Saturday, March 31, 2012

A 3-Hour Tour

Well, skinny-strong means lots of rest between sets - today's ETK Heavy Day was a 3-hour tour from start to finish.

Warmup - rolling, 16 kg getups, bw windmills

ETK ROP Heavy - 3 x 12345, 2 x 1234 - planned and completed.

The details

Ladder 1, start at 0:00:00

0:00 - 1
1:30 - 2
3:30 - 3
7:15 - 4
12:45 - 5 - paused between presses and pullups about 1 min

Added 1 x 16 kg pistol, lf, each side at the end (about the 19:00 mark)

Ladder 2, start at 35:00
Same as above but forgot to do pistol

Ladder 3 = rf, start at 1:10:00

0:00 - 1
1:30 - 2
4:30 - 3 && note increased rest periods from here on out
13:00 - 4
45:00 - 5

Did the pistol again this time, total elapsed about 2 hours so far

Ladder #4 - start at 2:10

0:00 - 1
1:30 - 2
4:30 - 3
9:00 - 4

Did pistol again

Ladder #5 - start at 2:

0:00 - 1
1:30 - 2
4:30 - 3
9:00 - 4

No pistol, no swing, no nuthin' - I'm pretty cooked. Every rep was a good one today, meaning I could have gotten another if I'd really needed, but I am cooked. Roughly 2:30 to 5:30 this afternoon.

Onward and Upward!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easing In to Increased Mid-Week Volume - On The Clock Again

This past Monday saw my first Easy Day of 5 x 1-2-3.

When Wednesday, my planned Medium Day, rolled around, I was tired and sore, partially because I'd decided to add a swing workout at the end of my teaching day on Tuesday.

Moved Medium Day to Thursday - but had to start several hours earlier than usual, and decided to only take the first 3 ladders to 1-2-3-4 and keep the remaining 2 at 1-2-3.

Decided to be on the clock again - works with my tight schedule today.

Ladder #1: start right foot first

0:00 - 1
1:30 - 2
3:30 - 3
7:15 - 4

Repeat at 15:00 mark for Ladder #2, started lf

Repeat at 30:00 mark for Ladder #3, rf

Ladder #4 - start on 50:00 due to fatigue instead of 45:00, rf, only to 3, :30 extra rest before rung of 3

Ladder #5 - start on 1:00:30, same as ladder #4

Finish with swings, 24 kg x (10L+10R) x 1- wanted more, just didn't feel good to do more, though - hammies tired, form was pretty good, no sense pushing it today

Onward and Upward!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Skinny-Strong Is As Skinny-Strong Does

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Variety Day, run 1.1 miles of a 1.9 mile loop from home, breathing nose in for all, nose out for most, no stops until the 1.1 mile mark, all breathing on 6's, alternated walking and faster running for the .8 home, still breathing all nose on 6's.

Friday, 23 March 2012

ETK ROP Heavy Day - a day early due to family travel this weekend

Briefly, faster than usual for me but slower than many of you, I suspect.

Details will be below the summary

Starting time for each ladder followed by rungs

0:00 - 1-2-3-4-5 x 1
20:00 - 1-2-3-4-5 x 1

40:00 - 1-2-3-4 x 1
1:00:00 - 1-2-3-4 x 1
1:15:00 - 1-2-3-4 x 1


Rung of 1: start 0:00, 0:45 to execute followed by :45 rest

Rung of 2: start 1:30, 0:45 to execute followed by 1:15 rest

Rung of 3: start 3:30, 1:15 to execute followed by 2:30 rest

Rung of 4: start 7:15, 2:00 to execute followed by 3:00 rest

Rung of 5: start 12:45, 2:30 to execute followed by ...

… 5:15 rest before next ladder

Ladder #2 - started same as first, 20:00 on stopwatch, used same start times, execution times were a little faster so slightly longer rests - but who’s counting?

Ladder #3

Rung of 1: start 40:00, 0:45 to execute followed by :45 rest

Rung of 2: start 41:30, 0:45 to execute followed by 1:15 rest

Rung of 3: start 43:30, 1:15 to execute followed by ??:?? rest - distracted at computer, missed next planned start by 1:00

Rung of 4: start 48:15, 2:00 to execute followed by … - instead of starting 47:15, was 48:15

… 5:15 rest before next ladder

missed planned start, started at 1:00:00 - tired and sweating now

Ladder #4 -

Rung of 1: start 1:00:00, 0:45 to execute followed by :45 rest

Rung of 2: start 1:01:30, 0:45 to execute followed by 1:15 rest

Rung of 3: start 1:03:30, 1:15 to execute followed by 2:30 rest

Rung of 4: start 1:07:15, 2:00 to execute followed by …

… 5:15 rest before next ladder

Ladder #5 -

Rung of 1: start 1:15:00, 0:45 to execute followed by :45 rest

Rung of 2: start 1:16:30, 0:45 to execute followed by 1:15 rest

Rung of 3: start 1:18:30, 1:15 to execute followed by 2:30 rest - missed next start, just plain tired

Rung of 4: start 1:25:00, ?:00 to execute followed by … - last press rep right was absolutely a limit lift, took forever, barely made it - surprising as my left side is weaker but I think this showed how the “system” and not just my pressing muscles were fatigued - certainly right tricep had nothing left for whatever reason. Started PU on 1:29, got all 4 pretty easily. Used a slightly false grip on some of the bigger PU sets - helps grip strength, also gets you higher to start with.

30:00 before swings, (10L+10R)x 2 and that's all I had in me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Variety and a Slightly Varied Medium Day

Tuesday - walked 3 miles, beautiful weather here.

Came home, did a few bw-only windmills then an 18 kg snatch test:

18 kg snatch: 20L + 20R + 15L + 15R + 10L + 10R - phone rang so I stopped but both grip and breathing were pretty tired.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

warmup - some rolling, cossacks, etc, plus short walk

ETK Medium - 24 kg for presses, 24 kg for pullups except as noted.

Ladder 1: (1-2-3) x 1

Ladder 2: (1-2-3) x 1 - used 24 kg for presses but 28 kg for PU, triple w/ 28 kg was a little tiring, dorsiflexion starting to take my attention.

Ladder 3: (1-2-3) x 1

Ladder 4/5: (2-3-4-3) x 1 - same reps as (1-2-3)x2, singles just getting too easy, took a bit longer pauses at both top of bottom of final set of PU, too.

Finished with 24 kg swing, (7L+7R) x 3, no breaks - form felt very good except for the very last rep when my concentration lapsed a bit.

Wanted to run but ran out of time.

Onward and Upward

Monday, March 19, 2012

Why I Skipped Heavy Day

Running author Bob Glover coined an expression "ROL" for Rest Of Life - your life when you're not exercising. My ROL got very busy and I skipped Saturday's planned heavy day entirely.

My wife and I are both primarily music teachers and not performers, but we had a performance-filled weekend: a 9 AM rehearsal on Saturday causing us to reschedule our usual Saturday AM students to the afternoon; Sunday morning I substituted for a friend of mine as organist and they asked my wife to come along and sing a number; Sunday afternoon, the performance for which we rehearsed the morning before; taking our son back into the city after his 2-week Spring Break from college; Monday morning, going to Surrogate Court to deal with the will of my father who passed away a couple of months ago.

Plain and simple, it was enough. Performing can be wonderful but it's also tiring and can be a little stressful if you haven't done it in a while, more the case for my wife than me but either way, it was time to take a back-off weekend to deal with other important things.

Onward and Upward - we'll see what the coming week brings but I expect to have Light and Medium Days as planned and then we'll see how Heavy Day goes.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lessons Learned from Variety Day

Last week, several Variety Days with bent presses and fairly heavy windmills. Last weekend, a sore left shoulder. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put two and two together.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012 - Variety Day: Walk, Qigong, SuperJoints

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 - ETK ROP Medium: (1-2-3) x 5 - took about an hour. 24 kg presses, 24 kg bell on foot for all pullups.


As usual, no swings on Wednesday but a short snatch test and a run on Thursday

I experimented with more solid rack position on left side, and the result was an excellent click/realignment in my lumbar spine, felt and feels fantastic!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Walk for Variety + ETK ROP Light Day

Yesterday, Sunday - walked about 4 miles with my wife a couple of friends for parts of it, stopped at a cafe and shared a brunch omlette along the way as well as stopped at a friend's house for an hour or so. Weather was delightful, might even have been closer to 5 miles, but was wonderful whatever the distance actually was.

Shoulder, which was bothering me yesterday, was a little sore but definitely better. Lat massage from my wife helped, looking for anything fibrous/tight, was painful but useful. Nothing is really tight in the shoulder, but lat and tricep are tight.

Monday, 12 March 2012 - ETK ROP Light

warmup - rolling and a few 16 kg getups

Also a Rumble Roller for the left lat - definitely something tight happening in there, other side is perfectly fine.

(1-2) x 3
(1-2) x 2 - 28 kg for rung of 1 for press and pu, back to 24 for the doubles

swing: 24 kg, (5L+5R) x 4 in 1:07 - form improving

Shoulder = yet better, exercise doesn't hurt

Onward and Upward.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Diet Rant and Heavy Day - 1st Time to 5

Begin Diet Rant

Eat Less.

End Diet Rant

I wish it was more complicated than that, but it's not. Learn what food your body needs, not what food your brain wants, and include regular exercise - that's the long version.

I've been around 156 lbs. most of this winter but I prefer to be about 152-3 in the summer. This week I changed my usual, every morning mini-meal of almond butter and fruit to having that only 3 days a week, on the days I lift. Presto, I've dropped to 154 and I'm sure I'll drop another pound or two next week, too.

While eating better is a more complex subject, eating less is about closing your mouth. If you find it tough to say "no" to food and you want to lose weight, toughen up, consistently eat less, and weight loss will be yours. Lift heavy things or perform any other regular exercise while you're eating less and your body composition will improve as you lose weight because you'll lose more fat than muscle.

Please note that this is not medical advice I am dispensing - any diet or exercise program requires your doctor's approval.

If you want better health and an easier time eating less, I recommend you look into cyclic eating. The classic in this regard is the Warrior Diet but there are now other approaches. It can be as simple as having a weekly cycle of eating more on the weekends and following a Spartan-like eating plan during the week, but the Warrior Diet's daily cycle of undereating during the day and overeating at your evening meal works very well, and the Warrior Diet book is well worth the time it takes to read because it contains good advice on other aspects of diet as well. I cycle my eating seasonally, weekly, and daily, eating more in the winter and less in the summer, more on the weekends and less during the week, and more at night and less during the day.

Getting on the scale daily is another great idea. If you're watching your weight then do just that - watch the scale every morning.

ETK Heavy Day

(1-2-3-4-5) && 45 min break between 4 and 5 - child moving and errands

(1-2-3-4) x 2

(1-2-3-3) x 1 - stopped here, didn't do pullups for final rung that was planned to be 4 but ended as 3

Notes: I am experiencing some "reprogramming" for lack of a better word in my left shoulder - this shoulder has been diagnosed with a torn labrum and arthritis, but it's working ever better and better, and my t-spine mobility is also steadily and slowly improving. Today's presses felt different somehow, and I think I'm starting to use the shoulder differently than I'd been, and I think this is a good thing although I cannot be 100% sure. The shoulder is sore, too, although it doesn't feel like anything new or bad, just a bit of bone-on-bone sort of soreness that's been there for several years and isn't getting better or worse.

Anyway, a learning experience, glad I stopped when I did - something was just nearing its limits in my left shoulder and I'll be back to fight again another day.

Onward and upward!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Two Variety Days before Heavy Day

Thursday, 8 March 12 - Variety Day

BW-only rolling, cossacks, and windmills

18 kg snatch: 20L/R + 15 L/R in 3:04. Solid performance, nose breathed in both directions for most of it.

RUN: 0.8 miles with only a few seconds of walking near the top of a hill, a big improvement from the 1-2 minute runs I last managed a week or two ago. Form is improving, nose breathing both ways on a 6 count for most of it, kept the 6 count but nose in, mouth exhale towards the end.

Friday, 9 March 12 - Variety Day

Qigong - including my "invention", the Crane Pistol x 2 alternating singles

1 or 2 windmills each side with 24, 28, and 32 kg, jerked weights overhead to start each set. Left shoulder felt a little loose so finished with 24 kg x 3 but kept left shoulder better packed, felt much more solid.

Bent press starts w/ 28 kg, 1 each side. Thought about doing the full range movement but after a loud crack in my lower back on the first rep, thought better of it.

Jerk: 36 kg, failed left, got right with a press-out. 32 kg jerk x 1 each side, very easy, clean rep. Need to work 32 kg jerk more often.

Onward and Upward, Comrades!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Light and Medium Days

Sunday, 4 March 12 - I was up early to play as a substitute organist in church for a friend of mine, and my stomach felt less than 100% when I got home, so no Variety Day, just a nap and an Off Day instead.

Monday, 5 March 12 - ETK Light Day:

(1-2) x 4 and (3) x 1 - no swings, still a little weak and tired from yesterday's stomach bug, but otherwise an uneventful workout.

Tuesday, 6 March 12 - Variety:

Rolling to warmup, then

5 x 16 kg getups each side - did 5 in a row on each side instead of alternating, all to elbow or hand only. Left side down is still worse, and the focus is still on the down elbow for me, not the weight overhead.

Windmills with 18 then 28 kg, 3 each weight each side. Haven't gone heavier than 24 kg in a while but these felt fine.

Bent Press: 28 kg, a mix of failures and successes, all left side reps failed. Left side is where I have a torn labrum, arthritis, and other shoulder issues and I'm content with today's effort. I have form/firing issues that this kind of work addresses and I'm going to keep working on these. I'm glad I let a bent press fail with a weight I can military press - if I'd wanted to cheat on my bent press form, I could have completed the lifts.

Wednesday, 7 March 12 - ETK Medium Day

2 mile walk.

Running short on time so instead of 5 x (1-2-3) I did, which left me one rep shy of the planned total but was otherwise harder so I'm content.

(1-2-3) x 2
(3-3) x 1 (equal to planned 4th ladder reps)
5 x 1 (1 rep shy of planned 5th ladder reps)

No swings, will do another snatch workout on variety day tomorrow as I did last week.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Heavy Day Again, 5 x (1-2-3-4)

Yesterday: A 2 mile walk with my wife.

Today: ETK ROP Heavy Day

24 kg for presses, 24 kg on alternating feet for pullups

5 x (1-2-3-4)

24: swing, lf, (5L+5R) x 5 = 50 = 10 more than last week, no breaks, about 1:30 to complete, and my lovely wife was nice enough to keep track of sets for me.


I made a mistake and did the first ladder relatively quickly. I took the rest of the workout slowly, walking out of the room after rungs of 1-2, again after the rung of 3, and again after the rung of 4. In the end, it was almost a GTG kind of schedule, starting 1 PM and not finishing until after 5 PM.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Variety Bent Presses, Medium Day Pullup PR's, Variety Day Snatches

Tuesday, Variety

Bent Presses up to 24 kg - been doing these more regularly and they're improving.

Also headstand with my head on low box - makes it harder.

Wednesday, ETK ROP Medium Day

Planned was

(1-2-3) x 5 using 24 kg for presses and 24 on a foot for pullups.


(1-2-3)x 2

(1-2-3)x 1 - final rung, instead of 24 kg on one foot, put an 18 kg on _each_ foot and still got 3 reps. Felt awesome to do, a PR weight for 3 reps

(1-2-3)x 1 - did about half the reps standing on one leg, bearing side.

(1-2-3)x 1 - did all reps on one leg, some bearing side, some contralateral

Finished with 12 kg pistol x 2 each side - these are getting better

Was not pressed for time, so took my time, 2 hours to complete

Thursday, Variety

16 kg snatch test

20L/R + 15L/R + 10L/R + 5L/R = 100 reps in 4:20

Form was pretty good. Tried to nose breath in both directions for as long as I could, worked pretty well through the 20's and the 15's.

RUN: ran around the block, maybe 1/2 mile, wearing Chuck Taylors, focused on form.

Onward and Upward!