Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Yet Another Squat PR...


I suppose everyone is getting sick of hearing about all my PR's of lately... Well, I have another one! Anna White joined Maura and me for a New Year's Eve workout. Maura was on the bench press and Anna and I did some squats. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5

135X5

165X3

195X3

225X1

250X1 - PR

165X5

~I wasn't totally sure what my plan was going to be... if I felt strong I was going to try for another pr. I managed to get a huge energy boost with my super strong lifting partners in the room. Plus there were three out of town powerlifters training in the power room with us. They said there are no "girl powerlifters" at their gym. I decided to take advantage of the three big dudes being there and got a spot for my 250lb attempt. There was a video SNAFU... so only the photo above for evidence.

Front Squats
135X5X3


OH Presses
65X5

75X3
80X1
80X1

75X5

75X4
~Maura was doing them, looked like fun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bench Press

I almost skipped training on Monday... then Anna White showed up at The Press Gym. We decided to work on some bench pressing. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
100X3X4
~My shoulders are starting to bug me again...

Face Pulls
60X10
70X10X4
~I love this lift, made my shoulders feel better

Windmills
12kg - 3l/3r
12kg - 5l/5r
16kg - 5l/5r
16kg - 5l/5r
~For shoulder health

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3

Thanks for showing up Anna!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Deadlift Training

Maura is out of town this week visiting her family for the holidays. Aaron and I spent a little time at The Press before going to my mom's house for treats and a holiday visit. I've been gearing up to test my 1RM on the deadlift. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X3
255X1
275X1
285X1
285X1
~I wasn't sure where I was going to end up... I was planning to pull at least 275lbs, when that went up pretty easily, I decided to give 285lbs a try. The last time I pulled 285lbs was toward the end of May. I missed 286 at Raw Nationals and I missed 290 at Hudson. I have since learned a couple new techniques from Ellen Stein and I have also started taking creatine. One of my new techniques is a "grip and rip" sort of style... the down fall is sometimes I grab the bar unevenly. Not a big deal, as you can see in the second pull on the video. Any way, 285 went up much smoother today than it did in May. Here is something to look at...



Conventional Deadlift off a block
225X2X3
~No belt. Felt easy.

I goofed around with a couple other lifts after that. My energy was low and Aaron was ready to go so we called to quits a little early.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bench Press

It was a cold morning, but some how I managed to meet up with Maura on Sunday to work my Bench Press. Mike and Jane Siegler were there and Paul Balyeat joined us as well. Here is how it all went down for me...

Bench Press
75X5
95X5
105X3
110X1
115X1X5
~I paused the lifts up to 115. I am still struggling to gather and maintain tension when I press up off my chest.

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3
~Super set with OH Presses

BB OH Press
45lbsX8
65X5
75X3
80X2
85X1X3
~I was inspired by Melissa Byers to give this lift a shot. I used to train this lift regularly... then I started to bench press. I don't remember where I left off... I will say 85lbs was a real challenge, I missed one at this weight, but came back to nail it. Chest up, abs tight!

Close Grip Bench Press
85X5
90X5X5
~I am really hoping this lift will give me more on the bench press.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Squat PR

Well, my training schedule is all goofed up because of the holidays and fun time. Wednesday night I did some work on the bench press, which I didn't bother to record, mainly because I am sick of typing the same tiny little numbers over and over again. I went out with a couple girls I went to high school with last night which caused me to miss deadlift night. Maura and I met up after my two Saturday kettlebell classes to train at 12 noon today. Maura was on deadlifts, I decided to squat today and save deadlifting for Monday... complicated, I know. Any whooo... here is how it went down for me.

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
225X1
245X1 - pr by 5lbs.
~This is another squat pr for me, only 5lbs. I can't believe how easy it felt, especially after all the greasy crap I ate last night (which left me with a stomach ache) and teaching two kettlebell classes. Mitch Edlestein gave me a spot, Cheryl Anderson and Maura Shuttleworth were there to cheer me on. It must be a combination of the creatine and being surrounded by strong people. Thanks guys! Here is something to look at, I am wearing my lucky red velour plants...


Box Squats w/Bands
monster mini bands - 70lbs each
55lb+bands - 5
105+bands - 3X8
~I really like box squats with bands. Really had to drive through a spot about 3/4 to lock out. Felt great, really like this lift. I think this might be my new favorite assistance lift...

James Neilinger stopped by to chit chat today, which was very nice. James is a great guy and I feel lucky to have him in the same town.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Squat PR - finally

Now that I have been training squats pretty hard for the past year, PR's don't come along very often. I finally got a PR on Monday night. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
215X2
220X2 - PR
~I forgot to use my belt on the 195 double. I didn't even notice until Maura pointed it out. The double on 220 is a PR only by 5lbs., but hey, I will take it where I can get it. Felt easy enough. Here is something to look at...




Romanian Deadlifts
135X5
165X5
185X5X3
~Used wrist wraps. Felt great.

Bulgarian Split Squats
Double 16kg 5l/5rX5X3
~love this lift...

I also did some ham-glute machine and abs. Can't remember exactly what though...

Monday, December 15, 2008

An extra day of Bench Press...

I really want a better bench press number. That means more training. I am throwing in an extra day of bench press this week in an effort to get something a little better. I don't usually go to the gym on Sunday, but I did this week. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
85X5X5
~Focused on a solid pause between every rep, and exploding off the chest.

Close Grip Bench Press
85X5X5
~Triceps training.

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3
~Super set these with the close grips.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Deadlift Training

The days are still getting shorter... the nights are long and cold. It is hard to feel motivated to do anything other crawl back under the covers and sleep. What can I say... my inner time clock says "time to hibernate". I didn't go to bed early tonight, I went to the gym for deadlift training. Maura was taking a night off of heavy lifting, she busied herself on the hamster wheel (aka treadmill). Chris Joseph was doing some box squats. John Hanson showed up later to join me, and Aaron was spending some time under the bar (pressing) so I wasn't totally on my own. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
225X1
255X1X6
~I was scheduled to go to 245 tonight, but I was feeling greedy... Reps 1 and 2 felt a little heavier than I expected. Reps 3 and 4 flew up, easy. I finished the set feeling good.

Conventional Deadlifts
225X2X3
~Low back training. No belt. Easy, easy, easy.

Good Mornings
135X5
155X5
165X5
165X5
~ab training.

I also did some pull-ups and back extension.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bench Press Training

I have not been consistent with a workout plan in the bench press department. It is not for a lack of planning, but for a lack of projected strength. Wednesdays tend to be a long day, so, by bench press time rolls around, sometimes I am strong and sometimes I am weak. Maura and I met up on our own, but we were lucky enough to have lift off expert John Hanson join us. Here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
1" Board
105X5X5
~ The first 3 reps flew up, no problem. Rep 4 made me work, the last rep was a challenging grind. Felt great!

Close Grip Bench Press
85X6
95X4
95X3
95X3
~the last rep was a challenge.

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3


Monday, December 8, 2008

A day without Sunshine....

I was on my own for squats tonight due to a snow storm which kept Maura in Stillwater. I shorten-uped my squat workout by the suggestion of my husband. Here is how it went down for me (by myself)...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
175X3
205X2X4
~Easy, easy, easy. Chit chatted with Mike Sampson, cross-fit dude who occasionally attends my kettlebell classes.

Box Squats
135X3X6
~Easy, got board, cut it short...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Solo Deadlifting

I was on my own for my deadlift workout tonight. Here is how it went down...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X5
215X1
235X1X8
~I'm at 80% this week, which is easy. Set the Gym Boss for 1.5 minutes to keep me on track. No belt.

Conventional Deadlifts
225X2X3
~Felt good. No belt.

Good Mornings
135X5
155X5X3
~Felt it in my abs.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Punch the Clock

Bench Press at The Press Gym...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
2"Board
110X5
1"Board
110X3X3
~I was planning on going for 5 reps with 110 to the 1" board... but the weight was heavy and rep 3 was a struggle, so I decided to stop while I was ahead.

Close Grip Bench Press
75X5
85X6X3

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3
~Super-set these with the close grips...

Windmills
12kg - 3l/3r
16kg - 3l/3r
16kg - 3l/3r
~Love this lift... highlight of the evening.

I also did some pullovers with a 16kg kb on a stability ball and some over head presses with the 16kg. I also pressed the 12kg plenty with my kb classes today. I started taking creatine today upon the suggestion of my mentor Ellen Stein. Hopefully that will help pull my bench press out of the toilet. LOL!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Squat Training

Anna White joined Maura and me again for some squat training at The Press Gym. Here is how it went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
175X3
205X2X5
~I goofed up my lifting schedule... I was only supposed to lift 195 tonight, I am now a week ahead of schedule.

Pause Squats
115X8
135X8
135X8
~Wow, the bar felt really light after squatting 205! Felt Great!

Bulgarian Split Squats
Double 16kg kettlebells, 5l/5rX3
~I love this lift.

Ham-Glute Machine
6,6,6
~this thing is always tough

abs.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Deadlifts

Maura and I were joined by Aaron for an early deadlift session. Were all enjoying a day off after Thanksgiving. Here is how it went down for me...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X3
215X1X12
~Focused on making my deadlift look like Ellen Stein's. The Ready Aim Fire technique. Ellen looks like a little cat when she grabs the bar, quick and smooth. Here is a visual for your viewing pleasure...


~Ellen pulling 314 at Raw Nationals


~Me channeling Ellen... Ready - Aim - Fire! Quick like a little cat.

Conventional Deadlift off a Block
215X2X3

Good Mornings
95X5
135X5
155X5
165X3
165X5
165X5

Pull-ups
3
10lbsX2
15X1
15X1
10X2

KB Swings
32kgX10X3

abs.

Wednesday Bench Training

Met up with the National Bench Press Champion Maura Shuttleworth for some work on the bench press. I had a long day... starting with a 6am Kettlebell class at Vitality. I was on the go all the way up to 7pm. Unfortunately I was a little low on energy by workout time. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
2 Board
105X5
1 Board
105X5
Chest with a Pause
105

Close Grip Bench Press
75X5
75X5
85X5
85X5
85X5

Pull-ups
3,3,3,3,3,3

Monday, November 24, 2008

Squats

It was just Maura and me for squats tonight at The Press Gym. Here is how it went down for me...

Back Squats
95X6
135X5
165X3
185X3X7
~felt great, worked on keeping my feet even.

Box Squats
135X3
155X3
175X3X3
~felt good, 175 was challenging, but doable.

Front Squats
135X5X3
~felt easier than last week

Ham-Glute Machine
6,6,6

abs.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mini FMS

Brett Jones is putting on a day and half FMS Workshop in Minneapolis. I really wanted to do the DD 4 day FMS, this little workshop fits in my little kettlebell business budget much better. I am thrilled.

We spent the day learning how to administer the screening. Tomorrow we will learn the corrective exercises. So far, FMS fits really nicely with my Z training. I even had a chance to chit chat with Mr. Jones a little about this very subject.

I also got to meet James Neidlinger, Spencer Bradford and Laura McCabe. They are three local kettlebell folks I haven't had the chance to meet yet! How lucky am I? James, Spenser and I were in a group practicing the assessments. Laura works at CES as a trainer/kettlebell instructor. Here are a couple shots of Brett, Spencer and James in action...


James N preforming the Rotary Stability test
I would call this a "3"


Brett Jones checking up on us... Spencer measures James' femurMe with Laura McCabe, another Yoga driven Kettlebeller

Friday, November 21, 2008

Deadlifts

Maura and I met up for a new cycle of deadlifting. It was a large group of us tonight... Sean Schneiderjan, the Friday brothers (Shawn and Aaron), and Russ Roque showed up to pull with us. Maura and I are preparing for The Arnold in March. Here is how it went down tonight...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X1X15
~I was working on speed and perfecting my form.

Conventional Deadlift off a Block
135X5
155X5
155X5

Pull-ups
BW - 3
10lbs - 2,2,2
BW - 3
~my pull-up all of a sudden stink... I better work on this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bench Press...


It is known by everyone how pathetic my bench press is. It is, by far, my weakest lift. How can I bury a double body weight squat and still not be able to press my body weight even once? My case is so sad, Mike Siegler took pity on me and gave me a bench press lesson on Sunday. I have added a couple new strategies to this troubled lift.

The cycle I trained before Hudson had lots of missed training time in the bench press department due to sick shoulders. I have some catching up to do, here is how it went down for me tonight...

Bench Press
75lbsX8
95X3X5
1"Board
105X3X3
~My plan for this cycle is to work with reps of 3 in an effort to keep my shoulders healthy. The presses at 95lbs were done with a pause, which was challenging, but very doable. The board presses with 105 felt good. I kind of feel like this is cheating, but I have been assured by many lifters this is the way to go if I want to get stronger. Shoulders felt fine tonight.

Face Pulls
60X10
70X10X2
~I feel like I need this movement to counter act all the internal rotation of the bench press.

DB Floor Press
20lbsX10
30lbsX8X2
~Triceps work... I think this might be a weak link.

My plan was to include some over head presses, windmills and pull-ups, but I just got too tired. I actually did some double over head presses with my class earlier. I will do the windmills and pull-ups today sometime.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Squat Training, New Cycle


Anna White joined us for squats tonight, which is always a special treat. I wanted to post a picture of us because Anna was left out of the group photo from Hudson. She was busy giving a sample for a drug test when it was picture time. Anna placed second in the Women's Raw division. Anna is a great lifter with lots of potential and we love having her around.

Maura and I have been invited to lift at The Arnold Sports Festival. This is a huge honor, especially for me. The Arnold is March 6-8, so we have a few months to prepare. Today is our first day back at training. Here is how it all went down for me...

Back Squat
95lbsX5

135X5
170X3X8

~Felt great! Weight flew up.

Front Squat 135X5X3 ~I need to work on FSQ's more. These felt heavier than I remember.

Bulgarian Split Squats

12/12kg kbs - 5/5
16/16kg kbs - 5/5

16/16kg kbs - 5/5

~I love this lift.

Ham-Glute Machine
8,8,6,6

abs. hate abs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Mini Titans

Maura Shuttleworth, Me, Cheryl Anderson

Maura Shuttleworth is my regular training partner and National Bench Press Champion for the past 6 years! Maura captured the State Record in Bench Press this weekend with a 190lb press at 114lbs. Maura is invited to the Arnold Sports Festival along with me and she took second in the Women's Geared Division.

Cheryl Anderson trains regularly at The Press Gym and is a two time National Champion. Cheryl set a new State Record in the Deadlift this weekend with a 335lb pull at 105. Cheryl took first place in the Women's Geared Division.

I set a new State and American record in the Raw Division with a 240lb squat in the 123lb class. I also took First Place in the Women's Raw Division!

Maura, Cheryl and I were lucky enough to be featured in a You Tube video made by Mike Seigler jr. Here is a condensed version of the Hudson Natural Open and how it all went down for the three of us ...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hudson Natural Open Powerlifting Meet


Border Battle Winners!
Team Minnesota

This is meet number 3 for me. Here is how it all went down...

I had to do a little dieting because I no longer walk around at 121lbs any more. I usually weigh in around 125lbs. There is no way I am going to compete in the 132's, so I have to reign it in when I compete. This is good for me on a couple levels. It keeps me from running wild in the weight department and it teaches me compassion for people who have to change their diets to lose weight. I was on a no treat, no corn chip, no booze diet for the past week. I weighed in at 121.5 this morning and I am about 121 now. So, not bad.

Squat was my main focus since Raw Nationals. I goofed up my last attempt on the squat at a meet and was stuck with 226lbs, when my plan was to nail 242lbs. Today I nailed 240lbs, no problem! American Record for the Women's Raw 123lbs class!


~Here is 240lbs on my third attempt.

Bench press is nap time for me. I don't like this lift, I am not good at it, and I guess I don't care about it that much. I do care a little because I do train the lift. I might like it more if I didn't suck at it. For now I try to use this time to recover and get ready for the Deadlift. Any way... 105 flew up no problem, but 115 was a no go. So, I was stuck with 105lbs.

Deadlift, the last lift of the meet. I used to love this lift... now it is a point of frustration. A year ago in September I competed in my first TSC and pulled 260lbs. The meet I did in February I pulled 281. I pulled 285 in the gym in May. Now I feel like I am hit and miss on this lift. My sticking point is off the floor. If I can break the floor, I can nail the lift.

I opened with 260, the bar flew up, no problem. My plan was to go for 285 on my second, but I backed down to 280 because I was feeling low on energy and I didn't want to get stuck with 260. Well, 280lbs flew up. It was probably my strongest 280 pull ever. I placed my third attempt at 290 for a pr... well, I missed the lift. I made the mistake of watching the two people before me miss their lifts. My brother-in-law pointed this out. Oops. The second problem was the fact that I just ran out of gas... I will write more about the dynamic of competing and meets.


~Here is my second attempt at 280

My total was 625lbs and I took first place in the Women's Raw division. I had a great time and learn a lot!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Last workout, time to chill

I had my last workout before the Powerlifting meet in Hudson Wisconsin.

On Sunday Maura and I got in the last of our bench pressing. Paul Balyeat brought along some weight releasers, which are way cool. I have never used weight releasers before... I can't wait to try them for squats. I did a few singles with 105lbs plus the weight releasers (16lbs/ 8 each). I also did some presses with commands. I always wonder if I would like bench press if I didn't suck at it so much...

I haven't done much for my bench press these past few months. My shoulders seam to be defective, I get painful flair ups that come out of nowhere, for seemingly no reason. According to the FMS I have impingement. I'm not sure what I am supposed to do about that. The past couple months, bench pressing has been bugging my shoulders. Thankfully, I am pain free right now.

Last night I did my opening squat and deadlift. I am feeling very strong in the squat. Here is the specifics...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
190X1
210X1
~I am planning to open with 210, which felt very light and easy last night.

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X3
225X1
255X1
~I am actually planning to open with 260lbs. I goofed up on loading... oops! I have such a quick drop off in regards to breaking the floor, 255 flew up no problem.

For the rest of the week I will be doing mental training. I am working on being calm and relaxed, thinking positive thoughts... at the same time keeping volition, intensity and focus. At Raw Nationals, I was so stressed out and nervous it ruined my strength. Getting psyched out is a huge energy drainer. I refuse to let that happen this time.

I am also cutting weight. I am trying to be a little more gradual about it this time. At Raw Nationals I had to fast the last half of the day before the meet. I even had to sit in the Sauna a little bit. I really don't want that to happen this time. I was 123.5 two weeks ago. I am 126 this morning. I have a crappy scale and my weight seams to fluctuate by a couple pounds, so who knows what I truly weigh... that is it for now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Half and Half

With the meet getting closer, I am trying to get my last few workouts in before I rest up. Wednesday is usually my bench press day. I met up with Maura and here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
105X1
With Commands
105X1
105X1
110Xnl
105X1
110X1
~According to Maura, I was a little bouncy on the bottom. Maura is a mean bench press judge... but I got my lifts and my shoulders felt plenty healthy. I missed 110, not really sure why... probably because I don't like bench press, or more likely, I lost tension at the bottom.

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X2
225X1
255X1
275X1
~I was feeling insecure about my last DL workout. I felt like I needed one last time to work on form, so I threw in DL's just because. Good news 275 felt GREAT. It flew up no problem.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last Squat Workout...


Maura and I were thrilled that Anna White showed up for our last squat workout before Hudson. Paul gave us some coaching and we all gave it our best. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home, so no video this week. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X2
200X1
210X1
230X1
235X1
185X3
~I am planning on opening with 210lbs. I though I would check out to see how a 20lb jump would feel. I was feeling pretty nervous... but the lift felt great! In fact it felt so great I thought I would give 235 a shot, which also felt great. Ellen, that last set of 185 was for you.... no, really I just wanted to work on perfecting my form a little more.

Front Squat
135X5X3
~I meant to work these earlier in the cycle. Easy and felt great.

Pause Squats
115X8
135X8X2
~I worked on keeping my chest up and driving through the sticking point. Actually 135 felt a little light.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Deadlift and Mental Training

I will be competing in the Hudson Open, a full powerlifting meet on November 8. This will be my 3rd meet. I have learned so much about training since I started competing. Competition doesn't come naturally to me... I have never participated in sports when I was in school, in fact I have never participated in any sort of competition before PLing last winter. So far, the mental part of competition is the most challenging for me.

Friday was deadlift night. I have been stuck on my deadlift for nine months now. Hopefully I can make a break-through soon. Here is how it all went down.

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X5
225X2
245X1
260X1
270Xnl
265X1
270X1
~I was more than a little surprised that I missed that first 270... 260 flew up, 265 flew up. The second attempt at 270lbs was slow and difficult, at least it went up.

Ham-glute Machine
Back Extensions

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pressing

My defective shoulders are finally feeling better! Lots of back bends in William's yoga class this morning. I did a little swinging and a few presses with my classes today. My shoulders felt so good, I tested them out by pressing the 20kg three times on the right and twice on the left. That is pretty good for me! Felt great! Maura and Paul met up with me tonight for some bench presses. Here is how it went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
105X2X3
105X1X3

Chin-ups
3,3,3,3,3,3,3

Close Grip Floor Presses
65X8
75X8X2

Face Pulls
70lbsX10
60X10X2

Monday, October 20, 2008

Squat Training

Maura and I met up for our second to last squat workout before the big meet on November 8. I am feeling really good about how squat training has been going. Here is how it all went down tonight...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X3
205X2
215X2X2
~This is the best 215lbs ever felt! Ellen, I know my knees look weird, I can't help it. Any who, here is a little something to make my blog interesting; First set of 2 at 215lbs.



Foam Box Sqauts
145X2X12
~Might have been a little light... worked on keeping my chest up, staying tight and exploding off the box.

Bulgarian Split Squats
16/16kg Kettlebells
5L/5RX5 Sets

~I started getting a butt cramp on the last two sets.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Invisible Ninja Club


We are invisible... but we still enjoy muffins and Chicken Noodle Soup!
Marty Larson invited Joe Pavel, Jim Ryan and me over to her home in Stillwater for a day of Z-Health practice and discussion. We missed Brad Ellingson... I believe it was Joe Pavel who came up with the name Invisible Ninja Club. This is because Dr. Cobb referred to our group of Z-Health candidates (from R&I) as the kind of group who will gravitate toward looking for the answers the hard way... we are a group who always had a "what if?" scenario. You know, there is thinking outside the box and thinking waayyy outside the box. As in "What if we were attacked by invisible ninjas on the way to take out our garbage?"

Anyway, we had a great time discussing what we were doing with Z for ourselves and our clients. We took turns evaluating each others gait. We practiced doing drills and cueing. It was really a nice way to learn. We spent as much time as we wanted doing drills, discussing and collaborating.

Joe needed to do some thoracic work... nice class 3 gait!
There were 4 of us, so with one getting evaluated, the other three could discuss what we saw. We each gave an idea for a drill, including the person being evaluated, which was really nice because body awareness and intuition was being evaluated as well.

If there is a group of Z trainers in your area, I strongly suggest forming your own group. It is a great way to think outside the box, and come up with strategies of how to fight off invisible ninjas if they attack you on the way to taking out your garbage.
We are all moving better and feel great!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Deadlifts

Maura and I met up for our deadlift workout. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
185X5
205X2
225X2
245X1X6

Good Mornings
95X8
135X5
155X5X5

Back Extensions
BWX8X2
10lbsX8
25lbsX8X3

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bench Press

After my little mishap on the box squat I really aggravated my left upper trap. Plus, my shoulders have been acting badly... giving me pain to the point of losing sleep. I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through bench press training tonight... Good news, I ate a couple ibuprofen this morning before yoga class with William, and did a few little Z drills and shoulders are almost all better. My right gave me some trouble, but nothing like I expected. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
2 Board Press
115X3
115X3
125X1
1 Board Press
125XNL
2 Board Press
125X1
125X1
125X1
~There was some pain in my left shoulder, which meant my movement just wasn't that nice, not to mention weak. I have decided that I don't care if I suck at bench press. I will simply do the best I can and be happy with that.

Pull-ups
5,5,5,5,4
Chin-ups
3,3
~I am starting to suck at these... I better get serious about these again.

Face Pulls
70X8
70X8
~only 2 sets... my back was gassed

DB Floor Presses
20X8
25X8X4
~I suppose I could have gone heavier... but my shoulder was starting to really bug me.

abs. which I still hate.

Monday, October 13, 2008

KB's with the Jasons and Squat Training

I had the honor of having Jason Marshall of Lone Star Kettlebells and Jason Woods of How do you Move, join me for some kettlebell fun at The Press Gym this morning. How lucky am I??? I got the guys to put me through some of the FMS screens, I learned and practiced the new and improved TGU, Jason M showed me a way cool jump rope drill to work the bent press. It was a general exchange of ideas... well, mostly me stealing there ideas.

Jason Marshall is going to go far in the RKC. He naturally a very good coach, and has a quiet enthusiasm. Is able to recognize a good thing and apply it appropriately. He has the coolest looking kettlebell t-shirts (he gave me one for Aaron). Plus, he is just a nice guy.

Jason Woods is full of enthusiasm... you can't help but want to try what ever it is he telling you about. He is experimental and open minded regarding movement, which makes him a fun guy to train with. He has a natural talent for Z-Health and is great at applying it.

I am glad I had a few hours to chill out before it was time for me to do my squat training. Marua and I met up with Paul for squats tonight. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squats
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X2
200X2X4
~Felt great! Worked on keeping tight in the hole and chest up as suggested by Paul.


~This is the 4th of 4... just something to look at.

Box Squats with 55lb bands
135lbs+BandsXNL
95lbs+BandsX2X7
~Oops, I over estimated my squat power and got stapled to the box! Maura had to get Paul from the other room to come help me off the box, LOL! After an appropriate weight adjustment squats were challenging and explosive. The fear of possibility getting stuck again gave me explosive power.

Heavy Walkouts
225, 245, 265

A little bit of abs.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RKC Weekend!

I missed my friend Tracy Reifkind so much this weekend. I can't believe she didn't get to make to out here to Minnesota for a visit. Boo hoo for me. I trained bench press with Maura this morning. After that Aaron and I headed off to the RKC for Graduation Workout. The weather was PERFECT! Slightly overcast, yet warm and breezy. Here are some highlights from the weekend...

Mike and Adam join in cheering for the RKC candidates Graduation Workout


Everyone is all smiles... the graduation workout is about to begin!

Already fatigued from a weekend of arse whoppin' Sean Schniederjan guts it out.

Jen Bryan is looking strong

Jen Crosses the finish line with coach Sandy Sommers cheering her on!
Sean's family shows up to show support...

Jen and Aaron

I finally meet DV8 Fitness Phil Scarinto in personLonestar Kettlebells Jason MarshallMe with Pavel... How cool is that?

Then off to Great Waters for some fun! Jason Wood and I teach some R-Phase drills to our table mates.

Then things got crazy! Card ripping and other Feats of Strength, including Dave Whitely pressing me! I am no light weight... I am weighing in at 126lbs, plus a tummy full of beer and french fries so closer to 130lbs! Check it out!


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Deadlifts and Z-Health

I met up with Mike Nelson for a Z-Health assessment before deadlifts. I didn't have any particular problems, other than a stale deadlift. I wanted a scar checked as well as eye position check. Well, to make a long story short, I now have some pretty funky drill to work on.

Maura joined Mike and me for deadlifts after my Z session. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X3
205X3
230X2X3
230X1X5
~The last 3 singles I pulled Mike helped me with corrective eye positioning.

Romanian Deadlifts
135X5
185X5X3

Heavy Kettlebell Swings
32kgX6X2
20/20kgX6X2

abs. which I still hate.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Bench Press Night

I had a great start to my Wednesday with William's yoga class. We did lots of back bends, which I have neglected lately. Back bends always make me feel great, and give me a ton of energy!

After yoga class, I met up with fellow RKC Michael Rendle. I feel so lucky to live in a community of kettlebell enthusiasts who are eager and willing to share information. Mike and I spent the morning chit chatting about training, business, and all things kettlebell.

I had a couple classes to teach, then it was my turn to train hard. It is Wednesday, which means bench press day for me and my training partner Maura Shuttleworth. Paul Balyeat also showed up to do hand offs for us. Paul is very knowledgable and has a good eye and Maura and I are happy to have him around. Here is how it all went down for me...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
2 Board
115X3X4
1Board
115X1
~My shoulders were not feeling the greatest... no pain but I was fatigued going into training. The more I presses the better I felt.

Pull-ups and Chin-ups
3,3,3,3,3,3,3
~I switched it up my grip and I used Paul Olympic rings. Good stuff!

Reverse Rows
5,5,5
~I used the rings for this.

OH Presses with Kettlebell
16kg - 5/5X3

Monday, October 6, 2008

Squats, back on track

I am back to my original program Mark Reifkind gave me. This program has served me well, I have made plenty of gains from using it so far. I did have to make a small deviation... because I was goofing around with some new things, I am a little behind the scheduled. Any who, Maura and I met up at The Pres Gym and here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X3X6
~felt great! This is 77% of my one rep max. I am focusing on hitting depth with out going too deep.

Heavy Walkouts
225, 245, 265
~I may have lost some height in my thoracic spine.

Box Squats
145X2X8
~Focused on exploding off the box.

Abs... 2 sets of 8

What a great workout! Everything felt great... even the walkouts. Having a good training partner is really something special.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Deadlifts

Well, I was going to try something new, but it was just too big of a change for my comfort zone. Plus, I just didn't know what I was doing. Now my training is all goofed up... I am still planning on doing a meet on November 8. I've adjusted my goals to simply participating and maybe a 240 something squat. Oh well... Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X5
215X2X5
~I have only 3 more Deadlift workouts before the competition.

Romanian Deadlift
135X5
165X5
185X3
185X5
185X5
~I am using wrist straps, it is an experiment.

Back Extensions
8,8,8,8,8

Abs
~still hate 'em

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bench Press

I had to do some overhead pressing with my class tonight... so I used up some of my pressing juice before I got under the bar. Good news is I finally tried actual board presses tonight. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
2 Board Press
105X5
115X3
125X1
125X1
125X1
125Xnl
Bench Press
95X3
~Wow, presses to a 2 board are much easier! I misses a press due to joking around and lack of focus.

Pull-ups and Chin-ups
5,5,4,3,3
~These were difficult for some reason.

Floor Presses
20lbsX10
30X6
30X8
30X8
30X8
~Elbows tucked and focus on triceps.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Max Effort Day...

I am trying some new stuff these days in the gym. Today is my max effort day. Maura and I met up in the gym for some squatting fun. Here is how it all went down...

Box Squat
95X5
135X3
155X3
165X3
175X3
185X2
185X2
190X1
190X1
~190 was a pr for me.

Heavy Walk Outs
225
245
255
~Wow... heavy.

Front Squats
135X3X4
~I know 4 sets is a weird number... that is just the way it worked out for us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Dynamic Lifts

Maura and I met up for our usual Friday night workout. We had to make it quick, because we wanted to catch the Presidential debates. I am trying some new things in an effort to break through a plateau in the deadlift. Maura's friend Paul brought his bands so, I gave bands a shot for the first time.

Box Squats with Bands

Bar/2-55lb Bands - 3,3,3
65lbs/2-55lb Bands - 2X12

~Rif warned me not to try bands yet... but Paul was there, he knew how to set them up, so, I though I would take advantage of his knowledge. The bands took a little getting used to... but after I got the hang of them I really liked bands! I probabaly could have gone with a little more band tension and a little heavier weight. The bar rode up higher on my shoulders, which was wierd.

Good Mornings
95lbsX3
135X3X5


Romanian Deadlifts
135x5

135X5

155X5X3


Ham-Glute Machine
6,6,4,6,6

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Board Presses

Rif has been on me to do some board presses for months now. When I saw him at the RKC weekend he would hear none of my whining about how my deadlift is stale because I only cherry pick his advice. Now Ellen Stein is telling me to do board presses... wellat the risk of pissing off two accomplished lifters and getting no more advice I finally gave it a shot tonight. Here is how it all went down...

Closer Grip 2 Board Press
75lbsX5
95X3
105X3X5
~I actually used my Z Health half foam roller, which is about a 2 boards thick. Wow, this was much easier on my shoulders. I think I like board presses.

TGU's
16kgs 3L/3R
~Not my usual squat style... I am trying to learn the new tgu. I am not sure I really get it. Maybe I am doing it wrong...

Pull-ups
5,5,5,5,4
~I just couldn't gut out that last one.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Low Energy Squats

My great aunt died last week. She lived to be almost 99 years old. She was a feisty, good hearted old lady who was mentally sharp up to the very end. She wasn't afraid to die and bravely passed on to the next stage existence free of fear. Aaron and I went to her funeral this morning, which was very draining for me. I couldn't miss squats, but I did scale it back a little. Here is how it all went down.

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
195X2
120X1
115X1X4
~I probably could have gut out something heavier... it just didn't feel right. I worked on hitting depth without going too deep or too high.

Box Squats
135X3X5
~Good stuff

abs
~still hate abs

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Deadlift Night

I was really looking forward to deadlifting on Friday night, especially now that I only pull every other week. The gym was closing early in preparation for the Twin Cities Open Powerlifting meet, so we had to make it a quick workout. Here is how it all went down...

Sumo Deadlifts
135X5
165X5
205X3
225X1
255X1
265X1
270X1X1
~270 didn't go up the way I thought it would... it was a little tough off the ground.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bench Press

I do not love the bench press. If you know me... you already know my dislike for bench press. Lucky for me, my training partner is the bench press champion or I would never be a powerlifter at all. Tonight Maura and I got under the bar for some bench pressing, here is how it went down for me...

Bench Press
75X5
95X3
105X2
95X3
95X3
~Not a good night for me. My right shoulder is acting bad, giving me pain from hand off to lock out. I did have one good set, the second to last set with 95lbs. The rest pretty much sucked and I not only went light, but I ended the workout early.

Face Pulls
60lbsX8
60X8
70X8
70X8
~The first set sucked, my right shoulder hurt. Second set felt great, third set was alright, fourth set was great.

I tried to do some triceps work, but, I was done. Pain from my shoulder was radiating up my shoulder to my neck and face. Such as life. I am just barely a three lift lifter. Lucky I learned to arch, or I would never bench press.

I am planning a visit to Mike Nelson. I will post the results. Hopefully I can get the shoulder thing worked out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Squat Day

Anna White joined Maura and I for squats tonight. Good times! Here is how it all went down...

Back Squat
95lbsX6
135X5
165X3
195X2
215X1
225X1
225X1
~I like my new modified squat cycle. Bigger Jumps, more heavy singles, no doubles over 200lbs.

Pause Squats
115X8
125X8
135X8
~Challenging but doable...

Abs...

TSC

I hosted a very small TSC at The Press Gym on Saturday. Check out Aaron's blog for the details!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Assistance Lifts

I went to yoga class this morning at Neti Neti with Lisa. Lisa is a classically trained Ashtanga instructor. I always look forward to doing someone else's practice, so practice with Lisa this morning was a real treat.

This evening Maura and I met up for an evening of lifting. I have decided to deadlift every other week. This week is I am off deadlifting, which means Maura and I are scheduled to do some assistance lifting. Here is how it all went down...

Romanian Deadlift
135X5
155X5
165X5
185X5
185X5
185X5
~I have not done this lift for a while, so I just wasn't sure were I was for strength. I used a double over hand grip and straps.

Box Squats
135X3
155X3
165X3
175X3
175X3
~I did these wearing wrestling shoes, which was kind of weird, but they worked fine. Box squats are much easier if I don't do a full squat workout before.

Good Mornings
95X5
115X5
135X5
135X5
135X5
~I know I have done them before, but I can't remember when.

Very nice workout tonight. I think I am going to like having an assistance lifting night.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Double Workout

Maura and I usually squat on Mondays. We rarely miss a workout, however this Monday Maura was out of town for a work conference, which worked out fine in the end on account of me fighting off illness. I never actually got sick, but I did feel like I needed extra sleep and the desire to train just wasn't what it normally was on Monday. Wednesday Maura and I doubled down on squats and bench. Here is how it went down...

Back Squat
95X5
135X5
165X3
185X2
200X2
215X1X3
~In the past I have been trying to do doubles with 215lbs. I seam to have a psychological hang up on repping weight over 200lbs on the squat. I have decided to just do some singles instead and give in to not wanting to rep such a huge weight. It worked out great, 215 felt awesome. I focused on pulling myself down slowly and blasting out of the hole. Honestly all three lifts felt like I could have done a double.

Bench Press
75lbsX5
95X3
100X3X3
~I don't really know where I was going with this workout... my current plan is to work up to doing 5 sets of 5 with 100lbs. It was late and I just didn't have the juice for much on the bench press.

On Friday I will be doing some assistance lifts including; box squats, pull-ups, some other lifts like maybe Romanian style deadlifts or good mornings. This Friday is my off week for deadlifting, I am only deadlifting every other week as an experiment. It will be interesting to see what happens. I am planning on doing a meet in early November, instead of the meet on September 20.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Deadlifts

I finally got back to deadlifts on Friday. I think I have a new plan. I am going to deadlift every other week. On the odd week, I will be doing assistance lifts including box squats. Before Raw Nationals I was pulling every Friday. So, this will be an experiment to see if I can't get a little stronger by doing less. I am also working on changing my form. I got some advice at Raw Nationals that I want to try out.

Anyway, here is how deadlifts went down...

Sumo Deadlift
135X5
185X3
225X1
245X1
255X1
265X1
265X1
255X1
~ I am working on a new technique. I am keeping my chest and head up and grabbing the bar without looking at it. Here is a video, certainly not perfect, I have to feel around for the right grip, but I have a good feeling about this technique.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yoga and Squats

It is always a real treat to get some direct guidance... Wednesday morning is my yoga class with William. Training my yoga practice with William has a draw back... now that I have worked with a world class instructor like William, most other yoga classes are a big joke to me. William is actually the person who inspired me to teach movement.

Yoga Class
We worked on back bends... Specifically anchoring the femurs into the hips without squeezing the SI's or tensing the groin. More about this latter.

Squat Training

Back Squat
95X5
135X3
165X2
185X2
200X2X4
~Squats felt great. I was scheduled to do 205lbs, but I backed off just a little. I have decided not to compete in the TCO after all. I am gearing up for Hudson instead.

Box Squats
135X3
155X3X2
~Felt great, 155 was easy.

Abs.
Yep, I still hate abs.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Taking it easy...

I didn't do much for training over the holiday weekend. My energy was low, I may have been fighting off illness I can't tell for sure. My training partner, Maura Shuttleworth was out of town in Charlotte NC at bench press nationals. Taking some time off felt like the right thing to do. I kept my training in the realm of Z and yoga asana. Nothing stressful. Lots of couch time.

I did a few swings and snatches with my class tonight. I finally actually felt like working out, and it felt great. I did a bunch of single hand swings and snatches with the 20kg.

Tomorrow is squats, which I missed on Monday... I can't wait!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Kb's, bench, Kb's...

I am trying to record all training... I suppose I need to include my asana practice, and not just the classes. Here is what I remember from the last few days...

Tuesday
20 minutes standing asana

Some kettlebell swings and snatches...
It was a variety day 20kg a few snatches and swings, I cleaned the 24kg a few times. I had a good sized class, so lots of light 12kg snatches and swings.
Some other stuff...

Wednesday
20 minutes standing asana

Kettlebell work
Variety, nothing heavy

Bench Press
75lbsX5
95X5
100X3X4
~Challenging but doable

Thursday

Kettlebell variety work

Maura is off to bench press nationals. The holiday weekend is coming up... it is going to goof up my training schedule.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back off Squat Day and I-Phase


I want everyone to know that I am now I-Phase certified. How cool is that? If you are a Z person you know that is pretty cool! I had a great weekend with Dr. Cobb, Kathy, Mike TN and Andrea. Dr. Jim Ryan sat next to me, so he was stuck being my partner quite a lot... which was very nice for me. Marty Larson was there to stir things up, Joe Pavel has a spooky eye so he is a good person to practice drills with, Brad is always an interesting case, so he makes a great partner and Aaron Schwenzfiere is so well read and smart he makes the class extra interesting. We had a pretty small class, so I feel like that was to my advantage... and I need every advantage I can get.
Mike and Aaron

Kathy looks like she could be my relative

As fun and great I-Phase was... the class itself was very challenging. I was left pretty drained on days 3 and 4. Today I woke up feeling like the day after Christmas... excited to try all my new skills, but very sad the whole experience is gone. I hope I can recreate everything I learned... I hope I can remember how to apply it, I hope I can actually make it all work right... well I will have to practice. Yikes!

Today was squat day, Maura is off to bench nationals this weekend. Maura had her last bench workout and I did some squats. Here is how it all went down...

Back Squats
95X5
135X5
155X5
165X3
185X3X3

I am working on NOT over training. This is a big problem for me because I don't totally know what over training is... for myself. Here is the my biggest problem, even if I don't feel like training, I will feel left out if I don't join in. How am I supposed to know if I am over trained?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just kettlebells

Today is going to be day 3 of I-Phase. Lots of information. Yesterday we spent quite a lot of time working on ankle, knee and hip drills. I have to say it was a little too much Z drills for me... or maybe too much sitting. By 6pm yesterday I was cooked... lucky for me my kettlebell students talked me into doing a special class on Friday night because there will be no class on Saturday while I am learning how to be a better trainer. Here is what I did...

Swing - Clean - FSQ - PP - NP
16kg; pyramid Left/Right 1-5-1
~I love this combo... but this pyramid was killer!

Renegade Row
12/12kg X10X3

Pull-overs
16kg 8X3

Bulgarian Split Squats
12/12kg 5X3

abs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Z-Health I-Phase

Thursday was the first day of I-Phase. Dr. Cobb is magic... he really is a special person. There is a certain talent required to do Z effectively, I can't really tell if I have it naturally or if I need to cultivate it... but Dr. Cobb has the touch. Just being around him is inspiring. He definitely has a gift for movement.

I secured a seat between Dr. Jim Ryan and Mike Nelson. Jim is a DC, and a very good body worker. Mike is scary smart. I got the best seat in the house. I need to be close to all the smarts I can. I am at a huge disadvantage being a college drop out, and largely self educated in regards to movement. We are doing mirror imaging drills, thank god I know the vocab... unfortunately abduction, adduction, flexion, extension are just as difficult as left, right, north, south... Doing mirror imaging drills is the same as when I navigate when Aaron is driving. I can see in my mind's eye what direction is needed, but the only word that comes is "turn"! or in the case of Z "Bend". LOL!

I managed to get a little workout with my class last night...

Single hand swing pyramid 5-10-5 with 20kg
Snatch pyramid 1-3-1 16kg X 3
Bear Crawls
Front Squat
Double OH Press 12, 16, 12 - 5 reps, my arms are still wore out from Wednesday's bench training.

Today is day 2 of Z. Lots of fun, but lots of sitting too, which I am not used to... it gives me a bad gate, LOL!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bench Press Night

I did some work with the 12kg kettlebell with my class. About 20 minutes (10 working minutes 30/30) of cardio. I also did a few heavy snatches with the 20kg yesterday, which left my traps feel taxed today. So, when I met up with Maura for bench press my energy was feeling a little low. Here is how it all went down...

Bench Press
75lbsX5
100X3X5
~Wow, this was a lot of work. The bar felt heavy, even with 2-5 minutes of rest between sets.

Abs. I still can't believe I am actually doing these.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Squats

Squat night at The Press gym... all good stuff. Maura met up with me for some time under the bar. Here how it went down for me...

Back Squat
95X5
135X3
165X2
185X2
195X2X6
~I am at 80%, this is just the right amount of weight... fun, yet challenging. Sets 3 and 6 felt the best.

Pause Squats
115X8
125X8
135X8
~Wow! I can't believe I did 8 pause squats at 135, that is pretty good for me!

abs... which I still hate.

Sunday Bench Press

I started my Sunday morning with yoga class at Lisa's Neti Neti Studio. It is so nice to attend class, someone else is thinking about the sequence and I am free to enjoy the movement. What a very nice way to spend a Sunday morning.

After lunch I rushed off to the gym to bench with Maura. Maura is getting ready for Bench Nationals. I am in charge of getting Maura's bench shirt on, which is a pretty big responsibility. No bench shirt on my back, here is how it went down for me...

Close Grip Bench Press
75lbsX5
85X5X5

Face Pulls
60lbsX10X3

Abs and something else... I can't remember.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

KB Doubles

I did a little training with my class today. I go you go style...

Double 16kg
Double Swing - 10
Double FSQ - 5
Double Clean - 10
Double PP - 5
~Swings were easy, Squats were easy, Cleans are always a challenge, and Push Press was more difficult than I remembered. I ran through the whole sequence 4 times.

Renegade Row/Punisher
Double 16kg
5X3