Anvil or Hammer

Bell, Round 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 17, 2006

I hit the kettlebell again. I’m lucky, I have smart, experienced people who are willing to help me when I go astray. With the help of Dan Cenidoza I got a much better program…. aaaannndddd I think I screwed it up.

This is the program as it was given to me:

3/3 windmill
20/20 swings
3/3 turkish get ups
20/20 swings
5/5 bottoms up press
20/20 swing

and here is how I got it right: I researched a couple of the moves to make sure I got them right. I looked up the Turkish get up and the wind mill. I even got the wife to join in for fun. I got a huge sweat of my own going and my back was aching when I was done.

Here’s how I think screwed it up: First, as I mentioned, my back was aching. I assume this is a residual of the fact that I would start to slack towards the end of my swings. Thus I would lose my hip snap. My lower back was doing more work than it should have. Second, at this point in time I can’t bottoms up press my bell. I just don’t grip it hard enough. I can kinda get it out and balanced but once I start to press the bell comes out of balance and spins down. So I end up doing a palm press. Third and the biggest and best of all I think I screwed up what Dan actually intended for me to do.
I got started doing the program, with the wife, and got all the way through the rotation and headed through it again. Then my wife looked down and asked how manu reps we were supposed to be doing. We looked at it and thought awe crap we are supposed to do 3 sets of 3 then 20 set of 20 and so on. Then we thought, that’s a lot of damn swings, that can’t be it. Then I thought maybe each side of the slash represents an arm. In other words 20 swings with the left then 20 swings with the right the 3 turkish get ups with the left then 3 with the right and so on.

So here is what I did:
3 windmills with left, 3 windmills with the right
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right
3 turkish get ups with the left, 3 turkish get ups with the right
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right
5bottoms up press with the left, 5 bottoms up press with the right
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right
3 windmills with left, 3 windmills with the right
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right
3 turkish get ups with the left, 3 turkish get ups with the right
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right
5bottoms up press with the left, 5 bottoms up press with the right
short rest, probably 30 second
20 swings with the left, 20 swings with the right

So I think you can see where I probably screwed up. Either way, it was a great workout and I broke a great sweat.

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Doggin’ It

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 17, 2006

I got to the gym lst night for a little cardio session. Unfortunatly myl legs were still tired from the rest of the week. I tried the hills setting but was already grabbing the tradmill at 10 minutes. I changed to the manual program and alternated betwen walk 2 min , run 5, through another 20 minute session. Then I went and did hang cleans and attempted snatches (it was somewhere between a snatch and clean with just a little press) with 85lbs. I det 4 sets of five reps of each with no rest between the two then like 2 minutes rest before doing another set. I thought I might lost my chili and it was spicy chili, I was not looking forward to it.
I got home late and didn’t have time to do kettlebell before bed. Tonight we are going to a concert at the symphony so I will try to work in Dan Cenidoza’s program then.

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The Kettlebell Tolls For Thee

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 15, 2006

Let me just say, I am out of shape.
I took a shot at a kettlebell workout tonight. I did it in my apartment so I was unwilling to go all out for fear of throwing the bell to the floor and bugging my neighbors.

I tried to follow the following progression, but I would occasionally miss something and throw it in at the end:
bottoms up press palm press
Tricep extension
Overhead squat
One hand snatch
Two hand snatch

The progression went some thing like, 10, 8, 10, 5, 10 reps. I took a pretty long rest prior to that last set
I was sucking at the end of my ten rep sets.

So I have a long way to go. I love the kettlebell as a wake up and stretch type activity.
I have a long way to go on my kettlebell work. I look forward to the might climb.
I hope to one day to be able to do 100 one hand snatches consecutivly.In fact:

I make myself this challenge now, February 15, 2006. One year from now or sooner, one handed snatch the 16 kg kettlebell 100 times switching hands no more than once, without setting the kettlebell down.

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Hamstring Revenge

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 15, 2006

As I sit here this fine morning my hamstrings are showing their anger with me. I knew they would, they had already begun to tighten up last night on the way home, but they earned it. I was going to do the hills program, on the treadmil, tonight but I may not be able to finish it.
Last night
135 X 5
225 X 5
315 X 5
365 X 3 X 3
315 X 5
It was amazing how light that second set of 325 felt but I felt fatigue setting in too.

Zercher squats
225 X 4 X 6

Straight legged deadlift (thumbless grip)
225 X 4 X 8

Walk outs
30 seconds

It seems like there was one other thing in there but I can’t recall what it was.
It also seems that my 45 minutes at the gym just slips away from me these days. Some times I get on a kick and go in there and do 6 or 8 exercises with time to spare but lately I have been bearly getting four.

Alos, I have been using my kettlebell when I get home from work. Nothing extreme just trying to get blood back in the back and glutes from sitting all day. It is a good pick me up.

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A Real Steel

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 13, 2006

Taking the day off from lifting.
My rear delts are sore from playing with my kettlebell. It really gave thema full workout.
I decided that since I wasn’t going to the gym I would do a little bending. It has been like five days or so.
3/16 8″ Bent
3/16 6″ Bent
1/4 8″ Bent
1/4 7 1/4″ Bent
1/4 7″ Fail*
1/4 6 1/2″ Bent PR
5/16 10″ Fail**

So as you can see it was actually a pretty decent bending day. I opened with a few easy ones, I played with my technique a little. Since I use bolt cutters to cut my steel the ends have nasty edges on them. I don’t use much leather at all to wrap my steel. I have found I am wearing holes in my leather very quickly. The point is, don’t use bolt cutter and use something better than the backs of old worn out leather gloves.
* This was interesting for me. You can see that I bent pieces longer and shorter than this one. Everyone would say well, steel varies and I say so it does. This is most interesting because out of th 1/4 diameter steel this is the only piece bent today not from Home Depot. This was a piece given to me by Luke. He buys his steel from a real steel supplier. The lesson, Home Depot sells cheap steel.
**This is Hot Rolled Steel. I bent a long piece of this with luke three weeks ago. It gao that distinctive fat bottomed U shape of HRS. I have no idea how long that piece was but as of right now I can not bend this piece for the life of me.

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Bring The Pain

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 12, 2006

It actually snowed in Baltimore, like a real snow. It made a little hard to go do strongman. I don’ mind traveling in the snow but it would have been a little rough to try and yoke walk and the like an wet pavement. So, off to the gym I go.
First I did Zercher squats 135, 155, 175, 185 for eight reps apiece: I haven’t really tried these before a found this a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. You would think a guy who could hit a 405 squat for a couple reps would be able to Zercher more but I don’t think I could have kept going. I’m doing these hoping to improve my strongman lifts, like stone lifts.
I then went for some clean and press with 135 for 5X5. Then I opted for some deadlifts. I loaded up 225 and did double under, over then both mixed for a 20 count on each. I opted for two full rotations of this.
I went back to the squat rack for some lock outs with 585. I did a thirty count then made someone hold a stopwatch for me to make it to a minute. That was a long freakin’ minute.
Then I opted for three sets of fifteen on back extension and ab wheel alternating.

Seems like there was a little something more in there, I sure feel worn out like there was but I can’t recall it all.

I did some kettlebell work earlier ten reps with each arm then ten with both for three sets.

Then I went and blew more money than I care to admit but had a great day. This was one of the nicests days I have been outside for a while.

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Party Of Five

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 11, 2006

Okay, there were more than five people there. I got a PM yesterday from Dan inviting me to come by for a party. I’m not much of a party person but it sounded like a good time. Besides I don’t know a whole lot of people in the area so I thought it would be nice to get out.
So I rallied the troops and with the speed of lightening (45 minutes) we rolled out the door. Met Luke who lead us over to Dan’s. Once there I got to meet his wife and some friends. A party at Dan’s shares commonalities with a lot of parties. A little beer, a movie, general carrying on.
A party at Dan’s is also a little different. The movie was thae latest offereing by Dennis Rogers (including Terminator of gripboard). Then it was down to the phone book ripping race. Dan and Luke went after it, they managed to mangle and tear at least two phone books. Dan ‘s wife and my wife managed to section out the rest of the paper making a right mess. There were grippers, kettlebells, cards ripped and finally Luke bent some heavy bars over his nose. I don’t recall the diameter but it was awesome.
It was a good time, even the nonlifters had a hoot. It also helped me realize how far I have to go and how long I have to work to before I achieve a level of strength that is truly respectable.

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I’m A Rambler

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 9, 2006

First, before I tell you about the gym, let me tell you about my kettlebell. It came in the mail yesterday. It’s smaller and a lighter than I thought but it is decieving. You heft it a few times and find that it secretly stashes it’s weight away somewhere dark. It only calls upon it when it feels threatened, like in the middle of your 8th of 10 snatches. It’s a sneak, smooth, dark, little bastard and I love it.
So in the spirit of my usual restraint I have played with it yesterday and today and probably tomorrow and so on. It certainly took a toll on my lifting today. It doesn’t help that I have been typing a lot more than usual the last two days. I taught myself some basic Javascripting and wrote, what I think is, a really nice script for a friend. It allows him to have a random quote of up to 1000 loaded whenever someone loads his page. Then I got all interested in web programing again and got crazy on some stye sheets for my own neglected website. Eventually I ended up pulling out all my old books and reviewing them.
So my grip is crap.
Then I got to playing with the kettlebell which puts some dynamic pressure on your grip. My favorite and probably the least dynamic is the “bottoms up military press”. You have to squeeze thehandle real hard as you hold the kettlebell upside down. The grip is smooth and slippery. The press is easy but I findit reallyhard to hold it upside down that way. It’s a good time.

Anyway off to the gym. I was especially weird today.
Deadlifts, got of to a rockin’ start but notice hand weakness right away. Sure enough, at 315 my double overhand grip had seen enough. I stayed with the same weight and went mixed grip. It took ten more reps before that was toast too. It was a crap bar but I should have been able to pull that easily.
For fun I went to Clean press with 135, a good time and getting me the dirty looks I enjoy. Some overhead squat action with just the bar rounded out the general opinion on me. I went on to knock out three rapid fire sets of decline bench twelve reps each: narrow, normal and wide grip, no rest. Off to do some overhand curls with whatever was on the bar. Dumbel rows for three sets of eight with the eighties. Then squat into walkout: 5 reps 135, 5 reps 225, 3 reps 315, 1/2 rep 405, walkout, 495, walkout 585.
Weighed out again 270.
Then home and here I be.

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It’s All Uphill From Here

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 9, 2006

Did another conditioning workout yesterday. I ran on the treadmill again, this time on the hills setting. I’m not sure I had ever run on hills before. I wasn’t thinking and set it for 35 minutes at level 2 (didn’t know what to expect). So when I got started I decided I would just leave it at 35 and try to carry it through. At about 15 minutes I was feeling good. The hills weren’t terribly chalenging and I thought I had it totally handled. Then the hills really set in. One minute no incline, then one minute 6%, one minute none, one minute 5%, then none then six. As I progressed into the low twenty minute range I found myself not quite recovering from the hills like I had hoped. Each new hill I would drift further back on the machine. Finally at 25 minutes I found myself grabbing the console occasionally to try to get back up on the machine. I decided it was officially dangerous. I knocked it down to a walk and walked it out until I passed the 2 mile mark and 500 calories. I don’t really trust the calorie counters on those machines but it was a goal.
I also did something else out of order yesterday. Usually when I want to get my weight, I try to get the least favorable weight I can. I want to make sure I really am below 265 for this up coming strongman. I don’t want there to be any doubt that I will make weight even with a healthy meal. So usually I weigh in at the gym, not weigh out. I weighed out instead, I came in at 270 1/2. I hope I really am running that light but considering how much I sweat doing that hill thing, it could have easily been water weight.
The other weight issue I have is which scale is right. I tend to trust the gym scale more than my home scale. When I balance the gym scale out it tends to be about two pounds off. My homescale on the other hand seems to run way light. I have been coming in at 260. All of a sudden today I’m down at 250. I hate that scale.
In good news, my kettlebell has arrive. I did a few experimental snatches with it last night: two sets of ten with two hands and five with one hand. I have to admit that even that little workout got me breathing a little. I can’t wait to really try to destroy myself with it. I need to watch my DVD again so I can be reminded of some more exercises.

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Back In The Saddle

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 7, 2006

I got back into the gym today. I was having a bit of back stiffness still but no pain or wekaness so I headed to the gym. This weorkout was meant to be a rehab workout mostly. I wanted to see where my back would let me go. I turns out, everywhere and I feel better than I have in like two weeks.

135 X 5
185 X 5
225 X 5
275 X 5
315 X 5
365 X 3

I decided to try bench. I haven’t done it in a while. I really didn’t have it in me today. Most of it, I think, was in my wrist which I will explain later.
135 X 8
185 X 8
225 X 8
275 X 3

Calf raises
3 X 10 X 425

Lock outs, just loading the a dquat bar up and standing with it while I count to thirty

High rack pulls – this was the last part of my grip workout for the day (I’ll cover the earlier stuff later). It was like 1/16 of a dealift and hold while counting to thirty, double overhand.
3 X 315

The first part of my grip workout and the reason why my wrist are sore right now.
5″ 3/16 Folding style
9″ 1/4 DU
8″ 1/4 DU
7 1/2″ 1/4 DU

This is pretty much where I am at right now on bending.

Lever 10lb sledge to the nose from about 25″ three times per arm.
block juggle:
I forgot to mention earlier that I now have a 35 lb (half of a 70lb dumbell) hex head block weight. I could pick Lukes up but can’t seem to get mine, I think his had a little chalk on it. I can almost get mine slick. I did a little tossing it hand to hand. Not far and I was catching it underhand rather than snatching it over hand like Brookfield but it put some strain on the wrists too.

Anyway that was my lifitng day. I didn’t do a ton of lifting but my back feels great and I love that.

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