Saturday, December 27, 2008

Week of the New Year Summary


Below is a summary of my Kettlebell and Oly training session for the week of the New Year with no commentary ..

Saturday December 27, 2008

Morning Oly Session
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Clean and Jerk (kg)
40 x 1 x 2
50 x 1 x 2
55 x 1 x 2
60 x 1 x 1
65 x 1 x 1
70 x 1 x 1
72 x 1 x 3

Clean Grip Deadlift (kg)

60 x 4 x 3
70 x 1 x 1
80 x 1 x 1
90 x 1 x 1

Total Volume: 3650 lbs

Tuesday December 30, 2008

Morning Oly Session
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Evening Oly Session:

Squat Snatch: (kg)
30 x 3 x 3
35 x 3 x 3
40 x 5 x 3

Front Squat (kg)
50 x 1 x 5
60 x 1 x 5
65 x 1 x 5
70 x 1 x 5

Total Volume: 5300 lbs

Thursday January 1, 2009


Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Kettlebell Session:

Double 24kg x 5 x 10 Swings

Press Complex: 6 sets
A1: Double 24kg x 1 x 2 MP
A2: Double 24kg x 1 x 2 C&P

Total Volume: 7800 lbs

Friday January 2, 2009

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Barbell Front Squat (lb)
135 x 1 x 4
145 x 1 x 4
155 x 1 x 4
165 x 6 x 2

Total Volume: 3700 lbs

Saturday January 3, 2009

Kettlebell Session:

24kg x 2 x 2/2 TGU

Swings: New set every 90 secs
32kg x 2 x 20
24kg x 3 x 20
16kg x 2 10/10
24kg x 2 x 20
32kg, 24kg x 1 x 10,10
Total: 200 swings

Total Volume: 11100 lbs

Sunday January 4, 2009

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Afternoon Oly Session:

Clean & Jerk (kg)
40 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 2
60 x 1 x 2
70 x 6 x 2

Push Presses (lbs)
45 x 1 x 5
90 x 1 x 5
110 x 1 x 5

Jerk Thrusts (lbs)
135 x 1 x 3
155 x 1 x 3
185 x 1 x 3

Reverse Lunges (lbs)
95 x 1 x 5/5
105 x 1 x 5/5
125 x 1 x 5/5

Total volume: 8470 lbs

Friday, December 26, 2008

Snatches and Front Squats

Tuesday December 23, 2008

Evening Oly Session
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Snatch (kg)
40 x 1 x 3 Squat Snatch
45 x 1 x 3 Squat Snatch
50 x 1 x 3 Squat Snatch
55 x 1 x 3 Power Snatch

40 kg Combo Chain
A1: Hang Squat Snatch
A2: Full Squat Snatch
Total: 8 sets

20kg 1 x 10 Steps of OH Walking Lunges
20kg 2 x 10 Steps of Walking Lunges

I was not very flexible and had a great deal of difficulty squat snatching with any speed .. I would catch the bar high and then ride it down very slowly; basically a power snatch followed by a OH squat. Coach Yasha had me work hang snatches for speed with a lighter weight .. a very small pull and then a quick drop under. Hmm .. I basically fell on my butt most of the time. I'll be looking forward to trying these again. A low volume day but I one that I could barely handle.

Weight: 181 lbs
Total Volume: 2660 lbs

Thursday December 25, 2008

Today I just worked my second day of the Russian Strength Program for Barbell Front Squats.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

24kg x 3 x 1/1 Kettlebell TGU

Barbell Front Squats (lb)
145 x 1 x 3
155 x 1 x 3
165 x 6 x 3

The 24kg TGUs feel heavy. Once again the front squats got easier as the sets progressed.

Weight: 181 1/2 lbs
Total Volume: 4180 lbs

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Behind the neck split jerks

Saturday December 20, 2008

About 8" of light powder was only a mild hurdle to navigate over as I made it to the club this morning for an Oly session.

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Clean and jerk (kg)
40 x 1 x 3
45 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 3
55 x 1 x 3
60 x 1 x 2
65 x 1 x 2
70 x 1 x 2
80 x 1 x 1
85 x 1 x 1 Clean only (PR) but no jerk

Hang Clean followed by full Clean Chains (kg)
60 x 5 x 1

Off the rack, back squat followed by a split jerk chains (kg)
50 x 2 x 3
55 x 1 x 3
60 x 1 x 3
65 x 2 x 3 (PR)

Tactical Grip Pullups:
BW x 5,4,3

After cleaning 85kg (for a 5kg PR) I diddled around far too long trying to get my left wrist comfortable prior to the failed jerk attempt. I know it won't bee too long before I clean, short pause and jerk that buffer up.

One of the coaches, Yasha Kahn (who at a body weight of 104kg out snatched all weight classes at the recent North American Open in Arizona with smooth as silk 150kg monster snatch), had me work on speed squat cleans. First after deadlifting the bar and getting into the hang position I was directed to extend upward minimally just drop under it as fast as possible and then immediately repeat the movement without a break from the floor. He kept challenging me to raise the bar as little as possible before dropping under it. I finally got the "hang" of it after the last set .. although very scary at first I found that keeping very relaxed was the key.

Performing a back squat and then a behind the neck split jerk felt very easy. For the first time I was able to handle the after jerk negative with relative ease by lowering the bar quickly and dipping my knees to a quarter squat to catch the bar. These last three Oly sessions have featured combo/chain lifts which I really enjoy just as I did with Kettlebells.

Weight: 180 1/2 lbs
Total Volume: 5800 lbs

Sunday December 21, 2008

Mother nature graced us with another foot of white cool powder. With my left shoulder a bit sore from yesterday, I just worked on front squats based on the this Russian Strength Program. The total volume was very light and just enough!

Evening:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Barbell Front Squats (lbs)
135 x 1 x 2
155 x 1 x 2
165 x 6 x 2 (80% of 1RM)

Its always interesting that my first set of any light front squats always feels heavy .. my last set of heavy's feel lighter.

Weight: 181 lbs
Total Volume: 2560 lbs

Friday, December 19, 2008

Squat snatch baby steps

Wednesday December 17, 2008

I felt great after the previous evening's Oly session. As a result I trained with my evening client.

Evening Kettlebell session:

24kg x 1 x 5/5 Front squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front squat
24kg x 10 x 20 Two-hand swings every 1:25
24kg x 2 x 1/1 TGU

Total volume: 11,800 lbs

Thursday December 18, 2008

The two days of training in a row seemed to agree with me.

Evening Oly session:

Squat Snatch with Overhead Squat Chains (kgs)
30 x 1 x 3
35 x 1 x 3
40 x 1 x 3
45 x 1 x 3
47 x 1 x 3
49 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 3
52 x 1 x 3 (PR)
40 x 2 x 3

From the ground Snatch Pulls (kgs)
60kg x 4 x 3

Partial One legged squats:
BW x 4 x 5/5

The extra over-head squat after a squat snatch adds up quickly. On a positive note the 40kg snatches felt much easier after the 52's. Also it was nice to be able to squat snatch 52. Although I've already power snatched 60, it will take several months to catch up with my squat snatch. The new shoes definitely made a difference but I was still very sore the next morning.

Total volume: 7230 lbs

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Reset and go

Tuesday December 17, 2008

After losing power for four days due to a nasty ice storm while recovering from a chest cold (which extended the recovery) I was able to train last night.

Evening Oly session:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Clean, Front Squat and Jerk Combo (kg)
40 x 2 x 3
45 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 3
55 x 1 x 3
60 x 1 x 3
65 x 1 x 3
70 x 1 x 2
60 x 1 x 3

Back squat with 40lb chains (lb)
95 x 4 x 5
115 x 2 x 5

Barbell walking lunges (lb)
65 x 3 x 10 steps

Tactical Pull-ups
BW x 4 x 3

The extra front squat inserted between the clean and jerk makes a big difference .. when I worked up to 70kg I was already cooked. A nice session to get back into things.

Total Volume: 8040 lbs

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dropping under the Snatch

Thursday December 4, 2008

Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

Woke up feeling the after effects of the late evening swing session. The left shoulder was a little tender but its been much worse. I was really looking on the evening Oly session to train cleans and jerks as I had a very frustrating snatch session on Tuesday and wanted to work on something that I was comfortable with. Well, Coach Fuller had other ideas. He was concerned that my squat snatch was too far behind my clean and jerks so he had me start squat snatch triples at a low weight and slowly work up .. only a kilo or two increase at a time. A combination of the swings last night and the previous snatch session (although quite flawed) led to surprisingly much better session:

Evening Oly session:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Squat Snatch (kg):
30 x 2 x 5
35 x 2 x 5
40 x 2 x 3
41 x 1 x 3
43 x 1 x 3
45 x 1 x 3
46 x 1 x 3
48 x 1 x 3
49 x 1 x 3

Out of the forty snatches I only missed three, a less than 10% failure rate compared to Tuesday where the failure rate was 66% .. a massive improvement.

Snatch pulls (kg):
50 x 1 x 3
55 x 1 x 3
60 x 3 x 3
70 x 2 x 3

Romanian Dead Lift (kg)
70 x 1 x 5
80 x 1 x 5
90 x 1 x 5
100 x 2 x 5

BW x 4 x 4 Tactical Pullups

This was a great session and some decent volume as well. I got some great coaching cues tonight that I was able to respond to. I was starting to pull with more force and with much less fear of dropping under the bar.

Total volume: 11400 lbs

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Snatch Balances ,OH Squats and the ETK Program Minimum

Here is a summary of consecutive day sessions:

Tuesday December 2, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

My Olympic lifting coach, Ben Fuller, is certainly tuned into my needs as he had me perform both OH squats and snatch balances (snatch drops) as my first set of lifts.

Morning:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1: BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Evening Oly Session:

40kg x 3 x 5 OH Squat
30kg x 3 x 3 Snatch Balance (50% failure)
40kg x 7 x 3 Squat Snatch (66% failure)

Front Squat (lbs):
135 x 1 x 3
145 x 1 x 3
155 x 1 x 3
165 x 1 x 3
175 x 1 x 3
185 x 1 x 3

I am really looking forward to receiving the Olympic lifting shoes I ordered on-line as the position of my OH squat is so uncomfortable and I have been told the high heel on the shoe makes a big difference. A snatch balance is were the barbell is held on the back with the wide snatch grip and the lifter quickly drops to a squat while extending the arms fully as if dropping into the squat after performing a snatch. I had incredible difficulty with these as well. Finally I forced myself to drop into a full squat with each snatch with only 40kg and struggled mightily. I can power snatch 60kg but I know I have to master the squat snatch to really progress. The flexibility and balance needed by Oly lifters is really extraordinary. Its a good thing that I don't give up easily as this is extremely humbling.

Total volume: 4700 lbs

Wednesday December 3, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

Although yesterdays volume was under 5000 lbs, I was very sore for most of the day. I had planned in the evening to join my client with a program minimum like session of swings and TGUs.

Evening:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1: BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

24kg x 1 x 8/8 Snatch warmup

24kg x 10 x 20 Swings @ top of every 1:30
2kkg x 5 x 10/10 One-hand swings @ top of every 1:30
Total: 300 swings

32kg x 2 x 1/1 TGU

BW x 3 x 3 Tactical Pullups

I made every rep of the 300 as explosive as possible with hard negative throw downs and glute-squeezing lockouts. Would have liked to have done some double TGUs, but my left wrist is c;lose but just not ready yet for that intensity.

Total volume: 16900 lbs

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Two new Oly assistance lifts and some heavy KB finishers

Sunday November 30, 2008

Weight: 179 lbs

Although I could have used more sleep, I was encouraged that my left wrist exhibited far less discomfort than the past three weeks. The training session today went very well. This is welcome news as my body is to starting to acclimate to four light to moderate training sessions per week.

It was supposed to have been a do-it-yourself session as the only coach had a private session. As a result, I was planning on implementing the suggestion of Ed Pierini regarding the use of the snatch balance (a.k.a. snatch drop) assistance lift to overcome the fear of dropping under the bar. However, Coach Matt had a cancellation and put us through a great session (I will give the snatch balance a go this evening in my basement dungeon). Also I started bringing my kettlebells to the Oly lifting club as the coaches there are starting to take a greater interest in their application as assistance lifts, particularly the Turkish Get Up (TGU).

Morning:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1: BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Squat C&J (kg):
40 x 1 x 3
50 x 1 x 2
55 x 1 x 2
60 x 4 x 2
65 x 1 x 2

Snatch grip behind the back push presses:
40kg x 3 x 5

Reverse lunges with barbell in front rack position (lbs):
65 x 1 x 5/5
85 x 1 x 5/5
95 x 1 x 5/5

BW x 4 x 4 Tactical Pullup
BW x 1 x 3 Tactical Pullup

Kettlebell Finishers:

48kg x 2 x 10 Two-hand swing
40kg x 1 x 1/1 C&J
32kg x 1 x 2/2 TGU
40kg x 1 x 1 TGU right only

Today's Oly session concentrated on working up to 80% of max clean and jerk and then doing five sets of doubles. I made good progress on my jerk as my left leg is getting more flexible in the split position. This was followed by two new assistance lifts. The first set of behind the back snatch grip (wide) push presses was very awkward especialluy the negative. Then I realized it was much easier to catch the bar on back with a cushioning knee dip. The next two sets felt very easy and I look forward to increasing the weight. The reverse lunges while holding the bar in the clean rack position presented no problem until the last set at 95lbs which took extra focus to keep my torso straight.

I ended the session with a sets of pullups and some heavy kettlebell work.

Total volume: 5198 lbs

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Oly session with Kettlebells TGUs thrown in

Saturday November 29, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

A good nights sleep is always welcome. Today's Oly session featured a new coach, Coach Matt, and it went very well. I had to give up using my home-brew reverse-hyper setup as holding onto the coffee table was causing too much left wrist discomfort.

Morning:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning

40kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
45kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
50kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
55kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
60kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
65kg x 1 x 1 Squat C&J
70kg x 1 x 1 Squat C&J
75kg x 1 x 1 Power C&J
80kg x 1 x 1 Power C&J (PR)

40kg x 1 x 2 Squat Snatch
45kg x 1 x 2 Squat Snatch
50kg x 1 x 2 Squat Snatch
55kg x 1 x 2 Power Snatch
60kg x 1 x 1 Power Snatch
62kg x 3 x 1 Snatch: no lifts

2 x 5/5 Pistols (One legged squats off 18" box)
1 x 5/5 Pistols (One legged squats off 12" box)
32kg x 1 x 2/2 Kettlebell TGU
32kg x 1 x 1/1 Kettlebell TGU

BW x 3 x 3 Tactical Pullups

Although the volume for today was relatively light, the intensity was very high for me and I was wiped out afterward. The 80kg C&J PR was a little sloppy but a great confidence builder .. two more kilos and I've got a BW C&J. Tomorrow I will work on OH and Front squats. I almost muscle snatched the 62 kg. I still have a great fear of dropping under anything above 50kg on my snatch .. the OH squats are just the thing to work through this. Its been a while since I did pistols. The 18" box was too easy .. the 12" extremely challenging. One of coaches noticed I have tendency to collapse my squatting leg inward. As a result I really focused on keeping it straight. The pullups were very strong. I enjoy doing them on a real free standing pull-up station instead of the door-based home goober I have to use.


Total Volume: 3540 lbs

Friday, November 28, 2008

Light Basement Oly Snatch Session

Friday November 28, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

A decent nights sleep and minimum soreness from yesterday's training session. This evening I rewatched the snatch chapter of the Explosive Lifting for Sports DVD and its starting to make more sense. I decided to try some very light Oly squat snatches in my basement now that I have a little more confidence in being able to recover with light weights .. not having bumper plates or a real Oly bar ( a minimum $500 for the Pendlay or Rip/Burgener bar) not being able to ditch the bar quickly is a recipe for trouble.

I also started GTG-ing sets of 3 rep tactical pullups with several hour rest between sets. This seems to be very easy on my elbows and allows me to build up slowly and safely. Before my overuse injury I had done 9 tacticals and 14 neutrals. Its amusing now to look back in March when I started training these. I switched from tactical to neutral as the formert really aggrevated some tennis elbow I had. The overuse injury I suffered in August was done with neutral grip and resulted in a nasty case of golfers elbow. Now I'm back to tacticals as these are much tolerable .. even a single with neutral grip is very painful.

Morning:
Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Tactical Pullups
BW x 4 x 3 at least 2hrs rest between sets

Evening Oly session:

Squat Snatch (lbs):

45 x 1 x 5
55 x 2 x 3
65 x 2 x 3
75 x 2 x 2
85 x 2 x 2

The key to this lift is to get under the bar as soons as possible. It only has to get a few inches over the chest to pop under .. easier said than done. As soon as it gets a little heavier I get hesitant and wind up power snatching and then dropping down. It would seem that some OH squat overloads might help my confidence. On the other hand lots of volume with ligher weights is the best way to work on technique.

Before I started I went over to my squat rack and got under the 195lb I had left on the bar from yesterday's front squat session. Damn, it felt real heavy and I began to doubt if I will ever jerk it. Very similiar to the first time I considered snatching the 32kg bell. I picked it up and changed my mind instantly .. just will take some time.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Front Squats & Swings

Thursday, November 27, 2008 (Thanksgiving)

Weight: 179 1/2 lbs

Its Turkey Day!! I will not be a glutton .. at least I will try my best. A morning training session is called for to make some room for some yummy vittles.

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Barbell Front Squat (lbs)
155 x 1 x 3
165 x 1 x 3
175 x 1 x 3
185 x 1 x 3
190 x 1 x 3
195 x 1 x 3 (PR)

Kettlebell swings

32kg x 5 x 20 Two-hand swings
24kg x 5 x 10/10 One-hand swings

I increased my 3RM front squat by 10lbs for a PR. Doing these first helped. For the swings I took two minutes between sets .. its been awhile and my stamina has dropped off.

Total Volume: 15500 lbs

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Basement Oly Assistance Lifts

Tuesday November 22, 2008

Weight: 178 3/4 lbs

Yesterday required a full days rest due to the back to back weekend days of Oly sessions. Tonight I trained Oly assistance lifts in my basement:

Clean Pulls (lbs)
135 x 2 x 2
155 x 2 x 2
165 x 2 x 2
175 x 2 x 2
185 x 2 x 2
195 x 2 x 1
205 x 2 x 1
215 x 2 x 1
225 x 2 x 1

Front Squats (lbs)
165 x 2 x 2
175 x 1 x 2
185 x 1 x 2
195 x 1 x 1
200 x 1 x 1 (PR)

32kg x 4 x 1/1 Kettlebell Turkish Get Up (TGU)

I was very cautious working up to my Front Squat PR as I don't have a power rack or bumper plates. The KB TGUs were challenging. Just a few months ago I could bang out doubles and triples after a MaxVO2 snatch session. Its just not possible to keep up with all my KB lifts as I have placed a higher priority on working the Oly lifts.

Total Volume: 7280 lbs

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back to back Oly Sessions

Saturday November 22, 2008

Weight: 181 lbs

40kg x 2 x 3 Squat Snatch
45kg x 2 x 3 Squat Snatch
50kg x 2 x 3 Power Snatch
50kg x 2 x 3 OH Squat
55kg x 2 x 2 Power Snatch
55kg x 2 x 2 OH Squat
60kg x 2 x 1 Power Snatch
60kg x 2 x 1 OH Squat (PR)
65kg x 2 x 1 Power Snatch Failure

24kg x 3 x 2/2 Kettlebell TGU
24kg MaxVO2 :15/:15 8 reps/set: 6 sets

Snatch Pulls
145 x 2 x 5
150 x 2 x 6
155 x 1 x 6
160 x 1 x 2
170 x 1 x 2
175 x 1 x 2
180 x 1 x 2
185 x 1 x 2

Front Squats (1lbs)
135 x 1 x 3
145 x 1 x 3
155 x 1 x 3
165 x 1 x 3
175 x 1 x 3
185 x 1 x 2
195 x 1 x 1 (PR)

As soon as I worked up to 50kg for my Oly snatches, I was not comfortable with squat snatching it so I power snatched and then when the bar was OH I did one or two OH squats. The singles with 60kg were very tough. The attempts of power snatching 65kg might has well have been 600kg because it wasn't even close. I will have to build up a solid squat snatch to 60kg and then attempt 65kg again when I'm stronger and have better technique. I can see that a 82kg BW snatch is probably at least a year away if not more .. so humbling yet so challenging!

The snatch pulls and front squats were done in my basement in the evening. When I purchased a second set of inexpensive Olympic bar and weights (to make sure I had enough weight for my Sep TSC hosting), the craigslist seller threw in his bench. I never planned on using it but it turns out that the bench rack was adjustable for with a highest height suitable for front squats. Not having a spotter or any cushioning on my concrete floor where my rack is located, I carefully worked up to a PR with minimum 2 minutes between sets to make sure I was completely recovered.

Total Volume: 12900 lbs

Sunday November 23, 2008

Weight: 179 lbs

The two pound drop in weight was due to all the dancing I did last night at pre-holiday party I was invited to.

I normally do not the 4 day Oly program which requires both Sat and Sun as my S.O. usually has plans for one of those days. However she caught a bad cold so went today as well knowing I would be pretty challenged considering the effects of yesterdays double session.

Oly session:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

40kg x 3 x 2 C&J
45kg x 3 x 2 C&J
50kg x 5 x 2 C&J
55kg x 2 x 2 C&J
60kg x 6 x 1 C&J
50kg x 4 x 1 C&J
50kg x 1 x 3 Rack Jerks
60kg x 1 x 1 Rack Jerks

45kg x 3 Barbell Lunge Walks

Everything felt heavy today! Both coaches gave me many cues to help my rectify the many problems with my split jerk. Although the volume was one-third of yesterdays, I was completely exhausted. I had very little left for the rack split jerks with particular difficulty with the negative .. that is, dropping the bar back into the rack for the next rep.

After the session, my coach explained that it does take about a year before everything clicks after which progress accelerates. This was exemplified today when one of the women lifters broke throw many snatch barriers and added a gigantic 10kg to her squat snatch. She has been at it for just over a year and her form looks excellent. Another lifter, a soccer player, who is the same height as me (5'9") weighs only 135 lbs and is power snatching 70kg (154 lbs), BW plus! Again he too has only been at it a year. Both these folks are very inspiring examples to say the least.


Total Volume: 4400 lbs

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kettlbells, Oly lifts and a deep freeze

Wednesday November 19, 2008

Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

This morning when I woke up at 6am it was 18 deg F. Last week at this time it was 40 deg F. I knew it was cold when I got up and my left heel was split .. ouch! The bag balm I normally use at night for my hands is now being shared with my feet. Although yesterdays session represented the greatest Oly training volume to date, I felt pretty good in the morning. As a resulted, I decided on a moderate KB session with one of my clients:

24kg Two-hand Swings
2 x (5, 10, 20, 25, 30) Alternating turns with my client
Total: 250 swings

24kg x 1 x 7r Seated MP

24kg x 2 5-rung Viking Push Press Ladder
32kg x 3 3-rung Push Press Ladder

I got a great sweat going from the swings. I really threw the bell down hard on the negative to really work the movement .. makes a huge difference. I was a little wary about my left wrist so skipped on the seated presses on left side.

Thursday November 20, 2008

Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

Another blistering cold and windy day. Usually by February my body slowly gets used to these temperature but such quick transitions are very tough. Fortunately, I feel pretty good considering this will be the third training day in a row (Oly, KB, Oly).

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 9 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Evening Oly Session:

40kg x 2 x 5 Squat C&J
50kg x 2 x 3 Squat C&J
60kg x 1 x 2 Squat C&J
70kg x 1 x 1 Squat C&J
80kg x 1 x 1 Squat Clean (failed on the jerk) (PR)
90kg x 1 x 5 Squat Clean failures
60kg x 3 x 2 Squat C&J

Front Squat (lbs)
135 x 1 x 3
155 x 2 x 3
165 x 1 x 3
175 x 1 x 3
185 x 1 x 3 (PR)

10lb x 2 Two-inch Wrist Curl
BW x 3 x 4 Tactical Pullups

Tonight I was prodded by Assistant Coach Jascha Kahn into the full-squat version of the clean. Fortunately this went very smoothly as I had been doing front squat assistance lifts for a few weeks in preparation. As a result we decided to see how far I could go with the new technique. After working up the 70kg and having it go smoothly, I decided to jump right to 80kg. Although I could not jerk the 80kg I did squat clean it pretty easily for a PR. After another jerk failure with it we decided to focus on the squat clean. Going right to 90kg I got a little freaked out about the jump in weight and subsequently resulted in four horrible misses. After a five minute break I was able to psych myself on a fifth attempt where I was able to get underneath it and raise about three-quarters of the way up when I got stuck. I felt darn good about coming very close knowing I will nail in a week or so.

Following this I dropped back down to 60kg to work on improving my jerk form with the C&J. After three more sets of doubles I stopped with enough in the tank left for front squats. I decided to use a wrist strap technique I found on-line to take pressure off my left wrist while it is still recovering .. the front squat strap usage is demonstrated in the photo below:




This went very well with PRs at 155, 165, 175 and 185 an increase of 40lbs from last Thursday. Next week I will shoot for a triple with 200 to help give me the confidence to squat clean it. In the meantime I need to work hard on my jerk technique .. I know I am strong enough to jerk 80kg but my technique is lacking.

Total volume: 6920 lbs

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Barbell Snatch Progress

Tuesday November 18, 2008

Weight: 181 lbs

I blew up to 183 1/2 on Sunday after late night dinners and drinks two nights in a row. Yesterday I went back to 100% PN compliance and almost got back to 180. I gave my sore left wrist another two days of rest and picked up some nylon velcro wrist supports for evening Oly session.

Evening Olympic Lifting Session:

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility)

30kg x 2 x 5 Squat Snatch
35kg x 2 x 5 Squat Snatch
40kg x 1 x 3 Squat Snatch
45kg x 1 x 3 Power Snatch
50kg x 1 x 3 Power Snatch
55kg x 1 x 2 Power Snatch
60kg x 1 x 2 Power Snatch (PR)

40kg x 1 x 5 Snatch Pull
50kg x 1 x 5 Snatch Pull
55kg x 1 x 5 Snatch Pull
60kg x 1 x 5 Snatch Pull
65kg x 1 x 5 Snatch Pull

100kg x 1 x 5 Olympic Dead-lift
110kg x 1 x 5 Olympic Dead-lift
115kg x 1 x 5 Olympic Dead-lift
120kg x 1 x (3,2) Olympic Dead-lift with straps

BW x 2 x 3 Tactical Pullup
BW x 1 x 4 Tactical Pullup

The wrist supports proved very effective as I had no pain at all. Tonight was the first time I performed squat snatches using light weight. I had no problem with flexibility although I need to bring my feet in further and less pointed out to the sides. I had the same problem with my kettlebell front squats but eventually was able to correct as I am sure I will with the squat snatch as well.

After the work with the squat snatches, Coach Fuller let me work up to a max power snatch (the bar is caught in an above parallel squat position before recovering and standing up). My previous was PR was 45kg so I had a big jump to 60kg. However my form for double with the 60kg has a lot to be desired but nonetheless it was a legitimate lift. This is a great confidence builder for me .. the last session I was very frustrated as the weights were so light I couldn't get enough feedback to do perform my lifts correctly.

Last were the Olympic dead-lifts. These are performed using a hook grip (index and middle fingers wrap over the thumb) and with the knees extending fully first and then the hips .. this is how the 1st pull is performed with the Olympic Snatch and C&J. I also GTG-ed some tactical pullups through out the session. I have lost quite a bit strength with these but I know I will gradually get it back.

Total volume: 10400 lbs

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Weekly Summary

Below is a summary of the last week

Tuesday November 11, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

Back to over 95% compliant Precision Nutrition consumption. I've increased the caloric count but have not gained any weight.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Elbow complex: 1 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Early Evening:

Oly Session:

Barbell Snatch (kg)
30 x 4 x 5
35 x 4 x 5
40 x 2 x 3

Hang Snatch (kg)
40 x 2 x 3

Snatch Pulls
40 x 5 x 3

Coach Fuller kept it really light as my form has many issues .. here as some them:
  • Need more hip
  • Feet should not leave the ground
  • Arms should be ropes
  • More pushing the ground away instead of jumping
  • Hips lower off of the ground
  • Chest needs to out over the bar
Wednesday November 12, 2008
Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

Hmm .. right trap is very achy and I slept like crud. Last nights Oly session was more demanding than I thought. A full day of recovery is required.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 7 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Elbow complex: 1 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put


Thursday November 12, 2008
Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

I woke up feeling much better.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 7 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Elbow complex: 1 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Evening Oly Session:

Barbell Power Clean (kg)
30 x 4 x 5
35 x 4 x 5
40 x 2 x 3
45 x 2 x 3

Hang Clean Pulls (kg)
45 x 3 x 3

Front Squat (lbs)
95 x 1 x 3
115 x 1 x 3
135 x 3 x 3
145 x 1 x 3

Coach Fuller insisted on real light cleans. These felt too light and my form degenerated. It seems to me that there has to be enough weight to get a feel for the lift. I was extremely frustrated and almost considered packing it in. The front squats went reasonably well as my rack felt very comfortable.

Unfortunately my left wrist was very sore by the time I got home. I can see why this sport is not very popular. Even with very low volume, the barbell is very unkind to joints. In particular, I can now really appreciate the RKC hard-style emphasis of always maintaining a straight wrist .. its pretty hard to injure ones wrist if the joint is locked out straight.

Saturday November 15, 2008

Weight: 182 lbs

Yesterday I had to take a large dose of Ibuprofen for my left wrist. My S.O. and I went out to both a Chinese buffet for lunch and then for barbecued pork ribs for dinner. I pigged out and the morning weigh in reflected it. My wrist felt much better today so I decided to train and play it by ear.


Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 8 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Afternoon:

2 x 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
2 x 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

2 x 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
2 x 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

2 x 24kg x 1 x 3-rung ladder MP
2 x 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

2 x 24kg x 1 x 3-rung ladder C&P
2 x 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

40kg x 2 x 15 Swing
28kg x 2 x 10 Swing

Barbell Hang Clean Pulls (lbs)
105 x 1 x 5
115 x 1 x 5
135 x 1 x 5
155 x 1 x 5
185 x 2 x 3
205 x 2 x 2
225 x 2 x 2

Although I've lost a bit of strength and endurance, it was great to get back to Kettlebell lifting. I made sure not to overdo it and had plenty left for some barbell hang clean pulls. I am very pleased that a couple of 225 hang clean pulls didn't feel to tough. I can remember just a half a year ago when 225 was a PR in my dead-lift.

I had to ice my wrist immediately after the session as I could felt a little discomfort. I will have to monitor this tweak carefully to ensure I don't wind having to take another week of forced downtime.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Deads with Chains

Weight: 180 lbs

This is minimalist and as beautiful as it gets:


John Coltrane: Naima

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Deadlift (lbs)
240 x 1 x 3 Conventional plus 38lbs chain
215 x 1 x 5 Conventional plus 38lbs chain

The goal was 5 but I settled for 3 with the 240. The 215 was fairly easy. The good news is my right shoulder and peck are fine.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Meeting Denis Reno

Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

There have been a number of great music videos posted on some of the training blogs. Here is one of my favorites. Although this is a youtube "video", its a actually just a still frame with audio .. I hope you believe as I do nothing else is necessary.




Mikhail Voskresensky: Chopin Opus 20 C-sharp minor Posthumous

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Oly Lifts:
20kg x 1 x 3 Power C&J
30kg x 1 x 3 Power C&J
40kg x 2 x 3 Power C&J
45kg x 2 x 3 Power C&J
50kg x 1 x 2 Power C&J
55kg x 1 x 2 Power C&J
60kg x 1 x 2 Power C&J
65kg x 1 x 2 Power C&J
70kg x 1 x 2 Power C&J
72kg x 1 x 1 Power C&J

Back Squats:
40kg x 1 x 3
50kg x 1 x 3
70kg x 2 x 3
80kg x 2 x 3

Today at the Oly Lifting club, I had the greatest pleasure today of meeting and being coached by Denis Reno, the 1992 Team Leader for the US Olympic Weightlifting team. Denis will be traveling around the world following Oly competitions and will be returning to our club in mid December. I am certainly looking forward to some more coaching from this legend.

I had never done back squats before but having carefully read Mark Rippetoe's chapter on the back squat in "Starting Strength" and the coaching cues by Coach Fuller, I felt very comfortable with the 80kg.

With the demands of learning and participating in Oly lifting and training, I have had to back off the intense Kettlebell training I was doing in parallel. I will integrate it back in as soon as I can get a better feel for how my body responds to three weekly sessions of Oly lifting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Honing in on the Power Snatch

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Elbow complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning

Normally I would do two sets of 10 Ab Wheel rollouts but these seem to bother my shoulder. As a result I stuck to one set of 5. The Reverse Hypers were very tough today so I limited myself to a single set.

Evening:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Oly lifts (kg)

40 x 2 x 5 Power Snatch
45 x 2 x 3 Power Snatch
50 x 1 x 3 Power Snatch
45 x 10 x 3 Power Snatch
53 x 5 x 5 Snatch Pull
55 x 5 x 5 Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

I got to the club early to go through my Z-Health again. Given that I can double snatch the 24s for sets of 5, the 45 feels pretty light. To my surprise, my only set with the 50 didn't go well as I jumped way to wide to get underneath instead of jumping with more force. As a result, Coach Fuller had me drop back down to sets with the 45. By the end of my last power snatch, my form was getting consistent and the weight was moving with much greater ease.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Some down time and then back up again

This is a summary post for the past eleven days, most of which were forced downtime for the first ten days. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to resume my Oly lifts.

Sunday October 26, 2008


Very sore right peck and shoulder. Pain when reaching my right arm over to the left and overhead. This goes back all the way two and half weeks to Sunday October 19. I did way too much volume. I can remember how I felt discomfort on my right side during the last two sets of 32kg one hand swings .. 40 sets of 24kg MaxVO2 was more than enough .. I didn't need another 5 tons of heavy swings on top of it. The problem I have to deal with is when I'm feeling so jacked after a MaxVO2 that I need to learn to chill out instead of working myself into a few weeks of forced downtime.

Monday October 27, 2008

Still sore .. taking it very easy today.

Tuesday October 28, 2008

Testing the waters with some deads.

Deadlift (lbs)
230 x 1 x 5 Conventional plus 38lbs chain
210 x 1 x 5 Sumo plus 38lbs chain

The deads felt strong however I did feel some discomfort on my right peck. As the day wore on, the right side of my neck, right peck and right shoulder got very sore.

Wednesday October 29, 2008

My right shoulder and peck still very achy. I had a client tonight and only did some presses, push presses and jerks on my left side.

24kg x 1 5-rung MP ladder left side
32kg x 1 x 5 Push press left side
32kg x 1 x 5 Jerk left side

Thursday October 30, 2008

Again woke up sore. I will test my left later in the day.

32kg x 5 x 5 Push Press Left-only

I thought I would see how only lifting on my left effected my right side. I did feel a little discomfort so I will have to see how I feel in the morning.

Friday October 31, 2008
Saturday November 1, 2008
Sunday November 2, 2008
Monday November 3, 2008
Tuesday November 4, 2008

Still sore so lots of rest. I even skipped two days of Z-Health

Wednesday November 5

Congratulations to our newly elected President Barack Obama. A win-win situation as far as I was concerned as I really liked both candidates. Felt pretty good this morning. I will try a moderate session this evening.

Evening:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Double 24kg x 2 x 10 Swings
32kg x 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x 5/5 One-hand swings
24kg x 1 x 5,10,15,20,25 Two hand swings

24kg MaxVO2 @ :15/:15, 8reps/set: 4 sets

16kg x 1 5-rung seated press ladder both sides
24kg x 1 2-rung seated press ladder both sides
16kg x 1 5-rung seated press ladder both sides

This was my first session in awhile. I can't believe how smoked I was after a lousy 4 sets of MaxVO2. Not too concerned as I know I can recover my strength-endurance pretty quickly. I was with a client when I did the seated presses. His knee was bothering him from a tweak he obtained during some intramural hockey so this a great grind that doesn't require any knee flexion at all. I forgot how tough these were.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

3rd Oly session

Weight: 179 lbs

Woke up a little sore from the double 24s work yesterday but a good Z session took care of most of it.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Early Afternoon:

Oly Lifts (kgs)

20 x 1 x 5 C&J
40 x 3 x 3 C&J
50 x 1 x 3 C&J
60 x 3 x 2 C&J
60 x 2 x 3 Clean Pulls
70 x 3 x 2 Clean Pulls

Oly Assistance Exercises:
BW x 2 x 5/5 Chair Step ups
(BW + 20lbs) x 2 x 5/5 Chair Step ups

BW x 4 x 5 Glute-Ham Raises on the easy bench.

Coach Ben Fuller knows his stuff and is very keen on SLOWLY moving up the weight for me. Form rules the day in Oly lifts and mine is slowly improving. This type of coaching is extraordinary and I see the results in those he coaches. As a result, I do EVERYTHING I'm told no questions asked (except for issues of clarification). Although I bought a great DVD on Oly lifts, its just like Kettlebell training .. the vids get you started, but you have to seek out the professionals to really get trained correctly and to improve rapidly. Also now that I have a better idea of what is going on, I now know what to focus on when I re-watch the vids.

Today I watched Nate (5' 10 1/2", 190lbs of lean cut muscle) work up to and then clean and jerk 300lbs with perfect form. I learned that Nate has been working his arse off for over a year and a half and is making extraordinary progress .. nothing could be more inspiring!

So far the volume (approx 3800 lbs) is moderate and I am able to focus on form for each lift. I know it will creep up slowly and will rely heavily on the the great gains in work capacity I made with all the RKC Hard-style Kettlbell sessions under my belt.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Easy, Oly, Double Days

Wednesday October 22, 2008

Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

Ate my dinner after 9:30 as I was starved after the Olympic Lifting experience. I woke up with a slightly bruised collar bone. Nothing serious but annoying .. will take it easy today.

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Evening:

Double 24kg x 1 x 3-rung ladder MP
40kg x 2 x 1/1 LCCJ
40kg x 1 x 1r TGU
32kg x 1 x 5/5 Jerk


Thursday October 23, 2008

Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

I decided to conserve energy for tonight's 2nd Olympic Lifting session.

Late afternoon:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Olympic Lifts and Assistance Lifts:

20kg x 3 x 3 Power Snatch
35kg x 3 x 3 Power Snatch
40kg x 3 x 3 Power Snatch
45kg x 2 x 5 Snatch Pull
55kg x 3 x 5 Snatch Pull
95lb x 1 x 3 Front Squat
115lb x 4 x 3 Front Squat

There is a great deal of technique involved in the snatch. Learning to assume the power position (flexed ankles, knees and hips) and spring verically while keeping the arms straight is going to take many many repetitions. I have a tendency to lift with my arms so that by the time I am vertical and shrugging, my arms straighten but the bar doesn't move .. a waste of energy. I paid for it too as my right elbow got sore from bending it improperly.

The good news is that my rack position and front squat are getting solid. Coaches Ben Fuller and Jascha [I don't know his last name yet] have been extremely patient and supportive. Both of these guys are insanely strong, each being able to power snatch close to 300lbs. Ben folllowed that up by doing sets of snatch pulls with 418lbs.

Friday October 24, 2008

Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

I was starved last night after the Oly lift session and ate very late hence a little weight gain.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

I love the above morning sequence seems to be very effective for general flexibility, mobility and lower back health.

Deadlift (lbs):
220 x 1 x 5 Conventional plus 38lbs of chains
200 x 1 x 5 Sumo plus 38lbs of chains

Late Afternoon:

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 3 rung ladder MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

24kg x 1 x 3 3 rung ladder MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 3 rung ladder C&P
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Snatch

Lots of rest between each pair. This was very tough but necessary to continue my double presses.

Volume: 19758 lbs

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Experiencing Olympic Lifting

Weight: 180 lbs

A solid ten hours of sleep were necessary to recover from the heavy volume of Sunday.

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Deadlift (lbs)

210 x 1 x 5 Conventional + 38 lbs of chains
190 x 1 x 5 Sumo + 38 lbs of chains

I reversed my alternating grip between the two sets.

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 6 C&P

Afternoon:

Double 24kg x 1 x 6 MP (PR)
Double 24kg x 1 x 6 C&P
Double 24kg x 4 x 5 Bent over rows

Double 24kg Chain: 1 chain
A1: 1 x 1 C&P
A2: 1 x 1 Snatch
A3: 1 x 1 Front Squat

Double 24kg Complex: 1 complex
A1: 1 x 2 C&P
A2: 1 x 2 Snatch
A3: 1 x 2 Front Squat

Evening:

Olympic Lifts (Barbell):

Snatch
30kg x 2 x 5

Clean and Jerk
40kg x 3 x 3

In my pursuit of improving my deadlift I came across an on-line article, here, recommending Olympic pulls as key assistance lifts for this purpose. The author, Kenny Croxdale, a master category powerlifter competitor with a 600+ 1RM deadlift, goes further and recommends only training the actual deadlift as little only once a month or less as this lift is just too hard on the lower back. Summarizing he recommends a large dose of :
  • Olympic pulls for overall speed and power to blow through DL sticking points
  • Goodmornings for developing lower back strength without over training it.
So armed with this information, I went to the US Weighlifting organization's website and was pleased to discover a Olympic Weightlifting club only 40 minutes from my home. Tonight I showed up and Ben Fuller, the trainer I contacted, spent an hour with me going over the power snatch, power clean and power clean and jerk. Of course he had me use very low weight which in fact was plenty for me. Not surprisingly, the movements were similar enough to kettlebell lifts, that I was able to pick things up quickly. The best part was using a real platform with bumper plates and a true rotating Olympic bar. It was really cool to drop the barbell to the ground from the lockout after the jerk.

After my session, I stayed and watch five lifters including "Big Ben" alternate training on the two platforms. Ben, a burly 330 lb monster of a man, on his "light day" performed sets of single and double squat cleans with 370+ lbs. Another young man just under 170 lbs, was clean and jerking 260+ lbs. Then there was an ex college wrestler, who was the leanest 220 lbs I've ever seen, was power snatching 280+ lbs.

I was quite awed by all of this and will be going back three times a week to learn this style of lifting. Whether my deadlift improves or not, this appears to be a fantastic way to train and I look forward to this new adventure.

Last but not least the training facility was hardcore .. glute-ham raise and reverse hyper benches, multiple power racks with heavy chains and bands. Huge truck tires, weighted sleds, heavy bags and more. I was surprised that no kettlebells were to be found .. perhaps that will change.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Starting Week 6




Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

This is start of my sixth week of a twelve week training cycle. This is the first time I have set out and planned an extended cycle together with back-off weeks. Thus far I am:
  • enjoying my training sessions
  • making steady measurable progress.
Last night was one of those great nights that yielded PRs for:
  • Single MaxVO2 session
  • MaxVO2 volume
  • Single day training volume (29k+ lbs),
Considering the volume I am feeling decent this morning. Normally 320 24kg snatches would leave me with very sore AC shoulder joints .. this morning just a little stiffness .. Z should help take care of that.

Morning standard routine:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

That's it for today. The effects of Yesterday's heavy volume hit me around 4pm when I realized I was very tired and needed to rest for the remainder of the day.

It turns out that there is another TSC out there, namely the Tractor Supply Company. Its a nationwide franchise I discovered on one of the lifting forums. I picked up two 4'x6', 3/4" thick stall mats to replace the interlocking 3/4" rubber flooring I purchased from Sports Authority(it's already torn in several places). The stall mats, at least sixty pounds a piece, are indestructible in comparison and gave me much more solid footing.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kettlebell Ballistics

Sunday October 19, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs

Considering I went out everyday last week to a restaurant (Indian, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Steak and Ale) with my visiting co-workers and I haven't gained a lot more, I'm quite pleased.

Early evening:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

32kg x 1 x 5l/4r Snatch
24kg x 1 x 5/5 MP

24kg MaxVO2 Snatch Protocol @ :15/:15, 8 reps/set
Total sets: 22 (PR), 8, 10

40kg x 2 x 5/5 One-hand swings
48kg x 5 x 10 Two-hand swings
32kg x 3 x 10/10 One-hand swings

The cool weather that has rolled in here today plays well to my internal thermostat especially when doing a volume ballistics. As a result, I was not surprised to set both a PR in a single session (22 sets) and volume PR (320 reps) of MaxVO2.

The bulldog (40kg) one-hand swings are improving but still not at all easy. Man, I really love two-hand swings with the beast (48kg). When I focus on squeezing my glutes at the hip lock out, that big mutha continues to float up giving me a very short but still appreciable rest. I remember several months ago when 32kg one-hand swings were just too difficult .. its very nice to bang out sets of ten each arm.

Total volume: 29440 lbs

Saturday, October 18, 2008

An easy variety day

Weight: 179 3/4 lb

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 15 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

I upped the reverse hyper resistance from 10 to 15lbs today and there was no problem. Every two weeks I will add 5 lbs until around 50 lbs as I have read its not good to go heavy with this assistance exercise.

Afternoon:

225 x 1 x 1 Conv Deadlift + 20lb chain
210 x 1 x 1 Conv Deadlift + 38lb chain

Barbell Front Squat:
95 x 1 x 5
115 x 1 x 5
115 x 3 x 2

Barbell Goodmorning:
135 x 1 x 5
145 x 4 x 5

I went to Home Depot and picked up another 20 lbs of chain .. a prepacked towing chain that I had them cut in half. It was almost half the price of the 1st chains I purchased locally. On the way I stopped at my local Anytime Fitness and tested the chains and did a little barbell work. The front squat rack position although uncomfortable is slowly getting better. The squat itself seems to put more pressure on the lower back compared to KB front squats but this may be a form issue. Once these are more comfortable I will resume power clean training.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Double 24kg Power Chain

Thursday Oct 16, 2008

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 10 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Afternoon:

24kg x 1 x 6l/10r MP

Barbell Power Clean (lbs)
135 x 1 x 5
95 x 3 x 5

The rack position in the power clean requires a huge degree of flexibility in the elbow and wrists. Right now the position is extremely uncomfortable. It turns out the rack position is also used for the barbell front squat. Even with only 95 lbs, the barbell front squat was very difficult as I was always pulled forward. I confirmed from some reading that the position does take a concerted effort to master and that patience and vigilance area required. I will heed this advice and persevere.


Friday Oct 17, 2008

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 10 lbs) x 2 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

PttP Deadlift (lbs):
200 x 1 x 5 Conventional + 18.5 lbs chain
180 x 1 x 5 Sumo + 18.5 lbs chain

Began my new DL mini-cycle .. no problem but as Rifs says "Its always easy until it gets heavy"
Afternoon:

24kg x 1 x 7l/10r MP (PR)

Evening:

Double 24kg Power Chain: 30 chains on the minute
A1: 1 x 1 C&P
A2: 1 x 1 Snatch
A3: 1 x 1 Front Squat

I found the Double 24kg Power Chain on the DD forum and decided it was a great change up. I got my pressing in as well as my two deadlift assistance lifts. At first I thought this would be too easy and wondered why only three lifts. Hah! Each chain took around 25 seconds leaving 35 seconds of rest before resuming the next chain. By the time I got to around 15 chains I started to doubt if I would be able to finish but toughed it out to completion .. so simple and so effective .. I like!!

I went back to Pavel's original post and found out that I was doing them in a different order. I don't think it matters too much. Here is Pavel's original copied here:

March 6, 2006

A Minimalist Power Routine

This advanced routine will cover all the bases in 15-30 minutes.

Snatch a pair of heavy kettlebells. Lower them slowly to your chest and military press them back up. Lower them again, bring your feet closer if necessary, and do a front squat. That was a rep.

Do one every minute until you barely make it. When you put up 30 reps of the hybrid exercise in 30 minutes switch to doubles: two snatches followed immediately by two military presses and chased down with two front squats. Get up to thirty doubles and switch to another routine.

Practice the above hybrid exercise on Mondays and Thursdays. On Tuesdays and Fridays do high rep quick lifts for conditioning.

Russian kettlebell power to you!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Swing'n the Beast!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

All day meetings through at work until late in the evening has resulted in having to take a few days off. This is good, as I had a little lower back soreness on the left this morning from the heaviest day of Pttp deadlifts.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weight: did not check.

After our long meetings, I joined a number of participants for a large steak dinner. This is going to be a tough week as going out to dinner is a required socialization.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback


Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Weight: did not check.

More meetings but aroung 4pm my 48kg "beast" arrived. I immediately got into my training attire to give it a go. It was fantastic.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Late Afternoon:

48kg x 13 x 10 Two-hand swings
48kg x 2 x 1/1 Clean
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Snatch
(48kg + 40kg) x 2 x 60 yard Farmer's walk
24kg x 1 x 6l/10r MP
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swings

I got great height with swinging the beast. As I expected, the bulldog felt considerably lighter. I also tried a beast TGU but all I could do was lie down and press it up with both hands and lock it out with either hand. It stayed locked out for only about 10 seconds before having to ditch (I did these outside) .. I do not have near enough wrist and shoulder strength yet to go any further. I also tried to jerk it with my right arm but it stays embedded in my shoulder.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Completion of a solid week of training

Weight: 178 lbs

Having just reviewed the previous week, I went six days of training only missing Tues after setting a 1RM Deadlift PR. With only a little right elbow soreness to show for it, its amazing I fell as well as I do. And my lower back has never been better which I attribute to a combination of daily Z-Health and the band/tubing goodmornings.

I checked my volume for the six days and I always stayed below 20000 lbs for each. I had a low of 7000 to high of 19000 with an average of around 16000 for a total of around 96000. Its truly remarkable that fifteen months ago, two hundred swings with the 16kg was all I could handle. Tom Corrigan, RKC TL, or FiremanTom as he is known on the DD forum, had explained to me back then that it takes a good year to build up strength and robustness in the connective tissue to be able handle constant high volume and he was right.

Two weeks to at most three weeks of heavy training followed by a back-off week seems to be optimal.

Late Afternoon:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 1 set
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

Elbow complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Conventional Deadlift (lbs):
265 x 1 x 5 with 18.5 chain (PR)
245 x 1 x 5 with 18.5 chain

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Snatch

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 24kg x 2 x 5 Snatch

Double 24kg x 1 x 3 MP
Double 24kg x 3 x 5 Snatch

The 265 set of 5 with chains, a PR, completes my first linear PttP DL mini-cycle inside my 12 week major cycle. It took four weeks starting at 195 and went up 10 lbs each session for two sessions/week. First tried to Sumo the 245 and failed and went back to conventional with no problem. Next DL session I will start with 200 lbs. If all goes well, when this major cycle ends in December, I will have a 5RM of 275.

I had a volume PR with the 30 double snatches. These are fun and are getting easier.

The crude photo shopped image of me with the Groucho Marx mustache below is for Aaron. I had switched it temporarily as my avatar to join in the fun when commenting on his very humorous mustache rant blog vignette here. A long time ago I sported both a beard and mustache and frankly I looked ridiculous .. it was just the thing to try back then just like wearing bell-bottoms in the sixties (we geezers rocked back then!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Beautiful New England Fall






Weight: 177 3/4 lb

Another gorgeous day here in New England

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 2 sets
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 10 lbs) x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper on home-brew setup

Elbow complex: 3 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

Afternoon:

40kg x 1 x 5/5 One-hand swings
40kg x 4 x 15 Two-hand swings

32kg x 5 x 5/5 Jerk

Barbell Work (lbs)
135 x 5 x 5 Goodmornings
135 x 1 x 5 Power Clean
165 x 1 x 5 Power Clean
175 x 1 x 3 Power Clean

32kg x 7 x 10/10 One-hand swing/2min
32kg x 3 x 5/5/5/5 One-hand swing/2min

One hand swings with the bulldog are very frick'n tough for me. I can barely hold on for just five reps per arm. How Franz and Aaron abuse that mutha is beyond me .. but so was pulling 300 so I'll just keep at it.

I actually failed at an attempt at a 185lb Power Clean and ripped a little flesh off a few places of my left hand. As a result, I will stay at 175 until I can do sets of 5 and then I'll take another shot at 185.

This is the first time I did relatively long one-hand swing sets with the 32kg. I needed two minutes per set and was really dogging it. The last three sets required an extra two hand switches. After one-hand swings with the bulldog, the 32kg seems quite reasonable.

Total Volume: 18660 lbs

Friday, October 10, 2008

" .. let them go kicking and screaming .." Rif, Oct 7, 2008

Weight: 177 3/8 lb

New local low .. I like!

Recently one of the RKCs was asked to stop training kettlebells in a local WMCA. When questioned as to the reason, the manager had informed him:

"Kettlebells are outside the realm of fitness and should not belong here."

Rather than get upset or discouraged from similar incidents, Mark Reifkind, Master RKC, or Rif, a veritable gold mine for his training acumen and pithy retorts, had the following to say:

"Yes they're outside. they are so far ahead of what poses as 'fitness' as not to be recognizable by the herd. KBs are creating a paradigm shift in fitness and the pretenders will go kicking and screaming. But they will go because people want what works and is real. and that's rkc style kettlebell training."

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

Back & Ab Complex: 2 sets
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 10 lbs) x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper

Elbow complex: 4 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

32kg x 1 x 2 MP right

Afternoon:

24kg MaxVO2 Snatch :15/:15 8reps/set
Total: 18,6,6 = 30 sets

24kg x 2 x 5/5 Dead hang snatch
24kg x 1 x 20/20 Snatch

Grant Total: 300 snatches

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 24kg x 1 3-Rung MP Ladder
Double 24kg x 1 3-Rung C&P Ladder
Double 24kg x 1 x 3/3 SeaSaw Presses
24kg x 1 x 5/5 MP

MaxVO2 was a little better but still two sets shy of my 20 single session sets. Today I did the greatest double KB pressing volume to date. Heck I might even be getting a tad stronger .. that would be okay, eh?

Total Volume: 19080 lbs

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Tom and Riyad .. some new fellow lifters

Weight: 178 lb

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2 (Dynamic Joint Mobility Drills)

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback
(BW + 10 lbs) x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper

Afternoon:

Today I worked out at Anytime Fitness, and was greatly rewarded as I met two very fine lifters which I'll write about later.

255 x 1 x 5 Conventional Deadlift (PR)
230 x 1 x 5 Sumo Deadlift

Barbell Power Clean
165 x 1 x 5
165 x 2 x 3
155 x 2 x 3

135 x 5 x 5 Barbell Goodmorning

24kg x 10 x 20 Swings on the minute
24kg x 6 x 1/1 TGU

It was nice to start off with a 5RM deadlift PR. It was rough but each rep was solid. My sumo dropset was also solid. Following that I trained a co-worker to conventional deadlift. We went very conservative and he will begin a linear PttP cycle starting tomorrow.

The barbell power cleans were very challenging. The most difficulty occurred after the second pull during landing the bar on my collar bone and deltoids with my elbows flared outward. I'm going to have to perfect this before I increase the weight. From my research, racked barbell front squats should help get me comfortable with this awkward position.

On the way over the gym, I stopped at the hardware store and purchased two 3' pieces of braided thick nylon cord. I used them during my barbell Goodmornings by tying them to the bell in the positions of where my hands would be while the bell in on my back. After stepping under the racked bar I grabbed hold of the two ropes with each hand to keep the bar stable as I stepped back and performed the five sets of Goodmornings. This was a lot easier on my easily tweaked left shoulder.

Shortly after finishing with my co-worker I could not help being impressed with a very ripped gentleman who was performing heavy barbell rows using a T-bar on one end of a one-side loaded bar. I introduced myself to Tom and explained I was mainly Kettlbell training oriented. He had heard of them and proceeded to attempt to teach him the two hand swing. With a bad case of quad dominance and not enough time, we will have to pick this back up in the future. Although predominately a body builder, he impressed with five reps of three wheel trap bar pulls. He had worked up to 295 x 5 with conventional previously but tweaked his lower back and switched to trap bar pulls. I thought my super tech Gymboss double countdown timer was impressive but he a very fancy chemistry labratory timer with three countdown timers .. I'm sure it was a lot more than twenty smackers!

Later I watched a high school senior doing barbell high pulls with 100 lbs. I remarked to him that I thought he was really doing a great job with them and that got us discussing each others training protocols. An extremely nice young adult, it turns out his name is Riyad Mohammed and he was originally form Tobago, Trinidad. He is a sprinter on the track team with what sounds like a pretty decent strength and conditioning coach, his coach having his guys train large functional lifts ala Purposeful Primitive.

After making my request, Riyad demonstrated to me his hang power cleans with 135 and they were solid. Like myself, he has problems with beinng able to properly rack them after the second pull. I had him drop down to a lighter weight where it was much easier for him to flare his elbows and have the bar rest properly on his shoulder and collar bone.

Previoulsy Riyad had seen me perform some 24kg TGUs and could even approximate their name as "Turkish somethings". Showing great interest in the Kettlebell, I had him two-hand swinging in five minutes .. to his credit, all the power cleans and high pulls he had performing had given him a natural hip snap.

In all a great day to be sharing Kettlebell knowledge and enjoying as others pursued their training with dedication and hard work.

Total Volume: 19780 lbs

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A new and improved reverse hyper setup

Tuesday October 6, 2008

Weight: 179 lbs

Yesterday's heavy deads left me a little sore so it had to be an easy day:

Morning:
Z-Health Neural Warm-up Level 2

BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
BW x 1 x 5 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback
BW x 1 x 10 Reverse Hyper
(BW + 25lb) x 1 x 4 Reverse Hyper

Wednesday October 7, 2008

Weight: 178 lbs


Morning:
Z-Health Neural Warm-up Level 2

Elbow complex: 4 sets
A1: 1 x 4 reverse wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put
A2: 1 x 5 wrist curl with 10 lb shot-put

BW DL Assistance lift complex: 2 sets
A1:BW x 1 x 10 Heavy blue band Goodmorning
A2: BW x 1 x 10 Ab wheel on the knee rollouts, 5 sec hold and rollback

(BW + 10 lb) x 1 x 10 Reverse hyper

I used my new and improved reverse hyper setup and lowered the resistance from 25 to 10 pounds. Between these and the heavy band Goodmornings, my back is slowly getting stronger and more robust.

Evening:

Double KB Complex: 5 sets
A1: Double 32kg x 3 Front Squat
A2: Double 24kg x 15 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 24kg x 1 x 15 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 3-Rung MP Ladder
Double 24kg x 1 x 15 Swing

40kg x 3 x 15 Two-hand Swing

I hit the front squats heavy first for five sets of three reps .. very tough but well worth it. The three sets of bulldog two-hand swings was a great finisher.

Total Volume: 18360 lbs

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Premature back-off week followed by a 300 lb pull .. Yeah!!

Sat Oct 4, 2008

Over the next few weeks, increased engineering work demands have forced me to cut way back on my blogging hence these condensed posts.

In light of this, I also had to cut out three training sessions last week which caused me to take my back-off week, a week early.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2

1 x 10 Goodmorning with heavy blue band
1 x 5 Evil Ab Wheel Roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll-back
40kg x 1 x 5/5 One-Hand Swing

24kg MaxVO2 :15/:15 @ 8reps/set
Total: 16 sets

This is my first MaxVO2 in almost three weeks and it showed .. a drop off of 25%. No problem I'll bring in back up to over 20 sets in a week or so.

Total Volume: 7660 lbs

Sun Oct 5, 2008

Weight: Refused to check it.
I knew due to the massive indulgence at Saturdays tailgating and football game, I would be way over so I didn't bother to check.

Morning:

24kg x 1 x 5/5 MP
32kg x 2 x 1 MP Right
32kg x 2 x 2 MP Right
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Snatch

Evening:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 MP
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 3-rung ladder MP
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand Swing

Double 24kg x 1 3-rung ladder C&P
40kg x 1 x 15 Swing

Double 32kg x 1 x 3 Front Squat
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing

Double 32kg x 1 x 3 Front Squat
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand Swing

40kg x 4 x 15 Two-hand Swing
Double 24kg x 2 x 5 Snatch

A very hard-core workout for me. The double 32s really kick my butt so much that swinging the bulldog was a nice break.

Total Volume: 17100 lbs


Mon Oct 6, 2008

Weight: 181 1/2 lb

The tail-gating at my daughter's college (UMass) with its beer, cookies, pasta salads, chips, burgers etc, has set me back a bit. At least I haven't crossed over my previous high of 182 1/2.

Evening:

Z-Health: Neural Warm-up Level 2

1 x 10 Goodmorning with heavy blue band
1 x 5 Evil Ab Wheel Roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll-back

Deadlift (lbs)
245 x 1 x 5 Conventional (PR)
245 x 1 x 3 Conventional with 18.5 chains
225 x 1 x 5 Sumo with 18.5 chains
295 x 1 x 1 Conventional (PR)
300 x 1 x 1 Conventional (PR)

I was only supposed to do PttP tonight but the 245 set of five, a 5RM PR, felt really light and subsequent addition of chains and drop down set were also easy. I waited five minutes and knew 295 would fall and it wasn't too bad. I waited another five minutes and pulled the 300 that had been so elusive. This is a goal I will remember for a long time because I had to research and work very hard to achieve it.

Of course, I immediately thought of my mentor, friend and coach Aaron Friday for providing enormous support and advice. It was his crazy idea to suggest I train for a TSC in the first place and it has taken me to a level of strength and conditioning I didn't think was possible at my age. Also, kudos to Rif for his belief in WSB and suggesting in our consultation that I train in that system. Then Jason for his suggestion of working heavy double kettlebell front squats into the mix. And also a big thanks to Kenny Croxdale, Mark Lesniak and Tony Foster over at GoHeavy for their many tips. And then all the encouragement from Martin, Colin, Franz, Howie, Gabby, Taikei, Fawn, Katie, Sean, Jordan, Mike, and Frankie. Its absolutely humbling to me that these folks would take the time to post such supportive comments. I know I'm really rambling on here but the RKC and its hard-style system is the real deal and I'm blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing community.

Total Volume: 3900 lbs

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Assistance lifts

Tuesday September 30






Weight: 178 3/4 lb

No ice-cream or sweets of any kind for two days and I drop another pound .. I'll take it.

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2

Tubing / Evil Wheel Complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 10 Tubing Goodmornings
A2: 1 x 5 Evil Wheel On the knees Rollout, 5 sec hold, Rollback

Afternoon:

Barbell Goodmornings:
95 x 1 x 10
135 x 2 x 10

The two sets with 135 was definitly harder. Also reaching back to hold the bar in place does put my tricky left shoulder in an uncompromising position .. I may have an alternative grip using straps or bands.

Tactical Grip Pull-ups
BW x 3 x 5

Not bad for my 2nd day of resuming pull-up training. Again, long rests between sets. Tacticals are starting to feel more natural after avoiding them for almost a year.

While investigation Westside Barbell I ran across the GoHeavy forum. Some very helpful lifters there made some great recommendations regarding deadlift training: Apart from the Goodmornings, KB Front squats, Tony Foster (600+) advised to add barbell rows, reverse hypers, rack pulls. Mark Lesniak also recommended training some Sumo's along with conventional pulls.

Wednesday October 1

Weight: 177 1/2 lb

Yesterday was a 70% PN compliant day with some poor food choices (pizza and ice-cream) but I still dropped another pound due to having to stay up past 1:30am while working on an software architecture specification due next Monday. Taken together that these are very demanding documents to write for me and that I don't snack after dinner, the result is to burn more calories than one would expect!

Morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2

Tubing / Evil Wheel Complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 10 Tubing Goodmornings
A2: 1 x 5 Evil Wheel On the knees Rollout, 5 sec hold, Rollback

235 x 1 x 5 Conventional Deadlift
210 + (18.5 chains) x 2 x 5 Sumo Deadlift

Today I mixed conventional with sumo deadlift as recommended by both Pavel in PttP and Mark Lesniak, Powerlifter and poster at GoHeavy. The sumo's really hit the hips hard.

Evening:

Double 24kg x 1 x (3, 2) MP
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat

Double 24kg x 1 x (1,2,3) MP Ladder
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat

Double 24kg x 1 x (1,2,3) C&P Ladder
Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat

Double 24kg Chain (non-stop sequence of one rep per lift):
A1: Double 24kg x 1 x 1 C&P
A2: Double 24kg x 1 x 1 Thruster
A3: Double 24kg x 1 x 1 Push Press
A4: Double 24kg x 1 x 1 Jerk
A5: :30 rest
Total: 5 chains

Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing
40kg x 3 x 15 Swing
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

This was a high volume press day for me at 25 reps per arm .. a far cry from the 100 per arm recommended by volume freak,Master RKC, The Dain of Pain, Kenneth Jay. Note that the younger and much stronger pair Dustin Silveri, RKC and Taikei Matsushita, RKC II are having
great success with this heavy volume approach.

Previously, I had mixed my complex-style paired lifts with a grind (MP, C&P, FSq) and ballistic (typically swings). Tonight I used pairs of two different grinds, a press and squat, and it was considerably more taxing. As a result, the number of swing sets concluding the session was pared down. Also, I added a double 24 chain to mix things up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tubing and Light Barbell Goodmornings

Weight: 179 7/8 lbs

Once again I'm south of 180. I'm quite happy to bounce around this weight compared to the 176 I had trouble maintaining after the RKC Cert. The recent double bell and deadlift training has added a bit more muscle mass .. if I'm gonna be a little heavier I'm okay with more muscle.

Afternoon:

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2

Tubing / Evil Wheel Complex: 2 sets
A1: 1 x 10 Tubing Goodmornings
A2: 1 x 5 Evil Wheel On the knees Rollout, 5 sec hold, Rollback


I used a tubing around my neck and secured the two bottom straps with my feet to perform some Goodmornings. Apparently, one can train these heavy weekly whereas DLs are just too hard on the CNS. The carry over is building lower back strength.

GTG Tactical Grip (pronated) Pullups
BW x 3 x 5 several hours apart

This is the first time I tried training pullups as my right elbow felt very good today. I did test both a chin-up (supernated) and neutral grip (palms facing) and both of these caused considerable pain especially on the medial side (golfer's elbow). Interesting is that tactical grip pull-ups used to cause excrutiating left lateral (tennis elbow) elbow pain but that arm is all better now.

Late Evening:

Kettlebell Military Press:
32kg x 3 x 1 MP Right
32kg x 2 x 2 MP Right
32kg x 2 x 2 Jerk + slow negative Left

Barbell Goodmorning:
45 x 1 x 10
95 x 1 x 10 (PR)

Barbell Clean and Press
95 x 1 x 2
105 x 1 x 3
115 x 1 x 1
125 x 1 x 1
135 x 1 x 1 (PR)

My long term goal is a KB bulldog (40kg) military press with each arm. This means I have to put focused effort on not falling too far behind my much stronger right shoulder, say no more than a 4kg gap between arms. To this end, although failing to press the 32kg on my left I was able to get it up about 4" a few times (a PR of sorts). I remember before my RKC, I re-tested my right arm 32kg MP I was pleased back then it was at the same place as my left is now so I am progressing.

I decided to check out the left negative by jerking it up and pulling it down slowly. There is about 6" starting from where humorous gets parallel to the ground where there is little power to control the descent. I will be working these negatives along with my higher rep single and double Kettlebell 24kg presses. The key for me with pressing is a GTG like approach of low rep sets performed four or five times a week.

The barbell Goodmornings felt different than the tubing ones. Fortunatley the weight is light enough to press behind my back and jerk it back over easily. For higher weight I will need the power rack at the Fitness Center.

Feeling how light pressing the 95lb barbell felt, I tested my barbell pressing and was pleased to be a single wheel presser.

Although an easy day was called for, I did a little extra than planned but feel really strong and I'm raring to get back to 24kg MaxVO2 tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Double the Fun

Weight: 180 1/8 lbs

Late morning:

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2

I have not missed a Z-Health session in two weeks .. no surprise as I'm seeing nice improvement on all fronts.

Double 24kg x 1 x 4 MP
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 C&P
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing

Double 24kg x 1 x 5 Front Squat
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing

Double 32kg x 1 x 3 Front Squat (PR)
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing

Double 32kg x 1 x 3 Front Squat
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swing

40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swing
Double 24kg x 1 x 10 Swing
Double 32kg x 1 x 5 Swing
40kg x 1 x 15 Two-hand swing

Double 24kg x 2 x 5 Snatch (PR)

32kg x 2 x 1 MP right
24kg x 1 x 4 MP left

The paired lifts were done back to back with a two minute rest between pairs. The double 32kg front squats were very solid with toes pointing straight out .. also nice to be able to do triples with a solid pause in the hole.

After noticing how my double 24kg swings were getting very high I decided to take another crack at double snatches having only done one wobbly single with the 24s previously. To my surprise the double 24kg snatches just flew up there.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some chains and a little closer to 300







Weight: 180 1/2 lbs

Late Afternoon

Z-Health: Neural Warmup Level 2

Conventional Dead-lift (lbs):

220 + (18.5 chains) x 1 x 1
250 + (18.5 chains) x 1 x 1
275 + (18.5 chains) x 1 x 1
285 + (18.5 chains) x 1 x 1 (PR)


225 x 1 x 5
205 x 1 x 5

40kg x 4 x 15 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x 2r MP
32kg x 1 x 3r MP
32kg x 1 x 5l Jerk

My local hardware store hit me up for $61 for what was left of their heavy chain which I had them cut in half into two 9 1/4 lb, seven foot pieces. Would've liked two 10lb pieces but I was too lazy to go to another store.

The chains were suggested by Caleb Fields, the Petaluma physical therapist (that I ran into on my business trip to the west coast office) and former swimmer and power-lifter (168 lb, 500lb+ dead-lifter), who suggested attaching 10lb chains to each side of my barbell to help me get over 300.

I had to fold each chain in half and then each half in half again to make sure it came all the way off the floor in the lock out position. I used a long bolt and one of my old cheapo spring collars on each side to attach the chains. If you think of the chain as folded into the shape of a large "M", each of the two chain links on the top most points of the "M" were slide over the each of the prongs of the collar (hung upside down) with one bolt going through each of the collar's two prongs to prevent the chain from falling off. I'm sure there are better ways to secure the chains but dadgommit I'm only fricken software geek.


The chain usage (first advocated by power-lifting guru Louie Simmons of West Side Barbell .. I think) is to get the CNS accustomed to the additional weight .. as the bar comes off the ground it gets heavier and heavier thus avoiding being stuck in the hole with the total weight. I know I also need to do pulls off the block but they seem to really aggravate my lower back .. perhaps dropping down some weight and returning to these might be a good idea.

I'll be damned if the chains didn't work! Getting it off the ground seemed no more difficult than just 285 (my no-chains PR) and the 303 1/2 total (barbell + chains) in the lock out position was no trouble. I'm also glad I didn't mess with too many warmup lifts before I tried this.

Pulling over 300 even with the help of chains as opposed to a pure barbell lift is a massive psychological barrier for me to have overcome. Given the success with this little adjustment, I will test my PR with the chains every two to three weeks.

Meanwhile my 32kg right side military press is getting better and better. On my last one there was no tilting to the left side at all. I did try to press the 32 with my left but no go. Instead I settled for a set of five jerks.