Monday, April 30, 2007


4 Rounds. Resting 3:00 between efforts

Row 750 Meters
15 Reps Dumbbell Hang Squat Clean / Push Press combo (use dumbbells equaling 45% of bodyweight)

Post Your Time for Each round. You should have four times posted.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Ashlynn Rut

3 Rounds for Time:

400M Run
21 DB Swings
12 Pull-ups

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Don’t worry over what other people are thinking about you. They’re too busy worrying over what you are thinking about them.- Tom Brands Olympic Gold Medalist, IOWA Wrestling Legend and Coach

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Every 30 Seconds perform the following:

-Power Clean (pull from the deck)
-Hang Power Clean
-Power Clean (pull from the deck)

Barbell load = bodyweight. Scale your load to your current strength fitness level. The goal is to continue for 10 minutes.

How long can you continue? This workout is inspired by Ethan Reeve. Coach Reeve is the strength and conditioning coach at Wake Forest University.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


The Washington Post had an interesting report on retirees. It appears as though in spite of all the information regarding healthy living and technology that can improve longevity those approaching their golden years are in worse shape than their parents.

As the first wave of baby boomers edges toward retirement, a growing body of evidence suggests that they may be the first generation to enter their golden years in worse health than their parents. While not definitive, the data sketch a startlingly different picture than the popular image of health-obsessed workout fanatics who know their antioxidants from their trans fats and look 10 years younger than their age....more

Monday, April 23, 2007


The WOD in action. Yes, her hips are too high on the roving plank move
How Many Rounds Can you complete in 15 Minutes?

10 Horizontal pulls (aka bodyrows)
15 Ball slams
20ft Reverse overhead lunge (use the slamball or a dynamax ball)
20ft Roving Plank (aka The Roving Push-up. Switch right/left sides each trip)

Sunday, April 22, 2007


My athletes put weight overhead every week at a minimum. As Richard Lansky of the Team Florida Weightlifting states that in overhead lifting the core must:
1 Reduce Force & stabilize
2. Transfer Force & stabilize
The requirements here represent a core to extremity approach to conditioning.
Over the years I have been able to identify those with a broader range of athleticism. I have noted a strong relationship between overhead lifting traits and overall athletic ability. Athletes who put weight (bigger loads) over their head (press, push press, jerks) as a regular practice have little difficulty with anything else related.

Friday, April 20, 2007


Three Rounds for Time:

Pull-ups 25 Reps
Back Squat Push Press (BSPP) 25 Reps
Lateral Barbell Hop* 25 Reps

Load assignment: Male athletes 65lbs/Female athletes 35lbs.

* Executed as follows:

Place loaded bar on the deck at the completion of the BBPP.
Stand to one side of the bar
Hop laterally to the other side with ankles together
Hop back immediately in rapid fire succession

If you are counting correctly, you will finish the hops on the opposite of where you started.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Here's some more fodder for keeping your brain flexible. What they seem to be saying is simple. Like any other organ, to keep your brain healthy, eat right and exercise. Noted researcher Dr. Lawrence Whalley sums it up in his book "The Aging Brain:" "those who maintain mental ability best are those who smoke or drink least (if at all), eat a balanced diet with fresh fruit, vegetables and fish, and keep physically active."
Middle-aged tea men who are heavy tea drinkers had a 68% reduction in death risk from heart attacks and 73% reduced risk of stroke. In another study of over 3,400 men and women, even drinking one or two cups of tea per day reduced risk of vascular disease by 46% (reported in "Saving Your Brain," by Dr. Jeff Victoroff). However, this may not translate to improved brain health.
Loma Linda University researchers tracked 99 people from 1976 to 1991. Those who consumed more calories at the start had lower mental performance scores fifteen years later (reported in Victoroff).
Brain Training:
2/3 of participants in a cognitive training program showed significant improvement, with 40% of those were returned to their pre-decline level of cognitive functioning. These gains were retained over seven years. A religious orders study found a 47% reduction in Alzheimer's risk for those who frequently did significant information processing such as reading news or solving puzzles.

Those who walk rapidly for as little as 45 minutes three times a week significantly improve age-related declines in cognitive abilities. People who participated in a three month exercise regimen grew new neurons; those whose cardiovascular fitness improved the most also saw the greatest increase in brain cells. A study of 222 Swedish twins found that, generally, the fitter member of a twin pair also had higher cognitive scores.
Youthful Mental Ability:
Whalley found that people with lower childhood IQ scores were more at risk for late-onset Alzheimer's (although the cause could really be overall health in childhood).
Dr. David Snowdon of the University of Kentucky tested a group of 70+ year old nuns, and looked at their diaries from fifty years earlier. The nuns whose youthful writings showed sophisticated thought and grammar were much less prone to severe memory loss and Alzheimer's disease late in life. -- "The Memory Bible," by Dr. Gary Small
Many studies support use of anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. One found that as little as two years of use reduced Alzheimer's risk by 35%; longer use reduced the risk as much as 60%. The Economist (July 29, 2006) reports that long term use of aspirin and ibuprofen roughly halves a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's (but this early study found no aspirin benefit). However, there are indications that too much aspirin may increase the risk of brain hemorrhages, so there may be a "just right" amount that best balances risk and reward.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


You can check the accuracy of your plank position by using a stick. The ear, shoulder,hips and ankle should all align.


21 Barbell Thrusters
21 Pull-ups
REST 2:00
15 Barbell Thrusters
15 Pull-ups
REST 2:00
9 Barbell Thrusters
9 Pull-ups

Load requirements equals 50% of bodyweight. Scale the barbell load to fit your current level of fitness strength.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I have watched the procrastination habit (soft addiction) bring down the most successful of individuals. It's a funky little behavior that rears it's ugly head in almost everyone depending upon the issue. I found these tips useful in dealing with the procrastination habit.
-Its better to get a task done sooner rather than later.
-Reward yourself for completing the task, one way or another. (Note: The reward should be simple yet significantly better than the short term satisfaction of delaying what needs to be done in the first place.)
-Try and have the task challenge you.
-Work to a schedule.
-Create a working environment without temptations.
-If you are not confident, train and prepare yourself.
-Procrastination is a habit. Break it.
-Split tasks and reward yourself for doing each smaller chunk.
-Consider your options for bringing delays/rewards closer.
-Set personal deadlines and let people know about it.

Monday, April 16, 2007


{The OTHER Mike's Gym}

3 Rounds For time...

Run 400M
DB Overhead Squats 10R/10L

Saturday, April 14, 2007


In the May issue of the CrossFit Journal I explore variations of the roving push-up with dumbbells. While not exactly a push-up these will build tremendous strength endurance in your upper torso and core. Additionally, they will spice up your tired routine.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007


A key to internal bliss is mastering your time. I have picked up a bunch of time management tricks over the years. One of the best involves the 2:00 rule. This one comes courtsey of David Allen of GETTING THINGS DONE fame. The rule is simple. If you can complete a task (opening mail, responding to e-mail, voicemail) within two minutes then knock it out. It's amazing how long two minutes really is once you put a clock to the task. Enter the COOL TIMER from Harmony Hollow software. This FREEWARE will allow you to sync your internal two minutes with the real two minutes. As a full service coach, I suggest this item to my athletes. Browsing the world wide internet can eat up a day. It's easy to get sucked into a blog (present company aside) or message board and have an hour sucked out of your day before you know it. Prevent life suck. Get the timer.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


% Rank Females Males
91-100 2.94 - 3.15 m 3.40 - 3.75 m
81 - 90 2.80 - 2.93 m 3.10 - 3.39 m
71 - 80 2.65 - 2.79 m 2.95 - 3.09 m
61 - 70 2.50 - 2.64 m 2.80 - 2.94 m
51 - 60 2.35 - 2.49 m 2.65 - 2.79 m
41 - 50 2.20 - 2.34 m 2.50 - 2.64 m
31 - 40 2.05 - 2.19 m 2.35 - 2.49 m
21 - 30 1.90 - 2.04 m 2.20 - 2.34 m
11 - 20 1.75 - 1.89m 2.05 - 2.19 m
1 - 10 1.60 - 1.74 m 1.90 - 2.04 m

A great expression of overall body power is the long jump. The summation of force to go long reveals much about you as an athlete. I'm aware of at least one major college who no longer uses the 40 yard dash for testing. They have indicated that tests of power like the standing long jump and the vertical jump are more telling of your abilities as an athlete.

For one reason or another, I have held on to these stands from some other life. The distances are in meters in case you are scoring at home.


(IRONMIND makes a great dumbbell handle)
I received propaganda mail from my favorite kettlebell marketer today. They are clearly threatened by the prospect of the old dumbbell stealing some of their sales. On page 23 they devote an entire page to the advantages of the kettlebell over the dumbbell.

Here are some of the arguments for the alleged superiority of the kettlebell. To be kind, I find these a considerable stretch of the truth if not downright ridiculous. I post my thoughts following each statement

…”it’s more natural to do swings, snatches and cleans with kettlebells”

What is so natural about snatching and cleaning an implement? There is nothing natural about it. It’s a workout movement involving putting a load over the head. Natural?

…”for some unexplained reason, kettlebells are fun to train with. Dumbbells are not”

Repetition and redundancy will make anything UNFUN after awhile. Even lobster for dinner each night starts to taste like STARKIST after a month. We are training not pushing our fun buttons. Workouts aren’t suppose to be fun because when executed correctly are mostly difficult. The satisfaction of completing a workout is part of the fun.

…”TGU—very hard to do with a dumbbell”

I’m going to guess that TGU is an acronym for TURKISH GET UP. Last time I checked overload and challenge is part of the equation to improved conditioning and performance. (If TGU is short for something else I stand corrected)

….”Swings with a kettlebell move over a greater range or vertical distance (increased work)

If this has something to do with the handle being removed from the center of mass of the kb the distance is negligible and can be compensated for by increasing the weight of the dumbbell. The ROM has little to do with the implement (kb/db/sack of potatoes) but rather with the technique involved.

I’m not starting a fight so don’t flame this post. I know several well established kb athletes and we are on friendly terms. I respect their sport. I own my own kettlebells, and I’m probably responsible for a number of sales but still, kettlebells are not better for conditioning than a dumbbell and they cost more than three times what a hex headed dumbbell will cost. If this is the case then find the study for me and I will publicly acknowledge the results.

The argument that they are better for strengthening is weak. The barbell is better than either of them. Their role is in the high repetition conditioning realm just like the dumbbell but at three times the price.

I see two paths of justification for the kb inventory. If your objectives include becoming world ranked in kettlebell sport then by all means you should own not one but several kettlebells. The second, would involve the trainer or athlete who has the luxury ($$) of outfitting his/her gym with extra iron.

If however your objectives include a general approach to conditioning and you are shopping for a cost effective tool look no further than the dumbbell.

Monday, April 9, 2007


1. Begin with the End. Paint a vivid picture of exactly what it is you want. See yourself in this position. All your senses are in play. Include sounds, smells. Paint it on a big canvas. Use your success journal to compose this visual. Read it frequently. At a minimum upon rising and then again before retiring for the evening.

2. State your goal publicly. This creates positive pressure on you to accomplish your goal. I suggest you share it with your circle of trust. Not the "YES" people in your life. The ones who will be honest and hold you to your word.

3. Establish your deadline. A goal in worthless without an expiration date. Your target should be realistic. This is should be part of your step number four.

4. Commit your goal to paper. This can be written at the bottom of step number one. When you read your visual step followed by the goal you are cementing the picture in your mind. An honest goal will also include benefits of accomplishing a goal and the trade offs of accomplishing the stated goal.

5. Commit to your goal and the process for 21 days. New behaviors have a better chance of becoming routine with a regular practice for 3 weeks.
While at first glance this appears easy don't be fooled. If takes deep resolve. It can be intimidating to share your warts with your family,friends and annouce to the world your objectives. However, I have watch these five steps in action and can tell you that they are very effective.

Saturday, April 7, 2007


One of the reasons I recommend the ZONE diet is portion control. The average person has no idea how much they are consuming during a meal. Our Super Size nation has skewed perception of portions. Here's a plate that places a different spin on the concept. The Perfect Portions plate helps divide the plate into portions that are controlled. While clearly a remedial tool and one that differs in ratio from the ZONE the idea has validity.

Friday, April 6, 2007


The Flag Push-up performed with light weight dumbbells.
You can learn more about plank variations in part one of my article on dumbbell training in the CrossFit Journal "Dumbbells from the Plank: How to Energize Your Push-up Training"

Sandbag Carry 50meters {25m out/25m back} (Use 40-50% of bodyweight)
Flag Push-ups 10 Reps {5/side}
BodyRow 10 Reps
How many rounds can you complete on the 3:00 interval? Record your results to comments.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


Last December I pimped the The Intellectual Devotional. A good way to start your day with the first cup of brew!

Here's another plug for brain fitness. I have discovered an on-line brain gym via You start the process with a current brain function test.

Go to the brain age vs. brain power exam and you will find a no obligation brain status assessment.

Last December I enrolled after learning my results. I learned, that my brain was a bit older than my chronological age and it bothered me. I practiced a drill or two almost daily spending on average 15 minutes. At the end of the day the site allows you to compare your results against everyone or those in your age or age and profession. The college kids and propeller heads dominate the results. I was more comparable with the ladies and gentlemen with more seasoning.

After practicing the drills and I'm pleased to report that my post testing revealed that my brain was flexible enough to improve. I moved from the bronze level to the high silver level in three months.

Check it out and let me know your results.

Monday, April 2, 2007


On my site I place a quick start guide for those athletes starting to at least THINK about a training program. Quick start pointer #1 is in reference to beverage consumption.

Zero or near zero calorie beverages are the only thing permitted during the start up phase of my program. Those being primarily water, coffee and tea. There is a reason for this. It is tremendously easy to suck down 400-1000 calories of nothing before you realize what has happened. You can drink back on the calories from a hard morning’s workout before the check has arrived.

In addition, quick trip type beverages are loaded with sugar. At this point everyone should recognize the deleterious impact of this additive.

Drinking Gatorade or other fluid replacements is no better. Gatorade and the like are nothing more than glorified Coca-Cola. Look at the label. Youngsters and teens are consuming on average 32 oz of sugar laden beverages per day! The two primary drinks are sodas and fluid replacement drinks.

Columnist Jane Brody takes a look at the health impact of different beverages in a recent article.