wednesday and friday of play week

Yeah, I worked out. I showed up. I trained my athletes. And I worked out.

Workouts were BASIC. I warmed up. And then I power cleaned. A lot. Also a little bit of front squatting, a little bit of hang power snatching, a little bit of clean pulling, shrugging, and on Friday, more than a little bit of hang power cleaning. I did not break any PRs but I put in a lot of reps at 70+ kg.

The exact details escape me now. But this was a play week and all you need to know is I played around power cleaning as much as I could stand.

I did not condition.

monday of play week

All about power cleaning this morning. I just felt like playing. I also was coaching Caroline and Melody, so I just fiddled around and took my time.

Warm-Up: some jumprope.

Power Cleans:
5 x 1 x 50 kg
5 x 1 x 60 kg
15 x 1 x 70 kg

Power Clean and Front Squat Complex:
5 x Power Clean x 1 x 70 kg, Front Squat x 2 x 70 kg.

In other words, about 20 reps of Power Clean at 70 kg. I missed a couple in there but I didn’t take good notes on which reps. The later ones of course. I am still sucking at these but I guess I’m getting better.

summer solstice 2012 four week wrap up

Four weeks ago I announced a new plan for training and body recomposition, which I initially viewed as a “challenge” cycle (see “new four week cycle: summer solstice 2012″ from May 27th). I had great ideas for dietary self discipline in there, including: daily IF, weekly 22 hour fast, whole-foods Michael Pollan style eating, low alcohol, and more sleep. But I failed to keep to all of those ideas. At least I didn’t gain a lot of weight. Diet wise, the cycle turned out to be more of a regular old “maintenance” period.

Shorter Training Cycles: Thumbs Up

On the bright side, I did complete almost all aspects of my training plan and I feel good about it.

Having just finished this four week cycle, I can report at least some positive results. First off, I should say that I love love love my new approach to programming! It feels much more respectful to my aging body and easily distracted mind. I am speaking, of course, of my latest idea to keep training cycles short, and to optionally take rest or play weeks between cycles (see “the idea of a shorter training cycle”, also from May 27th).

By the end of four weeks of 3x per week of strength, auxiliary work, and conditioning, i.e. about 12 workouts and probably 9 conditioning sessions, I was burned out. But it was so meaningful and helpful to know that I could take a week of playing around if I wanted to (and would do so), and then would also be changing up my training routine for the next cycle.

I can stay focused on training for four weeks. I can make measurable gains. Then rest and recover, if needed. And then move on to something new, without losing sight of my larger goals, and benefiting physically and mentally from changing up the routine.

Summer Solstice 2012: Notes On The Work

My Numbers from May 27th to June 23rd, 2012
Summer Solstice 2012, The Data

My work this month was pretty good. I started out with a plan to drop about 7 pounds of fat, to move my body from 202 lbs (on the first day) to 195 lbs (on the last), but THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN. Basically, I flubbed the “challenge” part of the plan. I cheated, broke IF windows, and didn’t eat the vegetable heavy diet that I originally thought was so important. I also drank way more often than planned (3-4 times per week instead of 1). So, the challenge aspect died. Instead, I found myself settling for a quick “weight-loss” of about 2.5 pounds, and thereafter, maintenance.

Here are the numbers, etc., from the notes file I was keeping during the program:

Week I totals:

Highest Squat 230 (Total vol/reps/average: 3340/21/159)
Highest Deadlift 315 (3030/14/216)
Highest Powerclean 72kg (158.73 lbs)
Burpee Volume Total: 105 reps
Chin-Up Volume Total: 24 reps
Dips Volume Total: 15 reps
Press Weight and Reps: 70 lbs (2 x 35 lbs KBs) x 54 reps = 3,780 lbs.
Start weight (Sun): 202
End weight (Sat): 199
Average weight: 199.57
Dietary notes: kept to plan for the most part. Drank only on Memorial day.

Week II totals:

Highest Squat 235 (Total volume/reps/average: 3530 lbs/19/185)
Highest Deadlift 325 (5170/24/215)
Highest Powerclean 73kg (160.93 lbs)
Burpee Volume Total 3 x 5 x 8 reps = 120 reps
Chin-Up Volume Total: 22 reps. (-2 vs. week 1)
Dips Volume Total: 23 reps. (+8 vs. week 1)
Press Weight and Reps: 70 lbs (2 x 35 lbs KBs) x 11 sets x 7 reps = 5,390 lbs
Start weight (Sun): 200
End weight (Sat): 198
Average weight: 199.71
Dietary notes: got off track with IF at various times. Ate late into evening on 3 nights. Had some bites of processed foods and a taco lunch (tortillas, chips, etc.). Had a tremendous cheat night on Thursday. Did drink alcohol Thursday (Beer and Wine), Friday (Beer) and Saturday too (Liquor).

Week III totals:

Highest Squat 240 (vol/reps/avg: 3025/16/189)
Highest Deadlift: 345 (3495/15/233)
Highest Powerclean: 76 kg (167.55, less than 2.5 lbs from PR)
Burpee Total Volume: 3 x 5 x 9 = 135 reps
Dips Volume: 8 + 10 + 9 = 27 reps (+4 vs. week 2, +12 vs. week 1)
Chins Volume: 8 + 8 + 9 = 25 reps (+3 vs. week 2, +1 vs. week 1)
Press Weight and Reps: 70 lbs (2 x 35 lbs KBs) x 9 sets x 8 reps = 5,040 lbs.
Start weight (Sun): 201.5 (+1.5 lbs from week 2, -0.5 lbs from week 1)
End weight (Sat): 200.0 (+2 lbs from week 2, +1 lbs from week 1)
Average weight: 199.64
Dietary notes: not too bad the first half of week. Fasted a long day from Sat to Sun. Kept regular IF schedule Mon and Tue. Mostly good quality, non processed foods, but had Pizza for dinner on Sunday. Had alcohol on Tuesday evening, and ice cream too; also Wednesday. Alcohol again on Saturday evening… a lot. And cheated with crappy foods Friday and Saturday nights. The numbers don’t lie. In spite of pulling my average daily weigh in down slightly this week, the numbers probably show I’ve gained about a pound over the past three weeks, or they show that I’ve been eating very close to isocalorically.

Week IV totals:

Highest Squat 245 (vol: 3,125; 16 reps; avg: 195)
Highest Deadlift 325 (failed on 355) (but much higher volume: 6100/24/254)
Highest Powerclean: 78kg (PR!)
Burpee Total Volume: 2 x 5 x 10 = 100 reps. Skipped third day.
Dips Volume: 12 + 9 = 21. Skipped third day.
Chins Volume: 10 + 8 = 18. Skipped third day.
Press Weight and Reps: 3 x 3 x 9 x 35 lbs KBs ( 70 lbs) = 5,670 lbs
Start weight (Sun): 201 (-0.5 lbs from week 3, -1 lbs from week 1)
End weight (Sat): 200 (0 lbs from week 3, +1 lbs from week 1
Average weight: 199.86
Dietary notes: started off on Sunday in a bad place, hung over and overstuffed from the previous day. Ate light all day. IF’d into Monday. Monday did huge breakfast, skipped lunch, good dinner, but cheat eating into the night. Tuesday did bulletproof coffee, skipped breakfast and lunch, good dinner, alcohol, IF’d into Wednesday. Wednesday bulletproof coffee… ate light on Thursday and kept IF; bulletproof fasted most of Friday too.

As you can see from this, I managed to keep my average weight below that of my weekend weight. Basically what happened was that I lost control of myself on Fridays and Saturdays and tended to undo the good work I had done during the week.

One of the numbers that I didn’t keep track of in these notes was skinfold measure. This actually improved slightly during the month (see table above). But I think my love handles must have been growing, because my waist did not improve.

If I had kept more carefully to my eating plan and had SLEPT MORE, I think I would have been able to document better progress in improving body composition. Instead, I maintained.

Lifting wise, I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to, but I felt like I pushed myself hard and helped to build a foundation for pushing into the next cycle. I did get one true PR, on the last day of the cycle, when I pulled a 78 kilo power clean.

I can do better, and will, during the next cycle.

last friday

Last Friday in a successful four week training cycle. I like my new, shorter cycle plan. By the end of the fourth week of following the same pattern, I needed the promise of changing tactics, etc. I will post some kind of self-evaluation of it on Sunday. I’ll spend next week mostly playing around with kettlebells and auxiliary lifts (doing some more power clean singles, too) and then embark on the next 4 week cycle, from July 1st to July 28th, a cycle devoted primarily to surfing on the Oregon coast.

This morning I was so tired I didn’t meet my small goal fully (skipped Chin-Ups, Dips, and Burpees on this last day). I regret that now but it was, I guess, just not happening at the gym. I did, however, PR my power clean.

Warm-Up: about 250 jumprope single unders

Shoulder Mobility

Shoulder Rehab side presses 1 x 15 x each Arm x 10 lb. DB / external rotations 3 x 10 x each arm x 10 lb DB

Shoulder Press 3 x 9 x 35 lbs DBs

Power Clean (kg): singles only, obviously…
60, 60, 65, 65, 70, 70, 74, f x 78, f x 78, 70, 75, f x 77, f x 77, 70, 78! (PR), f x 80, then
16 x 1 x 67 @ 45 sec. These felt good. LOTS of volume.

That was all I could muster today!

wednesday woes

Workout less focused and intense than I’d like, because I was trying to teach Melody and Caroline the power clean while doing this. But I managed.

Warm-Up: 4 x 200 meter run / 20 jumping jacks / 20 high knees

Shoulder Rehab: y/t/i 3 x 12 x each exercise x 8 lbs

Shoulder Press: 3 x 9 x 35 lbs KBs

5 x 155, 3 x 225, 2 x 275, 1 x 325, f x 355, 5 x 1 x 315, f x 315 (overhand grip), 4 x 2 x 275 (volume: 6100 lbs, 24 reps, avg 254 lbs/rep).

Burpees: 5 rounds 10 reps
(done in alternating sets with the 4 x 2 x 275 deadlifts)

Chins and Dips
3 rounds max reps
Chins 3, 3, 2
Dips 3, 3, 3

4 x 200 meter run, alternating with the three rounds of Chins and Dips. Not much of a conditioning workout, really, but it brought my jogging total for the day up to 1 mile. So there’s that.

week four monday

Warm-Up: Burpees: 5 sets of 10, alternating with 4 x 100 meter run, continuous

Shoulder Rehab: side raises 3 x 12 x 8 lbs

Press: 3 x 9 x 35 lbs DBs

5 x 45 / 5 x 145 / 3 x 195 / 1 x 215 / 1 x 230 / 1 x 245 / 5 x 1 x 225 (vol: 3,125; 16 reps; avg: 195 lbs)

Chins and Dips
3 sets Max Reps
Chins 4, 3, 3
Dips 4, 4, 4


10 x 100 jumprope single unders, 90 second intervals

power friday

Friday damn lack of sleep and late night gorging… two things threw me off my game. I did my best despite being a damn fool.

Warm-Up: some light floor work, and shoulder mobility.

How I conducted the workout: I supersetted everything. I put a timer on 5 rounds of 10 minutes and did my burpees, presses, and chin-ups and dips by interspersing sets of them every 10 minutes or so into my power cleans. Below, everything is just listed in terms of total work completed. Intervals between sets varied and nothing was done without supersetting it with something.

Burpees: 5 x 9. These were tight. Plenty of rest (min. 10 min.) between sets.

Presses: 3 x 8 x 35 lbs KBs. First two sets were very hard today!

Chin-Ups: 3, 3, 3.

Dips: 3, 3, 3.

Power Cleans: 50, 55, 60, 65, f x 70, 70, f x 75, 75, 76, f x 77, f x 70, 15 x 1 x 65 kg. Yes that’s right after going to a new high for this training cycle (+3 kg from last week, at 76 kg), and failing on a couple more reps, I did 15 singles at 65 kg. I just felt decent at that weight and wanted to work on form. It was good. Total volume: 1,426 kg. Total reps: 22. Avg 64.8 kg/rep.

No conditioning today. I just could not force myself to go there. I got my small goal and I power cleaned more than last week. Boo-yah.

wham bam

Busy morning at ASC. Two new clients and three old ones. I was lucky to get in the training I did. I hit my small goal (burpees, presses, chin-ups and dips all completed) and I deadlifted more than last Wednesday, so, something must be right with the world.

2 rounds of:
40m sprint, 10 knee ups
40m sprint, 10 jumping jacks

Shoulder Rehab: chest flyes 3 x 10 x 8 lbs

Deadlift: 5 x 135, 3 x 205, 1 x 275, 1 x 305, 1 x 335, 1 x 345, 3 x 1 x 315. Vol/reps/avg: 3495/15/233.

Shoulder Press: 3 x 8 x 35 lbs KBs

5 rounds @ 3 min (total) intervals containing:
burpees x 9 in 1 min interval
Chin-ups x max and Dips x max in 2 min interval.
Chins: 2, 2, 2, 1, 1. Total: 8.
Dips: 2, 2, 2, 2, 2. Total: 10.

third week begins

Third week of my current 4 week cycle started this morning at the gym. I need to sleep more! It’s becoming a glaringly obvious flaw in my training program.

Warm-Up: 4 x suicides @ 20 and 40 meters (120 meters), with 2 x hi knees x 20, 2 x jumping jacks x 20

Shoulder Rehab: y/t/i 3 x 10 x 8 lbs DBs

Press 3 x 8 x 35 lbs DBs

5 x 45 / 5 x 140 / 3 x 190 / 1 x 210 / 1 x 225 / 1 x 240 (HBBS PR) / 1 x 230 (f on 2) / 2 x 210 / 2 x 215. Total volume: 3,025 in 16 reps / avg: 189 lbs.

Chins and Dips
3, 2, 2. Total: 8.
2, 3, 2. Total: 8.


Set interval to 150 seconds.
Started and ended with box step ups; alternated sets with the burpees.

Overhead Snatch Grip Barbell Box Step Up: 6 rounds x 6 x 70 lbs;
Burpees: 5 rounds x 9.

A good tough one!


Oof, my aching brain. Friday morning after a night of evil late night TV and diet-breaking snacking. Not enough sleep. I should have taken better care of myself. I felt like an invalid this morning. Like I could barely move. Like I was suspended in aspic. Like I had my head stuck in a bucket.

But training goes on. I executed my plan, with whatever lack of lustre.
Warm-Up: 5 rounds 8 burpees, 4 rounds: 200 meter run, alternating, continuous.

Shoulder Mobility

Shoulder Rehab: external rotations, 3 x 15 x each arm x 8 lbs DBs

Front Squat
warm-up 5 x 45, 1 x 135, 1 x 165, 1 x 175, 5 x 1 x 185

Superset work sets of F.S. with:

Shoulder Press 3 x 7 x 35 lbs DBs

Power Clean
55, 60, 65, 67, 69, f x 71, 71, 73, f x 75, f x 75, 65, 65, 65.
Higher total volume than last week: 655 vs. 623 kg

Chins & Dips
3 sets each, max reps
Chins: 3, 2, 1. These felt so weak! And compared to last week, they were (6 vs. 9 reps).
Dips; 3, 3, 2. These were better than expected (8 reps vs. 6 last week).

10 rounds @ 90 second intervals: Farmer’s Carry 130# (2 x 65 lbs DBs) x 40 meters.

This was not really a metabolic conditioning workout. The rest interval was far too long for that. But it was a good heavy stress on the system nonetheless.