Health issues have kept me off of the mat and out of the gym but I have begun to do kettlebell work at home.

I’m into my second week of a 12 week kettlebell cycle out of Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Neupert with my 35#. There are 3 days to the work-out (light, medium and heavy). My lower back was still a bit tender, so I took my time and warmed up for a long while, taking an hour to see how my back was feeling, stretching for a bit (but not long enough) in between warm-up swings.

Finally, feeling alright, I did the light day (double KB swing/snatch and press) and will do the medium tonight or tomorrow. I’m a little sore this morning but not in a bad way.

I’m enjoying it and will finish the 12 week cycle and think about picking up the author’s other work.



Hit my first two days of Wendler’s 5-3-1:


Actual Max: 225

Training Max: 202.5, rounding up to 205
65% x 5: 135
75% x 5: 155

86% x 5 (or as many as you can): 175

I got the ten.

Actual Max: 305
Training Max: 274.5, rounding up to 275
65% x 5: 180
75% x 5: 205

86% x 5 (or as many as you can): 235

I got the ten again, though it was getting ugly. I would not have gone for 11.

Did some KB swings, TGU and rowing after the strength work.

I got to BJJ on Monday night but tweaked my shoulder a bit. I’ll take tonight off and get back on the mat on Thursday morning.

We worked on a few half guard passes and more work from the deep overhook from in the guard.

I rolled with a big purple belt and felt positively useless, which is always a good sign and rolled with a few blue belts more at my skill level and felt some timing and technique slowly start to come back. I got a little dizzy but nothing debilitating, just a side effect of having stuffed up sinuses.

I went to a BJJ class on Monday night and had a good class. Out of 4 rounds of live rolling, I only sat one out. I jammed my thumb at some point last week and it is still a little sore and swollen but nothing terrible. I started to sit in on a second class and got through much of the first technique (a slick flower sweep) but started to feel woozy. I am going to write that up to poor conditioning and maybe, maybe not having eaten well enough that day. I had the day off and had a nice breakfast and lunch. Something to keep an eye on.

We worked on an escape from a single leg and a few transitions from half-guard. The half-guard stuff is really nice. We’re going over things to do when bridging doesn’t work but we get a reaction like a posted arm or leg. I really like it.

I’ve been working on my sleep, making sure I am getting 8 hours every night. Last week I wasn’t getting enough sleep and I felt like crap. This week I am getting my 8 hours every night and I feel really solid.

This week I’m working on sleep. Next week I’ll start to think about food: quick and hearty breakfasts, lunches I can bring to work and easy dinners. In the meantime – training as my body allows.

We are transitioning our morning strength routine into the Wendler 5-3-1. I picked up the ebook for ten bucks and it was money well spent. It is very similar to what we are currently doing but the numbers are smarter. Basically, it is what we are doing, only better. More on that as we get through a cycle.


Got to the first class last night and did lots of half-guard work. I got put into some bad situations, got tapped out a bunch but kept my head about me. For my first week, I’ll take it.

I was going to stay for the second class but my body was telling me that it wasn’t a good idea. The night before I barely got any sleep and it was taking its toll more than anything else. Truth is, getting back on the mat feels pretty good and it is easy to step out for a round and catch my breath while I get back into some kind of shape.

I don’t have enough rashguards and compression shorts to last me the week right now, so I wrestled last night without them. Naturally, I had on my first gi, which has a stiff canvas drawstring. There was a worry in the back of my head that I would end up with my gi pants falling down and my ass hanging out. I’ll get my gear in order in the next month or so.

I was considering not going to class today but then work made the decision for me when I had to cover for a sick staff member. I was excited to do some no-gi training but that is alright, I’ll get to it next week.

I’m a little sore but nothing terrible and nothing I haven’t trained through in the past. It feels good to be sore and bruised again. That said, I wore my ear guards and I believe when I do that I am more willing to use my head as an appendage. I have tons of gi-burn and bruises around my eyes and eyebrows. I hope the folks where I work don’t assume that I am getting into brawls or nodding off and smacking my face on the sidewalk due to illicit drug use. “No ma’am, I was just wrestling.”

It was foolish to sign up for a year’s membership at Clockwork BJJ before trying the commute from work to the gym. As it turns out, it all worked out. I got to the gym in an hour and a half, staying on one train the whole way downtown, allowing me to read for the entire time. It was a lovely trip.

I made it to the second technique for the blue belt class and got to attend the entire mixed level class. The school has 3 levels of classes: White Belt Only, Blue Belt Only and Mixed. Each works on a specific technique for the entire week, which is e-mailed to us on Monday morning. This week white belts are working on attacks from side control, blue belts are working on half-guard passes and the mixed classes are working on attacks from the full guard (I think, might be wrong about that one).

I really like the structure, it allows me to program in a technique over the course of the week and get it from my mind to my body as long as I attend more than one class.

Also, the school is really laid back about when you show up. I missed the first technique, went to the locker room, got changed and joined in for the second half-guard pass in the blue belt class. Before sparring we tend to do a nice warm-up drill called Pass/Sweep/Submit, in which you stop the live sparring should any of those things occur. This allows me to work odd guards and passes without worrying about it leading to a huge guy crushing me for five unbearable minutes.

I rolled for two five minute periods in a row after each class, after ten minute or so of 3-person round robin Pass/Sweep/Submit. I felt better about how I moved this week. Old ways of moving are starting to come back. I felt like I did a few things that were solid, still making tons of mistakes but that is alright. I’m feeling really good during and after class.

I bought this peppermint bar soap that I dig with a plastic soap container and will order Defense soap bar tomorrow to wash the mat funk off me after class.

I am really excited, having found a place to train.


500M row

5 sets of 3 pull-ups



Deadlifts 5 x 1

  • 135
  • 225
  • 275
  • 305
  • 315 (F)
  • 305 (F)

I wanted to be conservative with this as my lower back has had a tender spot for a few weeks now and dropping weight is frowned upon out in the main gym.


1000M row rest, another 1000M row

I got the first one done in just under 4 minutes and the second done in a second more than 4 minutes. There is something about doing something tough, resting and then doing it again that just kills me.


  • 500M
  • TGU play


Press 5 x 1

  • 45
  • 95
  • 135
  • 155
  • 170 – F
  • 165 – F
  • 155

That was rough, I really thought I was going to nail 170. My shoulder was feeling funky, though, so I dropped weight and ended on a successful press.

We were running late and had to skip the WOD/finisher.



  • 500M row

Played with the Bulgarian Bag, which is a fun, fun toy. I was doing the spins.


Squat 5 x 3

  • 45
  • 135
  • 185
  • 205
  • 205
  • 205

Again, we ran out of time and couldn’t do a mini-WOD. Next time!

I went to the gym, did some light, light rolling and stretched a bunch. My lower back has this funky knot in it. It felt fine while I was on the mat but it felt right to warm up with some rolling for position and then stretch a bunch.