Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The 40 kilo has been snatched.

Today at Girya I decided to just snatch the thing. Got it going with some high pulls, and it wasn't the prettiest ever, but at the end I locked it out overhead and that's what matters. I'm not going to say it went up easy, but it was easier than expected, and on the first high pull I know I could have punched through, but decided to play it safe. I think my "Oh yeah!" is the most entertaining part. I also tacked on a 40 kilo Get Up. It was kind of a mess, I need to keep that foot planted.

Max VO2 36/36 20 kilo, 20 sets- Complete!

Yeah, that was hard. Today I made it through 20 sets at 15 reps per set with the 20 kilo. I'm going to stick with this for a couple weeks and really nail it. No real problems to speak of, I have to say it went pretty smoothly. Forearms were pumped but my grip never gave out like it was before. A big factor was stretching between sets. If I just stand there like a doofus for 36 seconds my forearms will just keep tightening. You're not supposed to stand around anyway, so it shouldn't be an issue.
I know I can go faster, as I was consistently done with my 15 and locked out for the last 5 seconds of each set, but I feel that trying to push it up to 16 too soon would be met with less than desirable results. I also brought in my stone and filed down my calluses between sets, which helped a lot. Hands are still perfect. This is good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New site design and stress reduction

I've been gearing up to make another push on the business side of things and it's going well. People often ask me how I avoid stress, or deal with stress, and I generally have the same answer "You can only be under as much stress as you allow yourself to be."
This is true in a couple of ways. Some people create stress for themselves. I did this a lot and had to pull the throttle back to reduce it. This meant not working to improve my website every minute of every day. Another factor is just relaxing, even in the midst of stress. You can reduce your own stress levels by just taking a breath and calming down. The same three count breathing technique that I teach for slowing your breathing down during Max VO2 workouts can be applied to everyday situations. I picked this up from Lt. Col. Grossman's Bulletproof Mind CD series. It's four steps: breathe in, hold, breathe out, hold, repeat. All on a 3 count. If you can maintain discipline long enough to do this, you can slow your breathing pattern down. You lose control of your breathing, and you're finished.
So I'm now back to working on the website again, attempting to make it more eye catching, slightly less threatening :) and easier to navigate. Stage one is fleshing out the graphics, one of which I have included below.
I'm working on making myself look a little less saintly. Or maybe I'll just go all the way and add a halo.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yeah... so... that was hard.

Today I hit the 36/36 for the first time with the 20 kilo bell. Hit 15 reps per cycle and made it through 14 sets. This one definitely kicked me in the ass, and I could really feel the cardio difference. My grip is getting much better, but it's still being tested. I don't see that ending anytime soon.
Good times.


Yesterday I was beyond smoked from the Weds. workout. It was beneficial as I learned that I should be planning my recovery in the same manner that I plan my training. I still have been doing it, just not with as much detail as I should.
I woke up yesterday with shoulders and knees complaining. Did my goofy little Z circles and bam, shoulders are 100%. Rolled out the IT band and bam, knees are 100%. proceeded to roll, stretch, and Z myself the rest of the day but still felt like a zombie. Soaked and went to bed early, now everything is good. Shaking off some residual dust, but ready to go. Today it's going to be 36/36 with the 20 kilo, 15 reps per set. I'm going for 14 sets to start, but may end up going the full 20. We'll see.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Warrior Diet Update

I'm about two months into the warrior diet. So far it is excellent. It was a little shaky in the beginning, but now it's easy. I experienced an odd 'turnover' of my body about two weeks after the TSC. That's the best way I can think to describe it, a 'turnover'. All is new again. My strength, endurance, and general well being are all off the charts. I'm doing 5 minutes of get ups with the 32 kilo, Max VO2 with the 20 kilo, and generally just blowing through my workouts like they're nothing. I am eating better than I ever have and can't imagine eating the way I used to. I actually had a nightmare the other night that someone was trying to make me eat bad food. It was like a whopper or something. There is no downside to this.
This morning I stopped at this great open air market called 'Andy's' in Sebastopol. When I walked in I was thrown at first by this weird smell. Then I realized what the smell was. It was food. A grocery store is supposed to smell like food! When was the last time you walked into a Safeway and smelled food? Man, we took a wrong turn somewhere and haven't gotten back on the right road since.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The kettlebell snatch 'drop and catch'

Below is a video I put together explaining the drop and catch method of descending from the lockout of the kettlebell snatch. This technique is the reason I can hit Max VO2 4 times a week and not shred my hands. Bearing in mind I use no hand protection such as gloves or anything else.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Goals and Pistols

In light of my newfound super powers I did some goal setting today. These may seem like big jumps, but it's unbelievable how much I've progressed in the past few weeks, so it's doable.
TGU- Cindy Glass RKC.
Next TSC- 140 reps in 5 minutes with the 24 kilo. It can be done, and it will be done.
April 2008 TSC- Enter the Elite Division.
SSST- 220 reps. It will be done.

I'm amazed at how strong I am in the pistols now. Left leg still needs to be brought up, but I can sit all the way down on my right, pause, and bring it back up. I'm working into the weighted pistols now. Need to do some video on this and check my form, but it feels strong. I love this move and I'm thrilled that I can finally do it.
There is a lesson to be learned here. Before, I was very hit and miss with GTG on these. the past few weeks I've been hitting it 3-6 times a day and that has made all the difference. Need to consistently hit those higher numbers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Back to Bikram

Finally. Went to my first class this morning in quite a while at the studio in Burlingame. I forgot how hard this is. I didn't win this time, but I did pretty well. People keep telling me you can't 'win' at Yoga, but I don't buy it. I was clearly doing better than some of those other people.
Anyway... This will be great for my flexibility, which I have much less of than previously thought. It will also be great for the continuing effort to cleanse myself of all toxins and get this body to perform in the manner it was intended to. In case you're curious, that includes snatching kettlebells.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beyond Thunderdome

Today I was strong, and the Jor-Hawk was strong as well. It may have been stronger, actually.
Worked out with Tara (client/ massage therapist/ yogi) at Equinox in Palo Alto.
Order of the day: Max VO2/ 50 sets/ 25 minutes.
I did it with the 20 kilo, she with the 12. I hit 6 reps per set, no problem. A slightly fussy left hand kept me from going faster. A couple of pinch points need stronger callusing before I speed up. Made it through the 25 minutes and declared that we were going "Beyond Thunderdome!"
This meant 10 more minutes, this time on the 16 kilo hitting 8 reps per set. This got rough, but not rough enough to keep me from doing 10 sets of 10 two handed swings on the 40 kilo when I was done with it. Still felt fine and could have kept going, but opted to exercise better judgment. Finished up with some pistols. Next I'm bumping up to 7 reps per set on the 20.
I feel better than I ever have. It's all warrior diet and Jor-Hawk.

Monday, April 14, 2008

School Of Infantry

I was just being nostalgic today and came across this website for the School Of Infantry at Camp Pendleton. Reading about the check in procedures was a trip. I remember checking in and being put on security duty waiting for my class to pick up. That was where I first became really well acquainted with sleep deprivation. From there I fired up with Bravo Company. Our instructor was some Sergeant who was the biggest bastard I've ever seen. He walks in the room and says "Don't be intimidated by my size."
I quickly found out boot camp wasn't over. We were just in a faster harder version of boot camp, with less rest and fewer rules. When I say fewer rules, I don't mean in a good way.
All in all it was a good experience, and a big part of making me who I am today. We should all be so lucky. :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

20 kilo Max VO2- 40 sets

I like the Max VO2 so much now I decided to do it again today. This time per Rif's inspiration I bumped up to the 20 kilo and dropped back to the 15/15 protocol. I am definitely going to hang with the 36/36 as I like the brutality of it and I snatch fast anyway, but this is good to pepper in. I stayed at 6 reps per 15 throughout. You can see I'm holding my lockout at the end. I could have bumped it up to 7 reps, but hands were a concern. They're still fine, no rips, no nothing. There are a couple spots on my left hand I need to tape and shave down, but I have throughoughly mastered the drop and catch, and it has made all the difference.
This got me breathing, but I have to say if I didn't care about my hand health I could have ripped through it all. I have a sneaking suspicion I can do this with a 24 kilo. We'll see.
I am so full of energy it's ridiculous. I headed up to my girl's place in Guerneville after I left Girya and actually wanted to do the 36/36 with the 16 kilo, but had to hold myself back as I probably would have shredded my hands.
Feelin' good in the neighborhood.

BTW, I think the Mohawk has made me stronger. I'm totally serious.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

A day of PR's

This should probably be in the other blog, but I was so pleased with how things went today I thought I'd post it here. I got a wild hair today at Equinox and decided to do the 36/36 snatch protocol. One of the trainers there, Chris Nash bravely opted to join me. My last tested snatch cadence is 18 snatches per 36 seconds (16 kilos). We went for 15 total sets. I slipped a few times and ripped out 20 snatches, so I need to re-test. I wasn't even that winded, but no chalk at the Nox and the bell was too slippery to hold on to. Chris hung in there like a trooper through the whole thing, which was impressive as he's just started snatching.
Next up I did 5 sets of 20 32 kilo two handed swings. Then 5 minutes of 24 kilo Get Ups. Then some singles with the 32 kilo. Then I pulled out a rock bottom pistol on my right leg for the first time ever. It was hairy, but I did it.
I was on a roll so I figured I'd military press the 32 kilo. For the first time ever I military pressed it on my right side. Left side wasn't ready to join the party.
This is good. I can't overlook the fact that I've jerked the 40 kilo, pressed the 32, and achieved a full pistol all since starting the warrior diet.
Right now I know I can snatch the 40 kilo and get my 100 lbs. get up, but as Rif has said a few times regarding his own training "Don't get greedy."
So I'm going to train for it and I will achieve these feats soon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The juice is the thing

Most people seem to start their day off with coffee, and that's cool, but I start mine off with a tall glass of vegetable juice that closely resembles garbage bag leakage. People look at this brown/green concoction and cringe, but I swear it tastes great. Primarily it is composed of cucumbers, carrots, celery, kale (mmmm... kale), red or rainbow chard, Omega 3's, and a little dose of Udo's Wholesome Fast Food. As I'm Warrior Dieting there's no food in the morning or all day, so that's it.
Since I have been doing this I wake up out of bed like a shot out of a gun. I have more energy all day than I ever have, and I feel better. Another important aspect of this is that I know I'm not poisoning myself. Now I look around at the things people are shoving into their mouths, the smoking, etc. and I'm amazed people aren't dropping dead left and right. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if you went home at the end of the day and had to step over half a dozen dead bodies to get to your front door. Just the remains of people who randomly dropped like flies while walking around guzzling coke and smoking cigarettes.
Hey, don't get me wrong, I used to be just as bad but there's no way I'm going back. Why would I want to go from feeling great from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep, to feeling like crap all day?
People always complain that healthy foods taste bad and that surely my veggie juice 'wake-up' must taste horrible. In the beginning it might, because your body doesn't even know how to deal with healthy stuff anymore. You might even get sick, because it's battling the toxins in your system. Buying a pre-bottled veggie juice isn't the same, as by the time it gets to you the good enzymes you want are dead.
Just an idea. Give it a shot, see how you feel.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

TSC Complete

Ok. Overall I'm pretty happy with how this went. New PR on my deadlift, bringing it up to 387 lbs. I had been getting stalled at 360 lbs. for the last couple months, so I did close to that for my first pull and it went up pretty easy. Factor in competition and being in Stone's gym for that. Bumped it up to 387 and it was rough, but good. Might have been able to kick it up again but would have really been pushing my luck, and you need to game this event a bit to make sure you don't toast yourself early and lose a bunch of snatches. Pull ups. Ugh. I had been training wrong for these, not stopping at the bottom. Still not bad though, and now that I fully understand it my training will be better. Snatches went well, no complaints there. Dropped three from my PR of 94, but still good, ending up with 91 24 kilo snatches in 5 minutes. If you want to see someone in absolute misery, skip to the end of the video. :)
I learned a lot from this experience, and will be able to adapt my training to improve immensely by next September.
Thanks to Mark Reifkind Senior RKC for holding the San Jose TSC and encouragement. Also, thanks to Cindy Glass RKC for inspriing me into doing this in the first place.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Navy SEAL awarded medal of honor

They represent the best among us. Not just the SEAL's, but everyone who steps into harm's way for a few dollars a day and only the promise of more danger and hardship to come. From Valley Forge to the Battle of the Bulge to the Battle for Fallujah.
Read the full story.