Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Garage Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow


3 Rounds for time:
30 WBS (14#/10')
20 Abmat Sit-ups
10 Axle Bar Deadlifts (107#)

I finished in 14:37 which was dreadfully slow, but I really needed to bring some intensity.  Wall Balls sucked even at 14# and my accuracy was all over the place.  I was finishing in 4-5 sets.  Sit-ups were OK and I was finishing in 2-3 sets.  Deadlifts were light, but appropriate and I went 5/5.

Programming from Vintage CF which called for 20# WBS, V-ups and 225# deadlifts.

Back Squat

Monday, November 27, 2023

Basement Gym


Ski Erg

10 min

Foam Roll

Back Squat


Hang Board Pull-ups


1 rep

Monday, November 27, 2023

USAWA Certified Official Process

USAWA officials can be certified at two levels:

Level 1 - Rules test and (3) practical training sessions (2 can be video training sessions)
Level 1 - Officiating in 25 or more competitions
Level 2 - Rules test, (3) practical training sessions and officiating in 25 or more competitions

Level 1 certification is good for (3) years and then requires recertification by retaking the rules test
Level 2 certification is good for life

Practical Sessions are unofficial alongside a Level 2 in a one official system or officially in the three official system.  In the three official system the other two must be certified and one must be Level 2.  The only Level 2 officials that are occasionally in Colorado are RJ Jackson and Dave DeForest.  In all likelihood, I will travel to Clark's Gym, Dino Gym or KC Strongman to complete my certification.

Video Training Sessions are a new option that was introduced in 2023.  

For me, being a certified official will be a nice feature and will allow me to host meets and officiate Postal events and Hybrid events in Colorado.

My Journey

7/6/2023 - Completed Rules Test
9/29/2023 - Completed Practical Session 1 (Video Testing Option)
11/26/2023 - Submitted Practical Session 2 (Video Testing Option)
TBD - Practical Session 3

I will then need to submit a form to the USAWA Officials Director and begin tracking officiating sessions in order to move up to Level 2.

Given my current participation, it would have been a long journey to be certified with (3) live practical training sessions that would require travel to at least (3) competitions with Level 2 officials present.

Al's Dino Gym is the closest USAWA gym to me.  475 mile drive (6.5ish hours).  Drive out night before, stay in Abilene, KS.  Compete/officiate.  Drive halfway home to Goodland, KS.  Drive the rest of the way home.  Much easier than Columbia, MO.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Swim - Cardio

Saturday, November 25, 2023




1x600 FR
1x100 BA
1x100 BR
1x100 FR
1x100 BA
1x100 BR
1x100 FR
1200 yards total (37 minutes)


16 laps = 1 mile


10 minutes

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Home Workouts

Wednesday/Thursday November 22/23, 2023

Mid/Late morning

NJ Home Gym

Warm Up

Hip Hammy Flow


Alt Rev Lunges

Arm Blast



Burpee Finisher 


5-5-4-4-4-4-4-4-3-3 burpee over dumbbell

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Retro Fitness

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Retro Fitness


Warm Up

Hip Hammy Flow

Kettlebell Circuit

Push-up/Single Arm Row


Single Arm Bench/Front Raise/Halos

Treadmill incline walk 12 min

Core Finisher 

Extended Arm sit up
Twist reach
Bicycle crunches

Danny took me through a nice little 45 minute effort.  The KB certainly add a component that I do not gravitate towards.

Retro Fitness is pretty nice with Hammer Strength equipment, cardio section, plenty of room for stretch and train with dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.  The dumbbells go to 125 pounds.  I also noticed Concept 2 equipment and a GHD

Friday, November 17, 2023

USAWA Q4 Postal

Friday, November 17, 2023

Garage Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow
PVC Pass Throughs

Snatch From Hang

Warm up with 45, 65, 75 pounds

3 for 3 at 85, 95, 105 pounds

Deadlift - 2 Dumbbells

Warm up with 202, 242

2 for 2 at 262, 282 pounds

This felt really sketchy lowering the dumbbells.  I was worried about my toes.

Pullover and Press

Warm up with 65, 75

3 for 3 at 95, 105, 110 pounds

This was much harder than I expected.  I really need to improve my tricep strength for the pullover.  The press was trivial by comparison.


I was a little disappointed weighing in at 200.1 pounds (95 kg weight class), but if I did have an official all of my lifts would have been records for 50 year old men.

Snatch from Hang

90 kg - 143 pounds
95 kg - OPEN

Deadlift - 2 Dumbbells

90 kg - 360 pounds
95 kg - 231 pounds

Pullover and Press

90 kg - 205 pounds
95 kg - OPEN

Indoor Ride

November 17, 2023

Basement Gym


Indoor Ride

30 minute indoor ride (12.1 mph, 6.09 miles).  I set up the indoor trainer and will hopefully get some volume in during the winter.  Part of the motivation was to lay off of my calf a little longer.  Part of it was waking up over 200 pounds again.

Pull-up Finisher

10 reps about every 30-45 seconds.  Chin was not consistent clearing the bar.

Back Squat

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Home Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow

Back Squat


I was originally planning on 3x12, but this got heavy quick.  Good reminder for me to start adding some squat volume.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Bench Press - Metcon

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Basement Gym


Bench Press



5 rounds for time:
500 meter ski erg
12 abmat sit-up

Finished in 17:16. Fun little metcon.  Played with damper settings some.  I prefer 8 (rather than 10).  Averaging around 2:40/500m.

Played with inch block between sets.  Got up to 30 pounds.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Run - Calisthenics

Monday, November 13, 2023




1.14 mile (12:01).  Planned on a 1.6 mile run, but left calf tightened up.  Walked back to work.  

I am starting to suspect a minor tear and want to avoid impact stuff for a week.  I will try to switch to swim/row/ski through Thanksgiving.


Every 30 seconds for 10 min
Station 1 - 10 air squat
Station 2 - 5 push-up

Nice finisher of 100 air squat and 50 push-ups


Sunday, November 12, 2023

D'Evelyn Track



Basketball Throw - 33, 33, 36 feet
Cadence Pull-ups - 2
Shuttle Run - 12.12, 12.06 sec
Sit-ups - 32
Push-ups - 12
1 Mile Run 9:36

My daughter was the impetus to take this on.  She is starting to prep for this test which she will have to take in a little under a year.

Basketball Throw - 16.5, 24.5, 24.5 feet (avg 42 feet)
Cadence Pull-ups - 0 (12 sec flexed arm hang; avg 2)
Shuttle Run - 10.63, 10.62 sec (avg 9.4 sec)
Sit-ups - 63 (avg 78)
Push-ups - 12 (avg 41)
1 Mile Run 11:07 (avg 7:30)

Good starting point for an untrained athlete.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Lakewood's Strongest Powerlifting Meet

The Lakewood Parks & Recreation held a great powerlifting meet at the Charles Whitlock Recreation Center.  (7) athletes participate with (4) men and (3) women.  It was well supported with spotters, loaders, a head referee and side judges (I recall Deborah and Will, but forgo the other 5 individuals).  There was roughly 7 staff supporting the event and 10 spectators.

Lisa, Lauda, Amanda, Robert, Brent, and Gavin and I faced off to find the strongest male and female athlete.

Squat was great.  I went 3 for 3 at 225-235-245.  I might have had a little more in the tank.

Bench was good.  I went 2 for 3 at 170-180-190.  I should have made 190.

Deadlift was amazing.  I went 3 for 3 at 295-315-335.  I probably had 345+ in the tank.

Robert won the men's with a 1310ish total.  Brent was second with a 1210ish total.  Gavin (at 16 years of age) was 3rd with a total around 850ish.  I was thrilled to put up a 760# total.  That is a 5# improvement from GGC.

The WILKS score comes up as 221.47 (normalizes for gender and bodyweight). 
Beginner - 120
Novice - 200
Intermediate - 238
Advanced - 326
Elite - 414

If I could get down to 185 and total 815 (195+265+355), WILKS would be an intermediate 245.18 

Lauda took the women's first place, followed by Amanda and Lisa.  Lauda put up a crushing deadlift and in talking with her, she is going to try to take back the state record in February 2024.

Total 245+180+335 = 760 (Lakewood 11/11/2023) 197.1
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

Packing List:
Squat Shoes
Deadlift Shoes
Wrist Wraps*
Knee Sleeves*
Clif Bars/Larabar*
Spare Clothes
Deadlift Socks
Meet Sheet - Openers, address, packing list

*Actually used

Friday, November 10, 2023

Matt Ladewski - 44 Things to Pack for Your Next Meet

Must Haves
Shoes (squat, bench, deadlift)
Long Socks (deadlift)

Squat Suit
Deadlift Suit
Knee Sleeves
Knee Wraps (2 pair minimum)
Wrist Wraps (2 pair)
Squat/Deadlift belt
Bench belt
Bench shirt

Assistance Equipment
Suit slippers
Shirt slippers
Plastic Grocery bags (in place of shirt slippers)
Rubber coated gloves (to help a geared lifter)

Handler's Pockets
Stickum spray (bottom of shoes)
Ammonia caps/smelling salts
Extra chalk
Kilo chart
Video camera or phone

Warm-Up Items
Flossing band
Lacrosse ball
Wrap roller
Micro band

Toilet paper
Baby wipes
Tape measure
Air freshener spray

Emergency Supplies
Extra underwear
Rip Fix
Fingernail clippers
Multipurpose tool

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Pull-up - Metcon

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Garage Gym


Warm Up

Reverse Hyper
Crossover Symmetry
Hip Hammy Flow


Station 1 - 1 Pull-up
Station 2 - 1 Atlas Ball to Shoulder (100#)

I should have sped this up a bit.  For example Pull-up in 30 seconds and Atlas ball in 45 seconds.  There was a lot of rest, but that did allow for virtuosity.


5 Rounds for Time
500 meter row
10 dead ball over shoulder (50#)
12 alt rev lunges (unweighted)

Finished this in 23:24 and was quite pleased with the programming and effort.  Rows were slow between 2:35 and 2:40.  Dead balls were the most difficult as expected, but I was able to move steadily through.  Lunges were not bad.  Need to start adding weight here.


Wednesday, November 8, 2023



Stairmaster - Level 5 - 20 minutes

Arm Blast

3x20 alt biceps curl - 25-20-15 lbs

2x10 triceps kickback - 10-15 lbs

2x10 db military press - 25 lbs

Calf Extension - 20 reps x 75 lbs

30 minutes total workout

Facebook Marketplace Grippers

Just when I order the Captains of Crush (COC) 0.5, I find a set of (4) grippers listed in Boulder.  Fortunately, I contacted the seller quickly and hope to pick these up on Friday.

I only recognized them as (COC) because of the shape and she thoughtfully marked them as pending after our exchange.

COC 0.5

While I already have a Trainer, I have no problem having a spare to keep or give to a friend.  The COC 0.5 will be a nice addition and I will return my Amazon purchased COC 0.5

The IMTUG (IronMind Two-Finger Utility Grippers) are an interesting story.  They are held differently and closed with either the thumb, ring/pinkie or index/middle combinations.  The difficulty range is from IMTUG1-7 and is cross referenced to the COC.  The 2 and 3 are perfect for me as I fall into the COC Sport/Trainer camp.

COC Guide/Sport - IMTUG 1/2
COC Trainer/0.5/1 - IMTUG 2/3/4
COC 1/1/5/2 - IMTUG 3/4/5
COC 2/2.5/3 - IMTUG 4/5/6
COC 3/3/5/4 - IMTUG 5/6/7

In regards to price, IMTUG (~$30) sell at a premium to the COC (~$26).  

If I purchase others in the future, it might be the Guide as a warm up gripper, but hopefully I can work towards closing a COC 1.

The seller also included a Grip Pro Trainer donut with the sale.  It was the 40 pound (black) version that retails for $15 on Amazon.  They are also sold in 30 pound (green) and 50 pound (red) versions.

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Black Friday Sales

Black Friday Sales are coming on fast and furious and Rogue Fitness has certainly stepped up with some great deals.  Ivanko has some new old stock in their clearance section.  Vulcan has moderate discounts.

Rogue C-68S - 25mm shorty bar that is rackable and has 51.5" collar spacing for snatches.  $195 vs regular price of $280.

I am also seeing great stuff on Vintage Weightlifting Swap including International CANADA change plates (single 5 for $25 and a pair for $60) and Universal 35 pound plates.  The Universal plates are amazing, but I do not need more weight and do not even like 35 pound plates.  It would get me that much closer to finishing a Universal set and $150 shipped is a screaming deal.

Fortunately, I want for nothing.  My "would like to have" list has whittled down to Fatbells/CMB ($200), Magnetic Resistance Sled ($800), Bike Erg ($1000) and a Spartan/DEKA ram ($200)

Even from a Vintage perspective, I have been doing as much selling as buying.

I will likely buy some grip implements when King Kong 2024 is announced ($200?).

I will likely buy a 42# weight over bar along with a D Handle for the 2024 Highland Games Season ($200).

I would like to expand my USAWA equipment and have considered a Heavy Lift Bar ($140) and Hand & Thigh Bar ($70) from Arm Assassin Strength Shop.  I have also considered Spud Inc Neck Harness ($52.99) and Hip Harness ($100).  They have a $10 off coupon right now "10BUCKS" at checkout.  I really should focus on Official Certification.  It seems like all of the implements kind of go hand in hand.  The Heavy Lift Bar is the baseline and then you need all of the attachment and you are still only contesting one lift at a time.

Luke Raymond offering 5% off with code "The Grip Show" at Arm Assassin.

Cerberus is offering 25% off everything and I was tempted to get some Dinnie Stone Training handles for $150 (instead of the normal $200).  

Unfortunately I found ScrapMastersWelding and prefer their design even if I would have to pay full freight at $200.  Nice thing is that I will have two additional loading pins for general grip training.

Abmat has a 15% off offer going from now until November 23rd (BFCM23Z4SSVTBW)

It is kind of nice that my season is winding down.  I am looking forward to the Lakewood Powerlifting meet.

2024 Tentative:
  • CrossFit Open - February/March
  • GGC Spring - Early May
  • GGC Fall - Late October/Early November
  • Highland Games - Leprechaun Games (March), Pikes Peak (June), Elizabeth (July), Colorado Scottish Festival (August), Thornton Celtic Fest (August)
  • Thor Strength 
  • Rocky Mountain Grip Sport - June (announce in April)
  • Armlifting Super Series
  • King Kong - October
  • USAWA - Postals, Hybrid Events, National Championship in June, Abilene,KS event? Albany, KY event?
  • Triathlon - Littlefoot in September
  • Archery
  • 08.03 Denver Rugged Maniac Race
  • Deka.Fit, Deka.Strong, Deka.Mile

Sunday, November 5, 2023


I had a chance to try a Deka.Mile this morning.  Deka is part of the Spartan family and they have 3 different events.  Deka.Strong, Deka.Mile and Deka.Fit have the same 10 zones with varying run distances either no running, 0.1 miles or 0.5km respectively between stations.

Matt was my judge and he had excellent communication, counts and encouragement.  I would consider training at Manic Training for that reason alone.  The gym was clean, comfortable and well equipped.

Although I registered for 10:00, I was able to start with the 9:30 group.  We started with the runs which felt fine (despite my left calf tweak on Friday).  It was a steady recovery jog until the 9th run when I started to walk the last two "runs."
  • Zone 1 - 30 Ram Alt Reverse Lunge (55#) - These felt surprisingly good.  I went roughly 12/10/8 and finished in 3 sets.
  • Zone 2 - 500m Row - Easy, averaged 2:15 pace.
  • Zone 3 - 20 Box Jump/Step Over (24") - This was tough.  I was pretty steady, but taking longer pauses on the last 10***
  • Zone 4 - 25 med ball sit-up (20#) - Surprisingly this felt good also.  I went 15/5/5 to finish in 3 sets
  • Zone 5 - 500m ski erg - Felt good, averaged 2:35ish pace
  • Zone 6 - 100m Farmer's Carry (2x60#) - Weight was fin, but I was moving slow.  Finished 70 meters did a quick shake out and then finished the last 30 meters.
  • Zone 7 - 25 cal air bike - This kind of sucked.  I did not really set up the bike well for efficiency.  I should have had the seat a little higher and further back.
  • Zone 8 - 20 dead ball shoulder over (60#) - This lit me up.  I was going steady for 9 reps and then was doing sets of 3.  I was completely gassed.***
  • Zone 9 - 100m Tank Push/Pull - This was a decent steady state effort.  Kind of like the assualt bike, the harder you push/pull, the more resistance the tank delivers.  Despite still being gassed, I moved well.  I would like to practice with this more.  This was the toughest on my calf.
  • Zone 10 - 20 Ram Burpees (44#) - Felt fine, but still completely gassed.  I did a couple of good ones and then the turned into grief burpees.  I do like this movement and would consider buying a ram just to work on this and the lunges.***
My time of 33:42 was at the faster end of what I expected.  I was targeting 30-40 minutes expecting 2:30-3:00 per zone, 11 minute run time and transitions.

The highlighted *** zones represent the biggest opportunity for improvement.  

Overall a really fun and well run event.  They had about 6 stations set up, but were only running 3-4 athletes at the same start time.  My calf being 100% would have helped some.  Being prepared to work for 35 minutes would have been much better.

To truly prep for the event, I would need to get a 44# ram, 55# ram, 60 pound dead ball, air bike, and tank which would cost nearly $2,000.  I would be better off training at Manic Training Highlands Ranch a couple of times per week.  As a stop gap, I would like to purchase a ram for around $100 and possibly a dead ball ($90 from Titan Fitness).

Personal Equipment - I wore joggers, calf sleeves, knee sleeves and AIRWAAV.  I could have managed without knee sleeves.  I also brought gloves, chalk, towel and water.  I should have set water bottle on the run course.

UPDATE 11/7/2023 - 

Purchased 50# dead ball which should be a great training piece and a tremendous value.  ***When it rains, it pours, found a 55# dead ball for $20 and picked it up; will either sell the 50# or keep for a while (would have to wait until Troy Simpson's post is finished)***

Priced out 44# ram ($120+$40 shipping+$10 tax = $170).  Found one on secondary market for $40, but after reaching out to seller was pending.  Reached out a second time and Chris Anthony confirmed it was no longer available.  He probably decided to keep it.  Anyway, I will keep my eyes out and if I target another event, I will pick one up after registering.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Swim - Run

Friday, November 3, 2023




1x400 FR
1x300 FR
1x200 FR
1x100 FR
1x50 BR
1x50 BA
1100 yards total (32 minutes)





1.18 mile run at Harriman Lake.  Felt like crap with some gas and my left calf tightening up.  Abandoned the run and walked back to the car.  Big win for getting out for a run and big win to abandon run rather than risk injury.  Not so great for the confidence going into Deka.Mile.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Bench - Metcon

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Basement Gym


Bench Press (3x3)



Buy In - 30 cal ski

5 Rounds of
6 alt rev lunge (w/50# db)
4 med ball sit-ups (20#)

Cash Out - 30 cal ski

This was a fun little workout that I finished in 12:35.  

After an unplanned 3 days off it felt very good to be back in the gym.  (Monday - Pueblo State Band Competition, Tuesday - pick up CDOT car/Halloween, Wednesday - CDOT field work).  I need to get in a run tomorrow in advance of the Deka.Fit on Sunday.  Saturday will be tough with the football game.