Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pistol, Bent Press

Walk 2 mi.

Pistol: bw + 2 x 1 lb dumbbell, L, R, L, R - ugh, need to do these more often, somehow ...

Bent Press, 5', 30 lb bar

30 x 8, long pause at final lockout standing

50 x 2L, 2R

55 x 2L, 2R - left side is definitely better, right should doesn't "set" before I press like it should.  Am going to try "long collar bone" cue - works well for me on my right side for a variety of things.

60 x fail left, fail right - still don't have the groove to do this heavy, since this is a weight I can strict press, but I am enjoying - well, sort of - the education that bent pressing is giving me.

Nothing else for today

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 30, 2013

Bent Press and Snatch - Progress on both

Windmill - 16 kg, 3L, 3R

Bent Press - 5' bar

30 lb (empty bar) x 5L, 5R - right shoulder feels out of the groove, so does left hip

40 lb x 5L, 5R - much better, trying to compare side and take the best from both to use in both

50 lb x 5L, 5R - not too shabby

55 lb x 3L, 3R - first rep left was weak, next 2 were strong.  Tried to imagine first rep right was already pre-loaded from a previous rep and that helped.

Given how much form is improving, and given volume for the day, we'll stop Bent Pressing there.  Will consider doing fewer reps in some of the middle sets next time in order to save strength for the heaviest work set or two, e.g., might do 30 x 5, 40 x 3, 50 x 1 or 2, and 55 x 5

18: snatch, 15L/R + 16L/R - total 62 reps in 4 "hands" instead of 60 w/ 6 "hands" - excellent result, time was 4:00 even, did not put the bell down, still not happy w/ explosiveness of turn-around at back but overall, progress.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Variety - HSPU

Tried some partial range-of-motion wall-supported handstand pushups.  I am still weak in the front delts, it feels to me - my kettlebell press lets me open up to the sides early and not have to hit these muscles in this way, so this is a good exercise for me to address my pressing weaknesses.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Windmill, Bent Press, Snatch

bw pistol - 1 each side on the front porch.

Windmill - 20 kg, left first, single set of 3 each side, form is improving, weight is heavier which helps in some ways.

Bent Press 5' bar

45 lb. x 7 - different form, did reps to locked elbow then pulled back to rack instead of completing lift and standing all the way up each rep.

50 lb x 5 - same as above

50 lb x 5L, 3R - really made an effort to push into bearing hip more, just ran out of steam by the end

18: snatch: 12L/R + 10L/R + 8L/R no breaks in 3:50, total was planned 60 reps.  Focus on nose breathing both in and out, even at the end, a couple of mouth breaths along the way, tried to catch any attempts at GS-style breathing on backswing and fix immediately, tried to take 2 breaths per snatch as the set wore on and was successful at that.  Pacing is about 80 snatches per 5:00, which I know is slow, but this will be the route for me - first volume, then decreased rest periods.

Onward and Upward.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bent Press

Yesterday, a few lousy pistols during a coffee break on the road

Windmill, 16 kg, lf, 1, 3

Bent Press 5' bar

40 x 3

40 x 5

45 x 5 - 5-rep PR, I suppose, albeit with a weight I could strict press, but form _is_ improving

That'll be it for today.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Windmills, Snatches

Ran out of time to do snatches yesterday but did pistols, windmills, and bent presses, so today:

bw windmill x 2 lf

16: windmill, lf, 5 - excellent, need to keep doing these and eventually need to make them heavier.

18: snatch: 10L, 10R, 10L, 10R, 7L, 8R - total 55,  Started going a little too fast because it felt good and started losing hard style.  Need to stay in 50-60 total rep range and calm down.  Time about 3:15

Onward and Upward - lots of driving today, will try pistols and handstand pushups on the road tomorrow.

Monday, December 23, 2013

More of the same - form is improving!

Saturday and Sunday off.  Lots of sitting yesterday but got to work on splits in the evening during a break.  Weather was decent on Saturday and positively balmy on Sunday so got in some much-missed walks.

Today, Monday:

bw pistol on the front porch in moccassins (less support than my usual Allstars) - 2 alternating singles, was tough

Wall-supported handstand, a few partial rom pushups on the wall.  Need to really tuck tail or lower back hyperextends and it's a little sore coming out of it.

bw windmill

16 kg windmill, lf, 3 - harder than they should have been.

Bent Press:

30 lb 5' bar x 4L, 4 R

40 lb x 3L, 3R, break 5L, 5R - excellent, form is improving, starting around already is key.

No time for snatches today, might try them tomorrow.

Friday, December 20, 2013

More of the same - bent press, snatch

On the front porch, 3 Crane Pistols each side, left first, again coming up before the pistol to make it a more "normal" pistol.  Focus on getting left ball of foot applying pressure - got it this time, excellent!  Stretched a lot first, learning my personal cue list for pistols all over again, this is good.

bw windmill, lf, 1, 1

Bent Press - upending bar instead of clean today

30 lb. 5 foot bar, 3 (3L, 3R)

+ 5 each side (40 lb total), 3, 3

Still tough to really push into left hip.

Snatch 18 kg: goal is to slow down, to keep form 100% hard style, and to perfect lockout timing especially.

10L, 10R, 10L, 10R, 5L, 5R in 3:00 - only lost form on one or two of the final reps (and felt those in my lower back, btw).  A solid effort, and up from 40 in a day earlier in the week two different times.  No breaks, of course

Onward and Upward

Pistols, Bent Presses


Decided to do pistols in the basement instead of the front porch today, and also decided to hold a 1 lb. dumbbell in each hand to make them a little easier but do them on shorter rests.

Pistol - 1 lb dumbbell in each hand, left first, 3 alternating singles on no rest.  Did as part of Crane Pistol but straightened up fully before each pistol to groove the way we do these outside of the Crane Frolic.

A solid effort but still need to get weight on ball of foot near big toe on left side - that is clearly not as it should be.

Handstand on wall - just one, focus on really pushing down and locking elbows

Windmills - empty 30 lb. bar, various singles, doubles, triples, looking for good form, right disc bothering me today, maybe because of pistols first, don't know ...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bent Press and Snatch

Today, a lot of floor work stretching including bw-only getups to the hand.

Bent Press - triples w/ empty 30 lb. bar, still looking for the right groove on my left side especially

3, 3

+ 5 on the bar, 3

+ 5 more on the bar (40 total), 3

12 reps total, only 40 lbs max but it feels like progress and I feel like I'm finding some form.

I guess it's time to say that my front squat and bench press cycle is over.  I will return to that again in the future but, for now, this 2-lift program (barbell bent press and kettlebell snatch) is doing wonders for my posture, flexibility, grip, and conditioning.

18: snatch, 10L + 10R + 10L + 10R in 2:15.  Purposely slower than last time, also did 10's to try to "share" the issue of proper hard style technique when fatigued between my two hands/sides.  Also trying to get a better lockout position on my right side - what I'm doing is perfectly legal but I have better in me and really want to be "resting on a column of bones" in the top position, which means a little more chest open, shoulder back, and elbow really locked out than I tend to do on that side.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bent Press and Swing

A not-so-great bent press day, just didn't have good form, felt tight today, played around w/ various weights.  Was a crazy day here - snow day for my wife, errands to run, etc.

Warmup up w/ windmills again, this time 18 kg instead of the 10 kg I used yesterday, 3 left, 3 right.

On my left side bent press, I am missing something that I also need more of in my left side windmill.  Left shoulder isn't terribly happy so I think I'm going to call it a day for today.  Nothing hurts but it feels tired.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Barbell Bent Press and Kettlebell Snatch

Turns out I was sick - Saturday night, I went to sleep with a ton of clothing on and under a pile of blankets, and I was still cold.  Cancelled a lesson I had scheduled for Sunday and took it easy yesterday.

Better today although not 100%

10kg kettlebell: windmill, 3 left, 3 right.  When my form on these is OK, multiple reps per side feel normal, and that's starting to happen.  Will keep these as a warmup.

Bent Press: 5 ft, 30 lb. Oly bar w/ a 10 on each side for 50 lbs. total:

1L, 1R

1L, 1R w/ long pause at lockout to stretch shoulder and open t-spine

1L, 1R - Repeat above - left arm/shoulder shakes at lockout

Longer rest, repeat above

1L, 1R - better

1L, 1R - even better, left side smooth, right side less so

Add a 5 to each side, 60 lbs total

Left - did not feel good on shoulder, stopped rep.

Removed 5's, put on 2-1/2's, now 55 lbs total

1R (other side) - good, rest, 1L - got it.  I think I freaked out a little about 60 lbs and was trying to press it out too much.

Keys to Bent Press for me

- ring finger in middle of non-knurled section of bar
- after clean, turn body almost 180 degree rather than rotate bar
- big chest
- shoulder pulled back
- lat flared and pulling shoulder down
- stance needs to be pretty wide, wider than I tend to think from years of doing windmills
- need to fold/screw forward and away from the weight, eyes on the weight

KB Snatch: 18 kg, 20L + 20 R in 2:00 - drop on right not hard style, trying to fix, otherwise pretty good.

Onward and Upward

Saturday, December 14, 2013

More Variety

12 bw-only pullups, Adam's Apple touching the bar or higher, probably took as long as the set of 9 the other day did, just went a tiny bit faster.

4 bw-only pullups - quick reps, height good, longer pause at top, pause at bottom to make sure elbows are 100% straight and shoulders relaxed and low.

A few swings of various kinds and sizes.

Shovel snow.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Old Program Minimum, Sort Of

After Bent Pressing a 50 lb., 5-foot bar yesterday, today I decided to:

Windmill - same weight, same bar, alternating singles, totaled 4 each side.  For last rep each side, strict pressed the weight up as it's not too heavy for that.

20 kg Snatch - 5 left, 5 right - rude, need to do these more often.

Walk in the very cold weather here.

Onward and Upward

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Seated Mil Press, Bent Press, Getup, Stretch

Started with some rocking with gradually widening knees, adding t-spine twists.

Cossack sequence.

10 kg getups, 2 alternating singles each side.  Still dicey on the left shoulder but wasn't painful, a good sign.

Seated mil press (or call it very steep incline BP if you like), empty bar, 10 reps.

Swing: 24 kg: 2-hand x 5, left x 5, right x 5

Bent press: 30 lb., 5-foot bar, right x 2, left x 2,

Add a 5 to each side, 1 left, 1 right.  Positioned kettlebells to turn it into an anyhow but couldn't figure that part out, will try that again another day

Took off 5s, added 10s for 50 lb. total, tried anyhow again w/ 8 kg bell.  This time, left side got to arm straight, got bell curled to rack position, but lost it as I was trying to stand up.  Right side, lost it before I got to straight arm but was kind of shaken from losing previous rep.  Very interesting balance things happening here - an education.

Onward and Upward

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Still on "off" mode

A very busy weekend including playing the organ in a friend's church on Sunday.

Still tired, left hip still a bit odd feeling after all the Van Dam lifts, so a nice walk on Saturday, another walk on Sunday, and generally just playing around, doing a bw pistol or two most days, some handstands at the wall for time (not much, :30, perhaps), and stretching.

I still plan to get back to a press-and-squat cycle but I am going to wait until the old body feels 100% before I do.  Pistols seems to be helping.  May switch to barbell standing military press instead of bench press for a while, we'll see.

Also doing some short sets of swings every day or every other day.

Onward and Upward

Friday, December 6, 2013

More Variety

Yesterday, more bent presses, this time w/ 25 lb. dumbbell, and just generally more playing around in the weight room.  Also walked 2 miles

Today, after a 3-hour rehearsal last night, I am toasted, so did a few swings after some stretches and called it a day because I have a concert tonight.

20 kg: 5L, 5R, 5L, 5R swings

Onward and Upward

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More recovery time - partial getups, pullups, windmills, bent presses, swings, pistols, pushups, snatches

I think I'm recovering more from the drive than from the meet, but whatever the reason, I'm still tired.

Yesterday, my first 2-mile walk in almost a week - felt great, also did a pistol each side on the front porch and really lousy one-arm, one-leg pushup single each side, too.

Today, again more floor work and stretching.

Partial getups w/ 10 kg kettlebell.  Did presses from various positions, and left side down actually felt better than it's felt - by which I mean stronger - in a long time.  Lots of odd-angle stretching today, too.

9 x bw-only pullups - I hate high reps but I know I should try them at least once in a while.  12-15 ought to feel like these 9 just felt <sigh>.

mil press: 2 x 20 kg: 5 reps

bw: windmill, rf, 2

20 kg: windmill, rf, 2

Bent Press: empty Oly bar (45 lbs.), right first, total 2 alternating singles each side.

Swings: 2 x 20 kg: 5 reps, grip felt lousy on left side

Swings: 20 kg: 5R,5L,5R,5L, no break

Pistol: a bit of Crane Frolic w/ pistol

also 1-arm, 1-leg pushup on 2nd step, 2 right, 2 left - better than yesterday.

More stretching including cossack sequence, walk

Later, 20 kg snatches: 10L, 10R - haven't done these in forever, took nice, long pauses at the top, tried for perfect form and maximum explosiveness at the bottom.

Overall, feels good to get some exercise again - feel better at end of workout than I did when I started.

Onward and Upward

Monday, December 2, 2013

First USAWA Meet - A Success!

Saturday I participated in my first USAWA meet.

I took three attempts at the Van Dam Lift and got them all - 56, 76, and 81 lbs.

I also set records for other lifts that hadn't been attempted by anyone in my age and weight categories before.  Did a middle fingers deadlift of 155 lbs., did a strict curl of 65 lbs., a dumbbell bent press of 56 lbs. each side, and a Full Gardner, which is a reverse TGU.

Great folks, couldn't have been nicer, and special mention goes to our hosts, Frankie and Colleen Ciavatonne, and to Jim Fuller for doing some of the odder lifts and demonstrating flexibility and strength at the same time.

Lots and lots of driving

Today, lots of stretching, 5 bw-only pullups