Anvil or Hammer

Technical update

Posted in Technical Update by Mike on February 28, 2007

Scott of Straight to the Bar pointed out to me that with the added comments these days, it might be easier for folks if I made a comment feed, so I did.

Comment Feed

Thanks Scott

EDIT: If anyone finds their previous feed broken (you shouldn’t) let me know.

Wot is all this talk about sandbags

Posted in Dinsoaur Style by Mike on February 28, 2007

Man am I ever psyched. It’s the year of the sandbag, did you know that?

As I read the blogs around I see the word sandbag a lot. There are gonna be blogs everywhere talking about this. I’ll keep my eyes peeled and reference them as they happen.

Personally I am ready for sandbag season and have been for a month, just ask my wife. I went out and bought two large duffles and am looking forward to filling them. So, if you live in the northern hemisphere it’s time to start preparing. Get out your sandbags and check for holes, check your kegs for rust and by all means, paint your kettlebells! 🙂

EDIT: and here is the post that inspired my overly joyful reaction today.


Posted in Kettlebells by Mike on February 27, 2007

Popped over to the Uni for some kettlebell action. They have a very full collection. I decided it would be a great chance to get some doubles action on.
snatch single are, 10 reps each

Double Snatch, 10 reps each

Double C&J, 5 reps

Alternating snatches, 10 reps each

Alternating C&J, 5 reps
By alternating, I mean that I had two bells and would snatch. The bell would come down and then I would bring the other up

Bag work 3 minutes in one minute sets with one minute rest.

I worked in some windmils and tried some two hands anyhow. I also did a little work with the 40K kettlebell but I can’t recall off the top of my head what, probably just C &J a few times. I also took my camera allong and played with that a bit. I actually used it’s little video feature but I have never dealt in videos befor so give me a couple days to figure out how I want to post them.

Snatch24K CandJ24K

There isn’t a whole lot in the videos below. I’m mostly just playing wity youTube but I figure I may as well share them since their out there.

Double 12K Snatches
Double 24K Snatches
Double 32K Clean and Press
Alternating 12K Snatches
Alternating 24K clean

Congrats to Scott Styles

Posted in Grip by Mike on February 27, 2007

Scott Styles and his many year labour of love have been discovered. Ross Enamait featured Scott’s site in his blog as a great resource on hand health. Ross is very popular and his fame if growing so this is a great thing for Gripfaq and hand strength.

So congratulations Scott.

Clean it up

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 26, 2007

Hit the gym today, took some kettlebells to show around, still black….

jumprope to warm up.

Started to work the clean. I decided it was finally time to pull from the floor.
60K X 5
70K X 5
80K X 5
90k X 5
100k X 5misses
80K X 5
85K X 5
90K X 5
95K X 5
100K X 5 misses
90K X 5
95K X 5
100K X 5 misses
95K X 3, 2 misses

Clean to front squat 90K
1 clean, 5 f. squat X 3
1 clean, 1 f. squat X many

Yes, that is a lot of cleans and yes I did bomb out on 100K many times and yes, I have been stuck at 100K for nearly a year. it’s there, I know it is. The good news is that the guy who first taught me the clean (Tim Guarino, masters record for total and C & J at 85k) was there and got me squared away, he’s the one that got me to doing the front squats. My his very experienced opinion my issue is that I’m not catching the bar right. I still try to catch it ready for a press. I’m not letting my elbows come forward and letting the bar rest on my collar.  He suggested that I do some front squats with each clean to force my hands and arms to get into position and get comfortable there. So that is what I will be doing for a while.

Pullups 10 X 1
Working th pullup in hopes of getting at least a couple for this weekend. I’m still training for next year though.

I’m taking it easy this week. I may even take Wednesday off, I need to recover. I’m thinking about changing gears big time after this weekend. I’m seriously considering investing in one of the AoS videos. I’m not just trying to kiss up becuase they are sponsoring the contest. I actually like the look of their vids. I may go ahead and order one and do that once a week for a while.

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Bodyweight w00t!

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight by Mike on February 26, 2007

I added a new category for this since I have been talking about it a lot more lately.

This morning I tipped the scale at 255.0 which is awesome. I’m on my way, now it’s just the grind.

The first ever AoH/AoS Contest Announcement!!

Posted in Other,Toys and tools by Mike on February 25, 2007

I’m really excited about this. I have been talking with Jeff Waters from The Art of Strength website (AoS). AoS is willing to cohost a contest with (AoH).

AoH hosted a kettlebell painting contest toward the end of last year but it was canceled due to lack of interest and thus the prize was never given away. They were happy to reconstitute the contest with a promise from me of a minimum of four entrants. I’m one so I need at least three more people to join in the fun. so without further ado….

AoH/AoS kettlebell painting contest:
Timeframe: This contest begins Monday, February 25 2007 and runs through Sunday, March 25 2007.

Event: Paint a kettlebell

Prize: One AoS DVD and fame and recognition.

How to enter: Paint a kettlebell and email a picture to and with a subject line of “kettlebell painting contest”. I’ll post your picture a gallery and AoS will judge for the best paint job.

Judging: All entries must be submited to AoH and AoS, judgment is performed by AoS at their discretion all judgements are final.

So spread the word far and wide, this is for free stuff. If four people don’t enter the contest is back to being canceled and all your bells are still black and bland, just like everyone elses (i.e. they suck).

In the words of John Belushi “Who’s with me, aaaahhhhhhh..”

Helpful links:
The original contest announcement
How to paint a kettlebell
How to paint a kettlebell II
The AoS DVD library (one of these is the prize)
AoS homepage
AoH homepage

Another reason why I’m a jerk

Posted in Kettlebells,Rant by Mike on February 25, 2007

I was asked who one the Art of Strength kettlebell painting contest. I searched and didn’t find the answer so I went to the Art of Strength forums to ask. The answer shocked me.

We didn’t get any takers on the contest… which I found surprising since this is on of the top 10 questions we get!

So, I responded by asking for the prize, ’cause I’m a jerk. I also did it because I watched some clips from their stuff today and was totally impressed and want to buy one of their DVDs soon but can’t afford it right now.
Oh, I did make one other request. If I can’t have it, can the first guy (or gal) who submits a photo to me have it? I’m hoping they bite. Scott, you better get painting man. Cause if they say yes, I’m painting mine next weekend, screw the weather.

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Weekend away

Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on February 24, 2007

I’m off for the weekend. My wife and I are making good on our New Year’s resolution to get out more often. Besides, I need some recovery. There will be plenty of walking and plenty of food.

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Full body scream X 3

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on February 23, 2007

Two hour shift at the gym tonight. I was shooting for another smoker, like last week, even though I think I still have a “training hangover” from that.

5 minutes jumping rope
Hang Power Cleans

The real deal:
70k  X 3
120k X 3
170k X 2
220K X 2 took about 6 attempts
170k + Chains X a couple but this exercise was lame
Sucky deadlifts tonight, it just felt heavy. Rest is needed

2″ pulls from blocks
170K X 2
210K X 2
230K X  2
250K X 2
There was a long break between 250 and 270, real long. I think I spent 20 minutes teaching the kettlebell snatch to about 6 guys. Everyone wants to know but is chicken to try. Eventually I talk them into the 16K kettlebell. Then I tell them that is the girl’s weight for competition, then they try 24K kettlebell. They are all impressed by how deceptively challenging it is. I believe we are building some kettlebell fans at Dumbarton….

20 rep squat 120K
Then I took a knew, then I took to the floor and made a sweat angel. This would be the full body scream. All my nerves took this opportunity to scream at me that I was in pain. I wasn’t they just didn’t know what to do with all the excitement.

Overhead Press- I was smoked
60k X 5
70k X 5
80k x 1 then some jerks

Lat pull down machine – still training the pullup for next year
Tactical pullup grip 150lbs 5 X 5, this ended with a second full body scream on the night.

We had 15 minutes to kill and kill we did.
Medicine ball toss
side to side passes
Squat jump for distance 3 jumps per set, 5 sets
monkey drills X 5 – I’ll explain
24Kilo Kettlebell windmills
24K and 16K Kettlebell 2 Hands Anyhow
The monkey drill, it probably has another name. I learned a drill in highschool football where three guys stand in a line. Middle guy drop and rolls right. The right guy jumps over him and rolls. The left guy jumps over him and rolls, at this point there is basically a figure eight going and they just keep it going till they stop. I didn’t have three guys tonight, I had me and an old punching bag. So it was all time middle guy. I dropped to the ground, popped up, jumped over, dropped to the ground, popped up, jumped over and that was one rep. I did this five times the achieve my third full body scream of the night.

As I told my wife, I was hungry all night but it’s a good thing I trained on an empty stomach today cause it would have been empty when I left there one way or another.

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