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December 29, 2011

12*29*11 Strength 2*1*2*2 OH/DL

Today was a bit different I played around a little bit getting away from RX'd.  I think I have dialed in where I am going to shoot for the meet next weekend.

Standard warm-up:
ART on Achilles and Calves seems to be making a big difference.

OH:  Played with Strict pressing before going to Push Press
135 x 5
225 x 5
285 x 1
305 x 1 (too much legs to call it strict)
325 x fail
345 x 5 x 2  These were rough strict pressing killed me.

135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 5
405 x 1
495 x 1
595 x 3
525 x 5 x 3

3 x 10

Single arm rows:175#
3 x 10

With all of that I think I have my openers.  I will still train early next week then shut it down.  This meet sounds fun but I am going for that and a little test.  It is going to be what it is going to be.  I am not taking off of training to peak for it.  I have a couple friends lifting and I have not been in a competition environment in awhile.

Openers are going to be 585-335-585  these are all weights I can triple.  I will be in knee sleeves and belt.  We will see how it goes.

December 27, 2011

12*27*11 Strength 2*1*2*1

Ok Christmas is over and time to put that extra bloat to use.  Still having some issues with my feet and legs however they are responding well to some extra time warming-up and ART massage.  Training heavy = things are going to hurt.

Standard warm-up:
Spin Bike
ART in Calves and Achilles with baseball

bar x 10
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 5
405 x 5
505 x 5
525 x 5 x 2

135 x 5
225 x 5
325 x 5 x 2 worked on being able to pause these.  I am looking at doing a raw meet next weekend so I am hoping I can get a legal bench.  It is going to be pathetic either way.

Good Mornings:
3 x 10

Tricep ext: with band
3 x failure.

Felt good this week way better than last week.  I guess last week I was far more beat up from throwing as much as I did prior.  Things are feeling good looking forward to triples next week and maybe a meet.

Still working on website I am hoping to have everything laid out the way I want it in 2-3 weeks.  I have some good help from a couple of friends and fellow throwers.

December 21, 2011

12*21*11 Strength 2*1*1*2 Push/Pull

Standard Warm-up:
spent some extra time working on my Calves and Achilles.

bar x 10
135 x 5
225 x 5
325 x 3 x 5

Dead Lift:
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 5
405 x 5
505 x 5
555 x 2 x 10

* I need to adjust my estimated max.  Basing this off of my 555 x 10 RM gives me a 730 est 1 RM.  There is no chance in sweet hell that I can pull any thing near that. Those are all touch and go and so I know it does not work as good as it does for the other lifts.  So I am going to drop the weight down to something a bit more realistic.  I will base my workouts off of 650 max.

Pull ups:
3 x 10

Single arm rows: @ 200#s
3 x 10

contrast x 5 rounds or until LBP goes away.

I am trashed after this workout.  I am having pain Achilles I think I need to do some ART work on both.  time to smash the lacrose ball.

Article: Stuffing your box with gear.

Never leave home without it.


            Gear, what you need for the games.  Well being that I am a gear whore; I bring a ton of shit with me.  This has always been the case.  Being under prepared was always much worse for me than having way to much stuff.  With all the variety of situations that you will encounter at the games I like being ready for it all.  I will break down everything I keep in my travel box.    
            Chances are that someone out there will have all of this available and be a good enough guy to lend you some of it.  Think of this as a lucky draw and don’t count on it.  Bring your own stuff, be prepared, and don’t be that guy every game.  People will remember and start to hate you.  Here is the stuff that travels with me to every games.  This is for the most part the same stuff you need for heavy training in the gym so you should familiarize yourself with all of it.
I know the Euros don’t use gloves so if that applies to you skip this.  I use two different types of gloves, both of which are basic and you can get at any home improvement store. 
I use a thicker leather glove with a ball cinch on the back.  This is for anything I am hook gripping.  This glove has been the biggest improvement for me in the games.  I can take a huge volume of throws with it and never damage my thumb. 
The other glove is just some simple thin leather mechanic gloves for hammer.  This accomplishes a couple of things: easy clean up of tacky in games and training and tacky sticks to them since they don’t sweat. 

Here is where I get crazy in my packing.  I typically have 5 pair of shoes in my box all for varying events or conditions.  I may only use three of them for a games but I feel better being ready.
Hammer boots are a must.  These are nothing fancy.  They are the cheapest pair of boots that I could find and I bolted my blades to them. 
Javelin boots are my main shoe.  I use these for all the distance events and sheaf.  I like them more than the rubber cleats.  The spikes are minimal and I have never felt them slip.  I can also change out spikes according to what the surface feels like.  They rotate easily and still grab for driving.  They are as close to feeling like throwing shoes in the grass I have found.
Weight lifting shoes for me are the best for weight for height.  Since I am for the most part doing a single arm snatch I like the position they put me in for the pull.  They also make for having a great stable base and raised heel.  If it works in the gym why not work on the field?  A good pair of these is worth every penny

The last two I carry with me are extras for special circumstances.  They don’t often get used, but I am glad I have them when I needed them.  Soccer cleats and simple running shoe, if the ground gets too hard for spikes I use regular shoes and soccer cleats if it is really muddy. 

I carry about 6 rolls of athletic tape with me to all games.  It is pretty much duct tape for an athlete.  I will use to tape on my gloves, shoe repair, hammer grip, fork grip, fixing torn calluses, and holding my knee together.  Don’t go without it.

Knee Sleeves are something every strength athlete needs to be aware of and most are.  There is a reason that everyone has the blue neoprene sleeves on for every sport.  They are amazing and will work as your new wooby.  You will wonder how you ever trained without the added warmth and support.  These are great for throwing and will help keep your knees warm all day.  They will smell like death however so wash them or don’t and have everyone talk about you smelling like a garbage dump.

Wrist wraps are going to be based on your personal preference of thickness and length.  I use one that is short and thin.  I just realized it sounds like I am talking about your preference in junk.  Oh well.  You can also use tape, but that will get expensive with throwing in training.  Some of the thinner ones will allow for the wrists to flex back more in the stone while still supporting it.  That is what I like if you have other needs pick your accordingly.

Chalk is great for stones and some people use it for WOB as well.  I personally use it only for stones.  Keeps the neck dry and gives more grip on stones.  With stones typically being a 1st event this will be very handy since the ground will still be wet with dew. 

Towels are great to have and no one wants to share a sweat rag with you.  That is how people get staph infections.  So bring a nasty towel from home or liberate some of the ones from your hotel the night before.  It is great for drying off and cleaning implements that are wet and muddy.  This thing will be awful by the end of a games so wash it occasionally.   Or be a gentleman and return it to the hotel and they can clean it.

Belts are good to have with you.  I only use my heavy lifting belt for WOB.  My heavy belt is a 13mm leather Lever Belt.  This is another must have thing in your gear arsenal. I also carry a neoprene belt that is great for getting the low back warm.  This belt will not be much support but will help if you have some soreness.  Also a belt can be the difference in backing out do to back pain or finishing strong with added support.

Liniments are like external lubricant for the gears.  Use these to help with getting the joints warm and alleviating some pain or soreness.  There are lots of thee available but what I have always stuck with are Equi-block, Tiger Balm, or any other capsaicin based rubs.  If you are not familiar with these types of products I highly recommend them.  However with that when you start using them start light.  Tiger Balm is the lightest of the three.  The other two should be considered like Nuclear weapons, not the first choice but if you need the job done they are the ones you want.  Both of these will heat up and get very uncomfortable if too much is used.  I know that despite my disclaimer you will go into this full force and ruin a training period by using too much.  So enjoy.

Neoprene shorts are going to work the same as the knee sleeves or belt but for your hips and legs.  Many games start with cold mornings this will help get things feeling mobile quicker and give a little support at the same time.  Plus they make you look awesome and you can take them off when the day gets warmer.

PVC Roller:
A PVC Roller is great cause at 6” diameter and less than a foot long it will fit in your bag and you can shove other shit in it.  This thing works better than a foam roller and is only about $6.00.  Spending sometime on here will help in loosening all the busted scar tissue and sinew that has been keeping you together.

Stretch bands are great not just for looking like you know what you are doing in the gym or showing how dynamic your lifts are.  They are great for stretching and warming up.  Keeping one of these handy can take care of warming up everything from shoulders with some face pull to your hamstrings and low back with good mornings.  You can also use it to launch things at your fellow competitors.

Tacky is one of those things that is a highland games thing.  Weather you are using spray or Brock's make sure you have enough of it.  Someone is going to want to borrow your for sure.  I personally use the spray tacky since it is much easier to get a hold of and never has that way to cold to use feel.

            These items travel the world with me.  I make sure I have all of them in my box and when packed carefully it still all comes in under 50lbs.  So not all of this may be for you but it is what I use.  Check it out and figure out your own supply.

artfully posed items

December 20, 2011

12*20*11 Conditioning

Look at the poor Scot in the back hiding form the sunlight.

So today I did some more conditioning and stretching.  Things are feeling good.  I have a spot on my left ankle that doesn't move much due to scar tissue so I am trying to work that thing free.


Standard warm-up:
added more jump rope and spin bike.

Prowler: +90lbs
10 sprints AFAP (as fast as possible)
total time 8:46

rode spin bike for 10 min to cool down

more stretching.

December 19, 2011

12*19*11 Strength Phase

Starting my 1st 5 weeks of strength I am excited however I was feeling a bit worn out from all of the throwing this weekend.  I decided to go ahead and get it done anyway. 

Pre-workout shake:

I will say again that even days that physically I am not feeling like training this combination gets me up for it. 9 out of 10 times I have great workouts on days I feel like skipping.

Standard warm up:
low back rolling

bar x 10
135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 5
405 x 5
505 x 2 x 5

135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 3 x 5

Good Mornings:
3 x 10

Weighted Dips:  I still need to find out a better way to do these with what I have.
3 x 10

Prowler x 8 
4 @ 90
4 @ 180

hot tub and cold shower

I am working on getting a better website up and running.  It should give me some better options for my site as well as some better organization.  So I hope to have that running before February.

12*19*11 Videos of throwing from this weekend. Hammers and stones.

December 18, 2011

12*18*11 Weekend of throwing


This past weekend I got the chance to meet up with my brother and Duncan in Houston to do some throws training.  We took three days and hit all of the events pretty hard.  This was a good week I have not thrown this much since Worlds in Sept.  This is also a chance to see where things are technically and how the training so far as translating into the throws.

heavy hammer x 15  best of 113'
light hammer x 15 best of 135'

Open Stone: x 20 best of 60' off concrete
                    x 10 best of 57' in grass
HWFD: x 20 best of 44' with about 10+ throws 42'+
Sheaf: x 20
LWFH:  for fun x 20  (trying to throw over a 25' fence.)

LWFD: x 15 best of 84'
WFH x 5

This was a great weekend and glad to have a bit of a throws check before starting my Strength cycle tomorrow.  With things switching to a three day a week training and 2 days throwing I am excited to start pushing the max strength for the next 10 weeks.

December 15, 2011

12*15*11 Deload Week: Really Ugly Olympic Lifting

I wanted to get a test number for my Olympic lifts and here is how things went.  Every time I see myself do Olympic lifts I want to go and get with a coach so I can get better.  I remember thought that I am not a weightlifter or ever want to be one.  So Ill just keep cleaning and snatching with terrible form.

Pre workout-
Modern Bcaa
2 scoops protein

standard warmup:

339 from floor
368 from hang

281 from floor

Like anything I now have some numbers to work from.  These will improve over the course of the next strength cycle.

December 13, 2011

Article: Deloading - take the time off to keep making gains.

This has nothing to do with the article, but I don't have and SFW pictures of me delaoding.

Keep making gains.
Building a deload into a program is a necessary part of any smart successful training.  For the majority of the season I deload week every 5th week.  You will accomplish a number of things by doing this.  Giving your body a chance to relax is key when lifting hard for extended periods of time.  Many people handle deloads differently; some completely abandon the gym while others train really light through them.  I personally have found the most benefit from still going to the gym and going through my typical Warm-up and Stretching.  As far as lifting goes I never go any heavier than 50% during my deload week.  I am trying to accomplish some increased blood flow and making sure all soreness is gone before next block starts.  I maintain all of my conditioning during this week as well as my throwing.
Example of typical deload week training.

Standard Warm-up
Bar x 10
50% x 3x 10
Bar x 10
50% x 3 x 10
Good Mornings:
135 x 10
Prowler or Circuit Training:
10 trips or rounds

            By doing this, you will help alleviate any tweaks or minor training soreness.  The other main aspect for a deload week is a mental break from training.  Many times when I get to a deload week I am feeling great and want to keep pushing.  It is still important to deload as prescribed.  This is also a time to refocus and will keep you hungry to get back in the gym.  It is always better to want to train hard, than to feel like it has become a chore.  Having that fire in your gut to keep you pushing hard in your training is important, keep it there.  No reason to keep pushing only to burn out or get hurt when you can deload and stay motivated

12*12*11 Throwing building volume


This week is a deload week.  I need it, my shoulders are tired form the testing last week.  So I am going to spend this week getting some needed throwing in.  The next cycle of my training is going to include another day of throwing.  Do now 2 days a week of throwing and 3 days lifting.  My goal is to start getting the reps in in all my throws.  These are not high intensity throws, they are between 70% & 80% effort.  Just making sure that I am hitting positions and feeling what I need to feel.

Well here it is.
Going HAM:
warm-up 5 winds x 5
1 turns x 5
2 turns x 10 best of 113'

This is an improvement my current PR is 107'  I am going to need to get into the mid 110's to be competitive next season.

fulls x 10 easy throws best of 83'

x alot did not film all of them.  best of 55'

trying to work on balance and the feet here.  I need to start getting more over my left out of the back as well as turning the right foot over more in the middle.  Having a slow right foot leads to missing the hand for me.

December 08, 2011

12*8*11 Bench PR 345 x 6 and my up coming training plans

Last day of testing.  I may go for a clean and snatch next week but who knows.  I am happy with the way things went this cycle.  I feel strong, my flexibility is up, and GPP is also good.  Throwing is coming along steadily as well.

Bench today:
345 x 6 PR

That sweet belly and my arch is gangsta.

This give me a training max of 415 for my strength cycle.

My programming is getting me what I want.  I am still making strength gains with out having to load my CNS every week.  Here are what my old maxes were and where I am now.

Squat:                             Oct. Max 600   Dec Max 585 x 3 = 640
Overhead press:              Oct. Max 375   Dec Max 345 x 7 = 425
Dead Lift:                       Oct. Max 600   Dec Max 555 x 10 = 740
Bench:                            Oct. Max 385   Dec Max 345 x 6 = 415

I built my last 10 weeks around these old maxes and never trained with anything over 65%.  Yet I still made sizable gains in all of my lifts.  These new maxes will be used for my next 10 weeks of training.  This cycle is going to be focused on making Max strength gains.  So heavier weights for less reps while continuing to keep conditioning and stretching a big part of training.  Throwing is going to increase to twice a week and a bit more volume.

December 07, 2011

12*7*11 Past Couple Days OH testing PR 345 x 7

So training is pretty slow this week from it being a test week.  Ill be back at normal in two weeks.  next week all throwing and light lifting.

Yesterday Andy was in town and we took a couple hammer throws out in the cold shit weather.  40* and misting rain.  Other then it being tricky to keep a good hold in the hammer things feel like they are getting better.

22 hammer: 2 turns best of 103'  my pr is 107'
16 hammer: 2 turns best of 135' PR is 135'

Here is some video  The battery was dying so like the Humble generous host I am I let Andy keep filming his.  My last throw is 22# 103'

Things feel like they are starting to click in the hammer.  I feel my feet working also feel it get long and accelerate out.  I will keep working the 2 turn and eventually move to 3 when I can handle the extra speed.  Until then crush the right side.

Today's Training:

I am still testing my MR this week.  So far things have been good other than me overestimating my squat.  Tonight I went for my MR Overhead Press.  I do a Push Press for my overhead I think it translates to the throws better than a jerk.  I want the feeling of power transfer all the way from feet to the hands.

Took some time to warm-up since it was cold in the garage.  Under 40* tonight in there.  I want a thermometer for inside there.  I know the summer heat is brutal.  I digress here is the lifting.

bar x 10
145 x 5
235 x 3
285 x 3
345 x 7 PR

This is going to give me a training max of 425lbs.  I am happy with this.  I am looking forward to see what happens in 5 more weeks of a strength cycle.

December 05, 2011

12*5*11 Squat Testing 585 x 3

Today's training I decided to get in and test my Squat Max.  The plan was to work my way up and hit 585 for max reps.  I hit 505 for a grueling 10 reps about 5 weeks ago.  So the goal going in was that I am going to hit 585 x 10 well it was not to be.  I don't have any excuses other than the weight was to heavy and I over estimated where I was.

With that said all of the high volume I have done was based off of what I honestly thought I could lift at the end of the season.

This squat comes out to give me an Estimated 1RM of 640 so I am happy since everything for the last 10 weeks was built around a 600 squat max.  Progress is progress I will see where I am after 5 weeks of Max Strength work.

Well here is how it went

bar x 10
135 x 3
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 3
495 x 1
545 x 1
585 x 3 for a RM not an all time PR for me but definitely the strongest I have been while only focusing on the Highland Games.

December 02, 2011

12*2*11 Dead Lift PR 555 x 10

Woah!!!! Immortal?



I jumped into testing a little early but today things felt good in the gym.  I wanted to handle a bit of weight so I decided to give it a go.

Pre-workout shake
also had a delicious cheese burger for lunch.

Warm up:

Dead Lift:
145 x 10
235 x 10
325 x 3
415 x 3
505 x 3
555 x 10 PR

did some other stuff it was boring.

Glad to have this out of the way.  And I can start getting focused about squatting big next week.  Also tomorrow is my 1 year anniversary.  I got lucky and won the lottery by getting to marry the most wonderful woman ever.  She has been amazingly supportive and helped me all the way.  I love her with all my heart. She is my best friend and has made the last year the best year of my life without a doubt.  I thank her for making me a better person.

That's me and my boo.  I love her.

December 01, 2011

12*1*11 December is for Hammers

Loading the Petur stone in Iceland.


One of the many things that I need to desperately improve upon is my hammers.  So I am spending the majority of my time throwing these in training.  The ground is always soft enough for blades so I have no excuse now for why I suck at them.

1 turns x 10
2 turns x 7 best of 105" near PR

Really happy with this things started to feel good today.  The hips are moving I feel the ground with the blades and the head is getting out of the way.  I am doing a 2 wind right now.  Since I am doing a dynamic start I already have some momentum going and this rhythm feel really good right now.  I was planning on taking more except on the last one When I went to pull the hammer head shot off and I slapped the shit out of myself in the back with the pvc and fell down.  The right shoulder is not happy about this.  Sad no film, of course nothing happens while filming all 1000 of this off seasons boring squats but the one day I don't film my throwing I would have had gold.

2 turns x 10 best of 134' near PR

Again this is moving in the right direction.  I need much more work in the heavy than the light.  However with speed being the big factor I need to work the light to get moving.

Article: Conditioning and Example workouts

Article: Conditioning for the Games

            I believe in doing some type of hard conditioning 3-4 days a week.  This will accomplish a couple of things. 1.  Being in better shape is never going to hurt you.  2.  Doing some form of hard conditioning a couple times a week to the point of almost vomiting makes you not a piece of shit.  This can be done in a minimal amount of time.  I personally like using a push sled for sprints.  This has been popularized by the Prowler.  I personally made my own version.  It is still the hardest conditioning that I have found.  For me doing sprints three times a week help everything.  I also like running hills (I live in Louisiana so this is nonexistent unless using a stadium.) or putting together some type of interval circuit involving light weights and high reps.

            It is also the off season for the games right now so everyone should be trying to get into a little better shape for the upcoming season.  Everyone except Mike Pockoski, I think he is somewhere near 320 right now after thanksgiving.  He should keep bulking.  For the rest of you get to it.  Now is the time to get everything ready to handle a long season.  All of these things are going to better you as an athlete more than being on the treadmill ever will.  Even if you don’t have access to a prowler there are tons of options to destroy yourself conditioning wise.

Improving your recovery time and conditioning will help you in the games in numerous ways, not to mention make you an all around better person.  The games are no doubt a long day for anyone, 9 events over 5+ hours are tough on the body.  However the better in shape you are the better you will be at handling the repeated up and down you go through during a contest.  Also it is nice at the end of a heavy lifting day to remind your legs that they need to move quickly.  If nothing else something about running sprints and puking in my front yard alone on some random morning let me know I am willing to work harder than the people I throw against.

I try to do eight to ten rounds of whatever it is.  If you are new to this start easy and build from it.  My typical conditioning is as follows.

Options for conditioning:
Prowler: with 90lbs added
10 sprints of 30-40yrds with a min rest. 

*This can also be done on a bike, elliptical, Jump rope, or treadmill.  Just set the resistance or incline up and sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 40 seconds repeat 10 rounds.
                Sandbag cleans:  100lbs+ bag. 
Take your sandbag clean, catch, full front squat then repeat.   You are going to start with three cleans in 1 min.  So the faster you do these the most rest time you have for the remainder of the min.  After three rounds add a rep each round till you can t finish the number of reps in a min.  You could also shoulder it and switch shoulders.
Example:  round=1 min
Round 1-3:
       3 reps
Round 4:           4 reps
Round 5:           5 reps
Ect. till failure.
*My best is 11 rounds.  It starts to get tight at the end not much rest.
          Full body ladder:
There have been times where I have not had time to get in the gym for a week like I am rx’d.  On weeks like this I know I need to go ahead and try to accomplish something to make up for it.  The time length on this one is up to you.  It is rough and will punish you.
Barbell Complex:  Something you can press OH x10 easy.  For example I use 135.  You are going to have the bar on the ground and start with 10 dead lifts, 10 cleans, 10 front squats, then 10 push presses.  Followed by some cardio, bike or rowing.
Round 1: 
 Complex 10 reps
1 mile on exercise bike
Round 2:
Complex 9 reps
1 mile on exercise bike
All the way down to one rep.
*This will be for time.  Push as hard as you can I think my best has been in 52 min.

Here is a video of an old speed day with Conditioning at the end of it.

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