Worst Possible Case and 100 percent Standards

tacticalprofessor

#Fridayfundamentals

Last night, I had an interesting conversation with John Daub of KR Training about the new NRA CCW Course. KR Training is one of, if not the, premier provider of firearms training in Texas, so his thoughts about the CCW Instructor Course he and Karl recently completed were something I wanted to hear. One of the most interesting items of the conversation was that the NRA has adopted a 100 percent hit standard for the NRA’s Qualification Course, if instructors choose to use the NRA’s Qual Course.

I’ve been a big believer in 100 percent standards for a long time. The importance of an exacting standard was emphasized by a recent Incident where a woman in Oroville, California shot and paralyzed her husband as a result of taking a Hostage Rescue shot on a home invader. Although she killed the home invader when she “emptied the clip” at…

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Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II)

tacticalprofessor

dumpster fire

There even more lessons we can take away from the Duel at the Dumpster, which we probably could also call the Dumbster Fire. Perhaps the most important lesson of them all relates to the human dynamics of confrontations.

You’re always on video

We have to assume we’re always going to be on video. This is especially true when there are other parties nearby, whether they’re Seconds or just bystanders.

Here is a reasonably good transcript of the first minute of the confrontation.

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The importance of being seen

Which is more important?

To see? Or to be seen?

I’m not talking about social media or the party scene… I’m talking about walking around, especially in the dark.

I drive to the gym in the early morning. It’s dark, and by definition difficult to see well.

But I do see a good number of people walking. It appears they are walking to work, or to the bus stop to get to work. They make a lot of assumptions about those early morning hours, such as “no one is around”. So they cross the road whenever they feel like it, instead of at well-lit intersections and crosswalks. They walk with the flow of traffic (instead of facing it). They wear dark clothing. On this last part, I can’t always blame them: some are wearing the required uniforms so they have little choice, or you just try to have some variety in your clothing so sometimes it’s going to be dark.

And it makes it difficult for them to be seen.

I also see a lot of drivers making the same assumption that “no one is around”. There’s a strong disregard for stop lights/signs. With fewer cars on the road, they’ll go faster. They don’t expect people are walking around, in the road. They drive as if they are the only ones on the road.

Can you see how this is a recipe for disaster?

My gym is in an industrial area, so as I get close to the gym I sometimes encounter folks walking to their construction job and they are wearing reflective vests. I love those people, because the area is poorly lit and now I can strongly see you. That’s good for both of us.

What gets me tho is how in all this time I’ve seen only once or twice someone using a flashlight. Everyone seems content walking in the dark. It’s not even an issue of boogeymen, but simply being able to see what one is about to step into. Recently we’ve had a lot of rain in Austin, so there’s mud, puddles of unknown depth, debris – the other morning I saw a woman walking over grass and nearly wipe out from what I assume was a muddy spot she didn’t see.

Flashlights are wonderful things! You can use them to see what’s around you, what you’re walking into. You can also use them to help others see you! When you cross the street, turn the light on. If you don’t need to shine it forward to see, shine it downwards  – that light-spot on the street will catch eyes and help you to be seen.

And a flashlight is better than those little lights or reflectors. The little lights are often too small, get obscured easily, and just don’t have enough power to cut through the darkness to be seen at a distance. Reflectors simply reflect: they don’t help you see (but they are better than nothing).

Get a good flashlight, with as many lumens as you can afford. I love SureFire flashlights, but there’s a lot of good inexpensive LED-based flashlights out there (Fenix comes to mind). After you get the flashlight, carry it and use it.

Yes, pedestrian safety can be improved by having drivers be more aware. But it’s only part of the equation, and one you cannot control. Take responsibility for your own safety – don’t put it in the hands of others. If you’re walking in the dark, have a good flashlight and use it. It helps you see, and to be seen.

 

2018-07-19 training log

Set a rep PR. Haven’t done that in a bit.

I usually like to look at my history and from that determine what I should hit for a PR set. But today? Didn’t care. Just keep pulling and it’ll be what it’ll be. So learning I hit a rep PR was pretty cool.

I really am liking Jokers. No lie – the thought did mess with my head, but doing them now? I think they are pretty awesome. But yes, you have to program them correctly. They are tough, but do-able. How much positive effect will they have on my progresss? I don’t know. Physically hard to say. Mentally? Huge.

Belt squats continue to be an experiment. I do like them, but I’m still trying to find what’s right. Today instead of keeping my feet rather forward (and leaning back into the belt) I worked to put my feet more under me. Only so much can be done due to the mechanics of the machine, but did what I could. I actually like this better and think it can be more fruitful for me, but I also noticed I started with my toes forward and as the reps progressed my toes angled out. I am trying to lift my toes so the work is all pushed through my heels, and things must just be slowly migrating — I want to keep that in check. I just have to keep my eye on it.

Everything else is just assistance work and rolls along fine.

5/3/1 (3rd cycle, anchor, 3/5/1, PR, Jokers, FSL; modified for knee rehab)

  • Deadlift
    • 180 x 5
    • 220 x 5
    • 265 x 3
    • 310 x 3
    • 355 x 3
    • 400 x 7 (rep PR)
    • 420 x 2 (Joker)
    • 440 x 1 (Joker)
  • Band Pullaparts (superset with deadlift warmups and work)
    • Not tracked
  • Belt Squats
    • 100 x 12
    • 100 x 12
    • 100 x 12
  • Seated Leg Curls
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 12
  • Upright rows
    • 115 x 12
    • 115 x 12
    • 115 x 12
  • Stair Calves
    • 70 x 15
    • 70 x 15
    • 70 x 12

2018-06-14 training log

Man, it felt good to put 4 plates on the bar. I remember the first time I deadlifted 405# and how happy I was to hit that milestone. And today to be repping 405 as just part of a first cycle (i.e. “light”) is just a reminder to me that progress comes, it may just not come on your desired timeline. But consistency is what gets you there – eventually. 🙂

But I only did my work sets today: did not do the BBB sets. I’ve got my knee MRI tomorrow and I didn’t feel like pushing it. Furthermore, this whole “get on the spin bike” thing is kinda interesting to me. I noticed yesterday while just walking around that my knees didn’t feel so bad. I could bodyweight squat down (cold) without much problem. Going down the stairs didn’t feel as bad. I really do NOT know yet if things are just this way or if in fact the spin bike work is having a positive impact — but I’m intrigued.

So I just did the work sets, the assistance work, and then spent about 12 minutes on the spin bike. Again, I’m slowly working myself up to 20-30 minutes.

5/3/1 (Based on: Forever, BBB, 5’s PRO

  • Deadlift
    • 170 x 5
    • 215 x 5
    • 255 x 3
    • 320 x 5
    • 365 x 5
    • 405 x 5
  • Band Pullaparts (superset with deadlift warmups and work)
    • Not tracked
  • Upright rows
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 12
    • 105 x 10
    • 105 x 9
  • Seated Leg Curls
    • 120 x 12
    • 120 x 10
    • 120 x 9
  • Stair Calves
    • 70 x 13
    • 70 x 13
    • 70 x 12

2018-04-03 training log

Today begins a deload week.

I have my next cycle set and ready to go. I’m very curious how it will fare. But for now, it’s just light deload time. Nothing really to report here, because deload. Heck, I spent more time driving to and from the gym than in the gym. 🙂

RP Powerlifting, Strength Cycle, week 5

  • Squat (low bar)
    • bar x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 190 x 6
    • 190 x 6
  • Front Squat
    • 110 x 6
    • 110 x 6
  • Competition Deadlift
    • 135 x 3
    • 185 x 3
    • 185 x 3
  • Stair Calves
    • 45 x 8
    • 45 x 8
  • Reaching Situps
    • bw x 8
    • bw x 8

2018-04-26 training log

Today was pretty cool. Deadlifts felt great. I really prefer this 5-step setup as it’s really helping me pull better.

I went double-overhead to start, which maybe I shouldn’t have done. I knew I was in the gray area of grip here, but I always prefer to go double-over if I can because that will build grip better. Well, first work set and on rep 5 I felt grip starting to go so I stopped. I certainly had more reps in me too. Sigh. On the 3rd work set I went ahead to mixed grip, which was fine. Really, I’m not unhappy with how things went, just that I know I could have done a little more if not for grip. But that’s all good, since it’s been ages since I’ve conventional deadlifted and really didn’t know where things would be — but now I do.

The back raises were funny because I was thinking about dumping them for good mornings, but I think I’ll keep them. Adding more weight and making sure to perform the movement as a “hip thrust” instead of a back raise makes a HUGE difference. While holding a 14 kg kettlebell under my chin wasn’t a huge amount of extra weight, that coupled with making the muscles work (vs. a big movement) does make a big difference — and yes, it all trashes my back pretty good. So I think I’m going to stick with hypers into the next cycle, just keep upping the weight.

By the time I got to pauses my lower back and glutes were on fire, so I wasn’t sure how they would go. But again, they came out pretty well. I stopped at 5 reps per set because of my knees, but I could have done more. Just happy and fine to be conservative here. No harm in that, better for the long term.

Calves and abs are just continuing to remind me that while I may not care to work them, just a few sets each time continues to be a good thing for me.

Anyways, very happy with today.

RP Powerlifting, Strength Cycle, week 4

  • Competition Deadlift
    • 135 x 5
    • 225 x 5
    • 315 x 3
    • 365 x 1
    • 380 x 5
    • 380 x 5
    • 380 x 5
    • 380 x 5
  • 45º Back Raise
    • 30 x 10
    • 30 x 10
    • 30 x 10
  • Pause Squat
    • bar x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 235 x 5
    • 235 x 5
    • 235 x 5
  • Stair Calves
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
    • 65 x 12
  • Slant Board Situps
    • 20 x 12
    • 20 x 12
    • 20 x 9

Lies of Gurus

John makes an excellent point about “sport” vs. “reality”.

Firearm User Network

What happens when a skilled competitor used to achieving measurable results in organized competition is held up against widely-accepted tactical gurus that aren’t normally tested?

Kiai Master (black karategi with red belt) offers a 5,000 dollar challenge that he can beat any MMA competitor.

MMA competitor Xu Xiaodong (black shirt and shorts) demonstrates his competition approach a "thunder style" martial arts master.

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/world/asia/mma-martial-arts-china-tai-chi.html?referer=android-app://m.facebook.com

Interesting, Xu Xiaodong (the MMA competitor in the second video decisively winning this challenge against the “thunder style” martial arts master) has been lambasted for his victory because it “violates the morals of martial arts.”

Based on observing and participating in the range activity of tens of thousands of military personnel and comparing that to the range activity (training and competition) of competition shooters over the decades, there are direct parallels.

What the gamer does is not real, even though he actually does it.
What the tactician…

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Sunday Metal – Spread Eagle

Spread Eagle – “Back on the Bitch”

An interesting band. They came about in 1990, the tail end of “80’s hair metal”, but these guys were much harder than Poison and Warrant. Just listen to the production on this song: it’s heavy.

While some songs were cheesy (like “Hot Sex”), they had some really good stuff like “Thru These Eyes”:

I recall when I worked in radio, being at a convention. Spread Eagle was playing nearby and I asked the rep from MCA about attending. They were surprised I wanted to attend. Told me right there the band was going to go no where because it looked like the record company wasn’t behind them. Alas, such is the business.

2017-01-05 training log

Today was good!

First and foremost, benching with almost no arm pain is a win. 🙂 There was a little ache in my right biceps at the elbow, but that was there before the session and the session didn’t seem to change it. I think all those body work sessions with Howard really paid off. Plus taking all of last week off, stretching, etc..

That said, working up to 210 actually felt heavy. If I was going for rep PRs I’m sure I still would have hit my 10-rep threshold just fine, but again it FELT heavy. Why? don’t know. Could be that on the cutting diet here yesterday was an off day and I didn’t have much for carbs. Could be benching later in the week now I’m not as fresh. Could just be a random thing. Dunno. But worth noting.

The AMRAP set tho, again I went for 60% and hit 15 reps easily. So I am thinking I MIGHT try changing the AMRAP set to a true first-set-last. But I don’t know — feels like then on 1+ weeks I’d risk only getting 5-8 reps and I’d rather be sure to hit up to 15 reps because volume. But we’ll see. I’ll play around because nothing says I can’t try first-set-last and if it’s not enough reps I go back to straight-weight.

Assistance work is of course what it is. I continue to focus on getting a “3-0-1-0”-ish tempo. I say “ish” because I found if I really want to get that tempo I focus too much on counting and not on what’s important. So I’m more trying to just ensure the concentric is “fast and explosive” yet still the muscle moving the weight (no heaving, no momentum, etc.). Then make sure the eccentric is slower than the concentric was. One thing that came out of today is I may need to actually have a 1-second or so pause at the top/peak. Not because I want that squeeze or anything (tho I’ll take that), but more to stop momentum. As I was doing the lat pulldowns, I found that I’d lose about 1/2 the eccentric to just slowing down the momentum — not really what I want. So if I pulled down, held for a second, then all that energy was lost and the eccentric became nice and slow all the way down.

Still, today kept things “light” to help me find the placement for things and where to work, because again that slower tempo works things harder. 🙂

On the 100 rep work, I’m following that version of “100-rep protocol” where you start with about 40-70 reps, then rep as much as you can. When you hit failure, rest for as many seconds as you have reps remaining (to 100). Then keep going, get more, rest as much as there is left, etc.. I didn’t keep track of where things stopped — not really important. I’ll know over time if it’s time to move up (e.g. if first “set” hits 60-70 reps, up the weight and keep going).

Based upon 5/3/1 for Powerlifting, off-season for mass

  • Bench Press (superset with lat pulldowns)
    • bar x whatever
    • 100 x 5
    • 120 x 5
    • 145 x 3
    • 160 x 5
    • 185 x 5
    • 210 x 5
    • 145 x 15
  • DB Bench Press
    • 55e x 10
    • 55e x 10
    • 55e x 10
    • 55e x 10
    • 55e x 10
  • Chest-Supported DB Row
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 12
    • 45e x 10
  • Pushdowns
    • 35 x 100
  • Face Pulls
    • 50 x 100