Fortune Cookie Say: "Strong Back Makes For Happy Marriage" Tuesday 3rd September 2013 Normally I'd be at Silat today...But I really didn't want to chance it I began today's gym odyssey with another pretty indepth warmup. Including Shoulder Stretch, Palm Down TurnAway stretch, Squat Stretches, Back Table, The Bow, Leg Flicky-Flacks etc. Deadlift (Rack Pull to Hair-Splitters) (5 Pins Down) Okay, 'Don't get carried away' was today's motto. Did I stick to that? Kinda. I'm still lifting from 5 pins down (just below knee height). Still part of my 'cycle' (laughable probably by now). Drop down the rack as you cart a heftier load. I started this 'cycle' in April. At 3 pins down (mid-thigh height). Ideally I'd be on the deck by now. But 'Man Plans, God Laughs' (A Jewish saying). The point being that I go up to a certain weight and reps. And then I drop a pin (go lower) on the rack. Until I get onto blocks. And then the floor. I'll probably be at 6 pins down (mid-shin) by maybe late October? Difficult to time it accurately. As so much depends on keep your mentality, vitality, physicality on track. To stay 'the healthy'... And as I'm seemingly experiencing a different stomach problem each week at present...You see how these small problems can effect your lifting and martials...Hohum. I definitely wanted to do lower reps today. Create some kind of equality in the middle range. 60 kgs x 8(double ohand) 100 kgs x 7 (ditto) 140 kgs x 6 (ditto) 180 kgs x 5 (mixed grip) 210 kgs x 5 (double ohand straps) 230 kgs x 4 (ditto) 240 kgs x 4 (ditto) 260 kgs x 4 (Plus 5 second Static at near Lockout) 285 kgs x 3 (ditto) Felt really strong here. Still staying at 285 kgs though for the current max. Until I feel comfortable lifting it for at least 4 or 5 reasonably easy reps. I'll then decide what my max lift at 5 pins down will be (play by feel). Before I go to 6 pins down (mid shin). And then blocks. Then plates. Then the floor. Yes I could lift more here. Just that I want it to be fun and reasonably safe. The Deads then, again were a pleasure. And fast. I did 8 sets in 40 minutes including warmups. Standing Calf Raise Again a bit more weight and sets. With these I want the effect. Calves can be notoriously difficult to develop. And they definitely help you in all your stability and support. So remember one way of beasting them is to hit the muscles from different angles (in the same set). So change foot position a third of the way through. And then again. Do a deep stretch at the bottom of the last movement of each set. Also you have to break down (loosen) the fascia holding your turkey breast style calf muscles in place. This is where some strong finger prodding and kneading comes in handy (after the fact). 120 kg x 33 (11 straight, 11 pigeon-toed, 11 Charlie Chaplin style) with a 10 second hold at the top and the bottom of the last rep (stretch) 140 kg x 33 (ditto) 160 kg x 23 (as above) 180 kg x 20 only straight with a 10 second stretch at the bottom of the last 2 reps. Single Arm Dumbell Row Felt the need to lift summat hefty one arm at a time. 130 lbs (each arm of course) x 8 150 lbs x 6 180 lbs x 4 (going back heftier with these now) Still got my eye on those 250 lb'ers sat in the corner. Nobody much uses them. Shame to see them gathering dust. Seated Row Remember to keep your shoulders down (no shrugging). So your lats do most of the work. Your upper back (rhomboids etc) will get support work anyway. Pull smoothly into the upper obliques at solar plexus height or below. 115 kgs x 10 135 kgs x 6 180 kgs x 4 (with a 5 second static and a resisted neg that almost did for me) Neutral Box-Bar Pullups x 10 x 9 (Plus 10 sec static at the top of the last rep) x 8 (plus 5 second static at the top of the last rep and a resisted neg) STILL can't be bothered to add weight again. As I'm concentrating on my form. As opposed to trying to 'muscle up' with weight. Bagwork, Speedball, Floor-To-Ceiling Ball Bagwork - No wraps or mitts. Fast hands, jab-cross-jab combis and 5 punch combis fast. Alternate sides. Slipping the bag, Straight Rising Knee etc. Standing roundhouses - as many as I can blam in without puking lol. Kuching Roundhouses from the floor. Floor-to-ceiling ball. Rockin and Rollin... Then helped a dood who's got a bit of arthritis happening in his upper spine. He's finding it hard to do Back Squats. We had a fruitful show n tell about flexibility exercises for the back squat. And then about his other options to the Back Squat. I showed him Zerchers (my current crush), Barbell Hack Squats, Jefferson Squats (always great) and Sumo deadlifts as a starter. He was most pleased. Not done any Jefferson's for at least a year. So cool. And pretty useful for fighters. That extra load on the front leg whilst doing a modified deadlift-squat really get's you connected with that 'ground-force reaction'. We also discussed how the Carry Bend (Zercher Squat) has been used by bareknuckle boxers to keep a strong guard for years (so your guard can't be pulled or knocked down). And of course to work your all really hard. Made me feel reasonably useful and it's always great to shoot the breeze about barbellism. Chocolate Milk (still no magical healing properties but mighty tasty).