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.

training and a revelation

DL today, started with a few easier warm up set and a few swings.
80% day , 205# x 2 reps x 6 sets , 2 min rest

Bending - 2 - 3/16 x 5" , these are feeling really good, can complete all but the chest crush in one sweep.

A variety of leveraging and casts with the crush grip lever bar
Pinch- around the worlds with a 20kg composition plate , this is probably 3.5 " wide,
- 1st time - 360 degrees
- 2nd time - 180 degrees
- 3rd - maybe 100 degrees

I had a revelation while deadlifting today. This is something I've known for a while, probably from school and also possibly in PTTP. It occurred to me how heavy the weight felt at 80% but was still doable without straining. I then realized that our muscles and joint receptors have a built-in safety mechanism that keeps the muscles from over-firing and ripping the tendon off the bone. This mechanism can be over ridden, ex. the little old lady who lifts the car off her kid. I think as weights reach our max there is a tendency for the brain to down regulate the muscle to prevent injury. As we train with heavier weights we are also training this mechanism to realize that we can do this safely and allow us to pull more and more weight. In addition to training the nervous system ( joint receptors) you are also strengthening tendons to prevent tearing if done in a progressive fashion. So yet another reason to train with heavy weights.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Tickets to the gun show

ok... so I'm not getting that huge yet.
Got my new bending wraps today. Follow the link to Adam's blog to get yours. Nice heavy duty leather. Did 3- 3/16 round x 5" CRS stock. , 2 - pole barn nails and attempted a 3/16 square x 7" which I just kinked. I think I might be stronger on DU than DO though for the initial kink. The "greens" are folding like butter now. I just need to get some volume in on those. We are checking with our metal working friends to be able to buy long rods in bulk ( I said "long rod" huh-huh). Bending can be an expensive hobby if you have to buy pre-cut stock.
OA pullups - 1/1 x 10 , switched out the lower band to a blue. 1:00 rest/set
5 min rest
Ring dips - 2 reps x 2 sets, 1 rep x 8 sets, 1:00 rest, added a L-sit to the lockout on the last couple reps
5 min rest
ring pullups - 16kg - ladders , 1,2,3 x 2 , 1,2
Going to have some dinner and watch "Night at the Museum" and rest up for the big DL day tomorrow

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Feeling results

a little warm up including RKC arm bars with 25# , this is such a great drill. My shoulders feel so relaxed and my posture is solid after doing these, really get a good biceps stretch with it too. And I'm getting the pelvis flat which means I'm getting those shoulders opened.

ZSQ - 80# x 4 reps x 6 sets. 1:30 rest/set.
I think I'm ready for 85# on these. It's still uncomfortable by my arms are adapting to the pressure.

5min rest

Ring triceps ext - kneeling - 4 reps x 6 sets. The 4th rep is feeling stronger. Not sure how to take these to the next step.

Ran out of time so I'll do calves tomorrow and maybe some grip.

I have a couple pieces of 2 x 4 hanging on a string from my pullup bar. I use these to train for rafter pullups. It mostly strengthens the grip because they are free hanging you can't activate the chest compression you could on actual rafters. I occasionally train timed hangs using bands. Today I was messing around and didn't use the same pinch grip that I would for the pullup but pinched it from the side with my fingers to the back and thumbs on the front (sort of a phonebook tearing grip). Anyway I was able to hang full BW on the first try, on the 2nd try I actually did a pullup, rarrr!! lol.
It's good to see the results of training and it adds extra motivation.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Today was a good day

... and I didn't have to use my AK.

Get-ups - 24kg x 2/2 x 3 sets , these are still tough but easier than last time.

Snatches - 24kg x 2/2 x 15 , a set every 1:05 , sped up the last couple reps to finish all sets before 15min.

This is progress as it is the same amount of reps I did in the SSST , 5 extra minutes but wasn't really winded. Next week will be 15 sets on the top of the minute.

ran out of time before doing grip work.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New grip toys

We created some new grip toys today from PVC. Attached some hooks to an end cap which is probably 3.5-4" in diameter to train the hub lift. And also a coupler which is basically a really, really fat bar device. It is 4" in diameter. It's almost too big so we will find one a little smaller. The new loading pin Kris made works quite nicely with our new PVC stuff. 1-hand swings with the fat bar are sooooo tough. They are more like sways than swings since any momentum pulls it out of my hand.

DL- 75% max day, 190# x 8sets x 3 reps , 1:30 rest , the first few sets were DO grip, then switched to mixed as it felt heavier. This weight was tough, felt closer to my max than 75%. Focused on technique and tried to pull with the whole body in unison, loading legs and back and keeping shoulders packed.

Wish I had a hot-tub to soak in today. Arms are still tired from yesterday. I'll use some contrast therapy, plus I get a day off and I'll be good to go on Monday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Time Flies

Day 7 already
Arms again, my triceps were still a bit sore from the last workout so I cut back a little on the dips.
OA pull up with band - 10 x 1/1 , I may go with a lighter band next time
Ring dips - 10 x 1
Weighted pull ups - 16kg , ladder 1,2,3 x 2
Kris made us a loading pin so we'll be putting that to good use soon. Did some v-bar lifts with it today just for fun. Did 100#, didn't try more.
also made a trip to Lowe's and made a lever bar/ crush tool as described on Adam Glass's page. This thing is extremely effective. It's amazing how heavy 5# can feel when it's on a bar 20# from your hand. That's physics for you though.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

gettin' it

Day 6
Triceps ext, kneeling on rings - 6sets x 4 reps , 1:30 rest
5 min rest
ZSQ - 80# x 6 sets x 4 reps , 1:30 rest
These are feeling a lot better and the arms are toughening up already. The extra rep/set and 5# made a good difference from last time
Farmer's Walk on toes , 2-24kg x 3 sets x 100ft , my calves were screaming after this and I'm sure I'll feel it tomorrow. But maybe after a few weeks of these it won't look like I'm riding a chicken, lol.

I receive my stock of bending materials from FBBC yesterday. The 3/16" round CRS x 5" went pretty easy and felt good. Last year when I bent my first green nail I stalled out on the first attempt and really had to grind through to get it but today it went smoothly. It's nice to see how far you've come. The 3/16" x 7" square stock is a different story though. I bowed it slightly but that's it. Since it isn't my bending day I didn't try to force it. We'll see what happens on saturday and hopefully my leather wraps will have arrived.

Bending is such a phenomenal exercise. It hits everything from the waist up and down to the fingers. FBBC has some great bending material and the staff was very helpful. And don't forget a good set of leather wraps, which you can get from Adam Glass (see the link to the right).

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fred makes his case

I just watched a youtube video of Fred Thompson explaining why he would be the best choice for President. Now brace yourself but the video is actually based on conservative principles and ideas, not emotions and fear or PC promises. As a conservative tired of Republicans being weak on principles and spending like a drunken senator it is refreshing to hear these words. To quote a wise man, "Fred is a full grown man". I believe that to be even more true after this video. The man has a plan for a variety of the issues I hold important, lower taxes, stronger military and border security, rescuing the failing SS system and sanctity of life. The only other thing I would like to have seen is an energy plan that opens ANWAR to drilling and reduces the red tape on building some new refineries.
Check it out for yourself

A friend of Fred

rough start

Today was get-ups again. I did a couple reps with 25# as a warm up. Then
24kg x 3 sets x 2/2
These felt tough from the start. Really had to struggle to keep the elbow locked which has never been an issue for me. And using the mid-section to get up onto the hand was tough also. But I gutted it out and now they are behind me.

24kg x 12 sets x 2/2 , started new set every 1:15

This pace was still pretty comfortable, will go to 1:oo next time

Wrist roller: extension - 25# x 2 sets x 2 reps
Flexion - 35# x 2 sets x 2 reps
A rep took about 11 rotations per each hand

Pony clamp thumb pinch x 2 sets x 5/5

Saturday, January 5, 2008

End of wk 1

Deadlifted today. Using a program that I read on Rif's blog, I think it might be from WSB.

180# (70% max) x 8 sets x 3 reps, 1 min rest.

Chest is a little sore from the dips yesterday. But we did some bending and I think it loosened it up.

1/4" carriage bolts x 5" , 2 DO, 2 DU , 1/4 carriage bolt x 4" , 1 DO , 1 DU, 1 pole barn nail DO
CoC Trainer x 5 reps x 2 sets L/R ,
rubber band finger extensions with a novelty bracelet x 15 reps x 3 sets

Going to use some ice/heat contrast on forearms and chest today to aid recovery. Those finger rolls really blasted my forearms. Look out Popeye, here I come.

Friday, January 4, 2008

day 3, and it was a good day

One of my goals is to be able to do a one-arm pullup. So I'll incorporated them into my training by using bands to reduce my body weight but it will allow me to go through the full range of motion. I really feel the biceps contract at the last couple inches. I'm using a combo of 2 green bands. One girth hitched to the bar the other is draped across the loop creating 2 foot straps. Not sure how much weight it takes off. Also not sure if it is easier or harder than a single band.
OA pullup - 10 singles each arm. L and R were done back to back. A new set was done each 1:20.
These felt pretty good, left was a little stronger than the right. Free hand was touching the band for balance only, no gripping.

5 min rest

Ring dips - bw -( on the rings adds a whole new dimension from bars) 7 sets x 2 reps , again a set done each 1:20

5 min rest

Pullups - bw + 24kg x 1 rep ( decided this was too heavy)
16kg x 1 rep x 4 sets , 1:20 min

Finished with some HLR to stretch arms and lats plus worked the mid-section

Grip work - Pinch, 3 dimes x 15 sec x 2 sets each hand
- two hand pinch, around the world with 20kg bumper plate (these are wiiide)
one set CW, one set CCW , made it about 3/4 around
Finger rolls- bb x 75# x 2 sets x 15 reps
wrist extension with 10# plate, 10/10 and 6/6
did a few arm bars with 25#, this was a nice bicep stretch as much as anything else.
I have a feeling my triceps will be screaming tomorrow or sunday from the dips, plus some muscles I didn't know I had.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Day 2 training

After reading a couple articles on the zercher squat I decided to add it to this program
ZS - 75# x 3 reps x 6 sets, started a set every 1.5 min.
5 min rest
Tricep ext on the rings, kneeling- 3 reps x 5 sets, started on 1.5 min
gripper- CoC #T , 5 reps x 3 sets
HG 200 , 5 reps x 2 sets, couldn't complete the close with last reps of LH.

After resting and before heading home I decided my legs needed a little more work
Hack squat with kb, 20# , 2 reps x 2 sets. I tried 3 reps but lost it both sets. It's amazing what a little leverage can do, 20# feels almost impossible.

My legs could have handled more weight with ZS but my arms couldn't. I figure they will toughen up. I am going to add a 4th rep next time. And going at add a 6th set of triceps ext.

Time to eat some grass-fed steak for dinner.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year, New Program

I finished DS II before Christmas. It turned out quite well. Now I'm starting something new. I put this program together based on some training I've read on some other blogs. It is a 4 day program again but has more specialization, though still not isolation.
Day 1 is a strength endurance day based on principle of density training by Ethan Reeves. I found this on Brett Jones blog a while back.
yesterday, 24kg get-ups 3 x 2. I will eventually work up to 5 x 2. I remember last fall I did these for the first time and could barely do a single rep, so I'm making progress. They were tough but I haven't done them in 6-8 months.
Snatch 24kg 10 x 2/2 , a set each 1.5 min. Want to get to a set per min. This pace was comfortable so I'll decrease the rest next time to 1.25 min.
Finished with some wrist roller work. Ext , 35# x 2 reps x 3 sets. A rep is rolling from floor to the bar, not sure how many rotations this is. I rigged my roller so it is supported so I can do heavier weight than holding it up with my arms. Very effective.
Wrist flexion, 45# x 2 x 3 , I was feeling the burn on these. My forearms felt like they were going to explode. Immediately followed it up with some stretching and The Stick (to stop the cramping). I think this will improve my grip endurance for climbing
Finished with some ulnar and radial flexion with my homemade 10# CB.
I ordered Jedd Johnson's bending e-book and ordered some stock from FBBC. I plan on bending a lot this year. The book was very informative.
My goals for '08 are, DL 2.5 x bw, OA pullup, close #2 CoC, bend 1/4" x 7" nail, either IM or FBBC. 100 reps in SSST and be able to pass the RKC cert ( I think it's around 20 reps per arm), MP 1/2 bw kb and pistol with 24kg kb. With any luck I'll meet these goals earlier in the year and set some new ones. I also want to add some size to my arms and legs. This current program is designed to help me with several of those goals. My biggest problem is going to be eating enough food to grow. (yeah, I know, you wish you had that problem, lol) But I don't have a big appetite and my body is in a state of catabolism. But I'm working on that too.

Will post Day 2 tomorrow