Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Maybe I'll write something later. I feel like I should, but I don't really have anything to write about.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"On" Days

Coaching the (loosely formed but rapidly growing) weightlifting team at CrossFit Monterey is the best and worst thing I do all day.

I am going crazy not training. Coaching and watching the team makes me miss it all that much more. When I'm cheering them on, I literally have this explosive energy running through me...I saw a video of me yelling at Nathan while he was going for a new 3RM squat the other day, and I'm stomping the fucking ground as hard as I can, like it's the only way I can exert some force against a Goddamned barbell. Frustrating doesn't cover it.

But then again, you can have "on" days with coaching just as you can with training, and I think I did today. Bailee hit a PR clean (110#) and Shareef hit a PR snatch (175#.) These didn't have a lot to do with my coaching: Bailee C&J'd 100# the other day and it was clear she had more on the clean, so she came in and crushed it. Shareef is a freak of nature, I don't know what to say about him. I don't know who else just shows up and PRs their snatch by 15#.

Nathan, on the other hand, didn't PR, but in one session we 1) found something we needed to fix, 2) found the cue necessary to fix it (in my experience it usually takes 2-3 sessions after finding the problem to determine a cue that works optimally to correct it,) and 3) developed a new ramp-up protocol that I think is going to get him much more consistent at 90%+ weights. I'm pretty sure the only reason he didn't PR today is because he was tired by the time we got there, but he still hit 5# under his PR snatch, and the rep he did at 10# below was probably the best rep I've ever seen out of him.

Overall, I can't complain.

I still want to lift some fucking weight though.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Blueprint

It was a rough couple of days, but I've been listening to HOV all day, and my Swag is on high.

This is what I'm going to be doing as of June 6, whether my knees are better or not.

Snatch to 1-2 misses, drop to 80% of best and work back up
Clean & jerk heavy single, 10-15 reps of volume with 85-90%
Squat 5x5 high bar

Snatch, whatever I feel like
Press/Push Press, 15ish reps of volume
Barbell Rows, for the Yammage

Clean & Jerk heavy single, volume whatever
Front Squat 3x5
Weighted Chins, for the Yokeage

Snatch to max
C&J to max
Squat 3RM, 2RM, or 1RM high bar

I will do GPP as well: plyos on Monday and Thursday (before training, probably in the AM,) sprint intervals/hills on Tuesday and Saturday (after training whenever possible.)

4 days a week, three movements a day, HEAVY FUCKING DUTY EVERY DAMN TIME.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Slept 3 hours last night. Didn't have time to mobilize today. Too tired to ice or write a poem. Got an adjustment. Shutting down now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Middleground? Nah.

One of the most important aspects of training is that it is one of the few things in life where absolutes exist.

In most things you do, there will never be a true black-and-white answer. I've never found anything outside of a barbell where there was a straight up yes or no.

Did you make the lift? Yes or no?

Yesterday one of my athletes, a weightlifter who does no conditioning, agreed to do a Prowler workout. He told me I couldn't make him puke. Silly boy. Less than halfway through, he was ready to give up. He looked at me and said "You win, okay? You beat me."

I got in his face and told him it wasn't about beating him. I told him that whether this was his sport or not, quitting was quitting. If he quit on the Prowler, he would quit when it counted – on the barbell.

He finished what he started.

Afterwards he told me he was mad at himself. At first I thought it was because he expected his conditioning to be better (he was a wrestler and football player in high school.) He told me it wasn't that – he was mad because he almost quit.

He almost quit.

Welcome to black-and-white. Welcome to a complete lack of middleground. Welcome to there-is-no-such-thing-as-almost.

He may have almost quit. But he didn't quit. It's a yes or no question.

He didn't puke, either.

Tattoo Girl

Hey there tattoo girl
Innocence and ink
I like the way you sink
Into my skin
Fill me with color
And sound
The blues and belief
Fire and cool relief
From the bite marks
You left on me
But don't worry
Tattoo girl
I like the way
Your needle stings


Had an adjustment from Dr.Aaron Gaily at Gonstead Family Chiropractic in Monterey. I am highly skeptical of chiropractors in general – Doc Gaily is the real deal. Check him out.

Got a "massage" from People-Mechanic Rob Fontecchio. Rob is the best People-Mechanic there is, but he sucks at "technology," and so doesn't have a "website," so I can't "link" him.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How is it only Tuesday?

Fuck. I am tired.

Rolled TFL, quads, glutes for 3 minutes each, gastrocs for 2 minutes each, back + thoracic extensions for 3 minutes, lats for 2 minutes each. Couch stretch PNF 6 sets, hamstring PNF on box 6 sets, glute grind with distraction 2 minutes per side, Pigeon on 30" high box 2 minutes per side. Stretching my pecs and lats doesn't seem to get anywhere...need to figure that out. Am now icing knees.

No poem today. Too much work to do.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Day 1

When your spirit sings
My ears perk up
Straining to catch
Every note
Of your ringing laughter
A song to remind me
To never settle
For less
Than exactly what
I once believed
What I now know


Why train?

For the last 8 years, training – be it CrossFit, lifting, or martial arts – has been the glue that has held my life together. Depressed? Train. Angry? Train. Stuck in a rut? Train. Heartbroken? Train. Hard training is an atmosphere of potential failure, but those failures were always so much less consequential than failures outside of the gym, and so much more controllable, that they seemed like a break. I wasn't too worried about the last girl to hurt my little feelings when I had a heavy bar on my back, or a nasty hill in front of me.

So, now what? Four weeks without glue. A month without controllable failure to distract me from the potential consequences of serious failures, real life failures. Scared? Shitless. But let's not forget what fear is.

I'm not completely sure I believe that everything happens for a reason. But if it does, I think my body has broken down like this to tell me a few things:

1) I'm young enough to recover from this if I start now. START NOW.

2) It's been a few years since I've been competitive. And the fact is, if you're not a little bit competitive, you're probably never going to realize your full potential. It's pretty Goddamned unlikely that I'm ever going to the Olympics, but if I don't try, then I'm just being a pussy. The fire has been relit. No one is safe. I WANNA BEAT 'EM.

If this time off doesn't work...well shit, I don't know. I'm okay with hurting all the time, but only if it's the "I'm training like a mother fucker to be the Goddamned best at something" kind of hurt. Not the "I'm an old man" kind of hurt. So keep your damn fingers crossed, will ya?


Underestimated how much time I'd need to get through everything. I rolled everything but my pecs – I remembered today why I don't do it often...it's because I get nothing out of it. Will have to figure something out here. PNFed hip flexors/quads, hamstrings, and did elevated Pigeon stretch for 2:00 per side. I will ensure that I give myself more time tomorrow.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Oh look, a poem.

There are nights
When my heart howls
And my soul catches fire
Licked by flames
The sun left behind
And nothing can quiet me
Save water offered from palms
Cupped to form half a world
And I, with half a sky
On my shoulders
Take a drink
And wait


Putting out fires.

Alright, it's time to admit it: my body fucking hurts.

Every time I press my left shoulder flares up, and it's gotten to the point where I can't really mobilize it properly because it causes weird pain throughout the lateral shoulder capsule. If I try to squat, Olympic lift, push press, or walk up fucking stairs my knees scream. Sometimes they hurt like hell when I get out of my car. My back aches every morning when I wake up.

I'm twenty-two. Somethings not right.

I've tried a lot of different things in a lot of different combinations. Mobility has been a constant. I've tried icing, resting, doing only certain movement variations, etc...all of them work, to a point, but nothing seems permanent. I think it's time to do something that really, really scares me. Something I haven't done in a long time.

I'm going to rest. Completely. For a month.

Until June 6th 2011, I am not going to train.

I am terrified. I'm scared of losing all my strength. I'm scared of getting fat. I'm scared of not doing the thing which has been the glue holding my life together for the past 8 years. But I'm going to do it. At the time which I would normally train, this is what will be going down.

Myofascial Release

1. Tensor Fasciae Latae, 2-3 minutes per side
2. Quads, 2-3 minutes per side
3. Glute/high hamstrings, 2-3 minutes per side
4. Gastrocs, 2-3 minutes per side
5. Spinal erectors/rhomboids/all that other stuff in there/thoracic extensions, 3 minutes
6. Lats, 2 minutes per side
7. Pecs, 2 minutes per side


1. Hip flexor PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
2. Hamstring PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
3. Glute grind with distraction, 2-3 minutes per side
4. Elevated Pigeon stretch 2-3 minutes per side
5. Overhead lat stretch PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch
6. Pitcher stretch PNF, 6 sets per side of 5 second contraction/10 second stretch

Mobility WOD

2 per day, one upper body, one lower body



If this doesn't work, then I don't know what comes next. Sometime in this month I'm going to try and get a PT appointment with Kelly up at San Francisco CrossFit. It's worth my time and money.

Oh, and since I won't be able to use training as an outlet: I'm going to write. A lot. About training, about life. I'll even write poetry.

Yeah, I fucking write poetry. I'm pretty good at it sometimes. Big deal, wanna fight about it?

Look, it's late. Here's a poem I wrote a while back. Goodnight.

I believed in answers
Now even questions elude me
And you have nothing to say
Words slip through my lips
Like water through clenched fists
Tight as I may grip
They're gone
And there is nothing you or I can do to save them
So I bare my bones to the fire
Having long since learned
That the heat may burn me
But it will never return me
To the ashes from whence we came
I am no phoenix
To be reborn in glory
I am it's shadow
To be forgotten in the brightness
Of my own blinding light

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Hoping and Knowing.

You have two choices: you can hope, or you can know. I knew the weight was going up, and I wasn't letting the universe tell me otherwise.Bold

In the wise words of Ben Claridad: Boom.


Obviously I pressed 225x1.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Things worth spending money on.

Some things are worth spending money on. Like these Rehband sleeves. SERIOUSLY, they are, to quote my friend, "amazeballs." I got mine today and trained in them for the first time. It was like training with a tube of magic and awesomeness around my thigh.

Another thing worth spending money on is "The Texas Method E-Book," by my good friend Justin Lascek of 70's Big (a website you should be reading if you're not already.) Justin does a great job of detailing proper variation of volume and intensity for optimal strength programming, and the reader will gain (I think more importantly) the ability to think more clearly and organically about programming. Buy it, for serious.


Snatch - worked up to some singles with 145

Power clean & jerk - worked up to singles with 185

YES: these weights are ludicrously light. But it was as far as I was willing to go with the knee. I experienced some residual pain (I think from the jerk more than the snatch,) but it was fairly minor. I can't complain too much...things might be getting better. Now icing like hell and about to eat a lot of steak and cauliflower.

Lastly: this.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011


I have the words "No Guts, No Glory" tattooed on my right forearm. Cheesy, I know. But cliches are only cliche because they're so often true.

I've lived with fear forever. I'm not unique. To a large degree, fear is a deciding factor in most of our lives. And like with most things, I think a lot of things about fear are misunderstood.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear." –Ambrose Redmoon

For a long time I have talked about facing fears down, but I recently realized something important. It's not about looking fear in the eye and beating it down. What you need to do is take fear by the hand, and embrace it as an indicator of value. Understand this: if you're not scared, it's probably not important. Ask yourself this: if I'm not scared of this, is it worth my time and effort?

If you're not a little bit scared to train, are you training hard enough? If you're not a little bit scared to compete, do you care enough? If you're not a little bit scared of how much you love someone, do you really love them as much as you think?

Are you scared?


Tuesday, May 03, 2011


My friend Ben recently put up a post in which he talked about lifting with Swag. Swag is important in lifting and in life, so I want to talk about it.

First of all, what is Swag? I define Swag as being both very confident and very positive. You've got to be aware and proud of your capabilities, without being a dick about it, and also be supportive and encouraging of those around you, whether they are Olympians or noobs.

Example of Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: Thanks Brofessor! You're looking pretty swole yourself today.
Bro 1: Thanks Bro Pecci! It's awesome catchin' a pump with you!

Confident, positive, encouraging. Swagadocious.

Example of NOT Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: Yeah, I know. I'm the fucking shit and everyone should know it.

Arrogant does not = confident, and there is no positivity from Bro 1 towards Bro 2. No Swag going on here.

Another example of NOT Swag:

Bro 1: Sweet lift, Bromosabe.
Bro 2: No it wasn't, I suck at lifting and life. I should be executed by firing squad.

In this scenario, Bro 2 is either fishing for compliments or refusing to be confident. And when you're not confident about yourself, no one takes you seriously when you're confident about them. Definitely a Swagless situation.


Bench Press

This was EZPZ. Bench is definitely my weakest lift though. A bit strange since press is probably my strongest lift. I bench with a fairly narrow grip.

Weighted Chins

Think I had an extra rep there, gave up on it mentally.

Weighted Dips

A little harder than expected, I haven't done these in a while.

Overall, caught a sweet pump.

Monday, May 02, 2011


I'm angry and I like it.

Today I failed my last deadlift set, 475x2. I missed the lockout on the second rep by about 2 inches. And I got mad. I was muttering under my breath. I wanted to kick the bar. I wanted to stomp back like a pissed off pitbull and rip that mother fucker off the ground for THREE, right then and there.

I haven't got angry about missing a lift like that in a long time. The fire is coming back. I got through my workout way faster than normal today. I had trouble making myself rest as much as I needed to between sets, to the point where I actually had to use my watch to make sure I took enough time.

I was also smart. A few years ago, when I got angry like this, I would have attempted the set again and again and again until I couldn't even make the single, or I got hurt. Today that didn't even occur to me. I just thought about what I could do next week to make sure I get it (incidentally, I will soon write a post about how to make small changes in programming to lengthen the success of a progression.)

But I'm mad about that miss, and I like it.


475x1, missed 2nd rep at very end of lockout

Barbell Rows (strict)

Overhead Weighted Situps

Between sets of situps, I spent one minute in my Paleo Chair.