Anvil or Hammer

Monday Morning Weigh-in: 229.0

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight by Mike on April 28, 2008

My wife has been calling it the Cereal and Pain diet. Breakfast cereal is something that I typically scoff at, it’s not food nor is it nutritious. However, with my injury, I didn’t want to spend any more time standing at the stove making food than I had to. While I was hurting I didn’t really have any appetite, I ate when I took my ibuprofen and that was about it. So for the first half of last week, I was losing weight.

Now I have to be careful though. My appetite is returning and I’m ambulatory. So I could start eating a lot more. I’m trying to keep it reasonable. With very little training planned for the week, I’m going to try and stay below 230 but I’m not going to be crushed if I rise a little above it. Next week should include several cardio sessions, so I’m hoping it all evens out.


Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on April 27, 2008

Well, I’m getting better, not super quickly, but I am getting better. I’m sitting in a normal chair to write this, that’s a huge improvement. I still get sore every few hours before my next dose is due but I have also been throttling back my ibuprofen dosing. Hopefully I can start hitting cardio towards the end of next week. I don’t see myself doing anything over 50 pounds for another week and nothing heavy for a minimum of three weeks. I think this may help with my squat depth issues and whatnot.

Pain, no gain

Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on April 23, 2008

Things get better before they get worse. I’ve been home all week. I endured some lovely muscle spasms that reminded me that I’m a big baby when it comes to pain. Fortunately, I am able to work from home, in fact, I get more done. So injury has boosted productivity.

The reason the muscle shortened so bad is not fully known and since this PT did not see me when I was initially injured, she doesn’t want to guess. My assumption is that this muscle started to compensate for the originally damaged muscle. The other issue seems to be nerve inflammation. As this muscle got tight and applied pressure to the nerve, i did nothing about it, i just went on figuring it would sort itself out. I worked myself into this situation.

No training at all this week, just PT. I’m going to have to drop out of june strongman, I don’t feel like putting myself up against those loads with any uncertainty in my mind.

Monday Morning Weigh-in: 229.6

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on April 21, 2008

huh, wonder how that happened. Well, hooray.

Bad news, not much sleep, lots of discomfort.

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Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on April 20, 2008

Headed to Dumbarton on Friday. I thought I might get some lifting in, hardly. I did a small amount of deadlifting, nothing worth mentioning. Then I did some military bench. That went decent. I hit a very solid 295. I went ahead and signed up for the Military bench contest in May on virtualmeet.  I’m not planning on doing a bunch of specialized training for it but a low 300’s seem respectable to me.

Charles the Elder wrangled some bending steel for me. It was about 8 – 10 feet and probably 6/16″ of an inch thick. As I took it too my car, I thought I’d see if I could bend it in half to make it fit better. I gave it a little push and realized it was hot rolled. So it got scrolled. I’ve never done that before and with hot rolled it is obviously much easier but it’s kind of fun and playful, I see why people like it.

Rehab has been going pretty well. The stretches make my hip sore but they seem to be doing their job too. I’ve taken to popping an ibuprofen right before I do them so that I only hurt for 15 minutes or so after, hopefully, a hot bath for 30 minutes seems to help too. I go back in on Tuesday and Thursday for the hot ultrasound and so on. I seem to be having fewer problems during the day. Then again, I sit less on weekends.

Next week, I think I may just do light rowing on Monday and Wednesday.

Change of plan

Posted in Rest and Recovery by Mike on April 17, 2008

The plan for Wednesday, Dumbarton 80K cleans for about 45 minutes, go home.

Unfortunately, over the last two weeks my hip has really started to bother me. To the point that it was getting hard to work. Yesterday was nearly impossible. So I left work early, skipped the gym and went home. I also made a physical therapist appointment. The guy I saw before, he could see me a week from Monday. That was a little far off and I didn’t really like him so I kept looking. I found a different place that could take me Monday. Well, great, that screws up Friday’s workout, probably, but it’s a whole lot better than what I had gotten so far. I booked it, then I got the call that they had a last minute cancellation and I could come in this morning. Awesome!

So with some trepidation based on past experiences, I headed in for my appointment today. I’m sure this PT got a more fair opportunity because I had very precise complaints and I had spent enough time with the pain that I could give a pretty detailed history. I went through the whole description, the original injury, how that seemed to have healed then a new set of symptoms presented, then how that had progressed. She put me through some basic movements and tests, for weakness, tightness and pain. In the end, she agreed, it was sciatic nerve pain and it was probably caused by some other muscle injury. She did some more work and found/decided it was my Piriformis muscle, it was probably not a part of the original injury but through compensation or something similar, it got tightened up pretty bad. It was applying pressure to the sciatic nerve, giving me pain and making it more sensitive.

The prognosis, is good. She did not try to stop me from training in anyway. There were a few things that may be associated with increased pain the next day that we talked through, but she seemed understanding of my view on the world and I was of hers. She used the ultrasound heat jelly stuff. That was awesome, it seemed to take away even the soreness I had woken up with. Then it was stretch time. She kept it simple, three stretches, count to ten do each leg 3 to 5 times. Do that twice daily. Finally they did electro-stimulus and ice to try and inhibit inflammation. Honestly, that made it hurt again. I may ask for us to not do that in future but I’ll give it a few tries before I condemn it.

I’m extremely glad I made that appointment.

In other news, my nutrition for the week is crap. I don’t expect to lose, in fact, I won’t be surprised by a pound gain next week. I’m not losing my mind and going all piggy piggy but with only two training days, a night out with a friend (which I enjoyed and would do again, regardless of calories) and a couple unplanned days that were my own mistake. That said, I’m keeping it reasonable, so I don’t think it will get to far away from me.

Last, Kris over at is looking for folks who are willing to help him with chores relating to the website and what they do over there. I offered my name because I’m a fan of what he is doing and believe in it. If you have participated or want to or even just enjoyed his videos, stop by the website and let him know or tell me and I’ll pass the word.

Another miss

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on April 14, 2008

Jump Rope 4:00

Power Squat
135 X 2
225 X 2
315 X 2
405 X 0
It just felt heavy and I haven’t really worked the power squat in a while. I forget how different it is from a regular squat.

135 X 5
225 X 4
315 X 3
405 X 0
I actually gave the 405 a go and just got pinned. I think I got so caught up thinking about depth that I forgot to prepare to come out of it. I still think I’m coming way short on my squat.

I dinked around with bottom position squats but didn’t do anything of note.

Jump Rope 3:00

Straight Leg Deadlift
60K X 5
100K X 5
had to get straps
140K 2 X 3
160K 2 X 3
I tried the 140 with no straps but I just didn’t have the hand strength to pull it off without the straps

60K X 5
80K X 3
100K X 2
120K X 1
100K 3 X 1
I actually pressed out the 120K pretty bad and I took two more shots after my initial success but got nowhere with them.

100K 6 X 3

In the end, it was a mediocre workout. I’m surprised about the 400 miss, surprised and disappointed but I manged to keep moving and did some ok weight by the end of the whole thing.

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Monday Morning Weigh-In: 232.6

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight by Mike on April 14, 2008

Not too bad. I hit 231.0 for my low weight of the week, on Saturday morning (when it always is). Given that Monday is usually my high for the week, the 232 is motivating. I’m at a point that even if I held steady, I could easily slide into making weight but I’m going to press on a bit. I’d like to score a Monday below 230.

I know when Scott said to push it for a couple weeks, he expected a harder push for two weeks to drop me 5 pounds then level it off with a minor addition of calories. I kinda did too. I was surprised by how tightening up my 5-day-a-week diet didn’t make an impact in my general gradual slope I have had most of the last year.

I just don’t seem to manage particularly dramatic weight loss these days, even with a perfect week and the rebound from a perfect week was ugly each and every time I managed it in that last year. I guess, sadly, I’m complacent in being an underachiever here. That’s probably awful but it doesn’t feel awful.

Missed 500

Posted in Gym Strength by Mike on April 12, 2008

Well blast, I went into the gym thinking I was finally ready to pull 500 again, no go. I broke it off the floor a couple times but it only moved inches. Ah well, these are the things that keep us going.

Jump Rope 3:00
135 X 2
225 X 2
315 X 2
405 X 2
500 X 0/4
As I said before I felt like I was good for it. Even as I missed my attempts, I knew it was there, they was just something I wasn’t doing, some muscle I wasn’t calling on, something. But it would not be. I think I will work some rack pulls next week from a couple different heights.

Jump Rope 3:00
I enjoy this to reset the body. I also got to wondering if this had contributed to my conditioning from the snatches. I did go about 3 or 4 minutes before I went anaerobic, it seems like a lot of a coincidence that is how long I have been jumping for. There is a lot of practice involved in jumping and I need to get out the awesome jump rope DVD my brother-in-law got me and look at those drills again. I also need to get me a decent rope.

Standing Press
60K X 2
80K X 5, 3, 1

Pull ups
BW X 5, 3,2

I did a bit of messing about here, some situps and jump rope but nothing that was counted or timed. I was just trying to keep myself busy while finding the motivation and direction I needed to go on.

Circuit – as with before, the exercises are a circuit but I give myself ample time between sets
70lbs 4 X 8 DB PRess, DB Row, DB Jerk, DB Dead
I did only make 6 on my last set of jerks. Dumbell Jerking a pair of 70s is harder than I expected.
I think I need to start giving myself a rest limitation to make improvement based on these but they are a nice quick piece to the workout.

DB Static Lunge
70lbs 3 X 6/6 (only got 5 in the last set on the right side: 3 then 2)

Standing Leg Curl
70lbs (no relation 🙂 4 X 6/6

BW 20, 15, 10, 5

Not a bad workout in all, although the deadlift was annoying. I’ll try again in two weeks. I feel like I need something better than 550 this year, especially if I intend to hit my 1380 (1400) goal. It’s look something like (Squat: 500, Bench: 350, Dead: 550). It’s gonna be a tough road but it seems doable to me. I need to get the last of this hip thing worked out and keep plugging the powerlifting with a little kettlebell, sandbag and other mixed in for variety and sanity.

You ask

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on April 9, 2008

I deliver

24K Kettlebell Snatch
10:00 155 reps

Each time you see the word down, it means I set the bell down. You can’t do that in a real SSST. I made it to 100, 120 was probably as far as I could go without setting it down. From a competition snatch test, you only change hands once, so I would have gotten 50, I imagine could go to 60 or 75 total, if I had to. No where near even the lowest AKC ranking standard. Someday though.

Still not bad considering my last kettlebell snatch was February 6th. October 30th appears to have been my last snatch test attempt, the kind with no set downs and it was pathetic. October 22nd appears to have been my last “serious” attempt and I only got 159. That’s surprising. Dang, I could have pushed to 160, shoulda, woulda, coulda, I did pretty decent in my book.

The biggest surprise for me this summer is how much my grip strength has come up. I have no idea why. I did diddly over the winter, that’s gonna take some figuring. Anyway, this test was another example to me of this. I’m happy about that too.

Last, I recorded the whole thing. I haven’t decided if I care to upload it. If you care to see it let me know… I probably will anyway.

Oh, really last, that’s all I did, there isn’t much left in the tank after that.

EDIT: Video

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