Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Track Hurdles

Antwun Baker was kind enough to put some extra hurdles up on Facebook Marketplace and I was fortunate to contact him within hours of listing.

I picked them up today and they are in great shape and should make an excellent plyometric tool for offseason training.  The listing mentioned (3) but he actually had (4) that he was giving away.  Fortunately they fit nicely in my car.

Antwun is really fit and played football and was a sprinter in college.  He had some great tips about getting kids ready for sports including not only plyometrics, but also footwork drill.  He does support weight training for athletes of all ages with focus on technique and quality movement rather than heavy weights.  Finally he filled me in on winter track.  Training is usually in hallways or gymnasiums and only training outdoors when weather allows.  Meets are usually held at CU Boulder, UCCS (Colorado Springs) or Colorado School of Mines which all have indoor track facilities.

Metcon - Arm Blast

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Basement Gym



5 Rounds for time

20 cal ski erg
10 push-ups
10 decline sit-ups
10 alt reverse lunges (unweighted)

This was a fun little effort that I finished in 15:30.  I could go unbroken on everything, except the sit-ups which I started splitting up in round 3.

Arm Blast

Biceps - 3x20 alt DB Curls (25#)
Triceps - 3x10 DB kickbacks (15#)
Forearms - 3x wrist roll forward/back (10#)

This was a nice little workout which took me a little over 30 minutest to finish.  I definitely need to incorporate more of this work into my programming.

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Hand Cleaner

I am starting to look into hand cleaners to get the oils off my hands prior to training grip.  I am not sure how much it matters, but starting to do some homework.

Fast Orange Hand Cleaner (Pumice) No Petroleum Solvents - Has some lotion in it

Gojo (Pumice) - lotion formula

Full Bore Hand Scrub - no solvents, just soap and grit (Extreme Green or Super Grit) - $6 + $10.65 shipping

Zolex Hand Cleaner - $8.99 + $7 shipping

Bear Paw Hand Cleaner

Tarkelp - $2.49 Harbor Freight

Probably just need to ask Steve.

@teamgupta - Sanjiv Gupta
@the_crushah - Sarah Chappelow
@dinged7469 - Jeremy Everding
@rocky_mtn_grip - Steve Millard
@homegymhero - Michael Rogowski
@coltonstorm28 - Colton Storm
@j.hag - Jesse Hagedorn

2023 King Kong Grip Challenge

This has been on my calendar practically since it was announced.  I did the challenge in 2019 and toyed with the idea in 2021 and finally made my way out to Carbondale this year.  The event was founded by Eric Roussin and this is the 11th year it is being held.

The event was sponsored by Steve Millard (Carbondale) and Jeremy Everding (Carbondale).  In attendance were Kim (Thornton), Kenzie (Cheyenne, WY), Sarah (Glenrock, WY), Megan (Rifle, CO), Michael (flew in to Grand Junction), Colton (Cheyenne, WY), Jaland (Mead, CO), Jesse (Rifle, CO) and myself (Lakewood, CO).  The (11) of us faced down the 2.25” crusher, pinch block, Finnish ball and 2.5” jug.  I did not realize until we were well underway, that the Carbondale venue often has some world class lifters setting world records on the implements.

Check in for the event was easy.  I paid my $30, weighed in at 199 pounds (90.5kg).  Folks were pretty serious about warming up doing general fitness warm ups and hand specific warm ups with squeeze balls, IronMind toys and I even saw a pair of those steel ball pairs that people rotate in their hands.  We did rules briefings as we went along.  Most folks were pretty comfortable with the rules, but I learned some new things.

The biggest difference at the comp was lifting to a crossbar and the “seasoning” of the implements.  All of the implements had a healthy amount of chalk worked into the steel to give the implement an extremely nice feel.  They were well prepped and cared for with light brushing when needed and grinding in chalk when needed.

Steve Millard has excellent equipment with homemade crossbars, lifting blocks for shorter athletes, and Rogue calibrated kg plates (2 sets of 25-25-20-10-5).  He had  a few loading pins, the official implements and a cross arm that fits in the weight stack to strike the crossbar.  Everything was measured twice, recorded and the judging was spectacular.

The event was last man standing:
  • Crusher – 53.75kg, 56.25kg, 58.75kg (123.75lb; 166th)
  • IronMind Block – 11.25kg, 14.4kg, 15.4kg, 16.9kg, 19.9kg, 20.4kg, 20.9kg, 21.9kg, 23.4kg (48.18lb, 167th)
  • Finnish Ball (13” Lift) – 15kg, 17kg, 18kg, 19kg, 20kg, 21.5kg, 22.5kg, 23.5kg, 25kg (51.7lb, 136th)
  • 2.5” Jug – 41.35kg, 43.85kg, 46.35kg, 48.85kg, 51.35kg, 52.85kg, 56.35kg, 63.85kg, 67.35kg (140.47 lb, 153rd).
Overall, I was 158/182 men; 19/21 93kg men and 17/23 50+ men.

My increments may seem weird.  I started too heavy on the Crusher and despite it moving well, failed on my 3rd attempt.  

I was more conservative in my jump with the Block and ended up taking 9 successful lifts.  Keys were to start off center and really stretch webbing of hand to engage Block and press Block into lifting hand with opposite hand.  

The Finnish Ball was similar in that I took 8 successful lifts.  Key is to really set fingers opposite thumb and lift.  

The 2.5” Jug was weird.  I took 8 successful lifts.  It felt heavy until the 3rd lift and then it just started moving well.  Keys were to take all of the tension out of the carabiner and implement with free hand, set lifting hand and then go.  

All of the lifters seemed to listen for the crossbar and follow the implement down.  It has to be controlled but can shift in your hand as long as you follow it down.

After the comp folks were playing with plate pinches, half 90 blob, half 120 blob, red pill, an EH106 grip tester and other toys.  

I was most pleased with myself on the Jug.  The Crusher and Block are more raw strength.  The Finnish Ball is more technique.  The Jug is a combination of both.

I liked seeing how people prepped and competed.  One guy wore a mouthpiece.  Another guy had on elbow sleeves.  A couple of folks were wearing belts.  Several athletes were also using ammonia for final attempts.

Sarah was the Queen Kong of Grip winning overall best female athlete
Kim was 3rd in 57kg women (2nd in 50+ women)
Megan was 2nd in 63kg women
MacKenzie was 6th in 100+kg women

Jesse was 1st in 59kg men
Michael was 5th in 84kg men
Sanjiv was 19th in 93kg men
Steve was 7th in 105kg men (3rd in 50+ men)
Jaland was 4th in 120kg men
Colton was 4th in 120+kg men
Jeremy was 8th in 120+kg men

GGC Fall 2023

Saturday, October 28, 2023

Basement Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow






1x335 fail

Aziz joined me for the garage gym competition and it was really nice to have somebody to compete with.  He put up some really solid numbers at 265+195+315 = 775 at a body weight of 193 lb.  Apparently these are significantly off his previous best numbers.

Total 245+185+325 = 755 (GGC 10/28/2023) 197.9
Total 242+165+341 = 748 (AFA 7/29/2023) 193.4
Total 235+170+325 = 730 (GGC 5/19/2023) 196.8
Total 240+195+330 = 765 (GGC 11/12/2022) 193.4
Total 235+190+325 = 750 (GGC 5/15/2022) 190.9

Overall, I was quite pleased with my numbers.  

Squat 245 (highest during powerlifting, close to lifetime best of 264# 2/24/2020)
Bench 185 (big improvement from 170#, lifetime best 205# 10/27/2015)
Deadlift 325 (very pleased to stay flat here, lifetime best 341# 7/29/2023)
Total 755 (second highest total)

Thursday, October 26, 2023

ScrapMasters Custom Welding

I came across this company on Facebook and Instagram.  They are well regarded and support the strength community.  Most of their items are strongman and highland games oriented.  They also have some amazing rebar creations that have been used as trophies.

I inquired about a Dinnie Training Set which runs $200 shipped.  This is a reasonable price point.  Cerberus set up is $200, but you can often get 15% off, but I like the ScrapMasters design.  They are basically loading pins set to height, shackles and rings.  Your choice of color on the loading pins.

I also inquired about a 42# WOB and the implement would be $210 plus shipping.  It includes a hand forged handle and shackle.   Michael Black is significantly cheaper, but I expect he will raise his rates in the future.

The owner is Clint Moneymaker and is renowned for his quality welding.  He was recently endorsed by John Oka.

I am re-evaluating where I want to go with feats of strength.  I am leaning away from Dinnie training or Inch dumbbell training.  I think I would prefer to continue on with grip tools and test.

Pool Swim

Thursday, October 26, 2023



Pool Swim

1x400 FR
1x100 BR
1x100 BA
4x100 FR in 2:30 on 3:00
1000 yards total

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

HomeGrown Lifting

I was eyeing these plates about a month ago and found a listing on Facebook Marketplace.

I picked them up today and I have mixed feelings.

  • Seem durable
  • Nice crumb feel
  • Fleck rubber looks cool
  • Press finished is lousy (lettering, numbering flaked off)
  • Accuracy is low (+0%/-10%)
For the $70 I paid for 50 pounds of plates, I am still quite pleased.  I will give them a whirl on the dumbbell handles.  I do feel like it would be a non-issue to drop these and they would hold up ok, regardless of how much or how little weight is on the bar.  They are pretty thick.  I need to measure to see what the maximum loading would be.

Seller.  JW Redell seems like a nice enough guy.  He bought these after comparing overall cost to adjustable dumbbells such as Power Block and Nuobell.  He mistakenly bought more than he needed assuming they were sold as singles instead of pairs.  The story seems to make sense.


Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Garage Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow



“Hamstring Hamster”
Every 6:00 minutes, 5 Sets:
9 Deadlifts 225/155lb, (102/70kg)
15 Lateral Burpees over Bar
21 Abmat Sit-Ups
27/22 Cal Row

Going into this one, I scaled to 185# deadlifts, burpee step overs and my goal was to test the first round shooting for 60-90 seconds rest and a total time of 30-35 minutes.

Round 1 - 6:50 (went on 8)
Round 2 - 7:18 (went on 8)
Round 3 - 7:37 (went on 9)
Round 4 - 7:50

This was brutal and I was very pleased with a 32:50 for 4 rounds.  That is 36 DL, 60 burpee, 84 sit-ups and 108 calories on the rower.  Programming was from Vintage CrossFit for Tuesday 10/24/2023.

Side note. First time playing with the new Uesaka plates.  I like them.  I made the mistake of throwing them on the scale and they are both significantly underweight at 43.85 pounds each.

Monday, October 23, 2023

Carrollwood Day School 5K

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Carrollwood Day School


5K Run

I turned in a blazing (for me) 5K of 31:30.  The course was a little weird and I actually clocked 3.24 miles at 9:34 pace.  My lungs felt great.  My legs were not really ready to move fast.  Interestingly, my heart rate averaged 164.  Significantly higher than my training pace.

For my age:
Tempo 140-154 (where I usually am) 7.1%
Threshold 154-168 66.4%
Anaerobic >168 25.0%

I actually backed off when I saw numbers in the 170+ range.  I am not about to have a heart attack during a charity 5K.  Fun event with some great families.

Officially dubbed "The Caplans' Patriot Run 2023" they had t-shirts and medals, but with my race day registration, I did not get any of the goodies.  Still nice to give $40 to charity.

My brother in law and my 8 year old nephew ran the race together finishing a few minutes behind me.  I was very impressed by their effort.

Dropping in on a 5K was a nice testament to my training philosophy of being able to jump into any mainstream adventure without any special preparation.

CrossFit Lutz

Friday, October 20, 2023

CrossFit Lutz


Warm Up

200 meter run
line drills
shoulder warm up
movement prep


3 Rounds
20 DB Snatch (55/35)
20 Swings (with the same DB)
50 DU (100 singles)
500 meter row
-rest 3 min-
1 Round
40 DB Snatch
40 Swings
100 DU (200 singles)
1000m row

This was a long workout with a soft 35 minute cap.  I scaled to 25# dumbbell, did singles and was able to maintain a steady state effort throughout the workout.  I finished the first 3 Round block in 16:20 and started the final round at 19:20 and finished the workout in 30:30.

Coach Evan took (4) of us through a nice little workout.  (2) female and (1) other male athlete.  The facility itself was not much from the outside.  It was co-located with some batting cages.  The max number of athletes would probably be 6-8.  They had a short rig.  Mostly dumbbells with few kettlebells.  They had a rag tag assortment of barbells and mixed Concept 2 and Xebex rowers.  On the cleanliness continuum, it trended toward gritty and even the stall mats did not align smoothly and another athlete was shifting around in order to do double unders.  I did not realize this, but my brother in law typically trains there as few alternatives exist close to the house.

They had water and pre-packaged smoothies for sale.  Drop in rate was $20 or $25 with a t-shirt.  So, I have another t-shirt.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

PRVN Total

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Home Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Hip Hammy
Crossover Symmetry
Front Rack Mobility

PRVN Total

45 minutes to establish
1RM Power Clean
1RM Weighted Pull-up
3RM Bench Press
5RM Back Squat

1 RM Power Clean

1RM Weighted Pull-up
10 chin to bar, not over bar

3RM Bench Press

5RM Back Squat

Might have had a little more in the tank on Power Clean and Back Squat, but I have not been working those much.  Still very pleased with a 1485 pound total.  

Arm Assassin Strength Shop

Offering Heavy Lift Bar and Hand & Thigh Bar!

Heavy Lift Bar - $140
Hand & Thigh Bar - $70
Shipping $70
$280 all in.  Pretty good deal

No specs on the Hand & Thigh, but the Heavy Lift Bar complies with USAWA specifications

I will likely reach out to Arm Assassin before ordering

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Run - Arm Blast

Tuesday, October 17, 2023




1.93 mile run (11:52 pace)

Arm Blast

Run the Rail Alt DB Curls - 14x30; 14x20; 10x15

DB OH Triceps Extension - 10x25; 10x30; 8x35

DB Seated OH Press - 10x30

Cable Arm Wrestling - Internal Rotation - 10#, 15#

Roughly 40 minute workout total

Mainstream vs Fringe Sport

Mainstream Sport - football, basketball, baseball, cricket, volleyball, hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, running, bicycling, swimming, gymnastics, skiing, diving

Fringe Sport - wrestling, hurling, rugby, lacrosse, fencing, bodybuilding, powerlifting, weightlifting, arm wrestling, climbing, kayaking

Martial Arts - boxing, judo, karate, taekwondo, jujutsu, kendo, ninjutsu

Shooting sports - archery, air pistol, rifle

Bar Room Sports - darts, billiards, foosball, corn hole

Stuff Folks have never heard of - strongman, highland games, all-round weightlifting, grip sport, wife carrying, obstacle course racing, tag, kabaddi, trapeze

I am sure there are countless other activities, hobbies and sports that I have overlooked or never heard of.  Every culture on community on earth has found a way to compete and socialize with each other through athletic endeavor.  I learned of several new ones watching "Home Game" on Netflix.  

It is a luxury to be able to take advantage of the local community and learn to surf, ski, climb, water ski as the environment allows.  It is also great to embrace a cultural sport in a far off community for example seeking out a kendo club, cricket team or sailing team.

In 2024 I would like to continue to train for health & wellness and compete in recreational sports.  I broke up my top interests into buckets by priority.  Hopefully, I will come across something new that I want to try out or train for as well.

Crossfit - Open
All-Round Weightlifting

Highland Games

Grip Sport

Monday, October 16, 2023


Monday, October 16, 2023



Warm Up

Treadmill - 3 mph, 3% incline, 5 min
Hip Hammy Flow
Dumbbell Halos


Scales - 20 seconds each position
Inversions - headstand hold, handstand hold, handstand hold 
Plank - Accumulate 2 min (40-25-25-25-15 sec)


10 rounds every 90 seconds

1 neutral grip pull-up
5 push-up
10 air squat

Great movement, about 50 seconds work and 40 seconds rest each round

Cybex Machine Row

12x75# stack

40 minutes total workout

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Troy Change Plates

Nice little pick up from Logan Davis.  All were offered at a $1/pound and I opted for the set of (4) Troy plates.  I am not drowning in 2.5# plates and need to stop, but I do like them

(4) Vintage York
(4) York Legacy
(2) Iron Grip
(4) Troy
(2) Weight It Out
(4) Ivanko
(2) International CANADA
(2) Eleiko
(2) Rep Fitness
(2) Rogue Fitness
(2) Kabuki
(30) - Yes, I actually have 75# of these little bastards and I never use more than a pair at a time.

Rolling Hills Grip Challenge 2

March 9, 2024

Above the Rest Training Systems

Cheyenne, WY

Event 1: 3" x 4" Saxon Bar Deadlift to Lockout
Powerlifting rules will apply with regard to lockout on this implement. Event will be utilizing a Sorinex 3”x4” Saxon Bar. Rising Bar format with unlimited attempts. 

Event 2: 2 3/8" Napalm Nightmare - 6" lift to Crossbar
Lift will be considered complete when the implement hits the crossbar positioned 6” off the floor. Rising Bar format with unlimited attempts. 

Event 3: Inch Pinch - 6" lift to Crossbar
Lift will be considered complete when the implement hits the crossbar positioned 6” off the floor. Rising Bar format with unlimited attempts.  

Event 4: Rogue Grandfather Clock Deadlift - 6" lift to Crossbar
Lift will be considered complete when the implement hits the crossbar positioned 6” off the floor. Rising Bar format with unlimited attempts.  

Event 5: Wrist Roller Sled Drag
Athletes will roll a wrist roller using a wrist extension technique to drag a sled 25’. Weights will be announced subject to testing. Athletes will be given a time for completing the event, and distances will be taken for incomplete runs. 

  • Saxon Bar 3" x 4" - $150 from Arm Assassin Strength Shop + $65 shipping; $204 Sorinex + $60 Shipping + $20 Tax
  • Napalm Nightmare 2-3/8" - $105 (2 hand) from Arm Assassin Strength Shop
  • Inch Pinch - $15 from Arm Assassin Strength Shop 
  • Rogue Grandfather Clock Deadlift - have these; it is a one handed lift
  • Wrist Roller Sled Drag - train with IronMind implements

Gorilla Strength Equipment - Nickel Pinch Grip Attachment - $19

Nemesis Grips?

John Oka - "jokabug_the_lazy_old_faka" Instagram makes his own implements

email sent to the organizer on IronPodium.  Travis got back to me within days and confirmed all of my questions.

Order 1 - Sorinex - Saxon Bar - Textured or Raw - $280 (with tax/shipping)
Order 2 - Arm Assassin - Napalm Nightmare + Inch Pinch - $136
Order 2 - Arm Assassin - Napalm Nightmare + Inch Pinch + Uprights - $214
Order 2 - Arm Assassin - Napalm Nightmare + Inch Pinch + Uprights + Banner - $239
Order 3 - FBBC - Contest Loading Pins and Contest Cross Guard - $70+shipping
Order 4 - Lowes - Hillman 48-in Orange Reflective Rod - $4 (Left Wall Bay 11)

Vintage Weightlifting Swap Pricing


Cast 2.5's - $25
Milled 5's - $45-$55
Cast 5's - $2.50/lb
Milled 10's - 
Cast 10's - $2.50/lb
Milled 25's
Milled 35's
Milled 45's
Milled 20kg - $250

York Deep Dish
45's - $1000
Iron Islands - $1250

45s - $150, plus $50 shipping
45s - $180 shipped
35s - $150 shipped
25s - $120 shipped
Single 5 - $25 shipped

45s - $185-$250

45's - $135-$200
25s - $75

45's - $200
45-35-25-10-5-2.5's - $500
45's - $200 shipped
35's - $170 shipped

5's - $40 shipped

Superior Deep Dish Unmarked
45;s - $1.50/lb

2.5 lb Weider - $25
5 lb Weider - $50
2 kg Berg - $125

Hugo's Cleanout Continues

Original listing around 10/14/2023

Another batch of high end gym equipment.  The Iron Island plates and Legend leg machines sold.  Surprisingly the dumbbells (price reduced twice) and the 100lb and 45kg plates are still available.

Pending  · Legend Fitness Squat Stool, #3143

The Legend Fitness 3143 is a commercial quality Barbell Squatting Stool fabricated from 3 x 3 x 11 gauge steel and fully welded for the highest possible structural integrity. The seat pad is constructed from 2 thick rebond foam with an 8 lb. per cubic foot density rating. This firm padding adds stability to the lifter and holds its shape even under the heavies payloads. Additionally, numerous height adjustments accommodate different size users and lifting styles. Using your squat stool while performing barbell squats on top of a wooden weightlifting platform inside a power cage or squat rack? The 3143 includes thick rubber feet that not only protect the urethane finish and wood underneath, but also keeps the user from sliding while in use. This squat stool is American Made for heavy freeweight training in school weight rooms and commercial gyms.

Legend Fitness Ground-based Grappler, #3220, with Grappler Wide Handles, #3220W

The Ground-Based Grappler is a weighted base plate with two gimbaled sleeves. To make it work, you secure one or two Olympic bars in the sleeves. Then you have the ability to perform a wide variety of upper body and lower body functional training. It is, essentially a floor-based version of our popular Dual Landmine attachment. The Ground-Based Grappler is a multifunctional piece of equipment that allows a wide range of exercises in one small area. Comes only with the wide handles. 

Legend Fitness 3-way bench, #3103

The Three-Way Utility needs no explanation. Simple? Yes. Plain?Hardly. It adjusts from 0 to 85 degrees in a flash, and can be rolled about easily with one hand. Look no further for a bench that sets the standard. Even the seat locks into position for incline work. What are you training? Chest, shoulders, arms, or back? Take a seat on the Three-Way Utility for all this and more.

Legend Fitness Trap Shrugger, #3165

Legend Fitness #3165 Walk-In Trap Shoulder Shrugger - Add strength and size to the trapezius muscles of the shoulders with the Legend 3165 Plate Loaded Trap Shrugger. The trap shrugger allows the user to perform a shoulder shrug using an opposing grip just like using a pair of dumbbells. With the palms facing in toward each other, there is no torqueing of the wrists or arms as heavy lifts are performed. Additionally, the user can simply walk into the frame and grab the handles that remain at a consistent 24.5 high. While the shrug is being performed the hands and arms remain aligned with the trunk and hips keeping the spine erect and eliminating the user from hunching over which is a common site when performing shrugs with a barbell.

Legend Fitness Lat Pulldown/Low Row

2-in-1 tool for massive back development. Fully welded. Exchange one snap link for another to move from deep reaching floor rows to pulldowns. Three-inch thick seat is adjustable for height, as are the upholstered thigh rollers. Load pegs and telescoping surfaces are chrome plated to minimize scratches and rust. Top of fully welded frame features UMHW wear-guards to protect the powder coat finish from the supplied wide-grip lat bar. Weight carriage is finished in our chip-resistant Silver Vein powder coat and weighs 30 pounds. Note that the pulldown bar is 48 inches wide. This is not reflected in the measurements below, so plan accordingly when planning floor layouts.

Friday, October 13, 2023


Abmat has come out with some pretty innovative products over the years.  I personally own the original Abmat and the barbell cushions.  I may yet get an Ab Amigo and a banner.

I have been more skeptical of some of the other items like the Barbell Bomb ($45), Preacher Pad ($130), Hip Thrust Pad ($50), Pivot Pad ($135), Split Squat Pad ($30+), Landmine Grip ($40), 1/4 Rings ($40), Heavy Hangers ($85), Zercher Pad ($65), Massage Gun Holder ($100), Chest Up Pad ($65), Floor Press Pad ($225), Roolox Barbell Collar ($88), Atlas Stone Return Ramp ($235), Saxon Grips ($65)

Barbell Jack EVO ($65), Medicine Balls ($105+), Loadable Dumbbell Cushions ($45), Roobox ($275), Wall Amigo ($35), Crash Cushions ($250), HSPU Pad ($40), Log Crash Cushions ($395), DC Blocks Crash Cushions ($175), Box Squat Pad ($150) all make sense to me even if I am not willing to pay for them.

The Dracula Pad for $350 has jumped the shark.  Unfortunately it does look comfortable and would probably suit a lot of folks home gym decor.  

I do respect Abmat for working with designers who are trying to solve a problem.  I do not like doing floor press.  It is uncomfortable.  Well, I think we can fix that.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Power Lift Used Equipment

I have been a Power Lift fan boy ever since I purchased a used Power Lift GHD from a CrossFit gym.  This behemoth was sturdy, comfortable, a pleasure to use and a pain to move.  I unfortunately sold it due to the large footprint and the minimal use it was receiving in my home gym.

I have tried to purchase Power Lift benches in the secondary market, but have not been successful.

Finally, I looked into adjustable plyometric boxes.  Power Lift offers a really cool design with 2 inch adjustments and a minimal footprint.  I reached out to Mike Richardson and was quoted $1000 for a small adjustable plyometric box plus $290 for shipping.  The price was unfortunately high for a home gym purchase.

Power Lift offers used equipment from time to time including racks, benches, selectorized equipment, plate loaded machines, platforms, misc equipment and misc plates & bumpers.

My most recent interaction was inquiring on Uesaka 45 lb Platinum Bumper Plates.  These have varied back stories.  Ones and twos are typically overstock from custom orders and larger quantities may be pulled out of facilities that are upgrading their facilities.  I am always interested in professional sports teams and sometimes universities.  I am rarely interested in high schools.  When perusing the website on October 11, 2023, the list was impressive and included:

I am a proud supporter of military, law enforcement and first responders and could not help inquiring about the  22nd Special Tactics Squadron and Air Force Prep plates.  Power Lift did not have pictures available as the equipment was in storage, but they could provide the following representative items.

The Air Force Prep program is a gap year for Air Force Academy hopefuls that may need a boost to transition from high school to the rigors of the Air Force Academy.  Cool plates to be sure.

The 22nd Special Tactics Squadron is cool on a whole other level.  These are the "First There" unit out of McChord Air Force Base.  The USAF Combat Control Teams are an elite special operations force who specialize in all aspects of air-ground communication, including air traffic control, fire support, and command, control, and communications in covert, forward, or austere environments.  They are trained in underwater and maritime operations, freefall parachuting and many other deployment methods.

The plates themselves are austere and very much in the spirit of quiet professionals.  I actually started reading Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf after seeing these plates.  So far the story focuses on the process rather than outcomes.  I was exposed to that through Hindu philosophy and believe it is relevant for everybody.

The plates themselves are reasonably priced as well.  Uesaka Platinum Series 45lb Plates retail for $325 each.  Even with a generous discount they would be $162.50 each.  In the secondary markets, I have seen random pairs for $300.  At $112.50 ($2.50/lb) each plus $40 in shipping, plus tax, the plates are a great value for high quality Japanese plates.

Monday, October 9, 2023

USAWA Member of the Month - June 2023

I had the honor of being recognized as the June 2023 Member of the Month by the USAWA.

The member of the month of July is Sanjiv Gupta.  Though Sanjiv is a relatively new member, he is an enthusiastic one.  Having just competed in Nationals in June, Sanjiv participated in the Colorado record day in July, and set or broke five USAWA records.  This is certainly not where his contribution ends, though.  He was an active participant in the discussion at the national meeting where a few changes were made.  He is serving on the advisory committee, which was newly formed after the national meeting.  Perhaps his most daunting challenge, though, is assisting Scottish Johnny in the capacity of Records Director.  Scottish Johnny has told me that having Sanjiv on board has been a game changer.  His contributions in just his first member as a member of the USAWA have been impressive to say the least.  Congrats Sanjiv!  Well deserved!

CFA Assessment

Sunday, October 8, 2023

D'Evelyn Track


CFA Assessment

Basketball Throw - 40 feet (37 feet last time)
Cadence Pull-up - 2 (no change)
Shuttle Run - 11.89 (12.23 last time; 11.87 first time)
Mod Sit-ups - 32 (38 last time; 30 first time)
Push-ups - 15 (17 last time; 18 first time)
1 Mile Run - 9:22 (9:03 last time; 9:44 first time)

This is the third time trying the CFA and I still feel like it is a great benchmark workout for overall fitness and readiness for more intense physical training.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Rehband Knee Sleeves

I checked my measurement for Rehband Knee Sleeves.  I am right in the dead center of the Medium size at 36 cm.

They have 5mm Medium sleeves in Burgundy & Black, Camo, Navy & Black.  Normally these are $36 each and being offered for $28 each plus tax on Craigslist.  A little steep, but I am curious how they compare to Rock Tape Assassins.

They have a variety of sizes and colors.

Rehband - Elbow Sleeve - Black & Pink - SM - 5MM x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Blue Line - 7mm - LG x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Blue Line - 7mm - XL x 1
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - BLK - 5mm - MD x 1
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Burgundy & Black 5mm - LG x 1
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Burgundy & Black 5mm - MD x 4
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Camo - 5MM MD x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Camo - 5mm - XL x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Navy & Black 5mm - MD x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Pink / Black 5mm - MD x 1
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Pink / Black 5mm - SM x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Pink / Black 5mm - XS x 3
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Purple 5mm - MD x 2
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Purple 5mm - SM x 1
Rehband - Knee Sleeve - Purple 5mm - XS x 2

5mm - $27.99 + tax
7mm - $34.99 + tax

PowerLift Lever Bench

Pending within hours.  If it was not in Loveland, I might have gone after this for $150.  Ritual Strength is doing some housecleaning and has weight plates, loadable dumbbells and a Matrix Ab machine for sale.

DekaFit / Hyrox

A friend of mine has inspired to consider Hyrox / Deka events.

Hyrox comes around infrequently, but there is a Deka affiliated gym in Highlands Ranch that is hosting the Deka Mile on November 5th:

The Deka Mile has only 0.1 miles of running between stations (vs 500m in the Deka Fit, therefore one mile of running rather than a 5K)

Zone 1. 30 weighted alt rev lunge (55 lb)
Zone 2. 500m row
Zone 3. 20 BJO or Step-up Over (24")
Zone 4. 25 Med-Ball sit-up (20 lb)
Zone 5. 500m Ski Erg
Zone 6. 100m Farmers Carry (60 lb each hand)
Zone 7. 25 Cal Air Bike
Zone 8. 20 Dead Ball Shoulder Overs (60lb)
Zone 9. 100m Tank Push/Pull (Xebex Level 8 resistance; Torque Level 3)
Zone 10. 20 Weighted Burpees (44 lb)

Only having 4 weeks to train is not great, but it all seems doable.  Lunges will light me up for the rest of the event, but the rest should be OK, until the burpees which would be the finisher.

UPDATE 10/29/2023 - I ended up registering for this event and selected the 10AM wave on 11/5/2023.  I did some unweighted lunges today and felt OK.  If I start to tighten up, I can always bail the weight, accept the DNF and do the rest of the event for fun.

Squat - Metcon

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Home Gym


Ski Erg - 10 min

91 calories, 1773 meters

Back Squat

5x5 - 135, 155, 155, 155, 155



5 Rounds of

50 rope skips
12 wall ball shots (14# to 10')
2 Pull-ups

Modified from Vintage CrossFit programming and allowed for roughly 1:1 work to rest ratio.  Good effort

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Iron Titan Gym

I decided to cancel my monthly membership.  The $75/month is reasonable and I like the gym.  It has plenty of equipment and supportive athletes.  There is definitely a buzz with strong athletes moving big weights.  They have a glute ham, reverse hyper, plenty of sandbags, circus dumbbells, logs, frames, stones, yokes, power racks, deadlift platforms, competition benches along with bodybuilding and general fitness equipment.  Chalk flies freely and the music is cranked up.  Access is 24/7 with an access code.

Iron Titan could probably use a wash top to bottom.

Part of the cancelation is the Thor Strength Showdown being canceled.  Also, I may be able to work something out with PK at Thor Strength to pay to drop in once/week.  Thor Strength has less equipment, plenty of space to move about, is much cleaner and is staffed at reasonable hours for me.  I like to support local business.

Monday, October 2, 2023

Homegrown Lifting

It is not too often that I am impressed by dumbbell innovation, but the Homegrown lifting has come out with adjustable dumbbells that use bumper change plates.

Homegrown Lifting:
They sell a 55# Pair of dumbbells for $285.
It includes:
(2) Handles - $35 each
(2) Pairs of Clamps - $16.50 each
(16) 5# change plates - $18.50 per pair
(4) 2.5# change plates - $14 per pair

To make a 50# dumbbell would take 11 pound handle + 4 pair 5s and 1 pair of 2.5s + clamps.  Plates would be 4x$18.50 + 1x$14.00=$88.  Plate cost was fine but shipping was another $40.  Still not horrible at $3/pound, but would be nice to pick up if I am ever in Kentucky or South Carolina.

Gungnir Dumbler:

Kensui Fitness:
$40 - 9cm peg
$100 - 10.75cm peg
$9 - centering adapter for 2" plates
$39 - adjustable 2" extension

UPDATE 10/24/2023

JW Redell just listed 50# of these for $70.  He accidentally ordered too many.  For me, it works out really well.  I get to try these out and can use existing handles to build out (2) 35# dumbbells which is suitable for most of the dumbbell work I do.

"Accidently ordered twice as many weights as desired (they came in pairs) so selling the excess. 4x 2.5lb and 8x 5lb change plates for a total of 50 lbs. Perfect for loadable adjustable dumbbells Save the $36 of shipping I paid by buying local!"

Squat Snatch - Metcon

Monday, October 2, 2023

Garage Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow
PVC Pass Throughs


Every 3:30 minutes, 3 Sets
3 Squat Snatch @ 75%
2 Squat Snatch @ 80%
1 Squat Snatch @ 85%
Rest only as long as it takes to adjust loads
These should all be done as quick singles

I did not do this right.  I did (3) squat snatch at 35; (2) squat snatch at 45 and (1) squat snatch at 50 pounds.  Going roughly every 2 minutes.  No idea what my 1 rep max is, but probably between 60 and 75 pounds.



3 Rounds for Time
21 Alternating Dumbbell Snatch 50/35lb, (22/16kg)
400m Run
12 Overhead Squats 115/80lb, 52/35kg

I scaled this to a 27.5# dumbbell and 25# barbell.  It was still a nasty workout.
Round 1 - 5:12
Round 2 - 5:36 (10:48)
Round 3 - 5:50 (16:38)

Pull-up Finisher - 

310 pull-ups in October?

10 pull-ups

Wall Control

Wall Control is essentially high end pegboard.  It looks nice and is useful for storing accessories.  It is not cheap.

In the garage, I could install at 16" wide x 32" tall panel to store barbell clamps (OSO/QuickLee) and some pull up accessories (Cannonball/Grandfather Clock).  It would not be worth the cost of the items in question ($47).
  • 32in x 16in board - $25-$30
  • Medium Slotted Hook (4) Pack 1-7/8" reach - $5 - each would hold (1) OSO Collar
  • Medium Slotted Hook (4) Pack 2-7/8" reach - $6 - each would hold (1) Quick-Lee Collar
  • Curved Tip Slotted Pegboard Hook (4) Pack 3-1/2" reach - $6 - each would hold cannonball or grandfather grips
In the basement, it gets a little more interesting.  I have the room for (2) 16" wide x 32" tall panels and have more stuff to store including grip implements, loading pins, barbell clamps, pull-up accessories ($95)
  • (2) 32in x 16in boards - $50-$60
  • Medium Slotted Hook (4) Pack 2-7/8" reach - $6 - each would hold (1) Lock Jaw Collar
  • (3) Curved Tip Slotted Pegboard Hook (4) Pack 3-1/2" reach - $6 - each would hold cannonball or pinch grips, Crusher, Jug, Finnish Ball, IronMind Block, IronMind Hub, Loading Pins
  • U-Shaped Slotted Pegboard Hook (2) Pack - 4" reach - $6 - For IronMind wrist roller
  • Medium Slotted Hook (4) Pack - 1-7/8" reach - $5 - For 1 inch clamps
When I look at the numbers and what I would be storing, it is a tough sell.  But $100 with free shipping is not the end of the world to get stuff off of tables, shelves, bins.

UPDATE 1/22/2024 - Looking into this further, the starting point really should be mounting the 2x4 to concrete.

Phase 1:
Hammer Drill - $40 Harbor Freight
Tapcon Screws - $30 Lowe'
2x4 - $10 Lowe's

Phase 2:
Wall Control 2 Pack - $51 Amazon

Phase 3:

Hook Assortment: $51 Amazon

$181 little project that does not add any functionality.

Fall Cleaning

As the weather cools and the home gym space will be regaining priority it is time for some housecleaning.  The following items are listed on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist.

Vintage Weight Plates - (7) 45lb at $100/plate (9/22/2023).  Will not sell at this price, but trying to gage some interest.  JD offered $100 for the pair of Billards.  Update 10/13/2023.  Still little interest

HiTechPlates - (2) 10lb and (2) 2.5kg.  Listed for $100 (9/15/2023), dropped to $75, would like to get at least $60, not much interest. Sold to Daniel Herrera for $70 and threw in the white homemade 2kg plates.

Werksan Change Plates - (2) 2 kg, (2) 1 kg and (2) 0.5 kg.  Listed for $100 (9/15/2023), dropped to $60, not much interest.  Would like to get $40 ($2.5/lb).  Update 10/13/2023. Still little interest.

Rogue Farmer's Carry Handles with OSO Collars - Listed for $200 (9/5/2023), dropped to $180.  Some interest.  People were more interested in the weights than the handles. Sold to Daniel Herrera for $180.

Weight Storage Rack - Listed for $25 (paid $30) 10/1/2023 - Some clicks and people are more interested in the weights than in the rack.  Update 10/13/2023.  More interest on this, but no offers.

The Weight Storage Rack listing actually got me a buyer for some standard plates.  I sold my pair of Hollywood Healthways for $20 (50# at $0.40/lb).  I sold some pig iron for $20 (40# at $0.50/lb).  $40 in my pocket feels nice, but having 90# less weight to move next time feels even better.

Per discussion with Vintage Weightlifting Swap (Rob E and Jonathan M) the following would be the going rate in their area (Pittsburg/Orlando respectively)
  • International (single) - $75
  • Billard - $185-$250
  • Schisler - $150-$200
  • Universal - $200
I kind of want to keep the Universal now that I am closing in on a set and I do not really feel like parting with the others either.

Daniel Herrera seems like a pretty nice guy and they are trying to rebuild Herrera's Boxing that was broken into.  Some bags were stolen along with weights.  I am considering selling some of my weights and could part with:

Hi Temp Rogue - (4) 45 - $2/lb ($360)
XPRT Crumb - (2) 15 - $2./lb ($60)
VTX - (2) 10 - $2/lb ($40)
CAP - (4) 10 - $1/lb ($40)
270 pounds total ($500)

Hi Temp Keepers - 25/15/10
High Density Keepers - 45/45/35/25/25/10

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Torque Tanks & Concept 2 Bike Erg

I somehow became interested in Torque Tanks.  Recently there have been two M4 listed and both sold within a week.  One at a list of $900 (new in box) and another for $800.  The M4 is a premium item that retails for $1600 and is huge.  Hard to image having one in a home gym.

The M1 is a newer model that has been favorably reviewed by Coop and Joe Gray.  That one lists for $824 (with free shipping) and I would love to snag one in the secondary market for $500.

The Concept 2 Bike Erg is another premium piece that I have recently seen sell at the same price point of $800 and $900.  These things retail for $1100 plus shipping.

Local Vintage Weights Popping Up

The last local find I had was back in February.  It was a pair of deep dish Billard that I managed to grab at 50 cents a pound and really like the look of.  Now in the same day, I have come across two interesting posts.

First up is some Universal Plates.  I grabbed a pair of 45s in January 2022 and had no luck building out a set.  Then Brandy Speedy was selling a set on Vintage Weightlifting Swap (45-35-25-5, 220 pounds for $400 if I remember right; I offered $30 for the 5's and snared them, the rest sold quickly as well at asking price of $200 for the 45s, $150 for the 35s and $100 for the 25s).  Michael Songcuya Lumanog had a nicely restored set of 45-35-25-10-5-2.5 for sale for $500 recently ($700 with shipping).  Then, I saw some 25's and 10's pop up locally with a bar for $100 (Kendall Fike-Gervin).  The bar looks like a shorty and now I have hope to build out the set ($1/pound for the weights plus $30 for the bar is fair pricing).  The hunt is on for 2.5s.  No rush I have plenty of 2.5 including (Vintage York, York Legacy, International CANADA stamped, Ivanko, Kabuki Strength, Weight It Out).

I was able to pick these up and they were pretty rusty from hanging out in a garage.  I will give them the quick and dirty PB Blaster, 3 in 1 oil, and then highlight the letters in a few days.  Upon seeing the incredibly well restored 5 pound pair from Brandon, I may have to up my restoration game.  The bar should clean up well also.  It is a cheap bar with socket ends, but not rusted through as there was still good spin.

Photo from the set Michael is selling

Same day, I come across some 40 pound York Buns for $100 right here in Littleton (Phil Locke).  I reached out to the seller same day, but certainly not within hours.  It would be a nice pick-up, but not something I need necessarily, but could make for some interesting trades down the line.  I checked his sold history and these have popped up quite a few times with other items, so no real hope of picking up the dumbbells.  Marked as sold.  We will see if they pop up again.

The last item that caught my eye is modern and all the way in Thornton.  It is a nice Hoist preacher curl bench being offered for $250 by Krista Glodt.

Rearranging the Gym

I rearranged the gym to give myself a little more room to move around and also get some stuff off the floor.  I rebuilt the Titan Mass Storage System and it is half empty.  I swapped the Yoke for the Squat Stands and rotated the set up 90 degrees.  I moved the dumbbells against the wall.  I unloaded the standard weight storage and just stacked the weights up on the floor.  Finally, I moved the non-daily driver plates further from the squat stands.  It feels roomy and more manageable.  If I can figure out how to mount to concrete, I want to install some wall control (45" high by 36" wide with room for another 20" wide section).  Probably go with two 32" tall x 16" wide sections mounted side by side.  $49.97 from wallcontrol.

I rearranged the garage gym as well.  I removed one section of storage, moved the barbells to the corner, and moved the Atlas Stones out of the primary space and tucked them under the stairs as they are less frequently used.  I moved the bands next to the whiteboard.  I did get a lot of stuff off the ground and feel like I have more floor space for metcons.