Chad K. Park's Blog

29, July 2012

Heavy snatch

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 9:23 am

Holy crap.  Olympic lifting.  The snatch has to be the greatest lift every invented.  Bar none.  I mean, if you’re looking to get fit, then deadlift.  It’s good for you.  If you’re trying to get big shoulders then do some pressing movements (make sure to balance with pulling).  But the snatch has all that.  It’s a deadlift, a jump, a shrug, a pull, a press and an overhead squat all in one.  And there’s guts involved.  There’s timing and speed and skill and mental ability.  What causes my current crisis of commentary?  Catching up on old crossfit videos.  On 13 April 2012 daughter of Olympic lifting coach Mike Burgener, Natalie, works her way up to a 175# snatch.  Holy moley.  I had to hit pause a number of times.  Her set up is awesome.  She gets fully open hips just as she starts to shrug and her catch is *so* fast.  For the record, my best is 103#.

I know there are people who lift more and videos that show Olympians on the platform doing their utmost.  But this vid has the commentary and a lot of reps.  If you’re at all interested in explosive strength or just overall conditioning, I would recommend finding a coach who can teach you to snatch.

27, July 2012

In the “good for the world” category

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 10:51 am

I love this:

http://uncrate.com/stuff/biolite/

I had always meant to make my own rocket stove for camping.  There are a couple of instructions and videos out there and of course, Amazon is happy to sell you one.  But being able to buy one that also powers your usb capable devices (LEDs, radio, etc.)?  Sweet!

And in the world of drought, Aussie Ed Linnacre comes to us with genius idea for a low tech way of harvesting moisture out of the air.  I want to know if he was inspired by Pardot Kynes from the Dune series of books.

Finally, in the world of commuting, a stylish electric bike.  It’s a bit pricey and I would opt for the ugly cheaper bike, but still it’s nice to know that someone is out there making a beautiful quality product.  Now we just need to see about shutting down some streets to auto traffic.

Gray Cook & core stability

Filed under: training, Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 9:15 am

So I read a bunch of exercise blogs.  I found a link in one a while ago to someone really good.  He’s got a strong history of training athletes and I like his focus on core stability.  Here’s where he introduced me to a great exercise you can do at your usual gym.  I don’t usually have much appreciation for cable pulling exercises at the (IMHO) overly equipped gyms.  However, this chop and lift has stood me in good stead every time I end up at a hotel with a cheesy machine and zero dumbbells.  Good stuff – I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.  You might surprise yourself.

thumbs around the bar?

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 9:11 am

I obsess, particularly on Sundays, with the media at http://www.crossfit.com.  However, it’s hard to blog about, because they take it down so fast.  That being said, I need to mention something.  This may be only me and for my own historical record.  I loved not having my thumb around the bar when pressing overhead.

There.  I said it.  I know.  It’s in stark contrast to the text in the video below.  And, I’m not overly zealous of the fact that I feel the same as Rob Orlando.  I mean, the man is a beast and a hero of mine.  I don’t think he’s got great form on his Olympic lifts, but crap.  I can’t have any credence commenting when someone cleans as much weight as him.

Anyway, back to the point at hand.  I was pressing overhead one day.  I’m hovering around 105# for straight presses at about 5 reps – maybe a bit more for push presses.  I found that I was *naturally* keeping my thumbs on the same side as my fingers.  I don’t know why.  It felt better.  I should ask a professional about this.  I had tried it “properly” prior to this and found the exercise harder.  Maybe there’s something mental?  Maybe I’m prepping to drop the weight in a hurry – even my thumbs are not in the way of a front-drop.  All I know is that I liked the grip and I may try it when jerking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSN1ycvzALY

OK, Mr. Orlando is bench pressing and not pressing overhead.  Still, I found it comfortable and natural.  Maybe it helps me get my palm and forearm lined up with the bar’s direction of travel.

For those that care, here are some of my clean attempts – note me forcing myself to use hook grip on these.  I can’t always love it when doing cleans for reps, but on heavy attempts, it’s actually proven to be what coach Mike Heinze said – the best grip for heavy work.

Power cleans, squat cleans, and clean & jerk.

1, June 2012

Memorial Day Murph – 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 8:27 am

I had a great time at my third participation with the Crossfit popularized workout called, “Murph”.  I did mine at Wildcat crossfit.  I also had gone to www.memorialdaymurph.com and ordered the T-shirt.  Go on.  You can be jealous.

Murph:

Run 1 mile,

100 pullups

200 pushups

300 squats

run 1 mile.

If you have a 20 lb weight vest, wear it.  You may partition the exercises as you like, but you should start and end with the run.

The workout is in honor of a Navy SEAL who heroically exposed himself to enemy fire to call in air support for his team.  They used to do this same workout to prepare for deployments and called it “Body Armor” because they wore their 20lbs of gear doing it.

I had a bit of a rocky warmup but ended up spending extra time with the foam roller getting the legs and shoulders ready.  Once we got going, I was unsurprised that I was nearly dead last at the end of the first run.  However, as I rolled into the bay doors and looked at the clock I swear I saw something like 7:40.  I ran a mile that fast?!?  Sweet.  I partitioned the exercises into 20 sets.  Five kipped pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat….  The pushups were a time sink for me.  You know how I’ll fix that?  More pushups.  That last mile is a killer.  After all those squats my legs were pretty rocked.  But I managed to not stop and walk for any of either run.

Result: 58:04

This was making me feel good for a few reasons.  Last year, I rocked a 59 minute 50 something time.  And most of that was because trainer Erin paced me for the second half.  I mean, she didn’t just count out reps and set me a good pace, but she did the squats and the first half of the last run with me.  She bowed out of the last part of the run saying it was a sort of religious experience.  She was right.

This year, I didn’t have so much of the religious experience, I was just trying to tie or beat my old time, but without someone pacing me.  Also, I hadn’t been very good at getting to the gym and, of course, my best execuse is …. I’m a year older!  So, I was happy that I made it under time and under my own steam.  The best part was that it wasn’t such a grind as the first time.  I felt kind of optimistic throughout.  Also, I recovered a *lot* faster.

One thing that was the same as last year was thinking about the meaning behind the workout.  I had read more of Lieutenant Michael Murphy’s story and was, if anything, even more amazed by him that what I knew last year.  Either way, thinking about the heroism and tragedy in the story helps you through the workout.  I think of it as forging mental toughness.

If you’re interested in scaling such a workout – and I recommend doing it – I would start with 1/4 or 1/2.  Just divide the distance and reps into the appropriate fraction.  I would also consider setting a time limit of an hour.  If it’s taking you 50 minutes to do the first half, just stop and go for a final jog and reward yourself with a lot of stretching and a hot shower.  You’ll need it.

Sauce – a rant

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — chadkpark @ 8:06 am

There’s something about the restaurant ‘Sauce’ that makes me ill.

I know you’re thinking that it’s great and they’re so friendly and their pizza is so awesome and even your vegan friends like it and, and and… Stop! You’re wrong. Settle down and we’ll proceed to the evidence.

1.) You would think a place named ‘Sauce’ would have all kinds. They don’t; they have, what, two kinds of Anglicized Italian tomato sauces.  Would it kill them to branch out a bit?
2.) They seem to go out of their way to add sugar to their salads. If it’s not in the dressing, it’s added to it.  Once I got one with the dressing on the side and it was *still* sweetened.  I got one yesterday and apparently there’s a minimum sugar content.  Again, the dressing was on the side, so they added a *shit* ton of corn.
4.) Oh, and the salad is like $8 too. “Because of all the added vegetables”. BS. 1/4 of an asparagus stalk isn’t going to set you back a buck.
5.) The dishwashers don’t. I’m not talking about the people now; it’s whatever they are using for a machine or detergent. Every effing plate is greasy.
6.) The pizza. OMG I enjoy a thin crust like everyone. But seriously, come ON! How can you honestly charge so much for something that’s so utterly insubstantial. That’s not even including the point that you’re feeding us crap flour and who knows what quality cheese.

One final thing. The ‘friendliness’ is faked. Seriously. They’re not that into refilling your stinking water glass.

Anyway, I had to get that off my chest. I feel better now.
You may be wondering why I return to that place? Well, among my lunching companions, I am apparently alone in my loathing.

3, May 2012

02 May 2012 workout and some eats

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 10:11 am

Short comment to keep me honest on workouts and diet.

8:30 am workout
400m run
10, 9, 8, …., 2, 1 reps of
Pullups
Pushups (hand release)
Situps (heels together)
400m run

My time was 16:46 and dead last, but only by a few seconds.  Several guys finished in under 10.  I think my time will shorten considerably when I can string together kipping pullups.  Right now I have to take an extra swing between reps.  Know how I plan on getting this skill?  Practice.

Eating on the semi- paleo was good until the evening.  I haf a salad at dinner, but the allergies were acting up so I ate a bunch of oranges and around 9 pm I lost it and drank a glass and a half of college chocolate almond milk.  It has a good deal of sugar in it, but I figure with a day or so of dietary return will abolish the effect.

Besides, I have been reading and thinking about carb cycling and cheat days and how important they are and will write more about them later.

Finally, my weight was 171 lbs and seems to be slowly going down or hovering.  I think my goal is to lose the love handles and not so much a specific weight.  However, if I could lose 10 it would put me that much closer to body weight Olympic lifts.

23, April 2012

Goals – April 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 7:43 pm

I have a lot of goals.  They float around my head and nip at me like cuttlefish.  They jump around my brain and pull my hair and fling poo like the mind-monkeys they are.

Old pal asked that I enunciate my goals if I’m going to keep posting about my workouts.  Well, I have a bit on that.  I like to comment on my workouts.  I like to reinforce them with writing.  It feels like they are more real and more of an event rather than 45 minutes twiddling my thumbs and listening to heavy metal while ‘spinning’ or jogging.

But that has nothing to do with my goals.  I have wants.  Needs even.  First – bodyweight snatch.  I love that lift.  And bodyweight is a great milestone.  However, I’m a ways away from it.  I have a 135# clean and a 140# jerk and a 105# snatch.  Those lifts typically fall in ranges like that (C&J ~ 130% snatch).  So, the BW snatch is tentatively set for 2013.  However, there are a couple of things along the way.  I would like to get to 165 (again).  Also, my Oly lifts can use a lot of skill development.  I mean, I don’t think I have *ever* done a proper squat snatch like you see those guys in the olympics.  I do a power snatch – meaning my thighs are >> parallel.  With the right training I should be able to jump under a lot better and watch my lift numbers grow.  On the other hand, my overhead squat kind of sucks.  It’s stuck at about 85# conservatively.  So, there are clear roads to improvement – accessory exercises = snatch balance, squat clean, OH squat etc.

But that’s just a lifting goal.  I don’t really have much more of those.  Most of the others – athletic goals that is – are of the body dimension / type or of the acrobatic variety.  Body dimension – I always wanted wider shoulders.  I’m kind of good in the thickness-of-chest dimension.  However, I’d love wider shoulders.  How to?  Handstands & handstand push ups.  Secondly, love handles – they need to disappear.  Some of that is happening with diet and exercise (*gasp* that actually works?  what about cucumber smoothies and the south beach diet?).  Some of that is getting help from fun things like spiderman pullups and hanging from a bar and touching your left knee to your right elbow and reversing it.  Honestly, a lot is happening from just remembering to suck in my lower gut all day.  It helps now that I can finally find the muscle that holds in my lower gut.  I used to only suck in the upper part which made me weird looking.  OK.  Weirder.  Fine.  You win.

Acrobatic goals are pretty far fetched and I haven’t really enacted the plans on them.  However, handstands are the key to a lot of them.  I would like to flip on regular ground – maybe grass;  I might never graduate to cement and I’ll be OK with that.  I am chicken on the back flip and I front flip on trampolines and foam pits.  Again, this is pretty easy to advance.  Go to a tumbling studio; hang out with the UA tricks guys.  Along with that, I would love to have a kong vault on cement.  This one I can do moderately well in the gymnasium.  But I would like to be able to “count on it” in the wild as it were.

So, without further ado – here’s an old plot of my weight as a function of time.  The plot starts somewhere around January 2011.  I joined wildcat crossfit in late December 2011.  I had been bicycling 16 miles per day prior to that.  With the whole ‘paleo’ diet I started experimenting with low carbs, high veggies & egg whites.  This persisted throughout April and May and sort of tapered off since.  I stopped crossfit in May or so of 2011 and started up again after some surgeries around Feb. 2012.  There’s an empty space and about a 5 lb uptick around late November 2011 which is from our trip to Santa Barbara.  I love how the mass melted right off and went right back to my ‘median’ weight of about 170 lbs.  Other than that, I think the plot speaks for itself.  I have about a 3lb cycle and apocryphally, I’ve noticed that Saturdays are some of my lowest digits.  However, after beers & junk on Saturday night, I tend to creep back a bit.

Currently, I’m not as low as this plot shows.  I crept back up to 175 as a max and then have been around 169 – 172 and on a downward trend again lately.

22 April 2012 WCCF workout

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 11:49 am

The morning was something of a bust.  The internet is out at the house and we ran out of cereal too.  There was enough for maybe half a bowl.  I ended up taking the ten year old terror (TYOT) to the local market on the way to school and got him a bagel.  I thought, well what the hell.  It doesn’t look like it’s going to get better soon, so I might as well go get the workout done.

It was a fun one.  Not.  At least these guys don’t last too long.

8 min. of as many rounds as possible (AMRAP):
10 toes-to-bar
20 walking lunges w/ overhead weight 45#/25#
3 min. rest
6 min. AMRAP:
10 push ups
30 double unders

I got 3 rounds + 4 toes-to-bar on the first bit.  I chose to use an intermediate weight for the lunges.  I guess I could have tried 45#, but I don’t really want to push myself too hard on the weight side of things.  On the second part, I got 3 rounds + 4 push ups or so.

OK, now for the execuses.  I hadn’t had any breakfast – just some half-decaf.  I had spent yesterday working on the roof.  Intelligently, I didn’t have any sunscreen – just a hat.  And I was up there from about 1 – 3 pm so I probably was pretty dehydrated.  That didn’t stop me from sweating like mad during the workout.

The good part was that I think I’m starting to get the kip on the toes-to-bar.  It has taken me long enough.  But, I managed to string together a few at a time.  I got 5 in a row on the first round and they felt pretty strong.  The lunges went about as expected.  I did a lot of pauses in the middle, but I had about 10-20% of them just rock on through – although my arms weren’t always real strict on the ‘locked-out elbows’.  Push ups, well, they remain pretty weak for me.  Maybe it was all the ab challenging stuff from the first part?  I find I’m snaking up unless I really focus on mid line stability.  I also find that it’s not my chest, but my shoulder strength that is limiting.  That must be because of my playing with hand position.  Mike has taught that we should have our elbow pits forward, and the hands next to the body and a little bit back from where I usually put them.  Finally, the double unders.  I didn’t get any.  This is sort of interesting for me, because I felt like they were getting better.  I think some of the issue was the fact that I tried on my homemade jump rope + I got some new (used) sneakers that have a big tread on the back and the rope kept getting caught on it.  I tried at the beginning of the warmup to get some DUs, but it was so rough and tiring that I just subbed 3x single unders for all three of my rounds.

I stretched like a beast for at least 10 minutes and enjoyed myself a crap-ton of endorphins.  I pounded down a lot of water and a cup of cream-top plain yogurt when I got back to work.  Not feeling too bad.

 

22, April 2012

My idea for a camera made by others!

Filed under: Uncategorized — chadkpark @ 12:14 pm

So, this kind of blew my mind.

First, I see this camera posing as a slingshot.  This completely captures my old idea for a camera that would scare the bajeezus out of someone because it’d be buried in the barrel of a fake pistol.  Yes, I know it’s not really the best of motivations for making a device.  However, I would absolutely love it if there were a dozen or so bike-messenger types uploading a whole website full of startled New York driver pics.

These guys though, took it to the next level.  I assume they are on the up-and-up about their reasoning – it’s for “hunting” in the off-season.  But you have to admit, this camera is just begging to be abused.  I mean, the idea of a camera rifle seems somehow either horribly wrong or totally awesome.  There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground here.

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