Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dynamics and Tempos

Meet with my friend Carl again and had him take me through one of his dynamics. Lots of different Track stuff...high knees, bruce lees, walking zombies, ankle flips,butt kickers, marching a's, etc.

Finished with Tempos

I worked on high knees and arm drive from the elbows. Ran a little fast but more a result of the extra drive of the knees andelbows. Will slow the pace down but it felt good to move fast.

Have to remember that this is more of active recovery and not tax myself. Plus, I want to train this smart and strengthen the body to be able to handle the stress from this type of training. Slow and easy but feels great!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Press and Pull

Workout 2. Feel a little taxed from a big day yesterday and a heavy pull today. So, finished my workout with some Military Press and Pull-ups

32kg/5/5 and 5 pull-ups x5 sets

Felt good, really strong with the moves, technically proficient. I am now done for the day, probably will hit the foam roller and a light stretch.

Getting heavy

Ok, today for the first time I realized what I was lifting. Not to say the other deadlift days were anything to sneeze at but for some reason it dawned on me today. What also dawned on me was how important self motivation is too my success. Cisco and the gym there does not inspire one to lift big weights.


Added Belt
430/1x1..getting heavier
465/1x2...This was tough, especially the 2nd rep which I barely made (98%). Time to step back next week and work lighter/speed and then start too build again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Stretch and Move

Today I started my day with a 15 minute joint mobility/dynamic flexibility session with my client. I then followed it up with another 10 minute session with another client, adding in some varation.

I was motivated by reading the prior post by a friend and trainer whom I have immense respect for.

I then followed this with an hour long Vinyasa Yoga session which was a tough one. Lots of warrior and balance poses and some real deep stretches. I am pretty pleased with my flexibility even if it is not of the yogi level ;-)

Great day finished with a little hike with the boyz from Shamrocks Team.

A lesson worth sharing

This is the true story of a friend and well respected trainer Franz Snideman (his link is listed to the right). We can all learn something, many things from this, his story. I hope this benefits you like it has me.

Healing....and feeling better!!! by Franz
Well, I'm finally off the narcotics and have swtiched to 2400mg of Ibuprofin (that stuff works - big time.) The cortisone shot the Doc gave me kicked in and I am feeling so much better. Now it's time to let the healting begin and to take a more "conservative" approach to training. As much I love lifting heavy loads on the deadlifts, playing around with the bulldog and Beast, it's time for me to put things in persepctive! I cannot affort to takes weeks off for healing. The reaility of the situation is that I am not a professional athlete and I have nothing to prove. Trying to stroke my ego by being a big shot is a potentially lethal mistake. Here are some of the things I have learned about myself and life during the past two weeks:

1) Find the Sweet spot in training. In other words find the optimal loading Zone of tissues. Tissue breakdown occurs as a result of either insufficient or excessive load. In my case it is from excessive load. Seeing 8 to 10 clients a day, doing bodywork on alot of them, stretching them, running sprints with them at the track. I was doing way TOO MUCH. That is my probelm, I do too much and my body eventually gives up. As much fun as pusing your body is, there is always a pay off. You must and will always "pay the piper" for everything you do. Do too litlle in training, and you waste your time. Do too much and you risk injury and total burnout.

2) Listen to your body. The older you get and more training experience you have, the stress of repetitive movements accumulates and they do take their toll. Become a master at listening to subtle signals your body gives you. If something feels off and your body is telling you not to push it, don't push it. This is where Ihave failed. My bonehead attitude of pushing through pain has only left me injured, frustrated and on my back with an ice pack. I think I finally learned that this type of attitude has done nothing for my long term orthopedic health and mental state.

3) Think Long Term. How do you want your joints and spine to be in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years? Ken Black has turned me on to the concept of finding ways to make lighter weights feels heavy through unconventional means such as grip changes, angle modification and most importantly, creativity. After seeing my MRI I now know have a much deeper appreciation for taking care of my spine. My disc at the L-4 level is pancaked and highly degenerative. In fact I am a great spinal fusion surgery canditate in the future. I do not want to get spinal surgery, therefore I must think long term.

4) Be Humble and appreciate good health! It is amazing how much I appreciate normal body function and health once it is taken away. When you can barely walk and have unbearable pain, your outlook on life changes quickly. All that matters is your health at the moment. Enjoy life and thank your CREATOR every day for the grace and blessings He showers upon you. Life is gift, and having the free will to choose and make good decisions that lead you to a better life is amazing. My injury was my fault and I must take accountability and responsibility for my injury and spine.

Slowly I will start introduce some Phase One exercises (little to no loads at all) and get my training back on track. That's it for now. It is so nice to have less pain and to be able to walk again.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another day at school

In an attempt to learn more and see what other have to offer today I revisited an old school of mine, called Dynamic Warm-up. I used this in track, football, rugby, and baseball. Some of the moves apply to all the sports others to specific sports.

The exercises included
High Knees, Skipping A's, Carioca, Walking Zombie (toe touches), butt kickers, etc.

One forgets just how effective such exercises are for strength, flexibility, joint mobility and conditioning. I do remember how boring these were back in the day when all I wanted to do was compete and not train the little things. However, today I see the importance of these exercises both for myself and clients as an effective warm-up, dynamic flexiblity and joint mobility program.

Add this with the bells and some tempo runs and you have a great workout!

Tomorrow is bell day, Snatch with the 24kg

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A light mix

Just a little something, something good nonetheless

24/5/5x1 Lunge Style
24/5/5x1 Overhead Squat style

done with no break and took 3 minutes 52 seconds

Guard Press, Bear Crawl, Clean Squats
GP: 24/12/12x3
RR: 24/10/10x3
CS: 24/5/5x3


A nice little conditioning day!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

32kg day

Feeling good this week. Just playing smart having the big load from yesterday

Workout Today
Clean and Press

Nice and easy. Solid work load


These were explosive. I used the downward swing motion instead of the shoulder which made the move fluid and explosive.
Good hip drive and helped practicing with the high pull before the snatch set. Ready to implement the 40kg on a low level.

5x3 Explosive pulls

Tempo Runs

Need to loosen the body. Felt good to stride out and promote solid blood flow.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Moving on Up

Workout #1

425/1x1....getting heavier
455/1x2 sets

No belt and a mixed grip from 315 to 455

455: Felt strong. I noticed the weight though. For the first timemy body felt like it had a significant weight. Moved right up, no struggle just a lot of respect for the bar and weight. Looking forward to next week, should be an interesting day to say the least....maybe 475 to 485

Monday, August 21, 2006

Yoga, my practice

So, did a workout Friday but had no time to write it

Guard Press
Renegade Rows
Racked Lunge
Bob and weave

3 sets total,
set 1: 16kg/5reps/exercise
sets 2 and 3: 24kg/5 reps/exercise...this was a tough workout, especially in a circuit

Shoulder TGU with a slam (5/side)
Deck Squat to zercher to a throw 8 reps
Slams (10 reps)

Yoga, 1 hour of Vinyasa. Reminds me of a flowing version of joint mobility. There are some definite holds, but there is a lot of flowing movement done with breathe. Today I focused on my practice an moving with my breath.

18 hole Golf Tourney.
HIt my first 300 yard drive and am starting to put my athletic skill together with the techniques of the golf swing

Tomorrow. Deads, Pull-ups, and Snatches

Friday, August 18, 2006

An day of learning and sharing

Met up with Ken Black again yesterday and we spent the whole day sharing ideas, thoughts, and so much more. We did Kettlebells, Sandbags, and Med ball

Sandbag stuff I didS
Shouldering TGU with Slams
Deck Squat
Deck Squat, Zercher, Throw
Over the SHoulder Throw
Plyo Floor PRess

2 sets of 5 reps
Guard Press
Bob and Weave
Racked Lunge
Renegade Rows

1 set of the following
Swing Squat
Seated Military Press
Deck Squat (basic, doulbes and doubles overhead)
Russian Twist (seated)
Seated Hot Potato
Swing Flip Squat

Safe to say covered a lot and tried other stuff as well. Another great day and what a heck of way to learn. Together we can and do achieve more! A simple human philosophy!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Supplements in my Diet

Multi Vitamin Packs from Metagenics: Wellness Essentials for men
BioPure Protein from Metagenics (8 grams/scoop).
Omega Man: Barleans Organic Oils (5 gram of Omega 3's in one serving)
Noni Juice :Tahitian Original
Perfect Food (Super Green Formula) by Garden of Life
Emergency C packs (mixed with water)

These are part of my daily regimen. I mix them in various concoctions and I have to admit they are tasty.

Article on Olympic Lifts...a good read

In the latest issue of Mens Health Magazine there is a excellent article on Training using Olympic Lifting movements. Specifically the article focuses on the use of barbell Olympic lifts as the ultimate strength and conditioning exercises.

The article makes reference to the specific exercises (snatch, clean and jerk, and push press), the specific muscles trained, the type of results one can expect, the sheer amount of work it takes, body fat percentages, carryover to athletic performance, and just how technically challenging they are to learn

From my point of view the one thing they fail to mention is the kettlebells and how they are the ultimate tool for performing these Olympic movements. They produce all the same benefits with a lessesr learning curve (technically speaking for safe and effective performance/usage). Plus, you do not need a ton of weight…a few Kettlebells will do the trick.

So, if you were ever wondering how to maximize your training results and time, pick up the article and then invest in some kettlebells!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006



Feeling good. Had to use a the mixed grip from 315 on up but no belt. Focused on tension...I read a good tip and used it as a visualization (go to the park and grab a bar that is bolted down and tense up trying to lift it as you would do a deadlift). This strategy worked as the bar went up easy.

10, 8, 6

simple but effective. Overhand grip full pull and hang!

Monday, August 14, 2006


Well my shoulder has been the subject of discomfort for the past few weeks. The hard day of get-up sit-up with the 32kg and no use of other arms/legs stressed my right shoulder. So I have been working through it but with this past weeks sister was married on Saturday....and all the obligations around it I had a few days to rest the shoulder and layoff the bells, pull-ups,etc.

So, today I was feeling the need to hold some weight in my hand and train.


These felt great. I did not do the traditional dwon swing, instead I brought the bell to shoulder which really helped minimize the stress. They were easy up and my shoulder was strong

Clean and PRess

This is a little more challenging than the snatch. Overall the bell moved easy and I felt no pain/discomfort. The key is tomorrow.

Hike 3 miles up some nice terrain!

I have to deadlift tomorrow and do pull-ups and Pistols.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Trail Run/KBs

Great day...2 workouts

Workout 1

Trail Run: 53 minutes...mainly running but did hike some of the hills to keep my HR under control and not burn out. I wanted to be out for an hour at most and I felt strong at the finish as well as during the whole run. I love the trails, they cleanse the mind, the body. The scents, sights, sounds, and the feel of being out alone on a single track trail under a canopy of trees with small creeks running through, bridges to cross, rocks to traverse, and great views to boot!

Workout 2
Monica and I and the Kettlebells


Nice and easy, great stretch and warm-up

Double Clean Squat Press

Again nice and easy, a good sweat and felt good on the shoulder. The right is still tender and feels a little strain, but feeling strong.

DARC Swings

Again nice and easy, a great contraction for the glutes, hams, quads. The body felt strong on each rep and the heart rate never went above 145.

Also (earlier in the day)....

Again strong and easy.

All in this was a great day. feel fresh and ready to go attack tomorrow

Odd lifts and Tempo Runs
Sandbag drill
Sled Pull
Rope Waves
KB exercise of choice (Deck Squat, Snatch, or bob and weave).

10x100 for Tempos

Another great day. My strength feels great, my conditioning is up, body fat decreasing and love of training with precision technique is present

Everyday I understand more and more training and what it is!
Another lesson awaits me tomorrow!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A weekend in the Mountains of Mt Shasta, CA

Took a weekend get-away trip with my pops. We went to our vacation home in McCloud CA, at the base of Mt.Shasta. What a majestic place. Mt Shasta stands tall and is impressive at 14,062 feet, the second tallest Mountain in California behind Mt Whitney and the second to last mountain in the Cascade Range. Both my grandfather and father have climbed to the top and I will add myself to that list.

McCloud is a small logging town or at least used to be. Much has changed since the 1970s or so. In fact, the old mills that were once thriving and big employers, to many Italian immigrants (my dads family included) are no longer running. Still the little town remains and now is seeing a little rebirth with Pepsi Cola company bottling water in the area and employing many locals. Plus, for outdoor enthusiast there is plenty to do (Fish, Hunt, Golf, Hike, Ski, Backpack, Waterski, Kayak, Mountain and Road Biking, Running, etc.) and the area has not lost its natural beauty that has existed since I can remember.

This past weekend was about Golfing with pops and some of our family in a tourney in McCloud. Just a great excuse to spend time with the family in a beautiful part of the world. We played 2 rounds of 18 (in which I seemed to forget all I knew about how to swing a club).

In addition, I went for a beautiful trail run out in the woods just behind our house are a number of old logging roads that lead to everywhere but nowhere at the same time. I saw beer tracks, mountain lion tracks, deer tracks, a tree in which a beer had sharpened his or her claws, hawks, blue jays, even some deer (on the course).

Of course, I took time to stretch and do joint mobility with the family and the overwhelming response was just how amazing and helpful this stuff is "at reducing pain" and "increasing range of motion". Now they are spoiled and I have to teach them

The stuff we do is so simple in many ways but people just do not make the time to incorporate these basic concepts. Sad but true. I am glad to be out there educating and opening people to new ways, new ideas (at least to them), and helping them feel better. What a job, what a profession I have. I think this weekend I have 2 new people who are committed to make mobility and flexibility part of their lives and that is a success.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Article on muscles and weight loss

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Ken Black, MMA, KBs and Odd Lifts

What an amazing day. I had the great pleasure of spending a good majority of my day with a top notch strength coach, Ken Black. Together we discussed a variety of training topics, traded a number of exercises, performed a number of exercises ( I am, and then put the good ole MMA boyz through a tough workout.

Ken is an innovator and excellent coach, plus one heck of a strong man. Then there is those MMA fellas, these guys are crazy, motivated, hungry, and true competitors. They have no quit in them and they have a burning desire to be their best. And, I have and had the great fortune of spending time working together with these men for a common purpose, achievement, further our knowledge, ability, increasing our likelihood of success, surrounding ourselves with others who desire greatness, and so, so much more.

So some of the things we did today

Sled pulls
Sled bear crawls
Rope waves (100 ft rope)
Med Ball Shot puts
KB Shot Puts
Bob and Weave
Sandbag shouldering
KB Joint Mobility ( a program Ken has developed and something I found challenging and enjoyable)
Farmers Walks

All and all I did a large variety of things, not much of anything specific just a little here and there

Ken did more than I for sure since I was coaching the boyz and he helped on this end, picking exercises, demonstrations, set-up and coaching and even joined in

The boyz did all this (except the KB joint mobility) and some more...just amazing

Then I came home and Monica and I did a workout
My workout went like this
Double Cleans

supersetted with

Renegade Rows

Finished with Bob and weave

Did not have much in me but still felt all over the board and wanted to do some specific stuff...goal accomplished.

A great day spent with great people all whom are inspirational in there on way.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Rifstonian Deadlift Day

I believe Rif refers to this as a speed lift day. A down week in terms of weight but a heck of a workout and I feel strong


Work Sets
315/1x12 with 30 seconds rest between

I have to say this felt easy, smooth and strong. I planned on doing 10 sets and did 12 and could have done 15 but decided to stop short and strong.

8, 7, 6, 5

Running this evening...Trail run