Monday, June 30, 2008

Recovery before loading.

Foam rolling the hard to work peroneals.The foam roller segment is my favorite part of my presentation.

Man, my butt is cooked! It's been nonstop ever since leaving for the Level 2 Thursday after working 3/4's of my normal shift . And as always, an RKC certification is a whirlwind of incredible people, an amazing disemination of information and knowledge and an energy level that could light up major cities! I always learn more than I teach when I go to a cert, and especially a Level 2, where the emphasis is on cutting edge techniques, technologies and data.
It was a tough day though for the candidates on friday as their level one

skills were worked hard to make sure they were technically ready for the level 2 skills and many got their hats handed to them.
Point to future Level 2 candidates- DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR LEVEL ONE SKILLS! Especially your swing technque and overhead position and stability. You will not enjoy yourself as much,lol.
Although I did.And the new info that Brett, Kenneth,Andrea put out was excellent.I'm sure almost all the candidates have major headaches JUST the information overload they got. Oh well.
Tracy came with me this time and that was excellent! She had a great time hanging out and cooking with Fawn as well as KB training,doing yoga,walking and being with me at the cert. She also got a chance to do the new Max vo2 protocol and was seriously impressed with the difficulty. If Tracy has a hard time with it you KNOW it's tough,lol.
I should be ready for the new one in a year or so. Maybe.

But it was tough long days and a major flight delay got us into SFO, an hour away from home, so Rif didnt get to sleep til 1:30 or so and there was a 4 am wakeup call on tap. That' the life of an independent trainer; no work no pay so off to work I go.Plus the flight was a breeze, crowded to the gills, a screaming 3 year old with parents who had know idea of what parenting actually was or how to keep their kid from screamin, a 12 foot guy sitting behind me with his knees in my back the whole flight and no ability to recline the seat. Oh yeah, the airline switched out seats without telling us so no aisle either.Lovely.
SOOOOOO.... I had really wanted to do a swing workout today as I havent had a proper workout since last monday. I love going to certs but it really messes with my training. I'm just a rigid guy I guess,lol.
BUT, I brought the G5 thumper with me( as always) and barely turned it on the entire weekend, despite walking more than normal. THAT was very very cool. I remember not so long ago the walk to and from the airport and then to the hotel kicked my knee's ass but good. I had to lay down, rest, stretch, thump and pray. A lot.
What a difference.
I was very very pleased with my presentation on Length Tension relationships and Restoring Lost Function. I had condensed it,organized it better and I hope people came away with even more real world tools to get right to work on themselves and their clients. Cool shoes.
I also want to say that my client and friend Cindy Glass just ROCKED the HOUSE and passed easily and strongly despite coming down with flu just days before. I really can't imagine how much THAT would suck, but she's is one tough RKC. Congrats Cindy, you are such a pleasure to work with. Check out more pictures and videos of Cindy on Mrs Rifs blog
So its recovery before loading today, eating well and a lot and resting. I will get 20 minutes of medum swings in tomorrow at 5 am before getting back to Bikrams tomorrow afternoon with Mrs Rif. Then Snatch Vo2 on Wednesday. There also seems to be a third Bikrams day in the offing. Six days of training a week. Man it's almost like being a gymnast again :))
Plus, it's RKC season for me and 5 weeks from now its the UCLA cert then the CK FMS. Good times! Lots more photos and videos check out tracy's blog
Datsit, time to eat and sleep.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Swing time

Just a pretty basic ,easy swing day today, tapering down for this weeks cert.
The 32kg was on the schedule but decided discretion was the better part, etc. etc.So I wnet with the 24kg and got some volume in.Inspired by my 200 rep hi pull workout except I didnt get them in any near ten minutes,lol.

One arm swings:
16 kg x10/10x2
20 kg x5/5
24 kg x

216 reps
11,448 lbs

these went easier than expected.

24 kg x 20 reps x 10 sets
200 reps
10,600 lb

total swings: 416
total pounds 22048

not a bad days work for an easy day. The 24 is SO much easier to deal with than the 32. will get back to that when I return from the cert.

Snatch holds
20 kg x45 sec x 5 sets each arm

these were solid but boring, wanted to go a minute but just couldnt deal with the tedium. I can really see how these will help me with my overhead arm work in yoga though, lol.

Double arm CB casts
2 15 lb Cb x 10 reps x 4 sets

solid work, kind of like a standing db pullover. lots of tris, lats and intercostal work. elbow is feeling fine.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Let us not forget

just how close the Level 2 Cert is! Here 's a reminder from last years fun fest. the Dane of Pain introduced the Snatch Vo2 concept and nothing was the same for me.I actually get to participate in his presentation tracing my last years path of snatch training. Can't wait.

heres the fun

Great Bikram class

Wasnt happy that I had to miss thursdays class but todays made up for it.LOTS of progress all the way around on almost every asana although the heat really kicked my ass today. THere were 44 people in the small room and the heat AND the humidity were cranked up. I drank tons of water, almost too much, and got a bit nauseous around the hour mark but came around for a strong finish.
When I ran or cycled I always drank my fill of water and spit out the last sip. That almsot guaranteed I wouldnt get nauseous from drinking too much. A bit hard to spit on the bikram floor but lesson learned. Even when super hot don't drink too much per sip.

Great progress on the
1) squat series much more even left to right
2) eagle pose; Really got my progressions down here.mainly worked on loosening ONE arm up per side. Plus my left leg stand was VERY strong
3) standing head to knee pose: left leg stand was very strong here too AND I got my right leg cupped correctly. one the leftleg extension got the leg totally straight and out. awesome progres!
4) standing bow: GOT LEFT LEG WITH LEFT ARM FOR THE FIRST TIME! YES!right side was into decent extension as well. very pleased here
5)balancing stick pose was much more stable as well
6)straddle head to floor pose was easy as ever and I kept my legs closer
7) warrior poses were much easier too once i realized I had to do what everyone was doing with their overhead arm instead of what was being said to do.
8) front split pose head to knee; really had to bring the stance in to focus on the left leg but it worked great.
9) tree pose. also great after I realized I should just hook the left leg wherever it lands on the right thigh and focus on left leg abduction which is the limiting factor
10)Instructor pissed me off when she said I couldnt use a towel to help double knee to chest post( was slipping mightily) but then told everyone to use it on the rabbit pose. CONSISTENCY please!
1a) also got both legs hooked on floor bow AND camel! things are opening up!

really worked on knee flexion during the seated poses and felt things move well.

all in all an excellent class, heat stroke nothwithstanding!
Another class on tuesday this week before leaving for the cert.Tracy and I got to practice side by side today and thats always great> she is getting SO strong in her positions and has implemented some of the breathing and stretching tips I have given her so her positions are getting even stronger.


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Snatch holds, light.

Closing in on another cert and with some great workouts behind me today was an easy one on the schedule. Bout time too, I be tired,lol. Actually not, but after a peak it's either step down or fall off and I don't need that lesson again, so it's easy 20 rep sets with the 20 kg in groups of five.
Easy on the hands, easy on the wind and all the way round.I held each rep for a dead stop hold before moving on.Thought of it as lockout work.

Snatch holds
16 kg x5/5/5/5 x2 sets

20 kg x5/5/5/5 x 10 sets
200 reps
8800 pounds

used the corkscrew on both sides and really took care to pause every lockout. This slows every thing down which is precisely what I wanted. My CNS needs a little rest as well.

Arm casts
15 lb CB x10/10x 3 sets

Shield Casts
15 lb CB x8/8 x 3 sets

Nice easy day here too. good upper body, tricep work.

Bikram yoga tomorrow. I missed the session on Thursday and I am really looking forward to going back,despite it being 90+ degrees here currently. I've been studying his book and playing with some of the poses from a practice standpoint. Kind of like we do at the RKC. Focus on practicing the skill, not worrying about training and pushing it before the basics are mastered. I've figured out more individuations for me and I want to play with them tomorrow.Good stuff.


Friday, June 20, 2008

Some video from the Danish RKC , Rifs High Pull version Rite of Passage

Ah W2 ROCKS! He sent me this video that he took of my Rite of Passage, Swing Style, workout at the Danish Cert. 200 high pulls in 10 minutes, an up hill ladder. Done in "I go" "you go" style the rep sequence is


200 reps in Ten Minutes. Great GPP Prep for the Snatch version of this.Thank Will!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A year of Snatch Vo2 Training: All Time PR.

Well, this has a nice symmetry to it; one year,almost to the week, that I learned about using the 16 kg snatch as a tool to seriously increase your true cardio conditioning with Snatch Vo2 training I hit a supra max goal of 55 sets of 8 reps in the 15:15 protocol. My dream goal was to hit 50 sets of 8 which I did in March after 8 months of progressive increases once a week. Since the Level 2 cert is two weeks away and I was asked by Kenneth to provide some input on my max vo2 training this year during his presentation I thought it might be good to end the year with a bang.
I hit a 36:36 protocol pr last week, then a 24 kg volume pr on saturday and had a light day on monday so it was possible I had more in me.I've been sleeping well and my weight is back up so....?
At first I thought I would just do 50 sets again to put my seal on it but then I thought'why not 55 sets?' KJ has spoken of as many as SIXTY SETS for optimal conditioning! When he said that I thought, and told him, he was insane but now I know I could do it. Its amazing what consistent, progression training can accomplish. I've shown myself time after time and I still can't beleive it. The tortoise wins.But it's GOT to be progressive and that means you have to challenge yourself: just a bit, to keep going forward.
Because, really, you are either going forward or backwards. There is no not moving.Some consider moving backwards slowly as good and I can see their point.But if I can I really love to see forward progress.And today was definitely a good sign.
Tracy and I had talked about it last night when I was teasing that maybe I should do it. She said; "of course you can do it? What would stop you?"
I said, " not wanting to suffer that much".
She said " it won't be that hard. just do it."
Yet she was complaining about how much 5:30 Bikrams sucked so I told her if she went to 5:30 class I would do 55 sets. She agreed. I was screwed. Had to do it now. Damn.
BUT, I had great mind, or more precisely no-mind, or mushin,going in. I knew I had committed to doing it, I had no reason not to do it except that it would hurt a lot,it would be a perfect ending to a great training year so there it was. Nothing to think about except going into it 110% committed.And it was right there.
No stalling, no hesitation, no delaying,no surfing the net, just in, change , go. No warmup either.
Jump right in, the pain's just fine.
heres a wikipedia definition of mushin
Of course I was fixed on something. but just one thing.way cool.I love this place, it has just happened so rarely of late. I used to live here.

Snatch Vo2
55 sets of 8 reps(miscounted one set on #48 7 reps)
439 snatches
15,804 lbs
27.5 minutes
BW 157.2
max HR 200 easy.

Sets 46-49

here's the last four sets

things started out very casually and I was getting my reps in with a second or so to spare. at least on my right arm, my left arm has been more spastic lately. or maybe the right is just catching up now that if moves so much easier.I got through the first 25 sets pretty well and then it started loading up a bit. I was doing my half and half technique using as fast a corkscrew as possible on left and over the top on right.I know my lockout was short on the right a bit but I was really focusing more on a hard punch out and throwing the weight down as hard as fast as I could or I couldnt make the time limit.
also, concentrated on pushing through the floor hard as I punched out with the opposite leg. seemed keep the bell floating faster too.
Single breath hardstyle technique.
Tracy came in around set 45 and man that made the difference.having her yelling at you definitely just seals the deal.She's tough man and I've seen her push harder than almost every man I've ever seen, and I've seen some prodigies.So there's no quitting aloud.
I was very happy with my wind but even more happy with my bell speed. It stayed up to the end and that means power is way high all the way to the end.excellent.
Next week easy and then Level 2 cert! Can't wait.

oops, almost forgot the rest of the workout!

rack walks
16kg x 1200 feet switching hands every 200 feet.

this was tough after all that snatching but its a decent workload

Two Hand shield cast
15 lb cb x 10/10
25 lb cb x 8/8x4 sets

glad to have these back in the mix consistently. they rock.

Now, datsit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How I modify Bikrams

As I said in my last post about Bikrams I don't listen to the instructors cues on how to progress the poses. I know enough about my body, it's structural limitations, it's actual needs as well as real exercise science to know what I can and cannot do. And how to do it.

For instance, I start the series off ( half moon to sides and back bend) pretty much as written. I need the abdominal/front panel stretch as well as the obliquel/lateral line stretch so I do the poses as prescribed. What I DON'T do is try to advance the stretches by PUSHING into them, or forcing the position.AS everyone should know a stretch taken to it's end range of motion will elicit a STRETCH REFLEX creating a contraction, NOT a elongation of the muscle.

So I do as Pavel has taught and I know from years of stretching for gymnastics and RELAX INTO THE STRETCH.Not to say I don't try to advance the position but I do not create antagonist contractions in the muscles I am trying to get to release!

So why go to the class if I am not going to follow "instructions"?

First,my wife digs it and I get major points for going. 'Nuff said.

Second , its tough to find a heated room to stretch in and people get weird if you try to stretch in the sauna. The intense heat makes stretching out way easier. And thats my goal, getting stretched out WHERE I need to. Not where I don't. I LOVE to sweat big like that too.Your skin is your largest elimination organ and I believe intense sweating is very healing and healthful.

Third, as with most things that are difficult or uncomfortable to do it's great to have a set time and place, as well as environmental support to force you to: get 'er dun.Going to 'class' accomlishes that. Same as having a set appointment with a trainer or coach makes it easier.

Back to the modifications.

In the 'awkward pose' squat series I do the first one SOP , but totally change the toe squat as I need my ankles more open,not my calf stronger. So, I do it flat footed and focus on the moveing the knee forward to create ankle stretch. Nothing else is changed. I don't for a second buy "the pose doesnt start until the head touches the knee or some such nonsense line like that they are trying to sell.Posture is the begining and end of all movement and the pose starts when you try to get into it.

The teacher says get on my toes. I say ' no'and work my ankle flexibilty AS I do the rest of the movment 99% SOP.She gets upset but too bad so sad.I do think though I have to speak with them prior to class so they leave me alone. They get the message pretty quickly and they dont have a lot of time for personal interaction anyway. They have a script to recite.

For eagle poses I can barely get my shoulders open enough to wrap ONE arm around the elbow so this is a disaster from the start.But it is still working towards opening up my shoulders so it's all good in my book. Plus, it really challenges my entire leg strength and balance for the one legged stand part.But, I have to get into the position my own way. Won't work at all otherwise.

Now ,on the standing head to knee pose I really have some issues. They say if I can't grab the undersides of my foot with both hands I should work on that and just hold the leg at 90 degrees until I can just reach the foot.For me the importance of this pose is how it stretches my very tight left hammy and calf and I CAN get the leg prefectly straight out IF I can get into the pose my own way.THEY say I should hold up the knee which totally forks up my left rectus femoris ALREADY WAY TOO TIGHT! I don't need more strength there I need to extend the leg and open up my hammy. They always admonish me for doing so. I do it anyway. It's my Yoga, as my wife says. Not Bikrams. I'm paying them anyway.I'm still doing the basic pose.

On the standing bow pulling pose I also could get into it if I could get some help, or use a prop, to get my pretty much unbendable left leg into the position.Otherwise I just standin there with the leg up to the rear creating a pretty decent left glute work when what I really need is to get hold of that leg by any means necessary and work on bending the knee more. I'm working on this one.

The other things that drives me totally nuts is their idea that when doing flexion poses,where the goal is to get head or chest totally on the thighs or knees that pushing into it focusing on the BACK is 180 degree opposite of what they should be focusing on; namely getting the abs to fire so the back muscles can release! This is craziness! trying to force a facilitated back to go deeper into an already too tight position just makes it tighter!

Bretts demo on how to increase the standing toe touch by activating the adductors and glutes demonstrates this perfectly. BUt NEVER a cue about the abs when doing forward flexion moves! OR never a word about the feet when doing one foot poses. Nutso.
Plus, excuse me, but you CAN'T inhale when you have your navel pulled to your spine.It has to be pushed out first so the diaphragm can work. Oh you can but you have to breathe through the upper chest,not a good idea especially if you have tight traps. But noone says a word about he diaphragm or letting the waist out before you pull it in DURING EXHALATION not inhalation. This isn't my opinion but the way the body really works.There has been very little emphasis on really breathing through the poses as well. Perhaps they do more in other classes but I haven't heard it yet.
I could go on but you get the general idea. Some of the poses I can follow their lead exactly. Those where my orthopedic restriction and requirements don't preclude me from doing so. I am not being obstinate for no reason. Nor do I not have a beginners mind hat on. I do. It's just that I am open to learning these poses and am willing to be very bad at them for as long as it takes to make some progress.Thats my beginners mind. I have spent my life learning how to do physical things that I didn't know how to do.Mostly by trial and error and the use of my mind and visualization.I know how to go slowly and progress.One of the most important things I have finally learned is to make sure to listen to my instinct. Follow your gut. It is rarely wrong. But things do tend to go wrong when I ignore it.

So I don't anymore.Especially when it comes to exercise and training.

So I will continue to go to class and progress my poses to the desired shapes and positions the best way I know how. by listening very closely to the feedback my body tells me as I attempt new things. Or things I haven't done in many years.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Swing easy.

Took my own advice today and had an easy one. Good thing too because after last wednesday and saturdays pr's , in addition to all the hot yoga I am one tired puppy.
Swings were on the table today but I backed way off and did 20 kg swings mixed with transfers and not many of them at that.
It's ok though cause Wednesday is SNatch Vo2 again and I've got more work coming up

One arm swings
20 kgs
10/10 x 10 sets

alternated with
H2H transfers
20 kg 20 rep sets

400 total reps
17,600 lbs( that adds up quickly!)

2 CB torch Swings
2 15 lb bells
5 sets of 8


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Corrective Bikrams

Decided to really focus on doing what MY body needed to open up today in yoga and it worked so well. AS usual I ignored the instructor but this time with a vengence.I did not push any of the poses, as instructed , nor follow their lead as to what the intent or the focus of the asana was, but to do what my body told me was right, and tight, and what needed to open.

Some firsts today too: I got both hands back on my ankles on the camel pose, and could hold it; as well as being able to grab my left ankle in the floor bow!This is great progress for me and am very happy about it.Especially after kicking my own ass yesterday with snatches.WOke up PRETTY tight, lol.Everywhere.

Took it much easier on the tree pose and the standing bow, really using the mirror to get as close to neutral alignment before trying to advance anything. I also ignored her admonishments on standing head to knee pose and skipped the "hold the knee up" part( which over works my hip flexors which dont need it) and worked my way into the full pose, which I can do if allowed to get into it my own way, and which REALLY works my tight left hammy.

Also changed some minor things on all the six trillion overhead poses and focused on locking the elbows and only going back overhead as far as I could with locked elbows. MUCH better on the shoulder and levator.
I just wish these instructors hand an INKLING of an idea about what the hell they are talking about. BUt hey it doesnt matter cause I'm not listening anyway.Best class yet and its good to see progress.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Snatch PR Baby! 305 with the 24 kg

It's good to be going in the other direction for a change. The entire weeks training was a step up starting with the strong 32 kg swings, the PR for 36:36 on Wednesday and now today. Having my bodyweight up a bit helped but it was only 157 this am so that wasnt the deal.I was just ready for this as evidenced by the easy 24o pr I had last Saturday. Somedays the peaks last more than a day.
AND, I will say this: the training I do with the Snatch Vo2 with the silly, litle 16 kg has made the MOST impact on my heavier snatch form, as well as power, of anything I have ever done training the kettlebell snatch. Trying to go fast and be powerful in any movement will always bring out the best form. Has to. Can't sprint fast with bad form can you? You can't do anything fast and powerfully with bad form. Can't do it. Same here. Same as with WSB box squat training. Use a lighter weight and try to move it faster. Produce more force with less weight. As well as more power. Plus clean up your form. Good deal all around.

Z drills 10 minutes
Rifga and stick drills 10 minutes
doing this warmup really helped a lot.

16 kg x5/5/5/5x2
20 kgx5/5

24kg x5/5/5/5 x 14 sets
x5/5/5/5/5x1 set
305 reps PR!
16,165 lbs

This went great! No problems as should be the case with PR attempts you are really ready for.. I used the five rep switch to save my hands as I knew the only thing that would stop me from getting my 300 reps would be torn calluses.It worked perfectly. I also used my half and half technique; with the corkscrew descent on my left arm and a HS over top on my right. Just works is all. No worries :))
Getting my diaphragm stretched out yesterday and this morning before training worked like a charm. It also helped release my tightening right shoulder.I was seriously bound up from bikrams as well as other stuff.I have to start doing my z and stretching PRIOR to bikrams to make sure I am as square and plumb before I start that practice as possible.

I was planning on just 300 but I knew Aaron's PR was 300 so I had to push him a bit. I know he will crush this as soon as he desires but it was great fun for me. Have fun Aaron!
Mo Bikrams tomorrow am


Friday, June 13, 2008

Now, getting Bikrams out.

As I've said before, if it werent for Z and my devotion to regular old fashioned static stretching I would never have been able to tolerate the flexion work that is so predominant in Bikram Yoga. SO many postures and motions where the knee is pulled very close to the body, the head is pulled very close to the knees and the back is round. Now there are many other poses where eveerything is in extreme extension. I haven't counted but I bet they are close to equal.BUT if you have any lower back issues, or a tight front panel or anterior chain, flexion moves can mess you up in a heartbeat.Especially if one doesnt know how to distribute the loads off the joints and into musculature.
But I'm still not sure I will be able to tolerate the flexion without my own brand of extension moves. I did tons of straight leg situps these last few practices and I havent done any type of ab work or situp in 5 years or so. This is what began to unwind my overally tight abs and psoas and let my back heal. SO when I tolerated them these last sessions I was impressed with myself. BUT I have also been getting tighter and tighter of late so I decided it was time to get myself back over the ball. Especially when someone told me to stretch out my diaphragm and I realized I havent been back over the ball or hanging from the bar in eons.SO:

1) back bends over stability ball. I use a 75 cm and really spend some time opening up the abs and hip the side as well. great stretch for the lateral lines.

2) Hangs from the chin bar.Being short here has its advantage as I can get a full grip on the chin bar and when tight myheels are just an inch off the ground. when my back opens up I can stand flat footed. A great test for my back length.

3) prone cobra/upward facing dog. A classic and perfect for working the tough to reach without destroying your ac joint- serratus.

4) Stick slides and overhead stretch.THis is what will get me back into my handstand. ALmost square enough in the thoracic area to play with it.You can really lean into at the top and get a great diphragm stretch here as well.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bikrams; upping the ante.

Didnt get a chance to make the planned Bikrams Tuesday as my mechanic took alot longer to get my side window repaired than expected so we did it today.3:30 was better than 4:30 class but it was still a very diffrent experience than 8 am yoga, not to mention it was at a different studio with hardwood floors instead of the carpet in the Saratoga studio
Still it was all good but a very different pace and structure to the class. I certainly wasnt ready for holding the first poses for a FULL MINUTE but hey, you do what you can do? Gotta go with the flow.
Half moon, back bend, standing head to knee, floor bow( this JUST about killed me for the minute) were KILLERS for a full one minute. The other studio doesnt hold you near as long.I will adjust but it was a shocker.
THe heat wasnt as bad here but the hardwood floors., although beautiful were really tough on my kneeling poses as I was in kneeling upright position and the kneecap wasnt digging it. A bit extra folded towel fixed the issue but I do like the carpet better. I know: SISSY! LOL..Hey with t saturdays session it will make FIVE workouts this week. Up quite a bit from the three I have been doing.
Tracy, as usual kicks some serious butt and killed all her poses although she said she had a tough day. Couldnt tell. I should have such hard days. BUT I just about got both arms to my ankles in floor bow and I know that will happen next. I take pr's anywhere I can get them,lol.

Saturday is snatch day and I just might use the 24 kg and go for the magic 300 reps . we'll see.Body weight is back up( 159.4! woo hoo) so I should be stronger too.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Snatch Vo2 36:36 Pr

I knew this was gonna be a toughie after all those 32 kg one arm swings left my forearms with one serious pump for the last two days,lol. I cinched up on the grip Monday, which made the swings easier but it really worked the crap outa my forearms, which is never good for 36 sec of power snatching. But whatcha gonna do?
Good thing Mrs Rif decided to help me out by training with me;it's one thing to slack off when you're alone,it's a whole 'nother thing when your woman is kicking ass right next to you with a weight that is way to close to yours.She definitely pulled me along to a pr.I even managed to keep bell speed up the entire time, which did NOT happen last time.

Snatch Vo2 36:36
16 kg
22 sets of 16 reps PR by 2 sets
352 snatches
12,672 lbs
25 min
Ending HR = 180+

Here' s some of the last sets

I used the corkscrew on both arms for all sets but stayed with single HS breathing for all sets as well.When I have to do high(er) reps the corkscrew really saves the grip. HR was in the right zone for this effort; it doesnt have to be as high for this one as it does for 15:15

Rack Walks
16 kg
1400 continuous feet switching every 200.

these went fine. hate em but have to do them

One arm CB casts100 continuous reps with 15 lb CB switching hands every ten reps.

these are just easy and fun and a solid way to end the workout.

Datsit! back on track

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sometimes it just looks like it's gonna be too hard.

If it's Monday it's one arm swing workout day and I knew that the 32 kg was on the menu. I just wasn't feeling that hungry for such a man sized meal, but hey, what would putting it off to next week mean? Just that I would be that much weaker and less inclined to want to play with the big dog. So, time to sack up and just do it. I was ready for a beating that suprsingly didn't come. Ah, it's so nice when that happens and gravity is nice for a change.

One Arm swings ladders
24 kg x5/5

32 kg x
10/10 x 3 ladders = 270 reps then
5/5x 3 sets

300 reps
21,600 lbs

Nice! not really close to my PR of 400 but a solid effort, especially considering my training of late.I decided to really cinch up the grip and took the handle deep into the hand. This always makes my grip much stronger but kills the forearms, which for today, with such low reps, was fine.
As usual the rest periods started long and sped up as I warmed up. It was in the eighties in the garage but after that 104 deg Bikram sauna it felt fine.Heat stress is no joke, I could still feel the after effects of being so hot for so long. I rehydrated much better this time than last but know I would never want to do bikram training every day. It would make me too weak.Of course in the winter it might be a different story.

Snatch Holds
16 kg x
60 sec each arm
75 sec each arm
90 sec each arm

these were better but as usual forever in settling in for my right shoulder.Bikrams also kicks my shoulders ass so they were more fatigued than normal today.

Flag press
25 lb CB X 20 reps x 4 sets

no holds just press, stick and repeat. Good pump,lol.

LOTS of Z drill and Rifga floor work to open up today. Datsit.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

mo' betta' bikram

Ok, day two of bikram yoga is in the books and this round was much better than the last. Knowing what to expect really made a huge difference; as well as the resolution to NOT listen to the instructor(?)'s admonitions about how to progress and scale each pose. As I humbly told her prior to class, as she was schooling me on the subject, that I had a lot of experience scaling things.
I made each pose work what I needed it to work, according to my own individual flexiblity/mobility/ROM needs, not the agenda of the protocol. Way better and much more satisfying knowing I wasn't doing things that I would have to spend most of the week undoing. I mean, that's why I gave up squatting and deadlifting! This means mainly to the "awkward poses" which are squats done on the toes. Not for me. My left soleus and posterior tib are quite tight enough thank you very much and don't need more "stretching" as she called it. Um, that's a contraction of the calf, not a stretch but hey, it's just a detail right?
I kept my feel flat, advanced the knees and got a good ,real, stretch of the calves, precisely what I needed there.And things felt fine.
The heat was no problem again and I actually felt like it was cooler than last week. Tracy thought just the opposite. There were way more people in the class this time than last but it was fine.
My shoulders felt much better overhead and I found that I was able to actually work each of the poses a bit instead of struggling just to get into them.Especially with the one legged poses on my left leg. Things held up well and I could really feel my flexion poses opening up again. This posture is the most familiar to me as a gymnast where basically 99% of what you do is in flexion.I could easily do flat palmed V sits followed by straight arm,straight leg pike presses to handstand on anything.Course that posture is what set up my back injury but that's another story. COurse those crazy ass weights I was trying to lift all time didn't have anything to do with it either :-)
I also did Z drills before the class, during short breaks in the class and immediately after.I focused on the ankles, hips and neck circles.Definitely helps.
I am going on Tuesday again with Tracy so it is getting even more interesting all the time. Lets see how Max Vo2 goes after bikram's the day before.Regaining my gymnastics body one stretch and one snatch at a time.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

24 kg Snatch Pr.

Well that's nice :)) Definitely feeling stronger again it was good to go into the gym with a firm intention on not coming out without a pr.It was just one of those days and I have learned to listen to that gut instinct much more and go with it; in either direction.

Warmups felt light and that is also a good sign and technique dropped immediately into place. I found myself using the modified corkscrew on my left and the classic over the top hardstyle punch through on the right. they dont have to be the same, God knows my right and left shoulders aren't.It worked very well and bell speed and power were high and that's what I wanted.
I'm starting to realize that I will be doing snatch vo2 work at some point with the 24 kg and that is very, very exciting-especially considering where I was last year. Cool.

20 kgx5/5

24 kgx8/8 x15 sets
240 reps Pr
12,720 lbs ( niice)

we went at our regular pace, I do my set, Rex does his, Nikko does a set of squats, rinse and repeat till the sets are done. I would guess it's about 2-3 minutes between sets, which is fine. I rush around enough on Wednesdays. I like the recovery as it allows me to put much more power into each set as well as do more total sets.Varying recovery times is good.

Arm Cast/ shield cast combinations
15 lb CB x 5 mins of arms casts and shields, switching every 5 reps. Did this three times. very therapeutic for the shoulder and great for the arms and rib muscles as well.

datsit! Bikrams tomorrow, can't wait.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ok I can't count either.

When I went into the garage today to train a client I took a close look at the hash marks on the side of the chalk box and quickly realized that I did not do 40 sets of 8 reps in the Snatch Vo2 yesterday. I did 45 sets! This is my kind of mistake. Yesterdays post and the snatch race manager have been edited for corrections.

ANd the good news is is that it looks like I am in 4th place in the snatch race( according to number of snatches, which is what I am counting) among the men.Lots of people start, but few can hang in.Hopefully I didnt just give my competition more motivation but hey,either way I am in for the long haul.

I will most certainly do 50,000 snatches and more, as I don't plan on stopping once I reach that milestone. 100,000?

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Snatch Vo2

Another day at the office for snatch vo 2 day.Have decided that on 15:15 day it's just start with 8's and hang on as long as I can. It's a little confusing when I'm switching protocols every week but I basically know where to cycle; and if I'm a little off, no biggie.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
45 sets x8
360 reps
12,960 lbs
ending HR = 190+

All reps were done hardstyle with single breath, over the top punch out technique. I started to run a little slow the last ten sets or so but that just meant I got 10 seconds rest between work bouts instead of 15. My cardio held up suprisingly well. I thought I would only get 35 sets but decided to keep going as I was just starting to warmup,lol!
Still not hot enough for me in Cali these days( damn global warming!) and that makes it easier to do more sets as well.Nice to see my conditioning is hanging in there pretty well.Still a bit sore in the left soleus and rectus femoris from all the Squatting on toes Bikram poses but I am working it out with rifga stretches and Z drills.

ran out of time for the rest of the workout but that's ok. need to get my weight up still and I got the important part in. It's amazing what one can get out of a few minutes and a kettlebell.

Heres a great blog post by Kenneth Jay explaining exactly why it's not steady state vs interval training that's the issue but exercise intensity and the best way to achieve it.


Monday, June 02, 2008

A page from the Swing Queen

Got an hour plus late start today and yesterdays Bikram class left me suprisingly sore and also a bit dehydrated. Big surprise there. SO I knew I need some swing volume with the 24 kg but wasn't 'feeling' a multitude of straights sets at the lower reps I want to be using now.So I decided to do some kind of Tracy Style combination sets to let me do a higher volume of work with less perceived exertion.
A change is as good as a rest, as Pavel says the Russians say and so it is with kb swings. Doing 20 reps of one arm swings is WAY harder than 10 reps of one arm swing, five transfers and five two hand swings. the workload ends up the same( or even higher!) but the perceived effort is way down. Just the thing one needs when you are not in the mood to suffer any more than necessary.Of course Tracy uses the technique to do many millions of swings and snatches per workout but that's just what most humans can do. So I did my own little combination sets and it worked out just fine, plus I threw in just a few two hand swings to see whether I could now tolerate those. Hey, if I can survive Bikram Yoga I should be able to handle two handers now.

one arm swing/transfers/two hand swing
24 kg x 5/5/10/5= 25 reps
11 sets 275 reps

these just got better as I went along and warmed up. the workload was significantly easier to tolerate than just those deadly one arms.Doing just a few two hands was a smart thing to do

Transfer swings
24 kg x 5 x 20
100 reps
5300 lbs

The bell speed was slowing down on the above workload and , just as Tracy does, I switched over to another volume movement and was able to keep going, as well as keep bell speed( and power) up. A key component. When I can't keep the bell moving at a certain speed I don't like to continue the exericse. KB work great for power but trying to do ballistics movements slowly doesn't make sense to me.Grinds be grinds and swings should snap!

Snatch Holds
16 kg x30 /30 sec
24 kg x30/30 sec x 4 sets
these went much better than I had expected and my shoulder position, range of motion and overall stability continues to improve. I suspect Bikrams, which has one with their arms overhead and very close to the ears almost the entire freaking hour and a half with help here as well.

Two Hnd CB Flag Press
25 lb x 6 sets of 10

held each rep for a solid 2 count and flexed hard as hell. Love these.

datsit, gotta eat!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Rif gets Bikramized.

AS most who read my wifes blog know she is a serious devotee of Bikram's yoga and it has done wonders for her on many many levels. She did the 60 day Bikram Challenge right from the start and has gone regularly to class at least three days a week for 2.5 years.It has opened up and developed her shoulders in a way that even suprised her and when she did not get the chance to practice as much as she needed to she really felt the difference;not only in her recovery and shoulder flexibility, but also in her kettlebell practice.It seemed the perfect compliment to her kettlebell work.
Now, up until the last month or so there would have been NO way I could have even considered
stepping into a class. I was afraid that the generalness of the poses would have put my fairly fragile recovery in serious jeopardy. I knew I need ONLY specific stretches for certain muscles/parts and DID NOT need to work the other direction. For instance, for the last three plus years I have stayed away from any type of spinal flexion moves; my fragile lumbar spine would go out at the drop of a hat and there was no wayI was going risk that. I needed spinal extension, not flexion and all my flexiblity practice was based on that.
Halfway through the last year though I made a concious decision to try to regain my "gymnastics body". The idea was to move towards the flexibilities,ranges of motions,bodyweight and abilities I had BEFORE I became injured. I wanted to see if going back to where I was before I destroyed things and started "compensating" like crazy would have a postive effect on me.
Well, to say it did would be a serious understatement.
Just putting my legs close together and working my rifga poses from that posture made the biggest difference in my knee alignment since I started powerlifting. I could feel myself getting back to 'square, plumb and neutral' much faster than I though possible.
Z drills were the next big change agent and being able to know stand on my left leg without my knee subluxating was a gift from God.Now I could start to develop some real static strength on that side which meant I would be able to walk right again.
AS that happened everything else started falling into place as well.
"No pain, no tension", the Z mantra was a revelation for me and not only helped with everyday postures but with my training and flexibility work as well.
So, when Tracy asked if I would join her for her Sunday morning Bikram class I decided to put my pride aside, put on my beginnners mind hat and dive in. Nothing like a little humilation first thing in the morning,lol :))
My recovery has been coming along so well in general that of late I have been realizing that I did need to add some kind of movement or training into my sunday regimine. It used to take me all day saturday and ALL day sunday just to come close to getting all the tweaks out of my twisted frame in hopes of being able to walk, work and train on mondays.
I can remeber quite well when I switched from my normal and usual six day a week gymnastics and running training to the quite pedestrian four days a week of the bodybuilder.Going down to three was a lesson in necessity, even with kettlebells. I just couldnt recover.
But now I see training as so much bigger than just any weight workout. My rifga is training. My Z drills are training. My walking from the car to the gym is training.My life is training.Its so much bigger than how much I squat or how many reps I can snatch in ten minutes. That too, but more as well.I've been thinking I'm ready to add another day back in.
I have been antsy on sundays lately, not able to sit still,looking for something to do; not too hard but something. I had been doing full body z drills but this sounded interesting now. Plus ,I would get to spend the morning watching my beautiful wife do her workout in her very cute yoga clothes.
I didnt really care how badly I did the poses, I just didnt want to hurt myself.

The bottom line: it wasnt that bad. I have pretty good heat tolerance in general and being the skinny thing I am of late it is even better. Plus my conditioning from all the Max vo2 work also helped me out here and although I sweated like a big pig I never got dizzy or worried that I couldnt make it through.
Granted there were many poses that I just couldnt even begin to do with one knee that only bends 90 degrees but I scaled them down and worked right through them. My old gymnast mind starting coming right through and that helped.There were also a few poses that I did really well. I did quite a bit of yoga back in the late seventies when it was just hitting the US and that didnt hurt as well.
At the end of the 90 minutes I had dropped 3.5 pounds of water and felt fine; no injuries no tweaks and a new appreciation for just how talented and athlete my wife is.She CRUSHED the class. Her practice keeps getting better.
Of course the instructors instructions re: anatomy, physiology and such is just pure claptrap and malarky but I kept my beginners hat on, my mouth shut and did my best. I plan on going back each sunday and plan on getting better each time. Who knows where this will lead? I LOVE to sweat and I love to stretch and I love to spend time with my beautiful wife so how can this be bad?