Monday, March 30, 2009

CFT -- Slayed

I hit the ZNWU before I walked to the track for the Combat Fitness Test (CFT) the Corps' new physical fitness test. The CFT does not replace the physical fitness test it is a different test; testing totally different energy systems (anaerobic).

The test begins with a 880 yard run for time (in boots and utes) simulating moving to engagement. The second event is the 2 minute #35 ammo can lift simulating a resupply. The finish is called the maneuver under fire (MANUF). The MANUF is the combination of sprinting, crawling, more sprinting, casulty drag, firemans cary, ammo can (x2) run, a gernade toss and more ammo can running.

Is the test hard? Well, it isn't easy. It is just a different level of suck; then it is done. Actually the test is fun and I would rather do this than run 3 miles any day.

Run - 880 - 3:20 - this is actually my fastest far. It is also the first time my left lumbar didn't ache for 600 yd. GO Z!

Ammo Can - I hit the minimum (40) in about 40 seconds and then stopped. This time, the test is pass fail (will change in the fall) and I didn't see the incentive to go on. Well, I started pressing again at 1 minute and matched my partner at 80 reps. I can do 100 easy, if needed.

MANUF - Hard to describe this event. I basically tried to relax and keep a steady pace for the entire event. Pushing too hard at any point results in quickly reaching MHR. It would be interesting to wear the HRM for this! Perhaps I will do in practice later down the road. Time: 3:03 with a miss (missed the target on the gernade toss by a few inches).

1. Improvement will be easy in all 3 events. I won't speculate on my goal numbers yet. I have an idea of what is achievable but will wait for the announcement of scoring zones.

2. The ZNWU and R Phase drills done between events were a life saver! Perhaps I should start some I phase one of these days.

Pull ups 98765

Sunday, March 29, 2009

rest update

This weekend was a wash. Saturday - sick, I didn't do too much. Today, not as bad but, need to take it easy; tomorrow CFT.

Pull up 88765
Swing 32k - 2x50

Friday, March 27, 2009


Quick update.

Pull up ladders 87765
Ride - 10 x 10/20 - spin high cadence as possible then recover. Work on leg speed.

Feel ill...was ok until about 45 min after the bike ride. Then WAMO!

Hope to get 4-5 hr ride in tomorrow, I have to see how I feel in the AM first.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What do you suck at?

HUGE discount on DD kettlebells. DD has changed foundries and kettlebells now cost less. This is a good thing. Click one of the Dragon Door links to get 1 or 2 at up to 30% off!

I read Kenneth Jay's new book, Viking Warrior Conditioning. It explains the MVO2 workout protocols. If you haven't done the MVO2 max workouts, you are missing out. I plan to cycle through the protocols again later in the spring. First things first!

Today I realized that it is time to kick the complex up a notch. Here are a couple thoughts.

1. Keep the complexes the same and decrease rest time.
2. Add more sets (take longer)
3. Do both. (won't take quite as long)
4. The other option is to complete with 24k kettlebells.

Opt 4. Will probably be the most beneficial for power development and muscular endurance. Who am I kidding, I shouldn't be using 16k 'bells for this. I haven't messed with snatching 2x24k for nearly a year and if I remember correctly, I stopped because form was not adequate.

So, a combination of all of the above may be in store. How? Alternate high volume lighter weight days with low volume heavier days. Sounds simple enough right? Keep reading, you will be the first to know.

Today's Reward:
Pull up 87665
Complex deux -16kx2 6sets x 5.snatch,front squat, clean and press, row.
The first set felt terrible and the other sets were good to go! I feel like I have the perfect groove in the snatch right now. I can't wait to test my hip power in a snatch test in the near future.

10 x 30sec on / 2:30 rest alternated standing sprint with seated. Using 52x12.
MXHR - 166. I only reached this on the 9th interval. I just reviewed my training files on the HRM. It has been more than a month since my HR was elevated more than the 160s (that I've recorded).

Huge improvement this year of course there are too many variables that affect HR so it is not the best tool to measure fitness but it is an indicator. Indications are looking good. Real world tests are on the way. CFT on Monday (this will be my baseline), 200k next Sat. The PFT is in about 3 weeks as well. I should throw in a snatch test in the near future. It is a good indicator of strength endurance and there aren't many variables to skew data.

Analyzing the results of the above tests will tell me alot. Simply, it will show me a picture of what I suck at.

Like I tell my Marines every day, find the thing you suck at and practice that. If this is the ONLY thing you do, you can't help it you will improve. -- Freaking Amazing!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

practice update

It seems as though the weather is conspiring to keep me on the trainer. Bummer! Not a good thing either as my 'season' starts in a week and a half. Hopefully, I have done enough. I'm not worried about the first event. I will finish it (200k) no problem.

The concern is the longer distances especially completing the 400k and 600k. The good news is that the series is designed for the purpose of working up to these distances and longer. SWEET!

I'm considering attempting to add a low volume, heavy practice early in the am, I will do a couple days per week and see what happens. My goal is building strength during the season. I'm not concerned with hypertrophy. In fact, shedding some weight and improving strength (POWER) is more beneficial.

Z Drills – full body
Bretzel, ASLR
Complex Swing, snatch, clean and press, row

Ride trainer – 6x90/90
Pull up - 87654

Complex swing, snatch, clean and press row

CFT – practice –
Run – 880y
Run – 8x100y
Ammo can run 1x100y
(did a short fireman carry….bad idea back tweaked)

Sunday – Off (ill)

Saturday –
Complex – snatch, front squat, clean and press, row
Pull up – 2x10

Ride – 8x20/10 – standing

Friday –
Ride – 5x4/3

Ride – 30 fassssssst
Pull up 7x6

Wednesday –
Complex – swing, snatch clean&press, row
Pull up 6x6

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I was mildly hungry then I read Nutrition Solutions recipes of the day. YUM. I'm all about a few days.

Continued with another complex today. Quick, simple and effective. I'm all about this too. Actually these are fitting nicely into my current training cycle.

ZNWU, Bretzel,
Swing, snatch, clean and press, row. 5x5 2 min rest.

Pull up 4x7

Oddly, today's limiter seemed to be the press. Grip was not an issue.

Monday, March 16, 2009

cold ride today

Today I ventured out in the cold for a long-ish ride. We headed out to the Pungo area of VB for the ride. This is where I ALWAYS get lost and today was no exception. We zigged when we should have zagged, kept zipping along when I started to notice the signs all said, Chesapeake. CRAP! We turned around and the retrun trip was all into a northeast wind off the Atlantic...cold.

I'm making good progress with the bretzel, my shoulders are nearly flat on the deck...sweet.

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Ride 55 miles

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Complex...5 sets x 5reps 2/16k - swing, snatch, clean and press, row
Pull up 5x6

Evening: - Ride (watching Paris - Nice) 5x4 min. on/3 min. off

ZNWU, ASLR, Bretzel
Clean and Press - 5 x 1234 ladders
Pull up - 5x5 12k

ride 8x20/10

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Here comes the rain

Just like the song, here comes the rain again...I'm bracing for 4-5 days of rain. That means I have to ride indoor on the trainer. This also means I will get some good quality KB practice because I wont be sitting on my bicycle for 4-8 hours at any point during the weekend. Of course I could get cabin fever and go ride in the rain and cold. I'm not opposed to the thought but...I will save it for a day when I 'have' to tough it out.

Today's training and practice:
BRETZEL- These are coming along. TSpine flexibility is nearly full ROM.
ASLR, TGU #3, bow

Front Squat - 106# 8x5 + pull up 1x10, 7x5
Wheel Roll outs - 3x5 + pull up 3x5
Swing 32k 3x30 --
Ride on trainer - standing 8x20/10

Then I ate!!!!! YUM.

Clean and press 32k 4 x 1,12 ladders + pull up 12k 4x4
(failed on fourth press set. Next time I will save the pull ups until later.)
Snatch - 24k - 94 reps (about 4:30) - need to keep this exercise regular.
I used all the time I had - busy schedule, Need more time on a heavy day.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Training -- the past week

Something to think about....

Last summer I switched multi vitamin brands because the GNC brand was giving me a huge head ache. About 3 - 4 weeks ago, I ran out of the new multi vitamin and didn't make it to the store to purchase more. After a week, I read Georgie's nurtition blog she was talking about vitamins and the bodies needs. Her post reinforced my thought of just stopping the vitamins all together.

So, after a month, I feel NO difference. In fact my strength and endurance performance has improved. Recovery? No difference. Verdict? No more multi vitamins. I'll keep the cash for something that tastes than a vitamin.

ALL of our daily requirements are available by eating real food. A recent study (see G's blog) has shown that the health benefits from taking suplements are not the same as eating grub. Meaning Popeye was on to something; you receive MORE benefit from eating the real deal.

Worried about not getting enough of each nutrient? More than likely you don't eat enough veggies, add an extra helping at night. Here's what I do:
  • Since last fall, I've been eating 3 - 4 large bags of spinach each week. Sometimes it is salad form and others it is steamed with a little lemon and paprika or both the salad and steamed. In addition, I always fill 1/2 my plate with another veggie.

I'm posting a quick update of my training.

Ride 20

Ride 15
Z cooldown

Monday (rest)
Z work
TGU Prep stuff
Swings 1x100

did some stick work on right quad - had a charlie horse ALL day.

Prepwork-ASLR - Bretzel Step 4 TGU
Front Squat 24(2) 8x5
Clean and Press - 24k 8x1234 + Pull up 8kx4
Swing 40k 5x25

PM -
Ride - 8x20/10 - STANDING

Ride 45 miles - (ZOOOOOM - rode with the racers)

Walk - 4 miles

Z work
TGU prep - ASLR - Bretzel

TGU Prep
TGU 24k 5x5
Ride: 8x20/10

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Check it out

I just stumbled upon this post while surfing the Modern Forager blog. It is titled 'Don't be this Guy/Gal...' The author describes several types of gym-goer.
  • The Wanderer, The Super Strong Guy who Doesn’t Re-rack the Weights, The 1/4 Heavy Squat Guy, The ELS Person, The Grunter/Screamer, The Bluetooth Person, The No-Wiper, The “Off-Duty” Trainer, The Cologne/Perfume Person, The Functional Training Catalog Trainer, The Cutoff Guy, The Leaner
Frankly I think this is brilliant and it is the reason I haven't stepped into the base gym since July.

Step 4 TGU

Clean and press 24k - 8x1,2 ladders + pull up bw+4k x 3
Goblet squat - 40k 5x5 + Swing 40k 5x20

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

quick update

Quick updates from today:

TGU steps 3/4
Swings x 100
Bike: 5 min wu - 8x20/10 - 5 min cool down

Tomorrow is.....tgu step 5, 7 sets of light presses, front squats, pull ups, swings (many), Ride vo2m

Monday, March 2, 2009

'heavy' day

In ETK, Pavel prescribes a pressing format of a light, medium and heavy and heavy day. Today was my heavy day; heavy volume. Actually this is the first time in months that I have actually completed a heavy day. Not sure I actually did a heavy day last spring when preparing for the level 2 certification.

Upon completing 5 sets of 5 rung ladders, I should be ready for to move up to the next size kettlebell (in theory). Instead, I plan to add a little more volume perhaps an extra set or 2 before I move up. Why? Just because I completed the plan doesn't mean it was comfortable. I think the groove could use a little more work. The set will be added to the light and medium days as well.

Now Hear This:
I finished some reading and practice today that got me thinking about how to approach my training/practice as well as training with clients either individual or group classes. Not too terribly different but I have decided to change the format slightly. What this means to you is...more Turkish Get Ups!

TGU - Step 2/3 (will work these again tomorrow)

Clean and Press 24k 5x12345 ladder
Swing 40k 5 x 20 + pull up x 5

Sunday, March 1, 2009

more Issues discovered

During today's practice, I once again used video analysis between sets. Arrrghhh, more problems. During my 5min RKC snatch practice, I noticed that my right arm is NOT locked out in the overhead position. Did I mention that this was a problem in the get up yesterday?

This shows how bad habits are not isolated to individual problems. Work on the little, 'simple' things. Perfect them and find that more complicated or heavier activities are simplified. Not to mention you reduce the chance for injury.

This relates to music as well. When a (music) student comes asks me to listen to their scales or solo it is always evident who practices perfectly and uses a metronome to keep tempo. Students that don't use these tools or don't pay attention to what they are playing ALWAYS speed up and slow down. Mashing the 'buttons' (valves or keys) is akin to throwing weights around without attention to detail.

In my own music practice, I find it necessary to practice a scale or exercise at a slow precise tempo. When it is perfect slow, I speed it up, practice and so on until I can do it faster than required. It takes discipline and time.

The same care should be take in exerciese. You will find tales in this blog of people that just don't get it. They throw weight around in a very small range of motion that is more than not the wrong groove. I guess it is part ignorance, part naiveity or part complacency; or a combination of all. I think everyone needs some instruction at some point and periodically. A coach or instructor will let you know where you are going wrong and how to fix.

How often should I have a coach? That depends on your goals and how much money you have to spend. When you are sick you visit the doc for a chunk of money. Why don't we take this much care and prevent the visit? That money can be spent on a good trainer/coach (like me).

Last year, I worked with a coach 6-7 times both face to face and via video. I would recommend weekly or monthly contact with a trainer at the minimum but if you don't have the dollars, I guess a few times a year is better than never.

Prep work
Z - nwu
BRETZEL - feels good.

Swing: 1x100
TGU:2x5/5 (worked the hip extention)
Goblet squat: 6x5 (32k)
Snatch 5 min - 82 - didn't try to push anything just 8/8 on the minute. Hmmm, I guess I should have done a couple more to reach my didn't register until just now. I need 1.4 reps.
Snatch practice 3x5/5 + Pullup 3x5

More snatch thoughts:
I haven't worked on these for 2-3 weeks for some reason. My groove was off in several ways. Need practice to the groove back.

Trainer 4min/3min x 5