Monday, March 31, 2008

Overhead Squat Update

Today's workout was 4 sets of 11. I got the first two, but then for sets 3 and 4 I buckled right at 10 reps. Close.

After Friday or Saturday I will have to retest. We'll see... 115lbs is a lot harder than 95!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sale on Kettlebells

Any of you that have taken my workshops or classes on KB lifting probably already know that I am a big fan of the MuscleDriver brand of Kettlebells. Well they are always on sale to some degree or another, but of particular interest is a 30%+ discount on some important sizes;

for the ladies... there's a 12kg bell for about $45. It's the black one, which some may find more comfortable.

for the big guys; they also have some of their big bells on sale; their 40,44 & 48kg bells are all 30% off. This is a good deal, as they are almost always cheaper than other companies bulldogs and beasts.

so if you've been mulling it over, this might be the time to buy.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Still going (OHS)

Today's session called for 8 sets of 7 reps each at 115lbs. This was 56 reps or 6440lbs in about 20 minutes. Tough. About 293lbs/min, or about 5lbs a second. Add distance in there, and it's quite a lot of work!

The toughest workout at 95lbs was 6 sets of 7 before retesting... that was 3990lbs. Obviously my capacities are on the rise. It's a damn good feeling!

I am up for a retest in 5-7 days. The goal is about 15-19 reps at 115lbs. Wish me luck.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Theory of Overhead Squat

Here's an introduction to the basic mechanics of the OHS as taught by Crossfit generally and Nicole specifically.

And here's Coach explaining why the OHS is so much harder than the Back and Front variations.

He gets into some details about planes, moment arms etc... If it's been a while since you reviewed your anatomy text or studied biomechanics... don't be afraid to ask. I got A's in both :)

More thoughts on Squat

Here's some perspective...

a competitive (amateur) bodybuilder and FireFighter attempts to beat Nicole at HER game.

I don't want to be too critical, but notice his ROM... depth is much higher than Nicole's, his knees don't track over his feet... at the first clip (certification) he does 11 (terrible) squats with 95lbs, at a bodyweight > 200lbs. I've seen another like this where Nicole does about 24 to beat her opponent. He's not even doing the same amount of work as she is because his depth is so shallow! Humbling it is!

Later, it shows the 'new and improved' Jesse hitting several reps at 135lbs. He claims his current max is 15 reps with the 135. Not bad!

3-19-2008: Jason Struck (159lbs) tests up with the 115lb OHS. Result: 13reps.

See you in 2 Weeks!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

OverHead Squat Mania!

2nd Favorite Exercise?

The Overhead Squat (OHS).
So, you're never gonna move the same loads, and if you just need high force production in the posterior chain, then start with the Deadlift! But if you are an athlete, martial artist, dancer or anyone that has to use the power of the legs as expressed through the core or the arms...

You're gonna have to OverHead Squat! If you can squat 300lbs, that's great. You should be able to Front Squat at least 210lbs, if not a little more. That's 70%. If you can't Overhead Squat 70% of what you Front Squat (49% of Back Squat at this point) then you have a weak core! Every bit of deficit between what you can Back Squat and what you can't do Overhead is energy leaking out of the system. It's force you can produce in the leg muscles that can't be expressed elsewhere, because you don't have the pelvis/torso stability to transfer it!

In Crossfit they have a benchmark; 15 reps with a load equal to bodyweight in the Overhead Squat. Very few have done it, and most who have are small women. I intend to exceed this benchmark as soon as I can. Being a long femured non-squatter, I have always dreaded the OHS. The core stability was one thing, but the overhead lock-out, shoulder mobility, hip mobility and just high workload for someone 'not built to squat' are punishing.

But I like a challenge. Here's what I am up against;

I started on 3/10/2008. I decided that lower weights and higher reps would help me get the stability and practice I needed. I tried 95lbs. I was able to hit 11 reps. Not bad. Good enough to work with in the program that I am using. So, after less than two weeks I decided to retest...
Here's what happened;

Please stayed posted, as I share more information about Overhead Squatting, and it's role in athletic training and olympic lifting. For now, I will be doing another 'pre-test' with 115lbs. Once I break the '21' line, I will move up to 135bs for reps. Once I break 21 reps with 135lbs, I'll be done with this! 21 reps with 135lbs suggests a 1RM in the 250lb ball park, but I know that won't be quite true. But maybe I will break 200lbs, which would be a pretty big benchmark.

PS: Bodyweight today is 162lbs, but thanks to the ZONE, I think that I might be more like 155lbs in a few weeks, so I might be burning this candle from both ends!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Power to the People!

There's a strength training revolution coming, and I believe that the Deadlift will be at the vanguard of this movement!

If you've discussed training with me before, you know that I am a big proponent of functional(defined) and relative(discussed) strength. I learned half of what I know from one coach; Pavel Tsatsouline. The most important lesson and fortuitous turn was to discover the Deadlift and the Power to the People methods and concepts so early in my training career.

As I have moved on to new challenges in strength, I always find myself falling back on my 'big pull'. Now at 160lbs, and deadlifting about 400, when I approach a stone or tire or clean or sandbag for the first time, it's really not too intimidating. Not tooting my own horn. I want you to know that if you are not sure where to start, start with the deadlift, and try to get that sucker heavy quick! Fist is bodyweight. That should come quickly. One and half times bodyweight is a good marker, but two times bodyweight is a milestone. 2.5 times bodyweight is the current standard to join the 'Power to the People' deadlifting team (more info here) and three times bodyweight makes you a human ant. A biological crane. And in all likelihood a decent jumper, sprinter and all around worker. When you start to make gains in the deadlift, be wary of who you tell, as invitations to 'moving parties' will become much more frequent.

Don't just take our word for it. Here's an eloquent piece from Greg Glassman, founder and head Coach of Crossfit;

If you'd like to start a journey like this, I'd recommend starting here:
Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American

And, Power to You, Comrade!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Judo Ne Waza

"Ground Work" techniques of Judo, as seen in IJF competition...

try to look past the music...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Free as in Spech; Not as in Beer

This is the best thing you will ever get for free. Take the time to print it up, read it over and give it some thought.

Love you too,


Friday, March 7, 2008

Sandbag and Stone again

I re-edited the videos with a new lift:

the power clean!


again, the bag is only 80lbs or so.


if you'd like to see more videos, you can always go here:

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kettlebell Workshop

Starting on Monday, March 24th, Crossfit RVA will be hosting me and my students for a six week kettlebell class.

Basically, this will be conducted not unlike any other 'session' based class. The first week will cover the most basic and foundational materials. By the sixth week, we will have learned some of the more advanced KB drills like the Snatch and the Turkish Get Up. Each week we will subdivide class time between warming up, instructing on technique, practice and a good workout using what we've learned. Within the individual weeks, time and attendance permitting, we will do progressively more advanced workouts. For instance, Monday might be pretty easy, with a lot of instruction and practice, but Saturday will be a lot less talk and a lot more walk!

Prices range from about $15 to less than $8 per class. Class size is usually about 2-5 students, so this is not a lot to pay for very hands on training!

We will be meeting in the mornings at Crossfit RVA. You can follow the link at the top to find out more about there location etc. During the week (m/w/f) we will be getting together from 7am to 8am. On Saturdays, we'll sleep in until 9am!

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to post them in the form of comments here on the blog. If you're wondering, I bet someone else is too.

If you don't know me already, you can get to know me better by perusing the blog, asking questions/posting comments or visiting the DragonDoor Instructors page;

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Olympic Lifting Workshop with one of America's Best

See cite for info:

This will be an all day event, for only $97, with Chris Wilkes, head Coach of OBX Weightlifting. If you are interested, there will not be another opportunity like this in Richmond for a while, so jump on it!

here's Chris Wilke's son, Coard, Clean and Jerking 160kg in competition. His technique is excellent.