Monday, January 30, 2012

Entry #1011


SSB box squats:
240 x 3 x 5

Overhead press:
135 x 3 x 5

135, 225, 315 x 5

SSB good mornings:
150 x 3 x 10



SSB squats:
295 x 3 x 5

Bench press:
210 x 3 x 5

Dumbbell rows:
100s x 3 x 20
> Did these in between bench press sets. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Entry #1010

Oh man, found a great-looking boxing gym only 1.5 miles away from my apartment. Better than that, it's only $15 a month! I'd miss BJJ so much, though. I was really getting into my groove with it, I love the coaches and people there, and rolling on the mat has an inextricable quality that's distinctly unique from sparring. The feeling of sinking my first sub last week was nothing short of euphoric. Unfortunately, reality is cold. $100 a month for 2 classes a week vs $15 for 3 - the choice for the unemployed student is clear.

Did some shoulder rehab today. Kettlebell stretches and Turkish get-ups.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Entry #1009

Trained miserably on Sunday. Anything lower-body felt like an absolute grind. Deadlifted 450 and it must have been the laziest rep in my entire life. I just somehow found myself with the weight up. Didn't even attempt the 5, I just dropped it and left. The week prior I ripped up 445 for 5 reps very handily. I'm way overtrained and it's time to deload.

SSB squats:
290 x 3 x 5

Bench press:
205 x 3 x 5

Machine lateral raise:
20 reps
> A nifty device for external rotator work.

Sternum chin-ups:
12, 8, 8
> Did in between bench press sets.

Power clean practice:
135 x 3, 2
> Stopped whenever my form got sloppy. On the last rep I actually missed my chest and the bar just rolled down my front. Warmed up with high pulls.

Incline skullcrushers super-set with dumbbell curls:
45s x 10 (skulls), 10 (curls)
> Took it easy because I didn't have my Fat Gripz, which I think would be healthier for the elbows doing any extension stuff.

I finished in 50 minutes. Post-workout I drank some white grape juice and ate a can of chili, an orange, some almonds, some olives, and a big glass of milk at the end before going to BJJ at 7.

We learned effective side-control defense as well review over the double-leg takedown. I really need to hammer it in to bring my front knee down, not rear. Getting out of side-control involves a strong bridge while the knifed hand goes across the opponent's neck, shrimping away, and crossing the leg over to net a butterfly guard. Sparring involved doing this repeatedly for two minutes before alternating positions. Very tiring, but I did well. Not as fun as free-rolling where I could go for all kinds of submissions, but it was probably more productive.

I don't know what I'm gonna do from here on out. It's $100 a month for two classes a week, or $130 for something like 5. This would be affordable if there wasn't a 12-month contract. Fuck. I REALLY like this place. Everyone is super friendly and I've learned more in the last two weeks than in my entire life. I like it better than AKA, even. I'm having trouble with jobs due to immigration paper problems and not having a work-eligible SS number. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Entry #1008

Had a great time in BJJ on Wednesday. Honed my RNC technique by adding in elements like puffing my chest out, getting a more successful position by knifing my hand, and doing something as basic as suddenly pushing the opponent's head back with my other hand to snake my arm into position. The entire session was practice while having someone's back, so I also learned how to reverse this into the guy's guard my own back is taken. When it was time to roll I managed to secure an RNC within maybe 20 seconds that made him tapout and I came ever so close to locking in an armbar. The guy was clearly new, though, probably even moreso than me, and not nearly my size.

Missed my lifting day yesterday due to a complete lack of sleep that had me crashed until the evening, so I went back today.

SSB box squats:
370 x 3 x 5

2-board press:
305 x 3 x 5
> Nice, major improvement from last week. Felt like I had more reps in me. Not touch-and-go, either.

Dumbbell rows:
150 lb dumbbell x 3 x 5

Super minimalist. I'm feeling overtrained despite making progress on every lift. I'd first tried doing 350 lb full squats and stopped after 2 reps because it just felt like a total grind. Pressing felt fresh and strong, but that wasn't a full ROM, either. Probably going to deload next week, then come back to start full-range bench pressing, finally. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Entry #107

I got what I asked for and sparred for pretty much the entirety of the session in Muay Thai tonight. Funny thing is I chucked away my mouthpiece after a couple of minutes because it didn't fit.

I'm all offense, as a result of not sparring. I can hit hard and fast but my defense sucks. All that time instilling the habit of keeping my hands up in boxing went out the window with kicks, which were a completely different animal from dealing with George's TKD kicks. 

I also gassed, but luckily I actually have fortitude now unlike my 17 year-old version and I keep going. Hell, I not only keep going, but I'm game when another guy asks if I'm good to go after sparring and gassing with the first. I sparred three different people in a row, at one point. My conditioning at least recovers lightning fast. It may be that my awkward movement and susceptibility to getting hit by kicks and then subsequently punches with my downed guard was just draining me, not that my cardio is bad. As I said before, my defense blows and I got hit at will. My hands were doing good in straight-up boxing and I actually scored a lot of really great jabs and crosses, but I had no idea how to defend against kickboxing. My hands would drop and I'd be an easy target. Got my left leg on the quadricep absolutely battered on this way, and I was practically limping after awhile (but still being competitive, believe it or not). It still hurts but I can walk and run just fine.

The more I learned the better I got. By the end of the night I was doing far better than when I first came in, and I honestly wanted to keep going. Bringing the knee up to guard instead of clumsily dropping my left to block the kick makes a world of difference.

My meal beforehand was too close in proximity. Time that better. Another thing: when working the bag I'd really cannon my jab out, and that definitely didn't feel good on my shoulder. Take it easy. I can already whip it hard enough to hurt, I don't need to try to be Mike Tyson so early in my recovery.

I have a headache, my nose hurts (goddamn Middle-Eastern snout), my jaw hurts, and my leg hurts more. I had a blast.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Entry #1006

SSB squats:
345 x 3 x 5
> Easier than 340 earlier in the week. Squat performance is notably better when I use bands on second day instead of normal box squats. 

2-board press:
305 x 4, 3, 4
> Bar hit a pin on the way up in the second set; otherwise I would have gotten solid 4s across the board. Also, I made a mistake and unknowingly increased the weight to 305 when I meant to stay at the same amount as my last 3-board press, with the progress coming from the range. 

CG bench press:
225 x 8, 8, 7
> Definite imbalances. Bar was tilting from side to side. 

Clean practice:
135 x 5
205 x 3
> My accuracy sucks. Right wrist caught the bar while still upright on the last rep. 

Dumbbell rows:
140s x 4 x 5

Hammer curls with Fat Gripz:
50s x 10
40s x 8, 7

Went to BJJ several hours later. It was supposed to be an MMA class but this place is pretty unorganized. I sat around waiting well after 8:00 until I just got up and decided to hit the heavy bag. That's when an instructor came in the room, looking confused, and asked "Are you waiting for a class?" 
"Oh, no gi? I thought I was teaching BJJ tonight. Damn, where is everybody?" Turned out the class consisted of me and one other guy.

I got introduced to crossfacing. The other guy in the class was a lot smaller but more experienced in grappling, but luckily he didn't mind helping me out. Lying on my back I was tasked with getting a reversal by pushing him to one side, then suddenly shifting oppositely to use his momentum against him. My shrimping resembled Jabba the Hutt trying to do a kip-up. Need to drill into my head to plant feet into the ground to buck, not kick them out. Then push and extend the hips. The goal isn't to move the opponent, which would be extremely inefficient exertion-wise, but to move me away from him.

My partner gave me another essential tip: when up in the kneel after the first phase and I grab the opposite knee, don't pull with my arm. Hold onto the knee and simply push with my bodyweight. Run him over and land on top of him. Keep low. Don't let anything block my trajectory by being too high.

No submissions tonight, just learning how to get someone offa me. I'm doing a really good of concentrating on technique and not just overpowering everyone. In response to my partner laughing about how he had trouble getting his arm around my neck because I'm too big I mentioned this and the instructor said that's terrific of me, but pointed out how smaller guys have advantages, too. I patted him on the back and said "Sure" as he wiped away a tear.

Oh yeah, I got elbowed in the junk at one point really hard. He didn't notice and I didn't say anything. Matt Hughes was watching and he quickly walked out of the place in shame.

At one point there was incredibly painful friction on the skin of our arms, though, and now I have massive, dark red marks on my left bicep. It seriously looks like I tore a muscle underneath or something (which would kick ass).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Entry #1005

Shoulder rehab today.

Turkish rollovers: 3 sets of 5

Turkish get-ups: 5 sets of 3 

Hamstring stretches with mini bands between sets and foam rolling all along my back after. Ate very clean today. Lots of lean hamburger meat, tuna, sardines, dolma, almonds, kiwis, pomegranate aerils, and fresh olives from the Mediterranean bar at the store. I weighed 214.4 in the morning, and with martial arts over the next three days I'm planning on getting back into cutting weight seriously.

Felt good to take it easy after a strenuous week.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Entry #1004

Free gym session at Impact today. There was nobody else there so I worked the bag. Five rounds, two minutes each. I'm really getting comfortable with whipping the jab out without any problem from my shoulder. At first I was getting into my old habit of stuffing my punches but eventually I found my range. Conditioning is the best it's ever been at and I can go for days. I never got tired rolling with anyone in BJJ, either. Compare that to the 2005 Bullshido throwdown where I verbally submitted to a guy on top of me. The reason? I was too gassed. Pathetic.

Went home, took a long nap, and then lifted.

SSB box squats against monster minis:
250 x 3 x 5

Overhead press:
165 x 3 x 5
> Shoulders were sore from all the boxing, and I'm just easing into things in regards to my shoulder. Really had to fight myself not to just do 185. Also, I'm really digging the thumbless grip on this movement. 

Face pulls:

365, 405, 450 x 5
> Technically a PR. Much better than last week, especially considering that my back was hurting just the day before yesterday from hang cleans. First rep is always the hardest. The pressure in my head was so violent that my music actually sounded distorted.

After that I went to a playground and did~

NG pull-ups:
15, 10, 6, 5, 5

It's worth doing pull-ups there instead of the gym for that optimal neutral-grip set-up.

Fantastic day overall.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Entry #1003

Boxing tonight. The regular coach was out so one of the experienced students was the sub. It really sucked. The first half was a basic tutorial of how to throw a 1-2, then follow up with a left hook, and then finally a right cross. The advanced guys were along for the ride, and we were basically treating this as a warm-up. After shadowboxing I got to hold the mitts for a girl who I got gave pointers to before switching. Didn't get anything really productive done because she held her hands out like a mummy with her face turned away, afraid of getting hit, but she was nice and I wanted to instill confidence in her, so I just made do. Finally, it was time for the experienced guys to spar. Only I couldn't because I didn't have a mouthguard. WTF. I guess I should have known so I'm not going to blame anyone but myself, but there was no mention to bring a guard in the email, and I figured the instructor would be cool enough to let me do my thing if I told him I wanted to. I'd understand if this was some wise grandmaster who had a meticulous formula of tutelage for me to follow, but he was just a student. Let me throw hands, man.

Ended up spending 30 minutes just standing around and watching. There was nothing for me to do. I could have shadowboxed, I guess, but I was hoping to jump in for a spar that never happened. No hard feelings, but just a bad class.

I was hanging around when BJJ started feeling like I just wanted to leave, but the coach saw me and invited me in. I ended up having a terrific time. Learned how to crank a kimura from my back. Again, though, I kept tapping even though I didn't need to. At one point I decided that I should make my partner actually work for the sub more so I didn't tap. He kept turning my arm but it simply didn't hurt. After 15 seconds he let go and said (he didn't speak fluent English) "You just let me keep going!" I tried to convey to him that I wasn't just being a stubborn dick and letting him break my arm or anything.

Unlike boxing I got to roll with 2 different people, both much smaller than me but more experienced. First guy secured an armbar on me in about 15 seconds. Resolving to be more aware, we rolled the full 2 minutes where I felt like I dominated most of the round, getting the mount several times and never letting him do the same. The second guy gave me his back and I came ever so close to claiming RNCs two or three times. Did two rounds with him. The instructor I liked a LOT. Much better than my boxing session.

Shoulder has been holding up just magnificently, though I'm not going to take my fortune for granted.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Entry #1002

SSB squats:
340 x 3 x 5

3-board press:
302.5 x 3 x 5

Neutral-grip dumbbell press:
100s x 10 

Clean practice:

13, 8, 6

Ugh, back hurts from catching the 225 clean like a hang clean instead of dropping it because I wanted to be polite to other gym-goers. Fuck that next time. This ain't Curves we're running here. 

Didn't go to kickboxing or MMA class today because I think it'd be flirting with disaster for my shoulder to have both lifting and fighting on the same day. Gonna go to boxing tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Entry #1001

Some time ago i wrote an entry about how I did a day of BJJ at American Kickboxing Academy, and posted about how I had a Muay Thai class coming up. Well, looks like that's gonna happen, six years later. I'm doing a free week at Impact BJJ. Tomorrow or Friday is striking. Tonight was BJJ.

The most important thing I learned was to never wear shorts when grappling. I was told that I'd be doing a kickboxing initiation at 6:00 and I could hang around for BJJ at 7. Nope, it was all BJJ, and it sucked having to constantly pull my shorts down when literally everyone else (even the other newbies not wearing gi's) had pants on.

In addition to the technique of wearing pants, I was taught how to shrimp, execute an Americana, a kimura, and three different positions of armbar. It was way better than my AKA lesson, the likes of which I remembered nothing from. Back then they just kinda threw me in without tutelage. This time the instructor actually spent time with me exclusively while everyone else was rolling. 

Something to note: my shoulder was limp in a sling a little over a month ago. Tonight I was getting that same arm cranked, jerked and armbarred, and it felt and feels great. Simply having a lot of contractile meat around the joint undoubtedly helped exponentially in preventing any slippage from the socket. When someone would be going through the moves and I knew what was coming, I'd consciously flex my deltoid and just brace for the force so I could safely hold on long enough for it to sink in and tap. Just have to shake my head at people who are worried about getting too buff.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Entry #1,000

1000 entries, 1000 days of torture, and 1000 days of being stuck with shitty Xanga for continuity's sake. I wanted to celebrate this special day so I canceled my wedding to go to the gym.

3-board press:
300 x 5, 5, 4
> Hoping to repeat my success with OHP I tried the suicide grip here and just downright did not like it. Switched back to regular grip and performance felt stronger. Could have also powered through on that last set but my shoulder is holding me back from really going ballistic with explosiveness. 

Close-grip bench:
225 x 8, 8, 6
> Good to pick up where I left off. Light, but my triceps were exceptionally fatigued with all this new overload.

45 x 3 x 5

Clean practice with high pulls:
135 lbs, various reps and sets

Curls with Fat Gripz 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Entry #999


SSB box squats:
310 x 3 x 5
> Middle day of the week is meant to be a break from squats, whether it's using bands or going lighter.

Overhead press:
95 x 5
135 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 1
155 x 8
> Hell yes, first time overhead pressing with a barbell since the injury. 185 made my shoulder hurt, though, so I took it back down. Amazingly, on the last set I tried a thumbless grip and it worked wondrously well. In fact, it made all the difference and I probably could have gone back up to 185 with it. Awesome. 

365 x 5
405 x 5
445 x 4
> Tightness and power was feeling lackluster. Really psyched myself up and did better on the last set.

12, 6, 8
> Banged my knee on the safety bar on the last rep. Hurt like hell and had to take it easy on the walking for the rest of the night, but it's better today. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Entry #998

Kickass, was able to press bilaterally for the first time since the accident. No pain, lots of gain. Gonna miss my beastly dumbbell.

SSB squats:
335 x 3 x 5 

Floor press:
135, 185, 225, 275 x 5
300 x 4
> Shit felt dangerous. The lowest hole for the safety bars is far too high, so I have to go without any. I simply CANNOT fail, or I'm screwed. After reracking the 300 it felt scary putting my arms that far behind me; visions of my dislocation came back. The power rack is flimsy as hell so it shifts back with the barbell when I slam it in (that's what she said). Yikes. When I was done my adrenaline was surging from the split-second thought that I couldn't find the pins and the barbell was gonna fall behind my head. I either need to find some way to get a spotting system set up, maybe using those nifty rubber patio tiles Emevas has mentioned, or press with the bar lower down my body so I'm not so far away from the pins. Failing those I'll just board press.

Power cleans:
> Practice, didn't keep track of sets. 

High pulls:
> Practice, didn't keep track of sets. 

Dumbbell rows:
140 x 3 x 5

Hammer curls with Fat Gripz:
40s x 10, 8, 6 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Entry #997

Looked in the gym mirror after doing squats and my eyeballs were almost solid red from the strain turning them bloodshot. Being ugly makes you stronger.

SSB box squats:
360 x 3 x 5

One-arm dumbbell press:
Right - 132.5 x 4, 4, 5 
Left - 85 x 10, 10, 10

Decline push-ups:
12, 12, 15

365 x 5
405 x 5
445 x 2
> Felt a slight pain in my back so I terminated it. Was sitting all day yesterday and haven't been keeping up with foam rolling. 

10, 8, 6, 5, 6, 6, 7 

8, 8, 10 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Entry #996


SSB box squats:
310, 330, 350 x 5 

One-arm dumbbell press:
Right - 132.5 x 4
Left - 80 x 12

15, 8, 8 

It's crazy how much more I can squat parallel. I've been going ATG practically every time. 350 was pretty easy so I think I'm going to keep going up some more.