Saturday, December 29, 2007

last workout of the year.

25x2@185+chains 3o sec rest.
I think I should have gone 3 reps, but I'm dealing with a cranky neck, so I was a bit careful.
Happy new Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Gripping workout.

Did some partner kb work:
long cycle clean and jerk: 1 up to 10 left hand 10 down to 1 right hand.
then swings
10/20/30/40/50 left hand
50/20/30/40/50 right hand.
grip nearly gave out on the swings.. that would have been bad.
I'll need to work on that.

pull down abs 100 reps.

Got the wife "the princess bride" for Christmas.
Watching it right now.

Fronch Fries, Fronch toast, Fronch dressing...

Last night we went to a cool little Fronch restaurant. I kept thinking of Ricky's mom.
The food was fantastic, but the wife and I will be eating mac-n-cheese for the rest of the week to pay for it.

but before that, I got a workout in!

Pressed for time I did some super setting:
Floor presses:
worked up to 2@225 then

and chins:
5x5@bw-MM bands

and then..
bent rows:
natural grip:
wide grip:

and then..
clean and press:

no and then..

Ps. elitefts has some good articles up:
Don't be skeered.
among others.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

You'd never make this mistake would you?

Nah, You're far too sophisticated.

He had a black eye...

The wife and I were at REI spending some gift cards we'd gotten for Christmas (and then some) when she sort of double takes. "Do you have a black eye?" "Nooo.." I walk over to a mirror.. "yes, it would appear that I do." I don't remember getting popped in the eye, but it's there.

I had a great Christmas. I missed being with my family, but it was great being at home. Santa Claus brought me a new jacket, and some camping gear, I negotiated with him, and the birthday gnomes, and got myself a new down mummy bag I have never been able to get a mummy bag before. I'm too broad to fit in 99% of them.

Christmas Eve I rolled with the instructor at my school for the first time. It was very educational. He let me set up some things and then would defend them in degrees, to see what I knew, and what I could execute, gave me pointers as we went along to clean up my game. Afterwards he was very complimentary. It was really great. I feel like I'm learning a lot, every class I get better and better. There is some talk about going to PanAm's. I don't know if I'm going to be ready, I don't know if I want the stress of competing.. I go back and forth.. long story short (too late) I'm undecided.

I hope you all had a great Christmas.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Emmitt Otter, partner intervals, and Christmas.

It's gettin' to be about Christmas time, and I for one love Christmas. It's the only time of the year that I really ever felt connected with my family. Most of the time I always felt I was visiting another person's family. As if there was some key to understanding these people that I hadn't been filled in on. It's difficult because my mom's family is very close. Irish catholic, and fairly enthusiastic drinkers. My mom's best friends are her sisters. When we went on vacation growing up, we went with my aunts/uncles/cousins. When people in my family tell stories, they never start with "my buddy so-and-so and I..." it's always "your uncle/dad/mom/aunt and I did..." They've all got boats, cabins, and spend a lot of time at the Lake of the Ozarks.
It's very odd, and sometimes very hard, to be on the fringes of that. I like them as people, I love them as family, but my friends are my friends, and my family is something different. When I tell stories, they involve people with different DNA. I don't drink. I spent my honeymoon hiking the Inca trail. I think the lake of the Ozarks is boring. There isn't much my family members and I do together, but during Christmastime, it doesn't matter. During Christmas, being family is enough. We tell old stories, play pool (and usually some silly game my mom makes us play) open presents, eat a lot of food, and generally enjoy each other's company. Some of them still drive me nuts, but they're the exceptions. That's the true beauty of Christmas.
Part of that is watching Christmas movies that I grew up with (none of that Tim Allen schlock for me thanks) so Nightmare before Christmas, How the Grinch stole Christmas (animated, not Jim Carrey) , A Christmas Story, and Emmett Otter's Jug band Christmas all get watched in some form or other during the Christmas season.
Where I grew up, that last one is on T.V. every Christmas, but around here, no one's even heard of it. I bought it on DVD and watched it with the wife. It's a muppet movie, and really the plot is pretty simple and fairly predictable, but I really like the songs in it and it reminds me of Christmases visiting my grandma in the Ozarks. I recommend it highly for anyone who likes the muppets, or country music. Or maybe it's just me.
I am taking a few days off work for the holiday, so I don't know how much I'll be posting.. so I'm going to post my holiday workout schedule:

Heavy uppers:

6,4 au naturale
4,4 with band help.

Push press:
5x5@ 155

bent rows:

I'm going to the day class at BJJ.

In the afternoon, was going to do partner work: you work, I rest, you rest I work, but
all of my workout partners bailed so I stayed home and did some KB work:

100x long cycle clean and jerk.
20x each side snatches


changed my mind. I hadn't realized that I didn't schedule a leg workout this week.
It was tough, I was pretty tapped going into it, but I got through it.

8x2@225+chains 45 sec rest

glute hams against mm band


tuesday: rest.. it's Jesus' birthday.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ah to hell with it.

I had some thoughts on last night's "Biggest Loser" finale, and the season in general. I was going to mention how I was appalled that Neil tried to turn a life changing opportunity to into a money grab. I was going to mention how amazing it was to see all of these people lose over 100 lbs in six months. I was going to point out how former athletes tend to do better than those who have never been athletes, and that in my opinion it is because they understand that in spite of what their bodies tell them, they're not going to die if they push harder.. but honestly, traffic was terrible, and work is piled up and it's less than a week before Christmas, and who gives a damn about a reality show.

Last night's workout:
9x2@185+MM bands. 60 sec rest
The bands add a lot of tension at the top of the squat, but without a monolift, it's difficult to actually walk out with the bands. I prefer using chains for accommodating resistance on the squat.

Speed pulls: (all 30 sec rest)
5x1@315 these were very fast, especially when I kept my weight on my heels.

glute hams:
10,8,8@ MM
I loved these. Weight behind the head on glute hams loses resistance as your body gets closer to perpendicular to the ground, the band gets heavier. These were great.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Lactic acid threshold training..

For high intensity athletes who compete in short duration activities (rowers, fighters, climbers), Lactic acid tolerance is a major component to fitness. Training it takes discipline and some serious stones. An impressive amount of both displayed in this video of Dave Tate training last week:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Breaths held in the Cardinal Nation.

It's kind of a tough time to be a Redbird fan. This ballclub has had some pretty amazing ups, with a few pretty significant downs in the last 8 seasons. This successful era began with the arrival of two players: Jimmy Baseball and a blue-collar third baseman from nearby Jasper, Indiana. Well, it seems that this era is over. Rolen is asking for a trade (hasn't happened yet), and Jim "Hollywood" Edmonds has been traded to the Padres for an A-ball third baseman. I understand that baseball teams ebb and flow. It's the nature of the game after free agency, but this is pretty brutal. Last year the Birds were hide your eyes bad at times, and finished well below .500. Looks like they're going to be even worse this year. Even if that's not the case, even if they continue to have success, it won't be the same without Edmonds in center. Thanks Jim.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Weekend update, and mea culpa.

First off, sorry to SJ. We.. I totally f-ed up. Thought things went from 3-7.
Totally my fault.

Friday's workout:
Sledge-hammer swings 10 rounds with 16 lb sledge

KB swings 10 rounds 44lb kb.

KB short cycle clean and jerk 10 rounds 44.

Breathing ladder:
Deadlift @225 1 up to 10.
this was super tough.

Had a couple good rolls at jujitsu.
Then spotted the wife, and did 16 tabata rounds of long cycle clean and press @ 50kgs.

Baking gingerbread men today.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Band in the U.S.A.

Played around with the new Monster Mini bands a lot during last night's workout:

Better bands, and a ton more pressure than what I was using before. It forced me to stay much tighter under the bar. This is going to help my bench a ton.

3x4@bw-MM looped under my knee.

Push press:

EZ-curl bar bent rows:
I did these for a few reasons:
1) Folks were waiting to use both of the lifting platforms.
2) I like them, the bent bar forces you to use your back more than biceps.
3) I figured I might inspire some of the bench curl dudes to do some fricken rows once and a while.

Oh and Jesse, or anyone else who has hip mobility issues check out this article.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You want some soup?

I made Cioppino for supper last night. It was very tasty, and I don't want to forget what I put in it.. so I'm sharing/writing it down.

Sunday I steamed some clams and mussels with white wine, garlic (3-4 cloves), paprika, and cayenne. I added some light coconut milk to the broth and they were tasty. I strained the left over liquid and froze it..

Last night I thawed it.
I added 2 containers of Trader Joe's marinara starter.
Some raw jumbo shrimp.
Some bay scallops.
about 8oz of wild sockeye.
1 yellow bell pepper (course dice)
1 can garbanzo beans
juice of 1 lemon
dried oregano a few hearty shakes
dried basil (likewise)
dried thyme (and again)
a pinch of saffron
Normally I add some white fish, and some shellfish, but I was out.
Garnish with some spring onions.

Hi, my name is J.B. and I'm a pull addict.

I need to work on my DE squats, work on mobility, get faster.. and I did.. then I did heavy rack pulls. Why? For no physiological reason. I have a problem. I can see progress in my other lifts, so I want to see how it is moving my dead lift. Even if it's not part of my workout to pull heavy, I jones for it. It's my favorite lift. I can't help myself. I need help.

Last night's workout:
DE squats:
16" box

rack pulls (4" off the ground)
475 (PR!)


abs with monster mini:
100 total reps.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A lesson in humility.

I got a pretty good lesson in humility at ju-jitsu last night. I had a couple sparring sessions and got pretty roundly handled. It's part of learning the game, but it still stings a bit. One of the rules at a Gracie Barra school (and most schools at that) is "leave your ego at the door." However, it's my pride that's smarting.
Hope your evening was a little easier.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The music thing..

If you've read more than a few posts on this blog you know that I talk quite a bit about music, and how it relates to events and emotions in my life. Music is in many ways the leash and collar that identifies my feelings. Not so much that my emotions are dependent on them, but that music is a common language that gives a name to our individual experiences.
No one can really know how I felt on a particular day and time, but if I tell you I felt like this:

You know that I was feeling sullen, abandoned, dark and melancholy.
If I bring up something like this:

the words are similar: betrayed, abandoned, dark, angry.. but incomplete. In order to make the distinction, would take paragraphs. However,when put in terms of music, the full experience comes across almost immediately. This is the power of good music.
It doesn't matter if it's Hank Williams, Beethoven, Black flag, or Sinatra, all good music translates to nearly universal emotions. Bad music cannot express emotion, bad music is a farce, a phony pantomime of experience.
This blog is an expression of my experiences. Since music is the shorthand for emotional expression, I will continue to use it to make my experience as universal as possible, to focus my point, and hopefully provide a bridge to it. That's the beauty of art, and music. It not only allows for the self indulgent expression of the artist, but it can translate for those who identify with it.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Friday's workout, and christmas cheer.

first the workout:
circuit 1 minute on 30 sec off.
"around the world" hold a plate in front of you like a steering wheel, bring it up over and around your head, change directions each time you get to the starting point. (35 lb plate)
kettelbell swings (44)
KB long cycle clean and jerk. (44)
sloshpipe squats.
"walkovers" feet on an exercise ball, walk your hands up and across a 6" platform.
kettlebell bear crawls bear crawl with an 18 lb kettlebell in each hand.

slosh pipe overhead hold for time:

Saturday BJJ: I had couple good rolls. I was a little rusty after taking a few days off because of being ill.
Saturday afternoon I went to the gym to spot the wife. She had a good squat workout, while she was finishing up I did Tabata clean and jerks @115.
10 rounds,
rest 3 minutes,
6 rounds

Saturday the wife and I put some Christmas movies on and made some tasty treats to give our friends and family for Christmas. It was a lot of fun. I'd tell you what I made, but that would spoil the surprise for some of you.

Today we went to the market, which is always a lot of fun in the winter. Most of the tourists are gone, and it's mostly just locals doing their shopping. We got 2 full bags of produce for less than $20. Got some clams and mussels, had a couple of piroshki for lunch, and a generally just enjoyed the day.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Hey, you got pop in my country..

I was listening to a radio interview with John Fogarty yesterday on the local country station. The Dj asked him why he'd changed and made a country album. Fogarty's response:
"I didn't change you did!"
Very true. I really like some of the new music coming out of Nashville, some of it makes me wince. Some of it is country, but most of it really isn't.
Rascal Flats, Keith Urban, Big and Rich aren't playing country music.. and frankly (in my opinion) they aren't playing good music. It's schlocky over produced poppy crap that has more in common with Wham! than Waylon.

Yesterday's workout:
5x3@185+crappy bands (hopefully the last time I'll have to use said crappy bands Woot!)

2(slow neg)
2(slow neg)

Push press:


Angled lateral raises:
3x6@25 (both sides)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Merry christmas to me.

Big sale on at elitefts.. so I ordered a set of Monster mini bands should be able to get some good use out of them not only on DE squat day, but for the fitness circuit work I do on Fridays.
I'm pretty stoked.

In other news by buddy Brendan is supposed to come up from the land of Port this weekend. I haven't seen him in a month of Sundays. I'm looking forward to that.

Otherwise, work is nuts today, so I've got to get back to it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

No workout today...

Attending that kettlebell workshop on sunday (nomally my day off) took more out of me than expected. I woke up wiped out this morning. So I decided to take today off. I'll push a little more volume in tomorrow's workout and be the better for it.
Till then, be careful you don't use too much band pressure when benching:

It's funny when people get hit in the nards.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

It's all in the hips...

I have mobility issues in my hips. I have decided to fix that.
I am pushing my feet wider on my squats, going with a higher box, and will start lowering the box as the weeks progress.
today's speed squats:
6x3@225 16" box.. very fast.
couldn't find my stopwatch, so today's rest was 10 breaths.

speed pulls:


Monday, December 3, 2007

The BMI thing...

I've touched on this before, but this Op-Ed. in the Trib. Brought it home to me. BMI is used by statisticians who are making sweeping generalizations, and by the extremely lazy. There are too many factors left unaccounted.
Take me for instance:
wt: 222 lbs (weighed at Ju-jujitsu on Wednesday)
bmi: 31.9
Clinically obese!

Forget that my waist to hip ratio is .85, which is "healthy."
Also forget that I am by most standards in shape, and simply focus on BMI and body fat:
In order to have a "healthy" BMI I would have to weigh less than 174 lbs. That means a weight loss of 50 lbs to be borderline "healthy."
If you assume that BMI and body fat are directly correlated, and that my body fat % would be borderline when my BMI is borderline:
174 lbs-18% body fat= a lean body mass of 142.68.
Assuming only reduction in fat mass to get there, that would put my current body fat % at 36% which would make me indeed obese.
However, rough calculations of my current body fat % put me at most at 18% (16-18%). Which puts my lean body mass at: 182 lbs. 8 lbs more than my "healthy weight" according to BMI.
In short I would have to lose 120% of my body fat in order to be "healthy."
Needless to say that would cause my metabolism to be very low indeed.

The inaccuracies in this system are staggering. The difference between my assumed Body fat %: 35,
and my actual body fat %: 18,
is 18.
That is a deviation of 50% of the assumed value. No one in any other scientific realm would allow for such an expansive deviation. The usefulness of BMI has past. It's time for a better measurement system.


Sunday I went to a workshop put on by the local RKC certified guru guy. It was good to get further depth on my kettlebell technique. I learned the swing, clean and snatch on a visit back home to visit a pal, and just "felt" my way through technique from there.. which is not the best way to learn to do something properly. I went through the course and found out the root of my problems with my snatch (arm too straight) and learned the proper way to rack a clean (hips further forward, hand straighter). There are a few things I disagree with (I think the "bent arm" type swing puts too much pressure on the biceps tendon, so I don't use it for higher volume swings.. but then again that's the problem with my snatch, so what do I know) but all in all I learned a lot. It was money very well spent.
THere was a gentleman there from Russia who assisted the guy running the workshop. His technique was picture perfect. During the breaks he would start juggling bells, or doing drills.. mostly just goofing around. It was incredible. It reminded me of the Kiwi guys I used to play rugby with who could make a rugby ball sit up and dance. It's always cool to see an athlete work in his personal media.

What tricks can one do with a rugby ask?
Well, these for starters:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The next level.

Last night's workout pushed me past my physical limits. It's one I'll repeat for time eventually as a measure of how far I've come:
500m row (1:30)
10x deadlift (225)
25 boatstrap push-ups (push-up suspended from 2 straps hanging from a squat rack)
10 boatstrap climbs (feet on the floor, legs "dead" lower yourself to the floor, then climb back up the straps.. brutal)
25 a side KB clean and jerk (44)
10 russian twists floor to floor (2 plates) touch left side, touch right side, touch left side is 1.
500m row (1:37)

Almost threw up, passed out, thought I was going to die.

5x slosh pipe carrys 50m and back.