Sunday, March 2, 2008

Day One of Cycle Two

The 3 glasses of wine last night induced a nap between 8 and 9pm. Went to bed around 2am after starting this training blog. I got up at 5:45am and weighed in at 182 lbs. My weight is slowly creeping back up in proportion to the extra calories I recently consumed. The last two days I was lax in my fluid intake and will get back on track today.

Eating clean and healthy has been very easy for the meals I cook since being introduced to Ayurvedic healing veterinarian cuisine. On the other hand, going to friends homes, entertaining or eating out is much more challenging to stay the course.

1 bowl of Kitchari with a little sweet potato and Toor Dal
2 cups of coffee with tbs of 1/2 and 1/2
4 oz of Kefir

A week and a half ago, I started a simple GTG (Grease-The-Groove) pull up program to address a glaring weakness in my fitness. I started with Greg Donahue's program scaled down to my level (ahem ... lack of level) of 1 set of 1 perfect tactical grip pull up per day for two weeks .. adding an additional pull up every two weeks until I reach 5RM. I chose tactical grip as it is the most functional of the various grips but it just tweaks my elbows too much. So 9 days into the program I did a reset and switched to a neutral grip where I already had a 3RM. (For Greg's complete article see:

GD (Greg Donahue) GTG Pull up Program:
Day 2: 1 set of 3 neutral pull ups (2,1,3)

My 3rd pull up was just a tad short. Here is an excerpt from a great article by John Allstadt from Girevik Magazine about how to engage the lats in a very graphic way:

"Grip the bar with hands just slightly wider than shoulder width. Now, imagine that you have had both arms amputated from the elbows up, and that your hands and forearms are hooks attaching your elbows to the pull up bar. In this manner, you will be forced to initiate the pull with your elbows, the goal being to activate your lats before your biceps kick in."

He goes on to say its also very important to engage the biceps in conjunction with the lats as well as the need to create huge tension on the way up and down. (For the complete article:

So, today begins a new cycle and one that is very different from my previous one. Its primarily based on allocating two days a week to one of Mike Mahler's program which was optimized for strength. Then one day of high rep lower weight endurance training. Off days will consist of joint mobility, Z-Health and QiGong.

Hard Foam Roller: ITB, Periformus, (oops! forgot upper back, shoulders)
16kg 1 x 10/10 Halos
24kg 1 x 10/10 High Velocity Slingshots
BW 1 x 10 Wall squats

5 sets with one minute rest between sets with no rest between items 1 and 2 of the following superset:
  1. Double 24kg 5 Front Squats
  2. Double 32kg 5 Swings

One minute rest followed by:
24kg 3 x 3r/3l TGU with one minute rest between arms

Two minute rest followed by:
5 x 100 Jump Rope with one minute rest between sets

BW Static Plank 1 x 10b/30r/33l/33b = 1:46 new PR
(Key: b for both arms, r for right arm only , l for left arm only and times in seconds)

Cool down:
A hodge-podge of 5 minutes of various standard and yoga stretches.

Total KB volume 8800 lbs.

The jump rope was not part of my original plan but I added it as I had so much left in the tank and jumping rope is a nice safe way to burn some extra cals. Even after the this, I was surprised that I was able to PR in my BW static plank. Also on the TGUs I had to reduce the reps from the originally intended 5 down to 3 but I increased the sets from 2 to 3 so that the volume was about the same. The total KB volume from workout is very conservative as I need to proceed cautiously since I am going pretty heavy. The volume will increase gradually, as my goal is to add a new set every week until I hit 10 sets.

1 Protein shake with 6 oz of Kefir
1.5 bowls of Gujarati green beans with Toor Dal and sweet potato
1 Naval orange
2 Dates

My S.O. and I took a 3 mile walk with our little Cairn terrier, Shaka Maui around 2pm.

1 small handful of roasted almonds
1 small handful of sesame roasted walnuts
1/2 Naval orange
1 sesame cracker

Around 5pm I went through my newly purchased Pavel's Tsatouline's Resilient DVD very carefully performing each drill. Of the 19 drills on the DVD, only the Hack Squat Hip Opener present problems and is rough on my knees. I added resistance to the elbow greaser by crush gripping a 4kg bell. I have minor issues with knees, shoulders, and lower back that by practicing these drills should keep them minor or eliminate them completely. My elbows require special care due the tendinitis I am just recovering from. Not surprisingly, the elbow drills are very beneficial.

1 bowl of Gujarati green beans with sweet potato
1 piece of strawberry/rhubarb pie
1 scoop of ice cream

Today I drank 6 12 oz glasses of herbal teas today and am back to my previous hydration levels. It was a wonderful sunny day here in New England ... a nice respite from the record setting sleet and snow this winter.

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