Friday, November 27, 2009

workin the turkey off.

Tuesday's lifting:
5/3/1 military:

1a rows/chins:
10 at 85/amap x3

Thursday's lifting:
5x 285
5x 330
10x 370
5x 315

Hip extensions/glutehams
12 at 135/12 at bw

This morning went to class had a few rolls. Moving pretty well, but my gas is still in pretty short supply. It's getting better, but not quite there. I am very sore from the deadlifts yesterday. Increasing volume will always make you sore.

This afternoon did 20x 1 minute on 1 minute off with a light prowler. Slowly built intensity. Felt good, helped loosen me up. Did a good bit of stretching after.

Class again tomorrow.
Then an accessory lift.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


"Look around and find something for which to be grateful."
-Rickson Gracie

I am thankful for (in no particular order): My wife, the bun in her oven, my friends, my Gracie Barra family, those of you who take the time to read my prattling, my fuzzy little buddy Tenzing the cat, the health of all of the above, jiu-jitsu, exercise and the physical culture, all of the great coaches who have taught me to be the man/athlete that I am, all of the athletes that I have taught something about sport (and hopefully about life) and who have taught me more than they learned, everyone who has written an article/blog post/book that has taught me something, common sense, my job, the stooges, black flag and good music in general, and so much more than I could possibly write out... frankly, I'm thankful to be alive.

Enjoy your memories, but don't dwell on the past.
Plan for the future, but don't count on it.
Your life is right now, live it.
Happy Thanksgiving.


Many years ago I realized that trying to diet down in December just doesn't work for me. I have a hard time getting 'up' for conditioning workouts, it's crappy out, holiday parties all over the place, lots of distractions. it's just not good for me. So this year I'm going to work on some hypertrophy this December. More training frequency will hopefully keep the fattness away, I can pare down my workouts to shorter sessions, and it's easier mentally for me to get to the gym to lift. the plan is as follows:

accessory work: rows, chins/dips (superset) then some prehab and gun show work (cut me some slack I haven't done any dedicated upper extremity work in 5 years.. yes, I have training logs that go back that far.. no, I don't see that as an indicator of psychosis.)
all in the 8-12 rep range.

Night: jiu-jitsu

Day: upper body 5/3/1 alternating weeks OHP and bench.
Night: lax ball and static stretching.


Day: lower body 5/3/1 alternating weeks deadlift and split squat. (my single leg strength sucks, I need to fix that)
Night: lax ball and static stretching.


Day: jiu-jitsu
night: accessory lift.

Sunday: off or recovery work.

My 5/3/1 sessions will look like this:
main lift:
set 1
set 2
set 3
repeat set 1 2x (approximately I'm not busting out the chips and nickles for these)

chins and rows on upper days.
Hip extensions and glute-hams on lower days.
(I'm intrigued by the hip extensions.. we'll see how well they work, at least in this context)


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Good idea, or bad idea:

Ok folks, let's play at home. You're a trainer, or training partner at an MMA gym. A guy you've been training with shows up for a workout with the symptoms of Pneumonia and Pulmonary edema do you expect that:

A) this fighter will have a productive and beneficial training session.
B) will at best train like crap and expose everyone in the gym to some nasty bug, at worst get worse, and possibly die.
C) turn into kung-fu panda.
Answer here

I understand guys train sick all the time, but there is sick and there is Pneumonia and Pulmonary edema. Having not been there, I would hope that none of the guys at his gym knew how sick he was. However, If you're that sick, don't train. Seriously, go home. Nothing good will come of it, at best you'll have a crap training session, and maybe infect your training partners, at worst.. well you'll die. What a sad incident.

Starting a whole second cycle of 5/3/1 this week. Will fill you folks in on the details in a day or so.

Swinging pendulum and special guest blogs.

In fitness and nutrition things tend to swing from extreme to extreme, high carb to no carb, static stretch before training to never static stretch, squats are all you need to squats are dangerous... ect. I recently had a conversation via email with Tony Gentilcore about some recent swinging of the pendulum and he suggested that I write it up and he'd post it as a guest blog. So I did, and he did. Go check it out.

As to my own training this month;
I'm going to make use of the extra holiday calories and do some hypertrophy work.
Yesterday I did an accessory lift:
Fat bar rows 3x12 at 135
dips 15 at bw super setted with chins amap x3

Then last night went to jiu-jitsu. had about a 20 minute roll before class, then worked some stand-up stuff during class. I'm still recovering from the flu last week, but my fitness is coming back.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Gripz, recovery, and pie.

A while back I ordered some Fat Gripz from elite FTS, and tried them out on Friday. Don't let the bro/bodybuilder copy on the product page turn you off, these things are excellent. They come on and off pretty easily, don't slip, and if you've never done any fat bar training, it is a whole different experience.
3 weeks ago we peaked for the guys fighting at the local competition, last week there was no Friday workout, this week we're starting back up with short intense intervals:
5 man makers (35lb dumbbells w/ Fat Gripz)
1 minute rest.

Saturday I just went to class, I'm still recovering my gas tank from being sick all last week.
I rolled with 3 folks and was completely toast.

Saturday night I went over to a friend's house (a woman who rows with the wife) and hung out with lots of rowing club folks. Good people, great meal. I brought a sweet potato pie (which may be my favorite thanksgiving food). We had a blast.. well I did.

Sunday was a day off. I did lots of prep and cooking for the week. I made a roasted leg of lamb for dinner, put together a crock pot of grass-fed beef for later in the week, and assembled some stuff for thanksgiving.

Good southern boys, Molly Hatchet like sweet potato pie.


Friday, November 20, 2009


I have not been 100% forthright gentle reader. I have not included all of my training in this web log. I have been doing a ton of static stretching and mobility work on my hips, mostly because I wanted to test what I was doing before I discussed it in depth.
So far things seem to be progressing, and yesterday (for the first time in years) I did some free squats without back pain. They were very (very) light, but they were well executed and full ROM. This was just a test, but I'm excited about the results.
More on this as I get things worked out a bit more.
1 hang clean
5 front squats at 95 lbs (no box)


That's the way of the world:

Bonus flipper:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still Sick.

Did a light workout just to keep moving yesterday.. taking today off.
bench at 135
rows at 135
dips at bw
face pulls at something
ohp at 45 lb dumbbells
c. supported rows at 90
good 'nuff.

Tonight I'm going to take 'er easy.

I'm not a girl, but this was the best version of this song on Utube.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Weight, sweat, and UFC 105

Last night's training was a 'practice cut.' This is something I think more people who compete in weight class sports should do. Take a set amount of time, and see how much weight they can sweat out without actually effecting how they feel the next day. I spent 30 minutes in sweats in a fairly cool gym, and cut just under 5 lbs. Gives me a ball park of around 10-15 lbs of water that I can suck out in a few hours. This is how people get into trouble, they 'figure' (guess) that they can cut x amount of weight and guess wrong. If you measure something you know, if you don't you set yourself up for failure. This means with some actually diet manipulations I can pretty comfortably compete at 204 with a day before weigh in. Which is what I figured.

Speaking of weight class sports, UFC 105 was this weekend.. my thoughts:

None of the british fighters have any wrestling. If you're the best wrestler in your gym, and wrestling is your weakness.. find a new gym (at least for a little while).

Matt Brown is a fighter. He has some holes in his game, but he is entertaining to watch.

Mike Bisping showed good technical jiu-jitsu that kept him alive in the Kang fight. I was impressed. He's still a striker with no pop. Unless he reinvents himself he's just about at his ceiling.

Kang showed what a lot of people suspected of him: he's a great front-runner, but handles adversity by pulling up the stakes and looking for a way out.

Dan Hardy is a talented young fighter, and stands almost no chance against GSP (for now). Mike Swick was finding a home for a counter right hand, GSP is a better counter striker. Marcus Davis (not exactly Dan Gable) threatened Hardy with the take down, GSP was able to take Thiago Alves down at will (something Matt Hughes was unable to do). Hardy has a puncher's chance (GSP did get KO'd by Matt Serra after all) but not much more.

Brandon Vera's ego cost him the fight against Randy Couture. Vera had great success in the wide open spaces using his Muai Thai, but he kept saying in the pre-fight 'folks better not sleep on my wrestling' when ever he was asked about Randy taking him down. He spent too much time trying to prove his wrestling was as good and lost the fight. If he would have used his wrestling to get away from Randy and punished him in space he would have won the fight. Brandon is another very talented young man, but he needs to get into a better camp so that he can learn to be more effective in scoring points. He's 8 and 1 when his night ends early and 3 and 3 when he goes the distance. Compare that with Couture who is 9 and 9 on early nights but an astounding 8 and 1 when he goes the distance.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Funny you don't look Flu-ish.

I am sick. Crawl into a hole, can't ingest anything but orange juice, just want to sleep till someone makes the bad man stop Sick.
No training today.. probably not till monday.
The wife is due for a flu shot this weekend. Hopefully I won't infect her.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

You wake up at Seatac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time. You wake up at Air Harbor International. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?

I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.

You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.

Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.

Ten years ago this week 'Fight Club' came out.
A movie (and a damn fine book) about our generations dissatisfaction with our lives. Our parents were the Baby Boomers. Born at end of WWII. They redefined self-indulgence. They were the youth in the 60's that were going to change the world, they were the greedy yuppies of the 80's that damn near destroyed it, and now they are in their 60/70s panicked by their own impending mortality and grasping at straws and government funds, and global resources. We are the Regan youth that were expected to follow in their footsteps, pay for their abuses and clean up their messes.
We have more in common with our grandparents (we're fighting the Boomer's wars in the middle east, working through the depression started by their greed, and we'll be paying for them at least for the rest of our lives.) Fight Club resonates with our generation. It is a rejection of the pseudo-rebellion of the 60's, of the consumer culture of the 80's and 90's and a refusal to repair society. It is a bubble of the simmering anger and disdain we feel. It actually resonates more 10 years later.

I've been training a lot. Numbers don't really matter, I've been doing more of the same.
I get back on the 5/3/1 bus at the end of next week. More training details then.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Aerobic BASE! how slow can you go..

About what seems like 150 years ago, right after my shoulder surgery(s) I did yoga once a week as part of my rehab protocol. In my deconditioned state it was very beneficial... but then we've covered this before.. One of my fellow students was an assistant coach for one of the more successful collegiate rowing programs in the area. As class ended we started talking about training, I don't remember exactly how, but we started talking about what I used to do to get fit to play rugby. Generally it was a progression from longer sprints with complete rest to more continuous intervals with the rest periods getting more and more active. Pretty basic stuff for any soccer/rugby/aussie rules coach.
She asked "What about your aerobic base?"
I had no idea what she was talking about. I pulled a funny face, and quite eloquently said: "huh?"
It is explained here
Aerobic base? What the hell is that? You just go out and do sprints and get fit.. I don't have to go on long runs to get fit to get fit.. what kind of sense does that make.
I think my eloquent response was (shrug) "I never do any.. seems to work."
Mike Boyle has a better response here.

Pump and preen training continues:
dumbbell bench:
8 at 65
8 at 75
8 at 85
then 5 at 95

8 at 115
8 at 135
8 at 155
8 at 175
6 at 195

8 at 45
8 at 55
6 at 65


Monday, November 2, 2009


Catching up from the Halloween weekend.
Wednesday was another day of takedowns. I taught class and worked on control points from standing and options. It's good to have options.
Thursday my gym at work was closed due to an event so I had to take an unscheduled rest day. Not a big deal. I'm going to hammer things hard this week, take a short deload and jump back on the 5/3/1 bandwagon.

Friday was sort of all over the map.
I did some light prowler work to warm up, then did:
kneeling russian twist and press 2 minutes
kb swing 2 minutes
2 minutes rest.
Renegade row w/ push-up 2 minutes
hip to hip kb halos 2 minutes.

I had some folks do this 2x through as their whole workout, I did it once to leave room for:
8x15seconds all out 45seconds off with the prowler (building up more anerobic alac)
1 pull-up every 15 seconds for 10 minutes. (more work capacity on these)

Paul did:
20 seconds on 20 off (paddle)
40 seconds 0n 40 0ff
60 seconds on 60 off
40 seconds 0n 40 0ff
20 seconds on 20 off
2x on the erg.
He's getting down right respectable on the erg. I wanted to work on his fitness without loading him, as sometimes he neglects recovery a bit)

Saturday morning class we worked some triangles, and I had a good roll with Paul. I rolled with a couple of newer folks, and with Neal who is competing this weekend. All in all a great class.
From there I headed basically straight to the gym.
Did hang cleans:
worked up to 90 kgs for 2
then speed deads:
8x2 at 315 light rest. Really working on hip hinge and rate of force development.
Sunday was off.

I do love Halloween. Unfortunately the wife does not, and since we're not really too big on going out and living the rock star lifestyle, not much happened this weekend.
Hope yours was fun.