Anvil or Hammer

On The Road

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 30, 2006

We stayed in Columbus, OH night before last, we stayed in Quincy, IL last night, today it’s off to Olathe, KS where the funeral will be tomorrow. We have decided afterward to swing past the rest of our families while we are out here. It means a whole lot of driving.
I have gotten the kettlebells out a couple times, most to stretch at a rest stop. Usually I use the 16K to stretch a bit. Last night I get a little more done. I tried to juggle te 16K for about 10 minutes. The combination of skill and fatigue makes this really tough. I know a lot of you guys can juggle for 15-20 minutes. Mostly I just drop the kettlebell fro 10 minutes. I finally worked ou a series that was working from me. High pull, flip high pull, flip under, flip over. I tried the undercut flip but my let bicep is still a little sensitve for that. Then I tried to snatch the 24K, it felt heavier than it did last Friday. I did 10, 10, 5 per arm. I was good an smoked after that. My lowest back muscles were so thick that they were uncomfortable. They calmed down after a while though.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 26, 2006

I didn’t want to go to the gym when I got home but I convinced myself to go. I’m really glad I did. It made me feel really good.

forgot my notebook again

hang clean
60K X 3

power clean and jerk
80K X 3
90k X 2
100K X 2
103K X 1 (missed like three after the first one)
100K X 3

20 rep squat
Oly squat
225 X 20
I sissied out on 250 before I moved it. I should have gone with 250. There was someone there that was really chatty. Every time I would warm up a few reps and step out he’d start talking. I ended up getting like 12 – 15 warm up reps.

dumbell press
75 X 8
85 X 2 X 8

pull ups
all bodyweight, all to a dead hang. still sucking.

24K kettlebell
10 swings per side
10 snatches per side
15 snatches per side.
called it here although I could have gone on. It was a good day for lifting and I felt good leaving.

Now that all that is out tof the way…..funeral stuff. I think we are actually gonna make a week long road trip out of it. Weird, I know but I think it will be good. We will take some jumpropes and kettlebells and try to get some good sleep and just do our thing. I’ll keep the blog up, tosome degree. I can no one has noticed, this is the closest thing to a journal or diary I have ever had. I really like it. If no one read it, I would try to keep it up for my own sake.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 26, 2006

Things happen occaiosionally that interrupt our workout schedules. There is little we can do about them.
My father died last night, he has been fighting cancer for a while. So I knew it was coming. The relationship was complicated but getting good toward the end. I have my step mom, mom, step dad, siblings and wife to help me out.
I don’t know how much working out or what quality it will be. I guess what I am saying is, I will keep a record here for my own sake as I have been but I wouldn’t say there is goingto be a whole lot here worth reading for the next week.

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20 Rep

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 23, 2006

In the interest of giving my arm a break I did another squat workout.
I forgot my notebook, not a habit yet.

First I did one pull up, overhand. The arm didn’t bother me until the last third. Not killer but not something I want to do reps with.
light warm up with nothing and the bar
135 X 5
185 X 3
225 X 3
275 X 3
275 X 20
Now this was not quite 20 mechanical, even reps. At seven I started huffing, at 12 I had to stop for two breathes, 15 two more, 18 my body is screaming to put the weight down and catch my breath, I took probably four breaths there. Then Slammed out the last ones.
When I got the weight racked I was sucking wind. The world was quiet and slow. Once I got my breath back I thought about going in for another. I realize now that it was my aerobic conditioning (or lack of) that got me and that the weight was pretty easy. We’re gonna do these again.

Push Press
185 X 3
185 X 1, failed on two. I realized afterward I should have set it down and gone back to it.
155 X 3 X 3

bodyweight X 5
BW+25 X 3 X 3

I have a strong desire to get some pull ups in her but am taking it eas on pulling motions.
I’m thinking about getting the swings going again tomorrow with my kettlebells. I am on the hunt for an army surplus frame pack to start carrying for my walks. Also tonight I went to buy a skin fold caliper set. They looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for them. I guess sporting goods stores don’t carry those.

Went shopping and filled up on good food.

Now, for an opinion poll…. Not really my thing but I’m taking input from all over on this.
When I move to the burbs I need a vehicle. I don’t really like cars all that much and I wouldn’t use one that much. How about a scooter? Honda, Vespa, Apaggio (sp?) and so on. Kinda gay? do I care? feel free to feed back. I’m just thinking out loud here.

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City Of Brotherly Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 22, 2006

Went to Philly over the weekend. Didn’t do much training but had a good time. We walked to the Pat’s The King of Steaks to have a cheesesteak from the original. Next time we will try Gino’s. All told, Saturday we walked over 5 miles, according to google maps.
Seem to have pulled my bicep brachi tendon in a minor way so that is incredly annoying.

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Doms Sucks

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 19, 2006

Did a walk on Wednesday, 2 miles

Thursday, Dumbarton

I haven’t done squats in quite a while. So I figured I’d give them a go. There were some other things I wanted to follow up with but I goofed up something in my elbow from Tuesday, so I bailed on pull ups, presses and so on. I think I’ll be good for next Tuesday.

Olympic Squat
135 X 8
185 X 6
225 X 4
275 X 4 This is the first one that felt really good
315 X 3
365 X 1

Power Squat
365 X 2
365 X 3 X 3
These were odd. The first couple just didn’t fell right. It took until about the 2nd rep of the first set of three for it to feel like my groove again. After that I could have done more, but I’m glad I didn’t now.

Bottom Up Squat
225 X 4
275 X 3
These sucked. I need to work with them to get the starting position right. Either I was totally bending at the hips and my legs weren’t even close to parallel even though the bar is low enough. If I keep myself in a good position then I couldn’t even move the bar.

My freaking legs hurt today. After did this lift, I went to sleep at about 9:30 and didn’t get up until 7. That is virtually unheard of for me. The last couple workouts have really wiped me out like that.

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Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 17, 2006

Did an extended Whippo last night, wow, what a workout.

Hang Snatch X3 reps
20K, 30K, 40K, 50K

Hang Clean X3 reps
60K, 70K, 80K

90K, missed 100K 4 times

Deadlift (all pounds from here on)
DO X3 reps 225, 275, 315
mixed X2 reps, alternating hands 365, 405, missed 455

Rack Pull
465, 515 (I view that as a massive PR, I don’t think I have ever heald 500+ lbs in the deadlift position)

I decided to esperiment with the homemade trapbar in the gym. The weight is only the plates as I don’t know the weight of the apparatus. 1 rep each
90, 180, 270, 360, 450, 540
the last rep was hard but I wouldn’t have minded trying 600 except this device didn’t have enough room for the plates. I’ll try the commercial trapbar next time.

Waddle Pulls
In the August Marylands Strongest Man Competition we have to do a waddle walk. This, from what I understand, is when you take a short, straight bar (like you might use for tricep pushdowns) and attach it to a loading pin. You have a known weight on the pin and basically have to lockout the weight, then walk with it swining between your legs. I have never done this so I thought I would start out just by learning the lockout portion. I understand graham uses a thick bar which is always a good twist. So I took my 2″ FBBC dumbell and attached som 550 cord to it through the cunning use of caribeners. I then attached it to a loading pin in the gym. Then I stood up with it. It was going great until 360. This is where the weight seemed to be getting interesting, I had to start playing with my grip a bit. I have to do this exercise with 400lbs so I was head toward that kind of territory. 550 cord should be good as it got it’s name from the fact it is supposed to be able to hold 550lbs. Not mine, it snapped at 360. So back to the drawing board on that one. I still lik the approach, I just need something better than a single piece of 550 cord. Maybe a bunch of pieces, maybe climbing rope, maybe a chain. I’ll figure it out.

Didn’t do kettlebells do to the wife wanted to go. I think I will be going to Dumbarton on my in in future which is probably not a bad thing.

EDIT: forgot to mention, I did a little light grip work. I was tossing a 20K plate back and forth from hand to hand, keeping the plate vertical. 10 catches or so per hand, tough but could be tougher.

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The Inch Challenge

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 15, 2006

Well, my first strongman contest is done. It’s time to change gears a bit. I want to take some time, until July 1, to lose some body fat. It is my desire to maintain muscle pretty well, as it would be for most of us. I have talked with some people about the best way to measure body fat and calipers have been recommended. So I think I will buy some, but I also think I want to lose an inch off my waist. I have no idea if that is possible in a month but I’m gonna try. I will also use a scale and I will have my wife take a couple (appropriate) photos to track. I’ll save you the eye strain.
The weight tracking and calipers will be largely informational and will be used as I get past this challenge to keep track. The inch is the goal though. I believe it will be harder than I know. I’m gonna try and continue the regular walks my wife and I have been doing as well as keep after the kettlebells. I also want to bring the tire out more often. Last I will be challenging myself with some fast paced workouts, or at least toward the and of my workouts. I will try and work in some two minute drills, these will require that I lift as many reps as I can in two minutes. I will intentionally try to keep the weights heavy.
This is probably a more dangerous routine as it requires that I push myself harder than I have been. It requires that I do difficult weights when I am “preexhausted”. I believe the payoff will be there but I don’t recommend it as the Modus Operandi for anyone for a long time.
I will keep on with the Whippos (progressive pulling). I will add in some progressive squatting on Thursdays. I will add in grip again, cause I got smoked there. I think I’m gonna buy a ‘for real’ training journal (spiral notebook) and actually track my weights precisly rather than guesstimating when I get home. I will also set little goals for each workout. I really want to go hard the next month and a half.
For a weight loss diet. It is my intent to use a nutrient timing type approach first if, after a few weeks, it’s not going, I will switch to calorie deprivation. I will try and detail my diet more in coming posts. I wil officially get rolling and have all my measurements done by this coming Monday 05/22/06.

In plain language: I challenge myself to lose one inch off my waistline between 05/22 and 07/03.


Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 14, 2006

That was a humbling experience.

I competed yesterday. I did not make my goal of one point in each event. I was totally unable to clean the axle. Then on the second event (farmer’s walk) I failed to get the weight off the mat. I don’t know why. I have walked with that weight before. I haven’t worked that event in a month and half or so. I’m thinking I wasn’t doing enough in my gym workouts to support that exercise. After that things got a little better. Got 7 flips on tire. The most I have ever done consecutivly is 6, so light PR there. The hardest thing there is that you don’t have time to catchyour breath in between. I also, still, maintain that it is easier to flip the tire on grass, but people kept telling me I was flipping it uphill (the parking lot had a slant to it).
On the atlas stones I got the 245 stone loaded onto a very high platform, 50 inches or so. I got the 270 up and so incredibly close but was unable to force that last little bit. I got it up two more time. I think if I had been loading a 48 inch platform I would have completed it but I missed it three times. Still a PR to chest a 270 stone. Some guys were so good at these, they loaded them from gound to the 50″ platform in on motion, that is impressive. Very few people were able to load all 6 stones but a few did. A 338 stone, some day, will be an awesome load.
The final event was the keg carry. This is the one event where I feel like I finally earned my keep. I have trained this once before and didn’t really train it as hard as I should have. In this event I grabbed the first keg which was like 210 or something. The thing that I loved about his event was that I hit that point where my mind was telling me it was too hard and to put it down. I was able to focus on the cone I was driving for. As I turned the cone, I had the same feeling, that I need to set it down. Then I saw the tire and just started grinding for it. Normally, I say the crowd doesn’t help but I could actually hear a few voices cutting through. I could hear, I think it was Dan, saying that my grip was strong and not to set it down. I thought he was right and kept on chugging. I got the barrel to the tire and dropped it. I felt like that was plenty and wanted to walk away. Instead I went on to the 240 barrel. I barely managed to lift it. I did get a few feet out of it though. My forearms are really hurting from this today.
I took 2nd of 2. The only other guy in my weight class was a real cool guy from New Jersey. He blew me away in the events and would have placed well even if he would have had someone to compete against. I’m fairly happy with the way the day went. I moved some big weights and missed some big weights. I set some new PRs and learned a ton.
In the end, my mediocore performance doesn not put me off of strongman events but does tell me some areas I could really improve my training. I will compete in August in the Marylands Strongest man and go from there.

on to greener pastures for the short term

EDIT: Of my entire body, my forearms hurt the most. Ironic since I am posting aon grip board, guess I need to spend more time on grip.

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Slow Ride, Take It Easy

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on May 12, 2006

Just realxing the last few days. I have had to resist the urge to go lift, but it hasn’t been all bad. Still, it mkes me want to get into the gym. So that will hopefully payoff tomorrow. I weighed myself this morning and came in at 261. The top weight for the weight class I want is 266 so I think I’m good. I have no intention of consuming 5 lbs of food in the next 24 hours. Ceasar Salad for lunch, some coffee. Don’t know what’s for dinner but I’m not gonna go out for a huge meal. I’ll save that for tomorrow. I’m just trying to keep things low key.
The wife and I are considering driving down tonight and staying. It’s like a 2 hour drive so we could sleep in a bit. That’s not such a big deal for me but she isn’t used to getting up before 8. If we leave from here tomorrow, we would need to be up around 6. I’m weighing were I would sleep better. I don’t sleep well here and with it being a Friday night, it probably wouldn’t sleep well. There is no way to know if I will sleep better in a hotel room.
Other than that, I’m excited for tomorrow. I have been thinking about it on and off for at least a couple days. I feel totally confident in every event but the first one. That one I’m hoping to rely on a little competition high and luck and pull that axle. After that event I am 100% confident that I can achieve my goal of scoring at least one point in each event.
There’s a ton more about the comp that I am thinking about but I won’t blabber on too long. It’s the usual stuff and all my questions will be answered tomorrow. Think strong thoughts for me.

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