Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Big Strong Guys

This morning at the gym I saw 4 guys do 405 deadlifts for reps. One of them was 18 and weighed 150 soaking wet. That is getting into some serious weight for amateur lifters. Impressive and demoralizing. Guess I just have to get stronger.
Today's Workout:
Standard W/U except I did the stair thing for 3 minutes. That's harder than I remember it being.
5 @ 60
5 @ 75
5 @ 90
5 @ 100
5 @ 115
5+ @ 130 (got 6)
Bench Press
5 @ 70
5 @ 85
5 @ 100
5 @ 110
5 @ 130
5+ @ 145 (got 6)
Leg Press 3 x 7 with the sled + 90 lbs.
Pull Up speed day 10 x 3 on 1 minute with 110 lbs of assistance
V-up 3 x 6
Back extension 3 x 6
I got there early today and that was good because, including stretching, I was there for 2.5 hours.
A little twinge in my right shoulder and chest on the bench. Nothing major and continuing didn't seem to make it worse.
Back pain is diminishing I just need to continue rolling it out a couple of times each day.
There is no further info today. See you on Friday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Unstoppable Force.

When the unstoppable force of my desire to blog daily encounters the immovable object of my abject laziness there is conflict. As with many things in my life I have the desire just not the attendant discipline for follow through. Just one of the many things I need to be working on.
A note on one size fits all training. My research has led me to the conclusion that in order to excel at a given task one must train for that task. As I have stated I am working towards qualifying for the world indoor rowing championships. To excel at this I must train the energy systems that are used. There is no truth, I am finding out, that if you train one system, say the anaerobic, and ignore the aerobic that you will be able to compete successfully in a competition that demands more of the latter. So with that in mind I am going to invest in a heart rate monitor and start training at specific percentages of my max heart rate. I am going to, in a word (or two), become specific.
Today's Workout:
Standard W/U
Burgener W/U (snatch)
8 x 2 snatch with the bar. Keeping these light until I feel the form is solid.
Row 10 x 150 meters. Kept them all between :27 and :31 with the pace between 1:39 and 1:45
Weighted dips 3 x 1 with 45 pounds
Reverse Hyper 3 x 5
A nagging pain kept me up most of the night so this workout was not stellar. Some nonsense in my hip.
stretching and rolling seem to help as does movement.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back to Work

Okay so I missed Saturday. Here it is:
Row 500
6 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 6 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups
Burgener Warm Up (Snatch)
Split Snatch 3 x 3 with just the bar
Burgener Warm up (Clean)
Clean and Jerk 3 x 3 with just the bar
Row 2K easy 8:32
And now on to Monday:
Same Warm up except I added 1 to the pull ups and dips (7 each)
5 @ 120
5 @ 150
5 @ 185
5 @ 200
5 @ 230
5+ @ 260 (got 6)
5 @ 45
5 @ 55
5 @ 65
5 @ 70
5 @ 85
5+ @ 95 (got 6)
Weighted Chins 3 x 1 with 40lbs.
Good Mornings 3 x 5 with the bar
Hanging Straight Leg Raises 3 x 6
I am going going to start working on Olympic lifts on Tuesday and Saturday just to get those up to speed.
Rest Interval on the work sets for this week is 2 min., 2:30, and 3 min.
That will change from week to week as the weights get heavier.
I will post a video of the Burgener warm up as soon as I can figure out how to do that.

Friday, August 26, 2011


A PR on squat today got 165. 5 months and I only added 5 pounds. At this rate I will be nearly 60 before I get my body weight up. I know what I have to do and no further research is necessary. I just have to work on my bloody squats.
Today's Workout
Row 500 meters
6 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 6 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups
3 x 10 leg press with just the sled for flexibility
3 x 5 good mornings with just the bar for form
Back Squat Test for Max
3 @ 75
3 @ 90
3 @ 110
1 @ 145
1 @ 155
1 @ 165
Just have to work hard. So, squats 2 times a week once as part of the weight program and once for box squats and speed work.
I will conquer this thing...or die trying.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Lazy am I?

You would think that a short blog post each day is not that hard. If I get out of the habit for even a few days I have to struggle to get back into it for at least a week. When I was in grade school a nun used to scream, "I chew your food for you and you're too lazy to swallow it!" Not much has changed.
Yesterday 23 August
run 400
6 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 10 squats, 6 dips, 10 push ups
Deadlift Test for max
3 @ 140
3 @ 175
3 @ 210
1 @ 315
1 @ 330
2 tries at 345 and missed both
330 went up pretty easily so I probably could have got 340. Just got a little ambitious.
Row 10 x 100 with 1 minute rest
:19.5, :21, :18.6, :17.9, :18.4, :18.1, :18.3, :17.6, :17.6, :17.2
Back Extension 3 x 7

Today 24 August
Row 500
6/10/6/10/10 Ring Push Ups
Ring Roll Out 3 x 5
Bench Test for Max
3 @ 75
3 @ 95
3 @ 115
1 @ 170
1 @ 180
1 @ 190
missed 1 at 200 Maybe should have gone 195 but 190 is a PR anyway.
Weighted sit ups with 35 pounds 3 x 7
step up with 95 pounds 3 x 6
So now we"re caught up tomorrow I am not working out but maybe I will post some sort of philosophical ramble....or maybe not.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

Hey sports fans. I'm back. Been out of town working for a week. I always leave with the best of intentions. I pack my rings, my mat, a set of dumb bells, a jump rope and the addresses of gyms in the area I am traveling to. I fully intend to work out but it never seems to go that way. I end up spending all my time in the hotel watching TV and hanging out at a Starbucks that I haven't been to. Oh well.
This week I am testing for max on my lifts and starting some ring work. Today was:
Row 500 meters
6 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 6 dips, 10 squats and 10 ring push ups
5 times muscle up transition practice
10 ring roll outs
Press - test for max
3 @ 45
3 @ 50
3 @ 55
3 @ 60
1 @ 100
1 @ 110
1 @ 115
1 @ 120 (miss)
1 @ 120 (made it for a new PR)
Over Head lunge 3 x 5 ea leg with 45 lbs.
reverse hyper 3 x 6
I had thought about starting a frequency method pull up deal today but only got 2 sets.
So that's it. I'm back and ready to go.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Maybe, just Maybe.

It is Monday AM. Yesterday I went to a wedding I ate more than I was used to and later in the day than I usually eat, I drank more than I was used to, did not get to bed until after 1 AM and I did not sleep well. I decided, last night, that I probably would not have a good workout today so I am taking the day off. Maybe I have learned.
Here is a link to The Mobility Wod a great resource for movement oriented flexibility.
I will be out of town from Tuesday to Friday and will begin posting again on Saturday.
see you then.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


...and I mean it too. This is a hypothetical question. Why do I have to relearn basic lessons over and over? No need to answer. I know the answer. Yesterday's lesson was: If I don't sleep well, eat badly and am stressed out I will not have a good workout.
500 meter row
5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 5 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups

What was supposed to be a 2K row time trial. This was to function as a point of comparison for future time trials to see how I have improved.
What a train wreck. I fell apart at about 400 meters, considered quitting at 800 meters went ahead and finished in a blazing 8 minutes and 54 seconds. Nearly 1 and 1/2 minutes off my best to date of 7:26.
So did I learn my lesson? Probably not. I will make this mistake again. I am a stubborn sort and have to be reminded and prodded many times before I will finally internalize the message. I have suggested the use of a 2 x 4 applied to my head as a possible means of getting me to understand and take heed. Just write what you want me to learn on the board and wail away.
See ya Monday.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Why So Serious?

I was looking over a blog by a guy that I used to work out with. He is constantly on the search for information about nutrition and performance. In and of itself not a bad thing but what struck me is that it appears he is, as a crossfitter, amazed to find in the mainstream literature the things that answer his questions. I have noticed this about c.f. ers. They seem shocked and almost disappointed to find out that real science exists and answers questions they may have. They live in a kind of bubble that won't allow them to look outside that bubble. When they do they find that not only are they not all that special but that by a lot of standards they are mediocre at best.
Today's Workout:
Row 500 meters
5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 5 dips, 10 squats and 10 pushups.
(the pull ups are deadhang and I got them all chest to bar today)
Front squat
5 @ 55
5 @ 70
5 @ 80
Split jerk practice
3 x 2 @ 45
Row Uphill
5 x 100 meters with 2 minutes rest
The rows were not nearly as hard as I remember them being. I went with a 12" box and the damper set at 10.
They were all around 19 seconds not significantly slower than the 100s flat. Next week I will go with a taller box. This seems to help with explosiveness out of the gate but its just an experiment so we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Pick a Sport, any Sport

If I may be so bold the genius of my program is that it allows you to slot in time for sport training. I choose rowing but you can put anything you want in on your sport training days. The sport days are Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. So get to it and put in the time on running, biking, swimming, kayaking, curling and get better at it.
Today's workout is:
Row 500 meters
dynamic range of motion
5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 5 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups
Backsquat (my backsquat is pretty pathetic right now but its getting better)
5 @ 75
5 @ 90
5 @ 110
Bench Press
5 @ 75
5 @ 95
5 @ 115
Weighted Dips 3 x max with 45 pounds added
Weighted back extension 3 x 5 with 35 pounds added
I always do 15 to 30 minutes of mobility work, foam rolling and stretching after the workout.
I will cover Dynamic Range of Motion and some of the mobility work in a future post.
Have fun.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sport of the Year

My sport of choice for this year is indoor rowing. I am going to try to qualify for the world indoor rowing championships in Boston in February. To that end I started my rowing program today. It consists of sprints on Tuesday, rowing uphill, put the back of the rower on a box and set the damper to 10, on Friday and a long row on Saturday. I'll keep you posted. Today's workout is:
500 meter row
Dynamic Range of Motion
5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 5 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups
3 sets of 7 weighted sit ups with 35 pounds
Row Workout
10 x 100 meters with 2 minutes rest
The intervals were kept at about a 1:30 pace
My goal is to get close to a 6:30 2K by the time of the tryouts.
Lets see what happens shall we.
see ya tomorrow

Monday, August 8, 2011

In at the end.

It's the end of a 4 week cycle. I have been off for nearly two weeks due to travel for work. The workout is:
Row 500 meters
5 pull ups, 10 sit ups, 5 dips, 10 squats, 10 push ups
Dynamic Range of Motion

5 @ 140
5 @ 175
5 @ 210

5 @ 50
5 @ 60
5 @ 75

Weighted Pull ups 3 x 2 plus 40 lbs.

Reverse Hyper 3 x 5 (24 and 20" plyo boxes stacked)

And that's it.
I really like programming my own workouts. The crossfit prescription allowed for no deviance and it was nigh onto impossible to find an affiliate owner who would allow you to do your own programming.
Just a note on nutrition. I eat clean: fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs and nuts with some coconut water and protein powder thrown in. That's all you really need to do. No reason to obsess about this. See you tomorrow.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Depths of Decrepitude

I am 56 years old. Not scary old but getting there. In 2008, after a 15 year layoff, I decided to start working out. I was beginning the descent into decrepitude and couldn't take the idea. What got me back was crossfit. I found out about it from a trainer at a local gym and became obsessed. Most people that get into crossfit buy the package and become obsessed. That lasts anywhere from 6 months to several years. After that they start seeing holes in the process and drift away or, as in my case, they take the love of a solid old school training program, inspired by crossfit, and move into a more systematic pursuit of strength and conditioning. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle my journey and to give anyone who cares to try the tools they need to begin a pursuit of their own. A few helpful places that will get you moving in the right direction are; Catalyst Athletics for good exercise demos and solid olympic lifting programs. My strength training of choice right now is Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 with pullups, dips, pushups, rowing and running thrown in for conditioning and assistance. I will be posting a workout each day for anyone who wants to follow along.
I am stronger now than I have ever been and plan to continue this trend. So welcome aboard and lets workout.