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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Speed: press, pull-up, pistol

Ok, this day took a turn for the better. Introduced a westside approach to pull-up and pistol, complimenting the press. Purpose is simple, achieve a goal of max strength relative to all 3 moves. The clock was running all day, trying to be fast, technical and with little rest adds up. Great great great day!

Speed military press
28kg/3 x 8 L
28kg/3 x 8 R

Work done every 30 seconds with a pause taking out all the elastic energy and equivalent to doing 1 rep sets.

Speed Pull-up 
3 x 12

Dead hang every 30 seconds. Essentially 10 sec work, 20 rest. These got hard, especially keeping the speed and powerful pull. Again no elastic energy, essentially 36 single reps.

Speed Pistol 
Double 16kg/2 X 5 R
Double 16kg/2 X 5 L

Did these to a low box with a pause. Took 15 sec or about to complete and thus 15 sec rests. Speed was questionable but effort and work very high. First time doing this and it was tough but doable. It will get better next week. 


Part of the program requires doing one bell higher than press bell. Hold in rack after each rep. Took 40 seconds to complete, 30 sec rest


More support of weak muscles.

Tonight, foam roll, yoga and rotator cuff work.

Great training day, I was sweating, in fact dripping as Stones was hot at 70 degrees.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Snatch power style

Power snatch

First time ever doing this. A tremendous amount power, force production, and work! This baby hits the CNS but feels so damn good doing so!

Also, this moves hones in skill and technique. As Rif said you realize how important the back swing is and how much a difference a good back swing makes. This is in the rotation and I am very happy I learned this move. thanks Rif ;)

Stacked Swing
20/20 for 3/3
24/24 for 3/3
28/28 for 3/3
32/28 for 3/3
36/32 for 3/3 (equal to 150lbs in one hand)

A different leverage point indeed. This is a good variation on swings at this point in my training and will be in the cycle. This is a serious grip workout as you can tell in the video, set up is crucial.

Clubbell single arm cast

practice, using a band at the feet.
4 sets including a push-up.

Have to work on the position here.first time and just learning to link everything together. The hand position took pressure off the wrists and I felt stronger here. Next time less band more me :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Strength and PRs

Wednesday is Max Effort Day, Westside Barbell style adapted/applied to Kettlebells. The last number of weeks have been an interesting experience and one where I have learned a bunch and improved with a nice and steady progress, today was no different. With the aim of improving/training 3 main lifts; Military Press, Pistol, and Pullup these days demand a lot of work.

Up to this point my training has been focused on the Press but now I am applying the principles to the other 2 moves. One of the great things about the kettlebell, is that many of the moves compliment and have carryover pattern wise, thus supporting the main moves. Today is a great example as I implemented 2 new movements

Bottoms Up Press
28/1/1 I failed first round right side, made a couple adjustments and nailed it
32/1/1 Easier than the 28
36/1 (only Left) PR
32/1/1 x 2 PR (Right side)

36KG Left Side

32Kg, Right side

This was todays max effort and I blew away my previous PR 8 plus weeks ago. This was a really good day with this movement. My technique was much improved and the warm up sets honed my attention to detail.

Pull-up Weighted
32/1 x 3

The 28kg cleared the bar with a strong effort. The 32kg I need a stronger top position. But I am very happy to be pulling the 32kg again.

Single Leg Deadlift, double Bell
36/3/3 PR

I never do these and I have not been deadlifting since June of last year. Deadlift in general is a strong movement for me, so I was excited to add it back in, kettlebell style. Great stabilization and I felt solid. Tried the 40kg but hip flexor did not like the idea so i decided to leave it for another day

2 KB Power Swing
40/3/3 PR

I love this move. Today I took it up a notch and tried my first set of doubles. Ok, this moves is a must for any strength, power, speed athlete. Starting strength, explosive burst. This should be in a pro athletes regimen, a great first step explosive power move.

Finished with Rotator Cuff moves and foam roll/stretch

Overall enjoying applying Westside concept and principles to Kettlebells. This is enlightening me and of course the key is helping move closer to my goals. Today I backed off the accelerator and move methodically and with a strong focus. It felt good to be alone with the Iron, just the 2 of us and of course Jello, Mark and Tracy Reifkinds cat. I love group and community, it is awesome but today there was no distraction, my own time to myself, exploring myself on many levels. I knew what I had to do and best part is I did it and did it how I was supposed too.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Speed day

Dynamic days are awesome. Time is factor thus conditioning combined with power, speed and technique.

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

Pull-up with pause at top

These were by far my strongest pull-ups in a while. Very pleased. Dead hang start each rep with a 2 sec pause at top full lat contraction

Power Clean

These only got better. The video is my first set with the beast so my right was sloppy but I adjusted. First time doing power cleans and first with beast. An adaptation from Rifs power swing. Way harder doing power stuff.

Speed squat close stance
Double 24kg for triples, 10 sec work, 20 rest. Must pause in hole
5 rounds

I wanted to add in a speed day to help with my pistol. Ideally this should be done with a pistol, however I adapted today and choose the close stance squat. This puts my body in pistol position. I was pretty worked as I did this with a time interval. Essentially, 12-15 secs work with about 15-18 sec rest.

Ring dips

Part of the plan for developing the press is to incorporate specific work on key muscles invovled in the Press. In particular the focus is on the weaker muscles first. Now, since I have a goal related to the pull-up as well, I choose to do this first and do my tricep work after. I would assume my triceps are the weak link since I have done little to no specific work on them.

Lateral raise

Another accessory lift for the press. I placed the bells on my forearms which certainly makes this move more interesting and difficult.

This was a great day, I moved strong, fast and powerful today!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Snatch Saturday

This week called for a "down" week which means a lighter bell with greater volume. Thus the work load is high,,including higher reps/set and more speed/power. Also means the hands work hard, but no tears and that is the key.

28: 5,6,7/side x 5 waves

Total of 180 reps. For 11160 lbs of work. Not bad :)

Not much too say, just a solid days work with a solid bell weight. I like knowing I can hit 200 with this weight

Clubbells arm casts
45/10/10 x 2

These are certainly improving.

Push-ups off of parallel bars
8 x 3

Rotator Cuff work
-lateral raise
-rear delts
-external rotation aka open the door

We had the pleasure of Ken Black joining us today. For fun, Ken hit 25/25 with 28kg on his last set, GS style. The boys all came in with strong efforts today, good flow and energy!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Max effort

One thing about max effort is failure leads to success, or at least this is my mental approach. Why, because I analyze where I fail, what's the weak link in the chain relative to the move and address this in the next weeks moves.

Another, is max effort taxes the shit outta a person, especially when I have 3 different maxes to address. But I love every f-ing minute of this. Today I amped up things with a little OTM work aka on the minute.

Double KB military press (all trips)

OTM work which really increased the intensity. I liked the challenge but I should have rested more to increase quality and workload, but good to be strong under this timeframe. Been 2 months since last did this and added a set today. You will notice on the second video I struggled for that third rep, key was staying focused, engaged and finishing what I started.

Weighted pull-up

Got stronger from 4-7. This is a good day! I needed some weighted volume. Once I drop 10 lbs I will be much better off :)

Pistol, max effort
36/1/1F L/1 L

I love the fight. The focus and concentration. Today I focused on 2 things that seemed to slip my mind
1. Tighten the core, brace the abs pushing them out
2. Crush the bell, activating the Lats and Pecs as well as biceps

Can I just say that I felt so much more powerful such better balance. Also on the 36kg i missed my L, regathered and hit the second attempt.

Lifting is so much more than just lessons associated with movement, these are lessons of life. My training in and out of the gym or on the yoga mat, or riding my mountain bike, etc all are microcosms of The macrocosm aka big picture.

This pistol with the beast was by far the easiest ever and I hit the Left my traditionally less stable side and crushed it.

Side note: Time to hone in the diet, 80/20 does not work now, did for the first few months but need to tighten the boot straps

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

New Toys and more

With the opening of our studio only days away,mother new toys have been flooding in. Most are still in boxes but 3 are out for me to use, a new 32kg & 40kg Rogue KB and a concept 2 rower. The bells will have to wait but I decided to break in the new rower.

Last night
500 meter repeats with 2+ minutes work, 1 minute rest for 5 sets: splits as follows
2:14.2/145/26 (actually started interval late and it punished me :), adding 10 sec

Total of 2500 meters and 11 minutes work, 152 watt average and 26 s/m
Each repeat I improved my performance. Again it's been almost a year since I used the rower so this was plenty. Finished with rotator cuff work and a good stretch

20 minutes
Total meters = 4356
Ave. 500: 2:17.7
Ave watt: 134

Front lever: static hold with negatives for triples x 3
Hollow Body Rock: 10 x 3

Yoga: 30 minutes of Joga

Monday, April 08, 2013

Speed & more

Ok, getting strong as I mentioned is no joke. The commitment and workloads are BIG and require a serious focus and energy. There is little playing around and the idea of I think today I will do this. As the weeks grow, my strength and work capacity grow and thus workloads I can handle I am realizing that I need to mix things up.

I will discuss with Rif going to a 4 day program rather than 3. I need some more accessory and assistance work and I have a few different goal movements including the KB Military Press, Pistol and Pull-up. I feel 2 strength i.e. max effort days and 2 speed days will be key. This means I may have to arrive earlier on Satruday and do some work before the fellas. More to come

Todays work

Speed Military Press 
24kg + mini purple band
8 triples/side

I felt a bit slower today than I should be, you be the judge. Strength was not the issue but I did not get the rest I need.

Pullups Chest to Bar Dead Hang
8 x 5

Ok, this is better. My shoulder and forearms are health again and my work capacity increasing therefore I can handle the work. The higher reps with dead hang chest to bar made the later sets harder but I did the work and I am getting stronger. I am happy and feel good moving forward. The speed of the pull was really good and I hit my head more than a few times on the serves as a good mark

Clean Squats
48/3/3 x2 PR

Yes! A solid PR and a first. I have never done this combo let alone for reps. I was pretty pooped at this point as this was the last of my movements. Very pleased and this was awesome and tough!

JM Press

I like this but not sure if I am doing it correctly. I took this video for Rifs critique. Because of this I switched to close grip bench. It felt good and did target the triceps well. The ground is a little uneven so I was thrown off a bit but all in all no issues weight wise, etc.

Close Grip Bench Press
205/8 (index finger on knurling)
205/5x2 (narrow with pinky on knurling)

I cannot even remember the last time I did this move or even barbell bench press. So it felt good. Weight was not significant. I did 2 different hand positions. The video shows the wide version which was far easier rep wise. Narrowing grip with pinky on knurling made this more challenging and I adjusted the reps down. I really like the close grip BP.

All in all a great day. I have some more work to do later today including some rotators and stretching work, I will not bore with the details but do want to emphasis these are as important as anything in an effort to stay health.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Heavy Snatch

Week 3 of 3 bell wave. Big week, heaviest bell Of rotation.


Certainly noticed a L to R difference. Left feels strong and powerful, right is a bit less certain and is related to my grip strength. It's a big heavy bell with a massive force curve. I felt strong both sides just need more practice and work. Crawl before you walk and crawl it is.

I have a lot of work to do in the weight range between the 32, 36, & 40kg. It's a process and more important a practice. I am sure through time and continued intelligent application this will get easier. In large part my overall strength and competency will increase due to intelligent repetition

Clubbells Mills

Numbers are pretty close. Since this is new focused on the technique. Really enjoyed the work and as a Rif said, this truly puts a great demand on the body in all sorts or different vectors. Yet another great move.

Parallette Push-ups

Building strength in more of planche simulated position. Working on creating full body linkage which puts way more demand on the body.

Overall feel really good!

Thursday, April 04, 2013


To lift heavy, train hard and be healthy flexibility and mobility are crucial. To live long, minimize stress, increase respiratory function and diaphragmatic action breathe and deep breathing of such as in yoga are crucial.

So today and like every week and most days I do yoga. Tuesday and in particular Thursday I like to do longer sessions focusing on the breath coordinating with the movement and opening, lengthening, strengthening and deepening.

Nice 60 plus minutes today. Big focus on back bending, some hand and arm balancing, down dong, forward folds, chataranga and shoulder opening, plus Chest expansion. Feel gooooood!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Lets just put this out there, getting strong means one thing more work lies ahead. Things do not become easier, just the lighter weights. These days are wicked and really kick ass! I scream, grunt, moan, sweat, strain, push & dig; always find out something about myself and my training.

PR day everywhere

Floor press
48kg/3/3x3 (PR)

Left side was tough as evident in the first of the 2 vids. It did and did not get easier. This required some damn good effort. Could have done the 52kg at least for
Singles steps. It is coming!

Set 2

Kettlebell lunge, doubles
36kg/3/3 (PR)

First time and wow this kicks ass. Tough in part because first time but glad to add to cycle and support my pistol efforts. Next week single leg deadlift, then step ups. Time to change things a bit and build
Off the pistol base.

Double bent row

Great move and tough position but great movement.

Rif Power Swing (all PR)

These are AWESOME. I love the ability to set my position prior to each rep. Could feel the body load and explode. Put a big emphasis on keeping shins perpendicular and staying there throughout. This loads the hamstrings and gluteus making for a strong posterior chain and big explosion. Plus, allows me to train another position, very deadlift (more sumo)/power squat for my body. Since I am not currently utilitizing either move in my program, this will help build my strength, power, and speed within this particular position. I want to squat and deadliest once the gym opens, but I will talk with Rif first ;-)

Clubbell Gamma Cast
35/16 (8 each direction) x 2

Another PR and getting much better with this, although at this point I was pretty beat but I picked it, stayed focused and finished strong!

Hollow Body Rock

Ok, this position, yet again a common theme today is crucial. I am lordodic in my posture and including releasing my Psoas and rolling/stretching the erectors and QL. Strengthening my core through this position is key and will only help with levers, L-Sit, Toes2Bar, planche, pullups, dips, pushups and posture.


Monday, April 01, 2013

Speed press & other work

Work, this is a day of work. Constantly moving and pushing.

Speed Press with purple mini
24kg/3 R
24kg/3 L

8 sets R, then L all on the 30 sec mark with pause in pack and explode thru.

Weighted pull-up


JM press for triceps

This really crushed the long and medial head of tricep. First time and loved it. Need a break from ring dip and this has a more direct effect on tri

Double Clean


Double squat

Clubbell shield

Front lever off floor:
Triples x 3


Hollow body rock: 15x3

Accessory. 3 sets
Rotator cuff doors, scarecrow, lateral and rear delt, bicep.