Monday, December 31, 2007


Today I began to ease myself back into the kettlebells. I've taken about a week and a half off from lifting for a rest before beginning the next 6 months of training. I've learned that it really sucks to just jump in with both feet after a lay off. I began with some joint mobility and focused on some problem areas, back and hips. Then I warmed up with some body weight exercises which I will describe in a later post. Then I began working the core area of the body.

The windmill is an excellent exercise for the working the core and the shoulders. You can see from the video what to do. Let me give you some pointers: turn both feet in the direction you are going to bend or fold your body; you may bend your forward leg; keep you rear leg and butt locked tight; breath in before you bend and out on the way up; you can achieve a deeper stretch by flexing your hamstring on the locked leg.

Pull up: 5x10
Windmill: 16K 5x5, 24k:3x5
Turkish Get Up: 16K 5x5, 24k 3x5
Swing: 24K 2min.

It is highly recommend that you seek out an RKC trainer before you attempt this exercise.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Benson Bop

Thursday I met Dean and Mike on the outskirts of Raleigh for the Benson Bop. The route is a rolling 47 miles with more than 2000 ft of climbing. It makes for a perfect training route. Unfortunately for me, it is not here at the beach. The route will become part of a longer route in the near future. I'm sure I will have the opportunity to become acquainted with this area of North Carolina soon enough.

I must say I got a little more than I bargained on this route. I needed to get time on the saddle and I was going stir crazy couped up on boxing day. Within the first 5 miles, I knew it would be a long day and I wondered why I hadn't ridden a little more regularly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. My legs were already jello with some deep pain. I figured it was a relatively short day and I have hurt far more on the bicycle for considerably more miles so I kept spinning. It was worth it. I felt great and felt ready to do more miles at the end of the day.

The mantra: If the pain or injury will heal within a week or two....keep going.

We stopped in Benson, NC for lunch. YUM!

A pond along the route. The glassy water made a perfect mirror of the shore line.
Mike taking some pictures of an old mill house.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Hardest Thing to DO

Picture is a ship sitting in the Chesapeake Bay on Christmas day.

After opening gifts on Christmas morning, I went for a ramble around the beach areas. It turned out to be a beautiful morning but I kept watching the weather looking, hoping it would get warm. I think part of me wanted an excuse to sit inside on the couch for a few more hours.

The past 4 months has been difficult to get going. I want to do things, I know the benefit and I understand the pitfalls of resting an extra day here and there. If the motivation isn't there nothing will occur. The reasons for doing what ever you do need to be clear so that you can do the consistently. Do you have a goal? Do you have a need? Do you have desire?

I find that once I am on the bike or have done the first couple sets of kettlebells or weights, I am ready to go and don't want to stop until I have met or exceeded the days planned goals. This is regardless of the difficulty of the event.

I should say that I hate everything until I am doing it. It's always been that way. This goes for all training in Marine Corps too. MCMAP (martial arts), rifle range (too early), pistol range, NBC, schools or even getting out of bed in the morning. Don't misunderstand what I've said. Once immersed in an event, I am ALL about it and it is the most important thing happening. It is fun and I want to do more.

Bottom line, go out and have FUN in your activities!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

What else can I do?

I get asked the question, " What else can I do?" It is usually in reference to training, especially but not limited to kettlebell training. If you think about it, there are hundreds or even thousands of options and variety when it comes to training. Most of us would be best suited to pick 3 or 4 exercises that focus on several areas of the body at the same time. Really keep it simple.

The doctor in The Cannon Ball Run only relied on two "medical tools" for his practice.

Most people don't stick with anything more than 3 weeks. Their impatience leads them to expect miracles to occur. When they don't, they move on or quit. These short periods don't lend enough time to practice correct technique. Mastering form and technique results in consistent gains without risking injury.

Last winter we trained in the gym for a few months. My training partners kept laughing at the looks I gave the misguided and misinformed people. I didn't correct these people out of courtesy. One example of this is the kid in caveman mode. This Sailor probably lifted in high school football or something and he knew everything. Also of note, he was obviously hadn't done any training since his last game in high school. Beer belly and pushing 200 pounds.

This lumox had to show his buddies how to properly squat. They warmed up with 135#, not even close to parallel. He proceeded to add weight until he had close to 300#. This is where we all stopped to gasp at his stupidity. Caveman got under the bar. His buddies were on either side of the barbell spotting him. He stepped back and squatted about 4 inches and back up. "That's how it is done," he said with a high five!

About this time I busted out in laughter! When my belly quit hurting and the Sailors were done racking the weights, I approached our barbell, and completed my deadlift 10th set of 5 reps with a meager 225. My focus was to just get better and more efficient pulling the weight. Certainly I could have popped 300 on the bar, but why? The 3 Sailors watched us in silence as we completed the workout. They didn't say anything but they wanted to.

What else can you do?
Master a few lifts. Stick to them for 6 months or 6 years; the longer the more benefit. The lifters setting new PRs don't just work on something for 3 or 4 weeks. They work and practice consistently for years. The results are worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears.

My plan for the next 6 months is to stick to the basic kettlebell lifts and keep it simple. Here is the basis: Day 1: snatch, clean and jerk, pull up. Day 2: front squat or tgu, and military press, pull up. That is all. I will add some assistance exercises at times to help the effectiveness of these lifts. Also, In March or April, I will replace squats with pistols.

Your plan?
I recommend one of the following: Power to the People (PTTP), RKC program minimum and moving to the RKC right of passage. All three of these are excellent and will change your body and fitness level to that of an ELITE WARRIOR.

What else can you do?
Forget about everything else. Avoid the latest fad workout or routine someone else is doing. Remain consistent!

Friday's Ride:
25 miles

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hip Flexor and Back Pain

The question: How did you overcome your back pain?

Answer: I haven't! I hurt right now. It does have an adverse affect on all activities and probably reduces my over all strength by a huge amount (I will describe this in another post). Really, it is there most of the time and perhaps the pain is dulled because my body has adjusted and turns pain in that area off. I get days and weeks that don't bother me as much as others. When this happens, I forget my injury is chronic and do something stupid (read fun) that aggravates the injury again. I am better than I was 2 years ago. At that time I couldn't put on socks or skivvies. A couple cortisone shots in the spine (OUCH!!!!!) and hundreds of swings and the pain seems to be remedied.

Kettlebell training allows me to have an active mostly pain free lifestyle! I am strong, loose and better than average flexibility in all areas. Body areas damaged by severe trauma function relatively normal and don't impede performance too much.

Part of the process of pain relief is learning about the back and it's function. Here are some thoughts:

I read somewhere that building lower back strength is best avoided. It is better to build endurance in the back so that you can have longer periods of time without back pain. I've found this to be true.

It is essential to keep the hip flexors loose. It is common for most of us in America to have tight hip flexors. The main reason is the amount of time we sit. It is also common for many Americans to have chronic back pain. If you do the math, they are related. When you are tight, your pelvis is being pulled. This is what the hip flexor is supposed to do. It causes your butt to stick out and your upper body to roll forward. When this happens, the lumbar region undergoes serious stress. The weight of the upper body and head is supported by this region.

Supporting the upper body is best left for the hips and pelvis. When the hip flexors are loose, weight is shifted and centered on the hips. You've guessed it, the stress on the lumbar is relieved.

Two easy ways to keep the hips loose. First, kettlebell swings, duh!

Second is to pry the hips in a stretch similar to the yoga cobra. When on your hands and knees, tighten you butt, breath in and drop your hips (butt tight). Look over your shoulders towards your feet. Try to see the opposite foot. Do this multiple times during the day.

Contact me if you would like more info on being loose and mobile!

Pull up 5x5 alt with swings, 1leg DL and 5 r/l windmills. 16k

Clean and Jerk: 7 min 24K 5l,5r per min. (70 reps)

Snatch VO2: 15 on/15 off. 22 sets of 8 reps. (176 reps) I learned I can do 9s on the right. (Left back is too weak only 8s on left)

Snatch 24K 5l5r x 5 (50 reps). I need to do more with the larger weight.

Hanging leg raises 5x5

Sunday, December 16, 2007


This image was posted on the DD forum. I think it's bueno!

Saturday's Workshop

On Saturday, I held a beginners kettlebell workshop. Crossfit Virginia Beach is very gracious and let me use their gym for a few hours. They like to seek people improve themselves with a little physical pain and fatigue. Thanks guys.

I had a blast providing information and criticizing technique. I can tell you for a fact that all of the participants made giant leaps in their kettlebell lifting techniques and improved their knowledge of strength training.

We covered the swing, get ups, windmill, military press, clean, and snatch. I threw in a couple of mini practical application workouts to demonstrate how to put it all together.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Training Day

My fitness level is pretty good in my opinion. One of my training mantras is to simply become bullet proof. This means I can just go do stuff. Run 5K, Ride 130+ miles, rock climb, swim, hike or just play with my daughter. There is nothing worse than reaching to pick an infant only to have your back give out. Well, I think I have succeeded in this.

I can get better though. My training for the past 6 months has lacked focus. Even when I tried to focus earlier this fall, it was still the minimum. This was still effective! Now it is time to take this fitness base and build. I have upcoming events that require focus in training. The culmination of the first half of the year is the RKC II certification which is only 3 weeks after a 600K ride.

I went back to intensity today. I would have to go back months to find intensity in training. Today I combined 2 workouts that I have been using for sustainment. The result? Good training.

Swing: 24K 1x50
Windmill: 16k - 5x5
L/C Clean and Jerk (1arm): 24K 10 min alt. 5r/5l - 120 reps
2 min rest
VO2 Max Snatch: 16K: 36 on: 36 off 15 reps per set: 10l,10r 300total

Snatches started a little rough. I felt my back acting up for the first 5 sets and considered calling it a day. On the 6th set, I must have finally gotten warmed up. The pain disappeared and my power in the left side returned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Test Day

Got up early this morning for the 2nd physical fitness test of the year. It was a beautiful morning and I won't complain a bit. My other option was last Friday and that was COLD and "breezy." I have blogged about the requirements for the test in the past. The actual post is here. It explains the requirements and how I fared in June.

How did I do today?

Pull up: 17...again. All I can say is they are getting easier to nail the 17. Improvement will come! Can you say persevere? A little more work and I will get it.

Crunch: 100 maxed. This is too easy. I nearly finished in the first minute 1:07. No sore back either. I guess I am doing something right. I can assure you one thing. I haven't done one single crunch since June. Lots of evil wheel and hanging leg raises are the way to go. Don't forget swings.

Run: 26:26. Not too bad for 9 miles this year. I felt good for the most part. All those swings and snatches really pay off, don't you think?

Score: 234 this is a 7 point improvement from June. It is all in the run.

Now that this is over I will continue training. The immediate focus is the brevet season right around the corner. I leg strength is the main focus to carry me through the season to the RKC II where we will do pistols (1 leg squats). Well, strength everywhere (GPP). I will also begin preparing the snatch test for the RKC II.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Perfect Weather

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to ride on such a perfect day. I rode with shorts. The AM ride presented temperatures in the upper 50s maybe even 60, I had a steady headwind for most of the ride. I'm not complaining about that. The afternoon ride allowed riding with short and short sleeves. How cool is that on a December afternoon?

Interestingly on the way home, I saw two wrecks within about a mile's distance. The first had three cars crunched in the median. The second was actually on the right side of the road. The truck had a little ding in the fender. I couldn't turn around to see the other vehicle's front side. I'm going to take a stab and guess that these people were driving while holding a cell phone and perhaps even doing makeup. For some unknown reason I feel far more secure on a bicycle than driving down the road with all all the crazies

Swings: 32K: 1x50
Ride AM 15mi
Ride PM 17 mi....I tried a slightly different route on some back roads and actual bike paths. I think I shall keep it. Less traffic....slower traffic...relaxing.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bike Commuting in Duluth, MN

MN Bicycle Commuter is a great blog about bicycle commuting in Duluth, MN. I lived in that area for a few years and the weather can get down right BRUTAL. At any rate, there are some fantastic photos of the Duluth Harbor in winter. Right now the temps are in the single digits and there is about 2 feet of snow. Check it out.

Geography: Duluth is located at the most southerly area of Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world. It is freeking huge. I liked to call it the Superior Ocean. You can't see end to end and there are tankers in the port from all over the world picking up iron ore from the large mines located on the MN arrowhead. Probably the most famous ship wreck is the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in 1975.

Gordon Lightfoot tells the story:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Gifts to ME

When we arrived home from work this evening, there were 5 packages of varying weight stacked neatly by the door. I'm sure the UPS guy is pleased. That is ok though the International Brotherhood of Teamsters ensures he has great benefits. Now I can say I helped him with some benefits too. He got to lift several kettlebells and is now on his way to improved fitness.

I actually purchased the Russian Reds for my upcoming workshop. They look cool.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

December Kettlebell Workshop


I think I've made the decision to do the physical fitness test on Friday. I probably won't make any large improvements in a week. It also makes sense because I kinda tapered already and feel ready for some punishment. The taper will continue for the next two days with an event on Friday AM. I will do some swings and RIS during this period.

The events are pull ups, must do at least 3; 20 is worth maximum points. Crunches is a time limit of 2 minutes, 100 is the max. A 3 mile run caps off the test.

Pull up: BW

Monday, December 3, 2007

Under the Weather and offline

I've been under the weather thus I have taken a few days off from the normal training. I also took an extra day off to ensure the bug was past. I don't want to break down the immune system too much. I will be back to normal schedule soon.

The semi-annual physical fitness test is right around the corner. I can either get it out of the way this Friday or do it next Wednesday. They both have their advantages. Waiting a week won't give me too much difference in score but I could knock out another pull up or so. If I go on Friday, I can get it over with and continue training for events later in the year and next.

I guess the determining factor will be the weather forecast. Now that I have looked at it, I am leaning towards Friday AM. I will be a little cooler but dry and little wind. These are fairly favorable conditions. The best part is the weekend outlook, sunny and warm, perfect for some riding on la bicyclette.

In the mean time, I have done many pull-ups.

Friday, Sat, Sun,: -- this is tough!


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Long Cycle Clean & Jerk

Quick workout and practice this evening:

Long Cycle Clean and Jerk: 24K 10 min. - 13 sets of 5/5 (130 reps).

It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; first time doing the 10 min time. Form was going during the last few min. I kept forgetting to lower the kettlebell from the lockout.

Pull up 1 x 5 bw, 3x5 16k, 2x10bw + evil wheel (5)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Monday and Tuesday's practice

I neglected to post this information. I neglected to follow my actual plan.

The good news, I still did stuff. I practiced the fun stuff.

Ride: 20
Pull up: 10x10

Ride: 20
Pull up: 5x10

The Pre-Turkey Workout

The pre-turkey workout is what I would like to think of as a preemptive strike against the garbage I may or may not consume later today. The goal, simply elevate the metabolism. Stoke the coals.

I did KJ's VO2 max protocol with the 36/36 times as prescribed. This is an entirely different animal than the 15/15. The latter enables you to breeze through reps at a blazing speed. Not a problem until the last couple sets. On the other hand, the 36/36 seems to use the energy system a little differently; after all, each set is 16 seconds longer. I found that at around 11 reps I began to slow. How did I counter the tempo change? READ THIS: Focus on hip snap. Hip snap is the most crucial part of the exercise. When your grip, forearms, shoulders and abs are smoked, using or relying on hip snap is the only way to survive!

Swing: 24: 1x100 -- why did I do this? Because I can.
Windmill: 16K: 1/1x5 -- need to do this daily and increase volume. Need core/torso endurance.
Snatch protocol: 16: time: 36/36 15 reps x 10l/10r (300 reps)

I will finish the day with some GTG pull up stuff and other grip work.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Keep it simple

I am keeping it simple. Simple is not the same as easy. Simple has many benefits, I think the most important is the ability do high intensity without risking injury caused by poor form. All of these exercises are form intensive (minus pull ups) and shouldn't be done without proper instruction.

Swings: 24K: 1x100
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk 24K(1): 5 min x 2 (100 reps)
Pull Up: 16K - 5x5
Evil Wheel: 5x5 (1 standing)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

100 Pull Ups

Arnold said he did 100 pull ups every day before he left the gym. He did this regardless which body part he was working on that particular day. I haven't done this in a while but today was the day. 100 Pull ups! I completed the first 50 at PT this morning 5x10. I did the remaining 5 sets of 10 GTG style.

Pull up 5x10
Hanging leg raises 5x5

GTG pull up: 5x10

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A pull up day

Today ended up being a pull up / evil wheel day.

Pull up: 36lb 5x5 + evil wheel 5x5

I think I could do 6s on the pull ups but I didn't want to push that on the first day of 5s. Remember it is far better to leave a couple reps in the tank rather than go to failure. Going to failure trains your CNS (central nervous system) what failure is in addition, it leads to over training. Leaving gas in the tank keeps the CNS and your muscles on the fresh side and ready to train again tomorrow!

It really does work.

Kettlebell Workshop Dec 15

I will be available for a kettlebell workshop on December 15, 2007.

Many of you have been inquiring about my schedule for classes etc.
Truth be told, I had to put that on hold as other endeavors (read: school and studying for school) have devoured ALL of my time.

The good news is this will be one week after I spend a weekend training with Pavel Tsatsouline (the Evil Russian) in Los Angeles, CA. What that means to you is that I will have some refresher training and an updated skill set to assist your training.

You will learn:
Kettlebell training: swings, snatches, cleans, presses, windmill, turkish get up, front squat
Body weight training: squat, push up, pistol etc.
Joint mobility: I will take you through a full body JM training session.

The length of the training workshop will be about 4 hours.

Cost: $75 per person if you register by November 25, 2007.
November 26 - December 7, 2007 - $100.
December 7 - 14 December 2007 - $150.

If you are interested in training, please contact me.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are you fat? America is!

I received Dave Whitley's newsletter this morning. I have to pass on some of the information to you. He writes, "Between Halloween and New Year's Day the average American will gain eight pound of fat. That means that most people have already put on nearly 2 lbs in the past couple of weeks, and the serious stuff doesn't even start until the week of Thanksgiving!"

This is par for the least with me. You have control of your destiny for the next few months. Practice the push away plan. While this is not a push up protocol, I guess you could do them instead of eating. The push away plan is simply pushing away food that you don't need. It is especially important during the next few months.

Do you get the munchies? Is it this bad?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tappohannock 200K

The ride began in Ashland, VA on a frigid, wet November morning. The starting temp was 40F and the rain had just stopped leaving the streets and atmosphere wet.

I was terribly miserable during the first 10 miles. I thought that if I didn’t warm up by mile ten, I would turn around and be done with the day and a 20 mile training ride. With my “luck” at mile 9, we encountered the first long hill of significant grade. After a few minutes of peddling, all hints of cold disappeared. Funny, the sun decided to poke out from the clouds for about 10 or 15 minutes at the same time. I considered ditching a layer but I was too busy spinning a small gear up the grade.

We cruised into the first control in good time. When I dismounted by bike and looked around, I didn’t see Ron anywhere. I checked in, used the head and began to freeze. I stuck around waiting for a while then decided to head down the road. Not a clue where he was until I saw his yellow jacket in the ditch repairing a flat. I waited for him (he was after all my ride back to VB). Overall, we lost about 35 min. with this incident. I told him don’t worry, we will catch the riders in front of us by the next control and we did.

At mile 75, in Tappohannock, the control was at Java Joe's, nice little café and coffee shop. For some dumb reason, we decided to sit and have a sandwich. All I really needed was a latte. We spent an hour at this stop, pretty ridiculous. I thought, it is in the spirit of randonneuring. See the countryside and take in the local fair! I thought of Adrian Hands, he says that if the limit is 13.5 hours, you should get your money's worth and take all 13.5 hours.

We headed down the road chugging and churning and reached the next control just as a couple riders in front of us were leaving. (I didn’t see them and figured we were hours behind anyone.) When we left the control, we headed into a state forest. No traffic on these roller coaster rides and the scenery was fantastic. Especially on the hilltops, the fall colors were visible from an overhead view of the countryside.

We arrived at the next control in the dark. I didn’t realize it was even a control. I just wanted to get a little water and some spare batteries. We departed the control and headed down the road. The pace was quick. I forgot to look at the cue sheet and had no idea where we were heading. I guess we were on track. Eventually we could see the orange glow of Ashland but first a small detour.

By this time the temp was back down to 40 degrees and I was freezing. The route called for an information control at a farm along a dirt road. The route took us 2 miles to cross the rail road tracks, another mile to the farm house and a 4th mile to pavement and the crossing over I-95. We got the farmer’s name off the sign. We had to take this entire 4 mile stretch painfully slow. Ron’s recumbent wasn’t having the off road terrain and he nearly crashed numerous times. By the time we hit the pavement, I couldn’t feel my feet or a couple fingers.

On a lighter note, our spirits were up as we only had a few miles to the finish. The pace quickened as we passed by the college in Ashland. When we arrived at the Ashland Coffee and Tea Company, members of the DC Randonneurs were sitting in side waiting with smiles. This was a welcoming sight as I was down. I didn’t want to be on a bicycle any longer, I feel that we were spending way too much time in the cold for a 200k ride.

Lessons Learned:
Take everything to the start and decide what to leave behind there, not at home. My shoe covers would have been a very nice piece of gear.
My new wind proof winter riding gloves suck! I need to try something else.
Need a different winter riding philosophy for clothing. I was freezing for the last 2 – 3 hours.

Ride Stats:
131.2 miles
Overall time: 12:45 hrs.
Ride Time: 9:55:04
Avg. speed 13.1

I feel like I had energy to spare at the end and felt strong…and cold. This is a great feeling.
I would have finished well before the sun went down without unnecessary stops. Do the math, more than an hour total for this distance or even a 300k is too much. The rule is usually 10 min at controls. Eat on the go.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Birthday MARINES

Tomorrow is the Marine Corps' 232 Birthday. It is customary to read General John A Lejeune's Birthday Message. It reads:

On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name Marine. In memory of them, it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our Corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of it's existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the nations foes. From the battle of Trenton to the Argonne. Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home. Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our Corps Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term Marine has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps.

This rendition of the Marines Hymn is chosen because I am actually playing Horn on the video!

Happy Birthday and Semper Fi!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

As someone once said, "Here is the down-low."

Oh, the guy that said that is a dork! For our purposes, we will call him Francis. "His name is Francis." "His name is Francis." I mean come on, how hard is it to recall the appropriate slang and use it correctly? Perhaps when they teach ebonics, they should educate every white boy that is trying to be cool. Fo' rizzle Malibu!

So the saying should read, "here's the low-down."

I haven't posted in a few days, perhaps I am a slacker, possible. Perhaps, I want to keep all info to myself, naaa. Perhaps, I just had better things to do. Ya might ask what is better than posting a blog? Well, reading blogs is fun. Watching sports and eating wings is super fun!

Actually, I am pretty busy! I do have a real job, kinda! I do have a family which is important to me (more than this blog). I do train a few clients here and there (not as much as I would like). I do watch football and eat wings and nachos! On top of all that, I am attending grad school. How crazy, it is pretty much a full time occupation in itself. Yikes--what a time management exercise this semester is turning out to be. Ok...done with the self pitty and rambling nonsense.

I did take the weekend off, partly on purpose, partly due to weather and partly due to back fatigue. I delayed my ride on Sat due to the nor'easter we experienced here at the beach. I accidenally got into some projects on Sunday then ate wings and nachos and watched football. Go Vikes! Most importantly, I nursed a back injury sustained from running on Friday. I had a feeling and it just kept getting worse. That is ok, I know what to do now days. Rest, swings, stretch hip flexors and Zhealth.

Ride 15

Pull ups 3x15
Evil wheel 3x5

Pull up 16K 5x3
hang leg raise 5x5
TGu 2x5

Ride: 30

Another note:
My super duper training plan may have to change. I may need to prepare for a strength course with Pavel in December. So I may change some of the emphasis of the program a little to ensure I am ready. Read: add push ups and pistols.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle

Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, Marine Corps Shuffle...Went on a little run this morning with the detachment. It was nice to get out and do a little jogging. Unfortunately, I will feel this for a few days. I think I could enjoy running if I was able to practice running periodically. I did today's little excursion as a test. I wanted to see how well training has been going and see if I have enough endurance in the lumbar region muscles to begin running practice on a more regular basis. Only time will tell if this is an option.

Run:~3miles (maybe a little more)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Day 2 Workout B

Today I attempted the second day of workout B. I guess it was slightly easier than the first day. The smart thing to do is to move down to the 24K and work it up with the time in order to focus on form. The other option is to do the workout with the same weight and do it outside. It will take away the fear of dropping the kettlebell in my dining room and crashing down three stories on the first deck.

Pull ups: 16K 5x3
LC Clean and Jerk: 32k - 3 min. (20 reps)
Evil Wheel - 5x3

This morning's ride was much better than yesterday's. As with anything else, it is good to be consistent and not take too many days between workouts. Duh.

Ride 15mi.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


This morning I dressed up as a cyclist and rode to work. This afternoon I repeated. Anyway, no kettlebells today need rest.

ride am: 15
Ride PM: 15

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the barons of Vélocio

He builds bikes for “the princes of the challenges and the lords of ‘Flèches,’ the barons of Vélocio.” Read more at COHO THOUGHTS.

I was reading a blog by frame builder Charles Lathe who's bicycles are designed for randonneuring. Chuck is going to build my new steed and the fact that he uses the sentence in the first line of his post is inspiring.

Maybe I am a prince of challenge - I love challenge even when I want to quit. There is little that compares to overcoming your own mind. Completing what your mind tells you is impossible.

lords of ‘Flèches,’ - I haven't completed a fleche yet. I plan on riding one in spring 2008. The fleche is a minimum of 380k. If things go as planned, I will do so on my new Coho bicycle.

Baron of Velocio - this is just a cool title. My imagination is going wild. Thinking about the aces of WWI in dog fights over Belleau Wood where the Marines earned 3 Croix de Guerre from the French for their Heroism...or... imagine riding my bicycle with some bread to my castle or chateau in the alps.

Chuck has some good writing on his blog and his bicycles are beautiful. Check them out!

Day 1 Workout B

For those that are unfamiliar with marksmanship, this is the DOG target. Notice the similarity to a human silhouette. How do I know this? Because every Marine is a Rifleman.

Workout B is just as much FUN as yesterday's! Although it was a very quick, it is very effective. I'm feelin' it! I think I shall call workout B - ONE SHOT ONE KILL. We should think about workouts like that. Get it out of the way with intensity. Forget all that low intensity 'cardio' garbage.

Contrary to what many in the mainstream fitness industry and those whose only knowledge is limited to these teachings, this is a far better way to go. Why in the world would you want to spend hours doing physical training and why would you do this with no results? Oh, yea there is a supplement or diet plan that will fix everything for you. Right? WRONG-O!

One Shot One Kill is simply training for kettlebell sport. The long cycle clean and jerk is one of three events in the sport. A girevek (kettlebell man) will do this event for 10 minutes without setting the kettlebell down. Rest may be done in the rack position. Russian kettlebell sport is a not for those that are weak minded or feeble. The events are brutal both physically and mentally. I guess that is why I fear the sport and like it all the same.

Workout B:
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk: 32K 3 min. alt hands every 5 reps - 20 reps. (don't set KB down)
Pull up 16K: 5x3

I completed the 3 minutes. It was difficult. Tried to keep pacing at 7.5 reps per minute but went a little quicker. Need to work on the rest position (rack position). I didn't feel like it was much of a rest. Today actually called for 24K but I let EGO get in the way. Like I said, one shot...

Monday, October 29, 2007

The PLAN - Day 1 - Workout A

Today is the first day of the new plan. I wrote it so I did it. It was tough getting off the couch. You can see from the video how 'easy' it is to do this workout. Try it. Notice, the sweater; it only lasted the first minute of the workout before it was lost. Also, on this first set, I finished just before the bell; I finished with more than 5 seconds remaining in the interval for the majority of them.

Notice I labeled this workout A. I am alternating 2 or 3 different workouts.

Workout A Day 1
Pull up: BW 5x5
Snatch VO2: 16K 20/20x7 (280 total reps)
Pull up BW: 5x5 + wheel 3x5

The snatches felt good and I was tempted to go for 50 sets. Decided to follow the plan.

Fantastic Finish (Football)

Check this out. It is an unreal finish to a football game. We used to do this when I was a kid only we didn't wear pads or uniforms. We called it "kill the carrier," or "smear the queer."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Plan is Formed

Last night I mapped out my new and improved strength and conditioning plan. As I stated in an earlier post, it is simple and intense. I have a few goals with the new plan.

1. Loose weight. (fat)
2. Peak for upcoming physical fitness test.
3. Improve GPP and Strength in preparation for 2008.

Hopefully the plan's will accomplish these things without over training. As a precaution, I built in rest periods to this cycle. The plan includes 2, 4 week periods. I did modify the exercises from my initial plan. In the place of most of the MP, I substituted a clean and Jerk protocol (long cycle). I get bored doing swings every day and this should provide a nice change. Nothing replaces swings thought and don't worry they are still part of the plan. So exercises include snatch (VO2), jerk, front squat and pull ups. In addition, I will continue to ride bike (good transportation to work) and do the Z health R-Phase. There is probably something I am missing...good thing it is on my chart! (let me know if you are interested in the rest of the details)

Practice today; (it is not a workout)
GTG with Jerk, 32k 5x5/5 just working on form,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Snatch Thought

Thursday night, I had the opportunity to work with a LEO from central VA. He was in the area for some training and wanted to take the opportunity to have someone look at his form. I must say, overall, he was right on the money with most of the kettlebell exercises. Good hip snap. We refined a few small techniques that in the long run change the feel of exercise. The result is PAIN in the correct areas such as hammies and hips, not bad areas like the lower back.

One key point in the kettlebell snatch really changes the feel of the movement. When in the top position, just before you lower the kettlebell, stay on your heels. Push your hips and butt back. It will be difficult timing at first. The hip movement takes place for a split second, then lower the kettlebell. This technique will help keep the kettlebell close to your body not to mention reduce stress on the lumbar area of the back.

Try it!

Did a few sets of everything.
Swing: 2x20
Press: 2x5
Front Squat: 2x3
TGU: 2l,2r
Snatch: 2 or 3 sets of 10
Renegade rows, 2x5
Renegade lunge 1x5
sling shot
figure 8s
figure 8 with hold

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tue and Wed -- Rides

This morning was not typical. The day began at 0330 with a quick shower and I was out the door about 0400. YUCK. It is difficult to believe that at 4am near the end of October we have temperatures in the 80s. Also of note is the two coyotes running around the ocean front area.

Workouts for Tuesday and Wednesday are nearly identical.
Tue: ride 15
pull up 5x5

ride 15
pull up 6x5
A couple janda situps
z 20min.

Monday, October 22, 2007

VO2 week 2 day 1

New label of posts so I can track progress.

I attempted to use athletic tape again today to protect my hands. It did no good on the snatches. I ripped off the tape after the 4th set because it was falling off and getting in the way. I did use it on the pull ups. It helped a little. More trials needed to make any determination.

Z Health week 2 ankles.
Pull ups 6x5
VO2 snatch 16K: 20x7/7

Did 7s today to ensure form is on. I will increase sets at 7 reps in the next 2 workouts this week.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Quick One

I needed a quick workout this morning before I sat in the car all day. My original thought was get up early, ride for an hour or so, then do a little lifting. This could have taken a few hours. No time so I scrapped it!

I decided to go with this shorter workout.

Pull ups: 2x13
Snatch: 16K 1x100 (20,15,10,5) didn't set the kettlebell down.
Evil wheel 5x5

z 20 min. This completes the first week of Z. Some changes already. I will discuss more later. The next week should yield results that are more tangable...

That's all folks.

More riding in the car tomorrow! Yippie...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Write it -- Do it

Nothing new here. Just a "medium" day in the sun. It had to be upper 80s today and humid, not unlike May or Sept. Just practiced good form on all three exercises. Next week, I will begin adding volume in prep for a Dec physical fitness test.

Pull up - 5x5
front squat 2x24 + see-saw press 2x24: 5x5 (time management!)

Here's how I'm going to make this work. My current plan isn't working because I have failed to write down a plan. I do have one in my head. I am actually going to plan backwards from the date; all the way to this coming Monday.

HMMM, What to include in the plan....Of course pull ups, squats and presses; duh! Oh yea, snatches too. These 4 exercises will make the base of the plan along with bicycling as I will ride 2 brevets before the PFT. For the "abs," it will be the evil wheel and hanging leg raises. It is all looking familiar, doesn't it? The difference will be in the execution. By that I mean frequency and intensity and number of days per week. I also have to ensure there is a small taper as well as rest days after the brevets. Stay tuned, I will write more about the new plan soon.

Ready for the best news? On Tuesday I reenlist, for the last time! I plan on ordering the following kettlebells to complement what I currently have. 1x54, 1x72 and 2x88. All on the Marine Corps dime as they have decided to gimme a bonus. I have other plans for the cash as well but that is another story. Back to the kettlebells....perhaps this is unfortunate for me in a small way. More and heavier kettlebells = a new level of pain, not to mention a new level of strength and power.

Bike Pool (Thurs

A bike pool is pretty much like a car pool; a group of people meeting at a specific destination and riding to work together. Yesterday, I met a co-worker Kieth at the Food Lion. I was running a couple minutes behind schedule because I had to go back up to my house to get a headlight. As a result, I had to push the pace for the 7 miles to meet Keith. He saw me coming and we just kept going. Pushing hard and trading pulls in a slight headwind. When we got to Little Creek, I looked at my total time and it was at 40:03. This is a quick time for this route. In fact, it is the 2nd fastest I have done. Keith turned to go on the base and I headed the other direction to get the car. My commute would be an even 20.

This is great, we plan to do this more often. The benefit to me? I get to work on speed during the week and I can save precious time on Saturday for the distance rides I need. Not to mention some comradarie!

Ride: 20

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


That's what I'm calling it. Today practiced Kenneth Jay's Vo2 max protocol. I was working with this protocol for a few weeks back in July/August. I have written about it a few times in this blog. The last couple times I did it, I had no problem hitting 7 snatches per 15 sec. and that WAS today's plan.

The problem began in the first minute when I hit 7s with 4 - 5 seconds to spare. Remember, there is a reason I wanted to ease into this protocol this week. I also remember KJ writing that the benefit comes from 8s and working to 50 total. So I kicked it in and went for the 8s. I stopped at 20min. with 40 total. (The smartest thing I did all day.) I was having difficulty with proper form for the last 3 min.

Pleased with the workout. I'm still feeling the aftermath! My hands are trashed, I will have to use hand care methods as preventative medicine. Will repeat on Thurs or Fri.

Ride: 15 miles. Feel Saturday's ride.
Pullup: 5x5
VO2 Max Snatch - 16K 20l/20r x 8

Monday - Back to the basics

I am still in a "recovery" mode after Saturdays ride. I actually planned on doing the VO2 max protocol today but, I didn't plan well enough. As a result I "improvised, adapted and overcame." I decided to swap with one of my standard workouts.

Pull up: BW - 5x5
Clean and Press: 24K - 5x4 rung ladders.

Ok so it was no exactly a light recovery day. I don't have time for any BS workouts. No time to waste, no time to give away for free. I gots some goals to achieve, places to be. As the song goes, " A long way to go and a short time to get there..."

The 4 rung ladders were tough. I know I couldn't have done 5 rungs. I will try to build up to these in the next couple weeks.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Kerr Lake 200K - October

Saturday I rode the Kerr Lake 200K permanent. This time I had company as 8 other randonneurs decided to make a day of it. I must say the weather was nearly perfect except for the frigid am temps. Actually I should have brought along 3 different articles of clothing. 1. Hat that covers ears. 2. Gloves that cover the fingers. 3. Wind vest. These items would have made the first 10 miles or so much more enjoyable; as it was, it only took a couple hills to fix any cold feelings.

Overall, the ride was a great time. The company was especially great. We even stopped in Boydton VA for lunch. I had a cheese burger, fries and a Coke. It all was especially good after 65 miles or so. Let me relate the taste of the burger and fries to you with a few key words: BOWLING ALLEY STRIKE BURGER COMBO! On the positive side, I had very little negative side effects from the meal.

Distance: 129 mi.
Ride Time: 8:55
Total time: 10:30

Note: Not too bad. Still 30 quicker than the last loop ride but 30 slower than my last 200k. I guess it is to be expected with the low training volume and intensity of late. The result is obviously lower vo2 max. I was in the red zone often and always by accident. I have to fix this problem.

Lessons learned:
1. Eat....during the ride. Use a timer. I haven't done this since I replaced my bike computer.
2. Ride more....Do at least a 100K the weekend prior to the next long ride.
3. Follow training that works.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Wed morning PT

It all started with a 0400 depart time on the bike. I like the early morning rides as it is peaceful and very little traffic. Ride distance: 15.

We started the PT session at 0630 in "boots and utes" with JM and quickly moved into the mulch bag drills.We used 40lb bags of mulch because the were there! ANY CLIMB AND PLACE!

First I demonstrated and taught all of the lifts we would do in the morning. With a little coaching, most everyone looked like they had adequate form to prevent injury.
I planned 5 rounds of the following but, I adjusted and let them get away with 3 rounds. I did the demo and 2 rounds.

clean and press x 5
front squat zercher x 5
lunge x 5 /5
bent row x 5
shoulder to shoulder press and squat
burpee + push up + snatch x 5


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday Monday

A Tuesday Monday is a Tuesday that feels like Monday except it is more hectic. It results from having Monday off. The phenomena only occurs after a 3 or 4 day weekend. If one works on Sat or Sun and takes Mon as a comp-day, it is not the same thing.

Ride: 20
Practice Sand bag workout for tomorrow mornings PT session with the students. This should be pure evil!....Stay tuned for a report.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Furnace Creek 508

My most favorite cycling event, the Furnace Creek 508 was this weekend. It is a test of endurance that takes riders from LA through Death Valley, Baker, Kelso, Amboy and finishing in my old stomping grounds, 29 Palms. This is some of the most brutal country in North America and it is also some of the most beautiful country in the world. I guess the desert grows on you; it becomes a part of you.

Here are some photos from the race. I like this grave yard of DNFs. The route profile will give you an idea of the difficulty of this race.

Friday ride

Ride 30 miles

Almost run over by a driver in a Saturn on a cell phone. My life didn't pass in front of my eyes but I did panic. Luckily, she saw me and stopped with feet to spare. I was going straight and she was turning left...oh I know, I need to go study road laws. Perhaps I didn't have the right away and should have yeilded to the turning vehicle.

How about this: Driver of Saturn, get off the freeking phone and pay attention to the road. I'm sure that attempting to turn 5 seconds later wouldn't make you late. It it did, you should have left for your destination earlier! Or perhaps YOU should go study the drivers rules and regulations better known as laws!

Another note:
This ride put me over the edge. On Friday evening I felt the effects of overtraining. As a result, Sat was a planned rest day and lots of JM!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Do it because it sucks!

Here is part of an interview with David Goggins after an Ultra Triathalon. These are inspiring words and fit the blog's purpose nicely:

Curious as to how the implacable warrior had dealt with the long miles in triathlon's three disciplines, a tri journo asked again what his most painful moments had been. Goggins smiled and the proud Navy SEAL code came out in his answer. "I told you on day one, if it hurt, I'd never tell you," said Goggins. When asked how he had liked his first triathlon, Goggins reiterated more of his core philosophy: "I don't enjoy swimming. I don't enjoy biking. And I do not like running. I did Ultraman because it sucks. That's why I do it. If I liked it, I wouldn't do it. That is what makes us the human beings that we are. If you sat around and watched TV and watched people climb Mt. Everest - don't watch! Do it yourself."

Speaking of 3 mile runs

If this doesn't motivate you, there may be a problem. Pre's short life and running career was absolutely amazing. This guy had wheels and obviously enjoyed pain!

A little jogging

I normally do not run but I still need to pass my semi annual fitness test which includes a 3 mile run. Actually, the MD said don't run. He calls it pain management. Of course, I don't think he has ever run more than a mile or two or he would realize that running 3 miles without training running muscles does not equate to pain management. Thus I will spend a day or so doing a little light jogging and some sprinting. Nothing long, just some distances of 1oom - 800m with rest between the interval. Here is what I did today...I hope I didn't over due it.

Swing: 24K: 2x25
Repeat the next 3x: (I decided to stop, I actually planned 2 or 3 more rounds...I will add in a few weeks)
Jerk 2x24K: 5
pull ups - 5
run .5 mile
(Total 1.5 mi)

Jerk 2 x 5
pull up 2x5
swing: 2x50

During the runs, I really concentrated on form. Hips forward and centered in stride. Leg kick both front and back. The point of these jogs is to learn how to run efficiently without fatigue and injury that result from just running distance. Next run day will be 100m repeats x 6-8.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

RKC II and Training Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday

I think I am going to enroll for the level II RKC that takes place in June. I wanted to go this year but I think next year will be better. More training, more perfection will yield less pain at the cert. The cert focuses on pull ups, pistols, clean and jerk, bent press and some great trainer classes like miofacial release points and functional movement screening. This stuff is just the bread and butter of training. Real-man exercises which are guarenteed to take training to the next level. Perhaps I will have to start practicing the jerks one day per week...

I put the workshop in my check out basket this evening. That is always the first step. I will actually purchase in the next couple weeks.Heck, now that I think about it, I need to just purchase the thing so I have some focus in my training. I am going, who am I trying to fool.

Monday -
Pull up 3x8

Tuesday -
Swing: 32K 3x25
Ride: 15

6 rounds:
Front Squat 2:24K 5,5 + SeeSaw Press - 24K 5x5
Pull up 6x6

Wednesday -
Ride: (0400) - 15
PT at work. Pull ups - 6x5 + hanging leg raises 6x5
pushups - 5x20,
Clap push ups - 3x10 (did 1 clapping behind back)
Pistols 1,1am....1,1pm NO COUNTER WEIGHT YIPPIE

The pistols are exciting. I can do with counter weight up to 32K. I just didn't have enough flexibility to do it sans balance. This is exactly what I need to get me psyched up to do the RKC II.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tue and Wed workouts

Missed these entries:

Ride 18
Clean, Press, 24K 5x1,2,3,
Pull up: BW 5x8
Airborn Lunges: 8x5


Pull up: 3x10

Speed Racer

"Hey Speed, let's get up and go ride with the Contes racers."
Yes, Racer X was present, and very fast!

We flew around the loop in about an hour and this was the slower group. We picked up stragglers from the "a" group for the last 6 miles. It should be the a++ group and the a group. We flew over the Lesner Bridge at 22mph. I felt fine on this but within a mile I was feeling it. It took the next 3 miles to get back to normal. I decided to forgo the second loop and stop at 25 miles. I really can't afford to be drained all day because I let the T...get the better of me. I have to finish my scenario project on future trends for B school.

Ride: 25
Swing: 3x25 (32K)
Pull up 2x10

Monday, September 17, 2007

Beggin' for misery

Today proved to be a physical drain. Many contributing factors! Last night's workout and lack of proper recovery meal is part of the problem. Of course there is the breezy weather that seems to plague me on commutes lately. I felt the wind on the ride but not all that bad, it just kept my average speed down a little. Not to mention last night's workout itself. I guess every little bit adds up. Now I am ready to get some sleep and try it all again tomorrow. With a longer ride etc. Beggin' for misery - I guess.

Swing 32K: 2x25
Ride: 15

Pull up: 16K 5x1,2 (wanted to do 123 but I needed to get the groove of doing these with weight)
airborn lunges: 5x5 (feeling this)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Visit to Crossfit VB

This afternoon I went to an open house at Crossfit VB. I did NOT do the WOD. The WOD was 20 min of 10 burpies + 15 wall ball + 20 jump pullups (numbers could have been slightly different). Not too bad as Pat and Thomi were introducing some people new to Crossfit to the pleasure of the system. I stood there and watched as I thought it was very entertaining. One dude even had an introduction to 'Pukie.' In all, I thought most of the victims put in a good effort. It is a good thing I had inappropriate footwear or I might have joined them. It is never good when the adrenaline gets the better part of the ego. I usually regret it!

It is a nice facility and I can't wait to begin training there. I will also be conducting some kettlebell workshops at Crossfit VB. The first workshop will be in November; the exact date will be finalized soon....Stay Tuned.

In lieu of and inspired by the WOD, I did the following workout:

Swing: 32K 2x25
5 rounds: pull up x 5 + pistol 16K 1,1
5 rounds: clean & press 32K: 1L,1R,1L,1R,1L,1R + front squat 32K x 5
Swing: 32K: 5 min of 15 sec on, 15 off sec

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wednesday late entry

On Wednesday, I did a 0400 ride, then PT (some jogging, push ups, pull ups, bw squats etc). Then I did my PT. Good stuff. I love riding the route to work at this time in the morning, very little traffic. Nobody trying to run you off the road. It is peaceful and quiet. On the other hand, I am NOT a morning person. I detest getting out of bed at 0330. Although, like anything else, I could get used to it. I would just have to go to sleep earlier.

Ride: 17
Pullups: 5x5
Front Squat: 24k(2) 7x5
clean and press 24K 5x1234 ladders
Swing: 2x25

Notes: Thurs, only pullups 5x5
Fri: 0ff - planned on a 200k this weekend thus a slight taper. Not doing the ride for another week or two. Tomorrow will be some KB training with mucho squats sets of 32k after some pistols. Then presses and swings. If it isn't raining, ride 40 - 60 miles tomorrow. Sunday KB training.

There, I wrote it , now I have to do it!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Ride: 15 - rough head wind

Swing: 2x20
Set: 5 rounds
Pull up x 5
Clean & Press: 32K - 1L, 1R, 1L, 1R
Front Squat: 32K - x 5

3 rounds:
Swing 32K x 20
Evil Wheel x 5

No training today.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Misc. Workouts

Past few days:

Thursday: Ride 20 - fast
Saturday: Ride 30
Swing: 32K 5x10
Squat: 32K 5x5
Press: 32K 5x1/1

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Thick Skin

Yesterday, I stated I had soft skin. I am wrong. So here is the problem, I have a blister located under the callous and the skin hasn't ripped yet. It will be a relief when it does. In the mean time, more soaking etc.

I really feel yesterday's pull ups. It is to be expected, time away from training is not wise. Let me make a prediction, I will be back to my early year strength and volume levels in the next two weeks. I haven't really lost too much conditioning and simply need to get the groove back.

Pull up: 5x5 + handstand
Front Squat 2x24K: 5x5 (feel good, still have the groove)
Clean and Press 24K: 5x1,2,3 ladders (considered doing 4 rungs. Will do on Friday and all of next week.)
Swing 24K: 5x15 + hanging leg raise 5x5

One positive note, I was able to loose weakness today. Since my training comrades have all moved from the area, I have lacked motivation to train. During the squats and presses, I just went into a zone and I wasn't stopping until I finished. This is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Soft Skin and VO2 workout

Yikes, I guess a couple two or three weeks away from the kettlebell snatches made the skin on my hands weak. I ended today's workout a little short...5 min. because I didn't want to thrash my left hand. Now it is time for a hand soak, some sanding and finish off with the Corn Husker's Lotion. This remedy takes soft girly man hands and makes them into resilient tools.

Pull up: 5x5 - this started off the callous pain.
Snatch - VO2 15 on, 15 off x 15/15 sets of 7. (Went back to 7s and will build up.)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day

It is Labor Day and I can assure you I haven't labored!

Ride: 30 mi.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Hitting the Weakness

It you suck at something - get better at it! This is hard to do so most people don't.

If you always work on things you are good at - you probably won't make huge improvements. This is easy to do because it is in the comfort zone.

Go do the things you are weak at. This works for anything. Check it out:
Want to squat better - do squats.
Want to run better - run.
Want to make better coffee - make coffee.
Want to expand your knowledge - read or you could watch the History Channel or go to school some more. (Wikipedia ain't gonna cut it...Sorry)
Want to climb hills on a bike - find hills and ride on them.

This is exactly what we did today. We drove to Surry, VA and rode out to a village called Claremont, VA. When we got to the village, we rode around a 10 mile loop with hills. The hills range from 8% - 14%. Good times. Around and around we went. When we hit 50 something miles, we headed back to Surry and home.

The ride felt great. No bonking. No problems like last week! I did not eat enough today (still had 2/3 of my food bottle left...OOPS). Need to get some Endurolytes Caps for upcoming rides that I don't use my Camel Bak on. Endurolytes ensure proper electrolytes in the body. Very important for all body functions like the heart beat! Without electrolytes, it is simple, heat cramps, heat stroke, that order.

65 miles

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Busch and Mueller IXON light

Before the 300k in the brevet season, I purchased a Busch and Mueller IXON LED headlamp for my rides. The copy touted an 8 hour run time on low power and 6 hours on high power. Sounds good to me. That put me right at the edge on a summer night. After 5 months of use including 3 all night rides, I can honestly say this is a great investment.

The IXON has worked far beyond expectations. I have yet to change the batteries during a ride. In fact, I rode the last ride and used it for about 8 hours, during the following weeks, I used it another 3 hours before deciding to recharge. Better safe than sorry on a commute, right?

The IXON comes with handlebar mount, a fork mount batteries and a charger.
Everything you need right in the box. Of course there are other accessories you may choose to purchase.

Here is another tidbit of information that was a real selling point. The IXON can be used with the Schmidt Dynohub. What does this mean to you? It is a great lamp for descents. It is a backup for your other lamps during long events like longer than 600K. You can use for commuting as an alternative to your randonneuring gear.

Ride (0400) - 15 miles
Pull ups - 5x5
Hanging leg raises 5x5 (feeling the evil wheel)

Why do we suffer and come back for more?

This is a late entry from Tuesday...

During my ride home yesterday, I thought about the high number of DNFs in this years running of Paris - Brest - Paris (PBP). Around 30% of this years participants did not finish within the alloted time. PBP is a ride any mortal cyclist may choose to participate in. It is done every 4 years.

There are a few stipulations to qualifying for PBP. You cannot be a professional rider. You can belong to a club but no pros. This is good because it is a real event for real people. Of course, participants need to have physical stamina and mental resolve. To prove you have what it takes all you have to do is complete a series of 4 brevets of 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K. No problem if you have the right stuff.

So why choose to do this event if anyone can do it? Because it is very challenging. Most average people don't choose to do anything challenging during their entire lifetime. This is too bad. I believe you have to know yourself. You have to push yourself physically and mentally for self improvement. Sure you can tell the waitress that your food sucks but can you honestly overcome your own mind? I honestly believe anyone can do anything they want to do. The trick is overcoming yourself. Oh, if you fail, keep trying! Get off the couch.

Swing: 24K 2x50
Clean and Press: 24K 5x123 ladders
Circuit of front squat + pullup + evil wheel: 5x5 The wheel hurts!
Ride AM: 15 miles .. this was very quick.
Ride PM: 15 miles.. much slower.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Basics for foundation

Without a firm foundation all is for not. Think of a large building or even a small home. Each of these have a prescribed foundation that allow them to stand erect. The Leaning Tower of Pisa would not be leaning if the foundation would have been done correctly. In California, many large buildings are built on springs that take the shock in the event of an earthquake. Training is very similar to a building.

I could have done a workout this morning with high volume or high intensity. I would have paid for it for the rest of the week and my progress would be set back weeks. I basically took 2 weeks off from lifting perhaps a little more. It is important to ease into intensity and volume. Some would call this building a base. I like to think that that base is already present and I just need to reinforce the foundation prior to adding.

In the next few weeks, I will add volume and perhaps some intensity here and there. Because I already have an adequate base, it should only take weeks not months to return to high volume and high intensity training.

Workout: (all done prior to work)
Swing: 2x50
Clean and Press: 24K 5x 3 rung ladders
Front squat: 24K 5x5 (only 1 kb today)
Evil wheel followed by pullup: 5x5 and 5x3
Ride: 25 miles

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday's Training Ride...ER...Ramble

Saturday's training ride; at least it began as a training ride. Then quality riding quickly wained and the ramble began. We began riding approx. 0830 and finished at 1500. Typical day in the saddle right? Our route through Suffolk and the Isle of Wright took us 75 miles.

Saturday marked the first time I have ridden in that area and I have to say it is enjoyable. Little or no traffic, dogs, pedestrians...come to think of it there are very few people in this area. The roads are mostly farm roads and for the most part, we could ride side by side. The area also offers hills and trees which are hard to come by in the swamp of Virginia beach.

Something happened on the ride that still puzzles me. I hit a wall and could not get off it. Around 30 miles, my legs quit. They didn't want to spin anymore. Average speed quickly dropped. By mile 60 I wanted to push my bicycle. At this point, my arms began to beg for mercy as they were tired of supporting my upper body. I managed to finish the ride.

Ron was very patient. He would ride at a normal pace until he found some shade then sit and wait for me to catch up. Thanks Ron!

The problem? Good question.

Heat/humidity? Perhaps. I wasn't overly dehydrated though. Only a 4 lb loss during the day. That's probably close to normal.

Food intake? Adequate, not likely the problem.

Lack of training? Possible but probably not.

Ride on Friday? This is the theory. I rode. I did not properly refuel post ride. I had a handful of blueberries, some water and a cup of coffee. I paid dearly. Lesson learned.

It is most crucial to replenish glycogen stores and protien within 35 - 45 minutes following exercise. Well you don't have to. I didn't; if I wasn't doing a +5 hour ride the next day I would have been fine. If I was just doing an hour or something, I would be good to go.

Ride: 75 miles

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Friday Ride

Cruised in to work. Did it fast. I did not push the speed or try to go fast. Just spinning a small gear. The result, one of my faster times for the route.

Ride: 15


Thursday I did a 20 mile route starting early in the dark. More on night riding soon!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mr. Mom

This week I am doing the Mr. Mom. I have to get all of my workouts done before 0730, then I get to watch Kiki. We go to the park and swing. We go swimming at the pool; she is pretty much a fish. Yesterday we did a bike ride to the beach. She started digging herself into a hole then covering with sand. Very messy. The result is I am exhausted about the time she goes down for nap time. Of course I get one too! This is great, no stress, no pressure; just days with pure purpose.

Swing: 1x50
Ride: 20 First ride on the new drive terrain!

Note: Didn't get the lifting in today. I missed my window of opportunity as Kiki decided to wake up early.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Longest Yard...for Real?

Look out Adam Sandler and Burt Reynolds, your time as the QB for the team is up. Looks like Falcon's QB Mike Vick is on his way to play for the Federal Penal League. Today it was announced that he is going to plead guilty to allegations of dog fighting and racketeering. I knew he had to be a thug after his brother's incidents here in Hampton Roads 2 years ago. At that time I thought, how can one brother be a thug and the other squeaky clean. Looks like my suspicions are correct.

Speaking of the prison football league, he could team up with Mark Chmura and have some good stats in that league.

Back to the basics for a pain free lifestyle

Today I began with the basics of kettlebell lifting. I just took an entire week off from nearly everything. I did do a couple bike rides, nothing major. I thought it would be good to recharge the batteries. I can feel the time off in my joints. Odd concept? Not really it is proof that my work over the past two years is really paying off.

What about the joints? Well, I am the lucky owner of degenerated disks in L4 and L5. This is not a good situation. My solution is kettlebell training and avoiding activities that may lead to pain. Activities like running and prolonged standing are killer.

Ankle? Yes, ankle. I broke my ankle and tore much of the soft tissue some years ago. Needless to say, it tends to get stiff and sore periodically. I have been good for about a year and a half but the time off has left my ankle stiff and sore.

Back to the Basics...Joint mobility and stretching are one part of the puzzle that lead to a pain free life. The other part is strengthening and building endurance in the muscles that support the joints.

Sounds simple doesn't it? Don't tell anyone but it is simple! Unfortunately most people can't stick to anything more than a couple weeks. They get bored too quickly. You know who I am talking about. If the shoe fits wear it.

You have 2 solutions. First, pay doctors and chiropractors thousands of dollars to help you feel better. They will give you a crack, a shot of cortisone or fuse your joints together. You will feel better...for a while. You will be back for more action and cough up some more money within a few months or a year.

The second option is to heed what I am saying. Do what I am talking about with consistency. You will save yourself thousands and add years to your life!

Swing: 1x50
See saw press: 5x5/5
Swing: 2x50
Evil Wheel: 5x5 (sore from yesterdays wheel)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Morning ramble

This morning, I did a little 20 mile ramble. I didn't want to push the pace or distance; just get ready for tomorrow's long ride. I headed down and did some Ft Story laps. The wind was "breezy." What is this breezy crap.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

To All Comarde Patriots,

This is a must watch. I have to go do some PT now because my adrenalin is going!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Morrisville Night Brevet, 200K

Put a check in the box, another brevet completed. Another all night adventure promising to be an epic tale. Riding all night is enough to add adventure to anyone’s vocabulary. FYI, adventure is an exciting or unusual experience or a bold risky endeavor with dangerous unknown outcomes. All of these elements are present in a night brevet. Adding to the experience during a sultry August night were the chances of viewing a meteor shower. Thankfully the ride is a night brevet and not a day light ride. This enabled all of the riders to complete the brevet without risking heat related injuries.

The ride started with the familiar scenario. The group departs just a little too fast for my taste. I hang on as long as I can before I am dropped. What really happens is I decide that there are more than 100 Miles remaining and become wise. This time I had a buddy, Dean, and we just cranked away sensibly. Eventually, we catch another dropped randonneur. We have a group of three that can work together and be visible to traffic.

While we are doing our own thing, the lead group is trying to keep up with the Master Chief. He is pulling at a body-numbing rate. Eventually a long hill takes its toll. The lead group drops him for a short period. They miss a turn after Andrew’s Store and take a 3 mile detour. If this sounds familiar, it is because I did this exact thing on my first brevet on this route. The lead group would not see the Master Chief again. He hit his second wind and arrived at the 100K check nearly an hour before anyone else. In his typical fashion, he decided to do a 300K and kept going.

Dogs –
Yes, very large, fast, pissed off and hungry dogs chasing us in the middle of the night. There were a few that chased us for what seemed like a mile. On the 9 mile stretch of Siler City-Snow Camp Rd., we were chased from both sides of the road. We were chased from 5 or 6 houses in a row. Best of all, we were chased from a small yappy dog that I started to make fun of until I realized he was the decoy for some buddies. They began appearing from the darkness and we began sprinting. Well, I did!

Self pitty-
Yes, for a few miles, I couldn’t figure out why I do these rides and considered throwing in the towel at the turn. I really didn’t want to ride any more especially if I had to pass by all the dogs again. The thoughts lasted until I realized we were only about a mile from the first Control.

Overcoming doubt and fear is difficult. I guess it is too easy to sit on the couch eating ice cream. We do things that are comfortable. If you are reading this, you know how it feels when you are in the pits of despair. You are also aware of the reward for overcoming these feelings and completing your goal. The couch potatoes will never understand; don’t waste time explaining.

There is a recommended strategy at controls. Get your card signed, get what you need and get on the road. No wasted time. We followed the first rule then hung out for maybe a ½ hour. Branson and Jerry volunteered to do some support for the ride and met us at the Control for support. They were great, providing cold water and entertainment. Thanks Guys!
We got the group together for the return to Morrisville with 5 strong. This proved to be great. We pretty much flew back or I was sleeping on the bike because I can’t recall 2 or 3 roads on the route.

The most difficult factor during a night ride is the hour or so right before the sun comes up. I really wanted to fall asleep this morning. The light slowly coming over the horizon always provides a little adrenaline boost. This morning was no exception. The more light in the sky, the faster the group peddled.

I actually followed the advice provided by Hammer Nutrition and ate only their food. It worked pretty well. I did not want to mess around with blood sugar issues. Perpetuem, Endurolites and Hammer Gel (with caffeine) are the only “food” I put in my body during the ride. I drank a cup of coffee at the Control; it hit the spot.

This plan worked out great. I did feel on the edge of hunger but I wasn’t hungry and I didn’t bonk. I should have sipped more Perpetuem on the outbound leg. My intake timing was off slightly because I could not see the time.

The Details:
200K – 125 miles
Ride time: 8:14
Total Time: 9:30 or so. Unsure of the actual start time as we started late.
I compared this with the last time I rode the route in April. I am about an hour quicker on the whole.

Lessons Learned:
Food intake. It worked pretty well.
Stay relaxed on the bike. Don’t push into the red zone.

By the way, we did not see any meteors. We did see possum, raccoons, dogs, and several deer.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wed and Thurs Workouts

Wed: Rest! oh, and some "stretching." If you haven't checked out Pavel's Relax Into Stretch, you need to get it issued right away. It is a critical piece of gear for everyone's seabag.

You may ask, "why do I need this, I have been stretching since I was in grade school?"

You need this because everything you thought was correct is dead wrong. Yes, you can do the splits too! This book has immeasurably improved my quality of life.

Swing: 32K x 50
Ride: 5 miles...
Ok, here is the story: I set out this morning for a 20 mile spin before work, at about mile 2.5, something bounced off my helmet into one of the slats and began buzzing around. It got pissed off because it was stuck and stung me. I ripped off my helmet and got rid of the pest. The damage was done. I had no idea how my body would react to a sting as I haven't had the pleasure of a sting since I was about 4 yrs old. I turned around and sprinted home. Well, my head hurts in the vicinity of the sting.

If you have noticed, I haven't done too much this week. It is a taper week in preparation for an overnight 200K on Saturday/Sunday. It is important that I "save" some energy. I will be tired from staying up all night and riding, there is no reason to be prematurely exhausted!

Tonight I will do another stretching session in lieu of today's overly short ride.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Thurs: Off
Fri: Snatch: VO2 - 8s
Sat: Ride: ~60mi
Tue: Ride: 20mi
Front Squat 2x24K 5x5
Press 24K: 5x5
Swing 1x50

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The joy and agony - leg work

This week is the second week of leg work although this week is more intense than last. I have neglected the legs since Feb or March and I believe it is a huge error. My thought was that I didn't want to over train my legs so that I was fresh for most of the rides. This worked fine I survived the rides and training. I have built a very solid base to build from. Now it is time to improve the foundation for future events and training.

Think about a tree trunk and the roots that support the tree. Both the roots and trunk support a tree. The bigger the roots, the bigger the trunk, the taller the tree will grow. It is similar to human. The stronger the roots (feet) and trunks (legs) the stronger you are able to become. I have good upper body strength that keeps improving and great leg strength for someone that weighs #150. The problem is that I weight #190. This makes running and cycling labor intensive.

Two options. First, loose 15 lbs. This would dramatically improve power but it wouldn't be very fun. My diet is already a little on the depressing side. Besides, I've been attempting this for more than a year and have succeeded to loose a large BF% but I also packed on lean muscle. YAY! In the end, my weight has been fairly consistent over this period with the loss of BF. Good to go! The second option is to get stronger. Ok, sounds good sarge, where do I sign?

Here you are Jonny:

VO2 Snatch: 16K 8s x 20/20 - this sucked in the last 3 grip 100% humidity. Ouch.

Ride: 15
Pull up: BW - 6x5 + handstand
Clean and Press double 24s - 5x5
Front Squat: double 24s 5x4
Ride: 15

Swing 24K: 2x50
TGU: 5x5/5 - 24K
Clean and press: 24K - 2x1,2,3,4, 3x1,2,3 - (harder than I remember...HMM...see below)
Front Squat: 5x5 (getting better with the groove. Need to concentrate on the proper form)
1leg DL: 5x5/5
Swing: 24K: 2x50 (great hip snap)

The difficulty with the ladders in the press concerns me. I will ensure I do ladders and work my volume back up the appropriate levels. 3 rung is a good starting point. Move up late next week? I'm also considering doing ladders with the front squats too.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


If you actually read this blog/training log, I have been a slacker for the past few days. Well, slacking when it comes to using blogger. If you are still curious about the past few workouts, keep reading.

Thursday: -- Rest - and some pullups - and some stretching - and some JM.

Friday: -- VO2 workout snatch protocol. Sets: 20L/20R - Reps 7s. Time: 20min. Comment: this was both easier and more difficult. More difficult on a humid day. the kettlebell actually missed my thumb on the 19th right and the handle slipped around my wrist - OUCH. At that point I decided not to go for 25 sets.

Saturday: -- Swing 32K x 100
Ride: 40Mi. time just over 2hrs. First loop with "b" group. AVSpeed: 20. 2nd loop with "A" group avspeed 25+ we pushed 30+ to catch up with part of the group. As it went along, I was dropped with 4 miles to go. Finished at a sensible 18 - 20. Still can't quite hang with the racers. I will keep trying!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shut up and walk the walk

In this spirit:

AM ride 20 fast
Lunchtime fun: pull up: BW 5x5
PM Clean and Press + front squat 2/24K 5x5 (do presses then squat then rest about 1min)

Lunch time fun: pull up: BW wide, chin, narrow chin 3 x 5 each (total pu= 45) GTG

comments: yesterdays fun has left me DUN. I crossed the line yesterday during the PM workout. Glad I didn't follow it up with a ride!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday Snatching

I have been debating about which protocol to follow for the next few months or so. I've been thinking about EDT protocol; which is touted for size and strength gains. This seems like it would be good training however I could risk over training leading to no progress. I will consider beginning this down the road. I actually was going to begin today but at the last second, I decided to continue with snatches twice per week. On the other days, I plan to do 5x5 stuff. Stuff includes pull up, presses, front squat, pistols, 1 leg dead lift, farmers walk, overhead holds and get ups. Not all on the same day! Pretty similar to routines done over the past year.

I've taken some time away from the kettlebells and pull ups and have lost some pull up fitness. Hopefully the time away will help with some strength gains.

Pull up - 5x5 + handstands

Snatch: 24K: 6x6/6, 4x5/5. (15 sec on / 15 sec off) I had to reduce the number as I wasn't quite making it within the 15 seconds. Next time I will do 5s and do more sets.

Farmers walk 2/24K around the block.

Friday, July 20, 2007


Today I did another version of Monday's AT snatch workout. This one proved to be slightly more intense. I will continue this method. I can do this more as long as my hands will hold up.

Snatch: 15 sec on / 15 sec off
16K 20L/20 = 280 reps

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Late entries: from tue-thur

A little complacency...Here are the workouts or lack of workouts for the past 3 days. In a nutshell, the shock to my body from Monday's mayhem is more than I thought.

AM Ride: 15
Clean/press: 5x5
PM Ride: 16 - added extra hill work

Ride 15
Ride 15

Thurs: Rest (did kettlebell work with a client)

Back to the iron manana. Really...