Thursday, December 25, 2008

Just completed a nine-week strength cycle

Completed a nine-week strength cycle, with the following PRs:
* BP: 305 (local PR - from 280)
* DL: 485 (local from 275)
==> Not really elite, but a PR is a PR. Also, weight is down to 197, from 204.

I have a new way to cardio. Combines two of my favorite things:
* Dance Dance Revolution
* Kettlebells

I just alternate a song on DDR and a kettlebell ballistic exercise. I this for about 40-60 minutes. The good thing about DDR is that the song does not slow down for you, so it is more like sports training. I am good enough now to get B/C on most songs on "Difficult".

I call this DDD/HoC

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New stuff -- starting to really get it....

This week was kind of a back off week. I felt really tired from lack of sleep.

Here was my training for Friday and Saturday (my heavy WSB days):


TGU: 32kg x 6:00; 40kg x 6:00
Various Swings/Snatches: 12:00

Early Evening
Speed Benches: 205 x 3 x 3; 225 x 9 x 3 (not real strong)
Incline DB Presses: 85 x 2 x 10; 95 x 1 x 10 (eh)
Pec Deck: Worked up to rack x 10
Lat Pull Downs: Rack x 2 x 10
Close Grip Bench: 135, 185, 205, 225 x 1 x 3 (easy)
Various snatches and swings: 10:00

Box Squats: 275 x 10 x 2 (not real strong)
Leg Press: 6,8 x 1 x 10; 10 x 2 x 10 (felt really strong)
Leg Curls: Stack x 1 x 2
Front Squat: 135, 185, 225, 245 x 1 x 3; 275 x 1 x 1 (felt strong)
Snatches: 15 minutes of top of the :30 swings (24kg x 7 reps) -- felt like I could have done this all day.

Bowling: We massage each other in massage class. I got a massage on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was relaxed and I was absolutely stroking the ball. I lost carry in the last game, but still finished with a 652 (213-248-194).

Massage: Getting better, but still a lot of work to do.

Cooking: I made some oxtail for class on Thursday. Excellent.... the class loved it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Some of this week's training....


Renegade Row: (2 x 24kg) x 3 x 10
Swings: 32kg x 5 x 20
Soloflex Bench Press 3 x 10; 5 x 5

Towel Rows
Towel Curls


* TGU: 32kg x 11:00
* Swings: 2x24kg x 6 x 12
* KB Crunches: (2x24kg) x 15

* Hack Squats: 24kg x 5 x 5
* SLD: 32kg x 3 x 10
* Front Squats: (2x32kg) x 5 x 5
* Snatches: 32kg x 2 x 15L/15R
* Jerks: 2x24kg x 2 x 15

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This week's training...


DE Bench Day:
Flat Speed Bench: 205 x 6 x 3; 225 x 3 x 3
Cable Crossovers
Lat Pulldowns: Stack x 2
Hammer Incline Press (I hate the groove on these)
Close Grip Bench: 185 x 5; 205 x 5; 225 x 3
KB MP: 32kg x 3 x 5; 32 x 2 x 7 (these felt better than I thought they would)

Bowling Practice: 8 games in 45 minutes (I was bowling well, averaged 232 with a 260, 250, and 3 games over 225.


After Monday's DE bench day, my shoulders hurt pretty bad the next day.

TGU: 32kg x 11:00 (these made the shoulders a lot better)
KB armbar: 24kg and 32kg
Not really up for swings -- just went for a walk

Good Mornings: 135, 225, 275 x 1 x 5; 315, 355, 375 x 1 x 3
Single Leg Press: 2,3,4,4.5 x 1 x 10
Leg Curls: Stack x 1 x 10,15
Romanian DL: 135, 225, 275 x 1 x 10
Front Squats: 135, 185, 225, 245 x 1 x 3; 265 x 1 x 2
Snatch Sprints: 3 x 20L/20R (these were fast and felt good in the shoulders.)

Bowling League: 203-257-203 - 663 (only 3 opens)
Made a great adjustment in 8th frame of the 1st game and rescued it. At least doubled in the 10th frame of every game. Ball speed was up because I corrected a timing problem where the pushaway was too high.


Get Ups/HoC Cardio

Friday: Will not squat on ME Bench Day, but will do KB C&P. Hopefully will work up to the beast.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yesterday's stuff.......

Today was WSB Dynamic Squat Day:
Box Squats: 245 x 3 x 2; 265 x 3 x 2; 285 x 2 x 2; 295 x 2 x 2 (felt really strong..)
Leg Press: 540, 720, 810, 900 x 1 x 10 (easy)
Rack Pulls (+4"): 225, 315, 385, 435, 455 x 1 x 1
Seated Leg Curls: Stack x 2 x 10
Tire Flips: 2'+ x 40

Went to a wedding yesterday. It was held at the old Masquerade.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Updates on some new stuff

Hey all - thank you for reading my blog. Here are some updates (Gonzo style - taken from porn lingo, it means "not scripted or structured"):

* Message Therapy class. I gave my first 1/2 hour massage all on my own (including efflurage, petrisage, compression of the paraspinals, lats, traps, delts, and .sternocleidomastoids. No one was telling me what to do. I am sure the student was disappointed in my work, but I was satisified that:
- the muscles were more relaxed that when I started
- I did not hurt him
==> he offered no real criticism.

What I need to work on.
* Body positioning/mechanism
* Petrisage/compress/friction techniques.
* Relaxing.


I have been doing a WSB protocol recently. Feeling stronger!:
* Yesterday I was able to BP (competition style) 285lb (PR since dislocating my shoulder in May 2007). I also close gripped 245lb.
* Today I worked up to 295 in the box squats, and they are fast. I am sure that I have a 375-400lb box squat in me.
* I did a deep 375lb Good Morning (PR)
* My leg presses feel really strong - doing 10 plates on a side pretty easily
* Got a little epiphany today while doing box squats - just like the deadlift, you need to really wedge under the bar.
* Rack pulled 455lb today (bar 4" above floor). Felt really good. And this was after box squatting and the leg press.
* There is a really big tire their (Over 2' think). I finish my leg day work with this for some GPP/conditioning. I have not seen anyone else flip the tire.

I got my Beast (DD 106 lb. kettlebell) last Friday:
* Out of the box, I did a TGU on each side.
* I got some TGU's on video, but I got a new computer and I need to download the software so I can upload them for your viewing pleasure.

Other training -- recently did 80 24kg snatches with the right hand only.

Diet: Trying to lose 13 lbs (to get to 189 lbs) by X-mas. Going hard core with this - my diet is going liquid 4 days/week, including:
* Juice fruits and vegetables.
* Protein shakes
* Soups
* Water

Take care and God bless, Faizal

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Massage Class/KB PRs/The election/The Cowboys


I am in my second week of massage therapy class (Body Systems). Fun stuff. What is really cool about this class is how you learn about how all of the systems are interrelated. Even though as a message therapy you are primarily working with muscles, you still have to understand the other systems.
* Circulatory (this is why efflurage moves blood towards the heart)
* Lymphatic (would you do message on a cancer patient)
* Nervous (why does a client react how they do)
* Muscular (this should be obvious)
* Skeletal (what does muscle/tendons attach to and bony landmarks)
* Integumentary, i.e., Skin (what do you think that you are touching)
* Endocrine (Why do you feel better after a message)


I set some new PR recently:
* TGU with the beast (just got it Friday, I love it)
* Snatch: 24kg x 80 (see video)

Going to set another PR this weekend, but not sure which:
* Snatch: 24kg x 64L/64R
* Snatch: 32kg x 32L/32R
* BP: 300lb (I have benched more in the past, but not since I broke my back in 2002)
* Squat: 450lb (I have squatted more in the past, but not since I broke my back in 2002)

My thoughs on the election:

1) Is it me, or did Obama just sound more confident than McCain during the debates. This is especially true when talking about the economy. While I don't agree with everything in Obama's plan, McCain showed that he absolutely has no clue about the economy. This is probably because:
a) He has never in his life created any value which he in turned used for income.
b) He has been a senator for so long it made him stupid (watch C-SPAN for 12 minutes, and you will see what I am talking about) and distorted his view of money.

2) When I hear people say "the economy is going to go down hill if Obama is president", I think how can the economy get any worse when:
* Banks are going out of business (when the fork has it happened to this degree)
* Credit is frozen (even when the economy sucked arse in 1992, credit was freely flowing)
* Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch have been bought (it used to be that Merrill Lynch in a bad economy used to be ONLY company that would be hiring)
==> Can the economy get any worse. It would be like finding a paralyzed man having a heart attack and thinking "I don't want to give CPR, I don't want to hurt him".

Here is the problem - and it is a fundamental one - is that we had a unstable economy, and the reason for it was simply. We have too many people/too much money in our society who are either measuring something (property appraisers, accountants, brokers), trying to sell something (salespeople, marketing, writers), trying to regulate something, or trying to hide something (CEO's) and not enough people doing the two things that provide economic value:
1) Making something, or
2) Providing an essential service so that someone else can make something.

Too many retards were trying to make money on their house, and our economy blew us. Surprised? I'm not. We live in a country where every man, woman, and child can live in the state of Texas and be given an acre of land. With that, why would a 2BR condo in Tampa cost $500K -- that's right, it shouldn't. Thus we have the downward spiral of our economy.

Taxes are not fun, but they are needed. They are good when they are used to pay for stuff that individuals/businesses cannot pay for on their own, i.e. for the common good (roads, schools, law enforcement, etc.) but they are bad when they are used for redistribution of wealth (long-term welfare, financing stadiums for millionaire owners, bail outs of poorly run businesses, etc.). By the way, most of your federal taxes go towards the following:
* debt service (if it is ghetto-fabulous to spend now and pay later, what is it when government does it)
* Social Security (which is only sustainable if MANY more people die than enter the work force)

==> I may get flamed for this, I don't care.


I had been bowling badly, but hit a 690 last week. Will have to see what today holds. Need to work on the following:
* Don't rush timing step
* Stay behind the ball. If you want to bend it, stay behind it but release off middle finger.

I am trying a new diet:
* All liquid, 5 days a week. The liquid is going to come in the following three forms:
a. Water
b. Protein drinks
c. Juiced fruits and vegetables
d. O'Douls when bowling

Dallas Cowboys
Kinds of sucks when your starter (a mobile quarterback) goes down and the replacement quarterback(a statue) makes you change your offense. Sounds like bad planning. Sounds like my favorite teams (Knicks, Yankees, and Cowboys) all have bad management. I think that the Cowboys can finish 10-6 and still make the playoffs. Also, did you have to wait for an overdose to know that Isaiah Thomas was on drugs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Random Crap

Last weekend I tried my third PBA tournament. I did better placewise, but I still suck (42nd out of 57). I had 5 190 games, two sub 150 games, and nothing over 200. I threw the ball pretty well, but I had trouble staying lined up. Can't wait to give it a go -- I am going to cash in one of these.

OK, not great week of training. I have been learning about fitness assessment, and all I have to say is that the fitness assess industry sucks ass. There is this measurement called BMI, which is defined as Weight/Height^2. This would be useful, except that we are not all shaped like a rectangle. In my business, I would never use BMI if I could use a quality BIA machine or take skinfolds using calipers.

I do know that my BF is high (about 26%), I need to lose about 15 lbs. Even with the extra fat, HR (60) and BP (118/78) are normal. Also, I tested off the charts in the step test, push up test, and the BP test. I have been good at figuring out how to increase perform, lets see how good I am at changing body composition.

Lots of talk about the new snatch test. It is a timed test (how many can you do for 5 minutes). Personally, the way they have this test I think is too easy. 10 more reps would be just right.

Here is a video of me doing 80 snatches with the 24kg with one arm (old RKC snatch test with one arm and an extra 16 reps).

Technique could still use some work. Also, I am breathing heavy because of my allergies (cats).

I looked a little doughy in the pictures -- looking to lose 15lbs in 2 months while maintaining my strength.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Recipe of the week....

Inspired by a dish that I had at Ceviche, a tapas restaurant that is walking distance of my condo, I present Oxtail del Faizal:

* Two packages of oxtail (typically 3-4 major pieces per package)
* 13 oz of dark beer (stout or porter)
* 1 jar of tomato sauce
* 3 T Garam Masala (think..the Indian version of allspice)
* 2 T Chile Powder
* 1 T Habanero Flake (or 2 T crushed red pepper)
* 1 T Fennel Seed
* 1.5 cups flour
* 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Peanut Oil

1) Coat oxtail pieces with flour. (Put oxtail and flour in a closed container, then shake)
2) Heat pan to medium high, then add olive oil.
3) Sear oxtail pieces (it is hard to get all sides, but your patience will be rewarded.
4) Deglaze pan with beer, then add oxtail pieces to pan or pot.
5) Add tomato sauce and spices. If the oxtail pieces are not submerged, add more beer.
6) Get pot to a rolling boil, the reduce to a simmer (i.e., light bubble)
7) Simmer contents for 2.5 to 3.5 hours, stirring and turning pieces occasionally.
==> Because you are cooking at a low temperature - low risk of overcooking.

Oxtail needs to be cooks "low and slow" because unlike steaks there is a lot of connective tissue in it (just like ribs). The connective tissue gets rendered into the sauce and gives it a great "mouthfeel", just like a good stock.

After much consternation....

I have decided to attend my twenty year high school reunion in NY rather than go to my PBA tournament.

Workout this week were solid and consistent:

Sep 27, 2008

MP: 32kg x 7 x 7
Swings: 32kg x 10 x 15 (easy)
Gotta' conserve the grip prior to bowling...
Bowling Tournament -- hopefully a lot of high scores.

Sep 26, 2008
Box Squats: 285 x 6 x 2; 295 x 6 x 2
Leg Press: 7,9, 9.5 x 1 x 10
Leg Curls: Stack x 2 x 10
Barbell Lunges: bar, 95, 135 x 1 x 10 (need to work on theses)
Heavy Tire Flip: Big Tire x 20 (this is my active recovery)

Sep 25, 2008
TGU: 32kg x 6:00; 40kg x 6:00 (I can't wait to get a beast)
High Octane Cardio: 1:30 minutes - felt really good (had some MCTs beforehand)

Sep 24, 2008
KB C&P: 32kg x 5 x 5; 40kg x 4 x 1; 40kg x 5L/1R (getting a little stronger on right)
Renegade Rows: 24kg x 3 x 10
Swings: 40kg x 10 x 15 (really hard on the grip)
Bowling: 225-195-210-630 (While I will take a 630 any day of the week, I really bowled like crap. I did not get punished for bad shots. I did, however make my spares - which is always good.)

Sep 22, 2008
Military Presses: 32kg x 5 x 5; 32kg x 5 x 7
Renegade Row: 24kg x 3 x 10
Floor Press: 32kg x 1 x 15; 40kg x 1 x 10

Sep 21, 2008
TGU: 32kg x 1 x 11
Bowling Practice: 10 games

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bravo's Top Chef is coming to Ybor City Saturday Market....

Those from Tampa may know this, but some of my remote kettlebell friends will not. Not only am I an RKC and a PBA profession - but I am also President of the Ybor City Saturday Market. It is relatively small (50 vendors) food and crafts market in Centenial Park in Ybor City. In the time that I have been President, we have tried to focus more on:
* Events
* Food

Well -- it looks like that vision has paid off. Bravo has selected the Ybor City Saturday Market is coming here as part of there promotional tour. This is huge!

League bowling starts this week for me. I missed the last two weeks because I was traveling for work.

Lots of good things going on.....

Today's workout:
Box Squats (50s rest between working sets)
135 x 1 x 2, 225 x 1 x 2
265 x 5 x 2
285 x 5 x 2

Leg Presses:
4pl x 1 x 10; 6pl x 1 x 10, 8pl x 1 x 10; 9pl x 1 x 10; 9pl x 1 x 15

Leg Curls: Stack x 2 x 10

Adductors/Abductors: Stack x 3 x 15

Tire flips:
2ft wide tractor tire x 4 x 9 (flipped across boxing gym is one set.

Did some shopping at the market today and actually got a good night sleep....

Friday, September 12, 2008

TSC Snatch Test PR (sort of): 137 (w/video)

Another snatch PR! I have a friend that is doing the TSC tomorrow, and I wanted to "give him a number."

24kg 5 minute snatch test PR:
* Old PR: 130 (right before the last TSC)
* New PR: 137
==> After further review, many of the reps were not locked out. I believe many on the right hand were due to tendonitis in my bowling elbow. Even thought it is not a PR, it was a great learning experience and fun to put out there.

Just in case you were wondering:
Time Progressions:
1:00 - 35 (35)
2:00 - 64 (29)
3:00 - 90 (26)
4:00 - 114 (24)
5:00 - 137 (23)

Also, at the midpoint I got to 78 reps
78/59 - 127 (or 56.9%/43.1%)
==> I don't know if that means I paced myself well or not. From looking at the video, I would say NO.


Things that I did well:
* I made it the 5 minutes w/out putting the bell down.
* Effective use of chalk and talc, even though I did tear a dime size piece of skin from under my right middle finger. Not sure if this is a casualty of friendly competition or "it's your fault".
* Started with a dead snatch to start.
* Did not count reps.
* Breathing was pretty good -- could have been better.

What I did not do well.
* Technique got away from me. Hips were dead (could be from being in an airplane two out of the last three days)
* Too fast too early. I felt real slow later.
* Could not do hand switch at bottom. Kept missing it -- this cost me 140.

I was disappointed that I did not get 140, but given that I don't have a lot of quality training recently, I KNOW that SSST/230 RKC-32kg/64 is going down at the end of the month.

I had a business trip this week -- diet and training were subpar to say the least. I still feel bloated.

Friday, September 5, 2008

New Snatch PR - Film at 11....

New RKC Snatch Test 32kg PR: 26L-35R -- 61 total

Here is the video...

Nothing big this week....

I am looking forward to going back to school and studying Sports Medicine. I did the prerequisites in an online class, and they were very hard. Very Hard!

I can't wait to take the core classes!

I am also looking to do some more kettlebell work. I call the the Month of PRs.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

New PRs

I got in a full week (M-F) of training this week. Set a number of new PRs on Friday:
* RKC Snatch Test/32kg: 25L/25R (old 20L/20R)
* 40kg Snatch: 5L (old 4L)
* 40kg Snatch: 10R (old 9L)

I have set a number of new PRs, but I am looking to lose some weight. Will be focusing on ToM swings and high-octane cardio this week.

Bowling practice was better this week. Need to work on freeing the armswing and working the inside of the bowling ball.

Restaurant news:
* Went to Sidebern's - their new menu sucks. Seems like they are working to hard. They have the best ingredients, just keep it simple.
* Try the crab dip at Tampa Bay Brewing company
* SunniBunny frozen yogurt is superior to CaliYogurt

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Haven't been posting in a PR

My bowling has been crap.... (tendonitis in fingers, elbow and shoulder)
My training has been crap.... (see above)
My health has been crap.... (sinus infection)

Given that I haven't done any real snatching in 5 weeks, I wanted to "benchmark" my current conditioning to plan for the future. I decided to do 10L/10R snatches at the top of the minute and see how many minutes I could last. I was expecting to get between 4 and 6 minutes, given my recent training and health....

Well, I did say that this was a PR. I actually made it 10 minutes.In fact, here was the rep scheme:
9 x 10L/10R (top of the minute)
1 x 10L/15R

205 snatches in 10 minutes (SSST)

I called this an accidental PR because I never expected to achieve anything close to an SSST limiting myself to 20 reps/min.

I am going to give this a new name - SSST/Hard Way (it sounds cool).

Some observations:
* I never really slowed down. After the twenty snatches, I pretty much had about 20-22.5 seconds left to rest for all sets.
* My left hand snatches (groove sucks) took about 20 seconds, my right handed snatches took about 17.5 (very smooth and compact)
* I never really felt tired or weak ..., I think that I could have gotten a couple more minutes. I was a lot more dead when I did 130 snatches in 5 minutes.

Maybe six weeks of some halfway decent training, I could hit 230 in the SSST.I may try to do 11L/11R and see if I can maintain that pace for 10 minutes (220 snatches), THEN try the full bore SSST, no limits.Also, for those that ask questions about snatches and ETK, top of the minute snatches would be A good way to measure and modulate volume.

Assuming 10 reps/set is Heavy; then:
8 reps/set would be medium;
6 reps/set would be light (but "perfect")

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wow, I haven't posted in like forever:

Fitness: Been traveling a lot for work lately. Training has been sporadic. Since I have been doing a lot of bowling practice, my KB ballistics work (and form) has decreased. Still able to do over 1 hour of HoC cardio.

I just went to my ISSA certification seminar. The seminar was very educational, but in absolutely no way shape or form was anywhere in the ballpark near what the RKC weekend was. The RKC was a life-changing experience. I do think that the stuff I learn, esp. regarding gym training, will be applicable for the rest of my life. Also, the diet education was pure gold - I am going to put myself on a three week diet and blog it.

I have been doing a lot more 5x5 work (C&P, RR, DL and SQ) and more pullups -- I have been very busy, and these are very time friendly.

I took the time, since training frequency was down, to go into a mass phase. I think it is working fairly well - everything feels fuller.

Bowling: I did my first PBA tournament - and I bowled like crap. I averaged about 174 and I could not hit the side of a barn. My brain was just fried:
* I did not sleep the night before
* I had to drive two hours to the venue and had to wake up at 4:45 AM (not doing that again)
* Did not hydrate and fuel properly beforehand
* I was just intimidated by the prospect of bowling my first tournament -- could not focus.
==> I will add this, bowling again legitimate professional, even though I did not do so well, was very educational. I am looking to do three more bowling tournaments this summer and see how I stack up. I have been bowing about 36 games/week - so just the practice card along pays for my membership in about 1 month. They also have deep discounts on equipment.

Hell's Kitchen: The right chef won, without a doubt. Also, Christine was also a Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) graduate.

Over 4th of July weekend, watched the Nathan's Hot Dog eating contest. Disgusting! They really need to change it - what they are doing does not resemble eating hot dogs at all. They should change the rules to the following:
* You should not be able to eat the dog separately from the bun (I don't give a shit if you are on Atkins or not).
* You should not be able to dunk anything in water.
* Instead of a race for time, make it one for a number of dogs eaten. Not only would you not have to decide on partial dogs, but it would be safer for the contestants.
* After watching this and eating 3 hots dogs - I honestly do not want to see a hot dog for a very long time.

Check out Ice Road Truckers on the History Channel.
I also bought a "Quincy, M. E." DVD set. I used to love that show as a child. TV was much better than - I do think that a M. E. often risking life and limb is a little over the top, but it was still a very good show. TV generally sucks now, but there is a lot more of it.

Tampa Restaurant reviews:
* Sunni Bunni Yogurt (in the same plaza as Bella's): It was like vuja de all over again. The place is just like Cali Yogurt, except in a worse location with less customers. I hope they make it though.

* I noticed that Bernardo's is now a bar. That is fine, but I hope they figure out who the heck they are.

* I noticed Starbucks has added a smooth (Vivanno or some other Fritalian crap like that). Generally speaking, commercial smoothies are crap, but it is less crappy that a Frappucino. Their thumbprint scones get a thumbs up from me too.


Saturday, June 21, 2008


Man -- it poured like heck today.

Had to buy some khaki's for my upcoming PBA tournaments.

Went to see Get Smart. While a lot of people might like it, I thought it sucked. It was like watching Naked Gun, without being funny or having a plot.

Had some great falafel at Sula's cafe in Ybor City.

I see La Casa Dolce is shut down. I guess "La Casa Dolce" means "The doors are closed" in Italian.

Went to Gameworks today, and they had the coolest interactive fishing game. Also, there were two guys that played Dance, Dance Revolution like it was a sport - impressive to watch.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Been a long time...

Haven't blogged in a while. Here goes.


State Bowling Tournament (6/14-15) -- very disappointing:
* Team Event: 195-171-189 -- 555 (Really could not get lined up, found something late thanks to my friend Clyde but did not carry. There was some great energy with bringing two teams.

* Doubles (even worse): 191-130-175 -- 495 (I honestly can't remember that last time that I did not hit 500 on house conditions). Too many splits and very dumb with lane condition and ball selection. Probably some of the dumbest bowling I have done in a long time. I feel really bad because my bowling partner was lights out, hitting 700. My apologies Clyde.

* Singles: 179-256-215 -- 650
In the first game, I started out with 4 strikes, then got 4 opens (three splits and a chop).
Second game was good. XXXX9/XXXX7/X
Third Game was eh: X 9/9- S81 81 X X X X X X X
Very hard to get 22 strikes and bowl only a 650. I turned a potential 725 series (huge cash) into a 650 series (minimal cash)

Hopefully I can use this in the future. I learn more from bowling bad -- and I got a PhD in one weekend.

I practiced on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday....
* My accuracy and repeatability are both improving.
* I am using my straight ball on all spares. Getting more confident in that approach.

Looking forward to my first PBA tournament on the Fourth of July weekend. I look forward to my first tournament as a professional.

Kept the workouts pretty basic this week.
Presses, Get Up, Swings and Snatches.

I have really put on some weight -- looking to cut from 199 to 185 (again).

Getting my ISSA certification on July 12th (finally)

Hell's Kitchen:
Bobby's elimination -- Corey said it best, he is just looking to play it safe.
Jen's elimination -- To selfish to be a leader

For the last three:
* Christina has impressed me with the last two challenges and her services.
* Petrozza is a solid chef, but I have no idea how is does it because he "works dirty."
* Corey has had it rough, but I like her credibility and sense of team.

The last challenge was interesting. "Create a meal for 80 people in one hour or less." Sounds simple enough. One thing that you have to manage in kitchen (or any project) for that matter are the constraints on scope, schedule, and resources. It this case it was TIME. What I feel that Christina did, and the others did not, was create a dish whose cooking time did not increase linearly with the number to be made. In other words, her dishes were SCALABLE. This is very important in a restaurant. Think of it this way....Can you make a better hamburger than McDonald's? The obvious answer in yes. Can you make 1000 hamburgers better than McDonald's, almost definitely not. Can you make 1000 hamburgers that cost (including labor and fixed cost) less than $1.00/each - definitely not (and it scares me to eat such a thing).
Christine's dish was more scalable than others, and that is why she won. If it was me, I would have made lasagna or something similar and would have kicked everybody's ass.

The part about the pan's handle being hot was a little over the top. You always assume a pan is hot if you get it from someone else. That is why the chefs always handle the pans with towels. Metal conducts heat. If the pan is hot enough to cook something, good chance the handle is hot enough to burn. While burning Chef Ramsay makes for good story, it is his own forking fault. As they used to say in professional wrestling school -- you are responsible for your own safety.

Tune in next week, even though you know that Christina can't get eliminated because them damn near intimated that she would be (stupid FOX creative people) . The episode where each chef runs the pass is always a good one.

I was in Seattle on Friday. Not really looking to eat anything, but I did hit upon an excellent spice store. The people working there were all professional cooks (and they had the burn marks to prove it). The name is World Spice Merchants -- check 'em out.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wow -- it has been a long time.....

Wow, has it really been 3 weeks since I posted? Well, I have a lot of stuff to post then.

1) Speech Class: I have been really busy with work and a Speech Communications course that I took at the local professional college. Public speaking is something that I used to dread, so I decided to take a 1 month/3 credit course. I have to say, I learned so much. Here is just a sampling:
* There is a "process" to creating effective public communication, use it. I will break it down for you:
a) Decide what you are going to talk about.
- Research what you are going to talk about.
- Decide what you are going to say.
- Repeat until satisfied:
b) Practice what you are going to say
c) Tweak what you are going to say
- Delivery your speech
* You need to rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse.
* What comes out of your mouth is not the only thing that is important in your speech.
* Use the video camera to record what you are doing. How you feel on camera is nothing compared to how you look (which is important). This is true in other things where you can't see yourself, like kettlebells and bowling.

2) Work: I had to give a presentation (to about 25 people) at our trade show in Orlando. Even though I felt non-plussed about it, my boss said that "I can tell you worked hard at it." That made it all worthwhile - to all you bosses out there, if you appreciate the effort that someone puts into a job, let them know. My boss rules.

3) Bowling: As many of you know, I have been more serious about bowling since about mid-January (start of the second half). I have increased my bowling average to 210 and qualified to join the PBA. While I won't make a lot of money doing this and 210 is hardly elite, I look forward to testing my ability against the best on the PBA Regional Tour. Competition and Expectations are the strongest motivators for success.

I put all my Men's League's games in Excel and did some graphs and calculations (yes, I am a dork!). Here are some things that I came up with:
* In my men's league, I averaged 200.6 in the first half and 209.5 in the second half.
* In the second half, my lowest series were (560 and 565), so I averaged 187 even at my worst. Being able to stay around 200 when you are not lined up keeps you in tournaments. Also, since all games count the same, bringing up your bad games is just as important as improving your high games when it comes to improving your average.
* In the last 18 weeks, 16 of those weeks I had a game if 214 or over. That means that I am learning to find something every week.

4) Kettlebells: Over the last two weeks I have really been more focused on work and class - and then I went out of town on vacation. Unfortunately, I could really tell the difference. I was able to create some quick hit workouts that I may use in the future.
* Really Quick: 30L/30R as fast as you can
* Less than 15 minutes: 30L/30R/25L/25R/20L/20R/15L/15R/10L,10R,5L,5R
==> 210 snatches in about 11:15
==> "/" indicates putting the bell down, "," indicates a hand switch

5) American Idol: I am glad David Archuleta did not win. He is just not very versatile. Also, when they do the "variety show" type segments - he stinks! I think that should also be part of the competition and something that the judges critique. Why do it if it doesn't matter.

6) Hell's Kitchen: I can't believe that Matt is still on the show. Here is my argument:
* Did you see what he made on the initial episode, the "exotic tartare." He had raw venison and scallops. Even someone at works at McDonald's knows that venison is very gamey (sp?) and does not work in for raw cooking applications. Also, deer run are fast, cows run much slower. Which meat is going to be more tender and have better marbling (and thus better undercooked?

Now for the scallops, probably the simplist ingredient ever to cook with. It is also delicate, why would you mix it with white chocalate. While Gordon Ramsey's vomiting was over-the-top (which reflects the intelligence level of the average FOX "reality" show viewer), it makes me sick just thinking of it.

* How about when he cut his thumb. He actually cut a dime-sized chunk out of the top of his thumb and may have lost it in the pancetta. If you saw how he was cutting, he had his thumb pointed straight towards the knife, so that the tip of the thumb was under the knife (it should be curled under the palm). This has to be the most aggregious rookie kitchen safety mistake that you could make. For all you kiddies out there, repeat after me and fix it in your mind: Never let any appendage get under the blade of a knife. Also, move the food to the knife, not the other way around.

* In the episode with the Sweet 16 party, he suggested a sushi pizza. Think of two things that you never see in a sushi restuarant: tomato sauce and dough. What a dumb ass!

* When he successfully made a risotto (cooking time: 6 minutes) he thanked his wife, best friend, Gordon, and Chef Scott. I did not know they had an Emmy for "Best Impersonation of a Douchebag".

* In the latest episode, during the relay -- he made a mention of "Mise en Place". Mise en Place is a method of organizing your cooking space to be able to cook things over and over again, which would be completely irrelevant in that kind of relay. Unintelligent name dropping and dorky use of jargon should be punished.

My expected winners have changed:

* Jen is to whiny and immature to win. She is someone that makes everyone around her worse (re: preparation of the Blue Team menu). I replaced here with Corey. I really liked how she handled Matt on the last episode.

* Second place is between Petrozza and Bobby. Bobby is more talented in the kitchen, but Petrozza is more mature. Bobby is not immature, but I believe that Petrozza's experience (Catering Director) is more well-rounded than Bobby's (Executive Chef). Note: Last year's winner, Rock Harper, was an Executive Chef at a very well respected DC restaurant.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today's stuff....

Today's Workout
Box Squat's:
135, 225 x 1 x 2
275 x 6 x 2 (bar was flying)
295 x 6 x 2 (felt strong)

Leg Press: 5,7 x 1 x 10; 9 x 2 x10

Leg Curls: 14 x 1 x 10; 20 x 2 x 10

225,275,325 x 1 x 3; 375, 425 x 1 x 1

KB Front Squats:
2-32kg x 3 x 5

Tactical Lunge:
32kg x 2 x 5

Went to dinner at Mr. T

Friday, May 9, 2008

Random crap....

American Idol:
Is there anyone else who thinks that Jason Gaurini, I mean Jason Castro, sucked really bad. While I give anyone credit who simply stays up there - he sang in only one note. This is shaping up to be the worst ever Idol. If David Archuleta wins, I will be really upset. He is really lame in their variety show acts, and that is my favorite part of American Idol. Syesha is my favorite (and will be a mainstay on Broadway when it is all said and done), but I know she will not win.

Hell's Kitchen:
Matt has to go. What a whiny bitch. After he goes - the other eight have shown they can cook. that is where the real competition begins. Those will also the the 8 that cook in the final. Matt will go first, then.....Roseann. But since the women seem to be so much better cooks than the men, it will not be a men's vs. women's finale. I think the final will be: Jen vs. Petrozza!

Bowled like garbage this week: 219-194-188--601 and 174-156-248--578. At least I made spares and kept a good attitude.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Friday Night Kettlebells.....

I am not as cool as some other bloggers, I did kettlebells Friday Night. Here are some video:

RKC Snatch Test: 24kg 45L/50R:

Fun Ballistics Video:

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bowling, Kettlebells

Let us get some of the day to day stuff out of the way:

Today's workout:
Double Clean&Press:
24 kg x 1 x 1,3,5
32 kg x 5 x 1,3,5
==> These felt pretty good

Single Leg Deadlift: 32kg x 1 x 10; 40kg x 3 x 10 (40kg is not much harder than 32kg)


Snatches: 24kg x 1 x 20,15; 32kg x 1 x 10
High Pulls: 40kg x 6 x 5 (not pretty) -- even got a snatch with each arm for the hell of it.

Bowling: 233-213-253-699
* Did not have first open until 10th frame of second game
* Had front 7 in last game
* Needed three strikes in 10th for 700 series. Left four pin on the last ball (tugged)
* Good to have another big series.

All the renegade rows are giving me a big gut. Gotta lose some weight. Countdown starts now.

Tuesday's Stuff

Today's Workout:
* TGU: 24kg x 12:00 (light stuff, good tonic for the shoulders)
* Renegade Rows: 24kg x 3 x 5; 24kg x 8 x 10 (really learning to bury the shoulders)
* Guard Presses: 3 x 10
(floor presses with shoulder bridge, raise pressing shoulder off of the ground - exellent core strengthener)

221(had pocket 7-10 break w/in 7 strikes)-
176 (started S7- X S7-) -
244 (after 4 spares, got a 6 bagger to save series)-644
==> Average is up to 211
==> Really solid at the line

Random Restuarants Thought:
Chateau Soho (never ate there) became...
Soho Cafe (at there once - not bad, but expensive and they tried to sell me fake scallops) became....
Manny's Bistro
==> Who is Manny, and why does he keep changing the name of his restaurants. The waiter last time said that they were deFrenchifying the menu.

Pita Pit has just opened. There food is good value for the spend, but....
==> Even though they are set up like Subway, they don't get people out of there anywhere near as quickly.
==> Their Pita don't seem like they are packaged in quantity or made fresh.
==> They don't have a lot of parking.
==> It is decent food -- hopefully they stick around. It is a chain, so they can absorb a loss while they figure it out.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bowling, New PRs and some general thoughts....

As many of you know -- my sport is bowling. There are not many bowlers in the Kettlebell community. I have been bowling for about 10 years - while the sport can frustrate me, I can't imagine living w/o it. There are a number of accomplished powerlifters, martial artists, MMA fighters, first responders, military that are RKCs. There are some people that bowl, but not many bowlers.

Over the last three years, my average has been just below the Mendoza line (between 197-199). After two years of using kettlebells, my averages are are now 205 and 210, and lately I have even been blowing those numbers away.

I had a new record series last Wednesday: 237-266-248 -- 751 series (old record - 747). While records in "finesse" sport are not completely attributable to conditioning and training (and rely a lot on some luck), I will say that kettlebells have helped the following attributes of my bowling:

* Rooting -- In bowling, you need to be "solid at the line." In order to be solid, you need to be perfectly rooted on your "balance" side. If you are not balanced, you can't consistently deliver good shots with the same direction, speed, and rotation. With consistent releases, you cannot score consistently. Exercises used: Single leg deadlifts/rows. Most ballistics. Also, to improve foot proprioception, I have taken to bowling w/o socks or with thin socks.
==> My bowling teammate (who averages 220) said that I was "overpowering" a tough lane condition.

* Mobility -- I have had multiple shoulder separations/dislocations. My shoulders have been shot. Kettlebells have given me increased shoulder mobility. In looking at old and new video, my arm angle has increased from about 165 degrees to about 190 degrees. While that may not seem like a lot - strike ball speed has increased from about 15.25-15.5 MPH to 16.5 to 17.2 MPH. Since E(translation) = 1/2mv^2, this is huge energy increase. Exercises: RKC Armbar, Turkish Get Up (TGU), Snatches.

* Hand strength -- It is common knowledge that kettlebells work the grip (both finger and forearms) in a way that tradition weightlifting does not. In bowling, there is not only power that comes from speed, but power that comes from rotation. Stonger forearms let you cup the ball somewhat, giving you leverage to really rotate the ball. Stronger fingers let you really rev up the ball as well. Since E(rotation) = 1/2Iw^2, this added energy is huge in getting optimal pin carry. Exercises: Farmers walks, snatches, high pulls, towel swings.

* General Conditioning -- I will not go into this too much, since you don't need fantastic conditioning to be a bowler. I will say that professional bowlers in general are improving their conditioning and losing weight. Since bowling you are putting near maximal effort repeated over a number of games (typically 3 -9), I would migrate toward HIIT rather than LSD. Exercises: Top of the minutes ballistics, HoC cardio.

Even though kettlebells will help bowlers with their conditioning, you still need to bowl to get better at bowling. In my case:
* GPP: Kettlebells, powerlifting
* SPP: Bowling Practice
==> Also, I have been teaching a couple of beginners to bowl. Why I enjoy seeing them get better (one got his first 200 game), I feel that I learn more by teaching.

Some other kettlebells PR set recently (in the last month):
* 10:00 minute snatch test with the 32kg: 106 (I feel that I have 120 in me)
* 5:00 minute snatch test with the 24kg: 130, I never set the bell down during the five minutes. Set progression: 20/20, 15/15, 10/10, 10/10, 10/10. My friend (and boss) Jamie was doing the TSC and I did this to give Jamie a number to compete against and help determine his strategy. I have been doing a lot of work with hang/dead snatches with the 32kg, and I am convinced that this help me more than snatching the 24kg bell for 5 minutes with every workout.
* C&P: 40kg x 7 reps with left hand
* Snatch: 40kg x 4 reps, I did this surrepticiously after doing some work with high pulls.

I am looking to do some powerlifting (weight about 193, probably would compete at 181). I need to find a contest that will give me enough time to lose the weight (try to get to a "walking around" weight of 185) and enough time to work at improving squat depth.

Till next time.....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

If you need a 20 Minute Workout

If you are limited for time, try the following workout:

* Turkish Get-Ups: 32kg x 10:00
* Tabata Protocol Swings: 32kg x 8 x 14 (:20 swinging/:10 rest)

14 minutes workout time -- you should easily be able to do this and shower in 1/2 hour. The get ups work every muscle in the body. And try to tell me kettlebells aren't cardio after tabata swings after you are sweating profusely, your heart is beating through your chest, and you are gasping for air. Plus, since you are doing less volume, it's easier to keep mass on.

Bowling: Simply put -- "head-up-my-ass bowling"
Early League (sub): 224-181-191 - 596
Late League: 215-195-180 - 590 (missed too many spares and had too many strikes to score this low)
Combined with my 601 on Tuesday, this is inexcusable mediocrity at its best. I hope to bring it together before States.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I am on the Blog highway now. Let me introduce myself!

Just like a lot of other kettlebell comrades have done, I have created a blog space here.

Just so you know a little more about me.

Just some of the topics that I will be posting on:
* Kettlebell workouts
* Debunking fitness myths, misconceptions, and misapplications
* Tampa life
* Personal diatribes
* Bowling