Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Had to work late last night, so I had to skip the gym.
Not ideal, but sometimes it happens.
Jujitsu was good, actually got to work some stand-up. Take downs in a gi are very different from in a singlet. I was a pretty mediocre wrestler (at best), but was always pretty good on my feet. So far the gi is a huge change that I'm going to have to get used to. There are so many places to get grabbed, I went for a shot, got stuffed (my opponent had a hold of my collar), then I stepped on my own pants and tripped. An inauspicious start. From there had several good rolls though.
I have a private lesson tonight with the Professor. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Back in the saddle.

Good rolls last night. We had "snow" in Seattle the other day, so class was sparse. I worked some take-downs, basics and transitions, then had a couple good sparring sessions.
I missed a chance to spar with the Professor. He started talking to someone, and I got accosted by a purple belt.. it happens. Tweaked my elbow again, totally my fault. I was fighting off the arm-bar, and made a mistake.. and Oww. Didn't get injured, just hurt.
More on the secret stuff this afternoon.
Thanks again to everyone for the good vibes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Working weekend.

Spent the little computer time I had this weekend working. Hence the late update..
I have a headache, so this'll be quick.

Friday workout:
3 circuits:

KB clean and press/chin-up
1 each (left/right/chin)
2 each
3 each
x3 (no rest)
44lb kb and bw

Briefcase deadlift Left/rollout/briefcase deadlift right
Serious work for the entire "core": knees to ribcage.

hand over hand sled drags
sled pulls
across the parking lot and back (approx 50 yards each way)
both @tire+90lbs
full rest between circuits

warmups :
High pulls, cleans, snatches.
several sets working technique
4x10 burpee snatches
all @ 95
several minutes of plank with one foot on medicine ball one foot elevated.
4 min tabata spin bike.

more tomorrow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I'm not french..

Well not much.

snatch pulls.
Hang Clean and press.
Hang snatch.
3 sets of 5 each @ 110 working on technique.

5 chins
3 pull-ups
5 chins
3 pull-ups

worked up to a single @225 with a wide grip
single @ 225 normal grip
10 @135 close grip.


1 arm rows:
Stood around trying to figure out how to get the dumbbells I need.
Bent rows

Grip work:

No workout last night.

I was doing.. stuff.
I'd tell you what, but then I'd have to kill you.
Thanks to everyone for their good wishes.. Not quite there yet, but hopefully on the road.

Grumpy Russian lady says don't jinx me!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Tonight's leg work:

4x5 OHS broomstick

all triples @225+chains.
60 sec rest
45 sec
30 sec
15 sec
60 sec

3x1@405 w/ 30 sec
60 sec rest
2x1 @425w/ 30 sec

Then skill and drill at Jitz.
Wish me luck.. I'll tell you why in a couple days.


I had some good technique work last night, good warm-ups. Got loose, and sweaty without completely knocking myself out.
My hips are opening up quite a bit. During warm-ups we do quite a number of BW squats, and I am getting better depth with my feet wider. Progress is progress.
Tonight is legs then roll, we'll see how that works out. I am going to take this week off sparring for the most part. Give some of my nagging injuries a break, and take some of the stress off of my CNS. I'm going keep things pretty light in the gym this week too. Do more sets with little or no rest. Not quite a full deload week, but spend a little more time on conditioning. I'm nine weeks out from competition. my training plan is as follows:
this week, more lifting volume, less rolling (BJJ deload)
3 weeks lifting heavy and rolling (similar to the past month or so)
1 week off off lifting and more conditioning.
4 weeks of conditioning work. All lifting will be in complexes or full body work including super sets.
1 week deload and competition prep.
1 week rest and recoup.

Weight check: 1 lb under without gi on. Still need to drop 4-5 lbs to have a comfortable margin with the gi.
I am hoping to come in comfortably under so that I don't have to spend the week before the competition worrying about my food. I'd rather focus on my diet early so that I can focus on technique and training for the last few weeks. I don't need the stress leading up to the competition.

Monday, January 21, 2008

meat for the grinder.

Saturday was a slog.
I went to Jitz, trained some stand-up/takedowns.
Rolled for a while, recouped, then went straight to the gym for an abbreviated workout.
I knew I wouldn't be able to do the whole thing, but I wanted to get some lifting in this week.
4x5 @ bw

worked up to a single @ 205

rows (close grip, bent):

I did some delt work to push my bionic shoulder along.
It was a grind the whole time. I wanted to be doing anything but lifting, but I got through it. Then I went home and crashed.
I laid on the couch feeling like walking hamburger.

The wife and I are great customers for any restaurant. We get in, sit down, order, and get out without too much dilly dallying. That said, the one thing that annoys me to no end is when a kitchen is slow. I never reflect it in my tips, because it's not the wait-staff's fault, however it bugs me. I guess it's because I've been in the kitchen for those nights. I know it's the owner/hostess's fault for over seating and not staggering the diners well enough. I don't mind waiting for a table, but once I sit, and order, I hate to wait... Maybe it's just me.
We had one of these this weekend, and a really great little spot in Greenwood. We'll have to give it a try again when/if we can ever afford to go out on a week-night again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


last night's workout was all about pulling:

Hand over hand:
(50ft rope tied to a tire with 2x45# on it)

box jumps:

pull ups:

renegade rows:
10/10 @ 35

burpees with a ball slam:
10 @ 12 lb med ball
(down, out, in, pick up ball, up, all the way over head, slam, down...)
3 rounds straight.

2 rounds

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chase him no longer..

Bobby Fischer has died.
The enigmatic, and well downright weird chess world champion died in Iceland (the site of his great triumph over Boris Spassky). Fischer was both the pride of the free world, and a headstrong prima-donna, the arguably the greatest player to sit at a chess board, and an embarrassment to the game. I cant say he'll be missed, but the idea that he could regain his grip on reality, and make chess relevant will be.

Sleep, stress, and slacking..

I took last night off.
The stress of work the past few days, the amped up training at jujitsu have combined to leave me feeling cranky and sore. I'm having trouble sleeping, difficulty raising my core temperature in the morning, and generally unable to block out even minor nagging injurys. Any one of these for me is a red flag that I have reached diminishing returns, combined, it means trouble. So I made a nice dinner last night, and relaxed. I feel 100% better. I'll get back after it tonight.

Oh and if someone wanted to get me a T-shirt.. this one is pretty spiffy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

For all you uber-geeks out there:

A Unix joke.
Thanks CES. I needed that.


Work is still very stressful. I'm feeling beat up and tired. This morning it was an epic battle just to get out of bed.. I managed. Tonight, no Jitz, just lifting.
I hope you're doing better than I.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Johnny Paycheck, and me.

My job sucks. It's a long story full of dirty laundry, but what it amounts to is there is a faction at my place of employment that has senior management's ear and unreasonable, uncommunicated, and ever changing expectations. Working there is like nailing jello to a wall. I had a really tough morning, and after a meeting with my boss he said "You're frustrated, take the rest of the day off. Do something positive, recharge, and come back tomorrow." Part of me is grateful. I got a good workout in this afternoon, watched a great documentary, and did some reading. Part of me (a very small part, as I trust my boss) wonders if I'm not going to get sh#t-canned. It's a terrible feeling to feel untrusted, and vulnerable.
This song speaks to me these days:

today's workout:
6x2@225+chains (60 sec rest)

Kneeling squats:
Great exercise I haven't done in a while. You kneel on a box or pad near the squat rack so that your feet are allowed to flex, and do squats. It takes hip mobility out of the equation. It allows us with mobility issues to get work in.
I was feeling pretty tapped. So I called it a day.

Monday's jitz class was one of the hardest training sessions I've had since college. Hence the light workout today.
Going to class now.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays!

Need coffee.
Friday workout:
medicine ball follow /w slosh pipe:
throw 12lb medicine ball, pick up slosh pipe carry to ball, put down pipe, pick up ball, throw it, repeat (first throw from chest, second throw over head facing forward, third throw overhead facing backward)
100m x4

Tire toss /w kb farmer's carry:
same as above, only all tire throws facing backward, and flipping the tire end over end so that it doesn't roll. Farmer's carry with one each: 44lb kb and 35 (biggest ones I have).
100m x2
These were particularly good/difficult. the ground was wet, and made things all the more challenging. Few things are as much fun as playing in the mud.

Slosh pipe overhead static holds:
1 minute x4 (clock starts when arms lock out)

All of the above done with 2:1 rest/work ratio.

Bjj in the morning.
5x10 snatch burpees @95.
by the end I'm just muscling up the snatch, it's brutal. Total oxygen debt in 5 reps.

no witticism today.. well maybe later, but don't hold your breath.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thanks Christine..

inspired by this post (some time ago) I decided to do some snatch-burpees for my warm-up last night:
brutal I was huffing and puffing the whole time.
These may be the hardest single exercise I've done. (results may not be typical because my snatch technique isn't that good)

then on to the normal stuff:

worked up to 3x1@225
then 4@205

4@bw - MM band

3 point 1 arm rows:
6@ 75

Push press (from squat rack)
worked up to max single@ 205.
This was pretty depressing, my personal best was 245 at 205 bw.
got to get this back together.

work calls.
have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I guess I gotta leave my copy of "Tropic of Cancer at home"

Where I grew up it might become illegal to read Henry Miller in a public establishment.

"The proposal would ban indecent, profane or obscene… literature at bars."

ok for home use only!

A touch of No Gi.

For those who don't know, Brazilian Jujitsu is traditionally practiced in a Gi. It's heavy and durable, and gives a point for hand holds and levers by which grips can be broken, or and opponent can be choked. Last night I got to do a bit of no-gi sparring (which is just what it sounds like, sparring without the Gi top on), completely through circumstance but it was a lot of fun, not something I want a steady diet of, because I think the traditional is a purer form of the art, but it was still fun.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The cooking thing..

I have always loved to cook. When I was young, my dad would take me down to my grandparents for a few days each summer, and we'd all work in my grandparent's saw mill. Grandma did the books, My cousin and I (just kids, 8-12 or so) would stack hammer handle blanks as they came out of the mill. My dad and Uncle would cut logs, and maintain the saws. My grandpa was the foreman, and would take care of whatever needed doing. Around lunch time the kids, my cousin and I could either sweep sawdust, or help grandma in the kitchen. He swept, I helped. My "help" mostly consisted of peeling potatoes badly, making a mess, worrying my poor grandmother, and doing a few dishes. I learned a lot. I learned how to make sawmill gravy, how to make biscuits, and generally how to move around in a kitchen. During the school year, being a latch key kid, I learned to make some very basic stuff at home, experiemented with ingredients, spices, mostly the microwave and made a few tasty things and a lot of really disgusting junk. By the time I got to college I could turn out a respectable meal, particularly with the help of a cookbook, and had even learned to improvise a bit.
My tastes were still pretty middle of the road southern all the way through college. Here and there, I had a few forays into interesting food. I had a girlfriend who'd lived her whole life in the city took me to a few places, but I didn't really understand food until I got my first real job and they shipped me up to New York City for several months.
I was a vegetarian at the time, and my hotel room had no kitchen. I had to eat out every meal. The only non-meat options were "ethnic" food. NYC is where I tried nearly everything for the first time: Thai food, Lebanese, Greek, Sushi, among others. It's also where I really got an appreciation for great Italian food (St. Louis has some of the best Italian places in the country, but I wouldn't have recognized them without that trip to NYC). When I wasn't working I would just wander the city until I got hungry, and go somewhere and eat. Being a vegetarian was actually helpful, because I couldn't just order a slab of meat, I had to throw myself at the mercy of the restaurant. When I got back to St. Louis I went all over the city eating everywhere I could. I would ask anyone who had an opinion where I should go, what I should get. I learned to become a discerning eater, and that in turn allowed me to become a discerning cook.
I am proficent enough that on more than one occasion it has been suggested that I make cooking my profession. I have worked in a couple restaurants in my lifetime, and had a short stint working at a deli in college. I don't really want to work in food. Working for someone else, unless your name is Batali or Flay, means re-creation, and repetition. I cook because I love it, I love the play and experimentation of it. Unless you're a top dog, there's none of that involved in cooking for a living.
All of this was brought up because I read This interview with one of my favorite "celeb" chefs, and one of the (if not the only) person who can be seen on TV wearing a CBGB shirt that I actually believe frequented the place. If you like food, have worked in food, and in particular if you have any aspirations of working in/with food in the future, read his first book.

Early in the mornin'

Had to take some time away from work yesterday, so I'm in early to get some work done.

Last night's workout:
box squats (dropped the box 1" to 15") used crappy cambered squat bar that my gym has for these. Not a great squat bar, but easer to get positioned for these lower rest sets.
worked up to 5x2@275
All 30 sec rest

glute hams:
long rest.

Then I drank 1 scoop of protein powder with 1 scoop of gatorade in 2.5 cups of water and went to jujitsu class.
Again, not ideal but I need the mat time.
Been thinking of this song all morning.. one of my favorites:

Monday, January 7, 2008

More is better.

Ok, not really but hear me out..
I have decided to go to the Pan-Ams. So even though I'm competing in the novice division, I need as much mat time as possible in the next few months. So Monday, Wednesday and Saturday I'm going to class from start to finish. Tuesday and Thursday I'm going to lift, get something to eat then head to class (a little late, but in time for technique and drill). I have to make sure I get some calories in, that middle bit is important. I need to drop a few pounds to make 221 in my Gi, but I don't want to be stripping off muscle. Sometimes getting smarter is more important than training smarter.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Not easy, but could have been harder..

hang clean and squat@135
1 rep every 30 sec for 10 minutes.

kb snatch and TGU
1 rep every 30 sec for 5 minutes each side.
20 minutes of straight work.

The second half of this was tough, but the first half was either not enough load or too much rest.
I'll have to look at this further.
have a good weekend.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Getting warmer..

When I lift upper body, I tend to neglect the warm-up a bit. It's a fault in my programming, and not something I'd let any of the athletes I've coached get away with, but for some reason I think I'm special. I've been doing a few band pull-aparts and wall slides.. maybe stretch my lats a bit, and get right into it. I normally start light enough, and focus on technique enough in my early sets that it's been "Ok" but who wants to settle for "ok." Besides this is a good chance to do some complexes or higher rep sets to raise metabolism a bit.

So prehab and foam rolling then hang clean and press:
Worked pretty well, but could be better.. more on this as I get it ironed out.

work up to

4@bw-mm bands
3@bw+10# (slow negative)
3@bw (slow neg)

1AOHP: (each side starting with surgically repaired shoulder)

bent rows:

Good stuff.

quick and dirty.

Got in a quick workout last night:
KB snatches:
rest 3 minutes

35lb kb.
Done and done.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Rules of Lifting for Women (book review)

There are a handful of people in the "fitness industry" who when they speak (in whatever form) I listen. When they write something, I read it. The short list is: Dan John, Alwyn Cosgrove, Dave Tate, Louie Simmons, Lou Schuler, John Berardi, and Eric Cressey. When two of the people on that list wrote a book together I bought it immediately (ok, well, Santa Claus bought it for the wife.. but let's not get into semantics here).

The New Rules of Lifting for Women is a great book. It is written in an easy to read conversational style and because it is written with this self-effacing style, the information stands out without pretense or blame attached. People get very defensive when sacred cows are turned into holy hamburger. New Rules keeps things focused and off the defensive.
The book is encompassing enough for someone who has never lifted a weight, or someone who has been hauling heavy things for a while but lacks the formal education in certain aspects of nutrition or metabolism. It explains in great detail the pitfalls of "conventional" training and eating for body composition change. The book is aimed at proponents of the eat less/cardio more training style, but it also includes an in-depth breakdown of nutrients, one of the best explanations of "quad-dominance" I have read, and a lot of other information that I "knew" but couldn't explain to anyone without engendering a full on muscle geek-out.
There is detailed nutritional information, great recipes, and a multi-phase workout program all included in the book. It includes not only the "program," but why it'll work, how to eat, and how to execute the lifts. The latter, teaching lifts from a book, is very difficult. NROL4W does a good job of giving the information, but not overwhelming the reader.
Every woman who exercises should read the New Rules, it will keep them from wasting time and stress on strategies that do nothing more than make them miserable.

S'cuse me, but I think the beach is "That way!"

The wife and I went out to the Olympic Peninsula this weekend. We stayed in cabins at the Kalaloch lodge. The in-laws and the wife's step-sister (and her husband) had their own cabins. We spent our days hiking by ourselves and spent our nights playing hearts with the famn damily. It was a lot of fun. We got the idea when we stayed at the Lake Quinault lodge. Kalaloch has the beach and better cabins, the restaurant at Quinault, however is better by at least an order of magnitude.
We went out to the peninsula via Sequim. We stopped at our favorite coffee place in Sequim (it also sells fantastic ice cream). I spent a lot of time thinking about Jesse and Callie Marunde as we drove out of town and deeper into the mountains. I thought about Callie starting the new year as a widow. I thought of my wife and what it would be like if somehow she was in the same position. It gave me a lot of perspective.
This year I have lifted myself back to "reasonably strong." My shoulder injury is no longer an excuse.
I have started this blog posted 199 times (including this one).
I have looked for, but not yet found a new job.
I quit rowing and started Jujitsu.
I have read dozens of books, on nearly all my subjects of interest.
I am fitter and healthier and smarter than I was in 2006.
I have less debt (not much less, but less).
I have more friends.
I intend to continue this pattern in 2008, because there's no one promising that I'll be around for 2009.

No workouts the past couple days. Couple hikes, one long, one short.
Happy new year..
forget the resolutions, make commitments.