March 2005 archives

March 7, 2005

Week 9: Another kind of walk

Filed under: Workouts

Rarely a walk goes by without appreciation for the luxury of living at the southern tip of Lauttasaari, an island just west of downtown Helsinki surrounded by the scenic outer archipelago of the Gulf of Finland. Recently, we’ve also realized that Lauttasaari, or Drumsö as we Swedish speaking inhabitants call it, is also home to a host of great restaurants to wither away a couple of weekday evening hours in (the latest addition is a Turkish restaurant just around the corner that goes well with the adjacent sushi place). With life now comprehensively babyfied, the full monty if you please, it was an unexpected pleasure to discover a decent gym buried within the local neighborhood sports center. No rack and seemingly populated by single plate quarter squatters, but excellent for a quick light workout between naps. Nothing strenuous, but boy did it feel great to wield a barbell again!

Wednesday, 2 March 2005

              10, 5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
              5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
              5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
              5 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
              5 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
              5 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
Low cable twist: 2x10 @ 30 kg/66 lbs
              10 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
              5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
              5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
              5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
              5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
Medium parallel-grip pulldown: 2x12 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
Pressdown in lat pulley: 15 @ 30 kg/66 lbs

Total training time: 45 min

March 16, 2005

Week 10: Frozen waters

Filed under: Workouts

Hibernating boat on a small island close to where we liveThe days seem to be gradually moving towards some kind of rhythm, namely a lengthy walk on the ice around noon, general unrest in the evening and quiet nights broken up into two hour segments. Tons of household work. Even if I could manage to fit regular training into all of this, the power to move mountains is just not there right now as evidenced by the only workout this week. Sebastian Burns (who has an unfortunate doppelganger) asked me to do a couple more diagnostic workouts based on a chart he made up consisting mostly of triples. Unsurprisingly, chilly winds of interrupted sleep blew me off Mt. Fuji long before the bar hang. The numbers Burns gave me were within reach based on what I did last time around, but having been blessed with a young apprentice I just cannot hang with this kind of intensity level and expect to perform well.

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Note: target reps in ( ) wherever I failed to deliver

Raw bench:
              5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
              3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
              3 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
              2 (3) @ 95 kg/210 lbs
              1 (3) @ 95 kg/210 lbs
4 board press:
              3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
              3 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
              3 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
              1, 2 (3) @ 122.5 kg/270 lbs (ass heavily off bench on second)
              3 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
              2 (3) @ 115 kg/254 lbs
3 board press:
              3 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
              3 @ 97.5 kg/215 lbs
              1 (3) @ 110 kg/243 lbs
              0 (3) @ 115 kg/254 lbs
2 board press:
              3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
              1,1 (3,3) @ 100 kg/221 lbs
Hangbar bench with doubled minis:
              3 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
              3 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
              2 (5) @ 120 kg/265 lbs
              3 @ 115 kg/254 lbs
Reverse-grip pulldown: 12 @ 85 kg/188 lbs

Total training time: 80 minutes (a good 40 minutes shorter than the previous one now that I knew what to do…)

March 17, 2005

Powerlifting as a drug-free raw Olympic sport??!

Filed under: General

Kieran Kidder, the man behind the WPC, WPO and APF powerlifting federations made an interesting announcement on GoHeavy yesterday. The offshoot of it is that six leaders of major American powerlifting organizations agreed to jointly host a unified national meet, simply called the United States Powerlifting Nationals, in Las Vegas in late fall 2005. Why? Well, to reach approval with the United States Olympic Committee. Here’s the chewy bits:

We have factual knowledge that the USOC/IOC have strongly considered powerlifting becoming an Olympic Sport. But there is one definitive factor that is preventing this from happening. That being the fragmented state of powerlifting in the USA with the over abundance of powerlifting federations. The powers that be who regulate potential new Olympic Sports have no idea who/what drug free powerlifting organization would represent America. That’s the bottom line!!

The only solution is to have a Unified National meet to put us in good graces with the USOC/IOC. The meet will be simply called the United States Powerlifting Nationals. For this to happen there will be changes that some lifters might not be used to depending on which of the 6 federations lifters have lifted in. There has to be one set of rules used to run the meet. We have been asked to use the IPF rules by the powers that be. This is in no way shape or form an IPF meet!! The IPF rules are just being used as guide to go by so this unprecedented event can take place. For the first 1-2 years single ply squat suits, bench shirts, grove briefs will be allowed(poly/denim only, no canvas). The gear is being allowed to get the ball rolling since gear is the norm in powerlifting presently. Keep in mind that if the IOC allows powerlifting to become an Olympic Sport there will be no supportive gear allowed. Just like the olympic lifters who are only permitted to wear, wrist wraps, minimal knee wrap, and a belt. Also there will be no mono-lift either. As far as the drug testing goes a totally neutral testing lab called WADA (Wolrd Anti Doping Agency) who oversees all olympic drug testing will handle the testing. The Presidents of the 6 federations will put together teams to represent their federation in this unified effort. Any lifter who hasn’t lifted in the 6 federations involved, can join one of the 6 federations if he/she wishes to be part of this awesome powerlifting movemnet. Just putting up total in the between now and the meet is all thats required. If your already a member of one of the 6 federations having done an official total in the past year is all thats required.
[my emphasis, spelling mistakes his]

This is great news, but the hurdles facing this project would appear to be both numerous and tall. It is no secret that the powerlifting elite relies heavily on drugs - the politically correct terms are enhanced or assisted lifting - to achieve nicely bending barbells, while generally being vocally for equipment often citing injury prevention as a key theme. Whatever the amount of support an Olympic branch of powerlifting would get or not get, the success of this project would help bring raw lifting to the fore (we all know how drug-free the Olympics are despite cautionary optimism from WADA). In the final analysis, equipped lifting is just a bit too kinky anyway. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this and that.

While on the topic of… enhanced… lifting, here’s something I don’t quite get. In the States, many renown lifters have been quite open about their steroid use, among them Louie Simmons (who back in 1998 stated that he has done anabolic steroids straight for 28 years without cycling), Mike Miller and the great Ed Coan. I respect their openness, but isn’t steroid use illegal in the States making these admissions of criminal guilt? Or are we to believe that they all have legal prescriptions? Perhaps you can’t prosecute based on them, but intuitively this appears about as wise as admitting theft or cocaine dealing online. I’ve never heard of any European lifter being this bold, but I stand to be corrected if you please.

March 28, 2005

Week 11: Divine comedy

Filed under: Workouts

Something about squats off a low stepboard… a shaky double with the dumbells where the second rep lasted a good 12 seconds… then… futile, the brittle memory has faded! Surely I shall mourn this day over and over as I pour over the yearly archives in years to come, but it cannot be helped… the usual penetrating analysis of what the common man in his ignorance mistakes for a common workout is simply not to be this time. No consolidation I know, but here’s a panorama of the neighborhood gym I’ve frequented of late and even some video (2MB) that have crossed the great oceans of time to reach you. Cheerio.

Gym panorama
Gym panorama from the gym at Vattuniemen Sport Center, Helsinki, Finland (click image for full view)

Wednesday, 16 March 2005: Light SQ/DL

Low box squat off 10″ step board:
              worked up to 2 @ 80 kg/177 lbs over 8 sets
One-handed deadlift:
              5 @ 27.5 kg/61 lbs
              5 @ 35 kg/77 lbs
              5 @ 42.5 kg/94 lbs
Upper body cable turn:
              20 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
              15 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
              15 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Standing cable crunch (in cross pulley):
              15 @ 30 kg/66 lbs
              15 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
              15 @ 60 kg/133 lbs

Total training time: 50 min

Friday, 18 March 2005: Bench

Dumbell bench:
              5 @ 13.5 kg/30 lbs
              5 @ 22.5 kg/50 lbs
              5 @ 25 kg/55 lbs
              5 @ 32.5 kg/72 lbs
              0 @ 42.5 kg/94 lbs
              2 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
Wide-grip pulldown (supersetted with db benches): 5x12 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
Standing cable curl: 9 @ 55 kg/122 lbs

Total training time: 35 min

March 29, 2005

Hope you all had a relaxing Easter Holiday!

Filed under: General

merry protein festivities
No gangsta rabbits this year… but someone clearly had a dozen eggs too many.

March 31, 2005

Week 12: Powered by sushi

Filed under: Workouts

Thursday, 24 March 2005: Squat/Deadlift

Ichiban Sushi take away, yumyumIt’s no secret that I am a sushiopath in both life and powerlifting. On this first day of my Easter holiday, I “just happened” to steer Rufus’s pram past the newly opened Ichiban Sushi located right next to the University of Helsinki. After also stocking up on an expansion kit for Carcassonne from the neighboring board-game store, I headed home with my take away box to soy up for a quick workout. I did low box squats last week, so this time it was deadlifts again. I focused on pulling the weight off the floor as quickly as possible and stopped short of a true max.


                10,5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
                5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
                5 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                5 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
                3 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
                3 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
                1 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
                1 @ 120 kg/265 lbs
Dumbell side bend: 3x10 @ 32.5 kg/72 lbs
Upper cable turn:
                12 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                20 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Ab crunch on curved board: 15, 12

Total training time: 37 min

Sunday, 26 March 2005

The neighborhood gym was closed today due to Easter (guess that’s as good a reason as any). Måns and I therefore contemplated other centrally located gym options and finally levitated to Töölö Gym. Boasting 2000 square meters of gym space, the largest gym in Helsinki has a lot of goodies. Among them were decline benches and modified row pulleys, but could not, unsurprisingly, spot any GHRs or reverse hypers. As I’ve only done declines off a makeshift setup they were the order of the day. I was feeling royally sleep deprived and was not too surprised when 100 kg/221 lbs got stuck on the chest. Nice gym though.

Decline bench:
                5 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
                5 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
                2 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
                2 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
                1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
                0 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
Modified row cable: 3x6 @ pin in 10th hole (stack unmarked)
JM press:
                8 @ 40 kg/88 lbs
                8 @ 45 kg/99 lbs
                6 @ 50 kg/111 lbs
David front pulldown (iso-lateral):
                10 @ 20 kg/44 lbs per side
                6 @ 40 kg/88 lbs per side
                6 @ 50 kg/111 lbs per side
Standing barbell curl: 6,5 @ 40 kg/88 lbs

Total training time: 40 min