Friday, 30 November 2012

531 Wk4 W/O2

In my last 531 cycle I was contemplating repeating it with 5-8, 3-5 and 1-3 format.  I still think this is a good idea.  I need to change some stuff up - not least the pistols which could benefit from a 5x5 approach.  But with regard to pistols, I need to allow for the amount of horse-riding stance work I am doing atm.

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, one legged floor touches +  front/turning/side hanging kicks, tornado kick/jumping back kick /spinning hook kick to dragon sweep)
2. Manna Progression (three rounds for time)
3. Deadlift (5x70, 5x80, 5x100)
4. Wall Walk (3)
5. Alt One Legged Backbridge (15s, 15s)

Shoulder Prehabilitation
6. External Shoulder Rotations (12)
7. External Shoulder Rotations (12)

8. 321 (8L, 8L, 8L)/Bouldering

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

531 Wk4 W/O1

Time has been in short supply so I am having to jig stuff around.  This weeks' workouts will be spread over two weeks!

I am going to introduce some new kicking techniques to work on.

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, one legged floor touches + front lunges, tornado kick/jumping back kick/dragon sweep)
2. Pistols (5x65/31, 5x70/38, 5x75/46)
3. OACs (5x50/29, 5x55/36, 4/5x60/43)

Forearm and Wrist Prehabilitation
4. Golfers Elbow Drumstick Rotation (12)
5. Wrist Push Ups (12)
6. Reverse Wrist Curl (12)

Friday, 23 November 2012

531 Wk3 W/O3


Deadlift day!  Not looking forward to that 150 but will push for two reps (my RM is 160kg).  I'm interested to see what I have in my legs as I've been pushing my horse-riding stance on an almost daily basis for the past month or two.  I was doing 3 minute stances morning and night - which dropped to once a day when I hit 3':30".  I am now at 4 minutes so have cut back again to non-training days. Once I get to 5 minutes it is Golden Bridge time!

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, one legged floor touches + front lunges, front/side/turning kicks, hanging/back kicks, cartwheels)
2. Manna Progression (three rounds for time)
3. Deadlift (5x120, 3x130, 1+x150)
4. Wall Walk (3)
5. One Legged Backbridge (15s, 15s)

Shoulder Prehabilitation
6. External Shoulder Rotations (12)
7. Internal Shoulder Rotations (12)

8. 321 (8L, 8L, 8L)/Bouldering

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

531 Wk3 W/O2

So today it full Hustle Day. Unleash the Kraken!  Hammertime!  I recall my RM for the OAC is 72kg so I hope to get multiple reps at 70kg (and I've rounded this up from 68kg) - even after the previous two work sets.  It may be ugly, but I will pull hard for two reps!

The pistols are a more intriguing.  As I can now do bodyweight (80kg) for multiple reps, I've been thinking of a 5x5 rep workout with a minute or so between reps.  Today the last set will involve me holding a plate cross my chest to raise the working weight to 90kg (but this is a suck-it-and-see approach).

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, one legged floor touches + front lunges, front/side/turning kicks, hanging/back kicks)
2. Pistols (5x65, 3x75, 3/1+ x '+10kg')
3. OACs (5x55, 3x60, 1+x70)

Forearm and Wrist Prehabilitation
4. Golfers Elbow Drumstick Rotation (12)
5. Wrist Push Ups (12)
6. Reverse Wrist Curl (12)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

531 Wk3 W/O1

Been for a great autumnal work today - and now on a cold dark evening it is time to head out for a workout.  NOT looking forward to this one....

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (30 minutes).
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Planche Variations (25s, 25s, 25s)
3. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
4i. Rope Climb (1)
4ii. MU to Ring Routine (5, 5, 5).
5. Scissor Splits (3x '2L, 2R, 2C')
6. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)
7. 321 (8L, 8L 8L)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

531 Wk2 W/O3

Deadlift day and still with the man flu.  I'd normally wait until Friday to do my DL workout but I am heading off to the House of Commons tomorrow with Captain Kid, so I'm having to bring this workout back a day.


Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, front lunges + floor touches, front/side/turning/Spinning kick, hanging/back kicks, cartwheels)
2. Manna Progression (three rounds for time)
3. Deadlift (3x100, 3x120, 4/3+x130)

4. Wall Walk (3)
5. One Legged Backbridge (15s, 15s)

Shoulder Prehabilitation
6. External Shoulder Rotations (12)
7. Internal Shoulder Rotations (12)

8. 321 (8L, 8L, 8L)

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

531 Wk2 W/O2

Hmmm - manflu has flared again.  I've got some aches - but these could be to do with Eskrima last night.  Man, I love stick fighting but getting locked up around the shoulders and wrists can hurt.

I am cutting and pasting the current workouts from a phase earlier in the year.  I just round the working weight up to the next round number (and in some cases 'plus a bit'), so I am not really sure if these are optimal or not.  But I going in with a 'suck it and see' approach.  Once I've hit my RM next week, I will have a better idea of working weight.

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, front lunges + floor touches, front/side/turning kicks + low /reverse/spinning kicks)
2. Pistols (3x55, 3x65, 8+x70)
3. OACs (3x55, 3x65/60, 1/3+x70)

Forearm and Wrist Prehabilitation
4. Golfers Elbow Drumstick Rotation (12)
5. Wrist Push Ups (12)
6. Reverse Wrist Curl (12)

Monday, 12 November 2012

Denmark's Fat Tax 2

Denmark's Fat Tax has come unstuck according to a report in Nature,
  • A world-leading ‘fat tax’ has been abolished in Denmark, with the country admitting the controversial attempt at engineering a healthier populace has failed. A planned tax on some high-sugar foods has also been abandoned, marking a setback for advocates of this method of encouraging health.

I had my doubts it would work but didn't think Adam Smith's invisible hand would deliver the knock out blow!
  • ...the country’s tax on unhealthy, high-fat products had driven up prices and put jobs at risk.
Follow the money.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

531 Wk2 W/O1

I'nm still being gnawed by manflu.  It seemed to come and go, and I figured I'd get away with it - but over the last week I've had a congested chest.  I now feel I'm well on the road to recovery.

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (30 minutes).
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Planche Variations (25s, 25s, 25s, 25s)
3. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
4i. Rope Climb (1)
4ii. MU to Ring Routine (3, 3, 3).
5. Scissor Splits (3x '2L, 2R, 2C')
6. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)
7. Hangboarding (10 min)

Friday, 9 November 2012

Supply & Demand in Evidence-Informed Policy


A great article from KirstyEvidence.  Go click!

531 Wk1 W/O3

Deadlift day!  Will also be curious to see how the handstanding goes.

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, front lunges + floor touches, front/side/turning kicks + low /reverse/spinning kicks)
2. Manna Progression (three rounds for time)
3. Deadlift (5x100, 5x110, 5+x130)

4. Wall Walk (3)
5. Backbridge (15s, 15s)

Shoulder Prehabilitation
6. External Shoulder Rotations (12)
7. Internal Shoulder Rotations (12)
8. 321 (8L, 8L, 8L)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Ecosystem Services

This blog has featured a few stories over the years with regard to sustainable agriculture and how it may manifest.   Vegetarianism is NOT the answer as any and every know ecosystem you'd regard as self sustaining, requires flora and fauna.  Animals are part of the solution.

The guys running one farm down in Boone County Iowa get this.  In Big, Smart and Green, from Wired, there is a great article giving an example of who 'traditional farming techniques' can bring enlightenment,
They essentially took a step back to the well know approach of crop rotation,
  • [T]he researchers rotated over three years between corn, soy and oats, with red clover planted in winter. The clover, which absorbs atmospheric nitrogen, was planted between crop rows and plowed under as soil-replenishing “green manure” in spring. On another plot, instead of red clover the researchers planted a fourth-year crop of alfalfa, which can be used to feed livestock. The animals’ manure came back as fertilizer.
I love the phrase 'ecosystem services' that underly this approach; why pay a chemical manufacturer to do something nature can do for free - and in a superior fashion?
  • Having different crops with different life cycles made it harder for weeds to grow. What might flourish among corn and soy, for example, was disrupted by oats. When red clover and alfalfa were mowed, weeds were chewed up before they flowered. As for insect problems, low pesticide use, along with habitat provided by cover crops, allowed pest-eating bugs and birds to flourish.

    After eight years, Liebman and Davis used eight times less herbicide in the three- and four-year rotations than in the conventional plot, they report in the new study. Ecotoxicity in surrounding water was two orders of magnitude lower. Thanks to clover and alfalfa, the experimental plots also used 86 percent less synthetic fertilizer.

    Most important of all, the experimental plots were as productive as the conventional. They produced just as much total crop biomass. When the researchers calculated the value of their environmentally friendly harvest, it was every bit as profitable.

    “We exceeded those goals — not by pumping chemicals in, but by maximizing ecosystem services,” Davis said. “We’re not throwing away those tools. They’re very important. But you use a strong cropping system as the foundation for your agriculture. Then, when you need it, you tweak it a little bit with the inputs.”
 Awesome!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

531 Wk1 W/O2

Damn work!  It is just eating in to my life.  I'm doing long hours and working in to the evenings - skipping lunch, going in early.  Bothered daily by email, Sametime and phone calls.  Everything is "urgent and needs doing now".  Take a number dude.  I also have a touch of Manflu.

Managed to escape for lunch today and put together the following:
Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (35 minutes)
1. Handstand (air squats + side lunges, front lunges + floor touches, front/side/turning kicks + low /reverse/spinning kicks)
2. Pistols (5x60, 5x65, 5/6+x70)
3. OACs (5x45, 5x50, 5/6+x55)

Forearm and Wrist Prehabilitation
4. Golfers Elbow Drumstick Rotation (12)
5. Wrist Push Ups (12)
6. Reverse Wrist Curl (12)

Monday, 5 November 2012

Beyond Powder Treason


Remember, remember the fifth of November
The gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.


Guy Fawkes, twas his intent
To blow up King and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.


By God’s mercy he was catched
With a dark lantern and lighted match
Holler boys, holler boys, let the bells ring
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the King.


Our politicians make decisions that affect our lives but they are too far removed from the lives of everyday people to make informed decision.  Every MP really does live in an ivory tower, even if just for the term of the job (it comes with the job), and even those from working class origins may quickly forget the pressures manifest on the minimum wage (a wage below the living wage).

Few things annoy me in politics like a politician saying "we've listened to people...", I mean come on, they're supposed to represent us.  How they hell can they justify losing touch?  Surely listening to 'the people' is a fundamental prerequisite to be a politician?  We need a mechanism to ensure they do not lose touch...

Parliament is currently dominated by millionaires, many with privileged backgrounds and so it is unsurprising that they can lose touch with the common wo/man.  We're ruled by a bunch of career politicians who bring the unpleasant whiff of student politicking to the House of Commons.  They seem more focused on what politics can do for them, rather than what they can do for the electorate.  Few are what you'd call leaders - although they hide behind titles that give them leadership status and rank.  Even fewer seem to have been to the edge of British economic life which makes it easy for them to deal with the cold numbers of a budget, slashing expenditure, and to ignore the real people affected by their actions.


How can we change this?  Here is my three point plan.

Year 1: Work Experience.  On being elected, politicians will defer entry to parliament for one years and instead work as a front-line nurse (but drawing their MPs salary and benefits). 

This will filter out the work-shy and those who have never really done a hard days graft in their life (there are many of them in the House of Commons).  Even though their income will be several times that of career nurses, I think this will add some perspective on what real work is about, and make MPs themselves reappraise their own value.   Who knows - this may even make them think twice about voting a pay rise for themselves - particularly in these harsh economic times.

Year 2: The MP enters Parliament, on a nurses wage for one year!
 
When it comes to leaders of industry of selecting MPs we seem to hear a lot about 'attracting people of the right calibre'.  Yet when it comes to jobs like nursing, when mention is made of the lowly wages we hear justification along the lines of "well it's not all about the money, and people go in to nursing for different reasons...".

Now to focus on 'people of the right calibre', Parliament is filled with ex-convicts, thieves, swindlers, fraudsters, (possible) sexual deviants and other dishonest and avaricious types who easily fall before swords of power, money and fame (politics has been referred to as 'rock and roll for ugly people').  There are a few good-guys in politics but we need to filter out those with a weak grip on their own moral compass. 

After a year working as a nurse (step one), I reckon most MPs would be happy to work their second year as an MP on a nurse's salary.  This will give a visceral understanding of the financial pressures key workers in society are under and give some measure to their decisions when it comes to wielding the axe.  

We like to think that MPs seek election for altruistic purposes, and perhaps steps one and two will filter out weaker career politicians who, thus far in life, have walked a privileged path without the wisdom of experience.

Year 3 Onwards: MPs get their full wage (and benefits), but remuneration works like a student loan! 

So now our MP has done some hard frontline work, and earned a realistic salary.  How good does that sound?  But there are further problems.

Many people who have been an MP and particularly those who enter high office seem to do VERY well on leaving politics and some simply view it as a stepping stone.  Being an MP gives them a degree of fame and a general raised profile that they can (and do) exploit for personal gain.  Being a politician confers a commercial value on the MP.  Furthermore their wealth is often underpinned by morally dubious activities including manipulating expenses, lucrative property investments, and taking up jobs after leaving office with companies that they'd have been VERY closely involved with via their position in office and other practices illustrative of conflicts of interest and vested interest.  This STINKS! 

We need to restore the public's faith in politicians and redress this financial mire.  First of all we need transparency in how they are spending OUR money - including expenses - which should be published online.  But the bigger picture is to tackle how they cash in on their time in office? 

The increased profile enjoyed by politicians gives them a great advantage on the jobs market on leaving office.  They are hired not for talent - but for who they are; their commercial profile. So for every penny they earn over a rather generous limit of, say £150,000 per annum, all MPs should have to repay their MPs salary and expenses. 


Voila!  Power corrupts.  The change can start here!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

531 Wk1 W/O1

On the nutritional front I have eaten quite a bit of candy over the past week due to Halloween.  A quick aside from the night of Halloween itself:

Flash (aged 5): "Halloween has started!"
Captain Kid (aged 8):  "How do you know?"
Flash (aged 5): "I just heard a woman screaming."

I need to test my maxes.  I'd be gutted not to beat my 160kg DL or find that I am getting closer to the OAC.  Over the past 5 months I've focused on RPT training and the volumes for the chosen weights have gone up - but it is the top end I am curious about.  Capacity has increased but have I pushed the 'head room?  So after a week of rest and with Christmas looming, I am going to take up some short sharp 531 work.

Today's workout:

Warm Up (5 minutes)
Main (30 minutes).
1. Stairgators (1)
2. Planche Variations (25s, 25s, 25s)
3. Barefoot Sprinting (1x10s, 1x10s, 1x10s)
4i. Rope Climb (1)
4ii. MU to Ring Routine (1, 1, 1).
5. Scissor Splits (3x '1L, 1R, 1C')
6. Barefoot Kill Carry (1)
7. 321 (8L, 8L 8L)