Sunday, June 30, 2013

Power Swings, the Kings evil twin

Oh yeah these babies kick butt, literally. My hamstrings were lit up the while time. With this variation I am able to keep my shins vertical (knee directly above the ankle) for each swing. This angle/position reminds of the intended box squat from Westside barbell, which is meant to recruit the hammies, glutes and low back. For me I felt zero low back and this makes me happy.

1 Arm Power Swing
52/3/3 PR

All I can say is Power personified. That initial starting strength is king here. Resetting prior to every swing again allows for proper position which is more difficult in ballistic 1 Arm swings as each rep can potentially change the arch and thus load dynamics.

Clubbells shield cast
25/30/30 PR for reps

Shoulder rehab drills

Brilliant day! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heavier day, but not max

My shoulder still is packing that max effort press so took a bit of a different approach today. It's clearly the best it had been but still not where I am happy.

Close grip bench
225/2 x 5

Superset with

Chest to bar deadhang pullup.
5 x 5

Felt really powerful on the pull-ups and fast today. Clearly touching the bottom of my pecs at around nipple level. 

Close grip felt better as I warmed up. But good to hit the triceps a bit more directly because in my eyes my triceps are my weak link.

Double 36kg squats
5 x 5

This was great. Deep and strong in the position. Core felt strong and spine fully aligned with strong mobility. Stoked

Max effort single set military press
24kg/25 L
24kg/25 R

Hard, plain and simple. 

Finished with yoga. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

800 meter repeats On 6/20/13

800 meter repeats. If you have ever done these you know they suck. They are grueling to say the least and just eat at the you. As if one lap around the track is not enough.

So I did 3 of these. I rested about 2 minutes between reps

here is the breakdown

1. 7:30 pace/.54 miles/4:02
2. 7:32 pace/.52 miles/3:56
3. 7:04 pace/.55 miles/3:52

finished with 4 x 100 at 20 sec work and 40 sec rest. Just had to flush the lactic acid and speed up recovery. 

These were very good. I am happy with the pace. The rest certainly helps with the speed as evident in my last run which was by far my best and furthest at .55 miles.

Followed up with long yoga stretch session. This was my 6th day in a row.

Track Session, 400's and Yoga

Day 2 of 400's. My client challenged me to do these every 2 minutes. I came close, averaging with rest about 2:05/400. This was a big nut but not an impossible one. I have only a few running days under my belt but I have good strength and conditioning combine with know how and this helps.

400 meters repeats
4 x 400 every 2:05
took an average of 1:54 to complete these. I had enough rest to save the lap and hit repeat and go. I am using the Map My Run app to help, free version.

I rested for 1:30 and did another

4x400 just as above.

My 7th lap was the slowest but I made up for it with a strong finish. I knew this was going to be the case coming into 7 but I did only lost 5 seconds and made up for it finishing 7 secs faster for a 2 sec differential in my favor, I will take it. Felt like I was going to puke coming down the back straight away but I survived :-)

My average would 7:45/mile. Not fast for me but considering I am pleased. I have found the joy again in running and it is making a huge difference. I do not mind the pain because the rewards are so sweet. Today I was sore in my glutes and hammies from yesterdays pistols but they did not deter me in any way.

Further, I would be stoked to run an 8 minute mile after 4 running days.

Follow up with Yoga and a good stretch :-)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Dynamic day

Feels so good being on a program. Mentally it is not as fun as play but truly far more rewarding.

Speed military press
28/3 x 10 R
28/3 x 10 L

30 sec to work and rest. Felt good today. Nice speed and good shove/line of path.

Pull-ups dead hang tactical
12kg/3 x 5
Bodyweight 3 x 6

Again 30 to work and rest and this was tough. Still working through right shoulder discomfort therefore affects strength some. Following the weighted with BW really helped the speed aspect. Good decision. 

Pistol speed work
28kg/2 x 5 R
28kg/2 x 5 L

Again on the 30, all Right then Left. This was done no box style. Felt strong and well worked. Got good depth and finished strong

52/2/2 PR

This is for 3 things and in no particular order.
1. Get stronger with the clean
2. Establish a stronger rack
3. Better my press

Right side struggled a bit with the 52kg just due to shoulder but strong otherwise

Started my morning with 45 minutes of yoga and finished my day with my wife and hydro therapy including steam, cold plunge and hot tub and more yoga.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Beyond The Beast....PR's

Today I took a big step forward in my training and strength. I put to use the 52kg kettlebell beyond the swing. It had been some time since I had done these specific movements so it was all the more satisfying that all the work leading up to this has proved to make me stronger.

Floor Press Single Side
40/3/3 x 2
52/1 left PR
52/failed Right

My right shoulder is still not 100% due to damn forcing of Muscle Up but it's close as I just missed lockout on Right Side. However a BIG PR on the left and a strong Beast press on both sides. I have more work to do but this is a great step.

KB Front Squat Single side rack
52/2/2 PR




Yet another PR and a strong effort. left was easier again shoulder makes it harder to stabilize on Right side, but cleared a tough double on both sides. Even better was the easy Beast Triple 

1 Arm Row
52/5/5 x 1

Renegade Row 52 & 48kg (All PRs)
R: 52/L 48 for double x 1
R: 52/L 48 for triple x 1
L: 52/R 48 for double x 1
L: 52/R 48 for triple x 1

Rotator Cuff Band work

Overall a BIG day. With the weight and fact I have not done these specific moves in awhile I kept overall volume and movements to a minimum. A Strong day and good to build off.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Speed run work and Yoga

Day 2 of the running program. Track speed endurance day. This is just good training. Get to work on speed, technique and recovery. 

3 to 1 ratio

20/40 work to rest

16 minutes of running including rest. Will build from here.

Followed up with 75 minutes of yoga. A large effort spent on opening hips, quads and hammies. Key pose was  hanamuasana or monkey pose 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Back on Track, Dynamic Day

Awww, now this is what to Doctor ordered. What a great day. Back at stones on a Monday and back to my regimen. Clarity, precision, intention equal results.

Speed MP Press
28/3 x 10 L
28/3 x 10 R

Yep, strong rack, followed by a pause and a fast shove. These felt great.
20 sec rest between sets

Pull-up with a pause
3 x 5

Dead hang tactical pull-up. Held top position with a big lat squeeze. Felt like I was squeezing oranges :)

Pistol box style
32kg/2 x 5 R
32kg/2 x 5 L

Pause on the box, 20 sec rest between sets. This was tough but good. Felt strong and first time doing with single
Bell in this format. 2 more weeks of this then back to double bell

32/5/5 x 3

Just practice for the press. Held each rack position focusing on LICS. Good practice

Clubbell cleans into single arm casts
2 15lb clubs 10/10 of each move for 3 sets

Simply put, a strong workout! Felt good, felt strong, excellent attention to detail, and at peace.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Breaking in the Shoes

Oh a beautiful Sunday in California. We are so fortunate in Northern California to have such gorgeous weather and the terrain to match. I used spend 6 days a week out in the trails, running and mountain biking. 5 years this was my training life. The best part was being in Mother Nature with my buddies. On top of that we had pretty darn awesome fitness levels and we won some races and became strong competitors in the 6-12 hour Adventure Racing Series. 

Those times are far removed but I never lost my love for being outdoors even if my love of trail running and mountain biking did subside. But, wanting more balance in life and in training my wife and I got some new trail shoes and today was a great day to break them in, together.

We went to Rancho San Antonio and did a short loop. Total of only 2.6 miles with a nice 1 mile consistent switch back climb. Having done this run numerous times it was slow tedious today but cannot expect much on the first run. I will be back at it Tuesday and either Thursday or Friday. Keeping them short and sweet, allowing the joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and lungs to adapt.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Swings and Eliminating the Ego

This was a tough week for me, personally. I was fighting my ego all week longand it was not just related to training but to life. And for me life and training are intertwined, a reflection of each other, a microcosm. 

First off, my goal with training is to find my version of balance. This includes strength, flexibility, mobility, conditioning, lean factor and overall long term health and well being. Therefore I need to have in place activities that support this. I know what they are even if I fight them. 

In order
1. Yoga and Meditation
2. Bodyweight basics
3. Kettlebell 
4. Hike, Run or Mountain bike....being outdoors

As for number 4, they can float all around but I need some consistency in this area. Number 1 encompasses number 2 and number 2 builds off of number 1...but yoga and meditation are clear number 1. And number 3 is just a great compliment to all the above. 

So today I got back on track with a strong kettlebell training session. Plus, I had a great group of men to train with and this helped.

Swing, 1 arm
48/5/5 x 3
32/5/5 x 1  purpose was overspeed work controlling the forces

Worked on keeping the shoulder packed and reducing the forces on the body with l.i.c.s approach.

2 hand swing
40/10 x 5

Put an emphasis on breathing, in through the nose on the down swing, out through the mouth on the up swing.

Clubbells Arm Cast

3 x 8

Working on creating tension from the beginning, corkscrewing the arm and locking the lats in for full engagement. 

Hollow Body Rock
10 x 4

Scapula retraction 
Single band 10 x 2
Double band 8 x 2

Eliminate the Unnecessary, simplicity is crucial. This day was exactly that and I loved it. Feel grounded, with a clear direction and ready for more :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

300 workout

Ok, this was brutal. John B came to the gym and joined in. I designed this one specifically for access to a pull-up bar. 10 moves,  30 a piece, some split 15/15, others 30 across the board.

Here it is in order

30 two had swing
15/15 clean
15/15 squat
15/15 press
15/15 thruster
15/15 1 arm swing
15/15 snatch
30 burpees
30 pull-ups
30 toes 2 bar

Must finish all one side before doing other and must finish each move before advancing.

Breakdown....all with a 20kg
 2 hand swing through press non stop @3:45
Thruster 10/5 each side
1 Arm Swing straight thru
Snatch 10/5 each side
Finished all KBs at 9:43
Burpees 30 straight BUT 14:16 at finish (slow)
Pull-ups 10 x 3
T2B, 10,8,6,6

Total time 18:50

Crushed by the burpees, only move I do not do and it shows. Otherwise it was tough but manageable, at the end I was toast, 9 mins to do the bodyweight stuff which was slower and took longer than the KBs. Might be different fresh but this is good for me.

Plus, I did an hour power vinyasa yoga in the morning with some challenging balance sequences. Really enjoyed the practice even though I seemed to struggle today but did have a sweet shavasana.

I have to listen to this fact of my life, yoga is the best thing I do for myself and it needs to be a central point of my regiment.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Listening skills are crucial

Well well well it was one of those days. Today I focused on what I needed to do and no extraneous crap. My shoulder was cranky for doing an advance muscle up I had no business doing. Rif did not scold me, but should have....instead my shoulder told me back off and Rif said the same thing. Truly who gives a damn about muscle ups. I have done multiple bar versions and even rings but I need to start from the right place and allow them to build per Rifs instruction.

Speed Press
28/3 x 9 L
28/3 X 9 R

Good strong pause, focused on L.I.C.S. and it simply works and makes me stronger. just keep on working here and getting faster, shoving the weight and building speed and strength

Pull-up (dead hang with static hold)
3 reps x 8 sets

This is really good for me, static holds help build my weak point, the lockout or top position.

Bar Dips

Did these on the top of the pull-up bar. I like the idea of bar muscle ups. I can get to the bottom of my ribs on pull-ups so I am in position. I need to work the transition and to the press out. This was good.

Hollow Body Rocks
15 x 5

Handstand Holds
5 sets

40 minutes of yoga. Lots of balance work today. I notice I have a much more challenging time stabilizing on my left leg.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The King reigns supreme

Oh yes, it's Saturday and its time to swing. Run the rack and attack with vigor and technique.

1 arm swing
52/5/5 PR

Really pleased. Kept the right shoulder in better position which was the key for today after last week. Really felt the abs and hamstrings load and could feel myself driving into the ground. 

2 hand ballistic swing
52/10 PR

Yeah lets just say this all adds up. What a fantastic training season. My swing feels tight and honed. The edges are Sharp and the body is responding. Really loaded the glutes.

This will be great for my deadlift. I should talk with Rif about specifically training the DL.

Clubbell shield cast
35/10/10 x 2

Great day and enough. Feel satisfied yet hungry for more!

Friday, June 07, 2013

Cleans, heavy front squat and more

Just some good practice for the day and build a bit of strength with a heavy lift.

Hang power clean

Really working on the third pull and timing of second pull leading into a clean transition of the third pull. Found some
Good reps today and some ok ones. Have lots of practice in this but pleased cause I can tell I made progress.

Front squat

This was good, just wanted to work up to a heavy single. Still uncomfortable with the rack but not bad for second FS workout. Kettlebells are so much easier load wise but way harder weight wise. Double 48kg was way harder strength wise but easier rack position.

Handstand Holds
Lots of practice. Worked on pressing through palm and fingers, driving into the ground, trying to find happy medium between hollow, neutral & extension, pointing toes and internal rotation of legs with tight glutes & ....haha. A lot to this but using the wall I was able to remove my feet hold for 5-10 sec, tap and repeat. 

100 meters x 10
20 sec work, 30 rest

The pic shows the first 8 intervals and the total time, etc. pleased with this as my cardio conditioning starts to build.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Bottoms up, jerks, and more

Still playing around in my head about my training plan. I think I am on to something but need to think about and test it. Still focused on press goal, pull-up and pistol but the other stuff needs some clarity

Bottoms up press

hard especially negative, right side a little bugged due to post delt but rolling between sets helped. The past 3 sets of 24/3/3 were powerful and fast. Stoked. 

Jerks doubles

Single set max effort. I never do these and they were awesome. Took 1:25 to complete.

Weighted pull-up

These honestly suck. Not stoked here but....


Handstand holds
3 sets

These are so much better. I still use the wall but have much better control and can remove my feet and hold a freestanding handstand for up to 10 secs, re tap and hold. These are all about practice, and I need to commit, enough said.

Concept 2 Row
250 meters x 4
Average first 3 of 23 strokes/minute. Time was 59, 55, 53. Fourth set I pulled fast at 37 strokes and a time of  47 sec.

Superset with Sara which gave me about 1:15 of rest

Jump Rope practice with speed rope
Worked technique using 1 hand, emphasis on tying rope revolution with jump in between row sets.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Snatch, box squat and box pistol

Week 3 of snatch and 2 of box squat. Making slow progress but steady which is my aim since there are many details to practice and perfect. As Rif said yesterday each of these details is a rep in and off itself so slow, smart and steady progress

Hang snatch

Have to work the position with this weight. The hand position is unquie Nd requires a different strength. Thus the pull is a bit more challenging and I can feel my rhythm off a bit a couple of the reps. The weight itself is not an issue but technically I should be better. Dropping back next week to 115 for rep practice and hone the technique.

Box squat

Rest no more than 30 sec. Worked on pulling faster into the whole/box & keeping the back tighter per Rifs coaching. Felt better and again just a familiarity issue. Weight is no problem and who gives a darn. Strengthen the position is key and be technically strong.

Box pistol
Double 12kgs/2x 5

20 seconds rest complete right then left.

Have to work on negative stability. Weight helps so I am going to up it back to 16s next week. Great drive off the box today, strong and explosive.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Speed press and more GPP

Keeping with the theme, week 2 back to the 28kg speed press and support work plus building and progressing movements

Speed MP
28/3 x 8 L
28/3 x 8 R

Felt good. A little sluggish due to a rough nights sleep cause the wife was coughing. But still explosive and strong pause.

Muscle Up Progression
lots of practice today, about 20 reps from warm-up to actual practice height. Did 8 reps at the video height not including 3 misses.

Need to focus on keeping the elbows in tight. I flared out a bit early making it a tougher transition out of the dip portion.

Tabata style circuit
5 rounds of each move, 20 sec work, 10 sec rest
Handstand Pushup
Pullup (kip)
Toes 2 Bar (kip)

held 8 reps of each with only challenge the last set but no issues finishing within time range. Did this with Sara which helped :-) Fun, challenging and darn good conditioning. 8 rounds of 10 would be a great goal.

500 meter Row for cool down

30 minutes yoga, 10 foam roller
Shoulder therapy for Rotator Cuff

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Swing is the King

Just like Headstand is the King of the yoga poses, the swing is the king and as Rif says centerof the  kettlebell universe. Saturday is traditionally Snatch day at the Rifstonian Institute of Higher Training but I had to adapt as I have a crack in one of my calluses. So, I followed Rifs plan and swings were the main entree

1 Arm Swing.
48/5/5 x 3

Always tough to work with a cracked callous. Makes me have to really focus as it changes my grip and thus a change in the linkage due to increased stress relative to the bells position in the hand, or in this case my four fingers. Aside from this, my hamstrings get cooked on the Swings especially heavy 1 Arms. I have to say I value this exercise the more I practice and train it.

Power Swing 2 hands

These are exactly as stated, power! I love the ability to lock in position, set up and explode, reset and repeat! I really can access my hips and explode from the ground up. I am excited to see how they work with the barbell snatch and clean.

Clubbells Arm Cast

First time in a couple weeks doing the clubbells and they never disappoint.

Overall great being with the men today. Everyone was in a good space and things heavy, fast, powerful and strong. Rif was feeling healthy and strong as was Glenn and Nick was snatching or throwing around the Bulldog. Great energy and symmetry followed by a great breakfast and post workout conversation amongst fellow athletes, friends and men! These days are a blessing!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Barbell Cleans practice and more

Part of my personal quest/commitment is to learn the barbell clean. So, today the journey begins and I need lots of practice.

Barbell Clean

Hang Clean

These each provide their challenge. First off, my third pull sucks and is something I am in need of work on. From the hang it is far easier for me to connect and get a cleaner version of the third pull. However, from the floor, my second pull is off and this makes my third pull bad. All in all the third pull is a glaring challenge and I will have to do some special drills I watched off Catalyst website, home of Greg Everrett. The chain s a whole is just not embedded in my muscle patterning but I do get it.

Front Squat
135/3 x 8

Did this tabata style, 20 sec work, 10 rest for 8 rounds. In actuality it was more 15/15 but still felt crisp, clean and strong in the hole, specifically keeping the low back curve with a strong root.

Box Jump 30 inch
3 x 5

Shoulder/rotator rehab.

Jump rope practice.

Key is practice! And lots of it!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Practice, conditioning and yoga..jump rope??

Took my first foray into the world of Jump rope. Never have I practiced or committed to it, surprising but true. This was good, I have work to do and lots of it but made progress. could feel the move and hold 10 plus jumps including a round of about 15-20. Practice is everything.

Concept 2 Rower
5, 1 minute intervals.

Ave: 1:50 over 500 meters
Ave 275 meters
Ave 25-27 S/M
Ave: 250 watts

Practice Kipping Toes 2 Bar
5 sets of 10 reps

Jump Rope
10 rounds

Yoga practice: work on mobility and flexibility of full body.

Nothing crazy or Wow factor but practice and good practice. Loosened up the body and feeling good heading into Friday and Saturday!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Max Press, Weighted Pull-ups & More

This is the Heavy or Max Upper Body day. Continuing off the introduction last week of the Barbell Military Press, this week I practiced more. I added some new moves to the accessory work as well. Building off of the goal of becoming proficient at the muscle up, I need to make sure I keep the skill practice and elements in the program.

Barbell Military Press
175/1 x4

Felt heavy at 175 initially but I just need to find my body position. Far from my max on this move, feels good to work the groove. I powered through the sticking point, taking the 'shove' concept on the speed day and driving the bar. I am certain the addition of the dips/muscles ups will have a good carryover.

Weighted Pull-up, Dead hang tactical

lacked a little power here today. Need to keep up the volume on these. First sets were good, last set a struggle.

Ring Dips

Went deep, shoulder below top of ring mimicing the transition of the Muscle Up and practicing the drive while keeping the elbows in tight and externally rotating as I pressed out fo the dip. These were excellent and the depth requires a serious strength and focus

Muscle Up Transition
varied the body position and height of the rings as the reps progressed. Practiced singles at each height, hitting 3 at the final position. Not so concerned with rep count more so with technique and quality practice. I believe it was 10 reps total, possibly 12.

Toes 2 Bar (max reps for 1 set), kipping

Ran short on time so finished here.

30 Minutes Yoga Practice

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Barbell Snatch, Box Squat and more

Well, here is day 2 and the potential layout. I will wait to confirm as I expect some good feedback from Rif :) This is a speed day and technique day for that matter. First, I have 2 new movements I have added, the barbell snatch and box squat. Second, I am continuing my pistol speed work as well and adding in swings.

Box Squat at parallel or slight below. 

Rested approximately 30 sec between sets. Did not have any issues with position, etc. just need to be sure I am on the correct path here. The video is a bit ackward angle but does catch depth and shin angle.

Hang Barbell Snatch 
Warm up progressions

Thank goodness for video, it provides feedback when no other means exists, I.e. a coach. I feel better, I get the ideas and concepts. I just need lots and lots of practice. I love the movement!

Pistol box squat
Double 12kg KBs
2 reps R leg. 20 sec between sets x 5
Repeat on L side

Rooting, this is the key. Staying strong in my root or foot is crucial. I make sure to squash the bug (old baseball term) and spread the floor. Learned this for Rif, at the RKC in 2005, watching Louie Simmons, now KStar. Point is they all say the same thing and the shit works. Lights up the hammies, glutes, lower leg and essentially the whole chain from foot to core.

Banded KB Swings medium band
24kg with Band: 10 reps wi 10 sec break x 5 sets

30 minutes of yoga
20 minutes of meditation

15 minutes of Prehab

Monday, May 27, 2013

Speed Press and GPP conditioning

Back on track. With Sara's competition complete time to get back on the program. It was nice having an  unscheduled rest period to past week, especially post peak. This next phase I will continue towards my press goal, pistol goal and pull-up but am adding in new elements. Today reflects some aspects of the new programming and the next number of weeks will certainly help clear the direction.

Speed Military Press
24/3 x 10 L
24/3 x 10 R

Did not have the 28kg at studio today but no problem cause speed is the name of the game and with the 24 it works just fine. Good strong pause, and really in the groove with the shove. Pleased with this
Time frame still the same, 30 seconds to work and rest, starting on the 12 & 6

Pull-up: chest to bar kip
10 x 4

Starting to incorporate/practice this. First and second set were the best, continious kip and about 15-17 sec sets. The last 2 sets were good, but lost rhythm on 7 and had to restart, never left bar just lost rhythm. I have a rather terrible kip, more like a frog. These are deceptive and I only allowed a 30 second rest between sets. Speed was the name of the game and conditioning/practice. I will add sets and may drop reps/set to allow volume to increase. I will play with rest but technique is crucial at this point and should take precedent.

Muscle up practice, rings
3 x 5

Well you got to start some place. From a lying back position, feet under shoulders for first 2 sets, then last 3 sets legs at 90 degree angle with upper body parallel to floor (more advanced). All in all good,more ally working transition as this is key. I can dip and pull-up with ease but transition is the tricky part as of now, this will change but I must practice.

Tabata superset of Handstand push up and toes 2 bar
8 reps of each for 4 rounds, 20 sec work, 10 sec rest, strict and no kipping. 

Tough but doable, need to add sets and get to 10 reps for 8 rounds of each. May have to kip the T2B as they otherwise are slower with such a long range of movement 

1000 meters in 4:10. Just building conditioning and starting slow.

Great overall day! Lots of good work and practice. I love the gymnastics and it works lats, tris, bis, shoulders, pecs and core, all of which will help with the press. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Max effort day

Well this is a hectic week. We are in Santa Rosa for the Crossfit NorCal Regionals for Sara who is competing with Crossfit Los Gatos. This put a wrinkle in my lifting plans but thank goodness for my dear friend Todd Gilchrist whom was kind enough to open his gym doors to myself and friend John B. 

Also introduced 3 new lifts to the max effort day. Since I have access to barbells one of my goals is to get back to the bar for some lifting and learn the clean and snatch.

Back Squat

Enough! Felt strong and solid and again first time since last June. Strong effort and the 335 was fast. Able to keep things together technically which is crucial.

Barbell Military Press

Again enough, this was a true max and got a little ugly but I stayed tight and pressed through. Solid lift and much different from the KB. A few weeks of this will be huge for my progress and learning curve.

BW/3 x 2
BW chest to bar tactical dead hang: 10

Power Clean
135/3 x 2

John mentioned my third pull was slow. I totally see this and have so much work to do. At this weight it's all about muscle cleans and this is not in my best interest. I will scale back and work the 3 part clean with emphasis on pull 2 and 3. 

Great day at Old School Strength and John PR'd his power clean at 235

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Deadlift and BB snatch

It's been since last June since I had access to bars for training. So, now with my own gym and bars to play with its time to bring them back into play.

Barbell Snatch: hang power snatch
Mostly technique work. This past weekend was taught some basic fundamentals of the snatch and today I practiced.

Worked up to 5 triples at 95lbs


First DL in 11 months. Stopped while ahead, but certainly had more in the body. No strain but certainly a bit of effort. Overall very pleased all things considered.

This was a good day, I did this workout Tuesday and took today off. Trained 4 days with some intensity and needed a recovery day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Speed Day

Well, since I missed my goal I suppose this is phase 2. In phase 1 I successfully accomplished getting back to the Beast Press and better than ever. I can comfortably hit singles on both sides. However, I failed to hit the 52kg or 115lb bell. So the program continues and the next wave builds. I am thinking of this more as a transition week. I need to get the red mini jump stretch band for Speed day so the order will be placed and this will be added into the next phase.

Speed Military Press
28/3 x 8 R
28/3 x 8 L

Today I focused on some lessons I learned from my failure. The first was to tighten up from start to finish including zipping up the midline, clinching the fist and glutes, crushing the bell and engaging the lats. Its intense creating this much tension but the bell flies up the path. Note, all reps done on the 12 and 6, aka 30 sec for work and rest

Pull-up, Tactical Dead Hang
3 x 12

Same timeframe, on the 12 and 6 so every 30 sec I have to move including the work and rest. Took a down week here since last week was peak week. I will add more volume moving forward.

32/3/3 x5

Again worked the rack, creating linkage throughout the body. This is the prep position for the press so best be strong here. Makes these much harder :-)

12 x 4

Just a good move to get stronger. worked some volume in terms of reps and less sets.

Handstand Pushups supersets with Toes 2 Bar Strict,
This was on the minute odds and evens
5,6,7,8,9,10 of each alternating every minute.

Love gymnastic moves and body mastery/control.

Overall keep moving, and the conditioning combined with technical aspects and speed make for a great dynamic conjugate upper body day.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Max press attempt 52kg

Fail. Simply put. However, it was not due to lack of prep, poor programming, lack of strength, focus, effort. It was just the fact that this day the bell won and I failed to press.

However, I know I can press the beast comfortably for singles. I have much more work but my strength is far improved. Now, I need to focus on technical aspects such as getting tight, core, Lats, and rooting to the floor and linking my body into a connected system. 

Training needs to focus on the little things, take it slow, focus and move with intention. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Max Effort day

Well today was all about prepping for Saturday and my attempt to press the 52kg bell. Best part is I get to do this in front of Rif, Glenn and Nick. So kept it all in perspective and trained but under control.

Military Press
36/1/1 x 4

Easy money. Nice work nothing strenuous and a good prelude to Saturdays true Max Effort attempt.

16kg/3 x 5

Again a nice strong, fast pull with a manageable weir but got some good quality work

Zercher Pistol Squat (too box)

All singles and my first time ever doing this move! Awesome move, need to try again to feel it out more and wanted to be conservative today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Speed Day: press, pistol, pull-up

So schedule shift today and therefore trained at the new gym. It's awesome but certainly weird since I am so used to Rifs garage. Business wise, makes sense to train at Rifs to not interrupt trainers but today I had you adjust. 

Speed Military Press
28/3 x 8 L
28/3 x 8 R

Dropped back since I plan to test my press Wednesday with 52kg KB. Now, lets hope my true peak is this week and not last :). For this reason dropped volume. Everything else the same, start on the 12 & 6.

Pistol box squat (double 16kg)
16/2 x 5 R
16/2 x 5 L

This was way different as I did it on carpet and it significantly changes my rooting and stability of my foot. A good challenge but not necessary. As Rif says do it as perfect as possible natural before
Adding in unnatural surfaces. Had to focus on zipping up from the core, crushing the bells, pushing abs out and tensing Lats.

Kipping Pull-up
10 x 5

There's a purpose for everything and today I added in a different pull-up. :) so
Much easier since I have been doing all my strict dead hang pull-ups


Pause at top and focused in being a linked interconnected system which makes everything better and more challenging.

Solid day today! Nothing more, nothing less than just a thorough day with a PR looming for Wednesday. Just focus on what I always do and lift, the rest will happen! That's what consistency and programming do!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Snatch Peak of the Wave

Well, it's been a good week strength wise and today it just felt right. The plan was to do work with the 36kg but sometimes you have to adjust the plan and today was that day. Keep in mind we have earned this right with all the prior weeks work. It was not a rush to judgment by any means but a progression available.

There was good juju today. Rif, Nick and I were all relaxed, performing strong, smiling and had some good laughs but focused on getting in quality work. Rif PR'd his 1 arm, swing with the Beast and easy at that, nick snatched the beast R side and a near L miss. It felt great and wish we did this 3 days a week, because JuJu like this, that community where everyone is working together brings out the best in all of us as evident with today's big numbers and BIG bells.

40/1/1 x 5
36/3/3 x 2

My hands are a bit beat up and this always f-cks things up but Rif did a great tape job and that helped and I had no hand issues. I will say I much prefer skin to bell versus tape to bell but so be it. Felt powerful and just the right numbers of reps with this weight.

2 hand Swing

These were awesome. I liked reducing the snatch volume and subbing in Swings. after all the swing is the king of all movements. Fast, powerful and very well connected. I focused on the following

1. Foot position
2. Driving feet into floor, pressing and spreading the ground.
3. Powering through the hips
4. Lars tight, shoulders linked
5. Driving the bell into the swing
6. Bending the bell by torquing on my pinky pad.

Clubbells arm cast
35/10/10 x 2
35/8/8/8/8 mixed in with shield cast for a combo finisher!

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

PR and Max Efforts = stepping stones

Yep, it is all a stepping stone to the next....Since January and post Medical school I have gotten back to training. For the first 2 months it was all about getting strength and conditioning. I need to get my body back to a state to handle loads I was capable of and prepare for bigger things.

In late February my coach, friend and training partner Mark Reifkind unveiled a secret plan for building the Kettlebell Military Press. With my goal to get back to the beast and more it was perfect timing and so from that point forward I had a goal and a plan. In addition I had set other personal goals one of which is to pistol the double 32kg kettlebells which I missed at the top back in 2008. Another goal was to pull-up with as much weight as possible at some point, with th beast being first one in sight.

So today I took a GIANT step forward with the press. Feeling good but not great I did a thorough warm up and started pressing. I have to say I did the 40kg aka bulldog and it was easy and followed up with an easy 97lb or 44kg press and I knew I could do it.

Military Press single Kettlebell
48/1/1 x 2

Yes, 2 singles and I figured that was a wise place to rest this move for the day.

All I can say is a strong program design, an athlete who desires to accomplish said goal and is willing and able to do the work, consistency, determination, patience, strong communication with the coach and presto!

Double KB front squat
32/3 x2
40/3 x 1
48/1 x 1 plus a failed squat attempt ......PR

Wow! A few weeks back Ken Black gave me a second Beast and this spelled opportunity. Today   That opportunity came and I took it. This was an absolute first both with the clean (which I successfully did twice, first one was much better) and for my squats. Very happy with this as holding those bells in the rack is brutal which is why I failed on my first set and here on my second rep in the video. A true MAX effort and a success! 

36kg/1 chin to bar fail
40kg/1 short.

Decided to do an overload here and keep total reps/sets low. Certainly did not have my all considering the above. Plus, it has been 9 days since last pull-up workout. A good session here :)

So a big day! Very happy to see everything come together. Been a good 4 months training and only a step, a big one at that! :) thanks Rif! 

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Beyond the Bell

If one is to look at this blog, my 'training log' they may wonder if what I post is all I do. The answer is no. Why, because explaining in detail my other practices is sometimes difficult and other times not nearly as exciting as say pressing the beast kettlebell.

However, I have stated this before, my most important and enduring practice is not the kettlebell, pull-ups, barbells but the other stuff. In particular the yoga and meditation plus pranayama practices. These require the most attention and are the foundation of my practice. 

Over the past few months I have been digging and exploring this practice and do just that practicing and learning new things and differing points of view. Number one has been Budokon which is the simplest form is Hatha yoga, martial arts and meditation. In addition I have been exploring as of recent Capoiera, the Brazilian Martial Art. 

Both of these are self taught with the guidance of videos, YouTube and Internet resources. Time and lack of available teachers has me using that which I have the easiest access. 

The point I wish to share I beleive is clear, I do far more the KBs which I really enjoy and my training and more important my practice is daily, a moving meditation or movement and meditation and breath work. 

Thank you

Monday, May 06, 2013

Speed Day

A little short on time today so I chose to get 3 quality moves in. Only 35 notes with a warm up.

Speed Military Press
28/3 x 10 R
28/3 x 10 L

Per usual I start each set on the 12 & 6 giving me 10 sec work, 20 rest. I perform all moves on one side then after 10 sets switch to other arm.

Today they all felt easy. No struggle, pure fast and quality work. Best day so far.

Box Pistol Squat
Double 16kg/2 x 5 R
Double 16kg/2 x 5 L

This is also using the 12 & 6 on the clock but 15 sec work, 15 rest. Things came together here today. I felt I had a good connection head to toe and my easiest day with this movement under these conditions. This is paying off.

2 hand swing for speed
24/10 x 8

15 sec rest between sets. All about speed endurance here. First time doing this work sequence in forever and I liked it. Primarily because I could connect all the dots, move with perfection and with speed and snap. No video 

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Snatch Day

We all gathered at Stones today for the first time in weeks and it felt good to have the pack together. I cannot help but think of the new Hangover and all the personalities, we certainly have 4 characters :)

Saturdays mean one thing, Snatch at least for Nick and I. Rif and Glenn are making a change to heavy swings which compliments nick and I cause heavy is the thing. And heavy usually means 5 or less reps which equates to power, speed and StrongFirst :)

32/3/3 x 13
Last set 6/6

No problem. Bell moved fast, groove felt strong and relatively consistent. Hands had a rough time due to my failure to do an adequate job taking care of them this week. Lesson learned.

I love triples, I can really hit the gas and move a big weight fast and with form. No problem doing more sets to get the volume especially when my goal in with the snatch is pure strength, power and speed. I will use track work and mountain biking for my conditioning along with my Monday workouts.

Clubbell single arm cast

Right side is certainly weaker but this movement will lend to its development

Front Lever
3 reps x 3 sets with first static holds. Repeat of Monday but with added hold and spot from Rif.

Planche (band support)
3 rounds of static hold

Total workload today was less than other days. But this was good. I have been doing a lot of yoga combined with bodyweight strengthen yoga movements (hand balances) and other practices such as capoiera (self taught through DVD). So those extra days and movements are key pieces to my flexibility, mobility and general health and conditioning. Feels good!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Strength day

Reset button hit. Hit peak last week of a long cycle. So, today we hit the reset button. Felt good to put some emphasis on other moves. Here is how it went down.

Max reps military press
Double 24/20
Double 24/15

Sled pull forward and backward
100 lbs x 1
135 lbs x 1
155 lbs x 2

Belt at waist height. Walk forward 50 plus yards return walk backwards. Backward is where I really felt the work, especially hammies and post movement quads. These are simply put a solid movement.

Primal crawl
10 steps forward 10 back 4 times x 4 sets

First tried this back in early Jnuary whe Geoff Neupert visited Rif and Stones. After the snatch portion he invited me to do this move. I had wanted Rif to show me so this was a perfect opportunity. All I remember is how sore I was. Total distance probably equal to or less than that particular day but effective nonetheless. I like connecting the spinal alignment with movement. Feels like a very intelligent move and challenging at the same time.

Clubbell arm cast/shield cast combo
25/10/10/10/10 x 1
35/8/8/8/8 x 2

Ok, this was awesome. Second set of 35lbs I could feel the forearm/wrist fatigue. This was a great combo and nice challenge.

All in all a solid day. Nothing earth shattering or awe inspiring but these are the days where you get stronger while recharging the batteries and resetting the switch. A good transition to the next ramp up portion of the cycle. Good training has a natural wave like progression which when drawing Aline through the wave structure you will see a nice solid progression up to new peaks.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Speed Day

Wow, this was a good one. Some strong numbers, strong efforts and speedy movements. Things clicked today on a lot of levels. Programs like these offer moments like today and everything comes full circle. Numbers wise to those who
Do not know they are not impressive, but understanding what I do of the dynamic/speed day from westside, today was a good one

Speed Military Press
28/3 x 10 R
28/3 x 10 L

Really got the speed down. Set 10 felt as good if not better than set 1. Every 30 sec do reps.

Tactical Pull-up, speed style
3 reps every 30 sec x 15 sets

This was tough but set 15 was a strong finish , with 13/14 being the hardest.

Box pistol squat
Double 16kg/2x5 R and L

30 sec rest between sets. Last week these sucked, today they were great. Lost focus/tension a couple times but no
Issues today. Hard hard work but doable And a big improvement

Double Clean

No biggie, just part of the program. The 30 sec intervals with pause make these tougher.

Front lever

Well, ok! This was of the charts huge for me. I was fooling around last week in warm ups and something clicked. So today I decided to put it all together. It was the swing/snatch/clean hike, the straight arm pulldpwn, the planche, the pull-up all in one! Super happy to be close to doing these.

That's enough for the day, as always warmup, gymnastic/yoga mobility and flexibility, and foam roll.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

5 minute Snatch Test, revisited

Ok, I have done this a Number of times, each different.

1. First RKC certification, April 2005. 28/28 with 24kg and one hand switch only (no specific time and could not park the bell until fully completed all 56 reps). Brutal!!!

2. Re-test in April 2006

3. Tested the 5 minute all out as many reps as possible, hit 110, a first and only time I had attempted this and it was extremely tough. All by myself at Cisco Systems.

4. Re-test in 2009 at Camp Pendelton which there is video of myself and Max Shank doing the test filmed by Jordan Vezina. Best part is TAPS played in the middle with the Marine Core Gents standing to salute while we snatched. 77 total reps, as many switches as needed and bell could be parked at will, easy 2:50 to finish, non-stop.

5. Forget the day/time but 100 in 5 minute once new standard was established which was after Camp Pendleton.

6. Today: 100 in 4:35. First 50 done in 2 minutes never parking bell, 10/10/10/10/5/5. Struggled through next 50. Hands got sweaty, had no chalk and forearms were pumped. Made some adjustments and finished. Certainly as tough as I recall. Having not done any high intensity time based snatch training this was good but I am not this type of athlete.

Part 1
Part 2

I much prefer t snatch the beast and work on power, speed, strength elements. Although, I will say it is good to challenge oneself with this crazy stuff. Form suffered under the duress but I finished strong and healthy. Thankful the the captain was there to support me today as the other guys, Rif and Nick were each out.

This was the beginning and end of today's workout. I am at the peak of the cycle and need to come down and re-ramp. Plus I have lots of lifting and building as I set the gym up. Rest is necessary as is smart training.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Max effort and failure

Yes, sometimes we fail! That's max effort, trying to do something you have never done before on a specific move. Today was a day filled with failure and success. It's good to be strong, better yet it's good to fail because success lies within failure. I cannot say it enough, the stronger I grow, the heavier the weights get. The heavier the weights get, the harder the work!

Days like this, when you start with failure can have a way of getting in between you and the workout as a whole. This was not the case, I made some adjustments as things went along and I will say I finished strong, including with a PR! Must stay focused, challenge is the name of the game on Max days.

Bottoms Up Press
32/1 on L, fail after
28/1 on R, fail after

This was during the "warm-up" or at least work up to max never happened. I could tell right away, in the early sets that I was lacking the strength here today so I changed it up.

Stack Press
20/22: 1/1
22/22: 1/1
24/22: 1/1
24/24: 1/1
28/22: 3 failed attempts each is the video

At this point I knew I was done and all though no new Max efforts I still fought hard, paid close attention to what I had in the gas tank and pushed to failure. Moves the above are as much about skill as anything. They are not basic moves, and practice surely helps. However, since they are not moves I do weekly but instead periodically some days I just don't have it as an example today


This was good today. A solid lift across the board! Content here!

Lunge (double bell)
40/2/2 x 3 PR

This was a PR in weight today. Certainly stronger than the prior time I did this.

Clubbells arm cast
35/10/10 x 2

Clubbells Shield Cast
35/10/10 x 2

Accessory Work
Rear Delts
30lb DB 8x3

Bicep curl
30lb DB 8x3

Tricep double black band
10 x 3

Straight arm band pull down

Rotator cuff band