Anvil or Hammer

The return of Monday Musings

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 10, 2011

In the past I used Mondays as my day to review my progress to date. Check my bodyweight and state goals for the coming weeks. I’m going to start doing that again. So it begins:

Clear the air
Since I’m finally getting back into blogging I feel I need to settle up on where I left off. Nearly five years ago I was very into training and blogging. I was primarily training for strongman competitions. I was trying to get stronger and lose some fat but not bodyweight as much. This meant a lot of eating and a lot of heavy lifting.

At the time I was training with Luke an Dan, fellow strongman competitors. Luke was a quiet guy who definitely did the strongman thing on the side. He wasn’t interested, as far as I know, in making a career of any kind out of it. Nor was he all that interested in the “community”, meaning blogging, forums and so on. We trained together maybe a dozen times.

Dan was the gregarious one of the group. He did want to make a career out of training and continues to try to now with his business BeMore Training. Dan and I trained together far more frequently. He came to Dumbarton a few times, I took him to UB once, I even trained at his house a couple of times. Dan was the one with me when I injured my back so terribly.

I bear the majority of the responsibility for the injury as it’s my body and my training. That said, I still lean some of the blame on him for pushing me through what can be described as at least a very ill conceived program. I still have bad feelings about this and about the fact that he never should a hint of interest in my recovery except enough to try to get me to buy stuff from his company. I’d like to say I don’t hold a grudge but I’d be lying if I said that whole thing didn’t still bother me. I don’t wish him ill, best of luck and all, he’s not welcomed here nor anywhere I am.
And I feel better getting that out after all these years.

Check on old compatriots
Brett appears to be out of the blogging game. Let’s hope he is still training
Stephen has been going strong the entire time I’ve been out. I commend him as a true lifelong trainee
Scott S appears to be working hard and doing well, although it looks like the nagging injuries and illnesses are still bringing him down.

Where I am
I’ve obviously been training off and on since the back injury described above. If you look at my archive, I posted nothing in 2010 but I was training even then. I just had a lot going on. Mentally I mark 2008 through 2010 as a kind of deadzone for training. I did training but I was wrapping up school and dealing with the back issue and moving and a ton of other stuff. I didn’t really have goals, plans and often I didn’t have desire.

In February of 2011 things changed. I committed to dropping some weight, getting healthier and getting some goals together. I began by looking for a trainer. This may seem weird given the amount of time and mental energy I was previously throwing at training but to me it made perfect sense. I don’t want to throw that much mental energy at planning and strategizing anymore. Additionally I always felt a little adrift. I had trouble finding people who I felt shared a common system of training beliefs, who trust to help me make decisions. So I thought I would give the training thing a run. I’m glad I did.

Kurt at ProFitness has been a tremendous help. While he and I have some common philosophies, he’s got knowledge in areas that I was unaware had knowledge to share. I reviewed his website initially and didn’t get a very good feel but I figured the best thing I could do is go in and meet the guy. Upon doing so I immediately was impressed by his knowledge and approach. He was pretty quickly able to improve my always crappy range of motion (ROM). We agreed on a kind of virtual coaching plan that involves a monthly visit from me to get my biometrics checked and to talk through any new exercises or mid-course corrections. I’ve been working with Kurt since then, getting my bodyfat calculated monthly and getting a new workout each week or two via email. It’s been working out really well.

Where I’m going
It’s fall, going into what is predicted to be a very cold Minnesota winter. I weigh 240 lbs, I can touch my toes with my knees locked. I have a deadlift max somewhere in the 300 or 400’s. I bought two pairs of shorts at a garage sale with 36″ waists, I intend to be in them when the weather warms up again. I’m also signing up for the th Tough Mudder, a 10 mile obstacle course. My specific challenges in preparing for the course are: preparing to run 10 miles over uneven terrain, doing muscle ups over walls and the monkey bars.

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Supposed to be a 6

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 10, 2011

I went for a jog on Sunday. I set out to do a six mile loop. I was wearing my 5 fingers but on an asphalt path. I think I combined too many unknown variable and made it too much for me. At about mile 3 I took my shoes off because they were blistering my feet. at about 4-4.5 I had to break down and walk. Bummer.

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Workout 16 Episode 5

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 8, 2011

Sumo Deadlift 185 lbs 85
1/2TGU 24K 49
MTN Jump 127
Dbl Snatch -> Press 16K X 2 56
Janda Situp 114

I’ve not yet made the time to do Kurt’s Challenge workout. I’ve got to make some time for it.
The workouts continue to feel great. I’m touching my toes regularly with knees locked out. I’m finding that I get winded by my ROM isn’t decreasing. I’m trying to run right up against that edge if I can, where ROM maintains but I’m pushing beyond comfort.

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Workout 16, session 4

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 6, 2011

Sumo Dead 185 lbs X 83. Lost the last minute to a phone call
1/2 TGU 16K X
MTN Jump X 129
Dbl Snatch -> Press 58
Janda 104

I felt like I went all out on the snatch to presses. I got a couple extra reps but nothing indicating how much harder I thought I was working.

Kurt offerred up a 10-10-10 challenge to his clients. Ten burpees, ten chair dips, ten/ten mtn climbers for ten minutes and see how many rounds a people could do. I had hoped to do it after training tonight but it was 9pm and I don’t like to train after nine. From the end of the dog’s walk (7:30 ish) until 9 is the time I give myself. Hopefully this weekend I’ll do it. Also, I taped some of the snatches. As it worked out the camera was in a bad spot so all I could see was a side shot of navel down. I had hoped for a larger shot but it was revealing in that I don’t move anything from the knees down. I have to work on my snatch form over the course of the winter.

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Set 16 episode 3

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 3, 2011

I called this set 14 in my last post but I forgot how many workouts it had been since my last one, all fo 14 and 15 are lost to time and the move.

Sumo deadlift 185 X 86
1/2 TGU 16K 50
MTN Jump 110
dbl snatch-> press 54
Janda 93

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new park

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 2, 2011

Having moved recently I now have a new park to workout at and this one is closer and more popular than all previous parks. I live right next to Minnehaha Falls park. It’s probably the best city park I have ever seen. It’s got a waterfall, subsequent stream, seafood restaurant, walking and biking trails, a couple monuments, bike rental and lots and lots of people. . It was there that I headed for my workout today.
In the park there is a valley. I’m a terrible estimator of distance but I’d see it’s possibly as much as 100 feet down from the bike trail (I could be way over estimating, like I said, I’m bad at that). I headed down there with a 16K bell.

run up and down the hill
25/25 snatches
up the hill, down the hill
25/25 snatches
up the hill, down the hill
lunge up the hill
snatch -> burpee X 36

with walk to and fro this was about an hour. It was exhausting. For the first exercise I pushed through windedness and exhaustion. For two and three I followed the usual rules of resting whenever I felt tension. I managed to keep my ROM down to my feet.

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workout 14 episode 1 and 2

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 1, 2011

It doesn’t look like I got Thursday’s workout logged so it’ll come first down below. I don’t yet have everything set up for easy logging so I don’t have the ROM measurements for everything

Sumo Dead 135 lbs X 95
1/2 TGU 16K 39
MTN Jump 60
Double snatch – > press 16K X 2 40
Kettlebell Jandas — Had trouble with the bells sliding so I videoed a few and emailed Kurt for tips

Sumo Dead 185 X 78
1/2 TGU 53
MTN Jump 96
Dbl snatch press 55
Plate Janda 101

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Change of pace

Posted in Uncategorized by Mike on October 1, 2011

After changing jobs and moving into the house I’ve been sliding my way back into a workout routine. I’ve also tried to take advantage of this break in routine to reconsider what it looks like. Right now it was looking like training 2 weeknights and one weekend day per week using Kurt’s programs.
Laura and I had a discussion about what my routine looked like versus how I’d like it to look (another workout or two per week). We settled on something that I would like to think is sustainable. Three weekday workouts with one weekend workout and non workout nights may incorporate a little more activity that might pass for exercise with other folks. Things like a bike ride or a jog. I think I’d ideally have an hour carved out each night for training, rehabing, playing outside but the truth is that is just not something I feel comfortable from the standpoint of maintaining my relationship with other human beings, of which my wife is my first focus.
I’ve also been messing with my diet considerably. I’m drifting back into the mode of many small meals. I’ve also bee supplementing with protein for some of those meals, and 80 calories protein shake seems to tide me over for a couple hours.
Finally, I started toying with the idea of getting engaged in “adventure races” in late July/ early August. I’ve decided that is precisely what I want to do. I did some homework and found that several of them don’t sound all that challenging. The Spartan Sprint doesn’t sound like much of a thing to do. I can do three miles without exhausting myself and throwing in some hills and things to play at doesn’t sound much worse. The Spartan Super on the other hand, now that sounds like something to train for. I’ve done five miles and not felt too bad but throw in the hills and events and I think it’ll be a whole lot more fun. In terms of the Spartan races, it’s The Beast I truly covet.
All that said, it’s not Spartan that I intend to open with. It’s the Tough Mudder I plan to open with. I’ve asked my trainer if we wants to field a team. If he says no, I’m booking in ASAP. It’s gonna be a good time and a fascinating challenge to get through the Mudder. I’m super excited. I may hate it and it’ll be a one off. I may love it and it’ll go further.
So, with all that in mind, I have an interesting challenge laid out before me. With not a lot more time than I currently have, I want to elevate my fitness. I’m striving to drop my waist to 36″. I’ll be working the hill that is local to my house, training up for the Mudder.I bought a bike tonight so I can spend some time on that too, tooling around the area.

This will be a trip, one way or another.

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