Friday, May 28, 2010

Sugar Cookies

About 17 years ago, when I started dating my wife, I went to my wife's family Christmas get together. I'm very introverted and I was in a room full of people that I did not know. It was awkward. When it came time for everyone to exchange presents, it was more awkward. I remember watching everyone open their gifts and someone had laid a gift by me with my name on it. When I opened it, it was a bag of home made sugar cookies. Addie's grandmother, Peggy, didn't want me to be left out. So, she baked me some sugar cookies.

She may have already had some made, but it didn't matter. She gave them to me because she didn't want me to be left out. Every year at Christmas, I looked forward to getting those cookies, even when I was "too healthy" to eat them. I knew Peggy was giving me love with her cookies.

I'm telling all of this because this week Peggy passed away. Yes, in about one month's time, Addie lost both her mom and her grandmother. Not just Addie, though her and her family feel the losses the most, but the world has lost two wonderful ladies. Ladies who lived their life by loving others. Ladies who didn't let life's road blocks stop them from reaching out and making the world a better place.

In the last month, I have learned a great deal about life. Life is what we make it. We can live it and make the world a better place by loving others, or we can just exist and take up space. If we just exist, when we are gone, no one will know. But if we love and make a difference in people's lives, those people will be moved to do the same and the whole world will know. Peggy and Kat both made the world a better place. I guess now its my turn. Watch out though, cause I don't bake cookies...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Lean and Mean

About 17 weeks ago I set out on a new training adventure. Actually, I set out to test my limits; again. I decided to try Geoff Neupert's Kettlebell Burn program. This a program designed to burn fat. When I started the program, I weighed 168 and I was already at 6% bodyfat. So, honestly, I didn't really expect much of a change. But I do enjoy a challenge. Anyway, by the end of the program, and all the way through it, I was amazed. Now I am down to 163 lbs and I have 3.8% bodyfat! I have muscles that have muscles! Geoff's program rocks!

Losing the bodyfat was awesome, but what was even more amazing is that my strength sky rocketed. By the end of Geoff's program, I was snatching 32kg over my head 63 times per arm in 15 minutes. That's 126 times! That's almost half my own bodyweight being snatched over my head in ONE arm 126 times! Not only that, I was doing 20 turkish getups with the 32kg in 10 minutes! My body feels so solid and strong; it is an amazing feeling. 

So, between 4 to 5 lbs of bodyfat and got stronger. Not only did I get stronger, but I legitimately PR'd every single time I trained. By that, I mean that I consistently achieved more reps every single time I trained. That is freakin' amazing. How was I able to do that? Simple; solid program design. Geoff's Kettlebell Burn is brilliantly laid out. He is a genius when it comes to program design. I never had to test my range of motion, I never worried that I shouldn't be doing a particular exercise. I trained. I followed Geoff's program. I got stronger - everyday. I got leaner. I got results. Period.

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Making Progress

There is a lot of talk out there right now about using biofeedback to determine how or what you train on. This is an interesting concept but I don't know how reliable it is. If I understand it correctly, you can test an exercise, like a deadlift, then perform a range of motion test to determine if you should train on that exercise during your training session. If your range of motion improves, train with your tested exercise. If your range of motion gets worse, it is not a good day for you to train with that particular exercise. 

Here's a question I have - what if your range of motion never test well for a particular exercise? Should you just write that exercise off and never perform it? Better yet, why not try to determine why the exercise test poorly to start with? If I test poorly on a deadlift, why? What is it about that move does my body not like? Should I not try to make the deadlift a move my body does like? I guess that brings forth another question - how would you take an exercise your body doesn't like and make it into one it does like? Hmmm. Maybe strengthen your weaknesses, that may be one solution. Another solution may be to make sure you are moving well in the first place. 

At any rate, I'm not sure it is such a good idea to work yourself into a training corner by only training with exercises that yield a positive biofeedback result. What if you hate pull-ups and because of that, you always test poorly when you perform the pull-up? Is the pull-up really bad for you, or do you just not like doing it? Hate may be a strong word, maybe you're just apprehensive about doing pull-ups... The point is, there may be many reasons you test bad for particular exercises. But it would be a shame to train with a limited tool box of exercises and expect yourself to unlock your full potential when you could unlock your full potential by addressing the issues that cause you to test poorly in the first place. 

Just my random thoughts on training with biofeedback. To me, if it tests poorly, fix it. 

Training today:
Snatch w/ 32kg: 3/3 x 19, 4/4 x 1
Lunges w/ 24kg: 10/10 x 6 
Staggard Rows w/ 24kg: 10/10 x 6
TGUs w/ 32kg: 2/2 x 5

I'm feeling AWESOME!