Monday, December 31, 2012

32 kg High Pulls/ Belt squats

Weird day and training. Was supposed to get stretched out early but circumstances didn't allow that. It was 34 degrees here this morning and the studio was almost that cold. Not a long day but a stiff one and by the time I got to the workout for some stupid reason I decided NOT to take my hot bath warmup before we started in the Meatlocker and I didn't warm up until we were 3/4's the way through.

Needless to say not my best day but I got it done. The good news was that the weight felt light even though I was as stiff as a board.

High Pulls
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5 x 2
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 5/5
32 kg x 5/5 x 7 sets

Belt squats
44 kg x 20 x 4 sets

I was finally warmed up by the time we got to these but the body wasn't happy overall.

Kb extensions on floor (cont. tension)
16 kg x 12 x 4 sets

these felt much better than the last time I did them. Just needed a break

Band laterals

4 x 12/12 blue band

these were fine. Not the best workout of 2012 but if this was the worst it was a good year. A strong year. Playing with the 32 kg with one arm on a bad day is just fine.

datsit.
Sisu/



Saturday, December 29, 2012

24 kg snatch 13 sets of 6/6



It's a freakin' miracle I could do this workout today given how my back was from Sunday through Wednesday. I was worried I wouldn't be able to get my arm over my head much less with the 24 kg attached but it worked out great. No problems at all, although I was more than just a bit tenative.

It was also a balmy  40 degrees in there as well and that aways works so well with my back :))

But I stretchout out well this morning, especially the overhead stick work and got me ready

One arm swing warmup : 16 kg x 5/5/5 x 5

Snatch
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20kg x 4/4

24 kg x 6/6 x 13 sets
156 reps
8268 lbs

Nice! these weren't hard at all, My bloggie camera died before I realized I could just use my phone but I did get a clip of my PR Clubbell arm casts.

Arm casts
25 lb x 10/10 x2
35 lbs x 8/8
45 lbs x 5/5

these were solid although I didn't have the control with the 45 that I want but it's only the seocnd time I've ever played with it.


straight bar pushups ( feet on floor)
sets of 7,8. 10,10!

NICE! No clunking at all. hitting the bar high on the ribs . my bench press groove here. hands close grip, thumbless, just like my raw bench

datsit
Sisu/

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Braving the Storm

It's been awhile since my back went wonky and although I knew this wasn't a 'bad' one, it's still a pain in the ass to constantly deal with the pain and the pressure and trying to figure out exactly what to do to unkink it and then finding the time and energy to do so. Unkinking a kinked back takes a ton of energy, especially when you know that even though it will work ,it will hurt. And dealing with that takes energy; energy you could and would like to be spending on more important matters.

But when you're tweaked that IS the more important matter and that's what's on the menu that day. So be it. As Charlie Weingroff puts it "training is rehab and rehab is training" and I couldn't agree more. You're always working on 'something'  that isn't where you want it and sometimes that's not a big lift but an inch more painfree ROM.

It was 85% right this morning but I still spent a lot of time in the overhead stick stretch as that is what was really needed to counteract the over tension I got in the lats and QL from the pullups.

I freaking hate to be this delicate but at least I'm going in the right direction, and at least I know what to do know to square these things up.
 By the end of  the workday I was pretty loosed up and ready to see what kind of training I could do.

Two Hand Swings
16 kg x 10 x 2
20 kg x 10
24 kg x 10 ( everything's fine)
28 kg x 10
32 kg x 10 x 10 sets
24 kg x 8 x 3 ( gearing towards overhead swings
20 kg x 8 x 3 overhead swings ( these were fun but looked terrible ,lol.) that close overhead grip is not my friend. :))

Back was fine in these although I was aware of it's presence. I really needed the full loaded extension to counteract the flexion as well.

Snatch holds
16 kg x 30 sec
18 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 30 sec
16 kg x 45 sec

these were tough but OH so necessary. I think I need more, not less of the extension position and less pullups, pushups and things from the past

Perhaps double snatches and or double clean and press? This time it seemed the key to opening up my back was opening up my front.I am liking the wide stance and double work more and more . I didn't do it on purpose today; wanted to see what the two hands would bring tomorrow. Now, two days off before 24 kg snatches :))

Bodyblade
3 x 10/10  


datsit.
Sisu



Monday, December 24, 2012

An adjustment.



I like to say the next step off a peak is always down, one can step back or fall off. Great advice if one really knows where the peak is. You usually find out after you take the step and find out that it's down.

Then you realize you should have backed off earlier but how to know? Especially when things "hit" later, like the next day, and , while you're taking said step which turns out to be a fall, it feels fine. even perfect.

Like my bodyweight pullups on Saturday. All things told me it was a perfectly reasonable progression to take and things would be fine. The warmups were easy and the mini band felt like it was doing nothing.

And the pullups were easy. Very easy. Some of the best I've done, actually. And everything felt great until I woke up in the middle of the night and my back seemed too tight to be good. And it was too tight. And it got worse.

Having gone through numerous injuries including many back issues I know that even when I'm feeling great I am always just one stupid human trick away from some serious pain and even terror.

The one thing I need to avoid to keep my back healthy is too much flexion. Having scoliosis and having lived in flexion for many years with gymnastics, running and cycling and bodybuilding when my body gets TOO tight or gets loaded too much I get locked up. and one side gets tighter than the other and pulls my spine in a not good way.

Luckily I know how to unkink this mess now but it's a pain in the ass and, having not had to deal with it no many many months now, I had forgotten how much energy it takes to focus on no freaking out, managing the pain and figuring out the best thing to do or not do. It's a huge time sink as well as it's hard to think about anything else as you feel the back on every single movement you make and you're never quite sure if it's the right one or not.

The key for me is to unlock the  rectus, diaphragm and lats. This tweak was caused when I unconciously pulled harder with my right arm/lat during the pullups as I was trying to keep my left shoulder protected. I know that now. I did not feel it in the least then. Or even hours afterward.
The too tight lat pulled hard on my hip and it locked in the "up" position, causing the QL,psoas, internal oblique, etc. to spasm  tight and pull me over center mass badly.

This is one reason I have avoided pushing myself for years as when I turn it on, as I have trained to do my entire life, I just get it done. But many times you don't realize you've exceeded structural limitations until it's too late.

So I got into work early and started to get things unlocked. used the thumper on the abs and diphragm, rolled on the lats and erectors, tried to do some up dogs and generally kept moving as much as possible ( walking is one of the best things) and by 12 noon it was passable.

Problem was, I had Glenn and Nick coming over to train on the new schedule( go figure I tweak things and I have a day LESS to recover >:))

Most times after a tweak I try to move as normally as possible as early as possible, modifying the load as necessary. I feel this kinda of presses "reboot" in safe mode on the body. taking me back to a time when I wasn't tweaked by doing these movements as cleanly( and with no pain) as possible.

So it was high pulls and I started light. Luckily the thing that hurt the most was putting my arms over my head and hinging actually felt good.

High Pulls( supersetted with lat hangs from  bar)
12 kg x 5/5 x2
16 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
         x 8/8
         x 10/10 x 4 sets

not bad at all considering last night I could barely stand up straight and sleeping last night was not that much fun. The back felt better and movement was more normal after each set. The lats released well on the hangs each successive set as well.

Belt squats
36 kg x 20 x 4 sets

this really helped decompress the hips and I was feeling very stable and strong at the end. tired yes but moving almost completely normal again

Pushups onto P bars

4 sets of 8! 

had the bars set up like a barbell with feet on floor. this worked perfectly with NO clunking or instability at all.Stay here for awhile.

Bodyblade laterals
3 x10/10

datsit.
Sisu/

Saturday, December 22, 2012

22 kg snatches, another 200 rep workout



 It wasn't very long ago I couldn't buy a 200 rep snatch workout with anything but the 16 kg. I spent a long time in the low 110's working up to 150 but 200 reps was just a distant memory. Not any longer. We all( Nick, Glenn, Joe and I) all did 200 reps with the 22kg ( nick used the 22, 24 and 28 kg!) and it was great. Now we have to bump up the rep count and start over but this weight was the last in the rotation to get to 200.; and it was sweet. My groove has settled in on both sides and it wasn't hard at all,just how I want it. Strong and easy.

 7-7:45 full stretchout. 

 8 am swing warmup 16 kg x 5/5 x 2

 Snatch
16 kg x 5/5
20 kg  5/5
22kg  x 8/8 x 13 sets
208 reps
9152 lbs

I thought about shorting the set work and just doing 12/12 on the 12th set to just get it done.but, as Joe said, "it's harder this way" and he was right so I put the bell down and did the extra set.No problems.

I can't tell you how much fun it is to train a bit hard again, to be able to actually step on the gas pedal a bit and to even plan workouts and progress ahead of time and be able to carry though. For a long time I thought I was going to have to be satisfied with rehab workouts, and, while that's better than nothing it is far short of this :))

Here's Nicks last set:




Two Hand Clubbell Shield casts
25 lbs x 10/10
35 lbs x 8/8
          x 10/10

strong. easy. Thought about the 45 lber but wanted to save something for the next exercise and my goal there.

Tactical pullups

purple band x 5
black mini x 4
Bodyweight x 3 x 2 sets!!!!!



MAN! This has been a long time in coming. I stopped practicing pullups last year when they just seemed to always exacerbate my left shoulder issues. After getting my pushup back last month I decided to start practicing my pullup again and here it is!

Plus the added bonus of using the bands to train is that they put you in the perfect tactical pullup position, hollow and all. SO when I transitioned from the mini band to just bodyweight the position and the starting strength transfered as well!

After all those years of bodybuilding pullups with my ankles crossed behind me I really never got my chin over the bar right when trying tact pulls but now it was easy. Soon, 24 kg pullup, bet on it.

Just another great day at Stones gym with a great training crew. Life is good.

datsit.
Sisu/



Thursday, December 20, 2012

Digging the ditch

These were the best double 24 kg swings I've done. Of course I didn't get video but they felt as good as they ever have in the short time I've been doing them. Both in the groove of double bell swings and the weight itself.

I really took my stance out wide and that made a big difference. I have some room to get the bells behind me and create some momentum in the pendulum.I mixed in some high pulls with the swings as well during the warmup sets and this helped as well. The high pull shorten my orangutan arms and makes it easier to move the weight AND keep my balance.

I finally got some good float with these bad boys :))

6-7 AM

FULL Rifga stretchout. Nice. It's been way too long since I got a full hour, stem to stern, stretch out in first thing in the morning. Man I need to start every day like that. It's just going to cost me some money :))

2pm ( last thursday session. Next week switch to Mon//Wed/Sat schedule)

2 kb swing
14 kg x 5 x 2
16 kg x 5 x 2
20 kg x 5 x 2

24kg x 5 x 10 sets

these just got better and faster and stronger each set. I definitely could have gotten 15 sets. Next time for sure. Alternating starting with double bells, then heavy single bells and mixing in the power swing versions of both is working very well.Same but different/specialized variety.

Glenn was commenting on how this was so different than the powerlifting training he has done- No Psych. Just work. Just set after set of basic work. I said it was like digging a ditch; you don't get psyched to dig a ditch you just keep shoveling.This is the foundation, this is what builds the peak. All this basic work.

And it's nice when, like today, it's pretty easy to work hard.:))

Two Hand swings
24 kg x 10
         x 12
         x 14
         x 16
         x 18
         x 20

these went SO well . the 24 felt like a 12 kg and all sets and reps were fast and powerful. Hardstyle indeed! the doubles are definitely making the single bell work so much stronger. Can't believe I'm not only training two hand swings but DOUBLE swings as wells .It's really a miracle after all these years. At least to me :))

Snatch Holds

16 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 30 sec
24 kg x 30 kg

need to do another set and start working toward more 45 sec and one minute sets

Eccentric Pushups/floor
4 sets of 8

these went perfectly with NO shoulder clunking at all. So much fun to be able to work the full ROM of this movement without getting so unstable. I'll take it and stay with these . Also time to add handstands back in.

bodyblade laterals
2 x 10/10

tired and hungry. done

datsit.
Sisu/



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

32 kg high pulls and mini band pullups.



Got my nice hot bath and a good stretchout prior to stepping into the ColdStone cave for high pulls today. I know it's California and everyone else laughs at what we call winter but I'm stiff enough in warm weather and temps under 60 degrees exacerbate that even more. When it's really cold things just lock up.

The key is to keep moving and take hot baths so I did.

I look at this move as my key assistance move for my snatches so when it's feeling strong I know the lighter snatches will be as well.

High Pulls
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x  5/5
28 kg x 5/5
32 kg  x 5/5 x 5 sets

A mere 50 reps but quality reps and man they felt strong. The lightest this bell has felt in eons.

then 24 kg x 8/8 x 3 sets
Just to get a bit more work in


Belt squats

32 kg x 20 x 4 sets

these went great and really deload the hamstrings while strengthening the quads. SO cool to be able to squat  again. going tojust cycle through the 32 , 40 and 48 kg bells from now on.


Superset
Tactical Pulls with bands and P bar pushups


these went GREAT!
Two sets of 5 with purple band and then 2 sets of 5 with this mini band. This is really getting me an entirely new groove on my pullups and its two things: first, the band is really helping me get the momentum to get way over the bar , far more than normal and this is setting a brand new pulling pattern and
Second: Having my legs in front like this really exemplifies the exact right position for a proper tactical pullup with a solid hollow position. Haven't done this since my gymnastics days. this feels great on the shoulder as well

P bar pushups, feet on box
Not so well. First three reps felt perfect then the shoulder just moves around during the transition from bottom to concentric rep. Doesn't hurt or sublux like before, just moves around no matter what I do.

Last two sets were from the knees on the floor but the same thing happened. First 3 reps perfect then not.
Trying these on rings next.I'm thinking the rotation ability of the rings might help keep me in the most stable place.

Stoked about the pullups though. BW next , then weight not far behind.

BB laterals
3 x 10/10

datsit.
Sisu.

                                                           




Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another mission accomplished. 200 snatches with 20 kg



We did 192 reps last time with this bell( 8 sets of 12/12). Last week we backed off with the 24 kg as we had hit 200 reps with that bell the workout before so I was thinking about going for 200 reps with this bell but I was fairly beat up from the weeks training.
A bad move doing some Primal move on wednesday night clunked my shoulder out and I wasn't getting enough time under the lacrosse ball to get it out correctly so until last night, so I wasn't sure if trying for a high rep pr was a good idea.

As usual I will wait til I get hand on bell for my body to tell me what is right to do and today it told me I would be doing 200 reps and it would be easy.And, as usual, it was right again,

Nick had to leave early so he busted out his 200 reps in record time we tried to warmup in the meat locker we train it. He set the pace though with 7 sets of 12/12 and one set o 16/16 for a strong 200.

But that left just me , and Glenn and Joe so the pace quickened.:)) No problem though and we just motored through it. What a great crew and man it's so much more fun to train with a group of real deal guys that are on the same page as you. SO reminds me of the best of my powerlifting days.

We were more than warm in record time. Swings and snatches do that for you. Got a solid stretch out early this morning and felt solid going in. Shoulder was cool too although not perfect.More light, daily snatch holds again.

My new technique of hiking the bell back AND up worked like a charm and I let the bell drift a bit lower on the left side than on my right and that worked great too.:)) Really gave me that back end of the swing I've been looking for. Much more stretch reflex than I have been getting, and really takes the load off the grip as well.

Snatch
( warmup 3 x 5/5/5/5 x 3 high pulls)
16 kg x 5/5 x 2

20 kg x 12/12 x 7 
         x 16/16 
Pace= 28 reps/ min

200 snatches
8800 lbs

Looking closely at the video I'm glad I did the "extra" rep. It wasn't. Glenn was on count, I messed up. I can't count, at least I know it.



Sweet! My left hand grip ( related to the shoulder) was going on the last few reps but it held. Right side was EASY all the way around.Very happy with this.

CB Arm Casts
25 lbs x 10/10
          x 12/12
          x 15/15
35 lb x 6/6

these were tough at first( heavy ) as the torso was pretty toasty. then it calmed down so I did the 35 lber.

Tactical Pullups
purple band
x 6,7
with mini band(!)
x 5, 5

YES! The mini band reps were easy and all with chin over bar! Bodyweight very soon. It's time for this move and I can feel it is having a therapeutic de loading effect on the shoulder. Too many pushups have not felt good.


datsit.
Sisu/



Thursday, December 13, 2012

More Beast Swings.



Long ass day today. Cat woke me up at three and out of bed at 4. Clients straight through until 2 pm and then a 10 minute hot bath as my 'passive warmup' before stepping into the cold storage known as my garage gym, Stones. It's cold as a stone in there from November until April as the concrete slab underneath damn near freezes and doesn't thaw out til Spring.

The Russian warmup (they use saunas I've read) make all the difference. Instead of freezing I'm sweating in two sets.

Two hand swing, ballistic

16 kg x 10
20 kg x 10
24 kg x 10
28 kg x 10
32 kg x 10
36 kg x 10
40 kg x 10
44 kg x 10
48 kg x 10 x 2
40 kg x 10
36 kg x 10
32 kg x 10
110 swings above 24 kg

That was perfect workload . Too tired to do multiple sets at one way this full pyramid got plenty of work in and let me concentrate on form, which felt very solid. Really focused on  internal rotation on the lockout and external ( knee) rotation as I went into the descent. This really set up great torque on the lateral side of the body and great hip utilization AND stabilization .

Also focused( once warmed up) on throwing the bell back and UP and this continued to give  me a great "bottom" of the swing arc and an excellent launching pad for the concentric rep.

I know I haven't done 2 sets of 10 with the Beast so that's a PR Nice. AND, it felt pretty strong an easy.

Two KB Power Swings
16 kg x 5 x 2
20 kg x 4 x 2
24 kg x 3 x 2

these were good and tough at the same time. Especially the 24 kgs. Hips and legs were a bit toasty but the groove was solid. I'm just so weak in this position. I ain't got no hip size at all although my glutes are huge compared to 20 years ago,lol. Now that's a scary thought.:))

I am getting WAAAY comfortable with this wide stand and the double bells, though. Really brings me back to powerlifting.

Snatch Holds
16 kg x 30
20 kg x 30
24 kg x 30
18 kg x 45

nice,we need to do at least 4 set and get our asses to one minute holds more pronto. It's just that one minute holds really suck. Glenn's shirt said "Embrace the Suck" today and it looks like we have to even more.

 Oh well :)) Embrace the Suck.

P bar pushups. Horizontal bar, close grip
4 x 7 ,8,9,10

Nice! the first few reps of the first few sets NO shoulder destabilizing at all. SO solid. I love this, it's just like a bench press and I treat it as such, same techniques. and really on the lats.this is getting much stronger

datsit.
Sisu/



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

28 kg High pulls, belt squats



These went great today. Since I had a pr with the 36 kg last week it was time to step back. The 28 kg seemed like a good choice. Heavier enough to make me pay attention but light enough to focus on technique.

There are many ways to create intensity in a practice; weight sets and reps are only the obvious. Dialing in the teshnik is another and can really take things to the next level.

But I hadn't planned that being part of the training, it just happened. These days I look for those little, important signs from my body or the bell to guide me in ways to make my training harder or easier. Today it was easier.

I decided to think about hiking the bell both UP behind me, as well as  BACK. This made a huge difference, especially on my difficult left side and  gave me a very good feel of the stretch reflex though the hips. I've been 'searching' for the back end of the swing/snatch/hi pull on my left side and this seemed to be it. Even more than squatting down more as I played with Saturday. This seemed to be the rhythm I've been searching for. We'll see if it sticks but today was very nice

High Pulls
16 kg x 5/5/x 2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 3/3

28 kg x 5/5
         x 6/6
         x 7/7
         x 8/8
         x 9/9
         x 10/10
Done! and easy and strong 90 reps.
My back was tight this morning from not getting enough stretching in and too much computer time but I got that opened up quickly and went into the session feeling as square and plumb as I've been in awhile

This technique also keeps the bell in closer to the crotch and locked into the rib cage better. We'll see how it translates into snatches though.

Belt squats
48 kg  10 x 5 sets

these were very solid. Back to the 32 and 20 rep sets next week. I think the cycle has to be 32/40 and 48. No more of these intermediate weights. PLUS time to add in Goblet squats and depth squats off two boxes as well. I smell a specialized variety rotation being born :))
Same but different is my favorite type of training.

Band Pullups
5 sets of 5 with purple band! 

Stinkin' easy! Chin over bar too. this felt great and shoulder didn't say a peep. One more week with purple and then to black monster mini and then real pullups again!

Bodyblade
3 x 10/10

datsit.
Sisu/


Saturday, December 08, 2012

24 kg Snatch Re Load



Since we hit 200 reps in the last 24 kg snatch workout it was time to up the reps a bit and download the total volume. My back was more tired than expected after Thursday's double bell swings and power swings with the band so  140 or so reps was just fine for me.

Got a good stretchout this am, especially back over stability ball bends and up dogs to stretch out my tight front panel. straddle stretches and down dogs as well as over head work as well. Felt solid when the guys showed up and it was go time.

Never will take that for granted, it's so cool to NOT be doing rehab and actually be able to practice and train

Snatches
16 kg x 5/5 x2
20 kg x 4/4

24 kg x 6/6 x 12 sets
144 reps
7632 lb

Very solid and not that hard at all. It wasn't long ago at all that this volume would have been a recent pr. now it's just a down week. Nice :)

 Made some good adjustments  in my lumbo pelvic rhythm on my  left side and I think it's finally the right move. On my right I just have to lean a bit on the descent and my hips go back. Doesn't work that way on my left and I've tried about every permutation.
Except what I did today.

Today I leaned into it to begin but instead of either 1) continuing to lean or 2) trying to push back as well I tried to squat and got the reach back I wanted. Of course I didn't get this figured out until the 11th set but it feels right.

Since  my left knee doesn't fully lock out OR bend easily it changes the mechanics quite a bit from left hand to right and I think this adjustment makes it work. It certainly felt more fluid and I felt like I finally had a  "bottom" position  on my left side.

Shield Casts
 15 x 10/10
25 x 10/10
35 x 8/8 !

Arm Cast

45 x 5/5!!

nice! haven't had this in my hands for quite some time! It's FREAKIN' HEAVY! but they moved well and only hit myself in the head a few times :))

P bar pushups
bw x7
1 chain x 5 x 2

not bad but shoulder moving around after the first 3 reps. Not bad  but noisy. Press felt strong though.

And we have a new addition to the team at Stones Gym. Joe Sarti all over wunderkind is training with us now on Saturday. Joe is an amazing athlete and has been a student and training partner of mine off and on for many many years. Joe can do it all; he's fast, strong, flexible, mobile,athletic and very very strong. did I say strong? Joe came within inches in his pullup of Taming the Beast a few years ago and killed the press and the pistol at about 170 lbs. here's his website .
Good to have you with the crew Joe.
And how nice it is to have a crew again, thank you Nick and Glenn.

datsit.
Sisu./



Thursday, December 06, 2012

Double KB Speed work.



I remember when all I could train was the one arm swing. No presses,snatches, squats, anything but the one arm swing and transfers. I was that jacked up. I didn't know how I could train just this one movement 3 or so times a week and 1)make progress in strength and work capacity and 2) not be bored out of my mind.

I decided to train three times a week with a different weight on each day. Light, medium and heavy. I just didn't know which weight to assign to each day so I asked Brett Jones  for his advice. He told me on my light day "go light". How light I asked, my powerlifter brain still fully intact.
16 kg light, he told me.

Ack. 16 kg? I was trying to get stronger not weaker. But he was right and I knew it. I had to put in some time going light if I was going to be able to go heavy on the other day(s) and there are plenty of ways to challenge a light bell that will seriously kick your butt.

Light meant two things, fast and lots of volume. I like fast and even though I seem to like volume, I don't. I just do it to accomplish my goals: increasing work capacity and recovery ability.

" A back of iron and legs that never quit" as I read in a KB book once. Thats my goal and lots of work with basic kb moves is my best bet with this old mainframe to get there.

I much prefer another Brett Jones, approach :"anything over 3 reps is cardio" . Perfect and much in line with my WSB method as well.

Since I've been grinding away on the two kb swings trying to get a groove and build a foundation I've been going relatively heavy, for me, and thought it would be a good day to go light, 16 kg light and bring in some speed and acceleration to the mix.

Going light would let me get looser on the downswing and build more power on the up. Worked great and I felt like I could play with my form more, as well.

Two KB swings
2 12kg x 10 x 2
2 14 kg x 10 x 2
2 16 kg x 8 x 10 sets

really took my stance out and this helped a bunch. Tried to get really snappy on the descent and that worked well too.

Two hand swings with Power band


Instead of doing dead stop swings I decided to keep it light and fast with a jump stretch band attached. Another move I've wanted to do for years but haven't been able to. These are just as much fun as I thought they would be. And not easy at all.

Same but different. Specialized variety works well for me.

24 kg + average band  x 10 reps x 8 sets

the last three sets were seriously tough, trying to deal with the overspeed eccentric and the resistance on the upswing AND the increased tension took it's toll. But kept bell speed up til the end

Kneeling Floor pushups
4 sets of 10

first two sets NO clunking til last rep, third set got a little loose on 8 and forth set it settled in at 7 . Still great form work and the last sets were chest to the floor and paused.
very pleased with this.

Early AM full Rifga stretch out and PM session with client ( 10 minutes). Need to do even more of this. GET ON THE FLOOR\.

datsit.
Sisu/



Tuesday, December 04, 2012

36kg Hi Pulls Pr



This was a long day after a long day. got some solid muscle release and mobility work last night so I was in pretty good shape for today's workout. Also, a short but decent Primal move session with a client so that helped as well.

High Pulls
16 kg x 5/5/ x2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 5/5
32 kg x 5/5
36 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets Pr 
28 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets
24 kg x 10/10 x 2 sets

The hardest part of the 36 kg sets were the grip on my left hand! It was serious work to hold onto it and I found myself using a tight right hand grip to strengthen it. Part of it is overuse fatigue but also I just don't do any really heavy grip work anymore and it shows!

But it was an all time Pr. I've done one arm swings with the 36 twice before but always for just one top set. this was the strongest it's ever been, in retrospect. The 40 is next. Never have used that with one arm. It will be a great victory :))

Belt squats
44 kg x 15 x 4 sets

very solid. I love that I can just start with the heavy weight on this, no warmup required.next week the Beast and after that back to the 32 kg and 20 rep sets again.

Half Pullups
4 sets of 5

more than just scap pullups my chin was close to the bar for no problem . Full chins very soon. that sub scap mob has made an incredible difference not only in my shoulders but in my entire torso.

bb laterals
3 x 10/10

datsit
Sisu.



Saturday, December 01, 2012

22 kg Snatch, 192 reps



Sneaking up on 200 reps :)) All the subscap work I did last night REALLY made a big difference this morning. MUCH easier to get the arms overhead much faster and easier.Thanks Kelly, another brilliant MWOD.

VERY excited about his new myo fascial release technique. I've been searching for a good way to get at the subscap as I KNEW it was very involved in my shoulder restrictions, I just didn't know how much. Now I do and this is just the beginning. I have great hope for this.

Doing eights is SO much easier than twelves, lol. Seemed like a rest almost, Plus I felt very strong this morning as well and that always helps. The 22 kg felt very light. Opening up the calf and hamstring last night as well really prepped me for today's training. Good stuff.

7 am : 30 min Rifga stretchout

8 am
one arm swing warmup 16 kg x 5/5/ x 3

Snatch
16 kg x 5/5/
         x 3/3
20 kg x 3/3

22kg x 8/8 x 12 sets
192 reps
9408 lbs

one more upwave to 13 sets and 208 reps,then we bump the reps to 9's and drop the sets back and rebuild. No hurry. Plenty of time to get there and the sooner we do the more work we have to do:))

Two Hand CB Arm cast
15  lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x 10/10
35 lbs x 10/10

the improved ROM and opened subscap really made it's presence felt here with much greater ease overhead. Nice!

pushups on single bar

4 sets of 6


ahh,much better than on thursday. really focused on "breaking the bar" as I descended and this was the most stable the shoulder has been period. Sub scap here as well? Must be. Felt like I could externally rotate the arm much easier.

Great workout. Glenn and Joe Sarti trained hard as well. What a difference a great team makes! Feels good to feel good again. :))

Datsit.
Sisu!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Double bell power swings.



Good but tough day today. Full schedule of clients which is always good but made for a very long day. With hard training at the end. With very little food. All good but tough going at the end. And then Glenn had to cancel with an emergency so it was solo.

It was dark and wet and nasty outside but at least it wasn't cold so that was something. And I realized I can organize my training so I can have it all :)) Heavy high pulls on tues and then two bell swings AND two hand swings on thursday. Just not as many sets of each. Alternate power swings on one version and the ballistic on the other and then switch the next week.
So:

Wk 1 2 kb power swing
         2 hand ballistic swings
Wk 2 2 kb ballistic swing
        2 hand power swings
Wk 3 2 hand ballistic swings
         2 kb power swing
Wk 4 2 hand power swing
         2 kb ballistic swing
plus I can alternate the starting exercise as well for a nice four week cycle. Each workout will necessitate different weights volumes and loads. Nice.

But that meant two hand power swings today, which I've never gone. No time like the present.I didn't feel weak,just tired.

Also, got a full one hour rifga stretchout from 6-7 and 2 primal move sessions with clients as well. Lots done before I even got to Stones. :))

It's a blessing to be able to do so much work. No joke.

two kb power swings
2 14 kg x 5 x 3 sets
2 16 kg x 5 x 3 sets
2 20 kg x 5 x 2 sets
2 24 kg x 3 x 3 sets

heres the 20 kg x 5 set:


these were HARD but really worked where I am weak: the hike pass back. As inexperienced as I am with double swings and I completely a newbie with these. but much progress will be made. guaranteed.

Two hand swings
24 x 10 ( did this feel LIGHT,lol)
28 x 10
32 x 10
36 x 10
32 x 10
28 x 10

I had delusions of 40 kg or more but I hit a wall. Bell speed slowed on the 36 so that was the sign that that was all I was getting.

Snatch Holds

16 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 30
22 kg x 30

these were tough, energy flagging. the end is nigh :))

P bar pushups ( bench press pos)
3 x 5 
'not good. shoulder making noise from the get. done


datsit.
Sisu/

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Back to high pulls



Once you have had a serious back injury; the kind where you can't really can't bend, stand walk or lie down well you realize that something like that can happen again. You may be better now but once you KNOW how really wrong things can go, you're ever on the lookout for it. The little signs, that tell you  that perhaps a storm is coming. Perhaps not but you better be ready.

I have been pretty much back pain free for almost two years and it's been great. I thank God every morning as I turn over in bed with no problem for being able to do that, as well as a myriad of other basic things you don't think about til you can't do them without pain or restriction.

But I've been doing a LOT of two hand swings, two kb swings, squat pattern work as well as a ton of volume as well and obviously not enough stretching as this weekend my back tightened up a bit. Not a big bit but still a scary bit. And the tight lower abs and psoas and QL brought back some very ugly and painful memories.

The hour I spent in weird positions pulling avocados off the tree didn't help either. SO I got in to work early this morning and got to work opening up some very tight front panel and lats.
It did the trick. As it always does but it was a pretty nasty reminder just how close I always am to being really jacked up again.

Back injury and pain is no joke. Neither is doing your correctives and mobility work AND staying sure your structure is balanced. I need one arm ballistic work to keep my stabilizers working maximally, being as asymmetry and unbalanced as I am. Hey, that doesnt' read right :))

5:30 am
Rifga focus on back bends and overhead stick stretches. Lats and front panel ridiculously tight


High pulls
16 kg x 5/5/ x3
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5/
28 kg x 5/5
32 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets
28 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets
24 kg x 8/8 x 2 sets

This pushed reset and all was well with my back. Crazy how fast things can go wrong or go right :))

Belt squats
40 kg x 15  x 4 sets

as usual, this also pushed reset.

1/2 pullups
4 sets of 4 reps

back to scapula pullups. now that I've regained my push pattern it's time to reclaim my pull pattern. These will be full pullups in no time

Bb laterals
3 x 10/10

datsit.
Sisu/

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Watching the wheel , not the peak.



I was a horrible climber on a racing bike. I never had any leverage sitting down to spin up hills so I had to stand for any climb I wanted to be able to put some effort into. One thing I learned very quickly is that you NEVER look up to the top of the climb or even think about how much further you have to go. You just watch the road and the wheel right in front of you, relax and breathe and just keep turning the pedals.

Anything else is psychologically devastating as it ALWAYS seems way too far, way too hard. The same thing here in KB land when I have a lot of reps ( anything over 5 ,lol) or a lot of sets to do in swings or snatches. Just watch the wheel and do one rep at a time, one set at a time. Don't get ahead of yourself or panic. Just go.

And I felt good this morning but when I realized that 8 sets was 192 I thought perhaps I should do 9 sets and break the 200 barrier again. But as soon as I do that I have to bump the reps up and I'm in no hurry to do that, so one set PR was the goal. I could live with 192 snatches :))

It was freaking frozen in Stones gym today too so we had extra warmups, BUT it was only a 20 kg so the fear factor was not there. Which almost made it worse, didn't need to get psyched at all, which meant no adrenaline to help me. Oh well, suck it up :))

7 am Rifga stretchout 40 minutes getting back to work here again. Need it:))

Snatch
16 kg x 5/5/5 x 3
16 kg x 5/5 x 2 ( snatch)

20 kg x 12/12 x 8 sets
192 reps\8448 lbs

took about 5 sets for my lungs to open up. then I started getting tired ,lol . This is a lot of reps for me!
here is set 5


 the heavier weight makes me stronger to make these lighter bells and higher reps easier. the high rep sets make my form more solid for the heavier bell. each weight and rep scheme helps all the others, It's working very well so far


CB arm casts 
25 lbs x 10/10
35 lbs x 8/8
          x 10/10

these were tough but manageable.

P bar pushups
1 x 8 
this groove was too fatigued from thur and chains
Floor pushup
2 x 7 
still too much instability
Horizonal P bar
1 x 8

this was MUCH better. Very much like a bench press. really tried to "break" the bar apart as I descended locking in the rotators. Almost no instability. Nice. Have to play with this more.

that's all she wrote.  Time to eat :))

datsit.
Sisu/


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Two hand swings, Westside-Style.



I love this alternating of ballistic two hand swings and dead stop power swings. Pavels 'same but different' mixed with Louie's alternation of special exercises: essential the same but different as well.
Just different enough to stimulate in a new way but similar enough to actually have a crossover effect to the main exercise.
Switching them each week is paying off so today I thought it would be a good idea to combine them and come up with a new special exercise; a power swing followed immediately by a ballistic one.
Tracy does this type of stuff all the time but to me it's new.
The goal in the swing is to learn how create maximal speed and power from a dead start. The goal of the ballistic swing is to maximize power and acceleration from the momentum of the back part of the swing(" where the swing actually happens", says my wife. And she's right.

So it makes sense to combine them and try to get as much acceleration from the power swing as you get in the ballistic.

And man these were tough. And it also so nice to be able to play with a 32 kg bell and feel that it's actually not that heavy. There was a time, not TOO long ago, that ANYTHING under 400 lbs I just did not consider heavy. And 100 pounds was not heavy for anything, under any circumstances.

The key here, just as on WSB squat or bench speed day, was to move the weight as fast as possible; throughout every inch of the range of motion. They needed bands and chains and to squat on a box to accommodate leverage with squats and benchs but not with the kb. Just a heavy enough bell .Of course one can always attach a jump stretch band :)) and then it REALLY becomes interesting

But, either way the key is to try to stand as fast as possible.Maximal compensatory acceleration.Faster is better and more powerful.

But that was many moons ago and for the last 5 years  32 kg was a heavy weight and 48 was VERY heavy; too heavy for me for anything but deadlifts. Not fun
No longer and it IS fun now.
 But today was not easy as yesterday I got bit by some allergen and spent about 15 hours sneezing non stop.

I thought I was sick but it was an allergy attack and I didn't realize how much it took out of me til this afternoon. I was SORE! from sneezing, lol. and tuesdays workout but as much from sneezing.

But the power was still there and I just got it done. Nick showed up and all three of us got the workout done quickly

Power/Ballistic swings
20 kg x 5
24 kgx5
32 kg x 1 power/ 1 ballistic x 5 x 10 sets
100 reps
7200 lbs




Pbar pushups with chains
Bw x 8
      x 8
25 lb chain x 6
                 x 6 + 1 bw

another WSB type variation on the pushup. Still on p bars but with the chain draped over the hips. Soon it will be the neck. I used to do close grip pushups to a bar on the low pin of the power rack with 100 lb plate on my back for 2 sets of max reps on max effort day.Every 4 th workout was  a max rep workout and my best was 33 reps. Not bad but I've got a ways to go.
But I've also come so far on my pressing. It was just August that I couldn't do ONE full pushup and not it's back to weighted sets and reps.

I will take it :))
Still had some movement in the shoulder after 4 reps but it wasn't subluxing.

bb laterals ss band laterals
2 sets of 10/10 each

datsit.
Sisu/

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

More double bell swings.



I'm starting to like these. Since I can now train the two hand swing it just seemed logical that I could do these as well. I've been moving my stance in on one arm swings and snatches for quite awhile now as it seems to compliment my one arm swing style but opening it up for the two hand swing and now the two kb swing has really brought me back to my powerlift roots.

It's actually much easier on the knees as my shins stay perfectly vertical the whole time. They literally can't go forward when I'm that wide. Glenn noticed it reminded him of barbell power good mornings we used to do for strengthening the back for squats and deads and I agree.

In fact when I first came to kbs from powerlifting I saw the same thing ,and the power good morning was my favorite move! The best parts of the squat without the worst( depth :))
So I took my stance out even more today for the swings and they were better.  much easier to find the hips.

6-7 am 
full rifga stretchout

1 pm
Two KB swings
2 14s x 10 x 2
2 16s x 10
2 20s x 10  x 10 sets
100 reps
8800 lbs ( that adds up fast)

these got tough at the end. Just not used to this groove at all but I really sat back and forced myself to not rush or force the groove. The torque technique I learned from Starrett has completely changed how I feel about squatting and how I squat or swing.
By really setting the torque in my feet from the start, the knees actually unlock and screw tight at the right places and the  knee is way more stable under load.
The hips are actually loaded correctly too and are more stable and strong at the same time.

Hip Belt squats
36 kg x 20 reps  x 4 sets

close stance here was a good balancer to the wide stance swings. these felt great. used a med tempo steady rhythm.

KB extensions on floor
18 kg x 10 x 4 sets

these are always hard, lol. but shoulder held up fine.

Bodyblade laterals
3 x 10/10

datsit.
Sisu/

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Smooth and Strong ;200 24 kg snatches



I can't remember the time I could do 200 reps in the 24 kg snatch in a workout. Well I just looked it up and it was in 2008.
here is the blog post about it;
http://rifsblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/24-kg-snatches.html

This was my all time PR just two saturdays before it:
http://rifsblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/ssst-training-24-kg-260-reps.html

I did it in ten sets of 10/10. Today it was probably harder in some ways, 18 sets of 5/5 and one set of 10/10.

And the best thing is that not only I did it but Glenn and Nick did as well. I know it's the first time Glenn every hit this number and I think it's probably the first time as well for Nick ( who not a fan of volume). Here's Glenn's set:


This is truly amazing. The most reps he's ever done and the best form.It really did all come together for him today and the mantra was 'smooth and strong'.Don't rush the back swing.It worked great.

It's almost a year to the month that Glenn started training at Stones with Nick and me
http://rifsblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/snatch-day-at-stones-and-new-training.html


We've been cycling our weights and rep schemes and it's been working out very well; this is the proof. We hit 170 reps last time with this weight but I was ready to go for it.But when I realized that last time we did 17 sets I gulped. That's a lot of sets, a LOT of picking it up and putting it down. But that was the goal and we just got started.

Happily it was balmy today and not freezing so that was a help too.

 When we got started it was a monumental task chipping away at all these sets, in such short bursts. For the first 10 sets we didn't say a word , just alternated turns moving pretty dang fast.Just focused on one rep at a time, one set at a time. Don't think ahead or even try to compute how many more you had to do. Just go.
Don't think, just go.

And we did and it got closer and closer and then we put some weight on the gas pedal a bit knowing we were going to make it. But we were all getting a bit tired as well but we knew it was going to happen,

I decided to combine the last sets to one; just get the damn thing over with and two: make sure I still had some reps in me despite the fatigue. Yes and yes.

7 am: 30 min rifga stretchout and foam roll. should have done more but almost too anxious to get snatching

8 am
one arm swing warmup 16 kg x 5/5 x 3

Snatch
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 3/3

24 kg x 5/5 x 18 sets
         x 10/10
200 reps ( recent pr)
10,600  lbs!

Shield Cast
15 lbs x 10/10
25 lbs x10/10 x 2

Knuckle pushups
4 sets of 7,7,8, 10! 

nice! another pr. the knuckle position( neutral) was definitely easier on the shoulder. very happy with this.

tired. want breakfast. Very very happy with this.

datsit.
Sisu/

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Train your weaknesses, Compete your Strengths.


After doing two kb swings for the first time in forever Tuesday, today's two hand swings with just the single bell seemed almost easy! I never thought I would write that;)
I had to go so wide for the double bell swings it brought back my old powerlifter's stance from the muscle memory banks and that was actually a good thing,

I spent much time with an ultra wide stance when powerlifting, as that was what my coach Louie Simmons told me to do ,and it made sense.Kind of, At the time. The wider you stand the more the hips are forced to work. This builds glutes, hammies and the posterior chain, allows one to stay more upright and minimizes shear forces on the knee.

But I had very little leverage, raw strength or power in that position. That it is, without my squat suit bottom. that thing helped a lot. Think about squatting in tight jeans and you get the picture. In fact, at one time I had a seriously good denim squat suit and a canvas one. But wide stance raw? Nothing.

But it got better over time. The above picture is of my best competition squat, a 573 lb 2nd attempt at the 1997 APF Master's Nationals. I made a 545 opener, this 573 on my second attempt and a miss at 601 on my third. Had I known that was the last time I would ever have 600 pounds on my back again I would have made it. I weighed 190 lbs, drug free.

Had I followed my instincts and wore olympic shoes with a heel and narrowed my stance I would have made 601 and more, I truly believe. That was my strong position and I should have competed in it.
TRAINED the wide stance to make my weakpoints, my glutes and hips stronger, but competed in my strong positions, to maximize leverage and power.

But I did mucho reps in this wide stance and it really was easier on my knee. I neglected to keep enough quad strength and ankle mobility going during this time( which turned out to be a big mistake) but the wide stance is much gentler on everyone's knees.

Bottom line: the wide stance I will be force to use to train my heavy double swings and snatches will not be as hard as I thought. It will be going back to what I used to do, and, like then, not so fun. But it will make me stronger.

And bringing the stance in, after super wide, as I did today makes it seem that much stronger

Two hand swings
16 kg x 10 x2 ( cold garage, no passive warmup)
20 kg x 10
24 kg x 10
28 kg x 10 x 15 sets.

these were fast strong and easy. Perfect weight for today after last weeks Beast work

Snatch Holds
16 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 30 sec
24 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 45

gotta get back to 45-60 seconds holds with the 24 kg.

P bar pushups 

5 x 7,7,8,7,5

held my eye gaze higher and head up more here. felt good. shoulder perfectly stable for 4 reps then makes noise( no sublux) after that, especially as I fatigure

band laterals
3 x 15/15 red band

encouraged by the two handers today.keep working the adductor flexibility as well

datsit.
Sisu/


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New territory

I still can't believe that after all these years I can actually train the two hand kb swing.It's a crazy good move and I knew exactly what I had been missing all these years.

The most powerful expression of the swing that one can do and with some of the heaviest weight. But not the heaviest ( unless one is using a t bar handle), that is reserved for double bell swings.
And when I saw that Pavel had re instituted double bell work for the SFG Level 1 course I thought I might be able to train these  moves again as well.

Right again. I started with 20 kg two bell swings last week and, to be honest, they were hard. Well not hard as well as awkward. I just don't have a groove in them and I don't have the hip with or size to do well as wide as I have to go to swing them. But, too bad so sad, get to work and improve as much as you can. That's all that matters.

So went back to the double today, especially after being inspired by Ricardo Garcia  SFG 2, from Full Force PT in Modesto watching his double cleans with 40kg bells. Ricardo only weighs 141 pounds and when he told me he had to double snatch the 24's for 5 reps to re cert his Level 2 I knew I had to get to double work!

One arm swing warmup
16 kg x 5/5 x 3

Two KB swing
2 16s x 8 x 2
2 20's x 5

2 24s x 5 x 7 sets



These started out tough and got better. The video is sets 3 or 4. I really have to get back on my heels at the top to not get pulled over. I found this out on the down sets with the 20 kg but I was happy these went as well as they did.
Such a different balance point and groove.
then:
2 20's x 8 x 5 sets


these actually felt great! way better than last week. Better bell speed on eccentric and concentric and better bell  height as well. the 24s today felt like the 20s did last week. Just need to do a lot more reps and start including double cleans and snatches as well.

Belt squats
32 kg x 20 x 3 sets

these were good and fluid.this is another key "balancer" or corrective for me. If I don't do them my hamstrings are much tighter the next day.need the quad stim as well.

BB laterals
3 x 10/10

dasit.
Sisu/


Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Inch by inch is a cinch"



yard by yard is hard, so the saying goes and this seems to be the case these days.Added another set to the last 22 kg snatch workout volume and could have done more but didn't feel the need. The sooner I get to to 200 + snatches in the workout the sooner I have to bump the reps to 9/9 and I'm in NO hurry.

A PR is a PR and that was what today was. Just like when I tried WSB max effort day if I added just 2.5 to 5 lbs to my max effort lift of the day I got what I came for and went home happy. And leaving some on the table for the next workout :))

The body( legs, knee) was yelling a bit from Thursdays Beast swings and belt squats but that was ok, But it was bloody COLD in Stones gym today and the Tommy Kono neoprene knee sleeves worked very well. They're a bitch to get on but once they warmup they retain heat very well and give the old knees a bit of a cushion for my leg work.

Old training partner and good friend Joe Sarti dropped in for a workout and it was just like old times. Joe is a serious Mutant and is pretty much strong and capable at whatever he tries and his snatch technique and power is awesome. Not a fan of volume it was good to see Joe work just a little with all the sets :))

Snatch
16 kg one arm swing warmup 3 x 5/5

16 kg x 5/5 z2
20 kg x 4/4
22 kg x 8/8 x 11 sets
176 reps
8800 lbs

not bad at all.

Two Hand CB Shield casts
15 x 10/10
25 x10/10
35 x 8/8 x 2 sets

lol the 35 lber threw me around a bit today but I got it under control at the end. this thing ain't light!

Pbar pushups( feet on box)
4 sets of 7 reps

Nice, full pushups, no problem. SHoulder was stable if not a bit noisy. No sublux though and that's the key.

strong day.

datsit.
Sisu/

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Power swings



Was fighting off some kind of bug yesterday and wasn't sure how I would be today, but all the garlic, onions, vit c and adaptogens did their trick and woke up feeling solid and healthy today. Seven clients in a row and no training partner made getting into the gym a bit tricky but jumped right into my passive Russian warmup ( hot hot bath) when I got home and that made it much easier to get started.

The real Russian version is a sauna but the bath is great and really penetrates to the core. takes no time at all to warmup even in the coldest courage corner :)).

Power swings
24 kg x 5
28 kg x 5
32 kg x 5
36 kg x 5
40 kg x 5
44 kg x 5
48 kg x 5
          x 3 x 2 sets
40 kg x 5
32 kg x 5
51 reps

these felt great, the strongest ever, and the Beast moved more quickly and stronger and higher than ever. The 40 and the 32 kg felt SO light after the three set with the 48. strange how that always works that way. On the way up it feels like a ton.

Belt squats
32 kg x 15
36 kg x 12
40 kg x 10
48 kg x 10
         x 15

forgot to do these on tuesday so I made up for it. wore the knee sleeves and that gave a good cushion to the bottom position.

Snatch Holds
16 kg x 30 sec
20 kg x 30 sec
24 kg x 30

these were solid. it really isn't hard until after 30 sec

bodyblade laterals and band rear delts
2 sets of 10/10 and 20 each

datsit.
Sisu/

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Double time

Since it is a down week, and since Glenn is out of town and I'm training solo, and since I just realized StrongFirst Level 1 standards are back to double bells I decided to give some double kb swings a go, Just like the two handed swing,these have not been my friend for many years.

I could always demo them but I couldn't get away with training them. Now, since I can do two handed swings I figured I could do these as well and it looks like I'm right!

Now, since I'm just a little on the short side( some would call it "tactical" :)) Doing double bell work requires a very wide stance; one that I don't have particularly good leverages in. But if the bells aren't to big it's not a problem. Plus, it was cool just to be able to do the and not feel like it was going to hurt me.

Two KB swings
2 12s x 10
2 16s x 10
2 20s x 5 x 12 sets
60 reps

I was just starting to get warmed up and had thoughts of 15 or 20 set but didn't want to push it and  wake up wrecked tomorrow.Plenty of time to do these.The key thing here for me was really setting the torque in my foot, ala Starrett and what's been working so well on all my swings. REALLY getting rooted and STAYING rooted for each and every rep. I lose this root very easily as it's definitely not natural for me.Yet.

Bottoms up cleans
18 kg x5/5
20 kg x5/5
22 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5 ( very solid holds)
28 kg x 3/3 ( better than before but not perfect)

this was surprise. felt great to be so solid in the holds.

Two Clubbell Swipes
15's  x 10
         x 12
         x 14
         x 16

havent done these in ages either and wanted a balanced to the very wide stance double swings. but didnt want to push this either. they felt light and easy

Pbar pushups( feet on box)
5 sets of 7 reps

these are very solid now.

Band rear delts( supersetted with pushups)
5 sets of 20-15 reps

bodyblade laterals
3 sets of 10/10

Very good overall workout today. Just different enough to make this easy down week enjoyable but different enough to be challenging.

datsit.
Sisu/


Saturday, November 03, 2012

Stepping back to go forward.



I had decided to let this nice run up of load and intensity continue until I got a sign to do otherwise and this week was definitely the sign that the edge was here and it was time to step down a bit. Which I did, kind of, this week, although the 200 swings on Thursday was a pr but the attitude was different.
SO was my energy and I know it's time to back off a bit and start to rebuild again. But today was another pr day with the 20 kg snatch and it wasn't that hard.

Strange to feel so strong and a bit run down at the same time. Usually, when I'm run down the weight feels heavy in my hands and that's the best indicator to take it slowly. Today it still felt light, but  the drive just was less. I'll take this kind of fatigue anyday :)

Needed to stretch out this AM and I did about 35 minutes of Rifga and then things felt ready. It was COLD in the gym this morning and my knees were a bit achy from all those swings on Thursday so I put on my TK neopreme sleeves and they were SO COMFY. I can see they will be getting a lot of use this  winter.

One arm swing warmup:
16 kg x 5/5 x 3

Snatch
16 kg x 5/5, 3/3
20 kg x 12/12 x 7 sets
168 reps
6742 lbs

not sure if this is a recent pr or not as I wrote down on the blog that I did 6 sets of 12/12 last time I did this but on the blackboard in the gym it says 7 x 12/12. that's probably right but there was no way I was doing another set! I was tired after 7 and it was a bit of an effort so we called it there. the sets themselves felt great and using the lighter weights and higher reps in really teaching me a lot about my snatches.

Blending the light, medium and heavy weights into a training cycle is really working out, plus it's fun. Since I can do the heavy one arm and two hand swings I'm less anxious to always use the 24 kg on snatch day.

It's actually making the 24 k day that much easier.

Two Hand CB Arm casts


15 lbs x 10/10 ( TOO Light,lol)
25 x 10/10
35 x 8/8 x 2

The one arm version was done,especially after thursdays 32 kg bottoms up work. Perfect time to go back to the double arm work. The 35er felt the lightest it has ever.

Pbar pushups
4 x 6
first two sets feet on block, last two on floor.

these felt great and I brought my head up more  , into line. the shoulder isn't adjusting but it still tends to rattle a bit after the 4th rep (?) Triceps were surprisingly sore after the snatch holds and kb ext on Thursday :)

Body blade laterals SS Rear delt
2 x 10/10 each

decided to add in rear delt band work again. Makes sense just forgot. With all the pushups my front delts are still getting a ton of work and need to balance it.

datsit.
Sisu/

Thursday, November 01, 2012

GiryaStrength

We did two hand swings today,lots of them. 200 reps with the 32 kg to be exact.In sets of 10. We did 15 sets last time we used this weight and I thought about 17 sets just to sets a pr but Glenn is out of town next week and I figured we should just go for.

We also had more than a few good things to celebrate and I thought this PR was a good way to commemorate them.


First off I got me a new logo:
and I freaking LOVE IT. It's perfect. I've never liked my other logos, which is why I never had t shirts made, Especially considering how much I love training t shirts. The old logos were always too commercial and ,as Glenn pointed out, one dimensional. this aint that.

Next up was StrongFirst.com going LIVE! It's better than awesome and Mark Toomey has done an amazing job of getting this up and running and looking GREAT in record time.This is going to be great fun.

And I do love that my site was called KB Strength from the beginning. Strength has always been at the forefront of everything I've done and now it seems it's come full circle. Perfect.:))

Third was some excellent person health news for someone very close to me and it's great to be able to breathe again :))

SO time to kick our asses in the gym

6-7 am Full Rifga stretchout
a late cancel gave me the full hour to unkink myself

10-12
 Just about another full hour of Primal Move as I used this as the basis of a new clients workout and it went great. For her and me :))

2 pm
Two hand swings

16 kg x 10
20 kg x10
24 kg x 10
28 kg x 10
32 kg x 10 x 20 sets ! PR!

these were solid and the last set was almost as fast as the first.I'm so happy I can finally really train this move again. I never take it for granted.

Snatch Holds( in honor of the new logo )
16 kg x 30/30 sec

18 kg x 30/30
20 kg x 30/30

22 kg x 30/30

these were tough. I was tired but they are essential and cannot be left out or underdone.

KB floor extensions
3 x 10  I was tired :))

BB laterals

3 x 10/10

datsit. 
Sisu/


Long great day but I'm done.




Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Back off workout.



( 32 kg bottoms up cleans. Not bad but not perfect. Got them into position but didn't hold them. BUT it's 32 kg and I haven't even tried this in over a year and half! Felt strong too)

Both Glenn and I have wondered when the escalator ride to more strength and increased work capacity would end and we got our answer today. Today. :))
Nothing bad happened but we were both beat. After Saturday's stellar workout ( in both workload and energy) we both kind of crashed a bit and came into today's workout just a bit tuckered. Perfect. We were waiting for a sign we should back down and today was it.

Still got in a great workout ( and the above B/u cleans are recent bests) but we both knew it was time to start over a bit and ramp back up from the  bottom

6 am:

Full Rifga stretchout  upper and lower body. much needed.


1 pm

High pulls

16 kg x 5x5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 8/8 x 8 sets
128 reps
6784 lbs

this was not easy,even though it should have been. smooth strong and fluid but it was work. groove and arc was very solid though.

Bottoms up cleans
18 kg x 3/3
22 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 2/2
28 kg x 2/2
32 kg  x 2/2

strange day to go for this but I knew I could make it. Will hold these solid very soon.

Belt squats
32 kg x 15 x 4 sets

not bad but nothing special

Pushups
P bars 1 x 5
Floor pushups 3 x 5!!! yes first full floor pushups in forever!


have to get my head up more. my old gymnastics habit are STILL in there! but it was awesome to regain this strength and pattern after all this time!
Sisu! Never Quit! The only way you won't get what you want is if you quit trying!

datsit.
Sisu/

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gettin' close



It's been awhile since I was able to do 200 snatches in a workout with the 24kg. Too long. Don't even want to look back to see when the last time was. But I'm close now. This cycling of weights on Saturday has been working out great. The same principle, basically, as WSB  method. I put more force and acceleration into the 24 kg  now because I'm used to doing it with the 20 and the 22 kg.
When it's time to throw the 24 around I am tending to do it like I do the lighter bells. Just like bench speed day carries over to Max effort day and vice versa.

We did 17 sets of 5/5 today and my last set was 10/10 with the same bell speed as the early sets! This is exactly the goal and we could have done the 200 today easy but that is not the point. No hurry. It will be there and I'll be that much stronger when I do.

Left shoulder is really behaving and I did full pbar pushups today!! Yeah!!!! crazy happy about this. I will not quit.:))

Snatches
16 kg x 5/5/x3
20 kg x 3/3

24 kg x 5/5 x 15 sets
         x 10/10 x 1 sets
170 reps
9010 lbs

was  a set behind Glenn and Nick and they did 20 rep sets on the end so I decided to go for 10/10 on the last set and it was STRONG!

Clubbell shield casts
15 lbs x 10/10
          x 15/15
          x 20/20

this was tough but strong. left lat/shoulder is getting stronger and more stable every workout.

Pbar pushups
5 sets of 5 
woo hoo! feet on bench and shoulder behaved fine! FINALLY!

BB laterals/ Cable lateral
4 sets of 15/15 and 10/10

was a slow start this morning after spending 4 and half hours on the phone with Dell yesterday after my hardrive crashed but I got it together sooner rather than later. Felt physically strong just didn't come into my body for awhile:)) better late than never.

datsit.
Sisu/

Thursday, October 25, 2012

"Having Guts"

The definition, it seems, of SISU :
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 other language. Sisu has been described as being integral to understanding Finnish culture. The literal meaning is equivalent in English to "having guts".




I firmly believe that the only way you won't get what you want, if you are willing to do what it takes, or at least get as close as realistically possible, is if you quit. It doesn't matter how long it takes, it doesn't matter how many road blocks pop up. All that matters is trendline, direction/

You are either getting stronger or weaker. Recovering or dissipating. Figuring it out or not. Going backwards or forwards. How fast this happens really doesn't matter imo, because as soon as you reach whatever goal you set out to get, the next one is on the horizon and off you go. It's the same state of mind, of being so don't be in a hurry to get there.

But be in a hurry to be going in the right direction. Because that path, that journey is the key. Being in that flow as much as you can is what feels so perfect to me.To having figured it out and knowing it is just a matter of when, not if, that you get what you want .

And so I did full  pushups again today as I have been training for for months now. I thought it was the overhead press I needed to recover first but it is the  lowly floor pushup pattern and today I did them without my shoulder de stabilizing at all and it was grand!

One thing I do know how to do naturally is press and I can honestly say I've pressed more things for more time than almost anyone! From years of gymnastics dips, and handstands and HS pushups and every variation you can think of to bodybuilding and incline and decline and barbell and db and smith machine and nautilus chest presses,  and on and on.

And then 13 years of bench pressing and all that stuff.
And then nothing. ack
But when the joints cooperate I can press and now I can again. Slowly, for sure, but for sure.:))

I promise not to be greedy, either:))

but first the real work:

Power swings
16 kg x 5
24 kg x 5
32 kg x 5
         x 6
         x 7
         x 8 x 2 rounds
         x 5 x 2 rounds
82 reps
5986 lbs

these went great! felt very strong and fast and all positions felt solid. I still can't get over I can do these now. Such a great power and strength position and move.

Snatch Holds
16 kg x 30
20 kg x 30
24 kg x 30 x 2 sets

these keep getting better but are always hard. Don't get real bone lock on the right so it's a big muscular effort

Ring pushups( ring slow feet on floor about 40 deg ring angle)
2 x 10!
P bar pushup ( feet on floor)
3 x 8
1 x 5!!!

these were so solid! . took the bars in closer and elbows tucked tight ( should have gotten video of this but it seemed so wimpy)  and shoulder didn't move around at all.

after all this time rehabbing and re patterning this is finally moving, quickly, in the right direction. I know it's not the speed that counts but it's nice to not be going at a snails pace either.

BB Laterals
3 x 10/10

datsit.
Sisu/


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heavy hi pulls



Right on schedule. Did the 28 kg last week and wanted to use the 32 for today's hi pulls and it worked out just fine. How nice of the body to cooperate for a change.
Got a good stretchout and primal move work in with my first client and it was a light day workwise so I was ready to go when Glenn showed up.

High Pulls
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 3/3
32 kg x 5/5
         x 6/6
         x 7/7 x 2 round
28 kg x 10/10

these were solid but tough. Left hand grip was tougher than right ( shoulder good but not  perfect,elbow flexors a bit tight). Used the right hand grip  squeeze which strengthened the grip.
Since taking my contacts out my balance on swings and snatches is SO much better I can't believe it.

Also, haven't tweaked my swing or snatch form in weeks, which for me is some kind of record.But it's working and I am thinking about it less and going by feel more and it's very strong and powerful

Bottoms up cleans
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 3/3
28 kg x 2/2
28 kg x 3/3 !!

wow, this is coming back very fast how cool! My Pr on this is the 40 kg for 3/3 and I don't know if I'll get there or more but I'm very happy with this. I know the 32kg will be there for sure and that's enough, really.

Belt squats
40 kg x 15 x  4 sets

How cool I can do these with no warmup! The key focus for me on these is keeping the torque in my feet and especially keeping the big toe down. In fact, that's pretty much all I thought about during each set, just rooting through the left big toe. worked great. :))

KB floor extensions
18 kg x 10 x 4 sets

this was a great jump and the form and shoulder felt good. A bit tired of pushups so I gave them a break,

BB laterals

3x 10/10

pre hab here. just do it.

Another great workout and so happy to have such a solid training partner and student in Glenn. He kicks ass every workout and is making crazy good progress, Easy 6 sets of 3 in the  32 kg long cycle press. and easy too.

datsit.
Sisu/




Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mo' Betta snatches



Things are starting to settle in very well. When my body cooperates a bit I can actually plan things a little and start using the progressive cycling that I know works so well; WHEN my body can handle it.

Seems to be doing alright. Another early morning start when I felt the need for movement not correctives or stretching and I got right into the workout. Strange as this is only happening on Saturdays, not during the week. I'll take it.

Alternating the different bell sizes each week and getting different current pr levels on each gives me a solid number to improve on in some way each week. Just a little different in each way. Same but different, as Pavel says.

So week one is the 20 and sets of 12/12, week two the 22 kg and sets of 8/8, three the 24 kg and sets of 5/5. Try to ramp up the total volume of sets as I can and when I hit 200 reps across the board, I'll bump the reps up on each weight and start over.

Today was the 22 kg

warmup swings
16 kg x 5/5 x 3

Snatch 16 kg x 5/5 x 2
            20 kg x 5/5
             24 kg x 8/8 x 10 sets
160 reps
7840 lbs

these were solid although not easy. The handle on this new bell is a bit slippery which actually helps. I can't overgrip it or pull too much or my grip feels it. Good feedback. And a good tell about my form which is getting better and more fluid all the time

One arm shield casts
10lbs x 10/10
15 lbs x 10/10
          x 15/15
          x 20/20 (pr)

the 20 reps were a serious challenge to my left side but definitely doable. Way better than even a month ago. Good sign of progress in strength and stability.

Pushup against bench
2 sets of 10
Pushups on Pbar handle ( horizontal)
2 sets of 8
Eccentric only floor pushup
1 x 10

this was good but not perfect. Shoulder moved around a bit on the full reps but didn't sublux. Have to find that sweet spot but way fast progress in the last two weeks.

BB laterals
2 x 10/10

cooked, that's all. We went fast ( for the three of us ) in the snatches and it was definitely tougher. Great to be able to work hard, that's for sure.

datsit.
Sisu/