Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Swing Max V02 50 sets of 10! ,Walking lunges, parallel pushups, crawls and Happy New Year!

Solid training today. Definitely did NOT want to endure this workout today after a fitful night of little sleep but  there was no choice, and no doubt, that it would get done.These are the days that really count,not the easy days when you feel rested strong and ready.
This workout is HARD. Not in the same sense as the snatch version but it is a TON ( try nine) of work and I can feel it, It still feels very safe to do and trying to keep the bell speed up as I fatigue is quite the challenge, and my muscles and lungs can sure tell as well.
It is also really cleaning up my swing form, it is much shorter, crisper but way more powerful as well. Keeping my head up is making a HUGE difference. Why didn't I give this a solid try earlier? Oh well ,I am now and it's making a big difference in power and stability.

I decided to let the bell float up higher than before and it helped in a lot of ways. First off I get more of a float, which Kenneth Jay is important for the cardio aspect and one of the reasons the swing isnt as good as the snatch for cardio improvement.
But not stopping it at chest height gave me a decent amount of release of muscle tension PLUS the higher bell dropped faster and that made the reps easier to be more powerful at the same time.Last week I was pushing the bell down to get it to move fast enough and there was TOO much tension with no release.
This was better and it also helped me focus on integrating the hip snap with the bell launch. I kept my arm on my ribs longer. this is good.
Still 50 sets of 10, 500 reps in 25 minutes, even with the 16 kg is work, 18.000 lbs in fact. Nine tons ,lol. Love that.

Swing Vo2
16 kg
50 sets of 10
500 reps
18,000 lbs work

walking lunges
4 laps of 40 steps

this was particularly hard today. Feet are a bit sore still from the barbell hacks

Parallel pushups, feet on box
 4 sets of 12

these feel the best in a LONG time. Could finally grip the bar hard, just like on Monday's press as I tried to push. that's been missing. grip has felt weak in the press positions.

Leopard Crawls
3 laps of 50 feet

these are feeling better all the time yet always hard!

well that's it for 2014 it's been a spectacular year in so many ways and I can only imagine what 2015 will bring!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Military Press 85 lbs x 5s, barbell hack squats, floor pushups, sled

Wow. That was the best this  movement has EVER felt. For the first time since I started doing it,and the first time since probably 2000 when I was still strong in pressing movements I felt some power and strength in the press.
I really wondered if it would ever come around!
Even last week, even though I could get the reps fairly well it never FELT good in the rack position or overhead. Today it felt GREAT!
And I have no idea why, But I'll take it. My overhead stick work and dislocates are also feeling better, more flexible, and my ability to "set" my neck into neutral has really helped diminish any nerve pain the right arm and shoulder and that's been making a huge difference.
Plus the neck nods are also making a difference that I can feel.
So nice to finally know WHAT to do to makes things better. I don't mind doing the work, it just drives me crazy not knowing WHAT to do :)
This is going to turn into a very strong move for me now, I can feel it. AND a true new movement for me as I have never really even did it in the past, much less trained it.

Barbell Press
stick x 10 x 3
45 x 5 x 2
55 x 5
65 x 5
75 x 5
85 x 5 x 5!! PR and strong.

Barbell Hack squats
35 x 15 x 1
55 x 15 x 3

this is the right version for me. the kb just locks up on my hips and messes my balance up the barbell allows me to use my gorilla arms to an advantage. Light weight  here but I can see the potential. An Olympic bar with 25 lb plates will be perfect.  this really legs my knees move forward AND keep relatively upright. nice work

Floor pushups
4 sets of 12-10

medium close grip. I can really feel how the closer grips are getting the triceps which is really transferring to the military press

Hip sled
110 lbs x 250 ft x 4 laps

SO easy and strong. very solid

ok dats it.  a day off then 50 sets of 10 in speed swing!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Rucking perspective from a GoRuck Cadre

My name is Andy, I am a Cadre with GORUCK.  The GORUCK Challenge is just that, a challenge.  My intent is not to drive you away from an event, quite the opposite in fact!  Listen to Steve!  If you are an exclusive gym rat, cross fit nerd, or kettlebell athlete you are not prepared to perform at your best during a Challenge.  No doubt any meat head training will give you the foundation of strength required, but rucking is different.  It attacks your body in different ways.  Rucking a heavy pack is like water slowly eroding a mountain.  At first a trickle of water simply flows down the mountain, but over time the water penetrates and cuts the mountain.  A ruck does much the same.  You may possess brute strength and endurance, but over time the ruck will slowly cut into you.  It cuts into your shoulders straining your neck. and back  It cuts into your lower back destroying core strength.  It cuts through your hips and into your knees and ankles rendering quads, hams and calfs useless. Over time the ruck will test your entire body as a functional system.  But most of all it attacks your feet and willpower!  If your feet are not properly conditioned, you will lose the battle quickly.  If your will is weak, you will quit.  I will try to convince you to stay, but in the end you will walk away and the team will suffer.
And that’s all from simply walking with weight on your back!  Now add all the fun things we Cadre like to do during a Challenge and you’re truly testing your total body system!
So the question becomes, how do I prepare?  Well if you sling kettlebells you’re on the right path!  I’ve trained with kettlebells for years and I have found that they are the best form of total body system training.  But you must supplement your training for the specifics of rucking.  Just like there is no substitute for learning how to swing other than swinging, there is no substitute for rucking other than rucking!  There are plenty of training programs out there.  Military Athlete has a GORUCK training plan, GORUCK has a 6 week plan for free here
The best thing to do is just as you say above, sign up for a Light to get a feel for the GORUCK experience.  See where you stack up.  Identify strengths, weakness, and what you think your limitations are.  Then come up with a plan to be better.  When you ready take the Challenge.  I assure you, you will not be disappointed.  You WILL learn something about yourself and you will meet amazing people.
I hope to see you at one of our events.

Sunday Ruck and a new app

On my friend Morgan's suggestion I got this new app called " mapmywalk"
Much to my surprise it worked very well. Even has a pause function so I can do y squat holds and not have to factor that in to the time

It takes five minutes to walk to and from the park where I do my laps so the above is based on just the lap times. I did 12 laps averaging about 8:20 per lap. My speed was anywhere for the above  at 15 min per mile to 22 min per mile.
It was a solid walk although it was pretty chilly for California at 37 degrees at the starting time,

For the entire two hours at that pace it should have given me 5.5 miles or just under three miles per hour.

Pack weight was 40 lbs exactly. Legs felt heavy at first but then lightened up considerably as I warmed up. the squats each lap definitely help stretch things out, that's for sure.

Happy to be back at full distance and full weight.
Tomorrow I have plans for a 85 lb press workout( we'll see how many reps I can do at that weight) and some more kb hack squats.


Saturday, December 27, 2014

40 kg One arm swings ( pr), Goblet squat ( pr) close pushups, crawls

Worked hard to keep my head up during my one arm swing workout and it's starting to not only feel more natural but better. I can definitely see how it helps keep my back in extension better, leading to more hip drive /loading but I can see from the video that it is also keeping my arm straighter in the bottom, something I did not expect
You can teach an old dog new tricks it seems, even after 13 plus years of doing it one way :)
The record shows that I did 5 sets of 5/5 and 5 sets of 6/6 last October ( plus a set of 10/10) Doing all sets of 6/6 would be a pr so that was what I set out to do.
It was actually very strong, almost easy. The best I've ever swung this weight so I was very pleased. Felt like I could easily do 8's with it. Next time

One arm swings
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
40 kg x 6/6 x 10 sets
120 reps
10,560 lbs

Goblet squats
20 kg x 3
24 kg x 3
28 kg x 3
32 kg x 3
36 kg x 3 (strong!)
40 kg x 3 All time pr!

this was very strong! didn't expect three reps- was hoping for one strong one- so this was very good. Last time I did 36 kg it owned me :) this is a good sign

Close hand pushups on horizontal bar
4 sets of 12 with feet on box

also super strong

Leopard Crawls
3 laps of 50 feet.

strong finish!
BW 162.2 this am

long ruck tomorrow


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Ruck

Got off work early this morning ( jewish trainer: jewish clients ,lol) and Tracy wanted to go for a walk. A ruck walk no less.
How could I say no
I gave her 10 lbs from my ruck and we had  nice, fast hour long walk
8:00 min laps all the way around( she walks fast) and a few iso squats along the way. This was great and looks like a new thursday tradition.
Perfect, one long, heavy slow ruck on Sunday, one short, light and fast one on thursday.
Had hoped to add a swim day in there but it looks like this for now

Happy Holidays to everyone!


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Swing Vo2 45 sets/10, walking lunges, parallel bar pushups, leopard crawls

Nice treat today to start a bit early and I was feeling ready to go. Speed Vo2, as opposed to snatch Vo2 is a very different animal. Definitely not as scary for me, as I've hurt myself snatching quite bit ( lower back and biceps) where I have not swinging.

So it's easier to go harder ; and it's easier cardiovascularly, than snatch Vo 2, but it's damn tough to try to continually push that bell down fast enough to get 10 reps in fifteen seconds AND swing the bell high enough.

Very interesting work, for sure. Very muscular not just ballistic. As KJ said, more tension in the swing than the snatch.
I kept my head up again and it's definitely sinking in. Its a stronger, better position I know now no doubt. Loads the hips better as well as creating a better, and strong lumbar curve.
And trying to keep that level of speed and power up over 20+ minutes is not easy at all and that's what I like the best :)

AM stretchout

full 45 minutes. things feeling very mobile and elastic.Shoulder feeling great,.
Started with OS re sets: neck nods, half rolls, rocking, crawling and marching

then my basic stretchout starting with stability ball back bends then foam rollout and stretching

12 noon
Swing Vo2
16 kg
45 sets of 10
450 reps
16,200 lbs!!!  EIGHT TONS!

walking lunges
4 laps of 40 steps head up on these too

solid. very hard but strong throughout

parallel pushups
4 sets of 13, 13, 12, 10

leopard crawls
 three laps of 50 feet

tough but no blowing chow feeling :)

ok all done. tired but it was strong. 40 kg on saturday for sets of 7 I think, have to go check


Monday, December 22, 2014

Barbell Military press, KB hacks, floor pushups, hip sled

This actually felt decent today. No back pain from the swings or the rucking. Single bell or Goblets it is.
Got a full hour stretchout this morning and was pleasantly surprised( amazed, actually) at how easy stick dislocates were today!
Not that they were great, or actually real dislocates, but the stick got all the way over my head and I was able to even decrease the grip a smidge as I warmed up. What a pec and front delt stretch
But something has  definitely changed in my orthopedic anatomy to let me do this. Crazy. Now it feels much like it used to feel, although I am too scared to try a handstand. Don't want to miss.
I will wait til I know I can make one and them play with it. Still have a long ways to go overhead but I am overjoyed at this progress.
That and not having ANY right arm nerve pain anymore. That alone is worth it all.
I truly thought that this was IT for this shoulder and I was screwed.
How nice to be wrong on this one :)

Geoff has been talking to me about OS a lot and I have been rocking and crawling for the last year plus, as I worked to increase my knee ROM but I pretty much ignored the head work, and the rolling, as the last few times I tried it, my HUGE ribcage always hurt on the floor.
I only need to roll, or turn from left to right and this new neck adjustment, and subsequent head position showed me that I need to pay way more attention to my head and neck position and ability to move.

SO lots of neck nods as well and just as yesterday in my ruck squats I found myself sinking deepr and deeper into my rocking posture as I did the neck nods at the same time! Even in seiza! VERY cool and I'm very excited about this. Even did some rolls this morning too and they went well. Just focused on leading with the eyes then the head, and then let the rest of me move as desired. No pain :)

My neck has clearly been "out" and it's in now. much better this way

Barbell Military Press
45 lbs x 5 x 2
55 x 5
65 x 5
75 x 5
80 x 5 x 5 !

very strong and solid and almost no ache ( after the first four sets :) ) Best its felt yet. There will be 45's on that bar sooner rather than later

KB Hack.
Had an idea about this given the neck nods epiphany. Did these with my head up ( or at least as "up" as I could

First with the heels on the block again

these started on the block but then I realized if I shifted onto my toes even more I would go deeper. So I did and I could!

this above was the fifth set

Next set I did without the block, just on toes, and, despite some balance problems it went well

altogether 6 sets, the first with the 12 kg and the rest with the 16. Used the comp bell and it felt more balanced in this as the COM was lower
Very happy with the improvement over one week

Floor pushups
4 sets of 12

no problem but delts were tired from the presses

Hip sled
102 lbs x 250 ft x 4 laps

very strong here, even after yesterday's ruck

ok one day rest then 450 max vo 2 swings on wednesday! back on track again and in the correct circadian rhythm time zone


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Ruck. which distance to believe ?

Strange walk today. Woke up feeling great, the single bell squats did not lock up my back at all, slept plenty and well and got a quick stretchout before the ruck. Added 2.5 more pounds ( in the form of a liter of water) to bring the ruck weight up to just a bit above 40 lbs. Don't know if that made such a difference from 38lbs but I was slow today.

It also had to do with trying to synch both my pedometers, one the iphone health app and the other a Strava GPS run/cycle app. The difference was dramatic. And a bit discouraging.
But it still doesn't add up exactly

Started off pretty slow laps,8:40 's , in the dark, as I got started so early. The iphone had me at the same distance per lap and the same 1873 steps or so. The Strava had me at 1/4 mile. Big difference. Four laps would equal one mile and at six laps per hour that was no where near 3.7 mph! More like 2.5 Couldnt do the math to add in my 60 sec or so break each lap to do the isometric squat holds but the accelerometer in the iphone still was counting my total steps for 11 laps and two hours as 14,397 but calculated that at 6.5  miles ;that's 3.25 mph

The Strava had me at 5 miles for the two hours including breaks for squats and that averages 2.5 mph. It was pretty consistent measuring each lap at .4 mile until lap 5 where it registered. .5! then I took a lap around the lap park in the street and it measure that too as .4, and I know the distance was greater; so which one is right?

The accelerometer measures the actual steps I take but the gps should be pretty accurate, so if you combine the two that's 14,400 steps / 5 miles that's 2880 steps per mile. pretty high even for these short legs :)

Either way things were slow until lap 8 when I started breaking into the 8:15 range. why I have no idea. Ended up doing 11 laps in 2 hours > I could have done 12 but it didn't seem right. I think I am staying with the  iphone pedometer and focusing on # of steps, lap times and total time rucked.

That's enough data I think. It really took away from the enjoyment of the ruck but it needed to be done. Plenty more where that came from :)

Oh, and during each pole squat I started doing neck nods and IMMEDIATELY each nod dropped me DEEPER into the squat!! I couldn't believe it. For each set too. every time. that's very interesting.Probably will work with goblets as well. have to try. Might sub them back into the Saturday workout.

datsit. presses and kb hacks tomorrow


Saturday, December 20, 2014

32 kg One arm swings, 28 kg single front squat, close pushups, crawls

Wanted to get back to some heavier weights but didn't want quite as much volume as 10's would give so I split the difference and went for 8's , it was perfect. Everything feeling great this morning. Solid roll stretch and hang this am as warmup too

One arm Swings
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5
24 x 4/4
32 kg x 8/8 x 12 sets
192 reps
6144 lbs

Really tried to keep my head and eyes up on the swings and it was definitely harder than with swing vo 2 and the 16 kg. But overall not bad for first attempt. Reading Becoming Bulletproof by Tim Anderson and I want to experiment. Actually starting to feel good, and with all the revelations I am having vis a vis my neck's connection to my shoulder it's a good time to play with this

Single KB front squats
16 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5 ( this was solid)
28 kg x 5/5 ( pretty tough on rack- not keeping arm across the body enough)
24 kg x 5/5
20 kg x 5/5

depth and movement felt ok. Decided to try this version as the double bells seem to light up my abs too much and my back comes with it the next day. We'll see tomorrow

Close grip pushups on hor bar- feet on box

these felt excellent! lots of tri work too, which is why I brought the grip in

Leopard crawls
3 laps of 50 ft

kick my ass even more after pushups!Solid workout very happy


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Swing Vo2, walking lunges, pushups, leopard crawls

Interesting. As bad as my DOMS was the other day, that's how fast it dissipated. Don't know but I think it was the re introducing of my adaptogens back into the routine. Felt great today, and yesterday was the first day I didn't feel jetlagged.

I gave away my two week supply of adaptogens for the trip to a friend in Sweden and didn't think it would make much difference. Now I know better. If I want to to take break from them traveling overseas is not the time to do so.

Live and learn. No big deal but it's nice to feel myself again. Slept well last night and woke with energy and not much stiffness at all.

Full hour stretchout! Haven't had one of these in far too long. Perfect.

Swing Vo2
16 kg
40 sets of 10
400 reps
14, 400 lbs work! wow didn't think it would be that high. Love it  At 50 sets it will be 18,000 lbs of work Now that I like!
This is the kb swing equivilent of dynamic effort bench day in powerlifting! all about the speed and acceleration.

( that's my friend and training partner Glenn kicking ass with 40 sets of 7 in Snatch vo2!)

The workout was definitely solid. No where near as hard cardiovascularly as snatching but tryting to make each rep as acclelerated as possible on both sides( concentric and eccentric) really made the difference. I tried to throw each rep as hard as possible with my hips on the ascent, stop it hard with the lats and shoulders and throw it back as hard as possible with the lats as well as catching it with the hips

My glutes immediately felt the work Much more than in my snatch form, that's for sure. I also made a point to try to keep my head UP during the sets, I'm reading Becoming Bulletproof again by Tim Anderson  and have many talks with Geoff Neupert and as good as I'm doing looking up in my squats I'm not so good in my swings. I figured these light swings are a good place to start.The book is so good - complex concepts explained very simply and that actually make sense without getting lost in the science.

Doing good in my crawls and actually did some rolls today ( right turning only ) and it seemed to work. There is definitely a connection between what's going on in my shoulder and what's not moving in my upper t spine and cervicals. Being able to control my head movement better is going to be a good start.

Too many years of twisting one way only in gymnastics, especially during my developmental years, left an indelible mark that is time to repair. Shoulder though feels amazingly better these days and I could even do shoulder dislocates ( albeit VERY wide grip) for the first time in eons. That T 2 adjustment did miracles. Time to go back to the Chiro it seems.

Walking lunges
4 laps of 40

these were surprisingly strong. legs feel great and I got a wicked though pump! a real one !

Parallel grip  pushups / feet on floor
4 sets of  13-10

Leopard crawls
3 laps of 50 feet.

not as bad as I thought


Monday, December 15, 2014

Barbell Mil press , KB hack squat, pushups, sled

Pretty freaking sore from the weekend but it seemed to loosen up a bit as the day went on. Grey cold didn't help things but at least today was low volume. Shoulder has been feeling much better of late, with almost zero nervy stuff going on but still loathe to do too much overhead work as I am enjoying it not feeling out of place :)

Military press
45 lbs x 5 x 2
55 lbs x 5
65 lbs x 5
75 lbs x 5 x 5

these felt as good as they ever have. Had the Oly heel on and that was good. In Israel I worked up to 40 kg for 3 sets of 2 and then pyramided back down but it felt very heavy. this felt solid and not bad at all. Shoulders didn't hurt after and still feel good 3 hours later as I write this

Kb Hack squat

Have wanted to do these ever since I saw Steve maxwell do them at the first RKC kettlebell Bash or convention in Vegas in 2006 or so. He used the 40 kg and went ass to grass. I never thought I could even attempt them. It took a few attempts as I tried to do them on my toes  first and that didn't work. Once I stood on the edge of platform it was no problem. Feet and calves are not mobile or strong enough. Ye't
Have a ways to go with depth and technique but it was a great start

4 sets of 12 with 16 kg

VMO's should be screaming tomorrow :)

Floor pushups
3 sets of 10

shoulders are tired though :)

Sled Drag
100 lbs x 25 ft x 3 laps

haven't done these in awhile, can really feel the glutes working, especially after all the quad work in the hacks

took it fairly easy. still feeling jetlagged ! building back gently


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Ruck measuring the distance

Didn't sleep all that well last night, between the dissipating cold and the soreness from the morning's workout already setting in it was a restless night. I really didn't want to ruck but there was no question about going. The lazier you get the easier it is to get lazy and it s a very slippery slope. so out I went.

Once I got going it wasn't too bad; all the walking around airports and europe with the pack did some good. It wasn't a 40 lbs pack but it was close :)

I decided to not stress about the time per lap but with my new iphone 6 I had a built in pedometer so I used that to keep track.

Just did 10 laps and I was lucky to get that; felt ok but slow up to lap five then speeded up a bit but also started to feel the fatigued. Though about only 8 laps but wanted to see what 10 laps gave me on the pedometer and those last two were actually the fastest.

Laps 1-5 around 8:20 to 8:10
         6-8 8:10s
Lap 9 8:00
Lap 10 7:50

Total steps 14,037
Total miles 6.53
Time = 1:45

so it looks like I'm walking about 3.7 miles per hour!
that's not bad especially with a stop each lap for a 30-45 sec squat hold.

Each lap averaged 1873 steps for the various lap times. Even if it is off a bit that's not bad for a guy with a TKR and a 38 lb pack  :) Next week need to add a few water bottles and get it to an even 40 lbs

Hopefull the cold, jet lag and soreness will be getting better each day :)

tomorrow: barbell military presses!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Back to work :) One arm swings weight ladder,double front squat weight ladder, crawls

Man this jet lag kicked my ass big time this trip! I think that because we were gone two full weeks that I fully adapted to European time ( after suffering through serious jet lag the first week ) and then it hit us again coming back here. Just a few days in and they say it's one day per hour of time change you go through.
That means it could be a nine day recovery :)

But, I knew I needed to get back on the horse today and get things moving again. I didn't want to re start my cycle with 250-300 24 kg swings- too much volume and speed) but I needed a little of this and a little of that.

So I settled on a weight ladder and it was perfect

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5 x 2
20 kg x 5/5 x 2
22 kg x 5/5 x 2
24 kg x 5/5 x 2
28 kg x 5/5 x 2
32 kg  5/5 x 2
36 kg x 5/5 x 2
40 kg x 5/5 x 2
36 kg x 5/5 x 1
32 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5

160 reps starting with the 20 kg set
Perfect blend of loading and volume . I needed to get to some heavy bells. I demo'd a lot at the cert but nothing heavy. this was exactly right jump back in

Double KB Front squats
2 16 x 5 x 2
2 20 x 5 x 2
2 24 x 3 x 2

same thing here. Legs are still strong from all the bw squatting I do all day plus plenty of ruck walking as well as regular walking all over for travel. Legs feel solid.'
But pretty weak feeling. Also caught a small cold yesterday and still slept like shit :)

three laps of 50 feet

Horizontal bar pushups
13, 11, 10

datsit time to eat


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SFG Resignation

It 's been a very productive 10 years in Pavel's RKC and now SFG, but it is time to move on. I've learned so much from my experience as a student of the kettlebell, then as an RKC instructor then an RKC/SFG Senior then Master instructor.It has completely changed my life and my the life of my wife Tracy as well. In ways too many to count

But the road that SF has gone down since leaving the RKC two years ago is not the path I am now, or have been, interested in. I fell in love with the kettlebell when I read those words " a back of iron and legs that never quit,"
The idea of sustained strength.
Of being All Day Strong
Of  the kind of strength Pavel wrote about in the original RKC book, of the functional strength everyday people need. The strength that comes from repetition kettlebell lifting.
Pavel and the RKC created the option of repetition kb lifting from that of  girya sport endurance to  kb to GiryStrength with hardstyle kb training, which I still love will continue to practice. Repetition kettlebell swinging for strength not just endurance

I never believed in the idea of that strength was first. In the original post about SF Pavel said that strength was my most important quality for the healthy athlete.
That leaves basically 99.9 % of the population out of it. The don't need strength first, they need to unlock their bodies and being able to  Move First.

 My belief if the correct order of training progression has been the same since I found it from Paul Chek 20 years ago

1) flexibility/ mobility
2) stability
3) strength
4) endurance
5) power

If you can't move being stronger isn't going to help much. Now, I do believe, as I have said and written many times; strong fixes almost everything.
But you can be strong in your stretching, strong in your mobility work. strong in your breathing practice. Strong in whatever you need to do to get yourself to be better.
When I was so broken that I could barely get out of a chair getting stronger with a barbell wasn't going to make me better
Being strong in my discipline in my flex/ mob work was. Measuring myself by my one rep max in the kb press, the deadlift or ANY specific exercise was and is fruitless because how strong you are at any one time is very much a moving target. It's about knowing HOW to get stronger and when to push and when to hold back that's important.

Win, lose or draw, the next day it's back in the gym ,so that type of measurement as a indicator of your ability as a coach or even athlete is doomed.

There are MANY ways to be strong because it is , more than anything, an attitude, a way of approaching a task. Not a specific number. SF has way too much emphasis on heavy heavy heavier. especially for their level 1 course for beginners

I believe in a single bell level one and a focus on the ballistic moves more than anything as those are the movements that are truly kettlebell movements.

You can do a getup or a press or a squat with many different implements, But you need a kettlebell to do the swings and it IS the ballistics that are the most transformational of all the training movements,especially for beginners but also for older athletes and people just training to be healthy and strong for life.

The barbell takes from you,  kettlebell ballistic movements give back. Both are important but if you are only going to do one thing it's the swing and the kb.

But that's just my opinion.

So I am going on. I will continue to teach the Way of the Kettlebell in every way I can. I will teach Body Maintenance workshops helping people to unlock themselves and build pliability,durability and resilience into  their muscles  and learn how to take care of themselves.The basics of self myofascial release using simple tools and basic daily stretch routines that assess and address what's going on before you load.

I will speak at the StrengthMatters Summit and write for the magazine of the same name. And soon I will be teaching and creating instructors again in a a different setting, the details of which I am not sure of yet.

But they are just the details. The main points are above. The gag is off my mouth. I can speak my mind and be myself again. The weight is off my shoulders and in my hands again and it feels great.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Swing Vo2 max, walking lunges, pushups

Another easy one before I leave for Denmark. Never have done max vo2 training with just swings and it was very interesting.
I used the 16 kg and did 10 one arm swings per 15 seconds . It wasn't that bad at all but it definitely got my attention towards the end. It will take some time to develop the technique to throw the bell even faster but for now it definitely is better than trashing myself with  almost snatches

Swing Vo2
16 kg
30 sets of 10
300 reps
10,800 lbs work

I can see using the 18 or 20 kg on this no problem. Well, lots of work but no joint issues,lol. Really has potential

Walking lunges
4 laps of 40 steps

these are burners no matter how strong I feel

3 sets of 15
1 set of 10

on horizontal p bars

shoulders were very good

isometric  external rotators done grease the groove style all morning. definitely sets the shoulder

time to get going


Monday, November 24, 2014

De Load day, pushups 40 kg belt squats, triceps pushdowns sled

Shoulder is feeling very good and since today is a de load day prior to the trip I decided to skip the bar overhead and do pushups instead. No problem at all; 100 reps in sets of 10 was literally a piece of cake.
Hard to believe not too long ago I couldn't do ONE!

10 sets of 10

Belt squats
40 kg x  15,15,15, 20

strong as well

Triceps band pushdowns
4 x 20

shoulders not clunking at all, did my isometric rotator cuff exercises all throughout the day. Felt good but the PT definitely mobilized something that I needed moved

Hip sled
114 lbs x 250 ft x 3 laps

easy peazy all day. So different to have a day that doesn't kick my ass but it's a necessity

rest day tomorrow than swing Vo2 before wheels up for Gotenberg!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Ruck; steady state then all new PRs!

Slept hard last night and woke up with a bit of a wonky twisted back. Can't stay in bed too long or this seems to happen. Got up and stretched it out pretty fast but it was tighter than it's been so I wasn't that sure it was going to be a great ruck.
Didn't want to push anything either as I have to get on a plane in a few days and perform and travel a lot and don't need any tweaks at all
Made sure to super hydrate and roll stretch and hang yesterday and felt great all day and night- til this morning and things felt much better very quickly.

Started out with five very slow laps and thought for sure it was going to be just a slow and steady day but then things got easy and fast . very easy and fast!

lap 1 untimed
lap 2 8:20
      3 8:21
      4 8:21
      5 8:18
      6  8:10 !
      7  8:00
      8: 8:00
      9  7:56
     10 7:55
     11 7:50
     12 7: 31 All time PR!!!

wow,this felt SO good after lap 8. things just took off. as last week the pack felt like nothing after lap 5 my legs really loosened up and the lungs too and I just took off! very very cool. SO nice to have been given the opportunity to feel this feeling again. I remember it well from my endurance training days where you felt like you could run, swim, bike, move forever! with almost no effort. very very cool.

12 sets of 45 sec isometric squat holds which also were the deepest and best ever! Just solid all over today.

shoulder's feeling very well and I think the PT session was good doing the isometric rotator cuff work he recommended and it seems to be helping.As did the SMR work this am on the mini nova and roller

Presses tomorrow.
Bodyweight this am 160.4



Saturday, November 22, 2014

36 kg One Arm Swings, 200 reps PR ,double 28kg front squat PR, crawls

This was strong today. Shoulder felt good although it was tight in the middle of the night The PT did a lot of work on it yesterday and even though it felt better I could tell it had been worked on hard, in new places.

Wanted to try this volume although I actually wasn't sure I could do it, as it's my last real swing workout for two weeks as I head back on the road Wednesday; Next weekend the Men's Weekend with Jacob Sondegaard in Copenhagen and then onto Israel for a SFG 1.

It turned out great. Cardio and strength was good and the weight felt as light as it ever has. Bell speed was solid as was height of the swings.

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5/ x2
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 4/4
32 kg x 3/3

36 kg x 10/10 x 10 sets PR
200 reps
15,800 lbs work!

very very happy with this in every sense.

Double KB front squats

these went very well as well. Didn't do much volume as I was pretty beat from the swings but it is pr nonetheless
2 16's x 5
2 20's x 5
2 24's x 3
2 28's x 3 PR

sweet but they felt heavy- on my arms and upper back :)

4 laps of 50 feet.

nice to do these without pre fatiguing with pushups. Nice rain falling, felt great

datsit. Big ruck tomorrow in the rain. Can't wait. Nice to be in shape again.and strong at the same time


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Snatch Vo2 30 sets of 7 and a regression

I don't think I should be doing this. Trying to go overhead with kettlebells, as much as it pains me to say it ( and, do it ). It just isn't working and I spend more time trying to fight my shoulder than I do anything else and the overhead position still sucks.
From a work capacity and cardio( and even my left shoulder) it's no problem to fight through. But add in that freakin dull ache in the shoulder and it's too much.

Just the same as I have given up on the snatch test, or snatching anything over the 24kg again, I think I just have to give up the kettlebell snatch. I want the cardio work, the metabolic conditioning I get from snatch vo2 training, plus the gut check, but I think I will have to substitute swings instead.

Kenneth Jay told me when I asked how close using the swing instead of the snatch to snatch for increasing the heart's capacity and vo2 max and he said it wasn't close- no more than EIGHTY PERCENT  as effective!

Well 80 %, especially at this point in time in my training and shoulder ability, will have to do.

Especially when I think of it as assistance work for my five minute swing tests. I will have to figure out the reps per 15 second (probably no more than 10) and the weight ( it should be light enough to go very fast, just as in snatch vo2) so that means probably the 16 and 20 are it. Perhaps the 24 kg if I dropped the reps to 8.

I will have to play with this, and now that I think and write about it, I'm getting more excited about the idea. It 'fits' more well   :) with my current training and goals and , of course, my obsession with the swing.

Tracy says the weight has to be light enough so that you can swing it, it can't swing YOU. And as the person who has done more swings than anyone else in the world and studied as well I believe her. It will just have to be played with.

It fits. Heavy swings on Saturdays; light and fast on Wednesdays. Strength day and dynamic swing day. Pefect, really.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
30 sets of 7
210 reps
7560 lbs work

just no fun at all. Glenn still out so even less fun. Left arm was fine but trying to adapt the form with this shitty overhead screwed any semblance of smooth technique out the window.


Walking lunges
4 laps of 40 steps

these were tough today. just frustrated with the snatches

Parallel bar pushups feet on floor
four sets of 10

shoulder not happy.


three laps of 50 feet

this actually felt good but I my CNS was cooked and I was too. wanted to do more but couldn't. Need to crawl more and sled less

Also, my back did not like the farmers walks. Restricting my upper body gait mechanics doesn't work at all for me. Lesson learned. Crawls are it.

roll  stretch and hang.

feel better already

never quit- just find a way through.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Barbell Military press, double pr,36 kg belt squat, 24 kg farmers walks , rear delts

 Recovered well from the weekend's training, slept well and the shoulder was in the right part of the socket for a change. Had a more than decent 30 minute stretchout as well.
Glenn was out of town for work so it was solo.
Very cold in the gym so warmed up with 3 sets of two hand sets with 16 kg for 20 reps. This never fails to get me warm no matter how cold it is.
Alternated each set of swings with a set of 10 rep stick presses.

Barbell press
45 lbs x 8 x 2
55 lbs x 8
65 lbs x 7 x 2 ( first set flat footed, then put on Oly shoes. Left them on :)
75 lbs x 5
85 lbs x 5
95 lbs x 3 PR
100 x 2 PR!
80 lbs x 5
70 lbs x 7

9 sets of presses. this worked we good. The first rep was not easy but it was much better after this. Not having an eccentric contraction to set up the groove is always tough. Come to think of it, the 85 for 5 is a pr also.
these weren't the prettiest reps but they were all locked out and strictly started. Very happy with this although truth be told, the lighter weights didn't feel much better than the heavier ones :)

Belt squat
36 kg x 15 x 3
          x 20

these were strong.

Farmers walks
double 24's x 100 feet x 4 laps

these were TOUGH. great though and an excellent stretchout for the traps as well

Band rear delts
3 x 15 red

didn't feel more pushups were right so I did these. overall easy day

Wedneday up to sevens on snatch vo 2 and I will try it with my Oly shoes here too.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Ruck: take the long way home.

The pack felt like nothing on my back today, which is amazing. I had to actually weigh it to make sure it was the correct weight. It was 39 lbs( need to add a few next week). Legs felt fresh and loose, back felt solid but my damn shoulder was not in it's happy placed and ached the whole damn time.

Switched pillows last night and it didn't work well. Waay too sensitive these days but it is what it is.
 Can't really complain it used to be ALL kinds of multiple things "out" at the same time so this is no big deal.

The idea is to increase the distance of the ruck now, inching towards three hours. So I did my twelve laps then took the long way home on the hardball. Problem was that I was tired of the aching shoulder and only increased the distance by ten more minutes. But, its a start .

Lap times :
1) untimed
2) 8:20
3) 8:24
4) 8:15
5) 8:10
6) 8:11
7) 8:15
8) 8: 15
9 ) 8:12
10) 8:09
11) 8:01
12) 8 :04

Plus 11 sets of deep squat holds. Love these

People ask me why I walk in circles, doing laps instead of 'going for a hike'  I'm walking laps so that I can measure my progress. I will progress to walking in the hills for overall time when my body is ready for that kind of load, but for now, this is what I need to keep getting stronger and more enduring.
Just like a swimming swimming laps I need to know what my pace is so that I can tell if I'm improving or not , as well as feeling what a specific lap pace is.
No matter what, though, it takes me 45- 60 minutes for my legs to get into it and my lungs to open up.
Been like that for 35 years don't think it's going to change now and that's cool
I'm not training for backpacking I'm training to increase my leg and back strength and endurance and this seems to be the fastest and most efficient way to do so.

If I could I would next like to add in another, shorter walk on thursdays.Perhaps an hour with a 10 lb heavier pack but don't see that happening in the near future.

More important would be to add  a swim session in on thursdays, I need to get back in the water. That will happen first.
BTW I am now a GoRuck affilitate so anyone clicks on the  picture on the front left of this blog it will take them to the very interesting world of GoRuck and the gear and events they put on

In my minds eye, my long term, dream goal, is to do the GoRuck Challenge for my 60th birthday. Still a long way off but it is a BIG challenge and I will need plenty of training for it.

Lots of military presses tomorrow


Saturday, November 15, 2014

44 kg One arm swings, 20 kg front squats,pushups, crawling

Just  a WEE bit tired after the last week, and last month of heavier and heavier . Good thing I'm traveling soon, it will be a nice enforced back off.
But I wasn't in the mood for the 48 kg so I went  a bit lighter and used the 44kg for sets of 5/5. Still plenty hard and heavy but I could tell I was tired.

Shoulder finally went back into place after some serious SMR on the pec, teres major and front delt. Haven't had to do that lately but it helped very quickly. Amazing, once the shoulder is sitting right the pain and ache stops immediately. Almost feels normal and ROM improves instantly.

One arm swings
 16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
28 kg x 5/5
32 kg x 5/5
36 kg x 3/3
44 kg x 5/5 x 10
100 reps
9680 lbs work

Double 20 kg front squats

2 16s x 5
2 20s x 5 x 4
          x 8 pr

these are getting better and deeper all the time. No goblet squats today. tired

Horizontal pushups feet up on box
4 sets of 10 PR!
first time with the feet up on the box and NO shoulder issues. sweet.

3 sets fo 50, 60 and 70 ft

love these

hard but well within reach.  Long ruck tomorrow- going to go for 2:20 the last 20 on the road.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Snatch Vo2 50 sets of 6, walking lunges, barbell OH holds, pushups

Mission accomplished. First phase at least. This was very satisfying, especially coming after Saturdays swing test. It wasn't as hard as I expected but, right on cue, my right shoulder was tighter than it's been the last two days, despite a lot of stretching hanging and SMR this AM.
 But things warmed up very well once I got going and I had a very big epiphany about my snatch groove today and I think it will make a huge difference overall.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
50 sets of 6
300 reps
10,800 lbs

No problems except that I can't count, even with a clicker :) Plus I really need a headband, the sweat falls off on the bell and really mucks things up.
The epiphany was that I finally got the idea that the snatch and swing is an inverted pendulum. I DO need to lean forward to engage my hips BUT NOT THAT MUCH. It's kind of a rocking motion and I have to let the bell/arm fall first and stay upright longer and then pendulum forward with arm and rib in connection.
then reverse it, still with arm and rib in connection
I was thinking I had to lean further forward than I do to get my lumbo pelvic rhythm correct but I think this is 'more' correct.
MUCH shorter stroke too. I looked at a bunch of my old videos doing sets of 8 in this and my stroke was, had to be, much shorter. I was doing it instinctively but hadn't really codified it in my brain. Now I got it.
Plus it's only the 16 kg
I may give the oly shoes a go here next week as well. I think they will help.

Walking lunges
4 laps of 40 steps

these are finally feeling easier for the second week

Barbell OH holds
45 lbs x 45 sec x 3 sets

really much better. went a little wider on the grip and that seemed to help too. Also I think I am going to go with vibrams on my press day next week. felt good today for the holds.

parallel grip pushups
 3 sets of 15 reps

very solid but BEAT! Tow days off! yes.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Barbell Military press,belt squat,floor pushups, hip sled

Definitely feeling the effects of the last two workouts. Nothing injured just lots of DOMS and overall stiffness.Especially the hammies! Crazy sore, which is unusual. I think the different boot  I wore rucking yesterday had something to do with it.
Or, the five minute 40 kg test.
Or both :)

Glenn still out today so I definitely wanted a lighter day

Barbell Military
stick x 5 x 3
45 lb x 5 x 3
65 lbs x 5 x 8 sets

this was perfect weight. Just enough to feel some loading but light enough to really practice all the subtleties of the groove. Still in Oly shoes. this was the best session in terms of everything feeling good of all.
Plus, I think having my hands locked down onto the bar as I press is really strengthening my external rotators .

Belt squats
32 kg x 20 x 4 sets

these were good, surprisingly. close stance

Floor pushups

hahaha, shoulders are still cooked after presses.

Hip sled
128 lbs x 250 ft x 4 laps

this was heavy! too lazy to take off the weight but it was a slog :) 10 lbs less would be about right

ok seriously need to recover and loosen up. Lots of bone broth these last two days and I can really feel the benefits already. Much easier to drink to hydrate than plain water and I can't drink any more tea than I do!
50 sets of snatch vo2 in two days, gotta get ready


Sunday, November 09, 2014

Sunday Ruck

Just a little bit of sweat :)
After yesterday's swing test I was interested to see how my legs and back would feel today during the ruck. Surprisingly everything was A OK. Even better than good.
I wore my black boots,which are slightly less supportive than the tan ones to see how my foot strength is coming and it didn't make any difference at all. Happy about that too.
Could be time to start increasing the distance a bit now too.
The ruck standard test for many military units is 12 miles in 3 hours. still not sure how far I'm going but I think I can start adding a a few more minutes to the course. Little by little.
No more laps ( can't take any more of that) but I can start walking a bit on the "hardball" as Al Ciampa calls the road when he's rucking.( great article here on Hardening for the Combat Soldier. and I got a preview of his new article on ruck marching and how to do it- it's excellent!)

Felt strong at the end of the walk today too.

Lap one  untimed
two 8:25
three 8;17
four 8:10
five 8:13
six 8:08
seven 8:11
eight 8:06
nine  8:01
ten 7:58
eleven 7:55
twelve 7;45

decided to use the voice memo function of the phone to record actual times. worked great.
things started good and got faster. all systems fluid and strong except for shoulder. was "out" up til lap five or so. In addition to my 30-45 sec squat holds at the end of each lap I included some basic lat stretches one arm at a time and that seemed to convince my distal clavicle to play nice again and sit where it us supposed to.
The shoulder though was not from the elbow /wrist as usual but the clavicle. at least the source is different.
Small things

ok presses and squats tomorrow, roll stretch and hang today


Saturday, November 08, 2014

40 kg One Arm Five minute swing test.

Wow. This was a surprise. I thought about doing this all week but last night had pretty much decided I wouldn't. I just remembered how hard the 36kg test was last March and wasn't sure I should be pushing the red line today. My shoulder was achey for the first time in a few weeks and my hip was tight too so I thought I should just do a regular workout with the 40 and not complicate it with a time deadline.

I even thought the same when I woke up this morning But, as I warmed up I thought 'why not?' I was feeling better and looser and thought I would at least give it a try.

SO I did and I was much surprised with the result. 95 reps in 4:57 so I didn't make my hundred, nor were they legal chest height BUT the bell felt much lighter in my hand than the 36 kg did last time and my 15 second on 15 second Snatch Vo2 pace worked great.

Except I couldn't make the intervals :)
But I was very close.
The damn bell was just too heavy for me to move any faster and I had to get my hands ON the bell 2 seconds at least before the buzzer to make it work. and man I make a lot of damn noise when it's heavy and I can't breathe. :)

Next time.

last time I did this I thought I would never be able to do it with the 40 kg.This was a great test and affirmation of my training and work capacity increases. Very happy. AND I'm not tweaked at all. Finished up the rest of the workout strongly Glad I chose to do it.

Nick started with me using the beast but came to his senses after four sets. Glad he tried with me though.

Two hand swings
40 kg x 6
          x 7
          x 8
          x 10
these were easy and the back and hammies felt fine

Goblet squats
20 kg x 3
24 kg x 3
32 kg x 3

very strong and good depth

Double 24 kg front squat
2 24 kg x 5 x 3 sets PR

NO warmup ( was too tired ,lol) and they went strong ALL time PR!

4 laps of 50, 60, 70, 70 feet

Need to make SURE crawls are in the mix at least once a week. Vital

well that's it for sure/VERY pleased with everything.

Tomorrow a strong Ruck.


Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Snatch Vo2 45 sets of 6,walking lunges, OH BBholds, pushups

Tough one today, as these always are, but good as well. Snatch form was much improved from last week as I leaned in right from the start and it worked perfectly. Found it much easier to go fast and less resistance in the groove overall.

Right shoulder was better than last week but was good all day til it was snatching time :) I swear I think the thing knows I need it to be as good as it can and it's spiting me :) The elbow circles, done behind rounds worked pretty well and the shoulder was good -75 %- but not ache free and that didn't give me as much ROM overhead as I hoped.
Even got a very solid shoulder stretchout this AM
But the work was strong and solid and the left shoulder had the best overhead I've seen with it in eons.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
45 sets of 6
270 reps
9720 lbs work
22 minutes.

 As usual the biggest problem is dealing with all the sweat! need a freakin headband now.

Walking lunges
three laps of 40 total steps

we were still pretty cooked from the snatches and dropped a set. no worries

Barbell OH holds
45 lbs for 45 second three sets

easier to get and hold overhead but shoulders were tired from the snatches. this is working well though. time up from last weeks 30 sec.

parallel grip pbar pushups
15 15 11 10

solid work here too. shoulder fine

ok CNS is on overdrive. stretch hydrate and relax!


Monday, November 03, 2014

95 lb Military Press,36 kg belt squat, floor pushups, hip sled

The great feeling from yesterday carried onto today quite well. As well as the better sleep. Felt energized and recovered all day. SO nice to feel that again. The elbow/shoulder/ wrist rotations have seemed to have solved the shoulder problem.
Not that it doesn't 'go out' but that I can get it back "in" again immediately. This is what I've been looking for. The broken orthopedics that are my shoulder now create instability very easily; what I've been looking for is the button to push to square myself up again and this seems to it. I KNEW it had something to do with the elbow and wrist!
The circles are best done with the shoulder in extension, about 15-20 degrees but I use a lot of different angles.Both single and double arm circles.
VERY nice not to have that ache 24/7 like it's been

Military press
45 x 5 x 2
65 x 5 x 2 !! ( big jump :) )
75 x 5
85 x 3
95 x 2!!! PR  not bad at all
75 x 5
65 x 5 x 2

this was amazing. that's almost 100 lbs and I clearly remember how tough the 15 lb exercise bar was when I started this trip. wow. very happy. I was not pushing enough with the right arm in the mid sets and I felt my left tricep working too hard. Fixed that fast. Just have to focus on pushing with the right and the left will take care of itself

Belt squat
36 kg x 15  x 4 sets

these were strong and deep

Floor pushups

these started out strong and died fast! shoulders and tri's were yelling from the start. How pathetic but I'm making progress

Hip Sled
95 x 250 ft x 3
120 x 250 x 1!

Glenn forgot to unload the sled and I didn't notice so I pulled his weight. Didn't even notice til he told me. time to go up :)

VERY happy with this and my shoulders, a few hours later feel excellent.The last piece of this puzzle may be falling into place.The more 'square, plumb and neutral' I get , the better I feel


Sunday Ruck: The base has set

Thank goodness for going back to Standard Time. I hate daylight saving time with a passion. When you get up daily at 4 am your body knows exactly the difference between "true" 4 am and DST bullshit 4 am.
DST 4 am is THREE AM and it's not the same,lol. At least not for my body. So the shift felt perfectly natural. A little late actually. We usually fall forward sooner and my body was craving it.
So I felt very good starting the walk Sunday am. Good nights sleep and my body none the worse for wear from Saturday's training.

First three laps around 8:20-8:15  the new starting speed has set in. No more 8:45's it seems
Four - five 8:15-8:10s
Six an seven the same inching towards 8:05
Eight nine and ten about the same. getting tired now
Eleven 8:00 flat
Twelve 7:55  no pr but fast enough for sure.

very solid everything felt squared away and solid.

Twelve sets of squats 45 sec holds with the three stances alternating on each lap/

the photo above was on lap 11

The 40 lb pack felt LIGHT. Cat litter is much better to carry than plates and db's :)

ok datsit

Saturday, November 01, 2014

32 kg One Arm swings,Goblet squat,24 kg front squats, pushups, 24 kg farmers walks

This went very well. It was tough, especially from set 7 on but strong as well. This is the fastest I've swung this bell, the most overall power for sure. Especially with this volume. This is what I've been training for. To do more work than ever, easier and not feel anything the next day. Adaptation to huge workloads.
Their is nothing like the swing for this. You can't do more work, more safely than swing, snatch and clean training.And the swing's the thing.

Shoulder has been feeling fantastic lately too since I started experimenting with elbow circles in various planes. It seems the wrist, elbow and shoulder connection responds well to these as well as the barbell overhead work. SO nice to not have that dull ache in my shoulder 24/7!

Plus when the shoulder is not sitting well, these circles re adjust it faster than anything else I've done yet. Which is exactly what I've been looking for. And, with no 'toys' to use to do it, either.

One arm swing
16 kg x 5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5
24 kg x 5/5
32 kg x 10/10 x 10
200 swings
14,000  lbs work!

these went great still had to stay focused and not take them lightly but I felt very strong.

Goblet squat
20 kg x 3
24 kg x 3
28 kg x 3

this is the perfect place for these- as a mobility warmup. Felt great

Double KB front squat
2 20s x 5
2 24s x 4 x 3

very very strong. but man I am noisy. Love this variation, with my elbows on my knees. better than last week and the stance is right

Pushups horiz pbar

15, 15, 11, 15

did the last set after the farmers walks

Farmers Walks  2 24kg x 100 ft x 3 laps

these were great. really stretched out the traps, elbows and shoulders AND they weren't that easy.Life is so much easier when you can walk easily.

datsit. Strong ruck walk tomorrow in the rain !

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Snatch Vo2 40 sets ( +4),walking lunges, BB OH holds, pushups

Decent workout but a bit frustrating. Shoulder was perfect all morning and then an hour or so before coming to snatch it started tightening up.Just never got to settle in but it wasn't that bad so I just got to it.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
40 sets of 6
240 reps
8640 lbs work

then 4 sets of 6/6 after I realized the other video cut off my overhead position. It was about 1 minute rest Overhead is not as bad as it felt but the shoulder ache was an irritant
BUT I learned a lot about my groove too.
I realized/remembered that I cannot sit back on these, I have to lean forward first and that puts my hips back into the hinge. If I try to sit too early I just go up and down and it's never right. The last sets were very good,If my shoulder would have shut up I could have actually enjoyed the sets.
Have to move my stance in a bit too.

45 sets next time and then onto 7's for the last five sets. Once i really get this groove down the speed will come back'
Feels GREAT to be moving fast and sweating like a pig and breathing crazy hard again. I've missed this.

Walking Lunges
4 laps of 40 steps each lap

these are always freaking painful but they are getting there. knee to the ground on every rep

Parallel bar pushup
3 x 15, 13, 10


ate up took a nap. strangely enough, did a bunch of elbow circles while lying on my back and the elbow and shoulder settled right in and now, a few hours later, feel the best they have in a long time.
very weird but I will take it!


Monday, October 27, 2014

75lb Standing Press,32 kg belt squat, floor pushups, hip sled

Recovered well from yesterday. Shoulders felt pretty solid all day. Got a decent stretchout at my 8 am cancellation. Lots of overhead work to boot.

Had no idea of what today was going to be like but it worked out well

Military press
45 x 5 x 3 ( first time starting with bar!)
55 x 5
65 x 5 x 2
75 x 3 x 4 PR!
75 x 5 x 3
55 x 8

this was a bit rough starting out but then it smoothed out quite nicely.Shoulders needed quite a few reps to oil up :)  Weight felt heavy though, hence the high pressure and the grunting :) Oh well.Added in some wrist wraps and that helped as well.Also switch from my York Oly bar to a thicker Texas power bar and it felt much better in the grip.
The york bar is very thin.

Belt squat
32 kg x 15, 17, 20, 20

haven't done these in awhile . Used Oly boots for first part of first set but took the off fast. Just don't help here. Once I re found the groove it was good work

Floor pushups
4 sets of 10

Man! Pecs and shoulders were tired from the first rep from all those presses but they also warmed up.
NO clunking and everything worked correctly . So nice to be able to do these for real again

Hip sled

95 lbs x 250 ft x 4 laps

these felt strong and easy. Time to bump the weight 10 lbs

solid one today. three tough days in a row and feel pretty solid right now. that's the goal


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Ruck back on track

Solid one today. Not having to deal with such heavy loads yesterday helped I'm sure. Felt strong with a very fast pace and extra energy at the end as well

Laps 1-3 about 8:25 pace
          4-6 8:15
           5-7 8:10
           8 8:05
           9-10 8:00
           11 7:55
           12 7:45

Not a pr on any one laps but definitely the best average overall with not feeling dead at the end as well.
12 sets of 30-45 sec pole squats as well after each lap.
These are getting deeper and stronger all the time

barbell presses tomorrow!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

24 kg combo swings 300 reps,24 kg double front squats,pushups crawls

Very happy to not be swinging a heavy bell this week! I might need another light day in between the 32 kg and the 48 kg workouts. As the volume goes up across the board recovery is getting tougher, even as I get fitter.

24 kg
32 kg
40 kg
28 kg
48 kg


Might make sense. 32 is still 'heavy' for me and then it's straight up from there. I do know that today felt good but I still had to up the volume a bit to get that next level adaptation. I thought I could add in some two hand swings and not lose the acceleration on any of the reps. worked great.

Two hand/ One arm swing combo
16 kg x 5/5/5 x 3
20 kg x 5/5/5
24 kg x 10/10/10 x 10 sets
300 reps
15,900 lbs work! best workload yet!

I can see working up to 40 rep sets here, it's just a minute but a totally different energy system and even better foundation work now that my work capacity can handle it. Snatch Vo2 training will help this too.

Goblet squat warmup
20 kg x 2 x 2
24 kg x 2

Double kb front squat
2 16s x 3
2 20's x 3
2 24's x 3 x 3

these went very well! moved my stance in a lot, kept my toes straight and rested my elbows ON my knees( that told me I had depth). This was a like doing a double bell goblet squat. The elbows become the pivot point and allow me to work my upright chest and still sink my hips.
It's still a 'drill' but it's the next progression to strengthen the thoracic extensors IN that deep squat. Very strong position and the reps were solid even though it was tough from fatigue.
Also makes me squat straight down

Pushups ( on horizontal pbars)
 4 sets of 14!
no clunking at all. stability is increasing all the time

three laps of 60 feet

felt very very strong. Ok lets hope for a better ruck walk than last week


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Snatch Vo2 35 sets/6, Overhead holds, walking lunges, pushups

Tough one today. Still haven't really caught up on sleep but all the joints feel pretty darn good. Just a bit tired.
Got though it though and it wasn't that bad. I had to stop this for awhile because it was tweaking my back with all the asymmetries that were going on with my knee but it's all coming back to me now. This is a GREAT workout, light and fast and the only kind of interval training I seem to be able to make myself do.
I like the speed of it more than anything. I miss being able to move fast and I used to be SO freakin fast. :)

Snatch vo 2
16 kg
35 sets of 6
210 reps
7560 lbs work.

definitely on the upswing and technique is falling into place. Definitely going completely by feel here, not worry at all about doing it ANY specific way except as fast and efficient for speed as I can,
Have to get this on tape as I don't know how it looks really.
My lockout feels ok but it also feels like it's getting better; opening up and that's good.

Overhead holds
15 lb bar x 30 sec, 45 sec , 60 sec

this was good. Light but on purpose .definitely better than the kb overhead. this will payoff I can feel it.
Walking lunges on grass
4 laps of 40 steps

Love these, getting stronger all the time. really letting the knee move forward as I lunges, I think of walking in deep snow.
Thinking also of adding in backwards walking lunges as the next progression

Parallel pbar pushups
14, 14, 12, 10

these went good. when the shoulder starts too tire it starts to 'thunk' and I know it's time to gear down. BUT I can do some much more than in recent memory and it's still increasing :)

datsit! me one tired puppy two days off till 24 kg one arm swings. Nice. Lots of stretching to do


Monday, October 20, 2014

70 lb Barbell Military press, 40 kg goblet squat pr, floor pushups,sled.

It definitely isn't pretty but I did it and it's a PR. This was the second attempt. The first I let go at the bottom as I didn't have a solid grip on the horns. And, that, without a doubt was the hardest part of this- swinging it up to the rack position.

I did not take this seriously, I just did it as a lark, an afterthought, which is precisely why it basically kicked my ass and threw me around like a rag doll. I haven't done the 36 kg for a few months( july 24) but that one was way better. But it was also done as the main course in the workout. Not after ten sets of presses. Eithe way it's done but it has to be better.

Definitely also feeling beat up today. Got a decent 20 min stretchout in the am but I am tired. Not much sleep last night didn't help either. Tracy got in late from her trip and then I couldn't fall asleep. No worries.

Barbell Press
15 lbs x 5 x 2
45 lbs x 5 x 2
55 lbs x 5
65 lbs x 5
70 lbs x 5 x 5 !
55 x 5 x 3
12 total sets! these felt very solid. It's all coming together. wore my Oly shoes for this and that helped as I suspected. Helps me get a better lumbar arch and that always helps me.

Also, just as in my bench I have to flex my lats and raise my chest FIRST to start the press or 1) my shoulders hurt  and 2) I'm no where near as strong.this felt good. Hard but good and I could really feel the triceps working - AND how freakin weak they are! They will get bigger and stronger too.

Goblet squat
20 kg x 5 x 2
24 kg x 5
32 kg x 5
40 kg x Miss
40 kg x 2

missed the first attempt by not getting the swing up right. Bad rack and I let it go in the bottom
40 kg was freakin heavy :)

Pbar pushups
12 x 1
11 x 1 ( left tricep spasming a bit)
Floor pushups
2 x 10

better, I think the tri got overdone and the pbar work was too similar. it's ok now

Sled drag
95 lbs x 250 ft x 4

these were strong and relatively easy.

need some rest now!


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Ruck: Step down week

After such a strong and hard training week I knew I would hit a wall sometime soon and I thought it might be this morning on the ruck walk. It was. I had planned to step back, rather than fall off, the peak I've been on and it worked out well to do so.

Still two hours with a 40 lbs on your back is a long walk when things are tired. But I decided not to time any of the laps and just let my body set the pace, regardless of how slow it might feel. I did pretty well timing just the 6th and the 11th lap to see how close my perceived exertion was to real time.

It was pretty close and the pace wasn't so bad. Legs were just tired from the start. My  6th lap was 8:25, not bad at all. and my 11th lap after feeling that going so slowly wasn't making things easier was a solid 8:05. It was easier to push it then to hold back but I needed to gear down nonetheless.

This was just a pure slog but the legs are not hurt or achey, just tired. Sweated a ton with the humidity high and lost 2 lbs of water !


2 hours 10 minutes  walk

barbell presses pushups and goblets tomorrow


Saturday, October 18, 2014

48 Kg One Arm Swing, double PR, 20 kg double kb front squats, pushups, crawls

I had a good feeling about this workout and it all came about. I knew my old 48 kg one arm swing PR was 120 reps, done  in sets of 6/6 back in the end of May . Last weeks work with the 40 kg was my strongest yet so I had high hopes for this work but the question was how to do it?
11 or 12 sets of do as I did last week and do 9 work sets and one of 10/10. That would give me a double pr, and secretly, what I hoped I would be able to do.

But I would keep all options open til I got hands on bell as that is the only thing that matters : how I feel during THAT workout. There is always another workout :)

But the AM stretchout was good, the bell warmup as well and the Beast didn't feel as heavy as usual and my grip felt UBER strong.Endurance was solid and I was recovering well between sets.  Joe moved south so it is just, at best three of us so that means less rest. It was no problem

One arm swings
16 kg x 5/5+ 5 two hand swing x 3
20 kg x "   "
24 kg x 5/5 one arm swings
28 kg x 4/4
32 kg x 3/3
40 kg x 3/3
48 kg x 6/6 x 9 sets 108 reps
          x 10/10 pr
128 reps PR
13,568 lbs


here is the fifth set of 6/6

Double kb front squats

Didn't want to go too heavy after all that work , even though my back felt fine. Makes sense to have these in opposition- weight wise- with whatever the swing workload is. Heavy swings, light squats and vice versa

Moved my stance in closer and it felt better. deeper and stronger.

2 16s x 5
2 20s x 5 x 4 sets

Horizonal p bar pushups
13 x 2
12 x 1
11 x 1

these felt strong as well :)


3 laps of 50 ft

getting stronger too. trying to get and keep hips even lower

ok then! nice roll. back off next week. I have travel again in 5 weeks so I probably wont go hard on this weight at the end of next cycle

AM bodyweight 160.4

Ruck tomorrow that will be interesting as well


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Snatch Vo2 30 sets of 6, snatch holds, walking lunges, Pbar pushups

The roll held up well today with the body feeling no problems and recovery pretty solid for a wednesday.
Lots of squatting during work today and legs feel pretty supple.
30 minute full bodystretchout this am

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
30 sets of 6
180 reps
6480 ft lbs work

Overhead position felt very solid given I did so little overhead prep today. Shoulders definitely felt better since the military press workout Monday. That's encouraging. SO much of the shoulder "ache' comes directly from the flexor policus longus. When the shoulder feels "out" if I release that muscle the elbow adjusts into neutral and the shoulder ache disappears! Very strange fascial connection there but it is very consistent.

Snatch holds
18 kg x 30 seconds
20 kg x 30 sec
22 kg x 30 sec

not sure if this is right. Right arm definitely fighting the movement and had a strange tightness in the rectus at 25 sec so I stopped.  I think barbell overhead would be better or just a light barbell press.Keeping the bell moving seems better than the holds.
abs feel ok now

Walking lunges
4 laps of 40 each leg.

nice burn and hr very high after all those snatches too.

parallel bar pushups
4 sets of 12, 12, 11, 10

these felt the best this grip has

datsit. Time to stretchout eat and relax

the problem is obvious :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

65 lb Military Press, Pushups, 32 kg Goblet squat, hip sled

The roll continues. Had a solid stretchout this morning but everything felt good to start with. No carryover from the weekend.That's the big goal.

Set up the squat rack so I could press overhead without hitting the rafter and it worked great.

Standing Mil Press
35 x 5 x 3
45 x 5 x 2
55 x 5 x 2
60 x 5 x 2
65 x 5 x 1 pr

this felt great and is definitely the right move for me. For all the other sets except for the last I held the last rep lockout for a  2-3 count.The ROM gets better each set. So cool to be able to do this again. I can see 100 lbs for fives no problem soon.

Floor pushups
5 sets of 10

ten is the magic number. more than that and the shoulder starts to get a little noisy and starts to clunk. plenty of good work though

Goblet squats
20 kg x 5
24 kg x 5
28 kg x 5
32 kg x 3
28 kg x 5
24 kg x 5

these went great. Very easy. I can get much deeper here than with double front squat but they are both good for me. This was the easiest 32 kg ever has been

Sled drag hip
95 lbs x 250 ft x  5 laps


another solid solid session. Now to roll and stretch and get ready for Snatch Vo2 on wed. 30 sets.