
2/ 10 lb x 20 x 3 sets

Torch swings
2/10 lb cb x 15 x 3
2/15 lb cb x 10 x 2
2/20 lb cb x 8 x 3 sets

lost my grip/linkage on my left shoulder on the 6th rep and had to reset. I was having the same problem with the left shoulder with the 15s at the top end of the reps. Strange that it my right shoulder has been the wonky one for so long, and the focus of my rehab.It's not really the shoulder but my very loose AC joint connection and way tight lats,pec majors and minors and a loose shoulder capsule,lol.
Plus, fascially, the tighter my forearms get the more it pulls on the AC joint and just about everything I do all day works my grip. That's a great thing about the different line of force the CBs produce on the hand and arm
It's like tractioning the wrist and elbows and solidifying the shoulder pack. And it's tough :))

here's the first set. Sorry for the glare, not sure if the camera is going or it's just the cheap lights.

2 Clubbell Swipes

Had just a few minutes left and I had handstands to do but still wanted more of a met con workout. SO I decided on five minutes of light swipes with two tens

2/ 10 lb cb swipes
5 minutes continuous.

probably about 100 reps but I gave up trying to count at 30 as these were getting harder than expected fast :) I had not done this before after a pretty full cb workout and it made a difference. I had to really focus to relax as much a possible and that did the trick.

9 sets with short rest periods( running out of time) Surprisingly solid overhead. All the heavy one and two hand pressing is finally paying off and I feel pretty light on my hands upside down. I am liking using the wall and have to backtrack on my position on that a bit ALTHOUGH it's still not a "real" handstand in my book unless it's free standing. I'm just not ready for that yet and that's the reality of it.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Thanks Joakim

Just like on Saturday, the 32 kg was on the schedule today, this time for presses; and there was no reason to duck it/. I still respect the HELL out of that bell and it can be very heavy when it wants to. I HAVE to pay attention when I'm training with it, for any lift.

This is problem/effectiveness of having a written out training program or protocol that is progressive,it forces you to confront the things you should be confronting if you want to get to where you say you are going.

If you say your goal is to press the 40 kg bell, then there is a certain amount of work one has to do with all the bells in between, including the ones that you feel are "heavy".Getting enough work done with all the different loads and intensities means organizing your training in a fashion that perhaps starts low, waves up the loads and intensity, peaks, then backs off.

There are a lot of variations available in those plans( as my own attempts to cycle my workouts have indicated :))
When I trained WSB style powerlifting there were many many choices one had to make each workout,specifically which exact exercise needed to be done to bring up your exact weak point in that lift at that exact time. It would only work for a short time regardless of which on you choose and either your weakness came up and you had to choose to work on something else or it didn't change enough and you had to find another way to attack it.

But one thing didn't change; Fridays were squat speed day. sunday was bench speed day, Monday was squat /dl max effort day and Wednesdays were max effort bench press. And you KNEW on each of those days what weights you would have to use because the percentages to improve that quality of that day's lifts were set and your current strength level was known, and you went off that.

No pretending, or extrapolating or wishing or guessing. You based your training off your current maxes and that means sometimes shit gets very heavy. And you had to man up and get it done to the best you could that day.

For the last many years I swore off testing myself or even pushing hard at all because if I did things broke. Hard and fast and took forever to get even a little bit better. It wasn't worth it; so I had to be happy with rehab pr's. Increases in basic functions and diminution of pain are ALL great ways to progress( especially if you are really jacked up) and not to be dismissed lightly. Still it is not real training.Hard training, the kind that scares you a bit before and leaves you satisfied and content afterwards.

But lately I feel safe enough to push hard enough to call my practice training again and that feels good. But I still have to show up and confront myself on the things I said I wanted to achieve; said I wanted to accomplish.

So it was time to get after the 32 kg bells but I wasn't sure of the rep scheme. It seems every time I try to go too far over 3 reps, regardless of whether I can make the reps, I get more fatigue than I want in the next few days. One of my goals is to be sore as little as possible,lol. It makes for better training and for strength training sore isnt' good. Not bad for hypertrophy but that is not my goals: high work capacity,resilience and strength are.

So when I saw my friend Joakim Bohms blog post and saw he cranked out 5 sets of 2/2 with the 32 kg press I knew what the work load would be, just that. I hoped. :)) I didnt' event think though, that I would also do as he did and do 100 24 kg snatches after. I need to work up to even attempting that,but I like the placement

I also choose long cycle for the same reason, it's easier for me and I get less shoulder fatigue, the cleans set the press up and give the delts and upper back a different stress. A change is as good as a rest, says the Chief Instructor and I believe him.

6-7 am full stretchout and mobility work. Left bicep tendon and AC joint still touchy after all the ring work. Lots of emphasis on first rib work, scap shrugs, overhead stick stretches, lots of forearm and brachialis thumper work as pec minor release with lacrosse ball.

8:30 am

Long cycle clean and press
16 kg x 5/5/5/5 swings x 3 sets
16 kg cleans x 5/5 x 2 sets

16 kg x5/5
20 kgx 3/3
24 kg x2/2
28kg x2/2

32 kg x2/2x 5 sets

these were very strong but still demanded I concentrate like hell and respect the weight and to what I was attempting and what I was risking. I had to be fully in the moment the whole time, just what I like :)) although I am seriously out of practice. Today will help. Every little bit helps.

Two Hand Arm casts
20 lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x10/10
35 lbs x 10/10 x 2 pr

never did two sets of 10's with this weight. It finally started to feel 'not too heavy" lol. Just heavy.Respect here too.This will tear shoulders ,elbows or wrists up no problem

Two hand shield casts
25 lbs x10/10 x 3 sets

these were fluid and fast. easy even. Have to keep these in this day, there are rehab.

Bodyblade laterals

3x10/10 each arm nonstop

another rehab assistance work must.

I was tempted to do my pullups but decided the shoulder really needed a rest and I've been pushing it. It's been telling me to rest it but I haven't listened. Til now. This is the danger of actually getting better. It's so tempting to try to do EVERYTHING you haven't been able to do for years all at the same time. and that's not smart or possible.

Hell the fact that I can press again, let alone heavy and strongly , is a miracle. Don't be greedy Mark. Be grateful

and I am :)) Movement is beauty at every level.

Datsit. Sisu.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

32 kg One arm swings/ ring work.

It was on the menu and there were no extenuating circumstances to stop me so 32 kg one arm swings were a go. I knew I could do fives no problem but if I want to ramp this workload up I have to be able to do 20 rep sets( 10/10) or it's too much of a slog.

My best ever for a 32 kg workout is 400 reps done in sets of 10/10 and I really want to get back to close to that workload.It's a ways off but not that far. The key is just consistent wave loading progressions and recovering from one workout to the next to set the next jump up. It's slow but it gets there.

6:30- 8 am

Full stretchout/mobilization. Took about 80 minutes total but I got in early and hit everything I needed to. This is getting much easier as I don't miss days at all and get the stretches in first. This is key to setting up better mobility and movement and less tension in the body throughout the rest of the day.

No days off, as Kstar would say. You can work on something everyday, no matter how little, to improve for the next day. Once I accepted that my true main training priority is my stretching and mobility it because much easier.

8 am

One arm swings
16 kg x5/5/5/5 x 3
20 kg x5/5/5/5
24 kg x6/6
28 kg x8/8

32 kg x 10/10 x 5 sets = 100 reps
x 5/5 x 4 sets= 40
x10/10 x 1 set= 20
total reps = 160
11,680 lbs

Ever since I stopped "controlling " my swing so much and just went to the groove where I felt the fastest and the strongest the swing has been going really well and I have been able to up my reps per set, weight used and total reps per workout. I was really getting in my own way before and the groove was much more awkward and slow.

Technically more "correct" but my body has never been , ahem, 'normal' I got in bad trouble in powerlifting not listening to what groove my body said was best and I vowed not to make that mistake again, and I won't. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone else or look "right' but it has to be strong and fast and not hurt me.

That's what really counts.

The 20 rep sets felt fine at first but I knew pretty soon that I couldn't maintain the correct bell speed for all ten sets I wanted. No worries, just do five sets and back off to 10 rep sets( 5/5) for the remainder. Felt great just to be moving that monster that well ;))

Plank Ring Pushups

5 sets of 4 reps.

Now this was interesting. Much stronger than last time but my left shoulder still rattles around way too much. Looking at the video remembering the technique I think I was so concentrated on turning out the rings and trying to lockout the elbows at the top that I didn't engage my lat enough! Crazy.

Still I have to go very slowly with this stuff as I don't have a lot of internal ligamentous support and things move around fast. I was worried that I would have to spend a lot of time today un impinging my biceps tendon but as I sit here now it's fine. Cool.

I also tried hard to keep my shoulders right over my hands at the top, or slightly forward, and I come close in the tape. LOTS of work to do.

Ring Triceps extensions

Couldn't resist this. I do love tricep work and wanted to see if this would get into the long head of the triceps which is the hardest part of the muscle to activate. It did alright but I got more shoulder than triceps.

We did four sets of 5-6 and Nick was complaining more about his abs than his arms! This really loads the front panel well.


Thursday, June 02, 2011

O dark thirty.Swipe VO2

First workout at this new time and it went alright. Still has a few bugs but have to say overall it was a success. Got into Girya at 5:40 am or so and got 20 solid minutes of stretching and mobilization in. After my front panel,hams ,IT bands and ankles went to work on the shoulders to get ready for my first run at Swipe Vo2.

Been having a bit of left shoulder biceps impingement of late( from all those side planks when I'm doing IT band foam rolling- no lie- and I have to really be on that first rib and keep the shoulder somewhat where it's supposed to be.

It's hard to keep joints stable when all the internal structures are so overstretched and or missing.Keeping the surrounding muscles strong helps but the extra tension also can pull these hypermobile joints out of neutral in a second! Pick your poison.

Of course ,adding in double pressing, two hand swings, pullups, ring work and handstands in such a short period of time probably has nothing to do with it, no? lol. I can't help it. It' such a blessing and a joy to be able to move and train a bit I'm like a kid with a new bike at Christmas; I can't wait to ride it and I don't want to get off even if it's dark out ;))

The Swipe VO2 didn't feel like it worked out well, even though on the video itlooks better than it felt. I started with 15;15 with 5s, then 6s then 7 reps for the first 15 sets and it was too easy.

So I kept going, doing 30 seconds of swipes( 12) and only resting for 15 seconds. This got hard around the 15 minute mark but my heart rate was still too low for a real max vo2 workout. I could go heavier but that means they would move slower so I don't think that's the solution.

I think just doing a progressive swipe or cb swing volume workout for 20-30 minutes will be fine. Mix light to heavy and high and low reps.

Handstands( wall)

10 sets of holds against the wall., most of which I had my feet off of. Decided to stop fighting it and progressively build my handstand back from scratch. I also have to accept that my t spine is NEVER going to be able to do that gymnasts hollow position that I once did. Sorry. But where I am is a strong position as I can tell from the video. Lots of external rotation and tricep lock.

Not the best shoulder flexion position but way better than it's been. This felt like a very good corrective and antagonist to all the pulling and pressing I've been doing.


5 sets of 5 with 10 -15 second hangs on both ends of the set. basically really trying to get 'comfy' in the hang position, then, get my scap adds working and my hollow position rocking , my forearms vertical and good torque into my shoulders and THEN start the pullups.

All went to eye to chin level . My left biceps tendon doesn't like these even when I do them right. Things just move around alot in my joints. Not fun.

Triceps extensions on Rings

these are like sissy squats for the back arm,lol. haven't done them in years and never did them on rings but they worked great, especially since you can rotate the rings however you like to find the optimum leverage and the minimum joint stress.

I killed me to let my triceps get so weak but everything I did to work my tri's killed my shoulders so I had to bite the bullet and let them go. Very cool to work them again and these really get the hard to activate long head.

4 sets of 5-6. oh yeah, killer ab work here too, as well.

Triceps are my favorite muscles. I love me some triceps and it's killed mthat

1o minute stretchout, mainly hammies and toes.