Home Page   |   About   |   Testimonials   |   Videos   |  Articles

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Erik brought his new toy over today and we had some fun doing some strong man stuff.

"Atlas stone" Clean and Press
Clean and zercher squat
clean and shoulder squat
shoulder and carry

worked our way up to about 75 kilos.

If you have a worthless old barbell take off one of the collars and you instantly have a way to work atlas stone lifting

A few short clips of the workout.

Afterward worked some pullups and extra grip work, but to be honest, after all the "stone" lifting, I was toasted.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Clean 265x2x5
cleans are feeling strong.

Double KB Snatch
2x24kbs x 15 reps x 3 sets

5 rounds (done with 32kg kb):
10 kb swings
10 plyo pushups
10 alt swings
10 deck squats
10 snatches

turning my focus to conditioning for a month or so. started slow today but finished strong.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Odd Lifts

I like the odd lifts. I think they give a good mental break from monotony, and in some cases add a bit of danger-which I dig. I think you can build practical strength from doing this type of thing.

25lb plow lift + press

Ask me about "leverage"

Very difficult, most challenging on the abs trying to stabilize the bar and overcome the leverage deficit. Start with an empty bar or a womans bar.

After 5 sets of those, conditioning. I have been letting my conditioning fall lately so yesterday I hit it fairly hard.
8 rounds of:
plyo lunges

took about 15 minutes, felt better than I thought and I took no breaks. Remember, this is conditioning, NOT strength training.

Now go try some new lifts and break up the routine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why weight classes exist

Easy day in the weightroom--brutal day of BJJ.

Low Hang Clean

Fat bar pullup, no weight

1 hour of jiu jitsu-class
then 45 minutes of "sparring"

And of course, my partner happened to weigh about 315 pounds.

I didn't exactly feel outmatched, but it was like trying to move a boulder. This was a good a good thing for me because I have a bad habit of using my strength rather than applying any skill. Not today. Good session: totally wiped.

Rack Pulls: Be brutal:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Power Cleans

Started at 110kg, moved to 110kg+20lbs (no small kilo plates)

Going to start getting video of everything I can. Please comment and be critical, I feel that if I put myself on the chopping block it will either A) Motivate me, or B) Crush my self-esteem.
Either way... as long as I get stronger.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Long workout today

Pistol: 80lbsx2x3 sets, 35lbsx10x2 sets
Fat Bar Pullup: 50lbs x 5 x 3 the spinning fat bar made this very difficult

Rack Pull: 505 x 1 x 5--Felt weak and I still suck at the lockout.

2 hands anyhow with 2x 32kg kbs. 3 per arm, felt good.

One arm snatch w/ 32kg kb alternating every 5 for 2:00

Heavy bag work, mostly hooks. 10:00

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What's in your trunk?

The Trunk

The "Sled" This is really an "apollo exerciser" from 1981 (or so) fitted with carabiners and 120feet of rope from home depot. It's initial purpose was an exercise tool to fit under the door. It can provide up to 600lbs of resistance using friction of the rope turned inside the machine.

The whole setup which includes a belt to strap in, 2 handles, and a strap to hook the device anywhere I choose.

A kettlebell: at 16kg it is perfect for juggling or throwing around.

A weight vest: 20lbs from WalMart. I can make it tight enough for any plyometric or explosive exercise. At 40 bucks you can't beat it.

A sledgehammer: A GREAT tool, very versatile--I will get into the wonders of the sledgehammer later and in depth, for now just recognize its wrist and grip strengthening and conditioning properties.

What's in the trunk of your car?
Find an excuse to train outside and give yourself an opportunity to do so.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Power Snatch

175 x 3 x 4 sets

TGU's 3 each arm at 32kg, 3 sets
Arm Bar 2 per arm at 32kg

2x rope climb w/ 20lb vest

then used the 32kg for
2 rounds of:
Clean+Jerk 2 per arm
Clean+FS 2 per arm
Jerk+ OHS
Snatch+OHS+Sots press

Took about 10 minutes I wasn't really rushing, the 32kg was a bit heavy for so many sots presses

To perform a sots press you drop into a full squat and press the weight overhead without standing up. It's a killer, try it with a 10lb dumbbell first.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tire Flips

Tire Flips + plyo jumps (in and out of tire) 50 yards= 1 set
3 sets
Slosh pipe OH carries.
Sledgehammer swings, a few sets two arm, one-arm, etc.

Simple, but not easy.
There's my cardio. You can keep your 45 minutes on the elliptical, and you can keep your "fat burning zone."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Complex Training via sled

Easy day... at least it started that way...
one arm one leg press
32kg x 5 x 4 sets
(I don't have anything larger than a 32kg so I am increasing difficulty in other ways)
Then I went outside with a pair of 24kg kbs and my new sled.

This sled is really a gearbox from the 80s with 120ft of rope from Home Depot in it. Not pretty, but it seriously gets the job done.

10 double snatches with the 24's followed immediately by a sled pull. Each round took about 50 seconds. Did 5 sets. My legs were screaming and my lungs were ready to explode by the end of 40 yards. Doesn't seem very far but it was one of the most grueling training I have done with the sled. I love my new toy. Pictures soon.

Friday, April 18, 2008


On days that I roll Jiu Jitsu I usually keep a low volume workout immediately beforehand. This was no exception.
Power Clean and Push Jerk
wait a second. That was a POWER clean. It also happens to be a new PR for C+J... hmmm..
with power cleans i don't do %'s and just play by how it feels. And today I used plates in lbs and plates in kilograms, what a lucky mistake! I didn't even split jerk to get it up, it wasn't pretty but I'll take it. Sometimes you just have to say MORE PLATES! and not worry about what % of your 1 rep max or how many kilograms it is.

Fat Bar pullups
+20lbs 3 sets of 10
unweighted 2 sets of 10
32kg kb snatch + OHS x 10/side alternating (trying to improve my flexibility)

Then a 5 minute rest and Jiu Jitsu for an hour. I felt good today and a few people even commented on how strong I was. Hey, I'm not a black belt, so if I am up against someone who has been rolling for years, I'd better be strong as hell.

Good session.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


You have to listen to your body when you train so I took it very light today.

Light kb juggling to warm up

16kg bottom up TGU- 5:00

16kg arm bar

Some H2H clean and squat+ push press
20 reps alternating sides
3 sets

swings "Turkish Windmill Bars"
what's that?
do a Turkish get up, do a windmill at the top, come back down into an arm bar.
great shoulder stability.

if nothing else today was good for some active rest.
listen to your body, and rest when it wants rest.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You don't know Squat

Went to the Gold Metal Gym (aka Erik's garage) today for some squatting.

I think I learned some things about myself. I can get pressured into doing a 20 rep suicide set with a small application of peer pressure, and my form is better when there are people around. who knew?

then we finished with some 20 rep back squats
225 on the bar, no stopping, 20 reps.

finished the day with some sled pulls (my new toy, pictures and article soon)

don't know what walking is going to feel like tomorrow...

Shut up and Squat.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Burpee ClusterF%&*!

I was visiting with people out of town this weekend. Didn't get to train the way I wanted to, got sunburned, blah blah blah... Regardless I felt like a fatass today. So I tried to remedy that:

Power Snatch: 80kg

Reverse Sled pulls (with rowing motion)
about 5 trips

Rest 5 min

5 rounds for time:
10 burpees
10 snatches/arm w/24kg
10 alternating kb flips w/ 24kg
10 burpees
10 plyo pushups

Thus the burpee Cluster%&*! was born.
I learned two things from this: my lungs work fine even when on fire, and I need to do more plyo pushups.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tire and Sledge

It was about 85 degrees today, and I don't let the notebook control my training or my life so that meant I was training outside today. After a few muscle ups (and some other ring work) and some light kb juggling and mobility work I went to town with the 550lb tire. Fat bar pullups for 5 sets then: 10 flips, 20 sledge hammer swings. 5 rounds. Then a double alternating tabata of flips and sledge swings total: 8 minutes.

Intense. Why waste your time?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Get-Ups and Knock Downs

Thought I'd go 100% today but listened to my body and wasn't feeling great. I did some 2 hands anyhows and then a few kb complexes to get my heart pumping. A few muscle ups on the rings and finished with some heavy getups for 5:00 and swings for 5:00.

An interesting story about boxing:

After feeling totally wiped by this some guys from the boxing club asked me to spar. My workout was finished so I eagerly accepted.
I haven't gotten into the ring much because no one is ever around who wants to spar with me. Here's where it gets interesting: I spend the first 10-15 minutes throwing jabs and trying to help my opponents-there were 4 of us so we could switch out and keep a good pace going (GREAT conditioning by the way).
Everyone was pretty evenly matched (so I thought), and we took a 3 minute break. Now I weigh about 195 depending on the day and I'm 5'9", so I've got some meat on my bones. And one of the guys tells me I should "quit throwing jabs like a pussy and start punching like a man, throw some hooks or something." (maybe he was just pissed because I kept dodging his punches and jabbing him in the nose). I'm trying to work on technique here and It takes a lot to get me riled up. I shrugged off the comment and assumed it was just a joke so I called him a girl and blah blah blah.
I guess this fellow took me seriously. The buzzer rings and this guy has murder in his eyes--he throws a massive right straight at my face and in the same instant I duck underneath (I'm 5'9", he's 6'2") and throw a left hook to the body and it felt like my glove was inside this guy's body.
He. Went. Down. Now I don't know what a gasping fish sounds like, but I have a pretty good idea now.

Why am I telling you this?
Hips. A hook comes from your hips, your center (I try to avoid using the word "core" like the black plague). Working with kettlebells and olympic weightlifting has given me great rotational strength (juggling in specific I think). If you know anything about boxing you will recognize how rare it is to go down from a body shot. I haven't gotten into the ring to spar in months (although I have been punishing my heavy bag)--and after today I'll probably be hard pressed to find a sparring partner again...
what's a guy to do?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Juggling. Juggling. And more Juggling.

Juggling the kettlebell has so many benefits including active recovery. I am still sore as hell from the TSC so I am going to take it light.
Someday I'll get a video camera and demonstrate what I am talking about.

Set of grippers came in the mail today- I'm thinking of adding some nail bending and grip training into my routine as well. My goal is to crush a potato or an apple with my hand. I'm just going to see where it takes me.
Hitting it hard again tomorrow.

Monday, April 7, 2008


My entire posterior chain is completely destroyed from the TSC. Walking is a trying task. My hand is torn.
No regrets.
Train harder.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Tactical Strength Challenge

One of the greatest things I have ever done. The atmosphere was electric and I was fired up.

Oh, and I got peer pressured into the elite division (thanks guys)

Deadlift: 485 --disappointing because my PR is over 500, I held the bar in a half deadlift for about 10 seconds so I think I'll work some rack pulls for a while and have no problem. It's an embarrassing thing to be able to rip a weight off the ground and not be able to lock it out.

Weighted pullups: 21 with 25lb belt
Felt good 30 next time

Snatches: 100 in 5:00
Here is where it got interesting- I haven't done many snatches with the 32 because it's rough on my hands--and today was no exception. I flew through the first 3:00 and the last 2:00 were pure adrenaline. My right hand tore pretty badly in two places and I was screaming out every rep. I took 1st in the pullup and snatch and 2nd in the DL, which gave me the win overall.
Like I said, the atmosphere was electric. Thanks again to Franz and Yoana for putting it on. Revolution La Jolla

Awesome day. What a feeling. I recommend that everyone compete if they ever get the chance.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

VO2 almost max?

Short workout today, trying to taper (for one week at least) for the TSC Tactical Strength Challenge

Power snatch+ Hang Snatch+ 3 OHS
6 sets at 70kg

VO2 Max
24kg kb
15sec work/15sec rest
25:00 total
7 reps per round

I think I'll have to try to go faster next time? my worst complaint was a nagging blister on my left hand. I guess next time I'll go for 8. Live. Learn. More reps!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tabata's and a new scoring method

Double Snatches w/ 24kgs
1 min rest
Clean and Jerk w/ 24kgs
1 min rest
farmers walks 3 sets near failure

I was lucky enough to have a training partner today to keep score with (normally training partners last about 3 sessions with me), he had never done a tabata before and asked how to keep score.
I decided today that we would take your highest and lowest score and add them up.
I feel that when your lowest score is the only factor, people tend to dog it.

No intensity=no tabata.

Next time you tabata, give it your 100% effort, bust your ass on the first set, and then do the same for the next 7. Remember, your opponent will be doing the same thing.