Thursday, 20 December 2012

1st Pull Setups

I need to release the potential of the 2nd pull, it's not there because I'm out of position after the first pull.

Here's my setup:

here's another setup from this outlaw video:

Jon North

Ivan Stoistov BW:77kg - 180kg

and Milko Tokola

All these guys have their legs almost parallel to the floor, mine are closer to 45 degrees. This is why I'm not getting a good setup in the 2nd pull.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I just got back from my first session at K-MAP. I'm a total non believer when it comes to fixing things with a massage. When ever I've had a massage it's been because it feels nice, and afterwards I feel exactly the same as I did before. Lots of people I know need a massage. I've never needed a massage, but they are nice. In my office I'm surrounded by people complaining that their shoulders are tight, there's lots of implements hanging over people's desks so they can do self massage. All my colleagues seem to gradually become stiffer and stiffer until they go and see a masseuse and restart the cycle, I really don't get it.

I did a heavy squat 5x5 5kg PB last Monday and since then my hip has felt weird, so I decided to get it checked out by a professional physio. I explained the feeling to Dr. Tomo and he got me to move my leg in a few ways that hurt in my hip. He pulled out his iPad and launched an app called "3D Doc" or something. I asked him if it's free and he said no, it's really expensive. He diagnosed that my pain is in the "Pee-Go-Go-Kyuu" muscles. I was like "what? P559? muscles". So then he showed me the "Piriformis", "Superior Gamellus", "Obturator Internus" and "Inferior Gamellus" muscle set. They all hide behind the Glute and are responsible for turning the thigh out. It was a great lecture on muscles. The "Piriformis" is the big one out of the bunch and the likely culprit of the pain. He said it's good news because he knows the problem and he can fix it in 4 sessions, during which time I can go ahead and squat heavy. Awesome.

Then we checked out how balanced I am. He asked me to resist while he pushed my shoulder from behind on the right side. I didn't move Then he pushed my left side shoulder and I stumbled forwards. He said there's an obvious imbalance there from my weakness in the hip. I immediately assumed I'd been duped by some holistic healer's party trick. He pushed harder on my left shoulder? The floor is slightly unbalanced to amaze all first time clients? I asked Dr. Tomo to do it again  and the same thing happened. I hopped on the table and he stuck his thumbs in while I moved my legs and arms about, this was the painful "A.R.T." treatment I'd read about in Tim Ferris's 4 hour body. Tim Ferris said he was writhing around in pain, so I think Dr. Tomo has a lighter version of it? A few thumb pushes felt deep and it was the best massage I've ever had, but on a scale of poolside massage, stubbing your toe, punch in the face/football to nose, and dentist it was closest to a tough poolside massage. Maybe he was just testing the water this time and he'll really open up on me in the next 3 sessions. We tested again and I was rock solid on both sides, a 100% improvement. I was amazed, still a bit sceptical but something was definitely better. I did a few air-squats, got on my back like an upturned cockroach and moved my left leg about and my hip pain was unchanged.

"Much better?" asked Dr. Tomo.
"No, same pain".
"50% better?"
I felt the need for acknowledgement of Dr. Tomo's hard work building up inside me.
"Yeah, bit bitter actually"
I lied; the pain was exactly the same.

I want to be flexible like K-Starr
My hip is feeling better day by day and I can squat painless again now, lateral stuff hurts. Also the diagnosis that my bones are correctly aligned, and my problem is musculature, and the lecture on which muscles are affected is good for my peace of mind. I can google these muscles to my heart's content now and read about ways to self massage and balance myself out. The rebalancing trick was really interesting and worth the money in itself. I also now know my main muscles I should be rolling out before working out. And Dr. Tomo said I can go ahead and ass to grass heavy, that's great news. I'm a total miser for anything apart from flight tickets, and I think this visit to Dr. Tomo's physiotherapy clinic was worth it. Thank you Dr. Tomo, my hip might have healed in time anyway, but I'll keep going back until my hip is painless. I'm also interested to see if I've reverted to being "Off balance" again next Thursday.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Why do people eat Chia seeds?

People eat Chia seeds because they contain omega 3 fatty acids. Specifically ALA omega 3 fatty acids. So what am I getting in my Nordic Naturals that I eat 4g of per day? That's says EPA/DHA on the bottle. So do I need to take ALA too?

By the looks of things the answer is No. Heart cells and a few other cells can use the EPA, but the rest of the body just wants DHA. The body spends energy to convert ALA to EPA, and then more energy to convert EPA to DHA. Why not just start off by taking the DHA and save your body the hard work?

Why does nobody sell just DHA fish oil? Is it because there's a load of EPA in there anyway and they would just throw it away otherwise?

So what about the DPA in the Seal Oil I take?

Apparently there are 3 essential polyunsaturated fatty acids that circulate in the bloodstream, EPA, DHA and DPA. Remember that poor cousin ALA is converted to EPA before it's any use. DPA is essential for some stuff that EPA and DHA isn't, you can;t make it yourself and you don't get it in fish oil. Taking Seal oil gets it into your body and fixes the bits EPA and DHA can't.


I'm on the right track taking 4g of net total omega 3s per day in the form of Krill Oil (Because it's bottom of the food chain purer than fish oil), Fish oil and Seal oil.
AND - there's no need for me to start covering all my salads in a smattering of gritty little chia seeds because by the time ALA is converted to EPA and DHA, I've already popped 3 fish oil pills and have my body's needs sorted. Also only a tiny percentage of ALA (0.4 to 4% based on 2 independent studies) actually makes it into EPA, so if that's the only source of omega-3s, you'd better keep your omega 6 intake really really low by eating no olive oil, only grass fed ruminants, no nuts except macadamias and being totally strict paleo.


Seal oil

Friday, 14 September 2012

Do Stiff Muscles Mean Better Muscle Growth?

If I haven't trained for over 2 weeks and then go to the gym, for the next few days I have really sore Delayed Onset Muscle Stiffness (DOMS).

Psychologically it feels like I've severely damaged my muscles which will cause a massive amount of recovery and be much more beneficial than the day in day out usual training.

Which causes more muscle growth?
1) I am on week 4 of a linear squat progression increasing 5kg per week doing sets of 3x5 and feeling no DOMS whatsoever, resting 1 week between squatting and hitting other muscle groups on separate training days.

2) I've done nothing for 2 weeks, hit the gym and do a set of 3x5 squats, wake up in the morning unable to walk properly. Need at least 4 days off training.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Alexander's UK & Japanese Passport Process

This could not have been completed faster. As soon as Alexander came out I was on the case. Start to finish, British and Japanese passports for the boy in just under 2 months. If you can beat that time, you've got to let me know how you did it.

One way to go faster would be to use a signed letter from the British embassy to use for the name on the Japanese passport. That would cut it down to 7 weeks.

Alexander born

Hospital - Get bosu techo from hospital
Hospital - Get shussetodoke kisaijiko shomeisho from hospital
Hospital - Tax, Health, Receive Payment Contract paperwork
Home - Find my birth certificate
Home - Find "koseki tohon"
Home - Find Saki & my passports

Kuyakusho - Register Alexander
Kuyakusho - Apply for allowance for dependent children (児童手当) 
Work - fill out application form for UK Birth Certificate


Kuyakusho - Pick up new koseki with Alexander in it
Kuyakusho - Get marriage certificate just in case
Home - laundry on
home - Alexander's clothes for homecoming
Prep house for homecoming.
Prep for British Embassy
Home - find British birth certificate (should be in A4 paper organiser)

Home - find card for father's day
UK Embassy - Apply for birth certificate
Take with: My birth certificate, my passport, hospital birth certificate, mother's book, new koseki with Alexander on it.
(marriage certificate and translations are not required)
Saki sign form for Embassy
Something with Hospital Address in bag

1. Child's hospital birth certificate NB: Certified Copy of Japanese Birth Registration (shussetodoke kisaijiko shomeisho) and Mother’s Book (boshi techo) showing Hospital details and child's place of birth could also be acceptable.
2. Child's Ward Office birth certificate (please see number 5 regarding Birth Registration with the Japanese Authorities). In Japanese, this is "shussei todoke juri shomeisho";
3. Parents' marriage certificate
4. Father's UK birth certificate
5. A photocopy of the Japanese family register ("koseki tohon").
6. The British parent's passport
7. (not mentioned on website - signed form stating that both parents agree that the name on the British birth certificate is slightly different than the Japanese family register)

UK Embassy - Finish applying for birth certificate and pay
Print a few pics of Alexander on way home at fedex kinkos print shop

Take passport sized photos of Alexander, cut them up, and take them to work.

Get passport pic signatures from British professional (Griz)

UK Embassy - Get birth certificate 11:30
Work - apply for Alexander's UK passport, send from post office, pay online.
Call ING Direct +44 118 938 8151
Call Orbitz and change Birth Date on Alexander's ticket

Home - Receive Alex's birth certificate back from Hong Kong

Home - Receive UK passport from Hong Kong

Kuyakusho - Get "jumin-hyo" for Alexander

Print new passport sized photos of Alex at fedex kinkos

Yurakucho - Apply for Japanese passport (takes 5 days)
1. Fill out the application form at the passport office in Yurakucho in person (5 year application for a baby)
2. Copy of family register from the ward office
3. Copy of Inhabitance registration 住民票
For Japanese passport , you can show them 
A other foreign passport
B Birth Cert from that country if applicable
C Letter from Embassy saying that this is the 
correct spelling in english 

photos too dark and arm showing, print a different photo at fedex kinkos

send new photo in provided envelope with application number

pick up passport with Alexander (passport holder must be present for pick-up)