Monday, March 31, 2008


Saw the trainer today. He confirmed what I suspected. I have a Type 1 separation, which is the lowest of 7 levels, so that could be worse. I can still do pull-ups, back squats, certain ab drills and anything else that doesn't cause pain except overhead pressing and dips. In a week or so I'll experiment with adding in some push-ups. The trainer said light bench, but I'm sure push-ups count for that. The biggie is no dips and no overhead work of any kind for at least 3 weeks. After 3 weeks I can start very light, so I will start with the wife's 20 pound KB (no laughing please!) and then maybe move up to the 16kg, providing I can get one on ebay. In the interim I will do PTP style back squats for a few weeks and mix in some pull-ups and ab work. Again, not great, but better than nothing, and maybe I will see gains in the squat, which is a lift I've been lazy on.

Today I messed with a lot of things and found that deadlifts are bad and Zerchers are even worse. Front squats hurt but back squats are ok, and weighted sit-ups pose no problems. Pull-ups were ok but I need to go easy on these to avoid straining the shoulder.

PTP Squats:
5x150, 5x135

5 weighted at 25 pounds
3x10 unweighted

Sit-ups on GHD:

3x (1,2,3) ladders

Thanks Colin and Franklin for the encouragement. I know I will come back stronger, but these setbacks are no fun.

Edit: Just ordered a 16kg on ebay. I will use that for a lot of work when I start making my comeback here in a few weeks. I'd like to have one anyway so I can have a lighter bell to practice new drills with. I've been tempted to get one of Jeff Martone's H2H DVDs, and I will be more likely to do that now. When I start being able to use my shoulder again the focus will pretty much return to pure strength with a limited amount of conditioning. I will do KB stuff making circuits out of the different drills and maybe like one CrossFit WOD a week, with the rest of the time devoted to getting stronger again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shoulder Update- and a re-reading of PTP

I am pretty sure I have separated my left shoulder. I will see the trainer on Monday, but I separated my right once before and this feels exactly the same. Yesterday I was pretty down about the prospect of no training for a bit, but then I read through PTP again and came to the part about Feed Forward Tension. Pavel has the solution to everything! So, my training for the next 2-14 days will be FFT and the abs drill that is recommended on page 65 of PTP.
Obviously this is not an ideal arrangement, but I will make do and try to heal up. Time to go ice the shoulder.

Friday, March 28, 2008


1x4 each side with a 50 pound barbell

Side press:
1x5 each side with a 50 pound barbell

Small plate DL:

My left shoulder is very painful and sore. I thought it was getting better and now today it is much worse. I plan to take the weekend off and probably all of next week with the exception of maybe some pistols and running, depending how I feel. I'm sure it will pass, but right now I don't feel terribly motivated. It has been a long week.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


3x60, 3x55, 3x50 each side. All done with a barbell.

Front squat w/ chains:


Power clean:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


5-3-2 small plate DL- 305-315-325
Barbell TGU with just the bar- 5 minutes, about 10 reps per side. (lost count)

3 rds of
20 pull-ups
30 push-ups
40 sit-ups
50 squats

Rest 3 minutes between rds

1. 5:24
2. 5:31
3. 8:29

Sit-ups killed me.

Evening: 35 snatches per arm with 24kg. Broken up as everything from singles to one set of fourteen per arm.

Monday, March 24, 2008


30 muscle-ups for time


Weighted pistol:
5x1 each side

Power clean:
10x2 starting each set at the top of the minute


One hand DL:

Great day. The muscle-up time represents a significant PR. Almost cut my old time in half. Maybe the heaviest pistol I have ever done too. It is at least tied for heaviest, I think.

Before bed I did 5x5 24kg snatches on each arm. Want to get a lot better at the technique on these, and complete Adam Glass's 50,000 snatch challenge on his blog, "Walk the Road Less Travelled" linked to the side.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Abbreviated training today. My family was over for Easter in the evening, and the morning was spent with Annie's family, so there just literally was no time to train all day. By the time my family left I was too exhausted to face a full session, so I went with the simplicity of TGU's, pull-ups and deadlifts. Speaking of simplicity, I have eliminated a few exercises from my planned programming for the next few weeks. I get a lot of variety in my conditioning workouts, but in strength it is better to focus on a few lifts and be very good at them rather than try to hit everything. For that reason I forced myself to pick 5 exercises and eliminate the rest. I am going with:
1) Deadlift (small plate DL)
2) TGU
3) Front Squat/ pistol
4) Power clean
5) Press

I will still include the grip work, as that is kind of a separate thing and can be added in to almost any session. The OHS, power snatch, and Zerchers had to go. I may rotate the Zerchers with the small plate DLs. The reason that small plate DLs and pistols made the cut is that I need a DL assistance exercise to improve my starting strength, and the pistols will help the problem that I have with my right leg doing more of the work in regular two leg squats.

2 singles with the 32kg, 5 with 24kg in 8 minutes (all reps on both sides)

Deadhang pull-ups:

5x300, 5x270

Friday, March 21, 2008


5 minute TGU w/ 24kg KB
Deadlift 5x295, 5x245
Eagle loop pull-ups 3 with every combination of 3 fingers for 2 rounds

5 rds of
24kg KB swing, 20 reps
20 squats


Did you notice the picture of my new puppy? We just got her today. Her name is Karenin, and she is just 4 days older than Anja. She is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and Lab mix.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

3/20/08 2nd workout

Was feeling a bit frisky, so I did a (for me) fairly high volume bending session. After warming up with 4 whites, I bent 10 greens one after another. Good session.

Strength Programming

I have already been doing this, but I want to get it written down. My strength programming for the foreseeable future will focus on deadlifts, TGUs and some grip work. I am still shooting to deadlift 500 before my next travel season, and I would like to get TGUs up to where I can handle the 32kg for reps within the next couple of months. Long term I think bodyweight for a single would be a pretty cool TGU goal. I have no idea how long that will take though. I don't know yet what is a reasonable goal for my bending, but I think I can close a #2 gripper by September, and the other grip work will shore up one of the major weak points of my deadlift. Basically I look at everything else I am doing as assistance work for the deads or TGUs. The small plate DLs, power cleans and squat variations should all help with starting strength, and the other pressing will help me move more weight in the TGU.
I am writing this program out as covering two of the CrossFit mini-cycles, but it will not be as firm as it looks in print. I will not try to cycle on any schedule, rather, I will go by feel, since that is what has worked best for me in the past.

Day 1:
- TGU in varying format, 5-10 minutes or work up to a heavy single
- Front squat 5x5
- Overhead press 3x3
- Power clean 5x5

Day 2:
- TGU varying format
- Small plate DL 5-3-2
- CrossFit WOD (or conditioning circuit)
- Pinch Grip

Day 3:
- PTP deads
- CrossFit WOD
- Openhand grip- Eagle loops

Day 4:
- Rest

Day 5:
- TGU varying format
- Weighted pistols 5x1
- Overhead press and one hand DL 5x5
- Power clean 10x2 at top of each minute

Day 6:
- TGU varying format
- PTP deads
- CrossFit WOD
- Bending

Day 7:
- Small plate DL 5-3-2
- CrossFit WOD
- COC Grippers

Day 8:
- Rest

Edit: The weighted dips had to go. I don't know if this is just from my past injuries or poor form, but they were giving me a little discomfort in the shoulder. Pressing will do nicely for my big push though. See above post (3/23/08)


Pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups
DL up to 403x1
OHS up to 115x5

Four rounds for time:
Run 400 meters
Rest 2 minutes

1: 1:13
2: 1:29
3: 1:18
4: 1:28

Here's something odd. I ran laps 2 and 4 clockwise on the track Roger Bannister style so as to even out the stress on my legs, and my times were significantly slower. Never expected that.

After, I did a slow circuit of deadhang pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups with :45 between exercises.

Pull-ups: 10-8-6
Push-ups: 20-16-12
Sit-ups: 10-8-6

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

3/19/08 2nd workout

Pull-up/Push-up ladders:
3x (1,2,3,4,5) with double push-ups, so push-ups were (2,4,6,8,10)
Pull-ups were on Eagle Loops

Front squat with chains:
185+ chains


Power snatch:

Weighted pull-ups:

Weighted dips:

Weighted pull-ups and dips done as slow circuit with :45 between exercises


Breaking news:
I am quitting the Russion Squat Assault. I just have no motivation to follow such a precisely structured program. I will start alternating front squats and pistols on my heavy days and do free style cycling as outlined in the newest Power By Pavel email. I have always done freestyle cycling, but never called it anything. I kind of like having a name for it.

Face the wall squats, pull-ups, push-ups

"Fight Gone Bad"
Three rounds of:
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps)
Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps)
Box Jump, 20" box (Reps)
Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps)
Row (Calories)

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute.The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

16 pound ball for 20 pound ball
89 pound barbell for 75 pound barbell on SDHP and Push-press

Rd 1: 84 points
Rd 2: 94 points
Rd 3: 89 points

Sandbagged a little on the first round. Not really on purpose, but I have never done this and was trying to get a feel for the intensity I could sustain. I think next time I can do better.

Monday, March 17, 2008

No workout today

I am skipping it today. I feel a little banged up, and work has left me absolutely exhausted. I will plan to start strong again on Wednesday. I picked up a bunch of weights today. Just when I was starting to believe I would have to buy them new, came through for me and I got all of the following for $100-
-Cheap 300# weight set plus an additional 65# of plates
-Curl bar
-Bench press
-2 plate loaded dumbbell handles (really bad quality)
-Pair of old 30# York DBs. These are cool just because they're old.
-Single 20# York DB
-3 pairs of spring style collars

I will sell almost all of it since I really only wanted the plates, but even for just the barbell set this would've been a pretty good deal. I am super excited.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


10 minute TGUs w/ 24kg bell
3x (1,2,3,4,5) pull-ups


10 rds for time of
10 push-ups
24kg KB swings, 15 reps
20 sledgehammer strikes


2x (1,2,3,4,5) pull-ups


Saturday, March 15, 2008


Front squat:
Long story, but I will do the front squats tomorrow.

Power clean:
Doubles at the top of each minute for 10 minutes plus an additional 3 doubles all at 187

Weighted dip:

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Got the 32kg today! I will not get a real training session in with it until next weekend, but today i did a few tests to see where I stand.
TGU- 1 per side. This was pretty hard. No chance of multiples yet.
Snatch- 1 per side. Didn't want to push it, just seeing how it felt.
Press- 3L/4R
Pistol- 1 per side. Again, singles are all I will be able to do.

One step closer to the BEAST!

5 rds of
5 KB Clean and Push Press- 2x24kg
5 deadhang pull-ups
10 burpees


Finished with 10 rds of
10 24kg swings
5 push-ups

Moving at a moderate fast pace, but not for time.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Jumping jacks, push-ups, deadhang pull-ups
TGU 65 pound dumbbell 3 singles per side
OHS worked up to 140x5
Deadlift worked up to 363x4 -just missed the 5th rep. I have about two more heavy days before I need to cycle back down. I think I can do 385 for a triple, but there is just one way to find out.

111 lbs power snatch


GTG with #1 and Trainer grippers all day. Got so close to closing the #1 with my left I could taste it, but just couldn't finish it off.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Pull-ups, 5 min TGU with 65 pound barbell
OHS 5x120

Front squat:

Weighted dips:

One handed DL:
133 for all

Power clean:
10x2 start each set at the top of the minute
177 for all

Sunday, March 9, 2008


5 minute TGU, 3x(1,2,3,4,5) pull-ups

10 rds of:
165 pound push press, 2 reps
COC Trainer, 2 reps each hand
10 KB swings, 24kg

Finished under 15 minutes. Didn't try to push the pace and didn't time it except by noticing what time it was when I started and finished.

Immediately after, bent 3 white nails and pulled 3 easy deadlifts at 315

Didn't try the #1 gripper at all today. Day wasted? I don't want to over do it, so I will hit it on Tuesday when I am fresh. Definitely ready for the rest day tomorrow. I am bidding on another 32kg KB on ebay. Maybe this will be the one I get.

Edit: I got the kettlebell! It's a used DragonDoor 32kg and I only paid $73. That's basically a 50% savings, so no complaints here. It will be my Easter present to myself, so no using it until then.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Face the wall squats, snatch, pull-ups, power cleans

Hang squat clean:

The doubles were both supposed to be triples but I missed on the third rep.

Weighted dips:

One handed DL:

Snatch grip DL:

Friday, March 7, 2008


Squat snatch, OHS, pull-ups, wall squats

21-15-9 reps of:
225 pound Deadlift
Handstand push-ups


OHS up to 155x1, 135x5

Barbell farmer carries with 89 on each side

TGU up to 75x1 in 5 pound increments

When I got home from work I had a package waiting for me. I had ordered 50 of the white nails from IronMind and a #1 gripper. The gripper is hard, although I can close it for a single with each hand. The left is a struggle and I don't hit every rep. The right I can really slam it closed. The nails are a little easy. I am definitely ready for the green and maybe even the yellow. They will be good technique practice. I have already killed 12 though, so at this rate they won't last long.

I felt good tonight, so at about 9:30 I took a notion to deadlift all the weights I have for a set of 5. I worked up through some singles and made it to 340x5. This was a new PR. I will have to buy more plates now.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


89# snatch and OHS

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:
5 Pull-ups
10 Push-ups
15 Squats

19 rds plus 5 pull-ups

I think last time I got 17 and change (I am too lazy to go back and look). This is still not my PR, but improvement is good.

Afterward I played the Bud Jeffries "are you still strong?" game

Deadlift up to 323x5

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


TGU and face the wall squats

5 rds of
10 24kg snatch (5L/5R)
20 push-ups
5 deadhang pull-ups

Forgot to set time, but was intending to take it easy anyway. It was sub 10 minutes, but that's about as close as I can get.

150 flutter kicks in 4 sets. Broken up as 39-61-24-26.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Sit-ups, pull-ups and TGU

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet:
Deadlift: 1 1/2 body weight
Bench press: body weight
Clean: 3/4 body weight

Set up three bars and storm through for time.

I weigh 162 these days, so my deads were at 243, bench 165 and clean 121

I would not exactly say that I stormed through, but I trickled in at


Saturday, March 1, 2008


TGU mills, deadhang pull-ups, push-ups, face the wall squats

For time:
100 Squats
5 Muscle-ups
75 Squats
10 Muscle-ups
50 Squats
15 Muscle-ups
25 Squats
20 Muscle-ups


Previous attempt on 8/11/07 was 26:56, so significant improvement since then.

Worked up to 265x5 plus some lockouts with the eagle loops at same weight.

Pinch grip around the worlds with 2x10# plates. 2 sets of 5 deads with a 25 and a 10.