Thursday, March 20, 2008

Please, there will be no standing on the bar , sir!

Went to bed 11pm and got up 6am with a decent night's sleep. I weighed 177 lbs another 10 year PR. One more pound and I hit my 80kg goal.

Using the Mark Rippetoe's videos from the CrossFit site, I applied the following of his recommendations to:

  • align my scapula over the bar
  • put my chest out
  • stick my butt back and out but not down too low,
  • keep my back straight
  • make my line of vision straight out and slightly down
  • use the correct over and under hand grip (I used RH under and LH over)
  • don't stand on the bar!

3 x 135, 3 x 155, 3 x 175, 3 x 195, 3 x 135

An improvement of 60 lbs strictly due to using better form. The last three reps of 135 versus the 1st three reps with it felt much lighter. Its a little scary for me to get bar going from the initial crouched position. The initial lifting force seems to first concentrate right in my lower back and freaks me out until I get the bar moving and the lower back discomfort immediately goes away. It turns out that I've had lower back pain and discomfort for the last 15 years so this is a real stretch for me to even attempt these.

BW Neutral grip pull-ups:
2 x 5, 2 x 4, 2 x 3

I hit a new 5RM PR, twice today and continued with 5 more sets of decreasing reps spread out over an hour for a total of 24 reps.

24kg 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
24kg 1 x 26/26 One hand swings

The last set of swings was a nice little PR as I did 26 left, then 26 right without putting the bell down. These also are the number of snatches required to pass the RKC Cert at my current weight and age. If I loose another pound, then it drops a bit to 24/24. Although I didn't do snatches here, which are significantly more taxing than swings, it was still psychologically satisfying just to envision these as becoming snatches in the future.

Since by this time I had completed pull-up and dead-lift training, now it was time for a snatch workout to cover the three TSC events:

24kg 2 x 1,2,3,4 snatch ladder, 1l/1r, 2l/2r, 3l/3r, 4l/4r
24kg 3 x 1,2,3 snatch ladder

A total of 26 snatches per arm. There were at least 2 minutes of rest between the 5 sets and many hand switches but it still represents solid progress towards the RKC Cert requirements.

BW 1 x 10 Dive Bomber pull-ups.

I brought my 12kg, 16kg and 24kg to the gym today and demonstrated the swing and TGU to my supervisor. He did very well but unfortunately the gym manager told us we couldn't bring in our own equipment anymore due to insurance reasons. The new manager was very apologetic about it and encouraged us to send email requesting the gym purchase some. Its worth a shot but its not that important. I only started going their again to train dead-lifts.

Z-Health R-Phase
Diet and Nutrition Log

1 bowl of Kitchari with a little sweet potato and Toor Dal
2 cups of coffee with tbs of 1/2 and 1/2
1 large sesame cracker

Morning Snack:
4 oz of Kefir
2 small handfuls of roasted almonds


1 bowl of Gujarati green beans, with brown rice, Toor Dal and Green Gram Curry.
1 honey tangerine

Afternoon snack:
4 handfuls of roasted almonds

1/2 glass of red wine
1 bowl of Sichuan Chicken with veggies
1 bowl of Gujarati green beans, with brown rice
1 piece of wild berry pie
1 scoop of ice cream
1 large sesame cracker


Gabi said...

Wow, Franklin,
PR after PR, that's wonderful!
Especially the DL is a huge step forward!
Getting the bar off the floor is the most difficult (and scary) part for me too. The techniques described in PTTP have helped a lot, especially the pre-tension and the "static stomp", the imagination of not actually standing up but trying to 'pierce' the floor with my heels while holding on to the bar (not easy to describe but I hope you get what I mean).

Franklin said...

Gabi, thanks so much for the your support and insights. Your explanation of "static stomp" is very clear and appreciated .. I will try it.

Also, I've heard nothing but praise regarding PTTP and will order it. I have read and re-read my new two favorite DD books, Naked Warrior and ETK, many times always learn something new. I've heard that PTTP is of the same high level quality.

Aaron Friday said...


You are on an upward spiral, Franklin.

With your scapulae, hands and feet in a perpendicular line to the floor, deadlifting is a matter of "levering" the bar up using your glutes and hamstrings. If your butt gets too low, you'll be fighting the movement by trying to "squat" it up. If your back is arched too much, you'll automatically put stress on it. Keep your lower back flat so it can act as a conduit for the force generated from your glutes and hammies. If you're used to arching your low back, "flat" will feel "round," but it's not. Get some feedback. 135-lb deadlifts with a neutral back done for higher reps should pump the hell out of your glutes and not tax your low back at all.

Awesome work with the swings! That's one more on each side than I've ever done, and the punishment will definitely carry over to snatches when you hit 10+ reps.

Pullups? Outstanding. As you increase your long-set max, don't forget to keep blasting out explosive singles and doubles. These will increase your power, which will result in easier reps, which will result in more reps when you go for them.

GREAT work!

Aaron Friday said...

And get PTTP. From what I can tell, the principles in this book applied to kettlebell training are the foundation of RKC.

I can't see myself following the program outlined in PTTP, but neither can I see myself following ETK. The principles are what count, though, and they are consistent.

Franklin B. Herman said...

Aaron, I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to offer such encouragement and valuable training tips to further my progress.

Both the PTTP book and DVD are on their way. And I'm really looking forward to doing your recommended 135 lb DLs for higher reps with a neutral back and no discomfort.