Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Quantum of stuff..

Saw the new Bond movie last night. It was good. Not as good as the last one, but damn good. My main complaint was that it looked like it was edited by a 13 year old A.D.D. kid on 6 redbulls. Otherwise, acting, story, and characterization were all great. There were a few plot holes, but that comes with the territory.

Before that, training:
worked up to double at 275.
Mostly just working on technique and mobility.
I changed my set-up carrying the bar lower with wider hand position. Still a work in progress.

45 degree back extensions.
5 sets of 5 at 60
this is a bit of a misnomer as there was NO flexion or extension in my back, just movement around the hips. I tried these to see if glute-hams are really better.. they are. Next week I go back to them.

OHP (done bottoms up starting dead stop on the pins at chest level)
5x5 at 135
The shoulder.. not happy about these.

7,6,5,5,3 at bw

seated rows:
worked up to 4 at 165
I don't like these at all.
I used to do them a lot, but now they just feel stilted and unnatural.
Going back to CSR and bent rows next week.

that's it. No conditioning.
I am keeping the early part of the week light so that I can really ramp up the end of the week to correspond to the increased calories.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Today should be my last day off the mat. Thank goodness.
Rocky IV was on last night, and it inspired me to do some low tech training:
Sledge hammer swings 16 lb hammer
500 total reps.

Monday, November 24, 2008


My sleep of late has been crap. I keep waking up without a reason. I wake up exhausted in the morning in spite of getting 8+ hours of sleep. It's not all the time, it goes in waves. I'll sleep well for 2-3 days, then badly for 5-6. I need to get it sorted out.
Training the past few:
Friday fun:
8 rounds
medicine ball throw and chase (across the parking lot and back)
tire "suplex" throw.
Tough stuff.

reverse band dead lifts (sumo)
worked up to 3 singles at 495 minus purple bands
next week I'll progress to monster minis, then straight weight.

conventional deads
4 reps at 405 (non-contiguous)
5 reps at 315 (contiguous)

hand bike tabata
185 watts

face pulls

Yesterday I baked pies.
I'm going big the next week, and then it's time to drop some lbs.
if you don't check in before.. have a good thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Allll by my self!

When it comes to food, we're sort of on our own:
in the grocery store or in general.
Thought for food.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A couple that benches together..

The wife has taken on the challenge to get her bench up over her body weight. A noble goal. She has been benching twice a week using a max effort day on Saturdays, and a speed day on Wednesdays and spending a lot of time working on technique.
Since I am off the mat this week, I split from a full body split to an upper/lower split for this week.
So we benched together last night. Her technique is coming around and her strength is there, we just need to get her faster, and it'll all come around.
This explains the crazy bench volume.

My work:
worked up to
9 x 3 at 185 working on moving the bar as quickly as possible.
0 x 0 at "it's all you! It's all you!"

Pull-ups (neutral grip, dead hang)
7, 6, 4, 4, 4

1 a db rows:
4x 4/4 at 100

energy systems work:
10 minutes of 10 strokes on 10 off, 20 on 20 off on the ergometer stroke rate under 28.
2500 meters total.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No joy in mudville..

Monday, I didn't train.
I took the day off to try and get the 500 lb monkey off my back. A little extra rest, and I'd be set for a pr.. or so I thought, well:
315 x3 easy
365 x2 no problem
405 x1 weights are moving well.
455 x1 smoked it
500 x miss. damn.
500 x miss double damn
485 x 1 slight redemption.

At first I was really pissed. I wanted to hit that benchmark and move on. 500 has been in my head for almost a year now, but I'm just not there yet. My glute strength isn't there, and I need to make sure that my belly is full of air before I start to pull. A few more weeks. I'll break the plateau, but for right now it's maddeningly close. I can smell it. It's in the mail, but not quite here yet.

3x8 at purple band.
Called it a day from there.
Tonight is going to be upper body and some conditioning.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Some people call me the space cowboy...

Steve Miller was following me around all weekend. It was weird. I couldn't get away from him. People at work playing him, on the radio to the boathouse, on the way to the academy. I haven't heard Steve Miller in a couple of years, then this weekend he was everywhere.
Could be worse I guess.

Friday fun:
5x whip smash
50 ft hand over hand drag (120 lbs)
short walk to bar
10x hang clean 135
8 rounds

bonus round:
5x whip smash
50 ft hand over hand drag (120 lbs)
short walk to bar
10x hang clean and press 135

Transition from side control to knee on belly to mount and defense.
Open mat.

after noon:
speed deads 6 singles at 365+ purple bands.
ab work

UFC 91
Good night for the jiu-jitsu guys. Damian Maia is a total stud. Dustin Hazlett also performed impressively. Some very techincial grappling was on display for several fights and really none of the fights were snoozers. Good night for the UFC (particularly with the beast taking the heavyweight belt).

There was a memorial row for family friend and venerable member of the Seattle rowing community Charley McIntyre on sunday. I had intended to row, but circumstances outside my control left me riding in the launch with the wife and brother-in-law. Great day, flat water and a lot of people having fun doing what he taught most of them to do. I can't think of a better way to be remembered.

I have some skin funk that will keep me off the mat for a couple of days. So I'll be doing intervals and complexes at the gym for the next few days.
Have a good week.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Take yer medicine.

Single leg work last night.. yuk.
Reverse lunges off 6" box:
55lb dumbbells
5 sets of 4/4

alternating sets:
1 a dumbbell press
pull-up (n. grip/dead hang)

5/5 at 70
5 at bw

5/5 at 80

5/5 at 90

2/2 at 100

Glute hams vs purple band:

1 a dumbbell rows:
4x 5/5 at 100

no energy systems work last night, no time, and no steam.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In which I remember: my squat needs work.

With my back coming back around, no deads for a while.
So squats:
worked up to a triple at 275
5,4,3,2,1 at 225 these were pretty light, but I'm working on getting my technique back, and opening up my hips. I should squat more.

C.S. rows:
worked up to 4 plates: 4, 4, 3,

worked up to 3 at 225 (felt pretty light)
3, 3 at 205

pull ups (neutral grip, dead hang, no leg kick)
20 total reps.

tabata protocol on the hand bike.
done and done.

Good workman like training session last night.
Feeling good this morning.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Junk plus.

I am a big proponent of setting up treats (desserts, splurges, cheats.. whatever) to actually include some nutrition. That way you get the mental release of 'cheating' and get some value from the foods you are ingesting. This does not mean these foods "don't count" as cheating, just that you get bonus points for getting vitamins/fiber/antioxidant goodness in with your cheat.
Two recipes that I like to use are these fruit compotes (best served over plain Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream):

1 bottle of red wine (sweet, something you like, but not too spendy)
1 cinnamon stick
8-10 dried figs
sugar about a half cup (hey it's dessert)
a pinch of salt.
Take the stems off of the figs and cut them in half (the figs, not the stems)
pour the entire bottle of wine in a medium pot or saucier.
Add the figs and cinnamon, and allow it to reduce by about 1/2 to 2/3.
add the sugar, pull out the cinnamon stick and give it a quick whiz with your blender (immersion or bar, just remember that if the liquid is hot, to use a towel to top the bar top blender as the steam will pop the lid off and scald the crap out of you). Cool, and use to top the fore mentioned tasty treats.

1 thumb sized knob of ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup h2o
2 ripe mangos.
Wash and slice the ginger in thin strips, you don't need to peel them as we're going to strain them out any way. Put the sugar, water and ginger on medium-low heat and take the mangoes to task; medium dice. Let the syrup go for 5-10 minutes, then pull off the heat and let cool slightly on the counter top. Add the mangos to the slightly cooled mixture (if you don't cool it the mango turns to mush). Refrigerate, serve.

pyramid on the ergometer:

partner alternating sets:
push press at 135/pull-ups
5 reps each
4 sets.

Jitz open mat.
Moving well. Rolled with some new guys. Back felt good. Back to the mat tonight.


Friday, November 7, 2008


About a hundred and fifty years ago, when I was a college student and a fairly unaware one at that, I was reading a copy of Spin magazine in some airport on my way to somewhere unimportant to this story. The article had an interview with Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson who is a red-head, Scottish, and as Travis Tritt so eloquently put it "just a little on the trashy side." She caught my attention to say the lest.. her music I could take or leave.
I was astounded when reading the article that Ms. Manson did not think highly of Tighty-whitey underwear! In fact she loathed them. It had never occurred to me that underwear would have any function other than to keep my zipper from chafing my bits. My unders to that point were.. well the same crappy, holey, white cotton 'Y-fronts' that I'd been wearing since puberty. After reading that interview I felt like a complete rube. I couldn't have felt more childish and unsophisticated if I'd been wearing a diaper.
I was broke as could be, but I quietly went out and got some boxers and boxer briefs. I snuck round back and tossed in the dumpster all but a handful of my least raggedy briefs for use during rugby practice.
I felt a lot better when over the next week or so, I noticed a lot of guys in my dorm sneaking out to the dumpster with a lot of their own white cotton.
Ah, The power of a pretty girl.

Last night's workout:
5 burpees
50 ft rope pull at 115 lbs
kb snatch 10/10 at 44
50 ft rope pull
5 rounds

Thursday, November 6, 2008


My back is mending. I did more rep work last night than I've done in a while mostly to protect it, but partially to change things up.
light, controlled.
5x5 at 225

3x10 at purple band

various grips
5x5 at bw dead hang

50 total reps at twisted purple band.

Squats felt good. I haven't squatted since my SI joint injury this summer.
I feel like a mess. I've been going at it hard hard hard, then get injured, rush back, and go at it hammer and tongs... rinse repeat.
I am going to take a couple of weeks, do more rep method work, and more conditioning.
then ease back into the hard and heavy stuff.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Henry Rollins, Barack Obama, and the Ramones.

Several years ago I saw Henry Rollins do a spoken word show. He said: "Don't you wish you felt as strongly for the politicians you vote for as you feel about... Al Green... or the Ramones? Don't you wish when politicians speak you were just INTO every thing they said?" It struck me as very true, for my entire life, we voted AGAINST someone, not for. We never got that "Hell Yeah" feeling about a candidate as much as feeling "Hell NO!" about his opponent. When my father and step-mom were out here a couple years ago, I was relayed this idea to my dad. He agreed... not so much about the Ramones, but he got the gist.
I got an email from him week or so ago saying that he felt that way about Barack Obama. I knew then that Obama would win the election. My father was a poor small town southern kid growing up. He had no money, no influence, no way to get into college, and thus no way to avoid getting drafted into Viet Nam. He spent his entire tour fighting along side poor men of every color. So his views on race are fairly sophisticated, but thanks to the best efforts of the GOP he did have xenophobic concerns about Obama as early as last summer. The fact that the campaign was able to break through my father's 'concerns' as entrenched as he is in small town America once again, showed there is no one that they couldn't touch.
Going back a few years before. I was back in St. Louis, and the local a.m. radio station was interviewing a senatorial candidate from Illinois, and I was struck by the eloquence and passion with which this gentleman spoke. Fast forward to 2004 that same man, now the duly elected senator, is to speak at the Democratic convention, and I thought to myself "He's going to be the first black man elected president." I never dreamed it would be this soon.
Last night I sat on the couch with the wife, watching the folks at MSNBC fill state after state in with blue.
I watched the concession speech of worthy opponent John McCain, who I honestly feel the republicans threw under the bus. They knew the economy was tottering, that the war was an albatross. They knew that with Barack Obama's oratory skills, and Joe Biden's work ethic and strong catholic roots that this race was all but unwinnable. So they paired him up with Klondike Barbie, and threw him out there.
The acceptance speech gave me chills. The party atmosphere, the immense feeling of hope, the feeling of a weight lifted off, reminded me of the Berlin wall coming down. In Seattle, people were shooting off fireworks. Today really is a new day. Crusty old cynic that I am. As much as I have touted the old Jello Biafra quote "If voting could change anything it would be illegal." This feels different. Hundreds of thousands of people went to see his speech in Grant Park. They cheered and wept. It was a rock and roll crowd. Maybe Barack Obama is our Jack Kennedy, maybe he's Elvis, but finally I do feel as strongly about a man of political office as I do about my favorite band. That, my friends, is historic.
No training last night.. History being made instead.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Watch the watch..

I felt like I could make a go of it at class last night, but I have played the injury game before, and decided to sit out one more class.
I went to the gym before:
hand bike:
10 minute interval program level 15
average watts 108

1 set of 5 every 45 seconds.
Set took 12-15 seconds.
2:1 rest/work interval

5 minute cool down on the slide board.

Went to class and watched the technique portion.
They went over sprawl to hip control to clock choke.
nothing new.
tonight still taking it easy on the back so lots of glute-hams, pull ups and some resisted push-ups.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Old ghosts..

This weekend was a weekend from a lifetime ago: it was a rugby weekend.
Friday I set up the workout. Fox and the hound(s):
One person in the group sets the pace.
1 minute intervals.
5 man-makers per minute, rest of the minute is rest.
if any of the "hounds" don't finish 5 in 1 minute, then the next minute do 5 burpees, then back on the man-makers.
Go until the fox misses.
I did 1/2 a round, I thought my back could handle the light load.. it couldn't.
Paul kicked out an astounding 20 rounds.
Joe and Michelle kept chasing.
I hate punking out on a workout. Especially one as brutal as this one. I hate standing there counting minutes when I should be suffering with my friends. I would never put them through something that I wouldn't do myself.

Yesterday, I couldn't go to jitz. If I had, I'd have been miserable. I went to a rugby game instead.. No I didn't play. The team I'd worked with a few weeks ago, played a game, and won. THey're better than I'd thought, and should be even better than that. They won by 5 points, and should have won by 25. I gave some notes to the coaches. I might be working with them some more next season. We'll see how it goes. I did go to the gym after that.
Box jumps:
10x5 at 24" box. Ideally a 30" box, but my choices are 24 or 36.
hand bike:
4x2 minutes at 215 watts
1 minute at 215
1 minute at 225

My back is healing up.. slowly.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be fully capapble.
hope you're feeling well.