The University of Texas’ Stark Center, Anchor for PFX12

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” – Bertrand Russell

OK, so it’s been a while since I documented a run of workouts, so what better time to take a snapshot of things than Thanksgiving week?  Actually, this turned out to be a fairly typical workout week for me, with lots of varied modalities and overall session intensity variability tossed into the mix.

A snapshot of last week’s workouts –

Monday –
(A1) Powermax360 work: 30 seconds on, 15 off; 2 rounds
(A2) Eccentric Edge, leverage flat bench: 7 reps, max power output, no grind outs
4 total rounds.

Tuesday –
(first workout) – whip snatch + 3 overhead squats: 10 total sets, working up from 135 to 150 lbs
(second workout, 2 hours later) – thrusters x 3 reps: 5 total sets, working up from 135 to 185 lbs

Wednesday –
Lotsa fixie hucking 🙂

Thursday – Autoregulated lifts, with a decided power emphasis (i.e, reps were kept quick, with no grind-outs); 5 total rounds.
(A1) trap bar DLs: workup to 445 x2

(A2) Dips: workup to 95 x 5

(A3) free bar chins: workup to 95 x 3

Assessment: good day for dips, and so-so for chins.  As for DLs?  Meh…  In defense of a sub-par DL showing though, this was a friggin’ tough-ass combo.

Friday –
Sprint starts (30 yards)  and limited monkey & parallel bar work (really feelin’ Thursday’s DLs — not much spring in the legs)

Saturday –
Sprints (100 yards, 8 x <15 seconds, 45 seconds recoverery) and heavy sandbag work — clean & press, snatch, totes, etc.  (yikes!  *Still* feeling those DLs!).

Sunday –
A rare day completely off — unless you count my wrestle with IKEA furniture assembly 🙂

And now for your viewing pleasure…

How about an up-close-and-personal preview of the venue that will serve as the anchor to this spring’s highly anticipated PFX12 symposium?  Having been lucky enough to have been invited (as a personal guest of Ken “Transevolutionary Fitness” O’Neill) to the reception celebrating the official opening of the Stark Center’s Joe and Betty Weider Museum of Physical Culture, I can tell you that this place is just amazing to a dyed-in-the-wool Physical Culturalist like myself.

Anyway, you can get a feel for the scope and breadth of the facility via the short documentary and blog post, here.  Oh, and as an added bonus, yours truly makes a cameo appearance at about mark 2:00.  So does this mean that, since I’ve now rubbed elbows at such an event with the likes of Arnold, Boyer Coe, Larry Scott, Bill Pearl, Ronnie Coleman and Mark Henry, that my acting career will now skyrocket? 🙂  Heh; I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you…

In other news, it looks like my man Anthony Johnson has this summer’s 21 Convention talks by Skyler and myself up and available now.  The theme of Skyler’s presentation (link here, via Anthony’s blog) centers on training expectations over a lifetime; in other words, taking a long-range of your training efforts, and purposefully directing those efforts so as to positively affect the entirety of your life.  As always, good stuff from my Efficient Exercise training brother-in-arms.

In my own presentation, I explore (among other various topics) the highly n=1 nature of health vs performance, and the often-times contradictory nature of chasing performance as a means of bolstering health.  I’ll warn you ahead of time: if you’re looking for sound-bite answers, quick-fixes, or a one-size-fits-all template, I’m not your guy, and this won’t be your jam.  The truth is, all I can define are general processes that are applicable to iron game pursuits.  Cooking from a book will never make one a chef any more than will painting by numbers make one an artist.  In the same way, training from a template will never make one a true Physical Culturalist.  One must learn hints from others, then forge their own n=1 path.

The Vampire chronicles…

In an upcoming series of posts, I’ll be documenting my recent bloodwork draw, and what those lab numbers reveal.  Nutritionist Holly L’Italien, from Austin’s Merritt Wellness Center will be doing some TTP guest posting as she hacks away at this kid’s bloodwork.  I can tell you this: intelligent bloodwork analysis is a friggin Rubik’s Cube puzzle.  Many, many mitigating and conflicting factors to consider.  This should be interesting as hell, especially as my numbers are anything but straightforward.  Stay tuned.

In health,

4 responses to “The University of Texas’ Stark Center, Anchor for PFX12

  1. For those interested in learning the fascinating history of the Stark Center, Roy McLean, and Jan & Terry Todd, the April 2011 issue of Iron Man Magazine carrier my feature story on the collection – not yet on line as previous articles are.

    As daunting as the front end of the collection is, a tour of the 2.5 miles of compact shelving housing the abundance of rare to one-of-a-kind archival materials is simply stunning. More stunning, however, is a tour by either Jan or Terry Todd, becoming overwhelmed at the immensity of the collection, then having a moment of insight recognizing the entire collection has been their passionate dedication for about 40 years. Calling the Todds visionaries is far too simple an expression.

    I’m sure grateful that Keith accepted my invitation to go along to the Weider Museum dedication. My wife, Karan, was originally scheduled to go. After spending 4th of July at a Norris family reunion, Keith and me talking non-stop, Karan felt it more appropriate for Keith to go as guest – and likely for me to take someone the age of my kids hoping he’d keep me from getting in trouble!

    On which topic – last blog talked about tribe. One of the delights of the paleo/primal movement is very traditional insofar as those of us with lifelong training aren’t taken as eroding old people but as elders with some knowledge of the path younger folks are treading. That Weider event was a gathering of elders, although most looked decades younger than ‘normal is abnormal’ people their age. I’m not sure what we elders have to say is always appreciated since we’ve learned caution for preventing injuries & burn out to keep going.

    Visit the Start Center – first by the web, take the tour, watch the videos (I’m in the background earlier than Keith is!), get bitten by the bug – then you’ll grok in the fullness of time as Keith has. (Yep, Grok is a very in Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land novel).

  2. Thanks Keith – the Stark Center appears to be a destination visit for many of us.

    An interesting series of workouts as well; I’ve been focusing on 3 x 3 routines similar to your Thursday session. I’ve found them to be fun and productive. I do have a question. Do you have a working definition of “exercise”? I’ve been reading another blog where the blogger defines exercise in way that, to me, seems excessively narrow. Not being familiar with all that much of the research literature in the field, I was curious if there is a standard definition that exercise science uses.

    • Yeah, so the term “exercise” is one of those rubbery terms that means many things to many different people. For the most part it’s easier to define what exercise is not, which is to say, it’s *not* mere “activity”. The problem with defining theses terms, though, is that, by necessity (and in real-world application), there has to be a sliding scale involved. And it’s not just physiology that must be taken into account here, but psychology as well. In other words, something I might consider closer to the “activity” side of the scale, may be another person’s ass-busting “exercise” session. I’ve never been totally comfortable (though I do get the point), of exercise being defined as an endeavor undertaken specifically to elicit a physiological response. Some would go so far as to say that if you’re enjoying the activity, then it obviously isn’t of an intense enough nature to be considered “exercise”. Huh? Really? I suppose I haven’t “exercised” a day in my life then. So you can see what kind of useless rabbit trails exist that you can wander down with trying to pin these terms. And really, what’s the upside of doing so? For me, I just “do”, and let my body figure out whether it’s exercise or not 🙂

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