As I went through my various writing notes on my storage cloud, I came upon the purposely unfinished book project on the training methods of Eddie Kowacz, the Green Ghost. Some of this material is redundant from other articles and some of it is not. The impact of the method is still valuable and the thought process of the training is like the intended title, brief, brutal and basic.

The thinking and ingenuity are at least in an organized outline. You will also see some incomplete areas that I had not yet filled in. Such is live. Enjoy this and like Bruce Lee said, “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” [This document is largely unedited]

Brief, Brutal, Basic

The Training Methods of Eddie “Green Ghost” Kowacz

Forward

The Short Bio

I learned from the Pros in my gym (Gaspari, Phil Hill) and my partner at the jail was a bodybuilder named Franco Santoriello. Nothing new is out there bodybuilding wise. Everything is just a re-hash.

I have my training logs from the 80s and 90s and use it as my guide.

 

How this book is designed

This book is organized by an outline giving a broad over view of what I call the “Green Ghost System”. I’ve sorted through a massive volume of notes, commentary, questions, answers and workout logs to put a loose and flexible overview of a system that is constantly refined and tested nearly daily. This book will have a massive amount of sidebars. This lends itself to lateral thinking. Having the organization, then having commentary from Eddie Kowacz himself is similar to being instructed by him. The technical framework provided by this book is just a skeleton, whereas the meat of the methodology is built from Eddie’s words. Whenever you see a sidebar with “E.K.”, you will know that the detailed comments are from Eddie himself. You will also see examples of the principle or exercise in a sample workout from his training logs.

 

Overview

Brief- The workouts are not lengthy and the warm ups are often non existent. Only a few movements are used. Time between sets is measured and considered a training variable. This also adds to the GPP or General Preparatory Phase of conditioning.

 

Brutal- The brutal nature of training is in heavy movement. Fundamentally, two motions are focused on. Pushes and Pulls. Pushing is any pressing movement. Eddie does not squat because of previous knee damage, but you will add squatting to this mix under this category. The other category is Pulls. This will be from the ground up, like deadlifts, cleans, snatches, swings or upper body pulling that would include chin ups, rowing and curling. By focusing on movements that can be loaded heavily, the stimulus to the system is greater. This is amplified by using heavier [relative] weights for lower reps and higher amounts of sets.

 

Basic- Simple Movements

Main thing for me has always been to never to focus on more than a few ( 2-3 ) movements per training cycle. I love doing this type of Volume Training for most of the Basic Compound Multi-Joint Exercises, using either Barbells, Dumbbells and Kettlebells. Bodyweight drills done using this format are also a favorite of mine. I vary the intensity of the movement by changing the amount of weight, sets, reps, or even time of rest.

 

Syncretic Nature of a System

Not an Either/Or Fallacy

“If it works for you it can’t be wrong.”

 

Rather than focus on what is politically correct the methodology that Eddie employs is that it works for him. Give it a fair test, measure results and either use it, put it away for now or throw it away. The most import component is the trainee. The methods are secondary to getting results.

Too often in seeking effective training methods the individual looks to the extreme. Simple hard work is ignored for what is flashy or fantastic. Mystery always hold more attention than logic. By instead focusing on what produces result, you can add to or subtract from your bag of knowledge. Your toolbox remains a personal history of success and new techniques or tools can be added without giving up the flavor of how you train.

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1. Methods

Strength base was built by using a combination of ME, DE, and Volume Deadlifts.

————

Yes, I combine ME and DE sometimes in the same workout and sometimes I reverse the order and do DE first which serves as a warmup. I have done this using the same movement and have also switched up in the past and switched compound movements. For example:

 

1 arm KB Dead Snatches done using a sub-maximal load ( 70s ) for 10 sets of 3s followed by 3-5 Deadlifts in the 92-100% range. The dead snatches do 2 things for me, they help in providing a warmup and they are used as a gauge to check my speed. If I’m sluggish that day I’ll backoff on both the number of snatches and I’ll cut back on my DL load.

—————————–

Dead Cleans done using 2 70s for 12 sets of 5 reps. 60 seconds rest break after each set.

Conventional DL stance used and starting position of KBs was on the outside of legs.

Using a Safety Squat Bar with chains added for the past 4 weeks has really aided this drill.

———–

I have two fat handled 100s and one 145 lber. I’ve done 1 arm swings with the 145 for 3×3 to chest height. My best workout with the 100 was 10 x 3/3 swing snatches using a 60 second rest between sets. Dead Cleans with them is a killer!

 

I do eat 1 meal at night 7-8 PM and a snack 3 hours later. Nothing during the day though. Weight has varied lately from 190-198.

————–

 

a. ME – The Maximal Effort Method: This is defined as lifting a maximal load for 1-3 reps, and is the highest force that can be performed by the muscular system. This is and should be an all out effort. This method will improve neuromuscular coordination by increased motor unit recruiting, increased rate coding, and motor unit synchronization. Many coaches view this as being the best method for both intra-muscular and inter-muscular coordination, because the muscles and the central nervous system adapt only to the load placed upon them.  ?The maximal effort method does not utilize psychological preparation, in other words you should not psyche up before the set, this will only bring about emotional fatigue. Save the psyche for the meet when you really need it. Training with the max effort method more than twice a week should be avoided because it will impair muscular coordination as well as increase defensive inhibition.–Louie Simmons

 

b. DE – Dynamic Effort Method

“This method requires the lifter lift sub-maximal weights as fast as he can.” – Louie Simmons

 

IMO, doing ballistics is the best way to develop starting strength.

Different categories of strength and each kind of strength requires a different way to train. For example, explosive strength is best developed by using compensatory acceleration.

You must know which one to maximize for your sport!

 

c. RE – Repetition Effort Method/Density

I’ve always enjoyed the 10×5, 10×3, 12×5, 12×3, training formats for whole body movements even when I was bodybuilding in the early 80s. But I never thought of using “time of rest” between sets as a training variable. It was either more weight, more sets or more reps. I feel that this is an important variable to tweak from time to time more so for KBs than BBs because of the limited options in KB sizes.

 

Supersetted Bodyweight Dips + Chins for 10 sets of 5/5.

30 seconds rest between sets. 5 Dips + 5 Chins 30 seconds rest and repeat 9 x

Brutal but great! Thumbless grip used as always.

 

d. Basic movements

e. Reps for recovery

 

2. Tools

Folks, Whatever training tool that you are using (Spin Bike,Treadmill, Barbell, Kettlebell, Sword, Hula Hoop, Yo-Yo) and you find yourself still fat and unhappy, don’t blame the equipment that YOU chose, nor the INSTRUCTOR! The only tools to blame here, are your FORK and SPOON!…. and some of you even look like you’re only a few days away from switching to a PITCHFORK and SHOVEL! ?Unless you’re lying unconscious in the ER with a tube stuck into your arm, it’s YOUR FAULT! Why? Because you have 100% complete control over your food intake. That’s 100%, all the time! No one is pointing a gun in your face and saying eat a box of munchkins or else are they?

?Doing an hour of intense cardio in the morning, followed by a food intake that would rival the total number of calories consumed by the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving Day is a bit much, don’t you think? ?Time to accept some personal responsibility.

?Almost forgot, re: Spinning – I read a training blog recently that claimed that one of the top reasons as to why woman get fatter is because they do spinning. !@#$%&? ?This of course, is an absurd statement and reeks of a self serving purpose, most likely fueled by an attempt to separate good hard training people, from their coin. ?Thus, anyone making this statement is a dumbass, and anyone who agrees or believes it, is an even bigger dumbass! DON’T BLAME THE TRAINING TOOL! ?

a. Barbells

b. Dumbbells

Did 3 sets DL Stiff-Legged Triples using 2 – 172 lb DB’s. ( handles fit 8 per side and not only 7 as I stated before )

Did 3 singles of same drill using the 2-212 DBs.

I like the feel of these better than with the trap bar due to the fact that I can get in the same pulling position as I do KB Dead Cleans with.

The width of the Trap Bar handles is 25 inches or so and I prefer a position that’s closer to my legs. I did find that if I use the trap bar length wise the handles are an inch closer. Better… but still not as good as with the DBs. I will be keeping the STDLs in my routine but not on a weekly basis.

 

c. Kettlebells

I’ve been training with Kettlebells on and off for the past 8 years, and I like them. While they provide a great training effect, mainly GPP ( General Physical Preparedness ) they are nothing more than just another piece of training equipment. All things being equal, I can get the same type of training effect from barbells, dumbbells, shoveling snow, cutting wood or even lifting a bunch of rocks in my backyard.

 

That being said…There’s nothing magical about them. It’s not manna from heaven. It’s a hunk of metal with a handle, nothing more. You wanna worship it, pray to it, color eyes on it, and even name it, fine by me.

 

However, some of the claims that I’ve read about them (think marketing hype, here) have been downright ridiculous! Some trainers have even gone so overboard with their claims, that you’d think that in a past life they worked in a carnival as a barker.

 

KBs won’t burn, sear, scorch or even vaporize the fat off your body any faster than any of the aforementioned equipment. Providing of course, that you monitor your food intake. Separate the dogma from the drivel! Again, great training tool. Nothing more, nothing less.

——-

Training Test using Kettlebells! First time this year using them.

Double Dead Cleans done using 70s for 10 sets of 5. 60 second rest used between each set. KBs placed outside of legs and all reps done touch and go. Purpose of today was to gauge the effectiveness of my 2 weekly pull days as far as explosiveness and stamina is concerned. My bodyweight has been at 185 since last Saturday and it’s an easy keeper. Nice Barbell to Kettlebell WTH effect! Off tomorrow and Mon. Deadlifts!

 

d. Bands

Bands-

Great choice to include them in your players training as well as your own. I wish I had them 25 years ago when I was 18! I have been using them for the last 3 years for a half dozen movements both band only and with fixed weights as well. Can’t go wrong!

 

Here are a few band specs:

mini band – @ 6′ 25 lbs. of resistance per band.

light band – @ 6′ 50 lbs. of resistance per band.

average band – @ 6′ 75 lbs. of resistance per band.

strong band – @ 6′ 100 lbs. of resistance per band.

 

If you want to increase resistance just add an extra loop on the bottom. Instead of just stepping in the band step on it and loop it once around the bottom of your foot. If that’s not enough do it one more time.

 

Right now I am doing band only squats 2X a week for knee-rehab. Once for strength and once for strength/endurance.

 

Band only GMs, Presses, Jerks, Pullups are must tries also. The only knock I have on them is that when you stretch them beyond 6′ they wear out at a faster rate. For example, with overhead presses at my height of 6’2″ and with my arms extended they are stretched out at least an additional foot and a half ( unbelievable extra tension ) so they tend to lose a little integrity after a few months of 2X a

week use. ( I got separate ones for overhead use only ) But they are low cost and worth every penny. Good Luck

 

c. Chains

Yeah, Home Depot is where I got mine. Don’t buy the towing chain that comes in the bag , that’s way too expensive. Their biggest chain is either 3/8 or 5/8, I forget. Whichever one it is it’s 20 lbs of weight for 12 foot of chain. Start with 1 set which is 2 – 12 foot pieces. Cost is around 60 bucks for this set.

Wish I had chains and the knowledge of them back in the 80’s. Great for pullups when the chain weight is heavier. I think that using chains is better for bodybuilding than even powerlifting!

 

e. Clubs

21 Oct:

Clubbell Swipes – 5X5 using 25 lbers. ( Warmup )

Deadlifts – 5X5 with 415 lbs which is 80% of Max.

Standing Ab Curls – Jumpstretch Blue Bands

This was my last DL workout til next year.

 

23 Oct:

2 KB Overhead Presses using 70 lbers. for 5X5

Dead Snatch – 70 lb. KB for 12 sets of 3 reps

30 second rest break between sets. Nice to start doing

these again.

 

25 Oct:

Clubbell Swipes using 2 25 lbers for 10 sets of 5 reps.

I also did some work with the 45 lb. Club. As follows,

I start with club at my side Swing it up to chest level,

release and catch with the other hand etc, etc. Great Drill.

5 times with each hand for 5 sets.

 

27 Oct:

KB Swings using thick handle 100 lber. 5 sets of 5 reps were done.

All reps went to head level. Did not switch on the fly.

I reset the KB on the ground after each arm did 5 reps.

Felt almost as difficult as the 5X5 DL routine.

Used the same KBs for Suitcase Dls for 15 sets of 5 reps.

Nice feel to this with the KBs on the outside

 

29 Oct:

2 KB Overhead Presses using 75 lbers. ( 70s with 5 lbs. added )

5 sets of doubles.

Clubbell Swipes using 25 lbers. for 10 sets of 10 reps.

Abs.

 

Today:

Dead Snatches using 70 Kb for 12 reps per arm.

15 minute rest.

KB Swings using 100 lbers for 5X5. All reps head level

2 Kb Dls using 120 lbs each. ( 100 lb. KB with 20 lb leg weight added )

10 sets of 5 reps were done with a 60 sec. rest break.

Bodyweight at 200 . No RSR Deadlift til I get my new Titanium knee

next year.

 

3. Modes

 

a. Pulls-

IMO, you can never have a too strong back. If it’s a weakness it should be addressed.

——————–

My pulling movements have always been dominant over my pushing movements. Whether it’s low reps, high reps or even long volume sessions, pulls rule. Maybe it’s because when I started lifting back in the middle 70’s ( I was 15 then ) I had no bench. I got a 110 lb. weight set from Sears ( gold ) and the first exercise I ever did with it was a Deadlift. I had some marathon sessions for sure. I remember doing 100 rep sets (DL)with it when I was a sophomore in H.S. DLs, Rows, Power Cleans and even Curls were the favorites. Military Presses came later as did Bench work.

———-

On my next Pull Day I will do pulls from the middle ( between legs ) as opposed from the side, like today and will be rotated on this Push/Pull Routine from now on. The Primary movements for Center Pull day will be KB Swing High Pulls using 150+ or Heavy 1 arm swings with the 100 and 150 lb KB. Snatches will be done using the Dead version as opposed to the Swing version. This drill will be done using the 70 for DE type training and the 88 and above will be used for ME training. I picked up some heavy 3/4 inch chain and will be adding them to my KB High Pulls.

—————————-

KB Swing High Pulls done using 210 lber for 6 sets of 3 reps. (front pull drill)

(I used my 150 lber + 60 lbs of chain ( fixed weight ) attached to each side of the handle using flex cuffs) Future drills will be done using KBs attached to the handles. Got many KBs so the combinations are endless.

Finished with 1 set of TBDLs using 315 for 25 reps done touch -n- go. (side pull)

 

 

1. Deadlift

 

–Volume Deadlift–

Deadlifts done using 315 for 25 sets of 5 reps. 60 seconds rest used between sets.

With a few warmup singles this was a 40,000 lbs + volume day. Good cardio!

——–

Deadlifts done using 315 for 12 sets of 5 reps. 30 seconds rest between sets. Great cardio!

—————

Deadlifts done using 365 lbs for 10 sets of 5 reps. 1.5 to 2 minutes rest between sets. The 365 is just more than 2x bodyweight.

—————–

Deadlifts done using 405 for 10 sets of triples. 60 seconds rest used between sets. For the last 4 sets I used straps.

——————

The Stiff Legged Deadlift- SLDL using 25 lb plates. 345, 395, 445, 395, 345 for triple. SLDLs will be done using either 25 or 10 lb plates for the purpose of increasing the movements ROM. Standard Deadlifts are not being used in this training cycle. I used a clean grip for all the SLDLs except the last 445. No problem since it’s the first time doing these in years.

——–

SLDLs using 10 lb. plates. 365, 385, 405, 385, 365. The bar holds 17 ten lb. plates per side so I had to add a 20 lb leg weight onto the middle of the bar to achieve the 405. Unreal ROM using the 10s!

——

The SLDLs are done with a slightly rounded back. I’ve never injured my back when doing any kind of DL pulling action but do use these extreme ranges with caution.

Right now I am focusing on both DE and ME for a few Posterior Chain Movements which include SLDLs, Clean High Pulls ( using heavy KBs ) , and 1 arm KB Swings and 1 arm KB Snatches. These are done on a rotating basis every 2-3 days. For high rep work I am using either JS Heavy Band GMS or bodyweight rev-hypers.

——————————

Trap Bar Deadlift done using 455 for 5 singles. Was good for about 20 lbs more but no need to push it. (500 + in 4-6 weeks) Finished with 1 set of same movement using 315 for 25 reps. ( touch and go ) I will keep TBDLs as my main pulling movement ( 1-2 X weekly ) since I’m done with regular DLs for quite a while! More carryover for me to KBs with the TBDL than with regular DLs, as well. The reason is the hand placement. I can pull and hold a lot more using a neutral grip, than with either a mixed or clean grip. The DL form that I am using on this movement is very close to a Stiff-Legged version. I also feel that I will get more carryover to my KB Dead Clean workouts using this version as well as my Farmer Walks. I will consider doing the Russian Squat Routine for the TBDL sometime next month. .

———————-

Question

I have been following your posts for a while. I like how you keep things simple and yet you keep it interesting. I was wondering if you had a barbell, dumbbells and kettlebells for tools how you would increase the deadlift if your weakness was off the floor?

Currently I have been training the deadlift very infrequently maybe 3 or 4 times a month doing a Westside singles type program. I was thinking about pulling more frequently maybe two or three times a week and get my average deadlift weight up to about 80-85% of max for one or two of those sessions. Good idea or stupid?

 

Answer

I’ve always liked Speed Deadlifts w/Chains to help with a weakness off the floor, using between 60-65% of max for 10 sets of triples with a 60 second rest between each set.

 

AS far as KBs are concerned my 2 favorite in helping to increase speed at the bottom of the DL, I’ve loved both 1 KB Swing High Pulls and 2 KB Dead Cleans. ( i’ve never done swing cleans, no need )

 

Swing High Pulls – 1 Heavy KB using either 150, 170, 190. I do this movement with 2 hands on the bell and swing back as far as I can and explode up into a high pulling position. 190 KB is used for ME and the 150 is DE work. I’ve also used chain for DE KB Swing High Pulls. The feel is unreal. Bands can be used but I find it much easier on my body to just stick to chains.

Try this following routine. ( Based on your post for a 3 day a week schedule ) : Day 1 – 3 X 5 @ 75-80% … Day 2 – Speed DLs  ( outlined above ) … Day 3 – 3×3 @ 85 % .

Now that’s just BB work. Feel free to switch the Speed Dls with an explosive ballistic KB movement such as the 2 that I listed above. I consider them interchangeable.

Don’t confine yourself to a static strict training schedule. For example try – Mon. Wed, Sat for pulling days and take 1 or 2 days off.

DBs ? I got them as well up to 120s and I consider them useless as far as helping the DL off the floor. However, great for GPP ! Farmers Walks!

——–

Deadlifts done using 405 + 100 lbs chain for 5 singles. Halfway through lift bar weight = 455 , at top 505.

Finished with Deadlifts using 315 for 1×12, 1×10, 1×8.

—————————-

Right now I’m DLing 2x a week. 1 session consists of Density Training using between 60-65% of 1 rep max for a minimum of 10 sets to a maximum of 20 for 5 reps. Since this is primarily a cardio drill I keep the rest periods to no more than 60 seconds between sets.

 

The 2nd DL session is done for 10 sets of triples using @ 80% of 1 rep max.

Rest period between sets is anywhere from 2-3 minutes. For example: yesterday I did 425 for 10 sets of 3 and a week or 2 back I used 405. This is mostly a strength maint drill for me since pulling anything heavier causes excessive knee swelling. I pulled 3 singles at @ 90% ( 475 ) a few weeks back and it caused a problem.

 

I will be adding another DL workout to the mix soon which will consist of 1 or 2 sets of high rep work ( 20-30+ ) using the same 60-65% ( 315 ) as my 1st session. This will change my 2x a week program to one which will have me DLing every third day. This will be mainly a posterior chain endurance strength drill. On this day I will also add my 1 Arm KB swings using my 150 for some low rep,low volume work. KB first and DL last as a finisher.

 

My other 2 days are pressing days.

 

 

 

2. Swing

———

I realized that I got much more out of Swings than Snatches.

For example, I was doing 5 sets of 5/5 1 arm swings with my 145 lber last year and in comparison my best 5 set 5/5 routine using snatches was with my fat 100.

More of a overload = better carryover to my Deadlift and grip work.

The point for me is that a 1 Arm Swing ( KB, DB ) done chest high gives me a greater benefit because I am able to handle more weight. No need to go overhead. Now, if I want a greater overload for my posterior chain I can always add straps when doing 1 arm Swings and simply choose to work grip some other time.

As far as 2 arm KB work goes, I’ve always preferred the Swing Hi-Pull using my 145 lber as opposed to doing 2 KB Swings. Why? Because it’s easier to use the same close DL stance when doing the Hi-Pulls and I feel that it’s a much smoother action. I’ve added 2 20 lb leg weights and a 5 lb plate to the 145 for a total of 190 lbs. 10 sets of triples on ME DL day was plenty for me.

The action of this drill is similar to the Swing. Simply pick up a heavy KB swing back as far as you can , reverse the motion and go right into a Hi-Pull.

As far as BB Power Snatches and such, I’ve never done them. Done many a Power Clean though. Even with chains. Great Movement!

 

—————

ME Kettle Bell Swings done using fat handled ‘bell. 110 for 10 sets of 3/3.

60 second rest between sets. Switch made on the fly and all swings done to head level.

Good to use time as a ME variable instead of adding weight to the KB!

 

Yes, I have tried 2 KB Swings to the outside of legs but I don’t like them for the following reasons:

 

1. Interferes with knee brace. ( which means I have to really “think” too much when performing the exercise ) My training movements have to “flow” in order to have successful training session. Much like training with MA weapons. ( if it doesn’t work for you… get rid of it )

2. IMHO, I don’t feel it is a necessary movement to do with KBs. Wanna know what I do Outside Swings with? Clubs! Yep…. As a matter of fact I warmed up this morning using 2 25 lbers before I did my Trap Bar Dead Lifts. Feels more like a live motion.

3. The only KB drills that I use a Swing Motion for are done with 1 KB. Never 2. I don’t even do them from the middle. Never done Swing Cleans either. Only the Dead version. 2 KB Dead Snatches kick ass. Only managed 1 rep 1 time with my 88s . Doable again down the road but not know.

Heavy swings are great for the grip. You can adapt quickly to this type of training as long as all other grip work is kept to a minimum.

 

3. Swing High Pull

 

The high pulls are done by swinging the KB between the legs and then reversing direction and exploding upward with elbows up and out and the handle of the KB slightly above chin level.

—————–

Mid-Morning

KB High Pulls done using 150 lber + 30 lbs chain for 10 sets of 2 reps.

60 seconds rest between sets. All pulls done to at least chin height.

—————-

Swing High Pulls done using 150 lb KB for 10 sets of 5 reps. 30 seconds rest used between sets.

Sometimes I do the high pull drill for 1 near max single set of 25 reps , 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps, or the above. This is the only high rep ballistic KB drill that I do.

My other 2 KB Ballistic drills are 1 Arm Heavy Swings and 2 KB Dead Cleans ( from outside the knees ) Nothing above 5 reps! Many ways to train with KBs. If it “works” for you, it can’t be wrong!

———

KB Swing High Pulls using 190 lber. ( 150 + 2 20 lb leg weights )

12 sets of 3.

15 min break

One set same drill using 150 lber for 20 reps

4. Swing Snatch and Dead Snatch

The Kettlebell Dead Snatch in my opinion is the best exercise that can be used to develop power . Power which is also regarded as starting strength or explosive strength is necessary for the sporting world. Having explosiveness is the most important motor quality for sports and this can only be attained by training your posterior chain muscle group, which consists of the glutes, hamstrings and spinal erectors.

 

To perform the Dead Snatch you start by placing the Kettlebell on the ground by your feet . The stance is up to you , but in general it should be about shoulder width apart. You bend over grab the Kettlebell and with one explosive motion lift it overhead to the catch flip position while simultaneously performing a knee dip to help absorb the impact of the weight. No arm pulling is used in this movement. It is the powerful hip snap effect that with the use of momentum, gets the Kettlebell overhead. It is this triple extension of the ankles, knees, and hips that gives the greatest benefit and transfer to any athletic activity.

 

It should be part of any Kettlebell lifting program and it is important to remember that it’s greatest benefit is to generate power. Acceleration of the Kettlebell is the main emphasis of this movement , not the amount of weight. Sets and reps are up to you however , I would recommend a weight load of between 70% – 90% for 3 – 5 sets with the same amount of reps. Once you can perform and complete this 3 – 5 drill with acceleration you will be able to increase the weight by moving to a larger sized Kettlebell.

 

———————————-

As far as training ME swing snatches ( singles, doubles, triples-fives ) I do find that there is both a temporary CNS ” boost effect ” and a more permanent training effect ( max effort strength to strength endurance ) providing that I am working on both the above methods in the same training cycles. ( The CNS ” boost effect ” refers to for example: Snatching the 100 and a few minutes later snatching a KB of lower weight which equals the kb of lower weight to “feel” lighter than if the 100 lb. wasn’t snatched at all ), at least in me. I normally use the 100 kb for a sets of 10 for 3 reps or sets of 5 for 5 reps. Above 100 I do singles or doubles and go slightly above Prilepins recommendations for 90%+ work.

  • Question-

  • “Do you ever dip down to train the strength endurance pathways of the same move and do you find that heavy singles have any effect on your numbers with the 2 pood?”

  • Answer-

  • My current method of training strength endurance is to use a low rep high set approach with the time of rest between sets and tempo of each set being the main factors. For example:

  • 10 sets of 3 reps of 70 lb Swing Snatches with a 15 second rest break between sets while using a fast ( explosive ) tempo.

  • 10 sets of 5 reps of 70 lb Swing Snatches with a 15 second rest break between sets while using a slower tempo.

  • Of the 2 examples I find the faster tempo method of triples to be more taxing to the muscular system and more cardio challenging than the slower tempo sets of five. Number of sets is never less than 10 or more than 15. This is usually determined by my recovery ability from previous workouts.

  • While I’m not about to anoint this the holy grail of strength endurance training, FWIW.. I did do a max effort Swing Snatch set of 40/40 back in the spring with the 70 lb kb using a similar training approach. However I’m not interested in high rep training or in any other methods that would increase such numbers. I have also done an easy test set of 15/15 with the 88 just to satisfy my curiosity.

5. Cleans

  • The main benefits that I get from doing Double Cleans are cardio and carryover to my deadlifts. Now, to be fair I never do Swing Cleans only Dead Cleans.

  • 2 KB Dead Cleans done using 70s for 20 sets of 5 reps.60 seconds rest between sets.

  • Placement of KBs was outside of legs. No resting in the rack and I used a slight pause at the bottom to disengage the stretch reflex. I don’t flare my elbows out or bring them up high when I do this movement, just enough to get to the rack position. For me the main muscle group worked is the lower back/glutes on the first part of the pull and of course the traps in that order. Coming out of the rack I drop first to the hang clean position before I very briefly reset on the ground ( touch and go ) and this sudden ballistic movement further torches your traps and grip.

  • I prefer Dead Cleans over the Swing version because I use the same close stance ( conventional ) with the DCs as with DLs. Of course, if I was a sumo puller I would opt for the Swing Cleans. I find the following 2 drills interchangeable on a DL/KB Volume Pull Day.

  • 1. Double Dead Cleans using 70s for 10 sets of 5 reps. 60s rest per set.

  • 2. Deadlifts done using 315 for 10 sets of 5 reps. 60s rest per set.

  • As far as frequency goes If I’m DLing every 3rd day as now I don’t do Double Cleans. If I’m Dling once a week I’ll throw in 2 Double Clean days. ( 1 day I use 70s and 1 day I use 88s ) If no DLs in a training cycle I do Double Cleans every 3rd day.

  • Another reason that I prefer the Dead version of Cleans is because I mainly focus on 2 Weight Movements ( drills ) per training cycle and when I am doing a KB only cycle I can go all out 1 day doing Snatches and the next day do the same with Dead Cleans without the fear of pattern overload or redundancy of training.

  • This is because the pulling action when doing Dead Cleans is from the outside of the legs and with the Snatches it’s inside. ( middle )

  • Last summer I focused on only 2 KB drills. Double C+Ps and Swing Snatches. Nice and simple!

 

—————

2 KB Cleans done (outside of legs) using 53s for 15 sets of 5 reps.

15 seconds rest used between sets. All reps done as fast as possible.

About 10 minutes to complete drill. Not bad.

——————– Progress to->

2 KB Dead Swing Cleans (outside of legs) done using 70s for 10 sets of 5 reps.  All reps done explosively without a rest.

 

6. Pullups

Neutral Grip Pullups done using 80 lbs of chain for 5 sets of 3 reps.

First time doing these in about 2 years.

In doing these, I start at the bottom with arms fully extended and the resistance in my bodyweight only. As I pull up the chain starts to load until all 80 lbs is engaged at the top. ( half-way thru movement 40 lbs is loaded ) All reps done in an explosive manner. No Queer Kipping, Either!

———-

Neutral Grip Pullups done using Bodyweight + 100 lbs chain weight for 10 sets of doubles.

Chains were set up so that in the bottom position ( dead hang ) resistance was bodyweight only, ( halfway through movement 50 lbs xtra and at the top all 100 xtra lbs were engaged )

Will use chains only ( never fixed weight ) for all pullups drills til May. I will be switching hand grip positions ( pronated, supinated, neutral ) every few weeks. Might even do 3 sets for each for some variation.

———————

Mid-Morning

Deadlifts done using 405 for 5×5.

 

Evening

Close Grip Chinups done using bodyweight + 160 lbs of chain for 10 singles. Chains were set up so that halfway through movement 80 lbs were engaged and all 160 was loaded at the top. Unreal feel! Finished with 1 set of bodyweight CG Chins for 15 reps. All Chins done strict.

——————–

 

7. Rows

BB Bent Over Rows done using 135 + 40 lbs of chain for 10 x 10.

60 seconds rest between sets. First 5 sets I used a supinated grip and last 5 were pronated.

Chains were set up so that at the top of the movement total weight of 175 was engaged.

——————–

BB Bent Over Row/Pullup Complex done for 8 sets of 5/5. I used 205 lbs for Rows and Pullups were bodyweight. Drill done in superset fashion using no rest between exercises. Bent Over Rows 5 reps, Pullups 5 reps. = 1 set. repeat 7 x. I chose 205 as my BB Row weight because that’s my bodyweight. (203 lbs.) I used to do this drill for 8 sets of 8/8 and I called them Crazy 88s. First time doing this in over 10 years. Great back blaster!

———————–

DB Bent Over Rows done using 2 90s for 8×8. Neutral grip used. Not bad since Monday I DLed.

Way better to use DBs for this drill than Kbs. Not even close!

8. Curls

BB Curls done using 115 + chains for 6 sets of 6 reps.

Unreal feel at the top of the curl movement using chains.

Total chain weight at the top is about 30-35 lbs total.

Now, at the start of the curl movement ( standing, bar at thighs ) I have 115 lbs + about 5 lbs per side of chain weight. As I go through the curl ROM it loads evenly to the above number of 30-35 total. So at the top its roughly 145-150 total weight. Each chain weighs in at 20 lbs and is 12 feet in length.I double the chain so it’s 6 ft. per side and attatch to each end of the bar. You don’t need much extra weight at the top of the curl to be convinced of this method. Wish I had this when I was BBing. Can’t wait to try with Triceps Extensions. I will be using this same principle with mini bands for DB Presses. (flat, incline, overhead) This way I can “work” chest and tri’s to their full potential, by having the bands overload the tri’s with any of the mentioned movements. I will vary this type of training into my routine.

a. Pushes

Push Day – Noon

Weighted Pushups done using 145 lbs ( 100 plate + 45 plate ) for 3 sets of 6 reps.

Body Weight Suspended Pushups done for 3 sets of 12 reps. Feet elevated 1′ higher than hands.

 

Evening

Weighted Fixed Bar Dips done using 100 lbs for 5×5. Easy.

Finished with DB Decline Triceps Extension using 2 40 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets of 12 reps.

Tomorrow Shooting Range at noon, Sparring at night.

 

1. Pushups

 

In the Marines 20 years ago I could out pushup God.

—————–

For the next few months I’m shifting my focus from Overhead Pressing to Weighted Pushups. Based on my previous training ( years ) I’ll be able to maintain most of my overhead strength using just the JS Green Bands. I’ll also do some high rep endurance overhead work using either the minis or the purple bands. Of course, it’ll all be 2 arm work since I never do any 1 arm presses. I’ve never had a 1 arm pressing workout and most likely never will.

About the pushup reps with weight vest… I think that it’s just a matter of being different as opposed to being better. However, it will still boil down to what you are able to handle once you move up to 80 lbs ( or more ). IMO, you should be able to handle 8×3 or even 10×3 right off the bat with the 20 lb increase, using more or less the same period of rest between sets.

If you find yourself struggling on set 8 and want to do 10 sets increase the rest period by 50% or so, and bang out the last 2 sets.

I’ve always preferred set and rep schemes of 3s and 5s whether it’s 8×3, 12×3, 5×3, 3×5, etc, etc.

 

2. KB Press

I never use KBs for presses except when I’m doing Long Cycle work. Do you also do Double Clean + Presses ?

  • If so, do you also feel that the shoulders get a great benefit from doing a Clean before every Press as I do ? ( great pre-stretch loading action )

  • Once you hit that groove it’s an addicting movement. Only with KBs! I’ve tried it with DBs and it’s not even close, way off. Pressing 2 KBs Overhead has kept my shoulders “healthy”.

  • No other training tool ( BB,DB,CB ) has been able to do this. Bands do help but they are not a fixed weight tool. The KB Presses help maintain my shoulder strength and flexibility.

  • No shoulder problems at all these days when I am benching.

  •  

 

 

3. DB Press

Pressing movements will consist of DB incline at ( 30 degree) flat bench

and 2 KB Dead Cleans & Presses. These will not be done using a DE and ME template but more of a maintenance workout. I will be including Floor Presses using DBs and band work for the tris. I got DBs up to 120s so that should keep me busy for a while!

Neutral Grip Dumbbell Presses done using 2 65s for 5 sets of 3 reps. Really hits the tris hard!

The DB presses were done elbows flared much like using a BB. First time doing these in about a year or two. Stabilizers got weak! Another way that I like doing DB presses is in using a neutral grip. Really hits the tri’s. Nice to superset these with neutral grip pullups.

I used to do Arnold presses 20 some years ago when I messed with bodybuilding. Hated Them!

——–

2 Dumbbell Military Presses done using 75s for 3×3.

Stabilizers still weak from using mainly KBs for the last few years. Looked at my old training logs from when I was 32 (1992) and saw that I was 2 DB Military Pressing 90s for triples. Memories!

————-

Sat. Noon 1 Arm DB Presses done using 75 lber for 5 sets of 3/3. (1 clean, 3 presses) This is my first ever 1 arm pressing workout. Never thought much of them and still don’t, but decided to give em a try.

 

4. DB+BB Bench Press

BENCHING

I will be rotating my 3X weekly Bench Routine as follows.

triples one day, singles another day and fives for the last.

Since I am still getting used to this “new” benching I won’t

be doing any all out max attempts for a few weeks.

 

No board Presses , floor presses , lockouts or the like until

the groove becomes second nature. I will however include my

all time favorite close grip presses (flat) .

Other exercises that will be rotated will be Hammer Grip Dumbbell

Flat Presses , and chains and bands added to regular benches to

really stress the tris.

 

Yesterday I worked up to a few singles of Close Grips with 295 + 40 lbs

of chain and I had a room to spare poundage wise.

 

——-

Incline Barbell Press done using 135 lbs + 80 lbs chain added. ( 40 per side )

10 sets of 8 reps done. Two different grip widths used. No need for additional tri work due to the overload at the top of the movement. Unreal! I will be rotating the amount of fixed weight and chain weight for future workouts. I got 200 lbs of chain so that’s no problem.

———-

Barbell Incline done using 135 lbs + 200 lbs chain for 10 sets of 5 reps.

2 minutes rest between sets. Since this was a heavy tri day I used a closer grip width.

Finished with 1 set of 15 reps using 135 + 100 lbs chain.

———

Barbell Close Grip Incline Presses done using 135 + 100 lbs chain. 5 sets of 5 reps done with middle fingers on smooth part of bar. Finished with same drill using 135 + 40 lbs chain for 3 sets of 10 reps. Same hand spacing used. The chains play a huge role in hitting the tris. But doing them with a close grip hits them just as good if not better even when using a lighter chain load. Full ROM movements with chains are here to stay for me. Since I hate doing partials this is the best way for me to overload the top. Last monday I used a wider grip spacing and 200 lbs of chain and today the above. Fun to experiment !

5. Dips

I do weighted dips and love them. I’ll be doing them tomorrow since it’s a push day. I rotate them every other push training day.

 

IMO, weighted dips have will provide the most carryover to OP only if the triceps are the weak link. If you identify the weak link as being at the bottom of the press you have options such as DE work with chains/bands added , or using different pressing implements. Never had a shoulder/elbow issue when doing dips.

My best gains with dips came when I specialized this movement and did no other pushing exercises in the same training cycle. No real surprise here. Listen to your body!  

———

Dips done using Bodyweight + 180 lbs of chains for 5 sets of 3 reps. WOW! Awesome Feel. Chains were set up so that at the bottom resistance was bodyweight only and at the top all 180 lbs were loaded. Best tricep move I have ever done. Unreal Overload. I will be retooling my push/pull routine next week and I’ll be doing a ME day w/chains and a DE w/chains weekly. Might rotate JS bands with this setup after 6 weeks and of course, fixed weight.

—————-

Dips done using 200 lbs of chain for 6 sets of 2 reps. Half way through movement weight = 100 lbs, at top 200 . ( bottom = bodyweight only ) Need more chain!

—————–

Fixed Bar Weighted Dips done using 150 lb KB for 5 sets of 1,1,1,1,1.

Doubles would’ve been doable for the first 2 sets. Weight = very close to max.

Same drill done using 100 lb KB for 2 sets of 5 reps.

Finished with 1 set of bodyweight dips for 20 reps.

Tomorrow Off, Time for some more hormone laced rib roast! LOL

————————

6. Medi Ball Press

7. Tricep Drills

QUESTION – Forgive my ignorance but what is a decline extension?

ANSWER – The Decline Ext. are done for the tri’s. Hits all 3 heads.

 

8. Laterals

Shoulder Raise Complex all done with 2 30lb DBs.

10 Bent Over Laterals, 10 Side Lateral Raises, 10 Front Raises, 10 Overhead Presses. No rest between exercises. Drill was done for 4 sets total. I did rest after each set of 4 movements.

 

4. Patterns [Two ME days, Two DE days]

a. Upper/Lower

b. Push/Pull

I will be done with this 6 week Push/Pull program in a week and I will substitute 1 Incline Bench Day with a BB Press Day ( either front presses or BTN ) and will keep the pull days the same. Chains will be used on both push days, and for pulls only on Deadlift day. Nothing like 2 Push days and 2 Pull days a week!

 

c. Two a Day

As far as Volume and Intensity I go nowhere near failure and just stay a rep or 2 short. Nothing new here. I’m done with 1 rep maxes. I’m DLing and Pressing 3x a week. However, I’m switching my Press movements every press day between DB Flat Bench, Incline BB , Overhead Presses ( DB, BB, Bands, and Chains ) and I throw in some occasional extra Tricep work.

KB work as follows: 2 KB Dead Cleans done using only 70s for short rest. ( 30 seconds between sets ), Swing High Pulls using 150 + KB using same principle.

Pullups/Chinups and/or Rows done as a warmup before DL day. Step-Ups done 2-3 x weekly on non DL day. JS Band Drills done 3x weekly. Some MA work 3 times a week as well. I also stretch almost every day.

I train 2x daily but rarely for more than 20-30 minutes each. Nice to be retired!

 

d. Templates

Off tomorrow and after that for 3-5 weeks I’m going to follow an every other day training protocol. ( 1 On , 1 Off ) Will start going heavy on Dips and make it the main Pressing movement of my program. Other training will be added on off days.

Bodyweight @ 176 this morning. Big Porterhouse Tonight ! Hope it’s laced with hormones! LOL!

———————

Programming

OK, unless I am doing a specific powerlifting routine like RSR, all my training is planned either the day before or the morning of. For KB Dead Snatches ( my favorite ) I like to do these at least 4 times a week. As long as I vary the weight of the KB and the set/rep schemes, I am not concerned with overtraining. Deadlifts and presses are done 2 times a week with each getting a speed day and a Max effort type of day. As long as these are covered everything else is done on an as needed basis.

—————————–

2 DB Overhead Presses done using 70 lbers for 3 sets of 5 reps.

Finished with Suspended Weighted Pushups using 70 lbs for 2 sets of 15 reps. Feet elevated higher than hands by about 18 inches.

Day on, day off training is paying off already due to extra rest !

Tomorrow training with some SWAT buddies. Rib Roast tonight ! Still zero carbing. Meat + Fat is where it’s at!

——————-

 

5. Evolution of a Carnivore and Intermittent Fasting

 

If you don’t have the self discipline to push the f*cking plate of chow away, remove yourself from the gene pool because you are not fit to breed.

I guess you see where I’m going with this, Huh? Let’s Re-Cap!

1. Put a foot into your ass. ( to get yourself in gear )

2. Put another foot into your mouth. ( to prevent eating every meal like it’s the Last Supper )

If you’re looking for sympathy you can find it in the dictionary between the words sh*t and syphillis.

Eddie, USMC 78-82″

 

————————————

I don’t keep track of my bodyfat levels but at 6′ 2″ I’m 201 and quite lean. I don’t wish to add any weight not even muscle due to the fact that it hampers my plastic left knee. The less weight I carry the better.

—-

Yes, I am a low carber and have been so for years. I don’t drink at all , haven’t ate fried food in about 10 years and very rarely eat grains, starches or or sugar ( once or twice a year ). No refined foods either, or milk. Just meat, eggs, veggies , some fruit. ( no corn since it’s a grain )

Some nuts from time to time. Some great reading is Sugar Blues, Neanderthin, and The No Grain Diet . BTW, I’ve haven’t had the flu or cold in over 10 years.

——-  

I do follow a WD eating plan and only eat at night. Been doing it for a few years now. I never eat breakfast or lunch and prefer to just have black coffee. I don’t count calories either. At night I eat mostly organic meat Bison and organic vegetables and plenty of coconut oil. No sugars, no starches not even grains. I never get hungry eating this way and I always train on an empty stomach. The level of concentration is awesome this way. As far as supplements I am a big believer of multi vitamin and minerals and 2-3 grams of C with every evening meal. No creatine or protein shakes either. Only whole foods and 1-1.5 gallons of poland spring water daily. Hope this helps!

———-

The Bison that I eat is from the Great Range Co. It’s antibiotic and hormone free but it is grain fed and not grass. Been eating it almost daily for a few years.

——-

The coconut oil that I use is from the Wilderness Family Naturals Co.

I used to buy from Tropical Traditions but about 2 years ago they changed to a different type of oil and it had a strong chemical tastes to it.

If you go to the Wilderness Family Naturals site they have 2 good books on coconut oil called The Healing Benefits Of Coconut Oil and Saturated Fat May Save Your Life book , both by Bruce Fife. I buy the oil in 5 gallon quantities and it lasts me about 8-9 months. It’s the only oil that I use. I stir fry and sautee all my veggies in it.

————————-

The switch was on Jan. 1 I stopped eating carbs. (under 10 grams daily). For the previous 4 years or so I was stir frying vegetables in coconut oil.

Now I’m done eating veggies for the whole year and any other carb. It’s just meat, fish and flaxseed and fish oils. ( moderate-heavy vitamins ) Carb free is great. ! I have also read that Omega 3s ( fish oils, flax oils ) provide relief from joint inflammation. Think arthritis here. A few tablespoons of Barleans FlaxOil on a lb of buffalo meat or 90% beef tastes awesome. I don’t like Udo’s blend. Barleans tastes much better. The low bodyweight, Omega 3 Oils , and the elimination of carbs is my 3 pronged attack on knee joint pain. Yeah, I’m really lean 8 pack territory. But that’s not the goal. Just a byproduct. I used to be able to do an ab shot called the Rope. Might have to try it now. haha. Left out 1 food item. Cheese! I melt it over the meat. Good hard cheese.

Coffee black and lots of spring water. Feel great.

————–

Not really a big accomplishment for me to lose weight and getting ripped has always been easy for me. It’s ALL about diet. Good thing is that with a 2.5-3 day refeed I can be 212 with the same waist size. I don’t count calories but I eat 2x daily. Once after I train in the evening and once about 3 hours later. 1 lb meat, cheese, flax oil and about 1/2 lb of fish. ( sardines, salmon, chilean sea bass )

————–

Thur. Evening – Deadlifts ( regular ) done using 315 for 1 set of 30 reps. Not max but real close. About 3 weeks ago I did 365 for 20 reps. Nice to have a rep test day. No way could I have done this without the high fat ( 60-65% ), mod protein, zero carb plan. Starting month nine without carbs in a few days. 20 hours between last meal ( snack ) and the main meal the next day. Never hungry and energy levels high.

———————

One year of eating Zero Carbs in the books! No reason for me to ever eat carbs again. Still eating 2 lbs of meat every evening, 1 lb at 7 and 1 lb at 8.

Caloric intake between 2600 and 2900 daily. Nothing like fat adaption. No cravings for carbs at all. Nothing at all during the day except water and black coffee. Bodyweight at 185 and still training the same. Knees have never felt better !

———————

As far as fish oil goes I’m currently using a brand from Sam’s Club . About 5 grams daily.

I’m done with bison meats. Ate in daily for over 2 years. I’ve switched to cow beef over a year ago and it’s here to stay. I’ve tried grass fed tenderloin and I much prefer the taste of grain fed beef.

Porterhouse, Rib-Eye steaks, Rib-Eye Roasts, and Sirloin. Can’t beat the taste!

Supplements consumed are C E, Multi, Fish Oil. Everything else I consider overrated. Creatine is great, however my training right now isn’t about maximizing strength.

I did go back briefly to my more natural bodyweight of @ 215 back in late October by maintaining this current IF . How? I increased my meat intake from about 2 lbs to just over 3. Strength went through the roof. I was pressing my KB fat 100s for triples. Knee was barking too much to maintain. Dropped back down to low 180s and all’s well. Nothing better for me than Intermittent Fasting . Unbelievable energy levels! Zero cravings. Nothing but Meats ( animal fats ) little butter. 14 months carb free. I don’t drink any calories either. Water, Black Coffee. Had all the tests done a few months ago. According to the doc everything’s fine nothing to worry about. I have zero interest in knowing specific HDL, LDL, Test level numbers. His green light was all I wanted to hear! If I didn’t get it, I wouldn’t still be eating this way. IFing with a High Fat (animal ) mod Protein plan works best for me. I’ve tried just about everything in the last 30 years. Yup, zero carb.

@ 182-185, I feel great, have a high level of energy, and maintaining strength is all that I care about as well as walking around pain free. I’ll be 47 this year and being injury free = very, very, happy! I’ve had my share. Disclaimer: By no means am I saying that anyone who follows my eating protocol will have the same results. YMMV.

———

Ate 2 meals today consisting of 2.5 lbs meat ( 1. 5 , 1 ) and lots of Omega 3s, some cheese. Nothing like ingesting protein and fats, brief compound weight movements, adequate rest, and some ZMA to keep my T-Levels healthy. Zinc and Magnesium ( 2000 Journal of Exercise Physiology ) use both increased free testosterone ( the one that’s available for use in building muscle ) and have been shown to decrease levels of cortisol. ( stress hormone ) Works best if you’re deficient in these minerals. Tribulus = Snake Oil ! No studies have appeared in any peer reviewed scientific journals. Fucking bogus!

———-

I take 20-25 caps a day mostly for my knees and to cover fuel needs. I’m under 10 grams of carbs daily so this and my flax oil is my only source. IMO, no harm in increasing the dosage. I like it for my shoulder joints as well. I’m never sore, as well. YMMV.

——–

I’ll add calories in the form of fat if I find myself slipping under 180. I weighed 180 all 4 years that I was in the Marines. I can easily stay in the 180-185 range for years.

Avoiding carbs is the key. I’m in my 16th week and I feel great. I eat 2x daily. Never breakfast or lunch. ( meaning no calories before dinner, only black coffee or spring water ) I always train in a fasted state. Main meal is at @ 8 and second meal is @ 11.

I always have enough energy to fuel my workouts even the Volume Deadlift sessions, thanks to the 60-70% of fats in my meals. The rest is mostly red meat. I’ve switched my 2-3X weekly fish meals with Filet Mignon and the others are ground beef meals.

Fats ingested are Fish Oils, Flax Oils, Butter (Kerrygold Irish Butter, Lurpak Danish Butter, or Organic Valley Butter) all unsalted. Might add Wilderness Family Coconut Oil ( my favorite ) in a few months. The only cheese that I am eating is Extra Sharp aged hard cheddar.

If I add eggs i’ll be the Omega 3 Organic ones from Shop Rite. $ 1.69 a dozen.

The only carbs I’m taking in are trace amounts. 5 grams or under. I’ve done this before for 6 months. Looking for at least 1-2 years if not longer. Feel great with no knee pain. Never hungry or any cravings for carbs. Never hungry during the day. Nice mood enhancement from the fish oils! Waist is @ 30. Onion skin thickness. Not the point, however only a secondary effect. Walking around painless is top priority!

 

6. Special Drills

 

a. Safety Squat Bar

However, I might switch up the ME SLDLs with some Safety Squat Bar GMs using both fixed weight and chains.

I basically used my SSB for rehab as far as wide squats went….and I would incorporate it’s use now with anyone by just rotating it in just like any other piece of training equipment.

  • Tom Furman question -??  Squats. One ME day and one DE? Low reps, high sets???

  • Eddie Kowacz?? answer – For Powerlifting ? That would be one way…depending on the rest of the program. Maybe 5×5 in the 80 % range too.

 

b. Trap Bar

 

KB Farmers Walk done using 2 Fat Handled 120s ( 100 + 20 ) for a distance of 200 ft 4 X . Grip strong , lower body needs work!

Been doing these for my knee rehab ( leg strength ) for the past few weeks, first time going this heavy though. Only doable with my knee brace.

Summer Training Switch – Time to break out my Trap Bar and DB Olympic handles. With the handles I can load 10 lb plates up to a total weight of 152 for each and with 25 lb plates they weigh in over 212 a piece. This means no DLing for the next 10-12 weeks and some heavy KB use. Snatches with 100+ and 1 arm Swings with the 145 lber. The Weighted Pushups, Heavy Dips w/ chains and fixed weight and DB Flat Bench will stay. I can even fit my Trap Bar on my rack for some neutral grip Floor Presses and neutral grip Shoulder Presses.

————————

Farmers Walk done using 365 lbs for a distance of 100 ‘ X 3. I used my Trap Bar and did this in my basement. The main purpose of this drill was knee rehab. Basement was used because of the flat surface. Will add slowly. I’m sure that I can do this with 400+ if my knee complies!

 

c. Elliptical

 

15 minutes done on Elliptical Machine wearing 150 lb weight vest.

Brutal! Wanted to quit after about 3 minutes but second wind kicked in.

Great feeling after I finished! Felt refreshed.

Been doing this for the past 6 months , although not with the same load.

I have an 84 lb X Vest and a 40 lb Go Fit Vest. I wore both and added extra 1 lb weights to the X Vest. I have 80 extra lbs on hand and have already loaded the vest to over 140 with no problems. This is the only quad dominant movement I can do because of knee problems. Body weight has been between 170-180 all summer still eating high sat. fat meat only diet and following a IF protocol ( 22 hours between meals )

—————-

Elliptical machine done for 12 minutes wearing 165 lb weight vest. at a speed of 4.5 mph. This started to suck real quick …however, the euphoria when you finish is out of this world.

————–

Elliptical machine done wearing 170 lbs for 12 minutes. Dreaded every second but once I was done it was euphoric. ( Loaded my vest to 130 and added a 40 lb GO-Fit vest ) Getting another 40 lber next week.

————–

I’ve been training since I was 14 in both MA and Weights ( 47 now ) and this is the hardest 12 minute training drill that I’ve ever done.

Knees feel fine as well.  

 

d. Heavy Bag

Heavy Bag – 100 Power Punches, 30 seconds rest, x 5. ( maint ) 16 oz gloves used today.

Most of the time its either this or 50 punches, 15 sec. rest, x 10. I rotate between 10, 12, 16 oz gloves. Once in awhile I’ll put 1 lb hand weights into my 16s and turn them into 32’s.

I consider heavy bag training one of the most useful yet underrated metcon workouts known to man. Express yourself with simple, brutal, primal training!

As far as the 3 lb Gloves go… When I worked at the jail I remember that Earnie Shavers told me that he did this back in the day. Earnie used to come in and talk to the inmates about Christianity and I would be assigned to escort him around the building to their housing units. His version of gloves were big pillow gloves while mine are just 16 ozers with 2 1 lb weights inserted into each of them.

While I do consider this skill work, (done first in workout) I do feel that there is a training benefit as far as shoulder endurance and overall conditioning goes. I also like doing various punch drills with these gloves without using the heavy bag. Of course, I always warm up going slow, half speed before going all out. The 150 lb bag explodes when using the 3 lbers.

I also do this from time to time with just 1 lb added for a 2 lb total. When I switch to the 12 ozers ( on another day ) it feels like I’m punching with just fists. I’m also tempted to get into a kiba dachi stance and throw 500 punches with the 3 lbers. What would Mas do? or even say ? Me thinks that he would approve since he liked putting on some iron geta and doing kicking drills.

 

Tired of doing long slow cardio? No problem!….try out this heavy bag “rapid fire” drill. Punch continuously, as fast as you can using good form until you hit your target number…rest for a specific number of seconds…and repeat each “round” until you’ve achieved your desired result. For example: 60 punches …30 seconds rest…done 12x. (which was in fact part of my morning training)

Mix and match these numbers any way you desire….depending on your current level of fitness and total overall training plan. I used 16 oz training gloves today and in the past I’ve added an extra one lb hand weight to each glove ( held the weight in hand and put glove on ) for the purpose of stimulating a different training effect. (Use Gloves Please)

 

I’ve also added a bodyweight weight vest in the past a few times …and although I did get a more strenuous workout ( 50 lb vest ) I don’t feel it’s valid as far as my overall plan is, due to the fact that it hinders my explosiveness too much compared to receiving any immediate benefit from it’s adaption process. ( YMMV)

This drill is a great change of pace…especially if your current cardio is causing staleness ..so give it a shot. If you don’t know how to properly punch a bag seek instruction if you can afford…if not at least study some Youtube videos to get you on the right track. IMO…learning and practicing ( Punching + Kicking ) on the heavy bag.. is something every woman on the planet should do.

 

e. Clubs

 f. Sled

20 minutes of Sled Dragging using just 100lb plate. Forward /Backward walk. First time using my sled in 2 years. I will be adding Sled Drills every day ( 6 times weekly ) for the purpose of both active rest/recovery and strength work.

g. Ankle Weights

 

QUESTION – What’s the set up with the ankle weights? I remember in your log you saying you added ankle weight for the high pulls and swings, I think. I made my 88 a 93 to snatch (taped on 2 2 1/2s), but then I swung it and it could have been heavier. Do you just wrap them? Are the just the basic sporting good store kind?

Oh, and the 150lb swings – holy crap.

 

ANSWER – The ankle weights are 20 lbs each (40 per set) and they are made by All Pro, and can be bought at Sports Authority. Nice heavy duty. I use them for my knee rehab drills.

You can also use 5 lb plates on the 88. 2 plates duct taped on are a good fit and put ya at 98. 1 ankle weight makes it an 108 lber. The leg weight brand that Sports Authority now sells is TKO .

A 20 lb weight costs $50 . If you get 2 you can add to KBs for fun stuff like farmers walks and rack holds.

The 1 Arm Swings with the 150 are neck height and not above the head like you do your swings and are done for low reps, triples!

 

h. Jumpstretch Bands

 

I use JS bands for both high rep shoulder work ( presses ) after I do any overhead pressing just to get some blood flow into the area which helps me to recover. Other shoulder drills include band pull aparts that hit mainly the rear delts which I like to do after DB benching. The tricep work is done with a band attached to a pullup bar for either low rep pushdowns using a heavy band or high rep work using a smaller band.

I like doing high rep on the band GMs every once in awhile.

It’s the only high rep work that I do for lower back and great for active recovery.

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Standing Ab Curls —

I do these by attaching the JS band of my choice , to my overhead pullup bar and just curl down. I used to do these with a cable at the gym, but since I train at home now I have found them to be just as, if not more effective. Louie does these on his Reactive tape. He prefers to bend all the way to a 90% angle at the waist, but I like to vary the ROM at times and also the speed of the rep as well. They can be done with 1 or 2 bands, but I use one at a time. Great move, as with the cables. BTW, I find standing ab work much more fun and effective than ab work done any other way. I train in MA standing and

I like working the abs in the same plane, as with the Dead lift as well. JMO, of course.

i. Slant Board

I have a slant board that I include in my ab training and all it is , is a board that I hook on a ladder type of rack , lay down with the back of my knees hooked on the top and perform ab curls. I hold whatever weight I am using on my chest and just curl up to induce a maximum contraction.

 

7. Questions & Answers

 

a. Calf Work/Neck Work

Haven’t trained calves directly in over 15 years….no specific neck training.

 

b. Stretching

Stretching for lower body was/is basically TKD/Karate drills….upper body are arm/wrist/trunk rotations and doing the specific tasks slowly ( that will be worked ) and increasing as needed.

 

c. Martial Arts

I hate side handle batons as well. Major flaws with this when used as a weapon or tool. Nothing like a straight stick!

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Double Tap Drills on Dot Heads. Room entries with MP-5, all day. The ultimate testosterone booster! hahahahaha

 

d. Grip

Since you only have basic equipment your best bet for extra grip work is 1 Arm Hangs from a Pullup Bar, if you have one. If not, a tree branch will do. No need to do these for longer than the amount of time it takes you to do your 1 rep DL max. For example, if a max DL pull takes you 6-7 seconds you don’t need to go much longer than that for your hangs. I’d do 3-5 of each for both arms after my DL training. You can also do them on a non DL day and add extra weight , either by holding in the free hand or through the use of a weight belt, vest, etc.

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Wanna know a great KB/Band grip exercise? (in case you don’t know) Take your fat handled KB and the light band. Put the band into the handle opening lengthwise. With the KB on the floor and the band

centered through and place each foot into each band end. All you do is pick up the KB ala 1 arm DL. The reverse pull is like no other while using the bands. Switch to a bigger band if need be or just put some twists in the one that you got for more resistance. I swear this feels like the tension that you get on the grip after the KB drops from the top on the fly. Much better IMO that regular farmers walks or holds.

 

 

e. Ice Plunge

Push Day – Morning

2 DB Overhead Presses done using 65s for 5×5.

JS Mini-Band Presses done for 2 sets of 30 reps.

DBs + JS Bands = best pressing known to man, by far!

Noon – Went to my annual Law Enforcement Charity Polar Plunge.

 

Tonight

Fixed Bar Weighted Dips done using 120 lbs for 5 sets of 3 reps. I used a 2 second pause at the bottom before each rep. Strong !

Same drill done using 90 lbs for 1 set of 10 reps. ( no pause )

Finished with Suspended Dips using bodyweight for 1 set of 15 reps.

 

f. Knee issues

Knee pain since my last traumatic injury in 96. First traumatic injury was in 86. Now 10 ops later i’m feeling no knee pain. This could put off my titanium knee til spring of 08, I hope. A combination of things have helped. Mega dose of Flax and Fish oils, lower body weight and zero carbs,( which I believe contribute to arthritis)  I believe that grains and starchy carbs cause inflammation in the joints. At least that’s been my experience throughout the years. Even before I started my present ” Way of Eating ” I stuck to just veggies and fruits as my main sources of carbs. ( 5 years ). I decided to eliminate all carb sources on Dec. 26 and have not had any since. High fat/Moderate protein is the way for me to go. Main source of fats are the Omega 3’s ( fish/flax ) family which I also believe help reduce inflammation. One thing is for sure…. I’m never sore from a workout and they do have a nice mellow calming effect. I also enjoy saturated fats in the form of Coconut Oil and from red meat and eggs.

Never any trans fats , hydrogenated fats or partially hydrogenated ones. Only thing worse is high fructose corn syrup and white sugar.

Some of the books that I have read include, Sear’s Omega 3 book, Neanderthin, Life Without Bread, Sugar Blues, Protein Power, The Omega 3 Connection, Syndrome X , Eat Fat , Get Thin and several others that escape me at the moment. I’ve been a student ( and still am! ) of nutrition ever since I started MA and weight training in the middle 70’s and ( it really picked up in the Marines ) til the present. That’s why I enjoyed BBing so much in the 80s.

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Yesterday Morning – Step Ups done for 30 minutes. About 22 per side for each minute.

 

g. WARM UPS

 

I hate warmups ! I keep 2 bars loaded in my basement . 1 with 3 plates

and 1 with 4 plates. If I am pulling with anything less than 80%

I hardly ever warmup. ( strong cup of coffee will do )

 

Anything over 80% ( like later today ) and I just walk over to the bar

with 3 plates and do a few speed reps.

 

Only thing worse than warmups for deadlifts is loading and deloading

the bar with plates! Really Bites ! That’s why I got 2 bars.

 

h. Minimal Equipment Workout-

 

Bodyweight Drills ( with/without added weight ) + KBs + Heavy Bag + Cardio = Good Karma !

This is mostly where I am these days. For the KB work I like sets of 10-12 with the reps being 3s or 5s all done with max explosiveness and a brief rest. ( sub max weight )

Heavier KB work is done for either 5×5, 3×3, 3×5, using a longer rest period. ( all ballistics )

Cardio is Elliptical with weight vest.

I like various forms of Push Ups ( handles, suspended, on basketballs , elevated ) with or without added weight.

Pull Ups/Chin Ups are done in a similar manner. ( pronated, supinated, neutral ) with or without weight. Chains for this movement as well.

Heavy bag work is either a tabata type speed drill or rounds of power punches.

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