Sunday, September 30, 2007

Clubbells, kettlebells, swing, acceleration and torque.

While purusing Scott Sonnons RMax site for info about my soon to be delivered clubbells I found this very interesting article on
the physics of circular or pendulum swings and how increasing the speed of a circular motion dramatically increases the torque,force AND the work involved.
If one substitutes 'kettlebell' for 'clubbell' in the article you end up with the same thing I have been saying for a long time: increasing the speed of the swing or snatch via compensatory acceleration dramatically( exponentially)increases the forces involved in the movement.This is the essence of the RKC Hardstyle methods.
Now the clubbell is much longer than the kb but the same physics should apply.
Those who scoffed at Kenneth Jays force plate data need to read this carefully.
Can't wait for the clubbells to come, they should be very fun.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

More Whitey Ford.

swings push press and nick squats five wheels for sets/reps

Very good session today. The Z stuff has been really working well and I feel as square, plumb and neutral as I have in a very long time. The right shoulder is really coming along as well as my knee.The overhead position for the timed push presses was very comfortable and I had to rotate even less to set it into place. Nice.Having a very detailed manual and dvd makes ALL the difference. I am an information junkie and I love to read the details.Here's Nick on his second set of 2 reps with 495. I can remember very well when he did this for a meet comp just a few short years ago.

One arm swings

10/10x4 sets

204 reps
14,688 lbs

Timed push presses with 16 kg
set one: 2 minutes per arm 24 reps per arm
set two:2.5 minutes per arm 20 reps per arm
88 total reps.

this is fun, nice and relaxed.I can rest well in the rack with this light weight and only one arm.It's a good balance to all the other faster stuff I do.

datsit,more z and staying loose. Oh yeah, ordered a set of 10# clubbells and Sonnons Big Book of Clubbell lifting. Tried playing with these a few years and ago and the shoulders said absolutely not. I think this time should be different. Really like the motion of the swipe; a close stance, outside the body swing that will be a great antagonist to the kb swings.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Everlast rocks.

Well That makes a huge difference

I was pretty dissapointed when I received my Z health dvd and manual; not because what I got wasnt well done but it seemed that there was little infomation. That's because it hadn't been sent! Seems I had received only one of two dvd discs( the instructional part being left out) and an incomplete manual from a printers error.
Now I have both the correct set of dvds and the full manual and man, the detailed information is just what I needed. I knew something didnt seem right.Seeing someone do something and knowing the hows and the whys it is done are two different things. The dvd with just Dr Cobb demonstrating are nowhere near as important as him discussing the mechanics of what he is doing and how exactly it should be done. Great stuff.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Great post by Aaron Friday

Aaron has accomplished quite a lot in less than a year.Kettlebells just rock.

Snatches, push presses and swings.

A very basic menu but very satisfying.And I got another visitor at Stones gym today in the form of Tym Dymmel, in from Colorado formerly of San Jose.Tim is one strong and fast guy and has the quads I always wanted. Add Joe in the mix and its the best group I've had on a Wednesday in forever! Geoff was barbell power and squat cleaning, Joe and Tim were snatching the 28kg like a toy and my right shoulder position continues to improve. I also got to push 24 kb overhead again( right side) for the first time in almost a year and it was great.No pain either. Very cool.Lots of good energy,

One arm swings
16 kgx10/10x2
24kgx10/10x5 sets
100 swings
5300 lbs

these felt good right from the start. good speed and and the bells felt light.groove continues to be solid and pull in the right shoulder either.I need this warmup for the snatches.

Snatches with long lockout.
24 kg x5/5 x9 sets
90 reps
4770 lbs

really worked on coming to a complete stop and holding each rep. Have to remember to snatch closer than usual on my right side.I tend to go wide.close sits better at lockout. really is so much easier when you can rest at the top. If I had a normal shoulder and could just sit in lockout it would make it a lot easier too.When I go slow it really unloads my cardio, whereas the much lighter but much faster maxvo2 work kills my muscles and my heart. big difference in effort and intensity. need both though that I know and I am getting to like the long stuff too.but it's easier.

Push press
16 kg x5/5
24kgx 4/4x5 sets

these were good.havent pushed or pressed the 24 kg with my right side in eons and I was worried,even though the work with the 16 has gone well. Just have to turn out on the right side and my lockout feels ok.

two hand swings
24 kg x15 x 3 sets

just doing work. nice to be able to do these as well. they seemed to respond well to my new flat footed swing position too. excellent.

lots of z today with clients and before and after work.Plus some with geoff today although I was too cooked at the end of the workout to do much more with him.4 people is great but it is slower.

datsit, staying loose.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kb snatches, Power snatches and Z with G

Geoff Neupert was in town today and graced the Rifstonian Institute with his presence and some really nice power snatches as well as some great detail on the Z drills I am doing(trying).His wife Courtney was there as well and showed me some very cool things for my shoulder that involved, of all things my right index finger.
First off though I had to get through 40 sets of 15/15 by myself as Tracy has decided to do the 36 sec protocol on her own ,earlier. This should be fun.
It turned out Geoff got in early and kept me from totally losing track of the sets.My right over head position continues to be better than ever and I can get my arm in much closer to the ear, even though it turns out I've been doing the overhead circles incorrectly. Well,mainly too high but it's still been improving.
The best is the enemy of the good and I prefer to learn from bigger movements and work backwards toward perfect rather than striving for perfect from the start. That can lead to paralysis by overanalysis and I've struggled with this before.
Don't be afraid to make too big a correction and then clean it up. But that's just how I work.

max Vo2 snatches
16 kg
40 sets of 7 reps per 15 sec cycle
280 reps
10,080 lbs

this was really not that bad. I was going 2 sec slower than normal making sure to get the bell further back than before.

rack walks 16 kg
400 foot laps, 200 feet per arm
1200 foot total
barefoot in deep grass.

this was MUCH easier than last week, when I barely got 200 foot sets.

Z work with Geoff and courtney: lots.

Here's geoffs 100 kg power snatch double

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More full circles.

No pun intended. When I first started swinging kettlebells it immediately reminded me of swinging gymnastics and I was hooked.The flow, the strength , technique all brought me back to pommel horse,parallel bars,rings and high bar.
Now that I have started Z movements with it's emphasis on precisely done joint circles done perfectly it again reminds of my gymnastics beginnings.
When we trained,whether it was skill work or flexibility the emphasis was always on getting perfect movements and totally controlling every part of our body, whether it needed to be loose, tight, moving,static , powerful or enduring.And every detail counted because the judges would mark down ANY movement or position that wasnt, well, perfect.So the emphasis was on perfect kinesthetic awareness( proprioception) and the ability to put your limbs and body where it needed to be at exactly the right movement.
Easy to say, very very hard to do.Especially every time, and on demand.
The Z stuff reminds me of that, breaking everything down to it's smallest movement and making sure that all parts of that circle are touched,with smoothness and lack of tension.Again, easy to say...
Very revealing

40 minutes of the full routine today and man did I need it.7th day no nsaids and yesterdays little play date with the 32 kg made the body very stiff and slow this AM.Not to mention the push jerks which my body still is no where near used to.
Really took my time and worked from head to toe.Rifga afterward and doing the Z first really makes the poses that much easier to get into and stay with. Very calming effect as well,which one would expect with such an emphasis on breathing and not letting any tension occur.Constantly shaking hands and arms out,even in the middle of reps, helps too. Standing quad shakes are also getting rid of leg tension from standing almost in one place the whole time.
My knee and ankle are still getting used to being in "new" positions and sometimes it aint the right one.
One of the problems with having hypermobile ligaments and no internal knee structures,lol.Things move around alot. Marbles in a sock is how I describle my ankles.But now the left one is at least moving.
Geoff is in tomorrow and can't wait to have him clarify tons of movements and positions.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

OK, I believe.

There is something very special about Z health. Today is day five without any NSAIDs and that is the longest time in the last 7 plus years. Previous record was 3 days and the last day was rough.I might be done with them;if not now very soon.
Got up and did the neural warmup before the workout and it got me suprsingly ready for my workout. Minimal rifga before the bells.Shoulder and knee is what I am really focused on and both felt very good. I have known for some time that much of my left knee pain has come from my very tight and imbalanced calf muscles. The ankle didn't sit or move well at all and my approach was to release the muscles and let the joint sit back in neutral; and it's been working great. I think though that this is much better and it is way easier, that's for sure.
The connection between my left ankle and my right shoulder is very interesting for sure.
ALSO, Nick came in with a very tight biceps and complaining of left shoulder pain.I took him through the shoulder and ankle work and it dissapeared. Literally. Dissapeared. That's just freaky.

One arm swings
16 kg x20 rep two hand, one hand and transfer combinations x3
24 kg one arm swings 10/10x2

32 kg x10/10x10 sets
200 reps
14,400 lbs

this went very well after the first three sets which felt heavy and not warm enough. Setting up flat on the feet continues to work great but with the 32 kg I do have to sit back a bit more than with the 1.5 pood.

One arm push press for time
set one 2 min per arm/17 reps per side
set two 2 min per arm/20 reps per side
set three, long cycle 1.5 min per arm 10 reps per side.

this was fun. Got to put on my OL shoes and use my legs a little. Took a bit to find a functioning position on the right side but I got it.Nice not to have anything really hurt although the right side overhead position still needs so much more work,in terms of thoracic and shoulder flexibility/mobility.all the rack walks have paid off as I feel very comfortable in the rack. It will be eons, if ever, that I can do these with two bells. But I am very happy with this :))
I will do the heavier ones with the 24 kg for lower reps on wednesday after snatches.
I love to be able to train.

Finished with more z work for shoulder ,ankles and knees.loose baby loose!


Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Another 7 sessions of z today.It's easy but it ain't easy. I was way more tired at the end of todays sessions than normal but I feel WAAAY different on my feet and in my shoulders.SOunds ridiculous as I write it but something is different and right away.
For instance, normally my one legged balance on my left leg is atocious as the knee really doesnt line up right nor lockout out fully and so doesnt hold my weight well at all without shifting laterally.
So I've been using a bo stick as balance tool for the last two days as I did my one leg ankle and hip circles and such.Then I noticed that I was able to stand on my left leg without using the stick and without shifting.Strange. I am in a new position on the left ankle for sure. All from some funky circles.
Everyone that did it said the same thing: ' this is cool. it's so easy but it feels so good.'
The ankle work has been long overdue and seems to have a connection, as claimed, with my other side shoulder.Weird.
Its also added something to my rifga stretches as well, as I feel much looser.Lots to learn but I am very happy with the simple tools I have now for awhile. Lots to practice.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Snatch practice and lots of Z

Got in a LOT of Z movement practice today. Did it first thing at 5 am when I got to Girya and then did it with my clients during their warmup as well.Did different things with different clients but I got 7 different sessions in today! Greasing the groove for sure. And the more I did it the more I liked it. So simple and yet so direct. Just like kettlebells.
Lots of things moving around though, especially in my left ankle and right shoulder but that's to be expected. What I didnt expect was how good much shoulder was going to feel during snatches. My ankle was still having a hard time finding neutral but I could do a few drills and get it to behave.
I can see this is going to be a long process.dats cool.Especially if I keep feeling better.

One arm swings
16 kg x10/10x2

24kg x10/10x14 sets
140 reps
7420 pounds

Man this felt like lots more work than that,lol! Thats what the down side of a peak feels like, compared to three weeks ago when I did 400 swings with it and felt like I could do more!

16kg x5/5

24kgx5/5x 8 sets
80 reps
4240 lbs

total =200 reps
11,600 pounds

I really want to concentrate on my overhead position with my right arm and I was EXTREMELY suprised today when I could get a deeper and further stretch with my right arm than I have in recent memory! It felt like if I pushed back it actually went. Normally it just locks up.The one area I did with everyone today was shoulder circles and man I couldnt believe how good it felt, and still feels. crazy.
It was good to really get my hips warmed up with lots of swings first.This is the better order for me.

another angle

it aint close to perfect but it is definitely better. not bad Z!

Rack walks with 16kg
decided to walk barefoot in thick grass today and WHAT A DIFFERENCE! More confortable an much harder at the same time.On concrete with shoes is way easier.I could really feel my foot( left of course) having to work much harder to stabilize. Much slower as well

1200 feet broken into 400 foot sections
switch hands every 200 feet.

BW 161.2
BF 8%
Water 61.5%

havent gotten a reading this low in awhile. I'll take it!

datsit, gonna stretch.

More fat ,less cancer?

Very interesting article on decreasing the spread of cancer cells by starving them of sugar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More Vadim Kolganov

Z health session.

My first Z health workout today and it was very interesting.I know I keep using the same adjective to describe my ( very limited) experiences with it but it's the right word.The more I do it the curiouser and curiouser I get.
As Tim suggested I went off the manual and not the dvd and this was the right choice. I went at my own,very slow, pace and it was much bettter than having to pause the machine all the time. Yet there are movements I dont know how to do right yet so I have more dvd time to do anyway.
It's like a joint mobility type of yoga and much of the stuff is very similar to what I have been doing in my rifga sessions but from a movement standpoint. The rifga stretches were static holds. But the intent of the positions were the same, neutral, square,plumb as wll as mobile , not in pain and loose. AS the reps are low it really appeals to me as well. Brett,"Mr anything over 3 reps is cardio" Jones is at the R Phase cert this week and will love the low rep approach as well, I'm sure.
I definitely feel looser and better right after the session as promised and some shoulder/biceps tendon pain in arm adduction went away pretty well after some backwards arm circles. The things that interest me the most are the ankle, hip ,thoracic, shoulder and elbow work. I can see it paying big dividends fast. Just the knowledge of what ranges of motion the joints should be able to do without pain is worth the cost of the manual.Its a great little no stress workout that anyone can do and it seems to have great potential.
I can really see my older clients LOVING just the basic mobility work,although you REALLY have to be able to concentrate or all bets are off.But, little pieces at a time will go very far I think.
I can also see what they mean by not moving into pain. If you try to do a joint rotation and it hurts everything around it immediately tightens up. When you are coming from such a relaxed state it is very obvious.This ,for the record, is not what happens on the foam roller for me; I get a lowering of tension, not a raise.I wouldnt do it if the painful area got tighter.SO much is dependent on what an individual perceives as painful, which varies greatly. And, when you have truly damaged joints, and the scar tissue, adhesions and stiffness that accompanies them, you still have to stretch, and so do I, so I gotta go get on the floor.

THis is a great start and Geoff will be here next week to take me through some stuff and get the movements sorted out right.Cool.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some VERY cool KB exercises.

I have to try some of these,especially that two bell, outside the leg swing squat. I might be able to do that.Lots of very cool applications.

Max Vo2, the Original.

Wow. I knew there was a reason I didn't immediately get drawn to Kenneth Jays first mvo2 snatch protocol, the 36 sec on 36 sec off number.It just seemed too many reps even though the weight was light. When he revealed you could also do the 15 on 15 off method THEN I jumped in. I am a sprinter at heart and the 36 second version seemed terrible. It is.
Since I am in my tenth week of this and have cycle through the 50 sets three times now I figured it was time to bite the bullet and give this a go.
Not that much fun at all,lol.
My 15 second pace is a strong 7 reps with 8 a go but very hard even on fresh days.SO I figured since I had a little over 30 seconds 15 would be a good starting place. It's a good ending place; its way tough.
Cardio was fine and max heartrate was only 171 or so. The HR is only supposed to be 90-95% of max as opposed to the 15/15 setup where HR is supposed to be supramax 110-120% of Max.
But speed suffered and the load was on my arm and grip,not my legs or lungs. With the 15/15 I am sucking serious wind at the end,especially with the 8 reps per cycle.

Heres the start, 4 sets in.

11 sets through

two hand swings, one hand swings, transfers with 16kg 25 reps
snatch transfers with 16 2 sets

36 sec on 36 sec off
15 reps per cycle 8 sets
14 reps per cycle 8 sets

232 snatches
8352 lbs

this was way harder than 350 snatches the other way.

Tracy kicked out 20 reps per 36 sec! It hurt though and she was still tired from Saturdays 20kgs snatches. I knew that timing wasnt good but hey, you gotta go when it's right.

Rack walk 16 kg
1200 feet switching hands each 200.
60 sec res
800 feet as above

2000 feet total
. arms were cooked but HR was up there too;153 at end,probably more still from the snatches than the walks :))

scap pulls
double red mini 4 sets 10

I definitely prefer the other method.I like to go fast and could feel my speed slow down after 10 for sure.I could see fast sets of ten without losing bell speed but 7 and 8 is probably a better number for me anyway.

On another note, I am one third through the Z health R phase dvd and have read the manual.very very interesting. I like things that get broken down to their most basic components and the joint mobility in Z seems to do just that.Playing with all the movements and can see the immediate value in the ankle,hip shoulder and elbow work.I have LOTS of missing ranges of motion,lol.
Not giving up stretching or the roller yet;in fact I did a lot of ankle circles while lying on my IT band and upper hammy.Pain is a very relative concept ;)
This is very detailed stuff and you must REALLY concentrate on what you are doing. Not for those not in their bodies,that's for sure.

datsit. more Z to watch and still gotta stretch. Wednesday, slow snatches and one arm swings.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The New schedule.

Since I seemed to have survived the push presses yesterday I am anxious to add them into my schedule .The jerks and the slow snatches that I will do on wednesday will replace the snatch holds I have been doing. I'lldo jerks for timed sets which will involve a lot of static holds overhead and in the rack. I will also pause each of the 24 kg snatches overhead as well for the same effect.No pauses at lockout still for mondays max vo2 work, constant motion is the goal there.


One arm swings : volume 24,28 and 32 kg

Short cycle push presses 16 kg: timed sets


Max Vo2 Snatch work 16 kg

Rack walks 16 kg


slow snatch 24 kg

push press 24 kg

rack walks 16 kg

Mrs. Rif snatches the 20kg, first time

Tracy has never snatched the 20kg bell but was inspired by Fawn Fridays work with it. So instead of doing it as a separate workout and just seeing if she could do it, she threw it into the mix and just killed it! I love to see how swinging lighter bells with speed and power tranlates so well into heavier bells when it's time to step up. And step up she did!
she is just a little sore today, lol.Go figure.

for the full workouts breakdown see her blog.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Doc Rob's new web site

My old trainer partner,good friend and Professional Strongman Dr.Rob Muelenberg has his own site now and wants me to put up a link.This is one very seriously strong and good guy and it's a great site with lots of cool vids.Doc Rob has been very busy lately.Not bad for a guy with a Ph.D in Chemistry!

Doc Robs Site

Core training for real

Get the lowdown on what real core training is about from the IronTamer himself,David Whitley. Important post.

The swing's the thing.

The groin and hip felt really good this morning, especially after stretching out and rolling.I also started off really light and made sure the groove was solid.When things go 'out' training will either put them in or make them worse. Swinging put things back in well and re established my normal pattern. Cool.
I also decided to go lighter today in accordance with the 'next step off a peak is always down, either step back or fall off'. I stepped back. I also realized that along with setting up and swinging flat on my feet, I also have to focus on extending my knees and not my hips.Being wired backwards on most things it seems, if I focus on the legs the hips extend well, if I focus on the hips everything is off.
Same with my lumbo pelvic rythym. I have to bend forward to get my hips to sit back.It was the same with my squat and deadlift, only I figured it out too late. But not too late for kbs.

12 kg x 2 handswing,one arm swing, transfers( 25 reps) x2
16kgx same
20 kg x same

One arm swings
24 kg x5/5/5/5

28 kg x5/5/5/5

32 kgx5/5/5/5

worked up in weight each set then dropped down to the 24 and started over. did each weight 4 times with a 2 minute rest/sets
24 kg swings= 80 4240 lbs
28 kg swings= 80 reps 5040 lbs
32 kg swings =80 reps 5760 lbs

total swings 320
total lbs 15,040

not bad. definitely easy though,just what I wanted. I'm just glad my hip is right.That was disturbing.Flat on my feet drive through the knees!

One arm push press
16 kg x 60 sec each arm(28 reps)
20 kgx60 sec each arm( 24 reps)
16 kg x90 sec each arm( 34 reps)

This was great. I dont have the overhead shoulder or back flexibility to actually do the second dip for the jerk but this is my version. I wore my Olympic lifting shoes and that helped a lot. Put me very flat on my feet and the heel helps my arch.Just focused on getting into my snatch hold position and it was fine.Nice to do some press type work. this might be fine.Get to combine my overhead stability work with some quad work as well.

datsit, gonna stretch .

Friday, September 14, 2007

The muscular approach to myofascial pain relief.

While it may not be the neurological cutting edge of pain and spasm relief my approach to reducing locked muscles and joints with the foam roller, vibration massage, pressure stretching( my version of ART) and static stretching still does quite a nice job for me.But then I have many more old injuries and scar tissue than most.

Case in point; despite knowing better in an effort to really hit my hips after a few days of not swinging I ended up 'squatting' my swings too much on Wednesday and, as is usually the case, ended up with some weird hip and leg pain. But this time on my 'good' leg, the right.

My right adductor,lower abdominal and hip flexor felt dinged and when I checked, sure enough the piroformis and other hip rotators were tight as a drum.It did give me a scare as I my back has been SO good lately and this reminded me WAY too much of the pain I got when I herniated L4 -L5 back in 2000.My lower abs locked up so hard back then that every step felt like it would tear them.Not fun.

To be honest the first thing I tried was the Z style hip, knee and ankle circle work that Andrea showed me at the cert. Granted I don't know what I am really doing with this( I have ordered the R phase and neural warmup dvds) but I got the gist of what Andrea was showing me. No go and things were locking down very tight. I am used to my left leg not cooperating but when my right side goes belly up I get scared.Every step caused my lower abs and adductors to yell at me.I knew my back was next.This had me worried.

So it was myo fascial release work with the ball, stick, foam roller and g5 massager as well as my Rifga stretch routine. A few hours later, when I got a hardy 'thunk' in my sacrum during sumo squat stretches, I knew I was on the right path to pain relief and I was right.The tight,spasmed areas released almost immediately.Did I go 'into' pain?Yes. Did the pain decrease and activate slower as I worked it? Yes. Was the affected area better almost immediately? Yes. Did the affected area stay better overnight? Yes.

And when I 'discovered' how tight my right rectus femoris and TFL were this morning during my normal foam roller assesment working that out til it didnt react made an even bigger difference in the residual stuff that I hadnt gotten yesterday.

When something"goes out' I am like a man possesed as far as getting back to full mobility and out of pain. I will work on an area for many, manyhours; as long as it takes, to 'convince' it to let go.The way I see it the muscles are holding the joint out of position and if I release the tension in the muscles it will release it's hold on the joint.Like chiropractic- in Reverse! It's been working very well so far and yesterday really showed me just how little pain I have been in lately. Yesterday was like old times- the bad old days, where nothing was in the right place and everything always hurt.

I experienced some very cool things with Z this last weekend and am looking forward to acquiring new skills with this technology. But I doubt I will ever give up my foam roller and massager.They may not be the best or the latest but they certainly serve me well and give me a sense of control over my body.
Find the spasm, kill the spasm, get the joints back to normal( or what passes for normal in my body).
I also realized that not having had trained since last wednesday made mondays and wednesdays workouts a pretty good load on ' fresh meat'.The last two workouts really put the emphasis on speed too and even though the bell is lighter the total forces are high.Just a bit sore; normal for the week after a cert. Adrenaline is depleted too. Time to drop volume and intensity and cycle back up.

Oh yeah,note to self: my swing is a pull NOT a squat, dummy. DONT forget that again.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Joe's 546 DL and Snatch video

Joes 546 third attempt He had 5-7 kg left in him as well. This was hard but very steady

Joes first round of 8/8 in the 5 minute snatch test with the 32 kg

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

San Jose TSC

One Contestant : Joe Sarti

weight 175.
Elite Division

1st attempt 491
2nd attempt 524
3rd attempt 546 PR.

10 kg Tactical Pullups
15 reps

32 kg Snatch 5 minutes
61 reps

491 opener

second attempt 524 PR

a few seconds of his 546 attempt before the batteries to come.

My training:

Still recovering from the weekend and coming back slowly.Worked on my swing form and getting my glutes back into the lift.Opted for the 20kg bell today. A good choice.

one arms swings 20 kg
10/10x10 sets
100 reps
4400 lbs

these felt great and the speed and power were strong.Very snappy. At 160 pound the 20 kg really is the best weight for me to move really fast.I can move the 24 kg fast but it takes a lot more. I have to stay rooted in the swing as it is the base for all my snatch work.If I get too caught up in the snatch I lose my hip strength and end up overloading my arms.

snatch with holds
6/6x5 sets
60 reps

160 total reps
7040 lbs total
this is a good light load.felt fresh when done .

The snatches with a solid two second pause at the top felt good. It seems I do better looking up on my right side and down on my left. Ah, its great to be symmetrical!But looking up(at the bell) with the right makes the lockout much easier

scap pullaparts
stick slides
squat rack stick stretch
stick shoulder extensions
floor work

I am wondering if I can maybe do double kb presses now. I dont think single arms are good but perhaps double bells. its in keeping with going back to my gymnastics origins and the bilateral press was one of the first moves I did.The stick slide an extensions convince me I will get back to bilateral work again.Will try when I am fresh.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What is RKC?

"RKC is a Hard Style of training born in the special ops of the Soviet Union. Hard Style chooses power over efficiency, and chooses the techniques proven the most effective for max force applications. We employ max acceleration in the quick lifts and max tension in the slow lifts.... "


some have been confused about this. I hope this clears it up.

This is Mike Smaltz,RKC's website. I had the pleasure of having Mike on my team this weekend at the cert and he is one excellent teacher as well as a great guy.Very interesting website. Hopefully Mike starts a blog soon so we can get the inside story on his training ideas.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Big Donnie Thompson,RKC shows you how to box squat.

685 + 4 chains, raw.That's 885 deep folks.


From 4 am Thursday through 2 pm today it's been pretty much non stop for me.15 hours days are not my norm,lol.Being on my feet and walking all day long is a serious test of my knee, gait and work capacity and it came through the best yet.Plus just getting home proved to be a serious test of my endurance and patience.
My 9:30 pm sunday flight from Minneapolis was delayed an hour and I didnt touch head to pillow til 2 am. Then it was up at 6 am( not 4 thank god) for clients and then my training. Just a few short months ago this would have kicked my butt down hard and I woouldnt have even thought of training but this was emminently doeable today and nowhere near as stressful as it used to be. There are many paths to strength endurance but kettlebells are one seriously fast one.
Doing 35 fast snatch sets wasnt the best training idea today but Tracy was counting on some help so there it was. It wasnt pretty but it got done. The video was set on picture mode so it didnt come through and that's probably good. I was pretty beat and nothing kills speed more than fatigue.But it was character training and it was fine.
Tracy cranked out 35 sets of 9 reps per 15 sec with the 26. 400 snatches no problem.Next week will start the 36 sec version of this although I am seriously thinking of alternating weeks of snatches with weeks of one arm swings with the 20 kg for the same time frame. If I dont really work my swing my snatch form breaks down .
One can train the snatch to improve their snatch performance for it's own sake, or, one can USE the snatch as a tool to improve and or increase another aspect of their physical self. The methods will most certainly differ but that does not make one any more valid than the other.
Using the box squat to improve your squat or deadlift does not make your squatting form wrong, just designed for a specific purpose and result.
Training fast, training slow, and other tempos in between are all valuable and will contribute to overall results according to the designs of the program to meet the goal.
The more I train fast now the more I see I want to incorporate slow training as well to balance the entire gamut.

max Vo2 16 kg
35 sets of 15 on 15 off
245 reps
8820 lbs

snatch holds with 16 kg
4 sets of 45 sec. I swear these are harder than the 24 kg! LOL!

datsit,rest and food.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Day two, more fun is had by all.

each cert it seems my teams get better and the certs get harder.This team suprised me almost by the minute with their tenacity, talent and spirit. No one complained,no one backed off or bailed on any task,and no one cut corners.
It seems hard to imagine, as I said earlier,that with all the work that is required of them,that their form and skill would grow better with each hour of back breaking work, but that is exactly what happens. Just when they think the suffering is over there is another "short" workout to do and they rise to the occasion and perfom incredibly well.
to a person their appreciation of the RKC, its priciples,methods and techniques grows with each passing minute and the community grows that much deeper.Getting through this weekend is truly a unique experience and one that produces a serious life altering perception of what is possible and what is possible for them.
The RKC cert is no joke and getting certified is in itself a Rite of Passage.With each passing cert and each new group of RKC's the community grows that much deeper and stronger and wider.
I love all the new people I get to meet and make connections with; it truly is great fun and very satisfying for me each and every time.
I also got meet and work with Jason Brown and Pamela Macelree and was mightily impressed with them both, as teacher and people. The network grows even deeper.
Day three tomorrow and the true test of the RKC candidates skill: can they teach what they have been taught? In many ways the hardest day of the weekend.
As for me day two of my walking and standing work is going very well and my barefoot approach is paying off again.The peak is working although I can't wait for max vo2 day monday. Did a lot of demonstrating today and even my right shoulder had more range of motion than normal.snatch demos went stunningly well and I did as much demos as possible to get some work in although my plan to do the swing workout didnt pan out.No worries I got lots of work in.

carb restriction,fat and muscle loss.

a very interesting article about extactly what happens during carb restriction and fasting states

Friday, September 07, 2007

Day one Sept 2007 Cert.

another first day of the RKC cert done , and as usual it was very intense and postive experience. Have another great team and everyone here seems to really have their kb act together. It seems that each cert people just get better and better as they walk through the door. Had two guys miss passing their snatch test from losing their grip by accident( too relaxed!) but they will get it done tomorrow I'm sure.
One gentleman is from Poland and has been doing kbs all his life. very interesting guy to say the least. Reminds me of Mirko Crocop,looks just like him.everyone is working their asses off and is just about as postive and energetic as can be. As good as their are as athletes I am really hoping they can teach because that is really what this course is about.
You can be a stud kb athlete but if you cant teach you cant be RKC. I'm sure they will be fine. that is, after all ,my job. to teach them how to teach this stuff.
I truly love coming here and getting to spend all weekend with really passionate kb people.It gives me way more energy than it takes and I dont get tired of talking training and kettlebells and here Ihave 60 plus people as excited about it as I am.
The RKC is just getting bigger and better all the time.Each cert people come better prepared and more into it that the last one. hard to beat that.
My knee is holding up better than ever and I didnt even have to unpack the G5 until late today. Normally I would have been living on it just from getting here from the airport. Amazing how things have changed in just one short year.
Tomorrow should be a long tough day, can't wait.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Snatch practice.

With all the balls to the wall training I've been able to do of late I haven't had a workout like this in awhile. One that focused on practice and not 'training'. Normally I dont train on the Wednesday before leaving for a cert, as I want to 'save up' my knee for the weekend.But Joe was coming over for his snatch training and I figured I could practice the snatch and play it by feel in terms of volume.
I was dusted too, when he got here, after just about 4.5 hours of sleep and seven straight clients. I was yawning and ready for a nap but I knew I would feel alright after I broke a sweat. And that was easy around here lately.
I wanted to work on the lockout and trying to find the position I locked into on Saturday with my right shoulder during the snatch. My left shoulder is golden in terms of flexibility overhead and although the right is SO much better it still has a long way to go.I have to look up at the bell in the lockout on the right but not on the left.this of course changes many things but it seems to be the way to go.
I also need to do the slower work with the snatches to counterbalance the speed work of max vo2 day. The snatch holds are good but not enough. Now.This is perfect for wednesdays more heavier work.I need to think of doing a snatch- HOLD- each rep.Being flat on my feet during the hold changes everything here too but it is definitely the right place to be.Same but different.

Snatch with holds
20 kgx10 left
rest while Joe goes
20kgx10 right

10 total sets/5 each arm= 100 reps
4400 lbs

I have really gotten to like thinking of each arm's snatch workout as a separate lift. I had thought about playing with this prior to reading Kenneth Jay's work but got the courage after seeing him do it. It's great, you can really put everything into one side at a time which is very different than holding back knowing you have another set (arm) to do.Good to do both.having to hold really works dynamic into static balance as well.

datsit. Rifga floor and stick stretches. Time to pack.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

It just might be the supplements.

Not great news that a very large percentage of OTC supplements are actually contaminated with anabolic steroids! I had a friend who had this happen to him.He was Masters lifter, lifetime drug free, in a light weight class,respected coach and official whose amino acid tablets proved to be contaminated. Didn't matter and he was suspended from his federation.
I used to be a human lab rat with supplements when I was competing in powerlifting 'clean' trying to get every natural and legal advantage I could.Owning a gym made this much easier as I got everything early and cheap.The longer I took supplements the more I realized that 1) what was on the label was usually not in the bottle. 2) the theory of why to take specific supplements was scientifically unsound and unproven. 3)what was in the bottle but NOT on the label could really mess you up.
I had been taking vioxx for my knee when one test my liver enzymes were elevated. I was also taking a tribulus product at the time( herbal testosterone enhancer) and found that it was the tribulus, NOT the vioxx that was messing with my liver! No more supps for me, just food.

Contaminated supps link

Monday, September 03, 2007

Stick a fork in me

I'm done. I guess the 400 swings on saturday took a bit more out of me than I thought. Add on 350 snatches in 25 mintues and the goose is cooked. Perfect timing as the rest of the week is a taper for the long weekend to come.
My work capacity felt good but my speed was off, particularly in the later sets. Heartrate peaked at 185 on the last sets and was between 155 and 173 for most of the sets up to 40.After 40 it spiked. Wind was fine and the hands held up good, too.
I've found that for trying to move so fast for so many sets I can't use too much chalk. Plus its hot as hell and I sweat like a freakin pig.Chalk cakes up and hands tear.It's such a light weight that it doesnt matter. Encourages me to spin the hand around the bell and not overgrip.
No warmup at all,lol just dive in. Takes about 20 sets to even feel warm now.My cue for flat feet continues to work like a charm and I hit the same place each rep.This groove is what I've been waiting for.
When I get back from the cert will start Kenneths original protocol: 36 sec on 36 sec off for 20 sets. I figure I will do 16 reps per 36 sec work bout. The gymboss will definitely come in handy on this one!

16 kg Snatch
15 sec on 15 sec off for 50 sets
350 snatches
12,600 lbs.
25 minutes
max heartate 185

Sets 20-23. Not bad at this point, it gets slow at the end, lol.
My arms are just really cooked now, from the combo of the big swing workout on saturday and all these snatches today. a good cooked, but definitely the limiting factor.
The last five sets. Kid Rock ROcks!

Tracy of course, barely had a 150 HR. We need to up her reps.
rack walk
16 kg
200 foot laps
1200 feet
rest 60 sec
600 feet
1800 feet total

I am done.back to the garage for stretching

rifga floor work( down dog, up dog,horse stance, sumo squat stretch,karate stance lunge stretch, rear heel down)
stick slides
stick shoulder extensions
stick squats, close stance
scap pulls

bw 160.8
bf 9.3%
water 60.4%

Here'some video of the stick slide and the scap pullaparts. Someone emailed a request for a video description so here it is. I love these things, they have really helped my shoulder.

datsit, gotta stretch!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Human Weapon Series.

This week the guys are in Israel doing Krav Maga. My nephew , who is in the IDF, is going through this training now. I know Takei studies it as well; it looks really interesting and the ultimate in functional self defense for truly dangerous situations.
Krav maga

Getting ready for the cert.

The start of the Grad workout.April 2007

Next week at this time I will on the field in Minnesota working with an incredible group of people( both instructors and students) at the RKC. This is a special one for me as last Septembers cert was when I became a Sr. RKC. and man things have just gotten better each month since then. In a physical as well as business way and I am blessed.This community is so good and it keeps getting better.Good things are coming and having a cert in my back yard in February and then getting to go teach in Denmark in May is exciting stuff.
So I am in charge of a swing ladder workout next week and I decided to do the one I did last September, a 200 rep,ten minute uphill ladder.One arm swings.
People will partner up and it will be an ' I go, you go' situation.200 reps, ten minutes.

I didnt want to go that fast today so I decided to do it twice through; just to make sure I can hang next week.People who are going to the cert and are reading this you can't say you weren't warned.
This is in honor of Enter the Kettlebells snatch rite of passage: 200 snatches in ten minutes. These arent snatches but it ain't easy either. Especially up hill ladders.

One Arm swings

10/10 twice through.
400 reps
21,200 lbs.

These felt great and my foot position held perfectly. Once I got my feet set everything else just fell into place and I could completely concentrate on producing force and maximally acclerating.Wind was fine. each round took 20 minutes to complete so it was slow but thats what I wanted. Monday is 36 sec snatch sets for 20 sets.First time for the original max vo2 protocol.

Snatch holds
24 kgx 60 sec x 3 sets

the last set of these felt the best position for my right shoulder that I have ever felt. I got totally locked in and felt the link from foot to hand. Standing flat on my feet on this move as well has helped big time too.good stuff but I am beat! I maintained good speed all the way through the 400 reps and I was happy about that as well ,but it definitely tires me out!

datsit, gotta stretch,