Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Model Integrity and Tactical Strength Challenge (TSC)

Model Integrity
Just wanted to point out a new company called Model Integrity that is run by my good friend Shannon. The name really says it all and the company works with models of all types with the highest integrity. Shannon wanted to offer honest information and legitimate resources in the talent industry. The modeling industry, notoriously plagued with scams, can often leave aspiring models (& parents of young models) misguided and short hundreds or thousands of dollars, leaving them no further along in their pursuits than when they started.

Mike T Nelson Fitness Consulting is very happy to be a sponsor of this great company with the highest integrity.
If you are in the Twin Cities, MN area, be sure to check out their upcoming event! Check out the links below
Model Integrity home page
Model Integrity blog

TSC Update

It was that time in the Spring when the TSC was upon us. This event for those who have not heard of it consists of 3 events

1) Deadlift--max lift (weight) with 3 lifts (attempts). Belts are allowed, but no suit/supportive gear allowed (raw)
2) Max Pull ups (palms face away)--no cheating/kipping. Elite division adds extra weight
3) Max Kettlebell (KB) snatches in 5 minutes. Women use a 16 kg, Men 24 kg and Elite division 32 kg KB (33, 55 and 72 lbs for non metric minded people)

Each competitor is ranked on each event. The lowest overall number is the winner. See TSC Challenge for more info and past results

There were many more competitors this time than even this last Sept and the even keep growing each year.

Once again everyone there was super nice, competitive yet supportive.

Big thanks to Brad "No Relation" Nelson and Jordan for hosting the event once again this year at the Kinetic Edge which is a beautiful facility. They did a great job of getting everyone through in time and yet allowing enough time between events. Check out the Kinetic Edge here.

The competition gets stiffer and stiffer each year, which is great!

My training cycle for the event was not as ideal as I would have liked, but is any training cycle ever perfect? My main goals were to deadlift 425 and 125 reps for the KB snatch in 5 minutes (and not completely embarrass myself with pull-ups)

Weirdo Soft Tissue Work
The deadlift was first up and I had done some new Z Health tissue release work that I got from Dr. Cobb at a recent private session and I was really feeling good.. It looks insane as I am doing a modified back arm circle, with my eyes up and to the right while holding a fold of tissue under my right pec and applying specific pressure--all done at the same time for about 10-20 seconds. After that I have never had that much internal rotation in my right hip EVER I believe. Goes to show that EVERYTHING is CONNECTED in the body! I've done some soft tissue work on others too with similar results and I've felt knots/restrictions virtually melt beneath my hands.

So on my way to the event I realized that most people have no frame of reference of how good they could really feel! I am not sure of a good way to communicate that the body you have not is NOT the one you will have in the future!! If you are doing thing correctly, the body you will have in the future should be BETTER. Yes, this applies to "older" people too. I don't believe in "old-fartis" as my buddy Steve calls it.

TSC Deadlift
The deadlift was first up and I felt pretty good about it overall. I hit my opener at 385 lbs and it felt pretty good. I rushed the set up at the bottom a bit though. Next up I called 405 lbs which had been a lift that I felt I should have made many months ago, but had yet to complete and was starting to really piss me off to be honest. In the past it felt like someone stapled it to the floor (even though I had done 400lbs in competition). This time it actually came off the floor quite well, but I felt I rushed the set up at the bottom of the lift a bit. I got it to about my knees and my hamstrings started shaking violently--crap. I thought about dropping it, but I felt I was not going to injury myself and the thought of getting it that far and aborting just sucked. So I locked it out for a 5 lb PR. I skipped my next attempt as my body was saying "that is enough of that for today". Below are the videos.


Again, I can't recommend this form to anyone and this never happened in training, but I was happy to clear this "mental hurdle".

Unfortunately Shawn Friday had a hamstring issue during one of his big deadlift attempts (he was smoking everyone in the DL). I did some Z Health right afterwards and it helped a fair amount and he is recovering nicely last I heard now (anyone have an update?). He will be back for more next time!

Everyone did great in the deadlift and my training partner Matt Finlay pulled a PR at 330 lbs too! He got 350 to just below his knees and that was it, but next it will go all the way up. Videos below of Matt and then Aaron Friday puling a nice PR (personal record) at 415. Nice job Aaron and he won our bet; so a free Z Health session for him.

Aaron Friday

TSC Pull-ups
Pull ups were next and nothing to report really other than I found my lats! Wow, I actually felt my lats working on a pull-up, so that is great news. I decided it was time to train pull-ups for next time, so I am working on finding some wall space in my garage and will be ordering a pull up bar. Anyone want to buy a windsurfing board? I am selling it to free up some wall space. I have a smaller pull up bar on my power rack, but the spacing is quite narrow and it seems to mess me up, so that is my excuse for not training them. Matt got 4, which is a PR (well, we never trained them so an easy PR).

You will have to tilt your head to watch the video. I haven't figured out how to rotate it yet.


All Aboard the Pain Train.

Time for pain! Enter the 5 minutes of hell know as KB snatches!
Anyone who has ever done this can attest to that. Yeah, there are freaks that are doing it for 10 minutes and beyond, but for us mortals 5 minutes is more than enough. My goal was to hit 125 reps in 5 minutes with the 24 kg (55 lb) KB that it was much faster than I thought it was going to be! I could have used a couple more weeks to practice as I felt my CRF (cardio respiratory fitness) was not the best, but I was still able to crank out 120 reps which I was very happy with. I decided when I started that no matter what I was NOT setting the KB down until 5 minutes expired, even if that meant switching hands for every rep at the end, that thing was not hitting the floor until 5 minutes.

I managed 30 reps in a row on my right hand before switching to my left and hitting 33 there before switching again. You can switch hands as often as you like, but you will normally have to do a KB swing on a hand switch and it costs you some time. After that it was a blur up until the end and I was hurting at about 108 (last years PR) and my training partner started counting backwards to help me hit my goal. Sounds cornball, but ANYTHING at that point to take your mind off the burning in your lungs, glutes and hams is worth its weight in gold.

Once I sat the KB down I have never felt that much blood forced into my glutes, hams and forearms in my life. I think climbers call this a "flash pump" Youch. And it was very painful, but after moving around for several minutes it finally went away and I was fine the next day. Mental note--next time do more than 6 warm up reps! Dooooh!

Below is a short video of Matt rocking the 24kg KB at the start of the test

Overall it was a great time and it was awesome to see everyone competing again like the Fridays (Aaron and Fawn), Nick, Brad and Joe and meet the new competitors-Maura, Dena, Alex, Greg, Albert, and Jala

Check out these blog entries from other competitors

Maura Shuttleworth
Fawn Friday

Aaron Friday
Kinetic Edge
And to those crazies in CA
Franz Trainingblog

Woodbury, MN Tactical Strength Challenge Results 4-5-08

Here's the results:
Name BW DL Place P-Us Place Snatch Place Total Pts Overall
Women's Divison
Fawn Friday 125.2 275 1 12 1 120 1 3 1
Maura Shuttleworth115.8 250 2 11 2 60 3 7 2
Dena Smith 131 215 4 4 4 105 2 10 3

Men's Division
Aaron Friday 156.8 415 3 18 1 114 6 9 1
Alex Vanos 188 445 1 11 4 120 4 9 2
Sean Schneiderjan 219.5 425 2 3 7 139 1 10 3
Nick Jasken 183.4 325 7 17 2 124 3 11 4
Greg Merth 175.2 285 8 13 3 133 2 12 5
Mike Nelson 209.6 405 4 6 5 120 5 13 6
Albert Suckow 218.6 390 5 1 8 107 7 18 7
Matthew Finlay 214.8 330 6 4 6 83 8 19 8

Men's Elite
Brad Nelson 193.6 475 1 12 1 87 1 3 1
Joe Pavel 204.8 405 2 11 2 74 2 6 2

It is a fun environment and I would encourage EVERYONE to sign up and plan on the next one in Sept.