Vacation and then a Deadlift PR

When I vacation, most of the time, I’ll take a week off from working out. Sometimes, I might get a couple of runs in or do some pushups, but you won’t see me (you won’t see me…) in a gym. In January, I was in San Francisco for sales kickoff and then Sonoma for wine tasting.  My working out was walking around the city. Lunch? nah, I’ll pass on the kale soup, I’ll walk. 30 minute break, take a walk. My wife and I did 10 miles up and down the hills one day. Two weeks ago, we went to New York and Philadelphia.  Walked around Central Park, down Broadway, Times Square, Lower Manhattan.  Got 7 miles in one day.  Rest is key every 12-16 weeks for not only mental, but physical recovery. When I do this, I come back refreshed and ready.

Vacation was great, saw the musical Jersey Boys, went to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, (searched for my great grandfather’s name, but it was spelled wrong), World Trade Center pools and went to the Museum of Modern Art.  Fifth floor was spectacular.  Picasso, Cezanne, Van Gogh (Meh).  Then as you get to the more modern stuff it gets weirder. I’m a fan of Post Impressionism. I asked for 2 hours, we bailed after 100 minutes and went to Junior’s for a reuben and some cheesecake.

Then it was off to Philadelphia, well Exton, actually. My youngest single cousin got married. He hit the lottery with this gal. The ceremony was on Villanova. Beautiful campus. Easily the best wedding I’ve ever attended.  Everyone was there, parents, relatives, cousins. Lots of laughs and rehashing the same things that have been occurring the last 40 years. Thoroughly enjoyed the handle of Glen Livet my eldest cousin brought.  Yeah, i said it was the Budweiser of Single Malts, but it’s still great.  My new favorite is Highland Park. Bought a bottle for a friend of mine who got the fight Saturday night.  Delicious and smooth. The discussion was who was the MVP of the weekend. We were going with my eldest cousin who put on an all time show, he was putting up numbers like Barry Bonds, fresh off a cycle from BALCO. In reality it was the groom, who organized a great round of golf the day before. It was freezing 42 with a 30 mph wind but still fun.  Helps that I played well. He was the reason we were all down there. The only points he lost was for complaining about missing centerpieces. I had to pull him aside to discuss roles of the groom and how floral arrangements should never be on his task list. Was a dancing fool. I don’t care if Marvin Gaye was ripped off, and he was. Is there a better get on the dance floor tune than Blurred Lines?  Just sayin’….

Seven hours back home, five states, a little traffic at the GW. I refuse to take the Tappan Zee, just go right up the belly of the beast.  Blew off the Cross Bronx and 95 by taking the Hutch to the Merritt, traffic on both, traffic in Hartford at the exit off where my Moms grew up, traffic getting into Massachusetts.  Oh well it was worth it, delayed an hour.

Got back on the scale Monday, 197.8.  To tell you the truth, I was relieved. The weekend before vacation, I know I hit 200 for the first time since 1998. I fasted for 40 hours the Sunday before we left. So, I’ve taken control and have dropped about 5 pounds since then. What has been working is two things.  Long daily fasts 17-20 hours, and gulp, long distance running.  Yes, back at it and enjoying it with the nice weather. Still doing some kettlebell stuff, but my tennis elbow isn’t quite healed yet and I can’t snatch.  Did 4.2 miles on Sunday with my dog, 3 on the treadmill yesterday after national bench press day at the gym in 25:38 and over 5 today with my wife. No run tomorrow because of squats and thinking of playing hoop Thursday night.  I like putting the music on and letting my mind shut down. I have one playlist, mostly Beatles, Wings, Led Zeppelin and Rolling Stones for rock. Some 70’s soft rock, 10CC, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Pure Prairie League, Ozark Mountain Daredevils (Jackie Blue is a great tune), 90’s hip hop as well as some modern stuff.  Selena Gomez, Britney, Sara Baralles etc.

For lifting still doing 5/3/1, just about finished cycle 3.  My favorite week is the 3 x 3 week.  On Saturday after seeing A-Rod hit hit 660th the previous evening, went and did presses and deadlifts. Instead of following the percentages, I did 275 x 3, 295 x 3, then threw a third wheel on each side and did 315 which was my training max, x 3. Felt good and loose. I didn’t want to rep out 315, felt like maxing out. Threw 2 10’s on each side. boom, 1 rep at 355. Took the 10’s off and put quarters on for 365.  Grip, left hand over, right hand under.  Fool on the Hill was playing on the iTunes. Pulled the bar a couple of times to take the slack out and up it went. Personal record.  Stripped the bar as Slow by Selena Gomez came on and walked out of the gym. To paraphrase Flo-rida, the gym couldn’t handle me. My goal is a 2x bodyweight deadlift, and that is only 20-25 lbs. away. After that 4 wheels on each end or 405 for you math savants.

For kettlebells doing work with the 88. Getups, push presses, squat in the rack and row as well as swings. I’ve probably brought this up before, as a matter of fact I know I have.  I like the two hand swing much better than the one hand swing.  I know the one hand swing is asymmetrical, but the two hand swing, in my opinion is harder on the grip. When you swing with the left arm, your right arm is resting. With two hand swings, both arms are engaged.  My tailbone doesn’t bother me after a high volume of two hand swings like it does with one hand. Don’t get me wrong, one hand has it’s place and 10 sets of 15, 15 with 30 seconds rest with a heavy bell is great for conditioning.  It’s just my preference. WIth good form, as Lisa RInna says, YES. There is no wrong answer.  I’d just rather do one hand sntaches vs. one hand swings.

5/3/1 update

Weather is finally warming up here, just a little snow left on the lawn and just finished my second cycle of 5/3/1.  I’ve been going to the gym 3 days a week and using kettlebells 3 days.  Current training maxes are Squat and Deadlift 305, Military Press 135, Bench 195.  Doing first set last multiple sets.  Looks like this:

3 warm up sets

5/3/1 work sets.  Last work set rep out leave one in the tank.

Joker set or two above training max (Sets of 1-3 above max)

then back down the ladder.

Second work set at required reps

FIrst set last 5 sets x 5-8 with first work set.

Numbers have been strong on deadlift and squats.  Been hitting 335 for 1-3 reps.  Hit 205 x 1 on the bench and have been able to do 135 for reps on the press. Squat depth is good.  Hit 11 x 275 on squat, 10 x 275 on deadlift.  Moving the training maxes up to 315 for squat and deadlift. 140 for press, 200 for bench.

Have not been doing a lot of assistance work. No pull-ups, bothered by tennis elbow tendonitis. Earned that doing too much snatching one day.  Decided to do a Viking Warrior Conditioning workout with a 35 lb kettlebell. 40 sets of 7,7 at the top of each minute. Stupid, anyway learned some self massage technique that has made it much better. I know, self massage, snatch, lots of sexual references.

Finished soccer, last three weeks dealt with a pulled calf muscle.  That day, I had jumped rope in the morning, and played soccer in the evening. Two minutes into the second half, pop goes the calf.  I came out, stretched it went back out and lasted 30 seconds and thought it was going to tear.  What’s funny is 3 days later, 100%.  Missed a week, played in the final game and the first minute on the field was terrible.  My legs felt like a couple of Redwood trees and the calf started pulling again.  Came out, went back out there and it started straining again.  At this point, I exited the field and put on the goalie gloves and jersey.  It is probably time to retire.  The heart and skills are still there, physically a sore rib, a recurring calf strain and a sore groin muscles remind me that I’m 46.  We’ll see.

Diet, the more things change the more they stay the same, mid 190’s, eating far too much. Not bad food, just too much.  Need to work on portion control.  Lifting heavy makes me ravenously hungry. Going to the Red Sox game tomorrow afternoon isn’t going to help the cause. Great seats,15 rows behind 3rd base dugout. I only go to Fenway when I have good seats.  I will address the weight issue in a fortnight.

I found a moving box from last summer that contained all my kettlebell e-books that I’ve printed over the years.  I pulled out David Whitley’s 101 Kettlebell Workouts. This was akin to finding a $20 bill in a coat you haven’t worn in a while.  This was the book that helped me get hooked on kettlebells. back in 2009 (through the mists of time). He has 30 workouts under 30 minutes, which I’ve been working through on non-barbell days. The only issue is there are lot of snatch workouts, which I can’t do yet.  There are also stacking workouts and circuit training.  The stacking is a crown jewel, except I don’t do it for time, I do it for reps. If you do 5 rounds, the volume is high for swings and goblet squats.  Here is one I did with a 55 lb. bell last week.

Two hand swing x 10

Rest 30 seconds

Two hand swing x 10, Goblet Squat x 5

Rest 30 seconds

Two hand swing x 10, Goblet Squat x 5, Pushups x 15

Rest 30 Seconds

Two hand swing x 10, Goblet Squat x 5 Pushups x 15, Sling shot x 15 (pass around body)

Rest 30

Two hand swing x 10, Goblet Squat x 5, Pushups x 15, Sling shot x 15, Clean and Press 5 left, 5 right

Rest 90 seconds, repeat for up to 5 rounds, pick up your lungs up off the floor.

Yesterday I did two circuit training sessions.  First was:

Goblet Squat x 5 (70 lb. bell)

Clean and Press 5,5 (55 lb. bell)

Two hand Swing x 20 (70 lb. bell)

Rest a minute 5 rounds

Second circuit, set time for 20 minutes

One hand swing, 10,10  70 lb. bell

Immediately picked up the 55’s

Double Kettlebell Front Squat x 5

Double Military Press x 5

Alternating Row with hold at the top 5L, 5R

Did six rounds of this and it was tiring.

I’ve also been jogging outside a couple of times a week, about 4 miles with my dog.  Mountain goat neighborhood.  I run with my wife from time to time, but she runs 5 days a week and kicks my butt.  I’m going to add more running in, just to stay outside.

Baseball Season:

With all the domes and southern and west coast teams, why are the Padres and Dodgers playing one another and the Red Sox are playing night games in Philly?  Wouldn’t it make more sense for the northeast/midwest teams to start in a dome or the south or west coast?  Then again it’s baseball and nothing makes sense. Only in baseball is the all time hit leader banned, and the all time home run leader will never be in the Hall of Fame.  And I don’t want to hear the excuse that “Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens was a hall of famer before they started using.  Horsefeathers! if you cheated and got caught, you’re out.  Will be in Cooperstown at a baseball tournament during Hall of Fame week this July.

Had an aggravating morning. Had great intentions of rocking up at the gym, however life threw me a 12-6 curveball. Last night, my 15 year old decided to revert back to a decade and jump onto his bed, The adjacent wall is the office and has a network extender on the top of the computer desk.  Boom down it goes, cable ripped out of box.  Then the internet goes down, no WIFI and once it’s back up, can’t log into work.  7:30 AM Wal-Mart trip did the trick.  My younger son had a black sweatshirt, black shorts and royal blue socks on.  Told him, change the socks, “Don’t Judge Me!’ was his retort.  At least he got his contact lenses in on the first try. But here’s a look at modern day English. Have there been two verbs that have been more overused these days than “judge” and “bully?”  “Don’t Judge Me” is the new millennial phrase that translated into 20th century English means: “I know I’m making a mistake and I neither care, nor want to hear it.”  And bullying is so commonplace that it has become like the boy and the wolf. In my opinion, bullying is torturing and hurting someone, not teasing and busting chops. I have ZERO tolerance for the former, playful banter is not bullying.  Witching hours at my house are 7 and 7 just like the old cocktail, before school and dinnertime.

Other pet peeves in the English language are ending a sentence with a preposition. “That’s where I’m at.” No, that’s where you are.  When apologizing, just saying “sorry.”  No, you forgot the pronoun.  If you want to sound sincere, “I am sorry.” Not using the word “Dear” or ‘Sincerely” in a thank you note. My elder cousin called me the other day about thank you note protocol for a job interview. (Note: I love talking to my cousin, but after 17 years in the business, I have as much interest in recruiting and job placement as George Harrison had in playing music with Paul McCartney around 1972.) He wanted to know if he should use the word “dear” in a thank you note.  Whatever happened to a little old school formality? In some ways the world has gotten a little too casual. Growing up I didn’t call most of my parents’ friends by their first names and never the neighbors.  The world has changed.

Segueing, I’ve been finding myself really enjoying pre 1966 Beatle music lately.  Of course Ticket to Ride is still my favorite tune off Help!  I Feel Fine (best intro ever), This Boy, It’s Only Love, Baby It’s You, Chains, Anna, Please Please Me (I’ve been slow on the uptake, but have finally realized this is about a chick who ain’t giving it up to her man.)  My wife is teaching one of her students “Honey Pie” off of the White Album. He’s extremely talented but bangs the piano too hard and is always changing his mind about songs.  That being said, he’s enjoyable to hear play. I told my wife that he can’t learn a new song until he aces it.  Week 2 was yesterday and sounded great.

Bay State jokes that continuously make me laugh. Potential Olympics in Boston and Elizabeth Warren running for president.

Cheerio

Back to the Barbell

Failed Kettlebell Burn Extreme after 10 days. Mentally weak, MEOW! there I said it.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way…

I rejoined my old gym about 15 minutes away. $10 bucks a month, all the equipment I need and it’s not Planet Fitness. I work from home and had been cooped up too much in the house this winter. It was like being under house arrest. Hadn’t been there in 15 months, not one thing has changed. No new equipment, machines, nothing. I’m sure the shower curtains are the same. Zero reinvestment, but the place is nice. My only complaint is just the one squat rack. There are more cartoon characters there than anywhere, all from Woonsocket. As much ink there as you would see on the 4th of July at Hampton Beach.

I’m doing the 5/3/1 barbell program three days a week. Going to throw some kettlebells and running with my wife on the other days. Weather almost tolerable? Well, it’s snowing out right now. I ran with my dog this week and had to run in the middle of the street because I didn’t want her all sandy. She was SO HAPPY, smiling up at me with love and hopping like a bunny for the first 200 yards

Starting week 3 of 5/3/1, doing a pyramid of First Set Last. It goes like this,

Warmup 3 sets
Work sets 5,5,5+ (+ as many reps as possible)
Second work set x 5
First work set 5 sets x 5-8

Only assistance work I’m doing are pull-ups, rows and dips which have been shelved for the time being. Being the stubborn idiot I am, for a conditioning day, I decided to do kettlebell snatches with a 35. 15 seconds on 15 seconds off for 40 minutes, Viking Warrior Conditioning style. Easily did the workout, but the 280 snatches on each arm dinged my left elbow and I have a mild case of tendonitis on the top of my elbow/forearm. So, I’m working around that. It burns to brush my teeth vertically, I’m doing it with my right hand. Want a great brain exercise? Try brushing with your opposite hand, just beware of your gums with the toothbrush. Throw in a bruised rib from soccer that hasn’t healed in two weeks and I’ve been hitting the Aleve. Which, you can’t take on an empty stomach, thus no fasting, weight still in the low-mid 190’s.

Successes have been my squats and deadlifts which have been strong. I easily pulled 315 x 3 the other day and have been regularly squatting 275 x 5 with depth. Presses are good, and the more things change the more they stay the same, my bench is, as always, my weak exercise.

How’s everyone doing in their brackets? I’m down to seven on my elite 8. How does Providence lay an egg last night? I watched a lot of college hoop this winter, nobody is beating Kentucky. My brother had Baylor going to the Final Four. Why? How many Big 12 games did you watch? I didn’t watch any. I saw a lot of Big East and ACC games. Xavier seemed to be on every Saturday. I like that team, they always win a game or two in the tourney and you can’t bury them. Villanova and their grease ball coach Jay Wright won’t get to the Final Four. Providence got screwed vs.’Nova in the Big East tournament. Phantom call. I have Kentucky, Duke (really going out on a limb there) Arizona and Virginia. The last team to go completely undefeated was Bobby Knight’s 1976 Indiana team. I like John Calipari, so I hope Kentucky runs the table. Sure he’s a little shady, but college basketball is a cesspool. They’re all slime bags and he’s not a complete sphincter like General Knight.

My problem with college hoop is the complete over coaching. The last minute of a game takes 15. I saw a team last week call a timeout down 5 with 1.6 seconds left. Really? Did you know there are 4 TV timeouts a half, plus 15 minutes at halftime, plus a 60 second timeout and 4 30 second timeouts? How much can you possibly say to your team? The TV timeouts come every 4 minutes, so the first one is at the 16 minute mark. I love the coaches who call timeouts at 16:05. I HATE the charge call, it’s too subjective. College basketball has turned into a low scoring rock fight. They need to drop the shot clock from 35 to 24, extend the three point line farther out. There is no mid range game, guys just kick it out and launch threes. Lose the charge call and drop the timeouts in half.

The Ashley Judd Twitter controversy has made me giggle over the past two days. Answering trolls calling her names and telling her to die because she’s a die-hard Kentucky fan. She’s staying relevant, kissing Dickie V and screaming misogyny. Dickie probably hasn’t needed the viagra since. He needs to go away. His schtick was getting tired when I was in college in the 80’s. In the 1990’s she was Nolan Ryan, throwing 99 MPH heat, but now she’s just a knuckleballer. Bad botox/filler, bi-polar bat shit crazy drama queen. Legendary crazy stories. Google it.

Speaking of Twitter, did anyone ever see the stories about the NBA players, calling one another the N word during it’s infancy. Kevin Durant was a major participant. Twitter is the internet at it’s best and worst. Great news feeds and information, but filled with trolls. I like talking trash to my friends, but I’m not throwing it up for the world to see. I’ve had to have conversations with my son about what should and shouldn’t be posted.

Not happy the Patriots cheaped out on Revis and Browner. They’ll figure it out, but for the first time in 10 years they had a tough physical defense and won the Super Bowl. Now they’ll make do with bandaids. At least they’re not as decimated as the 49ers who have 5-11 written all over them. Nice of Peyton Manning to take a pay cut. He’s been sating himself at the salary trough for too long. Is there anything he won’t endorse? Complete sellout. He can make the money back if the Broncos win the AFC championship and Super Bowl (INSERT LAUGH TRACK HERE)

Dead arm, strained oblique, dehydration, only in baseball. Thanks God spring training is only six weeks. Wade Boggs robbed at knifepoint willing himself dead. Jeff Kent doing wheelies in the parking lot and injuring himself. (this sentence makes me laugh). Guys falling out of bed, stepping on glass, injuring themselves moving boxes. How much freaky stuff happens in Arizona and Florida in the months of February and March?

Baseball fashion since the 1990’s. Mullet, goatee, pants cuffed at ankles, wrap around Oakleys, hillbilly beards and now tattoos. Look at the 2013 Red Sox and every Oakland A’s team. They look like rejects from the House of David.

Best TV show this season is Better Call Saul the spinoff from Breaking Bad. Looking forward to the final episodes of Mad Men. My wife and I are watching Sons of Anarchy and House of Lies. Also watching The Following. Not feeling it for Game of Thrones yet which is coming soon. I’m not really a fantasy/medieval genre fan, but I like the show. I’ll get into it after a couple of episodes. The first couple will be a chore for me to watch. Does every HBO show have a formula? Whether it be The Wire, Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones. All 60 minutes long. Have no idea or vague idea about half the dialogue and what’s going on, the the last 10 minutes make sense wrapped in a little bow. Then watch the three minutes of the dorky producer summarize and explain everything.

Pet peeves, closing an email with the word “cheers,” using the metric system in fitness forums (don’t make me multiply your kg by 2.2), the word “mate,” hockey talk when I’m in the car, the suffix “gate”

Cheerio

Kettlebell Burn Extreme Mach 2 My Journal Week 1

Well, finally I am getting serious about taking off the winter spare tire.  This weekend was the final straw.  I ate like a run stuffing defensive tackle. I looked ahead at my social calendar over the next month and I really have only 2 dates; the Boston Wine Expo and my birthday that are mine fields.  The Super Bowl is over and the Patriots won in miracle fashion, thank you very much.  We have been getting annihilated with snow the past two weeks.  Over 5 feet!  I live at the end of a cul-de-sac and there is a plowed mountain in the street 8 feet high!

So here we go:

Day 1 2/9/15

Weight: 197.4

Workout: Medium Day of Grinds, 25 minutes of superset ladders.  Military Press and Front Squat.  Weights Double 70 kettlebells.  Ladder style 1,2,3  75% effort.  Did 25 presses and 27 squats.  Heavy military presses are a complete high maintenance exercise, if I go lighter, I completely lose my strength.  Did 4 full ladders plus a couple of extra rungs.  Felt good.

Recovery: 10 minutes deep breathing with my legs up, 10 minute shower 30 minutes cold 60 hot

Diet: I need to mix up the days a little. Today was carb day.  I fasted 17 hours, worked out and then ate.  1 cup of steel cut oatmeal.  I finished some leftover chicken stir fry which had two portions of chicken, minimal vegetables and a carb portion of rice. I also sauteed broccoli in coconut oil

Dinner was roast chicken, sweet potato and salad.  Enjoyed it as I am doing a 36 hour fast for Tuesday

Day 2 2/10/15

Weight: 195.4

Had a good eating day yesterday, had to do some snow blowing and shoveling for over an hour last night. Doing the 36 hour fast today to kick start things.

Workout: Easy day of ballistics.  20 minutes of superset ladders, 2,4,6 Double Cleans and Double Swings.  Used 70 lb. kettlebells.  5 ladders + 1 rung = 62 reps of each.

Recovery: 10 minutes of deep breathing followed by a cold shower. The cold shower was actually tolerable. Stayed in for 7-8  minutes.  It’s amazing how warm a 68 degree room is when you get out.

Diet: Doing my fast today, not following diet as today should be low carb day. Wanted to get rid of some bloat and get this off to a good start.  As always the toughest time is between 6-10 PM which are my witching hours.  Just trying to stay busy and going to watch episode 2 of Better Call Saul.

Day 3 2/11/15

Weight: 191.0

Completed the fast yesterday, actually it was pretty easy. I sat down with my family while they had dinner and didn’t really want anything. Two more mine fields added to the calendar. Dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant with my Aunt on Friday the 20th and a dinner party at my house that I forget about on 2/28. I think I had 3/1 down as a cheat day so I’ll just shift the calendar. The 20th is supposed to be a carb day, so I’ll probably fast for 24 hours beforehand.

Workout: Heavy day of presses and squats. I decided to do this early in the AM in hour 37 of the fast. Might as well keep up my human growth hormone production as well as burn some free form fatty acids in my bloodstream. My wife worked out with me. I did 21 presses and 30 squats with double 70’s. Then dropped down to 55’s and did 3 sets of 3 for each in 25 minutes. For you math majors that’s 30 presses and 39 squats. Playing indoor soccer tonight at 10.

Recovery: 10 minutes of deep breathing followed by alternating cold and hot shower. Cold shower tonight after soccer. I’m not doing any cold plunges in the tub. Waste of water. When I use my tub, it’s hot water with the jets on, with some epsom salts thrown in. Knock out punch right there.

Diet: Broke the fast around 11:50 AM 40 hours and 20 minutes.  Had 1 cup of oatmeal, an 8 oz. piece of left over New York strip steak and a 1 egg, 2 egg white omelet with spinach and broccoli.  Drank a lot of water but had a little hunger in the late afternoon.  Did some administrative stuff  for work to stay busy.  For dinner had a spinach salad, quinoa and leftover chicken with gravy.  I also had a piece of provolone cheese when making tomorrow’s lunch for my sons and a couple of handfuls of raisins.  I’m learning that, if I go off the reservation of what I can eat and add cheese, cold cuts or other things to the omelet, I don’t adhere to it, so I’m going to try tobstay strict.  No carb/low calorie day tomorrow which for me is worse than fasting.  I’m going to try to fast for 20 hours, and have a 1 egg/2 egg white/spinach/broccoli around 4.  Having a sirloin tomorrow night.

Day 4 2/12/15

Weight: 191.0  I’m happy with this.  After a fast you usually get a bounce back up.  Not this time.

Workout:  Did not play soccer last night.  First my contact lens in my left eye was bothering me.  I wear hard lenses so switching to glasses was out of the question.  Second, the game was at 10 and it was 5 degrees outside.  Third, I had no interest in trying to find a parking spot at the soccer bubble and trudge 100 yards in snow to enter the place.  Fourth, at the end of the day, I’m really tired while doing this program.  I did my workout in the early AM.  Medium day ballistics. 20 minutes, Double 70 kettlebells.  Alternated between double cleans and double swings.  Did 11 sets, 66 reps each.  I was explosive.  Instead of super setting, I did a set every 50 seconds.  Only issue was I had hot spots on my hands.  The bottom of the finger tips as well as a callous at the base of my ring finger.  Quit after I beat easy day around 18:30

Recovery: Deep breathing with feet up for 6 minutes.  Cold shower after.  Probably spent 5-6 minutes.  The first 30 seconds were terrible and then I got into deep breathing.  It was 9 degrees here this morning.  I was still shivering 15 minutes later

Diet: Low/no carb today.  Fasted for 20 hours then had my omelet.  Steak and salad for dinner.

Day 5 2/13/15

Weight: 190.2  Lowest I’ve been in over 2 months!

Workout: Easy day Presses and Squats.  I had to tape 3 of my fingers in order to protect the callouses on the base of my fingertips.  Hot spots from the double cleans.  Been using Cornhusker’s Lotion and a Pedi-Egg to soothe my hands.  25 minutes as many sets of 2 as I can at 75% effort with 70’s.  Did 15 sets of each.  Go figure, easy day I do the most sets.  Sets of 2 are perfect for me.  When I try to grind out a 3rd rep, then I lose it pretty quick.  Reps were perfect, stayed tight and strict.

Recovery: Last night I was freezing in the house. It seemed like I never got warm from my cold shower in the AM.  Hot tub with epsom salts after dinner.  Woke up to 5 degrees with a -12 wind chill.  High of 10, going way below zero next 3 days plus a blizzard of 6-12 more inches.  That will bring us to 5.5 to 6 feet of snow in 19 days. Good times.  Today, deep breathing with feet up, alternated cold 30 seconds and hot 60.  Finished with cold.

Diet: Carb day. Today, I need to exercise some discipline.  Ate at 11:00 had a cup of oatmeal and a 2 egg 4 egg white omelet with broccoli and baby spinach.  Fasted for 15:30  At 2 PM hungry, but chugged a couple of glasses of water.  Ate dinner at 5.  Blue hair special at home. Leftover steak, quinoa and spinach.   Was itching for a scotch at around 6 :30 in front of the fire.  Resisted and told myself, “wait 12 hours” for the cheat day.  Kept drinking water all night.

Day 6 2/14/15 

Weight: 190.2 Not below 190 but 7.2 lbs in 5-6 days.  Leptin levels definitely lowering.

Last night, for about 45 minutes was an exercise in willpower.  I ate early so I wouldn’t be in the mood for a cocktail.  Well an hour after eating, I was hungry as well as feeling the urge to have a drink.  Logically, I know that if you eat and drink at the same time, the body processes the alcohol first, which isn’t the most efficient way to digest.  So that part was easy enough.  Then, I know if I have a drink, I’ll want to eat and would raid the cupboard for graham crackers and peanut butter.  It’s so hard to stop eating graham crackers, throw peanut butter in, and I could eat a box.  I refrained.

Workout: Heavy day of ballistics sets of 8, double cleans and swings. 20 minutes double 70’s.  Did 9 sets of swings x 8 for 72 reps and 8 x 8 for cleans with the last set x 5 for 69.  This was a tough workout.  I felt a little weak to start and the 40 seconds between sets went by like a blur.  I had trouble catching my breath.  On top of that, the cleans were really irritating my hands.  The catching deep in the palm and dropping into my taped fingertips.  Anyway, don’t have to do them until Tuesday, so 3 days of TLC should do the trick.

Recovery: Sat there for 20 minutes, then had to pick my son up from a sleepover, then made lunch while watching 2 college basketball games.  Got in the shower two hours later.  Wasn’t feeling the straight up cold one so did the alternate shower, and the cold was tough.  Between the workout and recovery, I kind of hit a soft wall today.  I’ll say this, though, my knees are never sore when I do the cold bathing.  I might have to continue incorporating this from time to time when this is over.

Diet: CHEAT DAY!!!!!!  2 grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on rye, Claussen sour pickles, french fries and an orange for lunch.  Bailed on the wine expo due to the blizzard.  You also can’t walk anywhere in the city of Boston.  Went to a wine tasting at a large liquor store in Westborough up next to where I used to work.  My wife and I walk in, and they’re are showcasing a boutique winery from Sonoma that we went to last month!  The guy starts in on the place, the grapes, etc.  We play it cool, and he asks our thoughts.  I said, “just as smooth as when we visited Mazzocco last month.  Picked up a bottle of cabernet as well as a bottle of Pinotage which is a quite nice South African blend.  Went to dinner, had two Laphroaig scotches.  Laphraoig smells like gas and tastes so peaty, it reminds one of a burning campfire.  I liked it.  Didn’t when I had tried it in the past, but gave it a second chance.  Had a cold cut antipasto and veal marsala with fettuccine for dinner.  Drove home in the snow, 45 minutes to go 17 miles.  When we got there had a Black Sambuca with ice and a cannoli.  Well fed but not gorged.

Day 7 2/15/15

Weight: Didn’t weigh myself.  There are two ways to look at this.  One is weigh view the damage and remind yourself to be good.  Two what’s the point?  I know it went up a little, why bother?  I’m going to stay the course anyway.  I feel locked in.

Workout: Off, unless you count shoveling and snow blowing.  Wind was howling.  Of course this was the day I needed to fix a part on the blower. A couple of bolts vibrated off.  And of course I couldn’t find my socket set because my skateboarding son can’t remember where he put it.  I had to screw the bolts on the old fashioned way with a 7/16 wrench.  Hands were freezing.  Spent two hours out there.

Diet: Low carb day.  The program recommends fasting the day after cheat day, but, as I’ve always stated, it’s hard to fast after having alcohol the day before.  Plus, I fasted Tuesday.  Two times in 5 days is pushing too hard.  I went 22 hours before my first meal.  Chicken breast, green beans and salad.  Had an Irish coffee for dessert

Recovery: Cold shower only about 3 minutes. After shoveling went with the hot shower.

Week 1 in the books.  At least 5 pounds so far and have good momentum.

 

2014 Words of Fertilizer

Master of the obvious, 2014 is coming to an end.  But does time really exist?  Reading Smithsonian Magazine there are some physicists that don’t believe in the abstract of time.  Way beyond my comprehension though I did enjoy that Michael Crichton book about quantum physics a few years back.  I, for one, love New Year’s Eve.  Take the phrase “amateur night” from the party poopers and stick it.  When I was young and single, New Year’s Eve, along with Valentine’s Day was the best night to meet women.  Dress up in a funky fresh suit and tie, head over to Tremont St. at the New York City Jukebox, and go to work.  Valentine’s Day was fun too because women who were out were single and not happy about it.  Thank you Hallmark.  It’s become more low key over the past few years.  House party two doors down from the compound.  Neighbor owns two packies, so there should be some good booze there, and I heard he makes a mean prime rib.  New Year’s Day, another party. My friend has OCD overload and is not having too many people because he doesn’t want crumbs on the floor.  My wife is bringing over a crumb cake to bust his chops.

I have to say, this was a great Christmas. I only have to wire up surround sound. Gone are the days of putting a ping pong table together. I didn’t have to hear the awful Waitresses’ Christmas song, but I didn’t hear Dominic the Donkey either, unfortunately.  Had a Prime Rib, potato pancakes and creamed spinach, washed down with Pinot Noir.  Got two bottles of single malt, one Glen Livet, one Balvenie.  Best meal of the year.  Forget Thanksgiving.  Prime Rib is way better than turkey.  Potato pancakes are better than stuffing. Spinach is my favorite vegetable.  Also finished 6 weeks of the four programs from More Kettlebell Muscle.

So I’ve decided to do four more programs, but am going up in weight. I used mostly 45’s and am going up to the 55’s where I can. I am tweaking a couple things. One, doing them as complexes, secondly, I am rearranging the order of the exercises and  doing the double snatch as the first exercise. As long as I get them out of the way first, I’m good.  If I do them as the 4th exercise, they’re sloppy.  So far, I am almost done week 1. Weight is still in the low-mid 190’s. 194.2, but doing fine. Just need to finish below 196.6 to be successfully 1 lb. less than last New Year’s Day.

Do you have any resolutions for the New Year? Here’s a tip, start today. I have one, qutting my potty mouth. Other than that, nothing.  Just another day.

2014 was an interesting and good year for me. Top five, I changed careers after 17 years 3 months and 17 days, but who is counting.  Moved after 16 years 9 months to a new house. Got to go to San Francisco twice, Naples twice, Aruba, Denver, Niagara Falls and Dallas.  Coached a basketball team and two baseball teams.  It was a rewarding year. My father survived a bad three weeks and my family is happy and healthy. No complaints here.

Have to love the yin and yang of life.  Make money one place, lose it in another. Won in fantasy football, have to pump a grand into my condo. Received a nice company bonus, have to spend $900 on tires for the truck. Freed up $300 a month refinancing dropping $200 somewhere else, Sigh.

Fashion statement alert. If you’re going to wear a suit, put on a tie. The casual open collar with a suit is a lousy look.  Oh, and take the 3 day beard growth off as well.

NFL playoffs.  The only AFC team that remotely scares me coming into the razor is Baltimore.  They’ve won here.  Peyton Manning can’t throw the ball 20 yards, Antonio Brown will get shipwrecked on Revis Island, Andy Dalton really stinks, he’s going to get AJ Green killed.  Indianapolis is so soft they could have been peddled by BIll Cosby in the 80’s.  I want to thank my brother for throwing away the playoff invoice.  #lostopportunitytomakemoney

In the NFC, please someone beat Seattle.  Suh (I’m not even going to look up the spelling of his first name) should be suspended. Note, while I’m writing this, he just won his appeal and is playing. I’m surprised Aaron Rogers didn’t grab him by the face mask and try to whiplash him.  Detroit is the NFC equivalent of Cincinnati. Arizona is quarterback less.  I’m kind of thinking Carolina might make a run. Dallas looks dangerous, hopefully Jerry doesn’t interfere. Packers are beatable on the road.

I would hire Rex Ryan as a head coach. Johnny Manziel will never be an NFL QB. Late on throws and horrible fundamentals.  Plus he’s a cement head who will never get it until it’s too late.  I can’t believe there is a market for Jay Cutler.  Buffalo is going to be dangerous as soon as they get a real QB.

I took my 15 year old driving today. I didn’t have to raise my voice once. He did a great job except when he put the car in park while it was still moving. At least it was my wife’s car.  We went to the library after and I buried my nose in a Paul McCartney biography. I’m fascinated about the interrelationship of him and George Harrison when they reunited for the Anthology.  George was one strident cat. If you want a great album, listen to Cloud Nine. Of course, I had to leave after the 3rd time my son asked me if I was ready in 15 minutes. I told him go find a book, but to no avail.  Grabbed a Jess Walters book; Citizen Vance.  Told him to grab The Financial Lives of Poets, laugh out loud funny.  He says, “You lost me at financial.”  Is this my son?

Beatles songs I hate

1. Can’t Buy Me Love. A formulistic 2 minutes of listening hell.

2. Across the Universe.  Right from the untuned intro guitar to Lennon’s overdubbed voice.  What is he singing about anyway?

3. In My Life  OVERRATED.  This song is the movie version of Bull Durham. Bull Durham is 75% greatness except for that bug eyed broad Susan Sarandon, who absolutely ruined the movie. Her storyline was awful. The rest of the cast was fantastic. Yes, In My Life is quite introspective for a 25 year old, but it’s just a downer in my book. The worst song on a great album, Rubber Soul.  Then again, i thought Bill Murray brought Caddyshack down.

Speaking of Caddyshack, I told my brother, my man Pit Bull looked liked the Cuban version of Nunzio with the shirt and leather gloves at the Cowboys halftime show during Thanksgiving. That sparked some chuckles.

4. Eight Days a Week.  Even Beatle John hates this one and he wrote it.

5. Come Together.  The only good thing to say about it is that it’s the low point of Abbey Road and it’s the first one.  Can only go up from there.  The Aerosmith version licks too.

6. Mr Moonlight. This has been forever listed as one of the worst songs. An early one that goes nowhere on Beatles For Sale. Classic filler

7. Revolution 9.  Not really a song, just weird off the White Album.  Revolution 1 the acoustic song is a favorite.

8. The Inner Light.  Stupid Indian Harrisong.  Listen to this and you understand why John and Paul treated him like a 3rd class citizen.

9. Blue Jay Way.  See number 8

10. You Got To Hide Your Love Away. It’s about Brian Epstein’s crush on John Lennon.  Egad.

Underrated Beatle Songs

1. Two of Us

2. I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party

3.  It’s Only Love

4. Dr. Robert

5. And Your Bird Can Sing

Hillary Clinton got named Most Admired Woman by some poll.  Obviously it was my two aunts on my father’s side, Randi Wasserstein and the rest of the femaie contingent of the NEA that was polled.

Bill DeBlasio is a disgrace to New York. He makes Alex Rodriguez look like Derek Jeter.

This man’s Hall of Fame ballot

Pedro Martinez

Randy Johnson

John Smoltz

Craig Biggio

Curt Schiling

Edgar Martinez

No steroid guys.  Tim Raines was a druggie and hung on too long.  If Tiant isn’t in, neither should Mussina.  Alan Trammell is with Dwight Evans and Mike Mussina as first ballot guys in the Hall of the Very Good.  Will be in Cooperstown at a baseball tournament during induction weekend.

Love the MLB Network, but as soon as Brian Kenney mentions WAR, I turn the channel.  WAR is a joke, it’s based on a phantom player that DOES NOT EXIST.  My stats, Batting Average, Home Runs, RBI, Slugging, Stolen Bases.  Don’t tell me about on base percentage when Adam Dunn struck out 200 times a year.  There’s something to be said about moving runners over. And if you have a guy on second with none out and some guy is swinging from his rear end, strikes out and strands the runner on second, OBP goes out the window.

Dewars tastes really syrupy and bitter after a single malt.

Watching Orange is the New Black.  4 episodes in, the main character looks like an attractive Cameron Diaz, if Cameron Diaz is considered attractive. Just like the actress from That Awkward Moment is an ugly version of Cameron Diaz. Between her and Kate Hudson, you would think a guy like Alex Rodriguez with his loot, could pull better Hollywood actresses.

Watched 4 movies on Saturday.  Finally saw, He Got Game. Denzel Washington, getting it done as usual. For a Napoleonic complexed, angry bigot, Spike Lee is a great director.  I wish I saw him on Martha’s Vineyard. I’d let him know the Knicks stink.

My wife recorded Serendipity.  John Cusack with the mullet looking like Paul McCartney from his Wings heyday.  My testosterone levels would have dropped if not for ogling Kate Beckinsale for 90 minutes.

Alabama whups up on Ohio State. Big 10 teams cannot play with the SEC, not enough athletes, but I think Urban Meyer is shifting that paradigm.  Oregon snaps Florida State’s win streak. Speaking of the Buckeyes, I was watching them play Iowa today in college basketball.Their non-conference schedule is ranked 330th out of division 1 teams.  Way to prepare your team for the tournament. I’m eagerly awaiting them to schedule the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.  First game in the Big 10 loss to Iowa.

Providence is the real deal in the Big East. They start a couple of freshman and have more coming in. It’s weird because they don’t play on campus, and don’t sell out the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.  Worst home court advantage I’ve seen.  I can’t figure out why a kid would go there. But the coach, who looks like Aaron Neville is great.

Speaking of the Big 10, saw my old neighbors at a party. Their son got accepted to Purdue and Indiana.  I asked them what’s his fascination with Big 10 schools with lousy football programs?

Jim Harbaugh made the right choice. He’ll bring Michigan back to the promised land.  Hopefully he does it before his grating personality starts eroding his relationship with the University.

Texas Bowl 6-6 Arkansas vs. 6-6 Texas.  How can the biggest university in one of the three biggest states, with its own television network go .500?  Time to start opening up the pockets of the boosters.

Have Sales Kickoff next week.  My brother has forever grumbled about being in Las Vegas and them wanting to occupy your time as soon as you land for 14 hours a day. I’m seeing a pattern looking at my agenda.  I have an invitation to corporate headquarters to hug it out and a cocktail party at 5:30.  I’m landing, taking a cab to the hotel, dropping my luggage off, strolling down to Brandy Ho’s in Chinatown for lunch, hiking back and I’ll see everyone at cocktail hour at 5:30.  No head shots for me,

Happy New Year, thank you to the 11,000 views.  People seem to love my blog about the Rite of Passage as that was the number one most viewed.  My favorite is the Why I Hate Facebook.

So How Is That Implementation Going?

Answer: What implementation? And there lies the crux of the problem, people. Now being the glass half full guy I am, my weight has not increased. I’ve gotten as low as 189.8 and have basically settled in the 191-193 range. I’m watching just enough of my eating not to gain and ignoring just enough not to lose. For example, let’s take the last two weeks. One week I fasted 36 hours. The other week I fasted twice for 24 hours a piece. Stayed the same. This week, everything in moderation including eating bread and pasta. No weight gain.

The good news is my conditioning has never been better. I’m in week 6 of four More Kettlebell Muscle programs. Two programs one day, two the next, six days a week. I just can’t do one program for 9 minutes and call it a workout, unless it’s heavy day of something heinous like The Long Haul which is basically 2:30 seconds of continuous doubles work for 5 sets. Yes, it is that bad. I’ve increased the sets and cut the rest periods down as prescribed. Yesterday I had two heavy days and did all the reps with double 45’s in about 36 minutes. I do one program, rest 5 minutes and then do the other. Yesterday one of the rest periods was a ratio of 1:2. So for you math majors, if it takes you 75 seconds to finish a set, you rest 150 seconds. I was ready after 120. The program that has been giving me the most problems is the Universe which is a ballistic programs. Doing sets of swings/snatches/clean of 25-35 reps is a grip fryer. It’s my grip that gives out not the breathing.

Today I did the Universe as the second program, chain-style. By the 3rd set, after the 3rd time around the chain, I knew my grip was toast. Put the bells down, shook out the cramp, and did another set of 3. Continued until I did all the reps, but in good form. I love complexes and chains, best bang for your buck in the kettlebell world. I have put some muscle on doing these programs. I’m going to do four more and another six weeks of it after this week. I have not picked out the other four yet, as I’m just concentrating on the ones I’m doing now. Jumping ahead leads to workout ADHD. I’m also taking a week off the first full week of Enero as I’m going to California on business. My workout will be walking from Chinatown up to Nob Hill.

I read an interesting article today that Dan John wrote last year about trying to be one pound lighter on New Year’s than last year. It’s a success if you reach that goal. When I look back, it’s an interesting journey. Was 197.6 on New Year’s Day. Never got below 190, finally in the 3rd week of January, was 195.8, did Kettlebell Burn Extreme, got as low as 181.8 within 4 weeks. Hung out in the mid 180’s through the summer. Went to Aruba hit the high 180’s, in October cracked 190 and have been over ever since. So like opposite success of sitting at a blackjack table. I’ve lost a lot at the beginning and slowly been gaining it back. But haven’t gotten to break even.

I also read an interesting article about forgetting about goals. Which, in some ways, as I stated in my previous post, I can agree with. It’s ok to just show up and do the work. I remember going totally random a couple of summers ago and had a lot of fun without the stress of, “I need to do THIS, today.” We’ve all experienced that pre workout anxiety/dread that we have. Whether it be heavy day for example; or hitting a certain number of reps in (X) time. Or running 3 miles in under 21 minutes. I don’t think that’s good all the time. In baseball, Sandy Koufax one time said he had his best stuff only 20% of the time. I think it might be true in exercise as well. Some days, there aren’t enough weights for you to lift. Or your body can go hours without food, or you just aren’t getting tired on the basketball court. Other days you’re dragging. For the record, nothing is worse than fasting when you’ve imbibed the night before. The queasy empty stomach for me is intolerable. Dan John also has stated, (I hope I have this right) “the goal is to not lose sight of the goal.” Great point to which I agree but as someone who needs corrective lenses, sometimes I don’t want to put my contacts in.

Eleven mental snacks AKA my Peter King imitation except you get a bonus one!

a. Congratulations Jon Lester on your contract. Can’t blame you, there was nothing left to prove in Boston. I love these touchy feely articles about what a hard decision it was. Yeah, $20 million more would make me lose sleep at night having to tell Dustin Pedroia. ‘Hey Petey, the stupid Cubs just gave me $155 million to go 16-11. Holla, when you’re in Chicago.” Only in America as Don King would say.

b.The NBA is unwatchable except the Lakers. Kobe throwing in 25 a game on 40% shooting. Here would be my coaching strategy. Let him get his 30 and shut everyone else down. Great player, but name one teammate he has made better.

c. As much as I love the way the Patriots are playing, Seattle is back, bad and bullying people. Scary team peaking at the right time. When they face Green Bay in the NFC championship game, I’ll have to don a cheesehead, because I know the Patriots can beat Green Bay on a neutral field. Not so sure against Seattle.

d.Alabama will beat Ohio State by 2 touchdowns and play Oregon for the national title. I’ll take the Ducks. It’s about the athletes and Oregon is filled with them.

e. Last 3 Patriots head coaches. Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, Bill Belichek. Give credit to Bob Kraft and none to his son, Jonathan, who was lucky to hit the DNA lottery. I love when Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe makes fun of the two of them for sitting in high chairs in the owners box at Gillette Stadium.

f. Colored lights on the tree people. If I wanted to see white lights, I’d stare at the headlights of my car. I grew up in the 1970’s, and a little Christmas cheddar is always en vogue.

g. If you’re going to get your sweetie a bottle of some good single malt scotch and don’t want to break the bank. Balvenie 12, Macallan 12. Glen Livet (the Budweiser of single malts), oh what the heck, all of them except Laphroaig which tastes like a burnt pine tree. Moderation! one of those and then switch to the Dewars.

h. Great line from Bill O’Reilly last night. “If Elizabeth Warren (AKA Granny/Lieawatha) wins the presidency, she’ll make Obama appear to be Ronald Reagan.

i. Finally almost finished Exodus by Leon Uris. Tremendous story, but the print is so small it takes me an hour to read 20 pages. As a Catholic, my Jewish education has been the Old Testament, Exodus and The Source by James Michener.

j. The best part about oil at $55 is how these countries that have human rights issues and are troublemakers of the world are struggling financially because of the price of their chief export. While we’re at it, we should cut all aid off to the Middle East except for Israel.

k. On the other hand, how do power companies justify doubling the electricity rate? My bill was over $300 this month. Bah humbug!

Merry Christmas to all.

Goal Setting An Honest Evaluation

Do you set goals?

I think the answer to this is everyone sets goals, but do you
A. Write it down? (or think it in your head?) Writing it down shows commitment
B. Map out how you are going to do it? (The workout program)
C. Implement and follow through? (How long do you stick with the program)

I bet for 99% of the people, including myself, the answer is no and the failure is letter C. Should you have goals to strive for, or just be?

For example, here are some fitness goals of mine in the past and today.

A. Be consistently 180-185 again.
B. Press the 88 lb. kettlebell for reps. (Can push press it, but not strict press)
C. Snatch a 55 lb. kettlebell 200 times in 10 minutes. (155 is all time best)
D. Press double 70 kettlebells 10 times. (Have done 7, can do 5)

Now let’s honestly assess how I’m doing in regard to this.

The weight. I’ve been between 190.5 and 194 for since August. My issue, like with a lot of people is portion control. I eat far too much. A cheat day is basically a cheat weekend. Throw in some booze on the weekend and it all goes to pot. I haven’t been fasting lately. Why? Don’t feel like it. Fasting is easier when you do it regularly. Take off a month and it’s hard. And honestly, I’m fine with my weight right now. It’s not beach season. I don’t have the “gotta have abs” mentality going. I’ll take it off when I’m ready and tomorrow won’t be that day.

The good news is, conditioning wise, I’m as good as I’ve ever been. I’m doing 4 workouts from More Kettlebell Muscle. Two a day, 6 days a week. Complexes and chains. Using 45’s. Sometimes 55’s on an easy day except when double snatches are involved, then I stick with 45’s. Oh Row You Don’t 2.0 is brutal. 140 seconds of continuous work. Also playing soccer, (blown off hoop for the past month, lazy) and doing hill sprints of 80-120 yards twice a week. So, it’s the diet. Maybe I’ll be good starting Saturday, maybe I won’t.

Pressing the 88 lb. kettlebell. Won’t budge out of the rack. I keep telling myself I need to just play with it for a month or 2 and it will come. But I haven’t. Why? Because it’s heavy. Seriously, that’s it. I just don’t get motivated to do TGU’s with the 88. I started doing the Rite of Passage. Did it with the 70 for 2 weeks. Completely own that bell. So I thought let’s do doubles! Actually let’s add reps to the double and make it a superset by adding squats. So heavy day, I used 55’s and only cleaned the bells once. 5 ladders of 2,3,5,8. Medium day, 5 ladders of 3,5,6. Easy day used 70’s, 2,3,4. So as you can see, the original goal got away from me. I do think this doubles program is great however. Good volume, but will it help me press the 88? In my experience, no.

Snatching the kettlebell 200 times in 10 minutes. This was a past goal of mine. I haven’t tried it in a long time. I did 100 in 5 minutes a couple of years ago and have never tried it since. Why? A fear of failure. I’ve done it, why do it again? I’m not of of those people who needs to do 110-115. Get the 100 and the job is done. b. don’t want to tear up my hands. I have good snatch technique, but I always get a blood blister on one of my hands. Just one rep with a pinch on the descent. c. It’s hard. When I’m done, my lungs, hands, hamstrings, and feet are barking. The grip is shot to hell. I’m getting mentally soft. I’m not comfortable with being uncomfortable. Right now I’d be terrible at Crossfit. I’m just not into reps for time density training. A couple of weeks ago, I did a 200 snatch workout. 5 each hand at the top of each minute for 20 minutes. A good practice, still got a small blood blister below my pinky.

I am of the opinion that you have to snatch a lot to improve and it’s a question of whether your hands can take it. I know a lot of people swear by one hand swings with a heavier bell, but I’m not one of them. A good assistance exercise yes, but not going to get you there. I like the Rite of Passage, but never bought into the snatch once a week at 50% and you’ll do 200 snatches if you do swings the other two days. I like two handed swings better than one handed. I feel that it works your grip more when you do high reps than one handed swings.

Press double 70 kettlebells 10 times. Currently, I max out at 5 for sure. Maybe 6, but haven’t tested it. I saw a great StrongFirst article about doing a ladder grease the groove. Which I can easily do because I work at home. A nice practice. I am implementing this next week. Right now pressing 45’s in complexes/chains is helping my endurance, but not my strength. The ladders with doubles would also be a good strategy.

So….as you can see, I have goals, but what am I doing to achieve them? Which should I achieve first? If everything is a priority then nothing is a priority. And, for a middle aged man like me, are they all attainable?

The weight. Yes, this I can do. The workouts I’m doing right now from MKM are there as well as the sprints and soccer. I just need to control my WEEKEND diet. Once I’m past the first weekend, I’m good. It’s the same with drinking. I don’t drink every day, but love weekend cocktails. 5 PM scotch on the rocks is great. My problem is that these are empty calories. Ok, I’m motivating myself as I’m writing this. I’m addressing the diet as of Saturday. Although I’m fine with the weight, I’m healthier when I’m lighter. My wife is going to her reunion that night, so it’s a good day to fast because I won’t want to cook or have to be around a family dinner.

88 lb. press. Doing nothing right now that is working toward this goal. Is it attainable? I don’t know. When I practice push pressing it and do a couple of reps, it still is a fight to lock it out even with the momentum of the leg drive. Part of me says, well play with it 3 days a week for 3-4 months and then try. The other part of me says, there is a limit to how strong you can get. Maybe this is it. Nice defeatist attitude huh?

Snatching a 55 lb. kettlebell. Not attainable. I think at 45 almost 46 years old that ship has sailed. I don’t think from a conditioning standpoint it’s possible. A 45, I can do, a 35, done it without putting the bell down. I don’t have the grip strength either.

Double pressing the 70’s ten times. Maybe. I’ve gotten 7 and almost 8 before. I’m going to try the workout I mentioned above. Will keep you posted.

So like most of you I have workout ADD. The next great workout is going to get me somewhere. It’s not, for the last 20 years, my weight has pretty much stayed the same within 15 lbs. The composition has changed but it’s been consistent no matter what workout I did. Did a 6 week USST snatch test workout. Got in great shape. Improved my 10 minutes snatch by 1 rep and then blogged about my excuses.

I have stuck with workouts for 6-8 months and usually like to stick with something 4-6 weeks. Because everything works for 4-6 weeks. Just don’t tell me after 5 days of Simple and Sinister, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread and you’ve lost an inch off your waist line. Stick with it for awhile then get back to me.

So now I’ll set my weight loss goal, and we’ll say 182. Diet going to follow the Kettlebell Burn Extreme Diet, but not the workout. Recovery methods are a maybe. Step A. Done! Written down. Step B. Done! Plan in place. Can we stick with the implementation of Step C? Let’s see if I can get there between now and Christmas. Happy Thanksgiving!