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.


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.

“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.”

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.


However what I still want to see is a decent weight vest training book – which the guy at 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…


Increased Weight Vest to 66lbs

I love my MIR vest. Up to 66lbs now no troubles.

mir weight vest weight vest

The next hot fitness trend? Training like a Navy SEAL


This post is from Foxnews – jeeze havent I been telling you guys this stuff for ages…

Training for U.S. Navy SEALs, the special operations force, follows a warrior tradition that harkens back to Samurais, but fitness experts say the tough regime is gaining popularity with entrepreneurs, corporate executives, lawyers and elite athletes.

The workout, geared toward mental as well as physical transformation, is so demanding that the casual gym-goer looking to shed 10 pounds before swimsuit season need not apply.

“We look at training as being as important to our life as eating and sleeping,” said retired Navy SEAL commander and fitness instructor Mark Divine, the author of “8 Weeks to SEALFIT: a Navy Seal’s Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness.”

SEALFIT draws on the varied, high-intensity interval training of CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman exercises, yoga, and martial arts.

“CrossFit is baked into the SEALFIT model,” said Divine, “but our workouts are much longer: two hours if you go through the whole thing.”

Divine believes if you lean into hard work it becomes enjoyable, even transformational, although he admits the rigorous type of training has become rare in modern society.

Along with first responders, extreme athletes and special ops candidates, Divine’s training site outside San Diego, California, attracts entrepreneurs and executives. About 20 to 30 percent of his clients are women.

Breathing exercises, concentration drills and visualization exercises are as crucial as physical prowess to Divine, who is trained in Ashtanga, a rigorous form of yoga, and in martial arts.

Working in as well as working out, he said, cultivates the warrior spirit, or kokoro, a Japanese word he defines as the merging of heart and mind in action.

Stew Smiths new Navy Seal Weight Training book

Stewart is one of my favorite fitness experts – his programs are hard.

Hard to complete that’s for sure and its because the end objective is passing special operations selection. Well perhaps thats the preliminary objective. Anyway I got his new book & it is recommended to periodize this program with his other Navy Seal Training book.

Together these two programs WILL make you physically invincible – but its highly unlikely you will fully hack either.

stew smith navy seal book

Stew is a great trainer & this program has very strong parallels with the SAS prep program I posted a link to in my ruck marching post.

5 star program as with most of Stewart Smiths stuff.

Some Kettlebell videos

I finally tried my digital camera for making videos. Nothing fancy but I will make some better ones.

Here I am doing helicopters with 16 & 40 KG’s and some cleans with the 90 pounder.

Flickr photostream