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.