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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Some Semi-Random Metrics to Open 2015

This post started out as something quite different than where it's ending up.

After reading Fat Loss Happens on Monday, I taken with the idea of getting some metrics for myself. My initial plan was just to test my deadlift, military press, back squat, and max pullups. I didn't have a lot of great reasoning behind those tests...they just seemed good.

So I tested them. And then read this thread on Dan John's forum.

Something in that thread clicked for me, and it occurred to me that a)taking metrics with no purpose wasn't very smart, and b) my training plan for the year was ignoring a lot of the metrics I had, and not necessarily aligned with my own personal priorities.

Let me explain a bit more.

Something that has come out more in the last six months, and will continue to with the imminent birth of my daughter is that family is my number one priority. Before work, before training, before writing (and those aren't in that order, necessarily), family comes first.

Therefore, my training program ought to align with that, which means my training program ought to be making me stronger and healthier, to spend more time with my family. It may or may not being doing that right let's re-evaluate.

Fat Loss Happens on Mondays offers a couple of strength metrics. Intervention does as well, and while looking at those, I came across this excellent post from Dan John. Took a couple of more metrics based on that...and here we are.


"Game Changer" is bodyweight back for 15 reps. I can do this. I cannot do level seven (bodyweight overhead squat), as much because of mobility issues as anything else.

I have no idea what my max back squat is, but it doesn't seem particularly relevant right now.

Hip Hinge

I deadlifted 365 the other day, and probably had another ten pounds in me, which would put me over the double bodyweight mark. I have no idea how to do a barbell snatch, and the shoulder mobility issues (hey, there that is again) would probably stop me. I could probably get to the 2.5 bodyweight deadlift sooner, if that were the goal (but it's not).


I can bench press my bodyweight, but cannot press double 32k kettlebells for five reps. So I'm at the standard, kind of. Not at game changer, however. Overhead work has traditionally been tough for me (shoulders...a theme here).


I max out at six pulls. Josh Hillis suggests that men should get to ten. On Dan John's chart, fifteen is "game changer", and five is "expected". This is a weak point. Not shockingly, it is shoulder related.

Loaded Carry

I haven't tested this, but I can be real here. I know I don't meet the "game changer" requirements, and I'm not even sure if I meet the expected one.s

Get Up

I can do this.

Other Considerations

My family has a history of heart issues. My father, a doctor who spent years doing everything that the latest and greatest research said to do, had to have open heart surgery a year or two ago. That was after several other comparatively minor heart surgeries. I would like that not to happen.

That means addressing my diet a's not awful, but it could be better. I'm starting with step one, per Hillis, and just tracking. From now until March or so, that's my only real goal on the diet front (more on that in a second). After that, I'll reevaluate.

My coffee intake should probably go down at some point. Again, not for a few months, but sometime this year.

I'm actually pretty good about getting a yearly physical. My track record for dental work and eye exams is worse. Both things to correct.

Stress is bad for the heart, and I end up with a lot of it. I need to find some ways to work on that.

None of that directly impacts my training, but it's worth remembering and factoring in long-term.

Training Plans


Short-term, nothing has changed. I have a SFG recert in three months, and need to be prepared to do it. Considering that in the next week or so, I'll also have my second child, that is going to be three months of roughness. I do not expect to make any other changes to my diet or training in there. Prepping for the SFG recert will require me to do some work my shoulder mobility anyway, but that's a pleasant side effect.


In the weight room, the pull, loaded carry, and press need to be my major areas of focus. The squat and hip hinge are doing fine, and will likely continue to do well with some maintenance work.

I need more mobility work, particularly in my shoulders and t-spine. Probably all over, really. I've got some resources for this, and will probably seek out more.

I should make sure I'm doing some "cardio" for my heart.

Some sort of meditative practice might be good for me. I learned a standing post meditation from a friend who teaches Chen Tai Chi (man, I want to get back into that art so badly). It's five minutes. Incorporating it might be a good start.

More planning to do, but I've got a starting point. This should all be quite interesting.