Thursday, May 31, 2007

Speed, Agility and Quickness

Spent the day working with my strength coach friend Andrew Wun. He is the strength and conditioning coach for Santa Clara Univ Baseball team and he is SPARQ certified (which he remarked really means nothing but does in the eyes of those who do not know what is really going on).

So he took my through a really cool active warm-up filled with dynamic stretches, sprints, bodyweight conditioning exercises, etc. After about 20 minutes of this he took me through the SPARQ test. I had asked him to teach me the SPARQ ideaology since I have a client whose 2 young athletes want to improve these 5 factors for sports.

I did a vertical jump, 30 yard sprint, 5-10-5, and a rotational throw (this is the baseball test). I could feel the last 3 days and I was so weak and fatigued in my CNS and just had no power. Plus it was a 4.5 mile bike ride to the gym and I had to ride home.

I did enjoy doing the work and it is always awesome to learn new things. I really did have a great workout and I just miss sports, as I love applying my skills acquired through all this training.

Great day and more coming next week!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Snatch work

Went to Rifstonian institute today to work on my snatch form, here is the numbers


Here are a few discoveries.
1. My back is feeling better than ever, with no signs of stress or strain. I feel super strong with my body mechanics related to the use of my back.
2. However I am having some issues with the downstroke which is affecting my grip negatively and grinding my hands. This is my limiting factor and a crack on my right hand re-opened and I had a huge tear on my left.
3. I have to pull earlier with my shoulder on the up swing and stomp hard with my heels to get my butt into gear.
4. GS downswing or some variation will be better for my hand/grip. My grip does not fatigue just grinding my hands and I keep tearing.
5. I feel extremely positive with this all coming together. I just need to get the timing/coordination in sync and this may take a bit of time if I do not care for my hands properly. Plus with the deads/pull-ups my grip and calluses are getting major work, even more reason to be on it!
6. Have to work my one arm swing more just to hone my skills using the 40, 24, 16, and 32.
7. I am learning so much each week, each workout that I love it!. It is great to have a goal because it really allows/forces in many respects me to focus on improving specific aspects of my training (i.e. weaknesses as well as strengths).

To sub for the additional snatch work

1 Arm swings

Never once challenged my cardio, which is feeling really good and allows me to focus on my technique not having to catch my

Awesome day, great week so far

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Do I ever remember

Today my neighbor who is a big time mountain bike man invited me out for a ride up Kennedy mountain. Now, if you know Kennedy you know that it is a relentless and grueling 4 mile climb with the steepest parts the last section, real lung busters. We rode from our home through Los gatos up Kennedy road to the trailhead, then we climbed and climbed and climbed up to one of the highest peaks in the south bay (what beautiful views). From there it is a steep and fast fireroad downhill with some lose rock and sharp turns and then a climb up a two short but steep sections (one the road along the lexington reservior and then the backside of St josephs Hill (aka Jones Road trail) and home.

2.5 hours, 13 miles and a whole heck of a lot of climbing. Thank goodness I have a strong will because my legs were dust. I am super stoked and this was a great day for mental training and focus and physical training especially managing energy and buffering lactic acid.

WOW that is a heck of a trail.

Monday, May 28, 2007


What is the shortest distance between 2 point? This is a question I often ask of clients and today it was made clear to me in my own movement. the answer is a straight line or linear movement which is also the most efficient and effective movement when it comes to the deadlift. now, if I can just remember this point :-)


work sets

It is all in the set-up and then the excution in the straightest line possible. I must remember to lead with my chest and keep my center of gravity over the bar so I can effectively use my strength in the legs. Good day

rack Lockouts @ knee height

I like this. Nice to put the weight in the hands and on the body.


Excellent reps and a great feel today with these. I felt really strong and super connected. I do believe that the tension and use of the body via lat contraction with the deadlifts helps me too focus on the pull-ups and using my grip and lats together to produce a smooth, straight line with proper technique.

2 kb Presses (that is 2 in one hand)
2, 12kg (total of 24kg)/2x1

Had to try them since Rif was doing them and I am like a kid in a candy store. They are easier than 1 bell presses and Rif summized that it is due to the higher center of gravity or as he put it "it is like pressing at chin height which gives great leverage" Nonetheless they were fun and I look forward to trying this again. I did feel the fatigue of those lats/grip

Managing the Body

A lost art I have found amongst my clients and even athletes whom I have worked with is the importance of managing the body. In particular I am referring to the rehab/prehab aspects such as myofascial work, stretching, mobility, etc. The success of your body and the progression and health of your body depend on these factors as much as resistance training, cardiovscular conditioning, and nutrition. In fact they form a 1/4 of the pie.

It is essential to use tools such as the foam roller, tennis ball, baseball, golf ball to perform myofascial release, trigger point work on the muscle tissue, scar tissue of the body.

It is essential to stretch and this comes in various forms such as active stretching (using same or opposing muscle groups to stretch), static or passive stretching (similar to Bikram Yoga), yoga in general, relax into stretch (pavel has an excellent book on this), and mobility work. Mobility is a form of flexibility done through dynamic or active movement taking joints of the body thru various ranges of motion.

It is important to determine what your body needs, and build a program around the needs of your body. Of course, you do not want to neglect aspects or areas however if pressed for time then focus on the areas that need the most work first. Note that this may change through time and that if you keep up the maintenance or management of your body using this tools you will move more freely and with limited to hopefully no pain or limitations.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Finally created my pull-up contraption. Wish I could figure out on this apple how to put up pics. The bar is held across 2 beams with 2 tiedowns and the bar slips in the loops. Minimal swing but it does add a dimension.

bodyweight Pull-ups

randomly over the morning today. Following pavels recommendation for his father-in-law. Awesome work and 8 is a great number far from failure and excellent technique.

Yes! Super stoked. Funny what gets you excited in life

Friday, May 25, 2007

What a life

How great a life I live! Shoot, it is 10;30 on a friday and I am home chillin and decide to dig into my workout. Now, I have nothing else to do the rest of the day and my long weekend begins.

Yesterday around 5:30 my neighbor( whom I rent from) knocks on the door and hits me up to go for a quick ride, to the top of Jones and back. Now this cat is a crazy downhill rider with a bike weighing in at 45 pounds and loaded to the gills with goodies. Also, he has set a number of cool trails up for mountain bikers within the area, so tired or not I cannot pass up this "quick" ride. 45 minutes up and back, a great workout covering 5 miles, a great sweat and heck my sinus cavity feels super open! I love my home!

So back to today! Rif and I spoke and he said I should do 1 arm swings with the 32kg for 15/15/15/15/15/15 seconds/arm for a total of 1:30. I established that the number is 8 reps for that 15 second period, so 24/arm and 48 total/set


It has been sometime since I put the 40 overhead for a windmill and I must be feeling strong because it felt good.

1 Arm swing
32/8/8/8/8/8/8 x3

144 1 arm swings. the volume is less than what I have done as my best but with the sheer number of reps/set this was appropriate. I really felt the glutes and hams and it was not till the last 13 reps that I could tell I was losing steam and to end this portion of the workout with a solid number. Heart rate was super stable, did not even notice my lungs/heart just those muscles :-)

Military Press

I love grunt and grinding these big weights, it just makes you feel like you are really pushing yourself. I frickin stuck the reps well and look forward to getting my 5x5 in.

Often at night Mia and I go for a walk/hike in the hills. For many this is a hike for us more like a walk. Also we stretch regularly (she is a gumby) and I do not blog all this but just want to share so folks have an idea

To a great day/weekend, time to play in the hills

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Good Day

back at Stones today always exciting and interesting :-). Love learning and this environment encourages learning and growing in the physical and mental sense


The last 3 singles felt good, just having some weight and it feeling heavy was nice. My form/technique across the board seemed to be in good sync today. The bar did not move quite as fast as I wanted but the technique felt good. Set-up is paramount to success and that means placing the feet in proper position with the shins the right distance from the bar to get the best knee position and that way I can load the hips/legs properly for the drive. WOW, a lot of stuff, lol but I love it!

24/5/5x2 (held bell in top position for an approximate 2 count)
32/5/5x4 (held again)

The hold really allows me to find my center, so noted RIf and I agree. I felt my downswing was better and I did feel more efficient which he noted I would, he was on the money. Great work and I like the pace. If I could pace it out I would get 100 in 5 minutes (under perfect conditions)

Snatch holds
24kg/ 1minute/side x 2

These really are great and such a great flexibility exercise and will help me when doing the 5 minute test

Overall a great day. A little fatigued from yesterday and being under the weather but I am very pleased and feel great

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Up and Moving

Well, taking 3 days off is rough enough and with my last workout on Wed not being one that I was completely satisfied with I had to get up and move.

Get-up Situp

I like this move. I enjoy it for the strength and stability and core work. Could tell it had been some time since I had done this move.

Clean and Press

Nice and basic move. Good strength and technique. Still not 100%


Pleased. Do not usually do more than singles with the 40kg but taking the powerlift squat mentality i decided to do triples.

Swings (1 Arm)
24/10/10/10/10/10/10 (60) x1

Felt good to bust a move!

Monday, May 21, 2007


Still recovering and had to drive 2 hours to Santa Rosa for the funeral of a family friend (92 and a great lady who lived well). So I missed the workout with Rif and had limited time but got something in

1 arm swing

150 in 5 minutes (all I had)

25x4 (between a client)

Pull-ups BW

24 total

Feeling weak but needed to move!

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Oops, this is not allergies this is a cold/flu thing that has knocked me down. I have not been able to train and have had little energy/strength, even had to take Friday off. Plan to get back this week.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


A light day. I slept poorly due to a mjor allergy surprise attack yesterday. Took a med and it wired me and at 1 am I felt like running a marathon. So, I had a sporatic 3 hours of sleep. I woke up alternate but had little strength.

Pull-ups (bodyweight)
12 (I had some extra rest as a client came and asked me a few questions)

total 40

Dips (what the heck, I like them)

Hanging Knee Raise

Stretching which I have been very due diligent about on a daily basis, probably at least 20 to 30 minutes a day even if throughout the day I just am making sure to do it. This is no surprise because I am pretty good about stretching but Ihave been really placing an emphasis on this as of late. Always feel great afterward

Resting now

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Ok today was the day to work with the Kettlebell snatch technique with a hand that has 2 tears,etc.

I am not sure of the numbers as I was so focused on improving, finding, perfecting my technique. The key for me is too reach back more, allowing the swing to develop and generate more moment. This hinge has me deeper into my hips/legs, much like my deadlift, how strange is

It was a great session with Rif, he really helped me even thru my frustration which made everything more difficult today. But I have a plan and I can translate what I need to do, now I just need to practice.

Majority of the work was swing/snatch alternate with the 32 kg and some with the 24kg. Progress for sure!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Off the Blocks

Hit the blocks today, that is deadlifting off a 1 inch block which is to help foster starting strength (strength off the floor) and in my case as Rif put it help me find my proper position by forcing me to get lower in my stance really emphasizing the use of my legs....I really enjoyed this approach and could tell the difference! Awesome lifting technique

Deadlift off 1 inch Block


Whoohoo, dig this lift. I felt so strong and really found a good position.

off the floor

Definitely a big difference. Found it hard to find the position I had on the blcok but by the 2nd rep with 315 I felt much better.


the last 2 reps on the final set were not complete, more forced but this is the end of the volume based cycle and start a new cycle next week.

Feel great! Time to hit my warrior diet!

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Wow, do I remember the days working out in Gold's Gym with my training partner hit a hard chest and tri workout, a good 4 to 5 exercises with 3 to 5 sets/exercise and 8 to 15 reps and this was just for the chest portion. It has been since 1998 that I lifted like this and I had some great results but I never did much with it as it really was for vanity it seemed and I just have always enjoyed exercise. I have a lot of respect for bodybuilders, their dedication, discipline, and the way they sculp their body like a masterpiece.

The reason I write this post is my girlfriend Mia just finished her training for a figure/bodybuilding contest. I was able to experience the last 2 months of her training and diet and I cannot say enough of how proud I am for her. Her dedication to the process, to the journey taught me so much! And, WOW she looks just awesome! She came in around 10% bodyfat at a cool 112 pounds. I kept telling her that the most important aspect of all this is the journey and how she stay focused and stuck to her goal and then end result is this stunningly gorgeous body, sculpted like the masterpiece it is...Micheloangelo would be very impressed :-). I am so proud of her and I appreciate her! Her perspective and attitude toward the whole concept and process are so healthy and in the crazy subculture that is bodybuilding this is not always the case....believe me I had many a friend who have competed and I must say that their reasons, which I respect, were not always healthy to say the least, nor their methods. This is not an indictment of the process but more a realization and appreciation for Mia and her treating her body like the temple it is with so much love and respect and her follow through on her commitment to herself and her goals. She accomplished everything she set out to and she does and should feel proud and complete!

With my goal of the TSC in Sept I have supporting me through the process my best friend who knows what it takes to follow through to the completion of a goal. And, I have a great coach who also knows so I would say my support system is strong as ever! I am so honored and grateful that I was able to support Mia on her path and I look forward to her support on mine, what a great partner, teammate!

To goals, the journey we take toward them, the accomplishments along the way, the lessons we learn, and the check mark next to the box, may we all have such experiences and may we be able to see them and feel the positive aspects of them. And to Mia, I am so proud of you and grateful for you!


Friday, May 11, 2007

findin my groove

Today with the swing motion my focus was to find my groove. I have been playing some after watching Rif. I think my groove changs based on KB size, type of exercise swing versus snatch versus clean, and how much fatigue. One is more squat based and the other more hip with minimal knee bend. Both are effective and work excellent like I said just depends


Squat and Press

I prefer the Clean and Press over this move, even the clean, squat and press. Nonetheless all 3 are amazing exercises and provide an excellent training effect. I feel so much stronger with the 40 in my hands. This is a staple tool for me, as it should be. The consistent application and program has really enabled me to increase my comfort level (via strength and technique) with the 32 and 40kg.

1 arm Swing

total of 180

Ok, definitely prefer the hippy motion for this. notice a total difference in power and force production. Back handles the loads well. So, I think that the squat type move comes in particular with the 32kg as I use more of an Olympic Snatch motion. I will work with Rif come Wed and try to figure this whole thing out. I feel one step closer though. I really do like the hip motion, my glutes and hams feel the effects :-)

Tomorrow I will do body weight pull-ups

I did 1 set of 15 straight right out the shoot yesterday, felt good. Still trying to find a place to situate the bar at my new casa. There is work being done on the yard, etc. right now and once construction is done I think I will have a place

Inspirational Story

I encourage all of you to take a moment and ready Tracy's Blog. I am so touched by here honesty, her courage, her truth and her compassion for life and herself. This is for any and everyone. Her story is an inspiration too me and one that brings great peace and calm to my soul to know people who play an important role in my life are out there living there truth and sharing with others.

Life brings about many great opportunities, experiences, chances, paths, etc which provide the possibilities of all kinds. The relationship with the self, with the our own soul and speaking the truth is something that can be challenging in this life for various reasons. I know I love myself, I know I have compassion for myself, I know I speak my truth and I do all this with love, kindness and gratitude. I am always learning, growing, and evolving, everyday. I am more concious, more aware of myself in every moment than ever before and I have found that my life is so much more enriching in the process.

I thank tracy for sharing her story for enhancing my awareness through self-reflection. I am thank tracy for challenging me to think and feel about what she wrote not only for myself but for the lives I touch. I am grateful for Tracy!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mountain Bike

Simple yet effective ride today. Just getting my legs underneath me so I can start adding mileage! My typical 5 miler today with an emphasis on using my bigger gears making it more strength via lower RPM's so I could grind my way up the hill. Works the legs more and get the lactate following so teaches me awareness on how to buffer. Plus, it will prep me for the more ardous climbs which some go 4 to 5 miles up on a continuous slope, relentless and grueling but great for the mind and body!

I love Los Gatos

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tearing it up

Today is my snatch day. A lot going on with this move right now. One, we are trying to determine at what rep with a cummalitve effect in mind do I hit lactic acid phase; two I am working on what the deal is with my down swing on my right hand and three: my callus tore again which sucks because I have been removing the dead skin and filing but for whatever reason I tore one and have a second on the verge


60 reps in 5 minutes and bingo I discovered the tear and that was it. So I finished with 1 arm swings

32/15/15 rest 30 sec
32/10/10 rest 30 sec
32/10/10 I am done

Frustrated about the tear but 60 snatches in 5 minutes is becoming the norm and only over about an 7 week period. I know I can hit 80 just by sheear tenacity but I want them to come with great technique as well. All in all I am doing very well I just want more. So, I hope to hit the snatch with Rif next Wed for his coaching, etc. I think it would be good. I plan on doing more 1 arm swings Friday playing with the weight though, maybe hig reps with the 24 or 28, we will have to see.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Had to do it! Feeling better and my body and soul feel more rested so decided to hit the 40 kg for a couple things. Did not want to over do it but had an itch I had to scratch

Military Press

Excellent! Feeling strong again


Perfect reps. No questions asked!

2 40 minute rides covering approx 5 miles last night and one today! Cannot pass it up, right out my front door is the hill. :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

School Day

Back to the Rifstonian Institute for my normal school Monday. The lessons are many, the exercises are the same Deads and Pull-ups. The main lesson today was fall back. So, before lifting feel like you were to let go of the bar you would fall back on to your arse. This sure seemed to help today


Work sets

the art and science of movement.The deadlift reinforces these concepts that movement is art and the deadlift is a true masterpiece the challenge is getting all the ingredients mixed correctly to produce optimal performance. Some days, some reps, some everything are better than others. Overall I feel closer but practice, practice and more practice.


Ok, the last 2 reps were brutal. I did a better job of resting but just was a little fatigued on the last set. Remember the LATS to initiate the pull.

I feel very pleased with todays schooling.

Friday, May 04, 2007

CSP and Snatch

Wanted to do some Strength and Conditioning full body kettlebell style. Task accomplished!

Clean, Squat and Press
24/3/3x2 for a warm-up
40/3/3x3. This is the first time I have done the complete move with the 40kg. I could have done more in ladder format but I really wanted to focus on the Snatch and thought it best to keep the strength load low on the volume. But, felt really good with this move as a complete motion using the 40kg. I should use this weight for the singl;e bell and the 32 for the doubles. This is a supplementary/complimentary move to the TSC program. Plus, it is a full body complex movement that is just awesome.

24/20/20x1 (took 1:45)
24/5/5/5/5x3 (now the total time is 8:30) my mind starts to think. I know I can do 150 in 10 minutes, I have never done so and I have a minute + to bust it. here I go

I did it right at 10 even and with nothing left in the tank. It felt good mentally to push and physically to challenge the body in a state of fatigue to sprint hard. Technique was rough the last 3 reps but I made it.

NOTE: Heart rate 20 seconds after the fact was equal to 216 beats per minute. At 1.5 minutes I was down to 120. Nice recovery and I have to admit 12 minutes after the fact I am writing this and I feel energized and my low back feels fatiqued but I am pleasantly surprised I am not wrecked or overally tight!

Great workout and I am feeling better, still not fully recovery from overall fatigue but I am feeling fighting strong!

If all goes well and I wake up feeling good i am going to do a swing/bodyweight pull-up tomorrow!

PS I am getting the crow to handstand down well, even did it off the kettlebells. My handstands are improving if not pretty

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Deadlifts and Pull-ups

Back on it today with Rif. Really struggled last week to do anything productive. Felt weak in my prior 2 big workouts eventhough I had some good numbers. So, today it was crucial I get back on the ball and get some good weight in my hands.


work sets
405 for 5 singles.

Still cannot find my form consistently which means I do not have the true feel. Now, I have felt it before but I do not have it 100% and therefore I am a little slow out the shoot because of my position which affects my technique. Conceptually speaking I totally understand but I have not been able to make the full transformation to the movement.

Deadlift to the knees with a pause

Forgot to ask the specifics of why we did this but I can tell it was good.


these were very good. Focused on pulling through the lats. Going to work more on full body tension to help increase hyper irridation (overall muscle tension and recruitment for more strength).

Some good eats, some quality rest and I will be ready for the next workout

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A new direction

I am officially off the job as the strength and conditioning coach for Frank Shamrocks teams. This has been a wonderful experience and has brought me so many great opportunities to work with some fantastic athletes. I am very grateful for this time I have had and will take many valuable lessons with me as I continue to progress forward with my career in the health and fitness industry. I am a better man, better person, and a better coach because of this experience. I wish all the gentleman associated with Shamrock Fight Teams all the best in their careers as MMA athlete/fighters. There are some talented men in the group who should do well in this career. I want to thank Frank for giving me the opportunity and I wish him the best. He is undoubtly one of the most gifted athletes I have every seen in any sport and of course one of the greatest Fighters to ever grace the Octagon. Watch him fight on June 22nd at HP Pavilion in San Jose. And, keep yours eyes out for the San Jose Razorclaws who fight May 19th in Chicago

Gratitude and Evolution

Forward moving I am in the process of placing my resume out to local Junior Colleges in hopes of landing a teaching position and maybe even a coaching position. With my background and Masters Degree this is an area in which I can use my skills and an area in which I really want to pursue. I feel teaching aspiring students will be excellent and a great compliment to my current profession.

Now, time to rest up, finish some moving details and get ready to train hard tomorrow!