Training Log: 3.14.2010

Posted on March 14, 2010. Filed under: Training Log | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Z-Health SFS (GTG Style): Head/Neck

Standing 3:08pm, Standing 6:44pm, 4 Point Stance 7:51pm

Lateral Jaw Glides (left) w/ Head Rotated to the Right in Neural Stance

1×21, 1×21, 1×13

Cranial Drill – Sphenoidal – to the Jaw Left, Head Right in Neural Stance

1×20, 1×20, 1×14

Head Extension then Rotated to the Right

1×12, 1×12, 1×4


– (Left) 1-Arm Presses in B-Stance (Left Leg) w/ Head and Eyes Tracking Kettlebell – 2:45pm – 3:00pm

16kg, 20kg, 24kg, 32kg x1 <Effort PR!>, 32kg x 1(too much effort)

Volume/Set = 124kg

Working Sets: 24kg (Notice even small discrepancies (effort, speed, etc) in Toe Touch ROM), 2:50 – 3:00pm – 1-min Rest

2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2

Volume/Set = 48kg, Volume/Cluster = 432kg, Density/Cluster = 43.2kg

Total Volume = 556kg

– (Left) 1-Arm Assisted (Anterior Deltoid/Shoulder) Neutral Pullup w/ Slight Leg Assist @ bodyweight of 157lbs – 6:35pm – 6:40pm – rest 1minute < Intensity PR!> – Compare to 3.8.10

1, 1, 1, 1, 1

Volume/Set = 157lbs, Volume/Cluster = 785lbs, Density = 157lbs PR!

Adv. Tuck Planche w/ Hands in B-Stance (Left hand forward) – 6:51pm- 7:05pm – Rest 50s PR!- Compare to 3.9.10

4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4 <Improve body positioning>

Volume/Set = 628lbs, Volume/Cluster = 8164lbs PR!, Density = 583. 14 PR!

1 (Left)-Arm KB Front Squat in B-Stance (Left Foot forward and both Feet everted) – 8:12pm – 8:21pm – 1 min rest

Working Sets 32kg PR!:

1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2

Lateral Jaw Glides @ 8:15pm (after 3rd set) 1×20

Cranial Drill 1×20  @ 8:19pm (after 5th set) 1×20

Volume/Set = 64kg, Volume/Cluster = 416kg, Density = 46.2


Talking to Frankie, I will focus on more SFS mobility rather than FFS mobility. The difference lies in that even micromovements can and should be tested, as even they can cause delays in progress. One of the main points is that micromovement practice efficiency should use opposite or unused movements of those found in macromovement practice (that test well) for optimal results in performance and/or pain relief. To determine optimal rep changes again I will use the 5 elements of efficiency even in micromovement practice.

Bodyweight timed movements I will have to determine time based on #4, rather than #5. As the log is updated I will further examine how to better conduct the biofeedback approach and try to be even more objective as possible commencing in to facilitate better progress. Understanding that better is better and better is in fact more, than I must try to even work on the smallest nuances of the biofeedback testing to determine what’s best.

Still more questions, but hey nothing wrong with that.

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Video: Kettlebell Juggling made Easy

Posted on February 28, 2010. Filed under: Spirit | Tags: , |

Talk about play time!

If you are interested to learn more, check out Diesel Crew.

They explain what you need to get started.

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Sickness, RKC, and Beast Tamer Challenge

Posted on February 25, 2010. Filed under: Beast Challenge, Performance | Tags: , , , , , , |

Sickness claims the many,  including myself, and may have told me to settle down even more than I was doing. Since I’ve had some downtime, which was quite depressing; it has lead me to come to interesting theories that I plan to test out. I will continue on with the Beast Challenge – starting slowly and using the Biofeedback approach populated by Frankie Faires again to reinvigorate my athletic/strength training.

“There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.”

David Mahoney

Executive and Philanthropist

Press, Pistol, Pullup, Planche, Front Lever are my main exercises.

Main Variations for Presses w/ Kettlebell

1-Arm/2-Arm ; 1-Leg/2-Leg.

Full or Partial Versions

Standing, Seated, Back to Wall, Opposite Arm Pulling on Band or Holding Wall.

Pizza Box, Palm Press, Bottoms Up Press, RKC Groove, Arnold Press Groove, Narrow Groove.

Main Variations w/ Pistols

Bodyweight/Weighted Pistols

Full or Partial

Everted/Inverted Foot, Externally/Internally Rotated Knee

Off a chair, Dead Stop Pistols, Bands/Wall Counterbalance

Main Variations for Pullups


Full or Partial ROM

Supinated/Pronated/Neutral Hand Position

Knee in, Knees out, 1 Knee Forward/1 Knee Back, Straddled

Main Variations for Planche

Paralletes/On Floor

Fingers Forward, Sideways, Backwards

Tuck Planche, Adv. Tuck Planche, One Legged Tuck Planche

Main Variations for Front Lever

Rings/Pullup Bar/Finger Grips

Fingers Forward, Sideways, Backwards

Tuck Lever, Adv. Tuck Lever, Straddle Lever/One-Legged Tuck Lever

I end with knowing that the journey is often shorter than one expects…and before I do it and do it right, I must think it, and think it well!

“Beware of the thoughts you keep, because everything in reality manifests from the mind.”

Justin Palmer

Second Year College Student

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Beast Tamer Challenge: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Posted on February 10, 2010. Filed under: Beast Challenge | Tags: , , , , |

The Good

I finally got a 70lb and 106lb Kettlebell yesterday and played with it quite a bit, finding out some useful pieces of information.

I’m a lot stronger than I thought I would be, easily snatching 5 reps w/ the 32kg, although a bit harder on the right side.

1-arm Swings w/ the Beast were awesome, as my grip seems to be the limiting factor, although one of the easier one’s to attain and am quite happy with what I’ve done so far.

The Bad

The Beast is just damned big, and it quite a hardy bell to try to get my body around. At only a measly 5’3, The beast is almost as big as my entire upper body…

The hardest thing about the Beast seems to be my lack of practice with it and will have a much harder time reaching the goal than I originally thought I would, although it still is quite attainable, although the date may have to be pushed further and not at the RKC like I thought it would be – I’ll have to post a video when I can finally do it.  The hardest part is simply the size relative to the structure of my own body, as my small size makes even the rack a chore.

Snatches also on my left side just seem technically more difficult. My form “feels” off.

The Ugly

I knew I should have bought the beast sooner, but wasn’t expecting as much difficulty as I seem to have currently w/ just the diameter and thickness of the ball all together. This will make the Press a much harder goal to attain compared to the pistol and the pullup, which don’t require my body to surround the bell. I’ll probably be having to use some rounded back techniques from the AKC and apply thoracic rhythm to actually get the bell out of the rack and into the pressing groove, though I should probably work on the timing, which will probably be a bit different all together.

This probably means I’ll have to push the date back, and is not something I am happy with, although my overall strength gains so far have been awesome to say the least.

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Idea of Play in Training – Variety for Fun and Progress

Posted on January 14, 2010. Filed under: Performance | Tags: , , |

Introduction: Play defined

I’ve read quite a bit on Exuberant Animal and Ido Portal’s forum and find that the idea of play seems to be missing from many of our own training sessions. Before we start off. Let me go ahead and define what this terms mean and from there explain how we could hopefully use these in our practice to bring increased gains in our flexibility and strength.

As taken from


3. exercise or activity for amusement or recreation.
4. fun or jest, as opposed to seriousness: I said it merely in play.
18. freedom of movement within a space, as of a part of a mechanism.
19. freedom for action, or scope for activity: full play of the mind.

What does it mean to Play in Training?

How many times do we view exercise as a chore, as something that we have to do vs. something we want to do?

How many times do we view exercise as a way to escape reality, versus actually focusing on what we are presently doing?

How many times do we choose to confine ourselves within the program, rather than experimenting, or as Stuart Brown likes to put it, “exploring” (a type of play suggested by Stuart Brown), our own personal boundaries and where it may take us?

Play: It doesn't have to be this Serious!

Asking myself these same questions, I did many of the things more often then not. I realized that training isn’t about the goal, but the journey towards the goal. The effort I put towards getting towards my goal is just as important. That effort I put in shouldn’t be too hard or too easy, but just right and play helps us get there.

In Stuart Brown’s book, “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul,” he explains that the nature of play and the basis behind it leads to increases in not only creativity/imagination, but in learning and social progress in an individual. I might also add that play is easy for our body to handle. We don’t think about what we need to do or what we have to do, and simply just do it for what it’s worth. For those that tend to demand rigor this may be a hard concept to grasp, but if you’ve ever just played you’ll know what I’m talking about.

You don’t care how tired you get, you don’t care what you’re doing, and you don’t care who you’re doing it with, it’s all fun and games and for training allows you to do more, helping you progress that much faster.

Rather than carefully and examining every protocol and how it might better than us, why don’t we “Just do it”. See for ourselves what might happen and experiment and explore our self-limits. Bruce Lee stated “Using no way, as way,” which simply means that there is nothing to stop us, and that is the way we choose to be. The only reason we may stop doing something is because for some reason we defeat ourselves and that’s also where plays tends to shine. You can’t get defeated in play

Play provides the potential for us to focus without focusing. To learn without learning. To be structured without structure. It’s a way for us to enjoy and have fun, have a blast, and create an environment where rigidity is destroyed. I’m not saying that form, technique, and skill needs to be thrown out the window, but that an environment of play (serious when it needs to be, fun it ought to be) will promote a much better environment for us to learn, grow, get stronger, and prosper.

Play: Don't Restrict, Create!

Application of Play in Training? How’d You Do It?

It’s easy. Start out with one day where you don’t have anything specific to do. Just do what you feel like. From there don’t bind yourself to what you think you should do. Roll around and try a Kettlebell press from whatever position you land in. Swing on Monkey bars and whichever position your hands are in and whichever way your feet are hanging, keep them there and Pull-Up.

Do Turkish Get-Ups, and make an exercise of presses on each part of the Turkish Get-Up, etc. Don’t limit yourself and have fun!


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Beast Tamer Challenge – Kung Fu Panda and The Dragon Scroll

Posted on January 12, 2010. Filed under: Beast Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Oh Yeah, It starts with You! (Not a Pencil, Pen, or Paper)

Oh Yeah, You Got It!

Kung Fu Panda, although a cartoon, has some interesting ideas that should be included in training: There’s no secret sauce and you had it within you the entire time.

Two quotes today, share some of the things that we should all realize that we need to start paving the way for our success and realize the obstacles that might stop us along the way. Of course, we’ll shed more light onto how those quotes apply and don’t apply to your training and how we can tweak them a bit, to really amp up your next goal: whatever that may be.

“The big secret in life is that there is no secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work. It is called massive action. Action is the gas in the tank. Without it, the car will not run.”
-Marcy Blochowiak, Author of No Glass Ceiling

“An unwritten want is a wish, a dream, a never-happen. The day you put your goal in writing is the day it becomes a commitment that will change your life. Are you ready?”

Tom Hopkins, Author and Speaker

Although I agree with Marcy that willing to work, makes a big difference than finding the secret to success, I wouldn’t want to reference it as willingness to work, but  just the act of working that makes the difference. Sure the intent of what you’re doing matters, but if there’s no actual work being done, the intent does not matter nor does the willingness.

I Told You!

Looking at the stages of change, there are many times when we are willing to work on something, anything, but don’t get to it at all or aren’t READY to change – changing a diet, taking a new way to work, waking up 5 minutes earlier than normal. It seems as if sometimes we fall into these traps that keep us from doing what we want because of what we’re currently good at – eating junk food, taking the same route to work, or hitting the snooze button when the alarm gets off (I’m good at that one). Sure, it’s not good for you sometimes, but because you’ve done it soooooo long, you’ve developed it really well, just like learning how to do Kettlebell swings or just squats. You sucked, you got better, and some of you are personal trainers because you are THAT “good”, heck some of you are RKCs, even better.

*Read mc’s blog here, It goes more in depth of another way at looking at motivation – something you do and practice, not a desire.

What’s interesting is that writing it down, is like always still part of the willingness to work. Sure willingness and a commitment to something or someone will give you more incentives or rewards to do what you need to do to change. The act of doing is more important and gives you the experience you need to do, not plan to do.

Eh Theory Sucks, Teach Me How:

Carrots are like Writing it Down, Chasing The Goal, Not Leading It.

When you think you need to work out, use it as a cue to start working out. You don’t need weight – do one squat, do one pushup, do something that gets you in the routine of wanting to work out right when you think about it. If your goal is 200 reps of squats, right when you think it, do it.

Just like the Panda, when he saw cookies, he did whatever he could to get to the cookies – he acted, he didn’t think. That action is what makes the difference.

When you think you need to write something down to commit to a goal, DO SOMETHING first that is part of your goal, then write it down. For example: Instead of writing I need to stop going to McDonalds, go eat a Salad and some fruit FIRST. Instead of writing down I need to do more presses, pullups, pistols, do it first, write second. The action should go before the writing and this will help pave way to one up yourself every single time.

For all those that might be thinking – “Did Darryl do his share of action”: Yes, I did some of my training before starting this post, Thank You :-).

*Side note: I have to give credit to Frankie Faires on this idea based on one of his posts a very long time ago – Thank You.

Hopefully you understand that Kung Fu Panda is a metaphor for how we choose to live our lives. Do we really understand that there is no secret sauce to training or life otherwise? Do we really understand that we don’t gain our strength, we already have it within us? Kung Fu Panda has shown us the way! Remember it’s who we are and what we do that matters.

See he acted, Now Will You?

The Training: Two Wrong’s Make a Right Day!

Variations of Presses, Pullups, Pistols, Planches, and Front Levers will be used with a total of 20 reps for each. Goal of for today is a bit different than normal and figuring out how each repetition can go WRONG. I will be intentionally working the “Wrong” stuff today.

Basically in how many ways can the Kettlebell Fall during a Press, In what way would my elbow go during a pullup when I’m TIRED, which way would I fall during a Pistol, where does my balance normally go towards during a planche and front lever, what muscles don’t seem to be working as good, and what don’t I have awareness of.

Conditioning will also be KB Swings and it’s variations w/ the 16kg aiming for 250 reps + a few sprints after the Boot Camp Class I train in.

Aside Training:

Z-Health R,I,S Eye Tracking, Near and Far Eye Drills, Saccades done lying face up. R-Phase as much as possible Lying face down. I-Phase as much as possible Lying face up. S-Phase Upper Body/Lower Body differentiation, Crossover Step, Rotational Step, Plyo Step and T-Step.  T-Phase Cranial Drills and Upper Body Nerve Glide Experimentation.

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Want to be Better?

Posted on January 10, 2010. Filed under: Beast Challenge, Performance | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

If you closely examine most sports training programs you’ll see that up to 90% of the recommendations revolve around improving your physical abilities such as strength, endurance speed, agility, explosive power etc. It is rare to find specific recommendations for improving technique.

The physical qualities are of course, extremely important. But without simultaneous improvement in technique you will not see much improvement in game performance. Keep in mind that the ultimate objective of all training is to improve the athlete’s ability to execute and execute well, the skills that are needed in order to be successful in gameplay.

In sports such as baseball this means the ability to throw the ball fast and accurately not only for the pitcher, but for all the other players. In addition, the player must be able to hit the ball well not only for a home run, but for singles, doubles and triples. He must be able to run fast and in some cases, quickly reverse direction.

Most of these skills are not unique to baseball; they are also needed in other sports. If the player cannot execute these skills well, he will not make the team, or will not last very long if on the team. This is the bottom line.

The player must be able to execute the skills and he must be able to execute them very well. If not, there is only a slim chance that he will play because of exceptional physical abilities.

To be able to demonstrate your physical abilities is mainly important in testing, not in playing. Being the strongest, quickest, or most explosive person on the team means little if the physical quality is not hooked onto technique. In other words, you must be able to demonstrate the physical ability as you execute the skill technique. They must be joined.

For more information on this topic see Build a Better Athlete. To see how skill is combined with development of physical abilities in specific sports also see: Explosive Running, Explosive Basketball Training, Explosive Golf and Women’s Soccer and Explosive Tennis.


Technique is an often underlooked quality in whatever we do and the way to train it has been bastardized to a degree and what we are actually training.

As we look today towards what Sports Training entails, it becomes more strength, strength, strength, rather than Skill, Skill, Skill and although this had led to faster, more powerful athletes, it doesn’t necessarily make them better on the field.

As related to how I will incorporate this idea into my strength training, we must go into what are the different layers of skill development to understand the different ways to take it and a new way to look at strength training. Similar to the line of thinking that “Strength is simply a Skill,” learning to change random muscle firing into more accurate precise synchronization. In other words, teaching a muscle to contract harder and the muscle fibers to “line up” better.

Yes, You Can!

The subtleties of skill involve 5 main components:

1. Development of Skill itself

2. Development of Variations of Skill

3. Development in Application of Skill towards different Varieties

4. An effort to Master Skill on all degrees

5. Master the skill and it’s subtleties (what many feel have done, but can not really say they have).

*****I will be showing different Kettlebell Press videos throughout the entire article as an example ft. Lou McGovern, RKC participants and Master RKCs, Mike T Nelson, and Phil Scarito.

Development of Skill

The easiest way to answer this is simply thinking am I doing the skill Itself to get better at it. For example: When I wanted to achieve better Sprinting, I was conflicted by differing advice of should I increase my power or should I develop my max strength. During this time, I did not even think should I just develop my sprinting technique better?

In terms of Pressing the Beast, I first must think am I pressing? And am I pressing enough? Problem with how my body has worked has been increases in strength without training. Basically I didn’t plateau in my Skill development in terms of weight training. Although my training was non-linear, I never had feared that I would lack the strength to do what I wanted to do.

For example: going from the 24kg to the 32kg, was from me actually playing around with (not formally training) handstand pushups. Going from the 32kg to 36kg was from learning how to move my head better. Cranial drills for the Z-Health people.

Thinking this through, since the start of my challenge: This now leads me to pursuing the skill of pressing close to 50x a day each arm, followed with mental imagery and watching others who have conquered the beast challenge several times a day. Even on rest days like today, I am still thinking about how to press, pistol, and pullup and make it better.

Development of Variations of Skill

The development of Variations of Skill is often the most conflicted part of Skill development because of the SAID Principle – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands – The Body Always Adapts to Exactly What You Do – Although the question is, what is it really adapting to? Most people think that they have to press the same weight, in the same way, or do something the same way, all the time, to get themselves better. Zachariah Salazar, mentioned something that I feel is important to share and that is simply thinking; “What easier? Is it easier to make a great skill better, or take a bunch of good skills and make them great?”

This might lead some to try variety, for sake of variety, but that’s not the point. He later followed with the idea to follow variations of what you are working on (to work a press, you must press, and do it’s variations) vs. working a squat to work on say a pushup, or playing tennis to work on a press.

This had led me to think of the different variations one can use.

1. Speed (Can I press the same weight fast, or really really slow)

2. Load (lighter and heavier loads throughout the workout)

3. Body Position (Can I do this in any position imaginable; Standing, Sitting, Lying Down, Squatting, Lunging,)

4. Environment I train in (Outside, Inside, New Area)

5. Objects I press (Dumbbells, Sandbags, Kettlebells)

6. The Way I press (Closer to my body, further from my body)

Development of Application of Skill toward Varieties

Am I able to take the general principles I learn from skill and movement and apply it to all varieties. Using Z-Health as a model, which you can check out here, the idea is can I apply the 4 Element of Efficiency and Rhythm to all movement.


1. Am I hitting the Target?

2. Can I keep a good posture and thus not trigger a reflex that may dampen my strength?

3. Am I friggen’ breathing? Whether shallowly or regularly depending on load?

4. Do I look constipated when I’m lifting something light or medium or am I too tense for what I’m trying to accomplish.

5. Can I move at the speed I want to move, or does the bell I demand I move at the speed it wants it? Meaning, if I want to work at a fast speed, can I move the weight fast?

An effort to Master Skill in All Degrees

An effort to master I believe goes further, because you are actively pursuing what you need to do better in with all the varieties and patterns the skill has. The idea here is deliberate practice vs. simply performing the skill. Basically do you intend to crush a specific goal for the sssion or are you simply aware that you need to press a bell. That’s it. The intention is another factor mentally that can be changd and should be an added variation that should be changed in the training.

For example: One of my intentions for the day was: I will press a 16kg bell from the rack position up 2-3 inches, hold the position, and maintain my body position and breathing 50x today with each arm.

Mastery of Skill and it’s subtleties

Not only can I apply skill towards varieties, but do I have awareness of my body and each joint can thus in any part of the skill change what may be needed to do better. Meaning, if something occurs that may be unexpected, do I have the ability to change what may be needed to continue on without hitting my head or stubbing a toe?

An effort to Master is learning to break the skill into it’s other component parts, similar to creating the many different varieties, but involving the skill itself. Meaning what makes up a press? Well your feet, legs, body, and the position they are in at each stage.

Can I move my pressing arm side to side with the bell held slightly above the rack and maintain the 4 elements of efficiency or am I shaking like crazy when the bell isn’t in it’s “normal” groove?

With this Mastery, comes the real idea of taming the weight, wherever, whenever, and however it may go.

*I do want to add and for you to please remember that this is not a linear process, rather a circular one. Meaning you may have mastered one stage of a press, but are simply developing it another.

Think of Skill development like a giant puzzle piece.

1.You can either work on the puzzle by solving the puzzle as a whole.

2. By breaking it down into pieces, working section by section, and then putting it together from there.

3. By breaking it down into pieces, working section by section, and finding what is not there.

Yours in Strength,

Darryl Lardizabal

P.S. Add Biofeedback Training, found here, and you’ll be amazed at how much faster you progress using this and biofeedback training to your advantage.


Here’s some further resources that you may find helpful:

Four Stages of Competence:

Reflective Practice:

Skill development:

Athletes who Throw Things should Alternate between heavy and light:

These are the Skill you have to Develop in your Athletes:

The Three Phases of Skill Development:

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