Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Goals by Mike on March 16, 2008

Sometimes, some people are just better than you at some things. The below conversation is what got me motivated to quit whining and train again. I am grateful to Brian for this:

Sent: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 9:47 PM
Subject: Squat

Just wanted to let you guys know I hit 405 X 5 on
squats. I haven’t focused heavily on the squat,
instead choosing deads and the events, but it felt
pretty good.


Sent: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 10:06 PM
Subject: Re: Squat

That is awesome man. Keep it up! you have surpassed me and I’m relatively healthy.



Sent: Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 11:03 PM
Subject:Re: Squat
Well I’m relatively insane, so that’s part of the

Are you competing in April?


Sent: Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 1:00 PM
Subject: Re: Squat


No, I had a craptastic training fall and winter. Realizing that I’m talking to a guy who has a cadaver tendon in his knee, which is far worse than anything I dealt with, I’m not gonna complain too much. Long story, short, I wasn’t at all motivated when the announcements came out and I’m pretty certain I blew past the entry dates.

That said. I think I’m all healthy and ready to go and your squats have motivated me. I’m shooting for a 1400 combined weight on the three powerlifts at a bodyweight below 230 for this year. I’m sure you’ll surpass it but that’ll just keep me moving.

Keep me informed on your training.
One of these days I need to scan this awesome picture I have, me with the keg at the first comp, you behind me  giving a thumbs up. I’ll send you a copy when i get it scanned.



So congrats to Brian and thanks for the kick in the butt. I appreciate it.

And yes, he is certifiably insane, just ask him, he’ll tell you all about it 🙂

Clear Head

Posted in Goals by Mike on March 10, 2008

So, I had delay, postponed and outright ignored my goal setting this year. I just wasn’t in a frame of mind that was conducive to it. I blew right past Groundhog’s Day for round one. March 3rd, I actually thought about it a bit but passed on by. I often say that you don’t need a holiday to make changes, so here we go.

1. Get back on diet. I’ve started this one, just keep going
1a. get below 230
1b. dunno, I feel like I should have something more, I just feel like holding a weight below 230 though

2. Squat
2a. 405 X 5
2b. 450 X 3
2c. 500+ X 1

3. Pull – maintain 500+ deadlift

4 Press
4a. 300+ Bench
4b. 250+ Standing Press (Goals 6 and 7)

As you can see I’m going into one of those periods where I hit the powerlifting stuff again. Why, I can’t say. I just feel the compulsion and figure, why fight it. As spring rolls in, I suspect I’ll get the outdoor training itch back but right now, I feel like picking up something very heavy. You might be wondering where all the kettlebells and rowing is, well it’s there. For the time being, I’m going to relegate kettlebells to a between workouts activity. Rowing will occur once, maybe twice a week.

I realize this doesn’t follow my goal setting technique I was trying out last fall but that is intentional. That technique was just too scattered for even my ADD. Besides, sometimes you just get in a mood. I don’t fell like I have to complete everything above to get some new goals, these are just where I am pointed. I would like to be able to hit all of them in December, in one go… moment….

December 5-7th, 2008: Powerlifting
That’s the ticket.

I want to compete in the December 5-7 Virtual Powerlifting Meet at a bodyweight lower than 230 and have a bench greater than 300, a squat greater than 500 and a deadlift greater than 500, meaning a 1300+ total. Let’s go for a 6 X bodyweight total of 1380. Raw mind you.

Goal 52 is 1500 pound powerlifting total, I’m not going to make that a goal for this year but this year aught to put me a lot closer to that.


100 X 40: Intermission

Posted in Goals by Mike on December 12, 2007

Intermission, that’s what I’m calling this half month in December that is not part of a month for the purposes of my goal setting. So I have spent two months with this new goal thing. It has so wrinkles to iron out but it’s a good concept.

I don’t think the whole random thing is working like I would like it to. A month is too short to make progress on many of the various goals. I still want to avoid getting bogged down with some of the really serious goals. I could very easily get a list of: Squat 700, Clean and Jerk 1.5 X Bodyweight, 2″ Dumbbell Snatch 100K, Lap a 350lb stone. With that list, I would be stuck for months, years really.  So I think when I start back up in January, I’m going to do more to try a pick what I work on at a given time. In the case of a lot of the big goals. I may make up and interim goal and work that. For example, I think I’m gonna set a goal of a 500lb squat and deadlift. That’s something to work for a bit, it doesn’t actually achieve one of my goals but it moves me in that direction.

I’m going to still keep the David Seah schedule of checking in on my goals every month. I think that is a good plan. It’s a chance to evaluate the goals I am currently working. I’ll still use the day of the month that matches the month (1/1,2/2…). I’ll also still keep December goal less.

For this December, that starts today (for goal purposes). I have decided to go light. Yep, for the next 19 days, I’m not going heavy. I’m gonna do some yoga. I’m gonna do some easy bodyweight stuff. I’ll still row at least one day a week, probably two, I’ll still work the gym on Fridays but I think I’m gonna stay out of the gym for the most part beyond that.

The start of my January month will be delayed a few days because I have family in town for those first couple days but more on that later.

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100 X 40: Month Two Conclusion

Posted in Goals by Mike on December 12, 2007

 76. 50 Ring Dips
12. Overhead Squat 200
88. 10 dips with 100 additional pounds
50. Lap a stone >= 350lbs
77. 75 Ring Pushups

50 Ring Dips
I got my poor man rings made, that was a big step. I actually attempted the ring dips for the first time in a long time last night. I am a loooong way for 50, I got 3X3.

Overhead Squat 200
I worked the overhead squat during this period. I actually did 60K snatches to and overhead squat, not too bad, for me. I also worked the Overhead squat from a bottom position, doing 80K from here. I think I’m not too far from hitting this one.

10 dips with 100 additional pounds
I did dips with 25 additional pounds, but for reps. Still a ways to go.

Lap a stone >= 350lbs
I would say I made no progress here.

75 Ring Pushups
Again, I got my rings made, that’s huge. I worked the ring pushup a bit and it went pretty well. I don’t think I am so far off from this one.

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100 X 40: Month One Conclusion

Posted in Goals by Mike on November 12, 2007

43. Bend the Red
45. Pinch Deadlift 3 twenty – fives
46. Pinch Deadlift 5 tens
51. Squat Lock out 1000lbs
66. Steinborn lift 315

At the end of month one I’m pretty happy with my progress. I managed to mark a couple items of my list. These were so relatively easy ones, they won’t all come that fast but it’s a great way to start. On the list for the month, I hit the 5 tens. Which Chris may point out forces me to stop whining about my girlie grip. I took a shot at 3 twenty-fives and missed that one, it’s a further gap than I knew. I also tried 2 thirty-fives, to no avail, so I have work to do. Despite any appearances, progress was made on bending the red. I didn’t actually try to bend the red but I spent considerable time reminding myself how to bend. I actually enjoyed training my grip last month, although I have slacked this past week, I hope to bring grip back into the equation and keep it there in the long run. Steinborn lift of 315 and squat lockout of 1000 pounds are both looking decent. I need a chance to give the lockout a shot. I think I’m there, but I want to do it on yoke rather than ruining a perfectly good squat bar. I didn’t spend as much time with the Steinborn as I should have but I can mess with it some more. I hit 225 but 315 can still be a long way off. The good news is that I know I can move the weight, it’s getting it to my shoulders that I’m gonna have trouble with.

All in all, a successful first month by my measure. Month two brings it’s own challenges. It also leads into my first rest period immediately following.

100 X 40: Month two

Posted in Goals by Mike on November 5, 2007

Well, I had some extra time this weekend, what with not training and all. I did some schools stuff and some work stuff. I also realized that it is now November so I have to begin to think about my next round of 100 X 40 goals. I’ll talk more about this first round in a week or so when I am wrapping up month one. Month two starts on November 11th.

Here are your random numbers:

76	12	88	50	77

Timestamp: 2007-11-04 22:22:57 UTC

That translates into:

76. 50 Ring Dips
12. Overhead Squat 200
88. 10 dips with 100 additional pounds
50. Lap a stone >= 350lbs
77. 75 Ring Pushups

Interesting group, that. Well, at least there are a few complimentary goals in there. I don’t have access to any rings right now so that is a challenge. The rings challenges present two different issues in my opinion. First, the volume is not low. So I need to work on my dips and push up in general. I should probably strive to get both over 100, preferably consecutive but I don’t feel that they have to be consecutive to make this challenge. The second challenge is the stability. Not having rings to use will hurt me here but I think I can make up some of the difference by working other unstable forms of these exercises. Working with ropes on the dips may simulate some of the instability. With the pushups can work on medicine balls or with round dumbells that will roll away from me. The rings themselves will come with time.

The dips with 100lbs will probably complement the volume dips. If I hit heavy dips on fridays (when I have a belt) and volume dips another day, I should be able to do some damage here.

Overhead squat 200lbs, that’s just working the OHS. We’ll see how that goes.

The stone is an interesting challenge. I think that will call for some sandbag work. I’ll be acquiring a 220lb sandbag very soon. I’ll get that in the mix. Then it will be a matter of replicating the feat with stones. This is a good exercise to start thinking about strongman in 6 months.

So it begins

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight,Goals by Mike on October 10, 2007

10/10 Where it all starts.

Today is the the first “official” day of my goals list. I already have two knocked off, Develop 100 goals and Do a Towel Pull Up. So I guess I’m off to a ripping good start. Neither of those were on my list for this first month so I still have five to work on:

43. Bend the Red
45. Pinch Deadlift 3 twenty – fives
46. Pinch Deadlift 5 tens
51. Squat Lock out 1000lbs
66. Steinborn lift 315

I think I’m good for the lockout, I just need to make some time to go do it. The Steinborn Lift will be fun, I’ll try to train that each Friday. The bending can be trained at least twice a week whenever I feel like it. I should probably spend on day just doing timber ties and a different day trying to bend the harder stuff. The pinch will probably be trained twice a week as well. One of them will probably be Fridays at Dumbarton. This is a good set of goals for a couple months out from Gripmas.

To make matters worse I decided to give Scott Styles’ experiment a go. If  you scroll down on the right you’ll see some pictures. These will be the last ten things I ate. It’s pretty much all automated so all I really have to do is take picture with my camera phone and send it to a contact that I have dubbed Flickr. It all flows from there. If you want to, you can click on a picture for a bigger version. I’ll try to fill in some comments there too, explaining what I am eating. I wouldn’t expect a whole lot there though.

Today, I also tried out Stephen’s breakfast plan. I can’t eat quite as much as he can so it was only two eggs, some spinach and onions. It was a tasty little treat but my belly isn’t used to that kind of breakfast right now. So we’ll see how that goes as well.

Last, I hit a new low for my bodyweight today which is extremely cool, 235.8. That means I’m .8 pounds away from 30lbs of weight loss. That seems really good to me. I’m still pushing on to try and hit 40 but I have to say I feel really good about 30. I realize I’m no where near as lean as Scott, Chris or Stephen but man, I feel lean. I feel like I look lean. It’s weird. I’m not a good judge of my own body composition, I know that. But, darn it, I just feel lean, and I kinda like it.

I half broke my own rule

Posted in Goals,Kettlebells by Mike on October 8, 2007

“The first rule of Fight Club is – you do not talk about Fight Club” – Fight Club

“The only rule I will make about it is that I can’t take away from it” – 100 X 40

“85.   Long Cycle single 24 K kettlebell 200 reps in under 20 minutes ”

it now reads:

“85.   Long Cycle single 24K 32K kettlebell 200 reps in under 20 minutes”

Why would I tread on sacred ground? Today:
Long Cycle single 24K Kettlebell
Reps L/R     Lap          Total
20/20       2:27:36     2:27:36
20/20       2:48:66     5:16:02
20/20       2:48:59     8:04:61
20/20       3:21:76    11:26:37
10/10       1:39:07    13:05:44
10/10       1:24:81    14:30:25

HR Info
Time 14:28
Avg HR 164
Max HR 177

or maybe I should have opted for double 24s….hmm

Does it count?

Posted in Cardio,Concept II,Goals,Grip,Gym Strength by Mike on October 7, 2007

Concept II Vent closed
1,000 meters warmup
500 2:00 – forgot to start heart rate monitor, start over
5,000 2:00

For 5,000 only
Time 19:59
Avg HR 172
Max HR 185
I got a little carried away with the pace. This us usally my long day but ah well. The last 1,000 meters was steady climb from 180.

Next up, I thought I would play with one of the goals on my list. It’s not on this months to do list but I thought I would give it a go anyway, the towel pullup. I took one of the gym towels and one of my own about the same size and rolled them the long way. Pitched on end of each over the pullup bar and pulled. Surprisingly, I came off the ground.

So the question that came to me was, does it count? I probably could have done this the day I wrote it down, I just had never tried. I decided that trying was almost as important as doing. So yeah it counts. Still, I don’t want to pollute the list with a bunch of easy ones like this. So I’ll have to be careful. I must have misunderstood how hard this was supposed to be. I always got the impression it was a big deal. I was wrong.

I got some passer by to use my camera phone to video it. He was a bit confused and didn’t do much of a job so I’ll get better stuff next Friday at Dumbarton. In the mean time, here is my largely inadequate proof of success.

Towel Pullup 1,1,2,2,1,1
Pullup 3,3,2,2
Standing Press 135 3X8 (jerked the last four a bit)
Seated Row 150 3X8
Dumbell Press 80 3X8
Super Pulloer (nautalis) 150 3X8
Fly Machine 90 3X8
Curl 75 3X8
Tricep Rope Pushdown 60 3X8

What have I gotten myself into?

Posted in Goals by Mike on October 3, 2007

Chris Rice reminded me of something. A while back I set out to write a list of goals that was more than a little bit copied off his own model. I picked 100 as the target number of goals and I picked the age of 40 as the time to accomplish them by. Not because I consider 40 the end of the road by any means, it was just a round number. I’m 28 now so I have roughly 12 years to make these things happen. I decided when I wrote this that I needed to make them things that were worthy of 12 years effort. At the same time, I needed to bear in mind that I was doing 100 things not 5 or 10. So all of these goals are doable, most in a year two, some a little longer. I don’t think a lot of people have ever done all of them. So, my 100 x 40 list was born.

Since Chris reminded me of it, I set out to try and finish it. I managed to add a few more but I’m still only up to 80. I’m trying to write down things that don’t require any incredibly specific equipment, so specific that lack of access to equipment is more likely to stop me than lack of ability. I also tried to not limit myself to any geographically place. I intend to be back in the midwest well before this list is done but I can’t say exactly where.

I’m trying to mix it up a bit. You can see how it was written down, there will be a dozen or so related goals then a different group. It’s not intentional, it just tended to be the order I would think of them in. When I got to more than ten related goals, I felt like I was boxing myself in. I tried to put some cardio and som weightlifting on there but there is a definite lean towards strength training.

So feel free to make a suggestion or two. I’ll take about anything but I’m really interested in adding some tests of athleticism on there. Stuff that shows I am more versitile, agile and hostile.

Chris’s reminder also pointed out to me that it’s time I get moving on this list. It’s big and it’s bold and I probably will not accomplish it all.

So here is how I’m going to do this, procedure-wise. First, I am using kind of an odd schdule, stolen from David Seah. Each month runs from the day where the day and the month are the same (1/1, 2/2, 3/3…12/12). that last half of the twelfth month is used for relaxing, celebrating and preparing.

Second, each month gets five goals assigned. That means that in 20 months, less than two years, I will be done, right? No. Most of these goals will take multiple months of trying. It looks like I have time for six passes at each here. To assign my goals each month, I will be randomly picking goals. It doesn’t have to always be the exact same method but I used for this time. Here’s what I came up with:

43. Bend the Red
45. Pinch Deadlift 3 twenty – fives
46. Pinch Deadlift 5 tens
51. Squat Lock out 1000lbs
66. Steinborn lift 315

I’ll probably get started soon, rather than wait for the tenth. I’ll post more, later about this month.

Here we go….

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