Got Some KungFu Style Block Weights

I wanted some of these for ages

block weights

block weights

These are the same as Chinese Kungfu block weights or stone lock weights. Used in a similar way to kettlebells – but they are quite different too.

Some kettlebell exercises are impossible with these while others are better. Stone locks have been used for weight lifting for thousands of years

Get a super heavy Kettlebell for nearly free

Some time back I posted about 200lb kettlebells and how much I want one for swings in particular.

Now some guys can press these suckers, thats 2x as hard as a headstand pushup for most of us. They can also be used for rows and some other moves. Nothing beats a heavy lift for hormonal stimulation.

So I thought I had lucked out, a catalog for a local supplier had them. Normally to ship one of these to New Zealand costs $1000.

I got on the phone and asked them to ship me one for $300. The guy said he would get his logistics man onto it and get back to me.

Well they didnt for two weeks and eventually just fluffed it off and said they could no longer get them in.

That kind of sucked but living at the bottom of the world far away you get used to these things.

Finally today I connected the dots.

t bar kettlebell

I have known about the T-Bar handle for years, why the hell was I trying to buy a 200lb kettlebell?

All I need is a T-Bar handle for $20 worth of pipe fittings. Which I will buy this week I may add.

To this handle you may attach as much weight as you want. 150lb, 200lb, 300lb even 500lb. Obviously at some point all you will be doing is dragging or rocking the sucker.

Now if you are broke this still sucks because there is an outlay for plates. They can be as expensive as kettlebells with shipping costs.

If you cant afford plates its no problem at all. Get online and calculate the weight to volume of cement.

Figure what size cylinder of cement you want attached to your T-Bar handle. You dont want it too big or the wrong shape.

Then you will need some duct tape & cardboard or a plastic pipe tube to cast your new 200lb kettlebell substitute.

Not a big hassle to make at all and a huge money saver. If you have plates you have variable resistance. Otherwise just make several of them at different cement weights.

Heavy Mother of swing here I come.

The T-Handle is also great for doing:

two-arm bent rows
deadlifts
hack squats
front squats
biceps curls
overhead triceps extensions
suitcase dead lifts
sidebends
reverse curls
grip training
thick bar training (with thicker handles)

Here’s my bod at 46 years old

I’m not a fat impotent grey haired fucker yet – don’t wanna be ever

gareth morgan thomas

gareth morgan thomas

Height 5ft 11inch
Weight 100kg
Age 46
Weight Training 30 years

…However my latest blood test revealed nasty levels of triglycerides & a bad cholesterol ratio. So I am cutting out chocolate biscuits and all the rest of the junk. I started taking aspirin every night & Niacin. Next I will add phytosterols which will enable me to eat a more calorie dense diet without absorbing cholesterol.

The thing with triglycerides is they will rocket up if you say – munch on a whole packet of chocolate in one setting everyday for a year .. um yep I did.

So I cut it out no. Anyway if you focus carefully on glycemic index you can add some calorie dense foods back in while preventing the triglyceride spike – to do this there needs to be sufficient fibre & low glycemic food to keep the sugar effects down.

Power Wheel’s Rock

I was near the fitness store last week and had been meaning to get a Power Wheel so I popped in and got one for $60.

This is great…

Power Wheel

Its gotta be the best option for all core muscles including lower back not just abs and for upper body too.

Here are two reports to prove it…

Power Wheel Report #1

Power Wheel Report #2

As you can see the Power Wheel is two times as effective for EMG activation than anything else in the muscles of the core.

I have one and will use this all the time now. I fully vouch for those experimental findings. I give it a 9 out of 10.

power wheel

New Cycleway & running track right outside my door

I’m stoked I just got a new running track like 100ft from my bedroom door. I live right in the CBD in Auckland new zealand and they put this cycle track in.

cycle track

cycle track auckland

It couldn’t be more convenient – the track is one mile nearly exactly from my place to beach road down town. Much of that is downhill.

cycleway

grafton cycle track

Here is the famous grafton bridge.

grafton bridge

..well famous in New Zealand aye

I will be using the track for weight vest hikes, running and probably cycling when I get a bike. Did a hike with 70 lbs the other day. First mile was OK but the mile back which is up hill was taxing by the end.

Resistance Band pushups as good as bench press

On a recent post I mentioned my lifeline power pushup that I intend to use to build up to equal a 400lb bench – which I used to perform at the gym on a machine.

Well now there is some scientific research to backup resistance pushups.
According to sports scientists at the University of Valencia in Spain you can work on your chest muscles without doing bench presses. If you use an elastic band, push-ups are just as effective as bench presses.

Weighted push-ups
The Spanish experimented with students, all of whom had experience with strength training. The researchers got 10 of them to do bench presses twice a week for five weeks, while 10 others did push-ups.

Of course you can train harder by doing bench presses than push-ups. The researchers got round this by making the push-ups heavier for the students by using a resistance band. This meant that the subjects in the push-up group did just as heavy sets, and the same number of reps, as the students in the bench-press group.

Increase in strength
Before and after the training period the researchers measured the amount of weight with which the students could just manage 1 and 6 reps – their 1RM and 6RM. The strength parameters increased in both training groups. The training effect in both groups was also statistically significant.

Conclusion
“The push-up exercise with added elastic resistance provide a feasible and cost-effective option that may be performed anywhere and may be used as an alternative to traditional bench press exercise in order to provide a high intensity stimulus in the prime movers involved in the action and produce maximal strength adaptations”, the researchers write.

“Physical therapists and strength and conditioning specialists may use this information to select or include one of the both exercises performed during a resistance training program.”

Source:
J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print].

My home gym gear

Here is a list of my home gym equipment:

2 weight vests 100lb & 40 lb

Metal spring chest expander

Lifeline USA power pushup

2 power twisters 40 kg & 60 kg

Jump rope

6 kettlebells 40, 20, 2x 24 & 2x 16 kg’s

130 lb sandbag

5 hand grippers 100 – 300 lb’s

Ivanko super gripper

2x 8kg clubbells

40lb Iron Palm bag

Sled harness and car tire

Misc grip gear

Several heavy duty strength bands

fitness equipment

How do Push ups compare with Bench Press?

This is going to be a short succinct post.

Basically a regular push up is about 65% of your body weight – this is established & if you don’t believe it get some scales.

If your legs are raised its 75% of body weight so for me at about 220 lbs a push up is about 154 lbs.

If I put on my 66 lb weight vest then a push up is 220 lbs. OK that’s an average kind of bench certainly nothing special.

I stopped benching when I switched to KB training but I yearn the stimulation of super heavy weight. I used to bench 400lbs on the machine loaded with extra plates for 5 sets of 6 reps.

So the final step is the get a power pushup from lifeline – which I just ordered off ebay for under $100 including shipping to New Zealand.

With this thing I can take my chest strength back to where it once was 400 lbs+.

power pushup

New Dragondoor Sandbag training book

I have been on the lookout for a decent sandbag training book for a while. Ross Enamait has some decent stuff. Finally Dragondoor released a course.

DVRT, The Ultimate Sandbag Training System by Josh Henkin

sandbag training

I am a fan of their stuff but not all of it. This book initially did not impress so much as usual during my first scan. There are typos and some of the writing rambled – but the actual program is great and by the end of the book I was impressed.

sandbag training

Impressed enough that I will buy some proper sandbags now to use in addition to my big home made bag. Use this & Neuromass & you will be a machine.

sandbags

However what I still want to see is a decent weight vest training book – which the guy at weightvest.com as been working on for years but never released.

If you are in New Zealand you can pick up some bags from elitefitness.

Hiking with 100lb weight vest

I decided last night to do a proper walk with 100lbs having previously only messed about in the car park with that weight.

Here I am with my MIR Vest loaded to 66lbs

mir vest

mir weight vest

Then I put my old chinese 40 lb vest on top of it.

100 lb weight vest

100lb weight vest

100 pound weight vest

Then I walked downtown where I knew I could catch a bus once I was knackered. Had no idea if it would work out OK.

It started to rain and I did slip and fall on the pavement once but apart from that it was all good. Got home an hour later. People looked at me like a freak as I huffed and puffed along as this vest combo definitely sticks out like a sore thumb.

My left knee got a little bit tender afterward so I put kungfu liniment on it.

Here’s my after shot…

pumped

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