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.