Witness Marks

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” – Kurt Vonnegut

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Delicate Dependencies by Crystal Morey

Recently got my grill shined up. The dental hygienist – who’s been cleaning people’s teeth for 34 years – asked how old I was when I wore braces. I asked how she could tell, because it sure isn’t perfect alignment of my teeth (No, I don’t wanna reel that one in! Stop asking #flavorsaver) She said there were subtle marks where the wires had subtly scored my teeth. It got me thinking about people, and how we are an accumulation of witness marks. It makes me curious about what people pick up on. And who we pretend to be.


22 Apr | Sa
Mobility | 3x
Glute press x 10
Wall slides x 10
Elbow plank + side reach x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
OH walking lunges x 16
DUs x 20

Work |
A. Single-leg glute bridge hold x :30; Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
B. Back squat 4 x 5 @22×1 (125, 3 @130#); Rest x 3:00
C1. Pull-up 4 x 10 (3 @60, 70# of assistance); Rest x 1:00
C2. Dip x 10 (see C1 notes); Rest x 1:00
D. Bike x 20:00

Stretch | 15:00

23 Apr | Su
Warm-up | Row x 500m
Kettlebell swings

Work | First workout at Marina Heights!
A. Power snatch [light and fast] 10 x 2 (85#); Rest x 2:00
B. Clean pulls @110 % 3 x 3 (175#); Rest x 2:00
C1. Leg extensions 4 x 15 (65#); Rest x 1:00
C2 [Seated] Hamstring curls x 10 (3@110, 120#); Rest x 1:00

24 Apr | M
Pre-warm-up-for-all-the-hyphens | 3x
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Slow-like-old-people-fucking scap presses x 10
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
KBS x 10
DUs x 30

Work | [from the archives]
A1. Front squats 10 x 2 (125#); Rest x 1:00
A2. Wall runs x :30 (10 ea): Rest x 1:00
B1. Single-leg KB RDLs x 10 ea (50#); Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
B2. KB snatch x 5 ea (35, 3 @40#); Rest x 1:00
C. 5x: KBS x 15 + DUs x 30 [for time]

Stretch | 15:00


Sa | Hip bridge holds are no joke. And make for edge-of-your-seat video footage. But seriously, try them and see how good you are at keeping your hips level. The back squats were fun with a mirror. Not sure the last set was “x1” out the bottom… or a full 2-count either. The pull-up machine is gonna lead to some gainz, I am sure of it.

Su | New places of soreness in the lats and booty today.

Had fun testing the barbell at the globo, thank you. Felt super weak with the snatches until it occurred to me that I was using a 20 kilo barbell. Ahh. The fifth set finally felt nice and smooth and fast like they’re intended to be. The pulls felt slow but seemed okay via instant replay, so I stayed at 175#. The machines at Marina Heights are a little different than the ones at the ball park; your seat moves with the contraction. Check out the rocketship.

The leg extensions were SO intense after the barbell work; the curls less so. Also, Marina Heights has stall bars… Forgot to check on the sled.

M | Kinda weird working out at the ball park when there’s a game going on – think fishbowl. The whole place breathes a roar when the plays are good. The modern Colosseum. Rolled through the workout. Cut out “C” due to time restrictions. Lame.

Feeling chubby in the middle; time to reel in the eats and unplug.

Save As

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612: Accept that you have less control than you want | Paul + Wendy Projects 

My assigned Thursday workout scared me. I believe it to be true that I suck at pulling and pushing, so the thought of eeking out some bench press and strict pull-ups, well, I certainly wasn’t “handstands and pistols” kinda pumped about it.

As I stepped up to the rig to add a second assistance band for the pulling portion, I asked myself how I’d worked to change “this” – “this” being that “Motherfucker-I-still-don’t-have-dead-hangs/dread-at-working-through-something-I’m-seriously-terrible-at” feeling?

My answer was honest, but not the one I’d like to be able to give in response: not much. I hadn’t been working on it. Going through the motions (by, say, overhead pressing some light lbs you know you can nail, shrouded in the safety of the “proper form” umbrella – which is absolutely important, but also an easy scapegoat) isn’t the same as working toward something, Gunz. You know this.

And that, my friends, is how six banded pull-ups lead me to question my existence, over a few rounds of scotch.

The end.

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Haha! Just jokes! Though I did call it a night at the gymnasium. Revelations are exhausting; as is watching a group of clueless souls follow a mind-blowing 1-10-1-10… prescribed back squat rep scheme in the “XF” class. Know when to say when, indeed. Or when to ask questions…)

Walking away from that failed Thursday workout, I realized that I need to reacquaint myself with my fears. And instead of conveniently forgetting them, keep them on-deck, and use them bitches for my benefit.

This nugget from Max at the TTT sure was helpful. I like how he describes himself as being “intimate” with is fears, applying a positive connotation with something many of us like to keep in the shadows.

Along the lines of finding and acknowledging our hidden drivers, this read by James Clear on the schemas is pretty great too; our underlying beliefs persist – and have the potential to seriously hold us back.

How would you re-tell the legend of “The War of the Ghosts”? What are your “Save As” Schemas that shape your narrative?

Save me from myself
Sweet baby Jesus, save me from myself

11 Mar | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall walk x 1 + taps x 10
Palm-ups BB row x 10
Slam balls x 7 @ 20#

Work | Solo Oly
A1. Pressing snatch balance 4 x 2 (70, 70, 70, 75#)
A2. Heaving snatch balance x 2
A3. Snatch balance x 1
B. Snatch 10 x 2 (85, 90, 90, 95, 95, 95, singles @ 95, 100, 105, 110# [PR])

12 Mar | Su
Mobility | 3x
Hip hikes x 15 ea
Prone y raise x 10
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Side plan + leg lift (aligned AF) x :20

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x  7
Single-arm banded rows x 10 ea
DUs x 20

Work | [Do over Thursday]
5x:
Incline bench x 3 (80, 80, 85, 85, 90#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded pull-ups x 6 (blue + green)
Rest x 2:00
-then-
AD 30/30s x 20:00

Stretch | 15:00

13 Mar | M
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Single-arm DB press x 8 (15#)
DUs x 20

Work | 10x:
Back squat x 5 (115, 2 @125, 3 @ 135, 4 @ 140#)
Rest x 1:00
Wall walk x 2
Rest x 1:00
-then-
5x:
1-1/4 Front squats x 3 (95#)
Rest x 1:00
Banded hammies x 5 ea (blue)
Rest x 1:00

Stretch | 15:00


Saturday | That transition from pressing to heaving is trippy as fuck – getting my lats to fire fast. Baby PR on the snatch. Since it’s Open season we might be tempted to call that a squat snatch. Laaaaawd. 

Sunday | A second attempt of Thursday’s workout. Felt much better. I want some science on why the AD rides so differently from the assault bike: the OG AD has me feelin’ it in my hammies and my quads, not ALL quad like on the ass(ault) bike – ironically named. Hmm.

Pull-ups are my nemesis, but just like with the last one… I will conquer you, nemesis! Here’s some footage and analysis to start the siege:

Monday | Walked away from the back squats wondering if I should have done the sets across and/or heavier. I was expecting to feel more fatigued by the last set than I did. That second sip of air is like a switch to the glutes. I’m thinking it must keep me more up right and then those guys stay engaged better…? But I might merely be suffering from delusional cognitive bias. Tricky.

Mental Muscles

“There are some jokes you cannot understand until you have been a fool many, many years and thought yourself finally cured, and then found out that you had just become a different kind of fool.” -Robert Anton Wilson

in-bold

27 Questions


09 Jan | M
Mobility | 3x
Glewt activator sqwaaats x 10
Elbow plank + reach thru x 10 ea
Plate hold x :20

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x 7 @ 20#
BB RDL x 10
BB palms-up row x 10
Row x 100m

Work | “A”
Back squat 7 x 2 @ +/- 70% 1RM (145#)
Rest x 2:00
“B”
Death march 5 x 10 (35# KBs), right into
Banded tricep push-downs x 10 (blue), right into
Row x 250m (:55, :55, :56, :54, :55)
Rest x 1:00
“C”
Banded hamstrang curls 3 x 5 ea (blue)

Handstand walks for fun + some stretch, but mostly chats | 10:00

10 Jan | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Cossack lunges x 8 ea
Scorpions x 5 ea
Bird dogs x 8 ea
Reaching dbl dead bugs  x 10

Warm-up | 3x
DUs x 30
Slam balls x 7
Banded OH press x 7 ea

Work [Booty 5000] | “A”
Bench press 7 x 3 (85#), right into
Hang power clean x 3 (tall cleans @105#)
Rest x 2:00
“B”
Incline single-arm KB bench press 5 x 5 ea (26#), right into
Hang power snatch x 2 (75#)
Rest x 2:00
“C”
Zercher lunges 4 x 5 ea @ 75#, right into
Bench hip bridge x 15 ea
Rest x 1:00

11 Jan | W
Warm-up | Weak. Some DUs

Work | O-lifting – Week 2 – Testing Post-Activation Potentiation
“A”
Pause snatch pull [1″ – BTK – mid-thigh – pop!] 4 x 2, right into
Snatch high-pull x 1 (115#)
“B”
High-hang clean 4 x 1 (2@ 125, 2@ 135#)
“C” [PAP]
Front squat 3 x 3 @ 80% of 1RM C+J, right into (125/65#)
Front squat 3 x 3 @ 50% of 80% [move fucking fast!]


M | The squats felt really good. Looked like I had a hint of ass wink primarily on the first rep. Not sure about my ROM on the hammie curls; it feels a little short. Added some handstand walks at the end because they felt so effortless on Saturday and I wanted to test that.

Tu | Check. All ladies bars in use; subbed a big one (heh!) for the duration. This made for some fun re-gripping on the snatches. Might have to do that again.

W | So much booty soreness from Tuesday’s sesh. On the back end of that workout I was questioning whether I’d used enough weight on the forward pressing components. The soreness in my lats and chest reminds me it’s not just about the lbs.

Cue of the Day from the Skipper: Stand up straight, arms at your side, feel squat distance apart. Now lean forward and come up on your toes, paying attention to what muscles are engaging as you do this. Lean backwards doing the same. Now go back and forth, and feel the transition from quad to glute. Now consider the top of your pull and how these two relate.

Excited to test the PAP this cycle. Despite not falling on to the fast twitch portion of the continuum, maybe AT ALL, testing will be fun. Already has me considering how it is I think about exploding out of the bottom. Are you actually moving fast or are thinking you’re moving fast? Let’s do both.

.

The Reds

“Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable just to be able to go on living.” – Carl Jung

­­­

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Illustration by The Joy of Seex

Jung keeps popping up on my radar lately; I’m thinking it’s the holidays and all the emotions expressed by the “collective unconscious” over the course of them. Perhaps, not. But, I found this article on The Red Book of Jung to be an amusing read.

And for some quotes of quotes of quotes, here’s a little snippet:

Creating the book also led (Carl) Jung to reformulate how he worked with clients, as evidenced by an entry … found in a self-published book written by a former client, in which she recalls Jung’s advice for processing what went on in the deeper and sometimes frightening parts of her mind.

“I should advise you to put it all down as beautifully as you can — in some beautifully bound book,” Jung instructed. “It will seem as if you were making the visions banal — but then you need to do that — then you are freed from the power of them. . .  Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church — your cathedral — the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them — then you will lose your soul — for in that book is your soul.”

Ooh, I really dig that last part. And the section about the “big dreams”. The last one I had was pretty fucked up. I suppose I should write that down.


22 Dec | Th
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
BB RDL x 10
BB row x 10

Work | EMOM x 30:00, rotating:
Deadlift x 3 + DUs x 40 (165#)
Clean + front squat + front squat (115#)
AD x 1:00

21 Dec | W
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Scap press x 10
TVAs x 15

Warm-up | AD + DUs

Work | O-lifting – Week 8
Jerk balance 3 x 1 (75, 85, 85#)
Front squat + jerk 3 x 1 (105, 115, 125#)
Clean + jerk [across] 5 x 1 (2@ 135, 3@140#)
Good mornings 3 x 6 (95#) 

Handstand shenanigans + stretch | 15:00

20 Dec | Tu
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10 ea
Hip hikes x 15 ea
OH kneeling hold things x :30
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
Wall walk x 2 (UB)
Palms-up BB row x 10
SL RDL x 8 ea

Work | “A”
Back squat 7 x 2, rest x 2:00 @70-ish% 1RM (135#)
“B”
GH raise 5 x 10, rest x 1:00 (15#)
Banded triceps push-downs x 10, rest x 1:00
KB Sotts press x 3 ea; rest x 1:00 (26#)
“C”
Banded hamstring curls 3 x 4-5 ea

Stretch x 15:00


Tu | Read this, then tried this

Yeah, felt it in my jacked shoulder… Hmmm. Boom-(that’d be explosive)-out-the-bottom back squats felt good. The KB sotts press left me with some questions. If I’m struggling with lockout at the top… That’s a mobility issue, yes? So, would one drop weight until lockout could be achieved? Or is lockout not the point? Also, that KB takes a very different path to the top depending upon which side is doing the pressing. I need to dig into this sotts business a little more. Detective Morgan. 

W | The hip is still not happy with some movements, but, man, am I happy with how the clean and jerks are feeling. I remember when 135# was a real struggle #nomas

Th | Express workout from the archives. Wanted to get in some movement, but also had a ballet date with the Amazon belly-dancer. So, got in, did some work, got outta there; mission: accomplished.

Interesting how shitty my skin is and how the headaches and congestion have been more frequent as I’ve been indulging in the sugar and booze… Connected? Connected. Consciously.

Cadence

“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives you the test first, the lesson afterwards.” -Vern Law

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Valery Shchekoldin: Uliyanovsk, 1978 

Starting off the work week sequence with this conversation between Tim Ferriss and Mark Bittman because it left me in a solid state on the flip side. I particularly liked the part on Mr. Bittman’s interview style. I wonder what the social media would look like, or fuck, what conversations would sound like if we all had just a skoach more curiosity, and more generosity for listening…?


10 Dec | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Slam balls x 7
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – Week Seeex
OHS w/ 2s pause at the bottom 10 x 1 [across] (95#)
Hang snatch 10 x 1 [across] (85#)
Snatch 5 x 1 [across]
Single-leg RDLs 3 x 8 ea

Stretch | 10:00

09 Dec | F
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 12
Elbow plank + reach across x 10 ea
Scorpions x 5 ea
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 10
Wall walk x 1
Chinese row x 7 ea

Work | Back squat 5 x 5 (135,140,140,140,145#)
Rest x 2:00 btwn
5x:
Single-leg hip thrust x 12 ea (26#)
Right into
Monster walks x 10 ea way
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Turkish get-ups x 10:00 (worked up to 53#)

Stretch | 20:00


F | Dooode, some single-leg work revelations: that right glute/hammie moves so differently than the left. It be cray. Or fancy in a bad way. Stayed conservative on the lbs on the squats as to not Dexter my hip. First set was a lot of flexor, but remedied that on the remainders. Two sips (of air) at the top makes all the difference #bracethatbish 

Sa | Only got through the hangs – ran outta time. Cadence… And space(ing). Work in progress on the receiving position, but it certainly feels a lot better. The brakes seem to kick in when I get fah-tee-gua’d. (That means when I’m tired, get it?)

gimme-the-beat
‘Nog Nite 2016 is in the books! Bring on the Holiday Beat…

Fear[less]

 Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

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What does fear look like…?

It’s staying in a job that’s no longer fulfilling; it’s grasping at that relationship instead of cutting that brah (or bish) loose; it’s listening to your head instead of your gut; it’s nodding and smiling instead of asking the question; it’s getting defensive when the question is asked of you.

And, it’s an Olympic gold medalist shrouded in the American flag.


16 Nov | W
Mobility | 3x
GA squats x 10
Prone Y raise x 10
TVA drops x 10

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 30
Banded shoulder things

Work | O-lifting – Week Tres
Clean pulls [build] 5 x 1 (125, 135, 155, 175, 195#)
Clean pulls [across] 5 x 1 (195#)
Clean [build] 5 x 1 (115, 125, 135, 145#…)
Clean [across] 5 x 1 (145, 145, 140#…)
Tall jerks [build] 5 x 1 (65, 70, 75#…)
Rack jerks [across] 5 x 1 (125, 130, 130, 125#…)

15 Nov | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Elbow plank + reach across x 10 ea
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Hanging leg raise x 10

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall walk x 2
Single-arm press x 7 ea

Work | 10x:
Back squat x 4 (5@ 135#, 5@ 145#)
Rest x 1:00
Wall run x :30 (Lateral walks after round 2)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
5x:
Single-leg RDL x 10 ea (44#)
Rest x 1:00
KB snatch x 5 ea (35#)
Rest x 1:00
-then-
5x: (5:36)
KBS x 15 @ 35#
DUs x 30

14 Nov | M
Mobility | 3x
Single-leg adductor squat x 12 ea
Scap press x 10 (deliberate AF)
Reverse curl-ups x 10

Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 10
Single arm banded rows x 10 ea
Pistoles x 2 ea

Work | x 30:00, rotating:
AD x 20 cals
Row x 1:00
Lunges x 10 (front rack KB reverse w/ 2 x 35#ers… pppt)
Single-leg hip thrusts x 10 ea (18# KB)

Stretch | 20:00


M | Hip a little stiff and sore; maybe from the Sunday hike, maybe from accumulated workload, maybe from dodging my fears of how that work meeting was gonna go (it went fucking great!). It was smart then that I added ‘front rack KB reverse’ to the lunges right…?

foh

Tu | Ooh, that was some work. Modified the wall runs to lateral walks because of the shoulder. Something about the extension after the shoulder tap not being in the right position, it feels like it’s pinching something. Felt fine as long as I kept the arm extended and locked out, thus the lateral walks. 

W | Surprised at how fast the movements felt with the barbell considering all the work yesterday. The cleans felt dandy; getting out of the bottom like a boss, comparatively. The jerks felt nice and fast, no shoulder pain or hesitation. Tall jerks, not my wheelhouse, but, man, do they help trigger the speed.

Weak Spots

“Up to a point a person’s life is shaped by environment, heredity, and changes in the world about them. Then there comes a time when it lies within their grasp to shape the clay of their life into the sort of thing they wish it to be. Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune or the quirks of fate. Everyone has the power to say, ‘This I am today. That I shall be tomorrow.'”- Louis L’Amour

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Shawn Huckins, James Beard: The Fuck?

Mr. L’Amour’s words seem a fitting reminder for today’s elections, and conjure up some counter points to the content of my current read, The Sports Gene. More on that once I’ve completed it. So far the highlights have been the 5:1 muscle ratio bookshelf analogy and the narrator’s impersonations of quotations from other researchers. (Is it a “read” if it’s an audio book? Normally I’d say no, but tonight nothing makes a lick of sense.)


08 Nov | Tu
Mobility | 3x
Adductor squat x 10 ea
Single-leg elevated glute bridge x 10 ea
Single-arm plank x :20 ea

Warm-up | 3x:
AD x 1:00
Wall walk x 1
V-up x 10

Work | Press 7 x 5 [across] (3 @65, eeked out 1 @70, 3 @ 65#)
right into
DUs x 20
Rest x 2:00
-then-
RFESS 5 x 8 ea (35# KBs)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
-and-
3x: GHR x 8 (15#)
right into
Push-ups x 8
Rest x :20

Stretch ‘n’ Share | 20:00

07 Nov | M
Mobility | 3x
Wall slides x 10
Prone Y raise x 10
Glute press x 10

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Wall ball x 10
Banded row x 10

Work | Back squat 7 x 5 (135, 145,145, 155, 155, 160 (4), 155#)
Rest x 2:00
5x:
KBS x 5 @44#, right into
KB row x 10 ea (26#), right into
DUs x 50 (UB, UB, 49, 49, UB)
Rest x 1:30

Stretch + Handstand walkin’ | 20:00

05 Nov | Sa
Mobility | 3x
GA squat  x 10
Bird dogs x 10 ea
Plank + fwd tap x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
DUs x 30
Shoulder roll with the bands x 10 ea direction

Work | Lifting
Snatch balance [build] 4 x 2 (70, 75#)
Snatch-grip pause DL [BTK, focus on lats] 3 x 3 (135, 145, 155#)
High-hang snatch + 1-1/4 OHS 6 x 1 (85, 95#…)
Med ball drops 3 x 10 (14, 14, 20#)

Some stretching.


Sa | Felt like I was landing nice and low on the snatch. Video proved otherwise.

M | In the morning hours I tested the back with a short-ish hike, about 4 miles, up South Mountain. Seems like that’s about the mileage threshold. The evening squats felt good and strong. Arbitrarily wanted to hit 165# on the last set, but fuck me legs were terrrd. The single-arm rows got really challenging at set 4 on the left side, which is not the jacked up side, having to reset before each rep to get that lat to do the work. DUs: 50 is the new 40 – pushing the datum.

Tu | Press is a weak spot (queue the Detroit Cobras). Sixty-five got sticky on the last rep, seventy was neck straining on rep three. Dafuq?  The 35# KBs were the lightest available due to TGU class workout, so… gave it a go. And was pleasantly surprised. On my way to 1/3 BW in each mitt for… what was that Rx rep scheme again?