Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sprinter vs Businessman

Hat tip to Coach Sommer at Gymnastic Bodies:

Volume Wk5 W/O1

So - yesterday lunchtime I was about to head to the gym but developed a stomach ache. I was fasting (I hadn't eaten since the evening before), but this was no hunger. I skipped training and the pain developed in to the afternoon like a tight knot.

It was most acute at 1900hrs and so I retired to bed. I slept soundly for the next three hours awaking at 1000hrs feeling pretty much better.I figured I would stay in bed, continue the fast and see what the morning brought. Sleep was quite good but I kept waking a few hours before dawn as my body felt refreshed. I had slept enough.

This morning I was on a double fast - which saw me down to 82kg. I felt absolutely fine - no hunger pangs or any discomfort. At lunchtime I felt absolutely BRUTAL! I knew I was in really good shape and psyched to hit the gym. All on the back of a comfortable 40 hour fast (this is a record for me I think). The results below pretty much amazed me. They were much more than I was expecting.

I took longer rests as the gym was busy and there were several acquaintances in there who I ended up chatting to. I ended up with around 5mins rest between sets of pistols - punctuated by the ICMLs.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (50 mins)
1. Rowing (Medium 1x500m 00:01:42)
2a. Pistols (8x52kg/38kg, 8x52kg/38kg, 8x52kg/38kg, 8x52kg/38kg)
2b. Ice Cream Maker Lever to Skin the Cat (8, 8, 8)
3a. Planche Press Ups (8, 8, 8)
3b. Wall Walk/BackBridge (15s, 15s, 15s)
4. One Arm Chins (12x37kg/33kg, 12x37kg/33kg, 10/12x37kg/33kg)

Bolded are improvement figures and are followed by my target figures. I would not be inclined to do many 40 hour fasts but can see them fitting in to a bi-monthly or quarterly pattern (probably the latter as I consider this an outlier event - and TBH, I would have trouble eating 40 hours worth of food in my feeding window). Another use would be to break a plateau. Going in so light, psyched and energised clearly has a payback.

I am also starting to see that despite earlier reservations about micro managing my numbers (sets, reps and weights), and simply going by instinct and perceived exertion, I have got way more gas in the tank.

I figure that Inner-Asclepius (IA), wants to keep some headroom (in fact quite a bit of headroom), if he can. Maybe in case we get jumped by a lion en-route home after a successful hunt (the smell of a fresh kill being carried by some comparatively slow and weak hors-d'oeuvre), must have been very enticing. Focusing on the numbers is allowing me to work harder and really drill down to IA.

Great session. Really happy with it. Totally psyched. :)

Sunday, 28 March 2010


Sooner or later all 'movements' tend to thrash themselves to death on the rocks. Like all groups that reach a maturation stage, paleo seems to be splintering. It happens in all activities.

Take sports. I like rock climbing. The mountaineers originally looked down on rock climbers (the latter being viewed as preparation for the former). Rock climbers split in to aid climbing and 'trad'. Trad-heads looked down on aid climbers (the 'whack and dangle' brigade). From the trad movement came sport climbing (with bolted routes and rehearsal of moves on the rock). Tradders preferred their own 'onsight' ethic. More recently has come the development of bouldering in to a unique discipline. Route climbers asked how anything so small as a boulder problem could be worthwhile.

In between have come several climbing shades of grey - preinspection of routes/working of climbs/pinkpointing, redpointing, headpointing, use of chalk, indoor climbing (is it 'real climbing' etc...) and competition climbing - which have all served to divide the sport at some level.

It is a natural consequence of maturation. As an idea, philosophy or movement becomes more mature, different themes are explored and ideas are mined to their logical conclusion (if not beyond). Sport, politics, science and religion all suffer from this to some degree.

I can see a signs of a similar split appearing in paleo. As people become more familiar with it, and have their own unique success, we get more gurus. Their way is the only way. Now me, I reckon we are all false prophets.

I don't blame these self anointed 'gurus' nor the more modest contributors who clearly do offer leadership in the paleosphere. There are plenty of people out there who are putting out fantastic information and this should be recognised. But the part of the problem is the desire of people who want to be lead. They want to follow paleo-by-numbers. They want to be told what to eat, when and how much. What exercise, when to do it and how much.

I bloody hate car-analogies. If you are driving a car, let's say some vintage sports car, would you contact the guy in a SUV behind you when to fill up with gas or when to change gear? Nope! You are going to respond to the needs of your own car not his. Your are going to watch your fuel gauge and listen to the revs of your own engine. You know the basics - your car needs gas and oil. Listen to the revs and change gear accordingly. When behind the wheel of your 'classic' don't be asking SUV-guy for details. Like I said I hate car analogies.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Extraordinary Humans: Obesity

Trashy cable sometimes turns up good TV. LivingIt tonight featured a program called "Extraordinary Humans: Obesity". There was some very interesting animations and graphics along with slightly more 'progressive' interpretation of obesity that the usual 'calories in vs calories out' line:

  • Documentary using high-tech animation to travel inside the bodies of overweight individuals. By investigating the astonishing internal mechanics of these people, the programme explores just how their bodies differ from those of average-sized people.

Most of the usual players were there ghrelin and leptin - and also some more 'exotic' drivers - namely Cushing's Syndrome which affects Cortisol (the stress hormone).

Something I found quite interesting was the observation that normally obese males put on abdominal fat. Now Sumo wrestlers, whom we assume to be obese, put on subcutaneous fat. The latter is more accessible to the body as a source of energy and provides a protective layer against impact. Hormones and genetics nicely combining and illustrating the complexity of the issue once again.

Win Hill

Today I embarked on an 18 kilometer walk through the Peak District taking in the superbly named Win Hill and Lose Hill. It was the first real test of both my Vibram Five Fingers and fasted-rambling.

Despite a mild tension in my right hip towards the end of the walk (a historic issue), the fasted state proved to be non-detrimental and there were no significant problems. I never felt hungry nor short of energy.

The Five fingers made crossing wet ground tricky, and on some section my feet were cold, but I was wearing shorts and maybe leggings would do the trick in reducing heat loss. It was windy on the summits and along the ridges and you quickly cool down your extremities. Hands and Vibramed feet in particular.

On reflection I can feel the effects of toe independence on my foot. Where the toe joins the foot I can feel the effects of exertion. I took a Methuselah-esque V5F shot on the summit of Win Hill overlooking Ladybower Reservoir.

My confidence in both my footwear and the nature if fasted rambling is that I propose to undertake some further walks of a greater intensity in the near future in both V5F and fasted.

You know it is odd to feel like this. In my carb-driven days walks would be little more than a snack-fest. Like the modern marathon, regular refeeds would be second nature. No more. I just tuck in to my fat stores as if by magic. I am not particularly hungry tonight, but as and when my body wants more fat, I am sure it will manipulate my fat stores as required. And the amount my body needs to replenish the fat? Well sure, my body will manage my hunger according. This is nothing short of amazing.

The afternoon was punctuated by a Lau Gar grading and then some car washing. I say 'car washing' but it was a soapy water fight with the kids that involved cleaning of cars as a byproduct. Great fun for us all. Now if only this game would transpose to pot washing.....

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Volume Wk4 W/O2

Monday's session had added upper body content - and I am 'feeling it' this week - hence resting last night and working out tonight instead. This, coupled with some severe Horse Riding Stance action in my Lau Gar sessions, means I need to adjust my work load.

Tonight will be of an upper body focus and that will be it for the week. I have a big walk planned on Saturday morning so need to keep some gas in the tank for the hills.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (40 mins)

1. Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
2. Ring Routine to Chins/RopeClimb (8, 7, 7)
3a. Frog Planche (5x2, 5x2, 5x2)
3b. Cuts to Splits (3x3, 3x3, 3x3)
3c. Fingerboard - Large Rungs (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1)

There was no place for handstands in this routine. It was dusk and starting to drizzle when I began to train. The sprints felt good. I felt light and springy on my toes. The rain made it all very elemental.

The ring however, kicked my ass. Not so much the main ring routine - indeed the (tucked) back levers felt slightly more solid. But the chins at the end felt very tough. On sets two and three I had to cut reps. The planche work also felt tough. The tuck planche success of my recent GTG approach are a distant memory. I couldn't tuck for toffee today. The shoulders are clearly tired. Same story with the fingerboard. There was no chance of getting off the big rungs today.

I feel like I have a mild cold coming on (Man-Flu?). Some movements felt harder than they should, and one or two felt easier. I need to listen to my body and adjust. Four weeks (which means about ten or twelve workouts), to go until deload. Reckon I will keep at it, knowing that a rest/deload phase is imminent. I just need to make sure I don't go overboard and pick up an injury.

I enjoyed tonight's workout - particularly the sprints and the main ring routine itself, but there are signs!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Volume Wk4 W/O1

This week I am aiming for a BAB structure. But as I did not complete the supplementary exercises on Friday, one or two upper-body extras are included in this workout:

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1. Rowing (Easy 1x500m 00:01:50)
2. Pistols (8x44kg/38kg, 8x44kg/38kg, 8x44kg/38kg)
3a. Ice Cream Maker Lever (8, 8, 8)
3b. Planche Press Ups (8, 8, 8)
4. Wall Walk/BackBridge (15s, 15s, 15s)

I began with an easy row. Just feeling the movement and stretching out. I kept the workout quite short but with quality rests of three minutes.

The Backbridges felt great. My shoulders and back felt quite supple. Arching off a higher platform for my feet is obviously assisting.

I could have done more ICMs and PPUs but it is as well to just stick with the prescribed reps adn sets. There will be time again to step it up next week.

The pistols were done with 48kg - well over my itended amount. Again, I could have done a bit more so on Friday I will add a set.

I got 'recognised' by someone today - my reputation precedes me. She approached me looking at my V5F and said "You must be the Jumping Man". This was a new one on me. I thought I was Handstand Guy and Backbridge Man. She approached me again later to discuss some finer training points. I saw using kettlebells and doing snatch work and Turkish Get Ups - so we had quite a bit in common.

Tonight I will get on my fingerboard and complete the following:

5a. Ring Cuts (3x3-way)
5b. Fingerboard (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5+ x1)

* Update: The first set of rungwork was on large rungs. The next set was on medium rungs and the last three sets on small rungs. I will aim for all sets to be performed on the small rungs next time.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Volume Wk3 W/O3

The big change here is pushing the last set on the Deadlifts (not to failure), and pushing the last set on the fingerboard (to failure).

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a. Deadlift (5x88kg, 3x107kg 3/1x120kg)
2a. HSPU/Press/Snatch (12x14kg, 12x14kg, 11/12x14kg)
2b. One Arm Chins (12x33kg/29kg, 12x33kg/29kg, 12x33kg/29kg)

The deadlifts felt quite easy and I did three on the last set rather than 1. I am going to have to ramp the weights up a bit. Although I fell short of one rep on the Dumbell Press, on the One Arm Chins I rocked in with 33kg rather than 29kg. (Thinking back, I think I have messed up on my weights last week and was doing much heavier weights than I should have. That is the problem of trying to offset weights on the fly when fatigued). Big gains anyway.

I spent the afternoon helping out in Captain Kid's school. I managed to 'amaze' a few kids in her class with a magic trick called The French Drop. (My one and only magic trick). I have been using this for about thirty years and is amazingly simple and convincing (the effect is that you make small items like coins disappear and then reappear from behind someones ear).

The formal syllabus was art. Specifically the art of Henri Rousseau and his jungle paintings in particular. I assisted where I could but art is not my strong point. However, I ended up drawing an elephant for one of the kids. Then another. Then another and so on. As elephants go, the drawing were a bit rubbish (rubbish for an adult at any rate)...but in the kingdom of the blind and all that..... At the end of the class a lad came up to me and said that he thought I was a better artist than Henri Rousseau! Made me laugh. Then I made a coin disappear right under his nose.

A few onlookers who had been queueing for an elephant saw the coin disappear and that was it. Pandemonium. The kids pursued me like the living dead around the classroom murmuring "magic" and "elephant", thrusting pencils, paper and 'things to make disappear' at me as they advanced.

Great fun all round. I'd love to go back and help out again - not least with a games lesson. It'd be a good learning opportunity for us all.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Volume Wk3 W/O2

A great day for a workout! Sunny skies with broken clouds to offer occasional cooling.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1. Rowing (1x500m 00:01:32)
2. Pistols (8x38kg, 8x38kg, 8x38kg, 8x38kg)
3a. Wall Walk/BackBridge (15s, 15s, 15s)
3b. Cuts (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)

I warmed up outside and after the usual routine, did a few minutes of explosive jumping on to a 4ft pedestal. Then I headed indoors....the rowing was a breaker - and required a few minutes recovery before I could hit the pistols. I put another set on the pistols and reckon I can 'up' the weight to get my basic three sets. i took a full three minutes between sets. Quality is the name of the game (and this also constitutes a move away from my 'paleo' understanding/ignorance). Three minutes is a loooooooooong time on planet Asclepius, so I had to pop off a few easy chins and lock-offs to break things up.

The backbridge and cuts were quite leisurely and their spacing allowed me to do some handstands for time. Just to get the technique refined.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Volume Wk3 W/O1

So here we go. Full beans time. Short of failure, but as close as I can get to it as possible. This weeks ABC will precede a BAB workout next week. It is easy to overcook it on the elbows and shoulders with this kind of routine.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (40 mins)

1a. Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
1b. Frog/Tuck Planche (5x2s, 5x2s, 5x2s)

2a. Ring Routine to Chins/RopeClimb (8, 7, 7)

3a. Cuts (1x20, 1x20, 1x20)
3b. Fingerboard (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1)

4. Handstand Straddle (Play@LGKF for time)

I tried to crush the f**k out of the ring routine which left little in the tank for the pull-ups at the end! The routine comprises of a few moves including back lever and inverted pull up. It is finished with a body lever for time....and THEN goes to pull ups. I had to simply rest about three minutes between attempts on the rings and then split of the cuts and fingerboard work. Adapt.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Fat Cycling

Hat tip to TheGymMonkey through whose blog I was led to this paper discussing Lance Armstrong's performance before and after testicular cancer:
  • We propose that his dramatic improvement in recovery between stages, the most important factor in winning multi-day stage races, is due to his unilateral orchiectomy, a procedure that results in permanent changes in serum hormones. These hormonal changes, specifically an increase in gonadotropins (and prolactin) required to maintain serum testosterone levels, alter fuel metabolism; increasing hormone sensitive lipase expression and activity, promoting increased free fatty acid (FFA) mobilization to, and utilization by, muscles, thereby decreasing the requirement to expend limiting glycogen stores before, during and after exercise.

They go on to note:

  • Such hormonal changes also have been associated with ketone body production, improvements in muscle repair and haematocrit levels and may facilitate the loss of body weight, thereby increasing power to weight ratio. Taken together, these hormonal changes act to limit glycogen utilization, delay fatigue and enhance recovery thereby allowing for optimal performances on a day-to-day basis.

TheGymMonkey pulls the paper apart in a little more detail here. (And if you want to bone-up on hormone sensitive lipase then you could do worse than read this link.)

For me there does seem to be a slight irony in the fact that it is recommended we carb-up for endurance events - from the marathon to days out on the hills - it is all about carb drinks, fruit cake and the like.

But the most significant bit has to be ketoadaption - the hormonal expression of which, "act[s] to limit glycogen utilization, delay fatigue and enhance recovery thereby allowing for optimal performances on a day-to-day basis".

If you could produce an 'energy drink' with that kind of property, you'd be a rich person.

Volume Wk2 W/O3

So this is the final session of the ramp up phase. Next week and for the following six weeks, I will switch to more of an ABA, BAB split (as opposed to the current ABA, ABA - although my third workout is full body). I tweak the details on-the-fly. As always weights and reps shown below are indicative.

Section three below is completed in the evening.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1a. Deadlift (3x88kg, 3x101kg 3x113kg)
1b. HSPU/Press/Snatch (12x14kg, 12x14kg, 12x14kg)
2a. Ice Cream Maker Lever (8, 8, 8)
2b. One Arm Chins (12x27kg, 12x27kg, 12x27kg)

3a. Planche Press Ups (8, 8, 8)
3b. Splits (2x10s, 2x10s, 2x10s)
3c. Fingerboard (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Volume Wk2 W/O2

So the following is still a deloaded phase of 90-95%.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (35 mins)
1. Rowing 1x500m 00:01:30
2. Pistols (8x36kg, 8x36kg, 8x36kg)
3a. Wall Walk/BackBridge (2, 2, 2)
3b. Cuts (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)

The rowing was pretty aggressive on a resistance of 10. I could get it under 00:01:30 with a bit of a push in the last 200m. I can see myself undertaking another O'Neill Test soon.

I had to adjust the support weight and offset with dumbells to achieve the target load. I made sure of 3 minutes rest between pistols (another compromise against my earlier 'paleo' leanings - still there is no paleo guide).

I finished with some handstand work outdoors. I have taken to straddle-handstand as I can hold this for some time - even with tired arms.

Cracking stuff and ready to give it berries next week. Heck, even Friday's workout should be a good one if I feel this psyched for it.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Volume Wk2 W/O1

A big high pressure has settled over the UK. It is nice to be out in the sunshine - although in the shade it is cold. If only my garage had a sunroof!

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (40 mins)

1a. Sprinting (1x15s, 1x15s, 1x15s)
1b. Frog/Tuck Planche (5x2s, 5x2s, 5x2s)
2a. Ring Routine to Chins/RopeClimb (9, 9, 9)
2b. Cuts (2x10, 2x10, 2x10)
2c. Fingerboard (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1)
3. Handstand Straddle (Play@LGKF for time)

I am still in a deloaded/ramping up phase. I intend to push a little harder than last week, but not give it 'all the cookies' until next week. I went bouldering yesterday and tried to limit exertion to fingery stuff - again at a deloaded intensity.

Today I threw in some tucks to the planches. Sometimes I set the planche up just right and feel I can hold it there for a lot longer than two seconds. But I must stick to my intensity map. Next week I will 'unleash' and see what I can produce. It is nice to feel that I am straining at the leash - just got to make sure my enthusiasm does not spill in to injury.

So far so good.

Am I Normal?

A quick 'heads up'. Tomorrow night the ever-entertaining Radio Four will feature an item on aging. The program is called Am I Normal? The excerpts I have heard so far suggest this will be a facinating program:

  • Am I normal for my age? Vivienne Parry examines our perceptions and the realities of what happens to us as we get older. She unpicks the differences between ageing and disease and asks if there is such a thing as normal ageing.

    It happens to us all; nothing can hold back the tide of time. The natural process of ageing not only affects our appearance and how our bodies respond to general wear and tear, but also how we succumb to and are affected by illness. Yet it seems, no one ages in the same way. Middle age for some of us doesn't end until we're well into our 70s, whereas some people feel old before their time.

    The programme asks what will happen to us when we age normally? And indeed is there such a thing as a normal ageing process? Genes, lifestyle choices, environment and even social class all play a part.

    How we are ageing is changing too. We are living longer and dying quicker. Professor of geriatric medicine Raymond Tallis says that, 'Despite the fact that we're living longer, the period of chronic illness or disability before death is shrinking.' Advances in modern medicine have postponed many diseases of old age to such an extent that we live longer, healthier lives before succumbing when we are really old and frail and therefore die relatively quickly.

    But not everyone is still running marathons at 75 or constantly feels 15 years younger than their actual age. And the phrase 'you're only as old as you feel' can be pretty depressing to some people. So what is normal for a certain age? How can we measure it? And does it really matter?

The comment about the period of 'chronic illness or disability before death is shrinking' caught my because I would not have thought this would be the case.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

You Are What You Think

John Bargh, Mark Chen and Lara Burrows gave word puzzles to 30 psychology undergraduates. The undergraduates were give one of two word-based puzzles to complete. The words in one of the puzzles were associated with the elderly - for example "Florida", "ancient" and "wise" and the words in the second puzzle were neutral, with no firm associations. The students were asked to complete the puzzle and then leave the test room and exit the building.

The research team had no interest the results of the word-puzzles themselves. What they were interested in was the impact of the words in puzzle upon subsequent behaviour. What the researchers did was to discreetly time the subjects on their exit from the assessment room, down the hall to an elevator:
  • "Students who had been given the puzzle featuring elderly related words took, on average, a whole second longer to make the walk - an increase from 7.3 to 8.3 seconds. They had picked up one of the perceived traits of the elderly: slower walking speed." (Mind Hacks by Tom Stafford and Matt Webb)

This idea fascinates me (the experiment itself is given another airing with a bit more analysis in Malcolm Gladwell's Blink) . What I especially like is that just as using a simple 'desert island' concept to convey the whole notion of the paleo diet (to the extent that ANYONE can pretty much 'get it' in the course of a minute, the romanticised connotation which subsequently come to mind can lead to a positive feed back mechanism which supports the approach. This is in stark contrast to the standard food pyramid and it prescription of hunger or narcissistic pursuit of muscle (which may lead to or be an expression of body dysmorphia).

The cold showers, the fasting, the Vibram Five Fingers, the sprinting in the woods and the Kill Carries - all tick the paleo cliches - but serve to bolster my application and resolve to train. To train hard and to train well. To focus beyond appearance and beyond the self, on towards the immediate environment around and our interaction with it.

Sounds like a recipe for success to me!

Friday, 5 March 2010

Don't Make Time. Spend The Time You Have Wisely

I have heard a lot in my time about having 'no time' to do some exercise. Worse still I see people stress themselves out by trying to 'make time'. There is a third way; choose to develop the benefit of a task you already HAVE to do. Let me explain.

I have to drop off CK at school each day and/or pick her up in the evening. This is something I do en route to and from work. In addition I have been trying to walk a lot more. Usually during my lunch hour (actually 30 minutes) each day I will head out for a walk of 30 minutes or so. My phone has an inbuilt radio which I may listen to, or I might simply let my mind wander.

Occasionally I get to work from home. Now on these days I could try to save time by dropping CK off at school in the morning and pick her up in the afternoon using the car. By using the car I save 20 minutes on each return journey. So with 40 minutes I have saved in a day, I guess I can fit my daily walk in. But there is a better way.

When working from home I choose to escort CK to and from school on foot. Walking to the school takes 15 minutes each way. But as I see it, these are the benefits:
  • During the walk to school in the morning and the walk from school in the evening I am accompanied by Captain Kid. This is a great time to chat and interact with her.

    I have noticed that if I pick her up in the car (me in the front and her in the back), she is MUCH less communicative. The car is not optimised for 'interaction', we cannot see each other, we are not facing one another, the seats form a barrier and I am concentrating on driving. It is difficult to get anything out of her! She ignores my questions and this can lead to a tension that can permeate the evening. But, on foot the interaction is all the sweeter.

    During the walk we embrace 'play'. We can hold hands. We can engage in sprints (she rarely walks at the same speed anywhere), and we simply have quality TIME to spend with one another. It is a most relaxing walk and good fun. She opens up and tells me about her day. We are equals rather than driver and passenger. The whole travelling dynamic is different.

The other side of the task:

  • Walking back from school in the morning and to school in the afternoon (to pick CK up)are legs of the journey where I walk alone. During this time I can relax and let my mind wander. I tend to focus on my posture - imagining I am being pulled upwards by the top of my head. My shoulders drop back and my arms swing gently by my side. I also try to spend some time working on my breathing, pushing my stomach out gently as I breathe in to increase the volume of my lungs. This is a quality training session without the stress of a limited 'window' in which it must be completed as I am already in transition to my next task.
So all in all, I get an hour total - of which thirty minutes is quality time with CK and the other thirty minutes is quality time to myself. I tick off the 'daily walk' task and the pick up/drop off CK task. I reduce my carbon footprint. It is a low stress activity and does not involve the anxiety often associated with 'making time' nor spending 'made time' on a specific task it was originally intended for.

The world is parallel so best to interact with it as such!

Volume Wk1 W/O3

Continuing on with the deloaded workout. I am itching to ramp stuff up. Weights are approximate. Hunger and drive is high:

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)

1a. Deadlift (one or two warm up sets, 5x82, 5x95, 5x107)
1b. HSPU/Press/Snatch (12x12kg, 12x12kg, 12x12kg)
2a. Tucked Ice Cream Maker (8, 8, 8)
2b. Assisted One Arm Chins (12x24kg, 12x24kg, 12x24kg)

Evening Workout

3a. Wall Planche Press Ups (8, 8, 8)
3b. Splits (2x10s 2x10x 2x10s)

I sacked the fingerboard session as I am going to climb this weekend so need to save some gas in my hands and forearms.

The first part of this workout felt pretty steady, although the last reps or two of the last set of ICMs approached 'brutal'.

Thursday, 4 March 2010


I don't normally do supplements but have taken to dropping 10k IU of D3 this winter. After some digging around and background reading, I have just added potassium and magnesium to the mix. The consequence of getting the doses wrong is that I should be looking forwards to sound sleep and diarrhoea!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Volume Wk1 W/O2

This is the second of my volume workouts. Effort is about 85%. The emphasis was on lower body. I could put some more exercises in here but I need to be mindful of the demands of kickboxing tonight!

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)

1. Rowing (00:01:45x500m)
2. Pistols (8x32kg, 8x32kg, 8x32kg)*
3a. Wall Walk/BackBridge (2, 2, 2)
3b. Splits (20s, 20s, 20s)

The pistols are hurting after the fact! Even though this was a deloaded workout. On the upside, the wall walks felt pretty easy so I doubled up on them (and still had plenty left in the tank).

It was a fantastic day with blue skies, so I finished off with some handstands and cart-wheels outside. Spring has sprung.

* The weight shown is achieved by offsetting BW (83kg) using an O/H cable machine. So I set the machine to assist with a weight of 50kg.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Did Cooking Make Us Human?

Tonight's episode of Horizon should be a good one:
  • We are the only species on earth that cooks its food - and we are also the cleverest species on the planet. The question is: do we cook because we're clever and imaginative, or are we clever and imaginative because our ancestors discovered cooking?}

    Horizon examines the evidence that our ancestors' changing diet and their mastery of fire prompted anatomical and neurological changes that resulted in taking us out of the trees and into the kitchen.

It is usually available on iPlayer.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Volume Wk1 W/O1

The 12-8-4 pyramid phase has come to an end. I cannot really tell much of a difference in my body composition - I am still very happy with it. Did I lose fat? Dunno. I know I did not gain any. W3 was an instinctive rest and W4....well I got sidetracked in to reassessing my 1RM and 8RM.

I am going to move in to a period of focusing on volume for the next eight weeks. I intend to gradually ramp up my numbers.
The plan is five day split ABABAB. There is alternation between focus on upper body and lower body. The three sections above will fall on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This routine constitutes a bit of a throw back to my gym monkey days, but I need to get a handle on my strength gains and work capacity. This is to drive my ever lagging planche work......!

During the BAB week where I undertake two lower body focused sessions, I will throw in some freeform leg work (play oriented) rather than doing a more formal leg training session. This will involve jumping or some such activity (I guess). The weights above for things like MUs require a ballast system. The numbers will not be exact.
The first workout:

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1a. Sprinting (10s, 10s, 10s)
1b. Planche (5x2s, 5x2s, 5x2s)
2a. Ring Routine to Chins (kg) (8, 8, 8)
2b. Cuts to Splits (3x1 each way)
2c. Fingerboard (5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, 5x1, )
3. Handstand Straddle (Play@LGKF for time)

A 'light/deloaded' phase.