Sunday, November 22, 2015

Back to business

I'm back again. This time, this blog is going to take a somewhat different turn. I'v e switched my training to bodyweight. The initial reason was that I ordered a book from called 'Convict Conditioning'. This book got me excited about training with bodyweight as I realized the hidden potential that bodyweight training can provide. What also got me even more excited was the progressions that can take me from abject weakling to extraordinary levels of strength. Now I have other bodyweight books such as Building the Gymnastic Body by Christopher Sommer and the Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline. Both of these titles are great in their own right, but the progressions are not as clear cut as in Convict Conditioning. However, that will be another topic in another post.

Now, the main reason why I have stuck with bodyweight training is because of financial reasons. Due to un/underemployment, my finances have not been as sound as in the days when I was able to pay gym fees. Also, as I realized over time, that life gets in the way of training (new job, different schedule, change in responsibilities over time), I found that bodyweight training is usually the best way to be able to continue your training whenever life throws a spanner in the works. Also, bodyweight training is free or almost free. Usually, the piece of equipment that you may be spending money on, at least in my experience, will be a pullup bar or gymnastic rings and a couple of basketballs. Other than that, your body is your gym.

Trust me, I have a lot more to say on these topics. I will be either publishing a post or linking a video about these and other topics on this blog. However, to try to get things rolling again, here is a video of my outdoor training done recently. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Squats, swings and hard drives

I started a new squat cycle last week Wednesday. Did 280# today for 5 reps and 255# for 5 reps. Did T-handle swings on Tuesday, Thursday and today of this week. Also did my ladders for military presses and pullups during the week, heavy, light and medium days. I was only able to do deadlift walks on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I was only able to do squats and presses and this is the reason why.

On Tuesday, I saw a blue screen of death on my laptop with the error "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME". Which was really crappy because I was supposed to back up my data on my hard drive, but didn't. Also, I had some presentations saved on the HDD that I was to email the next day. Pressure. So on Wednesday, I was trying to find how can I fix my disk and get data from it. About fixing the disk, I found out that I need to do a 'CHKDSK' operation to fix the error, which required a Windows XP CD, which I couldn't find. If the error could not be fixed, it would indicate a hardware problem relating to my disk. With regards to recovering data from the disk, I researched all kinds of methods and software to recover data. My primary concern was to recover the presentations so I could send them. Eventually, I did recover them, by downloading an OS on my USB called Puppy Linux (I'm currently using it to write this) and mounted the HDD to recover the presentations. I emailed them, and then got down to the business of trying to fix the disk

On Wednesday night, I found the Windows XP CD. I loaded it and ran the CHKDSK operation. It confirmed my worst fears; the disk was definitely damaged. Also, apparently the CHKDSK operation did something to the disk, so that now it is not even being recognized by the BIOS and is giving a clicking sound. Now, not even using Puppy Linux can help. Now to find out what is wrong with the disk, I now have to open the disk to see if the problem is with the actuator etc, or with the PCB board. I would have done it, if I had the correct screwdriver. Unfortunately I don't. Also to possibly save the hard drive and get my data, I'll have to get parts from an identical hard drive. Hopefully, I can get a cheap one.

So nowadays, I'm using a USB drive with Puppy linux, to watch DVDs, go on the internet and edit my documents. Not ideal, but not too bad. However, I learnt the hard way to always backup data, especially data that is important.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New squat PR and workout log

Got a max squat lift today of 370# (+10# PR). Thought it will have been higher but I'll keep on plugging away at the squat. An increase of 120# from since I had a knee injury. I'll start a new squat cycle tomorrow.

Workout for 23rd May 2011

4 ladders of 3 rungs 60# MP and 50# loaded pullups

105# loaded T-handle swings 30:30 for 12 mins

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ladies, listen again Thank God I'm not the only one who believes this. Ladies, please, get off the treadmill and take up the weights if you want to lose the weight and look good in your clothes (or bikini, whatever you prefer).

I said it before, and I'll say it again. If you don't believe me, take it from someone else who has been training women longer than me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I think I'm ranting tonight

Ok, I hate to sound like somebody's miserable, quarrelsome mother looking to pick a fight with the world, but since my chronicles as a gym instructor began in June 2010, I've seen the really, really good and the really really horrible in strength training, health and fitness. And I have heard people tell me of advice which other trainers have given them and some of them I've had to shake my head at. I really don't have time to go through all of the mess but I'll take some time in this blog to give my opinions on them.


Now, anyone who has trained under my guidance for any period of time knows that I put a great deal of emphasis of doing the lift safely. From my own experience, injuries are not nice to deal with, so the safer one does a lift, the likelihood of an injury happening is reduced. Now, burn this in the back of your minds: NO TRAINING METHOD IS 100% SAFE!!However, this is no excuse to not do strength training. The only time when you are totally safe is when you are in heaven. Food for thought.

However, there are certain things that one can do to make an activity safer. In my limited knowledge of strength training, one of the tips that I give to clients whenever I am teaching them a compound lift (squat, deadlift, bench press, military press etc.) is to keep your weight on your heels i.e. drive your feet into the ground through your heels. This establishes a firm base for whatever lift you are doing. Which is why I'll NEVER tell you to do this:

Now seriously...(SMH). All I'll say is that if your personal trainer is telling you to do this...I'll seriously advise you to get another personal trainer. How much of your life do you spend on an unstable surface like a swiss ball or a bosu ball? I rest my case.

Long and short is that while no training method is 100% safe, it is dumb to put yourself at risk by doing stuff that is dangerous. This is why whenever you are training, you SHOULD get guidance from someone who is knowledgeable about training. And if you in the unfortunate case of someone who is supposed to be knowledgeable is actually putting you at a greater risk, don't be afraid to ask questions or get a second opinion, because at the end of the day, it's YOU who will get injured, not your personal trainer. True, you may sue or whatever, but YOUR life will be hampered by the injury. Your personal trainer will just train other people and go home with the $$$.

So to all who are reading this, keep safety in mind, both in training and in life.

Training 20-05-11

4 singles of 60# presses and 50# loaded pullups

3 sets of 70# double press walks for 35 yards to and back

T handle swings 30s:30s for 12 mins

Friday, May 20, 2011

My training update and some thoughts about the goblet squat


4 singles of 360# failed on the 5th rep

Ab wheel rollouts


370# FAIL. End of squat cycle. New squat cycle will start either Monday or Tuesday

4 ladders of 3 rungs, 60# military press and 50# loaded pullups

T handle swings 30:30 for 12 mins

Deadlift walks, 230#, 35 yards to and back 2 times

4 ladders of 2 rungs, 60# military press and 50# loaded pullups

Deadlift walks, 230#, 35 yards to and back 2 times

T handle swings 30:30 for 6 mins (had 2 cut it short due to rainy weather)

Saxon side bends 30# 2 sets of 4 reps

In the gym today, I taught a few people goblet squats. Here's a video of what it looks like:

I was quite surprised at how easy it was for me to teach it to most people considering how difficult it was for me in the past to teach squatting. Thank you Dan John...again! From the looks on the faces of most of my clients, especially when they are 'down in the hole', it's clear that they have not squatted that deep in a long while. So I have a new weapon in my arsenal...goblet squats