Monday, March 31, 2008

SSST training

Decided that since the next level in my snatch goal is more five and ten minute snatch tests I better get used to doing longer sets.Monday's are supposed to be for SSST training, so now that I have some better wind and lungs and my techniques feel solid time to get to it.

20 kgx 10/10/10/5/5 50 reps 3 min 10 sec
x 10/10/10/10/5/5 50 reps 3 min 12 sec
x 10/10/10/10/5/5 50 reps 3 min 25 sec
x20/20/5/5 50 reps 3 min 10 sec
200 reps
8800 pounds

These went great! Wind was fine, grip was fine, pace was fine, it was strong! Pace was a bit slow but the goal was time and total reps.Since one of my goals, beside 100 reps with the 24kg, is to go 5 minutes straight as well I need to train the distance first,then increase the pace.

CB Swipes
10's x8/8x2
15 lbs x110 reps PR!

This was great. I didnt know if I would feel strong enough to get a pr but I wanted to try. One 5 sec stop about halfway through to tear off some tape that was causing slippage. Not perfect but I'm counting it!I left the wrist anchor on and it was messing with my grip the rest of the way as well. Forearms were seriously, seriously pumped for 5 minutes after!

One arm shield cast
25x5/5x2 PR!!!!

this was totally unexpected! I've done a few arm casts with the 25 but hadn't thought myself ready for behind the back circular moves yet.First set used a 3/8 choke and the second set 1/3. Not bad at all! very pleased. It was solid.I mentioned saturday to Nick that for the first time ever when I pick up the 25 I am not shocked at how heavy it felt.It was a sign. Good.

BW 161
BF 8.8
Water 60.3% I love spring and summer in Cali.

datsit! It' so good to feel good again :))

Sunday, March 30, 2008

My wife kicks ass.

When Tracy gets something in her head she tends not to let go of it and after seeing Fawn snatch the 24 kg yesterday that's all she's been talking about.I thought she meant some time in the distant future as I knew she could snatch it, but she's barely three months out of surgery, she hasnt snatched the 20 since before the surgery and just the other day she was saying the 16 kg felt heavy.
She meant today.

SO, after a five minute, continuous set of 100 snatches with the 12 kg, then a 50 rep set of snatches with the 16 kg, then 20 rep set with the 20 kg, she goes and nails three reps each with the 24 kg! No problem.Unfreaking real. I know exactly how heavy that can be for me! I would have to snatch the Beast to do the equivilant. Here's the video. I had to force her to NOT do another set with the 24kg just not to tempt fate.So instead she did another set of 50 with the 16 kg before another set with the 20kg and then finished off with a million or so light snatches with the 16kg.
Just freaking crazy.

Tracy snatching the 24 kg for triples.

Down set with the 20 kg

I am humbled.

Decisions, decisions.

There will be a new car in front of the Rifstonian Institute in the coming year, and for the last year or so I was convinced it would be the Classic Mustang:

BUT I just saw this:
the 2009 Dodge Challenger.Didn't care much for the Dodge Charger but this is a whole 'nother thing.

Wow, this is going to be a very tough decision. It won't be for awhile but the test driving should be fun!

It doesn't get better than this.

Kirk is the prototypical perfect powerlifter; a human version of a monster truck/T Rex hybrid.Enjoy the Mastery under the pressure of a World Championship and about as serious a weight as a human can engage.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

32 kg One Arm swings.

Just in time for some backing off on the workload.It's been a good two weeks with lots of prs but that just means I have step back or risk falling off.Havent swung the 32 for three weeks so it was time but I new I needed to step back on the volume and switch things up a bit.SO instead of just one arm swing workout I threw in some transfers to up the volume as well. I know, I'm just crazy like that with all that variety but that's just how I roll,lol :)

One arm swings

32kgx5/5/5/5x10 sets
200 reps
14,400 lbs

32 kg x20 repsx5 sets
100 reps
7200 lbs

total reps 300
total load 21,400 lbs

Pretty interesting to me that 200 swings was just as much total load lifted as my 50 sets of snatches with half the weight on Wednesday.

CB Mills
15lbs x 10/10

These went very well and felt almost light for the first time.Have to really make sure to get armlock as I travel through the bottom of the arc or I get a nice little ulnar nerve 'twang' to remind me.

gama casts/flag press
25lbs x20/10x 4 sets

love these.

datsit, I'm out.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Taping the hands for gymnastics

Young Rif, circa 1975, fresh off my knee surgery.Pommels look very similar to kb handles eh?

Let me assure you that nothing tears up your hands as does swinging around high bars, still rings, parallel bars and pommel horses for hours each day, day in and day out.gymnastics is hands down( pun intended) the toughest sport on your hands that I have ever heard of.Each event tears or grinds the skin in it's own unique and sadistic way.
The pommell horse forces you to spin your entire body around on the heel of the hand as you are similtaneously pushing down hard for support as well as constantly regripping. So you get tearing and grinding at the same time.Side horse callus is basicially a thick pad on the entire base of the heel of the hand.It gets very thick.I tore the entire thing off my right hand one day doing P bars. came off in one big chunk.Didnt hurt for some reason but it was ugly.It had to be at least a quarter inch thick.
Calluses from the rings really cover the entire hand. Not as much as highbar, which also gets the fingers badly, but almost.Similar to the wear from hardstyle snatches,straight across the hand where the fingers meet the palm.
Lots of wear and tear on the index finger and the metacarpal area underneath to. The thumb gets a nice pad too from swings, giants and dislocates on rings as well as the pinky area. ALways interesting tears from rings.
Parallel bars , as I said about it's effect on my pommell horse callus, really works the whole palm and the big ranges of motion ,and changes in elevation that occur( peach basket anyone?)can challenge the most properly prepared hand and skin.The tears are usually big and cover an lots of area as well as depth. They heal very slowly.P bars is also famous for pushing the areas that other events create past their breaking point.
Horizontal bar, or hi bar as it's mostly known by, is the true hand destroyer though.All that torque and the huge grip requirements as well as the constant movement and rotation of the bar through the hands can get them smoking like NOTHING else can. Imagine sliding down a metal firemans bar while holding on tightly ove rand overand you can get a glimpse of the friction. Nasty, nasty pain and it can take LOTS of callus off in one fell swoope if you do things wrong.

Swinging hi bar, when your hands are tore up( which is almost always until you really learn how to swing- another story) can be very counter-intuitive. Part of you wants desparately to hold onto the bar and not go swinging into space and trys to grip tightly and the other part, the part that really is in pain, tries to grip the bar as lightly as possible and as little as necesary.Sometimes you rip off and sometimes you don't . Gymnastics is a fun sport.

With this kind of daily hand stress, hand care,taping and grip techniques become a major part of a gymnastics life and body of knowledge. The only thing I had on my hands more often than tape was chalk.
So although I like the sock sleeve my wife Tracy came up with, and use it occasionally, I much prefer to tape my hands like I did in gymnastics when I have a tear or I feel one coming on. Or, when I know I have a high volume workout to do and don't want to risk tearing a callus.The sock sleeve ,even though very thin, makes the grip more difficult and I have small, thick hands as it is. I don't need any more grip challenge, thank you. So the tape works better for me.
Here is a blog post I put up about how to tape the hands correctly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


It's not just great that I met my snatching goal in the max vo2 protocol but that today, 24 hours after, I feel just fine.No immobile ankles, or twisting back or locked up shoulder.For years any kind of intense effort would invariably lead to serious back, knee or shoulder issues and pain and I would be spending innumerable hours on the foam roller, with the thumper on the floor stretching and trying not to eat too many alleves. Hell, it wasnt too long ago I was on 50 mg a day of Vioxx for my knee!I almost cried when they took it off the market; I thought my knee replacement was now imminent.
Of course what I consider a good knee or shoulder day most would consider a pretty messed up day,lol! It's all very relative.
I could easily train again today and that is unbelievable to me and an incredible testimony to the therapeutic and joint stabilizing effects of kettlebell training.Not to mention the therapeutic pre/rehab modalities I have incorporated into my routine and practice religiously nearly every day.
I remember very well being so locked up for so long and spending hours every day doing rehab, trying hard to get my body to unwind the tension settle into 'neutral'. It is getting closer every day and I can't tell you how great that feels.Having not had that for as long as I can remember it is very exciting prospect.

So now I have to plan the next goals; these immediately came to mind

1) 24 kg 5 min SSST 100 reps(1st test was 80)
2) 20 kg 10 min SSST : goal= 200 reps
3) 20 kg 5 min SSST: goal=120( 1st test was 100)

I have never tried a ten minute test and previously it scared me silly.Now, I know I can do it. I can be out of breath snatching for 25 minutes and keep a good power output; ten minutes should be doable for sure.
Not sure when I am going to do these but it's now on the board as the next target(s).

Going to go with the alternation of three snatch vo2 protocols; I know the inclusion of the 36:36 will really up the lactic acid buffering and pain tolerance that I have been avoiding ;)

week one 15:15 with 16 kg cycle 35-50 sets of 8
week two 36:36 with 16 kg cycle 14, 15, 16 reps per work bout and 15-20 sets
week three 15:15 with 20 kg cycle 5,6 reps per work bout. sets tbd.

datsit.It' so good to be able to train hard again, not to mention test myself on occasion.This is great.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


I have never been the most talented, or the fastest learner,but what I lack in innate ability I make up for with sheer determination.It is my strongest attribute and I cherish it like the gift that it is . I also try to hone it to a fine edge. I never take it for granted or expect it to be there if I dont take it out and move it around, challenge it to get stronger, better.
It really doesnt matter whether I am applying it to a goal of an Elite rating in powerlifting or to be able to walk again without pain;its not the size of the goal but that there is a goal.And the steps that have to be taken ARE taken and not skipped. Solid long term progressions can be tedious and frustrating and are uually accompanied by as many stumbles and missteps as correct moves.
But the only way to fail is to quit and I don't have a lot of quit in me.
The next day after a meet, or a PR , win lose or draw it's back to the gym so training is always the key.
Ever since Kenneth Jay unveiled his Max VO2 protocol at the Level 2 RKC last June I was in awe of the workload and the intensity it created. When he said the goal was 50 sets of 8 reps per 15second work bout and I was dying just to get 50 sets of 6( with a 190+ HR) I knew it was long road to hoe.I never thought my shoulder, or my lungs, would be able to handle this many snatches on a regular basis, even with only a 16 kg. But they have and 9 months later, after chasing this unreal( for me) PR for many, many snatch cycles today it was MINE!
And, as all good PR's should be, not that hard. That just meant I was actually ready to accomplish it.
By all rights its should have been a down week, as I hit 50 sets and an 8 reps/set pr last week but I knew it was the right thing to do.I was itching to do it, something that hasnt happened in a LONG time.Iused to feel that way,when things were good, before taking a heavy weight and I knew it meant I would make it.Anxious to get in and get it done;as opposed to the dread and the self flaggelation that is usually necessary to get me doing these days.
When it's right it's right and when you are in shape things get easy. Been awhile since I've been here, nice view, think I'll stay.

Snatch VO2 15:15
16 kgx 8 reps x 50 sets PR!!!
400 reps
14,400 lbs
25 minutes

NIICE! t his went so well and the first 8 sets or so I was finishing 8 reps in about 12 seconds! crazy.I settled in and was getting 8 reps right at 14 or so seconds for the first 25 sets and then the pace slowed a bit and was gettingin right under 15 sec. occasionally I would go 16 and would pay dearly as I started the next set right on time. Wind was great and HR was about 170-18- for most of the sets.It would have been 190 plusnot a short time ago.

And another discovery: as Andrew Durniat said at the Level 2 cert last June when max Vo2 was unveiled: " when you go this fast, you have to do it hardstyle".I realized that and used the false grip but everything else was SOP hardstyle technique. Had to throw the bell down to get enough speed to get the 8 reps.I tried to touch the handle as little as necessary on each rep; snap the hips, flip the bell ,push the bell down and get up again.Fast is great.Trying to go as fast as possible has taught me so much about efficiency and how to create as much power as possible in the shortest ROM.

here's the last 3 sets

2 Arm Shield Cast
15 lb CB x10/10x3 sets
25 lb CB x8/8x3 sets

these were good but I was done.No rack walks today, not in the mood for any more masochism.

Monday, March 24, 2008

200 Snatches 200 Swipes

Double PR day today. first time hitting 200 snatches with the 24 kg and 200 one arm swipes with the 15 lb cb.I just looked back through my records and do believe this is the first time I've done them in one session. No fast time at all, just me pacing myself and getting about 1.5 minutes rest between sets but it was solid. very happy.The swipes were done continously for 10 min 20 sec.


24kgx10/10x10 sets
200 reps PR
10,600 lbs!

these went very. very well although it was not a 'strong' day. The technique was a hybrid, with the false grip and a bit of a corkscrew but not much.I abandoned the head leading the descent to the hip as per David Whitleys advice. worked great.much more solid this way.Hands held up fine and all reps had a distinct pause at the lockout.Overhead is definitely a rest position now; Finally.Joe was out so this was solo. Pace was steady but not fast. First priority was getting all 10 sets in, not doing them quickly.

One CB Swipe 15 lbs
200 reps switching every 20 reps PR

10:20 continuous.

These went great and are much easier than doubles. way easier.Never tested this exercise yet so it is a baseline PR. Way cool that I went 10 minutes straight too. No problem; gym boss went off each minute.
The first two minutes I was averaging 18 reps /min but that fell off to 16/min then to 15 at the end. I wasn't watching the timer or I would have brought it in under 10 minutes.
have to get a record with the 25 lber on this one. That will be fun

One arm Shield cast
10lbs x8/8x7 sets continuous
112 reps

shoulders/arms were a bit tired and pumped here but this was a good light mobility/stretch out.

BW 161.6
BF 8.2%
Water 61.3%

BF reading was lowest all winter. Spring is definitely here and the warmth is doing me very well.Definitely eat less, and much lighter when I'm warm :))


Saturday, March 22, 2008

One arm swings and Mill PR

After all the crazy ass numbers Tracy and others have been putting up I'm a bit embarassed to post such lowly swing numbers but it is what it is :))
Wasn't ready for the 32 kg and did the 24 kg last week so I split the difference and went with the 28kg.Heavy enough to pay attention.
I've been snatching so much it's easy to forget just how much work the basic swing is; and how much more muscle tension is involved. It's that very fact that makes it not effective for max vo2 training; you need the relaxed phase of the snatch as it travels overhead to stress the heart in the right way.The swing has none of that and is just pure work, plain and simple,especially if you don't switch forms as you fatigue.Plus it works my hips and legs so much more than the snatch and without being able to squat, they get weak fast.So more swings it is. In fact, I think I need to add some more swings in mid week, perhaps wednesday and some transfers, after snatch vo2.

One Arm Swing
16kgx5/5 x3

28kgx10/10x 16 sets
32o reps
20,160 lbs
80% of pr

Not a bad effort at all,and I really warmed up and got into the hips after 5 sets.Most swings were chin height too.There was a three man rotation so the rest periods were 2 minutes or so.

10lbs x 110/110 PR!
8 minutes continuous

These went great and I just went right into them with no warmup.These felt very strong considering I did them after swings and when I set the other PR it was the first move.Last weeks 55/55/ with the 15 set me up well.

Gama Cast/ Flag press
15 lb CBx20/10x 4 sets
25 lb cb x20/10x4 sets

SOlid! I love this move and the flags at the end were a great addition. Elbow lock is the best it's ever been.

datsit. More Z in the sun in about a half hour.

BW 161.2
BF 9.7%
water 60.1%

1000 snatches in 47 minutes.

This just can't be posted enough. My incredible wife just decided to take up Britt Buckinghams 'idea' of doing 1000 snatches in an hour with the 12 kg and no specific preparation and after an incredible three weeks of high rep swing workouts that defy description. She truly is the energizer bunny of kettlebells: she just keeps going , and going....

Her first set was 5oo snatches in 21 minutes without putting the bell down, and then she finished the workout only putting the bell down one more time.Just staying in one place for that long would be tough enough, much less snatching that much at the same time.Her pace would have netted her 1200 plus swings if she had gone for the full 60 minutes.
Here is a list of her top workouts the last three weeks,NOT counting her other training!

3/20 800 swings in 30 min( after 350+ snatches)
3/12 1010 swings in 30 min
3/10 1400 swings in 60 min
3/4 1500 swings in 60 min
2/29 1000 24 kg swings 60 min

here's some video

Check out her blog for the details

PLUSA Top 100 List.

Thumbing through the latest issue of PLUSA and having just spoke with Brett Jone's about the Top 100 list for the 181 lb weight class I was more than pleased to see some of my best 181 lb lifts still in the mix even after all these years off the platform.Of course they weren't listed but the numbers I did would still put me in good stead.
I was dissapointed to see my 545 squat just miss the top 100 but 5 pounds( 551 was 100) but my 435 bench made it up to 80th or so.Now I wish I had enjoyed what little talent I had in that lift more and taken it's pursuit more seriously. My deadlift also missed the top by the same amount as my squat ( 545 best, 550 to make the list) but my total,1485, would be at 60th position, which has moved up the list!
I can't wait to see what they are on the Masters Top 100 list. They should be pretty high up in the rankings I would suppose.Ah, the crumbs that I am left to feed on in my dotage,lol! I still miss being able to powerlift and love to follow the sport and help others obtain their PL goals.
Here is a great video of how to really "shove" the bench press up by my friend Scott Cartwright. Note the elbow position throughout the lift and how he doesn't "press" the weight up but "shoves" it lockout. Chain work is SO critical for accomodating resistance and teaching one to accelerate properly,especially on the bench and squat.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Snatch VO2 progession.

After the great snatch vo2 workout yesterday and the realization that my goal, 50 sets of 8 reps, is at hand I've been thinking on how to go to the next level.Certainly doing the 20 kg bell for lower reps and building up to 8's is one part of the plan. Another would be going back and revisiting the 36:36 sec protocol that kicked my grips ass last( the one time) I did it.

Now that I can use the false grip and the corkscrew to save my grip I think this might go very well.


What I think the plan will be is this

rotate three different max vo2 workouts

a) 15:15 with the 16 kg

b) 36:36 with the 16 kg

c) 15:15 with the 20 kg

This will bring an entirely different set of loading to the effort each week,although still staying within the parameters necessary to increase my CV ability even more.Kind of like rotating max effort exercises. Excellent!

Plus it will help the dread I will have at having to do 40-50 sets of 8 each time,lol! Plus I need some more stimulation as the current loading is no longer getting my Heartrate to the proper level anymore. This is the key component of the Snatch VO2 protocol, if one is doing it to increase CV ability.
If training is hard, then one can progress, which is fun. Training for fun rarely is as it usually goes nowhere.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Snatch VO2 50 set Pr

This workout has fundamentally changed for me now.It used to be a HUGE cardiovascular deal for me with heartrates regularly in the high 180s, sometime in the 190s and I've hit 200+ a couple times as well.With 7 reps/bout I would get in the 160s-170s and 8s were sure to bump that up to 180 plus but now these last few workouts, even this pr work only garnered mid 160's. Respiration is much improved as well. Way cool.
I stopped at 50 sets as per the plan but thought seriously about just going to 60 sets and getting my 50 set pr today. I stuck with the plan and it's cool.I will get 50 sets of 8, and now I am ready to start thinking of training this protocol with the 20 kg ( for lower reps of course).
Hard day today with many one time new clients and that is always harder,energy wise.
than your regulars.
Used the false grip and corkscrew descent and found that although it makes the snatch stroke shorter it also makes the descent slower, which makes getting all 8 in 15 tougher.I actively 'spun' it down and that helped. Lots to play with with this new technique.
When I got behind on the count I went over the top to pick up the speed.With the false grip position even over the top goes around the corner and I'm not sure if that slows things down as well. Something to play with.
I am SO greatful that I can train the snatch at all,much less twice a week relatively hard and for decent volume. It was NOT that long ago that I had to give up all overhead work to focus on really healing my shoulder and put getting my ROM at the top of the priority list.All I did was swing and overhead holds and that kicked my ass good too. But snatching is the best. Fluid and vicious indeed.

Took the technique video first with the 20 kg

Snatch VO2 15:15
16 kg
10 sets of 7 70 reps
40 sets of 8 320 reps PR for most sets of 8 in a 50 rep performance, lol.
390 snatches
14,040 lbs

man this was solid. I had no problem holding the 8 rep pace even with just ten 'warmup' sets.snatching the 20 kg first helped a lot I think.Wind was the best ever and mental clarity as well. it just isnt as hard as it was, which was the goal. Now I have to step it up a bit to make the next jump in ability.Perhaps one week lower reps with the 20 kg and the next faster hi reps with the 16.we'll see.
It was also great to have Tracy join me in my little workout,which she seems to have done as her warmup. Always good to be able to train with the Swing Queen,although I know if she is there the pace will be brutal!
technique got a little "confused" at time when I went back and forth between the various permutations of grip, descent technques and speeds.

Rack Walk
16kgx2000 feet PR switch hands every 200 feet.

man this was tough on my arms and shoulders, not my legs. HR was higher than on thesnatch vo2 as my arms were giving out,lol.

Two Handed Shield Cast
15x8/8 x 2

this also was tough as my arms and shoulders were cooked! Got it done though.

Z drills and rifga floor work. Didnt get enough z drills in today; have to remedy that now.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Now THIS is a website! Jackal's Gym

Gale Gillingham -Green Bay Packers
Big Brad Gillingham's Website for his gym- Jackal's Gym. Way cool video intro. Brad is a great guy and way strong. He's pulled over 800 over 40 times IN COMPETITION. Old school Real Deal. Plus, his Dad is Green Bay Packer All Time Great Guard Gale Gillingham of the Lombardi Packers.And still freaky strong after all these years.

Snatch practice.

More snatch work today, this time with the 20 kg.Been demonstrating a lot at work so I have had even more time to hone the false grip and the new teshnik.I can't beleive how much longer I can remain upright and in balance on the descent.It feels like the descent on my clean which stays very close to my body and nullifies the length of my arms a bit.Everything feels even more linked up. groovy.the amount of downward acceleration that is reduced this way is incredible. It makes it even more clear to me that it's not technique per se that determines force output but the speed and power pushed through any individual technique that makes the difference.
It's like that with the clubs as well. I can use the tens and coast through 300 reps and stay in a steady state energy wise or I can sprint with the 15s and get 100 if I'm lucky.The main difference is the easing of grip stress, which is crucial for my shoulders.If they get too fatigued, or have too much tension in the forearm flexors my elbows, then my shoulders, get pulled out of neutral. Pure and simple.


20kgx11/11x8 sets
x 12/12x1 set
200 reps
8800 lbs

Two CB Swipes
15'sx20x4 sets
1x40 reps
100 reps

The 40 rep set was actually easier than the preceding sets of 20's with rest. Put on Space Lord from Monster Magnet and let it rip!lol.

One Arm Shield Cast
80 continuous reps , change grip every 8 .

Love these, my arms are coming back.

Can really feel the difference getting the CB volume back up where it was. As my KB work levels go up, so should my CB work; it's the antagonist and the ratio needs to stay in balance.Need to get back to setting PR's in the clubs as well.It will always be harder not being primary exercise but that's no excuse not to improve.

Lots of Z drills all through my 6 hours of clients. The more Z I do the better I move and feel.Plain and simple as well.

bw 162.6
bf 9.7%
water 60.3

ate up yesterday ,lol


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Swing day.

I've been having so much fun with this new hand position in the snatch that I really wanted to snatch again today but I know I have to keep my swing work up:it's the base of everything.
Back to the 24 kg today but I wanted to up the reps per set, this keeps the force output a little lower and thats what I need as I ramp back up after last weeks 32 kg PR.

warmup: 10 minutes Z drills

One Arm swings
20kgx5/5 + 5 transfers

24 kg x10/10+10 transfers
13 sets
400 reps
12,200 lbs
Did an extra ten reps on the last set of transfers to make an even 400 reps.

These felt great and the 24 kg continues to feel light. It's been a long time since that weight has felt 'light'. Very good. Wind was also very good for all the 30 rep sets and the last set of 40 was easy too.All the speed work is paying off :))
16kg x 2 min /arm x 2 sets
Just wanted to play around with hand position and my overhead postition.Slow pace but I didnt count.

Clubbell Mills
10 lbs x15/15
15 lbs x55/55 PR!!!

wow, this was great and came out of nowhere. I am back to doing these regularly and have been using the tens so I thought I would do something with the 15s. Once I got started I realized I could break the PR so I just went for it. About 25 reps/minute pace and total time was 4:20 something.
The last 15 were really HARD though, lol, and my grip was getting its ass kicked. Very tough to finish and I probably didnt have 2 more reps in me.

Gama Casts( like a two handed, standing pullover)
15lbs x10/10
25lbs x 8/8

these felt great! Pumped my arms and shoulders really well with lots of tricep work too. excellent! This group of exercises on saturday is working very well. perfect compliments to each other without tapping into the fatigue from the previous movement.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I knew I liked Mamet for a reason

Great article on his conversion from liberal to conservative.

"When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?"

John Maynard Keynes.

Sleep is good.

Monster Magnet CD just arrived. Finally some new music!Metallica Enter Sandman is back as well!

And sleep is strong. Finally got back on track last night and what a difference it made in the gym. Finally catching up from the last week. Not sleeping could kill you(me).
Had Snatch vo2 to do today and needed 45 sets of hopefully more sets of 8 than last time.My problem with doing my goal of 50 sets of 8 is that I will have to get fit enough to do 60 sets because I need at least 10 sets of warmup before I can 'go fast' enough to get 8 in 15 seconds with good form. I probably will do 10 sets of 7/7 then rest 5 minutes and THEN go right to 50 sets of 8. That sounds like a plan.
Anyway, onto today:

Snatch VO2 15:15
16 kg
15 sets of 7
30 sets of 8
45 sets
345 reps
12,420 lbs
22.5 min
End HR= 170

Wow, that was almost easy.The absolute best my cardio has felt since I started doing this training.No warmup at all and first 15 sets ended with time to spare and I started the next set a few seconds early. Could never do that before.30 sets of 8 is PR too and even some of these sets had time left at the end.Not much but a second or so.Basically went over the top hardstyle but really made sure to nail the false grip overhead position. That is what really makes the difference for me with my grip and keeping me more upright.Even when you go over the top it still slides to the side a bit which makes the motion smaller and faster.
You can still push it down and increase eccentric speed which is the only way to go faster.
Let it go, as Louie used to yell. Let it go. Push it down is more like it.
Keeping the bell in closer also put the arm higher in the crotch. everything is linking up so well.very pleased with my form work and with that my strength and endurance in the snatch of late.
I can really see 50 sets of 8 now and even starting to train this protocol with the 20 kg~!

Rack Walks
16 kg
1800 feet switching every 200 .This just keeps getting better. Long term goal is 3000 continuous feet.This really makes me focus on gait mechanics.

One CB Shield Cast
10 lbs x 60 reps - switch every ten
15lbs x60 reps - switch every ten

These felt great! Never did them like that, one arm after the other but it's my new style.Keeps the HR up and allows for good muscle work at the same time.movement felt great and my shoulders said yes as well.

datsit. Did LOTS of Z total, 6 times with every client. The more I do it the better I feel so there ya go.
Plenty of floor and g5 time today as well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Snatch practice


24kgx5/5x17 sets
170 reps
9010 lbs

lots of practice today with long holds at the top. playing around with the corkscrew here for the first time with the 24 kg. Wanted to get 200 reps and would have gotten it til I tore a nice chunk of skin and decided to save some for the snatch vo2 work on wednesday. Form felt very very solid.

Two CB swipes
10 lbs x 100 reps

Shield casts
15 lbs x20 reps x 4 sets

still not sleeping well and could really feel it at the end of practice, just no juice.daylight savings time didnt help either.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

One arm swing form

Got a request for some video of my swing form.the first video is from a year ago last April with sets of 8 reps/arm

this next one is from july; sets of five switched twice

and august, sets of ten

Saturday, March 08, 2008

One arm swing PR; 32 kg 400 reps.

It's been a bad week and this morning I had had little sleep,no training partners, a foul mood and needed to kick something's ass.I chose the 32 kg for one arm swings and it kicked back. I won though and got through 20 sets of 20 in 34 minutes for 400 reps and a solid one arm swing pr. Drank some Red Bull and fired it up.

One arm swings

32 kgx10/10x 20 sets
400 reps PR
34 min
28,800 lbs

this wasnt too bad for the first 200 reps but then I started picking up the pace and things up tough.I always tend to train faster when I am solo and this sometimes is not what I need. Tracy helped me out and paced me for the last 200 and that really helped.I don't know if I would have made it alone.Got it done. Wasnt planning on a pr but I had to do something to cleanse myself this morning and this was it.

10lbsx50 x 2 sets

10lbs 50/50 x2 sets

good to get back to doing these again.I just was beat by this time.

bw 159.2
bf 9.7%
water 59.5%


Gymnastics is a lot easier when you're light

This is so cute:

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Snatch VO2

graphic by Ken Black

Really didnt think I would make this one today and especially didnt think it would go so well; just goes to show what I know ;-).
Got almost no sleep last night for various and sundry reasons and was the walking dead today ;after 7 clients and no food I was wilting.Sometimes the warrior diet is harder than others but I'm so used to not eating before training it would have thrown me off anyway. I know that as long as I get started I usually feel much better after( an even during) but today I had my doubts.
ANd I didnt know how my body would snatch the bell either; whether it would want to corkscrew or stay over the top.As it turns out, a little of both was on the menu.

Snatch Vo2 16 kg 15:15
15 sets x7= 105 reps
25 sets x8= 200 reps
40 sets x15 sets=305 reps
10,980 lbs.

I went back and forth with technique today with the main change being really exaggerating the overhead hold position but letting the handle really sit deep on the heel of the hand. That in itself made the start of the descent "want" to corkscrew. It was almost automatic even though I was focusing on going over the top.SO I mixed things up a bit, experimenting with rotation, arm and bell postition relative to the body, how long I stayed upright before sitting back into the hips,etc.
What I did realize is that straight over the top is a bit faster;during the last 10 sets, the ones I corkscrewed took 16 second to finish and I ended up with a shorter rest period as a result. Oh well, the idea is to get my HR up, and that it did. Finishing HR was mid 170's. Not sleeping always jacks my resting HR up as well.

Rack Walks 16 kg
1600 continous feet
switching hands every 200 feet.

this is definitely getting easier .

One arm CB Shield Cast

good to do these harder a bit. it's been awhile and I need to get back to more intense cb work as well now.Time to get 350-400 swipes in the bag with the tens.

BW 159.6
Water 60 %

looks like I lost a little muscle. Time to eat :))


Monday, March 03, 2008

The Rif Workshop Video

Jordan did a great job putting this together. Thanks man, didnt even know you were shooting :)

Snatch revelations.

I've been watching a lot of Fedor Fuglev snatch videos lately and was wondering if my shoulder rehab has gotten to the point where I can play with the corkscrew technique on the snatch.Doing the high rep swipe and mill work has really shown me the approach one must take doing hi rep ballistic exercises of any type: do the exact amount of work needed to maintain the pace with the least amount of effort possible.
The difference in using the adjusting grip on the clubs is night and day in regards grip endurance and I believe that is probably the case with GS techniques as well. I create the shortest stroke I can with the swipe especially when I am going for the higher reps as it just doesnt make sense to do otherwise.If I want to work the muscles involved with the movement, and build strength for the next club size up then I will use a bigger stroke,more power and force for lower reps.
I got to thinking about this teaching the KB clean these last couple weekends and realized the corkscrew descent we teach in the KB Clean( we teach it in reverse- from the rack to the swing)is basically the same thing as the GS corkscrew descent, just from an overhead position.I 'knew 'this before but I just 'grokked' it.
One of my teaching points with cleans is how little one needs to grip the bell on the descent in the clean; just roll the bell around the wrist and let gravity do the work.I keep my hand open a long time, only gripping the bell in the bottom position.The same with the snatch.
I've played with this before but my right shoulder didnt really like it at all, and the HS squared up position felt much better.But the shoulder ROM of late has been the best in years so I thought I would give it another shot. At least as a warmup.
I was amazed.First, that I could do it now on my right arm,and second how much easier it is than the over the top descent. Much easier.The amount of dowward acceleration force I had to reduce was obviously less.The bell is just traveling a much shorter arc by corkscrewing it down as well as rolling the bell around the wrist on the ascent.It felt really good. I've always held the bell with the handle on the diagonal, with weight on the heel of the hand.Really exagerating that position made it just that much better.
But it was much less work per rep and definitely per set. I did 10 sets of 20 today with the 20 kg in the snatch ,startng off with the corkscrew for the first five sets and alternating HS and corkscrew the last five sets. I paused each rep of each set at the top for 1-2 sec and was amazed my HR was almost 30 beats higher at the end of the HS set than the corkscrew set! Way less forces to dampen on the eccentric and with a much bigger ROM for the whole movement ; just what you want if your goal is hundred of reps.
Even if you can change hands.The easier each rep is the more you can do and the faster you can do them.Just that simple.
But just like box squats are harder to do than free squats, require more force per unit of movement and purposely put the body at a leverage disadvantage in order to create overload, HS swings and snatches are going to create much bigger forces on all sides of the equation.The power output is just higher per rep.
I'm just glad that my shoulder is good enough to be able to play with it.


20kgx 10/10x10 sets
200 reps
8800 lbs

10lbsx 20/20 x4 sets

these are great when they are light. the reps seem really therapeutic but too heavy seem to load my elbows too much. at least for reps.

two handed swings
24kgx20x5 sets

after Tracy and Britts amazing performances with the two handed swing for five hundred million reps each I was even more tempted to play with this move again. I thought that 100 reps would be a good start, after my little foray last week with the 16 kg.Not good. My body just doesnt like this move for volume of any kind. My back was good but my shoulder said 'ah, no'.I need to keep my elbows locked and with my orangutang arms they end up slightly flexed on this move. That's why I got the clubbells, too, for bilateral swing work.I shouldnt forget that.
My hat's off to those that can reallywork this move though; two hand swings are the power squat of the kettlebell world. There is no where to run and nowhere to hide. Just pure power production of the first order.

Z drills and Rifga
20 minutes really needed this after the two hand swings. Had to open up the shoulder. worked great. THe suns out again too, thank God. I love California.


Saturday, March 01, 2008

For Fawn

510 one arm swings.

I be 51 years old today so I knew I had to do some multiple of that number in swings to commemorate it. Even though I have missed my swing workout the last two saturdays I knew I had to sack up a bit and put up some reps. Especially since the Swing Queen did a full grand of swings just the other day. I thought half the reps but on one arm might suffice. It did; it was tough.

One arm swings
20 kgx5/5

24 kg x
15/15=150 reps

Three rounds of this then:
510 reps
27,030 lbs

The first two rounds were great, actually easy with the swing groove strong and fast. The third round got tough,especially after the first two sets and the last ones were working me to keep form and bell speed.I alternated with Rex and Nikko( he was squatting though so we lapped him most sets). Took about 60 minutes

Two handed CB Mills
15lb club x

suprised at how beat I was and how much this worked my already tired hands.never felt that before.teach me to skip two workouts ;))

datsit, now off to enjoy my birthday weekend.

The New Way of Strength.

Eddy. 791 at 181.

Pavel redux.He truly changed how I saw the process of getting strong and being strong.This goes to show that it's not the length of the book but the depth of the contents that matter. Power to the People changed it all.THis is really the Old/New way.
1) Strength= the ability to produce force

2) Force = Mass X Acceleration ( or the ability to move a weight/mass)

3) To increase force either move the mass faster or create more tension

4) Tension =Strength = Force

5) Humans create force by creating tension in the musculature.

6) Bodybuilding paradigm increases strength in any particular muscle by increasing the mass of that muscle.TO get stronger, get bigger.

7) PtP paradigm increases strength by increasing force via more tension in 'target' musculature as well as surrounding musculature( irradiation).To get stronger contract harder.

8) Voluntarily increasing total body tension supercharges the ability to create tension/force( hyper irradiation). This is the essence of powerlifting as well. You are increasing/engaging more mass as well as the bodybuilding paradigm, but instead of growing more non productive size you are using the available muscle around your body to do the job.This is a very high skill task.

9) Voluntarily using the antagonistic muscles to increase muscle involvement in a movement also increases the force potential as well as 'saves' the agonist for more work on the concentric motion( pulling one self down int oe squat or the bench). This is successive induction, another high skill task.

10) Strength is a skill and must be practiced, not just trained.