Anvil or Hammer


Heavy Weekend

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight,Strongman by Mike on August 20, 2007

I knew the gym was closed this weekend for “training”. So when I heard the local strongman promoter was coming to tow, I thought it was  a good excuse to be there. We all showed up about noon and it was raining. We did the usual warm up for Luke’s place and drug the gear out. We opened up the day with some yoke walks. I managed to work up to 650 for a 10 yard or so walk. Nothing special. Then we moved on to a farmers carry relay. 235 per hand, go as far as you can. We each got two passes. I took it about 15 feet each time, not far at all. My supporting grip is pathetic. Some of the braver souls took a run at it with the 2″ handles as well but that is simply out of my league.

We moved the gear back inside and headed out back to play with the odd lifts. Someone brought a little, concrete husafel stone but it only weighed about 150 lbs so there wasn’t a lot there. There was playing with kettlbells and some other objects. I spent most of my time with a keg. I think they said it was in the 170 lbs range. Very interesting to play around with. I was trying to strict press it overhead but the thing was really wobbly which made me wobbly.

It was good to see some of the regulars, they are always good guys. They were all able to do various strong things that remind me of how much stronger the rest of us can get.

changing gear rapidly and with out a good bridge…

I have been weighing heavy all week. What’s more, other than a couple random days in the middle of the week, I haven’t broken the plane of 240.0 yet. I’d really like to get it moving again. These last few weeks have been kind of random with a summer cold, the strongman contest, the gym occasionally being closed, and so on. I’m hoping to get back after the schedule I know and love so I can start dropping weight again.

Todays weigh in will be heavy,  I know. I’m guessing a  mid 241 weight.

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heavy weekend

Posted in Kettlebells,Strongman by Mike on August 5, 2007

I helped out at strongman yesterday. Boy, was that hot, mid 90’s on blacktop. I was glad to not participate. Those  heavyweight weights were crazy. I feel like I’ll, at least, be able to move the lightweight weights. There were a lot of guys who didn’t complete a single event. To give you and idea, 200’s final event was the log press. The guy who took second overall didn’t even do the event, he had  plane to catch. He didn’t lose any place because not a single guy got one rep.

I weighed myself today, about mid-day, to find myself dangerously close to 245. Ah well, two bad weeks in a row. I’m cooking my chicken right now. I will do this week right. I rewatched some of the gym jones stuff. They talk about commitment and focus a lot. I need to remember that some days.

I wasn’t planning on working out today, I figured yesterday was my workout. I was feeling kinda froggy though so I thought I’d do something real quick. I opted for kettlebell Cleans and Jerks.
24K
20/20
10/10
10/10
5/5
5/5
16K
5 X 10/10
Time 12:32
AVG HR 167
MAX HR 175

My shoulders will hurt tomorrow.

I even made a video. I cut it up a bit because it was long. This is the abbreviated version.

It’s all about attitude

Posted in Strongman by Mike on May 13, 2007

I won’t keep you in suspense, I placed 5 outta 5. It looked an awful lot like the video from last year. I don’t know what I’ll get back in the way of videos and pictures but as I get them, I’ll post them up.

I didn’t expect to win or anything but I expected better. I missed primarily due to attitude in my opinion. I went it unprepared and uninterested. When I got there, my warm ups went well. I was able to clean an jerk the empty log pretty easy. I felt like 40lbs  (280 total) more would be no problem. When the time came, I couldn’t make the clean. Someone told me it was because I wasn’t shooting my elbows under. I have the same issue with a barbell clean. I let my short comings there put me in a foul mood.

Next up, farmers, 330/arm. This is a rough event for me. I’m gonna ask for some help here on this but later, as part of another post. I simply couldn’t grip it. At one point I was pulling up hard enough that I actually lept off the mat as my grip slipped. I made about 5 pulls The right would start to come of the ground and my left hand would shoot off.

Yoke I think it was 800. I stood up and took two steps before being driven tot he ground. I was able to get several stand but never under enough control to make a step. I never got to the tire. At this point only pride kept me form going home.

Fire Hydrant carry, it was my first time picking up this hydrant. Carry a 330 lb fire hydrant sucks. I got it up and few steps before I coouldn’t hold it. After that I just couldn’t really stand with it again. I really feel like I could and should ahve done more but jsut didn’t want to. I can’t really say I gave my all on this event.

Stones, I felt nervous before the log and this, the two events I actually was look forward too. 290 stone gave me a litttle more of a fit than I expected but it went. The 300 was really giving me trouble, I was having trouble holding onto it. I called for tacky and got some but still couldn’t pick it up. I finally got it to my lap but not under enough control to finish the lift.

All in all a huge downer. That’s ok though. I learned alot about how much my own headgame sucks, how much my attitude plays into my performance. I realized that I have pretty much lost my ability to mentally prepare myself for a really tough/heavy lift. I don’t know when or where I lost it but it’s gone. I’m not gonna go looking for it too hard until after I lose some of this weight. Maybe next christmas that’ll be my gift to me 🙂

I saw more guys than I expected get hurt, we lost one to a knee during the yoke. Someone tore their bicep on the tire and we had a hamstring pull on the stones. It seems like out of the three events I have seen, each has had more injuries, that makes me worry.

back soon with more posts on plans and a request for help on a coupel goals.

The plan Stan

This is a whole bunch of stuff about me….

First, my weight is right around 250 these days. I had a tiny rebound with recovering from being ill, I got all the way up to 251.8, since then it has been on a slow decline again. This morning I was 250.6/250.8 (the scale couldn’t decide) . I have found myself furiously hungry a lot. My solution has been to eat roughly the same amount of food, maybe a tad more but I eat it more often and in smaller portions. For example, I used to have a pretty traditional lunch. About 11:00 I would eat a salad with dressing, some kind of entree and a cup of coffee. Now I eat salad at 11 but don’t eat my entree until 12:30 or 1, somewhere in there I have green tea. I feel like I am eating almost all the time, to the point that it is a challenge to get all the food in for the day. I’m never really hungry or full, I just always want to to eat. This seems to be working for now, so we’ll go with it.

I’m reworking my workouts a little bit for a little bit. I have three goals in mind: Combat overtraining, allow for a variety of training and meet other life needs by rescheduling a bit. So, for a while, I am trying out:
Monday – Off
Tuesday – Double kettlebell work
Wednesday – Off/maybe a little light work
Thursday – outside whenever possible, otherwise kettlebells
Friday – heavy and long workout, most weeks
Saturday – off/light except weeks when I do strongman, then this is my tough day instead of Friday
Sunday – moderate workout, outside when possible otherwise kettlebells

So as you can see, I won’t be in the gym a whole lot, one to two time a week. I plan to do some heavy sandbag stuff to offset that but that means I need to hit some heavy squats when I am in the gym. Also, “off” means walk. I walk my dog everyday, on training days we get a half an hour to forty-five minutes over two sessions. Off days mean 90 minutes to two hours over three sessions. I’m still working with her on the leash so we don’t cover as much ground as we could but we are working on it. I hope to get her better trained so we can hit the local train and cover 3 or 4 miles once or twice a week.

Today’s kettlebell session is in Jeopardy. On the first overhead press I did Sunday, I felt something tweak. I didn’t really feel it for the rest of the day so I didn’t worry about it. I felt it that night and yesterday. Today I can feel a it a bit. I’m going to give it a try tonight. If it feels wrong, I’ll go find a treadmill or something. Maybe I’ll get pumped in the weightroom. It’s all by feel at this point. If I take it easy today, I’ll take it easy tomorrow too and be back at it Thursday.

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Big dogs

Posted in Strongman by Mike on April 1, 2007

I headed down to the house of the promoter of our local strongman meets. Met some of my favorite people there. A good time was had by all. Worked a fire hydrant carry that with in the mid 200’s. That thing is aweful. If you are ever in a contest that calls for it, you MUST train on a hydrant, accept no substitutes. I also did an anchor chain drag, much nicer than I expected there. Last, I loaded a 270lb stone. Oh, after last, I flipped the tire three times that now weighs something like 700 lbs, that thing sucks. It was a good time and I am tired, it’s a good thing.

May be ok

Posted in Strongman by Mike on February 10, 2007

Headed to Luke’s for some Strongman

yoke walk (4 showing above)
330 long walk (parking space, 15 – 20 yrds)
510 long walk
650 short walk (about 10 yrds)
730 1/2 short walk (call it 5 yrds)
780 4 steps (stopped because the uneven weight distribution made it wobbly)
830 2 step
830 1 step
I’m pretty happy with this actually. The contest weight will be 800, so it’s just a matter of getting some more steps in there. Also, as Luke pointed out, last time I barely locked out 850, so a few steps with 830 is big.

Lockout – 910
It seemed stupid to push one so I called it there. Perhaps I can push on to 1000 at some point.

Front Carry (bar at the bottom of th yoke)
150 short walk
250 short walk
330 long walk
430 long walk
510 longest walk (20 full yards) with three drops

Strongman-cicle

Posted in Strongman by Mike on February 3, 2007

Over to Luke’s for strongman training.

Log
Started out on the smaller wooden log, did a bit of warmup. Eventually I moved on to the big steel log. I think I said it was 245 previously, it’s 240, my bad. A couple misses on the clean and jerk. I got a clean and jerk with resting it on my head on the way up. Then I finally got it. A good clean and a clean jerk, no stop, no rest on the head. I have to make sue that I dip when catching the jerk, not just use the explosion to power it up. Then I added 5 lbs, then I couldn’t even clean it, despite trying several times.

Keg carry and sled drag medly
This was done to kind of mimic the hydrant carry and chain drag of the upcoming strongman contest. The keg was in the 250ish range and what a struggle. I was carrying it too low, I should have had it higher. I went to what I was guesstimating as 10 yards and turned around to head back. I got the carry out in one go. On the way back, it took longer. I dropped it and kept dropping it.
The sled drag wasy interesting, we used Lukes 3″ barbell for a handle to try and mimic the chain. the sled was light and easy to pull, the handle was a pain in the butt. I didn’t think to go with a mixed grip at the time. I should have, I had to stop about three times.

It seems like we did more but that’s all I have for now.
I’m off tomorrow. I’m debating a trip to the park with the tire.

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What a drag

Posted in Cardio,Rest and Recovery,Strongman by Mike on January 23, 2007

My puns just get worse and worse.

This evening I took the tire, wedged a 45lb plate down inside it and went to the park. I walked all the way around the grassy part which I am choosing to guesstimate at 1/4 mile. I jogged down one side then walked the other three. I made three laps in 27 minutes, roughly. The jog was very aerobically taxing, once I slowed to a walk, the wind came easier but it was more of a challenge on my muscles.
I’m hoping that I managed to get some recovery and some cardio at the same time. I hope to do this more, I’ve only broken the tire out intermittently, and use it as a cardio, conditioning and recovry tool.

Tomorrow it’s super max, this week is very front loaded, workout wise cause I’m headed off for a short trip for fun. maybe I’ll squeeze in a workout Sunday but probably not.

Random other news, I upgraded the software that runs this site, hopefully you won’t notice much, let me know if you see anything out the ordinary. I also have access to my domain from work again, I have no idea why, the upgrade shouldn’t account for it. So I will attempt to be more timely in responding in future.

Last, congratulations to Scott Styles on his first phone book tear, that’s one more milestone down.

It’s ffffreezing

Posted in Strongman by Mike on January 20, 2007

I skipped climbing yesterday

Strongman today, something like 34 degrees, not quite freezing but good training weather. Also took paper to get the weights down right, feel free to check my math 🙂

245 stone to the lap, not the smartest thing I ever did. I had just showed up and wasn’t warmed up in the least.

Yoke Walk – chest height bar (5 showing)
150 (apparatus) + 4 X 45 = 330lbs 15 m
150 + 6 X 45 = 420 lbs 15m
150 + 8 X 45 = 510lbs 15m
150 + 8 X 45 + 4 x 25 = 610lbs 10m
150 + 2 x 50 + 8 x 45 + 2 X 35 + 2 X 2.5 = 685 lbs 10m

Lockouts – midchest (4 showing)
150 + 4 X 50 + 8 x 45 = 710
150 + 4 X 50 + 8 X 45 + 2 X 35 = 780
150 + 4 X 50 + 8 X 45 + 4 X 35 = 850 – this one took three attempts
Luke went on to lock out 1015 lbs, not bad for a guy weighing 200lbs year round. Not many of us can claim a 5 times bodyweight lockout. It’s taken him a lot of patients and a lot of time to get there though.

Big Red – 245lb 13+” log
clean and ummm “move overhead” X 1
This wasn’t really my intent, i have battled this thing once before and figured it would be a while. I was just gonna play with it, maybe do a carry. The clean came much easier than expected. The overhead, not so much. I tried jerking, I tried pressing, I ended up resting it on top of my head for half a second but I got it there.

680lb tire – 12 flips, at my own speed, pretty slow. Probably at least 5 minutes. Good conditioning in this. I got stuck between flip 6 and 7 and that slowed me down a bit. I had changed sides but just couldn’t get the tire going again. Also I would like to experiment with a wider handgrip. Currently I hand 3 treads between my hands, I want to go to 5. I think it will get me lower and allow me to push the tire higher.

Big Red Carry – 260 – Luke threw a few small plates on. 15 yards, I guess. Not bad.

Came home and went for a 2 mile walk.

On the diet front, I was at 265 two weeks ago, I dropped slowly and steadily to 261 and then gained slowly and steadily to 265. It took ten days. I think it’s that I didn’t do my cardio last week that got me. I’ll try hard next week.

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training in the rain

Posted in Strongman by Mike on November 13, 2006

Made it to do strongman yesterday

Floor press – we used one of those bars with the hands not quite in the hammer type position. They have a name but it eludes me at the moment. Unfortunately I forgot to record how much, 260 – 270, something like that. It was fun to play with the hand positions. the two that are way in where your hands almost touch feels impossible but it can be a great press when you get it, then you work out from there.

11″ log deadlift – worked up to 320

14″ log deadlift – 305.5, that extra diameter makes it tough

front carry – 430 50ish feet. Luke and I both recall that I did more last time. A quick flip through my blog shows it to have been 470. I seem to recall it as feeling easier at 470 last time than at 430 this time. I think the difference is the sandbags. Last time I was actively training sandbags and that required dealing with pressure on the stomach a lot. This time, I was losing air fast. I think that is the difference.

bottom position squat – worked up to 350. I’m fairly sure this is the most I have ever done with this lift. It actually felt ok. Although if I can bottom squat 350, I should be able to squat more than I have been. I guess it goes back to lifting as a skill in my book.

log carry – 240, Luke had a good idea of carrying the heavy log out and just setting it down, then he threw some weight on and carried it back. It’s a pretty decent exercise.

Luke is switching to Saturdays for Strongman training. I think this will be good for me. I’m gonna have to rework my schedule a bit but am glad to do it. I could see myself trying to make it over to train more often if that were the case.

Lately I have been wrestling with the duel mistresses of strength training and climbing. I’m just having trouble making time for both. I enjoy them both but it seems like it is really a case of trying to do it all. It’s clear one will have to take the back seat at least temporarily, I’m trying to decide which or how. I’m thinking I will have to rotate which one sees more action. It makes it more complicated that I try to get out on the in between days and do other stuff.

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