Monday, September 21, 2009

The War on Drugs

"Beyond the demographic change, there is a perception that after 40 years of blood, sweat and tears, the war on drugs - formally declared by President Richard Nixon in 1969, a month before the Woodstock festival - has failed to reduce the availability of illegal drugs, has enriched and empowered organized crime gangs, and has subjected millions of people to arrest who pose little threat to anyone but themselves."

-Fortune Magazine, Rodger Parloff

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Primal Challenge Month

If you don't know about the primal challenge, you probably don't know about Mark Sisson. If you're interested in remedying that condition, head over to:

In addition to my normal primal diet, I have decided to attempt August almost completely without sweets. Even chocolate. I've also got a new plan written up for my weekly activity based on completing The Primal Blueprint.

Monday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things
Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Saturday – Lift Heavy Things
Sunday – Sprint

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vibrams in the Mountains

Lately I've been lucky enough to find time in the mountains with only my Vibram Five Fingers between me and the mountain below. Taking on normal mountain hikes using your feet the way they were designed really changes things. My feet are finally tough enough to handle hours of rough terrain without any of the 'support' my normal shoes were offering me. In the same sense as a cast can be supportive. Though you can expect the same muscle atrophy that results from any cast.

The barefoot culture seems to be enlightened to the notion that our feet really do have a function other than something to fasten a tight fitting highly padded wedge shaped running apparatus to.

A great site I was recently turned on to,, shows all sorts of folks out enjoying their feet and learning how to walk again. They've also posted a picture of me!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Travel Workouts

I recently went on a vacation backed up to the end of a business trip. This meant I was away from my gym for about 12 days. Fortunately, I didn't miss a single workout! My Indian clubs and 1 16kg kettlebell were along for the ride and it was great to workout in cool California mornings outdoors this early in the season.

Swing and snatch Tabata intervals and a clean and press ladder up to 10. Plenty to do on the road. The Indian clubs were lightweight and more than enough exercise for traveling. If I had to do a plane trip instead of a road trip, the Indian clubs would be my first choice with only 4lbs added to the luggage total. With today's strict air guidelines, the kettlebell just doesn't fly.

Indian Clubs

I found these lovely clubs in pictures of old time strongmen and decided to investigate. It appears that these fairly light clubs (only 2lbs each) were used in some sort of a combination flexibility and aerobics class. While many practice them alone at home, it was also popular to practice them in groups!

I have been doing some basic movements with them and while it does not feel tremendously taxing, it created a great deal of soreness in my shoulders and wrists. My wrists will need time to catch up to this type of flexibility and exertion but that does not bar the more 'locked' types of movements. These bend at the elbow when needed but most of the flexibility comes from the shoulder girdle. It seems to me that the shoulder girdle is the most intensely and completely worked area following an Indian club workout. Combined with kettlebells, these are the perfect upper body flexibility compliment.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Keyboard Jockey Gym is Born

After much toil against the dreaded garage junk, a section has been liberated and reclaimed in the name of fitness. Right now I only have the basics but it is a great start and it feels so good to have it all in one place. Also, my new 16kg kettlebells from Ader are the best; they are my favorite kettlebells yet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Press Ladder - Moderate

Yesterday is the follow-up to the light press ladders of Tuesday. I did 1, 2, 3 rep ladders with the 24kg for 5 rounds then followed up with some slow fall fast rise full extension push-ups on the parallettes.

Today will be ring work. Pull-ups, ring dips, knee to elbows, skin-the-cat, inversion work, etc.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Press and Swing Ladders

Today was a "light day" RKC program for kettlebell clean and press and kettlebell swings. The moderate and hard days are with the 24kg.

5 rounds with 16kg of:
15 Clean and Press each arm
15 single arm swings each arm

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Today is a rest day. Saturday was a low rep workout with the 32kg kettlebell. The 24kg ladders have really paid off.

With 32kg kettlebell:
10 two handed swing warm-up
5 snatches per arm, 3 press per arm, 1 Turkish get-up per arm

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thanks CrossFit

Today is a modification of "Jackie" on applied to my tools and capacity.

120 16kg swings
50 16kg clean and thruster
18 strict ring pullups

My time today was 10:10, max heart rate of 179, average of 155.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Keyboard Jockey Push Circuit

Yesterday's variety day included some windmills, halos, and heavy singles with the 32kg kettlebell.

Today's circuit is mostly push. The circuit is hitting the shoulders from two very different angles with thrusters and full extension parallette push-ups. The turkish get-ups are a static load through the shoulder's full range of motion. The end of the circuit is the only static pull in the group for a 'break', with the focus actually being on a stable core to bring knees to right angle elbows on the rings. Special note today, turkish get-ups and knee-to-elbows are both exercises that should be practiced with an emphasis on smooth natural articulation through the full range of motion. These exercises should not be hurried, perform each smoothly and completely regardless of the time it takes. Any rep that is hurried, incomplete or executed with momentum instead of control does not count.

2 rounds for time of:

20 single arm kettlebell thrusters
10 turkish get-ups
20 parallette push-ups
10 ring knee-to-elbows

My time today was 15:30, max heart rate of 185, average of 165.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Back from Vacation - Kettlebell Multi-Ladder

I just got back from a week on the road, working my kettlebell at gas stations and living rooms alike. Nothing structured, just enough to stay loose and stretched.

Sunday, March first was my first day back and I decided to do a kettlebell multi-ladder to get used to working under an increased cardio load at altitude again. Using the 16kg kettlebell and moving quickly, no stops for rungs:

Each Arm:
Swing ladder (1,2,3,4,5)
Snatch ladder (1,2,3,4,5)
Clean and Press ladder (1,2,3,4,5)
Snatch ladder (1,2,3,4,5)
Swing ladder (1,2,3,4,5)

It feels good to be back. Going to do some additional variety today, maybe a light circuit.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keyboard Jockey Workouts - Designing the First Circuit

Today begins the first in a series of new circuits that I am experimenting with. This circuit was created by me but I won't necessarily be making all of them.

Small Disclaimer:
I am not a fitness expert, athlete, or trainer. I do not belong to a gym. I do not time my workouts to compete with anyone but myself. These workouts are designed around my current goals and fitness level. They are not intended as advice or instruction.

I do not count a rep that does not have complete ROM or perfect form. This is essential for making the time meaningful and is critical to avoiding injury.

The idea:
10 fireman squat curl press with 30lbs dumbbells
10 16kg Turkish get-ups with 2 snatches on top of each
10 ring pull-ups

3 rounds for time
The first attempt:
I was able to do two rounds with great difficulty at 13:54. My average heart rate was 171, maxing out at 188. The limiting factor for this circuit was the ring pull-ups. The next time this circuit comes up I need to either be better at ring pull-ups, do the 10 on a bar, or drop to doing 6 ring pull-ups. The second round I had to do a 4, 3, 2, 1 ladder to finish my ring pull-ups, 6 pull-ups would require a much more manageable 3, 2, 1 ladder. Three rounds is the goal for next time.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Guitar Hero is the amusement park that was built on top of the ruins of music education's place in the home. On the plus side, Rock Band is the shopping mall that was built next door.