Monday, December 31, 2007

Presses & Squats and some well wishes/reflection


Key Points

*Feel your feet push through the floor

*When at the sticking point sink that shoulder into your hip (pack it) through those lats and press through the weak spot.

*Use your core and glutes


Lessons learned squatting today

*tuck the elbows under this in turn gets the lats tight, gives a firmer and stronger hold of thee bar, & increases the arch. Thereby increasing the tightness of the body I felt it increase the ability to move the bar/weight

*Pull yourself back and down like a bow and arrow and then release yourself pushing straight up through the bar (as if the arrow has been shot from the bow). This helped me get deeper and made the move much easier due to the visualization.

*The set-up is a move within itself. Thus, set yourself and get tight while under the bar in the rack; 3 step walkout setting the feet; deep breathe making sure the knees are locked and go

*Find a solid groove

*Stay tight and hold that tightness throughout the lift

*Find a point for your eyes to focus, know the angle so you can transpose the lift to any gym or environment and not skip a beat.

*Squatting makes you feel really strong

2007 was a great year in so many ways and I am grateful that I took advantage of the year, the days, the everything to make it a year to use as a stepping stone to another wonderful year. Thank you!
I wish you all a happy, peaceful, memorable, experience and opportunity filled 2008. Make it your day everyday and make your dreams, wishes, thoughts, feelings, etc. come true. There is no better time than the present moment.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Pistol and Snatch

Heavy Pistols

Did not feel the strength today. Had a long drive from Shasta (5 hours). Plus, I just have not been eating like I want or should and I am feeling it sap my strength. The POWER of NUTRITION!


Somedays are more mental than others, today as previously alluded to was one of those...but I did it and I am sticking to the plan.

I look at it a couple of ways; one I preach this concept of consistency and dedication to my clients. For them it is not always about progressive numbers and bigger weights, etc. but just sticking to the plan and caring for their bodies and mind through the creation of health habits, which working out is a great habit. Two, this is for me and my health which is paramount. How can I be a healthy lifestyle coach/manager if I do not follow my own rules. I am not always perfect, in fact no one is but I do my best under any circumstances and I encourage others to do the same.

Thursday and more

Had a great few days in Snowy McCloud (Mt. Shasta area). Did yoga on Thursday and Friday; took extensive walks/hikes in the snow; went sledding (that was fun, fun time...glad I am in one piece); and did a great workout on Thursday here is how it went.

Bench Press

Kept the weight the same but increased the reps 1/set. Felt really strong and the tips/training from Rif helped.


a bit tougher than expected but I was able to push through. I think more sets of 2 would have been a better bet. However, I did increase over the prior weeks workout (before my max effort last week I did 28kg/2x6)

In addition I did some fun bodybuilding training
Low cable flys
Seated Row
Lateral Raise
DB Curls
Cable Curls
Rope Tricep
Rope crunches kneeling on the floor
Rope woodchops

and 15 minutes of Racquetball (this is a heck of a workout and a total blast.)

Great few days to let it all hangout.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jerks, Swings, Yoga and detoxing from Christmas

The Christmas feast is over and am I ever thankful. Had a wonderful holiday but as usual ate a lot of great food. Kept myself in check but did eat more than normal and way too many carbs. My body does not like starchy foods and sugars, SURPRISE. I am on a sugar and heavy starch break.


Swings (2 hands)

Have not had a swing workout in quite a LONG while. Nice to add them in.

Did not have the necessary equipment today since i am not with Rif or at the gym to do weighted pull-ups so I wll try to get them in tomorrow at the gym in McCloud, where I will be snowboarding over the next few days.

Finished off my workout with my new practice of Yoga. 25 minutes of hip based flow which really highlights my areas of my body that are 'tight'. Why do I say new, well I look at yoga just like my other training as a daily practice. These are things I just do no matter what. I am truly learning this concept of life and applying it daily. Practice, do a daily practice of healthy habits and you will be much more mental, physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthy. Sounds like a great way to be too me.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Heavy Press and Squats

Hooked up with a good friend of mine Mike Johnson..aka Woodie. He is an assistant coach/strength coach for Fort Hays University Softball team, a division II team in Kansas. We met up and worked out at a gym in his home town of Citrus Heights (part of the greater Sacramento area).

He wanted me to show him so kettlebell moves and fortunately the gym allowed us to bring in the Bulldog and a 24kg. Since it was my Press Day I showed him the clean and press as well as the bottom up press. However, the big thing I spoke with him about was how to utilize his whole body to increase tension thereby increasing his ability to apply force. Also, we discussed physics, alignment and using the most effective route to complete the move, he loved it. Best yet is he did multiple singles with the 40kg on his first attempt EVER with a KB. A naturally good athlete this was a selling point on the power of the bell.

Military Press

I do not mean to trivalize this experience but these were the easiest presses across the board and looked like a 24kg. I feel really GREAT about this. All the training and consistent approach is paying off.


First time without Rif's guidance but I feel really good with this weight. Also, I did not have my olympic shoes so I am not sure how much impact. This is some serious work. I am growing more and more to love the dedication it takes to be a great squatter.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 22, 2007

8 weeks

Oh how the body feels nice and sore from yet another great week of training. The next few weeks stand to be a little crazy with my travels but I can bring my bells with me and of course take my yoga anywhere. So with 8 weeks to go I have a nice 3/1/3/1 program for my press, pistol and pull-ups so I can ace my practical exam at the February RKC. I will be implementing the 40kg into my workouts for the next 7 weeks on the press and pistol. Mentally and physically I am ready. So, now it is training to continue my evolution and progressions.

Today I did my 5th yoga workout for the week. Today I emphasized Hatha Yoga. Included lots of work on the hips, twists, forward folds, and gentle holds. Nice to detox from this weeks hard training sessions.

One thing I truly notice is the difference between training and working out. Mentally it is much more challenging to train and physically my progressions are much greater. Working out is more fun due to its playful nature and the variety of things one can do. However, I find that training has been much more rewarding on a number of levels and in a number of ways.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and enjoy your family with peace and great memories

Friday, December 21, 2007

Heavy Snatch and Pistol

yesterday I did some structural support work on the arms and abs. Heavy Tricep (dicks?), heavy Bicep and heavy abs. Important assistance muscles for my training. Today I went with the new plan

Heavy Pistol

Not much else to say but these are getting easier and easier.

Heavy Snatch

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Heavy Pull-ups and Bench Press

So my week is out of whack and getting my priorities straight has left some room to move things around and here is how today went down as well as the new plan

Heavy Press

Heavy Pull-ups

Bench Press

Heavy Snatch

Heavy Pull-ups
bodyweight/ 5x2

Overload today. Missed 1 and 3 but got 2 with Rifs 'psych' spot. This is a 100+ percent lift day and necessary at the right time

Bench Press

This was first with Rif. So, today I learned positioning, form tips, techniques, etc.

Short post but off to work I go

25 minutes of hip focused Yoga

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Forrest Yoga

Continuing my daily practice of living life to the fullest through self care, self management strategies. So, today I did 45 minutes of Forrest Yoga. This is a very slow and gentle moving form of Yoga. It was my first time doing this style and I found it quite pleasant if not maybe a little slow for me, probably because it is a beginner level class. However, I really enjoyed the focus on the Ujayi (I will confirm that spelling) form of breathing.

Breathe is essential for survival and for relaxation/meditation. I find that with the hustle and bustle of each day I really crave peace and quiet for the health and wellness of my being. Yoga brings me much needed relaxation and flexibility necessary to sustain my health body and mind.

Yoga is for me an essential aspect of my daily living.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jerks and Squats

Working out the details via Prioritization. Taming the Beast in Feb is the goal so working the program to enusre that in 2 months I am 100% ready to perform on that given day.

So new program and Monday is meant to be Press but since I did them on Saturday filled in with the Jerks today.


Sure feel way easier. Felt really good linkage and tension as well as control. Very pleased.


Deep squats. Boy o' Boy squats are a heck of a lot of serious work on the body. They are much more demanding (for me) than the Deadlift and showing up week in and week out knowing the weight is going to increase and they are going to get much more challenge. However, I am up for it. This was a great workout and I feel better with the technique.

Great workout!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Presses, Pistols, and Pull-ups

Clubbell warm-up double 5lbs


Total of 84 and very pleased with the 9 & 9 at the end of the work sets

24/1/ I did partial lifts down, up, down, up down finish

32/1/1....partials again



Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bench Press

Ok, so after talking with Rif I want to play around with the idea of powerlifting for the purpose of competition. I am not saying yes or no today but I am at least going to add the Bench Press into my routine and see about this. THe big challenge as in anything is that in order to powerlift I have to sacrifice some other things.

Now, to not make it to complicated I have some business goals that require me to study and practice other 'things'. These things would conflict with my powerlifting. So, I am going to continue to train the squat, because I love the move and I want to learn and the deadlifts are going to be worked as well when appropriate with the squats and we will have to wait and see how far this goes. I do not mean to sound wishy washy but I have some things to consider and I do not want to take this lightly.

Bench Press

Good strong form and I look forward to seeing this work with some proper training from Rif.

Body Management/Self Care
Yoga, foam roll, specific stretching.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MAx VO2 Snatch and Heavy Pull-ups

This one was rough, totally flat today and more of a mental grind. I realized I just did not have my full capacity around set 12 of the 50

Max VO2 Snatch
16/7/7x35.....low back fatigued and tight have to stop

2.5 minute recovery and time to join back in with Rif, cannot let him suffer alone.


Completed 45 sets, not my best effort but a progression over last weeks numbers.


Much better here today than the Snatches.

Some days are better than others and you do the best you can. Show up, give 100%, play smart, endure the suffering because it is only temporary but the long terms effects are awesome.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snatch and Squat

Heavy Snatch day always a favorite especially when I am in the right groove, which I am!


Fast, EXPlosive, powerful, crisp and on point today. Felt a good groove across the board. I feel my form coming together well and the effortless effort shows the improvement. I love the feeling of being strong, powerful and explosive. Hit'em hard, hit'em fast and with grace and technique.


Started out really tight today both shoulders and legs plus I was sore from Saturday. So a bit slow to warm-up on this move but once I get in position and am warmed up this just feels great. I am finding it easier to find my groove than I thought and truly just think Squats are the real deal. I have a great deal of respect for those who step under, go ass to the grass with some big weight on their shoulders.

That is it for today. Have a long, long day tomorrow so not sure if I will get anything other than specific stretches.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pistols-Max Effort Day

My intention is to have this in my Friday workout which I have to get more established. I made a mistake last Friday with the plan change but I am settling into the new routine and my Friday will consist of Pistols, Presses (heavy), and Pull-ups (bodyweight).

In addition I am doing yoga 4 times a week and mixing in Clubbell workouts as well with a single 10lb clubbell. So, since I am a little out sync and I still not a 100% (yesterday just was not where I would want it to be but I did do my best and used my better judgement to do my pistol work today).

My plan was to do a Max Effort Day and here is the breakdown

48/1 Lt/rt fail........MAX effort set 1
48/1/1 Yes, I did a single effort both sides and I am pleased, very pleased.

Jerks (1 kb)
32/10/10x3 (total time of 8 minutes...not a focus just an observation). Heart Rate about 160

I like this move and wanted to do some work here today since I did not finish my workout on the presses yesterday. At this point it really does not fit the program design, however I believe that I can alternate week by week between the Press (heavy) and the Jerk.

Side Note
I remember reading or at least I believe I did that it is not possible to use the powerlifting concepts with the KB. I am not sure why these concept, priniciple based training systems cannot be used with the KB, such as Louie Simmons. I am not sure I am the best suited to answer this question at the deepest level. But, I would find it hard to argue that principles of training styles such as Louie's powerlifting cannot be used with the KB.

Friday, December 07, 2007

13 New Rules for Living

I came across these in doing my own personal research for my continued evolution. I have to say I relate to these rules and found them thought provoking and wanted to share, hope you enjoy.

Thirteen New Rules for Living

By Frederic M. Hudson, Ph.D. and Pamela McLean, Ph.D.

1. No one owes you anything - not the government, your employer, your family,
or your spouse. Although the world around you is less and less definite and
predictable, it is no less valuable and mysterious. To rejoice in living you must
invent your own future, entrepreneur your life, and expect surprises.

2. Global change is the major force in your life, and in the lives of everyone on
earth. We are all in training for a new era for all humanity. Don’t whine about
it. Take advantage of the expanding possibilities now available to you in our
world of constant flow.

3. You have no ultimate safety, security or guarantees, so don’t expect any.
What you have are endless opportunities to rearrange your priorities for
work, play, and life. Choose wisely, and expect more choices to follow.

4. Your life is an adventure, a journey through time. There are no lasting arrival
points and no lasting endings. Learn how to say “hello” and “goodbye” with
grace and style. Everything is flow—you just keep moving. Prepare now for
the long haul of ninety years or more. But live in the present, day by day.

5. Know how to recycle yourself. Live each chapter of your life fully, then invest
in a transition and begin the next chapter. Weave, unravel, and reweave your
life, over and over. No matter what your age or situation, design your future
as your manifest destiny.

6. You are your career, a portfolio of ever-changing talents, skills and
preferences. Design your own work, over and over again, connected to the
futures you prefer.

7. Refuse to be defined and consumed by your career work. It’s an important
part of the whole journey, but it’s not the journey itself. Your deepest agenda
is your soul’s work, your holistic callings to create success and caring in all
the parts of your life.

8. There are two prerequisites for taking this journey through life: Continuous
care for your body and your finances. You don’t have to be perfectly fit or
wealthy to have a great life, but you need a body that supports your dreams,
and funding to make your dreams happen. Master nutrition, exercise, and
financial planning.

9. The best way to guide your life through infinite change is to follow your own
values and vision. Like a rudder, your values will keep you on a course your
integrity prefers. Like a sail, your vision will pull you ahead into legitimate

10. Your best future happens when you have the courage to be: reach, learn,
risk, dare, leap. Embrace the unknown ahead. Live on the outer edge of your
possibilities, not on the inner edge of your security. Be active, not passive.

11. Here is how to conduct your journey: Have a long-term purpose with short-
term goals. Be definite and flexible. Trust the ocean but stay in charge of
your boat. Ride the waves.

12. Everyone on earth is linked to the same destiny. We share the same air,
water, food, and capacities for total destruction. We are in each other’s
hands, one for all and all for one.

13. Learn how to grow older and better. Achieve mastery as a human being—
model wholeness, wisdom, and caring. Be grateful. Leave a legacy that
makes a difference.
As you find better rules, and you will, replace these rules with them.

Presses and Pull-ups

Must be feeling the effects of the cold and just lots of hours working, etc. and a cummulative effect of many great workouts and weeks ramping up.

Felt really flat today and just had no pressing power.

48.............failed 4 attempts each side. Tried one and went immediately after another. Did this for an additional set but just flat. I did plenty of pressing Monday and Snatches Wednesday so just did not have it today. Nothing but a thing, I know I can, have and will do it when it matters and that is the most important thing too me ;-).


Time to rest and stretch (yoga) and let my body heal up. Tomorrows a new day and the training continues, in fact in now is the recovery phase, good nutrition, rehab/prehab, and rest.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

But I do not have time

How often as a personal trainer/coach have you heard this phrase? I can say for myself all too often and honestly I am guilty myself of this. Of course my clients offer up a number of reasons why they 'do not have time' and understandable so many of them have legit reasons. After all, the american way, the way the American live their lifes has changed considerable over the past number of years. We are no longer a one income family with a stay at home mother, a working father, the 2 kids, white picket fence and dog. This day, especially in the big cities and urban sprawls both parents work 40+ hours a week, with the nanny or daycare, a white picket fence replaced by a small yard or patio if we are lucky, plenty of stress, a pile of bills, take home meals, fast food or restaurants, late night email checks, etc.

So, safe to say we as a society have much more going on with our lives leaving us less free time and making it that much more important the we really time manage our schedule to fit "it all in". Sounds tough and for many it truly is.

As professionals it is important for us to keep in mind these facts and to educate our people that it is not about the number of hours they workout but the quality time they put in. This is one reason I love the KB's and the Yoga at home with ITunes plus the fact that taking a family walk is a great way to spend quality time with the family while getting in a nice movement session.

And as important or possibly of greater importance is to let our clients understand that reason or as I like to call an excuse due to in large part poor time management, poor nutrition and just overall poor health due to reasons such as stress and the inability to manage this stress are not excusable. That, in fact they must create, and make the time and we will help to design a program and make time to help them maximize their efficiency. Are we babysitters, no but we have a duty to due our best for them and in return we are rewarded and we better learn how to manage ours, theirs and others lives that we encounter.

See, as a teacher at the University this semester it dawned on me just how lazy people are and how they lack foresight and drive to prepare and plan. Thus, they are left to cram and write multiple papers, etc. at the last minute. In turn they miss class and use these prior factors as excuses. And as I sit there listening to excuse after excuse I realize that these our my future clients, future contributors to the world at large.

We are an excuse riddled, lazy, unprepared, lot of people or at least many of those I encounter and these are many of the reasons why we are suffering from so many diseases and potential epidemics and why we have to rely on pharmaceuticals and healthcare to help us maintain and survive.

I look back on my grandfathers and how hard they worked to care for their families and how well they cared for themselves physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and how they spent quality time with their children. These people lived through the great depression, world war 1 and 2, the korean war, the industrial revolution, the vietnam war, the equal rights era, FDR, etc. and they made it through and set up a great place to live and exist in the process.

I realize I must continue to make a impact day and day out and I am skilled and have all the capabilities to do so. I must lead by example with the spirit of these men and the others who set the table for us. I have to help change the attitude and perspectives of people and I know that all of you have the same kind of influence, you are leaders like myself. We are more than personal trainers, we are life coaches, counselors, nutritionist, athletes, we are someone people look up to, respect, hear (maybe not listen, lol), appreciate. We are the meeting people enjoy, the hour of life they look forward too. We are powerful and influencial. this is my realization and I take this seriously and I look forward to going out there everyday improving myself and bringing the best forward.

Thank you all for helping me and I hope I bring you something as well

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Max VO2 Snatch and Heavy Pull-ups

Max VO2 day, oh Joy how I love this...not but it sure does help having a workout partner and especially one who you know is going to show up, push hard and stick to the plan.

16/7/side/15sec x 45 sets

This is some real work and you know once you get moving not so bad. Felt a good strong heart beat, good lung action and was able to really focus on my form and make adjustments as necessary. Only a mild discomfort in the low back and this is getting much better with the consistent application of this protocol and my overall dedication to improving.


Sickness Remedy for my cold
Considering I am still not a 100% but definitely feeling better and just coming out this week and performing makes me feel really good. All I have done to improve is take lots of vitamin C and multis, ZMC (from Whole Foods), hot tea (green and white plus ginger tea) with honey and lemon, garlic, onions, rest and 2 hard workouts.

The power of a healthy mind, spirit and body!

The Food Pyramid?

Is this outdated? Is this the model we are to use and educate people on when discussing what comprises a healthy diet and lifestyle? According to many of the students in my classes at San Jose State University they believe that part of what comprises a 'healthy' lifestyle is using the concept of the food pyramid to determine a healthy diet.

Aspects of this guide I am a fan of. However, I differ in my personal believe on the consumption of grains and of non-fat or low fat milk/dairy products.

My basic philosophical tenets are this:
*Eat as natural of food products as possible, that means no added hormones, no pesticides, no added ingredients to perserve shelf life or enhance taste.

*There is really no such thing as a bad fruit or veggie. These things have been around longer than all of us and before the advent of the food industry and grocery store. We have been living off these substances for many, many generations and therefore hard to argue that any type fruits and veggies should not be a part of healthy diet. Now, that being said some fruits are better in moderation due to the calories and possible effects on blood sugar but in general an apple a day or a cup of berries is not going to do you any harm.

*Similarly the same concepts with meats. Moderating and varying types of meats i.e. from lean beef, to chicken, to turkey, to fish, to buffalo, to ostrich, etc is a safe and healthy approach. Lean and clean and do not be afraid to spend a little more for higher quality. I have found when I eat higher quality foods I eat less (just travel abroad to europe and you will see what I mean). If possible find a local farmer or place to purchase your meat from, not Safeway.

*By local, think global. Local farmers markets, etc are a great place to purchase foods with high quality content and none of the shelf life, good tasting additives.

*Consume dairy in its natural state. the fats contained in dairy (when consumed in moderation) are excellent and essential. Again, these foods have been around forever and the human body is in many ways set up and designed to handle/process them (in moderation).

Generally speaking, if you follow a diet and eat for the purpose of utilizing food for its main purposes such as providing energy, cellular function, recovery, etc. then you will naturally lean towards eating what your body needs and in the correct portions. However, if you have 'no control' or concept and like to eat mindlessly and for the pure pleasure and taste of food then maybe something like the food pyramid applies. Although, I bet in a day you will be all over the map anyways and rarely if ever even meet these 'government standards of a healthy lifestyle'.

For me the answers are pretty plain and simple and I believe I can see the forest through the trees and get around all the hype and propaganda that exists. Afterall of the 50,000 plus diet books out there they all have one thing in common

Eat Less and Burn more, calories that is and you will lose weight and more likely be lean.

What are you thoughts?

As always this is just an opinion piece and one I believe is educated but in constant evolution although the principles remain well grounded in their foundation

To a good, long, healthy and peaceful life and with great respect and gratitude,

Monday, December 03, 2007

Presses and Squats

Sick, yes I am feeling the effects of a cold. But I feel strong enough to workout and so it goes, giving it my best.


A total off 88 and a sizable increase over the last Press day. Having Rif (a strong partner) helped me to cue in on technique and his verbal feedback really helped me to press well

Squat (week 3)

This is a great step forward. Learning so much about the squat and my body in relationship to this move. I believe this is better for me than the Deadlift and I was able to get more than triple (Raw) with this move and I am excited to see what I can do with this lift and its effects on the Deadlift.

Great training day even with a cold.