Sunday, November 29, 2009

Muscle Beach indeed.

This is why gymnasts look like they do. Just getting on and off the apparatus is more training than most do in their entire workout.Check out the first ring routine in the video below.Crazy crazy crazy strength!
Lower to L cross
Drop to perfect front lever
straight body pullout to BACK ROLL TO HANDSTAND( reverse muscle up)!!!!TALK ABOUT SHOULDERS AND PRESSING STRENGTH!

Oh yeah, the flying rings,lol! think that tooks some guts?
Gymnastics rocks.

thanks to Mark Davis for putting the video up on his facebook page.He's the mutant doing the quad dismount at the end of the video!

Snatch Vo2, getting close.

The momentum continues to grow and I hit my goal numbers yesterday in Tracy's Max class, although I did have to suffer the indignity of watching both her and Meg continue on to 70 plus sets with the same 16 kg I was using. But slow steady progress is my mantra, and I did what I set out to do so I have to be satisfied.

Snatch Vo2 8 am
15:15 protocol
16 kg bell

20 sets of 7
31 sets of 8
388 reps
13,968 lbs

Things started out great but I had trouble finding 'todays groove'. I always start out the groove with the one that worked best the last workout but, as they say in yoga, "do the best with the body that shows up today". Many times 'today's body' is not last workouts body,nor is the groove.Things were working great on my left side, but my right side QL area was not liking the position in the bottom of the snatch and it took my awhile to figure out how to fix it without stopping.
I opted for a more upright position, using quads more, than my traditional more GS stiff legged style and the back tension abated. I did have to miss a 15 sec interval though to stretch it out but I punished myself by doing one more set than planned.
If I hate anything about max vo2 work it's that once it starts there is no time to adjust anything
without messing up the workout and that bugs my ocd self to no end. most of the time that means I can't even switchout bells when my sweat monster shows up and I start dripping on the bell. Hard enough to accelerate when the hands are dry. wet bells and fast reps are not a good combo.Today I needed a few seconds to open up my back and it killed me to stop but I made up for it.
I thought my cardio would be a limiter but not today. I could have done more sets, a good sign.
Tracy did 42 sets of 8s and 70 total sets, all with the 16 kg!!! Crazy strong. Crazy good. I know EXACTLY how hard that is.
I wonder how many other women can do this workout? I wonder if there are any other women AT ALL doing Max vo2 training on a regular OR irregular basis? Just sayin'.
And if not, why not?
But I am getting there and can finally see 50 sets of 8 again as well as 80 total sets. Slow and steady.

Clubbells Swipes
(2) 10 lb x 15
15 lb x15
20 lb x 10 x 3 sets
15 x 30 reps

Nice! three sets of 10 was much easier than the pyramid up to tens last week. and the 30 rep downset was solid as well. although the grip was cooked at the end,lol.

12 noon Bikrams

wasnt planning on going today but when Tracy got back from teaching I thought,'what the hell?" why not, I feel good. SO I went and suffered through a beginner teachers droing and slowmotion class. I had NO expectations for a good class and that helped. He didnt dissapoint but I got what I wanted out of it, more conditioning and a solid stretch out. Oh yeah, and I didnt hurt myself,lol.
Tracy and I are already planning on getting back to double Bikrams very soon on sundays.
Another class this morning( I'm writing this sunday).I'm on a good roll.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

50 K snatches in sight.

me awhile ago. I am close again
I was suprised, as I usually am when workouts go well, at how strong I felt today snatching.I've known for awhile that in order to get my workout total up to where it needs to be( 200 reps minimum per session) but I havent felt like I could handle anymore than sets of 5/5 with the 24 kg and keep the power and acceleration of each rep where I want it to be, as well as not tear up my hands .20 sets of 10 is not fun so I decided to bump the reps up to 7/7 and see how many total sets I could get.
Amazingly everything felt great although it still takes me forever to warmup my heart and lungs. Nothing different than 20 years ago when I was bike racing but with only an hour to get the whole workout in I was behind the eight ball. ANd going 'I go, you go' style with Tracy there I really didnt have time to whine about wanting more rest time.SO nice when you get out of the conditioning dolrums and your consistency and intensity start to pay off . Gliding into strength and fitness flow instead of survival mode is so much nicer than hanging on with will and heart.It's nice to lift heavy weights or do high intensity workouts and feel like they are easy. You know they are not cause just a few weeks ago a lot less kicked your butt but the contrast feels great.
Being able to up the reps told me my form and groove are coming along as well. Nice. I know I need to get to sets of 10 on each side so I can do my alltime goal of 200 in ten minutes in SSST someday.I like to always be training for something even if it's years off. It helps keep me motivated and focused. I'm just so spoiled now only doing sets of 7-8 in the max training. I HATE hi reps.
SO why do I have a ten minute set as my alltime kb goal? lol,well it seemed like the right thing at the time. perhaps because it's one of the few hi intensity things I can see myself doing and not wrecking my restoration of my body.But it's got to be done slowly and correctly.ANd lets not forget it IS my weak point.Give me a one rep max anyday.
ANd now, at almost 44,000 snatches in the calculator I can actually SEE getting my 50k done. Then I do need to tackle the SSST. Still have lots more to do to build the base back but I can see it too.
I also do need to add in some days when I take my one arm rep count up to the max again. We used to do this on max effort days back in my wsb days. instead of a bunch of progressive singles up until we missed on a lift, we would do 1-3 very high rep sets until failure in an exercise. max effort is max effort.
I'm still very proud of one of my best hi rep efforts; 33 close grip pushups to a power bar in the bottom of a power rack with a 100 lb plate on my back .Once my conditioning gets back up a little more I'll start adding that in every 3-5th week.I want to be able to do 30/30 with the 24 kg no problem. pass my old snatch test,lol.


24kgx7/7x10 sets
140 reps
7420 lbs

Free style after kicking up against a wall.
8 sets of 15 seconds each

Wow, this was the first time in eons I felt like myself upside down again! My hand and finger strength is starting to back, as well as the proprioception. I was able to shift around in the HS without feeling I was going to fall out at any time.Torso is squaring up as well and throacic mobility is coming back. tucking the hips really helps create the hollow position in the chest as well. This helps shoulder ROM> GO figure.Arched back, arched chest.Or the reverse.
Handstand pushups are soon.

Clubbell Arm casts
10 lb x5/5
20lbx5/5x3 sets

these rock adn the 20's worked my triceps hard. really love this move. so good for arm size too :))
and, oh yeah, training at the new Girya is AWESOME. I love it there for my training now. SO much more hardcore.The HKC is just a week away and I am PSYCHED for it!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tough Crowd.

Tracy and I are, as she always says, a tough crowd. What she means is that we have high standards for certain things and are hard to please. This is especially true for things that involve athletics and those who claim high standards.I, we, know what we know and aren't going to pretend otherwise. Sorry.
This is very true for Bikrams yoga, and although I am a total beginner( less than a year and half practice) one of the things that really drew me( draws me) to it is that there is a "dialogue" that spells out, completely and specifically not only what the exact sequence of postures are, but exactly how long each one is to be held, how they should be gotten into, out of and the rest periods between postures.A routine. Each class is supposed to be exactly the same, the difference being what YOU bring to it each day. Works great for those with OCD,lol.And people who like to measure themselves against very specific standards. It's nice to know exactly what's expected of you in the workout.
When they tell you a pose is going to be one minute, and they want you to basically pass out as you cross the finish line( metaphorically) but CONSISTENTLY have you in those postures for numerous varieties of time( rarely the exact minute) it gets frustrating. You know( it's in the book) that each pose should be a specific length of time and you when they won't take the class there it can drive you nuts.
Tracy has been doing a real practice for three solid years and counts very well in her poses; she knows when a 60 second pose is 90 seconds. And since she is actually doing the postures to their full expression (as opposed to me, who is, well just trying to survive and get CLOSE to the full expression) it ain't nice when you are sprinting and they constantly move the finish line.
But when they overdo the first 2/3's of the class because they are, well, just talking to much, adding way too much into the 'dialogue' instead of just giving the cues perfectly and pulling us into the postures, helping us build a rythym, they are stealing from the last 1/3 of the class and that ticks me off.And she aint happy either.
We are also supposed to get a 'savasana'( corpse pose) between each of the last 1/3 postures but that gets skipped fast when they are running behind( next class is waiting...) and they have to 'makeup' for it.
which they never do and didn't today. They went 12 minutes over the 90 minute class with a jumble of work intervals none of which we knew were coming. Add in being pretty gassed from yesterdays double workout and I wasnt a happy camper.Being stuck in that sauna when you are dying is, as you might guess, no fun at all.So I especially wasnt happy as they shorted us in corpse poses big time. 12 minutes doesnt sound like much, but after 90 minutes in a crowded sauna working yourself cardiovascularly and muscular to your limit, it can feel like an eternity.

Now corpse pose looks to be just resting, and it is. BUT it is crucial to the way Bikrams system works; because after you constrict the blood,and the organs,with the static poses you are supposed to relax completely and really let the blood perfuse back into the area you just trained. Skip this and the whole system breaks down. Like doing Hardstyle KB work aerobically.Just aint the same thing.If you can't breathe at all its way hard to go hard. You have to gear down.
Like I said, tough crowd.But I have high expectations from fitness professionals in all walks.Especially Master Instructors.
I didnt even stay a second for the final savasana.Couldnt do it.
So got up after the final breathing work and got out of there. not a great yoga mindset but hey, can't you just stick with the dialgoue ? And, as a professional: FINISH THE CLASS ON TIME? I know I wouldnt be let into class if I came 10 minutes late; respect my time and energy as well.
Do it right. Be a pro.
Just say the dialogue and when it's time for savasana be quiet and let us quiet our minds.I dont want a lecture about being able to quiet the mind. Let us hear the silence.
It really makes me appreciate the great instructors that ARE there. They do it right and it's so obvious.
OK, rant over,calm blue ocean, calm blue

I need a nap :))

Saturday, November 21, 2009

If I can't outlift you I will outlast you.

The picture on my new business card.
That is one of my favorite sayings, and pretty much my motto. I've never had a lot of talent in the athletic department, excellent for an excellent eye for movement and a LOT of desire to be able to move as best I can , if that counts as athletic talent.

As a gymnast I had to do the movement 1000 times wrong to do it right once, but I didnt care. If I did it right once, I figured, I could do it again right. I just couldnt stop trying.
Another of my favorite sayings: the only way you won't get it is if you quit.
I don't have a lot of quit in me.Probably be smarter if I had more but hey what can I say?lol.
I am closing in pretty quickly on my 50,00 snatches and max vo2 days really help pump the numbers up and this makes me pretty proud.

As of now only one person, Richard Christopher has actually accounted for 50,000 snatches on the snatch manager board
and I will be the second. I'm sure lots of people who started this have done 50,000 snatches in their training, but they haven't counted them, and in this race, they don't count. Mine will. Gotta have a goal to keep showing up, no matter how far off it is nor how seemingly unattainable.It doesnt even really matter, because as soon as one goal is accomplished a new one has to be decided upon anyway. After 50,000 snatches, 100,00.

So, win, lose or draw, next day it's back in the gym. What else you gonna do? It's a practice after all.A path.My path anyway.

I am fully committed to training only at Girya after 11 years in my garage gym. It's time. I'm tired of my garage and Girya is fully being converted to a KB dojo, set up for classes, groups, HKC's AND one one ones. Way different than the "studio" it's been for 8 years. Hey, everybody used kbs from the start but a studio is not a dojo. This is better and the perfect time for the change.It's also way cool and different to train with Tracy and her students.So much good energy, I haven't felt that in years,except in yoga. Which, ironically for me, is now one of it's perks. Who'da thunk it? Me needing group energy for training.

But hey, any port in a storm

Felt good, slept well, got up early, stretched and mentally prepared to have my hat handed to me by my wife but what'cha gonna do,lol?

Snatch vo2
16kgx 30 sets of 7
20 sets of 8 in the 15:15 protocol
50 sets
370 reps
13,320 lbs

Not bad at all, HR was 190 at the end but having Tracy meg and nick getting it done alongside really made it easier. Quitting was not an option.

And watching Tracy do THIRTY FOUR sets of EIGHT with the SIXTEEN KILO after numerous sets of 7 and doing 60 sets total just showed me how far I have fallen from my 80 sets of 8. After teaching a half hour swing class.Check it out here.

BUT I will be back. Cause I just won't quit. I'm slow but I'm stubborn.

Clubbell swipes
10 lbs x 20
15 lbs x15x2
20 lbs x 8,9,10 PR
ouch, these were perfect. I love being able to do them again: The perfect compliment to my kb work, just the thing to open up my tight elbow flexors.
dats it for now, yoga in an hour and a half. Double time.

New Schedule

two hand swings and Clubbell Casts
Heavy snatch and Handstands

Snatch Vo2 and Clubbell swipes

Bikrams( 1.5 hours after max)

Completely suprisingly I had one of my strongest classes ever.Felt really strong, mentally in control and my breath was very very calm. Even after I had to help carry the guy that fainted due to heat stroke out for the paramedics to get.Made me miss my strong side on standing bow,lol. He is ok, but they got to let people who say they want out of the heat out of the studio without arguing. It's crazy. Let them cool off and come back. Tomorrow's always another practice. What's the hurry?
Hope to get another class in tomorrow as well. HKC cert is 95% full and life is good.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dang near perfect

This is about perfection from my era of gymnastics. Check out the bottom position of his TRIPLE back somersault. Crazy knees

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

3 days of Bikrams and some decent snatch numbers

It's been a long time since I made it to three yoga classes in a week much less three days in a row, but that's what happen starting Monday. And it went great. I've seen to crossed a line in my practice that I can now train it without creating too much tweaking in my knee or back. I try to look at it as active recovery and not loading as the resistance actually doesnt change; although one could say it does as you create more tension in each posture or push the depth or both.the workload certainly varies.
Sunday at 8 was detox and I sweated well and was suprisingly 'there' mentally with good concentration and breath. Monday at 12 noon was VERY strong with a great teacher who really paced us well and gave solid cues. Teachers can eitther pull you along or stop you in there tracks with their cueing, rythym ( or lack thereof) and knowledge of the dialogue and the real anatomy that they are talking about.Monday at 12 was TOUGH and it was all I could do to get through the 90 minutes and not tear my ears off listening to the teacher really throw us off any possibility of getting a groove , taking each pose WAY too long, and, on top of it, not giving us near enough time in savasana( the dead body pose) which is so important for blood recirculation.
Bugs the crap outa me. BUT I made it through three straight days with each day feeling more like my body was finally getting the essence of each of the postures, relative to how I should do them.
Of course I got to train each time with my beautiful Yogini wife Tracy kicking butt right next to me :)) It gets old hearing the teacher compliment almost each one of her poses every time.LOL, just kidding,I'm so proud :))

And today was snatch day, some volume with the 24 kg and I was determined to get at least 150 reps as the last few weeks totals have been so paltry. I am advancing well on my 50,000 snatch reps( I believe I have 43,00 plus) and I need every rep I can. Plus if I ever plan on doing a ten minute test again I've got to get the total volume up to at least 200 reps per session. I beleive I need 250-300 to do 200 reps in ten minutes and thats a ways off .
But today things felt solid and it was great to train in the almost re modeled Girya. It has a WAY more serious look and feel and the giant KB art isnt even up yet!Black blue grey and steel are the colors and its shaping up fast.

16 kgx5/5x2
20 kgx5/5

24 kg x5/5x14 sets
x5/5/5/5x1 set
150 reps
8100 lbs

a very nice workload and the sets were easy with 30 sec or so between sets.Tracy was doing very solid press workout for 5/5 with the 14 kg and we went 'I go you go' so my pace was decently fast. Hate that. I miss the heavy singles with 10 minutes between sets of my powerlifting days, lol.

handstands superset with 2 clubbell swipes
handstands were worked against the wall for the start then free held emphasizing getting my hollow position back in my thorax. All those years of arching hard in power squats and benches have locked my ribs with a huge arch. it will take time to re open up my hollow position for handstands and hs pushups.

Clubbell swipes
2 sets of 20 with 10 lbs then 3 sets of 15 with the 15's.
I liked this combination and can't wait til my 20's get here! only have an hour for the workout so with my need for warmup I could use another 20 minutes or so. soon.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Snatch Vo2; 20 kg sets for the first time.

One more week of training in the garage gym without Tracy as Girya gets redone but I knew I had to actually DO a max vo2 workout or watch my decent level of conditioning with the eights slide down a slippery slope. Now Nick has been used to Saturdays being our heavy snatch day and he doesnt ever DO max vo2 work but too bad so sad; today we were going to push it a bit. At least for him
My right elbow flexors are still a bit sore from getting tweaked on the 36 kg press so I didnt want to do too much volume so I thought doing perhaps I would do some sets with the 20 kg and that would end Nicks torture a bit earlier than if I used the 16kg the whole time. It worked out really well and I now know I will be including 20 kg mvo2 work in the future. My training partner told me she had thought the same thing; that it was time I started working with the 20kg occasionally too. Great minds think alike :))

Snatch vo2 15:15
12kgx5/5x2 ( it was COLD today)
16 kg x5/5x2

20kg x 6 x20 sets/ 120 reps 5280 lbs
16 kg x8 x20 sets/ 160 reps 5760 lbs
300 reps
11,040 lbs total

This went very well. As I thought might be the case, going to the 16 kg,even for 8's after working with the 20 would make it fly up and it did. Takes me forever to warmup and today the garage was particularly cold as well. If I wasnt concerned aobut pushing my arm too much I would have done another ten sets easy. very happy.
Both Nick and I will be training Max Vo2 at Tracy's class at Girya now on Saturday mornings, this will be great. Nick will get his ass kicked but that's perfect, actually,lol.

Two handed clubbell swipes
6 sets of 10 each side.

waiting patiently for my new 20 lb clubbells to arrive and didnt bring the 15's home from girya so it was two handed reps. not a bad variation at all.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Balancing Tension and Relaxation.

Or, put another way, strength and movement. I pressed my brand new 36 kg today, on both sides, after 100 snatches with the 24 kg and not a whole lot of sleep. But the question is, as is said so often, is just because you can doesnt mean you should.
I've been very excited about regaining my pressing ability again, or should I say ,some pressing ability, and what happens when some lost function of mine comes back online again after a long absence is that I tend to go too hard, too often too fast.
Almost did that today as I slightly tweaked my right forearm, for no damn good reason, after I finished the press.I did the same thing on the other side, two weeks ago( right before the HSV) seminar cleaning the 40 kg.
My problem is, as it is for many people, including injured ex athletes, is that you don't where the line is until you have crossed it. and many times that means making the lift easily but having applied too much tension into the movement and coming up tweaked.
I have known for quite awhile that too much tension in my already too strong wrist flexors, elbow flexors and shoulder flexors ends up with restricted ROM in my shoulders and pain in my right one.
I have to carefully balance out the tension(strength) work I do with a greater amount of relaxation work for the same areas. I tend to do well with this until I start feeling good, and healthy( yes you read that right) and STOP doing enough of the boring stretching/corrective exericse pre/rehab work that GOT me back to function in the first place.Yes, I am human after all :))
For the last couple years I had so much problems associated with ANY tension in my torso and arm flexors that I cut out ANY pressing and or tension exercises. Worked well and now I can press again, it seems, but not too much and not too heavy.
The next step off of a peak is always down and today was a peak that started in August at the San Diego cert when I realized I could bottoms up press and ended today with a solid press of the 36 kg. I weight about 157 so that's not a bad ratio and the thing motored up.
BUT, with my right arm it got a little bit out of the groove and, like the seasoned competitor that I am, I ignored it , righted things and just "made it work".ANd tweaked myself a bit in the process. Nothing that a bunch of massage, stick work, stretching, Z drills, yoga, more stretching won't fix quickly but I got the message.
Just like I CAN snatch the 28 and 32 kg bells, I will not any longer because the risk is not worth the reward and when the going gets tough I just ignore my body signals and get it done. Great for young competitors but not for old guys who need basic function more than new pr's.
That being said I will continue to press, I just need to back off again and recycle. I also want to focus more on the handstands and hs presses as well.
I know I CAN press the Bulldog, I just don't know if the pieces will hold together after I do. There's plenty of time for that.
Tracy was killing her presses with the 14 kg and it's amazing how much progress she has made with the strict version of this lift in such a short time. I love training with her :))

16 kg x5/5 x2
20 kgx5/5
24 kg x 5/5 x9 sets
x10/10x 1 set
110 reps
5830 lbs

these went really well.I am getting used to training at Girya now and these felt really strong ane effortless. I wanted to do more but I know I was going to press the 36 so I wanted to save something for it. Cardio was solid too.

KB Military press
24 kg x1/1
28 kgx1/1
32 kgx1/1
36kgx1/1 PR!! All time.

these went very well and i was happy I warmed up with the snatches so well. it made a difference.

Clubbell torch swings

2 10 lb cbs x 10
2 15 lb cbs x10 x 3 sets

these definitely helped my tweaky right elbow into full extension.


4 sets 20 second. very strong.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Volume snatches and bikrams

Nick was back today so I didnt get to train snatch vo2 with Tracy, and I really missed it. SO I compensated by doing some basic volume work with sets of 16 reps and maximal acceleration and not a too long rest period. We went "I go, you" and I did sets of 8 reps per arm , 16 per set and it was too easy. Amazing that last week I did the same work in half the time, lol. Then I find out that Tracy did 30 sets of 8 and 32 sets of 7 in snatch vo2 with the SIXTEEN KILO ( same weight as me ) and I really felt weeny. Back to training with the swing queen at Girya next week and more serious volume.
BUT , the workout was decent, volume wise, and technique and power wise, so I can't complain. The sixteen is a freakin light weight for me after all. It better be.

16 kg
15 sets of 8/8
4 sets of 8/8/8/8
1 sets of 8/8
320 snatches
11,520 lbs

not bad.

A couple hours later I did a Bikrams class and had a very solid practice.Yoga training has been going really well lately and I was actually looking forward to the class; even after 300 plus snatches.My body felt relatively balanced and relatively flexible and my mind stayed relatively calm throughout the ninety minutes. Tracy's practice is rocking these days and having her energy by my side always helps. It really is cool to see/feel it down so right right next to you. She could easily be a teacher. And a great one. She knows her practice from the inside out.I think she will teach some day. But for now her practice just really inspires mine with it's strength, grace, ease and beauty.Take a picture.
My left leg lockout in standing forward head to knee continues to improve and that's great. cardio is pretty solid now too and I need to keep this momentum going.It's so nice to finish a practice and NOT worry that my lower back is going to tweak at any moment or my knee is going to lockout up at any moment. Yoga as recovery. This is what I want it to be. And to have that ease after a hard kb workout is twice as satsifying.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Restoring lost physical function

This is the name of my dvd that was shot a few years ago at the Level 2 RKC and what has been the primary focus on my existance since a serious back injury in 2000 really brought to my attention just how asymmetrical and out of balance I had become after 26 years of competitive training and competitions.
I completely credit Pavel Tsatsouline , the KB and his methodology of training ,called the RKC ,with helping me to start my journey back to physical balance ( by using an asymmetrical tool no less,lol) and strength and health.
That started in 2001 when I got my first kettlebell and has continued to reach new levels of physical mobility, flexibilty, strength and the ability to do again movements I thought might be lost forever. Especially the ability to train with tension and train some strenght moves again.
And not paying a serious pain price for days afterward. That part is REAL important.
I could always DO the workout, I would just lose all kinds of function and be in serious pain for days after, that's all,lol.
This recovery reached a new high today as I did double kb presses for the first time in EONS; and did them strongly and with good shoulder mobility. And NO teres pain.
Then I went on to train my free handstands and knew without a doubt that I would not only regain( have) my ability to do the best skill I ever had, that I would also be able to do straight arm straight leg handstand presses but freestanding handstand pushups as well.Today was a test; the ability to press both bells similtaneously would really show me if my torso mobility had improved enough to handle bilateral pressing again.
I have been pleased as punch to be able to do single arm kb military presses again but knew I wouldnt have a chance at HS pushups until I could do double presses. This need to constantly and consistently improve is exactly what got me hurt in the first place but it is who I am, even if the improvement is some variation of some silly rehab movement that I am embarassed to think about.So I HAVE to go more slowly than I want.
But my extremely lessened time required on both the foam roller and the thumper tell me things are going in the right direction for sure. Many ways to the same goal.
Crucial to this,imo, is to work on all aspects of your goals at the same time, spending the most on your weaknesses. This is what turns them into strengths.For so long flexibility( or lack thereof) was my weakest attribute and what I have focused most on, as well as trying to removing excess tension in the skeletal muscles by various myofascial release methods, stretching and yoga. It is working.Has worked. Will continue to work until I am as square, plump and neutral as I need to be and then I will maintain that. Have to.Hurts too much if I don't.Big motivator there.
All this was after 24 kg snatches and getting to train with the KB Swing queen was great again. SO SO cool to have my love as my training partner I can't tell you. She is tough as nails and cuts me no slack. Nor herself.
She also has dived into her weakness as she is training tension skills for the first time and has honored me by allowing her to coach her.Progress is undoubtable.
We are completely revamping Girya as HKC Central and for Tracy's and Jordan's class needs and everything is very exciting.I am training there for the first time ever and it's great.The studio will become the KB dojo I've always wanted :))

Next will being able to train my squat again. Hey,miracles happen, I know this to be true.

16 kgx5/5x2
20 kgx4/4

24 kg x 5/5
x 6/6
x 7/7 x 3 rounds
x5/5 x2 rounds
128 reps
13,568 lbs

Man this felt heavy for the first few sets, still not used to training the heavier bells mid week but it was fine after the first few sets. was going to do more reps but hands were a but hot( lost my file!) and wanted to get onto the double presses and see if they would work! Not a bad snatch number for me at all.Form felt very solid.

Double KB press( one clean per set)
12 kgx3
24kgx3!! very easy. very.
20 kg x5

this was so exciting,especially that they were so strong. I am going to cycle three presses( just like WSB max effort days): 1) single kb military press, 2) double kb military press 3) and bottoms up press.
I will also add in Handstand pushups when the time is right. I am also going to start doing pushups again, another thing I was very very good at and havent been able to do safely for years.This will probably be an assistance exercise for awhile.

( against wall) 2 sets of 20 seconds
free standings
LOTs( tracy was taking pictures, LOTS OF handstands)

these went well and I can really see from the pictures JUST how tight my shoulders and shoulder girdle still is and how much work I still have to do re; throacic mobility BUT it's a start. A great great start and I am very happy :))

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Doubling up.

Not only made it through my Bikrams practice yesterday after a pretty tough snatch Vo2 workout but had a stellar practice to boot. Attitude made all the difference( as well as my back cooperating!) and finally getting some momentum back in my training cycle. It's amazing to me how much difference it can make missing or making a few workouts in a row!

I didnt know how well my arms would work in the first part of the series after all those snatches, swipes and handstands but they held up pretty well.

The key improvement for me of late in Bikrams is in my weakest and least favorite movement the standing forward head to knee(standing on my left leg).

Since my left knee doesnt full extend or bend it's been a real struggle trying to figure out what to do and how to progress( or regress) the posture since the cueing states that " the posture doesnt start until the standing leg is LOCKED".

or as Bikram says "Lock the damn knee, lock the damn knee, lock the damn knee".

Okay, well what if it doesnt lock?

I've tried it allkinds of different ways and I finally decided to eat some humble pie and go all the way back to the most basic of basic positions, locking myknee as best as I can with full weight over the whole foot with my right leg taking as much weight as necessary to lock out the left leg.

Now this sums up just how weak the left knee and the muscles are with the leg locked but that's where it is, and ,suprisingly, I have made progress with this technique.When I first started I needed the entire right foot on the floor to lock out the left knee. Yesterday I was down to just the big and second toe and the left leg was locking out pretty well. Soon I will be able to hold the knee locked with my right leg off the floor a bit.

Now, considering I can do the entire pose pretty well on my right leg this is not that much fun to do but the right thing to do.It just sucks being the only one in class in this most beginning of beginning positions.But I am finally making progress in the pose, don't dread it like I have, and it doesnt hurt my back or lock up my left hamstring. Good stuff overall.

Getting through a class now doesn't feel like such an exercise in survival but another workout, where I can moderate the intensity of what I am doing by how I feel going in and it doesnt require three days of recovery and tons of specialized stretching to recover from it.

Hell, I feel like I could practice again today if I wanted.I'm not going to but I could, and that's the key.Progress is going in the right direction ,and as anyone who knows me knows, trendline is what is important to me.

One is either getting stronger or weaker, there is no standing still.All that matters is direction even though I also realize that sometimes going backwards IS going forwards. A Zen koan for sure, but in general the above statement is true.

It also always helps to be practicing every time with such an amazing Yogini as my wife is. I get better just being next to her as she goes effortlessly and strongly at the same time through her practice. She has such a high standard for her practice that she is way tough on herself if she doesn't hit everything perfectly everytime but as I said, I get stronger and better just seeing how things are supposed to be done right next to me and feeling her energy.

I never thought I would love yoga, much less Bikrams , as much as I do but I have come to really enjoy it in ways I never imagined, EVEN the group class element.Maybe it's just me getting older but the group energy and the admonitions of the teachers really help pull so much out of me than I can myself these days. Any port in a storm, eh?