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Mt. Shuksan Training Log Entry II


Sunday June 1 Technical Training:Vertical rope work and crevasse self rescue training.

I went to High Rocks Vista at Ralph Stover park and trained on the tallest wall at the park. It’s a single pitch wall between 120′-150′ high. Some sections of the wall are at least 5.9 or above. The weather was sunny and clear the air temperature was in the low 90’s. The sun shines directly on the cliff face making it like a giant frying pan. I set up two ropes, one rope was the backup rope for the crevasse self rescue training. I set the anchors and dropped both ropes and used my rappel rack for the rappel. I rappelled down about 80′ tied off the rack and practiced one set of “knot passing” on the rappel rope. When I got to the bottom of the pitch I set up both ropes for the crevasse self rescue section of the training session. The “climb” rope was set up with two Petzl ascenders. The backup rope was rigged with a grigri II. Normally I do this training session with a static rope for the climb. However in this session I used a dynamic rope. At the bottom of the pitch when I started the climb the “bounce” in the climb rope made the first 30′ of the climb very difficult and my heart rate was jacked. I used no foot aiders in this session as the wall is vertical with no overhangs. Because of the intense heat from the sun shining directly on the face and the bounce in the rope I took my time on the first half of the climb. Once my heart rate stabilized and the rope “tightened up” the ascent became easier. I’d “walk” up the wall several feet, stop and pull the slack thru the Grigri II on the back up rope. It took me about 25 minutes to climb about 120′. I could have climbed the pitch in half that time but because of the heat I took my time. I climb solo so If I had passed out from the heat I would have been hanging there until a hiker or another climber came along and found me. After topping out I took a 10 minute break and repeated the process.

Body Weight at the time of the session: 205 pounds

Pre workout meal: Turkey meatballs (6), Grits 1/2 cup dry, “I can’t believe it’s not butter 1 tbsp

Daily Macronutrient profile: Carbohydrates 280 gms Protein 220 fat 90

Calories burned during the session: Hike in with a 70 pound pack, set up, two rappels and climbs, gear cleanup and hike out 3026.

Monday June 3’rd Strength and Conditioning and Cardio.

Monday morning was spent at the gym. I worked two body parts, chest and shoulders using the following rep-set template. Each body part was trained using three different movements each comprising  3 sets of 8-12 reps. Keep in mind I’m in a “cutting phase” so my goal is to maintain  my current muscle mass while dropping body fat. I’m not attempting to get bigger and stronger. I’m already strong enough for the climb I simply need to improve my power to weight ratio by getting leaner. At the conclusion of the strength and conditioning session I implemented a new cardio protocol called M.O.A.C. What is M.O.A.C? Have you ever done HIIT training? Well it’s like HIIT training on steroids because there is no low exertion level. It’s 15 minutes of balls out high level exertion! I did 15 minutes of flat out as fast as I could sprint on an elliptical walker. The first 2 minutes were absolutely hellish as my quads were on fire! I thought to myself  “there was no way I’ll be able to sustain this speed for 15 straight minutes”. I was in absolute agony and nearly puked at the 12 minute mark. I did the entire 15 minutes without out retching or passing out.

Pre workout meal: Sliced ham, one whole egg, 4 egg whites 1/2 cup of sliced onion. Post workout. Isopure low carb protein powder mixed with two cups of skim milk and one tsb. of glutamine powder. Body weight 205.00

Please click here to donate to my Mt. Shuksan climb.

 

 

More Hate Mail1


hatemail

In response to my first installment of my Mt. Shuksan Training Log: A pusillanimous little pipsqueak had this to say:

“Well… good for you, but your intro post is a little silly. You make it sound like this ridiculous objective where nary a human returns. Its a good climb, but its not how you make it out to be. Also, your training regimen could use some work, man. You might want to lift like once a week, but other than that you should be doing cardio, lots and lots of cardio. Go find some stairs, run some wind sprints, do some burpees, etc. Pulling all the iron around is going to do very little for you.”

Well… O.K, is all I can say. Can you imagine ? This nincompoop is sadly indicative of  some of the spineless little curs that skulk and sleaze their way around the internet.

I’m finishing up the second installment of the training log so make sure to check back. I’m sure some colossal glistening jewel of ignorance will have something dopey and doltish to say about it.

Please click here to donate to my Mt. Shuksan climb.

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My Hate Mail! The Fire Board Break


Yes...I am in fact 52 years old.

Yes…I am in fact 52 years old.

I can be a polarizing person. Lets face it…not many men my age can do what I do. I’m not afraid to put myself on blast. I’ve blogged extensively about my weight loss transformation from a fat slovenly load into well…essentially the baddest 52 year old on earth. I did not start training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu until I was 42 and within two years won a World Championship in Brazil. I did not start climbing until I was 50 and have climbed Mt. Washington three times. I rock and ice climb as well. I was just promoted to Sixth Degree Black Belt in Kempo Karate after training in the art for over 20 years. I weight train at least 3-4 times weekly and am  in pretty damn good shape for a man of any age.  I get so much hate mail and nasty comments I’ve decided to make a separate category on the blog so you can read them and hopefully enjoy them as much as I do! My reply to my growing legion of haters is a quote from George Bernard Shaw “Hatred is the coward’s revenge for being intimidated.”

Regarding my video of my fire board break on YouTube. The following are from Reddit members (not edited for spelling or proper use of the English language):

now try it without the separators between the boards. Those “special” karate boards are cut so that the grain follows the direction of the hit, it’s not hard to break them. My 11year old sister can do it. this is far more impressive

Even taking out the separation doesn’t do a ton if you make sure the grain on every board is going the same direction.As for “special” karate boards… I mean, they’re just pine. The wood naturally has a grain that runs in one direction through the plank. What helps more is making sure the grain goes the short way along the wood.

Looks cool, but this is basically just breaking three boards. The fire adds a visual effect and an illusion of danger, but at the speed you move to break a board you’re not really in danger of burning yourself – similar to how you can pass your hand through a candle flame.If anything, the fire may even weaken the wood and make it easier to break, but that might be a stretch.

I have the confidence to tear a piece of paper in public place, it doesn’t make any better at being a martial artist

in case you already had trouble breaking a couple of thin pine boards with spacers, we’ve made them even weaker by lighting them on fire. you’re welcome.

I would love to run around to all the McDojo’s and replace the cheap ass wood they break with something like purpleheart.

Wooow. That was silly.

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You can help me realize a dream!


You can help me achieve my dreams by clicking this link to donate to my Mt. Shuksan climb. Thank you for your support. Climb bold, climb hard, climb fast!

Please CLICK HERE to follow the link to my climb donation page.

The second step to Mt. Everest...Mt. Shuksan.

The second step to Mt. Everest…Mt. Shuksan.

 

 

Training log entry 1


Mount Shuksan is a glaciated massif in the North Cascades National Park. It is 9,131 feet tall and like Mt. Washington in New Hampshire (which I’ve climbed 3X) is known for notoriously unpredictable weather. Climbing conditions can deteriorate rapidly, and the summit pyramid becomes difficult and dangerous during poor weather and after snowfall. Mt. Shuksan is subject to fierce storms, sometimes even during summer months. There are several significant risks involved with this climb which include:

  • ice/rock fall
  • falling into a crevasse
  • exposure
  • falling while climbing
  • weather related
  • bears

I intend to take the one of the following route(s) depending on conditions:

Here’s some quick details
Shuksan – approach through a thick forest and access a ridge that leads to the snow line. Then continue up to camp – approximate 4 hours.
Next day – ascend the glacier up to the summit pyramid. Climb the pyramid either two ways:
A 5.7 ridge arête for approx 4-5 pitches
A 5.3 gully system of either rock or ice/snow (condition dependent)
Descend the gully and glacier back to camp
Pack out the next day.
I will be carrying a full load of gear in my pack 50-60 pounds to base camp and must be in top physical condition. The need to train for this climb cannot be overstressed! Climbing techniques used during the climb  include movement over rock, ice axe arrest, use of crampons, rope travel, running belays and fixed line work. I’ll be doing the climb in early September which is early winter for Mt. Shuksan.
Rappelling at High Rocks Vista on a 120' wall.

Rappelling at High Rocks Vista on a 120′ wall.

My current body weight is 205 pounds down from 219 pounds and I’m 52 years old. Daily nutrition macro nutrient profile is; carbohydrates 280 grams, protein 220 grams, fat 90 grams. Im currently doing 4 weight lifting sessions per week which are; day one chest/back, day 2 shoulders/arms, day 3 legs, day 4 total body. I’m also doing between 2-3 martial arts sessions per week which include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Kempo Karate. Twice weekly I go bouldering at a local park to work on climbing technique and build hand and forearm strength. Twice monthly I go to Ralph Stover Park in Pa. and practice vertical rope work which includes; rappelling, rope change over, rappel to ascender change over and the use of ascenders to climb a rope. I intend to get to a body weight of 185 pounds by September to balance my body weight power to weight ratio. I need to climb hard and climb fast considering the volatile climbing conditions on Mt. Shuksan.

I’ll keep you posted on further training updates. I’ll see you at the summit!.

The Five Worst Reasons To Lose Weight:


The Five Worst Reasons To Lose Weight:

  1. My friend(s) are losing weight. You need to be self motivated to lose weight not because other people are doing it. Ask yourself “am I truly motivated to lose weight?” or “am I doing it to “keep up with my friend?”
  2. You are getting married and want to look “thin” in your wedding pictures. Good luck with that one. You’ll lose a ton of weight; look fit and trim in your wedding pictures…then inevitably regain all of the weight plus more… “Fat Groom in, Fat Groom out”.
  3. You have a big event like a high school reunion coming up. See 2 above.
  4. You want to get back with your ex boy friend or girl friend. See 1 AND 2 above.
  5. You are going on vacation and want to look “trim” in your bathing suit. I’ve always found this one especially curious. It’s a bit odd when people will diet their asses off to go on a cruise only to gorge themselves around the clock eating at the on-board buffets. 

The Best Reasons To Lose Weight:

  1. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired and want to affect positive emotional, mental and physical change in your life to improve your self esteem and sense of self worth.
  2. You want to feel good about yourself and reap the plethora of benefits of living a healthy life style such as a better attitude and quality of life.

I don’t like the word “diet”. A diet is a quick fix to a long term problem. As soon as I got into my thirties (I’m now 52) I began to struggle with my weight. In 2006 I competed in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Championships at 212 pounds. Six years later I had gained nearly 60 pounds. I was an out of shape depressed mess. Through sheer hard work (exercise) and sound nutrition I’ve lost the weight that I gained. It’s taken nearly two and a half years of ups and downs but I keep moving forward. Last summer I was at my leanest when I weighed 188 pounds, right now I’m at 202 and think that 190-195 is the weight that I should stay at. Yes…last winter was a rough one for me. I stopped being disciplined with my nutrition and regained about 20 pounds. If you struggle with your weight as I do then you know that a “diet” won’t work long term. People like me that can gain weight simply by looking at food need to have a realistic slow and steady approach to long term weight loss that consists of both sound nutrition and a positive attitude.

My 50'th birthday. I'm second to the right. Yes indeed I had bottomed out, physically and mentally.

My 50’th birthday. I’m second to the right. Yes indeed I had bottomed out, physically and mentally.

That me on the right two years ago...I was at my heaviest, close to 270 pounds and was completely out of shape.

That me on the right two years ago…I was at my heaviest, close to 270 pounds and was completely out of shape.

Super lean at 185. Do the math 260-185=75 pounds!

Super lean at 185. Do the math 260-185=75 pounds!

Your Judo no good around here! Or why martial arts works great on dead people.


A Facebook friend of mine posted this video on his wall. There are a few dynamics at work in the video. The “uke” (partner) is not being very cooperative and letting the instructor demonstrate the move. What does concern me though is that the instructor is unable to do the technique when he is met with resistance and therein lies the problem. Many martial arts techniques, grappling techniques in particular  may look great on YouTube and work great when you try them on someone of lesser skill or someone that is unable to resist the technique but would the technique work on a larger and hyper aggressive attacker? The uke in the video is just resisting the instructor and tensing his hand and arm. Can you imagine if he’d been actually fighting back? Also a bit disturbing is when the two guys get to scrapping…it turns into a schoolyard wrestling match.  Another dynamic that you should consider, can you execute your self defense system under duress?

Your Judo no good around here!

Your Judo no good around here!

What Is Martial Spirit? Don’t talk about it…be about it.


One of the greatest Martial Artists to ever live Miyamoto Musashi wrote the seminal Martial Arts treatise “The Book Of Five Rings”. If you are a serious Martial Artist I’m sure you’ve read it at least twice. Have you read  “The Art Of War” by Sun Tzu? Here are some qualities that I believe are components of the martial spirit:

  • A willingness to train hard and transcend the barriers of pain, discomfort and fear. The dojo is the training laboratory where a martial artist forges both his mind and body into instruments that are nearly impervious to fear, trepidation and self doubt.
  • A willingness to always find ways to leave your comfort zone. This can be done by training outside of your dojo with people that are much better than you. There is an old adage that goes “train hard fight easy.
  • Always be willing to validate your martial art. Back when BJJ was still BJJ the Gracies, Helio in particular would accept any challenge at any time…from anyone. What is crucial is not that you win, but rather that you are willing to put your money where your mouth is so to speak. Don’t talk about it be about it. A couple of months ago I was at a social gathering and met a high level Shotokan Black Belt. Our conversation turned towards the inevitable, grappling vs striking. I politely told him that he would absolutely not be able to stop me from taking him down. His response was “O.K..show me.” I was nearly knocked out trying to close the distance on him. The operant element was not his Shotkan vs my wrestling (which is rudimentary at best) what was key is that we were both willing to validate our respective skills by challenging each other and as a consequence ourselves. Keep in mind I’m not talking about choking out or roundhouse kicking some hapless civilian with ZERO martial arts training. The guy I challenged has been training in Shotokan for 30 years.
  • Always seek new and more difficult challenges. That is why I believe that competition is so important. I’d rather enter a tournament and get my ass kicked then be a paper tiger…the guy that can beat up everyone in his dojo. There is a 56 year old competitor on the BJJ tournament circuit. He wins some and he loses some however this guy will go against anyone and I mean anyone. I’ve seen him compete against guys that are 15 years younger than him. He truly personifies the Martial Spirit.

Musashi

 

Jim Wing is an Ass. Bring on the hate…haters!


"Jim Wing is an ass..."

“Jim Wing is an ass…”

At the behest of a freind I opened up an account on Reddit.com and posted the video I did of my “fire break”. Here is the link to the video on YouTube. Now check out the comments users left, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post to read my thoughts on the comments. Below are the actual quotes not edited for misspellings. Here is the link to the actual reddit page.

 

What they keep missing is the fact that board breaking isn’t about a show of strength. It’s about confidence. Take someone and tell them, “I want you to take your hand and smash it through this hard object.” Most people won’t, just on principle, even though they robably could once they understood what was going on.

[–]polski_patKarate | Ju Jutsu | Kendo | Parkour 1 point 19 hours ago

I have the confidence to tear a piece of paper in public place, it doesn’t make any better at being a martial artist

[–]Black6xTo-Shin Do | Danzan Ryu Jujitsu | Army Combatives | Taijutsu 4 points 17 hours ago

Yes, but most people have the confidence to tear a piece of paper. And I never said that the ability to break a board made someone a better martial artist. Just that the action exists as a method of instilling confidence in eth individual doing the breaking.

[–]polski_patKarate | Ju Jutsu | Kendo | Parkour 3 points 17 hours ago

fair enough. I see what your getting at but the confidence is misplaced because they will believe that breaking the board somehow shows their improvement or martial arts prowess, but it doesn’t

[+]bw2002 comment score below threshold  (8 children)

[–]HKBFGTae Kwon Do 1 point 8 hours ago

in case you already had trouble breaking a couple of thin pine boards with spacers, we’ve made them even weaker by lighting them on fire. you’re welcome.

now try it without the separators between the boards. Those “special” karate boards are cut so that the grain follows the direction of the hit, it’s not hard to break them. My 11year old sister can do it. this is far more impressive

[–]sreichesTKD | Judo | Aikido 2 points 9 hours ago

Even taking out the separation doesn’t do a ton if you make sure the grain on every board is going the same direction.

As for “special” karate boards… I mean, they’re just pine. The wood naturally has a grain that runs in one direction through the plank. What helps more is making sure the grain goes the short way along the wood.

[–]GreatestKingEver 5 points 23 hours ago

Looks cool, but this is basically just breaking three boards. The fire adds a visual effect and an illusion of danger, but at the speed you move to break a board you’re not really in danger of burning yourself – similar to how you can pass your hand through a candle flame.

If anything, the fire may even weaken the wood and make it easier to break, but that might be a stretch.

Well as Bella Lugosi once said “There is no such thing as bad press.” Actually the first comment was spot on. I’m not going to deign a reply to the mostly negative comments other than to say I enjoy eliciting a reaction from people…any kind of a reaction. I mean really who the hell has or will spend the time to comment on a video of some dude karate chopping a bunch of boards that are on fire? My ultimate hope is that if someone hates and scorns the video, they’ll send the link to someone of like mind which does nothing other than drive up my YouTube views. I think I’ll really F*** with them and shoot a video of me doing rarely taught and never before seen Martial Arts demonstrations like the secret Ninja egg break or perhaps the incredibly dangerous tennis ball catch. I would really love to continue this soliloquy but I simply must go and practice tearing paper plates in half. Perhaps my detractors are correct, I am talentless. In fact this cat has more talent than I do.

Is your training intense enough?


I found this excellent post from Maxercise on Facebook about training intensity levels. Let me hip you to something training the way you want or feel like is not training at a level to be successful in competition against your peers. Everybody needs to be pushed. Here is the article:

Getting gassed out in a fight is a nightmare. With a small change to your training, you can avoid it easily and have the stamina to go the distance. 

Of the five physiological aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Strength, Speed, Flexibility, Stamina, and Coordination) we started discussing yesterday, Stamina, or Conditioning, is the one we have the most control over and the one that can be affected most quickly. It starts with understanding that your body has two energy systems, aerobic and anaerobic. The aerobic system powers long lasting physical activity that takes place with the heart rate lower than 80% of your maximum heart rate. Anaerobic is a short-burst, high-intensity system that can be used up to about two minutes and takes place with your heart rate above 80% of your maximum heart rate. For 99% of our day, we are only relying on our aerobic system. When we train in practice, we are using a combination of the two systems at the same time. If pushed hard enough, we may get to a period where we are primarily using the anaerobic system. 

The issue with most of our randori or rolling sessions is that they do not simulate match level intensity and therefore have us training in an aerobic state with only a small portion or bursts of our anaerobic system. That is why you get so surprised at how fatigued and painful matches can feel when you are always in the gym doing randori. You need to train the anaerobic system with focus and on its own. The good news is, it is the easiest to affect and doesn’t have to be that painful. You simply need to get your body into the anaerobic heart rate zone (80%+ of MHR) and stay there until failure, back off until somewhat recovered, then go back into it. A great example of this type of workout is a tabata. A tabata is a set workout where you work for a set period of time and rest a set period of time. An example we use in wrestling is on the airdyne bike where we sprint for 30 seconds and rest for ten for four minutes. You can adjust these numbers as you like. Try sprinting for 45, resting for 30 for ten minutes. 

The tabata format can be used with any number of exercise movements to create an anaerobic state. The exercises need to use many muscle systems at the same time, or your largest ones (posterior chain). Examples of great full body exercises that will get you to the anaerobic state are thrusters (barebell or dumbbell), jumping lunges, box jumps, bear crawls, and the best one, burpees. With the above format and one of the listed exercises added to your training regimen to be about 10 minutes per day, you will be amazed at how the thought of the painful lactic acid burn and fatigue disappears from your thoughts. Imagine being able to hammer the entire length of the fight rather than holding on to a few points, trying to survive!

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