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Old 04-25-2010, 03:24 PM   #1
Mark Fenner
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 165
Default Odd Blog on Strength, Conditioning, Nutrition, Et Alia

Well, I figured I cluttered up the PL & OL forum enough with my Smolov thoughts ..... so, I should actually move in over here in the logs section. I'm going to treat it as a blog that would be of interest to the Catalyst Athletics community. I used to have a "real" blog but I moved on from that institution.

I'll come back here (to this first post) and edit a few things about my athletic and training history. I might even keep the first post update with current training, goals, etc. Boy, wouldn't that be something -- keeping it updated .

My athletic history is a sad, sad story. I never had any introduction to strength (per se) as a youth. In elementary school, I played tons of soccer, some basketball, some wrestling, and did lots of bicycling around town. In high school, there was some moving trauma, I tried my hand at football (my brother was a bit of a football stud playing guard at 168 soaking wet) -- that didn't go so well because I was bigger and weak as a kitten. But, I could run (slowly) and I went back to soccer -- playing goalie at first and then all over the field (fullback, stopper, mid-field, forward). Oddly, my high school was small enough that the football players (at least some of the O-line) were big soccer fans (many had played in elementary school) and they cheered us on. I also joined them for weekend tackle football. So, I had some toughness and grit ... but man, I was lucky not to die some times.

But, my real loves were hockey, volleyball, and martial arts. I played ever game of volleyball I could -- given that we didn't have a high school boys team. I started on foot with deck hockey and progressed to rollerblades for a lot of roller hockey (almost all pickup games). I even had two or three games on ice (ugly, ugly stuff). After longing for martial arts training (for years), I started some kung fu in 10th grade and carried it through for a couple of years (nothing special). Later I trained at an MMA school before MMA was a term -- we did karate, judo, BJJ, escrima, JKD, etc. It was a Dan Inonsanto type place.

I didn't _really_ touch a weight until about junior year in college. I could barely bench press 115 pounds at 190+ bodyweight. Yup: fat and weak. Fortunately, my wife still loved me (she wasn't my wife yet). Found some half decent advice (Fred Hatfield's ancient website) and started squatting. Nothing amazing, but I was on the right path. Late in college I was doing nothing but studying my tail off and hitting the gym fairly regularly.

Early in graduate school, I made far more progess in the martial arts: after a stint in aikido, I hooked up with some great judoka (fall of 1999) and eventually worked up to nidan (2nd BB) in 2007. Anyone that knows John Schneider -- when he was a brown belt, he destroyed me (a yellow belt) with a o-uchi gari, knocked the wind out of me (I was gasping on the mat), and on the way down, my fist caught his eye leaving him rolling on the mat. I was happy to be in his wedding last year. I was never a _strong_ judo player but I had good instincts from a tough older brother and wrestling early on.

Through early graduate school, I started lifting a bit (I think I had some major delusions that came from 1/16th squatting 315). But, I got sucked into the dreaded hell of jogging. I had ballooned up to 215 lbs. and I took up jogging. Can you guess what happened to my knees, shins, ankles, etc.? It wasn't pretty. And I didn't learn.

Fortunately, one of the instructors at my MA school was also a long-time strength devotee and eventually he invited some of "us" to his gym -- The Dungeon (yes, yes, it's not an original name). Six weeks later, my wife and I were the only ones still training every weekend. This was probably around 2005 but I'll have to check my log book. After a lot of work, a broken leg (from judo), and so forth ... I got into the 2-3-4 ballpark (even more with trap bar DLs and hand-on-rack safety bar SQs). At some point I knew every article on T-nation, I had a FAQ answer on Crossfit, etc. Yippee. A few years ago now, graduating (PhD), new born son, new job, moving, selling a house ... ACK! Real life!

Which brings us to the present day: I've had pretty consistent training for 2.5 years with the exception of summers. That's the curse of an academic schedule ... you fall apart after spring semester. Seriously. Any teachers out there that deny this? I'd love to have some of what you are on. [I now believe that simply taking May off is the best answer -- it beats losing the whole summer.]

<that's it for now ... I'll throw in some more about different programming things and how I got from 215+ to a judo competition at 178 ... holy crap, is that really 40 pounds? whoa!>

Last edited by Mark Fenner; 07-09-2010 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Add history
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