Lots of Updates

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I have not written in a long time as life has gotten in the way.  In this post I will provide some updates on various things.  Please bear with me.

Hypertension:

The DASH Diet works.  In 90 days I took my blood pressure from 145/90 to 122/60 simply through dietary manipulation.  While the DASH Diet has many factors to it as long as you get less than 1,500mg of sodium per day and 4,700mg or greater of potassium per day I suspect you will see results.  I get my potassium from light orange juice, avocados, potatoes, steak, bananas, and some forms of potato chips when I crave a snack.

Sleep:

I recently acquired a TEMPUR-Cloud Supreme Breeze which, while very expensive, has been a life-changing event.  You spend 1/3 of your life in bed, if you can afford it, buy the best mattress you can.  Lots of good research into mattresses is available at the website Mattress Underground.

Exercise:

Regarding my recurring right bicep tendon annoyances I took some advice from Blaidd Drwg on IrongarmX which amounted to “Don’t fuck with it.”  Of note is that I interpreted “Don’t fuck with it” as don’t try to train around the injury, literally, don’t do anything near the affected area.  As such from January until August of 2017 I did nothing but walk or light yoga for exercises and, drumroll please, the pain went away and has not returned.  “Don’t fuck with it” — simple as that.

In October I began bringing back some pull-ups and kettlebells into my life and below is what I am doing these days which, is a great balance for me of strength, flexibility, and endurance based upon my time available and how much I want my workouts to effect the rest of my life i.e. not being worn out when I am trying to spend quality time with my family.

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Ladders are Shaf’s Ladders — autoregulate your workout however you need to.

I like the Single Arm Kettlebell Clean for my Hinge Exercise as it feels as though it involves a bit more forearm and bicep strength usage during execution than the traditional Kettlebell Swing.

For Yoga I love the Yoga Studio App as it can be tailored to the needs of your body.

Naked Turkish Getups are an amazing exercise and I highly recommend them.  I can’t really describe how they make me feel other than energized.

I like the Single Arm Kettlebell Strict Overhead Press as while it uses less weight than the double kettlebell version it feels as though it requires more use of balance / stabilizer muscles which I like.

I like the Single Arm Kettlebell Rack Squat because I can get the same depth as the Goblet Squat but I also get a clean (hinge) to get the kettlebell to the rack position and I need to balance / stabilize more during the squat as compared to the Goblet Squat.

For the Take it Easy circuit — you need to take it easy.  Relax.  You should feel better after than before.  Let me explain the exercises a bit.

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Ab Wheel

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Stand on One Foot for 20 Seconds Right then Left

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Trunk Twists – Right then Left is One Repetition

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Bird Dogs for 20 Seconds Right then Left

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Bicep Tendonitis and the Scapular Plane

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I annoyed by bicep tendon again.  This time it is my left one.

I sugested to my Doctor and he agreed after an assessment that the cause was likely strict overhead pressing a 28kg kettlebell at an angle outside of the scapular plane.

What is the scapular plane?

Click on this article by Scott Iardella at Strong First to find out.

The article is also available here in PDF format:  The 3 Key Distinctions of the Kettlebell Press – StrongFirst

Bottom Line:  Staying within the scapular plane when pressing overhead is safer than not.

Question arising from this situation thus far are:

Is barbell strict overhead pressing safer than the same exercise with a kettlebell since a kettlebell can naturally drift out of the scapular plane easier than a barbell?

Is there a substantial difference in performance gains when utilizing equal resting weight and pressing weight as compared to light resting weight and heavier pressing resistance?

Example…

When I stand with a kettlebell in the racked position I feel weight.  When I strict press it overhead I feel weight.  When I stand with one or more Iron Woody Resistance Bands looped over my Ross Enamait do-it-yourself resistance band handles I feel little to no weight.  When I strict press overhead I feel resistance.

More to follow once I know more.  For now it is a cortisone shot and six to eight weeks of physical therapy.

Time, Kettlebells, “Before Meal Workouts” and “Ends-to-the-Middle” Ladders

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Time has gotten away from me as I attend a training program during my non-work hours.  This training program takes the majority of my attention when I am not with family or at work thus my workouts have lessened.  Due to the current scenario I began the below listed routine which has been working quite well for me for a little over a month.

Monday:

– Before Breakfast:  Walk 45 minutes.

– Before Dinner:  Kettlebells with a focus on Hinge and Press.

Tuesday:

– Before Breakfast:  Walk 45 minutes.

– Before Dinner:  Kettlebells with a focus on Squat, Pull, and Loaded Carry.

Wednesday:

– Before Dinner:  Kettlebell complex lasting between 12 and 15 minutes.

Thursday:

– Before Breakfast:  Walk 45 minutes.

– Before Dinner:  Kettlebells with a focus on Hinge and Press.

Friday:

– Before Breakfast:  Walk 45 minutes.

– Before Dinner:  Kettlebells with a focus on Squat, Pull, and Loaded Carry.

Other Notes:

On the kettlebell exercises I have begun doing what I call “Ends-to-the-Middle Ladders” which work well.  For example if your ladder is going to be 1-2-3-4-5 repetitions you execute as 1-5-2-4-3.  Make sense? 

With the kettlebell press and squat I begin with “Ends-to-the-Middle Ladders” at 1-2-3-4-5 and work up over time to 6-7-8-9-10.  Once I get 6-7-8-9-10 I move up in weight.

With the kettlebell swing progression I am still doing what I posted previously.  I use the Dan John idea of two-handed swings for 20 repetitions and one-handed swings for 10 repetitions.  I aim for 100 repetitions per workout. 

https://sustainableevolution.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/kettlebells-weights-and-progression-part-2-swings/

Pull-ups are still done according to about half of the volume within the Recon Ron program which in my experience still ensures progression.

https://sustainableevolution.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/recon-ron-pull-up-program/

Loaded carries are waiter’s walks or farmer’s walks.  I really like both but find my shoulders love the waiter’s walks for 30 second repetitions.

What is Old is New Again!

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For a variety of reasons I am moving back to Kettlebells.  Based upon this decision, below is the totality of my new plan, which will begin on October 12, 2015.

Pat Flynn
Pat Flynn

In the introduction to the book “Racked and Loaded” Pat Flynn said:

If strength and fat loss is what you seek, the formula for success is very plain:

Metabolic Conditioning—low frequency & low duration

Strength Training—moderate frequency & moderate duration

Brisk Walking—high frequency & high duration

Dan John
Dan John

Dan John preaches the Fundamental Human Movements:

-Loaded Carries

-Squat

-Hinge

-Pull

-Push

Based upon this I am looking at:

-45 minutes of brisk walking prior to breakfast Mondays through Fridays.

-Monday Evening:  Kettlebell Strength Session hitting each of the Fundamental Human Movements.

-Wednesday Evening:  Kettlebell Metabolic Conditioning Session using one of Pat Flynn’s complexes.

-Friday:  Kettlebell Strength Session hitting each of the Fundamental Human Movements.

Whenever this gets stale I will throw in some Bryce Lane 50/20 action.

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Exercise is one thing but “the battle of the knife and fork” as Lonnie Lowery of Iron Radio says is another.

Something Like This
Something Like This

On top of this I will overlay Dan John’s Meat, Leaves, and Berries program.

I will eat as much meat and as many leaves and berries as I want.  The only “cheating” I allow is cream and sugar with my daily coffee and pizza and popcorn with my family on Friday evenings.

Stay tuned!

Kettlebells — Closing Thoughts

In a previous post CLICK I said that based upon the demands in my life I prefer kettlebells because “good enough for me” strength training as often as I want is better than “perfect but rare” strength training twice a week.

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I am pleased to report that I now have the time and the appropriate gym access to begin barbell training.  I have been reading, researching, studying, and consulting the most knowledgeable people I can.  I have a good plan with built-in flexibility for schedule changes.  The plan also alternates between volume and intensity, rotates exercises, and prescribes rest periods.

Before the kettlebell makes an exit I want to emphasize that kettlebells, specifically owning 2x16kg, 2x24kg, and 2x32kg are just right for the average male’s needs.  Add a good pull-up bar and dip belt to my proposed kettlebell line-up and you can get strong enough to handle most of what life will throw at you.

Why am I pursuing barbell training?  I want to see how strong I can get — especially now that I almost know what I am doing.  My previous attempts at barbell training were poorly executed without proper research and sans training in barbell usage.  All of the preceding will be rectified in the next few days.  I am excited.

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