Thursday, June 27, 2013

BP, DL, Swing


short walk

bw crane pistol x 1 each way

1A1L PU 2-step, rf, 1 each way

24 kg mil press, lf, 2 each way

BP: paused

135 x 3

155 x 3, 3, 3 - better as they went

DL: narrow sumo:

245 x 5 right under

265 x 5 left under

24: swing, 
10R+10L in :30, :30 rest, 10L+10r in :30, a little better and a little easier than two days ago

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

BP, DL, Swing

Short walk, cossack sequence

BP: all brief pause on chest

grip middle of knurling, 135 x 3

grip index fingers on rings, 135 x 10, 145 x 6, 155 x 2

grip narrow - thumb just on smooth part, 135 x 2, x 1 - tough, need to use even less weight and a narrower grip

DL: narrow sumo on the floor, focus on leg push and low hips

225 x 5 left under

245 x 5 right under

24 kg swing:

10L+10R in :30, :30 rest, 10R+10L in :30, done for today.

Onward and Upward

Monday, June 24, 2013

5 Towel Pullups

A too-busy day today - an early morning lesson, spent far too much time sitting in midtown NYC traffic, and the weather is hot and humid.

After a short walk at 4 PM, did a single set of 5 towel pullups - haven't done more than 2 before, felt great.  These seems to force me to fix shoulder alignment issues - love this move for that.

Onward and Upward.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Missed Meet, some GTG-style easy lifting

Friday, my wife and I drove 3-1/2 hours to a meet in York, PA, where I'd planned to lift as part of Team StrongFirst, but later Friday night, after successfully weighing in, we got a pile of text messages from our 16-year-old, who we'd left at home with the understanding that he was going to stay at a friend's house that night.  Long story short, he got picked up by local law enforcement at an outdoor dance with a reputation for underage drinking, but he wasn't drinking and neither were his friends, and all of them were released later.

But in the meantime, we'd gotten in the car and started back home, so I didn't get to lift this time around.

Saturday, yesterday, a few presses w/ 24 kg plus a few pistols on the front porch.  I have been easing into GTG w/ 24 kg mil presses, 2 each side most times I walk by the bell near our back door.  I added a windmill at the end yesterday.

Today, Sunday, finds me thinking about GTG on

Narrow sumo DL's also, so I did

225 x 3, right under

225 x 3, left under - felt stronger - big focus on leg drive


135 x 10, brief pause on chest

1A1L PU, 2-step, 1L, 1R, 1L, 1R

BW Pistol: 1L, 1R in combo w/ crane stance posture

Feels like enough for today, will walk later.

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Few DL's, and a few words about making weight the easy way

Today is Wednesday - Friday I drive to the meet, weigh in, and I lift on Saturday.  I haven't lifted much in the last few weeks, so I felt I needed to do something today:

DL: Narrow Sumo on the floor - I've come to realize that I ought to stick with narrow sumo, so I'm going to do that for the meet.

225 x 2 overhand

275 x 1 left under

295 x 1 right under (competition grip)

I put 315 on the bar, but I decided against pulling heavier today.

Overall, I felt my leg drive was good - for me, anyway - in all the pulls, and I'm already thinking - but as yet undecided - about my next lifting cycle.

The focus will be on some pressing for the next few weeks since I have to do those at the StrongFirst Barbell Cert July 12-14, and my bench press is maybe, barely what it needs to be for that.  My standing overhead barbell press is strong enough - I think I've tripled my required weight - and everything else is relatively easy for me.

I also walked a bit today.

A few words on making weight - I have done the simple thing, namely eat moderately and good, wholesome food, for the last month or so, and my weight has comfortably dropped from about 154-155 to 151 this morning after nothing more than asparagus, a natural diuretic, as part of my dinner last night.

I started taking an herbal - "natural" - diuretic pill, X-Pel by MHP, this afternoon.  You take 4 pills twice a day, so it will be this afternoon, twice tomorrow, and either once or twice on Friday.  That's much less than recommended - they suggest a week - because I'm starting so close to my goal weight.

I would like to come in at 147 even or so for this meet's weigh-in because I want to lift at 145 in the international meets of the USAPL, and the weight classes are different: 66 kg instead of 67.5, or 145 lbs. instead of 148.75.  I feel perfectly fine and not like I've been denying myself.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Last Friday, I played a performance in the afternoon, left at 3 PM to drive until 11:15 PM, get up the next day, and drive another 6-1/2 hours.  My 20-year-old son and I drove him to northwestern MI for a month-long music festival.  He wanted to have his car with him, and his mother and I thought it was too much driving for him to do by himself - we also wanted to be sure he felt fresh to devote his energies to his playing and not be beat by driving 900 miles solo.

Sunday, I flew home from there.

Yesterday, Monday, all I did was stretch and walk.

Today, Tuesday, I walked and stretched some more, and just did a double on the Towel L-Sit pullup.  I thought about lifting but it's not going to happen again today.  All the driving and sitting is hard on my back and my neck, and I need the time to relax and decompress.

Meet coming up on Saturday, will try to do a little lifting tomorrow, Wednesday.

Onward and Upward.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Easy DL

I'm pretty sure I'm going to lift DL-only at the June 22 Team StrongFirst meet - I want to save my other lifts for the SF Barbell certification workshop, and I also think I'm going to try and pull narrow sumo for the upcoming meet - there are a lot of things I like about it, even though I got called for hitching for the first time when doing it at the most recent meet.

Today, DL, starting narrow sumo on the floor in Allstars, switched to conventional at the end:

Looking up, and therefore replying more on leg drive, with controlled lowering

225 x 1 right under - felt strong

225 x 1 left under - not as good

225 x 1 right under - again solid

225 x 2 left under - easy

275 x 2 right under - this is where my lack of leg strength starts to show.  The weight goes up but it's slow off the ground and it's more back and less legs than 225 was.

275 x 1 left under - better

305 x 1 - tried narrow sumo but it felt awkward, switched to conventional and up it came using back strength, left under.  I have lost the hip involvement I had when I trained narrow sumo over the winter.

305 x 1 - narrow sumo again, right under this time, was a shaky-legged affair but went up.

Not exactly confidence-inspiring training 9 days out from a meet, but that's life.

And that's it for today - yet another very busy morning, afternoon, and evening ahead, followed by another crazy day tomorrow, followed by another one on Saturday and yet another on Sunday.  Next week looks good, though - hallelujah!

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

More Easy/Off Days

Sunday - walk, stretch, a few 24 kg mil presses, some bw work

Monday - a few presses, very busy day

Tuesday - another very busy day, walk, jog a little, press 24 kg a little

Variety - Shoirt and Sweet w/ 32 kg bell

32 kg x 1 front squat - right x 2, left x 2.  Excellent exercise, challenging to keep forearm against body and squat deep.  32 kg is close to 1/2 bodyweight for me, currently 69 kg.

32: 2-handed swing x 10

Life has been oh, so busy!  A little exercise felt great.

Onward and Upward - might lift a barbell tomorrow, might not, we'll see

Saturday, June 8, 2013

BP 175 x 4 singles, DL fail at 345

Friday - pouring rain so no walk, just some stretching, pistols, and 1A1L pushups

Saturday - back and neck feel funny from a one-hour double bass practice session yesterday, which was  long, long overdue.  Nothing hurts, just different posture for a prolonged period.  Right shoulder actually feels the best it's felt in a very long time but lower back is tight.


bar x 5

135 x 3

155 x 1

175 x 4 singles about every 3:00 - excellent, the perfect weight - repeatable but heavy enough that my form needs to be good.  Could conceivably GTG singles w/ this weight.

DL: per Brett, in DL slippers (he asked for bare feet - this is closer, if not the same)

3" platform:  225 x 3 overhand

1-1/2" platform: 315 x 1 right under

on the floor:  345 x fail left under - we'll go back to the other grip, and I think we'll also go back to pulling from the floor.  The ROM is too different this way.

Maybe too many heavy BP before this heavy a DL - whatever, it was a CNS failure - I just didn't feel like struggling with the weight today and didn't even break it off the ground.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, June 6, 2013

SQ and OHP, plus swings

A very busy week - my back was sore from all the driving last Friday.  I had to go to my wife's school twice last Tuesday, the second time as an emergency fill-in for another pianist, the first time for a dress rehearsal and then again on Wednesday for a performance.

I find lifting after performing less than stellar.  For me, performing is all about relaxing, about _not_ feeding tension forward, and about being in the moment.  I don't like to lift later in the same day - it feels much like Pavel says one can feel after practicing contract-release stretching protocols before lifting, like your tightness and stretch reflexes have been reset.

Today, Thursday, much to do - cut the lawn before lifting, also ran some errands, and we'll see how lifting goes:

BP: - not on the schedule but, for fun and extra practice, a triple @ 135 lbs.  Felt good

FSQ: bar x 1


bar x 3

135 x 2

185 x 1

205 x 1, 1 on long rest - good, this is heavy but not limit, might even try to do more of these another day


bar x 5

95 x 1

105 x 2

24 kg swings: no breaks: 10 x 2-hand, 10L, 10R, 10 2-hand

Onward and Upward

Monday, June 3, 2013

2 More Variety Days

Sunday - lovely 4-mile walk with my wife, with a stop on friends' front porch and a second stop for iced coffee included.  Also a few 1A1L pushups and pistols.  Also some headstands with leg lowering.  Back still sore from Friday's driving.

Monday - walk about 3 mi, more stretching, more 1A1L PU and pistol, also pressed a 24 kg bell for 3 reps on each side - felt nice and strong.  3 Towel PUs.  25 2-hand swings w/ 32 kg.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Variety Day on the Road, Extra BP and Swings Today

Friday, a tiny bit of exercise in the middle of a day with 5 hours of driving - at a park, hung from a chinup bar, did a single dragon flag, did a single pistol each side, also got in some easy cossack stretches a couple of times during the day.

Today, Saturday

24 kg mil press, lf, 1 - was in the garage, just had the urge to press it, felt great

Lots of rolling - very interesting - I don't roll certain ways because it puts pressure on my bad disc.  Not saying it won't ever work, and the pressure wasn't awful, but it's clearly a thing to be very mindful of because too much of this, too soon could be a problem.  At it was today, things calmed down gradually after what was otherwise a stellar rolling session.

extra BP session:

135 x 5

155 x 2

175 x 2, 1 - enough for today

24: swings, (5L+5R) x 3, 30 total, no breaks, form felt good

Onward and Upward