Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Night

I felt like doing something a little bit different at the beginning part of my workout tonight, so instead of swings I hit some plyometrics. I stuck to mostly jumps because I didn't want to wear out my upper body too much - haven't done these in a little while, dang they can get you breathing heavy in no time.

Once the plyos were taken care of, it was all grippers and bending. The grippers came first and I hit them pretty hard, lots of choker work and some holds until failure - I honestly didn't have a whole lot left in the tank for the bending but I crushed down a half a dozen short pieces of 1/4" cold rolled steel.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It was a Good Day

Not the Ice Cube song (though that is an old time favorite), but the workout - lots of finger lifting, some very solid gripper closes and 150 kettlebell swings followed up by a spirited bout of bending. My conditioning is showing good signs of improvement since the increase of daily workload began and I haven't seen anything that would indicate my strength waning at all.

Illness recovery aside, everything felt very strong today, particularly the bending session in which I managed to quickly kink and crush down some steel that's been alluding me for some time. The finger lifts seem to be going well also, I'm doing static holds with a decent amount of weight for what seems like an eternity and I plan on working up to another max effort sometime before Christmas comes.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Weekend

I don't get sick very often but back to back holidays have been riddled with illness at the homestead. The kids are fine this go round, but my wife and I caught some nasty colds just in time for Thanksgiving - in terms of illness, this was a blessing compared to the swine flu, but it was still a pain in the rear.

I didn't let it ruin my holiday, nor did I let it keep me out of commission - black Friday workout consisted of some heavy bending, finger lifting and 125 kettlebell swings. I'm already running low on steel so a trip to the home improvement center will certainly be in my near future.

Still suffering from some post nasal drip and a bit of a cough, but my body feels good, so there's no reason tomorrow's workout shouldn't go on as scheduled.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Night Workout

The rain had subsided by the time I got the kids into bed so I hit the back yard for some hammer swinging. It's starting to get cold and the forecast has each evening this week getting a little bit colder, tonight was well within what I would call tolerable but I wonder how swinging a sledgehammer outside will feel once the temp has dropped below 30.

My hands felt fine after yesterdays grip workout, so once the hammer was put away I did another heavy gripper session - plenty of overcrushes and some CoC #3 choker work.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Weekend Work

This weekend was all about kettlebells and grip in the home gym.

Saturday was a heavy gripper session with lots of work on David Horne's Vulcan gripper and culminating with some choker work on the CoC #3.

Sunday had 250 kettlebell swings first on the agenda then some blockweight work.

Blockweights consisted of singles and holds with a 35lber (half of a 70 hex) and then reps and hulas with a weighted 25lber (half a fifty hax with an extra five pounds strapped to it). Tonight will be some light gripper work as active recovery then some hot and cold soaking.

I also hacksawed up some SteelWorks CRS for before Thanksgiving bending, got a feeling this is going to be a good week.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Ah, the weekend is almost upon us - looking forward to some relaxing and family time!

I've been doing some fitness equipment review articles lately - everything from adjustable dumbbells to whole home gyms, but the main focus has been on cardio equipment. That inspired me to do some intervals on my Precor stair climber last night as part of my workout.

I've been on plenty of different machines lately, but that was the first time I'd been on my own in a little while - I forgot how good of a workout you can get on that thing.

In addition to the intervals I did some block weights, some grippers and a good bit of mobility work and even after limited sleep last night I'm feeling great right now. Tonight will consist of taking it easy (maybe a few gripper closes here and there, but nothing to serious).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Still increasing daily Workload

I've continued to increase my daily workload (even though I haven't been posting about it every day) and I'm still pleased by the short term results that I've seen. I feel like I have more energy when I get up in the morning and that energy seems to be lasting me longer during the day.

In terms of recovery I'm not exactly sure, I did push the envelope a bit last night with 200+ kettlebell swings and a spirited set of sledge hammer swings after that and I am feeling it some today - no pain though, just some mild soreness that seems to be waning as the day progresses. I'll get through tonight and then have my training "weekend" as Friday and Saturday are customarily my off days.

I imagine I'll have a good idea if this experiment holds any real validity in the very near future as I push through a few more scheduled heavy workouts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

The weekend was packed with family fun: movies, birthdays and shopping - good stuff, especially considering the fact that everyone was recovered enough to actually enjoy it!

Sunday's workout consisted of Squats and Swings - the squats were of the barbell variety in the 20 rep format and the swings were performed with a 24k kettlebell.

Last night I took the 16k kettlebell and performed 250 swings without a break (I did switch hands a few times, but without breaking rhythm in the swings).

Two pretty good, but very different feeling workouts, even though both had one large element in common. I'm feeling one (or maybe both) workouts in my legs, lower and upper back - but in a good way.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Regular Training Day

On my normal "weight training" days I'm not going to be out with the hammer as I was every night this week - I've decided that I'll get down into the dungeon after the kids are in bed and move some iron.

Tonight consisted of squats (3 sets of fifteen w/ manageable weight) and v-bar (working sets up to singles with hold - 171 each hand until failure)

Following the moving iron I decided to bend some steel: about half a dozen or so easy 60d's followed by some 1/4 X 6 SteelWorks CRS.

Finished up the evening with some gripper overcrushes working up to the HG250 for holds until failure. Everything felt good, though I think that my strength may still be down a bit from flu recovery - all in all it was a good night.

Lack of Video

It's been a while since I've put together any kind of grip/feat video, I've got some thoughts for a few in the not too distant future but for those of you jonesin' for some footage here's something from Grip-Master Paul Knight and his pals - grippers, blocks and a bit of humor thrown in for good measure...

In all of the videos that I've seen from Paul, I can't remember any that I haven't been tremendously impressed by. They always seem to be joking and having a good time but the feats performed are nothing short of incredible.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Early Evening Movement and more Hammerin'

Most of the family was all but immobilized for the duration of last week with the dreaded illness, so the kids and I decided that an after dinner walk was in order. Of course we picked the coldest and dreariest day of the week to get out and get moving, but nothing a jacket couldn't solve.

We walked around a local park for a total distance of 1-1/4 miles, which I think is a pretty good distance for a two year old who is practically still recovering from the flu.

Once the kids were in bed I attacked tire with hammer again; upped the reppage by another five swings from last night. Everything still feels good and I actually woke up this morning with what seemed to be even more energy than normal - hopefully that isn't just a coincidence.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Implementation of Increased Workload

I decided to physically expound on the thoughts of my earlier post and begin my experimentation of daily increased workload tonight. Once the kids were off to bed I jumped out back and went to town with the sledgehammer. A quick but intense session that consisted of five more total swings than last evenings session. I felt as though I had plenty of swings left in the tank, but I didn't want to move too fast too soon - I'll be back out there tomorrow after all.

As a secondary thought to my increased physical workload, I've also decided to up my daily protein intake. I'm very aware of what I consume but being a vegetarian I feel like sometimes I'm not quite meeting my body's daily requirements of protein for my activity level, I feel an automatic increase of 15 grams a day should suffice for the extra demands that I'm putting on myself.

Deep Thoughts

My time incapacitated allowed me to do a lot of thinking, particularly when my head wasn't throbbing, and the topic that entered my thoughts the most was over-training (odd as I wasn't really doing any kind of training).

My question is that why are there people who work hard labor jobs (concrete, construction, heavy loading, etc.) for eight hours or more every day then follow that up with a trip to the gym who have no concern what so ever for over-training; then there are guys who sit at a computer all day and visit a gym 3-4 days a week who complain about suffering injuries stemming from over use?

Wouldn't the person who beats their body up at work on a daily basis, then goes for a heavy session at the gym be the one more likely to suffer from "over-training"? - from my experience this rarely seems to be the case.

Is over-training just a concept that's related to workload in the gym as it compares to workload on a day to day basis - and if so then shouldn't the office worker who places lighter demands on his or her body adapt to their activity as well (if not easier) than the laborer who is constantly putting their body in a stressful situation?

I've noticed that I don't tend to recover quite as quickly since taking on a more sedentary career, I had just chalked it up to aging and the natural slowing of my recuperative process - maybe there's more to it than that.

Anyone who has any thoughts, feel free to post them in the comments as I'm interested to hear someone else's perspective on this. For now I think I'm going to try and increase my daily workload a bit, without doing anything to change my heavier days to see if there is any positive effect overall.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to Work Tomorrow

Well, my swine flu symptoms are all but through as are my daughter's and my wife's so it will be back to the daily grind tomorrow. I stayed home today because my son is still experiencing symptoms and I wanted to be certain that all was at least reasonably well on the home front before I returned to my normal drudgery.

Once the kids were in bed for the night and all was quiet I snuck out back for a little hammer swinging. I still don't feel one hundred percent, but hammers and clubs are easy to adjust the intensity on while still giving you an insanely good workout. I didn't push it to any kind of limit, but certainly got the blood flowing.

All felt and still feels good.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New on Brotherspeak

The new issue of Brotherspeak is alive and kicking and Garrett (the man behind the magazine) has said that he feels this is the best issue yet. I'm very proud to be a part of this effort - check out my latest contribution here:


While your there be sure to take a look around, plenty of good info there.

Swine Flu

Are you kidding me?

Everybody seemed to be doing better Thursday, the week of sick seemed all but over but after we put him to be my son started to get worse. Fits of coughing kept him (and me) from sleeping for most of the night - a trip to the pediatrician revealed that he had a virus brought on by the swine flu - the perfect vacation had gotten even better. Apparently, that was the reason we'd all been out of commission for so long...

None of us are entirely better yet, still suffering from some aches and pains and lingering coughs but it's not as bad as it was. I did manage a light workout on Thursday and am possibly considering another today - with the way things are going, I wonder if I'll make it back to work tomorrow as scheduled.

At least now when people ask me how I spent vacation I'll have an interesting story.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Been stuck in the house of sick for the last week - what a way to spend vacation. Last Friday my daughter started complaining of a sore throat, Saturday things got worse and the sickness spread - first to me, then my son and finally my wife. I've been pretty much out of commission since Monday morning.

We had lots of plans for this week, which was the main reason for taking my last vacation week of the year, but with Thursday upon us and two of the four of us still pretty much reeling, it doesn't look like there's going to be an overabundance of family fun.

I'm finally getting back to normal and planning on a light training session tonight, my daughter seems to be nearly recovered and my wife is fighting it off pretty well - hopefully we'll be able to throw some fun together for the weekend.