Zip It Up

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

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JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:49 pm

Sat 1/7

On a whim, I stepped on the scale this morning before breakfast, because I felt slimmer and was curious what the number was. 217. That's a 5# or so drop from when I checked last week. Unexpected. I haven't been "dieting", and my main activity has been weight lifting. I did not expect any change on the scale.

Of course my eating habits have changed, this past 8 weeks. I only made one conscious change: be more judicious about eating whole bags of chips, or inhaling tons of chocolate. If I wanted a cookie, and I hadn't had lunch yet, eat a yogurt first – then the cookie, if I still want it. That's positive, but it's not a huge change all by itself. But without any effort on my part, my appetite underwent a big change after I started lifting. I just haven't craved chips or chocolate, for the most part. What I have wanted is meat and dairy. I guess the effect of that has been like a "diet". But I haven't been TRYING to diet. Very interesting.

I'm like 5% concerned that I lost weight when I "shouldn't" have, and maybe I haven't been eating enough protein etc to support the lifting and grow muscle. I'll see what the next workout tells me.


Judo class!
#3

First week after the holidays, instructor purpously had us doing more more cardio-upbeat stuff, "to work off the last slice of pumpkin pie." We started with uchikomi. I partnered with the gung-ho white belt I mentioned last time: a big rangy guy, very strong. Uchikomi is a drill where first one partner does a bunch of "lead ins" to a throw, with each rep pulling partner (me) a lttle bit forward, until we're across the room: then switch, other person does the reps. In this case we weren't supposed to actually throw, this was just a warmup.

Then we moved to inner reaps. If your right hand is "high" on partner (has the lapel), drive into partner with your right hip and reach with that right foot between your partner's feet, catch either foot of your partner and drive them down. When you reach "across" (your right foot catching partner's right), you sort of trap partner's heel with the arch of your foot. When you get the "same-side" leg (your right leg against partner's left), it's more calf-to-calf. The Japanese gave those separate names of course. One of them is Kouchi Gari, the other is Ouchi Gari (not sure which is which). Instructor had one partner go constant offense for a minute or so (timed), keep driving in and reaching for one technique or the other, until he got the throw, then back up and do it again. When the timer went off we rested for a second then switched. This was a lot of work.

Then we moved to a more strategic application of that lead in. We try to initiate a couple of those reaps: partner steps back protecting his feet. When he does that, he creates an opening for one of the major forward throws, like the hip throw or shoulder throw. We did this samed time set, where for a minute or two one partner is on "offense", driving for that reap and then switching to the hip throw, then switch when time is up.

From there we switched around so we were in groups of three. One of the three was in the middle, two of us on other side. For a timed minute or so, the two outside partners advance on the inside guy, and he does the same throw over and over, either hip throw or shoulder throw. When the timer goes off, rotate. Then in the same groups of 3, we did a "relay". Two guys on one end of the mat, one guy at the other end. Of the pair, one guy sets up a major hip throw on the other, and then with that guy poised on his hip, he carries him across to the other guy. Finishes the throw, and then runs back to the other end. The guy who just thrown does the same to the guy who was waiting, and carries him back. We did this for a timed couple mins.

Then I died.

The last 15 mins were "open mat". The people who wanted to work on grappling (ne waza?) on one side, the people who wanted to work on standing throws to the other. I sat in a corner panting and dripping. I sat out the last few mins of the "carry" exercise, and all of the last segment. I was completely done. I apologized to instructor, he said no it's better not to hurt self or partner, I'm doing fine. It *is* only my third class.

I wore a gi, and it made a big differene in how I was treated. Everyone was willing to throw me, and instructor didn't tell anyone NOT to throw me. I took a shit ton of falls, and will be very sore tomorrow.

Here's the gi I bought: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GI ... UTF8&psc=1

I took note of what people in the class were wearing last month. Two or three people had this brand, including one black belt. I bought it off of Amazon, but I didn't pay the price shown. They had a couple "used" ones available last month, marked as "Very Good" condition and fulfillment by Amazon (eligible for Prime). One of them was like $35 cheaper, and the other $25 cheaper. I bought one of those. The gi was pristine when it arrived: bright white and gorgeous. Here is what I think the deal was. I bet someone bought one of those gi's, tried it on when it arrived, and it was the wrong size so they returned it immediately. Amazon gets it back in the warehouse, and they can't sell it "new": but it really is brand new. So they mark is "used" but "Very Good" condition. If you want to buy a judo gi, I would keep an eye out for that situation. The gi itself is great. Very thick and heavy – the top might be the heaviest garment I've ever owned. Feels very solid, like I'll have this for many years.

For some reason I took almost all the throws on my left side, so my left buttock and left foot are really feeling it, also the left lat area to a lesser extent. Jacked up my left pinky somehow, either jammed it in a gi or slapped wrong on a fall or something. Feels like it might swell. Tomorrow is squat and bench press day, and I'm already very near the limit of what I can handle in the bench, so I'll be worrying about the hand. But it is in no way a "serious" injury, just a normal martial arts bump & bruise.


Our last holiday thing of the year, a holiday dinner with a branch of the family we hadn't seen yet. I had a 12oz strip steak with creamed spinach and potato croquettes. Hell yeah.
Last edited by JimZipCode on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:58 am

Came down sick with a cold or something Sunday. Fatigue, tons of congestion & runny nose, some coughing, and of all things sneezing fits, as if I were having a really bad allergy attack. Basically slept all day Sunday. My wife had this same illness last week, so it didn't exactly come out of the blue. Didn't lift. Still bad enough Monday that I called in sick to work, and slept most of the day again.

I also missed a Sunday/Monday lifting session last month for the California trip. That time, I found a way to squeeze in 3 lifting sessions over the remainder of the week, by going back-to-back Tuesday/Wednesday. There will be no such heroics this week. Just accepting the loss of the day; though actually I'm a little sad about it.


Tuesday 1/10

Squat 135,115 bk 3+4
Plank 2 x 40secs
Bench 130,120 2+3
Rows 110,110 5+5
scap complex 15


Did the squats in a different rack tonight (gym was crowded), and I fucked up a little. It was this kind:
Image
I've done overhead presses out of that, but never squatted in it. Didn't back up the right distance, banged the bar on one of those pins that jut out; on another rep I wobbled and the bar touched the safety rail. It might be bushleague to blame the equipment, but I'm not ready to take those rep numbers as a real message about whether I can handle that weight. Between the weird rack and my illness, I have plenty of excuses lined up. I'll see what the next squat workout shows me.

Partner was a little quick to help me on that last rep in the second set of the bench. I think I had a real shot of straightening out. Can't fault her, given how things have gone recently. Anyway, I'm OBVIOUSLY done on this bench cycle. The last two bench workouts have been pure stubbornness on my part. Time to drop back and start a new cycle.

Skipped adduct/abduct. I have a slightly pulled left adductor from judo day. Might have wrenched it falling awkwardly one time, or holding onto a weird position trying to avoid a fall. Or just repetitive stress from landing on that side over and over, jolting the leg. Whatever. It's not serious, but I'm leaving the adductors alone for a few days. In other lingering martial arts bump-&-bruise news, the left pinky got worse after Saturday. Not sure if it actually swelled, but the pain & stiffness expanded to include the ring finger on Sunday. Was tough to fully extend the hand & fingers. Still sore Monday. Probly just as well I didn't try to bench. The hand is much improved today. At this rate it'll be all better for deadlift day. (Hope so!)
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:51 am

Wednesday 1/11

Rest day, no lifting.

Stole an hour after lunch, but before time to pick up The Boy from school, and drove over to the other gym -- the one I said was good for the squat/bench workout, but not for the dead/overhead workout. This is also the gym where Judo class is. In the studio room where class is, after we pick up the mats, there's a beautiful shiny wood floor, with a very gentle flex like a basketball court. Also mirrors along two walls. Here's how destroyed I've been at the end of Judo classes: I've helped put the mats away at the end of class three times now, and I've never noticed this gorgeous floor. I mean, I knew there was a smooth floor. I knew the room would be adequate for practicing forms in, if it were open. But I didn't take note of just how nice it is. Utterly perfect for what I was looking for.

Next door is a boxing room: a couple of heavy bags, a double-end bag, a speed bag, mirrors at one end. Went into there first, took off my shoes & socks and kicked a couple bags. (Not supposed to do that -- there's a sign that you always have to be wearing wraps to strike the bag.) I've been wanted to kick a bag for real for a few weeks now. Been tempted to re-hang our heavy bag, but the basement is a disaster, there's no room right now. Got a nice jolting surprise on the very first kick, a front kick that shoved ME back a couple inches. Well, that's why you need to practice with contact.

Might have been smart to do some stretching for my "pulled" left leg first, esp before kicking with the right leg. I forgot how important flexibility (and limitations) are on the SUPPORT leg, compared to the kicking leg. As soon as I picked up that right leg, I was like "OH! Right." Wasn't too bad. I suspected yesterday that this issue with my left leg was more along the lines of DOMS than an actual "pull". That's part of why I was so reckless as to just start kicking without warming up.

Also punched a bit. Started with "form" punches rather than sparring punches, emphasizing the left side. Moved onto some jabs.

Then moved into the "nice" studio, turned the lights on. I had planned to work on my four "current" forms, but at the last minute changed my mind and instead walked thru all my underbelt forms. Skipped T2 and P1, because why bother: but walked thru all the others. Noticed a problem with "spinning out" on the big 3/4 turns in these forms -- like at the top of the I, for those forms laid out like that. This happened in at least 3 forms, spread across different belt levels. I'm off balance when I complete the turn, falling a little to the left at the end of a counter-clockwise turn. Noticeable even at the speed I was practicing at. I think what's happening is, I have my shoulders and my big Charlie Brown head a little forward of my center of balance. So when I do these big turns, it's like a figure skater whose head is too far out of the center line when she spins: I have extra momentum and I lose balance. This would be consistent with -- well, a whole bunch of other shit that's been wrong with my karate over the course of decades.

I think the way to fix it is to treat it sort of like anterior pelvic tilt, but going all the way up. Anterior torso tilt. I think my back and stomach are appropriately straight and locked, but my shoulders are a little forward of my hips. If I get a little more ROM in my hip flexors, and then use that to get my hips a little further forward and more "vertical" when I'm in front stance, that will put my hips under my shoulders and get everything nicely lined up. Will also lengthen my stance a smidge and make it a little narrower, which I've been thinking about. Does this idea also apply to fugol? Need to examine that.

Cooled down with some of the stretching I should've done to start: butterfly, and what I call the old man stretch. After a bit I was able to get the butterfly back down to the floor: that wasn't a one-time-only thing, that's something I can do now, again! Fucking A. Was about to leave to go pick up the kid, when I realized it would be stupid not to walk thru New Form at least once. This was my first time in a wide-open space, where I didn't need to step to one side or the other between moves so as not to hit a bookcase or couch or something. Felt different and awkward.

I've wanted to do this for a couple weeks. Very satisfactory little trip. More a proof of concept than an actual workout: but I knocked some rust off, broke a nice sweat, and identified some things.


All this is a hell of a lot of over-writing for a drop-in of about 30 mins or so, that could be well described as:
"Messed around with some kicks and punches on a heavy bag, walked thru underbelt forms. And stretched a little."
I might describe it that way in the future. This trip just sparked a bunch of thoughts, and I wanted to get some down.



Addendum:
In the evening had a phone conversation with the head instructor of the Maryland Shotokan club. Holy cow what a nice guy. I had sent them an inquiry about New Form, asking if anyone there knew it. He called me to reply! He himself hadn't heard of New Form; and he had gone to the trouble of asking around, and hadn't found anyone who knew of it. That's a little above and beyond. He was eager to tell stories about the old days: some famous names. Asked about my martial arts background; was extremely friendly and curious, a lively guy to talk to. Invited me to stop into class anytime I'm in the area.

I suppose it's mildly bumming to lose a potential resource for learning this form correctly. But I'm blown away by how nice it was to talk with this guy. If I ever stop by his class, I'm not sure if I would be going to work out, or to sit and hear stories from him. I'm sure either would be great.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:56 pm

Thursday 1/12

Deadlift 200/180 5+5
Ab Wheel knees 5+5
Overhead 80/75 5+5
Pulldown 125/115 1! +4
scap plex 15
calf raise BW + 80/60 5+5

Last workout with my winter-break lifting buddy! She's going back to school this wkend. Gave her a little notebook of her own, with a record of her lifts & reps over the last few weeks. Hope she uses this program during the upcoming semester. She's great on the deadlift and squat; very solid on the bench; at a good starting point on the ab wheel; and solidly competent on everything else. Got everything she needs. It was fun to share this stuff: hope it makes a difference for her.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:28 pm

Shitty weekend. Production cutover, had to work from 8p Friday to about 3a Sunday, with a 4-hr nap in the wee hours Saturday am and another break for dinner Saturday night. As late as 11:30a Saturday I still thought I might be able to take a couple hours out for Judo, but was not to be. Theoretically I could have hit the gym Sunday, but my sleep cycle was completely fucked. Napped in the morning, ran errands with The Boy in the afternoon, and had another family birthday dinner in the early evening. The one hour I could free up in the early afternoon I spent this way:


Sunday 1/16

Took the dog and her buddy (we're dogsitting) to the park for a 1-hour off leash hike. Up & down hills, over creek beds, vaulted over a fallen tree, etc etc. Maybe a mile-&-a-half? I doubt it was much more than that. Was nice to get outside, get the legs moving, breath some air, and refocus my eyes on far treelines.

Coulda/shoulda lifted maybe, but I feel like that hike was more along the lines of what I really needed. I'll try to make that lifting session up tomorrow, work permitting.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Posts: 1393
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Tue Jan 17, 2017 2:53 am

And THEN, on top of the shitty weekend, Sunday night I disagreed with something I ate. Dinner sat like a lead rock in my stomach Sunday night, to the point that I swigged some Pepto around 10p. Up at 1:30 to sit on the john for 10 mins. Up at 8 to sit on the john for another 10 mins, then kneel in front of it for another 5. That's what I needed to round off the weekend: some vomiting. Yay.


Monday 1/17

Did manage to get to the gym to make up for the missed lifting day Sunday. Backed off on everything. Not trying to be a hero, just trying to have a lifting session that I can complete, and keep the chains moving.

Squat 125/110 5+5
Raise 5+5
Bench 75,70 5+5 -- wow, so easy
Rows 110,100 5+5
scap complex 12
Adduct/Abduct 130?? 5+5

Went over to the big room where they have Tai Bo classes, walked thru new form 2x


Per plan, dropped back down to a nice & easy weight for bench, to start a new cycle. Wow, that is super light.

I was at the "other" gym, so when I looked for their adduct/abduct machines, it was a different style/make/model/whatever from what I'm used to. I plugged the pin into the stack at 130, and did the lifts, and it was ridiculously easy. The machines felt new, and well-lubed with a very smooth action, and WAYY lighter than they said they were. I hate the fact that there's no consistency between different machines for the same damn exercise. Stupid. I award these lifts the double-question mark, for my having absolutely no idea how heavy they "really" were. SAID 130, but no way.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:48 pm

Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:54 am

Tuesday 1/17

Deadlift 205/185 5+5
Ab Wheel knees 5+5
Overhead 85 failed (back), 80/75 4+5
Pulldown 70 5+5
Calf Raise BW + 100/60 single-leg 5+5 (and pulls)


Deadlift starting to get heavy. I'm doing each set of 5 reps as 5 singles now, as a result of something PL54 wrote last week: completely letting go of the bar between reps, and repositioning (though not always standing all the way back up). Each one of these had my absolute, undivided attention.


I was crazy eager to press 85. So goddam eager that I flubbed it! I used the same rack as I did for squats a couple workouts ago, that I posted a pic of. This is what I usually press out of. And I got under it as if I were doing a squat, backed away from the rack, and tried to press it up. A behind-the-neck press! Which I haven't practiced or trained at all, whatsoever. It didn't go up even one time, stalled out somewhere between my ear and the top of my head, esp on the right side. I was bewildered and disappointed; had a lot riding on this lift, as I will describe next time I attempt it. I really expected it to go up, and was shocked and dismayed that it did not.

Disturbed, I took 5# off to try again. Addressed the bar; and ONLY THEN did I realize that on the prior try I had gotten in squat position. I had done the lift completely wrong. So – does that mean I can't press 85? Or does it only mean that I can't behind-the-neck press 85? I don't fucking know. Tune in next Monday/Tuesday, I guess.

I will say this: those lifts are not so completely different that I should be able to do 5 reps one way and zero the other. That's bullshit, almost the same movement. In any real-life application I would need comparable strength across that whole range up there, not a sudden failure if the weight drifts a few degrees. Google tells me that the behind one targets the middle delts and the supraspinatus more than the regular press: so maybe I did hit a real weakness. I'm going to adjust my training, have at least one set of presses be behind-the-neck from now on.

As a practical matter, I may be too close to my pressing limit in the cycle, to do behind-the-neck for my second (minus 10%) set. What probably makes the most sense right now is to do a drop set after my main 2, either with an unloaded bar, or maybe even with the light bar. Just get started on that movement. Middle delts and supraspinatus, I am coming for you, motherfuckers! That shit was embarassing.


For the pulldown, as per plan I dropped back about 60# in weight and started a new cycle. It is insane how light this weight is. Doesn't even feel like work. I didn't bother going down 10% for the second set: just couldn't face moving even less weight. Weird that such a non-challenge could be an effective part of a strength training program. I'm facing the same thing in the bench right now. Just believe in the program and plow thru, I guess. Follow the steps. I'd feel better about the whole thing if the 85 had gone up when I tried to press it tonight. Fuck.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:18 am

Wednesday 1/18

Judo class!
#4

I switched to Wednesday this week, because I got screwed out of last Saturday's class, and we're out of town this coming weekend. I'll probly go next Wednesday too. But ultimately I don't think the weeknight will work long-term for me. Class doesn't end til 10p, and then we still have to put the mats away and drive home. That won't work consistently with my home life. So I'll likely move back to Saturdays after next week.

Instructor said Wednesday nights have a little bit different emphasis to them. Less physical, less high heart rate stuff, more of an emphasis on technique, maybe a little slower. Fine with me.

Warmed up with uchikomi gain. Not completely unlike this, esp from about 19 secs to about 25 secs:

We do them without throws in the warmup – and y'know, without the black belt level of ability and the speed etc. We're technically doing the same drill as those guys, though it doesn't quite look like that.

Then instructor wanted us to work on getting basic throws from "nonstandard" grips. He said if you're in a competition, your opponent is not going to just give you those standard grips. He'll likely be defensive, holding your arms down etc. You'll have some random grip. Can you find an entry to one of the basic throws – ippon (shoulder throw) or ogoshi hip throw) or osoto gari (what I think of as a sweep), or the ouchi gari (reap thing) that we did a week ago – from that grip? So we designated one partner as "offense", the other as defense, switching occasionally, and got to it. In my group we had the offense guy go 2 or 3 times, then switched.

There's a fine line between the defender guy being "defensive" by doing a little grip-fighting; and doing full-fledged randori. We blurred over that line a few times, occasionally crossed it. We had an odd number, so a guy rotated out, and instructor sometimes moved the off-guy to a different group, so we got pretty well switched around. I worked with one guy close to my size, within about 20#; but everyone else was noticeably smaller. I enjoyed having a reach advantage, it was a fun change-of-pace from the big gung-ho white belt I worked with last week. It lets you try different stuff, maybe be more aggressive. One teeny-tiny guy was a blue belt, and he was interesting to work with. I had a pronounced reach and strength advantage on him – I mean seriously, he may not have been a buck-fifty – and I could not do a damn thing with him. He threw me very clean a couple times. It was pretty. Stuff like that is nice to see, because I think it's a clear indication that you're in the right place. There is real knowledge and skill being gained here.

Wearing the gi, and being able to fall much better than the usual white belt, I think leads to me being treated as if I know things that I don't. Instructor tells me to restrict myself to a list of throws, rattles them off – but I'm not sure I've been taught those throws (here). It's only my fourth class. And then we do this semi-randori, and I can get to some throws that I don't know, because I have a decent feel for balance and weight and footwork and all that stuff. My martial arts experience is not completely irrelevent, it is real. I put partner down one time, then bit my lip quizzically and said out loud "was that even a technique?" So I halfway worry that I'm skipping over some necessary learning, because instructor might assume that I know stuff.

Honestly, my knowledge level is very weird. I know the ippon and the ogoshi extremely well, esp from a theoretical standpoint. But I can't do them for shit, because of a combination of leg strength and some shoulder flexibility (in the ogoshi), and just never having gotten the sheer reps that a Judo guy would get. Esp in a competitive push-pull environment – in karate every throw we did was from a "self defense" entry, with one guy the clear attacker (and not countering) and one guy the thrower. So do I know them, or not know them? I'm pretty decent at osoto gari (the sweep), but I had to be shown it because I didn't connect the name with the technique. My knowledge is not non-existent, not at all: but it is jagged and inconsistent in this domain.

So I worry. But I only worry halfway, because the class is small and instructor is keeping a close eye. When I asked that rhetorical question (was that a technique?), instructor was 10 feet away and answered "It was. But what I'd like you to do is" and so forth. He is right on top of what is going on in his class. He lets students finish what they are doing, so they gain the experience of doing it dynamically, and then if it's a mistake or a safety issue or not what he wants them working on, he steps close and makes a small correction. My respect for his teaching ability keeps going up.


I think another factor is, Judo isn't LIKE karate. There's not some platonic ideal of a sidekick or a punch or a stance, that you're supposed to asymptotically approach, where your technique is wrong if it's ugly. There is THIS partner in THIS situation with THIS orientation of our bodies and THIS weight distribution and THIS momentum. A couple times I got a throw that I thought was shitty (from a karate standpoint): slow entry, a long period where the balance was shifting but the throw wasn't completed, I had to shift my weight and keep going, finally partner sort of slumped around to the mat. And instructor told me good job! It reminds me of beginning piano instruction. Piano teacher wants you to play thru any mistakes, keep tempo and the shape of the melody, and finish the piece. Clean up inaccuracies thru subsequent practice. The worst tendencies in karate instruction have you STOPPING the student every time something is 5 degrees wrong, and correcting it before letting him move on. Then we wonder why students look hesitant and get paralysis by analysis. I mean, that's the extreme case: but our mistakes can tend to go that way. It does not seem like Judo errs in that direction. If you're doing a shitty throw, then DO the shitty throw you're doing, and get the guy on the ground. We will clean it up with subsequent practice.

So I trip mentally over "Did I do it right??" While instructor wants me to keep tempo, get the feel of it, do that throw and bounce up and keep going. I'm asking the wrong question.


ANYWAY. We did that nonstandard grip / semi-randori thing for a fair amount of time, maybe as much as 45 mins. Then instructor moved us into something a little BJJ-related. Pass the guard to one side, and move into scarf hold; then partner shrimps toward you and you shift into side-control. Then you work around to his other side. As he turtles, you move into a seatbelt hold and get one hook in, sort of arch him and roll him over you from turtle into an exposed position on his back (you're under him with a choke hold). One of my worst qualities as a martial arts student has always been my nerdiness: I see something two or three times, and I'm like oh I get it. I understand that. Well sure I "understand it": but performance is not the result of cognitive understanding. The name of the game of improvement is REPS. I have never had the appetite for reps that I should have. So, did this thing with partner a couple times, and I was like ok we're done with this, probably moving on in a minute. (Not out loud.) And partner was like, we keep doing it, we do reps.

Reps? WTF. There's a deceptively mind-blowing insight there, that applies across every martial arts goal I've ever had. Something so simple that many young kids get it right away, but it has to be explained to nerdy me. Explained slowly.


We pretty much kept doing that last thing to the end, with instructor suggesting some variations to the upper belts. I sat out the last 10 mins again. It sort of just worked out that way, because of the rotations with the odd-man out; but I was also close to done. Not quite as destroyed as previous classes, I probably could have worked in, so maybe that's a small victory: but I was happy to sit and watch.

I'm not sure it's 100% clear from the pensive self-examination of this post, but Judo class is fucking awesome and I'm ecstatic to be taking it. It's playing with my head a little from the standpoint of, where do I want to be going with my karate training, and what is the use or value of my karate training given what I see in Judo class? But I think those are probably healthy and even expected questions given my situation. Hell, I'll probably go thru a new convert phase over my first 3 to 6 months in Judo, where everything in Judo is awesome and everything else I ever learned sucks, before getting my balance back later in the year.


ADDENDUM: Here's some vid of me working with a partner on that randori-stuff tonight. I'm the white belt with the black hair:

Last edited by JimZipCode on Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:02 am

Thursday 1/19

Squat 130/120 5+5
LRaise 5+5 and Incline crunch 5+4
Bench 80/75 pause 5+5
Rows 115/105 5+5
scap plex 15
adduct/abduct 135/130 5+5

Later: some light stretching for shoulders, glutes.


Managed to squeeze in Judo class AND three trips to the gym this week, despite losing the weekend to work. Go me.

No workouts for the next 4 days. Heading to Western Maryland for a long weekend in the mountains. Maybe do a little skiing, probably some tubing, definitely some drinking. No lifting Sunday/Monday, no Judo Saturday, no karate Monday. Just sheer laziness.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Jan 22, 2017 3:09 pm

Saturday 1/21

Snow tubing with the 7yo and his friends, and their parents. 2 hours, with breaks.
Ice skating with same, ~45 mins.
Power drinking and playing board games with those parents, hours.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:49 pm

Sunday 1/22

One hour hike in a state park with friends & family. Looking at waterfalls, scrambling over rocks, telling the kid to be careful.

Later: watch football and eat.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:14 pm

Tuesday 1/24

Deadlift 210/195 5+5
Ab Wheel knees 5+5
Overhead front 85/75 5+5 behind 45 5+5
Pulldown 75/75/70 5+5+5
scap plex 15


Really tired and dragging today. Made it to the gym on automaticity rather than an act of will – which is nice, means the habit is starting to take root. Skipped the calf and adduct stuff, largely for time considerations (had to get to school to pick up the kid); but I was pretty happy to have the excuse. Wasn't feeling it. Just wanted to get in and out.


You probably couldn't tell from looking at that line of text up there, but this overhead press lift was THE MOST IMPORTANT LIFT OF THE ENTIRE PROGRAM to date. I'm not even kidding. Here is why:

I don't know what other people got out of PTTP, but for me it wasn't deadlifts and side presses. (Although I did take to heart the importance of the deadlift.) What I got out of PTTP was the sets and reps and periodicity. Pavel tells us that a beginning lifter can start a program with weights that he can handle pretty comfortably; do his 5+5; and increase the weight by 5# every session or every other session. And, here's the key, when the weights get too heavy to complete 5 clean reps – when you can only comfortably do like 3 or so – then drop back about 12 (8 to 16) workouts worth of weight and start a new cycle, increasing the weight by 5# every session or so until you get back up to the weight you faltered with last time. This time you'll be able to handle that weight, and more! You'll go past that old limit and set a new high. Find a new weight that you then struggle with, and start over again.

That's the promise: that your max will go up over time. You'll get stronger. Slowly maybe; but stronger. My whole lifting program is built around that premise. The actual lifts I'm doing are your basic all-around program: but the sets and reps and periodicity are straight from PTTP. There's an element of faith there. Will Pavel's stuff work? Suppose I get to a limit, then drop down and build back up again – and I can't beat my old lift?? WTF then? Do I have to throw out the whole program, and try something different? Something that maybe won't fit as easily into my schedule of work and being married and chauffering The Boy around to his activities etc etc? Gack!

My training log has these entries for overhead press, from the first few weeks:
  • 11/25 75/70 5+3
    11/29 80/70 3+4
That's when I dropped back down to 30# (two 15# dumbbells) and started a new cycle, working back up to 80. And it is fair to say that the entire edifice of faith I have in this weight-lifting program was riding on how I handled 80 when I got back to it. No pressure. Esp since I have just recently dropped back to start new cycles on the bench and the pulldown.

So. Here are my last 4 overhead press entries:
  • 1/5 75/70 5+5
    1/12 80/75 5+5
    1/17 – Let's just pretend this day didn't happen
    1/24 85/75 5+5
Asked and answered! That lift isn't easy for me, and I still have all my old questions about form. But I am stronger in that lift. Without any doubt. The weight lifting may continue. :)

This is really fabulous. It gives me a lot of piece of mind to just relax and go with the program. Will probably help me be a little less stubborn about hanging around toward the end of a cycle: gives me more confidence to end it quickly and drop back down to start a new cycle.


After the standard press, I unloaded the bar and did two sets of behind-the-neck. That lift is hitting entirely different stuff in the upper back / base of the neck / under the shoulder blades area. And I fucking love it! I feel like THIS lift is answering a lot of the questions about form that I had in the OTHER lift. Balancing it out, or something. I made sure to do this with a fairly wide grip: not quite snatch grip maybe, around 1.5 shoulder width or so. I also feel that some of my being able to do this lift with decent form, comes from the shoulder mobility I've gained from doing Boris' microband scap complex. So, thanks Boris.

I'm going to keep doing this lift, get my numbers up to around the numbers where the standard overhead is. I wonder which lift has more carryover to the other? Based on my experience last week, I am unimpressed with the carryover of the standard press to the behind-the-neck. My intuition is the behind-the-neck will have a lot of carryover to the standard, will really improve that lift. But that may just be because it's targetting a weakness specific to me.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:28 pm

Y'know what I miss? TGU's and Windmills.

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:57 pm

Wednesday 1/25

Judo class!
#5

Warmed up with uchi komi again. Instructor partnered me up with the young tall black belt. He's an inch or two taller than I, about my weight – I might be a couple pounds heavier. A couple times during uchikomi he loaded me up (for like a hip throw or shoulder throw), and I thought holy shit he's going to put me thru that mirror at the other end of the room. He didn't actually throw me once during this drill, but when he nailed the set-up he really nailed it.

After warmups, instructor asked my partner to stay with me, and teach me the first eight throws from the book Kodokan Judo by Jigoro Kano.
https://www.amazon.com/Kodokan-Judo-Ess ... 156836539X
  • Image
This is evidently our textbook. I loved this. It was the first chance I've had to really hit the "curriculum" in any comprehensive way. It DIRECTLY addressed some of the swirling craziness in my head from last week.

This class was nowhere near as strenuous as the last few. My partner had to spend some time looking up and remembering each technique; then after we'd done the 8, I sat down for 5 mins and looked at them in the book again. I probably should have been getting reps; but it was great to get the pictures and names more solidly in my head.

Last 20 or 30 mins we spent on a grappling sequence. Start with partner in guard, and you try a variation of the scissors sweep to get him off of you, where instead of putting your "up" knee across him, you put that knee into his sternum. After we did that a couple times, instructor had partner counter by pulling himself back onto his knees. Our changeup was to then kick across with the other leg, going in the other direction, put the leg over his head and get the arm bar. After we worked on that, instructor had partner protect his arm by pulling it out: that left us with a choke. Last 5 mins we spent drilling that sequence, or whatever part of that sequence we wanted. I wilted a little here; I need to have a greater appetite for reps. But I think some of that will come just from building more stamina for this activity (and maybe more GPP, like some jogging).

Great class.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:00 am

Thursday 1/26

Squat 135/120 back 5+5
Leg raise 5+5 / Incl crunch 5+5
Bench 85/80 paused 5+5
Rows 120/100 5+5
Overhead behind neck 50 5+5
Scap Plex 15
Calf raise BW+100/80 single-leg 5+5
Adduct/Abduct 140/135 5+5


Told you those squat sets from Jan 10 were not indicative! :happiness:

Been a while since I did the calf and adducts. It was nice to hit everything in the gym. The adduct/abduct were heavy! Oddly, the abduct (outside of leg) felt harder than the adduct (inside of leg). Usually I've been stronger in the abduct, so this was different.

Ordered the Judo book from Amazon.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sat Jan 28, 2017 5:11 am

Friday 1/27

After dinner, put the dog in the car and drove over to the park for a night walk off leash. Went about a mile & a half, maybe a bit more? Set a nice pace, it could have been more; but there was a little terrain. Got myself breathing hard, got the legs pumping. Felt great.

Stopped in the middle of the park and walked thru new form 2x. Very different to try it outside in a hat and shoes.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:26 pm

Sunday 1/29

New training buddy! My wife said I've inspired her. We lifted together today. Unlike my stepdaughter, who spent every second between lifts texting her boyfriend, my wife doesn't like to stand around and wait. So she did a bunch of extra shit I didn't log -- farmer's carries, wood chops, rows.

Deadlift 215/205 5+5 <-- Bodyweight!
Planks 2 x 40secs
Overhead fr 90/85 4+5 bk 55/50 5+5
Pulldown fr 75/75 5+5 bk 50/50 5+5
Calf Raise BW+100/80 single 5+5
Adduct/Abduct 145/140 5+5


That bodyweight DL is a milestone for me. Some of y'all are doing 2x and maybe 3x bodyweight, so I know it doesn't mean I'm "strong". Still a nice milestone.

Did planks instead of ab wheel, since that was easier for us to do together. We both assumed the position with my watch on the floor between us. Will return to the wheel at some point.

The overhead presses (regular) are getting tough again. I struggled to get 4 reps at 90#, and definitely cheated a bit -- leaned back to get my upper chest muscles involved. I'd like to try this weight again; but I may be close to getting to the end of this cycle. When I drop down again, I don't think I want to drop back to dumbbells. I might break out the light bar (20# or 10kg or whatever), and use that. It's funny, I liked the extra range of motion the dumbbells gave, esp for "treating" my clicky shoulder. But the barbell lets me work on the form for the barbell press, and I think that's what I need to emphasize with this lift. The barbell also lets you do a behind-the-neck press, which feels great in my shoulders. When I drop down, I could just use the same weight for both exercises, and bring them back up together. Not sure if that's valuable or necessary: but it is EASIER, logistically. Less changing of the weights.

Since I was doing some behind-the-neck presses, I also did some pulldowns behind the neck. I probably could have handled the same weight as in the regular pulldown, but I didn't know before I tried it. Wanted to be conservative.

Adduct/adbuct is getting heavy! Had to work to complete this set. Seems strange to be working cycles on these movements. How strong, really, do I need to get here? I've already made huge flexibility gains, recovering ROM that I thought I'd lost years ago. I mean, I'll start a new cycle when this gets heavy; I do want a little "more". But at some point during that cycle, I'll need to start thinking about goals for these movements.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:32 am

Monday 1/30

Taught karate class. Kids and adults. M had a migraine and stayed home, so I ran it.

That's a pretty low level of activity, really: mostly standing around barking instructions and making other people do things. But I did a tiny little bit, and you do move around some, occasionally show a move or something. Took a fall or two. It's more than sitting at home on the computer. And it pulls me back into it. Fun.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:51 am

Tuesday 1/31

Squat 140/135 3+5 <-- failed on rep 4 at 140
Leg Raise 5+5
Bench 90/85 5+5
Rows 110 5+5
Overhead behind neck 60, zero <-- failed on 1st rep
Scap plex 15


I watched a vid where Rippetoe explained bar placement on the squat. I've been having an issue, well described by Boris in one of his RX vids, where first my butt goes up out of the hole and then I kind of do a "good morning" to straighten up. It's been feeling less right the more weight goes on the bar. I'm too far forward, leaning over with the weight. Rippetoe's description of bar placement was easy to understand, and seemed similar to how Alan Thrall described a "low bar" squat. Decided I should try it.

Naturally I felt my first ever reps with the new bar placement should be with my max working weight today, my first squat of the day, at a weight I've never handled before. That should be fine, right? Recipe for success!

Honestly, the first couple reps felt great. I was more upright in the hole than ever before, my leg drive took me straight up rather than tilting me forward. The last couple squat workouts had felt hard: this felt easier. I was getting increasingly confident, and happy. Then it all went to shit on rep 4. I don't know exactly what happened. Suddenly the weight was riding up my neck and I was pitching forward. I thought briefly of fighting it, trying to save the rep. And then I thought fuck it, this is dangerous, I'm still very low. I let myself bend forward, lowered my head, and let the barbell crash to the safety rails.

That wasn't embarrassing at all, with my wife standing right there watching my first squat set that she's ever seen, and people whipping their heads around at the sudden noise.

I don't think it was a muscle failure or weakness. I don't think I just stalled on the lift. I felt great. I bounced up nimbly from dumping the weight, even was a little pleased with my agility in getting out from under. A few mins later I did 5 reps at just 5# lighter. I think I had a lapse of technique, got unbalanced using a different bar placement for the first time, and lost it. I think I need to practice with this bar placement, probably with an empty bar, my next trip to the gym (deadlift day) and as a warmup prior to my next squat attempt. But I think I'll stay at this working weight, rather than decide that this failure means I need to start a new cycle.


This isn't overhead day, but I've been hitting the behind-the-neck press every workout, to catch up to my standard military press. I handled 5 reps at 55 Sunday, but today couldn't do even one at 60. My right arm/shoulder wouldn't budge at all. Decided not to worry about it. Hell, maybe I misloaded it. Overhead day is supposed to be Thursday: I'll try again then. Or maybe I'll just drop back to something lower and start a new cycle, doing both the standard and behind-neck at the same weight. Whatever.


I should have rowed 125 today. But first squat/bench workout with my new partner, I didn't want to spend time setting up a barbell with the necessary weight. It was easier to grab the pre-loaded bar they have in the triangular rack, that I've used a bunch of times before, and keep momentum for our bench/row supersets. That 110 is the largest pre-loaded one they have. I need to stay mindful that I don't stall out on the row: not make 110 my max just because of the inconvenience of loading a bar.


Partner also did some farmers walks and maybe a couple other things. She's going to go back to square one on the squats, and do some goblets at the next squat workout. Just like her daughter! Makes sense.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Thu Feb 02, 2017 6:29 am

Tuesday night 1/31 and Wednesday 2/1

We're getting work done in the house, new floors and kitchen reno. Tuesday night after my wife went to bed, moved all the furniture and boxes and shit from the dining room, mashed it all into the big living room area so the contractor could put down the floor. Then Wednesday late morning moved (with the contractor) it all into the dining room area, mashed it even more compactly, so he could do the living room. Re-positioned the TV and stuff. After he left for the day, I moved all the furniture and area rugs and boxes back to approx where they should go, in the process re-arranging the furniture to a new configuration that I want to try. Wife gave it her stamp of approval when she got home. She likes the new floors so much that she might have approved ANY arrangement of what was on them: but I think the new layout will work well for us.

We ran an errand in the evening. I had the opportunity to speed things along, grab some food to go on the way home, and hurry to Judo class. Coulda made it. Opted instead for a slightly slower dinner out, and blew off Judo. Mildly bummed, because I probably won't be able to go Saturday. But it was good to have a leisurely evening at home. I was tired.

I did watch this video on bar position for the squat:
Helpful. This is what I was trying to do yesterday. His comment at 1:10 might be exactly what happened to me.
Last edited by JimZipCode on Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:42 pm

Thursday 2/2

Dragging today. Was unable to sleep last night for some reason. Tossed and turned til like 3:00 or later. Then meetings all day. Resorted to caffeine to stay awake in the morning, which I don't usually do. Went to the gym like a robot, not like any kind of athlete eager to train.

Deadlift 220/200 5+5
Ab Wheel knees 5+5
Overhead 60 bk / 60 fr / 55 bk 5+5+5
Pulldown 75 fr / 80 bk / 80 fr 5+5+5
scap plex 15
Calf raise BW + 110? single leg 5 only


My lifting buddy is out of town for work, she left in the afternoon. So I was solo at the gym today. Will also be on Sunday (she returns Monday).

Had grip problems on rep 3 of the DL at 220. I've been doing each set of 5 as singles, letting go and re-gripping between each rep. I use the alternating grip, and when I re-grip, sometimes I switch which hand is over & under. On rep 3, for some reason I went with both hands in overhand grip. I got about up to my knees, and then was like oh no I'm losing it. Put it down, re-gripped and went on with the set. I had seriously underestimated how important the alternating grip is. At lower weights I was able to do double overhand, but not at this weight.

Holy shit, the deadlift was much more challenging MENTALLY than I had aniticipated. I wasn't super-eager to re-grab the bar for reps 4&5 on the first set. But most noticeable was how non-eager I was to even do the second set. I noted the time I completed the first set, because Pavel wrote a thing in PTTP about how, to build strength, you should take at least 3 mins between sets. I've been aware over the past couple weeks that I should check the time: but this is the first time I've actually DONE it. Then, as the time to start my second set drew closer, I thought that it would be good to preload the bar for my overhead presses. Then I thought, well, I'll actually do my first set of overheads. Then I was like, I should also do my first pulldown, to complete the superset. Basically I wanted to do anything except go back to the bar for the second set of deadlifts, even 20# lighter. So that was interesting. I did eventually do them.

But then while I was driving home I noticed -- you know, usually I have been stubborn about ending a cycle and dropping back down to a low weight to start working up again. While I was driving home, even though I got my 5 reps in on each set, I found myself thinking that "pretty soon" I should end the cycle and drop down to a low weight. So, wow. I had no idea that deadlifts could fuck with your head like that.


I think I may have been short-changing the ab wheel in recent workouts. Not doing as big a ROM as I usually do, or should do. Noticed some weakness. Finished this set with a slow controlled lowering to the floor. I'll have to make a note to do these moves long, over the coming workouts.


Decided that the EASIEST way to combine the training for the standard press and the behind-the-neck, is just to consolidate them at the same weight and do them together. I was close to the end of my press cycle anyway -- cheated bad on those lifts in my last workout -- so I dropped back to my current working weight for behind-the-neck, and did both lifts there. In the log above, "fr" means "front" or standard press, and "bk" means "back" or behind-the-neck press. The plan is to do 3 sets overall instead of 2. I'll do a set of each lift at the working weight, and then one "minus 10%" set. I'll alternate so that one workout it's front/back/front, and next time it's back/front/back. And I'll decide later how to handle it if I start to max out on one move while the other is still strong and can handle more weight. I'm leaning toward keeping them together, but we'll see.

By the way, in the behind-the-neck, today I pretty easily handled the weight that I failed with on Tuesday. I don't know what happened Tuesday. But I do notice that it's very difficult to get the initial lift off my shoulders for rep 1, even though subsequent reps (which don't go down quite as far) are fairly easy. I wonder if I should increase the ROM, try to touch my shoulders at the bottom of every rep?

Did the same thing with the pulldown, alternating regular and behind-the-neck, for no good reason other than maybe it'll do something different. PL54 once commented that behind-the-neck pulldowns were good rehab for the bench. I'm not rehabbing anything, but if there's any magic power in that lift, I want some too. The different weights listed above reflect different machines being available when I was ready to lift, with different numbers in the stack.


After I was done with everything, I did one set of squats with an empty bar, using the low-bar position and tensing my lats per Alan Thrall's video. That felt great, very compact and my leg drive went directly vertical, thru the bar. I'll do one more set like that before Sunday's working squat sets, to nail down the bar placement.


Only one set of calf raises. I didn't have much energy after the deadlifts, and anyway I was running out of time (squeezed this workout in to the time block when The Boy is at music class). The question mark is because I put an adder-weight on top of the stack with the pin in at 100. I'm not sure if the adder was 5# or 10, I think it was 10. So I was definitely moving a little more weight than before, but not sure how much.


Evening:
After I put The Boy to bed, I passed right the fuck out, around 9:30 or so. Slept til a little after 2, got up and walked the poor dog, then back to bed. Didn't get up until the cat started bothering me to be fed, a little before 7:30.


TWELVE WEEKS OF LIFTING COMPLETED!!!!

12 weeks is a milestone. I've been thinking that 12 weeks would be a good time for some sort of retrospective/overview or whatever. But I don't have much to say -- that is, I've said so much with every journal entry, that I haven't left much unsaid. I'll try to put down some kind of overview.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:54 pm

12 weeks of weight lifting

Here's the promised retrospective on 12 weeks of lifting. Long-winded, as usual.
Exec Summary:
  • The most surprising things for me have been how effective weight lifting has been for fat loss, mobility, and endurance for hiking/running.
  • The biggest gap in what I've been doing is, not enough slow cardio. Weather's a factor: that stuff is just flat-out easier to do when it's not Winter.
  • Also I should probably drink more water.

Highlights

• Weighed in this morning (Friday 2/3) at 214 or just under. That's about a 10# loss since I started. I was floating around the 222-225 range for most of last year.

• My body change has been greater than a 10# loss of fat. Even before the number on the scale changed much or at all, I had already lost inches off my waistline. My fat dad pants were looser on me, required a tighter notch on the belt. I was fitting into older, smaller pants that I hadn't worn in several years. When we went away a couple weekends ago to share a mountain house with 4 other familes, 3 or 4 different people asked me at different times if I had lost weight -- they all said I look great. So that's nice.
(And all of these "get trimmer" accomplishments came during the most difficult time of the year for that, the Thanksgiving thru New Year block.)

I expected to get a better ratio of muscle to fat out of a training program. I did *not* expect lifting to trigger a bunch of fat loss, all by itself. Probably the main driver of that has been diet change. I don't eat anywhere near as much junk foor before -- seriously, my junk food intake is less than 25% of what it was before, maybe more like 10%. That wasn't something I tried to do, it's something that just happened in response to weight lifting. I've developed a taste for kefir, sort of: at least the stawberry banana one they sell at the grocery store. Skyr not so much, but I'll eat it.

Diet is an area where I may need to exercise some caution. My diet only changed because my body's cravings changed. I don't have any kind of infrastructure of planning or discipline in place to support a "good" diet, if I fall of the weight-lifting wagon or if my body "finishes" adapting to this kind of work so that I stop craving yogurt etc. In fact this may have already started happening. I've probably had more cookies and chips in the past week than in the whole month after Christmas. So, need to stay alert there.

• Before I started, I thought of strength training mostly as a mobility issue. That may sound strange to those of you who stretch to to fix tight shoulders or tight hammies caused by lifting. But I was thinking about a future of not being strong enough to get out of a chair unnassisted, or climb upstairs unassisted, etc etc. Strength training seemed like the first line of defense against that.

It has 100% delivered on mobility.
  • Just the first week or so of squatting, greatly increased my ability to get down into that ass-to-grass position, unweighted with feet flat on the floor.
  • The combination of calf raises and foot pulls greatly increased my ankle mobility, which I really notice when I go down stairs: my steps and movement going down stairs is much smoother and easier than it was before. I kind of didn't realize that the movement was impaired before, even though I used railings etc as much as possible, until it improved with the exercises.
  • The last time I bothered to jog, each stride felt like less work than before (even prior to any significant weight loss).
  • My walking stamina, as noticed on our trip to California in December and our walk in the state park with friends and my hike with the dog last week, is noticeably improved. My wife commented on this almost 2 months ago, when we were in Cali. We labored up a long & steep hill, and she said "Well whatever you've been doing has helped. You're much less winded than I am."
  • My shoulders feel nice and free. There isn't any objective measure that I can point to here (except maybe the behind-the-neck press?), but they feel good, and better than before.
  • My neck is noticeably less kinked than it's been in years, which I attribute to the shoulder work. My neck looks longer in the mirror, which is weird. My wife thinks I've lost some neck fat, which sounds strange to me. I think it has more to do with my shoulders being less hunched than before, but who knows.
  • I've gained (or re-gained) ROM in the standard karate stretches, like the "butterfly" groin stretch.
  • My slow kicking is much better than before. I haven't really done any fast kicking, but there has to be some transfer.
Weight lifting is not usually discussed as a method for increasing MOBILITY. Having lifted for a couple months now, I think that's retarded. A serious omission. My mobility gains have been very definite, even profound, and I have barely done any stretching at all. i expected to be able to move around the world better. I did *not* expect to significantly increase ROM and ease of movement for each limb.

Seriously, where the fuck has weight lifting been all my life? Why didn't anyone explain to me slowly and carefully ~30 years ago, how much benefit there was? And how it's for everybody, not just "meatheads"? Holy shit.


What else? I've finally learned to do a barbell squat. I can do a bodyweight deadlift. I can use the ab wheel in a way that doesn't look pathetic. I discovered that the behind-the-neck press uses different muscles from what the regular press uses. I have some new oddments of knowledge, which apply across different movements. I've made a litany of interesting & entertaining mistakes, which have turned into nice learning points.

I've turned my stepdaughter onto a full-body, "functional" strength program. I don't know if she's sticking with it; but the other day she commented in conversation that she was sore from deadlifting, so maybe. (Hope so.) She just last week started with an intramural basketball team at her school. She hasn't played since middle school, almost six years (I used to coach her team). So that's extremely cool, that she got "jumpstarted" to do that. If my sharing my program with her contributed even 10% to that, then that's great. It would justify the effort, even if I had made no gains for myself.

My wife says I've "inspired" her. She's gone back to the Tai Bo etc stuff she used to do at this gym, and now has started lifting with me. If she starts to get some of the benefit that I've gotten, I think she'll be very pleased, and I'll be happy.

I'm more involved in the martial arts than I've been in several years. I *love* Judo. I've done more karate in the last couple months than in the year or two prior: not much, but I wouldn't be embarrassed now to show up at an adult class with a senior instructor, and work out. Prior to Thanksgiving, I might have brought The Boy to a youth class, and assisted teaching in that class, but I never would have stayed for the adult workout. So that (small) change is all by itself valuable. I'm still not really training karate: just dabbling while I concentrate on weight lifting and judo. But it's not absent from my life anymore, either. And did I mention that I love Judo?


So that's it. A long list of valuable stuff; and I'm still nowhere close to "strong". This is fun.

I think the thing I most need to ADD to what I've been doing, is some slow cardio. Judo hits high-intensity cardio once a week (there are two classes, but one is the commitment-level I'm comfortable with). If I ever start doing some heavy bag work, that would also hit higher-intensity cardio. To round that out, I need to jog occasionally, or take the dog for some longish walks, or ride bikes with The Boy, or whatever. Nothing crazy, just get out & about once a week or so. Of course all of that becomes easier to make time for when Spring rolls around.

Also make an effort to drink more water during the day.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:36 pm

Super Bowl Sunday 2/5

Low bar squat 45 / 145 / 130 5+5+5
Leg raise / Russian twist 5# 5+5
Bench 90/85 5+5
One-Arm Dumbbell Row 60/55 5+5
scap plex 15
adduct/abduct 150/135 5+5


Today the low bar position hurt my shoulders. I did my practice set with the empty bar, positioning seemed good, but I really felt a hard pull in the top area of my shoulders, like upper traps. This became much worse when I weighted the bar. The squat itself felt great. Seems to fix that issue I had before, where my butt rises up first and the move turns into a "good morning". The leg drive now seems to go straight up thru the bar. So I'm very happy with the bar position generally. Just, today for some reason it really hurt my shoulders.

I wonder if the pin position in the power rack was a bit too high for me? Maybe I didn't get the bar in exactly the right spot. Oh by the way: some motherfucker had raised the LEFT safety rail in the power rack, but only the left one. I discovered it when I went down for my first practice rep with the unloaded bar. Who the hell does that? But clearly I need to learn to at least look at the rails, before I squat. This is twice now I've bumped them.

Too dumb to lift weights, episode 7:
To bench press 90#, you add 45# to the 45# bar, right? I added 45# on BOTH ENDS. Got under the weight, and was mystified when it wouldn't budge off the pins. Smart thing to do would be to get up and check the weights, right? NO! I tried even harder, got the weights up, lowered them to my chest -- and was stuck. I churned crazily, my legs flailing wildly. I managed to get the right side up and onto the pin. Some dude ran over to help, but by that time I was out from under. Holy shit.

What's weird is, that is a weight I HAVE lifted, in an earlier cycle. I would think I'd be able to do a single with it. Not mentally prepared? I dunno. Jesus.

For the rows, much easier to grab a dumbbell than to build a barbell with the weight I need. Took the lazy man's way out today, not sure how I will proceed.


This evening: plenty of cheese & crackers, or chips & dip, maybe some soda or beer. Yay, America!
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Bobby
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by Bobby » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:52 am

Keep it up! I enjoy reading your log (like the longer written parts where you explain whatyou are thinking,reasoning behind doing things etc).
You`ll toughen up.Unless you have a serious medical condition commonly refered to as
"being a pussy".

JimZipCode
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Re: Zip It Up

Post by JimZipCode » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:39 am

Thanks for the kind words! I worry about the self-indulgence of all the long-winded navel-gazing. It's helpful to ME, to get it sorted in my head, and to record my ideas & mistakes. Was worried it would be annoying to anybody else. But hell, no one HAS to read my training log.

I do keep you in mind when I come home from Judo, I try to remember and put down at least an overview of what we did. :isdashit:

Don't lie though, I'm sure everyone's favorite part is "Too dumb to lift weights". I have another installment coming up!
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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