Thursday, April 30, 2009


Learned a couple of sweeps to use against a standing opponent. I have them in theory, but need to work on them more as they are far from polished.
From there we did some position specific drills. These are hard because I have to remember that while guys who have been training far longer than me are my friends, it's ok for them to beat me. In fact they SHOULD beat me. Another problem I have is when rolling with white belts who aren't that athletic I wonder how much to hold back, and how much to exploit. It's hard to find that balance.
I was moving fairly sluggishly, but did ok. I am taking today off. I'm tired and sore and need some time to recoup.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Training at work.

yesterday's training:
week 2, bench.
10 at 45
5 at 135
3 at 160
3 at 180
9 at 205

chins: 25 total reps 6 sets

push ups: 50 total reps 3 sets

bent rows: 16 at 135

Afternoon conditioning:
clean and press/chin ladder

jump rope intervals (1 min on/off)

good training day. I was expecting to hit 7 at 205, and was very happy to hit 9. Chins were a little weak, but I had a lot of volume of these today.
I was limited in my conditioning options because my hamstrings are very sore from deadlifting on Saturday, then climbing on Sunday. Lots of stretching and foam rolling later, I'm feeling much better now.
Looking forward to jitz tonight.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Last weekend I was headed down to Portland for work, and on the way my mp3 player shot craps. Last Sunday I picked up a new 8 gig zune. The best part of it is that I've finally gotten off my butt and started listening to "the fitcast" which is a great resource. Kevin Larrabee is a good dude. I met him when I went out and visited Cressey Performance, and he was nice enough to put up with my questions. There is a lot of information in these pod casts, and they're pretty well produced. I recommend them highly.
training last week:
Partner work:
5 min rounds.
push prowler, rope pull.

man maker's (3 rep alternating sets)

kb clean and press/chin up
1-? ladder.

Saturday BJJ. Didn't work technique, just rolled. Pretty light. Felt like I was moving pretty well.

Saturday afternoon lifting.
5/3/1 deads:
3 at 295
3 at 335
9 at 375
these all felt very light. good groove.

glute/hams (10) and single leg squats (5/5)
all at bw.

Sunday, did some climbing with my friend Joe, then (with Joe's help) cleaned out a bunch of stuff from storage to sell on Craig's list and ebay. Had a blast climbing. I haven't done that in years. I stink now, but am getting better.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. Mr. George Jones:


Thursday, April 23, 2009


Start of the second week of 5/3/1:
military press:
10 at 45
6 at 95
3 at 115
3 at 130
6 at 145

dumbbell rows:
11/11 x3 at 80
superset with bw dips:
12, 12, 20
next week will be 12/12 and 12, 15, 20.

face pulls:
2x20 at 90

max rep chins:
5 again, kind of lame, but that's a lot of volume before these. They'll come up.

conditioning in the afternoon:
warm up.

2x20 long cycle clean and jerk at 2x26 lb kb.

bb complex:
Snatch-burpee x5
clean and press x5
front squat x5
walk the length of the basketball court.

Last night's bjj:
choke from back mount, and two escapes from back mount. The first one I am pretty good at sliding my shoulders to the floor and slipping away. The second, walking my hips over the legs of my opponent and coming out can be hit or miss. I think I really tightened it up last night though. I'm not turning my hips enough. I'll have to use it in sparring before I know.
After that 4 of us went 1 minute rounds with one of the guys who's competing in a couple of weeks. My stand-up felt pretty good, a little sloppy, but I got 3-4 takedowns per 1 minute round and only got taken down once because I got lazy. In all fairness my opponent was tired as hell by the end of it so keep that in mind.

all in all, feelin' good.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Yesterday was my first squat day on the 5/3/1 program. I am afraid to squat. My hips fight me the whole way, I have to work like hell to keep my low back from rounding, and I've hurt myself a couple of times because of it. I considered not doing squats at all with this program, but this is my life damn it. I'm not going to give in. I'm going to break the faulty movement patterns, and get my hips and back truly functional. To do that I have to squat. Not heavy, just work on the movement. So no extra reps, and honestly, I'm not moving the weight up until I can free squat the weight.
Starting out on the box, then lower box, then free squat the warm-ups, then free squat the lighter sets, then all sets. It's going to take time, but I am determined.

good mornings (very low, very strict)
3x10 at 135

Something more serious happened yesterday. I feel very conflicted, and am writing about it more to collect my thoughts than anything, so please bear with me. I got an email from my father yesterday. He informed me that he has prostate cancer. His prognosis is good (at least that's what he told me). All the indicators are that he'll be ok, but still he's got cancer. I love my father. I really do, but we're not all that close. I live far away, and we just don't have much in common.
Now that he's sick, I question myself a bit. I guess everyone goes through this when their parent gets sick: guilt and questioning. Did I make the effort to see him when I lived less far away. Am I a good son? Was he a good father?
So far my conclusion is this: it doesn't fucking matter. He did the best he could to be a father, and I'm doing the best I can to be a son. I am doing right by him by living my life, being a man, and some day passing the legacy on to someone else to be the man or woman they choose to be.
It would be worse if I lived closer and spent Sundays in church with the old man, because that's not who I am. Above all else my father and grandfather taught me that being my own man is important.
My grandfather owned and ran a saw mill. He risked a lot to open that mill when he very easily could have just worked for someone else. He worked longer and harder than men half his age, and did so with a smile on his face.
In a time when his family all lived in the same tiny town he grew up in, my dad married a girl from Detroit, and moved away. Dad worked in an office for the state of Missouri while his dad and brother worked in the mill.
I married a girl from Boston, and moved to Seattle. While my dad pushed papers, I push packets.
We both saw a wider world and found our own place in it. I moved further away, but he left the family business. I am sure neither were popular decisions with my grandparents just as I'm sure he's not happy with my choice of area code.
I never really saw the parallels until just now. Things are not that different. The distance is greater, the idea is the same. I just hope he can see it.
It's fear. We fear our parent's mortality, because that means we're next. We fear their death because there is no repairing a fouled relationship once they're gone.
I am afraid. I am afraid that my father doesn't understand. That he only sees the differences in us, and not the similarities. I am afraid that he doesn't understand that while we don't hang out and do things together that I am doing my best to carry on what he and his father taught me about being a man. I am afraid that I am missing the point, and I have overlooked some important detail of our relationship. I am afraid that I am a bad son. I am afraid that the grand kids I haven't had will only get to see pictures of him.
I hope he gets better.
I hope you are well.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


We just moved our Portland office to new digs. Being a network ninja, I had a lot to do with it. So Thursday, Friday and Saturday I was down there and working 12+ hours a day.

Thursday before I left I got some deadlifts in:
that's all I had time for.

The next three days were spent climbing on cable ladders, and climbing up and down regular ladders.

Today was bench day on 5/3/1
11x195 pretty happy with this. I hit 12 at 185 a while back. This is actually more "weight" than that by the 5/3/1 formula.

20 total reps at bw

50 total reps very little rest

bent rows (max reps at 135):

chins and push ups will be working to do fewer and fewer sets.
Bent rows, I'll be working this up to 20 reps, then increasing the weight to 155.. and repeat.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

5/3/1 day 1.

things are crazy busy at work. I'm trying to keep my training levels up, It's been an experience.. so of course I'm starting the 5/3/1 program this week, why the hell not. Remember folks, as always: I am an idiot.
My training maxes for this 4 week cycle are:
Military: 160
dead: 415
bench: 225
squat: 275

You will note that these are pretty exceedingly light, that is one of the implorations of the book/program. Underestimate your max, and multiply it by .9 that is your training max. Check your ego and you will make progress. Placate your ego, and stall.
1 main movement per training session, 1-4 assistance exercises per session. Main movement is done in building sets with the last set being "all out" aka "failure-1."
All others done higher reps depending.

Today's lifting:
warm-up (medicine ball throws, some movement/mobility work)
my shoulders poop out quickly.

super set:
dumbbell rows 10/10 at 80
dips 10 at bw
dumbbell rows 10/10 at 80
dips 10 at bw
dumbbell rows 10/10 at 80
dips 15 at bw

next time will go for 11/11
and 12,12,20

face pulls:
2x20 at 90

1 set max reps at bw:
5 (lame.. my upper back and arms were toast by then)

Monday Jitz:
worked lots of control from side control, worked on taking the back if your opponent rolls away, and worked a choke and an arm bar. I really need these submissions. I get to side control very easily and need to be able to finish a fight from there.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Work, 5/3/1 and CDB

Work is going to be crazy hectic the next week, so don't expect a lot of updates.
I just bought Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 training manual. It's simple, and to the point. I will be using it for the next several months. More on that later.

and CDB:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dana White is a jerk.

There has been much back and forth between (a if not 'the' website for MMA news) mostly because Dana White (the head of the UFC) lashed out against one of their reporters. He included in his insults but did not limit himself to referencing an old english word that once meant 'a bundle of sticks.'
Well, gentle reader, I am in no way surprised. When it comes to all things business Mr. White has a lot in common with Mr. Blonde. He's a shark, cut throat. It's made him, and by extension the UFC very successful, but it's not terribly endearing to more educated fans of MMA. Considering the success and lack of credible competition for the UFC/WEC juggernaut it's not about to change. Fans of fights and fighting want the UFC to succeed. We want a blue collar everyman at the helm, but intimidating reporters, and excluding certain business managers from back stage at shows? Cutting fighters who refuse to release their likeness in perpituidy? Seems beyond the pale of running a successful business to me, but it's not my business. What's more Mr. White does not pretend to be a nice guy when it comes to his business. I have a feeling if asked directly "When it comes to the nuts and bolts of your business, are you a nice guy, or are you a jerk?" He would admit to being a jerk. So why all the surprise over a sherdog? I don't really know.

Training this week:
Monday: jiu-jitsu had a roll with Griff no-gi. Went ok. He's still very difficult to handle. We worked on a very cool move to take the back when your opponent tries to roll away from you.
Then I had a light roll with Paul, and called it a night.

Yesterday: Day time conditioning:
45 sec jump rope
10/10 kb snatch at 53
5 pull-ups
10 dips

night lifting:
deadlifts (from a 4" advantage)
worked up to 1 at 475
then 3 at 405

bent rows:
worked up to 5 at 175

elbows are still sore, so no pressing today.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Watched Redbelt Thursday night. It was terrible. This is not the opinion of a jiu-jitsu practitioner who is nit picking the details. The jiu-jitsu in the movie was of varying quality (some of it quite good), but the plot of the movie was convoluted, the characters grand stand and never develop. The ending is abrupt and doesn't resolve anything. It's a bad movie.

I took thursday off because with the wife out of town Sunday will be pretty boring if I don't get some exercise.

Friday I was in Portland all day for work. 12 hours and no real break to get food. I was beat going into the Friday fun training session.
Good work by every one, especially Joe.
My work:
10x deadlift at 275
push the prowler down and back (plate and a quarter each side)
x5 no rest.
Just brutal.

Today got to class early and rolled no-gi with Paul for about 30 minutes.
We worked on a cool half guard sweep. I need to work on it more, but I think it will help me a lot.
I talked to Micah a bit about some philosophy of jiu-jitsu, and a couple of attacks from side control. A choke, and an arm-bar transition that I keep missing. I rolled with erik for a good while. I felt pretty good about it. I got some positions on him, but he caught me in a triangle, and a knee bar. It happens.
I feel pretty good about my game. The game is simplifying. It used to be that there were positions, separate boxes: side control, guard, half-guard, mount. Even at first each type of guard was a different box: spider guard, butterfly guard, X guard.. whatever. Then I put them all in one box: guard. Slowly those other positions are melding into bigger boxes: defending, attacking, tie. The idea is that those boxes will eventually merge into one: jiu-jitsu. I don't know how long that will take, but I'm looking forward to the journey.
Tomorrow I am going to do some conditioning and having a bbq.
let me know if you want to come.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Break...

It's spring break at the school that hosts the Seattle wrestling club.. so no wrestling this week.
Monday night BJJ:
I had a couple light rolls with B and Griff... they were good. I figured out a shot set-up from watching Demian Maia and Marcelo Garcia's match at the Brasileiro's from 06.

We then worked on a half-guard pass from bottom that is the proverbial sweetness.
Quoth the Miagi:
"If do right no can defense."

Yesterday, I had to come in to work at 0500. The good news is that it gave me the whole afternoon off to clean the house a little and relax. I got to the gym about 2 and did this:
sets of 5 until I can't hit 5.
starting a 225 (very very light)
and going quarter, plate, quarter...
it looks like this:
225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 365x5, 405x3.. stop.

then I did some floor press:
4x5 at 185
(elbows are still healing so I'm keeping this light)

kneeling 1a cable rows (same protocol as deads)
110 x5/5
150x5/5.. sorta the last 2 each side my thumb did not touch my ribs, so those are a failure.

that was it.
Started to do some pull-ups, but my elbows complained mightily.