Anvil or Hammer

Rest Period

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 31, 2006

I’m taking a few days off. It turns out that I pulled the same muscle last Saturday night that I have pulled twice before. There is a refernce to me having pulled it somewhere in this blog even. This time it seems to have been very minor. That said I don’t want to screw myself up for the long term so I’m just taking it easy.
The plan is to slack until Thursday then I’ll go do cardio and a little very light lifting. Then early next week I will get back after it.
Unfortuantly this means I have to miss this weekends Strongman. I was so salivating for it too. I really want to lift that Atlas stone. I figure it is the smart thing to do. So this blog is gonna be really boring (more so than usual) for about a week.
In other news I think I’m finally committed to getting a kettlebell. Dan Cenidoza was kind enough to shoot some video with me in it and passed it on to me. I had planned on losing a few pounds for the upcoming contest but seeing myself on video was really shocking for me. I have a lot of stomach on me. So I’m gonna use the kettlebell as a conditioning tool to drop some weight. I am hoping it will also strengthen my back a bit and we can avoid this little game in the future.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 28, 2006

Went for another jog, 2 miles at 5.1mph (according to the treadmill, that is an 11:45 mile). Then I went to work on cleans. 95 lb clean, 5X 95 lb hang clean, 135 clean, 5X 135 hang clean, 155 clean, 175 clean.
I kinda twinged my back on that last one, it was during the catch. I think the jog before hand may have worn out my back a little.
Interestingly enough my back actually felt much better up to that point, I think because I was not sitting all day.

I’ll be taking tomorrow off to heal, rest and go to the pet expo.

I did bend the last of my 3/16 stock a couple days ago, I also melted some long 1/4 stock. It was a full 10″ and I accidentally bent it about 2″ off center. I haven’t bent in a couple days. The first day almost had withdraw pains. I think it was actually my body healing up. For the first day my elbows hurt all day, the second my shoulders and last evening my elbows again.
I’m doing much better today but I’m gonna take another day or two off to heal.

There is a strongman comp in Maryland in may and I’m gonna sign up. The weights are insane, I’m gonna try. I’m also trying to lost 15 pounds (to 260) to make it into a lower weightclass (below 265). I figure I should lose the weight anyway so this is a good excuse.
The events:
Apollons Axle (2″ barbell)Clean & Press 255 for 60 seconds
Farmer carry -290 per hand/Yoke walk 785 20 yards each
6 Stone Load 290-355 47″-52″
3 Keg carry 240-270 20 yards back and out
680 tire flip twelve flips

I have a lot of work to do for the next three months

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Heavy Squat

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 27, 2006

Did the gym last night. Honestly when I came up with the idea of lift one night then run the next, it was with the idea of a break between my running night and my lift night. This week, due to calendar issues, I’m lifting Tues-Fri. So I was a little unsure how I would feel about that.

Sqaut- warmup, 405X3 (my previous 1RM), 425X2 PR,
Calf raise – 2X8 425
Straight legged deadlift 3X6 225
Zercher 2X8 135 (learning the lift)
rack pulls for time – 315 10sec, 15, 20

That’s really the bulk of it. I have no idea why but I knew before I ever got home from work that if I squatted today, I would load 405 on the bar and do it more than once and that I could go up from that. I felt god even after my 425. I figure a conservative estimate is that is is 95% of my 1RM. I’m not willing to test it on these squat racks. I pretty much blame the whole thing on thos Yoke Walks I have bee doing with Luke.
I would really like to be able to do more bottom squats but I can’t set it up on these squat racks because the hooks and safety catches are not adjustable. I still tend to raise my butt first which leaves me to half good morning the weight. I don’t think that much weight is a good thing to do that with. I need to refine my form a bit.

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Light Day

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 25, 2006

I jogged today, yeah that’s right, jogged. 20 damn minutes of the hamster wheel. It did it at 5 mph. Long before I came here, about three and half years ago I did start trying to lose weight, this is before I started back to lifting. I ran on a treadmill five days a week, trying to get to 2 miles at 5 mph. After a while I got good at it and actually got my bodyweight down to 246. Then I stopped running all together. Actually as the weight came back, it was a lot more muscle than fat so I wasn’t to upset but I have decided it is time to look toward 250 again. I haven’t sat down and made 250 and official type goal. For the moment I’m just seeing where this can take me.
After the hamster wheel I did a little light circuit work until the wife was done with her stuff.

just the olmpic bar
hang cleans 20
hang snatch 20
bent over row 20
curl 20
tricep press 20
military press 20
back jerk 20

I got bored with the bar and moved on to a 25 lb plate
front raise 20
chest press 20

that was it. A light day with a focus on burning calories. Tomorrow we will go heavy again.

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Middle Of The Road

Posted in Grip,Gym Strength by Mike on January 24, 2006

Skipped the gym yesterday.
Went today but had my little pain in my left shoulder returning. It tends to show up, these days, only when I attempt a bend with all I’ve got and fail. The isometrics ore probably a little too much on the shoulders. It’s wierd too cause I can knock out some really nice bends when I’m at Luke’s. I hit some 1/4 CRS and some 5/16 HRS easy. It’s not the same at home. Both times Luke has given me some of the same steel I bent at his place. At home, no go. I haven’t bent a single one of the 5/16 he sent home with me. I think it is a combination of factors:
team environment – training with someone is a great feeling and it seems everything goes better when someone else is there making sure you don’t slack
great full body workout – I think is very similar to all those guys who do grippers after squats, I really think there is something to that. You would think with the amount of weight we move I would be smoked at Luke’s but it seems to make it just happen for me.
mind set – usually when Luke or Dan hand me steel I just try to slam it, and do. When I do it by myself there is a lot of fiddleing around, wondering if I should do this right now.
devotion – on the days that I train at Lukes (only once every two weeks) I block out the day for training. I get up late, have a huge breakfast of four whole grain waffles, lay around until it’s time to go. When I’m at home I’ve been working all day, I’m thinking about doing something else later, the TV is on.

I can’t replicate all those at home, but I think I really need to get my head into my home bends as much as the ones with Luke. Also I think I’m gonna get me some more 3/16 round and square. I seem to be able to bend 3/16 easy. I bent a 4″ piece earlier. I found the 3/16 square bent easy too, I think I need to get about 6′ of that and cut it to lengths from 10-5″ and bend all those. I’ll also pick up some more 1/4 round. All that I have right now is like 6″ or less. I can bend about one per day with warm up. Any more than that and I’m just hurting myself.

I’m also gonna try to make a schedule, maybe only bend twice per week. Wed/thur and Sat/Sun, leaving mself a days leeway to adjust my schedule. It’s hard cause everytime I see the steel I want to bend it. I’m gonna have to actually move it to another room so I’m not looking at it several times a day.

Wow that was a whole lot longer tha expected…..

the gym
deadlift 405X4 Apropriate warmups prior
Hang clean 135 X 8
clean and press 135 X 8
Bench press, super wide, focus on the pecs – 2X12 185
dumbell snatch 10reps 20 lbs each arm, 10 reps 30 lbs each arm
overhead squat 2X10 18lbs.
One hand T bar row- 10 X70lbs each arm
overhand curl 10 reps 62lb
curl 10 reps 62lb
Finger curls 2X20 135

I took it pretty light and fast. I was feeling kinda tired and my shoulder was bothering me so I wanted to try to work that kink out more than anything. I’m planning on running instead of lifting tomorrow although I will probably work a little light work in.

That’s it for tonight lengthy post.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 22, 2006

Awesome day, Strongman training.

Let’s see, axle cleans, I think I had the 75lb bar with 45 on each side (165). The amount of stress placed on the thumb is unbelievable. This just strengthens my resolve to get those thick handled dumbells, although it seems like a thick handled barbell like the axel. I have never felt my thumbs feel like they do tonight.
Then onto yoke walk, hit a full carry of 635. Luke pointed out that I couldn’t even lock that out the first time I tried. It was amazingly hard but it felt awesome to complete. The last eight feet were total sensory depravation. All I could see and hear was that spot in front of me that I was going for.
Then we did some bottom squats, those are a neat experience. I think he said we got over 400. He completed 9 consecutive, strong reps. I managed three reps where I kind of bounced it, then four more legit, strong, no bounce reps. I will have to add these to my regimen.

After that we went round back for me to take a shot at the stones. The bastards still beat me. I can get the 345 into my lap but I don’t know what to do with it after that. I’m gonna try to find videos to learn from but there is nothing lke the stones.
I also took a shot at the 3″ barbell. That is crazy. Luke said he’ training for the Inch by slowly loading the 3″ and one hand deadlifting it. Oh, and he got a hex 70 and 80 that he took the head off of, he gave me the other half to do some damage with.I think we’re gonna go in on a 75 next time I go visit.
We did a little bending too. I was able to bend a really long piece of 5/16″ HRS. We also discovered, by comparison, that the HRS I bought and Home Depot appears to actually bend like CRS, and probably is.

I got to come home with two half dumbells and a bunch more steel, oh and some sore muscles. I feel great and had another awesomd day.

Oh yeah! and my wife says any day the Broncos lose is a great day.

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Return To Badness

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 21, 2006

I went to the gym last night and it felt awesome, I haven’t felt that strong in a long time. I don’t like to take two days off from lifting very often but that really paid off. For starters, cast your mind back to my second blog ever.
As you read down it you may notice that part of the reason I started grip was because I had to use straps to achieve my bodies max deadlift of 400lbs. Well, last night I did it, four times. The bad news is that I felt like I could pull more after it but again my grip failed me, which means I still have to keep after the grip (not bad news) because it is still the weak link in the chain. We consider that my grip strength has improved enough to pull fifty pounds more than previously for four rather than one, that is a pretty good improvment. I need to get back to rack pulls with heavy weights because, while 50lbs is nice, I could do better.
I even tried a little sumo style pulls. I have never tried those before. It seems like you barely move the bar and it’s true because you only pick it up six inches at most. I don’t have to coordination or the correct muscles developed to be really good at it but I think it could be a useful tool, especially in improving my grip.
While there I did 20 consecutive good mornings with just the bar immediatly followed by 20 front squats with just the bar (my lower back was killing me again). did lunges with 40lbs for 2X ten with each leg. I did some very light wrist curls with just 20lb dumbells.
I decided to bend one piece of my 3/16th rounds stock. I figured I feel much better and I really need to practice my double overhand technique. Fortunatly that light of stock just melts in my hand like warm butter, so I don’t think I did anything to harm my wrists or hands. To my wifes credit, she reminded me the whole time that I told her I’m not supposed to bend until tomorrow. I asked her to do that so it ws a good thing.
I find the double overhand a little tough to learn and need to practice. I tend to pch both hands and the bar away from my body which weakens my position and bend. I feel like I need to the simulataneously thin bout press my hands down and together while also driving th bar into my body. We shall see.

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Taking It Easy

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 20, 2006


I haven’t been to the gym in the last two days. Both my wife and i just have not felt any desire to go at all. This is really out of the norm for me. Each night I have reluctantly given in to my weaknesses. Honestly, it was probably a good thing. I have been feeling really run down lately. I may have been overtraining, then again it may just be work.
The bad thing about not going the last couple days is that I really feel like I may be adding a couple pounds of fat to my body. Not just in the last two days, mind you, but over the course of the last two month. Sitting a desk all day then coming home feeling wiped out is not good for the waistline.
I’m consider adjusting mys trength training routine in a way that is unheard of for me. I’m considering trying to alternate between strength and cardio, one night strenght followed by one night cardio. This would limit my strength nights to two or three a week and I don’t feel like that is enough but I’m having trouble coming up with other solutions. We will just have to see.

I am planning on getting to the gym tonight.

I will say the time off seems to have done good things for my recovery from bending. I also have’t done any bending in like two going on three days. The first day off my hands and forearms ached, the second my elbows and eventually shoulders. I’m still in the sore shulder phase but it is getting better. Hopfully, tomorrow I’ll be feeling right as rain but I’m still going to try and wait until Sunday to do any further bending.
I did buy Eric milfields Ebook and have been trying to learn the double overhand. I really think you have to practice a whole lot before you get it down but it may be worth it in the end. I also feel like I may see further weakness in my finger strength when using his technique. The first day I had the Ebook and tried it I found that as I tried to bend the bar it would shift and slip out of my hands. I may have really start getting after the finger strength.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 17, 2006

I lied, I tried a tiny bit of bending today. Just one piece of the really light stuff, a shot at the 60D nail, and the 1/4″ square. I really felt those in the arms. I have sworn off bending until this weekend. My body needs the break. It will be hard but I will not bend until I train with Luke on Sunday.
Went to the gym today, worst yet. First they moved some stuff around to make room for the new dumbell racks, thus removing and previously empty space that I might have otherwise used for deadlifts and the like. I really wanted to do push press, unfortunatly the squat curl racks were all busy. Usually I would just set up and clean the press the barbell. Unfortuantly I had to move three times to set up where someone else wasn;t trying to do something. I’m not mad at the individuals because they are just doing what they came to do. I’m pissed cause I asked them to try and get a real powerrack, instead they bough more dumbells. They have about 40 pairs of dumbells, they don’t need twenty more. I almost never see them being heavily used. It is mostly a waste of money in my opinion.
So I tried to work out, it didn’t go well, I’ll cover that in a minute. Afterward I asked one of the chicks that has worked there for a while, they have been having a lot of turnover lately.
ME: What’s up with the weightroom?
HER: What, What? What!
ME: The new equipment.
HER: What new equipment?
ME: The dumbbell racks?
HER: We are getting some new equipment.
ME: What are we getting?
HER: Dumbells, you did say it was a dumbell rack.
ME: Yes, I got that. Anything else? Any real equipment, like powerracks?
HER: Powerracks? Well we got the new TVs
She gestured over her shoulder to about six or eight new TVs each mounted on a treadmill so if none of the three giant TVs around the gym suit you, you can have your favorite reality show in your face.
I made a sour face
HER: What, you don’t like it?
ME: I hate it.
HER: Well, it’s not like Rocky. Well not including four, then you’d have to train in a….
ME: That’s my favorite part.
She starts explaining the refernce to a new girl there. I wandered off, I think she wanted to get rid of me and it worked, hopefully for good.

So anyway that was my experience…
The workout itself was mediocre. I got some puch press, dumbell press, dips. Then I got fed up and went and did twenty squats with 225, then I dropped it down to 135 and did two sets of ten as hard and fast as I could. I have been having bicep tendon pain. I had the same when I was on my big powerlifting bender. I think it was actually the bolt cutters I used on my nails that really got it going again. The weirdest thing is that it gets aggrivated by pressing movements and pulling/curling movement actually make it feel better. I don’t really understand it.

Then I cam home and did pilates with the wife, think what you like, Karen Voight will kick your ass and come back for more.

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A Little Fun

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on January 17, 2006

two bends from last night.
First the tiny bend, This little guy was like 4 inches. I was hard to get an angle on him. Once I got him to 90 degrees I was really stuck. I couldn’t go any further. Finally I settled on crushing him like one of those new IM Tugs. He settled between my left middle finger and thumb and go squished.

This next bugger is a 60D galvanized nail that I took a shot at. As you can see I didn’t go far with him. We aren’t done yet. He will be a project and when he is done, I’m coming for his 9 friends I have.

PS. This is my first time trying to post images from another site so bear with me will I mess with the way i handled this.

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