Wednesday, July 30, 2008

AMT Back to Basics Circuit

Wed July 30, 2008

Weight: 177 1/2 lbs, BF: 15.2 A great nights sleep is always gratefully accepted. I slightly pulled my left trap but nothing but a small annoyance.


Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU 2

Elbow Extensor work super set:

A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 4 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 10 reverse wrist extensions
4 sets

BW x 1 x 10 Clapping push-ups

Late Morning:

Alternative Minimum Tax Circuit:
(l=left, b=both, r=right)

A1: 24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b One and two hand swings
A2: 32kg x 1 x 1 Left TGU
A3: 24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b One and two hand swings
A4: 32kg x 1 x Right TGU
Total sets: 5

24kg x 2 x 5l/5b/5r/5b One and two hand swings

A1: 16kg x 1 x 20l One hand swings
A2: 24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b One and two hand swings
A1: 16kg x 1 x 20r One and two hand swings
A2: 24kg x 1 x 10l/10r One hand swings
Total sets: 2

Total of 400 swings: 320 x 24kg, 80 x 16kg

For the first 10 sets, my manager used the 16kg for most of the session but had to sit out for his left side TGU for three sets of the five sets. Considering he doesn't practice TGUs much he performed well. For the next 10 of sets of pure swings he did the first two with the 16kg and then for last 8, alternated with 24kg and 16kg for a strong finish .. he determined how much rest between sets and it was minimal around 15 to 20 seconds.

Neutral Grip Pull-ups
BW x 1 x 8

24kg x 1 x 9r/4l MP
24kg x 1 x (1,2,3,4) C&P ladder

My pressing was weak today as expected after a heavy swing workout. I did PR on my right with 9 presses without the loaded cleans which was a pleasant surprise. Its difficult to work these in and be able to continue to train with my office peers .. the latter has a higher priority for now.

Thur July 31, 2008

Weight: 178 lbs. Hmm ... I have been eating clean but too much :)
I was pleased at another decent nights sleep. Today is an easy day.


Z-Health: R-Phase

Neutral Grip Pull-ups:
BW x 1 x 11 (PR)
(BW+24kg) x 1 x 1


24kg x 1 x 5/5 hang snatch
2kkg x 1 x 10/10 snatch
24kg x 2 x 5/5 snatch

24kg VO2Max @ 6reps/set, :15/:15
Total: 11 sets

24kg VO2Max @8reps/set: :15/:15
Total: 2 sets

Total: 132

I experimented with the faster VO2Max snatch rates. Not to my surprise the 6reps/set is doable but will take a month or so to get back up to 60 sets. Raidu, one of my co-workers I'm training has suggested to start with ten sets of 6/set and then finish out as many as possible by dropping down to 5/set. When I get to 300 total reps, then re-start by doing the 1st 20 sets at 60/set and so on. Once I can do 50 sets of 6/set then work back up to 60.

My two sets of 8reps/set left me wasted as this is really screaming fast. The eighty sets of this that Mark O Madsen completed seems much more impressive having sampled how intense that snatch rate with the 24kg is.

A relatively easy day for tomorrow I go hard.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dead-lift assist day

Monday July 28, 2008

Weight: 177 1/2 lbs. BF%: 15.6 Originally I was planning to take the day off but felt very strong and ready for my Dead-lift assist day. My only reservation was I had dead-lifted yesterday but it was only a few singles and only a few were moderately heavy.

Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

Conventional Dead-lifts off 1" plates ONLY to the knees:
225 x 5 x 5

These were definite hard work. I need to psyche myself up and I used loud southern blues/rock to do it. I noticed that when I really crush grip the bar, the lift off is much easier. Also I will start using Feed-forward tension drills to start implementing Fawns suggestion to maintain tension on the negative.

Double 32kg x 5 x 10 swings

As Rif had suggested I have been rotating the double swings bell sizes and today was real heavy with the 32s. I tried to really snap my hips as explosively as possible.

24kg x 3 x 5/5 Cross lateral SLDL

Okay these are finally getting easier. I will slowly move up to 5 sets of 10 reps before increasing the bell.

375 x 5 Isometric pulls for 5 sec

I loaded the bar with all I had to practice isometric 5 second pulls. Someday I should be pulling this but today is today and I have to work with where I'm at. As the saying goes, one only gets a strong as one is willing to work one's weaknesses.

The video below is of my forth set of pulls and swings.

BW x 1 x 10 Clapping pushups
BW x 1 x 10 PowerWheel on Knees Roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll back

Tuesday July 29, 2008

Weight: 180 lbs. Last night we went out the Cheesecake Factory and I threw caution to the wind. Most of the gain is water from the high sodium content of the food.

Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

32kg x 4 x 2/2 TGU
32kg x 1 x 3/3 TGU

The TGUs always start out very tough and get easier as I go. I uses 30 seconds rest between sets.

Neutral grip weighted pull-ups:
(BW + 16kg) x 7 x 2
Total: 14 reps

I GTG-ed the doubles through out the day at work. My inner right elbow began to bother me so I stopped. A relatively light day put to rest.

I listened to the Purposeful Primitive Dragon-door Tele-Seminar last night and Marty Gallagher is an excellent speaker with strong clear voice. Guided by questions from John Du Cane, he discussed some of the case studies of very de-conditioned over weight folks from the book in more detail. He then went on to list the top ten mistakes made by a majority of trainers. Here are the ones I remember:
  • Lack of understanding of all four of the basic components of fitness:
    • Resistance training
    • Cardio
    • Nutrition
    • Mental
      • Instantaneous Psych Up
      • Sustained Psych Up
  • Willing to take on un-motivated clients
  • Too much emphasis on machines for resistance training
  • Lack of ROM of lifts during resistance training
  • Lack of Periodized Cardio
  • Too many lifts per resistance training session
  • Do not require clients to wear heart monitors during cardio
It was very good to hear all this material again to drive the key points home.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Progressive Conventional Dead-lift Singles Video

Saturday July 26, 2008

Weight: 176 1/2 lbs. Felt extremely low energy and rested the entire day including several naps.

Sunday July 27, 2008

Weight: 176 1/4 lbs. Felt much better today. I owed Rif a video of progressive singles which had been postponed several times over the last 6 weeks. With the Cert completed and my back and right knee much better, I shot it early in the afternoon:

Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

I didn't notice until now that my butt is also viewable from the broken mirror (a flying kettlebell that got away in March) behind the support wall. It seems as if my hips are too high when initiating the lift. As usual, everyone is invited to critique my form.

Late Afternoon:

24kg MaxVO2 Snatch Protocol @ :15/:15, 5rep/set
Total: 60 sets, 300 reps in 30 mins (PR)

I almost puked the last two sets and forced myself to stay up and moving. I also got so hot that I stripped to just my briefs by set 35. I knew that at after finishing set 50 I would gut out another 10 sets to avoid having to try and get to 60 another time. The mind plays funny tricks like this.

It seems as if my pace has picked up since last time as I finished my 5 reps with a second or sometimes two left on most sets. This is encouraging as I move to 6 reps per set next VO2 session. I also noted that at about set 40 the bell was crimping the tape in my palm and beginning to get uncomfortable on the decent. To remedy this I switched to a more GS style grip on the downswing by holding the bell with mostly my thumb and index finger. This released the tension in the palm. I also noticed that I always swing my right arm back when snatching left so I made a conscious effort to mirror this on the right by swinging my left. It feels weird but does help my hip snap. Perhaps the few sets of hang snatches I've done recently are already helping.

I also wrote a very favorable review of Marty Gallagher's "The Purposeful Primitive" which is now available on the DD site which I copied below:

The best I've ever read! Rated 10 out of 10

This book must be savoured as a quick read does NOT do it justice. Some of the photos are so compelling that they tell complete stories. Gargantuans of size and stature that I had never heard of before like Ken Fantano, George Hechter, Pat Brego, and Anatoli Piserenko will forever haunt me when I try to find excuses to skip a training session.

For the last three weeks this book lies open on my kitchen table as every meal requires a re-read of another ditty. Some of the stories are so vivid and detailed in their presentation that they elicit in me ear-to-ear grins or vulgar outbursts of joy. As predominately one who trains and instructs almost exclusively within the RKC Hard-Style system, at first I was aghast at only a fleeting mention in this huge tome of the kettlebell as an amazing strength and conditioning tool. Then I as I read and re-read, I realized that the dumbbell and barbell free weight centric tools discussed in detail in this book were the implements Marty has used over several decades and he knows them best. And at the end of day, only a little imagination is necessary to modify his recommended routines and splits into ones with kettlebells.

Some have criticized this work as being a compendium of routines and ideas available in other publications. If this is the case, I challenge anyone who can come close to the way in which they are presented here with such enthusiasm, sense of balance and beauty, and breadth of knowledge.

Franklin B. Herman, RKC - LIttleton, MA

Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday and Friday training summary

As I reviewed my progress over the last two weeks, I'm pleased with the consistency of hitting a well rounded set of lifts that should prepare me for the Sept TSC. Steve Freides, RKC II has agreed to update the TSC website with my host information and I'm getting really excited about a hosting and participating this great event.

Thursday July 24, 2008

Weight: 176 1/2 lbs, BF%: 15.0
Considering how tough yesterday's training was, surprisingly I felt very good and well rested.

24kg x 3 x (10 x 15) Two-hand swings
Total: 450 in 34 min

I did these with my manager who used his 16kg. He asked for my opinion on moving up to the 24kg for two-hand swings and I suggested he instead work on 1) one-hand swings or 2) increase his reps per set with two-hand swings. I told if he really wants to order a 24kg, he should restrict its use to farmer and rack walks until he makes more progress with the 16kg.

I have seen folks move too quickly to heavier bells without getting proficient enough with their current one. It usually leads to injury and downtime. He's a smart guy so hopefully he will follow my suggestion.

24kg x 1 x 5/5 Dead Hang Snatch

I'm still GTG-ing these and won't increase the sets for at least another week or so.

BW x 1 x 10 Neutral Grip Pull-ups
BW x 1 x 7 Tactical Grip Pull-ups
BW x 1 x 8 Chin-ups

I changed up on the three grips for the pull-ups. I will try tomorrow to do eight tactical grip pull-ups when totally rested as I am seeing a pattern of a two rep delta between 1) chin and neutral PRs and 2) between neutral and tactical PRs.

COC Trainer x 1 x 5l/10r

My goal is to get back to singles with the COC#1 both hands and to follow this up with a recommendation by Gray and Jones on Secrets of Shoulders to carry the COC#1 around and GTG it through out the day.

Friday July 25, 2008

Weight: 176, BF%: 15.2 A mediocre nights sleep and really dragging. I will limit myself to yoga and maybe a few pull-ups


Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

Power Vinyasa Yoga

This bothered my lower back today even with many timeouts in child's pose. I think the two consecutive KB training days required a complete layoff.

Late Afternoon:

COC Trainer x 1 x 8l/10r
BW x 1 x 8 Tactical grip pull-ups (PR)

I knew yesterday I could achieve the pull-up PR fully rested. The last rep was a real grind and not unexpected. These just do not feel comfortable. I'm sure in a year I will have grooved them sufficently for a 15 RM. Next week I will go back to weighted pull-ups.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

24kg ROP C&P Milestone

Weight: 177 lbs


Double 32kg x 1 x 10 swings

Conventional Dead Lift (lbs):
205 x 10 x 1
220 x 8 x 1
235 x 5 x 1
250 x 2 x 1

There is a definite warm-up period for these. Specifically, today the 220s felt lighter than the first five 205s. I was able to hit the high end of all the suggested number of singles per set as designated by Rif. The only exception was for the 235 where I performed five instead of six.

Although the two 250 singles were challenging and I did not have to sacrifice form . Also, I used the visualization technique described in The Purposeful Primitive before each rep of the last two sets. I also had been practicing the PTTP's Fast Forward Tension technique for presses and dead-lifts during the week.


24kg x 5 x (1,2,3,4,5) Clean and Press Ladders (PR)

No push presses this time. Amazingly my left shoulder had no problem except for the very last rep of the last rung of the last set, where I had to really grind it out. The negatives were all very strong and my lats were engaged throughout.

This might be my biggest accomplishment to date considering how bad my left shoulder was when I started KB training in June of 2007. At that time, I could not press the 16kg on my left for even a single without intense discomfort. I believe a good part of this progress is due to adding back 32kg TGUs two to three times a week to my training for the past five weeks.

According to ETK, I have completed the 24kg ROP and should consider transitioning to the 32kg for C&Ps. Unfortunately, I can only do a singles with my right so that's out. Apparently this is common problem and when I searched on the DD forum, it yielded a plethora of suggestions:
  1. Remove the Cleans and work back up to 5 x (1,2,3,4,5) with only MPs
  2. Add two or three more ladders
  3. Switch to working up to twenty sets of 5/5
  4. Switch to EDT presses and pull-ups
  5. Change the leverage by doing Sots and/or bottoms-up presses
  6. Increase the density of the 5 ladders by resting the absolute minimum between rungs and ladders
  7. Use the 32kg but do clean and push press ladders (C&PP) and slowly transition some of lower rungs to presses
  8. Use the 32kg but do long cycle clean and jerks (LCCJ) and slowly transition some of lower rungs to presses
  9. Buy a 28kg bell and use that instead of the 32kg

  • More volume hence more time pressing would drive me nuts and my pre-geezer body can't take it .. that out rules 2,3 and 4.
  • BUPs are too hard on my grip and Sots presses just plain bite the big one .. 5 is out.
  • I don't like increasing the density as I don't want anymore hypertrophy or weight gain .. 6 is also out.
  • That leaves 1, 7 , 8 and 9. As for 1, I don't want to give up working my cleans and I don't want to separate them out to a separate lift.
  • My s.o. swears she will leave me if I spend another nickel on kettlebells so out goes 9. That leaves C&PP (7) vs LCCJ (8).
  • Since C&PP actually use triceps (albeit sparingly) and I had good success using this for my weaker left side and my some of clients had success with it. Thus I will go with 7.
24kg x 10 x 20 Mixed one and two handed swings
Time: 11 minutes for 200 reps.

24kg x 1 x 5/5 Dead Hang Snatch

Each swing set was on the minute except for an additional minute rest after set seven. This was a very high volume day and so far I feel very good .. although I can't stop eating!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pull up Progress

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weight: 176 lbs, BF: 15.0


Elbow Extensor work super set:

A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 4 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 10 reverse wrist extensions
2 sets
A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 5 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 10 reverse wrist extensions
2 sets

BW x 1 x 10 Clapping push-ups
BW x 16 x 1 Ab Wheel on Knees roll-out, 5 sec hold, rollback

I followed up on the correlation between VO2 gains and the SSST by examining Dustin Silveri's blog. It turns out that following Rifs advice, he stayed with the 16kg until he hit 9rep/set for 60 sets before transitioning to the 24kg. I switched after hitting 62 sets at 7reps/set. Knowing this, if I stop making progress with the 24kg, I will drop back. The way I see it, with the TSC coming this Sep, I need to groove the 24kg as much as possible and don't have the stamina to train snatches with both bells.

COC Trainer x 2 x 5l/6r

I miss training with my COCs and have clearly lost crush-grip strength. I have to be very careful with my right arm as if I increase the volume too quickly my elbow gets really sore. Although my left is weaker, the training doesn't seem to bother the left elbow.

BW x 1 x 10 Neutral Grip Pull-ups (PR)

Being fully rested, I decided to test my neutral grip pull up RM. By completing ten I hit my medium term goal .. it seems unbelievable just this March when I was hard pressed to do a double. I'm sure all the weighted pull-up work was last week was big factor.

Late last night before bed, I tried to only watch "Power Vinyasa" DVD by the Maya Institute. Before I knew it, I had performed a Bird of Paradise on each side. Granted my bird poses were far from the pranayama yoga ideal of mindful relaxed breathing using the Darth Vader-like Ujjayi nasal breathing technique. However I was surprised at the degree of flexibility I gained in just three classes.


Power Vinyasa, Anusara Style

Tonight was my 4th class with my 4th instructor. It was another rough one. The class was packed and I arrived five minutes late and had to squeeze in by a wall. This time I made liberal use of the blocks and straps and stayed away from as much pain as possible. I'm still getting used to Ujayi breathing and properly syncing the movements with it. It was very hot again and I was soaked. When I got back home, my s.o. and I went out for late night ice cream and it was delicious. Unfortunately I woke up many times in the evening with an upset tummy .. I just can't eat anything that late at night. I don't know how all those on the Warrior Diet manage with so much food at night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2008

Weight: 176 lbs, BF: 15.1


Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

Elbow Extensor work super set:

A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 3 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 5 reverse wrist extensions
1 sets

Hmm .. I was tired this morning and didn't push these.


BW x 1 x 12 Chin-ups (PR)

The chin-up PR is not surprising as I PR-ed with 10 neutral grip pull-ups yesterday .. chin-up are easier than neutral grip pull-ups which in turn are easier than tactical pull-ups. As tactical pull-ups irritate my elbows, I will hold off as long as possible before the Sept TSC to test them.

BW x 1 x 30 Front squat

BW x 1 x 10 Chin-ups
BW x 1 x 4 Tactical pull-ups
BW x 1 x 7 Tactical pull-ups (PR)

I just couldn't resist attempting some tacticals and I didn't rest between the first set of chins. The forth one was tough so I rested a half hour and tried again and got seven for an increase of two (40%) over my last PR for these .. I'll take it! I would like to be at ten by the TSC, a very aggressive goal. As expected, I experienced some elbow soreness in the medial area.

Today I put in the asking price (a ridiculously low $20) for a standalone Gold's Gym pull-up rack advertised on craigslist. The ads a few days old so I may not hear anything. If it comes through, I'll be able to host all three TSC events in my garage instead of having to use my grungy basement dungeon.


24kg x 1 x 5/5 Hang snatch

Thanks Aaron and indirectly Faisal for recommending these. Aaron recently achieved the very impressive goal of 24kg x 40/40 one hand switch RKC like snatch test. He wanted to demonstrate he could handle the toughest test and he passed with flying colors. Along the way he added many sets of hang snatches as recommended by trainer extraordinaire Faisal Enu, RKC. On the negative I just lowered the bell to the rack and then a drop and catch to the hang position.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More 24kg Max VO2 Snatch

Weight: 177 1/2 lbs. Yesterday we had Indian buffet and although I didn't overdo it, the high salt content tends to bloat me a bit hence the 3 lb water weight gain. It will be gone in 2 days.

32kg x 1 x10/10 One-hand swing

24kg Max VO2 Snatch @ :15/:15, 5 rep/set
Total: 52 sets (PR)
6 min rest
24kg Max VO2 Snatch @ :15/:15, 5 rep/set
Total: 8 sets

I made my goal of 52 continuous sets .. a modest 2 set increase. I had at least a few more sets left but instead opted out to increase the volume slowly and steadily. I rested and did some Z then completed 8 more sets for total of 300 reps.

Of note is that although quite challenging and the fact that I was a little tired when I started these, it was no where near as psychologically demanding as my 1st time with heavy VO2. Following Tracy's lead, I am shooting for two VO2 sessions a week and increase in 2 to 4 sets per session. In her case, she wants to work up to a 16kg Kenneth Jay's new boost protocol and I'm sure she will achieve it in record time. In my case, I will be taking a slower path to the 24kg SSST by 1st reaching 60 set @ 5reps/set and then increasing to 6 reps/set and starting all over again, then 7 and finally 8. When achieving the 60 sets @ 8reps/set I should be close to an SSST based on the results of Dustin Silveri as documented on the 50,000 snatch challenge.

Heavy TGUs was a solid way to end the session.

32kg x 10 x 1/1 TGU

Although I keep meaning to plan a session of complexes and chains, I keep falling back on very simple sessions consisting of many sets of a few lifts.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

24kg BUP single, weighted pull-ups and a little Vinyasa

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weight: 175 3/4, BF%: 15.1

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Extensor work super set:
A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 3 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 9 reverse wrist extensions
4 sets

Late morning and afternoon:

Neutral Grip Pull ups:
(BW + 56lbs) x 4 x 1 (PR)
BW x 1 x 7

24kg x 1 x 1 BUP (PR)

BW x 1 x 11 Clapping push-ups
BW x 2 x 2r One arm push up
BW x 15 x 1 PowerWheel on Knees roll-out, 5 sec hold, rollback

The 56lbs is a 24kg bell plus a 3 lb belt and thus a PR. This is good news as according to Taikei, Pavel is thinking of making a BW plus 24kg bell pull-up a condition for passing the RKC II Cert. The Bottom's Up Press with the 24kg was a real surprise. I still can't Bottoms Up Clean the sucker but its getting easier. Its pretty clear that there is some corollary to the Kettlebell WTH effect .. namely any trained Kettlebell lift has a WTH effect on any other Kettlebell lift .. I never practice BUPs.


Beginner Power Vinyasa Yoga

I found this evening class from an on-line search and it was only a few miles from my home. A variant of Ashtanga ("the eight limbs") yoga, this class was a nicely paced one and half hour; I had no problem with all but a few of the more challenging forms. With only three other students, the instructor was able to make a number of suggestion to me ( the only newcomer) without altering the flow. As was a relatively "active rest" day, the yoga was a nice way to supplement my joint mobility and end the day nice and relaxed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weight: 174 1/2 lbs, BF%: 14.8
The evening Yoga had an positive effect as I slept very well.


Intermediate Power Vinyasa Yoga

I jumped into the regular hour and half class this morning and did respectable hitting about 70% of the poses .. a quite a few were very natural. Although a great start, I will work on increasing my lengthening in all of them. Some of the them are very advanced and will take awhile to move into. I'm sure all the Z-Heath and Kettlebell training has increased my flexibility.

Late morning and afternoon:

GTG Pull ups:
(BW + 56lb) x 7 x 1 Neutral Grip singles
BW x 1 x 10 Chins
BW x 1 x 25 Front squats ATG, feet parallel

My right elbow is a little sore due to all the heavy volume pull-up work this week. I will stop training them for at least three days and I should be fine.

Z-Health: R-Phase

I performed lots of open handed elbow,shoulder, wrist and hand circles per Mike T Nelson, RKC, Z-Trainer and this really help the soreness.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weight: 174 lbs, BF%: 14.8


Advanced Power Vinyasa Yoga:

This was a real killer. The teacher/owner is a very strong flexible women who performed effortless floor gymnastic-like poses. I was lucky in that one of the "easier" poses was one of Coach Summer's first planche progressions where the weight of the body is supported on the arms with the knees sitting on top of the elbows. I was even also able to jump from it to the plank position before things got really funky. I was fine with the basic contortions associated with Warrior I & II, chair and various triangle poses but when the arms reach around and pick up a leg and stand up on the opposite leg in the beautiful Bird of Paradise pose, I can see that some things will never be meant to be for my body type .. and thats a good thing!

The class was in the morning and I set up my mat next to one of the two heaters on used to warm up the room to a cozy 88 deg F. An hour and half later I was soaked. I did enjoy some of the shoulder stand sequences and got a private tutorial on how to work my core by folding my straight legs in a set of upside down leg raises .. very cool stuff!

Unfortunately a lot of the standing up and folding over rag-doll type sequences were very tough on my lower back .. during one of my timeouts, I needed the full back-sequence from Z-Health R-Phase to stabilize it. If I attend another class at this level I'm going to just go in to child's pose and avoid the majority those sequences until I can slowly build up some more strength down back there.

Double 32kg x 2 10 swings
Double 32kg x 3 x 2 cleans
Double 32kg x (0.5) x 1r Alternating jerk

One of my long term goals is to be able to handle double 32kgs. I cannot jerk them but I did figure out a progression by jerking the right bell while still racking the left one. I then tried to jerk the left side but was too tired as the double 32kg cleans really beat the patooties out of me.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

24kg Max VO2 Work

My back is doing very well and I have resumed training sessions. Here are my last two days:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Weight: 177 lbs.


Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

Neutral Grip Pull ups:
7 x 5
3 x (3,2)
Total: 50


32kg x 15 x 15 Two-hand swings

For the 1st 8 sets it was :20/:20 work-rest then I slowed down to :20/:35 for the remainder. Its been at least two months since I've done heavy swings and it showed.


Neutral Grip Pull ups:
2 x 5
1x 4, 1 x 1
Total: 15
Total for entire day: 65

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Weight: 180lbs .. not surprising as I totally pigged out yesterday (five ice cream cones!). No problem as I will get back on track today.


Z-Health: R-Phase + NWU2

220 x 1 x 1 Conventional Dead-lift

This was test to see that my back was actually as good as it felt .. I passed.

32kg x 1 x 10/10 One-hand swing

I always like to "warm up" swinging heavy to help make the 24kg snatch feel lighter.

24kg Max VO2 Snatch Protocol @ 5reps/set :15/:15
Total: 50 sets for 250 resp in 25 minutes

I think this protocol is going to be key for me towards passing an SSST test. This was a killer. At set twenty I wanted to call it quits when I realized I had only done 100 reps total so I decided to try and double it. When reaching that goal at that 40 sets, it was just plain mind over matter for the next ten sets. Thank goodness I have already forgotten how painful it was as I intend on doing this once per week.

As a result this, I now have a better sense for the insane 24kg 8reps/set for 80 sets that Mark O Madsen, the Olympic Gold Greco-Roman wrestling hopeful, had done .. its insane! The strength and explosiveness needed for 8 reps/set seems impossible at this point.

Also I have to thank both Tracy and Mark Reifkind as I used both tape and sock sleeve to protect my hands. Absolutely no soreness, callous or anything .. this was the first time I used both .. I copied Tracy as she used both for her latest 16kg Max VO2 session.

32kg x 10 x 1/1 TGU


Neutral grip pull ups:
BW x 8 x 5
(BW + 38lbs) x 1 x 2
BW x 2 x 6
Total: 54

I was able purchase another of the same pull up bars that I use at home. Our door frames at work are 35" wide whereas the bar is only good up to 32" doors. To remedy this, I added home made extenders by purchasing two 8" 1/2" diameter iron piping, inserting them in the ends, drilling holes and fastening with 3/16" nut and bolt on each end.

I now have about four of my co-workers GTG-ing pull ups. The additional thirty-eight lbs double I did consisted of a 3 lb dip/pull-up chain belt I built plus a 16kg kettlebell.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Time off and a little back tweak

Blogging continues to be a luxury lately as I catch up on a number of non-training related commitments. Here is a quick summary of the last 4 days:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rest training from the very demanding training on Weds dead-lift PR and heavy AMT Circuit.

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Friday, July 11, 2008

Still feeling the effects of Wed, I decided to take another day off. However when the fellow that tunes my piano was very interested in KB training I performed a mini-workout:

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

24kg x 1 x 60 Traci/Gabi Roundabout 5 run ladder one and two hand swing
24kg x 1 x 10/10 snatch
32kg x 1 x 2/2 snatch
24kg x 1 x 6/6 Viking push press
32kg x 1 x 3/3 LCCJ
32kg x 1 x 1/1 TGU

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Extensor work super set:
A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 3 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 9 reverse wrist extensions
4 sets

Another easy day.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Conventional Dead-lift off 1" plates:

220 x 2 x 5 x 1

I did two sets of five quick singles and only then realized I was only supposed to bring the bar to knee level. When I started my third set I brain locked at the knee and held on to the bar for way to too long in this vulnerable position. I felt my lower back tweak slightly so I stopped immediately.

(2 x 16kg) x 5 x 12 Explosive swings

Last time I did these was with 24kg but went lighter to be more explosive .. my back felt fine.

24kg x 3 x 4/4 Cross Lateral SLDL

My back started to bother me on the last set so I stopped for the day. I then performed Z-Health back joint mobility drills throughout the day. By the early evening it was still a little sore so I popped some Ibuprofen and today its much better. Having completed another full month of training, I will take off at least another two to three days as is highly recommended by the S&C gurus, not to mention more time to rest my back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A month off and then an unexpected DL PR

I have been extremely busy and therefore lax updating my blog. As a result, this post contains the last three training days. In all, my right knee is doing much better and I feel good about my approach to training.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

BW x 5 x 2/2 Partial Pistol to Parallel
COC Trainer x 3 x 5l/8r
BW x 2 x 10 Front squat

Back in Dec of last year I trained Naked Warrior pistols and was able to perform barefoot BW rock bottom singles with both legs. My form must have been lacking as I suffered some lower back pain and stopped doing them. Today I have resurrected them and am starting back with GTG partials.

32kg x 1 x 10/10 Slingshots
32kg x 1 x 5/5 Figure 8 to a hold
32kg x 2 x 3/3 Viking Push Press
24kg x 1 x 8/8 Viking Push Press
32kg x 1 x 2/2 Jerk
32kg x 1 x (1/1, 2/2, 3/3, 3/3, 2l/4r) TGU

The two sets of TGU triples each side with the 2 pood was a PR. On the last, I could only do 2 with my left and then set another PR with 4 on my right.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Extensor work super set:
A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 3 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 9 reverse wrist extensions
4 sets

BW x 1 x 10 PowerWheel on knees roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll-back
BW x 1 x 15 Clapping push ups

Weight: 176 lbs, BF%: 15.2

Wednesday, July 8, 2008


Z-Health: R-Phase & NWU2

Conventional Dead-lift (lbs):
200 x 10 x 1
215 x 6 x 1
225 x 4 x 1
240 x 2 x 1
265 x 1 x 1 (PR)
275 x 1 x 1 (PR)

After almost a month off from pulling due to my right knee injury I have unexpectedly returned stronger than ever. Somehow magically I became a conventional puller .. weird. All of a sudden it feels much more natural than the Sumo .. anyone with a theory for why this happened is greatly encouraged to comment. According to Rif, this is probably a good thing as he believes one actually becomes "stronger" pulling conventional vs sumo .. sounds good to me!

The 265 and 275 pulls were not planned. The two 240 singles felt "light" so I decided to hit while the iron was hot. They both weren't too bad so after 275, I went for 285 and got it off the ground a few inches before my grip failed .. no problem as this was my first day back pulling.


Key for below: l = left, b = both, r = right

Swing/TGU Superset: Variations of the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) Circuit:

32kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Left
24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Right
x 3 sets
24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Left
24kg x 1 x 5l/5b/5r/5b swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Right
1 min rest
24kg x 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Left
1 min rest
24kg x 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Right

The last time I did the AMT circuit, I used the 24kg for only two-hand swings and 32kg for the TGUs. This time I used Tracy's roundabout method for ease the grip for heavy one-hand swings by mixing it with two-hand swings and alternated the 32kg with the 24kg for the 1st 6 sets and then finished off with the 24kg. There was no resting the 1st 15:20 and it was brutal.


16kg x 2 x 5/5 Cross-Lateral SLDL (Single Leg Dead-Lift)
24kg x 2 x 3/3 Cross-Lateral SLDL
16kg x 1 x 10/10 SLDL
24kg x 2 x 5/5 SLDL
24kg x 1 x 6l/8r Viking Push Press

The cross-lateral SLDSs are a killer for me with the 24kg. The normal SLDL is no problem even with 32kg, whereas I can only do singles with that weight for the much more difficult cross-lateral SLDLs. I started doing these as recommended from the top-notch Cook and Jones "Secrets of the Backside". These really get my glutes firing.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Pull up volume PR

Sunday July 6, 2008

I'm getting ready to get back to dead-lifting. I tested by pulling a single of 200 lb with both conventional and sumo. It wasn't easy but I expected this having stayed away now for three weeks.

Z-Health R-Phase + NWU 2

200lb x 1 x 1 Conventional DL
200lb x 1 x 1 Sumo DL

Fighter Pull ups:
BW x 4 x 5
BW x 5 x 4
BW x 7 x 3
BW x 4 x 5
BW x 3 x 5
BW x 1 x 4

Total: 100 reps

This is volume PR, the second one in two days. The pull up sets were spread out over several hours GTG style. I followed the recommendations of Charles Staley from his Lat Science: Exploring the Pull-up article in the recent copy of Hard-Style. Specifically I focused on driving my elbows down to my ribcage to help activate my lats and stayed far away from failure .. for me that means no more than five reps per set.

Extensor work super set:
A1: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 3 wrist extensions
A2: 10lb Shotput x 1 x 9 reverse wrist extensions
4 sets

BW x 1 x 20 push ups
BW x 1 x 10 PowerWheel on knees roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll-back
BW x 1 x 10 Clapping push ups

24kg x 1 x 5/5 SLDL
24kg x 1 x 5/5 SLDL crossover
32kg x 1 x 5/5 SLDL
32kg x 1 x 2/2 SLDL crossover

24kg x 1 x 5/5 Dead hand clean
24kg x 1 x 5/5 Dead hand clean in anterior lunge position
32kg x 1 x 2/2 Push Press
24kg x 1 x 5/5 Viking Push Press

Sleep: Marginal .. woke up several times and was hard to get back to sleep. Weight: 180.5 lbs .. two nights of very salty Sichuan spicy cuisine blows me up like a balloon. BF%: 15.8

Saturday, July 5, 2008

24kg snatch volume PR

Having been inspired by both Rif's 305 24kg snatch volume PR and then shortly after that, Aaron's 400 24kg snatch volume PR, I decided that it was time to can the 24kg snatch avoidance I had undertaken since my RKC cert and instead go for a volume PR myself.

The Cert was an incredibly demanding brutal three days that by 2nd half of the 2nd day when we focused lastly on snatches I was nearing my capacity for pain. At that point the 24kg bell felt like a beast and it took tremendous effort to complete the workouts. Thank god the last workout was 27 sets of 16kg 15:15, 7 reps/set VO2 Max as I had completely owned the 16kg as far as snatching was concerned having previously done 60 sets of this in my training. Unfortunately, during the graduation exercise on Sunday, our snatch test bell had to be used and the subsequent 24kg snatches were extremely difficult for me .. its probably these memories of intense fatigue that induced my dropping of them post Cert.

Today's session started off sub par as I had intended to first build my confidence by re-testing my RKC Cert snatch test with a goal of 24/24. Damn, I just wasn't psyched up enough and had to settle for 15/15. Being sufficiently annoyed at myself, I then got down to business; here is the complete session breakdown:

32kg x 1 x 10/10 one-hand swing

24kg Snatch:
1 x 15/15
1 x 10/10
10 x 10 @ 1 set/min switching hands every set
10 x 5/5 @ 1 set/min
10 x 5/5 @ 1 set/1:30
6 x 5/5 @ 1 set/1:30
Total: 410 reps in 59 mins (PR)

The density was pretty low as I took liberal rests between super-sets and extended the last sixteen inner-sets to 1:30 rest. A few hours later I was sore on both sides of the top of my clavicle close to where it attaches to the top of scapulas .. if this is the extent of the damage I will be very pleased. Also, the ten sets of ten reps alternating arms each set was a mini-PR and required intense focus to complete the last three sets in good form. Dropping to 5/5 is so much easier and allowed me to continue safely.

24kg snatches really beat me up bad (I won't even go near another session with the 32kg for quite awhile .. that thing really crushed me to a pulp during my 1st and last heavy session with it) and it only motivates to master these little buggers .. avoidance certainly won't do it. I have listed passing a SSST (200 24kg snatch reps in 10 mins) as a long term goal and I feel after this session I have just inched a little bit closer.

Just as a side, and to keep things in perspective, for a truly insane video, watch the Philip Davis, RKC video here of him performing 202 snatches with the 32kg in 10 minutes ... he's my weight, a few inches taller and he cranks out 12 each side over and over using the funkiest hand switch I have ever seen; it saves him a hand transfer swing but looks really tricky. This is no fluke for him either.. in a separate article published today in Power by Pavel's Newsletter #159, he reports the he regularly does 500 32kg one-hand swings, presses double 32kgs for reps and front squats double 32kg as part of his workouts.

Sleep: Okay, Weight: 178.5 lbs

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back to Basics

A good nights sleep; weight: 176 3/4 lb, BF%: 15.5. My elbows and shoulders feel great this morning! This is great news considering the ROP press ladders yesterday. I added the shotput extensor work and its really paying off with my elbows. This, Z-Health and a lot of TGU work has really stabilized my left shoulder allowing me to press pain free.

Early morning:

10lb Shotput x 3 x 3 wrist extensions
10lb Shotput x 3 x 8 reverse wrist extensions

BW x 1 x 20 Push ups: Focusing on rowing to the ground for controlled negatives
BW x 1 x 10 PowerWheel On the kness Roll-out, 5 sec hold, roll-back
BW x 2 x 10 Clapping Push ups

Mid afternoon:

The Alternative Minimum Tax Circuit:

24kg x 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Left
24kg x 1 x 20 Two-hand swings
32kg x 1 x TGU Right
5 sets in 13:45 for 200 swings and 5 TGUs each side

The TGU's are the active rest between the swings. The last time I did this was with just the 24kg. I upped the TGUs to the 32kg and the swings definitely were harder this time.

(24kg + 32kg) x 3 x 80yds Farmer walks
(24kg + 32kg) x 1 x 80yds Double rack walks

I forgot how brutal farmer and rack walks can be at the end of a training session.

Before bed:
Z-Health R-Phase