Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Seed

You see, there is no real way of knowing what the water is going to feel like until you jump in.  It was after I plunged head first that I found I had dove straight into a hurricane.  What I thought was going to be rough seas quickly became a white squall that took no prisoners.  I truly have respect for those who survived this weekend.  And I have even more respect for those who came out on top.  Do I fear them. No.  Do I want to throw down head-to-head right now.  Hell yeah.  I will continue to be the athlete who tries over and over to kick the door in, and I will not stop until that sucker is ripped from the hinges.

Thinking back on the weekend, I can look at it two ways: 1. this sport is stupid, it destroys your body, and I have no business being here, or 2. I have been exposed.  The weaknesses that I worked on in the offseason were not tested.  And moreover, the weaknesses that I didn't work on, got tested...over....and over......and OVER again.  I like the second option.  It is time to get back to the drawing board and make things right.

I have already begun to plan for next year.  First, I must get back to full health.  This was forced upon me last June when I had double ankle surgery, but now I am in control of getting my joints, gut, and mind healthy.  Next on my list is posterior chain strengthening.  I am sick and tired of getting crushed by lower body pulling.  I am sick and tired of having my back seize up when I do high rep deadlifts.  I have to train this weakness.  I cannot be afraid to fail in training.  And if I do, I know I am not meant for this sport.  Lastly,  I need to improve my CP endurance.  Even if you lack absolute strength, you can still excel in this sport.  I have to be able to get back on the weight over and over again.

I said at the end of last year that I was committing to this sport for 4 years. This was only my sophomore season and I have improved tremendously in my first two years.  In this sport, you cannot judge your success by the results in competition since there are just too many variables.  I have to have faith in the process.  I have to continue what I have been doing: learn from your mistakes, try to have fun when possible, don't obsess over things you cannot control, and most of all keep my swagger on full and do things my way.

This weekend I set out to find how far I was willing to go to achieve my goal.  After dislocating my thumb, having my back seize up, giving everything I had for all 5 workouts with a big ol' smile, I know that my goal will be attained.  Plant a seed.  Water the seed.  Give it sunlight.  Stare at the seed. Sing to the seed.  Give the seed food.  Water the seed.  Curse the seed.  Apologize to the seed.  We try to control all variables, but there is one variable that we cannot control and are too stubborn to admit it: TIME.........  You have to remind yourself, the seed just takes time to grow.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Ocean

It has been about 5 weeks since entering The Dunes.  I have taken the time to sharpen my skills and prepare for what is to be the most difficult journey yet: crossing The Ocean.  There have been ups and downs during my training in The Dunes, but I have learned from all of these experiences and my self-actualization has grown.  I have learned who I am as a competitor.  I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my life.  Everything around my training has been meticulously crafted to my exact needs.  There are no doubts here.  "What ifs" are not in my vocabulary.  

Now all I need to do is walk up to The Ocean, look deep into the grey-blue murky abyss and tell it something as I dive deep into its infinity, "I have worked hard.  I have sacrificed, and I am ready."  If The Ocean decides to allow me to cross, good.  If it says no, even better.  For anything worth having, is worth fighting for.  I don't want this to be easy.  It will hurt for sure, but that will pass.  I need to remind myself of that when the pain is at its worse.  I want give every inch of my being to cross this ocean.  Only then will I learn the I willing to give everything to achieve my goal? 

And if it's not good enough, and The Ocean spits me back out, no matter.  I will come back again and again until I bridge the gap between this side and the other.  Until I have taken what I want.  

"It is for us to pray not for tasks equal to our powers, but for powers equal to our tasks, to go forward with a great desire forever beating at the door of our hearts as we travel toward our distant goal.." H.K.

Training: 4/25/2012

30min Mobility
Skills Practice (DB Snatch + Pistols)
EMOM x 6min (alternating movments):
15 Wall Balls
15 Toes to Bar
3 sets:
60sec Shuttle Run
60sec Rest

Notes:  Warmed up for a good 40 minutes today.  Hit my shoulders, hips, ankles, etc just to make sure I am feeling limber.  Worked through a bunch of pistols to remain confident in them.  I also played around with the DB snatches and those felt better today as well.  Need to think less about it and just grip and rip with my snatch technique.  All movements felt okay today, but I am not feeling "pumped" yet.  I always felt that at this stage in the game it is WAY too early to start geting the gut bubbles and anxiety.  It just takes too much out of you and by competition time, you are shot.  When the "3,2,1," sounds, that's when I want my adrenaline flowing.  

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Training: 4/24/2012

A. Snatch: 4x1; rest 5min (each set preceded by 20 double unders) (185,195,205,215)
3 sets @ 100%:
10 Push Press (135)
20 Pullups
200m Row
Time: ~1:21 (faster each time)

Notes: Highs and lows of training.  Sunday I felt like I did not belong at regionals.  Today, I feel like I can't be stopped.  Got the okay from my doc that it is only soft tissue inflammation and nothing structurally wrong on Monday and my knee felt better today.  Still feels a little funky but when I warm up, it's fine.  Needed to get my swag back and there was no better opportunity than slamming some bars after snatching a 10 lb. PB.  Couple notes: 1. make sure to keep grip light on jump rope. 2. allow elbows to come forward on re-rack of push press.  Push press felt good, as did the pullups done on our slick bars just to build some confidence for this coming weekend.  This is my second to last workout, and I needed a good one.  Definitely feel better today.  Have to keep the momentum going into this weekend.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Training: 4/22/2012

2000m Row
20 Hang Cleans (225)
Time: 16:33 (only completed 17reps)

Notes: Third day of training in a row.  Body is definitely feeling it from the last couple of days of heavy posterior chain work.  Back was very tight and sore getting out of bed.  Had a small meal after I woke up and then headed over to the gym.  Warmed up with a 1k row (intervals included) lower back mobility and then built up to a heavy double hang clean.  Planned on pacing the row at an avg. of 1:52.  First half was done in 3:40 and second half in 3:58, picking up cadence and easing off the throttle over the last 30 seconds so I could get right off the rower and get to work.  I decided to wear a belt for the hang cleans since it was already fatigued.  Weight felt very heavy today.  Last couple of days have really added up.  Hit hang cleans for singles for the most part, stringing together a few doubles.  Missed a bunch of reps as I was either catching it forward, or unable to stand up out of the hole.  Legs are just beat.  This does not bode well for my confidence in this event.  No matter, I will be recovered on Friday.

Unfortunately, after I was done I realized I tweaked my right knee.  Medial side feels like a joint thing with plenty of popcorn like clicking.  Going to rest and ice this afternoon see if it's any better tomorrow.

Training: 4/21/2012

10 DB Snatches (100)
3 Muscle Ups
20 Pistols (alt.)
150' Farmer's Walk (100/h)
20 Pistols (alt.)
3 Muscle Ups
10 DB Snatches (100)
Time: 11:54

Notes: Low energy today.  Yesterday's workout took it out of me.  Plus my back is pretty fried.  Took about 45minutes to finish my warm-up working on hips, low back, ankles and shoulders.  The DB snatches were a concern for me going in.  I was able to do them the other day at the gym, but I didn't know how I would feel after all the deadlifts yesterday.  Snatches weren't too bad, I just couldn't turn them over quickly.  I am going to work on them some more later this week since there seems to be a flaw in the technique, especially on my left side.  Pistols felt pretty good today even though my hamstrings were sore.  I tried kipping all the HSPU and went unbroken on both sets.  Muscle ups felt fine, as did the farmer's walks.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Training: 4/20/2012

AM Training:
25min Heavy DB Snatch Practice

PM Training:
A. Deadlift: 3x1.1.1; rest 5min (355,365,380)
12min AMRAP:
300m Row
10 Deadlift (315)
10 Burpee Box Jumps
Rounds: 3 + 290m Row

Notes: Rough day personally today.  At this point in the journey however, I need to stay focused on the task at hand.  Put the emotions aside,  and use the hurt as fuel.  Got to my local gym to try out the heavy DB snatches.  100lbs. is heavy, and the grip is going to be a limiting factor if the DB is slick or thick gripped.  If not, it shouldn't be much of an issue.  I split snatched the reps at the gym and I plan on doing the same next Saturday.  I am going to be efficient and take one rep at a time.  It's only 20reps/side.

Deadlifted barefoot for the first time today.  Wanted to get used to it because next Friday, I plan on doing Diane with my shoes off to reduce the friction on the wall during the HSPU as much as possible.  Felt good.  No real issue with it and I think my third set was a personal best for a set of 3.  My legs were absolutely cooked afterward.  I dug pretty deep.  

When I got to the deadlifts during the AMRAP, it felt HEAVY.  I really haven't done a heavy long workout before so I took this as a learning experience and an opportunity to play with reps and pacing.  Seems that doubles with the heavy weight is probably my best bet, using the momentum from the first rep to get into the second.  I think I will use this on the final workout next Sunday.  Had to keep effort at 85-90% so I didn't redline.  Row was at a 1:51 pace and burpee box jumps were smooth.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Training: 4/18/2012

AM Training:
50 Cal Row
25 Burpees (jump on 45lb. plate)
Time: 3:13

PM Training:
7min Z1 Run
90sec @ 80%/90sec @ 50% x 2
60sec @ 90%/60sec @ 50% x 4
30sec @ 95%/30sec @ 50% x6
7min Z1 Run

Notes: Didn't get a great night's sleep.  Came in with decent energy, but I knew I had to push it, it's close to go time.  Finished row in about 2:10 and then hit the burpees.  Felt fine afterward.  Pleased with this workout.  Hit the run about 4 hours later.  Warm in the middle of the day.  Good to feel the heat.  Have to get used to it.  Felt fast on runs and didn't really feel that aerobically taxed.  I am liking how I am feeling right now.  Just hope I haven't peaked too early!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Training: 4/17/2012

AM Training:
A. Power Clean: 3 x 1.1.1, rest 6 min (230,237,240)
B. Push jerk: 5 x 5, rest 60 sec (155,165,175,185,195)
notes-fast, focus on efficiency
C. Muscle-Ups: 4 sets, skill work. Efficiency focus. (all good here, unbroken sets of 6 reps, smooth.  Bar muscle-ups also)
D. Ring HSPU: 4 sets amrap(-2), rest 3 min (moved to afternoon)


Ring HSPU: 4 sets amrap(-2), rest 3 min
+Lac. power sets - up to critical drop-off or a max of 6 rounds:
10 C2B Pullups
10 Ring Dips
20 Box Jumps 20"
40 Double Unders
rest 6 min


Notes: Morning session went okay.  Power cleans were a bit off, wasn't getting the height I needed on some of the reps to complete them in a quarter squat.  I resorted to dropping a bit lower under the bar and trying to stop myself from being compressed into a full squat.  Push jerks felt okay.  Muscle ups were fine as well.  Threw in some bar muscle-ups just to get some touches.  I moved the ring HSPU to the afternoon session because I ran out of time.

Opened up with the ring HSPU that I missed from the morning.  They felt fine and I was able to string together 10 at a time easily.  Intervals were pretty easy.  Don't think the power output was high enough to cause me to produce excess lactate.  Focused on doing the movements as fast as possible. My left pec tightened up on me during my 4th set.  Seems that the CTB combined with the dips and muscle ups from the last few days strained my left pec a bit.  Nothing major, and I will have my doc work on it tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Training: 4/15/2012

Workout #1:
Back Squat (225lbs.)
KB Swings (32kg)
Time: 6:53

Notes:  Got up this morning and ate an apple and had some BCAAs.  Got to the gym at about 8:30am and warmed up with some airdyne sprints, a hamstring sequence and then some KB swings, progressing up from light weight to the RX weight.  Then I warmed up my back squat, building up in sets of 5 all the way to 275 for an easy set.  Goal was to do this workout in sub 5min. I think I can now gauge what I am actually going to do workouts in, +2min or -2 Rounds from my prediction.  Low back got fatigued and surprisingly my grip got crushed on the back squats.  Having the hands in that extended position for multiple reps is very uncomfortable.  Good effort this morning, tried to keep the hurt on and push the pace as much as possible.  Couldn't have gone much faster.  Cooled down with 10min airdyne right after the workout.  I learned my lesson from earlier in the week.  I am praying that the same soreness doesn't return!

That ends the testing for my second competition style weekend.  I thought the workouts earlier in the week effected my performance over the weekend.  Specifically all the squatting on Tuesday.  I have to keep this in mind as I head into the home stretch.  I accept the results though.  The training has to be hard.  You can't be "fresh" all the time.  You won't always achieve great results during training.  I must be comfortable giving up being "good" now, to achieve greatness later.  I trust the process.  I am ready to go.  Regionals cannot come quick enough.  I am going to rip the head off a fucking lion......

Training: 4/14/2012

Workout 2:
In 15min:
Find 4RM OHS
2 Attempts at AMRAP CTB Pullups
Total score= OHS (KG) + Total CTB Pullups
161= 84+(40+37)

Notes: Felt pretty good going into the workout.  Had a good night's sleep, but I guess my quads were still dead because I failed on OHS @ 205, 215, 195.  I couldn't keep my knees out and got buried in the bottom on the 4th rep.  CTB felt good.  I think I could have done about 50 on the first set but chose to save it.  Kicked the bars hanging on the all on the second set and dropped down.  Note to self: can't rest during a set, it ruins rhythm and destroys grip.  Need to continue set, or just drop down.

Workout 2:
800m Run
30 Ring Dips
800m Run
30 Toes to Bar
800m Run
5 Rope Climbs 20'
Time: 14:34

Notes: I did 3x1min Row, Airdyne, and Run to warm-up for this one.  Hit a little bit of mobility and also a couple toes to bar and ring dips.  I got a full warm-up in before the first workout so I was pretty much ready to go.  Energy felt good.  After the second workout I had 3 oz. salmon, 1 banana, 1 orange, 1 coconut water and a handful of sweet potato fries.  Felt a bit hungry, just the way I like working out.  Run splits were 3:21, 3:21, 3:24 with a turn around.  Held 85% for all the runs.  I kept in mind how the 1 mile repeats felt the last few weeks, so I paced it just right.  Broke on ring dips and T2B so I didn't redline and end up suffering for minutes on end.  Threw on gloves at the end to reduce the tearing on my hands.  Rope climbs were decent, need to be more efficient and not get caught fumbling with my feet.  One more workout to go tomorrow.  That will be ROUGH!  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Training: 4/13/2012

In 5min, Build to Max Thruster (225lbs.)
rest 5min
200m Run
25 Push Press
200m Run
Time: 2:59

Notes: Woke up and legs were still really, really sore.  Decided to hit this workout at 3pm, right around when the workout is going to be during regionals.  Hit a 1k row with intervals, then built to a max box jump.   Never found it before, and I figured it would be good to get some exposure to something like this (plus it's a fun way to warm up).  I was watching olympic lifting all day, so I had some good thoughts coming into the max thruster.  I hit 225 in the regionals last year, so I was looking for something bigger than that.  Jumped to 245 and missed, but with the way my legs are right now, I think I have that fresh.  Couldn't think about it long because I was right into the second part.  I felt on fire during this workout.  The combination of pre-workout supplementation, eating, and a good warm-up, this felt like nothing. All reps were fast and unbroken.  Walking away from this unaffected is a big confidence booster.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Training: 4/11/2012

AM Training:
3 sets @ 97%:
Row 200m
rest 3min
Results: 34.8, 34.5, 34.1
---12min Active Recovery
3 sets @ 100%:
15 CTB Pullups
80m Prowler Push (40lbs.)
15 Burpees
rest 3min
Times: 1:42, 1:47, 1:49
---12min Active Recovery
Knees to Elbow
Airdyne for Calories
Time: 3:00

----REST 2.5 HOURS

PM Training:
15min EMOM:
50 Double Unders Unbroken on 1/2 of attempts
rest 5min
10min EMOM:
12 KB Snatches (24kg-alternate arms each minute) Unbroken
rest 5min
5min EMOM:
25 Box Jumps (20")-Unbroken

Notes: As expected, I was ungodly sore today from the 45 back squats I did on Tuesday.  Quads were just smoked.  I warmed up for the first workout with a 1k row, doing small intervals at the end of each minute, then I got right into the sprints.  I focused on staying as relaxed as possible during the intervals, using a strong pull and trying not to be frantic.  I went negative splits from set to set, so it seems like the lactate fulling is getting to where it needs to be.  The second set was longer that I anticipated.  CTBs were all unbroken, and I used the slick bars to add a curve ball into the mix.  Have to remember on my chest to bars to pull forward toward the bar right from the bottom, and not wait until getting to the top of each rep.  The 80m prowler (which was roughly the prescribed 30sec) was brutal, and by the end of each push, my quads wer smoked. Not matter, I tried to zip right through the burpees, but the quad fatigue was the limiting factor.  The last couplet went well.  I tried to go as hard as I could on the airdyne, and then get right on the bar for the gymnastics movements.  I put it into overdrive on the knees to elbow on the second set, and really felt the "next gear."  Need to remember I have this if I need to distance myself from other competitors.  It is easy to fall into an "aerobic" pace.  On shorter intervals, I need to practice going faster on gymnastics movements.  Cooled down with 10min of Airdyne.

I thought the second workout was going to be a bit easier, but it was just painful.  I am not sure what you would call it, but one movement over and over again seems to be a bit of a goat for me, so this was both a physical and mental challenge.  Broke on half of the sets of double unders, more from technique then from fatigue.  On the snatches, both hands formed multiple blisters by the final set.  Need to remember this for future kettlebell snatch workouts.  I need to either adopt a new technique, or cover my hands.  Box jumps were with sectionals standards, so it slowed things down a bit.  Legs are still dead.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Training: 4/10/2012

A. Clean and Jerk: 3x1.1; rest 6min (235, 252.5, 260)
B. Clean and Jerk: 3 EMOM x 7min; add per set (155,165,175,185,195,205,215)
C. Back Squat: 3x2; rest 3min (320 (1), 315 (1), 315)
D. Back Squat Ladder: 3x1-5 w/ 225lbs. (6:15)

Notes: got up and hit this one right away.  Good night's sleep last night.  Woke up, had an apple, supplements, and BCAAs.  Warmed up with some depth jumps on boxes, a little hip/ankle mobility and then bar work.  Legs were a little fatigued going in, but I was in a good mood.  Clean and Jerks felt good, even though my last jerk was a bit sloppy.  No misses there.  My left wrist was bothering me a bit and the tendon that has been inflamed seems to be running up the forearm as well.  EMOM was unbroken until the last set where I dropped from the top.  Feeling more confident with these.  

Back squats didn't feel too bad, just tough.  Brain farted on the second set, letting my chest collapse on the second rep.  Came back and hit the final set of 2 though.  Back squat ladder was brutal.  Quads were SMOKED afterward.  I know I am going to be feeling that tomorrow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training: 4/8/2012

40min Z1 Run

Notes: Got up and hit the run on an empty stomach.  Body felt good on run, focused on stride length, keeping the chest down and not overextended, and stride frequency.  Hit some heat, stretching and ice on left wrist.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Training: 4/7/2012

AM Training:
A. Snatch: Build to Heavy Triple (190)
B. Deadlift: Build to Heavy Single (365, 405 (f))
C. OHS: Three reps start at 135lbs., increase by 10lbs. each sets, rest 60sec b/t sets (205)

PM Training:
2 sets @ 95%:
Airdyne 40sec (38,36)
rest 4min
---rest 10min
2 sets @ 95%:
30 CTB Pullups (1:08,1:11)
200m Sprint
rest 5min
---rest 10min
2 sets @ 95%:  (87,92)
30sec Wall Balls
30sec Ball Slams
rest 8min

Notes: Woke up and hit the gym early.  Warmed up with some airdyne sprints, a little mobility and then got to work with the limited time I had before class.  Sequence felt good today, but my left wrist was not feeling great so I really had to wrap it tight.  Hit a good triple snatch.  Had some more in the tank, but I wanted to get out feeling fresh.  Deadlift was HEAVY today.  Just didn't have it in my legs/lower back.  OHS went okay, but my shoulders fried out and I had to dump 215lbs.  

PM training went well.  Airdyne was painful but I was putting out very good wattage.  CTB pullups were unbroken and felt good.  A bit of pain in my left shoulder.  Wall balls hurt bad.

Training: 4/6/2012

10min Z1 Run
5x10/10 KB Snatches (24kg)
10min Z1 Run
3 sets:
7/7 TGU (20kg)
50' HS Walk
10min Z1 Run

Notes: all good today.  Legs felt pretty good after the day off.  Left wrist is really sore from the handstand walks.  Almost to the point where I can't use it for a few minutes.  There must be some kind of mean inflammation in there.  I will have to keep up with some ice over the next few weeks, I know there is going to be HS walks, can't let the pain effect me. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Training: 4/4/2012

AM Training:
A. Split Jerk: 3x1.1.1; rest 5min (255,275,285(2))
B. Back Squat: 3x3; rest 2min (295,295,300)
C. Power Clean + Push Jerk: 5x1+5; rest 60sec (155,175,195,215,225)

PM Training:
1 mile run @ 90% (6:38)
-rest 3min
7min @ 90%: (4+2 muscle ups)
3 Muscle Ups
4 Wall Walks
50 Double Unders
-rest 3min
1mile Run @ 90% (6:35)
-rest 3min
7min @ 90% (4 rounds + 1 Rope Climb)
1 Rope Climb
7 Toes to Bar
14 Box Jumps (30"-step down)

Notes: Morning training session went pretty well.  I was a little fatigued from the day before, but I was in good spirits to hit some morning weight training.  Split jerked off the blocks to keep the strain off the body.  I was focusing on dropping the back knee today.  Hit some heavy triples which I believe are the heaviest I have ever done and felt pretty smooth.  Left groin felt okay during the back squatting, not nearly as inflammed as last week.  Power cleans and jerks felt good.  Need to be patient on the pull in the power clean.  When the weight gets heavier, I tend to pull too early and bump the bar out a bit.

Before the second workout, I felt a bit odd.  Perhaps I was still a bit loopy from the morning session.  Warmed up with 3x1min-airdyne, jump rope, and row.  The third set I went 10sec hard, 10sec easy to get the aerobic enzymes flowing.  Very hot in the gym today, so excessive sweating was an issue, especially for gripping the rings.  Double unders started to go after the third set because my shoulders were fried.  Runs felt good, and they were faster than last week's (6:50 last week, 6:38 this week).  This tells me that my gears are starting to sharpen.  Rope climbs were a little sloppy, rope slipping out a couple of times.  Box jumps were brutal after the runs and having to step down.  All T2B unbroken.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Training: 4/3/2012

3 sets @ 95%:
10 Squat Cleans (165lbs.)
500m Row
Time: 2:30, 2:26, 2:26

Notes: Moderate energy coming into the workout.  I think the day off left me in a bit of a fog.  Warmed up with some short airdyne sprints, dynamic mobility, and then built up to a heavy triple squat clean (TnG).  This was one of the more painful workouts I have done.  All squat cleans were very tough but unbroken.  This was a good workout for me.  The rows were brutal, and by the final set, I hit critical drop off, going +3 sec from my first set.  Good grunt effort today.


Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Training: 4/1/2012

10 Muscle Ups
20 Box Jumps (24")
30 KB Swings (32 KG)
20 Box Jumps (24")
10 Muscle Ups
Time: 4:30

Notes: Last workout of the weekend competition simulation.  I woke up feeling surprisingly refreshed, without much soreness.  I think this may be due to the extensive cooldowns I was doing on Saturday.  

Ate about 3 hours before the final workout.  Warmed up with a general dynamic warmup and then some SMFR on lats and shoulders.  Wanted to test the muscle ups on this workout.  Was able to string together sets of 10, 5, 5 which is the most I have ever done before.  Gaining confidence with the new technique.  Longer sets of heavy KB swings seem to still give me an issue.  Want to be able to hit the 30 mark in a workout.  Overall, I feel my confidence has grown over this weekend.
I have learned a lot, and I will make sure to incorporate when game time comes.