Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh that one hurt.

Monday's work schedule has changed and I now have 7 clients in a row, which is a lot for this old man.Especially with a wake up call at 4 am( although my own inner alarm prefers 3 am for some reason). But one needs to make hay when the sun shines and so it goes. This means I have to hit the gym asap when I arrive home from the commute before my get up and go gets up and goes!
This is even more fun when the monday workkout is sheer work incarnate in the form of SWINGS!
Now although my wife is the swing Queen I am NOT the swing King and these kick my ass on a regular basis.Made sure to eat a bit during the day( almonds and metrx protein powder drink with milk and OJ) to have some fuel in the tank when I hit the platform
My weight has settled in at 155 which feels just fine( my old cycling race weight) and I am getting back to the warrior diet. It just feels better to me, and, as the Hungarian RKC team said,"eating just makes you hungry". SO true imo, of course in my recent experience NOT eating just makes me skinny. Too skinny and that's no good either.
As the good Jewish Buddhist I am I know the middle path is the best way so I am working towards it.
I decided to not punish myself as much as usual and let myself switch over to two hand swings after my one arms were dead to ( artificially, I know) pump up my swing volume.Hey, gotta start back somewhere.I am just excited as all getup to see that I can handle some two hand swings as well.

One arm swings
16 kg x 10/10x2
24 kg x10/10
32 kg x10/10 x10 sets
200 reps
14,400 lbs

Two hand swings
32 kg
20 reps x5 sets
100 reps
7200 lbs

total swings = 300
total pounds= 21,600

not a bad day. My love came into the gym to hold my hand as she kicked my ass into working each rep as hard as possible. Very hard to slack when she is watching me swing.especially after the 1400 rep workout I witnessed the other day. It was bad enough to struggle through my 20 rep swing sets with the 32 realizing she had done 16o continuous AFTER 600 reps with the lighter weights previously.Just inconceivable to me, really.
BUt she provides a great example of what is possible so I keep reaching.
The good news is that the 32 kg felt pretty light in my hands and on my hips, I was just beat tired but the strength was there.Good news. Hands held up very well and it definitely works for me to take a bigger "bite" into the grip in these instead of trying to maintain a upper hand hook grip. That always tears up the calluses.
I tried a few sets of H2H transfers with the 32 kg as I really wanted 400 reps but adandoned it as the calluses did start to heat up. Another day.

Snatch Holds
16 kg xone minute x 3 sets

I made sure to get these done and upped the time from last weeks paltry 30 seconds to a full minute. Will stay with this weight til I can get three sets of 2 minutes each arm. Overhead right arm position is getting much better. Bikrams is helping for sure and these are helping bikrams as well

Two hand Casts
15 lb CB x 10/10 x 2 sets
One arm casts
15 lbs x 10/10 x2 sets
two hand casts
25 lb cb x 10/10 x 2 sets

this went great and it seems the two handed warmup does wonders for alleviting any elbow issues when I switch to the one arms. more good stuff.

Cable pushdowns
25, 25

hell I just like big triceps, what can I say. They finally don't hurt my shoulders.

bw 155
bf 7.3%
water 61.8% tomorrow.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The first step in the process

of getting back my strength.
Got through a tough Bikrams session on Thursday when my concentration just wasnt up to par. That's a tougher ninety minutes than on the days when my body doesn't want to participate.But I always leave feeling better than when I come in and it doesn't hurt at all that I get to spend that ninety minutes sweating and working with my love, Tracy. We figured out that she has done more than 500 plus 90 min Bikram classes in the last 3 years. Dats a lot of yoga.You can tell by her practice as well.

On to today.Today is the first day of some serious training that has been waiting for the right time to proceed.Both intensity and volume.Need to get strong again and this is the first workout in this new journy.It's amazing, as I've written,just how little backing off it takes for my hips and legs and lungs to loose strength and condition.I was scared of trying a ten or even five minute snatch test as I knew I just wasn't able to push the training volume intensity ( and yes, most importantly, concentration) to where it would have produced the results I wanted. And yes, I am still very aware of my potential to hurt myself when I start looking up at the peaks, or over the edges of cliffs and feeling I can fly.So it will be a slow process, as it always is for me but now that I have a free calender for many months I can refocus on a different challenge.

SSST Snatch training
16 kg x 5/5/5/5x2

24 kg x5/5/5/5
10 sets
200 reps
10,600 lbs

yes! this worked out great and no hand issues at all! The speed of each rep was very fast( after my slow ass warmup, as usual,lol) and the power got better each set till the end. Felt very strong both physically and mentally. I ate up a bit yesterday and that helped as well. Needed a bit more fuel in the tank than have had lately.

Bottoms up cleans
20 kg x 5/5
24kg x5/5
28 kg x5/5
32 kgx3/3

These went great and I think I can safely add them back in the mix.I stopped doing them as they were overloading my elbow flexors which was exacerbating my shoulder issues but I have got that fixed. All those external rotation postures in yoga have really sealed that deal as well.The 32 for 3's was easy and I could have done 5's> Got to make haste slowly though. Got to be smarter than before.

Bikrams tomorrow and I think I will postone the double class til next week.Not sure I am quite ready yet and we have a long time to do it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warming up

I have always been the slowest guy in the world to warmup. By that I mean getting all systems to go so that I could really step on the pedal when I needed to. We always stretched out for 45 minutes before we started our 5 hour gymnastics practice and I needed every minute.Most of the time we bounced tramp for another 15-20 minutes if we could.
You couldnt just walk in the gym and start throwing yourself around like that. Things had to be ready; muscles, tendons. ligaments, cardio system, the mind , etc.
When I ran it was the same thing. I was a negative split racer. That means I always ran the second half of the race faster than the first half.Always.I was warming up the first half.
Same thing when I cycled only it was worse because cycling is much more anaerobic and that system really takes me awhile to start humming.The problem with warming up with cycling is that the races are so long you can really cut into your overall work capacity and be one hurting unit at the end of the race.
Powerlifting was bad too and I needed multiple small jumps to really get things going.Of course kettlebells are about the same but with one distinction: if I take too much time off or slack on work loads the comeback workouts are torture! If I can keep the momentum going and build off of that nice wave it seems I can jump into workouts much quicker than the aforementioned activities.
Of course this week coming back from the back off with kbs is not so much fun/ today was no exception it being the first Max Vo2 day back. Oh joy.
I had done the 16 kg for 40 sets of 8 on Saturday so I decided ( I ain't that smart) to do the 20 kg for some lower reps(6's). Then redecided to do 7's. Just to see if I could. Well, it was ugly. I just be tired and will have to rebuild back up slowly, as usual.
Man I can stay off upper body for a long time and still be relatively strong but my hips and legs just fall off the map asap. Groovy.getting those big areas back up when they decondition hurts so good :))

Snatch Vo2 15:15
16 kg x5/5x3

20 kg x 7x 15 sets
20 kg x6x15 sets

30 sets 195 reps
3960 lbs

man I gassed early and that damn thing felt heavy trying to go fast. just didnt feel strong or fast and the 6's at the end weren't that much easier than the 7's ,lol. Oh well, this is one of those character building days.Since I failed I had to punish myself.

Transfer swings
20 kg x20 x 10 sets
200 reps
8800 lbs

this just shows how LONG it takes me to 'warmup'. I started to feel GOOD with some kind of groove and open lungs after the first 100 reps!I felt like I had some legs and hips again! It didnt matter it was only 20 kg bell my hips had lost some size and strength and it took a bunch to bring them alive again.
Endurance falls off so much faster than strength for me.not my natural strong suit.

Two Handed Overhead casts
15 lbs cb x 30/30

these went well. much easier on the elbow.wnat to stay aways from the presses and barbarians, messing up my overhead yoga postures with too much pec and front delt tension.the rotational stuff is ok
AND I still have to get rack walks back in. they work even though they suck.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Saturday's Snatch Vo2 at the Cert and Mondays two hand swings

I lead the workout on saturday during the max Vo2 workout we gave the candidates and got a pretty decent little session in

snatch vo2 15:15
16 kg
40 sets of 8 reps
320 reps

this was pretty easy for me considering I hadnt gone through two days of millions of swings and getups already. The candidates probably didnt enjoy it as much as I did. :))

After every RKC cert it really bugs me that I cannot seem to tolerate two handed swings. They are such an incredibly powerful movement with such incredible training possibilities that it always irks me that I cannot do them. In the past I had such asymmetries in legs hips and back that they would always throw my back out.Now it seems that the close grip with the requesite internal rotation tweaks my shoulders. Can't win for losing.
So of course I had to try them again today. Was too tired for heavy one arm swings but I wanted to use some decent. I adapted some positions for my orangutang length arms and stretched out with external rotation stretches after each set. We'll see tomorrow:

Two handed swings
16 kg x10x2
24kg x10

Weight ladders
24kg x10
28 kg x10
32 kg x10

repeat each series 10 times

300 reps
100 24 kg= 5300 lbs
100 28 kg = 6300 lbs
100 32 kg = 7200 lbs
18,800 lbs

most rest periods were 30-45 sec long until last 5 sets then 20 seconds long. Not a bad workout after such a tough weekend.we'll see how things pan out tomorrow. feel ok now.Yoga will help I am sure.

Snatch Holds
16kg x30 sec x 5 sets each arm

had to bring these back.

Shield casts
15 lb CB x10/10 x5 sets

the two handed versionis definitely easier on the elbow. need this at least as a warmup before one arm work.

man thats a lot of typing :))


Team Rif September 2008

Team Rif September 2008 RKC
What an another amazing weekend this RKC was. I am never ceased to be blown away by the transformations that occur in the short two days from Friday morning at 9 am when the candidates take their snatch test to Sunday morning at technique testing. Semingly the same people that on Friday were slow and shaky and lacking confidence in their techniques , their strength and their positions have been morphed into serious Hardstyle RKCs with sharp crisp techniques, precise biomechanics and with more power than they ever have had in their life! Unreal. And of course after having done seven or eight million reps or more of each of the six drills for two solid days while defying all training and all of physiologies logic by getting better minute by minute, even as they fatigued tremendously.
It's like after a certain amount of work their minds just gave up, gave in and succumbed to the neurological groove we had been implanting with more swings,snatches and getups than they ever could imagine doing and the body just took over. And it did it right. Very right.
I saw this actually happen right before lunch on saturday during Sr Instructor Geoff Nuperts snatch training.
By now they had done SO many snatches and swings that the idea of even MORE snatches( of course right before even more snatches with my Max Vo2 workout) ,while logically inconceivable was not only doable but being done.On auto pilot.Unconcious competence. The body at work.If the mind can get out of the way.
All passed with the exception of two who will pass as soon as they get home to their own bells and send the video in.
Well done RKC's! It was a pleasure to work with you and hope to see you all again soon.
Plus SO Much thanks to my amazing assistants Zachariah Salazar and Betsy Collie.They both helped me out tremendously and are excellent instructors, kettlebell athletes and people.I will work with them anyday.

A training life.

I love being home. I love the simplicity, the routine and stability that my life has had for so many years. A life that revolved around training, and, for so many years, competing. A life that revolved around recovery so that progress could be made, and measured. The numbers of competition and training brought an absoluteness to life that few other things could provide. One could know exactly where they were at any moment.And learn how to deal with exactly where they were as well.Or not. But the numbers didnt lie. They were what they were and it was up to you to do something with them.
Or not.
But it was your choice.Everyone had a chance to get what they wanted.If they wanted to work hard enough.
And to work hard enough you had to have regularity in your life. In your rest, in your food, in your training, in the life of your mind.So that you could recover and reach further to see what you were capable of. Really capable of.
And now the line is different. Somewhere else. Inside.The numbers will come and go and the top ones; the real very top ones I used to live for don't matter as much anymore. Or at all anymore. Because the numbers that really count are the number of missed sessions more than the number of snatches in one workout or the weight of the bell in that workout. Or no numbers.
How well I can concentrate in my yoga workout, or my kb session.Or how far my hamstring flexibility or external rotation in my right shoulder is progressing. Little things that are huge things in the real grand scheme of things.
And they also require recovery and regularity and stability and inner peace as well.So that the new edges, the new lines that still hover over an abyss of some sort or another still challenge.The new goal is stability and continuity and progress that happens on it's own.
So now my travels are over for many months and although it's been a great time teaching so much and meeting so many people it is time,well past time actually, to settle in and down again . To pull all the pieces together and get the rythym going. The rythym of training and recovery. Of stress and relaxation. Of loading and unloading.Of tapping into the primal patterns that are going on all the time if I can listen deeply enough. And going with them, not against them.
Working 7 days a week every other week for months doesnt make this happen.
It had it's purpose and I made my sacrifice to the gods of work. Now it's time to go back to a much less stressful work pattern so I can soak up more stress in the gym(s).
Double yoga sessions anybody?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Off to the cert!

I get to do one of my favorite things in the world today; go to Minnesota and spend the weekend teaching RKC Candidates how to use the best training tool in the world properly. And even better, Tracy is not only coming with me, as she usually does, but will be an Assistant Instructor as well, which means we can work together all weekend. She will be assisting Team Leader Doug Nepodal but we will be on the field all day together and that will be great fun!
There is NOTHING like an RKC weekend, it always amazes me how a rag tage group of wanna-be RKC's can start off Fridays SO rough and end up so polished and impressive just a scant three days later.
Not only do they come together as individuals but they jell as a team as well.It never ceases to amaze me and I don't expect this cert to be any different. This will be the last cert of the year for me( the RKC season,lol) and it's been the busiest travel year of my life! I've traveled more in the last six months that I usually do in six years and I am looking forward to a break in travel so we can get a serious training rythym going again.

Hope to post but we will see how busy things get.


Monday, September 15, 2008

More sets not reps.

Man I hate doing reps. And by that I really mean anything over 5. I mean I'm not as bad as Brett Jones who considers anything over 3 cardio but if I had my 'druthers I would be doing low reps all the time.But ' that ain't my bag anymore, baby' and I have to get used to it. But I dont have to do them all at one time and I decided today that I didn't have to do both arms at once either, lol.
I do that all the time with snatch vo2 but never really considered it for swings. Knowing I should do at least ten reps per arm today since I was only using the 24 kg I realized I didnt have to do both arms at the same time and I could still get the job done.
SO it was ten reps per arm, put the bell down and rest about 30 seconds before switching to the other arm. Swing VO2, if you will. I wasnt strict on the rest but I felt good today and was moving quickly after the warmup.
I just much prefer going all out for short periods of time,before doing it again. Give me a million sets just not 20 reps,lol.

One arm Swings
16 kg x5/5x3

24 kg x 10 reps per arm
35 sets
350 reps
18,550 lbs

two hand sheild casts
15 lb clubbell x

still a short workout and need to add another exercise in but just not ready yet. I have to remember all the extra work and days of training I am doing with the yoga and not get freaked out with the lower volume of kb training.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Just the body.

I really accelerated my journey to real rehab for my knee, back and shoulder when I decided last year to try to "get back my gymnastics body". What I meant by that was restoring the range of motions,flexiblities,center of balances, stance, gait and basic posture(s) that I had before I blew out any of my joints. I didn't know if it was possible at all, and, if I was, what level I could return to and if so what the actual effect would be on my rom's and my pain.

I just had a gut feeling that the path I had been on was right,and that this new one was also the correct direction. My rifga stretches and close stance stretching work really put me on the right path, and then Z made things accelerate even greater with the most basic of joint mobility there is.

Then I found Mr Bikrams yoga and things have just done a quantuum leap forward again. And it became very obvious that one of the things this yoga and my old gymnastics practice have in common is that it is just you and your body. No other tools, or appliances or distractions. Just you and how you can or cannot move. Naked Warrior indeed. And of course it makes sense that if you cannot handle your own body weight; your own inherent resistance, if you will, you really don't need to add additional loads.

Of course, it's so much fun but that's another story.

It doesnt get more minimal than just one kettlebell unless there are no other tools at all. Like the most basic gymnastics and the most basic yoga.Going against your own internal resistance, which is as apt a metaphor for the struggles of life if there ever was one.

The combination of the most minimalist of weight resistance tools and the naked warrior approach of yoga is an amazing combination for me. Yoga and gymnastics are also so similar in the desire to obtain total and complete control of all parts of the body similtaneously. No easy task!
Tracy has informed me that after coming back from the September cert we will be doing double classes on Sundays. 3 hours of yoga, back to back classes with a 30 minute break between.Now this should be a challenge.Had a great class today even though I slept for beans last night. Sleep is for sissies :))It was way tough, strength wise, but my focus and concentration were good and that's what really counts. Didnt't help that the teacher took us way over in time for lots of the toughest poses but oh well. I will aim for tues/thursday and double class on sunday which will mean 4 practices a week with 3 kb sessions.Now this should be interesting,lol.

I can see now where my yoga practice will be as integral a part of my training as my kb practice.I wondered what would be the compliment for the other days as I healed and now I know. Yoga.

Who'd a thunk it, but in retrospect, the symmetry is perfect.

Handstands are next. Coming soon.Plus Stones gym is undergoing a MAJOR rehaul. Rif the powerlifter is no more and Stones gym is now being reborn for Team Rif Kettlebell adventures and Tracy's soon to be produced dvd series.Pictures soon.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Some decent endurance

I decided against testing the ssst today as it really makes no sense for me to risk tweaking something this close to a cert. I'll have enough physical challenges next week. But I did want to see if I could do some higher rep sets; which I havent been able to make myself do for quite awhile.
The extra energy from the San Jose TSC competitors really helped get my head right.I chose the 20 kg bell though as it was time for some crisp and speedy reps.

20 kg

276 reps

Not a bad little workout if I say so myself, although it was slower than normal due to my judging duties. No worries, I just went harder on each rep. One of the TSC competitors made my day when he said " are you trying to win the snatch race today?".Not even close but still nice to hear :))


felt the left elbow talking to me so I switched to

One CB arm cast
15 lb cb x 10/10 x 4 sets

Two hand Sield cast
15 lb cb x10/10 x3

I've decided to use the CB with two hands mostly, at least for awhile. Its a better counterbalance to all the one hand stuff I do with the kbs and my left elbow is starting to get tweaky again from the mills and shield casts.I'm NOT going to injure something for an assistant exercise. This will be the equivilant of my two hand swing and I will start using the 25 lber a lot more as well with this.

Bikrams tomorrow.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Breathing Bikram

Finally got back to yoga yesterday and was so glad I did. Travel and lost weekends play havoc with yoga more than anything as we have to travel to get there and it's late in the day.When I am short on recovery it just has to take a back seat to real rest.But I was jones'ing for a deep,stretch in the tropic heat and was ready for class. I could feel my shoulders tightening up daily and I really needed to open them, and my chest up.
It's been amazing to me that when I started class I couldn't get my shoulders into half the postures as almost ALL require a significant amount of external rotation,something I just havent had much of in the last 20 years or so,lol.
Attempting to go into poses like eagle, standing head to knee,standing bow, floor bow,half locust camel and rabbit if you don't have enough external rotation you can't even get started in the poses.Perserverence usually pays off in most things but I was very surprised when I could really get my arms to turn out enough to grab my legs.
At first my shoulder would subluxate every time I forced myself into the posture and then try to get out of it.But slowly but surely it would sublux less and less until a couple weeks ago it didnt at all and I realized I had regained lots more shoulder extension and external rotation.And, guess what, my shoulder felt better all day long as well.So much of the problem was overly tight pec minor and major from 30 plus years of pushing pressing and benching, not to mention the full dislocation on rings,lol.Nothing has opened them up better than all these behind the back poses.Crazy, who'd of thunk it.
But yesterday I was determined to breathe throughout the entire class, as I always find myself holding my breath during the hard poses and once I get into any kind of oxygen debt in that heat it screws me up for many more poses if not the rest of the class.
I am always stronger( read more rested) coming back from a layoff but my endurance sucks and I going to make sure I didnt start holding my breath even if it meant my poses weren't as strong. Sure enough keeping my concentration on breathing the entire time make a HUGE difference; not only in my endurance but in the ability to hold the poses as well.
I take the pranayama breathing much more seriously now( the first set of poses in the practice) as I know how important it is for the rest of the class to really open up my lungs prior to the harder postures.
AS with most of the physical activities that hold my interest, the possibilities for going deeper into the skill is much more appealing than random acts of variety. I am just getting started plumbing the depths of this practice.
One more week of disrupted schedule( next weeks Cert) then a nice break where we can build some training momentum and get some more energy bucks in the bank account.I am low on reserves and don't want to get into savings. Time to build up the account for the fall and winter. Bikrams should be great fun this winter when its really cold out. I was thinking of buying a home sauna the last couple years as it's so hard to get really warm lately. This should solve that problem.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

36:36 Max vo2 PR

Well ,I finally got the real Pr in the 36:36 version of the snatch vo2 with the 16 kg.As you probably don't recall last month I did a mini pr of 26 sets before quitting and going into my house to get my butt handed to me by Tracy who insisted we go out into the gym and do the last 4 sets and get it done, regardless of the time break.And we did but I never counted those 30 sets as my real pr; just the 26 sets I had done back to back.
So today, with Tracy training with me this time, I got 31 back to back sets of 16 reps in the 36:36 max vo2 protocol. No problem except for excessive sweating which really plays a number on my grip which is hard enough, thank you very much, in this routine as it is! Still not the top end goal of 35 sets that Kenneth set out but that will get done next time.
Used a corkscrew technique on both hands, which really is cheating, (it makes it SO much easier) I don't think my heartrate was high enough, but no matter, I got it done and it was legal, so there,lol.
When you have to snatch to save the grip it really makes you focus on economy of effort, and efficiency as well.That's why I like the 15:15 so much better, it really lets you hang it all out, power and explosiveness wise. It's all good though and this certainly has it's place.

Snatch Vo2 36:36 16 kg
31 sets of 16 reps PR
496 snatches
17856 lbs

One Clubbell Swipes
15 lb club
5 x 10/10

wanted to do these continuous but the sweat hurts the grip here even more than with the kettlebells.Had to stop after each set, towel off, chalk up and restart. Don't like the cold but this sucks.

Two Clubbell swipes
2 15's x 20 reps

Two hand shield cast
15 x10/10

These are great, havent done them in quite awhile. Elbow is feeling fine as well. Somewhat thinking about having a go at the ten minute SSST with the 20 kg this Saturday as Jordan and a friend are coming to Stones Gym( aka the Rifstonian Institute) to test their TSC skills.
I am completely not ready for it in any sense of the word but especially mentally but I am still considering it.
I just dont know if I will be in the mood for that particular type of suffering quite that early this Saturday. We'll see.

datsit.Bikrams for sure tomorrow! I will be strong but I will gas,lol.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Slow and easy.

The Team Rif Wine Country Workshop was a great success and a good time was had by all! We spent mucho time going over the basics of RKC style swings, snatches and presses as well as basic stretching and foam roller work for injury prevention and reduction of pain. However, I missed my Saturday snatch workout, worked most of the weekend and had to travel( albeit by car this time not plane) so I got little rest.
So of course getting back on the horse today was a little creaky.
Fell back onto my default mutliple sets of five in the snatch to make up for Saturdays miss as well as some transfers to get my legs back in the game.I will do swings proper on Wednesday after some Max vo2 work and then back to snatch work again next saturday.After that just one more travel weekend ( the Sept cert) and then I should be back in my groove with no travel till way after the first of the year.


16 kg x5/5x3
20 kg x5/5 x2

24 kg x5/5x10 sets
100 reps
5300 lbs

Man it's amazing how quickly that little weight can feel heavy. I didnt start feeling good til about 80 reps.

24 kg x20 reps x 5 sets
100 reps
5300 lbs

15 lb CB

these went well although have to start out gingerly or else my left elbow starts to ache a bit.
I hate starting over like this but it's smarter than trying to push through when I am tired and not into my body very well. A good start up workout.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

80 sets of 7 in the Max Vo2 Snatch

Finally I hit eighty sets in the Snatch Vo2 protocol, although not the prescribed Gold standard 8 reps per set but it was a 20 set PR for me either. Add in being awake since 2 am and no food and it was a decent feat in and of itself.
I decided to do the eighty sets on a whim, which seems to be the way these days, after looking at the 36:36 protocol which was on the menu and really not wanting to tax my grip hard. Don't want to deal with tight biceps tendons getting ready for the workshop this weekend.
So it was either the 20 kg 15:15 or the 16 kg for sevens.Not having slept well and having gone extra heavy of late( plus an extra bikrams session yesterday) I didnt think I would feel fresh enough to go heavier so it was the 16 kg and 7's that was left.
7 reps per 15 sec work bout seem downright easy to me these days, even tired and drained but I knew I had to do some serious damage on the total number scale. Why? I don't know but my inner masochist was talking out again.
Go big or go home, he said.
Plus Tracy was going to be coaching me through the entire session and it's really hard to not push when she's on the platform.Especially when she's just coaching and not training herself.THe pressure was on,lol.

Snatch Vo2
16 kg
80 sets of 7 reps All time PR
560 reps!

20,160 pounds

It started out easy, as it always does with 7's but it didnt take too long to ramp itself up,especially as I was trying to go as fast and explosively as I could and still feel like I could go the distance. First goal was 80 sets, second goal was all the reps done as explosively as possible.
Left arm modified corkscrew and right arm hardstyle over the top.
I missed counted my hashmarks at 60 sets and thought I had done 70 the realized the mistake and had to do A LOT more sets.Its like moving the finish line in a race after you have already crossed it.But I didnt want to make a mistake I didnt realize till after and not get the 80 sets. The last ten sets were tough, mentally but I also started to really sprint as I saw the end was near.Tracy yelling in my ear didnt hurt either ;))Knowing she knew exactly what this felt like and had done more it helped me push that much faster.
Top heartrate was around 175-180 at the end.
Sweated like a freakin pig and that is becoming a real problem in that I can't keep the bells dry( and I use two different bells!) and that makes the grip a real issue.grip issues translate into shoulder pain for me so I don't risk it.Plus the extra time drying the bells ,re-chalking wip[ing down etc. really eats into recovery time. 15 seconds goes by FAST!
Especially when you can't breathe.

One Arm Clubbell Swipes
15 lb clubells 60 reps switching every ten
40 reps as above.

Datsit. Bikrams yesterday and 560 snatches got me. I'm done.
Tomorrow, though is another yoga day :))

Bikrams is Hardstyle.

Now everyone who knows me knows I am a very opiniated guy. Once I decide what I think it right I am pretty much unmovable unless: someone convinces me I am wrong with better facts and information , or, my experience tells me I am wrong. In that case I have NO problem admitting I was wrong and changing my opinion. This was the case with Z health drills and now is the case with Bikrams yoga.
I am now a convert and realize that not only was I wrong about what Bikrams yoga is about( the McYoga thing) but also the benefits of what it could get me. Reading about the history, lineage, philosophy and concepts behind the methods, from Bikram himself went a long way. I just wish the studios imparted this crucial information better in the classes but regardless, I have seen the light here too.
Bikram's is Hardcore, the Real Deal and, yes,like RKC, Hardstyle baby! lol.
What do I mean by that? I mean that like like RKC the focus is Deep Skill , not ADD variety training, the focus in internal not on 'having fun' in class, the focus is perection of movement and the difficulty of the task is not taken into account.
Like Pavel would say if someone says the moves are too hard: 'Tell someone who cares".

In Birkrams own words:
" If some things are too hard for the students, for their weak bodies, then I make it harder! THis is the only way for human beings to break free from their self imposed limitations and begin to understand that there are no limitations .I believed int he strength of the Western people and decided it was simply a matter of teaching discipline through the postures in order to reach them"
Now I have griped inccessantly about the teachers " dialogue" and now I understand that it's not the dialogue that's the problem but the lack of the background information about WHY things are done the way they are that makes it seem like it doesnt make sense.
There is still some basic confusion about kinesology of muscle use but now I'm not sure if that's Bikrams mistake or the instructors.No matter, like Pavel says," do you want to know how to swim or undertand hydrodynamics?"
I be swimming well lately.
More Bikram:
"Ca'nt do a particular posture today? If you persits in trying the right way, a day will come when you can.Don't cheat or change the posture to conform to your individual weaknesses. If you do the real benefit goes out the window. Would you rather suffer for 90 minutes or 90 years? The right way is the hard way( how could I not love this guy?)
Remember: "It's never too late, it's never too bad and you're never too old or too sick to start from scratch once again."
This guy is SO hardcore. I love it.
His attention to concentration, determination, focus, fighting through the pain, the struggle, not giving in, never giving up, faith,patience, perserverence and developing the body from the inside out, always working with mind, body and spirit similtaneously really appeals to me. As you can tell I REALLY liked his book. What a difference the real information makes.
One last thing; Saturday I had to help move some shelves we were giving to my sister in law.Nick and I got the first one in the back of her F 250 truck, I held the base while he jumped in the truck to bring it back into position. The next one I had the lead and when it came time I jumped in the back of the truck as well.
Without a thought, without a care, just on instinct.Both Nick and I stopped on a dime and he said " did you just JUMP into the truck? I had to stop too and realize that just months ago I wouldn't have wanted to climb into the truck without really preparing my back for a possible herniation,lol.
Now I just leaped, after a 200 rep snatch workout and had no problem at all. My old gymnast instinct took over and I just moved. What a miracle. What a blessing.
I had to do it again just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Or hallucinating.And it was just as easy.
The next day I actually RAN 6-8 steps to get something for Tracy. Ran. Me. Again.
I just looked down at my body and couldnt beleive it.
It wasnt too long ago I was ready to get my knee replaced and settle into real decripitude.
Now I am not giving any one thing, let alone yoga credit for this. I wouldnt have been able to do Bikrams 6 months ago without preparing for it with my own Rifga stretching, the Z drills and, most importantly, TONS of Kettlebell work.
But something has changed in me and I can't wait to see what's next.Yesterday was my fourth day of training in a row and I feel great.Each class gets better and better and my body is slowly molding to what it used to be.A deep transformation, inside and out is taking place and it just keeps getting better.
Who knows what's next? don't know, but between hardstyle kettlebells and my new hardstyle yoga things look very bright indeed.
My original idea to get my pre injury gymnast body back seems to be working.Who knew yoga would be the vehicle to get there?

Monday, September 01, 2008

A bunch of heavy one arm swings.

Felt pretty good coming into todays workout after a kick ass bikrams class yesterday morning.I actually got a front row spot so I could see the mirror for a change. Helped a lot.I also felt a kind of responsiblity not to suck too much being in the front as well. I think I held my own fairly well :))
Got lots of energy help too as Tracy and Jonathan trained with as well. Tracy was back in swing queen mode doing 1000 SWINGS WITH THE 24 KG in only 50 minutes. That's 54,000 lbs of work in less than an hour.Freaking crazy.
And it was 32 kg week so I really had to do some decent work.Grip held out very well as I cinched it up again and the blister problem virtually disappeared.That sucker is heavy though,no doubt about it.

One Arm swings
16 kg x5/5 x2
24 kgx5/5x2 ( this felt HEAVY in warmup !)

32 kg x8/8x19 sets
304 reps
21,880 pounds

Could have kept going but the hands were starting to heat up and my Golden Rule now is DON'T TEAR!The one time extra workload is not worth the down time or lack of intensity because of grip issues.

Barbarian Press( two handed arm cast into flag press)
15 x10/10
25 x8/8x4 sets

these were great and very strong.Solid upper body work

One Arm CB casts
15x25/25x3 sets

went for de pump! LOL.

datsit. more yoga tomorrow. got to get it in as we'll be in Healdsburg next sunday.