Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Full Body

This afternoon I kicked off my vacation with some Family Guy and an hour lifting weights:

Warm Up - 12k Kettlebell
Deadlifts - 8 x 135lbs; 5 x 183, 183, 183, 183
Front Squats - 8 x 20k, 63lbs, 40k, 40k, 40k
Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press - 7/7 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - 8/8 x T, 5/5 x #1

I felt a little drained from the workout two days ago. I'd like to make an A / B scheme work, training every second or third day.

I made it through the short work week without eating out and expect to hit my initial goal of 2 weeks without eating out on Sunday. I see no reason not to continue the trend. I have more time at work, am saving money, and have more energy at the end of the day.

Hopefully this weekend I will get my power rack into the basement. The area I am lifting in right now is graded towards a drain, so I have to choose between my toes or heels being higher on each set. I'd prefer to lift on a level surface.

Monday, December 29, 2008


After a full day at the office with no eating out, I came home and did this:

Warm Up - 12k Kettlebell
Kettlebell Snatches - 8/8 x 16k, 20k, 24k, 24k; 5/5 x 24k
Split Squats - 8/8 x BW, 12k, 12k, BW
Renegade Rows - 8/8 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - Reps on the Trainer, #1, and BBSA
Ten deadlifts of a 25lb block weight, five per hand

The hardest part of my day was choosing not to eat out - it dramatically changes how I invest in relationships with the people at work. I like them, so refusing an hour (or more) having fun getting lunch is tough. I think my overall productivity will improve though, along with the obvious health and financial benefits. Maybe I can start a trend

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Breaking the Addiction

This evening I setup my basement gym while streaming Netflix. As I found myself discretely stowing piece after piece of grip equipment, I couldn't help but laugh. It's only a matter of time before the affliction weakens further and my precious bounty is shipped off to some other distracted grip geek.

As it stands now, my active grip training arsenal is comprised of the following toys:

Torsion Spring Grippers (T, #1, BBSA, BBM, Easy #2, Hard #2)
Block Weights (25, 30, 35, 40)
Sledge Hammers (6, 8)
Two 2" Dexterity Balls
Ironmind Extensor Bands

Funny how after all this time, I return to the basics for hand strength. The equipment stowed:

60lb Dumbbell
Pinch Barbell with collars
2" Vertical Bar
1" Vertical Bar
Titans Telegraph Key Replica
2.5" Dumbbell with collars
25lbs+ of bending stock
Four pairs of bending wraps
40 Decks of Cards
Two 35lb Plates
Four Pony Clamps
Gripper accessories - strap hold setup, little washers, big washers, chokers, coc card, etc
An unopened Sentry Tuff cloth
Three 1.25" Dexterity Balls
2.5" Rolling Handle
2 Loading PIns
Vice Gripper

To any sane person, the list appears absurd. Heavy is the burden I must bear...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Dew Point

In the past week, the weather has gone from below zero, to heavy snow, to over 50 degrees and raining. Today's warm weather with heavy fog made everything metal in my garage sweat...

I spent the day wiping off equipment and carrying it downstairs. 650lbs of iron later, I am tired and the basement is a mess.

I have decided to keep the power rack but still need to bring it inside. The tool is versatile enough to justify the space requirements. I did decide to part with an old olympic barbell, olympic dumbbells, spikes, horseshoes, two Chicago phone books, a weight attachment for a lifting belt, and a 10lb sledge hammer head. I am still debating on the 35lb plates and duffel I planned to make a sandbag with.

I realize now that I became a collector of strength training equipment. I am not sure when it happened, but the volume of metal accumulated was excessive. My identity has been tied up in the fact that I lift weights, which lead to me view each new purchase as a personal improvement. Recognizing this indicates my priorities have shifted. I want lifting to be something I do, not how I define who I am.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Full Body

Fear of soreness due to infrequent training drove this one more than anything:

Warm up with 12k Kettlebell
Deadlifts - 8 x 60k, 183lbs, 183lbs, 183lbs
Front Squats - 8 x BW, 20k, 65lbs; 5 x 40k, 40k, 40k
Bottoms Up Kettlebell Press - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Set of 5/5 deadlifts with 25lb block weight
Reps on grippers - Trainer, #1, #1

I need to step up my mobility and stability work, regardless of overall training frequency. I can feel my torso wanting to rotate during deadlifts and front squats, which is a clear indicator my hip imbalance is returning. Presses were down, due to not pressing. Grip work is doing just fine.

Over the course of this week, I have made significant progress on the nutritional front. Last Sunday I made the decision to cease eating out during lunch at work, as well as to take a two week break from eating out all together. So far I am 5 days in and feeling pretty good about it.  Being on vacation helps, but even when working, going out to eat is a huge time and money sink.

Part of what motivates this change is my yearly budget review. If I really tighten my finances down, I have the ability to pay my mortgage off in 5-7 years, which at 32-34 would have me with minimal living expenses. The world of freedom that opens is enticing, and I'm going to use that to create the intrinsic motivation needed to rebalance my lifestyle.

I shipped off a bunch of equipment to guys on the Gripboard today. I derive satisfaction from getting the things I am not using out of my home. I also like to think a deal on a new piece of equipment makes someone else happy. The effort I'd originally planned to finish going through my home gym has not happened over vacation. I have no reason to rush it, but I will be happy once everything is pared down to the essentials.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lower at Home

This morning I opted for a lower only workout in the basement:

Warm Up - 12k Kettlebell
Deadlifts - 8 x 60k; 5 x 183lbs, 183lbs, 183lbs, 183lbs
Front Squats - 8 x 20k, 6 x 65lbs, 65lbs, 5 x 40k, 40k

Kettlebell Circuit (60s on, 30s off):
24k Two Arm Swings
16k One Arm Cleans
BW Split Squats
24k Two Arm Swings
12k Quarter Overhead Squats

The session was pretty good, though I can tell there was a week since my last one. I may do an upper workout tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Light Cardio

This morning I moved most of my remaining plates and weight tree into the basement. It was work.

Last night I posted some grip items I do not need for sale on the gripboard. That's the remainder of my redundant equipment. Now I am revisiting what I actually use to train. Rather than pack the basement full of metal, I am only bringing stuff down as I use it.  I'd guess 60-70% of my training equipment remains in the garage right now.

I keep debating on whether or not to bring the power rack. It's a huge pain to move. The only exercise I can't do without it is back squats, which I rarely do anyway. My parents are dropping off a dip / chin stand they wanted to get rid of this weekend, so I could use that for chins, dips, and leg raises - if needed. Given my upper trap dominance, touchy shoulders, and inclination towards unilateral exercises, even that may be overkill.

Most of this stems from a revised perspective on training - use the minimum tools necessary to get the job done. There's no need to limit myself for the sake of using less, but I am very prone to distraction. Considering where my training is at, things like chains, special barbells, and odd feats of strength just take away from long term success.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I got home a little late this evening, but we had a round of layoffs at work and I drove home in several inches of snow, so there was some tension to release.

Warm Up - 12k Kettlebell Swings, Presses, Snatches
Deadlifts - 8 x 60k, 80k, 80k, 80k
KB Squats - 8 x BW, 16k, 24k, 32k, 40k, 40k, 40k
Renegade Rows - 8/8 x 16k; 6/6 x 20k, 20k
Grippers - 10/10 x T; 8/8 x #1, #1, #1
Single Arm Curls - 7/7 x 12k, 12k
Tricep Presses - 8 x 12k, 12k

Overall it was a fine session - my wife and I watched a movie on Netflix while I trained. The streaming movies feature is awesome, totally worth nine bucks a month. My energy levels feel pretty good right now too.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Little Dizzy

I am still struggling with making my workouts. I need to figure it out, but at least today I got something in:

Warm Up with 12k Kettlebell
KB Snatches: 8/8 x 16k, 20k, 24k, 24k
Split Squats: 8/8 x BW, 12k, 12k
Bottoms Up Press: 8/8 x 16k, 16k
Grippers - Reps with Trainer and #1

I skipped renegade rows due to getting rather dizzy during the split squats and presses. I jumped the snatches up pretty quickly and my conditioning is not really there for it. The 24k bell just feels far more comfortable due to a narrower handle than my 20k one.

It looks like I'll be parting with my 40k kettlebell tomorrow morning for a mere $100. I guess it is a good lesson in the economy of buying only what I need. My 8 45lb plates are still up for sale, who knows how low I'll have to go to move them. Once this stuff is gone, I've got a pile of grip tools to move on the gripboard. I hope to have my gym fully consolidated and in the basement by year end.

I bought my first car today. Even though I've been driving it for the past 6 months, owning it feels different.

Some kettlbell infomercial came out and is advertising online, on my blog of all places! The product is terrible, but the video is entertaining and the ad pays well when someone clicks it. Not sure what to do next? Clicky clicky...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Basement Deadlifts

I did this one while streaming a movie via Netflix - I might have to keep it after the free trial is up.

Deadlifts - 8 x 155, 165, 175, 175, 175
Squats - 8 x BW, 16k, 24k, 32k, 32k, 32k
Bottoms Up Press - 5/5 x 16k; 6/6 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - Some reps with the Trainer and #1

Overall a fine workout. My strength is slowly coming back.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ill Effects

I went to train this evening, but was hit with stomach cramps after warming up. I believe poor food choices are the primary cause. Actually thinking about it, in the last 48 hours I've eaten an unreasonable amount of junk:

Dinner Saturday - Pizza Hut
Lunch Sunday - Barnellis
Dinner Sunday - Bowling Alley Nachos
Lunch Today - Fuddruckers

Anyway, I need to clean things up and get on with it. I did stretch yesterday. I'll train tomorrow.

I might have a buyer for the 8 45lb plates. We'll see if it pans out tomorrow evening.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Saturday Session

I did this one while watching Bigger, Stronger, Faster. It's an interesting movie.

Warm Up - 12k Kettlebell Swings, Snatches, Presses
KB Snatches - 8/8 x 16k, 20k, 20k, 20k
Split Squats - 8/8 x BW, 12k, 12k
Bottoms Up Press - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Renegade Rows - 8/8 x 16k, 16k
Grippers - Reps with the Trainer and #1

Moving my weights into the basement has inspired me to pare things down. I put 600lbs of assorted weights on Craigs List this morning. Hopefully it sells fast. Unless my deadlift magically jumps over 450lbs, I'll never miss them.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Light Deadlifts

This evening I finally brought my barbell down to the basement:

Warm Up with 12k Kettlebell
Deadlifts - 8 x 50k, 70k, 70k, 70k
Squats - 8 x BW, 12k, 20k, 24k, 24k, 24k
Renegade Rows - 8/8 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Grippers - #T and #1

The deadlifts and squats were tiring. It is annoying how much ground I have lost. On the bright side, I should get it back quickly. I did stretch and do soft tissue work yesterday. My rows are much better for it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Slow Ramp Up

Saturday I did soft tissue work and stretched. Sunday I rested. Today I trained:

Warm Up - Swings, Snatches, Presses with 12k Kettlebell
Kettlebell Snatches - 8/8 x 16k, 20k, 20k
Bottoms Up Presses - 5/5 x 16k, 16k, 16k
Split Squats - 8/8 x BW, BW, BW
Carry 110k in plates down to the basement
Light Grippers

I felt like I could do more, but I decided to hold back. Today at work we had a group meeting with around 2 dozen people. I would guess a third of them had some sort of cold. I made a point to leave on time and have been attending to my recovery well, so hopefully I will dodge this one.

I drove in the snow for the first time today. It is not fun.