Friday, February 29, 2008

The Swing Queen

My wife is an animal.Just twelve weeks after surgery she decided to do one of her most ambitious swing workouts yet; 1000 reps with the 24 kg KB in 50 minutes! She did two hand swings and did 10 reps every 15 sec for 50 minutes!!!!! 15 sec work 15 sec rest for almost an hour. That is insane.I would be toast if I tried that.Way to go honey.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Check out the bar path on Fawn's squats; both with an olympic shoe with a heel and with a flat shoe.The trend has been to only wear flat shoes when you are doing a wide stance "power" squat but many just dont get good leverage without a heel.Especially those with long femurs and or tight ankles.
I was one of them and now wished I had followed my instincts and used a heel and squatted with a close stance.The heel let me sit back and still keep my center of gravity over my base.Without the heel if I sat back I took my hips out of it and loaded just the legs. and if I leaned forward it was all back.
Train your weakness, compete your strengths. I fully 'grok' this now.
With the heel Fawn can really keep her arch,stay over her base, engage the hips and quads similtaneously, as well as put her extensors in a solid postition to maintain their position.When she hits the sticking point she is still in balance and can hold her arch and use her glutes at the same time.
Can't apply force well if you are struggling for balance.Great job Fawn!

with a heel

without the heel

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The next wave.

Chuko.the thickest wave in the world.And Laird Hamilton, the best surfer ever.

One of the things I had forgotten about is when, after a decent taper and a peak, when you start back up again you occasionally start out at a higher level of ability then you would have just a few cycles ago. That is to say, 70% is not always 70%.
Today was MVO2 day and I was planning on 35 sets of just 7's as I have been pretty flat since the weekend and the seminar.My normal start to a 4 week peaking cycle.I wasn't even planning on doing any 8 rep sets.Just a nice slow start.
And I was pretty hungry for some reason, something I'm almost never am before training. Not enough tea perhaps:))
But when I started I noticed my groove was right here and the bell was flying really easily.No wasted motion at all and the speed was good.Had 2 + seconds left per 15 sec bout. Still was thinking aobut 7's all the way.
25 sets went by very fast and HR was low(?) 150 or less.So I decided to do 8's for the last 11 sets and THEY were fast too, leaving me with a second to spare in each round. HR stayed around mid 150's too. even to the end.Did 36 sets and it was no problem.
And my form is even more stiff legged;it seems the more I lean the more I get into my hip and the more I sit back the less my hips get into the picture. same as my deadlift and even my squat.I do have to stay focused on keeping my back flat and staying flat on my foot as well.
But I was really snapping into the bottom and powering right out. Way cool.

MVO 2 snatch 15:15
16kg x 25 sets x7 175 reps 6300 lbs
16kgx11 sets x8 reps 88 reps 3160 lbs
total reps 263
total weight 9460
total time 18 min

two handed swipes
25lbx10x4 sets

these were harder than I remembered,lol!~But I am a bit tired too.Triceps and upper torso get such a good stretch in the back position.switch grip each set.

Rack walks
16kgx1600 feet.switch hands every 200.

Glad to be back on track with this exericse. I need to do it.gait is much improved.Back over 2000 feet soon.

Two handed swings
16kgx30 sec on 30 sec off x 4 sets

I refuse to give up on being able to do this exericse and getting back into the rotation! The two hand swing is the Power Squat of the KB swings and I want my back to be able to tolerate this. Have to start off this time with low volume AND low intensity.Start real slow.

datsit.Have LOTS of Z and stretching to do.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Re Build

As much as I love teaching at certs and workshops I seriously hate to have my training rythyms messed with. I am, in runners parlance, a 'trainer' not a 'racer'. This means I like training more than I do competing, which is true.Many 'racers' only like the meets and have a hard time getting up for the day to day grind which is training.
Not me.
I love the day to day grind of regular training, of feeling myself grow stronger each workout and being able to handle heavier training loads more easily all the time. I do like competing as well as I have been performing athletically since I was 14 and it comes very natural to me. I like to have to turn it on when it really counts.
Since I can't do that much athletically anymore teaching in front of large groups seems to be taking it's place and I still treat it like a competition,which means I taper for it. Which brings me to the part I hate: scaling the training back down, resting more than normal, holding back on many levels and basically having to wait for the 'big day'.I am so a creature of habit; and always have been although it is definitely getting worse as I get old(er).
Because no matter how good a shape I get into coming back after a peak and a taper is ALWAYS hard for me.I love to keep the momentum going because I know how tough it is to re start that;especially at a high level.
Back in the saddle, it's snatch pause day.

Snatch Pauses

24kgx5/5x10 sets
100 reps
5300 lbs

made sure to hold each rep for a solid 1-2 seconds. This training has really helped my right arm overhead position.Even Joe noticed how much further back it goes now.almost normal :) It's infinitely more comfortable overhead and holding the rep is no problem. I can relax now in that position and that's a big change.

One arm swipes
15lbsx8/8x 5set

wow this one lit my triceps up FAST! Could easily have done more but my tris were getting a hell of a stretch after all those overhead holds and I didnt want to push it at all. Damn taper,lol.

2 CB Rockits
2 15lb CBs x30 sec on 30 sec off 5 times( 30 reps per 30 sec)

these were tough, as expected.Great quad and glute work and always opens up the wrist,elbow and links the shoulder.

One arms shield cast
15lbs x8/8x 4 sets

woo hoo, hot tri's!

BW 162
BF 8.8%
Water 60.8%

datsit. more z and rifga later. Back on track til May and the Danish Cert. Have to be VERY strong for that one! Have to be extra strong for the Vikings!

Perhaps the best bench assist exercise

especially if you don't have access to a spotter; and even more so if you are a raw bencher.DB benches will build your strength off the bottom, your lockout as well as hypertrophy your pecs, delts,triceps and upper back as well as build serious stability.Probably the hardest part about doing with with any real weight is making room for the size of the bastards!Here is some serious weight by Mike Kroc.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Spinal Engine

Great interview with Serge Gracovetsky, author of " The Spinal engine", which, it seems, is out of print. I remember Paul Chek referencing this book in his Scientific Back Training course.This interview is a very unique look at how and why we move and how critical the spine is to the process.Now, if I can find someone to sell me the book.Ebay only wants $200 for a copy!

Thanks Doc Cheng

Doc Cheng and I at last weeks cert.

Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC Team Leader, Chinese medicine Dr extraordinaire,devoted Martial Artist and KB fanatic and a truly great guy has some very nice things to say about yours truly and my DVD on his blog KBs Los Angeles. It has been such and honor to work with this guy for the last two years and to have him help me with the team last weekend at the San Jose Cert was perfect.Truly a man of honor and respect it is always a pleasure to spend time with him and learn from him.
His team of RKC candidates, of which I had two members, were perfectly prepared for the rigors of the weekend and one of them Grace Chiplinsky, passed her snatch test on her first arm effortlessly! He is truly an RKC of note and doing big things building the momentum for the RKC down in Santa Monica. The August cert, at UCLA and the first ever Southern California cert will have his fingerprints all over it I'm sure. Which is a great thing.

Thanks again for the props Doc and see you soon!

Grace and Diane Lee from KBLA ( forefront) along with Team Rif members Steve Pavlet and James Christopher. A great time was had by all.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Rif Basic KBs Workshop

I am off to do my first solo KB workshop/ seminar to a group of 40 personal trainers at Axis Personal training in Menlo Park, just a few miles from my studio in Palo Alto.Tried to get it scheduled for another weekend so I didnt have to miss another heavy swing workout but no go so it's one more day for the peak before I get to start my rebuilding cycle again. No worries.

This should be lots of fun and I will be teaching the basic six kb drills but it's gonna be a long 8 hours with ton 'o demonstrating so I will get plenty of work in.

Hopefully this is just the start of another new aspect to my business to go along with teaching privately and the certs. Tracy, Joe Sarti and Jordan will be assisting so that will make it tons easier to cover so many people.

I hope these people have been doing some decent free weight training, or some kb training, as 7-8 hours of working with kbs, even with just light weights and practicing technique, will wreck them pretty well if they haven't! Don't want to kill anybody,lol.Gotta go load some bells!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Slow and easy.

Still flat, adrenaline wise, from the weekend and I have an 8 hour KB basic workshop to teach this coming weekend so I have to go easy; lots of nasty bugs around and I can't get sick.
Decided to do 30 sets of 7 in the mvo2 workout today which turned out to be perfect. 15 minutes of snatching and 210 reps. no problem but enough to make me sweat.My body is finally unraveling from the weekend as well. LOTS of Z drills allthougout the day, as well as tons of foam roller, thumper and stick work on my left hammy,IT band,rectus femoris and calf.Everything else if fine.

MVO2 Snatch 15:15
16kgx30 sets of 7
210 reps
7560 lbs

Left wanting to do more. I thought about just doing the last five sets and decided that that was a perfect place to leave it;wanting to do more.

Two Handed Shield Cast
15lb CBs20x6 sets

left these light and just really got the momentum going. Very therapeutic.

CB Mills
15lbs x 10/10x 5sets
100 reps

Left the 10's at Girya but these were fine.Another very therapeutic move for my shoulder and scapulo-throacic area.Plus I didnt want to rack walk today and tighten up my left leg.

Flag Press
25x8x 5 sets.
Just playin'..

BW 162.6
Water 61.3% !! this could be the highest % ever.I need to stay hydrated, that's for sure.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008


From Power Watch "Here's video of Chris Taylor, 242, from the SSA CandyAzz Classic held Saturday in Tribes Hill, New York. Taylor totalled 2,250 pounds, with an 875 pound squat, 725 bench press, and 650 pound deadlift. Included are his 875 pound squat and 725 pound bench press. Taylor returned to powerlifting after suffering a heart attack in the summer of 2006. "

Powerlifters are sick. Coming back from a heart attack to squat 875!But I love the look in his eye as he approaches the bar. I remember it well and still miss it.A great example of a perfect power squat.Not bad depth, either,especially for a canvas suit.Chris is a great guy and I'm glad he got his comeback.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's all heavy when you're tired.

Man, you miss one workout....Really had to make myself go into the gym today after four very long days in a row.The tough things for me about these certs is standing for most of 12-14 hours a day and not getting enough of my body work time.The combination of way more tension than usual and way less bodywork and focused stretching catches up with me. Even the instructors with no knee issues were noticing how stiff standing a lot makes you.
And the more twisted I get the more twisted I get.Unwinding, no matter what form it takes; Z, rifga,massage, or hydrotherapy takes time. Today I unwound.
Part of that is training.It always starts rough and finishes well. We have to move to stay healthy and the less I move the worse I feel.But it's got to be the right kind of movement and the right amount.
So today is snatch day with the 20 kg.Decided to warmup slowly and use some ladders.

Snatches with 2 sec pauses

150 reps
6600 lbs

The great thing about ladders for me is they allow me to start slowly and warmup. By the time I get to some higher numbers I am feeling good.Same thing today.

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

Missed my swing workout this saturday so this was for that.I was actually feeling strong here and really focused on pulling myself into the hole and hiking the bell harder.It's always great to get a serious refresher course on the basics when I go to a cert.

Two Clubbell Swipes
(2)15's x20 x 4 sets
80 reps

these went well too although I was planning for 100 reps. My grip was fatiguing a bit and I didnt want to get on the 'nerve' so I shut her down.I actually am getting smarter about this stuff :))

BW 163
Water 61 %( I don't think I've reached this level before. strange)

Datsit. Lots of stretching and thumping to do still.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Team Rif San Jose RKC 2008

Well ,the first ever San Jose RKC is now history and what incredible exeperience it was.These three day intesives run the gamut of intellectual, physical and emotional spectrum. It's truly an amazing thing to get so many like minded, singularly focused and incredibly physically strong people together in such an intense setting.

Plus, where do you find such strange goings on as impromtu nail bending, phone book tearing and sledge hammer leveraging at the after trainings dinner party?

Tyler and Brett going after the books

Tracy got it on video

Plus, I got to meet THE Dan John,coach and athlete extraordinare, as well as over all nice guy over drinks at the post cert dinner. So smart and yet so humble.

Fawn is a big Dan John fan. As are we all.

But the best part was Team Rif.These guys came together so strongly for the technique testing as well as the 'victim' teaching it was inspiring to see. The real test of the weekend is NOT the snatch test but the teaching test.We don't care how much of a stud you are with a kettlebell if you can't teach Aunt Betsy properly and not get her hurt.And teach well they did.

Plus it was so cool having Tracy around as well. She's way cute and takes great pictures!

The boys be done for the weekend! Rif out. I need some sleep.

Day Two, The RKC transformation

It never fails to amaze me when I get to experience the incredible transformation the RKC candidates go through from day one through day two. One would think that being trained into the ground for nine hours straight with intense kettle bell drill after intense kettlebell workout the next day the skills would be stiff, rough and less effective but the opposite instead occurs.

And after going through more of the same; but harder, that at the end of day two the candidates would be breaking down and showing signs of skill deterioration but it never happens! Instead what happens is just what Team Rif showed me yesterday when instead of getting worse they got better. MUCH better. All their skills improved, across the board and the camaraderie and team spirit was downright inspiring!

I literally got chills at the end of the day yesterday as they went through technique work getting ready for the technique testing that we have today. It was an amazing transformation for my group as I'm sure it was for all the other RKC candidates. They got stronger, not weaker and their heart and spirit showed itself in way that never fails to get me going.They listened ,learned and applied everything we taught them and went after it with a vengence!Incredible.

Today is the crucial day, however, with technique tests on all the basic skills, the teaching test and the infamous Grad workout, which will hold a special surprise for all the candidates! I know they will all do us proud. It's so great to be part of this incredible organization and get to experience this type of transformation of people on a regular basis. For a coach and trainer there really is nothing better.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

San Jose RKC Day One; The dreaded Snatch test

Day one of the first RKC Cert in California is over and what a day! the facilities at San Jose State University are incredible and Team Leader Chris Holder did us proud arranging things for us to have everything we need for a great teaching environment.

Here are some photos Tracy took as Team Rif went through their snatch test paces.Everyone is always so nervous til they get this out of the way, not realizing that this is just the very begining of the "fun".
It was perfect weather, warm clear and sunny,a great example of California winter.
On a sad note, Joe Sarti missed Taming the Beast by one inch again in the pullup. He crushed the pistol and the press but just couldnt manage the last part of the pull. The added mass he has put on with his squat program might have made things a bit harder.But he was gamer and put on a good show.We had numerous Beast Tamers this year including one guy who looked like he could do five reps on each event no problem He is one of Chris Holders coaches and this guy is a MONSTER! More on him later, gotta go teach the clean!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Evil One(s) visits the Rifstonian Institute.

So honored to have Pavel and Brett stop by my humble garage gym this afternoon and get some serious training in before the start of the festivities this weekend. Got to work with Brett on his squat and bench teshnik and Pavel with his deadlift. SO much fun to work with guys this serious about their training. Serious detailed examination and analysis of every nuance of every part of the lifts. Looks to be a great weekend of training and learning already.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Peak rolls on- 300 Swipes.

Did 300 continuous swipes just now with two ten pound clubbells, crushing my old PR of 208 reps done on New Years Day.It's even better since I havent been training this move lately either.It's all easy when it's light.
I was supposed to just do Z and stretch out today but I feel too good. So I decided to just do one movement, with light weight and then get out of the gym. I felt like two cb swipes would be a good move as long as I stayed with the tens, with which I can really relax and stay loose and stay focused on staying on my left leg.I decided on doing 250 reps as I knew I could crank that out strongly. But when I got to 250 I knew 300 was there so I just kept going. I have had the number 300 for this move in my head ever since I did the 200. The hardest part is not being able to rechalk or wipe sweat. 400 is next.Adams 800 is unbelievable.
Counted up to 100, then again to 100 , then to 50, the 50 backwards. Easier on my mind.Just like eating an elephant. Small bites.
I think that the movement was fresh was in my favor as well. Sometimes too much training just wrecks a groove. So, no warmup just:

1x300 swipes with 2 10lb CBs in 17 minutes PR

Just about 18 reps a minute.If I had had a pacer/rep counter it would have been easier as I was so focused on not screwing up the rep count that I wasn't as fluid.Total opposite of Hardstyle KB work. I tried to do as little work as possible on each rep and still keep pace. Very relaxing.
HR at end of 300 reps about 135-140, about 65% of my guesstimated max HR of 210.(monday hit 200 and it wasnt max for sure).

Now I can do some Zs and stretch out in the beautiful 68 degree sunshine! Everyone is in tomorrow and Brett is coming straight from the airport to the Rifstonian Institute for a squat/bench workout.There's a rumour the Evil One might be making a surprise visit as well. You never know.
Let the games begin.
BW 164 Zikes!
BF 8.9%
Water 60.8%
dont feel any fatter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Train the Will.

I have always believed that THE most important component to training/athletic progress is the ability to make yourself do what you need to do to , as opposed to what you want to do. This is true in all aspects of life too but it is so obvious in the realm of physical training that I do not know why it is not emphasized more.

Coming from many years of competition/coaching athletes I was amazed when I started working full time in"personal training" and realized that discipline was a four letter word in the fitness world.It had been replaced by 'fun' and ' variety'.

Discipline, and the ability to exert one's will to create from mere thoughts what one wants physically is an absolute necessity if progress is to be made.And, of course, that is still no guarantee that you will succeed but without it I can almost guarantee that you will NOT succeed.

To being able to make yourself do that what you do not want to allows you to create virtually anything, whereas the inability to make yourself do things that you consider "unpleasant" or, God Forbid, not fun won't let you accomplish much at all.
Because, even if you picked your parents well and have great genetics as your starting point, at some place in that road you will run out of genetics and confront, yes, that which you do not want to do. For one reason or another.

Whether it is putting down the fork earlier than you want to, or setting the alarm earlier than you want to, or even just DOING the workout that you know you need to do to get what you said you wanted you must have the ability to FORCE yourself to bend to your own will if you are to succeed.

Because the Will, and Discipline, are every bit as adaptive( in either direction) as your muscular or energetic system is.And failure to train , with overload, these abilities will result in them getting weaker, smaller and unable to respond when the need arrives. I believe we are either getting weaker or stronger, with every single act we make. When we choose to go in the direction of what our stated goals are we are getting stronger. Or weaker, when we rationalize or delude ourselves into thinking that "just this once' it won't hurt to skip the workout, eat the crap we swore we wouldnt, or whatever the action is that we have decided( in a much stronger moment/frame of mind) is what we want to Be. Or Have.

All those little victories, those daily PRs add up, just as all those missed attempts do.Research has shown that winning raises testosterone and losing lowers it.In anything. Set the goals low so you can attain them, win, get stronger and set higher goals.But set the goals and make them happen.MAKE them happen. Make them.

It's not just what you do in the gym that matters but what you do in your LIFE that matters more. It all starts in your head, and, as Arnold said, you have to create it first mentally before you can create it physically.

If you're not motivated find things that motivate you and keep them around you ALL THE TIME. So many don't seem to think about their workouts til the shoes hit the gym floor.How can anything good come from that? If it does it will be from dumb luck not planning. Whoever said no one plans to fail but many fail to plan was right.Then, the plan has to be made real.Thought, Word, Deed.Think it, say it, do it.Simple as that.
And if you don't, try again. And again; til you do.

For me it's come down to two things: one-I have a clear image in my head of what I want to be able to do and how I want to look. Not just clear but CRYSTAL CLEAR.And as I climb higher and see farther that adjusts as well. But I am always shooting for a goal.Even if it's seemingly unattainable.Shoot for the stars, you may end up on the roof.

Two-I may not have much talent but I try hard not to be outworked. This was completely true when I was younger and competitive but still very much the same now in my dotage.It's taken my three years to unscrew myself from the damage I did and build up my work capacity to where I can really train hard again and I won't let all that work slip away easily.There is as much to be said for momentum as there is discipline.Both go hand in glove.

People are so afraid of suffering; as if a little discomfort will kill them.Suffering builds character if applied properly. Practicing willpower and discipline in small bites are great ways to increase both attributes.Choosing to NOT have something you want,just to see if you can do it, is an easy an harmless way to begin.

When I was training for ultramarathons I did a lot of fasting, as I was convinced this would help me be a better fat burner, a key quality for ultra work. This wasnt just a willpower exercise but I would go and sit in a doughnut shop and have just water,letting the smell of the doughnuts surround me. Yeah I know I'm nuts, but it worked well. Just being able to overcome that increased my inner strength and willpower tremendously. Pro Bodybuilder Scott Wilson could get almost as much satisfaction from just smelling a food he wanted when he was dieting as he did eating it.Well, almost. But he never broke his diet.
It could be something as simple as leaving some food on the plate when you want to devour everything and get doubles.Or doing the pre/rehab you know you need to do but aren't that interested in doing.Pick something. Anything. Then make it happen. Will it to happen.
And see how much easier it is the next time. Life is hard; tough is good.
Train your Will like you train your favorite muscle or exercise and see how much stronger everything gets. Go ahead , I dare you.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Max VO2 PR

Wow. Now I know what the Max in Max Vo2 stands for.Hit an easy 200 BPM HR today after finishing up 50 sets of snatches; 20 sets of 7 and 30 sets of 8. Old PR was 25 and 25.After blowing through that today I can't even imagine what 50 straight sets of 8 reps will feel like.Yeah I can. Horrible.Pain. For 25 straight minutes. I can wait a bit to get to that level :))
Got off work early today so I got to train early for a change and went solo as well.Joe is resting up for the Beast Challenge and I wanted to venture into this territory by myself anyway.
Wednesday is usually max vo2 snatch day but I am supposed to be tapering and had planned Wednesday as a Z/Stretch day so I thought I would do some more 'cardio' today.It was the right thing to do and I thought I should just ride this peak just a bit more. Didnt want to do heavy slow snatches today so some speed work was in order.
Rested well yesterday, slept and ate well and knew it was time to go. I hate to taper.Especially when things are going right and you feel strong and fit. You just want to do more, not less.But I have to remember not to be greedy. Very important to never forget that.

The first 20 sets were very easy and I was finishing the seven with 2 seconds to spare. A good sign. Usually the first sets of 7 eat up the whole time frame.The first ten sets of 8 were strong and fast and I actually finished ahead of time a few sets as well but I could really feel the uptick on the heart and lungs and knew it was going to be a LONG 20 more sets. I was wishing I had asked Tracy to push me through the end like I had thought about doing. Sets 30-40 were pretty brutal and a bit sloppy as wiping my face,trying to get some chalk or water really pushed me hard and it didnt feel like much rest at all
But then Tracy magically appeared,thank God, and kicked my ass for the next 10 sets . She really helped get me through the torture, challenging me perfectly as any good training partner would.Did the last 2 sets back to back.Just wanted it over,lol. 200+ HR is fast.Came down to 110 within a minute and a half or so so thats good too.

Max Vo2 snatch 15:15
x 20sets of 7
x30 sets of 8
50 total sets
140 reps @ 5040 lbs

240 reps@ 8640 lbs
380 reps@ 13,680 lbs!!

Wow, thats a lot of snatches and a lot of tonnage. Excellent.glad I don't think about those numbers til AFTER the workout,lol.

ten minute break then:

Two CB rockits
15'sx4x25 reps

these were just what I needed to load the quads a bit and take some pressure off the tightening hammies, as well as traction the elbows and get some tension into the triceps.

Rack walk
16kg x1200 feet
switch hands every 200 feet.

this was harder on my arms then the legs for a change. I good sign.

BW 163.4
BF 9.1%
Water 60.2%

definitely have been easy on the diet; not fasting as long, eating more grains and desserts and generally not worrying about letting the weight or the bodyfat go up a bit.If I don't break the fast with my veggie/protein stir fry it doesnt go as well. Shit, I'm freeezing most of the time being so skinny so it's hard to motivate myself not to eat.! and it's been cold, real cold for us thin blooded californians, for months.
But now the sun is back, at least for awhile I won't need so many calories to warm me up.Just a reptile it seems, not a fish.

datsit. out to the sun for more z and rifga stretches.This weekend should be AmAzing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great article on posture, pain and length tension relationships

Found a great new website that had this article on Perfect posture, pain syndromes and the effect of length tension relationships on both. .The website link is below.
The lead sentence to the article says it all;
No therapeutic approach to pain management is
satisfactory until body posture is generally

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Ah yes, the peak.

I remember this.When normally heavy weight feels light and high loads feel easy.
Nice of it to show itself on cue.The cert is next weekend and I treat it like a three day endurance competition.Yet I rembember very clearly when just getting through the airport and to the cert made me cringe knowing how much it was going to hurt to walk that much. Being on my feet for a full day was a feat of strength endurance for me, given the state of my knee and back.Much less three.
And each time I did more kettlebell training and each cert got easier.It's never going to be painfree, not with this knee but it's better only by 1000% or so.And now I know how to get myself unlocked when things 'fall out' as they tend to do.
So todays swing session with the 24 kg was a great suprise when the bell felt light and the semi hi rep sets felt downright easy. Even with solid acceleration on each rep.Nice.....
More walking and standing this week as I back off even more.Thinking about doing Max Vo2 on Monday and just doing Z and stretching on wednesday. More rest is good even though I HATE backing off :))
It was great to do ladders again, haven't done them in ages.Have to put them back in.

One Arm Swings Ladders

two times through these =360 reps
four times through this= 120 reps
480 total reps(76% of pr)
25,440 lbs

very strong and solid.

CB Mill
10lbsx 20/20

For some reason these have been calling my name. The key is to do them after a kb move and to use the ten pounder.Then it becomes a mobility/ stability/endurance exercise and not so much a strength endurance move.With the lower load I can focus on the higher reps with less stress.At least given my current level of conditioning with it.

Two hand arm cast
25lbsx10x6 sets

These rock! So much good stretching of the long head of the triceps. good work .

Datsit! Finally a sunny day. Its 60 something degrees, clean and sunny and I feel defrosted for the first time in ages.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Best Squat

1997 APF Masters Nationals

BW 190

Age 40

1st 545

2nd 573

3rd 601 X

This was the first time I had ever used a monolift and got tangled up in it trying to walk out my opener.Helicoptering with 545 is not fun. THe above photo is my second attempt 573 and this was ,without a doubt, the best squat I had ever done; both in tonnage and technique. It FLEW up and I smiled on the way up.It gave me the confidence to go for my all time goal of 600 pounds on my third attempt.It was good setup and a good drive but I got stopped 3/4 of the way up. I didnt know it would be the last time I would get to attempt 600; had I known that I would have made the damn lift, lol!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Max Vo2 40 sets of 7s and 8s.

Fawn ,Steve and Mauras competition last weekend has got me all misty for my glory days. This is one of my favorite photos of me, as well as my pr deadlift.I love powerlifting, theres nothing like it.

Had a feeling this would be pretty easy today and it was, albeit still grueling.Just was easier to handle the gruel (!)even when I stepped up the pace to 8 reps per cycle.Just have to be warmed up and I'm fine; I can speed. But not til then and sometimes it takes forever to get warm. This is how I was on the bike or running.It took me an hour of low intensity cycling before I could 'find my legs' and climb hills or sprint well.I didnt like it but there it was.
Same thing here. Once I'm warm I can swing or snatch fast but it takes its own sweet time.

Max Vo2 Snatches 15:15
16 kg
20 sets 7 reps per 15/140 reps/5040 lbs
20 sets 8 reps per 15/160 reps/5760 lbs
300 reps
10,800 lbs/20 minutes
Max HR 180( this is the lowest it has been with this protocol,especially with 8's)

This was the most casual I have ever approached this workload. Joe was hitting some heavy lifts with the Beast and I was not totally focused on my performance.But I could just check the clock, set up and bang out the next set pretty strongly even if I was short on time.Wasnt long ago I dared not move at all if I wanted my hr to recover enough for the next set!

One Arm Shield Cast
15lb CBx

These were great. Very strong.

CB Hammer swing
15lbsx10/10x3 sets

Didnt think I would do these again as the high rep sets I did before got my back to waking up but I think for intermittent, low reps they will be beneficial. Great groove on these.

Rack Walks
16kgx1200 ft switch hands every 200 feet.

Man I finally didnt puss out on these and get them in ! About time :((
It went very well for the legs and the cardio but my arms were pretty cooked. Knee tracked as well as every in these.

BW 162.4
Water 60.5%
Waking HR 52!!!! This is staying low. Man the vo2 training is definitely paying off! I havent taken this for months. It got below 50 (bradycardia) a few times back then but hasnt since. I'll take this.

Got the cert weekend after this so this saturday will be a start of a taper. swing the 24 kg and not go for any prs. Same with Monday.24 kg snatches but low volume and off on wednesday except for lots of Z and Rifga stretching. Lots of stretching.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Paused Snatches

Got to use the 20kg today for snatches and decided to do the reps with a two second pause overhead for each rep. I haven't done snatch holds or pauses for awhile and doing mostly fast reps with the Vo2 work doesnt encourage great overhead positions . This would be interesting.I love the 20 kg.It is the perfect weight for me to play with technique and I have good endurance with it. The 24kg still requires a lot more focus for me not to pull with my arms when I get tired and rip something off.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found I not only maintained my overhead position with my tight right shoulder but it was greatly improved. In fact, in was the best overhead position I beleive I have hit with that side.The two second pauses were solid and not too uncomfortable at all. Just boring,lol :))

Snatch with two sec pause
20kgx8/8 x13 sets
208 reps
9152 pounds

Two Hand Shield cast
15lbsx20x8 sets

purposely stayed away from the 25lber today.Want to give the elbows and wrists a break. The 15 was very fluid and I got some good momentum going. The high reps were good as well

Two CB Rockits
15lbersx 45 sec x 4 sets

This worked perfectly for a finisher. I didnt want to count reps here as it's a two part movment and its hard to keep track.45 sec was hard but not too bad.I want to build up slowly on this one and make sure I stay mainly on the left leg.Not going up in weight will help keep this in check.It is also a great distraction movement for my elbows and wrists and a linking/connecting move to the scapula.

bw 163.4!
bf 8.8%

wow, havent weighed this much in a long time.feel solid but I have to watch it. I need sun and some freaking hot weather.:((((((


Saturday, February 02, 2008

32 kg Swing PR

I was suprised I eked this one out today as it took me forever to get my body warmed up and my head into it.The good news is that by the halfway point I was actually starting to feel better and had some desire to not just do the 300 reps I had planned but make a run for a pr. Today was one of those days the two pood just felt heavy in my hand. Don't like that much.Did a lot of demostrating yesterday and I could feel it a bit.

One arm swing

32kgx10/10x 18 sets
360 reps Pr ( by 20 reps)
25,920 lbs

It definitely crossed my mind to just keep going and hit 400 but then I realized I was being greedy and I had started today sore and beat. I decided to be mature and take the small pr. Beside. this way the next time I don't have to do 420 to get a record :))
Small, steady, constant improvement is the key.

One arm CB cast

That 25lber is tough! Especially the jump from the 15.The second sets were better when the shoulder opened up a bit.

One CB torch press
25x 1! left
x 3/4 right
Just wanted to see if I could do it. I couldnt keep my elbow externally rotated all the way on the right shoulder so I couldnt lock it out but it was close. Man that is tough balance.way hard on the wrist and grip too.

Two CB Torch swings
(2) 15s x 10x 2

I think light(10lbs) mills would be better here at this point. Next week.
Actually feel much better now that I've trained and loosened up. Some Z and floor poses later and some real rest tomorrow!

Datsit,staying loose.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Back in the rack.

Before I started doing Z drills I spent alot of time hanging and stretching in the power rack.Decompression hangs from the chin bar in the middle of my simmons power rack really worked great for opening up my tight anterior chain(hip flexors,trunk flexors(abs), obliques, shoulder,arm and wrist flexors.I would hang with both arms overgrip, both arms undergrip and one arm at at time. In all possible angles of supination or prontation.The height of the rack is crucial as it fit me so that when my back was fully stretched out correctly my heels were flat on the floor when my arms were perfectly overhead.

I would start off with my heels 1-2 inches off the floor and slowly the abs, lats and pecs as well as the lumbar spine would open up and I could stand comfortably.I did these daily for the last few years. Helped amazingly.

But with all standing drills with z and the great increases in mobility and shoulder flexion while standing I havent felt the need to stretch out much overhead.The floor poses took care of the abs tightness .

And just as I realized that I did need to get on the floor and continue working on increasing my flexibility as well as my mobility I also just got that I still need to hang some and work the pressing pattern with the stick slides. Not as much,just like I dont need as much floor or foam roller work, but still need to do it.Just like the floor,...

I was amazed at how tight my abs, thoracic spine and lats were when I just did some hangs. I could really see the myofascial winding in my torso and the hanging really gets that to open up and square off.takes a ton of pressure off everything.I can't beleive I used to swing around bars like this. crazy.

And my legs are pretty sore form all the loading of late as well as being on my feet;the foam roller opened that up fast.Especially the rectus femoris which I had neglected to realize so long IS a hip flexor as well as a knee extensors, and, as such, is prone to getting short and staying that way.The foam roller is perfect for this type of muscle.
Using the rifga poses, the z drills, rollers ,decompression hangs, working the squat pattern for flexiblity,the press patterns for shoulder stability and maintaining more looseness than tension in the body are the key components of my pre/rehab needs.Add in the greatest vibration massager , the G5, and I can stay on top of my active recovery as much as I know how.
Everything needs to be worked on regularly. How much each aspect needs will vary regularly. Just like training strengths and weaknesses ebb and flow and need to be regulated I need to keep in touch with all the things that got me this far in the first place.