Wednesday, December 31, 2008

40 kg. Pistol... almost.

So close I could taste it. Iron and chalk, mmm...
I got down to just below parallel and fired back up, but my forward foot hit the ground hard. Not hard enough to push off, but not good all the same.
Fortunately I know exactly what the problem was. I haven't yet mastered 'zipping up' my legs, and I was trying to just stand up vs. driving my heel through the floor. I'm also going to take Max Shank's advice and start doing pistols with double kettlebells in the rack.
I also tend to lose focus under pressure. It's funny, because in all other things I'm great under pressure, but as soon as I get under a max weight I start falling apart. More mental training is required.
On the upside my left knee is feeling much more solid, and I was able to hit a couple 24 kg. pistol without any problems. After I finish this squat cycle I'll work in a day of pistols again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tara's snatch test

Today Tara took a run at her RKC snatch test. The result was 111 reps in 5 minutes on the 16 kg. That's pretty impressive. She can hit 120 before the RKC. Unfortunately the memory on my laptop ran out at 3 minutes. That's ok, we'll get it again next week! :)

Check out Tara's website at

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beast Challenge Progress and a 40 kg. Bent Press

My finger is almost completely healed. Like I said before, it was more annoying than anything else.
I have to commit myself to the fact that this is a long road. I'm bringing myself from nothing, to a state of superior strength. I'm not one of these guys who trains for a few weeks or a couple months and then tames the beast.
Presses and Pistols are going well, and the 40 kg. is within reach on both. Pull ups are sucking something fierce. As I said before though, the weight issue is a problem. I'm up to 176 now from 160 in August. I'm starting to gain ground on my pull ups again, but I may drop back to 170 so long as my strength doesn't decrease.
I'm going to start studying the habits of highly successful beast tamers. :) Pressing grooves, bell position in the pistol, etc. I do the same for my short bending, so why not this?
All in all I feel good.
I also whipped out a 40 kg. bent press the other day. I was actually surprised by how easily it went up. I have a hundred pounder in me within the next couple months.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kettlebell Snatch Corrections Pt. 1

This is a video I put together covering three basic mistakes I see often in the hard-style kettlebell snatch. Particularly if you have a snatch test coming up, you will want to ensure you aren't making any of these mistakes.

Friday, December 19, 2008

An injury, progress, and a new nutritional plan

Ok. So.
I was doing heavy swings the other day, and got the bright idea to do one handed swings holding two 28 kg. kettlebells in one hand. Yeah, one hand.
Hey, it actually went fine. My abs were firing like crazy. The problem wasn't the swings, but the release. One bell bounced off the floor, flipped, and the two bells smashed the middle finger on my left hand, splitting it open. It was right on the border of needing stitches, but I bound it up and I think it'll be fine.
I have stated some goals for 2009, now I need to prioritize them. They are as follows.
1. Red Nail
2. Beast Challenge
3. 100 32 kg. snatches in five minutes.
So as of right now I'm out of the April TSC. No reason to go get murdered when all of my training right now is a heavy focus on maximal strength. My Beast Challenge goals and Bending Goals go together well. I need to build up a base of strength before I return to the heavy snatching.
Right now I'm on the edge of the 40 kg. with my presses and my pistols. I see myself owning both in the next couple months, and I should hit the beast well before RKC II. The pull up is killing me, partially because I keep putting on weight. We'll see. Part of it is that I just need to get on my pull up training more.
My legs are waaay stronger from the squatting.
My new nutritional plan is... not to have one. Basically I already eat pretty healthy, my energy levels and all else are fine, so no reason to give myself one more thing to stress out over. If I start to think it's affecting my performance I'll re-assess, but right now this is working fine.

Cecil the christmas dog, comcast, and not working so much.

Cecil is a Christmas dog.

I watch a lot of movies. I dig movies. So I have my HD tv and I order HD from comcast. I know I need an HDMI output to really have HD. Component cables don't cut it. Comcast tells me they aren't issuing the HDMI boxes anymore as they were somehow defective. I accept this as the sheep I am. I recently came to the realization I was paying for HD that was not happening. I call comcast and now it has changed to a 'shortage' of hdmi boxes, but they can put me on the waiting list at the warehouse. I tell them to go ahead and cancel my HD. I kid you not- 20 minutes later a comcast technician is at my door with an HDMI box in hand. Are you freaking kidding me?! Comcast has been lying to me for so long it feels like we're married.

I recently came to a head with my business where I had the option of putting together a larger facility, getting more workshops out, and basically working 24/7 to create a big new thing. I have opted not to do so. At least not right now. It may happen in the future, but part of the idea behind my chosen path is to be free to pursue other things, spend time with my family, etc. I like it that way. I'm still doing fine. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pistol and JS Band Video, card tearing, and human TGU.

Tried my hand at some card tearing the other night. Took down 20 cards, went for 30 and was stopped. More technique work is required. This is a grip killer.

I put together this video on a technique I use to build my pistol strength using Jump Stretch Bands.

I'm also working on doing a TGU with a person. The girl in the below photos was probably close to my max limit with a dead weight, so I figured I could put her up but I was stopped. I'm working on it. As is the case with maximal lifts my form broke down.

The ability of the person acting as the implement to tighten up also plays a big part in success or failure when it comes to this.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Moving my website

I'm moving my website to a different hosting provider this weekend, so it may be down for a while, and my e-mail may be down as well. If you need to contact me use

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One of the most important articles you will ever read.

No joke. If your goal is to build strength, this is going to save you a lot of time. I've been watching Adam's progress for over a year now, and I know this to be true. There are no tricks, no 'secret' routines. It's hard work. Following a plan, realizing you do not know everything, and staying on task.
So often I see posts on the DD forum from someone about how they have modified the Power to the People program to include squats, or bench press, or this and that.
You can't follow directions. That's all. They always pop up with a reason they can't do the program as prescribed, but the reasoning is usually pretty weak.
Something else Adam points out that is important is to be able to diffrentiate between the 'on the ground' practical aspect of fitness training, and the business side. Every so often someone pops up who just went to a cert and starts ranting about how the Hard-Style method isn't proven.
For real? Seriously?
In the end, whatever you do that works for you is good. Trying to talk smack about different styles that have repeatedly produced results just shows that you have gotten caught up in someone's marketing scheme.
Hard Style, GS, West-side, these are all good methods, it's just about how you do or do not employ them.
Check out Adam's article.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Setting articifical limits.

I was thinking about this today. I think I've set limits on myself without intending to. For some reason I have this phantom ceiling of 100 lbs. on my TGU. Granted, going over this point is heavy and requires training, but why should I break at 105, or even 110? We know that much of training is psychological, so this is an area I need to delve into and conquer. I've noticed I don't have this problem with the nail bending. I get that thing in position and I know, not think, but know that I can bend it. Sometimes this doesn't work out, but it's the correct direction.
This isn't to be confused with being unrealistic. You have to do the work to get to the point where you can achieve your goals.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm going through changes...

My body composition is changing and it's interesting. The steel bending and heavy work combined with snatches, jerks, and other kettlebell feats has brought me to a square 170 lbs. settled down from my recent peak to 175.
I tried to take down a 5x1/4 inch piece of steel today. Got it to about three inches between the ends, but it stopped me. I can now bend a yellow nail while carrying on a conversation. While training I'm bringing my hands closer together as mentioned by Dave Whitley Senior RKC to focus on the wrist/grip strength connection. When it comes time to take down a bigger piece of steel I move back to the ends and attack.
Adam Glass was kind enough to send me some slowed down videos of horseshoe bending, so that's up next as well as some more sledgehammer leveraging.
If you've been following it I have moved my training log to the Dragondoor forum.
Here it is.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


It's pearl harbor day.

Bent Press
16 kg. 1/1
20 kg. 1/1
24 kg. 1/1, 1/1

I wasn't feeling particularly 'on' today. Mostly just practicing technique with the bent press.
Squats were ok. I went back to my narrow stance and had no hip pain. I have very narrow hips, so I think a wide stance just doesn't suit my hip architecture. I squatted with a belt for the first time and definitely felt a difference. I can't say as 275 was that hard. I was primarily distracted examining my form. I need to run some video.

I'm aware my training hasn't been particularly focused lately, but it will get tightened up soon. Regardless I'm still making solid progress.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More bending videos and Louie Simmons in Sacramento

I did some videos of my bends today. Four yellow nails down and one blue nail. I measure the blue in the video as it isn't color coded. Took down two of the yellow nails in ironmind pads. I have to say that while this makes it harder, I kind of like them better.

Blue nail bend

Yellow nail in IM pads

The first weekend of February Louie Simmons will be doing a two day seminar in Sacramento. Joe Sarti and I will be heading out there to take part. Everyone has their own opinions about Louie, and that's cool, but I think it would be hard to make a case that there is nothing to learn there. Day 2 is specifically for strength coaches and we'll be working on identifying our individual weaknesses in the three lifts. I think my weakness in the bench has already been identified, in that I bench press about as much as a girl scout. I'll be interested to see what Louie tunes up in my deadlift.
If you're interested here's the link.
Louie Simmons Seminar.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Taking down the blue nail.

Done and done. As was the case with the yellow nail, I didn't actually expect it to bend, so no video yet. I also bent three yellow nails. All bends were solid. I felt good so I took a run at the blue nail.
It took a lot longer to get the initial kink, and I had to really stay on it. I'm used to the rest of the bend being easy after the initial kink, so once the blue nail kinked I backed off and that almost screwed me. I have to stay on this thing until it's toasted.
I've been going pretty hard since I became healthy again, and I feel 100% now.
I was thinking about how lucky I am to be in the position I am, and have access to the people and resources I do. Granted, I worked myself like a rented mule to get here, but still...
By the way, google calendar now syncs with ical on the mac, which in turn syncs with the iphone. This is so bad ass. Now I can actually use the calendar on my iphone.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Yellow nail bend video

I finally got it on video today. If anyone has any constructive criticism I'm wide open. Just watching the video gave me a few things to work on. I think I'm punching all of my air out too quick, and I could definitely use more flexibility to get the nail up under my chin. I've noticed I tilt off to my left to get more leverage on the nail. I'm not sure if that's bad or not.

Once I get the initial kink these bend pretty easily. I'm using the black leather pads from Fat Bastard. Not sure I dig these. I had been using the blue suede ones and it seems I get more elasticity and a tighter wrap.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Probably the coolest video I have ever seen.

This is bad ass.

Originally posted by Scott Baio.