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 !