Sunday, 31 October 2010

Volume Wk5 W/O1 (Short Rests)

So the last workout (the second of the week), felt a bit shabby.  Thus I have put in a rolling rest.  How this cuts it is that I do three workouts a week.  I dropped the third (last), workout of last week.  I will drop the second workout from this weeks' series and then drop the first workout from next week.  This should let me gain in the workouts.  By week eight or nine I end my cycle so I should be dropping back anyway.

The tweaking of my training is an ongoing thing.  I don't want to be a slave to some regime and have to by flexible around the demands of Lau Gar, climbing and playing with Flash and CK.  All have a habit of taking quite a bit out of me at unexpected times.  Whilst I embrace this randomness, I have to be on top of throttling back in other areas.

Although I did no formal training last Friday I did take Captain Kid for her first visit to the local bouldering wall.  She seems to have an aptitude for climbing - once she had overcome her fear of heights, and trusted that she could fall in control on to the matting.  I managed to nip off to a quiet area and do a couple of backflips - possibly my only two this year.  Glad I still have the knack - and am not gripped by 'the fear'.....talking of which/witch.....

Friday, 29 October 2010

Big Fat Fiasco

Tom Naughton does a fine job in this series of You Tube films explaining the car crash that is modern nutritional advice (go to his blog for the full sequence of five films).  He is a great communicator and with a bit of luck this talk (and his movie Fat Head), will get wider exposure. 

Part five is particularly enlightening, giving as it does, as concise explanation of the hormonal factors underlying obesity.  Naughton riffs on the idea that conventional wisdom about the cause of obesity ("you eat too much and do too little"), could just as easily be viewed from a position of character (national character has faltered in the last 40 years, we have become less inclined to participate in active pursuits and simply cannot stop ourselves from eating).  He then provides an alternative interpretation of the obesity phenomena - that of hormones. 

Finally he makes the same staggering conclusion as Gary Taubes; that we look at thin people and immediately assume that at some level (and normally at the level of personal 'character'), they balance 'calories in' with 'calories out'.  That unlike 'fatties', thin folk have enough self discipline to limit how much they eat, and to 'burn off' an excess through exercise.  But the staggering reality would appear to be that fat people ARE balancing 'calories in' with 'calories out'.  It is just that as the body's ready-supply of available energy is compromised (through excessive insulin-driven fat storage), fat people are driven to eat more, or expend less energy.

I guess an analogy would be if for some reason you had a container that you were required to keep topped up at the 1 litre mark.  Now you'd expect to have to add a small amount each day to keep the level topped up at 1 liter as water would evaporate.  If you had another container in the room which was exactly the same, you'd expect roughly the same level of water loss.  Now imagine that this second container had a small hole in its base through which water escaped (this represents the chronic shuttling of energy in to storage).  Although water loss through evaporation is the same between the two containers, total water loss in the second, holed container would be greater.  So you'd have to add more water to it to maintain the water level.

Of course in a biological system this is way more complicated.  So it might be that if a fat guy and a thin guy are given the same calories to eat, as less of those calories are available to satisfy the metabolic needs of the fat guy, the body, sensing a limited availability of energy, induces lethargy (ie, reduces 'calories out') - which we then interpret as 'weakness of character' and laziness.  Another complication, as Naughton notes, is the ability of a biological system to cannibalise itself.  That is why a fat mouse, with massive energy reserves but with chronically elevated insulin levels can starve to death.

I am sure there are several doctors and scientists out there who will  balk at the idea of having a comedian tell them about nutrition, physiology and scientific rigour etc.... but that is why as a society we are in the mess we are in.

I say we start with a targeted program of education.  We need to ask FAT doctors and FAT nutrition scientists why they are so goddam FAT!  We need to ask them to account for why they are seemingly unable to 'eat less and do more'.  We need to ask some pressing questions about black swans, bad science and BS.  Then, once reduced to tears, we should suggest they watch this presentation.  The mix of humour, shuttling as it does an 'educational payload', may then reach its target.

Well done Tom.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Jump Around

What would you add to a list of 'Species that are good at jumping'?  Fleas can jump high.  Frogs are good at jumping and add in locust/grasshoppers and kangaroos too.  Maybe horses?  But when it comes to jumping - and being good at it, your list of 'jumping stuff' is probably going to be quite short.  Would you put homo sapien on that list?

You might not be aware of who Stefan Holm is, but you will certainly recognise what an incredible ability it is to be able to effortlessly hurdle your own height!

Somewhere in Night Time

We often think of a good night's sleep as something along the lines of eight hours of uninterrupted snoozing.  Kind of like 'lights out' when your head hits the pillow, not stirring until the next morning.  I disagree.

In an exchange with Methuselah some time ago, we ruminated on actually how 'normal' it is to be 'zonked out' for eight hours solid.  From a hunter's perspective what could be more appealing than your prey snoozing away in a deep sleep?  Hunting would become tame to say the least, and your prey's appearance on the tree of life would be likely VERY short.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Volume Wk4 W/O2 (Short Rests)

So, the Levers have been dropped.  Shorter and sharper.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Deadlift (4x135kg, 4x125kg)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge (15s, 15s, 15s)
3. Advanced Frog Planche (20s, 20s, 20s)
4. 4-Way Rotator Cuff Work (1x15 each way)

I didn't feel that great today so I auto-regulated.  We did a lot of low work (walking techniques in LGKF), last night, and this may have tired my legs.

Planches felt solid mind!

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Natives Are Restless!

I clicked on this link in the Independent: Number of adult diabetics soars 6% in year.  I expected the usual BS of:
  • obesity (check),
  • diabetes (check),
  • 'Timebomb', (check)
  • '5-a-day' (check)
  • unhealthy lifestyle, (check)
  • healthy diet, (check)
The same old failed policy is churned once again.....yawn.  'We can't be trying hard enough'.  People aren't listening....

The frustration in these articles is always palpable.  If doing X makes Y larger, and you think doing X makes Y smaller, it is understandable that you'd get people to do X and then be frustrated that Y gets bigger.  Welcome to nutritionism 21st century style.

But scroll down to the comments.  At least three references to Gary Taubes!  Hope is here.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Volume Wk4 W/O1 (Short Rests)

After a night of hard drinking in Manchester I really am lacking the urge to work out.  Damn those hangovers.  I propose the following, and will suck it and see.  Maybe once I have finished it I will feel better.

I have dropped the planche from this workout.  (The Lever in the second workout will also be dropped).

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
3. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3, 3, 3)
4. Basic MU Ring Routine to Lever (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
5. Barefoot Weighted Kill Carry (1 + Weight Vest)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Volume Wk3 W/O3 (Short Rests)

I have decided to cut back on one planche session and one lever session a week.  I think I need a bit more recovery time - and to try harder variations of both.

The first workout of the week contains my ring routine finished with a lever.  So I will drop the planche from this workout.  The second workout features some lever work and a planche.  I will drop the levers from here.  This means the sessions will be shorter.  As such, I guess I wll have to make them a bit harder!

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (20 mins)
1. Pistols/Pillar Jumps/Leg Extension (20x25kg P, 12x30kg LE)
2. HSPU/Press/Snatch (BWx1, 8x14kg, 6x16kg)
3. Chins (8xBW+30kg, 8xBW, 8xBW)
4. Tucked Ice Cream Maker (6, 6, 6)

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Use Your (Paleo) Loaf

So how about this from CBS?  Stone Age Menu Featured Flour From Wild Grains.  Stone Age man made flour - perhaps as much as 30,000 years ago.  Now before some of the major bread manufacturers jump on the paleo bandwagon I guess we should point out to them the following:
  • As Paracelsus observed, 'Alle Ding' sind Gift, und nichts ohn' Gift; allein die Dosis macht, daß ein Ding kein Gift ist. ' - "the dose makes the poison".
  • Grains would be seasonally available.  "Paleo" does not mandate year-round fruit consumption either.
  • Cannabis seeds were apparently eaten in China around 6000 BC.  To all bread manufacturers, I will await your "Paleo Bread with Added Cannabis Seeds" with interest.
  • HG didn't eat much if any wheat.  There is no evidence it was present or even dominated the ingredients of their bread.
  • Whilst having an emergency ration of paleo flour might get you through a hungry period, this would be impractical in politically unstable times and a burden during winter (can you imagine carrying a bag of flour on a hunt?), or in times of abundance.
From the article,
  • "The team led by Anna Revedin of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence found grinding stones, similar to a stone and pestle, with remains of grains at the sites.

    The three sites were all dated to about 30,000 years ago and the residues appear to originate mainly from cattails and ferns, which are rich in starch and would have provided a good source of carbohydrates and energy."
Nice of CBS to opine that far from an all meat diet, the HG diet was 'more balanced after all'.  Notwithstanding how much significance flour had on their diet, I wonder if there is any evidence as to the health of those HGs who tended to this 'diet'?  In 30,000 years from now, if it could be determined by similarly remote evidence what we ate in the West in abundance (O6, fructose and sugar), could those same investigators determine our poverty of health?

From my understanding I wonder if flour was actually used as a 'social drug' like cannabis?

Total Lunar Eclipse

Fantastic news has just come my way thanks to Captain Kid;  the next total lunar eclipse is on 21st December 2010.  Just two weeks later a partial solar eclipse should be visible over much of Europe, on January 4th 2011.  Like the amazing Transit of Venus and various comets, these celestial events are incredibly humbling - giving us just a slight glimpse at our insignificance in the mighty scheme of the universe.

With urban light pollution it is easy to lose our association with the sky, just as supermarkets helps us to lose our connection with the seasons and the very earth itself.  And just as a gym can obfuscate what our body's actual relationship is with exercise.

Mark that calendar NOW!

Volume Wk3 W/O2 (Short Rests)

It is strange that some of my routines feel like an expression of my fitness rather than an event through which I hope to obtain fitness....Today was one of those workouts.

Warm Up (5 mins)

Main (30 mins)
1. Deadlift (4x135kg, 5x125kg)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge (4, 15s, 15s)
3. Advanced Frog Planche (20s, 20s, 20s)
4. Tuck Lever (20s, 20s, 20s)
5. 4-Way Rotator Cuff Work (1x15 each way)

I trained with a colleague whom I have tricked encouraged to accompany me to the gym.  He is focusing on DLs and chins.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Volume Wk3 W/O1 (Short Rests)

Off the leash!  I am through with the deloaded phase and can now try to push things for the next four weeks.  The Kill Carry will involve the weight vest.  The sprints will be harder for longer (but still in the 10s time).  The MUs will more explosive and the following ring routine more composed.

The rests will still be short!

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Planche Variation (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
2. Stairgators (1)
3. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
4. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3, 3, 3)
5. Basic MU Ring Routine to Lever (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
6. Barefoot Weighted Kill Carry (1 + Weight Vest)

Friday, 15 October 2010

Volume Wk2 W/O3 (Short Rests)

Onwards and upwards with the short rests!  This is the last day deloaded.  Next week I go full throttle.  The only change planned for today is to try to head up to 20 reps on one set of pistols.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (20 mins)
1. Pistols/Pillar Jumps/Leg Extension (12/20x25kg P, 12x30kg LE)
2. HSPU/Press/Snatch (BWx1, 12/10x12kg, 8x12kg)
3. Chins (8xBW+20kg, 8xBW, 8xBW)
4. Tucked Ice Cream Maker (6, 6, 6)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Volume Wk2 W/O2 (Short Rests)

Although still not pushing to the max, I am hitting 'bread and butter' work rates.  I will add a rep on here and there, perhaps increase the weight.....a little auto-regulation.  Short rests are higher on my list of goals than reps or weight.  Although with the DL I will rest longer than 60s...

Last night's Lau Gar was quite demanding so auto-regulation is high on my list of priorities.  I don't want to get injured in pursuit of 'the rep'.  My injured elbow is healing nicely and offers a salutory warning to me.  When it first occured I pushed through the pain.  Foolish.  The rehab has involved more measured training and careful choice of exercise in particular.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Deadlift (5x105kg, 6x95kg)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge (4, 15s, 15s)
3. Advanced Frog Planche (20s, 20s, 20s)
4. Tuck Lever (20s, 20s, 20s)
5. 4-Way Rotator Cuff Work (1x15 each way)

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Volume Wk2 W/O1 (Short Rests)

We spent today messing around in the Peak District following 'Plan B'.  Lots of climbing and scrambling amongst the rocks, squeezing through crevices and tunnels.  'Plan A' was to visit 20-a-day Great Grandma.

Stuck in a smoke filled room, or messing around in the wilds?  Not much of a decision is it?  (See you next week long as it isn't sunny).

I need to auto regulate again with this workout.  I did a lot of activity today and am still in a deloaded phase.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
3. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3, 3, 3)
4. Basic MU Ring Routine to Lever (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
5. Planche Variation (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
6. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

This Woman's Work*

I like blogging.  This blog lets me primarily mouth-off and secondly, record my training.  I post stuff up here that I find interesting.  I express my ideas - some of which are wrong, some stuff VERY wrong.  Some of it useful (to me at least).  I hope some of this stuff gives at least one or two of the readers positive ideas.  At the least, folk can see the results of my training - for better or for worse.

The More You Lift the Worse You Look

Dan John has posted an interesting article that picks up on Art DeVany's concept of the X-look (a consequence of function over form):
  • Art DeVany brought this to my attention when I first logged onto the Internet. He noted that the X look for men was a sign of health. Men, he notes, should have broad shoulders, a thin waist, powerful buttocks and thighs, and not worry about their showy arms. Women, on the other hand, would show fertility with an hourglass figure with a narrow waist "bordered" by a rounder top and bottom.
Personally seeing a big guy (all muscle), struggling to get over an eight foot wall put me off bodybuilding for life - and consolidated my focus on training for function...although for some reason (and despite Art's opinion), I wouldn't mind big guns!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Volume Wk1 W/O3 (Short Rests)

So more deloading.  Need to break myself slowly in to the increase in volume.  Rests are short (30-60s).

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (25 mins)
1. Pistols/Pillar Jumps (8xBW - assisted, 10x46, 10x46)
2. HSPU/Press/Snatch (12x10kg, 10x12kg, 8x12kg)
3. Tucked Ice Cream Maker (6, 6, 6)
4. Chins (8xBW, 8xBW, 8xBW)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Volume Wk1 W/O2 (Short Rests)

I have been hacking around so much with my spreadsheet of workouts that I have messed it up a bit.  I keep reformulating what I want to do and trying to maintain each program carries an overhead.

In these cases I just stand back and take a broad look at the workout and don't sweat the details.  So today I want to build volume.  Sunday's workout worked the 'pull up' plane, as did some of the rope work yesterday (in my climbing/finger workout).  So no need to work that plane today.

That leave as big, basic move (deadlift for today) and then some basic gymnastic moves to work the shoulder (times and variations of planches and levers will be auto regulated).  Rests between deadlifts will be 3 minutes (an be preceded by a few warm ups sets).  The rest of the sets will have 30s-60s rests.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Deadlift (5x105kg, 6x94kg)
2. Wall Walk/Back Bridge (4, 15s, 15s)
3. Advanced Frog Planche (20s, 20s, 20s)
4. Tuck Lever (20s, 20s, 20s)
5. 4-Way Rotator Cuff Work (1x15 each way)

Monday, 4 October 2010


If you have never seen any footage of people flying in wingsuits then you are in for a treat.  Jeb Corliss is in action below.  What you see just prior to the three mintue mark is pretty damn special!

Climbing Routine

Separating off the finger strength workout seems to work quite well.  The rope climb slightly antagonised my elbow injury, but nothing painful:
  • some wrist push ups (6, 6, 6).
  • rope climbing (3 x up and down 1-2 times)
  • Assisted pinch grip pull ups (5s, 5s, 5s) 
  • a 321 workout
                 - front 3 open 8x7/3,
                 - back 3 open 8x7/3,
                 - 4 finger crimped

All over in about 15 minutes.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Low Carb Thumbs Up

The paleo diet is NOT necessarily low carb, although many people find that approaching the paleo paradigm with a low carb mentality provides better control of hunger and so fat loss is achieved.

There is still widespread suspicion of any diet that encourages low consumption of carbohydrate - and the fear is amplified when one is aware that the shortfall in calories is likely to be made up by an increase in protein or - shock, horror - fat.

Volume Wk1 W/O1 (Short Rests)

I am back in the saddle after a week off.  I intend to build a bit of volume on my next phase.  Rests will be generally 30s-60s.  This first workout is intended to be short and sharp.  But not to failure - it needs to be athletic and sprightly throughout.  And all  barefoot.

Warm Up (5 mins)
Main (30 mins)
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)

3. Scissor Splits/Cuts (3, 3, 3)
4. Basic MU Ring Routine to Lever (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
5. Planche Variation (1x20s, 1x20s, 1x20s)
6. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)