Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strength Press & Other Goodies

Alright Day 2 max effort. Started day 2 week 1 today with bottoms up press. Truly a move I never do for no particular reason but I see its value after today.

This did go as expected. I felt that my left to right strength imbalance would show and it did. In particular its grip not pressing strength. I failed twice on right press with 28kg where I nailed it with Left. Therefore did my work sets with the 24kg. Cleans were not a problem for either side
Note each top position held for 2+ seconds



Accessory work. Felt good and strong! Nice pause in rack

2kb pistol
24/1/Fx2 right made it top position but need to hold
24/1/1 legit both sides. Very Happy with this!

but of course no Video because after the first 2 sets I did not think I had it in me and planned on working negative but everything came together. My plan is much bigger so no biggie, I will get it on video soon enough. Also, I have video of me just missing double 32kg, falling at the top much like this video on my right leg. Key is I know I can do this and need to revamp the training around this to ensure I hit it. Today I made progress!

2hand swing

Focused on pressing down aka rooting and drawing up inner seam with glute contraction. Really feels good!

Weighted pull-up

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Somewhere over the last 3 years there seems to be a shift in yoga. In particular the type of classes being offered. Today it seems that the few classes I have attended are more about yoga fitness than yoga practice. No meditation, nor pranayama, and short shavasana. Now my sample size is not large but my experience has been such in the classes I have attended.

Today was no different. Let me preface by saying I still enjoy the class and do the work and of course use my own practices when and where applicable. However, I know what I like, what I need and what I want and I am not finding it. But I believe there is a place and time within my area of residence that will meet what I want. Until then I will take what I get and make the most out of it.

Todays class was called Warm Yoga Flow. Not sure where the flow was but it was warm. I felt like I was in bikram as my mat and clothes were soaked. Big Hip focus which is always good.

Nice thing is I did not fight my ego, I was happy to be back in the yoga space and have this back into my practice.

75 strong minutes and sure felt yesterdays training!

Some specific work to do later today but a great second day of the week! Tomorrow back at it, Kettlebell Workout 2! Some max effort!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Press. Speed day

New program Day 1

KB military press
R: 28/3x10
L: 28/3x10

10 sec work, 20 rest. All right then all left side with 1 sec pause lockout. Vid is last 3 sets of L.

KB clean

2 second pause is rack each rep.


Dead hang tactical but on sets 2-5 pause at top position. Wow, did this blow me up. This is set 5 in vid

Dips rings

KB lateral raise doubles

Ring walkouts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crush it!

My favorite day, one because I have 3 amazing training partners who offer so much in so many ways, I get to listen to Rif, and last because its snatch day.

The snatch is such an elegant, athletic and animalistic movement. It is a skill and once the skill comes together the possibilities are endless. Today we had high rep sets with a bell that is say 50% of my max snatch weight at this stage in my current training, so I know its going to be fast and fluid and with the high reps get the heart pumping and lungs breathing.


This was a PR for sure with this bell in total volume, reps/set, etc. And it felt great! I certainly felt the heart and lungs working but I also felt everything flowing, it all coming together with a speed and grace. (Sorry forgot video, I was just so in the moment, haha). Really pleased with today! I finished strong knowing I had a bit more in the tank but stopped at the right moment/place.

Clubbell Shield Cast
45/10/10 PR

Another PR! Was stoked. Warming I was not sure I was even going to use the 45 but in my second set I just felt things come together. The 45 was easier on the first side, had a few ugly reps on the second side but pulled through. Very happy to handle this bell with volume.

Toes 2 Bar
5 reps x 4 sets

Strict, dead hang and straight legged. A first across the board. Very pleased with the evolution of this movement. Way stronger and more connected than ever. On last 2 sets held a hanging L-sit and even added a Hanging L pullup on the final set. :-)

Great day, sure can tell I am done with Board exams!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Power Yoga

Post stateboard, bliss. Power yoga is essentially a strong yoga workout. Today's class was no exception. Felt good to breathe, stretch and sweat it out.

5 Sun A, 5 Sun B, standing balance, wall sits, suptabadha, shoulder stand, plow, other plank, downward dog, dolphin sequences, lying twists and 3 part hip/hamstring stretch and of course Savanasa and meditation. Good class.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Oh I am feeling the anticipation, the stress and anxiety building. In 2 days or 48 hours I will be done with my Acupuncture License/Board Exam. The culmination of 3 hard/intense years coming down to the wire.

Feeling the need to release stress I stepped into a yoga class. My own practice just did not suffice and I needed a space to escape and unwind and yoga the practice and the studio space is perfect.

Plenty of deep breathing, deep stretching, some good sweat and a sweet shavasana. Just what the doctor ordered, oh wait that's me, haha.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Double strength day

Warming up today, feeling really good. So I decide that the 5x5 was going to be replaced with a ladder. Aggressive approach but since I will miss my second workout due to boards, I said f..k it. Note for inspiration I have photos of Vasiliev, Rudnev, and Rachinskiy all whom can jerks 32kgs for reps, plus Captian Kirk Karwoski which sums up everything when at stones! Surround yourself with the best!

2 KB military press ladder

And looking at the video you can tell it took everything I had. The prior set of 7 was hard but I picked it so I played it and finished strong! Closing in on double beasts!

2kb squats

Nothing special, just staying strong and working toward the double 32kg pistol.


Shoot I was pooped from the presses but this is the highest single rep set on the cycle. Therefore I am pleased. 20 will come soon enough and then workouts where 100 total is the goal.

You have to be patient and love the journey to accomplish in life. I do not have an end point or day in mind, just training and improving each day, each workout

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snatch Day

Ah, Saturday my favorite day in large part because of the fellas I train with and in small part but a fun one, the kettlebell snatch. It is such an athletic move, powerful, aggressive, rhythmic, explosive, coordinated, agile, timing, flow, raw strength, conditioning, etc.

With Rif out this week at StrongFirst Leadership meeting, it was Glen, Nick and I so we decided with Rif's approval to up the ante and hit the 28kg for a 100 reps. A first for me in large part because I have never owned a 28kg till the last month.

28kg/5/5 x 10

Felt good today, like the right weight and a real good progression. All of us looked more than capable of handling the volume and load with relative ease or at least a competent comfort level. This was fun.

Here is videos of all 3 of us from today, first up me, then Nick and finally Glen



IF you look at the video you will notice 3 different styles, all playing to our strengths.

Clubbell Shield Cast

Felt great with the 45lb bell today. Nick reminded me to let it flow and it got much easier. Really felt my posterior chain work, especially the rear deltoid.

Short day as I needed to come home and study. Repetition and review with Boards coming this Thursday!

Missed ya Rif, but we know you are reaching out and making a big impact far and wide, keep spreading the wisdom Brother, the fitness and strength world needs it, especially coming from You!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Mundane, The Routine and Consistency

When I look back over the past number of weeks I like what I see, a smart and steady progression. If I was to chart the numbers I think I would be very happy with the graphical analysis. However, to an untrained eye this stuff might look mundane and quiet boring. Funny thing is I would agree, but why?

Well, training is mundane, it is boring. Day in and day out, week by week, month by month building on the prior workouts. No competition, not every day is a PR (at least at this point for me I am not in achieving a bunch of PR's, but truly building back to where I was and beyond, then more PR's will come.), a lot of the same basic moves (which will expand here once boards are over), etc.

But the challenge is not coming in everyday and trying something new, something different, something you saw on YouTube or heard your friend did in his local gym, or on Facebook. The challenge is setting goals, putting together a program, sticking to it and making proper adjustments as needed, and just showing up and doing the work. This consistency and methodical approach is how champions are built. Gymnasts, Track Athletes, Football players, Basketball players all have routines and consistently practice said routines.

The coolest part about this routine and my consistent approach is that I will set PR's, and therefore establish new heights to excel towards. And, this will only deepen my understanding and ablility to coach and teach people how to achieve their goals. This is a great motivating factor considering my passion/profession.

I love to play, try new things, and have fun but as I continue to learn and grow I understand the need for more structure, a structure which builds the foundation to be able to play and do at a level I enjoy and do not get hurt. But let me be clear, its the mundane, the routine and the consistency that enable me to do what I do. This is by far not the glamorous or easy way, in fact I think it is the more difficult considering the general approach being marketed in todays world of Fitness. I am an old school guy, implementing old school wisdom that has worked and continues to do boring and how I love it.

The Peak of a Cycle

Today marked the peak of a long cycle. Started in the New Year, post graduation. Knew this would be a good time as I am shifting into another stage of Life. The last 3 years were intense. I finished a 4 year program in 3 years, while working and attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, which was much much more difficult than expected. So, it feels good to be training, not working out, but actually training with a plan and executing.

Double Kettlebell Band Press
16kg with Blue Bands:
3/3 x 5

Overall this was a good weight/band combo, hard enough but not overwhelming. Still working through this and figuring things out, but I certainly like the combination and feel it will pay off. Really teaches concepts of linkage, tension, position.

Weighted Pull-up
24kg/1 x 4

A good pull, felt strong and on any other day would increase volume. However, this is the end of the peak and establishes a solid foundation moving forward. Monday was a big volume day so this would have benefited from another rest day. Feels good to be getting stronger in this move, especially tactical style which is by far a more challenging pull-up.

Double Kettlebell Pistol
20kg/1/1 x 3

Yeesh, these are hard! holding the bells in a racked position really changes the dynamics and distribution of force in the move. Single bells are far easier, as you lever yourself, not with doubles. Again reinforces principles of being tight, holding and finding position, connection the body, etc. I am really happy with this number. My second set as shown on the video was the best.

1 Arm Swing

Not much too say, but the right hand grip strength struggled with the Beast

Gamma Cast Clubbell

Overall, I did not have much juice today. 7 more days of review and honing in before boards, so my brain and CNS is certainly suboptimal. I have good things in place to keep my strong and focused and one of those is assessment. Today I assessed that volume did not make sense. Put effort and intensity into a few good reps/sets and move on. I have to be honest with myself and be sure that I stay focused on the grand prize, Feb 21st stateboard exam. This is important and integral but for another week, secondary.

Its a philosophy, Its an Attitude

Monday, February 11, 2013

Strength Press, Squat & Pull-up

So, hit the top of the peak last week with the Double 40kg Press therefore taking it back down this week. Not an official deload week, since I will only get 2 workouts next week I plan to use that as my deload.

Single Bell KB Military Press

A PR in volume and Reps/set with this bell. Felt really good throughout and liked pushing the reps a bit, reminds me of bodybuilding.

Pullup (bodyweight tactical)

Great pyramid scheme for today. Felt strong throughout with a powerful pull. This is a recent total volume PR. I can tell I am stronger and more conditioned in this move. Feeling good getting back to real pull-ups. These are no joke.

28/3/3 x 6 sets

no biggie, just practice and strength building. Following the Press scheme. 

Clubbell Arm Casts

Just more good practice. Finding these moves are more and more natural. Really love having them in my routine and once boards are through will watch the DVD's and learn more

Overall this was a really good day. Strong day, with 2 PR's. I feel I have a smart approach and intelligent progression built in and am excited to get the double Beast Press....its coming!

Saturday, February 09, 2013


There is just something about the KB Snatch. I love the power, speed, athleticism and strength plus its great for conditioning. Whether it be the 16kg all the way to the 48kg beast, I always feel amazing post workout and looking forward to the next one. Today was unique, we had no Rif and its not the same.

24/7/7 x13

The bell was cold and that combined with the chalk and the hands heating up creates friction in the hand. So my hands were a bit unhappy today which always f's with my groove a bit. No tears or anything just a bit rough. Safe to say I have to build the base level callous back up, keep the hands healthy with regular filing and shaving excess skin.

Not exactly sure what next week holds, but with Rif off again we may go up to the 28kg and do some heavier work, which I will welcome and am excited about. If not on this day I am considering adding a heavy day post boards.

Clubbell Shield Cast
25/10/10 x1
35/10/10 x1
45/5/5 x2

I love the club bells. The are beastly, making you feel like an old warrior handling a heavy sword, aka Braveheart, haha. There is a noticeable difference between the 35 and 45 on this exercise but I am happy that I am getting more comfy with the move and the weight.

Plank Walkout on Rings
5 reps x 3 sets

Getting stronger. I can feel from the rib cage to the lower abdomen working extremely intense in this move. Much better this week staying linked, no stress on the low back, just pure core. Was able to work in static holds and maintain the tension and linkage. Very happy with this move. Eventually I want to get to full front lever static holds.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Speed Military Press

To say the affects of 6-7 hour study days are adding up is an understatement. Today marks 14 days till the Acupuncture Board Exam, and at least another 60-70 hours of studies. Therefore I am pacing myself in the gym and controlling my volume but keeping the intensity and effort high.

Military Press: Speed day with Bands
22kg KB with Red Band
5 sets of triples/side

Compared to last week this was going to be easier, lighter bell, smaller band. After discussing with Rif, it made more sense to use this day as pure speed and not a big load day, this is Monday. Felt really good, easy to maintain groove and still work. I could have added a couple more sets but not in best interests at this point.

Weighted Tactical Pullup 
20kg for 5 doubles

Felt powerful but still need work at the finish. Overall pleased with my progess. May stay here and either add a rep for each set or more sets. Key is I will add volume next week with this weight.

Double 16kg KB
5 singles/side

This is the biggest load I have had, single or double bell in a couple years. I certainly felt the hammies kick in. Overall doubles is my goal, in particular I missed double 32's a few years ago, falling out at the top of the finish so I am determined to get back. The position in general is much more difficult from a leverage standpoint versus a single bell. I love the focus and strength of this move. (Sorry for the bad video).

1 Arm Swing

Clubbell Shield Cast

All in all a good day. Consistency and progress is what I am looking for. I have no desire for elite, to compete, etc. This is my time for myself to get strong and learn as much as I can about the human body/mind.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Strength Day, double 40kg

Well I knew this one would be the toughest test yet, double 40kg work. Now, this is not a first but it is a first in a long time.

Double KB Military Press
40 for triples x 4 sets

As you can tell by the video, not easy but nothing I could not handle. I was very happy with triples. I figured either 5-6 sets of doubles or 3-4 sets of triples. I prefer the triples and having the Captain there provided much inspiration. He can move his fair share of iron, squatting 775 in his day so I figured a mere 88lbs on each side for press was the least I could do :-))

Double KB Squat
40kg/ triples x 3

This is for pure strength. I certainly do not need bigger legs, but stronger legs are a plus. In addition, this is the ultimate full body move, as it extends beyond the legs and involves much more of the core and back. This was easier than last week but I did separate it from the press and that helped.

Tactical Pullup
10 reps for 3 sets

This was the first multiple sets of 10 in a long time and with the deadhang which makes a big difference. I still weigh much more than I should and want too so these will only get easier :-))

Clubbell Arm Cast

Overall very satisfied with this day. Considering I am 17 days away from StateBoard exams I am happy to move my body and free my mind. I truly believe days like today are a microcosm of the big picture. Training and pushing hard, sticking to the basics and doing repetition work within the same patterns in a progressive manner builds strength and foundation. This enables one to move with confidence and peace of mind due to the fact that they have built the practice and continue to develop on a deep level the skill.

Its not about being good at a bunch of things or random, but about practicing 1 kick 10,000 times. I embrace the philosophy of the Dao and the great Bruce Lee. It has taken many years to learn this value and I understand it and know why its imperative for me and my life.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Saturday is all about the kettlebell snatch. Today is the middle bell of a 3 bell wave from 20-24 kg.
This bell, the 22kg is a truly beautiful bell. The reps are perfect for enabling me to play with tempo and find the correct groove all the while maintaining a position that enables me to move strong.

22kg/9/9 x 10 sets

As the sets went on I felt I could have done 100 in 5 minutes. The week by week wave and concurrent increase in work capacity and conditioning is building back a solid foundation and I am feeling it. So nice to have a consistent and simple approach to training, the results speak for the,selves and I am prepared for next weeks numbers/challenge.

Clubbells shield cast

Finding the flow, the rhythm. These things make me feel strong, such a cool tool!

Plank walkout with rings
2 sets of 4 reps

Keeping the glutes engaged and rotating the hands changed the complexion of these. Once boards are through I want to focus on core bodyweight movements. Today was more of a play session since Rif was using rings for push-ups I thought is would be a good opportunity to pick his brain and learn and that I did. My core will be a bit toast tomorrow :))

Walk the path!