Friday, October 20, 2006

Back in the Saddle

It's been two weeks since I last posted and A LOT has occured in that time frame.
  • We've hosted another Z-Health R-Phase Certification.
  • I met with Dr. Cobb for a private and front squatted for the first time in my entire life without any pain in my right knee.
  • I spent last week in Hawaii where I experienced my first ever earthquake.
  • I've decided to start training for weightlifting competition again.

Z-Health R-Phase Certification

I just can't say enough positive things about Z-Health. This is it. This is the system in which all other sytems fit. I cannot be more succinct than that. It fits beautifully with the RKC system--both are based on the same principles: quality over quantity and perfecting technique are just two that jump to mind.

When I first started reading Chek and Clark and Gray and Cook and those guys, all from whom I some learned something, it was all about the muscles, the soft tissue. Z is so different because it deals directly with the CNS through active joint self-mobilization. It's freaky in a good way. To be honest, I don't even think in terms of soft tissue these days, only CNS stimulation/response. I think that can be good and bad.

I've tried many other soft tissue pre-hab based programs. None of them come close to the instant results of Z. I've tried almost every soft-tissue treatment out there for my right knee: none of them made me pain free. Z has. 17 years of pain/discomfort in that knee; 6 months of Z and the pain is gone. What kind of return on investment is that? A HUGE one.

We believe in it so much that by the end of December, we'll be the first company to have all their trainers Z-Health certified (there'll be eight of us). This is really the only way we can operate. We cannot have any stragglers because they just won't get it and will be left behind. They won't be able to interact with the rest of us on the same level. Sounds almost snobbish. It's not. Frankie Faires, a Z-Health trainer is fond of saying "Z changes EVERYTHING." I agree.

Front Squats

This was a simple fix, apparently. During my private session with Dr. Cobb, he noticed that while performing an overhead squat, my hands were holding the bar differently. It turned out that my right ring and pinky fingers were stuck in flexion--absolutely no extension. This was probably from some bite/infection on my knucle I had back in the early summer. That sucker was swollen for about 2 weeks. Anyway, some soft tissue work by Dr. Cobb on that, some hand mobility, and finger mobility, and the direction to perform all my R-Phase with my wrists and hands in extension, and I had my first ever pain free/discomfort free front squat. It was very strange--there was the distinct absence of any sensation whatsoever.

Apparently, lifters, rock climbers, and KB trainees spend so much time with their hands in flexion, they literally lose the ability to get into extension. This can have a lot of negative carryover in the body. So I've been doing lots of hand and finger work since. Front squat's still pain free. Feels good--real good.


Hawaii was cool. I went to Oahu and spent a couple of days in Waikiki. Beautiful place. I then had business up the Waienae coast. I got to spend some time by myself to do some thinking. Lots of that plus sightseeing driving around in my Jeep Wrangler with the top down. One of my major conclusions was to start training for weightlifting competition again.


I love the sport of weightlifting. For the past six years I've allowed life to stand in the way of competing. It's been a good life. Built a business. Made new friends. Gotten injured. Found the answer I've been looking for. One of the principles of Z-Health is that movement is a skill that can be improved. Now that my hips and knees are pain free, I can focus on training my weightlifting movements. One of the things Pavel pounded into my head is that strength is a skill and must be practiced.

I don't want to jump waist deep back into training, I'd rather take my time and wade in. Too many injuries jumping in right away in the past. I'm starting at about 50% for only one top set.

Here's the program:

Power snatch x3

Overhead squat x5

Power Clean x3

Front squat x5

Push press x3

Again, I'm starting at roughly 50% and using Pavel;s 5x5x5 program. I'm not sure how many sessions I'm going to use this for, probably 15-20 and then switch the program a little bit--drop the number of total exercises but turn some of the current ones into compound exercises, like snatch + overhead squat and power clean + front squat and drop the reps down.

Currently, I'm waving the weights weekly and adding 5kg per workout so the plan looks something like this:

Snatch: 60kg/65/70/75/80 and the following week, 65kg/70/75/80/85, and so on--you get the picture. I'll post how the week finished up. I took today off cause my SI's locked up about 11am for no particular reason. I spoke with Dr. Cobb about it and he said it may be the new enzymes I've just started taking in the past couple of days. They create a lot of movement and can be taxing on the body/system.

One thing's for certain, my appetite is up. I must keep eating because I'm dropping weight. I'm underweight from cutting down this summer, so I've got about 20lbs I'd like to put back on--carefully and slowly. We'll see how it goes. After this first break-in cycle, I may put in some time with some heavy squatting (and eating and sleeping) and see what happens to the weight.

More later...


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