Thursday, October 31, 2013

It Is Alive!

On the heels of the Jim Steel article I linked to a few days ago here is a great piece by Jim Wendler.
A standout article with the last line deserving of special notice.
"And please, don't try to sell us on how hardcore you are or how dedicated to strength you are. Your lifts and your silence do more talking than your Internet chatter and bravado."
You all keep that in mind.

Dropped the weight on the TGU today after watching this piece from Cressey Performance. I need to get the moves down throughout the entire exercise and not focus on weight just yet.

W/O 5 rounds/R.A.N.
10 KB swings
2 dips
15 KB swings
3 dips
25 KB swings
5 dips
Finished in 20:31 which is 2:36 faster than the last time :) sideways smiley face for that.

Indian clubs and rolling around on the floor. (Imagine the looks I get at 24 hr. fitness)
Actually no looks at all people there are uninterested in anything new or innovative. Just marching dutifully away on their treadmills and stair things and pretending like they are getting healthy.

side note: All of the trainers there have failed the test. They are incapable of moving out of their comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creep, Creep, Creep

My readership is creeping down. I will have to do something spectacular to draw attention to myself.
What could that be?
Dropped another 3 minutes off the Swing/Goblet Squat workout and I am pleased. You can see how pleased I am by looking at me.

Dropped the weight on the windmills and am just working on thoracic mobility and rotational stuff for my shoulders.

5 rounds/R.A.N. (rest as needed)
10 KB swings @ 24K
1 Goblet squat @ 75
15 KB swings @ 24K
2 Goblet squats @ 75
25 KB swings @ 24K
3 Goblet squats @ 75
Time: 22:45

Threw some of the Primal Move warm up stuff into the cool down

Monday, October 28, 2013


Here is a quote by James Steel from his article Alone, Alone, Alone on "Throw Up Hill."

And when I was doing these sprints, I thought of how long I had been doing these types of workouts alone, without paying some guru (no gurus or Speed and Performance centers in 1983), or some self-proclaimed expert or even having a friend train with me. Nobody wanted to go out in that time of the day, and I liked it that way anyway.

Isn't there something about doing it alone? Getting off of your ass, getting out in the woods, and just getting it done? You mean that you wouldn't do it if somebody didn't tell you that you had to do it? Insanity. You HAVE to have somebody tell you that it is time to train? Who else in life, and that is what you are training for, life itself, can you really depend on? Better to depend on yourself that someone who just brings you down, shows up late, complains about their relationships or their jobs or has it so damn tough that they just cant go hard today because they have something that is bothering them physically. Enough, its time to start, this is important to me, so I am just going to start. Uh huh, no, I am starting now!

It may seem silly to some, but I don't care. Somebody told me today that I should be careful, being alone in the woods like that, what if you sprained you ankle, what if you broke your leg, what if... I said okay because I respected the guy, but to myself I am thinking, yeah, I really don't care, I have been banged up many times before, and its no big deal, in fact I accept that it will happen eventually, because its not running on a treadmill, it's TRAINING, and there is risk involved and I am alone because I want to be and I don't want to live like you think. I have fought against thinking and living like that my whole life and I figure that as soon as you let that type of thinking creep into your head that you are done, you might as well go to the mall and follow the herd.
Getting back in those woods rejuvinated me and brought me back to a time when life was much simpler and the worries were less. Important? Yes, its important to do things like that, at least to me, because it is the essence of what training is really about; being alone, self motivated and without relying on anybody at all, getting back to the way things should be done.

Food for your Brain.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Recked ma Rhomboids

Don't know what I did but now they hurt. If they still hurt tomorrow I will take the day off.
I put some useful links on the useful links page.

W/U 3 rounds
Upped the TGU weight to 15 and the Windmill weight to 10

W/O 5 rounds/rest as needed (or RAN in future posts)
Time went up over last week as I felt a bit out of sorts.
10 KB swings
1 Press @ 85
15 KB swings
2 Press @ 85
25 KB swings
3 Press @ 85
Time 25:31
A sad face for that.

Indian clubs and Reset

Friday, October 25, 2013

What Are My Options?

Observer: Your options? Well, option A is you didn't sleep very well last night.
Me: ...and?
Observer: Option B is you didn't eat very good yesterday.
Me: Option C
Observer: You really don't want to hear option C do you?
Me: Yeah. I think I do.
Observer: You won't like it.
Me: Try me.
Observer: Your a pussy.
I got up and walked out of the room. Shame contorting my features. Tears streaming down my face cutting hot paths like lava on my cheeks.
He was right. I didn't want to hear it but I needed to hear it.

I am officially cancelling Chip's workshop today. I have not gotten anyone to sign up.
A less than stellar workout today.

W/U The usual but went with 12 lbs on the TGU's.

W/O 1 round
10 KB swings
1 pull up
15 KB swings
2 pull ups
25 KB swings
3 pull ups

My heart rate was jacked after this and I was sweating profusely and I stopped.
Indian clubs and reset.
Worked on crawling sideways and backwards today.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Open Up The Window. Let some Air Into This Room.

I think that's a clever title for this post but I don't have anything to follow it up with other than it was really hot in the gym today.
I decided to get in an extra 250 KB swings today because I didn't have to go to work.
Last night I went and worked out with a guy named Tony Cortina. He runs a place called Cortina Training.
He is a SWAT guy and a fight coach who teaches exactly the type of fighting I have been looking to learn. It is not martial arts as a sport. it is not BJJ it is just down and dirty take the fight to them and end it as quickly as possible. Here is a copy of his article in Black Belt magazine that explains the idea better than I can. Good stuff.

W/U the usual

10 rounds of 25 KB swings on 1:30 @ 24K
It took 14;13
..and it was hard.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sandbagin' Or What? (2 g's or 1?)

I dropped 6 minutes off the swing/goblet squat workout today so I have either gotten exponentially stronger or I seriously sandbagged last week. I prefer to believe that I have gotten stronger.
The clock is ticking on Chip's appearance. It will be cancelled on Friday if I don't have 13 people signed up. I now have exactly zero.
If I have to cancel I would highly recommend, if you live in So Cal that you make the trek out to Palm Desert and see Chip at Desert Crossfit on Saturday the 9th of November

W/U 3 rounds of:
Haloes x 5 ea
Windmills x 5 ea @ 8 lbs.
Wall squats x 5
Pump stretch x 5
TGU x 1 ea @ 10
Other than the weights on the windmills and TGU this will stay the same for awhile so I am not going to write the whole thing out each day.

W/O 5 rounds of:
KB swings x 10
Goblet squat x 1 @ 75
KB swings x 15
Goblet squat x 2 @ 75
KB swings x 25
Goblet squat x 3 @ 75
Almost woossed (spelling) out on the GS today but I toughed it out because I am a tough guy.

Indian clubs and reset

Monday, October 21, 2013

Achesies and Painsies

Everything hurt today. Yesterday I left the gym and felt great all day, today I left the gym hurting. Its that old guy thang.

W/U 3 rounds of:
Haloes x 5 ea @25
Windmills x 5 ea @ 8
Squats x 5
Pump stretch x 5
TGU x 1 ea @ 10

W/O 5 rounds on 5:00 of:
KB swings x 10 @ 24K
Dips x 2 (going through pain free ROM with green band. I was able to get lower today)
KB swings x 15 @ 24K
Dips x 3
KB swings x 25 @ 24K
Dips x 5
Unless otherwise noted all swings are with the 24K from now on

Indian clubs

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fun, Fun, Fun

I am loving the KB swing workouts. The Swing/Press workout took me 1:21 longer today but I upped the KB weight to 24K.
I changed the rest interval today and just did each round on 5 minutes which rewarded me for more intensity by giving me more rest.
Went up to 8 pounds on the windmill and 10 pounds on the TGU and kept my form intact so I will go up again next week.
Side note: If I don't get 13 people to sign up for Chip's workshop this week (by the 25th) I am going to have to cancel and that would be a terrible shame and a loss to the community.

W/U 3 rounds of:
Haloes x 5 ea @ 25
Windmills x 5 ea @ 8
Pump stretch x 5
Squats x 5
TGU x 1 ea @ 10

W/O 5 rounds on 5 minutes:
KB swings x 10
Press x 1 @ 85
KB swings x 15
Press x 2 @ 85
KB swings x 25
Press x 3 @ 85

Indian clubs and reset

Friday, October 18, 2013

What Is Fitness?

That seems to be a question that all sorts of people are taking a crack at lately so I thought I would throw mine into the mix.
Fitness is the practical application of properly developed usable strength.
Purty damn clever no?

The inter thing is awash with great stuff today.
Here is a  part 1 of a 2 part piece on KB swings that was published on the Elite FTS site
and here is part 2. The contention seems to be that shear forces are increased the higher you go so the overhead swingers are at a much greater risk.
...and here is a piece by Ben Bruno on t-nation about squats. Appears as though if you don't have to do ass to heels squats you shouldn't. For those anatomically gifted sorts, like myself, with femurs that end around my neck I can now comfortably remove backsquats from the program and replace them with goblet squats or front squats to slightly below parallel. Never did like backsquats.

W/U 3 rounds of:
halos 5 ea way
windmills 5 ea side
pump stretch 5
goblet squats 5
TGU 1 ea side

5 rounds/1:30 RI
10 KB swings
1 pull up
15 KB swings
2 pull ups
25 KB swings
3 pull ups

Indian clubs and reset

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hardest of All

Today's workout was the most difficult of the three I have done. This is reflected in the overall time as compared to the others.

W/U 3 rounds of:
5 ea haloes
5 ea windmills
5 pump stretch
5 squats
1ea turkish get up
I added weight to the windmills and TGU today

5 rounds/1:30+ RI
10 swings
1 goblet squat @ 75
15 swings
2 goblet squats @ 75
25 swings
3 goblet squats @ 75
The rest got longer and longer as this went on. At 31:46 this was very nearly a slog. I may have mistaken myself for someone stronger with the 75 lb goblet squat but now that I  finished with it I have to keep it in for appearance sake.

Indian Clubs and a round of reset.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fun With Indian Clubs

I was obsessed before but now its getting out of hand. All I can think about it Indian clubs. Is that a problem doctor?
Here are some links for club swinging.
Big Kahuna
... and here.
...and here.
The first one is actually the zen Kahuna.

W/U 3 rounds of:
Haloes 5 ea
Windmills 5 ea
Pump stretch x 5
Squat x 5
Turkish Get Up x 1 ea

W/O 5 rounds/1:30 RI
KB swings x 10
Dips x 2
KB swings x 15
Dips x 3
KB swings x 25
Dips x 5
I did the dips with a green band and just explored pain free ROM. I want to build strength back into this without hurting myself. I let you know how that works out.

Indian club fun (see links)

I am only going to give the workshop with Chip one more week as I have to cover the cost of the space and Chip's travel time. The response has been less than stellar. See Coming Events page for info.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Too Much Work

I had to work too much the last week and so decided to put the KB swinging off until Sunday. (Too much work and a bit of fear)

Haloes, windmills, pump stretch x 5ea. x 2

KB Swings x 10 down to 1 with
farmer walk with bell x 20yds between

Short and fun.
cooled down with indian clubs and O strength reset

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Relinquishing Control

I have finally met a few trainers that I trust and that seem to know more than I do. Having that resource I decided that after this KB swing thing I am going to have one of them program a month of workouts for me. It should be interesting.
Today I copped out and just did mobility work.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Victor On The Dark Side

I stopped by a CF gym today to see if they were still selling kettle bells. The reception I received when I walked in was about as cold as any I have encountered. Some one across the room waved and when I got closer I realized it was my old workout partner from 24 hour fitness. When I met him he was heavily into Wendler and had nothing good to say about CF and yet there he was, looking skinnier and weaker than I had ever seen him. They were doing Fran (21/15/9 thrusters and pull ups) and here he is, a man with a 175 lb. military press, a 2x bodyweight squat and capable of at least 10 dead hang pull ups, doing the thrusters with 65 pounds and thick band assisted pull ups.
I was sickened.
I asked the trainer/owner if he had seen the flyer I dropped off about Chip Conrad's upcoming appearance and he said he had but that they had no interest whatever.
CF don't like outsiders.
On a brighter note I picked up a 24K bell yesterday and so was able to do today's workout with it.

5 ea of windmills ea side/haloes/pump stretch and 10 squats
5 rounds/ 1:30 RI
KB swings x 10
Dips x 1
KB swings x 15
Dips x 2
KB swings x 25
Dips x 3

Felt good. I did the dips on parallel bars and had originally thought to use a green band but abandoned that and did bottom to top press outs and lowered with assistance to keep the whole thing within a pain free range of motion. I am going to up the dip numbers next week to 2/3/5 as recommended in the original protocol. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Redlining the Wussometer

On any 5 round workout the wussometer starts to redline at round 3. Here is where the character is built. If you stop you are no worse than all the other wusses. If you continue you set yourself apart from the crowd.
I started the 5,000 swing protocol today (originally 10,000 but I am a wuss). I liked it. It was hard and it made me feel good after.
I had planned to use the 24K bell but the place where I buy Kettlebells wasn't open. I went with the 20K.

W/U (Halo, pump stretch, windmills and squats)
5 rounds/1 - 2 minutes rest between rounds (I stuck with 1 minute for the first 3 round and then went to 2 minutes)
KB swings 10 @ 20K
Press 1 @ 85
Kb swings 15 @ 20K
Press 2 @ 85
Kb Swings 25 @ 20K
Press 3 @ 85

Cooled down with indian clubs and a round of original strength reset.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

That Bloody Lung Feeling

Today was the day I decided to do as many KB snatches as possible in 5 minutes. I was going to do it with the 16K bell but I forgot it so I went ahead and did it with the 20K.
So.... I hit 75 in 5 minutes and that's where the bloody lung feeling came in. I wanted 100 but that just wasn't going to happen.
Tomorrow I start Dan John's 10,000 KB swing in 20 days program but being old, weak and ineffectual I have decided to do 5,000 instead.
I will keep you posted.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Eyes Wide Closed

As I talk to trainers, lately, Plato's cave keeps coming to mind. They appear to be stuck, unable to move beyond the confines of their knowledge base. Many of them have the "gold standard" certs, things like NASM, ACSM and CSCS but not many of them feel the need to broaden their base. It is disturbing. I am unsettled. I no longer have the capacity, if I ever did, to keep my mouth shut. I want to help and the realization that most don't want or think they need help brings me back to Plato's cave. Drag the bastards kicking and screaming into the light.

W/U (the Indian Clubs came yesterday and I am now officially obsessed)
3 rounds of:
Row 1 minute
KB snatch 5R/5L
Goblet squat x 5
I set the rower on intervals time with 1:00 on/2:00 off
ended up getting about :45 seconds of rest each round
Closed the day with the original strength reset

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Butts 'n' Brains

Sounds like a restaurant where beef rectums sauteed with onions and monkey brains still in the monkey would figure prominently on the menu.
I don't remember where I heard it but someone said, "Most people's brains don't know what their butt does for a living." As I watch folks move in the gym that statement is proven over and over again. I was teaching an older gentleman hinge patterning the other day and he just could not wrap his mind around it. I stuck with it until he got it but it took a good long time, much longer than it should.
I soldier on.

20 minutes of:
Row 1 minute
KB swings 1 minute (did 20 each time and averaged 15 seconds rest)