Wednesday, February 27, 2013

20 rep two hand swings, 32 kg

Power swings were on the schedule today but since I didn't get much in the way of volume in Monday, and I've been feeling tight enough I switched it to ballistic swings. We went up to the Beast last week so I chose a more moderate weight, the 32 kg.

Cool thing is is that used to be a BEAR for me to two hand swing for sets of five,No lie. My back was iffy and my form was nowhere to be found as I couldn't train the two hander so I had nothing but the basic form to go off of. And my individuation of any form is rarely close to SOP. :)) Just the way it is,

Haven't done over 10 reps in this if forever so I settled on a 10-20 rep ladder as the base.
Got fully stretched out today as I had two cancels and plenty of time on the roller, stretching and hanging. Really needed this too.

Two Hand Swings
16 kg x 10
20 kg x 10
24 kg x10
28 kg x 8
32 kg x 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 ,20,20, 20
130 reps
9100 lbs

Not bad at all and power stayed high on all the sets, even at the end. The higher rep sets showed me a few technical things I needed as well so that was worth it alone.I wasn't keeping my upper arm on the ribs long enough as I came out of the bottom and when I didn't I would hear some rattling around in my shoulder.

Keeping the arm glued better and a tad later hip snatch made the whole things much more seamless. Cardio was fine as well. Nice to see.

Snatch holds
18 kg x 35
20 kg x 35
24 kg x 35
18 kg x 60 sec

these went great! I took a lesson from the GS guys and shifted my weight to the leg that the weight was under and things lined up so well. Much easier to hold the weight as well as get a better fixation position overhead. Nice. These are really coming along.

Rack walks
18 kg x 1200 feet.
200 ft per sets

definitely heavier. we alternated between a comp bell and the DD bell and the comp bell seemed much heavier. we weighed it after and it was just .8 heavier but definitely seemed harder.Good sets though.

two days rest before another 200 rep snatch day with the 22 kg in sets of 9/9/ :))


Monday, February 25, 2013

24 kg Press, 24 kg double swings

I just don't quit much. I really don't. I've had to back off on my kb pressing for quite some time lately because of my left shoulder but ever since I've gotten my pushup pattern back it didn't make sense to me that I couldn't find a way to press without pain or destabilizing my left shoulder as well.
The fact that I can press 1/2 BW and more with my right side doesn't matter. I want to be as balanced as possible and my left side is the problem. Lately it's felt like it's a failure to find the groove that works more than anything anatomical in the shoulder.

It was this way when I benched press in powerlifting. If I had the right position I was VERY strong in the bench. Wrong position, lots of pain and weak weak weak.
SO I've been playing with the start position and I think I found something. Cleaning the weight in the usual way I have my arm across my pec, thumb towards the sternal clavicual joint. I've been trying, in the past to press OUT from there,( the way I used to press, strongly and without pain) initiating by pushing against the bell but that doesn't work any more.
I just flare out and internally rotate too early and it's weak.

So I played with trying to press just straight up last week and that worked ok but wasn't 100%. Today I played with pressing almost across and up and it seemed to keep my forearm vertical longer,felt very strong, minimized internal rotation  and ended up in a good finish position.

Here's the video. this is set 5 of 8

The nice thing is that both sides felt and looked pretty much the same. Something that I haven't been able to do in years.Even though I still had an angle on my forearm my upper arm went straight up. Did 8 sets of 2 easy with the 24 and NO shoulder issues at all. This has promise.

One arm swing warmup : 16 x 5/5 x3

KB Press
16 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 2/2
24 kg x 2 x 8 sets ( would have kept going but I need to do some swings too)

Two KB Swings
2 16 x 10
2 20's x 10
2 24's x 10 x 3

These felt GREAT! Strong and easy. I only did 3 sets with the 24s but they were as solid as the 16's This is a great example of how tweaking one's groove can make ALL the difference. With my old groove this move felt slow, awkward, stiff and definitely NOT powerful. By following my body and going where the power production was best-despite how it 'looked'- made all the difference.

AS Pavel has said" do you want to swim or to understand hydrodynamics?" I want to be able to DO the skill first and understand it as best as possible second.

Belt squats
32 kg x 30 x 4 sets!!

30 reps sets were NO problem. the longer, easier breathing patterns has made all the difference. Alternated between no lock out reps and full lockouts. Nice to feel my quads work again.
Don't tell Glenn but we are going to work up to 50 rep sets here.:))
Macht Nichts.

Sisu Indeed/

Saturday, February 23, 2013

20 kg Snatch 200 rep workout 13's

I knew this was going to be a good one and it was. Missed my snatch workout last week and didn't think it would affect me negatively and it didn't.Slept well, ate well, felt strong and ready to go,especially mentally.

I was planning on taking this steady and calmly and that's how it went. When it was time to start I actually mistook the 20 kg bell for the 16kg :) It looked small and that was a great sign. It felt light in the hands too and the first sets were very strong and easy. I was unusually warmed up early today but at five sets in, with three to go, I felt the slog coming on :)) But with Glenn and Joe's energetic help( everybody crushed this) it made it that much easier.

I had delusions of grandeur last night thinking I might do 6 sets of 13/13 and do 26 and 26 combining the last two sets but knew immediately after set three that wasn't happening. My 20 kg bell handles are the most worn of all my bells and the chalk I used did not help things. It just seemed slippery to me so I think I will sub out one of the newer models with a more tacky grip or just not use chalk.

NO hand issues at all.A sure sign my technique is ok

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

16 kg x 5/5 x2
20kg x 13/13 x 8
208 reps PR
9152 lbs

Two Hand Shield Casts
25 x 10/10
35 x 10/8
35 x 10/10
these KILLED already dead forearms :))

Pushups to straight bar

2 x 10
HS pushup ( spotted)
1 x 5

easy peezy NO clunking at all on either the regular or HS pushup. Definitely want to work these back into the mix.

datsit. dats enough ,lol

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Running the Rack

In bodybuilding parlance running the rack means working your way up and then down the db rack, doing sets of whatever reps you choose with little rest between them. Nice way to get a lot of work in in a short amount of time.

I knew I wanted to go heavy today to prepare for Saturdays 200 rep snatch workout but didn't want to do too much volume.
When I got started I knew we would run the rack. It went well and energy was good.

Two Hand Swings
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
44 kg x 10
40 kg x 10
36 kg x 10
32 kg x 10
28 kg x 10
24 kg x 20
150 reps ( 24 kg and above only)

these went very well and my new position is much more powerful. Compare it to the the last time I did 48 kg swings in December. Much more upright position, way less back swing and way less power in general. I don't look comfortable or strong here and I wasn't. My new groove is so much better; more fluid , faster and more powerful.

Snatch Holds
18 kg x 35 sec

20 kg x 35 sec
24 kg x 35 sec
18 kg x 45 sec

these are slowly getting better. I used to have one bad side and one good side. Now it's two mediocre sides. That's better, right? :)

Sled drags
60 lbs x 200 feet x 4 rounds
800 ft total

these were good but I still need to get more distance in


Monday, February 18, 2013

Pressing a little

What a weekend in Salt Lake City at the StrongFirst Leadership meeting. Great stuff got done but despite getting a lot of walking in ( and it went great!) I did little else physically. Almost no stretching either but I didn't seem to suffer at all from it.

Walking and sitting on the floor more than chairs helped too but I was ready to get back to training and my schedule for the the next three weeks before I take off again for the first ever SFG cert in Houston in three weeks.

6 -7 am Full Rifga stretchout

Wow, haven't done this in awhile and my cancelled client allowed me the opportunity to really get things opened up. I worked the splits again for the second time this week and I think it's a mistake now.
It must stretch a nerve in my left leg because it locked up pretty good right after that. I stopped playing around with these months back and now I think that was the reason. I just didn't help my knee extension as much as I wanted and it always seemed to bother something,

It's out then.

1:30 pm
One arm swing warmup
16 kg x 5/5 x 3

KB Press
 16 x 5/5
20 x 4/4
24 x 1/1
28 x 1/1

32 x 1 right 28 x 1 left x 2 sets
28 x 1 right 24 x 1 left x 2 sets

This was easy on both the right and the left up to the 28 but I didn't want to chance it on the 32 kg. Thats 44% of my BW today at 157 , The 36  would have gone I'm pretty sure and that's half my BW without any direct press training lately at all!

Just a few negatives done after my snatch holds once a week, pushups, although I do have years and years and years of press experience, that's for sure.Not going to train this at all but it's nice to make contact with it every once in a while. Going to add Handstand pushups back in soon and I think I will try the 36 kg next time I do this.

Two kb swings

2 16s x 10
2 20's x 10 x 9 sets
90 reps
7920 lbs

these went great, the groove was solid , bell speed high and not hard at all to produce a lot of good force. this is becoming one of my favorite swing variations. Never ever would have believed that :))

Belt squats
40 kg x 25 x 4 sets

these were very solid and helped to balance the tension out in my legs almost immediately. Medium stance and today I used a much more relaxed, endurance style breathing and that helped as well. I'm going for reps not max power so I don't need so much power breathing. Great quad work.

BB laterals SS band side raises
3 sets of 10/10 each

these feel great and balance the stress on the shoulder out very well.

Have to start thinking about Saturday's 200 rep snatch workout with 20 kg and 8 sets of 13/13.
No problem :))


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

40kg Power Swings

Still in light day mode and even though I've kicked the bronchitis I'm pretty tired.Long good days at work but they're still long. More stretch time but not enough and I was a bit sore in the legs today. Good thing I have to travel this weekend to Utah.:)

I was going to train Friday and just fit in the snatch workout but decided against it. Don't need to do 200 snatches in hi rep sets then sit on a plane for three hours and let the DOMS set in. I'll just get a full stretchout in instead( which I need WAY more) and start over on Monday.

The power swings were on the menu today and even though I felt beat up they moved well and I got  a pr in total sets as well. It's so nice to have the Bulldog feel so light.

Power swings
16 kg x 5
20 kg x 5
24 kg x 5
28 kg x 5
32 kg x 5
40 kg x 5 x 12 sets
60 reps
5280 lbs

all the sets moved very fast and I stopped before the bell slowed down. coolness.

Snatch Holds
16 x 30 sec
20 x 40 sec
24 x 40 sec x 2

these were tough today.Everything just tired.

Sled drags
50 lbs x 800 feet

these were fine and I knew that less weight was better. Even this felt hard. More rest, more food.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Light day, 16 kg double swings, belt squats, rack walks

After an incredibly exciting weekend watching Tracy just shred her first time ever on a lifting platform ( Pr in the 16 kg 5 min snatch and went the full ten minutes in the 12 kg short cycle jerk, Pr as well :) I was pretty tired when I got to my workout today.

But it was perfect time for a light session and double 16 kg swings fit the bill.

Double swings:
2 14 kg x 10 x 2
2 16 kg x 10  x 15 sets
150 reps
10,500 lbs ( this seems to be my baseline work load in pounds)

SO easy. I can't believe how much I love two bell swings now. Never would have ever though I would take to it. But as soon as I REALLY widened my stance back to my power squat days AND let the bells drop down FIRST, before pushing them back it changed everything and they are most fun to do.

But this was boring in it's ease and I had to be careful to still really put out on each set. I think the new 'bottom' for this move will be the 20's. Cycle 20's 22's and 24's. then once I'm set add in 28's.

Belt squats
32 kg x 25 reps ( Denis Vasilev inspired) x 4 sets

these were easy too and I'm now inspired to build up to 100 reps in this move once in a while. certainly bump up to sets of 50 :)) Nice to feel a quad burn again.

Rack walks
16 kg x 200 feet x 5 sets
1000 ft total

again, nothing. very easy. shouldn't really feel strong being so tired but I am:))

Pushup to single P bar alternate with P bar set
8 ( the shoulder doesnt' like reg pbar as well as single bar
7 ( going to do parallel pushups on rings but not p bars for now)
these went fine, learned more about what the shoulder likes and doesn't. single bar, rings and floor pushups are the cycle.


Friday, February 08, 2013

32 kg Two hand swings, down day.

I was tired today. And so was Glenn so we are getting synchronized :)) We've been kicking ass and taking names for months now and we were both wondering when things would ask for a back off and now we have the answer: Now.

Perfect timing as I have to travel this weekend and next. Tomorrow for Tracy's first GS competition in Costa Mesa and next week to Salt Lake City for an SFG Leadership meeting. So we had to train today instead and I was a wee bit beat by the time I got to it. Still felt strong but not looking for as much work as possible, rather just enough to keep things going.

Got caught up in business the AM and got no stretch out either so I was a bit tight going into the work out but I swung it out :)

Two hand swings
16 kg x 10
20 kg x 10
24 kg x 10
32 kg x 10 x 15 sets
150 reps
10,500 lbs

It's hard to imagine that 150 reps with the 32 kg is now my DOWN day in training. That's clearly a miracle to me and almost unimaginable. These felt light and powerful. Just what I wanted.Groove hasn't moved in weeks. This is it.

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

Bodyblade laterals
3 x 10/10

Just plain tied and hungry. Done.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

24 kg Snatch 13 sets of 7/7 .the focus is the focus

Since I am out of town this Saturday I am going to train Friday afternoon instead and thought I would just do Sat workout on Friday; but it's a biggun' ( the 24 kg day and 182 reps) so I decided it would be better to do it today. I got off work earlier and I wouldn't be as fatigued with just one days rest after the two hand swings I would have done today.

Glenn trained with me and we were both a bit anxious about the work not having done it on one day's rest. But the fact that it was NOT 8 am and super cold made a big difference. Plus, I ate early so I wasn't in a fasted state and that helped as well. Bottom line is the the 24 kg felt lighter and easier today than the 22 kg did last Saturday. Weighing 159 instead of 155 helped as well. 155 is too light for me. Easy enough to fix; just a few servings of gluten and all is well.

I was pretty well recovered from Monday's session much to my surprise:)

one arm swing warmup 16 kg x 5/5/x3
16 kg x 5/5
         x 3/3
20 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 7/7 x 13 sets
182 reps
9646 lbs

My biggest challenge was not zoning out and staying associated with each and every rep. as well as not thinking ahead of myself at all; just staying connected to one rep at a time and one set at a time.Otherwise it just seems like TOO much to do,especially around the 8th and 9th set, when i'm tired and there's still plenty of work ahead.

Technique felt right on and I didn't rush the backswing or pull with the arm. Hands were perfect and left shoulder was NO issue at all. Thank God that's over with finally. Also both sides overhead position is the best it's been perhaps ever. Neither is perfect but both together are the most even ever.

Those snatch holds are key. Need to add another set in as well

Two hand cb arm casts
25 lbs x 10/10
35lbs x 10/10 x 2

these were tough as arms and shoulders were just plain tired.

Pushups to single parallel bar
2 sets of 10, 1 x 8 paused.

wow these were perfect and strong.Not a clunk to be heard. This pattern is back. So is the focus. I held correct focus on the snatches the entire time, Each and every rep and set I didn't let the anxiety or fatigue get to me. That's key.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Double 24 kg swings , kb squats and belt squats

This was a breakthrough today in the double bell swing for me. The groove is MUCH better and really lets me get the bells back further, which makes it infinitely easier to get them up ,lol. Of course, my thinking about it is completely opposite the normal cues but I don't care. It works. It translates into the correct movement pattern for me, to produce the most force in the safest way.

I actually am thinking of breaking at the knees first, then letting the bells go DOWN before swinging them back. This is the only way I have any space to get the bells back and generate some power.

Here's the last time I did these and although they don't look appreciatively different if you look closely you'll see they are. A few inches high or low can make a big difference in mechanics.

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

2 24's x 6 x 14 sets
84 reps.
9072 lbs

wow that adds up and they were easy. I could have easily kept going. very surprising. I finally feel like I have a groove that can generate some power. And I'm actually enjoying the wide stance, to my great surprise. My knee likes it, that's for sure.

Diana's advice to hold my head over boiling water and soak up the steam has really helped my bronchitis ( thanks!) and that made a difference as well. Hard to train hard when you're coughing and can't breathe:)

Two KB squats
 2 16's x 5
2 20's x 5
2 24's x 4

These felt deeper than they looked on film but they were easy. This is my old power squat position and I know it well. It ain't pretty but this was stronger and deeper than last week. BUT I don't think I'm going to keep training it. Not sure the bang for the buck is there. I can alternate close and wide stance in the belt squat if I want to train that position. We'll see. There is definitely a "strength" component here that doesn't exist with the belt squat ( upper body) but it doesn't work to do them on the same day.

Belt squats/close stance
48 kg x 3 x 20

this was solid but we were both tired so that's a wrap.quads got a great pump


Saturday, February 02, 2013

22 kg Snatch 9/9 x 10 sets

Thought I was pretty much done with the bronchitis but last night it reared up again and it made breathing a bit more difficult than usual today. Slept well but still not great energy for this workout. Weighing in at 155 didn't help either and I haven't been trying to drop any weight :( I have been eating 'extra' clean and as long as I don't drop below 155 I'll keep it but if I do it will be time to break out the ice cream.

I know, I know, I'm not getting any sympathy on this and don't want it :) Just the facts. Lighter bodyweight DOES make the bell heavier. At 155 the  24 kg is 34 % of my bodyweight. For a 220 lb guy the 24 is just 24 % of their bodyweight. I would only have to use a 16 kg bell to get a 24 % weight. BIG Difference eh?

To all who say it doesn't matter, drop twenty pounds and watch ALL your lifts go down and feel heavier :) Of course I could also get heavier but that's not the goal- BUT it does make it tougher. Fact.

45 minute AM stretch  out and everything is still attached. Nothing talking to me except my lungs which is nice. Knee is behaving well and learning how to unlock the fibula via my toes is very cool. Everything is connected, that's for sure.

one arm swing warmup: 16 kg x 5/5 x 2 sets

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

22kg x 9/9 x 10 sets
180 reps
7920 lbs

this was not as bad as I imagined but it wasn't easy. HR was up higher than usual. My lungs opened up, right on cue, after my 7th set:)) the last three sets were the easiest. Next time around with this weight is 200+ reps then we up the reps to 10/10. Fun! ,lol.

Two hand shield casts
25 x 10/10
35 x 10/10 x 2

 this was rough the first set then settled down. The shields are easier on my wrist than the gama cast.

Pushups on rings ( feet on box)

YES! 4 sets of 5 full pushups on rings and NO destabilization. 

NICE! Dips are coming soon. Didn't get the full lockout I wanted but very close and most important shoulder was fine. Going to rotate floor pushups, pushups to straight bar and ring pushups on the two days a week I do these. SO SO SO happy to have this pattern back again.

Bodyblade laterals SS band laterals

3 sets of 10/10 on each  


"Put your soul into the Iron Ball"

My next tattoo.
Arm courtesy of John Wild Buckley. Kanji by Nazo.