Thursday, March 29, 2012

3/29/2012 Evening Session

It's been a very long time since I've done 2 workouts in one day...I just reminded myself why. Tonight's torture was ICT #4...but not just any ICT #4, ICT #4 - IN THE DOJO!

ICT #4:
Part 1: x 5
10 Burpees
20 Lunges
30 Squats

Part 2: x 5
10 Pullups
20 Pushups
10 High pulls (resistance bands)

I didn't bother to keep track of time. Why remind myself of how long it took to torture myself (and Miss M)?

Finisher: Kata
Tensho (tonfa) x 3
Yosei no Sai x 2

Stick a fork in me for today, I'm done!

3/29/2012 Early AM Session

Ultimate-XC: 60 minutes, as many rounds as possible:
1 mile run
Tabata row

Warm up:
10 x 45LBS Cleans
8 x 75LBS Cleans
Light jog around the basketball court
Dynamic stretching

2 times through.
Mile 1 - 10:17
Mile 2 - 9:02 (mostly interval)

At the start of round three, I was drained. I attribute that to getting better with Tabata Rows...well, that's the story I'm going with. I haven't run at all since the Rock N' Roll Savannah in November, so I am pleased with the times as well.

Ab Work:
10 x 10LB Knee to chest
10 x 10LB leg raises (bench)
10 x 15LB hanging Knee to chest
8 x 10LB(each leg) alternating knee to chest
8 x 10LB(each leg) alternating knee to chest

Tabata Standing Russian Twist; one side per interval

Stretched and called it a day. I'll probably spend the rest of my day dragging my carcass around the office!

3/28/2012 Early AM Session

Today's workout is Bagwork least in part. I wasn't quite sure how I felt about my breathing issues, so I cut it down from five "fights" to two.
Warm up:
Untimed bag work

Workout -Bagwork:
3m-2m-1m - 5s/7s Burst Rounds
3m-2m-1m - 7s/5s Burst Rounds

I should have had 3 regular 3m-2m-1m after this, but I was huffing and puffing...felt good, but I decided not to push it.

Ab Work:
Cable Woodchoppers: 10 x 30LBS, 10 x 60LBS, 10 x 90LBS,
Standing Cable Crunch: 10x150LBS, 10x160LBS, 10x170LBS
Hanging Leg Raises: 10x20LBS, 8 x 30LBS, 8 x 50LBS

Stretch, cool down and called it a day.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Tear the house DOWN!!

I had the honor, and I do believe it was an honor, to witness up close and personal two karate-ka put on an absolute clinic in kumite (fighting) yesterday. I believe their names were Jerdan and David (and I apologize if that's not correct).

It was a back and forth for first and second place. These two fighters gave each other everything, and I do mean everything they had. David, the smaller of the two fighters, showed a game face deserving of the nickname "Iceman". Jerdan was ferocious and tried to keep constant pressure on his opponent. These fine martial artists wore each other down with power shots and lots of clean, hard technique. As an instructor, judge and fighter, I couldn't have asked for anything more out of these young men. Well fought and clean match up. Kudos to you both.

Now, something you need to know about the aforementioned fighters:
a). This fight took place the 8-10 year old division
b). Both fighters were 7th or 8th kyu.

...and I mean every word I've said about those gentlemen in this post. I look forward to seeing both of them grow and progress in the future. Well done, gentlemen, well done.


No, I'm not quite myself today, sir...

This post is strictly for therapy...

Yesterday I was awarded my sandan, or third degree black belt for the martial arts uninitiated. It was sweet. Nearly nine years of work amounting to a new milestone. 3 years of hard work, discovery, new avenues of progress, all came to a head yesterday when I received that certificate. It was even better because I received it in my hometown and in my home dojo...not *my* dojo, mind you, but the dojo that I poured out a lot of sweat and blood in. The place that formed me as a karate-ka. Some important lessons were formed in that gymnasium...some great friendships were forged there too. In fact, I met the love of my life, my life partner & wife, in that room.

I stood there at attention, and as the first degree promotions came to an end, I figured out that my promotion would be the next to last given out. I was not the next to last person in line. This was a home game, so to speak, so I figured that would only make sense. Mrs. B. was being promoted to yandan...the last sandan certificate awarded had to have been mine.

Now, being promoted in my home dojo is nothing new. I've taken each of my dan tests at the same annual organization event -Winter Camp- and our tournament is always the next event after Winter Camp. I've received all three dan promotions in the Team Atlanta dojo.

Trivia item - I've taken all three dan tests at the same annual event, in the same state, and (I'm fairly certain) in the same month...but not all in the same city. :)

...but I digress...

Sure enough, my "sandan buddy" Miss H was called as the next to last sandan promotion, and then I heard my name.

As with every other promotion, I patted my side, bowed and bellowed a loud, but short...almost staccato kiyah --"OSU!" -- stepped behind my line, ran down the line to my left, turned the corner and headed to the front of the dojo...I patted my side again, came to attention,bowed and bellowed another kiyah in front of Hu-Kaicho T.

I received my certificate, thanked Hu-Kaicho, but I could not smile. I looked to my right and I saw my beautiful wife taking pictures and my sweet son in his gi...I couldn't. Crack. A. Smile. I couldn't muster it because in my peripheral vision, I could see Shihan L and immediately to his right, I was given another reminder that my Sensei was no longer with us. To put it hurt. I should at least accept it and move on, otherwise this blog could get pretty clogged with posts like this one.

I bowed, stepped back and ran back to my place in line. Nearly step for step, the identical route I took to get there. I made eye contact with Mrs. B...still couldn't muster that smile...

When it was all said and done, the newly promoted students all shook hands with the Shihans...that's when it really hit. There would be no exchanging of glances designed to make the other person bust out in laughter; there would be no shenanigans before or after the pictures...none of that. Nothing but another reminder. I shook my Sensei's sensei's hand and it got just that much harder. Then again to Shihan L, the last shihan in line and I think it broke my mood for the day.

Fast forward a few had been a busy day. I didn't compete (which, is also a milestone for my Yoshukai career --prior to yesterday, I'd never been to a Yoshukai tournament having not competed...thanks pollen and allergy season). I spent the day assisting Hu-Kaicho C with keeping things moving along; getting judges to rings, timekeepers & scorekeepers to rings and even finding someone to make a lunch run. Shihan G pulled me aside at one point and said "Are you OK?"

I said I did...then I blamed it on the pollen...then I tried to assure him I was fine. He saw through all of that. He could tell something was up, whether I was willing to admit it or not. He did stop probing, but I don't think he was convinced that I was OK. All of that said, I do appreciate his concern. :-)

In many ways, I felt like I spent the rest of the day trying to prop my mood up with a dice. I laid in bed last night, my wife taking her shower, and I caved. I am human, right? I think it's fair to say that few people understand. It's not the typical student/teacher relationship; he was a friend, a good friend. Few people can and will understand because I myself didn't quite grasp the depth of our friendship/relationship until he was gone. I can honestly say very few days go by when I don't think about him or laugh when I hear something he would have found funny. I do, however, feel fortunate that I do still feel a little of his presence in that gymnasium --God, how I hope that never fades....

Until next time, my friend.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

3/22/2012 Early AM Session

Today's torture: MS 5 1-10-1 swings and snatches...on very little sleep. The little guy had some trouble breathing last night and spent a good bit of the night agitated & pissed off.

I want to learn a little more about some of the Olympic lifts; before I started, I thought, "You know...I should do barbell snatches instead of dumbbell snatches..." And that I did.

Warm up:
A mix of hanging snatch, snatch balance, and ground up snatch @ 45LBS...

These were fun...kinda. I knew this workout would be a bear.

2 hand DB Swing @ 60LBS
BB Snatch smorgasbord @ 75LBS

Most of the snatches were snatch balance, especially once I got over 5. Total sucktitude. I don't see how people do this with heavy weight (yet...I me, someday, I will understand)...

The snatches started to be too much. No way I was going to make it back down the ladder, even @ 45LBS

2 hand DB Swing @ 60LBS
95LB Cleans (hanging & power)

Even the cleans were a challenge. I was whooped about half way down, but I pushed through and kept going Osu-EN1

Even with the (at the time) unwelcomed disruption to talk about the Peyton Manning deal this was a!

Hanging knee raises: 10x20LBS, 10x30LBS, 8x50LBS, 5x50LBS (failure), 10x20LBS (alternating legs), 8x20 (alternating legs; failure)

Good stretch & tons of water.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5 questions with Shihan Fred Lecut

OSU! - Awhile back, I asked several respected Yoshukai karate-ka a series of 10 questions; from their 10 questions, I chose the best five and submit them (ok, I had planned to...) to our World Yoshukai Newsletter. The next submission to the newsletter is from Shihan Fred Lecut. Enjoy.

1). Who was the most influential person in your karate career?
Travis Page - not only for his karate ability, but for his human qualities, right behind is Mike Culbreth - same reasons.

2). What was your proudest individual moment in karate as a karate-ka?
Making it through Shodan testing (June in Montgomery, no AC, I blacked out at the end...)

3). If a Yoshukai student understands one thing overall, that thing should be…(and why)?
Patience! You won't become good because you are good, but because you keep coming, even when you are tired, or pissed, or whatever. Just keep coming, and be patient. You become better than people because you outlast them, that's all.

4). What training advice would you give to an up-and-coming karate-ka?
Practice your basics, again, again, again. Fight as if you were old and weak.              

5). If you could expand the style in any one area, where would it be and how?
I would:
  • Reintroduce Sensei Chitose 27 self defense moves.
  • Push sparring, allow for the use of throws, sweeps and chokes - anything that gives an edge to people with little striking power, but agility.
  • Not teach kobudo before Shodan
  • Push for attendance to functions (If you don't  attend at least 10 functions, you cannot test for Shodan)


3/21/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:
Dynamic stretches

Today's Recipe: Ross Enemait's ICT 7

100 Burpees (10:58), bleck!
Rest 2 minutes...erm..."2" minutes
Tabata Squats (131)
Tabata Pushups (68)

Abs (all exercises on the bench):
10 x 10LB Leg raises
10 x 25LB, 15 x 25LB Knee up
10 x 10LB knee to chest

Quick stretch and end scene.

Those burpees were brutal. I could have done x number per minute, but I tried just "powering through" and it cost me some time. Next time, I know better.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3/20/2012 Early AM Session

Today's workout was Max Strength 6:

DB Bench Press (Flat or Swiss Ball)
Weighted Pullups
Weighted Dips

2 set "lead in" to the heavy weight on each exercise

Warm up:
Circuit x 2:
10x10 DB Windmills
10x10 DB External Rotations
10x10 DB Romanian Deadlifts
10 x 20 DB Halo
10 BW Squat

DB Bench Press: 8 x 60LBS (flat bench), 7x65LBS (flat bench), 5 x 70LBS (flat bench), 5x75LBS (Swiss ball), 5x80LBS (swiss ball), 5x65LBS (flat bench), 5x65LBS (flat bench)

The last two sets, 5x65, was a single arm with only one DB; no DB to counter the weight. It is as hard as advertised!

Weighted Pullups: 6, 5x25LBS, 5x35LBS, 5x45LBS, 5x70LBS, 5x70LBS

Last two reps in the last set were partials, at best. Good thing I didn't need to scratch my shoulders...

Weighted dips: 6, 5x25LBS, 5x35LBS, 5x45LBS, 5x70LBS, 5x70LBS
The last one hurt...sheer hardheadedness.

Squats (wide leg): 8 x 185LBS, 7x225LBS, 5x275LBS, 5x295LBS, 5x345LBS, 5x365LBS, 5x365LBS

I can't add, apparently. Last set, thought I was going for 380, it was closer to 400...I don't recall the exact weight. I DO know, that I unracked it, thought, "Nope....", and put it back. I reduced the weight, but it seems to have added up to 365...I wish I'd known that at the time, I might have gone to at least 370. Oh well.

Good stretch and called it a day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

3/13/2012 Early AM Session

Before I got started, it occurred to me that on this day 5 years ago, I lost my nephew far, far too young. I was already pumped for this session, but thinking of him gave me a little extra. We weren't particularly close, but that matters not at all; he is my nephew, my sister's son. He was a very funny guy and by funny I mean you don't want to be caught in his crosshairs...he will make you laugh at yourself while ripping you a new one in the most brutal of ways. And that's what people loved about him. I miss hearing him "cut" on people, and the laughter that came out of it. I miss you, Dude...

Donald, this one was for you.

Warm up:
Circuit x 2:
8x15LB DB Windmills
10 x15LB DB External Rotations
10 x15LB DB Romanian Deadlifts

8 x 135LB Bench Press
5 pullups

Light stretching

Crossfit Lynne -- Five Rounds max reps:
Bench Press @ body weight (185) 10, 5, 6, 3, 4
Pullups 9,9, 12 (kipping), 8 (kipping), 6

I am very impressed with myself on the bench press! A little over two years ago I hoisted 185 for the first time EVER. I was mired down @ 185 for 18 months before I moved past that and hit a 1RM of 215LBS. I spent most of 2010 and 2011 trying to perform 20 reps in 10 sets...10 reps in one set is huge for me.

The finish:
1-5 DB Swings (55LBS) & Snatch (35LBS)
Weighted leg raises: 10 x 10LBS, 10 x 20LBS, 10 x 20LBS

Good stretch and called it quits :)


Monday, March 12, 2012

3/12/2012 Early AM Session

Short, sweet, simple, intense.


Circuit x 2:
3, 2, 1 minute rounds of the "3, 5, 7" Drill/30s rest between rounds,

"3, 5, 7" - hit the bag with power using minimum number of techniques, either 3 techniques, 5 techniques or 7 techniques, progressing as you go along (first a 3 move combination, then a 5 move, then a 7 move, start over). 5 burpees for each set the minimum is not reached.

ICT #1:
60s, 45s, 30s, 15s --no rest of the following: burpees, pullups, squats, pushups

That was a rough 10 minutes of work!

Happy Monday!

Friday, March 9, 2012

3/9/2012 Early AM Session

Lesson #1 - Don't ever assume something is easy...if you do it right, it's never easy!

Warm up:
Light jump roping,
5 pullups
5 dips
10 Windmills (no weight
Dynamic stretches


Crossfit Annie: 10:09
Double unders

At some point, I spotted to orphaned 60LB DB's sitting by the wall; I ended up using them as anchors and I did not stop the clock. I think if I hadn't stopped to get the weights and if I had anchors to start, I could blow some time off of 10:09. Not to shabby for my first time out, but I really want a do-over.

...maybe as a finisher some time soon.

3 x ~80yd Farmer's walk w/2 - 45LB Plates. Grip started to give around 50yds into the last trip.
Between round 1 & 2 -- 5 hand clap pushups

1 side Standing Cable Crunch: 15 x 110LBS, 15 x 120LBS, 10 x 130LBS
The one side standing cable crunch was done holding the rope on one side and bending to that side.

Side Bends: 15 x 45LBS (plates), 15x45LBS (plates), 10 x 55LBS (DBs)

Good stretch, end scene.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

3/8/2012 Early AM Session

Warm up:

Circuit x 2
10 x 15LB DB Windmill
10 x 15LB External Rotations

2 min jump rope. Light...very easy.

Dynamic stretches

--My quads are pretty sore from all of the squats yesterday, so I tried to get a really good warm up, with the two lower body exercises I had on tap for today.


2 warm up/ramp up sets per exercise
3x3 -as heavy as possible

Deadlift: 185LBS x 8, 225LBS x 8, 275LBS x 3, 315LBS x 3, 350LBS x 3 [PB]
BB Bench Press: 135LBS x 8, 185LBS x 5, 205LBS x 3, 215LBS x 3, 225x2 [PB Match], 230LBS x 1 [PB]
Leg Press: 270LBS x 8, 360LBS x 8, 500LBS x 6, 620LBS x 5, 710LBS x 3
Single Arm Row: 80LBS x 6, 95LBS x 6, 110LBS x 3, 125LBS x 3 [PB Match], 135LBS x 3 [PB]

Screwed the pooch on the leg press. I haven't really done them much recently, so I did not have a good starting point or a good feel for how much to increase. By the time I got to 710, I said "screw that" and left well enough alone since I was already at 5 sets.

The 135 row was a little tricky and an approximation, at best. I used a barbell, loaded 100LBS on one end and let the unweighted side rest on the ground. I'll have to toy with that more...

4 sets - 45LBS x 15 Seated Russian Twists

Circuit x 3:
10 x 10LB Knee ups
5 Dragon Flags

3/4 elliptical mile (6:43) mainly just to work out some kinks so I could stretch.

Deep stretch and end scene


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In The Cards

A few posts back, I talked about stagnating and a lack in variety. Well, after a little thought, a decision to get over my own stubbornness, some planning and a little reading, I think I've come up with a solution. As I called it in my last post, " a heap of Ross, a sprinkle of my old standby's and a cup of Crossfit beauties", I've come up with a plan.

The ingredients are the Ross Enamait Integrated Circuit Training (ICT) and Enhanced Interval Training (EIT) routines; my current strength routine (with some additional desired points of emphasis and tweaking); Crossfit: Annie, Helen, Cindy, Lynne and my main squeeze Fran; 5 Ross Warrior Challenges (plus my own Ultimate XC WC); various bagwork/foot work drills.

I've taken each and written the details down on a colored index cards:
Salmon - ICT (10)
Yellow - EIT/CF Ladies (10)
Pink - Max Strength (10)
Blue - Warrior Challenges (5)
Green - Bag work (5)

As a result, there are 40 individual workouts. Each workout can/will be complimented with either a finisher or core work. Rossinites, this should sound familiar.

My intention is to randomize each category then lay out the next 40 workouts, working through each workout in the stack, no repeats. If I happen to have a time constraint or need to accommodate, I can substitute a like for like, as long as it does not repeat.

I can swap ICT for ICT, but not ICT for EIT. For example, this morning, I swapped ICT 1 for the next ICT in the deck (at the time), which was ICT 10. I can opt to swap ICT 1 when it comes up again, but not for ICT10. ICT 10 has been retired for this cycle.

The order is:
Warrior Challenge

And then repeats.

The mix of exercises are challenging, no doubt about it. ICT 10 was a rough go, but it was certainly refreshing. I am also interested to see how strength & endurance is affected by the change in routine. I have no doubt in my mind this is the right way to approach the shake up in routine. Stay tuned, fun times ahead...


3/7/2012 Early AM Session

Quick, dirty, painful...I love it.I was short on time, so I wasn't sure if I could get the whole thing in (I didn't), but it surely hurt all the same...

Warm up:
10 x 15LB DB Windmills
10 x 15LB DB External Rotations
10 x 15LB DB Lunges (L+R = 1)
5 Pullups, 5 Side to side pullups, 3 "circular" pullups (each side)


Circuit x 10:
30 BW Squats
10 High pulls (x 40LBS)
10 Chest press (could be cables, bands, DB's) --I used 40LB DBs

I made it through 7 of the 10 circuits before I hit my time constraint. If this looks familiar, it is Ross Enamait's ICT (integrated circuit training) #10. Tried to blast through as fast as possible without rest. My legs are still a little wobbly --I love it :D


I am in the process of finalizing a more diversified routine. The routine is best described as a heap of Ross, a sprinkle of my old standby's and a cup of some of Crossfit beauties. I'll expound on that in a later post :)


Friday, March 2, 2012

Am I Stagnating?

stag·nate   [stag-neyt] verb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
verb (used without object)
3. to stop developing, growing, progressing, or advancing.

Last night at the dojo, I had a conversation with Sandman regarding training & improving.

My problem is this: I hit the gym 3-4 times a week. I am getting stronger. The workouts are not easy. My cardio is pretty good. BUT, as I phrased it to Sandman, I haven't had the urge to puke or poop my pants in quite sometime. Not that I want to be the guy that couldn't hold his bowels or keep his But I feel like there is another level...I know I have another gear left...but I need to figure out how to get there!

The simple solution here is to change it up, which sounds good in theory, but when very few workouts are the's hard to get more variety than that.

So how does one fix this problem?
The immediate first thing that comes to mind is to remove my own roadblocks. There is a plethora of fitness and exercise information available, beyond that, any creative mind (...but not too creative, don't get crazy) can draft a series of butt-kicking workouts to keep things fresh. I have the very bad habit of saying to myself, "I'm not doing that...". Time to kick over some roadblocks and keep it moving.

Variety is the spice of life. In one of Ross Enamait's books, he provides a 30 day training schedule and to my knowledge (I don't have the book in front of me) none of the workouts repeat. In addition, Crossfit repeats occur rarely. Maybe my idea of variety isn't varying enough...perhaps I need to have chicken, steak *and* venison. Perhaps a parsnip or two in my workout salad.

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Whenever I workout, I have a fairly decent idea of what I want to accomplish; I try to stick to a structure, and I have days where I want to accomplish either X, Y or Z within that structure. Once X is off the board, the next workout tackles Y or Z and so on. Perhaps removing the option is the way to go. On Day One, I will do Z, Day Two Y, Day Three X...

So, what are you going to do about it.
First and foremost, I plan to open up the playbook a little bit. I haven't touched Crossfit Fran in awhile (she and I flirted a bit for awhile...she rebuffed my advances). I should dial her up more often...Angie is another Crossfit beauty I should spend a little more time with as well.

...and so my wife doesn't maim me, these are workouts, not people. ;-)

More circuit exercises for time or rounds & general physical preparedness (GPP) sessions, a la Ross, should make a comeback too. And simply for low hanging fruit: more bagwork!

Time to revamp, evolve and progress. Yoshukai strong --that's what it's all about.

3/2/2012 Early AM Session


Good morning peeps! First, don't think I have been a slacker because I haven't been posting. I'm still here, still bringing the pain. In fact, I have a few personal bests to note!

1/19 - Personal Best DB Bench Press @ 100LBS
2/24 - Single Arm DB Row @ 125LBS
...and a 225LBS BB Bench Press somewhere in between.

Today's session was planned as a longer-than-usual workout. More on that later...

Onward to today's joy:
Warm up:
Circuit x 2
DB Windmill:10x15LB
DB External Rotations:10x15LB
DB Halo: 10x 25LB

Gymnast Rings. Circuit x 3
L-Sit pullups x 5
Dips x 8 (or failure)
L-sit to inverted position, pullup, pike into L-sit  x 3

Rings felt good, though, a day or two between yesterday's session might have made that time a little more productive...

Suspension trainer: A mix of ab work. Didn't really count sets/reps, but I spent about five minutes working on various ab exercises. I really need to use this and the Ring set up more...

Bag work:

Using a one or two punch set up:
Left Gedan Mawashi Geri -- 15 @ 100%
Right Gedan Mawashi Geri --15 @ 100%
The plan here, going forward is to increase the number of kicks by 5 each session.

3 minutes of 5s work/7s rest burst training. The idea is all out power for 5 seconds, recover quickly, do it again. 3 minutes is a knockdown round.
2 minutes of 5s work/7s rest burst training. 2 minutes is the length of the first extension round in a knockdown fight
1 minute 7s work/5s rest burst training. I switched it up here, because if you're in the second extension round, you need to be working more if you expect to advance (my opinion...).
The rest time between each round was the time it took me to reset the timer + 10 seconds. (less than a minute, per round)

Back out to the gym floor...(told you, this was planned to be longer...)

Deadlift 185LBS x 15, 235LBS x 8, 285LBS x 3

By this point, I was feeling the fatigue...

Standing Russian Twists (Left + Right =1 rep): 10 x 20LBS, 10 x 30LBS, 10 x 40LBS

I spent a little time on the lacrosse ball and called it quits.