Repeat Until Strong.

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Pavel Macek, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Background: Chinese Combatives (Practical Hung Kyun) & MMA practitioner/teacher, strength & conditioning practitioner/teacher (SIMPLEXSTRONG). A fan of old school strength and simplicity in general. A geek.

    Aims and objectives: Move well, move often, move strong. I am usually following simple, proven programs like S&S, PTTP! or ROP, for 6 months or longer.

    Right now: The summer was kind of chaotic - teaching and traveling a lot both locally (Czechia) and abroad, so I could not follow my PTTP! practice, which I have done for cca. 9 months. The main aim - 2,5xBW deadlift was met sooner than expected, what I want to is to hit 1,5xBW bench press in the future.

    For time being I came back to S&S after the holiday, to polish the kettlebell basics and get back to at least "Simple" goals, solid, and then I will see. I will either continue with S&S, come back to PTTP!, or alternate PTTP! and S&S (either 2+2 each week - as Pavel has recommended on the forum, or in 14 blocks, as Dan John has recommended in Easy Strength). Not important now.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  2. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Today's practice:


    - prying goblet squat, 3x5, 24 kg
    - swings, 10x10 with 28 kg
    - get-ups, 5x1 with 32 kg

    - MMA 1,5 hour
    - Practical Hung Kyun 1,5 hour
  3. Pavel

    Pavel Founder and Chairman Master Instructor

    Pavel, you have a solid grasp how to rotate different programs and priorities.
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  4. Abdul-Rasheed

    Abdul-Rasheed Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Pavel Macek thanks. Would you also mention how does it take to complete the warm ups, swings and TGU, especially the swings? Do you not do the halos and bridges?
  5. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    @Pavel thank you sir!

    @Abdul Rasheed


    I have done them for few months, right now I usually don't do the halos and glute bridges before S&S. Pavel writes: "keep you warmups short" and has recommended on the forum, that later (after few months of S&S) you can skip halos and SFG hip bridges, but you should keep the prying goblet squats, which is exactly what I do. Because I am quite active thorough the day, and do my "morning recharge" exercise every single morning, most of the times I skip any "warmups" and just go - and never had a problem or injury.

    Also, I don't sit much - I usually type lying on my belly, stretch the hip flexors throughout the day, do tactical frogs, practice Chinese martial arts sets, spend time in a squat position, and generally do lots of kind of GTG mobility. Plus, I teach stuff like halos, SFG armbars, Brettzels every single day. So, I am "ready" any time throughout the day - what a great job I have, ha ha, lucky me!

    My recommendation: Do them exactly as in the book, for few months. When your shoulders are fine, your overhead position in the get-up perfect, you have woken up sleeping glutes and have crisp swing lockout, you may skip the halo and SGH hip bridge, and just do them when you feel like to (I still do them time to time). Keep the prying goblet squat (and make sure to read Jason Marshall's A Tip for "Making Space" in the Squat)

    How long does a S&S practice takes to complete?

    Cca. 20-30 minutes.

    My conditioning is quite good, 28 is not a challenge for the swings for me (lungs and heart are doing perfectly fine, I need just a bit of the rest for my grip) - I usually do them in 1:1 ratio, so it takes around 5 minutes, maybe little longer. It will be different when I patiently insert a heavier weight soon.

    Get-ups - usually 10-15 minutes, again, 32 is still relatively light. Currently I do a get-up, switch sides, another, get-up, switch sides, and so on. If it takes me longer the reason is that I play with the movement, stop and various stages.
    Abdul-Rasheed and Steve Freides like this.
  6. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Today's practice:

    a) S&S
    - prying goblet squat, 3x5, 24 kg
    - one-arm swings, 10x10 with 28, 32, 28, 28, 28 (always left, right). Feels good.
    - get-ups, 5x1 with 32 kg. Feels good. I will stay at the weight for some time - it needs to be just perfect, nothing more.

    b) MMA+Practical Hung Kyun 45 minutes

    Today's note in my training diary:

    ...remember that S&S is designed for you to do in a manner of "I can do it again tomorrow with the same level of energy and the day after tomorrow... (Pavel in another very interesting thread)

    Tomorrow teaching my 3rd StrongFirst SFG 1-Day Course in Czechia, excited!
  7. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    Are you left or right handed Pavel ?

    Also how many rest days do you take each week ?
  8. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    @Tarzan I am right handed. Just to make sure - 28, 32, 28, 28, 28 above means 28 L, 28 R - 32 L - 32 R, 28 L - 28 R, 28 L - 28 R, 28 L - 28 R, altogether 100 swings. Left hand is strong, right hand stronger, one of the aims is to make them strong both (and see the the results in bilateral pulls, i.e. deadlift - I pull with regular overhand grip, not mixed or hook grip [yet]).

    Rest days each week: Depends, no plan, I go by feel. Usually 1-2 (i still move, but no lifting or martial arts practice, except some morning Qigong and OS Resets), but I make sure I "wave" the load (eg. my martial arts practice, a lot - most of the sessions are medium/easy). Also, I have the luxury of a short afternoon nap, and I usually go sleep quite early.

    S&S volume with this weight is "recharge", not drain - and because you should really own the weight, I guess it is a recharge at any weight. That is the advantage of protocols like S&S or PTTP!
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  9. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    Thanks for the reply Pavel.

    I do morning Qigong too, I alternate it between the strands of brocade and several other styles - Iron Shirt and Wild Goose and another "mixed" form from the book - The Healing Promise of Qi by Roger Janke

    I train with weights on a 3 day cycle with the 4th as a rest day, but I also go by feel and will add an extra rest day if I feel I need it or if social situations dictate.

    & like yourself I like to train with a weight I can own and only use a weight that is a drain as a test on rare occasions.
    Pavel Macek likes this.
  10. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor


    I usually to "Eight Longevity Forms" from Hap Ga, "Iron Thread" from Hung Ga, or do selected exercises form "Eighteen Arhat Hands. Most of the exercises very similar (or same) as "Eight Pieces of Brocade":

    Tarzan likes this.
  11. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    Pavel / Tarzan about the brocade:
    - done first thing in the morning?
    - the pictures above is one cycle?
    - do you perform one of such a cycle, or more?
    - what is the time frame?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  12. Tarzan

    Tarzan More than 500 posts

    There are several different approaches to the exercises Harald.

    Some suggest that they should be done after you have eaten and have had your morning bowel movement. The idea is that when you cultivate chi as in the exercises above, the chi mixes with the blood and for that to be optimum you should be nourished. I've also read that if it's done before a bowel movement it can cause the the chi in your intestines to become stuck. That's the traditional view anyway and not all practitioners believe that's the case.

    In essence they are really just dynamic stretching exercises combined with breathing exercises, so if you don't believe in any of the esoteric theories just going through the movements and using focused abdominal breathing will be of great benefit to many people. The heart of all Qigong practices is the focused deep abdominal breathing into the lower dantian/hara which is thought to be the center of our bodies power and life force.

    Some people with medical conditions do the exercises at the time of the day that corresponds with the chi cycle for the meridians that need healing.

    I do mine slightly different to Pavel, mine are done in sets of 8 reps of each exercise, 4 to each side for the rotating movements and 8 reps for the linear movements. I complete each movement before moving on to the next, it's not done as a circuit the way I do it. It takes less than ten minutes to complete, I brew a cup of herbal tea before I start and it's ready to drink when i finish.
    Harald Motz likes this.
  13. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor


    a) Yes, first thing in the morning. I usually drink a glass of warm water with lemon and bit of salt, and then go to do the morning exercise

    b) The "set" on the pictures is set of 18 different exercises ("Eighteen Arhat Hands", Sap Baat Lo Hon Sau). You can do them all, or just few selected drill, or just 2-3, or just one. The important thing is the skill ("entering the silence", relaxation, "inner smile", breathing, Qi flow... ), not the number of techniques.

    c) Few reps of each exercise, or 10-20 reps of just one exercise. Depends, no fixed rules.

    d) 5 minutes to 15 minutes - after you finish the exercise(s), you remain in "standing Zen" (Jaam Sim), just enjoying the energy flow

    That is what all my Chinese teachers do and teach, Tarzan.

    Even if you perform it as dynamic stretching exercise with diaphragmatic breathing, it has great benefits, agreed. However, if you perform it as a Qi Gong exercise, the benefits are even greater. Form, energy, spirit. I would say it is not about "belief", but practical experience. There is a lot of hocus-pocus in the world of Qi Gong, but there is some hard science behind it today.

    Many of the principles of so-called "Hard Qi Gong" are btw. identical with Pavel's Hardstyle methodology - that is why I go actually hooked with Pavel's system (after reading The Naked Warrior).
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  14. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Yesterday: 8 hours of teaching at StrongFirst SFG 1-Day Course:


    Today: Rest day - breathing exercises, some mobility stuff, enjoying tea, reading - C.G. Jung's autobiography Memories, Dreams Reflections (again).

    This part caught my eye (CGJ writing about his Tower he built):

    I have done without electricity, and tend the fireplace and stove myself. Evenings, I light the old lamps. There is no running water, and I pump the water from the well. I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple and how difficult it is to be simple!

    Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est—all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.
  15. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    today I was in the autumn woods with friends, going for mushrooms. You can not force it. The more you rush, the less mushrooms will find you. Indeed an archaic, simple task. We prepared a meal together and in a few moments we will have a nourishing meal outside in the autumn sun...
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  16. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Seems that it can be applied to many things - from strength training to mushroom hunting (or how do you call it in English). Enjoy the autumn afternoon!
  17. Pavel

    Pavel Founder and Chairman Master Instructor

    Pavel, your students look very pleased! Thank you for spreading the word.
    Steve Freides likes this.
  18. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Thank you, sir - just following the lead.

    We had participants from Czechia, Slovakia, France, USA, Germany, Belgium & Estonia, small event, but pretty international.

    Excellent group, good technique, and even some (un)expected PRs (military press 24 > 32, and only after the basic MP instruction).

  19. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Today's practice:

    - prying goblet squat, 3x5, 24 kg
    - one-arm swings, 10x10 with 28, 32, 32, 28, 28. Feels good.
    - get-ups, 5x1 with 32 kg. Feels good.

    Warning: The log will be boring - the practice is not.

    Note: S&S and pullups do you ask, right? Start to swing 32 properly, and then come back, and tell me how your lats feel. My lats say "hi, we like heavy swings".
  20. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    Today's practice:

    - prying goblet squat, 3x5, 24 kg
    - one-arm swings, 10x10 with 28, 32, 32, 32, 28. Feels good.
    - get-ups, 5x1 with 32 kg. Feels good.

    - MMA, 1,5 hours
    - Practical Hung Kyun, 1,5 hours

    Quote for today:

    “There is another exercise I enjoy doing with this hundred pound weight. It is the so-called “Get Up” and is done with a barbell or a human weight… It is so much more difficult with the kettle-bell…”

    - Sigmund Klein, The Kettle Bell, in: Klein’s Bell, Vol. 1., No 11., April 1932.

    Photo sequence: Alan Calvert, Advanced Course of Instruction, Milo Bar-Bell Company, 1912.

    Will Moore, jca17 and Shawn Reed like this.

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