there is no substitute for experience

40 Dead-hang pull-ups

I ate ground beef chili with carrots and beet greens at 5:30 AM when I woke up before my alarm hungry today. I went back to bed and snoozed until 7 AM and began work at my desk 15 minutes later. It was a busy day and I did not stand up until 3 PM, so I never got to the gym and didn’t eat lunch. Rather than delay my home workout any longer, I drank a glass of water and went outside to train. The weather was mild enough that I was comfortable in a tee shirt and long pants.

I suffered pain in my arms/elbows when I was doing goblet squat curls yesterday. My wife brought her cold laser home from the animal clinic last night and I got 9 minutes of treatment on each arm. Today I had no pain when I completed my normal start-up routine of goblet squats, goblet curls, and halos. The cold laser is magical.

My plan with pull-ups was to complete 5 sets of 4 reps to start and then shift to 5 sets of 3. I followed each set of pull-ups with 10 one-handed swings with the 24-kg kettlebell. I struggled to get the third rep on the 7th set, so I shifted to sets of 2 and kept going until I completed 40 pull-ups. I have never counted my body weight in total weight before, but decided to start today. With my body weight of 190 pounds, 40 reps means I pulled 7600 pounds. I would not have started counting my body weight if I had made it to the gym and completed deadlifts today, but now that I see the weight involved, I will probably keep counting it.

40 dead-hang pull-ups in a day is a new personal record, beating my old record of 35 pull-ups that I achieved on 26 November in two ways. My earlier record was achieved across two workouts – 20 pull-ups during my mid-morning workout at home and 15 at my early afternoon workout at the gym. These 40 pull-ups were completed within one 30-35 minute period. And honestly, I think pull-ups are easier at the gym.

I began doing get-ups when I completed 100 one-handed swings. I completed 2 sets of 2 followed by 2 pull-ups and then finished with 1 set of 6 followed by 2 pull-ups. Then I fooled around with trying to bent press with an 18 pound kettlebell. I can press a 44 pound kettlebell with either hand, but get wobbly when I try to bent press. There is something about the position that makes me feel unstable. I gave up after about 6 tries, completed 2 more pull-ups and called it a day.

Between various sets, I spent about 10 minutes doing Original Strength resets – standing cross-crawls, rocking, and neck nods.

After my workout, I ate my second meal of the day – more ground beef chili with carrots, beet greens, and some sliced Yukon gold potatoes. Not exactly a low-fat post-workout meal, but it hit the spot.

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

One-handed swings
24 kg kettlebell – 10 x 10 = 100 reps, 5300 pounds

Get-ups
20 kg kettlebell – 5 x 1 L/R = 10 reps, 440 pounds

Pull-ups – 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 = 40 reps
Body weight 190 x 40 = 7600 pounds

Total weight: 15,440 pounds


Double Clean, Press, and Squat

The StrongFirst Girya certification is based upon six exercises:

• Swing
• Squat
• Clean
• Press
• Snatch
• Turkish Getup

I am practicing swings and get-ups on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I am devoting Tuesdays to snatches. That leaves cleans, presses, and squats for Thursdays.

I will probably need to do more nuanced work eventually, but for now I am doing a combination clean, press, and squat in sets of 3. Today I got to my 14th set before I had trouble pressing the third rep (#42). I wanted to get to at least 48 reps, so I completed 3 more sets of 2 reps. When I am able to get to 16 sets of 3 (48 reps), I will start working on sets of 4 and see how long it takes me to get 48 reps done in 12 sets. After I can get all my reps in sets of 4, I will shift to sets of 5. When I can get 10 sets of 5 with the 16 kg bells, I will move to the 20 kg bells.

I need to get stronger before going up for StrongFirst certification. I may still be building up to the levels I need to achieve when I turn 58 in September 2015, but I should be ready before I am 59.

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

Double Clean
16 kg kettlebells – 14 x 3 + 3 x 2 = 48 reps 3360 pounds
Double Press
16 kg kettlebells – 14 x 3 + 3 x 2 = 48 reps 3360 pounds
Double Squat
16 kg kettlebells – 14 x 3 + 3 x 2 = 48 reps 3360 pounds

Total weight: 12,180 pounds


Snatch Vo2 Training

To prepare for the Tactical Strength Challenge on 4 October I got into a routine of doing 40 kettlebell snatches with the 20 kg bell every day – 200 snatches per week. I was excited to get 82 snatches in 5 minutes in competition, but have not been working with the 20 kg bell since. I experimented with double snatches with 12 and 16 kg bells, but over the past two Tuesdays been working on what Mark Reifkind calls Snatch Vo2 training. Click here for a video of Mark at work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI_B4qC4p64#t=62

Using a 16 kg bell, I am snatching for 15 seconds with my left hand, resting 15 seconds, snatching 15 seconds with my right hand, resting 15 seconds… I am using a Gym Boss timer set to beep every 15 seconds to keep me on track. I am working in 10 minute sets and today completed 3 sets. Mark completes 6 or even 7 snatches in each 15 second period, but I am easing into this work and am doing 5 snatches in each work period. Today that meant 300 snatches.

I am snatching only on Tuesdays at this time. I considered repeating the workout on Thursdays, but am targeting a strength workout on Thursdays where I do double cleans, double squats, and double presses instead.

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

Snatch Vo2 15:15
16 kg kettlebell – 60 x 5 = 300 reps, 10,500 pounds

Farmer carries
20 kg kettlebells – 3 x 2 minutes = 6 minutes = 264 pounds

Total weight: 12,864 pounds


The last day of a good basic week

I completed 8 workouts this week. Five at  my house and three at CrossFit North Fulton. I train Monday through Friday at my house and complete a second workout at the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This was a busy week and I was never at my best, but got the work done.

I am beginning to reach the level where an ordinary day involves moving 10,000 pounds. Always the analyst, I calculated that 10,000 pounds per day means I am moving 1 million pounds every 20 weeks, so roughly 2.5 million pounds per year. I think I can get that to 3 million per year pretty easy and maybe to 4 million as I continue to get stronger.

I am having more fun with Original Strength resets. I am adding marching, standing cross-crawls, crawling, rolling, neck nods, rocking, and what I call Indian get-ups between traditional strength sets. I probably need to spend more time crawling for time and distance, but I like how things have been going lately.

I am repeating the dead-lift cycle I completed last week this week with a few adjustments. The plan was 15 x 1 @ 190, 15 x 1 @ 205, 12 x 1 @ 215, 8 x 1 @230, 6 x 1 @ 245. I skipped 190. I completed 15 x 1 @ 205, 15 x 1 @ 225, and 10 x 1 @ 235. I will probably lift 10 x 1 @ 245 on Monday to complete the cycle. If I only do 6 x 1 @ 245, I will have fewer occasions to practice Original Strength resets, so I just have to do at least 10 reps. (smiley face)

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

One-handed swings
24 kg kettlebell – 7 x 10 = 70 reps, 3710 pounds

Two-handed swings
24 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 1590 pounds

Pull-ups – 4, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 = 28 reps

Dead-lifts
235 pounds, 10 x 1 = 10 reps, 2350 pounds

Get-ups
20 kg kettlebell – 5 x 1 L/R = 10 reps, 440 pounds

Farmer carries
24 kg kettlebells – 3 x 2 minutes = 6 minutes = 318 pounds

15 minutes or more of baby crawling, leopard crawling, rocking, standing cross crawling, arm and leg rolls, and neck nods.

Total weight: 10,508 pounds


Two rest days this week

After getting into a steady habit of working out every day Monday through Friday, I took two rest days this week. I just felt punky on Tuesday and decided to rest all day. I leopard crawled for one minute, but otherwise took it easy. On Wednesday when I completed the workout that I am reporting on here, I got into rocking more vigorously than usual. I didn’t notice a problem at the time, but my left ankle was tender Wednesday night and sore on Thursday morning. Everything else felt good, but I didn’t want to put any extra strain on my ankle trying to swing or press, so I took another rest day. I hope I am well enough to start another deadlift cycle on Friday.

I am going to repeat the deadlift cycle I just completed – 1 x 15 @ 190, 1 x 15 @ 205, 1 x 12 @ 215, 1 x 8 @ 230, and 1 x 6 @ 245. I could step up by 10 pounds, but I am hoping that 245 will feel lighter if I repeat the cycle once more.

I have been developing a supersetting habit. In this workout, I paired 15 two-handed swings with 2 pull-ups and repeated the cycle 7 times. Then I paired a deadlift with one pullup and repeated the cycle 6 times. Along with the deadlift and pullup, I spent time on my hands and knees rocking forward and back and side to side. I also included some neck nods and some standing cross-crawls. At the end of my workout, I leopard crawled halfway around the room, finished the first round baby crawling, and then circled the room again performing a farmer carry. I repeated this cycle 4 times.

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

Two-handed swings
24 kg kettlebell – 7 x 15 = 105 reps, 5565 pounds

Pull-ups – 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1,1, 1, 1 = 20 reps

Dead-lifts
245 pounds, 6 x 1 = 6 reps, 1470 pounds

Get-ups
20 kg kettlebell – 5 x 1 L/R = 10 reps, 440 pounds

Farmer carries
24 kg kettlebells – 4 x 2 minutes = 8 minutes = 424 pounds

15 minutes or more of baby crawling, leopard crawling, rocking standing cross crawling, and neck nods.

Total weight: 9999 pounds


Back to a full routine

After taking it easy last week and limiting workouts to Original Strength activities, pull-ups, and farmer carries, I felt good enough to complete a full set of activities today. Both the home and gym sessions felt relatively short.

I managed to complete 3 sets of 4 dead-hang pull-ups at home before I went to the gym and added 4 sets of 2 to get to an even 20 pull-ups for the day.

I completed a five session rotation of dead-lift practice the week before I got sick. I decided to start a new rotation and step up by 10 pounds. Unfortunately, I did not examine my notes carefully and started the process with a 25 pound increase – from 180 to 205. I was supposed to do 15 x 1 at 190 for the first session and then move to 15 x 1 at 205 for the second session. I will just proceed with another session at 205 and then continue with 12 x 1 at 215 for the third session, 8 x 1 at 230 for the fourth session, and 6 x 1 at 245 for the fifth session.

Quick summary:

Prying goblet squats
20 kg kettlebell – 3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Goblet squat curls
20 kg kettlebell –3 x 5 = 15 reps, 660 pounds

Halos: 12 kg kettlebell – 3 x 10 = 30 reps, 780 pounds

Pull-ups – 4, 4, 4, 2, 2, 2, 2 = 20 reps

Two-handed swings – EMOM
24 kg kettlebell – 10 x 10 = 100 reps, 5300 pounds

Dead-lifts
205 pounds, 15 x 1 = 15 reps, 3075 pounds

Get-ups
20 kg kettlebell – 5 x 1 L/R = 10 reps, 440 pounds

Farmer carries
24 kg kettlebells – 3 x 1.5 minutes = 4.5 minutes = 106 pounds

As much as 15 minutes of baby crawling, leopard crawling, standing cross crawling, and neck nods.

Total weight: 11,021 pounds


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