another place for rantings and ravings of kettlebells, sandbags, odd object lifting & old school strength from a stoopid boy.

Thursday, November 19, 2009



i've been neglecting my social networks - blogger, twitter and even facebook. i think that communcation is important, even if it is sporadic. good intentions are there, for sure. lately i've been doing short-form blogs and keeping things simple. my iphone has been my best friend.
i believe i have things to say, just not enough time to say them. be patient.

Friday, September 4, 2009

kmart. and difference.

new bloggy posty here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

poopy hands.

poopy hands.

the importance of hand health. read here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

grip. and dog park.

working the hands and sprints here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

h-e-double hockey sticks. and core.

h-e-double hockey sticks. and core.

looky here.

Friday, August 7, 2009

john hughes. and sprinting.

john hughes. and sprinting.

shorty blog here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009



another shorty blog here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009



posted a shorty blog here

Thursday, July 16, 2009



busy, frantic, hectic, rapid movement of work, the moving process and long commutes.

time management really becomes important, something i've been attempting to improve and become better at. i'm learning to prioritize, actually creating and utilizing to-do lists, setting up small goals and reaching them if not surpassing them beyond expectations.

as work has become extremely, you must determine where the work/life balance is, right? as much as we all take pride in any activity we do, we cannot devote all of our time to "the job" (as much as i love mine), we still need to enjoy life - things including spending time with family and friends, maintaining good habits such as working out, acknowledging people, responding to emails, reciprocating to tweets, facebook, etc.

the moving process - well, it requires time as it's so involved. you come to the realization that you have collected a lot of garbage and random things you no longer need or want. however, you also find treasures - photo albums opening doors to fond memories, books that have affected your life on so many levels. it's demanding yet so rewarding.

the long, daily commute. aaargh. the drive can be horrific as heavy traffic can really pull and tear away at your sanity. or you can make it a positive experience. i've learned to stay in a better frame of mind, concentrating on the good things, positive energy to bring more positive energy. every morning, i make a list of goals for the day, create my plan of attack, and do it.

you need to look at things from different angles, can't let stress or anger affect your thinking. i feel stronger, more focused with goals, priorities and life.

let's do this.

Saturday, July 4, 2009



The Rotater: A Shoulder Rehabilitation, Shoulder Stretching and Shoulder Flexibility Device

the rotater is something i stumbled upon on twitter. a device made for a particular purpose - to maximize your shoulder performance. a very simple looking apparatus made by joint mechanix.

i'm learning that rotator cuff injuries are very common which can be caused by falling and repetitive overhead lifting to repetitive arm movements or something as common as carrying a child in your arms. nobody wants to hear they may have shoulder tears, irritation or possibly damage to their rotator cuff muscles or tendons.

common symptoms can be pain and tenderness in your shoulder when reaching overhead, lifting and pulling. i know my left shoulder felt discomfort when reaching behind my back, which may also have contributed to some shoulder weakness when compared to my right.
this made me very concerned and troubled as i do a lot of overhead lifting with kettlebells, sandbags, stones and other implements. tendinitis, strains and tears are risks with any regular athletic activities and movements.

i'm glad to say that since using the rotater, i've significantly improved my shoulder flexibility and range of motion. this is especially noticed in the internal rotation of my left shoulder. i injured my shoulder many years ago, been dealing with the slight discomfort ever since. as i get older, i need to take care of myself more. being conscious, making more of an effort to stay strong and healthy. you have to, right?

i highly recommend the rotater to anyone engaged with consistent and regular athletic activities, especially with overhead and repetitive movements e.g. kettlebells or barbells.
i've been in contact with chris melton who has been amazing, educative and informational.
take care of your shoulders. do it.

happy independence day.

Monday, June 29, 2009



engaged in activities that require meticulous attention. workplace has been busy. high definition HDCAM-SR to PAL down conversions with pitch correction while maintaining correct 2:2 cadence.
in addition to that, the process of moving from one place to another is time consuming and demanding. process still in effect.

coming soon, i will be blogging about:
1) review of the rotater: a shoulder rehabilitation, shoulder stretching, shoulder flexibility device
2) my workout with Matty Holmes: underground strength & conditioning coach

soundtrack: cold war kids "we used to vacation"

Sunday, June 21, 2009



father's day. my father passed away many, many years ago, when i was a teenager who thought i was invincible, adults were dumb, and i knew everything. i was sure stoopid. my father taught me a lot of things; many things which i eventually learned to fully realize and appreciate . one thing for certain - he taught me respect. not just for myself, but to respect others, being civil, acknowledging and treating people with courtesy and dignity. i miss my father.

MOVEMENT: joint mobility, bodyweight movements - bipedal & quadrupedal and jumps.

WORK: kettlebell snatch @ 53# - working sets of 5L/5R

they don't call kettlebell snatches 'the tsar of kettlebell lifting' for no reason. they're tough & challenging. i want to improve my numbers.

what are you doing to supplement and assist your snatch numbers?

soundtrack: beirut "elephant gun"

Sunday, June 14, 2009



sunday, rest day. most of my sundays are spent catching up with reading books and articles. i understand rest is integral physically and mentally, allowing me to recover after an active and demanding week from both work and lifting. i understand rest allows my body to repair and strengthen itself. i understand it helps be recharge my batteries, giving me a good work/life balance. i understand it can help prevent over-training.
while sunday is a rest day, i become antsy and restless.
grip training is something i do often, as it is so easy to incorporate into my training. immediate benefits from various lifts; whether it's gripping a sandbag, swinging & lifting kettlebells (purposeful thick handles), thick bar or towel pull-ups. i'm very conscious of the importance of strong hands. seriously, how often do we use our hands?

barbell wrist curls
barbell wrist extensions
hand-to-hand stone pinches

barbell 2 x 10 reps
stone pinches 2 x 15 reps

barbell work for lower arm strength, build the forearms a little.
stone pinching to work fingers, especially thumb strength.

soundtrack: elvis costello "alison"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009



today was a fun day. practiced some towel pull-ups at work, working the hand strength.
that afternoon, a co-worker requested some assistance changing out a flat tire on her vehicle. i asked another co-worker Fish to provide some help. he was gone for about 15 minutes when he returned, drenched in sweat. he admitted he was only able to loosen one wheel lug, asked if i would give it a go. i learned awhile back that the secret to changing a flat tire - you have to use brute force. four wheel lugs for me to attack. i was able to removed three wheel lugs. the fourth one, i'm uncertain if it was bent or possibly overtightened - i ended up snapping the wheel stud off with the lug still on.
my body was a little exhausted, generated a lot of tension. it was a very good feeling, being able to apply real world, functional strength.

variety day. initial plan was to do a sandbag complex followed by some sled training. however, i was drawn to my newly made sandbag, my military top load heavyweight cotton canvas duffle bag loaded with 100# of sand. yes, it is glorious.

1) sandbag power clean @ 100#- 10 sets x 3 reps

2) kettlebell rack walks @ 2x35# - 3 rounds x 100 steps immediately followed by 10 rack squats

3) kettlebell farmer walks @ 2x35# - 3 rounds x 100 steps immediately followed by bent over rows

resting 30 seconds between sets/rounds.
Worked this sandbag movement repeatedly, really wanting to develop full body strength and a vice grip. ripping the sandbag off the floor also developing power and starting strength. and i wanted a lower body finisher. farmer walks do nicely.

soundtrack: echo & the bunnymen "the cutter"

Saturday, June 6, 2009



starting the day moving & transporting shelves. ughh. we all know moving is no fun.
the latter part of the day, prepping & painting the bedroom. fun times. switching grips with the paint roller, arms over my head all evening.
later that night, it was time for some kettlebell lifting.

kettlebell @ 53#

1) c&p - 3 ladders x 4 rungs, 2 ladders 3 rungs

2a) kb two-handed swings
2b) hindu squats

descending & ascending ladders with minimal rest

Swing x 20
Hindu squat x 1
Swing x 19
Hindu squat x 2
Swing x 18
Hindu squat x 3

all the way to

Swing x 3
Hindu squat x 18
Swing x 2
Hindu squat x 19
Swing x 1
Hindu squat x 20

i didn't time myself... again, should've though.
struggled with clean & presses. painting is demanding, creeps up on you, gets your working.
hindu squats are tough. thinking burpees next time, like those are any more fun.
i didn't think it'd be possible to cramp both my calf and tibialis muscles at the same time. plus, it makes me walk funny.

soundtrack: arcade fire "no cars go"

Wednesday, June 3, 2009



medium day today, moderate presses, pulls & swings.
added pull-ups to this movement. strict, head above the bar, with no swing or kip. more challenging by wrapping a towel around the bar.
minimal rest between sets.

1a) kettlebell clean & presses @ 53# - 5 ladders x 5 rungs
1b) mixed grip thick bar pull-ups - 5 ladders x 3 rungs

2) kettlebell one-handed swings @ 35# - descending ladder

300 swinging reps altogether. one of my goals is to minimize hand switches.
the thick bar pull-ups & one-handed swings really taxed my grip endurance.

soundtrack: matt and kim "good ol' fashioned nightmare"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



sandbag project planned for today. small group of us at work, including fish, rigo and sidebottom, decided to make sandbags.
i love odd object training. with no access to the gym, no money for expensive equipment, it made sense to create my own home gym with minimal costs. sandbags are one of my favorite among homemade equipment. co-workers often hear about my workouts without access to the gym, and now they are hooked.
over the past few days, we have been scavenging for materials to make our new sandbags.

- military duffle bag : purchase at any army surplus store for $30. i bought mine used for $20
- contractor bags : similar to hefty garbage bags, these can be purchased at home depot. these are industrial strength trash bags to handle various debris such as wood, plaster & cement. after the abuse the sandbag takes, these are a necessity. i am curious to use demo bags for my next sandbag.
- duct tape : a vinyl, fabric-reenforced, multi-purpose pressure sensitive tape or what i call magic, also available at home depot.
- sand or pea gravel : available at home depot. i prefer using sand. pea gravel is good. however, after some time and multiple throwing, slamming, handling, grappling of your sandbag, the pea gravel will tear through the contractor bags rather quickly. sold in 50 lb (23 kg) bags.

putting the sand in the bags, you can make one large bag or you can create multiple filler bags to load to your liking. i decided to make one large bag.
i put (2) 50 lb bags of sand into one bag. using the duct tape to seal the bag. i don't pull the bags taut as i want the sand to be able to move around, creating unevenness or chaotic movement.

here, rigo using duct tape to secure his contractor bag.

while keeping a little slack, i tape the bag using horizontal and vertical patterns. i find this keeps the bag more secure and intact. repeat using 1-2 more contractor bags.

rigo working his duct tape patterning.

place the sand-filled contractor bag into your military duffle bag and secure it.

my contractor bag within my military duffle bag.

my sandbag complete, 100 lbs of goodness.

rip it off the ground and enjoy your new strength conditioning and endurance implement.

Saturday, May 30, 2009



after a much needed 8 hours of sleep, my woman and i visited our local coffee shop to enjoy some strong coffee. one of the things i enjoy immensely.
thereafter, with the eagerness and necessity of a new sandbag, we made a stopover at the nearest army surplus store. i was contented to find used army/military duffle bags hiding in a dark corner.

- top load heavyweight cotton canvas duffle bag
- cotton web shoulder straps
- double reinforced grab handle
- snap hook closure

just grabbing it in my hands, that feeling of ripping sandbags up off the floor. this was a good find. i would have to wait before making it into an odd object implement. i ended up washing it. who knows where it's been or whose hands have touched it after doing who knows what.

1a) kb c&p 53# - 3 ladders x 3 rungs
1b) kb c&p 53# - 2 ladders x 4 rungs

2) one-handed kb swings 35# - 6:00 minutes

concentrating on minimal hand switches, developing a progression to eventually one hand switch.

soundtrack: nin "march of the pigs"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009



tuesday is a variety day, do what i want. i wanted to do some sandbag work. uncertain of its weight, estimating 75#. after a lengthy period of abuse over the past year, my sb had acquired an obscene hole which allowed play sand and pea gravel to spill in the trunk of my vehicle.
duct tape, the miraculous tool that allowed me to once again salvage and save my sb.
i've decided that any future sbs will be filled with only play sand as pea gravel proves to tear through multiple layers of contractor bags after my sb has been ripped, grabbed, dropped, slammed and thrown many a times.

1a) sb rotational deadlifts - 5 reps
1b) push-ups - 25 reps

2a) sb shouldering - 5 reps each side
2b) sb zercher squats - 6 reps

5 rounds, didn't set timer.

posterior chain was a buzzing, zercher squats really attacked the core. really felt the urge to finish with sled work. however, more immediate responsibilities did arise.

soundtrack: arcade fire "wake up"

Saturday, May 23, 2009



today was a good day.
after a bumpy morning, i decided to paint one of the closets. active rest and all, moved out some shelves and boxes, prepped the walls and carpet.
started painting away.
the idea is to create a theater-slash-video store feel with burgundy walls and eventually, vintage movie posters. Nothing cliched, trite or common, of course. While the paint was drying, i assembled the newly arrived shelves which will mostly hold my blu-ray and dvd movies, mostly. cds will be another the back of my mind, an itch i had to scratch.

today was a heavy kettlebell day.

1) kb c&p 44# - 5 ladders x 5 rungs

2) one-handed kb swings - 5:00 minutes switching every 10 reps

soundtrack: the analog girl "superfly"

Friday, May 22, 2009



it's pre memorial day weekend. i feel this week is really weighing down on me. after another long drive from work to home, for that one split second, i was considering taking a nap.
we should listen to our bodies, as mine was shutting down. active rest is so important, often overlooked. listening to your body, giving yourself a break from the daily grind, keeping yourself fresh.

internal dialogue:
"take a nap, you've worked out all this week."
"you're tired, you deserve a nap."
"if you nap, you won't be able to fall asleep later."
"it's one more day until friday. man up, workout, just do it!"
i needed to workout. i wouldn't feel complete.
the music flooded in my head, my energy returned, i was fired up even for a light, variety day.

1) kb turkish get-up 53# - 10 minutes

2) kb windmill #44 one ladder, 5 rungs

3) kb one arm swing - 5:00 minutes switching every 5 reps

soundtrack: filter "hey man nice shot"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009



i saw a rabbit today. what makes it odd, it was lingering around in a parking lot at my work, in the middle of the city. two things come to mind - "watership down" and "bugs bunny". let's ignore bugs for now. if you haven't read "watership down", it's an amazing book by richard adams. a fantasy story about a small group of rabbits living in their natural environment, escaping the destruction of their warren and seeking out a new home for their survival. they are anthropomorphised, possessing their own culture and language.
i find that gireviks, bodybuilders, lifters, martial artists, etc - we all have our own language and physical culture we develop, follow, learn and/or teach. it's amazing the support, encouragement, motivation and assistance we are able to provide, give or receive from one another.
let's keep it strong.

training changes with the weather. it was very nice outside. i forget how much i love sled training.

1) forward sled drag, holding straps - 7 minutes

2)backward sled drag, holding straps - 7 minutes

3) one arm kb cleans - 5:00 minutes x 5 reps

4) pull-ups followed with ring dips - 3 x amap (as many as possible)

5a) double kb swings 3 x 6 reps
5b) double kb rack squats 3 x 6 reps

6) kettlebell farmer walks 2 x 100 feet

7) kb get-up situps - 2 x 15 reps

soundtrack: jaydiohead "optimistic moment"

Monday, May 18, 2009



double kettlebell work with 2x35#

1a) push press 3 x 15
1b) bent over rows 3 x 15

2a) anchored cleans 2 x 10l/10r
2b) seesaw press 3 x 10l/10r

3a) swing 3 x 10
3b) rack squat 3 x 10

4) v-ups 2 x 20

didn't time myself. minimal rest.

soundtrack: tool "sober"

Sunday, May 17, 2009



saturday, i had 10 minutes for a workout.

1) double kettlebell (2x35#) clean & presses 10 x 5 reps
each minute - on the minute

keeping form was key. quite a few open palm presses. no plan, just wanted to do 50 reps.

soundtrack: the knife "silent shout"

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My blog is officially live. My attempt to slow down, document events and experiences for anyone who wishes to listen... or read.
Let's do this.