rubber room!

Welcome horse stall mats! Durable to the point that they'll be left with the cockroaches and Twinkies, and much cheaper than the fancy interlocking gym flooring.

Clyde asked about cost and dimensions. I bought three @ $56 ea. = $168 total. Size is 4 x 8' x 3/4". 4 x 6' also available at Wilco Farm Store (U.S.). I hear they come in different thicknesses, but Wilco just had the 3/4", and that's fine.

These can be cut. It's hard to see in this pic, but the one inside the squat rack is cut to fit. They can also be glued. I plan on making blocks for Olympic lifting by stacking pieces and gluing them together. This stuff is also perfect for making your own lifting platform.

One tip for buying them: take rope to bind the roll, so it's easier to unload and move when you get home. They're heavy and want to be sprawled out.

Another fabulous aquisition in the rubber realm is my new junked dumptruck tire! Perfect for flipping, beating, and general wailing. Pics coming.

funny thing happened at the grocery store today

Happened to my DH, that is. He was bending down to get the good eggs out of the cooler, when a guy said to him, "Are you a bodybuilder?" .... "Because that's what my cart looks like."

Full of yams, whole grain cereal, green beans, meat. He explained that he wasn't, but (I am).

"Well, good luck to her!" he said.

funny stuff.

Grrl boxers in Peru

This Reuters photoessay on female boxers in Peru captures some beautiful moments. Excerpt: Female boxers fight limited resources in a sport dominated by men. In Peru, where machismo reigns, attitudes toward women in sports are changing, but slowly. By Pilar Olivares

start of new program

April 20, 2008 Today I'm starting a new program - Jim Schmitz's Olympic lifting competition training program.

I've had a good break since bodybuilding; I was tired of years of strict programs, and took a long while to just enjoy, explore, play, and work out as I wanted. Now I'm ready to coast my brain for a while and follow something prescribed again.

Still have to factor in my regular upper body work, heavybag, some favorites and my beloved sandbag.

O-lift program
Thursday (or Friday)

Other stuff
Friday or Monday
(Pull-up work, heavybag, sandbag, biceps/delts)

Week 1
O-lift Sun, Tues, Fri
chest/burpees Thurs

Week one conclusion: learned more about trajectory of bar on all lifts. Love the selection and progression of the exercises. Already making a difference.

what would you like in a fitness book?

I'm involved in a fitness book project with some Internet guru heavyweights you'll recognize once all is divulged. We all wax philosophical on all things strength and body related, so the project is getting deep. While we're getting our ducks in a row, I want to know: What would you like to read about? There are a million books on exercise and fitness out there, so one more won't hurt, right? But this one will be different, of course, because ... it's ours. And by posting your thoughts here, it can become yours...

training with Tom Hirtz

Happy Birthday to me! Roadtrip to the idyllic Ironworks Gym in Creswell, just outside Eugene, OR. Trained with Olympic weightlifting master Tom Hirtz (Two-time national weighlifting champion, American Recordholder - snatch 155.5 kg, three silvers - Pan American Games, four Olympic trials, 16-time Nationals competitor). It was off the charts terrific. Thank you so much, Tom! You're an inspiration on so many levels.

And here's a plug for his deep nonprofit - Heavy Athletics
Heavy Athletics volunteer coaches work with incarcerated kids and at-risk youth on probation, six days a week in Lane County, Oregon, coaching Olympic Weightlifting.
Information/donations: Heavy Athletics, (541) 953-7946

review up: Complete Sandbag Training Course

My endorsing review of the booklet The Complete Sandbag Training Course by Brian Jones is up. Read it at Mighty Fit Review.

review up: Jim Schmitz weightlifting DVD

My warm and smiling review of the DVD set Olympic Style weightlifting with Jim Schmitz is up. Read it at Mighty Fit Review.

free comic book day in U.S. May 3

On Saturday, May 3rd, walk into one of the 2000 stores across America and pick up a free comic book. More than 40 publishers are releasing special edition comic books for Free Comic Book Day.

Joe Field, owner of Flying Colors Comics in Concord and President of ComicsPRO, the comic specialty retailer trade organization, is the founder of Free Comic Book Day. Field brainstormed the concept of Free Comic Book Day in his monthly column in Krause Publications' Comics & Games Retailer trade magazine in 2001.

“Free Comic Book Day is like a holiday for an original American artform,” Field said. “Comics can entertain, inspire and teach, and comics are the basis of Hollywood blockbusters, while also a great medium for telling smaller, more intimate stories. This truly is a Golden Age for comic books and graphic novels.”

With the release and the attendant publicity of the first Spider-Man movie in May 2002, the first Free Comic Book Day shone the spotlight on Hollywood’s favorite source medium. Their efforts were helped by comics’ broad appeal, and the day has grown each year.

outdoor photos dot com

Just StumbledUpon the site Outdoor Photos - gorgeous, ethereal landscape photos.

noisy home weightlifter fined

By way of Straight to the Bar: from The Daily Mail in London comes the story of a loud lifter taken to task for making too much noise in an upstairs apartment. Since I tend to disturb the peace myself, I had to post this.

Weightlifter fined and given noise abatement order for grunting too loudly

At first sight, Giran Jobe might have seemed to tick all the boxes to be a good neighbour - a regular working man who didn't play loud music or have riotous parties. But, as residents in his block of flats discovered, he came with a heavyweight hobby. When the 36-year-old carpenter was not out at work he was extraordinarily keen on keeping fit. So keen in fact that the noise of his two-hour power-lifting sessions late into the night left neighbours unable to sleep.