Monthly Archives: May 2012
Cute for sure.
But it does point out why revolvers, specifically snubs, still have a place in our modern “plastic gun” world. I still say that snubs are not beginner guns, but they have a place.
Speaking of which… the KR Training crew had some discussions about BUG training (since most of us carry one, typically a snub), and on July 28, 2012 will be offering our first “Defensive Pistol Skills – BUG” course. If you carry a BUG — and if you don’t, why not? — it’d be a course worth taking.
What’s advocated? 2 day a week, and his suggestion is his “option 1″.
There we go.
Tho Jim’s article is pretty good because it does a good job of addressing needs of folks that travel. I’m thankful I don’t have to and haven’t had to travel much in my career, but whenever I did it was always difficult to deal with exercising. Jim’s got some good principles to follow here.
In doing this I’ve been thinking how to adjust my goals for this year. There’s about 30 weeks left in the year. If this “2 days per week” program works out, that means a new cycle every 3 weeks, 10 cycles left. I figure another reset or maybe even 2 may have to happen before the year is over. So let’s say I might have only 6 true bumps in weight. Where does that put me? Well, for lower body that’d be maybe 60# and upper body maybe 30#.
If that holds true, it won’t put me where I want for Press. I’d like my working weight (the weight I use on my 5/3/1 week, last set) to be 185. With my current reset, that puts me 40# down. It’s possible I could make it. Even if I don’t, as long as I’ve made progress towards it, fine.
Now on bench, my reset weight is 205 (working max 215). So going up to 235 is again not where I wanted to be. I wanted to be at 250. But, at least bench pressing 2 wheels makes me happy.
Squat I could be ok with. I would like to squat (again, on my last 5/3/1 set) 315, or at a minimum breaking 300. This should be attainable, so long as I don’t mess up my back.
Deadlift going to 365 will be quite acceptable. I’d love to break 405, but even without the reset that’d still be a ways off.
But my longer-term goal is breaking the 1000# total (bench, squat, deadlift). And I don’t want to break it in terms of 1RM or other calculated maxes, but actually moving that. Given I don’t do 1RM work, it basically means taking the weights I use on my last 5/3/1 set and totaling them up. I figure a year from now I ought to be able to break that. It’s what I’d like to do.
We’ll see how well my new “busy man” schedule takes me towards those goals.
After students leave a KR Training class, of course we implore them to practice what they learned. The day after class, run through your notes, do some dry practice. This will help with immediate retention of class material. Then continue to run through it in the days after class to maximize retention, even if all you can do is read notes, memorize, and do a little dry work at home. Retention is important.
But once you manage that concrete retention, what do you do to apply those learned principles in your practice?
Claude Werner has a good article about how you should practice after training.
A general outline:
- Gather information
- Recreate incidents
- Prepare a practice plan
- Document your results and plan your next session
You must read the article for the full skinny, but I wanted to touch on a couple of points.
When it comes to drills, it is important to measure your skill. To measure, you must have a way to measure it and then a way to keep track of it. There are numerous ways to do this. You could pick up a book like Steve Anderson’s dry fire book. You could attend some of KR Training’s new Skill Builder courses. You could use the DR Performance Practice Deck for iOS (once the update with Scoring is released… soon, I promise!). Or just look at various handgun drills or handgun standards (3 Seconds or Less is good, or maybe your state’s CHL test). Get a timer. Get a log book. Shoot things that challenge you, and include coverage of skills you’re good at and skills you need work on (that’s more important). Shoot the drills and keep track of your progress so you know where you lie. As Claude wrote:
Test yourself on your baseline and measure your results. By setting a baseline and testing it each time, you get an idea of where you are in your state of training. As your skill progresses, you may find that you want to adjust your baseline, but without a baseline, you have no idea of where you are in your training. Many times people tell me that they’re “good with a pistol,” but when I ask them what that means, I get a vague response like “I can hit the target every time.” If you’re serious about personal defense, that’s not much of an answer.
But a bigger thing to take from Claude’s article isn’t just how to shoot drills, it’s how to apply those drills. Keep an eye on the crime that happens around you. Learn what you can, study it. The more you know, the better you can address the problem. Reading things like your local police blotter can be useful.
Class is a time to acquire new skills and information, but it’s up to you to utilize what you got from class after class is over.
So, how did the first day of the “2 days per week” program go?
- 5 reps – Squat (working max: 260#)
- 2x5x45 (warmup)
- 1x5x170 (work)
- 1x6x225 (ugh)
- Asst. #1 – Chin-ups (supersetted with Squats)
- 6 x 4/3/3/3/3/2 x BW
- WORK – Bench Press (working max: WT#)
- 2x5x45 (warmup)
- 1x5x140 (work)
- Asst. #2 – Back Raises (hands behind head, superset with Bench warmup sets)
- 3 x 15/10/8 x BW
- Asst. #3 – DB Bench Press
- 3 x 10 x 80/90/90
- Asst. #4 – Face Pulls (supersetted with DB bench)
- 3 x 12 x 65
- Foam Rolling
Well… this was interesting.
First, if I don’t superset, this will take a LONG time. So superset it is. In fact, I didn’t intend to superset db press with face pulls, but I looked at the clock and opted to do it. But again, it’s not as much about time at the gym (tho that’s relevant) as it is the impact on my daily/morning/weekly schedule. That’s still to be determined.
I’m upset that I only did 6 reps on the squat, but I know why. I was light headed the entire workout. I’d get under the bar, take my deep breath in, and then my head felt all light and swimmy. Every set of every exercise felt this way. *sigh* So once I got to 6 my head just couldn’t do it… didn’t have the oxygen. That sucks. Heck, on the bench press I did risk not getting the 10×185 but damnit I just did that a few days ago and damned if I wasn’t going to at least meet it… and I barely did, thank you head.
I also didn’t know what some weights would be. On DB Bench I accidentally picked up the wrong weights (2 40′s instead of 2 45′s). I might be able to do 2 50′s, we’ll see. Certainly face pulls need the weight upped. Back raises… oof…. that was tougher than I expected. But when did 4 chins and maintained 3 through most of the rest of the sets, I was pretty happy with that!
I don’t feel as tired and “worked out” after this workout, likely due to the reduced volume. We’ll see how this fares for me over the long term.
I’ve decided to try changing my workout plan.
The main reason? Time. With the new job and new schedule it brings to my life, it seems that it’s not so much duration of workout that’s the issue but frequency. That maybe 2x week instead of 3x might bode better for me. I might as well go ahead and change up now… why wait? If it’s a time issue, time isn’t going to wait for me. But until I actually try this, I won’t know if it will work for me. So… might as well dive in.
Wendler’s 5-3-1 2nd edition book has 2 options for 2-days/week. I’m going with a slightly modified option 1. Slightly modified because I’m going to still try to compact the time a wee bit, plus I have to adjust a few things to work for me. So it will look something like this:
- Day 1
- Squat 5/3/1
- Chins, superset with squats, every set including warmups (6 set)
- Bench Press 5/3/1
- Back Raises, superset with bench warmups 3×15
- DB Bench Press 3×10
- Face Pulls 3×12
- Day 2
- Deadlift 5/3/1
- Press 5/3/1
- DB Rows, 3×10 superset with press warmups
- Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets for up to 10 reps
- Dips 3 sets for ?? reps
- DB Hammer Curls 3×10
So this is mostly the same as his option 1, but here’s variations and why.
Supersetting, in an effort to compress workout time a bit. Note that most are done during warmups. My general approach with warmup has been to put the plates on the bar, do the set, change the plates, do the next set — rest is as long as it takes to change plates. Going to try to keep that here: do the set, do the other exercise, change plates, do the set, do the other exercise, change plates, etc.. One exception is chinups. Wendler says 3×10, but I can’t do 3×10 yet. So I’m going to do as many as I can per set and then a lot of sets. Day 2′s superset is a little odd because I couldn’t see what exercises could be done from his recommended list that wouldn’t affect the main lifts, so I just pushed it out a little bit.
Opted for face pulls instead of rear laterals. Similar functionality, and I’d prefer the compound movement to the isolation. I also noticed no ab work listed, so I ditched good mornings in favor of the hanging leg raises.
No idea how many dips I can do, especially after pressing. Wendler says 3×10-15, and I’ll just do 3xhowever many I can do since honestly I’m not sure I can get 10-15.
He said “curls”. I figure the hammers are sufficient and they work well for me.
So you can see, it’s essentially his “option one” but some variation for my needs. I’m honestly not sure how well it will work for me. Part of me feels like it might not be enough work, given how I’ve been working. But then, that may be part of my issue! Could I have been working too much and this will be better? If it winds up not being right, then there’s always “option 2″ which really cranks up the volume. I can always try that later. Hopefully after 3 weeks on “option 1″ I’ll have an idea, and if it seems to be addressing most needs stick with it at least 3 cycles and see how it goes.
When it comes to geekery, I’m more of the “medieval fantasy” type than the sci-fi type. I played Dungeons & Dragons. I played on lots of MUDs, and I just prefer swords and sorcerers to ray guns and aliens. Sure I like some sci-fi, but given a choice I know what I prefer.
But given that, I’m really weak in my geek cred.
I’ve never read J.R.R. Tolkien.
Well, not entirely true. Some years ago I think it was my older sister that bought a copy of The Hobbit for my kids. I realized the shortcoming in my geek world and did set about reading it a few years ago. I’m ashamed I didn’t read it sooner because it was wonderful. And of course, once I had read it, so many things became clearer in my geek world. Tolkien’s influence is vast.
So of course that means I need to read The Lord of the Rings.
But being the tech geek I am, and that I’m enjoying the new Apple TV well…. I opted to buy all 3 LTotR movies.
Watched “Fellowship of the Ring” last night. Going to watch the other two movies today. So… this is all the blog you get for today.
Really enjoyed “Fellowship”, as did the rest of the family. In fact, Oldest is in process of reading The Hobbit, this is all dovetails nicely. I reckon we’ll buy and read the books down the line, because books are usually always better than the movie adaptations.
Anyways… off to be a geek.
Biggest news is the schedule for the rest of 2012 is up. Classes have been filling up fairly quickly, so my recommendation to you is to sign up as soon as possible.
I’ve been thinking about some more workout changes.
Part of the reason I went on the particular program layout was to try to save myself some time, but I’m finding that I’m not saving that much time. Plus I am feeling a little more beat up. And I’m bothered by my lack of shedding my gut, tho I know that’s just how it goes (and that my diet slacked off).
I’ve been thinking about switching to one of Wendler’s 2-day a week programs. It’s even slower gains, but I think that may give me a little more time overall. Just thinking about the greater work schedule that I’m dealing with, what with the new job and all.
I’m also realizing that a pure paleo-style diet isn’t working for me, or I’m failing at doing it right. My body screams for carbs… I’m just not getting the energy I need. Or maybe I was just hitting that transition zone and failed to tough through it. I’ve been reading about carb cycling and that might be what is right for me. So much of diet it trial and error until you find what works. The fear with carb cycling is what it implies for “family eating”, since Wife and Kiddos won’t be doing such a thing. Hrm.
So… don’t know. Just contemplating things so I can keep progressing but make everything work.
Finally… I am happy with my improved commitment to dry fire practice. One of these days I’m going to have some room in my schedule to try IDPA.
I turned 45 this month. In many professions that’s the prime age to be – and in others it’s considered young – but in my line of work, some people think middle-aged coders are old farts. That’s especially true when it comes to startups.
The startup culture is similar to professional sports in that it requires a fleet of fresh-out-of-college kids to trade their lives and their health for the potential of short-term glory.
“Old farts” are often excluded from that culture, not because we’re lousy coders but because we won’t put up with that shit. We have lives, we have families, we have other things that are important to us. We’re not about to sleep at our desks and trade watching our kids grow up for the promise of striking it rich. Especially when the people who really strike it rich aren’t the ones writing code.
So many developers my age have had plenty of chances to ditch coding and move into management, but we’ve stuck with coding because it’s what we love to do. We’d earn more in management, but writing software is in our blood. We wouldn’t stop doing it for anything.
And because of the years we’ve spent creating software, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, regardless of the language or the platform. Operating systems rise and fall, development tools come and go, but through it all, old farts know how to write solid code.
- Nick Bradbury