Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Week 7 Day 4


1. Overhead Squat- 7x3 (CFM WOD)

2. 2x 20 Back Extensions + 25 GHD sit-ups

2x 12 Back Extensions + 12 GHD sit-ups (w/ weight vest)

Week 7 Day 3

Active Rest- primarily focusing on stretching

Monday, December 28, 2009

Week 7 Day 2


1.Standing Backboard slaps- 3x3

2.Tennis Ball dunks with running start- 3x3

3.Depth Jump to rim grab- 3x3

4.Standing Backboard slap with 20lb weight vest- 3x3

5.Consecutive low hurdles- 3x3

6. Sprints- 100 yards x4; 50 yards x4; 25 yards x4

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week 7 Day 1


1. Snatch- 1x2 @ 89%

2. Snatch Balance- 1x3 @94%

3. 2x
20 second L-hold
1 minute plank series
1 minute hollow hold

Week 6 Day 7

Active Rest Day

Dunk (something) for the First Time

Yesterday I dunked a tennis ball for the first time. Based upon the fact that I am getting high enough above the rim to dunk a tennis ball I would estimate that I have added between 3 and 5 inches to my vert in 6 weeks. I am on pace to dunk a basketball in February.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Week 6 Day 6


1. Try to dunk a tennis ball (I am going to limit this to about 20 jumps if necessary)

2. Weighted Dip- 3 rep max

3. 3x 15 Strict Knees to Elbows+ 40 hollow rocks + 30 Arch Rocks

Half Way There and Hangin' on the Rim

If you have been perusing my recent blog posts it will be pretty obvious that my training has been going extremely well as of late. In the last week I have hit seven separate PRs. Today I successfully lifted 109kg (240lbs) in the Clean and Jerk, did a 70lb three rep pull-up, and an 80lb two rep pull-up. Most notably, I legitimately grabbed rim today for the first time in my life. For the last six weeks I have been tapping the bottom of the rim or missing it entirely. Today after the first part of my workout (C+J and weighted pull-ups) I went to the Redwood High School track to warm-up for my sprints. During my warm-up of light agility drills, still in a good mood from my newest two PRs, I decided to try to grab rim and I nailed it. I got about two inches of my finger on the rim. I was elated. In a continuation of the PR high that I am currently riding I am going to try to dunk a tennis ball tomorrow when I am fresh. Hopefully I will figure out how to get videos on the blog and post some of myself dunking (a tennis ball). So after six weeks of my 12 week training plan I am making significant progress that will hopefully allow me to achieve my ultimate goals of dunking a basketball and lifting an Oly total of over 200kgs.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Week 6 Day 5


1. Clean and Jerk- 1 rep max

2. Weighted Pull-ups- 3 rep max

3. Sprints- 4x 100 yards 4x 50 yards 4x 25 yards

The Effects of Music On Athletic Performance

Ok, so this might sound ridiculous, but it has been scientifically proven that people who listen to specific types of music (i.e. music with a slow cadence vs. music with a faster cadence) perform better on average during any athletic endeavor.

A study conducted by Dr. Dainow in 1977 states that one's heart tends to moderately follow the beat of the music that is playing at a given moment. The research suggests that fitness enthusiasts may benefit by playing music, with a beat that correlates with one's desired heart rate before, during and even after a specific workout or competition.

Every time I watch the pre-game show for a professional basketball game I see Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, or some other big name all-star walk into the arena wearing some absurdly large headphones that are evidently blasting some music that "gets them in the zone." By the "zone" I mean one's ideal performance state. There are a multitude of extremely important factors that contribute to one's ability to achieve their IPS. I have mentioned a few of these factors in my previous posts, most importantly: sleep, nutrition, over/undertraining, attitude/mind set, and the newest performance enhancer (or diminisher given the respective circumstances) is the external auditory stimulus colloquially referred to as music. Music has the potential to allow an individual to tap into their IPS given the stimulus that the individual is searching for. For example lets say Jeff is about to do a one rep max deadlift in his garage, by himself. Jim is evidently going to have some issues getting "amped up," seeing as he is by himself, for a lift that he NEEDS a significant amount of adrenaline to successfully complete. Jeff needs to listen to some fast paced music that he enjoys listening to (pop, techno, rap, etc.). In an antithetical scenario Bill may be preparing to compete in the Crossfit Games for the first time. Bill is so nervous he can't sit still and he is on the verge of hyperventilating. Obviously, Bill needs to slow down his heart. Bill needs to listen to some slow paced music (i.e. classical or some really soft jazz or rock) that will induce a state analogous to meditation. During this pseudo meditative state Bill might want to visualize himself doing the workouts quickly, steadily and successfully.

So next time you throw on some tunes before jumping into a workout think about what your goals are, how your energy level is at the given moment, and what type of music will help you reach your own Ideal Performance State.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Week 6 Day 4

Active Rest Day

1. Light Row (1000 meters)

2. ROM work

3. Burgener Warm-up with PVC

4. Self-massage and Stretch

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Week 3 Day 3


1. Clean and Jerk- 79% 3x1

2. Front Squat- 93% 1x3

3. 2x 20 Back Extensions + 30 GHD Sit-ups

2x 12 Back Extensions + 15 GHD Sit-ups (w/ 20lb vest)

Deadlift PR

I picked up 375 for a one rep max today. In the next two weeks I am going to go for 400lbs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Week 6 Day 2


1. Deadlift- 1 rep max

2. Depth Jump on to box

3. Box Jump from seated

4. 3x3 Handstand push-ups (supported as little as possible)

Another PR

Today I did a 2 rep Overhead Squat @ 110kg (242lbs).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 6 Day 1


1) Snatch

2) OHS

3) Vaults

4) Max L-sit+ Planks 1 minute on front and both sides + Hollow Hold 45 seconds

Week 5 Day 7

Active Rest Day

1. Light Row (around 1000 meters total with intermittent breaks for range of motion work)

2. Self-Massage with my Bocce balls (that stuff sucks, but it works)

3. Stretch the Hamstrings and any other tight spots

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snatch PR!

I had been stuck at 78kg on my snatch for about a month and I finally did 80kilos on Friday. I am going to try to PR in the Clean and Jerk next week.

Week 5 Day 6

Active Rest Day

1. Light Row (around 1000 meters total with intermittent breaks for range of motion work)

2. Self-Massage with my Bocce balls (that stuff sucks, but it works)

3. Stretch the Hamstrings and any other tight spots

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Mental Approach

One phrase that I hear uttered over and over again is that “sports are 90% mental and 10% physical.” I would wholeheartedly agree with this statement. If one does not think that they can complete an athletic task—for example hitting a 90 mph fastball, doing a back flip, snatching 300 lbs, or dunking a basketball—then he or she will definitely not complete the given task.

My goals in my “quest for dunkage” are to dunk a basketball, snatch 90kg, and clean and jerk 115 kg. There are a few stars that need to align in order to make this process a smooth one. First of all I need to eat well and eat well consistently. In an earlier post I defined eating well as eating paleo (meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar). Right now I am primarily running on meat and vegetables in a some what ketogenic diet, but that is a subject for another post at a later date (expect a “Ketogenic Diet and Athletic Performance” post in the near future). Secondly, I need to train hard consistently and intelligently. What I mean by training intelligently means training the energy system --the ATP-PC system (Alactic)--that will allow me to become more explosive and consequently dunk a basketball and improve my Olympic lifts. Thirdly, I need to recover well. Recovery includes sleeping well, stretching, and self-massage (and also nutrition, which I already mentioned). Finally, I need to maintain consistent mental toughness and persistence in the face of adversity.

The maintenance of adequate mental toughness can be achieved in many different ways. Yesterday as I approached the bar for my first of three sets of 89% clean and jerks, I remembered something that I read three years ago in “The New Toughness Training For Sports” by James E. Loehr. In the book, Loehr stated that success begets more success. In that vein, he suggested doing or even thinking of oneself doing a “fist pump” or any celebratory action before, rather than after, attempting to complete a difficult athletic task. For example before a difficult putt, pump your fist and think of the psychological feeling of sinking that putt. This method of (pre) positive reinforcement is applicable to any and all athletic endeavors. So before I approached the bar on Wednesday, I would do a fist pump and think of myself successfully completing an ultra fast and extremely smooth clean and jerk. It was amazing. I was a completely different lifter: 95 kg felt like a toothpick and my training partners said that it was the best technique that I had utilized to date. Needless to say the mental approach can be the difference between success and failure in many instances.

Hitting Some Big PRs

Today I did both a max box jump and one set of max pull-ups. I hit a massive PR in the box jump. At this point last year, when I was rowing in college, I could not jump onto a box above 36 inches. Today I really surprised myself by nailing a 51 inch box jump.

I guess my Olympic lifting, plyometric and met con progamming is working pretty well. I am mid way through week 5 of my 12 week "the quest for dunkage," and I have improved my explosiveness by leaps and bounds.

I also had a nice little PR on my max rep pull-ups to with 45. My previous PR was 40.

I am planning on doing a test run on a basketball hoop at some point next week. I'll try to keep the good results coming.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Week 5 Day 4
Adrian Wilson (check out this video of Adrian's Vert)


1. Max Box Jump

2. Max Pull-ups

3. Sprints- 2x 100 yards ; 4x 50 yards; 5x 25 yards (with a 20lb weight vest)

Week 5 Day 3
Vince Carter


1. Clean and Jerk- 3x1 @ 89%

2. Back Squat- 3x3 @ 90%

3. L-sit 30 secs+ Planks 1minute (front and both sides)+ Hollow Hold 45 secs x 2

Monday, December 14, 2009

Week 5 Day 2

1. Snatch- 2x2 @ 87%

2. 30 pull-ups for time

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Week 5 Day 1


7 rounds of:

10 Tuck Jumps
10 Push-ups

(not a lot of time to workout today)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

Week 4 Day 6

Rest Day

Week 4 Day 5
Greg Monroe


1. Clean and Jerk 3x1 - 87% for all three sets

2. Front Squat 3x3- 89% for all three sets

3. Core Couplet- Max L-sit + 15 rep Back Extension x 3

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Increase Your Sleep To Improve Your Performance

It’s a fact that high quality sleep improves performance. In 2008 a study was performed at Stanford University regarding the correlation between increased hours of sleep and improved performance. Ten healthy student athletes, from the men's and women's swimming teams respectively, were asked to maintain their normal amounts of sleep (between 5-8 hours per night) for two weeks and their performance (timed swims at their daily practices) was recorded. Then the athletes were asked to sleep 10 hours a night for 6 weeks and their corollary performances in practice were assessed after each regularly held swim practice. After obtaining extra sleep, the athletes swam a 15-meter meter sprint 0.51 seconds faster, reacted 0.15 seconds quicker off the blocks, improved turn time by 0.10 seconds and increased kick strokes by 5.0 kicks. The swimmers obviously improved their reaction times and explosiveness significantly simply by sleeping more. All of these performance gains occurred in just 6 weeks and one would assume that the results would continue to improve over the course of an entire year of increased sleep.

These results elucidate the fact that athletes can benefit significantly from increased amounts of sleep. Although this study focuses solely on the importance of sleep among collegiate swimmers, the results are applicable to any and all athletes seeking peek performance. There have been other similar studies conducted with athletes from other sports providing very similar results.

Sleep is essential to keep the human body functioning and running at top speed. It is by far the most potent means of recovery and bodily restoration. While sleeping, muscle tissue heals, information is collated and stored throughout the day, and our immune system heals. The more we sleep--on a regular basis-- the better we feel and consequently the better we perform. Ten hours of sleep a night might seem excessive, but it should be a priority as an athlete to get as much sleep as possible.

Finals are rolling around at school and I have been staying up late studying and writing papers lately. Throughout this whole sleepless process I have maintained my training schedule and I have been seeing some extremely low levels of performance. Yesterday, I was testing my vertical leap on a basketball hoop in Sausalito and I could not touch the rim. I was barely tapping the rim last week, but yesterday it felt like my explosiveness was gone... I had nothing. I probably lost 2 inches on my vert simply by getting low quality sleep for about a week. That being said, sleep is immensely important to one's recovery and everyone should learn from my mistakes and moderate their amount of training during periods of time in which they know they will be getting less sleep (finals, deadlines, etc.)

This post is making me tired . . .good night.

Week 4 Day 4

Rest Day

Week 4 Day 3



Strength Couplet-- 1. 5x3 Deadlift
2. 5x3 Pull-ups

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Week 4 Day 2

Allen Iverson


1. Tuck Jumps- 10 jumps x4

2. High Knees- 25 yards x 3

3. Bounding- 50 yards x 5

4. 5-Dot Drill (around the world x 2 + stutter step x 2)

5. Power Skip- 25 yards x 3

6. Rim grabs- 5 x 2

7. Jump Rope- 50 revolutions x 5

8. Ascending Box Jumps- 3x 3

9. Sprinting- 100 yards x 2; 50 x 4; 25 x 5

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 4 Day 1

Kendrick Farris of the United States competes in the 85kg weightlifting event at the Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics Gymnasium on Day 7 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 15, 2008 in Beijing, China.
Kendrick Farris


1. Snatch- work up to 85% for a 2 rep set

2. Snatch Balance- work up to a heavy 3x3

3. Core Couplet- Planks (1 min front and both sides) and Hollow Hold (45 secs)

I didn't hit any PRs yesterday, but the experience was definitely beneficial. I learned a great deal about performance psychology during the competition and consequently I will be posting something on that topic this week.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Week 3 Day 7

2009 Lincoln High Open Workout Competition

I will be attempting to hit new 1RMs in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. I will keep you posted and hopefully have some video clips to post as well.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 3 Day 5
Josh Smith

1) Snatch- 1 rep ( up to 85%)

2) Clean and Jerk- 1 rep (up to 85%)

3) Planks (1 min front and sides) + Hollow Hold (1 min) x 3

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Week 3 Day 4

Matthias Steiner

Workout (CF WOD):

500 meter row+ 21 Hang Snatches @ 75lbs (34.5kg) x 3

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Week 2 Day 3

Charles Barkley


1. Clean and Jerk- 1 Rep (at least three sets at or above 80%)

2. Clean Grip Deadlift- 5 reps (at least three sets with maximum exertion)

3. Basic Pseudo-Gymnastics stuff:

10 Bar Muscle-ups x 1

Support into Forward Roll on rings x 2

50 Hollow Rocks + 25 Arch Rocks x 3

15 Knees to Elbows (deadhang) x 1

(My goal is maximum control on these movements, not speed necessarily)