Back to KBs

Post your training journals here if you like. I'll make back-ups to avoid losing your data.

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JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sat Apr 05, 2014 12:16 am

After a month of waiting, the 40kg came today. So to celebrate, and because I may decide to do the TSC in a couple weeks, I did something different and Dan John-ly in place of swings.

Five series: semi-sumo DL 225*5 + SW 40kg*5 + pullups*3+rest 30sec.
TGUs: 40kg, 36kg, 36, 36, 36

The series gave me some "easy strength/easy endurance" work while reminding by body what deadlifts and pullups are.

Why do a TSC? I'll try to cover that tomorrow.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:42 am

Back to normal today. Swings with 32kg and TGUs with 40kg. On the swings, I'm down to just one inhale between sets until the 8th set. After that I need two inhales. (Mind you, just one breath cycle can easily take 20 seconds, even when my heart is racing. Going from that one inhale down to 15 seconds is tough.)

So the question from yesterday: Why do a TSC? It has to do with this question, which I don't currently have an answer to: What is my yardstick for progress? Since 2008, I've been focusing on my PL numbers and lost the bigger picture.

That bigger picture is that I want some other things too. As my top priority, I need to lean out and stay that way. At 40 that now takes deliberate effort. After that, the second priority is to get more mobility (especially hip mobility). That's already getting addressed enough in S&S. Check. Third priority is a low RHR; anything under 60bpm would be fine, and I think that's going to pretty much get accomplished by my fat loss work. Fifth (I'll come back to fourth) is hypertrophy, 'cause DJ says it's important at this age. OK, so I won't dump hypertrophy, but honestly, I don't care much about it. My experience is that as long as I stay strong, I can easily re-gain as much muscle as I'm willing to eat for, anytime I want.

The fourth priority (the one I've been specialized in for a little too long) is strength. First, I want to retain the ability to bench 1.5x bwt, squat 2x bwt, and pull 2.5x bwt, maybe not any day of the week but on two to four weeks' notice. Second, I'd like to work up to some/all of the following, as fun challenges: C&P bodyweight, OAP 40kg or 48kg, pullup 40kg or 48kg, and TGU or bent press something big.

So once again, leanness, mobility, CV health, strength, and muscle mass, in that order. Maybe that sounds like too many, but my standards for each are pretty modest except strength, where I'm a little more ambitious.

I'm taking action on priority #1, leanness, right now with S&S and some dietary attention. Right now, the dietary regimen is hardly any different than normal for me (oatmeal in the am, big lunch of mostly protein and veggies, huge fucking salad with some protein in the pm) except I'm not eating between meals or gorging on ice cream, and I'm drinking 2+ L of water a day and taking fish oil and Metamucil with each meal. The weight is slipping off, and as long as that continues, I won't take drastic measures like the Velocity Diet. (Hell, like 2L of water isn't drastic. Have you ever really done that? I think the weight I'm losing is from walking to the toilet every 15 minutes.)

But here's the big question: If PL isn't going to be my yardstick for progress, what will be? It needs to be something strength-related (since that's the only priority that's intrinsically interesting to me) that rewards keeping my bodyweight under control, or at least my fat. That ain't PL. I was way stronger at 200 lbs., but I was tubby, hot, and slow-moving. Not fun in the 110-degree heat. I'm happier at an agile 170, but I need something to keep me there. I don't really have the answer, but one thought is to do one TSC a year and one PL meet and not let myself train too specifically for the PL until 8 weeks out. (I thrive on shorter cycles too.) The rest of the year might then just be easy strength-type stuff punctuated with maybe one other eight-week block of tightly focused work.

Dunno. I'm going to figure out as much of this as I can on my own and then maybe just maybe I'll make some kind of pilgrimage to Dan John.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:42 pm

Sunday progress check:

-S&S swings are down to one inhale between sets today. That took effort. I'll note the time next session. I guestimate 06:30.
-40kg in the TGU is breaking in fine.
-Willingness to train (well, to train S&S) medium. My sleep hasn't been perfect and my lats have worked real hard, so that I felt some soreness doing light halos this morning.
-Lost a pound in the last six days.

In the eating department, I'm going to run an experiment where I have a scoop of protein powder and a little more fish oil before bed (instead of waiting from dinner all the way to breakfast).

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:19 am

I am Simple. I had a 1:1 work:rest ratio in 32kg swings today (one set of swings takes me 20 seconds), and of course I got there with 32kg TGUs weeks ago. I'll settle in for a few days before I add in 40kg swings. The grip issue will be formidable at first. Whereas my other bells are competition size, I got the 40 cheap from MDUSA, and the handles are big fat DD-sized chunkers. It's like doing a ballistic one-arm thick-bar deadlift. But hell, that's what makes me so eeLEET.

I'm not doing the TSC this weekend, but soon I may take a break for two weeks of something Dan John-inspired, like Javorek complexes or Litvinovs, before returning to S&S. Last week I read his Philosophy of Training, and now I'm on to Intervention, and it's in my blood. With the weight loss and body-as-one-piece-ness of S&S, moving has been more fun (I had a spontaneous cartwheel-fest a few weeks ago--don't worry, the only person who could see me was a lesbian so she wasn't judging) and DJ's track & field orientation is grabbing my imagination. I've been long jumping and three-jumping in the yard, and I wish I could go learn to throw implements.

Shit, wait a minute, I could! I could learn to do Highland Games, just for the fun of it. And according to The Google, there's a big event near me in two weeks. Sold! I'm going to go watch.

See, a great thing about DJ is his perspective: he gives you permission to not pretend that you are gunning for the Olympics and think about the very big picture, as in "The ultimate reason to be fit and healthy is so that I can enjoy my body and my friends and family for as many years as I'm given. So what will help me thrive, and what kinds of fitness things might I like to do that will expand--not sacrifice or wreck--the rest of my life?"

The fat loss is going great. I get 3L of water, 3-4 doses of Metamucil, and 15+ caps of fish oil.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sat Apr 12, 2014 11:47 pm

Yesterday I started that little Dan John break with simple barbell work:

full SQ, no belt: 135, 10; 165, 10; 195, 10
MP 65, 10; 85, 10; 90, 8
chins 4, 6, 7, 7
plate rows, 2 sets

Today, more Simple & Sinister.

When I finished reading Intervention today, I felt really bummed that it was over, like watching The Wire.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:51 am

On Monday did DL (5-3-2 topping out at easy 355 double) and medium-grip BP (3x10, topping out at lame 175x10, x7).

Rested a day and then got back into S&S. Knowing it wasn't a great idea, I jumped into using the 40kg for all sets. And that's how I tore a callous and ended up sore enough to take another day off yesterday.

So today I mixed in the 32kg for some sets, so that I can go back to daily S&S without stiffness.

Fat loss may have stalled (or maybe my week of bodybuilding held my weight steady). I'll give it a few days with minor tightening (in the form of cutting my apple and raisins by half) before I contemplate anything drastic.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:56 pm

Fat loss is on the move again. Maybe it's returning to daily S&S, without the confounding factor of last week's random bodybuilding. Or maybe it's the minor dietary tweaks: I reduced lunch from low-carb to no-carb and, at dinner, replaced the fresh and dried fruit with about a quarter pound of meat or chicken. Or maybe it's the threat I laid on myself: if this approach fails to produce, I'll do the Velocity Diet.

Mine isn't exactly a Clarence Bass approach--I'm basically relying on carb restriction, and I don't have a sword--but it uses some of his favorite principles: eating basically the same menu each day; measuring some things (i.e., my oatmeal and fruit); and staying full by eating bulky, fibrous meals.

In S&S, I made today my first "100-rep challenge," where I went for a hundred non-stop swings with the 32kg. In the event, I got to 75 before my speed was a joke and I stopped; after a rest I banged out another 25. That challenge was invigorating, and it was a chance to keep healing the tears on my R palm. (Was I fool to get a non-competition sized 40kg?)

Once again, get-ups didn't feel strong, but I used the 40 for four of the five sets. Apart from the initial floor press, the challenge is to keep the oversized ball from trying to rotate around my forearm at inopportune moments.

Lastly, I've had to begin doing the stretches right after the lifting. Otherwise I put them off til evening and never do them.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:24 pm

My T spine area has been stiff the last few days, right about where a line drawn between the lower part of the lats crosses the spine. And then today's swings were going great (all with the 40kg this time), but on rep 99 that spot in my back said, "Yow." So I cut it off there, skipped the get-ups and stretched, and packed it in.

I wonder if I was getting warning signals with the back stiffness and my low enthusiasm to train. (Most days I'm not thrilled to start the warm-up, but often I feel good and ready by the last set of the warm-up. Last few days, not so much.)

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Thu Apr 24, 2014 4:28 am

Yesterday my back felt ready for light work, so I did this complex with an empty bar:

whip snatch x8
back squat x8
press/push-press x8
good morning x8
bent row x8
--Six complexes, about 15 seconds between

That was fine. Fatigued my shoulders but nothing else.

This morning I did the following Javorek/Cosgrove complex with 65#:

power snatch x8
overhead squat x8
back squat x8
good morning x8
bent row x8
deadlift x8
--Three complexes, about 30 seconds between.

That second one is a great complex and gave some real work to my back and glutes, and it grooved my squat nicely. Hard, but I'd certainly like to do that one again.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:39 am

Back felt ready to go back to swings today, but I'm too bored with S&S to go right back to that right away. So for today here's what I did:

SW 40kg, 10/10
alternating with
BP 205, 123/3

My grip was better today, but I hate the thick handles. My form can change over the course of a set as my fingers are slowly forced apart and I have to make the backswing gentle enough not to lose even more traction.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:32 pm

I *loved* yesterday's "swings then a low-rep barbell lift" set-up, and I was all psyched up to do swings + heavy-ish squats today. But when I woke, I could feel a little stiffness returning to that spot on my back after yesterday's 40kg swings, so I changed plan and did the Cosgrove-via-DJ "complexes as my warm-up" thing.

COMPLEX: power snatch, overhead SQ, back SQ, GM, row, DL - 65#, 8 reps of each, 4 complexes with 40s rest
MP 95#, 1-2-3/2, 1-2
alternating with
chins 30#, 1-2/4

Wow, did that hit the spot! And the tonnage is 80% more than my S&S workouts (I'll have to watch that--I have a history of getting too fixated on upping tonnage). I'll try my swings + squats tomorrow.

Oh, fat loss continues well. Ending carbs after noon and replacing fruit in the dinner salad with a little ground beef seems to be working well.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sun Apr 27, 2014 12:56 am

From the daily weighings I can see that fat loss has accelerated very noticeably since I added the complexes.

Today I did my swing + squat alternation:

SW 32kg 10/10
back squat 135, 8; FSQ 135, 5, 3; 155, 3/3; 165, 3/3
tonnage: 5435kg.

In order not to increase my tonnage too fast, I'll limit it to 36,000kg. per week for awhile.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:40 pm

Yesterday I should have rested. I woke up having slept wonderfully but with my arms and legs feeling heavy. Should have taken the day off, but instead I did a KB complex that was harder than expected:

(SW+SN), OH SQ, thruster x 8 reps each mvmt. 32kg, 2 complexes (1R, 1L).
tonnage: about 3000kg

This was extremely taxing, more than the 65# barbell complexes I did last week. I couldn't complete the last three thrusters on the right. I was surprised by the difficulty--fatiguing for the shoulders and disruptive for breathing. Originally I contemplated doing *four* complexes, which wouldn't have been possible.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:39 pm

-Dan John's Complex D:

power clean x10
press
back squat x10
good morning x10
PBN
front squat x8
(Had to scale back Press and PBN reps. I think I got 26 total.)
4 complexes, 75#, 40s rest

-chins 30#, 2/5

tonnage: 7000kg

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Thu May 01, 2014 3:35 am

I've had a craving for snatches and overhead squats with decent weight, so today I tried this complex with 105#:

(snatch-grip DL + SN) x3
OH SQ x3
thrusters x3
bent row x3

feet-elevated pushups, 2 sets

tonnage: 3100kg

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sat May 03, 2014 12:52 am

This month, the title of this journal could be the "Dan John Cock Worship Log." Today I did two new things, the Litvinov and an actual farmer's carry. Loaded the car at lunchtime with an assortment of dogs and kettlebells and went out to a field around the corner.

1) Litvinov: (FSQ 32kg+24kg x8 + 100 yd. sprint), 3 times, minimal rest. Next time it will be time to go up to a 40 and a 24
2) superset: press (24kg x6; 16+16kg x8, 6) and row (32kg, 24kg, 24kg) - almost no rest bw supersets
3) farmer walk, 40kg + 32kg for 60 yards out and back. Apparently the secret to doing a reasonably challenging farmer walk without farmer bars so you can serious weight is to be breathing hard first.
-tonnage: about 4000kg-

Great stuff. Short, very invigorating, and very "intense" (in an Ellington Darden sense) but not so awful I won't want to do it again. Strangely, my legs don't feel wrecked from the Litvinovs. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sat May 03, 2014 11:08 pm

The most leisurely day of lifting in weeks. After a heart-pounding combo lift, I did a couple 5x5s.

1) power clean & push press 120#, 10-8-6-4-2 with one-minute rests.
I got this for starting off a bodybuilding kind of workout from John Schubert, an old-time Oly lifter/coach and physique competitor. It's not as cardiovascularly taxing as most of the complexes I've done recently (shorter TUT), but those first three sets get tough.
Today I tried cooling the hands in a bowl of cold water between sets. (I'm think of that Stanford "cooing glove" study. Can't say whether it made a difference.)

2) Oly squat 205, 5; 225, 5; 245, 5; 255, 5; 235, 5
It's helping me stay upright and keep the bar over my heels (instead of getting pulled forward at the sticking point, which was my lifelong tendency in the high-bar squat) to do two things:
First, space my hands a little farther apart (a half inch or inch into the knurling); and
Second, move the hips pretty much straight down and up over the heels (not far to the rear).

3) med.-grip bench 185, 5/2; 195, 5; 185, 5; 175, 5

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Sun May 04, 2014 4:44 pm

My legs and butt are tired from the last three days, and yesterday my L hip got a little tweak, I think while I was benching. I might have taken a rest day just for that, but I'll have tomorrow off so I just made today a swing-based day with grinds mixed in. Should help expand work capacity a little, but it wasn't lung-searing.

1) SW 40kg 10/10; two-handed, 10/2
2) alternated with presses and chins
press 135#, 1 (RPE 10-that was a surprise); 125#, 2, 1-2/2
chins 30#, 1-2/3
and after that
H2H overhead pressing throws 16kg 8+8/2 (I love H2H stuff)
3) Short one-handed carry with 40kg in suitcase, clean, and OH position

tonnage: 6600kg

Now that I'm used to drinking all this water, it's a cinch to drink 3 liters. Today's a good example: I've only been awake for two hours and it's mostly gone. By the end of the day I'll probably have drunk an extra liter too.

This is a good time to note that I've felt fantastic these last two months or more (since I tightened my diet and began S&S, minus a week in the beginning when I was overdoing it by swinging the 24 at max power and immediately using my lat to brake the bell at chest level--that was exhilarating but hollowed me out after a week). I'm lighter and more mobile and agile (I just plain don't feel 40 anymore), noticeably leaner, generally sleeping well, and I have great energy. My training enthusiasm is usually very high (though things started to get kind of grim after eight straight weeks of doing nothing but S&S in wet grass each morning).

I attribute some of this to diet, a lot to hydration, and I'm sure the fish oil is doing good things too. Normally an anxious person, I haven't felt much of it. Work has been swimming along quite well, but I think that might be as much effect (of these other changes) as cause, and I have a hunch that it helped that I started taking ashwaganda a couple month ago (at the same time as the S&S).

Looking ahead, I'm certain of two things: First, I don't want to get fat again. I'm much happier like this (yes, even if I bench less). Second, even though I'm still a little ambivalent about heart-and-lung work, I never want to stop doing it. It keeps me un-fat, it energizes me, it's actually more exciting (now that I think about it) than the grinding part of my workouts because it's a way to introduce so much novelty, and I have a feeling that it will end up making me stronger in my big lifts.

At the end of the summer I'm going to do a Highland games for fun, and I read something in an early edition of Get Up about medicine balls with handles that you can throw for practices. Sounds like something I want to get. Also, maybe a pair of farmer bars. Maybe.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Wed May 07, 2014 2:37 am

Yesterday was a needed rest. My torso felt stiff, and I know that feeling from S&S. I now interpret it as meaning, "Time to rest."

Today I started with the "British javelin workout" from the 1st edition of Get Up.

1) British javelin workout: 3 circuits of following for time
power clean 119x10
back squat 135 + chains x10
power snatch 100 x10
front squat 119, x clean and 10 squats
(That took me 18 mins 9sec.)

2) narrow-grip OH press 100, 5/3
chins bwt., 5/3
TONNAGE: 8625kg

Holy shit, that British javelin workout was hard. It looked like it would be brisk but refreshing. Instead, it was one of the hardest workouts I can remember, probably more than a set of 20 breathing squats; I remember doing one or two Tabata workouts that were worse on a second-for-second basis, but this lasted much longer. Even though the pace isn't as fast as the complexes I've been doing, the extra weight adds up very fast. Very fast. (Strangely, my biceps are more fatigued than they've been since I last did a serious curl workout, in 1994.)

The idea of the javelin workout is to repeat it and use reductions in heart rate and time elapsed as measures of progress. But I don't want to repeat it any time soon.

With all the bodybuilding work I've done this week, my bodyweight is up a pound and a half (to 176) and my bf (as measured by my Tanita, fwiw) is down half a percent.

Volume for the last 7 days has been 29,000kg, which is well within the limit (of 35K) that I set last week.

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Bobby
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by Bobby » Wed May 07, 2014 4:02 am

How is the fat handle on the 40 treating you now? Just remember:you get used to it fast.
You`ll toughen up.Unless you have a serious medical condition commonly refered to as
"being a pussy".

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Wed May 07, 2014 2:07 pm

Bobby wrote:How is the fat handle on the 40 treating you now? Just remember:you get used to it fast.
Thanks for asking. You were right about that. It's been almost a non-issue the last few times I've swung it. That's a relief, because if and when I move up to a 48, I don't want to pay whatever king's ransom it would take to a competition bell that heavy. And ship it.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Wed May 07, 2014 9:10 pm

Nice sunny day so I went out for a little midday romp. This was supposed to be a Litvinov variation (swing + 200m) but my L calf/ankle was still sore from last week's Litvinov and I immediately strained it. So here's how I retrenched:

1) SW 40kg x25 (10L, 10R, 52H) + plank 1-1.5 mins. Minimal rest.

2) 40kg carry, 40m in rack and OH positions

In the swings, it was hard to use that nice S&S breathing pattern (double-inhale thru nose, out mouth with a grunt). Either it was because I haven't been practicing it (and yesterday's British javelin workout was all uncontrolled, rapid mouth breathing), or because the torso fatigue from yesterday and the long sets (this was my first set over 10 swings with the 40kg KB) didn't leave me enough trunk stability for the nose breathing. Or because the work was denser than usual.

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Fri May 09, 2014 9:01 pm

L calf/ankle still a little painful, and L hip feels faintly sore in the glute, like it needs a little foam rolling or stretching. I'll do that this weekend. So instead of doing the barbell complexes I planned on, I adapted:

1) KB complex with 32kg. Goblet squat x10 + SW x10. 6 complexes
-alternating with...
... Press 130, 2, 2, 1-2/2

2) bent row 130, 5; 100, 5; 130, 5; 100, 5/2

3) ab hang, 1 set

TONNAGE: 5800kg

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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Mon May 12, 2014 3:53 am

Saturday was wild. Instead of anything like the usual, I took a trapeze class. Awesome. I got to do a back flip and then hang by my knees, swing, and then grab wrists with a coach doing the same thing and swing off my trapeze. Damn fun. If I get a chance I'll take a few classes on a "static trapeze," which sure won't hurt my pullup and hanging ab work muscles.

JasonC
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Re: Back to KBs

Post by JasonC » Tue May 13, 2014 4:13 am

1) COMPLEXES: I mixed them up, but they all used 100# for 5 reps/movement with 50s rests.
SN, OH squat, SN-grip DL (twice)
RDL, bent row, CL, FSQ, PP (twice)
combo: FSQ+PP+back squat+PP (once)
RDL, row, CL, GM, thruster (once)
2) hi-bar SQ 225#, 5/3 alternated with clean & press, 130#, 3/3
3) plank, 1m
TONNAGE: 8400kg

Effective, but this afternoon I had a sharp pain in my wrist for awhile. So the last two times I've done repetition barbell snatches and cleans for conditioning with 100# or more, I've gotten joint pain. Shit, I hope this doesn't mean I have to start doing my complexes with KBs. Because for some reason I'm more willing and enthusiastic to do them with barbells (since I've only done KBs for, oh, 9 or 10 of the last 14 years). But the fact is, this stuff I'm doing lately looks increasingl like a Crossfit WOD (as DJ actually wrote way back when he wrote up the British javelin workout in Get Up), so it's reasonable to suppose I could be letting myself in for Crossfit's tendency for injury. Ugh. Well, maybe I'll get some steel shot or jacketed bullets and load the Etalon hollow bells up to 20kg each and do some complexes that way. Looking forward to another Litvinov though.

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