Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Still working around the hip after the incident of yesterday, but a good day's training all things considered.

20lbs weighted pull-ups:
3x4 tactical
3x4 close chin grip
3x4 wide tactical

All on 60 seconds rest

135lbs power clean and press:
Did not reclean the bar for the second rep, but rather just pressed from the rack position

195lbs low bar back squat:

Both the press and the squats were straight sets on 3 minute rests

Skipped the snatches that I had intended out of respect for my back. Did a bit of back bridging and my rehab drills for the hip.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I finally broke one of my barbells today. It has the threaded end bolts, so I knew when I got it it was only a matter of time before it broke. I am considering going with a Pendlay Rogue as my replacement. It's a pretty nice bar from what I understand, and it is knurled for PL and OL, which is cool. The most important thing is the sleeves use snap ring construction, so they should never break.

20lbs weighted pull-ups:
Rest 10 seconds for every rep in the set just completed

32kg TGU:
6 minutes continuous

275lbs DL
5-4 bar broke and I tweaked my back a bit. Real day ruiner actually.

115lbs bench press:

Wrist roller and abs/hip rehab

32kg swings:

Monday, December 29, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
90 seconds rest between sets

135lbs power clean and press:
3 minutes rest between sets

195lbs low bar back squat:
3 minutes rest between sets

32kg swing:
6 minutes hard
Did sets of 10 and tried to keep rest to a minimum. No attempt was made to count total reps.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


More experiments, and another day of split training sessions.

24kg TGU:
15 minutes continuous
Mixed it up between TGU+ a press at the kneeling position, TGU+ windmill and TGU+ OHS. This was a solid way to get moving with sore hamstrings from my first day of back squats in quite some time.

275lbs DL:

Plate curls:
2x3 at 20lbs, 3x3 at 15lbs

2 hands pinch:
5x5 at 90lbs

16kg BU C&P:

135lbs bench press:

This is the other experiment. I stopped doing bench a long time ago essesntially because I thought it was silly and nonfunctional. Since then I have come to the more balanced view that the move is a good one, while the people who view it as the be all and end all of weight training are silly and nonfunctional. I still think a bodyweight press is a better measure of a man than a heavy bench, but I also know that benching is one of the best assistance exercises for my press, and that it makes push-ups easier as well. Others may disagree on both points, but I am as certain about both of these as I can be with regards to knowing my own body and how it repsonds to training. Assuming the total training volume is within the bounds of what I can reasonably handle, look for my C&P to go to bwt+ for reps in the near future. I have been a bit obstinate about not benching, but recently I have been realizing just how silly it is for someone with no compelling reason not to bench to avoid the upper body exercise that lets one use the most weight. (In college I built my bench up to over 300lbs, and I will be interested to see how high it climbs this time.) With certain exceptions like the leg press, moving a lot of weight is nearly always "functional." I like the Mark Rippetoe quote where he says something like "I don't know of any better indicator of functional strength than a 600 pound deadlift, except a 700 pound deadlift." Really, any strength is functional, although it will never replace skill training, which is what I think people are missing when they make fun of the bench by asking when you would ever be lying on your back and pushing something off of you. Well, likely never. But when would you need to deadlift a barbell outside of a weightroom or a competition? The strength from weight training is neither completely functional nor completely specific to the barbell. Rant off.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Happy Boxing Day!

Today was a busy day of spending time with friends and family, so my training was split into 3 sessions. It was a good way to fit in some quality time under the bar without letting my training interfere with the holiday season.

Weighted pull-ups:
70lbs- 7 singles on 60 seconds rest
35lbs- 3x (1,2,3) rest approx 15 seconds between rungs and 1 minute between ladders

135lbs power clean and press:
On 3 minutes rest

185lbs back squat:

32kg swing:

The squats and swings were supersetted as 5 squats, 15 swings, 3 minutes rest, repeat.

The squats are an experiment. I have a theory that the Bear Complex squats banged up my knees because I was in a hurry and was bouncing out of the hole. I am doing a low bar PL style squat to below parallel, keeping it slow and controlled and seeing how the knees feel.


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
Rest 60 seconds between sets

Forward and back 3x5 with dumbbell

One hand pinch:
7 singles with 2x25lbs plates

Also received a COC #2 that I attempted to close several times without success. I will try it after a down week and see what happens.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
3x4 with a tactical grip
3x4 with a close chin-up grip
3x4 with a wide tactical grip

All on 60 seconds rest

115lbs barbell C&P:
3x3 on 90 seconds rest

24kg snatch:
On the top of the first minute 10 reps L
On the top of the seconds minute 10 reps R
and so on...
Then 4 minutes of 5/5 at the top of the minute.

Total 120 reps in 12 minutes

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
Rest 10 seconds for every rep completed in the last set.

32kg TGU:
5 singles L/R

275lbs DL:

16kg BU C&P:
4x (1,2,3)


Today was my 2nd wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary Annie!

20lbs weighted pull-ups:
Rest 90 seconds between efforts

Basically just screwed around with a barbell and some kettlebells. I need to figure out what I am doing since the squats in the Bear complex haven't been agreeing with my knees.

Abs complex:
Same as last time. I am considering switch this to full contact twist plus my hip rehab drills that I used to do.

16kg Vo2 max snatches:
30 sets of 6

Pretty easy. I may need to up my cadence to 7 reps per set. I quit becuase I ran out of time and needed to get ready for work, but I felt I could have gone pretty much all day at that pace.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Accidentally skipped yesterday's training by sleeping in a bit, but today was back at it with a vengeance. Grip work went especially well.

24kg TGU:
8 minutes of singles

275lbs DL:

16kg BU C&P:

2 hands pinch:
90lbs (2x45lbs plates) 3x3

Plate curl:
20lbs (2x10lbs plates) 3x3

Finger curl:
135lbs 3x3

Funny, I didn't do a single pull-up, but between flaring the lat on the BUPs and all the other pulling I did I had a feeling of fatigue in my back and arms identical to what I get after a hard pull-up workout.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
60 seconds rest between sets

16kg snatch:

Vo2 Max snatch cadence test

2x 2 60D Timber Ties taped together
1x 5" length of 1/4" HRS
1x 60D Timber Tie barehanded (only to about 90 degrees)

All bends were reverse, I did not complete the crushdown on the barehanded bend

Empty dumbell forward and back for 3x5 each way
Sledge for a few partial singles to the face and back

16kg BU C&P:
3x (1,2,3) ladders

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
3x3 w/ tactical grip
3x3 w/ close chin-up grip
3x3 w/ wide tactical grip

All on 60 seconds rest

Bear complex:
3x1 at 135lbs

2 minutes rest between sets

3 rds of
10 seated leg extension
5/5 oblique bridge

I owe myself some snatches tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
Rest 10 seconds for every rep in the set just completed

32kg TGU:

275lbs DL:

Monday, December 15, 2008


First day on the new program, and it was brutal in a good way. Colin, you are correct that the pull-ups emphasis lately is a result of my being upset about the recent USMC challenge. The bear is every bit as tough as I remembered, but as far as bang for my buck training goes, it has worked well in the past and it works well for me in the early morning.

20lbs weighted pull-ups:
on 90 seconds rest

Bear complex:
3x3 at 135

2 rds of 10 seated leg extensions and 5/5 oblique bridge

24kg snatch:
5/5 on the minute for 8 minutes plus an additional 5/5 for a total of 90 snatches today

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Program

The programming for the next little bit has been forming in my mind over the past week. I have been considering my goals, limitations, and resources and I think I have come up with one of my best programs yet. I will be training pull-ups, a barbell complex called the bear, deadlifts, swings and snatches, get-ups, bending and forearm work, and abs. The weekly template is based roughly on the ROP.

Pull-ups: Armstrong day 1 (5 max sets on 90 seconds rest)
Bear complex: Heavy day
KB snatch: Heavy day
Abs: An ab emphasis drill supersetted with an oblique emphasis drill

Pull-ups: Armstrong day 2 (1 ladder resting 10 seconds for every rep completed in the last set, then one final max set)
TGU: A few singles at 32kg or with a barbell
DL: 54321

Pull-ups: Armstrong day 3 (3 training sets each with regular pronated, close supinated and wide pronated grips, rest 60 seconds between sets)
Bear complex: Light day (same number of sets as Monday, but 2 reps less per set)
Abs: Same as Monday
KB snatch: Light day

Pull-ups: Armstrong day 4 (As many training sets as possible with normal grip, rest 60 seconds between sets)
Bending: 3-5 medium or hard pieces
Wrists: Wrist roller and levering

Pull-ups: Armstrong day 5, variety (3-7 singles plus low volume ladders)
Bear complex: Medium day (same number of sets as Monday, but 1 rep less per set)
KB swings: Medium day

TGU: High volume day with the 24kg
DL: 54321
Bending: 10-12 easy to medium pieces
Forearm/grip: Plate curls and 2 hand pinch

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Weighted pull-ups:
2x1 at 24kg
5x1 at 32kg
2x1,2 at 24kg
3x1,2,3 at 16kg
The rest on the singles was 60 seconds, while on the ladders I rested 30 seconds between rungs

2x1/1 at 24kg

TGU + press:
5x1/1 at 24kg
On each rep I lowered the bell to the shoulder and pressed it at both the lunge position and the upright position. I got the idea from a recent video on the IronTamer blog.

5/5 on the minute for 5 minutes

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


5x5 on 60 seconds rest

AMT2 Circuit:
7 rds of-
10 swings
1/1 get-up
plus a final set of 30 swings
in 15 minutes with 24kg

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Today was the 5k run. It actually was more like 2.76 miles, since somehow the race volunteers led us astray and the entire group of runners cut about 500m from the course. My time was nothing special, I was probably in the top 1/3 overall. It was about 28F and snowing, with a little over an inch of fresh snow on the ground. Not ideal conditions, but I try not to worry about conditions since everyone runs the same course at the same time as me. My time was 20:55, which is a bit slower than I would've liked, but I just did not have 6:45 miles in me today. I would be interested to try again at a time when I've really been working the swings and snatches hard, just to see what I could do with only KBs for conditioning.

Friday, December 5, 2008


20lbs weighted pull-ups:
5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3

16kgx2, 24kgx2, 32kgx2 rest 60 seconds and repeat for three rds


Took the day off from swings as tomorrow I am entered in a 5k. Don't really know why I thought this would be a good idea since I haven't been serious about conditioning lately and the weather is supposed to be low 20s and snowing, but oh well. Hopefully I finish in at least sub 20 minutes but I sincerely doubt it. Last time running was my PFT in May.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Sets of 25, final count TBA

5 sets of 6, 1 set of 5
All on 60 seconds rest

32kg TGU:
7 singles
Rest 60 seconds after every 1/1 reps

16kg snatch:
5/5 on the minute for 12 minutes, total 120

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


3 sets of 5 with a conventional grip
3 sets of 5 with a close chin-up grip
3 sets of 5 with a wide grip
All on 60 seconds rest

Slow circuit:
3 rds of the following drills-
15 lbs plate curls, 3 reps
Hanging leg raise with knees bent, 10 reps
Levering, side to side 3 reps and up and down 5 reps
16kg KB cross chops, 10 reps each side
Press 16kg, 24kg and 32kg KBs for 2 reps each

Rest 60 seconds between rds

Tuesday, December 2, 2008



Resting 10 seconds for every rep in the set just completed

Double 24kg press:
On 1 minute rests

24kg snatch and swing:
5 rds of 5/5 snatches and 5/5 swings
45 seconds rest between rds

Monday, December 1, 2008


I am extending the kettlebell cycle for a week because I've just started my new job and kettlebells are a little bit easier to squeeze in than barbells. I am going to be evaluating the new schedule over the coming week, but it looks as though my work may dictate at least a few more weeks of doing mostly kettlebells. I may even go back to a ROP-like template if it looks like that would work best, and just do PTP deads on the variety days. The problem is that the "gym" at my new job has nary a barbell in sight, but I could pretty easily stash a kettlebell or two in my office and work out there on my lunch break. The other option is working out early in the morning, which is what I did today, but I know from past experience that deadlifts and 5am don't mix very well. Anyway, I will persevere somehow.

13, 7, 5, 6, 5
on 90 seconds rest

24kg TGU:
12 minutes
First 8 minutes or so were pretty much non stop, after that short breaks were required to keep form dialed in.

16kg snatches:
5/5 on the minute for 10 minutes, total 100 snatches