Anvil or Hammer


Posted in Gym Strength,Rest and Recovery,Toys and tools by Mike on February 24, 2008

The hip is coming along well. I’m still protecting it a bit but I don’t feel anything in any “normal” range of motion. I still feel it when I try to lay down on the bench, I’m still a little afraid to press overhead.

Friday Evening
For some odd reason I came into the gym with my left calf very tight. I couldn’t begin to tell you why. a little jumping of rope only made it worse, again, no idea why. I decided to do a lift that involved no calf work at all or very little.

Deadlift – all double overhand
135 X 5
225 X 5
315 X 5
405 X 1
I’m still uncomfortable with the idea of mixed grip until I sort this hip out a bit more.405 is right at the top of my grip’s range for a double overhand pull. Some days I can, some days I can’t. I had to cheat a bit and hook this one. Hurt like the dickens.

Well, that was about all the excitement I could handle. The weather sucked the gym had actually been locked up long before I got there, I just happened to catch someone going out the door on my way in. so I went and pansied about for about half an hour.

20lb dumbell
Chest Flies X 15
Back Flies X 15
Side Raise X 10
Lat Pull down – wide grip 80lbs X 12

three sets, slow, full range of motion.

Saturday was exciting, no training but exciting. I got my latest attempt at getting my body more into sorts, M2: Magnificent Mobility. I’ve gone through most of it. There is some stuff that is pretty irrelevant but some that is very relevant. They encourage you to figure out what you need to do, which is cool.


Not so terribly long ago, I was a very silly person and left my MP3 player in my shorts pocket, they got washed and so did it. The MP3 player didn’t survive the experience. I was considering getting a new one anyway, I’ve had it since we lived in Greeley and it was starting to wear out. I had replaced my wife’s already, which I bought shortly after mine. The time was right and I went on a MP3 player hunt.

My wife has an Apple iPod Shuffle and loves it, a lot. I’ve got one major complaint with them and that is a lack of playlists. So I was in the market for a reasonably priced MP3 player like a shuffle but with that capability. I’ve bought a variety of products from Sandisk over the years and knew they had a line of MP3 players out there. It turned out they had the one for me. I bought a Sandisk Clip. (the official site seems to be down at the moment)

Unrelated to anything
Today Laura got a gym membership to a local “express” gym. I think it will be a much better fit for her than the gyms I go to and I am happy for her.

Laura also stumbled upon a blog that had a wonderful post and an even better quote:

“There’s no such thing as gravity.  The earth sucks.”

I hope my battery doesn’t die

Posted in Cardio,Concept II,Dinsoaur Style,Kettlebells,Toys and tools by Mike on July 1, 2007

It’s a beautiful day and I have been on the porch trying to writh my first Visual Basic application for the last two hours. It’s going well but I have a long way to go. It’s training related, believe it or not. I have several versions to go through befor I get to what I really want it to be. I’ll post it up here as I pass certain milestones. Right now, you put in an amount of time you’d like to train, a number of sets and/or a set length and it tallies it out and tracks your time for you.

I did Providence yesterday. I just tried to make it through and I did ok.

Today I went to the gym with the rower…and they were closed. Oddly I was able to walk in and walk around. It was just dark and no one was there. I thought about rowing anyway but that room was locked. So I came home. I felt compelled to do something so I went to the park with my 16k kettlbell, my tire (with a 45lb plate inside) and a 100lb sandbag

10 snatches
Sandbag carry
tire drag
and repeat, several times.

yardage was  20, 10, 10, 20, 20, 10, 10, 20

So eight sets total. Total time of 22 minutes, average heart rate of 170 and max of 180. It was a pretty decent workout. I’ll have to make up a park workout for wednesday cause the gym will be closed then for Independence day.

Gotta go, battery will die.


Posted in Concept II,Kettlebells,Toys and tools by Mike on June 20, 2007

Kettlebell presses and rows
16K 20 standing presses/arm
16K 20 rows/arm
12K – same as above
8K – same as above
average heart rate 133
the 16K was way too much for this. I should have used the 8 or 12 for the whole thing

500 meter – 2:30/5oom
250 meter – 1:50/500m
kicked the fan flue to about 50%
500 meter – 2:30/500m
100 meter – 1:50/500m
Repeat the last two X 7 more
I had planned on 500 meter on, 500 meters off. In retrospect, that was just dumb. I think I will try to grow the 5 off: 1 on combo. I also still need to work on developing me pull stronger. Initially my heart rate was about 140 during rest and 170 during sprints. As time went on, my heart rate stayed higher and on the last couple it never got below 160.

30 minute of wii boxing
15 minutes of playing with other games
I had some time to kill and thought i would check it out. It was fun but I don’t see it as all that valuable. Part of the issues is that you have to learn the movement patterns of the game, not of actual boxing. I hate the whole thing of trying to reprogram your muscles to meet the computers expectations. I guess it is better than sitting on your butt all the time. A good cooldown, heartrat dropped from the upper 130s to the low 120s in this time.

A few light sprints with the dog this evening.

I don’t think I will pull the tire tomorrow, I didn’t prep it this evening. I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow morning but I’ll do something.

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Posted in Toys and tools by Mike on June 13, 2007

I bought a toy.

It’s not too fancy but it’ll d the basics. I’m gonna use it to help with this cardio weight loss stuff and to play with and see where my heart rate gets to on some different stuff. You’ll see the results.

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Help me get a plan and process

Posted in Diet and Bodyweight,Goals,Rant,Toys and tools by Mike on June 11, 2007

Sorry for the long delay.
So I gained. Not much but I gained when I need to be going down. I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit the last week or two, cause it’s not a new thing. I’ve thought of half a dozen excuses and possible reasons. In the end I decided that my diet and exercise PLANS are sound it’s the stuff outside the plans that is breaking me. It’s fairly obviously that when I get busy or get derailed from my plan is when I hold steady or gain. When I’m on, I’m on. One could argue it’s weak will but I don’t think that is really the case. I do think that I use the abnormalities of life as an excuse to deviate.
As I thought more about it, I decided it is symptom of a bigger issue. I tend to have that issue at large. I can have a heavy schedule and as long as it flows, I’m mostly good but throw a couple curveballs and I get all messed up. I tend to just stop, maybe I’m pouting I don’t know but I just stop doing anything. The more I looked at the diet and the bigger problem, I decided it came down to writing it down. I have this blog where I keep the after effects of my goings on but I don’t write it down before it happens.
I think I do that for a reason but not a good reason. Writing it down before hand means expectations and requirements. Writing it down before hand means I thought about it, knew what I needed to do. That also means owning up when you just don’t do it. Basically it’s an added layer of responsibility to yourself.

So I have decided, I need a tool. I don’t know what it is yet but I need a tool. I need something that I can use to write down what I am supposed to be doing. My first thought goes to a planner. I need more than just a calendar though. A calendar is nice but just scratchs the surface. I would need persistent lists that I could follow through and temporary lists for one day or another. It would have to be flexible enough to hold long chunks of text (like a blog does) but also to be able to hold tables of information. I know that most modern planners come with scratch paper and junk so maybe that could do it.
I tried to keep thinking though. Im not sure paper is as dynamic as I want. Now, bear in mind, I am a computer geek through and through. I don’t think I have explained this to you all but I spend about half of my work day designing Access databases. I’m by no means a master of the art but I’m getting much better. Knowing I’m a DB geek, my mind goes to the idea of making it a database project, it could be tons of fun. Infinitely flexibleand dynamic.
There is a problem with that though too, actually a couple. I need something that is ultimately cross platform. I can’t be limited by the fact that my laptop is XP but my desktop is VISTA or by the fact that I might be running it on Ubuntu. That almost implies that it needs to be a web thing, but I don’t know enough of the dynamic web stuff to create this. Another issue is that I need it now. I can’t invest a year in building this thing. I need to have it here this week.
So that brings me back to paper, which I’m still not sold on.
I did consider a PDA. I have had two in my life. One, I had a long time ago and it was when they were new. It was a piece of junk. I used it to download games so I could play checkers or something while I was in the car. I got a better one recently. It died in less than month. It’s still in my pile of computer junk I’m not using. It froze up and I can’t seem to unfreeze. It wasn’t sad to see it go. I tried to use it but it really didn’t seem to intergrate with anything well. It wasn’t any good at bringing in my email, I couldn’t look at my feeds on it. The list keeping ability was totally one dimensional. I felt like it was worse than paper. Although, supposedly it could play MP3s 🙂 .

So I am coming to you all. Suggestions.
What is the killerapp to organize your diet, workout, goals, education and life?
I realize that
A) no one system will probably be able to do all that so working across multiple systems is likely.
B) No system of organization can be effective without the human component.

Now to give you and idea of how I organize now.
Diet – There is no organization. I have a basic template of how I think I should eat and I just try to follow it. I don’t document the plan and I don’t document the deviations
Workout – Most of the time I make it up on my way to the gym. Half the time I document it while I am there. The other half the time I just try to remember it for later. In all cases, I try to write it down in the blog. It could be 2 hours later, it could be 48 hours.
Work – My work email calendar is Very up to date, with work stuff only. I organize by doing the oldest email first or whatever is actively burning.
Websites – not much, I just sit down and try to remember what it was I was trying to do last
Other – none
I don’t keep persistent lists like shopping or large budgetary items.
I keep temporary lists and notes on scraps of paper. Little corners or the back of something. I keep the scrap under my keyboard but sticking out until the task is done, then I thow it away, usually.

Posted in Technical Update,Toys and tools by Mike on April 8, 2007

Well all, I started another website. Anvil or Hammer isn’t going anywhere. It will stay the same. In fact, if anything, it may become more focused. I try to keep Anvil or Hammer about my training but sometimes other things come up that I want to talk about. I have a new place for that stuff.

I built and began It is a site that is all about training blogs. It is built around the idea of taking multiple blogs and reposting their contents (with permission) in one place where people can read them all. Of course, the idea is that readers might find some new blogs they would never seek out and those blogs would gain some traffic as a result. Either way, it has been a little project I have been pecking at for some time. This blog as well as some of the others you have seen me reference or comments from the writers of are all being syndicated there right now. So please consider giving it a read. If you have thoughts and opinions, I am happy to hear about it.

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Catching up

Posted in Rest and Recovery,Toys and tools by Mike on March 23, 2007

I having been posting near as much, it’s just been one of those weeks, so here is a big ol’ round up. Some of it’s about me and some of it is just from the net.

  1. The kettlebell contest is wrapping up. We have one entry, a second was just asked about. I’ve got my bell which has not been entered and Scott Bird is wrapping his up so we should just make the minimum requirement set by Art of Strenght. That’s a big hooray. I would have hated to see the people who did the work not get their shot.
  2. Kettlebells at Target – I’m not saying it’s gonna happen but, Iron Core Gym is in a deal with Go Fit products. From their website you can learn that their products are sold in most American sporting goods stores. When I read this I would have sworn I remembered the name from Target (On of the bigger deparment store chains in the US). Sure enough, they sell there too. You can’t find the bells until Summer ’07 and with any pending business deal, it could bust. How sweet would that be though? With all the hoopla about 300 training which used kettlebells too, this could be their best chance at hitting the popular culture. Up next, Billy Blanks does Tai Boe Bells, I hope not.
  3. One of the greatest weightlifting quotes of all time.
  4. I’m finally recovering from whatever has beseiged me. I think it was that my new dog was waking me up evey single night, she’s finally sleeping all night and so am I. I never realized what a huge difference 15 minutes at 3 in the morning made. Although now I’m feeling the congestion everyone else has been complaining about. I have been lucky so far, so we’ll see how this goes.
  5. Got some new bells. Annoyed the wife by doing windmills with the 40K. Oh, and those bells will all eventually get painted.
  6. Big announcment coming down the pipe, if I can ever work out this whole RSS issue, dang it.

That’s about gonna do it. I have the gym tonight, havne’t decided quite how I’m going to handle it. I’m thinking about lugging the new bells down there and just doing bells for 2 hours.

Compy Reborn

Posted in Toys and tools by Mike on March 14, 2007

 My compy finally arrived. WooHoo. It was all I could do to not take the day off of work and do some serious catching up on interwebs stuff today. Pictures are below, the screen is mindnumbingly large and tower is small. Oh, and nevermind the rats nest of cables behind the tower. I just slammed it together, clean up will come later.

Screen CPU

The Compy is Dead, Long Live the Compy

Posted in Toys and tools by Mike on March 6, 2007

My computer died today. It went in it’s sleep so there was no pain.

Now I have to get a new one. Please be understanding as this may effect  my posting schedule.

The first ever AoH/AoS Contest Announcement!!

Posted in Other,Toys and tools by Mike on February 25, 2007

I’m really excited about this. I have been talking with Jeff Waters from The Art of Strength website (AoS). AoS is willing to cohost a contest with (AoH).

AoH hosted a kettlebell painting contest toward the end of last year but it was canceled due to lack of interest and thus the prize was never given away. They were happy to reconstitute the contest with a promise from me of a minimum of four entrants. I’m one so I need at least three more people to join in the fun. so without further ado….

AoH/AoS kettlebell painting contest:
Timeframe: This contest begins Monday, February 25 2007 and runs through Sunday, March 25 2007.

Event: Paint a kettlebell

Prize: One AoS DVD and fame and recognition.

How to enter: Paint a kettlebell and email a picture to and with a subject line of “kettlebell painting contest”. I’ll post your picture a gallery and AoS will judge for the best paint job.

Judging: All entries must be submited to AoH and AoS, judgment is performed by AoS at their discretion all judgements are final.

So spread the word far and wide, this is for free stuff. If four people don’t enter the contest is back to being canceled and all your bells are still black and bland, just like everyone elses (i.e. they suck).

In the words of John Belushi “Who’s with me, aaaahhhhhhh..”

Helpful links:
The original contest announcement
How to paint a kettlebell
How to paint a kettlebell II
The AoS DVD library (one of these is the prize)
AoS homepage
AoH homepage

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