Category Archives: Training


Greetings from the hill country of Texas!


Training has been hit or miss these past few weeks as I have concentrated almost entirely on running.  I’ve made a decision to cut down to 230lbs body weight and live around that weight.  This year has been about increasing my fitness level and I’m slowly doing just that.  Year to date I’ve completed a 10k, 5k and a Spartan Race: Sprint.  Diversifying my sport focus is really helping me be a better all around athlete.  The Spartan Race really zeroed in on my total body fitness.  I’ve been able to identify my weaknesses from an OCR perspective and apply that to accessories in my training program.  This week I’ll be redesigning my program and starting the assessment phase on Sunday.



I haven’t been throwing much but have still been doing drills.  A side effect of all this running is I’m MUCH more agile in the ring.


I’ve greatly simplified my diet and supplementation and have adopted 90% natural approach to nutrition that just happens to have keto and paleo elements to it.  Mostly it’s just the recipes.  My exceptions to the “no man made food” rule is  KETO//OS from Pruvit and my multivitamin.


Greetings from the hill country of Texas!  Finished up week 13 of Smolov Jr. bench adaptation this week!


So much to talk about today!  The last 13 weeks of flat bench press 3 – 4 times a week has been an intense and deeply learning process for me.  I learned that volume over time is much better than volume in short order.  In my early days of training much of my education came from muscle magazines like Muscle and Fitness.  My framework consisted of 8 – 10 sets of 8 – 10 and I concentrated on things like peak and eccentric contractions.  Basically a bodybuilding approach.  My coaches for track and field had me train like a power lifter so I had a power lifting frame work meshed up with a bodybuilding frame work that I believe gave me a decent physique and unusual strength base.  My training tended to be seasonally influenced and inconsistent.  I also did insane volume and lifted with little thought of safety or technique.  After all, I only really trained for two reasons:

  1. Discus throwing
  2. Girls

I entered the Army the summer after I graduated from high school and learned to do push ups, sit-ups and run two miles.  Those three exercises plus 6 – 12 calisthenic exercises were all the Army had to offer me from a fitness perspective.  Physical Training was seen as a individual responsibility and I didn’t get much guidance other than “run faster”.

Flash forward to my late 30s and I started to train again but now it was for one reason: to battle obesity.  This lead to a re-education in fitness and to where I am now.  My training still has two major focuses but they have changed:

  1. Become more powerful
  2. Raise my fitness level

I had been in a car accident and had shoulder surgery which lead me to avoiding bench press.  I did low weight speed work with bench but chose not to put a big load on my shoulders due to the damage from the car accident.  13 weeks ago my max “calculated” bench was 251. 7 weeks ago I hit 315 with a struggle.  Today I pushed 315 with the same effort I press 285.  In 1 week I will travel down to my buddy Mike’s gym, Crossfit Caminus and perform my final 1RM and produce some analysis on how the program improved my flat benching power.


I’ve been doing drills and will have a full discus/shot session Saturday.  I need to add 2 – 3 more days a week of throwing in preparation for the track meet at the end of the month.


Started a “Keto-Life” series of videos where I’m video blogging about my experience as I move into a hybrid keto/paleo nutritional lifestyle.  I’ve greatly simplified my diet and supplementation and have adopted 90% natural approach to nutrition that just happens to have keto and paleo elements to it.  Mostly it’s just the recipes.  My exceptions to the “no man made food” rule is  KETO//OS from Pruvit and my multivitamin.

Coming soon:

Part II of my review of KETO//OS from Pruvit should drop next week.  My next review after KETO//OS from Pruvit is of a product design change of Primo Chalk‘s chalk ball.


Greetings from the hill country of Texas!  Finished up week 10 of Smolov Jr. bench adaptation on Friday last week.  The weeks keep getting tougher and tougher.


Week 11 day 1 was my first real failure in the program.  I made it through the first 3 lifts: 190×3, 220×3, 255×3 and then I was supposed to do 5 sets of 285×5.  I failed on my first rep of 285, dropped to 265 and couldn’t un-rack the weight.  I was physically exhausted so rather than drop the weight again I opted to exit the workout.  It’s important to listen to your body and my body just said no.  Mentally I just wasn’t present either.  This was really the worst workout I think I’ve ever attempted and it really was just me being both mentally and physically spent.  On the upside I feel much better today after getting a good 8-9 hours sleep.


I didn’t throw this week but did manage to do some drills.  I was most impressed with my full rotation, it felt smooth and natural.  My first track meet of the year is on March 26th so i’m really looking forward to slinging some discus and shot!


My relationship with food is continuing to deteriorate.  I’ve decided to move back to a ketogenic/paleo hybrid approach and feel good again.  My blood work post keto was fantastic from a type II diabetes perspective and I believe that with a little tweaking I can just move to the the keto/paleo lifestyle permanently.


Coming soon:

I will be posting a review of a ketone supplement called KETO//OS from Pruvit.  I’m excited about this product as it showed excellent preliminary results.  Pruvit has agreed to supply me with a week’s worth of supplement so I can do a more comprehensive review.  No they aren’t paying me anything, it’s just a passion of mine and I think their product could change the way people approach weight control.


Greetings from the hill country of Texas!  Finished up week 9 of Smolov Jr. bench adaptation today.  This has been one crazy rough week.  Since I’m pushing alone I’ve added heavy load rated cargo tie downs to my rack so if I miss a push I’ve got a spot.  This was a good move because I missed at 285lbs and the straps saved me from having to dump the weight on the floor and possible injury.


This week’s workouts included at least 1 – 2 drop sets per session due to failure.  I also learned a valuable lesson: I should not run and lift within the same 4 hour block.  As I gradually increase my runs I’m completed tapped within 2 hours of completing my runs.  I’ve decided not to run on days where I lift and it worked out well for me today.


My intention was to do some drills during the week but alas that did not happen.  Saturday morning I’m going to go for a run in the early morning followed by a quick shot put session.  Going to work the deconstructed progression followed by some full standing throws.  I may mark off 40 feet to gauge where I am this early in the year and then compare later on in December.  I may do some wind sprints following shot put just to wrap the week up nicely.


Food.  I’m sick of food.  I’m sick of preparing it and sick of eating it.  I joked with my buddy Mike that if I could just drink isopure  I think I would.  He said I should add some simple greens to the mix. HA!  I’m going to reach out to my friend Teresa and see if I can get some fresh insight and food ideas.



Greetings from the hill country of Texas!   I thought I’d take a moment to talk about nutrition at the top of my blog post instead of the bottom.  This is a long post so thanks ahead time for reading through to bottom.


I’m moving back into a meal plan based on ingredient quality and also on ratios.  Put simply I’ll be eating roughly 15% protein, 20% carbs and 65% fat which is a basic Paleo approach that should work well with my Type II Diabetes.  I have found the Ketogenic approach to have some side effects that I’d rather not deal with.  I’m kicking around the idea of doing a  nutritional restart program to solidify the diet plan and give me a base for meal planning moving forward but for now I’ll just use ratios and clean eating as my base.


I had a throws practice on Saturday where my buddy Terry and I worked the standing throw using a “deconstructed progression drill”.  Another buddy of mine, named BJ Ketchum, gave me this shot put drill but didn’t name it so I coined “deconstructed progression drill”.  The drill is pretty straight forward.  You get into the power position without a shot put in your hand and drop back so all of your weight is over your trailing foot.   Reach up into the direction of your throw, clear the reach by pulling down into the block, rotate your trailing foot in unison with your reach arm’s elbow and set up the stretch reflex across your chest while still retaining separation.  Put the imaginary shot put keeping a big chest and “climbing” the front leg.  Basically you are splitting this up into small manageable pieces for 3 reps.  Next add the shot put for 3 more reps just dropping it at the put.  Lastly, increase the speed gradually over 3 more reps and then finish up with 3 full speed standing throws.  For the next few practices I’ll only be doing standing throws in an effort to make my finish is rock solid before I move to rotational throwing.  I’m using a similar approach to discus.  The point here is that I’m going back to basic throwing mechanics and building a new base.  I will say this, my very last standing shot put throw was very near my PR for full throws so I think the bench program is helping.  I feel like my general athleticism, power, strength and skill are finally starting to come together.



I finished week 8 (de-load week) of the Smolov Jr. bench press adaptation and I feel fantastic!  My right shoulder is also fully recovered from the rack mishap earlier this week and felt pretty good throwing shot put on Saturday.  Overall my body feels pretty good and I’m ready to take on the Intense Cycle of the Smolov Jr.

Thanks for reading my blog!

So here is what my next 4 weeks look like:




Midway through week 8 of the Smolov Jr. Bench adaptation.  My power training utlizing the Push Band has been just terrible.  The Push Band is a new tool in my fitness toolbox but I can’t seem to make the damn thing work right.  Today I had a minor injury during my bench power/velocity training.  Basically you start at a mid range weight and see where the velocity reads.  For optimal power the goal is to work out with weight that you can score a .7 to 1.0 m/s.   So I started at 185 and had a really low score of .18 so I moved to 225 and my score moved to .26.  Then I moved to 245 and my score moved to .24.  At 245 I missed the rack on my right side and the weight came down and hit the rack of 45s I have on that side.  I caught the weight and pushed it back up but felt a tiny little “pop” in my shoulder.  This pop felt much like any other pop that you get in joints when you’re not warmed up (gas).  I was not warmed up like I normally am and this was only my 3rd set.  I checked my range of motion and applied resistance at all angles and the shoulder feels fine.  I moved the weight to 275 and did 1 rep but it wasn’t my best effort for sure.  The point here is the Push Band wasn’t giving me accurate info and I nearly hurt myself trying to get the right score for optimal power/velocity.  Power and velocity is HUGE from a thrower’s perspective and when I’m doing my normal program I usually alternate strength and power for each week.

Long story short I think I’m going to have to flash the firmware on my Push Band and look to someone with more experience using the tool for guidance.


So my running is coming along nicely.  I’m using MapMyRun to track my runs.   It’s a really nice app that shows me elevation and course.  It also graphs out my pace so I can see how steady I am.  I noticed that I was having a big peak during the first two and last two minutes of my mile run so I slowed my pace a bit to flatten out the peaks.  This made for a stable run today.  Friday will be the 10th mile I have ran in two weeks.   I’m working my way up to 5 miles over the next few months and when I complete 1 work week of 5 mile runs I’m going to move to a 3 times a week schedule where I run 1, 3 and 5 miles on Mon/Tue/Sat.  So far my arthritic knees and ankles are doing really well.  My right knee has a little inflammation but no pain, just a little fluid.

Work has been crazy this week and I haven’t gotten to throws drills yet.   




I finished week 1 of Smolov Jr. approach to bench last week.  The first week  is referred to as the “in-phase” or as I like to think of it: induction.  Basically the first 2 weeks are setting you up for when the real work starts.  Most of the work in the first week sat between 50% and 75% 1RM in a reverse pyramid fashion.  This allowed me to have some of the cleanest bench form I have ever had.  I did every rep with a slight pause at the bottom and concentrated on good clean form.

This week is only 3 days of lifting but it’s all higher wait with mid volume.  I have 1 set per day and only 5 reps at about 75-85% 1RM.  This is really the calm before the storm.  In weeks 3 – 5  I enter a much higher volume phase called the “Base Cyle” utilizing 4 x 9, 5 x 7, 7 x 5 and 10 x 3 at a 10-12 pound increase.  Week 6 is 2 days of rest and 2 days of  1 x 1 @ MAX.  Later in week 6 I’ll do a new max and recalculate the entire program and enter the switching phase for weeks 7 & 8 basically doing speed work for triples at 50% – 60% 1RM.  When I reach week 8 I’ll talk about week 9 – 13.

Diet is a bit spotty this last week so I need to buckle down a bit and clean things up.  I found some aminos that are okay for keto that I’m going to add in Jan 2017.  Historically I respond very well to BCAAs in general and really don’t like training without them.  There are different schools of thought about BCAAs with LOTS of anecdotal  evidence as to their efficacy.  Personally I have much better recovery and sustainability when supplementing BCAAs.  At the end of the day you have to do what works for your body because you know it best.


I‘m always open to changing up my program and growing both physically and mentally.  I noticed a few of my friends we’re doing Smolov Jr for dead and squat so I figured I’d give the Smolov Jr bench a try.  It’s looks like this will be a fairly brutal 13 weeks of training and I can’t wait.  For the last 4 years I’ve avoided heavy bench due to some shoulder issues I have from a car accident I was in where I dislocated my left shoulder and nearly  my right.  I also tore the Labrum in my left shoulder.   Thanks to my friend Rob Monroe I was able to rehab the shoulders and now feel very confident in their strength and stability.

I’m starting off with a calculated bench of 251lbs.  My pre-accident bench max was 405 so I’ve got a lot of ground to make up.  I wasn’t going to share my 1RM because well, I’m embarrassed by it.   It’ll be very interesting to see where it is after 13 weeks!

On a side note I got my blood work back this week and I have almost NO SIGN of Diabetes!  My lipid panel was out of tolerance but in 3 months I’ll draw again and I think I’ll be back in normal ranges.  My protein/saturated fat intake was MUCH higher than normal for the last 3 months as I shifted into the ketogenic lifestyle.