Monday, December 30, 2013

20 kg snatches,belt squats ,crawls and farmers walks

As much as I've been working on my overhead position you would think it would be better. And my right side is, only to have my left side go wonky again and stay that way for weeks now. So weird. I think the fact my lower body is way more squared up is forcing the scoliosis to really throw things around.
It wasn't long ago that my left side lockout was seriously solid and my right nowhere to be found. Now just the opposite.Just a wee bit frustrating but I'm doing the best I can, AND it doesn't hurt and that's a big plus

6 am
full stretchout , 50 minutes

1:30 pm
16 kg one arm swings 3 x 5/5/5

16 kg x 5/5 x2
20 kg x 8/8
         x 9/9
         x 10/10 x 2 rounds
104 reps

everything was easy except for my left shoulder. not only not overhead but elbow locked out. Ack.But looking back, not THAT much worse than in 2006 :)

belt squats
32 kg x 30 reps x 4 sets
non lockout technique

these, however are going great. close stance and really getting deeper every rep with lots of quad burn!

crawls super set farmers walks
50 feet crawl alternated with 60-70 ft with double 20 kg

these went well but farmers were too easy. too light or too short distance but lets see how things are tomorrow.:)


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday Ruck

Another solid walk. Added one pound to the backpack and walked 7 laps instead of six. Total walk time 1 hour 10 min. Pace about the same although legs were definitely getting tired by lap four. Each lap took between 7 and 8 minutes. Finished faster too, negative split. Not as bitter cold either.
Next week add another pound or two to the bag and keep it at  seven laps.

Will keep adding time til I get to ninety minutes. Feels so good to be able to walk so strongly for so long.

Finished up with bar hangs, all tactical pullup grip , four sets of 30-20 seconds. These are definitely stronger.

Perhaps one day to test myself :) and be able to walk like this guy:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

40 Kg One arm swings, 52 kg two hand swings.

Man it was cold in that garage this morning! Barely 32 degrees and it never really got much warmer, even after we did all our sets,lol! This was a  tough one even though I pulled out a slight PR with the 40 kg, doing 6 sets of 5/5 and 4 sets of 6/6 for 108 reps. Never have done 6's with the 40. It's these little pr's that add up to big ones, even though it doesn't seem like much at the time.

Left hip stopped bothering me and promptly switched over to the right hip. More whack a mole but it wasn't too bad. Nowhere near as bad as the left hip was earlier. Got a solid 45 minute stretchout this morning and that helped. Very pleased with my knee rom of late and it's still there, even early in the am.

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5/5
24 kg x 5/5/5
28 kg x 5/5/5
32 kg x 5/5
40 kg x 5/5 x 6 sets
         x 6/6  x 4 sets (pr)
108 reps
9504 lbs!

My training partner Glenn hit a great pr today as well ,one arm swinging the beast for 120 reps in 10 sets of 6/6 no problem. It's amazing how far he's come, just unbelievable. But given his background not really so much to imagine. Tough man indeed.

Two hand swings
40 kg x 10
44 kg x 10
48 kg x 10
52 kg x 10
32 kg x 10

my lower back was talking a little so I started light and ramped up. Worked out perfectly and the 32  swings were the highest and easiest of all time. I like this method.

Barbell curl
45 x 8
55 x 6
65 x 5
55 x 8

Lying barbell ext
5 sets of 20-10 supersetted with close grip pushups to low bench

this worked great with the close grip and the shoulders didn't bark at all. great triceps/pec work without the shoulder stopping things.

great workout. Ruck walk tomorrow. can't wait

Never Quit

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas day snatches / Motion is Lotion.

Got tweaked pretty hard by Monday's workout. I knew I was forcing it too much, the third rep on the presses was too far above 80% effort and the cleans were not so much too heavy but I didn't warm up enough for them and my form was off and my groin didn't like it either.Everything was rushed and "off" and I just pushed through instead of listening.

But I listened for the last two days as my left SI/piriformis and hip in general were not happy at all and let me know it all day AND night.Even lying down as achy and it didn't want to release easily.This is the first real tweak since the knee surgery and let me know I don't want another, and I certainly don't want to go back to the days of being so restricted plus being in  pretty good pain at the same time.It brought back many bad memories which I am more than willing to forget.

But not this lesson: I don't need to try to go so heavy with my overhead lifts. My upper body mobility is just not up to it, and, just like I did in the squat but working it as a stretch/corrective pattern instead of a loading lift I need to have a somewhat similar approach to my press and snatch days as well.

I don't have to stop loading them completely but just moderate the loads in the press just as I do in the snatch and make the 24 kg my top weight. At least until ( if) I get my overhead mobility much much better.

Cycling them with the 20, 22 and 24 kg weights should give me plenty of loading and be much safer.I've done my time with heavy grinds on my shoulders and I think those days are gone.I've gotten used to  it with the snatch, now it's time to do the same thing with the press.

5:30-6:45 AM full stretchout
another thing I realized is that I really haven't been putting in enough time with the stretching and it's been adding up- in the wrong direction- since going to Israel. Today I put in the full lower/upper body roll and stretchout and the hip pain and restriction just melted away :) Lots of work however but it was so necessary.
100 ups( almost ready to run in place!)
Foam rolling full assessment
back bends over stab ball
OS resets/rocking, four positions
hamstring strap stretch
up and down dogs
frog squat stretch
straddle stretch and pike stretch
hangs from bar with feet on and off floor, three grips
overhead stick stretch, reverse grip and behind back from overhead.
coffee table pigeon stretch
kneeling hip flexor stretch
close med and wide stance dynamic squat mobs
heel to toe lunges
10 minutes on treadmill at 15 Deg elevation

Feels like my squat depth in the supported squat is really gotten to another level of late and it feels great. the quads are just letting go as I hold the bottom position for longer and longer periods and I have more hope than ever that I will get my full deep squat position in the future.Seiza would be nice too but one thing at a time

11 am
one arm swing warmups
16 kg x 8/8 x 3

16 kg x 5/5/ x 2
20 kg x 5/5 x 3
22 kg x 5/5 x 3
24 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets

this was perfect. Didn't even know last night if I would be able to swing and I certainly didn't think I could snatch and there was NO possibility of snatch the 24 kg given how I was feeling. Motion is lotion indeed.

I definitely need to go up slowly as it was taking a while for my hips to reset to where they were before the tweak. I believe that the "newer" the tweak the easier it is to shake it out by trying to move as close to normally as possible as soon as possible and as much as possible. I feel like this presses a 'reset' button in my nervous system and my body goes back to the state of being it had before the 'injury' .
You can't push it too fast though and pain usually restricts anyway but I do this everytime I get tweaked and it works well. Did today as well.

By the time I got to the ninth set and the 24 kg was done I was feeling 90% of normal and still do 5 hours later as I write this

Split squats ( Bw\)
2 x 10 each leg ( prepping for next week)
these felt great and will take the place of walking lunges

Sled pulls
80 lbs x 230 feet x 5 rounds

these were good but tough I used 70 lbs last week and could feel the difference but I'm ready for it.

Cable curls 4 x 10-12
Pushdowns 4 x 10-12

this was a great Christmas day present to me! Feel SO much better than I did the last two days and won't neglect my stretching or floor work. It's my key to muscular recovery.

Never Quit.

Monday, December 23, 2013

28 kg presses, 44 kg belt squat, crawls

One of those weird days when I did everything "right" but just never got it going well in the gym. Slept well, ate well, decent amount of rest and warm up just didnt feel strong. perhaps the weighted hike took more out of me than I thought.

Didn't get a real stretchout this morning and that hurt a bit too I think. But it's just one of those workouts that you just get through. All in all not a bad day after all.

KB press
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 3/3
22 kg x 2/2
28 kg x 3/3 x 5 sets

these were TOUGH! The bell felt heavy I didn't get my lats in enough and the bell, while not all over the place, was no where near where I wanted it to be.I think, in retrospect, the problem was not committing to pushing back instead of pushing up.Just in a hurry to get to the bigger weights :)
The good news is that I didn't hurt myself and while the lifts weren't pretty they moved strongly.
Greased the groove today four times hanging on the pullup bar 99 % tactical pullup grip. this is going really really well and getting easier all the time.Can feel the difference in my back as well as my shoulders.

KB Cleans
32 kg x 5/5 x 3 sets

these were tough as well although the form was much better. Sucker was HEAVY.I just didn't really warm up or stretchout enough I think

Belt squat
44 kg x 25 x 4 sets

Now these went well even though I forgot to put on my knee sleeves and I think that made a little difference. lots of good quad burn.

60 ft x 4 laps

these were solid and I added on another 10 feet of length to each laps. definitely gets the whole body going

Never Quit.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ruck hike

Took my backpack on my walk today, loaded with about 6.5 kilos of books.It definitely made a difference in the work for my lungs, legs and lower back. Nothing drastic at all and I still made my six laps in the same time as last week 55 minutes, but I was working harder, that's for sure.

And the point. Will keep adding weight to the pack until it's about 30 lbs or so and I can do the hour no problem. Then I will start increasing the distance until it's 1.5 hours. I have to make the time to get another walk in, sometime in the week- the only real time available would be thursday after noons so we'll see. There's plenty of time to increase things

Greasing the groove with my straight arm hangs from the bar after the walk with the four grips definitely getting easier every day, this time 30 second sets were no problem at all.

If I am going to be able to hike  for real I gotta start somewhere :)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

32 kg One arm swings, 44 kg Power swings

This worked out really well. Jumping from the 24 kg last week to the 32 kg this week was no trouble. This cycle just might work out and get me to the heavier loads once per month, regularly.It was 30 degrees in the garage this morning so warming up took a little longer than normal, but my regular 10 min hot bath passive warmup helped a bunch

Short stretchout/mobility session (20 min) and off we went. Still greasing the groove with the overhead hang and it really seems to be making a difference, both in shoulder/ neck pain reduction and ease of overhead ROM. Nice. Mainly the tactical pullup grip for now (overhand) and inching my hands in closer until I am two thumb lengths apart ( grip for hanging leg raises ).

This should mimic the desired overhead position with double bells I am aiming for. Whether I hit the target or not who knows, but that is not the point, anyway. But I will also go back and work the mixed grip as well as chin up grip and perhaps the neutral grip as well ( we have such a setup at No Excuses).That would give me five different grips to hang from.
The stick dislocates and behind the back shoulder stretch have also been

One arm swings
16 kg x 8/8 x 3
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 6/6
32 kg x 8/8 x 8 sets
         x 16/16 x 1 set
160 reps
11,200 lbs

took five sets to really warmup but last five were powerful and fast. I thought the last set power stayed up til the end as well. Cardio is much better in general these days,especially now that I am respecting my individual mechanics and movement patterns and really deriving more strength and power with less energy drain at the same time.

Two hand Power swings
44 kg x 5,6,7,8,10

These were strong but tough! I wanted to do a set of 9 as well as the last set of 10 but I knew there wasn't power for both so I took the last set. Very happy with this.

Barbell Curls superset with Lying bar extensions
45, 55, 65 x 6 x 2 sets
45 lbs x 15-12 4 sets

bodyblade laterals 3 x 10/10

solid training very pleased. Long walk tomorrow and I add the back pack :)

Never Quit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

22 kg snatches , getting back the groove

These went great, in my eyes. My overhead position is still tight, even though I am working doubly hard on stretching mobility and correctives. I think something shifted, truly, after I got my knee replaced and my lower body "squared up" and push the imbalances north. My scoliosis seems work and scap mobility very weird.  So that I could find positions, this week actually, that allow me to press and snatch comfortably, and strongly , it makes me happy, even if they wouldn't pass 'standards".

I can only do so much and I keep trying. But this snatch session felt like the best of the old snatch workouts where I loved it more than any other lift and felt I was good at it.Staying flat on my feet at the top of the movement, not back on my heels makes all the difference.

Yes it does put my more foreward on the descent but with my lumbo pelvic rhythm that puts me in my hips and these last snatch workouts prove it. LOTS more reps with a decent weight then of late and NO back pain at all.It feels fluid and powerful.I really feel I have build up my reps very strongly with this technique.

Full hour stretchout this morning mainly focusing on overhead mobs. arm circles, sky divers,overhead stretches and hangs on pullup bar with four different grips. Hangs are getting better; stronger and longer and shoulders are not adjusting at all, really.Being able to stretch out on the hang seems to be a key thing my instinct is telling me to do. So I will.

Still lots of squat stretches in three positions as well as close stance lunge work as well.

16 kg x 6/6 x 3
20 kg x 5/5
22 kg x 6,7,8 x 3 rounds
126 reps
6300 lbs

Glenn and I moved through this very fast, and not even just for us.I good sign. It's time to up the reps again.I need to go back to sets of 10+ on the 20 kg, 8-10 on the 22 kg and 6 and 7s on the 24 kg.
With this form my HR doesn't go up so high and I purposely tried to breathe lightly although still bio mechanical match

Sled Drag alternate with walking lunges
2 sets of sled with 80 lb for 200 ft

Walking lunges, first two sets of 50 ft with clubbell in side to side rotations with gait but just bodyweight on last set. Lots of experimenting here to do BUT the knee(s) felt fine. Did the last lap on grass and that was better . The concrete with vibrams was not good.

cable curls and black band leaning tri extensions
3 set of 12-10 each and that was that.

about an hour all told.

very good workout and super pleased with my technique and work capacity just one week off such a big trip

Today= 16 week post TKR. The only thing that would make it better is another 20 degrees of knee flexion but now I have serious time to work on that, too

Never quit.

Monday, December 16, 2013

28 kg presses, 36 kg belt squat and crawling

Easy day at work today with a late start and a cancellation near the end of the day. The late start let me get a solid hour plus stretchout in right from the start, nothing better for me. Got a lot of time in on the pullup bar working up to 15-20 second hangs with double overgrip, mixed grip with both hands and reverse grip. Really concentrated on holding it up with the scapula/upper back and it kept feeling better.
Now, as I write this, my left thumb is a bit out from all the reverse grips but it will be ok. supinators just a bit overworked but the direction is correct.overhead behind the head stretches were immediately looser too after the hang work.

Also doing prone skydivers with straight arms from 90 deg to side working my way overhead a few inches at a time until I can't get the arms off the floor. very weak so I need it. Just need more extension work in general. Could really feel the right spinal erector kicking in as well. another good sign

Lots of static squat stretches in three positions and the longer I held them the deeper I got. Good start to the week.

2 pm
KB press
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 3/3
24 kg x 3/3 ( easy!)
28 kg x 2/2 x 6 sets

these were as strong as they've been and the shoulders felt the most stable in a long time. Inpsired by this video of Azlan Mohamed SFG pressing his bodyweight with two kettlebells

I really liked his technique and wanted to play with my variation of it today and see how it went and I liked it alot. The idea was pushing the bells "out" as much as I pushed myself away from the bell.Just like how I used to bench press. Azlan's technique reminded me of a standing bench press with serious lat involvement and very vertical forearms.
He starts to lean back and gets a solid arch but then locks it in and presses from there.

My left shoulder still not locking out as well as it was but this technique didn't hurt to press at all! and that's a big deal. Instead of thinking "up" or "back" I was thinking push forward :) weird. but then my cues have always been backwards :) It feels like the same initial motion as in a bent press, with it's heavy lat and bicep involvement.

Double KB press
 2 16's x 3 x 2
2 20's x 3 x 2

tried the same technique but it didn't work and make my lockout worse. I pushed out and up with the pair and it went very well.. Still not a locked out lockout but not bad either. AND, no shoulder pain

Belt squats
36 kg x 25 x 3 sets
         x 30 x 1
these were strong, did the last set with full tension, non lockout style trying to maximize the quad and calf stretch and it was still strong!

4 laps of 50 feet

strongest yet with 15 feet of back crawl after the last lap


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday walk

Solid walk today, the first long one in two weeks. Hit a personal best today, going one lap more than usual( 6 instead of 5) in 5 minutes LESS than usual. Of course I didn't use my pedometer for the first time and don't know my MPH but one more lap in less time is faster.

Then into the gym to do
close stance squats
close stance lunges
wide stance squat stretch

about 50 total squats and the same lunges and hold the static squat stretch for a minute. 3 rounds

alternated with hanging from chin bar and scap pullups ( mini) in between rounds. determined to get my pullup back now

Feel very good from yesterday's training and ready to get my routine back in gear and gain some serious momentum in the coming weeks and months.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Back to work 24 kg One arm swings

Pretty much back in this timezone and on the right schedule sleep wise as well. Back was tight for three days coming off all that sitting and not enough extension work or stretching but everything's squared away now. Even my shoulders feel better and I've added in shoulder dislocates with a light band and very wide holds with the bar behind my back and really getting the front delts and pecs. As well as back to hanging on the bar more. Time to get back my ability to hang and PULLUP again. In some way shape or form.

I have to get my overhead position better than it is. It's not only bad for my presses and snatches it's uncomfortable with shoulders this tight. You have to move your arms overhead, in real life, ALOT, all the time.

Also adding in floor skydivers ( prone) as these are super weak. they will be done every day. grease the groove style when I get on the floor to do other stretches as well.

Went way back to the 24 kg today for swings and it was totally the right move. Been doing almost nothing but heavy heavy and heavier the last four months and I need to add some lighter, faster and crisper work to the mix as well as add in some more volume at the start of the cycle
Shoulder look like this:

week one 24 kg 10-15 rep sets 200-300 total reps
week two 32 kg 8-10 rep sets 160 -200 reps
week three 40 kg 5-6 rep sets 100-120 reps
week four 48 kg 5-6 rep sets  100-120 reps

I will use the intermediate weights as I warm up but not going to focus on them as training weights. at least for now. this way I will get to the 48 kg once a month and can build up to the goal of 5 sets of 10/10. and this is just ball park numbers, I will go by feel, as always.

If the cycle is too short I will add in another bell but we'll see.

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 10/10 x 10 sets
200 reps
10,600 lbs!

These went great. fast and powerful, it was good to have a lighter feeling bell in my hand and not have to focus on surviving the weight but throwing it around as strongly as I could.BUT the heavier loads I've been doing definitely made this feel lighter than usual.

Two hand swings
40 kg x 10 x 5 sets
50 reps

wow, that got tired fast. that was all I had and keep the power up.

barbell curls
45 x 8
55 x 7
65 x 5 ( hard!)
55 x 6
45 x 8

barbell extensions
45 x 12 x 2
35 x 15 x 2

just tired from the heavy swing volume now. First heavy workout back too. very pleased . Strict kb presses on Monday, not push presses.My back didn't like them or the heel :)


The 1969 Boss 429, the only Mustang I like more than my version.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

First workout post Israel SFG

It was a great but very taxing trip, with me teaching 99% of the course and going from 5 am to 10 am everyday. Not counting the 15 hour plus flights each way and dealing with serious jet lag. It usually hits me coming back , not going but this time I got nailed. But taking the red eye back seemed to work well as I got back on my normal schedule today without too much trouble( at least so far)

My back was great the whole trip but got pretty tight last night and didn't want to open too easy even though I get a full one hour stretchout this morning at 6.

It took swinging and snatch some bells today to loosen it up. My new/old snatch technique worked great today as well. It felt just like it used to.I'm not thinking about what is right, I'm just going where the moves feels best, with the most speed and power and is the easiest on both my shoulders and back. Not the greatest lockout for sure but I can't really do much about that with my shoulders ROM and trying to force it, as I've been doing, wasn't working.

12 kg x 8/8 x 3
16 kg x 6/6 x 2
20 kg x 5/5
         x 6/6
         x 7/7
         x 8/8
         x 9/9
         x 10/10

Belt squats
32 kg x 20 x 4 sets

these were strong. very close stance toes straight ahead.Getting deeper all the time

Sled Pull
80 lbs x 200 ft x 1
70 lbs x 200 ft x 3

80 was too heavy after the squats

that's it. late day, not much food and I could feel energy draining so I cut it off

Some photos from the Israel trip

Monday, December 02, 2013

Walking in the Baylands and 24 kg Push presses

We have this excellent nature preserve 5 minutes from where I work in Palo Alto and 25 minutes from where I live in San Jose. Since I walk early every Sunday now I thought this would be a very cool place to watch the sun come up and get my walk in on nice, forgiving, natural dirt.I hate driving anywhere on Sunday but I thought this would be worth it.

It wasn't, but it was close. The place was empty, full of ducks, geese, cranes and all kind of other waterfowl, quite and beautiful . But it wasn't that much more than the nice park I have right around the block, in all reality.

Walking for me right now is training. Just like I was swimming laps in the pool working on my time and my stroke that's how I approach my long walks on Sunday just . As long as I have dirt path to walk on and fresh air and some trees, I'm good. So until I'm really ready to hike I will just keep to walking my laps at the neighbor hood park.

That said it was a great place and I walked a solid hour and got to watch the sun come up over the marsh.Very nice.

Today is the last workout before I'm wheels up for Tel Aviv tomorrow and the first ever Israeli SFG level 1. VERY excited and it was hard to keep some focus on the workout and work as well today.

Push press/ long cycle
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 3/3 x2
24 kg x 3,4,5 x 2 rounds
          x 3/3 x 2 short cycle

these felt excellent and the bell light. I wore the oly shoes but actually think I'm going back to vibrams for these as well.

Belt squats
24 kg x 20
32 kg x 20 x 3 sets

close stance and flat foot( vibrams) my best depth yet and I can really feel the lower quads kicking in! compared depth the last two weeks with heel on and flat foot and flat wins each time. barefoot it is! Close stance too feet straight ahead.

3 x 50 feet forward
1  x 50 feet forward and 30 or so backward!

these best backward has felt yet and forward is getting very strong indeed. love this move

AM stretches and mobility including lots of rocking , both kneeling ( knee can tolerate some now) and 4 point stance on floor and on the bench. really digging these of late, can really feel it helping my knee and hip flexion( ankles too)


the next week all updates will be on my facebook page if you are interested.