Path to Power

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
The first post is a full expression of my attitude and love for practicing strength training and contains alot of text.. Be warned, you might be bored !

Introduction

name: Shawn
born: 22 dec. 1990
height: 167 cm / 5 ft 6
weight: 66 kg / 145.5 lbs (pretty stable)
Country: The Netherlands

Background:
Always being a small, fat kid at some point in my life decided to improve looks. In 2005 I started lifting dumbbells and one year later I was allowed to join the local gym (health club/tea party) Dismayed with poor results in 2013 I went through some sort of experimental phase, and quit the gym in 2014. Doing alot of body-building-like routines, most of them self-made I started incorporating bodyweight exercises into my routine, for one I fell in love with Pull ups ! All of this at home. Truth be told I wasted many of these years doing what I did and being naive. Every possible beginner mistake.... I made it at least once!

Gains & Milestones
Over the course of time I increased lean mass and decreased bodyfat. For one this used to be my main goal and I am happy to have reached it.

1. BACKPAIN Going slightly back in time, the year 2003.. my schoolbag damaged my back and posture so badly I couldn't sleep well for some time. I suffered backpain since the age of 12. And terminated this pain over the course of 2 years. Starting in 2014 (age 23) with the Deadlift, which my health club refused to teach me, followed up by the Bridge Progression described in Convict Conditioning, in 2016, all the way up to 5 full bridges (step 6) Bye pain, Hi improved posture and lower back of steel !

2. Shoulder damage In september 2014 I damaged my left shoulder. It got overloaded at work so badly the entire posterior part of the rotator cuff (unsure about anatomy names etc ) My shoulder posterior side no longer activated so remained internally/forward rotated. This truley made me realise the importance of the posterior chain and so it became my main focus. Legs and Back, Posterior Delt. In 2016 I finally went to a physiotherapist, 2 sessions fixed it. But I still suffer some sort of consequence of this... '' event'' Lesson: Don't wait, visit physio asap ! :)

3. 6 pack abs In may 2016 when I first picked up a kettlebell of only 16kg. It felt heavy, it felt challenging. I practiced the deep six, and sucked at it and still do. But the swing was do-able, and so I used the bell to lose fat. At some point i did 400 2 handed swings daily for 10 days. This shut-down my immunesystem and I got so sick I couldn't hold food and water for 3 days, and an additional 3/4 days eating alot of fruits to fix my ingestion system. ( I thought i would die) I did however lose so much bodyfat those 2/3 weeks my abs got very visible, and I maintained this 'low fat' body until april 2017. Although I no longer care for this, I still cherish a picture.

4. Asthma.
My pride for this achievement reigns supreme. Nothing I have done and nothing I will do for a long time will make me more proud at myself than this. Writing this still, after 7 months of achieving it, fills my body with energy, my mind with self-confidence, and eyes with tears.

The greatest weakness, bottleneck, one thing that would make me stop, and give up would be an asthma attack. Since the age of 19 months up until my 25th year on this world. As an infant attacks could be so severe a visit to the hospital would be required. I remember.
Every year, to see some kind of doctor, he would check your breathing with some cold device, weight you, measure your height. Every day to inhale this crap that makes your teeth turn yellow and rot. When kids my age ran and played, I had to calm myself down, or else.. Reaching the first 2 milestones i mentioned earlier inspired me.. '' why not asthma.. it has to be possible right ? '' This is the link that makes my chain weak'' So I started searching and found Buteyko

I watched as much information on youtube about Buteyko as possible. I examined the exercises they performed, on any video I could find. And I praticed them, and I still practice them, less but always. Somewhat around march or april 2016, I told my doc I wanted to reduce the inhalors. He agreed but had to test longfunction again in august 2016, no changes but hadn't found Buteyko yet. Doc never mentioned anything besides taking meds.

At some point I found Buteyko, and practiced it along with Convict Conditioning. I happened to be learning to enjoy Bodyweight training better than dumbbell routines so... My training log from CC starts in september 2016, januari 2017 I believe it was the 2nd week of the new year.. Doc was excited about my lungfunction test. Usually I scored at about 92%. This time it was 99%.......... 99%... thats definitly not 100%.. so i didnt jump to cheer right away.. but still. Doc said i could stay away for like 5 years.. I told doc i dont want to come at all.. he agreed instantly, but warned me it might worsen as i get older. he guessed my method, Buteyko. Thinking about it... he could've mentioned buteyko much earlier in my life. Specialists rely on science too much... after all, science has to be funded... and nobody wants to fund something that does NOT make PROFIT.

Haven't used meds since summer 2016. I hiked that mountain 2 weeks ago, along with 2 soldiers, one navy, one was with the ground forces and used to marching with full equipment. We had to pause many times for the navy person, whom was panting out loud. Not me... I was 8 weeks into S & S and just had bloody burning calves.. I controlled my breath. I dominated Asthma !

There are weaknesses I can never improve.. Allergies to milk, over-sensitive nose (although im searching and trying still ) and I will never be taller than 167 cm. But I am strong. And I will be stronger, and at some point in life, that strength will diminish. But I will be damned to become any weaker than the avarage person which practices sports (of my age)

Goal:
1. Strength... its feels good to be strong, it looks good to be strong, its beautiful to display strength and stamina, and leave your fellow men in awe. The strength I crave must be summoned at any time, in any state, in any season, without any doubt/ or insecureness, failure is not an option.
2. Health, naturally. I'm very interested in increased bone-density, and lowering my resting hear-rate
3. I will not lie. I'd like to look like an athlete still, although its not my main priority.

Objectives:
1. Complete Simple from Simple & Sinister
- 1hSW 100 x 32 kg & TGU 10 x 32 kg in 16 minutes
2. To Complete the Rite of Passage
- Clean & Press (32kg)
- Snatch 200x 24 kg in 10 minutes
3. Complete Return of the Kettlebell:
- Clean & MP 36/32 kg x 5
- Clean & Jerk 36/32 kg x 14
4. Capable of 1 perfect one-arm-chin-up

These goals will take me years. And I already feel my recovery abilities diminish. Working 10/12 hour shifts don't help either, and I should eat more veggies.... But this practice makes me happy so it's going to be consistency vs time.

I'd like to add that I am very much inspired by The Mighty Atom, which is why I started bending nails. No funds for braced bending unfortunatly. I've read many books besides old-strongman books, also modern books like Easy Strength, the kettlebell books by Pavel, and all books on bodyweight training by Paul Wade. If kettlebells wouldn't have this much carry-over to my regular life and make me feel badass, i would still be following CC's progressions in bodyweight training.
 
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Shawn90

More than 500 posts
Objective 1 + 3

Since I paused my practice for 2 weeks being on holiday, this week (20/27 august) will be known as Week 1
By the way: I had a great time during my holiday. Did rafting, bellyakking, zorbing, canyoning, paintball, skydive (4 km..) Hiked alot, one extreme hike of 10km (up and down) 2km high mountain. Not to mention a beer tasting and eat really... big... burgers.. !

One negative; doing alot of watersports and swimming I lost callus on my hands... I will notice this..


Eveningshift week ! 17:00 to 3:00, monday to friday so will practice at noon or 13:00/14:00

20/8
warm up: D(eadL(ift) 2x3/32 G(oblet)S(quat) 2x3 Br(idge) 2x3 Halo 2x3/16
- Sw 5x10/24T + BP 5x1/24 easy

21-8
- Gs + Br + Halo 3x3/16
- Sw 5x10/24T
- BP 5x1/24
Easy

22-8 Repeat easy

23-8 Repeated, became even easier....
- I bent 3 easy nails double underhand technique
- kinked a 40D and a 50D using double overhand folding technique
Note: I gained confidence in bending the 40D since the kink improved opposed to a 40D i kinked weeks ago.
Note 2: I brought a coc gripper (T) to work and practiced singles in a GTG fashion

24-8 Offday. Did some Farmer walks. 2x5m with 40/32 bells + suitcase carry 2x10m 32kg
- grip at work.. brought the #1 coc gripper. Do-able. And i brought a 40D nail, taped it, pracited the reverse grip bending technique, just to get a feel. Tense the body push with reverse grip and learn to endure pain, learn to not fear the pain. Learn how even though it hurts. Theres no real damage done to my hands...

25-8 friday... my shoulders are strong, stable and my hip flexors are definitly not tight..
- warm up Goblet Squat 2x4/16 ( do aim to 3x5 it but taking it slow ) I do the warm up reps slow, and focus on tensing my entire body.
- Sw 7x10/24T
- BP 24-32-24-24-24
Note: The swings are fairly easy, using a HR monitor now trying to keep between 120/160 bpm (180-age+5= 158 for me) As for the Bent Press. 32kg is very much do-able for my Very Strong side, but feels a little unstable on my strong side. Also my technique on my strong side is more of a side bent instead of forward/diagonally. Interesting to note is that the forward diagonal bend is felt strongly in the lats, and a more sidewards bend is felt in the lowerback and requires you to press more with the shoulder once bend. This displeases me.

26 - 8 saturday ( to keep short, i will do goblet squats but not note these in my logs anymore)
- Sw 8x10/24T easy but took 20m. to avoid spikes higher than 170bpm.
- BP 24-32-24-24-24 ( my strong side needs to deload... )
- Farmerwalks 40/32kg 2x10 meters.
- Bent 5 easy nails, 3 with the reverse grip
- I turned a 40d into a U !!! using the reverse technique and honestly a near-max effort I did make a succesful bend using a reverse grip for the first time. Didn't feel like doing a 2nd ..lol:)

27;8 sunday... I feel like testing something...(dumb)
- warm up
- sw 12x5T/32kg
( after 12 sets keeping my bpm between 115/163 it started to spike 165 so decided to stop, when i looked at my hands i noticed how my very strong hand was bleeding. torn callus dammit lol.)
Things to note to myself: I used chalk, this combined with warm weather at 11am tears hands. Plus switching intensity so drastically was stupid.
- Bp 5x2/24kg STRONG SIDE ONLY (left)

Luckily the skin on my right hand (very strong) wasn't torn off completely, so i put it back to close the wound, taped it, but allowed space to breath. This sucks. But I feel proud knowing i could fairly easily do 60T swings with a 2pood ( half my bw) in 12min without spiking my HR higher than 165. :) My back feels good. For a moment it felt like making a new DL pr. :)

For tomorrow: day shift (6;00 to 17;oo, yes thats 11hours of boredom) I will most likely still wake up earlier to practice... My strong side could use extra practice anyway, now is the time to focus on that !

- 1arm swing with 16kg 5x10
- BP 5x2/24kg
At 4;30/5;00
And I will bring the #1 gripper and a finger-extension band to work ;)

Lesson learned; Don't upgrade weight that drastically, especially not with warm weather and the use of chalk... or else.
Points to remember in technique: Noticed how i squatted more as i got more tired when swing the 32kg. avoid this. And probably over-gripped a little.

One plus side on the HR monitor: You get to learn the difference between a paced swing and a really explosive swing. Explosives spike more.
 
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Shawn90

More than 500 posts
W2 today 5:15am

Sw 4x12L/16kg
BP 5x2L/24kg

Tried taping the torn part and do some swings with that hand but the pain makes me hit the brakes. Even with 1pood which is too light.
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
Today.. offday. didn't sleep well the past 2.nights.

Brought the 1.5 CoC gripper to work and 2 extension bands.

Will do a random amount of series in the following set up, first left then right:
-Close 1.5 x1
-green band x5
-yellow holds x2 (until cant hold it open any longer)

Edit: 10 singles per hand over 5 hours. For left hand it takes more effort. I know right can close 2.0, but might need to bring 1.0 instead. Taped the handle to save skin.
 
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Shawn90

More than 500 posts
Today it is 2 days ago I tore some callus. So far it looks good. But still sensitive.

Yesterday I rubbed salt in the wound then rinsed it. repeated this thrice. To clean ans dry it.

Today It looks like this..

20170829_122852.jpg

I read somewhere open wounds heal better when NOT dry but still hydrated slightly ( not wet either) So I will try something hoping to speed recovery:
- every 15 to 30 minutes i will wet my hands. then 'clap' them dry.
This might be awkward. but I also work with steam alot. This dries the skin plenty. Especially with this awfully hot weather.

Another thing i thought about: when doing the swings outside in the sun with this hot weather why not wet the hands between sets to keep the skin flexible ? would this work? would it affect grip? would the skin damage less, slow down callus development ?

I will test this weekend and next week. Wont dare to use chalk any time soon anyway.
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
5:00 am Today's practice ( taped the wound ) was focus on hinge & hook grip
- warm up, Goblet Squat 2x5/24 + Halo 2x5/16
- Swing Twohand 10 x 5 / 32
- Bent Press 24-32-24-24-24

Swings were OK. Failing hook grip was punished by pain, hinges felt fine, didn't feel like squatting, avoided fatique. Sweat became an issue though. BPM remained between 120/145
Bent Press; 32kg for Strong side, doesn't feel very stable still.
 

Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Shawn90, do tell us more.

BTW, I don't believe your lung function test results will change. I never expected mine to. That test measures something almost opposite of what we are trying to improve with Buteyko breathing practice. The test wants you to take in more air, on the assumption that doing so would be better. We, OTOH, practice taking in _less_ air and aren't concerned with maximum _intake_ but rather maximum _utilization_. If everyone will forgive a strength analogy, the lung function test is like measuring how big your muscles are, while our practice teaches you to improve your skill at using what you already have. (It's not a perfect comparison, I realize, but it'll do....)

@aciampa and @Anna C, you aren't going to give me grief about my use of the underscore character for emphasis again, are you? :)

-S-
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
@aciampa it became more of a habit instead of practice
@Steve Freides Did you know underscore actually means 'space?' _emphasis _ I read 'spacebaremphasisspacebar' :p

I figured slowing down breathing , breathing deeper was key. Nasal breathing only. On the inhale expanding the belly, not the chest.
- at first; every morning and every evening i would walk from kitchen to livingroom and back. Closing 1 nostril at the time, walk walk walk switching nostrils until my nose would be completely unblocked and a certain feeling of calmness could be felt.
- I would measure my rest-pause daily.

This I still do
- During workouts I would not open my mouth... at all. Inhale, exhale through the nose only, expanding the belly on inhale, tense the abs hard on exhale. I still don't open my mouth during grinds.
- During the day, either sitting at home or at work I would mind my breathing. Always focussing on slowing it down, breathing deeply, over the belly not the chest. Never gasping for air which i often did before.
- During the day I would find many moments to exhale deeply and count before inhaling. At first I could count to 3 before inhaling. Over time this naturally increased. Very often very randomly.
- I like to walk 20 sometimes 40 minutes as active recovery. Starting at a normal pace, ending with a really fast pace, without stressing it i must add. During those walks I would try to breath as slow as possible while increasing walking pace.
- I discovered you can increase time between inhales even slightly more when you exhale slower than usuall

@Steve Freides
Regarding the lung test.. Initially I was displeased with the 99%, however in the end it matters not. It is all about feeling good and becoming a better version of ourselves... being free from meds that ruin the teeth is a nice bonus yes ? ;)

My knowledge about all of this is near-nothing, but I'm contend with the result.
 
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Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Staff member
Senior Certified Instructor
@Shawn90, mostly correct, and good on you for your regular practice and habits.

Another thing for you to try is what we call 'very little breathing' or 'very shallow breathing'. The free Advance Buteyko app allows you to do this, which is discussed in the first level, without registering and without charge, so you might want to give that a try. The app includes voice-over instruction as to what to do.

-S-
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
5:00am (day 4 callus tear, almost 'fully healed')
Warmup: GS 2x5/24, Halo 2x5/16
Sw 10x6/32, felt alot harder than yesterday's practice
BP 24-32-32-24-24, 3rd set was great, the 2pood seems to teach my Strong side proper.

@Steve Freides
I downloaded the app. and will try it later on the day. Looks good on first impression.
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
4:30am (day 5 callus thing, didn't tape today, its healed)
- Practiced 'very little breathing' using the Advanced Buteyko app.

- Sw 13 x 5/32T + 1x10/32T *I'd say that last set of 10 reps was my best. Low rep sets counting is distracting.
- BP 24-24-32-32-24 *Not perfect, but solid enough to not drop and crack my skull

Bringing 1.0 (easy) gripper to work
 
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Shawn90

More than 500 posts
11 am (last day of this week's practice, taking sunday off )
Rest HR: 68 bpm ( caught a cold walking in the rain at work, maybe thats why??)
Morning CP: 19 s ( thats alot lower than 35s from yesterday's afternoon... )

Warm Up: Circuit
- CC half bridge 2x3
- Trifecta Twist Holds 2x1 ea
- Goblet Squat 2x5/24
- Halo 2x5/16

* The 2-pood is no toy
- Sw 10x7/32T * I realised on the last 2 sets I need to learn to put the bell down properly....
- BP 24-24-32-32-24 * ignored the fact that i needed to deload

Week 2 summary (actually week 10)
- Need to practice more with the 24 kg, AND definitly need to learn from a certified SFG instructor. (30-8 I send an e-mail to the nearest, Belgium 50minute drive..)

- Need to change mentality..... I am so used to having my body beaten up by both weightlifting and physical jobs I did this last week with my kettlebell practice. Very very wrong :oops:

- 8kg increments are big. also on the bent press. Need to deload/rest every 2/3 day's, when trying to up a bell. These jumps demand respect, or else..
- my grip wasn't recovered on saturday, mainly my left side, leave gripper work for a while
- on the plus side, tearing callus on the palm of my hand taught me to use a C-grip on swings.;)

- Overgripping Girya's is a reflex... it comes from 'fear'... fear of dropping that ball of iron. Once you explode and launch the bell on upswing, the force of a 'heavy' bell will 'feel' like too much, and fear of letting it slip leads to the impulse of gripping it tighter. Don't ! Lock your hands in a C-grip, lock your fingers, anticipate the force, but do not move the fingers. The bell will not leave your control when the required finger strength is present.

So..
1 leave the 'heavy' bells for AFTER attending a real SFG teachings. stick with 24kg
2 Do it by the (S&S) book; 2 hand swing > h2h swing >1 arm swing
3 be patient, girya's are not to be compared with dumbbells and barbells... whole different dimension.
4 Stop wanting so much, enjoy the journey

 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
W3, 4 september 2017
* Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day but I worked my backyard.... all day, ploughing with a spade. I'm sure I got a little extra sun-tan, today my back is sore, not much but it really doesn't want to be loaded today.:( Also my right forearm hurt. I bet its still from a failed nailbend, last wednesday.

- Swing 7x10T/24 (bell felt very light, stopped when HR spiked over 160)
- BP 3x1/24 ( my lats and shoulders demand rest, but managed 3 singles each side with decent form )

Still a 10-hour shift with physical punishment ahead of me.
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
5-sept-17
* Knowing I can do 3x 1asw per side with 24kg.

- Sw 24kgx100:1x10T + ( 5x 2T-2L-2T-2R-2T) + 4x10T (20x 1arm sw)
***Felt good, lets make these STRONG before increasing to 3 reps per hand

- BtP 24-32-32-32-24
***Do-able, 24 too light, 32 big jump

Finally word back from the nearest SFGII instructor, lets see if we can arrange some lessons !
 
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Shawn90

More than 500 posts
-Sw 24kgx100: 1x10T + (7x 2T-2L-2T-2R-2T) + 2x10T (28x 1arm sw)
-BtP 24-32-32-24-24 ea
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
Yesterday offday.

today
-Sw 24kg/100:1x10T + (7x 2T-2R-2T-2L-2T) + 2x10T ( 28x 1hsw )
*backswing is compromised on strong side.

BP 24-32-32-24-24
* No more alternating hands. Just dish out one side before the other.

Bent x6 easy nails. x3 reverse + x3 UH. Need to focus more on the abdominal pressure thing.
 

Shawn90

More than 500 posts
Today
-Sw 24k/100: 1x10T + ( 7 x 2T - 3L - 2T - 3R ) + 2x10T (42x 1hsw )
* Comfortable stop to avoid tearing the skin on my hands... I feel this in my traps/lats. Should slow down on volume, deload tomorrow.

- BtP deload 3x1/24k
* Got interupted after 3rd set by a family member... sigh.. also the 8kg jumps are too much. Should increase reps with the 24k before increasing weight.

Advanced Buteyko
Today I had my first session. I have a good feeling about this course. Will work through level 3,4 & 5 before the next session. And get some micropore tape....
Morning CP was measured at 17s. I hope to get well beyond 20s before next weekend. As always breathing exercises feel really good. At some moments, when wearing my HR monitor, i see my HR drop to 55bpm. Normally when sitting still its like 65/70bpm. Quite interesting.
 
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