Saturday, December 31, 2005


An old fashioned snatch workout today. very strong and the most work I have done in the snatch in awhile.

36x8/8x2 cold this morning.

53x6/6x6 sets 72 reps not a bad workload at all. all the snatches were strong. used an olympic snatch style, keeping the bell in close and pulling vertically. I was thinking "jump" on each rep and got on my toes quite a bit. Held each rep at the top for a dead stop to strengthen that position.

114 reps with the 36 and above/

weighted pullups
18#x3x6 sets very strong!

one kb high pull, two hands
72x15x2 very strong!

biceps are tired from all the snatches and pulls.

split squats
36x8/8x3 sets

this is a really good quad stretch too.


bwx8x3 sets have to do some more triceps work to counterbalance all the bicep loads.

db extensions

dats it. not bad at all. monday I want to try two kb work outside the legs. cleans and snatches.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Havent done hi rep swings for awhile and now I remember why! Man these hurt even with low reps (relatively) and low weight,lol! NOTHING gets me in shape(CV) faster than these though so they gotta get done occasionally. Geoff trained with me for the last day in town and I got to see him power snatch, from the hang, 120 kg no problem. Ah the good ol days.

two hand swing
53x10x2 ( now where did I leave my hips?)
88x8x3 I really need to work this more regularly.
72x20 so much better than on the way up
53x30 sucking wind, ouch. out of rep shape for shure/
53x30 better but the last 10 hurt. Geoff noticed a switch from hard style swings to what Cotter calls "lazy" or GS style for the last ten. unintentional. thats all the power I had left.

164 swings ok, a starting place.

Bottoms up cleans
53x5/5 strong!
72x3/3 wow. wasnt going to do these but Geoff was here and......
72x5/5 very strong. this is a solid move for me.

Mil press
53x5/5x3 my shoulders still dont like these, but not bad.have to keep the arm very close to the chest.

Bosu stands, decom hangs, etc.

great workout! Geoff is a horse and trains like the real deal athlete he is. miss that inspiration.Of course we both have the "warped mind of strength specialists" so we must be crazy. I know, we should have thrown in a few 400 meter sprints and some muscle ups on rings in between sets so we could be really fit.

Monday, December 26, 2005

More workouts with Geoff

Another stellar session with Mr Neupert as my training partner. You can always tell who has trained and competed seriously, it just comes right through.

Two KB Circuit

2 kb clean and press
2 kb snatch
tactical pullups
2 kb clean and jerk
first round with the 26's for 8's
second round with the 36's for 5's ( first time double snatching these!! no problem!)
third round with the 36's for 5's
fourth round with the 44's! ( just did two reps with the snatch but PR!)
fifth round with the 36's

53x30x4 sets

two arm swings
2/36's x 10x 3sets

very good workout. very excited about the double snatches although the 44's were gettting ahaead of myself. need to build a solid base with the 36's before going up again. nice.

Geoff did a serious circuit of
double swings
double snatches
see saw press
double clean and press
see saw bent row

all with the 53's withough stopping for 5 rep sets. no problem

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Great workout with Geoff Neupert

Olympic lifter, trainer and RKC Geoff Neupert came out to the Rifstonian Institute for a training visit today. He also brought his incredibly athletic wife Courtney so she could get her kb training in as well

Some weight was lifted at Stones today! Geoff did some EDT training in the deadlift with 13 singles in 15 minutes with 459! Very nice, clean grip deadlifting.

Two hand Swing
( start all swings from now on from the upright position as per Steve Cotters dvd. I already know this is going to make a major difference in my technique.)

Deadlift (double overgrip,hook)
275x2 it always feel better to dl after not having pulled for awhile.
315x1 strong!
315x1 faster.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

More swings.

Didnt get to finish yesterday so here is the rest.

R arm kb deadlift
L arm windmill 4 sets of 5 each side with 36/44/53 the right arm really tightens my right lat.

One arm swings
44x10/10x2 these feel good but back still adjusts with bell in left hand. playing with different back angles,pressurization techniques and leg positions. no winners. doesnt hurt though.
72x5/5x3 sets wow. havent done these in eons. easier than I thought and harder than I thought at the same time.moved well. about navel height or a little above.

there is nothing like basic swings, done quantitatively to show you where you are in terms of posterior power and condtioning. I was much stronger than I thought. AND snatching the 1.5 for 28/28 to pass my snatch test is even more impressive now.Come to think of it I have to re cert in a year. These are truly the power squat of kettlebells. any swing.

53x15/15 suprisingly good.

these were very strong. I like doing these holistic sets-old fred hatfield training method.pick a basic exercise

e.g. squat
warmup then
3x3-5 reps explosive positive slow negative
3x8-12 medium tempo
2-3x20-30 reps continuous tension

this hit all the aspects of all the fibers. with the kettlebell it does the same thing. lets you swing heavy for absolute strength, then medium reps for strength endurance, and high reps for conditioning.PLUS the reps are SO much easier on the way down than on the way up. same for real squats.

5 handstands 10 sec ea

bottoms up cleans

LOTS of stretching, decom hangs, splits etc.
suprised I feel so strong after yesterday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Quick and Dirty

Had to work extra clients today so the workout got squeezed in.

two hand swing

96x8x2 first time playing with this monster. was very happy with the power.
72x20 strong
63x30 ouch

was going to do 53x40 but client arrived.

Lots of demos of all the basic kb moves with the 1 pood

double snatch
2/26'sx5 x3 sets woo hoo! first time EVER being able to double snatch. my shoulder would NEVER let me do this before. excellent. this is very exciting even with the light weights. felt good too.
wanted to do more but I am beat and sore. too many squats on monday and the IT bands and knee is aching. dont think as many double kb moves as we did next time.

Many Teens Would Flunk Treadmill Tests - Yahoo! News

Many Teens Would Flunk Treadmill Tests - Yahoo! News

This is why everyone needs a kettlebell!

Post Activation for Mr. Frankie: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts

Post Activation for Mr. Frankie: Kettlebells, Strength, Fitness, Martial Arts
Very interesting physics of sprinting discussion.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

One Weight

I wonder if Pavel was totally right from the start. Only three weights. I've been thinking a lot about teaching progressions for the kettlebells and was musing about how I would train if I only had one kettlebell. Assume that it is fairly heavy( or at least perceived as) for me.

What would I do with it.?Well, first I would see if I could deadlift it with two hands. then one hand- harder- then I would try to swing it with two hands. Then one hand swing. And, if I wasnt strong enough to swing it with one hand, two hand swings would eventually strengthen me until I could use it one handed.

Then transfer it from hand to hand. Then perhaps I could clean it. If I could clean it I can now press it and strengthen the overhead postition. Now I could combine the swing , the clean and the press and snatch it overhead. Now I can train the windmill as well as the side and bent press. THen I can go to the next weight and do the same thing over. This might make for a much more systematic and progressive development of the total body than using lighter weights for exercises one is perhaps learning out of sequence. Not sure but I like the idea.

If you were to start a beginning deconditioned woman with a 26 and a man with a 36 this might work out very well; as long as their body weight wasnt too high. that would make it too easy and heavier might compromise connective tissue.Interesting stuff.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Double Kettlebell Session

I have never liked double kettlebell work because it works my weak point, your hips, so much. It also replicated my old squat stance a alot and felt it wasnt necessary . I am revisiting that now as I look to put on abit of mass with kb training.

trainer with Joe today and man what I wouldnt give to have this guys physical attributes!more muscle than he deserves and great flexibility to boot. He has to push himself more and i will see to that!


one hand swing 3 sets 10 ea with the 26

two hand swing

Circuit( with apologies to Steve Maxwell)
2 36 kb swings 10 reps
2 kb clean and press 5-8 reps
2 kb front squat pushpress 5-8 reps
2 kb cleans 5 reps

3 circuits with the 36's .
2 circuit with the 44's

man these are hard!!!! I am so stiff it takes a lot of concentration to do these and not have my back or shouldes adjust. but i took the three sets to fully warmup. found myself using GS style rack holds to rest between reps and get tight again. this full body stuff will take a while to get used to. felt better at the end than the beginning and thats good.

Farmers walk

5 sets of 2 laps with the 53's/ still love these :))

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Missing the obvious

I think I have been missing the obvious. I know I want to put back on some mass but I dont want to sacrifice the mobility and less painful movement I've achieved with the lower bodyweight from the warrior diet and kettlebell training.

I wont do bodybuilding training anymore and its obvious I can't do powerlifting. I love the kettlebell movements but dont love endless high rep swings or GS style training. I'm a max effort, high intensity kind of guy. SO why not use kb's to gain back the mass and strength and use a lower rep,multi set approach; kind of a blend of bodybuilding( high volume, semi quick pace) and powerlifting( big movements, low reps and high force movements,more rests) and some strength endurance- plain swing training like Mike C used to make us do.

Will do double kb drills tomorrow:

2 kb swing sets of 10-20
2 kb clean and press sets of 5-8
2 kb front squat and push press( thrusters) sets of5-8
2 kb squat cleans

eat up mark!

Testosterone Nation - A Talk with Tudor Bompa

Testosterone Nation - A Talk with Tudor Bompa

This time a great interview by mahler of Tudor Bompa the great researcer on periodization and strength .

Testosterone Nation - Musashi On Strength

Testosterone Nation - Musashi On Strength

AN excellent article by Mike Mahler on getting things accomplished with your bodya nd your training.

The Power Swing

The most fundamental kb movement done perfectly by Mike Castro.Study this and you will know how to swing.

Mike's swings with Bands

Putfile - MVI 119563

Mike's swings with bands. well worth a second look

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Saturday Power

Have to admit it. Been thinking of powerlifting all week long. Worked on figuring out a squat position where my back doesnt "adjust" as I ascend. But this happens with kbs as well and have to figure that out too. I did some ab work, something I havent done in five years as I was so out of balance: abs to erectors , that I felt I didnt need it. Well I need it. My lower back at L2-L3 has been actiing up and I did some cable crunches on a hunch. Pain gone. Time to work the abs again it seems.

5 sets of ten warmup with 53

bench press
lots of sets and reps with the bar up to 145 lbs trying to geta pain free movement

lots of sets and reps up to 135 trying to keep my abs tight as I descended

this is crazy for me to even contemplate.

sets of ten with 53

standing cable abs crunches
5 sets of ten. this brings back memories.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Circuits day two

Felt great all day. Walking better than I have in years. Doing less grinds really seems to make a difference in reducing the incredible level of tightness in my legs.THis seems to include even squats and lunges. The ballistics( snatch, c&j and swings) dont seem to bother them anywhere near as much. Recovered very well from mondays workout (should have, it was low intensity AND volume,lol).

I seem to get bored very easily.Had to force myself to go through the circuit again today. Sort of like the old max effort days. Had only a one week window. I could do a pr on a floor press, for example, and the next week I sucked at it. Switching exercises each workout, instead of every two or three worked much better.Maybe that's what is happening here.

Still withdrawing from saturdays power meet. step away from the squat bar mark, just step away.

ballistic circuit( did joint mobility four times today with clients.)

two hand swing 30 reps
snatch 8-5
pullups 3.4.5
darcs 30 reps
handstands ten seconds
clean and jerk 5 reps
farmers walk 2 laps

round one 26 #
two 36#
three 44#

this was harder than I expected . feeling very light and not that strong, endurance wise. the weights felt light( as they were). Doing so many reps so early really cut into the meat of the workout but that was ok as its the second day this week.movments felt clean.

datsit. a very boring post and workout.It is good not to be in so much pain, though. have to keep remembering that.

Monday, December 12, 2005

More Circuits

Decent session today. had a great weekend at the 52nd annual Ironman powerlifting meet. the oldest running meet in the country and my first meet in 1985. Coached my training partner Nick to three pr's. It was great to see all the elders still lifting big and looking huge. Made me very sad at the same time that I was not amoung them.

H2H figure eights

two hand swing 30 reps
snatch 10 reps
pullups 4 reps
clean and jerk 8 each hand
darcs 30 reps

20 kg
swing 30 reps
snatch 5 each arm
pullups 5
clean and jerk 5's
darcs 35 reps

24 kg
swings 40 reps
snatch 5 each
pullups 4
clean/jerk 5's
darcs 30

24 kg
swings with 32 kg 20
snatch with 24 5's
pullups 5
clean/jerk 5s
darcs 30

farmers walk
2/44's 6 laps

about an hour 120 minutes including 12 min warmup with one training partner( joe). fast pace though.

not bad workout at all . got pretty beat by the fourth circuit.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The Quest

It sometimes seems like the whole purpose of my life is trying to understand the secret routine that will strengthen and heal this battered, beat up body. I've been injured so long it seems like I never have NOT been hurt. But, as usual it seems to lead me further down the path to understanding and knowledge( and hopefully, wisdom).

Did circuits today and I am fully aware of the fact I could still be flat on my back writhing in pain and not being able to work ( which scares me more than not being able to train does). So I approached it very conservatively. It started well, slowed down and finished strong.
I have to stay loose. Too much tension is the enemy and wrecks my mobility even if I am "stronger". I have to accept ( remember) that I have enough strength, but lack flexibilty and stability more. WOrk on you weaknesses and you will get stronger.

I do miss being BigRif though. Oh well, life goes on. If you are lucky.

H2H drills

with 26#. Rewatched Jeff Martones dvd and ordered the new one. I've forgotten how much fun I had with this. Reminds me very much of gymnastics. Freestyle routine using:

figure eights
two hand flips under
one hand flips under( same side)
one hand flips under( transfer)
two hand flips over
one hand flip over( same side)
one hand flip over ( transfer)
bottums up snatch
bottoms up cleans

about fifteen minutes. hardly noticed the time and it was great to get outside of that freezing garage. great stuff.


two hand swing
clean and jerk
tactical pullup

Started with the 16 kg and did 20-30 reps in the swing, 5's in the snatch and c&j, 4-5 in the pullup and ten second handstands. three rounds. not digging it at first and thumb up snatch did not feel good. That is my back did not like it. way too much "noise" with bell in left hand. Doesnt do this on the cleans though.

Second round with 20 kg for 30 reps in the swings, 8's in in the snatch and 5's in the c/j fives in pullups and handstands.

third round with the 24 kg for same. feeling pretty good now and can see the benefit of rotating to exercises that are very different, muscularly, than the one you just did. Peripheral heart action training by Bob Gadja in the 60's though of that. nothing new.

forth round with 20 kg for same reps, sub out darcs for 30 reps MAN are my legs weak. I cant believe I did 85 of these with the 32 kg!?! Thats the problem with not having clear cut goals. Progress fall right out your ass. Oh well those never hurt me and I can work up.

Oh, and with the snatch, since my back was adjusting on every rep on the left I used my old Olympic snatch style, a straight up pull, starting with my legs and thinking "jump". much easier on the back and keeping the bell close to me seems to be much safer for me than the long swing.

H2H drills

just went over the two and one hand flip drills a bit with the 26. ten minutes.

I definitely found a rythym though and went longer ( and hour 15 easy) and stronger as I went along. did tons of pullups too. we will see. I might need a corrective exercise version of this too.

BREITBART.COM - U.S. Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High

BREITBART.COM - U.S. Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High

Time for the boomers to get some kettlebells!

Thursday, December 08, 2005


I hate to say it so as not to incur the gods wrath but I think I feel better than before the tweak. perhaps something went in? The bextra has been wearing off and I still feel ok. Thank God.One thing I re-discovered is that my enemy is too much tension. I have too many rotations and imbalances to deal with too much muscle tension, regardless of whether it is from good muscle strength or not.

It seems that all the grind type exercises cause me problems and the ballistics loosen everything up.Of course too heavy in the ballistics and they behave like grinds.

these are the movements that seem to be ok and restorative:

clean and push press( done ballistically)
farmers walk

I would also put lunges in their as well as deadlifts if they are done sporadically,although they are grinds. I am going to try a circuit of the first five exercises tomorrow. Something is telling me I need to learn how to do kbs in a circuit and drop the bodybuilding/powerlifting mindset fully. we'll see tomorrow. just glad to be able to do the mundane things I loathe everyday(picking up weights, stretching clients, etc) without gasping for breath as my back seizes.

It truly is the little things that count when you are down. Now if I can just remember that as I feel better......


If it doesnt give me a stroke or that skin eating disease my back should survive the bextra. have to get a bottle of this for emergencies. immediate relief,although it feels like my spine 'went back in". Just another message from above NOT to mess around too heavy.

course we'll see when it wears off.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pride goeth before a fall.

Pushed it a little too hard today on a day when my back, which has not bothered me for ages, was tight and tweaky. Felt that sickening feeling in the lower back when everything in your being says " this aint right and it aint good" after cooling off from the workout.

Moved immediately back into the gym and did decompression hangs( pelvis was waaaaay off), upward dogs,lots of stick trigger point work, some percussion massage of the glutes( which were in big time spasm-never a good sign.) and then some straddles and pikes,which seemed to do the most good.

That was a scare. Very cold, damp and miserable weather today and I swear I could feel the barometer drop in my body. Winter used to kill me a few years ago and then it stopped. This isnt a good sign.

warmups with around body passes, swings,cleans with 18#

36x6/6x2 having a very hard time rooting. weight is easy but technique is off. back is already tight
44x5/5x2 same
53x5/5x5 actually got better but back is tight. hammies are too tight. the shoe overloads my caves tweaking my knees and the flat foot overloads the hammies pulling the pelvis down.It will be fine, jsut have to stretch more.

two kb cleans
36/10x2 back is making a lot of "adjustments" as I clean. dont like.
44x8x2 switching to one arms. too much back sounds
53x8/8 much better
72x5/5 strong
88x3/3 Now here is where I lost my mind. Why would I do a max clean on a shitty tight back day when I am already cold and tight? Making it isnt the point. Surviving it is. OK God, I here you.

I think I have to do 16 kg swings until I feel totally ready to go even if it means that is all I do that day. I am rushing to get through it and that aint good.

Farmers Walk
2/36's x 4 sets of 3 laps. these are good. will do four lap sets with these next. different pace than the 53's.all good.

four of ten seconds can feel the back here too.

hopefully I got this unkinked already. we'll see how I sleep.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Thompson�s 10 Rules for Squatting Big

Thompson�s 10 Rules for Squatting Big

This is a classic. Love the hole!

It's a start.

Back to kettlebell basics. Swings today with short rest periods. settled on the very symmetrical 10x10 as the rep scheme with 30 seconds rest/sets. Was thinking Westside Barbell speed squat day; man those were some serious ass workouts!

Two Hand Swing
53x10x10 30 seconds rest/sets. this was not that tough, which what I wanted. build up some speed. the rep speed on this kept going down each set after the first four. warming up.
72x5x5 one minute rest. this was heavier and slower than I thought.
88x3x4 one minute rest/sets. this was too slow but strong. have along way to go and my swing has definitely gotten weak.
137 total reps

tactical pullup ladder
30 total reps
all with pauses and with chin over top and hold. strong. I like the ladder for these.

kb lunge

I havent done enough of these either. its a start.
Handstand pushups

5 single reps. very high tension on the negative, ascent pops up. descending half way. shoulders are far so good; no major desire to change the workout or plan.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Thumbs Up Snatch

Really great workout.My powerlifting partner couldnt make it so jonathan and I blasted though the workout. I love to train first thing in the morning.The new snatch technique( hammer grip) worked perfectly with the 53 I am happy to say. Plus I went back to wrestling shoes and it was fine.

36x6/6x2 ( 854 lbs)
44x8/8x2 ( 1184)
53x5/5x5 (2650)felt great; still figuring out the intricacies of the grip but overall great.much more natural.
44x10/10 (880) very solid
36x15/15 (1080)

total=6648 not a bad start. the 36 is my 70% weight( assuming a 53 # max). thats my speed weight. I will count those reps.

weighted pullups

BWx5 chin over bar
18#x3 all over bar
36x3( first only over)
36x3( same)
tactical bw x5 all over. man this got easier! lol!

depth squat
53x8 man I am tight!!!
88x5 tight still
x6 turned toes out a bit, much better.

these are so important for me.

Handstands/ bola snaps
five handstands x 15 sec each very solid. about 100 snaps total.

very solid workout and shoulder and biceps feel fine!

I think I am really onto something with this swing and snatch technique.the arm and shoulder in external rotation the whole time. It feels much more stable in the shoulder for me and my arm doesnt want to bend at all.

The latest plan.

Things finally are shaking out for me and my head is clearer about training than it has in a long while. Adapted to no partners again and its fine.Went through doing some powerlifting and bodybuilding and realized that that path is closed for me forevermore.

Decided to focus on three KB lifts, trying to approximate the same mental climate that I had in powerlifting without the physical problems.Also decided to let my weight creep up a bit while I focus on gaining some strength and concommitant size as well with the kbs. Plus, I am scaling back to three kb workouts per week until my conditioning comes back up.

The three lifts

Clean and press

hopefully this hammer grip snatch will let me train it hard again and establish a high number as my base.

the swing will be on monday and the focus will be on 100-200 reps in two hand or one hand swing( or a variation). the key is the basic swing and keepping track of volume. this will be on monday because I'm sure I will be sore from sat snatches.

wednesday will be clean and press variations. I am enamored of the side press now as it really works the hips as well as doesnt hurt the shoulder. I also like the 2 kb clean and continuous press. these will be the main variations.

corrective exercises such as lunges, depth squats, farmers walk, handstand and hangs will be in the mix for sure. The focus will be on the Big Three though. Hope this works.

Gaining Muscle

Havent weighed myself in many days. Was eating too much and not doing enough work, so I thought. Weighed just 162.2 this am( after two cups of coffee too) at just 10.4% bf.
My lowest was 159 at 9.5 % bf that makes for 143.9 pounds of lean mass. 15 pounds bf

Today = 145.33 pounds lean mass.17 pounds bf. a decent pound and a half of lean mass. Plus I feel much stronger and thicker now. was weak at 159 and so little food. dont want to go much higher in actual weight. perhaps 165 if I can keep 10% or so. Of course these numbers are too small to be accurate but I care about trend more than absolute numbers.

Friday, December 02, 2005


seriously tight. no training just stretching.

decompression hangs

foam roller myofascial release IT's and glutes erectors

straddles, pike and splits work.

upward dog
downward dog
childs pose
( my own versions)

hot hot bath, snatches tomorrow AM

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ground Meat.

Man I cannot believe how sore I am. those windmills required so much tension and stretched everything so hard I am toast! Not to mention the DARCS. I dont think the heels are going to work with my knee. Left calf and knee were pretty tender today. Its a better position for power but I dont think I can tolerate it. we'll see . Jury is still out.

One thing for sure, I have let my hi rep conditioning go to shit .that stuff is just plain hard . Its also possible I need to go back to three days a week and build back up to four if I am going to focus back on kbs hard again. these puppies will make you tough. or quit.