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

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.