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Archive for February, 2007

I’ve been a big fan of cucumber salads. Easy to make, somewhat good source of water, and more importantly, good for digestion when you are taking lots of protein. Right now I’m taking 100g of protein from shakes alone, not counting at least half a pound of animal remains…err meat and/or poultry.

Without this type of salad (and my morning bowl of oatmeal and yogurt), it gets really difficult to take so much protein (at least for me). Read “really difficult” as an euphemism for serious physiological dysfunctions, massive organ failure and internal necrosis.

So this is how I make a quick salad (specially for a few folks that have asked in other threads about how to eat healthy with simplicity.)

Main Ingredients: (about 2g of fiber, 3g if you use one tbspoon of ground flaxseed)

— half a cucumber (medium size)
— one small tomatoe
— two small radishes
— some pickled ginger (the type used for sushi), the more the better.

Additional Spicing Stuff:

— feta cheese
— half a teaspoon of olive oil
— cilantro (the more, the better)
— dried oregano, parsley, basil
— some salt and lemon juice
— one tbspoon of ground flaxseed (or toasted wheat germ)

Animal Remains/Stuff for protein: (about 42+/- g of protein)

— one boiled egg ( 6.3g of protein )
— 4 shrimps (about 6g of protein ) — skip it if you are allergic to seafood
— 6 oz of chicken ( 32g of protein ) — I usually quick fry it with honey mustard

Note: If you are veg, just replace all that with tofu or something.

These are the ingredients after you dice the shit out of them (high resolution pic thingie here).

Preparation-Fu: (about 5 mins, 15 if you are a tard.)

— dice the shit out of the vegetables (see above pic)
— dump the diced cucumbers, radishes and cilantro into a bowl or container thingie, and mix them
— dump one tbsp of ground flaxseed (or toasted wheat germ), and mix the crap out of it
— dump the feta cheese, and stir like a man, or a strong lady… you get the point
— dump some oregano, parsley, basil, salt and lemon into the mix. Stir again.
— dump some diced pickle ginger and olive oil. Stir
— put the diced animal remains/stuff (chicken, shrimp and egg), or toffu if you are a veg into the mix. Stir the crap out of it (or put them nicely if you want to impress a lady)

And voila, some greens with protein and fiber. And to top it off, the salad is a good one, not one of those lettuce salads that makes you feel like a cow munching grass.

This is what it looks like at the end (high resolution pic thingie here.)

NOTE: if you really hate cucumbers, and I can’t think why on Baal’s name you would, you can use raw or microwave-nuked cauliflower and/or brocolli.

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Te he, see what I just arrived to my desk 🙂

I’m quite happy with my #1 Captain Of Crunch (CoC) 140lbs gripper, but not so with the IMTUG (which is also a #1). I overstimated the thoughness of the IMTUG #1 – I can do 40-something reps with my ring and little fingers and with the IMTUG placed against the palm of the hand.

Compared that to the fact I cannot even do one rep with my the same fingers using my old everlast gripper.

The IMTUG #1 works well for pinching. That is, I should have bought a IMTUG #3 in addition to a #1 (or a #1 and a #2).

The CoC #1, that’s another thing. I’m fucking happy with it!!!! I cannot close it (I can come close to 1/2″), and I can only do 8 to 10 reps. The big difference is that, with a plain vanilla, pedestrian pussy gripper, one can do reps mindlessly.

With the CoC, you really have to concentrate and put your mind into each rep. I love it.

Heck!!! I’ve brought it to work and the gym, and so far I’ve not found anyone capable of closing it cold turkey. Impressive.

Also, I bought an extra pair of 6″ metal nipples (he, I said nipple) to convert another pair of dumbells I have as previously described in a previous post (How To Build A 2″ Thickbar Dumbbell), in addition to a few hose clamps, the smallest I could find to thighten my plain-vanilla everlast gripper.

These are my my findings on the hose clamps:

— There are no clamps small enough (AFAIK) that can be used to increase the difficulty of an IMTUG, so though luck on that one

— Three hose clamps can increase the difficulty of a ghay everlast gripper – I would say, by 30% to 50% (wild, out-of-my-ass estimate.)

I don’t have a flat-head screw driver with a handle long enough to tighten the hose clamps more than I’ve had already, but I’ll look for one tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve masculinized the ghay everlast gripper enough to be of decent use (as warmup sets before starting with the CoC, or for drop sets AFTER a CoC set.)

I may be wrong, but with $3 worth of hose clamps, one can make a trainer-like gripper for someone who’s just starting (yeah, I know, I’m a cheap bastard.)

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Take a typical, pedestrian dumbbell, for example. Two lumps of weights at either side of the bar, held together by a skinny piece of metal. No matter how heavy it is, you don’t really need to work your hand to grab it. Curl your fingers and let the weight rest in the palm and metatarsal.

So far, so good. Eventually your forearms will get hit. However, the muscle and connective tissue in the hands never get hit. Forearms get hit by keeing the fingers locked, but never due to an active contraction of the fingers and thumb.

But what if you want to hit the hands themselves? The grip? The forearms by actively keeping a contraction on all fingers, thumbs included? The answer is in increasing the thickness of the handles, or to increase the difficulty of grabbing the bar.

Before going any further, I have to give credit to the excellent tutorial on grapplearts.com on how to develop combat grip – support, crush and pinch for martial arts and combat sports. The aforementioned tutorial is available here.

Additionally, a few of the ideas I’m trying now come from Shenandoah’s website. Specifically, I’m borrowing ideas from the grip, isotonics, and misc sections.

The option of increasing the difficulty of grabbing the handles can be achieved by using a rope or towel around the dumbbell handle as shown below. The other option, to increase the tickness of the handle, the easiest thing is to place a pool noodle around it. This option is perhaps better geared for the gym enthusiastic in general.

WARNING: Using a towel and/or rope for lifting can put an enormous amount of stress on the knucles and metacarpal bones of the little and ring fingers.

Now, I really don’t like using foams and/or pool noodles to increase the width of a dumbbell handle. I’d rather have a solid surface that I can grip. Borrowing ideas from here and there, I decided to use regular steel 2″x6″ plumbing nipples.

The first thing is to wrap the regular handles with something; in my case, I used 1/2″ plumbing insulation. On top of that, I used regular tape to keep the insulation thight. Then I apply some lubricant and slide the metal pipe in the handle, and, voila, a 2″ thickbar dumbell. This is what a 25lbs homemade thickbar dumbbell looks like (notice the piece of plumbing insulation I used)

This will instantly make any dumbell curls more difficult… far more difficult. Before trying this idea, I was trying other ways, including chaining the dumbbells to the same 2″x6″ metal pipe (see pic below):

The advantage of this arrangement is that you can still keep the regular handles. You may not want to use a thickbar when doing, say, lunges. The disavantage is that this is clunky and clumsy. In any case, these are two options to play with.

Enjoy.

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… but fortunately it feels better.

 After the initial shock of having my neck almost snapped, I realized this is mostly a sprain or some shit like that. The muscles on the left side of my neck (the splenius and sternocleidomastoid to be precise) are swollen, and my neck tilted a bit to the right. So I treated the same way I would treat any other sprained ligament. I icy-hot the shit out of the area and wrapped the neck with an ACE wrap.

 I felt like a moron with the wrap around my neck, but I was putting icy-hot and wrapping it around the clock. By this morning, I can almost move my neck as usual, but it still hurts during sharp movements (or when doing push ups.)

Yeah, I’m out of training for this week. Crap.

On another note, as I expected, my weight has dropped and flatlined to 152lbs from 160lbs.  This is my natural weight I’m afraid. Well, to be honest, I did some changes in my diet – I cut daily my meat/poultry intake in half and added an extra 50g of protein via a shake.

Actually, to be more accurate, I ditched Myoplex in favor of ABB Extreme Body RTD 50 . Myoplex is great, but it had perhaps too much fat whereas ABB Extreme gives me more protein with less fat. Also, it’s almost $2 cheaper, so I can take two a day – 100g of protein a day baby, not counting what I get from food alone.

I find this change to be better for my stomach… so far.

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Yeah, you heard me. They are the devil reincarnated, or some wicked shit like that. And I mean it out of deep respect for their athletic and martial abilities.

Jesus Christ, I just came from the no-gi BJJ class, and all was good and dandy until it came time for sparring. As we were rotating partners, I got paired up with this dude, a wrestler. Didn’t even know what hit me.

Wrestlers have a top game and move fast; this one was no exception. As we started, he shot for a takedown so fast that I accidentally knee him in the face… like hard, really hard. It was an accident, and I really felt bad because the knee was, like hard. You know, hard.

I stopped and checked if he was ok, and we resumed again. As we were juggling for position, he somehow neck-tied me (like a good wrestler would), pushed me down and went to grab my back. In the conmotion, I shot in while he was coming at me, and fuacata, I’m ramming my head on his chest. My neck cracked the same way a granola bar cracks when you take a bit at it.

Fortunately Josh, the instructor stopped the sparring session and pulled me aside for a minute or so. He gave a quick massage on the neck, check that I was ok, and resume sparring. Weird tingling sensation on my neck I tell you. Once class was over I put some tiger balm (I always carry that and icy-hot… you never know when you’ll need it.)

And now I’m at home with an ice pack on my neck. It hurts as I flex my neck back and forth, but only at the limits of my normal range of flexion. Also having an ice pack on your neck gives you this weird feeling in your eyeballs.

Nothing serious, but I surely hope I don’t wake up sore and unable to train tomorrow. That will blow and suck more than a vacuum cleaner.

Shit. Suckiness to the nth degree factorial.

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