Friday, August 31, 2007

Alls quiet on the blog-o-sphere.

CES, SJ, and Christine are all quiet, must be the long weekend coming up.
I'm just posting to get last nights ME bench recorded.
Bench (+bands)
My technique is coming along, I need to keep my forearms under the bar more, when I do the weight just flys. Hopefully this is a good sign.
5x5@ bar OH squats (mostly just mobility work)

Push presses:
I love this exercise. Learned them in highschool, and the times when I was "strong" it was because of this lift.
Read Dave Tate's book "Under the Bar" last night.. whole thing. I'll review it this weekend or next week, as it's really changed how I feel about a few things. More on that when the time comes.

In other news, today I procured a 20kg kettlebell. I'm going to take this out for a spin this afternoon.
Hope you're not laboring on labor day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bow to yer partner..

The guy I used to row the pair with, let's call him Joe.. because that's his name. Has started doing my endurance/GPP/whatever workouts on Wednesday with me.
Last nights session looked like this:

KB snatches R. partner ergs 250 m
erg 250 m while partner does KB snatches.
KB snatches L. partner ergs 250 m
erg 250 m while partner does KB snatches.
repeat 3x

Goals for this exercise:
splits under 1:40 @ 32 or less spm
20+ snatches.
Pretty brutal.

after that we did 4x5 each hand TGUs.

And were taken out to dinner by 4 really great women who have been students in our respective learn to row classes. Two of whom are becoming athletes. They already are mentally, and are well on their way physically. Really great to see. Reminds me of why I started coaching in the first place.
Gotta get to work.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ole number 7.

Mike Vick should have known. He was the premier player in America's premier professional sport, and he pissed it away. He's being sentenced in the deepest of the deep south, and by the sounds of things that southern white judge is going to bury him.
He had to know this was going to happen. He had to. He is from Newport "Bad" News, VA. He is black, he is a multi-millionaire and a he plays quarterback in the league. He had to know that if he got caught fighting dogs, no one on the left was going to defend him and the old south was going to do their worst. He did it any way. Now, his career is probably over (at least in the league) his sponsors are bailing on him. He had the stones to step forward and admit what he did, but the truth is, he shouldn't have done it in the first place.
Fighting dogs is wrong, it's brutal, and disgusting. I understand people who have no means, and no education doing it. It is a way to make a significant amount of money for people who have nothing, and know no different. When you have money, and some education, there is no excuse for participating in that type of bloodsport. I can't imagine what number 7 was thinking, because he had to know that if he got caught doing anything illegal he was going to get the "fullest extent of the law." What a waste.

DE squats:
I warmed up with 2 sets of overhead squats, with just the bar, and it really helped open up my hips. I'm going to keep this up.

5,4,4,3 each leg Zercher lunges.


In which I am once again a bodyweight + bencher.

For the first time since my shoulder injury (more than 4 years ago) I can bench more than my bodyweight.
ME bench:
1@225 (grinder, but I got it.)

chins: (long negative on last rep each set)
bw @ 5,4,3,3,2

1A, db, ohp:

bent rows:

Standing russian twists:
3x10@2 plates
8@2 plates

My right shoulder is still the weak point in my bench. I can feel it struggling while my triceps and chest are cheering it on. I have to be patient and help it along, but it feels good to be back on the happy side of BW.

Monday, August 27, 2007

SSST, aka How to start off your weekend.

Last week CES dropped the SSST in my lap. I did it on Friday afternoon. He rolled through it thinking in terms of sets*reps/time. He was very pragmatic, and scientific about it. Setting a pace, checking it constantly, and adjusting it very mathematically.
In contrast, I decided to do the first 100 ten reps per arm and adjust from there. I set an audible alarm for "times up," and only checked in on the time at the 100 rep mark (approximately the 1/2 way point). I didn't count sets, just counted reps and switched.
After doing some swings and slingshots to get loose and warm, I Hit the "start button" on my microwave (my stopwatch doesn't have an audible alarm) trotted over to the bell and got going. I cranked out the first 100 and glanced over at the clock more than 5 minutes to go. The pace is comfortable. I can get more out if I do more per arm. I start doing 20 per arm till I hit the next 100. I get through that with a little time to spare, I pick up the pace. My heart is pounding so hard that each time it contracts, my vision goes out of focus. I get another 16 done when the alarm beeps. I put down the bell, I towel myself off, and lay on the floor. Once my HR drops back down to "reasonable" I do some swings and figure 8s to cool down. It was a good test. I think I can do a few more. After that the wife and I went to the ballard fish ladder which is pretty cool, then out for sushi.

Saturday, I was still pretty fatigued when I got to the boathouse. I went for a row. I did some 30 stroke intervals, then did a few 500 meter pieces, and then some drills. I got off the water, stretched, changed and waited for the wife to come in. She came in and we went to breakfast.
After that we went back to the boathouse and went through some training theory and methodology with two women who were students of mine, and are students of the wife's. They were great. Very receptive, and enthusiastic. While they aren't terribly athletic, everybody starts somewhere. After a nap and a snack it was time for ME squats:
I was pretty fatigued to start, so I took it slow and easy on the squats:

(*got up off the box, lost my balance and found myself back where I'd started. There was a moment of consideration: I could just lean back, drop it on the rails, or I could suck it up and finish..I tightened back up the best I could and ground out the rep.)

5@ bw
5@ bw+15 kg
2x4@bw +20 kg

between the G-H sets I did sets of 5 OH squats with just the bar to work on my hip mobility. I am growing impatient with it.

Saturday night we went out to My in-laws for dinner (the wife's birthday was last week). Then stayed over and got up and did some fishing (humpy salmon) I haven't been fishing in almost a decade. I got one, but the run hasn't really started yet. It was fun to be out there. Hopefully we can get invited back. I took a nap on the ferry, and made some salmon avocado curry for supper.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Dan John and George Pocock.

Last night I was reading through Dan John's archives, and I came across an article "Spirituality and the Athlete." It begins with questioning the meaning of the often banded about statement "I am a very spiritual person." I have always had a problem with that statement. It is meaningless, and the person using it can never explain what they mean by "spiritual." It got me thinking about how I define spiritual. The best definition of "spiritual" that I could find is "of, from, or relating to god." With that definition in mind, it became apparent as I kept reading that sport and athletics can be one of the most spiritual pursuits one can undertake. On page 87 of the archives Dan says:

At the highest level of performance, there is a moment of transcendence, where the sum of the body’s potential and the training regimen are superseded by the beauty…the human potentiality…of the art of athletics. The athlete may never fully explain these moments in words…it is truly an “out of body” experience.

It reminded me of the following quote by George Pocock:

It’s a great art, is rowing... It’s a symphony of motion, and when you’re rowing well, why it’s nearing perfection. And when you reach perfection you’re touching the divine. It touches the you of you’s, which is your soul.

I find it remarkable, but not surprising that the two men above, decades apart, and in completely different disciplines could have such similar feelings/ideas about touching the divine through athletics. Transcending our feet of clay, the sack of meat that is our body, and doing something remarkable is what makes athletics (whether it be climbing a mountain, rowing a boat, running a marathon, or lifting a heavy weight) so magical. I don't have the arrogance to say I know if there is a higher power, a God, or gods that manipulate, or judge our actions. However I do know that we can transcend the basic and base mechanics that are our body and can reach for something higher. To create a moment in time where we are something more. In those moments, your teammates, rowing shell, the discus, or the weight and the floor are a part of you. You exist on a higher plane. Those are divine moments where there is no need to question the meaning of life. I'll find the answers to those questions when the time comes.
Moments of transcendence are rare and they are fleeting. I have found them in athletics, in the Andes, and in the placement of a wedding band, but no matter what form, they are the greatest affirmation of the 'spiritual' that I have experienced. I hope that I can seek those moments for the rest of my life.

last nights workout:
Speed pulls:
10x2@ 285

Zercher lunges:
5x5 (each leg) @ 135


A while back I sprung the 100 TGU challenge when CES got back from vacation, he has returned the favor with the SSST challenge. I am terrible at KB snatches. CES uses a hard technique, which he tried to teach me when I was in the river city. I can't do it worth a crap. The bell comes slapping down on my forearm.. hard.
Can't do that for 10 minutes.
I am going use a softer Girevoy technique, we'll see how it goes. My technique has to get better, doing hundreds of something is a good way to learn.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And yet there was no corn..

Aka: My Midwestern adventure.
Aka: The prodigious son returns.
Aka: What I did on my summer vacation.

Our tale begins last Wednesday. I was at work a bit, there was loads of gnashing of teeth, tearing of clothes and "WTF, you're leaving again!?! OMG do this NOW!! HURRY!" I left at 1 pm and got my hairs cut. Got my lift on, and jumped on an airplane to Chicago.

Southwest Air is like a bad girlfriend, The cattle-call boarding procedure, and the "funny" staff, and the tiny, tiny seats are horrible, but baby you give the best fares. I just can't quit you.

We land at Midway at 2 am. Drive to Milwaukee, and sleep for 6 hours.
Get up Thursday morning and head to Miller park. We stop by the local 'Bucks and the lady behind the counter makes the sour milk face when we order 9 shots for 2 people, straight up. She asked use three times if we were sure, if we wanted some steamed milk or syrup in our beverages. Don't worry Ma'am, we're professionals. Toto we ain't in Seattle any more.
We get to Miller park early, and the Parking lot costs 10 bucks, and we haven't got that much cash. We go looking for an ATM and find some free parking. Woo hoo.
We meet up with my brother and some of his friends, we tailgate. Wisconsinites will tailgate for anything: baseball, football, Hockey, school plays, a trip to the dentist.. it was amazing.
Miller Park is great. Good sight lines, fans who want their team to win, but aren't too upset to see your team win, and a lot of brand new brewers gear on display, and the fans didn't know how to deal with their team sitting in first. It wouldn't last. Strangely enough there was a lot of random "other team" gear on display as well. If you're going to See the Redbirds play the Brewers, don't wear White Sox gear. It's a bad move. Trust me. The Redbirds completed the sweep. Yadi Molina hit 2 bombs (he's only hit 3 on the year) and the crowd cleared out by the bottom of the 9th. There was some bonding time with the wife and brother. It was great. I haven't seen the Cards play in person in 4 years.. and now I have.
From there we drove to Mad-town, and had dinner with the parents. My mom was driving my brother crazy because she wasn't seated where she wanted to be for dinner at the wedding. This would be a running theme for the weekend.
My brother was gracious enough to loan us his condo for Thursday night, and we pretty promptly passed out.
Friday, We get up fairly early, and hit the gym. It's dinky and full of machines, but its also clean and empty. I do legs and the wife does some intervals. We both get strange looks. We stop for coffee. Once again, shock, disgust and confusion at our beverage requests. Yes we want all of those shots in one cup. I want the same. the barista is glacially slow. The coffee is good. We get a a parking ticket.
I shower and meet my brother. We pick up our tuxes, and I meet all of the other groomsmen. Most of them I haven't seen since they were in highschool.
We pick up the rings and Chico drops me off at state street to meet the wife and Dr. 1% for lunch. We have to hurry a bit, because I have to be changed and ready to rehearse in an hour. It was good to see you Doc. Sorry I had to run.
The wife bought me some pirate coffee mugs that are super sweet.
I show up at our hotel early, my parents are late. They're going to drop my aunt off at "the other hotel" so she can watch my cousin's kid while we all rehearse. We get there, and realize we don't have directions from this hotel to the church. I am pouring over the map, my mom is bitching at my step-dad, who is yelling at my mom, and somewhere in there they're franticly calling my brother. My bro gives us directions. I write them on the map, and proceed to navigate. Every intersection, my step-father yells "DO I TURN HERE!??" and slams on the breaks and starts to turn. I Tell him.. again: "no you turn at Highway X. " Rinse repeat, we get there.. 15 minutes late. I have an intrinsic desire to strangle my folks and claim to be hatched from an egg.
Rehearsal is typical church rehearsal. The groomsmen are all cutting up, the bridesmaids are chatting and the Priest is maintaining some semblance of order. We talk through it once, we walk through it once.
The wife is happily at our hotel, reading.
I hop in with my folks and we repeat the same pattern of navigation, screaming, and bitching on the way back.
We go to Peppino's for dinner. It's amazing. If you're ever in Madison, go there.
We hang out, and talk and enjoy some great food. The wife and I head to the hotel around 11 and go to bed.
Saturday, the big day. The wife and I get up and go to the gym. The time change is really starting to kick my butt, and I debate sleeping, but I decided that the exercising will leave me more alert than sleeping in. I do a complex: 5 bent rows, 5 shoulder presses, 5 zercher lunges each leg, and 10 pushups, 90 sec rest repeat 5x. I am toast. I do some abs and we head to the place we had coffee the day before. There is a line out the door, so much for that.
We go back to the hotel. I shower, the wife orders room service. 4 shots, 1 cup of drip, one yogurt, one granola, one oatmeal, two eggs. I eat the oatmeal, eggs, and drink 2 shots. The wife dumps two shots into the drip coffee, and the granola on the yogurt, and consumes them. We shower and change. I am looking dapper in my tux, the wife a vision in a seersucker dress. We meet up with my folks, they are later than us, but earlier than late.
We pile in, there is lots of yelling and bitching, but we get to the church. I help with some of the last minute minutiae and with keeping things dry (it's raining pretty well). We take some pictures, then we take some more. Casual shots, serious shots, "funny" shots. Whatever, it's a wedding. The ceremony is nice. My cousin who is singing is late, but performs like a trooper. My brother makes a couple funnies during the ceremony, but is still reverent and serious enough. It's a happy wedding. We pile on to "the party bus." I am not known for my partying. In fact it makes me wince to use the word "party" as a verb. There is lots of beer and a some wine, and Journey cranked up for the 20 odd minutes it takes us to get from the church to the capitol building.
We listen to "Wheel in the Sky" about 54 times. I'm good spirited though, I chat with a few folks, make a few jokes. We get in the Capitol building, and they take a solid hour to an hour and a half's worth of pictures. My wife manages to get me a sandwich for which I am truly greatful. Damn thing saved my life.
More party bus. We get to the reception, my feet are killing me. I trade in my rent-a-shoes for my chucks.
I am sitting at the "head table." I look down, my mom has changed the seating arrangement to suit her own desires. I shake my head, and pretend not to notice.
There is dinner that is fair, some dancing. I talk to some folks I haven't seen in a while. I have a good time, and leave before anyone gets too sloppy drunk. My bro stops us on the way out to have everyone sing happy birthday to my wife, and some drunk girl runs over and babbles something about how her birthday was friday, and my folks gave her a bottle of wine and I don't really remember what else, because the D.J. fired up "Wheel in the sky" again and it was time to go. I drop off a change of clothes (my clothes) to my brother's room (he didn't bring any). I head for home. I get out of the monkey suit, turn on survivorman and listen to the quiet of our hotel room.
Sunday, I headed to the honeymoon suite to grab my brother's tux so I can turn it in on my way to breakfast with my cousin, on my way out of town. I am informed that my folks are loaning him their car so he can get dressed, and that my folks are accompanying us to breakfast (not that anyone checked with me) We went to the Continental, and had an incredible meal, and good coffee. My folks made up for their interloping by buying. We dropped the tuxes off and headed to Chicago.
The drive to Chicago pretty well sucked. There was loads of traffic, and the toll booths are killers. What should have been a 2 hour drive to Midway took 3.5. We dropped off the rental, and took a cab to our hotel. The hotel was really cool. We got a great deal on priceline, and went up to our room which had someone else's stuff in it. So we got a free upgrade. We headed down the miracle mile and did some shopping for the wife's birthday. She got some clothes, and I got to wander around and shake my head at today's "fashion." We walked all the way down the Mile and then cut across the financial district to Greektown. We had dinner at Pegasus, which may be the greatest Greek restaurant in the western hemisphere. The food was insanely good. We walked all the way back to our hotel in the rain. It was warm and we were happy. We changed clothes and had birthday sundaes at Ghirardelli chocolates. It was one of the best evenings I can remember. The next day we got up and swung by Panera bread for breakfast. Once again the person behind the counter could not believe we didn't want milk or syrup in our espresso. We had to assure her, "No, we just want espresso, no milk in there, no nothing." She was appalled, but gave it to us any way. From there we had one of the best cab rides ever. The cabbie was a Psychology Grad student from somewhere in eastern Europe. Good smart guy. He took us to the Field Museum. We saw lots of cool stuff there. From there we had lunch at Giardano's (my favorite stuffed pizza). We stopped by a bookstore and picked up some books for the ride home ( I got Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume) and a Chocolate Malt from Ghirardelli. We took a long and rather frantic cab ride through the South Side to get to Midway, and flew home. I almost had a minor melt down at baggage claim. Here's my problem: if everyone stood 2 feet back from the carousel there would be enough room for everyone to see, and then step forward and grab their bag. Why am I the only person who realizes this? What is wrong with people?
We got home and the cat was needy and the litter box was disgusting. We petted the cat and dumped the box, and went to bed. Now, I'm back at work. I missed you all.. except those whom I saw. Hope your lives weren't too incomplete without me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm Back.. but gone again.

Spent the weekend in Friday Harbor with the wife for our wedding anniversary. I ate loads of Fish and chips, and did some biking.
This weekend I am off to Madison, Wi for my brother's wedding. I are world traveler!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Take it outside!

I invited some friends for a little workout yesterday. We grabbed some Kbs, some tires and went to the park.
3x20 swings each hand
100m up hill sled drag
100m farmer's walk with sandbags.

I liked the combination of the swings with the sled drag. The sandbags finally gave up the ghost at the end, so I'll have to figure out some other method of torture.. um exercise for the final 1/3.

then we each did 3 sets of 3 each side TGUs. Just to introduce the exercise and have a little fun.
All in all, I'm feelin' pretty good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Just call her "Big wheels.."

Last night before the anniversary dinner, the wife and I went to lift. I did ME bench. The wife did.. basically the same (she does a lot more reps, and a lower volume of sets) We both warm up, and She does a couple sets. She hasn't done Barbell flat bench for a while, so she's starting kind of slow. The most weight she's ever benched 95lbs is loaded up, she asks me for a spot and cranks out an easy 10 reps. She gives me a look like 'WTF?' I tell her, "lets slap a set of wheels on there and see how it goes." She drops down and does a pretty comfortable double. That's a whopping 129% of her previous PR.. for a DOUBLE. She does another double. We slap a couple of 5's on each side, and she gives it a whirl, but she's not sold on the idea, and her head gives out before her body. I think with a solid warm up she's got at least 145.
I'm very proud.

My workout:
warm-up/scap retraction work

ME bench (heavy bands):

bodyweight+15 5x2

One arm db OHP:

bent rows:

We went out to dinner at our fave sushi place. We ended up running into some friends, so it wasn't quite the romantic evening, but we had fun. We got some anniversary cupcakes. We got our picture taken feeding each other minis.. again (we're 2 for 2!)
Watched Big Love, and went to bed.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Happy Anniversery..

today is my two year wedding anniversary. Huzzah!
Friday, went to the Mariners game with folks from the boathouse. Had a good time. Beat the Red Sox with a mostly Sox crowd. The scoreboard operator/sound guy made some witty choices. Much more lively than the last M's game I went to.

Saturday: Slept in after the late night.
Had a good ME squat workout:
good mornings:
Pull throughs, and call it a day.
Went out to supper with the wife and spent some time with Sherlock Holmes, Dr.Watson and some pie and coffee at cafe Ladro. The wife had to attend to a friend who had a pretty major melt-down. Things are ok..ish. Now. Here's hoping she gets some help.

Went to see knocked up, there were some funny parts. Mostly too much gross out/shock humor and too much schlock. Funny, but not great. Rent it when it comes out on video.
For supper I grilled some big ass shrimp with a glaze made from Olive oil, minced garlic, and some Ginger jam. Good stuff.

Mistress Krista's rant of the month is really talking to me.. I need to find different employment.
hope you're having a good Monday.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Common sense ain't so common.

Yesterday.. DE Bench.

tired (had a 1k scrimmage this morning in the Pair. got waxed, not fun)
Yesterday's DE bench workout:
All with bands (crappity ones from my gym, but they work pretty well for bench)
6x3@155 all w/ 60 sec rest.
3x4@90 lbs dumbell floor press.
scapular retraction work, go home.

Rainy and cool today in Seattle. Going to the Mariner's game tonight, I'm assuming they'll have have the roof closed.
No links today.. I'm tired.
have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Attack of the Doms monster..

DOMS got me a little today, I did DE squats last night, so that could be the source also. My glutes and obliques are not happy. My quads are a little sore too, but nowhere near the others.

last nights DE squats (13" box):
lots of mobility work between the above sets, some glutial activation. Getting things warm loose and ready.
8x3@185: 60sec rest.

5x5 glute-hams w/10 kg bumper plate cradled to chest.

kept this one short and sweet.


Book reviews:
Black Mass: good book could have been a great book. Well written book describing Irish mobster Whitey Bulger's involvement with the FBI. Interesting read right up until everyone gets indited. Similar elements to 'The Departed,' only real. The book bogs down in some not so dramatic courtroom drama, but the set up is well worth the slow end. A good read, especially for anyone familiar with Boston, or with irish heritage, but you will have to use wikipedia to see how the story ends, because the book was written before some of the trials were completed. I give it a C+, should have been a B+.

Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates: As someone who has been infatuated with pirates and piracy since I was a kid, this book was a good read. Just enough blood and guts to be interesting. Lots of vignettes and anecdotes backed up with good research, and source documents. It's a little dry in places, but not for long. It's a great vacation book, one you can pick up and put down at your leisure. B

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Feed me Semore, feed me.

I should have known doing all of those TGUs would have my metabolism in high gear. I have already eaten my breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch and afternoon/preworkout snack. I'm going to have to pick something up on my way to the gym.
I have been working on dropping my carbohydrate intake, but rowing 3-4 mornings a week, plus all my regular training, I need some carbs. It's hard to find the balance. To get enough for replenishing glycogen stores and keep protein synthesis up, but to keep the flab levels down.
I am going to stay the course till my brother's wedding, and then change things up. I have been looking at doing some form of the velocity diet. I have about 10-20 lbs I could stand to strip away, and I haven't decided what's the priority. Do I want to really push strength now, or do strip off the dough first? Does it really matter? Some of this is a concern because if/when I do compete in a PL meet, I am between the 90 and 100 kg weight classes (I'm at 96kg). So do I get down to 90 first, or just train hard and see where I end up?
Haven't really decided.
Oh and the picture to the right? No real reason. I just have always liked it.

I just wish they'd done a fake cover

for this.

Well, christine(s)...

I am sore.
The only thing that really hurt are my obliques, but everything feels pretty fried. Mostly I am mentally fatigued, I went to bed last night at 9:30 and was OUT till 7. We'll see if the DOMS monster attacks me in my sleep tonight.
I am taking some time today to streach out, and I'm still going to do my DE squats tonight, but I'm going to keep them light and quick. I feel good. I set out to challenge myself.. and maybe a few others, and I passed. My super secret goal was to finish in under an hour and I pretty much murdered that one (51 minutes). I skipped my workout this morning, but I don't think I'll have to skip anything else this week.