Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The road to weakness is paved with good intentions

Despite the best intentions I only trained on Monday last week. So yesterday I was back at it and feeling the lay off.

Toe touch, leg lowering, thoracic rotation with arm sweep.

Get-ups - 46.5# globe BB, singles for 5/5 total. Didn't do these for time. This thicker bar and long bar really fries my grip.

Pullups - bw x 2 reps per :30 x 10 ; last set was only 1 good rep and a partial. 19.5 reps total

Arm bar - 16kg x 1/1 x 3

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Lessons from Rocky IV

Sitting here watching Rocky on Christmas day and observed a few good tips from his training in Russia.
Thick-bar training both on pullups and presses using a wagon.
Rotational training - chopping wood and a chop/twist pulling a bag of rocks.
Sled dragging
And though they didn't show him drinking raw milk, they showed a cow being milked so you can guess he was drinking this high quality beverage.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A new experiment

Over the weekend I came across something called "oil pulling", which involves swishing oil in your mouth sorta like a mouthwash. It's an old practice and numerous,"miraculous" results have been attributed to it and some unlikely mechanisms explained. But Bruce Fife has a more believable explanation, that the oil removes bacteria from the mouth. Research on root canals find that bacteria from the mouth can find their way into other parts of the body and cause dis-ease. So I figured I'd give it a try and see if it improves my health. It sure can hurt anything and it's basically free. Swish 1 TBS oil in your mouth for 15-20 mins. Dr. Fife recommends coconut oil because of it's other health properties. More traditional approaches recommend sunflower or sesame oil. I'm using coconut, because that's what I have. I'm on day 3. The oil is worked around the mouth, tongue and squished through the teeth. Then spit out, so as to expel the bacteria it has gathered. Further details found here as well as links to an interview with Dr. Fife.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fine Dining

Today's training.
leg lowering and toe touch, thoracic rotation and R-phase
Swings: 24kg , on the minute for 10 minutes. 6 reps/min

Bent Press: 46.5# 1/1 x 5

came home and made a delicious dinner.
Pasture-fed beef tenderloin seered to perfection, oven-roasted asparagus with a balsalmic butter sauce, washed down with a frosty Boddington's pub ale and topped off with some dark chocolate truffle. It doesn't get better than this.

Friday, December 19, 2008

juggling act

Finally got 3 days of training in this week.
Today was get-ups and pullups again so I decided to add some variety by way of intensity and endurance.

Get-ups : 16kg 3/3 x 2 , focused on good form with crisp movements and trying not to let hip flexors take over.

Pullups : 5 singles with bw + 16kg

that's it because I had to go see my new niece.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gotta stop slacking

I've only been training 2 days/wk. Time to get back on track with 3 days.
get-ups: 46.5# x 4/4 in 6 mins - added a total of 1.5 and it made a big different. I was really feeling it.

pullups: 2 every :30 for 5 mins, total 20

working on 1/2 deck of cards

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Calories, Bad Calories

The above is the title of a book by Gary Taubes. I just recently learned about this book and haven't had the opportunity to read it yet. I understand it is quite lengthy and goes into great detail and contains 200+ pages of references. The premise is what I've been saying for a couple years. Weight loss has very little to do with calories in vs. calories out. Watch his presentation on the material and decide for yourself in this hour long video. I would love to hear what you think about this. For additional info along these lines check out "7 Principles of Fat Burning" by Eric Berg, any book by Diane Schwarzbien, or even ole Doc Atkins himself. It's about using food and the proper exercise to manipulate the hormones that regulate fat storage and fat burning.

Another nutty fact

Got back from spending the weekend learning about vitamin complexes from Dr. Michael Dobbins. He did a great job explaining the history of vitamin discoveries and how we have ended up with the misinformation we have in the field now, and really delved into the biochemistry of it all. I can't wait for his presentation on the minerals.
So here's your nut fact of the day. 4-5 Brazil nuts per week will supply all your selenium needs.
Now on to the training. warm up of toe touch/ ball squeeze and thoracic rotation.
Get-ups with globe bar 45# , 6 mins, alternating total of 5 per side
pullups - bw on rings, 5 mins, 20 total ; sets of 3's and 2's
BB finger rolls x 15 and 10 superset with wrist extension 15 and 10. My forearms felt like they were going to pop.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Crispy Nuts

No, this is not the story of Jack jumping over the candlestick. It's a recipe.
Nuts... delicious and nutritious. Nuts are a great source of minerals and fats. Pecans and almonds are higher in the stable monounsaturated fats. Though these compact snacks are great to eat on the go, they also contain a variety of enzyme inhibitors. If you eat a couple here or there it's not a big deal but if you eat them daily it can become more of an issue.
So what do we do, we soak our nuts in salt water. Ah, nothing like a nice swim in the ocean. Oh, sorry. back to our recipe. If you eat nuts frequently such as people on the Warrior diet or a Paleo diet this makes them more digestible and releases additional nutrients. Soak a cup or two of your favorite nut in a jar of water and a TBS or 2 of sea salt overnight. Then drain, rinse and blot dry on some paper towels. Put them in a dehydrator for 12-24 hours ( or an oven set no higher than 150 degrees). My dehydrator is an American Harvest from Walmart and takes about 16 hours.
You are left with a crunchy and healthier version of an old favorite.
This is also great for making nut butter. Almond is one of my favorites, even better than PB. Add nuts and some salt to a food processor and grind into dust. Add a TBS or two of coconut oil and blend until creamy. This could take 3-5 mins.
If you are using almonds, a skinless version is even healthier.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another quiet night in the gym...

Just me, Pandora and some metal.
Swings - 16kg x 8 on the minute x 10 mins. This was plenty of recovery time, will do 10 reps next time.
Bent Press - 45# in the globe bell. 1/1 x 5
this barbell is a totally different animal than a kb or an Oly. bar. much more challenging.
Leverage block plate curls x 5/5 x 3

Monday, December 1, 2008

New month, new program

get-ups - warm up 8kg 3/3 focus on form, up lunge style, down overhead squat style.
5 min with globe barbell loaded to 45# alternating left and right, 4/4 total. Hope to get some pics of the barbell this week, it's sweet.

pullups - bodyweight on the rings, 5 mins - total 18

barbell finger rolls 95# x 15; x 10 , superset with wrist extension sets of 10.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

LIght day

brief lower body R-phase and leg lowering
DL - 135# x 5; 165# x 5; 185# x 5
These are getting easier.
Pistol - 2/2 x 3 , using blue band now, mostly for balance.
Bent press - 16kg x 3/3; 24kg x 2/2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

increased volume

warmed up with some R-phase, toe-touch, thoracic rotation

DL - 135# x 5; 165# x 5; 185# x 5
suitcase DL - 135# x 1/1 x 2

Pistol - 2/2 x 3 holding onto green stretch band for assistance. tried to use the band as little as possible.

Bent Press - 16kg x 3/3; 24kg x 2/2 x 2

Club swinging- 10 and 15 reps with double clubs,

Though is doesn't look like much this was nearly twice the volume I'm used to, but I seemed to handle it ok. With my health program my improvements sneak up on me. I won't feel any different but one day I find myself doing more than I usually do, then a few weeks later I notice my drive has dropped off again. I haven't noticed if my ups are more frequent and my downs are less frequent. I suppose it would be beneficial to keep track of that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

step it up

Yesterday, got lazy on my prep work, only did leg lowering.

DL - 135# x 5 ; 165# x 5 ; 185# x 5
decided it was time to start pushing my DL numbers again, want to get back up over 200. My glutes are reminding me that I went a little heavier yesterday but that is good.

Pistol - 1/1 x 3 , assisted by holding onto green band.

Bent press - 16kg x 3/3 ; 24kg x 1/1 x 2

short session club swinging

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recent training

Monday and today,
DL - 135# x 5 ; 155# x 5 ; 165# x 5
Goblet squat - 16 kg x 5 x 3 , alternated with DL

Bent Press - 16kg x 3/3 ; 24kg x 1/1 x 2

Club swinging and leveraging

today, Z, leg lowering, toe-touch, thoracic rotation.
also did a couple bends with 3/16" SQ and gripper COC #T

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oops I did it again

As is common after some time off from the DL , I start back too strong and get sore. Toned it down a bit today and did some warm up with toe touch and leg lowering.
DL - 135# x 5 , 165# x 5 x 2
Bent press - 16kg x 3/3 ; 24kg x 1/1 x 4
club swinging and levering.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

New Routine and mineral retention

I'm onto a new program for a while. After successfully bending a horseshoe I'm revisiting some older exercises and some new ones just to shift the emphasis of my training.
DL : 135# x 5 ; 185# x 5 x 2
Goblet squat: 16kg x 5 x 3
Club swinging: double club clean and cast ( think it might be a shoulder cast, can't remember the terminology):20 sec on / :30 sec off x 5
Skipped bent pressing as I experienced some tightness in the low back, plan on getting adjusted today. But my goal is 1/2 BW bent press by years end and 120# + within a year.

Hair mineral analysis update, got a test back yesterday. Good changes happening. Sodium and Potassium are at the highest levels yet, they have been up independently before but first time for both at once. In adrenal fatigue, because of it's influence on aldosterone the body tends to excrete Na and K through the urine. So the test indicates I'm finally starting to retain these minerals which also indicates improved functioning of adrenal hormone function. Thyroid ratio improving also and excreting a variety of toxic metals such as mercury, aluminum, and lead. I do need to get more faithful with my sauna sessions.

Stay strong

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sitting in Dallas

A picture of me with my newest toy in club mode. This is the Strongman combo from Ryan Pitts at strongergrip.com. An amazing tool. More pics to come of the various arrangements.
Currently at a seminar in Dallas. After performing a presentation on shoulder health I wrapped things up by bending a SCF UL #2 shoe. This is my first shoe with no padding. Had no trouble getting it out to 180. Thigh is a little sore but nothing a couple Guinness can't fix.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh Yeah!!

My order of #2 ultralites were sitting on the doorstep when I got home yesterday evening. Today got over to the gym to give 'em a go. They straightened out pretty easy and even completed most of a heart. Gotta get my inner thighs toughened up. I should be able to finish the heart when I'm fresh. This is encouraging, I was starting to think the training was taking forever to pay off. Thanks to all those who stand behind me and my training.
Warmed up with a few R-phase moves, leg lowering, toe touch, thoracic rotation and swings. Finished up with some leverage block plate curls. Adam swears by this lift. Get your block from Ryan Pitts at Stronger Grip. Tune in later for my newest "toy" from the creative genius Ryan.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

keepin' on truckin'

The bane of my existence, a SCF #00 continues. It feels so close to going each time I crank on it but nothing so far. I'm beginning to doubt if I'll be able to demo a bend at my presentation next week. Only 2 more training days left. I may attempt it anyway and just go to 90 degrees, it's not like they'll know what an "official" bend is and that's still quite a challenge.

Did some R phase then practiced my bent pressing. This is an exercise that is almost easier when you get a little more weight on it, keeps you honest.

plate curls, added a little weight today, I'm seeing some nice strength gains on this.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Much needed recovery

Was feeling pretty spent by Friday evening, but enjoyed a weekend of rest and will be ready to take it all on tomorrow.

Thursday GTG with plate curls with leverage block. Didn't realize how much I worked until it came time to train on Friday. Friday 6-8 Iso's on horseshoe at 100 degrees. Then 1 handed farmer's walk with 24kg, each side x 2 , 30-40 yds. Overhead walk, 1 hand, 24kg x 30 yds, 16kg x 30 yds.
That really toasted my shoulders.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

T-minus 15 and counting

Two weeks from tomorrow I'll be attending a seminar in Dallas and plan on bending a horseshoe at the end of a presentation I'm doing. Thus far I've only bent one shoe and that wasn't in a single setting. Working on a second one at this point and have gotten another little squeak of movement out of it. Out to 100 degrees now, once I hit 105 it will be all downhill. I'm training this feat 3 days per week along with some overhead work and bent pressing on Wednesday. On my off days I'm working plate curls with my leverage block (available at here
Also Adam "Unbreakable" Glass has been kind enough to give me some tips to improve my technique. I will continue to train as hard as I think my body will let me, rest hard and keep up with my program of healing via nutrition and sauna therapy. I have no doubt come Thursday 23rd I'll be making that shoe my bitch, if I might steal a line from Talladega Nights.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Core Training

This term is a joke in most realms and is indeed a 4-letter word in the real strength community. In fact as I write this I saw an ad for the electro ab stimulator on facebook. Let's see one of those guys bend some metal or put some real weight overhead or anything functional for that matter.
Todays core training consisted of 5-6 good cranks on a 90 degree horseshoe. The 2nd to last effort results in about a 5 degree move. I was beginning to think the other day was a fluke. That the metal had weakened after 6-8 months of effort. But I think I'm on the fast track now for a complete bend in a single setting.
These attempts were spaced over a couple hours.
Prep work: ASLR and thoracic rotation

Bent press:
warm up - 16kg KB x3/3
Empty BB (45#) singles x 2/2
24kg KB singles x 2/2

I am definitely feeling my midsection has received a thorough work out today.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Twisted my first unused shoe today. A SCF #00 ultralite. These things have been stuck at 90 degrees for months. So after months of cranking on these and not feeling them budge. I felt it move, measured and it was out to 105. After some more effort I got it out to about 145 and then after a rest finished it to 180. Tried another shoe later but couldn't move it past 90. Oh well, this is still a big step forward.
Finished with some :15/:15 snatches at 5 reps/set and 10 sets.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Horseshoe Iso's, bent press, singles with 45# bar x 2, triples with 16kg kb, x 2, singles 24kg kb x 2. Pistols- singles x 3 20# kb.
Did a little walking with 24kg bell overhead.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some stretching

Worked on the kneeling hip flexor stretch and frog stretch. I discovered even in my lack of abduction that the restriction is not in the adductors but in the TFL area and hip socket. Rolled those out on the foam roller. Not sure what that means but I'll continue to stretch, do some R-phase and hit TP's. Also did neck exercises and some leverage block "plate" curls. Getting more endurance in the neck (up to 15 reps) but not really seeing any size increase at this point.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I've been up to

I've been pretty lazy the past couple weeks. Missing a few training sessions. I've started focusing more on my horseshoe bending the past couple weeks. I'm presenting a talk on shoulder health at a chiro seminar next month and would like to be able to show off by bending a shoe into a "S" . Getting to 90 degrees is no problem and getting from 120 to 180 has been done. Mostly working Iso's on a 90 degree shoe at this point. As per Adam's advice I'm also doing some 1 handed overhead work and 1 sided work. Trying to get 2 sessions of an abbreviated VO2 snatch practice per week also. Last week did 10 sets of 6 rep/set and I was hurting. Big difference from 5 per set to 6. So since I thought that much huffing and puffing would be counter productive I have scaled it back to 5 again. 12 sets today. 24kg windmill 3/3 x 2 , 1 handed farmer walk, 24kg x 2 , not sure about the distance, maybe 50 yds each rep.
I've also been slacking with my corrective stuff. Today did a little r-phase, leg lowering, toe touch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Half the man I need to be

I recently got the results of a follow up hormone test. Morning cortisol rose from 9 to 21 which puts me in the normal zone. This is great news. Noon and afternoon levels still sit at 1 but I am confident they will come up to normal as time goes on.
Because of the depleted adrenal pathway it is stealing raw materials from my androgen pathway. The result is low andro (a precursor hormone which was on the market as a supplement during the Mark McGuire home run race of the late '90's)and my testosterone levels were less than half what they need to be. It's no wonder I get tired after 5 reps and had no stamina for SSST or other snatching endeavors. I'm excited to see the kind of progress I can make in my training when I get my testosterone levels up where they belong. It should definitely make it easy to add muscle and will increase endurance and speed recovery which will allow me to train harder. Estradiol, the strongest estrogen was also higher than normal. I guess I'm slowly turning into a woman, LOL. All jokes aside though, this testing could be beneficial for anyone wanting to maximize health and training. And low testosterone doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being manly. I consider myself a real man, I don't talk with a lisp, I don't watch Oprah and cry, I can grow a beard, I can kill my own food, I enjoy a big medium-rare steak, no problem with my plumbing either (references on request, haha). So if you don't have the energy you need or don't recover as fast as you should, some testing might be a good idea.
The program is to continue with a few modifications, still taking Rhemannia as an overall tonic, Echinacea to support immune system, switching from Astragalus to Ashwaganda which is an adaptogen, helps my body deal with stresses, not just emotional. Adding Tribulus which is a modifying herb that should help DHEA and testosterone production. All are Mediherb products and most are liquid to help with absorption. Will still continue with Symplex M for rebuilding and healing the glandular system, adding Hypothalamus PMG to help synch up the HPA and doing some digestive support. Also the liquid Cal-Mag-Zinc to build my reserves of minerals and increase my adaptive range and also help sedate the system so it can heal. I'm still using the IR sauna to help detox and may do a few other things to detox my body and especially liver as this is where the excess estrogens are conjugated for elimination. I'm making a renewed effort to get in bed by 10:30 and to eat more frequently to help control blood sugar levels.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

5 Benefits of the IR Lamp Sauna for Athletes

Saunas have been used for many years by a variety of cultures. Many of the benefits below apply to a traditional hot air sauna, but those benefits are amplified with the use of an Infrared Lamp sauna. IR rays penetrate the body and heat on a deeper level than hot air. You are also able to receive the benefits at a lower temp with the IR (105-110 vs. 140-150). IR lamp saunas are also inexpensive to make and can be taken down when not in use. For details on making your own check out this site. A home unit can be built for less than $150.

Now onto the benefits of sauna therapy as they apply to the athlete
1. Increased heat from the sauna helps tight muscles relax. It also improves circulation to the extremities. More blood flow brings nutrients to healing ligaments, tendons and muscles. It also carries away waste products. This all adds up to improved recovery. Increased circulation also improves oxygenation of the blood.

2. Balanced ANS (Autonomic Nervous System). Exercise as well as today's lifestyle stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. This is the "Fight or Flight" half of the ANS, it is catabolic in nature. Meaning it tears down the body. Though exercise causes sweating it stimulates the sympathetics which prevents any repair or detoxification that might occur. Sauna therapy reduces sympathetic overload which strengthens the parasympathetic (PS)system. The PS is the "rest and digest" half of the ANS. This system is anabolic. This is where the rebuilding takes place and includes improved digestion, increased immune function, and stimulation of the elimination organs. Again this contributes to improving the ability to recover.

3. Normalizes Alkalinity. The heat of the sauna improves enzyme activity which will balance the pH in the body. Though not in the research I speculate this would help neutralize lactic acid build up.

4. Sauna therapy through the actions of the above steps will decongest internal organs (liver, kidney, colon) and improve elimination of toxins and heavy metals. This in turn will contribute to fat burning and weight loss. The body deposits excess toxins in fat stores. If one has a compromised detox pathway the body will be reluctant to burn the fat and release the toxins. Second, thyroid hormone is converted from T4 into T3 (the active form) in the liver. By improving liver function you improve the activity of thyroid hormone. Lastly estrogen is conjugated into a less toxic form in the liver and excreted via bile into the intestines for elimination. If the liver is sluggish the estrogen can be reabsorbed. This not only applies to women. Fat cells produce estrogen also which is a fat storage hormone. Men and women alike are exposed to xenoestrogens which are estrogen mimicking chemicals found in carpet, deodorizers and "new car smell"

5. Just like the remark about kettlebells weeding weakness out of the gene pool, the same applies to sauna therapy. This is accomplished in 3 ways. First, elimination of toxins which can damage DNA. Second by the creation of something called Heat Shock Proteins which stimulate DNA repair. And third, by destroying damaged and mutated cells. Stronger cells = stronger person.

The reference for the above is "Sauna Therapy for Detoxification and Healing" by Lawrence Wilson, MD. This book can be purchase at his website, linked above. Additional benefits and research as well as usage protocols can be found there also.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

VO2 Max

All the cool kids seem to be doing this. And since my conditioning has gone to crap I'm using an abbreviated version of it. I did my 3rd one today.
5 reps per 15 sec and only 10 total sets (5 min) but I don't want to overextend myself. Just for grins I did 7 rep/set on my last 2. I almost had the bell at the top when the timer went off. These folks that are getting 9/set are absolutely flying.
I will add a couple sets as I feel ready.
Sent in my new ASI last week and should have results next week to see if I'm gaining ground on the adrenals.
If things don't look too bad I'll work up to 10 mins. But that's still a drop in the bucket when compared to the 80 sets of 8 reps that the program calls for. I'm okay with that though. I've got the bigger picture in mind.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

3rd Annual KB workshop a huge success

Yesterday was the 3rd workshop presented by David Whitley Sr RKC in Weston,WV. We have been at Jackson's Mill the past 2 years and the location is perfect. We had a nice spot along the West Fork river and even managed to stay in the shade most of the day. This event attracts more people each year and I expect an even better turn out next year. David's skills as an instructor continue to improve. I would guess part of this is due to the great research and information coming out of the RKC certs but also just part of his personality as an amazing instructor. We had a wide range of experience there, from folks who have been to his class before to self taught to the KB virgins who had the pleasure of wrapping their fingers around the iron handle for the very first time. No matter the level of experience, everyone came out more proficient at kettlebell lifting than when they went in. All participants showed up strong and gave a great effort and a lot of hard work. This reflects both on their willingness to learn and David's ability to teach. Speaking of which, he gets better every year and he has a great knack for shortening the learning curve and getting bodies to perform they way they were designed. Good on you Iron Tamer! Pics coming soon.
After a grueling day of lifting bells a few folks stuck around for a cookout. We had some delicious food, WV raised pasture fed beef, guacamole, baked beans, salad, and of course Guinness. A special shout out to the Patterson's for allowing us to use the facilities and for their generous hospitality hosting the cookout. Also to their girls who brought us snacks and beverages. Many thanks to all who came out and to David for teaching. Also to Brian for the use of his bells.
If you want to transform your body, learn how to move, become pain-free, build muscle, increase your conditioning and/or lose weight, all while learning to do so from one of the best in the business, then stay tuned for WV KB '09 because I plan on bringing David back again next year. As long as there is beef, beer and chocolate I think I can get him back, :-)

During lunch we broke out some steel and played with bending. I am back in the saddle bending 1/4" x 7" for the first time in forever, reverse style at that. David opened up a SCF #00 UL from 90 to 120 degrees for me which I was then able to get out to about 180. I'll be turning to Adam Glass for tips to make it past that sticking range. Several guys bent 3/16" x 6 square on their first attempt, nice work guys.

After over 6 years with kettlebells I'm still amazed at their ability to work so well and even more amazed at how many people have no interest in using them to improve their life and strength goals. But I guess that's what happens when you are on the cutting edge, you have to wait for everyone else to catch up.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Last week I spent a few days in Asheville, it was a great visit. There was lots of great places to eat and new beverages to be tried.

Training this week will be greatly reduced or absent due to swim lessons in the evening. Gotta save my strength. Tonight in between shivering, which is great exercise, I improved my breaststroke, learned a little about treading, and worked on my floating.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Do tha' hustle

PR zone 1 - 24kg C&P 5mins

PR zone 2 - pullup / goblet squat 24kg 5 mins

Making progress on these one rep at a time, doing much more work will be a challenge, there won't be much time to rest, though I guess that's the goal, cramming more work into the same amount of time. Will just have to get my head right to crank them out.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Groovy Grease

GTG today with bent press.
Left is much easier than the right, don't know if this is shoulder flexibility or possibly a scoliosis thing.
singles R/L x 5

Corrective work:
Thoracic rotation, overhead work/ shoulders, hip flexor stretch and leg lowering

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

today's training

A1/2 - Bottoms up C&P 16kg
5 min - 13/13 ( +2 reps )

back was a little tired so I didn't do pullups,

5 min - pistols 8kg 1/1 x 3
2 kb Front Squat 24kg's 2 x 2

assorted chest expander and leverage block work.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Old Time Strength

Decided that I would like to get stronger at the bent press. Within 3 months I would like to be able to do at least 1/2 bw with this lift.
It will probably be done on T and TH since these are days off from my other training.

45# Oly bar
4 singles each side, failed to get low enough to lock out the 3rd rep on the right.
I think a shorter bar would make this a little easier, but that should be resolved soon enough.
I think I can feel every muscle in my back doing this move.
Much respect to the guys that put up over 300# with this move at bw of 200#. I think bodyweight for me will be a nice accomplishment. Maybe by spring 2009.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Progress one rep at a time

warm up r phase,

PR zone 1
C&P 24kg , 5mins
8/8 , done with 1,2 ladders

PR zone 2
Pullups/ goblet squat 24kg
14/14 , done ladder 1,2,3,4

Assorted grip work, wrist extension, leverage block wrist curls and phonebook curls, isos on #00

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dark knight rocks!!!

Just saw the new Batman film and it did not disappoint. The mayor was the same actor who played the Bat-Manuel character (a mexican batman) from the Tic tv series. I thought that was a fun little tidbit.

also check out this interesting article about the message of hero status in the movie. This along with 300 are about, as David Whitley would say, "full grown men". People who are willing to do the things we don't like to talk about, so that we might enjoy the freedoms we have and sleep all cozy in our bed in our big fancy houses and bad-mouth politicians who aren't doing a good job. So thanks to those men and women in our military and police forces. God bless you.
Bush and Batman

Plus 2 of my favorite quotes from the movie that illustrate the above point.

Lt. James Gordon: Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now...and so we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector...a dark knight.

Bruce Wayne: People are dying, Alfred. What would you have me do?
Alfred Pennyworth: Endure, Master Wayne. Take it. They'll hate you for it. But that's the point of Batman, he can be the outcast. He can make the choice that no one else can make, the right choice.

Deadlift and bending again, yah!!

Decided to incorporate one day of DL, since this is one area I want to make some good gains in. Would like to hit 2.5x bw by end of the year.

DL (conventional style)
135# x 3
185# x 3 - DO
195# x 5 - DO
205# x 5 - mixed grip
155# x 5 - pinkies on power rings

did some iso's on the horseshoe, one of these days that thing is going to move.
bent 3 - 3/16" sq x 7" , 1 DO, 2 reverse, but used left hand as anchor hand. This is opposite my usual style but left index finger started to ache with Right as an anchor.
I felt pretty good with these and will continue to add volume before moving up to harder stock.

I intended to do some getups also but either form was bad or got carried away on the weight because low back felt a little weak after DL. So I just did a couple arm bars.

Also tried the hand over hand pullups from the Charles Staley newsletter. Felt good.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

todays work

hip flexor stretching, z-health r-phase, a few corrective strategies and chest expander work.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Good to be back

A: PR zone - Bottoms up C&P 16kg r/l

B1/B2 : Pullups 25# / 2 KB Front Squat 16kg's

ladders 1,2
7/7 total

Some minor grip work with block weights and leverage block

Feels good to be doing pullups again, hand is fine.

Going to do the same basic moves with a density mentality and a variety of intensity, heavy low rep, higher rep lighter weight, less intensity but high tension, etc.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hand is better

Since my hand is improving I am starting a new routine.

A1/A2 : C&P 24kg L/R ,
5 min - 7/7 total reps
done in ladders 1,2

B1/B2 : pullups/ 24kg goblet squat
5 min - 13/13 total reps
ladders 1,2,3,4

20# block weight - clean 3/3 x 3
25# block weight - hand 2 hand toss - 4-5 x 3

leverage block : thumbless wrist flexion 5/5 x 2( This is a great tool, check out the links for Strongergrip.com to the right. )

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Plan B

I didn't feel like my regularly schedule routine tonight. I little tired through the shoulders from yesterday and the overhead stretching.
Decided to do some basics to work on form.

some quick Z and toe touch.

all with 16kg
Swings: 10/10
Cleans: 10/10
Snatches: 10/10
All done trying to keep the movements crisp.

Windmill: 2/2 - focused on driving the hip out and really folding, while keeping back leg straight.

Ring dips: 4
Pullups: 5

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


MP+ Windmill: 24kg x 1/1 x 3
Jerks: 5,5 x 1 x 24kg

minibell swings and mills

working on stretching out ribcage/ t-spine / and overhead reach.

Monday, July 14, 2008


PR zone A
20/20 - +4

PR Zone B
15/15 - +2

20# block weight: cleans 5/5 x 3
leverage block- wrist curls

Worked on overhead squat flexibility today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


PR zone A
16/16 - no improvement over last time

PR zone B

13/13 - no improvement.

wrist extension and block weight training

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Feeling like my old self again

Getting back to some consistent training again, keeping it short and sweet still. Had some Yuen work done on my hand last week and hope to be back to bending soon.

Yesterday: Some prep work of thoracic rotations with arm sweep, leg lowering, ankle circles.
Earlier in day:
MP- 24kg x 1/1, 2/2, 1/1 - rest time varied from a minute to several minutes. Just want to start getting my pressing strength up again. Maybe even hit 32kg by fall, at least the end of the year.

A1: Front Squat x 2-16kg
A2: Swings 2H x 16kg
PR zone - 5min - 16/16
rest 5min
B1: Curls x 2-25# kb
B2: Kneeling Ring Triceps Extensions
PR zone - 5min - 13/13

Cleans - 3/3 x 3 - 20# block weight
Assorted DL with 25# block
wrist flexion with leverage block

I've been doing a better job preparing decent meals also. Far from perfect but better.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stupid hand

My left hand is still causing pain with certain movements. So I've decided to give it a break from exercises that aggravate it. These include DL and pullups. This makes it hard to get a good pull exercise but I'll be working biceps to help make sure the pullup strength is there when I come back to it.
There are a some wrist movements I can do to keep my grip from going to crap.

5min PR zone of KB Front Squat - 2-16kg and 2 handed swings 16kg - 15 reps
5min PR zone of standing kb curls - 2-25# and ring triceps extensions, kneeling - 17 reps
The triceps move is so effective, it doesn't feel like you are working very hard but after doing them on Wednesday I could hardly move my arms on Thurdsday. Yesterday seemed to work out the soreness
Finished with wrist extensions on the fake formulator and leverage block wrist curls.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When it rains it pours and a self test for hypoadrenia

Thoracic rotations
very brief R-phase drills

Z-lift : 100# x 2 x 4

EDT: 7 min - 18 reps

Reading a very interesting book, James Wilson- Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. So far so good. If you are tired alot or think you are lazy, read this book, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.

One simple test is a pupil contraction test. In a dimly lit room shine a light across an eye (not directly in the eye), the pupil will contract. A positive response is if the pupil initially contracts then within 1-2 mins it will dilate, then contract again after 30-45 sec. This is an indicator of hypoadrenia. The body lacks the ability to respond to the stress of constant stimulus of the light. If you test positive here you might want to follow up with a 4-sample saliva test for cortisol.

Test this and leave me a comment and let me know how you do

Monday, June 16, 2008

Stormy Monday

Power was out at the office for a couple hours this afternoon.
I purchased the " Complete Video Guide to EDT " by Charles Staley. It was a great purchase. I've done some EDT inspired workouts in the past and enjoyed them, but it wasn't until watching these videos that I really understood how smart this system is. It also cleared up some errors I was doing in the past. You can easily incorporate KB's into this method of training.

So after watching these videos I've modified my program a bit. This will be a MWF routine. Tues and Thurs will be a relaxing stroll and Turkish Windmill Bars.

Warmed up with some Z-health

Zercher Lift - 100# x 2 reps x 4 sets

EDT- 7 mins ( I don't feel ready to launch into a 15 min PR Zone )
A1: BW pullups
A2: double MP -16kg kbs


Finger is feeling better- keeping up with the ice

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Past couple days

Tuesday, pullups- bodyweight, 4,5,6,4,5 - these irritated my left hand a bit

Wed, walk arounds with 16kg bells x :30/:30/:30/:30
Zercher lift- 100# x 2 x 4
I'm taking a break from DL since it hurts my finger. The Z lift is light enough I can lift it with 4 fingers. Will try this approach with pullups also. I got adjusted yesterday , including left wrist and hand, had some nasty trigger points in the left hand. More ice.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A hot week

Training has slacked off and I've felt drained the past week. Managed to get out to Coopers again on Friday. Even in the heat and humidity I made it nearly as far as I've ever made it on one of my projects that involves some serious friction moves (keep in mind this is all relative to my level of skill), so I consider that progress. Last night started to DL and my ring finger on the left is still hurting. That is a couple weeks old. I seem to have good strength it's just pressure at the base of the finger that hurts. Climbing probably didn't help it. So I opted to only do the turkish windmill bars. 16kg x 1/1 x 3 Really focused on getting up with minimal side roll and then on the bars really concentrated on opening the chest and stretching the biceps. Come home and ice massaged the crap out of that finger.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Just another day

Skipped my training on friday to do some bouldering at Cooper's. So today should have been DL but I wasn't in the mood for that. Substituted the other workout instead.

Walkarounds - 2-16kg x :30/:30/:30/:30

Zercher Lift - 100# x singles x 5

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

training continues

Yesterday: Pullups (blue band over knee) x 10 reps x 3 sets. Decided to use the band to get more volume on my lockouts without toasting me too badly.

Today: Walk arounds (see previous post) - 16kg :30 each side x 2

Zercher lift: 100# x singles x 5 . I want to thank Kenneth Jay and Adam Glass for bringing this lift to my attention through their blogs. This is a fabulous lift that combines a deadlift, a front squat, and good morning all in one lift. When I first started my arms could only handle 75# with a sweatshirt on. Now 100# on bare arms isn't bad at all. I'm also lifting with my arms outside my knees instead of inside which I did originally.

Also got in some walking the past couple days. Sauna therapy is progressing well, it's been 4 weeks and I'm moving to a 2 on / 1 off routine which will give me 5 days/wk instead of 4. A follow up hair analysis is about 3 weeks off. Energy and motivation are also better though I'm careful to not do too much too soon. I'm in energy debt so I need to pay off the bank instead of spending everything I make.

Monday, May 26, 2008

God bless our troops

Just a note of appreciation to all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. And a big thank you to those who are currently serving to defend this country.

Today - DL : 135# x 3 ; 185# x 3 ; 225# x 5 ; 200# x 5

Turkish Windmill Bar : 16kg x 1/1 x 3

Thursday, May 22, 2008

yesterdays training and the new game plan

So the new plan will be 5 days per week. M W F will alternate between workout A and B,
"A" was done on Monday, yesterday was "B", T and Th will be pullups.

DL: 135# x 5 ; 185# x 3 ; 225# x 5 ; 195# x 5

Turkish Windmill Bars: 16kg x 1/1 x 2

Monday, May 19, 2008

training again

I've decided to start back with a bit of a structured training program. I'm still keeping overall intensity low with lots of rest. Sort of a condensed GTG.
Walk arounds with one KB racked and the other one locked out overhead. Switch every :30 , total 2:00. These will be called walk arounds from here on out.
Zercher lift - 95#, singles x 5

Going to work in some pullups, deadlift, bent press and turkish windmill bars also.

Friday, May 9, 2008

yellow and blue

Today I bent the equivalent of an IM yellow and blue nail. 1/4" x 7" CRS , bent to 60 degrees reverse style then finished DO. 1/4" x 6" CRS, kinked reverse style then sweep and crushdown DO.

Took last week off from grip training. Monday I started a card tearing progression.
Monday : block weights, though very light because of muscle pn in the QL.
Wed : grippers and finger rolls
Today : bending

Couple reps bent press with 16kg today and suitcase DL.

Very happy, I think 5/16" might be going down within 6 months

Sunday, May 4, 2008

movie review

Just got back from watching Iron Man. It was a good movie. Funny, action, Gwyneth Paltrow. What more do you need.

Also check out the link for the new WV Kettlebell club and thanks to Scott for starting that. Be sure to support his page.

And a pic of me with the World Champ in the Highland games.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Highland Games

Today I had the privilege of attending the World Championship for Highland Games. The competitors were all impressive, large strong men. They were also great sportsmen and there was camaraderie among them. The top 3 spots were taken by the US of A. It was exciting to see this level of athleticism up close and personal. Here are some pics from the event and me with some of the competitors. All very cordial despite a lengthy day of competition. And most seemed to have a good sense of humor.
Both the men in the photos with me were monstrous. The first is US competitor Mike Zolkiewicz and the other giant is Ukrainian Kyrylo Chuprynin. He suggested the "thumbs up"

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

short and sweet

I've been taking the week off from specific grip training.

Today was bent press: 16kg x 2/2 x 2 and suitcase DL: 95# x 3/3 and 105# x 2/2

tired today and not too energetic.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


I've gotten lazy with my posting. Training is pretty slow, a bit of leg training with pistols or squats. "core" work with side bends, get ups, etc. Doing a bit of bent pressing with 16kg. Some block weight training and bending. 3/16" x 6" Sq and 1/4" x 7" HRS both going down with reverse style now. My kink feels stronger here than with DO. I've got a wide variety of steel ordered. Going to take a couple days off grip work.
Last weekend went to a fitness expo and watched some bodybuilders and powerlifters. This was the group that uses all the accessories, squat suits, bench shirts, etc. Some dude that did bench only set a new American record with 710#. The sad thing is that it was the heaviest lift of the day. What's wrong with the strength world when guys are benching more than they are squatting or deadlifting. There was one fellow that was impressive, lifted in the 164# class and squatted over 3x bodyweight and probably DL that much as well. Bench numbers were decent too.
I got to try flipping a 850# tire. I did it when no one was looking in case I couldn't but I succeeded, that felt pretty good.
Also got my infrared sauna built thanks to some help from dad. I expect it to speed my healing progress. I can't wait to be able to go full bore on the training and outdoor activities. But that will probably be a year away.

Friday, April 18, 2008

beautiful day

I didn't do much exercise today aside from mowing and trimming the yard. But it was nice being out in the sun.

DC #0 shoe, I bent this enough that it will wobble when laid flat, that's it. Maybe an 1/8 of an inch.

assorted bending, not too much but did get a 3/16" square x 6" reverse style. That's the hardest by far I've done in that style.

Impressive strength

Just found this video. Man, these guys are strong. I respect and appreciate the strength and training involved in lifting big weights but I find this type of strength and body control much more impressive. I could have done without all the "message" stuff this dude was spilling though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

still got it

Today after a couple reps with the 16's I tried some reps of MP with double 24's. I got 2 reps. January over a year I completed my first successful rep with these. At that point I had to clean them before each rep to generate enough tension to press them. Now with no significant pressing in the past how many months I can still knock out a few reps. Chalk one up to the WTH effect of training by "Party" rules.

Tore some phonebooks this morning. 350 pages.

Tonight - lever side bends 4/4 x empty bb

HG150 x 10/10 x 2
Trainer x 5/5 x 2
#1.5 x 1/1 x 3 MMS , I can barely budge these on the left. Pretty much closed them on the right.
trainer x :20 strap holds 5# x 3 sets r/l

Wrist roller:
2 flex - 2 ext : 55-65lbs

extensions on makeshift formulator
7 reps x 3 sets

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I think the supplementation is finally working. I seem to have just a little more energy and I have some motivation to do the things that need to get done. Got a sign put up in front of the office that had been sitting around for a few months. And household chores don't seem like so much of a chore now. It needs done so I do it. This is the way it's supposed to work and it feels good when it does. I must however be on guard not to spend all the new found energy I have and let my body use it to heal. This is the same principle as finances. You won't get anywhere if you spend your money as fast as you make it. If I could get in bed by 10:30 every night I think this process would go a little faster. I'm sending in a hair mineral analysis today and within 2 wks I'll be able to have some results to monitor my progress.

Yesterday I did some work with the block weights. Getting stronger on the 25#. Also did a few ISO's on the 'shoes. I plan on doing more of these as I am inspired by Adam's massive #5 draft shoe bend. If he can do something that monstrous, then I need to be able to finish off an UL #00.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shoulder vid demo

This is a corrective exercise from the FMS series. It's great for restoring proper shoulder movement from the gleno-humeral to scapular glide.

Today's training
Finally finished off the plated steel 1/4" x 7" that was kinked a bit the other day. I still had to lean on it long and hard but once kinked the sweep and crush down was easy.

Front squat double kb: 16's x 5 x 3 sets

3/16" x 6" sq x 2 , x 5.5" x 1 , 1/4 HRS x 7" x 2

hands are pretty tired.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

floor time

Got a lot of corrective training in today.
spent a bunch of time on the foam roller for ITB, quads, calves, adductors, lats and chest.
Also FMS stuff, shoulder rotation, ASLR and also some stretching. RKC armbars with 16kg, these always really open my posture.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Had a pretty hectic day and didn't get to eat that well.
Also demoed a few kb drills and some ring stuff.
I was toast so tonight I just did grip.
HG 150: 7/7
Trainer: 5/5
CoC #1.5 : MMS singles x 3 , couldn't close with L
HG 200: doubles x 3

Wrist roller: 60# x 3 flex
55# x 3 ext

put a 5 degree kink in a 1/4" x 7" steelworks plated steel bar

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Easy day

A little bit of Z , lengthening, ankles.
T/S rotary mobilization , lat stretching, all trying to free up my overhead stuff. One of these days I'm going to be able to overhead squat.
Planks - :30 x 3 , these are powerful. After doing a set I could pull off a sloppy 3 on the rotary FMS drill.
A couple Iso's on a 180 shoe and a couple on a deck of cards and phonebook.
some lifts on a 2" v-bar also, worked up to 110# with each hand.
MP 24kg x 2/2 and 1/1 , I was a bit surprised I still had these in me, I've gotten pretty weak on my pressing.

Monday, April 7, 2008

squats and pinch

pistol: 1/1 x 20#
double front squat: 16's x 3 reps x 5 sets

Iso's: horseshoes - 0 degrees, 90 degrees and 180 degrees
cards and phonebook

Block weights: 20# and 25# , curls, cleans, drop n' grab, 2+2 finger, 4 finger, DL 25+5. most for 3 reps, just mixed it up alot. getting stronger on the 25#, can do a lot more stuff with it.

plate weight curls, front and back, both flexion.

levering with 10# homemade CB.

Grip feels pretty strong, not too tired.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

You can't or you won't?

A very inspiring transformation that shows that if you have the desire and determination you can accomplish your goals. How bad do you want it? Stop making excuses and start taking action steps.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New beer

Boddington's Pub Ale is Guinness's white brother. Ain't nothing wrong with that. Frosty, creamy goodness.

Killin' the steel

Pistols: 20# x 1/1
kb hack squat: 20# x 3 x 4

lever side bend with 45# bb x 5/5 x 2 ( this is demonstrated on adam's youtube page) this is a great exercise, to quote Adam "this will give you strong abs, that's what you need" . Not only did I feel my abs and obliques but also my lats.


3/16" x 7" x 2 - canvas wrap heslep style ( here out referred to as HS , not to be confused with hard-style kb lifting)

everything else is with leather wraps and DO

3/16" x 7" square x 1 -
3/16 sq x 6" x 2
3/16 sq x 5.5" x 1
1/4" x 7" HRS x 2
1/4" x 6" HRS x 1

These felt pretty good, I think it's because I'm not doing upper body stuff.
My hands are looking forward to the 2 days of rest.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Change of plans

I can feel the supplementation kicking in and forcing my body into healing mode. This means I have less energy and need more rest. So I'm modifying the program again to support that. I'm really going laid back with the whole thing and not pushing hard at all. I was finding that the upper body work didn't leave much gas in the tank for bending and grip work. Since I'm more interested in that I'm only doing grip related stuff for upper body and only some form of a squat for lower body. Monday and Friday will be bending and levering and Wednesday will be gripper, block weights, thick bar. I'll also do some stability work.
Today -
kb hack squat: 20# x 3 reps x 6 sets
gripper: warm up with HG 150 and CoC T ; choked closes with CoC #1.5 , strap holds with Trainer and 5#.
block weights: some dynamic stuff with the 20# and 4 finger lifts , DL and rows with various finger positions on the 25#
Windmills: 16kg x 3/3 x 2

Monday, March 31, 2008

not feeling it

A very draining day at work, plus a tension headache. So this workout was a bit abbreviated.

A1: 2/2 x 2
A2: 3 x 2
B1: 20# 3 x 3
B2: 24kg 3/3 x 3

3/16" x 7" x 2 - Heslep style canvas wraps
3/16" sq x 7" x 2 - DO leather wraps
got shut down on 1/4" HRS x 7"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Rings day 2 and bending

Warmed up with some Z.
A1: 2/2 x 3
A2: 3 x 3
B1: 20# x 4reps x 3
B2: 24kg x 4/4 x 3
TGU: 16kg x 3/3
Bending: 3/16" x 7" CRS x 2 - Heslep style with canvas wraps
3/16" x 7" sq x 3 - leather, 1st one kink DU, everything else DO
3/16" x 6" sq x 2 - leather wraps DO
All done within 15-20 min
Too tired for leveraging.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Baby steps

So yesterday I wrote about being strong. Maybe you wonder where to start. I'll try to expand on that. First, health comes before strength. We don't want to sacrifice wellness for strength. Who cares is you can lift 500lbs but blow out your back or shoulders after a year of training. Or what good is it if you can run 20 miles but die of heart disease at age 50. Health is a triad of physical, mental, and chemical wellness. Physical is covered by chiropractic, strength, flexibility and endurance training. Mental is about having an attitude of gratitude, stress relief, and clearing emotional baggage. Chemical encompasses having a healthy metabolism (not necessarily fast), balancing excesses and deficiencies of nutrients, eliminating toxins and having balanced hormones. I'll elaborate on these separately in future posts.
One of my favorite movies is "What About Bob?" starring Bill Murray as Bob. He is paralyzed by fears and phobias. When his therapist is out of town he is forced into action by taking "baby steps". This is the best way. If you wait until you have time to exercise or can afford to start eating right or whatever excuse you come up with you will never start. Baby Steps. If you can't walk 100 yards without wheezing, then start with 5, then 10 next week or whatever you can handle. Or if you want to lose weight, you don't have to start some super organic diet if you are sucking down 5 liters of diet cola and a dozen Krispy Kremes. Or if you can't deadlift 300lbs start with 20lbs, then 50, and keep making forward progress. If you aren't moving forward, you are moving backwards, there is no sitting still.
Set your goals, gather some basic information on how to achieve them, start where you are and take baby steps.
To those who are already working toward your goals, are you seeing results? I've seen a lot of people come to the gym week after week but they don't look any different and they aren't lifting more weight. Or people who are following a "great diet" but they still have 30% body fat. In everyone's defense there is so much misinformation out there that it is ridiculous. But if what you are doing isn't working then find something that works. I can put my seal of approval on the legitimacy of the links and books to the right. They follow sound principles that are based in history and physiology. I've heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
This country has been mislead for so long about what health is that we have no idea how fulfilling and enjoyable life can be when we eat, move and think the way we were designed.
So do your homework, start reading up on the areas you wish to change. Start your baby steps by walking to the mailbox, drinking a glass of water, eating a vegetable, picking up a 5lb dumbbell, keeping a gratitude journal. Keep moving forward and tell me how much better your life is 1 month from now, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years. It won't be easy, and you won't always have the right tools. But persevere and keep searching and it will happen.
I struggle and I emerge

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rings n' things

Started a new program today.
A1: Archer body rows - 2/2 x 3
A2: Ring dips - 3 x 3

B1: kb hack squat - 20# x 4 reps x 3 sets
B2: single leg DL - 24kg x 4/4 x 3

Windmill: 16kg x 3/3 x 3

block weights , cleans and h2h toss n catch with 20#. DL and hold with 25# + 5#

It's amazing how difficult 20# can be on the hack sq. A few more lbs and it would have felt like it was glued to the floor
I had forgotten how powerful of an exercise the windmill is.
Below is a clip of the archer row. It's great for lock-off strength for climbing.

my big balls

A chin up with 2 - 16kg bells

and my attempt at a SCF UL #00 , stuck at 80 degrees

Everyone can and should be strong

This quote was in one of Pavel's books and comes from an old strength magazine. I am an example that it is true. If you've followed my blog you know I'm setting a bunch of new PR's (personal records). If I can do it anyone can. I was never athletic as a I child and was usually one of the last ones picked. I don't think I weighed 100# when I started high school. I ran some XC and could always do pullups but that was it. Off and on through HS and college I would do a few weeks of strength training but was never consistent and spent way more time off than on. Almost 6 years ago I stumbled across Dragondoor and kettlebells and the Party's way of training. I bought a barbell set, played around with bells, went to some workshops, started with a 16kg (which initially kicked my butt) , added a 24kg (mostly for swings) and even though I wasn't very consistent made some good progress. A couple years ago I met David Whitley, had him up for a workshop and had him write me a training program. Since then I have been much more consistent with my training, though I still take a month off a couple times a year. As time passes I'm much more consistent. A year ago I got my first taste of bending steel with a white and green nail from IronMind. Then several months ago I found my way to the Gripboard. So over the past 3 years I've snatched half my bodyweight, and done a get-up. Done a pullup with bodyweight plus a half. Deadlifted 2x bodyweight, squatted bodyweight for 20 reps. Gained 10lbs of muscle. Bent horseshoes into hearts and mangled 1/4" steel. My athleticism and agility have improved as well as my confidence. These are not record setting accomplishments but are things that 95% of the population can't do (unless they set goals and start training). And I've done it at 5'11" , 130-140# and while in adrenal failure. Not bad for a skinny kid.
I don't say any of this to brag. My point is, get some good guidance (dragondoor, gripboard, or click on the blog's to the right). Correct your imbalances with a FMS, build a strong base. Set some goals and when you reach them set bigger ones. And be relatively consistent. It's all about getting your starting ground and keeping with it. One of my biggest accomplishments is earning my Doctorate of Chiropractic. It wasn't easy, it took 4 years and that doesn't include the time I spent prior earning a Bachelors. Looking back it seems monumental. But while I was there it was simply one day after another. Complete an assignment, complete a semester, complete a year, complete a degree. Strength is the same way. Put your time in day after day and then in a couple years you will look back and see amazing journey you have completed.
luctor et emergo - I struggle and I emerge

Saturday, March 22, 2008


DL: 135# x 3 ; 185# x 1 ; 215# x 1 ; 265# x 1 ; 280# x 1 (15# PR).
I finally hit 2x bw again with DL , last time was 3 years ago and I was almost 10# lighter.

Seesaw Press: 16kg's x 5 x 2

Bending -

We ended up with a cutting error in our 3/16" CRS so I'm using different bending styles to make them more difficult.
3/16" x 7" x 2 - Heslep style canvas wraps
x 6" x 1 - DU canvas wraps
barn nail x 1 - DO leather
3/16" sq x 7" x 2 DO leather

crush grip levering

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The wisdom of Ronaldus Magnus

"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have." - Ronald Reagan

It's disheartening that none of our current presidential candidates realize or believe this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My first heart

I finally twisted a horseshoe into a heart, this was the first shoe I bend to 180. Was able to take it all the way today. It was like wrestling a bear. Thank you Thighmaster. All those squeezes paid off. This thing really ended up small, I need to get strong enough to do bigger shoes.

DL : 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5
Sidepress : 45# bb x 5/5 x 2

Pullups: 20# x 7,7,6,5,4

I think I did a little much today, feeling pretty pooped. Even though I have the energy to do this doesn't mean I should.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Kris cut our stock over the weekend. And got the HRS and CRS mixed up. So I attempted to seperate the two. I picked a piece I think was CRS and bent a 1/4" x 7". If so, this is my short term goal of a yellow nail. I'm not completely sure though because I got shut down by a piece of HRS and even 3/16" x 7" square right after. But maybe that was because I was tired. Well I'll get some more and then I'll know for sure. If so, the next to fall is the blue. Plus the hand is pretty tired today. I think I got carried away with the block weights last week.

Other training today.
Pullups: 20# x 7,6,6,5,4 (before lunch)

Tonight -
DL: 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5
Double MP : 16's x 5 x 2

Friday, March 14, 2008

Beware the Ides of March

DL : 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5
Bottoms up C&P : 16kg x 3/3 x 2

Pretty good day bending, bars and horseshoe. Finally got the other used shoe that was stuck at 90 out to past 180. Still no luck moving the UL #00 past 90. My thigh is now nicely bruised, going to do some contrast therapy on it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Much better

Got a good night's sleep last night. Felt good today, almost too good as I had to pace myself not to do too much training.
A lot of work with the block weights today, I just can't keep my hands off these things. Cleans, curls, rows, drop-n-grab, holds all with the 20# , DL and hold with the 25#.
Wrist extension
Pullups : 20# x 7,6,5,5 - arms were a bit tired after that, decided not to do the last set.

Started on the herbs today, and so my journey begins. I figure it will be at least 6 months before I start picking up the pace again, and possibly a year. But look out after that.

Hit the UL #00 again and got a few more degrees on it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Haven't slept well the past 3 nights, 2 I woke up early and couldn't go back to sleep, last night couldn't get to sleep. Just did some Z and foam roller work today and a little bit of gripper.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Blob

Today I received a 20# and a 25# blob. I tried a few things with them, lifting, curling, hand 2 hand pass, the latter only with the lighter one. I've done plate pinching before but these things work your forearm and hand like nothing else. You can feel all the little muscles in your hand working. I can see why John Brookfield recommends blocks weights as the best grip strengthening tool. ( I think I remember reading that somewhere, I haven't bought his book yet but one of these days I will)
I know that within a few months I'll be looking for a 30# one.
Bent a 1/4" HRS x 7" today without much of a warm up. Pretty tough, I had to hit it about 5-6 times just to get it kinked, but the important thing is it finally gave in and bent.

Monday, March 10, 2008

today's training

pullups: 20# x 7,6,5,4,4
The past few days off really makes the pullups easier.
DL: 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5
Double MP: 16kg's x 5 x 2
Finger rolls: 95# x 10 x 3
Feeling pretty tired tonight

I have a plan of attack

For those of you who are interested in how this stuff works, I had my consult today for my adrenal test. Normally this is tough enough to fix but in my case I'm even worse. I am in a 4 low pattern in my hair analysis. This means my calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium are all below normal levels. What this means is if I stimulate my adrenal glands with glandulars and supplements to run faster I'll just burn myself out worse. That means no Drenamin, no licorice, no DHEA. So the course of action here is to sedate and tonify the system. So the course is as follows.
Using liquid herbs because they are more easily assimilated which will nourish the adrenals, liver and support immunity.
Rehmania, Astragalus, and Echinacea.
A Calcium, Magnesium, trace mineral combo to slow the system down enough to let it heal.
Digestive enzymes and probiotics to make sure I'm digesting my food and absorbing nutrients
Glandular support for the HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis)
Repeat hair mineral analysis in 1 month
3-4 months - retest cortisol and test male hormones.
I also have to put my ego aside and not try to set any strength records. I will just attempt to maintain most of the strength I currently have. I am reducing my current routine to 3 days a wk, with the exception of the pullups, I'll attempt to finish the course. I will continue to bend as long as it doesn't take too much of a toll on me. I'm going to try to tune in and listen to my body. If I feel tired, I'll take a day off. I see people come in the office all the time and tell me how they fell apart when they turned 40 or 50 y/o . I refuse to be one of them.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Back on track

Had much more energy today. Though each group of exercises were separated by a significant break.

Pullups: 20# x 7,6,5,4,3
these higher reps are getting harder and I am a bit sore in the brachialis, going to have to work to keep them loosened up.

DL : 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5

Side press : BB 45# x 5/5 x 2

Pistol: GTG 20# x 1/1 x 2

Attempted another shoe bend, this one must not have been worn down as much b/c I only got it to 90 degree. I did get my order of SCF UL #00 , I'll try these in the next day or 2. I'm also understanding the bruised thigh thing I read about. Plus my square stock should be in tomorrow. I'll have lots of bending fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Lite day

I think my test results are playing Jedi mind tricks on me as I have felt pretty tired the past couple days. I took off yesterday.
Today was abbreviated. I hate to use the adrenals as an excuse to be lazy in my training but I have to find a balance of doing just enough without going into debt. I have a consult with a doc next week to come up with a recovery plan. It's too hard to treat yourself. Once I have this I'll post that plan just as an educational type thing for those who might be interested can see how I approach things. On another note I've been tracking body temp for a week or so, it seems to be getting higher as an average. I need to average it out and see what it is but I've graphed my data and the line is ascending. If you graph your body temp on excel you might be a nerd. :-)
Pullups: 20# x 6,6,5,4,3
DL : 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5
bent a horseshoe. My first attempt. It was small and worn, but I'll take all the help I can get. I'll get some pics sometime soon. Just like the short bending, the feeling you get when you feel the steel give under your pressure is very rewarding. I suppose I could get esoteric and talk about yielding under pressure and being harder than steel but I'll skip that.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Training and test results

Pullups - 20# x 6,5,5,4,3

DL : 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5

double MP : 2-16kg x 5 reps x 2

Swing : 2-16kg , 1 hand x5/5 x 2

Pistols GTG : 20# x 1/1 x 2

My adrenal test came in and with some interesting results. Normal cortisol levels are 23-42 , mine is a whopping 12. Yeah, no wonder I have no get up and go. Cortisol is the hormone that allows you to respond to any stressor, this might be emotional stress, chemical stress, or physical stress. We think of stress in a negative way but anything is a stress to the body, if your blood sugar goes down after a meal or if the temperature changes, even standing up or picking up a weight requires the body to respond by increasing BP, mobilizing glucose, etc. In my case my body is having a hard time doing this, I'm in a state of adrenal failure. This could be a very lengthy and difficult healing program. I'm going to try to maintain a minimal level of strength training without further depleting the system. But I won't be doing any high rep stuff. A little patience now will result in a much bigger payoff a few months down the road.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

pullups again

Went to the folks for lunch which is always a treat. Got loaded up on avocados and Gruyere cheese at Sam's and then stopped by the office/gym to knock out today's pullups.

20# x 6,5,4,4,3
Feeling a little tight in the lateral arm, maybe brachialis, anyway nothing the stick and Biofreeze can't fix.

Did a little gripper work and plate pinch while I was there.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just what I needed

After taking off yesterday I came back all rested up. Warmed up with some Z.
The pullups felt great, after Thursday I was a little concerned about the increasing reps over the next weeks. Now I'm confident it won't be an issue.
20# x 6,5,4,3,3

DL: 165# x 5 ; 175# x 5 , adding 5# about every 3-4th day, as long as it feels good.

Jerk: 24kg x 5/5 x 2

Bending - 3/16 sq x 7" x 2 , and tried out the new stuff
1/4" HRS x 7" and 1/4" HRS x 6" , both eventually went down. Had to lean on the 6" a couple times to get initial kink and actually felt the pressure in my palm. I can see where the thick stuff might be uncomfortable even though doable.

Got the pics of the 1/4" bends and my scrolling.

Friday, February 29, 2008

lazy days

I did no training today and it felt pretty good. I realize there are plenty of other days I don't train but this one was more of a rest day. Since I had the day off from pullups and was still a bit fatigued I postponed my DL and pressing until tomorrow.

The slow pokes at the lab still don't have my test results. It's now been 6 business days, they are slacking.

Watched an interesting Russian film called Night Watch and I'm about to watch the sequel, Day Watch. It's fantasy/horror type, several Star Wars themes and supernatural creatures. It's pretty good.

I also invented a mixed drink which I think I'll call a Mexican Screwdriver. Vanilla vodka, OJ, and Jarrita lime soda. Quite refreshing.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mostly rest

Took today off with the exception of my pullups. I will get tomorrow off from that.

Pullups: 20# x 6,5,4,3,2
These are getting a little harder.

I did make a couple bends and tweaks on my scrolling from yesterday and it actually looks a little artistic. I'll get some pics up soon.

There has been a lot of talk recently on blogs and forums about "hardgainers". It made me realize I'm not eating nearly enough food so I've been trying to get more snacks in and eating at regular intervals. Though as I've said on the flip side, those trying to lose weight, it's more than counting calories. Because of hormones my body is more prone to catabolism and anabolism. But that is part of reason for doing the Adrenal Stress Index. Hoping results are in tomorrow.

Also did some Z and used the Stick.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Snow day

It snowed today and that slowed down business. The upside is that I had plenty of time to train.
this morning -
pullups: 20# x 5,5,4,3,2
a little grip work, gripper, leverage, plate wrist curls.

afternoon -
got my 1/4" HRS today in 5 ft sections. I decided to coil a section ( Yes, I'm copying Adam, but hey it must work because he is smashing all sorts of records). I d/l a pdf by Eric Vining over the weekend after searching for some "how-to" info. You read this stuff and they tell you it's hard and a total body workout and it's not that I don't believe them, but it's just something you have to experience for yourself. So I got my gloves on and started. Well it is only 1/4" but it bent easier than I expected. But that is not to say it was easy. I was feeling my abs, and definitely my wrists. So I coiled a piece, uncoiled it and then coiled and bent some more. I bought this stuff to help transition my short bending but I think I might have another addiction.

bottom's up C&P : 16kg x 5/5 x 2 . I did each rep from a dead pull from the floor, trying to improve my explosiveness. I think I might need some coaching on this as I didn't feel very explosive.

DL: 160# x 5 , 170# x 5

Managed to GTG with pistols: 20# x 1/1 x 2 , still able to do reps back-to-back.

Finished with some bending, a few 3/16" x 5, couple nails and a 3/16"sq x 7. Had trouble with this one and my grip is still tired. Going to take a couple days rest until we get the 1/4" HRS cut up. In fact with the exception of my pullups I'm taking tomorrow off from everything. Hope to get time for contrast bath tonight.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

26th February

GTG : pistols 20# x 3+3 - I did these L/R back to back which was an improvement

Pullups : 20# x 5,4,4,3,2

DL: 160# x 5
170# x 5

Handstand - :40 sec x 3

Monday, February 25, 2008

25th Feb

GTG - Pistols 20# x 3/3
DL - 160# x 5
170# x 5
Double MP - 16kg's x 5 x 2 - These were pretty easy. Depending on how I feel after a full wk of training I may add some sets
Swings - 2-16's in one hand x 5/5 x 2

Pullups 20# x 5,4,3,3,2

Gripper work.

Ordered some 1/4" HRS today.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pullups and stuff

Continued the fighter's pullup program

20# x 5,4,3,2,2

10# plate wrist curls x 8/8
10# + 2.5# curls x 5/5
10# plate wrist ext x 7/7 x 2

check out www.peoplescube.com for some funny political stuff.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Psalm 144:1

I was looking at tattoos online and saw this verse. It is semi-appropriate for grip training and I don't recall ever seeing it before. It might be my new motto

"Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another bending PR

Big warm up today with Z and some FMS corrective drills.
DL : 155# x 5
165# x 5
I forgot that I increased the weight on these the other day.

MP: 20+25# kb x 5/3 , 3/3 L/R
I guess my pressing strength has gone downhill. I'll probably replace these with 16kg and a band presses.

Pistols : 20# x 1/1 , 1/1 , since I wasn't at the office today I didn't get to GTG , so I only got in 2 sets of singles while training today.

Pullups : 20# x 5,4,3,2,1

Bending - 3/16" x 5 CRS , 1 DO , 1 DU , 2 reverse
Pole Barn nails , 1 DO , 2 DU , 1 reverse
3/16" x 7 sq 1 DO
3/16" x 5.5" sq - 1 DO , I wasn't planning on doing any square stock today but I finished up with the easier stuff and felt strong and Kris was trying his hand at the square, got his first 6" piece on the first attempt. I decided to give the 5.5" a go, this was my first attempt but everything else has been going well so I gave it a try. It's amazing how quickly progress is coming. My first success on the pole barn nails was around xmas and I was sore for 3 days after 1 bend. And a few weeks ago when I received the square stock the 7" wouldn't budge. I'm sure the new wraps are part of it and technique as I mentioned and definitely the crush lever bar but the final result is that harder and harder steel is succumbing to my force. What a great feeling.

Crush grip leverage, rear extension and rotations. and chest crush curls with 16kg , a couple with mini band.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Catchy title

Pistols : GTG 20# 1/1 x 3
DL : 160# x 5 , 170# x 5
Side Press BB : 45# x 5 , these were pretty tough today, felt some muscles I haven't used in a while. I decided to stop with 1 set.
Pullups : 20# x 4,4,3,2,1
Dynaflex ball : extension x 1:00 L/R and flexion x 1:30 L/R , as always a test of muscle endurance to keep it going.

Spent a lot of time on the foam roller and some T/S rotation exercises. My overhead flexibility is improving. Also started on Mediherb Thyroid Complex and Withania Complex. Body temp is actually up in the mid 97 F today. That's with an outside temp of 4 F this morning. I don't think the supplements would work that fast but yesterday I didn't get above 97.0 F.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cankles are gross

They are even worse on thin girls, you kinda expect them on big girls. Just seeing them turns my stomach and touching them is really bad.

Pullups: 20# x 4,3,3,2,1
Bottoms up C&P : 16 kg x 5/5 x 2
DL : 155# x 5
165# x 5

These were all done at separate times. I started getting that tightness on my right iliac crest again so I spent a lot of time on the foam roller, doing some Z and got an adjustment. No relief yet but I figure morning will be better.

I bent a 3/16 sq x 7" while my friend was there, this was a little tough with no warm-up , plus some iso's on the 1/4" bar. When the leather gives a little you think the metal is going but not yet. Still a great drill though.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

New Program

I finally worked out a new plan of attack for the next 4-6wks. I'm going with a PTTP style workout. Adding some pressing variety, a pinch of swings and snatches and GTG with pistols. I will also continue to do the pullup program.

GTG pistols : 20# , singles x 3 . There was a small rest between L and R.

DL : 155 x 5 , 165 x 5
Handstand : against the wall, held for time , :20 x 5 , 1:30 rest

Pullups : 20# x 4,3,2,2,1

GTG iso's on bending , DO

Monday, February 18, 2008

pullups and bending

Started the Fighter's Pullup program today by Pavel.

I'm doing the weighted version, bw +20#
today - 4,3,2,1,1 about a minute rest between sets

also did a little bending for grins. 1 -3/16 crs x 5" , 1- pole barn nail , reverse style, 1- 3/16" sq. x 7" DO , and then I just decided to do one more to see if I could, 1 - 3/16" sq. x 6" DO . I've fine tuned my technique a little more after reviewing the Diesel Crew bending book, I'm getting my hands out even further on the bar. Plus I think I'm better suited to 6" than 7"

Followed that with some leverage bar work, casts, leverage cast and press, inner/outer pendulum all with 10# cb, then some leverage with crush grip bar.

Finished the night with dyna-flex powerball - extensors x 1:00 r/l x 2 and flexors x 1:00 r/l , these really burn, I'm trying to improve grip endurance for climbing.

Also did some iso's on a 1/4 bar for bending.

By wednesday I should have the new program lined up.

I felt really good this evening and my body temp is 98.2 , maybe it isn't a coincidence.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Energy production and nutrition

The two main energy producing systems of the body are the thyroid and the adrenal glands. A lot of folks have problems with these including myself. I've recently been reading on Wilson's Temperature Syndrome. This is low body temp usually related to low thyroid function. My body temp runs around 97 degrees F. Anyone who has studied chemistry knows that enzymes function best at a certain temperature and anything cooler greatly slows down reactions in the body. I've had low temp and low BP as long as I can remember. That means stuff isn't working properly. I'm going to attempt to fix that. I'm doing an adrenal hormone test and then will start a nutrition program to get my body working better.
A lot of folks, especially in the exercise community talk about will power. I would bet these folks have strong adrenal glands. Based on the work I do with with hair mineral analysis I see a lot of patients who have thyroid and adrenal glands each functioning at 25% efficiency, that's a 75 % energy loss. If you drive a 4 cylinder car unhook 3 of your spark plugs and go for a drive and let me know how that works out. Yes these folks have no ambition or motivation but in most cases it's not that they are lazy, it's that they are running on 1 spark plug. They are worn out. I'm in a similar category and know that things that seem like are chore are easy to accomplish when I am taking care of myself. If you are one of these people and have an extra dose of will power you may end up doing your body more harm than good in the long run. It's like whipping a horse, yes you will keep pushing and maybe achieve your goals but die as soon as you stop.
I will probably start an exercise program of moderate intensity for the next round. I would love to do a high volume routine with a bunch of swings and pressing but I'm not going to. I would probably get stronger but I think it would be counter productive to me getting my health and stamina back. It's difficult for me because I want to do a lot, because I don't want to be lazy but I think a little patience now will pay off big in 6 months to a year from now. I've attempted some nutritional stuff in the past and it worked some but no real big results. This time I'm getting a little more aggressive, addressing thyroid and adrenal with some herbs and possibly some hormone supplementation if indicated by the saliva tests. I hope to get my body temp up to 98.6 F and eliminate some fatigue and improve stamina and recovery. Wish me well in my endeavors.

A little disappointed

Finished another program today and ended up with DL.
185# x 2,
190# x 2,
205# x 2,
215# x 2,
230# x 2 ,
then max out. Attempted 270# but failed, got 260#. My max before starting the program was 255# so not a great improvement. I have lost about 4 lbs from when I was sick a couple weeks ago so percentage wise it is a little better but not what I expected. For me that was quite a bit of volume prior to the max out so maybe that's part of it. Even though I have moderate strength I don't have much stamina. In any case I'll try again on monday with just a warm up and see if I can do something a little more respectable. Yeah, maybe I'm being too hard on myself.
Kris went from a max of 275# to 320# which was all the weight we had so he may have had another 15-20 lbs in him. I think he made as much of a neurological gain as he did strength and he's putting up numbers closer to what I think he's capable of.
He also got our steel cut up so we did some bending. 3/16" CRS x 5" is cake now. I did 4 in a row DO for speed work and then 2 DU and 2 Reverse style. That was my first real experience with reverse, not too bad, but definitely the hardest technique for me. Then 2 pole barn nails DO and 1 DU. The nails break on bending which is kinda fun, makes you feel tough ;-).

Friday, February 15, 2008

And then there was one

OAP : 3/3 , 3/3, 3/3, these were done alternating 1 L and 1 R . 2/2 with a single blue band.

Ring Dips: 2 reps x 7 sets.

Pullups: bw + 25# x 4 , +20# x 3,2,1

2 x 4 pinch holds - 20# x 20sec x 2, 22.5# x 20 sec x 2 , 25# x 15 sec x 2 , 27.5# x 10 sec x 2 . All were done L and R. I figure if I can work up to 50# per hand I will be ready for a rafter pullup.

Gripper - HG 150 x 10/10 , CoC T x 5/5 x 2 , HG 200 x 3/3 x 2 (couldn't quite close it with my left hand) . CoC #1 negatives , 20 count L/R x 2 . Eventhough I'm left-handed I'm stronger closing grippers with my right hand. I read somewhere that because of the spring coil they fit the right hand better. Maybe this accounts for a little of the difference. Yet another example of the world being biased against lefties. Maybe if Hillary or Obama gets elected they can arrange a congressional investigation into this and give lefties some sort of reparations, lol.

I got the steel delivered to Kris, he should be able to get it cut up tomorrow morning so we can bend in the afternoon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Nail and bolt pics

A pic of the 2 pieces of square stock and the bolt I bent, the pencil is simply for size reference. I just picked up 24 ft of 3/16 CRS so I'll have plenty to bend once I get it cut up.
Worked on the foam roller today to free up lats and pec. Very effective. Active SLR is getting better also, I'm finally a 2.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm on fire

I was standing around tonight waiting on my last patient so we could start our training. I found a 1/4" x 6" grade 2 hex bolt and decided to give it a go since I'd been successful earlier with the square steel. It went down pretty easy. When I felt that initial kink and fold I got a warm happy feeling and crushed it on down. These definitely finish a lot easier than the square stock. This is the thickest thing I've bent but I'm not sure how much harder if any from the square stuff. The plan is to back off and work volume on the easier stuff but the feeling you get from setting new records is addictive, so we'll just have to wait to see what happens.

ZSQ : 85# x 6 sets x 4 reps
Tricep ext (kneeling rings) : 6 sets x 4 reps , 1:30 on both

Finger rolls: 90# x 15, 12, 10
Wrist ext on the homemade pegasus : 7.5# x 3 sets x 5-7 reps.
These really lit up my forearms

Another one bites the dust

Today I bent another piece of 3/16" square x 7" . This one was done all in one setting as they should be. I think these new accomplishments can be attributed to a couple factors. One is the obvious of getting stronger, doing some wrist strengthening and lever work and some volume on easier stuff. The tendency is to want to keep progressing to harder and harder but you really have to put in the time with stock that is well within your range and just do a bunch of them to establish proper motor learning pathways. The second reason is I changed my stance a little. I watch most of Adam Glass's bending accomplishments which he posts on youtube, and there are plenty to watch because he is setting new PR's all the time. But I noticed he had an offset stance with one leg ahead of the other, prior to this I was using a balanced isosceles stance. I think the new stance allows better transfer of power. I also am focusing more on recruiting my lats. And lastly is finding the sweet spot. I'm feeling the ends of the steel in my palms and focusing on bringing the two ends together. I'll be picking up a nice big quantity of 3/16" round CRS this week and continue with my volume on 5" stock just to improve speed and technique. This will be the bulk of my training, followed by the pole barn nails and then the occasional square stock just to test my progress. I'll continue with the crush lever grip and some chest crush lifts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bending PR

I got some FBBC stock a few weeks ago and for the most part I got shut down. I put about a 20-30 degree kink in a piece of 7" x 3/16 square. Today I decided to give it another go. I finished the bend today. there is definitely a feel to a good bend. You can tell it's going to bend right from the beginning. I'll try a fresh piece tomorrow and see if I can do one from start to finish.

Monday, February 11, 2008

If these weren't so good for me...

TGU's : 24kg x 2/2 x 3 , 1:30 rest. These things suck, they blast my shoulders so much. But they are a heck of a great movement. They don't seem to get any easier though.

Snatch: 24kg x 3/3 x 10 , on 1:30. This is the addition of a rep but added some time to the rest. I should have kept the rest time the same and added the rep. But I wasn't ready for that so I'll stay at 3/3 and start decreasing the time. I will continue with the snatch routine through the new program that starts next week.

Wrist roller: 3 sets ext x 50# , 3 sets flex x 55# . It blows my mind that people are doing these with 200+ #. Hard to imagine as challenging as these are.

Bent 2 pole barn nails.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Home Stretch

Just finished wk 5, which leaves one final week before a max test on DL

DL : 180# x 2 , 190# x 2 , 205# x 2 , 215# x 2 , 230# (90%) x 2 x 2

Finished with hub lift - 20# x 15s x 3 , 20s x 2
Crush lever bar , a variety of levers and casts

Saturday, February 9, 2008

From yesterday

OA band pullup : 3/3 , 3/3 , 2/2 , 2/2 - 1:30 rest between sets. Reps were done alternating L/R . But considering I had been doing singles this is progress.

Dips: 10 singles with 1:40 rest

Pullups: 16kg x 1,2,3 ladder - Whether it was the increase in density for the OAP or some leftover fatigue from being off several days, I felt tired and stopped with one set of these.

As this program winds down it's time to plan for the next one. One week to go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Lifting again

I'm back to the program.

Ring triceps ext - kneeling : 4 reps x 5 sets

ZSQ : 75# x 4reps x 5 sets

I backed off the weight and sets a little since I've been away so long. Felt pretty good

Wrist roller : 60# flex x 3
50# ext x 3

Monday, February 4, 2008

The best ab and back workout

- Coughing.
I've been down with something since Tues night. Had a fever through yesterday. Other than coughing and sleeping I didn't do much but sit around. Feeling better today, fever gone, head is getting congested and hacking phlegm but I can handle that. I missed 3 training days last week and today isn't looking good. Of course there's nothing like 24kg snatches to clear the junk out of your lungs. But with my decreased appetite I'm a bit weak. I'll just be doing joint mobility, maybe some Flow-Fit and perhaps a few swings the next couple days to get back on track.
After doing the FMS on myself I found I need to really retrain hamstring/hip flexor complex. That's to get my Active SLR up to an acceptable score. I also have to work with overhead flexibility. I'm fine with one arm but bad with both arms overhead. I think it's probably the giant wing-like lats I have (yes you can laugh). Lats and pec need some releasing.
Should be back in the saddle soon, giddy-up

Monday, January 28, 2008

It would have been easy...

to skip today's training. But having a gym at the office and a training partner kept me from skipping. Boy that's nice.

Slow start and on a bit of a time crunch.

TGU - 24kg x 2/2 x 3 1:30 rest
Snatches - 24kg x 2/2 x 15 , top of each minute. I'll stick with this until it feels a little easier then I'll increase the density.

Friday, January 25, 2008

changing it up

Tomorrow I'm attending a FMS workshop by Brett Jones (who? Brett Jones!) in p-burgh. That means I won't have time to DL tomorrow. Though I do hope to do a couple reps and get some pointers from Brett if he has time.

I decided I'd rather stay on track more with the DL than arm day. Plus I can still feel the triceps from the other day.

DL - 215# x 2 reps x 4 sets , 2 min rest. I'm really focusing on form trying to implement the suggestions given to me. The heaviness of the first rep surprised me a little but after that it wasn't bad. By applying high-tension techniques it all feels heavy, even 150#, so you just get used to it.

I didn't have to completely write off the arm training because of the briefness of the DL routine.

OA band pullup - did 3 singles back-to-back alternating R and L x 2 . So total reps 6/6. These felt good, able to lock off nicely at the top so I just continued to do a few reps instead of stopping with 1.

Bending - 3/16 CRS x 5" x 1 , I'm slamming these now, just need to get some more so I can do some volume and work on speed and explosiveness.
Pole barn nails x 4 , these are 6" x 3/16 but galvanized and significantly harder than the "greens" . I stalled out on the 4th one and had to go to DU to get the initial kink. I think I might be stronger on DU, I'm going to have to play around with this more. Maybe it was just the change of muscles that made it easier.
Finished with some leverage work and CB.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

keepin' on

today's training -

ZSQ - 85# x 4 reps x 6 sets , 1:30 rest - I don't even notice the pressure of the weight on my elbows anymore and I'm able to start moving up to a weight that actually works my legs.

Triceps extensions on the rings - kneeling, 4 reps x 6 sets , 1:30 rest - I'll probably post a video of this soon. It is such a great exercise, it feels very fluid while doing it and blasts the triceps.

Finger rolls BB - 85# x 10 , 95# x 10 , these really blow up my forearms

Yesterday did a variety of grip work just playing around, swings with the big grip handle , wrist extension , a little wrist roller.

Tried some electro therapy on the forearms today to see if it helps recovery.

Kris is also seeing good gains and is still amazed by the ability of what would appear to be a simple exercise program to produce such great results. Simple in that you don't feel wasted at the end of your training and aren't doing a bunch of mindless reps for each individual body part. And that you don't get all that sore afterwards. I think he's a convert

Monday, January 21, 2008

5 secs makes a considerable difference

TGU - 24kg x 2/2 x 3 , these don't seem to get much easier, but just enough.

Snatches - 24kg x 2/2 x 15 , top of each minute. Last week was 1:05 rest. I could feel the difference in the rest of that extra 5 secs. But still recovered pretty good between sets.

wrist roller - 30# , extension , 2 sets of 2 rolls
35# , flexion , 2 sets of 2 rolls , that loading pin is working out great.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gym photos

A few pics of the "courage corner". We have more stuff than we have time to use. You can also see the band setup I use for weight assisted pullups.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Video review

A deadlift video , sorry it's sideways I don't know how to change it. But anyway if those of you with some lifting experience would offer some tips or suggestions on technique.

Dry skin and fat burning

I have dry skin that gets worse in the winter. I hear that it is pretty common. The moisture in our skin does not come from the water we drink but is a by product of fat metabolism inside the cell. Those of you who know me know I don't have a lot of body fat, it usually runs around 11-12%. But my dry skin is an indication of impaired fat metabolism, which takes place in the liver. I've always had a bit of a weak liver, either inherited (but not genetic) or damaged as a kid from poor diet or more likely a combination of both. So anyway, I started taking a couple products to help my dry skin, Choline which is a component of the B complex and Livaplex which is a combination product. It supports bile flow and phase I and II liver detoxification. Both are Standard Process products and are whole food based. My skin is still a little dry but I noticed a loss of body fat, now I'm running around 8-9% with a loss of "stubborn belly fat" (LOL, to quote the commercial). That's a nice little side effect of getting my body to work better and improving cellular metabolism.
As I've said before, people with excess body fat is not a function of calories in vs. calories out. It's not about starving yourself or spending an extra 45 mins on the treadmill (see irontamer blog for more on cardio). The fat is only a symptom of an unhealthy body, impaired metabolism and organs functioning on a sub par level. You get the body and the organs healthy by feeding it real nutrients and the result is the symptom of fat gain goes away.