Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wanna get better? Do it.

I'm out of my self-imposed exile from the blog. My bucket was full for the past few months so this was one of the easiest do drop. At the end of September, I went to an RKC instructor seminar presented by Pavel and Dan John. WOW, I'm still digesting information. As a result of the information I received, I have totally changed my training protocols. This new 'easy strength' protocol is very simple and as Dan John says, you will want to quit because it is too easy!

Basically, I have chosen a few lifts and work them 5 days per week. The intensity is somewhere around 50% RM. The concept is not unlike training to improve cardio vascular fitness and building base. I did this for 40 days and had outstanding results. True to what Dan John said, I wanted to change things up periodically especially as I neared the end of the protocol. (Note: my description is vague to respect Dragon Door, Dan John and Pavel there is more to it, it is not published yet.)

Upon completion of 40 training days, I pondered several protocols to switch for the remainder of the year. An Enter the Kettlebell cycle, VWC, Kettlebell Muscle, Return of the Kettlebell, some kettlebell sport (GS) training, just to name a few. I chose to do another 40 day cycle of easy strength with the same focus. Heck, if you want to get better at something, you have to do it.

My lifts for this cycle:
WU with swings and goblet squat then military press, single leg deadlift, Row/pull up (choose 1), Evil wheel. Oh yea, snatches too.

How simple is that?

I've already had mucho success in the 11 days of my second cycle! I'm hitting more volume easier with bigger weight than ever and I'm knocking on the door of a new all time PR in the MP. It is hard to believe that I'm pressing 36k (80 lbs) kettlebells for multiple reps and sets. !!EXCITEMENT!!

More to come on my progress over the past few months. I have graphs!

I have began riding my bicycle again but don't have enough cycling fitness to ride any real distances because I didn't ride for 3 months. This could prove to suck bad but 2011 is right around the corner and I have goals. Thus I'm slowly rebuilding stamina and I mean real slowly! My short term goal on the bike is to build to 80-100 mile ride before 2011.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


First, let me say this will now be a weekly updated blog. It obvious that I'm not going to do it daily thus the new plan.

My training or practice is now based on a grease the groove model. That means instead of setting aside a large block of time, I'm working through out the day. So it kinda looks like this:

In the AM I try to get my prep work done. This includes some Z health, and some corrective movement patterns and some get ups. I throw in some jumping rope if I feel froggy.

Pull ups - a set of x reps every time I go up stairs. That can be a lot because I moved the baby's changing table up stairs.

Press, swings when I go into the basement. I make excuses to venture down there every few hours.

I've been managing to get a smoker in before dinner each night too. Just trying to explode the heart!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fatigue is the Enemy

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to learn the 5 phases of squat mastery from the legendary Marty Gallagher. I went in to sponge mode and learned. Did lots of squats too. Nothing heavy though, it is all about form.

Yesterday, I got busy with the Mr. Mom duties and just wasted away.

Today, back to business.

Most of my workouts consist of preparatory work. This includes joint mobility, perhaps some Z health, some corrective exercises personalized for MY issues (yours may be different but probably similar) and then some work (exercises) that prepare the groove. All of this before the work begins. I did the JM, Z, and started the corrective issues. If I wasn't so damn Fat, I would be able to get into the freaking bretzel a little easier. Hell, I would be able to do EVERYTHING without difficulty. SH*7 I need to drop

All of the prep work lasted about 30 minutes. Then it was time for the real work. I did snatches.
The first minute was horrible, then I settled into a groove. When my form started failing due to fatigue, I parked the bell and called it a night.

Fatigue is the enemy of progress. Going on after fatigue destroys form is NOT acceptable towards the overall good. Remember it is not about today's workout. It is the ability to repeat it for months or years to come.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


The last 3 BIG rides I've attempted have ended in a DNF. In each of them I rode about 40-50 miles and called it a day due to GI issues. Not just a belly ache, so get that thought out of your head. It is more like purged innards. This has pretty much (maybe) ruined my preparation for my fall cycling events. I've ridden several rides around home of 50-60 miles with NO difficulty. So the question is why only the events. Nerves? Doubt it.

Since I have no idea what the problem is, I'm thinking about just riding for fun. Keeping the distances >80 miles or so (MAYBE, haha). I'm sure I'll be tempted to do some real distance. Truth is I know what I want to do but may need to get in the game mentally.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its time

Let's sum up the past month. I've done a little riding, not enough and almost no lifting. What have I achieved? Insidious weight gain, GI problems and possibly some depression thrown in to ice the cake. I may becoming Doug Heffernan. A reflection of 2010 thus far shows no real training on my part yet, lots of half-ass efforts. I can see nothing positive coming from this.

Here's a problem. Grab a plate at the gym and start walking around, get on the treadmill and walk with it or try to run with it. Now sit on your bicycle and try to ride several hours with the extra weight.

Time for some changes.
1. Diet change. - Some adjustments that will lead to better health and dropping some LBS. See Primal Blueprint for more information.

2. Resume a RKC based strength and mobility program. I've done testing and have a focus on what I need to work on. I also have to prepare for some upcoming RKC workshops that I'm attending.

I need to set some goals for the rest of 2010 and will have another post about these goals. I'm still getting them specific.

Prep work - Crocadile breathing, primal rolls, bretzel,
5 x Swings 24k x 25 + Get ups to hip raise x 5lr
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk ladder 7 rungs. Stopped when form started to go south. Got some work to do here.
PM -
Ride 40min.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Up in the Morning before the sun; R+4

Something had to change. While sleeping in (until 0800) is great, daylight is burning. I have some events upcoming and I've pretty much been de-conditioning. Not a good way to prepare for 24 -36 hour bicycle rides.

This morning I was up at 0500 (SUCK) and on the bike at 0530 to meet a riding buddy for a ride before he had to work. This works great for me. I had 40 miles on the bicycle before 0800. We rode down by the Virginia Beach ocean front and watched the surfers for a few minutes before heading back. Surfing looks like a relaxing sport. I just can't see spending $800 for a board. I'd rather buy some new bicycle things or some training sessions like the upcoming seminar for RKC instructors with Pavel and Coach Dan John.

Here are some options for the rest of the day:
1. More bike riding. -- not likely, I'll save it for tomorrow.
2. Kettlebell training -- probably this afternoon.
3. Work on grad school assignment. -- Not optional, I will spend a few hours
5. Golf. Perhaps a bucket of balls at the range? No not today.
6. Nap or 2 On the Couch. Yes, I think I will!
7. Play with the kids. ALL day. This is the best option.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Next?

Every limbo boy and girl, all around the limbo world...

I haven't posted on this blog in a while so I'll back up a little. Last week I had my last day of work in the occupation I've held for the past 20 years. Up until last week I had some good miles on the bicycle but little strength training. On Friday, we had a celebration, then went on the road for a few days for a trip to Baltimore to watch the Minnesota Twins put the smack down on Orioles.

I ask the question, "What next?"

I do have a plan and a back up plan but on R+3, no motivation to move forward.

Only time will tell when I will Get Off the Couch.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Morrisville 300k-2010 edition - Lollygagging

My take on Saturday’s 2010 Morrisville to Seagrove, NC 300k is a tardy. UMMM, the dog ate my write-up. Oh yea, I don’t have one of those.

We met in the usual place said hi, registered and RBA Al gave a brief to the riders. I started the day feeling strong and hung with the lead pack until Jack Bennett Road a nice little climb that starts with long false flat. I rode most of the way to the next 2 controls solo completing the first 100k feeling great.

I departed Siler City for the short trip to Seagrove with a group of 5 or 6 riders. My legs were still feeling great for about 10—15 miles. After a little pull on Coleridge Road, I lost some horsepower and slowed. Then I slowed some more and maybe even some more. The next 15 miles were a little miserable but mentally I am in the game and knew a rest waited up yonder!

The Seagrove Control came just in time. I refueled my fuel, and topped off the water. The volunteers at the control were a very kind and most importantly they had sun screen. Although as I dawned the lotion, I figured I probably would be jinxing the entire ride with rain.

I tore out of the control on a mission to make up some time. Flying up and down the rolling terrain and zipping around the corners until I mistakenly made a wrong turn onto Trinity Church Road and explored 4 miles of the wrong road. Finally I looked at the odometer and thought, I should be at the corner in Erect. GRRRRR. I’m sure I said a few words that I learned in the Marines and can’t repeat. The bonus miles kinda sapped my motivation and I proceeded to lollygag all the way back to Siler City.

Do you know what that makes me? A lollygagger. (Bull Durham)

To my surprise Ron and Sridhar were sitting in front of the gas station eating some delicious snacks when I arrived. While I was taking care of the logistics at the control, my jinx prediction became a reality with the first of several showers.

Ron, Sridhar and Matt the ROMA RBA rode on and off together until a stop at the Andrews Store. Notable here was the amount of rednecks coming from a nearby concert that kept buzzing our posse. Insert more colorful phraseology here.One stretch of road was lined with fireflies. However, with the lack of visibility and the slippery pavement, the pace became decidedly slow. Ron and I lollygagged to Al’s house sometime before midnight.

Monday, March 8, 2010

medium day

Did prep-work then:
loaded cleans
Clean and Press - 32k 1,2 x 3 sets
Swings - 32k x 100

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I'm going now

Febrrrrary was one busy and chili month. I had final projects to complete for grad school, I moved and have a new addition in the family with the birth of another daughter. Now that things have calmed down a little, I'm almost nearly back to a regular training schedule. I also have a sense of urgency as the brevet season begins in short order and I'm nowhere where I should be. Additionally, I need to lift kettlebells and get my RKC II lifts back to where they need to be prior to assisting at the certification in July 2010.
I'm using this weekend as an assessment to see where I'm so I can train with direction and focus. So far so good, I have my strength and flexibility assessments completed and I'm not as bad as I thought. All I need to do now is test some bicycle specific levels and hit the road.

Yesterday's training:
Clean and Press - 28k 5x5
Ride: 30 min.

Clean and Press - 32k x 5 - I will use this weight for ladders over the next few months.
TGU - 16k 1 x 5/5
Pull up workout x 4 sets.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Yesterday was another like Thursday. Accumulated fatigue left no desire to work out. This time I was the antagonist providing the peer pressure. Oh, and the workout etc. We did some chain progressions leading up to double kettlebell snatches. Little did I know how this would leave us feeling later.

Workout completed. Got home, ate, sat on the couch and I was out until 0200 when I crawled into bed. I slept more than 13 hours. Not sure if this was due to the workout or a combination of an entire week of fatigue. Wow. I decided to rest for the day. I'll pick up the pace again tomorrow.

The What:
Swings: 24k - about 100 1 arm, 2 arm etc.
bottoms up long push press - 1x5
2x swing, clean, squat press
2x clean, high pull, push press
1xsnatch x 5
16k Double snatch 3x5

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Peer Pressure

I've been pushing my luck with an degenerative condition in my back. This week I've been on my feet most of the day. The result is back pain. So when it was time to workout today I was not interested. At all.

Well, I watched another workout in my office and when it came time for swings, I said no. But then he stood there staring at me. I caved and the swing-athon began.

Swing: 700...left, right, 2hand, then 20 switch hand.

chain 16k x2--Swing, Clean, Squat Press

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kickin it

I can't afford to take more than 1 day off. I find that more than that and I loose something. There are exceptions like a couple days rest after an ultra. But I just trained normal this week and still haven't brought training up on all cylinders yet...I've been skippin most bike workouts.

I may need to restructure the training week a little based on my grad school course work. I get too tired to stay awake and study when I both ride and lift. So, I may load all the distance work between Sat - Tue and sneak in a commute or 2 on the other days. Anyone have an opinion?

Today Training
Z R phase
ASLR, ankle mobility
Get ups 2x5
Chains:::2/16k swing, clean squat press (2 ea) 5x5
Swings - 600 16k alt each 10. 2 set x 300

Feelin good!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The week wrap up

This week's wrap up. Made some good progress on strength and fitness levels. What I do this weekend will set up the next few weeks for some awesome gains. Doing high swing numbers is kinda cool. I felt like I could have gong for my 1ooo rep goal with the 16 today but I will save for Sun or Mon.

Clean-->Squat-->Push Press 2/16k : 4 sets x 5 - prep work for jerks
Jerks 2/24k - 2,4,6,8,10 = 1440 kg = (3,175#)
Swing 16k - 2 x 200, 1 x 103 - 1 hand alt every 10. total - 503 rep 8048kg (17,743#)

Ride 30 miles (2 h)
Swing - 16k 1 x 300 (6:50)

Clean>Squat>Press>Swing 2/24 4x5 (960kg)
Ride trainer - 35 min.

Jerk 2/24 - 2,4,6,8,10

Monday, January 11, 2010

Chains - twenty-ten version

Completed 3 weeks of ETK. Good progress. Now rotate 2 week of ETK. I'm doing this because double kettlebell work is so very effective. Basically twice the load in the same amount of time. It is great for building fitness, and dropping lbs. Both are important.

I kicked off with double 24k today. I debated about doing at least 1 workout with 16ks, this may have been wise as I haven't done the intense chain workouts in about a month. Well, no sense in being weak like last year. Time to move on, up, and reap the benefits. In reality I'll probably be sore for a few days. C'est la vie. Non?

Swing, front squat, clean, press 24kx2 4 sets x 4 reps. Good for day one.
Check this volume out:
48k x 16 reps. 768k. = ~1700lbs (for each lift)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Volume with ladders, it adds up

Today's menu is the heavy day of ladders.

Swing: 1x50
Pushups 2 x 30
Press: 28k] 1 x 1234, 4 x 1233

Let's look at how volume adds up with ladders.

Today I did 16 more reps or 448K (988#). Total Vol today: 1288kg(2840#)

Compare that to the last 2 weeks at 3 rung ladders. 840K (1852#). 988lbs more weight. That's progress.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Feeling better today but felt the need to ease back into the swing of things. The last thing I wanted to do this AM was hop the the bike for an hour ride in freezing temperatures. Result is FAIL. I did manage to begin fixing disfunction with a Z session this AM. It certainly helped put a zip in my step for most of the day.

Z full body R Phase.

Swings -- 16k - 1 Set of 300.
For the most part my form was great. I could feel each rep when I was slipping out of the groove and quickly corrected. I am working up to some high reps over the coming months. The key is quality. When quality suffers, I'll stop and hit them another day. 300 was a good starting place and the weight was good for now. Grip was good probably had another 60 reps in grip. Posterior chain endurance is the limiter right now. Heck those are 2 of the main benefits of this exercise. This will also help get me ready for some snatching. I've been neglecting this for too long. I'll wait a little longer until, until swing goal is met.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ugggh. . . Recruit Crud

Uggggh, I think I got the recruit crud. Everyone at work has had it or has it now and my family has been in a serious skermish with this stuff. It started with some irritation and left me feeling useless ALL weekend. I managed to make it through the work day the past few days with with some help from some otc meds. The worse part of this is the lack of training. Hopefully this will pass in the next day or so.

In the mean time I have done some training. But being careful not to tax the system and stay fresh. I couldn't just do nothing. SHEESH.

The good:
Sun: Clean and Press 32K 5 x 1 - light day...kinda Done in GTGroove mode.
Mon: Pistols 1/1 16k GTG.
Today: Clean and Press 28k 5 x 2 rungs - medium.

The bad:
I'll pay for this. Perhaps a 2:00 major in the box? (that's a hockey reference) I will actually pay physically as disfunction catches up with me slowly, quietly, and secretly. I haven't been doing the most important things...Z and other corrective strategies that serve to keep me plum, aligned and mobile.

The ugly:
I'm already starting to feel it. I've been on my feet alot the past few days and it is catching up with me. Here's a list of things acting up:
Ankles: tight
L lumbar area: about 6 on pain. Annoying.
Forearms: tight
Jaw: tight
Neck: tight

It's probably all related huh? I'm sure everything is tight right now. I need to reprogram and reset the system before I do any real physical activity.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 day1

Ended 2009 with a 5 hour ride on the trainer. What a way to spend the day...if you are into that sort of thing. I would rather be outside on the bike for 5 hours but I'm not complaining. I was able to work on a few things. 1) Position is dialed in on the BMC, finally - I think. 2) I could concentrate on cadence technique. I also spent the first few hours spinning away in Z1,2. The last few hrs were in intervals and I'm sure that HR spiked. NEED POWER METER.

I began 2010 with an ETK heavy day. Swings x 100 and Clean and Press ladders with 28k 5 x 123. I'll go for 4 rungs next week.