Monday, December 29, 2008

Tossing out the wrapping paper, taking down the tree.

Christmas is over. It was a great one. We had snow. I got lots of cool stuff, and the people I got stuff for seemed truly stoked about it.
The haul:
The Essentials of Strength training

Science and practice of strength Training

On food and Cooking: science and lore of the kitchen.

The Professional Chef

Couple more that I don't remember off the top of my head but these were the big ones. All sizable hard back tomes.

I picked up a couple of kitchen implements.
It was also a very cardinals Christmas:
My baby brother got me a new Redbirds hat (looks like this one, only without the "oversized word mark" on the back) He also got me tickets to a cards game when I'm in the river city this summer.
And the wife got me a money clip with the Cardinals "STL" logo on it. Similar to this one, but in different metals.

I took Thursday off from the gym. I ate and relaxed with my in-laws.
Friday I got to go to day class which ended up being an open mat. Then went to the gym and got a lift in:
10,8,8,8 at purple band

close grip bench at 185 (thumbs on the smooth)
C.S. rows:
3 plates
all x4
No real rest, just enough time to move back and forth and get set up.

2 chins
5 dips
all at bw

called it from there.
Saturday went to class, and did some basic movement stuff. Got to roll with the professor. He had me on the run for most of the roll, but I had a few moments. Was told after "I don't have much feedback to give. You didn't do anything wrong. Just need to be tighter and more clean." I felt pretty jazzed after that. We talked about a couple things that I've been working on and generally about where my head is at in training. I was totally stoked leaving class.

Saturday afternoon was all about the prowler:
loaded it up with 140 lbs. Sprint the length of the boathouse with hands on the high handles, then walk down and back.
repeat for 40 minutes.

Saturday night went over and watched the UFC. :SPOILER::::::::
Total suck. If you want to know who I was rooting for, just look at who won.. it wasn't him.. it was the other guy.
Mir beat Nog. it's not that I dislike Mir, he just gets too much credit by people who don't know jitz, and Nog is one of the all time great dudes in sport. This does set up a rematch between Mir and Brock Lesner. I really like Brock, and am interested to see that rematch.
Rashad Evans, who I cannot stand, beat Forrest, who I like because he's funny and busts his butt.
Wanderlei got knocked out stone cold. Rampage is a good interview, but I like Wanderlei better. This pretty much means his career is over.
The whole thing was just a major bummer.

Yesterday was mostly just housework and studying for my ccna.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All about christmas eve.

To those of you I won't see in person, Merry Christmas. To those of you I sent gifts, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed our friendship. To everyone else, I'll see you in a bit.
To everyone enjoy yourself it's later than you think.

Training yesterday:
good mornings:
5 at 275 x5

1x hang clean
5x OHP
5x bent row
at 135

2x chins
5x dips
x5 (no rest)

This morning:
jones crawl:
10x deadlift (conventional) at 275
25x box jump
this was brutal, but reasonable.
loads of stretching and a couple attempted muscle-ups
didn't quite make it. I think the issue is technical rather than capacity.. more on this as it comes.


Monday, December 22, 2008


From the snow that has Seattle soiling itself, to training all last week, I have been a blog slacker. Sorry for that gentle reader. I do try to keep you up to date.
Last week was an in depth training on Cisco VOIP technology. Interesting stuff.. to me at least. Very simple at it's simplest, but quickly gets very convoluted.
Thursday night was a decent lifting session. I got out of class early because of the snow, and headed straight to the gym.
conventional deads up to 455.
close grip bench up to 5 at 205
lots of face pulls and a bunch of prowler pushing.

Friday the roads were icy and since my training was in Seattle's very hilly downtown I opted to walk. Not too bad. 5.5 miles. It would have been fine except that 5.4999 miles of it was on ice.
One bonus was that I was able to pick up some Nike frees on major sale at the Nike store downtown.
Since everyone from the Friday fun group bailed on me I did a bunch of prowler pushes on my own. Loaded it up with 150 lbs and went as fast as I could on the high handles. Good stuff. Sometimes it's fun to train on your own, crank the music that YOU like, and get after it.

Saturday was jiu-jitsu. Had a good roll with Sam who is back from his knee troubles. For a while my game was too controlled, too tight. I am starting to relax and just move and keep on moving, that makes good things happen more often than not.
Saturday after noon was glute hams, 1a dumbbell row/1a dumbbell press superset, and chins and dips in a superset.

Today was a scheduled half day off work. Could have been a whole day. there was no one in the office. Couple controlled rolls with some new guys. Then I made some eclairs for the wife's grandmother who likes them. Not the prettiest pastries in the world, but they are tasty.

If you're in Seattle, stay safe out there. There are some idiots on the roads.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It was supposed to snow somethin' fierce today.. So far not a flake.
Quick training update:
Last night:
Squat/good morning:
all warm-up sets done as low box squats.
Work sets were good mornings:
5x5 at 265 goal is 5x5 at 345

I was going to do a cluster set of 12 at 185. I grossly underestimated my abilities as I cracked off all 12 reps in a row.
dropped down to 135 and did 20.

worked up to 5 reps at 4 plates, then set of 3.

prowler pushes.
15 high handles
5 low handles
2 plates 30 m

that's it.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Sorry dear reader. I forgot that I will be in training all week, so my posting may be sporatic.
the weekend's training:
Day: I have vacation that must be used or will be lost at year's end, so I used 4 hours of it friday, and went to jiu-jitsu day class. Basic stuff, because we had loads of new guys. key lock to arm-bar. A good time was had, and I was pretty tired by the end.
partner work: 3 stations

A1) push prowler high handles down, low back
A2) pant heavily (rest)
2 trips each person(this is the timing station)

B) partner med ball squats: squat down/up, catch med ball from partner, squat, throw...

C1)5x push-up w/ renegade row
C2) plank (switch every 5 reps)
3 rounds 1 minute rest between stations.
started out 3:1 work/rest ended up nearly 4:1.
Good times

Saturday day.
there was a "introductory class" before class on saturday. Some of my friends were attending so I went to go help out. We covered standing in base, hip escape, 1 takedown to side control, a key-lock and arm-bar. Everyone had a lot of fun. After that was open mat. I rolled a lot. My game is opening up, but I need to set things up more, and shoot for them less. That will take time.

by saturday afternoon I was exhausted. I went to the gym, and really scaled things back:
worked up to 3x 225

set up, pulled 1 warm-up rep and bailed.

10,8,8,8 at purple band

1a kneeling cable rows:
12/12 at 110
8/8 at 120 x 3

Stretch/foam roll/relax.
I ended up sleeping for 10 hours saturday night-sunday morn. My CNS needed some love.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bettie Bettie..

Bettie Page passed last night at the age of 85. Singularly one of the greatest expressions of the human form ever recorded. Who knows how repressed we'd be today if she hadn't softened things in the early 1950s.

Training last night:
I have decided in order to get a bit more volume and incorporate more energy systems work I am going to use some pyramids and cluster sets.

Deads (conventional):
build up, then 4,3,2,1 pyramid at 405

chins: cluster sets:
10 total reps
all at bw.

build up to 2x 10 total reps at 185

1a cable row:
8/8 at 110
3x 6/6 at 120

Prowler pushes:
high handles down, low handles back
90 lbs.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holly jolly Chris... well, December 10th

Got my new prowler last-erday. I headed over to the boathouse, and assembled it. I pushed it a bit, and it was scratching up the floor, so with judicious application of some old firehose and duct tape I padded the feet. It works great. I did about 20 or so passes 1/2 on the high handles and the rest on the low with just 90 lbs loaded on, it was pleanty of exercise. Full review when I get some more work in.
Then I went to the company christmas party.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Feeling charitable.

The folks at Elite have put together an E-book of holiday "tips" to raise money for the Make-a-wish foundation. It is alternately funny, and informative. The whole thing is presented with tongue firmly in cheek. It's roughly 100 pages of gags and actual information. Drop ten bucks and buy it. It's for charity for chrissakes.

Last night's training:
Good mornings:
5x5 at 245
Still slowly building these up.

Amap at bw
dips :
amap at bw
30 sec rest

10 minutes of intervals on the hand bike at 188 watts.
Short and sweet. I'm still pretty sore from monday so I kept the volume down and punched the clock.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Walk, run, jump... crawl.

Last night's workout:
per Gym Jones:
10x Deadlift @ 115% BW +
25x Box Jump @ 24” box
3 Rounds

Bw: 215*1.15= 247
that seems a little light.. I'll round up:
10x deadlift (conventional) at 315
25x box jump.

holy crap.
Perhaps I rounded too far up.
Total oxygen debt. I had to rest significantly between rounds, took me about 12 minutes.
My back is incredibly sore this morning. I will revisit.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Big weekend.
Friday, monster workout:

ladder 1/1 to 5/5 at 44

renegade row w/ push-up (rest taken in plank)
ladder 1 to 10 at 35 lb dumbells

set erg for 500m and 10 sec rest
5oo all out rest 10
450 all out, paddle 50, rest 10
400 all out, paddle 100, rest 10
done. There is more to that story, but I want to get into saturday, so to summerize: I need to eat more on fridays.

Saturday, There was an open mat and get together at GB seattle. It was crazy. There were 3 full schools packed into one small mat space. I only got one roll in because I'm always afraid to land on someone when things get that crowded. If small people crash into each other, it's not a big deal, but when big people land on small people they break. So I was content to hang out with my friends and just be there and watch the different black belts roll. We lined up and Professor Rodrigo promotes some of his guys, and he announces that Micah has one promotion to make. Long story short, it was me. I am now a blue belt in brazilian jiu-jitsu. It feels weird to even write that. I am no longer a novice. I am expected to bring a certain level of competancy when I train or compete. It was weird to stand out in front of all of those people and have what is really a personal moment. Now more than ever I feel bonded to my school, my friends and my professor. What sucks is that I am not going to be able to go back to class till saturday because of work comitments. Such is life, it will give me time to reflect on things.

Since there was no lifting on Saturday, I lifted yesterday:
Floor press:
worked up to 1 at 245

deads (conventional):
worked up to 2 at 365 + purple bands

1a kneeling cable rows:
3 sets of 6/6 at 110


Friday, December 5, 2008


I had a good thanksgiving this year. I really like my in-laws and I feel like I'm part of the clan, which is a good feeling (even if they don't watch football, and make me wear a tie). I am going to miss being with my family over Christmas. Thanksgiving is not really a big holiday for my family, but Christmas, however, is a very big deal. I haven't been home for Christmas since.. well before I got married. I'm going to miss them.. but I'm not going to miss traveling over the holidays, nor am I going to miss Missouri weather.
I hope you all had a good thanksgiving, and a better holiday season.

Back on the roll. Open mat. Rolled with Sam. Good to have him back. He showed me a couple things. Basically, he baited me into getting in bad positions and then later showed me which were traps, and which really were opportunities.

in the gym.
Deads (conventional)
I decided to work on my back and hip strength so I'll be pulling conventional on Thursdays for a while. I was surprised at how "fast" I am pulling conventional, and how little strength I lost switching up. I also figured out a technique flaw: when I pull, I'm pulling unevenly. My right side "leads" the pull which causes all kinds of problems when I'm pulling heavy, and is the reason my SI joint on the right side is all jacked up. I need to figure out why I'm doing that, and fix it.
5 at 315
3 at 365
2 at 405
m at 455 (pulled unevenly, had an "ah-ha!" moment)
1 at 455
3x 2 at 405
1 at 405

purple band + 25 lbs

pull-up at bw (dead hang, pause at top and bottom)

5 pull ups, 8 G.H. ,
5 pull ups, 8 G.H.,
5 pull ups, 8 G.H.,
5 pull ups

clean, 5x ohp, 5x bent row, 30 sec rest
at 135

done and done.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Main Course.

I've been pondering quite a bit what it means to be 'old' or at least 'an adult.' I'm knocking on the door of my mid-30s now, and frankly I remember my father being.. well: old by this age. Sure he smoked, ate like crap and didn't exercise, but I'm actually a better athlete than I was in my mid 20s.
It seems to me the real answer is focus. When you are young, you only have your ideals, your dreams. You don't take up anything that doesn't help you reach those goals. You have one pitcher and one, maybe two-three glasses to fill.
As you get older, you have the same pitcher and keep adding more and more glasses. Some of them are small (watching 3s company) some of them are larger (reading all of the great works of russian fiction) some of them are gigantic (having a kid). Suddenly all of that water you used to pour into lifting/writing/playing guitar is a little harder to come by. That to me is why people who hit 35 and the wheels fall off. A great example is CES. He figured out how much of himself he could pour into getting fit, and he found a way to make that work. He gives me hope.
As we spend/spent time giving thanks for the things we were fortunate to get or be given, let's not lose sight of what is still within our reach.

training the past few days:
10 box jumps at 24" box
10 x squat to 12" box then vert. jump from box

intervals on the hand bike:
3 min
all at 200 watts and full rest.

worked up to 2 at 315

good mornings:
4x5 at 225 strict form working on hip extension and low back strength.
I'm going to keep pushing these up.

1a dumbbell press:
worked up to 5/5 at 95

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

various grips, dead hang pause at top and bottom:
7,5,5,4 at bw

hand bike tabata:
average watts: 239 (including rest)


Monday, December 1, 2008


Just the workouts for the past few days to be updated here, then some thoughts on family, life, the holidays, then if there's room a blurb or two about this past weekend.
Jitz. Woot! back on the mat. Learned some passes from half guard, good stuff, and rolled a bit. Felt like crap and moved similarly, but screw it I was back!
Benching with the wife:
worked up, then 4 singles at 235 and 2 at 245. These felt good.

Super set:
Glute ham
8 at purple band + 25
10/10 at bw

C.S. Rows:
15 at 1 plate
12 at 2
8 at 3
5 at 4
4 at 4
12 at 3
15 at 2
20 at 1
(lots of benching= lots of rows)

30 minutes of medicine ball throw and chase (walking) at 12 lb med ball.

Several rounds of eating.

Jitz, day class.
good class, moving better.
Worked on getting to half guard from the bottom of mount.

friday fun:
10x front squat
250m erg
10x clean
250m erg
10x push press
250m erg
10x dead lift
250m erg
10x pull-up
250m erg
all lifts done at 135.

skin funk again. no class. Not a re-occurrence. New spot, same malady. Total bummer.

worked up to a single at 455 and barely ground it out.
did 4 singles at 405.
felt like crap. No gas, my emotions were all over the place. Pissed about the return of the skin issues, couldn't find my black bands. I had been cooking all morning, and didn't really eat. I was flat out of whack.
Started to do a couple sets of pull ups, and decided to bag it.
Went for a bit of a walk to clear my head and called it good.

medicine ball throws:
10x over head
10x triple extension
10/10x side throws.
at 12 lb ball.

I am working on getting a bigger medicine ball.. maybe making one. We'll see.
that was my training for the past weekend. As you can see more volume and more work on dynamic movements. That is going to be the norm as I take 4-8 weeks to get quicker, lighter, and more explosive.