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Monday, September 29, 2008

My Kind of Gym

Via Beyond Strong:

The Belleville Weightlifting Club is a no-nonsense private gym. Its members are its care-takers, and membership is strictly limited.

This is not a health club.

This is not a spa.

This is serious training.

On YouTube: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Magic Hamburger

Via Fitness and Wellness in America:

Karen Hanrahan is a Wellness educator and Nutritional Consultant. She teaches a workshop for parents looking to make smarter food choices for their children.

To demonstrate the power of preservatives, Karen displays a McDonald's hamburger purchased back in 1996.

What's amazing is that the hamburger looks just like it did 12 years ago.

…People always ask me - what did you do to preserve it? Nothing - it preserved itself. Ladies, Gentleman, and children alike - this is a chemical food. There is absolutely no nutrition here. …McDonalds fills an empty space in your belly. It does nothing to nourish the cell, it is not a nutritious food.

And to think, people everywhere are eating this stuff on a consistent basis.

Original post here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tabata-at-Home #1

Tabata Protocol. Straight-sets. 8 rounds each. 1-min rest between movements.

T = 12'00''

- Jump Rope (double-under attempted)
- Kettlebell Swing, alternating (180-degrees)
- Turkish Get-up, sit-up only (4 left, 4 right)

Short and sweet. I stopped before I became excessively fatigued.

Next session scheduled for Monday.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bench Press + Ovehead Press Day #1

No training session yesterday. Today's results are as follows:

T = 1:15'00''

Bench Press
bar x 12
105# x 12
140# x 3
160# x 3 x 3
180# x 3 x 3 x 3

Overhead Press
85# x 8
110# x 3
125# x 3 x 3
140# x 2 x 2 x 2

Towel-grip Pullups
BW x 3 x 3

BW x 7
BW + lite band x 3
BW + heavy band x 2

Hanging leg-lifts
BW x 9 (lost grip on bar!)

A colleague and I got into a discussion about Range of Motion. She suggested that it was safer and more effective to limit ROM to 90-degree angles all the time (e.g. shoulder abduction to 90, but not beyond; hip flexion to 90, but not beyond; etc). A second colleague agreed that, if the risk of injury was greater than the reward of doing the movement, stopping at 90-degrees might be a good option.

I see limiting ROM as a tool, but not as a primary method of training.

Wouldn't training a muscle in its complete range of motion have greater transfer into activities of daily living and other real-world applications?

Next session scheduled for tomorrow. I will focus on energy system work. Perhaps a Tabata protocol.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

D-Rock is now on Twitter

Or follow the "Latest Tweet" on this blog, found under my Current Goals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Squat + Deadlift Day #1

I was near HiFi Personal Fitness today and used their facility for my training session. The results are as follows:

T = 1:49'42''


bar x 20

155# x 12

205# x 3

235# x 3 x 3

265# x 2 x 2

285# x 1 (missed depth?)


135# x 12

235# x 3

265# x 3 x 3

310# x 1


BW x 8 x 8 x 8


BW x 8 x 8 x 8

Yesterday consisted of sled pushes/pulls and jammers. Tomorrow may be a rest day; I'll see how I feel.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"Current Goals" added to the blog

My friend, Matt McG, has been holding me accountable for keeping my blog accurate and insisted I display all my stats and goals.

Therefore I have created a "Goals Box" in which I will keep a dated list of all my current goals, and have added my current stats (dated as well) to the "about me" box. I and my readers now have reference points for later comparison.

Thanks Matt!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Active Recovery Week: Day #3

I missed day #2. Bad back. Hurt something on Monday. Not sure what.

Today was good, though. I had only 20 minutes before I met with my first client of the day and felt a Tabata protocol would be appropriate for the short time frame. I grabbed two 25# kettlebells from the assessment room and went into a an empty studio on the second floor. My digital watch beeps for 10 seconds when the timer goes off, so I was able to use it as my counter. Again, no set scheme. Just work hard, and work fast!

I incorporated swings, thrusters, partial turkish get-ups, snatches and renegade rows into the circuit.

Man, was I dead afterward. I was sweaty, shaky, and experienced short-term muscle soreness everywhere. What was most amazing was the sudden burst of energy I experienced about 3 hours later. Was the Tabata circuit responsible? Was it the chocolate mike I had as my recovery drink?

Honestly, I'm not too worried about Cause and Effect right now. More importantly, I was able to complete my Energy System Training requirement for the day in a short amount of time with very little equipment.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Energy System Work: Mike Robertson's Way

Mike Robertson reminds us that treadmills are not a necessary piece of cardio equipment. From his blog entry:

One of the first questions I'm asked when people tour our gym is "Where are your treadmills?" I always explain to them that the way we structure their strength and energy system workouts makes the need for treadmills irrelevant. Not that they can't be useful - but for $3,000 (the minimum you're going to pay for a decent commerical-grade treadmill), I could buy several Prowlers, Airdyne's, and a whole set of kettlebells!

I agree with Mike.

Currently, I'm designing a program at integrates energy system work like Mike uses into a protocol created through New Leaf Metabolic Testing, which is based on heart rate. The main issue is maintaining the perscribed heart rates for the perscribed times during complex movements like a sled-pull or sledgehammer swing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Active Recovery Week: Day #1

I was not impressed with my Personal Records from last week and have decided to not work on the major lifts this week, focusing instead on metabolic conditioning and general ass-whooping.

Alwyn Cosgrove, Jason Ferruggia and others have all spoken once or twice about the positive effects of short (under 45-minutes) training sessions. I personally fatigue quickly after about 30 minutes of continuous high-intensity physical activity and believe shorter training sessions are a very valuable tool in a trainer's toolbox.

The goal for this week:
In 30-45 minutes, do as much work as I can, at the highest intensity I can, resting as little as possible between sets.

The term "sets" is a bit misleading, because I am not really paying too much attention to the actual set-rep schemes being used. Instead, I focus on tempo and form. As soon as I significantly slow the movement down or the form becomes sloppy, I stop and take a short, un-timed break and grab some water. At that point I will either switch movements or pump out an additional "set."

I just started training clients out of the HiFi Personal Fitness studio and am taking advantage of their collection of kettlebells and a short climbing rope hung in the second room. They also have two small sleds and plenty of resistance bands. Using very little equipment, I was able to completely butcher myself for 45-minutes yesterday afternoon. I recovered quickly and had an elevated mood for much of the evening.

My next session is schedule for tomorrow.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Max-Effort Lifts #1

315# (142,8 kg)..........Back Squat
215# (97,5 kg)............Bench Press
365# (165,5 kg)..........Deadlift (semi-sumo)
165# (74,8 kg)............Overhead Press
I didn't rest long enough between sets to see improvement on the squat and bench press from my last max-effort test. Next time, I'm going to make sure I rest long enough for complete CNS recovery (5-6 minutes between sets).