Going H.A.M. This Weekend

Since my little blood donation debacle on Thursday, I’ve felt insanely energized.  One of the nurses told me I would feel refreshed, but I didn’t think it would be so pronounced.  The timing of the energy boost was perfectly timed leading into an exhausting weekend, which still isn’t over!  For those of you who have a 3 day weekend thanks to Columbus Day, celebrate it by reading the first chapter of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.  It’s definitely a better discovery story than the one we hear in elementary school.  As for me, I’ll spend Monday doing plenty of work and trying to un-sore myself from the beating I took this weekend.

After spending Friday working at one of my field placements, I headed out to Northport High School for a 10 hour, 2-day Adventure Education course through Adelphi.  Friday night consisted of ice breakers, group games, trust activities, before we began trust falls, belaying, and indoor rock climbing.  The group of 14 students came together really quickly, and we were excited to leave at 10:30pm, but hoping to get some sleep before returning at 8am.  I had a 40 minute drive in each directions, and was lucky enough to prepare food on Friday night so I could roll out of bed and head to class on Saturday morning.  I’m getting pretty good at planning my meals!

Saturday’s course progressed from activities on solid ground to low-elements, only a few feet off the ground, then we began using the high elements.  During one of the low-element activities, the group traversed some tight ropes, and the instructors decided that I would be blind folded and the group would guide me through the course.  It was quite nerve wracking, but a great opportunity to sit back and rely on my peers.  (Thanks for keeping me safe!)  Once we moved on to the high-elements, it was great to both climb and belay with some classmates.  Climbing looks way cooler than belaying, so here’s a picture of Ben and myself on the ‘Vertical Play Pen’:

The course was a blast, and more draining than expected.  When we finished, I immediately opened my cooler and began eating some chicken and broccoli on the way to the Adelphi gym.  I chatted with friends and drank water for a while when I got there, and after my second Chobani Greek yogurt for the day, I was ready to train.  After a great workout on Thursday night, I was excited to build upon my sumo deadlift progress.  After a thorough warm-up, I worked up to a sumo single at 385lbs, then decided to pair an extended range of motion RFESS with Swiss Ball Stir-the-Pots, and then a front squat with a TRX SHELC.  (That last pairing is terrible on your hamstrings!)  I wrapped the session up with a few short sprints, then spent some time walking around to help clear out lactic acid.  Below you’ll see a video I took of my last deadlift:

I’ve really been focusing on spreading my knees and pushing my hips back as I get down the bar, and the lift definitely feels better than it used to now that I’ve been spending more time on it.  In the video, you can see that off the floor my hips come up a little faster than my shoulders, which I’ll need to fix.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend that ugly lumbar hyperextension at the top;  I was a little too focused on finishing at the top.  A better frame of reference from a technique standpoint would be the following video from Jeremy Frey.  You’ll notice that his shoulders and hips rise at the same time, and that his lockout position is much ‘crisper’ than mine, for lack of a better term.  Ignore the fact that he’s pulling sub-max loads that are way heavier than what I’m moving.  I’ll get there, one day:

Other than consuming plenty of food post workout, I spent time catching up on work, went for a relaxing walk, even watched the Dark Knight.  All in all, a great day.  Saturday morning started with scrambled eggs, a berry/spinach shake, and a delicious cup of Pumpkin Spice Coffee.  There’s been an absolute onslaught of pumpkin flavored food this fall, and I’m leading the charge of pumpkin consumption.  It’s delicious!

I began reading some of the posts on Ben Bruno’s latest Good Reads, which I strongly suggest you check out.  He recently updated his website, and it looks awesome.  Actually, add Good Reads to the list of things you’ll be reading on Columbus day.  Knowledge is power, people!  I allowed some time for the information and food to digest, then headed to the JCC for an upper body workout.  Today I focused on heavy vertical pushing and pulling, included TRX inverted rows and dumbbell bench presses, and ‘finished’ with a battling rope, alligator walk, tall kneeling kettlebell press, and row circuit.  I set a few PR’s, with 185lb push-press 5RM, as well as a chin-up 6RM plus 80lbs, then 90lbs for a 3RM.  It felt great, but I’m exhausted.

I’m starting my second cup of pumpkin coffee as I finish this post, then I’m heading to a friends house to watch some football.  I’m learning how to relax every once in a while!  I’ve come out of my recent creative dry spell, so check back later this week for some more posts about a plethora of entertaining topics.  Until next time, enjoy this awesome picture:

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One Reply to “Going H.A.M. This Weekend”

  1. Great read as always. I’ve been struggling with intense hip tightness and on top of that fell awkwardly on my shoulder in a football game, resulting in soreness and stiffness there too. How about spotlighting on keeping these critical areas for my Olympic lifts loose and mobile?

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