Anvil or Hammer

Anvilorhammer is on the move

Posted in Technical Update by Mike on February 23, 2007

I’m changing hosts.
What does that mean to you? Hopefully, nothing. Probabl, some down time in the next couple days.

What does that mean for me? work

What does it mean in the long run….a lot 🙂


Russian Reds

Posted in Kettlebells by Mike on February 23, 2007

Did anyone else get a post card about these? I haven’t seen them being discussed around the internet.
The Russian Red Kettlebell

I have found myself in a position where I may be purchasing some kettlebells in the future that will not be for my personal use and I think I may opt for these. For my personal bells though, lookout. I’m gonna get real crazy this summer.

How do you answer a question?

Posted in Rant by Mike on February 23, 2007

In particular: How much can you lift?

I don’t conceal my training lifestyle, if anything I flaunt it. I’m kinda proud of it and proud that I stick too it. I also figure it’s and extra level of back up, if everyone knows, then I figure I have to tell them if I quit too. As a result, though, I get asked to help people move, training advice (that always gets ignored) and occasionally “How much can you lift?”.

This is a decieving question because I can lift about 1000 pounds, as long as I only”lift”it about 1/2″ on a clear day that begins with S and the wind is out of the north. However, if you pose the challenge correctly, I can be stopped with 35 pounds too. So how much can I lift? Most of the people who as  a question like this are uninitiated so I can’t tell them, “My power total is around 1300 lbs while my Olympic total is about 175 – 200 kilos”.

I’ve found that they are usually asking the question to see if I am up to a particular challenge. So more often than not it works best if I try to divine their goal. I was asked this question yesterday to find out that they wanted me to help move a computer/cabinet (called a Pyxis) that weighs about 200lbs but is akward as can be, but it wasn’t from the floor. So my answer to “How much can you lift?” was  “Yeah, I can lift that”.

How much can you lift?
More important, how do you answer?


Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on February 22, 2007

Thank goodness my off day has finally arrived. I’m not doing any training at all today, just a walk. I think I am still having residual effects from last Friday. I was definitely walking the road to overtrainsville. Little nagging owwiiees were building up. Today is R & R.

You know that little voice in your head?

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on February 21, 2007

Well, I’m gonna take mine out into the desert some evening and no one’s gonna find the body….

I was inspired by an interview with Zack Even Esh that I heard today. He talked a lot about training outside, which I wasn’t quite ready for. I’ll start that soon, but he also talked about training densely, meaning hammering out a bunch of tightly packed sets and being totally destroyed.  So I thought I would try for it. It was much harder than I expected. I also used some borrowed programming although it’s pretty standard for me.

light hang cleans
light snatches
one arm snatch

Hang clean and jerk 5 X 5 60K
These were difficult. A lot more difficult than I expected. Each rep was a clean grip dead to a high hang clean to a jerk. I tried to do the jerk correctly, off the collar bones with no push out.

Olympic Squat 5 X 5 140K
This is the part where I wanted to kick my own inner voice. All I could hear in my head was that I counldn’t or wouldn’t do it. In the end, it was much easier than expected. It was very hard but it was easier than expected. I pretty much felt done after this.

Military Bench 3 X 10 135 lbs
I found that I wasn’t doing the military bench correctly so I had to make some adjustments. It is done holding the feet off the ground, above the height of the bench. It appears that it is also done with a full stop on the chest on each rep. So I did that, each rep stopped, not just paused, stopped on my sternum, then up. I should point out that at this point I lost my whole go quickly and take short breaks thing. I chatted with a high school basketball coach looking for tips to increase my athletecism (speed, agility, explosivity).

Pull down 3 X 10 100lbs
I used the widest grip possible on this one. I’m gonna totally suck on pull ups at Dan’s contest so I look at this as training for next year.

I threw in a couple abs sets in there to work out some kinks. Showed a lot of people my kettlebells that I brought with me. I did get a good smoking out of that first couple exercises. I really didn’t want to do those squat but I got them done. When I was done, I was gassed but felt like I had a lot of strength left in me. It’ll be interesting to see how these higher reps squats workout over time.

In random diet news, I had to take the belt one notch tighter, that was a surprise.


Posted in Technical Update by Mike on February 21, 2007

Sorry folks. I muddling with other things closed down this site foe a couple hours. I didn’t realize what I had done. I apologize.

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Much Love

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on February 21, 2007

just a shout out to Brian Carlson whos website I came across recently.

Workout Routines

This is just awesome. He’s actually trying to reproduce some of the training programs of old. Funny thing s that his last couple look awfully familiar….

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Swing low sweet chariot

Posted in Kettlebells by Mike on February 20, 2007

Wish I had taken pen and paper today, I garentee I forgot stuff.

It was pretty clear to me that today was not the day to work the 5 minute snatch test after yesterday. That’s cool, I can make a workout out of this.

Windmill 16K, 24K, 32K

16K 5/5
24K 5/5
32K 5/5 Clean and Jerk
40K 1/1 Clean and Jerk

Double snatches
16K X 10
24K X 8
32K X 1

I stole a little inspiration from a Kettlebell vid I saw
Jerks for reps 24K X 20

I also stole from Berserker Kettlebell (I love that name) where many ladders are being done.
ladder 1 -> 10 ->1 reps per arm one set per minute 16k kettlebell.

Like I said, I’m pretty sure I forgot stuff. I just kept doing stuf until I stopped.

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What I eat

Posted in Rant by Mike on February 20, 2007

This is kinda random but I was making my lunch today thinking about my recent posts on diet and it occured to me, it’s one thing to say what you eat, it’s another to show what you eat. So I grabbed my digital camera and snapped a few pics. This is really what I am eating today. I didn’t hide the candy bars or anything:

My lunch bag:
My lunchbag at a near empty state

I use pretty much the same lunch bag every day. It’s large lunch bag and I know that, it was partially purchased for that reason. I place and icepack in the bottom and salad dressing off to one side. Sometimes I’ll stick another condiment in there, depending on my entree. Today is different. I have class tonight so I’m packing lunch and dinner. That is why there are two yogurts in today’s lunch, normally it’s just one. Those are probably the sugariest thing I eat most days but I find the more healthy yogurts taste like crap and I have trouble eating them. Those are yoplait: Calories 170, Carbs 33, Fat 1.5, Protein 5.

two entrees for the price of one

Like I said today is different, I’m packing lunch and dinner, so there are two entrees. The first is Chicken Fajita mix, we make it at home, I cut and cook the veggies. This particular one was made by my wife and used the precooked chicken. It’s beans, veggies, chicken, spices, pretty much in that order. I shredded some colby cheese this weekend and that melts real well so that is what is on top, that’s kind of a treat to me. 🙂 The secon item is half of a sub sandwich my wife bought a couple days ago. I don’t eat something like that very often, maybe once every two weeks or once a month but they are pretty good, artisan bread, sliced meat, veggies. Wegman’s brand.

My Salad for the day

Pretty much everyday for lunch I have a baby spinach salad, it’s why I pack my salad dressing with me. The tomatoes are a little treat I picked up this weekend, also not normal but I like them so they may become normal. It was getting hard to slug down straight spinach every single days with just a dash of vinegrette.Oh yeah, my favorite dressing is Balasamic Vinigrette, that is what I have currently. You have to be careful, they slip high fructose corn syrup in a surprising number of dressings.

The total package
My lunch bag when it is ready to go

That’s a day’s worth of food for me, I’ll drink some coffee during the day, no sugar. When I get home I’ll have some tea. I was eating a handful of almonds each day. I’m trying and experiment though, I have been eating one serving of Caesin protein powder per day instead. I’m waiting too see if it reduces the cravings problem.

That’s really how I eat.

EDIT: The thermos is a new addition. I bought that this weekend and this is the first day I am using it. It’s filled with some home brewed coffee and a little bit of skim milk. So far, I have found that it gives me too easy of an access to my coffee. Drank it all this morning, oops.

Banged up

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on February 19, 2007

Headed over to the gym today, I was surprised to find that although I didn’t feel it throughout the day, I had some real lingering soreness and weakness from friday.

Hang cleans
40k X 5
60k x 5
80k x 5
I was really fealing these in my lower back. My cleans weren’t nearly as crisp as they have been.

little abs to stretch out

60k x 5
100k X 5
140k 5 X 5
I took an abs break between set 2 and 3 as well as 4 and 5. I was still feeling my lower back throughout these.

Bench 135 lbs 3 x 12

Dumbell row 50lbs 3 X 12

I felt really weak and quickly became sore today. I probably should have taken another day off. The good news is that as I worked through the lifts I actually started to feel better rather than worse. So maybe I worked some kinks out.

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