Anvil or Hammer

Hell’s Bells

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 30, 2005

Had a decent legs workout yesterday including some very nice 365lb squats, always good. Tried to hit the lower back hard but didn’t get it as well as I should.

Grip time
plate pinch
70 for 25, 20
then I tried walking with them pinched, that added an interesting new element, the swing of the body. Good times.

finger curl
15 3X12
too easy

I skipped grippers for the moment. I’m gonna take my trainer to work. I will try to do thumb and my #1 when I get home.

I think I will take tonight off from the gym. My body is complaining loudly and I’m very tired from too many short nights.

addendum: my first ever post with no spelling errors according to spell check.

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You Gots To Commit

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 29, 2005

Alright lords and ladies, I am trying to really take things up a notch here and struggling a bit. I think I have taken my strength to a level above that of the average smuck on his couch, but I have taken as far as it will got easily. If I want to get stronger I have to actually try to get there. As proof, I offer my big three: bench, deadlift and squat. Despite my best efforts all three have actually suffered a little bit over the past two month. Admittedly, it has been a wierd two month, but I have been stuck at or below the same totals since September.

So I have tried to identify areas that are limiting factors. A process like this is what got me started in grip several months ago:
First, I took about a week and a half off from the gym, with only two or three workouts making it in. Not a huge deal, we all need these breaks occasionally, as long as not going doesn’t become a habit.
Two, stuck in a gym rut, I have e new workout that I have written out to start at the new year but I already don’t like it. I’m gonna reevaluate it.
Three, food, I don’t eat enough/correctly to support more weight. I have wobbled between 265 and 275 for the most part for several months. I guestimate about 40+lbs of that to be fat. I figure I could and should try and lose about 20lbs of that fat, and hopefully bring muscle into its place. As Scott pointed out to me in a PM, this may be hard with my new job. That won’t stop me from trying but it does mean I need to start doing some cardio, I’m thinking sled drags. I am also trying to increase my protein intake. Yesterday I tried to start this by taking a some celery stalks and peanut butter sandwiches to work with me for snacks. Unfortunately, I didn’t get time to eat them as snacks and found time short at lunch, so the became the entirety of my lunch, not much. I have als been trying to lay off the soda as that stuff is extremely unhealthy for all carbon based life forms.
Last, sleep, I suck in this area. I tend to sacrifice sleep first. So I’m not as committed to making this change, yet but I ‘m trying to figure out how I would go about it if I was.

Anyway that kinda covers my thoughts this fine morning. I did hit the gym last night and got in some wrist curls
5 reps w/115
2X10 w/95

3X12 w/45

I did not do my wrist roller or levering due to time constraints. I realize I could have done that instead of write all of the above but it’s early and I’m not quite up to it yet. I’m gonna try and do levering right when I get home tonight.

I think I got my geustimations wrong in this one. I said I weigh 270ish with 40lbs of fat and want to remove 20 or it. Yeah, that is an understatement. I actually would guess I have more like 60-70 lbs of fat and need to remove at least 30 of it. I haven’t had a body caliper in about two years. At that time I had 190lbs of lean mass. That was before I started powerlifting. I know I have added some, but have no idea how much. Either way, I could stand to lose at least 30lbs.

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Strongman Training

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 28, 2005

So I got to do the strongman thing yesterday and it was a good time. I had to drive up north of the city and met a guy named Luke who apparently competes and trains a whole lot. This guys place looked like the bachelor pad every strength trainer want. The entire basement was chalk covered plates, sandbags and bars. Outside he had two tires, Atlas stones and more.
So Sunday’s training began with yolk walk and the yolk walk began with carrying something like 800 or 900 pounds of plates upstairs and out front, great grip training. For any who may not know the yolk is basically a bar that goes across the shoulders and on either end it has a support leg that rest on the ground when not is use and is a few inches off the ground while you carry it. The weight is loaded low on the legs.
I would guesstimate that we carried it like 15 or 20 feet, not far until you get under it. We did some warmups and that kind of thing then I was able to carry it with a total weight of 550. Then he added another 150 or so pounds to it and I couldn’t move the damn thing (bare in mind that for my weight I would have like 800lbs on there for competition). Even carrying it at 550 was very similar to what i think it would be like to be crushed to death. I felt like my body wanted to double over just above the waist. It was pretty awesome.
We did a couple repetitions of that. He said anymore and your back hurts for weeks. I have to admit that mine is very tight this morning, but not painful, so I think we did just enough.
After that, he pretty much just let me poke around at his equipment. We did some log presses (no weight added, just for feel). I attempted to lift an Atlas stone and was throughly defeated. He got out the 800lb tire they use in competetition and it stayed flat on the ground for me, refusing to budge. Then he was kind enough to get out the 500lb tire which was great fun for me. I flipped it a total of 8 times and enjoyed it completely.
He had all four CoCs there. The first time I have ever witnessed a 3 or a 4. I was able to close the 2 about half way. I picked up my first ever 3″ thickbar, believe the hype, these things are bad ass. We also did some farmer carries. Again, I did very poorly here. I think I had 145ish on each one, not much at all.
All in all it was a great training day and I’m very glad I did it. I hope to do it again. Luke was pretty cool and seemed to have no problem with me tagging along. I figure I will try to make the trip every other weekend. I don’t want to become too much of a moocher, plus I like to spend some of my weekend with my wife. So I figure every two weeks is a good balance. Someday, when I get a larger apartment or a house, I will definitely be getting some of my own equipment.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 27, 2005

Just figured I would update the blog. I have indeed slacked off this week. I have committed to getting back into the gym next week. I did hit a workout in that I didn’t log on here and have been using grippers intermittently.

On to the good news…

barring a major change of schedule, I will be participating in strongman training to day. AAAAAAHHHH RRIIIGHT!

So I will definitely log that here.
I have written a new training program and I need to get a little peer review on that and I really need some kind of cohesive planned grip program but I’m finding that a little harder to come up with. I haven’t looked back at my posts to seen when I started this but I think I have been gripping for like three or four months now. I have seen moderate gains in some lifts and great gains in others.

I’m thinking the nature of this blog may change to. With the new year I think I may start including all my lifts in here. I will continue to include my grip training, and will continue to train grip. I just want to have a log of the other stuff as well.

Anyway, I have rattled on for a while now. look for my next post, it should be cool.

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I Love Levering

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 21, 2005

So the post says it all. Right now, this week, levering is my favorite thing to do. I have been warned that progress is slow and I can see why, so I am trying to keep my sanity, but I really like it, a lot.

Yesterday I did a very strange chest(?) routine that didn’t go so hot, on to grip.

Wrist curls
3X20 65 too easy, I don’t know what I was thinking going this light, I think I was unmotivated after the funky workout
Reverse Wrist Curl
3X20 45 These are a challenge, but I like them

Wen home and took a break for a while, watched a little football.

Wrist roller
8 lbs X2 each way. I find this one tough but need to go up in weight as well. I’m trying to figure out a good progression scheme. Especially ’cause i do this at home where I don’t have weight plates, just a few dumbbells.

Rotations 8″ X 5 each side
Upside down rotations 4″ X5 each side
Front to back(levering) 8″ X5

Now it is time to get going to work, today is the first day of my new job at John’s Hopkins. Today I start my two day orientation wacko.gif which I am not particularly excited about. I bought a notebook yesterday so I can work out anew lifting program.
In other news, I finally tried Pilates last night. I am so inflexible I can’t do a lot of it. I can’t lie on my back and bring my feet over my head. I had my wife pick up my feet to make sure it wasn’t just and ab strength issue. even when they got over my head, they can’t touch the floor. I may have to break down and take some yoga classes.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 19, 2005

So I have been slacking a bit on my grip this week. Did grip on Tuesday, took Wed and Thur off from the gym for a couple different reasons. Hit the gym last night and did the grip stuff I was supposed to there, but I’m skipping the gym again tonight. I guess I should really think about getting one cohesive grip workout that I can do entirely at home for just this reason. Meh, on to the grip stuff from last night… Plate Pinch: Forgot to bring my string for strap holds. So I opted to try the 45s. I could barely clear the floor twice for even a second. So I opted for using a reverse grip (leaned over the two plates standing on end and reached out with an underhanded grip so my thumbs were toward my head and my fingers were toward my feet). I took this grip very close to center on the plates, but just above it. Then I picked them up and held them for about ten seconds. I did about 4 reps of this. Finger curl: 3X12 135 I think these are going really well for me and I want to keep pushing the weight as I feel like these are the most beneficial for my supporting grip. I didn’t do my gripper or clamp stuff and should have, I will try to make it a priority tonight. I’m thinking about ordering a couple extra grippers to take to work. I’ll actually have a desk job and will need to extra hand work to keep awake. I have also considered some resistance bands, but I think that may be impractical and weird. Time will tell. In other news I may have the opportunity to start doing some strongman training occasionally in the next few weeks. I found one of Gripboard’s own in the area that has access to the equipment. This could be cool.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 15, 2005

I don’t know why but I have been feeling the pain the last couple days. Specifically in my left shoulder and my left elbow. I skipped my gip tonight cause both were hurting bad. I thought I might have strained or possibly started a very minor tear in my bicep. For whatever reason a walk after the gym cleared the issue right up, so I have no idea what it was. So I did part of my workout after I got home.

1″ wrist roller 8lbs twice each way
7″ twists to each side covering 180 degrees on each rep, I seem to have found a little more range of motion in these.
7″ levering top and bottom, front and back.
Deadlifts both side, both hands. 10″, 11″, 12″ and 13″

That about covers it.


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Whoo Hoo

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 14, 2005

I’m working on dinner and stuff, so this will probably be short

Plate Pinch:
3X10 count with two thirty fives and a strap hold ten

Finger curls:
3X12 115 these came really easy

part of my powerlifting workout but holding 365 lbs has to count for something.

Later tonight I will do some gripper and clamp stuff.

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Bad Bench, Bad

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 12, 2005

I’m just a little annoyed because I took a shot at the 350 max bench again today. I know I lost some strength during the move but I just felt awesome today. So I tried and as alway I failed. I need to just not think about it for a while, try to work up to a double with 345 or something.

On to grip
Wrist curls: 3X8 95lbs
Reverse wrist curls: 3X8 55
Sledge rotation: 6″ five to each side, upside down and right side up with each hand. That makes twenty total repetition with each hand. I found it very tough.
Levering: 6″ five reps right side up and upside down, one rep is from vertical to the top being out past the hand then back through vertical and past the hand toward the body, finally back to vertical.
Sledge Deadlift: 10″ five reps with the head to each side of each hand, that’s ten reps per hand.

I forgot to take my wrist roller to the gym today so I need to go hit that real quick, that’ll be two reps counterCW and two reps CW with an eight pound dumbbell attached.

Also last night I hit grip real quick before bed. I found my hands were tired so I ended up doing five negatives with each hand on my CoC #1 and my spring clamp.

I think that covers it for now. I may take tomorrow off, I haven’t decided.

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Mind Over Matter

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on November 12, 2005

I just want to take a moment and get something off my chest. This is nothing new and I’m not visionary in any way for typing it.

When training, the mind is some much more important than the body. If your mind is not in the right place then you aren’t either. We all have different issues that nag in our brains: failure, women, money, work. When it comes time to train those must go away.
Several days ago I was squatting and attempting 275 for 5X5. Not a huge challenge, I have done it before with little trouble. Recently I changed homes and gyms and had to leave behind my productive gym of Colorado for a Gold’s Gym sad.gif . This gym does not have the same amazing vibe or as good of equipment. For some reason while training on the fourth rep of the third set, I let the idea of not finishing the rep enter my brain. I just had this momentary image of the bar pushing me down until it rested on the safety supports.
Immediatly, I noticed a difference. The bar didn’t feel any heavier but it was suddenly like my muscles chose to not contract any further. Soon enough I felt myself slowly sinking toward the floor. The bar came to rest on the supports and I had to do the walk of shame, backing out with my ass up and head down because I failed to move this weight. It was truly frustrating.
Last night I was rocking and rolling on squats. I was making up some of my previous losses on squat. I got the 315 and thought that would be good. It felt to easy so I didn’t let it count and went to 335. I had a moment of doubt before stepping into the rack but immediatly cleared it with images of me squatting the weight easily. Soon I had a couple people watching me. I couldn’t resist adding another ten and knocked out three solid, deep sets of two with a full and total stop at the bottom (something I have not had in the past). It was awesome and it was purely mental. Honestly I felt I could have just kept on going up and each rep would have been completed.
I just wanted to put all that in writing. I really do believe in the power of positive thinking and nothing has taught me more about it than lifting. I have started, over the last six months or so, to use it in everyday lift. I really can’t explain the difference that a little perspective puts on thing but it is amazing. I don’t care how a person goes about it (belief in karma, luck or God) but try to think of things in that way and you will find yourself so much better off.

Thanks for letting me say that.

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