Anvil or Hammer

Chinese fortune

Posted in Kettlebells by Mike on December 20, 2006

A little kettleball action tonight
24K KB
10 snatches (5 per hand) per minute for 20 minutes. Back was sore, hands were hurting, I still haven’t grown my calluses back. I’m hoping to get a decent amount of Kettlebell done during the trip.

Since we leave tomorrow morning, we didn’t feel like doing dishes so we got chinese. Fortune cookies are silly but I really liked mine.

“It takes a lot of time to achieve instant success.”

also, wanted to point your attention to my mathematical correction to my last deadlift. I’m pretty sure that is correct now.

Also, I have prewritten a couple posts that will be released while I am away, something for you all to tear apart. They are kind of articles, kind of opinions, kind of just thoughts. Feel free to comment, correct or argue. I’ll be checking back.

Comments Off on Chinese fortune

little pulling **Correction/Retraction**

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on December 20, 2006

I made it to Dumbarton today, I started out real solid but quickly came apart. I got to see Dan and do some cleans toward the end so it was a good way to end the workout. Overall, it’s probably good that I’m about to take a break.

90K (198 lbs) X 3 Double Overhand
140K (308 lbs) X 3 DO(double overhand PR)
190K (418 lbs) X 2 DO with chalk
250K (551 lbs) X 1 mixed
253K (557 lbs) X 1 mixed oops, I wasn’t really shooting for a PR here. I didn’t check mu numbers and was just loading up the bar. I’ve recounted half a dozen times and it keep scoming out the same: bar (20K), 6 reds (25K), 2 blues (20K), 2 greens (10K), 1 1/2 K. I atually took a shoot at 270K and just barely broke it off the ground. If I had pulled that, that would hae just been wrong.
No wonder I was hurting after all this
I got to thinking about this last pull again today, the number just seemed wrong, totally wrong. I reran the math in my head and kept coming up with a number more like I expected. The actual PR 512lbs. That seems way more accurate. I think I was counting the bar twice.

Overhead press
5 X 5 70K (154lbs)

dips, my arms hurt I only got a couple individual reps.

worked some cleans with Dan, worked on hook grip. Not a fan but it seems to give me a more straight up and down bar path.

I had orignially planned on squats on Wednesday but I’m thinking about kettlebells instead. We’ll see.

I’m off of vacation starting Thursday but wil come up with a few posts while I’m away. I hope eveyone has great holidays.

No hand spot

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on December 15, 2006

Dumbarton today, first time back in a while, got a little silly.

Squat – I played around with these more than I usually would. I was working the flat footed power squat, more of a power squat than usual, low bar, legs out further alternated with an “olympic-type” squat. I won’t call it an olympic squat because I might offend the olymipc lifters out there. First off, I’m in Chuck Taylors with 25lb plates under my heals, second, my for sucks.
135 X 2 O
135 X 2 P
225 X 2 O
225 X 2 P
315 X 2 O
315 X 2 P
Decided it was time to get to the business at hand
405 X 2 P
455 X 1 P – No Hands Spot
I have no idea why I decided to do this, I just did. I really shouldn’t have. For whatever reason I went about it without questioning. I find that my own mind can get in the way of my lifts, a lot, especially the squat. Back at 315 someone told me to let them know when I needed a spot. When it comes to squatting in a power rack, I prefer to not have a spotter. They’re really only going to get one of us hurt.
Well, apparently I was being watched. I loaded up the bar and decended. If felt pretty good and I started to push up. It was doable but it was a grind. As thoughts of quitting entered my mind the gym erupted (5 guys, minor eruption but it did it) and then I knew I had to finish it. I pushed and pushed and pushed. Each time the bar pushed back they seemed to hollar louder. Eventually, I made it. When I got done, I turned around and said, “Thanks guys that helped”. A couple chuckled and one hollared out, “That’s a no hands spot”. So thanks to those guys for a no hands spot.
315 3 X 3 O – yup went back for a little more to cool down

Straight leg deadlift – usually I put these on the other end of the workout but I decided not to today.
225 X 5
245 4 X 5 – probably not a PR by any means but I was pretty smoked from the squats.

Dumbell Press 95 lbs
3 X 5
1 X 3
1 X 5
pretty tiring but I’m gonna get my 5 X 5 with 95

Pulldowns 180lbs 3 X 3 – such a wuss

I was trying to convince myself to attempt some finger curls. I was unconvinced. Instead I went for the 2″ dumbell deadlift. This got some people’s attention. At first they were teasing me for not cleaning the 100lb dumbell. So I let them try. Then the teasing turned to challenging.
120 lbs left and right PR
I heard a whole lot of whining about small hands from a couple of them. So we compared, one had larger hands than me and one had the same size.
Overall a great time tonight at the guy, one of my more interactive sessions.



A couple people commented on the workout proposition I made in my last post. I will definitely reply, just a little later. Time for dinner.

Comments Off on No hand spot

Bend a bit

Posted in Grip by Mike on December 14, 2006

Some of this acually goes back to Sunday.

I took Scott’s advice and got my Ironmind pads all folded up and put over the ends of some steel. I bent some of the home Depot Stuff 1/4″ of various lengths with easy. The Fat Bastard stuff went down easy. Some of the stuff from Dan and Luke got bent but not easily at all. I barely kinked some 1/4″ hex steel. It’s amazing how hard that stuff feels. It was definitely my wrists that were coming up short here.

I also did some overhead kettlebell squats for movements. I found that the right side was easy, the left side I found my body twisting involuntarily on the way down, very odd.

I will be getting back to Dumbarton tomorrow. I’ll try to get workouts in Monday and Wenesday as well, before the trip. I’ll probably take kettlebells with me again. With any luck I’ll get in some workouts at the gyms in the different towns. My brother-in-law has been known to train with some strong guys but I don’t know if we wil make it to train with them. Also, in omage to Scott Styles, I’ll knock out a DDR workout :-D.

I haven’t been very happy with my return to powerlifting workouts. I miss the sandbags quite a bit but won’t be able to start that again real soon. I do think I’m gonna switch things up when I get back in January. I have a really weird idea I want to try out. Lift two to three times a week. Oly lifts one day, Super max – partial lifts the other. I’ll be trying to get in some strongman workouts as well. Beyond that it’ll be mostly cardio.


Vacation Plans

Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on December 13, 2006

It’s that time of year and I’ve been storing up my vacation time like a good lad. So, I’ll be on the road December 21 through January 7th. I’ll be headed back to the great midwest and will have limited access to the web as well as limited workout opportunities.

Technical Update: Email update

Posted in Technical Update by Mike on December 13, 2006

As much as I enjoy having everyone come by the site, in an effort to offer you the easiest way to keep up, I have added a link on the left toward that bottom that says Subscribe to Anvi or Hammer by email. I’ve used the service, it seems to be pretty reliable about sending the full article whenever I update. It doesn’t update you on comments as far as I can tell though. Please feel free to take advantage of it.

Another way to log

Posted in Technical Update,Toys and tools by Mike on December 12, 2006

I started this log a while back as an attempt to keep a training journal. I stayed with it because I found that it worked exceptionally well for me. I’ve tried most of the usual approaches, buy a workout in a magazine and follow along, write it in a notebook in journal form, write it in just a set/rep breakdown and a couple others. I found that, for me, the blog allowed me to do either or both. It also kept a long term record so I could go back and look at my progress. If I wanted to I could even chart it. It offered me three things that a normal training journal didn’t typically give me:

  1. I can’t lose it – well I can but it’s hard. When I was on gripboard this was especially true. When I took responsibility for myown space, it required a little more maintenance but I still like it
  2. Tracks more than the bare minimum – a lot of times I would barely get my sets and reps written down, so I really had no idea if it felt good, if I wanted to increase next time and so on. In this format, I feel inclined to do a bit more of a narrative, partial because I feel there may be some kind of audience, who wasn’t there, that wants to know. In truth, it has been incredibly helpful to me when looking back at old workouts and planing my next one.
  3. Accountability – I’m sure there are probably some posts that have never been read or aren’t read much. That is ok. I feel like there is someone who has their eye on it so I feel like if I skimp or cheat someone will know.

That said, this blog has a couple shortcomings. The greatest of which is that it’s not that easy to take into the gym so I have something telling me what I’m shooting for today and somewhere to record my totals. Not too long ago, I added a new element to my logging. It was actually started by my inability to see my domain from work but has worked out well so I keep it around.
Google Spreadsheets. I use a lot of google products and this is one that when it came out, I thought it looked useful but couldn’t figure out how. So I left it alone. I experimented with a couple different things and nothing took. Then, one day, I wanted something on paper to take with me to do my workout out. I actually did it in Excel first, which worked really well. Then I realized Excel didn’t quite have the portability I was looking for. So I popped it into Google Spreadsheets and that does the trick. I can work on it at home or the office. Shape it up and print it out.
I built into it formulas that point to each other and calculate pounds of kilos, whichever I don’t enter. It gives me space to record and a clear plan to work from. I haven’t yet closed the loop. I need to go back and record what I did but for now this is working.
I’m not trying to sell anyone on GSpreadsheets. As cool as it would be, I don’t work for them. It’s just another tool that has done the job for me and is available to whomever free of charge. The right tool for the job is very important.

My training spreadsheet


UPDATE: I’m trying my spreadsheet link again. I may have had to “Publish” it first for it to be available to see. When I did that, it changed the URL. Someone let me know if you still can’t see it. Also, it opens to the first page which is my blank page, if you click through the tabs, you can see some pages I actually have filled in.

Ugly weekend

Posted in Rant by Mike on December 11, 2006

I wont bore you with the details but this weekend sucked. As a result of the suckatude, I didn’t go out and run on Sunday like I should have. Works for the beginning part of this week will be done as I can. I’ll still find some stuff to update about but workouts may not be among them.

Comments Off on Ugly weekend


Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on December 9, 2006

Went for a deep tissue massage today. I felt much better afterward. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. They suggested I take a bath with 8 lbs of epsoms salts. Seems like a lot but I suppose I’ll give it a shot. I was a little 150lbs woman. She had to bust out a “T bar” to apply enough pressure to me. She ended up kneeling on my back at points to apply enough pressure. She worked over all kinds of pressure points. Some of the ones in m right arm would cause my left hand to hurt, I have no idea why. she ht some points on my left hamstring that hurt all the way around to my knee, but it all felt much better afterward.

I had forgottern how weird what I do is, it took several tries to explain to her about pulling a tire for exercise. She helped me a bit with a couple of my yoga poses. It was definitely something i would like to do again, maybe in a month.

Other things, lemme see.
I saw Mr. No PRs since 24. He is resigned to his fate. I tried to talk to him about it. He is convinced and really doesn’t want to hear otherwise.

dunno, I had more bu have since forgotten it…it saves something for next time I guess.

Cracked 500!

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on December 8, 2006

Deadlift day today
70K x 3
120K X 2
170K X 2 (Double overhand none the less. kinda proud of that)
here i should have gone for  220 or 225, but it seemed silly to not hit 500lbs (227 K as I recall).
230K X 1, fail, fail

so yup, I cracked 500 (507 to be exact). I was only able to do it once though. I’d like to go for twice then I may swap in cleans instead of deadlifts for a while. I cam away from my failed attempts with some kind of back cramp or spasm, so I really wasn’t feeling so hot for the rest of this.

Overhead strict press 60K 5X5
skull crusher 82lbs 5X5
curls 82lbs 5X5
Front squat 60K 5X5

I came home and made a massage appointment for tomorrow. I have some muscle owwies that I want them to take a crack at, including the lower back and that hamstring that I cramped a while back and still can’t get to work right.


I’ll post on some more random type stuff tomorrow or Sunday.

« Previous PageNext Page »