2014-08-01 training log

No gym today.

I’m officially starting with Renaissance Periodization. Paid my money for 6 months of diet protocol.

Yeah… 6 months. I reckon I’ve probably got 50# to drop, at least.

Today, day off. Rest up. Work and personal life will be kinda crazy and stressful the next few days, so I figured more rest and reduction/removal of anything stressful that I could (including lifting) would be good.

Next week… Monday I’m going to test squat and deadlift. Wednesday I’ll test bench. And then after that, whenever the RP stuff is ready to go, I’ve done the needed shopping to get started, etc….. well… then I start.

Lifting will be bodybuilder style. I actually may start off with basebuilding, but that may be too much for the diet. Still, I’ll stick with it as long as I can, then transition to bodybuilding style if it’s just too much. The goal is fat loss, and the lifting direction will be to support that.

Here we go!

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Should you carry with a round in the chamber?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

I saw this posted on Facebook somewhere. The answer is “yes”.

Let’s put it another way: why would you NOT want a round in the chamber? For many, it’s because they are afraid. They are new to carrying a gun on their person, and they are afraid of what might happen. That the gun could “go off”. Well, modern handguns only “go off” in news stories and movies. Modern handguns are drop-safe, meaning you can drop them on the hard ground and they won’t go off from the impact. Guns don’t just magically fire; usually when they “go off” it’s because someone violated the rules. If the gun is securely in your holster and you aren’t fingering and fiddling with it, you have nothing to worry about.

So the fear is understandable (I went through it myself), but you must realize there is nothing to worry about, so long as you follow the rules. And a key rule is: holster it and stop fiddling with it.

I’ll put it yet another way. Do you know how fast an attack unfolds? Average gunfight lasts about 3 seconds. And given we’re the good guys, we only get to react thus we are behind the curve from the start. How much time does it take to rack one into the chamber? Maybe just a second, but if if you’ve got 3 seconds total to work with, that’s 1/3 of your time lost and you are that much further behind the curve; and that’s provided you don’t fumble. That’s unacceptable when every fraction of a second matters.

I’ve seen it over the years with some students that come to class with no round in the chamber. We have them perform some simple drills under modest but friendly pressure, and even giving them every advantage we can (e.g. round in the chamber, start from a ready position, fully mentally prepared). They often fail to take care of business within 3 seconds. So how can they be expected under extreme life-threatening pressure with far less advantage and head-start to be able to do what needs to be done? I had one student that actually had some conviction about no round in the chamber and racking on the draw. He held up modestly during class, but as the pressure of class increased, his skills decreased and I watched him fumble and fail numerous times. By the end of class, he was begrudgingly convinced that it was an unwise technique.

Yes, there are examples of people that can perform things like this wicked fast with fancy tricks. Great for YouTube videos, but just not a solid life safety technique.

In the end, I suppose you’re welcome to carry how you want. I would say if you don’t keep one in the chamber out of fear, I would recommend doing whatever it takes to overcome your fear, because when the flag flies, that fear is going to hold you back and slow you down far more than the lack of a round in the chamber (seek more professional training to become more comfortable and competent with your pistol). If you carry this way for other reasons, I would say to put your choice to the test. Take some Force-on-Force classes with Simunitions and try your technique out and see how it holds up under pressure. If you can make it work for you, more power to you. The key is ensuring you can have a technique set that truly works and covers the vast majority of cases. For most, a round in the chamber will serve them better.

2014-07-30 training log

Today was fine. Just a nice bench day.

What’s really on my mind is starting up with Renaissance Periodization. I’ve been in contact, Nick sent me the questionnaires, which I returned. We’re hammering out a few things, then I’ll send my money and get started.

What hit me tho was orginally I wanted to wait until I was done with this Strong-15 cycle, then start. But when I did the math on when that actually would be, that’s so far away and I really don’t want to wait that long. I’m about 98% decided that I may call today “it”. Take Friday off, then next week do my testing — if I make my lifts I do, if I don’t I don’t. Either way, just call it and get on with things. It’s not what I want in terms of my lifting, but it is what I want in terms of the fat loss, which is of growing importance to me.

I’ll document my work there as I go along.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Strong-15 (LRB365)

Phase 3-3, Week 2-3

  • Bench Press – cycle goal: 245
    • bar x 5
    • bar x 5
    • 125 x 5
    • 145 x 4
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 2
    • 200 x 1
    • 210 x 1
    • 220 x 1
    • 195 x 10
  • Incline Press
    • 105 x 10
  • Machine Flye
    • 65 x 20

Aim at something – specific

When aiming a gun, it’s vital to aim at something.

But what should that something be?

When hunting, people talk about the “kill zone”. It varies from animal to animal, but they talk about a general area… a zone… a somewhat large space. Take a look at this feral hog kill zone:

Look at the description: behind the shoulder. While it’s true anywhere in the zone is good, that’s not really how you should aim.

When talking about defensive firearms skills, people often talk about the notion of “center of mass”. I don’t care for that phrase because it’s not accurate enough. The center of mass relative to what? If of the whole body, I guess the center is around the bellybutton. If just the torso, then it’s around the diaphragm. Neither of these are good places to aim for. Consider an article I wrote a few years ago about “ignoring the X-ring” on a B-27 target because it’s not anatomically correct. At the end I suggested a better aim point:

Thus if you’re using a B-27 target, aim at the target where the upper “8″ and “9″ are printed.

But since I wrote that, I’ve stopped offering that suggestion and offered a better one: to aim at the line between the 8 and 9 rings (really, it’s the 9-ring’s outline line). And I point to where to aim.

Why this? I’m trying to give a more specific aim point.

Claude Werner writes:

I tell my students that one element of my plan is that as soon as I meet someone, I pick out the spot on their body that I am going to aim at, should it become necessary to shoot them. Then I describe to each person in the class what the aiming point for them would be. This tends to generate considerable discomfort but makes the point very clear.

Pick out something specific. How about a button on their shirt? Or if it helps you visualize better, you know how a button tends to have 2 or 4 holes in it so you can sew the button to the shirt? Pick one of those holes – a smaller, more specific target. Granted, sometimes getting too small and too specific is tough because you cannot see it. But the intent is to impress in your mind a very specific target to aim at, not just “center of mass” or “the A-zone/-0 zone” or “within the 8-9-X rings”.

Trick shooters like Bob Munden and Tom Knapp knew that the center of a target, the center of a coin, the center of an aspirin — they were all the same size. That whole “aim small, miss small” thing.

Yes, there are trade-offs, yes there are different sorts of sight pictures (see: Brian Enos). But the key take-home here is that somehow, on some level, you do have to aim. And when you aim, aim at something specific.

2014-07-28 training log

Good day.

I wouldn’t call it a +10%, but it was still good. Got a lot more sleep over the weekend. I realized my problem is simple: I’m stressed. This new life of freelancing is causing me a lot of stress. So I fall asleep, I wake up when I do for whatever reason (have to pee, body alarm says so, whatever), but then instead of allowing myself to go back to bed my brain starts running at a million miles an hour because I think about all the things I have to do or that are stressing me out or whatever… and I slowly create a sleep deficit. So this past weekend, I napped a bunch. That helped. I need to allow myself to nap — isn’t that part of why I started freelancing? so I could have more control over my schedule? I just haven’t been allowing myself because the stress work is getting to me and there’s always something that I feel I need to address now. Well… the lack of sleep is causing everything to suffer. So, if that means I only get 6 hours straight but then I take a 1-2 hour nap or a couple 30 minute naps, then whatever so be it. I HAVE to allow myself to recover and manage stress.

In fact it’s funny. At the gym this morning a new issue of Flex magazine was there. I flipped through it between sets. There was an article about recovery, and of course all it did was shill for some supplements — not one word said about SLEEP! I know sleep is key, I just need to, once again, remember to make it a priority. It’s the only way I’m going to manage the stress in my life.

Otherwise, the lifting went well. Squats were a little messy because I was just so focused on powering up out of the hole — I refused to be stapled, I refused to cut the squat short, so my main focus was full body tightness and power…. but so much on the power I sometimes lost the tightness and would find myself falling forward a bit. Oh well.

One thing that got me was the pause squats. 230# will always be a significant number for me because it was the plateau I hit so long ago with my squats and I struggled to get over. And now? I hit 295 for a pretty easy single, and 5 pause squats at 230 and didn’t really have a problem. It’s a constant reminder to me of my progress.

Deads were heavy. Felt good to get over 400 finally, but it’s all getting heavy. Not impossible, but heavy for sure.

Looking forward to finishing this cycle, seeing how things test out, then starting down a new road. Which reminds me… I need to send my questionnaire back to the Renaissance Periodization guys today.

Based upon Paul Carter’s Strong-15 (LRB365)

Phase 3-3, Week 2-3

  • Squats – cycle goal: 325
    • BW x 10
    • BW x 10
    • bar x 5
    • bar x 5
    • 160 x 5
    • 190 x 4
    • 220 x 3
    • 245 x 2
    • 260 x 1
    • 285 x 1
    • 295 x 1
  • Pause Squats
    • 230 x 5
  • Deadlift – cycle goal: 445
    • 225 x 5
    • 265 x 4
    • 315 x 3
    • 355 x 2
    • 375 x 1
    • 390 x 1
    • 415 x 1
  • Deadlift – Back off
    • 355 x 3

The right time, captured

Herra Kuulapaa has spent the past 7 years involved in high speed  ballistics photography.

Here’s a gallery of his work.

Here’s his website to see more.

What’s so awesome is how he’s able to capture the moment. Shooting a gun happens extremely quickly, but there’s an amazing amount of things that happen in that short time. Watching the moment the powder ignites, the bullet leaving the barrel… it’s truly fascinating from a ballistics, scientific, and artistic perspective.

You also get to see a lot of things that you may not have known happens when a gun is fired. For example, if you go to this page and scroll down to “19. July 2013 – 9mm STI”, look at the massive amount of debris that flies out of the muzzle. In fact, you see debris in a lot of pictures, which prompts Herra to repeat over and over:

Safety first: Remember to wear your safety gear always when shooting. Some pictures show clear burning particles flying backwards to shooter!

If you want to see some really fun pictures, go look at the “high power” revolvers. That will make it pretty clear as to why you need to keep your thumbs (and other body parts) away from the cylinder (gaps) when shooting.

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Writing about whatever interests me, and maybe you.

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