2014-09-01 training log

Not quite sure what to make of today.

Overall it was an alright session. But I feel like I’m stuck. Is the protocol not working (e.g. I need to switch to model 2?)? Is it because of the diet and I’m just not progressing? Or maybe because I did push much harder during the initial sets that I just didn’t have it left in the tank towards the end? Hard to say right now. But today was what it was.

I know during my bench sets I was pushing faster, more explosively than I had before. So I know that took something more out of me. And when I did the BHP’s, I decided to increase the weight when I was planning this session but looking back I should have backed off on the weight given how the benching went. I did that on the curls and it was about the same tho as last week so… that’s why I wonder was it actually my work? or am I perhaps treading because of the diet? It’s just going to take some time to determine.

Speaking of diet. I hit my first plateau. I’ve been losing at a rate of about 1 lb. every 3-4 days, and I didn’t change weight between this past Thursday to Sunday, so Nick @ RP made a small adjustment that drops me down by about 500 calories a day, which is about right. Basically dropping my fat intake on my off days. All makes sense, and I expect I should be back on the losing train.

I’m having good days and bad days on the diet. Basically it’s a willpower issue. But again, the way the RP diet is set it’s helpful. I mean, the ability to have fruit is a godsend. And with no micro-management of things like artificial sweeteners, yeah, I’ll have a Diet Hansens soda now and again. Some artificial sweeteners give me a headache (tried a couple Coke Zero’s back at the old day job and it never ended well), but the Diet Hansen’s are working well for me. It’s still an adjustment to not eating “a lot” of food, due in part to eating more frequently (thus you need smaller meals) but the lack of carb sources on the off-days also cuts down on the fullness feeling. Sometimes the food is getting boring too, but I’m looking for more ways to help with that.

Granted, this is a hell of a first-world problem. Still, relative to me it’s different and a challenge.

And while I got really down on it this past weekend, I spent some extra time looking at myself in the mirror at the gym today. I saw my shirt bulging where it shouldn’t bulge, and that I pissed me off. But I also saw such potential, like while curling I’ve got these pumped up pecs and delts and tris and bis, and holding dumbbells at your side, it really makes the arms and shoulders stand out. I can envision how awesome things will look — I just have to keep carving away the fat.

So… motivation. Determination. Just a matter of sticking to it.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

  • Bench Press (model 1)
    • bar x 5
    • bar x 5
    • 115 x 5
    • 130 x 4
    • 155 x 3
    • 170 x 2
    • 190 x 1
    • 170 x 8
    • 170 x 8
    • 170 x 8
    • 170 x 7
    • 170 x 5
  • Machine Flies
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
  • Behind the Neck Press
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 10
    • 85 x 9
  • Hammer Curls
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
    • 25e x 10
About these ads

How to fix the M&P auto-forward problem

How to fix the Smith & Wesson M&P pistol’s auto-forward problem.

Buy a Glock. :-)

I’m half joking, but also half serious.

I love my M&P9. I’ve also got a 9c and a Shield. I really do like them. There’s a lot about the ergonomics, overall capabilities, etc. that are just great. I’m generally quite happy with things. Yes, I had some problems with the 9’s accuracy when I first got it, which was fixed by replacing with a KKM barrel (seems many M&P’s had this problem). And interestingly, my 9c shoots better than my 9.

But the one thing that continues to stick in my craw is the auto-forward behavior, where seating the magazine — sometimes — causes the slide to go forward. I could see this as a feature — if it was reliable — but it’s not. It doesn’t always go forward. And I’ve had a few times when it did go forward but yet it didn’t chamber a new round. To me, that’s not a feature — that’s a bug. And IMHO it’s a bad one. The solution tho is simple: always rack the gun anyways. But now you lose a round on the deck, or you don’t. Maybe not always a problem, but it can add up in classes or shooting particular drills that need a particular setup. Some people suggest that you just watch what happens and react: if it forwards, go; if it doesn’t, rack it. But that doesn’t help the failure to chamber problem. It also has another side-effect… which I just experienced.

I went to the gun range with my friend foo.c. See, I’ve been discussing with some people about switching to a Glock 19 and being done with it. So foo.c brought his 19 out for me to use for a bit. What was most telling? The first time I seated the magazine. Of course, the Glock doesn’t have this auto-forward problem, but yet I acted as if I was addressing it: I was reserved in how I seated the magazine, and I was pausing to diagnose what was going to happen — bracing myself for what may or may not happen. When you’re in a situation where the problem is fully removed, then the compensations you make for that situation suddenly become glaringly obvious. I didn’t realize I was doing what I was doing. It bothers me. I should just slam the damn magazine home and get to business, but the nature of the beast: if it forward or not, if it chambers or not… geez, that’s causing some behaviors that are not good.

Could I overcome them? Sure, I could attempt to train around them, but again consider the side-effects it creates — that other guns do not.

So all things come back to… gee… is it time for me to dump my M&P and just get a Glock and be done with it?

All these years of not being a Glock fanboy, of jibing and jabbing my Glock-using friends. And now am I going to drink the Kool-Aid? Probably not that, but I’m certainly at a point where I care less about the gun and care more about myself. Glock: it works, it’s reliable, it’s got the track-record, it’s not sexy, it’s not frilly, but it gets the job done.

I’ve also said it before and I’ll say it again: the form factor of the 19 is tough to beat. Everyone makes “17-sized” and “26-sized”, but no one else makes a 19-size. I don’t know why, but it’s just such a perfect form factor.

So yeah… not switching yet. But I am thinking more and more about it.

2014-08-29 training log

Sleep — the magic elixir.

Been getting more sleep the past few days: going to bed earlier, staying in bed a little later, and forcing myself to take at least 1 short nap during the day. Still could use more sleep, but feeling MUCH better. I know all of this, I think my biggest issue is giving myself permission to take mid-day naps.

And so today went well. No complaints.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

  • BB Rows
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
    • 140 x 8
  • Wide, Neutral-grip Lat Pulldowns
    • 125 x 8
    • 125 x 8
    • 125 x 8
    • 125 x 8
  • Barbell Shrugs
    • 140 x 20
    • 140 x 20
    • 140 x 20
    • 140 x 20
    • 140 x 20
  • Hyperextensions
    • 10 x 10
    • 10 x 10
    • 10 x 10
    • 10 x 10
  • Mundane Movements: Parking Lots, Part 1: Positioning and Movement INTO the Store

    hsoi:

    Some solid advice and tips for staying safe in parking lots. Very important since parking lots (getting into and out of cars, the store, etc.) are the most common places and times for being mugged.

    Originally posted on Growing Up Guns:

    This post is universally applicable to the person who wants to decrease a criminal’s ability to close space and gain positional dominance via maneuver and avenues of approach, while simultaneously increasing their own ability to maintain reactionary space, preserve positional dominance and set them self up for an uneventful departure after the shopping is done. 

    The goal is to make predatory movements more obvious. We are looking for odd behaviors from unknown contacts. For instance, someone rapidly changing direction when you do, stopping when you do, or anything else that makes your spider sense tingle. The better we can observe and control our positioning in the public space, the more obvious a predatory movement will appear.

    ‘Nowhere’ isn’t the name of a bad part of town where all the crooks live, it’s where people come from when we lose our situational awareness and are task fixated by the myriad distractions…

    View original 998 more words

    In personal defense, physical fitness matters – Follow-up

    Greg Ellifritz posted on Facebook, coincidentally, the same day I originally wrote about how, in personal defense, physical fitness matters. Greg was sharing an article from Aaron Cowan on the very topic of the importance of physical fitness in personal defense. It’s very much in line with my prior writings on the topic.

    In Greg’s Facebook share, my boss-man, Karl Rehn commented:

    and examples of armed citizens who lost their fights due to poor physical condition are where, exactly? I’m not saying that getting in shape is a bad idea. Better physical condition has a lot of advantages. But as with a lot of things that we are told “will get us killed on the street”, examples of it actually happening are difficult, if not impossible, to find.

    Karl is correct. But I take odds with his stance. Is the lack of examples because we’ve collected data and evidence shows fitness doesn’t matter? or because there’s no data at all? I believe it’s the latter. Use of a gun? that gets put on the police report. But “subject is able to run a 10 minute mile and bench press 200 lbs.” or “subject is an out of shape fat-ass” isn’t on the police report checklist. I assert lack of examples is because there isn’t formal data collection on the topic.

    I’ll agree with Karl that we cannot presently prove that “being fat and out of shape will get you killed on the street”. But that’s not what I’m saying.  I’m saying that the stronger you are, the more “fit” you are, the better chances and more options you have available (and Karl does agree there). Plus, there’s a confidence and mindset factor that cannot be discounted.

    Look at the Force Science articles I previously referenced. Is that not some scientific examination of how physical fitness can matter?

    How about that store clerk in Houston who, earlier this month, used his semi-pro MMA skills to stop his store from being robbed? Granted his MMA skills contributed, but his physical fitness mattered a great deal as well because, as far as fights go, that was a long fight. Anyone can throw punches for a few intense seconds, but to keep throwing intense punches in a lengthy fight takes a good degree of fitness.

    Or let’s bring it back home and look at how many students in our classes struggle because they cannot grip the gun hard enough to adequately manage recoil? Or get tired after an hour of holding a 5 lbs. gun at arms length. Or cannot handle the level of effort to get through a 3-4 hour class, especially in the Texas summer heat?

    To me, it all comes back to a question I keep asking and no one has yet answered:

    Name me one place – especially in this context of personal safety – where being weak is an advantage.

    Granted, Greg, Aaron, myself, we’re biased because we all lift weights and are personally invested in improving our own physical fitness. We see the advantages. Heck, I see how getting fatter has hurt me in this realm, and am presently dedicated to getting off this fat-wagon. Yeah, maybe there’s no demonstrable proof that being fit and strong “will get you killed”. But to me, it’s more that being fit and strong is rarely going to be a disadvantage, and will do a lot to give you an edge. We always emphasize how you should take and make every advantage possible to maximize your ability to survive and win.

    Again, I’ll leave you with something Mark Rippetoe said:

    Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.

     

    2014-08-27 training log

    Just because I’m basing my program around Paul Carter’s methodologies doesn’t mean it’s the only thing involved. I reserve the right to incorporate useful things from other areas… like Jim Wendler’s notion of “Jack Shit”. :-)

    Today was one of those days.

    I’ve been very stressed the past few days, and sleep’s been lacking too — bad combination. Yesterday was drag-ass out of bed earlier than usual and I did not want to, which is a strong sign of needing more sleep. Went to bed early last night, woke up later than usual this morning (another clue), and could have slept more if I hadn’t felt the obligation to keep my schedule somewhat intact for the day. But all signs pointing to: you’re overworked, get more rest.

    And it was evident during the session. Squats didn’t feel heavy, just sluggish. Certainly felt like a step backwards from last week.

    So I squatted, then called it. Deadlifts will take a lot out of me, and why do that if I’m already this beat-up and exhausted? I need the rest, and I don’t need to add to my stress/break-down; body needs to heal up.

    Speaking of healing up, my Thera Cane arrived yesterday. Oh man… why did I wait so long to get one of these? I immediately went to work on my neck and upper trapezius and within minutes I found myself noticably looser with a better range of motion in my neck. Yes, things were that bad, but hitting all those trigger points and tight spots made an instant difference. I felt myself able to self-manipuate (i.e. “crack”) some of those upper thoracic vertebrae that I rarely can get and the relief was terrific. The ability to direct pressure exactly where you need it, angle you need it, and get the leverage needed to get in there… man, this is a great tool.

    Based upon Paul Carter’s Basebuilding

    • Squats (model 1)
      • bar x 5
      • bar x 5
      • 145 x 5
      • 170 x 4
      • 200 x 3
      • 220 x 2
      • 250 x 1
      • 175 x 5
      • 175 x 5
      • 175 x 5
      • 175 x 5
      • 175 x 5
    About these ads

    Writing about whatever interests me, and maybe you.

    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 802 other followers

    %d bloggers like this: