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

s10_shawn_huckins_the_american_tier_james_beard_the_fuck_2013_yatzer
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?

The Buy In

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” -Mark Twain

truth-and-lies

Friday is here! And my favorite fitness-related read of the week “Stop Lying to Yourself (Whilst Un-fucking Your Burpees)” is here. (I added that last part.)

I will preface the lines that follow with the fact that I’ve done a real shit job of keeping my eyes on my own plate this week. I know, I know, you do you, and all that business. But in the interest of community-building, coupled with the notion that we rise or stagnate based on our surroundings, watching folks in class from the sidelines can be staggering. While I appreciate a good attitude and fun vibes, aren’t we all here to grow, to improve, to challenge ourselves? And if you’re not, can we actually kick you off the island?

“If we put in high quality work towards learning skills, we will get tired. If we put in low quality work towards getting tired, we won’t learn any skills. Turning the byproduct (getting tired) into the goal is a failure to our bodies.” – Chip Conrad

All done with my verbal vomit. Thanks for holding my hair. You’re the best! No lie.


22 Sep | Th
Mobility | 3x
Wall rotation + press x 10
Prone glute press x 10
Prone Y raise x 10
TVA drops x 15

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
Single-arm banded rows x 10ea
BB RDLs x 10
DUs x 30

Work | Front squat 5 x 5 @ 70% (115#)
Rest x 2:00
Front rack KB reverse lunges 4 x 6 ea (35# KBs)
Rest x 1:00 between legs
3x: (1:29, 1:27, 1:21)
Slam balls x 5 (30#)
Wall balls x 5 (20#)
Row x 200m
Rest x 1:00

Stretch x 20:00

21 Sep | W
Mobility | 3x
GA squat x 10
SL Adductor squat x 10 ea
Side plank + LL x :30 ea
Reverse curl-ups x 7

Warm-up | 3x
Wall ball x 7
Banded rows x 12
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting – Week 3
2-Position snatch [above-the-knee, mid-thigh] 4 x 2 (65, 75, 75#)
Tall Cleans 4 x 2 (95, 105#…)
Iso holds – Clean DL 3 x 10s

Stretch | 20:00

20 Sep | Tu
Pill-uhs | 3x
Single-arm plank x :20 ea
Single-leg elevated hip bridge x 10 ea
Hanging knee raise x 10

Warm-up | AD x 10:00
E’ry 3:00 perform PU BB row x 8 + DUs x 30

Work | 4x:
Single-arm seated press x 10 ea
Rest x 1:00
COB x 5 @ 30×3
Rest x 1:00
-then-
Single-leg hip thrusts 3 x 15 ea (15#)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
-then-
4x:
Handstand walk x 15′ (3 attempts)
Row x 150m
Rest x 1:00
Express stretch | 7:00


Tuesday’s COB work felt really strong in comparison to how they’ve gone in the past. But they still leave me sore for daaaayz afterward. So, maybe I’ll work those in the rotation a little more. Or is it the push/pull combo not necessarily the particular movement that’s the good stuff there? Hmmm…

True story above on the COB aftermath; went into O-lifting wiht some seriously sore lats and tris. Bottom of the snatch didn’t feel so hot on the right hip, so stopped after two sets. The bottom of the clean felt fine so moved through the rest of the workout. 

Experienced some curiously sore abs going into Friday’s session. Where’d that come from? The reverse lunges felt solid. It’s nice to think back at how difficult much of the single-leg work used to be, and how much better things feel now.

The Positive Pivot

“Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.” -George R. R. Martin

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Lift Each Other Up by Libby Vander Ploeg

Have a listen here to Christmas Abbott talking perseverance, quirks, and choosing your favorite kid. I like hearing what Christmas has to say, and not just because her accent is adorbs. She’s incredibly relatable, inspiring in all her endeavors, and seems to come at every situation from a place of positivity.

She’s got a pretty great Instagram feed, sending out plenty of good vibes, like these words from the great Maya Angelou:disculpe-01.png

On a loosely related note, we got to chatting at the gymnasium about “content” and how we judge the value of it. If someone puts up an intelligent, thoughtful post but pairs it with an image of their body, does that in some way diminish what they have to say? If so, why? Would it matter what kind of body they were presenting? If it were a man, not a woman? If they were of a certain age or race? Would that somehow make it more or less acceptable? More or less valid?

Sometimes it seems like we’re existing in a time of exclusion, of dichotomies, in the either/or’s. What I appreciate about the content that women like Christmas Abbott are putting out there is that they’re all about inclusion, and demonstrate that we can be both – intellectual and sexual, driven and patient, strong and compassionate. As Christmas put it, your wins are my wins. While I don’t currently have any offspring, I do care about posterity (in addition to posteriors) and I think the better message to be sending to our young humans is one of inclusion and multitudes. We don’t need to be one thing, we can be many things.

More ampersands.


18 Sept | Su
Mobility | 3x
Cossack lunge x 8 ea
Scap press [lentimente] x 10
TVA drops x 15

Warm-up | 3x
Wall balls x 10
Palms-fwd BB row x 8
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting from W
1-1/4 OHS 4 x 2 (95, 105, 105(vid), 110#)
Clean high pulls 3 x 3 (125, 135,, 145#)
Halting clean deadlift [4s @ below the knee, and just shy of full extension] 3 x 4 (145, 135, 135#)
Isometric abduction w/ ext. rotation 3 x 10s

17 Sep | Sa
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 30
OH walking lunges x 14

Work | O-Lifting – Week 3
BTN Snatch-grip push press 5 x 2 (85, 85, 95, 100, 105#)
Clean + jerk 10 x 1 (115, 115, 125#…)
Samurai squats 3 x 8 ea (35#)
Front squat  ISO holds 3 x 10s

Stretch | 20:00

­16 Sep | F
Work | Recess Class
The Bear Complex, 5x:
[Power clean – Front squat – Push press – Back squat – BTN Push press] x 7 (75, 85, 90, 95, 100#)

Stretch | 20:00


Friday’s Bear felt good, though I 86’d the BTN presses upon advice from Ali – saving the back for Saturday. I really like that barbell complex; it challenges the body and the head, provided you buy in.

O-lifting went well, though it seems like I’ve been going light forever, when it’s actually only been a few weeks. Looking forward to being able to push again. Did you see that post on pain from The Wolf Brigade? It’s the one with the mace on the beach. That was a helpful reminder Saturday.

what-a-lovely-shrub
Barbell in the AM & refreshing pool in the PM makes a pretty stellar combo. I hope that excessively manicured shrub doesn’t degrade my content

Made up some Oh Lifting homework on Sunday. Having watched some 1-1/4 OHS on the interwebs before heading to the gymnasium, I was curious to see if I did the curved booty back thing I saw a lot of, so I took a vid…

… Yep, I do it. And I’m not so sure that I’m breaking parallel there, either. Coachable moments.

Whadya Mean?

“I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.” – J.D. Salinger

discenza_012_travel_advisory
Applicable across all the spheres of life

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a KISS fan, and up until a week ago I didn’t know who the fuck Paul Stanley is. Then I had a listen to his conversation with Joe Rogan (see below). I’m a sucker for a discussion on communication. It’s crazy how casually we can throw our words around, and equally so how selective we can be about picking them up from others. Use your words.

I liked the exchange Rogan and Stanley have on therapy, growing up a “freak”, why self-help books don’t work, clear communication (!), and why we all need friends who will tell us when we’re being an idiot. Especially important during these presidential election/Pokemon Go times.


Goodbye, July | Su
Mobility | 3x
Wall rotation + press x 10
Scap press x 10
Prone glute press x 10
Side plank + LL hold x :25
Reaching dead bugs x 1:00

Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
BB RDLs x 10
Banded rows x 10
PUs x 7

Work | 4x:
Wide-grip bench x 3 (80, 85, 85, 85#)
Rest x :30
Chinese row x 10 ea (20#)
Rest x 2:00
3x:
Reverse zercher lunge x  10 ea (75, 85, 95#)
Rest x 1:00 btwn legs
5x:
AD sprint x :20
Rest x 2:00

30 July | Sa
Warm-up | Uh huh

Work | O-lifting – Week 4
Front Squat – build to a heavy single (135,145, 150, 155 (PR), 160#)
FS isometric holds 3 x 2 @10s ea w/ 5s rest btwn reps
Rack jerks  4 x 2 @ 55-70% (95 ,95 ,105, 105#)
3x:
SA BB lawnmower pulls x 10 ea (60, 60, 75#)
Med ball wall sit + twist x 16-20 reps (10, 14, 20#)

Handstand shapes + Rev row sit backs 3 x 6

Stretch | 15:00


Sa | Took back-to-back rest days then PR’d my front squat. Hmm. And I really think I have 160 in me, which is a mental marker because it’d be over body weight. The iso holds and jerks felt good, too. The last segment just felt awkward, but I’ll chalk it up to new movements.

Su | Session felt good; soreness in the upper back between the blades from Saturday. Zerchered so hard I couldn’t feel my thumbs during the sprints. Those AD sprints felt really solid, which caught me off guard after the O-lifting iso’s. But maybe the two are unrelated. Please discuss.

sweaty sunday
Going skins in the gymnasium because so much sweat

 

Mind Traps

“How you gon’ win when you ain’t right within?” – Lauren Hill

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Getting Your Head Right from my girl, Kate.


09 June | Th
Warm-up |3x
AD x 1:00
WB x 7
BB row x 10
Side plank + leg lift x :20 ea

Work | EMOM x16:00
Evens: KBS x 8 (3@ white, 5@ red)
Odds: DUs x :20
-Rest x 4:00-
6 sets:
GH raise x 5
Rest x 1:00
Banded rows x 10
Rest x 1:00

Auxiliary | 3x
Rev row sit backs x 6
Front scale x 2, pause, Pistol x 3 ea
Back scale x 2
Stretch | 20:00

08 June | W
Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
BB back squat x 8
BB press x 8

Work | Oh-lifting
Back squat + chains 5 x 3 (155,155,165,165,170#)
Snatch-grip DL 3 x 3 (125,145,145#)
3 sets:
Push Press Hold-outs x 1 (1:06 @85#, :58 @95#, :53 @105#)
Samurai squats x 5 ea (35,44,44#)

07 June | Tu
Work | 6:00 class workout
Bench Press 4 x 4 @ 22×2 (65,85,65,65#)
Rest x 3:00 btwn
3 sets:
Rev Zerchers x 6 ea (75,85,95#)
Rest x 1:00
DUs x 50 (UB)
Rest x 2:00

Stretch | 15:00


Tu | Man, the tempo bee-inch was frustrating. Just getting the position cause some pull in my tricep and lat. Need to reconnect with Raymundo.

W | All the squats are feeling really good. Why do I always wanna keep the booty high up on the snatch-grip DLs? Dropped my ass a little on those and that helped keep the work in the rear region. Those press holds are awesome! So much shaking.

Th | All the things felt good. On the GHR, does it matter that it feels super easy, even when doing all the squeezing? I picked up a 10# plate and held it behind my head to make it more challenging. And to make it look cool. I mean, without a reverse hack one has to get creative in demonstrating goofy looking shit.

Did the auxiliary pistoles without hold up my toes with my hands. Little wins.

that time I held the baby
Highlight of the week, no doubt. Just blowing up some balloons and hangin’ with the dopest baby in the ‘nasium

If It Were Easy

easy friends

I am totally on a Tim Ferriss run; his content is so good! I’ve been pondering a question he posed during his conversation with photog, Chase Jarvis.

“What would it look like if it were easy?” – Tim Ferriss

We talk a lot about challenging ourselves, getting uncomfortable and pushing through difficult times. It’s how we grow, right? But I would definitely agree that there’s a point at which one’s perseverance can become problematic, especially for certain personality types. (Says the person whose professional sphere feels a lot like forcing it lately.)

I had a friend in grad school who, upon seeing him for the first time in a long time, was describing his relationship with his significant other to me and enthusiastically proclaimed, “Leah, it’s just so easy!” For some reason, that moment has stuck with me, likely because I thought it was total bullshit.

But the older and oh-so-much-wiser me can see where he was coming from. At work I can tell I’m  heading in the wrong direction with a design when I start creating more problems than I’m solving. So many times the most suitable design solution ends up being the first version, the one that was intuitive and that came easy, followed by dozens of other iterations.

Of course there will be times that demand extra effort, at work, under the barbell, in relationships, getting your bangs to lay right, but you shouldn’t have to force it.

And don’t get me started on the yoga.


19 May | Th
Pillars | 3x
TVA leg drops x 15
Side plank clammie holds x :30 ea
SL elevated glute bridge x 10 ea

Warm-up | 3x
Row x 1:00
SA press x 10 (20#)
Banded rows x 10

Work | 4 sets:
Press x 3 (70,70,75,75#), right into
Chin-up x 5 tough reps
Rest x 2:00
AD sprints x 5:
On x :20
Rest x 2:00
-then-
Frog pumps 3 x 1:00
Rest x 1:00 btwn

Stretch | 15:00

18 May | W
Warm-up| 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 30
O-head walking lunges x 20

Work | O-lifting
Snatch 4 x 2 @ 70% (70,70,75,75#)
Front squat 3 x 5 across (115#)
Clean DL @ 110% 3 x 2 (165#)
4 sets:
Windmill x 6 ea (35# KB)
Buenos dias x 6 light 3, focus on using the scoops (65#)

17 May | Tu
Fuck No Yoga


Tu | I am not a yoga person. Final answer.

hate-yoga-thats-totally-okay
See. Angry.

My thinking was to find a rest day activity that let me practice my handstands. But yoga makes me angry, and I’m pretty sure that means I’m forcing it. So, the new plan is to give Gymnastic Bodies a try and do that in the gymnasium, with some mobility and stretching, a couple times a week. In MY handstand “practice” (yogis love that word) you can drop f-bombs whenever it moves you. consume lots of stimulants, such as coffee, and stop trying too hard. And The Heathers will play in a loop in the background.

Do I
W | Found myself moving a little funny with the fresh inkage; hesitating a teensy bit getting under it, the barbell. Despite that, the snatches felt pretty good. Maybe wasn’t the best idea to do so many of them Monday. Felt a lot of fatigue in my low back pretty quickly once I got to the front squats.

Th | Seriously sore in the hammies and low/mid-back… but mysteriously not the glutes. Hmm. Did some pushing and some pulling; failed on the pulling part on rep 4/5 on the last two sets pretty much at 90° point, when my upper arms were parallel to the floor. The AD sprints are always fun. I anticipate much soreness to set in this afternoon.

Are 30/30’s in the same category as AD sprints in terms of response, provided you’re putting in enough effort during the “on” portion?

Butts and/in Nature

“There is nothing more beautiful than nature early in the morning.” – Vince Van Gogh

clunambuscribe-01
Clunambuscribe, combining two of my favorites: butts and nature

Have you ever checked out the @getyourassinnature Instagram account? If you haven’t you’re missing out. Some goals for summer hiking season.

I thought this article on the health benefits of being outdoors was pretty cool. Mindfulness and microbes. Why is it that the Japanese have the best words for everything? And why do people dismiss this shit so easily – the only two comments are so negative. Someone needs to do some serious forest bathing.

Sadly, this weekend’s Grand Canyon hike has been postponed due to inclement weather. Yet, one does not want to become a cautionary tale. It’s looking like my introduction to the Canyon with be rim to rim in September. That gives me lots of time to get my ass in nature and prepare.

I’m holding out on watching any of the latest GoT because – summer is coming. But you can count me in for the butt games…


04 May | W
Warm-up | 3x
AD x 1:00
DUs x 30

Work | O-lifting
Clean + Jerk 5 x 1 (115#)
Clean pulls 3 x 3 @100% of clean (145,155,155#)
Clean DLs  3 x 3 @105% of clean (155#)
Back squat 5 x 3 (125,130,135,140,145#)

Get Bendy | 20:00


Was a little slow getting started Wednesday. Used the clean and jerks to warm things up and test the tight, right QL. Once I got moving, everything felt good. The pulls felt strong, and I could really feel the glutes and hammies working on the clean DLs. The back squats feel so different; changing how I’m grounding myself has really changed how I feel about back squats. For the better.

I was hungry for some of the awesome accessory work – the “Part C” – that usually rounds out O-lifting. So I played around with some movement stuff before I went into stretch mode.

Can I do booty accessory work e’eryday? They say it can take a pounding… And then that it needs rest. I do Iso holds whilst brushing my teeth in the AM and PM, figuring it’s good for the teeth and the booty, but I’m curious how much of this stuff I can add in.