Saturday, June 30, 2007

Ouch!!!! Dropped KB on my toe!

Much to my surprise, I managed to drop a 20kg KB on my left big toe two days ago. Let's just say that I am going to lose my big toe nail, and lose it quickly. Damn it! That means no track meet today which is a real bummer because I was looking forward to competing in the 50 meter dash at Cal State San Marcos today - oh well! Just like Pavel says, if I get injured "IT'S MY FAULT." Now it means nothing but wearing my MERRELL sport sandals all summer. Well at least the weather is nice and warm and I'll look and be ready for the beach :)

Instead of track meet / I decided to train:

Snatches w/24kg KB
12 sets x 5/5 = 120 reps

Chin Ups w/ 12kg

Military Press (no clean)w/20kg KB
8/8 x 4 sets 6/6 x 1 set

Fun workout today. Really enjoyed it! Off to LA for the weekend with my Yoana right now.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Having priorities in training and in life are obviously a good thing. Training wise I have narrowed down my goals to the following:

1) Maintain stability in lumbar spine and continue to heal from my Disc herniation last year.

2)Continue to sprint at least once per week and run as fast as I can. My goal is to return to running the 100 meters in less than 11 seconds (my PR is a 10.72). I would be very happy getting to a 10.8 again. Two meets ago I ran a 12.2 (worst race of my life) and then followed it up with an 11.7 (still slow, but much better than the 12 second joke). As long as my back tolerates it well I will continue to sprint. If there is pain, I will take a break. I would rather function well and feel great than sprint and live with pain. So far so good.

3)Get damn strong at pull ups and pressing. Pull ups with the BEAST (2 reps) and 2 reps with the BULLDOG on the Press. I'm close to getting one with the BEAST on the pull up (a couple of inches away from my chin.) My press is pathetically far away. Although I was very encouraged by what Kenneth Jay said at the June RKC, in order to Press Heavy you have to press all the time, and not light either. I have my work cut out for me on the press. I am naturally a much better puller than presser. I feel that the heavy pull ups will help my pressing.

4) Be able to do some pistols again. A couple of years ago I could bang out 5 reps on each leg with a 40 pound weight. Now I can do 1 rep with the 24kg on the right and ZERO reps with any weight (even bodyweight ) on my left. Since my back injury I have developed quite a left hip weakness that I am still trying to figure out. The jump stretch bands seem to be a nice help as it allows me to at least get down into the bottom position. My left psoas is tight, rigid and weak, I can feel it.

Tuesday Training

A-1 Weighted Pull Ups
24kg 5,5,5,5,4 = 24 reps (these felt really good - powerful pull!)

B-1 Clean + Squat + Press
32kg 3/3 x 5 sets

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Excellence is always a choice!

Although this is a "training blog" it's impossible for me to segregate my life into chunks and not integrate all other areas as well, whether it be spiritual, family, professional, etc. The way I see it, training is as much a character and moral challenge as it is a physical one. Where am I going with all of this? I can now see after being in the training profession for over 11 years that one of the most important factors that determines success whether it be in training, my marriage, or even as a strength coach, is my determination and will to be committed to EXCELLENCE. I must admit that after super long days and weeks of training clients sometimes my commitment to excellence in my training takes a back seat as just showing up to do the workout is a success for me. Like Coach Dan John says, most world class champion athletes built their foundation on "punch the clock" workouts. However, that does not take me off the hook. If I am not always committed to excellence that I am in deep weeds.

Having just recently returned from teaching at the RKC certification I am even more convinced of the simplicity of Pavel's take home message of "Strength is a skill."
Because strength truly is a skill we must absolutely ensure that our training is done properly or in an EXCELLENT manner as to develop our skill of whatever it is we are trying to do.

Here is a great quote from one of my favorite Christian authors and teachers Chuck Swindoll:

"Competetive excellence requires 100 percent all of the time. If you doubt that, try maintaining excellence by setting your standards at 92 percent. Or even 95 percent. People figure they're doing fine so long as they get somewhere near it. Excellence gets reduced to acceptable, and before long, acceptable doesn't seem worth the sweat if you can get by with adequate. After that, mediocrity is only a breath away."

The take home message for me from that is to PRACTICE not TRAIN. Instead of doing workouts, perform practice sessions. All it is a change of perspective and to REALLY FOCUS ON TECHNIQUE rather than exercise stimulation. Easier said than done, but it is and must me our focus in whatever we decide to do. For me it means raising the bar and raising my standards in every area of my life. It means doing less things but doing them well. Rather than being a jack of all trades, master of none, I want to be knowledgeable about many things, but master of ONE. You must decide what your ONE thing is.

Thursday / Speed Day at the Track ( I have a track meet on June 30th)
Warm Up

3 x 10 meters (95%)
3 x 20 meters (95%)

A-1 Double Clean and Press
24kgs 5 x 5 sets

B-1 Pistols
Left leg - used Stretch Band 3 x 3 sets
Right leg - 12kg 3 x 3 sets

* The left leg is much weaker as I am not able to perform a pistol at this time. Much practice is needed!

C-1 Weighted Chin Ups
16kg 8, 5, 3 = 16 reps

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer is Close!

Yoana and I have been walking alot on the beach the last couple of days which is nice because she has not been feeling well at all. The fact that we can get her outside moving is a huge blessing (for both of us). Summer has to be one of my favorite times of the year, isn't it for you to? I love the beach, the sun, the sound of the waves crashing down on the ocean floor, and just being outside. Life seems so simple when you lie down a beach towel, soak in some rays, listen to the waves, the sounds of seagulls flying overhead and take a nap. Thank God I am self employed and can schedule my day to where if I want to escape and go the beach with Yoana I can. That's what we did today and it was heavenly!!! Warm and sunny and not a cloud in the sky. Okay, enough of the sentimental stuff....

Training Today

A-1 Weighted Pull Ups
20kg 5,5,3,3

B-1 Clean + Squat + Press
24kg 5/5 x 5 sets

Short and Sweet!

A-1 Snatches
24kg 5/5 x 10 sets = 100 reps

B-1 Single Leg Deadlift
40kg 5/5 x 3 sets

A-1 Double Clean & Press
24kgs 5 x 5 sets

A-1 Single Clean and Press
24kg 5/5 x 5 sets

Monday, June 11, 2007

Just back from the June RKC....

Congratulations to all the new RKC's! They worked their butts off and earned their certification!

What a weekend? This was my first time as a Team Leader, 5th year in a row that I've been back, and I must say that the RKC system just keeps getting better. It was great finally getting to meet Rif in person and to meet and see Kenneth Jay talk. Kenneth is as nice as they come and his teaching and explanations are rock solid and very powerful. Rif is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable teachers I have ever met. He truly has been there and done that and has earned his stripes. His teaching style if full of energy and just makes sense. Brett Jones was great with his militant disciplinary approach and his style of teaching just seems to get the point across so effectively. San Jose strength coach Chris Holder was awesome as well and his teaching on the clean was very fantastic.

Pavel, well.......Pavel was Pavel. What a powerful teacher! He's the one who started this whole thing so we really have to give thanks to Pavel for all he has done. He is a leader of leaders and runs a top notch program. Seeing John Ducane and Dennis Armstrong is always great and what would we do without their guidance, wisdom, and work ethic. Also getting to meet the assistant instructors was great. The Assistants on my team Spencer and Greg were awesome and I couldn't have asked for better assistants. I also got to meet Brad Nelson which was cool as well as Joe Pavel. Seeing Jon Engum again as well as Doug Nepodal was awesome, such cool people!

I also have to give props to my wife for her awesome job as an Assistant considering she is 11 weeks pregnant. She is a trooper that's for sure. She was scheduled to be the team leader at the June RKC but we asked Pavel if we could swap just in case she didn't feel too well. Either way it worked out great because we both got to go and teach in some capacity!

There is so much to say about this program and the positive impact it has on people's life. It gives them hope and a sense of direction in the chaotic and information saturated fitness industry. To use a quote from Jesus, the RKC is a "light in a dark, dark world." It despenses from all the fluff and all the nonsense that people get involved with and gives people solid results producing techniques and principles. Without a doubt it is the best program and certification I have ever been involved with.

My group:
Will, Dave, Diane, Eric, Mark, Brett, Fran, Mike, Chad and Steve - great group! Period!

This was the first time in 5 years that everyone in my group has passed. Everyone passed the snatch test and everyone passed with flying colors on the technique testing and victim instruction. Great job guys!!!!

Probably like everyone else who attended the RKC last weekend, they are still flying high. I for sure am still riding the roller coaster high as the energy was contagious and the motivation factor was high. I am so grateful to be part of this program and what it means to me and Yoana in our lives. I can only hope that many more people will see the benefits of the RKC and will experience the life enhancing benefits that we have experienced over the last 5 years.

Rock on!