Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 4, Day 1, FSQ 165 x 5, DB BP 45's x 5

Lots going on here, Dec 31, lots of people around, lift at 4 PM


bar x 5 - exhale and explode up

95 x 3 - exhale and try to explode up, didn't feel terribly explosive

135 x 1

155 x 1

165 x 5

For comparison, here is FSQ 165 x 5 from 4 months ago, Sept. 5, 2012.  I think you'll notice the difference in depth.

The plan calls for FSQ ATG 170 x 5 on Thursday then - Hallelujah! - switch to triples for the next 4 weeks, covering 175 to 210.  Now that I think about it, 210 for a triple doesn't exactly sound like fun, either. :)


25's x 5 - 3 or more breaths per rep

45's x 5 - 2-sec pause but no exhale - these are now heavy for me.

HLR - 1

Onward and Upward

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Weekend - Off, then Swings

Saturday - walk, stretch.

Sunday - stretch

Handstand PU - wall-supported, starting at the bottom, only got an inch or two off the ground but that's OK.  Also did some headstands.

Try a new format for swings:

0:00 - 48 kg 2-hand swing x 5
0:30 - 32 kg left-hand swing x 5
1:00 - 48 kg 2-hand swing x 5
1:30 - 32 kg right-hand swing x 5

Repeat the above, total of 4 minutes, like this format and will try to use it again.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 28, 2012

Week 3, Day 4 - 24 kg KB C&P, 28 kg Weighted PU, 100 lb. Incline BP, Frog DL 240 x 5

warmup - stretch a little, walk

24 kg:

c&p ladder 1-2-3

PU: 28 kg on left foot x 1, right foot x 1 on short rest

Incline BP:

bar x 8,

100 x 7, 6

DL: Frog

135 x 5

Switch to Okie bar and

225 x 2

240 x 2 - lost balance, took short rest and tried again, 240 x 5 - video of both

Notes - 2nd set of DL's, first rep not as good as first set's first rep.  Also started losing grip in right hand on second set of DL's

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Week 3, Day 3, FSQ 160 x 5, BP 155 x 5

warmup - floor work, OHS and shoulder dislocates w/ stick, a few light sumo DL's while demo'ing for my wife


bar x 4

95 x 3

135 x 2

160 x 5 ATG - video


DB DB 25's x 8 paused and exhaled

bar x 8

105 x 5

135 x 2

155 x 5 - getting tough, also new bench isn't quite the right height for the hooks.

HLR: 2

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - Week 3, Day 2, Incline BP 95 x 8, Frog DL 235 x 5

Day 1 of Week 3 happened on Sunday because we traveled to see family for an early Christmas but we're home now.  Yesterday did some splits works after cossack sequence and also some headstands poolside at the hotel.

Today is Week 3, Day 2 - overhead press and deadlift.

Warmup - walk a couple of miles w/ my wife, a little of the usual stretching.

OHP - we will substitute, per Marty, the steep incline barbell "bench" press for the usual kettlebell presses, but we'll keep the kb press in there a little, just to stay fresh at it.  We'll switch to the 1-arm version:

24 kg clean & press ladder, lf, 1-2-3

IBP (Incline BP):

bar x 3

95 x 8 - work set

This was the perfect weight for a set of 8, last rep a struggle but got it, and a perfect start to IBP for me - this is my first work set ever of these.  Overall solid, which the first try at these last week was certainly not.

Backoff sets and to demo for my son: DB BP 25's x 5 - felt great, as they always do.

DL: Frog

135 x 3

205 x 2

235 x 5 - double overhand grip, just wasn't ready to concede this weight to this grip, glad I got this.  Took a wide enough grip that I had my entire hand on the knurling, albeit just barely.

Notes - tough on the dear abbies to lower that slowly.  Also considering switching to conventional at a 3" deficit for 2nd DL day of the week, will decide on or before Friday.

32: Contralateral 1-leg DL, lf, 1 - tough, need to do these more, but got a single each side.

Onward and Upward

Sunday, December 23, 2012

FSQ 155 x 5, DB BP 40's x 6, 6

The Plan

FSQ 155 x 5 ATG

DB BP - 35's or 40's for 8's

Doing this on Sunday instead of the usual Monday because we're traveling later today

Warmup: Cossack sequence, shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar and pause/exhale

FSQ: bar x 1, safeties were too high, really stupid on my part, feels like I got punched in the bottom of the throat.  Reset safeties then

bar x 3

95 x 3

115 x 1

135 x 1

155 x 5 -


20's x 8 - paused and exhaled

40's x 6, 6 - paused and exhaled, vid of second set

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Variety - Getups, Incline Press, Swings

TGU: singles each side @ bw, 12, 16 kg, 24 kg x 2 singles each side alternating

Incline Press: first tries, played with setup, ended with an unevenly loaded (my wife - thanks, honey!) 95 lbs. one side missing the 5 lb. plate to make it 100 lbs.  6 reps

48: 2-hand swing, 7, 7 on the :60

Not doing more today because I have to do with 1 day's less rest, doing Monday's planned workout on Sunday due to travel.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 21, 2012

Week 2, Day 4 - OHP, PU, DL

warmup - cossack sequence, egyptians

Press  2 x 24 kg: see-saw mil press, lf, 6 each side or 12 total

PU: 28 kg right x 1, left x 1
CU: 28 kg right x 1, left x 1

DL: frog style, trying to incorporate points from both Marty and Pavel after my last effort.  Also, since the second and subsequent reps are different and important, I will ramp up with doubles and not singles

135 x 2, 2

205 x 2

235 x 4 - not used to holding onto the bar this long, 4 was it for my grip, on unknurled part of bar.  Let's try it again:

235 x 3 - tried wider grip to get some knurling, both sets on single video below

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week 2, Day 3 - FSQ and BP, both 150 lbs.

Because we're going up 10 lb a week in the FSQ and only 5 in the BP, today my numbers meet and my working weight set will be 5 reps at 150 lb for both.

Warmup - shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar and pause/breath at the bottom x 2

FSQ: Plan is to sink everything to absolute rock-bottom today - we'll see how it goes

bar x 3

95 x 3

115 x 1

135 x 2 - one ATG and one deep but not rock-bottom, video-taped, will ask Marty's opinion

150 x 5 ATG

OK, ATG it will be unless Marty says otherwise - really works the abs much more than not going quite as deep.

Warmup - DB BP: 20's x 10 - just felt good to keep doing these.

BP: new bench today, York adjustable flat/incline/decline

bar x 5

115 x 5

150 x 5 - rack height isn't quite perfect but it was close enough.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Week 2, Variety Wednesday - Getups and Swings

Today is Variety Day on my Mon/Tue Thu/Fri lifting schedule.

Haven't been doing many getups lately, so:

Getups singles to hand @ bw, 12, 16 kg.  24 kg to half-kneeling.  At the risk of stating the obvious, I should do these more and, eventually, heavier, could really feel the up shoulder working w/ 24 kg.

48: 2-hand swings, 6 sets of 5 on the :60 - better than last time, I think, especially the last 3 sets

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 2, Day 2 - OHP 24 kg x 3 x 3, DL 225 x 5

A crazy day before lifting midday - went to jury duty, got excused, went to a rescheduled doctor's appointment, did some shopping, and lifted at about 2:30 PM.  (I taught at 9 AM and will teach again from 3:30 to 8:30 PM.)


2 x 24 kg, mil press, 3, 3, 3 - excellent, up from 2, 2, 3 a week ago

DL (Frog): 135 x 5, 185 x 2, 205 x 1, 225 x 5 - _way_ better than last time, still clean grip

Was going to do swings, but was short on time, and still not feeling 100%, so we'll let those go another day or two.

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 17, 2012

Week 2, Day 1 - FSQ 145 x 5, DB BP 35's x 8

Monday so Front Squat and Dumbbell Bench Press

Still have what's left of cold/flu/whatever, voice has mostly returned.

Shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick


bar x 3
105 x 3 - deep, paused and exhaled
145 x 5 - deep, no pause


20's x 8 - paused and exhale

35's x 5, 8 - paused but not exhaled.

Notes:  only took short rest before 1st set, 8 is good on long rest.  This feels like a good working weight.  Also noticed that I wasn't completely locking out left side, fixed that for final reps

No swings today - still tired and not 100%, glad to have done this much lifting and won't be a pig about it.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 14, 2012

Week 1, Day 4 - OHP, PU, DL

For my second overhead press day of the week, I'm going to try a single set of see-saw presses followed by a few weighted pullups, then DL's.


2 x 24 kg: see-saw mil press, lf, 6 each side or 12 total - best set of these in a while.  Setup tension while standing before bending down for the clean - good setup yielded good clean yielded good presses.


Plan was:

PU: bw + 16 kg on right foot x 5
CU: bw + 20 kg on left foot x 4
PU: bw + 24 kg on right foot x 3
CU: bw + 28 kg on left foot x 2
PU: bw + 32 kg on right foot x 1


PU: bw + 16 kg on right foot x 5 - as planned
CU: bw + 20 kg on left foot x 4 - as planned
PU: bw + 24 kg on right foot x 2 - 1 fewer than planned
CU: bw + 28 kg on left foot x 1 - 1 fewer than planned

32 kg will wait until next week - haven't done this many pullups in a single workout in a _long_ time - this was a fine effort for today.  If I'm smarter next time, I'll go for fewer reps at the lower weight, e.g., maybe 3 x bw + 12, and then singles at higher weights up to a heavy single for the day.  In retrospect, a poor plan but it could have been a lot worse.


I'll have to ask Marty about whether I should pull frog style 2x/week or do once frog and once conventional.  My gut says to stick with frog for 13 weeks and then switch to conventional but we'll see what Marty's got to say.

Frog DL: 135 x 3, 205 x 1, 215 x 3 - lost my grip on the bar, 215 x 5

Skipping the 2-hand swings - I realize now I probably have a tired grip from the weighted pullup work before barbell DL's, and heavy swings would be too much today.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 1, Day 3 - FSQ and BP

Yesterday, Wednesday, just stretching - walked, worked on my splits and cossack stretches, did a bit of headstand practice.  Have a little cold, have lost my voice, trying to stay rested, took a nap mid-morning.

Today, Thursday, FSQ and BP.

Warmup:  Shoulder dislocates w/ stick, OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty Oly bar x 2

FSQ: bar x 1, 105 x 5 paused and exhaled, 140 x 5 - deep but bounced.  We're going +5 lbs. twice a week on FSQ.

We're doing BP once a week, will start at 145, +5 lb per week, end with 205 x 1, which would be a lifetime PR

BP cycle plan

Week 1 - 145 x 5
Week 2 - 150 x 5
Week 3 - 155 x 5
Week 4 - 160 x 5

Week 5 - 165 x 3
Week 6 - 170 x 3
Week 7 - 175 x 3
Week 8 - 180 x 3

Week 9 - 185 x 2
Week 10 - 190 x 2 - would be a recent PR
Week 11 - 195 x 1 - would be a lifetime PR
Week 12 - 200 x 1 - would be another lifetime PR

Week 13 - 205 x 1 - would be yet another lifetime PR

DB BP 20's x 2, long pauses, felt great - phone rang.  Felt that I'd done 30's on Tue and that I'm improving at DB BP

BP: bar x 2, 100 x 5 paused, 145 x 5 paused.  Was a little nervous about 145 x 5 but it was solid.

48: 2-handed swing, on the :60: 5, 10, 6, 9 - felt like mixing up the reps today.  Form feels better, will try to videotape tomorrow

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 1, Day 2 - OHP and DL

Tuesday: Overhead Press and Deadlift


2 x 24 kg mil press: 2, 2, 3 - up 1 total rep from last time, same # of sets.  Maybe we'll work up to 10 reps and then work on fewer sets, or something along those lines

DL: Frog/Inaba style

135 x 1, 205 x 5

48: 2-hand swing on the :60: 5, 8, 8 - better

HLR: 1

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 10, 2012

Week 1 of 13, Day 1

I'm considering a Mon/Tue, Thu/Fri program where I'd squat and press on Mon/Thu and overhead press and DL on Tue/Fri.   My minimum is once a week per lift.  If I squat twice, they'll all be front squats; if I bench press twice, one will be barbell and the other dumbbell; if I deadlift twice, once will be frog and once will be conventional, I think - not sure about that one.  And for overhead pressing, that remains to be seen - could be one press day and one pullup day, e.g..

OHS: stick x 8, empty bar x 3

Read Pavel's blog on the Zercher Squat and had to try them:
ZSQ: 135 x 2, 2 w/ DL start/finish - ugh, these are not fun

Main work of the day: FSQ and DB BP

bar x 3
95 x 8
135 x 5 - paused, felt rock solid

20's x 5 - 3-breath exhales

30's x 8, 8 - paused, most exhaled (if the groove doesn't feel right, I'll just press it back up again without a long pause or exhale)

48: 2-hand swings, single set of 9 reps experimenting with form, rooting, hip angle, etc.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Another Variety Day

Still taking it wasy from the meet, but in ramp-up mode as the training week in earnest starts tomorrow or Monday.  I was able to pick up a pair of 25 lb. dumbbells yesterday from craigslist and use them today.

DB BP: 25's x 7 - paused and exhaled but not quite the brutally long pauses of a couple of days ago.  Wow, this is _such_ a good stretch.  Each and every time I do these, the first few reps don't feel good on my left shoulder, and each and every time I do them, by the time the set is over, my left shoulder feels fantastic.  Nice to have 25's - they're the right weight for me to start with - 20's are too light.

16: windmill, lf, 3 - haven't done these with weight in a while, should do them more often.  Don't I always say that every time I do weighted windmills?

16: bent press, lf, 1 - hey, these are better, t-spine works better, had a nice pop/click on each side as I did these, form was basically OK.

20: bent press, lf, 1, left side was better, right side form sloppy somehow although not quite sure how.

24: bent press, lf, 1, left side was good, right not so good although it did go up - that's backwards from how my bent presses usually are.  Think I wasn't really resting on my lat at the start.

That'll do it for now.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 7, 2012

Overhead Press and Sumo DL

Some floor work to stretch out today.  Have a long day ahead and this is still recovery week so will take it easy today.

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 1 - long overhead hold, looking for good elbow lockout and t-spine extension.

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 2 - solid pause at lockout after first rep, long pause (~10 sec) after second.

It's important for me to remember that bench pressing isn't going to help my overhead press but my overhead press will help my bench press - so I need to keep overhead pressing.  These are harder than they ought to be, right at the sticking point, and I need double kb work more often.  Let's do one more set:

2 x 24 kg: mil press, 3 - as above, long pause on last one.  Thought about clean and press format but my good press stance is narrower than my clean stance and I want the press to be the focus.

The down side to double kb work on DL day is that it's tiring to the lower back, even with a solid glute lockout. Perhaps we'll do double kb work at the beginning of this 13-week cycle and switch to single kb work as the DL's get heavier.

Inaba style or "frog" DL, now with Marty's set protocol - touch and go

135 x 8 - left over, 185 x 6 - right over, 205 x 3 x 3, alternating grips, and relatively short 1-2 min rests between.

Video of 205 x 3 x 3:


48 kg 2-hand swings, 6 on the minute for 7 min, video:

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Post-Meet FSQ and DB BP - Easy but Ramping Up

FSQ: bar x 1, 95 lb x 5 deep, 115 x 5 deep, 135 x 4 deep and paused

DB BP: 20's x 6 exhaled

That's it for today

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

4 Days Post-Meet: Getups

Cossack sequence to warmup.

Getups - alternating singles to half-kneeling, starting with weight in left arm: bw-only, 10 kg, 14 kg, 20 kg,    Floor press on left side didn't feel particularly good, but w/ weight in right, stability on left was improved from what I remember - good.  Should try to get these in at least once a week - it's a great exercise.  Also felt the restricted movement in my neck looking to the right, much as I do when doing windmills with the weight in my right hand.  ROM is barely acceptable and needs to improve.  After these, left shoulder seems to have gotten a much-needed stretch - feels "lit up" in a good way, blood flowing, relaxed.

Good feedback from Marty this morning in email about my first attempts at frog DL - will try to implement next time I do these although I'm not sure if that will be before the end of next week.

Still in "relax, play, restore" mode after the meet.  Will not exercise further, have a long day ahead, will try to get a long hot shower in before I have to leave the house.  Two days in a row of swings - enough, rest day today.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

3 Days Post-Meet

I thought I posted yesterday but I can't find it.

Sunday, 1 day post-meet, no exercise, eat everything in sight.

Monday, 2 days post-meet, some overhead squats with a stick and an empty Oly bar, plus some barbell FSQ with 95 lbs. Finished with 48 kg 2-hand swings, 3 sets of 5 on the :60.  Felt great.  Again, ate a lot.

Tuesday, today:

16 kg kettlebell - 5 bottoms-up clean-and-presses each side, alternating sides.  Felt great.  An interesting observation - if the weight is light enough, the exercise is what it should be, about grip and not about balance.  I noticed that, as I started, I wasn't locking my knees - I fixed that by reminding myself that the bell would be where it needed to be by virtue of my strong grip, not my swaying underneath it like a snake charmer - problem solved.

PU: bw + 24 kg bell on belt, 3 singles - used false grip on Oly bar on rack

DL: Tried Inaba "frog" style, 3 "sets" of 2 singles @ 225, video

48 kg: 2-hand swings, 5 sets of 5 on the :45.  Balance was a little iffy on 3rd and 4th set as I experimented with stance.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 1, 2012

USAPL Meet Report

My deadlift went up 7 lbs. and felt easier than the lower weight did 13 days ago.  Squat and BP were a wash, not awful, not great.  Details:

SQ:  1st attempt was about 200 lbs. - meet was in kilos which I found hard to keep track of.  I made it, 3 white lights.  2nd attempt failed on depth - if it wasn't deep enough, it was close, IMHO.  Third attempt found me having a "senior moment" and I forgot to wait for the start command so no lift.

BP:  First attempt 77.5 kg, about 175 lbs., good.  Second attempt 82.5 kg, about 183 lbs., also good but left shoulder didn't feel great during the press and it was slow so I elected to skip my third attempt.

DL:  First attempt 142.5 kg, 314 lbs. good - had warmed up with singles to 300 lbs.  Second attempt, which I planned to be my last, went for 155 kg or 342 lbs. and got it - it was surprising in that I clearly had more left in me but I didn't want to be a pig about things and my wife and I had family to visit on the way home, so that was it - packed up and left.


Food and weigh-in:  weighed in a 67.1 kg or 147.9 lbs., good as the limit was 67.5 kg or 148.7 lbs.  Was plenty hungry and thirsty, so had hotel breakfast enough for 2-3 people: 3 omlettes, bacon, potatoes, lots of water, lots of coffee.

Support:  My wife came with me, and Phil Scarito was there with his girlfriend, a friend of hers, and even Phil's father was there for some of it.  It was great to have them all around, and I felt like I was able to be of some help to Phil, which I was very glad to do.

Notes - bench press was OK, my technique is solidifying.  Squatting find me still pretty clueless - looking forward to a solid 13 weeks of front squats starting next week.  Deadlift - video

DL 2nd:

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

3 Days to Meet

Bodyweight 151 even this morning.  Food has been simple the last few days.

-->  Instead of having my usual homemade almond butter, banana, and coconut oil first thing in the morning, I've been having it around noon.

--> Dinner for the last few days has been simple: homemade cheeseburger with grass fed beef and grass fed cheese, plus steamed asparagus in butter, and for dessert, homemade pineapple-coconut bread.

That's all it's take for me to drop about 2 lbs. from my usual weight and I haven't used herbal diuretics (yet) or deprived myself in any way.  Nice!  I'm not looking forward to the morning, day-of, weigh-in, however.

Warmed up with 2-mile walk, then:

One-arm bar hangs for maybe 5-10 seconds each side, then 16 kg windmills, 1 each side.

Lifting: 2 x 24 kg see-saw mil press, 5 each side, lost tightness on final rep and felt it in disc, other than that, excellent and felt great.

Onward and Upward.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Easy Bench and More Pre-Meet Variety

Monday - off, not feeling great, very busy day, just some stretching

Tuesday (today)

Dumbbell bench press with 20's and 30's.   As always, a real tonic for my left shoulder, big stretching in left chest and shoulder muscles.  Protocol is pull down as if a heavy barbell, then relax and exhale at the bottom, then repressurize and press strong.  One set with each weight, 4 or 5 reps (wasn't really counting)

BP: bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 1, 175 x 1 - not bad.  Meet was 170, 180, 185.  We'll have to see if we feel like more is possible this Saturday.  Opening at 170 didn't take away too much so that 180 and 185 felt good - I think trying +5 on all three attempts in a possibility.

DL: 225 on the bar, tried a single in Inaba "duck" style - felt great.  Tried another single in narrow sumo, inspired by Jeff Steinberg - felt weak and awkward.  One more duck DL @ 225 - again, felt strong

Finish with a few 2-hand, 48 kg swings

Onward and Upward

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Variety Day - Barbell Plate See-Saw Military Press

Barbell Plate See-Saw Military Press - a strange movement I have created (not the first person to think of it, I'm sure, but I've never seen it before).  Tried 25's for a few reps, 35's for a few reps - middle and ring fingers in the holes in each plate, the rest behind - then 45's.

It could be a thing to do when in a gym without kettlebells but with Oly plates.

The clean obviously will need a little work - guess I could work on curling them...

Have a long rehearsal this afternoon, will try to get in another lifting session of some sort, probably bench press up to my second attempt and maybe DL up to my opener, tomorrow (Monday).  Meet is in 6 days, bodyweight was again 152 even.

Onward and Upward.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday - first lifting in a week

Bodyweight - yesterday (day after Thanksgiving), 153.2.  Today, 152.2

Stretch a bit:

FSQ: bar x 8, 95 x 5

SQ: 135 x 4 paused,

SQ: All rock bottom, 155 x 1, 175 x 1, 200 x fail - not used to this weight at this depth

SQ: 245 - just stand with and and some not-even-quarter squats.  Just wanted something heavier on the bar.

Bottom line - not having regular training for month through a postponed meet, an actual meet, and a second actual meet is not to my liking. I feel out of shape and weak.

No more lifting today.


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Variety - 48 kg swings

walk 2 miles

Try some of the V-sit double presses I read about in the blog.  For me, they were more like side split presses.  Used double 10 kg - seemed to go OK.

Also worked on pressing a single 10 kg on each side a few times from a side split.

48 kg swings: 5 on the minute for 8 minutes

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

2 Days Post-Meet - Variety: Pistols, Pullups, Pushups, Windmills

I was all kinds of weird sore yesterday, Monday, the day after the meet.  Things ached in places they never have before, one knee hurt for a while and then it switched to the other knee, and so it went.

Today is Tuesday and I need to do something to get my body feeling good again.  Did a little stretching and then decided to try overhead pressing:

Double 24's, 2 reps.  That's enough, form felt good, just looking to get the juices flowing.

I haven't done bodyweight-only pullups in years - decided to see what a dozen of those felt like and they felt fine.  Tight, locked out and paused on both ends, throat to bar, no hurry.  12th rep was just starting to get tiring - if I'd gone faster and/or been a little less careful or both, certainly could have done 15 or more reps.

Assorted experiments with 1-arm pushups variations, some 1-leg, some 2-leg, various heights, some partials, etc.  Need to get better at these, maybe a variety-day kind of activity.

Crane Pistol - on the front porch, 1 each way, left first - a bit rusty but not awful.

16 kg windmill, 3 each side.

Onward and Upward.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Meet Results - Good!

Weighed in last night and just barely made weight.  Was 150.6 upon waking, 149.8 before I left the house, 149.2 when I got to the hotel, and did a half-hour hot bath to get to 148.8.

Squat:  Opened at 200 and did 215 second attempt as planned, 3 white lights for both.  Felt spent after second attempt but tried 225 for third, struggled with it at the sticking point then gave up on it.

Bench Press:  170, 180, 185.  Three white lights for all.  Had a funny hand-off on second attempt but everything good on third.

Deadlift:  There were 2 flights of squatters but 3 flights of bench pressers.  Felt really tired by DL time and my warmups felt heavy.  Did my planned 315 and 335 and decided not to take a third attempt.

I am tired, tired, tired.  I'm leaving the meet even before it's over to try to drive home in the daylight.  There are also 3 flights of dead lifters.  I'll survive without the trophy.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cutting Weight, Planned 1st and 2nd Attempts for Sunday

My news today is about cutting weight for a competition in a safe, effective, not miserably unpleasant manner through diet and herbal formulations that are intended to help you shed water weight.

I weighed 150.8 lbs. this morning, right on schedule to weigh-in at just under 149 on Saturday at 6 PM.  Yesterday, Thursday, I was still 152 even, as I was the day before.

Cutting weight for a meet is one of those things where you wake up every morning and hope the bathroom scale is going to show you the number you need.  My number was 151 today so I'm happy.  Yesterday was the first day this week that I didn't have 2 chocolate chip cookies for dessert after dinner- you can't really complain too much if cutting weight only involves that.  (I baked them from scratch on Sunday so I get to eat some of them, right?) I was 153.2 on Monday morning which is my usual weight.

The other thing I do is take a herbal diuretic which helps shed a pound or two of water weight.  The product I use is MHP Xpel.  You can see the ingredient list on but I usually buy mine locally at Vitamin Shoppe.

Xpel is nice stuff to have around, useful if you're retaining water that you need to get rid of for whatever reason, e.g., I have used it if I get allergy-related dizziness.  I would not, however, stay on this for any length of time.  The general recommendation is that you can take an entire bottle of the stuff, which is 10 days worth if you follow package directions.

And speaking of package directions, if you are my size - 150 lbs. - you may find that the recommended dose is too much.  I don't take 4 morning and 4 evening as recommended, I do 3 and 3.  The extra started to make me feel weird and didn't do anything additional for my water retention.  This week, I took 1 and 1 on Tuesday, 2 and 2 on Wednesday, and 3 and 3 Thursday, which was yesterday.  My last dose will be Saturday morning.

Wish me white lights.  Planned first two attempts, all in pounds: SQ: 200, 215.  BP: 170, 180.  DL: 315, 335.  Weigh-in is Saturday between 5 and 6:30 PM, lifting is all day Sunday - this was originally supposed to be a 2-day meet but got changed to a single day due to low sign-ups.  That means it'll probably be a long day.

Today, I'll walk a bit and stretch a bit, might even do some back squats @ 135 and/or DL's @ 225 just to stay loose - we'll see.

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Meet Minus 4 Days - Updated

Bodyweight 152 even today, and that's after 2 cookies and a Irish coffee last night.  If I wake up Saturday morning at 151 even, I'm good enough, so that's 3 more days to lose 1 more pound.

Food has been otherwise clean, e.g., dinner last night was a burger on a roll with cheese and sauteed onions, asparagus as veggie.  Meat was grass-fed, cheese from grass-fed cattle, asparagus and onions organic, etc.  So was the half-and-half in my coffee - but not the Jim Beam. :)

Today, just really had the urge to lift something - grabbed a pair of 24 kg bells and did 10 see-saw presses (5 each side).  What a fantastic lift, a real tonic to the entire upper back and shoulder region.

HLR: 2

Edit - Spoke to Marty, here's the plan:

SQ: Attempts: 200, 215, and then we'll see.  Warmup 135 x whatever, 155/160 x 1 or 2 deep and paused, 185 x 1.  Warmups on 5 min rests before the announced start of the flite.

BP:  Attempts: 170, 180, then we'll see.  Warmup 135 x whatever, 155 x 1 or 2 well-paused

DL:  Attempts: 315, 335, then we'll see.  Warmup 225 x whatever, 255 x 1 or 2, 285 x 1

Onward and Upward!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another Rest Day

Bodyweight yesterday morning: 153.2 lbs.

Bodyweight this morning: 152.4 lbs.

Exercise: walk to bank and grocery store, standing meditation, stretching.

Yesterday's dinner was filet of sole (fish) pan fried in olive oil with a gluten-free, almond-flour breading.  Asparagus (always a good meet week vegetable as it's a natural diuretic) was the veggie, even had 2 of the chocolate chip cookies I baked from scratch on Sunday night.  Irish coffee for desert: one shot espresso, a little vanilla sugar syrup, a little Jim Beam whiskey, plus half-and-half.

Meet is this Sunday, need to keep dropping weight but since the weigh-in is the day before, not too worried.  Also took my first of an herbal diuretic pill called XPEL, just one capsule this morning, will take another tonight, the 2 and 2 tomorrow (Wednesday), then 3 and 3 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Package dose is 4 capsules AM and 4 capsules PM but I've found that, for my size human being, 3 and 3 works just as well and doesn't make me feel bad like 4 and 4 has sometimes done.

Onward and Upward!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Variety Day - A Few See-Saw Kettlebell Presse

I'm off for the week before my meet, but I wanted to do a little something to stay loose, so I grabbed a pair of 24 kg bells and did see-saw military presses, 3 each side or 6 total.

It's interesting that just assuming my standing kettlebell press stance stretches my hip flexors - I miss doing these.  Standing kettlebell presses, with good form, provide a great challenge to tight hip flexors.  The see-saw variation is wonderful because it encourages a nice amount of mobilization in the upper back, shoulders, scapula, etc. while still requiring stability.  This is one of those magic lifts, IMHO.

Also walked a few miles to run errands, also stretched.

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Mini-Meet: BP 180, DL 335

Thursday - not much, walking, sore

Friday - lots of driving and lots of sitting

Saturday - sore again, this time from driving and sitting

Sunday - mini-meet but only light squats per Marty

FSQ: bar x 5,  SQ: 95 x 4 - ATG and paused, 135 x 3 - deep and paused


bar x 4

95 x 5 long pause

135 x 1

Meet format: singles on ~10 min rest at 160, 170, 180.  180 is close to the limit but maybe 185 is possible - might try

DL: 225 x 3 over, 275 x 1 over, 295 x 1 over, 315 x 1 left under, 335 x 1 left under - 335 was slow but it went and didn't stop.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mini Meet 3 of 4: SQ 215, BP 175, DL 315

Yesterday, Tuesday, off/easy - been walking a lot with my sister who's in for a visit

Today, Wednesday - a bit tired and sore from all the walking and also the stupid 1-arm pushups on Monday.

SQ: bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x 1, 185 x 1, 215 x 1

BP: bar x 3, 95 x 3, 135 x 1, 155 x 1, 175 x 1 - 175 is getting easier, form is improving, basically learning how to get and stay tighter

DL: 225 x 3 overhand, 275 x 1 overhand, 295 x 1 left over, 315 x 1 right over - 315 was moving pretty quickly for 315.

Onward and Upward - meet in 11 days

Monday, November 5, 2012

Variety Day - Meet in 13 days, B/U Double Press, 1-Arm Pushup

I stretched a lot this morning, some Primal Move-based floor work combined with my own.  Lots of nice pops and cracks in my back and neck - aah!

I thought it would be interesting, since I like the see-saw military press so much, to try it with a pair of light kettlebells held bottoms-up.  After I tried and failed to clean a pair of 16 kg b/u, and a second failed attempt, I got it on the third try.  At that point, see-saw pressing seemed out of the question but a standard, two-bell military press did not - I tried and got the press.  Wow, what a great grip exercise and a good lesson in total body tension as well.

Found a newer pair of 16's and the grip felt a little easier, tried the see-saw press again - got a solid press on each side but that was about it, and it didn't matter which side I started with.

1-arm pushup on a 12" box - right first, one each side

Onward and Upward

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Mini-Meet 2 of 4 - Postponed PL Meet

Thursday, Friday, Saturday - not much, walked, stretched


SQ: bar x 3, 95 x 3, 135 x 5, 155 x 2, 175 x 1, decided to try 205 x 1 instead of planned 195, got it pretty easily, felt plenty deep, am thinking about going for 225 at the meet

BP: bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 4, 155 x 1, 170 x 1 - not fast but neither a total max, either

IMHO, I need to bench more in training - I am already fatigued by my warmups and I don't do many warmups.

DL: 225 x 3 overhand, 280 x 1 right under, 300 x 1 left under - all pretty easy.  Tough to pack left shoulder when it's underhand but tried to do a better job of that today.

A few one-arm bar hangs to stretch out.

HLR: 2

Onward and Upward - felt great today.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Meet Postponed - Time for Adjusting the Plan

Mon - walk, stretch

Tue - walk, stretch

Wed - Mini Meet - per Marty and since actual meet got postponed by 2 weeks

Earlier BP warmup: DB BP: 20's x 8, 30's x 5

Also a few swings and some Primal Move stuff while assisting my wife and two friends with their practice.

Then:  Circuit training speed on this due to lack of time - start to finish in less than 30 min

FSQ: bar x 3

SQ: bar x 3, 95 x 3, 135 x 3, 165 x 1, 185 x 1

BP: bar x 2, 135 x 4, 165 x 1 - oops, was supposed to be 160, oh well

DL: 225 x 3 overhand, 285 x 1 left under

The plan is mini-meet today, Sunday, next Wed, next Sun, each SQ and BP + 10 lbs., each DL + 15 lbs., all just working up to a single for the day.

Finisher: 24 kg mil press, 3 left, 3 right, superset w/ 24 kg PU, bell on left (weaker) foot, also 3

And that's all she wrote, so

Edit - a bit later, HLR x 2, 2

Onward and Upward

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Saturday - walked, stretched


SQ:  video of 1rst and 2nd attempts

bar x 5

95 x 5

135 x 5

165 x 1

195 x 1 - planned first attempt

205 x 1 - planned second attempt, same as third attempt in July, 215 will be third


bar x 5

95 x 5

135 x 5

165 x 1 - planned first attempt

175 x 1 - planned second attempt, same as max in July which was 2nd.


225 x 5 overhand

275 x 1 right under

305 x 1 - left under, planned meet first attempt

320 x 1 - left under, planned meet second attempt, 335 will be third


Friday, October 26, 2012

Variety - Windmills

Thursday:   Felt pretty lousy after yesterday's squatting -

12 kg windmills x 3 each side




Pullup w/ 2 fingers on each hand and a 24 kg on my foot - did just one rep, unpleasant for those 4 fingers.

24: mil press once left, once right, put bell on foot and one pullup

HLR x 2, 2 - tried to keep elbows locked better on second set

Will now walk to run errands yet again.

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Variety Day, Last SQ Day Before Meet

Tuesday - variety day, walked to run some errands, did some nice stretching

Wednesday - was going to be SQ/BP day but I found having spotters for my BP really helped my confidence last weekend so I'm going to SQ only today, and will get more BP in at my mini-meet on Sunday.

warmup - short walk, general stretching, OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar

FSQ: bar x 1, 95 x 2 - deep, paused and exhaled.  I find myself really missing front squats.

Note to self - the bar weight is on my left hand more than it should be.  Right side is fine.  Tried focusing on driving left elbow forward today but need to remain mindful of this problem.


95 x 3 - deep, paused and exhaled

135 x 5 - deep (probably 2-3" below parallel) but no pause or exhale

155 x 1 - start recording, good

175 x 1 - good

195 x 1 - good

215 x fail - possibly too low, also possibly too many ramp-up lifts.  155 x 1 was pretty pointless, probably could have gone 165, 190, 215, don't know if that would have helped.  Also probably sank warmups too deep, seem to have lost a bit of my feeling for proper depth.  Damn - not happy.

Onward and Upward, I hope.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday - Another Easy Day

Bodyweight hip circles, neck rotations, windmills,

20 kg b/u c&p x 1 each side

Did some splits yesterday afternoon so let's do some windmills:

20 kg windmill x 1 each side - been a while since I did weighted windmills, and this felt awful

12 kg windmill x 3 each side - OK, a more appropriate effort, still not great but did get palm on the ground on both sides.  Amazing what these fire and what they stretch.

Later, walk for some errands and some more easy stretching.

Onward and Upward - tomorrow or Wednesday, I think it will be SQ/BP day

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday - SQ, BP, DL

Didn't get to lift until 4 PM.

Warmup was walking and stretching

SQ: 135 x 1, 2, 1  - not a squat day, just did a few warmups, paused, rock bottom, just stretching out.

BP: 20 lb. db's x 8, 135 x 5, 160 x 1, 170 x 1, 180 x 1 - best BP single in 7 years, we'll take that sort of lift any day.  Not much of a BP by most standards but, like I said, we'll take it.  My all-time meet best is 190 and that was 7 years ago, maybe more like 10 years ago.

DL: Tried Sumo - right under, 225 x 1, left under, 225 x 1 - both narrow sumo stance, felt pretty strange, 2nd rep bothered my right knee somewhat

DL: conventional, 225 x 3 overhand - piece of cake

DL: 275 x 1, 290 x 1, 305 x 1 - slow but steady on all

48: 2-handed swing, 20 in :30

Onward and Upward

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kettlebell See-Saw Press

Today I had 60 seconds to lift - really, that was it - behind schedule, had hours of driving ahead of me and my wife already impatient with me.  What to do?

2 x 24 kg bells - clean, see-saw press.  Totaled 10 reps (5 reps each side).  A perfect short workout that provides a lot of things, including some loaded mobility work as you shift under the load.

Tip: Keep your glutes tight during any two-bell overhead work, including this one.  You want to move under the weights a little but you don't want the motion to come from your lumbar spine, and clenching your butt will help make sure that what's supposed to move moves and what's not supposed to move stays put.

Stretched as I could at breaks during all the driving today.

Tomorrow, it'll either be a Bench/DL workout or a mini-meet or somewhere in between.

Onward and Upward.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lots of off-easy days leading up to meet

Thursday - walked, cut the lawn, stretched out afterwards including cossack sequence and splits.

Friday - after doing mostly 40 and 48 kg 2-handed swings of late, picked up a 20 kg and did

10L + 10R + 10L + 10R  in 1:05

rested 5-10 minutes, then

2-handed swing, 48 kg, 20 reps in :30

Tomorrow, Saturday, will have half a day of driving

Sunday, mini-meet or a BP/DL day.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Primal Move, Naked Warrior, Meet Prep

I haven't posted in over a week - here's why, plus today's training:

Last week, Thursday and Friday were spent at a Primal Move course put on by founder Peter Lakatos for those in the RKC leadership who weren't able to attend a previous weekend training over the summer.  What can I say about PM?  It's fantastic, a return to the child-like simplicity of movement in a fun, easily-adaptable system that is already benefitting me personally a great deal.  Much is being written and said about PM - I cannot add anything more other than to highly recommend it to everyone.

Saturday and Sunday were Pavel's "Naked Warrior" instructor certification workshop.  Again, superlatives wouldn't suffice so I'll be brief - it was the best distillation yet of the principles of Hard Style, and the most organized exercise workshop I've ever attended - the content presentation was "by the book", meaning it followed the manual closely, but it added all the things necessary to bring the concepts in the manual to life.  I elected not to take the test at the weekend because I have a powerlifting meet coming up but rest assured I will do this soon.

Monday and Tuesday - off.  No training Monday, and Tuesday, which was yesterday, just my Primal Move workout with a focus on mobility.

Wednesday, today:

FSQ: bar x a few singles


deep and paused: bar x 5, 95 x 5 - not much pressure in belly
deep and paused:  135 x 5 - some pressure in belly

These were more warmups than usual for me but they felt necessary today

ramp-up: 165 x 1, 195 x 1

215 x 1 - was planning on 215 x 2 but all that hollow-position work over the weekend didn't make the upright torso for squatting much fun today.  Will post video later

Onward and upward

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SQ/BP Day - 3 weeks until Meet


bar x 3 deep, paused and exhaled

95 x 2 deep, paused and exhaled

135 x 3 deep and paused

165 x 1 - wasn't tight enough

185 x 1 - got tight, felt great

205 x 2 - not sure they're deep enough, will let Marty make that call

BP: DB 20's x 8


bar x 5

95 x 5

135 x 1 - trying index fingers on rings today

155 x 1, 165 x 1, 175 x 1 on about 8 min rests

(HLR x 2 + 48 kg 2-hand swing x 10) x 2 - lifts took 1:00, rest 1:00 between, 3:00 and it's done

Onward and Upward

Saturday, October 6, 2012

OH Press (28 kg x 1) and DL (325 x 2) Day

Decided to lift today instead of Sunday - better practice for the fatigue of a meet, the goals aren't all that hard, and the meet is on a Saturday.

Warmup - a short walk, some stretching

KB Press, all reps left then switch hands and same number right:

18 kg x 5, 24 kg x 1, 28 kg x 1


225 x 5 over - only 3 last week but feeling a little stiff, this felt better today

285 x 1 right under

305 x 1 right under

An absolutely awful, ugly, 325 x 2 - the first rep came up lopsided; the second rep was, at least, even.

325 x 2 left under

(HLR x 2) + (48 kg 2-hand swing x 10) - rest, repeat, and done

Onward and Upward

Friday, October 5, 2012

Variety - One-Arm, One-Leg Pushup Supports

An interesting variety day - did some yard work, walked into town for some errands.

Tried holding the support (top) position of a one-arm, one-leg pushup for a little time today - a fascinating thing happened.  While on my first side, which was left hand and right foot, all sorts of things went pop and click, a free chiropractic session, brought on by necessity - I tightened everything, and my body needed to realign itself.  This is, not coincidentally, the combination with which I have trouble in my getups, pushing through my left elbow and my right foot.

On the other side, no realignment, no drama at all.

In other words, what I did was like a plank, but with straight arms, but with only one arm and one leg.  It's a cool, useful exercise, could be held for time, and should help my eventual one-arm, one-leg pushups.

Also did a few pistols on the front porch.

My next planned heavy lifting day is Sunday in order to get 2 off days after yesterday but I'm feeling well rested and might lift tomorrow instead.  It'll be my first DL doubles.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Squat/BP Day - last triples

warmup - some stretching including cossack sequence, shoulder dislocates and OHS w/ stick

FSQ: bar x 1 paused and exhaled

SQ: bar x 1, 95 x 3 - paused, deep, and exhaled

135 x 3 (warmup), 155 x 1,  175 x 1 (ramp up), 195 x 3 (work set) - work set only

DB BP: 20's x 3 paused and exhaled


95 x 3 paused and exhaled

135 x 4 (warmup), 155 x 1 (ramp up), 175 x 2 (work set) - planned 3 but 1st rep was slow and 2nd rep wobbly so stopped there.  

This is the second time I've attempted 175 x 3 and gotten 175 x 2 only, maybe missing something technical here about getting the weight back up.  First time was 2 weeks ago - last week, 170 x 3 went up, but this still won't go.

HLR: 2 - slightly narrower grip than usual, felt solid but 2 was it

Onward and Upward.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Variety Day - Bodyweight

Weighed 153.6 yesterday, 153.2 this morning, 152.8 midday

Warmup - some stretching - neck work, cossacks, egyptians, hula hoops, ankle rotations.

bw-only work - been a while, will be rusty

qigong on the porch including crane pistols.  First pistol left went down but not back up again, second set was fine each side.

Decided to play w/ one-arm, one-leg pushups, again knowing I'm very rusty.  Here's how it went:

Left: 2 partial ROM on the floor, Right: full descent but couldn't come back up.


Left: full descent, pause, stop at bottom;  Right, the same

My approach is not to worry too much about whether I'm using one leg or two - it seems more natural to me to work on the one-legged version but I don't deny myself touching the other leg as needed.

I note that my glutes and abs aren't nearly as tight as they need to be for these.  If I can fix that, I think I'll have the movement.

Upstairs in the family room, tried assisting with just a finger of the other hand as needed - not sure it's what I need as it changes the center of everything.

No more for today, might try a little light GTG on these over the next few weeks to see how it goes.

Onward and Upward

Monday, October 1, 2012

KB Press and Barbell DL - and I can't count

Dog tired after 3 days teaching at the Philly RKC but having at it today, anyway.

KB Press:

Decided to warmup with 18 kg x 5 each side instead of 20 kg - why not, it's just a warmup, anyway.

24 kg x 1

28 kg x 1 - been doing doubles at this weight but not liking my form for the second rep, and this isn't my focus now, anyway - perhaps I'll go for reps @ 28 kg or a single at 32 kg when the WNPF World's meet is over - would make a nice focus for a 13-week cycle.

Short walk to do some errands and loosen up the back

DL: - found out last week's 305 x 3 turned out to be 297.5 x 3 - damn!  Will pull 315 x 3 today, anyway

225 x 3 overhand

275 x 1 right under

295 x 1 right under

315 x 3 left under, video:

Swing:  40 kg, 2-handed

5 reps, 1 breath
10 reps, 3 breaths
15 reps, done

Onward and Upward

RKC Philly 2012

I'm just back from teaching at the Philly RKC, 2012.  I had a well-prepared group of students and it was a pleasure to be their Team Leader.  It was the smallest RKC I've been at lately, 5 teams of about a dozen students each, but that didn't seem to hinder it in any way.  Many thanks to my assistant instructors, Annie Vo and Marshall Roy - I certainly couldn't have done it without them.

The weekend came during a very busy time in my life - I elected to skip a Friday night dinner with the other team leaders and was asleep by 8:30 PM, getting some much needed and overdue rest.

With one exception, my exercise for the weekend consisted of a few brief demonstrations while teaching.  The one exception was a few minutes spent on a pullup bar during a break on Saturday.  I dd some assisted one-arm chinup varations, including with just the index finger of the other hand assisting and placed at the opposite side of a TAPS pullup bar unit.

I'll be home this week although it promises to be again very busy, with lots of piano practice for a recital I'm playing in on Thursday afternoon, accompanying a family friend's daughter at the local high school as she plays a clarinet concerto.  I'm hoping to get two solid powerlifting training days in.

Onward and Upward.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Squat and BP - 2 new PR's

OHS - wide grip, bar x 1


bar x 2 - paused, deep, and exhaled

95 x 2 -  paused, deep, and exhaled

135 x 3 - competition style and for the rest as well

155 x 1 - easy

170 x 1 - noticed the weight but still no sweat

185 x 3 - not all that difficult, and if anything, felt easier than 175 x 3 last week


DB - 20's x 3 paused and exhaled

95 x 3 - paused and exhaled

135 x 3 - paused

150 x 1 - slower than I would have liked

170 x 3 - not sure the pauses were long enough to be legal but they did touch

No swings today, will do plenty at the Philly RKC.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Off/Easy - Light Dumbbell Bench Press

Have a big couple of days starting in a few minutes - travel, performance, perform again all day Wed, drive home late Wednesday night.

Today, stretching, walk, a few 20 lb. dumbbell bench presses because my left shoulder got in a funny place yesterday and was kind of sore after deadlifting - need to focus more on keeping it firmly packed while DL'ing.  DB BP felt _great_.

Wednesday - that's tomorrow but I won't lift, just some stretching when I can, maybe a little bw-only work like headstands and wall-supported handstands if I have time.

Will lift again Thursday, SQ and BP.  Until then:

Onward and Upward

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Weekend and Monday KB Press and DL 305 x 3

The weekend - a very busy one, with my wife's father's funeral on Saturday plus a 4-hour rehearsal on Sunday.

No lifting Saturday, ate a lot after the funeral for the rest of the day and went to sleep early, both of which felt very good to do.

Sunday, a bit of stretching and bodyweight exercise, all moderately.

Monday: bodyweight 153.6 lbs., good after a weekend away.

Warmup - stretch, short walk.  Lower back sore from all the sitting, driving, conducting, etc.


20 kg x 5L + 5R,

24 kg x 1L+1R,

28 kg x 2 - don't know why I was thinking I'd want to raise this rep count w/ a meet coming up - 28 kg x 2 is plenty for now


225 x 3 overhand

285 x 1 right under

305 x 3 left under

Swing: 32 kg, 3 swings, 1 breath, 6 swings, 2 breaths, 9 swings, out of time so that'll be it for today.  Swings felt good, tried to throw bell back, felt explosive.

Onward and Upward

Friday, September 21, 2012

Squat and Bench Press on Fewer Recovery Days

My normal routine going forward will be SQ/BP, rest 2-3 days, OH Press/DL, rest 2-3 days, repeat, typically lifting Mon-Thu, Wed-Sat, or some other combination that facilitates this.

Today is Friday and I did OH Press and DL on Wednesday - that's what my schedule allows this week, so that's what I'm doing.

Warmup - cossack sequence, neck rotations, shoulder Egyptians then dislocates and OHS w/ a stick.

FSQ bar x 1, SQ bar x 1

FSQ 95 x 1, SQ 95 x 5

SQ:  135 x 5

155 x 1, 175 x 3 -

DB BP: 20's x 5

BP: bar x 3, 95 x 5 - first 2 paused and exhaled, last 3 regular paused

135 x 1, quickly to 155 x 1, brief rest, 175 x 2 - second rep was definitely (failure minus one) - perhaps I needed a bit more rest before final set.

40 kg 2-handed swing breathing ladder


Onward and Upward

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Tired Thursday

After my first kettlebell presses in a few months, and after deadlifting 295 lbs. x 3, which qualifies as my first serious deadlifting session in months, I am a tired, tired camper today.  I walked a couple of miles and managed a little stretching.  I dropped and broke a coffee cup in the kitchen sink today - I'm that tired.

Bodyweight down another pound from yesterday to 151.8, which is my new normal bodyweight.  Would love to see it creep down even further - 148-9 would be great in terms of making weight for meets and I think 142-145 is the absolute limit in terms of what I can weigh with this amount of muscle on my frame.  If I see 145, I will certainly embark on a program to put a little more muscle on my frame.

Tomorrow, Squat and Bench Press, followed by a drive to PA at 7 PM or so.

Onward and Upward.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Refining The Plan: Kettlebell Presses Again

Tuesday - nothing, dog tired from all the goings on yesterday and over the weekend.  Bodyweight, thanks to a Philly cheesesteak on the way home and a couple of dinners out over the weekend, was 154.0 lbs.

Today, Wednesday, we launch a six-week program leading up to the WNPF World's on November 4th.   Bodyweight this morning was 152.8 lbs.

The plan is simple - each week, two lifting days:

Squat and Bench Press

Overhead Press and Deadlift

Couldn't be much simpler than that.  I am going to use the kettlebell clean and press, and I'm making this up a bit as I go along - no doubt Marty will yell at me for something but, equally without doubt, I'll learn something in the process.

With a barbell press, the reps stays the same for a few weeks at a time while the weight creeps upwards for a single, heavy set.

With a kettlebell, the reps creep upwards for a single, heavy set while the weight stays the same - no other way that I can see to preserve the essence of what Marty is advocating.

And I'll superset pullups because, well, because I can - one set of presses followed by one set of weighted pullups for about the same rep range.

Warmup - walk, stretch: short one-arm bar hangs, cossack sequence and that was it


NB: I haven't done these at all lately and not much over the last few months, and most recent max I remember is 28 kg x 1, sometimes 2 each side on a good day.

Note also - a clean before each press since, if there is a competition form for this, it's one clean and then the heaviest press single you've got, so might as well get used to one clean + one press again..

20 kg x 5L, 5R - easy, solid

24 kg x 1L, 1R - easy, solid

28 kg x 2L, 2R, followed immediately by

Pullup @ bw + 28 kg on right foot x 1

Haven't lost a thing on this one, feel completely buzzed/psyched by this performance.  2nd press rep each side wasn't quite as nice as the first, but I'll try for 3 reps next week.  I want to be in the 6-8 rep range with this weight then move up to 32 kg.

Barbell DL:

225 x 3 overhand

275 x 1 right hand under, left over (my weaker grip, I think) - video

295 x 3 left under (my stronger grip, I think) - video

Finish with kb swing breathing ladder, 2-handed, 40 kg - skewed towards the anaerobic.

5 reps, 1 breath
10 reps, 2 breaths
15 reps and done

Onward and Upward

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Weekend

Sun 16 Sep - a few L-Sit pullups, legs higher than parallel, 3 hour rehearsal

Mon 17 Sep - off, 5 hour service/performance

NB: Marty is not happy with my Saturday choices for weights, sets and reps - will revise going forward. More about this in a future blog post.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Squat, Bench Press - 3's

Not much time to lift today, walked a couple of miles, a little bit of rolling and stretching, then:


bar x 3,

95 x 2 (phone range), 5 - deep, just needed to sink a squat, will try for more competition depth as we get heavier

135 x 4

155 x 3

165 x 3, 3, 3 - middle set felt better but looked shallower, final set looked arguably too deep but felt solid

DB BP: 20's x 7


95 x 5

135 x 3

155 x 3, 3

That's all we've got time for today.

Onward and Upward!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Off Day Then a Fun Day

Yesterday, Thursday - off

Today, Friday, walked maybe 3 miles doing errands around town, focused on relaxing.

Later in the day, kept reading about "stupid human tricks" to do on RKC FaceBook group, so I did a few:

L-Sit on the ground, first on palms and then on fingertips

24 kg pullup, bell on foot, index and middle fingers of each hand, 2 singles, video of second one:

Hopefully I don't get any more bright idea during the rest of the day today.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Yesterday, Tuesday, some stretching and qigong and a short walk.

Today, per Marty Gallagher, I am going to have my own one-person powerlifting meet.

NB: Posting this blog entry now with 2 video links, more video links will be added later.

Bodyweight - a new low since the July 8 meet - 151.4 lbs.  Not dieting, just eating clean for the most part but not starving myself, e.g., yesterday I had almond butter and bananas at breakfast time, ricotta, almonds, and maple syrup at noon, a 4-egg omlette with some of yesterday's leftover sausage and pepper plus a ton of cheese, and then had an iced latte (homemade) with half-and-half and two handfuls of chocolate chips for dessert.

Warmup - walk, cossack sequence, dislocates and OHS w/ stick

This is the plan and the execution:

SQ - first time doing these in 4 months or so

Side view back squat, try for just below parallel - all reps, even warmups

FSQ: bar x 5, SQ: bar x 5

FSQ: 95 x 3, SQ: 95 x 3

FSQ: 135 x 1, SQ 135 x 5 - videotaped, looked too high, will tape the rest as well

SQ: 135 x 3 - looked good to me, maybe too deep, though

155 x 2 - looked OK

175 x 2 - maybe a little high, starting to feel a bit nervous about the weight

195 x (failure - 1) - got only 1 rep, just not used to the weight on my back, didn't feel comfortable

BP - Marty says to try staying wide

Trying ring fingers on rings for now - this is wider than I'd been doing.

DB BP: 25 lb. plates x 5

bar x 5, 95 x 5, 135 x 5

150 x 2 - start video, looks good

165 x 1 - felt better

180 x 1 - slow but looked better than it felt

185 x fail - 180 felt like what I had today, and I guess it was - got it off my chest but stalled shortly thereafter.  I really, really, really, really, really hate missing a lift.

DL 275 x (failure - 1)

Haven't DL'ed since meet on July 8.

225 x 5 warmup, double overhand grip, videod this and the rest.  Here's the clip

275 x 6, alternated which hand was over/under, started left under - this probably was more like failure - 2 but it felt like enough.

Monday, September 10, 2012

3 days - L-Sit Pullups and Swings

Had to drive to Philly unexpectedly Friday night.  Saturday, nothing other than stretching.  Sunday, 2 sets of 5 L-Sit pullups, paused solid at both ends, a bit less than 90 degrees but still not bad.

Monday, again very limited time: 24 kg, swing, (7L+7R) x 3 non-stop in 1:00 even.  A great use of sixty seconds - right elbow sore but only upon finishing, not during.

Onward and Upward

Friday, September 7, 2012

Variety Day again - 1-arm pushup

I have a big weekend coming up - leave the house at 8 AM, drive 2-1/2 hours, rehearse for 6 hours, stay overnight, 4 hour rehearsal the next day.  I'm going to skip my usual Saturday lifting as this weekend will tire me out more than that would, anyway.

Today, played around with variations on 1-arm pushups.  Used a 12" or so box, tried isometric holds at the bottom but I'm not there yet.  Tried partial ROM on the box, felt pretty good, still not ready to go all the way to the bottom, even on the box.  Switch to a table that's about mid-thigh high - these felt like an appropriate challenge, did several sets of one-arm, two-legged pushups this way.  Like the full range of motion, even if it's a _lot_ easier than the real deal on the floor.

Onward and Upward.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Variety/BW day

Did qigong on the front porch including 2 crane pistols each side.  Focusing on maximally dorsiflexing at left ankle helps.

Assisted 1-arm pushup using furniture slider - 6 left, 6 right - ugh, 6 is a lot and a long time to really keep the abs fired and the glutes tight.  I think I need a harder variation and fewer reps.

Had a great telephone conversation with Marty Gallagher - will do a mini-meet next week with specific warmups and goal weights to feel out, will be our first back squat workout, will video tape and send to Marty who will help me figure out numbers to aim for at the WNPF World meet on November 4.

Onward and Upward.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

FSQ - 165 lb x 5 = PR

Tuesday - qigong including one crane pistol each side



bar x 1 paused and exhaled

95 x 2 paused and exhaled

135 x 3

165 x 5 - PR, video

Elected to do only 1 set today to give a little time to ...

BP 135 x 5, 6 - excellent form especially on second set - tight, shoulder felt 100%

HLR: straight ahead x 4 - ugh, no easier just because they're straight ahead.  Had considered holding a light weight between my feet, glad I didn't.

Onward and Upward.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lesson Learned

The Weekend

Saturday, 6 furniture-slider-assisted 1-arm pushups each side - a small improvement.

Then driving.

Then more driving on Sunday.

Marty emailed - told me I looked burned out on my last FSQ day, Friday, and that I should have skipped it, and I agreed, offering that being disciplined did not give me license to be stupid.  Lesson learned, I hope, and I'll do squats again on Wednesday, a full 5 days rest from that lift instead of the 2 days I had before Friday.

The plan is to get 165 x 5 on the FSQ this Wednesday, I will miss Saturday for out of town rehearsals, and then likely switch to back squats since it'll be about 8 weeks out from the meet on Nov. 4


Qigong on the front porch including a single crane pistol each side.

Swings - decided I'm burned out on snatches, swing do some swings today.

0:00 - 5L + 5R
1:00 - 5R + 5L
2:00 - 7L + 7R
3:00 - 7R + 7L
4:00 - 10L + 10R
5:00 - 10R + 10L

Enough for a first swing day - 24 kg feels good, 5's too few, 7s or 8's about right, 10's too much for on the minute for now.

Onward and Upward

Friday, August 31, 2012

Squats - A Day Early

We're away as a family over the weekend, might ride bikes a little but no lifting other than some bodyweight stuff, so I decided to do my usual Saturday FSQ workout a day early.

Warmup - the usual, cossacks, shoulder dislocates, OHS w/ stick, etc.


bar x 3 - paused and exhaled

95 x 3 - paused and exhaled

135 x 3 - paused

Too long a wait after the last warmup - house full of kids, older son came home from college, etc.

165 x 2 paused, 2 paused, 3 not paused - video taken from the other side (my right).  Video:

Assisted 1-arm pullups - have been assisting with 2 fingers over, today only 1 finger, index finger, over but slightly narrower grip spacing.  2 left pulling, 2 right pulling, rest, repeat

HLR: L, R, L, R in a single set, as usual of late - more doesn't feel good right now, and these are consistently better to the left than to the right, feels like something in my back that doesn't bend as well on one side as the other.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bench Press

Didn't get to bench press yesterday, so I'm doing it today.

Walk about 2 miles to warmup, then cossack sequence on the front porch

DB BP: 20's x 5


bar x 5

95 x 5

Feeling the need to recycle on BP so we'll try 135:

135 x 3, 2, 5 - better setup, 7 - shorter pause on chest, not sure it's really 2 more reps ...

Again got short on time today so that's all, but that was enough.  My left shoulder works just fine _if_ I hit the right groove.

Onward and Upward!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Front Squat - Improvement Continues

warmup - shoulder dislocates, OHS w/ stick, OHS w/ empty bar


bar x 2, 95 x 2, 135 x 2

160 x 5, 3 - was short on time, not much rest between sets, but otherwise felt good.  Video:

No time for more today, but 160 x 5 is excellent - my PR was 165 x 1 a few months ago, and now I might hit 165 x 5 in a few days - cool!

Onward and Upward!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Assisted One-Arm Pushups and Hand Stands

Assisted one-arm pushups using a furniture slider moved straight up, left side first: 5, 3 - thought about 5, 3, 2 for this but the 5 and the 3 were enough for me today

Short rest then:

Wall-supported handstand holds for time: :30, :20 - still tired from pushups, still hard on wrists due to lack of flexibility.  Need to try to increase volume of these because I feel far from "at home" in this position.

Stretching including splits - aahh, feels good.

[Edit] - Later, did 5 assisted one-arm pullups each side, same format as usual - pulling hand under, assisting hand two fingers over.

Onward and Upward!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Mix of Things

Did some pretty vigorous stretching to start including t-spine rotation from a lunge position, started to cramp in obliques.

I've been feeling the lack of snatches last Friday, plus I've been missing my kettlebell presses and pullups.  I decided to do a few press/pu supersets as I'd been, but to substitute assisted one-arm pullups for the weighted ones I'd been oding.

24: press x 1, pu x 1 w/ one hand under, two fingers over

24: repeat above but triples - get twice as many pu this way since we need to do both sides.

24: snatch, 3+3 on the minute for 8 sets - I've concluded that my snatch form and my snatch fitness are both pretty awful.  24 kg feels like a nice change of pace.  Turning the handle on the backswing definitely helps.  I'm still not sure exactly what sort of grip I want in my left hand, etc.

HLR: L + R + L + R, then L + R

Onward and Upward!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Breathing Front Squats

Yesterday, Friday, just some stretching and more driving.  Was a planned kettlebell snatch day but I've been feeling burned out on those, anyway, so I'm happy to have had the day off.  Did a few assisted one-armed pushups in the hotel room - 5 each side in a single set.

Today, Saturday, per Marty:

FSQ: 135 lbs. to (failure minus one)

I didn't really make it that far because my left middle finger started going from stretched to actually painful so I stopped.

But Marty said his goal for me was 9 - 11 reps, and I got 12, so I'm content.  I think, had my finger not bothered me, 20 reps wasn't out of the question.  6 reps straight through then breathing every 2 reps after that.


Onward and Upward!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Variety - BW work

A busy day including travel, so:

Handstand: 40 seconds, then 30 seconds - excellent, up from 2 x 20 seconds the last time we did these.

1-arm pushup, assisted - will do these then head out, will update blog entry later today

NB: Marty says he wants me to take a break from squatting 5's and try 135 x near-max reps (failure minus one).  I will be dong that on Saturday.

May also do some pistols later today, maybe some qigong - we'll see how my time is later.

Onward and Upward.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FSQ and BP

warmup - little stretching

FSQ:  3 reps each: bar, 95, 135, then

155 x 5, 5 - video

DB BP: 15's x 5, 20's x 5

BP: 3 reps each: bar, 95, 135, then

155 x 3, 2 - that's all she wrote on this weight today

A few toe touches to stretch the lower back and hamstrings, then

HLR: legs L, legs R, L, R, same as a few days ago, all in a single set - getting easier

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just a Walk and Yard Work

I took a short nap yesterday around 6 PM for half an hour.

Today, I did the same thing at 11 AM.

These things together convinced me that I needed to do _no_ weight lifting today.  Just a bit of stretching, a walk to the grocery store, and some moderately vigorous yard work.

Tomorrow, we try front squatting _over_ bodyweight for 5 reps for the first time, 155 x 5.

Onward and Upward!

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Take on Pavel's Departure from DragonDoor - plus a Short Snatch Session

I posted this on the private, RKC-only forum a day or two ago but I think bears repeating here:

Ladies and Gentlemen, Pavel and John have made an announcement to let us know a change is coming. This doesn't obligate each of us to offer an opinion. In another life, I had a business partner with whom, at one point, I had a profound difference of vision as to the future of our joint endeavor and we also elected to have an amicable parting of the ways. These things happen, the current RKC community has been informed that this one is going to happen, and the details relevant to each of us will, no doubt, become evident in the ensuing months. 

Our anxiety may make it difficult for us to sit silently as we watch two people who have been friends, business partners, and very important people in each of our lives dissolve their relationship and offer each of us different visions of where our individual futures under their leadership could be headed - but that's life, this is their issue first and foremost, not yours or mine, and we owe them the respect they both have earned by allowing them to complete this separation without a lot of noise from us. It is, at best, arrogant for any of us to think that something we have to say at this point will make a difference to Pavel and John. 

When a choice is to be made, a time that will come but clearly hasn't come yet, we need to continue to treat each other with kind of kindness and respect that John and Pavel have shown for each other and towards each of us over the years.

Just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

My practice for today - I had originally planned to try to improve on my 140 snatches in 11:45 from Friday, but after doing 64 snatches, I quit.  I did a lot yesterday, supposedly an easy/off day, including a bunch of extra assisted 1-arm pushups and jackknife pushups and the like because people started talking about all that at the dinner I was at.

Today, I'm tired.  My weight continues to drop slowly, about 1 lb. per week, and I was 151.8 this morning.  The snatch session just didn't feel good after about 5 minutes so it was time to make a decision I've been thinking about for a while - as I get to harder and harder snatch workouts, maybe the format should be one easy and one hard workout each week.

That's my plan for now, and we'll see how Friday's snatch session goes.  If I'm still tired, it may be that this week is backoff week for snatches - we'll just have to see.

Onward and Upward.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday - Walk, Handstands and One-Armed Pushups

Walked a couple of miles w/ my wife in the AM, later stretched and did.  Some stretching on the front porch - bayonet stick shoulder stretch from SJ (been doing this one more lately), cossacks, OHS w/ stick, etc.

Assisted 1-arm pushups: used furniture slider for assisting hand where the elbow is kept locked.  I moved the assisting hand straight to the front - to the side gives more assistance.  Last time I did these, I did 3 each side.  This time, 5 each side, then 2 more, then 2 more.  Form improving, strength at this movement improving.  Thank you, Max Shank - this is a great way to work up to (or back to, in my case) a one-armed pushup.

Handstand: wall-supported for the most part, 3 x 20-second holds on the wall, a few quasi-free-standing but not really, more like abortive attempts that took a while to fall down.  I find it difficult to get all the way to heels on the wall without breaking my elbow locks - I seem to break my elbows slightly when getting to the final hold position - a thing to work on for sure.  Working the wall-supported version with locked elbows also challenges my wrist flexibility - working this version up to a full minute seems like the next logical step.

Onward and upward, and snatches tomorrow.