Thursday, June 26, 2008

No love for time Dr. Jones.

just a quick note gentle reader. I am going out of town for a few days, my parents are in town.. No updates for a while.
Go out in the sunshine.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Book learnin'

Day time workout:
medicine ball burpee to granny toss for height.
5x down basketball court and back.

we learned a strange arm-lock to shoulder-lock from side control (base switched to the head). Weird, for the non-Bjj player, it's as weird as it sounds.
second class we worked on cross-collar choke from mount and guard.
Then we worked on positional specifics in-guard. I was on my back for 10 minutes as people rotated through my guard. Lot of fun, but I gassed pretty bad at the end. Still getting my shape back after the back injury.
Rolled with a white belt that is pretty new, I got too lax and he did a good job of making me pay for it. I'm going to have to take that guy more seriously.

Book learnin':
I bought Gracie Submission essentials the other day. You can't learn jiu-jitsu from a book, but so many moves get lost, or learned partially during class time that I feel the time with the book is well spent. I'm going to have to invest in a couple of books to allow me to rediscover moves that may have fallen out of my game.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Occupation: Fool.

One of the best, brightest, and funniest folks to hold a microphone died this weekend. George Carlin is taking the big siesta. One of the best birthday gifts I was ever given was tickets to see him perform on my 18th. My sense of humor, and love of the manipulation of language was all his influence. Too bad. Happens to the best of us.. and everybody else for that matter.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Solstice.

Today is the summer solstice. There is a crazy whack-funky street fair between me and my gym. There was no chance of getting a car through, so I just walked.
First let's catch up.
Thursday, I took the day off. I was feeling pretty beat-up and the wife was heading out of town friday, so I decided to hang out with her at home.
Friday, the workout as designed was to work in pairs, with the goals being 50 TGUs each, and 50 pull-ups each. The partner's "rest" doing either planks (for the pull-ups) or kb clean and lunge (1 kb) basically you work all out, and as soon as you start to fatigue you tag your teammate. Things stop when you hit 50. Well we had odd numbers so I did something else:
3x kb snatch to TGU 5/5 then 5 pull-ups
then kb clean/jerk-pull up ladder:

Today we worked some sweet passes, and then I rolled a bit.
The back is still cranky, but ok.
Then I came home for a bit then walked to the gym, and did this:
worked up to a single at 425, then did 2 sets

bw+45 x 3
bw+25 x3
bw x 6

1 arm rows:
8/8 @ 95 x 3

tired but feeling good. Folks are coming over to watch the Ultimate fighter finale.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Your pay.. earn it.

I admit it, I am a snob. I know a good bit about training, but I am far from an expert, but I am a proficient amateur. I have no patience for professional trainers who either don’t know, or don’t care enough to take care of the people that are paying them to at a minimum keep them safe, and at a maximum get them fitter. Two experiences (at two different facilities) yesterday: First, the client is doing a circuit of exercises (Bulgarian split squats, push-ups, 1 arm rows, and walking lunges) he is doing exactly none of these exercises with decent range of motion, core stability or even control of his body. His “trainer” is standing there one arm crossed, one hand under his chin staring off into space. He is making no corrections, or even suggesting that perhaps doing split squats with his weight forward of his front knee, with the knee bending inward at an angle that hurt me.. Might be a bad thing. I understand, that it’s a bit of a blow to people’s ego to have their form corrected, you might even lose clients that way, but if they get hurt they’re not going to be paying you any way, and not trying to help people is reprehensible.
The second instance I was setting up to do some speed pulls against bands when the trainer and his victim..I mean client set up at the other lifting platform. So far so good.
“We’re going to do deadlifts” hey! Even better.
“Is that the exercise that always hurts my back?” Uh oh.
The “client” grabs the bar from the trainer, and descends. She gets in the neighborhood of the floor, and her hip mobility is used up her lumbar spine flexes, her butt tucks under, and her back hurts. The trainer nods in approval, and this poor woman heads closer and closer to disk issues one deadlift at a time. Some people need adjustments to exercises to accommodate their particular body type/mobility issues/whatever to ignore that and to keep pounding people through the same program is to show that you are not skilled enough to make assessments and adjust accordingly. This is compounded by the fact that the client said she was in pain, and the trainer forced her, like so much play-doh through a fun factory, to do the exercises without trying to adjust her body or the exercise so that she could do them pain free.
In my opinion what these guys were doing is worse than stealing. They are activly injuring people, then asking to be paid. It's pitiful. Know your craft, and do your job.

My workouts (pain and trainer free):
Chins 4,4,3,3 @ bw+45
1A dumbbell press: 6/6 @ 75, 4/4 @ 85 x 2
1A rows: 6/6 @ 95 x 3

Mobility drills and whatnot.
Speed pulls:
8 singles @ 315+2x Monster mini bands. I really liked these, I can go heavier, but this was my first go at pulling against bands, and I was short on time.
I will revisit.

Couple basic side control escapes, and two quick rolls. I got beat up, but did pretty well. Tired, but good work.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cross check.

Had two very tecnical rolls at class/open mat yesterday. I learned alot. I called it a day even though I had a bit more in the tank. I just wanted to ruminate on those rolls for a bit.

In the afternoon went to the gym, did some work to loosen up and work on my weak points.
high box step-ups @ bw
chins (several different grips)
super-setted those, 3x10 each

1 arm rows:
3x4/4 @ 110

incline bench 3x10 @ 135. This works my weak right shoulder like crazy. I hate them, but like the old saying goes:
"If you suck at it, you need to do it more."

Today, I had brunch with the in-laws. They're good people. My sister-in-law is preggers. Kudos and congrats all around. Good conversation, good food, and a good time.

After a nap the wife and I went out and looked at some bikes. I rode a surly cross-check. I really liked this bike. I wasn't really prepared for a test ride (jeans, flip-flops) but I dug the bike. I'm going to go back for a more prepared ride monday, and maybe check out a couple road bikes while I'm there.
I hope everyone had a good father's day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Big group this week.

Friday fun group had two newcomers this week, but we lost Sam to a knee injury. Get better Sammy.
Reverse sled drag with rows @ tire + 90

slosh pipe squats

KB swings (1 arm) @ 44 lb kb

box squat to vert jump (take the time on the squat. Good technical unweighted box squat, pause then jump off the box as high as possible. This the first step to teching folks to box squat and to be explosive off the box.)

BB russian twist @ bar + 90

2 minutes each station, 4 minutes rest after completing the whole circuit.
This was a good one, lots of sneaky posterior chain work.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Country folks can survive...

A few weeks ago some of the folks from the Ballard BJJ all got together to watch UFC 84. One of the guys was making small talk while all the pre-fight blah-dee-blah was going on, and asked the wife and I "If you were a fighter, what would be your walk out song?" The wife couldn't decide, but without hesitation I said "Hank Jr.-Country boy can survive." A couple people laughed (it is Seattle after all), but I was dead serious. That song, one is bad ass, two it reminds me of my grandfather, and everything he taught me about being tough.
My dad grew up in a town of 80 people, about 50 of them are related to us (no that's not a joke about incest, my great-great-grandfather sired 25 kids from 3 wives, I've got a lot of family down there). When my dad was young my grandfather worked at a saw mill. After some time, the mill burned down, and the guy that owned it just cashed in his chips and closed up shop. Since the town (and a good number of our relations) depended on the mill as the only source of income, my grandfather built a new mill on his own property. The mill was about the size of a basketball court. It was a corrugated metal building on a concrete slab with three huge saws inside. In the mill there was no conditioned air, and no heat. Only the wail of the saws, the sting of sawdust, and the smell of hickory. In the summer it would get well over 120 in the mill, and in the winter it might get up around freezing. If something broke, my grandpa would fix it. He worked in the mill six days a week into his sixties. He could hunt and fish as well as anyone I ever heard of. He smoked lucky strike unfiltered while chewing skoal. He was hard to impress, and wasn't too concerned that you were. He knew how to do every and anything a man should, and he'd do it cracking jokes.
That song reminds me so much of him, and makes me feel that he's a part of me. That attitude of: what the preacher man, and the stock market say don't mean much because I've got my own life to live things to get done, and if it broke.. I've got to get to fixin it. I won't run, or hide. I have friends in New York city, if you're not like me I don't give a damn. That's the real secret to every truly tough guy (or gal) I've ever met: they do what it takes. It's not about how big or bad they are, but what needs doin' gets done. That is how I've always approached sport, do the hard work and you'll win. It's better to be a winning plow horse than a losing Thoroughbred. I like to think that a reminder of that on the way to the ring would help.
Last week at UFC 85 we were getting ready to watch the headlining fight, and just before Matt Hughes comes out, the song starts.. yup that song. I've always liked Matt Hughes. I can't really explain it. He reminds me of a lot of the guys I knew on the wrestling team when I was in high school (and that's not a good thing) his politics and religous beliefs are completely different from mine, but at the same time he's from the same region that I am, a small town guy, and most importantly he looks at fighting the way that I do: it's tactical, not personal. If you get beat, then either you're not good enough, or you didn't work hard or smart enough. Figure it out and go again. It's not personal, it's not a "war." War is horrible, people die, get dismembered, set traps and mines for each other, this is a contest of skill.
Hughes got beat, and that's too bad. I am afraid the 50 odd fights he's had may be taking their toll. He set up a gym in Granite City across the river from St. Louis, and maybe he's spending too much time coaching. I have no idea, I'm not even sure he does, but the guy is a legend, and one of my favorite fighters, and the song.. I love that song: country folks can survive, we may not win, but we'll survive.

As an aside I got an email from Tony G. Apparently some of you folks have been clicking on the link to the right, and he noticed in his trackbacks, and dropped a note to thank me. A class move in an internet fairily short on class moves. If you haven't checked out Tony's blog I recommend you do so, even if he is a yankee.

Tonight's workout:
Stiff legged deads:
worked up to 6 @ 315

2x3@ bw+45
2x2@ bw+45

worked up to 2 @ 225

rows (3 point 1 arm):
4x4/4 @ 110

grip and neck work.



Sorry for the lack of posting folks. I'll update with my opinions and observations on UFC 85, and some other stuff tonight.
First I'll update workouts.

day time lifting:
4x2 @ 135+MM bands
2 @ 155+
2 @ 185+

5x 3 @ bw+35

(3 point, 1 arm)
4x6 @ 95

4x5 @ 135

worked up to 405.
5 singles @ 405.
the back felt good. I should be able to start pushing some serious weight again.

Went to basics class tuesday night.

Wednesday was all BJJ.
We learned a front headlock to choke, and a clock choke.
Then "advanced class" we worked the sit-out.
Sit-out was one of my favorite escapes when I was wrestling, but I got some good technique work in. The professor is ten times the teacher my highschool wrestling coach was. If it weren't for kids coming up from the boy's club we'd never have won a thing.


Monday, June 9, 2008


lunchtime workout:
heavy bag work to warm-up.
then 5x 30 sec on 30 sec off heavy bag sprints.
then medicine ball throws (granny style) for height, across bb court, 10 wall ball, then throws back, 5 pull-ups x 5 all with 6 kg medicine ball.
then shower, and lunch.

lots to update and man I'm sleepy.

Still not in the rhythm of getting up for work. I'll get it figured out.
4 stations:
single kb, clean and lunge
box squat to vert. jump
traveling man-maker.

M-M at 30lb dum bells
kb at 44 lb.

just jitz and UFC 85.. more on that later.

Sunday, rest and errands.


Thursday, June 5, 2008


Woke up this morning with a cranky shoulder that scared me. After 3 years of rehab and work to get my shoulder back together, I am very nervous about any further shoulder problems. I'm a bit overly cautious about this happening again. My left shoulder was sore when I woke up, my back was stiff (but not painful), and I'm sore in general.. so I took today off. I'll do some light restoration work, but that's about it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back to basics.

Day workout:
bent rowx5

core work:
side bend @ 85

Basic class upa, cross choke, double attack.
Advanced class: judo stuff (I don't know the japanese words for them)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We all make choices in life.

I was headed to the locker room to get changed and lift some things at my regular gym. Headed out of the locker room was a guy who's physique told me he'd recently lost a good amount of weight, and added some muscle to boot.How was I able to tell this in such detail? because the guy was wearing a tight under-armour type sleeveless shirt and some very short running shorts. Instead of thinking "Hey, good for him." All I could think of was how very obviously uncomfortable he looked, and how he was perpetually sucking in what remanined of his belly, and I could see that the loose skin on his belly made his navel look like a minature sad face.

I cannot understand why people wear stuff like that to the gym. If this guy'd worn a normal t-shirt he'd have felt more comfortable, and looked fit. The climate in the gym is not warm by any means. There is no reason to dress in that manner. I have been in one weight room or another for just shy of 20 years, I have never felt the need to wear anything less than a T-shirt and shorts to the gym. I wonder in particular about folks who are less fit that wear this stuff. Tight clothes are not comfortable if you're fat. I know, I was a fat kid, and my folks only bought clothes a couple times a year. If it got tight: tough. When you're fat, clothes slide around, bunch up, twist and pull around your bulges, and it's worse when you're moving (you know, that thing you do at the gym). I always felt self-conscious and distracted.
I can see where some folks might have bought workout clothes when they were fitter, and maybe they refuse to buy more. I can dig on that. I understand giving yourself incentive. Some people are perfectly comfortable, and good for them, but I don't understand dressing uncomfortably to the gym.
The people I always assume the worst of are the guys who wear sleeveless shirts all the damn time. We, the general public, are not impressed. Get a shirt with some sleeves. The running joke between the wife and I is that there is a monster hiding in the locker room collecting sleeves while people (guys mostly) are in the can. It's sort of like the underpants gnomes on south park.

Maybe it's just me.
4x4 @bw+25 (various grips)
1A DB press:
1a rows:
2x12@stack (+mobility drills to warm-up)
worked up to 3@415
4" elevation (mid shin)
the back felt fine. I am going to be careful for a few more weeks, but I think I'm on the right track.
Drills and position specific sparring.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Double your pleasure..

morning workout:
light heavy-bag work 3x3 min
Heavy bag sprints:

Ab wheel roll-outs:

Evening BJJ workout:
cross-collar choke.
sparring 2x6 minute rounds. The back felt great.
then more technique:
arm-bar and kimora from North-south.
Still need to work on the arm bar on the right side.
Great stuff.